[[quoteright:300:[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hand-behind-head.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:He's probably talking about his "[[SickeninglySweethearts Dollie]]" again.]]

When nervous, embarrassed, or uncertain -- or when lying -- a character will sometimes rub the back of his neck with one hand, often with a patently false grin or laugh accompanying the gesture. It's so ubiquitous in anime that it might be easier to list examples where someone ''doesn't'' do this.

Related to FacePalm.

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!!Examples

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Tenchi from ''TenchiMuyo''.
* Ranma Saotome of ''RanmaOneHalf'' does this very frequently.
* Ja Wangnan from ''TowerOfGod'', especially when drunk and praised.
* Negi in ''MahouSenseiNegima''.
** As well as most of the Baka Rangers, sometimes together.
* Most Son males from ''DragonBallZ''.
* Occurs occasionally in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' (for example, Maes and Gracia Hughes rub their necks when Ed, Al, and Nina remark upon Gracia's advanced state of pregnancy).
* Mai in ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'', after Chie asks her about the "crop circle" she created when she arrived at school.
* Sasami in the ''PrettySammy'' series does this fairly frequently when she thinks people have figured out her identity.
* Kakashi did this many times in ''{{Naruto}}'' when trying to brush aside the reasons he was late for practice, or during any other display of ObfuscatingStupidity.
** Naruto does this too, presumably as a homage to ''DragonBall'' (''Naruto'' is full of them).
** Iruka does it too, especially as a child.
** [[spoiler: Naruto's mother, Kushina also does this. Probably where he got it from]]
* In ''{{Mahoraba}}'', it appears Shiratori's hand is glued back there.
* Both Gourry and Xellos of ''{{Slayers}}'' do this rather frequently, though with Xellos it's probably for more worrisome reasons.
* Manga/AzumangaDaioh: While Tomo does this more (in the anime) than all the rest of the main and supporting cast combined, the following have also done it: Kagura (the distant second), Chiyo (twice), Yomi, Chihiro, Yukari, and Minamo (once each).
* All of the ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' girls have done this, but it's often done by Mako/Lita when talking to a guy she likes or Usagi/Serena after she's [[IdiotHero made another silly mistake.]]
* ManabiStraight: The titular Manabi does this during the reflection meeting in the last episode.
* Matsuda of ''Manga/DeathNote'' does this several times, being the bumbling ButtMonkey.
* The Nohara males in ''ShinChan''.
* Inspector Takayama does this early on in the ''{{Domu}}: A Child's Dream'', embarrassingly asking about supernatural phenomena to a shaman who can tell he's skeptical.
* Ichigo from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' scratches the nape of his neck whenever he's feeling awkward.
* [[DetectiveConan Conan]] does this occasionally. Kogoro does it a few times too because he's the CluelessDetective and he's receiving the credit for Conan's cases. [[http://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/File:Mirapolisgameplay1.png Exhibit A here]].
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[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''The Phantom Affair'', an arc of the XWingSeries comics drawn by Biukovic, Wedge Antilles does this at at least two points.
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[[folder: FanFiction]]
* Sunny Breeze does this a lot in ''FanFic/RacerAndTheGeek'', especially when [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/racer-and-the-geek Rainbow Dash is involved.]] It's practically OnceAnEpisode.
* Between this trope and MotorMouth, Dan of ''Fanfic/ThawingPermafrost'' finds himself doing one or the other on occasion.
* Once he's gone through CharacterDevelopment (mostly of the falling-in-love sort, but also learning to be humble and to care about others besides himself), Tai Lung does this a great deal in ''Fanfic/ADifferentLesson'', particularly around Tigress.
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[[folder:Film]]
* James Bond, of all people, does this in ''Film/GoldenEye'', after Valentin Zukovsky calls him a "charming, sophisticated secret agent."
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* This seems to be a registered trademark of [[{{Series/House}} Dr. James Wilson]].
* Western example: Sheriff Jack Carter, from ''{{Eureka}}''.
* The Third and Tenth Doctors in ''Series/DoctorWho''.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'', Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice ofen do this in the court scenes if they make a mistake. They also do it if they are unsure about something; like, for example, when bringing up a piece of evidence without knowing exactly what's going on, they'll do this while explaining their usually shaky logic.
** Dick Gumshoe does this pretty often too.
** Phoenix Wright does this as his victory pose in ''Ultimate VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''.
* Commander Shepard of ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has a tendency to do this when modestly acknowledging his/her deeds when admired. Other characters occasionally do it as well.
** In one side-mission in ''Mass Effect'', it is specifically mentioned as a CharacterTic one very minor character does when stressed. Since you are being asked to keep him distracted for a while, you are advised to press the subject when he starts doing this.
* {{Spider-Man}} does this in the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series and spiritual predecessors.
* ''{{Ever17}}'': Kuranari Takeshi's right hand is rarely (if ever) seen. It seems to be permanently fused with the back of his head.
* Sora of ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' does this a lot -- often around Kairi or Naminé but basically whenever he's thinking about anything. Also, when Goofy scolds him for getting a little too aggressive, his apology involves this gesture.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', this was an idle animation that every NPC would eventually play if you waited long enough. (Considering the [[GreyAndGreyMorality context]], this was suprisingly appropriate.)
* ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'': Zack does this frequently enough for it to be an identifying mannerism. Cloud of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' probably picked it up from him. Along with everything else.
* In ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'', Pit, [[spoiler: Hades, and Viridi]] are all guilty of this.
* In ''VideoGame/FZero'', John Tanaka's signature pose is this, and he does this excessively in his interviews.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Tarvek makes a frequent habit of this in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''; Gil does this occasionally as well.
* Used plenty of times in {{Suppression}} mostly by Cerene and Kirk.
* Lavender in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' when a tongue-slip [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2011-01-12 reveals]] [[SubordinateExcuse how she feels about her boss]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Various characters in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
* Disney heroes, most notably Aladdin and Hercules, tend to do this when confronted with attractive and aggressive women. The Beast does it when he's ashamed of himself or frustrated
* ''KappaMikey'', naturally, in a parody of anime. Guano, Lily and Mitsuki do this on occasion, but the real offender is Gonard!
* Jérémie from ''CodeLyoko'' pulled this on a couple of occasions.
** Most notability, after Jim caught him spray painting a picture of Jim with a big head, messed up eyes, bunny ears, tiny hands, and an insane look on his face (not counting the eyes) on one of the walls of Kadic in the middle of the night...
* Hank Hill from ''KingOfTheHill'' does this all the time. It usually happens when Hank has to try to express emotions, which is very difficult for him.
** It got so common that there was eventually an executive order for him not to do it anymore.
* In the ''SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "[[Recap/SupermanTheAnimatedSeriesS3E8SupermansPal Superman's Pal]]", JimmyOlsen does one, of the uncomfortable variety, when Angela Chen is pumping him for information about his relationship with Superman.
* Seen in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Chinpokomon" when the boys watch the Chinpokomon anime, the Ash Ketchum parody character does this at one point.
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