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The Glasses Gotta Go

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"Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses."
Dorothy Parker, "News Item"

The typical Hollywood perception of wearing glasses is that they are nerdy, homely, or otherwise undesirable in various ways.

These ways could include the "sex appeal" department, and it could also include the strangely instantaneous deletion of glasses from the face of any up-and-coming character in fiction shows. Depending on your personal preference, this could be part of an Unnecessary Makeover. Always the first step in a Makeover Montage.

The vision problems that called for glasses in the first place are seldom addressed, but if it's a long-term change, they might make some mention of contact lenses at some point. The opposite may occur as well, but this is usually to show that the character was Beautiful All Along. Sometimes the character will mention that they only need the glasses for minor vision correction and can see well enough without them. Strangely a character's eyesight will sometimes change to whatever is convenient for the situation.

Pretty much, if "the glasses must go," then the example must go here.

A common step in a Beautiful All Along transformation. Also see The Glasses Come Off, when the glasses are ditched so the character can be more badass. Recently, an "Evil Through and Through" variation has started occurring in anime, where hidden villains remove their glasses to show that... well, yes, they are beautiful all along, but they don't have to hide their intentions anymore (Aizen is a famous example).

Some people really do find glasses sexy in real life, and thus get a little annoyed when this happens, considering it an Unnecessary Makeover. There is even a large following specifically for this in fiction, and of course there are plenty of pornographic websites dedicated to people wearing glasses that can be found without much effort.

A common way to avert this one is to turn the character into a Badass Bookworm.

A Sister Trope to Letting Her Hair Down. Contrast with Bespectacled Cutie, Glasses Are Sexy, and Meganekko. Also, don't confuse this trope with The Glasses Come Off.

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Straight examples:


    Anime and Manga 
  • Behind The Thick Frames is about a fashionista who falls for a pharmacist with thick-framed glasses after seeing her without her glasses. The pharmacist is reluctant to get a makeover because she was horribly bullied at her previous job by her co-workers drawing on her face, but she eventually lets the protagonist do it. Miyamae gets upset afterwards when it turns out her girlfriend attracts more attention than she wanted and suggests she wear her glasses unless they're together.
  • Aizen gives up his glasses when he reveals himself to be the true villain in Bleach, in this case going from Hidden Villain to full-out sexy badass.
  • Played with Marika from Bokura no Hentai. With the glasses, she's still cute to the point where she attracts boys even when living as a male. However, she doesn't think glasses look good on her and starts wearing contacts a few chapters in. Suddenly female students start seeing her as attractive and one old classmate even confesses to her.
  • In D.N.Angel there's a scene where Satoshi asks Risa for help in an investigation, and she thinks he's asking her out on a date. At first, she's put off by him but then starts to think he might be cute...if he takes off his glasses. She then asks him to take them off, and he does. (They're back on in later scenes, however.)
  • Kirihara Misaki, from Darker than Black, tends to lose her glasses in her more fanservicey scenes; they're more Stoic Spectacles than Meganekko glasses and make her look more aggressive and professional. In one case, a friend stole them for exactly this reason when she decided to dress her up as a "punishment." However since Kirihara actually needs them, she spent most of that episode squinting.
  • In Akina's eyes, Kaede radiates much greater beauty without her glasses in Don't Become an Otaku, Shinozaki-san!.
  • The 2005's anime of Doraemon show that in her younger days, Nobita's mom looks very good when removing her glasses.
  • Ordinary maid Emma from Emma: A Victorian Romance turns out to be gorgeous when she's persuaded to take off her glasses and dress up for a ball. Unfortunately, this being the age before contact lenses, she can barely see a thing.
  • Yuki Nagato of Haruhi Suzumiya gives up her Scary Shiny Glasses when she protects Kyon from another Sufficiently Advanced Alien, and he comments that she looks better without them.
    • And this becomes a plot point multiple times. Whenever Kyon needs to tell the difference between an alternate-reality Nagato or the one he knows, it's either used as a motif or a definite emotional encounter for Kyon - the one he knows no longer wears glasses. Also, it proves useful during "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", when Kyon meets a past version of Nagato who doesn't know who he is yet - she's wearing glasses; when she turns out to have the ability to "synchronize" with her future self, and thus downloads her memories of him, she takes off her glasses without prompt, thus informing Kyon that this is his familiar Nagato.
    • Her unprotected eyes then become Kyon's means of judging her mood and hence the danger level of the current situation. He gets called out on this by Clingy Jealous Girl Haruhi because he's paying too much attention to somebody other than herself.
  • In Heart Catch Pretty Cure, Erika ends up having Tsubomi get rid of her glasses in favor of contacts as part of her own makeover, though it doesn't initially stick - mostly because she can't stand someone so energetic. She ends up letting it stay, but she's spotted from time to time with her glasses on and by the end of the series, she has them back on... only to have them off again in time for the third Pretty Cure All Stars movie.
  • Played for Laughs in I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying when Kaoru tries to make Hajime more presentable when her friends come over to meet him and she doesn't even recognize the result.
    Kaoru: Huh? Where did my husband go?
  • Hiura in I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into a Girl used to wear glasses as a boy. After he begins dressing like a girl, he no longer wears glasses.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor: Tylor is being psychologically evaluated by an Artificial Intelligence appearing as a beautiful woman in uniform. Tylor somehow manages to remove her glasses in virtual reality, then starts raving on about her beauty so much the AI forgets the questions she was asking, falls in love with him, then explodes. In the next episode, a Raalgon agent removes his glasses to reveal he's a handsome Bishōnen; Admiral Hanner's cute twin daughters Emi and Yumi immediately declare that they want to be killed by him.
  • Exaggerated in respects to Kill la Kill's Aikuro Mikisugi. Aikuro with glasses is a scruffy old homeroom teacher with bad posture. Aikuro without glasses is a sparkling Adonis who appears to be allergic to clothing. In his case, the glasses (and clothes) are there to tone down his appearance and put him Beneath Suspicion, as he is a spy for La Résistance.
    Aikuro: It's a disguise! If I paraded around in my nude glory, I'd attract attention.
  • Naru in Love Hina is introduced as being so nearsighted without her Opaque Nerd Glasses that she mistakes the male Keitaro for her female friend Mitsune even at a close distance and yet she wears her glasses progressively less often as the series goes on with no explanation given for how she became able to see perfectly well without them, presumably because of this trope.
  • Male example in Love Stage!!: nerdy otaku Izumi turns out to be incredibly attractive without his glasses, and he starts wearing contact lenses when he becomes an actor. Later in the series, it turns out Rei is actually exploiting this trope- he wears Purely Aesthetic Glasses because without them he attracts unwanted admirers.
  • Quattro from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS seems to be a goofy Kawaiiko villainess at first, but abandons her glasses when she reveals just how ruthless she is. Likewise Due, upon abandoning her disguise.
  • Ouran High School Host Club does this when Tamaki first removes Haruhi's glasses, revealing her large, bishonen-style eyes. The host club insists she wear contacts from then on, as her eyes are apparently a draw for female customers, and the contacts make her eyes shinier. Flashbacks reveal that she only recently wore the glasses in the first place and normally wore contacts — the glasses were only a temporary thing anyway.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Episode 10 reveals that Homura Akemi used to wear glasses before becoming a Magical Girl, then at a point, started using magic to heal her eyes and remove the glasses as part of an Adrenaline Makeover.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • A one-time character in the Sailor Moon manga looks absolutely stunning when her glasses are knocked off - but since she can't see a thing without them, she immediately starts groping around the floor looking for them. Usagi then starts wondering if Umino's appearance would improve as dramatically if he took his glasses off. (According to Naoko Takeuchi, it would.]])
    • A similar example in Codename: Sailor V, where a mangaka is wearing a thick pair of glasses. They get knocked off during a battle and she's revealed to be very beautiful - and look identical to her created character Maria.
  • Yutaka Hasebe in Servant × Service wears glasses when playing video games at home, but takes them off at work or when an acquaintance visits. Clearly it's because of this trope.
  • Space☆Dandy: Subverted in the High School episode. Dandy's potential love interest, the only girl uncool enough to spend time with him, is a Shrinking Violet with a plain face and cokebottle glasses. Dandy doesn't find her attractive, but he figures, oh I bet She Cleans Up Nicely. He removes her glasses, only to realize that she doesn't have eyes, just gross, butt-shaped orifices, and quickly puts them back on.
  • Zigzagged in Tanaka-kun is Always Listless. Shiraishi has bad eyesight, but wears contact lenses to make herself more popular and rectify her Friendless Background. Tanaka later convinces her to switch back to her glasses, because having a more obvious "flaw" would make her more approachable. While wearing glasses didn't hurt her already established popularity at all, the implication is that she still looks better without her glasses.
  • A very subtle example in Tokyo Ghoul: Author Sen Takatsuki is noted for being an Unkempt Beauty, and is marketed as such with some fans more interested in her looks than her actual writing. It turns out when she isn't doing public appearances and promoting her books, she wears enormous glasses — she's still very cute, just in a different way.
  • In the final episode of Your Lie in April it's revealed Kaori wears contact lenses. She once wore glasses but ditched them, along with letting her pigtails down, after she decided to befriend Kousei.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:

