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[[caption-width-right:350:[-L - R, top to bottom: Comicbook/JudgeDredd, [[VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy Samus Aran]], [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} Blood Angels Mark VII]], [[LightNovel/{{Durarara}} Celty Sturluson]], UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck, [[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers Green Ranger]], [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]], [[Music/DaftPunk Daft Punk]], [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Fire Nation Royal Guard .]]]]-]

->''"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)."''
-->-- ''Website/BadassOfTheWeek'', [[http://badassoftheweek.com/hondatadakatsu.html on]] UsefulNotes/HondaTadakatsu's helmet

Because a helmet can obscure a characters' face or hair, as well as make them look like everybody else wearing helmets in a dangerous environment, it's often said that HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic. This trope begs to differ, demonstrating that the identity of a character or group of characters can actually be ''enhanced'' if you give them a helmet with a really unique and memorable design. Especially when a character's helmet serves to conceal their identity, or when a character almost never takes their helmet off, it can become more famous and recognized than their actual face, both in-universe and out.

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 such as life support, or be worn simply because of vanity.

A villain in a Cool Helmet ''might'' [[NerdInEvilsHelmet be a nerd underneath]].

A SubTrope of NiceHat. A SisterTrope to CoolCrown. Compare CollapsibleHelmet.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In SuperRobotGenre shows, wearing a Cool Helmet is just so common like a LatexSpaceSuit. It is justified, since the pilot can easily get his head hit. It is averted in some shows like ''Anime/KotetsuJeeg'' (where [[TheHero Hiroshi]] transforms into the Humongous Mecha and therefore he does not need a helmet) or ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', where the pilots wear hair clips provide a neural interface (played straight with the Evangelions themselves - Eva-01 has a horned helmet). Some straight examples:
** Kouji Kabuto from ''Anime/MazingerZ'' (and [[{{Tsundere}} Sayaka]] [[ActionGirl Yumi]]). He began wearing it along his LatexSpaceSuit after his first battles because his head got hit several times. It must be mentioned "Kabuto" is Japanese for "helmet" (which references the pilot commanded the mecha from a cockpit located in the head -which was unheard of until that series- AND Kouji is Mazinger Z's real mind)
** Tetsuya Tsurugi and Jun Hono from ''Anime/GreatMazinger''.
** Duke Fleed, his LoveInterest Hikaru Makiba and his sister Maria from ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer''.
** Ryoma Nagare from ''Manga/GetterRobo''.
** Sanshiro Tsuwabuki from ''Anime/{{Gaiking}}''.
** Akira Hibiki from ''Anime/{{Raideen}}''.
** Hyoma Nagare and his team from ''Anime/CombattlerV''.
** Kenichi Go and his team from ''Anime/VoltesV''.
** Kazuya Ryuuzaki from ''Anime/{{Daimos}}''.
* The Berserker Armor from ''Manga/{{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...
* Celty's helmet in ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'', notable for having two crests that are shaped like cat ears.
* As befitting of a post-apocalyptic conqueror, Raoh of ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' has an awesome-looking horned helmet. Because Raoh is one of the biggest badasses of the series, a good sign that a given fighter is a force to be reckoned with is if they manage to break said helm while fighting him.
* The racers of ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'' have cool-looking racing helmets. Even Leon has one, which is ''pink'' and has a ''heart'' on it.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** Almost all noteworthy Gundams have that iconic "V crest, vulcan head cannons, and protruding mouthpieces."
** Char Aznable from the first and original series, ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', and many of {{Char Clone}}s (such as [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Zechs Marquise]] and [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91 Carozzo "Iron Mask" Ronah]]) wear these.
*** Whoever designed Zeon's uniforms was a great believer in this, as a CoolHelmet is their ''standard headgear'', even for ''spaceship officers''. In fact, [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100724161246/gundam/images/5/5c/1279758955815.gif Char's iconic helmet]] is a repainted version of Zeon's standard issue helmet for officers [[http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100321015345/gundam/images/thumb/7/70/Dren.jpg/300px-Dren.jpg here worn by Char's second in command Dren]], and extremely similar to the [[http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121028073915/gundam/images/2/2a/Zeon_Officers.jpg standard issue helmet]], and [[http://anime.geocities.jp/grysk171/selgagundamfirstkyciliazabi1.jpg Kycilia]] is usually seen a modified officer helmet. Contrast with the Federation's use of a CommissarCap for their officers and modern military helmets for their soldiers.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has some cool helmets, such as [[PoisonousPerson Purple Haze's]] in Part 5, and D&G's in Part 6 (which [[ActionGirl Jolyne]] thinks makes him look like a knight).
