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"All right!!! 'Jaw-dropping'!!"
—Garfield, reacting to Jon Arbuckle doing this, after seeing Garfield had torn up his furniture
Most frequently observed in Western Animation, though it also occurs in anime, manga, and webcomics. A character becomes surprised or shocked, and their jaw drops comically. This is done to ridiculous extents in some cases (where the jaw drops to the floor and sometimes even tongue rolling out), but also sometimes within a reasonable human limit.
On occasion, another character will reach over and close the dropping character's jaw.
Anime & Manga
- Azumanga Daioh has Kimura, a teacher with a permanently dropped jaw.
- Ash from Pokémon does this when he realizes that he's won against Sabrina in their gym match when Haunter gets her to laugh, which, due to a telepathic bond with her Kadabra, makes it laugh, too.
- One Piece
- God Eneru is always calm and composed... until he realizes his powers don't work on Luffy. Cue FULL PAGE Jaw Drop.
- Although it wasn't on a full page, Perona pretty much had a very similar expression as Eneru when she realized her powers (which makes people feel extremely negative about themselves) can't work on Usopp [dead link].
- Every single member of Buggy's crew after Luffy's miraculous rescue.
- It's actually easier to list the number of characters that DON'T drop their jaw in the series.
- Ditto for Fairy Tail.
- Jaden Yuki on Yu-Gi-Oh GX does this while turning his face square.
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Dragonball Z: It happens to Krillin after being dumped by his ex-girlfriend (in one of the anime fillers).
- In Bakemonogatari, Araragi takes a moment to really look at the Bakeneko (who is possessing Hanekawa). As he takes in all the details—the long white hair, the twitching cat ears, the bare shoulders, the large breasts bulging out of the half-unbuttoned pajamas, the cat-like way she licks the back of her hand—his draw drops so hard it cracks the concrete. You may have the same reaction.
- Chamo the ermine from Mahou Sensei Negima does this when he sees Negi run out of magic, the Giant Oni is standing in front of him, and the powerhouse mage behind him gets out of his bind.
- Dedede and Escargon from Kirby: Right Back at Ya! does this after catching a glimpse of Fumu-tan of the Stars.
- Occasionally done in Naruto when Kishimoto briefly uses the "comedic" wacky art style instead of his more realistic one.
- Hideki of Chobits drops his jaw in four stages, each time making a sound like a squeaky hinge, when Chi points at a want ad for a dominatrix and asks whether it's a job she could do.
- In response to the above quote, Jon did this in this strip of Garfield.
- Candorville has an unusual variant in which characters' jaws unroll like carpets, lying flat across surfaces. This is a good example of the phenomenon.
- Koizumi in the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Kyon: Big Damn Hero after Kyon commented he (that is, Kyon) was set in an Arranged Marriage with Tsuruya.
- Despite her usually refined composure, Lady Silvermane does this in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic Whispers after learning of Princess Luna's betrayal. She even needs to close it with her hoof.
Films -- Animation
- In Disney's Aladdin, Genie does this. Twice:
- After Aladdin tricks him into granting a free wish by getting Aladdin and Abu out of the cave.
- The second time (shown in the page picture above), after Princess Jasmine starts pretending she's in love with Jafar, interrupting Genie's attempt to explain to Jafar that he can't make people fall in love. Jafar closes his mouth like a window-shade.
- He also does it briefly (complete with eyes bulging out) during his song "Friend Like Me", but it is just a part of his act. It's even literally in the lyrics.
Genie: (singing) So doncha sit there slack jawed, buggy eyed...
- Sebastian is the jaw-dropper in The Little Mermaid, when he sees Ariel with Eric during the reprise of "Part of Your World". Scuttle does the jaw-closing honors.
- In Robots, one character's jaw drops on another character's head.
- Parodied in Corpse Bride, in the final scene, when it's revealed who killed the Bride, one of the members of the wedding's audience drops his jaw. Literally. The jawbone falls to the floor in shock. Justified, as he's a skeleton.
- Meeko the raccoon in Pocahontas, when the title character magically learns English through The Power of Love.
The Nostalgia Chick: I'd like to thank the raccoon for channeling the audience's reaction.
- Brother Bear has Denahi reacting like this after seeing Sitka in his spirit form. He closes his mouth anyway.
- An Extremely Goofy Movie: There's a collective Jaw Drop at the beginning of the Disco scene (at the 2:36 mark on this video).
- Kung Fu Panda 2: Crane's Jaw Drop when Tigress hugs Po. The exact same jaw drop is repeated again when Po hugs Tigress.
- Happens to a boy in the dentist's waiting room (he is reading an Incredibles comic) near the end of Finding Nemo, when he see the brief scuffle between Nigel the pelican and the dentist through the fish tank's glass (it's located inside a large rectangular hole in the wall separating the dentist's office from the waiting room).
- Both Kaneda and Colonel Shikishima get one while watching Tetsuo's transformation during the climax of Akira. It's probably the most realistic and justified jaw drop in Anime history.
- In The Lion King, when Simba realizes the lioness he's fighting is childhood friend Nala, they stop fighting and start laughing, prompting a jaw drop from Timon.
