Crying is a very powerful expression of human emotion. But not all cultures and times understand the symbolism of crying in the same way. Particularly variable is the degree to which this symbolism has been gendered over the centuries.
Somewhere down the line, it became the "norm," in most of Europe and America at least, 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. But sometimes... sometimes... sometimes 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. And crying does NOT makes him any less Badass in the eyes of the audience. These are what we like to call Manly Tears.
Common cases of this are:
Basically any time a Badass is overwhelmed with emotion.
The common thread here is that Manly Tears are justified and dignified. Crying for no (good) reason doesn't count, nor does crying out of frustration or over wounded pride. Pain is out too, for no matter how bone-shattering the beating or how excruciating the tortureThe Hero will never give their tormenter the satisfaction of MANPAIN TEARSnote this being where Berserker Tears come in handy, as per the "don't get scared, get angry" maxim. Crying in fear is also out, for the same reasons. On the "dignity" side, however justified they might be Water Works and Inelegant Blubbering don't qualify as Manly Tears because of their lesser/non-existent dignity.
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 is often moved deeply, see Tender Tears.
Manly Tears may swiftly change into Berserker Tears if the one who caused the hero's suffering is here.
Sometimes the tears may be Tears of Joy, and paired with the Fist Pump.
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 and Break the Badass. May be in the form of a Single Tear (which generally makes it even manlier)
Since there is no separate trope covering works from cultures where crying is actively expected as a part of masculinity, or no big deal, examples of that are included here. But in such cultures the message of the symbolism is not "he's crying because it's so extreme that even a normally unemotional man would cry", but rather "he's crying because a display of authentic emotion is what is expected of a man in these circumstances".
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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. (In a follow-up ad, the Indian rides with a big smile through towns where people are cleaning up.)
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
Fist of the North Star is famous for this (especially in the case of Kenshiro, pictured above), and the series is arguably the Trope Codifier. Before FOTNS, crying in anime was absolutely not manly. After FOTNS, a badass who cries is someone confident enough in himself that he does not mind showing his emotions, and indeed his emotions give him strength. Manly tears in this series are usually a prelude to MASSIVE incoming badassitude. Do note, however, that 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.
The Mazinger trilogy is another Trope Codifier. Males in this series were prone to burst into tears and it did not diminish their badassery at all:
Kouji Kabuto 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 also got his moments. One of them was when his adoptive father died.
Duke Fleed also shed them 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.
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.
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.
It turns out Guy's father was also like this as a flashback from Guy's childhood showed.
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 father, and later mother, in his mind.
Even before that, he also cries when he discovers that the other members of the Sasuke Retrieval Team will make a full recovery, after failing their mission in bringing Sasuke back to Konoha.
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.
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.
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 a Heroic Sacrifice for him after Yugi wins against 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.
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 Jo Jos 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
Subverted by Wrath at the same funeral. At first glance, he is hiding his face with his hat and appears to be trembling due to crying, but he's actually just incredibly aggravated by a child's crying.
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.
Proving to us over and over that underneath several tons worth of muscle, towering height, and tremendous alchemical skill (passed down through many generations!!!) that Armstrong is a biggest marshmallow amongst the entire Amestrian army. And we love him for it.
Hohenheim suddenly opens the valves on his one and only family picture. Boy, does he look desperate.
After hearing Hohenheim offer himself to bring Al back and apologzing for not being there when his sons needed him, Ed told him to never say something like that again while fully acknowledging him as his dad and crying for the first time since the accident.
In the 2003 anime, 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.
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.
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 woobieToboe 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 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.
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 Dragon Ball 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.
Guts suffers 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.
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...
Subverted when he believes Suzaku to have betrayed him to Schneizel. He tears up and starts screaming in anguish in an undignified, hysterical way.
Also when he believes Nunally to be dead he is in such a state of shock that he doesn't seem to register it when Rolo repeatedly tells him.
Suzaku cries silently as he, dressed as Zero, kills Lelouch. Subverted when Euphie died, when Suzaku was more Inelegant Blubbering material before he calmed down and got dangerous.
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.
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 Xxx HO Li C 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.
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.
