Manly Tears

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Cit FotNS - manly tears.png
Are you surprised at my tears, sir? ...Strong men also cry...strong men also cry.

Somewhere down the line, it became the "norm" that boys don't cry. It doesn't matter the scenario; shedding any tears is the ultimate no-no in terms of what you can and can't do as a man (in Western societies, anyway). But there comes a time when a man's emotions do get the better of him, and they pour forth - prerequisite impassioned speech may or may not be present - by cascading down his cheeks. These are what we like to call Manly Tears, also known as Manly Tears Of Manliness

Just like it may or may not involve a Rousing Speech, they may or may not be someone's crowning moment, be it awesome, heartwarming, tear jerking or otherwise. My God, What Have I Done? may produce Tears of Remorse. Tears may be Due to the Dead, and so feature at a Meaningful Funeral or during To Absent Friends. Attempts to comfort may provoke Don't You Dare Pity Me!.

(Pain is, of course, right out. No matter how brutal the beating or how cruel the torture, the hero may scream in pain, but crying for it is unmanly. As is fear. Crying because you're scared shitless is also unmanly.)

This can also be a common audience response to particularly emotional moments in the more Hot-Blooded shows. In this case, it often overlaps with Tears of Joy.

If the character is particularly sensitive and so often moved deeply, see Tender Tears.

Sometimes the tears may be Tears of Joy, and paired with the Fist of Enthusiasm.

Contemptible characters may attempt to characterize these tears as Water Works; the effect is to make them even more contemptible. The crying character may also apologize for them as a sign of weakness.

Contrast Sand in My Eyes, where the man denies to the end that he is crying. See also Not So Stoic. May be in the form of a Single Tear.

WARNING: Some tropers may take several attempts to edit this page on the first try. Fortunately, keyboards are water resistant, provided you lean back after the first few seconds of making a living example of this page while editing.

Also see Les Murray's greatest poem.

Examples of Manly Tears include:

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  • An American anti-littering ad featured a (fake) Native American viewing the littered landscape and finally a single tear escapes him. Thus creating the trope Crying Indian.
  • An Australian ad for KFC has a crowd of men screaming like fangirls for the new product, and one of the men played by a Mauri footballer is shown sobbing very, very manly tears.

