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Oh... looks like your glasses are sliding down your nose. You'd better correct them--
But wait! Don't reach for those frames just yet. How you adjust your glasses speaks volumes of your character - at least if you're a fictional one. Here, we've provided a helpful list of the myriad ways to correct your spectacles, from which you can pick the one that suits you the best.
1. By the arms
Adjusting your glasses by their arms, using both hands, conveys that you're either not used to wearing eyeglasses, or taking exceptional care with them. In any case, it is Moe, and as such usually the province of the Meganekko. The one-handed variant, however, has come to be known as a somewhat sly gesture, but more softspoken Megane have been known to utilize it without mischievous intent.
Anime and Manga
- As depicted, Miyuki Takara from Lucky Star engages in this.
- Anri Sonohara from Durarara!!
- The members of the Student Council in Heartcatch Pretty Cure, Itsuki being the only exception. A rare not moe at all example.
- Arthur apparently does this as a nervous habit. In later episodes, it becomes his "tell" and if he does it then you know he's lying or at least not being entirely truthful.
2. By the corner
Holding one lens or hinge between the thumb and the forefinger is almost singularly reserved for The Professor types. Nerd Glasses and Purely Aesthetic Glasses are -- almost by definition -- adjusted this way. This is also the only way to adjust your High-Class Glass, but we can't say if there's a deeper meaning to the connection.
Adjusting your glasses by both lenses is only reserved for the highest echelons of geekdom, and those who wear goggles. (Sometimes these two groups overlap.)
Anime and Manga
- Shiho and Karin from Naruto.
- Autor from Princess Tutu.
- In the Pokémon, Conway combines this with Scary Shiny Glasses for a particularly creepy effect, usually when addressing Dawn, the object of his affections..
- Clark Kent is often seen adjusting his glasses this way, especially in Post-Crisis stories where Clark was given a more agressive personality. Often used as a punctuation for his snarking.
- Pe Lanza of Restart, ocasionally.
- As seen above, Martin Summer does this constantly in Hotel Dusk: Room 215.
- The concise Shizune of Katawa Shoujo often poses this way
- Ema Skye in the Ace Attorney series. Unusual in that she very rarely wears the glasses over her eyes, so the adjustment is mostly for the sake of adjusting.
- Jeff from Earthbound is doing this as his pose on his Super Smash Bros Brawl trophy.
- There is also an NPC in Mother 3 who does this for his talking animation.
- The Nostalgia Critic has a habit of doing it whenever people with glasses get treated badly in the movies he reviews.
3. By the bridge
Pushing your glasses back up your nose by their bridge, using one or two fingers, has more conflicting interpretations. In the West, this gesture is generally associated with Nerd Glasses and the socially inept, but in the realm of Anime and Manga, doing this usually means that you're a Badass Bookworm. Pushing your glasses up the nose is also known to trigger a staggering majority of Scary Shiny Glasses.
Anime and Manga
- Rossiu's assistant in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this all the time.
- As does Takamizawa in Midori Days.
- In the Bleach anime, Uryu Ishida regularly does this with his glasses. It appears to be a nervous habit more than anything else.
- The trope image is Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. When he's not doing his trademark GendoPose, he's doing this.
- Mahou Sensei Negima: Haruna Saotome.
- In Tree of Tranquility, Jin (one of the eligible bachelors) does this as his "talking" gesture (which all the characters have).
- Shizuo Heiwajima in Durarara!! does this with his Cool Shades on occasion.
- In Naruto, Shino and Ebisu both push up their Cool Shades this way.
- Kyouya Ootori of Ouran High School Host Club does it with alarming frequency, often triggering Scary Shiny Glasses.
- Nikaidou Yuu of Shugo Chara does this frequently,often triggering Scary Shiny Glasses, but stops after his Heel Face Turn
- Kirio a.k.a. "Mr. Glasses Man" from Kamichama Karin.
- Keima in The World God Only Knows generally does this except when he's pretending to be nicer than he is, in which case he'll adjust them by the sides. It plays out interestingly when Keima and Yui switch bodies and he tries doing it by habit, but Yui's vision is better and she doesn't need glasses. He's momentarily confused.
- Shou Tucker does this in Fullmetal Alchemist. This combined with Scary Shiny Glasses are clues to show that something isn't quite right with him.
- Mai Minakami does this occasionally, but with her, it's because she's trolling her friends. A notable example is when she and her friends are playing "Red Light Green Light".
- Takamatsu in Angel Beats! does this many times in a row when saying things. Yuri claims he's actually quite dumb and just wears glasses to seem smart.
- Justin Hammer does it this way in Iron Man 2, showing that he has a lot of nervous energy and is an awkward man.
- Now And Then: Nerdy Morton does this as a child while saying "hello dear" to Chrissy, and it becomes his defining characteristic so we later recognize him as an adult once he's married to her. Awww.
Live Action Television
- Hiro in Heroes does this - it does a good job straddling the western 'dork glasses' and eastern 'serious moment.' It also Lampshades itself from time to time, like when Hiro meets his younger self, and they both adjust their glasses at the same time.
- In Psychoville, the younger Jeremy does this multiple times during his flashback of Ravenhill.
- Auron does this with his Scary Shiny Cool Shades after every battle in Final Fantasy X. And he is most definitely not a nerd.
- Ace Attorney: Grey does this a lot in the second game, as well as Kristoph in in the fourth.
- Clive of Wild Arms 3 is a Badass Bookworm and does this constantly.
- Otacon does this in Metal Gear Solid. It's a nervous habit that persists even when he's not wearing glasses.
- As does Roxis in Mana Khemia. Even on the pause menu. His Graphics Induced Super Deformed field sprite uses Type 2, however.
- Tager does this in Blaz Blue.
- Jade does this in both Tales of the Abyss and The Anime of the Game, triggering Scary Shiny Glasses more often in the latter. Despite this, it seems to be a nervous habit as much as anything - watch the OVA closely and you'll notice he usually does it when he's trying to hide a lie, and he does Type 2 at least once when he's really just trying to see something better.
- Rare Western example of badassery: the Medic in Team Fortress 2 does this in Meet the Medic.
4. Other ways
After what we've covered thus far, the gestures that remain tend to be so alien as to be relegated to some singular character's idiosyncracies. Look through these examples for some truly exotic ways to adjust your glasses.
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, Kuro adjust his glasses by pushing up on the bottoms of the lenses with the heels of his hands, an early hint to the fact the he is used to wearing clawed gauntlets.
- In Black Butler, William T Spears uses his death scythe to adjust his glasses.
- At one point, Sebastian uses a violin bow to adjust his glasses while teaching Ciel the violin in Episode 13.
- In The Girl With The Silver Eyes, Katie is used to lifting her glasses via telekinesis. After she finds others like her, they jointly complain about how frustrating it is to try to remember to do it with your hands when it's so obvious and easy to do it the normal way - mentally!
As you can see, adjusting your glasses can be such a powerful characterization tool that you shouldn't reserve doing it only for when your glasses actually need adjusting. If you're wearing Stoic Spectacles or are just painfully shy, you can always just adjust your glasses in lieu of a proper greeting. If you want to underline the seriousness of the situation, adjust your glasses - Glasses Pull used to be popular for this, but nowadays it's a largely Discredited Trope. Don't know how to express your feelings? Adjust your glasses. It's an act with uses above and beyond just correcting your corrective lenses.
Bonus points if you wear glasses and were trying all of these methods as you read them.—Bonus bonus points if you put a pair on just to do that.