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In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face

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In media depicting characters in environments requiring protective helmets, such as space or underwater, those helmets will be equipped with lights that illuminate the wearer's face. If you did this in real life, the wearer would most likely find that all they can see is their face reflected in the glass.

A variation, seen in the few science-fiction media that make some attempt at scientific accuracy, is to avoid the lights, but also omit the highly reflective metallic coating applied to the visors of real spacesuits. (It should be noted, though, that the reflective visors on real spacesuits are often retracted when not looking in the direction of the Sun.) Such scenes would often require contrived lighting. Then again, "contrived lighting" has been a staple of filmmaking for ages.

Of course, the reason for this is that the makers want us to see the faces of the actors filling those helmets. A lot of body language and emotional cues are carried through facial expressions and reactions, so it helps the audience to be able to see the people in question while they chew the scenery. The same reasoning pops up in reverse in Faceless Goons, where faces are obscured in order to avoid humanising the characters.

Obviously, this is not a problem in literature, since there are no expensive actors or camera scenes involved at all.

This trope is probably related to the fact that pretty much all spacecraft are evenly illuminated from all sides, regardless of their distance from a star or the possibility of being shadowed by a planet or a bigger ship or whatever. Presumably they all have little lights attached to their outer hull for the same purpose as the helmet lights, though it isn't like there is any Stealth in Space anyway.

Another possible explanation that is sometimes covered is that the internal illumination is due to reflections from lit instrumentation or Heads-Up Displays that that are hidden from external view. In such cases, it is believable that the inside of the visor also has anti-reflective coatings.

Related to Helmets Are Hardly Heroic.

To summarize: In space, nobody can see your face, unless precautions are taken.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop: Spike and Faye don space-suits with clear face-plates in a scene or two.
  • Doraemon: In "Experimental Dream Schemes", during his science fiction dream, Noby's face is clearly visible through his space helmet.
  • GunBuster: Partially justified by using fish-bowl helmets with forward-facing lights mounted on top. This gives their bodies a realistic amount of shadow, but their faces are fully visible.
  • Gundam plays this one straight pretty much all the time, though in one episode of Gundam 00, Setsuna turns his visor into a two-way mirror in order to hide his identity.
  • Exaggerated in Macross Delta. Apparently the Windermerean Aerial Knights use hologram tech inside their cockpits specifically so their helmets will "disappear" and make it look like they aren't wearing any, otherwise their runes wouldn't appear on screen.
  • In the Show Within a Show of Millennium Actress, the spacesuits have helmets without reflective coating, so the faces are nicely showing.
  • Usually averted in Planetes. Spacesuits have faceplates with integrated HUDs, and are almost always lowered to protect against unfiltered sunlight and debris impacts. If you see a character's face in a spacesuit, it's a Closeup on Head. People raise their faceplates only to identify themselves to each other — or so they can see each other's faces during dramatic arguments.
  • In Tamagotchi: The Movie, Mametchi and Tanpopo's faces are clearly visible through their spacesuits.


    Asian Animation 
  • Simple Samosa: Episodes such as "Waiting for Rakesh" and "Space Snax" show that the characters' astronaut outfits have helmets made of glass that can clearly be seen through.

    Comic Books 
  • Played a bit in Albedo: Erma Felna EDF. Some astronaut suits, especially the ones used by aerodyne pilots like Erma, only cover their mouths and the rest of their heads, but not their eyes, but some astronaut suits plays this trope painfully straight.
  • Batman: While the Red Hood helmet is generally an aversion, given it's a modified full face motorcycle helmet, some artists who can't communicate emotions through the characters body language have drawn is more like a vacuum-packed plastic red baggie over his face in order to draw facial expressions. No thought seems to be given as to how Jason breathes when his helmet has been melded to his face.
  • Iron Man:
    • While not a space suit, Iron Man's armor almost always inverts this by rarely showing Tony Stark's face from the outside. A relatively recent solution (taken from the films) to allow emoting is a sort of 'virtual' display of him hovering in a dark space dotted with computer screens, meant to represent his version of a Heads-Up Display.
    • When Tony first switched from the Gold Plated Battle Tank Armor to the classic red-and-gold skin-tight model in The '60s, his lengthy introduction to the new suit specifically noted that he's made the eye-holes and mouth-slits bigger so his adversaries could see his expressions. In The '70s, everything narrowed to featureless slits again... but there was a tendency for artists to draw the solid metal "shellhead" faceplate as an Expressive Mask.
  • Subverted in Judge Dredd. Any time Dredd wears a spacesuit, hazmat suit or Powered Armour, that is usually transparent... except he still wears his regular helmet underneath.
  • Taken to an extreme with Legion of Super-Heroes. Every Legionnaire has an invisible, skin tight suit that provides them with life support, worn over their normal costumes.
  • Star Wars Legends: This isn't the best example, but it fits here better than anywhere else. In Darklighter, Biggs and the other Rebel pilots once have a mission involving dressing in Imperial flight suits, which have obscuring full-face helmets. The artist drew those helmets as having flip-up visors with clear face shields underneath, and even the creators of the comic admit in a footnote that the only reason for any of that was so the readers could see their faces.
  • In The Killers of Krypton, Supergirl's face is clearly visible through her spacesuit's helmet while she's exploring the ruins of Krypton.
  • Tintin: In Explorers on the Moon, the faces of the spacemen can always be seen through their multiplex helmets, even when floating in outer space or walking through a dark cave on the Moon. Hergé was well aware that in real life the helmets would be opaque, but the reader not being able to immediately tell who was speaking during the scenes on the Moon was felt to be too much of a drawback.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): When Diana and the Holliday Girls go to confront the Golden Policewomen in space they wear a transparent green barrier Paula invented to protect them and allow them to breath.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dan Dare: Every planet to have invented space travel has also invented a space helmet with a completely transparent visor.

