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Facial expressions and physical gestures as idioms. Some of these were invented for television, some came from the wild, but TV certainly gives them extra attention -- it's a big way that TV differs from the stage.

Things like Spock's "Fascinating" eyebrow-raise, the wide eyes of surprise, the "these people are crazy" eye-roll, the scoff of derision, the furrowed brow of anger, the other kind of furrowed brow of concentration, and the lip-curl of disgust.

Animation has its own pile of these, like bulging or heart-shaped eyes, or Anime's sweat drop of embarrassment.

These are distinct from Reaction Shots, which have a narrower and more specific meaning.

When it's a character in a video game performing the action over and over because the developers programmed a perfectly good action and want to get as much out of it as possible, it's Going Through the Motions.

A subtrope of Body Language. Twitchy Eye is a specific type of character tic used to convey anxiety, rage, or impending psychosis.

Examples of Character Tics include:


Anime and Manga

  • Gendo Ikari's so-called "Gendou Position" in Neon Genesis Evangelion: sitting with his elbows on a table, fingers interlaced and hands in front of his mouth (thereby preventing anyone from seeing his expression unless looking from below).
    • Thereby saving the animators from having to draw his lips.
      • Also couples with his shiny glasses hiding his eyes. Hiding the lips hides pretty much all chance of reading his expression. Not that he's particularly expressive under normal circumstances.
    • Gendo also pushes up his glasses, as if to add a non-verbal '...dumbass' to the end of his sentence. This also has the side-effect of making him seem more suspect; in a real life example of this trope, many people will cover their mouths somewhat when lying (without knowing it), and many other people will pick up on that (usually subconsciously). Of course, some people just scratch their nose from time to time, unintentionally invoking this.
    • Also, Shinji has a habit of clenching and unclenching his hand when anxious. It's possibly a tic in the actual psychological sense.
  • Monster: Inspector Lunge's most distinguishing feature is his habit of moving his fingers as though he were typing, which helps him memorize information verbatim.
  • Pretty much anything L does in Death Note, Near's hair-twirling and playing with toys, and Mello's maniacal chocolate-eating.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. Envy has a very distinctive grin, which lets us recognize him when he's transformed into someone.
  • Miki of Revolutionary Girl Utena and his seemingly random stopwatch usage. He did it so often that fans had asked Ikuhara just why the hell did Miki keep timing things? Naturally, Ikuhara gave one of his infamous non-answers.
    • Also, the protagonist is an athletic girl who will do random stretches in the middle of conversations.
  • Haruhi from Suzumiya Haruhi has her famous "hairflick". This is only portrayed in the anime.
    • Kyon's "frown and sigh", which he tends to do a lot.
    • Don't forget Kyon's infamous Face Palm tendency.
    • Itsuki's hand gestures when explaining something, as if he's conducting the listeners' thoughts in concert with his own.
  • Kurahadol (Captain Kuro) from One Piece had a rather distinctive way of adjusting his glasses. Most characters wrote it off, but his old crewmate Jango understood exactly why he still pushed his glasses up with the palm of his hand.
    • The odd little dance Chopper does whenever he's denying feeling pleased with being praised. Word of God says it was based on a Real Life comedy routine.
    • Caimie the mermaid's distinctive face fault. It's...hard to describe. Her eyes bug out, her teeth jut out, her jaw seems to unhinge, and her tongue looks huge and hangs out.
  • Lelouch from Code Geass is well-known among anime fans for his propensity for dramatic poses, but he seems particularly fond of hand gestures that draw attention to his left eye (the one that holds his Evil Eye powers). A good example of this can be seen in the first opening for the show's second season.
    • C. C. can often be found noshing on pizza or lying down, oftentimes cradling her stuffed Cheese-kun doll.
  • Deconstructed in Part 4 of Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable. Miyamoto, the user of the Stand Enigma can trap and fold anything in paper, but in order to trap a person he first needs to identify their specific "nervous tic". Obviously, he's scarily good at figuring them out.
  • The heroine of Gokusen is a Yazuka Princess, and thus while she isn't a Tattooed Crook herself, has picked up the gesture of raising her sleeve to show (nonexistent in her case) tattoos when aggravated.
  • Ash in early parts of the Pokémon series would flip his Nice Hat from front to back whenever he gets serious in a battle.
    • He's gone back to flipping his hat. And the Fandom Rejoiced, though it was thought he stopped due to Character Development so Fridge Logic set in.
    • Drew has a very noticeable habit of flicking his bangs out of this face. He probably does this about twice an episode when he appears.
  • In Naruto, we have Gai and Rock Lee's thumbs ups, Manly Poses, and Youthful Grins; Kakashi's happy eye-arch; Iruka's blushing and scar-scratching; Sakura shoving her fist in the air; Ino sticking her tongue out; Shikamaru slumping his shoulders; Tsunade biting her thumb; Kabuto pushing up his glasses; Naruto and Kushina scratching the back of their heads...
  • In the manga version of Battle Royale, Hiroki Sugimura has a tendency to tap his nose when he doesn't know what to say. Lampshaded by his friend Takako Chigusa.
  • Ryuuji from Toradora! tugs at his bangs in a characteristic way whenever he's shy, embarrassed, uncertain, or thinking.
  • In the anime version of K-On!, Mio always holds her guitar pick in her mouth and flips her hair back over her shoulder before she starts playing her bass.
  • Ulquiorra from Bleach constantly keeps his hands in his pockets and only fights hand-to-hand, to a point where it's lampshaded when he's serious about fighting via drawing his sword. One has to wonder what would happen if he didn't have pockets.


Comic Books

  • Given the way comic-book physics work, there is no possible way Superman (or any other hero, for that matter) needs to raise one arm when he takes flight. Yet... it looks cool.
    • Which is why The Bison in Dozerfleet Comics deliberately doesn't raise his hooves to fly. Raising appendages to fly when you don't need to is for chumps.
  • There is plenty of evidence that Professor X, Jean Grey, and all the various telepaths of the X-Men books can use their mental powers without pressing their fingers to their temples (and optionally extending one hand) - doing so would appear to be the telepathic equivalent of sticking your tongue out the corner of your mouth while aiming at a target: it just feels like it helps, even though it serves no purpose.
  • X-Men villain (and sometimes ally) Magneto appears to reflexively extend his hands to guide his magnetic powers (one hand for minor uses, both for really big stuff). It clearly isn't necessary, though, as he will occasionally remain motionless when using his powers for intimidation purposes, presumably a conscious decision to imply that a foe is beneath his notice.
  • Superhumanly agile characters like Spider-Man and Nightcrawler will often crouch or even drop to all-fours for no reason other than because it looks dynamic and to show off how flexible they are.


Film

  • Dr. Evil from Austin Powers raising his pinky finger to his mouth.
  • The infamous juggling his balls (no, not that kind) in The Caine Mutiny.
  • RoboCop has several trademark gestures:
    • The gun twirl, trademark of Show Within a Show character T.J. Lazer, which is how his partner recognized him after his death and cyborg makeover.
    • The driving style. Robocop's pull out scrapes the bottom of his car as it did before his cyborg makeover.
  • James Bond, amongst others: The infamous hypnobrow of doom.
    • Boris Grishenko, Evil Genius for the Big Bad of Goldeneye, had a habit of constantly twirling his pens and clicking on them when he's working or nervous. Bond has a pen that operates as a grenade, armed by clicking three times, disarmed by clicking three times. You do the math.
  • Monty Python and The Holy Grail: Sir Bedivere habitually lifts up the visor of his helmet.
  • In Back to The Future, Marty McFly sleeps on either his side or his stomach with an arm behind his back.
  • The Harry Potter films have the Voldemort neck roll that Harry takes on when their minds are melded.
    • Then there's Hermione's eyebrows dancing up and down with every syllable, sometimes getting out of sync with each other. Emma Watson even does this when she's not acting, making it more of an actor tic, though she has managed to tone it down somewhat in the later films.
    • And there is also Crouch Jr's lip-licking, which is what made his father realize that his son is impersonating Mad-Eye Moody.
  • Infernal Affairs has a couple of trademark tics that are actually plot-relevant: Yan's habit of tapping his fingers on things and Ming's of tapping objects he's holding against his leg.
  • In The Sting, Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) has many tics - such as: the way he holds a cup of coffee, the way he throws one shoulder back. There are others I can't think of right now.
  • In the Ocean's Eleven movies, Rusty is eating something, but never finishes it, in almost every scene.
  • In Labyrinth Jareth frequently contact juggles a crystal ball.
  • Madison in Splash tends to bite her lower lip when thinking or embarrassed.
  • In Road to Perdition, psychopathic hitman Harlan Maguire (Jude Law) has a habit of twirling a coin over his fingers in boredom or frustration. Pretty tame when you consider his other hobbies...
  • Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean films runs with his arms in the air, flailing them as he runs. This has been dubbed "the lizard run" by fans of the series.
  • In many of the older Godzilla movies, Godzilla often slams his fist into his palm as he walks.
  • The Joker from The Dark Knight licks his lips while he talks a lot. Why? Can't tell, but it's really creepy, and adds to his demented persona.
    • Word of God states that this was a result of Heath Ledger being annoyed by the feeling of the scar prosthetics and unconsciously licking at them because of it and after seeing him do it a few times with the full make-up and finding it seriously creepy, they decided to just make it part of the character.


Literature

  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan (who's just slightly self-conscious about his height) tends to lift his chin defensively when under stress, especially in the earlier books.
  • The Wheel of Time: Nynaeve often tugs her braid when she's agitated. And she is often agitated.
    • About halfway through the series she decides this habit isn't dignified enough for someone who is supposed to be a Yellow Aes Sedai and Queen of Malkier. So now, whenever she's annoyed, she pauses and makes a visible effort to not tug her braid.
    • Most of the female characters smooth their skirts when they're nervous.
  • In the book Children of Dune, the late Baron used to tap his fingers in a certain way. This is not genetic, and when one of his descendants does it, it's significant.
  • Bella Swan from Twilight often bites her lower lip, a trait she shares with Kristen Stewart.
  • Narrator Huckleberry Finn remarks that Tom Sawyer, in the lesser-known Mark Twain novel Tom Sawyer, Detective, has a habit of tracing the letter V on his cheek or chin when he's thinking deeply.
  • In the first book of the Sword of Truth series, both Richard and Darken Rahl have their ticks. Richard runs his hands through his hair when gets nervous or exasperated, while Rahl licks his fingers and runs them over his lips and eyebrows habitually. Richard's tic clues Zedd in that the "Darken Rahl" they see is not, in fact, Darken Rahl, but he realizes it a moment too late.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Violet always ties back her hair when she's inventing something.
  • In Isaac Asimov's Powell and Donovan stories, Powell tends to pull at his mustache when he's nervous, whereas Donovan runs his fingers through his hair. In "Catch That Rabbit!" Powell even reaches for the mustache while wearing a space suit.
  • In the Discworld novels, Lord Vetinari raises one eyebrow when he's faced with something particularly stupid, usually in conjunction with a deeply ironic remark. Lampshaded in Making Money, where Vetinari-wannabe Cosmo Lavish practices his eyebrow raising.
  • Flight of the Intruder gives us Lt. Cool Hand Grafton, who suffers from stress-related palsy when he's not flying.
  • Arya from A Song of Ice and Fire often chews on her lip.
    • Stannis Baratheon keeps his jaw clenched and grinds his teeth.
    • After an incident in the first book, Jon has started flexing his hand.