Wolfgang Grimmer, who is seeking to regain his lost emotions, manages to cry twice in the series, and both times are tear jerkers. The first time, he cries for the sake of an orphan who thought he was unwanted and was on the brink of suicide to show how much he truly cares for him, and the second time, he manages to cry for his long-dead son, something he was previously unable to do.
After Ichigo defeats Renji in the Soul Society arc, Renji grabs Ichigo and begs him to save Rukia.
Byakuya, after the Gotei 13 gets the crap kicked out of them, launches into one of the most impassioned speeches of any character in the entire manga which stands out as much for the character its coming from as the fact he's quite literally been ripped to shreds and his only concern is that someone who has the power to protect the last of the shinigami still left alive takes on the burden of doing so. The scene alone is shocking enough, but the tears that accompany the speech really ram home the situation.
Zaraki starts crying when he thinks he is about to die without ever achieving his goal of defeating the first opponent he ever admired Retsu/Yachiru Unohana.
When a betrayed Ichigo thought he was stabbed in the back by Isshin, but it was actually Rukia giving back his shinigami powers.
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 Bandthought they were also killing their leader.
Kimura-sensei from Azumanga Daioh cried as he bade farewell to his graduates.
BUT KAORIN AND I WIL BE TOGETHER FOREVER!!!
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.
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 VoicelessRecurring 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.
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! 5Ds 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 again when she survives.
Considering he always talks about being manly, no surprise Elfman has done this. The first when he saves Mirajane, and the second when he and Mira are reunited with Lisanna.
In this anime/manga no arc comes to a pass without having at least one man cry, regardless whether it's Berserker Tears, Tears of Joy, or what.
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.
In Ginga Nagareboshi Gin and it's squeal Ginga Densetsu Weed, It's not unusual to see badass dogs belonging to super tough breeds crying. One example is John, a powerful German shepherd who cries tears of relief when Weed and his pack find him.
Another is "Great", the Great Dame. He cries blood at one point.
Happens quite a lot in ElfQuest. 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.
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 Doom protagonist from the comic can't help but weep as he bears witness to the majesty...THE BFG 9000!
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.
In Runaways, Chase begins to cry when Gert finds out that he kissed Nico once, and thought that he didn't love her anymore.
At the end of Flashpoint, Barry Allen manages to give Bruce Wayne a letter from his father Thomas from the alternate timeline. Bruce cries and thanks him.
After Anti-HeroMorbius was cured of his pseudo-vampirism and served time in prison for his crimes he finally had a chance to rebuild his life. Unfortunately, that came to an abrupt end when he was tricked, drugged and captured, and an electric shock was forcibly run through his system. He cries when he finds it has turned him into a living vampire again.
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.
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, DannyDingo 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.
In Human Curiosity, Prussia cries in The Bonus Chapters, when he gets his memories back and reunites with Germany. One chapter also has England cry when he learned that Portugal was "dead", which led to him waking up from the dream-memory while still crying.
Moses in The Prince of Egypt, at the deaths of all the firstborn Egyptian sons. After Rameses finally grants the Hebrews permission to leave (while mourning over his own son's body), as Moses walks back to the Hebrew dwellings amid the echoing sound of bereaved mothers' cries, he is overcome with grief and collapses against a wall, sobbing.
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.
Rock and Rule: when Mok finally raises the demon andinnocent hench-man Zip takes a mortal hit for the hero; his villainous brother can only tearfully ask him why he did it.
The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible holds up fine under torture, but he breaks down and sobs like a baby when he is led to believe that Syndrome killed his wife and children. (They turn out to be all right.)
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.
Théoden in front of Théodred'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.
When Gabe failed to save his best friend's girlfriend in Cliffhanger.
In Gladiator, Maximus races home desperately...to 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.
When Mel Gibson's characters cry, it's usually closer to Maximus' reaction above than the tough-guy "single tear." From Lethal Weapon to The Patriot, it's clear that Gibson portrays soul-crushing grief like few actors can.
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.
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.
In Thor, Loki's face is visibly wet with tears after he discovers from Odin that he's actually a Frost Giant. He also sheds a tear when he asks Thor, "Is it madness?", which is a sign of his emotional breakdown.
