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Making a Spectacle of Yourself

Of all the hideously disfigured spectacles I have ever beheld... those perched on the end of this man's nose remain forever pasted into the album of my memory."

There are Cool Shades and there are Sinister Shades. There are Nerd Glasses and there are Meganekko glasses. And then there are these.

Perhaps it's the bright pink lenses. Perhaps it's the rhinestone-encrusted frames. Perhaps it's the way they jut out several feet from the wearer's face. Whatever it is these glasses have, the one thing they do not have is subtlety.

These glasses come in a mix-and-match variety of styles, depending on the effect the costume department is going for:
  • Coloured lenses mark out the user as eccentric or different - bonus points for having two different colours for the lenses.
  • Shaped lenses can give the wearer a very 1970s aesthetic, especially if they are star or heart shaped.
  • Fancy frames make the wearer seem kitsch or out-of-touch - the more decorated the glasses, the campier the individual.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is famous for Kamina's over-the-top jagged orange shades, which have gone on to inspire an internet meme.
    • Kamina's shades aren't even the most spectacular ones. They get topped about twenty episodes later with Simon's Kamina/Kittan homage shades. And this all ignoring the ones some of the mecha wear.
    • Little known fact: Pokémon's Squirtle was wearing the pointed shades a good decade before Kamina ever donned them.
  • Togano Shozo of Eyeshield 21 sports a pair of oversized, orange-tinted sunglasses that somehow manage to escape notice or mention throughout the entirety of the series thus far.
    • During his first few appearances (before getting a more consistent design), jerk jock Agon sported cheetah print framed shades. Apparently, everyone in this series is oblivious to silly sunglasses.
  • Harry Ord of ∀ Gundam is constantly wearing gigantic, bright red sunglasses with no visible frames that look kind of like bug eyes. They are primarily there to serve as a mask, as is necessary for the series' resident Char Clone.

Comic Books
  • Spider Jerusalem of Transmetropolitan. One lens red, the other green. One lens round, the other square.
    • Peter Fox sports a similar pair of shades, which every member of his family hates to his relief: "Finally, a pair of shades no one wants to borrow."
  • Calvin once tried to get his mother to buy him a pair of sunglasses that were apparently picked up by Kamina years later.

Film
  • The heart-shaped sunglasses from the poster for Stanley Kubrick's Lolita.
  • Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (red glass)
  • Meg Ryan in The Doors (blue hippie glasses)
  • In Terminator 3, Arnold ends up stealing his usual all-black & leather outfit from a gay male stripper and tries on a pair of gaudy star-shaped sunglasses that he finds in the pocket. He then takes them off and steps on them as he walks off.
  • In the movie Mannequin, Hollywood Montrose is a Flamboyant Gay with the ultra 80's boxtop haircut and some really odd asymmetrical sunglasses.
  • In Back to the Future, one of Biff's gang always wears 3-D glasses.
    • The 2015 metal glasses Doc Brown wears would qualify, as well.
  • In the alternate history of National Treasure, Benjamin Franklin invented a special pair of colonial spectacles (known as the "Ocular Device") to help treasure hunters read a clue on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Their oddity comes from the fact that it sports not just two, but SIX lenses, four of which are attached steampunk style to the frames, and three of THOSE lenses are colored red, green, and blue.

Literature
  • One of Count Olaf's disguises in A Series of Unfortunate Events features oversized sunglasses. Esmé's "sunoculars" in a later book are a more extreme example— they combine sunglass lenses with huge binoculars.
  • Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter.
    • Also Luna Lovegood in her spectrespecs.
  • The shades occasionally worn by Ray Person in Generation Kill are themselves mild compared to the other examples here, but become quite silly when worn by a US Marine in fatigues/MOPP gear invading Iraq while explaining the finer points of life in the Corps ("We pimpin'") or hitting on hot Iraqi women. It was enough for Person plus his shades to be the miniseries' cover.

Live Action Television
  • The Saturday Night Live sketches "Coffee Talk with Linda Richman" has Linda Richman (Mike Myers) wearing outrageously large tinted glasses.
  • In Twin Peaks, the lenses of Dr. Jacoby's glasses have different colors.
  • In several episodes of Are You Being Served?, Mr Humphries is seen wearing Elton John-style glasses. In the episode "Grounds for Divorce", he and Mr Spooner are under instructions to push sales of such glasses, but their attempts to appeal to a customer backfire as he instead sells Mr Humphries his own rainbow plastic-framed glasses for Ł5.
  • David Dickinson, original host of Bargain Hunt, often wore glasses with rainbow plastic frames.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki (and his US counterpart) have an entire facemask resembling Kanye Shades overlaying the typical Kamen Rider red bug eyes.
  • UK Excited Kids' Show Host Timmy Mallett.
  • In Quantum Leap, Al occasionally wears a pair of red, lightning-bolt-shaped shades.
  • The vicar wears a big, glittery red pair that says "BOOB" (with the lenses as the 'o's) in The Vicar of Dibley, during the episode where they're expecting Elton John to open the Dibley village fair.
    Geraldine: (sees herself in the mirror as she goes to answer the door) Well, obviously not! (takes them off)
  • One of the villains on the Sid and Marty Krofft superheroine series Electra Woman And Dyna Girl was evil musician Glitter Rock, who wore, among other things, enormous star-shaped sunglasses.

Music and Music Video
  • Kanye West's 'Shutter Shades' from "Stronger".
  • Lady Gaga does it in her 'Poker Face' and 'Bad Romance' music videos
    • Apparently, Lady Gaga wears specs like this all the time.
    • In 'Telephone', she wears glasses made of burning cigarettes.
    • And in 'Bad Romance', they're made of razor blades.
    • 'Alejandro' has her wearing goggles with black lace-covered lenses. Given the other examples, though, that's downright normal.
      • Did you see the Nice Hat they were attached to? They count.
  • Bono from U2, after 1991.
  • Bootsy Collins.
  • John Conlee. Like Damon Gant and Porter C Powell, listed above he also has a pair of pink glasses (actually rose colored but close enough), the glasses actually appear on the covers for 3 of his albums (album pictures can be viewed by clicking on above link)
  • Axl Rose wears pink glasses in the video for "November Rain".
  • Freddie Mercury wore some sweet star-shaped glasses in the video for "We will rock you".

Pinball
  • The woman on the backglass of Earthshaker! is wearing a pair of pink, banana-shaped glasses with plastic stars on the tips.

Video Games
  • Miror B's ridiculous star-shaped sunglasses in the Pokémon Colosseum games definitely apply.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Chief of Police Damon Gant and his hot pink sunglasses.
    • There's also Godot, who wears a futuristic three-slatted One-Way Visor. Phoenix is afraid to approach him until he's sure Godot's visor can't fire lasers.
  • Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes wears a variety of coloured shades...his default one are 'Sunflower Yellow', but they're also available in Peony Pink, Cobalt Blue, Pumking Seed Orange, and - if you're feeling particularly boring - traditional grey.
  • Academician Prokhor Zakharov from Alpha Centauri wears boat-light glasses. As literally as possible-one lens is red, the other is green (except their directions are reversed: his glasses are red on the right and green on the left, whereas a boat is the other way around).
  • Tabitha, the recurring guest on the Black Mountain Radio broadcast in Fallout: New Vegas wears pink, heart-shaped glasses with one lens missing, and a blonde babydoll wig with a red ribbon (referred to as her "truth-seeing eye" and "head of real hair"). Seeing as Tabitha is a hulking, overmuscled, blue-skinned supermutant with few definite sexual characteristics and the voice of a longtime smoker gargling gravel, it might be a desperate attempt to hold on to any vestiges of feminine identity. Being terminally insane plays some part, as well.

Web Comics
  • Helen B. Narbon is almost never seen without her little pink glasses. Well, except when she was turning into Dave.
  • Homestuck has several characters with sunglasses that are combined with phones/PDAs. Even before this upgrade, there are still characters in 3D-colored shades, red cats-eye lenses, and black Kamina/Squirtle shades.

Web Original
  • Lee Phillips from KateModern is very fond of bizarre sunglasses. His favourite pair are pink, with guitar-shaped frames.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Pictured above: Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight aka Elton John is famous for these, and they appear in every parody of him. See many of them here
  • Dame Edna's glasses, with glitter stars hanging from the corners.
  • While not as gaudy as most examples, UK snooker player Dennis Taylor was noted for wearing outsized glasses. Apparently this served a purpose - he wasn't looking over them when lining up his shot. (These days virtually all professionals opt for contacts or laser surgery, although glasses are one of the few optional items that are actually permitted by the very strict snooker dress code.)
  • Anaglyph 3D glasses, aka "those shades with the red and blue / green lenses." Not very many people wear them as a fashion statement, but those who do are probably going for this trope.


Lennon SpecsGlasses TropesMegane
Mailer DaemonJust for PunMalcolm Xerox
Elton JohnImageSource/MusicJoy Division
Magical AccessoryCostume TropesMalevolent Masked Men

alternative title(s): Impossibly Tacky Eyewear
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