[[quoteright:350:[[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/homestarglasses_205.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[TheDitz Homestar]] tries his hardest to [[SubvertedTrope subvert this trope.]]]]

->'''Customer:''' I like these glasses. They make me look more smarter!
->'''Customerís boyfriend:''' Yeah, well looks can be deceiving.
-->-- ''[[Website/NotAlwaysRight Not Always Romantic]]''

In the media, smart characters have a tendency to wear glasses. The association with the HollywoodNerd archetype helps in modern works, although this trope is possibly older than that. May be TruthInTelevision, as some say that since smarter people typically do more reading, they place more strain on their eyes and are more likely to develop myopia (nearsightedness). [[http://www.infoniac.com/science/people-wearing-glasses-more-intelligent.html Some studies]] have gone so far as to claim that myopia itself is linked with open-mindedness and intelligence. On the other hand, glasses are expensive, so people wearing them will not risk them in sports or fights (but some may use contact lens instead).

In {{anime}}, there is a commonly-used variant of this called [[FanNickname Glasses-Kun]]: [[TheLancer A Lancer]] who has black hair, is taller than TheProtagonist, is ''always'' smarter than the main character, is relatively quiet, somewhat broody, and wears glasses.

In RealLife, there are lots of different types of people who wear glasses, but in fiction they are more rare. This is due to problems such as glare from the cameras in Live Action media, difficulty reading facial expressions, etc., and is the reason why when such characters are present it seems more significant. As proven by the examples, it is also why this trope occurs more so in Live Action, animated programming, and other pictorial media and less so in literature; it's a visual cue to the audience that the character is intelligent, yet is used sparingly because of the aforementioned difficulties involved.

This trope is an inherent part of TheGlassesGottaGo and BeautifulAllAlong, and often HollywoodNerd. {{Supertrope}} to NerdGlasses. The invoked form of this is PurelyAestheticGlasses. Compare TheShortGuyWithGlasses.

!!Examples:
!!'''Please do not list aversions, seeing as then it would be just a list of characters with glasses'''

[[AC:Advertising]]
* Explicit use of the trope as symbolism: Ads for the mental-exercise website Lumosity show people giving testimonials while various background and foreground animations appear. In one of them, glasses are drawn on the speaker's face as she says the site helps her stay sharp.

[[AC:AnimeAndManga]]
* Ishida Uryuu from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' wears glasses and is number one in his class. He also perfectly fits the description for a "glasses-kun". He takes after his father, Ryuuken, who also wears glasses and ends up being revealed to be so intelligent he can keep up with ''Urahara''. To put that into perspective, even the hyperintelligent Big Bad Aizen admits that Urahara is the most intelligent shinigami alive. Urahara first realised Ryuuken was capable of keeping up with him when Ryuuken was only a teenager, and was stunned.
* ''[[Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead Highschool of the Dead]]'' doesn't reveal that Saya wears glasses until the second chapter, when she finally removes her contact lenses. But wastes no time in establishing her as the smartest girl at Fujimi High, by illustrating her analytical and decision making abilities right from the start. In addition, she not only serves as [[TheSmartGuy the brain]] of Takashi's group, she's usually [[MrExposition the one to provide exposition as well.]]
* Both Franz Heinel and Shinsuke Maki in ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula''. One is a GadgeteerGenius with cars and a computer expert, and the other is a computer machinist who makes computer games in his free time.
* Played with in ''anime/DetectiveConan''. Shinichi is already very smart without glasses, but as Conan, he wears glasses so he wouldn't be recognized as a younger version of Shinichi.
* Minamo Kurokawa and Chika Kodama in ''Manga/YubisakiMilkTea'', who are best and second best of their year, both wear glasses. Later Hidari Morii who Minamo teached as well.
* In ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia,'' America's glasses are a hint that he isn't as stupid as he seems. One of his hobbies turns out to be archaeology.
* Firo invokes this trope in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!''. After taking the position of the [[TheMafia Martillo Family]] bookkeeper, he immediately takes to wearing a pair of PurelyAestheticGlasses. Why? Because he's doing a smart-person job now, so he has to look smart (and because he wants to look slightly less like the [[CompleteImmortality perpetual teenager he is]]).
* In ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaInnocent'', Stern Starks, who is this AlternateUniverse's version of the [[VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable Material]] [[TheSmartGuy of Wisdom]], is depicted as regularly wearing glasses in the real world.
* {{Defied|trope}} in ''Manga/{{Yuyushiki}}'', where the local DitzyGenius Yuzuko said she doesn't usually wear glasses since she does not want to appear too smart.
* Hazuki Fujiwara from ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'', the resident [[TheSmartGuy smart girl]] in TheTeam, wears glasses and consistently makes very high grades in school. She is able to use those smarts to help solve issues in the series as well.
* Kyoya of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' is the one that keeps the club afloat and one of the highest ranking students in the school. Naturally, he wears glasses.
** Haruhi is also explicitly described as exceptionally intelligent. She initially wore glasses in the series until Tamaki insisted on replacing them with contact lenses.
* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' plays it completely straight on numerous occasions.
** Nishiki Nishio wears glasses, and is described by others as being a "prodigy". He's GoodWithNumbers and excels in a prestigious Pharmacy program at Kamii University, even though his childhood involved very little formal education.
** The legendary Investigator Kishou Arima wears glasses, and the prequel about his teen years shows him to have been a brilliant student that ''memorized text books'' and able to deduce things from small details.
** Novelist Sen Takatsuki turns out to wear glasses when she's [[TheGlassesGottaGo not making public appearances]] and is famous for having published her first, bestselling work as a teenager.
** In the sequel, BadassBookworm Haise Sasaki has typically nerdy reading glasses.
** Invoked in the sequel, with [[BookDumb Ginshi Shirazu]] borrowing Sasaki's glasses in order to try to look more intelligent.
* Ami Mizuno from ''Manga/SailorMoon'' wears glasses occasionally but only for reading, as does Mamoru Chiba.
* Maes Hughes in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' - both animes and the manga. The man works in the military's intelligence division for a reason.
** Also Sheska, the bookworm who memorizes every single thing she reads - to the point where she can rewrite entire alchemy journals from memory.
* ''Anime/RuneSoldierLouie'': Ila, is only a novice mage from the Magician's Academy, but what she lacks in prowess, is made up for by her extensive knowledge of ancient tomes and magical artifacts. Which has often helped Louie and his travelling party on their adventures.

[[AC:{{Comics}}]]
* The Beast from ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' (who's a GeniusBruiser) wears glasses when he reads. (And it looks kind of funny, considering that he's a muscular guy covered with blue fur.)
* The Polish comic book ''Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek'' has A'Tomek (a nerdy, math-minded kid), professor T. Alent (a genius inventor) and "Papcio Chmiel" (the AuthorAvatar).
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Brainy Smurf]] from ''TheSmurfs''. (Although he's more of a KnowNothingKnowItAll than truly smart.)
* Klik and Teela from ''ComicBook/PocketGod'' are [[GadgeteerGenius Gadgeteer Geniuses]] and are the only pygmies that wear glasses. Klik usually keeps on the top of his head, however.
* Discussed in ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretOrigin''. When attempting to sell his old science books, Lex Luthor targeted Clark Kent, who had started wearing glasses, stating that glasses meant one of two things: genetic inferiority, or he read a lot. Somewhat subverted since in actuality, Clark's heat vision had just developed, and the lenses from the glasses shielded it in case it was accidentally triggered.
* ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'': Professor Barabas wears two large glasses without a bridge to support them on his nose.
* ''ComicBook/TomPoes'': Professor Zbygniew Prlwytzkofsky and Professor Sickbock both wear glasses.
* {{Lampshaded}} in an issue of ''Amazing ComicBook/SpiderMan''. Black Cat [[MuggedForDisguise mugs a female scientist for her clothes]], and states that none of the other researchers will suspect her as an impostor since she's wearing a pair of glasses.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* In ''Film/SuckerPunch'', both Dr. Gorski (in the asylum) and Blue ([[NestedStory in the nightclub]]) have glasses, though they mostly only wear them when they need to take a closer look at something (They might merely be reading glasses, rather than corrective lenses). While Dr. Gorski is a psychologist, Blue is smart in that DangerouslyGenreSavvy way.
* Invoked by Elle Woods in ''Film/LegallyBlonde'', when she dons glasses to appear smarter and more professional in order to help Paulette get her dog back.
* Peter Parker, Richard Parker, Curtis Connors and Norman Osborn in ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan''. Unlike in Raimi's movies, this version of Peter doesn't get his myopia cured by Spider-powers, so he keeps using glasses and contacts even after he's become Spider-Man.
* You can tell that David Talbot in ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'' is intellectual, although not clever enough to accomplish much with his knowledge of vampires, by the fact his office looks like a library and he wears glasses which he draws attention to by taking them off and putting them back on a lot.
* Mia Thermopolis from ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries''. It's part of her early GeekPhysiques look, though it turns out she was BeautifulAllAlong. (Of course, it's freaking Creator/AnneHathaway).
* Milo Thatch from ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire''. He is actually the only Disney leading man (or woman) wearing glasses.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* Tris from ''Literature/TheCircleOfMagic'' is the most academic of the main characters, and the only one to wear glasses.
* While the Oxford Clerk from ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' lacks the requisite glasses from this trope (they were just starting to come into fashion during the time period), he is specifically noted as having poor eyesight from staying up and reading books by candlelight.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* Garcia, a computer genius, and her boyfriend Kevin Lynch both wear glasses. Though he apparently switched to contacts, flashbacks to Reid's youth in ''CriminalMinds'' shows that he had some of the largest glasses any child has ever worn, ever.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Giles, while not the resident genius, is the resident MrExposition.
