Here on the SelectSpecs blog we write a lot of posts about celebrity glasses but so far we’ve neglected their cartoon cousins. There have been so many awesome cartoon characters that wear specs over the years – here is our selection of some of the best ones that we’ll always remember with fond nostalgia…
1. Hans Moleman (The Simpsons)
Without doubt one of the funniest Simpsons characters, Hans Moleman’s awesome powers of feeble ineptitude undoubtedly stem from his super thick (and frankly pretty useless) goggle-eye glasses. The poor guy always seems to be hit with the most terrible misfortune, he is always back on his walking stick and ready for the next disater. Moleman, we salute you!
2. Peter Griffin (Family Guy)
Did you just double take? Most people (me included!) don’t even realise that Peter from Family Guy even WEARS glasses. But yup, there they are, glued to his face and cunningly exactly the same size as his oversized eyeballs (hence the confusion). Bet they came in handy when the giant chicken was trying to peck his eyes out (see video). For the record we at SelectSpecs don’t recommend using your glasses as a suitable defence against giant chickens. In fact we suggest you stay away from psychotic poultry altogether.
3. Penfold (DangerMouse)
The show may have been named after DangerMouse but we all know Ernest Penfold, the cute, bumbling, giant-headed sidekick to the World’s Greatest Secret Agent was the real star of the show. Yes, he had a squeaky voice. Yes, he was rather dim, terrified of everything and utterly useless at crime fighting. Yes, he usually ended up getting captured by the enemy so DangerMouse had to rescue him. But he was just so CUTE! His top phrases are “crumbs Dangermouse” and “Ooh-eck!”
Penfold and his iconic glasses have a far reaching legacy for glasses wearers across the UK, becoming the standard school playground taunt towards the kid with glasses. School bullys, you thought you were being mean but actually it was a huge compliment. Penfold Rocks. Really.
4. Velma (Scooby Doo)
Aaah Velma, the archetypal Geeky Glasses Girl, aka “the clever one from Scooby Doo”. Velma is usually the one coming up with the elaborate plans despite being the youngest in the gang. Without her glasses she cannot even see her own hands in front of her face. When Scooby Doo was made Velma may have fit the stereotype of the harmless, nerdy smart girl with confidence issues and bad grooming, but we reckon there’s more to her and today she’d be more like Enid from Ghost World. There’s even a dedicated Velma Dinkley fan site “In appreciation of the most under-appreciated member of Mysteries Inc (a groundbreaking piece of web design by the way).
5. Spongebob Squarepants
Spongebob uses his glasses like most people use reading glasses, except he only uses them when he goes jelly fishing. Most of the time they don’t seem to help at all and he rarely manages to catch anything.
A lot of people seem to associate Spongebob with the the conveyor belt of brain-dumbening cartoons that have kids glued to their TV sets with blank faces and open, drooling mouths. They’re wrong. If you watch Spongebob, its actually a brilliant introduction to surreal, offbeat humour – kind of like Ren & Stimpy meets The Three Stooges. I’d rather my kids watch that than High School Musical, that’s for sure…
6. Eric Cartman (South Park)
OK so Cartman doesn’t exactly wear glasses but he gets in the list for the classic “Respect My Authoritah” Ray Ban Sunglasses look, and because he has to be one of the funniest cartoon characters ever created. Nuff said.
7. Professor Frink (The Simpsons)
Yes, the second Simpsons entry in our list but I just could not leave off the genius that is Professor John I.Q Nerdelbaum Frink Jr. – the uber geeky scientist modelled on the classic Nutty Professor played by Jerry Lewis. We particularly love his tendency to get into a gibberish fit when he gets excited. Frink is never to be seen without his glasses on, which is all part of his nerdish charm we reckon.
8. Professor Farnsworth (Futurama)
The Simpsons creators basically took Professor Frink, added a few hundred years, senility, liver spots and a sadistic evil streak to create the lovable Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. Apparently the aged professor (Fry’s great great great x30 nephew) has never been seen without his coke-bottle glasses on the show, although in one episode he did need his “reading glasses” which were twice the size of his normal ones! (bonus points to anyone who can name the episode).
9. Cedric Sneer (The Raccoons)
Watching the trailer for The Raccoons makes me go a bit warm and fuzzy inside with nostalgia. The adventures of Bert Raccoon and his friends against the evil industrialist aardvark Cyril Sneer were a crucial part of any 80s childhood. Cedric Sneer was Bert’s best friend and also the son of his arch nemesis Cyril Sneer. Quite frankly Cedric was a bit of a tool – pretty weak and useless and he ends up joining forces with his dad. But he did have some seriously heavyweight dork glasses and some insane nasal plumbing.
10. Bonus Entry: Mr Magoo
OK so the whole point of Mr Magoo was that he doesn’t wear glasses – but the blind old codger is such a legend we had to have him in here. So what – it’s our blog, we can do what we want =)
Here are a bunch of other glasses wearing cartoon characters that didn’t make it into our arbitrary list…
- More from the Simpsons (we could do a whole post of these): Millhouse, Grandpa Simpson and occasionally Homer (his ‘intellectual’ glasses):
- Mr Mackey (“Drugs are bad, mmmmkay?”) and Mr Garrison from South Park:
- Hank Hill (King of the Hill) – everyone’s favourite salesman of propane and propane accessories:
- Daria Morgendorfer (Daria) – the deadpan, emo/goth with the monotone wit:
- Chuckie (Rugrats) – the kid who made it acceptable for two year olds to wear (and lose) glasses:
- Johnny Bravo – the vain, dim but ultimately cool Elvis-impersonating sunglasses-wearing animated hero. Bonus points for almost getting it on with Velma Dinkley after helping her find her glasses!
- Dexter (Dexter’s Laboratory) – the boy genius with a secret laboratory no doubt derived his powers of awesome from his oversized glasses:
Please vote for your favourite using the poll below:
Also, if you can think of any others from your favourite cartoons, drop a comment below!