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High-Class Glass

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"By Jove, it fits! Now the prince must marry me!"
Leela: I know Fry's rich, but do we really have to wear these top hats?
Bender: Maybe you don't understand just how rich he is. In fact, I think I'd better put on a monocle.

Want to give your character a prop that sets him as high as possible in the social strata? Give him a monocle.

Largely obsolete today (it disappeared sometime during The Great Depression of the 1930s, when being conspicuously wealthy was a quick way to get yourself despised),note  the monocle is a corrective lens applied to only one eye. In this sense it is no different from eyeglasses. But while eyeglasses have never been anything more than a medical appliance (with the possible exception of the pince-nez), the monocle has been a status symbol virtually since its invention.

They are never seen on the faces of the working class. Instead, they are the exclusive province of titled nobility, high-ranking military officers, upper-level businessmen, academics, and similar members of the social elite. They are also exclusively worn by men — though lesbians in the early 20th century sometimes used them for a subtly masculine edge. Monocles were available to the lower classes, but proper manufacture and fitting made them very expensive. Cheaper versions were of poor quality and very uncomfortable to wear; people needing a corrective lens in only one eye who could not or would not get a monocle would generally opt for a full pair of glasses with a flat pane of glass as the "lens" for the eye not needing correction. This is generally how it is done today (except when the person just goes for contacts).

In media, the monocle's wearer will constantly clean it and fidget with it. It will be whipped out and squinted through when the wearer views something below his social station. In comedies, a monocle will pop off its wearer's face and/or shatter in shocked response to the working class hero giving this pompous toady his well-deserved comeuppance. The monocle is also a popular graffito to draw on a sleeping person's face. Especially in British works, the monocle is associated with old-time German military officers, and its appearance on the face of a German is visual shorthand, depending on whether the war is the first or the second, of a haughty aristocratic Prussian or a Nazi Nobleman. Either way it denotes a cold-blooded thinly-disguised psychopath with no regard for human lives lost, so long as Germany wins the war. Monocles and nasty Germans are pretty much synonymous in British works.

Ironically, however, in America the monocle is associated with the English, having a much more neutral stigma and being a core wardrobe piece of the Quintessential British Gentleman. Japan mostly follows suit, with a special niche carved out for Arsène Lupin-style Phantom Thieves.

A trope largely as obsolete as the monocle itself, it still turns up in period pieces and parodies, and is gaining popularity in the Steampunk scene.

The female version is the lorgnette (pronounced to rhyme with "born yet," as numerous songwriters have done), which is a pair of spectacles on a small stick to be held up when you want to look at something. It is a common property of the Grande Dame.

Given its association with wealth and status, it's a very popular prop for the Mock Millionaire and the Wicked Cultured villain. Today, putting a monocle and top hat on anything is sure to get a laugh just out of the pure absurdity.note  Sub-trope of Stock Costume Traits.

The monocle may be making a small comeback in the 21st century as a way for people to check their phones without having to fumble for reading glasses, as they can hold the phone in on hand and the monocle in the other. Whether this will catch on remains to be seen.

See Classy Cane for another stock item of the upper class.


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  • In a Frank's Red Hot sauce commercial, where Ethel makes cucumber sandwiches for the Queen of England, she says the secret is Frank's Red Hot, she puts that *** on everything. Someone drops his monocle.
  • The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Isaiah Mustafa has introduced the term Monocle Smile!, useful in everything from referencing Anonymous to helping Barack Obama's public image.
  • Mr. Peanut

    Anime & Manga 

    Board Games 
  • Aversion that apparently needs mentioning: Rich Uncle Pennybags, a.k.a. Mr Monopoly does not wear a monocle, even though he looks like he should. Indeed, so many people have admitted thinking he does that it's been cited as an example of the "Mandela effect."
  • Colonel Mustard from Clue is usually depicted as wearing one.

