What is the Handkerchief Incident in Spy x Family?

The latest chapter of Spy x Family

by Drew Kopp
Images: Tatsuya Endo / Shueisha / VIZ Media, altered by Attack of the Fanboy

Spy x Family Chapter 88 revolves around Damian’s attempt to give Anya a pack of ultra-rare tea cakes without their fellow students noticing to pay back the “debt” he feels he owes her. This sense of obligation was born from “The Handkerchief Incident,” a fan-favorite moment that will likely be adapted into animation sometime during Spy x Family‘s second season. Here’s everything you need to know about Spy x Family‘s Handkerchief Incident.

What is Sky x Family’s Handkerchief Incident?

Images: Tatsuya Endo / Shueisha / VIZ Media

The Handkerchief Incident was a significant turning point in Anya and Damian’s relationship that played out in Spy x Family Chapter 61. After the first-year students were warned that their academic performance had slipped after their midterm break, Damian was roped into swearing that he and his friends would run around Eden Academy in their underwear if he received a demerit, which is symbolized by a lightning-bolt-shaped medal known as a Tonitrus Bolt.

Almost immediately after the bet was struck, Mistress Donna “Old-Lady Tonitrus” Schlag, a ruthless representative of Eden Academy’s Disciplinary Committee, arrived for a surprise inspection and began handing out demerits to any student who didn’t have their school-issued handkerchief. When Damian reached into his pocket to pull his handkerchief out, he discovered that he’d somehow misplaced it and began to panic, terrified that he would have to go through with his embarrassing punishment and disappoint his father, Donovan.

Related: Spy x Family Chapter 89 Release Date, Time, and Chapter 88 Spoilers

Sensing Damian’s terrified thoughts through her telepathy, Anya allowed him to borrow her’s since she kept a spare. Unfortunately, Anya soon discovered that she’d misplaced her spare handkerchief but refused to let Damian admit she’d given him hers so he wouldn’t have to humiliate himself. Feeling indebted to Anya for accepting a Tonitrous Bolt in his place, Damian swore that he would repay her by giving her a cake.

Why is the Handkerchief Incident So Important in Spy x Family?

Images: Tatsuya Endo / Shueisha / VIZ Media

The Handkerchief Incident is not as intense as the revelation of Loid’s past or Yori’s mission on Princess Lorelei, but it is an essential milestone in Anya and Damian’s relationship. While Anya’s decision to help Damian is partially motivated by her desire to help Operation Strix proceed smoothly, it is also driven by a genuine desire to help him stay in his father’s good graces since she’s seen first-hand how strained the Desmond family’s ties to each other are.

Anya’s decision to help him also significantly changed Damian’s view of Anya. While the youngest Demsmond scion has always held a one-sided crush on Anya, his feelings didn’t stop him from teasing her whenever the opportunity arose. After the Handkerchief Incident, Damian’s feelings for Anya became much more genuine, causing him to tone down his teasing and even step up to protect her during the Red Circus Arc.

- This article was updated on October 18th, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.