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The Glasses Come Off

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"When you look at Clark Kent when he's working at the Daily Planet, he's a reporter. He doesn't fly through the air in his glasses and his suit."

A good way to mark your hero as an intellectual is to stick him on the far side of a pair of Nerd Glasses. A good way to mark your character as a badass is to kick some ass. We also all know that guys who wear glasses can never kick asses. It's contractually forbidden. Thus, when an intellectual is about to kick ass, the first thing he has to do is take off his glasses. (See: Male version of Flung Clothing) For an additional humourous/intellectual touch, the characters may be shown taking especial care to put their glasses away in a glasses case before stowing it away elsewhere, before commencing the violence.

Characters may also take their glasses off before kissing, because some guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses (see Beautiful All Along and The Glasses Gotta Go). Also because a pair of specs might get in the way. (And TWO pairs certainly will.)

One strange side effect is that if a character does this enough times, they may stop wearing their glasses altogether. Rarely is the fact that the character may have needed the prescription in the first place brought up, it's usually Hand Waved that they eventually got contacts. While the loss usually represents the character taking a step forward in their attitudes, fans who are into that sort of thing can find it frustrating.

Given that such characters will at some point be shown to be Blind Without 'Em, it may seem strange that removing their glasses renders the characters into Action Heroes, rather than rendering them, well, blind, but it seems to work. May occasionally make sense if the hero's glasses limit her/his fighting prowess.

There are other, more practical reasons for this trope, of course; it is, after all, not a bad idea to remove your glasses before doing things where they might fly off or get broken, and preventing unwanted reflections from the lenses becomes troublesome during martial arts. And then there's the fact that keeping any easily shattered material near your eyes during a fight is a really bad idea (which is probably where the taboo against hitting a guy with glasses on came from). In the unlikely event that you have Eye Beams, of course, you have even more reason to get the lenses out of the way. And finally, those who have reading glasses don't usually need them for anything else, and so don't accustom to the sensation as easily as those who wear glasses all the time; in this case, it's not removing the glasses for the fight so much as removing the glasses because they're not reading anymore.

Note that it isn't enough just to have glasses, you have to have Nerd Glasses for this trope to apply. (Compare Glasses And Ponytail Cover Up.) Some characters have Scary Shiny Glasses or Cool Shades, and they are most certainly not more powerful when this happens. Except of course, when the glasses are the distinguishing trait for the character, in which case, you should probably back off. Quickly.

When someone takes their glasses off to express surprise, see Glasses Pull. When characters fight while wearing their glasses, it's Specs of Awesome. As the examples show, inversions in which a character becomes more badass when they put their Nerd Glasses on (because now they can actually see clearly to fight) are also common. See Book Snap for another intellectual sign of impending anger.

Not to be confused with its sister trope Hold My Glasses, which isn't exclusive to Nerd Glasses and also covers other accessories besides glasses being taken off as a prelude to a fight.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, the Big Bad Sosuke Aizen does this, wearing his glasses when appearing to be a good, kind person, and taking them off after revealing his evil machinations and heading off.
    • Also done by Nanao Ise when Mayuri decides to stand in for his daughter/science experiment Nemu at a meeting of the Shinigami Women's Association and refuse to leave, even when subjected to the Scary Shiny Glasses. Judging by his face, he got the message. Of course, this was after the vice-captains meeting was invaded by Byakuya standing in for Renji, a thoroughly creepy experience Nanao clearly wasn't prepared to experience again.
    • In one of the Rock Musical Bleach, Aizen before he reveals he was Evil All Along, does this when Ichimaru mocks the way he dances.
  • Modern meganekko Magical Girls tend to lose their glasses after their Transformation Sequence.
  • Reversed in Witch Hunter Robin: while pyrokinetic Robin is certainly dangerous as is, she becomes quite a bit more effective in a fight after she's pressed into wearing glasses so she can, y'know, see to aim. Then she discovers the true nature of her powers, becomes a deity, and takes them back off.
  • Eda from Black Lagoon is rarely seen without her sunglasses, and is usually very easy-going and friendly. Once she takes the sunglasses off, however, all trace of her Hard-Drinking Party Girl persona vanishes as she goes into her stone-cold CIA mode. It's almost frightening how serious she is, and it makes you wonder about what she's really up to.
  • All during the Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series, Anthy wears glasses. However, at the end of the show when she gains the confidence to break away from her domineering brother and go search for Utena, she's no longer seen wearing the glasses. Given the nature of the show, her previous dependence on them was most likely just a symbol for the spiritual "blindness" she suffered while under the thumb of her brother and not indicative of any physical problem.
    • Interestingly, this is reversed with Mikage, who is unable to clearly perceive things after he loses his glasses.
  • Mousse from Ranma ½ often does this to be followed by him doing something stupid since he's Blind Without 'Em.
    • As a point of fact, Mousse is arrogant enough to hardly ever wear his glasses, often putting them on top of his head. In the early manga, he'd swallow his pride and wear them when involved in serious combat (only to take them off afterward.) By the late manga, his fighting skills have improved to the point he doesn't really need glasses anymore, but he'll still mistake potted plants for people outside a battle.
  • Soshi Asamoto from Absolute Boyfriend. This doesn't apply to the live action series.
  • In Tokyo Babylon, Seishirou wears glasses as part of his gentle veterinarian person. He removes them and takes on a scary expression when he acts as the assassin he really is.
    • Interestingly this was inverted in Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- where he is usually shown without glasses but puts them on when he's going to kick some ass.
  • Persona 4: The Animation has all of the characters (except Teddie) doing this in one of the opening sequences.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS Quattro the Numbered Cyborg acts Moe with her glasses on. She's not, and once she reveals just how brutal she is, she takes them off.
  • Gohan in Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. Apparently, he has perfect vision most of the time , but will still conveniently forget to wear them on days when the Monster of the Week or Big Bad might show up. When Baby possesses him, he actually smashes the glasses prior to going out and kicking Vegeta's ass.
  • Inverted in Trigun. When Vash puts his glasses on, some serious butt is about to be kicked.
    • Note that the glasses in question are tinted, making them closer to Cool Shades than Nerd Glasses. Also, they are tinted yellow, which real sharpshooters wear for the contrast enhancement and improved depth perception.
  • Justified in Gunslinger Girl. Claes' handler's last request of her before quitting the Agency is to be kind and gentle whenever wearing her glasses. Considering she's a cybernetically-enhanced assassin, you can imagine how bad things will go for any Mooks nearby when she takes them off...
    • In a later manga story new girl Petra "borrows" them while Claes is in the bath. She regrets it immediately when Claes sees her wearing them. Fortunately, Claes goes back to normal once she has them back.
  • Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth wears enormous glasses, but entering her Mashin magically tucks them away with no ill effect to her eyesight. She even mentions this the first time it happens.
  • In Soul Eater, Dr. Franken Stein tends to get badass when his glasses come off. Strangely enough, his are often of the scary and shiny sort, so it's a little bit of a variation.
  • In ×××HOLiC, Watanuki seems to lose his glasses more and more often as the series starts getting more serious. He loses them entirely after an existential crisis linked to something major in Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-. But then they come back after Yuuko vanishes and he decides that he will take over the shop until she returns, causing him to stop aging but be unable to leave until she returns.
  • The first Big Bad of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Odin, wore glasses out of need. He also wore them as he fought. However, in a prolonged fight, after enough time had passed that Odin had learned the rhythm of his opponent's moves, he would remove his glasses and rely on that knowledge to launch his most powerful attack with perfect accuracy.
  • In Fairy Musketeers, a brainwashed Shirayukihime takes off her glasses to fight her friends. This is a clue to her friends that she's only pretending to be brainwashed because she can't fight as well without her glasses helping her see.
  • Reversed in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: Issei Tsubaki is a dangerously skilled martial artist without his glasses. He's also Blind Without 'Em, and when he actually puts his Nerd Glasses on, actually being able to see clearly makes him so much more effective that he manifests a Battle Aura.
  • Averted in School Rumble where Hanai usually never takes his glasses off when fighting.
  • Chisame Hasegawa of Negima! Magister Negi Magi does this to become her Cosplay Otaku Girl alter ego Chiu, or when she's being more serious than snarky. Otherwise she looks like a quiet girl with thick, perfectly round spectacles.
    • In more recent chapters, Negi tends to lose his glasses when things start to get serious. They also get blown off of his face every time he uses Magia Erebea.
  • Aozaki Toko from The Garden of Sinners uses her glasses to quickly change personality. She is a nicer person with the glasses on. She says it is useful for business. Unlike many other examples here, she keeps putting them on and removing without much reason.
  • Andrew of Samurai Shodown removes his glasses before fighting.
  • Subverted in Saiyuki Gaiden, when Tenpou is successfully fighting off a large number of opponents single-handedly with his katana...until his glasses are knocked off and stepped on. Upon hearing them break, Tenpou muses about how he can no longer see his opponents and prepares himself for the inevitable conclusion to the fight (it doesn't stop him from trying, anyway).
    • It should be noted that he did technically win the fight.
  • Played on by Saiyuki's Cho Hakkai: when he's ready to get dangerous, he takes off... not his monocle, but his silver earcuffs (they're his Power Limiter.)
  • Another inversion: Lady Une from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. When her glasses come off, she's practically Purity Sue, but when her glasses are on, you better run from her very fast because her stone-cold ruthless military side is in full command.
  • From The World God Only Knows: Keima's mom Mari is usually reserved but when she gets pissed off, she takes off her glasses, and shows the fury hell can't compete with.
  • Tashigi from One Piece takes off her glasses whenever she fights. According to Word of God, Tashigi needs the glasses but only seems to have trouble outside of combat, seeing things close up, hinting that she's farsighted.
  • In one episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, the quiet bespectacled mangaka Harumi Fujiyoshi reveals that her glasses are actually a Power Limiter imposed upon her natural athletic abilities, which she promptly demonstrates by taking them off.
  • Cellaria in Soul Link goes the Aizen route; crushing her glasses, letting her hair down, and switching to a Stripperific latex outfit when she drops her kind, motherly facade and reveals she's actually The Mole and the Big Bad.
  • No mention of Soubi from Loveless, who always removes his glasses before a battle by wordspell?
  • Played hilariously straight in K-On! Sawa-sensei is a kind, quiet, glasses-wearing school teacher who turns out to have been a heavy metal guitarist and singer a few years back when she attended the same high school she now teaches at. When Yui drops her guitar into Sawa-sensei's hands, she temporarily reverts back into her slightly-evil metalhead form, removing her glasses before she, utilizing incredibly high-level techniques, plays an insane, improvised guitar solo that would make Eddie Van Halen himself proud.
  • Yamaki of Digimon Tamers removes his glasses for the first time when he gives the Tamers a comm link just before they take off for the Digital World, completing his Heel–Face Turn. He then puts them right back on. He retains them for the rest of the series even though he's on the good side now, although he occasionally removes them (alternately, his eyes will become visible through the lenses) during particularly dramatic moments, often when he's defending the Tamers, or admitting that they're just going to have trust them.
  • Speaking of Digimon, as an inversion, if the leader has goggles, and he just put them on, shit just got real!... or there's a dust storm
  • Yoko's brief turn as a teacher in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is marked by her adopting a pair of glasses. She discards them when returning to her normal job: stone-cold badass.
    • While they didn't really come off as much as they did shatter into tons of little glass pieces, both Kamina and Simon do this in their final battles. Kamina, has his glasses broken when attacked by Thymilph, then proceeded to avenge his own death with the GIGA DRILL BREAK!!! For Simon, in the battle with the Anti-Spiral, when going in for the final charge, his glasses get broken before killing the Anti-Spiral with Lagann Impact (in the movie, Lagann throws him at the Anti-Spiral, Cannonball Attack-style, after his glasses are broken and Simon beats the Anti-Spiral in a fist fight).
  • Another inversion in Blue Seed: Sakura only dons her Nerd Glasses to fight demons.
  • In Otomen Kasuga, the main character's cousin and school rules enforcer wears glasses, which he discards and crushes when he reveals the reason why he's so adamant on destroying "otomen." During this time he also switches from his default polite/neutral first person pronoun "boku" to the assertive "ore."
  • When Mey-rin from Black Butler loses her frames, she goes from a dippy house maid to a first rate shot with her pistols. And you better run, 'cause she's a really good shot.
    • The glasses aren't merely cosmetic. Mey-rin is actually exceptionally far-sighted, to the extent that she needs the glasses to be able to see anything up close at all. Even the glasses (a gift from her new master, Ciel Phantomhive) only partially correct her extreme hyperopia. In Chapter 85 of the manga, she finally gets a pair that lets her see properly. Whether this improves her skills as a maid remains to be seen.
    • In Season 2 of the anime, Claude Faustus does this. When he takes off his spectacles, folds them up, and puts them carefully in the inside pocket of his tailcoat, shit is about to go down.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Homura originally wore glasses but used magic to finally fix her eyes (and let her hair down) at the beginning of the previous loop after waking up from mercy killing Madoka. As she does so, she resolves to kill all of the witches single-handedly, and does a damn good job until she hits Walpurgis Night.
  • The myopic Satellizer L. Bridget in Freezing takes off her glasses when she's about to fight. Justified, since activating her Pandora abilities apparently comes with the added bonus of correcting her vision.
  • When Chitose of YuruYuri takes her glasses off, it's a sign the "Yuri Goggles" are about to come on, as her doing so is always followed by some romantic and/or erotic fantasy between Kyoko and Ayano. Which is then followed up by a nosebleed.
    • Chitose's twin, Chizuru, does the same thing, except that she drools at fantasies involving Ayano and Chitose.
  • Inverted for Natsumi in Nicoichi, who puts on glasses during work to conceal her usual bumbling nature and project a no-nonsense, professional demeanour.
  • This happens with Nagato Yuki in Haruhi Suzumiya, when her glasses fall off during the fight with Ryoko, and she never puts them on again except in the Alternate Universe, probably because Kyon said he liked her better without them.
    Kyon: I don't really have a glasses fetish.
    Yuki: What is a 'glasses fetish?'
  • When, in the first volume of D.N.Angel, Wiz (as Daisuke) falls into the pool and nearly drowns, Satoshi takes off his glasses and tucks them into a pocket before jumping in to rescue him.
  • Used as a plot point in Kimiiro Focus, a harem manga about an aspiring photographer named Ooji. Normally, he is inexpressive and comes off as a photography geek. When he really gets into photography, however, he gets an alternate personality that whips his glasses off, becoming a seductive ladies man and Bishōnen. He can even make lesbians consider making an exception in such a state.
  • Averted in Mnemosyne; Meganekko Action Girl Rin actually needs her glasses, and while not quite Blind Without 'Em, is definitely at a disadvantage. Consequently, she keeps her glasses on while kicking ass, but it is something of a Running Gag that they end up getting broken anyway, and she has to get a new pair after each fight.
  • In 11eyes, Yukiko's glasses work as a self-hypnotic suggestion to maintain her bubbly personality. When she takes them off, she reverts to a cold-blooded child soldier with a penchant for knives.
  • Rikuo of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is 1/4 Youkai and insecure about it, and so wears glasses he doesn't need as a form of Clark Kenting. (Actually, he has unusually good eyesight, especially in the dark.) So when his glasses spontaneously disappear between panels, it's he's decided to Get Dangerous.
  • Hanji Zoe of Attack on Titan is shown without her glasses twice, both instances where she loses her eccentric quirky-ness and demonstrates just why she's a high ranking squad leader in the Survey Corps.
  • Aikuro Mikisugi of Kill la Kill is an exaggerated case of this trope if there ever was one. With his glasses on he looks (and acts) like an ordinary, if rather scruffy, teacher. Taking them off not only causes his Perma-Stubble to vanish, it also slicks back his hair and immediately causes the rest of his clothes to start falling off, revealing him to be an impossibly pretty Bishōnen, complete with sparkling.
  • In K both Munakata Reisi and Fushimi Saruhiko get their glasses knocked off in their fight against Kuroh and Misaki respectively. Munakata when he loses focus for a second, helping Kuroh escape, and Saruhiko when he was a little slow on the dodge. Later Munakata takes them off to fight Suoh Mikoto and jokes how he is Blind Without Them though he really isn't.
  • In W-Change!!, Tatsuya Fukama takes off his glasses whenever he assumes his role as the Kokushin heir. He also takes off his glasses when he prepares for a fight.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Hokuto Kaneshiro does this after his curb-stomp battle against Tsukune is interrupted by the arrival of Moka. He then proceeds to deliver another curb-stomp battle, this time to both of them.
  • Sweet, pacifistic nun Yumiko Takagi of Hellsing always wears glasses. Her alternate personality Yumie, a psychotic berserker assassin for the Iscariot Order, never wears glasses. It is uncertain whether donning or removing the glasses triggers the personality change or if doing so is just the first act taken after the change takes place, but once Yumie is unleashed, it doesn't end well for those in her direct vicinity.
  • Miki Kawai first appears in A Silent Voice wearing glasses and acts as a responsible class representative to the protagonist. She removes it in the second-half of the movie and reveals that she is anything but nice.
  • Justified in Horimiya. Miyamura hands his glasses to Tooru in chapter 7 right before headbutting Sengoku. Had he not done so, both of them probably would have gotten a face-full of glass.
  • In Assassination Classroom, the Divine Soldier Hojo has the trope as a mental trigger of sorts; when he takes off his glasses, he goes full power and destroys his enemies. Class 3-E manages to defeat him by defying the trope; using hit-and-run tactics to relentlessly attack him, leaving him no room to take his glasses off until they create an opening.
  • In Genshiken, Madarame takes off his glasses in preparation for saying something to Saki that he knew she would hit him for.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Though Garaku usually keeps on his Opaque Nerd Glasses in combat, whereupon they become Scary Shiny Glasses, he takes them off when he attacks Matsuri on Shadow Mei's orders. This was both to make him more intimidating and as a Visual Pun on his stated motive "love is blind".

    Board Games 
  • In Duel Of Ages, the extended description of the Vigilante, comments that he has "the eyes of a shop teacher" hidden behind his thick glasses. When he confronts the crackheads whose actions led to the death of a young boy in his neighborhood, he takes off the glasses and they notice his eyes "were no longer the eyes of a shop teacher."

    Comic Books 
  • A recurring character in Norwegian comics creator Christopher Nielsen's works is a small town bruiser only known by his nickname Hold Brillan ("hold my glasses") because he always tells one of his buddies to hold his glasses when he gets into a fight (which he does often). Subverted in the sense that he looks pretty intimidating even when he's wearing them.
  • The Incredible Hulk: When Bruce Banner gets angry, the glasses come off. If he plans on getting angry, he'll take the glasses off ahead of time.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker started with glasses but eventually lost them as he grew up and developed more confidence in his civilian identity. The interesting thing about how Peter learned he didn't need glasses was because of a boxing match in The Amazing Spider-Man (Lee & Ditko). He agreed to a match with Flash Thompson, Flash got in one good blow that broke his glasses and Peter countered with a knock out. Once Pete realized the spider-bite fixed his vision, he really saw no need to buy a new pair or keep up the charade at that point.
  • Superman:
    • Clark Kent wears glasses when he's not being Superman, though he also puts on nebbish behavior and about four extra layers of clothing to make him look pudgy instead of muscled. When the glasses come off with a determined look, he's about to swing into action as the Man of Steel.
    • Superman: Birthright has some fun with this when depicting Clark and his parents turning Clark Kent into a man nobody would ever think is Superman: his mother's first orders are "no t-shirts!"
    • Played with in Kingdom Come. Superman never wears his glasses throughout the entire comic, due to his status as a full-time hero at that point. At the end, when he retires from his work in trying to totally eliminate crime and rejoins society to work with rebuilding Kansas, Wonder Woman gives him his glasses back, signifying him becoming human again.
    • Post-Crisis and Post-Flashpoint Supergirl wears glasses and adopts a geeky if snarky behavior when she is being Linda Lang/Kara Danvers, and she takes them off when she has to perform her hero duty.
  • The Trigan Empire: Roffa was a fighter pilot in Nerd Glasses (!). One day he took his glasses off to make a dramatically scowling gesture at the map and never put them on again. His geekiness decreased from then on too, in a few subsequent stories he seemed to have taken a level in badass.
  • Watchmen: Daniel aka Nite Owl usually wears his glasses but doesn't in his Nite Owl guise. A classic example is when he and Silk Spectre were mugged, Daniel took off his glasses before kicking the gang's ass.
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The pre-Crisis version of Wonder Woman wore glasses in her Secret Identity as the prim secretary Diana Prince, and removed them as part of transitioning to acting as the hero Wonder Woman.
  • X-Men:
    • Kitty Pryde needs glasses, but hates wearing them and rarely does so.
    • Cyclops. Given that the glasses used to hold back his Eye Beams, taking them all the way off usually meant something was gonna get broke in a hurry. Seldom demonstrated but awesome when it is: Cyke's visor, and shades as Scott Summers, are used to control the shape and strength of the blast even when he's actively using his powers. You don't fully understand until you see him take them off all the way and open his eyes fully. When that happens, "something" isn't gonna get broke - everything will get broke. For this reason, it's a weapon of last resort. However, if you absolutely have to get a Sentinel off your lawn, it'll get vaporized.

    Fan Works 
  • Hanae in Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy loses her glasses every time she transforms into Cure Tangerine.
  • Three times, in With Strings Attached:
    • First, after John gets wings, he takes his glasses off to fly because he's terrified they'll fall off in mid-air. Eventually he ties them around his head. And eventually he gives them up altogether when he has his eyes permanently healed.
    • Second, Beagle John in New Zork City throws his glasses on the bed before leaving his hotel room to confront strangers. Vanity!
    • Third, Ringo very reluctantly removes his (opaque) glasses in the Hunter's world so it isn't obvious that he's using magic to see. And later the glasses turn into a living creature and scamper away from him.
  • In Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon, Emiru's glasses actually turn into Millusion's eye mask.
  • In Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation, Kent removing his glasses is a clear sign that he is pissed off and someone is about to get their butt kicked.
    Klar removed his glasses. It was a dangerous sign, Adam knew, but he didn’t have time to dodge before his father pinned him against the wall with one hand on his chest, lifting his feet several inches off the floor.
  • Danganronpa: Memento Mori: Daigo removes his glasses at the end of Chapter 1 after he decides to be more hands-on in stopping Monokuma and the Killing Game, and they remain off for the rest of the story.

    Film - Animated 
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - When getting ready for battle, Dr. Olivia Octavius aka Doc Oc first removes her usual glasses, and then puts on special goggles that go with her combat suit.
  • In Turning Red Ping's glasses fly off her face due to the force of her jump right before she turns into a giant red panda and bounds into action.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Alien³. Dillon faces down the xenomorph in the lead mould to prevent it from escaping. It's just him and the dragon facing each other down from opposite ends of the chamber. Knowing it's about to get up close and personal, Dillon reaches up and silently pulls down his horn-rimmed glasses...
  • The 2002 Spider-Man film brought back Peter Parker's glasses as part of its dedication to doing things right, then disposed of them immediately when Peter's powers also fixed his eyesight. And in Spider-Man 2, Peter's confidence-linked loss of powers also brought back his poor vision. In both cases, the presence/absence of his powers is indicated to the audience by a first-person point of view showing the state of his vision relative to his glasses.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Subverted when Kirk looks embarrassed having to put on his glasses to see the instrument panel in front of Spock and Saavak, but then played straight when he takes them off before making Khan's ship lower its shields.
  • Stuart Saves His Family. Subverted. When Stuart takes Mia's glasses off, she's less attractive and squinting, and says, "Let's put the glasses back on.
  • The moment when Brad Majors whips off his glasses while confronting Frank N. Furter early in The Rocky Horror Picture Show is clearly a subversion, as it does nothing for his hero status and only foreshadows his glasses-less state after being seduced by Frank later in the film.
  • In the movie L.A. Confidential, Ed Exley tends to take his glasses off when he assumes his "Action Policeman" persona. However, he drops the habit (and the persona) by the end of the movie, just in time for the final shootout. Ed and Jack are about to bust some perps, both carrying shotguns. "I forgot my glasses!" "Your WHAT?! Well just don't shoot me, ok?"
  • Classic war movie The Dambusters has the Giles variant of this trope right in the final scene — as the characters mourn the deaths of the pilots, the commander removes his glasses to hide his tears.
  • Another classic war film, The Devil's Brigade, has a clean-cut, unassuming Canadian nebbish taking off his glasses and neatly folding them and tucking them in his pocket just before demonstrating to the unruly American troops that he's actually their hand-to-hand combat instructor. JUDO'D! Later in a massive bar brawl, he repeats the move to great effect.
  • The protagonist of Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man has his glasses taken from him by his "spiritual guide", who remarks that "[perhaps] you will see better without them."
  • Inverted in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film, where Allan Quatermain must put on his glasses to snipe people at long distance with his rifle because, well, he's gotten old and his eyes aren't what they used to be. At the end of the movie, he goes to do this again only to find his glasses have broken in the initial struggle, so Tom Sawyer has to take the shot.
  • In Mr. Brooks when the main character is wearing his eyeglasses, he's Earl Brooks, a nice, friendly, generous businessman. When he takes them off, he metamorphoses into the very, very dangerous Thumbprint Killer, one of the worst serial killers in American history.
  • Played dead straight by HudMaSpecs in Free Jimmy.
  • In Pan's Labyrinth when Dr. Ferreiro dies. He admits to Vidal that he Mercy Killed a prisoner instead of keeping him alive for more Cold-Blooded Torture, and walks away. As expected, Vidal shoots him in the back, and he keeps going for a few more steps, during which time he takes off his glasses as if in surprise.
  • Played straight in Brick, which has Brendan take off his glasses before he gets into fights.
  • In Good Will Hunting Sean takes his glasses off before he grabs Will by the throat and chokes him, promising to kill him if he ever spoke ill of his deceased wife.
  • In the Indiana Jones saga, when he's not in a macho attire fighting Nazis or looting ancient treasure sites, the title character is a calm bespectacled archeology college professor.
  • Sort of inverted in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. We know Buckaroo is smart, but when he puts on his red-rimmed Nerd Glasses, he's really kicking the brain into overdrive (or showing off, since one of those times is a press conference). This is because of interference from the producers; they insisted that no action hero would wear glasses, despite director and co-creator W.D. Richter's desires. The compromise made between Richter and the producers was that Buckaroo could wear his glasses in three scenes in the film.
  • In the second ending of Clue, Mrs. Peacock dramatically removes her glasses upon being exposed as the murderer. In the third ending, Mr. Green takes his glasses off just before shooting and killing the real Mr. Boddy, then revealing himself as an planted FBI agent.
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over: Inverted. In Level 3, just before the PvP duel, Arnold explains to Juni that he entered Game Over for the "untold riches" given to those who defeat the Final Boss in order to save his family from poverty. The duel starts, and Arnold puts on his goggles and proceeds to kick Juni's ass in a way that would make Chuck Norris envious.
  • They Live! is an Inversion. They need to be wearing the glasses to see whose ass needs kicking.
  • In Bringing Out the Dead, the security guard at the hospital named Griss repeatedly orders frantic family members and hypochondriacs back from the entrance door, warning them "Do not make Griss take off his sunglasses!"
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • A villainous example from Batman Begins—Dr. Crane removes his glasses before putting on his Scarecrow mask.
    • The Dark Knight, the bank manager removes his glasses before grabbing a sawed-off shotgun and attempting to stop the thieves from robbing the bank.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: When Mystique seduces Hank in The Rogue Cut, she takes off his glasses so that she can kiss him.
  • In the 1955 film Battle Cry, the bookworm Marion takes his glasses off after being pushed too far by the trouble-making Spanish Joe, and drops Joe with a single punch as Joe attempts to sucker punch him.
  • The first Mortal Kombat: The Movie has a variant. Johnny Cage shows up to fight Goro and is wearing some Cool Shades for the occasion. Goro takes them off and smashes them. Johnny proceeds to execute a Groin Attack on him before heading to higher ground and then offering up this little gem: "Those were $500 sunglasses, asshole", before proceeding to outmaneuver Goro and send him to his doom. The game creators were amused enough to make that incident canon.
  • Major League employs an inversion; pitcher Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn has poor eyesight, which leads to his inaccurate pitching. When he finally gets glasses, he becomes capable of pitching over the plate with his fastball, and becomes a much stronger pitcher.
  • The Big Boss has the bespectacled Big Bad doing this before the final fight.

  • Inverted in Good Omens,: the slick-as-hell demon Crowley is always seen wearing sunglasses to hide his Hellish Pupils and also because he looks cool wearing them. They get knocked off his face during his Darkest Hour (after seemingly losing his best friend\sworn adversary), and it's only after he regains his Heroic Resolve that he manifest a new pair of sunglasses for himself.
  • Another subversion: one Encyclopedia Brown story involved a snooty newcomer to the neighborhood trying to romance the detective's Action Girl sidekick Sally. To impress her, the newcomer fights with a bully who is rude to them on a date, putting his glasses away in his chest pocket before getting into a long, drawn out fight where the bully lands many punches on his chest. When he pulls out his glasses after the fight and they are fine, Encyclopedia points out to Sally that if the fight were real the glasses should have been broken considering all the punches the bully was landing in the chest area. She promptly lays out the would-be boyfriend herself.
  • The Machine Gunners has an instance of the practical use of this. Boddser Brown wears glasses, and Chas McGill insists he takes them off before the two start fighting, so Chas can't be blamed for breaking them.
  • Newspaper columnist Mike Royko once pointed out that this was one major advantage of glasses over contact lenses — taking them off in the middle of an argument and setting them aside is an obvious signal that the talking is over and somebody's about to get hurt. "It would make a fellow look pretty stupid to say 'I don't have to put up with your crap' and then begin poking himself in the eye."
  • Renarin from The Stormlight Archive stops wearing his glasses when he gets his Shardplate. Though we never get his take on it, his family assumes he's trying to make himself look like he means business. Eventually, it's revealed that the actual reason was that he got his Surgebinding powers a while back, and his Healing Factor fixed his eyesight, making the glasses unnecessary.
  • The Age of Madness: Former soldier and brawny bruiser Gunnar Broad is very nearsighted and wears a tiny pair of spectacles he was gifted by a man whose life he'd saved. Whenever he needs to get down to cracking skulls, he's careful to remove his glasses and slip them into a pocket, because he can't afford to lose them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Brady Bunch:
    • Middle girl Jan gets glasses in the third-season episode "The Not-So-Rose-Colored Glasses" and wears them (for the most part) for the rest of Season 3, and much of the time in Season 4. She is seen with glasses exactly once in a Season 5, after which it appears Jan's astigmatism is cured.
    • On another episode, Marcia helps a girl become pretty. When her glasses are brought up, the girl mentions that she has contact lenses at home, but never wears them. How very convenient, but begs the question on how the girl's parents spent a large chunk of change on contacts for their daughter (this is the 1970's, after all), then simply let her not wear them. The same issue comes up in the film The Princess Diaries and is handled almost the same way.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Kara Danvers takes off her glasses when she fights as Supergirl. Justified, since her glasses are a part of her civilian disguise, plus they suppress her enhanced vision and hearing. (Also a practical consideration given she'd probably melt them the first time she used her heat vision even if they didn't suppress it.)
    • In season five, Brainiac 5 provides her with a nanotech suit that's explicitly programmed to take shape when she does this.
  • Family Matters: Urkel, whenever he used the Transformation Chamber to change into suave ladies man Stefan Urquelle (in Seasons 5-7, after which Urquelle becomes a "permanent" character, thanks to Urkel's cloning accident). Also, whenever the nerd used the Transformation Chamber to change into any one of his other alter-egos, including Elvis Urkel and Bruce Lee Urkel.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: C.D. Parker, but only when the bad guys removed them for him ... so they could beat him up.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: In the 2005 TV remake/prequel The Beginning, Daisy Duke wears thick glasses (among other things, as she also wears large sweaters and baggy pants, and her hair in a bun; and is very shy and mousy). When she went to get a job at the Boar's Nest, she shed all of these things and became the babelicious babe the character came to be known for. (This is all non-canon to true Dukes fans, as Daisy was queen of the prom in high school according to the series' bible.)
  • Billy in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, though, interestingly, he doesn't stop needing glasses altogether until he stops having fight scenes in Power Rangers Zeo. He switched to contacts by that point. Behind the scenes, David Yost just got tired of wearing them around the time they shot the movie, in no small part because the chemical they used to prevent glare was starting to affect his vision.
  • Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in Angel, who first appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series as the young bespectacled Watcher of Faith the Slayer, but in the Angel series gradually became more competent in combat capabilities, until he had turned into a tragic, ruthless and brooding anti-hero (without glasses). Understandable because his character was originally introduced as the bumbling, poncy, and less cool version of...
  • Rupert Giles, librarian, sorcerer and member of the Watchers' Council, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Giles admitted that he gained the nickname "Ripper" during his rebellious youth, when he had delved into black magics and demon summoning. Calling special attention to the trope, in the episode "The Gift", following a large heroic action sequence, Giles puts his glasses back on before he delivers a Coup de Grâce in cold blood, effectively refusing to be a hero as he commits a necessary but reprehensible act.
    • In the Sixth Season, Xander and Willow mention in passing that Giles's habit of taking off his glasses and cleaning them was both a silent signal that he disapproved of what the Scooby Gang were doing, whether this be goofing off or doing something morally grey, and also a way of averting his eyes in the latter case so he could claim to have no knowledge of what they were doing.
  • In Heroes, Mr. Bennett uses his glasses much like Giles, whipping them off or putting them back on every time he makes a big decision. His glasses are such an iconic part of his character that in the early days of season one, before his name was revealed, he was known to fans simply as HRG (Horn-Rimmed Glasses). And Sylar, a Serial Killer, doesn't need glasses — but in a Flashback, it's shown that he used to, and turning evil apparently improved his eyesight. However, Sylar is only seen wearing his glasses while working on a watch, implying that he is farsighted rather than nearsighted, which would explain why he does not have to wear them while kicking arse.
    • In recent episodes, Sylar's glasses seem to have become more symbolic. When he's wearing them he's Gabriel Grey, the nice watchmaker he used to be. When he takes them off, he's the evil Sylar.
      • Only after he stole Claire's power.
  • Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1, subverts this trope as he's been known to kick plenty of ass with his glasses on. Usually he only takes them off when he's thinking or particularly stressed out about a situation.
    • In one episode Jackson's alternate universe counterpart had much thicker frames on his glasses, compared to those Jackson had at the start of the series to hammer the point home.
    • Also subverted within the show, as on many occasions the team can be seen wearing eye protection when going into a firefight, including post-spectacles Daniel.
  • NCIS: At the end of an episode in which geeky coroner's assistant Jimmy Palmer has been fretting about being unable to do anything to stop a bad guy who shot at him, he gets his chance when he removes his glasses and then rams his car into the guy's truck with a maniacal grin.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, President Roslin is constantly taking off/putting on her glasses at every dramatic moment.
    • Romo Lampkin even steals her glasses during the Baltar trial for the purpose of making her look less intelligent/sympathetic.
      • Romo himself takes off his Sunglasses at Night for effect during his interview with Caprica Six.
    • Don't forget about Admiral Adama. Whenever he took off the glasses, he would end up doing rash things. It was only when he put the glasses back on that he started seeing things clearly. Though his badass death glare worked just fine through glasses.
  • In The Office (US), Michael takes a stand against the new boss Charles, who remains calm and professional until he has finally had enough. He takes his glasses off and prepares to throw Michael out of the building, causing Michael to flee in terror.
  • Eliot from Leverage tends to wear glasses every now and then, but mostly averts the trope by not always bothering to take them off when he's getting into a fight.
  • In Criminal Minds, George Foyet ditches his Nerd Glasses after he's revealed as The Reaper.
  • Parodied during a dream sequence of Leonard's in The Big Bang Theory. Since the time machine he ordered blocks the stairs and the elevator is out of order, he opens the elevator door, whips his glasses off, swoops Penny off the floor and then, with her in his arm, lets himself down to the ground floor on the elevator cables.
  • In Jeeves and Wooster, Gussie Fink-Nottle (Grade A wimp,) has just been accosted by Roderick Spode (huge, violent, wannabe dictator prone to making threats about broken necks,) and shaken so violently that his glasses fall off. Spode then gets a Tap on the Head by someone else, and Gussie is caught standing over Spode's unconscious body. Gussie invokes this trope by lying that Spode saw him remove his glasses, and should have fled for the hills at that point.
  • Parodied in 'Allo 'Allo!; when Hans is required to seduce the rather unattractive Edith (It Makes Sense in Context), she gets right in his face and steams up his glasses. Hans takes them off to clean them, and she gushes "Oh, without your glasses you are even more attractive!" Hans chuckles nervously and says "So are you." She thinks it's a compliment.
  • A sad example in Mad Men: when Lane tries to commit a clearly carefully planned suicide, he takes off his glasses and decisively snaps them as if to say he won't be needing those anymore. But it goes wrong, and as an added kick in the teeth from the universe, he then has to make do with the broken pieces as he comes up with plan B.
  • Giles Variant in Due South: RayK is Blind Without 'Em, but refuses to wear his glasses because, well, they're Nerd Glasses. Every time a gunfight ensues, he ends up having to dig through his pockets to find his glasses while taking cover, but once the glasses are on, he has Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • In the 1979 miniseries version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, George Smiley (played by Alec Guinness) takes off his glasses and cleans them on his tie just once. Significantly, it's when he's springing a trap.
  • Banshee gives us a villainous example in Burton, the mild-mannered accountant and chief enforcer of Kai Proctor. When he takes his glasses off, it's a sure sign that something truly horrible is about to happen to somebody. If he's in a rush, he may just break your arm and then cut off your ear, or shoot you in the face, but if you make the mistake of breaking his glasses, he'll stab you in the throat with the Spirit of Ecstasy and then rip out your trachea.
  • In The Flash (2014), Harrison Wells taking off his glasses is definitely something to watch out for since it often means he's about to do something drastic that Team Flash probably won't approve of. This is largely because he takes his Purely Aesthetic Glasses off whenever he drops the 'Harrison Wells' act and shows his true colours as the Reverse Flash.
  • Daredevil (2015): Matt tends to be more open and less guarded if he has his glasses off.
    • Charlie Cox has said in interviews that Matt has a habit of wearing his glasses whenever he's around Karen because he feels that she’s able to read through him. Very often in Matt's conversations with Karen where he isn't wearing his glasses, he is letting his barriers down and saying truthful things.
    • In particular, when around people like Foggy or Claire who have had time to adjust to knowing Matt is blind, he tends to go without the sunglasses.
    • In The Defenders (2017), Matt removes his glasses when he and Jessica Jones are entering Midland Circle so he can tie Jessica's scarf around his head to hide his face. Only once Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny get to the Royal Dragon does Matt return Jessica's scarf. He doesn't put his glasses back on, though, figuring he has no need to when in the company of other people with abilities. He doesn't put his glasses back on again until he's on his way to the Bulletin to ask Karen to get police protection with Foggy, Claire, Malcolm, Trish, and the others.
    • Matt, Jessica and Luke are picked up by the cops after Elektra kills Stick and captures Danny. Matt has his glasses off while he's truthfully telling Foggy about what happened. He then slips his glasses back on as Misty enters the room and acts as uncooperative as possible to avoid dropping any hints that he's Daredevil, but Misty isn't buying it.
  • In Ultraman Decker, the mild-mannered Captain Murahoshi uses this as a visual cue that he's upset, as he's always seen smiling and doesn't raise his voice even when reprimanding his subordinates.
  • In Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Yayoi wears a pair of purple-framed glasses and, whenever she gets ready to transform into KyoryuViolet, she'll usually pull them off before she transforms.
  • A dark variation in the The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Revenge of the Slitheen": As Mr Blakeman, who has been Killed and Replaced by a Slitheen, stands Mr Jeffrey against a wall with a secret door hidden in it so Jeffrey can meet the same fate, he pulls Jeffrey's glasses off since the Slitheen about to assume his identity won't need them.
  • In the Season 1 finale of Wednesday, Marilyn Thornhill (real name Laurel Gates) removes her glasses once Wednesday tells her that she knows who she really is.

  • Dorothy of Oz: When Selluriah's glasses come off, it usually means she's about to transform into a witch and lay down the hurt on some poor demon.
  • Comes in two flavors with Jang Gun from Yureka. He really has poor vision, but spends large amounts of time in The Metaverse, where he acts considerably more badass than he does in real life, piloting a Digital Avatar who doesn't need them. As such, a Jang Gun without glasses is shorthand for a considerably less subdued Jang Gun. As a side effect of this he uses his glasses in real life as part of a more subdued persona as a sort of defense mechanism, so when he actually has to buckle down offline he takes them off anyway.

  • "In a Different Light" by Doug Stone is about an office worker who has a sexual fantasy about a female co-worker, who always comes to work wearing thick glasses, her hair in a bun and otherwise looking like a schoolmarm. He imagines her as a completely hot babe who has taken off her glasses, lets down her hair and either gets naked or wears a sexy dress. Even better — the whole thing comes true! "In a Different Light" became Stone's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in the spring of 1991.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • When Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson came back to the WWE in February 2011, after his triumphant entrance, he removed his sunglasses, referred to himself as "Dwayne", and thanked the fans for supporting him when he left the WWE to go to Hollywood and expressed his heartfelt appreciation...and then the sunglasses went back on and The Rock, The Most Electrifying Man in All Entertainment, was back.
  • Post-retirement, Arn Anderson started wearing glasses. But if someone needed to get a trademark AA spinebuster... A perfect example was during the build-up to Survivor Series 2006, as the Spirit Squad were picking fights with WWE legends such as Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, and Ron Simmons. As the legends' team fought with the Squad in a tag match, those legends not in the match faced down the rest of the Squad, who started backing away faster when they saw Anderson take his glasses off.

    Video Games 
  • AkaSeka: Mori Ōgai (Valentine's Day version) gets a moment of this in one ending of his Yin route before he has sex with the main character.
  • Injustice 2: Supergirl's fight intro has her appear as Kara Danvers, wearing glasses, then dash away so quickly that her glasses are left hanging in the air. Then, as Supergirl, she dashes back fast enough to grab them before they fall.
  • One of the most beautiful Giles-style variants occurs in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Otacon is hiding his grief from his dying sister as he holds her in his arms, and they reach to hold the side of his face and lift up his glasses. They talk for a while, but then the glasses fall and clatter to the floor when she dies, along with all of Otacon's attempts at stoicism; he bursts into tears.
  • Persona:
    • Glasses are a major visual motif in Persona 4, and the party uses them to see through a mysterious fog in an Eldritch Location that serve as a Literal Metaphor for the game's main theme of finding the truth in a sea of lies. In the finale, the protagonist throws his away before wrecking the true final boss with the power of truth to wipe away all of humanity's falsehoods - he's seen through the fog with his own eyes and doesn't need the glasses anymore.
    • Persona 5: After a Miscarriage of Justice puts him on legal probation, the protagonist begins wearing a set of thick Nerd Glasses (implied to be non-functional fashion glasses), presumably to draw less attention to himself. He discards them any time he enters the collective unconscious to fight Shadows. Particularly played up at the start of the game, where his glasses are knocked off by a guard Mook right before he awakens to his Guardian Entity, one of the eponymous Personas. Since he doesn't need to hide who he is anymore, he's seen without them as he heads home in the true ending.
  • The very minor character Riko Kanada does this to great effect in Princess Waltz, revealing that she's not a minor character after all, but the Heel Face Turned steel princess Liesel. "Battlefield of Steel" is playing in the background.
  • Guile's pre-fight intro in Street Fighter IV employs this, but it's only a mild form of this trope (he pulls off his aviator sunglasses and sticks them in his back pocket). His friend Charlie Nash in the Street Fighter Alpha series is the straighter example of the two, though.
    • Charlie is actually a subversion, because his glasses are purely cosmetic.
    • And about Charlie, in some of his appearances (Cannon Spike and Street Fighter V), this trope is averted since he wears his glasses all the time.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Wesker takes his shades off whenever he does a hyper combo.
    • In Resident Evil 5, he takes them off before fighting with Chris and Sheva...only to chuck his shades at them as a distraction before Flash Stepping over to kick their asses.
    • Before that, there's Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, where he takes them off and drops them to the floor before fighting Chris in the end.
  • Shiki Tohno from Tsukihime is an example of this. In the game (and spin-offs), he needs his glasses to see reality without the "lines of death" on all objects, which determine striking points to eliminate them from existence. Seeing the lines puts a lot of strain on him, so he keeps the glasses on all the time. Needless to say, he only takes off the glasses when he turns into a complete badass, represented as Shiki Nanaya. This change in personality is a result of his family heritage, as he is actually descended from a line of psychic monster killers. His blood boils when he detects supernatural threats like demons or vampires, causing him to lose control. A good example of this is when he cuts Arcuied Brunestud into a bunch of bloody chunks in the course of only a few seconds. She later has to use a massive amount of her power to restore herself, rendering her much more susceptible to the enemies in the series.
    • If he takes off his glasses, it means he IS going to kill you, no matter who you are, or how powerful you are. If there is a single way possible to kill you, he will cut you, and you will die. This is so much, that one bad ending is reached by taking off your glasses. Why? Because you're not SUPPOSED to fight seriously!
  • Another example from the Nasuverse is the subversion of the Servant Rider. In civvies during one epilogue (and for most of Fate/hollow ataraxia) she wears thick, tinted glasses, while in her battle gear for most of Fate/stay night she wears a blindfold. In her case, it's because her true identity is the gorgon Medusa. When she takes off her glasses, people around her die horribly. Also, she has demonic snake eyes that look extremely unnerving from up-close (not that anyone who looks at them would care, as they'd be too busy turning into statues).
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Jade Curtiss takes off his glasses before the final battle with the Big Bad. Justified in that they're actually a Power Limiter.
    • On a lesser (or greater) extent, taking his glasses off only cause nearby women to think he's very hot without them.
  • TRON 2.0: In the analog world, Jet wears glasses. As soon as he hits Cyberspace, he's glasses-free and suffering no ill effects. The same thing happens when Alan gets zapped in.
  • Kenji, the protagonist's best friend and comic relief guy from Katawa Shoujo wears extremely thick round glasses (he's literally Blind Without Them – the game takes place in a school for the disabled). He's a crazy, filthy, foul-mouthed shut-in who spends most of his time ranting about conspiracy theories and mooching off his friends for pizza money – but the one time he takes off his glasses (in a CG!), he instantly transforms into a sad looking Bishōnen, his wacky Leitmotif is replaced with a beautiful music piece and he tells a tragic story from his childhood... and then he puts his glasses back on, and the magic is broken. Complete with a Record Scratch.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Jihl Nabaat takes her glasses off before she fights the party. She also takes them off and smashes them in frustration in Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Averted in Xenogears. Citan, arguably the strongest party member in the game, never takes off his glasses. He does get a katana sword upgrade later in the game, however.
  • Mostly subverted in the Xenosaga trilogy, where Shion keeps her glasses on, until Xenosaga: Episode III. Interestingly, Shion is related to the character Citan of Xenogears.
  • Overwatch has Winston's glasses disappear whenever he uses his ultimate Primal Rage. The cinematic trailer shows a variation: Winston lying on the ground, glasses already off, and when Reaper steps on them, Winston goes bananas. Recall shows Winston taking off his glasses before the fight even begins (and, naturally, are already gone by the time he activates Primal Rage).
  • Ace Attorney: The older Miles Edgeworth in Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice now wears glasses, but removes them when prosecuting a case. Dual Destinies even showed him taking them off as part of the pre-trial cutscene where Phoenix and Edgeworth prepare for battle.
  • Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure: Raphael wears glasses, his identity as Phantom R doesn't.
  • Galaxy Angel II: In Mugen Kairo no Kagi, at the suggestion of Tact's holographic message, Coco leaves behind her glasses and unbraids her hair once she decides to step up and embrace her role as the Luxiole's new commander.


    Web Original 
  • When Terry of KateModern removes his glasses, it's a sign that he's really ticked off.
  • Xandra from Neopets actually does this when she reveals to everyone her true evil self and then sends Faerieland crashing down onto Neopia to express how much she hates the Faeries and wants to destroy them one day.
  • Word of God is Brad Jones removes The Cinema Snob's glasses whenever he wants you to know he's breaking character and going into Sincerity Mode.
  • Later in Atop the Fourth Wall's run, Linkara, like Snob, would also remove his glasses when making a particularly strong point.
  • Parodied in an episode of JonTron, as he doesn't normally wear glasses. Thus, they appear and are removed for only that shot.

    Western Animation 
  • Subversion: The Simpsons: "Worst Episode Ever". Milhouse takes off his glasses before attacking Bart, but puts them back on when he realizes that he can't see without them.
  • Reversed in The Fairly OddParents!, when a geeky and useless boy becomes King Arthur — a rippled Adonis and fighting machine — when he puts glasses on. After all, how good are you going to be at swordplay when you are blind?
    Arnie: (nasal nerd voice) I can see! (Action Hero voice) I! Can! Fight!
  • Gradually happens with Connie starting in Steven Universe's "An Indirect Kiss" from Season 1, where Steven shares a juice box with Connie and tells her about Amethyst's healing in exchange for letting him wear her glasses, which still have pink lenses. When she drinks from the juice box, some of Steven's magical healing saliva makes Connie's vision as good as new. She continues to wear the lens-less frames until after Season 2's "Nightmare Hospital", when she tells her mother about her experiences with the Gems, and then the frames no longer appear.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • "Transylvania 6-500": The cartoon short's villian, Count Bloodcount, is engaged in a battle of wits and "magic potion" one-upmanship with Bugs Bunny when he transforms himself into a bat (the animal); Bugs turns himself into a baseball bat, prompting Count to do the trope inversion ("You wouldn't hit a bat with glasses?"). Yes, Bugs would ... and does.
  • Done straight and to great effect in Gargoyles - faced with an invasion by several angry gargoyles, Owen Burnett calmly takes off his glasses, puts them in his pocket, and adopts a martial arts stance. The fact that he isn't remotely capable of fighting a gargoyle hand-to-hand (not as Owen, anyway) does not make the moment any less badass.
    • He does it again when everyone is fighting (and losing) against Oberon, before revealing his true identity.
  • Averted in Metalocalypse, as Charles does not remove his glasses to fight, though he does undo his necktie before he first fights the Metal Masked Assassin. (When he's blugeoned into unconsciousness by the Assassin the second time around, his glasses remain bent and broken on his face as he lies lifeless.)
  • Parodied with a hint of Ho Yay in CloneHigh, where JFK gives a makeover to Gandhi, then completes it by taking off his glasses. JFK told Gandhi he "Looks like an Angel."
  • Also inverted in the 1960s cartoon Fearless Fly. The housefly hero is a 98-milligram weakling, until he dons his square-rimmed glasses. Inevitably, in nearly every episode, he gets them knocked off at a crucial moment.
  • Played straight in the Magic School Bus's Dinosaur episode, where Arnold takes off his glasses and tucks them away in his shirt pocket to fight the T-Rex.
  • Recess plays this straight in a dream sequence when Miss Grotke's getting ready for a boxing match.
    • Also played straight in "Gus's Last Stand", when Gus (attempts) to fight Gelman.
  • Used to pretty frightening effect in Wakfu when Qilby merges with the Eliacube. His glasses shatter and he gains Glowing Eyes of Doom and a Slasher Smile.
  • Averted in Scooby-Doo. Not only is Velma partially blind without her glasses, she also seems to lose some of her intelligence as well. One episode has her mistaken a skeleton as Shaggy and the dungeon she's in as a playroom.
  • In the X-Men: The Animated Series intro, Beast takes off his reading glasses before he literally leaps into action.
  • Subverted in the Big Hero 6: The Series episode "A New Sparkles", when Honey Lemon believes her "niceness" is holding the team back, she pulls off her glasses as she says "It's time to be a little less Honey ... and a lot more Lemon!" She then immediately bumps into Baymax, and decides "Okay, I'm going to be tough with the glasses on. I'm gonna need those to see."
  • Four Eyes!: In one episode when Emma's human disguise malfunctioned and she can't go back to her original alien form. Because of this, she is seen for the first time without glasses. She eventually goes back to normal after overdosing on dairy products and is wearing glasses once again.

    Real Life 
  • Real-life example: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair occasionally did this during Prime Minister's Question Time.
  • The queen of Denmark does this at the end of her annual New Year's speech, but only in order to deliver her Motto. Good thing, too, since she really does seem to be blind without them.
  • Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune columnist, once wrote that he disapproved of contact lenses because anyone who wanted to start a fight would look silly trying to remove them, whereas taking off glasses looks cool.
  • A common joke is if a woman asks you to hold their purse, earrings, or weave, someone is going to die.
  • Averted with American gymnast and 2017 World All-Around Champion Morgan Hurd, who is notable for competing in elite gymnastics while wearing glasses (she uses a special strap to secure them in place). According to Hurd, she tried wearing contact lenses, but found that they were more trouble than they were worth and made her eyes too dry. She has said that she hopes to be an example to other young athletes to disprove the idea that you can't do sports wearing glasses.
  • MMA, boxing, and most martial arts don't allow fighters to wear glasses during fights due to the potential for shattering. Visually impaired people use contacts, but they often train to fight nearsighted in case a lens falls out.

Alternative Title(s): The Clark Kent Effect