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • In Street Fighter II:The Animated Movie, Guile doesn't cry when his ass is kicked by Bison, or when Chun-Li is hurt, but he sheds some manly tears of manliness when he thinks Chun-Li is dead.
  • Happens a few times in Kamen Rider Spirits. The most powerful is the one with with Shiro Kazami. Trapped in an illusion showing his departed family inviting him to go with them, he declined at the last moment, letting go of his Dead Little Sister's hand and doing his henshin pose. In the middle of it, the reader is shown an image of him shedding a single tear, which carries on to the mask of V3. It was awesome.
    • Muraeda Kenichi is fond of this, Hot-Blooded, and a lot of manly tropes in general.
  • Naruto:
    • Might Guy and, of course, his student and protege Rock Lee manage to be comical parodies and moving straight examples of this, depending on the circumstances.
    • After Haku dies, Naruto screams at Zabuza for being so cruel to the one person who cared about him... only for Zabuza to turn around, revealing that he's openly weeping.
    • Naruto himself exemplifies the trope. He cries when he thinks that Gaara dies. He cries after Jiraiya dies. He cries in relief after learning that he did not harm Hinata or the rest of the villagers while under the control of the nine-tailed fox. He cries when he meets his long-dead mother in his mind.
    • Shikamaru also lets some out when Asuma dies.
    • Chouji also cried when Shikamaru did above. Chouji's one of the weepier ninja: it also happens in Part 1 after the Jirobo fight, and in Shippuuden, when Chouji breaks down in tears after discovering Chouza (his father) took a hit for him, and again when Tsunade reveals that Chouza is actually alive.
    • The ridiculously huge Raikage lets out quite a lot when he thinks his brother has been kidnapped, and everyone in the room joins in upon seeing it.
    • Gaara sheds a single tear after failing to convince Sasuke to abandon his revenge, and actually breaks down when his father tells him that his mother actually loved him.
    • Even Sasuke tears up when Madara tells him about how Itachi was actually a good guy, right after he killed him.
  • Vash the Stampede from Trigun. He frequently gets like this when donuts are involved.
    • Though some (including characters from the show—heck, even including little kids) would debate whether Vash's tears are manly or not. Wolfwood (during his death scene in both the anime and the manga) and Knives (yes, he cries at one point in the manga, if you look closely: when he embraces then crushes a dead plant, vowing to kill Vash and saying "Farewell, dear brother") would be better examples. YMMV, of course.
    • Vash's seiyuu, Onosaka Masaya, also voices the Cloudcuckoolander thief Isaac of Baccano!!, also prone to tears most manly.
  • Jounichi/Joey from Yu-Gi-Oh! had these as well, after Yugi Muto promised to give the prize money from his Duelist Kingdom victory to Joey to pay for his sister's eye surgery. He cries again when Yugi attempts an Heroic Sacrifice for him after Yugi wins against a Jounouchi, who was Brainwashed and Crazy and with their friend Anzu taken as a hostage.
    • Yami Yugi has a mental breakdown after he loses the duel to Rafael and Yugi's soul is taken by the Orichalcos. Later, when he fights and beats a (seemingly) evil ghost-like Yugi in order to overcome his own darkness, he cries again, holding onto little Yugi and vowing to save him.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, everyone present starts openly crying when Ryo sacrifices himself against Yubel to snap Judai out of his Heroic BSOD.
  • Captain Juzo Okita from Uchuu Senkan Yamato when see his son picture.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho Yusuke cries manly tears when Genkai dies and Kuwabara fakes his own death, and Kuwabara does it too, when Yusuke dies.
  • Simon, in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, has the full works: A Rousing Speech is given, Manly Tears are dramatically shaken away, and all set to a Theme Music Power-Up. Awesome? You bet.
    • Kamina plays this straight when he finds his father's skeleton in the desert, and for comedic purposes a couple more times.
    • Let's not forget that in the beginning of episode 26 when he crushes one of the faces on the Anti-Spiral ships after Kittan's manly death he's shown shedding tears of blood.
    • When Simon gets teary, PEOPLE DIE.
    • Take a look at the final scene of the episode where Kamina dies. The way the rain is flowing down Lagann's face, it looks like as if the mecha is mourning too.
      • Mirrored again when Kittan dies too. The Chouginga Gurren Lagann has spiral energy flowing down it's cheeks as if it's crying.
  • Jean-Pierre Polnareff of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is the master of Manly Tears. He usually likes to throw a thumbs up along with it as well. Usually anyone who provokes him into doing it is going to a get a massive asskicking afterwards.
    • The series has several memorable and impacting cases of this trope, including but not limited to Joseph's reaction to the death of Caesar Zeppeli, Josuke finding out that Okuyasu wasn't killed by Killer Queen's attack and Johnny witnessing the death of Gyro Zeppeli
  • Fist of the North Star is famous for this (especially in the case of Kenshiro, pictured above). However, the main type of tears shed in Fist of the North Star is actually Tender Tears from soft-hearted, sensitive and kind men rather than this macho variety.
    • His previous incarnation, Kenshiro Kasumi of Fist of the Blue Sky, is also given to shedding these tears.
  • Guy Shishioh in GaoGaiGar FINAL has this when confronting a replica Mamoru, when his enemy destroyed his allies Goldymarg and Choryujin (though it's later revealed to be one Disney Death). It's immediately followed by uttering the legendary line "Have you forgotten, Mamoru? Victory goes to... ... THOSE WITH COURAAAAGGEEEE!!!!!!"" and complete ass kicking to the replica.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Roy sheds a single manly tear at the funeral of his best friend Maes Hughes, insisting that "it's raining" although the sky is clear.
    • Armstrong is the definition of this trope, both as a parody and a straight example. He simply cannot hold back his tears at Hughes' funeral.
      • Armstrong also gets these in a scene after using his alchemy to aid in the Ishval Extermination.
    • Scar cries when he admits he always wanted to tell his brother that he loved him, and soon after when he is about to sacrifice himself to create the Philosopher's Stone.
    • Let's not forget Hohenheim in the manga, when he suddenly opens the valves on his one and only family picture. Boy, does he look desperate.
    • Ling manages to cry...while punching people in the face.
  • Fuji Shuusuke cries in The Prince of Tennis anime when he loses in an official match against Kuranosuke Shiraishi. . Also at the U-17 Selection Camp as he is effortlessly defeated by Tezuka in an unofficial match just before Tezuka leaves for Germany.
    • Kikumaru Eiji also cries when he loses his beloved partner Shuuichirou Oishi after the injured Oishi gives up his spot in the regulars to not be a burden on the team.
    • And in the previews for the next OAVs, Oishi is seen screaming and crying his heart out, VERY possibly for Tezuka after the animated version of the Tezuka v/s Sanada match.
  • In the fifth season of the Slayers anime, the normally snarky and distant chimera Zelgadis breaks down after learning that he may never be able to revert back to his human state, ever. The fact that his own great-grandfather is telling him this makes it even worse. While only a few tears are shown, it's painfully obvious that he's wailing and distressed, and given his nature, it's painful to see.
  • Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger Z has several VERY memorable tears moments. One is in the beginning, when his grandfather dies in his arms. Another happened in the Mazinger vs Great General of Darkness movie, when he was crying in his bedroom at the night, thinking he was going to die at the next battle. Other three are in the Mazinkaiser vs the Great General of Darkness movie, with Loru Lori and Dr. Morimori's Heroic Sacrifices, and when he finally defeats ALL the Mikene Empire and tearfully screams "My dead friends... I AVENGED YOU ALL!"
    • Tetsuya Tsurugi from Great Mazinger also got his moments. One of them was when his adoptive father died.
    • Duke Fleed from UFO Robo Grendizer also shed Manly Tears often, usually as he remembered his murdered friends. A very memorable moment he shared with Kouji was after Emperor Vega's death. Kouji and Duke (and Hikaru and Maria) shed tears in relief, thinking the nightmare was at last over.
  • Souichi from The Tyrant Falls in Love breaks down into tears after a long, impassioned rant to Morinaga on how he does have feelings and was hurt by Morinaga's attempt to disappear from his life, and also after saving Morinaga who managed to get himself trapped underneath an altar in a burning house, while berating him on not thinking about how'd he'd feel again (though he makes the excuse of splashing himself with water as a safety precaution).
  • Tough guy Tsume mourning woobie Toboe in Wolf's Rain. (Actually the tears are only part of his human illusion because he's a wolf, but they're necessary to show his emotions.)
  • Kaiji: "He stayed quiet all the way down!"
  • Kaiji 2: Rousing speeches and dramatically built-up victories and defeats make manly tears a Kaiji 2 staple. As the series goes on and the stakes and emotions boil over, there are episodes where Kaiji is literally crying the whole time because he's so fried out of his mind by what's happening. Considering the circumstances, it's justified: if Kaiji wins his last gamble, he'll be rich and can save several friends that sacrificed their freedom just so he could have the chance to gamble. If he loses, he'll be imprisoned as a virtual slave in an underground work camp, sentenced to work 16 hours a day in brutal conditions for something like ten dollars a day to pay off his debt. Kaiji's debt (through very little fault of his own) is such that he will be stuck there for life until his body gives out.
  • One Piece deserves mention here, as each and every one of the male protagonists, up to and including the skeleton who specifically said he was physically incapable of crying, has at least one instance of Manly Tears to their name.
    • Some especially good examples are when Iceberg finds out that Franky survived being run over by the Sea Train, when Sanji leaves the Baratie and Luffy and Usopp after their duel.
    • Heck, even Zoro cries after his duel with Mihawk, while promising Luffy that he will never lose again.
      • Also, when he finds out that Ace died in Luffy's arms and. While he is not openly weeping, you can see that the man is on the verge of tears.
    • Of course, Franky deserves special mention, being brought to tears rather easily (and always being in denial of it).
    • Upon successfully escaping Impel Down, the entire getaway crew shed Manly Tears for Bon Clay, after he stayed behind in secret to trick the guards into opening the Gates of Justice.
    • Luffy and Ace together. Enough said
    • Let's not forget the first time we see the Gaon Cannon.
    • Going Merry's viking funeral.
    • Badass Crew Whitebeard's pirates including Whitebeard and Garp wept when Ace died. And again, when Whitebeard himself died.
    • Jinbe cries when Ace dies, when his captain Fisher Tiger dies and again when Nami forgives him.
      • Even Arlong cried when Fisher Tiger died, as with the rest of Fisher's crew.
    • King Neptune breaks down at the death of his wife Queen Otohime, even going to a Troubled Fetal Position. The three princes upon witnessing their mother being shot and dying.
  • Essentially every kickass male in Gash Bell cries manly tears sooner or later. It's usually really awesome.
  • The Count in Gankutsuou cries quite a few times but still manages to look Badass most of the time when he does so.
  • In one of the more emotional scenes in the series, Vegeta of Dragonball Z explains his life and motivations as Goku readies to fight Frieza, telling Goku that Frieza destroyed their entire race. Then, he breaks down in tears when he reveals that Frieza promised to spare his father if he (Vegeta) joined him, and then, when Vegeta complied, he killed him anyway.
    • Of course, Vegeta's story about the promise to spare his father and subsequent rationalizing of how he became such an evil person doesn't exist in the manga or Japanese version of the anime. Instead, he tells Goku that even though the Saiyans served Freeza loyally, he killed them because he feared that they would become too strong to control.
    • Gohan at the start usually has Water Works whenever things go bad, only to trigger an Unstoppable Rage. But his first instance of Manly Tears is when Cell took him to the breaking point, which unlocked Super Saiyan 2. In this case, the fact that he is crying only makes it that much more Badass.
  • Guts at the end of Berserk. Of course this is to be expected in that nearly all of his allies have been devoured by horrific demons, his former best friend, now demonic Dark Messiah, is brutally raping his love interest in front of him, he just finished hacking one of his arms off with a broken sword, and his life just sucks in general.
    • Also occurs after the Eclipse, when Guts is reeling from the absolute horror of all that has happened. He runs away from Rickert and Erica, sprinting through fields and woods, as each friend that he lost fills his mind. Before long, tears for the dead and for Casca are streaming down his face.
    • He also cries when he sees how horribly mutilated Griffith was after his year-long torture.
    • Don't forget the time when Guts suffered a breakdown in the midst of consummating his relationship with Casca when he relives his childhood rape. Casca was the first member of the Hawks that he openly cried in front of.
    • Remember: true testosterone-poisoned badasses aren't afraid to cry.
  • RAINBOW is known to turn on the manly tears fairly frequently. Some examples include Anchan after he heard Mario's hand has been smashed, Mario after his friends went to great personal lengths to keep him from being sent to prison, and Joe when he hit rock bottom in his music career.
  • Jeremiah cries blood when he pulls his Heel Face Turn in Code Geass. And before that, he cries when he talks to Viletta in the Picture Dramas.
    • Lelouch himself does this more than once especially when a woman important to him, be it Euphie or Shirley, dies. He definitely puts the "hero" part back into Anti-Hero...
    • Don't forget Suzaku crying his heart out when he tragically loses Euphie. And then crying again when he, as Zero, kills Lelouch
    • He cried in relief after his classmates were saved from the JLF.
    • Due to Memetic Mutation it has been said that Kallen also cries Manly Tears, don't believe it? Look at the scene where Lelouch is killed by Suzaku dressed as Zero. Everything about her posture, her eyes and the restraint in her voice screams Manly Tears.
  • When Lockon dies in Gundam 00, not only does the audience cry, but so do the Gundam Meisters (especially Tieria).
  • In Gundam SEED, both Athrun and Cagalli cry after the reality of Kira's apparent death hits them. Athrun is crying because he just killed his best friend and Cagalli is crying because her brother is now dead at Athrun's hand and she cares for Athrun too much to kill him in revenge.
  • Saint Seiya uses this trope SEVERAL times. Specially in death or big revelation scenes. Like when Ikki comes back to the group after his first death, when Shiryu loses his sight (twice, if we count Seiya collapsing in tears when told by the doctors there's nothing to do for Shiryu), when Cassius pulls an Heroic Sacrifice to de-brainwash Aiolia and save Seiya, when Ikki defeats Shaka through Taking You with Me, when everyone thinks Shiryu is gone for good...
  • Manly tears are shed often in Eyeshield 21, mostly by Sakuraba Haruto. Used much more often, however, are pathetic tears shed by guys like benchwarmer Yukimitsu (who can't start no matter how much he tries), ace quarterback Harao (who knows he's just an average player who depends entirely on the defensive line), and the hard-boiled Habashira (who put forth a Herculean effort in the Fall tournament, only to find his teammates couldn't muster his level of enthusiasm.) And don't forget Poseidon's towering tough guy lineman Ohira, who is usually seen with streams of tears down his cheeks with no explanation.
  • Averted in Slam Dunk when Mitsui breaks down after the gym fight, and when Sakuragi cries after the loss against Kainan. Played straight when Shoyo loses and Fujima calmly but tearfully accepts his loss, and when Sakuragi remembers his Disappeared Dad.
  • Inuyasha of Inuyasha sheds manly tears when his estranged former love Kikyou permanently dies in his arms. Also when his poisoned and dying True Companions are cured at the last minute after he had lost all hope for them. No, I'm not spoiler-tagging that; the episode is called "Inuyasha Shows His Tears For The First Time".
  • When Makoto first links to Ifurita in the El-Hazard: The Magnificent World manga, he sees her memories of bring about The End of the World as We Know It. Every life she snuffed out, every country crushed, and the mind-destroying horror that made her shut down her emotions. He cries in sympathy for her, who had burned out her tears. The manga was made after the anime, and this scene is a definite improvement, where he had originally just shrugged it off as "weird."
  • The men of the Kuroda family in Gokusen are all very sentimental when it comes to family matters. Of course, this is meant to be humorous, as it doesn't jive with their intense tough-guy image at all.
  • In Hellsing Badass vampire Alucard breaks down after killing Father Alexander Anderson, who had turned himself into a monster to try to stop Alucard.
  • After coming in fourth in the first Choujin Olympics, Ramenman tearfully begs Kinnikuman to defeat win the tournament and make the battle they had fought something he could be proud of. In the manga, he cried Tears of Blood.
  • Yuki in Gravitation does this at one point. Played rather amusingly when he has to lie down afterwords because he hasn't cried in so long that it doing so gives him a headache.
  • Pegas in the Tekkaman Blade finale. This is made even more badass by the fact that he is a ROBOT.
  • At several points in Saikano, multiple male characters, especially Shuji, are reduced to tears for various reasons.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, Tamiya and Ohtaki both shed Manly Tears whenever they're around when Keiichi does much of anything significant. Or when they're praised by the former club president.
  • After the death of fellow warrior Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi, Tasuki is seen slumped by himself with tears pouring silently down his face. Tamahome himself breaks down in tears (and into a Heroic BSOD for that matter) when Suboshi avenged his brother's apparent death by killing Tamahome's entire family.
  • Despite not being particularly manly, Watanuki from xxxHolic doesn't cry often, even when his life starts veering into Deus Angst Machina territory. When he does, it's usually a Tear Jerker for the readers. It helps that whenever something awful happens to him, he always puts up with it without complaining, and only cries when the bad stuff happens to others.
  • In another CLAMP example, Syaoran in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle cries (and then passes out) when he is treated to an extremely vivid replay of Kurogane's tragic past. It's doubly shocking since he's rather stoic for a Kid Hero.
    • Considerably more stoic in the anime version than in the manga, in fact; in the anime he really only seems to have one expression.
  • In the final episode of Death Note, Matsuda goes absolutely berserk and shoots Light four times after it's revealed he is Kira, all with tears running down his face.
  • Parodied extensively in Ranma ½, usually when a character pulls off some sort of (unwilling!) sacrifice and the others gather over his unconscious body to thank him for it, to his immense annoyance.
    • Played for drama when Akane is thought to be dead. You see a single tear slide off Ranma's cheek and onto hers, before he starts crying harder and screams her name out of anguish.
  • Battler does this a lot from the first arc on. It's pretty hard to blame him, and part of the draw of the series is watching him be tortured way past the point he should have gone nuts and yet always in the end manage to pull himself together and keep going.
  • Skewered brutally (as Lighter and Softer tropes tend to be) in Black Lagoon, where the neo-Nazis break down and start blubbering like infants at their leader's cheesy speech.
    • Then played straight later. Nobody is laughing at Rock for crying over how messed up Gretel is. To elaborate for those of you who don't care about spoilers: the way she chooses to go about thanking a man who shows her kindness is to proposition herself to him. It's implied (s)he's undergone some kind of horrible genital mutilation. Oh, yeah, and even if that's not the case-- Gretel is around ten, and the fact is the only way the girl can think of thanking him is SEX. Not a nice kiss on the cheek, not a flower s/he picked, not a cherished toy. Sex. No, Rock isn't crying manly tears... those are humanly tears.
  • Tenma in Monster, mostly as a result of seeing his friends murdered and such.
  • In Bleach Renji, when Ichigo beats the crap out of him and breaks his sword in Soul Society ark, and he crying, grabs Ichigo and begs him to save Rukia.
    • Also contains unique example of Womanly Manly Tears when Rukia leaves half-dead Ichigo with Byakuya and Renji or kills infected Kaien-dono.
    • Ichago sheds Manly Tears after Ulquiorra ask Ichigo to kill him.
  • Lots of this in the manga of Riki-Oh. One big moment of manly tears when Nachi puts a gladiator out of his misery and Riki-Oh calls him out on it.
    • Basically, the whole manga's about the debate of euthanasia.
  • Gundam Wing has Trowa quietly asking himself what the strange liquid droplets that are floating in his cockpit are after he destroyes Deathscythe.
  • Ronin Warriors is extremely prone to this. Sometimes overlaps Tears of Remorse, particularly in Kento/Shu and Shuten Doji/Anubis' cases. Also present during the final attack against the Big Bad, during which four of the Five-Man Band thought they were also killing their leader.
  • Chapter 279 of Mahou Sensei Negima: Negi does this when Rakan dies. Chisame even more so, showing more emotion she ever did before.
  • Kimura-sensei from Azumanga Daioh cried as he bade farewell to his graduates.