    Comic Books 
  • In Watchmen, Laurie finds Dan much more attractive without his giant glasses. When they go into hiding at the end and forge new identities, he has apparently ditched the glasses in favor of contacts.
  • Superman couples this with The Glasses Come Off. Mild-mannered Clark Kent wears glasses, but he removes them to become the dashing Superman, with whom Lois Lane falls in love.
  • Peter Parker wore glasses in the earliest comics, but they were broken rather soon, after Flash Thompson pushed him. Fortunately, he never really needed them. (They had a weak prescription which his aunt insisted he use, as she was worried about him straining his eyes from reading so much. Other times it's Hand Waved as his spider powers having cured his vision.)
  • Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), in her earliest appearances, says that everyone sees her as a "Plain Jane," and, though it isn't stated, her glasses are clearly supposed to be a big part of this. This is even though, as drawn by Carmine Infantino in those comics, she pretty much looks like Gene Tierney with red hair.

    Fan Works 

  • Barbie (2023): Discussed. As a distraction for the deprogramming of the Barbies, a liberated Barbie distracts a Ken working on a car by wearing glasses, which he removes in an attempt to make her "more beautiful".
  • Christopher Nolan tried to find excuses for Cillian Murphy to take off his glasses as Dr. Crane in Batman Begins, so his Creepy Blue Eyes could get more screentime.
    "He has the most extraordinary eyes, and I kept trying to invent excuses for him to take his glasses off in close-ups."
  • The Big Sleep: When Marlowe is trapped in the Acme Bookshop by the rain, he has an impromptu date with the clerk, played by Dorothy Malone. During dinner, he asks if she minds taking her glasses off. She readily complies, claiming that she doesn't need them.
  • Blood Pi: Ziggzagged. Amber tells Agnis she doesn't need to take off her glasses, saying she looks fine with them. However, she does take them off at the behest of the Omega sisters.
  • The love interest in Delicatessen knows that The Glasses Gotta Go for her big date, but she's also Blind Without 'Em. Hilarity Ensues when she needs to pour a hot beverage.
  • A Fine Pair: After Mike (played by the dashingly handsome Rock Hudson) takes off his 1960s-nerd glasses on the plane in order to put on some eyeshades, Esmerelda gasps and says "You look beautiful without glasses!" In the next scene Mike's glasses are back on.
  • One of the older (though almost certainly not the oldest) examples comes with the Ruby Keeler character in the 1933 musical Footlight Parade.
  • Played completely straight when the male romantic lead of Abbott and Costello vehicle Hold That Ghost cleans his glasses in front of the female lead.
  • In The Hunt (2012), Nadja takes off Lucas' glasses before they start kissing.
  • Spoofed in Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! As The Hero falls in love with the scientist, she suddenly appears from his point-of-view in soft focus, removing her glasses and tousling her hair in a Hot Wind that gets stronger and stronger until he's shouting his Love Confession as they both get blown across the room while catching a face-full of newspapers, leaves, and other rubbish. Annoyed, she puts her glasses back on and the wind suddenly stops, causing the hero to fall to the ground from the lamppost he was desperately holding on to.
  • Jennifer's Body: A twofer - not only does Needy get a sexy upgrade in the end, but her newfound Healing Factor means she doesn't even need the glasses anymore.
  • L.A. Confidential: A couple of high-ranking characters tell up-and-coming police Sgt. Edmond Exley to "lose the glasses" since he wouldn't fit in as the only detective wearing them. He takes their advice as best as he can, going without them while sitting at his desk and while being photographed. This leads him to forget his glasses before a shoot-out. Oops!
  • In the movie spoof Monster in the Closet, the hero is an overt Clark Kent parody: every time his glasses come off, the heroine literally goes into a slack-jawed trance at how handsome he "suddenly" is. And then the same thing happens with the monster, and it kidnaps him.
  • Toula of My Big Fat Greek Wedding gets contacts during her Makeover Montage.
  • Parodied in Not Another Teen Movie, where the protagonist is obviously beautiful, but all the guys are horrified by her glasses and ponytail, to the point that she's deemed more difficult to turn into a beauty queen than a pair of Siamese twins joined at the head, a hunchback, or an albino hippie folksinger. When she's revealed to be Beautiful All Along, her glasses are gone.
  • The Princess Diaries: Paolo, the one in charge of giving Mia a makeover, pulls her glasses off her face and breaks them in his hand. That's right, not only is it shockingly, willfully unattractive to wear glasses on a day-to-day basis, you shouldn't even own them, little missy. Or remember you spent hundreds on that one pair. He did at least check to make sure she owned contacts before doing it.
  • Played completely straight with Adrian's granny glasses in Rocky.
  • One of the first steps of the makeover in She's All That is glasses removal. Arguably Zig-Zagged because it's specified that it's not so much that glasses are objectively unattractive, but rather that Laney hides behind them.
  • In the first Spider-Man film, when Peter Parker gets his superpowers, it corrects his eyesight. Mary Jane takes notice his beautiful Innocent Blue Eyes after he stops wearing his glasses. In the sequel, Peter starts losing his powers and wearing his glasses again, but he sheds them once more when his heroic drive (and powers) starts returning.
  • In Strictly Ballroom, one of the first things Scott does after agreeing to dance with Fran is ask if she really needs her glasses, and then takes them off. The glasses are never seen again, and Fran's dancing (and love life) rapidly improve as soon as they're gone.
  • In the Superman films, Clark Kent wears glasses to help look more "mild-mannered." He removes them when he's Superman and appears much more dashing. In the fourth film, a woman hitting on Clark tries to remove his glasses and suggests that he wear contacts, but he says that they irritate his eyes and keeps his glasses on to protect his identity.
  • Wonder Woman 1984: Shy and nerdy Barbara Minerva has used the Dreamstone to make herself more desirable. In one scene while surrounded by her now-admiring colleagues, she puts on her glasses to read something and is surprised to find she no longer needs them.
  • Predestination: When Jane applies for the Space Corps who provide emotional and sexual comfort for astronauts on long space missions, a member of the recruiting panel asks her to take her glasses off. When she does so, the astronauts on the panel are shown smiling in approval. When Jane does meet her One True Love however, he falls in Love at First Sight with Jane while she's still wearing her glasses. But that's a more complicated story...
  • The White Orchid: Claire takes off her glasses and uses contacts instead as part of her makeover to appear more like The White Orchid. It helps change her from a nerd to simply gorgeous. Here it's justified at least in that she's trying to appear like a specific woman too, who didn't wear glasses.

  • In the "heroes don't wear glasses" sub-category: one of the main characters in the Young Wizards series of books, Nita, was originally described as wearing glasses in the first book. In the second book, the description went away. In the following books, one could probably forget she'd ever been described that way in the first place, and no explanation as to why she suddenly got 20/20 vision was given. It gets a passing explanation from Dairine, in Wizard's Holiday: Nita had astigmatism, but grew out of it, apparently.
  • In Vivian Vande Velde's book Now You See It..., the protagonist wears glasses and hates them with a passion, citing this trope on the second page. While the lesson of the book is essentially that looks aren't everything, she still manages to get rid of them permanently at the end of the book, making this a Broken Aesop. The story is meant as a bit of escapist fantasy for those who hated wearing glasses since the author had the same problem and even dedicated the story to those share her distaste for bad eyewear.
  • In the My Teacher Is an Alien series, Peter starts out wearing glasses. During his first POV book, aliens give him brain surgery, mostly to install the Universal Translator, but takes the liberty of fiddling with his vision so that he won't need them anymore.
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's: When Holly was 15 she wore thick glasses. To become an actress, she ditched the glasses and began taking French lessons to change her accent.
  • Jokingly invoked in A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs by Ellis Peters, when Philippa says of librarian Tamsin that "when she takes off her glasses she isn't bad-looking". (Tamsin is undeniably good-looking, and doesn't wear glasses.)
  • Angela Nicely: A rare male example in “Matchmaker!” when Angela and Maisie are trying to hook Mr. Weakly up with Miss Darling and think that he’d be more attractive without his glasses.
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty: Belly used to wear Nerd Glasses as a child, but switched to contacts by the time she turned 15, adding to the beauty shocker to people who see her again.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike needed them while alive, but tossed them afterward. His appearance gradually became more unkempt as he worked to build his reputation as a real killer - a street-fighting vampire.
  • Girls5eva: In "Catskills" Summer expresses her desire to learn more by discussing this trope.
    Summer: I don't want to just be the hot one. I wanna know stuff, read about stuff in books, and then, when I take my glasses off, people will say, "Oh, my God. Wow. She's also hot."
  • In the Sitcom Grounded for Life, the husband goes through ridiculous lengths to keep his wife from wearing her new glasses because he finds glasses so ugly that looking at them turns him off instantly. In a flashback, he even snubbed his would-be wife simply because she was wearing glasses.
  • The reality makeover show 10 Years Younger employs Lasik eye surgery religiously.
  • In the first episode of Head of the Class, when Arvid summons up the nerve to ask a girl to the school dance, one of the girls in the IHP class removed his glasses and his pocket protector to make him look better.
  • In the first episode of Sliders, Quinn needs reading glasses, yet this was dropped for later episodes.
  • Will Zimmerman of Sanctuary switches out his glasses for contacts in the Season 1 Finale.
  • On Schitt's Creek, Johnny and David Rose do not wear glasses, unlike their respective actors, Eugene and Dan Levy, making it easy to distinguish between photos of the actors and their characters.
  • In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hilary makes her glasses-wearing boyfriend stop wearing them, saying he looks better without them. It becomes a plot point in the episode: He gets in an accident with Will and sues for damages. When it's revealed he wasn't wearing glasses while driving as the law requires, the judge rules in Will's favor.
  • MTV's Made: Sweet, nerdy girl Kitty wants to be in a high school beauty pageant. The makeover works better than expected for a few reasons. One, Kitty turned out to have a great body (long legs, small waist, and big bust) that was hidden under the baggy clothes she always wore. Two, she had beautiful blue eyes that could be seen better without her thick glasses. She actually ends up winning second place!
  • One episode of Night Court features a bookish and morally strict woman who turns into a beautiful and sexually loose temptress when she removes her glasses. (It turns out later that she has multiple personality disorder, something Dan doesn't find out until her cold side violently rejects him three times.)
  • Probe's "Metamorphic Anthropoidic Prototype Over You": When Josephine pulls off Louise Boken's glasses, Mr Decker retrieves them for her, and tries to convince her that she looks more attractive without them on.
  • Seinfeld: At the eyeglasses store, while George is buying new frames, Jerry looks at pictures of the female models on the wall, and says, "These women would be so much better looking without glasses."
  • American Dreams: When Luke gets rid of his glasses, he gets the girl.
  • Josh Groban in several comedy appearances as himself wears thick glasses and makes a show out of removing them in order to cast a smoldering glance at the camera.
  • On Caroline in the City, Richard is always a prissy jerk with his glasses on and a plausible love interest with his glasses off.
  • A flashback in the second episode of The New Normal shows us Bryan and David's first meeting in a gay bar. Bryan is disinterested at first, until David inadvertently takes off his glasses, revealing his blue eyes.
    Bryan: No wonder you keep those things sheathed. They're like Picasso's most overrated period. Or a box from Tiffany's.
  • In the Smallville episode "Talisman", Jeremiah Holdsclaw gains powers similar to a Kryptonian. He quickly discards his glasses because he doesn't need them anymore.
  • Parodied in Sabrina the Teenage Witch when Mr. Kraft whips off his glasses as he prepares to kiss Hilda.
  • In one The Big Bang Theory episode, Priya convinces Leonard to go without his glasses because he looks better without them. This is portrayed as a bad thing as Leonard spends the rest of the episode stumbling around unable to see with his new contacts and is part of a large swarm of changes Priya institutes to fix her boyfriend (culminating with having him remove Penny from his social group).
    • This trope is inverted in another episode, where Leonard is instantly taken when Penny puts on glasses.
  • Wonder Woman: Diana wears glasses as Diana Prince specifically to be less beautiful, glamorous, and head-turning as she is as Wonder Woman. In "Beauty on Parade", the effectiveness of this effort - at least in-universe - is demonstrated when Steve vetoes a plan for Diana Prince to go undercover as a beauty pageant contestant because they'd need "a really beautiful girl".
  • Coronation Street: Claire Peacock got glasses as part of a storyline where she wanted to become a bus driver. She kept them for a few months before they one day just vanished. Of course, her desire to be a driver had stopped long before that too.
  • Supergirl (2015): During her Costume-Test Montage for her superhero outfit, Kara comes out wearing the glasses she uses for her Secret Identity (for the same reason Wonder Woman did), then realises her mistake and takes them off. Wynn, already Distracted by the Sexy sight of her legs thanks to her Minidress of Power, starts mumbling how pretty she is until Kara brings him back to reality.
  • Banjun Drama: Hwi-jae from "Marriage Corporation" initially thought his marriage partner Jin was unattractive, but he couldn't reject her since if he did she'll die because of the matchmaking service through which they first met. After taking off Jin's glasses in her sleep, though, Hwi-jae realizes she's not so bad after all. The pressure of needing to marry her soon laying heavy on him, he moves to kiss her... only for her to reposition herself in her sleep.

  • Pretty much the whole point of the music video for the song "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift. She starts off with huge cokebottle glasses which she wears for most of the music videos, then right before she goes to the High-School Dance, she takes off her glasses and puts on a pretty dress, prompting her true love to dump his skank ho of a girlfriendnote  and ending the music video with a True Love's Kiss.
  • The Japanese music video "LOVE Dokkyun" by CLUB PRINCE has the band in prince-like outfits teaching scientist-looking girls how to LOVE Dokkyun. It climaxes with the girls flinging off their nerdy attire to expose their happier, trendier, sparklier selves.
  • The music video of Marshmello's "Summer" features a love interest who wears thick classic styled glasses, who comes to a skate party at the rink Marshmello works at. Asked if he will skate with her, Marshmello joins her later on the skate rink floor, having been harassed by his boss all night, taking off her glasses, prompting a light to shine down, after which she shakes the barrettes and bobby pins out of her hair, after which they skate together.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the late-80's, WCW had a storyline where Rick Steiner got involved with a fan named Robin Green, who regularly wore glasses and had her hair tucked under a baseball cap. When they went to go on their first date, she ditched the glasses and the cap and wore a VERY sexy outfit. Shortly afterwards, Robin dumped Rick and changed her name to the one she became better known by, Woman.note 
  • Brooke Adams initially as part of her Sexy Secretary gimmick would come down to the ring with glasses on and her hair in a bun. She would take the glasses off seductively as she entered the ring, followed by Shaking Her Hair Loose.
  • Paige Webb did a similar thing in Wrestlicious, coming to the ring dressed as a nerd. During her ring entrance, she would remove her Nerd Glasses.

  • Our Miss Brooks: Said by Miss Brooks in "The Dancer." She had tried on a pair of glasses to see if Mr. Boynton will find her attractive in them. Mr. Boynton complimented Miss Brooks on how "mature" she looks.

  • Doubly subverted in Wicked: When Galinda takes it upon herself to give Elphaba a makeover (in "Popular"), the first thing she does is remove Elphaba's glasses. The second thing she does is put them back on. All the same, Elphaba stops wearing glasses after that song.
  • Male example (kind of) in The History Boys: "Taking off my glasses is the last thing I do."

    Video Games 
  • Latooni from Super Robot Wars: Original Generation is ordered to trade her analytical glasses in for the Elegant Gothic Lolita look. It doesn't hurt her piloting skills in the slightest.
    • In Divine Wars and Original Generations, Princess Shine only has her ditch the glasses when she's in the Lolita look (since Latooni's her bodyguard). Even more, she gives her a new pair of glasses that doesn't obscure her eyes, showing her opening up more.
  • Otacon in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, at Naomi's suggestion. Which is decidedly odd, as he had far left behind his actual namesake-look and had been noticeably Bishōnen for a long time. It's not all bad, though — eventually, he puts them back on.
  • In the first Tokimeki Memorial, if you are pursuing Meganekko Mio Kisaragi and choice a certain option, she will appear for her confession wearing contacts.
  • Ensemble Stars! has a few characters who wear glasses and all but one play this trope straight in a different way:
    • Makoto is the most obvious example - he used to be a model and was widely believed (especially by Izumi) to have a very beautiful face. However, he felt very controlled and unhappy doing that, so after he quit, he started wearing glasses to cover up his face. Izumi hates this, and firmly believes he should never wear glasses.
    • Chiaki is a bit different in that glasses for him represent not plainness but rather a shy, passive personality more associated with glasses-wearing girls. He stops wearing them after the War, reflecting his Character Development, and Ryuusei Hanabi even shows the instant he throws his glasses off his face as he runs to save Kanata - even the little chibi animation associated with the card shows him taking his glasses off and throwing them! (Naturally, this led to many jokes about Chiaki suddenly blinding himself in the middle of a dramatic moment...) However, this also leads to a bit of an inverted example where any Chiaki cards where he is wearing glasses tend to be very popular due to showing off this different side of him.
    • Tsumugi normally wears glasses, but usually replaces them with contacts for performances as they don't look very idol-like.
    • Keito always wears glasses, including during performances - he's too practical not to. However, the game's artists seem to take this view, as he has multiple Fanservice cards that come glasses-free.
    • Ibara, finally, averts this trope, as he is depicted wearing glasses in all of his appearances without any indication that he should lose them.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Katawa Shoujo Hisao's crazy neighbour Kenji briefly takes off his glasses. He looks surprisingly handsome, if rather tired-looking.
  • In Shall We Date?: Konkatsu for Marriage, Nakaba looks like a complete nerd until his Opaque Nerd Glasses accidentally get knocked off. Bystanders instantly start raving about how handsome he looks and the female protagonist is so dumbstruck by his glasses-less look that she pushes him into a water fountain just to knock his glasses off again.
  • In My Candy Love, Ken starts out as an Opaque Nerd Glasses-wearing dork who's treated as much less attractive than the player's other potential love interests. When he comes back later, all grown-up, he's traded his glasses for contacts.

