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Cool Shades

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Homestar Runner should've gone to Specsavers!

"My glasses, my glasses! I can't be seen without my glasses!"

Wearing dark glasses or mirrorshades is long-standing visual shorthand for badassitude. The act of putting them on means that it's time to kick ass, take names or do both. The act of taking them off is a sign that somebody's about to get scrutinised by the badass, usually just prior to an asskicking.

Obligatory for a Cyberpunk setting, or for intimidating Deep South Lawmen. A nice accessory to a Badass Longcoat.

The opposite of Nerd Glasses, and the inverse of The Glasses Come Off.

Overlaps, but is not identical to, Scary Shiny Glasses. If the shades are on the character 24/7, it's Sunglasses at Night. If the effect is to make the wearer look sinister rather than badass, this is Sinister Shades. If you're Making a Spectacle of Yourself, the effect is to make you look just plain weird. But remember, sometimes the Goggles Do Nothing. Occasionally the character may just wear their glasses on their heads as a head decoration rather then where their eyes are.


Aside from making them look badass, the reason behind them wearing shades is so they don't show that their eyes flinch when firing a weapon or having massive swords flung at their face. So when a character isn't wearing any shades and running around firing automatic weapons and manages to show no discomfort you know they're truly badass.

Another reason being that most people commonly have visual cues they give with their eyes subconsciously. Something a properly trained (or badass) opponent might pick up on. If they can't see your eyes, obviously they won't see you look at the gun before you leap into a roll for it, or look at the guy in the corner right before shooting him and making a break for it.

Each type of frame has become an archetype of its own over the years: Wayframesnote  are commonly associated with power and status (and celebrities in general) or with bohemian intellectuals, while metal framesnote  are mostly sported by either hippies or policemen (and for that matter, armed forces in general)note , and Wraparounds have found their place within espionage.


For some specific variants, see Sinister Shades, Triangle Shades and Round Hippie Shades.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Iceman Hotty from Basquash! wears a pair of cool shades all the time. Though it's not until Spanky attempts to eat a pair of random lizards scampering through the desert that we find out his shades are actually alive. Though they're hardly the first pair of equipment to be alive in the series.
  • In Battle Spirits Shonen Toppa Bashin, Seven wears them when he takes on his "Galaxy Seven" persona. Compared to his cowardly and quiet usual persona, Galaxy is a flashy egomaniac. Masako also wears them, switching pairs depending on whether she's dressing as a teacher or is taking on her role as "Number Eight". The latter pair is reminiscent to Kamina's. (Unlike Seven, her personality doesn't change, but she does intend to come off as cooler/sexier that way.)
  • Tooya of Ceres, Celestial Legend wears shades at the beginning of the story, while he was still working for the Mikages. He begins to wear them less frequently as time wears on, which is cool because you get a glimpse of the first facial expressions he makes. In his life.
  • Batou takes this to its logical Cyberpunk extreme in Ghost in the Shell (all versions) by "wearing" night vision goggle lenses implanted in place of his eyes. They cannot be removed and his "real" eyes, should they exist, are never seen. Also double as Scary Shiny Glasses when he's being extra intimidating. Judging by their size and some other things, like a doctor in Stand Alone Complex trying to sell him actual eyeballs, they indeed are his eyes in their entirety, and their purpose is to pack in more functions than normal-sized eyeballs could, implying again that they are cylindrical and extend deeper in his skull than normal eyeballs would. Batou received these "eyes" during his time as an Army Ranger. As seen in Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig, they're standard-issue; the villains arrange for a team of Rangers to fight Section 9, but Batou convinces them to trust him by dropping his camouflage so they can see his Ranger eyes.
  • Queen Victoria in the Black Butler manga. All part of the Anachronism Stew.
  • In Black Lagoon, Dutch, Eda and Mr. Chang all regularly wear those. Rotton the Wizard tries to look cool with these, but fails.
  • Bleach: Seems to be a requirement for members of the 7th Division given former-captain Love Aikawa, former-lieutenant Jin'emon Kotsubaki and incumbent lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba all wear/wore badass shades. Renji's predecessor in the 6th Division Ginjirō Shirogane left to open a sunglasses shop called the Silver Dragonfly which Renji himself frequently buys from. (In keeping with his Butt-Monkey status, Renji's badass shades invariably get destroyed in battle shortly after he buys a new pair. No one else seems to suffer this fate.)
  • Higuchi Ichiyou from Bungou Stray Dogs wears one.
  • In Code Geass, Suzaku Kururugi wears a pair of shades in his civilian clothing.
    • Schneizel sported a pair during the FLEIJA testing. They were only protective sunglasses, but still. It's almost as is Schneizel has inherited Doc Brown's protective Cool Shades.
    • Guilford gets in on the action too, though from the presence of a certain sort of cane when he visits Cornelia in the hospital, it's implied that this is not purely a fashion choice.
  • In Death Note, Matt has goggles that never seem to be given a real purpose, but are still thought to be one of the coolest things in the world by fans of his.
    • In the second intro, Aizawa is seen wearing a pair of aviator type sunglasses he never dons outside the opening.
  • Digimon Tamers has Yamaki, who wears his nearly all the time! Ruki and Jianliang also get in on the act.
  • Taken further in Digimon Savers: Captain Satsuma is never seen without his sunglasses. Ever.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Turtle Hermit, a.k.a., Muten Rōshi, wears his shades for 90% of the time, giving him a more interesting look beyond the "wise, old sage" stereotype. As Jackie Chun, he doesn't wear them, since most people don't know how his face looks like without the shades (the wig helps too). The Glasses Gotta Go to signify that the Muten Rōshi is going serious. Literally serious.
    • The Muten Rōshi's rival, the Crane Hermit, also wears shades to signify the audience their connection. The only time we don't see him without his shades is in one flashback where he was bald.
    • The tournament announcer is never seen without his shades. It also protects him from the Taiyōken, allowing him to observe the fights even everyone else is blinded by the intensity of the light. This inspires Son Goku to "borrow" the Muten Rōshi's shades to counter the Taiyōken. He also does the peace sign on top of the successful counter.
    • To prove that Goku's Shunkan Idō works and how amazing it is, Goku teleports to the Muten Rōshi and "borrows" his shades, giving Goku a cooler look for a brief moment. The gives the shades to Kuririn so the latter can bring it back to the Muten Roshi. Kuririn invokes this trope to look cooler, too.
    • Due to the rules of the Tenkaichi Budōkai preventing the participants to wear protective gear, Son Gohan has to find an alternative for his Cool Helmet which he only wears to conceal his identity. As a result, he's given shades and a bandana. This trope is largely subverted, given that the Great Saiyaman looks even more ridiculous with that combination than with his helmet. It is later played straight when he loses the bandana. It's especially effective when he turns into a Super Saiyajin with his shades which combined with his rage-filled facial expression makes for a very impressive looking appearance.
    • One of the most iconic moments in Dragon Ball GT is the scene where the Power Trio lands on Planet Rudeeze and are donning pairs of shades just to look cool. Given that it is desert planet with intense sunlight, the shades are justified.
    • Dr. Myuu has a vizor built onto his face, adding to his relation with the Machine Mutants.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! is almost never seen without his pair of designer sunglasses, although not everyone thinks that they're awesome. Shuji, for example, thinks they make him look like a pretentious hipster (at least up until Shizuo clotheslines him into oblivion, at which point Shuji agrees that they suit him perfectly and couldn't imagine him any other way and OH GOD, PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!).
  • Leo/Loki from Fairy Tail wears them on occasion. It might have something to do with his power.
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist sports a badass pair of shades to hide his red eyes. He seems to have left them behind following his Heel–Face Turn. Another Ishvalan character, Major Miles also wears shades to hide his red eyes, the distinctive characteristic of his race. Greed is another character who likes sunglasses — in his case, it's mostly for the cool factor, but since he has Hellish Pupils, there is a practical benefit as well. In Ling Yao's cameo appearance in the 2003 anime version, he's wearing some pretty awesome glasses. In fact; they're just like Greed's, as a nod to what happens in the manga.
  • Osamu Sugo/Knight Shoemach from Future GPX Cyber Formula wears those. So much so that it became a Running Gag in the series when Randoll, Shinjyo, Bootsvorz and even Clair wears the same type of shades he wore during his racing days.
  • Ban Mido from Get Backers wears his 'Anti Evil Eye' shades constantly; the only time they ever come off is when he's about to use his signature Evil Eye, or in rare cases, when they've been broken. If it's the latter, he will inevitably materialize a new pair at some point in the near future to wear again.
  • Bear Walken of Gungrave always wear cool yellow shades. Up until he was defeated by Brandon and he died. One cute note: Sherri, his daughter, was shown as a girl with a teddy bear with those glasses.
  • Harlem Beat: there are the Three Men team, Shades, Ultraman (his shades even shaped like Ultraman’s eyes!), and Kojiya twins from Kyan.
  • In Hellsing, Alucard's sunglasses, at least toward the beginning of the series. By later on, he's abandoned them, in what is probably the most badass way of having The Glasses Come Off ever.
  • Noriaki Kakyoin from the Stardust Crusaders arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure takes to wearing sunglasses to conceal facial scars during his fight against Dio.
    • Jolyne's Stand, Stone Free, has shades of the variety with slats across the lens.
  • Kusanagi and Kamamoto of the Red Clan in K
  • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Char Aznable/Quattro Bajeena trades his famous helmet for a pair of shades. Zechs Merquise also wore shades in the prequel manga, Gundam Wing: Episode Zero.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water:
    • Sanson has some pretty damn Cool Shades. They have a similar shape to Kamina's without being as over the top, and the generally extremely similar personality of the two characters suggests that the Gurren Lagann team were a little inspired by Gainax's earlier figure of goofball manliness.
    • His partner in crime Gadgeteer Genius Hanson also wears Cool Shades.
  • Naruto:
    • Shino Aburame wears a pair of shades that never leave his face.
    • Most, if not all, of the Aburame clan from which Shino hails from, wear shades as well.
    • Killer Bee and a minor Cloud ninja named Jei also sport some, which both stay on through no visible means of attachment.
  • Adam Blade from NEEDLESS wears shades as well, and it makes him look mighty badass.
  • Moonlight Lady has this trope represented with Chikako.
  • Nerima Daikon Brothers seems to reference the Blues Brothers. The not-quite-cool title characters seem to wear sunglasses...well, because they're in a blues band! Specifically, they put them on whenever they head out to pull off a money-making caper.
  • In One Piece Franky wears ones that can stay on without attachments. Admiral Kizaru sports a quality pair, fridge logic comes into play considering he is a Light man devil fruit user and wearing them could make it easier on his own eyesight. After the Time Skip, Nico Robin and Smoker also sport theirs. Doflamingo and Vergo both have worn shades since they were 10 years old and have never been seen without them.
  • Pokémon:
    • Ash's Squirtle kept the Triangle Shades from his days leading the Squirtle Squad and has been known to pull them out from time to time.
    • The recurring Sandile/Krokorok in Best Wishes has a pair of sunglasses with a red frame, even though its evolution line does technically have built-in shades (giving Krookodile the Fan Nickname "Kaminacroc"). Its sunglasses give it self-confidence, which it loses if it loses its sunglasses. Ash ends up catching it during its fourth appearance and later evolves it into Krookodile. The sunglasses seem to grow in size whenever the Pokémon evolves.
  • Enishi from Rurouni Kenshin is always seen with a pair of purple-tinted John Lennon shades which brings up the question of who sold sunglasses in the late 19th century.
  • The Sailor Animamates of the Sailor Moon anime sport sunglasses in their respective disguises.
  • The villain Chinmei from Samurai Deeper Kyo wears shades most of the time except his final battle against the entire Sanada clan, revealing his "True Red Eyes". At one point his shades was damaged by Mahiro during his battle with Kyo, only to be replaced by a spare shade.
  • Straight Cougar from S Cryed is almost as much defined by his glasses as he is by his speed.
  • Over Justice of Space Patrol Luluco wears shades that appear to be styled after Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (the robot, not the entire show).
  • Kagato from the first Tenchi Muyo! OVA.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Kamina is constantly wearing cool shades (which stay on without any visible means of attachment and he wore them despite living underground and never seeing the sun for most of his life). After he hijacks his own Gunmen, he melts down the pair of swords it had into a pair of shades too. Later on, those same shades (combined with the mecha's wings) are used to hold the enemy down for a final blow. Then the shades reattach themselves. Rule of Cool indeed but he may well have a legit reason. His shades are brightly colored, which may have helped him see detail and texture in dim light. Bikers in the real world do this with yellow lenses. Plus, his shades are red. As in, the color that helps human eyes adjust to transitioning to darkness, like the lights on a submarine. He went up to the surface with his father as a kid and wanted to be ready next time.
    • The aforementioned over-the-top sunglasses have since undergone Memetic Mutation, where slapping on his shades will instantly render any character incredibly manly. It has also become an Ascended Meme in Super Robot Wars Z2, as Kamina's shades are an equippable item that adds 20 Will to the character they're equipped to at the start of a battle. (Will, for those unfamiliar, is basically SRW's Limit Break system; higher Will allows a pilot to use a mech's most powerful attacks or activate special abilities)
    • During a massive power-up, Simon's digging goggles morph into Kamina's shades, and then into five-point star shades.
    • After finding out that the Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann's design was based on Shin Dragon, you can no longer see its face as anything other than a pair of six-pointed shades.
    • Boota is wearing a set of round-lensed shades; at first they could just be his eyes, but when you see him sleeping with them on his forehead in episode 8, or scrabbling for them earlier, it becomes clear that in this show even the pig mole is wearing shades.
    • Boomerang Shades that can cut holes in the fabric of the universe? Definitely Cool Shades. Remember, this anime is all about doing the impossible.
  • Tsuchimikaido Motoharu in A Certain Magical Index always wears awesome shades, making him even more badass when he actually is involved in solving a conflict of some sort.
  • Trigun:
    • Vash the Stampede always puts on his yellow sunglasses right before he stops playing the fool and reveals his actual hypercompetence. This is actually because his eyes glow blue when he gets pissed and he likes to hide it.
    • Wolfwood wears Cool Shades most of the time in the manga. In the manga, Knives occasionally gets cyberpunk-style ones.
  • In Vamp, the narrator goes to great lengths to describe Watt's sunglasses.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has Trueman, and given the rest of his characterization, it's probably best we can't see his eyes.
  • Dark Glass/Vizor from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is named after his cool shades. And he never takes them off, unless he's revealing his secret identity or dying, after which Yusei appears to keep them as a Tragic Keepsake.