  • In Pokémon Special, it looks like normally stoic Silver is about to burst into tears when saying how Gold performed a Heroic Sacrifice to take down the Big Bad and save them all...but it's subverted as Green chooses that moment to declare that Silver's under arrest for a crime that happened in the beginning of the arc. Thank god Gold lived and provided the Facial Composite Failure wanted poster, pointing out that Silver doesn't look anything like the image there. Gold then further kills the mood by rubbing Blue's ass, and enrages Silver enough to slug him.
    • Subverted? Averted? with N's first appearance, as he looks more like he came out of a shoujo series. Many fans couldn't help giggling.
  • In Gantz, during the climatic battle against the shapeshifting boss Nurarihyon, both Katou and the cowardly nerd shed tears when Yamazaki was killed trying to defend Katou from the laser shot by Nurarihyon, with the cowardly nerd guy crying the most even after killing Nurarihyon because he was touched by Yamazaki's sacrifice and Katou's bravery.
    • Kurono also cried when he discovered he was the sole survivor of the Buddha mission, mourning for the loss of his friend Katou and love interest Kei Kishimoto.
    • And the most heart-wrenching moment, when Kei Kurono breaks down completely and sobs after his girlfriend's murder.
  • Otonashi and Naoi in Angel Beats!, especially in Episode 13. The normally arrogant Naoi starts crying as he thanks Otonashi for helping him find peace. Later, Otonashi ends up sobbing while holding Kanade in his arms and telling her he loves her. It's even worse once she finally disappears.
  • In Battle Royale, Hiroki Sugimura weeps over his friend Takako Chigusa as she slowly dies from a gunshot wound, maintaining his stoic expression despite the tears flowing down his face.
    • Subverted near the end of the series when Hiroki has every reason to cry after fighting viciously to protect his love interest, only to be mortally wounded and forced to see her shot in front of him. Yet his remaining eye is devoid of tears.
  • Deconstructed in Ichi the Killer, as protagonist Ichi is usually meek and neurotic... Until he starts crying. When that happens, RUN.
  • In Girls Bravo's penultimate episode Miharu was kidnapped, and after other characters unsuccessfully tried to use Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! to spear Yukinari into action he ran out of his house crying. He bumped into a Voiceless Recurring Extra simply called The Boss who would randomly appear with his loudmouthed associate. After a bit of mocking by the associate the boss was Suddenly Voiced and gave The Hero a speech about when it is alright for a man to cry saying he had to earn his tears. This is what Yukinari needed to take action and rescue his girlfriend.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam has plenty of manly tears. The most powerful undoubtedly had to be the ones Master Asia shed as he was dying and underwent Heel Realization, as well as the tears Domon shed to mourn his master's death.
    • Don't forget that a mere episode before that, Domon was forced to put both his brother and his other mentor down to stop the Devil Gundam's rampage.
  • Crying Freeman is about a controlled/brainwashed (it becomes unclear which) assassin whose true nature only appears whenever he kills someone, whereupon he sheds tears.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Crow does this when he sees that his siblings have drawn him a picture of Crow which he hugs them.
    • Episode 57 has The Stoic Yusei shedding a tear as he confessed his guilt over his father's research ruining his friends' lives.
  • Played for comedy, but shed fairly often by Harima Kenji on School Rumble.
  • Happens a lot Fairy Tail Makarov and Laxus when the former excommuncates the latter from the guild
    • Natsu and Erza both cry after the latter attempts to Sacrifice herself and againwhen she survives.
  • Digimon Xros Wars, influenced by the super robot genre as it is, naturally has a very powerful moment of this. In the fight against NeoVamdemon, Shoutmon DX displays this trope. What happened was that the numerous Lopmon the villain had fused to himself in a grab for immortality had willingly sacrificed their existence in order to give Shoutmon and Greymon the power to Xros together and escape, and DX explains that he's going to keep his promise to stop NeoVamdemon from hurting anyone ever again, then beats the hell out of the bastard.
    • A few episodes earlier, Taiki was on the verge of this trope when the purified Grademon sacrificed himself to help the heroes in a defiant act against his former master.
  • Okabe Rintarou, a.k.a. Hououin Kyouma, of Steins;Gate gets this a few times, particularly on the numerous occasions where Mayuri dies and when he and Kurisu resolve themselves to having to erase the D-mail that prevented her from getting stabbed in order to save Mayuri... right after they've confessed their love to one another.
  • If you look very, very closely, you can actually see Shinji shedding a few Manly Tears while rescuing Rei from Zeruel in Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22. Yes, even someone as spineless and wimpy as Shinji can shed those. But then again, he is pretty much turning the Rebuild-movies into Reconstruction of the Super Robot Genre, to make up for Deconstructing it in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Shed in Saint Seiya Omega by Kouga during his futile attempt to rescue Saori from Mars, right before he gains the power of the Pegasus Cloth.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Happens quite a lot in Elf Quest. In fact it may hold some kind of record for it.
  • The whole team of the New Mutants, even the cybernetic Warlock, broke into tears upon failing to avoid Cypher's death.
  • Captain America (comics) in the final issue of Marvel's Civil War.
    • Tony later produces a manly tear at Cap's funeral, and has a full-on sobbing fit over the body in The Confession.
    • In Iron Man issue 172, Cap confronted Tony about his alcoholism and Tony said that he just couldn't stop drinking. Cap stoically left the room and after he left the building, he smashed a wall with his fist in pure frustration while tears flowed from his face.
  • DC's The Ray foolishly caused his father to go into respiratory arrest and saved him with mouth-to-mouth. His father immediately berated him for his stupidity, but Ray ignored him in his relief that he was alive, which was so great that he started to cry. His father realized it, stopped the scolding, and tried to put his arm about him. Ray angrily shrugged it off. (A second attempt was more successful.)
  • A recurring trope in the limited series Pride and Joy. The teenage Slacker son often sheds tears of frustration during arguments with his tough guy father. Tough guy father never cries until the final scene where he's dying and his son has made him proud.
  • Gambit during the last moments of Rogue's life during X-Men: The End.
  • Rorschach, that red-headed stepchild of the Sociopathic Hero set, has one of these moments in his last scene. You'd cry too, if you'd failed to avert the deaths of millions and were about to die, unloved and futile, in the middle of freaking Antarctica.
  • The Vision, when he's accepted into The Avengers. In a story called "Even An Android Can Cry".
  • Johnny in Strontium Dog cries a single tear at Wulf's funeral.
  • Asterix and Obelix occasionally invoke this trope, especially when making up after a quarrel. Since they never do anything halfway, their Manly Tears are more Manly Loud Howling. Accompanied by Occular Gushers.
  • In the first novel of the New Jedi Order series, Chewbacca is killed when a moon crashes into its planet. Not long after, a series of one shot comics was released in tribute to the big walking carpet. The gist is that R2-D2 and C-3PO go around to various heroes and ask them for their thoughts on Chewbacca and any stories they have to share. Luke Skywalker talks about feeling Chewie's death through the Force and adds comic panels of what happened to his words. At the very end, Han Solo is shown standing alone in the Millennium Falcon's cockpit, face in one hand and tears streaming down his cheeks.
  • Roy Harper when he finally sees his daughter's corpse in a morgue. He begins crying as he imagines what she must have gone through as Star City was being destroyed, and wonders if the last words she spoke were "Daddy. Help." as he hugs her dead body on the slab with his remaining arm.

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon after he learned Rika's backstory.
  • Invoked in Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami with Light. "HE started crying with happy but then stopped and man cried instead which was more manly."
  • Tiberium Wars has these shed by Commander Karrde when the survivors of the 4th Recon Battalion unanimously volunteer to help serve as recon troops for the armored attack on the White House, after having suffered fifty percent casualties under his command just a day earlier.
  • Lots of them in Guide Me Home, especially at then end when Ursa and Zuko are reunited. Then again, given the source material, Manly Tears are expected.
  • In Merlin fanfiction A Game Well Played, Arthur cries (but only two, silent, desperate tears, one at a time; thus, manly) because he can't save Merlin from Cold-Blooded Torture without betraying Camelot. And he won't betray Camelot.
  • In the The Adventures Of Blinky Bill fanfic Scars Are Forever, Danny Dingo actually sheds a couple tears when he sees Shifty Dingo dying of a coma in the hospital. Danny later breaks down crying in the final chapter when He says his final goodbye to Shifty before committing suicide.

Film[edit | hide]

