- Chunky black plastic (tape on the bridge optional), sometimes chunky tortoiseshell plastic instead—as worn by the classic Hollywood Nerd, though these have lately come back into fashion again, style being a Cyclic Trope.
- Coke-bottle glasses so thick they're opaque—have their own page at Opaque Nerd Glasses
- Unflatteringly large glasses poorly proportioned to the wearer's face—often with thin frames; in live-action these have the advantage that they don't block the wearer's face
- Old-fashioned round hornrims—sign of an Absentminded Professor or academic-nerd
- Half-moon glasses—around the 50's, these were the eyewear of choice for the original nerds, although nowadays they're more of an old lady librarian style
- Browline glasses—a two-piece frame with thick plastic upper frames and thin wire lower frames popular in the fifties and sixties. Most often seen on highly intelligent and well-read types, or people who like to think they are.
- "Cat-eye" glasses—once ultra-fashionable for women in the 50's, now usually restricted to lady nerds (and the occasional hipster)—unless they have rhinestones or are purple, in which case they are Impossibly Tacky Eyewear.
- Repaired glasses—broken frames held together by a shoddy repair job involving improvised materials like paper clips and adhesive tape.
Examples of thick-framed Nerd Glasses:
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Ouran High School Host Club: Haruhi is introduced wearing thick black frames that are a clue to her frugal and resolutely practical nature—she normally wears contacts, so why waste money on fashionable glasses? They also serve to the make The Glasses Gotta Go more dramatic by disguising her "secret identity" as a girl.
- Saruhiko Fushimi, SCEPTER 4's resident hacker (and third-in-command) wears the thick black frames kind. They don't get in the way of his good looks, though.
- Sgt. Frog: Kululu.
Films — Animation
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
- Unsurprisingly, it's a trait for some of the Techies, like Scribble Dee (large, brown-rimmed round ones) and Micro Chips (thick, black-rimmed square ones). Also lean into Eye Glasses with their eyes occupying the whole lenses.
- Human-world Twilight Sparkle wears these in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games. Unlike her pony counterpart, she really needs those as she's Blind Without Them. Adjusting Your Glasses is a Character Tic for her.
Films — Live-Action
- The titular Eddie from Eddie The Eagle. The real life Eddie Edwards wears these too.
- From Russia with Love has Rosa Klebb wearing particularly hideous thick-framed and thick-lensed glasses in many scenes.
- Rick Vaughn, in Major League, was fitted with these, curing the vision problem that got him branded with the nickname "Wild Thing". Although the glasses didn't hurt his persona and still had fangirls (and, oddly, fanboys).
- Revenge of the Nerds: Nerd-in-denial Lewis Skolnick has thick black half-frame glasses.
- Arnie Cunningham from Christine wears thick black glasses; later on, they're broken by school bullies and fixed with the stereotypical white tape. Even later, however, after Christine has made him cool, he discards them altogether.
- Doctor Who, with the Tenth Doctor's Purely Aesthetic Glasses.
- The Big Bang Theory: In a cast chockablock with Hollywood Nerds, Leonard is the only character to wear Nerd Glasses, in the "thick black plastic" variety.
- Interestingly, the Finnish name for it happens to be Rillit huurussa which literally means 'Frosted glasses'.
- Young Reid in Criminal Minds and adult Reid, too, in the earlier seasons.
- Stargate SG-1: Whenever Samantha Carter appears in an Alternate Universe scenario, she tends to have this. One dorky Alternate Timeline Daniel also had thick-framed nerd glasses, to contrast with the regular glasses the character wears, which were large-framed nerd glasses — but by this point in the series, Daniel had undergone enough character development to no longer be dorky, and to emphasize the extreme dorkiness of the alternate version they needed something different.
- Early in the run of the show, Adam Savage of Mythbusters wore large, chunky plastic glasses that even other members of the team called 'coke-bottle lenses'. He wears smaller frames in more recent seasons, but they're still thick, black plastic.
- The X-Files: The Doll Episode "Chinga" had a Sadist Teacher named Jane who slapped an autistic girl because she had a tantrum (true, she was a Creepy Child with a Perverse Puppet, but still) and would like to burn her mother. Jane's glasses exhibited nearly every feature of the Nerd Glasses: very unflattering, with thick coke-bottled lenses and strangely-shaped large chunky frames. Could she be more unlikeable?
- Sloane, the Hot Scoop in The Newsroom, occasionally wears thick-framed and unstylish glasses while dressed down to remind us that she's a nerd. While not wearing them, she's usually very fashionable.
- When Drew Carey did a behind the scenes segment for his show, The Drew Carey Show, he mentions that he needs to get in costume. He then simply switches from a pair of wire-rim glasses to his iconic Nerd glasses.
- Lily on Series/Hannah Montana has worn these during an Unwanted Glasses Plot.
- The Flash (2014):
- Dr Harrison Wells wears glasses with thick plastic rims that are black on the upper half and clear on the lower half. They manage to suit him very well, despite being obvious nerd glasses that help to indicate that he is a genius even compared to the other highly intellectual characters. Flashbacks to before Eobard Thawne killed and replaced the original Harrison show him wearing similar glasses with completely clear frames that look significantly dorkier.
- Wells' Earth-2 doppelgänger wears similar glasses, although he tends to save them for when he's working in the lab. As a more action-oriented character, he often goes glasses-less.
- Hartley Rathaway and Martin Stein are the only other characters anywhere close to Wells' intellectual league, and they also wear black plastic glasses.
- Elvis Costello, at least early in his career, when he seemed to be consciously projecting an awkward/Buddy Holly style.
- Buddy Holly chose thick, black frames for his glasses after deciding that he could not perform without them, so he'd better make them a part of his image.
- Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.
- John Frusciante, formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers, never wore the glasses onstage with the band, but off stage and in most of other performances, they're almost always present.
- Jarvis Cocker alternated between these and contact lenses during Pulp's heyday. Nowdays, the specs are an integral part of his image.
- Morrissey, occasionally.
- Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. You may notice that the band tends to dress identically, save Mark with his glasses/goggles; this is because he has been legally blind since a child and can't see much without them.
- John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants wears these most of the time, so much that it became part of his image. His bandmate, John Linnell, later started wearing the glasses but unlike Flansburgh, he usually doesn't wear them on stage or in publicity photos.
- The Proclaimers are famous for not only being identical twins with near identical singing voices, but both wear the same glasses too. Poor eyesight is particularly common in Scotland where the band is from, compared to the rest of the UK, so this is something of a fitting trope.
- Gordon Freeman from Half-Life has a pair of these. However, instead of losing them once he starts ripping zombies apart with a crowbar, he keeps them and becomes a Badass Bookworm.
- Ernie Eaglebeak from The Spellcasting Series.
- In Fallout: New Vegas the Four Eyes trait increases the Courier's Perception with glasses, but decreases it without them.
- Mid Previa of Final Fantasy V, whom the party meets in the Ancient Library, wears glasses with thick orange frames. They also have very large lenses.
- Jack wears an astoundingly huge pair of these with his Hat of Authority in Cave Story.
- Sheldon from Splatoon is the owner of the local weapons store. He wears thick, binocular-looking glasses.
- Formerly sold as a rare cosmetic item in Animal Jam.
- An unusual case of Purely Aesthetic Glasses appears in Persona 5: After the Miscarriage of Justice that lands the protagonist on probation at the start of the story, he starts wearing big, clunky circular glasses to appear more mild-mannered. He takes them off when reading, whenever he's in the Velvet Room, and whenever he's in the Palace, and he can see perfectly fine without them. An actual case where the user does legitimately need glasses, meanwhile, is the extremely shy and anxiety-ridden Futaba Sakura, a programming prodigy and nerdy gamer who spends all of her time on the computer.
- Jeff of EarthBound wears the classic thick square frames. They go well with his suit and bowtie and bowl cut, and he's a Gadgeteer Genius extraordinare. They're also Opaque Nerd Glasses, as seen on both his clay model and sprite.
- Eridan from Homestuck, contributing to his Hipster appearance. You could make a case for John and Jake having this type of too, though to a lesser degree.
- Played with, with Gary of Ménage à 3. He's certainly a geek, if not much of a nerd, and he wears glasses with black plastic frames. But, in keeping with his general adorkable image, they're relatively neat and don't look too bad on him.
- Tarvek in ''Girl Genius" wore one of these as a child.
- Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter has thick framed glasses that double as Eye Glasses. He is also a Child Prodigy and Science Hero and owns a huge underground laboratory. Dexter's rival Mandark wears thick framed glasses as well.
- Recess: Butt Monkey Gus Griswald is a stereotypical geek kid with high-water pants and thick-framed glasses, His dad also wears similar glasses, and while not smart he is definitely dorky.
- Rugrats and All Grown Up!: Chuckie has glasses with extremely thick frames, although as a preliterate child his nerdiness is primarily manifest in his visual appearance (Rummage Sale Reject and later braces) and more timid personality.
- Tina, the awkward oldest daughter of Bob Belcher of Bob's Burgers wears them.
- Jérémie Belpois, the Teen Genius and Mission Control from Code Lyoko. Not too thick, but noticeable.
- Velma on Scooby-Doo. She's just not Velma without them.
- As revealed via flashback Peter Parker from The Spectacular Spider-Man used to have these.
- Mort, Muriel, and Neil Goldman from Family Guy.
- Steve Smith of American Dad! In the unaired pilot he had much nerdier looking round glasses, but for the main series they were retooled into rectangular black framed ones, resembling what are commonly known as emo or hipster glasses. He is mentioned as being far-sighted yet doesn't seem to have a problem seeing without them on the occasion that he breaks them. It is likely he exaggerates his condition because he feels smarter wearing them.
- Shelton Klutzberry in The Replacements. In one episode it's revealed they're so heavy they cripple his posture and distort his voice; without them he instantly turns into an unwilling Chick Magnet.
- New US military recruits who report to their respective boot camps are not allowed to wear any prescription eyewear they bring with them. Within the first week, they are prescribed a pair of durable yet unflattering thick brown specs called BC (birth control) glasses (or, alternately, BCDs, for BC Devices or BCG for Birth Control Goggles). So named because wearing them in public is the surest form of birth control known to man.
- Comedian Drew Carey, who did a hitch in the Marines, has made this type of glasses part of his public persona. Lampshaded in the (full) second opening of The Drew Carey Show, where Drew's glasses are broken and by his friend's advice he replaces them by going to the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and stealing Buddy Holly's.
- Adam Savage of MythBusters wears this style of glasses while filming, though he tends to wear more subdued glasses when off the set. Fridge Brilliance or Fan Wank: That particular style of glasses would also grant him some additional protection in the occasional event where something might explode.
- Mac Lesggy, host of the French science show E=m6, still wears thick-framed glasses, though they are now tamer than his once-iconic zebra-framed glasses.◊
Examples of large-framed glasses:
Anime & Manga
- Ping Pong: Sakuma, and to a lesser extent Smile.
- Extraverted Nerd Steve Urkel from Family Matters.
- Bill from Freaks and Geeks wears them.
- Child Prodigy Galina on Daddy's Daughters wears giant glasses.
- Uncle Junior on The Sopranos wears these. Dominic Chianese, who played Junior, said that these glasses pretty much were Junior.
- Dr. Daniel Jackson, the Adventurer Archaeologist of Stargate SG-1, wears large wire-framed glasses. In fact, looking at how the use of Daniel's glasses changed over time is an interesting way to visualize his character development. His initial characterization was as a naive, dorky academic and the unfashionable hair and glasses emphasize this, but over time as the character toughens up, many of the "dorkiness markers" are dropped. By the last few seasons, Daniel apparently wears contacts 20-30% of the time, and finally in season 10 his glasses are replaced with more fashionable ones, which fits with the Badass Bookworm character type he has picked up.
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Ragtag", agents Coulson and May wear these as part of their "nerdy executive" disguise when visiting Cybertek.
- Eugene, Matt Santoro's clone, wears these.
Examples of round hornrims:
Films - Animated
- Randall Boggs had a pretty magnificent pair in the prequel Monsters University (taking place before he became a villain) that made him look positively Adorkable. Unfortunately, he stopped wearing them less than a minute into his first appearance because his roommate Mike Wazowski said it gave away his camouflage ability. He thus spends the rest of the movie (and Monsters, Inc.) squinting to compensate for his impaired vision.
Films — Live-Action
- X-Men: Dr. Hank McCoy wears the horn-rimmed variety in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, which in his case is a visual cue that he's a geeky academic.
- Guy Johnson can barely see out of the ones he stole from a Boy Scout in It's a Wonderful World
- In Bringing Up Baby, Cary Grant plays a clumsy paleontologist with nerdy Harry Potter-like glasses.
- In A Foreign Affair, Phoebe Frost (played by Jean Arthur) wears unflattering, round-ish horn rims.
- Ultra-stickler Percy in the Harry Potter novels.
- Lloyd of EarthBound Beginnings wears the round glasses, and they double as Opaque Nerd Glasses. He's extremely pasty, with a strong interest in computer software, and a he's frequent target of bullying at his elementary school. The MOTHER Encyclopedia mentions that they're his prized possession and that he's never seen without them, and that's a point of pride for him.
- Actor Harold Lloyd first helped popularize horn-rimmed glasses in America in the 1920s.
Examples of cat-eye glasses:
- Lisa Loeb's glasses are a major part of her public image.
- Ghoulia Yelps of Monster High.
- Aranea of Homestuck is a lady nerd and exhibits 1970s fashion sense.
- Tootie of The Fairly OddParents!.
- Marlena Gru of Despicable Me wears such glasses in a form of Impossibly Tacky Eyewear because of its gaudy design.
- Emma of Four Eyes! who is also the star wears such a pair.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity wears these when she's working.
- Ron Stoppable's mom, and a few other female characters, tend to wear these kinds of specs in Kim Possible.
- As mentioned above, these were very popular in the 50s for women up to the early 70s. Many famous stars sported wearing these as well. Nowadays, they indicate someone who is hopelessly, intentionally or "ironically" note unfashionable.
- Marilyn Monroe is the first star to come to mind when sporting your run of the mill 50s lady, glasses and all◊. But it's far from nerdy as far as she's concerned.
- Dame Edna's "face furniture"◊.
Examples of repaired glasses:
Films — Live-Action
Examples of other types of Nerd glasses
Films — Live-Action
- The TRON films go a little wild with these. Aside from Flynn and Dillinger, almost every other human member of the cast has thick, very 80's nerd glasses. Justified as this is a software and electronics company, and Exploited Trope in the first film as the thick glasses help distinguish the human Users from their cyberspace counterparts, but Downplayed as of TRON: Legacy's ARG as Lora apparently got contacts or Lasik, Alan's frames are wire-rim and more subdued, and Roy (in the extras) still has a pair of coke bottle glasses.
- Black Sails: 18th century pirate Dufresne wears small, round, wire-framed glasses, which establish him as the ship's nerdy, noncombative accountant.
- In Lois and Clark Clark's glasses were originally a set of dark brown tortoiseshell browline glasses. In later seasons he switched to a more modern and stylish pair that didn't work nearly as well at hiding his identity.