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Fingerless Hands

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How can Blossom play the guitar when all she has are hot dog shaped limbs? Or thumbs, for that matter?
"So, the dog brings out the trash? How can it even hold things with those nubby arms?"
Mr. Dwicky, Invader Zim, "Vindicated!"

A character in an animated work has no apparent hands, but yet still manages to pick things up and manipulate things as if they did. Some do have thumbs, some don't have thumbs, and some have thumbs appear when grasping something or gesturing, but disappear otherwise.

Can sometimes be a feature of a Super-Deformed design.

Subtrope of Invisible Anatomy.

Compare Magnet Hands and Four-Fingered Hands. See Bell-Bottom-Limbed Bots for the mechanical equivalent. If the character is an animal that actually doesn't have hands or fingers, but still manages to manipulate things as if they do, that's Feather Fingers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Ponosuke is a vaguely human-shape pigeon ayakashi whose "arms" are flipper-like wings (separate from the wings on his back) that manipulative objects without any kind of Feather Fingers.
    • Lippy also has stubs for hands, but can still handle objects, including a smoking pipe. She also has stubs for feet, though she usually floats instead of walking.
  • The Azumanga Daioh characters in Art Shift mode.
  • Doraemon doesn't have any visible fingers, yet he is able to do things normal people can do, with some minor appearance of his fingers. That's because he has a sticky-thing on each of his hands.note  He also hates the fact that he can only play rock in rock, paper, scissors.
  • Puar the shape shifting cat from Dragon Ball.
  • The students of Midnight Horror School have these. Although Piranin doesn't have stubs for hands but fins instead.
  • Subverted in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. Ilulu isn't very good at turning into human form, and her attempt at forming hands manifests as stubby balls on the end of her arms (though she gets better as the story progresses). However, she can still hold things with them because they're made up of thousands of smaller hands. Much Memetic Mutation ensued about this horrifying explanation for the trope.
  • Harpies, Wyverns and Vampires in Monster Musume don't really have fingers aside from thumbs since they have wings for arms. While they are able to grasp things, they're not nearly as dextrous as human hands.
    • Similarly, Leechi the leech girl basically has mittens for hands.
  • One Piece has Chopper, who doesn't have stubs for hands, but does have reindeer hooves. While he can shapeshift into forms with human hands, he prefers to do the majority of his medical work with his less dexterous hoof-hand hybrids. The author made an attempt in the Q&A section to explain with an illustration of Chopper using them like tongs.
  • Mesousa in Pani Poni Dash!. One of his many laments was that he had no thumbs or fingers of any kind, and could barely manipulate objects.
  • Pecola: All of the characters have stubby, fingerless hands, or at the most mitten-like hands that don't have visible fingers apart from a visible thumb.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • One episode has Ash's Turtwig playing the drums despite having nubs for hands/hooves/feet.
    • Jigglypuff have stubby, fingerless paws, yet one Jigglypuff has repeatedly been shown to use markers perfectly well.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Strips 
  • Ron Ferdinand sometimes draws Dennis and his friends hands like this from Dennis the Menace.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Sometimes the cars of Cars appear able to lift things with their tires, while sometimes they're shown using their windshield wipers or built-in gadgets for the task.
  • The penguins in Madagascar and in their tv show use their flippers like hands, with their exact dexterity depending largely on whether its funny or not.
  • Every pony in My Little Pony: A New Generation. They have hooves, yet, they can grab Pizzas, Mugs, Nootbooks, Crystals, Crowns, you name it.
  • Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas is an insect-filled burlap sack with simple pointed extensions for arms, yet he's perfectly able to throw dice and operate a hand crank, among other things.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The Super Adventure, the various bacteria from the White Bull Kingdom and the Black Bull Kingdom do not have visible fingers on their hands.
  • Dolly from Toy Story 3 has thumbless hands, but she has two lines of stitching on each hand that indicate fingers. Justified in that she is a ragdoll.


  • Most BIONICLE characters prior to the 2009 line of sets (which first introduced an original hand-piece) manipulated things with their unmoving "hands" in animation, if you can even call those pieces they had hands. Clenched fists, open palms, pointing finger — these were all accomplished by the same inarticulate LEGO piece. Even if a character had fingers, some animations still depicted objects simply sticking to their palms. Averted in the Direct to Video movies, in which they were given five, at times four-fingered hands. Strangely played straight in a scene from the first movie, however, when Takua uses a never-before seen magnetic force to pull a wooden staff to his palm. In fact Word of God claimed that when we don't see the characters using fingers, they utilize their magnetic abilities (also used for keeping their masks on their faces and backpacks on their backs, no matter what material they're made of).
  • A lot of Tamagotchis in Tamagotchi lack fingers, including Series Mascot Mametchi. However, in the derivative Animated Adaptations from OLM Incorporated, they will spontaneously produce fingers when specific actions require it, such as (for example) giving a thumbs up.

    Video Games 
  • Basically every single character in Animal Crossing. The human Player Character is portrayed without fingers, but still manages to do anything a normal human can do. And more obviously, all of the animal villagers can also do every mundane activity without trouble. How can a bird villager write with their wings? How can a deer villager use a fishing rod with their hooves? How can a cat villager use a bug-catching net with their paws? Smug-type villagers in New Leaf will even mention being able to play the acoustic guitar, even though they're a mouse, or koala, or horse, or...
  • Wil and Oliver Battle Bears have these, or as Wil calls them "stupid nub hands".
  • The titular Bomberman has pink balls for hands, but despite this he is able to use bombs with ease.
  • Moogles in the Final Fantasy series have fingerless hands that are fully capable of wielding weapons, be they spears, staves, or rapiers.
  • BB/Balloon Boy in Five Nights at Freddy's 2 has ball hands like the aforementioned Bomberman, except his has holes to hold his sign and balloon. Despite this, he's able to drop both items when crawling through the Left Vent and hold them again if he gets into the Office.note  His Nightmare counterpart in Five Nights at Freddy's 4, however, averts this by having Wolverine Claws.
  • Workers in Globulation, as the name implies, consist of a handful of blobs, but manage to cut trees, chip stone, and make a lot of stuff, up to what seems to be steam cannons.
  • Everyone in the 3D-Era Grand Theft Auto games has fingerless hands due to the lack of detail in the 3D models. The fingers are only textured on the hands and never actually move separately despite their ability to use guns, drive, and operate vehicles.
  • In the first Jet Set Radio, Gum and Pirahna look as if they're wearing mittens (although during graffiti segments, the hand holding the spray can now has fingers).
  • Kirby is able to wield swords, hammers, and umbrellas among other weaponry with his stubby little arms. The official art of Kirby and the Amazing Mirror does show his arms wrapped around objects and his cell phone only having two buttons, making it slightly more believable but in the game itself objects just hang on the end of his arms.
  • The Miis all lack fingers, but can handle objects like tennis rackets, baseball bats, bowling balls, and golf clubs very well. They can even drive. Their hands are different from game to game, ranging from floating balls to Mitten Hands. Even some, such as Mario Kart 8 and later Smash games (Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Ultimate, namely) give them fully-fingered handsnote .
  • In Minecraft, the player's hands are solid cubes, yet are able to hold and use items. Parodied in this animation by scratchU8, which uses audio from the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Jellyfishing". scratchU8's Minecraft avatar gets impaled by the diamond pickaxe.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: Everyone, as per Minecraft's artstyle. The only exception are the redstone golems.
  • Move or Die has many characters who lack fingers, yet they can still hold snipers.
  • Several Pokémon have no toes and/or no fingers.
  • All Chao in Sonic the Hedgehog, excluding the mutant Chaos. The non-human cast also lack toesnote , but this is more obviously seen with Big the Cat, Tikal the Echidna, and Darkspine Sonic. Averted in the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic books, where the Sonic characters are depicted with toes when seen without their shoes.
  • In the first Splatoon, Inkling models have no toes, likely because their bare feet were never intended to be seen during normal gameplay. From Splatoon 2 onwards, they (and Octolings) have properly rendered toes, which allows for more footwear options including flip-flops, sandals, or even no shoes at all.
  • Some Super Mario Bros. enemies like Shy Guys and Boos lack hands, but still grip their equipment just fine in the Mario Sports games. When someone asked Nintendo Power how this worked, they said that when they asked them how they gripped their tennis rackets in Mario Tennis, Shy Guy said something about a complex series of magnets while Boo just muttered something about "sticky ectoplasm".

