[[quoteright:333:[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Azulas_breakdown_1691.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:333:[[BeingEvilSucks I cry because I suck.]]]]

A character (sometimes a StepfordSmiler) may be NotHimself and has a [[FreakOut breakdown]] to show this. This may be expressed by [[LaughingMad laughing]], a BrokenSmile, being hunched over, having a twitchy eye, messy hair and the like. In this case a good way to show that a character is experiencing a mental/nervous/emotional breakdown (sometimes with some SanitySlippage attached) is to have them feel tears come to their eyes or outright running down their face, often the climax of a severe BreakTheCutie ordeal.

Different from BerserkerTears in the sense that the character isn't crying out of rage. See also VillainousBreakdown for the villain that does this. Often results in a TearJerker. Compare/Contrast ManlyTears, BerserkerTears, TearsOfFear.

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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Vincent Law of ''Anime/ErgoProxy'' cries quite a bit over the course of the series. After Proxy One forces Vincent to face the reality that he is a Proxy, Vincent can be seen lying on his back, weeping while looking up at the sky.
* Yo Hinomura aka The Freeman in the ''Manga/CryingFreeman'' Anime, Manga and the Live-Action Film cries whilst carrying out the murders he's forced to perform by the post-hypnotic suggestions of the 108 Dragons Triad.
* Nina Einstein does this in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' during her FreakOut moment after learning of [[spoiler: Euphemia's death]].
** Suzaku also does this [[spoiler: during Euphemia's death]] and after [[spoiler: he kills Lelouch]].
* In ''Anime/PerfectBlue'' Mima has a breakdown in her apartment when she returns after filming a rape scene and cries. Rumi also cries as she's watching Mima filming the rape scene, and her tears symbolize her complete descent into the AxCrazy.
* Russia from ''AxisPowersHetalia'' does this when he snaps in the Bloody Sunday strip, after a heartbreaking soliloquy and before opening fire on thousands of innocent civilians.
* Ritsuko in episode 23 of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' after [[spoiler:destroying the Rei dummies]] and finally having a breakdown.
** She also does this in episode 24 while having another breakdown after talking with Gendo.
** Shinji in ''The End of Evangelion'' at the end after [[spoiler:Asuka caresses his face stopping him from strangling her and he breaks down crying in utter despair.]]
** Asuka had these during her MindRape as well as in episode 23 after Hikari comforts her by telling her that she shouldn't hate herself, and that she thinks she's done well.
** Misato [[spoiler: after Kaji's death]] and receiving his last message.
* [[{{Yandere}} Kaede]] of ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'' does this as she's having her breakdown.
* Light of ''Manga/DeathNote'' in the final episode after Matsuda shoots him. He has a breakdown and cries while musing that he has no other choice left but to die.
** Mikami also has a breakdown upon seeing Light in such a broken pathetic state, has tears at the corners of his eyes, and ultimately [[spoiler: commits suicide by stabbing himself with a pen]].
* Kouta of ''Manga/ElfenLied'' does this after he has a FreakOut after watching [[spoiler: Lucy kill his father and sister]].
* Ganta of ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'' breaks down crying simultaneous BrokenTears and TearsOfFear in the anime when Tamaki shows Ganta the ropes of Carnival Corpse by strapping him down to a chair, holding his eyes open ''Film/AClockworkOrange''-style and making him watch footage of previous battles.
* Occurs several times in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
** There's Winry when she confronted her parents' murderer.
** Edward after Al [[spoiler: sacrifices his soul to restore Ed's arm and his father asks him to use his life to restore Al's soul]].
** In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime adaptation]], when Edward broke down into tears after he learned that [[spoiler:Nina died]].
* ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'': There is a scene where there was a bus crash and Kotomi has a break down, complete with her in a fetal position, crying and muttering "I will be a good girl."
* Kana in episode 8 after being driven to madness as a result of Akito's MindRape in ''Manga/FruitsBasket''.
** Hatori also does this in episode 8 after he erases Kana's memories.
** Tohru in episode 25 and 26 as she's being put through a BreakTheCutie process.
** In the manga, Rin evidences conflicted emotions regarding Tohru. She rejects and harbors resentment towards what she sees as Tohru's interference in the family; Tohru is an outsider and she cannot understand. However, internal dialogue reveals that as early as their first meeting Rin is also possessed by the same desire that many of the Jyuunishi develop; to fall into Tohru's arms and be comforted. Her view of Tohru as a maternal figure manifests to the extent that on the verge of fainting she mistakes Tohru for her mother and responds with utter terror, cowering and pleading for forgiveness before she loses consciousness. Eventually Rin's physical distress, despair and torment culminate in her breaking down sobbing in Tohru's embrace.
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' has this happen a few times. Most notable is during [[spoiler: Anthy's suicide attempt in episode 37]], during Wakaba's duel and in episode 9 during Utena's childhood flashback.
* Also occurs often in ''Manga/RosarioToVampire''.
* In ''Anime/SailorMoon'' Usagi does this in a phone booth after Mamoru breaks up with her. And she does it again in Stars, when [[spoiler: Chibi-Usa is erased out of existence in her arms]], and later when [[spoiler: not only the Senshi die, but she finds out Mamoru is dead.]]
* In chapter 74 of ''Manga/SoulEater'' the Envy Chapter of the Book of Eibon delivers a harsh TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to Maka. It's enough to reduce her to tears.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Sakura breaks down into tears a few times in regards to Sasuke. Naruto also does this a few times as well like when an Itachi look-alike nearly breaks him with MindRape or after he finds out about [[spoiler: Jiraiya's death]]. Considering how often BreakTheCutie tactics are used...
** Heck, even [[TheStoic Itachi and Sasuke]] break down into tears at some point in the series.
* In episode 10 of '' VisualNovel/SchoolDays'' Nanami becomes extremely upset after the School Festival, when [[spoiler: a sex tape of her and her boyfriend is shown to many classmates as a cruel joke from Otome's GirlPosse.]] She lets out a BigNo before collapsing to the ground in tears.
* Orihime of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' does this at times most notably as a result of Ichigo, who she is in love with. If not as a result of Ichigo, it happens when her friends are hurt or she's under too much stress, specially in [[BreakTheCutie the Hueco Mundo and Lust arcs.]]
** Also, Rukia is revealed to have gone through this when [[spoiler: she had to kill Kaien]]. In the third movie, she also cries when [[spoiler: Homura and Shizuku die.]]
** Even ''Ichigo'' falls into this once, [[spoiler: at the height of his BreakTheCutie process in the X-Cution arc.]]
** Momo does this during her BreakTheCutie ordeals, and Rangiku when [[spoiler: Gin dies.]]
* ''Anime/AnoHanaTheFlowerWeSawThatDay'': Many a character does this in this anime, leading to a lot of sad moments.
* ''MirageOfBlaze'': Naoe's breakdown in the OVA.
* Yuno of ''Manga/FutureDiary'' being so AxCrazy frequently has tearful breakdowns of this nature, usually when Yuki is involved.
** Tsubaki also does this during the brief flashback [[spoiler: where she was going to be gang-raped.]]
* ''Manga/YuGiOh'': The only time Yami ever cries is when Yugi gets his soul stolen and Yugi often makes speeches about how said he will be when Yami has to leave him which often ends in tears.
* Luffy does this in ''Manga/OnePiece'' during his breakdown after [[spoiler: Ace's death]].
** And Nami, when she completely loses hope in the Arlong arc and begs Luffy for help.
** Similarly, when [[spoiler:the Gorgon Sisters]]'s horrifying past is revealed, one of them ([[spoiler:Sandersonia]]) breaks down screaming and crying. [[spoiler: Hancock]] herself sheds tears as well.
* ''LightNovel/{{No6}}'': Throughout episode 10, Shion begins to shed his Pollyanna status and become more hard-hearted, no longer crumbling at the deaths around him. Nezumi displays a veritable laundry list of heartbreaking expressions as he realizes this...ending in a full fledged breakdown when Shion coldly shoots a guard.
** There's also that one scene where Shion has a breakdown after surviving the birth of wasp and saying "I want to live..."
* ''{{Berserk}}'': During the horrific finale of the Eclipse, [[spoiler: Griffith as Femto rapes Casca (Guts' lover) in full view of Guts who's held down and forced to watch it happen]]. Guts understandably has tears come to his eyes and fall down his face as he's forced to watch [[spoiler: the closest thing he's had to a friend]] utterly betray him and it's the last sight [[EyeScream his right eye sees]].
** Casca cries too [[spoiler:throughout her entire horrible ordeal, not only being raped, but being put through supreme agony because of her Brand being in very close proximity to a newly-minted member of the Godhand, one of the five most powerful and evil demons in the entire ''Berserk'' universe]].
* Aoshika of ''WolfGuyWolfenCrest'' does this as she's having a breakdown [[spoiler: as Haguro and his goons rape her]] and afterwards as well.
** And Inugami was ForcedToWatch all of this happen via video, helplessly, reducing the normally TallDarkAndSnarky werewolf into [[HeroicBSOD a complete sobbing wreck]]...
