Female anime characters, when surprised, shocked, or threatened, will frequently throw their arms up in the air at a forty-five degree angle, just like a Kewpie doll. Moe characters are more likely to do this than others.
The trope can take one of two forms: either the character doing it will freeze into a tableau, or she'll flap her arms up into the kewpie doll pose and down again. Mere surprise more commonly elicits the first reaction; terrified or frantic characters are more likely to perform the second. The trope is largely confined to comedy series.
See Also: Human Hummingbird
- Ranma ½: The trope recurs throughout the series' entire run.
- In the first season, Kasumi does the first type upon first seeing Akane's shorter haircut (flinging a frying pan into the air in the process, forcing Ranma to rescue it and its contents).
- Girl-type Ranma does the second when facing her mortal fear of cats.
- Azumanga Daioh: Tomo frequently flaps her arms up and down whenever she's excited, distressed, or otherwise emotional, tying in with her nature as a self-described "crazy-go-nuts high schooler with energy and spunk, if nothing else."
- Love Hina: Shinobu in the title sequence, as well as in the 19th episode.
- Mahoraba: Every Chance it gets.
- Ruuko Kireinasora in To Heart 2 has this as her greeting.
- Sketchbook. Especially Kate does this a lot.
- Nanoha does this in A's when Vita gets her name wrong.
- Pictured above is Caro Ru Lushe from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS.
- Kobato. does this quite often.
- Popura from Wagnaria!! is prone to this.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch has one instance. When Hanon and Rina see Lucia's clothes in Kaito's house hung just at the window, they enter this state as they wonder what naughty/perverted things are happening there. When the scene changes again, it shows them and their Kewpie doll versions of them in their hands.
- El Goonish Shive uses this several times on several different characters.
- My Life Me does this to an irritating degree.