  • A big Tear Jerker occurs in Soylent Green, when Sol is committing suicide, bringing Thorn to tears. The real kicker about the scene? Sol's actor, Edward G. Robinson was dying of cancer. Only Charlton Heston knew. Those tears aren't good acting, they are real.
  • Spartacus: "I'm Spartacus!"
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service: after Blofeld and his crony kill James Bond's wife. There were two takes of the scene: the one without actual tears was chosen.
  • Matthew McConaughey's defense summation in A Time to Kill; done in one take. The tears were genuine and unscripted.
  • Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, after seeing how Merry and Pippin were apparently caught up in the Rohirrim's slaughter of Uruk-Hai, furiously kicks a helm, and collapses in tears after seeing how his friends were apparently killed. Viggo Mortensen broke two toes when he kicked the helm and actually collapsed in pain, but used it; Peter Jackson thought it looked appropriate. He does cry in the book (and the extended edition) immediately after Boromir's death. Most Middle-Earth societies don't have such a taboo against men crying, and there are many instances of manly men weeping.
    • Éomer cries desperately when he discovers Éowyn's body on the battle field and then goes on a rampage, making this also an example of Berserker Tears.
    • Theoden in front of Theodred's barrow.
    • The entire group breaks into manly tears following Gandalf's Heroic Sacrifice against the Balrog in Moria. He gets better eventually but it takes away none of the emotional power from the Tear Jerker that follows their desperate escape from the mines.
    • Many manly tears were shed by the viewers. Especially this troper during Boromir's death.
  • John McClane bitterly wept when he failed to save a plane of innocents from being murdered in Die Hard 2, and the audience wept with him.
  • When Gabe failed to save his best friend's girlfriend in Cliffhanger.
  • In Gladiator, Maximus races home find his farm burned and his wife and son crucified. He collapses in front of them, tears flowing. Spittle as well! Lots of discomfort-inducing spittle and mucus. The plan was for him to do a normal discreet-few-tears-down-each-cheek dignified cry... but he and Ridley Scott agreed that what Maximus was seeing demanded (as Russell Crowe put it) a full blown snot-fest.
  • A kind of sick reference; in Once Upon a Time In Mexico Sands after he's been blinded strongly resembles this trope in the silent, still body but with streams flowing down each cheek aspect, only instead of tears, it's blood.
  • The whole 'manly tears' thing is skillfully averted in Reservoir Dogs; when we see the wounded Mr Orange and later Mr White in tears, it's decidedly unmacho, undignified and all the more effective for it.
  • The title character in The Big Lebowski is seen crying in solitude after the ransom note arrives for his wife. It turns out that it was all a ruse, and he was glad.
  • Spock weeps for V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Kirk cries at Spock's funeral in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan and also the "You Klingon bastard! You killed my son!" part in Star Trek III the Search For Spock
  • John Rambo's final breakdown in First Blood is perhaps the one moment in movie history that defines this trope.
  • Field of Dreams: "Hey Dad. You wanna have a catch?"
  • Nathan Algran in The Last Samurai does this twice towards the end of the movie. Of course, he was very much justified in doing so (and any members of the audience with at least one functioning tear gland were probably already way ahead of him).
  • Saving Private Ryan: Good lord, the ending not only had Ryan crying at the Cemetery decades later asking his wife if he was a good and decent man (mindful of the captain's charge to "earn this"), but it makes an audience of veterans break down every time.
    • It's really the opening that gets people. The elder Ryan is walking through the cemetary purposefully, with his family a short distance behind him. He pauses for a lengthy shot of the rows upon rows of white crosses, then continues on until finally arriving at one cross (Tom Hanks' character's grave) where he falls to his knees and breaks down sobbing. And the audience does too.
    • The whole movie is a sobfest, and one of the few movies that is okay for men to watch and weep bitterly: Mrs. Ryan finding out that 3 of her sons were killed in action at the same time, Irwin Wade's death where he lays bleeding to death in the arms of his squad mates crying out for his mother, and Private Mellish's death when he is slowly stabbed through the chest by a German soldier that comforts him as he is killing him.... ouch...
      • Not to mention Hanks's character shortly after Wade's death, when he hides from his squad and breaks down crying for a a few moments before he gets control of himself.
    • Private Ryan's own restrained tears when he finds out about his brothers' deaths ("Which ones?" "All of them.") are just as heartbreaking.
    • The Art of Manliness even listed it as one of 18 movies that warranted Manly Tears from the audience.
  • Gloriously averted in Equilibrium where upon witnessing Mary's death Preston calmly leaves the building and collapses into a completely undignified heap of sobs on the steps.
  • The Emperor in Hero is the historical Qin Shi Huang, who unified China and built a great big chunk of what would become the Great Wall by being a really, really nasty guy. He sheds a single, extremely manly tear when he realizes the man who most understands him is his most hated enemy.
  • Theo in Children of Men, a while after Julian is killed. It's really convincing.
  • Subotai in Conan the Barbarian, who weeps on behalf of Conan, who is too manly even for Manly Tears.
  • The Green Mile. Oh, you meant in the movie: the chief when John Coffey is healing his wife and the three guards during Coffey's execution.
  • The 1958 film version of The 47 Ronin has Manly Tears moments sprinkled liberally throughout its almost three-hour length. A lot of them fall into Tear Jerker category.
  • In Legend of the Eight Samurai, Shinbei barely holds it together when, after rescuing the orphaned Princess Shizu from Tamazusa's clutches, he must return her to the care of a neighboring daimyo, knowing that he won't be welcome in their company and an Arranged Marriage for her is a foregone conclusion. After he convinces her to go, he turns away with misty eyes and a manly lip quiver.
  • In The Thin Red Line Sgt. Welsh (played by Sean Penn) cries over the grave of Pvt. Witt.
  • In The Godfather when the godfather himself learns of Sonny's death, and then later when he takes the corpse to the undertaker. Marlon Brando plays it amazingly well, showing a man struggling not to cry but unable to stop it.
    • This is in contrast to an earlier scene where the Don famously commands singer Johnny Fontane to "act like a man" and stop "crying like a woman".
  • One of the best is in the complete Tear Jerker of a movie Brian's Song when Gale Sayer reveals to to the entire Chicago Bears locker room that Brian Piccolo is dying of cancer. Every single man in that room (and those watching at home) breaks down in tears that simply will not end all the way through the ending of the movie with Brian Piccolo's death.
  • In In Gods and Generals, General "Stonewall" Jackson breaks down into Manly Tears upon being informed of the death of the child Jane Corbin from scarlet fever. A watching officer remarks in surprise that he has never previously cried after the deaths of any of his comrades or men and wonders why he's crying now. Another officer speculates that he's actually crying for all of them.
    • The commander of a Confederate Irish regiment also sheds manly tears at the Battle of Fredericksburg at the slaughter of his fellow Irishmen, after a disastorous assault by the Union Irish Brigade.
  • In the historical drama Japan's Longest Day, the Japanese Emperor finally breaks down when he comes the realization that the American forces won't give them the chance to defend their homeland in a final decisive ground battle, and that if he wants to save his people from more nukes he has no choice but to surrender unconditionally. The sight of their Emperor, a symbol of their country's strength and divinity, breaking down causes many generals and leaders in the room - themselves hard and implacable men - to cry, some even falling to their knees in tears.
  • I Am Legend: Will Smith manages to cry and beg a mannequin to "say hello to [him]" and not only make it not narmy, but downright devastating. To be fair, he's really crying over the death of his infected dog Samantha, the only living creature left in the world who still cares about him--or so he thinks--who he just had to euthanize with his bare hands.
  • Phone Booth: when forced to confess his almost-affair to his wife, Stu breaks down and tells her that he's sorry and he "just loves her so fucking much." Surprisingly effective, especially considering that Colin Farrell pulled it off in one take.
  • In the ridiculously Mood Whiplash-y In Bruges, Colin Farrell again cries very convincingly when he confesses that he accidentally murdered a little boy during a hit, and is distraught to the point of suicide over it.
  • Ladies, take note: Johnny Depp hasn't had too many crying scenes to date, but in The Man Who Cried, he weeps as he holds a sleeping Suzie (Christina Ricci) the night before they must part forever.
  • And in Public Enemies, he cries (in a beautifully-scored scene) when Billie is arrested.
  • The Libertine: Elizabeth dumps out Rochester's alcohol, and he, sick and dying, dives for it, only to stop and realize that he's hit rock bottom. He bursts into sobs as Elizabeth holds him. It's incredibly heartbreaking.
  • Inglourious Basterds: the opening scene goes from oddly funny to horribly chilling when Landa passively intimidates LaPerdite into admitting that he is sheltering the Dreyfus family, and he begins to cry - out of shame, presumably.
  • Suicidal Roy breaks down a few times in The Fall, but mostly when he visits Alexandria after she has broken her arm trying to get the medicine he requested to kill himself with, and he continues telling her the story, making it steadily more tragic. ("Why are you making everybody die?" she asks.)
  • In Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Harry returns from the graveyard to the stadium by Portkey with Cedric's body. Upon landing, Harry bursts into uncontrollable sobs. YMMV on how believable it was, and based on that the scene could either be considered hilarious or quite sad.
    • Hilarious?! It's fucking tragic! But not as much as Amos, Cedric's father, completely breaking down when he sees his son's body. "That's my son! That's my boy!"
    • The Potter series being the way it is, each film ending that followed Goblet of Fire featured this trope: Order of the Phoenix has the death of Sirius, Dumbledore's death in Half-Blood Prince, and then Dobby's death (and the scene at Harry's parents' graves) in Deathly Hallows.
  • Even The Expendables has a moment where Tool lets out a few, at the end of his story about a time he saw a woman about to jump from a bridge and decided to turn his back on her. He heard the splash moments later.
  • Gerard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera indulges in a few in the Bittersweet Ending. Give him credit, he manages to still look manly whilst crying and simultaneously wearing a frilly shirt.
  • At the end of Donnie Darko, Eddie Darko is holding his youngest daughter Samantha and trying (but failing) to hold back tears after his son's death.
  • Crying at the end of Schindler's List is acceptable, as Oskar Schindler himself demonstrates. As he frees his factory workers and prepares to go on the run (though his actions were of the highest degree of selflessness, it still appears to the world that he was a war profiteer), he suddenly berates himself for not trading his fancy car to Amon Göth for more Jewish workers. He has a catastrophic meltdown over not saving more people and breaks down in tears. Tear Jerker and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when the people he did save crowd around him to hold him.

"This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I...I didn't!"

  • Richard Kimble breaks down several times in The Fugitive, most notably during and after his futile attempts to revive his wife.
  • Sam Flynn in Tron: Legacy is visibly misty after his reunion with his father.
  • Apollo 13, with Gene Kranz. When the capsule splashes down and he knows his astronauts are safe, he falls back into his chair and holds his hand up to his face in relief—then proceeds to wipe away his well-hidden Manly Tears.
    • This scene was actually based on an interview with the real Gene Kranz, who got visibly choked up while describing Apollo 13's homecoming; the interview took place over 20 years after the mission, but the events still had a strong effect on him.
  • In Batman Forever, Dick Grayson cries Manly Tears when he sees that his family has been killed. Bruce Wayne politely looks away.
  • Both Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr in X Men First Class do this in a rather touching scene where the younger Magneto is learning to control his powers through something other than rage. By telepathically finding one of Erik's happiest childhood memories, Charles helps him to see that true focus lies between "rage and serenity." Cue the tears as they both experience a bittersweet memory of Erik's long-dead parents on Hanukkah.
    • The beach scene was full of this as well.
  • Jason's apology in Mystery Team makes him do this. Granted, he WAS drunk.
  • In Battle: Los Angeles, when Nantz is reciting the name, rank, and serial number of every Marine who died under his command, Lockett, the brother of one of those dead Marines, starts to silently weep when he realizes that he and Nantz share similar pain.
  • In District 9, Wikus breaks down sobbing when he sees the extend of his body's transformation after two days of coming in touch with the alien fluid.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Jesus wept. - John 11:35
  • Occurs many times in Homer's The Iliad. Particularly between Achilles and King Priam when Priam begs Achilles to return the body of his son Hector for burial. Priam's passion moves Achilles who begins thinking about his lost friend Patroclus; and the two men weep together over their loss. One of the finest examples of enemies united in grief in the history of literature.
  • The Odyssey consists of Odysseus crying on a rock, Odysseus defeating sea monsters, Odysseus crying on a rock, Odysseus defying Poseidon, Odysseus crying on a rock...
  • In Virgil's The Aeneid, Aeneas and indeed many other heroic characters break down and cry on several occasions. This is further expanded upon in the notes, where it says that it was not prohibited for a Roman man to cry under extreme duress.
  • H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds: It is acceptable to shed Manly Tears at the sacrifice of the battleship Thunder Child to allow the civilian ships' escape to France.
  • Harry Potter: Manly Tears are shed by Harry and Ron during Dumbledore's funeral in Half Blood Prince, and by Harry in front of the graves of his parents, in Deathly Hallows.
    • In Deathly Hallows, Ron breaks down and cries after defeating the Horcrux in the locket, and also after he watches his brother Fred die.
    • Surprisingly, Harry also sees Snape break down crying twice while going through Snape's memories: once when Lily died and once when he found part of a letter she had written.
    • Dumbledore sheds a single tear when he explains Harry his mistakes at the end of Order of the Phoenix, and sheds a couple more in Half Blood Prince when Harry says he told Minister Scrimgeour he is "Dumbledore's man through and through.",
    • Hagrid is also prone to this.
      • Hagrid is often described as blubbering.
  • Played With in the Belisarius Series. The fierce autocrat Justinian is blinded by a rebel torturer in a failed coup. One of his dearest desires is to have his eyes back to cry, not for himself but for his wife who is doomed to die in ten years.
  • CS Lewis's The Last Battle: Tirian asserts it would be more unmanly not to weep for The End of the World as We Know It even after they reach heaven and joins Lucy in her tearful mourning for Narnia.
  • In one of the last chapters of Moby Dick Captain Ahab sheds a single tear, which "was worth more than all the water in the ocean".
  • In John Barnes's One for the Morning Glory, Prince Amatus weeps at Gorlias's death.

Then he wept, passionately and deeply, the way that men weep because they are men.

  • Sandor 'the Hound' Clegane has several emotional breakdowns but his crying doesn't seem to affect his status among fans as their favorite Badass in A Song of Ice and Fire. In fact the fangirls seem to like it.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novel Sabbat Martyr, when the Saint appears, Gaunt realizes that he is weeping, and that he does not care.
    • At the end of The Armour of Contempt, when the Drill Sergeant Nasty salutes the troopers whom he has been abusing to make Guardsmen out of them, Dalin Criid realizes that he's a lot older than he had first thought, and feels himself tearing up. The sergeant pronounces them "proper bloody Guardsman
    • In Only In Death, after Varl describes how Gaunt had cut ropes that were holding him and their enemies to the wall and fallen, he shows them his sword, and tears were running down his face.
    • Again in Only In Death, Hark cries when he finds Soric -- and describes himself as years of sorrow bursting through.
    • Rawne pulls this off * twice* in 'Only In Death', both instances being incredibly touching.
  • In John C. Wright's Fugitives of Chaos, after Amelia explains to Colin that a certain picture shows his loving parents being forced to give him up at birth as a hostage, and Colin contemplates how he has lived his entire childhood in the care of hostile strangers, Colin cries.
  • Invoked in Flashman at the Charge. Flash bawls his eyes out with shock, fear and self-pity after the prince he was minding gets killed. A brother officer remarks "The most heartbreaking thing I have seen today was Flashman, the bravest of your soldiers, weeping at that dear boy's death. He would have given his own life a thousand times, I know, to bring him back." The moral, according to Flashman, is "It's all right to blubber with funk and self-pity as long as there's a gullible idiot around who'll mistake it for manly grief."
  • In Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book Mowgli weeps on leaving the jungle.

Then something began to hurt Mowgli inside him, as he had never been hurt in his life before, and he caught his breath and sobbed, and the tears ran down his face.
"What is it? What is it?" he said. "I do not wish to leave the jungle, and I do not know what this is. Am I dying, Bagheera?"
"No, Little Brother. That is only tears such as men use," said Bagheera. "Now I know thou art a man, and a man's cub no longer. The jungle is shut indeed to thee henceforward. Let them fall, Mowgli. They are only tears." So Mowgli sat and cried as though his heart would break; and he had never cried in all his life before.

  • While we don't actually see him cry, Cyrano's tearstains are found by Christian on a letter to Roxane in Cyrano De Bergerac.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South has an amazing example of this when Thornton tearfully confesses to his mother that his marriage proposal has been rejected:

He came round behind her, so that she could not see his looks, and, bending back her gray, stony face, he kissed it, murmuring:
"No one loves me,--no one cares for me, but you, mother."
He turned away and stood leaning his head against the mantelpiece, tears forcing themselves into his manly eyes.

  • In JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, when Legolas and Gimli find Aragorn after Boromir's death, he is weeping, and they are afraid he is mortally injured himself.
    • When Faramir is brought in from the field in The Return Of The King, men weep in the street in distress.
    • Gandalf encourages Merry, Pippin, and Sam to cry when Frodo and Bilbo are leaving Middle-Earth forever.
    • All in all, in most Middle-earth societies crying is acceptable, and there are many instances of manly men weeping.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 novel Storm of Iron, Leonid cries at Vauban's funeral, not so much for the death as for the spontaneous attendance of his men. Vauban had said his men did not love him, but now he knows that to be false.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, when Horus mortally wounds Temba, Temba recovers from the Chaos taint, realizes the scale of his betrayal, and sobs. His grief is so obvious and enormous that Horus immediately kneels by him and comforts him.. Then Horus weeps. When his Mornivale persuade him to leave, Horus makes it back, and collapses. Abaddon weeps in his distress.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, the Iron Snakes come from an ocean world and bring flasks of salt water with them on undertakings to perform rituals with. But when Priad returns to Ithaka:

Salt-water ran from his eye corners. The Rite had begun. Removing his glove, Priad wiped the tears from his eye and marked the emblem of the Iron Snakes on the bulkhead. His men watched him do it.
Sometimes the Rite was special. Sometimes, you didn't need the flask.

  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel The Killing Ground, at the end, Uriel and Pasanius both have tears streaming down their faces at the sight of their home.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Deus Encarmine, Arkio, delineating his plans, is accused of indifference toward the men who had died. Tears stream down his face.
    • In Deus Sanguinius, when open conflict broke out in the chapter, Arkio weeps again, and insists that the geneseed from the other side be harvested, as they might have stood beside him had they had the choice. Later, when Arkio is dying, having regained himself, he puts a hand to Rafen's face, and is grateful to find it wet; he says he is surely condemned but begs Rafen's forgiveness.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Gods of Mars, when Contrived Coincidence has finally let one young man know that his companion is John Carter—his father.

With a cry of pleasure he sprang toward me and threw his arms about my neck, and for a brief moment as I held my boy close to me the tears welled to my eyes and I was like to have choked after the manner of some maudlin fool--but I do not regret it, nor am I ashamed. A long life has taught me that a man may seem weak where women and children are concerned and yet be anything but a weakling in the sterner avenues of life.

  • Near the end of Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, the title character has his father shot with a blood capsule into Russian waters to get rid of the Mafia holding him, then sinks to his knees crying when he finds out his father has been saved.
  • The James Bond novels Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Dr. No, and especially On Her Majesty's Secret Service show Bond crying after a nasty incident or in a cathartic moment:
  • In "The Nutmeg of Consolation," the thirteenth Aubrey-Maturin novel, Jack Aubrey weeps when Stephen informs him that Midshipman Reade has lost an arm.
    • In fact, Jack weeps several times throughout the series, especially at funerals of his crew. It is established in one book that he sees it as a manly act.
  • Invoked on an epic scale in the Old French Chanson De Roland, in which, on discovering the eponymous hero's death, among the French everyone weeps, Charlemagne sheds tears and tears his beard, and twenty thousand faint away for sorrow.
  • Many male characters in The Fionavar Tapestry weep openly, including Loren Silvercloak, Matt Soren, Kevin, and Paul after he hangs on the summer tree
  • A 1980 book called It Takes A Man To Cry by Steve Whalen. In this case, he's crying because six men from his fire company have died fighting a tenement fire.
  • From Jane Eyre : "As he turned aside his face a minute, I saw a tear slide from under the sealed eyelid, and trickle down the manly cheek."
  • Gilgamesh is the Sumerian equivalent of the manliest of Greek heroes and never cries, but his brotherly bond with Enkidu was strong enough that the latter's death drove him mad with grief.
  • In The Kalevala, Väinämöinen freezes in the ocean for eight days and nights after his magic horse that runs on water is shot down, is picked up by the thunder bird and finally dropped off into the cosmological equivalent of Hell. He breaks down and begins to cry for three days and nights. The Hag of Northland hears it from miles away and remarks that the sound is not the bawling of a child or the lament of a woman, but the wail of a bearded hero.
  • In Smiley's People by John Le Carre, only the police superintendent who is managing Vladimir's murder investigation notices that George Smiley is crying. The superintendent recognizes it for what it is: not exactly grief, more a general weariness and futility.
  • In Dune, Paul Atreides inadvertently impresses the Fremen when he cries at the funeral of a man he was forced to kill in ritual combat. Bodily fluids being as precious as they are in the desert, "giving water to the dead" is a profound gesture, indeed...
  • In A Million Open Doors by John Barnes, the first person narrator Giraut is experiencing and invoking this:

If anyone had ever told me, back in the Quartier des Jovents, that I would burst into tears in front of a whole crowd of people and cry like a donzelha, and not even decently cover my face - I'd have challenged him, fought him, probably insisted on a fight to first death. Here, though, when I could breathe, I just stammered out, "It's good to be home."

  • In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Lord and Lady O'More had come to America in hopes of finding their orphaned nephew. The trail had gone cold at the orphanage, and they are returning to Ireland in despair, when Angel, reversing their path, finds them, and assures them that the Uncanny Family Resemblance makes the relationship clear. Lord O'More drops in a chair to cry Manly Tears.

Lord O'More did not hear her. He dropped in his chair, and covering his face, burst into those terrible sobs that shake and rend a strong man. Lady O'More hovered over him, weeping.

  • In Elizabeth Kerner's Song in the Silence, Lanen describes Jamie as the most manly guy she's known, but at the end he cries when Akhor/Varien sings a song he wrote at his wedding to Lanen.
  • When his firefighters try to fight a fire without Ben Ladradun's help and fail, some of them dying in the process, Ben goes to see the bodies and weeps. Witnesses think it's from grief for the firefighters, when [[spoiler: he set the fire himself as a test, and feels joy "almost too intense to bear".

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Leo in Charmed cries a river when Chris dies in his arms in the season 6 finale...
    • Leo's tears are a tip-off to Phoebe at one point. The Source tells Phoebe that someone has died, but she doesn't believe him, and sends Leo to check. When Leo returns crying, Phoebe knows immediately it is Piper who is dead.
    • Eighth season, Vaya Con Leos, saying good-bye to Piper.
  • Nick Stokes in CSI episode "Turn, Turn, Turn" breaks down into Manly Tears after closing the case of the death of a teenage girl he had met three times previously in the course of one year (said meetings were at the motel her parents worked at that involved a chain of cases leading to her death).
  • Dean Winchester in Supernatural cries a hell of a lot for someone with such hatred of chick-flick moments. Unlike Sam, however, it always manages to look pretty (with the exception of All Hell Breaks Loose). He also dissolves into tears when his pre-burned mother tells him she just wants her children to grow up normal and when he's begging her not to get out of bed on November 2. 1983. And he had every right to do so.
    • To say that Jared Padalecki (Sam) cries messily is a massive understatement. Go watch Heart and No Rest For The Wicked if you want to cry a little yourself.
      • This phenomenon may explain why Jensen Ackles (Dean) is scripted with far more tearful moments despite his character's tough-guy persona; Ackles possesses the remarkable talent of making his eyes water without twitching a muscle in his face, thus avoiding any emasculating accusations of emotion that might otherwise ensue.
    • Dean's speech at the end of Heaven and Hell wasn't exactly pretty either, helped along by the fact that the actor himself found the scene so overwhelming he had to take a walk to stop crying.
    • Castiel's vessel, Jimmy, almost loses it a few times when faced with the prospect of losing or endangering his family because of his association with the angel. The scenes with his daughter are particularly heartbreaking.
  • Jack Bauer has a big manly cry at the end of Season 3 of 24.
    • Tony Almeida also briefly bursts into Manly Tears when he finds out his wife isn't going to die after all.
    • Jack also breaks down after the deaths of Teri Bauer, David Palmer, Tony Almeida, Curtis Manning, Bill Buchanan, and Renee Walker.
  • Derek gets one of these in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Mostly a cold, lone and aloof cynic, he's moved to tears when he accidentally sees Cameron dancing ballet by herself.
  • The Doctor of Doctor Who, aside from being fairly Hot-Blooded, expresses either amusement, indignation or rage more than any other emotion, which makes the flow of tears in the second and third season finales of the new series incredibly potent.
    • He was also clearly close to tears at the end of "Journey's End", "Last of the Time Lords" (during a particularly emotional scene between the Doctor and the Master), and just before his regeneration in "The End of Time".
    • Wilfred Mott is good for these moments in the fourth season, especially in "Turn Left" and especially in "Journey's End". He usually accompanies his tears with a manly salute to add that extra kick. Ramped Up to Eleven in "The End of Time".
    • One of the characters in "Family of Blood" is a boy about to serve in World War I. At the end, the Doctor and Martha offer to take him with them, but he declines, saying a war is coming, and that he must take part (he saw the future from a bit of Phlebotinum). The Doctor and Martha's next stop is in the present day, where the boy is one of the last living soldiers of the Great War, as a memorial is held. Both the speech and the sight of that terrible and wonderful Doctor moves him to some well deserved manly tears.
    • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Halflife, the Doctor cries because, due to a situation that blurred the line between Freaky Friday and Personality Swap, he experienced firsthand just how scary it is to be one of his companions, following around an incredibly brave Walking Disaster Area. He really doesn't cry often at all - it's mentioned at the beginning of the same book that no one ever saw him crying when his daughter died. He mourned, all right, but was never seen to shed so much as a single tear.
    • The Ninth Doctor goes through a hell of a lot in his one season, from once again meeting the enemy he literally gave up everything to defeat, to getting a Hannibal Lecture from a prisoner he's about to kill, to seemingly watch Rose die twice, and though his expressions of anguish are heart-wrenching, he doesn't break down crying. In all of his time onscreen, the Doctor cries one single tear: for the loss of the Time Lords as seen in "The End of the World". And it is very well deserved.
      • Nine definitely came close at the end of "Dalek," just after he lowers the gun. He goes from raging about the Daleks to choking on his words in about five seconds, and it's very well done.
    • More recently, and in a particularly heartwarming example, "A Good Man Goes To War". Rory breaks down a little when he first sees his baby daughter, Melody.
  • Sam Tyler, Life On Mars, almost every single episode of the first series. So much that you're left wondering what the hell happened if he doesn't burst into tears at least once per episode. In the second series, John Simm put a moratorium on crying until the final episode, at which point it was more effective.
  • John Crichton lampshades the trope at the end of The Peacekeeper Wars, telling his newborn son that Crichtons don't cry... "Often. Or for very long." In truth, he and Badass Action Girl Aeryn Sun probably shed the same amount of Manly Tears over the series, which is not very much, given what they go through.
  • On Sliders, the Ethnic Scrappy Rembrandt used to make a whole career out of being able to cry real tears on command and took pride in the title "Crying Man."
  • Dr. Cox from Scrubs. He loses two patients due to a risky and quickly-made decision to transplant organs that turned out to be infected, but keeps it together. Then, he loses a third patient who he liked and could have waited a month for an extra kidney. He loses it. Cue the manly tears.
    • Much more visible in "My Screwup", where he lost his best friend. Cox in tears at the funeral -> Audience in tears in front of the TV.
    • Also, ironically, while J.D. is often made fun of for being girly and for crying easily, when he's actually seen in tears onscreen, in "My ABCs", it's an example of this trope.
  • Played with in the finale of Arrested Development. Michael has been accused of being a "robot" for his inability to cry, mainly by his brother GOB, who cries in a decidedly unmanly, blubbering fashion when any of his family demonstrates actual affection for him. Then when Michael is making a speech about how the past couple of years of trying to save the Bluth company have paid off, he sheds a few Manly Tears...which everyone present finds disturbing and pathetic. GOB mocks him for it.
  • While House's eyes have welled up plenty of times, he's only really cried twice. Once when he was apologizing to his hallucination/shooter in No Reason and the other time was when he found out what was wrong with Amber in Wilson's Heart. And as with the Dr. Cox example above: House crying equals the audience suddenly having allergies.
    • Make that three times—in the Season 6 premiere, he sheds a few tears while having sex with Franka Potente. Now that's manly.
    • As if House crying out of all his guilt in Wilson's Heart wasn't bad enough, we get Wilson breaking down in tears about ten minutes later while holding on to Cuddy for dear life. For the love of God, writers, do you want me to dehydrate myself?
    • Taub finally breaks down crying in the hallway after a day of denying his sadness over Kutner's suicide. Or he may have done; I was bawling too hard to really tell.
  • A female example on NCIS, when Gibbs gets blown up and is comatose. While every member of the team is moping, Action Girl Ziva nearly gets into a Cat Fight with Abby after making a bad joke. Later on, they cut to her just staring into the bathroom mirror, stone-faced, as Abby and Ducky's recriminations play in voice over and tears roll down her face. She breaks down even harder when the time came that she brought Gibbs back to his old self both from reliving the time he shot her brother dead and her grief in general of getting Gibbs to remember finally kicking in. When Gibbs is reliving his family's death, Gibbs actually burts into these. Good God, this episode dehydrates the soul.
    • In an episode appropriately titled Broken Bird, Ducky falls into these at the end.
  • The Super Sentai Crossover special Deka VS. Aba saw this, with Abare-Black combining these with a Rousing Speech before joining Abare-Red and Deka-Red in battle (early in the show, way before the big combined henshin scene later on).
  • Spike wept pretty hard at the season five finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Giles broke down in Buffy's arms after Angelus killed Jenny. Giles goes to confront Angelus, nearly gets himself killed, and Buffy rescues him and begs him, "Don't leave me. I can't do this alone." He's not the only one sobbing by that point.
    • Giles also comes close to weeping in Helpless, when Buffy learns that he has drugged her to subject her to the Cruciamentum. He begs her to let him earn back her trust, his voice shaking, tears in his eyes.
    • When Buffy returns to her friends and family in Anne, Giles is in the kitchen listening to them talk and laugh, and has to stop what he's doing and choke back the tears.
    • Oz cries when leaving behind Willow and Sunnydale.
  • The Daily Show's first episode after September 11. Bring Kleenex.

