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High-Five Left Hanging

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"Thas cold, Obiwan."
Charles Barkley, Clerks: The Animated Series

A character makes a joke or comment and holds up their hand for someone to high-five. "Am I Right?" they may say. No one takes them up on the offer to high-five. Typically indicates that the other character finds the statement obnoxious or unfunny and won't bother dignifying it with a response. In other words, it's a way of saying "No, you aren't right." Conversely, it could also be used to depict the other character as cold or in a bad mood.

Also works with other gestures of approval such as fist-bumps.

Compare Lame Pun Reaction, Handshake Refusal, and Ignored Raised Hand. Not to be confused with Left Hanging.


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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Hercules: After Herc defeats the centaur Nessus, Pegasus offers him a high-five, but Hercules is too distracted by the sight of Megara to acknowledge him.
  • Toy Story 4: One of the Combat Carls gets left hanging twice in the same scene, first by the other Combat Carls when they report to Bo about a kid's birthday party for the lost toys to attend, and then later by Woody. He finally gets his high-five with Duke Kaboom in an after-credits gag.
  • In Zootopia, Officer Judy Hopps, at her first day in the Zootopia Police Department, attempts to fist-bump a rhinoceros police officer. At first, the rhino rolls his eyes, seemingly rejecting the gesture — then changes his mind, but his fist-bump ends up pushing away the much smaller and lighter Judy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Justice League, when Barry discovers that he and Cyborg have something in common, in that both gained their powers through a lab accident, he offers a fistbump, but quickly pulls back when realizing that Cyborg isn't in the mood.
  • In The Waterboy, Bobby doesn't get any respect from the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits he plays with at first. After the Mud Dogs score a touchdown, Bobby asks them to "slap hands!" To which they just walk away, leaving him hanging. Later in the film, during the Bourbon Bowl, Bobby gets his "slap hands" as the Mud Dogs start mounting their comeback.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad: When Skinny Pete introduces Jesse to Tuco in "Crazy Handful of Nothin'", he emphasizes how tight they were while in prison together, but when he tries to offer him a fist bump, Tuco merely glares at Pete from his desk, showing that he clearly overstated things.
  • Degrassi: Next Class: In "#WorstGiftEver", Winston offers Goldi a high five during a game of charades, but she turns it down, saying it's against her religion to touch boys.
  • Doctor Who: In "Under the Lake", while the Doctor and Clara are investigating the mess hall, she makes a comment and holds out her hand for a high five. He gives her a look and walks out of the room.
  • The Good Place: In the season 4 premiere, Eleanor holds out her hand for a high-five. Jason is initially too upset to high-five her back, but does so anyway because he acknowledges that it's the rule.
    Eleanor: Come on, bud, I know you're down, but you can't leaving me hanging.
    Jason: You're right. That is the code. [glumly high-fives her back]
  • House of Anubis: After Nina, Fabian and Amber successfully get the information they need to play their "hopscotch" puzzle, Nina and Amber high-five. Fabian wants one, too, because he played a minor role... but Amber decides he only deserves a "three, maximum".
  • How I Met Your Mother: In the episode "I Heart NJ", Barney tells a bad joke and asks for a fistbump, but no one in the gang wants to. Through the rest of the episode, Barney refuses to lower his fist until he gets that bump. By the end of the episode after witnessing Robin quitting her job with another pun, Lily bumps him back, and Barney sighs with relief, but not before Barney makes another bad joke and asks for a high five, to which Lily refuses. Barney only lowers his hand when Robin announces that she's moving to Japan.
  • The Inside Man: In "Taken", Erica holds out her fist to Mark Shepherd for a fist-bump, telling him that she heard about how he got the full time job. He just stares at her.
  • Joey:
    • In "Joey and the Taste Test", Lauren, who is Terrified of Germs to the point of avoiding skin-to-skin contact, questions Joey about his relationship with his co-star:
      Lauren: So, you and Katie- what's going on there?
      Joey: Oh, well, I'm a gentleman, so let's just say I'm still circling the airport, but I have been given permission to land. [holds up hand for a high five]
      Lauren: I'm going to leave you hanging on that one.
    • In "Joey and the High School Friend", as Joey is describing his relationship with the high school friend:
      Joey: I mean, we hit on all these girls together except for each other's sisters. That was our code. Okay, which was really hard because his sisters were hot and my sisters were slutty. [holds up his hand to Michael]
      Michael: What? I'm not gonna high-five that.
      Joey: Okay, I may have just made an offensive comment about your aunts and mother, but you never leave me hanging.
      Michael: Okay, whatever. [smacks his hand]
      Later that episode, Joey holds up his hand for another high five after making an inappropriately timed comment. Michael stares at him in disbelief, and he admits, "All right, that was a bad one, but you gotta do it!" Michael just walks out of the room.
  • Veronica Mars: In "The Rapes of Graff", just before Logan breaks up with Hannah, he's shown walking through a crowd and high fiving people. Then Hannah comes up to him, hand extended for her own high five, to which he doesn't respond.

