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Hand Behind Head
He's probably talking about his "Dollie" again.

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

Related to Face Palm.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tenchi from Tenchi Muyo!
  • Ranma Saotome of Ranma ˝ does this very frequently.
  • Ja Wangnan from Tower of God, especially when drunk and praised.
  • Negi in Mahou Sensei Negima!.
    • As well as most of the Baka Rangers, sometimes together.
  • Most Son males from Dragon Ball Z.
  • Occurs occasionally in Fullmetal Alchemist (for example, Maes and Gracia Hughes rub their necks when Ed, Al, and Nina remark upon Gracia's advanced state of pregnancy).
  • Mai in Mai-HiME, after Chie asks her about the "crop circle" she created when she arrived at school.
  • Sasami in the Pretty Sammy 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 Obfuscating Stupidity.
    • Naruto does this too, presumably as a homage to Dragon Ball. His mother, Kushina, also does it, which is probably where he got it from
    • Iruka does it too, especially as a child.
  • 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.
  • Azumanga Daioh: 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 Sailor Moon 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 made another silly mistake.
  • Manabi Straight: The titular Manabi does this during the reflection meeting in the last episode.
  • Matsuda of Death Note does this several times, being the bumbling Butt Monkey.
  • The Nohara males in Shin-chan.
  • 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 sceptical.
  • Ichigo from Bleach scratches the nape of his neck whenever he's feeling awkward.
  • Conan does this occasionally. Kogoro does it a few times too because he's the Clueless Detective and he's receiving the credit for Conan's cases. Exhibit A here.

     Comic Books 
  • The Phantom Affair, an arc of the X-Wing Series comics drawn by Biukovic, Wedge Antilles does this at at least two points.

     Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • James Bond, of all people, does this in Golden Eye, after Valentin Zukovsky calls him a "charming, sophisticated secret agent."

    Live Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In Ace Attorney, 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 Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Commander Shepard of Mass Effect 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 Character Tic 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 Marvel vs. Capcom 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 Kingdom Hearts 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 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, this was an idle animation that every NPC would eventually play if you waited long enough. (Considering the context, this was suprisingly appropriate.)
  • Crisis Core: Zack does this frequently enough for it to be an identifying mannerism. Cloud of Final Fantasy VII probably picked it up from him. Along with everything else.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pit, Hades, and Viridi are all guilty of this.
  • In F-Zero, John Tanaka's signature pose is this, and he does this excessively in his interviews.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Various characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • 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
  • Kappa Mikey, naturally, in a parody of anime. Guano, Lily and Mitsuki do this on occasion, but the real offender is Gonard!
  • Jérémie from Code Lyoko 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 King of the Hill 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 Superman: The Animated Series episode "Superman's Pal", Jimmy Olsen does one, of the uncomfortable variety, when Angela Chen is pumping him for information about his relationship with Superman.
  • Seen in the South Park episode "Chinpokomon" when the boys watch the Chinpokomon anime, the Ash Ketchum parody character does this at one point.


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