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Giving Someone the Pointer Finger

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He's gotta point.
"What's the problem? Pointer fingers were made for pointing!"

Many cultures in Real Life hold that it's not polite to point. In a lot of western cultures, this stems from a superstition that finger-pointing was how witches would jinx people. Of course, the fact that aggressively thrusting a body part at someone could possibly serve to annoy them probably has something to do with it.

In real-world Japanese society, personal space is at a premium and thus of the utmost importance. One is careful to avoid even the appearance of proximity, and one keeps one's hands at one's sides. Thus, in animeland, it is a gesture of extreme emotional importance to physically point at someone. This should be saved for only the most appropriate of times. If breaking out the pointer finger, it is traditional to be especially dramatic about it. A stylized "swirly" fingerprint symbol on the fingertip is optional. (The polite way of gesturing to somebody is to do it with your whole hand, palm facing up.)

However, most characters who Give the Pointer Finger aren't really doing it in an appropriate situation, which can signify either immaturity or status as a Large Ham.

Often used to denote a new rival or Unknown Rival, although more often than not it is simply the trademark of a hammy character. Also often used in tandem with an "You!" Exclamation.

Generally unrelated to giving someone the Finger Poke of Doom, nor is it really related to giving someone another finger.

Compare Sword Pointing, which is similar, but done with melee weapons, and Finger Gun. For more kind of dramatic hand gestures, see Futile Hand Reach and Milking the Giant Cow.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Allison and Lillia: Allison does this a fair bit; as a Genki Girl who clearly wears the pants (flight suit, actually) in her relationship with childhood friend Wilhelm, it's practically a given.
  • Kai from Beyblade points his finger at Brooklyn. Dramatically.
  • Bleach:
    • Used by Ichigo when rescuing Rukia Kuchiki. When she started to object that he should save himself, he points at her and tells her that her opinions have been rejected.
    • Also done when Ichigo and Ganju meet unexpectedly in Kuukaku Shiba's house. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Case Closed:
    • The exposition sequence at the beginning of the movies always end with Conan pointing at the camera to deliver his ultimatum. "There is only one truth!"
    • Also, the detectives often point dramatically at the suspect when making their accusation. (Especially Mouri Kogoro, who is usually wrong.)
  • Chobits: Chii frequently does this — mostly while repeating whatever tidbit of information she just learned. Chii, at least, has the excuse of being an android who doesn't know proper etiquette.
    • And she's too cute for anyone to get mad at her for long.
  • Death Note: While Light usually keeps his hands to himself, he points emphatically at L during their post-tennis-match war of words.
  • Doraemon: About the only ones who don't do this are Shizuka (who is too polite) and Doraemon (who doesn't have visible fingers).
  • Dropkick on My Devil: For some reason, Yurine hates when people do this and tends to beat the crap out of anyone who points, usually Jashin.
  • Eyeshield 21: Hiruma does this a lot, rude bastard that he is.
    • Not to mention Monta, who even has the swirl on his fingertips, even when he's wearing gloves.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Natsu does this a lot to people he's yelling at or challenging to a fight.
    • However, a more epic and dramatic example is Loke/ Leo, who does it to Caprico in a You Shall Not Pass! moment.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited: Kaze does this when he announces "The Soil Charge Triad to use on you has been decided!"
  • Full Metal Panic!: Gauron does this to activate his Arm Slave's special attack, and he doesn't give a damn about personal space. He's crazy like that.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Haruhi does this a few times in a non-homage context, because she's loud, brash, and doesn't care about personal space.
    • Tsuruya has a tendency of doing this when she laughs.
  • In the anime Higurashi: When They Cry Kai, Rika does this while she has a mental breakdown and a fit of rage, pointing and yelling at Dr. Irie and Takano one by one how and where exactly they will meet their end.
  • Hime-chan's Ribbon: Hikaru does this extremely closely to Hime-chan's face when declaring war over Daichi.
  • His and Her Circumstances: Yukino to Arima in the third episode; she's actually a rude bastard, and she probably enjoys invading his personal space anyway.
  • Early in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Angelo points at Josuke during his post-defeat rant. Josuke punches Angelo's hand into a rock and tells him not to point. This was probably a self-reference by the author, since Jotaro was practically synonymous with use/abuse of the pointer finger.
  • The Kindaichi Case Files - Kindaichi also dramatically points at his chief suspect at The Reveal.
  • Kodocha: Sana is fond of the inappropriate use of this.
  • Kyouka's pointing finger is prominently displayed throughout Kyouran Kazoku Nikki.
  • Lucky Star: Konata's finger-pointing in the Dancing Theme has been parodied countless times already. Give her some space, viewers.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, resident Delinquent gang leader Harry Tribeca does it to Rio right before the start their match after making sure that Rio was emotionally all right.
  • In Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, the titular detective has his partner point out criminals this way once he's figured the mystery out.
