[[quoteright:227:[[Webcomic/MenageA3 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brokeanail_1036.jpg]]]]

->'''Drakken:''' But, Shego, we escaped with the E.M.A. unscathed.\\
'''Shego:''' ''[crying]'' Yes. But I broke a nail!\\
'''Drakken:''' I break mine all the time; you don't see me crying. Not on the outside.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''

{{Stock phrase|s}} of the CityMouse, FallenPrincess, RichBitch, AlphaBitch or, more stereotypically, the [[TheSmurfettePrinciple token woman]]. Sometimes used by the ActionGirl after a particularly grueling fight in which this is the only injury she is concerned about. In any case, the character is AlwaysFemale unless it's a deliberate play on the trope. The phrase is, of course, used to show off how petty or vain she is, especially if it's used in the face of more pressing concerns. It may also be a BerserkButton for her.

MostWritersAreMale, with short-clipped nails that rarely if ever get broken. As a result, it took a long time for women to get across that a nail can be broken more badly than just spoiling your manicure. They can be ripped right back to the finger, damaging the cluster of nerves at the tip and causing bleeding. Nowadays, it's used more as a joke than anything, often by an ActionGirl who's just been in a fight to show how tough she is that this is all the damage the guys could do to her.

Sometimes guys use it to show that they're very vain.

Compare MinorInjuryOverreaction, which this is a subtrope of. For serious injury to the nail, look under {{Fingore}}.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/PetShopOfHorrors'': Count D, a ''male'', breaks a nail once. He proceeds to bandage his ''whole'' hand.
* ''Manga/DragonBall:'' After Krillin and Goku have to plow fields with their bare hands as part of Roshi's training Krillin mentions that he think his fingernails are falling out.
* ''Manga/LudwigRevolution'' doubly subverts this: The title character, Prince Ludwig (obviously male), who is always pictured to pay a lot of attention to his looks and is directly said to be incredibly vain, breaks his nail while shooting at a monster [[spoiler:(his love interest)]] in order to save his male servant. ''The servant'' starts screaming: "Prince, you broke your finger nail! It's bleeding!" To which the Prince replies: "Who cares about one or two nails..."
* In ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', Faye, expecting a fight, once pulls on a pair of gloves specifically to avert this trope.
* The dub of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' gives spoiled brat Mimi this line in one episode.
* Said word for word by Ayako in the manga of ''Manga/GhostHunt''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the course of ''ComicBook/SecretWars'', when all of Marvel's greatest heroes were transported out of the galaxy for an [[BloodlessCarnage apocalyptic war of good and evil]] when the winsome Wasp discovered a broken nail [[ComingInHot after a space-ship dogfight]]. "... and there isn't an Emory board for a million light years!"
* When a small team of different ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} incarnations break Franchise/{{Superman}} out of the Source Wall in ''Comicbook/SupermanBatman #25'', Comicbook/PowerGirl mutters this, then quickly adds she was kidding.
* A rare male version, played for laughs, occurs in the Franco-Belgian Comic-Book ''ComicBook/BenoitBrisefer'' when the protagonist, a [[SuperStrongChild super-strong little boy]] punches his way through a boulder to escape a collapsed mine.
-->'''Benoit:''' Crud. I broke a nail.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'': This turns out to be the reason Sgt. Louise Lugg mauled a guy so badly while playing American football. The trope is played straight (it's not a very recent strip) and she's shown "emotionally" crying over it; the comic in general repeatedly plays with her combination of masculine aggressiveness and feminine sensitivity.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' fanfic ''Fanfic/ThoseLackingSpines'', Marly-dono says this phrase word-for-word after slamming a fist onto his computer. Yes, he's a guy.
* ''WebVideo/SailorMoonAbridged''. [[strike:Serena]] Victoria broke a nail ''through her glove'' after transforming to Sailor Moon.
* ''WebVideo/TheLegendOfZeldaTheAbridgedSeries'': Sheik refuses to help Link in any of the temples because that would risk them breaking a nail.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Used by Georgette in Disney's ''Disney/OliverAndCompany''. Which is slightly weird, considering that she's a ''dog''.
* ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'': Drizella sings a line about this when cleaning dishes during the third film.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanBatmanApocalypse'':
-->'''Kara:''' I've been chased, shot at, kidnapped, beaten up, had my mind controlled '''[[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and]]''' I broke a nail.
:: [[FridgeLogic She's a Kryptonian under a yellow sun.]] Her fingernails should be practically indestructible, so some impressive forces were at work there, and that's very possibly the only actual injury she took in that whole ordeal.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Early in the 1940 film ''My Little Chickadee'', Mae West's character, Flower Belle, [[IceQueen calmly and cooly]] forces a tribe of Indians who are attacking her train to retreat with a few sharp shots from [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]] [[GunsAkimbo akimbo]] and a shotgun. Her response to a well-deserved congratulations?
-->'''Flower Belle:''' [[InvertedTrope I almost broke one of my fingernails.]]
* Willie Scott uses this line ''twice'' in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''. The first time she only "cracked" a nail, rather than actually breaking it, but that was still apparently a good enough excuse for her to practically throw Indy's gun out the side of the car.
* Inverted in the ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' movie. ("I didn't even break a nail.")
* Vala Mal Doran in ''[[Film/TheArkOfTruth Stargate: The Ark of Truth]]'': "Look at my hands, all right? They are raw and bleeding. I've broken every nail. We've been out here in the scorching heat for days. I haven't showered!"
* ''Film/{{Ladybugs}}'': "Get those nail-breakers! Get those nail breakers!"
* ''Film/DOADeadOrAlive'': "Perfect. Broke another nail."
* ''Film/{{Tremors}}'': "Doesn't matter. They're all the same: [[TheLoad dead weight]]. 'Ooh, I broke a nail!' Ugh! Makes my skin crawl."
* ''Film/TroopBeverlyHills'': "The parents here are so self-involved. [[HypocriticalHumor Shit, I broke a nail!]]"
* This is done to a lesser extent in the movie ''Film/LostInSpace'' where Dr. Smith attempts to smuggle himself on board the ''Jupiter Two'' in a crate. The crane abruptly stops, causing him to fall over and immediately afterwards he glances at his nails and makes an annoyed little sound.
* In the action movie/porn film ''Film/BarbWire'', after having a hand to hand to guns to stiletto heels to groin fight and killing a whole crapload of men, Barb Wire (played by Pamela Anderson) looks at her hand, on which is a broken nail:
-->'''Barb:''' Goddammit...
* ''Film/ErinBrockovich'': "Goddamnit!" -- Erin shortly after breaking her nail getting into the car, and shortly before getting T-boned.
* A variant is played with in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', where the {{mooks}}, ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy graduates all, somehow manage to singe Princess Vespa's hair... which elicits a RoaringRampageOfRevenge. Barf says "Not bad... for a girl"; Vespa's RobotMaid counters with "That was pretty good for ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}''!"
* ''Film/BatmanReturns'': Franchise/{{Batman}} vs. Catwoman. When Batman pushes Catwoman off him, she ends up in a pile of broken plant pots. Batman removes the sharp metal nail from his suit and tosses it at her. Catwoman picks it up and examines her hand back to front and lets out an irritated "Damn..."

* In ''Literature/GeronimoStilton, Secret Agent'', Stilton is trying to distract his [[SitcomNemesis archrival]] Sally Ratmousen, but the only thing that works is when he tells her she has a broken [[HoldYourHippogriffs pawnail]].
* Played with in ''Literature/TheMalloreon'' by Creator/DavidEddings, when C'nedra and Zakath are riding through Mal Zeth. They encounter a soldier who had been busted down from Corporal to Private for being drunk on duty. Zakath asks C'nedra what he should do (the Alorns have been giving him lessons in how to not be a tyrant), and her reply is "Hang him. Drat, I broke a nail." Her apparent cold-bloodedness shocks Zakath, and then she explains that condemning the man then pardoning him will do more to convince him not to drink anymore than any amount of punishment. She also suggests building a gallows just outside his window, at which point Zakath turns to Garion and asks why they ever got married. (Garion's response is that [[ArrangedMarriage they didn't have a say in the matter]].)
* In the fourth ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' book, there is a gnome who is so out of shape, he has to lie down if he gets a hangnail. [[spoiler:And LEP orders him to try to stop Holly Short. Who is pissed off and just lost her father/mentor/commander and is getting framed for his murder.]] Safe bet's the gnome winning.
* "From the Diary of a New York Lady" by Creator/DorothyParker:
-->The most terrible thing happened ''just this minute''. Broke one of my finger nails ''right off short''. Absolutely ''the'' most horrible thing I ever had happen to me in my life.
* Played with in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'':
--> "[[SarcasmMode Imagine losing fingernails, Harry! That really puts our sufferings into perspective, doesn't it.]]"
* In the ActionPrologue of ''The Takers'' by Jerry Ahern, [[DaddysLittleVillain Sonia Steiglitz]] breaks a nail while pursuing a woman who has the MacGuffin they're searching for, and gives a ToThePain description of what she did to the horse that threw her and made her break a nail, notably cutting its tendons so it died of thirst and starvation.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Played with in ''Series/LizzieMcGuire''. In the BreakfastClub episode, Kate refuses to help clean the school cafeteria. Lizzie's animated alter ego sarcastically suggests that she's afraid of breaking a nail. Then the real Kate gives that as an actual reason, forming an IronicEchoCut.
* In ''Series/TheFactsOfLife'', Blair punches another girl for insulting Jo. She later says "I broke a nail for you!" as if that were more of a sacrifice than getting in trouble for decking someone in school (which, for Blair, it is).
* ''Series/ThatsSoRaven'': Raven has a vision, at a highly inopportune time, of this happening to Chelsea. When it comes true, Chelsea claims, "I don't even care," but Raven's new telepathic friend says, "Yes, you do."
* ''Australian Gladiators'': "Ouch! I broke a nail! Gotta stop punching those brick walls."
* ''Series/SavedByTheBell'':
** In an early episode, Lisa Turtle gets frustrated during an interrogation -- and breaking a nail makes her frustration even worse.
** Also, in another episode, she tells Nikki that she also doesn't want to dissect frogs -- but that, instead of sharing Nikki's concern for the welfare of animals, she just doesn't want to ruin her nails. However, she doesn't care that much -- that she would risk getting an F.
* ''Series/GilligansIsland'': In a Season 1 episode when a battle of the sexes forces the girls and guys to live on separate sides of the island, the girls are finding doing all the work harder than they expected.
-->'''Ginger:''' I've broken eleven nails today.\\
'''Mary Anne:''' Eleven?\\
'''Ginger:''' I broke one twice.
* At the start of the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Urgo", the team set off on an apparently dull mission and Jack comments that "It's all fun and games until someone breaks a nail."
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy uses this when trying to get the attention of Giles, who is preoccupied [[spoiler:because he just learned in a prophecy that ''Buffy will die tonight'']].
** Cordelia has also used this more than once.
* Used as a plot point in the season 1 episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'', "The Extra Man". The first person to find out the body of the VictimOfTheWeek breaks a nail by stumbling in the dark (and says the trope name), cluing Goren that there was a woman present when he finds the red-polished nail shard.
* Myrtle Urkel says this trope after falling down from Eddie's window in a ''Series/FamilyMatters'' episode.
-->'''Myrtle Urkel:''' Oh, shoot. I broke a nail.
* ''Series/LifeWithBoys'': A friend of Tess was worried that, being on the wrestling team, Tess could suffer cuts, break bones, or [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a nail]].
* Happened once in ''Series/HouseOfAnubis''
-->'''Patricia:''' I hope the sight of us working hard doesn't bother you.\\
'''Eddie:''' You're a couple of strong, 21st century women. What do you need my help for?\\
'''Amber:''' I broke a nail...\\
'''Eddie:''' Go sisterhood!
* Happened on ''Series/TheAmazingRace''. It appears to be a MinorInjuryOverreaction, until you realize the girl who did it actually was bleeding -- mind you it ''hurt''.
* Similarly, a contestant split her fingernail on ''Series/{{Survivor}}''... but with a machete.
* ''Series/NaturallySadie'': Sadie says it in "Advanced Girl Lessons" when she is attempting to become more feminine. PlayedWith when she then admits that she has no idea what she is supposed to do about it.
* ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'': this happens twice to BigBad Trakeena. The first time (back when she was still DaddysLittleVillain and more concerned with her apperances than anything else) it happens when she practices her fighting skills with some [[{{mooks}} stingwingers]]. One of them accidently breaks one of her nails and she angrily vaporizes the Stingwinger in retaliation. The second time it happens during her TrainingFromHell with Villamax, who simply responds to her angry reaction that he only has 9 to go then.
** Also happens to Nadira in ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' during a battle with the Rangers. Naturally she goes [[DaddysLittleVillain whining to Ransik]] about it and rather than explain the absurdity of using your fingernails as weapons against sword-wielding superheroes, he promises to make them pay...and we're not talking about for a new manicure, either.

* Discussed in "Honey I'm Home" by Music/ShaniaTwain.
-->''I broke a nail opening the mail\\
I cursed out loud, 'cause it hurt like hell''

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Upon their first meeting on Thursday Night Smackdown, Christie Hemme, accidentally broke one of Wrestling/{{Melina}}'s, leading to Melina screaming for revenge [[SeriousBusiness and demanding a match with Hemme.]] While Melina was a cheat, she was one of the few wrestlers not to used closed fist and made use of her nails much less that most female cheats (until she got into title contention and changed up her style)[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'': The magazine ''White Dwarf'' once mentioned Sigvald the Mighty, whilst butchering a priest, chipping a nail on his armor. Sigvald immediately vowed revenge on the Empire for this "hideous deformity".

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In ''Theatre/TheEighthVoyageOfSindbad'' show at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal's Islands of Adventure]], Princess Amoura is angry to find out that she broke a nail after beating down one of the evil minions.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the old PC game ''VideoGame/BattleChess'', the Queen says this during her tutorial after defeating another piece.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' EVA's medical history shows a long list of cuts, blows, gunshot wounds, and one broken nail.
* The aerial racing game ''Slipstream 5000'' featured a British racer named Victoria, who when her ship was shot would say, over the ''racewide frequency'', "Oh, I broke a nail."
* The Witch class from ''VideoGame/YggdraUnion'' will occasionally say this after taking damage.
* [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Renee]] from ''VideoGame/ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis'' refuses to help Tony fight Flay at the beginning of the game because she just had her nails done, and she doesn't want to ruin them.
* Spoiled Rich girl Skie in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' says this as one of her "command received" lines. It gets [[MostAnnoyingSound very tedious very quickly]].
* The last words spoken by Maria in ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII GTA III]]'', [[spoiler:which pisses off the player character so much that, having just saved her life, he either shoots her or fires a shot to shut her up.]]
* In ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'', [[ActionGirl Leona]] has this line as one of her jokes. To quote, "I think I broke a nail. [[SubvertedTrope Good thing it wasn't mine.]]"
* In ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VII'', the Red-Headed Elf (default figure for the Sorceror) says this sometimes after detonating a trap or mixing an (accidentally) explosive potion.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'', Angela complains about breaking a nail after ''[[CompletelyMissingThePoint being blasted out of a cannon and crashing into the ground]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/MagicAndMayhem'', Ariadne says this on one level when her health gets down to 50%. In later levels, she switches to "[[DistressedDamsel Help me, Cornelius!]]"
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', as a CallBack to when Batman saved Catwoman from Two-Face early in the game (the following exchange is after Catwoman finds Batman in the middle of wreckage at the Steel Mill):
-->'''Catwoman:''' Figured you could use my help.\\
'''Batman:''' You're right. I think I chipped a nail back there.\\
'''Catwoman:''' You stick to the brooding, I'll handle the wisecracks.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird''. The [[Creator/LauraBailey Female]] [[GirlyBruiser One]] voice uses this line as a BondOneLiner: "Damn, chipped a nail!"

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', just as Zii and Yuki are discussing how they need someone "solid" as the bassist for their group, there's a GilliganCut to Sonya (Zii's recruit for the role) saying the line while practicing the bass guitar.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'', it happens to the player behind Couette (basically a walking female gamer stereotype) from typing too intensely on her keyboard.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The modern "you broke my nail -- shit just got ''real''" version happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks''. A gang of bullies dominating the local roller rink has challenged the Seville rodents to a roller-derby race for rink use rights. Chippette Brittany scoffs at the immaturity the boys are all showing... until guess what one of the bullies accidentally does.
* [[TheCheerleader Stacey]] from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'' was once seen running scared by Jake and Trixie. Trixie said she'd probably complain about a broken nail. At first, it seemed the trope would be subverted as Stacey mentioned Huntsboys 88 and 89 capturing Spud but then she ''did'' complain about her broken nail. When Jake and Trixie went running to help Spud, Stacey thought they would call for someone to repair the broken nail.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BarbieLifeInTheDreamhouse'', Raquelle panics over the fact that she got locked inside the Dreamhouse, and chipped "one of [her] color-change nails" while struggling to open the door.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeverlyHillsTeens'':
** The AlphaBitch from falls down a balcony and shouts: "It's broken! It's broken! My nail!" Later we learn that she also broke her leg...
** In an earlier episode, she herself shoved a girl, who went down shouting "I think you broke it". Another girl asks if she broke her finger. The answer is "Worse." Do we need to write her next sentence?
* In ''WesternAnimation/ChipAndDaleRescueRangers'' in "Risky Beesness" episode when the queen bee and Zipper force their way out of a saxophone she complains: "Damn, I think I broke a nail." Her hair got messed too. Yes, she's a FallenPrincess RichBitch and she's just started to redeem herself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', Odd makes fun of Sissi in his amateur movie ''Natural Grandeur'' by showing her as a giant and dubbing her as saying "Oh no, I broke a nail!" in a distorted voice.
* ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' features an opposite-personality counterpart of Princess Whatshername who used the line. Her creator then laments that making an opposite of the resident ActionGirl was not the brightest idea he has had.
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', shortly after getting in touch with his feminine side from going to a woman's camp, Peter mentions "oh fudge, I broke a nail".
* In ''WesternAnimation/FantasticFourWorldsGreatestHeroes'', ''Johnny Storm'' breaks a nail and is somewhat upset over it...
* A fight against Comrade Red in an episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory Justice Friends]]'' causes She-Thing to break a nail. Krunk's desperate attempts to calm her down make her even madder, and she subsequently goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, smashing everything in her line of sight.
* Shego in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' did this ''once'', in an episode where she was under the effects of [[EmotionBomb a device that controlled her emotions]]. She would never cry ''at all'' otherwise, certainly not over something like a broken nail.
* ''WesternAnimation/RoadRovers'': Uttered by Blitz.
-->'''Exile:''' Look! Parvo has gone kaput-ski!\\
'''Blitz:''' Oh, how tragic.\\
'''All:''' Huh?\\
'''Blitz:''' I broke a nail.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", where the Bear family lives in an ultra-modernized home, Mama Bear has a gadget (similar to an electric pencil sharpener) that instantly repairs a nail after breaking it while cooking "homemade" porridge in the microwave.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' this is enough for Mandy to be evil. (Well, truthfully, breaking her nails leads her feel flawed as a cheerleader, take up broadcasting class so no-one will see her hands, be a success, become DrunkWithPower, and [[ForWantOfANail become evil in the future]].) After finding this out, Sam solves the problem with some Super Nail Enhancing Polish (which Jerry just happened to have.)

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A woman named Lee Redmond grew her fingernails out for thirty years to a length of two-and-a-half feet each, breaking the record for longest fingernails. In 2009, she was in a terrible car crash. She sustained severe injuries and broke off all of her nails. Upon finding out, she was devastated. [[WorldHalfFull She later discovered it was easier to manipulate objects without her giant talons]].
* [[http://notalwaysworking.com/these-boots-are-made-for-catwalkin/26551 Fear of committing this trope]] played straight and just one of this girl's issues with her new job. Averted by the girl who's been there a while.
* Mocked in this [[http://ifunny.mobi/p/NK2oOh8J iFunny]] page.
* Losing a nail is actually a painful experience, particularly if it's only partly come off and a new one is growing trying to push the remains of the old one out. It's even worse if you're doing something that primarily involves your fingers, like playing video games (as happened to LetsPlay/ProtonJon during his livestream of ''VideoGame/{{Pepsiman}}'').