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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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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Uryuu fits this trope to a T. He is easily on par with Lieutenant-class Shinigami and has one-shotted a captain and his bankai with a single arrow. Post-timeskip he demonstrates himself to be an excellent fighter even without his Quincy Powers. It Runs in the Family: his bespectacled father is even more powerful than he is.
    • Lisa Yadomaru has a rather slight build, but she turns out to be a Glacier Waif with a BFS (S in this case standing for spear).
  • Girge from Broken Blade. He handicapped ten golems, even killed some of it, and later, destroyed an elite troop of five with handicapped golem. He threw it away right after, though.
  • Rin Asougi of Mnemosyne does a lot of badass things while wearing glasses, but they tend to end up lost or destroyed in the process, requiring her to frequently replace them.
  • Conan Edogawa of Case Closed keeps his specs in place whenever deploying gadgets or kicking a soccer ball into some poor criminal's teeth.
  • Kishou Arima, from Tokyo Ghoul. A legendary Ghoul Investigator known as the "God of Death", he never removes his glasses even while pulling off incredibly quick, acrobatic moves. Artwork frequently features bloodstains on his glasses, adding to his fearsome appearance.
  • Atsushi of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, who flings around Gallant Hurricanes with his glasses on. This is notable in that Atsushi is in a genre where characters normally lose their glasses for badass stunts.
  • Munakata Reisi (the Blue King) and Fushimi Saruhiko (one of the strongest non-King fighters) from K.
  • My Hero Academia: Present Mic. He’s a pro hero who looks like a punk rocker, wears Triangle Shade sunglasses that appear to be prescription since he’s also seen with them out of his hero costume and the guy can get downright *vicious* if you mess with him or Aizawa. The glasses seem to switch between transparent and not transparent.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    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.
  • Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man. The powers he gains don't improve his poor eyesight at all, so he keeps using glasses and contacts while swinging around the city and battling villains.
  • Besides coming up with the plan to take down Al Capone, Treasury Agent Oscar Wallace shows himself to be this in The Untouchables (1987). 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.


    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.


    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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Charles Foster Ofdensen, Deathklok's manager in Metalocalypse. This fellow proves his badassery multiple times throughout the series, even coming back from death itself at the precise time he's needed most.

    Real Life 
  • Theodore Roosevelt, noted glasses-wearer, has a well earned reputation for badassery, extending well into Memetic territory. See his page for further details.
  • The "DMC" part of Run–D.M.C.. Darryl McDaniels is almost unrecognizable without his trademark specs.
  • Dennis Taylor, a retired pro snooker player, was ranked as one of the top 15 players in the world for nearly 20 years ranging from the 1970s to the 1990s. He was known for his custom-made "upside-down" glasses, which reached much farther up his forehead than a normal pair would. They allowed him to see clearly when he was bent over the table and lining up a shot, instead of having to look over the top edges of the lenses.