"There's a reason God makes you ugly when you're grieving; so people will leave you the hell alone."A character cries. It is not pretty. It tends to be loud. Expect the character to, afterwards, need to blow his nose and have red, puffy eyes. If any make-up is involved, expect it to run -- badly. A literary trope, mostly, since we do not have to see the character sobbing. Often lampshaded. Plus actors can more easily mimic tears than the full effect. Note that this may occur for any motive for which someone can cry. May be done by a Hysterical Woman. Contrast Cry Cute. Liable to turn drama into unintentional comedy if mishandled. This can be done intentionally, as a form of Bathos.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Eiichiro Oda took this trope to a whole new level with One Piece. Everyone in One Piece has done this, though male characters more often than female. The artist just loves drawing rivers of tears mixing with rivers of snot and saliva, apparently. It's Oda's signature move really.
- The most extreme examples (with the above snot and saliva) only happen with males. Females only show mucus in the face of emotional trauma. At most, Robin as a child had mucus running down to her mouth in the flashback of her Dark and Troubled Past while trying to get her mother to acknowledge herself as such, but females' snot is generally kept to realistic levels.
- Franky and Chopper are especially prone to this. Luffy's had his moments too, both sad (Ace's death) and happy (reuniting with Usopp after Enies Lobby, the picture up top).
- His way of drawing tears and crying facial expressions really hits home when it comes to Tear Jerker moments, where the grimacing facial features really strike you as painful to watch.
- This is probably why, way back when, the entry here used to say "But without it, One Piece would really be lacking."
- Only averted with Robin's famous "I WANT TO LIVE!" line in the Enies Lobby arc. That is more into the Cry Cute territory.
- Chapter 785 has a minor example, with a little girl crying such inelegant tears of relief after her grandmother regains the will to live. It's a welcome tension reliever, considering the rest of the chapter is serious.
- Oda seemed to go further into this trope with Rebecca than most other females. For example, her crying in Chapter 789 as she is nearly forced into killing her aunt Viola is the first instance of a female actually crying to the extent of drool.
- Naruto plays this straight with several characters, both in the manga and the anime. (For instance, the scene where Naruto cries over Gaara's death in Shippuuden is very well done.)
- Rossiu gets a moment like this in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He's got a stoic face for the crowds the whole time he's planning to sacrifice some of them to save all of them. But in private (as revealed by someone close to him), he was crying his heart out into his bed. It may have been the hardest thing he ever had to do, but he was going to do it.
- In R.O.D the TV this often happen to Anita.
- In 7 Seeds, Ryo saves Semimaru from death and delivers an uncharacteristic speech to him, yelling at him for his carelessness in even dangerous situations. The shock from what happened and realization of the consequences his attitude can have, Semimaru is curled up on the floor, hiding his face and obviously crying like a baby (though he tries to do it quietly) and the only audible thing to hear are repeated apologies.
- In D.Gray-Man, this happens every time anyone cries for real.
- In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Mikuru engages in this in the last episode of of "Endless Eight." It's one of the few times she's not very cute-looking in the series as she has twin trails of snot running down her face
- In Welcome to the N.H.K. Sato bursts out into screaming, tortured wails at the end of episode 13. Although mostly off-screen, what we see is not at all pretty, and the voice acting in both the sub and the dub is both heartbreaking and uncomfortable to sit through.
- Whenever Miyoshi cries in Bakuman。, it starts with Cry Cute and devolves into this - for example, when Mashiro and Takagi get their first serialized manga.
- Chrono Crusade: Although most of the tears tend to fall in-between the two extremes of Inelegant Blubbering and Cry Cute, Rosette has a full-blown snot-dripping sob fest towards the end of the manga in the afterlife when she realizes that she's dead and admits "Chrono! I don't want to leave you!"
- Deconstructed in Soul Eater when, during a very serious fight, Medusa going on about parental abandonment/abuse prompts Deathscythe to exit weapon mode and personally threaten his opponent. However, even as he grabs her by the scruff, he chokes on his words and can't get anything out other than "Why, you...!" and "You little..." Medusa calls him pathetic for not preparing his words properly, and throws him away.
- In Negima!, Kotarou goes into this after he's defeated in the Mahora Tournament after promising to meet Negi in the finals.
- Played for laughs in Chibi Vampire Karin. Karin is not attractive when she cries. Most characters tend to look pointedly away when she does.
- The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: Played heartbreakingly straight. Every time Makoto cries could qualify as a Crowning Moment of Sadness.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam, the White Base crew do this after the death of Guntank co-pilot Ryu Jose, complete with Bright Noah collapsing on all fours and sobbing "It's All My Fault!". It was considered such Narm, especially in light of the much more restrained and touching salute they gave the late Matlida Adjan, that the compilation movie version completely redid the scene.
- SD Gundam Force's Bakunetsumaru is prone to doing this, usually for comic effect. At the end of the series Zero calls him a "Crybaby Samurai"
- Stardust Crusaders: Polnareff sheds some very un-manly tears after Abdul's (apparent) death.
