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Eye Glasses

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Nerd Glasses that won't obstruct your Dreamworks Face.

In many cartoons, characters that wear glasses seem to have their whole eyes fused into the lens. Their eyelids are nowhere to be seen, often all that is seen are pupils and the lens. Often the pupils go squinty when the character blinks, and the frames of the glasses have the ability to move around similar to an Expressive Mask.

Presumably, this is simply because drawing eyelids inside the glass frames is rather difficult and would create a less appealing character design.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Nobita from Doraemon plays with this. Due to the animation/art style, his eyes did this in the sense that his eyes are animated within them (you'd see his eyelids).
  • Lotte from Little Witch Academia, as her eyes are magnified by her glasses, however, her glasses don't emote with her eyes but her glasses style makes it seem like they do.

    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput: Fat Doc's pupils and sclerae are seemingly contained within the lenses of his glasses. Whenever he is not wearing his glasses, his pupils are the only part of his eyes that are visible.

    Fan Works 
  • Pony POV Series: A Body Horror variation of this trope happens on the Day of Discord when Silver Spoon's eyes disappear from her face and reappear on the lenses of her glasses.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire averts this with Milo (though briefly played straight during the viewing of an old film reel depicting his childhood), but uses it as a brief visual gag about halfway through the film where Kida actually takes off his glasses because of her curiosity and puts them on her face.
  • Despicable Me has the goggles-variant with the Minions. But the goggles don't change shape.
  • Globehunters: An Around The World In 80 Days Adventure: Trevor the parrot wears eyeglasses that only show his pupils. Though his eyelids appear in them when he expresses emotions rather than the glasses conforming to his mood.
    • Wilkins' glasses are this way too. When he's viewed from the side, you can see his Black Bead Eyes behind his glasses.
  • Hotel Transylvania has the Expressive Mask variant with Griffin the Invisible Man — which, naturally, is the only way for the audience to see his expression.
  • In the film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, the Earthworm has a pair of sunglasses that shift and warp to convey expressions.
  • In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls movie series, the techies wearing Nerd Glasses, notably Scribble Dee and Micro Chips, lean into this, although the glasses don't change shape when they blink (instead the eyelids become visible). Of note, it is entirely averted with the human version of Twilight Sparkle.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - The Mythical Ark: Adventures in Love & Happiness, one of the snakes wears a pair of glasses that seemingly contain his eyes. The insides of the lenses are entirely white, even from the back.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Hummakavula wears glasses that apparently magnify his eyes many times. Then he takes them off to reveal that the magnified eyes are in the glasses themselves, and his own eye sockets are sunken, empty pits. This is the first sign to the protagonists that he is more sinister than he appears.
  • The same with Boris the Animal (JUST BORIS!!) in Men in Black 3; his "eyeglasses" sink right into his skull.


    Puppet Shows 
  • Mr. Cook from Allegra's Window is depicted with his pupils on his glasses.
  • The Muppet Show:
    • Scooter's pupils are attached to the glasses instead of his head. The Muppets (2015) gave him regular (very small) eyes when his glasses broke, but in Muppets Now he wakes up suddenly and doesn't have eyes at all until he puts them on.
    • Not to mention Bunsen Honeydew, whose only indication that he can see is his glasses.
    • Mahna Mahna (from the song of the same name) has no visible eyes, and sunglasses that can blink.
  • Sesame Street has Herbert Birdsfoot and Don Music.

    Video Games 
  • Bottles from Banjo-Kazooie has eye glasses that even blink. It is possible to see around his glasses. He does have eyes, however, they don't blink.
  • Bentley the Turtle from the Sly Cooper series doesn't even have pupils on his in-game model, let alone eyeballs. Just incredibly thick glasses that grow and shrink to whatever emotion he's feeling.

    Web Animation 

  • Homestuck
    • John Egbert. His glasses go so far as to not even be connected to anything; they don't even have a bridge between the lenses note .
    • Bro's Triangle Shades act like this as well, despite not having visible pupils.
    • Jade kind of averts it, however, because her eyelashes are visible through the glasses. The same later applies to Jane.
    • Lampshaded in the 2012-02-16 animation, where Brobot slaps Jake's glasses off. His pupils go with them.
    • Jake later manages to cry through his glasses.
    • [S] GAME OVER. subsequently reveals that both John and Jane have the same trait as Jake when their glasses are knocked off. Whether this is also true of Jade remains unseen.
  • Several characters in Everyday Heroes have this, most notably Carrie. One good example is seen here.
  • Donald Donlan in Gunnerkrigg Court has some quite expressive eyeglasses. A nice counterpart to his Eyes Always Shut wife.
  • Both Matchu and his love interest Amber. Matchu's in particular can go from rectangular to round depending on his mood.
  • Phil from My Roommate Is an Elf. It's revealed that his eyes are scar tissue after being attacked by a Giant Spider.
  • Ronnie from Whomp! has these. A guest strip revealed that he actually had Black Bead Eyes, and painted the skin around them in white, while an "official" strip showed that his eyes were actually stuck to the lenses.
  • Dumbing of Age is this at times, particularly Dorothy Keener and Amber O’Malley. Jennifer "Billie" Billingsworth mostly averts it, other characters vary
  • Questionable Content varies considerably. Faye is usually drawn with natural eyes behind realistic frames, but character Tilly/Taffy is much more cartoony in style.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Principal Brown. Lampshaded once when he took off his glasses briefly and beneath them was another pair of glasses.
  • Steve from American Dad! , however, these were most prominent in the earlier episodes (i.e, when he opened his eyes wider, his glasses would get a bit rounder when he did), they're harder to notice in the later ones (his glasses are rectangular).
  • Arthur: The titular character had something like this, however, his glasses don't change shape, as his eyes are shown animated within them, though, he did have these in the earlier version of the books.
  • There's a kind of variation in the Canadian short The Big Snit, where the wife's pupils get stuck in odd positions and she actually removes her eyes as if they were a pince-nez and shakes them rapidly to unstick the pupils. Lampshaded in the following exchange:
    Husband: Why are you always shaking your eyes?
    Wife: I... I don't shake them like I used to.
    Husband: Yes you do! You shake 'em here and shake 'em there! Why dontcha go join some stupid shake 'n' rock 'n' roll band?
  • Tina from Bob's Burgers plays with this as her eyes are animated/drawn within her glasses.
  • Lizzie Devine from Codename: Kids Next Door has it where we see her eyelids through them when she has to be more expressive.
  • Dexter and his dad from Dexter's Laboratory, as well as Mandark. The glasses can change shape depending on expression, as seen above and, in one episode, when Dexter's glasses were knocked off at a Suck E. Cheese's, his glasses had an expression of his being annoyed.
  • The Dreamstone: Frizz, at least in the first season (the glasses were fazed out in Season 2). Once he removes his glasses in "The Shrinking Stone" to clean them, his face is blank except for his nose and mouth.
  • Duckman. His glasses are his eyes: They have eyebrows. Very odd when he lampshades it by taking the glasses off to clean them: his face is blank. It's also explicitly pointed out in one episode that he has no ears on which to hang the glasses.
  • Played with on Family Guy where most characters' glasses just happen to be the same size and shape of their eyeballs, though Peter's glasses do change shape when he frowns. Also lampshaded: In "The King Is Dead," Peter takes off his glasses and his pupils stay attached to the lenses.
    • This was mentioned in the DVD commentary for Quagmire's Dad as being the reason it was hard to animate a scene where Peter adjusts his glasses, as, for the most part, they're shown as his eyes.
    • This was averted in the episode Peter-assment, where Peter's glasses were broken and he had to wear contacts.
    • Meg's large glasses are noticeably bigger than her eyes though and, thus, avert this trope.
  • Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan is an interesting case. His eyes are drawn inside the frame; however, they are 'magnified', giving the appearance that his skin appears to be 'fused' to the lens. His glasses also change shape to match his expression, though it's hard to notice, because his eyebrows can be seen over his glasses.
  • Dib from Invader Zim. The lenses even disappear as he closes his eyes. His glasses also have wire-thin frames and no earpieces. Some fans didn't even realize he wore glasses until Zim mentioned it, at which point we suddenly realized what that narrow line connecting Dib's eyes was supposed to be.
  • Kid Cosmic and Papa G. Their glasses can change shape when they're sad, angry or serious.
    • Flo as well, but her glasses don't change shape.
  • Lisa Loud and Clyde McBride from The Loud House.
  • Muppet Babies (1984): Like his adult counterpart, Scooter has these as well as his twin sister, Skeeter. Things get strange in one episode as the kids learn to be more like Gonzo and embrace something weird about themselves. Skeeter takes off her glasses, and shows that her pupils are still in the lenses. And then she shakes her glasses, and the pupils rattle around like Cookie Monster's eyes.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Nora Wakeman has the "pupils that blink" variation, but her eyelids also show through her lenses.
  • The titular character from Pepper Ann. She can frown through her glasses, and they also expand to convey surprise. Nearly all characters with glasses actually, although in Lydia's or Alice Kane's case it's not that noticeable.
  • Lawrence Fletcher, Carl Karl and Irving DuBois from Phineas and Ferb.
    • There's one episode in which Candace puts on glasses to show how serious and focused she is. And her upper and lower lids show up when she blinks and changes expressions.
  • Otto Rocket and Sam Dullard in Rocket Power both wear eye glasses, though Otto himself is far from a nerd.
  • Surprisingly averted with Velma in most incarnations of Scooby-Doo. Hanna-Barbara is not normally noted for their painstakingly detailed animation work, but Velma has functioning eyes, eyelids, and eyebrows despite having glasses. It helps a little that her glasses are quite large, so the animators can just draw the whole shebang right onto the lens (nearly everyone else in the series has Skintone Sclerae, so this just makes her look "normal"). Things are played very straight however with her pre-pubescent counterpart in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
  • W.: William, though the shapes of the lenses don't really change.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: Super's glasses often change shape with her expressions. For example, when she squints her eyes, her glasses will shrink as well. A lot of other characters wear glasses, but Super is the only character with expressive ones.


Video Example(s):


Muffy's peers call her out

The episode "Spoiled Rotten!" is one big sequence of this for Muffy, as her peers are finally calling her out on her spoiled attitude and behavior.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BreakTheHaughty

Media sources: