Face Palm

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
I can't take my eyes off you people for five minutes...

"Why's your forehead all red?"

So you're the Only Sane Man, and the lunatics around you are once again doing something to make you question your faith in humanity. *sigh* It may not solve anything, but applying a hand to your forehead will have the dual benefit of temporarily obscuring your vision of the idiocy as well as cradling the on-coming headache.

Variations abound, from pinching the bridge of your nose to slapping your forehead. You can also slap your forehead and slide your palm down your face, possibly with a look of exasperation. If you're wearing a hat, you might pull the brim of the hat over your eyes in disgust. If you're wearing a cloak or a hoodie, then you can pull the cowl over your face. And if you're sitting behind a desk or table, you may slam your forehead on the surface; in extreme situations, combine it with the classic Face Palm to perform a *facepalmheaddesk* maneuver.

The above variations, and more, are all prevalent in Real Life; in fact, gestures of this ilk transcend cultures.

Sometimes there is a distinction between the forehead facepalm (for irritating moments) and the full-face version (humiliation). There's also the Double Face Palm: "When the Fail is so strong, one Face Palm is not enough." The alternative Double Face Palm is grasping one's head with both palms, as Picard did in "The Offspring". Some people even have gone meta, inserting "*picture of French Enterprise captain*" in their forum posts.

See: Surrounded by Idiots, Only Sane Man, and The Take. Also look at Aside Glance. May be combined with I Need a Freaking Drink.

Closely related to Head Desk and Face Fault, and may be accompanied by the line "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" Not directly related to Face Palm of Doom, in which you attack by placing your palm on someone else's face.

Applying a Dope Slap is often a form of ready relief for the headaches that cause a Face Palm.

Examples of Face Palm include:


  • Jack in the Box. Jack and others facepalm themselves and/or massage their heads in various commercials.
  • V-8 vegetable juice used a campaign for quite a while that involved people dealing themselves the forehead slap version when they realized "Duh, I could have had a V-8!" The campaign was later revived with other people delivering a forehead variant of the Dope Slap to the person who didn't eat their vegetables and the tagline changed to You could have had a V-8!".

Anime and Manga

  • There are giant montages available on certain image boards consisting of nothing but anime characters facepalming. There are montages of facepalm pictures that, once zoomed out enough, look like Picard facepalming. Such as this.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Yomi shows us how it's done
  • Rin in Fate Stay Night does this a lot. She even has a number of different kinds of facepalms.
  • Several characters in Mahou Sensei Negima do this, especially Chisame and Asuna, whenever she has to put up with Ayaka.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya
    • Kyon does this relatively often. It's like the anime-version of Picard.
    • In The Movie, Itsuki does this in the background after a bit of Ship Tease between Kyon and Haruhi ( the hospital scene near the end of the movie). Doesn't happen often.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: "Those damn kids are embarassing us again."
  • Normally soft-spoken Yuuno found himself doing this in the last chapter of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's supplementary comics when he learned that the small task Signum needed him for was in setting up a Training Barrier for her Lighthearted Rematch with Fate. Again.
  • Lawrence does this quite frequently in Spice and Wolf for any given reason although usually in response to Holo. Holo herself has a half a minute long face palm in in the first OVA in response in response to Lawrence's description of how sheep are used for torture.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Gokudera when he found himself yet again, doing the "VONGOLA! FIGHT!" circle. Also, Squalo does this when Yamamoto is 'fooling around' with his puppy.
  • Death Note, here.
  • Even famous mythological ninjas (or at least their exaggerated Sengoku Basara incarnations) find this to be the only proper response to their general's stupidity.
  • In Full Metal Panic!!, several characters have been shown or described to have done this in reaction to Sōsuke's actions or outlandish conclusions. Most commonly done by Mao, Kurz, and Kaname.
  • Meta Knight in Kirby Right Back At Ya gets one of these. And it is awesome.
  • Naruto
    • During Sakura's "confession" to Naruto in chapter 469, you get reaction shots from the other ninja. Rock Lee is facepalming.
    • Also occurs when Naruto states he doesn't want to turn into a frog here during his Sage Mode training.
  • Durarara!!: This is Tom Tanaka's default reaction when someone (usually the person he's getting to pay their debt) pisses Shizuo off.
  • Honey Hunt
    • In chapter 2, this is Mizorogi's drivers response when Mizorogi tells Yura that the reason he wants to scout her is because she "smells like honey".
    • In chapter 21, Mozorogi does this again in exasperation for having acted a bit immature to Yura.
  • In season 2 episode 6 of Girls Bravo, Koyomi does this upon realization that Fukuyama's about to have a Bridget dropped on him and he doesn't even know.
  • In chapter 5 of Sensual Phrase one of Sakuya's fellow band mates reacts this way when he states that he wants to use Aine in a music video. In chapter 7, another one of Sakuya's fellow band mates has this reaction at Sakuya's less than subtle remark of taking Aine to his room when she passed out from drinking too much.
  • Ranma ½: Akane does this in episode 85 when Ranma loses at Strip Poker.
  • Black Butler: Ciel in season 2 episode 3, when Sebastian has a moment of adoration over stray kitties and ignores the task at hand to do so.
  • Kuroko does the headdesk variation in A Certain Scientific Railgun when the usually-straightforward, no-nonsense titular character (who is also her crush) lure the gangmembers with innocent charm. The charm works though. Kuroko hits her head against hard objects hard enough to shake them, and she does it often enough to become a Running Gag. It's a wonder she doesn't suffer from any injuries.
  • Kiyal and Guinble facepalm at different points in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Inuyasha: Inu-Yasha's reaction to Kagome's suggestion to break out of Tokajin's kitchen. Here
  • Fruits Basket: Yuki does it at the end of this clip after Hatsuharu changes back from black Haru and asks why he's so exhausted.
  • Persona 4: The Animation has Yosuke doing one in response to Yu's drunken shenanigans in episode 15.
  • In Tiger and Bunny, this is Barnaby's reaction to Kotetsu's massively botched attempt at performing the simple act of picking up a dropped pen...accidentally kicking it into the path of an oncoming car in episode 5.
  • Otani of Lovely Complex does this in episode 24 after seeing Koizumi's Epic Fail at being a model.
  • Germany of Axis Powers Hetalia does this in World Series episode 35 in response to seeing Italy walk around naked.
  • Sharon of Pandora Hearts does this in the second omake when Gil is supposed to be making a soulful declaration to Alice to prepare her for womanhood but he just does it to Oz instead.
  • Kiniro no Corda: Hino in episode 15 during an argument between everybody about eavesdropping. Also, in the same episode Tsuchiura does this when Hihara gets mistaken for being Hino's boyfriend.
  • One Piece: When Luffy accepts to escort Vivi to Alabasta in spite of the crew being on Baroque Works' deathlist, Nami facepalms in exasperation.


