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[[quoteright:305:[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ace_attorney_9.jpg]]]]

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 appears a lot in manga and anime as a simple way to show off someone's character or how they are feeling.

Related to FacePalm.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Tenchi from ''Anime/TenchiMuyo''
* Ranma Saotome of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' does this very frequently.
* Ja Wangnan from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'', especially when drunk and praised.
* Negi in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''. As well as most of the Baka Rangers, sometimes together.
* Most Son males from ''Anime/DragonBallZ''.
* Seen often in the ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' manga and the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime]]. Havoc in particular does it frequently.
* Mai in ''Anime/MaiHime'', after Chie asks her about the "{{crop circle|s}}" she created when she arrived at school.
* Sasami in the ''Anime/PrettySammy'' series does this fairly frequently when she thinks people have figured out her identity.
* Neko in ''[[Anime/{{K}} K: Missing Kings]]'', after she [[ItMakesSenseInContext loses a fight with a parrot]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Kakashi did this many times when trying to brush aside the reasons he was late for practice, or during any other display of ObfuscatingStupidity.
** Naruto does this too, presumably as a homage to ''Manga/DragonBall''. [[spoiler:His mother, Kushina, also does it, which is probably where he got it from]]
** Iruka does it too, especially as a child.
* In ''Manga/{{Mahoraba}}'', it appears Shiratori's hand is glued back there.
* Both Gourry and Xellos of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' do this rather frequently, though with Xellos it's probably for more worrisome reasons.
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'': 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 ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' 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 [[IdiotHero made another silly mistake.]]
* ''Manga/ManabiStraight'': The eponymous Manabi does this during the reflection meeting in the last episode.
* Matsuda of ''Manga/DeathNote'' does this several times, being the bumbling ButtMonkey.
* The Nohara males in ''Anime/CrayonShinChan''.
* Inspector Takayama does this early on in the ''Manga/{{Domu}}: A Child's Dream'', embarrassingly asking about supernatural phenomena to a shaman who can tell he's sceptical.
* Ichigo from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' scratches the nape of his neck whenever he's feeling awkward.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Conan does this occasionally. Kogoro does it a few times too because he's the CluelessDetective and he's receiving the credit for Conan's cases. [[http://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/File:Mirapolisgameplay1.png Exhibit A here]].
* Hitoshi Shinsou from ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' does it a lot too.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''The Phantom Affair'', an arc of the ComicBook/XWingSeries comics drawn by Biukovic, Wedge Antilles does this at at least two points.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Sunny Breeze does this a lot in ''Fanfic/RacerAndTheGeek'', especially when [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/racer-and-the-geek Rainbow Dash is involved.]] It's practically OnceAnEpisode.
* Between this trope and MotorMouth, Dan of ''Fanfic/ThawingPermafrost'' finds himself doing one or the other on occasion.
* Once he's gone through CharacterDevelopment (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 ''Fanfic/ADifferentLesson'', particularly around Tigress.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Disney heroes, most notably Disney/{{Aladdin}} and Disney/{{Hercules}}, tend to do this when confronted with attractive and aggressive women. The Beast in ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' does it when he's ashamed of himself or frustrated.
* Sunset Shimmer starts doing this in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'', 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 ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsFriendshipGames Friendship Games]]''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* James Bond, of all people, does this in ''Film/GoldenEye'', after Valentin Zukovsky calls him a "charming, sophisticated secret agent."

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{House}}'': This seems to be a registered trademark of Dr. James Wilson.
* Sheriff Jack Carter, from ''Series/{{Eureka}}''.
* The Third and Tenth Doctors in ''Series/DoctorWho'' tend to do this when acting bashful or embarrassed.
* Shane from ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', to memetic levels.
* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': Karen Page tends to do this when she's nervous.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** 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 CharacterTic 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 CharacterTic for Commander Cullen in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', although it's rarely seen outside of his romance arc. Creator/BioWare enjoys this trope.
* Franchise/SpiderMan does this in the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series and spiritual predecessors.
* Sora of ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' 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 ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', this was an idle animation that every NPC would eventually play if you waited long enough. (Considering the [[GreyAndGreyMorality context]], this was surprisingly appropriate.)
* ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'': Zack does this frequently enough for it to be an identifying mannerism. Cloud of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' probably picked it up from him. Along with everything else.
* In ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'', Pit, [[spoiler:Hades, and Viridi]] are all guilty of this.
* In ''VideoGame/FZero'', John Tanaka's signature pose is this, and he does this excessively in his interviews.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', Link will occasionally do this, such as when a [[AbhorrentAdmirer Great Fairy]] blows him a kiss.
* Dr Roman from ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'' does this in every pose on his expression sheet. Since his reaction to most things is sheepish laughter, it's generally appropriate. On the other hand, maybe it's just glued there.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'':
** 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 VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Ever17}}'': Kuranari Takeshi's right hand is rarely (if ever) seen. It seems to be permanently fused with the back of his head.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'': Mackenzie does this in Episode 70 when she admits [[spoiler:that she DID send a bunch of Mercenary Cheerleaders in attempt to stop Brittnay.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Tarvek makes a frequent habit of this in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''; Gil does this occasionally as well.
* Used plenty of times in ''Webcomic/{{Suppression}}'' mostly by Cerene and Kirk.
* Lavender in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' when a tongue-slip [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2011-01-12 reveals]] [[SubordinateExcuse how she feels about her boss]].
* Itís everywhere in ''Webcomic/{{Rain}}''. Not only repeatedly used by almost everyone in the main cast, but once even the supporting character [[PunnyName Rand M. Guy]] got [[http://jocelynsamara.deviantart.com/art/RAIN-p-24-Reputation-194283500 frozen]] in it by a DeathGlare.
* Discussed in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
-->''TT: I will not hold one tentative hand behind my head like a flustered asshole from an Asian cartoon, nor will an [[SweatDrop oversized bead of sweat]] overlap ludicrously with my visage.''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Various characters in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
* ''WesternAnimation/KappaMikey'', naturally, in a parody of anime. Guano, Lily and Mitsuki do this on occasion, but the real offender is Gonard!
* Jérémie from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' 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 ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' 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 ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode [[Recap/SupermanTheAnimatedSeriesS3E8SupermansPal "Superman's Pal"]], ComicBook/JimmyOlsen does one, of the uncomfortable variety, when Angela Chen is pumping him for information about his relationship with Superman.
* Seen in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Chinpokomon" when the boys watch the Chinpokomon anime, the Ash Ketchum parody character does this at one point.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Dipper does this when around Wendy. It's known as a 'nervous around girls gesture' [[spoiler:as Stanford, the family member Dipper takes after the most, did this too]].
* Happens a lot in ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'', an {{animesque}} show, with the titular character being the most prone to it.