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Sinister Shades

Where Scary Shiny Glasses meets Cool Shades. Usually they hide the malice from the eyes of the one wearing them. If you're Making a Spectacle of Yourself, invoking this trope will fail horribly.

Examples are numerous, including The Men in Black, members of secret societies, CIA workers, Yakuza, sinister police officers, Agents in the Matrix films... you get the picture. Not always associated with villainous characters but usually a deliberate attempt to intimidate, so chances are that if a hero wears these, they're an example of Good Is Not Nice if not a full Anti-Hero.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The godhand Ubrik from Berserk.
  • Rubel in Claymore has really big round ones.
  • Yamaki of Digimon Tamers, even after he finishing his Heel-Face Turn. It's kind of telling that they either come off or lighten up when he's doing something good.
  • Jerk Jock Agon Kongo from Eyeshield 21 sports some nifty sports goggles, helps that they're opaque most of the time.
    • The shades in question are also nefariously expensive (they're Oakley Juliet sports goggles). Shades of evil indeed.
    • Subverted with Akaba, who even combines these with red eyes, but is actually a nice, if eccentric person.
  • Smith from Future GPX Cyber Formula is never seen without them, even when he dies after his helicopter crashes.
  • Alucard in Hellsing has these as part of his initial look, but, strangely enough, as he becomes more threatening, he loses them.
  • Char Aznable, originally of Mobile Suit Gundam, sports these in Zeta Gundam. He and his Clones tend to alternate between these and Cool Mask.
  • Shino from Naruto is rarely, if ever seen without his shades. The same goes with his dad, or anyone from the Aburame family, for that matter. Given they host insects inside their bodies, this has lead to some unpleasant speculation as to why, exactly, we never see their eyes.
  • Gendo Ikari practically revels in this. He's only shown without them in flashbacks; their lack doesn't make him any less scary though.
  • Admiral Kizaru of One Piece has these.
  • As of BW, Jessie, James, and Meowth of Pokémon have been doing this a lot. They've also lately been approaching competent.
    • Pokemon Hunter J before them also had these.
  • Yukishiro Enishi from Rurouni Kenshin.
  • Trigun gives us the little shiny sunglasses Vash puts on when he's about to kick someone's ass.
    • Remarkably the same Cool Shades invoke Megane Bishōnen. In fact, because of the starkness of the character change from the goofball, simply shifting to Stoic Spectacles reaches the border of this trope. The shades can change in the same situations where, if his shades didn't go Sinister, we'd probably see the Glowing Red Eyes Of Doom instead.
  • Kemo (a.k.a. the Hair Guy) from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Bandit Keith as well, where they really enhance the sense of both menace and douchebaggery that he gives off.
    • Don't forget Croquet, Pegasus's right-hand man.
  • Younger Toguro in YuYu Hakusho.
  • The Black Organization members, Vodka and Korn from Detective Conan are never seen without them; the only time when Vodka doesn't wear his shades is when he was masked in a costume party. Their colleague, Calvados, wore sunglasses, too, but We Hardly Knew Him.

    Comicbooks 

    Fan Works 
  • In a James Bond Fan Film ''Property Of A Lady, an unnamed enforcer sent to spring the trap on Bond wears these alongside the black suit.

