When something awkward is said and everybody is aware of the awkwardness. Accompanied by a gesture that consists of putting one hand on top of the other and using one´s thumbs as turtle flippers, awkward turtle generates laughter and relieves tension
Not realising that that Tony was behind her, Caroline began to talk about how he often smelled bad and really ought to invest in a new shower. Upon the realisation that Tony had heard everything she said, Caroline´s friend James exclaimed "Awkward turtle!" and the ensuing laughter broke the tension of the moment, allowing everybody to feel relieved and change the topic of conversation to the small boy who was chasing after his pet dog and tripped over a bench.