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Eyebrow Waggle

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The Eyebrow Waggle is a gesture in which a character quickly raises and lowers their eyebrows a few times, used as a way to self-lampshade what they have just said or done. This generally shows up after a lecherous comment or Double Entendre, after a wisecrack, or when the Fourth Wall is being leaned on or even broken (often accompanied by an Aside Glance and/or half-closed eyes to show slyness). The first use is something of a Dead Horse Trope, as the style of humor in which this shows up isn't seen much anymore, although it hasn't gone away completely. The gesture is most commonly associated with early-to-mid twentieth-century media, especially cartoons, and often to close out an episode or segment (combined with Iris Out).

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Not to be confused with Fascinating Eyebrow, which only uses one eyebrow and has a completely different intent. Compare Eyelash Fluttering, which flutters the lashes instead of the brows and usually indicates romantic intent instead of slyness, though there is overlap. Also see Character Tics.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comedy 
  • Jeff Dunham's character Achmed the Dead Terrorist does this sometimes when he's making a wisecrack, especially during the Spark of Insanity special. Walter could do this, since his eyebrows are also articulated, but it would clash with his sarcastic style of humor.

    Fan Works 
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In the sixth chapter of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, Pinkie waggles her eyebrows during a discussion of when they can expect Queen Scolopidia to lay her first eggs, saying that she thinks Octavia (one of Scolopidia's wives) is looking forward to being a mommy.
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    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin does it at Jasmine at the end of Aladdin and the King of Thieves when they fly off on the magic carpet to their honeymoon.
    Jasmine: This must've cost a fortune!
    Aladdin: Ah no, it was a steal!
  • The Angry Birds Movie: Red catches a Blue repeatedly kicking a soccer ball against the side of his house, and the Blue gives Red a slow eyebrow wiggle to charm him into forgiveness. Red doesn't buy it; he simply returns the gesture and kicks the Blue into the horizon.
  • In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus gives a rather smug one upon telling Lucy about turning his blanket into a sport coat. It just makes her angrier since she wants him to get rid of it.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree: Sunset Shimmer waggles her eyebrows towards Human Twilight when they meet after Twilight's dance with Timber Spruce.
  • Pinocchio: Honest John does this when talking Pinocchio into become an actor, which Pinocchio playfully imitates.
  • Tangled: When Flynn and Rapunzel first meet, he tries to ease her by waggling his eyebrows. It doesn't work and only has Rapunzel question his motives more.
  • In Winnie the Pooh (2011), Pooh does this when he asks the narrator if there's any honey in this paragraph.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Animal House, Bluto climbs up a ladder to spy on sorority girls, then turns to the camera and waggles his eyebrows.
  • In Garfield The Movie, Garfield waggles his eyebrows to the camera whenever he's about to pull a prank on Jon or Odie.
  • In The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Ladyfish laments how the male fish always leave first. Limpet promises he'll stay with her—and bring a few more males soon, he adds while waggling his eyebrows for effect.
  • This was Groucho Marx's signature way to lampshade his Double Entendres.
  • Chevy Chase's Emmitt Fitzhume in Spies Like Us does this after telling his colleague that he has an "intimate" lunch meeting with the (female) supervisor.
  • The Dark Knight features a malicious instance. Near the end of the interrogation room sequence, the Joker does a brief one after he tells Batman "[...] you'll have to play my little game if you want to save one of them.", as if to highlight how he knows he's got Batman right where he wants him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In "Serve and Protect," instead of blackmailing the deputy commissioner about his affair, Charles tells Holt to make him think that they will, and suggests that Holt waggle his eyebrows in an insinuating manner. Unfortunately, Holt never quite grasps the concept, and the commissioner just thinks he's got a facial tic.
  • Loki (2021): In "Lamentis," Sylvie waggles her eyebrows when she asks Loki about his love life.
  • The White Queen: When George of Clarence inquires as to what his younger brother's intentions are for Anne Neville, Richard of Gloucester answers, "Well, what do you think they are?" and performs this gesture as a silent "I dare you to figure me out, because I know you've never really tried to understand me."
  • World's Dumbest...: Dustin Diamond does this for the camera during the Hilarious Outtakes of an early episode.

    Video Games 
  • In Cuphead, mad scientist Dr. Kahl's boss-fight beginning animation is him wiggling his eyebrows repeatedly at Cuphead before entering his robot's head. It's a reference to Dr. Wily's signature gesture.
  • Dr. Wily does this in all of the classic Mega Man games before you go to his castle stage.
  • Ganryu in Tekken has a victory pose where he does this at the camera. He's noted by Lili for his Big Ol' Eyebrows.
  • Crash Bandicoot does this before jumping on the warthog in the game of the same name. Many have noted how it makes him look like he's about to do...something else.
  • Piston Honda in the NES version of Punch-Out!! does this often - it's one of his punching tells. The Wii game changes it to him waggling one eyebrow at a time.
  • Jean in Breath of Fire II does this, directly at the player, accompanied by a smug smile, whenever he attacks.
  • In The Town with No Name, the Man with No Name finds the Hooker in a room on the Saloon's second floor and in a Sexy Discretion Shot, we only see a silhouette of them kissing and the curtains closing from the outside before cutting to the Bartender waggling his eyebrows suggestively at the viewer while hearing the loud commotion coming from the room.

    Web Animation 
  • Battle for BFDI: In "Four Goes Too Far," A Better Name Than That successfully gets rid of Four by multiplying him by zero (Donut). Tennis Ball and Golf Ball wiggle their eyebrows at the word "factor" as an Un-Entendre, much to Donut's annoyance.
    Tennis Ball: Well, Four became a... factor of zero... if you know what I mean.
    [Tennis Ball and Golf Ball wiggle their eyebrows intensively]
    Donut: Stop that! There's not even a second meaning there!
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    Webcomics 
  • In Homestuck, Karkat has a "mental breakdown" after "Troll/Human sloppy makeouts" are mentioned one time too many. In this state, he sees Rose and Kanaya waggling eyebrows at each other...
  • In Devil's Candy, Ace does this at Rowan to make a suggestive joke when Rowan says that their relationship is platonic.
  • Sleepless Domain: When Undine learns that Lime was "too hardcore" for HP, she imagines her offering HP drugs while waggling her eyebrows.

    Web Original 
  • Done in a couple of Vines:
    • Vincent Marcus does this in his Vine "If Frank Sinatra had Tinder" as he sings "Start sending me nudes..."
    • In one of Thomas Sanders' Vines:
      When you and your crush like a bunch of each other's photos on Instagram... [waggle]
      [cut to scene from Napoleon Dynamite of Pedro saying "I think things are getting pretty serious."]
  • Bennett the Sage, in his Suave character, does this during the review of Eiken on Anime Abandon after making a rather suggestive comment about one particular scene.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Bad Little Boy," both the Ice King and Marcelline do this at various points. The Ice King's is meant to have a lecherous tone, but considering who it is and how it's done it's more funny than anything. Marcelline's is purely for humor as she's poking fun at the Ice King.
  • A stock move of Bugs Bunny and, later, Yakko Warner, usually accompanying an Aside Glance. Serves as a Shout-Out to Groucho Marx.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Brian the Bachelor", after Chris takes his shirt off and begins dancing around, John Herbert appears in the window standing on a ladder. The view cuts to over his shoulder, and he turns to the viewer and does a slow waggle before turning back to ogle Chris.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Duck Amuck: At the very end, Bugs gives one to the camera after saying his only line: "Ain't I a stinker?"
    • During the Duck Season, Rabbit Season bit in Rabbit Fire Bugs gives a very subtle one to the audience hinting that he's about to switch it.
  • The opening animation for Hanna-Barbera's The Perils of Penelope Pitstop shows the Card-Carrying Villain the Hooded Claw doing this when the announcer mentions him. It's likely done as a Fourth Wall vanity pose, but also qualifies as lecherous, since Penelope has yet to suspect his true identity as Sylvester Sneekly, despite Sneekly being the one character who'd profit most from her demise.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: In "Stranded," when Entrapta says she wants some quality time with Mara's ship, she waggles her eyebrows suggestively before pulling out a bunch of power tools.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Milhouse manages to pull this off so well that Principal Skinner considers it a violation of school etiquette.
      Milhouse: Oh, Lisa! I've got an extra seat, and you've got an extra lunch. [chuckles] Catch my drift? [chuckles, waggles eyebrows]
      Principal Skinner: Milhouse! Lower those eyebrows! [Milhouse lowers one eyebrow] And the other one! [Milhouse does so]
    • In a later episode, when some fishermen explain that they use the (horrible-looking) fish they're captured to make an oil used for the wellkeeping of strippers' dancing poles, the fish smiles and waggles the eyebrows at Homer.
  • Steven Universe: In the episode "Future Vision", Steven does this to coerce Garnet into going with him to Big Donut. He actually waggles his eyebrows three times, each in a different way.
  • Total Drama:
    • Justin intercepts Izzy, Eva, and Noah when they have the briefcase with the prize money in "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island" to take it from them. He waggles his eyebrows when Noah enters the confrontation with "Justin! The anti-me! So, we meet again."
    • Courtney gets her tricycle's front wheel stuck in a crack in "Chinese Fake-Out" and can't get it out herself. Alejandro comes to her rescue and pulls it out, all the while flirting with her ending on an eyebrow waggle.
    • Ezekiel becomes smitten with Anne Maria the moment he lays eyes on her in "A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste". No longer part of polite society, he abducts her to his lair, where instead of introducing himself, he sniffs her up and waggles his eyebrows at her. Anne Maria is far from impressed.
  • Muttley does this to close out many episodes of Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Birthday Boy'', Hater's birthday wish is to once again kill Wander and Sylvia, and his first attempt is with a giant laser disguised as a spin-the-bottle game. After taking one look, Wander romantically says, "Hater, you sassy man! You DO want to get this party started!" and gives him an eyebrow waggle. This just makes Hater even more annoyed.


 
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Milhouse, lower those eyebrows

Upon seeing Lisa deserted by her friends, Milhouse coyly invites her to sit with him. Skinner sees his teasing body language as misconduct.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

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Main / EyebrowWaggle

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