    Comic Books 
  • Alpha Flight:
    • Heather Hudson normally wore prescription glasses began wearing wrap-around shades when she became leader of the team. When she received her version of the Vindicator/Guardian battlesuit, Madison Jeffries modified her shades for wear with the suit.
    • In the second Alpha Flight series, Heather had switched to contacts, and initially didn't wear glasses with the new suit Department H had provided her, but after a while of getting bothered by the wind in her eyes, she brought the shades back.
  • Boneyard: Ralph is constantly wearing sunglasses, even at night.
  • Far Sector: Jo's hovering butterfly wing inspired green light construct shades.
  • In Gotham Academy the school delinquent and fireworks smuggler Colton Rivera wears sunglasses everywhere and at all times of day and night. It's eventually revealed that a large part of the reason he refuses to take them off is that he's using them to hide the black eyes his abusive father gives him.
  • In The Intertidal Zone, Bob the Sponge sports a pair of these, fitting for the seaside setting.
  • In Loki: Agent of Asgard Sigurd's idea of harnessing the "mortal magic known as cool" (yes, he actually described it so) for the current Ragnarök is handing out some of these.
  • Mister X: Mister X wears circular shades to cover up his eyes, which look about as bad as you'd expect from someone who hasn't slept in years.
  • Plastic Man wears a pair, though since his Voluntary Shapeshifting powers seem to apply to them, they usually change size and shape several times in a scene. They also (usually) act as bit of Morphic Resonance.
  • Cassidy from Preacher always wears them to hide his eyes, which seem to be the only part of him that changed substantially when he became a vampire. When he becomes human again at the end of the story, he throws his shades away. Both because his eyes look normal and because the shades embody his time as a vampire (during which he hurt and ruined a lot of people through his own selfish carelessness).
  • The Sandman: The Corinthian wears shades to hide his nature. While his taking them off is a threatening move, his leaving them on isn't so reassuring either. Conveniently, by the time his master takes him for his first incognito visit to the real world in the 18th century (in Brief Lives), sunglasses have already been invented. In his 'regular job' as a nightmare he doesn't need them: turning around is a sufficient Reveal. When the new Corinthian gains human eyes in place of the mouths after a lot of Character Development, he ditches the shades.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Dr. Eggman wears opaque sunglasses. Pre-Super Genesis Wave, they were also used to conceal his Black Eyes of Crazy, which would out him as Robo-Robotnik, the roboticized Mirror Universe version of his Prime counterpart.
  • In Transmetropolitan Spider Jerusalem has distinct "live shades" with circular red lens and rectangular green lens. The item maker that created them was on hallucinogenic drugs. Now how cool is that. Cool enough that when he finally needed another pair, they had the same mismatched lenses.
  • The X-Men's Scott Summers, Cyclops, wears sunglasses (or a visor, when in costume) with special lenses to contain his unceasing Eye Beams all the time, even when asleep. In various depictions, these range from clunky to top of the range Oakleys. In this case, taking them off is the threatening move.
  • In The Avengers 100th anniversary special, Rogue wears a pair of sunglasses with red capital A's on the lenses.
  • Inverted in White Sand - while all Darksiders have to wear sunglasses on the Dayside, Baon is too badass for that.
  • Cardboard: Pink Eye wears black sunglasses to hide his, well, pink eyes.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The beginning of Hitman Miami has 47 living in Miami and spending most of his days surfing and tanning on the beach, so he wears a pair of sunglasses throughout the entire first chapter.
  • Wesker's Cool Shades are such an integral part of his Iconic Outfit that when he turns into a pony in My Little Wesker, an image of a pair of sunglasses becomes his cutie mark. Wesker eventually acquires a regular pair, which he wears as often as he can.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf character Orbit (named for Madonna's Ray Of Light collaborator William Orbit) wears a pair of wraparound shades, due to his eyes being light-sensitive, as seen here.

  • Double Subversion: In the movie Airplane!, Captain Rex Kramer whips off his sunglasses to make a dramatic point with The Glasses Come Off. Only to reveal another pair of sunglasses underneath. He then removes those sunglasses to make another dramatic point. Unfortunately, he was not wearing a third pair, as the Rule of Three cannot be applied to this trope for fear of implosion.
  • Ace Ventura: Putting on sunglasses is just about all Ace Ventura does.
  • Avengers: Endgame has a deconstruction: Thor wears sunglasses at various scenes, but as a disguise to make him look cool and relaxed, when he actually has become a very depressed shell of himself.
  • Back to the Future
    • The first Back to the Future ends with Doc Brown showing up wearing some very Cool Shades. They're so cool, they're made out of sheet metal! Christopher Lloyd couldn't see a thing out of them. They were only written in as a gag for the first film. When the sequels came around, he ditched them ASAP.
    • In Back to the Future Part II, the glasses are revealed to be a part of the Delorean's Heads-Up Display. Note than you can now re-create this appearance with some brands of modern-day mirror shades. Marty also buys a pair of shades to go undercover in 1955 (specially as he went back to the events of the first movie, so he needs to look different from the other time-travelling Marty).
  • In Black Hawk Down, Delta operator SFC Norm "Hoot" Hooten wears such cool shades note  that they don't even exist for six years after the events of the movie actually occur.
  • Blade: Blade in the movie and sequels of the same name, apparently stores his surplus Badassitude in his shades. In every movie, there seems to be a point where he loses them, gets his butt kicked for a while, and then regains them, just to put 'em on in a badass way. Usually this happens right before fighting the Big Bad. Step 1 of defeating Blade is "remove his sunglasses".
  • John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd wore shades when performing as Jake and Elwood Blues. The Blues Brothers act originated on Saturday Night Live and got made into a blockbuster movie in 1980. Each only has one scene without their sunglasses: Elwood has security ones when quitting his job, and Jake removed his in the scene where he was apologising to the Mystery Woman (Carrie Fisher).
    • The popularity of the group, and the rise of New Wave Music revived plastic glasses in the late 70s-early 80s.
    • The Blues Brothers had a not-so-successful sequel in 1998 called Blues Brothers 2000, in which Elwood takes off his shades (only) once—and he covers his eyes with his hand when he does. Even his driver's license has shades. New core members of the band also get cool shades; when Cable is converted to the true faith of R&B, his cop shades are turned into cool shades. The DVD of the original movie includes scenes omitted from the earlier versions, that include Elwood resigning his job as a menial factory worker, while he wears protective goggles instead of shades.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick seems to put on (or take off) his welding goggles to emphasize what he's saying. The goggles are actually functional; his eyes are extremely sensitive to light (allowing him to see no matter how dark it is), so he needs them to protect his eyes. He also takes them off or puts them on depending on the amount of light in a scene and how clearly he wants to see something.
  • In the first half of the preceding Pitch Black, it's played straight: glasses on when he's kicking ass. The brightness of the sunlight leaves him vulnerable without his welding goggles - when they're torn off during a fight, he's pretty much helpless. However, he takes them off later during the total darkness of an eclipse: he wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
  • The evil prison warder in Cool Hand Luke in his impenetrable mirror shades. It was possibly homaged by the sheriff in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
    What we have here, boy, is a failure to communicate!
  • In The Dark Wind, Agent Johnson wears these in his first and second appearance to fit his Faux Affably Evil façade. He does take them off at night, though.
  • Dirty Harry: Callahan's dark sunglasses... punk!
  • In Escape Plan, Stallone's character Ray Breslin wears these just after he's released from prison at the beginning of the film.
  • Rodney Skinner, Gentleman Thief, wears these to hide the fact that his eyes are invisible.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: The Baroness never forgets hers... even after a train collision. She also wears them at night, but that is justified by their high-tech use: they double as night-goggles.
  • In the first John Woo film Heroes Shed No Tears, the unnamed Vietnamese Colonel has a scene where he shaves in front of a mirror then puts those on. He might have sported them for the rest of the film, too, but a bad case of Scope Snipe forced him to switch to the Eyepatch of Power.
  • The Film of the Book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • This campaign ad for Zaphod Beeblebrox puts forward the following argument:
    "Zaphod Beeblebrox has the longest hair of any candidate
    and he's got the coolest shades..."
    • In other versions of the Guide these are "the greatest shades in the known sky": Joo Janta Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses. At the first hint of danger they turn totally black, and prevent you from seeing anything that may alarm you. Ford isn't impressed.
  • Done to great effect in Hot Fuzz: the main character is disenchanted and giving up when he sees DVDs of Point Break (1991) and Bad Boys II in a little convenience store. Inspired, he buys a pair of cheap sunglasses that make him look disproportionately badass. He later hands off a spare pair to his partner when they meet up.
  • At the beginning of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Dingy Bell (played by Mickey Rooney) wore these for the first 15 minutes of the movie. As the movie went on, he completely ditched them.
  • Benny the Cop from Kopps wears clip-on sunglasses, thinking they make him look like an action hero.
  • The Matrix:
    • In the original film and its sequels, shades differentiate characters from extras within the Matrix. Virtually everyone that matters wears them. The technical reason they have them in The Matrix is so you can't see actors blink in gunfight scenes, although this is averted in the gunfight after Neo's first visit to The Oracle when Apoc and Switch both fight without them.
    • It's also a visual cue that Neo is reaching his potential when he breaks Smith's shades. Smith takes them off and says, "I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson."
    • Sunglasses seem to be symbolic armor for everyone. Nearly every time someone gets beaten up, they aren't unquestionably defeated until after their shades are gone. One exception is Morpheus, who takes his off before Agent Johnson fights him on the truck, perhaps symbolizing the fight's ultimate futility. The final fight between Neo and Smith has them knocking each others' shades off early on, because armor is irrelevant with the level of control they both exert over the world.
  • The Men in Black use their shades for a purpose. It keeps them from being affected by their memory-erasing Neuralizer. J actually trades his first pair in for a more stylish set at the end of the first movie.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie has Johnny Cage wearing a rather pricey set of shades that get crushed by Goro.
    Johnny Cage: Those were 500 dollar sunglasses, asshole.
  • My Science Project:
    Cop: Hey kid, why do you wear your sunglasses at night?
    Vince Lotello: Because when you're cool, the sun shines on you 24 hours a day.
  • Night Watch. In the film adaptation almost all Watchers wear sunglasses. Yes, exactly, in the night.
  • The shades worn by Malcolm Beech in Oblivion (2013).
  • Beth Heke in the New Zealand film Once Were Warriors wears them in the last third of the film, after her daughter Grace died and she was finally forced to become strong and proactive.
  • In The Professional, Leon almost always wears his signature round sunglasses. They're the very first thing you see of his character in the series. Little Miss Badass Mathilda Lando snags them (and his knit cap) when she goes to commit an assassination of her own, apparently in hopes of channeling some of his badassitude.
  • Justified in Ra.One: The robotic hero G.One, while impersonating his deceased human creator Shekhar, has to wear sunglasses to conceal his eyes being a different color.
  • Reservoir Dogs's intro sequence, as all of the thieves power walk toward the camera in their suits and shades.
  • The blind character in Sneakers only wears dark glasses in one scene, apparently for the sole purpose of reflecting screens of computer code.
  • Alice, one of the mental patients in The Scribbler. Coupled with her Blinding Bangs, they not only cover her eyes, but almost completely obscure her face and her true identity as a murderer.
  • Soultaker stars Martin Sheen's brother as a Cool Shades-wearing Grim Reaper who falls in love with the leading lady/scriptwriter. The SOL Crew insisted upon singing "Sunglasses At Night" to mock this.
  • The iconic aviators of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.
  • Regardless of what model it is, every Terminator cyborg is required to acquire cool shades before proceeding with its mission. They have to be cool. They have to be shades. They can't be uncool shades.
  • That Thing You Do!: Once The Wonders sign on a major record label, their manager gives the drummer a pair of sunglasses to make him stand out. Lampshaded by a reporter: "Are those prescription, or are you just trying to look cool?"
  • The cool shades in the film They Live actually Do Something Unusual ; they allow the wearer to see the aliens in human guise, who are apparently responsible for the widening wealth gap, economic inflation, and a bubblegum shortage. That doesn't stop them from being used for badass effect, though.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Justified with Cyclops—he's always wearing them because they keep his particular mutation in check.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • In 1973, Logan, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr sport fashionable '70s-style sunglasses.
      • Quicksilver has a pair of goggles used to overcome anything that can impair his sight while in super speed.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Professor X, Scott Summers, Alex Summers, Peter Maximoff and William Stryker are seen in '80s-style sunglasses.
    • Logan: X-23 shoplifts a pair of Shopkins-branded sunglasses from a convenience store, and she wears them at several points throughout both trailers. And despite being bright pink and blue plastic sunglasses covered with cartoon cupcakes, Laura still makes them look bad ass. See Exhibit A.

