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Resort to Pouting

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"Not the Puppy Dog Pout! That's mine!"
Kimberly Anne Possible, Kim Possible

Pouting. Everyone has done it at some point in their lives. Pouting is frequently used, in real life and in fiction, by children. Fiction can also use it with characters who act childish for their age. In fact, narratively it can be used to show the childish nature of a character, regardless of age.

When a character doesn't get their way, a pout can fall somewhere between quietly accepting this outcome and Tantrum Throwing. Indeed, if a pout fails, some characters may devolve into the latter.

In most cases, people will ignore the pouting person, or tell them to knock it off. In some cases, however, the pouting is actually very effective for someone getting what they want, usually to demonstrate either a weak will on the person relenting, a close relationship between the pouter and the one who relents, or the strength of the pout, especially if other characters start urging the one in charge to give in. However, showing too many attempts of successful pouting could lead to a Broken Aesop that pouting is a good way to get what you want.

Pouting is typically demonstrated with a protruding lower lip and/or puffed-out cheeks. Some characters may throw in a Luminescent Blush for added measure.

It is a favorite tactic of the Bratty Half-Pint. In anime, it is frequently used by the Tsundere characters, though whether or not it is being deliberately invoked or merely their response to a situation they disapprove of, and inadvertently nets the results they want is dependent upon the individual character in question.

There are also instances of mock-pouting, where a character isn't actually upset, but pretends to pout to be cute.

There is also an interesting gender dynamic to pouting. Male and female children pouting is expected. While teenagers and adults pouting can be done by either gender and will serve to make both appear childish (with the exception of mock-pouting, where it's done playfully), female characters have a higher success rate engaging in a pouting session than do their male counterparts, and female characters also seem to have a higher degree of resistance to pouting when it's employed against them. That said, male characters tend not to respond favorably to other males pouting, particularly not if the one pouting is old enough to know better.

Compare and contrast with Puppy-Dog Eyes, which may or may not accompany a good pout (It's just as likely that a pouting character will avoid eye contact while pouting). Compare Breath-Holding Brat for a similar way that children, and the childish, try to get their way. Compare I Have Boobs, You Must Obey! for another, female-specific way people try to get their way.

Not to be confused with the descriptor "pouting breasts", though occasionally a comparison might be made between a character so described engaging in the behavior.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • BanG Dream!: In Season 2, during the "joint culture fest" between the two schools, an impromptu band was formed called the "Part Timers". During their performance, Ran can be seen with her arms crossed, a small pout on her face, as the temporary band has two of her own band's regulars, Tsugumi and Moca, performing. The other two members of Afterglow, Tomoe and Himari, are fine with it, cheering from the audience.
  • Chihayafuru:
    • In episode 21, Chihaya is matched up against a child prodigy, Ririka Tachibana. When Chihaya manages to score a card, Ririka pouts, "She got one, but she's still slow." This repeats a few times in Chihaya's memory, with extra focus paid to Ririka's protruding lips to emphasize the pout.
    • During the team rounds at Nationals in season 2, Kanade pouts at her opponent after he stands to stretch once too often. She was using Tsutomo's info, which told her that it was how he broke a foe's momentum. Kanade's deliberately invoked pout is to prevent him from doing it again, and her glowing eyes afterwards say she played him like a fiddle.
  • Lucky Star: On one occasion, Konata tries to convince Miyuki to go to a "Festival" with her. Kagami arrives and pushes Konata down in her seat, warning Miyuki that the "Festival" is Comiket in Ariake. Konata pouts angrily at her desk, "I wasn't lying, though. I mean, a festival is a festival."
  • My Dress-Up Darling: While not as frequent, there's one instance where Marin is talking through the phone with Gojo, and he innocently reveals to her that he brought Shinju Inui to his room to help her with a male cosplay. The realization makes Marin pout in annoyance, and the manga even calls it a "Jelly Pout".
  • My-HiME: A couple of the girls engage in pouting from time to time.
    • In ep. 6, Shiho tells Yuuichi that they need two more girls and another guy for a job at her family shrine. Yuuichi immediately thinks of Mai, apparently ignorant of the fact that Shiho considers Mai a romantic rival. Shiho pouts angrily through the whole explanation of the job, which she then denies when Yuuichi asks.
    • In the same episode, Midori makes a grand entrance in the fight against the stone Orphan, acting the whole time like she's in a Sentai show. She tells the Power Trio of Mai, Natsuki, and Mikoto that they need to remember the words "Justice, Love, and Friendship!" Natsuki and Mikoto both pout, while Mai just looks confused.
    • A piece of promotional art has Natsuki pouting in a bout of A-Cup Angst compared to Mai.
    • In ep. 9, Midori cheerfully tells the students that she's off to grade their exams. Mai pouts sullenly on her desk, saying she's going to flunk.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: While all five sisters can pout from time to time, it is particularly common of Miku Nakano as a part of her Clingy Jealous Girl traits. She is especially prone to pouting when other girls, especially her sisters, get too close to Fuutaro for her liking.
  • In Reality Check, Cateece seems to think making a "boo boo face" will keep her snow cone from melting. It gives Collin the idea to make magic shoes that change the laws of the universe if you make a sad enough face and talk about what's making you sad.
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Yurisha has expressed a desire, ever since Yuki's capture by the Gamillons, to be part of the rescue team. So, in episode 23, when Okita gives Kodai permission to go rescue Yuki, Yurisha displays the mother of all pouts. Okita smiles and relents, telling Kodai he may take one person with him, which Yurisha instantly leaps at.

