Palm-on-Cheek Pose

A body language, specifically for face and hands. Often a sign of cuteness. It conveys many of the following things:

  • Shock and Awe — open palms on both cheeks with mouth wide open.
  • Embarrassment — covering the face with both their hands.
  • Annoyance — when sitting down, pushing the fists or wrist on their cheeks to pout their lips.
  • Pleasure — putting one open palm on their cheek when they just ate something good.
  • Excitement — using both open palms to cover their cheeks.
  • Affection — caressing another person's cheek(s) with either one or both hands to show affection. A more playful variant is to push their cheeks together and rub them to pout their lips. Usually done on kids.

Compare Face Palm, which deals with stupidity and humiliation (whether your own or other people's). See also Faux Paw, which is also often used for cuteness.


Anime and Manga

  • The famous painting "The Scream" by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch uses this pose for the screaming figure on the bridge.

  • Home Alone:
    • Kevin's version of putting his hands on his cheeks as his reaction to aftershave when he's acting grown up in the mirror. It's featured prominently in the box art. It's so well known that this is often cited as a Stock Parody by way of Kevin doing this.
    • The Statue of Liberty does the pose in the trailer for the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.

  • In the Discworld novel Unseen Academicals, Pepe claps his hands to his cheeks in surprise and delight when he first sees Juliet modelling, as part of his Always Camp fashionista persona.
  • In the first Dragonriders of Pern novel, Lessa puts both hands to her cheeks in astonishment when she sees her own reflection for the first time in at least a decade.

Live-Action TV
  • The Owner from Kamen Rider Den-O does this whenever something upsetting happens.
  • Square One TV: In the Mathnet story "The Calpurnian Kugel Caper", Benny cups his face in mock shock when Pat shows him the new computerized "Wheel of Series/Jeopardy" board game. "Golly jeepers, what will those computer geniuses think of next?"
  • The Brady Bunch: When Marcia gets a surprise visit from Desi Arnaz Jr., he kisses her on the cheek. After he leaves, she puts her hand over her cheek and says, "I'm never washing this cheek again." Later in the same episode parodied by her mother: When Mike kisses Carol on the cheek, she puts her hand to her cheek and says, "I'm never washing this cheek again!"

Video Games

Web Comics

Web Video
  • Freddie Wong homages Kevin's famous expression in his parody Home, Alone when his last anti-robber trap sets off a shotgun.

Western Animation
  • On The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Clyde assumes this pose, rather than a Face Palm, when Dum Dum does something especially stupid, such as having to figure out how to answer a ringing telephone.