  • Plate 10 of William Hogarth's Industry and Idleness series of prints shows industrious 'prentice Francis Goodchild, now Alderman of London, doing this as his idle counterpart Tom Idle is brought before him on charges of highway robbery and murder.

Comic Books

  • Preacher (Comic Book): Sheriff Root frequently does this in reaction to his son Arseface.
  • Taskmaster has done this towards Deadpool, such as when Wade pays him via ATM.
  • The psychiatrist in Watchmen facepalms after a session with Rorschach.
  • In Sonic Universe, Rouge does this after Shadow (yes, that Shadow) cracks an Incredibly Lame Pun.
  • Master Yoda on the cover of Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace.
  • Brother Warth, a typically pacifistic member of the Blue Lantern Corps, facepalms in an issue of Green Lantern when people get into a fight despite his efforts.
  • In The Dresden Files prequel comic Welcome to the Jungle, Lt. Murphy does this after Dresden tells her something uselessly mystic and vague about the case. In the RPG rulebook, this panel is used with the side comment by Dresden: "I make her do this way too much."
  • An issue of SWORD, an X-Men spin-off, featured a group of giant rock aliens seeking to avenge the deaths of four noble creatures whom humans had decapitated and put on display. At Mount Rushmore. Once they learn the nature of the error, this trope occurs.
  • Papa Smurf does this a few times in The Smurfs comic book story "Bathing Smurfs".

Fan Works

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Haruhi facepalms after realizing that Kyon's gotten himself in trouble with the School Council by hanging Yamane Jun out of a window.
  • I'm a Marvel And Im ADC
    • Green Goblin's drugged antics make Spider-Man facepalm himself.
    • Green Goblin manages to make Batman do this. And Green Goblin wasn't even drugged at the time!
    • Green Lantern does this while Deadpool was singing to Ryan Reynolds.
  • In Keepers of the Elements, there are quite a few moments that cause these for various characters, from bad guys to the protagonists.
  • In A Fanfiction Carol, Petraverd (the first ghost, in the form of a unicorn) face-hoofs whenever Smooge, after showing some sign of progress, acts like The Ditz-of-a-fangirl she still is.
  • In the fancomic Roommates let's just say that it happens a lot... Even a triple one isn't an imposibility.
  • In The Blue Blur of Termina, Tatl does this in response to Sonic's hesitation during his first use of the Deku Flower.
  • In the Spice Girls fanfic Astral Journey: It's complicated, Melanie explains how she was able to escape from the psych ward after being sectioned for an eating disorder and self-harm. The narrator does this in the same matter as seen in the pic, above.

Films -- Animation

  • In The Lion King, Scar massages his forehead softly as he utters, "I'm Surrounded by Idiots."
  • In Shark Tale, Don Lino does this and says, "Oy vey." in annoyance at his henchman Luca putting the record on the wrong song, which was "Baby Got Back (I Like Big Butts)" by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Frankie also does this.
  • In Open Season, Beth groans and facepalms herself while in Gordy's police station to confront Shaw.
  • In Open Season 3, Gisela and Giselita do this sometimes (and at the end, they do a two-handed facepalm together as the ladies are starting to dance with Ian, who is their coach). Stanley also does this after Roger says, "It's destiny!" when the pets come to save Boog from the Maslova Family Circus.
  • In The Emperors New Groove, Yzma does this. Pacha also does this and massages his head.
    • Kronk does this also in Kronk's New Groove.
  • In Tarzan II, Kago does this gesture after his brother Uto says that if their bones were hollow and they were able to fly, they'd be the "biggest birds in town".
  • Gromit does this frequently.

Lord Victor Quartermaine: How on earth would those tiny-minded buffoons ever catch such a big rabbit?
Lady Tottington: Mr. Wallace?
Wallace: Um... with a big trap!
Gromit: (facepalm)

Even funnier when everyone in attendace (minus Gromit) says stuff along the lines of, "THAT'S BRILLIANT!"
    • There's also Victor doing this after PC Macintosh says "the beast [were-rabbit] isn't actually dead yet?!" with a megaphone. It's even funnier while said character is doing the gesture, the said officer said "oops" with a megaphone.
  • Towards the end of Disney's adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, during Alice's trial, unbirthdays are brought up, which causes a whole new party, and of course the Mad Hatter and the March Hare have to sing "A Very Merry Unbirthday to You" for the Queen of Hearts.

Alice: Oh no, not this again! (facepalm)

John: (after the engine has failed) Maybe we should call a road service.
Paul: Can't, no road!
Ringo: And we're not sub... scribers.
John, Paul and George: "Sub scribers"... ooh. (Paul facepalms)

  • The Princess and the Frog
    • Mama Odie covers her face with her other hand when Tiana misses the entire point of the Aesop song "Dig A Little Deeper".
    • Dr. Faciller pinches his nose after his gang of evil shadows took a severe beating from a firefly.
  • Disney apparently likes this trope; it happens thrice in Treasure Planet.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack facepalms himself after Lock, Shock and Barrel bring back the Easter Bunny instead of Santa (who Jack calls "Sandy Claws") and start fighting over it.
  • In Toy Story 3, a 17-year-old Andy does one of these when he believes his slightly aged mother has thrown out his toys.
  • Done by The Carpet, of all characters, in Aladdin. Immediately followed by Aladdin himself, as he's trying to explain to Jasmine why he lied to her about the first time they met.
  • In Bolt, one of the Mooks gets zapped when trying to facepalm with electric glove.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Mitch does this.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress does this.
  • The Great Mouse Detective. Basil has a particularly pained one when Dawson gets drunk and makes a fool of himself onstage when they're supposed to be undercover.
  • Beauty and the Beast. The Beast does one in a My God, What Have I Done? moment when he scares Belle out of the castle.
  • In Finding Nemo, Crush does this when Marlin says he needs to get to the East Australian Current. "You're ridin' it, dude!"
  • Before they meet Anya, Dimitri and Vlad are holding an audition for girls to play Anastasia. One prospect is a middle-aged woman, who says in a sultry voice, "Granmama! It's me, Ana-STASIA!" Their reaction is a combination Head Desk and Face Palm.
  • Mulan: Mulan does this along with saying "Oops..." after the matchmaker calls her name and she yells "Present!" leading to the matchmaker saying "Speaking without permission..."
  • In The Pirates in An Adventure With Scientists, the Pirate with a Scarf does one during the Pirate Captain's, sorry, the Scientist Captain's 'scientific' presentation. Interestingly it starts off as a forehead facepalm, and steadliy progresses into a full-double facepalm as the scene goes on.
  • The matador in The Story of Ferdinand delivers an epic one.

Films -- Live-Action

  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, a flashback detailing the backstory of the titular golden army has a group of pseudo-stop motion wooden puppets acting it out. Whenever the elf king is described as being upset, he declines into a facepalm.
  • In The History Boys, Timms performs an admirable Head-Desk in exasperation with his schoolwork.
  • Used in NakedGun 33 1/3, which had the audience members of the Academy Awards doing this when Frank gives the Big Bad a bomb.
  • in the RoboCop series, the President of OCP does this at least once in every movie. He does it after ED-209 malfunctions, and again in RoboCop 2 after viewing the suicidal RoboCop prototypes.
  • Natural Born Killers: Scagnetti does this over his own stupidity when Mickey says, "I was out of shells." Scagnetti combines the Face Palm with "D'oh!" as much as that fork in his throat will allow.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: King Arthur and Lancelot do this when they learns about the Epic Fail of Sir Bedevere's "Trojan Rabbit" plan.

Arthur: Who leaps out?
Bedevere: Well... Galahad, Lancelot, and I... Leap out of the rabbit.
Arthur and Lancelot: (facepalm)

The reason for the facepalm is that the knights had already sent the rabbit into the city before Bedevere told them that they were supposed to be inside it when it went in. As it is, they are standing outside the city.

  • Annie Hall: Alvy Singer does this in a flashback to his childhood:

Alvy Singer: (voice-over) And Ivan Ackerman. Always the wrong answer. Always.
Ivan Ackerman: Seven and three is nine.
Alvy Singer: (facepalm)

  • The 1939 Screwball Comedy Its A Wonderful World [1] features back-to-back scenes with facepalms, first from Jimmy Stewart's wrongly-accused fugitive, then from the police chief leading the manhunt for him; both are reacting to disastrous "help" they are getting from other characters.
  • In Groundhog Day, Phil does a head-pillow variant when he tells a shrink his problem and the shrink answers, "Can you come back tomorrow?"
  • In Back to The Future, Doc Brown does this right after Lorraine asks Marty to the dance, suddenly realizing that Lorraine (Marty's mother) has developed romantic feelings for Marty.
  • In Apollo 13, Flight Director Gene Kranz reacts with a subtle one and some exasperated snarking on learning that the only available spare carbon-dioxide scrubbers on the stricken spacecraft (from the dead Command Module) are square, and the receptacle for the only working scrubber system (in the Lunar Module) is round.

Gene Kranz: (facepalm) Tell me this isn't a government operation... I suggest you gentlemen invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole. Rapidly.

  • Nathan Lane's character Max Bialystock in The Producers has a record number of these throughout the movie.


  • The Duumvirate and a few other Illuminati do this in response to abject stupidity.
  • At the end of Jules Verne's Around the Moon, the leader of the rescue team realizes that the crashed spaceship they are looking for can actually float, so they searched it in vain for many days with bathyspheres on the ocean floor. He then performs a facepalm, forgetting about his Hook Hand, and knocks himself out.
  • Near the end of Men at Arms, Sam Vimes does this when he is told that Captain Carrot has come to the tradesman's entrance of his house.
  • In the Honor Harrington novel The Honor of the Queen, Sir Langtry does this when Mr. Houseman reveals his idiocy and upgrades to a double when It Got Worse.
  • Velan the Reticent has it right on the cover (art by Shinga)).

Live-Action TV

  • Pee-wee's Playhouse. In the episode "Stolen Apples," after Mrs. Steve tells Pee-wee that Randy has been stealin her crab apples again, Pee-wee facepalms himself.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Picard often does this, as the Trope Image from "Deja Q" shows, but sometimes he is joined by Cmdr. Will Riker for a "double face palm" in the face of extreme stupidity; hence, the genesis of the Double Facepalm, when one simply doesn't suffice. The image of Picard has become the patron saint of facepalming. The alternative "Single Head Double Face Palm", as described above, was featured in "The Offspring".
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Sisko is often fond of the "pinching the bridge of one's nose" variation of this trope; Kai Winn is most often the cause. But he lets out a few outright facepalms here and there.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager episode "Death Wish", Q performs an elusively rare variation on the double facepalm. That is, two faces, one right palm per face (this is not a recommended procedure for mere mortals). Oh, whatever was the gesture for? Well, Vulcan logic is no fun, basically.
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto. In the Hyper Battle Video, Arata Kagami attempts to perform a Rider Kick using Kabuto's style. Tendou Souji couldn't bear to watch the Epic Fail that ensues.
  • Giles, mentor for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, often takes off his glasses and squeezes the bridge of his nose when confronted with the thought patterns of teenagers. He also tends to clean his glasses with a handkerchief a lot.

Buffy: Is that why you're always cleaning your glasses? So you don't have to see what we're doing?
Giles: Tell no one.

  • The comedian Jasper Carrott used to do the "forehead slap" a lot.
  • Sergeant Wilson of Dads Army would sometimes pull his uniform cap down over his eyes to avoid seeing whatever hilarity was ensuing that week, as a way of introducing a little variety to the facepalm.
  • A favourite of Jon Stewart in The Daily Show for when politics gets really dumb.
  • And Stephen Colbert, as seen in the Trope Naming clip for I Need a Freaking Drink.
  • The Doctor from Doctor Who likes this trope.
  • Firefly
    • Mal has one of these in the episode "Jaynestown," when he realizes the causes behind the "accident" in Jayne's Accidental Hero status.
    • He also does a nose bridge version at himself (and/or the inevitable jokes) after his Accidental Marriage in "Our Mrs. Reynolds."
  • Dr. Wilson, from House, does this a lot, mostly when he's confronted with House's most recent antic.
  • Heroes: "Mind reading isn't an exact science."
  • Pop from The League of Gentlemen does a wonderful facepalm when he is told a minor amount of chocolate has been stolen from one of his news stands
  • Americas Got Talent
  • Hells Kitchen: If Chef Ramsay didn't use the Cluster F-Bomb, he will use this. As well as a headdesk.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Maddie Fitzpatrick did this quite a bit during her brief stint as the producer of Yay Me! starring London Tipton.
  • One of Jack Benny's signature bits was to look at the camera with a hand to his cheek and a pained expression on his face.
  • A scene from Too Close for Comfort episode "The Remaking of Monroe" has a co-worker say he is surprised that Henry is 52 years old (he thought he was two years older). Henry then asks Monroe (who just arrived at Henry and Muriel's apartment a couple of minutes before to ask for money to attend an assertiveness training seminar) how old he looked. Muriel (who is standing behind Monroe) mimes to him a response by holding up four fingers on her left hand and five on her right. You would think the response he would go with based on Muriel's hand signals would be "45", but instead Monroe goes with the response, "nine". What Muriel does is actually more of a head palm, but still...
  • Al Bundy sometimes did this on Married With Children when life was acting particularly cruel to him. He also did the head-desk variation in one episode when he bashed his head against the table in frustration while trying to pay some bills.
  • In Farscape, the mercenary Bekhesh performs a faceplatepalm when Stark explains that the plan to attack the Shadow Depository relies on a silent count- in the middle of a potential shootout with the guards.
  • President Bartlet from The West Wing does the head desk variation on the frickin' Resolute desk while stuck listening an Old Soldier Old Diplomat's "fascinating" stories about various Cold War-era foreign relations escapades.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Leonard probably does the longest facepalm ever televised when the science panel they are supposed to be speaking on deteriorates into complete and utter chaos as Howard and Bernadette start comparing Howard's... umm... weaponry to one of her ex's. Once he realizes that nothing will save the situation, he joins the "fun".
  • iCarly
    • Spencer balls his fist onto his face when the European swimsuit models dance goofily.
    • Carly slaps her forehead with her palm upon learning Sam's mom has no idea what iCarly is.
  • USA has a commercial for both Burn Notice and White Collar that has Peter Burke noticing Fiona's gun that she has taken out of her purse at lunch to answer her cell phone. When she tries to cover the gun with her purse, a grenade rolls out of the purse. Michael's facepalm is almost as epic as the trope image.
  • Bert Convy did this in embarrassment whenever he blurts out the clue word or solving the password in Super Password.
  • In Glee, Kurt has never gone as far as an overt facepalm, but in moments of intense exasperation will press two fingers hard against his temple. It's the understatedness of the gesture that makes it so effective.
  • This was played with in Criminal Minds, where the team leader does a face palm after the team geek makes a particularly dorky statement. However, it turns out that he's experiencing a headache due to an injury sustained in the previous episode (where he was blown up by a car bomb).
  • Evelyn does this in Two and A Half Men at Charlie's funeral when Rose describes how he wasn't in pain at his death (his body merely exploded like a meat sack when that train hit him).
  • On Boy Meets World, Shawn and Minkus both facepalm in unison when Mr. Feeny assigns them as partners.
  • The father on Family Ties is reduced to a face whipe version of this and borderline Angrish when he came home early to find a wild college party going on the house.

"There was... a kangaroo... in my house..."

  • On Numb3rs, Charlie did this once when Larry said that perhaps the suspect could be in two places at the same time. (It was a quantum idea.)
  • There's a sketch from It's Marty in which a terrible elderly couple utterly demolish a travel agent.

Travel Agent: Would you like to travel by plane, train, or coach?
Couple: No.
Travel Agent: ... No, what?
Couple: No, thank you.
Travel Agent: That's bett--(facepalm)

  • In The Mentalist, Teresa Lisbon, gobsmacked by the antics of her consultant Patrick Jane, teeters on the edge of executing one for seasons 1 and 2, before she finds out in Season 3 that Jane broke into a suspect's house for the information they used to arrest him -- in the middle of the suspect's trial—resulting in a beautiful example of the trope.

New Media

  • The Mario Fan Games Galaxy forums contains a "facepalm" smiley, probably better known by its filename of "ugh.gif". It was used and abused so much that it was even temporarily filtered to "Don't worry, I can relate".
  • This video.
  • The first answer for this yahoo question pulls this off as ASCII-art.
  • Some editors in This Wiki tend to use this at times as a reaction... and Pothole it to this very page.

Newspaper Comics

Print Media

  • Maclean's magazine columnist Scott Feschuk's author thumbnail has him doing this. Considering the fact that his column focuses on satirizing some of the most facepalm-inducing topics of the month, this is quite appropriate (it's also hilarious to imagine him doing it while typing out his article).

Puppet Shows

  • Sam the Eagle on The Muppet Show is a frequent practitioner of the facewingtip, but he will often simply utter his signature phrase, "You are all weirdos."
  • Parker on Mr. Meaty does this gesture in the episode "Hamish" in annoyance at Josh talking to Goth Girl.

Video Games

  • Final Fantasy VIII
    • Squall does this often; it carries over into his mannerisms in the Kingdom Hearts games as well.
    • However, but that's nothing: the SeeD salute by doing this.
  • Final Fantasy VI
    • The opera Impresario, who's very sensitive about his operas, does this when an act goes wrong or when it may go wrong. It is probable, though, that his "face palm" is more of a corny, theatrical and/or dramatical gesture of distress, (you know, that old cover-your-face-with-your-arm/hand-whilds-wistfully-going-"Oh" thingy,) rather than the common, slightly more humorous usage of the gesture. This would make sense seeing as he is, well, the impresario of an opera.
    • A straight example of this occurs when Gau leads Sabin and Cyan to a cave, to show them a "shiny shiny". Once they arrive... he forgets where it is, cuing a facepalm.
  • Fire Emblem: Kent, whenever Sain starts making his moves on a girl. See on the right hand side here.
  • In Dead Space, the main character does a facepalm after he learns that his girlfriend, who he thought was alive, was Dead All Along. A sad facepalm indeed.
  • In the Professor Layton series, both Layton and Luke do this if they get a puzzle wrong. Layton pulls the brim of his tophat over his eyes, while Luke does the classic forehead slap.
  • In Utawarerumono This is Eruruw's default expression for when Hakuoro does something stupid—but not stupid enough to get seriously angry over (which he does often).
  • World of Warcraft added a /facepalm emote in patch 3.0.2, although it only produces a predefined text message and not animated. It's also one of the few emotes the game's statistics page will track on your character; they expect you to use it that much.
  • Tales of Monkey Island gives the second-most-intelligent character in its opening sequence (namely: a monkey) one of these right before everything goes to hell.
  • In the Star Trek MMORPG, there's a macro that lets your character do this à la Picard.
  • It was only logical that the facepalm became an emote in Star Trek Online.
  • Team Fortress 2
    • The Spy class on a losing team can be seen face palming if he is still alive during the aptly named "Humiliation" phase.
    • The Sniper does the hat version in his "Meet the Sniper" video when he's trying to talk to his father on the phone.
  • In BlazBlue Jin and Hakumen facepalm if they lose to Time Up.
  • In another Arc System Works example, this is Baiken's taunt in Guilty Gear.
  • Dark Forces Saga: Kyle Katarn will do this when he gets bored game-over due to some reason other than his own death.
  • Mass Effect: If you're romancing Liara, she will do this when Joker interrupts your Almost Kiss on the mess deck.
  • Mass Effect 2 features a few:

Conrad: ... Yeah, my wife was really supportive of this whole thing. She even paid for my shuttle ticket offworld!
Bartender: (facepalm)

    • Also seen on the Migrant Fleet when, against Tali's earnest request not to ask Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib about his name, you ask Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib about his name.

Shepard: You have a ship named Qwib Qwib?
Tali: (facepalm) Oh, here we go...

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • In Sonic Colors, Sonic does a facepalm in the cut scene where Tails is attempting to figure out what the Wisps are saying. ("He says his name is Talks-a-lot and he's from a far off soda...") Yacker (the Wisp Tails was trying to translate for) also facepalms. At the exact same time as Sonic does.
    • Sonic facepalms up to twice more throughout Sonic Generations. First time is if Chemical Plant act 2 is the second act of that level to be completed - After Amy speaks her line, Modern Sonic facepalms. He facepalms once more during the Reveal.
  • Psychonauts
    • If you're watching him, Raz pulls this off during the boss fight in Black Velvetopia. It's not the main focus, but not easy to miss, either—just pay attention to him while Edgar reverts to El Odio.
    • While we're on the topic, Sasha gets the chance at the end of the game, when Ford's psitanium wears off and Chef Cruller returns.
  • As of Tools of Destruction, Clank seems to be prone to this—it's usually aimed at Qwark... or, on one memorable occasion, the Plumber.
  • In the pre-release trailer for Transformers: War for Cybertron showing off the exclusive preorder character, Shockwave, Starscream gets one when Shockwave has "The Touch" playing during his scene.
  • If you play the game In the 1st Degree right, Tobin will do this shortly after having a meltdown in the courtroom. This is probably due to him realizing that he just effectively hanged himself.
  • In .hack GU, Haseo does this so often it's one of his standard animations.
  • One of Hawke's recurring animations in Dragon Age II

Jansen the drunken miner: My farm supplied eggplant to half of South Reach!
Other drunken miner: Oh yeah? Well, my eggplant supplied half the bastards in South Reach!
(drunken laughter)
Hawke: (facepalm)

Visual Novels

Web Animation

  • In the "record book" sbemail, when Coach Z announces his record attempt, Strong Bad finds it so monumentally stupid that he skips facepalming entirely and repeatedly smacks himself upside the head.

Web Comics

Arachne: (thinking while facepalming) We're not getting out of this port alive.

Frodo: Oh no. Who let The Roleplayer into the group?

Sahira: Facepalm! I think Mecha Maid is a lesbian who wants to have sexual intercourse with you.

Web Original

Western Animation

Katara: Why is your forehead all red?
Chong: Nobody react to what I'm about to tell you. I think that kid might be the Avatar.
Sokka: (forehead smack)

    • In fact, Sokka does this a lot, leading many to speculate that doing it so many times resulted in the hardening of his forehead, which was why Ty Lee hurt her hand trying to strike it in "The Chase".
    • Zuko does it when Iroh flirts with an unattractive woman in "The Drill".
    • Also, Zuko's nose pinch in "The Western Air Temple", when he remembered how much of a dork he was when he began his search for the Avatar.
    • Zuko appears to have a tendency to do this, especially in the comics.
    • Suki does it too in "The Boiling Rock" when Sokka tries (and fails) to cover-up the fact that they're hatching an escape plan. "The only thing we're hatching is... an egg?"
  • The stallholder in Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson sometimes combines this with his Catch Phrase "D'oh!", though it's when he does something stupid.
  • South Park
    • Stan is a big fan of the "pinching the bridge of one's nose" type. It makes sense, as, thanks to Flanderization, he has a Liz Lemon Job. Apparently this is because series co-creator Trey Parker (on whom Stan is based) does this a lot in Real Life.
    • In one episode, we see his mother doing it along side with him, implying that he picked it up from her. Given to who she's married to, that may, very well, be the case.
  • Space Ghost does it a lot on his talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • Family Guy: This is the preferred response to Buzz Killington.
  • Code Lyoko
    • In Garage Kids, the short pilot for the series, Ulrich is basically The Voiceless, but he does a great facepalm when confronted with Odd's antics.
    • In the series itself, Odd is the resident facepalmer.
  • In Justice League, Superman does not need this crap right now.
  • Undergrads features a collective facepalm at a mixer in the first episode.
  • Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force will find himself many times engaging in this act, especially as a result of the actions of Master Shake.
  • Helga from Hey Arnold! does this in response to the antics of her alcoholic mother.
  • Numbuh Five and Numbuh One of Codename: Kids Next Door are fond of doing this. Especially Numbuh One—fitting, as he's essentially a kid version of Picard.
  • Jimmy Two Shoes has the title character doing this after Beezy once again fails to fail.
  • Wakfu
    • Sadlygrove often inspires this to his friends—usually along with calling him a "Iop brain". Eva goes for the two-handed facepalm in episode 19 when Grovy gets himself into a duel with Prince Armand.
    • Jay the Iop also spurs Kriss Krass to facepalm during the Bontarian Gobbowl match.
    • Rushu facepalms when he thinks Anathar has just crushed his precious Eliatrope prisoner.
  • In an episode of Batman Beyond, Batman (Terry McGinnis, remember) performs the motion after his geeky schoolmate Howard tells his obsessive-compulsive robot girlfriend they could be just friends.

Howard: Wrong thing to say?
Batman: Is it ever the right thing to say?

  • An episode of Batman the Animated Series has Veronica Vreeland attending the opera with Penguin. Imagine her reaction when the Penguin starts singing along.
  • Toa Tahu does this in Bionicle: Mask of Light during a Kohlii match after Jaller dives right out of the way rather than blocking the oncoming Kohlii ball. Amusingly, shortly after, Jaller hits himself in the head with his Kohlii stick. It's an incredibly dramatic double-facepalm.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Squidward does this occasionally, and will add to it by sliding his tentacle slowly off his face, causing his face to sag and then spring back into shape.
    • Plankton does this after telling SpongeBob to be more assertive and SpongeBob misunderstands.
  • Mac Mange, the Metallikat of Swat Kats, has a metal face palm in "A Bright and Shiny Future" when his wife (with whom he co-ruled the city in a Bad Future) kept insisting that their robot servants were hers. Complete with metal clang.
  • Frequently used by Nesmith of Planet Sheen in regards to something the title character has said. And if you're familiar with Sheen at all, you can understand why.
  • Kiva's reaction in Megas XLR to a fair number of events, such as Coop and Jamie letting out all the imprisoned aliens in "Breakout".
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
    • Twlight Sparkle's standard response to several of the more bizarre events is to Facehoof.
    • The other Ponies get in on it too, with Rainbow Dash doing a Double Facehoof at times.
    • Angel Bunny does a facepaw whenever he finds Fluttershy frustrating, one of the Diamond Dogs facepaws when Rarity is aggravating him, and Spike faceclaws from time to time.
    • For the background ponies, this seems to be Bon-Bon's default reaction to Lyra's antics when portrayed by the fandom. Octavia and Vinyl Scratch get in on it whenever the other tries to listen to their preferred music genre. In fact, the only real common pairing of ponies that doesn't have a facehoof specializer (regularly, at least) is Derpy and Doctor Whooves. Probably because they both have their antics at the same time.
  • From Ed, Edd n Eddy, when they break Jonny's house:

Edd: I'm melting! It's become a sauna in here!
Eddy: Sauna?! That's it! A SPA! Why fix THINGS, when we can fix PEOPLE?!
Edd: (facepalms)

Alice Johnson: This will make for an interesting story. Especially the part where Dr. Venkman forgets the ghost traps.
Peter Venkman: My mother reads Celebrity! (cue facepalm)

  • In Futurama's "Why Must I be a Crustacean in Love", Bender does this to Amy after she releases a crazed Zoidberg... for the 8th time.
  • Transformers Animated's Prowl, in the first episode, facepalms to Optimus' speech.
  • A common reaction to the antics of the Warner siblings in Animaniacs, especially from Dr Scratchansniff.
  • Mike's New Car. Mike facepalms himself after the windshield wipers went off when he put his seatbelt on.

Real Life

  • Show of hands; who hasn't done this?
    • Oddly sort of subverted as facepalms usually occur when you realize you yourself have done something ridiculously inane or have been missing the obvious. Especially prevalent in finally solving a problem after realizing you made an exceptionally simple error, like, say, forgetting to Carry the One.
    • It's even worse if you're a roleplayer as every group has a player that delights in causing these.
    • It's dangerous to facepalm when you wear glasses... but that's what the forehead-palm was invented to correct.
  • Some editors in This Wiki tend to use this at times as a reaction...and Pothole it to this very page.
  • The Brokers With Hands on Their Faces Blog. Cataloguing financial despair since 1929.
  • In the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster, Kirk Hammett is seen to facepalm as Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield engage in a less-than-adult bitchfight.
  • "New White House sport! Synchronized facepalming."
  • On the image for the Gordon Brown page, he is making this gesture. He's just been told he got caught on tape insulting a member of the public behind her back, three days before a general election. Unfortunately, nobody told him about the camera in the radio studio, either.
  • There's a Dragon Force (video game) interview where Fred facepalms in response to Vadim interrupting to ask him for an autograph.
  • The ever popular Bongo. Always disappointed...
  • A Pink Floyd photo session has the band making this gesture. It's even been turned into a motivational poster:

"The Pink Floyd Facepalm. When a flying pig isn't enough."

  • Jonny and Colin Greenwood of the band Radiohead reacted with a double facepalm at the BUG Radiohead special when faced with one of the band's older music videos.
  • Unicode character U+1F926 is the emoji for a face palm. 🤦


  1. Yes, "World", not "Life".