    Comic Books 
  • The Penguin from Batman. This has been played with in various subsequent adaptations. In Batman Returns the Penguin's father wore a monocle, but the Penguin himself uses one only when he's writing at his desk. In Batman: The Animated Series, he does wear the monocle all the time, but is actually dirt-poor, the idea that he is living the high life being just a delusion in his head. Most versions suggest that it's mostly if not entirely an affectation (in one Silver Age comics story, he switches the monocle to his other eye just to troll and distract Batman with an irrelevant puzzle).
  • The Nazi Nobleman commanding Devil's Island in Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen #5 sports a monocle.
  • In Dark Reign: Fantastic Four, the FF traveled through several alternate universes, including one with the FF as the royal family in a mock-Elizabethan England. The Thing, dressed as a chamberlain and sporting a monocle, has become an internet meme.
    The Thing: Milady, 'tis the clobbering hour.
  • Marvel had their own villain named The Monocle, also sporting a monocle that could fire energy blasts and hypnotize people. Fought the Fantastic Four a couple of times.
  • When Father Christmas visits a casino in Las Vegas in Father Christmas Goes on Holiday by Raymond Briggs, he completes his image as a high roller by sporting a monocle. Ironically, it's just a cheap plastic toy he found in a Christmas cracker the year before, but it does suit him.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones: The evil treasure hunter Siegfried Klexx is completely bald, wears a traditional Adventurer Outfit—including a pith helmet—and sports a monocle; making look every inch the Evil Colonialist
  • Green Lantern villain Baron Tyrano sports a monocle despite being confined to an iron lung.
  • Hawkman:
    • Gentleman Ghost is completely invisible aside from his monocle, sparkling white attire and Top Hat.
    • The Monocle. It's a weaponized monocle, too.
  • Berim from Lucifer wears a monocle, even when shapeshifted as a tiger. Or even weirder things.
  • Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker (former Nazi Nobleman and Nick Fury's archnemesis) wears a monocle, even while in the middle of a fight.
  • PS238
    • Victor Von Fogg's headgear comes with a lens giving the effect of a monocle. Just like his father.
    • The Headmaster of Praetorian Academy also has a lens over one eye as part of his cyborg gear.
  • Rulah, Jungle Goddess: In "Bloodstained Fangs!" (Zoot Comics #12), would-be conqueror Mava is assisted in her plan to drive the whites of Africa by a European bomb expert named Konrad. Konrad is implied to be a former Nazi and sports a blond crew cut and a monocle.
  • Sami The Samurai Squirrel: The mayor of Woodbriar wears a monocle.
  • Simon Says: Nazi Hunter: Erhardt Rohr, one of the Nazis Simon is pursuing, wears a monocle.
  • Tintin
    • After Captain Haddock came into a sizable inheritance, at the beginning of Tintin: The Seven Crystal Balls he starts wearing a monocle. Not being accustomed to them, he loses a lot of them.
    • Colonel Sponsz is a villainous example.
  • Reginald Hargreeves of The Umbrella Academy is known as The Monocle, and indeed wears one. He's wealthy, cruel to his adopted children, and very arrogant and disdainful.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1 villain Rudolph Hessenpfeffer, a.k.a. the Gentleman Killer, is a Nazi Nobleman who wears a top hat and monocle which somehow never falls out while fighting Diana, Etta and Steve.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Terry and the Pirates, Creepy Crossdresser Sanjak dresses like a man and wears a monocle that she uses to hypnotise people; most notably Terry's girlfriend April. Her use of a monocle carries some interesting connotations, as in the early 20th century, a woman wearing a monocle would most likely be assumed to be a lesbian.

    Fan Works 
  • Having become successful in the art world in The AFR Universe, Yusuke is shown five years after Persona 5 wearing a monocle. He wears it for more practical reasons, as he feels a pair of glasses would be unnecessary if only one of his eyes has poor vision. When asked if he would switch to glasses if his other eye started to fail, Yusuke said he would wear two monocles so as not to waste the one he already owns.
  • Gravity Falls fan artists generally give humanized versions of Bill Cipher a triangular monocle to fit the rest of his magician motif.
  • In Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy, classmate Arisa Erisawa wears a monocle over one of her eyes — because she's blind in that eye.
  • In Discworld fic The Price of Flight, Hanna von Strafenburg remarks that while she is an Uberwaldean and proud of her heritage, there are three things she considers take the Uberwaldean identity far too far. Goose-stepping, those steel helmets with a spike on the top, and wearing a monocle. She is absolutely determined never to do the third.
    If my vision ever fails, Olga, you may be sure I will remedy the defect with good corrective glasses. Never a monocle.
  • In The Successors, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, Canterlot noble and chief royal advisor Glass Eye wears a monocle.