    Fan Works 
  • Fate Revelation Online: Illya can evidently manipulate her brother this way, as evidenced by this passage:
    "Shirou!" Ilya was seriously pouting now, hands thrust down by her sides as she stood rigidly, "I don't like it when you tease me like this!" She had a tremulous, wide-eyed look as she stared at Shirou. Asuna thought she'd never looked more like a little girl than right now, reacting pitifully to getting teased.
    With a sigh that was kind rather than exasperated, Shirou reached out in front of him and decisively tapped a menu selection.
    "Hooray!" Ilya shouted, breaking forward as she half-ran and half-skipped to throw her arms around Shirou's neck and hug him.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: "Tomorrow is Yesterday" introduces a rather inconvenient modification to the Enterprise's main computer, the installation of a feminine personality. After it refers to Kirk as "dear" one too many times after he specifically ordered it not to, he makes a notation in the log that he consisders in a fault, and if it cannot be repaired, his recommendation is that the whole thing be scrapped. There is an entirely audible pout as the computer replies with a sulking "Computed."
  • Jackie does it in the That '70s Show episode "Christmas" when she wants Hyde to take her to the Christmas Eve dance:
    Jackie: If you could just see...
    Hyde: No.
    Jackie: ...that this is something that's really important to me...
    Hyde: No.
    Jackie: ...then you'd understand that, as my boyfriend...
    Hyde: No.
    Jackie: should go.
    Hyde: No!
    Jackie: Fine. (pouts) Please?
    Hyde: Fine.

    Video Games 
  • Club Penguin: In the Paint By Letters novel "Lime Green Dojo Clean", when the janitor decides what to do when all of their options of stopping the Dojo from being vandalized fail, the player has the option to either shout or pout, which results in one of two endings. When choosing to pout, a penguin inside the vat of lime green paint pops out, and she suggests using an inflatable rubber octopus to clean up the paint after the party's over.
  • My World, My Way: Pouting to get your way is a game mechanic, complete with "Pout Points" that can be spent to change things like enemy levels, terrain types, quest requirements, loss penalties, and the like.

    Western Animation 
  • Baby Looney Tunes: In "Pouting Match", Lola finds that pouting to get what she wants is quite useful when the kids refuse to put on her favorite show. However, the other kids start to use the same tactic so she can know how it feels. As such, Granny tells Lola that she can't always get what she wants, but she should at least ask nicely for it.
  • Daria: "This Year's Model", Quinn pouts at the dinner table after Helen attempts to forbid her from participating in a modeling class. Daria notes that it's serious when Quinn doesn't get up to answer the phone. Zig-zagged as Quinn's pouting was only part of why Helen relents and allows Quinn to participate.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim has a patented version of a pout she calls the "Puppy Dog Pout."note  She's even pulled it against some of her arch-enemies, to great effect. However, she apparently inherited it from her mother Anne, who once wielded it against Kim herself, causing Kim to protest, "Not the Puppy Dog Pout! That's mine!", but relenting and allowing her mother to accompany her on a mission for Mother's Day.
    • In one episode, Kim mock-pouts after Wade uses a remote control to bypass a security gate to avoid having to "jump over stuff."
      Kim: (pouting voice and face) But I like jumping over stuff.
    • In "Stop Team Go," Shego has been forcibly turned good and uses a puppy dog pout on Kim.