When Tom and Jerry want to say goodbye to another characters (including themselves) they always wave their hands vertically instead of horizontally. Why do they do it in that way?

Here's a picture from a scene:

enter image description here

Also, look at this video's last seconds.

  • "including themselves" do you mean "each other"? Feb 18, 2021 at 20:08
  • I guess it looks funnier.
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Feb 19, 2021 at 14:26
  • @AzorAhai-him- Yes. Feb 19, 2021 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


This is listed by Wikipedia as a "common" type of wave:

Another common wave is to raise one's hand and repeatedly move the fingers downward toward the palm.

Wikipedia also seems to suggest that this style of wave originated in Europe:

Waving the hand to say "hello" or "goodbye" [in Europe] is done by moving the fingers down towards the wrist and back to an open palm position while keeping the palm facing out.

It's worth noting that almost all White Americans are descended from European immigrants in some fashion. This explains why a) the gesture sometimes appears in American pop culture, and b) viewers from outside Europe and North America (such as yourself) may not recognise this style of waving.

  • 2
    +1 You can see this 'euro-wave' right back to Laurel & Hardy. I think it's just gone out of fashion over the years.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 18, 2021 at 18:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .