[[quoteright:350:[[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/homestarglasses_205.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[TheDitz Homestar]] tries his hardest to [[SubvertedTrope subvert this trope.]]]]

->'''Customer:''' I like these glasses. They make me look more smarter!
->'''Customerís boyfriend:''' Yeah, well looks can be deceiving.
-->-- ''Not Always Romantic''

In the media, smart characters have a tendency to wear glasses. The association with the HollywoodNerd archetype helps in modern works, although this trope is possibly older than that. May be TruthInTelevision, as some say that since smarter people typically do more reading, they place more strain on their eyes and are more likely to develop myopia (nearsightedness). [[http://www.infoniac.com/science/people-wearing-glasses-more-intelligent.html Some studies]] have gone so far as to claim that myopia itself is linked with open-mindedness and intelligence. On the other hand, glasses are expensive, so people wearing them will not risk them in sports or fights (but some may use contact lens instead).

In {{anime}}, there is a commonly-used variant of this called [[FanNickname Glasses-Kun]]: [[TheLancer A Lancer]] who has black hair, is taller than TheProtagonist, is ''always'' smarter than the main character, is relatively quiet, somewhat broody, and wears glasses.

In RealLife, there are lots of different types of people who wear glasses, but in fiction they are more rare. This is due to problems such as glare from the cameras in Live Action media, difficulty reading facial expressions, etc., and is the reason why when such characters are present it seems more significant. As proven by the examples, it is also why this trope occurs more so in Live Action, animated programming, and other pictorial media and less so in literature; it's a visual cue to the audience that the character is intelligent, yet is used sparingly because of the aforementioned difficulties involved.

This trope is an inherent part of TheGlassesGottaGo and BeautifulAllAlong, and often HollywoodNerd. {{Supertrope}} to NerdGlasses. The invoked form of this is PurelyAestheticGlasses. Compare TheShortGuyWithGlasses.

!!Examples:
!!'''Please do not list aversions, seeing as then it would be just a list of characters with glasses'''

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* Ishida Uryuu from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' wears glasses and is number one in his class. He also perfectly fits the description for a "glasses-kun". He takes after his father, Ryuuken, who also wears glasses and ends up being revealed to be so intelligent he can keep up with ''Urahara''. To put that into perspective, even the hyperintelligent Big Bad Aizen admits that Urahara is the most intelligent shinigami alive. Urahara first realised Ryuuken was capable of keeping up with him when Ryuuken was only a teenager, and was stunned.
* Shizuko from ''Manga/MaidSama'', who is GoodWithNumbers.
* Shin, the CuteBookworm and SmartGuy in ''SaintBeast''
* Both Franz Heinel and Shinsuke Maki in ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula''. One is a GadgeteerGenius with cars and a computer expert, and the other is a computer machinist who makes computer games in his free time.
* Played with in ''DetectiveConan''. Shinichi is already very smart without glasses, but as Conan, he wears glasses so he wouldn't be recognized as a younger version of Shinichi.
* Minamo Kurokawa and Chika Kodama in ''Manga/YubisakiMilkTea'', who are best and second best of their year, both wear glasses. Later Hidari Morii who Minamo teached as well.
* In ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia, America's glasses are a hint that he isn't as stupid as he seems. One of his hobbies turns out to be archaeology.
* Firo invokes this trope in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!''. After taking the position of the [[TheMafia Martillo Family]] bookkeeper, he immediately takes to wearing a pair of PurelyAestheticGlasses. Why? Because he's doing a smart-person job now, so he has to look smart (and because he wants to look slightly less like the [[CompleteImmortality perpetual teenager he is]]).
* In ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaInnocent'', Stern Starks, who is this AlternateUniverse's version of the [[VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable Material]] [[TheSmartGuy of Wisdom]], is depicted as regularly wearing glasses in the real world.
* {{Defied|trope}} in ''Manga/{{Yuyushiki}}'', where the local DitzyGenius Yuzuko said she doesn't usually wear glasses since she does not want to appear too smart.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]

* Dilton Doiley in ArchieComics.
* The Beast from ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' (who's a GeniusBruiser) wears glasses when he reads. (And it looks kind of funny, considering that he's a muscular guy covered with blue fur.)
* The Polish comic book ''Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek'' has A'Tomek (a nerdy, math-minded kid), professor T. Alent (a genius inventor) and "Papcio Chmiel" (the AuthorAvatar).
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Brainy Smurf]] from ''TheSmurfs''. (Although he's more of a KnowNothingKnowItAll than truly smart.)
* Prof. Calculus (and quite a bunch of other scientists) from ''{{Film/Tintin}}''.
* Klik and Teela from ''ComicBook/PocketGod'' are [[GadgeteerGenius Gadgeteer Geniuses]] and are the only pygmies that wear glasses. Klik usually keeps on the top of his head, however.
* Discussed in ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretOrigin''. When attempting to sell his old science books, Lex Luthor targeted Clark Kent, who had started wearing glasses, stating that glasses meant one of two things: genetic inferiority, or he read a lot. Somewhat subverted since in actuality, Clark's heat vision had just developed, and the lenses from the glasses shielded it in case it was accidentally triggered.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/SuckerPunch'', both Dr. Gorski (in the asylum) and Blue ([[NestedStory in the nightclub]]) have glasses, though they mostly only wear them when they need to take a closer look at something (They might merely be reading glasses, rather than corrective lenses). While Dr. Gorski is a psychologist, Blue is smart in that DangerouslyGenreSavvy way.
* Invoked by Elle Woods in ''Film/LegallyBlonde'', when she dons glasses to appear smarter and more professional in order to help Paulette get her dog back.
* Peter Parker, Richard Parker, Curtis Connors and Norman Osborn in ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan''. Unlike in Raimi's movies, this version of Peter doesn't get his myopia cured by Spider-powers, so he keeps using glasses and contacts even after he's become Spider-Man.
* You can tell that David Talbot in ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'' is intellectual, although not clever enough to accomplish much with his knowledge of vampires, by the fact his office looks like a library and he wears glasses which he draws attention to by taking them off and putting them back on a lot.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Ponder Stibbons in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''.
* Most Erudites in ''Literature/{{Divergent}}''
* Tris from Literature/TheCircleOfMagic is the most academic of the main characters, and the only one to wear glasses.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Cookie from ''NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide''.
* The one and only Steve Urkel, an ExtravertedNerd from ''FamilyMatters''.
* A weird example as it's something of an informed trait: scientist Bennett on ''{{Dollhouse}}'' wears, as [[PairTheSmartOnes Topher]] so gleefully puts it, "glasses. On a chain!" She's apparently far-sighted because she only wears them when looking at computer screens.
* Garcia, a computer genius, and her boyfriend Kevin Lynch both wear glasses. Though he apparently switched to contacts, flashbacks to Reid's youth in ''CriminalMinds'' shows that he had some of the largest glasses any child has ever worn, ever.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Giles, while not the resident genius, is the resident MrExposition.
** Also Wesley, although once he got on ''Series/{{Angel}}'', he lost them after a while.
** GibberingGenius Fred also is seen wearing glasses, which she also lost after a while.
* Liberty, Toby, and Claire on ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration''. Actually, if a character wears glasses on that show, it's almost a given that they're intelligent.
* Daniel Jackson in ''Series/StargateSG1''.
** And in an alternate universe episode where she never joined the SGC, we find Sam Carter wearing huge NerdGlasses. Presumably in the regular timeline she just wears contacts. Either way, there's no denying that her (excellent) combat skills are NOT the reason she's on the team.
* Alex Dunphy from ''ModernFamily'' is the only one of the Dunphy kids to wear glasses, and is definitely the brains of the family.
* Ted Kasselbaum, the resident private investigator and genius computer hacker on ''Series/JustCause'', wears glasses with blue tinted lenses.
** Peggy, a paralegal with three graduate degrees, also wears glasses.
* Billy from the original ''MightyMorphinPowerRangers''.