    Fan Works 
  • Changeling Space Program & The Maretian: Averted with the first "Group Photo" sent to Earth after radio contact is reestablished. (Everyone had their polarized helmet visors down, and Starlight wasn't going to risk a lapse in concentration while maintaining an air bubble spell.)
  • Heroes of the Desk: Repercussions: Averted for J117 power armor, except in one specific case: Valla's eyes glow so brightly with hate that they can be seen through the faceplate.
  • Kara of Rokyn: Kara and Matter Master's faces are visible through their spacesuits when they travel to Argo City into deep space.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 12 to the Moon tries to get round this trope with a Forcefield Door that is allegedly covering the astronauts open-face helmets.
    Astronaut: I am now turning on my invisible electromagnetic rayscreen...
    MST3K: Even I don't buy it.
    Astronaut: ...which forms a protective shield over our faces...
    MST3K: Of course it does.
  • Averted in 2001: A Space Odyssey during Dave Bowman's spacewalk. His face is briefly illuminated by sunlight, until he adjusts the polarization of his helmet visor.
  • Averted in Deep Impact, as the astronauts worked on the dark side of the comet their face shields were open, only closing them as the Sun approached the horizon. This scene also attempts to portray the effects of failing to use face shields as one astronaut fails to close his shield in time. The exposure of only a few seconds results in immediate permanent blindness and severe sun burn. Solar radiation in space at that distance is only about 20% stronger than in the desert at Earth's surface, and space suit helmets block both IR and UV, eliminating the major sources of heat burns and sunburn from solar radiation, respectively.
  • The lights are averted in Destination Moon (1950), leaving the actors' faces partly in shadow (to help tell them apart they wear coloured spacesuits). No reflective helmet visors, though, as the movie was made even before Sputnik, it's forgivable.
  • Doomsday Machine, a film featured on Cinematic Titanic, actually averts this trope in the end, where the two astronauts who board the Russian spacecraft have black, reflective visors on their helmets. Unfortunately, this was mostly an attempt to (not particularly successfully) cover up the fact that the last part of the movie was filmed with different actors and different sets due to budget constraints.
  • Event Horizon — as every ship appears to have different models of space suits, both straight and averted in the case of the aversion, to allow a horrifying Dream Sequence Reveal as someone flips up a visor.
  • Averted in First Man during the moonwalk sequence; the astronauts' faces are obscured by their gold-tinted helmet visors, and when Neil Armstrong raises his visor when he's looking down into a dark crater, his face initially remains in shadow. The audience is finally able to see Neil's face when he drops a bracelet that had belonged to his dead daughter into the crater.
  • In Frau im Mond (The Woman in the Moon), the 1929 silent sci-fi movie by Fritz Lang, the explorers actually walk round without spacesuits, despite the high degree of technical accuracy (for the time) of the rest of the film. Although it was known the Moon has no atmosphere, silent film actors depended greatly on facial expressions and body language, which would have been obscured by bulky spacesuits and helmets.
  • In Godzilla (2014), Ishiro Serizawa is wearing a chemical suit with lights that illuminate his face when he discovers the Godzilla skeleton in the cave.
  • In Gravity, the least realistic aspect of an otherwise thoroughly researched movie is probably this trope—it's so you can get a good look at stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
  • In Interstellar, all crew's visors are transparent with no protective coating.
  • Averted in the Iron Man films. Tony's face is completely obscured in the suit. The film has to cut to interior shots of the helmet to see Tony's expressions.
    • Justified as well — the light emitted by his HUD provides just enough to see his face by in the extreme closeups.
  • The Kryptonian spacesuits seen in Zod's flashback in Man of Steel are equipped with in-helmet lights to keep everybody's faces visible.
  • In The Martian, all the EVA suits have broad visors and face-floodlights. Possibly justified, as the Framing Device a lot of exposition from Watney's end appears to be him talking into cameras positioned around the Hab whose only possible Watsonian purpose would be for someone back at Mission Control to edit the most interesting or amusing footage together for the news networks and NASA's official YouTube channel. Being able to see the crew's faces would be for the benefit of people watching those videos.
    • Inverted when the head of PR at NASA demands a photo of Mark, and then complains that his face is obscured by his helmet. The head of engineering says that they could get him to take it off for a pose, but then he would "like, die".
  • Outland: Helmets have a whole ring of lights round the visor, used in one case for a dramatic reveal of The Mole when their lights are suddenly switched on.
  • Passengers (2016): Jim's helmet is lit up as usual so that the audience can view his face while he goes on a space walk.
  • In Prometheus, the ship's crew all wear clear domed helmets with lights on them.
  • Non-space example, but in Repo! The Genetic Opera the Repo Man's helmet has blue lights. Head mentions on the DVD that he couldn't see past them... but that they look really cool.
  • Earthbound example: In The Signal (2014), Damon wears a hazmat suit with lighting inside the helmet.
  • Lights are included in otherwise bog-standard NASA spacesuits in Space Cowboys.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness features space suits with nifty heads-up displays in the helmets, and face-illuminating lights within that would seem to interfere with the visibility of those displays.
  • Averted in Sunshine where the suits have only a narrow viewing slit (because they have to operate close to the Sun) but substituting claustrophobic shots of the actors from within the bulky helmets.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the astronauts on the 1969 Moon landing have their iconic reflective visors at first, but while examining the crashed Ark up close, actually slide them up to reveal face-illuminating lights inside their fishbowl helmets.
  • Underwater: Hard suits for deep-sea divers can also have lights in their helmets.

