open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- George Ushiromiya during the fourth arc of Umineko: When They Cry: 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.
- The Prince of Tennis: Tezuka. The guy's pretty much a walking Crowning Moment of Awesome. See: dinosaurs
- Kishou Arima, from Tokyo Ghoul. A legendary Ghoul Investigator known as the "God of Death", he never removes his glasses even while pulling off incredibly quick, acrobatic moves. Artwork frequently features bloodstains on his glasses, adding to his fearsome appearance.
- Atsushi of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, who flings around Gallant Hurricanes with his glasses on. This is notable in that Atsushi is in a genre where characters normally lose their glasses for badass stunts.
- Munakata Reisi (the Blue King) and Fushimi Saruhiko (one of the strongest non-King fighters) from K.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Japan wore hexagonal glasses with his Teru Mikami cosplay. He also could match Germany in combat during their cock fight.
- 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.
Films — Live-Action
- Major Hank Marshall (pictured about to punch his creepy superior officer) in Blue Sky◊ - which makes it all the more heartbreaking that when he does take the glasses off, it's to wipe away tears.
- 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.
- In Kingsman: The Secret Service, all of the Kingsmen wear them. They double as heads-up displays when necessary and transmit information back to headquarters in a livestream. Awesome indeed.
- 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.)
- In The Goblin Emperor, Cala wears glasses. He is one of the emperor's four bodyguards for a reason.
- 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).
- 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.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003):
- 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.
- The Investigation Team from Persona 4. Wear them, and it's as if the supernatural fog in the TV World isn't there. Averted by Teddie, their creator, whose eyes themselves are lenses.
- Gordon Freeman in Half-Life.
- The Medic in Team Fortress 2. Bonus points for pushing up his glasses in a very nerdy way before smirking and letting forth the very first Ubercharge in "Meet The Medic".
- The eponymous Bayonetta. Jeanne - who is as equally as badass - has these on her head but, save for disguising herself as a nun in the epilogue, she never wears them.
- In the Pokémon games, there's often at least one bespectacled member of the Elite Four: Shauntal, Lorelei, Lucian. There's also Roark and Cheren, the only Gym Leaders in the franchise who wear glasses.
- Maxie's redesign from Omega Ruby gives him a pair of glasses that gives him a more intelligent, stoic look and also has the keystone used to Mega Evolve his Camerupt.
- Charlie from Street Fighter Alpha never removes his glasses, even in a fight.
- Charlie actually does remove his specs (which he doesn't even need to wear because he has 20/20 vision) before battle. In fact, all of his playable appearances thus far have him doing so in his battle intro. It's only in his endings and Cannon Spike/Gunspike that he keeps them on. The cancelled Capcom Fighting All-Stars would've also had Charlie keeping his glasses on during his fights.
- The final boss of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Senator Armstrong who proceeds to go toe to toe with the protagonist Raiden even after the latter had finished single-handedly slicing up a massive metal gear.
- Tales of the Abyss has Jade Curtiss, although he does take them off for the very final battle - because they're a Power Limiter.
- Griff from Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a demon who fights with Wolverine Claws and some kind of magic while giving smart, if often sarcastic and snarky, comments. He also happens to wear glasses all the time.
- Agatha and Tarvek of Girl Genius are both wearing their specs while fighting slaver wasps and hive engines with woefully inadequate weaponry, repairing the broken trap filled Castle Heterodyne, and defending Mechanicsburg from an attack force of soldiers in powered armor, mad scientists, monsters, clanks, walking tanks, drill tanks, other tanks, dragons, and zombies many of which are armed with death ray variations.
- Åland in Scandinavia and the World is a nerd complete with Nerd Glasses, but that doesn't stop him from thoroughly earning his place here. And the glasses never come off. Apart from that one time when that was what he was angry about.
- Ada from The Story of Anima wears glasses and can kick ass with ease.
- In The Gamer's 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.
- Shows up frequently in RWBY, with Professor Ozpin and Doctor Oobleck as the most obvious examples.
- The title character of Dexter's Laboratory.
- Gretchen Grundler and Gus Griswald from Recess.
- Charles Foster Ofdensen, Deathklok's manager in Metalocalypse. This fellow proves his badassery multiple times throughout the series, even coming back from death itself at the precise time he's needed most.
- Artie Levawitz (AKA, King Arthur) in an episode of The Fairly Oddparents.
- Jeremy Belpois from Code Lyoko, being the team's resident Voice with an Internet Connection and Badass Pacifist Bookworm.
- Funny Animal example: Myra, the foxy Adventurer Archaeologist from the TaleSpin episode "In Search of Ancient Blunders". She explores an upside-down pyramid, drops a piano on a Sky Pirate's head, and confronts a rampaging Mummy in an epic Beware the Nice Ones moment—all while wearing glasses.