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"Why's your forehead all red?"

So you're the Only Sane Man, and the lunatics around you are once again doing something to make you question your faith in humanity. *sighs* It may not solve anything, but raising your hand to your forehead will have the dual benefit of temporarily obscuring your vision of the idiocy as well as cradling the oncoming headache. Variations occur, from pinching the bridge of one's nose to slapping one's forehead (basically a Dope Slap to oneself for the "idiocy" of putting up with this mess). One may also follow up the slap with sliding the palm of the hand down one's face, possibly with a look of exasperation. If they're wearing a hat, expect them to pull the brim of the hat over their eyes in disgust. If they're wearing a cloak or a hoodie, then they're pulling the cowl before their face.

Sometimes, there is a distinction between the forehead facepalm (for irritating moments) and the full-face version (humiliation). There's also the Double Face Palm, which is grasping one's head with both palms, as Picard does in "The Offspring"; this one is far more commonly associated with embarrassment. Some people even have gone meta, inserting "*picture of French Enterprise captain*" in their forum posts.

Of course, it's also prevalent in Real Life. It's universal; a wide range of cultures, and even animals capable of reaching their faces with their arms/forelegs, seem to have some variety of this.

It may be accompanied by the line "That's the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard!" It may also be combined with I Need a Freaking Drink. Applying a Dope Slap is often a form of ready relief for the headaches that cause a Face Palm.

A Sister Trope to Head Desk (in particularly extreme cases, these actions can also be combined to perform a *facepalmheaddesk* maneuver), Face Fault, Disapproving Look (also known as the "Implied Facepalm").

Compare Surrounded by Idiots, Only Sane Man, The Take.

See also Aside Glance, Stunned Silence.

Not directly related to Facepalm of Doom, in which one attacks by placing one's palm on someone else's face.

Now in Webster's Dictionary here!

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Other Examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • GEICO:
    • The Gecko, when the company briefly considers using a campy cartoon version of him.
      Gecko: So you've turned me into a cartoon. Lovely.
    • Also, with the Gecko, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Rocky is the one who does the facepalm first. The Gecko just catches on to it.
      Rocky: Aww, come on, Bullwinkle. They're named after—
      Bullwinkle: First president George Rockington!
      [Rocky looks at Gecko]
      Gecko: That doesn't even make any sense, Mr. ...uh... Winkle.
    • There's also a print ad that talks about saving money with GEICO being no laughing matter. The ad depicts an iguana stating "I-guana save you money" and the Gecko standing next to him, facepalming.
  • Jack in the Box. Jack and others facepalm themselves and/or massage their heads in various commercials.
  • The Discover Card Peggy commercial "Transfer" ends with the caller standing bent over a planter, her face buried in her hands in frustration.
  • V-8 vegetable juice used a campaign for quite a while that involved people dealing themselves the forehead slap version when they realized "Duh, I could have had a V-8!" The campaign was later revived with other people delivering a forehead variant of the Dope Slap to the person who didn't eat their vegetables and the tagline changed to You could have had a V-8!".

  • Lamput: In "Opera", the docs both do a face palm when Fat Doc spills his chloroform all over the opera's audience, sending them to sleep. Slim Doc has a tissue in his hand when he face palms, which wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that the tissue had some of the liquid on it.
  • Mechamato:
    • Deep puts his palm on his face in disbelief upon realising that it was Amato entering the class and not their teacher Mr. Jamie coming in early.
    • Pian slaps his forehead in disappointment at Deep overdramatising them being hunted by Janitoor off of something he learned from movies.
    Pian: (facepalms) This kid needs some help!
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders episode 2, General Wolf does one when one of the wolves tries to shoot a cannonball at the barrier protecting Goat Village.

  • Across the street from the Oklahoma City National Memorial is a statue of Jesus Christ performing this gesture. The statue, "And Jesus Wept", depicts him averting his gaze and crying at the loss of life in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing that killed 168 people in 1995, in addition to severely damaging St. Joseph's Catholic Church, which used to be located where the statue now stands (the congregation of the church financed the statue's construction).
  • Plate 10 of William Hogarth's Industry and Idleness series of prints shows industrious 'prentice Francis Goodchild, now Alderman of London, doing this as his idle counterpart Tom Idle is brought before him on charges of highway robbery and murder.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • At the end of a Horrible Camping Trip where it rained all week, Calvin's dad has just packed everything up when the rain stops. Cue wap.
    • Calvin does it himself in another strip. After hurting Susie's feelings by calling her names, he makes a hesitant attempt at apology. Irritated and not understanding his stammering, Susie snaps at him and stalks off. Calvin shouts "I'm trying to apologize, you dumb noodleloaf!" Realizing he just called her a name while trying to apologize for calling her names, he facepalms.
  • Garfield:
    • Garfield apparently does this a lot. This strip from Square Root of Minus Garfield demonstrates.
    • There's a strip where Garfield is facepalming for no reason. Jon asks him what he's doing, and Garfield replies, "Practicing being exasperated." Jon notices he's not wearing pants, and Garfield puts his practice to good use.
  • Pearls Before Swine often has characters doing this, and the strip's creator Stephan Pastis does this on the covers of a couple reprint treasuries.