  • The Best Science Fiction: 1949: The cover has a character in a spacesuit wearing a "bubble" helmet to help market the Anthology as a Science Fiction work.
  • Discworld: In The Last Hero, the Steampunk spacesuit worn by Leonard of Quirm is specifically designed with a transparent bubble-helmet. In this case, it's because Leonard wanted to be able to see out of it as easily as possible.
  • Referenced in Larry Niven's Known Space setting; because their faces can't be seen in their helmets, the setting's asteroid miners paint their individual spacesuits with bright, distinctive and elaborate patterns.
  • The Toralii boarders in Lacuna have opaque visors, but one raises it to gloat to a wounded, fallen Captain Liao. That proves to be his undoing.
  • Averted in The Martian. It's mentioned when Watney is gonna get his picture taken that his face wouldn't be visible through his helmet. Played straight in the movie, though.
  • Averted, very nearly disastrously, in The Mote in God's Eye. Aliens in a spacesuit use a severed head in a helmet to slip past guards; the deception is only revealed when a momentary angle of sunlight reveals the aliens peering out the helmet—having moved the head out of the way to be able to navigate. Having those lights to identify your astronauts sure would have helped spot the dead guy...
  • Avoided in The Night's Dawn Trilogy, in which the spacesuits don't even have helmets. The spacesuits are a nondescript black silicon film that completely covers the user from a device worn around the neck. All sensors used for "seeing" the environment are contained in said device and they interface directly with implants in the user's brain. With the suits that do have helmets, the point is made that no-one can see into the suit to tell who it is inside—although that is from a distance.
  • Operation Future: The cover has a person in a spacesuit with a sorta-bubble helmet (large clear visor bolted onto a metal helmet).
  • Second Foundation: The 1958 cover from Digit Books shows a man in a spacesuit performing an EVA with two dart-like spaceships. His helmet is a big bubble, without any solar shielding.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Used in The Truce at Bakura. When Wedge is extravehicular, Luke can see his face through his faceplate. Wedge is not wearing a spacesuit, but his pilot suit and helmet as seen in the films, with a personal force field to keep a layer of air around him.
    • In Galaxy of Fear: Spore this trope is played straight enough that when a miner is found dead, everyone can see his expression of terror.
  • In Melinda Selmys' Steampunk short story "The Virginal Seas of the Moon", the would-be astronauts have helmets with faceplates made of stained glass in their likenesses. Presumably this is because of gaps in their technical expertise.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Airwolf does something very similar with the crew's helmets, although it's not in space. They have open visors that can be sealed in case of pressure loss, but are normally open to allow the actor's eyes to be seen, though the helmets do cover the actors' lower faces.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In "Thirdspace", Captain Sheridan's suit runs straight into this trope.
    • The same thing is done whenever people are shown wearing gas masks (which happens quite a bit, as they have to go into parts of the station with non-oxygen atmospheres every so often). JMS stated that he's well aware of how unrealistic this is, but he also knows that audiences want to see the actors faces.
  • Justified in Battlestar Galactica (1978)—it was the emitters of a force field that kept the pilot's air in. Played straight in the reimagined series where the pilots wore much more practical helmets that nonetheless included lighting whose only purpose was to make actors' faces visible.
  • It has cropped up a couple of times on Doctor Who.
    • In "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit", the Tenth Doctor spends much of his screen-time gallivanting around a pit-and-cave-system wearing a pressure suit and helmet. The helmet features four tiny lights which are pointed directly at the corners of the Doctor's mouth and eyes.
    • "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" features helmets with blue lights shining into the face around the mouth area. But those lights can be turned on and off at will, so likely the point was to let you hold a conversation while wearing them.
    • Averted, however, in "The Impossible Astronaut", presumably because it was important that the astronaut remain anonymous until The Reveal.
    • "Oxygen": The spacesuit helmets have clear glass visors, although the Doctor, Bill and Nardole's encounter with an empty suit animated by its AI suggests it's possible to darken the visors. Although they have the usual lights inside, individual helmet forcefields are used to prevent the actors having to spend the entire episode inside a helmet. Handwaved as the forcefields not being substantial enough to withstand a total vacuum, so you only need them outside the space station.
  • The Expanse does this as well. Even the Martian helmets in season 1 that block most of the face have this trait, with the eyes lighting up. Though it does give them a more sinister look, which actually fits quite nicely. In season 2, when main characters wear Martian armor, it follows this trait exactly.
  • Farscape didn't put the cast in spacesuits much, but when they did they had transparent visors. The suits used in the first two seasons avoided the superfluous face lights, but later seasons saw the cast switch to a more streamlined suit that had lights right in the corners of their eyes.
  • Firefly. The lights in the helmets are on even on when the crew is on the surface of Miranda in broad daylight. This could be explained by their needing to be able to see each other's faces in case the radios cut out. The reason they left the lights on planetside was because they're cheap suits, and the gloves can't work the switches to turn them off.
  • Inverted in For All Mankind. There's a tense moment when Ed Baldwin finds a Soviet cosmonaut retrieving an apparent spy camera from the American ice mining site. Thanks to the protective visors on their suits, all Ed and the cosmonaut can see are their reflections mirrored back at them on the visors, adding an air of tension to the scene as it makes it impossible for either man to judge what the other is thinking. The viewer is only presented with Ed's point of view during the scene, but the way the cosmonaut gingerly pulls out a hammer as his only weapon makes it clear he's willing to fight if Ed were to get aggressive. Thankfully, the only thing that happens between the two is a tense stare-down before Ed allows the cosmonaut to be on his way.
  • An Earthbound example in Fringe: the team sometimes wear full-coverage suits to protect against chemical and biological hazards. These have lights inside the helmets, so the audience can see who's who.
  • Averted in Red Dwarf episode "Thanks For The Memory", though that's largely due to the fact that Craig Charles isn't in the spacesuit due to his wife giving birth on the day of the shoot.
  • Especially ridiculous in Space: Above and Beyond as the lighted helmet interior would have proved a wonderful aiming point for chig soldiers when fighting in the dark.
  • Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets has the no-lights-but-no-reflective-visor look going on.
  • Stranger Things: The helmets of the safety suits at Hawkins Lab have lights that illuminate the wearer's face.

  • Averted with Sega Pinball's Apollo 13 game; the astronaut prominently featured on the backglass has his face entirely covered by the visor of his helmet. Done out of necessity because Tom Hanks's likeness was not available.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Rocket Age it goes with the territory of everyone wearing fishbowl helmets. There's a good chance that if your face isn't visible, you're just a Faceless Goons and you should probably change professions.

  • A vast majority of LEGO Space minifigures have transparent visors, to the point where the Classic LEGO Space minifigures simply don't have visors at all; appropriately enough, this trope is averted primarily with sets which intend to portray space travel as it stands today, where the minifigures accordingly have opaque visors.

    Video Games 
  • Thoroughly averted in Dead Space. None of the available suit helmets have face openings, presumably presenting the world to Isaac via AR screen—which would also nicely explain the massive amount of Hard Light interfaces.
    • Further, most helmet fronts don't even look like a face, consisting instead of a green light layer upon which armour plates are mounted in various patterns. In any other game, the helmet would mark its wearer as a perfect Faceless Goon to be slain guilt-free. The aversion is justified, as nearly all the suits Isaac finds are all variations of an engineering RIG, which is armored to protect against dangerous hazards in that line of work. Of course the face is going to be hidden behind armor, it reduces the chance of severe facial injury. Out of universe, this was initially done to make Isaac more of a Featureless Protagonist, though he still had a face model that is seen in the ending. Later games give him a voice, personality, and definite face, but still let him wear armored helmets.
  • Played straight in Final Fantasy VIII, where Rinoa's face can be fully and clearly seen through her space helmet as she floats around. But averted in the rest of the game where the helmets worn by other spacecrew/team members are opaque.
  • Earthworm Jim: Psycrow's fishbowl-like helmet is perfectly transparent.
  • Halo:
    • To the disappointment of many fans, averted with Spartan John-117 and his MJOLNIR suit, designed to work in every condition, including vacuum. You can't EVER see his face through his faceplate, which is a golden 150% reflective one.
    • On the other hand, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from Halo 3: ODST have visors that can be toggled to become transparent. However, they're 100% non-see-through during combat.
    • From Halo: Reach onward, Covenant Ranger units, who are trained and equipped for space combat, tend to wear helmets with translucent faceplates. That said, the ones in Halo 5: Guardians are right on the border between this trope and One-Way Visor; you can kind of see the outlines of their heads through their visors if you squint hard enough.
  • Mostly averted in Mass Effect. The human characters (and the alien Liara, who wears human-style armor) add a largely opaque facemask to their helmets when in inhospitable conditions. However they all include a transparent eye slit, and the area visible through that is well lit, thus their functionality remains debatable. The aliens Garrus and Wrex have only one helmet design per armor, all of which are face-concealing. The alien Tali is always wearing an environment suit with a mostly-opaque visor, but if you look close you can see her eyes and a few lines of her face. The artist who designed the helmets for the game noted the difficulty in still having characters be expressive while they're basically wearing masks.
    • Mass Effect 2 the same design for the most part, but also includes several alternative bonus armors with full face visors that play it straight. It also has characters that forgo space suits entirely. Though some are justified and truth in television.
    • Although made possibly even worse by Liara, who now only wears a small transparent breather over her mouth leaving the rest of her head uncovered.
    • Mass Effect 3 has several armors that completely obscure the face, although there is a setting that removes the helmet during conversations.
  • Metroid: It's on and off here. The 2D games (Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission in particular) will show Samus's eyes behind her green visor. When it went to 3D with the Metroid Prime Trilogy Samus's face was completely obscured when using the various visor functions(scan, thermal, x-ray, dark, echo) but partially visible in "combat" mode.
    • The camera in the Prime series is mostly first person, so you do get to see her face reflected off the visor whenever there is something bright nearby.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption also has Samus's face reflected on the helmet's visor while using the Scan Visor.
    • The introduction to Super Metroid has Samus typing up the events of previous Metroid games. You can see her face on the computer monitor.
    • Explained in Metroid: Other M. The visor has a device that switches it between transparent and opaque. This game also made the visor larger than in any previous game, so people can see her entire face.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey plays with this trope by giving the character spacesuit-things for the hostile atmosphere where the game takes place... but only unnamed Strike Team members (which includes you) wear their helmets' faceplate down all the time. Important characters (Gore, Zelenin, Jimenez) keep the faceplate up even when out in the field, protected from the environment only by the transparent visor underneath.
  • Avoided in StarCraft... somewhat. In the videos, you can't see someone's face when the reflective plating is down, they lift it up to have conversations. (Although they inexplicably keep it down for no reason most of the time, even if they're fighting on a very dark planet where a reflection can give them away.) Inside the game itself though, the plating is almost always up. Because you might forget which unit is selected even though the name and a miniature is next to the portrait... or something. Obviously this only applies to Terrans as the other races can happily frolic in space... somehow. And even only some of those, others have weird masks or Humongous Mecha.
  • Completely averted in Virtue's Last Reward. Whenever we see characters in protective gear, later revealed to actually be spacesuits, we can't see their face, or who the person in the suit is at all. Players and the character can only tell who's who thanks to the communication line between the suits. There's one scene in which one character is about to smash another over the head with a rock, both of whom are wearing the bulky suits and helmets, and Sigma specifics that he can't tell who's who because of that.
  • The Wing Commander series averts this trope, for the most part. At most one only saw the area immediately around the eyes of the pilots wearing the helmets, and it wasn't illuminated other than by the light in the cockpit (which just shifted the problem out of the helmet, but that's not this trope).
  • In X-Tension and X2 The Threat, the first two X-Universe games to feature the possibility of getting out of a ship, the spacesuits have transparent helmets with a face visible under it (though not it is illuminated by the suit itself).
  • Space Colony doesn't have people faces visible in helmets during main game play, with the name floating above their heads being the only way to identify them.
  • Prey (2017) has face concealing helmets for everyone.
  • Subverted in Don't Escape 3, where one Jump Scare consists of a spacesuit standing in front of you when you enter a room, but it turns out to be empty. Because you're the killer.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Invader Zim had an air helmet that was a pink gooey bubble that turned invisible after forming around his head and pressurizing. It's also seen reappearing sporadically when damaged.
  • In Star Trek: The Animated Series, personal environmental force fields allow the crew to explore planets without Earth-like atmospheres while wearing nothing but a uniform. This was likely so the animators wouldn't have to do much extra work on the characters.
  • Being an animated show, Star Trek: Lower Decks could just depict spacesuit-wearing characters with visible faces through the visors but it goes the extra step of making clear that the helmets have face-illuminating lighting just to remain visually consistent with the live-action shows and films.
  • Optimus Prime from Transformers has an iconic faceplate that is indicative of his classic look even more than his semi-truck vehicle mode. Later incarnations have made the faceplate retractable so that he can actually emote and express himself, with "Prime Lips" being a mild controversy (one of many) with the Transformers Film Series. The truth is the retractable faceplate was introduced in Beast Wars, with other shows not even have it deployed at all, while the films made it into a dramatic "time for battle" moment that has influenced later shows (especially Transformers: Animated and Transformers: Prime).
  • All the E-frames in Exo Squad have big front windows, despite this being a glaring weak point for space combat. Apparently this was the result of Executive Meddling, but Tropes Are Tools in this case, since for dramatic moments it lets you see the E-frame pilots and the emotions they're going through.

    Real Life 
  • On occasion, the lighting conditions are such that this trope is played straight. 40 years after the first moonwalk, researchers noted and saved a few frames from a video in which Neil Armstrong's face was visible.