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Face Palm

"Why's your forehead all red?"

So you're the Only Sane Man, and the lunatics around you are once again doing something to make you question your faith in humanity. *sighs* It may not solve anything, but your hand to the forehead will have the dual benefit of temporarily obscuring your vision of the idiocy as well as cradling the on-coming headache. Variations occur, from pinching the bridge of one's nose to slapping one's forehead. One may also slap the forehead, sliding the palm of the hand down the face, possibly with a look of exasperation. If they're wearing a hat, expect them to pull the brim of the hat over their eyes in disgust. If they're wearing a cloak or a hoodie, then they're pulling the cowl before their face.

Sometimes there is a distinction between the forehead facepalm (for irritating moments) and the full-face version (humiliation). There's also the Double Face Palm, which is grasping one's head with both palms, as Picard did in "The Offspring". Some people even have gone meta, inserting "*picture of French Enterprise captain*" in their forum posts.

Needless to say, it's also prevalent in Real Life. And it's universal; a wide range of cultures, and even animals capable of reaching their faces with their arms/forelegs, seem to have some variety of this.

A variation is "headdesk", in which the character is sitting behind a desk or table and slams his forehead down onto it. In particularly extreme cases, these actions can also be combined to perform a *facepalmheaddesk* maneuver.

See: Surrounded by Idiots, Only Sane Man, and The Take. Also look at Aside Glance. May be combined with I Need a Freaking Drink.

Closely related to Headdesk and Face Fault, and may be accompanied by the line "That's the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard!" Not directly related to Face Palm of Doom, in which you attack by placing your palm on someone else's face. Also closely related to Disapproving Look, which is also known as the "Implied Facepalm".

Applying a Dope Slap is often a form of ready relief for the headaches that cause a Face Palm.

Example subpages


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Jack in the Box. Jack and others facepalm themselves and/or massage their heads in various commercials.
  • V-8 vegetable juice used a campaign for quite a while that involved people dealing themselves the forehead slap version when they realized "Duh, I could have had a V-8!" The campaign was later revived with other people delivering a forehead variant of the Dope Slap to the person who didn't eat their vegetables and the tagline changed to You could have had a V-8!".

    Arts 
  • Plate 10 of William Hogarth's Industry and Idleness series of prints shows industrious 'prentice Francis Goodchild, now Alderman of London, doing this as his idle counterpart Tom Idle is brought before him on charges of highway robbery and murder.

    Print Media 
  • Maclean's magazine columnist Scott Feschuk's author thumbnail has him doing this. Considering the fact that his column focuses on satirizing some of the most facepalm-inducing topics of the month, this is quite appropriate (it's also hilarious to imagine him doing it while typing out his article).

    Pro Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show
    • Sam the Eagle is a frequent practitioner of the facewingtip, but he will often simply utter his signature phrase, "You are all weirdos."
    • Others try them out now and then, such as Rowlf in the Rudolf Nureyev episode facepawing when Fozzie cuts through a candle with a blowtorch.
    • the Muppets have an expression for this trope.
  • Parker on Mr. Meaty does this gesture in the episode "Hamish" in annoyance at Josh talking to Goth Girl.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: this is one of the standard XP Emotions, indicating a character who is hapless and goofy and thus can earn XP by inducing amused facepalms among the other players. Of the Glass-Maker's Dragon core characters, this honour goes to the Wishing Boy/Girl, a character whose use of the ability to rewrite the universe with few hard and fast restrictions largely boils down to "I wish seagulls were cooler" and failed attempts to get ice cream.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo
    • Rin Tezuka has her own unique variation.
    • In Lilly's Act 1 ending, Hisao does this when Lilly responds to his asking about her being depressed over Akira's departure by saying that "Akira's taken."
    Hisao: Lilly never sees how fast my palm meets my face at her sly accusation.
  • Done in a single finger-way by Kotoko Minaduki in a concept art of Tokimeki Memorial 2; on the other hand, the final art scratches this in favor of a "let's ignore those idiots" look.
  • In Fate/stay night, Rin Tohsaka can often be found doing this, usually in response to something Shiro said.

    Web Animation 
  • In the "record book" sbemail on Homestar Runner, when Coach Z announces his record attempt, Strong Bad finds it so monumentally stupid that he skips facepalming entirely and repeatedly smacks himself upside the head.


Exorcist HeadStay Ahead of This IndexFlaming Skulls
The FaceUniversal TropesFictional Counterpart
Face Nod ActionBody LanguageFacial Dialogue
Edgy Backwards Chair-SittingStock PosesFetal Position Rebirth
Eye ScreamPothole MagnetFlat 'What."
Face FaultCharacter Reaction IndexFantastically Indifferent
Eye Am Watching YouHand TropesFeather Fingers
Emergent HumanImageSource/Live-Action TVGrowing the Beard
Made of ExplodiumFunny/Western AnimationBratz
Face FaultComedy TropesFace Plant

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