The Avengers: Loki displays a rare moment of vulnerability right after he stabs Thor. A tear falls from his eye as he says, "Sentiment."
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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 Schindlers 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 (who's been choked to death by Frederick Sykes, the one-armed man), then as the cops are interrogating him and the full impact of everything begins to sink in. To make matters worse, the police interpret this reaction as a de factoadmission of guilt, and he is quickly convicted thereafter.
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.
Very likely a case of Manly TearsOf Joy—the mission nearly ended in total disaster, but everyone came out alive.
Both Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr do this in a rather touching scene where the latter 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 mother on welcoming in their Sabbath.
After Charles gets shot, there is a particularly heartbreaking moment when he has to tell Erik that no, they do not want the same things when it comes to mutants and humans. Cue the Manly Tears on his part. It's an indicator of how the two men have grown apart that Erik's face just blanks of emotion in response.
Jason's apology in Mystery Team makes him do this. Granted, he WAS drunk.
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. He also starts tearing up while watching Christopher reach the mothership, relieved but realising his human life is over.
In Les Miserables (2012), when Eponine dies, Marius cries, Gavroche is silently weeping, and a single tear falls off of Enjolras's eyelashes.
Marius also cries during his solo, "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables." Furthermore, Jean Valjean cries desperate Tears of Remorse during "Valjean's Soliloquy," and sheds a few during his own death scene too. And when Gavroche is killed, student revolutionary Courfeyrac sobs uncontrollably. This movie is a fountain of Manly Tears!
In Werewolf: The Beast Among Us Daniel breaks down crying when he realises he himself is the werewolf they've been hunting for.
Cast Away: "I'm sorry, Wilson!" Only Tom Hanks could yell that line, believably, at a volleyball, and then be seen sobbing over the loss of that volleyball, without making it sound stupid. Mind you, we don't actually see any tears, just hear a grown man cry.
In order, Kirk, Harrison, and Spock, each get a single tear in Star Trek Into Darkness . From the same eye, even. The good guys are looking at the reason for their tears, while the bad guy is looking away from the good guys.
In the otherwise silly 1990 live-action film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there are some pretty emotional scenes, one of the most effective being when Raphael, who has a Hair-Trigger Temper and is in various other ways quite the Jerkass, is lectured by Master Splinter that what is sad about him is not that he doesn't realize that getting angry only gives his anger more power over him, but that, alone among the Turtles, "you choose to face this enemy alone." Splinter then assures Raphael that it doesn't have to be this way, and Raphael begins to understand. He blubbers very softly as Splinter holds him - the natural reaction of a tough, angry guy who doesn't want to cry, but simply must.
In a rare comedic example, Polish cult classic Sami swoi (All Friends Here) portraying two feuding families invokes this trope. When the main protagonists decide to reconcile, one of them says to the other, through the tears: Cry Casimir, because when the real man cries, something great is about to happen.
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...
To say nothing of Odysseus's reunion with his son Telemachus. Many tears are shed on both sides.
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.
Harry Potter: Harry breaks down during Dumbledore's funeral in Half Blood Princein 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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
In the third of the Spaceforce novels, Jay breaks down briefly after starting to read the unfinished field report of a murdered fellow agent. It's the only time he reacts in this way to anything.
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.
In Smiley's People by John le Carré, 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...
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 he set the fire himself as a test, and feels joy "almost too intense to bear".
In Poul Anderson's "A World Called Maanerek", Wanen breaks free from the ship, rescuing Sonna — and accidentally bringing along Horlam — and then destroys it. Then he collapses, weeping so violently that Sonna is frightened. Horlam explains that turning on his former comrades was betraying everything he had believed before.
In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel On the Razor's Edge, Pyati weeps extravagantly over a message, and rebuked, says that Padaborn had died, what else could he do?
The Dukes of Hazzard: Several episodes that were among the highest acclaimed among fans features several of the male lead characters crying tears, usually when someone is in extreme danger or thought to be dead.
