ThinkingTic Thinking Tic YKTTW Discussion

Thinking Tic
A move you make unconsciously while thinking
Needs Examples
(permanent link) added: 2012-12-11 11:34:29 sponsor: lu127 (last reply: 2012-12-30 07:17:41)

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Spun from this YKTTW and its TRS topic.

A specific type of Character Tic. When Bob is sitting deep in thought, trying to solve a difficult problem, the writers will often provide a tic as a visual shorthand. This move is unconscious, and its main purpose is to underline just how perplexed and frustrated Bob is. Expect to see it happen very often during homework, tests or really tough relationship issues.

Stock variants include:

  • Twirling his fingers and pen, sometimes biting it in annoyance.
  • Drumming his fingers while staring absent-mindedly.
  • Stroking his chin or scratching his beard in wonder.
  • Playing with his hair locks.
  • Tapping on his lips or chin impatiently with his fingertips.
  • Biting his lip, sometimes accompanied by a "tsk" sound.
  • Clicking his tongue impatiently.

Often accompanying it, especially if he isn't alone, will be someone else getting progressively more annoyed by it and finally yelling at him to "Stop that!"


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
  • Hyouka's Oreki Houtarou has a habit of playing with his forelock when he's thinking particularly hard about a case.

  • Shemp of The Three Stooges would often start going into spasms when he tried to think, and might request Moe to bonk him in the head to help get the thought to come out.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • In a Doctor Who related sketch has a bit where the BBC head of programming and the producer who is pitching Doctor Who to him are thinking and both drum their fingers to the "da-da-da-da" tune of the Doctor Who theme.
  • Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation will sometimes cock his head sharply to one side when he's doing some deep calculation.

  • Doc Savage: The eponymous character is known for making an eerie trilling sound when in deep thought.
  • Erast Fandorin: From Special Assignments onwards, the eponymous detective acquires a habit of grabbing his jade rosary beads and telling them in silence while contemplating.
  • In H.G. Wells First Men in the Moon, Cavor's Thinking Tic of making odd noises while he's thinking is the whole reason he and Bedford even meet. Cavor has the habit of walking past the cottage Bedford lives in, while contemplating his experiments. He unconsciously sings as he walks, and the singing disturbs Bedford's attempts to write, to the point that he asks Cavor to either stop or to walk somewhere else.
  • Sir Denis Nayland Smith of the Fu Manchu books tugs on an earlobe when thinking--even if he's in disguise at the time.

[[folder:Visual Novels]] [[/folder]]

  • Radic from Murphys Law has a habit of holding her chin when in thought.
  • Most characters in Questionable Content will raise an index to their faces when thinking aloud.

[[folder:Web Original]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:
    • Whenever facing a problem, Pooh, being not to so bright, tends to lightly tap his head and repeat "Think, think, think" while rocking back and forth.
    • While he's thinking, Tigger makes a bizarre facial expression with his mouth. Kind of like he has chewed an idea in his mouth and he's deciding if it tastes good or not.
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