Specs of Awesome

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.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • 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.
  • 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.)

    Live Action TV 
  • 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.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • 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.
  • Hideo Kojima. That is all.