James Best arguably was the best at showing emotion, particularly in a pair of second-season episodes, "The Ghost of the General Lee" (he thinks he caused Bo and Luke to crash into a lake and drown; he admits here that he chased the Duke boys just for the sake of the chase), and just weeks later in "Grannie Annie," where he fears the worst possible fate for Boss Hogg after he's been kidnapped by a counterfeiter he pissed off. He also bawled when Flash was kidnapped by fortune-seekers and when he feared he made his "little fat buddy" disappear into thin air for real (when Boss goes missing during a magic show at the Boar's Nest).
On the flip side, Bo and Luke also cry when they think Rosco had drowned in the lake.
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: Crime Scene Investigation 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. He also has a tendency dubbed by the fandom as the "Single Manly Tear" of only having one tear, from one eye, slide down his face. The man does not ugly cry even when he's breaking down.
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.
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.
Three words, "Rose Tyler, I..."
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 braveWalking 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.
Later 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. Crying Roman with a baby...
The Doctor cries quite a lot at the end of "The Doctor's Wife" as the TARDIS' human form dies and disintegrates and she goes back to being a machine.
The little show of humany-wumany emotion at the end of the 2011 Christmas Special.
And twice in Series 7 Part 2: Once in The Rings of Akhaten in his usual speech-making, and again in The Name of the Doctor.
In the Series 8 finale, the usually tough and stoic Twelfth Doctor sinks to the TARDIS floor in tears when he finds out that Missy lied about the coordinates to Gallifrey, and that there is actually nothing there, meaning that his home planet is still lost.
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.
Sherlock: In the third episode of the second season Sherlock is visibly in tears as he makes a final call to his friend John before faking his own death in order to save the latter's life. Though he is partially obscured, John can be heard crying as he stands at Sherlock's grave.
This also doubles as a case of Manly Tears for the actor playing Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch was moved that much by Martin Freeman's performance during the scene at St Bart's.
John Crichtonlampshades 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 BadassAction 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.
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.
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 SentaiCross Over 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).
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 Dead Man's Party, 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.
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 4. 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.
In Fringe, Lincoln sheds a few tears when he is holding Fauxlivia as she gives birth and thinks she's died, then again when she revives.
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 & 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.
"Saga of a Star World" - Colonel Tigh is seen weeping among with Rigel, Athena, and others devastated by the scene of their former home and people slaughtered in the Cylon Attack on Caprica and the colonies.
"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.
"The Return of Starbuck" - Boomer is forced to leave Starbuck behind in battle.
Invoked cynicaly in Season 2 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.
In Glue, James sheds Manly Tears in almost every episode (occasionally crossing into Inelegant Blubbering, played for drama). To be fair, death of a boyfriend, arrests, kidnappings, beatings and near-death experiences will do that to you.
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 2 finale when Blair professes her deep love for him and he shoots her down.
And then he weeps some more in Season 2, 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 3 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 5, 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 5 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, resident Badass 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.
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.
These instances are made all the more heartbreaking when you realize that Will went off the script in real life there, recalling what happened to him as a child (which was similar to what was happening in the show). He starts going off on his own monologue, and the tears he cries are very real. James Avery (who plays Uncle Phil) reacting to it by embracing Will was not acting; everything that was happening at the end of that scene was real.
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").
At the end of the "Worst Best Man Ever" episode, all three of the guys wind up crying after Ross decides to make both Chandler and Joey his Best Man. Joey is so touched that as tears start rolling down his face he runs out of the apartment to do his best to save face. Chandler and Ross try mocking him, even as the two of them start tearing up as well.
The scene didn't take place in their apartment; it was in a veterinary hospital. The three were in a tizzy when they learned a ring wasn't stolen by a stripper but eaten by the pet duck.
One episode has Ross buy Phoebe a bike after learning that she never had one as a kid and Chandler gets so moved he starts crying. Later when Joey later teases him over it, Chandler gets back at him by revealing that Joey always cries at the end of Titanic.
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 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.
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 Season 2 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. Later that season, stern, gruff Benton completely breaks down over the death of his beloved mother. Carter sheds these pretty often too—after his friend's suicide, while grappling with drug addiction, and most tragically, after his son is stillborn.
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.
And when Alexis is kidnapped, he loses it completely and ends up in tears multiple times.
In the episode "Last Call", when the mayor agrees to let Castle have a bottle of Mayor Beau James "J.J." Walker's legendary whiskey, in exchange for a generous donation to the NYPD Widows and Orphans fund, Esposito asks, "Castle, are you crying?" Castle admitted that yes, he was.
