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Very common in western animation, when one character is starting to sneeze and current situation calls for being quiet, this character or someone else will use a finger under nose to stop the sneeze from happening. This is typically followed up with a GIANT sneeze as soon as the finger is removed.
This trope is Truth in Television. There's a pressure point under your nose that, if you press it, temporarily stops the sneeze reflex. Note that you need to press it; simply holding your finger under your nose will have no effect. A similar and equally effective strategy is to press the sides of the nostrils together to relieve an itching sensation; a more clandestine method is to tickle the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue.
- The dwarfs do this to Sneezy in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
- When Dopey stands on Sneezy's shoulders for the dance with Snow White, and Sneezy begins to sneeze, Dopey tries the Anti-Sneeze Finger on himself. It doesn't work.
- In Balto, Nikki does this to Star to prevent triggering a cave-in. (His previous sneeze having caused an avalanche.) Unlike most other examples, it actually stops the sneeze permanently instead of resulting in a giant sneeze when the finger is removed. Not that it matters much since the cave-in is soon afterward triggered by another sound.
- The Three Stooges did it several times.
- An Even Stevens episode uses this at the end, when Ren is getting a retake of her school photo. She is about to sneeze, but Louis puts his finger under her nose to stop it and save her from being photographed mid-sneeze.
- In one Garfield strip, Jon does this to Garfield. Garfield thanks him, then notices that Jon's leaving the room. Jon says he's going to go "boil my finger".
- In the Looney Tunes short "Frigid Hare", Bugs Bunny stifles an Eskimo's sneeze this way to keep the ice ledge under them from breaking. And then Bugs sneezes.
- Likewise Yosemite Sam and a chronically sneezing dragon in "Knighty Knight Bugs"; he attempts to stifle the dragon this way when they end up in a room full of dynamite.
- Jonny Quest episode "Monster in the Monastery": Jonny does it to himself so he doesn't sneeze and alert the "yeti". He doesn't sneeze afterward, but Bandit does.
- Alan does this for Anne in the The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan episode "The Greek Caper" when they, Tom and Suzie are being chased by a masked stranger in a museum and disguise themselves as statues. It works... for about half a second.
- A Running Gag in The World of David the Gnome.
- Penelope does it to herself in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop episode "Tall Timber Treachery".
- The gang do this to Scooby-Doo in almost every incarnation.
- One episode of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines featured the Anti-Sneeze missile, which would hit anyone who sneezes. A misfired pepper shot forced the Vulture Squadron members to use the Anti-Sneeze Finger technique to avoid being targeted. It ended as well as expected in that cartoon.
- Muttley was the one who sneezed. He was at the end of the line so nobody could cover his nose.
- In American Sign Language, the sign for "sneeze" is putting your finger under you nose, like so, and pretending to sneeze.