Any hand gesture that's become emblematic of the character, series, or situation in which it appears. Cousin of Strange Salute. See also Character Tics.
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- Sailor Moon's sideways V-for-victory sign (while winking), as well as her thumb-index finger-pinky raised with both hands, her "In the name of the moon, I'll punish you" pose.
- Gendo Ikari◊ of Neon Genesis Evangelion. His trademark covering-the-mouth variant (which, originally, existed to cover his mouth and cut down on necessary animation) is often called "the Gendo pose". For a while, it was a popular imageboard pastime to add the "Gendo Hands" to existing works via Photoshop.
- Gendo's two fingers to the bridge of his glasses is also trademark of him.
- It even has its own trope.
- The Son family's Hand Behind Head from Dragon Ball Z.
- Pokémon: Ash Ketchum's capture pose, complete with Pikachu popping up in a different pose and going "Pi pi ka chu!" He also does it when he gets a gym badge, with all the Pokémon that fought in that battle posing with him. It's even parodied in the episode where Tracey catches his Scyther: the episode ends with Ash lecturing him on how to properly pose in triumph after a capture.
- Ash turning his cap when he catches a Pokeball. It went missing for several years but Best Wishes brought it back.
- Pointing one's arm straight up with the index finger extended is synonymous with Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and specifically piercing the heavens.
- The military in Attack on Titan have a very distinctive salute.◊ They place their right fist over their heart, and their left at the base of their spine.
- Flashing V Signs with both hands has become sort of a thing in hentai.
- The Mikuru Beam pose from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, involving flashing a V Sign over your eye. There's a double version with two hands over both eye, but the singular version is the most remembered one.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is well-known for its love of Asskicking Poses, but among the most famous are Jonathan Joestar's palm-in-front-of-the-face, Jotaro Kujo's finger-pointing, and Josuke Higashikata's face-framing.
- In Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Yuuta covers most of his face with his hand in his Dark Flame Master persona. Nibutani mockingly mimics it when imitating him from time to time.
- Spider-Man's web-shooting gesture. It's because the trigger for the webshooters is on his palm, and designed so that only just the right pressure and a double-tap could activate it. This prevents the normal motions of his hands (for instance, forming a fist) from slinging web everywhere.
- Elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, among the X-Men, there's the (generally not used so much anymore) Pstandard Psychic Pstance used by Professor X and occasionally Jean Grey. Not among the X-Men, Scarlet Witch often does a Spidey-like gesture in the air when using her hex power. Her earliest appearances have it so that if her hand accidentally falls into a close enough position a hex effect will happen, its target (and severity) completely random. By now, she's much better at directing it. Doctor Strange also has gestures he uses when working magic, which also look Spider-Man-esque. (It's like they were created by the same guy or something).
- Transmetropolitan: Spider Jerusalem lighting a cigarette, head slightly cocked, hand cupped in front of it. Hard to describe, but if you've seen a picture of him, you've seen him do this. Gets lampshaded in-series; at one point, Channon comments that Yelena is turning into Spider, and while Yelena's denying it, she makes this exact pose.
- The FGSFDS meme, a meme based around the hand gesture of one random person holding up their index finger, usually with their mouth open. It's intended to signal that a conversation has lost all traces of seriousness/sanity.
- Allegedly stands for "For God's sake, fuck dis shit" though this may be a Backronym.
- Austin Powers: Just try to imitate Doctor Evil saying "One million dollars!" and your hand (with little finger extended) will move up to your mouth almost by itself. Evil Laugh is optional. The little finger is not.
- Star Wars: These are not the droids you're looking for. (Waves hand once.)
- Vader's force choke, too.
- The Matrix: Bring It.
- The Dark Knight Rises: Bane's habit of holding onto the lapels of his coat.
- The Hunger Games: The District Twelve salute (touching your lip with your three middle fingers and then holding that hand out) becomes a symbol of the rebellion in-universe, as well as going memetic in real life.
- Red Dwarf's Arnold Rimmer and his Overly Long Gag Strange Salute procedures.
- Mr. Saxon of Doctor Who gives this trope two thumbs up. So famous, the page image has served on at least four different pages.
- Spike of Buffy fame once pulled a V Sign with the palm facing away from the intended target, which made it into the opening credits. It's infamous, because the American censors didn't realize the gesture is not a variation on the victory sign, but is actually an obscene gesture in certain countries, including Spike's native Britain. While not unique, it's rare on American TV.
- Star Trek's Vulcan salute.
- Mork and Mindy: the Orkan greeting, coupled with "Nanu nanu," is a Vulcan salute turned sideways.