Live-Action TV

  • Glee's Kurt Hummel almost always fixes his hair while singing a high note, and always sits with his legs crossed.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show did it with Dick's famous "now I'm drunk, now I'm sober" schtick.
  • CSI: Miami must be eligible for Horatio Caine's habit of putting his hands on his hips while wearing sunglasses. And his habit of putting on sunglasses for dramatic pronouncements. Or, if he's already wearing them, adjusting them. Or taking them off, and putting them on again a moment later.
    • And let's not forget that he never kneels like a normal person, he always gets down on one knee, as if to propose. (Granted, it's an easier position to get up from when you're only going to be kneeling for about five seconds, but Horatio kneels a lot.)
  • Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a tic related to his glasses. He would take them off or put them on with essentially every emotional "beat" (eventually, this was Lampshade Hung when Buffy worked out he did this to avoid having to see whatever was going on).
  • Simon in Firefly is good at this. One of the best was when River told Jubal, "I don't think your intentions are honorable" and Simon squinted (saying "Oh, really?")
    • In "Ariel", after Simon rescued the patient River gave a cute grin that pretty obviously said, My Big Brother is a really cool doctor.
    • Also, Jayne is frequently seen curiously touching things, such as Simon's birthday cake and the hologram in the hospital.
  • Dr Cox's habit of touching his nose in Scrubs. According to actor John C. McGinley, this is an homage to Paul Newman's character in The Sting.
    • Also how he puts his hands behind his head when he's upset - this was lampshaded at some point in Season 7.
    • Also, whenever he takes off a pair of medical gloves, he always uses the elastic to ping them away.
  • Picard's habit of straightening his uniform whenever he stands up in Star Trek the Next Generation. So common that fans gave it a joke name: the Picard Maneuver (named after an actual tactic the character invented). He also did a little motion with his hand most of the time when he said "Engage."
  • Daniel Jackson of Stargate SG-1 tends to subtly furrow his eyebrows and lips when frustrated (although that's probably more Michael Shanks).
    • Although this lessened later in the series, for at least the first two seasons, Daniel had a habit of licking his lips or biting them when he was thinking or was interrupted.
    • Teal'c falls victim quite frequently to the Spock Eyebrows -- so frequently that it's been lampshaded on multiple occasions.
      • Once, Teal'c interrogated a prisoner simply by raising his eyebrows.
      • Teal'c also tends to do something weird with the back of his jaw when he's irked. Is he grinding his teeth or something? It's hard to tell.
    • Col. Carter's momentary grimace anytime she either does something wrong, or bad things are about to happen.
    • Rodney McKay of Stargate Atlantis snaps his fingers when he's trying to remember something, and shakes his finger (like he's scolding you) when he's thinking really hard.
      • The actor once snapped his fingers at his girlfriend by mistake when he'd been playing McKay all day. As McKay is an asshole, this didn't go down too well.
        • According to David Hewlett, his then-girlfriend/now-wife gives him a 10-minute grace period after he comes home to shed his McKay-isms. After that...
  • If you pay (too much) attention to the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who, you realize that he has a whole lot of distinctive gestures and facial expressions. He runs his hands through his hair when he's frustrated, he dramatically dons his glasses when it's time to look clever, and he raises an eyebrow when he's interested. Oh, and there's that tongue-on-the-roof-of-his-mouth thing he does all the time.
    • "...and my voice going all squeaky when I shouted, I still do that! I got that from you."
    • David Tennant must be contractually obligated to make this face at least once an episode.
    • The Eleventh Doctor seems to be developing a few ones of his own, most notably drawing things in the air to arrive at epiphanies.
      • As someone mentioned on the Doctor Who wiki, TARDIS Index File, Eleven has a habit of spinning in a complete circle rather than just turning to the right or left to look at something.
      • Eleven also tends to snap his fingers before pointing at someone or something.
    • During Series 5, Amy would occasionally bulge her eyes and pucker her mouth- known to fans as the :I face. Karen Gillan seems to be making a conscious effort to stop this, as Amy has not done this tic during the entirety of Series 6.
    • Various other incarnations of the Doctor had specific tics too:
      • The First Doctor (William Hartnell) would often gesture with his hands close to his face. Peter Purves, who played his companion Stephen Tyler, said that this was William Hartnell's response to not being able to gesture broadly in the same way as you could on stage, because TV was "small" (i.e., it didn't capture all the action across the whole set all the time). He would also flutter his hands when trying to decide something.
      • The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) had his neck rub.
      • The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) had running a hand through his hair, saying "What!" whenever he heard something he didn't like, and cocking his head and going "Ah, well..." whenever he was about to deliver technobabble. (David Tennant deliberately invoked that last one with his Doctor too.)
      • The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) had his rrrolling Rrrs.
  • Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in the Dune miniseries had a distinctive habit of rubbing his right temple when he was frustrated. Later on, Paul Atreides does this himself, demonstrating the family connection between the two. In Children of Dune, we see Alia performing the gesture when she hears the Baron's voice in her head.
  • Al Bundy's famous hand-in-pants tic.
    • His daughter Kelly temporarily adopts this along with her father's personality in the episode "The Good-Bye Girl" after a rough day at her new job at a TV-based tourist attraction.
  • Robert Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond always touches food to his chin before eating it.
    • According to Ray Romano, his Real Life brother (who Robert is based on) also does this.
  • In the Star Trek the Original Series episode "The Man Trap," Nancy Crater the salt vampire has a habit of putting the knuckle of her index finger in her mouth. Then we see Dr. McCoy doing the same gesture...
  • Monk has a lot of these: neck-crinking, fingers steepled, hands in front when examining crime scenes... it's compounded by his obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
    • It was eventually revealed that the finger-steepling is something he got from his father.
  • With the severity of his tics, Jerry from Boston Legal puts Monk to shame. He would stomp, purr, hop, and make popping noises when he got upset; and in later episodes pull out a wooden cigarette as a crutch. This is, of course, ignoring his characteristic hands-on-your-knees style of walking and general social awkwardness.
  • In The X-Files, Agent Mulder is always putting things in his mouth--usually sunflower seeds, but in the first season especially, he can also be caught munching on paper clips.
  • Hiro on Heroes certainly pushes his glasses further up his face a lot.
    • For those that wear glasses, it's less of a tic and more just fact. They never stay put and if your glasses aren't sitting right, you can't see properly due to the focus point of the lens being in the wrong place.
    • Like Magneto, Sylar often points with two fingers held together whenever he's using telekinesis and does so while flicking his wrist to throw people across a room, despite the fact that we see that on numerous occasions gesturing is not required. This is gesturing is later explained as him fine-tuning his ability to a precision point, which fits with how it's often used to cut open people's heads to steal their powers.
  • Star Trek Voyager. In "Dark Frontier", Chakotay notes that Captain Janeway always fiddles with her comm badge when she's plotting something, a character tic that had never been seen before or since in the series. More accurately, Janeway has a tendency to place her hands on her hips, which unfortunately turned out to be the worst insult imaginable for one alien species that communicated through body language.
  • Buster of Arrested Development has a tendency to rub his hands over his ears, usually when he is nervous. So he essentially perpetually rubs at his ears.
  • Pretty much every modern Kamen Rider has one, but it's actually plot-relevant in Kamen Rider Faiz. Since the Rider Gears change hands a lot, Character Tics are usually the only way to know who's using one; The Hero Takumi's tic is flicking his wrist, while The Rival Kusaka's is adjusting his collar.
  • The Thick of It has a really cringeworthy one with "blinky dork" Ben Swain. Jamie calls his nervous blinking "epilepsy of the eyes."
  • Dr. Lightman of Lie to Me licks his front teeth when he's figuring something out, usually when a lie has made him particularly angry or was particularly hard to catch. Torres has done the same thing once or twice.
  • Benton Fraser of Due South has at least two. When he's nervous he'll either rub his eyebrow with his thumbnail or tug gently at his left ear.
  • On Babylon 5, both Londo and G'Kar had a tendency to tug on their lapels when giving speeches or when generally being pompous. Possibly a coincidence, but it also served as a subliminal reminder that the characters are more alike than they'd like to admit.
  • Characters in Keeping Up Appearances have a tendency to repeat phrases over and over. In fact, all of Roy Clarke's characters tend to repeat phrases over and over. They do. They repeat things. Over and over.
  • Both Niles and Frasier Crane on Frasier had a habit of mouthing wordlessly whenever they were surprised, confused, or offended. They also adopted a near-identical raised-eyebrow sideways glare whenever they were suspicious, among other tics. Given that the characters are brothers, this is a) Fridge Brilliance, and b) almost certainly an intentionally communicated agreement between Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce.
    • Kelsey Grammer has also openly stated that he swiped several of Frasier's tics from Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason and Bette Davis.
  • Leonard has a habit of wringing his hands when he's nervous, usually when he's talking to women.
  • From Verbotene Liebe we have Christian fingerpointing.


Pro Wrestling

  • Bill Goldberg had a tendency to lean on the ring ropes during promos in the ring.
  • John Cena fidgets with his hat during promos sometimes, usually taking it off and rubbing his head during "Awkward" or "Thinking" moments.
  • After he unmasked, Kane used to constantly touch his hand to his face during matches, as if checking for blood.
  • Undertaker points to someone or something during promos with the hand holding the mic. Always.
  • If Kevin Nash has one free hand (or both), you can bet he'll be flipping his hair back.
  • When on the mic, Shawn Michaels will always work in the words "the fact of the matter is..." or "I got news for ya!". Often both.
  • Lex Luger had this unhealthy obsession with touching himself. Proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYDehCkc5rI


Video Games

  • Gale in Digital Devil Saga has a habit of touching his forehead when he speaks. Supposedly it's because he is the partial reincarnation of the scientist David, who was Jenna Angel's lover in the real world. The forehead touch is similar to a "phantom limb" effect: David wore glasses, and switching from wearing glasses for years to not wearing glasses still leaves behind the feeling of wearing glasses.
  • Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid has such a distinctive pistol-twirling motion that Hideo Kojima once didn't bother to refer to him by name in an interview - he merely imitated the twirl.
    • Also, in Metal Gear Solid 3he has a hand gesture similar to Star Trek's Picard.
    • Otacon pushing his glasses up at the bridge of his nose as a nervous tic is so persistent that he makes the motion even when he's not wearing glasses.
  • Magus from Chrono Trigger has a habit of readjusting his gloves.
  • Kadaj, of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, has a tendency to sort of twitch his face if things aren't going his way.
    • While not exactly this trope, Sephiroth never blinks, and has extremely shallow breathing animations, even while tossing buildings at Cloud. He also has a distinctively light, acrobatic way of moving that he didn't in the game.
    • In the original game, Rufus fliped his hair a lot.
  • Edgar of Final Fantasy VI tends to wag his finger a lot. It's even his spell-casting pose.
  • Ghirahim from The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword really likes to wiggle his fingers around a lot, even when he's not Milking the Giant Cow.
  • Red from Pokémon seems to have a character tic of adjusting his hat to cover his eyes, before a battle. He does that in his HGSS sprite]], a Pokémon Trading Card Game statue, and the first trailer for Battle Revolution.

Visual Novels

  • The characters in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney all have their own poses and gestures, and Phoenix's dramatic finger point is among the most distinctive. The new prosecutor from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Klavier Gavin, even air guitars when things are going particularly well for him.
    • This is actually a key gameplay mechanic in Apollo Justice; if you have no evidence to refute a testimony that is obviously false, chances are the witness is playing with her ring, or he's sweating profusely, or something similar; Apollo can "Perceive" these and call out these nervous twitches by way of an incredible talent to read people.
  • Misha in Katawa Shoujo often translates what she says into sign language. This would normally not be out of the ordinary, as she usually does it for the benefit of her deaf-mute best friend, but she often does it even when the only one nearby who understands it is Misha herself.


Web Comics

  • Grace of El Goonish Shive has a habit of holding her hands in front of her, a bit like a squirrel. Also, several characters will touch their index fingers together when nervous or embarrassed.
    • Grace's squirrel hands make her recognisable even when she's transformed into a duplicate of someone else.
  • Most characters in Questionable Content will raise an index to their faces when thinking aloud.
  • Lamont from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name giggles nervously when he's nervous.
  • Radic from Murphy's Law has a habit of holding her chin when in thought.


Web Original


Western Animation

  • On The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has one of the most obvious ones: his tendency to hold his hands in front of him like a praying mantis with his fingers steepled (often as he says his Catch Phrase, "Eexxxxcellent...").
  • Kim Possible has a few: Kim's "puppy-dog pout", Rufus's "groggy blink", and a couple others.
  • Robin's habit of punching his palm whenever he gets angry in Teen Titans. He does this so often that if he took his glove off, viewers might see permanent knuckle prints there.
  • In the Disney Animated Canon films, animators watch the footage of the voice actors recording so they can give their mannerisms to the characters.
    • Ariel sighing so that it blows her bangs upward.
    • Belle pushing back that lock of hair that always falls out of place.
      • The Beast has a tendency to pull on the back of his neck when he's ashamed or frustrated
    • Aladdin rubs the back of head head when he's embarrassed, raises a single eyebrow when he's interested, and wiggles his eyebrows when he says something suggestive or has more than one meaning.
    • Tiana squinting one eye when she cringes. Anika Noni Rose also asked if she could be lefthanded like she is.
    • Villainous example that also doubles as a Funny Aneurysm Moment; Maleficent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty had a noticeable habit of lifting her had up to her chest when speaking, a habit she shared with her voice actress, Eleanor Audley. A lot of people found this quite charming and dramatic... Until Eleanor Audley died of respiratory failure.
      • To be fair, Audley died at eighty-six. She was, however, fighting a case of tuberculosis while making the film.
  • Stan of South Park pinches his nose (or, rather, where his nose should be) when he's irritated.
    • Kenny would often tug on the strings of his hood when he's scared.
    • Butters tends to wring his hands or rub his knuckles together when worried.
    • Timmy contemplates his hands.
  • Whenever Eddy is annoyed, disgusted, or just plain bored, his eyebrows would be shown connected.
  • Mr. Crocker goes into violent spasms whenever he says "fairies" "FAIRY GODPARENTS!!!"
    • He'll also sometimes spazz whenever he says other things as well. For example, in the episode Mr. Right, he has a spasm while saying "HAVE A NICE DAY!"
    • Poof either waves his arms or bounces when he's super happy or excited.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Blink or you'll miss, Candace blinks erratically when excited (to the point of being seen as a psycho) when she believes the boys are about to get busted.
  • ALL of the characters in any of Seth MacFarlane's shows, including celebrities, often raise their hand(s) at chest level.
  • For Moral Orel, one word sums it up: Gulp


Real Life

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