    Film 
  • Peter Cook as the Devil in Bedazzled (1967) wears sinister looking 'mod' sunglasses along with a tuxedo, cape, and red socks.
  • The antagonist of The Book of Eli, is Carnegie the tyrannical ruler of a small town in post-apocalyptic America. He has a pair he wears to cover his eyes from the UV light.
  • Bryan Cranston's kidnapper character wears particularly sinister orange-shaded glasses in Cold Comes The Night.
  • The prison guard in Cool Hand Luke wears a pair of sinister shades while watching the prisoners in the hot sun.
  • Fender Tremolo in Cyborg is nearly all the time sporting his pair of 80's vintage black, dirty shades. And believe it or not, he's much better on with these however creepy he is. You really don't want to see what lies behind them.
  • The assassin in Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster.
  • Discussed in In the Line of Fire; Clint Eastwood's character is asked why he doesn't wear shades, like the rest of the agents, while standing post. He replies that he likes to get a good look at people's eyes. Given that he has the classic Eastwood Death Glare in his arsenal, adding shades might actually make him less intimidating. The other agents in the film all follow right along with this trope, though.
  • Paul Yau, the hitman hired to replace the title character of John Woo's The Killer, had a pair of these.
  • In 1945's Leave Her To Heaven, the pathologically jealous and evil Ellen Harland (Gene Tierney) dons a pair of these just prior to letting her husband's disabled kid brother drown in a lake.
  • As mentioned above, the Agents in The Matrix. Also Morpheus, when he was still mysterious and vaguely threatening. They're deliberately shed whenever the character's meant to be vulnerable.
  • Sheriff Cooley from O Brother, Where Art Thou??. He's implied to be the devil, and in close-ups on his face firelight is often reflected in his shades.
  • Parodied in Out of Sight where the two protagonists drive around and spot a number of undercover FBI agents watching them... due to the fact they all wear identical sunglasses.
  • The cop who wakes up Marion Crane from sleeping in her car in Psycho dons a pair of these.
  • Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2. This is explained away in the novelized version, as Octavius was left with very light-sensitive eyes after the tritium exploded.
  • Soultaker stars Martin Sheen's brother as a Cool Shades-wearing Grim Reaper who falls in love with the leading lady/scriptwriter. The SOL Crew insisted upon singing "Sunglasses At Night" to mock this.
  • Every portrayal of a Highway Patrol officer has him wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses. The T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a prime example.
  • Masai in The Warriors.

    Literature 
  • The Tonton Macoutes wear these in Graham Greene's The Comedians.
  • Depending on the person wearing them and the reader's point of view, the sports glasses Daemon operatives use are this, Cool Shades or maybe even both. Not to mention having a number of functions besides looking cool and/or intimidating.
  • The Ankh-Morpork banking community wear these in Making Money, as seen on the cover.
  • One of the anarchists in G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday wears a pair of them. Deliberately. With them, he's terrifying to behold. Without them, he's cheerful and ordinary.
  • In Joyce Carol Oates short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Arnold Friend, a creep who forcefully persuades The Protagonist to accompany him in his car for unknown-but-probably-nefarious purposes wears a pair of mirrored aviator shades that hide his true self, and true age; he's much older than he appears, and much less innocent than Connie thought...

    Live-Action TV 

    Theatre 
  • Commander Khashoggi, the head of the Secret Police in We Will Rock You.
    • In the Toronto version of the musical, he is also shown to have two different colored eyes, which might explain why he wears them.

    Videogames 
  • Machi Tobaye in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney may be a deliberate subversion, as his shades make him come off as creepy when he really isn't.
  • The Doctor character from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer has mirrored goggles over a White Mask of Doom. The Engineer has proper sunglasses.
  • Khaled Al-Asad in Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare is never seen without his sunglasses.
  • In the first edition of Civilization, when the player was running a modern-age despotism, or their civilization was in "anarchy" between governments, the image of the civ's leaders included a generallisimo-type wearing shades.
  • Jacob Arthur "Danik" in Dead Space 3 wears them "Albert Wesker" style. In other words, he never takes them off. Even when he is in snowy conditions and under the freaking ground, where he would have literally no reason to wear them.
  • Rude (his name, not his description) in Final Fantasy VII has these, making him as scary as possible for being a member of the Goldfish Poop Gang.
    • Rude also seems to carry around multiple pairs. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, his shades get stepped on, so he just pulls another one out of this jacket pocket.
  • God Hand has Azel, the Devil Hand, probably as a Shout-Out to the aforementioned Albert Wesker, since both characters were created by Capcom and specifically, Shinji Mikami.
  • In Resident Evil, Albert goddamn Wesker. Eventually, it's to cover up with bizarrely inhuman eyes, but mostly they're just there to be rockin', especially since he did it before he got them and why he wore them in the lab, so yeah; it's mostly to be badass.
    • Funnily enough, these bite him in the bum during his final appearance in 5. Despite all his mutagenic augmentations by that point in his career, for some reason merely shutting off the lights (in an area that wouldn't even be described as "poorly lit" anyway) can confuse him and leave him vulnerable for no reason other than his choice of eyewear, it seems.
  • The World Ends with You gives us Megumi "Shades" Kitaniji. Sinister indeed.

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 
  • Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum always wears black Willy Wonka-style goggles.
  • The Shadow Men, Chessmasters of Broken Saints, both sport these, as does sleaze ball strip club owner Mars, whose shades are red and glowing.
  • Doctor Steel is never seen without his antique dark welding goggles (which in one of his music videos, reflect flames).
  • Michelle Clore of KateModern wears these, as does Kate when under her influence.
    • Let's not forget "Dr. Specialist", either.
  • lonelygirl15 loves this trope. Lucy, Virgil, and various Shadows, Deacons and hired thugs all wear these.
  • Bridget in Sorority Forever has worn these on occasion.
  • While in his disguise as a kebab restaurant clerk during the Lovers mini-arc in Vaguely Recalling JoJo, Steely Dan wears a pair of shades.

    Western Animation 
  • In the first G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero miniseries, the Baroness wears sunglasses before switching to regular ones in the next one.
  • Bad Cop of The LEGO Movie wears a pair of shades while his Good Cop side wears simple glasses.
  • Protoman had these in the Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon; at a few points, we could see Mega reflected in them as he was about to sneak up on him.
  • Heather was introduced with these on Total Drama Island, complete with scary background music.
  • Colonel Franklin and his men wore Sunglasses at Night at the beginning of Transformers Cybertron. He wore them less after he was revealed as a good guy rather than a sinister government agent.

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life, the US Secret Service goes for the Sinister Shades look on purpose, to discourage anyone from messing with their "protectees". They also do it so they can stare at someone without being noticed, i.e. no one knows where they are looking.
    • One additional reason they wear sunglasses is so that their eyes are adjusted to the light when they go indoors. Inside agents almost never wear sunglasses, it’s just that most of the time they are seen they are outdoors and therefore this trope exists.
  • The late Reverend Jim Jones wore them to hide the evilness in his eyes.
  • Serial killer Richard Ramirez wore shades in the courtroom.
  • The late Kim Jong-Il, the previous leader of North Korea. The ruthless dictator wore them to look even more menacing. Well, to try to look the part anyway - it wasn't all that successful. The shades didn't make up for the fact that he was short, fat, and unbelievably goofy looking, though. Unless you were actually under his heel, it's pretty hard to find him scary, especially after Team America: World Police.
  • Muammar Gaddafi, the former dictator of Libya, was frequently photographed wearing them in the past few years. It works roughly as well for him as it does for Kim Jong-il.
  • This (in)famous photo of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is probably the very definition of this trope.
  • Blogger and self-admitted pedophile Jack McClellan claims that he wears the sunglasses because of the studio's lighting. Steve Wilkos makes him take them off.
  • U.S. soldiers in the The War on Terror. Though probably worn primarily for practical reasons (against the desert sun and as ballistic protective eyewear) they were certainly intimidating enough to inspire urban legends, which say that they give their wearers X-Ray Vision.
  • This was one of Lou Reed's visual trademarks.

Cool ShadesGlasses TropesSunglasses at Night
Sickbed SlayingThe Index Is Watching YouSinister Surveillance
Sinister MinisterVillainsSissy Villain
Showgirl SkirtCostume TropesSkeletons in the Coat Closet
Samurai CowboyImageSource/Video GamesResident Evil

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