Jon: Luckily we can edit this.

  • In Scorpion Walter O'Brian is usually more of a Spock then Spock himself. But he cries when his beloved sister dies.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation had Picard, a Badass Bookworm if ever there was one, shedding a few many tears here and there. Two of the most memorable came consecutively in season four. After being cybernetically body-snatched and literally Mind Raped by the Borg, a scene shows them continuing to upgrade and alter his body while a single tear rolls down his otherwise impassive face, revealing that he's still Fighting From the Inside. In the next episode, he breaks down completely into ground-punching, blubbering tears when he tells his brother about what happened and how he blames himself for not being good or strong enough to stop it. With any other actor, it might've come across as Narm: with Patrick Stewart, it's one of the most powerful Tear Jerker moments in the franchise.
  • The series after, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, had Sisko who was always good for a few Manly Tears especially where his son and late wife were concerned, but the real kicker came at the end of season 6 when Jadzia Dax is killed and Worf, Worf of all people openly weeps over her body.
  • Parodied/juxtaposed in the Seinfeld season 9 episode "The Serenity Now," when Jerry finds himself surprised at the fact that he is crying over the end of another short-lived relationship.

Jerry: What -- what is this salty discharge?
Elaine: Oh my God. You're crying.
Jerry: This is horrible! I care!

  • In Torchwood, Jack is seen crying when having memories of Grey forced on him by Adam, when putting away Owen and Tosh's things after both have died, when holding a dying Ianto in his arms, and when killing his grandson to save the world. Looking at what Jack has gone through, it's a miracle he doesn't spend half his time bawling.
    • He also seems quite red-eyed throughout the last quarter of an hour in "Captain Jack Harkness", and he's actually crying when kissing/dancing with the Other Jack.
    • Snarky, cranky, bitchy Owen collapses into Jack's arms and sobs his heart out at the end of "End of Days" when Jack forgives him for almost, you know, ending the world. Jack's a little teary-eyed himself at that point.
    • Ianto is seen crying throughout "Cyberwoman" (in which his girlfriend has been partially cyber-converted and thus has a completely perverted conception of "love", and while she goes around trying to kill Torchwood, they go around trying to kill her; oh, and Jack gives Ianto this ultimatum: either Ianto kills Lisa, or Jack kills Ianto), when he thinks Jack is dead and breathes in the scent of his coat, and when he's dying in Jack's arms. Yeah, Jack and Ianto have an interesting relationship.
  • Kintaros, one of the main Imagin characters in Kamen Rider Den-O. Period. His catchphrase is "You'll cry!", and he tends to shed said tears whenever Ryoutarou (or anyone else, for that matter) displays any kind of notable strength or determination.
  • The West Wing has a few examples—Sam, Toby, I'm pretty sure Josh—but most of the most heartwrenching involve Bartlet or Leo or both. Okay, we all know Bartlet's a sensitive soul, but as he puts it in "Bartlet for America": "Leo's made out of leather. His face has a map of the world on it. Leo comes back." And their friendship is one of the show's great constants. So watching Bartlet tear up over Leo finding out about his MS at the same time as he was going public about his alcoholism and drug addiction, or seeing Leo break down entirely at the end of "B4A" after... excuse me, I have something in my eye... setting himself up for more public revelations about his substance abuse in the course of defending Bartlet to Congress for having covered up his MS... [sniffle].
  • Starsky and Hutch tend to do this on occasion, especially when one is worried for the other's safety. Most notably in "Gillian" when Hutch cries in Starsky's arms when he finds Gillian dead and in "Bloodbath" when both titular cops cry in each other's arms after Hutch rescues Starsky from a murderous cult.
  • Battlestar Galactica
    • Fire In Space - Tears were seen in Apollo's eyes during the aftermath of the fire raging in the Galactica that he and Starbuck had to put out.
    • War of the Gods Part 2 - Starbuck cries when Apollo takes the hit of Count Iblis' attack meant for Sheba, and again when the Beings of Light resurrect the said warrior.
  • Battlestar Galactica. Tough veterans Bill Adama and Saul Tigh weep on several tearjerker occasions.
    • The normally cantankerous Dr. Cottle looks very close to shedding some manly tears after President Roslin heartfully thanks him for keeping her alive for so many years.
    • Helo breaks down terribly after shooting Sharon so she can resurrect on board the Cylon ship and rescue their daughter.
  • Tommy Gavin is a veritable geyser of manly tears.
  • Invoked cynicaly in season II of Entourage. Drama and Turtle want to learn if Vince's girlfriend is cheating on him. They're alarmed to find out that she and her ex-boyfriend rented Brian's Song, a good "guy cry" movie. The ex who's trying to win back the girl can cry without shame while watching this movie, showing how sensative he is. Later, the guys are shown crying at watching the movie.
  • Oddly enough, the only male character shown crying on Gossip Girl is Chuck Bass. He shows up on Blair's bed crying after the death of his father, which is quite understandable. But he also cries in the season two finale when Blair professes her deep love for him and he shoots her down.
    • And then he weeps some more in season three, when confronted with his guilt for running away when they pulled the plug on his dad.
    • Chuck is turning out to be quite the little crybaby. He cries again later on in season three when Elizabeth tells him she's not his mother, confirming that he had been played for a fool by her and his uncle.
    • He doesn't even make it two episodes into the fourth season without crying. This time when Blair says she no longer loves him.
    • In season five he doesn't cry until episode three. After Blair tells him she's pregnant and the baby is not his he cries on his bed while comforted by his dog.
    • Then he cries again in the eleventh episode of season five when Blair gives him her umpteenth "I love you but I won't be with you" speech.
    • And again in the fifth season finale. After his not-so-dead father takes his company away from him and points out that he's risked everything time and time again for Blair even though she's done nothing but toy with him; Blair shows up, gives him a little speech on how she loves him even though she doesn't want to love him and expects him to take her back. Cue angry, manly tears.
  • Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, of all people, after completing the Britcar 24-hour endurance race.
  • In The Wire, Omar Little sheds tears of pain while fixing up his broken leg. This isn't the only time he has cried on the show, either; he is also shown shedding a few tears for his dead boyfriend Brandon on more than one occasion, as well as over the accidental death of crewmate Tosha, at the hands of his boyfriend Dante in season 3.
  • Manly Tears are quite the norm on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
  • Chris Ryans Strike Back has Richard Armitage crying manly tears with the best of them.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has an episode so memorable that Will Smith has said people just call it "The Crying Episode": when Will's father visits only to abandon him yet again, and Will goes into a rant about how he doesn't need his father and never has... before breaking down and asking "how come he don't want me, man?" while tearfully embracing his Uncle Phil. Further proof that Will Smith is the foremost pretty-crying expert in Hollywood today.
    • The look on Uncle Phil's face indicates that he's very close to bursting into tears himself.
  • Jim Halpert of The Office is seen to be discreetly wiping away a tear after he is shot down by Pam in "Casino Night." Along with every Jim/Pam fangirl in the world.
  • Jack Shephard of Lost cries so frequently that fans (and not-so-fans) have a specific name for it -- "Jears." Most of the male characters break down at one point or another, but Jack is the king and reigning Manly Tears champ of that island.
    • Other highly memorable moments include a suicidal John Locke in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" right before he is murdered by Ben, Ben's own tears for his murdered daughter Alex, and Desmond's absolute despair and breakdown after reading Penny's letter in "Live Together, Die Alone."
  • Brian Kinney on the first season finale of Queer as Folk weeps silently in the hallway of the hospital after Justin is gay-bashed outside of his prom. Bonus points for the beautiful, bloodstained white tuxedo scarf that he is still wearing—and continues to wear under his clothes for days following the incident. Oh my God.
  • Ross on Friends breaks down when Rachel ends their relationship over his indiscretion with the copy girl, saying "This can't be it." She replies "Then how come it is?" Their fight and breakup was so devastating that the writers purposefully made all of Monica and Chandler's fights funny and not Serious Business.
    • He also cried when Rachel got on the plane to Paris despite his profession of love at the gate ("I really thought she'd stay")...but we all know she got off the plane in the end.
    • Another episode revolves around Chandler's inability to cry, causing Monica to call him a robot, but he finally "opens a gate" when he sees Rachel and Ross arguing again and then can't stop crying.
    • And after that episode, we see Chandler struggling not to cry when he thinks his efforts to surprise Monica with a proposal have instead driven her away, then crying for real when he realizes that he hasn't, and getting pretty choked up when practically begging the pregnant young woman to let them adopt her baby.
    • Even Joey apparently once cried, although we don't get to see it, when he lost a hand of poker ("Read 'em and weep!" "...And then he did").
  • The Pacific: many scenes, obviously, but most memorably with most of K Company when Captain Haldane is killed, and in Part Ten when Gene's father takes him on a hunting trip (which he had enjoyed before the war), and he begins to hyperventilate and sits on the ground, apologizing to his father, who embraces him. Excuse me, I have to go fix my contacts...
  • Even self-proclaimed Complete Monster Dexter sheds a tear when he finally kills the Ice Truck Killer...probably because he's actually his biological brother, and the only person who understands and accepts Dexter for who he is.
    • This also shows that while he says he's one, he really isn't a Complete Monster. Killing his brother was not what he wanted to do. The only reason he did it was to protect his sister. The Ice Truck Killer was the kind of monster Dexter would be without the Code of Harry and certain people supporting him.
  • In the second season premiere of Archie Bunker's Place, "Archie Alone," Archie sheds these as he laments the death of his wife Edith, who died of a stroke shortly before the episode's premiere.

Archie: It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be the first one to go. I always used to kid you about you going first. You know I never meant none of that, and that morning when you were laying there. I was shaking you and yelling at you to go down and fix my breakfast. I didn't know. You had no right to leave me that way!