  • Kabuto Kouji from the Mazinger trilogy — Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer — loves doing this. A lot. Especially in Mazinkaiser. If there aren't a bare minimum of two instances of this in every episode, then you're watching the wrong anime. Usually accompanied by an In the Name of the Moon speech which will generally go something like "This Mazinkaiser will be your opponent!" The supporting characters tend to join in.
    • Honorable mention goes to Tetsuya's Great Mazinger, whose Thunder Break attack produces and absorbs a lightning strike, then fires it out the pointer finger.
    • Duke Fleed, the main character of the third series, sometimes fell into this, too.
  • Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse: After being defeated by Yuuya, Yifei points at him and says. "It's okay for you to fall in love with me!"
  • Haruka (pictured in her Otome incarnation) from both My-HiME and My-Otome is rather fond of pointing... and shouting.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto does this a lot. Being the brash, immature loud-mouth that he is, it's not surprising that he doesn't have manners, either. In the original before Shippuden, he usually pointed when accusing someone (usually a teacher or Sasuke) of undermining him or doing something behind his back.
    • Sakura does this to Hinata in one Naruto Shippuden omake when suggesting that the chocolates she's making for Valentine's Day need an extra touch (unfortunately, the nutritional supplements she adds end up making them taste disgusting) to appeal to the recipient.
    • Itachi has a more reserved, but far more weaponized version of this. When he points his finger at you, you've probably just been caught in a genjutsu.
    • From the revived First Hokage Hashirama Senju to Madara Uchilha, telling the latter he will deal with him later. Even funnier, as this is after Madara challenges him then and there.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Nodoka does this to the Big Bad, and later on to one of his minions. Fully justified as it's how she activates a magical item that allows her to learn their real names. As such, whenever she does this, it tends to be an epic moment.
  • One Piece:
    • Zoro does this to Tashigi when he rants about how she resembles his dead childhood friend, lapsing into really, really childish behavior.
    • Enel predicts that at the end of his game, only five the 81 fighters will be standing after three hours. When his predicted scenario is about to happen, there are six people left, including him, Zoro, Robin, Wyper, Gan Fall and Nami. So, he tells the other five about his prediction, and to make it come true, he asks them which one should be taken out first. Four of the other fighters (the fifth one is hiding nearby) point all at Enel. The irony is that Enel has totally forgotten that he explicitly excluded Gan Fall in his count of the 81 fighters, meaning he didn't actually need to ask them about the elimination.
    • Hancock does it whenever she does her iconic "exaggerated 'looking down on you' pose".
  • Ouran High School Host Club: A large percentage of Tamaki Suou's scenes involve this.
    • *POINT*
      • Renge is also a big fan, and specializes in the swirly fingertip version.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Pixy Misa in the Pretty Sammy canons does this fairly often.
  • Ranma ½: The entire cast does this at some point or other.
  • Nenene rudely cuts off her chauffeurs in Read or Die the TV with a pointer finger because they have misspelled her name "Nununu".
  • Slayers: Used by Amelia when she is introducing Zelgadis and Gourry to her father, and trying to rally them to return to the fight with Zanafar. She also poses and points dramatically when they finally do confront Zanafar again. None of them pay attention to what she is saying and all of them comment on how impolite she is being, including Zanafar.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Zen does this after Touka Bergatt actually manages to further infuriate Zen by emotionlessly telling Tariga that once he's killed him and Tsuruba he'll simply replace them. Zen takes a moment to point his finger at Touka and inform him that he's done being able to do as he pleases and is in the process of his defeat. The act also serves as a delaying tactic since Zen is injured, poisoned and aware that if he keeps fighting Touka one on one in his current condition it's going to end in his own death so he's giving The Cavalry time to arrive.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: THIS (dramatic upwards point) IS THE DRILL THAT SHALL PIERCE THE HEAVENS!
  • TSUKIMICHI -Moonlit Fantasy-: Anime exclusive. In the second half of season two, the opening of the anime has has two sets of opposing forces doing this to each other represeting their upcoming conflicts in this half of the season. The first set are Makoto's students and Ilumgand's team pointing at each other as they will face each other in the upcoming tournament. The second sets are the hyuman leaders of various nations and the church pointing at the upper leadership of the demons referencing the conflict between the factions continuing to grow.
  • To Heart 2: Yuma Tonami does this when the male protagonist beats her at something. She points at him and yells at him that he hasn't won yet.
  • In The World God Only Knows, Keima uses this often in argument.
  • Yotsuba&!: The titular character is very prone to finger-pointing, underscoring that she really is a small child. Her dad also uses it once, in an appropriately dramatic way.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Pretty much everyone does this seriously. And then, of course, there's the point at which they edited out some firearms.
  • Protagonist Judai does this constantly in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, always accompanied by his catchphrase: "Gotcha! That was a fun duel!"