    Films — Animation 
  • Shane Acker's 9 has 2, who wears a top hat made from a piece of candelabra and topped off with a spoon, with a monocle made out of the discarded remains of a pair of eyeglasses attached to it. He even has a cane and a catchphrase of, "This is smashing!" However, he loses all his gear about twenty minutes into the movie and acts more like an eager explorer not afraid to get himself dirty than a high-class citizen. Admittedly, he IS a seven-inch-tall doll made from scraps of burlap and the remnants of a human soul, but still.
  • In The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Toad puts on a monocle to get a good look at a motorcar.
  • Both Daniel and (for a brief time near the end) the Mole King wear a monocle in The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina before the king's monocle is smashed by Tom Thumb.
  • Cat R. Waul from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West wears a monocle, and is the posh British leader of the cats of Green River.
  • Professor Z, The Dragon of the Pixar film Cars 2 actually wears a monocle over his windshield.
  • The Grand Duke from Cinderella.
  • In Gay Purr-ee, during the Villain Song "The Money Cat", a silhouetted member of the title cat's rat-pack mimes a monocle holder with his tail assuring You how (as beauticians will sleek you and fashion cats chic you) "aristocrats [will] seek you".
  • For sure, Mr. Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach is this. Especially when he puts on a top hat during the song number "That's the Life for Me".
  • In the animated The King and I, the Kralahome (King Mongkut's treacherous majordomo) wears a tuxedo and monocle to a state dinner so he'll appear to be a British sympathizer. In fact, he's just trying to impress the British diplomats in attendance as part of a scheme to get Mongkut overthrown and have himself installed as King of Siam.
  • In Robin Hood (1973), Little John wears a monocle as part of his disguise as Sir Reginald, Duke of Chutney. (Yet another piece of the film's Anachronism Stew.)
  • The evil owl from Rock-A-Doodle is first seen with a monocle over his face, but then he takes it off due to Edmund breaking it when he poked him in the eye (or at least on a storybook illustration of his face). He then turns Edmund into a cat with his magic as revenge.
    Grand Duke: These are expensive... you little brat!
  • Irene's giant teddy bear bouncer/bodyguard wears a tuxedo and a monocle when he accompanies her to the Awakenings ceremony at the end of Sherlock Gnomes. A nice touch is that he is wearing his monocle over his missing eye.
  • In The Steam Engines of Oz, the Wizard's brother Phadrig wears a monocle all the time. He even sleeps in it.
  • The frog in Tubby the Tuba (1975) wears one.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The "Monopoly Guy" in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
  • In 2004's Arsène Lupin, the eponymous character (played by Romain Duris) uses monocles at high society events he infiltrates to steal jewels, watches etc. During the cruise party, the monocle keeps falling and he puts it back in place.
  • In The Blackbird, "West End Bertie" does this as part of a scam. His racket is to lure high-society types down to the Red Light District of Limehouse, where he arranges for them to be robbed.
  • The psychiatrist in Bringing Up Baby has one.
  • In Circus of Horrors, Magda's aristocratic boyfriend the Count sports a monocle.
  • In Death Takes a Holiday, Death tries to blend in with the Italian aristocracy, and puts one of these glasses as he masquerades as Prince Sirki.
  • Benjamin Disraeli sports one in Disraeli. He is Prime Minister, after all. It pops out a couple of times when he gets excited.
  • In Dressed to Kill (1946), 'Stinky' Emery, an old school friend of Watson (and an Upper-Class Twit), sports a monocle.
  • In GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra, The Doctor is a brilliant Mad Scientist who wears a modified jeweler's glass like one over his left eye, a nod to the monocle-wearing Dr. Mindbender from the source material.
  • In the Spanish comedy Hay que educar a papá (1971), the aristocratic character Count De Ronda wears a monocle, which pops off his face whenever the main character, a lower-class Self-Made Man, shows any of his traits. In the end, De Ronda is found to be a con man pretending to be an aristocrat.
    • De Ronda is played by a real-life self-styled aristocrat (albeit he never really had a title) and eccentric Don Jaime De Mora y Aragón, who used monocle, walking stick and hair gel in his constant public appearances as a celebrity (one of these "famous for being famous" types).
  • Baron von Kranz, the cuckolded German officer in Hell's Angels, wears one.
  • The House That Dripped Blood: In "The Cloak", flamboyant movie actor Paul Henderson uses a monocle when reading. While undoubtedly an affectation, it appears he really does need the corrective lens as he is never seen reading without it.
  • Hunk: When Dr. D. turns up dressed as an SS officer, his outfit includes a monocle.
  • In Jewel Robbery, Teri's former lover, Paul, the cabinet minister, sports one whenever he wants to look more serious.
  • The Last Jedi: In the intergalactic casino for rich arms dealers, the little alien who keeps putting coins in BB-8 wears a monocle.
  • In The Man Who Could Work Miracles, the pompous magistrate Colonel Winstanley sports a monocle.
  • The British Egyptologist in The Mummy (1999) remake wears a monocle and speaks with an upper-class accent. He's also greedy and disdainful of the rival expedition being led by a woman.
  • Invoked in Night Train to Munich. Randall wears one as part of his Nazi disguise.
  • At the climax of The Pest, Pestario Vargas (John Leguizamo) wears one when he poses as "the German ambassador", despite not looking remotely German (his family is Puerto Rican) and using a bizarre accent that sounds like it could be anything but German. This being a zany comedy-fantasy, the ruse actually works.
  • At the end of The Revenge of Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein adopts a new identity as a Harley Street society physician named Dr. Frank. In this new identity, he wears a monocle.
  • In Sands of the Kalahari, kindly old gentleman scholar Grimmelman wears a monocle.
  • The Faux Affably Evil Professor Moriarty sports a monocle in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace as part of his cover persona of a respectable professor of archaeology.
  • In Sky Bandits, the RFC officer who acts as toastmaster for the fallen pilots sports a monocle. It pops out in surprise when Barney and Luke tell him that they have seen the airship.
  • The Three Stooges in Three Sappy People go to a party pretending to be psychiatrists. There they meet a stuffy woman identified as "Countess" who wears a monocle.
  • In Topaze, the Baron, a slimy, Corrupt Corporate Executive, always wears a monocle.
  • In the Romanian-French film An Unforgettable Summer, Captain Petre Dumitriu wears a monocle, and his men sometimes joke that if he put another one in his ass, he'd be a telescope. However, he's not an aristocrat despite marrying one.
  • Colonel von Gutz and General Burke from Up the Front wear them, befitting them as high-ranking Officers.
  • Berger wears a monocle when posing as a German auctioneer in order to hijack the auction in What's the Worst That Could Happen?.
  • In Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, Transylvanian police Inspector Kemp is evidently so attached to his monocle he continues to wear it even though the eye in question is also covered with a patch.

