Honda was best known for his bad-as-shit samurai helmet, which, aside from generally looking totally fucking awesome, was adorned with gigantic stag's antlers that stuck up out the top of the helm and looked pretty much as badass as deer antlers can possibly look (which, evidently, is more badass than you might think).
Helmets of all shapes and sizes.
One thing that makes a helmet cool is a crest of almost any shape and size on it. History is full of Cool Helmets, from the Greek Chalcidian helmet worn by Hoplite to the Roman gladiators' ornate helmets to Japanese Kabuto to the German Pickelhaube. These helmets influenced the designs of various other helmets across medias.
Of course, many characters who wear a Cool Helmet may not truly need
protective headgear, especially in the case of beings of godlike power who barely have to worry about head injuries. A helmet may have some other practical function, or be worn simply because of vanity.
A villain in a Cool Helmet might be a nerd underneath
A Sub Trope
of Nice Hat
A Sister Trope
to Cool Crown
Compare Collapsible Helmet
Contrast Helmets Are Hardly Heroic
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Anime and Manga
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has some cool helmets, such as Purple Haze's (pictured above) in Part 5, and D&G's in Part 6 (which Jolyne thinks makes him look like a knight).
- The Berserker Armor from Berserk has a cool helmet in the shape of a hellhound that only appears when Guts is in an uncontrollable fury ... Basically, see Guts' face; you may be ok. See the Helmet; you are going to die.
- For that matter, every single armor-wearing mook. The common rabble occasionally has a funny bug-eyed one, but the themed armies have stuff that comes out of a medieval cartographer's nightmare (whales, rams...). And then there are the Apostles...
- In Super Robot Genre shows, wearing a Cool Helmet is just so common like a Latex Space Suit. It is justified, since the pilot can easily get his head hit. It is averted in some shows like Kotetsu Jeeg (where Hiroshi transforms into the Humongous Mecha and therefore he does not needs helmet) or Neon Genesis Evangelion, where the pilots wear hair clips provide a neural interface. Some straight examples:
- Char Aznable from Mobile Suit Gundam and many of Char Clones (such as Zechs Marquise and Carozzo "Iron Mask" Ronah) wear these. And, for that matter, almost all noteworthy Gundams have that iconic "V crest, vulcan head cannons, and protruding mouthpieces."
- Viral's Enki in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had a full-circle crest. So did Gurren Lagann itself... the same crest in fact, albeit now resembling asymmetrical horns. (They tore it off Viral's Gunmen).
- Celty's helmet in Durarara, notable for having two crests that are shaped like cat ears.
- Speed Racer has a cool racing helmet.
- The racers of Future GPX Cyber Formula have cool-looking racing helmets. Even Leon has one, which is pink and has a heart on it.
- Jack Kirby had loads of fun with this trope when he was drawing issues of The Mighty Thor.
- Thor now noticeably only wears his when fighting, whereas he and other Asgardians used to wear them more often. Loki almost never takes his off.
- Thor and Loki, naturally, have the most recognizable, even if both's finer details are Depending on the Artist
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: After his reincarnation as Kid!Loki, Loki's gold headband doesn't have his horns, but a little V that looks like them (the V is also on his tunic). The headband also has little wings over his ears—like the the ones on Thor's helmet. Commentary on how he could still be good, perhaps?
- X-Men: Magneto's helmet
- Judge Dredd
- Johnny's helmet in Strontium Dog.
- Doctor Fate
- Star Lord. I dare you to name a cooler looking Helmet.
- AstÚrix is a non-stop parade of both cool and uncool helmets, from the winged helm of the title character to the rather silly-looking one of his sidekick Obelix. Also overlaps with Planet of Hats, since different European tribes uses distinct helms: menacing WWI-like pointed-tipped with horns for the Goths, severe and beautiful hoplite Mycenae helms for the Greek, flamboyantly-horned for the Iberian, the standard Roman legionary helmets, their elaborated and crested counterparts for centurions, spectacular and lavishly decorated for gladiators and no helm at all for the Corsican.
- Iron Man has a really cool helmet to match with his Power Armor.
- Ultimate Captain America has worn a cool helmet in World War II, and in modern times when leading The Ultimates against the forces of evil.
- Galactus cares not what lesser mortals think of his mighty helmet!
- His daughter Galacta has a Cool Helmet too, modeled after her dad's.
- Dream of the Endless from The Sandman has a helmet fashioned from the skull and spine of an Eldritch Abomination that he killed when it and two others tried to invade the Dreaming (he used the bones of the other two to build a pair of gates).
- Acroyear, Bug, Karza, and Arcturus from Micronauts. Although Arcturus eventually stopped wearing his.