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
  • Scott Pilgrim:
    • Every major character in does this. The cover of the first volume even features Scott triumphantly striking this pose.
    • "Do you want to have SEX? I think we should have SEX. CASUAL SEX."
  • Hefty Smurf jabs his pointer finger into the chest of the character of King Smurf in protest of the latter character's demand for respect at all times in The Smurfs comic book version of "King Smurf".
  • Spirou & Fantasio: In La Corne du Rhinocéros, the censorship commission made Franquin remove most of the bad guys' guns, which meant they were now pointing their finger at everything.
  • In Super Mario Adventures, the Big Boo lies down on the couch as "Doctor" Mario counsels the ghost, asking to be told about its childhood. Smash Cut to the Boo crying his eyes out about bullies stealing his lunch and stuffing him into lockers, Luigi sharing eagerly his own childhood sad stories, and Mario pointing at his brother and shouting that's the last thing they need right now.
    Luigi: The same thing happened to me! It was awful! Let my tell you my story!
    Mario: Counseling you won't get us out of this mess!
  • The Ultimates:
    • The Wasp pointed her finger to Pym in the face while remarking that Bruce Banner is twice better a geneman as he'll ever be.
    • Bruce Banner gave one to the unknown scientist that told him that the Hulk cells were making a permanent bond with his DNA. He wants Pym, not some unknown guy, to check those numbers!
  • Scarlet Witch's superpower in the early days was to point at someone or something, causing some unfortunate event to happen to it.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Garfield strip, when a mouse walks past, Jon points at it with emphasis for Garfield to chase it. Garfield's focus is on something else.
    Jon: Do you not see that mouse?!
    Garfield: Do you not know that it's impolite to point?!

