The blue-emissive antibody EP2-19G2 that has been elicited against trans-stilbene has unprecedented ability to produce bright luminescence and has been used as a biosensor in various applications. We show that the prolonged luminescence is not stilbene fluorescence. Instead, the emissive species is a charge-transfer excited complex of an anionic stilbene and a cationic, parallel pi-stacked tryptophan. Upon charge recombination, this complex generates exceptionally bright blue light. Complex formation is enabled by a deeply penetrating ligand-binding pocket, which in turn results from a noncanonical interface between the two variable domains of the antibody.