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Italians Talk with Hands

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })It's an old and well-established stereotype that Italians gesticulate wildly whenever they talk. This is entrenched enough in western culture that it is sometimes used to communicate that a character is indeed Italian — if you have an Italian character (or a character with Italian origins) and you want to point it out clearly, you're probably going to have them gesticulate every time they say something relevant.
While often exaggerated in fiction, this is not just a stereotype, and it is a fairly common practice in Italian culture to accompany speech with various gestures and hand and arm movements. This isn't strictly Italian, though, the custom being common around the Mediterranean (Greeks, Lebanese, Spaniards and Egyptians are all widely noted for their fondness for gesticulation), owing to a long history of trade and other interaction between peoples who speak different languages (gestures can get a message across well even with the most limited of speech). However, note that, besides the fact that movies wildly exaggerate the whole thing, many Italians don't actually gesticulate any more or less than anyone else; needless to say, this trope tends to annoy them quite a lot.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })This is a common theme in Italian comedies, and of course in virtually any movie about the Italian Mafia.
Not necessarily related to Signed Language.
Examples:
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Film: Inglorious Basterds
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Desperate Housewives: Bree Hodge gesticulates while trying to impress some Italian clients of her catering agency.
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 Desperate Housewives
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Look Around You has one video end with "In the next program, we will look at: Italians". Showing a man with electrodes all over his body and yes, gesticulating wildly.
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Earth (The Book), on the development of verbal language:
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The Simpsons: This is quite common for Italian and pseudo-Italian characters such as Chef Luigi Risotto and, on a lesser grade, Fat Tony and the rest of the Springfield mafia. When getting kicked out of Fat Tony's mob by Tony's son Michael, Homer asks "Can I still talk with my hands?" and Michael tells him he can't.
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 The Simpsons
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Miraculous Ladybug:
Lila Rossi accentuates her hamminess with some spectacular gesticulation — or, as Volpina, her flute.
Marinette and her father are noted for some spectacular gesticulation, and season 2 reveals that Marinette's maternal grandmother is actually Italian — and much hammier and showy than them.
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Mario & Luigi: Mario and Luigi can do this as part of their gestures whenever they "talk" in the games.
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Fugget About It posits that this came about due to everyone being too afraid to talk aloud around the Mafia.
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The Beverly Hillbillies: Jethro was dating an Italian woman and claimed he knew Italian because he could make the gesture pictured.
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 The Beverly Hillbillies
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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The very first time Percy spots siblings Bianca and Nico di Angelo from across a room, he notes they're doing this. However, it doesn't seem to be a habit (neither of them are ever mentioned to do it again) and might only have been because they were arguing.
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It is part of the OTT stereotype that Captain Bertorelli does this a lot in 'Allo 'Allo!.
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The main character of Eat, Pray, Love is told that Italian is spoken with the hands.
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 Eat, Pray, Love
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In a Saturday Night Live sketch, January Jones as a House Wife from The '50s advises viewers that if Italians come to your party, give them enough space to talk with their hands.
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 Saturday Night Live
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Averted in Gunslinger Girl where the mannerisms of the cyborg girls and their handlers resemble Japanese reserve rather than Italian expresssiveness.
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One of the aliens in the bowling alley in Men in Black 3 does a chin flick despite not having one at the moment while being questioned.
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Vinny of Vinesauce has a "Vinetalian" Twitch emote poking fun at his Italian heritage, which depicts a hand gesture.
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In Napoléon, somebody at the war council held by the forces defending Toulon (which is described by the intertitles as "a veritable Tower of Babel" — five languages are spoken: English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French) laments:
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This trope occurs every time an Italian character appears in Family Guy. It was itself directly parodied when Peter grew a mustache and thought he could speak Italian — by speaking gibberish and gesticulating.
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During their trip to Italy on I Love Lucy, Lucy assures Ethel that she knows enough Italian to get by, by demonstrating the different hand gestures she's learned—including the ones for "wonderful", "who knows?", and "get me a large pizza". The latter gesture is then used by two different Italians later in the episode.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

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National Stereotyping Tropes
 Film: Coffee And Cigarettes / int_c2e72117
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Italians Talk with Hands
 Film: Fangs of the Living Dead / int_c2e72117
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 Inglourious Basterds / int_23a332fa
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 The Saint Lies In Wait / int_23a332fa
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 The Sopranos / int_23a332fa
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 Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) (Video Game) / int_23a332fa
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 Visual Novel: Lucky Dog 1 / int_c2e72117
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 Flavio the Goat / int_23a332fa
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