- The Duumvirate and a few other Illuminati do this in response to abject stupidity.
- At the end of Jules Verne's Around the Moon, the leader of the rescue team realizes that the crashed spaceship they are looking for can actually float, so they searched it in vain for many days with bathyspheres on the ocean floor. He then performs a facepalm, forgetting about his Hook Hand, and knocks himself out.
- Near the end of Men at Arms, Sam Vimes does this when he is told that Captain Carrot has come to the tradesman's entrance of his house.
- In the Honor Harrington novel The Honor of the Queen, Ambassador Langtry does this when Mr. Houseman reveals his idiocy and upgrades to a double when things go From Bad to Worse.
- Velan the Reticent has it right on the cover (art by Shinga)).
- The Lost Fleet: Captain 'Black Jack' Geary is frequently driven to this trope by the modern (ie a hundred years after his time) faith that 'fighting spirit' makes up for a total lack of tactics.
- Earth (The Book) has this reaction after the author's answer an FAQ regarding the competing theory for Evolution — namely, creationism.
Q: Six days? Six days?!?
A: [Covers eyes, shakes head.]
- The father of Little Critter is seen doing this on the cover of Just Helping My Dad as Little Critter stands holding a shovel in a puddle of water created from a hose he left running.
- Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff "struck his forehead with rage" when Mr Lockwood told him about his nightmares.
- In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox slaps both of his foreheads when he realizes he's in Milliways.
- The eponymous protagonist and Only Sane Man of The Chronicles Of Steve Stollberg facepalms whenever someone says something stupid.
- In Star Wars: Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully, the Padawan Roan Novachez resorts to this after hundreds of voorpak clones run riot at a talent show where he and his friend Gaiana were supposed to perform an act with a trained voorpak. His notoriously strict Jedi Master Mr. Garfield asks him what's going on and he tells him while facepalming that he doesn't want to know.
- The Lord of the Rings - it is quite easy to visualise Aragorn doing a facepalm at the very moment the fellowship breaks.
- In Naptastrophe, a children's picture book by Jarrett J. Krosoczka about a little bunny who wouldn't take her nap, the father facepalms after the bunny has a meltdown at the store because she's tired and the bright lights are bothering her.