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Specs of Awesome

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Benjamin Franklin: Founding father of the U.S.A., inventor of a more efficient wood burning stove, and stone cold badass.
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Popular culture, especially in the West, tends to portray glasses as nerdy and as a sign of weakness. However, for some reason, if the one with the glasses isn't a meek Non-Action Guy, they are surprisingly likely to be this.

This trope has only two requirements: you must be badass, and you must wear glasses while demonstrating your badassery. Often overlaps with Badass Bookworm and Genius Bruiser, in which case the wearer is also likely to be The Stoic and frequently display Awesomeness by Analysis. These, however, are merely common traits, not requirements.

Naturally, this trope sometimes goes hand-in-hand with Scary Shiny Glasses.

To qualify for this trope, the character in question must be badass while still wearing glasses, otherwise it's The Glasses Come Off. Distinct from Cool Shades in that these are actual, transparent glasses. Compare and Contrast Stoic Spectacles, where the character is witty but not necessarily action oriented.

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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Major Hank Marshall (pictured about to punch his creepy superior officer) in Blue Sky - which makes it all the more heartbreaking that when he does take the glasses off, it's to wipe away tears.
  • In The Ipcress File and its sequels, there was Harry Palmer, a Cockney spy in National Health Service specs, way back in the 1960s. At the time, this was a notable subversion of the suave upper-class British intelligence agent epitomized by James Bond.
  • Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters and its Animated Adaptations The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters.
  • Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man. The powers he gains don't improve his poor eyesight at all, so he still keeps using glasses and contacts.
  • Besides coming up with the plan to take down Al Capone, Treasury Agent Oscar Wallace shows himself to be this in The Untouchables. During the Canadian border battle, when his tommy gun jams, he charges one of the hoods and knocks him unconscious with the gun butt. Sadly, after the battle his badassery will be short-lived.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, all of the Kingsmen wear them. They double as heads-up displays when necessary and transmit information back to headquarters in a livestream. Awesome indeed.
  • Kevin in Sin City (and the original graphic novels) is a very formidable antagonist to Marv until he loses his head.
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    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who occasionally dons his Purely Aesthetic Glasses to look more clever (remember, this is a guy who takes Awesomeness by Analysis Up to Eleven). Actor David Tennant made this wardrobe choice so his Doctor would be a role model for kids with glasses (having been one himself).
  • Heroes:
  • Stargate SG-1: Daniel Jackson definitely started out more bookworm than badass but even as he took several levels over the course of the show, he managed to avoid The Glasses Come Off (except when he was doing the Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence thing).
  • CSI: NY:
    • Danny Messer during the first few seasons. However, for some reason, he has either quit wearing them nowadays or switched to contacts.
    • Mantle taken up in season 2 by M.E. Sid Hammerback with his click readers.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • Commander and later Admiral William Adama wears glass and kicks Cylon ass. You can't say that he's not awesome when he puts them on.
    • Laura Roslyn counts, too. The glasses don't come off just because someone's gotta be thrown out an airlock.
  • When Avery Brooks was on The Arsenio Hall Show he defined a hero as someone who fights a lot of bad guys and never loses his sunglasses. At the time he portrayed the enigmatic "Hawk" on Spenser For Hire, who always wore sunglasses!
  • Billy the Blue Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
    • Ironically, David Yost had 20/20 vision and the stage glasses (specifically the ani-glare coating on the lenses) began to negatively effect his vision, which is why Billy made the off-screen change to wearing contact lenses.
  • Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Guy could certainly think, but he wasn't a slouch in combat at all.

    Roleplay 

    Video Games 
  • The Investigation Team from Persona 4. Wear them, and it's as if the supernatural fog in the TV World isn't there. Averted by Teddie, their creator, whose eyes themselves are lenses.
  • Gordon Freeman in Half-Life.
  • The Medic in Team Fortress 2. Bonus points for pushing up his glasses in a very nerdy way before smirking and letting forth the very first Ubercharge in "Meet The Medic".
  • The eponymous Bayonetta. Jeanne - who is as equally as badass - has these on her head but, save for disguising herself as a nun in the epilogue, she never wears them.
  • In the Pokémon games, there's often at least one bespectacled member of the Elite Four: Shauntal, Lorelei, Lucian. There's also Roark and Cheren, the only Gym Leaders in the franchise who wear glasses. Gordie might count, but it's ambiguous whether they are athletic eyeglasses or goggles for protection.
    • Maxie's redesign from Omega Ruby gives him a pair of glasses that gives him a more intelligent, stoic look and also has the keystone used to Mega Evolve his Camerupt.
  • Charlie from Street Fighter Alpha never removes his glasses, even in a fight.
  • The final boss of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Senator Armstrong who proceeds to go toe to toe with the protagonist Raiden even after the latter had finished single-handedly slicing up a massive metal gear.
  • Tales of the Abyss has Jade Curtiss, although he does take them off for the very final battle - because they're a Power Limiter.
  • Griff from Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a demon who fights with Wolverine Claws and some kind of magic while giving smart, if often sarcastic and snarky, comments. He also happens to wear glasses all the time.
  • Iron Tager in the BlazBlue games never takes off his glasses but can fight evenly with the strongest people of his world. He is also a big muscular guy who resembles a demon; presumably, he keeps his glasses on to try not to look so threatening.

    Web Animation 
  • Shows up frequently in RWBY, with Professor Ozpin and Doctor Oobleck as the most obvious examples.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Taylor from Worm wears glasses, and attaches old lenses to her costume's goggles.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 

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