- In Battle Tendency this is how ACDC reacts after his arm was chopped off by Joseph, turns out it is to catch him off-guard as well as a stress-relieving technique. This even translated to the the fighting game as a counter that causes the opponent's Heat Heart Gauge to go down if they attack him while crying. On another occasion we see Joseph sheds tears for Caesar's death in an iconic fashion.
- A staple of Studio Ghibli movies. Boths kids in Grave of the Fireflies, Chihiro in Spirited Away, Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle...
- Happens to nearly all the characters at various points in Rave Master. It's not always handled so well, and quickly becomes Narm when you see the more macho and stoic characters bawling like toddlers in places where Manly Tears would have been more appropriate.
- Narrowly avoided in Kimi ni Todoke when Sawako was about to cry because her best friends helped her get ready for a New Year's date with love interest, Kazehaya. Ayane and Chizu realized the ultra-sensitive Sawako was about to cry because she was so happy to have such great friends, and quickly pleaded with Sawako to hold it in. Sawako stopped herself from turning on the water works just in time to save her makeup from becoming a godawful mess.
- Nearly every book owner or mamodo (save Brago resident Bad Ass ) ever breaks out into these in Zatch Bell!
- Literature Girl in Daily Lives of High School Boys had one in the skit High School Boys and the Way We Are, breaking down crying like a little child after a humiliating string of Epic Fails.
- In Saint Beast, Maya's tears tend to go along with full on tantrums, which work really well on his brother.
- In Mai-HiME, Aoi's crying is apparently quite dreadful to hear, and when she pretends to be on the verge of tears, her roommate Nao and Nao's Arch-Enemy Natsuki actually put aside their differences as she demands.
- Gakuen Babysitters makes it clear in the first few chapters that crying, especially from children, is loud, undignified, and annoyance to the people around. Save for a few important moments, it's almost never portrayed as cute whenever the children cry en masse.
- At the end of the second episode of Highschool of the Dead, Saya breaks down after killing her first zombie and collapses sobbing into Saeko's arms. The sounds she makes are heart-wrenchingly realistic.
- Rebuild of Evangelion, in the third film, Shinji bursts into a bout of this, letting loose a flood of tears along with the remainder of his sanity, when he realises that Kaworu is about to kill himself to stop Fourth Impact.
- Bleach, anime episode 21. After Ichigo defeats the giant Soul Reaper gate guard Jidanbō by destroying his axes, Jidanbō starts crying uncontrollably and lamenting their loss.
- Noragami features Yukine who cries really really loud on several occasions. Complete with snot and rivers of tears.
- This happens often to several characters in Attack on Titan, especially Armin and Eren, and civilians and soldiers alike have crying breakdowns when they see they're doomed to be eaten by Titans. Deaths are rarely dignified.
- A plot point in a Detective Conan case. Two years before the Tottori Spider Mansion case took place, a girl named Misa Takeda and later her mother Kikuko commited suicide; while Misa's father/Kikuko's husband Nobukazu barely showed any emotions, Nobukazu's younger brother Ryuuji wept so intensely for their deaths that the neighbors and family members were shocked. This was actually the first hint that Misa was Kikuno and Ryuuji's love child and Nobukazu was aware of it; when Conan heard about this detail he began to decipher the Takedas' very dark family dynamics...
- Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki is reduced to this at the end of the first episode, tears and snot running down his face even as he refuses to take human flesh from Touka, screaming that he's still human, not a Ghoul. Touka, who is less than sympathetic, eventually loses her patience and literally shoves a piece of human meat down his throat.
- Fairy Tail: Natsu. After witnessing Igneel getting killed by Acnologia, Natsu is reduced to tears, unable to tell Igneel all the things he wanted to tell him.
- Lucy also does this when she sacrifices Aquarius to summon the Celestial Spirit King.
- Elongated Man: E. Man, over his wife. Think Monkey D. Luffy during the scene when Ace dies and combine that with spontaneously losing control over his stretching powers and you'll get something like this. A very nice touch seeing as how truly distraught E. Man is over his wife dying.
- Wonder Girl in Teen Titans: Year One.
- Empowered manages to cross this with Stepford Smiler, with a dash of Frozen Face, in a horrifically tragic way. Poor Sistah Spooky...
- Artist Sara Pichelli seems to excel at portraying this. Her stint on Runaways included scenes of both Molly Hayes and Klara Prast crying in an ugly fashion.
- In The Pulse, Jessica and Luke have a minor argument — really more like a discussion — about her working for the Daily Bugle, but the pregnancy throwing her hormones out of whack causes this.
- Shifts by Fernwithy covers Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from the point of view of Remus (who spends most of it on Order business at Dudley's prep school.) Needless to say, the Inelegant Blubbering comes in near the end.
- In With Strings Attached, Paul sobs his heart out on John. Later he wipes his nose on one of John's wings.
I deserve this, John reflected.
- In the prequel to Respawn of the Dead, Medic gets so drunk he throws up on Heavy after kissing him for the first time. After Heavy cleans himself up, he comes back to find that Medic is crying in a completely undignified manner which would be totally unlike him if he hadn't just drank eight beers.
- Several times in Secret Dreamer, most notably in Chapter 10, when Severa visits her father's grave.
Films — Animated
- In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, originally Dopey made a funny face that ruined the mood of the crying scene and made the test audience crack up, so it was cut. In the final version, he hides his face.
