The latest instance I can think of would be Spider-Ham from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse - YouTube link of clip. A character will say something along the lines of "I just washed my hands, that's why they're wet", as if there's a default, frowned-upon reason they might be wet that everyone will otherwise assume. Is there any?

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    On the 'gross scale' shaking hands with somebody with damp hands may only be a 3, but it's still gross. Sweaty handshakes are revolting. Explaining why this handshake is going to be damp is a 'please don't think I'm gross' precursor.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 6:26
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    Welcome to the site - sorry your first question has not gone down well. I think that is because its really not movie specific, and is just a question about social norms.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 11:56
  • I am voting to close because this question lacks decorum. While that might not be a strict guideline of this Exchange, I feel we owe it to each other to keep to a minimum of civility in our communication. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 19:28
  • @iandotkelly I looked at the whole list of SEs and there wasn't a social norms one, this was the closest thing I could link it to :/ Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


It would be useful to have more examples. You asked the question about this sort of thing in general, so this answer isn't specific to Into the Spiderverse. I don't remember that scene to be honest.

Dialog generally needs to fill a purpose. It is hard to see why a screenwriter would put that in when it would be better for the whole issue simply not to come up. It's not real, the characters hands can be dry or the other character can not notice by fiat of the writer.

There's a couple of reasons why it might make sense to include such a bit of dialog.

To indicate the second character is the sort of person who reacts badly to a damp handshake and/or the first character is the sort of person who feels the need to make an excuse. Perhaps the first character really wants to make a good impression.

To indicate the first character is either generally, or for specific reasons, sweaty and they are making up a lie to cover for this.

To indicate the two characters are awkward with each other for whatever reason. This dialog is typical of the sort of thing people might say to fill in an awkward silence.


Maybe they wiped their nose, maybe they picked their nose, maybe they shook their peter a little too hard after going to the loo, maybe they had just rubbed lotion on their skin so they wouldn't get the hose again... Who knows. But sometimes it's better to put someone's mind at ease before they wonder which of the above are true.

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    1+ For finding a way to include Buffulo Bill! XD Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 16:32

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