Glass Cannon is a term used when a particular character or universe in general can deal more damage than it can take. In short: He can dish it out, but he can't take it. The Glass Cannon is characterized by insane attack power coupled with pathetic defensive ability. Prevalent in RPGs and fighting games, as the cast needs to be big enough that "takes hits like a chump" becomes a viable character trait. Artillery units in real time strategy and turn based strategy games also tend to have this trait, as they're meant to be far away from combat, or at least in the back of the formation. A very common type of Glass Cannon would be an offensively-oriented nuker, such as the spellcasting mage, who is basically like a living artillery piece.

Examples of characters who are considered Glass Cannons:

- Characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Characters from Ah! My Goddess
- Characters from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (aside from interfaces who are non-corporeal)
- Several characters from Marvel Comics such as Professor X and Cyclops
- Several characters from DC Comics such as Ztatanna and some incarnations of Green Lantern
- Several characters from Fullmetal Alchemist. they compensate with this by either having amazing regeneration or making walls or shielding for attacks
- Spellcasting classes and characters from games such as Warcraft and Final Fantasy
- Many attack oriented Pokemon