* The various helmet designs in ''Manga/TheSevenDeadlySins'' worn by various characters are so intricate looking that they wouldn't look out of place in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''.
* Anime/SpeedRacer has a cool racing helmet.
* Viral's Enki in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' 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).
* Quite a few monsters in ''Anime/YuGiOh'', but ''especially'' Jonouchi's [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Flame_Swordsman Flame Swordsman]]. Now ''that's'' a helmet!

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Jack Kirby had loads of fun with this trope when he was drawing issues of ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor''.
** 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 DependingOnTheArtist
*** WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: 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?
* ''ComicBook/XMen'': ComicBook/{{Magneto}}'s helmet
* ComicBook/JudgeDredd:
** Judge Dredd's famous helmet is the only part of him we see, to the point where it's basically synonymous with the character. Justice Department helmets have various other uses besides offering protection from guns and melee weapons, including thermal vision and respirators in case of chemical attacks.
** Judge Death's helmet is basically an evil variation on Dredd's with the front replaced by a portcullis-type plate.
** Judge Fear's helmet, with bat wings on the sides, makes him look like a BlackKnight. His signature move is to open it to reveal his death-inducing NightmareFace.
* Johnny's helmet in ''ComicBook/StrontiumDog''. With embedded sensors and other devices.
* ''ComicBook/RogueTrooper'': Rogue's helmet includes various sensors which allow his bio-chip buddy Helm to give Rogue heads-up about incoming threats.
* ComicBook/DoctorFate has the Helm of Nabu, the source of his powers. However, after 2011 (based on the ''Smallville'' version) it stops being as cool, coming with the little problem that prolonged use causes the bearer to go insane.
* ComicBook/{{Hawkman}} wears various winged bird helmets that are so ridiculous they often loop back into [[NarmCharm badass]].
* ComicBook/{{Nova}}: The source of the powers of Nova Corpsmen (when they don't have the powers embedded into them, any case), as well as having extra features like a rebreather.
* [[ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Star Lord]], given to him by the Kree in 2007 as part of a new costume. We dare you to name a cooler-looking Helmet.
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' 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 PlanetOfHats, since different European tribes uses distinct helms: menacing WWI-like [[SpikesOfDOom pointed-tipped with horns]] for the Goths, severe and beautiful hoplite Mycenae helms for the Greeks, flamboyantly-horned for the Iberians, the [[BoringButPractical standard]] Roman [[RedshirtArmy legionary]] helmets, their [[BlingOfWar elaborated and crested counterparts]] for centurions, spectacular and lavishly decorated for gladiators and [[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic no helm at all]] for [[ProudWarriorRace the Corsicans]].
* ComicBook/IronMan has a really cool helmet to match with his PowerArmor.
* Ultimate ComicBook/CaptainAmerica has worn a cool helmet in World War II, and in modern times when leading ComicBook/TheUltimates against the forces of evil.
** In the mainstream Marvel Universe, Cap has a rather Cool Helmet for when he uses his motorcycle.
* ComicBook/{{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 ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' has a helmet fashioned from the skull and spine of an EldritchAbomination 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 ''ComicBook/{{Micronauts}}.'' Although Arcturus eventually stopped wearing his.
* ComicBook/{{Aquaman}}'s villain Black Manta has a big oval metallic diving helmet as his distinctive trademark. It's cool ''and'' practical, as it helps him to breathe underwater and [[EyeBeams its red lenses can shoot laser blasts]].
* ComicBook/MotherPanic wears one that resembles a minimalist, stylized cat.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* War movies where officers (American officers in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII movies in particular) wear their rank insignia on their helmets would count. Indeed, one of the more [[http://www.historyguy.com/worldbiography/general_patton.jpg famous photos]] of General Patton in RealLife was him wearing the helmet with the stars on it, while scowling at something.
* In various fantastic forms SpikesOfVillainy crest the helmets of UsefulNotes/TheTeutonicKnights in Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/AlexanderNevsky''.
* The iconic camo helmet from ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' might qualify. With "Born to Kill" and a peace sign on it, and bullets in the strap.
* Cobra Commander has one in ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''. More so in ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'', where he dons his classic mask from the cartoon.
* The Kurgan's improvised helmet in ''Film/{{Highlander}}'', made from an animal skull of some kind, with the skin still on.
* ''The Last Border'' has [[BigBad Duke]] and his eagle helmet.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'': Sauron's helmet in the live action films resembles a [[http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg717/scaled.php?server=717&filename=sauron2.jpg&res=medium metallic horse skull with giant spikes]].
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', the Kryptonians wear full body armor, but their helmets are mostly made of shaped forcefields that enclose their heads. They are of variable opacity, will deflect any Earth weapon, and also serve to shield their wearer against sensory overload while on Earth--'Cool Helmet' indeed.
* ''Franchise/RoboCop'' has a pretty cool helmet that recalls that of ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'' (it covers his eyes but his mouth is visible). When the role was being cast, Peter Weller was chosen partly because he could emote well with only the lower part of his face showing.
* ''Film/TheRocketeer'' has a very distinctive helmet.
* Darth Vader's is spoofed in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' with the character Dark Helmet, who sports a helmet the size of his torso. His voice is deep and booming with his visor down, but when he flips it up he reveals that he's a [[NerdInEvilsHelmet nerdy, bespectacled Rick Moranis]].
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' has several iconic helmets, including Darth Vader's and Boba Fett's. (Heck, even the ''{{mooks}}'' in this franchise have Cool Helmets.)
** Inverted in "Film/TheLastJedi" when [[spoiler:Snoke tells Kylo Ren to take the helmet off when dressing him down]].
* [[Creator/SeanConnery King Agamemnon]] in ''Film/TimeBandits'' sports an ''awesome'' Mycenaean helmet.
* ''Film/TopGun'' featured the various pilots having custom artwork on their helmets, which of course also helped the audience easily which helmeted-and-masked character they were looking at.
* ''Film/{{Willow}}''
** General Kael in his skull-faced helmet that he rarely removes.
** Inverted when Madmartegan finds some fancy armor that comes with a dorky-looking helmet with a tassel and nasal bar. [[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic He loses it pretty quickly]].
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** Magneto's helmet, which at times is even [[SpikesOfVillainy horny]]. Technology wired into it [[NoSell prevents telepathic intrusion]], making Magneto difficult to control or impossible to find via Cerebro.
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Unlike the previous models of the Cerebro helmet, the inner wiring of TheEighties version [[http://cdn2-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/gallery/bts-x-men-apocalypse/xmna28.jpg lights up when activated.]]

* In the ''Literature/{{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.
* ''Literature/TheElricSaga'': In battle, the emperor of Melniboné 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 [[ComicBookAdaptation comic artists]] gave him a silly [[RobeAndWizardHat pointy hat]] instead.
* ''Literature/{{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.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' when Hagrid and Maxime were acting as envoys from Dumbledore looking for allies in the fight against Voldemort they presented Karkus, the gurg of the last known giant colony on earth, with an indestructible goblin made helmet. The helmet did not prevent Karkus's decapitation by a Voldemort supported usurper.
* Almost every character in the medieval epic ''Orlando innamorato'' has some sort of cool helmet; the audience is [[AsYouKnow constantly reminded]] of how Rinaldo got his.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is loaded with these.
** Sandor "The Hound" Clegane wears a helm in the shape of a Dog's Head. [[spoiler: After his apparent death if was stolen by Rorge, and later Lem Lemoncloak]].
** His brother Gregor AKA The Mountain has a fist on his.
** Robert and Renly Baratheon both have Stag's antlers on their helmets.
** Edmure Tully's helmet has a leaping trout.
** The grand prize goes to Tywin Lannister who has a roaring lion with an outstretched paw.
*** Honourable mention goes to one of his knights, Ser Flement Brax, who wore a helmet [[AwesomeButImpractical with a unicorn horn 2 feet long sticking out of the forehead]].
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** Pilots in the ''Literature/XWingSeries'' have relatively plain helmets -- still, they can paint them. Wedge Antilles has a particular pattern on his which comes up in ''Starfighters of Adumar''.
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Franchise/TolkeinsLegendarium 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.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** [[http://www.valyriansteel.com/shop/swords/the-hounds-helm/prod_18.html The Hound]] and [[http://www.valyriansteel.com/shop/swords/loras-tyrell-helm/prod_32.html the Knight of Flowers]] have the most distinctive helms in the series. Ironically, neither is ever worn in combat.