- Adam Richman from the Travel Channel show Man v. Food is trying to establish one of these for when he starts one of the food challenges; it's not immediately obvious what it is. It appears to be three signs. First, an "M," which he's done in two ways, either three or four fingers pointing down. If he uses four, the middle two stay together. Then, a "V". Last, an "F," formed by taking his right hand and extending the index and middle fingers horzontally, then using one finger on his left hand raised vertically to make the back of the F.
- Carol Burnett pulling her ear at the end of her self-titled show.
- The "Be Seeing You" gesture from The Prisoner.
- A variation (with the looped thumb and forefinger over the forehead instead of the eye) is used by Psi Cop Bester in Babylon 5.
- The Apprentice: "You're fired!" Nicknamed "The Cobra"
- Tendou Souji of Kamen Rider Kabuto always points to the sun when reciting his Catch Phrase. Attempts at memetic hand gestures would become more frequent in later seasons. Kamen Rider Den-O is best known for spamming this half to death, with the four Imagin characters each displaying their own. Kamen Rider Fourze does this with both the title character and some supporting ones, to the extent that a scene with all the characters tied up has one guy with his hands somehow bound into his memetic hand gesture. There's also a different sound effect for every gesture.
- Fourze also had a secret handshake that Gentaro gives to pretty much anyone he befriends.
- Kamen Rider Kuuga's title character has the thumbs up, to the point where his alternate universe counterpart pulls it off as a Mythology Gag.
- Several poses the Kamen Riders pull as they shout "HENSHIN!" become this. The poses used to be more elaborate and dancelike, the sort that these days are associated solely with Super Sentai. Takeshi Hongo's is legend, and imitated everywhere. Now the poses are more subtle, but when done right, less is more.
- The most well known example from recent series is Takumi's epic wrist flick, which does double duty as a suave taunt and a way to identify if it's really Takumi in the suit. An earlier example was Shinji Kido's fist pump, but the wrist flick returned with Shotaro and Shinnosuke.
- Power Rangers S.P.D.: Bridge likes his toast buttery, and can't help but wiggle his fingers whenever he says "buttery". When called on this, he denies it - only to realize it's still happening, even as he tries to stop himself.
- Happy Days: Fonzie's "aaay!" thumbs up.
- Twin Peaks has the Bookhouse Boys' Salute, in which one rubs one's index finger along one's eyebrow, outward.
- Ultraman's Specium Ray gesture, which is done by crossing one arm over the other like this. His many successors have had their own variants on it, and it is widely parodied across Japan (and the most common way to reference to Ultraman in the west).
- The Kliq / Wolfpac sign◊.
- John Cena's weird-assed pinkies-extended fist-bump◊. And of course his "You Can't See Me" Hand wave
- Zack Ryder's hand gestures in the shape of "L" and "I", for Long Island.
- Matt Hardy's "Version 1" hand sign, shown by holding his right hand's ring finger with his thumb to make a V and a 1, which lasted long after he dropped the "Version 1" gimmick
- Warhammer 40,000 has the sign of the aquila (crossing both hands across the chest and hooking thumbs), meant to represent the Imperium's two-headed eagle insignia. The Adeptus Mechanicus has a variant where the fingertips are folded up, representing their cogwheel insignia.
- Peking Opera has a ton:
- Female roles have long, flowing sleeves that they throw out in an arc during significant solos.
- Older roles stroke their beard whenever they're plotting something.
- Bad Ass characters who have the feather hat (i.e. what Lu Bu is seen to wear in Dynasty Warriors) will hold one of the feathers in their hand during solos.
- Son Wukong, in addition to a ton of monkey-like mannerisms (he'll scratch himself and pick imaginary ticks off his body, then "eat" them), is most often seen peering into the distance with his hand in an almost backwards military salute pose, to signify that he's using his telescopic vision.
- Revolver Ocelot of Metal Gear, honorary Trope Namer. His famous two hand gun salute was originally improvised by his motion capture actor; the directors decided to Throw It In, because they couldn't get enough of it. It's so memetic he uses his last breath to repeat the gesture in Metal Gear Solid 4.
- The vast majority of the poses and gestures made during court cases in Ace Attorney series.
- One episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has a "trial" scene that replicates many of these perfectly.
- The Legend Of Zelda C Di Games: The King's 'mah boi' pose, where he points his finger upwards and has his eyes and mouth very wide open.
- Mass Effect 2 has made the air quotes gesture memetic with its infamous line "Ah yes, 'Reapers'". It is often rendered with single quotes (and single fingers for air quotes), because the turian councilor who delivers the line only has three fingers per hand. If you are familiar with this meme, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will chuckle every time you see that gesture (and in Mass Effect 3 there are actually several characters who make it).
- Holding an item above your head is iconic in a multitude of video games. Frequently lampshaded. While it predates The Legend of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda made it more famous.
- Super Mario Bros.: Mario and the V Sign.