- In The Princess and the Frog, Charlotte, for comic effect.
- Helen Parr in The Incredibles displays it when she thinks her husband is having an affair. Special focus is given to the numerous tissues she has been perusing.
- The Bimbettes at Gaston's attempted wedding to Belle in Beauty and the Beast
- In Alice in Wonderland Alice gets frustrated with the constant changing of size and cries a river of very undignified tears. Of course since she's gigantic at this stage, her tears quickly become an ocean.
Alice: Oh dear. I do wish I hadn't cried so much.
- Later, she does some more bawling that sounds very much like laughter midway through the film when she worries that she's not going to find her way home.
Films — Live-Action
- Murder by Death. Sam Diamond and Tess Skeffington are locked in a room with a hidden, ticking Time Bomb.
Sam: I got an idea. I don't know whether this is gonna work or not. Quick, turn around!
Tess: I'm turned, Sam.
Sam: Whatever you do, baby, don't turn back.
Tess: But Sam, if anything...
Sam: Do as I say, angel!
Tess: I will, Sam.
Sam: Good. Because I think... I'm gonna cry. (starts sobbing pathetically offscreen)
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger blubbers inelegantly after he's told his wife is playing around. This scene is an almost exact remake of the opening from Chinatown.
- The Wizard of Oz: The guard on the Wizard's audience chamber.
- The hero in Gladiator when he discovers that his wife and child are dead. There's even snot involved. This was an actor and director decision, and invoked intentionally. And it totally works.
- The original plan for the scene was for him to do a normal discreet-few-tears-down-each-cheek dignified cry... but Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott agreed that what Maximus was seeing demanded (as Crowe put it) a "full blown snot-fest".
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Cedric Diggory's father, and for that matter, Harry himself. A case of Tropes Are Not Bad, because the scene mentioned is agonizing.
- Every time Neytiri cries in Avatar.
- Laura's honking in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
- One of the best parts of Funny People was when Seth Rogan's character just starts doing this in the middle of a crowded restaurant during dinner with Adam Sandler's character.
- Stevo in SLC Punk! when Heroin Bob dies.
- Played for laughs with JP in Grandma's Boy. There were multiple strings of spit coming from his mouth, and his eyeliner was smudged as well.
- Marty in Bully when he was telling Lisa about Bobby.
- In Rocky III, Rocky does some of this just after Mick dies.
- Moulin Rouge!'s Christian does this when Satine dies but because it sounds almost like he's laughing hysterically, it potentially kills the mood.
- Justified (perhaps) in the director's commentary where it's suggested that only a completely devastated person cries like that, because whether or not they sound silly is the last thing they're concerned about.
- The Blair Witch Project features this. It makes the scene especially realistic.
- And ripe for many, many parodies.
- At the end of Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler does this as he says that he could have saved more Jews if he had sold his belongings (the blubbering grows from the repeated phrase "I could've gotten more...")
- Which, if you're aware of the hardship that was a constant feature of his life after the fall of the Third Reich, is almost too heartbreaking to stand.
- Christopher Eccleston is particularly good at this, and does so in Jude, Flesh & Blood and in a scene that got cut from The Second Coming. (Observe. )
- The Fountain. Tommy Creo breaks down after the death of his wife.
- Basically the last few minutes of Reservoir Dogs is this, as a subversion of the awesome manliness the film had up to that point.
- Leonardo DiCaprio does this in Romeo + Juliet
- Anne Hathaway's performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" in Les Misérables (2012)
- Also from the film version Eddie Redmayne's performance of "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables.".
- John Conner in Terminator 2: Judgment Day completely loses it when he realizes that, in order to prevent Judgement Day, his guardian, friend, and father figure will have to perform an Heroic Sacrifice. He is just a kid, though.
- Matt's reaction to Bald Pete's death in Ronja the Robber's Daughter. See attached
- In Reflections In A Golden Eye, Marlon Brando's character collapses into some of the most pathetic crying ever caught on film after losing control of his wife's horse and then beating it with a branch in a fit of rage. It's in stark contrast to his other roles, where he sheds manly tears at worst.
- Barbra in the remake of Night of the Living Dead (1990). A very accurate depiction of hysterics. She's half laughing, half crying when Ben shakes her.
- ¡Three Amigos!. After the title characters realize that they aren't putting on a show but are facing a real bandit gang, they start crying and whining like babies.
- Helen in Bridesmaids has this. Her rival Annie sees how flushed and snotty she looks and can't help but smile.
- Nicolas Cage in both Deadfall and Vampire's Kiss:
- In Deadfall he openly bawls. He also has his tongue hanging out and his sobs sound like chuckling.
- In Vampire's Kiss he actually says "BOO HOO!". Twice!
- Pulled off beautifully by Stallone in First Blood.
We were in this bar in Saigon and this kid comes up, this kid carrying a shoe-shine box. And he says "Shine, please, shine!" I said no. He kept askin', yeah, and Joey said "Yeah." And I went to get a couple of beers, and the box was wired, and he opened up the box, fucking blew his body all over the place. And he's laying there, he's fucking screaming. There's pieces of him all over me, just... like this, and I'm tryin' to pull him off, you know, my friend that's all over me! I've got blood and everything and I'm tryin' to hold him together! I'm puttin'... the guy's fuckin' insides keep coming out! And nobody would help! Nobody would help! He's saying, sayin' "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" He keeps calling my name! "I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy!" I said "With what? I can't find your fuckin' legs! I can't find your legs!"