** They have now been outdone by the Lord Of Bones, who wear's a giant's skull for a helm and mask.
** Ser Loras Tyrell wears [[spoiler:King Renly Baratheon's antlered helm at the Battle of Blackwater as part of his elaborate disguise]]. The Blu-ray ''Histories and Lore'' segments depict Robert wearing this helm in battle during his rebellion and the Siege of Pyke.
** Brienne wears an antlered helm in "Garden of Bones" when she accompanies Renly to his parley with Stannis.
* Virtually every incarnation of ''Franchise/KamenRider''.
* The various themed helmets of ''SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers''.
** In ''[[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers Mighty Morphin]]'s'' third season, this applies not just to the Rangers but also to Rito Revolto, who wears a camo-painted army helmet.
** Quite a few [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] had Cool Helmets, but the Pudgy Pig's Spartan-style helmet was one that stood out. It was as big as he was! (Of course, he had a body-shape that was kind of... odd. It was kind of hard to say which part of him was his head and which was his torso.)
* ''Series/TopGear's'' BadassDriver The Stig.
* The pilot helmets worn in ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''.
* Many of the [[SpaceFighter Starfury]] pilots on ''Series/BabylonFive'' had custom artwork emblazoned on their helmets, in addition to their fighters' NoseArt (usually working on a similar theme), inspired by similar uses by RealLife pilots.

* Music/ProfessorElemental's pith helmet.
* Music/DaftPunk's helmets.
* The spiffy rig worn by Music/{{deadmau5}}.

* Aaaw, helmets never get the same attention than a CoolSword. Nevertheless, Hagen of the {{Nibelungenlied}} jumps into Walthers strike intending to kill his wounded King Gunther. And his cool helmet manages to break Walthers cool sword.
* Athena and Hades (and probably Ares too) never are seen without their cool helmet. +1 for Hades, his helmet makes him invisible.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* B.D. of ''ComicStrip/{{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, ''ComicStrip/{{Doonesbury}}'' had President Bush wearing a Roman general's helmet, which got progressively battered as the war dragged on.

* These appear in Creator/{{Gottlieb}}'s ''Target Alpha'' and ''Solar City'' (both ScienceFiction versions of ''Pinball/ElDorado''); ''Target Alpha'' uses brightly-colored helmets with fins as part of its SpaceClothes ensemble, while ''Solar City'' gives its alien natives ornate winged helmets.
* The barbarian hero in ''Pinball/{{Paragon}}'' wears one.
* The hero in ''Pinball/{{Gorgar}}'' is wearing nothing but a loincloth and a winged helmet.
* The protagonist in ''Pinball/SpaceRiders'' is wearing a futuristic metal inverted bowl helmet.
* Magneto is never seen without his helmet in ''Creator/SternPinball's'' ''[[Pinball/XMenStern X-Men]]''.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/BigVanVader's {{spik|esofvillainy}}y, [[OminousFog fog emitting]], [[AnimalMotif elephant gas mask]].
* [[Wrestling/JohnNord Nord The Barbarian]]'s {{horny viking|s}} helmet in the Wrestling/AmericanWrestlingAssociation.
* Mortis feuded with Wrestling/{{Glacier}} in Wrestling/{{WCW}} over a helmet Glacier had won before hand in a martial arts contest.
* In 1988-89, while he was feuding with Bad News Brown, Wrestling/HulkHogan would often wear a centurion helmet during promos and sometimes during the actual matches.
* While he was manager for the Nasty Boys, Jimmy Hart would wear a motorcycle helmet with their logo painted on it when accompanying them to the ring.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** The iconic SpaceMarine [[RageHelm helmets in a rather displeased expression]], and the somewhat-less-iconic (though not without popularity, not at least for the nostalgic reason it was the standard SpaceMarine helmet of the long-past first edition of the game) Corvus-pattern "[[FanNickname beakie]]" helmets.
** Orks wear German-inspired helmets, mostly Stahlhelm (WWII) and Pickelhaub (WWI).
** Chaos helmets have SpikesOfVillainy everywhere they can get away with.
*** In ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', the Orks [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this, calling them 'spiky boyz' when you order them to attack Chaos troops.
** Parodied with the Angry Marines, a fanmade Chapter [[RageHelm whose helms are contorted in permanent metal fury]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{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.
** Hold your breath: [[RealityIsUnrealistic they have been modelled after historical 14th century examples]]. They are NOT exaggerated even if they may look like so. They are, however, jousting helms not intended for actual combat.
* The general rule in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' is that this is the [[RuleOfCool only thing helmets are good for.]] The 2nd edition source book adds that Storytellers willing to go more "gritty" can implement rules for wearing helmets, and it's entirely possible to get artifact helmets that have special effects, but not wearing a helmet isn't necessarily about impracticality, it's about not crumming your style.
* In ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'', the series signature [[HumongousMecha BattleMechs]] are controlled partially by the pilot's "neurohelmet", which uses the pilot's [[BrainComputerInterface sense of balance to balance the mech]]. During the Succession Wars and the subsequent [[LostTechnology technological decline]], neurohelmets became hulking 10+ pound monstrosities, and were often customized and painted in extravagant colors by the pilots. Rediscovered technology allowed them to be made more compact, much like a modern fighter jet helmet. They can be programmed with security features to give unauthorized users a head-splitting headache or outright knock unconscious if they attempt to put on the helmet.
** And in their ceremonial garb, warriors of The Clans wear helmet/masks resembling stylized versions of their clan's totem animal.

* The theatrical style of [[AncientGrome Graeco-Roman]] used in opera productions from the Baroque era onwards became influentual not just in painting (for scenes from mythology and ancient history), but also in the real world, when the French army introduced a similar heavy cavalry helmet. A variation of this is worn to this day by the mounted branch of the ''Garde républicaine''.
* This is a typical {{Flanderization}} of operas, with [[HornyVikings Vikings wearing horns]] of various animals on their helmets. (In RealLife, viking helmets were not so adorned.) This is most likely derived from Carl Emil Döpler's costume designs for the 1876 Bayreuth production of Creator/RichardWagner's ''Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen''. Such costumes are rarely used anymore, even for the ''Ring'', let alone any other opera.

* ''Toys/{{BIONICLE}}'': various Glatorian and Agori wear helmets as part of their TwentyFourHourArmor.
** Considering the masks that everyone always wears, it's hard to find a character who doesn't fall under this trope.
* ''Toys/HeroFactory''

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan'': several iconic helmets, most memorably for the eponymous hero Mega Man, his brother Proto Man, and TheRival Bass in the classic series, and X and Zero in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' and ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series. And of course, the [[Franchise/StarWars 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 ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' has a V-crest on his helmet, and may have been inspired by Quick Man from ''VideoGame/MegaMan2''. He also gets a visor and faceplate for the boss battles.
* The Masked Man from ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}''
* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'': Samurott uses a shell as its helmet.
* Variations of this are available as [[AndYourRewardIsClothes costume options]] in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes''.
* In addition to the numerous {{Tin Tyrant}}s featured in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', we also have the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Warrior of Light]] with his ''very'' nice helmet with big pointy horns coming out the top, and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII The Onion Knight]] with his helm with some impressive plumage.
** Cool helmets are part of the SOLDIER uniform in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVII''
** Gabranth's [[SuperMode 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.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'': the history teacher wears a samurai helmet in class. One sidequest requires the MC to obtain another of his helmets from him.
* In the ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'', Kilik wears a hawk-shaped helmet that covers his whole head in ''V'', and Hildegard... Well, her entire suit of armor is pretty cool, but the helmet is a big part of it.
* ''VideoGame/MonsterRancherEvo'': Gaufre ''never'' removes his. Turns out [[spoiler:it's a custom of his village to not show your face to non-family.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** The Spartan helmets, naturally, with the one of our eternally faceless protagonist, Master Chief, being an icon of gaming.
** The [[BadassNormal ODSTs]] get pretty cool helmets too; they're so cool that Spartans can don them too.
** In the later games, Covenant troops (particularly the Elites and Brutes) tend to have [[http://www.halopedia.org/images/9/9b/SangheiliCommander.png increasingly]] [[http://www.halopedia.org/images/a/a5/RegChieftain.png ornate]] [[http://www.halopedia.org/images/9/98/HR_Sang_Gen_prof.png helmets]] as they advance in rank.
* Isaac's [=RIGs=] in the ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' series have very distinctive helmets. They're iconic enough that the cover of the second installment simply featured the RIG's face shield.
* ''VideoGame/CovertFront'' takes place during the time when UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany was around, so there are plenty of Pickelhaubes to go around. Though it is certainly unexpected to see [[spoiler:Manfred, a ''butler'']] wearing one.
* Winged helmets like the Griffon's Helm or the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Helm of Honnleath]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''.
* The first time you see Captain Diomedes in ''[[VideoGame/DawnOfWar 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). [[FanNickname 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 ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'', which resembles a helicopter flight helmet with vacuum capabilities. Which can be obtained to be worn in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'''s multiplayer.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shovel Knight}}'s'' Propeller Knight wears a helmet topped with a propeller that [[HatOfFlight allows him to fly]]. It's even got a couple of handles for him to hang on to as he floats around. [[SchizoTech Never mind propeller flight not even having been invented yet in medieval times.]]
* Shao Kahn, the BigBad of ''Franchise/MortalKombat'', not only has a Cool Helmet, it got ''cooler'' as the franchise progressed, until ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' where it was one of the coolest in the history of Fighting Games.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': a lot of the {{Nice Hat}}s obtainable in the game fall under this. [[ArmorIsUseless They still don't provide any protection from being shot in the head.]]
* ''[[Franchise/MetalGear 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 [[RuleOfCool look cool]].
* As its equipment list is based on several real-life armories, ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' 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 ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}}''
* ''VideoGame/BlacklightRetribution'': All of the helmets. All of them. In particular, there are also several special versions of existing helmets, which range form decals, to battle damage.
* In ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfLomax'', Lomax's helmet. It can be thrown like a boomerang, it can be thrown to explode (somehow multiplying itself in the process), its plume can stretch and grab certain surfaces, it can work like HelicopterHair, and of course, wearing the helmet provides a protection from being a OneHitPointWonder.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Nefarious}}'', [[VillainProtagonist Crow]] wears a helmet with mounted headlamps that matches his PoweredArmor.
* ''Videogame/PlanetSide 2'' is rife with cool helmets and {{Nice Hat}}s, such as the [[TheEmpire Terran Republic's]] [[Franchise/StarWars stormtrooper-esque]] "Dreadnaught" helmet. TR helmets generally have red GlowingMechanicalEyes goggles or wide faceplates, [[GasMaskMooks gas masks]], and are built with a sleek but practical aesthetic. [[MegaCorp New Conglomerate]] helmets have hard edges ([[OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture the NC do not believe in "the curve"]]) and generally appear more robotic, with many helmets lacking a faceplate. [[MachineWorship Vanu Sovereignty]] go off the deep end in terms of complexity, with sharply creased lines making many of their helmets look like they're wearing a crustacean for a hat. The most popular VS helmet, Avalon, also [[InTheHood incorporates a hood]]. The Player Studio marketplace allows players to design their own {{Cool Helmet}}s (and other cosmetics) and sell them for real money after they get artistic approval from the developers.
* In ''VideoGame/TelepathTactics'', the swordsman class' standard helmet changes to a cool-looking one with colorful wings and crests when they promote to fencers.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Throughout the series, the Aureals (aka Golden Saints), a form of [[OurDemonsAreDifferent lesser Daedra]] in service to [[MadGod Sheogorath]], wear golden helmets adorned with MercurysWings. [[MoreDeadlyThanTheMale The males have much smaller wings on their helmets]].
** The Iron Helmet in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' is actually the lowest tier of heavy headgear, but it featured so heavily in promotional materials and simply [[HornyVikings looks so badass]] that it became the [[PlayerCharacter Dragonborn]]'s [[IconicItem iconic helmet]]. When it shows up in other media, it's a visual shorthand for the whole game.
* In ''VideoGame/ShopHeroes'', Alicia is shown (InformedEquipment in artwork]]) with a distinctive horned helmet, although it differs a bit from the classic style used by HornyVikings for one thing, it has two sets of horns.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Various styles of Cool Helmet are worn by "[[BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats The Broternal Order of]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Different Helmets]]," introduced in the WebAnimation/HomestarRunner cartoon "[[http://www.homestarrunner.com/helmets.html Ever and More]]."

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In Webcomic/{{XRS}}: The suit features a unique helmet design.
* In ''Webcomic/TheMansionOfE'', Rosemary wears a winged mining helmet.
* {{ComicStrip/Nodwick}}'s helmet is actually rather plain, but it has sentimental value to him (it was given to him by his mother).
* № 1 from ''Webcomic/{{Hellp}}'' wears one that looks like a customized WWII-era German ''Stahlhelm'', but with a flat top adorned with a flowing red crest.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The helmet worn by Barnstormer, a {{Jetpack}}-wearing [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] hero active in the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' has an art-deco fin on it that doubles as a rudder, helping him steer as he flies.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoe'': About half the good guys, three fourths of the bad guys, and ''all'' of the Mooks have Cool Helmets, and there's far too much of a variety to describe them all here. (Of the good guys who don't, several have {{Nice Hat}}s.)
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes''
** ''WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc''
--->'''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.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}''! With their mighty power, they can save the da-a-ay!
* The titular ''WesternAnimation/SwatKats'' wear pilot helmets, decked outwith blue and red paint.
* ''WesternAnimation/KickButtowskiSuburbanDaredevil'': 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.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' spoofs this with Aang trying on [[http://cloud-s.deviantart.com/art/Sokka-s-Master-Aang-Armor-125082638?q=sort:time+favby:Axxerous&qo=4 this outfit]]. Unfortunately, [[AwesomeButImpractical he couldn't move in it]].
* In "Suited For Success", from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', Rainbow Dash's redesigned dress includes an improbably cool-looking Roman legionnaire's helmet.
** Except it wasn't cool. [[DeconstructedTrope The purpose of it was to look silly.]]
** Equestria's [[PraetorianGuard Royal Guards]] also have [[CoolHelmet cool helmets]], resembling the military gear of ancient Pegasus soldiers.
*** In the Crystal Empire two-parter episode, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy end up jousting while wearing extremely fancy helmets similar to the [[PraetorianGuard Royal Guards]]' helmets, that use their own manes for the crests.
** [[FallenAngel Nightmare Moon]]'s helmet deserves special mention for looking not only cool but downright frightening despite (or because) of its simplicity.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', [[TheBrute Jasper]]'s Gem weapon is a crystalline helmet with a hammer-like block. She uses it to slam her opponents ''through the walls and floor'' of an armored ship, making it a practical weapon choice more than it is protection.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' a lot of operatives have cool helmets; Numbah 86 and Numbah 362 have ones that are made from [[BucketHelmet colanders]] (which would seem a lot cooler if you had a picture).
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}}''
** The Clerics, a ChurchMilitant PraetorianGuard to a {{Catfolk}} Lion [[KingOfBeasts monarch]], wear gold lioness helms with [[InTheHood full hood]] and veil as part of {{Full Body Disguise}}s, 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 ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}''. He gets a new, cool one after he [[spoiler: is hired by Kane]].
* While few Franchise/{{Transformers}} wear ''actual'' helmets, many (it's perhaps even fair to say ''most'') have heads designed to ''look'' helmeted. Or they have helmets that ''are'' part of their head, depending on how you want to look at it.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Lazoo}}'': Zuzi has a signature helmet she never takes off. Very crafty.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' has Red Hood, who wears his distinctive red round top helmet to cover up his white skin, green hair, and permanent grin.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* With the iconic ''Pickelhaube'' (often colloquially known as "kaiser helmet") and the ''Stahlhelm'' of WWI and WWII (variations of which are notoriously used by motorcycle gangs today), the Germans have long been in the Cool Helmet industry. (''See'' TheTeutonicKnights'', above''.)
** The ''Pickelhaube'' was first introduced in Prussia in 1840 and shortly afterwards in Russia and various other states. Officially it was called simply a ''Helm'' (helmet) and in the decades until World War I the original high models were replaced by successively smaller ones. For most arms it was made of leather and topped by a metal spike; UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck, who habitually wore the uniform of the Prussian 7th Cuirassiers, however is portrayed above wearing the heavy cavalry helmet, basically an all-metal ''Pickelhaube'' longer at the back to provide additional protection to the neck.
** The ''Stahlhelm'' (first introduced in 1916) superficially resembles the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallet sallet]] or ''Schaller'', THE knightly helmet of 15th century Germany. However, this resemblance appears to either be coincidental - or rather convergent evolution! - as the M 1916 helmet was designed by a surgeon and an engineer to provide better protection to the eyes, temples and neck and to be able to be industrially produced in one piece. [Then agains, the sallet also fulfilled all those requirements...]
* Space helmets.
* The knightly heaume, or Great Helm (the "barrel helm"), which covers the whole head, and is usually equipped with camail. Bonus for a crest, such as ostrich feathers or deer antlers.
* The Japanese kabuto started out ornate, then during the general piece of the Edo period [[UpToEleven grew more so.]] At no point did it stop being cool. A few figures of Japan's Sengoku era were noted for their awesome helmets - such as UsefulNotes/DateMasamune and his crescent moon adorned helm, UsefulNotes/HondaTadakatsu and his badass Stag horn helmet and Naoe Kanetsugu's helmet, which was '''[[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Noae_Kanetugu_Yoroi.jpg decorated with the metal Kanji for ''LOVE'']]!'''
* Custom artwork is popular as decoration for motorcycle helmets.
* Roman helmets were very advanced for their time. Many had impressive-looking horse-hair crests that look like mohawks on the rank-and-file soldiers. Historians speculate that the crests helped commanders see which direction the soldiers were facing from a distance.
* The Greek Corinthian-style helmet, a variation of which was seen in [[Film/ThreeHundred 300]].
* In the 1780s the French army introduced a new cavalry helmet resembling operatic Graeco-Roman helmets; this became more popular during the Napoleonic Wars, during which several models evolved. Cuirassiers wore a steel helmet with a brass crest, which was further decorated with a plume, a horsehair streamer attached to the crest, and a fur turban wound around the body. Dragoons wore a slightly simpler all-bronze model, while from 1810 lancers and carabiniers got a model with a furry crest (black for the former, red for the latter). The mounted branch of the present-day ''Garde républicaine'' wears a variant of the cuirassier model (without the fur turban).
* The 16th-century Spanish ''morion'' can also be this. It's that helmet you always see conquistadors wearing, and also the one worn by the Swiss Guards in the Vatican on Sundays and holidays.
* 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 [[http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l597/Cifyra/PLA/PLAN/ChinesePeoplesLiberationArmySpecialOperationsForcesNavalZhnggutzhngbdunavaltype054a521abcgulfofadenantipiracypatrol9.jpg under no circumstances]] [[http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l597/Cifyra/PLA/PLAN/ChinesePeoplesLiberationArmySpecialOperationsForcesNavalZhnggutzhngbdunavaltype054a521abcgulfofadenantipiracypatrol8.jpg 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 [[RuleOfCool probably a closely guarded state secret]].
* With the British Household Cavalry (the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals) the whole ''uniform'' is pretty cool, but the helmets are a big part of it.
* [[HornyVikings Vikings]] didn't put horns on their helmets, but they did manage to make their helmets cool without sacrificing their efficiency in combat by [[InvokedTrope invoking]] FacelessMooks. Look at [[http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs32/i/2010/209/7/4/Viking_Helmet_by_bakabobo.jpg this thing]]! The only thing sticking from there would be this viking chieftains BadassBeard. (Note: Yes, that is a modern made helmet, but it is based on the real thing.)
* In the Modern US military, wearing an [[http://regulusglobal.com/uploads/full_98945ada4e5a603.jpg OPS-CORE FAST]] or [[http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0216/5222/products/Crye_AirFrame_Helmet_-_03.jpg?v=1365296883 Crye Airframe]] is a mark of being a part of SOCOM, rather than the standard issue Advanced or Lightweight Combat Helmets that everyone else wears.
** Likewise the Russian Spetsnaz and their [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jst9RsBGibk/Tcu3irMVm8I/AAAAAAAAAR0/_cuZ0RzLiIs/s1600/Russian_Altyn_Helmet.jpg Altyn]], [[http://arniesairsoft.co.uk/news2/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/image82.png K6-3]], & [[http://img01.militaryblog.jp/usr/weekendspetsnaz/Rys-T_003.jpg Rys-T]] heavy combat helmets with armored faceguard.
* The Flight Helmet is one of the coolest helmets ''by far'', the iconic Flight Helmet consists of protective eyewear, oxygen mask, and the actual helmet. There's also the Helicopter Gunship version, which while not nearly as all-concealing, have what's basically a high-tech monocle. Either version is highly awesome and practical.
* The British standard cover of the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne World]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo Wars]], the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brodie_helmet Brodie helmet]], might as well be the most iconically shaped helmet of the 20th century. Based loosely of the medieval [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettle_hat kettle hat]], this upturned-soup-bowl-shaped headgear was introduced by Britain in 1915 as the first metal helmet worn by its forces in decades, and subsequently adopted by the Commonwealth, the United States (as the "M1917" helmet), Portugal, and certain post-colonial countries like Israel.
** That helmet design was very good at what it was designed to do: stop shrapnel from above. It provided no protection against a headshot from a rifle.
*** Then again, [[ArmorIsUseless neither did most helmets of the era]].