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The Japanese and Chinese equivalent of "burning ears". If you sneeze once, it means someone is talking or thinking about you; sneeze twice, it means someone is talking or thinking bad things about you.

After a discussion describing a type of person, there will be momentary fast cut to another character who fits the description but is currently uninvolved in the action suddenly sneezing and looking confused, followed by a fast cut back to the original discussion. Often, an observing character will show Genre Blindness and suggest that the sneezer is coming down with a cold.

This can also be used as a segue without the cut back to the original scene.

Examples of Sneeze Cut include:

Anime and Manga

  • Inuyasha:
    • Shippo and Inuyasha are both seen to sneeze when others are talking about them. In Inuyasha's case, he's quick to gripe about how "someone's talking shit about me!"
    • Inuyasha's group is discussing what to do about two brothers whose war is causing chaos to surrounding villages. Inuyasha only stops complaining about how much trouble two fighting siblings causes for everyone when he notices everyone is staring at him in disbelief, whereupon he immediately starts protesting that his situation with his own brother is nothing like this one. Sango wonders whether Sesshoumaru is sneezing right now. The scene immediately switches to Sesshoumaru's group whose peaceful journey is Jaken sneezing on Sesshoumaru's behalf.
  • Used in Cardcaptor Sakura when Sakura's brother Toya is being talked about.
    • Another amusing one: Meilin storms out angry at Syaoran to which she says "Syaoran you idiot." Cut to Syaoran sneezes.
  • Seen several times in Ranma One Half.
  • Also frequent in Rurouni Kenshin, including at least one instance where the sneeze nearly alerts guards to the person's presence. One sequence has multiple characters announce one after the other how much they dislike Saito, followed by a cut to him in a restaurant sneezing repeatedly as someone nearby comments on this. He acknowledges this as a sign of being disliked, but seems almost proud of it.
  • Happens on an episode of Outlaw Star.
  • This happens to the title character of Irresponsible Captain Tylor in one episode, after which he comments, "Either someone's talking about me, or I'm coming down with a cold."
  • This happens to Ayeka on episode 2 of the Tenchi Muyo OAV.
  • This happens in Yami no Matsuei more often than you would expect.
  • Happens to Allen three times in one episode in D Gray Man. By the end of the episode, he decides it must be a cold.
  • A small panel in Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode shows Kisshu on his planet sneezing when the Mews mention the aliens.
  • In a second season episode of Magic Knight Rayearth, this happens to Tarta when princess Aska talks about the invaders from Chizeta. Her sister Tatra comments on this; when Tarta sneezes for the second time, Tatra mentions that somebody is saying bad things about them, which is, again, exactly what Aska is doing.
  • Happens several times in Maison Ikkoku; for example, Godai in chapter 127.
  • In the second episode of Mai Otome 0 Sifr, Sakura sneezes when the headmistress of Garderobe, Una Shamrock, mentions "that brat from the Sun Kingdom".
  • Happens a few times in Fushigi Yuugi - for example, when a drunk Tasuki is making a face like Nuriko's.
  • Happens once in the manga version of Narutaru. "She's a dangerous woman, that Aki Sato..."
  • Episode 3 of Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians uses this with Hakufu's mother. She remarks that either the young man at the coffee shop or the convenience store must be talking about her, but it's actually her daughter insulting her.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • When someone mentioned their best hope for defeating the Saiyans, it cuts to Goku on Snake Way, who sneezes for no apparent reason.
    • Yamcha, during Future Trunk's first arrival, telling why Bulma and Yamcha are never together.
    • Mr. Satan, in the anime version.
    • Chi Chi, at least in the anime. During the cell games, an elderly couple who seem to know Chi Chi comment on how irresponsible it is for her to let her husband go out fighting like that. Cut to Chi Chi sneezing.
    • In a chapter of Dragon Ball SD taking place at the beginning of Dragon Ball, Bulma tells Goku that when she gets all the Dragon Balls, she plans to wish for her Prince Charming. Cut to Vegeta, on a spaceship out somewhere in space, sneezing.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Kuwabara is talking about Yukina, whom he adores, in front of a large crowd of unsympathetic spectators at a tournament. Shortly, the scene cuts to the females, who are lost in the woods, and Yukina sneezes. Botan takes the Genre Savvy route and outs with a short, rather cheesy rhyme (English Dub: "sneezy, sneezy- achoo! Someone special's talkin' about you~!"). Shizuru calls her a freak, but Yukina smiles about it.
  • In Drama Con, when several characters plot to pair up Bethany and Raj, there's a fast cut to the two of them simultaneously sneezing and getting chills up their spines.
  • Tsunade in Naruto does this when Chiyo talks about her dislike of that slug-princess.
    • Naruto himself has this happen fairly early, though when someone else tells him about this trope, he states that he doesn't believe it.
  • The opening scene of a later episode of El Cazador de la Bruja has L.A. seething about Nadie, having just realized that she's his main rival for Ellis' affection, and then cuts to Nadie sneezing. Amusingly, after being asked by Ellis if she has a cold, Nadie Genre Savvily explains this trope, before launching into a rather funny speech about how someone must surely be talking about her beauty and prowess as a bounty hunter.
  • This happens to Kogoro Mouri more than once in Detective Conan, amongst others.
  • Happens at least once in Digimon Tamers, to Terriermon, when another character talks about digimon being treated like dolls.
  • In Onegai Twins, the main character of the previous series, Please Teacher, is seen to sneeze when someone discusses the matter of a teacher being married to a student at the school.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
    • Episode 13, when one character starts thinking of another and mentions her name, she sneezes.
    • Episode 15, two characters are discussing a ridiculously good student and we cut to a particular character sneezing.
  • The first episode of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - "Is it allergies?"
  • The reverse version happens to Touko in Karano Kyoukai, though she's alone and therefore doesn't get the obligatory comment about a cold.
  • Manabi Straight, the school principal sneezes when one student mentions that she wasn't punished for some antics due to "super-regulatory measures".
  • Kiss X Sis, episode 5, when his sisters are speculating on what sort of compromising situations Keita might accidentally have gotten himself into, Miharu, whom he had accidentally groped earlier that day, sneezes and wonders if she has a cold.
  • Nagasarete Airantou combines this gag with a Nosebleed in this panel.
  • At the end of the Pokémon episode "If the Scarf Fits, Wear It!", the owners of the Daycare Center tell their daughter Angie (yet another girl to crush on Ash) that she and Ash should get married and look after the daycare, at which point Ash, who was just several feet away, sneezes. Nobody comments about it (the episode ends right there), though he does get strange looks from Dawn and Brock.
  • Happens several times in Beelzebub when Oga is being talked about, complete with the "I must be getting a cold" line.
  • Happens early in Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple, while the Ryozanpaku masters are discussing about having Kenichi move in with them.
  • In Hidamari Sketch, Yoshinoya-sensei is occasionally the one seen sneezing in a cut from the main characters talking about her.
  • In GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, Namiko is out sick, and it's making the other main characters lonely, so Tomokane draws her, and Noda adds a punning tsukkomi line. Kisaragi gets a text from Namiko, reporting that she sneezed three times in a row, and saying to slap Tomokane or Noda as a precaution.
    • When Noda is tasked with carrying three cardboard boxes that sort of resemble Namiko, she wears them on her head. As she goes, Sasamoto and Homura say things to her in passing that indicate they think she's Chikako. Not having met her, she wonders who they think she is. In the first panel of the next strip, Chikako sneezes, although she attributes it to dust from cleaning.
  • Wild and Horned Hermit chapter 9: Reimu declares she's going to start exterminating all non-humans for simply being non-human. Sneeze Cut to Kasen. Among the increasing number of unsubtle hints that Kasen is an oni.
  • To Love Ru Zastin had one by Saki Tenjouin due to her complaining of the security in the house.


  • Used quite a bit in anime and manga based fanfiction (or just by authors influenced by anime and manga). One Ranma/Pokemon crossover fic had the author mention that he'd run the sneeze gag into the ground.

Live Action TV

  • Kamen Rider Fourze: while on the Class Trip to Kyoto, Kamen Rider Club President Yuki expresses her joy at finally getting the freedom to do what she wants, without the nosy club "chairwoman" Miu breathing down her neck. Miu (on the Club's Home Base on the moon) reacts appropriately.
    • Four episodes later, Shun Daimonji starts sneezing when Kengo and Tomoko reveal their football retrieving robot named Daimonji--three times in fact.
    • Much, much earlier, in #5, this is actually Foreshadowing: Ohsugi is looking through the newspaper for his daily horoscope, which is Scorpio. Sonoda briefly sneezes, a hint to her identity as the Scorpio Zodiarts.

Video Games

  • Happens in Star Ocean 1 with Milly being discussed by Roddick's group, then we cut to Milly who sneezes. This scene was excised for the PSP remake.
  • In the Ghost in the Shell video game for the Play Station, someone mentions Aramaki in one FMV, and the scene cuts to Aramaki at a meeting, sneezing and saying "Someone's talking about me."
  • During the mission "Salt Road" in Blaze Union, the second half of the battlefield opens with Garlot interrogating a corrupt noble as to why he's raising salt taxes and giving all the extra money to Pandra; of course, he winds up rattling off a string of insults towards Pandra while doing so. Pandra himself, who has just arrived onscene, sneezes and deduces that clearly, pretty girls are spreading rumors about him because he's such a ~handsome devil~.
  • During the third act of Wild Arms 3, Virginia is looking for a gem, and somehow thinks about Maya...Cue a change of scene with Maya sneezing.
  • Persona 4 subtly slips this in, with tragic implications. After hearing a news story about an interview with an anonymous grade-school girl, your little cousin Nanako sneezes...and she ends up being the next kidnapping/murder victim.

Web Original

Web Comics