Created By: animeangel999 on March 19, 2012 Last Edited By: ILikeNikeShoes on March 11, 2013

...It's just the glasses

You just wear glasses because you can't see!? LAME!

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Trope
Believe it or not there are not a lot of characters in cartoons, comics, anime, and etc. that wear glasses (which is not nessesarly a bad thing because you know not everyone is blind), but when a glasses character is introduced into the main cast they are usually given the role of smart guy, brains, sane man, or really any role that shows off their intelligence.

But every once it a while you get a glasses character that doesn't fill the smart guy role... Hell he could even be a dumbass! Media today has the myth glasses=smart that when we're given a glasses character who well... doesn't live up to the stereotype it can be surprising and entertaining.

Examples:

Cartoons: Jimmy Neutron-Carl Wheezer: Lampshaded in an episode, and made obvious in the episodes "Journey to the Center of Carl." and "I Dream of Jimmy.". Well actually let's just say it's made obvious throught the entire series, increasingly so.

Anime/Manga: Daily Lives of High School Boys-Hidenori Tabata: Dear lord is he crazy but in the best way! From doing a live dating sim. for his best friend to stealing said friend's sister's bra he is not even close to being the smart guy from the group.

Daily Lives of High School Boys/ High School Girls are Funky-Yanagin: Pretty much the female version of Hidenori Tabata and just as awesomely crazy. While it is proven that she is book smart, 2nd in her class to only another glasses character, she definitely does NOT use her knowledge to her advantage. She is even considered worse than her male counter part with her constant harrasment to any male character.
  • Ano Hana :There's Anjou (Anaru) who actually has glasses but is explicitly stated to be an extremely slow learner and isn't the brightest of the lot.Though The Smart Glasses are played straight by Tsuruko.

XXX Holic-Kimihiro Watanuki: While he's probably an average on the intelligence scale but compared to his mystic employer, Yuko, and his constant savior, Doumeki, he's just a spazzing man with glasses.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • March 20, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    On The Simpsons Milhouse had this classic line: "I'm not a nerd, Bart. Nerds are smart."
  • March 20, 2012
    partner555
    Can somebody wearing glasses and is a completely normal person, with average intelligence, count?
  • March 20, 2012
    Routerie
    This comes across a bit like "glasses, when there's no trope involved." Unless this is only for cases when someone assumes a trope (e.g. nerd glasses) is in play but learns they're wrong?
  • March 30, 2012
    TitoMosquito
    A lot of background characters in El Tigre, The Buzz On Maggie, and King Of The Hill wear glasses.
  • March 30, 2012
    SteamGoth
    partner555: Somehow I think the answer is no. The trope is basically a subversion of Smart People Wear Glasses and possibly of Nerd Glasses. Or at least, it should be; I feel like "glasses with no trope involved" is too broad, and could lead to lot of entries like the one above.
  • March 30, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In Arthur Arthur is the only major character who wears glasses, but Brain is the brain of the group.
  • March 10, 2013
    Underwood
    Axis Powers Hetalia has America, who's more of a hero than a genius. And yet, he has glasses (and calls them TEXAS). Austria can also count -- he's more of a musician than a genius.
  • March 10, 2013
    foxley
    This just seems to be 'people wear glasses', which is definitely a People Sit On Chairs.
  • March 10, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    I think if this is specified to hot-blooded people wearing glasses, then it can be a trope. As it is now, this is People Sit On Chairs.

    I can't think of any examples, though, besides Daily Lives Of High School Boys and Axis Powers Hetalia, both of which has been mentioned. I think it's also worth noting that Yanagin herself said that she wears glasses because her eyesight is bad, not because she wants to fit into the 'glasses' stereotype.
  • March 10, 2013
    ArkadyDarell
    ^ Maybe limit it to where in-universe someone is expected to be brainy or a geek because they have glasses, when they're really just average.
  • March 11, 2013
    XFllo
    Well then, so this is a Subverted Trope to Smart People Wear Glasses. I think most examples might be safely listed there as such. Subverting a trope is still using it.

    However, I suspect there might be something more here. When a trope gets played straight way too often, inversions start peeking in and then Inverted Trope is just as expected in the audiences' minds as the original one of playing it straight. I think something similar happens with subversions as well.

    I myself recollect a hilarious example of this specific subversion. In fact, it has many Playing With aspects, e.g. Invoked Trope.

    It's from a French children's book Little Nicolas (Le Petit Nicolas). Teachers Pet and nerdy nerd Agnan wears glasses and he's the only one who does well at school. One of the boys (the one who was always last in his class) gets glasses. It was his parents' or his doctor's idea that he might perform so badly because he can't see the blackboard properly (this is sometimes Truth In Television). Now, even Agnan thinks the glasses might invoke Smart People Wear Glasses trope, and gets afraid that his position is challenged. The boys later try to wear the glasses and comment they see things distorted, which admits even the-guy-with-new-glasses (couldn't find his name in the original/English version). The boys ask the-boy-with-glasses if they could borrow them for examinations and tests so that they could get good marks as well. He's okay with oral exams, but says he needs them himself for written tests. Their teacher then thinks the glasses are a some kind of a joke. Lots of antics ensue. At the end, the glasses get broken in a fight or something similar, and that's the end of it. He never wears them again.
  • March 11, 2013
    StarSword
    ^"However, I suspect there might be something more here. When a trope gets played straight way too often, inversions start peeking in and then Inverted Trope is just as expected in the audiences' minds as the original one of playing it straight. I think something similar happens with subversions as well."

    Sounds like a nascent Discredited Trope.
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