Popular culture, especially in the West, tends to portray glasses as nerdy
and as a sign of weakness. However, for some reason, if the one with the glasses isn't a meek Non-Action Guy
, they are surprisingly likely to be this.
This trope has only two requirements: you must be badass
, and you must wear glasses while demonstrating your badassery. Often overlaps with Badass Bookworm
and Genius Bruiser
, in which case the wearer is also likely to be The Stoic
and frequently display Awesomeness by Analysis
. These, however, are merely common traits, not requirements.
To qualify for this trope, the character in question must be badass
while still wearing glasses, otherwise it's The Glasses Come Off
. Distinct from Cool Shades
in that these are actual, transparent glasses. Compare and Contrast Stoic Spectacles
, where the character is witty but not necessarily action oriented.
Manga and Anime
- George Ushiromiya during the fourth arc of Umineko no Naku Koro ni: He reveals some mad martial arts skills and even adjusts his glasses during a jump while he prepares for a finishing kick (in the anime adaption).
- Yukio Okumura from Blue Exorcist pulls this off, although he wasn't always a tough fighter, and you still wouldn't guess it at a glance.
- America from Axis Powers Hetalia is awesome and has Purely Aesthetic Glasses essentially because they too are awesome. And because they are Texas. Or something.
- Nice Holystone from Baccano!. An interesting example that literally overlaps with Eyepatch of Power.
- Uryuu fits this trope to a T. He is easily on par with Lieutenant-class Shinigami and has one-shotted a captain and his bankai with a single arrow. Post-timeskip he demonstrates himself to be an excellent fighter even without his Quincy Powers. It Runs in the Family: his bespectacled father is even more powerful than he is.
- Lisa Yadomaru has a rather slight build, but she turns out to be a Glacier Waif with a BFS (S in this case standing for spear).
- Girge from Break Blade. He handicapped ten golems, even killed some of it, and later, destroyed an elite troop of five with handicapped golem. He threw it away right after, though.
- Gilbert G.P. Guilford from Code Geass.
- Misaki Kirihara from Darker Than Black.
- Maes Hughes from Fullmetal Alchemist was a truly awesome guy.
- Then there's Hohenheim, who is truly epic when he decides to get dangerous.
- From Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, we have Ryuuto Asamiya and Tsutomu Tanaka. Miu, while capable of fighting with them on, subverts it twice; the glasses are just for show and she always takes them off when she gets serious.
- Takahata from Mahou Sensei Negima! has no magical abilities, but is one helluva fighter. He's even nicknamed "Death Megane/Death Glasses".
- At Kyon's request, Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya stopped wearing glasses, but she got her first Crowning Moment of Awesome while she was still a meganekko.
- Kabuto from Naruto is clearly a badass even before he fuses with Orochimaru's flesh. After he does that, well... let's just say he's able to intimidate the apparent Big Bad!
- Off duty, Tashigi from One Piece is a Cute Clumsy Girl, but she's actually a very capable and effective officer.
- Sengoku... just Sengoku.
- Also Rayleigh.
- From Rosario + Vampire, we have Hokuto Kaneshiro, the Big Bad of Season I. When they meet him again in Season II, the gap between him and Tsukune is wide enough that he can curb stomp him from his wheelchair!
- Margery Daw from Shakugan no Shana has these as part of her Hot Librarian look.
- Oxford, Kilik, Yumi and Stein from Soul Eater.
- Yumi needing glasses is a funny example as she's a sniper. Well, technically she's an gun/crossbow-ish Empathic Weapon, but close enough.
- Rin Asougi of Mnemosyne does a lot of badass things while wearing glasses, but they tend to end up lost or destroyed in the process, requiring her to frequently replace them.
- Conan Edogawa of Detective Conan keeps his specs in place whenever deploying gadgets or kicking a soccer ball into some poor criminal's teeth.
- Tezuka. The guy's pretty much a walking Crowning Moment of Awesome. See: dinosaurs
- In Child Of The Storm, Harry still has his glasses until chapter 58, and pulls off some thoroughly insane feats of badassery, usually through one Indy Ploy or another.
- In The Ipcress File and its sequels, there was Harry Palmer, a Cockney spy in National Health Service specs, way back in the 1960s. At the time, this was a notable subversion of the suave upper-class British intelligence agent epitomized by James Bond.
- Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters and its Animated Adaptations The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters.
- Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man. The powers he gains don't improve his poor eyesight at all, so he still keeps using glasses and contacts.
- Besides coming up with the plan to take down Al Capone, Treasury Agent Oscar Wallace shows himself to be this in The Untouchables. During the Canadian border battle, when his tommy gun jams, he charges one of the hoods and knocks him unconscious with the gun butt. Sadly, after the battle his badassery will be short-lived.
- Harry Potter has quite a few. Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Luna Lovegood, Harry himself... his father James was apparently one of these, but we've never seen him duel, not even in flashbacks.
- In 1632, when twentieth-century geek Jeff Higgins joins the army, the seventeenth-century brigands he glares at see him as a killer so cold-blooded that he wears spectacles to see his victims better. (And, to be fair, they're not far wrong.)
- The Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who occasionally dons his Purely Aesthetic Glasses to look more clever (remember, this is a guy who takes Awesomeness by Analysis Up to Eleven).
- Hiro from Heroes. His badass future self no longer wears glasses, though.
- HRG, however, is most certainly this trope. So much so that his Fan Nickname comes from his glasses.
- Stargate SG-1: Daniel Jackson definitely started out more bookworm than badass but even as he took several levels over the course of the show, he managed to avoid The Glasses Come Off (except when he was doing the Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence thing).
- Danny Messer during the first few seasons of CSI NY. However, for some reason, he either quit wearing them nowdays or switched to contacts.
- Commander and later Admiral William Adama wears glass and kicks Cylon ass. You can't say that he's not awesome when he puts them on.
- Laura Roslyn counts, too. The glasses don't come off just because someone's gotta be thrown out an airlock.
- When Avery Brooks was on The Arsenio Hall Show he defined a hero as someone who fights a lot of bad guys and never loses his sunglasses. At the time he portrayed the enigmatic "Hawk" on Spencer For Hire who always wore sunglasses!
- Billy the Blue Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
- Ironically, David Yost had 20/20 vision and the stage glasses (specifically the ani-glare coating on the lenses) began to negatively effect his vision, which is why Billy made the off-screen change to wearing contact lenses.
- Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Guy could certainly think, but he wasn't a slouch in combat at all.
- In The Gamers Alliance, Richelieu wears glasses and is one of Alent's most powerful mages who has beaten several strong enemies.
- Taylor from Worm wears glasses, and attaches old lenses to her costume's goggles.
- Theodore Roosevelt, noted glasses-wearer, has a well earned reputation for badassery, extending well into Memetic territory. See his page for further details.
- The "DMC" part of Run-D.M.C.. Darryl McDaniels is almost unrecognizable without his trademark specs.