Films -- Live-Action
- Rare live-action example in Disney's Mary Poppins: After witnessing their new nanny slide up the bannister, Michael is left this way. Mary sees this and gives the memorable line: "Close your mouth please, Michael. We are not a codfish."
- The Mask, whose jaw hits the floor and his tongue unrolls like a carpet on seeing Tina, and completed with an Eye Pop.
- Becky in Clerks II when she sees that the guys have set up a donkey show in the Mooby's fast-food restaurant. "I'm disgusted and repulsed and I... can't... look... away..."
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Eddie drops his jaw when he first sees Jessica Rabbit (he had assumed she was a Rabbit like Roger); a rather miffed Betty Boop closes his mouth shut.
- In Return of the Jedi, Nien Nunb does this when he sees that they are about to hit a low ceiling. They just barely manage to tip the surface.
- Both versions of The Producers feature an entire audience doing this during Springtime for Hilter's opening number.
- Voldemort gets a minor one in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 when he sees Harry willingly surrendering himself to Voldemort.
- Dr. Sattler does this in Jurassic Park when she sees the Brachiosaurus.
- Happened near the end of the season 4 episode of Blackadder, "Corporal Punishment", when Blackadder returned to the dugout when George and Baldrick thought he was dead, whereupon Blackadder took the opportunity to make use of his trademark snarkery: "Still the striking resemblance to guppy fish at feeding time."
- Early on in Mike's tenure as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, he decides to call down to Deep 13 on his own initiative to complain about the movie (Beginning of the End). When Mike and The Bots learn what the Mads get up to when they think no-one is looking, it is so horrifying that Crow's jaw drops and Mike has to close it up for him.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Wario humorously does this after seeing King Dedede being assisted by Luigi and Ness, both of whom Wario had previously turned into trophies.
- He also does it briefly for a taunt.
- King Dedede also gets one when Kirby suddenly appears on the trophy carrier he's driving.
- In The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Link's jaw drops when he sees Armogohma's wimpy second form.
- Also when he sees Midna's sexalicious true form. Lampshaded by Midna; she makes fun of him for being stunned speechless.
- Speaking of Midna, she gets an at least somewhat serious one when she discovers that Zant has broken the Twilight Mirror.
- Actually, Link does that about every time he sees a Princess or somebody turning into one. Except the 2D games, where he has no visible mouth, duh.
- In The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Link's jaw drops when he sees the combined form of Twinrova.
- Link does this when Groose skydives into Faron Woods, and crashes into Link in The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword.
- Also when he sees Midna's sexalicious true form. Lampshaded by Midna; she makes fun of him for being stunned speechless.
- The Evil Chancellor in Chrono Trigger.
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy and Dixie do this before every boss fight. Considering that Donkey Kong Country 2 was made by Rare which also did Battletoads, this is not surprising.
- This is comically exaggerated when the final boss of Rayman 3 goes One-Winged Angel. Rayman's jaw literally hits the ground. Not entirely surprising, considering how freaking huge the boss is.
- In Pocket Fighter this befell on anyone who gets hit with Akuma or Dan Hibiki's special throw command, which is either Akuma giving a speech or Dan's horrid singing. As the context of the game is comedy, it's always a good kick to see the usually Comically Serious Akuma get hit with it.
- In Battletoads, the Toads do a combination of this and Eye Popping when a boss makes his/her entrance. This carried on into the Crossover game Battletoads & Double Dragon, with the Lee brothers doing the same thing.
- Vincent does an impressive one when he first wakes up and sees Catherine in his bed.
- In the Bad Cheater ending, Vincent runs out of the Stray Sheep hallucinating that Catherine is just waiting for him outside after rejecting his marriage proposal to her, and promptly gets run over by a car. Orlando pulls a wonderful Jaw Drop at the sound of his friend getting squashed.
Orlando: Oh fuck.
- Happens again in both Freedom Endings (seeing as the True one is the same as the Good one but with an additional scene after the credits) when Jonny confesses to having asked Katherine out. Both Vince and Orlando pull a magnificent, in-tandem dual Jaw Drop.
- One of the stills during the credits of the Freedom True ending also shows Boss completely astonished (and with a proper Jaw Drop) at the fact that Feather won her wrestling match.
- Nihlus in Mass Effect gets a very bizarre equivalent when he first sees Sovereign. His side mouth mandibles twitch in an utterly alien gesture, which, however, leaves very little room to interpretation.
- In Muppet Treasure Island, this is Captain Smollet and Mr. Arrow's response to "Big Fat Ugly Bug Faced Baby Eating O'Brien", a man so ugly he looks like an attractive woman.
- Robin in Books Don't Work Here does this Here
- El Goonish Shive
- Agatha in Girl Genius does it here upon first seeing the fake Heterodyne, and Zeetha closes it with the comment that she should face the "new era" with some dignity.
- Occurs in some strips of Bob the Angry Flower.
- Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic
- Homestuck: Karkat, after witnessing two of his comrades die at the hands of another, delivers the mother of all whiplashes with this face.
- Jin of Wapsi Square looks like this after encountering her mother alive and well.
- Meat Shield: Jaine's jaw drops when she learns that Dhur owes about 50,000 crowns back home.
- From this strip of Penny Arcade.
Tycho: Ungaah ung Ungah!
- This happens a lot to The Nostalgia Critic.
Critic: So, Captain Planet. What other issues are you going to talk to grade-school kids about?
- And in Return of the Nostalgic Commercials:
Critic: I mean, can you think of any other commercial that can be taken the wrong way so easily?
- When Brad Jones reviewed Too Smart For Strangers, his jaw dropped when Pooh started singing a song about kids getting molested. He was joined in by his wife, his cat Lloyd, and ROB the robot.
- In an interview, Brad said that this was his reaction in real life. He paused the DVD and called Jillian in to watch the rest of it.
- A large number of Looney Tunes shorts feature these.
- Tex Avery also favored them in his MGM work. See the Droopy cartoons, for example.
- Done a lot on Tom and Jerry too, for instance in the short Quiet Please! when Tom reveals to Jerry that he's given Spike the bulldog "knock-out drops", foiling Jerry's plan to get Tom in trouble by waking the dog up.
- In one episode of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, one character's jaw drops all the way down from a helicopter.
- Ron did this in the Kim Possible episode "Emotion Sickness". Kim's dad even closes his jaw for him.
- Transformers Animated does this twice to Bulkhead. First time was in the premiere episode "Transform and Roll Out", where Prowl pushes Bulkhead's jaw up after Optimus pulls a few stunts they didn't know. The second time was in "Along Came a Spider"; Blackarachnia strokes Bulkhead's jaw while flirting, and it literally falls partially off.
- Tiny Toon Adventures uses this fairly often. In one episode, Montana Max is so shocked that his jaw goes right through the floor and lands on the floor of the basement below him. When his mouth closes again, his body gets pulled down to where his jaw was sitting.
- Justice League
- A subtle joke in the episode "In Darkest Night": Green Lantern is accused of destroying a planet and killing its three billion inhabitants. (To be fair, it was an accident. And a hoax.) At the trial, a video is shown of Green Lantern's ring blowing the planet to smithereens. Superman, The Flash, and J'onn Jonnz all drop their jaws in horror. Hawkgirl, however, is not fazed in the slightest.
- And it happens again when the League proves that the planet was never destroyed and the entire court is agape at being played for fools.
- The Simpsons
- In The Movie, Scratchy's jaw drops at the sight of a whole heap of rockets flying at him, which promptly fill his gaping mouth.
- A similar scenario occurs with Bart and a rat during an episode wherein Skinner expels him.
- A reporter does this when Mr. Burns spits out a piece of a mutant fish that he contaminated.
- Parodied in Family Guy. In order for the others to believe that Peter's new friend is actually Jesus, he increases Lois' bust size several sizes and Brian's jaw literally drops to the table.
- Porkchop from Doug does one of these when he found out that Stinky the cat is a girl and had kittens.
- An episode of The Critic features a costume party with the main character's father dressed as The Mask. After he sees a woman, his jaw drops. Jay tells him to control himself until he sees the dessert cart and his jaw drops.
- In an episode of Timon and Pumbaa, the two are looking for treasure. During a fight, Timon places a dividing line and states that whatever one finds on their side of the line, they can keep for themselves. Pumbaa promptly unearths a gold nugget, to which a shocked Timon's jaw drops to the ground.
- Parodied in Chowder, when Mung, Chowder and Gorgonzola wouldn't stop dropping their jaws several times to the floor.
- In the Johnny Bravo episode "Johnny Meets Farrah Fawcett", Johnny's jaw drops progressively lower and lower as he watches Farrah Fawcett leave her car, and finally drops all the way to the ground as she's completely revealed.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko has this reaction when he walks into Sokka's tent (after bumping into Suki), and finds him Ready for Lovemaking.
- Sokka himself has had a number of these moments throughout the series, one of the most memorable being his reaction in "The Headband" to Aang enrolling in a Fire Nation school.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
- Twilight, Applejack and Pinkie Pie go for the jawdrop when Rainbow Dash does the Sonic Rainboom in the episode of the same name. Fluttershy, amusingly enough, goes for a different kind of reaction, made funnier by her earlier attempts at cheering on Rainbow Dash.
- Princess Celestia, of all ponies, gets in on this in the first episode of the second season, after finding out Discord has already stolen the Elements of Harmony.
- Twilight after seeing the normally reserved Fluttershy seemingly take down a bear by kicking its back and snapping its neck; likely making viewers give the same reaction as well.
- Raimundo from Xiaolin Showdown when he sees a group of green monkeys jumping through the air to attack him. His jaw literally hits the floor.
- A surprisingly dramatic version happens when Jacob Marley visits Scrooge in Richard Williams's version of A Christmas Carol. His jaw is literally unhinged from his skull, and has a cloth to keep it shut.
- The episode "Betrothed" of Teen Titans has a particularly extreme example given by Robin, where his jaw drops off the screen, loops back around, and drops onto his head.