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Overly Long Hug

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This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
KJMackley on Mar 18th 2011 at 9:58:54 PM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Jun 3rd 2017 at 11:00:05 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Joy: (trying to pull away) "Uh, Earl?"

Two character engage in a hug that, given the context, goes on a little too long for comfort. Generally, it happens when one of the participants are not ready to let go and you can see the other individual trying to pull away. It might go all the way to the extreme of a Glomp, one person isn't even a part of the hug.

Sometimes this is played for laughs, such as the Leisure Suit Larry invoking a self-gratifying Marshmallow Hell or the Heterosexual Life-Partners giving each other longer (and more emotional) hugs than a respective Love Interest. It might also be played for drama, where someone is about to go on a Heroic Sacrifice (or otherwise something dangerous) and their friend/love interest doesn't want to let go.

This doesn't account for general "comforting" or Cooldown Hug type situations. This kind of hug should be awkward for either the characters or the audience.

See any of the Hug Tropes. A subtrope of Overly Long Gag.


  • My Name Is Earl had an episode where Earl was trying to hide Joy (his ex-wife) from an ex girlfriend from even further back. Trying to hide Joy in an old camper trailer, they had to make a deal with a homeless guy for a pair of shoes and a hug "from the cute one." He ended up taking Joy's stilettos and Earl had to give him an uncomfortably long hug. After some time talking to each other, Earl and Joy managed to patch up their rocky post-marriage life and they hug each other. Joy starts to pull away, but Earl wasn't quite finished yet, due to the last hug he had to give.
  • In The Big Bang Theory the guys were in a position for an expedition to the North Pole and when Sheldon informed her of the trip, she showed unusual concern about Leonard leaving for several months. Later, she privately gave him a going away present (a blanket with sleeves) and a surprising hug that goes on a lot longer than Leonard expected, showing him trying to break away sooner than her. All things considered, the hug was the main sign to Leonard that she was developing romantic feelings for him. When Leonard approached her about it, he said "It was at least 5 Mississippi."
  • In Scrubs J.D. and Turk tend to give some exceptionally long hugs, one particular big one happening after they get ridiculed at a hospital party for their Heterosexual Life-Partner behavior. After half-an-episode of trying to restrain their behavior, they gave in and gave each other a long Bear Hug complete with a reprise of "Guy Love." In the Grand Finale as J.D. is about to leave the hospital and on his last day, Turk gave him another long hug which prompts Carla and Elliot to remark on it. They decided to experiment to see what the appeal was and that made the guys pause with shock and give advice on how to hug better.

Feedback: 7 replies

Mar 18th 2011 at 11:52:39 PM

  • George, attending her own funeral, sees her grieving father Professor Clancy Lass hugging one of his male students for way to long, and promptly lampshades this. Plans to make that moment foreshadowing fell through.

Feb 26th 2013 at 5:25:03 PM

Film Animated

  • Space Jam features the portly Stan Podolak finding Michael Jordan alive and well in Looney Tune Land. Stan runs up to Jordan and hugs him ecstatically, to which Michael responds, "Stan, don't hug me, please."

Feb 27th 2013 at 2:01:23 AM

  • Happens in Futurama episode "Hell Is Other Robots", where a newly converted Bender gets a little too touchy-feely with Fry.

Feb 27th 2013 at 3:30:33 AM

Who is the "she" and "her" in The Big Bang Theory example?

Namespaced and italicized the OP examples work titles.

Feb 27th 2013 at 3:40:33 AM

Live Action TV

  • The X Files, "Three Words": Frohike, one of the Lone Gunmen trio, is really excited to see Mulder when he sees him for the first time since Mulder's return from the dead. (Said resurrection was very weird even for The X Files but the alien virus thing works in mysterious ways.) Frokihe embraces Mulder tightly around the waist. Mulder hugs him back, but it gets akward.
    Frohike: You know, it's really not fair. You've been dead for six months and you still look better than me. But not by much.
    Mulder: Melvin, I'd be a whole lot happier to see you if you'd just take your hands off my ass.
    Frohike: Sorry. [He's embarrassed and lets him go.]

Jun 3rd 2017 at 11:00:05 PM

Here's an example:

In Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, when Madam Foster steals tickets to Europe from Mac, she does it by hugging him tightly for a good few seconds. Mac is honestly very weirded out by it and quickly leaves when Madam Foster lets go.