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust:
    • In the start of chapter 3 Asuka points her finger at Shinji when she accuses him of getting the water too hot.
      "HOTTTTTTTTTT!" The aggrieved shout from the bathroom startled the two inhabitants of the dining area. A rapid stomping of feet heralded the door to the bathroom being flung open by an upset redhead clad only in a pair of towels wrapped tightly around her hair and torso. She leveled an accusing finger at Shinji. "That bath was too HOT!"
    • And in chapter 4 Asuka points her forefinger at Rei as she argues about Rei's unintended double entendres.
      She stepped closer to Rei and swung her finger up to point right in Rei's face.
  • A Crown of Stars: In chapter 74 Shinji asked Asuka staying behind as he fights to keep her safe. She stabbed him in the chest with her finger as she berated him and yelled him for wanting to leave her behind when he promised that they would be together.
  • Evangelion 303: Asuka does this several times:
    • Asuka to Shinji in episode 5 when she warns him against go to a certain club.
    • And Asuka to Mari in episode 15 when she is gloating about her -pyrrhic- victory.
  • Kyon's sister to Sasaki in Kyon: Big Damn Hero when the former accuses the latter of making Kyon lose his smile.
  • In With Strings Attached, Paul does this several times in a nonserious way; he does it in Real Life.
    • Though he has to stop gesturing altogether after he gets super-strong.
    • Also, John does it to As'taris just after getting the Kansael. While jabbing his finger at the elf, he accidentally squirts him; and when he looks at his own finger, he squirts himself.
  • Turnabout Storm: Phoenix Wright makes liberal use of them, they being his signature gesture after all. This time it's more jarring than usual, given the general lack of any fingers to speak of on the inhabitants of Equestria.
    Trixie: Don't point that ugly sausage of a finger at Trixie!
  • In The Snow Has Stopped The Rain, Rukia does this (along with Stunned Silence, followed by incomprehensible babbling) when Ichigo shows up with Ukitake when she's in jail, as she wasn't even sure if he was alive or dead, let alone would suddenly waltz right up to her. Zangetsu sums up her reaction by saying, “We broke her.”
  • Hefty Smurf jabs his pointer finger into the chest of Empath when as Smurflings Empath demands that Hefty should leave Grouchy alone in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Grouchiest Friendship".
  • Yosuke from Fate/Reach Out makes the gesture when his female teammates are indulging themselves in homoerotic fantasies featuring Shirou and Yosuke himself.
    Yosuke: (finger-pointing) Don't you effing dare!
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Nar-Es thrusts a forefinger at Kara when he reminds her he is her manager and trainer, therefore she must listen to him on health matters.
    He thrust a forefinger at her. "Then let me manage! You get dressed. I'm taking you home. I'm going to give you a sleep-treatment. I'm going to get you a force-ray massage. When you wake up, you will eat, and eat what I order for you. If you disobey me in any of this, you will have to get another manager. Clear?"
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path: Naturally, Ingrid and Ferdinand constantly point at each other during the Ace Attorney inspired support.
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles:
    • Naruto and Shikamaru both go to some pharmacy in order to get some protection, thus allowing them to have sex with their respective lover. Upon seeing each other, Naruto and Shikamaru panic and point a finger to each other, loudly asking "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
    • Naruto does this to Evil Sasuke when he wrongfully figures out who the latter is.
    • Sasuke points a finger to an ANBU ninja when the former refuses to let the latter arrest Itachi.
    • In Chapter 131, Minato does this to the Konoha elders while criticizing them for the way Naruto has been treated over the years.
  • True Potential: In the omake from Chapter 35, both Jiraiya and Rōshi do this while also exclaiming "YOU!" when they recognize each other.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Harrison Ford's characters tend to do this, as shown by this supercut.
  • In Ghost Rider (2007), the title character often does this, even when he really oughta know better (it's probably not wise to point and say "YOU!" to Satan himself). He once points threateningly to a young child while transformed, and then says "innocent!" and walks away. Said child passes out from the fear.
  • End of Days has an epic example involving the protagonist, Jericho (played by Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger) doing the pointer at Satan, of all people, accompanied by this line.
    Jericho: [pointing at Satan] You’re a fucking choir boy compared to me! A CHOIR BOY!
  • Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is very fond of doing this in Full Metal Jacket.
  • In Practical Magic, Sally lowers her daughter's hand to stop her from pointing — but her daughter does it anyway. It actually was a Magical Gesture, but it's cute given that the worst the girl can think of is "I hope you get chicken pox".
  • The Sunshine Boys "The finger?!? Again with the finger?!?"
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) has the alien replicas pointing and screaming at normal humans in order to mark them for the other aliens.
  • A variation of this trope appears with drawn or carved pointing hands being all over the film versions of Harry Potter, the hands standing in for arrows on signposts but many serving no clear purpose in the Daily Prophet newspaper except to just point at things.
  • Riff Raff does it when he confronts Dr Frank N. Further at the end of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Played for Laughs in Ghostbusters (1984) — while Walter Peck is angrily giving Egon his pointer finger and yelling at him, the possessed Louis is mindlessly mimicking the gesture.
  • Star Wars: Kylo Ren gives one to shut up Hux in The Rise of Skywalker. Not surprising, considering his father's Harrison Ford.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League: During the fight of the nascent Justice League against a crazed resurrected Superman, Flash tries one more assault upon Clark, just as Aquaman pounces on the Kryptonian from behind. Clark dodges both of them, leading to Flash slamming into Aquaman with enough force to embed both of them in cement. Aquaman makes it clear he blames Flash for this by pointing the finger at him, with a sheepish Flash apologizing.

