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Making a Spectacle of Yourself

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"Of all the hideously disfigured spectacles I have ever beheld... those perched on the end of this man's nose remain forever pasted into the album of my memory."

There are Cool Shades and there are Sinister Shades. There are Nerd Glasses and there are Bespectacled Cutie round glasses. And then there are these.

Perhaps it's the bright pink lenses. Perhaps it's the rhinestone-encrusted frames. Perhaps it's the way they jut out several feet from the wearer's face. Whatever it is these glasses have, the one thing they do not have is subtlety.

These glasses come in a mix-and-match variety of styles, depending on the effect the costume department is going for:

  • Coloured lenses mark out the user as eccentric or different - bonus points for having two different colours for the lenses.
  • Shaped lenses can give the wearer a very 1970s aesthetic, especially if they are star or heart shaped.
  • Fancy frames make the wearer seem kitsch or out-of-touch - the more decorated the glasses, the campier the individual.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is famous for Kamina's over-the-top jagged orange shades, which have gone on to inspire an internet meme.
    • Kamina's shades aren't even the most spectacular ones. They get topped about twenty episodes later with Simon's Kamina/Kittan homage star-shaped shades (not as in one star for each lens, the whole thing's one star). And this all ignoring the ones some of the mecha wear.
    • Little known fact: Pokémon's Squirtle was wearing the pointed shades a good decade before Kamina ever donned them.
  • Togano Shozo of Eyeshield 21 sports a pair of oversized, orange-tinted sunglasses that somehow manage to escape notice or mention throughout the entirety of the series thus far.
    • During his first few appearances (before getting a more consistent design), jerk jock Agon sported cheetah print framed shades. Apparently, everyone in this series is oblivious to silly sunglasses.
  • Jango from One Piece always wears unusual heart-shaped sunglasses. They cover up his unusual heart-shaped eyeballs.
  • Harry Ord of ∀ Gundam is constantly wearing gigantic, bright red sunglasses with no visible frames that look kind of like bug eyes. They are primarily there to serve as a mask, as is necessary for the series' resident Char Clone.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider Jerusalem of Transmetropolitan. One lens red, the other green. One lens round, the other square. They were made by a stoned Matter Replicator.
  • In The DCU, the villain the Crime Doctor took to wearing sunglasses with star-shaped lenses.
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Wonder World" Riley tries on some star shaped sunglasses while her friend with the heart shaped accessories stands in front of a stand with a bunch more, including some heart shaped ones.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin once tried to get his mother to buy him a pair of sunglasses that were apparently picked up by Kamina years later.
  • In one FoxTrot strip, Peter buys a pair of sunglasses with one square lens and one triangular lens and asks everyone in the family if they like it. They all call it tacky, and Peter remarks that he's glad he's found sunglasses that no one will borrow.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, Grandma Wu wears sunglasses with rhinestone-encrusted frames.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future
  • In Blade Runner, Dr. Tyrell wears unusually large glasses with thick octagonal lenses.
  • Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (red glass).
  • Dr. Hadden in Contact wears large glasses, similar to Dr. Tyrell from Blade Runner.
  • Meg Ryan in The Doors (blue hippie glasses).
  • The heart-shaped sunglasses from the poster for Stanley Kubrick's Lolita.
  • In Mannequin, Hollywood Montrose is a Flamboyant Gay with the ultra 80's boxtop haircut and some really odd asymmetrical sunglasses.
  • In the alternate history of National Treasure, Benjamin Franklin invented a special pair of colonial spectacles (known as the "Ocular Device") to help treasure hunters read a clue on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Their oddity comes from the fact that it sports not just two, but SIX lenses, four of which are attached steampunk style to the frames, and three of THOSE lenses are colored red, green, and blue.
  • Tom Cruise's shades from the Risky Business poster may be a reference to Lolita.
  • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Arnold ends up stealing his usual all-black & leather outfit from a gay male stripper and tries on a pair of gaudy star-shaped sunglasses that he finds in the pocket. He then takes them off and steps on them as he walks off.

  • The shades occasionally worn by Ray Person in Generation Kill are themselves mild compared to the other examples here, but become quite silly when worn by a US Marine in fatigues/MOPP gear invading Iraq while explaining the finer points of life in the Corps ("We pimpin'") or hitting on hot Iraqi women. It was enough for Person plus his shades to be the miniseries' cover.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In several episodes of Are You Being Served?, Mr Humphries is seen wearing Elton John-style glasses. In the episode "Grounds for Divorce", he and Mr Spooner are under instructions to push sales of such glasses, but their attempts to appeal to a customer backfire as he instead sells Mr Humphries his own rainbow plastic-framed glasses for £5.
  • David Dickinson, original host of Bargain Hunt, often wore glasses with rainbow plastic frames.
    • His successor, Tim Wonnacott, wears various colourful frames to match his bow-ties.
  • Doctor Who: In "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday", the Tenth Doctor wears a set of 3D anaglyph classes. Justified in that those glasses make it possible to detect the presence of Void stuff.
  • One of the villains on the Sid and Marty Krofft superheroine series Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was evil musician Glitter Rock, who wore, among other things, enormous star-shaped sunglasses.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki (and his US counterpart) have an entire facemask resembling Kanye Shades overlaying the typical Kamen Rider red bug eyes.
  • In Quantum Leap, Al occasionally wears a pair of red, lightning-bolt-shaped shades.
  • The Saturday Night Live sketches "Coffee Talk with Linda Richman" has Linda Richman (Mike Myers) wearing outrageously large tinted glasses.
  • In Twin Peaks, the lenses of Dr. Jacoby's glasses have different colors.
  • The vicar wears a big, glittery red pair that says "BOOB" (with the lenses as the 'o's) in The Vicar of Dibley, during the episode where they're expecting Elton John to open the Dibley village fair.
    Geraldine: (sees herself in the mirror as she goes to answer the door) Well, obviously not! (takes them off)

  • Pictured above is Elton John and his odd-looking, retro-futuristic shades.
  • Kanye West's 'Shutter Shades' from "Stronger".
  • Lady Gaga does it in her "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance" music videos. In the latter, they're made of razor blades.
    • Apparently, Lady Gaga wears specs like this all the time.
    • In "Telephone", she wears glasses made of burning cigarettes.
    • "Alejandro" has her wearing goggles with black lace-covered lenses. Given the other examples, though, that's downright normal.
      • Did you see the hat they were attached to? They count.
  • Bono from U2, after 1991. Justified in that he's suffered from glaucoma for years and has to wear sunglasses, even indoors.
  • Bootsy Collins.
  • John Conlee. Like Damon Gant and Porter C Powell, listed above he also has a pair of pink glasses (actually rose colored but close enough), the glasses actually appear on the covers for 3 of his albums (album pictures can be viewed by clicking on above link)
  • Guns N' Roses: Axl Rose wears pink glasses in the video for "November Rain".
  • Queen: Freddie Mercury wore some sweet star-shaped glasses in the video for "We Will Rock You".

  • The woman on the backglass of Earthshaker! is wearing a pair of pink, banana-shaped glasses with plastic stars on the tips.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Not so much gaudy as 'hugely out-of-fashion, Gentleman John Ungatt Lynx of Prairie Wrestling Alliance wears a pair of pince-nez glasses attached to a chain.

    Puppet Shows 
  • At the end of the Elton John episode of The Muppet Show, all the Muppets are wearing these, along with Impossibly Tacky Clothes. Elton then comes on stage dressed normally and with a pair of aviators, and asks why they're all dressed like stolen cars.

    Video Games 
  • Miror B's ridiculous star-shaped sunglasses in the Pokémon Colosseum games definitely apply.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Jacq wears hexagon-shaped glasses, when the other characters who wear glasses by default (such as Clavell and Penny) have more normal-shaped round glasses.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Chief of Police Damon Gant and his hot pink sunglasses.
    • There's also Godot, who wears a futuristic three-slatted One-Way Visor. Phoenix is afraid to approach him until he's sure Godot's visor can't fire lasers.
  • Happy Chaos from Guilty Gear -STRIVE- wears orange shades with cross-shaped lenses, which is fitting considering how generally unhinged he is.
  • Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes wears a variety of coloured shades...his default one are 'Sunflower Yellow', but they're also available in Peony Pink, Cobalt Blue, Pumking Seed Orange, and - if you're feeling particularly boring - traditional grey.
  • Academician Prokhor Zakharov from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri wears boat-light glasses. As literally as possible-one lens is red, the other is green (except their directions are reversed: his glasses are red on the right and green on the left, whereas a boat is the other way around).
  • Tabitha, the recurring guest on the Black Mountain Radio broadcast in Fallout: New Vegas wears pink, heart-shaped glasses with one lens missing, and a blonde babydoll wig with a red ribbon (referred to as her "truth-seeing eye" and "head of real hair"). Seeing as Tabitha is a hulking, overmuscled, blue-skinned supermutant with few definite sexual characteristics and the voice of a longtime smoker gargling gravel, it might be a desperate attempt to hold on to any vestiges of feminine identity. Being terminally insane plays some part, as well.
  • Zeke from Zombies Ate My Neighbors always rolls around with a pair of 3-D glasses as he's blasting B-movie creatures. Even in the Darker and Edgier sequel, Ghoul Patrol, he keeps the shades.
  • Cedric from Battle Fantasia uses your regular run-of-the-mill glasses, until you use his taunt, at which point he changes it for a randomly selected eyewear, including some perfect examples of this trope, like goggles, 3D glasses and Groucho Marx glasses. Did we mention this game is a medieval fantasy?
  • It's possible to invoke this in Fire Emblem Fates. The game introduced an accessory shop, and one of the outfit pieces is appropriately called the "Tinted Lenses". They're a pair of opaque, brightly-colored sunglasses... which, like the above example, exist in a medieval-inspired setting.
  • Spamton from Deltarune has a pair of these, with the left lens being pink, and the right lens being yellow.

  • Homestuck has several characters with sunglasses that are combined with phones/PDAs. Even before this upgrade, there are still characters in 3D-colored shades, red cats-eye lenses, and black Kamina/Squirtle shades.
  • In Narbonic, Helen B. Narbon is almost never seen without her little pink glasses. Well, except when she was turning into Dave.

    Web Original 
  • Lee Phillips from KateModern is very fond of bizarre sunglasses. His favourite pair are pink, with guitar-shaped frames.

    Western Animation 
  • A pair of bright pink sparkly sunglasses seems to be the only pair anyone wears in All Hail King Julien.
  • Clock King of Batman: The Animated Series has a pair of glasses with clock hands on the lenses.
  • Speaking of Batman shows, there's the Music Meister's musical note shades in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • In one episode, rock star Jagged Stone commissions Marinette to create a pair of sunglasses for him. The result is a pair of red, white, and blue Eiffel Tower-shaped shutter shades.
    • A few akumatized villains also have these:
      • The Gamer has a pair of green butterfly-shaped shades, which are also where the akuma resides.
      • Frightningale wears a pair of large star-shaped shades that are blue on one side, red on the other, and light purple in the center.
      • Kwamibuster has a pair of goggles with lime green lenses.
      • Party Crasher has a pair of shades that are the same silver color and pattern as his disco ball hands; how he sees out of those is anyone's guess.
  • Porter C Powell of Transformers: Animated has pink sunglasses for God only knows why, even though he's a serious businessman.
  • Tobey from WordGirl normally just wears a plain pair of Nerd Glasses, but his work outfit includes a pair of welding goggles with one red lens and one blue.

    Real Life 
  • Pictured above: Sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight aka Elton John is famous for these - quite possibly the Trope Codifier - and they appear in every parody of him. See many of them here
  • Dame Edna's glasses, with glitter stars hanging from the corners.
  • While not as gaudy as most examples, UK snooker player Dennis Taylor was noted for wearing outsized glasses. Apparently this served a purpose - he wasn't looking over them when lining up his shot. (These days virtually all professionals opt for contacts or laser surgery, although glasses are one of the few optional items that are actually permitted by the very strict snooker dress code.)
  • Anaglyph 3D glasses, aka "those shades with the red and blue / green lenses." Not very many people wear them as a fashion statement, but those who do are probably going for this trope.
  • Very common in party accessories, is easy to find people in New Year's celebrations wearing fake beer glasses, star glasses or any other kind of cheap big chunky frames with unusual shapes.

Alternative Title(s): Impossibly Tacky Eyewear