  • In Artemis Fowl, mirrored shades are on the list of items needed for a night-time mission, but they turn out to serve a practical purpose - deflecting the fairies' hypnotic mesmer ability.
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer: Johannes wears smoked-blue lenses that wrap around-they're as much for practicality as anything else, as Cabal more or less lacks a sense of style.
  • Minty Fresh from Coyote Blue wears Cool Shades to hide his golden eyes.
  • The sports glasses Daemon operatives use may be this or Sinister Shades.
  • Dark Future: Many people dress themselves with these in Dark Future novels. Many of them are also shades which double as music-playing devices. Elder Seth's shades are not merely cool ones, but they're also a means to see beyond the normal and perceive the Outer Darkness and create a conduit between him and the Dark Ones he serves.
  • Crowley from Good Omens wears a pair of sunglasses all the time to hide gold eyes with pupils slitted like a snake's. Although he also wears them just because they're so darn cool. The other demons find his coolness irritating.
  • In Invisible Man, the protagonist puts on a pair of dark sunglasses, and finds himself being mistaken for Rinehart.
  • Molly (aka Rose, Sally, etc) from Neuromancer has mirrorshades surgically implanted over her eyes. The same surgery also rearranged her tearducts, so she literally can't cry. Instead, she spits. They're not just mirrorshades; they have microchannel image amps built into them so she can see in the dark. Somewhat cooler than your typical cybernetic replacement eyes, not to mention being rather easier to manufacture.
  • Shane Schofield, from Matthew Reilly's books, wears silver anti-flash glasses to hide his scars.
    • Alloysius Knight, also from Matthew Reilly's books, wears similar shades due to his eyes being hypersensitive, and being like "Shane Schofield gone wrong".
  • Lampshaded by Robert B. Parker in one of his Spenser novels, where Spenser needs glasses, & remarks he could get prescription shades, so nobody would know & everybody would just think he was cool.
  • Tre's Blindsided Shades (read: shutter shades) in Stuck are considered all the rage by his standards. He breaks them in Stuck at School, but later replaces them with Blindsided Mirrorshades in Stuck at the Wheel..
  • MARZENA has some nice pair of holo sunglasses, great for watching the news while on the road or for intimidating people, also available in prescription, talk about it to your ophthalmologist.
  • In the Newsflesh trilogy, George has to wear cool shades, because the same virus that caused the zombie Apocalypse made her ultra sensitive to light.
  • Stephen Maturin of the Aubrey-Maturin series often wears glasses with colored lenses, which help him win at cards and with his gig as a really good spy, and also happen to disguise his pale, reptilian eyes, his most distinguishing feature. However, it's worth noting that during the books' time period, shades weren't considered cool at the time and were more medicinal in nature, being first used in Europe to help correct certain vision impairments. This is borne out when a fellow spy hears of Maturin's towering reputation and notes upon meeting him that he'd been expecting someone more heroic-looking, not someone who wore shades against the sun.
  • Dark aviator sunglasses are the Iconic Item of Gideon, the protagonist of Gideon the Ninth. They're even featured on the book's cover, and the final chapter header changes the Ninth House's icon to include them after her death.
  • Public School Superhero: Stainlezz Steel wears a pair of visor shades as part of his superhero outfit.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24: Jack Bauer often wears a pair of aviator sunglasses.
  • Adam-12: In the final few episodes of Season 7, Reed begins wearing sunglasses on-duty. This includes an off-duty rescue of Malloy (who has been taken hostage by a gang of reactionists) and during Reed's investigation of a typewriter theft ring.
  • Harper's imaginary friend Mr. Lies sports a pair of these in Angels in America.
  • Gene Hunt manages brand new levels of awesome when he wears shades.
  • One recurring character in the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica, Romo Lampkin, nearly always wears shades, despite the fact that he's living in a fleet of dimly-lit spaceships. Justified in that he wears them so that people cannot tell what he is looking at - he is a kleptomaniac lawyer, after all.
  • On the game show Break the Bank (1976), host Tom Kennedy had his glasses tinted because the set was so bright. When the show was Uncanceled and brought back with Jack Barry hosting, Jack wore shades for the same reason.
  • The awe-spiring sunglasses of Michael Westen from Burn Notice. Sales of that particular brand of shades (Oliver People's Victory) shot up right after the show started to get popular, a testament to just how damn cool they are.
  • Parodied on Chef!
    Gareth: Everton, why are you wearing sunglasses?
    Everton: They make me look cool.
    Gareth: Take them off.
    Everton: I brought you a pair.
    Gareth: Okay.
    • Later on...
    Gareth: Why do you keep checking the mirror? Are we being followed?
    Everton: No. I'm just making sure I look cool.
  • Chuck:
    • Shades-wearing secret agent Bryce Larkin tries to give his sunglasses to Chuck, claiming that he should have them if he's going to be a real spy. In reality, he's imprinted an update to the Intersect within them.
    • Later seasons seem to have shades that can either upload the Intersect to one's head, or remove it entirely.
    • More mundane, but still cool, shades of various styles are worn by all the principle spy characters throughout the series. Even Chuck and Morgan look cool, but they send Casey's badass cred Up to Eleven.
  • Crime Scene Investigation Franchise:
    • Horatio Caine of CSI: Miami punctuates almost every Quip to Black by putting on his Cool Shades if he's not already wearing them. (If he's already wearing them, he'll take them off and put them back on again.) So you could say that he... (puts on sunglasses) has it made in the shades. YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAH!!
    • Shows up now and then with the other franchise leader, Grissom from CSI.
    • Mac from CSI: NY on a few occasions as well.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor traded in his Sonic Screwdriver for Sonic Sunglasses in "The Witch's Familiar":
    "Oh yeah, I’m over screwdrivers. They spoil the line of your jacket. These days I’m all about wearable technology."
  • In Double the Fist, Steve's glasses are so cool, they give him The Force.
  • In Dracula (2020), Dracula wears some kickass shades with four blue-tinted glasses while taking a stroll aboard the fog-shrouded Demeter during the day.
  • The Electric Company (1971): Several instances, most notably Morgan Freeman in his role as a nasty drill sergeant in the 1973 skit "The Un-Soldier" (with Luis Avalos and Skip Hinnant).
  • In the Firefly pilot, Simon is first shown wearing a pair of nice-looking sunglasses. The Better Days comic tie-in indicates these are actually functional, as they block retina scans. Is is a slight nod to Chinese period films, where that style of glasses tends to be worn by evil characters or traitors.
  • Played With in Glee, Quinn and Finn, wanting advice on how to avoid having slushies thrown in their face and to regain their status, go to the guidance counsellor Emma who suggests cool shades. It doesn't work.
  • Good Omens (2019): As in the book (see Literature) Crowley is usually seen wearing these to hide his snake eyes from humanity. A flashback shows he was wearing them in 41 A.D. before sunglasses had officially been invented.
  • Duncan MacLeod on Highlander: The Series had them in some episodes.
  • Hong Gil Dong in Hong Gil Dong.
  • Cousin Itt from The Addams Family only wears two articles of clothing, his shades and his Nice Hat.
  • All Naval Aviators have at least one pair in JAG.
  • Kung Fu: the Legend Continues: Ex-mercenary/police detective Kermit Griffin virtually never takes his sunglasses off.
  • The Ray-Bans in Miami Vice.
  • In MythBusters, Jamie Hyneman wears some badass Julbo shades whenever the crew takes a field trip.
  • Power Rangers/Super Sentai:
  • The Rotten Tomatoes Show features a song called "Shade Tippin'" in which Brett Erlich examines the phenomena in movie posters.
  • While most of the deputies on Reno 911! wear shades to take on the Badass Cop persona, Deputy Junior almost never takes them off. Not even indoors or at night.
  • Mike in Spaced is never seen without a pair.
  • "Hawk" on Spenser For Hire played by Avery Brooks. On the Arsenio Hall Show, Brooks actually defined a hero as someone who could get into a fight with a bunch of people and never lose his sunglasses!
  • In an early episode of The West Wing, Josh puts on his sunglasses to punctuate his threat to a Congressman. "The President doesn't hold grudges. That's what he has me for."