  • Ninja Sex Party: In "Orgy For One", Danny and Ninja Brian are both relaxing and talking in bed. While there, Danny tries to have a high-five with Brian, who is watching him intently. Danny smiles gleefully as he raises his hand, only for Brian to have no reaction, and for Danny to immediately and awkwardly turn away. Subverted later, as another shot shows them having an actual high-five.

    Tabletop Games 


    Video Games 
  • Borderlands:
    • Initiating a melee attack on Claptrap in Borderlands 2 will prompt him to hold his hand out so you can high-five it with a melee attack. You can leave him hanging if you want.
    • Claptrap has a skill in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! where he offers a massive buff to his teammates to reciprocate his high-five offer. If nobody responds, he gains a massive buff himself instead.
  • In the final ending of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, after Oxide finally gives up antagonising Earth and retreats, an ecstatic Coco gestures for a high five from Crash, though has to prod for his attention first.
  • In Disco Elysium, the Detective can, provided his marksmanship skills are up to snuff, get the body of a hanged man down from a tree by shooting the cargo strap he is strung up in. In which case, his partner, Lieutenant Kim Kitsuragi, who so far has been by and far acting as the Straight Man and a Consummate Professional, shows his first serious sign that he is Not So Above It All by excitedly holding up his hand for an "Aces High". The player can then choose to invoke this trope with prejudice, by having the Detective just not respond and leave him hanging.
  • In Final Fantasy VII Remake, at multiple points while going through a collapsed tunnel, Aerith will offer a high-five to Cloud. Cloud leaves her hanging the first two times, seeming to not know what to do, before Cloud almost reciprocates during the third attempt, and finally returns the high five on the fourth one.
  • The Last of Us: After they solve one puzzle together, Ellie will offer Joel a high-five, and he can optionally ignore her. If he does, she will voice her disappointment.
  • Near the beginning of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, David offers a fist-bump to Chloe in an (unsuccessful) attempt at bonding as a future step-father. It's the player's choice whether she reluctantly accepts or outright rejects it.
  • At the beginning of Saints Row 4, one of the people you run into asks for a high five and you're given the options of following through or leaving them hanging.
  • Spider-Man (PS4): In the Silver Lining DLC, after Spiderman and Silver Sable take down a bunch of Hammerhead's thugs, Spidey tries to solicit a victorious high five from Sable twice. She relents on the third attempt and gives him a pretty hard high five.
  • In Super Mario Party, after a group of two or more players wins a mini-game, they can high five each other at the same time to get bonus coins. However, the time window to do so is limited and if one player leaves the others hanging, their characters will have a confused and dumbfounded reaction.
  • One taunt in Team Fortress 2 is to offer a high five to other players. The Spy has a Dummied Out line where he's rather angry at the idea of being turned down.
    Spy: Leave me hanging, and you will regret it.
  • When getting a tag finish in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 with cousins Jin and Asuka Kazama, Asuka will reach out for a handshake and Jin simply blows her off, leaving Asuka indignant.
  • Until Dawn has a QTE where you, as Samantha, can high five Josh. If you fail it, Josh has a rather annoyed look as a result of being left hanging.

    Visual Novels 
  • In season 2 of Atlas' route in Starship Promise, this exchange occurs:
    Atlas: I'm going to my quarters. Nobody bother me.
    With that, he leaves. After a few minutes, I stand, closing out the diagnostics.
    MC: I'm gonna go bother him.
    Jaxon: More like get him hot and bothered, am I right?
    Jaxon holds up a hand for Orion to high-five. Orion just gives him a hard stare in return.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: Zero: In Tiny's introduction, she makes a quip about Axel being "ancient" and reaches out to East for a high five. East scoffs and turns away, and Tiny takes her hand back, looking at it in confusion.
  • Tales of Alethrion: In The Reward, Vito tries a high-five with Wilhelm as they find their weapons and gear, this trope as the result.

    Web Videos 
  • In the Game Grumps Ten Minute Power Hour episode "Can you gold leaf while blindfolded?", Danny and Arin have to command a blindfolded Ike as he presents their homemade gold-record to Ben. At the end, Ben goes for a high-five. Danny orders Ike to follow through...only for Arin to immediately tell him not to high-five Ben. The immediate shift leaves Ben disappointed as the episode ends.