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.
And again in the first episode of series 3, which is actually called "The Tears of Uther Pendragon". On being reunited with Morgana, he cries Manly Tears, which she then uses in a spell against him, making this trope an actual plot point.
Arthur has also had his fair share of Manly Tears; usually to do with his father Uther, or his beloved Guinevere.
Merlin himself has shed a few tears, generally when he loses loved ones. But in the finale, when he completely loses it upon losing Arthur, he outright sobs.
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.
Vic starts breaking down at the end of the first season when he discovers that his wife has left him and taken their kids with her.
Dutch, the resident Butt Monkey of the precinct, manages to actually win the respect of his fellow officers after winning a lengthy mind game against a suspect in the confession room and ultimately getting him to confess he's a killer. However, some of the things the guy said to him really hit close to home, particularly about how empty and pathetic his life mainly is. As he's getting into his car to head home that night, he suddenly stops and starts sobbing to himself.
Troy from Community likes to pretend he has these, being an ex-Jock, when in truth he has more Tender Tears than the rest of the cast combined.
Tony cries several times over the course of The Sopranos - usually with good reason - but perhaps never as heartwrenchingly as in the penultimate scene of the final episode, in which he sheds a single tear when he realizes that Uncle Junior, advanced in his dementia and doomed to spend the rest of his life in a dingy state facility, no longer remembers his family or anything he ever accomplished.
Murdoch Mysteries: Detective Murdoch's eyes fill with tears when Dr. Julia Ogden tells him that her abortion left her barren. She also strongly implies that she wants to end their relationship because she knows how much he wants to have a family. He also cries when his sister tells him she has to return from Toronto to Montreal, and because she is an abbess, they are not going to see each other any more. It's very telling because he usually controls his emotions quite strongly, except for an occasional smirk or smile.
Also, she has told him that she's dying.
Inspector Brackenreid is on the brink of tears when his son got kidnapped and his kidnappers apparently killed him. He holds them because he doesn't want to cry in front of other people, but his eyes are full of tears and he's very, very shaken.
Law & Order: UK: Matt Devlin struggles to hold these back when talking with friend/colleague Alesha Phillips after her rape, then lets loose with them at the end of the episode "Confession", berating himself for not being there for his friend neither when they were children and the latter was being abused by their priest, nor as an adult when he failed to realize that his friend was suicidal. His partner Ronnie, on the other hand, manages to hold these back while dealing with his death. Only upon talking with the mother of his killer does he finally break down and even then, it's only a brief moment of his voice catching when he describes Matt as "like. . .MY son"
G'Kar shed Manly Tears a couple times, once after his vision of his father, G'Quon and G'Lan (a vision given him by Kosh) in "Dust to Dust"; and another episode with himself and Delenn both in tears when Delenn is apologizing for holding back information on the Shadows from him when they were aiding the Centauri in their war against the Narn, which resulted in millions getting killed on his homeworld.
Sheridan chokes up a bit when he talks to his father, which for all they know might be the last time, right before he makes the decision to secede the station from Earth in "Severed Dreams".
And in "Sleeping in Light", he and Delenn are both tearful their last night together before he departs for the Rim to his death.
The Middle takes a more humorous approach to this when Axl is dumped by his perfect girlfriend. Frankie seizes to opportunity to get affectionate with her son until they are found by Mike. The following day, Frankie plays an old answering machine tape containing Mike's weeping voice begging Frankie to take him back. Mike discovers this and feels the need to explain to Axl that women sometimes find it cute when men weep.
"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
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 an 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
"Teargas" by Katatonia:
What is it in my eyes A piece of broken glass Is this the time I should be on my knees for you Is this your way of telling Another has been found Now I know it's teargas in my eyes
"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.
Bruce Springsteen worked on the studio version of "Land Of Hope and Dreams" after the death of saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Since Clemons wasn't there, a pre-recorded version of his solo was added to the record. Springsteen said later that he cried when he first heard the completed version of the song.
Korean boy band MBLAQ's song Cry is all about this. The music video features every member shedding very dramatic manly tears in the rain.