* Liberty, Toby, and Claire on ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration''. Actually, if a character wears glasses on that show, it's almost a given that they're intelligent.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': In an alternate universe episode where she never joined the SGC, we find Sam Carter wearing huge NerdGlasses. It may be that in the regular timeline she wears contacts. Either way, there's no denying that her (excellent) combat skills are not the ''only'' reason she's on the team.
* Alex Dunphy from ''ModernFamily'' is the only one of the Dunphy kids to wear glasses, and is definitely the brains of the family.
* Ted Kasselbaum, the resident private investigator and genius computer hacker on ''Series/JustCause'', wears glasses with blue tinted lenses.
** Peggy, a paralegal with three graduate degrees, also wears glasses.
* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'': In the series' original incarnation, Billy (the Blue Ranger) was shown to be [[TheSmartGuy a straight A student]], and actually suffered a mild HeroicBSOD the ''one time'' he scored a "B" on a test.
* FBI computer genius Winifred from ''GeneralHospital'' wore nerd glasses, even though the guy she was a DistaffCounterpart of (Spinelli) did not. The same actress wore a different pair of glasses as another computer genius in ''Series/VengeanceUnlimited''.
* Gil Grissom from ''{{CSI}}'', at least some of the time. Apparently they're mostly reading glasses.
* ''[[Series/TheBigBangTheory The Big Bang Theory's]]'' most obvious example is Sheldon, who's known for his InsufferableGenius and [[DeadpanSnarker snark.]] The trope was {{subverted}} with Penny, who once wore a pair of glasses that made her look smarter, ''and sexier'', simply by tilting them down and saying, "molecule."
* Lampshaded in the first episode of ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', when Echo's programmed personality is a hostage negotiation specialist. Topher explains that the glasses aren't to make her look smarter; her implanted personality is short-sighted and her intellect comes from the drive to overcome such imperfections.
** A weird example as it's something of an informed trait: scientist Bennett wears, as [[PairTheSmartOnes Topher]] so gleefully puts it, "glasses. On a chain!" She's apparently far-sighted because she only wears them when looking at computer screens.
* Creator/VanKootenEnDeBie: Their characters O. den Beste, a German language teacher, and professor Kipping, a Dutch language specialist both wore glasses.
* Mona from ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' [[spoiler:evil]] genius. She loses the glasses when she leaves her {{Adorkable}} past behind her, in order to become the not-so-ditzy AlphaBitch of Rosewood High.
** Spencer, the smartest PLL, is also sometimes shown with glasses.
* Prof. Shane from ''Series/VampireDiaries'' is another [[spoiler: villainous]] example.
* Lane Kim from ''Series/GilmoreGirls''. Lampshaded by her mother and boyfriend when she get contacts. It was a big moment in the series, when the strict mother and slacker boyfriend ''finally'' agreed on something - the glasses suit Lane because they show that she's smart.
* Andrea Zukerman, the GoGetterGirl from ''Series/BeverleyHills90210'', is always shown wearing glasses, except in her very rare BeautifulAllAlong moments.
[[AC:{{Machinima}}]]
* From ''Machinima/Supermarioglitchy4sSuperMario64Bloopers'', a Chuckya teacher who appeared in "Sob story: Tale of a Bob-omb".

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* Lex from ''{{VideoGame/Bookworm}}''. He's a regular old bookworm who is able to ''tell'' if the paper he eats has letters on it and if said letters form words. As a result, he chooses to only eats words.
* Shad from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' is an archaic researcher and CunningLinguist. He's the first prominent character in the entire ''Zelda'' series to sport glasses.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. Tedd Verres is a highly intelligent GadgeteerGenius with a dash of MadScientist. He normally wears OpaqueNerdGlasses that have... [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2002-07-06 other features.]]
* ''WebComic/MagickChicks'': [[{{Technopath}} Sandi Mnemonic]] is a member of her school's [[AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil student council]] and serves as [[StudentCouncilPresident Faith's]] personal secretary. She's so knowledgeable, that the cast page of the comic's print edition describes her as (quote): "a living Website/{{Google}}". Plus, she can predict the outcome of future events [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/slipped_past_our_defenses with 97.09% accuracy]], provided she has all the pertinent data to work with.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'': [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2697 Monique donned them for a strip, to look intellectual.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-8-page-13 this trope lay behind Sarin's monocle]] pre-GenderBender.
* The blue guy with glasses in ''{{Webcomic/Irrelevator}}'' is stickman wearing glasses. Being smart is [[http://i.imgur.com/7bWEBWM.gif his thing]], he does [[http://i.imgur.com/UpjtOeC.gif earn the]] [[http://i.imgur.com/JAlIDL3.gif title of being the]] [[http://i.imgur.com/1LY94sw.gif smart]] [[http://i.imgur.com/n26DyxC.gif guy though]].
* ''Webcomic/MonsterOfTheWeek'' lampshades it in its first strip. In his first scene, Mulder wears glasses. There's an arrow pointing at them with "smart glasses" written next to it.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* The Director in Machinima/RedVsBlue is a brilliant AI theorist who, of course, wears glasses.
* In WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] and [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]]'s joint-review of the ''Film/AloneInTheDark2005'' movie, Linkara points this out regarding TaraReid's character.
---> ''Spoony'': (scoffs) As if wearing glasses make anyone look smarter! (Critic and Linkara, who both wear glasses, glare at Spoony) I need glasses.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' has Simon and his female counterpart, Jenette. While Simon plays the trope straight by excelling academically, Jenette is [[CuteClumsyGirl a cute girl who's accident prone]] and happens to wear glasses. Which makes her {{adorkable}} instead.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryInc'': In every incarnation of the series, Velma Dinkley is the group's resident genius. Though it's {{subverted}} since it's [[TheLeader Fred]] who determines the group's actions and devises their plans for capturing [[MonsterOfTheWeek whatever]] [[ScoobyDooHoax "spook"]] they're after.
* ''{{Daria}}'' is famous for her coke-bottle glasses, and for being one of very few [[TooDumbToLive Lawndale residents]] with a rapier-wit.
** CharacterizationMarchesOn makes aversions of several characters, when in later seasons, most characters are given redeeming moments, often of intelligence.
** Invoked in ''Through a lens, darkly'', where resident [[TheDitz Ditzes]] Kevin and Brittany start wearing glasses to become smarter.
* Jeremie from ''CodeLyoko''. (And Franz Hopper, when he had a physical body.)
* Carwash the Cat in ''WesternAnimation/WilloTheWisp'', by far the most intelligent and sarcastic of the cast, and consequently the most rarely used character.
* {{Invoked}} on ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'', when Rocko's idol (a professional Jackhammer-er) says he wears contacts while on the job, but prefers glasses when off because they make him look like an intellectual. Cue a FanGirl approaching and asking if he was an intellectual.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Professor Frink, Data, Waylon Smithers are all among the smartest characters on the show and wear glasses.
* Chief Quimby in [[WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget2015 the new Inspector Gadget cartoon]] now wears glasses, possibly to add emphasis to him being smarter than Gadget.

[[AC:RealLife]]
* PolPot hated intellectuals, so he had people killed for wearing glasses.
** There is some (rather Machiavellian) justification for this beyond InsaneTrollLogic, however. Eyeglasses, while not an ''extravagant'' luxury, would be hard to come by in a poor, non-industrialized country like Cambodia was. Anybody capable of affording them would almost certainly be involved, if only indirectly, in the exploitation of the lower classes.
*** Nah, still InsaneTrollLogic, since most glasses wearers in Cambodia got them from charities. Pot was a classic TheSociopath, whose obsession with agrarian society as the only "correct" form of living led him to cook up any excuse to kill anyone other than a farmer.
* Myopia actually does correlate with IQ. #4 of ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20332_5-unrealistic-movie-cliches-that-are-scientifically-accurate.html 5 Unrealistic Movie Cliches That Are Scientifically Accurate]] points out a study finding that intelligence and education are somehow correlated with nearsightedness in real life.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myopia#Education_and_IQ Confirmed]] by TheOtherWiki - myopia and high IQ go hand in hand.
** Unfortunately, also hyperopia and low IQ go together. That would count as an aversion of this trope.
* In 2014, then Texas Governor Rick Perry [[InvokedTrope invoked]] this trope for a time.

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