Follow TV Tropes


Sweat Drop

Go To

Wonderella: Th' hell is that blue slug on my face?
Businesswoman: That is a sweatdrop. In Japan it means you are either embarrassed or you are about to climax.

Confusion, exasperation, embarrassment and similar emotions manifest as an unusually large sweat drop that appears on the temple or the back of the head. Sometimes the "drop sweat" symbol can even apply to a group of people as well. Either a gigantic sweat drop appears somewhere in the middle of the crowd, or a few big drops are scattered around (the latter variation is also common in comic books). As semi-illustrated by the page image, characters will often adopt Black Bead Eyes (and possibly other Chibi traits) when sweatdropping.

Usually limited to comedic anime, but even some serious ones indulge. A common sight in a Deadpan Snarker or Only Sane Man when surrounded by idiocy.

The Sweatdrop also appears in anime-influenced animation. The exaggerated version of this is practically a Discredited Trope; most shows nowadays use much smaller, more modest sweatdrops instead.

See "Plewds" in the Briffits and Squeans article for the Western equivalent. Also, see Cross-Popping Veins and Overly-Nervous Flop Sweat.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
Prevalent to the point where it's easier to list examples that don't have this. The size decreases the more serious and realistic the work is. Following are the more notable mentions:
  • Happens often in Dragon Ball Z, especially the anime, with not even serious characters like Piccolo and Vegeta being immune. There are at least two inanimate-object variants, as well—once when Gohan blows a whole cake into his relatives' faces when trying to blow out his birthday candles, we get an outside shot of their house with a sweat-drop on the building itself; and much later on, when Mr. Satan is bragging about how he'll defeat Majin Buu, his house, a cactus and a rock all get ever-enlarging sweat-drops the more he brags.
  • Occurs frequently in Fullmetal Alchemist, often without regard for which way a character is facing.
  • Often appears in Ghost Hunt, once again without any regard for which direction the character is facing.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou sometimes employs this for comical scenes. One instance in particular, in the OAV episode "Kokoro no Yukue", has the drop appear during a Super-Deformed scene at the end of the pictured dot-by-dot Visible Silence. It then falls to the bottom of the screen. As a solid object.
  • Inuyasha: The one character who is never given a sweat drop moment (not even once) is Sesshoumaru.
  • This pops up in Negima! Magister Negi Magi on occasion, including on things that shouldn't be able to knives.
  • Lampooned in Oh! Edo Rocket, where the drops appear hovering above the characters' heads.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, this is also what the Cascade Badge looks like. Quite a few characters do this, usually when Casanova Wannabe Brock tries again to get a Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny.
  • While nothing new in Pretty Cure, sometimes a collective sweat drop happens, where Cures, villains and monsters get one. The situation is that confusing.
  • Done regularly in Ranma ½, usually to show exasperation.
  • Frequently happens during silly situations in Rurouni Kenshin. Among the main cast, Aoshi and Saitou are the only ones who don't experience this (although Saitou makes up for it by being a comically serious Deadpan Snarker).
  • Sweat Drops appear regularly in the Sailor Moon anime. The '90s dubbed version sometimes cut them out, but these edits were inconsistent, occasionally even having one instance of it removed and another one left intact within the same episode.
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo: Shino at one point managed to cause a pair of deer to Sweat Drop.
  • Shimoneta: Tanukichi's reaction in chapter 10, after he wrestles Oboro to the floor and ends up with his foot between her legs — except he feels a bulge, so he uses his foot to double-check, confirming his suspicion. Two smaller sweatdrops appear next to the first one.
  • Lampshaded in Slayers. Lina smacks Gourry over the head with her own sweatdrop for endangering her life without warning her first.
  • Notable in episode 66 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when... the Duel Academy sign does it. Yes, a piece of wood. And then it does a Face Fault.
  • In the episode "The Steel Bison", Zoids: Chaotic Century has the Blade Liger of all things doing this with a Jaw Drop when it's accidentally targeted by the DiBison along with the enemy targets before firing a Beam Spam.

    Asian Animation 
  • Characters in Happy Heroes are often seen making facial expressions where they have a sweat drop near their head.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: As with other shows by Creative Power Entertaining, Pleasant Goat characters often have sweat drops when they are surprised. The sweat drops are also accompanied with sound effects.
  • Simple Samosa:
    • In "Cultural Programme", a sweat drop appears on Dhokla disguised as Vada when he first sees the audience as he is about to perform.
    • In "Chhote Rajaji", a sweat drop appears on Samosa after he asks Jalebi how she knows the shorts are Cham Cham's, and she replies that they literally have his name printed on them.

    Comic Books 
  • Used frequently in Empowered. It's part of the animesque package.
  • Lampshaded in Mangaman, where all the western comic characters are confused and grossed out by the titular character's singular huge sweat drop.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) Urban Warfare Arc: is the reaction Lanolin and Sonic get when there’s a clear tension between Tangle and Whisper after the former chose the latter's former deceased team's name as their.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: When "Glitch" realizes that Steve Trevor's serious about his latest impractical and very difficult plan he gets a sweatdrop as he reluctantly agrees to what seems near insanity to him. The plan does work, and while Glitch nearly falls to his death he was never in any real danger since Wonder Woman was aiding them.

    Fan Works 


    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: In various instances, characters will have a sweat-drop whenever witnessing a demeaning event. After Castor and Melissa end up stranded in the desert, Castor rants in Symbol Swearing while Melissa watches from afar with a sweat-drop occurring besides her.
  • In Breath of Fire III' and IV hitting NPCs and a few objects with some characters' on map abilities can make them react in this way.
  • DragonFable has Artix get one when you're trying to enter Necro U with Zorbak's ID, but of course, the guard are undead so...
  • The Tonberry summon in Final Fantasy VIII goes like this:
    Tonberry slowly walks towards the enemy
    Enemy sweatdrops
  • Jitsu Squad, running on Animesque graphics, uses the sweat in several moments, notably when a random Emaki mook panics after seeing the squad arriving and later when the squad's on an out-of-control train.
  • Kirby Super Star: In the end credits, there is an icon of Kirby programming on a computer to represent programmers who worked on this game. Kirby might not know what he's doing if the sweat drop visible on him is any indication.
  • Prier from La Pucelle does this so many times she has her own Sweat Drop animation.
  • This is seen quite often in The Legend of Heroes: Trails series, pretty much whenever the characters are embarrassed or confused by something.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 2 if you're using Tron Bonnes throw assist and she misses, a message bubble will appear with a sweat drop in it.
  • Monster Monpiece: Animations cycle in conversations so May has a big blue sweatdrop appear by her face then fade away in the opening cutscene, possibly repeatedly, when she says:
    What!? No way! You know I'm gonna lose that bet!
  • The Other: Airi's Adventure: Airi gets one at the second time she says Visible Silence if she tries to leave the Park without talking to the mystery boy.
  • B.O.B. gets the Oh, Crap! version just before a gunfight breaks out in the Video Game/Overwatch cinematic "Reunion".
  • Persona:
    • Happens fairly often in Persona 3. Notable examples are during SEES's reaction to Junpei's melodramatic "Believe It Or Don't" flashlight-under-face ghost story attempt, or in the Persona 3: FES rerelease, Elizabeth misguidedly offering one million yen coins to the "fountain god" at the mall, to which a nearby young couple sitting on a bench let out two huge sweatdrops.
    • Its successor, Persona 4, has this, as well. Copious sweatdrops are doled out in rapid succession in the infamous "King's Game" scene.
    • In Persona 5, any time characters are suddenly worried, their character model will have three little drops of water pop out from their forehead. any time they're embarrassed, an oversized drop of water pops up on the side of their temple instead.
  • The eponymous character of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is very prone to this during trials, although it appears in a more realistic manner and is frequently lampshaded how he actually breaks into cold sweat.
  • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series uses this along with numerous other commonly seen emotion indicators.
  • A part of the Puyo Puyo series' anime-like art style; confused characters will sometimes have a sweat drop briefly appear near their heads during the cutscenes of certain games.
  • Displaying this and displaying Cross-Popping Veins are among options for speech balloon emotion built into RPG Maker VX.
  • In Roots of Pacha, several characters have single sweat drops on their overworld sprites whenever they feel embarrassed.
  • The Shadow Hearts games do this in little bubbles that appear above a character's head. Others include squiggly lines (for exasperation), ? or ! marks, heart symbols and even internet emoticon-ish faces. Ditto the Golden Sun series.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Message bubbles with sweat drops inside them also appear in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
    • In Mario Party 7, there's a mini gamed called "Apes of Wrath" which starts out with a cutscene depicting the 2 competing characters eating apples. The camera pans up to some monkeys who are angry at the characters for eating their apples. Both participating characters get sweatdrops.
  • These occasionally appear in the Tales Series, such as in Tales of Symphonia, used for a Pictorial Speech Bubbles when Genis and Lloyd are embarrassed about Colette accidentally breaking a wall.
  • The shuttle elephant from Toonstruck will let out a single sweat drop after being almost frightened by an unconscious mouse.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: When Nia is annoyed at a wanted poster of her with a Facial Composite Failure and responds to Dromarch's Actually Pretty Funny reaction with a Death Glare, Dromarch sports a cartoony sweat drop as he does a Verbal Backspace.

    Web Animation 
  • T E T R I S ' D: The hero has a sweat drop appear on their head when they see the amount of Tetris blocks they have to avoid in 2.

    Web Comics 
  • Misfile: Used almost constantly in early strips, and although its use has been toned down in recent strips even Rumi's T-shirt can develop one.
  • Pixie and Brutus:
    • Randal begins sweating when he realizes the trouble he's gotten himself into with Pixie's new (and very intimidating) big brother by threatening to bite her.
    • Brutus starts to sweat as he tries to think of a way around explaining war to Pixie.
  • Questionable Content: The anime-style AnthroPCs have this as a feature (read the text below the comic).
  • In Sandra and Woo, Cloud gets a huge one when his entire family teases him by urging him to marry Sandra.
  • Waterworks: Slick gets it when he thinks about giving flowers to a girl to make amends.
  • Yahtzee Takes on the World: Derek, the Anime girl, can have one. And later, Ludo in Derek's body.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Even Avatar: The Last Airbender has done this once or twice.
  • Corneil & Bernie: In the episode "Finder Weepers", a police inspector arrested someone after believing he stole his watch. While in his car, his watch lands on the front window, causing him and his deputy to sweat drop embarrassingly.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi uses the giant sweat drop version very frequently. Ami, Yumi, and Kaz are the most frequent victims since they are the main characters.
    • At the end of the first act of the episode "Helping Hand", Yumi sweats worried while Ami notices her.
    • The second act of the episode "Driving School", when Ami pushes while being stopped in a reindeer. Ami, Yumi, and Kaz sweat worried when this happens.
  • Happens a lot on Kaeloo, being an animesque show and all.
  • A Kind of Magic does it quite frequently.
  • Ditto for the Teen Titans TV series. Including from an ATM machine about to be eaten by Cyborg after demanding it to dispense sauce.
  • Totally Spies! does it quite frequently, as does many of Marathon Media's shows.
  • Xiaolin Showdown, another animesque show, did this frequently as well. In one memorable instance, Kimiko's sweat drop grew and grew until it was the same size as her head, and then boiled from her fury.

  • Characters established to be anime fans in Gap are sometimes given versions of these. Tom's somewhat fluid preferences regarding anime result in him having these only when discussing the subject.
  • The icon for shipping on Bulbapedia shows Buneary with a heart over her head and Pikachu with a Sweat Drop over his.
  • BIONICLE: Hewkii did this in one of the early web animations as Macku was dragging him away for a swimming lesson (he hates water), despite the Matoran's apparent absence of sweat glands.
  • Project Wonderful adds a sweat drop to the face icon when a bid is about to expire.
  • There are a few single sweat drop emojis. One depicts embarrassment, another one anxiety.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Sweat Drop, Anime Sweat Drop


Jupiter's Talent

Makoto angers her friends by bragging her bigger chest makes her the most qualified to play the lead role in a play.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigBreastPride

Media sources: