Wearing dark glasses or mirrorshades is long-standing visual shorthand for Badassitude. The act of putting them on means that it's time to kick ass, take names or do both. The act of taking them off is a sign that somebody's about to get scrutinised by the badass, usually just prior to an asskicking.
Obligatory for a Cyber Punk setting, or for intimidating Deep South Lawmen. A nice accessory to a Badass Longcoat.
The opposite of Nerd Glasses, and the inverse of The Glasses Come Off.
Overlaps, but is not identical to, Scary Shiny Glasses. If the effect is to make the wearer look sinister rather than badass, this is Sinister Shades. If you're Making a Spectacle of Yourself, the effect is to make you look just plain weird. But remember, sometimes the Goggles Do Nothing.
Aside from making them look Badass the reason behind them wearing shades is so they don't show that their eyes flinch when firing a weapon or having massive swords flung at their face. So when a character isn't wearing any shades and running around firing automatic weapons and manages to show no discomfort you know they're truly badass.
Another reason being that most people commonly have visual cues they give with their eyes subconsciously. Something a properly trained (or badass) opponent might pick up on. If they can't see your eyes, obviously they won't see you look at the gun before you leap into a roll for it, or look at the guy in the corner right before shooting him and making a break for it.
For some specific variants, see Triangle Shades and Lennon Specs.
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Chester Cheetah from the Cheetos commercials wear those.
Anime & Manga
Tooya of Ayashi no Ceres wears shades at the beginning of the story, while he was still working for the Mikages. He begins to wear them less frequently as time wears on, which is cool because you get a glimpse of the first facial expressions he makes. In his life.
Iceman Hotty from Basquash!! wears a pair of cool shades all the time. Though it's not until Spanky attempts to eat a pair of random lizards scampering through the desert that we find out his shades are actually alive. Though they're hardly the first pair of equipment to be alive in the series.
Batou/Bateau: Batou takes this to its logical Cyberpunk extreme in Ghost in the Shell (all versions) by "wearing" night vision goggle lenses implanted in place of his eyes. They cannot be removed and his "real" eyes, should they exist, are never seen. Also double as Scary Shiny Glasses when he's being extra intimidating. Judging by their size and some other things, like a doctor in Stand Alone Complex trying to sell him actual eyeballs, they indeed are his eyes in their entirety, and their purpose is to pack in more functions than normal-sized eyeballs could, implying again that they are cylindrical and extend deeper in his skull than normal eyeballs would.
In Black Lagoon, Dutch, Eda and Mr. Chang all regularly wear those. Rotton the Wizard tries to look cool with these, but fails.
Bleach: Seems to be a requirement for members of the 7th Division given former-captain Aikawa Love, former-lieutenant Kotsubaki Jin'emon and incumbent lieutenant Iba Tetsuzaemon all wear/wore badass shades. Renji's predecessor in the 6th Division Ginjirō Shirogane left to open a sunglasses shop called the Silver Dragonfly which Renji himself frequently buys from. (In keeping with his Butt Monkey status, Renji's badass shades invariably get destroyed in battle shortly after he buys a new pair. No one else seems to suffer this fate.)
In Code Geass, Suzaku Kururugi wears a pair of shades in his civilian clothing.
Schneizel sported a pair during the FLEIJA testing. They were only protective sunglasses, but still.◊ It's almost as is Schneizel has inherited Doc Brown's protective Cool Shades.
Guilford gets in on the action too, though from the presence of a certain sort of cane when he visits Cornelia in the hospital, it's implied that this is not purely a fashion choice.
In the second intro, Aizawa is seen wearing a pair of aviator type sunglasses he never dons outside the opening.
Digimon Tamers has Yamaki, who wears his nearly all the time! Ruki and Jianliang also get in on the act.
Taken further in Digimon Savers: Captain Satsuma is never seen without his sunglasses. Ever.
Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! is almost never seen without his pair of designer sunglasses, although not everyone thinks that they're awesome. Shuji, for example, thinks they make him look like a pretentious hipster (at least up until Shizuo clotheslines him into oblivion, at which point Shuji agrees that they suit him perfectly and couldn't imagine him any other way and OH GOD, PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!).
Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist sports a badass pair of shades to hide his red eyes. He seems to have left them behind following his Heel-Face Turn. Another Ishvalan character, Major Miles also wears shades to hide his red eyes, the distinctive characteristic of his race. Greed is another character who likes sunglasses — in his case, it's mostly for the cool factor, but since he has Hellish Pupils, there is a practical benefit as well. Iin Ling Yao's cameo appearance in the 2003 anime version, he's wearing some pretty awesome glasses. In fact; they're just like Greed's, as a nod to what happens in the manga.
Osamu Sugo/Knight Schumacher from Future GPX Cyber Formula wears those. So much so that it became a Running Gag in the series when Randoll, Shinjyo, Bootsvorz and even Clair wears the same type of shades he wore during his racing days.
Ban Mido from Get Backers wears his 'Anti Evil Eye' shades constantly; the only time they ever come off is when he's about to use his signature Evil Eye, or in rare cases, when they've been broken. If it's the latter, he will inevitably materialize a new pair at some point in the near future to wear again.
Bear Walken of Gungrave always wear cool yellow shades. Up until he was defeated by Brandon and he died. One cute note: Sherri, his daughter, was shown as a girl with a teddy bear with those glasses.
Harlem Beat: there are the Three Men team, Shades, Ultraman (his shades even shaped like Ultraman’s eyes!), and Kojiya twins from Kyan.
In Hellsing, Alucard's sunglasses, at least toward the beginning of the series. By later on, he's abandoned them, in what is probably the most Bad Ass way of having The Glasses Come Offever.
Noriaki Kakyoin from the Stardust Crusaders arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure takes to wearing sunglasses to conceal facial scars during his fight against Dio.
The Susanowo and Masurau are both GN Flag-based Samurai-style Mobile Suits, whose visor is shaped like Kamina's shades. only with an extra pair in the middle. While they don't really serve any real purpose, they still look awesome.
Finally, Sai Saici from G Gundam, when trying to look cool to a girl, wore a huge pair of pointed triangular shades.
Sanson has some pretty damn Cool Shades. They have a similar shape to Kamina's without being as over the top, and the generally extremely similar personality of the two characters suggests that the Gurren Lagann team were a little inspired by Gainax's earlier figure of goofball manliness.
Shino Aburame wears a pair of shades that never leave his face.
Most, if not all, of the Aburame clan from which Shino hails from, wear shades as well.
Killer Bee and a minor Cloud ninja named Jei also sport some, which both stay on through no visible means of attachment.
Adam Blade from NEEDLESS wears shades as well, and it makes him look mighty badass.
Moonlight Lady has this trope represented with Chikako.
Nerima Daikon Brothers seems to reference the Blues Brothers. The not-quite-cool title characters seem to wear sunglasses...well, because they're in a blues band! Specifically, they put them on whenever they head out to pull off a money-making caper.
In One Piece Franky wears ones that can stay on without attachments. Admiral Kizaru’s aren’t quite as cool, but still qualify.
After the Time Skip, Nico Robin and Smoker also sport theirs.
In Pokémon, Ash's Squirtle kept the Triangle Shades from his days leading the Squirtle Squad and has been known to pull them out from time to time.
The recurring Sandile/Krokorok in Best Wishes has a pair of red sunglasses, even though its evolution line does technically have built-in shades (giving Krookodile the Fan Nickname "Kaminacroc"). Ash ends up catching it during its fourth appearance.
Enishi from Rurouni Kenshin is always seen with a pair of purple-tinted John Lennon shades which brings up the question of who sold sunglasses in the late 19th century.
The Sailor Animamates of the Sailor Moon anime sport sunglasses in their respective disguises.
The villain Chinmei from Samurai Deeper Kyo wears shades most of the time except his final battle against the entire Sanada clan, revealing his "True Red Eyes". At one point his shades was damaged by Mahiro during his battle with Kyo, only to be replaced by a spare shade.
Straight Cougar from s-CRY-ed is almost as much defined by his glasses as he is by his speed.
The aforementioned over-the-top sunglasses have since undergone Memetic Mutation, where slapping on his shades will instantly render any character incredibly manly. It has also become an Ascended Meme in Super Robot Wars Z2, as Kamina's shades are an equippable item that adds 20 Will to the character they're equipped to at the start of a battle. (Will, for those unfamiliar, is basically SRW's Limit Break system; higher Will allows a pilot to use a mech's most powerful attacks or activate special abilities)
During a massive power-up, Simon's digging goggles morph into Kamina's shades, and then into five-point star shades.
After finding out that the Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann's design was based on Shin Dragon, you can no longer see its face as anything other than a pair of six-pointed shades◊.
Boota is wearing a set of round-lensed shades; at first they could just be his eyes, but when you see him sleeping with them on his forehead in episode 8, or scrabbling for them earlier, it becomes clear that in this show even the pig mole is wearing shades.
Boomerang Shades that can cut holes in the fabric of the universe? Definitely Cool Shades. Remember, this anime is all about doing the impossible.
Tsuchimikaido Motoharu in A Certain Magical Indexalways wears awesome shades, making him even more badass when he actually is involved in solving a conflict of some sort.
Vash the Stampede always puts on his yellow sunglasses right before he stops playing the fool and reveals his actual hypercompetence. This is actually because his eyes glow blue when he gets pissed and he likes to hide it.
Wolfwood wears Cool Shades most of the time in the manga. In the manga, Knives occasionally gets cyberpunk-style ones.
In Vamp!, the narrator goes to great lengths to describe Watt's sunglasses.
In Alpha Flight, Heather Hudson normally wore prescription glasses began wearing wrap-around shades when she became leader of the team. When she received her version of the Vindicator/Guardian battlesuit, Madison Jeffries modified her shades for wear with the suit.
In the second Alpha Flight series, Heather had switched to contacts, and initially didn't wear glasses with the new suit Department H had provided her, but after a while of getting bothered by the wind in her eyes, she brought the shades back.
Cassidy from Preacher always wears them to hide his eyes, which seem to be the only part of him that changed substantially when he became a vampire.
The Sandman: The Corinthian wears shades to hide his nature. While his taking them off is a threatening move, his leaving them on isn't so reassuring either. Conveniently, by the time his master takes him for his first incognito visit to the real world in the 18th century (in Brief Lives), sunglasses have already been invented. In his 'regular job' as a nightmare he doesn't need them: turning around is a sufficient Reveal.
Sonic The Comic's Sonic sports them in the second comic, for no apparent reason other than to look cool. He also constantly sports a pair when he disguises himself as Bob Beaky.
In Transmetropolitan Spider Jerusalem has distinct "live shades" with circular red lens and rectangular green lens. The item maker that created them was on hallucinogenic drugs. Now how cool is that. Cool enough that when he finally needed another pair, they had the same mismatched lenses.
The X-Men's Scott Summers, Cyclops, wears sunglasses (or a visor, when in costume) with special lenses to contain his unceasingEye Beams all the time, even when asleep. In various depictions, these range from clunky to top of the range Oakleys. In this case, taking them off is the threatening move.
The beginning of Hitman Miami has 47 living in Miami and spending most of his days surfing and tanning on the beach, so he wears a pair of sunglasses throughout the entire first chapter.
Wesker's Cool Shades are such an integral part of his Iconic Outfit that when he turns into a pony in My Little Wesker, an image of a pair of sunglasses becomes his cutie mark. Wesker eventually acquires a regular pair, which he wears as often as he can.
Empath: The Luckiest Smurf character Orbit (named for Madonna's Ray Of Light collaborator William Orbit) wears a pair of wraparound shades, due to his eyes being light-sensitive, as seen here◊.
Double Subversion: In the movie Airplane!, Captain Rex Kramer whips off his sunglasses to make a dramatic point with The Glasses Come Off. Only to reveal another pair of sunglasses underneath. He then removes those sunglasses to make another dramatic point. Unfortunately, he was not wearing a third pair, as the Rule of Three cannot be applied to this trope for fear of implosion.
Ace Ventura: Putting on sunglasses is just about all Ace Ventura does.
The first Back to the Future ends with Doc Brown showing up wearing some very Cool Shades. They're so cool, they're made out of sheet metal! Christopher Lloyd couldn't see a thing out of them. They were only written in as a gag for the first film. When the sequels came around, he ditched them ASAP.
In Part II the glasses are revealed to be a part of the Delorean's Heads-Up Display. Note than you can now re-create this appearance with some brands of modern-day mirror shades.
Blade: Blade in the movie and sequels of the same name, apparently stores his surplus Badassitude in his shades. In every movie, there seems to be a point where he loses them, gets his butt kicked for a while, and then regains them, just to put 'em on in a badass way. Usually this happens right before fighting the Big Bad. Step 1 of defeating Blade is "remove his sunglasses".
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd wore shades when performing as Jake and Elwood Blues. The Blues Brothers act originated on Saturday Night Live and got made into a blockbuster movie in 1980. Neither one of the Blues Brothers removed their sunglasses in the film... well, Jake removed his in the scene where he was apologising to the Mystery Woman (Carrie Fisher).
The Blues Brothers had a not-so-successful sequel in 1998 called Blues Brothers 2000, in which Elwood takes off his shades (only) once—and he covers his eyes with his hand when he does. Even his driver's license has shades. New core members of the band also get cool shades; when Cable is converted to the true faith of R&B, his cop shades are turned into cool shades. The DVD of the original movie includes scenes omitted from the earlier versions, that include Elwood resigning his job as a menial factory worker, while he wears protective goggles instead of shades.
In The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick seems to put on (or take off) his welding goggles to emphasize what he's saying. The goggles are actually functional; his eyes are extremely sensitive to light (allowing him to see no matter how dark it is), so he needs them to protect his eyes. He also takes them off or puts them on depending on the amount of light in a scene and how clearly he wants to see something.
In the first half of the preceding Pitch Black, it's played straight: glasses on when he's kicking ass. The brightness of the sunlight leaves him vulnerable without his welding goggles - when they're torn off during a fight, he's pretty much helpless. However, he takes them off later during the total darkness of an eclipse: he wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
Rodney Skinner, Gentleman Thief, wears these to hide the fact that his eyes are invisible.
In Escape Plan, Stallone's character Ray Breslin wears these just after he's released from prison at the beginning of the film.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: The Baroness never forgets hers... even after a train collision. She also wears them at night, but that is justified by their high-tech use: they double as night-goggles.
In the first John Woo film Heroes Shed No Tears, the unnamed Vietnamese Colonel has a scene where he shaves in front of a mirror then puts those on. He might have sported them for the rest of the film, too, but a bad case of Scope Snipe forced him to switch to the Eyepatch of Power.
This campaign ad for Zaphod Beeblebrox puts forward the following argument:
"Zaphod Beeblebrox has the longest hair of any candidate
and he's got the coolest shades..."
In other versions of the Guide these are "the greatest shades in the known sky": Joo Janta Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses. At the first hint of danger they turn totally black, and prevent you from seeing anything that may alarm you. Ford isn't impressed.
Done to great effect in Hot Fuzz: the main character is disenchanted and giving up when he sees DVDs of Point Break and Bad Boys 2 in a little convenience store. Inspired, he buys a pair of cheap sunglasses that make him look disproportionately badass. He later hands off a spare pair to his partner when they meet up.
At the beginning of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Dingy Bell (played by Mickey Rooney) wore these for the first 15 minutes of the movie. As the movie went on, he completely ditched them.
In The Matrix, shades is what differentiates characters from extras. Virtually everyone that matters wears them. The technical reason they have them in The Matrix is so you can't see actors blink in gunfight scenes, though averted in the gunfight after Neo's first visit to The Oracle when Apoc and Switch both fight without them. It's also a visual cue that Neo is reaching his potential when he breaks Smith's shades. Smith takes them off and says, "I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson." Sunglasses seem to be symbolic armor for everyone. Nearly every time someone gets beaten up, they aren't unquestionably defeated until after their shades are gone. One exception is Morpheus, who takes his off before Agent Johnson fights him on the truck, perhaps symbolizing the fight's ultimate futility. The final fight between Neo and Smith has them knocking each others' shades off early on, because armor is irrelevant with the level of control they both exert over the world.
In The Matrix Reloaded, Trinity removes a motorcycle helmet with black-tinted visor - and she is wearing sunglasses underneath. And it is night-time. How the hell could she see ANYTHING? Not to mention, how does she take the helmet off without breaking or pulling off the glasses? Mighty powers indeed. As with many tropes in this series, easily justified by programming; the sunglasses worn by redpills would be specialized models in the Matrix that don't obscure the sight of the wearer while appearing normal otherwise.
Regardless of what model it is, every Terminator cyborg is required to acquire cool shades before proceeding with its mission. They have to be cool. They have to be shades. They can't be uncool shades. The first T-800 used the shades to hide his damaged skin, but the next two seemed to just be concerned with style.
Exception: "Cameron", the Waif-Fu Terminator in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, doesn't bother. With Summer Glau in the role, they'd just be redundant. Also subverted in Terminator 3, where the T-850 discovers to his dismay that the shades that come with the outfit he mugged off a male stripper are pink and star-shaped. He drops them on the ground and crushes them with his boot, then finds a better pair in the car he steals.
Sarah also wears them in the final scene of the first movie.
That Thing You Do!: Once The Wonders sign on a major record label, their manager gives the drummer a pair of sunglasses to make him stand out. Lampshaded by a reporter: "Are those prescription, or are you just trying to look cool?"
Dark Future: Many people dress themselves with these in Dark Future novels. Many of them are also shades which double as music-playing devices. Elder Seth's shades are not merely cool ones, but they're also a means to see beyond the normal and perceive the Outer Darkness and create a conduit between him and the Dark Ones he serves.
Crowley from Good Omens wears a pair of sunglasses all the time to hide gold eyes with pupils slitted like a snake's. Although he also wears them just because they're so darn cool. The other demons find his coolness irritating.
In Invisible Man, the protagonist puts on a pair of dark sunglasses, and finds himself being mistaken for Rinehart.
Molly (aka Rose, Sally, etc) from Neuromancer has mirrorshades surgically implanted over her eyes. The same surgery also rearranged her tearducts, so she literally can't cry. Instead, she spits. They're not just mirrorshades; they have microchannel image amps built into them so she can see in the dark. Somewhat cooler than your typical cybernetic replacement eyes, not to mention being rather easier to manufacture.
Shane Schofield, from Matthew Reilly's books, wears silver anti-flash glasses to hide his scars.
Alloysius Knight, also from Matthew Reilly's books, wears similar shades due to his eyes being hypersensitive, and being like "Shane Schofield gone wrong".
Lampshaded by Robert B. Parker in one of his Spenser novels, where Spenser needs glasses, & remarks he could get prescription shades, so nobody would know & everybody would just think he was cool.
Tre's Blindsided Shades (read: shutter shades) in Stuck are considered all the rage by his standards. He breaks them in Stuck at School, but later replaces them with Blindsided Mirrorshades in Stuck at the Wheel..
Live Action TV
Adam-12: In the final few episodes of Season 7, Reed begins wearing sunglasses on-duty. This includes an off-duty rescue of Malloy (who has been taken hostage by a gang of reactionists) and during Reed's investigation of a typewriter theft ring.
One recurring character in the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica, Romo Lampkin, nearly always wears shades, despite the fact that he's living in a fleet of dimly-lit spaceships. Justified in that he wears them so that people cannot tell what he is looking at - he is a kleptomaniac lawyer, after all.
On the game show Break The Bank 1976, host Tom Kennedy had his glasses tinted because the set was so bright. When the show was Uncanceled and brought back with Jack Barry hosting, Jack wore shades for the same reason.
The awe-spiring sunglasses of Michael Westen from Burn Notice. Sales of that particular brand of shades (Oliver People's Victory) shot up right after the show started to get popular, a testament to just how damn cool they are.
Parodied on Chef!
Gareth: Everton, why are you wearing sunglasses?
Everton: They make me look cool.
Gareth: Take them off.
Everton: I brought you a pair.
Gareth: Why do you keep checking the mirror? Are we being followed?
Shades-wearing secret agent Bryce Larkin tries to give his sunglasses to Chuck, claiming that he should have them if he's going to be a real spy. In reality, he's imprinted an update to the Intersect within them.
Later seasons seem to have shades that can either upload the Intersect to one's head, or remove it entirely.
Crime Scene Investigation Franchise:
Horatio Caine of CSI: Miami punctuates almost every Quip to Black by putting on his Cool Shades if he's not already wearing them. (If he's already wearing them, he'll take them off and put them back on again.) So you could say that he... (puts on sunglasses) has it made in the shades. YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAH!!
In the Firefly pilot, Simon is first shown wearing a pair of nice-looking sunglasses. The Better Days comic tie-in indicates these are actually functional, as they block retina scans. Is is a slight nod to Chinese period films, where that style of glasses tends to be worn by evil characters or traitors.
Played With in Glee, Quinn and Finn, wanting advice on how to avoid having slushies thrown in their face and to regain their status, go to the guidance counsellor Emma who suggests cool shades. It doesn't work.
Duncan MacLeod on Highlander: The Series had them in some episodes.
During his pre-DX "Heartbreak Kid" days, Shawn Michaels would always have awesome shades to go with his flashy apparel.
Shadowrun allows characters to purchase Cool Shades. The real fun comes when you start putting visual enhancements on them.
Air Zonk has the titular Zonk wearing shades. When an ally is chosen to help him, they are powered up and receive a similar set of shades. One of Zonk's weapons is actually firing neon shades at his enemies.
In Alpha Protocol, Mike can sport several different types of sunglasses, ranging from simple slightly tinted glasses to wraps to big aviators to mirrored sunglasses that make him look like a sinister CIA agent right out of the 60's, all the way to shiny reflective razor sunglasses.
In Art of Fighting, John Crawley the navy man wears a pair of sunglasses that can be knocked off if you damage them enough. His boss, Mr. Big, also wears them.
One of the customizable clothing options in Battlefield Play 4 Free is several types of sunglasses for the player-character.
Cecile Forward wears a nice looking pair in intermission scenes in Castle Fantasia 2 Renewal, though they do tend to subvert their purpose in battle scenes, where she looks rather bug eyed.
Cool Shades adorn the titular Spot in Cool Spot. They're also found in the scenery on occasion.
J.C from Deus Ex never takes them off. When mocked by Agent Navarre for wearing sunglasses at night, he gruffly replies that his vision is augmented. Additionally it is suggested that the cool shades stop him freaking the public with his solid blue eyes.
In Fallout 2 putting mirrored shades on actually gave your character + 1 bonus to Charisma.
Likewise, in Fallout 3, Mr. Burke wears a pair of these. Which you can later steal from his house, provided you are crazy good with lockpicks (or have discovered cheat codes). Or you can just loot them off his corpse (which is probably the best option for anyone not playing as a evil character).
One of the women in Andale has the same kind of shades. There's a way to get them without losing karma, just reveal Andale's evil secret and, when confronted by the 4 adults, tell them you think they're freaks. They'll try to kill you, which lets you get rid of them AND score some Cool Shades.
Fallout 3 also has the "Lucky Shades", a unique pair of sunglasses that gives you a + 1 bonus to your Luck while you wear them.
Fallout: New Vegas brings back the same model from Fallout 3 and introduces the new "Authority Glasses", a pair of aviator shades that seem to be a favorite of NCR Rangers.
Parodied in "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children", wherein Rude, upon having his shades destroyed during battle (because Reno steps on them), immediately produces a spare pair from his pocket and puts them on before returning to the fight. He seems rather distraught by their loss, though.
Cloud has a pair at the beginning of the movie, though he loses them in the same scene. In the Dirge of Cerberus, Cloud puts on a new pair of (very sexy) sunglasses in the big battle cutscene.
Al-Cid Margrace from Final Fantasy XII actually had someone to hold his glasses for him while he wasn't using them.
In Final Fantasy X, Auron is always wearing his shades, except during flashbacks. Downplayed as his cool shades are small and worn low on the nose, so you can often see at least part of his eyes.
Sissel from Ghost Trick wears a pair of shades... Or rather, Yomiel does. Although Sissel's tail in his real form as a cat is kinked to resemble the shades.
In The Godfather: The Game, you can buy a pair of shades for your character.
Azel, the Mirror Boss in God Hand. Weirdly, they manage to stay on even when he does all sorts of impossible fighting moves, except in the final stage where he takes them off deliberately. From the cutscene you can tell that now It's Personal, and he's really quite pissed.
Johnny from Guilty Gear. His shades are removed only in his Burst sprite (to show he's serious now, of course).
Beyond the Grave, the main character of Gungrave wears a pair of small, yet neat, sunglasses that have the left lens blacked out and a cross design on top of that. It serves a minor purpose in that the black lens slightly covers up the prominent scar on his face—and the fact that he no longer has a left eye, because it was shot out at point-blank range, and killed him back when he was still Brandon.
In Jumper Three, you can acquire sunglasses in Sector 2. Like any other Nice Hats you get there, they are useless, but still cool.
K' always wears sunglasses and takes them off during his intro. Some official artwork shows him with white framed glasses with red tint. The shades aren't solely there for show as his Chain Drive move has him throwing them at the foe and when hit, follows up with an autocombo, he also seems to have an infinite supply of sunglasses as he can perform his Chain Drive whenever he has 1 power bar.
In the KOF XIII, he has them on the whole time. Now he grabs back the sunglasses when it hits the opponent during Chain Drive.
Albert goddamn Wesker. Eventually, it's to cover up his bizarrelyinhuman eyes, but mostly they're just there to be rockin'. He only takes them off twice in RE:5 the first time the throws them at Chris as distraction(and then wipes the floor with him before catching his glasses to put them back on) before the boss sequence begins and the second time was during the final battle.
Wesker's son Jake Muller puts this one on in the end of his and Sherry's campaign.
Serious Sam has started off wearing shades, but they were later removed from his design, allegedly to "make a less Duke Nukem looking character".
They returned in Serious Sam 3, seeing as that game is a prequel to the First and Second Encounters.
Jake Armitage from the Super Nintendo incarnation of Shadowrun. Initially he needs to put them on to solve a puzzle. He needs to wear them to prevent the morgue guys from recognizing him as the guy who woke up at the morgue, so they won't flee and he can talk with them. But they can't be taken off once worn and show up in all the cutscenes from then onwards. Some characters also comment on them when spoken to.
In the PSP remake of Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Hitler/Nyarlathotep also looks pretty damn good sporting a pair, to the point where one wonders whether Atlus's censorship will backfire by simply making him look too cool.
In Persona 4, the human members of the main cast all wear Cool Shades in order to see through the thick fog permeating the TV World.
In Penn & Teller's unreleased game Smoke and Mirrors, a minigame has a slider for the amount one wears sunglasses ranging from "hate them, never wear them" to "I'm Lou Reed, I never take them off". On Impossible in the main game, Lou Reed shows up wearing the shades, and kills the player characters with his laser eyes. Without removing the shades.
The Galoombas in Something. Despite looking cool, they're still weaklings to Mario. They only appear in Flashing Forest.
In Sonic the Hedgehog Dr. Robotnik wears a pair of round-frame sunglasses at all times with the intended effect of making him look more intimidating. Imagine what he would look like without them. At least they help build an image.
In Sonic Riders, every character wears cool goggles. They never, EVER use them. See Goggles Do Nothing.
Blank from Space Channel 5. His were pink variants of the classic Kamina 'boomerang' shades. His 'turn' icon even had a glint next to the glasses!
Software designers The Bitmap Brothers had cool shades as their schtick. On photographs in game magazines of the day, they often wore sunglasses, and in at least some of their games, cool shades were included as a hidden item or easter egg. One example is Xenon 2 Megablast, where the player can buy "Bitmap Shades" as an extremely expensive item. All it does is change the graphics to pure black and white.
Erik hardly ever takes his shades off, even during sex, and definitely has a cool image. It's possible that he works at this consciously, with the shades as a prop; his cool does crack a little occasionally.
James of Out There has yet to be pictured without his Ray-Bans (if that's what they are). You can't even see his eyes when he's in profile. Since you can see the eyes of the other characters when they're viewed from the side (even when they're wearing glasses), it's hard not to wonder: does James even have eyes?
Punintended's character N/A wears these as driving glasses. It is rather subverted as they are bright pink.
In PvP, Brent Sienna is never seen without his trademark shades. He takes them off when he gets married, only to be blinded immediately because his eyes haven't been exposed to that much light in decades.
At one point, Cole Wilson tries to emulate him by wearing aviator sunglasses, which Brent objects to because cool shades are his thing. A few strips later, Cole no longer wears them and admits he sat on them
Referenced/spoofed a few times. Strong Bad's Cowboy Cop alter-ego Dangeresque, from the Strong Bad Emails "stunt double" and "dangeresque 3", wears Cool Shades. In the Strong Bad Email "the bet", Homestar manages to win the titular bet with Strong Bad that he can "be's cool" by simply putting on a pair of Cool Shades and saying "'Sup?".
Homestar Runner also subverted the trope in a different skit, where Homestar buys a pair of "cool shades" from Bubs but stashes them inside a can of yellow paint before wearing them. When he dons the shades, still dripping with paint, the result is that he looks even more foolish than usual and can barely see, causing him to apparently confuse Strong Sad for an old friend named "Dripping Yellow Madness".
Sign up for TV Tropes' forums and you can post a Cool Shades smiley! Or on just about any forum these days. If you happen to not have access to something that writes it, just write a B, followed by a bracket opening to the left, possibly with a dash in between [ B) and B-), respectively.]
The Backyardigans: Backyardigans Pablo and Tyrone wear these as 'Delivery Agents' in the episode Elephant On The Run. So don't mess with them.
Throttle from Biker Mice from Mars wears a pair of sunglasses at all times. This is because as a result of being experimented on he lost his eyes and got them replaced by bionic ones. Although some Biker Mice fans say he's blind.
An interesting preschool version - in the Nick Jr. show Bubble Guppies, there is an episode where the characters are welcoming the arrival of spring by going to see the spring chicken - basically a regular chicken who, for some inexplicable reason, wears giant sunglasses.
Agent Six from Generator Rex rocks shades and a sharp green suit. Oh, and foldout katanas. That he can slice bullets with.
On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Enfant Terrible Heloise wears a pair during her stint as Jimmy's bodyguard. This parodied in another episode where Dumb Blonde Jimmy attempts to invoke this trope, but the sunglasses he uses get increasingly tacky.
Johnny:My glasses! I can't be seen without my glasses!
One of the villians in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures was a government agent who always wore sunglasses. Lampshaded by Race Bannon when he said that he "was one of them, until the shades became a part of the uniform."
The Duke of Detroit from Motorcity has these. Abraham Kane also wears these in a commercial for "Kane Shades."
Mr. Bogus: Mr Bogus and Brattus wore these in the first act of the episode "Waterboy Bogus". By the time the second act rolled around, they completely ditched them for the rest of the episode.
Rarity occasionally wears oversized fancy shades, usually on picnic.
Members of the elite flying team the Wonderbolts all have each have a pair when they don't have their flight suits and goggles on.
In the episode "In the Line of Doody," The Penguins of Madagascar briefly don cool shades, complete with earpieces, while "protecting" the parks commissioner. And they look simultaneously hilarious and awesome.
In the recent special for Total Drama Action, Noah and all the members of the boy-band "The Drama Brothers" have them.
Many of the 'younger' Transformers (like Jazz and Prowl) have optics shaped like cool shades. Fans generally write fanfiction about them being blind underneath, or how they really have red Decepticon optics.
Prowl and Soundwave of Transformers Animated both have similar pairs of shades as Kamina (though it's possible those are their actual optic sensors, being Mechanical Lifeforms and all; they even match their factions like most others eyes), and both are awesomeness incarnate (they're a nod to Joe Pineapple's optic visor from ABC Warriors of 2000AD comics). Jazz and Jetstorm also have sensors that look like visor shades, and Grimlock's are shaped like normal ones.
Ro of Teen Titans wears a pair whenever he's out of costume.
Red Arrow wears them whenever he's in a stakeout.
Sunglasses were used functionally by movie actors who would wear them on set to protect their eyes from the intense set lighting. People who saw behind-the-scenes footage of actors doing so thus concluded wearing sunglasses is fashionable.
Many celebrities attempt to invoke this trope; perhaps the most successful example is Roy Orbison, who originally wore them because he left his regular prescription glasses on the plane that was taking him to one of his concerts, was pretty much Blind Without 'Em, and didn't have time to get a replacement set (in the 1960s, you couldn't get glasses in less than several days, unlike today's one-hour stores).
Bono alternates between Cool Shades and Scandalous Shades, often really bright. He explains it happens because his eyes are sensitive to light, and thus it's hard to see him without any glasses (and many of those times, he looks weird◊).
Axl is occasionally not seen wearing shades, but Slash on the other hand never takes his off. One interview said he went to see his mother who was dying of cancer in a hospital, and never took off his shades.
The only guy who wore glasses as much as Bono and Slash was Joey Ramone.
Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople usually wore shades, going so far as to lampshade this in the song "Ballad of Mott the Hoople."
2 the Ranting Gryphon, a well known comedian within the Furry Fandom, is rarely seen without his trademark brown shades.
Dutch author of children's books Paul van Loon is never seen in public without his shades. This rather adds to his mystique, being a writer of mostly kiddy horror.
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, famous for his roles in World War II and the Korean War, was known for, among other things, wearing aviator shades... long before the aviators started wearing them. It helps that MacArthur, being literally Older Than They Think, had been a commissioned officer in the Army since 1903, making the shades a literal example of Follow the Leader.
Worth noting that the shades are pretty essential for pilots as they allow them to see better. Modern combat pilots don't need them so much anymore due to their helmets having shades built-in, but civilian pilots can find these extra useful on sunny days or whenever they absolutely must fly above cloudcover.
A 17 year-old kid accused of being the Lulz Sec hacker 'Topiary' was wearing these when he was taken into custody.
Shades are standard issue for people working in the Secret Service and other bodyquard services, allegedly because they conceal what the wearer is looking at. This can help keep potential troublemakers in line, since they can't be sure that sunglassed muscleman isn't staring directly at them. Larger, square ones can also have a one-way mirror formed into the glass/plastic as well which allows them to look behind without having to turn around.
Bob Dylan. He was almost never seen without them in the '60s.
Former President George W. Bush accidentally mistook legally blind reporter Peter Wallsten's medically-required sunglasses as Cool Shades. They were in fact medically prescribed glasses for a rare form of macular degeneration caused by exposure to UV light.
Wallsten: "Mr. President! Peter Wallsten, Wall Street Journal. Is it true that-"
George Bush: "Are you going to ask that question with shades on?"
Wallsten: "I can take them off."
Bush: "I’m interested in the shade look, seriously."
Wallsten: "All right, I’ll keep it, then."
Bush: "For the viewers, there’s no sun." (audience laughter.)
Wallsten: "I guess it depends on your perspective." (more laughter)
Bush: "Touche!" Later, upon learning that Wallsten was legally blind and the glasses were medical, a red-faced President Bush called him to apologize. Wallsten shook off the incident, saying it was a funny exchange that didn't offend him at all. He is currently a national policy reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Likely future hall of fame baseball manager, Tony La Russa, always wore a pair of sunglasses when managing, even during night games. This was part of the mind games he played against opposing teams in the dugout, to prevent their manager from attempting to read his facial expressions and gain an insight into his strategy.
Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada is almost always seen wearing sunglasses and a stoic facial expression.
Many prescription glasses can be designed with transitional lenses that automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, giving the user a cool look without having to sacrifice practicality.
An example of Society Marches On can be seen with the gender swap of sunglasses, like many articles of clothing over time. Up until about 1994, sunglasses were associated primarily with cool guys, but slowly the focus on the female market led to a situation where in 2014 if you look around, 90% of the people wearing sunglasses are female, especially from the younger generations (born in 1972 and later). Look at any couple in real life or on Facebook, chances are if only one is wearing sunglasses, it's the woman.