  • In the season 5 episode of Criminal Minds entitled "100," the usually-stoic Hotch cries after hearing his ex-wife die over the phone and also after finding her body.
  • On ER, after mishandling a delivery that results in the death of the mother, Dr. Green dissolves into tears while on the train ride home.
  • At the end of the JAG episode "Critical Condition," Harm breaks into tears of relief after learning that Bud has survived his operation.
  • Castle is not the manliest of men, but he doesn't cry until Beckett gets shot in front of his eyes. It's a bit too messy to be a Single Tear, however: his face while the tears are dropping down his nose is heartbreaking.
  • The Rifleman had a couple memorable ones. Once when Lucas was challenged by a kid that was the son of a man he killed in the war, the first man he ever killed, he went home and broke down in front of Micah as he told the story. It worked well for the scene and really showed off Chuck Connors' acting chops. The situation was completely reversed when Micah heard that a man who was going to kill him a long time ago was only a town away, and he reverted back to his former drunken self. He didn't hold himself together nearly as well as Lucas, though.
  • The Lonesome Dove mini-series had its share of Manly Tears, but only once was it pointed out. July Johnson, a sherrif from Arkansas, had gone to find an outlaw. While he was away, his pregnant wife ran off to Nebraska to find a former lover of hers. July abandons his persuit to go find her and it costs him his home, his job, and the lives of his son, deputy, and a girl. Months pass, and he ends up staying staying the night at the ranch of a woman named Clara. She reveals that July's wife had stayed there about a week ago. While there, she gave birth and abandoned the baby to Clara. Upon hearing this news, July bows his head and covers his eyes. Clara ushers her daughters into another room.

Daughter: Why's that man cryin', momma?
Clara: I reckin' he's been lookin' for his wife for a long time. He's heartsick.
Daughter: But he's a man.
Clara: Men have tears inside 'em, just as you.

  • The finale of the first series of Sirens has Stuart attempting to come to grips with losing a father he never really knew. Stuart believes he is incapable of crying, but by the end he climbs on top of a ambulance, strips down to his boxers, stretches out on the roof and cries in the sun.
  • Uther Pendragon on Merlin, when his son Arthur is mortally wounded, falls to his knees and sobs his heart out in front of half the knights and people of Camelot. Later he sits by Arthur's bedside, tears still drying on his cheeks, trying to ease Arthur's suffering. For someone who's been the series' resident hardass up until that moment, it's incredibly moving.
    • Half the cast spends most of the episode Beauty and the Beast discussing that the only way to make Uther cry (in order to break an enchantment) is to endanger Arthur's life. And it works—thinking Arthur is dead, Uther cradles him and weeps, and the spell is lifted. Uther cries again when Morgana has been injured and in a coma, this time unable to keep from sobbing even in front of Merlin.
      • Arthur has also had his fair share of Manly Tears; usually to do with his father Uther, or his beloved Guinevere.
  • Mulder cried fairly frequently on The X-Files, almost as often as Scully cried in seasons 1-7. Most often it had to do with his missing sister or something bad happening to Scully. The most notable example being when he finally breaks down about his mother's death in season 7 episode Closure.
  • Little House on the Prairie has numerous instances of Manly Tears:
    • In A Promise To Keep Charles and Isaiah cry after Laura has helped Isaiah recover from his alcoholism.
    • In He Was Only Twelve Charles weeps when his son James has been healed.
    • In Times Are Changing Charles weeps twice (hugging Laura before leaving for Iowa, and when he has to say goodbye to his male friends at the farewell party) and Almanzo weeps for his dying brother.
    • In Home Again Charles cries Manly Tears four times! (This is the episode where Albert is addicted to morphine and goes through withdrawals.)
    • In the series finale The Last Farewell, when all the townfolk cry Manly Tears when they blow up the buildings and leave Walnut Grove.
  • In the Russian TV version of Sherlock Holmes, Watson spends most of his time early in the reunion episode Hunt for the Tiger crying over presumed dead Holmes. But when Holmes finally reveals himself, alive, to his oldest friend, it's Holmes -- "brain without a heart" Sherlock Holmes—who buries his face his hands and weeps. The cost of his isolation from his London family comes clear in those tears.

Music[edit | hide]

  • "Cry Like A Man" by Dan Penn (covered by Christy Moore):

Those deep emotions you keep in the dark
If you don't let them out they're going to freeze up your heart
You'll never be in love again
Until you cry like a man

  • "Rise" by Disturbed is basically about the energy of a performance. It ends on this note:

I cannot stop this
Pure emotion
Falling from my eyes
You were vindicating, liberating
Saviors of my soul

  • "Man Enough to Cry" by Accept

I am man enough to cry
Hearts are burning
I am man enough to cry

  • "Growing Young" by Rich Mullins

And everybody used to tell me big boys don't cry
Well I've been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms

  • The title track to the Lost Dogs album, Real Men Cry

Do real men cry?
I never thought that it was true
Maybe I could tough this one out
Be strong enough to make it through
But now there's tears in the eyes of this stubborn fool
Do real men cry?
Baby, now you know that real men do

    • The album title is also a Double Meaning Title; while the song is ostensibly about a romantic relationship, the album Real Men Cry was the first album released after the death of founding member Gene "Eugene" Andrusco.
  • "Grown Men Don't Cry" by Tim McGraw is actually a hard aversion of the Men Don't Cry trope. The singer describes several sad scenes, including bumping into a homeless family and having a bad relationship with his now deceased father, and the chorus is, "I don't know why they say grown men don't cry" which implies that Manly Tears are being shed at each of these instances.
  • Creed's "With Arms Wide Open," about a man welcoming his newborn into the world:

Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is gonna change
I close my eyes, begin to pray,
And tears of joy stream down my face

  • "I Heard it through the Grapevine", when sung by a man:

I know a man ain't supposed to cry
But these tears I can't hold inside
Losing you would end my life, you see
'cause you mean that much to me

  • "Boys Don't Cry" by KCAT. The singer states that "it takes a real man to show you what's inside", and that the difference between a boy and a man is that boys are too afraid to show who they are.

Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Ric Flair cried during his final match with WWE, cried at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and cried during his farewell speech, and if you didn't shed a few tears yourself, you're either not a true fan, or you have no soul.
  • Shawn Michaels repeated the Flair farewell experience two years later, after being beaten by The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. He shed tears after the match and the next night on Raw. Triple H got in on the Manly Tears at the close of the show when he came out to hug Shawn.
  • Paul Heyman at ECW One Night Stand 2005, though he insisted that the reason his eyes were red and watery was because he was smoking a joint with Rob Van Dam.
    • Paul also mentioned in the Rise and Fall of ECW that everybody cried after ECW finished their first pay-per-view, Barely Legal.
  • CM Punk, overwhelmed by the positive fan support his debut match with the revived ECW brand received, cried while celebrating his win. He thanked the fans for their support during a taped segment the next week.
  • After his retirement match against Triple H, Mick Foley seemed to get a emotional.
  • Whenever somebody wins a championship for the first time, expect this to happen, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Beth Phoenix, Nattie Neidhart, The Miz are famous examples, this is usually a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, even if they happen to be Heel.

Sports[edit | hide]

  • Soccer players, such as John Terry after Chelsea lost the 2008 Champions League Final on penalties and almost the entirety of the England team when they lost to Portugal in the 2006 World Cup. What made it worse for JT (as Chelsea fans call him) was that it was his penalty which would have given Chelsea their first ever UEFA Champions League Trophy in their first ever final...and he slipped as he took it.
  • In the Monday Night Football game immediately following his father's death, undeniably the Crowning Moment of Awesome of his career, Brett Favre broke down in the manliest of Manly Tears on the sidelines when the game ended. Manly Tears were in abundance on the sidelines among players and staff and even opponents and spectators despite Favre's routing of the Oakland Raiders 41-7. Undoubtedly many manly-man sports fans (especially the often boisterous Black Hole in Oakland, where Favre was cheered mightily) across the country shed Manly Tears at the end of the broadcast of that game.
  • Another one for Football, when Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants sacked Joe Theismann of the Redskins, accidently breaking his leg (the re-play of which was shown over, and over, and over again). Taylor felt so bad that he frantically screamed for the paramedics and broke down in tears on the sidelines.
  • Roger Federer - both after having won and lost grand slam finals (Australian Open). Win or lose, a wrenching experience going five sets for the world championship.
    • On a similar note, Andy Murray recently played this trope during the 2009 Wimbledon semi-finals. He was definitely approaching tears when the camera was on him after he lost to Roddick. To be fair, though, he did pretty much have the hopes and expectations of most of Britain on his shoulders.
    • Now more famously, and in an echo of Roger the previous year, Murray broke down during his runner-up speech at the 2010 Australian Open, having lost to Federer in straights a final everyone had been predicting him to win. He then commented, "I can cry like Roger; it's a shame I can't play like him." Oddly enough, this endeared him to many who hadn't cared much for him beforehand.
  • Male figure skaters don't seem to mind tearing up at more monumental victories or defeats; even more "manly" ones like Brian Joubert and Evan Lysacek got choked up when they won the World title. One imagines that if they can ignore the cries of sissyhood from their peers in their youth, a few tears of happiness on national television after doing well isn't something they're ashamed of.
  • Another press conference spate of tears: Scott Boras, who has a reputation as the most vile, greedy agent in all of baseball, one who only cares about getting his clients the most money possible (and, by extension, maximizing the value of his cut. When the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim held a press conference following the tragic death of pitcher Nick Adenhart, a Boras client, Boras was the only one who was openly sobbing on the podium.
  • It was completely acceptable for any member of the Red Sox Nation, no matter how manly, to cry when they won the World Series in 2004.
    • The same goes for White Sox fans when they won the World Series a year later.
  • Kurt Angle's win at the 1996 Olympics. Made light of during his WWE career, but fitting for the moment. Note: skip to 12:15 for the moment. Oddly enough, also a Crowning Moment of Funny, in that his opponent believed fully that he'd won, going so far as to try raising his own hand in victory when the Ref was about to announce who won.
  • After winning the 1992 Indianapolis 500 by what remains the closest finish in race history, racing journalist Jack Arute asked Al Unser, Jr. in victory lane if those were tears in Unser's steadily-breaking voice. After Al's reply, " just don't know what Indy means!", he wasn't the only one with them.
  • In the 2008 Beijing China Olympics Games, Matthias Steiner, after winning the gold medal for weightlifting, cried. He did it all for his deceased wife.
  • "Today... I consider myself... the luckiest man on the face of the Earth..."
  • Mixed Martial Arts fighters sometimes do this after a notable victory or defeat.
    • UFC Heavyweight Pat Barry broke down after his victory over Antony Hardonk at UFC 104, in which he won $120,000 in bonuses on top of his win purse. He had been in dire career and financial straits before the victory. He also become emotional after his victory at Fight for the Troops 2, describing his life in a military family during his post-victory interview.
    • Frank Mir hid his face in his hat to hide his crying after winning the Interim Heavyweight Championship, having fought through a great deal of adversity over an injury that cost him his first championship and very nearly ended his career.
    • Wanderlei Silva wept backstage after he knocked out Keith Jardine.
    • Jens Pulver has cried, win or lose, after many of his fights, the most memorable one being after defending his championship by beating BJ.
    • Cro-Cop openly cried after winning the PRIDE grand prix on his birthday
  • Emmitt Smith delivered a powerful moment in his Hall of Fame induction speech when he thanked his old backfield mate, Daryl "Moose" Johnston. Even Dallas Cowboys haters couldn't keep from breaking down.
  • Michael Schumacher choking back tears when told he finally matched Ayrton Senna's record of races won

Theater[edit | hide]

  • Shakespeare's heroes, when they cry, always apologize for the way their emotions overcame them. (To be sure, the character does have to say something to let the watchers know he's supposed to be crying.) One of the better-known (if not well-known) of these is the scene in Macbeth where MacDuff receives the news of his wife's murder. From one man to another:

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break."