  • In Adrian Mole, Pandora's upper-crust husband Julian Twyselton-Fife occasionally wears a monocle.
  • A trademark of Arsène Lupin, along with a top hat and cape.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, Mr. Moren eyes Emma with a monocle while quizzing her about where the heiress, Miranda Beryl, went. (And expresses disdain for the local squire's son while he's about it.)
  • In Biggles, the aristocratic Prussian turned Nasty Nazi, von Stalhein, serves as the villainous foil to the craggy-jawed British hero. And - naturally - von Stalhein wears a monocle.
  • In the Blandings Castle stories by P. G. Wodehouse, Galahad Threepwood wears a black-rimmed monocle.
  • Blunted Lance by Max Hennessey. A British officer who has to wear a monocle because he's almost blind in one eye is put in charge of an Australian unit. Finding this trope amusing, the entire unit somehow get hold of their own monocles by parade the next day. Undeterred, the British officer flips his monocle up in the air and catches it in his eyelid. "Bet none of you can do that."
  • Eorache from the Lord of the Rings parody Bored of the Rings wears two monocles in her role as the embodiment of all Germanic stereotypes.
  • In Bulldog Drummond, a monocle is the aristocratic Algy Longworth's Iconic Item. It's implied to be part of his Upper-Class Twit façade, as he can see quite clearly without it.
  • The Oberstleutenant Boerner bot from Daemon wears a monocle.
  • Johnny from the Doc Savage novels originally wears a monocle to correct the vision in his injured left eye. After Doc operates on the eye and repairs the damage, Johnny keeps the monocle as an affectation, although it now contains a powerful magnifying lens that he uses as a tool.
  • Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov, "The Mule": The warlord of Kalgan wore a monocle along with his "fur-lined scarlet robe and high-crowned hat", until he met the Mule, who forced him into service as his loyal viceroy. As viceroy, he has no need for such displays of opulence.
  • In "Gentlemen, the King!" by Damon Runyon, the Americans visiting Ruritania encounter several Ruritanian noblemen with monocles, leading Kitty Quick to wonder if there is anybody in Ruritania who has two working eyes.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix features two slight subversions of the trope. The persons wearing the monocles are a judge and a schoolteacher, but both are women — Madam Amelia Bones and Professor Wilhemina Grubbly-Plank, respectively.
  • Jeeves and Wooster series by P. G. Wodehouse: Bertie Wooster once was painted wearing a monocle, though it is unclear whether it is a habit or an affectation assumed especially for the portrait.
  • In King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard, Sir Henry's monocle is a plot-point that endears him to the denizens of the secret African kingdom.
  • In A Little Princess, in one of the scenes illustrating Sara's luxurious lifestyle, it's mentioned that her new doll has its own little opera glasses.
  • Lord Peter Wimsey from Dorothy L. Sayers' detective novels. His monocle was actually a disguised magnifying glass, perfect for taking a really close look at something — and looking like a bloody ass while doing it.
    • At the Bright Young Things' party in Murder Must Advertise, there's a female dancer who wears a top hat, monocle, and leather boots. And nothing else.
  • In Monstrous Regiment Prince Heinreich wears one. There's no particular comedy to it, although a groan may result from his Obligatory Joke, "If I had two I'd make a spectacle of myself."
  • The rich and rude Mr. Uppity from the Mr. Men books wears a monocle, as well as a top hat.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of the Crystal Crown", Nick assumes that the man who is acting as gobetween between Nick and his employer is a nobleman because he wears a monocle. Nick notes how much more natural the monocle looks when they are in the Ruritania where the crown is located than it did in New York. Nick's assumption is wrong. The man is actually a Communist agent planning to take advantage of the theft to stage a coup.
  • "Not Final!" by Isaac Asimov: Nicholas Orloff went to Oxford University and maintains upper-class attitudes, such as a monocle affectation, to show off how much more highly educated he is compared to the average person.
  • In "Pitbull Brittan", Kim Newman's parody of Bulldog Drummond in the Temps shared universe, Basil Mapleduram wears his monocle even when he's in disguise as a working-class person.
  • Psmith series by P. G. Wodehouse: Psmith habitually wears a monocle.
  • Long Patrol hare officers in Redwall often have a monocle, usually indicates the commanding officer of the group who is usually Majorly Awesome, Colonel Badass or The Brigadier.
  • Count Olaf of A Series of Unfortunate Events, when disguised as a wealthy, fashionable Funny Foreigner auctioneer, adopts a monocle as part of his getup. It seems to be a standard part of the V.F.D. disguise kit.
  • In Skull Castle by John Dickson Carr, the German detective Baron von Arnheim sports a monocle which, like Lord Peter Wimsey's, is really a powerful magnifier.
  • Struwwelpeter: Fidgety Philip's Mama wears a lorgnette, perhaps to help her see if Philip can be a little gentleman.
  • H. Beam Piper's Uller Uprising has General Carlos Von Schlicten, who wears a monocle; the only thing ever observed to knock it out of his eye is a nuclear blast while kissing a lady. "Don't you know, lieutenant, that no gentleman ever wears a monocle while kissing a lady?"
  • Welkin Weasels: Lord Hannover Haukin (Word of God says he's a pastiche of Bertie Wooster) wears one. At one point he drops it, and puts it back in the other eye, revealing that he only wears it for the "upper class" chic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy.
  • One video on an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos showed an old man dressed as a gentlemanly German general for an Oktoberfest celebration. The funny part is when his monocle slips off and lands in his mug of beer; it's all foamy when he pulls it out.
  • The 1971-1974 and 1989-1996 adaptations of Arsène Lupin often have him use one as part of Lupin's Iconic Outfit.
  • A monocle is worn by Brigadier Stubbs, the Upper-Class Twit Armchair Military officer in overall command of the Surplus Ordnance Department at Nether Hopping, Staffordshire, in The Army Game.
  • Colonel March of Scotland Yard: Baron Novakov, one of the suspects in "The New Invisible Man", is an impecunious European aristocrat living in London who nevertheless wears a smoking jacket and a monocle. It even pops out of his eye in astonishment at one point.
  • In Dad's Army, it's revealed that upper-class Sgt. Wilson requires a monocle because his sight is weaker in one eye than the other. Captain Mainwaring — who is lower-class, wears glasses and is ridiculously class-conscious — immediately feels threatened because of this.
  • A favorite of The Daily Show.
  • Doctor Who: The First Doctor wore one, which very much fitted with his Victorian gentleman persona.
    • In "The War Games", von Weich wears one, since he's a Time Lord posing as a WWI German major.
  • In the final episode of Gotham, Oswald Cobblepot gets a monocle to cover his damaged right eye after fully accepting his role as the Penguin.
  • Colonel Wilhelm Klink of Hogan's Heroes sports a monocle, being an aristocrat of Junker descent and all-around pretentious.
  • Ted Mosby, of How I Met Your Mother, wants to be a high class guy. At a society function, he encounters a man in a monocle. Just before he's pulled away...
    Ted: No, I like it; I think they're coming back. I just wanna ask, do they cost half as much as glasses?
    • Later he asks the guy if he's trying to kill James Bond.
  • The sitcom Just Shoot Me! had an episode guest-starring French Stewart as the puppeteer of the sock puppet show, and the puppet "Mr. Mayor" is noted to wear tiny spectacles and a monocle, redundantly enough.
  • LazyTown: Robbie Rotten sports it for his "Meansbad" disguise in "Secret Agent Zero".
  • Mind Your Language has a Courtroom Episode where Ms. Courtney is a District Magistrate, and the assistant judge seated to her left wears a monocle. Which briefly falls off in a Freeze-Frame Bonus when Courtney's "won't be in the defendant's favour" remark makes him raise an eyebrow.
  • In one episode of The Persuaders!, Danny Wilde has to impersonate his friend Lord Brett Sinclair and portrays him as an Upper-Class Twit, naturally wearing a monocle that keeps popping off.
  • Queen Machina from Power Rangers Zeo wears a monocle over her left eye.
  • An incident on QI where Stephen Fry had to have the expression "beer goggles" explained to him resulted in the panel accusing him of using "Madeira pince-nez" or a "sherry monocle" instead.
  • Grayson the School Bully from "Tomkinson's School Days" of Ripping Yarns had a monocle and always wore a nice suit and a top hat.
  • Reginald Hargreeves of The Umbrella Academy, like his comic-book counterpart, wears a monocle. In fact, the monocle comes into play after his death, as its disappearance causes Luther, one of his adopted children, to become suspicious, setting a considerable portion of the plot into motion.
  • Exaggerated in an episode of Weird Science — a stereotypical Nazi officer wears a monocle on each eye.
  • Whodunnit? (UK):
    • The Baron, a German flying ace, wears one (along with a waxed moustache) in "The Rajah's Ruby" (set in 1925).
    • In "Which Eye Jack", the foppish pirate captain Captain Ginger uses a quizzing glass.
  • In You Rang, M'Lord?, there is an example of a lesbian in the early 20th century wearing a monocle, Lady Cissy.

  • The cover of Belgian Thrash Metal band Cyclone's Brutal Destruction shows a monocle-wearing skull.
  • Midlake's debut album "Bamnan and Silvercork" is a loose concept album featuring villainous characters called Monocle Men, one of them being pictured on the cover.

    New Media 
  • Now, you too can evoke this trope with this Emoticon! ಠ_ರೃ

    Print Media 
  • The New Yorker has as its semi-official mascot Eustace Tilley, a top-hatted, monocled dandy who appeared on the cover of the first issue, and has been parodied lots and lots over the decades.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A number of Dungeons & Dragons magic items are monocles. They are often described as a "lens". The "Lens of True Seeing", which allows someone to see through illusions and invisibility (well, to not see through invisible creatures), is probably the most famous.
  • Though none of his screen counterparts have ever worn one, Van Pelt is depicted as wearing a monocle on the covers of some of the board game tie-ins for Jumanji.
  • High-tech monocles capable of doing things like perceiving AR and smartlinking to weapons are an option in Shadowrun 4E.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Some Imperial Guard officers wear monocles. In one of the Siege of Vraks books there is a mention of the officer's monocle acting as a HUD, displaying battlefied data.
    • Many artists for that franchise achieve the same visual aesthetic by having a character with a monocle-like cybernetic eye.
    • The RPGs also include a Targeting Monocle, which connects to one of the wearer's weapons to provide the benefits of many different gun sights. Needless to say, any Rogue Trader or Inquisitor sporting a monocle is probably going to be wearing one of these (it even takes a Scrutiny test to realise it's not just an ordinary monocle making it the perfect tool to bring to high-society functions).


    Video Games 
  • The Penguin in Batman: Arkham City looks like he has one of these at first glance... then you get a closer look and realize it's the bottom half of a broken bottle that had been embedded around his eye during a barfight. It apparently can't be removed without killing him, but he likes how it looks so he doesn't particularly want it removed anyway.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series decides to play with Penguin's monocle as well, this time by making it a smartglass that lets him interface with the technology he stole from Wayne Enterprises.
  • Seems to be a thing of the Lumen Sages in the Bayonetta series:
    • Father Balder of Bayonetta has a monocle-earring-mask, fitting his "interesting" fashion sense.
    • Once unmasked, the Masked Lumen from Bayonetta 2 wears a monocle with a sunburst theme. Then again, he is Father Balder's past self.
  • Dr. Wilbur C. Feels from the game The Colonel's Bequest sports one, and doubles as a magnifying glass once you obtain it.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: General Von Kriplespac wore one until his legs blew up.
  • Colonel Whigen from Crisis Beat, fitting his status as the Big Bad. It stays on his face even after being punched a dozen times during the Final Boss battle.
  • Sparda from Devil May Cry used to have a monocle as part of his attire. It's one-way and tinted purple.
  • Edmund, the Insufferable Genius Lizard Folk general from Divinity: Dragon Commander, wears a monocle as part of his snooty gentleman attire.
  • Fugue, one of Count Waltz's lackeys in Eternal Sonata. In the Play Station 3 Updated Re-release of the game, it earns him the mean nickname "three-eyed freak" from Salsa. Even March uses it, which is unusual, given her Blue Oni status to Salsa's Red Oni. Naturally, it really tees Fugue off. "Little girl, I hope you aren't referring to me."
  • EVE Online added a cash shop with player clothing in the Incarna update. Although all of the items are rather expensive for in-game microtransactions, the most expensive by far is a $70 "ocular implant" which looks conspicuously like a monocle, meaning that players who have enough money to spend that much on a cosmetic item in an MMO can now fly around looking like a 19th-century industrialist. The rest of the playerbase is less than thrilled about this, what with the in-game riots and the player-led advisory board being sent all the way to the developers in Iceland in an attempt to save face.
  • Fire Emblem
  • Funk Unplugged: One of the boss G-Bots you face is a top hat wearing a monocle.
  • Ginger Beyond The Crystal: The boss of "The Observatory" in Crater Peaks is a vampire frog who wears a waistcoat, top hat, and monacle.
  • Slayer from Guilty Gear wears one of these.
  • Henry Hatsworth of Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure.
  • Thomas Chestershire from the Henry Stickmin Series wears not one but two monocles, which he wears, according to his character bio, for "twice the class." Being a member of the Toppat Clan, he of course also wears a top hat, and has a British accent. Truly a classy individual.
  • Killed Until Dead is populated by parodies of various detectives, including a "Lord Peter Flimsey". If you manage to rattle him when you interrogate him, his monocle flies off — but it still blinks when his eyes do.
  • Kingdom of Loathing
    • Many wealthy or prestigious enemies wear monocles, such as the Wealthy Pirates and the 101st Infantrygentlemen. A few, like Baron von Ratsworth, also wear tophats.
    • The stuffed monocle is now available to players:
      This essential rich-person accoutrement is rendered fairly useless when made out of fabric and stuffing. But if there's one thing rich folks like more than ostentatious displays of wealth, it's ostentatious displays of wealth that don't serve any function.
    • Baron Von Ratsworth's monocle allows you to find more items, because "Rich people have cool stuff and wear monocles".
  • MacBat 64: Journey of a Nice Chap: The titular character wears a monocle.
  • Garrus Vakarian in the Mass Effect games wears the sci-fi version of it, with the HUD showing tactical data, helping him to aim etc.. In second and third game, Commander Shepard can acquire one like that, too.
  • Mr. King from Mega Man Star Force 3 may or may not wear a monocle, as it is difficult to tell from his overworld sprite. However, his face portrait does not show a monocle, but rather blue markings under his eyes.
  • Wally B. Feed of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge wore one. It was a kind of Running Gag that he was constantly losing it, and unable to do anything without it.
  • The twin bosses Lechku and Nechku in Ōkami isn't satisfied with just wearing monocles, but they also wear top hats and wield canes. They are also GIANT DEMONIC CLOCKWORK OWLS (who may or may not be Shout Outs to Clockwerk, the recurring antagonist of the Sly Cooper series)!
  • Shoyō from Onmyoji wears one post-Awakening perhaps to suit his personality and combat style, but this is Heian period Japan, so monocles should have no business being there.
  • In Overlord II, Marius, the official Spokesperson for Emperor Solarius wears a monocle.
  • Papa Louie Arcade: Georgito, the only character who wears a monocle in the series, has a money motif, owns a casino in Starlight City, and his Flipdeck features him as "Person of the Year" for a magazine named "Big Money."
  • In Puyo Puyo, Akuma is a knowledgable, wise, and scholarly demon bear who wears a monocle.
  • Runescape
    • One quest has you helping the TzHaars (Some kind of a sentient lava-and-rock race) make a theatrical play. One of these TzHaars has to play the role of a rich mystic caste member, and how does he dress up? With nothing more than a monocle.
    • Zimberfizz gets both a tophat and a monocle as he takes over the Soul Wars area as a successor of Nomad who you kill.
  • In Scribblenauts, this is the main difference between a normal velociraptor and the Philosoraptor. In Super Scribblenauts, applying the "gentlemanly" adjective will give objects a top hat and monocle along with making them friendly, even if the object in question normally spawns hostile (the Tyrannosarus Rex, for example).
  • In The Secret World, on top of being dressed in a top hat and the tattered remains of a tailcoat, the Bogeyman haunting Atlantic Island Park is equipped with a monocle, though he's rarely seen using it. Upon killing him, it turns out that the monocle can actually be used to reveal Nathaniel Winter's true will - this being the big reveal of the Bogeyman's true identity.
  • Baron from Shining Force Neo. Despite being a wolfling ninja, he's still quite classy.
  • Monocle Man from Silent Hill: Downpour. He/it is a disembodied Nightmare Face wearing a monocle in his right eye but has only a gaping hole where the left should be.
  • Arpeggio, the Big Bad from Sly 2: Band of Thieves. It even makes for dramatic effect just after his death scene.
  • Super Panda Adventures: One of the types of Mecha-Mooks you can encounter is dressed like a British Gentleman, complete with waistcoat, top hat, and monocle.
  • Count Bleck, the Big Bad of Super Paper Mario, wears a top hat and a monocle.
  • Tarzan: Untamed: Oswald has a monocle over his left eye.
  • Team Fortress 2. One of the Pyro's new unlockable hats is a monocle and fake mustache taped over his mask. Which can be worn in conjunction with the MANY different top hats available to various classes.
  • There are a few monocles in World of Warcraft. They're all head items and most are cloth armour.
    • The Beholder Eyes can come in different armour types but are more steampunk-engineer monocles than aristocrat monocles.
    • Of particular note is the Noble's Monocle which, being wearable by Level 1 characters, is highly sought after by bank alts. Because of this, it has an average auction house value of 400 gold, despite providing no combat benefits.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • The high-class villain Earl Grey from Dick Figures wears a monocle. A weaponised, diamond-encrusted one.
  • One version of the Dramatic Chipmunk.
  • Dr. Donkey, the villain from Space Goose, always wears a monocle, as well as a top hat.
  • The series Unforgotten Realms has a long-running joke set up by the following line:
    Rob: Mike, it's a well-known fact that all wizards wear monocles.
  • Used frequently in Zero Punctuation, most often when Yahtzee wants to depict a particular person (such as the creators of Penny Arcade) as being wealthy.
    Viewer: Monocles and Top Hats, eh?


    Web Original 
  • This is part of the usual getup for AE-tan, the Moe Anthropomorphism mascot of Encyclopdia Dramatica.
  • ProZD sometimes wears a monocle for characters like Lysanderoth or the Sheltered Aristocrat— on top of his glasses, no less. The one exception is Refrigerator-senpai, since he's played by a fridge; the monocle is taped to the fridge instead.

    Western Animation 
  • A couple of characters in Nickelodeon's Aaahh!!! Real Monsters wore monocles as a means of visually telling the audience something about them:
    • Ickis' False Friend Chimera in "Cement Heads" wore one. His monocle seems to be intended to make him come across as posh and upper class, as well as intelligent.
    • The Gromble's superior Balook in "The Master Monster" also sported a monocle. It makes him appear intelligent and studious, as a wizened old teacher should.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: In "Grounder the Genius", Grounder begins wearing a monocle after he temporarly becomes smart.
  • Baroness Paula von Gunther wears a monocle in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Scorn of the Star Sapphire!".
  • Heinrich von Marzipan, Numbuh Five's Arch-Enemy on Codename: Kids Next Door. It's part of the "Indiana Jones Nazi Villains" parody (which is in itself odd, as Indiana never encountered any monocled villains, at least not in the movies).
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • Anti-Cosmo wears one. Notably, it's shown in one episode that he actually does need it to see.
    • Jorgen wears one when he's turned into an action movie villain in one episode.
  • At one point in the animated adaptation of Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs, Santa (here reimagined as a grumpy working-class Northerner) dons a monocle along with a very nice suit for an evening at the roulette tables in Vegas while on vacation, and promptly loses his shirt. He pulls off the look quite well considering it's a cheap plastic novelty out of a Christmas cracker.
  • Mr. Herriman of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends wears a monocle and a hat.
  • Futurama:
    • Leela wears one of these from time to time, mostly to play up the fact that she's a cyclops. She wore one as an awkward adolescent, and occasionally as an adult to read. These are more like glasses than traditional monocles, though. After she got reconstructive surgery to have two eyes, she threw out a whole box of monocles.
    • Billionaire Bot. In the movie The Beast with a Billion Backs, he has a monocle made with a human eye — which he actually needs to see, despite only missing one eye.
    • The episode "The Mutants are Revolting" features a banner at a high society event reading: "NO TOP HAT, NO MONOCLE, NO SERVICE".
    • Invoked on the page quote from "A Fishful of Dollars", in which Fry becomes a billionaire.
  • Alastor from Hazbin Hotel wears a red-tinted monocle, and is an extremely powerful and feared tyrant in Hell.
  • Beezy on Jimmy Two-Shoes wears a monocle during a brief gag involving him and Jimmy looking smart.
  • Ron disguises himself with one of these in Kim Possible.
  • LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars: When Moxie and Ka-Pao infiltrate Graballa's resort disguised as rich socialites, Ka-Pao has a monocle.
  • Jeebie, the furry cyclopian brother of Milton the Monster, wears a monocle when reading. His ward, Professor Weirdo, mentions he's soon getting a contact lens (singular).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "The Best Night Ever", a number of high-class ponies at the Grand Galloping Gala are seen wearing monocles. During Rarity's part of "At the Gala", she imagines one such pony's monocle popping off when she enters the room.
    • Fancypants, the only member of the Canterlot Elite who's not an Upper-Class Twit.
    • Rarity uses opera glasses while watching the dragon migration in "Dragon Quest". Her friends use binoculars.
  • Evil Uncle Darius Dun from Ninja Turtles Fast Forward wears one of these unironically, despite the series' 2105 setting.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Buford wears one briefly.
      Phineas: What's with the monocle?
      Buford: It's an affectation.
    • Ferb's grandfather wears one normally.
  • So does the Mayor of Townsville on The Powerpuff Girls (1998).
  • Fearless Leader in Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • Sheriff Callie's Wild West
    • In "My Fair Stinky," Priscilla gives Farmer Stinky a new, high-class wardrobe. The monocle transforms his voice and mannerisms to that of the gentleman Priscilla wanted him to become.
    • In "Train Bandits," the governor, a very distinguished gentleman, wears a monocle.
  • Often used in The Simpsons in flagrant parodies of rich white people. At one point, when the rich white couple gasps dramatically at some display of boorish lower-class behavior and the man's monocle falls off and breaks, he laments "That's my third monocle this week. I simply MUST stop being so horrified."
  • Invoked by Space Ghost in the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Snatch" when he hears about unidentified (space) creatures violating their airspace.
    Space Ghost: (beat) Bring me my monocle. I want to look rich!
  • In one episode of Super Secret Secret Squirrel, the posh, villainous Chameleon (an anthropomorphic chameleon) wears a monocle as a visual shorthand for how snobby and "uppercrust" he is.
  • Transformers: Animated: the most logical of Blitzwing's Split Personalities has a big eye that looks more like a monocle than a Mad Eye. Icy Blitzwing is modeled on Colonel Klink noted above, just like Hothead Blitzwing is modeled on Arnold Schwarzenegger. We're not sure about Random.
  • On TUGS, the railway tugboat was called Top Hat. Despite hating dirty jobs, he and the garbage barge, Lord Stinker, get a CMOA in "High Tide" when the railway bridge over the canal collapses.
    Top Hat: It's worked, Stinker! You're a smelly old genius! Nothing less!
  • Archibald Asparagus of VeggieTales fame wears a monocle seemingly to emphasize the fact he's a culture-obsessed Brit. Fun fact: before the introduction of the Maya software at Big Idea, Archie's monocle had no glass in it.

    Real Life 
  • Joseph Chamberlain, the father of Neville Chamberlain and an important British politician in his own right, famously wore a monocle.
  • Fritz Lang. He briefly switched to glasses when he went to Hollywood, but got sick of them. Later on he combined it with an eyepatch.
  • Several men in the Steampunk community have one, although usually with regular glass instead of a lens.
  • As mentioned under "Films-Live Action", Spanish celebrity Don Jaime De Mora y Aragón commonly had public appearances with a monocle, walking stick, hair gel and chauffeur ("Pepe"), especially in the night scene of Marbella in the 1980s. He made a number of movies playing characters similar to himself. Many people believed that De Mora was a rich aristocrat; he was simply the brother of the consort Queen of Belgium, and apparently liked his lifestyle.
  • Petri Purho, Finnish video game designer sometimes wears one in public.
  • Roy Ridley, Chaplain of Balliol College, Oxford and reputedly one of the inspirations for Dorothy L. Sayers' sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, was — according to legend — the only Church of England priest to say Mass wearing a monocle. Sadly, nobody thought to photograph him doing so.
  • German Field Marshal Walter Model wore one, which he at one point used in an argument with Hitler to emphasize "Mein Führer, who commands the Ninth Army? Me or you?"
  • Actress Phyllida Law (Emma Thompson's mother and known for playing sophisticates) used to be quite famous for sporting a monocle. She doesn't appear to have worn one for a while, at least not in public.
  • On establishment the British National Health Service refused to provide monocles through their services. The Other Wiki suggests this led to their decline.
  • After sustaining damage to his right eye in World War 1, Lt. Col. Alfred Wintle wore a monocle for the rest of his life, which he kept in place with an impressive squint rather than using a chain. It proved to be one of the factors that once foiled an attempt of his to escape from the military hospital to rejoin the war effort, as he had attempted to disguise himself as a nurse at the time.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Monocle


Father Baldur

He certainly acts the part with his soft, preening voice, and his fashion sense is atrociously flamboyant (a dead albino peacock as a stole, a gold half-mask, and a monocle earring, among other things). Underneath it all, though, he's also a nigh godlike Lumen Sage.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SissyVillain

Media sources: