open/close all folders
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.
- Seen often in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the 2003 anime. Havoc in particular does it frequently.
- 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.
- Neko in K: Missing Kings, after she loses a fight with a parrot.
- Kakashi did this many times 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 eponymous 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 Crayon 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.
- Detective Conan: 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◊.
- Hitoshi Shinsou from My Hero Academia does it a lot too.
- The Phantom Affair, an arc of the X-Wing Series comics drawn by Biukovic, Wedge Antilles does this at at least two points.
- Sunny Breeze does this a lot in Racer and the Geek, especially when Rainbow Dash is involved. It's practically Once an Episode.
- Between this trope and Motor Mouth, Dan of Thawing Permafrost finds himself doing one or the other on occasion.
- Once he's gone through Character Development (mostly of the falling-in-love sort, but also learning to be humble and to care about others besides himself), Tai Lung does this a great deal in A Different Lesson, particularly around Tigress.
Films — Animation
- Disney heroes, most notably Aladdin and Hercules, tend to do this when confronted with attractive and aggressive women. The Beast in Beauty and the Beast does it when he's ashamed of himself or frustrated.
- Sunset Shimmer starts doing this in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, showing her insecurities. She notably puts a hand behind her head while admitting that she dated Flash Sentry just to get more popular, and again in Celestia's office later. It's still a frequent habit of hers in Friendship Games.
Films — Live-Action
- James Bond, of all people, does this in GoldenEye, after Valentin Zukovsky calls him a "charming, sophisticated secret agent."
- House: This seems to be a registered trademark of Dr. James Wilson.
- Sheriff Jack Carter, from Eureka.
- The Third and Tenth Doctors in Doctor Who tend to do this when acting bashful or embarrassed.
- Shane from The Walking Dead, to memetic levels.
- Daredevil: Karen Page tends to do this when she's nervous.
- Mass Effect:
- Commander Shepard 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.
- It's a frequent Character Tic for Commander Cullen in Dragon Age: Inquisition, although it's rarely seen outside of his romance arc. BioWare enjoys this trope.
- Spider-Man does this in the Marvel vs. Capcom series and spiritual predecessors.
- 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 surprisingly 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.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link will occasionally do this, such as when a Great Fairy blows him a kiss.
- Ace Attorney:
- Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice often 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.
- Ever17: Kuranari Takeshi's right hand is rarely (if ever) seen. It seems to be permanently fused with the back of his head.
- The Most Popular Girls in School: Mackenzie does this in Episode 70 when she admits that she DID send a bunch of Mercenary Cheerleaders in attempt to stop Brittnay.
- Tarvek makes a frequent habit of this in Girl Genius; Gil does this occasionally as well.
- Used plenty of times in Suppression mostly by Cerene and Kirk.
- Lavender in El Goonish Shive when a tongue-slip reveals how she feels about her boss.
- It’s everywhere in Rain. Not only repeatedly used by almost everyone in the main cast, but once even the supporting character Rand M. Guy got frozen in it by a Death Glare.
- Various characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- 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 pulls 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.
- In Gravity Falls, Dipper does this when around Wendy. It's known as a 'nervous around girls gesture' as Stanford, the family member Dipper takes after the most, did this too.
- Happens a lot in Kaeloo, an animesque show, with the titular character being the most prone to it.