* FBI computer genius Winifred from ''GeneralHospital'' wore nerd glasses, even though the guy she was a DistaffCounterpart of (Spinelli) did not. The same actress wore a different pair of glasses as another computer genius in ''Series/VengeanceUnlimited''.
* Gil Grissom from ''{{CSI}}'', at least some of the time. Apparently they're mostly reading glasses.
** Sid Hammerback and probably Danny Messer from ''{{CSI NY}}'' too.
* Amy, Bernadette, Leslie and Leonard on TheBigBangTheory.
** Penny got a pair that once made her look smarter, ''and sexier'', simply by tilting them off and saying, "Molecule."
* Brains from ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}''.
* Lampshaded in the first episode of ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', when Echo's programmed personality is a hostage negotiation specialist. Topher explains that the glasses aren't to make her look smarter; her implanted personality is short-sighted and her intellect comes from the drive to overcome such imperfections.
* Explicit use of the trope as symbolism: Ads for the mental-exercise website Lumosity show people giving testimonials while various background and foreground animations appear. In one of them, glasses are drawn on the speaker's face as she says the site helps her stay sharp.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Lex from ''{{VideoGame/Bookworm}}''. He's a regular old bookworm who is able to ''tell'' if the paper he eats has letters on it and if said letters form words. As a result, he chooses to only eats words.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. Tedd Verres is a highly intelligent GadgeteerGenius with a dash of MadScientist. He normally wears OpaqueNerdGlasses that have... [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2002-07-06 other features]].
* ''{{Sinfest}}'': [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2697 Monique donned them for a strip, to look intellectual.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-8-page-13 this trope lay behind Sarin's monocle]] pre-GenderBender.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The Director in Machinima/RedVsBlue is a brilliant AI theorist who, of course, wears glasses.
* In WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] and [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]]'s joint-review of the ''Film/AloneInTheDark2005'' movie, Linkara points this out regarding TaraReid's character.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Simon from ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks''
* Velma from ''ScoobyDoo''
* Shy Violet from ''RainbowBrite''
* Plum Pudding from the original ''StrawberryShortcake''
* ''{{Daria}}'' is famous for her coke-bottle glasses, and for being one of very few [[TooDumbToLive Lawndale residents]] with a rapier-wit.
** CharacterizationMarchesOn makes aversions of several characters, when in later seasons, most characters are given redeeming moments, often of intelligence.
** Invoked in ''Through a lens, darkly'', where resident [[TheDitz Ditzes]] Kevin and Brittany start wearing glasses to become smarter.
* Tucker on ''DannyPhantom'' is a tech genius and wears glasses.
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Brainy Smurf]] from ''TheSmurfs''.
* Gretchen Grundler from ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''.
* Jeremie from ''CodeLyoko''. (And Franz Hopper, when he had a physical body.)
* Carwash in ''WillowTheWisp''.
* {{Invoked}} on ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'', when Rocko's idol (a professional Jackhammer-er) says he wears contacts while on the job, but prefers glasses when off because they make him look like an intellectual. Cue a FanGirl approaching and asking if he was an intellectual.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* PolPot hated intellectuals, so he had people killed for wearing glasses.
** There is some (rather Machiavellian) justification for this beyond InsaneTrollLogic, however. Eyeglasses, while not an ''extravagant'' luxury, would be hard to come by in a poor, non-industrialized country like Cambodia was. Anybody capable of affording them would almost certainly be involved, if only indirectly, in the exploitation of the lower classes.
* Myopia actually does correlate with IQ. #4 of ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20332_5-unrealistic-movie-cliches-that-are-scientifically-accurate.html 5 Unrealistic Movie Cliches That Are Scientifically Accurate]] points out a study finding that intelligence and education are somehow correlated with nearsightedness in real life.

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