    Web Animation 
  • Apple White from Ever After High needs glasses, however, she doesn't wear them due to believing that they'd ruin her image.

  • Daily JoJo: Eunjo is normally very lazy about her appearance, but she switches to contacts because her glasses get fogged up a lot during the mask mandate. She's amazed by how she looks in the mirror, and many people around her are similarly impressed.
  • The trope all but lends its name to the title of this strip of Lightning Made of Owls. Holly abandons her Nerd Glasses, and Delkin decides she looks great without them.
  • Marry My Husband: Both Jiwon and Jihyeok ditch their glasses for contacts making people comment on how much better they look.
  • Penny and Aggie:
    • As part of Karen's makeover, Penny urges her to ditch her glasses for laser eye surgery.
      Penny: Boys don't cut classes for girls who wear glasses. But boys find it way sick when those girls get LASIK.
    • In her own glam-up in a Something*Positive Crossover, Helen decides to keep them on. Not that many guys would be looking at her face, the way she made herself over...
  • When Kevyn has to lead the men for a while in Schlock Mercenary, the doctor insists that he drop the glasses - that in order for him to pull off the position of authority in this grave time, the men have to see his eyes. (This, despite the fact that earlier, while in temporary command, he'd so terrified the men that one of them called for his mommy - and that was while Kevyn wore his glasses.) The doctor is clearly aware of the difference between leading people and driving them before you in terror...
  • Gwynn from Sluggy Freelance wears huge, thick glasses and is Blind Without 'Em. However, whenever any cute boy is around, she takes them off, apparently to appear more attractive to him. Hilarity Ensues. Also worth noting is that she tried contacts once, but her prescription is so ridiculously heavy they made her look like a bugged-eyed anime character.

    Western Animation 
  • The Replacements features a supporting character named Shelton Klutzberry whose insanely thick and heavy glasses cripple his posture and pinch his nose, warping him into a stooped Jerry Lewis clone; if they are ever taken off, he instantly (and unwillingly) turns into a middle-school hunk. Of course, this particular example is so absurd in its extremes that it's likely a parody. His celebrity girlfriend immediately breaks up with him after finding all this out because she was attracted to his goofy awkwardness. In the same episode, his sister Shelly has Todd take off her glasses. She is still very ugly.
  • In another male example, one of the episodes of Animaniacs with Minerva Mink had her falling in love with a nerdy-looking wolf who happened to turn into a hunky werewolf when the moon was out. Naturally, his glasses somehow magically disappeared and reappeared to suit whichever form he was in.
  • Gwen Stacy in The Spectacular Spiderman has a makeover in "Gangland," making her look less like Deb Whitman (a love interest from the comics, notable only for having glasses and being overdependent) and more like, well, Gwen Stacy. This included losing the glasses. While Harry and Peter did go through the standard awed gape, this is likely also because her hair was down and she was wearing a nice dress with a stole. She's kept the hair and the lack of glasses.
    • And of course, like in most incarnations, Peter had glasses before becoming Spider-Man but loses them afterward.
  • Parodied in Johnny Bravo. Johnny tries to teach a nerd how to be a chick magnet, but nothing works. That is until he removes the kid's glasses and gives him Cool Shades, which for some reason not only change him from nerd to a miniature Johnny personality-wise but suddenly cause every woman to fall for him.
  • Happens to Connie Maheswaran in Steven Universe, as a result of Steven’s healing saliva, which cures her eyesight so she no longer needs glasses. Despite this, however, she still wears them but without the lenses, so she doesn’t upset her parents. She only takes them off completely when around Steven’s home. Eventually, after coming clean to her mother about her healed eyesight (and the adventures she's been into with Steven), she ditches them completely.
  • In Wakfu, Qilby the Traitor's glasses shatter when he merges with the Eliacube by transforming it into a prosthetic arm made of pure wakfu. Much like Aizen, this is part of The Reveal that he is the Big Bad.
  • This Trope is parodied in one episode of The Simpsons during a movie with Latino dancers. When the male lead asks the female lead, a nerdy-looking young woman, to dance, her glasses fall off as she does, and her hair cascades to her shoulders in a far more beautiful style, and her bust grows about two cup sizes.

Subversions/Played-with examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ranma ½ subverts this trope. Mousse, a male member of the same tribe of "Chinese Amazons" that Ranma's self-proclaimed fiancée Shampoo belongs to, normally looks like a rather Bishōnen guy. Unfortunately for him, his eyesight is horrendous, and to counteract this he has to wear a set of Nerd Glasses that make him look absolutely ridiculous whenever he puts them on. Worse still, he has a bad habit of taking them off frequently, due to either vanity or wanting to be dramatic... and because he's Blind Without 'Em, he invariably ends up making himself look like an idiot. Even worse is the fact that his eyesight honestly isn't so hot with them on either; he's a bit better at seeing where his target actually is instead of walking right past it, but he still tends to confuse objects and people.
  • Referenced and deconstructed by Kyousuke from Oreimo regarding his childhood friend Manami. He thinks her overall features are plain. He also thinks that, unlike fiction, she still look plain even without her glasses. She's also Blind Without 'Em.
  • Ouran High School Host Club played it straight with Haruhi... But you'll notice that even while the twins are already making a run to the eye doctor's to get her contacts, nobody ever suggests that Kyouya ditch his Stoic Spectacles? Granted, there's a gender difference... But nobody involved knew there was one at the time.
    • And he's the Glasses Character, as Kirimi so rightly pointed out. Since they "cater to all types", that would mean they need a glasses character for those with a glasses fetish. Male glasses characters have smaller, frame-less or thin-framed glasses so they don't obscure their Bishounen faces. Haruhi's glasses don't do that while Kyouya's do.
  • In the Backstory chapter of Silver Spoon, there is a woman with a perpetual Face of a Thug, that it turns out is caused by her being near-sighted and constantly squinting. The minute she is given a pair of glasses to try on, her face relaxes and she turns out to be gorgeous.
  • Miu Fuurinji from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple wears glasses to tone down her appearance because she stood out too much and got ostracized for it at her last school.
  • Space☆Dandy: When dealing with a girl with Nerd Glasses, Dandy decides that she might just be "secret-hot". When he takes them off however, her eyes are still comically shut, prompting him to tell her to go slap her parents when she goes home.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted (and confirmed) in, of all places, Archie Comics. In one comic, Veronica, always at the forefront of style, chooses to wear glasses with no lenses in order to look more fashionable. Ironically, everyone feels sorry for her because they absolutely know that glasses always make women look ugly.
    • Another story showed Betty wearing glasses for school while Veronica taunted her that she'd only attract "nerds and dweebs" (Betty didn't care one way or the other). When she saw Betty was actually attracting attention from handsome guys instead, she snatched Dilton's glasses in an attempt to show her up. The prescription was so high that she couldn't see, however, leading her to flirt with the principal.
  • In Issue 69 of Comic Book/WITCH, at first it seems Cornelia is doing this to Martin during a makeover montage to make him more presentable in the school campaign, she eventually returns them in a new frame, subverting this trope.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Harry Potter fanfiction "Deranged and Wrong", Harry replaces his iconic glasses at his 18th birthday for thinner square-rimmed ones and is immediately more attractive.
  • Deconstructed in Queens. Apple White has a lot of internalized feelings towards her need to wear reading glasses. Her parents consider it a "mortal sin" because Snow White's are supposed to be perfect. As a result, Apple hides her nearsightedness.

