Businesswoman: That is a sweatdrop. In Japan it means you are either embarrassed or you are about to climax.Confusion, exasperation, embarrassment and similar emotions manifest as an unusually large sweat drop that appears on the temple or the back of the head. Sometimes the "drop sweat" symbol can even apply to a group of people as well. Either a gigantic sweat drop appears somewhere in the middle of the crowd, or a few big drops are scattered around (the latter variation is also common in comic books). Usually limited to comedic anime, but even some serious ones indulge. A common sight in a Deadpan Snarker or Only Sane Man when surrounded by idiocy. The Sweatdrop is also appearing in anime-influenced American animation. The exaggerated version of this is practically a Discredited Trope; most shows nowadays use much smaller, more modest sweatdrops instead. See "Plewds" in the Briffits and Squeans article for the Western equivalent.
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Anime and Manga
Prevalent to the point where it's easier to list examples that don't have this. The size decreases the more serious and realistic the work is. Following are the more notable mentions:
- Occurs frequently in Fullmetal Alchemist, often without regard for which way a character is facing◊.
- Lampooned in Oh! Edo Rocket, where the drops appear hovering above the characters' heads.
- In Pokémon, this is also what the Cascade Badge looks like. Quite a few characters do this, usually when Casanova Wannabe Brock tries again to get a Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny.
- Lampshaded in Slayers. Lina smacks Gourry over the head with her own sweatdrop for endangering her life without warning her first.
- Notable in episode 66 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when... the Duel Academy sign does it. Yes, a piece of wood. And then it does a Face Fault.
- Sweat Drops appear regularly in the Sailor Moon anime. The '90s dubbed version sometimes cut them out, but these edits were inconsistent, occasionally even having one instance of it removed and another one left intact within the same episode.
- This pops up in Mahou Sensei Negima! on occasion, including on things that shouldn't be able to sweat...like knives.
- Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou sometimes employs this for comical scenes. One instance in particular, in the OAV episode "Kokoro no Yukue", has the drop appear during a Super-Deformed scene at the end of the pictured dot-by-dot Visible Silence. It then falls to the bottom of the screen. As a solid object.
- Often appears in Ghost Hunt, once again without any regard for which direction the character is facing.
- Shino at one point managed to cause a pair of deer to Sweat Drop.
- Done regularly in Ranma ˝, usually to show exasperation.
- InuYasha: The one character who is never given a sweat drop moment (not even once) is Sesshoumaru.
- Happens often in Dragonball Z, especially the anime, with not even serious characters like Piccolo and Vegeta being immune. There are at least two inanimate-object variants, as well—once when Gohan blows a whole cake into his relatives' faces when trying to blow out his birthday candles, we get an outside shot of their house with a sweat-drop on the building itself; and much later on, when Mr. Satan is bragging about how he'll defeat Majin Buu, his house, a cactus and a rock all get ever-enlarging sweat-drops the more he brags.
- Frequently happens during silly situations in Rurouni Kenshin. Among the main cast, Aoshi and Saitou are the only ones who don't experience this (although Saitou makes up for it by being a comically serious Deadpan Snarker).
- Shimoneta: Tanukichi's reaction in chapter 10, after he wrestles Oboro to the floor and ends up with his foot between her legs. Except feels a bulge, so he uses his foot to double-check, confirming his suspicion. Two smaller sweatdrops appear next to the first one.
- In the episode "The Steel Bison", Zoids: Chaotic Century has the Blade Liger of all things doing this with a Jaw Drop when it's accidentally targeted by the DiBison along with the enemy targets before firing a Beam Spam.
- Madoka and her brother Shion of Ao No Kanata Four Rhythm both demonstrate sweat drops in the first couple of episodes.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Mikuru Sweat Drops whilst explaining to Haruhi about taking Kyon with her to buy cloth and a sewing machine.
- This is one of the symptoms of SILAS (Sue-Influenced Localized Anime Syndrome) from the Protectors of the Plot Continuum. Agent Lapis (who was originally from a fanfic of the Pokémon anime) also does this a lot, complete with the sweat drop getting her shirt wet.
- In Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton Asuka does this in one of the bonus scenes when the author reveals his discarded ideas:
Asuka's sweat drop grew larger.
- Of all places, a Western literary reference comes from the Ernest Hemingway book Death in the Afternoon, where he describes bullfighters "sweating the big drop"note on realizing they have to face the really big, really angry bull in today's match.
- The Tonberry summon in Final Fantasy VIII goes like this:
Tonberry slowly walks towards the enemyEnemy sweatdrops*DOINK!*
- In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes if you're using Tron Bonnes throw assist and she misses, a message bubble will appear with a sweat drop in it.
- Message bubbles with sweat drops inside them also appear in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
- In Mario Party 7, there's a mini gamed called "Apes of Wrath" which starts out with a cutscene depicting the 2 competing characters eating apples. The camera pans up to some monkeys who are angry at the characters for eating their apples. Both participating characters get sweatdrops.
- These occasionally appear in the Tales Series.
- The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series uses this along with numerous other commonly seen emotion indicators.
- In Breath of Fire III' and IV hitting NPCs and a few objects with some characters' on map abilities can make them react in this way.
- Shadow Hearts and its sequels do this in little bubbles that appear above a character's head. Others include squiggly lines (for exasperation), ? or ! marks, heart symbols and even internet emoticon-ish faces. Ditto the Golden Sun series.
- Displaying this and displaying Cross-Popping Veins are among options for speech balloon emotion built into RPG Maker VX.
- Characters in Disgaea occasionally do this.
- Prier from La Pucelle does this so many times she has her own Sweat Drop animation.
- Happens fairly often in Persona 3. Notable examples are during SEES's reaction to Junpei's melodramatic "Believe It Or Don't" flashlight-under-face ghost story attempt, or in the Persona 3: FES rerelease, Elizabeth misguidedly offering one million yen coins to the "fountain god" at the mall, to which a nearby young couple sitting on a bench let out two huge sweatdrops.
- Its successor, Persona 4, has this, as well. Copious sweatdrops are doled out in rapid succession in the infamous "King's Game" scene.
- In Persona 5, any time characters are suddenly worried, their character model will have 3 little drops of water pop out from their forehead. any time they're embarrassed, an oversized drop of water pops up on the side of their temple instead.
- DragonFable has Artix get one when you're trying to enter Necro U with Zorbak's ID, but of course, the guard are undead so...
- The eponymous character of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is very prone to this during trials, although it appears in a more realistic manner and is frequently lampshaded how he actually breaks into cold sweat.
- This is seen quite often in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, pretty much whenever the characters are embarrassed or confused by something.
- Misfile: Used almost constantly in early strips, and although its use has been toned down in recent strips even Rumi's T-shirt can develop one.
- Appears from time to time in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!.
- Used here in Corner Alley 13.
- Yahtzee Takes on the World: Derek, the Anime girl, can have one. And later, Ludo in Derek's body.
- Questionable Content: The anime-style AnthroPCs have this as a feature (read the text below the comic).
- Has appeared in 8-Bit Theater. This strip, for example.
- Buttlord GT: "Dude, see this huge sweatdrop? It means that I'm totally grossed out."
- In Erstwhile, the prince, when his bride mentions his true love, Maid Maleen, on their wedding day.
- In Sinfest, when wondering what their offense is, the enlightened Illuminati drones.
- In Sandra and Woo, Cloud gets a huge one when his entire family teases him by urging him to marry Sandra.
- Waterworks: Slick gets it when he thinks about giving flowers to a girl to make amends.
- A regular occurrence in Toki No Tanaka.
- Awful Hospital: done with, of all things, an azure drop-shaped slug.
- Characters established to be anime fans in Gap are sometimes given versions of these. Tom's somewhat fluid preferences regarding anime result in him having these only when discussing the subject.
- The icon for shipping on Bulbapedia shows Buneary with a heart over her head and Pikachu with a Sweat Drop over his.
- BIONICLE: Hewkii did this in one of the early web animations as Macku was dragging him away for a swimming lesson (he hates water), despite the Matoran's apparent absence of sweat glands.
- Project Wonderful adds a sweat drop to the face icon when a bid is about to expire.