  • A kind of glamour, you can lend yourself
    Like dark sunglasses...
    Dark Sunglasses, Chrissie Hynde
  • Curt Smith of Tears for Fears sports a pair of round sunglasses in the "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" music video which was also used in promotional images.
  • The Statler Brothers: Original tenor Lew DeWitt wore these when he began wearing glasses in the early 1970s.
  • Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart.
  • All three members of Steelpreacher wear them.
  • Repeatedly referenced in Parliament-Funkadelic's music. "That's the law around here, you got to wear your sunglasses. So you can feel cool."
  • The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk 3.
  • ZZ Top:
    • "Cheap Sunglasses": "Now go out and get yourself some thick black frames/ with the glass so dark they won't even know your name/"
    • The band sports these as well, along with Badass Beards, to cool effect.
  • Troy "Trombone" Shorty Andrews wears them on the album cover of Backatown.
  • Psy is seen performing in them often.
  • Roy Orbison was seldom seen without sunglasses...because they were prescription strength corrective lenses. He opted to wear them instead of his actual eyeglasses, which could not see without.
  • Bob Dylan poses in them on the album cover of Blood on the Tracks.
  • The dog on Frank Zappa's album covers of Them or Us, Francesco Zappa and The Perfect Stranger wears cool shades, as do the strange guitar-nosed man on the cover of Orchestral Favorites and the one on the cover of Studio Tan.
  • Johnny "Guitar" Watson wore them in the last decades of his life.
  • The band Leningrad Cowboys, who dress up like Elvis Presley, all wear cool shades, along with a large Elvis quiff.
  • Jeff Lyne of Electric Light Orchestra.
  • This was also a trademark of Lou Reed. He appeared in them on the cover of Metal Machine Music.
  • Slash wears them as much as his Nice Hat. Whenever he's not in shades, expect his hair to cover his face.
  • Joey Ramone was rarely seen without sunglasses. Tommy Ramone also wears them in the cover of the band's debut album and many promotional pictures.
  • The first man in the row on the album cover of One Step Beyond by Madness wears cool shades.
  • PJ Harvey is photographed wearing them on the cover of Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.
  • M.I.A. wears cool sunglasses on the cover of Kala.
  • British singer/rapper Taio Cruz is almost never seen without a pair of sunglasses on. He is occasionally seen without them, but the sunglasses is his signature image.
  • German singer Heino has exophthalmos due to Graves' disease, and so always wears sunglasses in public. They look awesome.
  • Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice is famous for sporting shades and tinted lenses. Keyboard player Jon Lord also wore them for a while.
  • Singer/songwriter Russ Ballard suffered an eye injury in his right eye as a child. He was left blind in that eye and has worn sunglasses ever since.

  • Chell from Sequinox wears a pair when she drives. Tellie gains a pair when its near her as well. Sid has a pair of aviators that she shares with her player Cassidy.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Before we begin. Because pro wrestling shows usually takes place at indoor arenas during evening prime time, nearly every instance of this trope in the biz doubles as Sunglasses at Night.
  • Cool Shades + cool shirt + Fascinating Eyebrow = The Rock.
  • Bret Hart wore a pair of pink ones in his run with WWF/WCW. He'd usually give them to a child fan before the match.
  • Hulk Hogan, of the nWo wore a pair of shades and looked absolutely badass while wearing them.
  • John Morrison has a pair he wears to the ring, although how he sees in them is a mystery to me.
  • "Macho Man" Randy Savage is known for his colorful, decorative, and all around badass sunglasses usually with designs on them coordinating with his tights.
  • The Undertaker wore a pair during his American Badass/Big Evil run.
  • During his pre-DX "Heartbreak Kid" days, Shawn Michaels would always have awesome shades to go with his flashy apparel
  • In Progress Wrestling, Marty Scurll wears a pair during his entrances.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun allows characters to purchase Cool Shades. The real fun comes when you start putting visual enhancements on them.

