He's probably talking about his "Dollie
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
Related to Face Palm
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Anime & Manga
- Tenchi from Tenchi Muyo!.
- Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½ 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 (Naruto is full of them).
- Iruka does it too, especially as a child.
- 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.
- 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 skeptical.
- 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◊.
- The Phantom Affair, an arc of the X-Wing Series comics drawn by Biukovic, Wedge Antilles does this at at least two points.
- James Bond, of all people, does this in Golden Eye, after Valentin Zukovsky calls him a "charming, sophisticated secret agent."
Live Action TV
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.