  • Cyrano insists in Act I of Cyrano De Bergerac that he never cries, but in Act IV, Christian notices a tear drop on his most recent love letter to Roxane.
  • Depending on the actor, Chris often works these up just before the Big No at the ending of Miss Saigon.
  • Marius sometimes has these as Eponine dies in his arms during Les Misérables.
  • Of course, the Phantom lets loose with these at the ending of The Phantom of the Opera.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Gears of War 2: When Dom finds what is left of his wife emaciated, tortured, and catatonic, and is forced to euthanize her, he breaks down in tears.
  • Acro in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All starts crying when Phoenix finds him guilty. And Godot in Trials and Tribulations combines this with Tears of Blood to make a Tear Jerker moment.
  • The Metal Gear Solid series is 100% concentrated manliness (yes, even most of the women qualify). But it also has an almost shockingly high amount of manly tears. All of them completely justified.
    • It's rare to have any kind emotions towards a villain. And especially not after fighting a Boss, who gave you a nerve wrecking sniper chase in the middle of a snow storm, and repeatedly shot your friend while she was lying in the open to lure you out of hiding. But you will cry for Sniper Wolf, as Snake stays with her during her final moment. Otacon does. Snake doesn't. Because he hasn't any tears left.
      • True to the boss torch being handed down in 4, Crying Wolf runs through the same vein as well, complete with what can't possibly be Sniper Wolf returning to take the fallen body of her "sister.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty it gets even worse for Otacon. Things seem to repeat themselves, but this time it's his own lost sister, who slowly bleeds to death from a single stab wound.
    • And then there's the ultimate Master of Manliness, Big Boss, at the very end of Metal Gear Solid 3. And he has every god damn right to. His best friend made him believe that she was a traitor and forced him to kill her, as a completely concincing cover up for the mistakes of her superiors. And then the president personally rewards him a medal for his heroic accomplishment for his country. He leaves alone to visit the unmarked grave of a fallen soldier, and give her a last salute. And if you press R2 during this scene you can see it through his vision, blurred with manly tears.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it once again hits Otacon the hardest when his Love Interest for the time after Snake decides to shut down the nanites that have kept her alive for the last years, while he can only watch through the camera of a remote controlled robot drone.
    • While he doesn't cry (at least, on camera), Snake's eyes well up with tears during the finale as Big Boss is about to die.
  • Warcraft III.

Grom: I... have... freed... myself.
Thrall: No, old friend. You've freed us all.
* Violin and battle cries*

  • World of Warcraft There are plenty of moments, but one of the most gut-wrenching ones has to be the encounter with Deathbringer Saurfang in Icecrown Citadel, ending with Memetic Badass High Overlord Saurfang weeping over the corpse of his son.
    • The short story "Cut Short" reveals Gelbin Mekkatorque, irritatingly-cheerful and unsinkable leader of the gnomes, finding a private location and breaking down over the circumstances of his people.
  • Zack in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII after he's forced to kill Angeal—certainly a sniffle-worthy moment. Also, when he's back in Midgar and sitting on the floor in Aerith's church, Zack started sobbing, and Aeris hugs him from behind.
    • Of course, it hurts even more when you remember the guy's gonna die in the future.
      • And the girl.
    • Hell, the tagline for the game is 'Men cry not for themselves, but for their comrades.'
  • Final Fantasy VII Gives us the scene at the end of the Cave of the Gi. Even in Stone, Seto sheds Manly Tears for his son's acceptance. You may find yourself with your own afterwards.
  • In the ending of Final Fantasy VIII, apparently as a last attack from Ultimecia, Squall is shown several ilusions, ending with a shot of Rinoa dying that breaks him and a fast shot shows a tear falling from his eye.
  • Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter Alpha goes to Manly Tears at the thought of his dear, departed father. OYAJI!
    • He sheds them most epically in his "Fight Your Rival" section with Sakura.
  • Averted in the radio ad for a movie in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City:

Jack Howitzer as Tim: "Ho Chi! Nooooo! He woulda been a fine American...I'll cry when I'm done killing.

  • In Super Robot Wars Z, Rand's mech, the Gunleon, transforms into what can only be described as GaoGaiGar slammed straight into a construction weapon. He proceeds to absolutely beat the asshole right off of whatever he's fighting at the time, complete with splitting it in half with his wrench. And then? The Gunleon itself cries manly tears for its fallen foe, and screams into the sky, firing a laser into the heavens for its death. And it is absolutely awesome.
    • SANGER ZONVOLT, of all people, has done this at the end of Alpha Gaiden. Considering the circumstances, I cried along with him, because he tried his best to avert the reason for said tears, but he just couldn't. This scene does not detract from his Badass, it merely exemplifies his humanity and possibly his Determinator.
  • Dante in Devil May Cry 3 does this in the ending claiming it's "just the rain" while the weather is completely fine.
  • Ayane in Dead Or Alive 3, at the funeral pyre of her adoptive father Genra, seen here.
  • Beat from The World Ends With You is arguably the most masculine character in the game, and yet (thus?) he is the only character that really cries—and he does so multiple times, with a few nervous breakdowns thrown in. He's justifiably weepy for much of the game, because he was responsible for the death of the only person he ever cared about. Twice.
  • There's a few of these in Kingdom Hearts
    • Sora, upon meeting Riku again, breaks down in tears and whispers that he'd looked everywhere for him.
    • Axel, after his final goodbye to Roxas has tears on his cheeks. Doubles as a tearjerker for some. There's also a bit of debate over whether Axel is crying when he fights Xion in front of the mansion.
    • Master Eraqus before the boss fight with him as Terra,, along with Terra after the fight. Definitely a tearjerker for the audience as well.
  • In Brutal Legend, there's this one scene. It Makes Sense in Context.

Lars: I wish I could help them, but, I mean... what do you do with a bunch of kids who don't know how to do anything but bang their heads all day long?
Eddie (As tears begin to form): You start a revolution, Lars.

  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Batsu's ultimate attack involves teaming up with his partner to simultaneously launch his signature move. However, if his partner has been defeated, their ghost shows up and mimics the animation while Batsu cries manly tears and uses the technique on his own.
    • Out of the possible ways this attack can be carried out, I think this way inflicts the most damage. Just goes to show how powerful Manly Tears can be.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Thane Krios is reunited with his lost son, and when Thane explains why he wasnt there, His son proves that even arid desert toads can cry.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies, Garics and Tall-Nuts cry a Single Tear before being completely eaten. Some players feel so bad for them they add a Pumpkin upgrade.
  • Big Al in Pilotwings exhibits Ocular Gushers when you get a perfect score on an event.
  • Zephyr, in Resonance of Fate, who is typically something of a cocky smartass, gets his very own tears-in-the-rain moment half-way through the game.
  • Orca from The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker sheds quite a few when he finally sees the Hurricane Spin in action for the first time.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • The obligatory Manly Guys Doing Manly Things example
  • Manly Tears in The Order of the Stick[1]—after an Honour Before Reason parting.
  • Torg from Sluggy Freelance sheds a few of these after Alt-Zoe dies. Oddly enough, he's not particularly manly most of the time, except when crying like this.
  • Davan's plan to prove that Jason can cry in Something*Positive goes horribly wrong when, upon playing Tom Smith's uber-sad song "A Boy and His Frog" (about Jim Henson and Kermit, and the death of the former), both of them break out in tears.
  • Blu Sniper in Cuanta Vida when Red Spy (his lover) pushes him out of the way of the Red Sniper's bullet and is killed instead.
  • In Girl Genius, Tarvek tears up when he tells his sister Anveka that she was Dead All Along and that the clank body she was using as her puppet had taken over her identity completely. He adds that he loved his sister, and having the clank body around was comforting - right before shutting down the puppet body.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Korgoth from Korgoth of Barbaria sheds manly tears when his love/sex interest has her head blown up by an evil wizard. This of course leads to Korgoth impaling the wizard's eyesockets with a two-pronged candle stick holder.
  • Modo, the Gentle Giant of the Biker Mice. He sheds a few after a child tells him how her orphanage was destroyed.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: the Grand Finale has them being shed by Iroh and Zuko, upon their reunion.
    • This is far from the only instance in this series, which is not remotely shy about permitting male characters to weep in moments of intense emotion. Probably because most of the male members of the audience are too.
    • When Iroh returns to Ba Sing Se and visits the grave of his son, it actually makes him one of the possibly greatest examples of true manliness.
    • Also in Ba Sing Se, he sheds a tear when Zuko knocks tea out of his hand, not really out of personal offense but at the waste of tea. "I know they say not to cry over spilled tea's just so sad."
    • Sokka has tears in his eyes when he confronts Azula about his imprisoned girlfriend Suki, but he also has that look that means he's about to kick someone's ass hard.
    • When Sokka and his father are reunited in The Boiling Rock, Hakoda has tears in his eyes.
  • Brock Samson from The Venture Brothers when he is forced to destroy his Cool Car.
  • Chowder, as the quote above shows, has no qualms about openly weeping when he feels truly moved.
  • Charlie Barkin sheds a manly tear at the end of All Dogs Go to Heaven.
  • In the latest movie Shrek Forever After, when Shrek was in the alternate reality, he convinces Donkey that he knows him, but it didn't do very well, Donkey freaked out and ran away, then Shrek saw one of the triplets doll, then Shrek sheds a manly tear and he knew that they're not there at all. That is the first time we ever see Shrek cry.
  • It is not the first time we see one of the Specialists crying, but in Winx Club season 4's episode 25 we see Riven crying after Nabu died in the previous episode.
  • Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes sheds these as he's about to get the cake he never got in childhood. Jimmy then ruins it for him.
  • There are a couple moments in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited where the entire team breaks down, the classic was when Superman "returns from the dead" and despite her name implying something, Hawkgirl's character doesn't show emotion well, so it is significant when she broke down in Manly Tears at Grundy's Death. Green Lantern keeping the film Old Yeller for just such a reason is a recurring gag through out the entire series.
  • Ratrap sheds Manly Ocular Fluid during Dinobot's death, which only adds to the sequence's power.
  • Futurama's Bender is not only manly, but a manly robot. Yet he cries (while denying it) when he see the poor turles suffering during a heat wave.
  • This happens to the weasel of I Am Weasel a few times, most notably in the episode My Friend The Smart Banana.
  • Big Macintosh of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic cries in the episode "The Last Roundup" when he hears that Applejack will not be returning to Ponyville.
  • Hank Hill of King of the Hill, who's known for his traditional nature (including the "Boys Don't Cry" belief) cried rather manly tears during a touching movie.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • NFL running back Arian Foster talking about his past family hardships.
  • Watch veterans attending ceremonies about the wars they fought on: you will see them shedding tears.
  • This article from "The Art of Manliness", outlines when it is okay for a man to cry and when it isn't okay.
    • Furthermore, read this AOM article and try not to cry.
      • A commenter on the above article rightly observes, "Not crying even a bit when you read such a letter is the real sign of weakness, mates."
  • Among the most recognizable World War Two photographs is this image of a Frenchman weeping as German soldiers march into Paris in 1940.
    • Parodied on The Simpsons (as with many other iconic historical photos) with Milhouse's silent sobbing as a children's attraction is torn down.
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits and whose hobby was planning a military campaign to permanently retake the Holy Land, also cried so often his tear-ducts were damaged, which may have adversely affected his vision in his later years.
  • Sam Taylor Wood created a series of photographs called "Crying Men" depicting Hollywood's leading men crying.
  • Badass of the Week is a website which is pretty much guaranteed to invoke this with many of its articles, particularly the ones discussing Badass Pacifists.
  • When Abraham Lincoln's body was lying in state in the White House, General Ulysses Grant, Commander of the Union Army and unequivocal Badass, sat off to one side of the room, weeping unashamedly.
  • Speaker of the House John Boehner is well known for this, though how sincere his tears are depends on your politics.
  • At the other end of the political spectrum, like Boehner, Senator (later VP and Senator again) Hubert Humphrey was well known to shed tears at almost any provocation. His eyes were also sensitive to bright lights, so sometimes he'd tear up without meaning to.

Statler: Well, you know what they say; it takes a big man to cry.
Waldorf: Yes, indeed. But it takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-hoh!