    Western Animation 
  • A running gag on Clerks: The Animated Series is NBA star Charles Barkley being shunned everywhere he goes, usually accompanied by an owl hooting. In one episode, he appears as a ghost, in a spoof of the ending of Return of the Jedi. He says, "High five," gets denied by the other ghosts, and responds, "Thas cold, Obiwan."
  • Futurama: In "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", the new bureaucrat, Morgan, gives Fry the position of "Executive Delivery Boy" to the disdain of his co-workers. Fry tries to get Bender to hi-five him, but he initially refuses until Morgan orders him to. Though Fry goes for the down low, Bender kicks him in the leg.
  • Discussed in Gravity Falls episode "Weirdmageddon Part 2: Escape from Reality" where Mabel's mental version of her brother Dipper, aka Dippy Fresh, offers the real Dipper and Soos a high five. Dipper tries to stop Soos from accepting it, but Soos can't "leave him hanging" and does it anyway. Dipper then declares Soos "dead to me".
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 121, the main four are told that they are fired from their jobs and have to do a job interview to get re-hired. All four of them succeed, and Mr. Cat attempts to high five Kaeloo, but Kaeloo is too focused on yelling at Olaf (who conducted the interview) for the way she and the others were treated and she doesn't notice his hand.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: In the first episode, when the penguins find Maurice to take him back to the zoo, they high five each other, then Skipper offers a high five to Maurice, who rejects it since he doesn't want to go back.
  • Samurai Jack: In "Jack and the Ultra-Robots", in order to spare his hometown, a scientist creates a group of robotic assassins for Aku that Jack should be unable to kill or fight off. When Aku destroys the scientist's hometown anyway, the scientist instead joins Jack and they try to destroy the assassins together. At various points throughout the episode the scientist tries to get Jack to do a high-five, but Jack doesn't know the gesture and doesn't respond. At the very end of the episode he finally does the high-five.
  • A rare justified example in Sid the Science Kid. In "The Big Sneeze," Sid holds out his hand to his father, Mort, for a high-five. He does not return it, and for good reason: he has a cold and even though he just washed his hands, there's still the risk of spreading germs.
  • The Simpsons: In "There's Something About Marrying", Homer and Reverend Lovejoy are interviewed by Kent Brockman on the subject of gay marriage, Homer having become a minister to get money from marrying same-sex couples from out of town. Lovejoy points out Homer marrying anyone who asks immediately will lead to a bunch of divorces. Homer replies that's just more business, cheerfully requests a high five from Lovejoy, and Lovejoy refuses to accept it.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Pressure", Sandy is going on about the things land creatures can do better than sea creatures. Squidward makes a snarky comment about them being better at drowning, and SpongeBob offers a high-five. Squidward just stands there and says "Not on your life, sport."
  • Total Drama:
    • When Eva arrives at Camp Wawanakwa in "Not So Happy Campers - Part 1", Cody raises his hand for a high-five to greet her. Instead of taking it, she dumps her bag filled with dumbbells on his left foot. This forms a Bookends with Gwen's version of "The Very Last Episode, Really!", in which Eva does take Cody's high-five in celebration of Gwen's victory.
    • Once the Killer Grips have won the challenge in "The Chefshank Redemption", Izzy, who had previously been removed from the game under a different identity and has spent some time living with the prairie dogs, runs up to them to rejoin their team. She asks for a high-five, but is left hanging because the Grips are confused she gets to come back after being eliminated.
    • Chris greets Alejandro warmly as he walks up to him in "Celebrity Manhunt's TDA Reunion Show", calling him "buddy" and "[his] next big star" while he raises his hand for a high-five. Alejandro walks right past him with his nose in the air and his arms to the ground.
    • Team CIRRRRH wins the challenge in "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better". Izzy and Noah celebrate it with a high-five, but when Owen tries to do one with Alejandro, who doesn't like him, the latter pointedly walks away.
    • As the Pimâpotew Kinosewak celebrate their first victory in "So, Uh, This Is My Team?", Samey tries to get a high-five from Max, only to be told that "evil does not high-five".
    • The Pimâpotew Kinosewak reach the final zone in "Three Zones and a Baby" first, so Jasmine goes in for some high-fives. Sky gives her one, but Topher ignores Jasmine in favor of checking on the network connection of Chris's cellphone he stole.
  • Happens often to Dr. Billy Quizboy on The Venture Bros.. This may be because Billy has a metallic cybernetic hand. Occasionally subverted and Billy gets his high five or Go Team Venture salute.
  • Young Justice (2010): In "Fireworks", Robin and Kid Flash go to high-five each other only to stop and grimace in pain from the chest injuries they received earlier.


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