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In many anime, when characters are surprised or seen to do something stupid, the other characters will sometimes fall or keel over on their faces in some comical positions with their legs in the air. Where did this originate and is it used in any other case and or culture where stupidity or shock is (or) not implied?

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This link offers some information on it but it doesn't verify or explicitly state its origin.

When shocked or surprised, often by an absurdity or non sequitur, the listener may fall over onto his face, his limbs in a twisted mass above him. In its typical form, the character in question has just heard someone else say something so incredibly stupid that it, quite literally, floors them.

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  • Why do you have one part of your question in block quotes? Are you quoting something? – kuwaly Apr 1 '13 at 0:57
  • @kuwaly editing, the blockquotes section was supposed to have a title, just changed it – iKlsR Apr 1 '13 at 0:58
  • In the Japanese language, a joke or story is said to "slip" (suberu) if at any point it fails to keep up with comedic timing or the joke is seen as unfunny. Therefore, the origin of the actual facefault, the specific action of falling on one's face or back, is likely a literal expression of the slipping (failing) joke, resulting in characters manifesting the metaphorical use of the word literally and physically. – Ajo Koshy Apr 11 '13 at 16:30
  • @AjoKoshy sounds good, answer with a credible source. :) – iKlsR Apr 11 '13 at 16:44
  • @iKlsR, well it doesnt have a source so gave it in comment :P – Ajo Koshy Apr 11 '13 at 17:20
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According here

When shocked or surprised, often by an absurdity or non sequitur, the listener may fall over onto his face, his limbs in a twisted mass above him. In its typical form, the character in question has just heard someone else say something so incredibly stupid that it, quite literally, floors them. A device usually limited to humorous anime, this may have been imported from a similar trope in early American comic strips called the 'flip-take'. A variation used mainly in films (as falling on one's own face in real life tends to be dangerous) has the characters briefly faint backwards, as opposed to forwards. Often includes, and is confused with, Wild Takes.

  • fair enough but the bulk of your answer, sparing the 'flip-take' link was already stated as insufficient in the question. – iKlsR Apr 15 '13 at 14:12
  • @iKlsR, it's the only stated probable origins of face faults wherever I search. So it is probably it's origin. :) – xjshiya Apr 15 '13 at 23:28
  • same here, its not exactly along the lines of what i was hoping for but its ok. – iKlsR Apr 16 '13 at 13:53

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