Oh... looks like your glasses are sliding down your nose. You'd better correct them—
But wait! Don't reach for those frames just yet. How
you adjust your glasses speaks volumes of your character - at least if you're a fictional one. Here, we've provided a helpful list of the myriad ways to correct your spectacles, from which you can pick the one that suits you the best.
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By the arms
Adjusting your glasses by their arms, using both hands, conveys that you're either not used to wearing eyeglasses, or taking exceptional care with them, or to express that your glasses are extremely fragile. In any case, it is Moe
, and as such usually the province of the Meganekko
. The one-handed variant, however, has come to be known as a somewhat sly gesture, but more softspoken Megane
have been known to utilize it without mischievous intent.
Anime and Manga
- Arthur apparently does this as a nervous habit. In later episodes, it becomes his "tell" and if he does it then you know he's lying or at least not being entirely truthful.
By the corner
Holding one lens or hinge between the thumb and the forefinger is almost singularly reserved for The Professor
types. Nerd Glasses
and Purely Aesthetic Glasses
are — almost by definition — adjusted this way. This is also the only
way to adjust your High-Class Glass
, but we can't say if there's a deeper meaning to the connection.
Adjusting your glasses by both
lenses is only reserved for the highest echelons of geekdom, and those who wear goggles. (Sometimes these two groups overlap.)
Anime and Manga
- Clark Kent is often seen adjusting his glasses this way, especially in Post-Crisis stories where Clark was given a more aggressive personality. Often used as a punctuation for his snarking.
- Ema Skye in the Ace Attorney series. Unusual in that she very rarely wears the glasses over her eyes, so the adjustment is mostly for the sake of adjusting.
- The concise Shizune of Katawa Shoujo often poses this way.
- The Nostalgia Critic has a habit of doing it whenever people with glasses get treated badly in the movies he reviews.
By the bridge
Pushing your glasses back up your nose by their bridge, using one or two fingers, has more conflicting interpretations. In the West, this gesture is generally associated with Nerd Glasses
and the socially inept, but in the realm of anime
, doing this usually means that you're a Badass Bookworm
or have some Machiavellian Evil Plan
up your sleeve (Especially when combined with Scary Shiny Glasses
and/or Stoic Spectacles
Sometimes this is also combined with a covert way of Flipping the Bird
without technically doing so, intentional or otherwise
Anime and Manga
- The trope image is Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. When he's not doing his trademark GendoPose◊, he's doing this.
- Vash the Stampede from Trigun, occasionally with his middle finger.
- As a recent trailer for the next Rebuild of Evangelion movie reveals, Mari also prefers to use the bridge.
- Rossiu's assistant in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this all the time.
- As does Takamizawa in Midori Days.
- Bleach: Mostly an anime-only trope, although it sometimes happens in the manga. Uryuu Ishida, Ryuuken Ishida and Nanao Ise all adjust their glasshes by the bridge. They tend to do it when they're making a point, or irritated, nervous, thoughtful or about to enter combat or a confrontational situation.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Haruna Saotome does this often.
- In Tree of Tranquility, Jin (one of the eligible bachelors) does this as his "talking" gesture (which all the characters have).
- Shizuo Heiwajima in Durarara!!!! does this with his Cool Shades on occasion.
- In Naruto:
- Kyouya Ootori of Ouran High School Host Club does it with alarming frequency, often triggering Scary Shiny Glasses.
- Nikaidou Yuu of Shugo Chara! does this frequently,often triggering Scary Shiny Glasses, but stops after his Heel-Face Turn
- Kirio a.k.a. "Mr. Glasses Man" from Kamichama Karin.
- Keima in The World God Only Knows generally does this except when he's pretending to be nicer than he is, in which case he'll adjust them by the sides. It plays out interestingly when Keima and Yui switch bodies and he tries doing it by habit, but Yui's vision is better and she doesn't need glasses. He's momentarily confused.
- Shou Tucker does this in Fullmetal Alchemist. This combined with Scary Shiny Glasses are clues to show that something isn't quite right with him.
- Mai Minakami from Nichijou does this occasionally, but with her, it's because she's trolling her friends. A notable example is when she and her friends are playing "Red Light Green Light".
- Takamatsu in Angel Beats! does this many times in a row when saying things. Yuri claims he's actually quite dumb and just wears glasses to seem smart.
- Shiroe in Log Horizon does this incessantly whenever he comes up with a plan, as is fitting for his role as The Strategist of his party. Krusty, the surprisingly sneaky leader of the combat Guild D.D.D. does this as well.
- It's gotten to the point that non-glasses-wearing characters have started imitating this motion to show they are thinking of or have a cunning plan.
- After becoming a Megane, Yuuno Scrya from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha does this.
- Justin Hammer does it this way in Iron Man 2, showing that he has a lot of nervous energy and is an awkward man.
- In Now And Then, Nerdy Morton does this as a child while saying "hello dear" to Chrissy, and it becomes his defining characteristic so we later recognize him as an adult once he's married to her. Awww.
- Hiro in Heroes does this - it does a good job straddling the western 'dork glasses' and eastern 'serious moment.' It also lampshades itself from time to time, like when Hiro meets his younger self, and they both adjust their glasses at the same time.
- In Psychoville, the younger Jeremy does this multiple times during his flashback of Ravenhill.
- The Stefan & Krister character Olvert Bengtsson does the Flipping the Bird variant in almost all his sketches.
- Meibo from Infinity Game does this in an attempt to look threatening, it usually works.
- During her introduction, Glynda Goodwitch does this as she begins her duel in RWBY, seeming to invoke Badass Teacher.
- Mr. Spender from Paranatural exaggerates this trope as well as Scary Shiny Glasses by doing it seven times in a row and weaponizing it. He has the power to control light, as in any kind of light, including the shine coming from adjusted glasses.
After what we've covered thus far, the gestures that remain tend to be so alien as to be relegated to some singular character's idiosyncracies. Look through these examples for some truly exotic ways to adjust your glasses.
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, Kuro adjust his glasses by pushing up on the bottoms of the lenses with the heels of his hands, an early hint to the fact that he used to wear clawed gauntlets. Specifically, his once-Dragon Jango considers the fact that he still does this despite Kuro not having worn the claws for years a sign that he hasn't gotten rusty.
- In Black Butler:
- William T Spears uses his death scythe to adjust his glasses.
- At one point, Sebastian uses a violin bow to adjust his glasses while teaching Ciel the violin in Episode 13.
- Free! has Rei, who performs the awkward ritual of putting his thumb on one corner and his middle finger on the opposite one and blocking his own vision while he pushes his glasses up. Usually just before he begins to rhapsodize about aesthetic or theory. He's so used to doing this that he once attempts to adjust his glasses while he's not even wearing them◊.
- Tatsumi in Yami No Matsuei does the whole-hand version with thumb and forefinger against the lower frames of opposite sides of his glasses, in his case causing his hand to cover most of his entire face below the eyes. This mostly has the effect of making him look dramatic and somewhat sinister.
- In The Girl With The Silver Eyes, Katie is used to lifting her glasses via telekinesis. After she finds others like her, they jointly complain about how frustrating it is to try to remember to do it with your hands when it's so obvious and easy to do it the normal way - mentally!
As you can see, adjusting your glasses can be such a powerful characterization tool
that you shouldn't reserve doing it only for when your glasses actually need adjusting. If you're wearing Stoic Spectacles
or are just painfully shy
, you can always just adjust your glasses in lieu of a proper greeting. If you want to underline the seriousness of the situation, adjust your glasses - Glasses Pull
used to be popular for this, but nowadays it's a largely Discredited Trope
. Don't know how to express your feelings
? Adjust your glasses. It's an act with uses above and beyond just correcting your corrective lenses.
Bonus points if you wear glasses and were trying all of these methods as you read them.
Bonus bonus points if you put a pair on just to do that.