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Anime & Manga
- Usagi from Sailor Moon does this a lot.
- Hinata Hyuuga frequently did this, especially in the anime, until her Character Development caused her to become more self-confident. (That's her, pictured at right. It's also the very first image of her we see in the anime.)
- Naruto himself does this too from time to time, usually when Sakura or Kakashi is scolding him.
- Jiraiya did this in the anime when asking Naruto to remain transformed into a sexy girl whenever they were together (after Naruto did it to get his perverted mentor's attention).
- And Yuzu from Asagiri no Miko.
- In the first episode of Azumanga Daioh, Kaorin does this after catching a glimpse of a cat logo somewhere on Sakaki's person as Sakaki is changing into her gym shorts.
Kaorin: I thought I saw something incredibly cute just now...
- In the manga, the logo was on Sakaki's panties, and in the manga, Kaorin doesn't twiddle, she just stares in bemusement, wondering if she really saw that.
- Negi of Mahou Sensei Negima! when he brought up the idea of sharing his childhood and, by extension, his reason for doing just about everything he does to Asuna since they recently became partners. She agrees to hear him out without a second-thought.
- Nozomi in the very first episode of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, as she explained her disastrous attempts at joining various clubs.
- Many characters in the Pretty Sammy series do this, but mostly Sasami.
- Shinobu from Ninin Ga Shinobuden does this a lot in front of her beloved Kaede.
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross: This was done by one of the Zentradi — yes, a hulking male giant— when he was nervous about interrupting his commander's demonstration (to a female Zentradi) that humans did have some customs worth borrowing — in this case, kissing.
- May/Haruka does this once when her rival of the day confronts her about her feelings for Drew.
- And also when Ash wanted to visit the Petalburg City Gym as shown here.
- Tamaki does this when talking to Haruhi episode four of Ouran High School Host Club
- Ranma ˝:
- Various characters in Rosario + Vampire.
- Celty Sturluson, of all people, does this in Durarara!! when Shinra's father asks her if she's in love with Shinra.
- Lala the dullahan from Daily Life with Monster Girl does this sometimes, usually when confronted by Ms. Smith.
- Just in case you didn't think she was already cute as a button, Molly from Runaways does this when she discovers she's the only one who came up with a super-hero costume.
- Michikyuu Kanae in Kyon: Big Damn Hero.
Films — Animation
- WALL•E does the robotic equivalent, which does not involve as much twiddling as the human type.
Films — Live-Action
- Boxer Santaros does this a lot in Southland Tales, nervously tapping his fingers together in a somewhat odd manner. This is because he is having constant schizophrenic breaks into the character of Jericho Cane.
- Oliver Hardy often did this when nervous or embarrassed. That is, when he wasn't fiddling with his necktie.
- Done by Thompson and Thomson in the Tintin story Red Rackham's Treasure.
- In Howl's Moving Castle (original book), you could tell that Sophie's sister Martha was lying when she stopped twiddling her thumbs. While not a plot point per se, this information did let Sophie confirm that Michael was talking about the right sister.
- Yoona from Girls' Generation does this in the music video for "Gee."
- Micky from Makai Kingdom does this. Being a purple, four-armed demon general that's the upper part of a three-bodied monster who is the overlord of its own netherworld, it is a good sign that Micky isn't, by their standards, very good at being an overlord.
- Tali, a normally confident and fiery Quarian engineer from the Mass Effect trilogy, has a habit of wringing her hands whenever she's nervous, which is usually any romance scene between her and the player's male Commander Shepard.
- In the Shovel Knight expansion, "Plague of Shadows", if Plague Knight learns how to dance from the Troupple King, he does this instead if he's near Mona when you try to make him dance for her.
- Pascal, of all people, does this a couple times in Tales of Graces, most notably when Hubert confesses his feelings for her.
- In Tokimeki Memorial 2, this is Akane Ichimonji's standard sprite pose when she's in Tokimeki State.
- Done by Sayori from Doki Doki Literature Club!.
- Detective Bobby Fulbright from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies does this sometimes.
- There is joke animation gif of Annaliese from Missing Stars doing this.
- Reika from Red String does this occasionally.
- Karla from M9 Girls! does it when her mentor discovers she has been "borrowing" funds to make the girls' super-hero costumes.
- Characters in the webcomic El Goonish Shive do this when nervous or embarrassed.
- Hannelore from Questionable Content does this in a recent strip, while actually asserting herself for once.
- Spamusement brings us an elephant approximation.
- The Medic in this Nerf NOW!!
- Heather from Spinnerette, usually with her middle pair of arms while she makes other expressive gestures with her upper and lower sets.
- Peanut from Housepets! is prone to this.
- Rumisiel from Misfile is seen doing this here. Missi does the western version here.
- Stinky the sea monster from Wapsi Square demonstrates tentacle twiddling.
- N does this when he's feeling distraught.
- Girl Genius: General Krizhan, of all people, does it in this panel.
- Homestuck: Eridan in [S] Kanaya: Return to the Core.◊
- Rain: Rain does this when even more nervous than usual. So does Chanel.
- In Champions of Faraus the god Hyperion, one of the main deities of the story, does this on occasion when he starts feeling uneasy.
- Oneshot character Meng from Avatar: The Last Airbender does this as she admits she's "kind of been stalking" Aang.
- Bolin from The Legend of Korra, who is actually not shy at all, has done this.
- Beast Boy of Teen Titans sometimes does this, usually when he's being reprimanded for something.
- Bumblebee does this in Transformers Animated when Prowl asks him exactly where he was keeping that iPod. Hint: he wasn't in car mode and robots don't have pockets.
- Butters from South Park tends to do a motion similar to wringing his hands when he is flustered about something. The animation style makes it semi-ambiguous as to whether it is full out hand-wringing or finger twiddling.
- Ben Tennyson from Ben 10: Alien Force does this once as Humongosaur after his then Love Interest Julie informs him that the explosion he was shielding her from is over and that he does not need to keep holding her.
- Gonard in Kappa Mikey, most famously accompanied by a sheepish "Not really."
- Booster from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command does this a lot.
- Totally Spies!: In episod 2 of season 4, when the girls accidentally travels 20 years into the future, they go to their old villa. Alex gets excited when learning that their future selves still live together, but Clover replies: "Ugh! More like pathetic. I mean, hello! 30 something and still single?", and all three proceed to twiddle their finger in embarrassing realization. Clover is also shown doing this in episode 9 of season 6 when being asked about what the WOOHP training handbook has to say about locked doors, which she never read.