- Sonic the Hedgehog's Finger Wag.
- Fire Emblem has Anna resting her index finger on her chin. Devious grin optional.
- Owain's hand-over-face gesture is so Memetic it's part of his character portrait, and if he's a Myrmidon, his idle map sprite has him making the very stance.
- The eponymous Viewtiful Joe has the "pinky, middle finger and thumb extended" hand gesture that he likes to use. He'll even punch people with it. There's also the Henshin pose◊ used by both Joe and Captain Blue (which is also a Shout-Out to Kamen Rider.)
- Real Life example: Nintendo President Satoru Iwata and his tendency in the company's Nintendo Direct videos to thrust both hands, towards the viewer whenever he used the word "directly" (English) or "chokusetsu" (Japanese). The other hosts in the videos also use the same gesture, but for some reason it's associated only with Iwata. In Video Game/Miitomo this became an Ascended Meme (and/or a tribute to the sadly-deceased Iwata) as Miis will mimic the gesture every time they say the word "direct".
- The Nintendo Direct gesture◊, putting both your hands at the sides of your face and pointing outward with them, whenever saying the word "Direct" (or in the Japanese versions, "chokusetsu", Japanese for "direct")
- The Bros Pose from The Frollo Show, which consists of one character performing a thumbs-up, and the other character having his/her arms stretched outward.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Brohoof! (Basically a personalized Fan Nickname of the Bro Fist, see below. Does, in fact, appear on the show.)
- The show's variant is known as a hoof-bump and the equivalent of a high-five.
- Finn and Jake do a fist pound over the Adventure Time logo at the start of each show...and at random times during most episodes.
- The Queen's Wave, often attributed to HM Queen Elizabeth II is often used for royalty in British media.
- The Roman salute (actually a French invention falsely associated with Rome), forever co-opted by the Nazis. Fun fact: before it became associated with Nazism, it was regarded as just another salute, and was used by American schoolchildren reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Once Hitler got hold of it, the hand-over-the-heart was prudently adopted.
- The Tomahawk Chop used at Atlanta Braves games (and several other stadiums with teams named after Native American themes).
- Flipping the Bird, i.e., The Finger.
- Winston Churchill's V for Victory, which inspired many of these, including:
- "The horns" have a number of vastly different meanings depending on the context.
- The international symbol of Metal. Ronnie James Dio credited himself as the originator of the gesture in this context, taken from his grandmother's gypsy ward against evil.
- "Hook'em horns" used by fans of the University of Texas, most notably the school's American football team. It is a stylized version of the school's mascot, the Longhorn.
- Other colleges with cattle-themed mascots, such as the University of South Florida Bulls, use a similar hand gesture.
- A similar gesture with the thumb and pinky is usually associated with Pacific islanders and/or surfers and is a general-purpose indicator of good times. (So, yes, it's really a Hawaiian good luck sign.)
- Texas A&M has the "Gig'em" sign, basically a Thumbs-Up gesture meant to represent sticking (gigging) something (a horned frog, the mascot of an old rival of Texas A&M's) with a sharp stick.
- The Wiggles
- The cuckold's horns. Holding your hand in this fashion behind someone's head, especially for a picture, is a prank implying that someone is sleeping with the person's wife. Occasionally a V-sign is used instead, especially in America, where it's called "Bunny Ears" and carries no cuckold implications.
- The Thumbs-Up gesture, usually taken to show agreement or approval.
- Bro Fist!
- "Air quotes"
- The Christian "Sign of the Cross", which goes: Forehead, stomach, left shoulder, right shoulder (Right-to-Left in the Eastern Orthodox churches). Aside from the obvious geometrical shape of the Cross, the points correspond to the prayer that goes with it: "In the name of the Father (head = knowledge/thought) and of the Son (womb = son) and of the Holy Spirit (arms = empowerment)." A number of popes have also held that the downward motion is indicative of Jesus' descent from Heaven to Earth, with a number of interpretations for the right-to-left/left-to-right motion.
- The nerdfighter salute. It is accomplished by making a Vulcan salute (1st two fingers together and last two fingers together, forming a V, with the thumb extended to the side) with each hand and crossing the arms over the chest. Can also be a plain old Vulcan salute like in the page image.
- The military salute, a flat palm held at the brim of one's hat. In Britain, the palm is turned up, except for the Navy, where it's turned down.
- Similarly associated with the military is the "Knife Hand", where one points with the entire hand (almost as if one were about to karate chop someone).
- The Merkel-Rhombus (Merkel-Raute), Angela Merkel's iconic way of putting her fingertips together. The Guardian refers to it as "probably one of the most recognisable hand gestures in the world".
- Crossed fingers behind one's back indicates that they are lying to whoever they are addressing. By keeping the fingers behind their back, they ensure the other person can't see it.