    Web Animation 
  • In Episode 3 of the Charlie the Unicorn spin-off charlie teh unicron, Charlie defends himself when accused of murdering Starfish by saying he was playing a Super Mario Bros. game at the time.
    Charlie: I'm not good! Mario falls down a lot and gets boo-boos!
  • In Happy Tree Friends, every character except Lumpy has only thumbs visible most of the time, but they still show fine motor control, such as clenching objects and manipulating small devices.
    • Handy loses this ability when he's on screen (what with having amputated arms).
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad has boxing gloves for hands, yet still displays excellent fine motor control, such as typing on a keyboard with ease. He's very tired of people asking how that works. He can also flip you the bird... somehow.
    • Homestar can also allegedly flip the bird, despite his lack of visible hands (and arms), though it's unclear whether Homestar did make said gesture or not; it's possible that Strong Bad was no more able to tell what Homestar was doing than the viewers were, and merely guessed.
    • The Cheat, Bubs, and Pom Pom lack distinguishable hands, but they can manipulate things just fine (and as with Strong Bad and Homestar, Pom Pom can flip the bird). Coach Z does have hands, but they're more like mittens, with a thumb and one big finger. Marzipan doesn't have any arms, but can still operate things just fine.
    • In the email "fingers", Strong Bad stuck various objects onto his gloves as "fingers" in order to get people to stop asking how he types "with boxing gloves on", only to find that he was suddenly having much more difficulty typing than normal. In "Doomy Tales of the Macabre", his boxing gloves were replaced with human hands, and the experience left him bewildered and deeply disturbed — he had no idea how to type with them.
  • The Light of Courage: Zig-zagged. The human and humanoid characters in the animations are depicted with mitten hands, but, in contrast, the Triforces and Ganon have fully-modeled hands.
  • Pucca doesn't have fingers, neither does anyone in Sooga. This was lampshaded when a character wanted to call on a phone but couldn't dial, when she asked how this works, the others only look at their own hands and answer "I don't know."
  • Everyone from Retarded Animal Babies. This is actually lampshaded in the Thanksgiving episode where Puppy actually forces Bunny to punch a turkey with brass knuckles, but Bunny cannot put them on because he has no fingers. Puppy then proceeds to cut up Bunny's hands so that he now has "fingers."
  • Not only do people in Zero Punctuation have circular hands, they don't have arms; their hands just float in space. This is lampshaded by the credits once, when Yahtzee has injured himself by overusing the Guitar Hero controller:
    Did no-one else think it was weird for the character in image 110 to be wearing a sling when he only has free-floating circular hands?

  • Characters in Fruit Incest don't seem to have fingers or toes for the most part. They will occasionally gain a finger or two for the sake of pointing, but any fingers not being currently used will simply appear as one giant mitten hand.
  • A gag very early (the fourth panel of the story) in Homestuck is based on the fact that the characters are often drawn not only without fingers, but also without hands or even arms. It's later revealed that John has arms/hands/fingers, you just don't see see them unless he's actively using them to do something.
  • One Megatokyo filler strip showed a partially drawn Largo asking Fred to draw him some fingers, because he's at risk of dropping his beer.
  • Boss from Merchant Band has no fingers on his blue, round hands. No toes either!
  • Questionable Content:
    • Pintsize the anthro-pc's featureless limb-bulbs are lampshaded both in-universe and in the alt-text at various times. Other anthro-pcs of the same design appear as background characters.
    • Momo also appears initially as a chibi design with no hand or foot detail, although she can handle objects as the plot requires (at one point, fighting a squirrel with a kendo sword). She also claims to be able to carry out light housework.

    Western Animation 
  • Many characters in The Amazing World of Gumball have hands without any fingers or clear separation between their hands and arms, including Darwin (fins), Carrie (rounded "ghost hands"), and Idaho and Banana Joe (who both have lines for arms). Any of them may grow fingers and/or thumbs when they need to use them. The Robinson family and Jamie's season three design have thumbs, but singular blocks for fingers.
    Darwin: Who buys [fireworks] like this?
    Gumball: People with fingers to spare.
    Darwin: But as you can see (holds up hand), I don't.
  • Despite the many times Babar and his fellow elephants use their trunks to hold things, they tend to carry things with their hooves. Notably in Babar: The Movie, Arthur is seen balancing a bowl of cereal on one hand, and in the sequel series Babar: The Adventures of Badou, one scene shows a few of the castle staff letting loose and playing electric guitars, though not with their trunks.
  • Snap from ChalkZone has fingerless hands, but can easily do things a person needs fingers for easily (including playing the guitar). In the original shorts, he could gain fingers and/or a thumb when needed, but this only comes up once in a blue moon in the series itself.
  • Percy and his parents from Clarence have flipper hands.
  • Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has retractable, fingerless, pointed things for arms, but can do anything a person can do with their hands.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Subverted in the Show Within a Show, My Troubled Pony, which contains a scene where two ponies are dangling from a helicopter above a volcano.
    Purple pony: (Hanging onto the other pony's hoof with both of her hooves) Hold on to me, Guillermo!
    Guillermo: I can't! I don't got no thumbs!
    (The purple pony loses her grip and falls into the volcano, screaming.)
  • The clay characters in Gumby, such as the title character, have fingerless hands. Similar to Patrick Star, they usually have mitten hands when needed. Justified in that they're made of clay, which can change its shape.
  • Pony from It's Pony lacks having actual hands, yet he can use his hooves to pick up things like a fork and a fishing rod without a problem. Lampshaded by the creator himself in his drawing live stream where he explains how Pony is able to hold stuff, like trying to position his hooves to face the back, where he can hold objects so you wouldn't see it to give the illusion that it's stuck to his hooves.
  • The characters in The Large Family have such hands, similar to the MLP franchise, in that they can hold objects without any problems whatsoever.
  • Everybody in Making Fiends has mitten hands.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Horses can grab things with their hooves in a human-like manner, but this is usually averted due to the show's penchant for Furry Reminder. Most of the time, ponies use their mouths, wings, or magic to manipulate objects. Word of Saint Paul says any time this trope does happen is a writing issue that the storyboarders couldn't figure out a good solution to, such as one script requiring a character to use a pointer and speak at the same time. Fans that don't subscribe to the MST3K Mantra theorize that the in-universe reason is ponies being able to use a biological version of Granular Jamming.
    • Cello and fiddle-playing ponies like Octavia Melody and Fiddly Faddle usually avert this by using the articulations between hoof, fetlock, and pastern to manipulate the strings and bow of their instruments.
    • Lampshaded in one My Little Pony: Equestria Girls special. Sunset Shimmer, a unicorn who has lived as a human in a parallel dimension for several years, briefly returns to Equestria to retrieve a magic book. She tries to pick it up using her hooves, but all she can do is helplessly paw at it before another character reminds her that she has magic.
  • My Little Pony Tales has ponies use their hooves as hands almost exclusively, with no difficulties, no explanations, and no lampshading.
  • Parodied in The Octonauts episode "The Sardine School"; Peso, a penguin, asks Kwazii how many fingers he's holding up, only for Kwazii to tell him that he does not have any fingers.
  • Most of the ghosts in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures,including the Ghost Gang, lack fingers.
  • Pingu often has penguins use their flippers like hands.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) is possibly the Trope Codifier and was previously the Trope Namer.
    • Lampshaded in an episode in which the Powerpuff Girls end up switching bodies with Professor Utonium, Miss Bellum and the Mayor, leading to Buttercup having trouble using Professor Utonium's hands. She just kind of waves it around behind the phone, without moving the fingers at all, apparently expecting it to automatically stick to her hand as usual.
      Buttercup: Professor! Your hand doesn't work!
    • Lampshaded again when they play rock-paper-scissors to decide who gets stuck with an unwanted chore. Somehow, they're able to determine who drew what... and Bubbles always loses.
    • Yet again when the Girls are forced to travel by foot and Buttercup complains that their feet clearly aren't meant for walking.
      "I'm using muscles I didn't even know I had!"
    • One MAD sketch lampshades this trope as well when they spoof it with 2 Broke Girls.
      Buttercup: Ugh, I hate being a waitress!
      Bubbles: Because of the hours?
      Buttercup: Because I have no fingers! Why do we take these jobs?
    • When Mojo Jojo hosted Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, he would joke about how the girls were apparently beating him with "flippers".
    • Another subtle lampshade happens in "Oops, I Did It Again", which shows a What If? scenario where Chemical X was never mixed into the brew that made the Powerpuff Girls. This would result in three average, powerless girls... with fingered hands.
  • Basically everyone in SpongeBob SquarePants but the title character and Sandy lack fingers, instead having tentacles, claws, fins, and other finger-less appendages which usually gain mitten-like digits when needed.
  • The way most characters were drawn in the early episodes of South Park, they only appeared to have thumbs, but they did gain fingers in order to perform certain tasks or emphasize with their hands, in the later episodes their fingers are more visible and the guest stars fingers are usually more pronounced.
  • Sushi Pack:
    • Wasabi Pow doesn't have fingers, but despite this, he has no trouble grabbing and holding objects.
    • The same can be said for Tako Maki due to his tentacle arms.
  • The bear trio from We Bare Bears have paws that are stubby and although they have fingers, they stand on their stubs instead of flat on their paws.
  • Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger have thumbless, fingerless hands like those of The Powerpuff Girls. Pooh and Tigger also have thumbs that appear only when grasping something or gesturing. Justified in that they're stuffed animals.
  • The Ferocious Beast in Maggie and the Ferocious Beast has no problems picking things up or even doing things like folding paper with his big, elephant-like feet.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): No Fingers, Powerpuff Girl Hands



Kwazii may not be hurt, but he sure is a smartass.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / HowManyFingers

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