Film - Live Action
- In the Discworld novels Vimes has a serious dislike of Cool Helmets, partly because fancy armour isn't what being a Watchman is about, and partly because the Palace Guard have them. When he was Captain Vimes, he was entitled to two dollars a month "plumes allowance", but never claimed it, as Commander he is sometimes forced into dress armour that includes this.
- Gor: in the city of Port Kar, Captains (those who command 5 or more ships) can be identified by a crest of sleen fur on their helmets.
- Pilots in the X-Wing Series, and indeed in the rest of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, have relatively plain helmets — still, they can paint them. Wedge Antilles has a particular pattern on his which comes up in Starfighters of Adumar.
- Almost every character in the medieval epic Orlando innamorato has some sort of cool helmet; the audience is constantly reminded of how Rinaldo got his.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium there are many cool helmets. Turin had the Dragon-Helm of Dor-Lomin, which had a crest in the shape of a dragon, Tuor has the winged helm left by Turgon in Vinyamar, and the kings of Gondor have the helm Isildur wore during the Last Alliance.
- In battle, the emperor of MelnibonÚ wears "a black helm, with a dragon's head craning over the peak, and dragon's wings flaring backward above it, and a dragon's tail curling down the back". But because he's also a sorcerer, some of the comic artists gave him a silly pointy hat instead.
Live Action TV
- B.D. of Doonesbury spent most of his life wearing these, until his leg was blown off in Iraq. His hair has been clearly visible ever since.
- During the Iraq War, Doonesbury had President Bush wearing a Roman general's helmet, which got progressively battered as the war dragged on.
- Warhammer 40000:
- Warhammer has the various knightly orders, all of which sport varyingly ridiculous(ly awesome) helmetry. The Bretonnians, who have the highest concentration of knights in their army, are naturally even more extravagant.
- BIONICLE: various Glatorian and Agori wear helmets as part of their 24-Hour Armor.
- Considering the masks that everyone always wears, it's hard to find a character who doesn't fall under this trope.
- Hero Factory
- Mega Man: several iconic helmets, most memorably for the eponymous hero Mega Man, his brother Proto Man, and The Rival Bass in the classic series, and X and Zero in the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero series. And of course, the Boba Fett Expy himself, Vile/Vava.
- X's helmet upgrades deserve special mention; many of them are Cool Helmets layered over X's regular Cool Helmet.
- The eponymous Viewtiful Joe has a V-crest on his helmet, and may have been inspired by Quick Man from Mega Man 2.
- The Masked Man from Mother 3
- Pokemon Black And White: Samurott uses a shell as its helmet.
- Variations of this are available as costume options in City of Heroes.
- In addition to the numerous Tin Tyrants featured in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, we also have the Warrior of Light with his very nice helmet with big pointy horns coming out the top, and The Onion Knight with his helm with some impressive plumage.
- Gabranth's EX Mode is to just don his helmet and separate his Dual Weapon into two smaller weapons. His game profile actually specifically states that the helmet isn't just an aesthetic change, it really is the source of his power.
- Persona 3: the history teacher wears a samurai helmet in class. One sidequest requires the MC to obtain another of his helmets from him.
- Monster Rancher Evo: Gaufre never removes his. Turns out it's a custom of his village to not show your face to non-family.
- The Spartan helmets from the Halo series.
- Isaac's RIGs in the Dead Space series have very distinctive helmets. They're iconic enough that the cover of the second installment simply featured the RIG's face shield.
- Covert Front takes place during the time when Imperial Germany was around, so there are plenty of Pickelhaubes to go around. Though it is certainly unexpected to see Manfred, a butler wearing one.
- Winged helmets like the Griffon's Helm or the Helm of Honnleath in Dragon Age: Origins.
- The first time you see Captain Diomedes in Dawn Of War II, he's wearing a bitchin' white command helmet, which he sadly removes when he becomes playable in Retribution (although it's available as a commander item as part of a bonus pack). Commander (Vanilla) Ice can sport one after an update that grants the helm of command as commander-use wargear.
- The main character's helmet in Marathon, which resembles a helicopter flight helmet with vacuum capabilities.
- Shovel Knight's Propeller Knight wears a helmet topped with a propeller that allows him to fly. It's even got a couple of handles for him to hang on to as he floats around. Never mind propeller flight not even having been invented yet in medieval times.
- Team Fortress 2: a lot of the Nice Hats obtainable in the game fall under this.
- Metal Gear Online allows you to wear various helmets in all sorts of colors, from camouflaged Kevlar helmets to red helicopter flight helmets to purple motorcycle helmets. Of course, they don't really do anything, and it's not uncommon to see shirtless people wearing ballistic helmets, but the helmets look cool.
- As its equipment list is based on several real-life armories, Mount & Blade inevitably has a respectable number of cool helmets. The most protective helmet, the winged great helm, is at once the largest and most obviously decorated headgear available.
- The standard uniform of the Helghan empire in Killzone
- In The Mansion of E, Rosemary wears a winged mining helmet.
- Nodwick's helmet is actually rather plain, but it has sentimental value to him (it was given to him by his mother).
- Looney Tunes
Elmer: I will do it with my spear and magic helmet!
Bugs: Your spear and magic helmet?
Elmer: Spear & magic helmet!
Bugs: Magic helmet?
Elmer: Magic helmet!
Bugs: (dismissively) Magic helmet...
Elmer: Yes, magic helmet, and I'll give you a sample.
- Another Looney Tunes example is Marvin the Martian's Roman helmet.
- M.A.S.K.! With their mighty power, they can save the da-a-ay!
- Kick Buttowski's helmet is just a mass produced model he got from the toy store...but don't tell him that. To him, its an irreplaceable object of awesome, without which he couldn't be a daredevil.
- Avatar The Last Airbender spoofs this with Aang trying on this outfit. Unfortunately, he couldn't move in it.
- In "Suited For Success", from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rainbow Dash's redesigned dress includes an improbably cool-looking Roman legionnaire's helmet.
- Similar models are also worn by the Royal Guards, resembling the military gear of ancient Pegasus soldiers.
- Nightmare Moon's helmet deserves special mention for looking not only cool but downright frightening despite (or because) of its simplicity.
- In Codename Kids Next Door a lot of operatives have cool helmets; Numbah 86 and Numbah 362 have ones that are made from colanders (which would seem a lot cooler if you had a picture).
- In Thundercats 2011
- The Clerics, a Church Militant Praetorian Guard to a Catfolk Lion monarch, wear gold lioness helms with full hood and veil as part of Full Body Disguises, while head Cleric Jaga breaks the pattern with a nicely spiked metal helm ornamented with a gem.
- The Conquedor, a merchant slaver, wears a modified conquistador's morion.
- Both the Armor of Omens and Armor of Plun-Darr have helmets based on a lion and Egyptian death mask, respectively.
- "Red" has one in Motorcity. He gets a new, cool one after he is hired by Kane.
- With the iconic Pickelhaube helmets of WWI and the ultra-cool Stahlhelm of WWII (both notoriously used by motorcycle gangs today), the Germans have always been in the Cool Helmet industry. (See The Teutonic Knights, above.)
- Most modern helmets resemble the Stalhhelm. Except for those of the British and Russians — the British use a variation with a lower front rim, whilst the Russians use a variation of the old WWII one.
- Reason being is that looking cool is just a side effect, the Stalhhelm provides superb coverage of the head, far more that the Tin Hat and Steel Pot designs used by Allies in WWII. The Russian steel helmets of WWII also provided more comprehensive coverage, with large projections over the ears.
- The modern Russian army helmet is basically still the same design that was used in The Great Patriotic War. That makes it cool by itself.
- Modern combat helmets are impressive for a variety of reasons. While older helmets were made from steel, these newer helmets were made from layered Kevlar, the material used for Bulletproof Vests, making them far superior for protection, though far inferior for attempting to heat water or cook over a campfire. They additionally got rid of the traditional leather harness system*, and replace it with a foam pad system similar to what is used in bicycle helmets. Plus, of course, there are mounting points for various hardware, making your helmet every bit as tacticool as your rifle.
- Space helmets.
- The Japanese kabuto started out ornate, then during the general piece of the Edo period grew more so. At no point did it stop being cool.
- Custom artwork is popular as decoration for motorcycle helmets.
- Roman helmets, complete with horse-hair plumes. The style is still copied in some cavalry dress uniforms.
- Similarly, the Greek Corinthian-style helmet, a variation of which was seen in 300.
- The Spanish morion can also be this. It's that helmet you always see conquistadors in.
- While the Chinese People's Liberation Army Marine Corp's helmet is just a clone of the American helmet, the way in which they are always shown to wear their helmet makes it qualify. They always have a pair of goggles on top of their black helmets and under no circumstances◊ have ever been seen actually wearing them over their eyes◊. When they do require some form of eye protection, instead of wearing the pair on their helmet, they tend to opt for their own sunglasses/shooting glasses. The reason for this is probably a closely guarded state secret.
- Great Helms that are commonly seen with the Crusaders during....the crusades. It may look like a bucket but it is a kick ass looking bucket