** Haguro after Inugami shows him his werewolf form which destroys what remaining sanity he had left.
* Gon does this after finding out that [[spoiler: Kite is dead and can't be brought back to life]] in ''HunterXHunter'' and Killua does this in regards to Gon and has a complete breakdown in the middle of a life-threatening fight.
* Leo of ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' does this frequently following [[spoiler: Elliot's death]].
* Jeremy, for like, half the story in ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns''.
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'': Rena breaks down in tears after winning an IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight against [[spoiler: Keiichi, realizing that she doesn't want to kill him]]. Luckily, this permanently snaps her out of her [[HatePlague rage-induced madness]].
--> '''Rena:''' The match is over now, right?
--> [[spoiler:'''Keiichi:''']] No, it's not. Until you swing [that cleaver] down, it's not over.
--> '''Rena:''' No... [Beat] No- I don't want to!
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', [[spoiler:the Female Titan, aka Annie, sits in the forest defeated and crying after she failed her mission to capture Eren]]. Shortly after, Eren himself ends up outright sobbing when he comes back from his first mission in the survey corps. With what happened, it's not hard to blame him.
** [[spoiler:One 6 meter aberrant Titan with blond hair and blue eyes notable breaks down crying when Ilyse Yagner yells at him after he displays the ability to talk. Breaches TearJerker once you realize that he could likely still have some conscious left as he did not have SanitySlippage and this trope in affect until after she tells him that the humans are terrified of Titans and do not understand why they eat them.]]
* Episode 10 of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', one of the series' many WhamEpisodes, has [[spoiler:Timeline 3 Mami unable to handle the revelation that Magical Girls are doomed to become Witches. Having just defeated Sayaka-turned-Oktavia with the help of the other girls, she immediately goes to MercyKill them all, binding Homura to neutralize her TimeStandStill powers before shooting Kyoko's Soul Gem. As she aims her rifle at Homura, her very inelegant sobbing conveys the utter despair she has, reasoning that it would be better to die than turn into ''that''. Madoka has to Mercy Kill Mami to stop her.]]
* ''{{Spirited Away}}'': Chihiro/Sen has a breakdown during her first morning in the spirit realm, after seeing her parents transformed into pigs, being surrounded by [[TheGrotesque odd creatures she doesn't understand]] and seemingly tricked by Haku into signing away her freedom. The breakdown is triggered when Haku takes her to see her parents and offers her some food. The LonelyPianoPiece playing over the scene doesn't help matters. Luckily, [[PluckyGirl she recovers very quickly]].
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[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* Happens to all but one main heroine in ''[[{{Fanfic/AceCombatEquestriaChronicles}} Ace Combat: The Equestrian War]]''. Each of them has a good reason to cry.
* Discord breaks down in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', after he realises he ruined his own plan.
* In the ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' fanfic ''FanFic/KitsuneNoKenFistOfTheFox'', Tenten breaks out into these while strangling Naruto [[spoiler:and demanding to know why the Kyuushingai, of which he was a part, [[ParentalAbandonment killed her parents]]]].
* Blaine is a wreck in ''FanFic/HuntingTheUnicorn'' during the latest chapter, ''The Red Bull.'' He has a concussion that's completely shot his logic and ability to communicate, and he's stressed from hiding with Kurt in an abandoned hotel [[spoiler: from Blaine's StalkerWithACrush. Said stalker later tries to ''strangle Kurt'' when he finds them]]. He also thought [[TrueCompanions his best friends Wes and David]] were ''dead'' until they managed to find him. Once the paramedics load him up, he breaks down crying, and the others are surprised he didn't do it ''sooner.''
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[[folder: Film]]
* ''Film/SpiderMan'' has BrokenTears when [[spoiler: Harry dies]] and when Mary Jane breaks up with him.
* ''Film/{{Titanic}}'': Occurs when Rose is almost DrivenToSuicide.
* Casey (played by Drew Barrymore) does this in the infamous opening of the first ''Film/{{Scream|1996}}'' movie where she is being stalked and harassed by the killer. She has a breakdown and cries simultaneous TearsOfFear and BrokenTears.
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[[folder: Literature]]
* In Lisa Scottoline's novel "Come Home" Abby and Jill do this after learning of Abby's father's death.
* The [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Kantrishakrim]] of {{Literature/Tales Of Kolmar}} are creatures of Fire. Most instances of strong emotion are marked by having them spout bursts of flames from their mouths. However, in the greatest extremities of grief and despair they will shed tears that are noted to be painful and hiss down their faceplates. Shikrar sheds one in ''The Lesser Kindred'' as his grief for his beloved Yrais is rekindled, and his dialogue with his best friend and his son proves that for the moment at least, he is well and truly wrecked. They were noted as being exceptionally close, even for their kind.
* In ''The Highland Twins at the Literature/ChaletSchool'', Joey Maynard does this during her HeroicBSOD [[spoiler:after getting a telegram saying that her husband Jack has been killed in action.]] When Madge, her sister, comes to see her, she finds Joey with a BrokenSmile, saying that it's 'the fortune of war' and that she can't cry or think straight. Then Jem, Joey's brother-in-law, brings her young triplet daughters into the room, and Joey breaks down in tears and has to be sedated.
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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Spock in the ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode "The Naked Time".
* Sun in ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when [[spoiler: she thinks Jin died]].
* River Tam of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' often falls into sobbing fits during her worst mental breakdowns and panic attacks, particularly in The Movie.
* Thomas Barrow of ''DowntonAbbey'' after his ordeal at he end of series 3.
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[[folder: RolePlayingGames]]
* ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'':
** Kate Bishop's defining characteristic, starting with her being locked in Wallace Bishop's office in the XERRD Fortress.
** Rex after [[spoiler:Amanda's death]]. After recovering from his HeroicBSOD, these tears turned into BerserkerTears.
** A downplayed example for Amanda. After Trigger tried to reveal her identity as Silencia Venomosa combined with steadily-increasing evidence pointing to her as being TheMole, Amanda went to the back of the lounge and cried to herself when no one was around, feeling that her DarkAndTroubledPast was catching up to her and there was nothing she could do to stop it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', Sora finally breaks down in tears after spending a majorly of the game as a StepfordSmiler when [[spoiler: he is reunited with Riku, now taking on the appearance of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness (aka, Xehanort's Heartless)]]. He almost broke down into tears earlier when [[spoiler: Sax [[KickTheDog denies him]] the option to reunite with Kairi]].
* Like the example just above, Vanille of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' breaks down when [[spoiler: she is exposed as the reason why Sazh's son, Dajh, is a l'Cie]].
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[[folder: VisualNovel]]
''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' Ep 8, [[spoiler: Sayo "Yasu" Yasuda]] is shown [[http://umineko.wikia.com/wiki/File:Yasunoooo.png with these]] due to the stress of [[spoiler: Battler's absence, his/her massive loneliness and possibly realizing that the lack of development of "her" body is because ''she'' might actually be ''biologically male''.]]
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[[folder: WebOriginal]]
* Creator/ChrisCrocker in his infamous "[[MemeticMutation Leave Britney Alone!]]" video.
* Donnie [=DuPre=] from WebVideo/DemoReel breaks down when he's been kidnapped from a convention, left to die in a forest during winter, and when all his attempts at getting himself food have failed. Let's be real here, [[WhatMeasureIsANonBadass you'd be sobbing too]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker'': Tim does this after he kills the Joker, his MindRape at his hands hitting him fully and he breaks down laughing madly before sobbing.
* Pictured above, Azula of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' at the end of her VillainousBreakdown.
** Korra of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''. "I've never felt like this before. I don't know what to do!"
* ThePunisher {{Expy}} from TheTick cries while going on shooting sprees and wondering aloud why Mommy never loved him. (A rare time this trope is PlayedForLaughs.)
* Occurs during Patrick's BreakTheCutie moment in the ''SpongebobSquarepants'' episode "Nature Pants".
* Stimpy does this in ''TheRenAndStimpyShow'' "Adult Party Cartoon" episode "Ren Seeks Help". He cries to the point that the house is flooded with tears and calls Ren a "monster". We never do find out what horrible thing Ren did to Stimpy too.
** Ren does this at the beginning of "Stimpy's Fan Club".
** Stimpy also does this as Ren is being taken away from him in one of the earlier episodes.
** Stimpy in the music video for "Ren's Pec's".
* Brenda at the end of the ''FamilyGuy'' episode "Screams Of Silence."
** Meg in ''FamilyGuy'' is sometimes shown as emotionally fragile and disturbed, out of a desperation for love and affection and sometimes cries as a result. For example, in one episode she ran off in tears in the midst of a breakdown when she described gifts from her imaginary boyfriend Prince William. And Connie does this in "Barely Legal" [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech after Brian tells her off]].
* Eric Cartman in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Kenny Dies", after seeing Kenny, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin dying]] in the hospital. He even ''cries on Kyle's shoulder''.
** [[{{Determinator}} Kyle]] does this at the end of the first half of "Cartoon Wars" after [[TheRival Cartman]] leaves him on the road after they smash into each other on their big wheel bikes.
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Baby Doll" with the titular character once.
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