OverlyNervousFlopSweat Overly Nervous Flop Sweat YKTTW Discussion

Overly Nervous Flop Sweat
Sweating excessively in nervousness or fear.
Needs Examples
(permanent link) added: 2013-06-15 10:52:19 sponsor: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-07-18 20:27:51)

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Well said, Garfield.

Commonly referred to as "Flop sweat", this is when a character will break out into an excessive sweat when either nervous or scared. Can be associated with a character who is a Nervous Wreck or a Butt Monkey. May sometimes be accompanied with a Loud Gulp, or as part of an Oh Crap! moment.

Truth in Television, especially for people with anxiety disorders.

Might be caused by Perp Sweating.

Contrast: Sweat Drop

See also: Briffits and Squeans (where sweat is referred to as "Plewds")


  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country during the climax when a group of conspirators are going to kill the Federation president, one of them, Admiral Cartright, is shown with sweat soaking his face.
  • In Total Recall (1990), when Rekall's President Dr. Edgemar meets Quaid to convince him that he is caught in his memories and should take a pill as a smybol of his desire to break out of it, Quaid puts the pill in his mouth and pretends to swallow it while watching Dr. Edgemar's reaction. When he sees a drop of sweat running down the doctor's face, he knows it's a trap and kills him.
  • Airplane plays this for laughs during the landing by having Striker's forehead gushing sweat.
  • In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) does this a lot when under pressure or when coming close to getting caught in a lie. According to Word Of God, Bale was so talented an actor that when doing repeated takes of the famous business card scene, he was capable of sweating on cue.
  • Invoked by Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop 2 when he's pretending to deliver "sound seeking projectiles" to try to bluff his way into a gun club run by the Big Bad. He splashes water on his face making it look like he's sweating buckets.
  • Total Recall: This is what gives away one villain's improvised seamless lie; then the hero shoots him on the spot.

Live-Action TV
  • One episode of Lois and Clark had them talking to the accomplice of the episode's bad guy. Throughout it, he's very clearly nervous, and when Lois asks if he's sweating, he says yes, then tries to brush it off by saying he's wearing wool.
  • Parodied in the French series Flander's Company with villain wannabe "Transpire-Man" ("Sweaty-Man"). He does indeed sweat a lot when nervous... and by "a lot", we mean he can weaponize it by producing a blast of water from his armpits, strong enough to propel an opponent through a wall.
  • There was a Saturday Night Live skit, Alex Karras as guest host, where Billy Crystal plays a guy at a soda company who sweats excessively at a board meeting.

Newspaper Comics
  • Happens to Jon in this December 2011 Garfield strip (pictured above).

Visual Novels
  • Ace Attorney: A lot of characters sweat bullets when they see themselves trapped into a corner, attorneys, witnesses, or otherwise. It gets Turned Up to Eleven when the radio a certain witness is using to testify starts leaking acid instead.

Video Games
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening in the beach DLC, Chrom gives Stahl some encouragement which causes him to start sweating and hyperventilating, thinking he has to live up to Chrom's expectations.

Western Animation
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • Done by Mr. Krabs in the episode "Pickles".
    • In the episode "Squirrel Jokes", Spongebob does this when his jokes are falling flat in front of the audience.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Weekend at Burnsies", Homer and Mr. Smithers are listening to Mr. Burns rehearse for a meeting. After a joke falls flat:
    Smithers: (whispering to Homer) One of us has gotta start laughing. If Mr. Burns gets flop sweat he'll die of dehydration.
    (Burns gets a drop of sweat on his forehead and starts to feel giddy.)
    Burns: Oh, I'm drenched with sweat. (pushes the droplet back into his head)

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