- When Harry Met Sally... : When Sally finds out her ex is getting married again, she calls Harry. Meg Ryan nails it perfectly. She weeps uncontrollably enough to be sympathetic, but balances the pathos AND the comedy of the scene.
- Mike in The Hole is in clear hysterics after he kills Geoff in a fit of rage.
- Cmdr. Shepard in Sink the Bismarck!, The Stoic after losing his wife in an earlier bombing raid and later his son's plane being shot down, and monofocused on sinking the marauding German battleship, finally breaks down weeping in his bathroom after getting a report that his son had been rescued.
- Stan Laurel was prone to the comedic version, particularly after being berated by Ollie.
- In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Katniss loses it when Prim's cat returns to the house. She screams and cries that Prim isn't coming back as she throws things at the cat.
- The Martian. In the tension of the pre-launch during his high-risk rescue, Mark Watney breaks down crying when he hears the voices of his crewmates for the first time in well over a year, knowing they've all come back to save him.
- Hermione in the Harry Potter books is prone to this. In the fourth book she abruptly bursts into tears and hugs Harry and Ron when the two of them make up after a fight. In the fifth book she pretends to do this to fool Umbridge. This adds a bit of Narm when you realise that about three pages pass of Hermione convincing Umbridge about the weapon in the forest - and she's supposedly got her arms covering her face pretending to sob the whole time. The movie naturally drops this from the scene.
- That said, the first part of the movie version of the seventh book has Hermione doing a lot of blubbering when Bellatrix is torturing her for information.
- In The Secret of Drumshee Castle Grace is so overwhelmed by her cousin giving her a beautiful horse for her birthday, she collapses on the floor crying. Her cousin mistakes this for her not wanting the horse and Grace realises how undignified she was acting.
- In The Belgariad, Ce'Nedra sees Garion with another woman, spits poison at him, and runs off to cry. Polgara tracks her down to let her know that woman was his cousin and clean her up a bit, because she does not look pretty after crying. Not the only time this observation is made: Also happens when she's trying to lead a war and gets hit with the enormity of the fact that most of the people she's just rallied to battle are going to die.
Polgara: "You really shouldn't cry in public, dear. You haven't the coloring for it."
- And again in The Mallorean, after she has a period of deep depression and weeping over her baby's kidnapping:
- In Derek Robinson's novel Piece of Cake, a pilot breaks down crying next to the adjutant who is made very uncomfortable and observes that it's a shame that, when men need comfort the most, God makes them look like monkeys.
- In Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno after Ugugg got his ears boxed,
Uggug (who was blubbering his loudest, in the hope of attracting notice)
- In Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, when they catch a thief of apples, he blubbers.
- The narrator's sister in Carroll's Melancholetta is portrayed this way:
My dismal sister! Couldst thou knowThe wretched home thou keepest!Thy brother, drowned in daily woe,Is thankful when thou sleepest;For if I laugh, however low,When thou'rt awake, thou weepest!
"Hounds IN FULL CRY I like," said she:(Oh how I longed to snub her!)"Of fish, a whale's the one for me,IT IS SO FULL OF BLUBBER!"
- And later, when he tries to cheer her up by inviting "three gay young dogs from town" for dinner
- The narrator's sister in Carroll's Melancholetta is portrayed this way:
- In Henry Zhou's Warhammer 40,000 novel The Emperor's Mercy, after aristocrats are rounded up in a raid, the women are crying with their black make-up running, and the men are worse.
- In Song of the Lioness, when Alanna is crying after a tiff with Liam, Thayet comes in to console her and remarks that "some women can cry and look pretty. You and I can't."
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only In Death, Ludd's tears leave his eyes red.
- In Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Door collapses into tears —afterward, she has red eyes and looks as if she had vigorously blown her nose and scrubbed tears from her face.
- During the ordeal, the Jessica cries so that her make-up runs.
- In Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, Katniss is afraid of this after she volunteers; it would make her look weak. After she shoots the apple out of the mouth of the Gamemakers' roast pig in anger and walks away undismissed, she sobs inelegant Tears of Remorse for fear they will harm her family over it and give her a bad score, meaning she will do poorly after she promised she would try to win.
- She does it again (complete with Lampshade Hanging) in "Catching Fire" when she thinks Peeta is dead.
- In Neil Gaiman's Stardust, when Tristran finds the star, her eyes are raw and red with weeping.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Jewels Of Gwahlur" not exactly wise for an imposter goddess.
Wipe your face. A goddess doesn't cry like a whipped schoolgirl.
- Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus series:
- In The Lost Hero, Piper tries to invoke this, but since Aphrodite decided to bless her with beauty, beautiful she remains.
- The Earthborn. "Yay-son! Where Yay-son? Kill Yay-son!"