  • Weathergirl Sam Sparks from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs doesn't wear her glasses because she thinks they make her look nerdy; when dweeby Mad Scientist Flint (who was quite taken with her in the first place) convinces her to put them on, he's blown away.
    • And then parodied mercilessly when it cuts back to the shallow news anchor who spends the entire report being horrified by her appearance while she's trying to make a breaking news-worthy report.
  • Subverted and parodied in Scary Movie 2. When Theo tries to seduce the nerdy graduate assistant into giving her the keys out of the Haunted House, she takes off his glasses in hopes that it makes him prettier. All it does is make his eyes cross.
  • In UglyDolls, Mandy is insistent on not wearing her glasses, because, in her mind "Perfect dolls have perfect vision". This is despite the fact she constantly runs into door frames without them. She eventually comes to accept that she needs them, and wears them freely after. The child that ends up getting her also needs glasses, and a scene during the credits is Mandy with her new child at the optometrist.
  • How to Marry a Millionaire (1953): A running gag is Marilyn Monroe's character quotes the Dorothy Parker line at the top of the page, takes her glasses off... and walks into things.
  • Parodied in Loaded Weapon 1 where, in conjunction with Letting Her Hair Down, causes the actress of the Destiny Demeanor character to change from Allyce Beasley to Kathy Ireland!
  • The Pink Panther (2006): Inspector Clouseau puts the finishing touch on a plain woman's glamorous transformation by removing her glasses. She squints, stumbles, and smacks into a post.
  • Hilariously subverted in The Seven Year Itch where a man asks a woman who looks homely with glasses and her hair in a bun to take the glasses off and let down her hair. Guess what? Still homely.
  • In Waiting for Guffman, Corky has Eugene Levy's character take his glasses off to make him more presentable as a performer. It just makes his eyes cross comically.
  • Jokingly inverted in The Band Wagon, when Fred Astaire sees Cyd Charisse with glasses on and tells her he'd never noticed how beautiful she was before.
  • Played with in Monsters University with Randall who wore glasses, making him look rather nerdy. Mike suggested to remove them so he would look scarier and so the glasses won't hamper with his invisibility. Randall followed his advice and subsequently adopted his trademark squint.
  • Wonder Woman (2017). When Steve Trevor gives Diana a pair of glasses to make her less conspicuous, Etta Candy sarcastically points out that they don't suddenly make her not beautiful. They soon get crushed underfoot in a subsequent fight scene.
  • Inverted in St Trinians: when the geeks get their turn at giving Annabelle a makeover, she adds a pair of glasses to complete the look.
  • The Sex Trip: When trying to help Jess gain some confidence, Eddie asks if she actually needs her glasses, implying that they should be removed. Jess explains that she needs them to see, and Eddie agrees to keep them on.

