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Shy Finger Twiddling

When embarrassed or reluctant, ditzy or shy characters frequently touch their forefingers' tips together in front of them and twiddle them up and down, often accompanied by a "toiktoik" sound.

While this trope is most prominent in anime and manga-influenced works, it's occasionally found in western works.

Often seen in anime in a Cannot Spit It Out or "please don't embarrass me" situation. Not to be confused with Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Usagi from Sailor Moon does this a lot.
  • Hinata Hyuuga from Naruto. (That's her, pictured at right. It's also the very first image of her we see in the series.)
    • 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! Precure 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.
  • Also done by shy characters when speaking to the object of their affection; see Hinata and Aoi for examples.
  • This was actually done by one of the Zentradi — yes, a hulking male giant — in Super Dimension Fortress Macross, 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 in Pokemon 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 Saotome of Ranma ½ often does this when placed in a serious, romantic situation with his fiancée, Akane.
  • 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.

    Comics 
  • 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.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • WALL•E does the robotic equivalent, which does not involve as much twiddling as the human type.
  • Boxer Santaros does this a lot in Southland Tales, nervously tapping his fingers together in a somewhat odd manner.
  • Oliver Hardy often did this when nervous or embarrassed. That is, when he wasn't fiddling with his necktie.

    Literature 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, this is Akane Ichimonji's standard sprite pose when she's in Tokimeki State.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.

Shy Blue-Haired GirlShyness TropesSocially Awkward Hero
Security ClingHand Tropes'Silly Me" Gesture
Secret HandshakeBody Language'Silly Me" Gesture
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