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You Wouldn't Hit A Guy With Glasses
"You wouldn't shoot a guy with glasses, would you?!"

Common Stock Phrase, and a Tempting Fate trope: whenever any fictional character tries to invoke this, the odds are pretty good that he's about to get hit. Occasionally, the attacker will immediately pull the glasses off, and then sock his opponent. It should be noted that broken glass in someone's eyes is a brutal way to blind them for life and that glass could also tear up the hands of the attacker, so there is a real reason to avoid hitting them.

In real life while this was a legitimate concern in the past, anyone actually worrying about being blinded by broken glasses or the like is unaware that technology has marched on. Currently (at least in the US) the lenses of virtually all glasses are made of one form of plastic or another. Due to this and other properties of the plastics used to make lenses, the lenses of modern glasses are nearly shatterproof and much, much lighter than the old glass lenses, among other benefits. In fact, excluding the occasional exception, (such as Ray-Ban sunglasses, where the non prescription lenses that come with the sunglasses are usually made of glass) in order to get glass lenses made someone needs to specifically request them or have vision issues that make them unable to adequately use the plastic lenses.

For anyone with poor eyesight, Hold My Glasses is still a good idea prior to a fight, because while the lenses may not shatter, the frames that hold the lenses are not the most durable of objects, and no one wants to be stuck in a Blind Without 'Em situation.

Compare Wouldn't Hit a Girl, Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and Would Not Shoot a Civilian for similarly other people that it is generally deemed bad form to harm. Also this trope is not about whether you're considering to hit That Guy with the Glasses.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin requests that Enishi remove his glasses before they fight. Enishi refuses and they fight. Eventually, Kenshin lands a hit to the face and breaks the glasses, scolding Enishi for not taking them off when he had the chance.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Kenichi insists Odin take off his glasses before Kenichi finishes beating him up. Turns out the glasses were acting as a sort of Power Limiter; without them, Odin is nearsighted, and his martial artist's sixth-sense supercharges to make up for the deficiency, allowing him to "see" through all of Kenichi's attacks with ease.
  • The Dragon Ball Z movie Lord Slug has a rare case where the implications of this trope are shown. Kid Hero Gohan kicks an invading alien mook right in the visor of his uniform, and the mook is seen staggering around in horrific pain and clutching his face afterward. The abridged version has the mook screaming "Oh God, all I can see is glass and blood!" in the aftermath.

    Comic Books 
  • Early in the John Byrne Superman comic reboot, Superman faces a gang which includes a violent, glasses-wearing, heavily armed female member spouting revolutionary phrases. She tries the double-powered "You wouldn't hit a lady with glasses, would you?" Superman gently removes her glasses and flicks his finger, knocking her cold. He then says, "A lady? No, but then I've never met a lady who carries dynamite under her coat."
  • In a comic from The Superman Adventures, the Villain of the Week pulled out a pair of glasses and asked Superman this question. His response? "Wouldn't dream of it...Ms. Lane, on the other hand..."
  • In one X-men comic, some drunkards tried to pick a fight with (civilian-dressed) Cyclops. He said the trope name, so one member of the mob removed the glasses for him. This didn't end well.
  • In the long Bash Street Kids story entitled All for fun and fun for all, which appeared in The Beano back in the early 2000s and was mostly recently reprinted in the 2009 Bash Street Kids Annual, Spotty dons 'erberts glasses in an attempt to get Teacher not too push him into a river. In the spirit of this trope Teacher ignores this and pushes Spotty in the river.
  • Garfield once tried to use this trope to avoid the usual Produce Pelting while giving one of his shows on the fence. The audience responded by only throwing tomatoes at his body and limbs, leaving his head the only part of his body not covered in splashed tomatoes.

    Film 
  • Lampshaded by The Joker (Jack Nicholson) in Batman. Yes, Batman would, especially if the same man with glasses also happened to be the same guy who murdered Batman's parents. Fun Fact: One especially stupid TV edit cuts out the entire climax after this point and goes straight to the Joker falling to his death.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. While playing dodgeball:
    Simon: Glasses! Glasses! You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, would you?! [Gets hit by a dodgeball] Right in the pancreas.
  • Groucho Marx says this in Go West (and, yes, the guy would).
  • Shemp does this to avoid getting hit by Moe in The Three Stooges short "Who Done It?" Of course, Moe does it anyway without bothering to remove the glasses.
  • King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph tries to pull this on Ralph. See the page quote for how it turns out.
  • In Vivacious Lady, the Apt. Manager (Franklin Pangborn) says that he has glasses, but they're being fixed, reminding Peter (James Stewart) that he shouldn't hit a man with glasses.
  • Dirty Harry: In the original film, the "Scorpio Killer" – while holding a school bus full of children hostage – does this two at least two bespectacled children … one an 11-year-old girl whom he slaps across the face at least twice!

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batman
    • In "The Bookworm Turns", Batman cites this trope as he prepares to battle the Bookworm's Mooks, requesting that they take off their glasses, which they oblige. Batman takes a moment to deliver An Aesop to Robin: "Never hit a man with glasses." Which is Hilarious in Hindsight considering Michael Keaton's Batman would avert this trope 20 years later (and to a guy who definitely deserved it, no less).
    • In "It's the Way You Play the Game" a mook named Leo confronts Batman.
    Leo: You wouldn't hit a man with glasses, would ya?
    Batman: You're not wearing glasses.
    Leo: I'm not? [Prepares to punch Batman]
    Batman: [Punches Leo first] Laugh that off, Leo!
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "The Cam-ikazi Kid", Sam leaps into a dorky teenager who is harassed by bullies. He protests, "You can't pants a guy with glasses!" The bully replies, "What glasses?", takes the glasses, and pantses him anyway.
  • Malcolm in the Middle had Reese remove a kid's glasses and punch him when he tried this excuse.
    • In the first episode, a bully who tried to hit Malcolm ended up accidentally hitting Stevie instead. The fact Stevie wears glasses was one of the reasons the bully was berated for doing that.
    • When Reese reestablishes his status as school bully, one of his first acts is to grab a bully who had stolen and was wearing another boy's glasses, grab the glasses with one hand, and then punch him so hard that he falls back, with the glasses still in place where his head had been.
  • Implied in The Rockford Files episode "The Kirkoff Case": Rockford puts on glasses and pretends to be an insurance agent; when the disguise fails and he starts getting roughed up, he protests, "Didn't you notice I was wearing glasses?"
  • Subverted in Get Smart when Smart, 99, and The Chief are captured by KAOS agents and ordered to make a phone call for something. Smart notices that the agent covering them and closest to them is wearing glasses and he knows that the Chief can sing a note high enough to shatter glass. So, he makes up a story that the Chief needs to sing a certain note as part of a code on the phone, and the Chief sings that note to shatter the lenses of the KAOS agent's glasses, allowing Smart to tackle him. Thus their survival depended on specifically hitting a guy with glasses.
  • Family Matters: Narrowly averted in the Season 1 episode "In a Jam," where a bully torments the glasses-wearing Urkel into giving him his lunch money. When Urkel stands up to the thug (who is more than twice his size), the bully — aptly named "Bull" Watson — threatens him with harm if he refuses again. When Urkel stands his ground a day later, Bull grabs Urkel by the collar and cocks his fist ... only for Eddie to show up in the proverbial nick of time to distract Bull and get him to reconsider. (Bull eventually gets a fist to his stomach, causing him to back off.)
    • In contrast, in later seasons after Urkel invented his Transformation Chamber, Urkel's alter egos (most notably, Bruce Lee Urkel) were non-eyeglass wearing. This is always after the ruffians for the episode beat up the glasses-wearing Urkel.
  • At least once on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, a criminal syndicate corners the glasses-wearing, elderly C.D. Parker (Noble Willingham) in an effort to intimidate him into getting Walker to drop his investigation. When C.D. tries to get them to back off by saying they shouldn't hit a guy with glasses, one of the crooks removes his glasses, breaks them ... and then beats him to a pulp. (Of course, Walker gets his revenge in the end.)
    • C.D. himself once punched a guy (Who really had it coming) who was wearing glasses. We later see C.D with his hand bandaged and complaining that he even had to get a tetanus shot.
  • El Chapulín Colorado once tried to get out of a fight by claiming he was not allowed to hit a guy with glasses. When the bad guy said "But I don't wear glasses", El Chapulin said "But I do" and then put on a pair of sunglasses.
  • A variant happens on The Nanny. After one of Fran's many screw-ups, her boss Maxwell is standing nearby, looking furious. Fran hastily grabs Maxwell's eight-year-old daughter Gracie, holding her in front of her as a Human Shield of sorts, and says "You wouldn't hit the woman carrying your child, would you?"

    Music 
  • At one MTV Video Music Awards show, someone booed Eminem on stage as he was accepting an award. Eminem, immediately assuming the heckler was Moby (whom the rapper dissed in his song and video for "Without Me", and who was cracking jokes with Jon Stewart about Eminem on a guest appearance on The Daily Show at the time), responded, "I will hit a man with glasses."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • This is done in a 1982 Peanuts comic strip with Snoopy as Joe Cool:
    Linus: Hey, Joe Cool! One of the guys over at the gym is looking for you. He says if he catches you near his girl again, he's going to pound you!
    Snoopy: [wearing six pairs of Cool Shades] He wouldn't hit somebody wearing glasses, would he?
    • From a 1960s strip, during the period when Linus was wearing glasses:
      Linus: [to Lucy, who is inspecting the refrigerator] If you're looking for an apple, I ate the last one.
      Lucy: Boy, if you weren't wearing glasses, I'd slug you a good one!
      Linus: [turning to Snoopy] Glasses are good for your eyes… They keep you from getting punched in them!
  • U.S. Acres invoked the trope in this strip. A worm wearing glasses used this to discourage Booker from beating him. Booker was initially proud to have shown that "chickens do have hearts" but later banged his head on a tree out of frustration once he remembered that "worms don't have eyes".
  • In a B.C. strip from the 1960s, Fat Broad threatens to hit the bespectacled Clumsy Carp when the latter invokes this trope:
    Clumsy: You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, would you?
    Fat Broad: No, I'd hit him with my fist! HAW, HAW, HAW!
    (Clumsy promptly removes his own glasses and knocks Fat Broad for a loop with them — predating Wreck-It Ralph by several decades with the Visual Pun of hitting someone with glasses.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE SummerSlam 91 featured WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion Mr. Perfect vs. Bret "The Hitman" Hart. When Mr. Perfect's manager "Coach" stood by the ropes and tried to motivate his man to get up, Hart knocked him down. Both announcers were aghast that Hart would hit a man with glasses.
  • On the last night of Season 4 of WWE NXT, Daniel Bryan was talking with his rookie, Ensemble Dark Horse Derrick Bateman backstage before a tag team match. Danielson recalled that he'd punch Bateman if he got eliminated (which he did, the prior week). Bateman reaches down and immediately tries to invoke this; as soon as he straightens up, Danielson decks him. But seeing how he would go on and win the match for his team, Danielson's actions turned into a Wangstless version of Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!.
    Daniel Bryan(To Bateman): Now get up. Because you've got a NXT Rookie Reunion Tag Team Match tonight, an I want you to win! And I don't want you to win for me, I want you to win for you! I want you to win for chicks! I want you to win for America! AND I WANT YOU TO WIN FOR CLEVELAND!
    Bateman: WAAAAARRRRGHHH!
  • In the late 1980s/early 1990s WWF, the character of Brother Love was a bespectacled Southern preacher who — during his Talk Show with Fists "The Brother Love Show"— was clearly alligned with the villians and did everything to antagonize the faces. Several times, he attempted to get involved in the action, almost always leading to him gettting socked by the good guys. The most frequent people who struck Love (both while he was wearing his glasses, and also after they were knocked off) were the top two faces of the WWF at the time: Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper has gotten a few licks in, while the Hart Foundation (the tag team of Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart) once clotheslined Love after a match. Every time, the announcers — save for the heelish Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan — supported hitting this guy with glasses every time.
  • There was also Jameson, the over-the-top, dyed-in-the-wool autistic mark character who was the mascot of the Bushwackers. As part of Jameson's outfit, he wore taped up glasses … and more than once, he was roughed up by various heels, including the ultra-snobbish Beverly Brothers. Averted when a face team – usually, the Bushwackers – came to his rescue.

    Video Games 
  • In the standard ending of Donkey Kong Country 3, Cranky Kong insults the protagonists' performance, and they surround him, apparently to beat him up. As they close in, Cranky puts on a pair of glasses and says the line.
  • One of the motorcycle gangers Ben fights in Full Throttle will say this at the start of the battle, though it sounds more like a taunt than a plea for mercy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In one Looney Tunes cartoon, Transylvania 6-5000, Bugs Bunny (turned into a baseball bat) does this to Count Bloodcount (turned into a vampire bat). Since he knows what's coming, the Count quickly puts on a pair of glasses when he sees what Bugs transformed into; Bugs hits him anyway.
    • In Scrap Happy Daffy, Daffy Duck uses this against a goat. When the goat goes to attack Daffy's rear, a pair of glasses appear on his tail feathers too.
    • In another cartoon, Hare Splitter, Bugs put on some glasses to prevent his rival in love from hitting him. It didn't work.
    • Invoked in Hippety Hopper. "He's safe. Nobody hits a guy with glasses on." (offscreen thud) "Of course, I could be wrong."
  • Similarly to the comics example, in one episode of the X-Men cartoon, some toughs in a bar are getting belligerent with Cyclops. He tries to play it cool and says the line, but one of them says "So? take 'em off.", grabs Cyke's shades, and things start to go downhill from there.
    Cyclops: You wouldn't hit a man with glasses, would you?
    Thug: So? Take 'em off. *lifts them up with his pool que*
    Cyclops: Stop! *splits the pool table in two*
    Thug: Put 'em back on! Please!
  • In one episode of DuckTales, Gizmoduck tries to persuade an attacking security robot not to hit him by putting on a wig and saying, "You wouldn't hit a lady, would you?" When that doesn't work, he adds a pair of glasses to his disguise and asks, "What about a lady in glasses?" He gets punted.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie is looking for a sheep's spirit using a pair of magic goggles. When he becomes surrounded by Shadowkhan, Jackie says this phrase.
  • In the Futurama episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", Bender is caught cheating in a game of poker using X-ray glasses. When he's cornered, he nervously states, "Hey...you wouldn't hit a guy wearing X-ray glasses, would ya?" Unsurprisingly, it doesn't work.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: Dick Dastardly once has the squadron wear glasses. When he tried to hit Muttley, the trope has been invoked and it worked.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Splitting Images":
    Danny: (in Poindexter's body) You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses! (dodges Poindexter's punch) You couldn't hit a guy with glasses! (dodges again) In fact, you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn!
    Poindexter: (in Danny's body) Ugh! Hold still!
  • The Simpsons: Milhouse tried to use the trope to avoid being beaten by Nelson. Nelson reacted by removing the glasses. In another episode, Season 8's "Lisa's Date With Density," it is implied Nelson actually punched Milhouse several times (and between the eyes(!)) after Lisa tried to pass a note to Nelson in class but Milhouse – who was helping Lisa out – intercepted it, with Nelson getting the wrong idea.
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter is hit multiple times in fights and other antagonists.
    • Meg has also suffered brutal punishment while wearing her glasses; this most notably includes Mike Pulaski in Season 12's "A Fistful of Meg." Not only is Meg a female, she wears glasses and is at least 200 pounds lighter and a foot shorter – if not more – than her tormenter, who plans to beat her to death.
  • In the Scooby-Doo episode "Jeepers, It's The Creeper" Velma tries this on the Creeper. He responded by removing her glasses, then Velma kicked him in the shin and grabbed them back.
  • Jeckle invokes this to the bull in the Heckle and Jeckle cartoon "Bulldozing The Bull."
    Jeckle: I say... you wouldn't hit someone in glasses, would you? (the bull headbutts him into the air)
    Jeckle: (to us) I believe he would!
  • In Mr. Bug Goes to Town, Swat tells Mr. Beetle that he shouldn't hit him because he's wearing glasses (he does).

Unwanted Glasses PlotGlasses Tropes    
You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told YouStock PhrasesYou Won't Like How I Taste

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