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[-[[caption-width-right:317:"You can't even do it when we're helping you!?"]]-]

Two characters open their arms. They lean in and... fake to the left, flinch backwards, bump arms, cringe, and back away.

Sometimes, hugs are [[CooldownHug psychologically helpful]], [[SecurityCling natural]], [[GroupHug heartwarming]] or at very least, [[CryIntoChest cathartic.]] Other times, the chemistry's off, elbows keep bumping, or both participants instantly want to back out. Can be used to to highlight a complete lack of sexual tension, relationship problems, embarrassment, intimacy issues, any number of things, really. The important part is that the hug is incredibly awkward. This does ''not'' indicate that the characters are not emotionally close--frequently, examples of this trope occur between two people who just hate physical closeness.

The characters may actually succeed in wrapping their arms around one another, but immediately break apart from acute embarrassment.

Sister trope to GreetingGestureConfusion, in which two characters misjudge the correct gesture to use when meeting one another. Can overlap with ManHug, where men develop a special way of hugging to keep this from happening out of embarrassment. Also see AirHugging. Maybe the natural result if NoHuggingNoKissing is violated.


[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* In the 1958 film version ''Theatre/CatOnAHotTinRoof'', Maggie hugs her husband, Brick. Brick instinctively raises his arms to hug her back... then lets them down and tells Maggie to let go.
* Several examples in [[Film/HarryPotter the Harry Potter films]]:
** At the end of ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'', Hermione runs up to Harry and gives him a big hug, and then turns to Ron, who holds out his arms a little bit. They end up shaking hands instead of hugging. This is a indicative of both characters' feelings - hugging Harry is just hugging a friend, but Ron might be more and neither he nor Hermione are yet ready to deal with this.
** In ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows: Part 2'', Voldemort attempts to hug Draco, who just sort of stands there. It's obvious that Draco just wishes he weren't there at the moment and that Voldemort has absolutely no experience with giving hugs.
* ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'' Immediately upon the death of King George V, his eldest son David (the future Edward VIII) breaks down sobbing over his mother, Queen Mary. Mary, a true believer in StiffUpperLip, is uncomfortable with her son's lack of composure and does not return his hug.
* A one-sided example: In ''Film/LordOfTheRings'', Aragorn hugs Haldir. Haldir, startled, smiles after a moment and pats Aragorn on the back.
* At the end of ''Film/MeanGirls'', Janis and Damien's hug is very awkward and not sincere.
* ''Film/ShesOutOfMyLeague'', Kirk's nasty ex gives him an awkward hug, (then pushes him away) after he reluctantly gives her his blessing to accompany his family on a trip ''with her new boyfriend.''

* ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'': The problem with reuniting with a dead friend while you tour the afterlife is that while you still have a body to hug, he doesn't. Both Dante and Casella fail to realize this until the third time they pass through each other, one of many blows to Dante's pride.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'': Liz and Jack should ''not'' attempt to hug without extreme circumstances. Later subverted to highlight the [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness importance of a moment.]] Liz is [[spoiler: getting married]] and Jack gives a nice hug.
-->'''Liz:''' ''[surprised]'' This is the best hug I've ever had!\\
'''Jack:''' [[AwesomeEgo I know.]]
* Happens in the Creator/{{Syfy}} miniseries ''Series/{{Alice|2009}}'' between the Mad Hatter and Alice, as Alice is leaving Wonderland.
* Whenever Sheldon Cooper from ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' attempts physical contact of any sort, it is incredibly awkward. This goes double for hugging.
* ''Series/{{Best Friends Whenever}}'': Barry and Shelby have a very awkward hug, and Cyd lampshades it.
* ''Series/ColdCase'' in the episode "A Perfect Day", the seemingly perfect husband Roger visits his wife Cindy at the diner she works at and gives her a hug, which she clearly is not receptive to. (This turns out to be entirely understandable as we later learn Roger is a DomesticAbuser.)
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E13ThePartingOfTheWays "The Parting of the Ways"]]: When the Doctor says goodbye to Lynda as she's heading off to help defend the space station.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E1DeepBreath "Deep Breath"]]: The Twelfth Doctor reacts in an un-hug manner when Clara hugs him for the first time (in fact, he takes the exact same pose as the man in the top photograph here). He gets better at it as time goes by.
* On ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Zoe and Mal have a "highlighting lack of sexual tension between close friends" hug variant.
* Between Parker and Jules in ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' who have something of a father-daughter relationship. Parker wanted to congratulate Jules on a job well done and Jules wanted to thank Parker for coaching her through a negotiation. Parker extended his hand for a handshake while Jules attempted to pull him in for a hug. Then they switch places with Parker going in for a hug and Jules offering her hand. They end up having a bit of an awkward moment when they finally settled for a hug, with Jules quickly leaving afterwards and Parker remaining frozen in place.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Left with no one else to console her, Cersei reveals her hidden anguish to her hated younger brother, Tyrion, who realizes that he should do ''something'' to comfort his sister in spite of their antipathy. As he reluctantly walks toward her, he can't find any words to say and can't even hold her gaze, much less hug her. He ends up standing awkwardly beside her as she weeps.
* Happened hilariously on ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Merlin saves Arthur's skin again and after Arthur reluctantly apologizes, Merlin goes in for a hug. Arthur steps back, hands out, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUYIABM3CLQ and...]]
-->'''Arthur:''' What're you doing?\\
'''Merlin:''' I thought you were going for a hug.\\
'''Arthur:''' Noooo.
* ''Series/{{Gilmore Girls}}'': Luke gives an awkward hug to Rory after finding out about her acceptance to Harvard.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': When Monk's brother Ambrose is first introduced, the somewhat estranged siblings try to hug. This doesn't go well, partially due to the fact that both of them suffer from SuperOCD, and they end up AirHugging.
* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' in the episode "Paper Airplane", Jim and Pam, whose marriage has become strained by Jim's new job have been tense or outright fighting throughout the episode. Before he leaves for work again, Jim embraces Pam. Pam, however, does not respond for a few moments, before remembering that she loves him and hugs him back.
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'': At a big party for Lassie, Lassiter and Juliet exchange an utterly awkward but completely sincere hug.
-->'''Lassiter:''' Eh--um-- ''oh, come here.''
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' finale, the potential future Picard is flashing forward to establishes that he and Dr. Crusher married and divorced, and when they meet, they have a hard time deciding if they're going to hug or shake hands.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'': Leo and Josh patch things up after an argument, and Leo spreads his arms in an expansive ''all done, then'' gesture. Josh interprets this as an attempted hug.
-->'''Leo''': Boy, did you read that wrong.
* The ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' are so dysfunctional they have trouble hugging. Harper even lampshades it.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'', "Colony": Agent Mulder is called by his father to visit his mother due to a family emergency. When he arrives, Mulder greets him and goes for a hug. Bill Mulder, however, just extends his arm. They shake hands, but Mulder is visibly disappointed.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Kane}} and Wrestling/DanielBryan's first few hugs played this hilariously straight, when they were forced to "Hug It Out". They did eventually get it right, however.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In WebVideo/{{Vlogbrothers}}, Creator/{{John|Green}} shares an awkward hug with an actor he was interviewing.
-->'''John:''' That was the worst hug I've had in my ''life.''\\
'''Birbiglia:''' You didn't warn me!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls:''
** At the end of the first episode "Tourist Trapped", Dipper and Mabel share an "awkward sibling hug", complete with awkward back patting.
** This got a heartwarming CallBack in the penultimate episode "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape From Reality", where Dipper and Mabel reconcile with a "''sincere'' sibling hug". They still do the awkward back patting.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': In the series finale, when Ron and Shego arrive to rescue Kim and Drakken from the [[AlienInvasion Lowardians]], Kim and Ron eagerly hug while Drakken and Shego (who briefly looked like they were about to do likewise) awkwardly try to act nonchalant.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In the episode "The Day the Earth Stood Cool", Homer asks Terence if they could have a "man-hug". When Terence says sure, Homer admits he's never actually attempted one before and stands with his arms held perfectly straight at an awkward angle.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': In [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS1E20InnocentsOfRyloth "Innocents of Ryloth"]], clone trooper Boil's reaction when he gets hugged by Numa, a young orphaned Twi'lek girl he and fellow trooper Waxer befriended, must be seen to be believed.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Awkward sidehugs.
* Hover hand. It's putting your arm around somebody's shoulders, but letting your hand hover awkwardly just above their shoulder. Usually indicates lack of confidence.
* Elementary students and younger often try to hug their teachers, but teachers are often told not to give their students basic human contact.