  • A Wrinkle in Time: Meg Murray hates her glasses with a passion, as well as her "mouse-brown" hair and braces, and wishes she could look more like her mother. But her love interest/boyfriend/husband (depending on where you are in the series) Calvin O'Keefe prefers her to wear them, saying "You just keep wearing those glasses. I don't think I want anyone else knowing what dream-boat eyes you have."
  • Newt in Good Omens is an average-looking guy in glasses. By all narrative standards, he should look better without them, except taking them off causes him to bump into things and fall over, which really doesn't improve his attractiveness. So he keeps them on.
  • Subverted in Glory in the Thunder. Barsamin's mother and Katarosi's grandmother tell them to take off their glasses for their first meeting, but they each think the other looks better with glasses anyway.
  • In The Fire Rose, when one of Jason's Salamanders comments that Rosalind is nice-looking despite her glasses, Jason immediately declares that glasses are just another accessory.
  • Referenced/lampshaded in a Colin Forbes novel when the protagonist encounters a female librarian and thinks of those spy movies where the communist Ice Queen takes off her glasses and lets down her hair to become a sexy capitalist. He asks the librarian to take off her glasses, but she remains dowdy.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On the other hand, Wesley from Angel removes his glasses in his makeover as a badass, in addition to growing a five-o'clock shadow. No mention is ever made of how he manages to see well. Fred also wears glasses only sometimes during the show.
    • Perhaps contacts. Or magic. But in the comic continuation of the series, Wesley is wearing his glasses again, so probably contacts.
    • Before his makeover, Wesley and Cordelia once spontaneously impersonate Buffy and Angel, in order to bring a new cast member quickly up to speed about their twisted relationship. Wesley intuitively recognizes that his keeping his glasses on in this role would look dorky, and quickly whips them off... and then fails to find a place where to store them, so he ends up looking just as dorky holding them in his hand during a passionate kiss.
    • Spoofed in Amy Acker's screen test, which involved Wesley falling in Love at First Sight with Fred due to a spell.
      Wesley: [removing Fred's glasses] Now you truly are... perfection.
      Fred: Whereas you are slightly fuzzy; can I have those back?
  • Bones: Booth finds Brennan quite sexy when she dons glasses in one episode.
    Booth: [seeing Brennan wearing someone's zany glasses] Right. What I want you to do is take off your glasses, shake out your hair and say "Mr. Booth, do you know what the penalty is for an overdue book?"
    Brennan: Why?
    Booth: Never mind.
  • Logan in Dark Angel also manages to keep his glasses for the entire run (shorter though it was) and when Max is lusting over him, she mentions how much they add to his appeal.
  • The Goodies. Gender-inverted and spoofed in "Cunning Stunts" when Mildred Makepeace tells Graeme Garden to take his brainy specs off...and decides she doesn't like him after all.
  • Daniel in Stargate SG-1 wears his glasses all 10 seasons, in both movies, and in his crossover episodes with Stargate Atlantis. He does finally get a more attractive pair in season 10, but he manages to keep wearing glasses for the full run of the show, while taking multiple levels in bad ass, a rare feat.
    • However, he stops wearing them during the episode where he's abusing the Goa'uld sarcophagus. Abuse stops, glasses come back.
    • "Evil Daniel" also didn't wear glasses in Absolute Power. The character also stopped wearing them when he ascended to a higher plane of existence. Both times.
  • For the surprise of the watchers, when the time for the Obligatory Makeover in Yo soy Betty, la fea arrived the heroine ditched her horn-rimmed thick glasses for... fashionable, thin-framed glasses with a correct formula and compressed glasses. Her mentor Catalina Angel actually suggested her to try contacts, but because Betty had to go back ASAP to her former circumstances and she wouldn't have time to get accustomed to them, Ms. Angel just dragged her to the nearest optometrist and selected a better-suited pair.
  • Inverted in an episode of Sean's Show, where Sean Hughes insists the Girl of the Week puts on glasses and ties her hair up.
  • A UK sketch show had a skit with a businesswoman dictating to her male secretary when she suddenly stopped and said: "Wait, take off your glasses." She then pulled a face at him, after which she said: "Okay, you can put them back on now."
  • Likewise in The Goodies. A beautiful woman asks Graham Garden to remove his glasses, but decides he's still not good looking and rejects him.
  • Subverted on two occasions in Arrested Development:
    • Gob attempts to seduce his father's plain secretary to get some illegal business done. In an attempt to make this easier for himself, he asks her to take her glasses off and let her hair down, which makes her even less attractive, since without them, she has cross-eyes and crazy hair. He spends the rest of the scene trying to find an acceptable combination of glasses and hair.
    • Lucille demanding that Buster take off his glasses at a party. This resulted in Him accidentally hitting on her rival, Lucille Two.
  • Referenced in The Office when Pam wears glasses for an episode. Michael even tells her point-blank that to be attractive you have to take the glasses off. However, it's soon subverted when Kevin is revealed to have a fetish for girls in glasses.
  • In one episode of Gilmore Girls, Lane is horrified when she sees her band's pictures, because her glasses create either a glare or a shadow, or just plain look weird, in all of them. The rest of the band doesn't see it. She quickly gets contacts, and her boyfriend Zack can't even articulate how much less attractive he finds her now. Unlike most examples, Lane isn't swayed by anyone's opinion but her own, and switches between glasses and contacts for the rest of the series, without any attention being drawn to it either way.
  • Ghosts (US): Ralph the cholera victim is an unwashed young man who wears what is essentially a dirty potato sack for clothing. Stephanie the 80s mean girl is disgusted by him because of his glasses. When he takes them off, she suddenly finds him hot, even though he's still as gross looking as before.

    Non Fiction 
  • Isaac Asimov disliked the trope enough to write an article about it, noting it also had implications of Anti-Intellectualism (both because Smart People Wear Glasses and the "I know better" attitude behind the girl in question somehow averting Blind Without 'Emnote ).
  • Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy both wear glasses in real life and are known for their dramatic eyewear. However, their characters on the show they created, Schitt's Creek do not wear glasses. This makes it easy to differentiate pictures of the real-life father and son and the fictional father and son they play on the show.
  • 2017 Gymnastics World Champion Morgan Hurd (USA) defied this trope by competing in elite gymnastics wearing glasses (she uses a special strap to keep them in place); she tried wearing contacts at one point but found that she was constantly having to take them out due to issues with chalk dust. She now shares her story in hopes of helping to change the prevailing narrative that you can't wear glasses while competing in sports.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In one Peanuts strip, Peppermint Patty suggests that Marcie would look more sophisticated if she pushed her glasses up onto her forehead. After walking into a wall and a lamp-post, Marcie comments "Before I became sophisticated, I almost never had headaches."

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: Spoofed when Winston Churchill is talked into attending a planning meeting with the promise of "lovely lady boffins". He sulks when he sees the scientist in question, so the minister asks her to remove her glasses. She does, but then Churchill gets Distracted by the Sexy, and she must restore her glasses, making Churchill sulk some more.

    Video Games 
  • An interesting situation with the titular character from the Bayonetta series. In a case of almost Executive Meddling, Sega didn't like the Ms. Fanservice protagonist Bayonetta wearing glasses, and asked them to be removed. Director Hideki Kamiya's response? Give every character some sort of glasses or eyewear!
  • Metal Gear Solid: Raiden tells Emma Emmerich that she would look better without her glasses, but she tells him 'no', and not for the sake of practicality, either. She doesn't even need them; they're just frames. She says that she just likes glasses.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Time Hollow, you, as Ethan Kairos, have the option of enforcing this trope on Shrinking Violet Emily by using a Hole to steal her glasses. She does fine without them for a while, as flashbacks show her going about daily life and even baking cookies, but if Ethan never gives them back, she is shown getting horribly injured on her way to be fitted for contacts, and Ethan must then open a new Hole to give her glasses back and avoid this.

  • When geeky shy girl Amber in Shortpacked! decides to give herself a new look, she merely replaces her coke bottle frames with some smaller, nicer looking modern glasses. She even notes that no one makes those kinds of glasses anymore.
  • In Roomies! Redux, Danny is watching a TV show where this happens and ends up screaming at the TV that they should keep the glasses.
    Joe: Sorry, bud. Someday geek chic will be in. Someday.
  • Avialae initially plays this trope straight with Gannet having what basically amounts to an "oh no he's cute" reaction to seeing Bailey without his Nerd Glasses, but then subverts it with Bailey still keeping his glasses on almost all the time and this doing nothing to dampen Gannet's newly found attraction to him (the implication being that it wasn't so much about the glasses hiding Bailey's good looks as it was about Gannet simply not bothering to look closely at someone he thought of as just an "annoying loser" until they started spending more time together). Gannet even comments at one point that the glasses are part of Bailey's charm.
  • In Superosity, Bobby convinces a very ugly girl at school to pay him to make her the most beautiful girl in school, which he plans to accomplish by simply taking off her glasses and letting down her hair. It completely fails to work. It isn't until she is beaten bloody and has to have major reconstructive facial surgery that she becomes conventionally attractive, although she continues to wear (more stylish) glasses.

    Web Originals 
  • Subverted in Fine Structure. One minor character, Srin Shapur, is described like this explicitly:
    She has the kind of hair that's ideal for pinning up in a tight bun and then shaking down in slow motion halfway through the movie, and even has the thick, nerdy glasses to take off dramatically too. Unfortunately, this will never happen, because she needs the glasses to see.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Bugs (Bunny Cormick) normally looks like the blonde bombshell of your wildest dreams. But her power is that she's a genius inventor, so, being Genre Savvy, she puts on the studious glasses to look like what one of her friends calls 'Professor Bunny'.
  • Subverted in Team StarKid's Me and My Dick, Joey takes down Sally's hair and attempts to remove her glasses only to have her go cross-eyed.
  • Parodied by The Nostalgia Chick back when she was wearing fake glasses. At the start of her Teen Witch review, she does the Beautiful All Along thing of taking off her glasses and shaking out her hair but after that, she puts the glasses back on, puts up her hair again and continues the review.
  • Invoked and played with to ridiculous lengths in this blog post.
  • Parodied in "American Whoopee." Clara approaches two of her classmates wearing her glasses, and they're disgusted. Then she takes the glasses of, one of them is instantly attracted, and the other (played by the actress's real life brother) is just confused. Then she falls over because she's Blind Without 'Em.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of As Told by Ginger Macie greets her friends at a dance and asks how she looks, the first thing Dodie does is remove her glasses. Macie is barely able to see at the dance.
  • Inverted in an episode of The Fairly OddParents!, where King Arthur is a squinting, nearsighted pipsqueak — until he puts on glasses, and becomes a muscular, flowing-haired action hero with a deep voice.
    Arthur: I can see! I CAN FIGHT!
  • Family Guy: In the episode "Don't Make Me Over," she's-so-ugly Meg gets a makeover, which involves her shedding her glasses. (Meg becomes only bearable to look at, although it's played up as her becoming very attractive.) By episode's end, she decides she's happier being the girl that kissing reminds you of licking an ashtray, and reverts to her glasses-wearing, homely self.
  • Played with in Holly Hobbie and Friends: Marvelous Makeover - "Cover Girl," in which K.T. the new girl is given a makeover, but the story is ultimately about accepting her for who she is.
  • Hank Hill and Peggy Hill from King of the Hill both wear geeky looking glasses that most people would see as uncool, especially considering both of their nerdy personalities. However in "Get Your Freak Off" when Hank and Peggy meet a very hip and trendy couple, they tell them their glasses look cool and call them "geek-chic".
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart is convinced that he's a faith healer. Milhouse tells Bart that his glasses make him look like a geek. Bart takes them off and tosses them aside, saying Milhouse is now more attractive. Because Milhouse is Blind Without Them this results in him getting hit by a car and Bart feels guilty about it.
    Milhouse: [losing consciousness] Bury me at Make-Out Creek.
  • South Park mocked this trope, of course. Kyle tells a genuinely hideous girl that she'd look beautiful if she just put her hair down and took off her glasses. But when he takes them off for her, he discovers... nope, she's even uglier without 'em.
  • In W.I.T.C.H., Taranee at one point gave herself a makeover to impress a guy she liked, which included losing her glasses - literally, in this case; the bullies stole them from her. Turns out he liked her the way she was, "glasses and all."
    • Not to mention the fact that her eyes literally set on fire when she's angry. Fire+contacts=bad idea.
    • In the comics, however, it seems she isn't one to adhere to this idea - when she found out that the Heart was fixing everything wrong with the girls, including Taranee's eyesight, it was the last straw and she initiated her own 10-Minute Retirement in anger. Even so, she merely replaces the lenses with ordinary ones in order to maintain the masquerade.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "Symbols Of Wisdom", Brainy thinks that the reason Papa Smurf gets more respect than him is that Papa Smurf doesn't wear glasses, so Brainy tries to go about his daily business not wearing any glasses — only to stumble into things like Painter's painting-in-progress of Smurfette.
  • In The Loud House episode "Be Stella my Heart", Clyde ditches his glasses to increase his chances with Stella. It backfires since he's obviously Blind Without 'Em
  • In UglyDolls, Mandy is insistent on not wearing her glasses, because, in her mind "Perfect dolls have perfect vision". This is despite the fact she constantly runs into door frames without them. She eventually comes to accept that she needs them, and wears them freely after. The child that ends up getting her also needs glasses, and a scene during the credits is Mandy with her new child at the optometrist.
  • Recess - Gus discovers he's more attractive without his glasses and goes without them at school, adopting a cool alter ego called 'Guy'. Sadly he's completely Blind Without 'Em and sacrifices his popularity to be able to see again.
  • Blue's Clues & You! has Magenta without glasses, despite her having got them in the original series in the episode "Magenta Gets Glasses." She then ends up getting glasses in the new show in "Getting Glasses With Magenta," despite the series otherwise having been indicated as being a continuation of the original series, rather than an Alternate Continuity.
  • Deconstructed in the Daria episode "Through a Lens, Darkly." Daria gets contacts for a reason that she can "justify"—her glasses block her peripheral vision while driving—but people think that she looks better that way, and she has to confront the fact that she craves their approval more than she wants to admit.
  • Rugrats:
    • In the 1991 series episode "Crime and Punishment", Chas goes on a date with Officer Naomi and decides to ditch his glasses to make himself look more attractive. This backfires immensely, as he's Blind Without 'Em. When the babies accidentally break the glasses, Angelica convinces them that officer Naomi will arrest them if she finds out about it.
    • In the All Grown Up! episode "Petition This!", Angelica makes Chuckie wear contacts, believing that will improve Chuckie's image and increase her chances of victory in allowing the use of cell phones in school. They're very uncomfortable and Chuckie struggles to see through them.
    • In the 2021 series episode "The Big Diff", Angelica convinces Tommy and Chuckie that they're too different from each other to be best friends, so Chuckie decides to be more like Tommy, which in addition to dressing in a blue shirt and a diaper, means ditching his glasses since Tommy doesn't wear glasses. This backfires for two reasons; First, Tommy decides to dress and act like Chuckie, which includes wearing his grandfather's glasses, and second, Chuckie can't see very well without his glasses, which results in him accidentally saying goodbye to Phil when he and Tommy decide to go their separate ways.
  • Muppet Babies (2018): In "Skeeter and the Super Girls", Skeeter dons a superheroine alter-ego called Top Speed and joins the Super Muppet Babies to stop Gonzo as Dr. Meanzo from robbing the cookie bank. Skeeter believes that she can't be a real superhero if she wears her glasses, so she ditches them. Her inability to see well without her glasses compromises her attempts to stop Dr. Meanzo and causes her to run into trash cans.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Glasses Got To Go



Hilariously subverted, Dandy meets a girl and thinks that she's one of those girls who are "secretly hot" without their glasses. Only to find out she looks weirder without them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheGlassesGottaGo

Media sources: