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Cool Helmet

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"Honda was best known for his bad-as-shit samurai helmet, which, aside from generally looking totally fucking awesome, was adorned with gigantic stag's antlers that stuck up out the top of the helm and looked pretty much as badass as deer antlers can possibly look (which, evidently, is more badass than you might think)."

Because a helmet can obscure a characters' face or hair, as well as make them look like everybody else wearing helmets in a dangerous environment, it's often said that Helmets Are Hardly Heroic. This trope begs to differ, demonstrating that the identity of a character or group of characters can actually be enhanced if you give them a helmet with a really unique and memorable design. Especially when a character's face-covering helmet serves to conceal their identity, or when a character almost never takes their helmet off in front of other people, it can become more famous and recognized than their actual face, both in-universe and out.

One thing that makes a helmet cool is a crest of almost any shape or size on it. History is full of Cool Helmets, from the Greek Chalcidian helmet worn by Hoplite to the Roman gladiators' ornate helmets to Japanese Kabuto to the German Pickelhaube. These helmets influenced the designs of various other helmets across media.

Of course, many characters who wear a Cool Helmet may not truly need protective headgear, especially in the case of beings of godlike power who barely have to worry about head injuries. A helmet may have some other practical function such as life support, or be worn simply because of vanity. A villain in a Cool Helmet might be a nerd underneath.

Compare Signature Headgear. If a helmet is so crucial to a character's appearance or identity that we never see them not wearing it, compare Never Bareheaded.

A Sister Trope to Cool Crown. Compare Collapsible Helmet.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Super Robot Genre shows, wearing a Cool Helmet is just so common like a Latex Space Suit. It is justified, since the pilot can easily get his head hit. It is averted in some shows like Kotetsu Jeeg (where Hiroshi transforms into the Humongous Mecha and therefore he does not need a helmet) or Neon Genesis Evangelion, where the pilots wear hair clips provide a neural interface (played straight with the Evangelions themselves — Eva-01 has a horned helmet). Some straight examples:
    • Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger Z (and Sayaka Yumi). He began wearing it along his Latex Space Suit after his first battles because his head got hit several times. It must be mentioned "Kabuto" is Japanese for "helmet" (which references the pilot commanded the mecha from a cockpit located in the head — which was unheard of until that series — AND Kouji is Mazinger Z's real mind)
    • Tetsuya Tsurugi and Jun Hono from Great Mazinger.
    • Duke Fleed, his Love Interest Hikaru Makiba and his sister Maria from UFO Robo Grendizer.
    • Ryoma Nagare from Getter Robo.
    • Sanshiro Tsuwabuki from Gaiking.
    • Akira Hibiki from Raideen.
    • Hyoma Nagare and his team from Combattler V.
    • Kenichi Go and his team from Voltes V.
    • Kazuya Ryuuzaki from Daimos.
  • The Berserker Armor from Berserk has a cool helmet in the shape of a hellhound that only appears when Guts is in an uncontrollable fury ... Basically, see Guts' face; you may be ok. See the Helmet; you are going to die.
    • For that matter, every single armor-wearing mook. The common rabble occasionally has a funny bug-eyed one, but the themed armies have stuff that comes out of a medieval cartographer's nightmare (whales, rams...). And then there are the Apostles...
  • In Dragon Ball Gohan's Great Saiyaman and Videl's Great Saiyawoman outfits which have very stylish helmets. Gohan's has a black and orange color scheme, and Videl's has a pink and white color scheme. Both come with visors.
  • Celty's motorcycle helmet in Durarara!! is notable for having two crests that are shaped like cat ears, and no head underneath.
  • As befitting of a post-apocalyptic conqueror, Raoh of Fist of the North Star has an awesome-looking horned helmet. Because Raoh is one of the biggest badasses of the series, a good sign that a given fighter is a force to be reckoned with is if they manage to break said helm while fighting him.
  • The racers of Future GPX Cyber Formula have cool-looking racing helmets. Even Leon has one, which is pink and has a heart on it.
  • Goblin Slayer wears a quite menacing-looking helm with a vertical grill when he kills goblins. It even has two nubs on it that used to be horns, but that were broken off long ago.
  • Gundam:
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has some cool helmets, such as Purple Haze's in Part 5, and D&G's in Part 6 (which Jolyne thinks makes him look like a knight).
  • The various helmet designs in The Seven Deadly Sins worn by various characters are so intricate looking that they wouldn't look out of place in Berserk.
  • Speed Racer has a cool racing helmet.
  • Viral's Enki in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had a full-circle crest. So did Gurren Lagann itself... the same crest in fact, albeit now resembling asymmetrical horns. (They tore it off Viral's Gunmen).
  • Quite a few monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!, but especially Jonouchi's Flame Swordsman. Now that's a helmet!

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD:
    • Judge Dredd:
      • Judge Dredd's famous helmet is the only part of him we see, to the point where it's basically synonymous with the character. Justice Department helmets have various other uses besides offering protection from guns and melee weapons, including thermal vision and respirators in case of chemical attacks.
      • Judge Death's helmet is basically an evil variation on Dredd's with the front replaced by a portcullis-type plate.
      • Judge Fear's helmet, with bat wings on the sides, makes him look like a Black Knight. His signature move is to open it to reveal his death-inducing Nightmare Face.
    • Strontium Dog: Johnny's helmet. With embedded sensors and other devices.
    • Rogue Trooper: Rogue's helmet includes various sensors which allow his bio-chip buddy Helm to give Rogue heads-up about incoming threats.
    • Nemesis the Warlock: Torquemada's helmet is modeled after a traffic cone, referencing his original role as "Captain of the Tube Police" on Termight, regulating all traffic on the Futuristic Superhighway that intersects the planet.
  • Aquaman's villain Black Manta has a big oval metallic diving helmet as his distinctive trademark. It's cool and practical, as it helps him to breathe underwater and its red lenses can shoot laser blasts.
  • Asterix is a non-stop parade of both cool and uncool helmets, from the winged helm of the title character to the rather silly-looking one of his sidekick Obelix. Also overlaps with Planet of Hats, since different European tribes uses distinct helms: menacing WWI-like pointed-tipped with horns for the Goths, severe and beautiful hoplite Mycenae helms for the Greeks, flamboyantly-horned for the Iberians, the standard Roman legionary helmets, their elaborated and crested counterparts for centurions, spectacular and lavishly decorated for gladiators and no helm at all for the Corsicans.
  • Ultimate Captain America has worn a cool helmet in World War II, and in modern times when leading The Ultimates against the forces of evil.
    • In the mainstream Marvel Universe, Cap has a rather Cool Helmet for when he uses his motorcycle.
  • Doctor Fate has the Helm of Nabu, the source of his powers. However, after 2011 (based on the Smallville version) it stops being as cool, coming with the little problem that prolonged use causes the bearer to go insane.
  • Galactus cares not what lesser mortals think of his mighty helmet!
    • His daughter Galacta has a Cool Helmet too, modeled after her dad's.
  • Hawkman wears various winged bird helmets that are so ridiculous they often loop back into badass.
  • Iron Man: Tony has a really cool helmet to match with his Powered Armor.
  • Acroyear, Bug, Karza, and Arcturus from Micronauts (Marvel Comics). However, Arcturus eventually stopped wearing his.
  • Jack Kirby had loads of fun with this trope when he was drawing issues of The Mighty Thor.
    • Thor now noticeably only wears his when fighting, whereas he and other Asgardians used to wear them more often. Loki almost never takes his off.
    • Thor and Loki, naturally, have the most recognizable, even if both's finer details are Depending on the Artist
    • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: After his reincarnation as Kid Loki, Loki's gold headband doesn't have his horns, but a little V that looks like them (the V is also on his tunic). The headband also has little wings over his ears — like the ones on Thor's helmet. Commentary on how he could still be good, perhaps?
  • Mother Panic: Violet wears one that resembles a minimalist, stylized cat.
  • Nova: Their helmets are the source of the powers of Nova Corpsmen (when they don't have the powers embedded into them, any case), as well as having extra features like a rebreather.
  • Robin (1993) villain Scarab's Powered Armor is topped off by a sleek helmet with a fin and large eye lenses with a Raygun Gothic aesthetic.
  • Dream of the Endless from The Sandman (1989) has a helmet fashioned from the skull and spine of an Eldritch Abomination that he killed when it and two others tried to invade the Dreaming (he used the bones of the other two to build a pair of gates). It looks not unlike a World War Two-era gas mask.
  • Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer wears a shiny pointed helmet that matches her metallic skin.
  • Spider-Man: Mysterio may get flack for wearing a helmet that is consistently compared to a fishbowl, but there's no denying that it contributes to his overall mystique. On at least one occasion, he has used it to pull off some truly unsettling effects.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Ares' signature blued helm, with four short horns connected by an embossed spiraling snake motif and a Roman style crest. It helps keep his face hidden in shadow as well.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The dread queen of Hades uses a very distinctive heavily spiked helm as part of her battle dress.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Euboea's helmet is pretty unique as Amazon helmets go, since she's added short horns reminiscent of Ares' own dark helm.
    • Wonder Woman: Odyssey: Anann has a marvelously spiky helm in green to match her dress.
  • X-Men: Magneto's helmet, as well as Xorn's.

    Comic Strips 
  • Doonesbury:
    • B.D. spent most of his life wearing these, until his leg was blown off in Iraq. His hair has been clearly visible ever since.
    • During the Iraq War, the strip had President Bush wearing a Roman general's helmet, which got progressively battered as the war dragged on.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In various fantastic forms Spikes of Villainy crest the helmets of The Teutonic Knights in Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky. The rank-and-file, meanwhile, use Nazi helmets (in case the allegory was still too subtle).
  • The iconic M1 helmet from Full Metal Jacket has a camo cover, "Born to Kill" and a peace sign on it, and bullets in the strap.
  • Cobra Commander has one in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. More so in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, where he dons his classic mask from the cartoon.
  • Gladiator has the helmet with pins going down to the chin that just happens to be still there when it's Maximus' turn to choose headgear for the arena.
  • The Kurgan's improvised helmet in Highlander, made from an animal skull of some kind, with the skin still on.
  • The Last Border has Duke and his eagle helmet.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Sauron's helmet in the live action films resembles a metallic horse skull with giant spikes.
  • In Man of Steel, the Kryptonians wear full body armor, but their helmets are mostly made of shaped forcefields that enclose their heads. They are of variable opacity, will deflect any Earth weapon, and also serve to shield their wearer against sensory overload while on Earth — 'Cool Helmet', indeed.
  • RoboCop has a pretty cool helmet that recalls that of Judge Dredd (it covers his eyes but his mouth is visible). When the role was being cast, Peter Weller was chosen partly because he could emote well with only the lower part of his face showing.
  • The Rocketeer has a very distinctive helmet.
  • Darth Vader's is spoofed in Spaceballs with the character Dark Helmet, who sports a helmet the size of his torso. His voice is deep and booming with his visor down, but when he flips it up he reveals that he's a nerdy, bespectacled Rick Moranis.
  • Star Wars has several iconic helmets, including Darth Vader's and Boba Fett's. (Heck, even the mooks in this franchise have Cool Helmets.)
    • Inverted in The Last Jedi when Snoke tells Kylo Ren to take the helmet off when dressing him down.
  • King Agamemnon in Time Bandits sports an awesome Corinthian helmet with a mask behind the cheek and nasal guards.
  • Top Gun featured the various pilots having custom artwork on their helmets, which of course also helped the audience easily which helmeted-and-masked character they were looking at. In Top Gun: Maverick, Maverick has upgraded to a modern version of his iconic helmet.
  • Willow:
    • General Kael in his skull-faced helmet that he rarely removes.
    • Inverted when Madmartegan finds some fancy armor that comes with a dorky-looking helmet with a tassel and nasal bar. He loses it pretty quickly.
  • X-Men Film Series:

  • In the Discworld novels Vimes has a serious dislike of Cool Helmets, partly because fancy armour isn't what being a Watchman is about, and partly because the Palace Guard have them. When he was Captain Vimes, he was entitled to two dollars a month "plumes allowance", but never claimed it, as Commander he is sometimes forced into dress armour that includes this.
  • The Elric Saga: In battle, the emperor of Melniboné wears "a black helm, with a dragon's head craning over the peak, and dragon's wings flaring backward above it, and a dragon's tail curling down the back". But because he's also a sorcerer, some of the comic artists gave him a silly pointy hat instead.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: pretty much all the generals make up for the lack of awesome taoist powers with stunning-looking armor and helmets, beutifully described. Jiang Ziya himself is gifted a wonderful helmet as part of his uniform as Supreme Commander of the Zhou forces. His disciples Li Jing and Wei Hu makes an exception to taoist dress code by wearing a nice-looking helmet, which, alongside their weapons, leave onlookers confused, as "they can't tell if they're taoists or laymen" because of the robe/helmet combo.
  • Gor: in the city of Port Kar, Captains (those who command 5 or more ships) can be identified by a crest of sleen fur on their helmets.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Hagrid and Maxime were acting as envoys from Dumbledore looking for allies in the fight against Voldemort they presented Karkus, the gurg of the last known giant colony on earth, with an indestructible goblin made helmet. The helmet did not prevent Karkus' decapitation by a Voldemort supported usurper.
  • Almost every character in the medieval epic Orlando Innamorato has some sort of cool helmet; the audience is constantly reminded of how Rinaldo got his.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is loaded with these.
    • Sandor "the Hound" Clegane wears a helm in the shape of a dog's head. After his apparent death it's stolen by Rorge, and later Lem Lemoncloak.
    • His brother Gregor the Mountain has a fist on his.
    • Robert and Renly Baratheon both have stag's antlers on their helmets.
    • Edmure Tully's helmet has a leaping trout.
    • The grand prize goes to Tywin Lannister who has a roaring lion with an outstretched paw. Honourable mention goes to one of his knights, Ser Flement Brax, who wears a helmet with a unicorn horn two feet long sticking out of the forehead.
  • Star Wars Legends: Pilots in the X-Wing Series have relatively plain helmets — still, they can paint them. Wedge Antilles has a particular pattern on his which comes up in Starfighters of Adumar.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium there are many cool helmets. Turin had the Dragon-Helm of Dor-Lomin, which had a crest in the shape of a dragon, Tuor has the winged helm left by Turgon in Vinyamar, and the kings of Gondor have the helm Isildur wore during the Last Alliance. Gil-galad's "shining helm" is also prominently mentioned in the lament for him, but no further details on it's design are given.
    • The Silmarillion there is the badass crown-helm worn by the Kings of Númenor, the Crown of Elros. The helm of Isildur as well as the Elendilmir-the crown worn by the Kings of Gondor-are both based on this design, but smaller and less fancy. This tells us that the Crown of Elros also prominently featured wings, and we are also told that it was "tall". Most artistic renderings have it depicting either a swan or eagle, with the wings partially folded.
    • Readers should generally assume that all the named characters would have one of these. Tolkien drew crests for the elven houses, and it's likely they would feature on helmets.
    • The villains in this series also get in on the game. Sauron has the often-copied but never equaled helm/face mask with Spikesof Villainy. The Witch King, leader of the Ringwraiths, has a terrifying spikey face mask as well. Special mention also to the Mouth of Sauron, with his eye-covering black helm. Morgoth, Sauron's original boss, is also usually depicted with a face-covering black and heavily spiked helm.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Many of the Starfury pilots on Babylon 5 had custom artwork emblazoned on their helmets, in addition to their fighters' Nose Art (usually working on a similar theme), inspired by similar uses by Real Life pilots.
  • * FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: The Lost Helmet of Victory in Season 4.
  • The pilot helmets worn in Battlestar Galactica.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The Hound and the Knight of Flowers have the most distinctive helms in the series. Ironically, neither is ever worn in combat.
    • They have now been outdone by the Lord Of Bones, who wear's a giant's skull for a helm and mask.
    • Ser Loras Tyrell wears King Renly Baratheon's gilded helm decorated with a crown and horns of a stag at the Battle of Blackwater as part of his elaborate disguise. The Blu-ray Histories and Lore segments depict Robert wearing this helm in battle during his rebellion and the Siege of Pyke. Robert doesn't get to wear it onscreen, but it is spotted in his tent for the Tourney of the Hand.
    • Brienne wears an antlered helm in "Garden of Bones" when she accompanies Renly to his parley with Stannis.
    • Gendry has one which is shaped like a bull's head.
  • Virtually every incarnation of Kamen Rider.
  • The Mandalorian: The title character wears a shiny, silver helmet made out of beskar, similar in design to the one worn by Boba Fett (mentioned in the Film folder above).
  • The various themed helmets of Super Sentai and Power Rangers.
    • In Mighty Morphin's third season, this applies not just to the Rangers but also to Rito Revolto, who wears a camo-painted army helmet.
    • Quite a few Monsters of the Week had Cool Helmets, but the Pudgy Pig's Spartan-style helmet was one that stood out. It was as big as he was! (Of course, he had a body-shape that was kind of... odd. It was kind of hard to say which part of him was his head and which was his torso.)
  • Top Gear's Badass Driver The Stig is never seen without his trademark racing helmet. Some say he doesn't actually have a head underneath.


    Myths & Religion 
  • Aaaw, helmets never get the same attention than a Cool Sword. Nevertheless, Hagen of the Nibelungenlied jumps into Walthers strike intending to kill his wounded King Gunther. And his cool helmet manages to break Walthers cool sword.
  • Athena and Hades (and probably Ares too) never are seen without their cool helmet. +1 for Hades, his helmet makes him invisible.
  • Tales about Alexander the Great often refer to his horned helmet. While Alexander himself was a historical person, it is unlikely he wore a horned helmet given the impracticality of such a device. Unless of course the "horns" were made of feathers or something. More likely, his helmet was said to have horns because of the connection between him and the horned deity Ammon. Indeed, in The Bible, Alexander is only referred to as "The Horned King". Though the Book of Judith, where this reference occurs, is not included in all versions of the Bible (it is one of the books commonly referred to as "The Apocrypha" which some sects do not consider canonical, but others do).

  • These appear in Gottlieb's Target Alpha and Solar City (both Science Fiction versions of El Dorado); Target Alpha uses brightly-colored helmets with fins as part of its Space Clothes ensemble, while Solar City gives its alien natives ornate winged helmets.
  • The barbarian hero in Paragon wears one.
  • The hero in Gorgar is wearing nothing but a loincloth and a winged helmet.
  • The protagonist in Space Riders is wearing a futuristic metal inverted bowl helmet.
  • Magneto is never seen without his helmet in Stern Pinball's X-Men.

  • Intentionally inverted in Jemjammer. Jylliana loots the Space-Fun Helmet. While it does reveal invisible objects and give advantage on saving throws, it also makes her look like an asshole.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech, the series signature BattleMechs are controlled partially by the pilot's "neurohelmet", which uses the pilot's sense of balance to balance the mech. During the Succession Wars and the subsequent technological decline, neurohelmets became hulking 10+ pound monstrosities, and were often customized and painted in extravagant colors by the pilots. Rediscovered technology allowed them to be made more compact, much like a modern fighter jet helmet. They can be programmed with security features to give unauthorized users a head-splitting headache or outright knock unconscious if they attempt to put on the helmet.
    • And in their ceremonial garb, warriors of The Clans wear helmet/masks resembling stylized versions of their clan's totem animal.
  • Exalted: The general rule is that this is the only thing helmets are good for. The 2nd edition source book adds that Storytellers willing to go more "gritty" can implement rules for wearing helmets, and it's entirely possible to get artifact helmets that have special effects, but not wearing a helmet isn't necessarily about impracticality, it's about not crumming your style.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The iconic Space Marine helmets in a rather displeased expression, and the somewhat-less-iconic (though not without popularity, not at least for the nostalgic reason it was the standard Space Marine helmet of the long-past first edition of the game) Corvus-pattern "beakie" helmets.
      • Space Marine Chaplains have distinct helmets that resemble skulls to make them look even more intimidating.
    • Orks used to wear German-inspired helmets, mostly Stahlhelm (WWII) and Pickelhaub (WWI). Now they, and especially 'Ard Boyz, wear any horned helm that makes them look tougher.
    • Chaos helmets have Spikes of Villainy everywhere they can get away with. In Dawn of War, the Orks lampshade this, calling them "spiky boyz" when you order them to attack Chaos troops.
    • Parodied with the Angry Marines, a fanmade Chapter whose helms are contorted in permanent metal fury.
  • Warhammer has the various knightly orders, all of which sport varyingly ridiculous(ly awesome) helmetry. The Bretonnians, who have the highest concentration of knights in their army, are naturally even more extravagant. These are modeled after historical 14th century examples, although these were jousting helms not intended for actual combat.

  • The theatrical style of Graeco-Roman used in opera productions from the Baroque era onwards became influentual not just in painting (for scenes from mythology and ancient history), but also in the real world, when the French army introduced a similar heavy cavalry helmet. A variation of this is worn to this day by the mounted branch of the Garde républicaine.
  • This is a typical Flanderization of operas, with Vikings wearing horns of various animals on their helmets. (In Real Life, viking helmets were not so adorned.) This is most likely derived from Carl Emil Döpler's costume designs for the 1876 Bayreuth production of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Such costumes are rarely used anymore, even for the Ring, let alone any other opera.


    Video Games 
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, Lomax's helmet. It can be thrown like a boomerang, it can be thrown to explode (somehow multiplying itself in the process), its plume can stretch and grab certain surfaces, it can work like Helicopter Hair, and of course, wearing the helmet provides a protection from being a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Blacklight Retribution: All of the helmets. All of them. In particular, there are also several special versions of existing helmets, which range form decals, to battle damage.
  • Variations of this are available as costume options in City of Heroes.
  • King Arthur wears a helmet only briefly in Conquests of Camelot, but the box art specifically depicts that scene because it's particularly cool.
  • Covert Front takes place during the time when Imperial Germany was around, so there are plenty of Pickelhaubes to go around. Though it is certainly unexpected to see Manfred, a butler wearing one.
  • The Dark Souls franchise is laden with awesome headgear, from Havel's Helm (which is hewn from solid rock) to the wire-masked Dancer's Crown with its translucent veil.
  • The first time you see Captain Diomedes in Dawn of War II, he's wearing a bitchin' white command helmet, which he sadly removes when he becomes playable in Retribution (although it's available as a commander item as part of a bonus pack). Commander Ice can sport one after an update that grants the helm of command as commander-use wargear.
  • Isaac's RIGs in the Dead Space series have very distinctive helmets. They're iconic enough that the cover of the second installment simply featured the RIG's face shield.
  • Destiny and its sequel Destiny 2 is absolutely loaded with these, which become cooler the more "legendary" or "exotic" it is.
  • Winged helmets like the Griffon's Helm or the Helm of Honnleath in Dragon Age: Origins.
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • In addition to the numerous Tin Tyrants featured in Dissidia Final Fantasy, we also have the Warrior of Light with his very nice helmet with big pointy horns coming out the top, and The Onion Knight with his helm with some impressive plumage.
    • Cool helmets are part of the SOLDIER uniform in Final Fantasy VII
    • Gabranth's EX Mode is to just don his helmet and separate his Dual Weapon into two smaller weapons. His game profile actually specifically states that the helmet isn't just an aesthetic change, it really is the source of his power.
  • The Combine Soldiers from Half-Life 2 combine this with Gas Mask Mooks for extra coolness points. The Civil Protection even provide that trope's page image.
  • Halo:
    • The helmet of our eternally faceless protagonist Master Chief is an instantly recognizable icon of gaming. The other Spartans wear some pretty cool helmets too.
    • The ODSTs get pretty cool helmets too; they're so cool that Spartans can don them too.
    • In the later games, Covenant troops (particularly the Elites and Brutes) tend to have increasingly ornate helmets as they advance in rank.
  • The standard uniform of the Helghan empire in Killzone.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The main character's helmet in Marathon, which resembles a helicopter flight helmet with vacuum capabilities. Which can be obtained to be worn in Halo 3's multiplayer.
  • Kurt Hectic's elongated, pointed face-covering helmet from MDK. Contains a slot for installing a sniper rifle.
  • Mega Man: several iconic helmets, most memorably for the eponymous hero Mega Man, his brother Proto Man, and The Rival Bass in the classic series, and X and Zero in the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero series. And of course, the Boba Fett Expy himself, Vile/Vava.
    • X's helmet upgrades deserve special mention; many of them are Cool Helmets layered over X's regular Cool Helmet.
    • In the Mega Man Battle Network series, a lot of the Netnavi's with human faces (including Megaman.EXE) wear them too as part of their appearance. Unlike the Classic series, some of the Netnavis wearing helmets also have some hair to be visible, like Megaman.EXE's spiky black hair visible just between his neck and his helmet, or Protoman.EXE's long white ponytail.
  • Metal Gear Online allows you to wear various helmets in all sorts of colors, from camouflaged Kevlar helmets to red helicopter flight helmets to purple motorcycle helmets. Of course, they don't really do anything, and it's not uncommon to see shirtless people wearing ballistic helmets, but the helmets look cool.
  • Monster Rancher Evo: Gaufre never removes his. Turns out it's a custom of his village to not show your face to non-family.
  • Shao Kahn, the Big Bad of Mortal Kombat, not only has a Cool Helmet, it got cooler as the franchise progressed, until Mortal Kombat 9 where it was one of the coolest in the history of Fighting Games. In Mortal Kombat 11, he can get his hands on even cooler helmets!
  • The Masked Man from Mother 3.
  • As its equipment list is based on several real-life armories, Mount & Blade inevitably has a respectable number of cool helmets. The most protective helmet, the winged great helm, is at once the largest and most obviously decorated headgear available.
  • In Nefarious, Crow wears a helmet with mounted headlamps that matches his Powered Armor.
  • Persona 3: the history teacher wears a samurai helmet in class. One sidequest requires the MC to obtain another of his helmets from him.
  • PlanetSide 2 is rife with cool helmets and nice hats, such as the Terran Republic's stormtrooper-esque "Dreadnaught" helmet. TR helmets generally have red Glowing Mechanical Eyes goggles or wide faceplates, gas masks, and are built with a sleek but practical aesthetic. New Conglomerate helmets have hard edges (the NC do not believe in "the curve") and generally appear more robotic, with many helmets lacking a faceplate. Vanu Sovereignty go off the deep end in terms of complexity, with sharply creased lines making many of their helmets look like they're wearing a crustacean for a hat. The most popular VS helmet, Avalon, also incorporates a hood. The Player Studio marketplace allows players to design their own Cool Helmets (and other cosmetics) and sell them for real money after they get artistic approval from the developers.
  • Pokémon Black and White: Samurott uses a shell as its helmet.
  • In Shop Heroes, Alicia is shown (in artwork) with a distinctive horned helmet, although it differs a bit from the classic style used by Horny Vikings — for one thing, it has two sets of horns.
  • Shovel Knight's Propeller Knight wears a helmet topped with a propeller that allows him to fly. It's even got a couple of handles for him to hang on to as he floats around. Never mind propeller flight not even having been invented yet in medieval times.
  • In the Soul Series, Kilik wears a hawk-shaped helmet that covers his whole head in V, and Hildegard... Well, her entire suit of armor is pretty cool, but the helmet is a big part of it.
  • Team Fortress 2: a lot of the nice hats obtainable in the game fall under this. They still don't provide any protection from being shot in the head.
  • In Telepath Tactics, the swordsman class' standard helmet changes to a cool-looking one with colorful wings and crests when they promote to fencers.
  • The eponymous Viewtiful Joe has a V-crest on his helmet, and may have been inspired by Quick Man from Mega Man 2. He also gets a visor and faceplate for the boss battles.

    Web Animation 

  • In Girl Genius Agatha and Jiminez Hoffmann cobble together a really neat looking vision-augmentation helmet after he suffers an Eye Scream incident in the old Corbettite vault.
  • № 1 from Hell(p) wears one that looks like a customized WWII-era German Stahlhelm, but with a flat top adorned with a flowing red crest.
  • In I Log In Alone, Jung Si Woo wore a normal motorcycle helmet so he could blend in while riding a delivery scooter. Then, he got a magic helmet that protects his head.
  • In The Mansion of E, Rosemary wears a winged mining helmet.
  • Nodwick's helmet is actually rather plain, but it has sentimental value to him (it was given to him by his mother).
  • Airstrike of Wake of the Clash wears a bright red helmet with a blue visor. The author has joked on social media that her she worries about head trauma.
  • In XRS: The suit features a unique helmet design.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender spoofs this with Aang trying on this outfit. Unfortunately, he couldn't move in it.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold has Red Hood, who wears his distinctive red round top helmet to cover up his white skin, green hair, and permanent grin.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door a lot of operatives have cool helmets; Numbah 86 and Numbah 362 have ones that are made from colanders (which would seem a lot cooler if you had a picture).
  • G.I. Joe: About half the good guys, three fourths of the bad guys, and all of the Mooks have Cool Helmets, and there's far too much of a variety to describe them all here. (Of the good guys who don't, several have nice hats.)
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil: Kick Buttowski's helmet is just a mass produced model he got from the toy store...but don't tell him that. To him, its an irreplaceable object of awesome, without which he couldn't be a daredevil.
  • Lazoo: Zuzi has a signature helmet she never takes off. Very crafty.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • What's Opera, Doc?:
      Elmer: I will do it with my spear and magic helmet!
      Bugs: Your spear and magic helmet?
      Elmer: Spear and magic helmet!
      Bugs: Magic helmet?
      Elmer: Magic helmet!
      Bugs: (dismissively) Magic helmet...
      Elmer: Yes, magic helmet, and I'll give you a sample.
    • Another Looney Tunes example is Marvin the Martian's Roman helmet.
  • M.A.S.K.! With their mighty power, they can save the da-a-ay!
  • "Red" has one in Motorcity. He gets a new, cool one after he is hired by Kane.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Nightmare Moon's helmet deserves special mention for looking not only cool but downright frightening despite (or because) of its simplicity.
    • In "Suited for Success", Rainbow Dash's redesigned dress includes an improbably cool-looking Roman legionnaire's helmet. Except it wasn't cool. The purpose of it was to look silly.
    • Equestria's Royal Guards also have cool helmets, resembling the military gear of ancient Pegasus soldiers.
    • In the Crystal Empire two-parter episode, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy end up jousting while wearing extremely fancy helmets similar to the Royal Guards' helmets, that use their own manes for the crests.
  • In Steven Universe, Jasper's Gem weapon is a crystalline helmet with a hammer-like block. She uses it to slam her opponents through the walls and floor of an armored ship, making it a practical weapon choice more than it is protection.
  • The titular SWAT Kats, T-Bone and Razor wear flight helmets, given their identities as vigilante fighter pilots, decked out with blue and red paint to match their flightsuits. They also wear their helmets on top of their Zoro-esque bandana and mask combos to add to their anonymity from their enemies and their former Enforcer commander, Commander Ulysses Feral.
  • In ThunderCats (2011)
    • The Clerics, a Church Militant Praetorian Guard to a Catfolk Lion monarch, wear gold lioness helms with full hood and veil as part of Full Body Disguises, while head Cleric Jaga breaks the pattern with a nicely spiked metal helm ornamented with a gem.
    • The Conquedor, a merchant slaver, wears a modified conquistador's morion.
    • Both the Armor of Omens and Armor of Plun-Darr have helmets based on a lion and Egyptian death mask, respectively.
  • While few Transformers wear actual helmets, many (it's perhaps even fair to say most) have heads designed to look helmeted. Or they have helmets that are part of their head, depending on how you want to look at it.

    Real Life 
  • With the iconic Pickelhaube (often colloquially known as "kaiser helmet") and the Stahlhelm of WWI and WWII (variations of which are notoriously used by motorcycle gangs today), the Germans have long been in the Cool Helmet industry. (See The Teutonic Knights, above.)
    • The Pickelhaube was first introduced in Prussia in 1840 and shortly afterwards in Russia and various other states. Officially it was called simply a Helm (helmet) and in the decades until World War I the original high models were replaced by successively smaller ones. For most arms it was made of leather and topped by a metal spike; Otto von Bismarck, who habitually wore the uniform of the Prussian 7th Cuirassiers, however is portrayed above wearing the heavy cavalry helmet, basically an all-metal Pickelhaube longer at the back to provide additional protection to the neck.
    • The Stahlhelm (first introduced in 1916) superficially resembles the sallet or Schaller, THE knightly helmet of 15th century Germany. However, this resemblance appears to either be coincidental — or rather convergent evolution! — as the M 1916 helmet was designed by a surgeon and an engineer to provide better protection to the eyes, temples and neck and to be able to be industrially produced in one piece. [Then agains, the sallet also fulfilled all those requirements...]
  • Space helmets. Especially Yuri Gagarin's space helmet, emblazoned with the word "CCCP" for extra Patriotic Fervor and to prevent misidentification as a spy upon landing.
  • The knightly heaume, or Great Helm (the "barrel helm"), which covers the whole head, and is usually equipped with camail. Bonus for a crest, such as ostrich feathers or deer antlers.
  • The Japanese kabuto started out ornate, then during the general piece of the Edo period grew more so. At no point did it stop being cool. A few figures of Japan's Sengoku era were noted for their awesome helmets — such as Date Masamune and his crescent moon adorned helm, Honda Tadakatsu and his badass Stag horn helmet and Naoe Kanetsugu's helmet, which was decorated with the metal Kanji for ''LOVE''!
  • Custom artwork is popular as decoration for motorcycle helmets.
  • There are also covers to attach over motorcycle helmets that make you look like a Muppet. As you might guess, Animal is very popular — helped by the fact that a huge wide-open mouth (giving space for the face shield to look out of) is almost his default expression.
  • Roman helmets were very advanced for their time. Many had impressive-looking horse-hair crests that look like mohawks on the rank-and-file soldiers. Historians speculate that the crests helped commanders see which direction the soldiers were facing from a distance.
  • The Greek Corinthian-style helmet, a variation of which was seen in 300.
  • In the 1780s the French army introduced a new cavalry helmet resembling operatic Graeco-Roman helmets; this became more popular during the Napoleonic Wars, during which several models evolved. Cuirassiers wore a steel helmet with a brass crest, which was further decorated with a plume, a horsehair streamer attached to the crest, and a fur turban wound around the body. Dragoons wore a slightly simpler all-bronze model, while from 1810 lancers and carabiniers got a model with a furry crest (black for the former, red for the latter). The mounted branch of the present-day Garde républicaine wears a variant of the cuirassier model (without the fur turban).
  • The 16th-century Spanish morion can also be this. It's that helmet you always see conquistadors wearing, and also the one worn by the Swiss Guards in the Vatican on Sundays and holidays.
  • While the Chinese People's Liberation Army Marine Corp's helmet is just a clone of the American helmet, the way in which they are always shown to wear their helmet makes it qualify. They always have a pair of goggles on top of their black helmets and under no circumstances have ever been seen actually wearing them over their eyes. When they do require some form of eye protection, instead of wearing the pair on their helmet, they tend to opt for their own sunglasses/shooting glasses. The reason for this is probably a closely guarded state secret.
  • With the British Household Cavalry (the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals) the whole uniform is pretty cool, but the helmets are a big part of it.
  • Vikings didn't put horns on their helmets, but they did manage to make their helmets cool without sacrificing their efficiency in combat by invoking Faceless Mooks. Look at this thing! The only thing sticking from there would be this viking chieftains Manly Facial Hair. (Note: Yes, that is a modern made helmet, but it is based on the real thing.)
  • In the Modern US military, wearing an OPS-CORE FAST or Crye Airframe is a mark of being a part of SOCOM, rather than the standard issue Advanced or Lightweight Combat Helmets that everyone else wears.
    • Likewise the Russian Spetsnaz and their Altyn, K6-3, and Rys-T heavy combat helmets with armored faceguard.
    • Since the late 2010s, high-cut helmets in the same style of the Crye and OPS-CORE above begin to see widespread use among many special operations and police units around the world, regardless of their affiliations with the U.S. and NATO, including Russian and Turkish SOF operatives in Syria who favored it in order to accommodate for the hot climate of the region.
  • The Flight Helmet is one of the coolest helmets by far, the iconic Flight Helmet consists of protective eyewear, oxygen mask, and the actual helmet. There's also the Helicopter Gunship version, which while not nearly as all-concealing, have what's basically a high-tech monocle. Either version is highly awesome and practical.
  • The British standard cover of the World Wars, the Brodie helmet, might as well be the most iconically shaped helmet of the 20th century. Based loosely of the medieval kettle hat, this upturned-soup-bowl-shaped headgear was introduced by Britain in 1915 as the first metal helmet worn by its forces in decades, and subsequently adopted by the Commonwealth, the United States (as the "M1917" helmet), Portugal, and certain post-colonial countries like Israel.
    • That helmet design was very good at what it was designed to do: stop shrapnel from above. It provided no protection against a headshot from a rifle.
  • It's hard to exaggerate how ornate Turkish and Persian helmets could get during the Ottoman, Safavid and Qajar dynasties. With top spikes, devil faces, steel horns, and intricate chiseling and inlays, they often look more like they were dreamed up for a Middle Eastern Fantasy Counterpart Culture.
  • Rollersports have been trying for decades to avert the opposite of this, because helmets unquestionably help reduce the severity of head injuries from falling and impacts. In Roller Derby, since helmet wear is mandatory, the most common result of this is what's referred to as the "suitcase look," covering the sides of a helmet with stickers.
  • The Adrian Helmet (Casque Adrian) was used by France in both World Wars. Not only did it get the job done, it looked fabulous as well. The front of the helmet would bear the insignia of the unit the French soldier belonged to (the badge unfortunately weakened the helmet as a whole).
  • The M1 helmet was used by the American military from 1941 until 1985. Widely exported around the world during the Cold War, the M1 helmet is still used by the armies of Guatemala, India and South Korea, and the police forces of countless nations. Aside from its famous "steel pot" look, the M1 helmet's popularity comes from its versatility. The helmet is designed on a "one size fits all" basis, fitting snugly on all heads. Its steel shell can be used as an entrenching tool, hammer, washbasin, bucket, seat, latrine and even an emergency hand-to-hand weapon. Its liner is tough enough to be detached and worn as an improvised hard hat. The helmet is smooth and round enough to accept fabric covers, often in various camouflage patterns, and is perfect for paratroops due to its compact shape. Even today, the M1 helmet is still an icon of not only the American military, but of Western-aligned armies around the world.
    • Also distinctive to the helmet is its users wearing the helmet with the chinstraps left dangling, cut off or fastened behind their head — this was done due to a combination of a fear that the strap could potentially strangle the user from nearby explosive force (which was a common enough fear that the "T-1 connector" was developed for the helmet, which was designed to loosen automatically from enough force) or while in water, and that the helmet was simply quite heavy and its chinstraps uncomfortable such that repeat users of the helmet probably wanted to be able to take it off as quickly as possible whenever they could.
  • Welding helmets, ranging from the old semi-cylindrical Fibermetal type with small rectangular glass slit, to the more modern streamline type. They come from the factory in all kinds of colors and patterns, then add in cloth caps in any pattern that you can think of, and accentuate with stickers and custom-painting, and each welder can have a very individual look.
  • The iconic British firefighter's Merryweather helmet was a beautiful crested brass neoclassical helm inspired by French designs. Sadly, it had to be phased out in the 20th century, as it became an electrical hazard.
  • The Iraqi Fedayeen Saddam paramilitary used helmets designed after Darth Vader's iconic helmet. These are real.


Video Example(s):



King of the Wild Hunt, Eredin and his men raid across dimensions in intimidating black armor.

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