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Goggles Do Something Unusual
aka: Goggles Do Something

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I spy with my little eye... something you can't see.

Den Mother: Enough! It's time for me to pluck out your eyes!
Razputin: Ha! You can't! That is the purpose of the goggles!

The more interesting twin to Goggles Do Nothing, this trope is for eyewear that does something other than what their mundane design purpose is. Eyewear falling under this trope may actually correct vision, or it may not. Such eyewear may protect one from sparks or chemicals. Such eyewear may, as a side-effect be intimidating or just plain frightening, but it certainly will do something useful and unusual besides that.

Among the powers conferred by such unusual eyewear:

As a bonus, they often come in Cool Shades variations. Careful, though; they're not always indestructible, and sometimes they're one of a kind.

Compare Shoe Phone and See-Thru Specs. Contrast Goggles Do Nothing. For other headgear doing unusual things, see Hat of Power. Not related to Junior Member Of The Marx Brothers Performs An Amusing Act Not Specified In The Script But Hilarious Anyway, neither does Beer Goggles.



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  • Agent Ali: The I.R.I.S. is a gadget made by the agency M.A.T.A which Ali accidentally uses and becomes synced to, which is how he becomes an agent. When activated, it becomes a pair of glasses which has X-ray vision, night vision, and AR display among its many abilities. Its primary function is to predict any possible situation to obtain the best outcome possible, effectively making its wielder a super agent.

    Films — Animated 
  • Professor Bomba from Epic (2013) has a self-made pair of goggles that allows him to see the Leafmne in slow motion.
  • Incredibles 2: Evelyn "Screenslaver" Deavor's Hypno Trinkets take the form of goggles broadcasting her mind-control pattern to the wearers.

    Other Sites 
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-1344 ("Eye-Catching Goggles"). Anyone who wears one of these goggles can see colored orbs above the heads of most mammals (including human beings). The orbs are invisible to normal sight and it's not clear what they are.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mistress Belmot uses goggles as a weapon.
  • The Savage Gentleman Victor Benjamin has a pair of spiky goggles, which potentially makes them an even better weapon. But even discounting that, the goggles hold the various decorations he wears on his hat in place.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Joe 90: Joe McClaine's glasses don't help him to see better, but they contain the electrodes that transfer brain pattern recordings into his brain, allowing him to use the skills of whoever's pattern has been downloaded this week.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, a lot of sunglasses have HUD or targeting imagery displayed on the lenses. In fact, that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as what they can do. In Shadowrun, you can get goggles that provide automatic glare compensation to protect your vision from sudden bright lights (such as flashbangs), wirelessly hook up to your Smartgun System to allow you to keep track of your gun's ammo (and even switch between different ammo types automatically if you're using a revolver) or blindfire your gun without penalty, give you Augmented Reality, and a whole host of other things provided you're willing to spend the money to get them.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has mostly magical contact lenses (Eyes of Charming, Eyes of Minute Seeing, etc), but sometimes glasses are encountered as well.
    • Fourth Edition has the "Reading Spectacles," a pair of glasses that allow the user to understand any written language
    • In Dragonlance, the "Glasses of Arcanist" allow the wearer to read and understand arcane text, something that is normally an extremely difficult and time intensive process for anyone but the wizard who wrote the text.
    • In Eberron, Cannith Goggles give a bonus to checks involving the creation of magic items if you are a member of House Cannith.
    • Spelljammer has "goggles of darkness" — goggles enchanted with continual darkness spells for cases when simple black glass is not nearly enough.
    • Beholders have access to magic lenses that supercharge their eye rays. While technically single lenses, they'd count as goggles for a species with eleven separate eyes.
  • GURPS:
    • GURPS High-Tech has, for example, realistic anti-laser goggles to protect against weapons intended to blind the wearer.
    • Hyperspectral Goggles from GURPS Ultra-Tech show you the entire electromagnetic spectrum and have a zoom function. The same supplement may allow other technology to be built into goggles or their frames.
    • Related to that, in the GURPS SF setting Transhuman Space, many people wear glasses or goggles with miniature computers built into the frames, and heads-up displays in the lenses. (Indeed, given that the local medical technology must be well up to fixing most forms of poor vision, this may be the main reason that anyone wears glasses in the setting's year 2100.) It's also entirely possible for those computers to run low-end artificial intelligences. Hence, some PCs can and do treat their glasses or goggles as NPC Allies.
  • In the oWoD game Mage: The Ascension, the Mad Scientist faction of the magical "Traditions" often uses "ether goggles" as a focus for their workings. And on the other side of the fence, the Men In Black wear Sinister Shades with a variety of unexpected uses.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 besides goggles with different auspexes (what the Imperium of Man calls sensors), there are also contact lenses for making someone immune to blinding light including a direct hit from a photon-flash grenade

    Theme Parks 
  • The "Minion Goggles" given to guests at the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attraction at Universal Studios are said to be able to act as a flotation device.
  • Subverted in "It's Tough to be a Bug" at Disney's California Adventure; Flik claims that the "Bug Eyes" (3D glasses) that guests are given make them honorary bugs. Hopper's reaction to the Bug Eyes ranges from unimpressed to murderously angry (mostly that Flik would claim that any human could be an honorary bug).

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The main purpose of Godot's mask is to aid his poison-damaged vision. A side effect of their red lenses is that he cannot see red on a white background. A joke manga also has the visor act as a coffee machine.
    • Ema Skye turns up sporting some pretty cool-looking red-tinted shades that she'll pull down whenever she wants to say something smart. They're actually UV goggles used in conjunction with Luminol. They turn up again in Ace Attorney Investigations, too. They're also used in conjunction with a footprint identification spray.
    • Ted Tonate wears a pair of goggles that can extend to about five feet in length and act as a pair of binoculars. They're also good for disarming bombs, and for eviscerating one's eyeballs.
  • Those strange, completely opaque blinders that Rider in Fate/stay night wears? They're not just to make her mysterious and cool. They both hide her identity and keep from from uncontrollably turning everyone around her into stone.
  • Phantom Thief Silver Cat: Silver Cat's green goggles and cat-eared headset give her numerous perks, such as night vision and biometric readings.
  • In Tsukihime, the protagonist's special glasses actually prevent him from seeing something supernatural: The black lines of death that lie across everything, and which can be used to destroy anything. If he were forced to look at that his whole life, he might have gone insane, likely before dying from the amount of constant strain it puts on his brain.

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • Google Glasses were an attempt to pull this off in Real Life. However, it failed for a number of reasons: people turned out to be afraid of using a device with a radio transmitter right in the head, its built-in camera raised privacy concerns (people feared someone with Google Glasses could be secretly filming or taking pictures, and Google Glass users themselves feared Google could be recording everything they saw), they were ugly, their functionality felt unpolished and beta-like, they received very little updates after its launch, it didn't seem to serve any actual purpose beyond the novelty of having smart glasses, and its earliest release cost $1500 US dollars.
  • Night-Vision goggles and thermal imaging equipment, naturally.
  • Glasses which have mirrors built in, and allow you to see behind you without turning your head.
    • Glasses with mirrors that flip down at 45 degrees are sometimes used for climbing, so someone belaying from the bottom of a cliff and see what a climber is doing above them without straining their neck.
  • Astronomy has a bunch of these, including goggles/lenses that cut out certain frequencies of light, and glasses that let you safely view a solar eclipse.
  • Rear-view and side-view mirrors are basically this for cars and are credited for preventing countless car accidents. In addition, a new type of mirror is being developed to help eliminate blind spots
  • Water goggles help prevent the swimmer's sight from being obscured by water.
  • Lab goggles are very important in labs, particularly when volatile chemicals are involved.
  • Similar to the lab goggles, people who deal with guns or things that otherwise go boom often wear (or are required to wear) glasses which provide ballistics protection from bits of debris that get sent flying around. It's very possible to get regular glasses that can pull double-duty as this, such as the US military's infamous standard-issue "Birth Control Glasses".
  • 3D Glasses, of the various types that have existed throughout history.
  • Polarized lenses allow certain waves of light to pass, making it possible to see certain things through polarized glasses that are otherwise invisible—such as a rainbow.
  • EnChroma glasses can apparently allow some red-green colour blind people to see those colours normally.
  • Special custom-designed goggles were used in a series of experiments about visual processing in the brain. Using mirrors, they flipped the wearer's normal field-of-view from right to left and upside-down. Volunteers who wore them continuously for two weeks discovered that after a while, they saw things right-side-up and in their proper orientation side-to-side, because their brains had caught on and stopped correcting for the natural inversion of images that occurs when the eyes capture light. Once they took the goggles off, these volunteers saw the world flip-flopped and reversed without the eyewear for a few more days, until their visual centers caught on again.
  • iVUE makes sunglasses with a tiny camera in the middle (it can record sound, too). One of the models has Wi-Fi connectivity, so it can be operated through a mobile device and stream the video feed to it.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Spy Glasses, Goggles Do Something, Glasses Do Something Unusual, Eyewear Does Something Unusual


Abby Hatcher's Zoomer View Specs

Abby Hatcher uses the "Zoomer View Specs" built into her glasses to find things hard to be seen.

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