What exactly are those supposed to protect?
"What is the purpose of the goggles?"
A character wears goggles or other eyewear, despite the fact that they don't have an actual use. In many cases, they'll wear them above
their eyes (see picture) like some weird hat.
Unused articles such as this often make up the Rummage Sale Reject
. Goggles are popular, because they look cool
. If you can actually get something out of them besides protection, then it's probably because your Goggles Do Something Unusual
If a character has a logical reason to be wearing goggles, like pilot with aviator goggles
, it doesn't count as this trope, even if he never actually gets to use them.
See also Purely Aesthetic Glasses
. Subtrope of Useless Accessory
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Chandra, a Planeswalker in Magic: The Gathering, wears a pair of goggles on her brow.
- As did Jaya Ballard, whom Chandra is arguably an Expy of. Going by flavor text, the reason appears to be that before becoming a Planeswalker, Chandra was trained in pyromancy by Jaya. So either it's Jaya's goggles passed down, she wanted to look like her teacher or she was simply told that goggles are a good thing when Playing with Fire.
- Although you never SEE her wear them, in the Webcomic series her face is covered in soot and ash, except for the goggle marks around her eyes. So conceivably, they actually DO do something.
- In the card Act on Impulse◊, Chandra finally gets serious and wears the goggles. She warns we don't want to know what happens when she does.
- Retro Girl of Powers used aviator goggles when flying, for some reason, despite being a level nine "We as a species just pray to dear God they're good folks" power.
- Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot wears flippers all the time, in case he needs to swim.
- Will Feral in Kingdom wears an aviator's hat and matching goggles for no particular reason. Dingo Star's shoulder pads and pouches might also count.
- Hellboy does not wear goggles. However, the fact that the filed-down horn stumps on his forehead were mistaken for goggles by many early fans goes to show how ubiquitous the "goggles as fashion accessory" idea is. Even Guillermo del Toro, the director of the movies, thought they were goggles.
- Averted in Garth Ennis's The Boys. One of the team's resident sociopathic anti-heroes, The Frenchman, initially appears to wear a pair of basic goggles on his bald head for purely aesthetic reasons. However, when he enters combat and draws them on to his eyes, their utility is quickly demonstrated as he rips his opponents apart like wet tissue paper and is immediately covered in viscera.
- Averted in Starman, where the hero's goggles protect his eyes from the odd conditions of flying at high altitude with an extremely bright staff.
- Hay Lin in W.I.T.C.H. likes to wear a pair of goggles just above her forehead.
- Jenny Everywhere.
- Punchy in The Intimates usually wears his goggles on his forehead, but whenever he's required to do a lot of moving around he'll pull them over his eyes. This is less a fashion statement and more a matter of comfort — the goggles are part of his costume, meaning he has to wear them constantly according to his Superhero School's rules, but wearing them over his eyes all day would be uncomfortable and pointless
- Depending on the artist, the Marvel Comics Foolkiller sometimes wears what appears to be goggles instead of the usual domino style mask.
- In the recent masterpiece by F. Bondarchuk Inhabited island the gear of an alien guardsman includes fa-abulous pink (!) ski goggles. They almost never put them on, even during shooting practice, obstacle courses (with fire barriers) and actual combat raids against insurgents.
- In Alien vs. Predator's director's commentary, the director said that originally only one character was to wear goggles on his head. The other cast members thought it looked cool, so they all wore goggles on their head... which meant they had to be fogged up so they wouldn't reflect the cameras.
- In Alien│, a prisoner preparing to violate Ripley slips his goggles over his eyes for some reason. Fridge Horror comes into play if you wonder whether they would actually serve a purpose in the events to follow.
- In Top Gun, the bad guys wore their visors at all times while flying, while the good guys never did.
- A character in Can't Hardly Wait wears goggles on his forehead. They are actual swimmer's goggles. He never goes swimming.
- Although the thermal goggles in Hollow Man actually do something quite important for the film's plot, a possibly unintentional Shout-Out occurs when the room fills with steam, prompting a character to declare "The goggles are worthless!"
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), both Raph and Mikey have sunglasses as part of their clothing, but both never use them. Mikey's don't even seem to be the same size as his face! Subverted with Donatello's high-tech scanners.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows us a speeder bike pilot on a desert world with a pair of goggles... on her forehead.
- Randall in Time Bandits wears an old-fashioned flight helmet with the goggles always perched on his forehead, unused.
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, goggles are the trademark of the supervillain mad scientists, handed out when the community accepts you as a true Mad Scientist. The goggles are actually perfectly functional, but by the time anyone gets them, they've probably already bought or invented better ones, so most just wear them as a symbol.
Live Action TV
- In the new version of Battlestar Galactica, the Colonial Marines wear goggles on the top of their helmets, but they're very rarely actually worn and their exact purpose is never explained.
- Presumably, they're standard ballistic goggles like the kind we have today. The directors probably agreed to keep them there but leave them off due to Rule of Cool and so we could see the actors' faces.
- Mason's death in Dead Like Me. He was searching for the ultimate high and put a drill into his brain. He wore safety goggles.
- The trope name is said verbatim by Topher in a Dollhouse deleted scene where he tries on some goggles that are meant to go with his interactive computer screen.
- Jasper in The 100 wears goggles as a hat-like accessory.
- Selina sports goggles on top of her head in Gotham, in a nod to Catwoman's 2000s redesign by Darwyn Cooke.
- Doctor Steel was never seen without his goggles, regardless of his attire. Somewhat justified, as he was a roboticist and was seen in one video welding.
- Rabbit of Steam Powered Giraffe wears steampunk-style goggles on his hat.
- He finally gets to wear them in the music video for Automatonic Electronic Harmonics. Reportedly he was completely blind with them on
- Till Lindemann of Rammstein wears goggles in the original video for "Du Riechst So Gut" just because they look cool. Onstage, they have an obvious purpose.
- Elton John didn't really need glasses, he wore them as a tribute to Buddy Holly.
- Captain B. Zarr from The Party Zone, who wears aviator goggles and a propeller-topped polka-dotted aviator helmet just because.
- Konnan goggles had a tint, so they might have had some use. Except he worse these during his Filthy Animal WCW run, where the large majority of events were indoors. So what they did was probably impede his vision.
- As a wrestler, Leva Bates wears goggles to protect herself from eye pokes (she's made use of other "armor" such as headphones to block out Jillian Hall's singing) As a referee though, the goggles serve no purpose besides restricting peripheral vision.
- An example from toys (and the associated comic/cartoon/etc): The G.I. Joe enemy troops called Vipers◊ have a wraparound helmet with opaque facemask ... and goggles atop the helmet!
- Jenny Everywhere: aviator goggles are part of her basic character design, even though she's not necessarily an aviatrix in most stories. That Jenny is keen on adventure does leave open the potential for subversion, though...
- Played straight in this origin story, where she buys an old pair simply because they make her "look awesome".
- Another story has it that she was Amelia Earheart's daughter, and inherited them.
- The character of Jyrras Gianna from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures gains goggles in his new outfit, which are never used. Doubly unnecessary, in that he also wears glasses (which he doesn't need but wears for image's sake). He did use goggles during the non-canon spy spoof arc, but their only purpose was to hide his eyes, as villains are not allowed to be 'cute'.
- Used every which way in Girl Genius, as befits its mad science milieu.
- Wooster wears goggles and a leather jacket when he's using Gil's open-cockpit flyer and unlike most media, actually LOOKS like he's been in an open-cockpit aircraft (dirty with visible marks where he's had the goggles over his eyes to see.)
- Parodied (maybe) in Penny Arcade with the character of Charles. Ever since his redesign, he has kept a pair of goggles on his forehead. Lampshaded when he gets asked if he's going swimming.
- Hell, Zaraki Yagami of Mitadake Saga's alias -is- The Boy with Goggles. They don't come in useful
- The heavy use of this trope in steampunk is lampshaded in this Hark A Vagrant.
- The Commander in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things has these. Lampshaded here.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal presents to us the advanced rules for Rock, Paper, Scissors. As the Alt-text/Votey specifically points out: Goggles: They Do Nothing
- Weregeek gives us this.
- Pocky Robot parodies subversions of this at end of this strip.◊
- Averted, in Gunnerkrigg Court here, and then lampshaded in Tom's rant.
- Since a character redesign, Shelly Mander of Femmegasm wears goggles for no reason.
- Homestuck: The trope name is referenced by Meenah upon encountering Kanaya, who glows because she is a rainbow drinker. Meenah is blinded by the glare and says, "The goggles do nothing [to help]."
- In Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, Veser wears a pair of goggles around his neck. A partial example, since it helps with his shark motif, and may somehow be related to the fact that his mother is a selkie.
- Mad Scientist Dr. Horrible wears goggles on his forehead; he does no more than adjust them until the end, when he becomes a true villain.
- That Guy with the Glasses.com has That Chick with the Goggles.
- http://www.southperry.net has a goggle smiley inspired in part by one of MapleStory 's bosses, Rellik◊, and in part by The Simpsons quote below. The goggles became wildly popular, and people began editing their avatars to include them. Nexon (MapleStory's publisher in North America) saw this and created Gachapon (egg-machine that requires real money in exchange for random items) only goggles equippable by players. There is an inscription on them stating "Who says the goggles do nothing?"
- Alex Steacy of LoadingReadyRun wears welding goggles at all times, apparently for the look.
- In Mitadake High, one of the characters wears goggles (and is in fact referred to as The Boy With Goggles). There are a number of ways to inflict temporary blindness on other players, and Goggles is no exception to them. More than once somebody playing Goggles has yelled the memetic phrase after being blinded.
- Stuart Ashen invokes this trope at the end of his Cyber FX review, in which the eponymous goggles are rather useless.
- Vdex Project once had goggles in the Secondhand Shop. Lampshaded in the achievement you get when you buy them.
- Many in The League of S.T.E.A.M. wear goggles (it's steampunk, what do you expect?) but they rarely seem to be used for anything.
- Liam Dryden of the band Chameleon Circuit sports a fairly awesome pair at times, notably in live concerts, his "Time Travel" outfit, and when he and Alex Day are raiding Wal-Mart. Liam even lampshades the fact that he just wears them on his head as a Nice Hat most of the time in the Wal-Mart video.
- The Plumber Knight Returns: Mario has goggles as part of his new costume, but only puts them on while suiting up, wearing them around his neck otherwise.
- The Trope Namer is a line from Rainier Wolfcastle acting the lead role in the Radioactive Man movie from The Simpsons. Note that in this case the goggles were supposed to do something, they just didn't work.
- Happens in Kim Possible with the "future" gear of "A Sitch In Time". The "future hat" also does nothing.
- Subverted in Generator Rex by Rex and Caesar, who use their respective goggles several times in situations where they are actually needed.
- Frida from El Tigre. In one episode, after her goggles fall off and break, Frida shrieks, "Those are prescription!" However, she rarely, if ever, wears them over her eyes.
- Ōban Star-Racers has Molly, who, being a Star Racer pilot (basically a podracer pilot) always wears her goggles on her forehead and has even been seen sleeping in them. However, since inside her vehicle she is safely concealed behind a plastic dome, she doesn't really need to protect her eyes. Since her mother also wore a pair, which are constantly seen in flashbacks on top of her head, chances are very high that Molly initially got hers because they looked like her mother's.
- Transformers Animated is fond of this:
- Blitzwing◊ has goggles built into the helmet of his robot mode head. Not only does he A) Not wear them, B) Not need them, what with being a robot and all, C) Could not pull them down over his eyes even if he did, but D) his "angry" face already has a red visor over its eyes and his "calm" face has a monocle, which means that he is essentially wearing two pairs of equally-useless goggles! Blitzwing is the KING of Goggles Do Nothing.
- Prometheus Black still wears his visor thing even after turning into a sentient mass of acid. Maybe it's so we don't have to see whatever the hell his eyes must look like.
- And once again Jetfire has aviator goggles that are apparently part of his head.
- The kiwi from Kiwi dons a pair of pilots goggles before jumping off the cliff. But he doesn't ever use them.
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Both Monterey Jack and Gadget wear goggles on their head as part of their normal outfit, but rarely (as in, maybe once or twice ever) wear them over their eyes. This despite the fact that they fly around in a high-speed air vehicle without a windscreen all the time.
- Once Monterey wears his normal flightcap goggles on his head and a second pair actually over his eyes.
- In Teen Titans, it's not really clear why Terra wears goggles. She rarely uses them and they look more like swim goggles than anything. Also, her power involves controlling rocks, which the goggles wouldn't protect against anyway.
- When she rides a rock as she levitates it, the goggles may protect against the wind. They may also protect against dust and dirt that get flung around when she moves rocks.
- Many of the racers of Wacky Races and all four pilots of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (as well as Yankee Doodle Pigeon) have headgear with goggles, but at no time do the goggles go to use protecting the eyes.
- Once in awhile, Wacky Racer Red Max will have his goggles covering his eyes.
- Unlike his teammates who has helmet visors Air Enforcer of the Skysurfer Strike Force has goggles that even in mid-flight he never uses.
- Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist: Jenny, Zap and Tung all wear goggles. Jenny and Zap never wear them over their eyes, while Tung never takes his off his eyes.
- For some time, Drew Carey's glasses were only a prop and did not actually correct his vision; he had eye surgery and didn't need glasses. They're bifocals now, though.
- They did however serve a subtle subtextual purpose : stating that Drew Carey once was a Marine. He only wears BC Gs - the heavy-duty, wide plastic glasses (formerly) issued by the military. Supposedly ugly enough to serve as Birth Control, hence the acronym.
- Neon coloured goggles are popular in rave and Cybergoth culture, purely for aesthetic reasons.
- Ditto Steampunk, though their goggles tend to be more monochrome, made of brass and have gadgets on them.
- Rivethead as well.
- Even Cyberpunk is guilty of this with it's signature mirrorshades- though they might be waiting for display glasses.
- Some pairs of rave goggles even have a grate under the lens, making them harder to see through than shutter shades.
- They can have some use when they are used to mask bits of headgear (such as a headband holding Cyberlox in place) but that is it.
- Appropriately lampshaded in this Gangnam Style parody video. (0:44)
- In certain accessory stores, such as Claire's or Icing, it is possible to buy rectangular-lensed, black-and-neon-framed nerd-looking glasses that do nothing. In fact, because real glasses dirty so easily, unless the buyer polishes them almost constantly they'll partially obscure her vision.
- Some people actually wear these spectacle frames without any lens because of the last sentence.
- US Army soldiers are all issued ballistic safety goggles to protect against dust and shrapnel, and almost ecvery unit has the standard that they be secured to the Kevlar helmet over the special clamp that is used to mount a separate night vision device. This is a uniform standard, but the goggles themselves are difficult to use in this configuration, and likely become deformed, scratched, uncomfortable, or too cumbersome to use as eye protection. With the change in the US army to a brimless helmet, the goggles (normally covered by a cloth sleeve) work better as a brim to shade they eyes than they do when used as intended. Furthermore, soldiers are all issued ballistic sunglasses, which are usually worn (as intended) in addition to the mostly useless goggles on their helmets. The main reason you never see this in TV or movies is that the glasses cause horrible reflection and distortion, and goggles further have a tendency to fog up, making this "protective gear" potentially fatal in combat. Most soldiers will have multiple pairs of goggles and some even use them as intended, but the ones already on the helmet are the least likely to see actual use.
- People's Liberation Army Marine Corps. Never were they once shown wearing their standard issue goggles over their eyes ◊, even when they require eye protection they wear their own, leaving the issued goggles on their helmets/tuques. ◊ Can be justified by the same reasons as the American army example above.
- Ancient Greek soldiers had a habit of tipping their Corinthian helms up to rest on their foreheads for comfort when out of combat. This led to a style of helm known as the Italo-Corinthian, which was meant to be worn as a cap but still had eye holes and a nose-guard that no longer served any purpose whatsoever, other than looking cool.
- Many blind people wear sunglasses.
- Depending on the cause of the blindness, this is often so other people can't see their eyes, for reasons ranging from self-consciousness about not being able to control the direction they're "looking," to not wishing to alarm or distract people.
- Some blind people have perfectly normal and functional eyes, but just can't receive the signals. To avoid actually damaging their eyes from the sun, they wear sunglasses.
- German general Erwin Rommel was always seen wearing a pair of goggles pushed up over his cap. While this was part of his carefully cultivated image as the Desert Fox, the goggles also served a practical function: in the desert in a moving vehicle, sand and grit will be blown back into your face and eyes. Especially in vehicles where the glass windscreen has been removed as dangerous and impractical (it reflects the sun, and if hit will throw glass fragments around). For that reason, sand goggles were widely issued to both sides. Rommel continued to wear his sand goggles in Italy and France, where the practical need for them was a lot less.