A minor detail on a character's headgear, at first glance for show, can serve a practical purpose.
Compare the related Cool Helmet
and Weaponized Headgear
tropes for headgear, and Tricked-Out Shoes
and Tricked Out Gloves
for other accessories.
Anime & Manga
- Batman's cowl's ears contain a comm-link he can use to stay in contact with his allies.
- In Le Morte d'Arthur Sir Lancelaut agrees to carry Guenivere's token on his helmet, even though he doesn't ever do that. He's in disguise at the time though, so he thinks it'll be helpful to his disguise since he's known to not do it.
- One episode of Justice League has The Flash and a Black Canary expy tied to the side of a blimp. The Flash has always had a lightning bolt decoration on each side of his helmet, but for this one time only, he points out that they're not just for show, and reverse headbutts the blimp, causing the lightning bolts to puncture it.
- In the Batman Beyond episode that introduced Mad Stan, their fight has him piledriving Batman into the ground. Batman (Terry) gets his stylistic ears temporarily stuck in the ground, incapacitating him momentarily as he struggles to get free. In general, these ears are used as receptors for Terry's communication with Bruce.