"You can't even do it when we're helping you!?"
Two characters open their arms. They lean in and... fake to the left, flinch backwards, bump arms, cringe, and back away.
Sometimes, hugs are psychologically helpful
or at very least, cathartic.
Other times, the chemistry's off, elbows keep bumping, or both participants instantly want to back out. Can be used to to highlight a complete lack of sexual tension, relationship problems, embarrassment, intimacy issues, any number of things, really. The important part is that the hug is incredibly awkward. This does not
indicate that the characters are not emotionally close—frequently, examples of this trope occur between two people who just hate physical closeness.
The characters may actually succeed in wrapping their arms around one another, but immediately break apart from acute embarrassment.
Can overlap with Man Hug
, where men develop a special way of hugging to keep this from happening out of embarrassment. Also see Air Hugging
. Maybe the natural result is No Hugging, No Kissing
- At the end of Mean Girls, Janis and Damien's hug is this.
- Several examples in the Harry Potter films:
- At the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hermione runs up to Harry and gives him a big hug, and then turns to Ron, who holds out his arms a little bit. They end up shaking hands instead of hugging. This is a indicative of Hermione's feelings - hugging Harry is just hugging a friend, but Ron might be more and she's not yet ready to deal with this.
- In Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Voldemort attempts to hug Draco, who just sort of stands there. It's obvious that Draco just wishes he weren't there at the moment and that Voldemort has absolutely no experience with giving hugs.
- A one sided example In Lord of the Rings, Aragorn hugs Haldir.
- In the 1958 film version Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Maggie hugs her husband, Brick. Brick instinctively raises his arms to hug her back... then lets them down and tells Maggie to let go.
- Psych: At a big party for Lassie, Lassiter and Juliet exchange an utterly awkward but completely sincere hug.
Lassiter: "Eh—um—oh, 'come here."
- 30 Rock: Liz and Jack should not attempt to hug without extreme circumstances.
Liz: [surprised] This is the best hug I've ever had!
- On Firefly, Zoe and Mal have a "highlighting lack of sexual tension between close friends" variant.
- Happened hilariously on Merlin: Merlin saves Arthur's skin again and after Arthur reluctantly apologizes, Merlin goes in for a hug. Arthur steps back, hands out, and...
Arthur: What're you doing?
Merlin: I thought you were going for a hug.
- Happens in the SyFy miniseries Alice between The Mad Hatter and Alice, as Alice is leaving Wonderland.
- On Doctor Who, in the episode "The Parting of the Ways", when the Doctor says goodbye to Lynda as she's heading off to help defend the space station.
- Monk: When Monk's brother Ambrose is first introduced, the somewhat estranged siblings try to hug. This doesn't go well, partially due to the fact that both of them suffer from Super OCD, and they end up Air Hugging.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale, the potential future Picard is flashing forward to establishes that he and Dr. Crusher married and divorced, and when they meet, they have a hard time deciding if they're going to hug or shake hands.
- Whenever Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory attempts physical contact of any sort, it is incredibly awkward. This goes double for hugging.
- The Wizards of Waverly Place are so dysfunctional they have trouble hugging. Harper even lampshades it.
- Between Parker and Jules in Flashpoint who have something of a father-daughter relationship. Parker wanted to congratulate Jules on a job well done and Jules wanted to thank Parker for coaching her through a negotiation. Parker extended his hand for a handshake while Jules attempted to pull him in for a hug. Then they switch places with Parker going in for a hug and Jules offering her hand. They end up having a bit of an awkward moment when they finally settled for a hug, with Jules quickly leaving afterwards and Parker remaining frozen in place.
- Sort of happens between Cersei and Tyrion in Season 2 of Game of Thrones, except that they don't even get as far as hugging. After spending a season and a half thoroughly loathing one another, Cersei finally breaks down in front of Tyrion, starts crying, and admits that there is something terribly wrong with her son. Tyrion realizes that this is the moment when you're kind of supposed to do *something* to make your sobbing sister feel better, but he's so out of practice that he crosses the room to her and then has no idea what to do. He winds up just sort of patting her hand a little, and then they both sit there silently looking awkward.
- The X-Files, "Colony": Agent Mulder is called by his father to visit his mother due to a family emergency. When he arrives, Mulder greets him and goes for a hug. Bill Mulder, however, just extends his arm. They shake hands, but Mulder is visibly disappointed.
Truth in Television
- Kane and Daniel Bryan's first few hugs played this hilariously straight, when they were forced to "Hug it Out". They did eventually get it right, however.
- Awkward sidehugs.
- Hover hand. It's putting your arm around somebody's shoulders, but letting your hand hover awkwardly just above their shoulder. Usually indicates lack of confidence.