  • Maclean's magazine columnist Scott Feschuk's author thumbnail has him doing this. Considering the fact that his column focuses on satirizing some of the most facepalm-inducing topics of the month, this is quite appropriate (it's also hilarious to imagine him doing it while typing out his article).

  • Random Assault: Mitch once tried to make one audible on the show.
    Mitch: Did you hear that? That was the sound of me face-palming, that was so bad.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Parker on Mr. Meaty does this gesture in the episode "Hamish" in annoyance at Josh talking to Goth Girl.
  • The Muppet Show:
    • Sam the Eagle is a frequent practitioner of the facewingtip, but he will often simply utter his signature phrase, "You are all weirdos."
    • Others try them out now and then, such as Rowlf in the Rudolf Nureyev episode facepawing when Fozzie cuts through a candle with a blowtorch.
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, Gonzo does this when he sees that Rizzo is letting rats aboard and marketing the Hispanola's voyage to Capt. Flint's treasure as a pleasure cruise.
  • Betty Lou does so on the Sesame Street game show sketch "The Triangle Is Right" after Carl Mericana answers "A Circle".


    Tabletop Games 
  • Pretty much any Game Master is expected to end up like this at least once per session, usually caused by one or more players' stupidity (or Pun). In certain circles, it's even nicknamed the GM's facepalm.
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: This is one of the standard XP Emotions, indicating a character who is hapless and goofy and thus can earn XP by inducing amused facepalms among the other players. Of the Glass-Maker's Dragon core characters, this honour goes to the Wishing Boy/Girl, a character whose use of the ability to rewrite the universe with few hard and fast restrictions largely boils down to "I wish seagulls were cooler" and failed attempts to get ice cream.
  • The Dresden Files Role-Playing Game: A picture in one of the rulebooks has Murphy doing one, with Harry commenting beneath the picture, "I make her do this way too much."

  • In the 2000 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas's reaction to Simon and his calls for armed revolution in the song "Simon Zealotes" is a series of continual face-palms, followed by continual glares at Jesus for allowing it to get this bad in the first place.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Morgan reacts with this at some of Amy’s attempts to “mug” people in the school hallways that Amy fails particularly badly at.
  • In Fate/stay night, Rin Tohsaka can often be found doing this, usually in response to something Shiro said.
  • Katawa Shoujo
    • Rin Tezuka has her own unique variation.
    • In Lilly's Act 1 ending, Hisao does this when Lilly responds to his asking about her being depressed over Akira's departure by saying that "Akira's taken."
      Hisao: Lilly never sees how fast my palm meets my face at her sly accusation.
  • Done in a single finger-way by Kotoko Minaduki in a concept art of Tokimeki Memorial 2; on the other hand, the final art scratches this in favor of a "let's ignore those idiots" look.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • There are giant montages available on certain image boards consisting of nothing but anime characters facepalming.
  • There are montages of facepalm pictures that, once zoomed out enough, look like Picard facepalming. Such as this.
  • "I told you to slay the dragon..."
  • There's a "special feeling meme", in which two characters will be shown being interviewed for TV, with one saying "Being in the snow with your lover immerses me with a special feeling. I like it." while the other one blushes and face palms. A Puella Magi Madoka Magica example is here.
  • The Gord, from the website Acts of Gord, apparently does this a lot. About every chapter of the "Books" has a small image of Gord facepalming while commenting on the worst idiocy on the page.
  • The Bandwidth Theater episode "Ninja Massage Therapist" sees the title character do a facepalm after catching himself in a dumb mistake.
  • DesuDesBrigade member CJ Hitchcock did this repeatedly during his Vampire Wars review when he found out that Kuki's code name would be Bat instead of Van Helsing.
  • The Mario Fan Games Galaxy forums contains a "facepalm" smiley, probably better known by its filename of "ugh.gif". It was used and abused so much that it was even temporarily filtered to "Don't worry, I can relate". This was taken from Something Awful. Facepunch Studios also inherited the smiley for a while, then took it out when it was abused in the In The News forum.
  • Not Always Legal: In this case, the defense lawyer put his head in his hands after his client asked the court "Yeah, so, if I'm found innocent, does... does that mean I get to keep the stuff I took?"
  • SF Debris: SF Debris very often talks about facepalming in his reviews of various sci-fi shows, focusing primarily on Star Trek. In the review of "Realm of Fear" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, he says he literally facepalmed when Deanna Troi counselled Reginald Barkley on his phobia.
  • found this entirely appropriate reaction.
  • Topless Robot often features the page image in their "Fan Fiction Friday" articles. In one example, they have a combination of this and the image of Toht's face melting in a "Toht-Palm" image for passages in fan fiction that are disturbing and nonsensical.
  • On TV Tropes, if a certain show/video game/comic/etc. has its own Wall Banger or DMOS page, odds are an image of one of the characters facepalming will be the page image.

Alternative Title(s): Comic Strips


Patrick's Wallet

During the "returning the wallet" lesson, Patrick insists his wallet is not his, much to Man Ray's annoyance. The next lesson involves helping Patrick with a heavy package, which he frequently drops on Man Ray's foot. When Man Ray asks what's in the heavy box, Patrick says it's his wallets.

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