- The Dresden Files: Jim Butcher does not like Cry Cute. He does not like it at all. While the female characters are rarely weepy, on the times when they do cry, it is always described as incredibly unflattering. Of course, the protagonist being who he is, that only pisses him off even more. He's fully aware of this flaw, and is getting better about overcoming it. And Harry himself does not weep manfully — he curls into a ball of whatever misery has currently landed on him and sobs his heart out.
- Joan Foster, the narrator of Lady Oracle, admits in the first chapter that she is prone to this sort of crying; her eyes get as red as "cooked tomatoes," her nose runs, she clenches her fists, snorts and moans. "Decorous weeping was another of those arts I never mastered, like putting on false eyelashes."
- In Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder's Except the Queen, crying like this is one of the multiple indignities heaped on Serana by her exile.
- In Amelia Takes Command, Amelia fears doing this after she gets bullied, because, according to her, people tend to have chins that crinkle up or mouths that look like rubber bands when they cry. At the end, the bully, Hilary, dissolves into all-out bawling after Amelia finally tells her off. She's described as having "a rubber-band mouth and a crinkly chin."
- The Chronicles of Narnia: In The Silver Chair, Jill Pole is doing this when the book opens. Also, young Digory Kirke in The Magician's Nephew. Both times, the author spends quite a bit of time on how unattractive it is.
- Invoked in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher where one of the boys cries so hard snot drips out of his nose. Also happens to "Duddits", a mentally challenged boy with Disability Superpowers, when a group of bullies beat him up and force him to eat a dried dog turd.
- It happens at least twice to the title character in Carrie. Both times also involve dripping snot.
- Scout in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous is described as having a soaked sleeve and a slimy face while still sniffling after a bout of tears.
- Lanen of Tales of Kolmar observes that she's seen women who only looked more beautiful when they cry, but her eyes go bright red and puffy and her nose runs.
- From Heralds of Valdemar: When Winterhart breaks down, Amberdrake observes that her eyes are swollen and bloodshot, her nose a brilliant pink, she looks horrible—and he wants to hold her in his arms and protect her from the rest of the world.
- Played for laughs with Margaret Twiss, courtesy of some amusing sound effects, in A Leader in the Chalet School:
“B-but it was me!-hurp-hurp!-it was!" Margaret wept loudly, her words so mixed up with her sobs that none of the girls could make head or tail of what she was saying and even the Head, with all her experience, could gather only a little here and there. “I-I s-saw Miss A-andrews-hurp!-p-put the snake-hurp-hurp!-snake into the d-drawer and I never-hurp!-said anything-hurp-hurp!-even when the rest b-blamed Jack-hurp!-for it!-hurp-hurp-hurp! Wah-hah-hah!”
- The title character of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Mrs. Fox's Wedding does this in the first part when Mr. Fox plays dead because he feels that he was unfaithful to her. She does this again in the second part when Mr. Fox finally dies.
- In her Memoirs, the Duchess of Abrantès characterized her late husband - General Junot - as being extremely prone to this.
- As described in Aztec, part of the ceremony to the rain god Tlaloc involves all the spectators doing this. First, the two young children who will provide the sacrifice are paraded around and shown off to the group. Then a priest makes the children cry, usually by pinching them. The onlookers all start weeping and wailing and beating their chests, because it will bring rain during the upcoming rainy season.
- In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, Alex can tell Misty has been crying because her eyes are red and puffy.
- In Heart of Steel, Mad Scientist Alistair Mechanus breaks down into this after getting his memories back, as he is forced to relive the Trauma Conga Line that led to his psychotic break and subsequent amnesia a decade before. Compounding things is that, due to his Traumatic Amnesia, he still hasn't had time to properly process things, so the pain is still as fresh as if it happened yesterday.
- In Andy Weir's The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded alone on Mars for months, without any means to communicate with Earth. But after he recovers the old Pathfinder probe, he repairs it and uses it to establish a link to Mission Control. Once he sees the main antenna has moved, indicating successful contact, he goes back inside the Hab and breaks down sobbing in relief.
- Happens on Titus when the titular character finally breaks down over his mother's death... in an airplane bathroom.
- And, according to Christopher Titus's stand-up, based on real events.
- In Glue, resident sensitive guy James sheds Manly Tears about once per episode - but he erupts into helpless sobs when he's arrested on suspicion of murder after hallucinating his dead ex-boyfriend during an acid trip, and later when he's kidnapped by the real murderer, beaten and almost killed.
- In Winter Sonata, a drunk Oh Chelin loses it after she proposes that "the jilted ones" (she and Sang-hyuk) start dating. She's the sole blubbering mess while everyone else in the series cries so carefully.
- Lilly in Hannah Montana is all about this trope when she cries.
- M*A*S*H: Happens with some frequency — lots of really red eyes and folks breaking down completely.
- Grace from Will and Grace is a champ at this, completely with incoherent high-pitched talking.
- Doctor Who has a few of these, all with fairly good reason.
- Rose at the end of series 2 — the Doctor is fairly composed; she's bawling her eyes out.
- The Doctor when the Master dies at the end of series 3.
- And in human form in "The Family of Blood" ("God, you're rubbish as a human!").
- "The Angels Take Manhattan" has Eleven a blubbering mess◊ (due to losing Rory and Amy to the Weeping Angels.
- A fleeting example in Merlin 3x05 - after Arthur is shot and Merlin thinks he won't be able to save him, he's briefly shown in tears, completele with running nose, as he washes the blood off his hands.
- Guinevere in 4x09. When Arthur confronts her about kissing Lancelot on the eve of her wedding to Arthur, Gwen is on the verge of hysteria considering she was under a spell at the time, didn't understand what she was doing, and can't provide Arthur with a coherent explanation.
- Merlin in A Lesson in Vengeance, once again because it appears that his spell has failed to heal Arthur. Partially done to contrast with Gwen, who was brainwashed the episode before and has spent the entire episode crying Crocodile Tears to get everyone to follow her.
- Merlin revealing his magic to Arthur in the series finale almost doesn't come to pass since Merlin is crying so much.
- This happens with Monica and Rachel when they are saying goodbye because Rachel is moving to Paris. Her blubbering becomes so unintelligible that Monica can't understand what she's saying.
- Monica is quite prone to this. When Rachel is about to move out, Monica gives a speech to Phoebe about how great a roommate she was. It begins as a Tear Jerker but becomes hilarious as Monica blubbers "I have to live with a BOY!!!"
- Again when she's proposing to Chandler, she can barely get the words out because she's crying so hard. She even lampshades it saying "there's a reason girls don't do this."
- A recurring sketch in Man Stroke Woman is a man whose girlfriend has just dumped him, causing him to blubber incoherently while his friends hazard increasingly bizarre guesses as to what he's trying to say.
- SCTV - resident primadonna celebrity Johnny La Rue (John Candy) goes into pathetic blubbering, pleading fits when station higher-ups deny him his perceived perks.
- Debra Morgan in Dexter, when she returns to the spot where Frank Lundy was killed.
- In Kamen Rider Fourze, Gentaro does it after Jerk Jock Shun Daimonji breaks down in tears and tells him about how much pressure and stress his father puts on him to be the "King" of the school. It's hilarious.
- He does this again in the Hyper Battle Video DVD when he thinks Kamen Rider Amazon stood him up.
- This trope is used all over the place much less humorously in Fourze's penultimate episode. After Kengo breaks down crying over having to leave Earth and his friends behind, Gentarou and Yuki try to cheer him up but similarly burst into tears themselves, to the point where they can barely even speak.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Jean-Luc Picard is twice reduced to this: once while expressing Sarek's repressed anguish and a long Vulcan lifetime of regrets, and once when he finally breaks down over what the Borg did to him, and how he wasn't strong or good enough to stop them.
- Ianto from Torchwood is a rather ugly cryer.
- Gwen also cries like this when Rhys dies in the Season 1 finale.
- Marshall from How I Met Your Mother does this hilariously in "The Chain of Screaming" after being yelled at by his boss. The others have a very hard time not making fun of him for it.
- Also, Ted is notorious for doing this during toasts at all his friends' weddings, which earns him a lot of flack and a youtube video. However, when he's being mocked for it at Punchy's wedding in the 7th season premiere, Marshall stands up and furiously admonishes everyone at the reception, pointing out that Ted's only crying because he's overcome with joy after Lily announced she was pregnant.
- Highlander. When Duncan accidentally kills Richie at the end of season 5, Joe Dawson literally breaks down crying on Methos' shoulder. Duncan is slightly more subdued (probably due to shock) but is still whimpering pretty hard as he walks off. A case of Tropes Are Not Bad, as it's really emotionally painful to watch and hammers in the impact of the scene.
- Boardwalk Empire. Normally calm and controlled, Margaret becomes a hysterical wreck by the end of "A Man, a plan". Finding your lover, with whom you intended to elope, murdered and delivered to your house in a box does this to people...
- Horatio Hornblower, "The Frogs and the Lobsters": The usually stoic Horatio sheds somewhat inelegant Manly Tears, with mucus and everything, when he contemplates the results of British participation on side of the Royalists in French revolution. He's also a bit shattered as his French lady friend died a vain death.
- Billie does this in the series finale of Charmed after she's forced to kill her sister. Most fans noted how she sounded uncannily like a seal - yet the scene is still very sad.
- Willow was a pro at this on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Confessions" when she's weeping in the bathroom over Xander and Faith sleeping together, in "Wild at Heart" when Oz leaves her and especially in "The Gift" where Buffy dies. Another one is "Passion" where we get a Big NO and she collapses gasping in Joyce's arms when she hears Jenny has been murdered. Genuine Tear Jerker every time.
- Jax Teller does this a couple of times on Sons of Anarchy, once in "Laying Pipe" when he watches his best friend beaten to death and once in "A Mother's Work" when he finds his wife dead on their kitchen floor. His face turns bright red, tears smeared everywhere, full body shaking, the whole deal.
- Three words to describe Rocky Lockridge's loud bawling in Intervention: Best. Cry. Ever.
- Sam from Supernatural is an ugly crier and gets much less crying scenes compared to his brother (Jensen is a master of "the single perfect tear"). When he does, he dissolves into this and it is heartbreaking each time. See the beginning of season 2 when his dad dies or the send of season 3 when Dean dies.
- Belle in Once Upon a Time collapses into a heap of hysterics during the Season 3 Winter finale when Rumpelstiltskin sacrifices himself.
- A Running Gag in early episodes of The Brittas Empire has receptionist Carole constantly in tears over her divorce, sometimes making her hard to understand.
- In the Filipino family drama Flordeliza, Liza undergoes a crying fit, complete with a running nose, when Crisanto smashes her cell phone for lying about her blindness in an attempt to rid Flor and Gener from her life. She undergoes another when Beth throws her to the ground, throws her packed bag to her, abusively declares that she is no longer her daughter anymore, and sends her away to her grandparents.
- The Office (US) has different tearjerking episodes, but most of the characters handle their tears well. However, in the third season episode "The Coup," when Dwight tries to go behind Michael's back to Jan, Michael berates him until Dwight breaks down. He goes on his knees, wailing, and when he comes up he has snot running down his face.
- In the mini-series Rhodes, Cecil Rhodes collapses on the ground in tears at the funeral of a friend, implied to be a homosexual lover of Rhodes.
- Albert Collins' hard luck blues story ''But I Was Cool''
- Depressive Black Metal has a lot of these cries formed into vocals. They're so painful to hear you'll want to cry too. Example at about 5:55.
- One of the more infamous examples of this is Silencer (the probable Trope Codifier for using Inelegant Blubbering in Black Metal) in their song "Sterile Nails and Thunderbowels" (the blubbering starts at about 2:40). A case of Tropes Are Not Good, as there are large numbers of metalheads who find the blubbering Narmy in the extreme and a low point of the song.
- The extended version of The Temptations' "Runaway Child, Running Wild" features a little boy crying for his mother, just after the regular version would've faded out. It's only for about five or six seconds, then the instrumental takes over, as if to say "No one can hear you, Little Boy."
Role Playing Games
- Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: "Now Luke, you know a gentleman never makes a scene in public" "I'm sorry professor, but I'm not a gentleman yet!"
- Katawa Shoujo: In Hanako's route when Hanako and Hisao climatically reconcile their feelings for one another with all the pain and loss both have experienced in their pasts.
- In Super Paper Mario , Emotionless Girl Nastasia goes into a blubbering fit when she learns that Count Bleck is gone forever. She recovers her dignity with equal abruptness.
- Splicers cry a lot in BioShock. This is hardly surprising, given how badly they're broken. When they start crying, there's nothing elegant about it - it's full of sobbing and groaning, and it tends to last for quite some time.
- Queen Brahne while watching the play "I Want To Be Your Canary" in Final Fantasy IX. As the play is performed every year, she's likely just getting into the spirit of it (it's a tragedy). She pauses for a moment to wonder where her daughter has wandered off to before resuming bawling over the heroine's death.
- Tidus in Final Fantasy X does some very undignified crying when he discovers the truth about Yuna and the Final Aeon. His line near the end of the game "I hate you, Dad" is a little more dignified.
- Kiyotaka Ishimaru from Dangan Ronpa does this (complete with tears and sweat) after Mondo Oowada is revealed as the murderer of Chihiro Fujisaki in Chapter 2 and he is executed at the end of the second trial. The scene is intensified in the anime version, where little puddles of tears are added to the effect.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening's Future Past 2 DLC Owain, the future son of Lissa goes into a sobbing fit upon being reunited with his mother. It gets to the point that he can barely speak properly as he chews himself out. Considering the one who's doing it, it's quite painful to read.
- Achewood: Ray Smuckles has blubbered on two separate occasions. Once when wearing arguing loafers that caused him to dance until he collapsed from exhaustion, and once when he was in the Volvo of Despair. "A BLOO BLA BLOO BLOO BLOOOO! BLOO BLOOOO! A BLOO BLA BLOOO!"
- Gunnerkrigg Court:
- when Kat tried to use make-up and found she couldn't do it right.
- Also: Kat plays MetalGearSolid4 (The Microwave chamber.)
- Also: Red eyes after some bad news.
- Anja was doing this, turning her eyes red — when her daughter showed up and she tried to hide it with a Tearful Smile.
- Antimony tries to play things cool after getting some emotionally-confusing news... Only to start breaking up while in the middle of drinking a glass of water.
- Nedroid: Beartato, after reliving his "rough" childhood.
- Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name: Veser's little episode.
- In Nip and Tuck, Thelma, who was crying, is wiping her eyes while saying she's a mess.
- In Peter Is the Wolf, Sarah's extended session of late-night howl-sobbing is so loud and conspicuous that it threatens The Masquerade. (As it is, some of the locals are convinced they have a new monster, and enough believe that Sarah has the nickname "Parkie" (from "park monster", where her wolf form was first sighted by outsiders).
- In Bad Machinery, crying is always written as "A-HER-HER-HER!" be it from a tough guy or a teenage girl.
- In No Rest for the Wicked, Klaus calls Anna's tears blubbering.
- In Sinfest, both Squigley and the green succubus — more through Written Sound Effects than visual appearance.
- In Archipelago, Credenza sobs so suddenly and violently that she spooks Raven enough for him to form a crucifix with his fingers.
- Miseng and Wangnan from Tower of God after they failed the test to advance to the next floor.
- Twilight The Musical: Bella Swan does this.
- The Nostalgia Critic's knowledge of a traditional cry is one where you're puffy-eyed, sniffing, snorting and can barely talk.
- Orange's eyes are red and puffy in his video promoting his new YouTube channel because he had been crying tears of joy over it.
- A viral video features Abby Evans from Colorado who cries her eyes red over the 2012 primary election. Clearly, she has enough of all the talk about Bronco (sic) Obama and Mitt Romney.
- In the Darkwing Duck episode "Dead Duck", Launchpad cries loudly and messily when returning from Darkwing's funeral.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Fluttershy is reduced to blatant tears, running away in embarrassment when her wingpower is measured far lower than everypony else's in "Hurricane Fluttershy". Then there's the scene where the animals are comforting her. She looks up, her eyes are red and her face is dirty from her shoving her face into the grass.
- When Fluttershy bluntly tells Rainbow Dash that she'll be spending the winter without Tank in "Tanks for the Memories", Rainbow Dash starts openly sobbing about how much she doesn't want Tank to go.
- In stark contrast to the earlier Tears shed at Twilight Sparkle's Coronation, Shining Armour gets like this at Matilda and Cranky-Doodle's Wedding.
- How Pinkie Pie, so eager to babysit month-old foals and prove she has what it takes, ultimately reacts when she realizes just how in over her mane she is.
- Family Guy:
- Stewie does this near the end of the episode "New Kidney in Town". Brian even makes mention of how gross it is when Stewie tries to hug him.
- Joe Swanson does it at the Drunken Clam in an earlier episode, after trying to catch a thief who stole money raised for a boy's surgery. (He got the money, but lost the perp.) This actually causes the other guys to slowly exit the bar through increasingly-unlikely ways to get clear of him.
- In the classic short film Feed the Kitty, Marc Anthony goes into a massive blubbering fit after believing Pussyfoot has been baked into a cookie. He goes into yet another one when he's handed a cookie in the shape of a kitten. Thankfully the kitten turns out to be safe.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula's last appearance is this overlapping with Broken Tears (the character in question provides the current page image for it, so spoiler alert if you follow that link). At first there was incoherent, furious screaming, but within seconds it devolved into sobbing.
- Bolin does this in The Legend of Korra "The Spirit of Competition." Ocular Gushers, rivers of snot, the whole deal. And then he runs away from the offending sight.
- Mitch Mitchelson from The Powerpuff Girls does this in the episode "Gettin' Twiggy With It," when he pleads with the girls not to take the classroom hamster Twiggy away from him.
- Bubbles does this in "All Chalked Up". No red, puffy eyes, but it IS quite loud. And boy is it sad.
- Skippy Squirrel bawls inelegantly as he watches the death of the title character's mother and the wildfire scene in "Bumbie the Dearest Deer" (a parody of "Bambi") in Animaniacs. He does this again after Slappy explains that no one gets hurt in cartoons, when they fly to Tumcumcari, New Mexico to meet Veena Waleen (who acted as, well, Bumbie's Mom), and when they watch an in-flight movie of an "Old Yeller" parody named "Old Yellow.".
(Skippy sniffles, wiping his nose with his paw.)Slappy: Ohhhh (handing tissue), use a tissue.(Skippy, shown with red, puffy eyes and runny nose, blows hard on the tissue, which covers him.)
- South Park's Eric Cartman does this at the end of "Breast Cancer Show Ever" after Wendy annihilates his manhood and "coooool"-ness by beating him in a fight.
- Billy does this in the The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Tricycle of Terror," when some boys tease him about his tricycle.
- In an episode of The Boondocks, Jazmine does this out of guilt after Grandad sneaks her, Huey and Riley into a movie without paying. After watching a guilt-slinging anti-piracy ad she has tears and snot running down her face.
- Mr. Krabs does this in the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Clams", to the point where his eyes become literal faucets.
- Most crying in Steven Universe is pretty much split between this and cry cute depending on how serious the scene is supposed to be taken.
- North Koreans have to follow and obey their leaders - even worship them. So when they die, they have to openly mourn for them (read: wail and cry as if they really mean it) or else they will be imprisoned or worse. News coverage of the leader's followers once they had died has some people wondering if it's all fake or not for that matter.
- In 1994, when Kim Il Sung died, they did just that. News reporters, factory workers, tough male soldiers, etc all pounded the pavement, wrung their fists and wailed loudly. Here's an example of this.
- They did so likewise when Kim Jong Il died on December 2011. Again, it was mandatory (which make some viewers of footage of them inconsolably wailing think that they are feigning it). Those who didn't bawl hysterically were sent to labor camps.
- Here's one girl in the crowd◊ who really obeyed the orders. Her red, puffy eyes tell all.
- To be fair, the death of Princess Diana in 1997 precipitated some inelegant and graceless public weeping in Great Britain, which the saner half of the population found distasteful and depressing. And our newspapers didn't call that the result of decades of brainwashing and mind control...
- In Aztec society, weeping at appropriate times (such as after losing a battle, or when beseeching the gods for aid) was considered the sign of a pious and honorable individual.
- Brazilian fans' reactions to the 2014 World Cup semi-finals match between Germany and host country Brazil, or for short, 7-1.