    Video Games 
  • Air Zonk has the titular Zonk wearing shades. When an ally is chosen to help him, they are powered up and receive a similar set of shades. One of Zonk's weapons is actually firing neon shades at his enemies.
  • In Alpha Protocol, Mike can sport several different types of sunglasses, ranging from simple slightly tinted glasses to wraps to big aviators to mirrored sunglasses that make him look like a sinister CIA agent right out of the 60's, all the way to shiny reflective razor sunglasses.
  • In Art of Fighting, John Crawley the navy man wears a pair of sunglasses that can be knocked off if you damage them enough. His boss, Mr. Big, also wears them.
  • One of the customizable clothing options in Battlefield Play4Free is several types of sunglasses for the player-character.
  • Vinnie the Gooch from Backyard Baseball.
  • In Batman Doom, several types of enemies wear sunglasses: Shotgun Thieves, Slum Lords, and Snipers.
  • Rash from Battletoads.
  • Rodin from Bayonetta, by far the biggest male badass of the series in general.
  • Software designers The Bitmap Brothers had cool shades as their schtick. On photographs in game magazines of the day, they often wore sunglasses, and in at least some of their games, cool shades were included as a hidden item or easter egg.
    • In Speedball 2, Bitmap Shades are an item that gives players increased aggression.
    • In Xenon 2 Megablast, the player can buy "Bitmap Shades" as an extremely expensive item. All it does is change the graphics to pure black and white.
  • Jason Hudson wears a nice pair in Call of Duty: Black Ops. David Mason of Call of Duty: Black Ops II also wears shades that serve as the HUD.
  • Cecile Forward wears a nice looking pair in intermission scenes in Castle Fantasia 2 Renewal, though they do tend to subvert their purpose in battle scenes, where she looks rather bug eyed.
  • Clarence's Big Chance: Clarence can get them if he is promoted to executive.
  • Cool Shades adorn the titular Spot in Cool Spot. They're also found in the scenery on occasion.
  • Sunglasses are an equippable head item in Crypt Of The Necrodancer. They boost your attack power, but make all enemies into silhouettes only distinguishable by eye color.
  • J.C from Deus Ex never takes them off. When mocked by Agent Navarre for wearing sunglasses at night, he gruffly replies that his vision is augmented. Additionally it is suggested that the cool shades stop him freaking the public with his solid blue eyes.
  • In Dream Web, protagonist Ryan has to put some shades on to obscure his identity after he is wanted for murder.
  • With the exceptions of the Duke Nukem games before Duke Nukem 3D, the titular character is never seen without his signature pair of cool shades.
  • All ten members of the Elite Beat Agents from newbie Spin to veteran team leader Chieftain, not counting Mr. X. The Divas and Khan have some pretty nice shades too, although the Divas' are transparent.
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout 2, putting mirrored shades on actually gave your character + 1 bonus to Charisma.
    • Likewise, in Fallout 3, Mr. Burke wears a pair of these. Which you can later steal from his house, provided you are crazy good with lockpicks (or have discovered cheat codes). Or you can just loot them off his corpse (which is probably the best option for anyone not playing as a evil character).
    • One of the women in Andale has the same kind of shades. There's a way to get them without losing karma, just reveal Andale's evil secret and, when confronted by the 4 adults, tell them you think they're freaks. They'll try to kill you, which lets you get rid of them AND score some Cool Shades.
    • Fallout 3 also has the "Lucky Shades", a unique pair of sunglasses that gives you a + 1 bonus to your Luck while you wear them.
    • Fallout: New Vegas brings back the same model from Fallout 3 and introduces the new "Authority Glasses", a pair of aviator shades that seem to be a favorite of NCR Rangers.
    • In Fallout 4, one of your companions, Deacon, rocks these. It's the only thing that's consistent among his numerous disguises.
  • Michael Becket, the player character of F.E.A.R 2, is shown putting on a pair of futuristic looking shades that serve as your HUD for the game.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Parodied in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, wherein Rude, upon having his shades destroyed during battle (because Reno steps on them), immediately produces a spare pair from his pocket and puts them on before returning to the fight. He seems rather distraught by their loss, though.
    • Cloud has a pair at the beginning of the movie, though he loses them in the same scene. In the Dirge of Cerberus, Cloud puts on a new pair of (very sexy) sunglasses in the big battle cutscene.
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake gives Barret a pair of black shades. They help him to exude an air of badassery to inspire the other members of Avalanche, because underneath, he has kind eyes that would be ill-fitting for a bio-terrorist leader.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Auron is always wearing his shades, except during flashbacks. Downplayed as his cool shades are small and worn low on the nose, so you can often see at least part of his eyes.
    • Al-Cid Margrace from Final Fantasy XII actually had someone to hold his glasses for him while he wasn't using them.
    • Lightning sports a pair of fancy sunglasses in the intro of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. There's quite a few different types of shades that can be obtained in the game as cosmetic adornments, including the same pair she wears in the intro.
  • Sissel from Ghost Trick wears a pair of shades... Or rather, Yomiel does. Although Sissel's tail in his real form as a cat is kinked to resemble the shades.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, you can buy a pair of shades for your character.
  • Azel, the Mirror Boss in God Hand. Weirdly, they manage to stay on even when he does all sorts of impossible fighting moves, except in the final stage where he takes them off deliberately. From the cutscene you can tell that now It's Personal, and he's really quite pissed.
  • Ryder and Woozie in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • Johnny from Guilty Gear. His shades are removed only in his Burst sprite (to show he's serious now, of course).
  • Beyond the Grave, the main character of Gungrave wears a pair of small, yet neat, sunglasses that have the left lens blacked out and a cross design on top of that. It serves a minor purpose in that the black lens slightly covers up the prominent scar on his face—and the fact that he no longer has a left eye, because it was shot out at point-blank range, and killed him back when he was still Brandon.
  • FBI agent Norman Jayden of Heavy Rain has a pair of shades that also doubles as a virtual reality headset which he uses to analyze clues and solve crimes. The only downside is that it's highly addictive and slowly killing him.
  • Many of the disguises Agent 47 wears in the Hitman series, notably Security Guard disguises, and his default "suit" for Sapienza in Hitman (2016), which is him wearing a white rolled-up summer shirt and some sunglasses.
  • Nightmare from Kirby wears some Cool Shades.
  • In Jumper Three, you can acquire sunglasses in Sector 2. Like any other Nice Hats you get there, they are useless, but still cool.
  • In Kickle Cubicle, the enemies Max and Shades wear sunglasses.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • K' always wears sunglasses and takes them off during his intro. Some official artwork shows him with white framed glasses with red tint. The shades aren't solely there for show as his Chain Drive move has him throwing them at the foe and when hit, follows up with an autocombo, he also seems to have an infinite supply of sunglasses as he can perform his Chain Drive whenever he has 1 power bar.
    • In KOF XIII, he has them on the whole time. Now he grabs back the sunglasses when it hits the opponent during Chain Drive.
  • In the Learning Voyage games, ZZ is constantly seen wearing square sunglasses.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • While they have no effect in increasing the badass quotient of the characters, Thane Krios and Jack have gained their personal cool shades in a DLC.
    • Some DLC items also allow Shepard to rock the look, such as the Umbra Visor or the Archon Visor.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo all the rebels have these at one point or another. Also see above The Matrix example.
  • Proto Man from Mega Man (Classic). Man's so cool, he wears shades under his shades. More accurately, his sunglasses underneath his helmet's visor.
  • Liquid Ocelot wears these to great effect MANY times in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
  • In Mohawk And Headphone Jack, the protagonists wear sunglasses throughout the game. According to the manual, they don't technically possess eyes, but it fits with their "desire to have a good time."
  • Mortal Kombat: Johnny Cage is rarely seen without his trademark shades. (Sometimes he fights without them, but puts them on during his victory pose.)
  • Mother
    • Teddy from MOTHER wears a pair of these.
    • In MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance, the Greyface and chapter 1 boss Elmadan wear these. They are also a stylish equippable item!
    • EarthBound doesn't miss this either as the minibosses (and then allies) Frank Fly and Mr. Everdred wear these themselves.
    • An enemy called the Rock Lobster wears a pair that resembles Kamina's in Mother 3.
  • The sunglasses Kōmokuten from Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- wears serve a purpose – to limit the all-seeing powers of his eyes. Looking cool is just a side effect.
  • Lakilester from Paper Mario. Likewise, there are also Koopa Troopas in the Paper Mario series that wear sunglasses and hit a lot harder than their sunglasses-less counterparts.
  • You can't afford Super Macho Man's sunglasses. Now get your hands off the ropes.
  • The Pokémon games have the "Black Glasses" item, a pair of Sinister Shades that heighten the power of Dark-type moves. The Pokemon Krokorok and its evolution Krookodile have a dark membrane surrounding their eyes that intimidates their opponents which looks like a pair of shades.
    • The two player characters of Pokémon X and Y both wear sunglasses over their hats. (Only as the player characters, the rival versions don't wear them.) The customization options in Pokémon Sun and Moon onward allow you to purchase wearable shades.
  • Pou: You can buy a pair of sunglasses for Pou to wear.
  • Resident Evil
    • Albert goddamn Wesker. Eventually, it's to cover up his bizarrely inhuman eyes, but mostly they're just there to be rockin'. He only takes them off twice in RE:5. The first time, he throws them at Chris as distraction (and then wipes the floor with him before catching his glasses to put them back on) before the boss sequence begins. The second time is during the final battle.
    • Ada Wong in Resident Evil 4 drops a pair, which then explode as a distraction.
    • Wesker's son Jake Muller puts this one on in the end of his and Sherry's campaign.
  • Serious Sam has started off wearing shades, but they were later removed from his design, allegedly to "make a less Duke Nukem looking character".
    • They returned in Serious Sam 3, seeing as that game is a prequel to the First and Second Encounters.
  • The chaingun-toting cat commandos from Shadow of the Wool Ball wear these.
  • Jake Armitage from the Super Nintendo incarnation of Shadowrun. Initially he needs to put them on to solve a puzzle. He needs to wear them to prevent the morgue guys from recognizing him as the guy who woke up at the morgue, so they won't flee and he can talk with them. But they can't be taken off once worn and show up in all the cutscenes from then onwards. Some characters also comment on them when spoken to.
    • Jake Armitage, yet again, wears his classic pair Shadowrun Returns (even when he sleeps in the morgue because it's cheaper than a coffin hotel).
  • Steve Herman, the protagonist of Shatterhand.
  • Persona
    • Katsuya and Baofu from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment both sport some rockin' shades.
    • In the PSP remake of Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Hitler/Nyarlathotep also looks pretty damn good sporting a pair, to the point where one wonders whether Atlus's censorship will backfire by simply making him look too cool.
    • In Persona 4, the human members of the main cast all wear Cool Shades in order to see through the thick fog permeating the TV World.
  • In Penn & Teller's unreleased game Smoke and Mirrors, a minigame has a slider for the amount one wears sunglasses ranging from "hate them, never wear them" to "I'm Lou Reed, I never take them off". On Impossible in the main game, Lou Reed shows up wearing the shades, and kills the player characters with his laser eyes. Without removing the shades.
  • The Galoombas in Something. Despite looking cool, they're still weaklings to Mario. They only appear in Flashing Forest.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Dr. Eggman wears a pair of round-frame sunglasses at all times with the intended effect of making him look more intimidating. Imagine what he would look like without them. At least they help build an image.
  • Blank from Space Channel 5. His were pink variants of the classic Kamina 'boomerang' shades. His 'turn' icon even had a glint next to the glasses!
  • Star Fox has James McCloud.
  • Just like his namesake, Roy Koopa of Super Mario Bros. is always rocking a pair of hot pink shades. He's never appeared without them.
  • Team Fortress 2, being known for its large number of cosmetics, naturally boasts these. The most commonly seen are probably the Graybanns (a very standard-looking set of black sunglasses) and the Macho Mann (gold-bordered and paired with a Porn Stache). The Sniper also has them as part of his standard attire.
  • Tekken: Kazuya Mishima and later Jin Kazama often rock a pair of shades.
  • Terraria:
    • Demon Eyes have a very low chance to drop a dark lens, which can be used to craft these. If you wear them, the sun gets a pair, too!
    • A hardcore character opening a Treasure Bag dropped by the Eye of Cthulhu will find 0x33's Aviators, vanity headwear that the devs created to honor a Terraria streamer.
  • Many characters from Unreal Tournament 2004.
  • Parodied in World of Warcraft: Legion in a Rogue quest where you wear some shades that allow you to see a faint trail of bloodnote , and while you go around wearing them, all the non-player characters comment on how stylish you look and how they want to date you.

