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Rsz 1rsz hayate no gotoku 2nd season - 19 - large 13 2137.jpg

Wonderella: Th' hell is that blue slug on my face?

Businesswoman: That is a sweatdrop. In Japan it means you are either embarrassed or you are about to climax.

Confusion, exasperation, embarrassment and similar emotions manifest as an unusually large sweat drop that appears on the temple or the back of the head. Sometimes the "drop sweat" symbol can even apply to a group of people as well. Either a gigantic sweat drop appears somewhere in the middle of the crowd, or a few big drops are scattered around (the latter variation is also common in comic books).

Usually limited to comedic anime, but even some serious ones indulge. A common sight in a Deadpan Snarker or Only Sane Man when surrounded by idiocy.

The Sweatdrop is also appearing in anime-influenced American animation. The exaggerated version of this is practically a Discredited Trope; most shows nowadays use much smaller, more modest sweatdrops instead.

See "Plewds" in the Briffits and Squeans article for the Western equivalent.


Anime and Manga

  • The former picture comes from the Blue Seed anime, which has quite a few instances of this trope.
  • Occurs frequently in Fullmetal Alchemist, often without regard for which way a character is facing.
  • In Pokémon, this is also what the Cascade Badge looks like. Quite a few characters do this, usually when Casanova Wannabe Brock tries again to get a Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny.
  • Lampshaded in The Slayers. Lina smacks Gourry over the head with her own sweatdrop for endangering her life without warning her first.
  • In ~Yotsuba&!~, on everyone around Yotsuba herself. A lot.
  • Dragon Ball does it often.
  • Notable in episode 66 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when... the duel academy sign does it. Yes, a piece of wood. And then it does a Face Fault.
  • Sweat Drops appear regularly in the Sailor Moon anime. The dubbed version sometimes cut them out, but these edits were inconsistent, occasionally even having one instance of it removed and another one left intact within the same episode.
  • This pops up in Mahou Sensei Negima on occasion.
    • Including on things that shouldn't be able to sweat, like knives.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou sometimes employs this for comical scenes. One instance in particular, in the OAV episode "Kokoro no Yukue", has the drop appear during a Super-Deformed scene at the end of the pictured dot-by-dot Visible Silence. It then falls to the bottom of the screen. As a solid object.
  • Used fairly regularly on Hamtaro.
  • Used on One Piece quite frequently, including on objects which aren't even alive.
  • Often appears in Ghost Hunt, once again without any regard for which direction the character is facing.
  • Shino at one point managed to cause a pair of deer to Sweat Drop.
  • Done regularly in Ranma ½, usually to show exasperation.
  • Inuyasha: The one character who is never given a sweat drop moment (not even once) is Sesshoumaru.

Comic Books


  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Mikuru Sweat Drops whilst explaining to Haruhi about taking Kyon with her to buy cloth and a sewing machine.


Video Games


 Tonberry slowly walks towards the enemy

Enemy sweatdrops


  • In the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 2 if you're using Tron Bonnes throw assist and she misses, a message bubble will appear with a sweat drop in it.
  • Message bubbles with sweat drops inside them also appear in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  • These also appear in Tales of Symphonia.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
  • In Breath of Fire III' and IV hitting NPCs and a few objects with some characters' on map abilites can make them react in this way.
  • Shadow Hearts and its sequels do this in little bubbles that appear above a character's head. Others include squiggly lines (for exasperation), ? or ! marks, heart symbols and even internet emoticon-ish faces. Ditto the Golden Sun series.
  • Displaying this and displaying Cross-Popping Veins are among options for speech balloon emotion built into RPG Maker VX.
  • Characters in Disgaea occasionally do this.
  • Prier from La Pucelle does this so many times she has her own Sweat Drop animation.
  • Happens fairly often in Persona 3. Notable examples are during SEES's reaction to Junpei's melodramatic "Believe It Or Don't" flashlight-under-face ghost story attempt, or in the Persona 3: FES rerelease, Elizabeth misguidedly offering one million yen coins to the "fountain god" at the mall, to which a nearby young couple sitting on a bench let out two huge sweatdrops.
    • Its successor, Persona 4, has this, as well. Copious sweatdrops are doled out in rapid succession in the infamous "King's Game" scene.


Web Original

Western Animation


  • Characters established to be anime fans in Gap are sometimes given versions of these. Tom's somewhat fluid preferences regarding anime result in him having these only when discussing the subject.
  • The icon for Shipping on Bulbapedia shows Buneary with a heart over her head and Pikachu with a Sweat Drop over his.
  • Bionicle: Hewkii did this in one of the early web animations as Macku was dragging him away for a swimming lesson (he hates water), despite the Matoran's apparent absence of sweat glands.
  • Project Wonderful adds a sweat drop to the face icon when a bid is about to expire.