  • At the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Ginny excitedly points at Harry after he arrives back at King's Cross and Mrs. Weasley tells her that it's rude.
  • In the Ciaphas Cain novel For the Emperor, Inquisitor Vaile confronts the treacherous Governor Grice, "pointing an accusing finger at him like a schola tutor admonishing an unsatisfactory student." Of course, she was wearing a weaponized ring that shot poisoned darts, so the pointing had a far more practical purpose.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire. King Joffrey points accusingly at Tyrion Lannister as he's dying, making his mother the Queen Regent believe that Tyrion poisoned him. After his arrest further "proof" of Tyrion's guilt is quickly assembled given the long-held antagonism between Tyrion and Joffrey, though Tyrion is in fact innocent of the crime.
  • Danny, the Champion of the World: Danny's teacher Captain Lancaster does this, just before caning him.
    Captain Lancaster's finger shot out like a bullet and pointed at my face.
  • Journey to Chaos: When Tiza spots a resident of Ceiha's special administrative district (a mutated and colorful centaur), she laughs while rudely pointing at him. Her team dope slaps her and apologizes to the centaur, saying that she wasn't hired for her politeness.
  • In Guards! Guards! the Chief Thief realizes that doing this towards the Patrician is a mistake, "unless you want to be able to count only to nine."
  • In Miracle Creek, Abe points at Elizabeth as he begins his opening argument, and she seems to wither under the gesture.
  • In The Witches, the Grand High Witch points "a gloved finger as sharp as a needle at the witch who had spoken", before "frying" her to death with white-hot sparks from her eye.
  • The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Bina Gelbfish is introduced doing this, though she's not pointing at someone but banishing an ugly sofa to the rubbish tip a painting of the angel Michael casting Adam and Eve from the Garden.
  • In The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel), Mr. Banks points his finger at Mrs. Carillon while he lectures her about how her twenty-year search for her Legally Dead husband is ruining the business.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stephen Colbert in The Colbert Report: You're all "on notice"!
  • Chris Morris sometimes does it on Brass Eye.
  • The Apprentice: Baron Alan, who generally reserves his finger for the fired.
  • Henry Danger: In "Mr. Nice Guy", giving someone a pointer finger is considered a violation against one of Mr. Wallaby's "Golden Rules".
  • In the DVD commentary for the first season of The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding describes Matt Berry as a 'pointing actor', as he tends to use this trope extensively in the roles he plays, particularly in Boosh and The IT Crowd.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Double does this towards his enemies just before fighting them, uttering: "Now, let's count up your crimes!"
    • The catchphrase of the eponymous character in Kamen Rider Fourze is "My name is Gentaro Kisaragi, and I'm going to be friends with everyone." This is always followed by him pointing to the person he is intending to befriend. Usually, said person isn't entirely happy with Gentarou forcing his friendship on him or her, as Gentarou is kind of abrasive.
    • Aruto Hiden / Kamen Rider Zero-One ends his (notably poor) jokes by yelling "That's the show from Aruto." and pointing at whoever he is telling the joke to. On more serious side, as the titular hero, he does the same thing and saying "There's only one person who can stop you, and that's me!"
  • On Scrubs, Cox and Kelso only know one hand-sign *guitar riff*
  • Ultraman Zero uses this quite a lot whenever he's facing his enemy.
  • The Power Rangers tend to do this a lot, usually after morphing.
    • A rather tongue-in-cheek example of this is in a Power Rangers in Space episode where Zhane is disguised as the Silver Psycho Ranger. When the Blue Psycho Ranger grows aggravated with Zhane's actions, he points at him intimidatingly. This provokes Zhane to respond in a very cavalier manner: "Ah, ah, ah. It's not nice to point."
  • The Office (US): How Michael Scott interprets the term "Power Point".
  • Spoofed in The Olden Days, a Gag Dub by the Australian comedy series The Late Show (1992).
    Trooper 1: This man claims to be an Automatic Teller Machine!
    Trooper 2: [jabbing man repeatedly in the chest, to dubbed beeping sounds] Is that right? Well he appears to be out of order!
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Prince Oberyn does this during his My Name Is Inigo Montoya scene when battling Ser Gregor Clegane, who murdered his sister and her children on Lord Tywin's orders.
      Prince Oberyn: You raped her. You killed her children. Say her name: Elia Martell. Who gave you the order? [points at Lord Tywin] WHO GAVE YOU THE ORDER?!
    • Joffrey Baratheon does this to substantiate his pathetic threats during the small council meeting in "Mhysa", most likely because his lack of wits doesn't allow him to express himself otherwise.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles has a Not So Stoic moment in "Checkpoint" and does this to Watcher's Council leader Quentin Travers when he tries to lean on Buffy. Given that Watchers are the epitome of the Stuffy Brit stereotype, the personal space violation is the same as in Japan — another Watcher immediately moves to hold Giles back.
  • Person of Interest: Doing this to John Reese can be a painful experience when he grabs the finger and twists.


  • The Wicked Witch of the West periodically does this to the player in Jersey Jack Pinball's The Wizard of Oz.
  • Muhammed Ali gives this to the player in the playfield art for Ali.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Western example: uber-star Hulk Hogan did this all the time when he made his big comeback. Inevitably, after the fingerpoint (punctuated by the crowd yelling "YOU!"), the match would be won within a minute.

    Video Games 
  • In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, both Fuka and Emizel do this when they are particular vexed and confrontational. Fuka even has it has a dialogue portrait.
  • Kim Kaphwan from The King of Fighters does this before fighting criminals, while pointing out that "evil is unforgivable."
  • In the CD-i game Hotel Mario, Luigi does this near the end of the opening cutscene:
    Mario: We gotta find the princess!
    Luigi: And YOO! [points in the general direction of the player] Gotta help us!
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots's Liquid Ocelot loves to do this. In fact, expect a dramatic gesture or pose every 50 seconds at the least in any scene he features in, 11 in the space of one scene. But then, Liquid Ocelot is a Large Ham, who loves to Chew the Scenery. When Liquid Ocelot did this in Act 3, it resulted in several choppers crashing, some gunfire from his troops, and (via a hand gesture resembling a gunshot to the head) several seizures. It's strongly implied that these were caused by Liquid Ocelot shutting down their dependence on the SOP system.
  • Though it's not animated, mention must be made of Satan in Shin Megami Tensei II. When he gives you the pointer finger, you die.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's signature pose, even being used as one of his taunts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • In one cutscene in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the camera zooms in on Sonic as Shadow points his finger at him and says, "Yes, but that alone is insufficient."
  • Mass Effect 2: If Legion is Shepard's second squadmate during Tali's loyalty mission, a few additional seconds of cutscene-footage are added where Admiral Koris does this to Legion at the very beginning of the trial.
  • A couple character portraits in Infinite Space point at the player, including Commander Vladykin of Elgava and Coyle, a Lugovalian administrator.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Groose shoves his finger right in front of Link's face while bragging about how he is going to win the upcoming race now that Link can't get to his Loftwing. When Zelda comes across Link and Groose seconds later, she does the same gesture to Groose while warning him to leave Link alone.
  • Invoked by Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat. "You weak, pathetic FOOOOOOOOL!!"
  • In Pokémon Black and White, Cheren gives you the pointer finger in his VS mug. He also does this in his regular sprite in both Black & White and their sequels.
  • In Super Meat Boy, one of the worms in the fifth boss fight does this, combined with Roar Before Beating.
  • In Tales of Xillia, Agria has a tendency to do this; the most memorable instance being when she combines it with a Slasher Smile just before the second battle with her.
  • Fuka Kazamatsuri in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten does this as one of her stock poses. And neither the fandom nor the localization crew has let this escape their notice.
  • Silent Hill 4:
    • The Twin Victim monsters. While you're out of their attack range, they're pointing at you.
    • The Robbie the Rabbit on Eileen's bed changes to pointing at you after she has been attacked.
    • A shadow of a young boy will appear in the closet, point at you and cry.
  • The cover art of Pepsiman has Pepsiman posing over the caption "DRINK!" with his pointer finger extended. (This caption, by the way, is more prominent than the game's title.)
  • This little move is a trademark of the Professor Layton games. When solving puzzles, Layton, his apprentice Luke, his ward Flora, his other apprentice Emmy, and Luke from the future all do this to the player, accompanied by one of their assorted catchphrases. Layton also does this during the Summation Gatherings when he accuses the guilty party in each game. As a Shout-Out, Dragon Quest IX features the "Professor's Pose" as one of the unlockable Party Tricks, that allows you to make your character do this whenever you want.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright's signature move from the Ace Attorney games whenever making an exclamation ("OBJECTION!") is to pound the stand and point. Heck, everyone in those games do. It's their job. The game logos in all regions even feature the title character's silhouette striking a dramatic pointing pose. This is recognized enough that Haruhi paid homage to it during the "Murder Mystery" episode. There is massive Lampshade Hanging over the constant forceful pointing and yelling.
    • Some anime characters would be concerned about High-Pressure Blood spray if they cut their fingers. In Case 1-5, Phoenix is concerned about not being able to point at people.
    • Defense lawyer Calisto Yew strikes this pose near the end of one of your rebuttals in Investigations, with the added twist that she's holding a gun.
    • Miles Edgeworth lampshades this at one point in case two with the line "Don't fall asleep while I point my finger at you!"
    • Daryan Crescend does it in the rude fashion when making fun of Apollo Justice.
    • Gyakuten Kenji 2's President Ō uses a distinctive underhanded variation, which makes it look like he's Flipping the Bird at Edgeworth (which, in context, is pretty much what he's doing) even though he's using his pointer finger like everyone else. Lang does it this way as well in Investigations.
    • Used by Phoenix in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as one of his attacks. His super move? Pointing so hard at someone they explode.
    • Actually subverted in Dual Destinies! Prosecutor Simon Blackquill tries to...but the chain of his shackles prevents him from being able to, resulting in a point towards his desk rather than the defense. When he breaks said shackles, he doesn't even bother with this, just launches a Razor Wind at the defense and/or the witness.
    • Dual Destinies reveals that this tactic is considered to be such Serious Business that it's taught in law school, and it's actually referred to as the "Objection!" pose in-universe!
    • Spirit of Justice actually sees a prosecutor restrain Phoenix's arm with a set of rosary beads to prevent him from making the pose, and it's a factor in his losing the first day of the case!
    • The Great Ace Attorney even uses it as a narrative beat. When we first meet Ryunosuke, he's a panicky mess of a uni student forced to represent himself after getting accused of murder. He starts out nervous and unassertive, unable to even slam his desk properly, and raises his hand like he's in class rather than the usual hammy declarations of his predecessors. But as the trial goes on, he slowly grows more confident as the tide turns in his favor, and in the climax, the awakening of his potential as a lawyer is symbolized when he finally gives his first finger-pointing objection.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Battler does this to Beatrice (Because well, she did just kill everyone on the island, most of them very messily; although he's pointing at her arguing that she didn't.) as a way of Throwing Down the Gauntlet.
  • All because of a typo in the original Tsukihime where normally benevolent Meido Hisui says "You are going to be the criminal" as a prediction instead of an accusation. This led to a Memetic Mutation where a darker version of Hisui called the "Brainwasher Detective" would point at people and spin her finger to hypnotize them into being criminals so she could arrest them. This occasionally shows up in Mythology Gags such as her attacks in Melty Blood or Battle Moon Wars.
  • An extremely popular pose in Danganronpa. Practically every character from the three main games has at least one sprite in which they do this.
  • Grisaia Series: Something of a favored pose of Michiru throughout the Grisaia novels. She usually does this just for emphasis.

    Web Animation 
  • John Freeman does this in the Djy1991 version of Half-Life: Full Life Consequences, while telling the zombie goasts to leave.
  • In GoAnimate-made videos, because of the lack of action many of the body frames have, many actions such as punching, pushing or using various items would lead to the character pointing at them then have the other react in some way.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: Lewis points to Arthur right as Lewis temporarily syncs up with the song lyrics for the line "Fuck. It's you I hate the most" before Arthur flees and Lewis chases him down and tries to kill him.


    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Toph Beifong tends to do this when she's annoyed, yelling at someone (namely, Katara), or just when she wants to make a point. She has a very distinctive way of doing it: being blind, turning her body to face you does nothing for her, so she'll point dramatically at you with her arm/hand and nothing else.
    • Avatar Korra has been known to do this to people she doesn't like... including Tarrlok.
  • The evil monkey that lives inside Chris Griffin's closet on Family Guy does this all the time.
  • In "Keep Your Keeper," the debut episode of The Hair Bear Bunch, replacement zookeeper Grunch does this to each of the bears.
    Grunch: I need three volunteers for clean-up duty. (points to Square and Bubi) You, you, (to Hair) and especially you!
  • Justice League, "Only a Dream": Lois Lane points at Clark in Superman's dream, accusing him of "hiding something", right before her death.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) adaptation of "Smurphony In C", Gargamel jabs his pointer finger into Harmony's nose when he blames him for causing his fellow Smurfs to pass out from the Brown Note of the shazalakazoo.
  • In one episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants, "Krabs a la Mode", Mr. Krabs yells, "Who touched me THERMOSTAAAAAAAAT!!??". Everyone in Krusty Krab (including SpongeBob) does this to Squidward.
    Squidward: Oh, thanks a lot, Sponge—! [gets yanked away]
    SpongeBob: You're welcome, Squidward.
  • In Steven Universe; during "The Return", Peridot's approaching ship, which is a giant hand is pointing at Beach City, causes Mayor Dewey to feel uncomfortable, saying that as a politician pointing fingers make him nervous.
  • Total Drama:
    • Duncan gets a new bunny for DJ in "Who Can You Trust?" when the original gets eaten. He's a proud bully, so it's important to him that this remains a secret, but far too late does he realize everything is on camera to be broadcasted internationally. So he uses his time in the confessional to insist he's a bad one and point threateningly at the camera.

  • Uncle Sam, who wants YOU for the U.S. army.
  • For the Brits, Lord Kitchener, who wants YOU to join your country's army.
  • Averting this trope is considered common speech etiquette, as it's a highly aggressive and accusatory gesture. Bill Clinton is most famous for averting it, using the common technique of pointing with his thumb pressed against the first joint of his index finger, which became a hallmark of his impersonators.
  • At Disney Theme Parks, "cast members" are trained to gesture with their whole hands, mostly for the benefit of international guests whose cultures follow variations of this trope.
  • When an object fails to break or deform in a suitably spectacular way on Daily Drop, Paul sighs... and then summons the crowbar with this very gesture.
  • What made Ricardo Lagos famous in Chilean politics was mixing this, Kubrick Stare and "The Reason You Suck" Speech during a TV debate in 1989. While directly addressing Augusto Pinochet, who was still in power.
  • In the US Military, a common subversion is to avoid pointing at someone with your finger, particularly if you are correcting them. Instead, it is common to point with your entire hand, in a gesture known as "Knife Hands". Use a "karate chop" motion or angle the hand more aggressively for added emphasis.
    • The US Military does this because, as has been discussed with the Disney theme parks, various places in the world consider single-finger pointing extremely rude. Japan is one of them, so Don't Try This In Japan In Real Life
    • Pointing with the whole hand can also be easier to distinguish when watching the gesture from a distance, which can prevent confusion when directing troops or vehicles non-verbally.
  • A lot of people criticized Arizona governor Jan Brewer for pointing her finger in President Obama's face during a meeting. A lot of people saw some Unfortunate Implications, saying that if she were a man or if Obama was white, she never would have had the audacity to do it in the first place.
  • In Northern Ireland, the act of emphatically jabbing a pointed finger at the person you are talking to so as to reinforce the point is culturally acceptable and not seen as anything out of the ordinary. British soldiers had to be explicitly told this was not meant to be an aggressive or disrespectful thing — just normal everyday Norn body language. Witness the (now deceased) Reverend Ian Paisely in full oratorical flow.
  • In 2019, a picture started circulating showing U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pointing at Donald Trump and his cabinet during a heated meeting on foreign policy. Trump and his allies tried to pass it off as Pelosi going full Hysterical Woman, but Pelosi loved the picture and made it her Twitter background, where it came off more like a mother chastising a bratty child.
  • Joe Biden has a habit of pointing back at people waving at him, especially if somebody is very enthusiastic or he recognizes a person in the crowd, leading to this meme image.

Alternative Title(s): Dramatic Finger Pointing



Phoenix Wright finds a contradiction in the witness's testimony!

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Main / GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger

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