    Visual Novels 

  • Shadehawk's shades in Antihero for Hire. He (almost) only wears them for Cool, since he operates at night.
  • Faisal from Because I'm Depressed wears these all the time. Even indoors. Even at night.
  • Bob and George: Like he'd really use this trope when he could wear sunglasses to see the invisible.
  • Black Monday Blues, of Dead Winter, is hardly ever seen without his red-tinted shades...and he carries a second pair inside his jacket, just, you know, in case.
  • El Goonish Shive: Tedd wore glasses to invoke this trope but the glasses themselves are still cool.
  • Cool Shades abound in Homestuck, ostensibly ironically.
    • Dave Strider sports a bitching pair of aviators, the very same worn by Ben Stiller in the Starsky & Hutch movie. They were also a key item in the previous MS Paint Adventure, Problem Sleuth.
    • Dave's Bro wears Kamina shades. It was an unintentional resemblance people kept pointing out which got a Fandom Nod later down the line when they were referred to as "dumb pointy anime shades".
    • Terezi Pyrope wears bright red cat eye sunglasses, and Sollux Captor wears heterochromatic shades. Equius Zahhak wears sunglasses with perpetually cracked lenses.
    • Dave's later upgraded and combined iSHades, which are an iPhone on a pair of aviators. And are awesome.
    • John gets a similar pair of shades, but they lack the apple logo, and Dave's raw awesome.
    • Post-Scratch Bro/Dirk Strider still has the Kamina shades but with his sentient auto-responder Lil Hal inside.
    • Terezi's dancestor Latula wears red sunglasses. Or R4D sunglasses.
    • You would think that combining a pair of Cool Shades with a helmet shaped like a skull would be pretty badass. You would, however, be wrong. Jake's Skulltop computer makes him look like even more of a dork than usual.
  • This is one of many ways artists choose to hide Delkin's eyes in Lightning Made of Owls.
  • The Professor from M9 Girls! won't remove his shades even while working at the lab. His lab coat usually doubles as a Badass Longcoat.
  • Yuki from MegaTokyo switched from Meganekko-style glasses to Cool Shades after Largo made her a Little Miss Badass.
  • Ménage à 3 and its spinoff Sticky Dilly Buns:
  • Murry Purry Fresh and Furry: Cool Cat, an actual non-athropomorphic cat, wears cool shades.
  • James of Out There has yet to be pictured without his Ray-Bans (if that's what they are). You can't even see his eyes when he's in profile. Since you can see the eyes of the other characters when they're viewed from the side (even when they're wearing glasses), it's hard not to wonder: does James even have eyes?
  • Youngsilver from The Pride of Life sports a Bebop-inspired pair.
  • Punintended's character N/A wears these as driving glasses. It is rather subverted as they are bright pink.
  • In PvP, Brent Sienna is never seen without his trademark shades. He takes them off when he gets married, only to be blinded immediately because his eyes haven't been exposed to that much light in decades. He eventually takes them off for almost three years (real time) beginning in October, 2011, due to his vision having been so badly degraded from them, only to put them back on again in October, 2014, after a minor midlife crisis of sorts over the stress of being a father.
    • At one point, Cole Wilson tries to emulate him by wearing aviator sunglasses, which Brent objects to because cool shades are his thing. A few strips later, Cole no longer wears them and admits he sat on them
  • Shilo from Rhapsodies.
  • Cammi the limo driver from Sandra on the Rocks even leaves her shades on during sex, and never drops her cool attitude either.
  • Mad Scientist Kevyn Andreyasn, from Schlock Mercenary. It's revealed, at one point, that he doesn't need them to see well. In the visual spectrum, at least.
    • The Toughs' Reverend also wears a pair of snazzy shades. He and Kevyn even get into a small argument over whose are cooler;
    Reverend: Flash-reflex, full-spectrum protection, with constant U.V. blocking, baby. Better than most EVA visors.
    Kevyn: Mine are giving me a frame-by-frame replay of the explosion [We just witnessed], and mapping the non-visual spectra onto an overlay.
    Reverend: Mine also have designer frames.
  • Nearly everyone in Shinigami Death Punch has their very own pair of cool shades in their color. The author never hesitates to use them for dramatic effect, either.
  • In Sinfest, probably the look Slick was going for, although he doesn't pull it off as well as he thinks he does.
  • Riff from Sluggy Freelance is never seen without sunglasses. Normally he wears black shades, but when he suits up for the Final Battle during "Dangerous Days," he switches to some even more badass yellow shades.
  • Invoked by children in Ozy and Millie— Avery tells Timulty how uncool having a lemonade stand is, and Timulty responds by donning a pair of shades.
  • № 1 from Hell(p) is never seen without a pair of aviator sunglasses. Justified, considering he lives in a desert city that is constantly bathed in scorching sunlight. His shades also get bonus cool points because one of the lenses appears to be partially broken.
  • USAball in Polandball is almost invariably depicted with sunglasses and is the only character to have this consistent trait. Because other countryballs use their eyes to express themselves, he always comes across as The Stoic.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Alan Chan's violet-tinted specs in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan.
  • The Backyardigans: Backyardigans Pablo and Tyrone wear these as 'Delivery Agents' in the episode "Elephant on the Run". So don't mess with them.
  • Throttle from Biker Mice from Mars wears a pair of sunglasses at all times. This is because as a result of being experimented on he lost his eyes and got them replaced by bionic ones. Although some Biker Mice fans say he's blind.
  • An interesting preschool version - in the Nick Jr. show Bubble Guppies, there is an episode where the characters are welcoming the arrival of spring by going to see the spring chicken - basically a regular chicken who, for some inexplicable reason, wears giant sunglasses.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Nigel Uno has these, until the last episode, where they are passed on to Numbuh 5.
  • Di Lung from Courage the Cowardly Dog.
  • Judy Funnie from Doug.
  • Tad and Chad from The Fairly OddParents wear them to look cool. In their first appearance, Timmy starts wearing a pair to become popular.
  • Agent Six from Generator Rex rocks shades and a sharp green suit. Oh, and foldout katanas. That he can slice bullets with.
  • Iggy from Hey Arnold! rarely takes off his sunglasses. In addition, Curly wears an eyeglasses with opaque lens, which make his eyes invisible.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Enfant Terrible Heloise wears a pair during her stint as Jimmy's bodyguard. This parodied in another episode where Dumb Blonde Jimmy attempts to invoke this trope, but the sunglasses he uses get increasingly tacky.
  • Lilo & Stitch: "Hello, Lilo. I'm Mr. Bubbles." — "Your knuckles say Cobra... have you ever killed anyone?"
  • Johnny Bravo: Johnny Bravo wears black shades throughout every episode, and actively covers his face whenever they've fallen off.
    • Lampshaded and Parodied in a crossover episode with Scooby-Doo. He and Velma bump into each other, knocking off their glasses.
    Johnny:My glasses! I can't be seen without my glasses!
  • One of the villians in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures was a government agent who always wore sunglasses. Lampshaded by Race Bannon when he said that he "was one of them, until the shades became a part of the uniform."
  • Pegasus in Miraculous Ladybug wears a pair of shades instead of a mask like the other heroes. It's justified in that the sunglasses are his Miraculous (they appear as regular glasses when not transformed).
  • The Duke of Detroit from Motorcity has these. Abraham Kane also wears these in a commercial for "Kane Shades."
  • Mr. Bogus: Mr Bogus and Brattus wore these in the first act of the episode "Waterboy Bogus". By the time the second act rolled around, they completely ditched them for the rest of the episode.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Rainbow Dash has sported a pair of sunglasses on occasion.
    • Also, there's Vinyl Scratch, aka DJ Pon-3, a pony DJ who's appeared briefly in a few episodes who wears a pair of purple shades.
    • Rarity occasionally wears over-sized fancy shades, usually on picnic.
    • Members of the elite flying team the Wonderbolts all have a pair when they don't have their flight suits and goggles on.
  • On Princess Natasha, Teen Superspy Natasha wera a cool set of wraparound shades to go with her high-tech Spy Catsuit.
  • Rick and Morty: Rick wears a pair in "Get Schwifty".
  • In the episode "In the Line of Doody," The Penguins of Madagascar briefly don cool shades, complete with earpieces, while "protecting" the parks commissioner. And they look simultaneously hilarious and awesome.
  • Ace, the leader of the Gangreen Gang, from The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: According to the computer in "Cupid's Errant Arrow", the pink sunglasses it replicated for Ensign Brad Boimler are snazzy based on its analysis of the coolest people in Earth history.
  • In the special for Total Drama Action, Noah and all the members of the boy-band "The Drama Brothers" have them.
  • Many of the 'younger' Transformers (like Jazz and Prowl) have optics shaped like cool shades. Fans generally write fanfiction about them being blind underneath, or how they really have red Decepticon optics.
    • Prowl and Soundwave of Transformers Animated both have similar pairs of shades as Kamina (though it's possible those are their actual optic sensors, being Mechanical Lifeforms and all; they even match their factions like most others eyes), and both are awesomeness incarnate (they're a nod to Joe Pineapple's optic visor from ABC Warriors of 2000AD comics). Jazz and Jetstorm also have sensors that look like visor shades, and Grimlock's are shaped like normal ones.
  • Young Justice:
    • Robin wears a pair whenever he's out of costume.
    • Red Arrow wears them whenever he's in a stakeout.
  • Cool Ness, a Nessie from Happy Ness: The Secret of the Loch, sports a way cool pair of these in addition to playing the sax.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has the episode "Eight Arms to Hold You", where Vinnie and Sunil attempt to sneak into Littlest Pet Shop, and Vinnie (who claims to have watched a lot of action movies) puts on some shades, even though the break-in happens at night. Cue this short dialogue.
    Sunil: Why those? It's already dark?
    Vinnie: Cool factor.
  • Garnet of Steven Universe wears a pair of shades at all times. In her case, they're to hide her third eye. When they're removed, of her own volition or not, something's going down.
    • All the fusions Garnet is part of each have their own unique pair of cool shades too.
  • Special Agent Ray and the background spies from The Secret Show wear these. Presumably to hide their identities.
  • On Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, Fu-fu wears these during the episode "Cool Fufu", as part of his "gangster" look after joining the rebel winged flyers.
  • Sunspot from Ready Jet Go! wears some sometimes, such as when he's playing the instruments to Jet's songs.

     Real Life 
  • Sunglasses were purely functional devices for quite some time as 1920s movie actors began using them to protect their eyes from the intense set lighting.note  People who saw behind-the-scenes footage of actors doing so on newsreels thus concluded wearing sunglasses is fashionable. By the end of the decade, sunglasses were commercially introduced and by 1930, reportedly 1 million glasses were sold.
  • Many celebrities attempt to invoke this trope; perhaps the most successful example is Roy Orbison, who originally wore them because he left his regular prescription glasses on the plane that was taking him to one of his concerts, was pretty much Blind Without 'Em, and didn't have time to get a replacement set (in the 1960s, you couldn't get glasses in less than several days, unlike today's one-hour stores).
  • Japanese comedian and television presenter Tamori always wears sunglasses, which have become iconic in Japan due to his celebrity status, though this is less because Tamori was trying to invoke this trope and more because he is covering up a childhood eye injury.
  • All of the members of X Japan, except for Pata.
  • Tom Waits has an incredibly badass instrumental piece simply called "In Shades."
  • Corey Hart wears his sunglasses at night, so he can, so he can watch you weave an breathe your storylines.
  • ZZ Top, who even have the song "Cheap Sunglasses".
  • Kanye West wears those neat 'Shutter Shade' sunglasses to many of his concerts, regardless of lighting.
  • The late, great Eazy-E of N.W.A was rarely seen without his shades.
  • Future World Emperor and musician, Dr. Phineas Waldorf Steel, has yet to be seen in public without his characteristic thick black-lensed goggle-glasses.
  • Gen Urobuchi wears a pair of shades whenever he makes public appearances. Even in one particular photo where he has no shades on.
  • Ozzy Osbourne and Geddy Lee perform wearing round framed sunglasses.
  • Joe Satriani's black sunglasses and Bald of Awesome make up his look.
  • Bono alternates between Cool Shades and Scandalous Shades, often really bright. He explains it happens because his eyes are sensitive to light, and thus it's hard to see him without any glasses (and many of those times, he looks weird).
  • Guns N' Roses had two frequent wearers
    • Axl Rose (who liked to use them over his bandanna)
    • Slash who also frequently uses a Nice Hat.
    • Axl is occasionally not seen wearing shades, but Slash on the other hand never takes his off. One interview said he went to see his mother who was dying of cancer in a hospital, and never took off his shades.
  • The only guy who wore glasses as much as Bono and Slash was Joey Ramone.
  • Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople usually wore shades, going so far as to lampshade this in the song "Ballad of Mott the Hoople."
  • 2 the Ranting Gryphon, a well known comedian within the Furry Fandom, is rarely seen without his trademark brown shades.
  • Dutch author of children's books Paul van Loon is never seen in public without his shades. This rather adds to his mystique, being a writer of mostly kiddy horror.
  • General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, famous for his roles in World War II and the Korean War, was known for, among other things, wearing aviator shades... long before the aviators started wearing them. It helps that MacArthur, being literally Older Than They Think, had been a commissioned officer in the Army since 1903, making the shades a literal example of Follow the Leader.
    • Worth noting that the shades are pretty essential for pilots as they allow them to see better. Modern combat pilots don't need them so much anymore due to their helmets having shades built-in, but civilian pilots can find these extra useful on sunny days or whenever they absolutely must fly above cloudcover.
  • The late Mitch Hedberg.
  • Hunter S. Thompson
  • A 17 year-old kid accused of being the Lulz Sec hacker 'Topiary' was wearing these when he was taken into custody.
  • Shades are standard issue for people working in the Secret Service and other bodyquard services, allegedly because they conceal what the wearer is looking at. This can help keep potential troublemakers in line, since they can't be sure that sunglassed muscleman isn't staring directly at them. Larger, square ones can also have a one-way mirror formed into the glass/plastic as well which allows them to look behind without having to turn around.
  • Bob Dylan. He was almost never seen without them in the '60s.
  • The late Lou Reed.
  • Johnny "Guitar" Watson: Later in his career his broad-brimmed hat, gold teeth, sunglasses and jewelry were part of his public image.
  • Ric Ocasek of The Cars.
  • Former President George W. Bush accidentally mistook legally blind reporter Peter Wallsten's medically-required sunglasses as Cool Shades. They were in fact medically prescribed glasses for a rare form of macular degeneration caused by exposure to UV light.
    Wallsten: "Mr. President! Peter Wallsten, Wall Street Journal. Is it true that-"
    George Bush: "Are you going to ask that question with shades on?"
    Wallsten: "I can take them off."
    Bush: "I’m interested in the shade look, seriously."
    Wallsten: "All right, I’ll keep it, then."
    Bush: "For the viewers, there’s no sun." (audience laughter.)
    Wallsten: "I guess it depends on your perspective." (more laughter)
    Bush: "Touche!"
    Later, upon learning that Wallsten was legally blind and the glasses were medical, a red-faced President Bush called him to apologize. Wallsten shook off the incident, saying it was a funny exchange that didn't offend him at all. He is currently a national policy reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
  • Likely future Hall of Fame Baseball manager, Tony La Russa, always wore a pair of sunglasses when managing, even during night games. This was part of the mind games he played against opposing teams in the dugout, to prevent their manager from attempting to read his facial expressions and gain an insight into his strategy.
  • Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada is almost always seen wearing sunglasses and a stoic facial expression.
  • Justified with the lead singer of Steppenwolf, John Kay; his eyes are severely sensitive to light.
  • ABBA singer Agnetha Falskog wore tinted prescription glasses to read the lyrics while recording the vocals for "Dancing Queen".
  • Eric Church is rarely seen without his aviator sunglasses.
  • All of The Beatles wore shades on the back cover of the Revolver. This was also the first time they were seen with tea shades, having sported Wayfarers until then. Not that it was the only thing that they were changing at the time.
  • Gen Urobuchi always wears shades whenever he makes appearances at fan conventions and panels.
  • Many prescription glasses can be designed with transitional lenses that automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, giving the user a cool look without having to sacrifice practicality.
  • An example of Society Marches On can be seen with the gender swap of sunglasses, like many articles of clothing over time. Up until about 1990, sunglasses were associated primarily with cool guys, but slowly these focused on the female market as a backlash against sunglasses arose among men in the early 1990s (with the demographic turning to baseball caps). This led to a situation where in 2010 if you looked around, 90% of the people wearing sunglasses are female, especially from the younger generations (born in 1972 and later). Look at any couple in real life or on Facebook, chances are if only one is wearing sunglasses, it's the woman. However in recent years men have grown more partial to shades once again.
  • Tommy Wiseau of The Room fame has for several years never been seen without sunglasses. He wears them to every interview and Q&A he does. Co-star Greg Sestero suggests it is because Tommy is self-conscious about his droopy right eye.
  • Elton John certainly qualifies; he has a large closet full of them.
  • Dale Earnhardt's legendary Gargoyles.
  • French Trap Music producer DJ Snake is never seen without a pair, often so dark they completely cover his eyes.
  • Bob Baffert, trainer of the two most recent Triple Crown winners, is almost never seen without his steel-frame shades.
  • US President Joe Biden and his iconic Ray-Ban aviators.


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