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.
Paul also mentioned in the Rise and Fall of ECW that everybody cried after ECW finished their first pay-per-view, Barely Legal.
Despite trashing the Ring of Honor fans, after wrestling what was thought to be his last match with the company, a two out of three falls match with Colt Cabana, it was obvious CM Punk was crying. It would happened again, him being 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.
Shannon Sharpe's pro football hall of fame speech. It was his brother Sterling who shed tears first and the tears started flowing when Shannon said this.
"My big brother, Sterling, I’m the only player of 267 men that’s walked through this building to my left that can honestly say this: I’m the only pro football player that’s in the Hall of Fame, and im the second best player in my own family.'
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, most famously after winning his first Wimbledon in 2003, losing the Australian Open in 2009, and winning the French Open to complete the career slam later that same year. Win or lose, a wrenching experience going five sets for the world championship.
Other players of the current generation have been following his example. Rafael Nadal has confessed to crying in the dressing room after losing Wimbledon to Federer in 2007, then more famously wept into his towel with relief after winning the 2010 French.
Then there's Andy Murray who has famously broken down twice. The first time was at the 2010 Australian Open, having lost to Federer in straights a final everyone had been predicting him to win, when he famously commented, "I can cry like Roger; it's a shame I can't play like him." The second time when he lost to Federer again at 2012 Wimbledon, when the world took notice and he won the love and sympathy of many who hadn't noticed before how much he really does care.
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 Momentof 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, "...you just don't know what Indy means!", he wasn't the only one with them.
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.
Teemu Selanne got all choked up after winning the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks. This not only affected Teemu, but everyone in Winnipeg, Manitoba; the place where his NHL carrier began.
And Ray Bourque in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche when, after a 22 year career, he finally won his first Stanley Cup, one year after being traded from the drought-ridden Boston Bruins, his team for 21 years. Just seeing him skating with the cup, tears streaming, made most of his faithful Boston fans get a little bit choked up too.
Rob Bagg of the Saskatchewan Roughriders has had a tough carrier, tearing his ACL in both his legs, and yet came back both times. In a game against the B.C. Lions, Bagg suffered an injury that looked similar to his past injuries, causing him to break down, assuming that his carrier was over. Luckily, it was only a sprain in his knee, giving him a second chance. Bagg and the Riders went on to win the 2013 Grey Cup.
After the 13th Man incident in the 97th Grey Cup and a second straight loss in the 98th Grey Cup, Saskatchewan Quarterback Darian Durant got the gorilla off his back, and cried after winning the 101st Grey Cup with the Roughriders as their starting Quarterback. He was only the Fourth Rider QB to win the Cup, succeeding Ron Lancaster, Kent Austin, and Kerry Joseph. Ironically, Austin also won the cup as the head coach of the Riders in 2007, and was the coach of the team Durant and the riders beat in the 101st Grey Cup, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats
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.
William 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."
In Much Ado About Nothing, Don Leonato expresses grief over his daughter Hero being the victim of Don John's slanders (which he at one point believed and attacked Hero over):
"I pray thee peace, I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently."
Marius sometimes has these as Eponine dies in his arms during Les Misérables.
Depending on the actor, Chris often works these up just before the Big "NO!" at the ending of Miss Saigon.
The stage directions specifically call for him to sob.
In Rifts, the first Siege on Tolkeen book contains an excerpt from a speech by Joseph Prosek I, where he announces the formation of the Coalition States. At the end he asks the audience to forgive "an old man's tears" at this momentous occasion.
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.
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.
In Metal Gear Solid 2 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: Snake Eater. And he has every god damn right to. His love interest reluctantly betrayes him and leaves forever. But not before revealing that his mother figure 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.
The Boss (who's a woman) also does this before her final fight with Big Boss.
In Metal Gear Solid 4, 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.
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.
Tidus of Final Fantasy X cries after defeating Jecht and gets to say "I hate you Dad". The earlier time he cries in the game, when he discovers Yuna will die at the end of her pilgrimage it's considerably less manly. Also after Operation Mi'hen, either Luzzu or Gatta will die depending on the player's decision. If Luzzu dies then Tidus will find Gatta on the beach sobbing. If it's Gatta instead (and Tidus will cry when he finds his body) Luzzu will snap and break down. The Al Bhed males also shed tears as they sing the Hymn of the Fayth just before they blow up their Home.
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.
SANGER ZONVOLT, of all people, has done this at the end of Alpha Gaiden. Considering the circumstances, many would be tempted to cry 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 status.
Dante in Devil May Cry 3 does this in the ending claiming it's "just the rain" while the weather is completely fine.
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.
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. This also happens to make the technique more powerful. 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 wasn't there, his son proves that even arid desert toads can cry.
And in the third game, at one point you catch Steve Cortez crying over a recording of the last words his now-dead husband Robert ever said to him.
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.
If you look closely at certain scenes in Asura's Wrath, during the true finale, Asura sheds some of his own, even knowing that he is going to die after killing Chakravartin. Yet he tells Mithra, with her Tender Tears, no more crying, all the other instances along side this one are played seriously, and are very Impactful.
Again, during Durkon's death He dies begging his killer to spare his friends, as well as smiling at the fact that he could finally go home.
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.
The Nostalgia Critic could never be accused of being manly, preferring instead to wail pathetically when the slightest thing goes wrong, but when he's matured into The Atoner for To Boldly Flee, he keeps his (apparently loads of) crying offscreen. All we see are some very red eyes throughout the entire movie.
In Demo Reel, Quinn is a former IRA member and even he blinks back tears at the Blue Patches sequel Rebecca and Tacoma made for Donnie.
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.
Double points of manly tears seeing as that episode was the last episode that Mako ever recorded due to his untimely death. As if people weren't crying hard enough, we were presented with an "In Memory of" dedicated to Mako. Needless to say, people were crying without abandon. To this day it still brings a small case of Manly Tears to many fans' eyes
Chowder, as the quote above shows, has no qualms about openly weeping when he feels truly moved.
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.
From a meta standpoint, Futurama is one of the foremost providers of Manly Tears, as anyone who's ever loved a pet, a sibling, a parent, or a dear friend can tell you...
This happens to the weasel of I Am Weasel a few times, most notably in the episode My Friend The Smart Banana.
George Washington took his leave of his officer corps immediately after the Revolutionary War. He asked each and every one of them to take him by the hand as he left. Confronted with the realization that they probably wouldn't see their Commander-In-Chief again, practically nobody in this roomful of badasses was able to keep his composure. Manly Tears everywhere.
NFL running back Arian Foster talking about his past family hardships.
Watch veterans attending ceremonies about the wars they fought in: you will see them shedding tears.
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 II photographs is this image of a Frenchman weeping◊ as the remaining French army leaves for Africa, about to become the expatriate Free French Forces. He was the first Parisian to be killed by the Nazis, two days before Christmas 1940, because he had refused to inform on the identity of people who had brawled with German soldiers.
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.
A few American football players may shed a few tears while listening to the American National Anthem.
You can usually catch a baseball player or two wiping his eyes during the National Anthem too.
Sam Taylor Wood created a series of photographs called "Crying Men" depicting Hollywood's leading men crying.
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.
Grant was a rather well-known manly crier. He was extremely traumatized by warfare and his PTSD would drive him to go into his tent and cry before battles. After which, he would clean himself up and do whatever it took to win the bloodiest war that the United States had ever seen.
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.
Many viewers noticed that Walter Cronkite was valiantly trying not to cry when he reported the death of John F. Kennedy. KRLD's Jay Hogan was crying when he gave his "one last goodnight" signoff that night.
Mr. T says something about this as well. "Mama said never to trust a man who can't cry."
George H.W. Bush speaking at the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, especially the last minute of the speech.
Jong Tae Se cried while listening to the North Korean National Anthem before a match against Brazil in 2010 FIFA World Cup.
When Dennis Eckersley retired in 1998, he gave one last press conference. A few minutes into it, he said "Now I'd like to tell you a little about what baseball means to me." He said nothing more. He was sobbing so hard he couldn't speak. He cried at his Hall of Fame induction, too.
Dan Rather sobbing when he quoted lyrics from "America the Beautiful" on the first post-September 11 "Late Night With David Letterman".