When an animated character gets frightened, excited or angry, she may flail her arms or legs around so fast that they are literally a blur. Sometimes it's a complete blur; other times, you will see the arms or legs, but in multiple vision.
This trope comes in a few simple variations:
- A character doing a Wild Take flails her arms, sometimes jumping in the air and flailing her legs, too. Occasionally, this will cause her to hover like a helicopter - or a hummingbird.
- A character who is running Too Fast to Stop will have this happen to his legs while his arms appear normal. Any Innocent Bystander who gets caught in his path may become A Twinkle in the Sky. This is similar to but distinct from Wheel o' Feet.
- A small character being held At Arm's Length may swing her arms this way in a futile effort to strike the taller character.
This is a typical behavior for a Genki Girl.
See also: Kewpie Doll Surprise. Also see Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs/Spam Attack for an offensive, usually non-comedic, version.
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Anime and Manga
- Sakura does this while attempting to whack Touya for being a jerk in the first episode of Cardcaptor Sakura.
- Sana Kurata of Kodocha (shown above) does this at least twice per episode.
- Tomo does this in the first episode of Azumanga Daioh upon finding out she's late for class.
- This happens in an episode of Tokyo Mew Mew where Ichigo does this with her legs...until she slips on a piece of broken crockery.
- Done in an episode of Dragon Ball, where Goku pretends he has a technique that lets him have eight arms. The trick, of course, is that he's waving them up and down so fast the after-image makes it seem real. This is in response to Tenshihan's technique of actually growing a second pair of arms.
- Bocchi of Hitoribocchi no OO Seikatsu has a tendency to cramp up when she's nervous, and doing this is her way of exercising. It still ends up making her look like a bit of a loon though.
- Negi of Negima! Magister Negi Magi tends to do this when the students mock or belittle him.
- Same with Becky of Pani Poni Dash!.
- Done quite often in Slayers.
- In Kurogane Pukapuka Tai, Commander Kuki does this when Captain Mary forcibly kisses her.
- Subverted in Umineko: When They Cry, Jessica tries this and gets interrupted by an asthma attack.
- This happens to Yachiru frequently in Bleach.
- Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket will sometimes flail her arms around when flustered or panicking over something.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Knuckles reacts this way upon discovering, "My hat's on fire!".
- This happens to many girls frequently in Fairy Tail, particularly when humorously distressed or angry. Lucy does this most often, and Coco from the most recent arc is guilty of this as well, running around the room and doing this as she talks to people.
- Midori from Midori Days, another Genki Girl.
- Taiga, yet again a Genki Girl, does this sometimes in Fate/stay night, at least in the game. She doesn't move her arms that fast though since FSN doesn't really use cartoonish body movements like that but Taiga's antics push it sometimes.
- Brook from One Piece runs so fast that you see multiple legs, especially when he runs across water.
- Yui from Lucky Star often does this when she's waving to greet people.
- Suzu of Amuri in Star Ocean flaps her arms on a regular basis and for no particular, to the point that she has to use her hair in place of hands.
- Miss Hinako's child form from Ranma ˝ does this so frequently that this sort of movement is referred in the fandom as the Hinako Shuffle.
- Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire: In the episode "Sharpedo Attack", May does this when she's menaced by a Sharpedo while on a boat.
- A more controlled and odd version occurs in The World God Only Knows: When Keima suffers from severe game withdrawal, he compensates by playing eight or more games simultaneously, following all the games and stories well enough to emotionally respond to each one. When he's playing like this (in what he calls "God mode"), he uses the controllers for all the systems, moving from controller to controller so quickly that it looks like he's sprouted several extra pairs of arms.
- My Dress-Up Darling: In Episode 6, Marin's Love Epiphany about Gojo has her briefly engaging in this, flapping her arms while fluttering slightly as she thinks "I wuv Gojo-kun!"
- This effect is often used on characters in the Mole's World animated series when they are running.
- In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, it's not uncommon for characters' arms or legs to blur when they're moving really quickly.
- Characters in Yamucha's-Kung Fu Academy often have their legs blur when they run.
- Getafix does this in Asterix and the Big Fight, but that was mostly pointing while yelling orders.
- While this happens on occasion in Monica's Gang, Smudge has been able to use this to actually fly when the other option is falling into water.
- The Three Caballeros: This happens to Donald Duck during the extended Disney Acid Sequence set to "You Belong to My Heart".
Live Action TV
- Vicki did this in the Small Wonder episode "Vicki and the Pusher".
- El Chavo, whenever someone suggests him doing something exciting.
- Yoshi's Island: Yoshi's Flutter Kick does this. Hell, just running does this.
- Street Fighter has Chun Li doing this in a similar way to Yoshi.
- Extremely noticeable with Shiki in The World Ends with You. Her waving image lasts longer than most, due to the sprite-based nature of most cutscenes.
- The Servbot's Versus artwork from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 features him desperately flailing around his little arms, attempting to attack◊.
- The cute little goddess Suwako in Touhou Hisoutensoku does this to remain airborn.
- In Puyo Puyo Sun, Arle's feet are shown as circular blurs when she is chased around in a field by Honey Bee.
- Downplayed with Gregg Lee in Night in the Woods. While he does frequently flap his arms when excited, he doesn't quite have the speed to turn into a blur.
- In El Goonish Shive, Grace does it here, Susan's shoulder nature does it here, and one of Nanase's Doppelgänger Spin doubles does it here.
- Sailor Ranko: When Sailor Sun passionately denies being in love with Akane.
- Twin Dragons: When the twins are poking each other during a boring car ride.
- Wereworld has a scene with overly excited Anika, supposedly a homage to Gold Digger.
- The Simpsons has two rather literal examples of this; in one Halloween Episode, Krusty's pacemaker shorts out and gets set to Hummingbird Mode ("Nectar! Nectar! Gotta drink my weight in nectar!"). In another, we see security cam footage of Apu thinking he's some kind of hummingbird after working for 96 hours straight; he tip-toes across the Qwik-E Mart, flapping his arms and humming (he also says that he tried to drink nectar out of Sanjay's head).
- Sometimes seen in Totally Spies! particularly when Clover gets really angry.
- Although not human, Courage the Cowardly Dog often does this when scared, and he is scared a lot.
- Despite not being particularly fast, excitable or even human, Grup the Dragon from Mighty Magiswords moves this way most of the time.
- In multiple episodes of Kaeloo, running characters' feet are depicted as a blur of oval shapes.