Oooohhhh, where could they be?
"My glasses! I can't see a thing without my glasses!"
"My glasses! I can't be seen without my glasses!"
Nobody who wears glasses in TV ever needs them for minor vision correction, except for reading glasses that are worn mainly to make the character look wise
. Almost all TV characters with glasses have such bad vision that if they are deprived of their spectacles, they are practically blind — usually hammered home by showing (briefly) the character's uselessly blurry point of view or the character making a Blind Mistake
In animation, when such a character's glasses are lost, their eyes shrink down to pinpoints, which indicates either that they are squinting to see, or to point out the jarring real life effect of seeing someone who has huge eyes when seen through heavily magnified glasses without their glasses. An anime variation on this is usually represented with the character's eyes being replaced by 3's or 3_3
, which is another stylization of squinting.
Oddly, when a character discards his/her glasses in order to look more attractive
or more badass
, that character invariably turns out not
to be blind without 'em after all (unless it's a parody). Sometimes both will occur, with the character's eyesight varying based on what's convenient for the situation.
Note: The legal term "legally blind
" is with corrective lenses
(per linked article). Saying you are "legally blind without your glasses" is absurd.
Further note: because special lenses are needed to keep eyeglasses from flashing stage lights, and reflecting filming equipment, any time an actor wears glasses, it's a character choice, and the glasses are special stage glasses, which the actor may or may not need. If an actor needs corrective lenses, and it's deemed wrong for the character, the actor has to do without, or wear contacts.
Truth in Television
, albeit much rarer than it is in fiction.
See also Nerd Glasses
Unrelated to Fan Myopia
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- The woman in this Sears Optical Ad, who mistakes a raccoon for her cat. "Come snuggles with momma..."
- Specsavers' current advertising campaign is based on this; with a sheep farmer shearing his own dog, an old couple taking a relaxing sit down on a rollercoaster, and a couple driving onto an aircraft carrier instead of a ferry.
Anime & Manga
- Mousse in Ranma ˝ is so dependent upon his glasses that without them he can mistake a bright green houseplant for the purple-haired girl he loves. This isn't helped by his tendency to take them off any time he tries to be cool/dramatic.
- Hida Sayuri in Best Student Council has a habit of having her glasses ("megane" in Japanese) knocked off so that she can meander about the ground mumbling "megane... megane...". Surprisingly, they have only been stepped on once. She's not just Blind Without Em. She seems to lose all sense-abilities and tunes out the world completely when she loses them. The first episode alone has her apparently patting the same square foot of land saying "megane... megane..." for hours before being fireman-carried home, still in her orz state.
- Kururu from Keroro Gunsou also mutters "megane, megane" after he loses his glasses; whether they were dislodged by an explosion or shattered by boob missiles. While he is a nasty little cur, just break his glasses and he's mostly harmless.
- Tokyo Mew Mew had Retasu. Actually, she could see without them when she was transformed as Mew Lettuce, but in civilian form, small blurry eyes and feeling around still reigned supreme.
- Lucky Star averts the "shrinking eyes" effect when Konata pulls off Miyuki's glasses, and disappointingly admits that "it doesn't work that way in real life". They do, however, show her having to squint to read the board, and she says her vision without 'em is "way below 20/200."
- Mari in Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 claims to be this although given her subsequent actions and somewhat erratic personality suggests she may well be lying.
- Integra Hellsing from Hellsing, in the anime at least, is shown at a couple of points to have extremely poor eyesight without her glasses.
- Matsuri from Ichigo Mashimaro is already quite clumsy, but it gets throttled to near-catastrophic proportions when she doesn't wear her glasses. She almost gets herself (and Nobue) killed during a visit to the public bath, for one.
- Tsukuyomi of Mahou Sensei Negima! Rather than use her specs for pure cuteness, the author made it a slight plot-point when she was interrupting Rival swordswoman Setsuna from rescuing her charge, to which Setsuna responded by tossing the impeding enemy swordswoman aside, unnintentionally knocking her glasses off. She was no threat afterwards.
- Keitaro and Naru from Love Hina are both so Blind Without Em that they don't recognize each other from two meters apart. In Naru's case, most of the time she wears contacts. It's only when she's studying or, in the case mentioned above, running away from home that she puts on her glasses in lieu of the contacts. The only times when she has neither are in the bath or when her glasses are broken. The time running away from home, she said that she spent the entire night crying. Contacts are not so good after that for a while. In the Anime both of their glasses soon break, leading to them having a nice time unknowing who they were talking to till Hilarity Ensued when they were fixed.
- Sort of subverted in Witch Hunter Robin where the title character needs glasses only for correctly using her magical abilities. And it's really not as stupid as it sounds.
- Lieutenant Tashigi of One Piece is so nearsighted that when she puts her glasses on her forehead to read, she easily mistakes random bystanders for her commanding officer.
- Sacchan from Gintama has a tendency to lose her glasses often, leading to such situations as poking Gintoki's eye out with a chopstick full of natto or mistaking a time bomb for a giant breath mint. What makes her plight all the more disastrous — or hilarious — is that she's actually a ninja.
- Ayaori in Penguin Revolution has incredibly lousy eyesight and can barely see anything without either his Nerd Glasses or contacts. Which is fortunate for the Sweet Polly Oliver who rooms with him, since he has a tendency to wander into the bathroom while she's bathing.
- The girls from Hidamari Sketch are delighted to see Sae without her glasses for once, but when it turns out that she cannot even distinguish between a clam and a soup ladle anymore they quickly make her put them on again. (The reason she wasn't wearing them in the first place was because the steam was fogging them up, so the benefits of putting them on again are unclear.)
- Nowy in Glass Fleet is apparently Blind Without Em, given that his Dropped Glasses moments are frequent enough to become an Overly Long Gag — but a scene near the end of the series suggests that he may be intentionally exaggerating it for Eimer's amusement.
- Ichinensei Ni Nacchattara: Yume, the Mad Scientist.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray has Riika Sheder, who like the Geordi La Forge example below is literally blind without her special glasses. In the main series, the purpose behind the experiments leading the creation of protagonist Kira Yamato is that sometimes genetically engineered "Coordinators" don't turn out quite as "perfect" as they're supposed to. Riika exists as living proof of how true this is. But since the cybernetic technology in the "Cosmic Era" is just as advanced as the genetic technology, she's able to be a mobile suit test pilot anyway.
- Shou of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX cannot tell the difference between a giant koala and his friend Hayato without his glasses. It's surprising he can even WITH them.... In all fairness, Judai mistakes Hayato for a giant koala upon meeting him.
- Carly from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds also can't see a thing without her glasses; except when her Super-Powered Evil Side is in control. (In fact, Jack finds her half-broken glasses in the ruins of the Arcadia Building after she is recruited into the Dark Signers, and they play a big part of getting her to snap out of it later.)
- In the Kimagure Orange Road story, "Manami-chan's Big Adventure", Kyōsuke's meganekko sister loses her contacts while enjoying a day off from everyday household chores and is subsequently rescued from shady characters — in the manga they're lecherous guys, in the anime it's sukeban (girl gang) members — by Kyōsuke. He fails to recognize his dressed-up sister, and she fails to recognize him without her glasses or contacts (and he has a slight sore throat, which changes his voice), and they end up on a date together. (It makes sense in context and isn't squicky in the least.) In the manga story he's just being nice to a sweet girl he's met, but in the anime he does finally recognize her and treats her to the memorable day she wanted to have — with Manami never realizing that this kind, gentlemanly boy she spends the day with was in fact her brother.
- Issei Tsubaki in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, while still being functional without his coke bottles, doesn't recognize neither Sōsuke nor Kaname without them, and it leads him to almost kill the janitor after going through the entire class just to find Sōsuke who had missed their duel on the roof.
- Sunao from Potemayo, when running to school with a large group of people but without his glasses, somehow ends up in a restaurant. That's not even open. And resembles a school only in that both have doors and chairs.
- Jean Roque de Baltique in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, including the obligatory Dropped Glasses scene. To the point that without the glasses, his eyes are drawn much smaller than the usual "anime" size.
- Maylene, the maid in Black Butler, is so farsighted she doesn't need a sight on her sniper rifles. However, that makes ordinary tasks as a housemaid rather difficult. She's Blind Without 'Em, barely functioning with 'em.
- This is also true of all the Grim Reapers. The "Story of Will the Reaper" OVA shows the workshop of the craftsman who makes all of their spectacles - he is a highly respected legend. The Shinigami Haken Kyoukai Theme Song from the second musical says that their #1 rule is that all reapers must wear glasses. In regards to actually seeing them fumble around for a dropped pair, the stoic, straight-edged William gets that sort of scene the most. About thirteen minutes into episode 9 of Kuroshitsuji II, he loses his glasses and starts fumbling around on the ground Velma-style—even admonishing a brick wall that he thinks is his partner. It also happens to a lesser extent in the aforementioned OVA.
- Averted in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan. Marin is a rare example of a character who's far-sighted rather than near-sighted. She does need glasses, but she can see well enough to get around without 'em.
- Normally averted yet still invoked in Detective Conan to maintain Conan's Clark Kenting. He doesn't need the glasses to see, but he fakes this anyway to keep his identity secret. The dub made it one step further by making dub!Conan say he has retinitis pigmentosa.
- Riruka Dokugamine from Bleach. She refuses to wear her glasses due to vanity.
- Actually downplayed. Her nearsightedness is brought up only once, in a dark room when Ginjo refuses to turn the lights on, and she shows no obvious signs of needing glasses at any other point.
- Victorian Romance Emma: Emma, the title character.
- A one episode character from Pokémon called Seymour. He gets tripped by Meowth and upon loses his glasses says: "My glasses! I can't see a thing!"
- Tenpou in Saiyuki Gaiden, despite being a god, suffers from this problem, to the point that he's only able to be killed once his glasses are knocked off and broken (he even admits the fight's lost once his glasses are gone).
- Hana No Mizo Shiru: Arikawa has terrible vision without glasses or contacts.
- The Class Rep in My Bride Is a Mermaid is pretty much blind without her glasses. She's also unrecognizable, when The Glasses Come Off she's far more attractive. Natrually, this means that she ends up spending a whole afternoon with Nagasumi with neither of them recognizing each other (as she can't see him, and he doesn't recognize her with her hair down.)
- Chie from Hyakko
- The DC Comics hero Doctor Mid-Nite is an example of literally blind — he can only see in total darkness, otherwise he needs special lenses to filter the light.
- Pretty much the same with Riddick, though he seems to have no problem fighting in light when the plot calls for it.
- X-Men's Cyclops could be seen as a special case. Though technically able to see without his ruby-quartz glasses, he cannot turn off the concussive beams that continually shoot from his eyes. He is thus forced to keep his eyes shut in order to keep from destroying everything around him. He can therefore be said to be "voluntarily blind" in the same way that the Inhuman's Black Bolt (whose voice is a similarly uncontrollable sonic weapon) is often said to be "voluntarily mute". They are contained because his body is immune to his own power: The beams which flow from his eyes flow right back in to his eyelids with no loss of energy.
- Peter Parker before he becomes Spider-Man, as seen in the recent Spider-Man films. Interestingly, gaining superpowers mends his normal vision AND makes everything blurry when he wears his glasses. Wearing corrective lenses that aren't made for you really does mess up your vision, so this isn't unreasonable.
- Spidey's foe Doctor Octopus sometimes has this problem. Depending on the continuity, it's considered a side-effect of the accident that gave him his powers.
- In Batman: Year One, James Gordon uses having dropped his glasses as an excuse not to recognize Bruce Wayne after Wayne saves his son's life.
- Spanish comic book character Rompetechos is this, but taken to the extreme where he is blind even with them. 90% of the time he reads something (say, "Escuela de perritos", "Dog School") and he believes it's a very different thing (say, "Escuela de peritos", "School for experts"), which coupled with his very bad temper makes him believe the people in the places where he goes to are mocking him, and this lands him in loads of trouble.
- The version of the Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane appearing in The Sandman claims to be this, as demonstrated in a scene where he jumps out in full costume at Dream and John Dee, followed by an apologetic pause to take off his mask and put his glasses back on.
- 'Erbert of the Bash St. Kids in The Beano is Blind Without Em - as is his canine counterpart 'Enry.
- Brainy Smurf in The Smurfs, both in the comic books and in the Animated Adaptation.
- In The Death of Superman this was the Kryptonite Factor towards the Eradicator - the body he made out of various material around Superman's tomb was imperfect, rendering him unable to see in brightness. Thus, he is forced to wear a set of shades to filter the light. He does see the irony of a man whose power is derived from the sun and yet he can't see in the light.
- One of the iconic drawn-in-the-margins characters of Cricket, a children's magazine, is Zoot, a pygmy shrew who's Blind Without Em. A good thing too, else he might have caught on too soon that the "puppies and kitties" he'd been hanging around with were actually various insects, worms and snails that he rightly ought to be preying upon! Instead, he became so fond of them that he converted to vegetarianism when he learned the truth.
- Marcie was once told by Peppermint Patty that she would look more sophisticated with her glasses up on her forehead, resulting in her bumping into walls, a lamppost, etc. Marcie: "Before I became sophisticated, I almost never had headaches."
- Averted with Linus, who occasionally donned glasses for a time in the early '60s but seemed to see all right without them, and eventually discarded them entirely.
- Conrad, Captn Crazy's brother, is even almost-blind with 'em.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Brenda in Adventures in Babysitting, having her glasses stolen, wanders around the bus station blindly and mistakes a rat for a kitten. (The bag lady who steals them is actually able to see better with them; ironically, in Real Life she'd likely be even blinder trying to wear glasses not prescribed to her.)
- Averted in Jurassic Park. At one point, Dennis Nedry loses his glasses. He looks for them for about a second before saying "I can afford more glasses", being in a hurry to catch a ship. His sight is not drastically affected. However, not having his glasses leaves his eyes vulnerable to the spat venom of the Dilophosaurus.
- My Cousin Vinny
- Subverted when the inept defense lawyer tries to discredit a witness by claiming the man couldn't have seen the perps' faces because he wasn't wearing his vital glasses. The witness replies that they're reading glasses.
- Also subverted with another witness, who was wearing her glasses when she saw the crime. In this case, though, she's half-blind even with the glasses.
- Olivia in Final Destination 5 appears to be this. When she loses her glasses on the bridge she is unable to do anything but stumble around and cry for help. The audience is also shown a brief glimpse of her vision- it's pretty dire.
- Sorority Boys contains what is probably the stupidest example of this trope ever. It's a drag comedy that expects us to believe that a character without her glasses can't tell the difference between a naked man and a naked woman.
- The Spider-Man Trilogy. Pete before getting his powers, and when they start failing.
- The Goonies. Stef loses her glasses early on in the adventure. While she complains a few times about not being able to see, she doesn't seem to have much of a problem throughout the rest of the movie.
- Major League: Pitcher Ricky Vaughn can't make out the strike zone until he's fitted with an embarrassing pair of glasses.
- Minority Report has a man say this to very creepy effect. He is standing over his bed (which contains both his wife and another man) and as he puts his glasses on he's raising a pair of shears as if about to stab them.
- The title character of Dr. Cyclops. He can't see at all without his coke-bottle spectacles; that's why he summoned the team of scientists to his island, because he needed to use a microscope to perfect his shrinking device, and couldn't use one while wearing them. His miniaturized victims try to take advantage of this by breaking them. They only manage to break one lens, but that blinds him enough for them to trick him into chasing them to a mineshaft, where he plummets to his death.
- Gattaca has Vincent lose his contacts and is thus utterly helpless when he tries to cross a main drag (which is plain dumb in the first place).
- Done very scarily in the first film of The Mummy Trilogy. When Mr. Burns' glasses get broken in the tunnel, he must feel his way in the dark. He sees the mummy ahead of him, but his eyesight is so bad he's not sure he sees anything. He looks away, then back, only to be sure that someone/something was there because it's now gone. The mummy appears right behind him, so now he can see the mummy up close. He can only scream before he gets his eyes and tongue ripped out. Which then means that the Mummy, having his eyes, is short-sighted. No wonder he later thinks the lead female is his lover. Word of God says this was the idea in the original script, although they never drew explicit attention to it.
- Black Comedy example in Wild Wild West. Artemis Gordon has a device that can project the last thing a murder victim saw before he died, but to do so, he has to mount the victim's decapitated head onto the device. Anyway, at first, the image is very blurry (they can see someone who's obviously General McGrath, but not a paper he's holding) until West notices the victim's glasses on the table and puts them over his eyes. Then they can see the document clearly.
- Donald Sutherland's character in Space Cowboys says he only needs glasses for a few things, like "reading, driving, seeing movies, walking..." He nonetheless passes the NASA eyesight test by memorizing the letters: "I may be blind, but I have a perfect memory!"
- Sinistra, the bikini-clad temptress in the '60s beach-party film The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini.
- In How to Marry a Millionaire, Pola (Marilyn Monroe) is blind without her glasses, and vain enough to always take them off around men. This leads to scenes like pretending to read a book, which she's holding upside down.
- Sheriff Albert Earp in Carry On Cowboy — although he is not really much better with them on.
- A mall employee from Eight Legged Freaks, who proved himself Too Dumb to Live by repeatedly taking off his glasses, even when on the run from giant spiders. Eventually, he blindly walks up to one and is killed.
- In a reversal, although not really a subversion, in Strangers on a Train, Alfred Hitchcock wanted the actress who played Miriam to wear glasses with thick lenses so he could show her murder reflected in them, and to make her resemble another character. The actress, Casey Rogers (billed as Laura Elliott), didn't need glasses, and couldn't see at all with the costume glasses on. She wears the thick lenses for close-up and medium scenes, and plain lenses for long shots, but there are still several scenes where she has to depend on other people to make sure she doesn't trip or stumble when she's wearing the glasses. In the scenes where Miriam goes to the amusement park with two men, she is holding both their arms most of the time because she can't see where she is going.
- In Guest House Paradiso, Richie donned Eddie's glasses as a disguise. They were both rendered nearly blind as a result.
- An important plot point in 12 Angry Men (and the play on which it was based, of course): Juror #9 recalls that a key witness in the murder case had marks on her nose suggesting that she usually wears glasses, though opted not to in court. He points out that she was unlikely to be wearing them in bed late at night when she claims to have seen the murder from all the way across the street, thereby making her less than credible as a witness.
- Delicatessen has a woman who removes her glasses in order to look better for a man she's about to see. She is almost completely blind without them and many times knocks something over or overpours tea. We are given a view of her vision a few times and she's pretty blind.
- Turkey Shoot has a particularly glaring example: Ritter removes one prisoner’s glasses before setting him out on the field.
- Pe Lanza, vocalist and bassist of Brazillian rock band Restart (although he assumed that he has contacts on during the concerts as a homage to Superman).
- Lisa Loeb. She's also apparently allergic to contact lenses.
- A little known fact about John Lennon, he was extremely short-sighted. Refusing to wear glasses because they were unfashionable until his mid-twenties, he could see very little during most live performances of the Beatlemania era.
- A supposedly true story about Elton John is that he had perfect vision when he was young. He started wearing eyeglasses to emulate Buddy Holly... and now 40 some years of glasses wearing have ruined his eyes to the point where he legitimately needs those glasses.
- Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo claims he's legally blind without his Nerd Glasses.
Myths & Religion
- In The Bible, Mark 8:24 Jesus heals a blind man—and unusually, does it in two stages. After the first dose,note the man is what we could call Blind Without Em (he says "I see people; they look like trees walking around"). Which, even in a world without glasses, is still a whole lot better than being blind. Jesus lays his hands on the man again, and the man is 20/20. A possible interpretation is that Jesus first healed his vision and then implanted in his mind the ability to correctly interpret what he saw.
- In Galatians Paul mentions that when he writes with his own hand he uses large letters. This implies that when he was cured of his blindness after the Damascus Road incident, although he could see well enough not to bump into things, he still was far from 20/20.
- Stan Hansen can't see beyond his nose without his glasses on. Stan's legendary stiffness in the ring is attributed to this.
- "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: The affable everyman wrestler often wore glasses outside the ring due to his real-life poor eyesight. Several heel color commentators — in particular, Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Bobby "the Brain" Heenan — frequently pointed this out in disdaining Duggan.
- Arn Anderson: The cornerstone of wrestling's Four Horsemen was never seen without glasses except for his wrestling matches. Like Hansen and Duggan, this is attributed to his real-life eyesight problems.
- The second Showdown at High Noon boss battle in Tin Star is against Snake Oil, who forgot to bring his glasses. If he can draw before you, he has a chance to miss and shoot a bird instead. His brother Crude Oil, fought later in the game, doesn't have this problem.
- Jessica in Another Code.
- In EarthBound, Jeff describes himself as "really nearsighted". So, he's probably Blind Without Em, but never loses his glasses.
- Persona 4 makes the characters wear special glasses while in the TV world so they can see through the fog. These glasses also work when Inaba is covered in fog. The Main Character is a Double Subversion of this. (Once because he actually can see through the fog a little even without them and twice because it's not enough for him to not need them.)
- Seemingly averted in Siren: Blood Curse. It is implied that Sam's glasses do help his vision, but they break at one point in the game and he seems to have no particular vision problems despite never getting a replacement, although the Shibito curse may have a part in that.
- Jorge Garcia of Backyard Sports cannot see well without his glasses. Dmitri seems to be like this (he faints if he sees sun without glasses), but the difference is that his glasses may actually be goggles (as they do not break when he falls).
- Missing groom Matt is Blind Without Em in the Nancy Drew game The Haunting of Castle Malloy. Used as a plot point, as finding Matt's glasses is the first sign he hasn't run off as a prank or ditched his bride. It also explains why he couldn't read all the clues Nancy finds in the rocket laboratory, and rescue himself.
- Happens to a Skye in the in the survival game Lost in Blue. She's not completely blind without them, but severely nearsighted enough she can't navigate the island's hazards without help. Consequently, she stays in the cave, mostly cooking and doing other passive jobs nearby.
- In Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, the protagonist Guybrush Threepwood needs to steal the monocle from the cartographer as a Plot Coupon.
- Phil's teacher Mr. Soggy in Riddle School 3. You have to knock his glasses off with the rubber band hidden in the vent.
- The Courier can be slightly this in Fallout: New Vegas if the player chooses the four eyed trait. It grants a bonus on the Perception stat if you wear glasses, and a malus if you don't.
- There is a mod ("Realistic Four Eyes") which alters the camera by blurring the screen if a Courier with this trait doesn't wear glasses. Depending on the version installed (there are three versions, depending on the level of blurring), the game becomes unplayable without glasses.
- Sarah from Star Ocean The Last Hope. It plays up her key character trait even more.
- Hubert Oswell from Tales of Graces seems to have this problem, if him fumbling around for his glasses in one of the battle victory scenes is any indication.
- Subverted in MegaTokyo: Piro manages to function quite well after Largo sits on his glasses, and later explains to Kimiko that he can still see reasonably well. (Interestingly, Kimiko responds that she can barely see at all without her contacts.) He still has difficulties, however, as shown later when he searches for hidden cameras.
- Minor subversion: Brent Sienna of PvP is quickly blinded when he removes his sunglasses.
- Faye in Questionable Content not only is blind without her glasses, she also loses her directional hearing.
- Subverted in Schlock Mercenary, in which Kevyn insists he can't see a thing without his trademark shades. In fact he can see just fine without them — if only in a single spectrum of light.
- Gwynn of Sluggy Freelance fame goes for the classic glasses trifecta, not only being Blind Without Em and having a true set of Geek Glasses, but being Beautiful All Along to boot. Unfortunately, when she takes her glasses off to invoke Beautiful All Along, Blind Without Em shenanigans often lead to her making a far worse impression than if she'd kept the glasses on.
- Quattro of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha only wears her glasses to look cute, and when she decides to get serious, she pulls them off in a dramatic manner. Naturally, Fan Web Comic StrikerS Nano depicted Quattro as Blind Without 'Em instead◊ when the time came to parody the aforementioned scene.
- The Cyantian Chronicles: Twinky, a Wereskunk, (cooler than it sounds) has very bad eyesight in his human form.
- The Law of Purple: Dex's eyesight is highly dependent on his glasses, as he is incredibly nearsighted without them. Possible aversion with another character, who also wears glasses but doesn't appear to be quite as dependent on them.
- Subverted in the (now defunct) webcomic Those Destined :
I can see your strength... and your weakness. (swipes Rae's glasses) Mook:
Aha! Try fighting without these! (POW) Rae:
I'm near-sighted, idiot.
- Subverted in El Goonish Shive: Tedd Verres's eyesight is normal, but he wears a pair of thick glasses (filled with high-tech gadgetry) while in public to make himself seem less effeminate, though at the cost of making him look more nerdish. When he is first seen without them by Grace, he initially tries to claim he is this.
- In Scandinavia and the World Sweden is utterly blind without 'em. Which becomes a problem when Denmark puts them on — they make him blind, but he's too stupid to take them off, and neither can see or find the other.
- Karin-dou 4koma: After Elly shatters Meguru's glasses, Meguru mistakes a scale for Shizuki and begs it for help.
- White Dark Life has Tori and her Opaque Nerd Glasses, though Matt averts this trope.
- Grrl Power: has Sydeny invoke but then subvert this trope (even outright saying she's subverting a trope while doing so) when trapped inside her force field with a villain in order to get him off his guard.
- Many Survival of the Fittest characters who have glasses struggle greatly to see without, for example Simon Wood and Bill Ritch.
- In The Mercury Men, Edward Borman can't see anything without his glasses.
- Ask That Guy with the Glasses walks right into his bookcase when he takes his glasses off.
- When The Makeover Fairy yanks away her glasses, The Nostalgia Chick sulks that now she can't see.
- Subverted overall in that she functions perfectly well without the glasses, and rarely wears them after that episode.
- In Space Beasts Ichabod Crane doesn't need glasses at all for most of the main story. At the very end however, he gazes into the radiance of the magic crystal for too long (despite his friends warning him to turn his head and not look). Because of this he is now legally blind and now needs glasses. (Ichabod isn't too upset about this though, as he always felt this day would come, and it completes his nerd look. His girlfriend Marzipan Cheshire likes the glasses as she thinks they make him look Wise.) However even when he loses the glasses Ichabod is NOT helpless! Having spent so many years living among Animal People he can use senses other than sight to find his way and even fight.
- Doki is an extreme version as explained here in that without her glasses she fits the standard of legally blind (as preposterous as it sounds), as explained why she needs a white cane.
- We Are Our Avatars: Prior to getting the cybernetic eyes, Daniel Lincoln was a literal example — his glasses had a charm on them that allowed him to see. When his glasses were off, he would often stumble around and give people mistaken identities. The first day with the group ended with him crashing into people and not facing the right way several times.
- Everyone's individual prescription differs, but one constant is people with decent vision's impression of Blind Without Em. For most people, having your glasses off is just blurry, but not necessarily to the point they can't operate in general. While walking down the street a person without their glasses may not be able to read "stop" on a stop sign, but they can see the big, blurry red thing and can tell they're at an intersection, so the fact that it's a stop sign isn't much of a logical leap. The blurriness is just like an out-of-focus camera, only it's stereoscopic — some blurs are closer than others.
- Nearsightedness (Myopia) is when you can focus on things that are close to you, but the farther away things are the more blurry they become. This is the most common reason for vision correction.
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia) is when you can't focus on things right in front of your face — but your distance vision is clear. This is more rare than nearsightedness.
- Astigmatism is a defect in the shape of the lens or cornea that prevents a sharp image from being projected on the retina, making vision blurry regardless of distance.
- That said, while you may be able to function to some extent without your glasses, actually finding the dropped glasses can very easily invoke this trope. They're small, often dark-coloured, and blend in with so many things. Many people who have very bad eyesight without their glasses try to keep a spare or old pair in a drawer where they can be easily found to expedite finding their lost current pair of glasses.
- One of the tests required to obtain a driver's license in practically every jurisdiction is a vision test. If you require the use of glasses or contact lenses to pass the test, your license will make note of that fact (usually with a code appended to your license number, or a printed endorsement on the license stating "Corrective Lens" or something similar). For a driver with vision restrictions, driving without correction constitutes a moving violation and will get you ticketed.
- Christopher Lambert has Myopia and is almost entirely blind without his glasses. Since he cannot wear contacts, he is often forced to act while unable to see anything clearly (making the fact that almost all his roles require fighting or some form of strenuous physical activity all the more impressive). This is also the reason behind his trademark intense gaze as he is really just trying to see what's in front of him.
- Actor James Spader is legally blind and claims that in any film where he doesn't wear glasses—which is most of them—he can barely make out the face(s) of the other actor(s) in the scene with him.
- According to George Harrison, John Lennon was "blind as a bat" without his glasses.
- Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode is also very nearsighted without his glasses and there are even stories that Martin Gore used to hide or snatch Fletcher's glasses away from him, evidently as a practical joke, and causing him to trip in the studio and even on stage.
- It's actually surprisingly common for people who need vision correction but don't have contact lenses to go without their glasses, if they don't like the way they look with them on. It's the little things that usually tip off the people around them - not noticing obvious signage, etc.
- In a surprising aversion, most glasses-wearers (particularly those with Myopia) see better while underwater without their glasses; plus, in most cases, also see better than "normal"-visioned people. This has to do with the different refractive index of water vs air. This is part of the issue with why prescription goggles are far less popular than prescription sunglasses. It's also why many competitive swimming clubs have a timing clock installed underwater, in addition to one sitting on deck—-many swimmers have a far better chance of reading a time clock 10 yards away on the bottom of the pool than a clock sitting on deck at the same distance.
- Harry Truman had wanted to attend the Military Academy at West Point as a young man, but his eyesight was so bad they couldn't take him—he could hardly see a thing without his glasses. When World War I started, he wanted to join the Missouri National Guard, but realized that he'd face the same problem—so he memorized the eye chart and ended up a captain in the artillery.
- The late Roy Orbison could barely see without glasses. His Cool Shades? All of those were prescription made.
- They actually became his trademark by accident. His regular glasses broke just before a performance, so he had to use his prescription sunglasses instead since there was no time to get a replacement.
- John Kipling had extremely poor vision without his glasses, and was turned away from the Army in WWI. At his insistence, his father, Rudyard Kipling, pulled strings to get him a commission anyway. He died at the Battle of Loos.
- Katy Manning (Jo Grant in Doctor Who) wore thick glasses when off camera. On camera, she was prone to crashing into the scenery or other actors. You know how the Doctor always takes his companion by the hand and runs with her? It started with Jo Grant, because Jon Pertwee needed to guide his essentially blind co-star.
- Charlie Munger [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Munger], Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, is blind in his left eye and has little peripheral vision in the other