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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Nerds wear glasses. Usually ugly, unflattering glasses. There are several types of glasses that are signifiers of deeply-entrenched nerd-dom:
- Chunky black plastic (tape on the bridge optional), sometimes chunky tortoiseshell plastic instead — as worn by the classic Hollywood Nerd
- Coke-bottle glasses so thick they're opaque — have their own page at Opaque Nerd Glasses
- Unflatteringly large glasses poorly proportioned to the wearer's face — often with thin frames; in live-action these have the advantage that they don't block the wearer's face
- Old-fashioned round hornrims — sign of an Absent-Minded Professor or academic-nerd
- Half-moon glasses — around the 50's, these were the eyewear of choice for the original nerds, although nowadays they're more of an old lady librarian style
- "Cat-eye" glasses — once ultra-fashionable for women in the 50's, now usually restricted to lady nerds (and the occasional hipster) — unless they have rhinestones or are purple, in which case they are Impossibly Tacky Eyewear.
You may also be interested in the Glasses Tropes.
- In the Wing Commander Collectible Card Game, one of the character cards, Simon "McGoo" LeDuke, wears a pair of thick-framed glasses.
- The core principle of the Clark Kenting persona is, of course, the implausibility of Superman wearing dorky black nerd glasses.
Films — Live-Action
- From Russia with Love has Rosa Klebb wearing particularly hideous thick-framed and thick-lensed glasses in many scenes.
- Rick Vaughn, in Major League, was fitted with these, curing the vision problem that got him branded with the nickname "Wild Thing". Although the glasses didn't hurt his persona and still had fangirls (and, oddly, fanboys).
- Revenge of the Nerds: Nerd-in-denial Lewis Skolnick has thick black half-frame glasses.
- Arnie Cunningham from Christine wears thick black glasses; later on, they're broken by school bullies and fixed with the stereotypical white tape. Even later, however, after Christine has made him cool, he discards them altogether.
- Doctor Who, with the Tenth Doctor's Purely Aesthetic Glasses.
- The Big Bang Theory: In a cast chockablock with Hollywood Nerds, Leonard is the only character to wear Nerd Glasses, in the "thick black plastic" variety.
- Interestingly, the Finnish name for it happens to be Rillit huurussa which literally means 'Frosted glasses'.
- Robbie from Victorious.
- Young Reid in Criminal Minds and adult Reid, too, in the earlier seasons.
- Stargate SG-1: Whenever Samantha Carter appears in an Alternate Universe scenario, she tends to have this.
- Elvis Costello
- Buddy Holly
- Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.
- Jarvis Cocker alternated between these and contact lenses during Pulp's heyday. Nowdays, the specs are an integral part of his image.
- Morrissey, occasionally.
- Gordon Freeman from Half-Life has a pair of these. However, instead of losing them once he starts ripping zombies apart with a crowbar, he keeps them and becomes a Badass Bookworm.
- Ernie Eaglebeak from The Spellcasting Series.
- Dexters Laboratory: Dexter has thick framed glasses that double as Eye Glasses. He is also a Child Prodigy and Science Hero and owns a huge underground laboratory.
- Recess: Butt Monkey Gus Griswald is a stereotypical geek kid with high-water pants and thick-framed glasses.
- Western Animation/Rugrats and All Grown Up: Chuckie has glasses with extremely thick frames, although as a preliterate child his nerdiness is primarily manifest in his visual appearance (Rummage Sale Reject and later braces) and more timid personality.
- Tina, the awkward oldest daughter of Bob Belcher of Bob's Burgers wears them.
- Jérémie Belpois, the Teen Genius and Mission Control from Code Lyoko. Not too thick, but noticeable.
- Tom on The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan wears these.
- New US military recruits who report to their respective boot camps are not allowed to wear any prescription eyewear they bring with them. Within the first week, they are prescribed a pair of durable yet unflattering thick brown specs called BC (birth control) glasses (or, alternately, BCDs, for BC Devices or BCG for Birth Control Goggles). So named because wearing them in public is the surest form of birth control known to man.
- Comedian Drew Carey, who did a hitch in the Marines, has made this type of glasses part of his public persona. Lampshaded in the (full) second opening of The Drew Carey Show, where Drew's glasses are broken and by his friend's advice he replaces them by going to the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and stealing Buddy Holly's.
- Adam Savage of Myth Busters wears this style of glasses while filming, though he tends to wear more subdued glasses when off the set. Fridge Brilliance or Fan Wank: That particular style of glasses would also grant him some additional protection in the occasional event where something might explode.
- Mac Lesggy, host of the French science show E=m6, still wears thick-framed glasses, though they are now tamer than his once-iconic zebra-framed glasses.
Examples of large-framed glasses:
- Extraverted Nerd Steve Urkel from Family Matters.
- Bill from Freaks and Geeks wears them.
- Child Prodigy Galina on Daddy's Daughters wears giant glasses.
- Recess: Lovable Nerd Gretchen Grundler has huge thin-framed round glasses that show off her Adorkableness.
Examples of round hornrims:
- Actor Harold Lloyd first helped popularize horn-rimmed glasses in America in the 1920s.