This is the story of a filly, who cried a river and looked kinda silly...
"Pedro's tears are once again flowing like waterfalls!"
Just as the human body contains gallons of highly pressurized blood
, it also contains an equal amount of tears, at a similar pressure. Under the proper emotional stimulus, these tears can emerge as cascading sheets, actual waterfalls, or even firehose-like streams, all emitted from the eyes (of course).
Some characters require less stimulus than others.
As a visual trope, this is Older than Television
; older American animation had a number of minor characters (who were usually minor in the sense of age as well) who would begin high-pressure crying at the drop of a hat (sometimes preceded by Puppy-Dog Eyes
, though that was more typically a signal for a poignant single glistening teardrop). Sometimes called the "Fire Hydrant Wail" in the case of the more extreme versions.
Compare Sparkling Stream of Tears
, Manly Tears
, Tender Tears
. Contrast Trying Not to Cry
, Single Tear
, Inelegant Blubbering
(both of which involves rather fewer and rather more realistic tears), Fireball Eyeballs
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- British advert for Walkers Crisps, playing on footballer Paul Gascoigne's famous tears at the 1990 World Cup, fits him with a couple of hoses for a rare Live-Action version of Ocular Gushers. Here you go.
- In an advertisement for IHOP's endless stack of pancakes, a man is so saddened by his empty plate, a HUGE tear builds on his cheek. It gets sucked back in by the arrival of a new stack.
- The Old Spice commercial "Tree", where several mothers are atop a tree, playing this trope straight.
Anime & Manga
- In Episode 23 of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, the entire city of New Townsville literally cries a river after the evil comedian impairs everyone with his misery rays. This is also reference to how Lou Gubrious sets his misery rays on Townsville.
- In an episode of Dragon Ball, when Chi-Chi sees Gohan's blonde hair (at this time, she doesn't know what a Super Saiyan is), she acts shocked and cries because she felt that Gohan became a "punker."
- Pedro in the anime (as the opening quote attests).
- In the manga, this literally happens to Ropponmatsu II; crying caused the little robot girl to spring a leak.
- Also happens in Excel Saga's Spiritual Successor Puni Puni Poemi. "This is making me cry waterfalls!"
- Ranma ˝
- Sōun Tendō. In fact, one reading of his name in Japanese means "Crying Man".
- And in the manga, when Happōsai needs Ranma's tears for a Fountain of Youth potion, poking a pressure point on Ranma's back causes him to literally blast a torrent of tears out his eyes, so that Happōsai has to catch them in a bucket.
- Nearly everyone in Azumanga Daioh does this in at least several points of the series. Worth mentioning is Mr. Kimura, who, in the last episode, spouts a literal waterfall of tears that traces down the contours of his suit.
- Randou Rino of Best Student Council does this often, usually while glomping her friend Ayumu.
- The title character in Sailor Moon. Usagi will do this at the drop of a hat, but the most common trigger is being called dumb, usually by her mom, Shingo or Rei. The very first episode of the anime is called "The Crybaby: Usagi's Beautiful Transformation"!
- Kagome's grandfather in Inuyasha.
- Love Hina
- Keitarō is well known for this, at the drop of a hat, of the cascading sheets variety, with at least one of firehose-like streams.
- Shinobu comes in second for frequency.
- Ken Akamatsu almost always depicts himself in this fashion in illustrations.
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Occurs occasionally in the 2003 anime version, even to Alphonse, who has no tear ducts◊. Or eyes, for that matter. Especially gets ridiculous when he questions moments where Ed won't cry for him when they're both in despair.
- In the 25th episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, May Chang is anxious about her pet Panda after she and it are separated during an intense fight with the enraged homunculus, Gluttony. In one scene, she actually cries a jet of tears which almost puts out the burning coals she used to warm herself.
- Frequently in Ouran High School Host Club, both anime & manga, by Tamaki (almost every other frame) and the Hitachiins in response to any example of Haruhi's "cuteness". Honey also, for Moe points.
- Rock Lee and his sensei Might Gai are notorious for the waterfall-of-tears look.
- Naruto and Inari perform some Ocular Gushing when they say goodbye to each other at the end of the Land of Waves arc despite being determined not to.
- Sasami in the Pretty Sammy series on occasion.
- One Piece tends to use the cascading water effect when characters are extremely upset. Oddly enough, it uses a somewhat subdued version for dramatic effect. The logical conclusion ends with a giant, whose tears are compared to a deluge.
- Every human who's freed from a Zonder Core in GaoGaiGar has these. Makes sense, since being purified appears to relieve whatever stress led to them being a Zonder target in the first place.
- Practically everybody in Lucky Star fall into this trope at the drop of a hat.
- Virtually everyone in Elfen Lied ... at least while they are not violently disemboweling someone. Considering what happens to everyone throughout the story, it's not surprising.
- This happens occasionally with the Team Rocket trio whenever they witness the Pokémon they're supposed to catch face hardship or do something emotionally significant, such as when Pikachu almost agreed to evolve into a Raichu with the Thunderstone in hopes of winning against Gym Leader L.T. Surge's Raichu.
- This is a Running Gag for Ash's Torkoal.
- One of Pikachu's cuter moments was after its ketchup bottle got slashed open by a Scyther. The next scene showed it doing this, holding the open bottle.
- Cute crybaby Ash tends to do this a lot in the early seasons.
- Saikano has this happen to most characters dozens of times in every chapter. No-one is resistant to this trope. The most notable gusher is actually the robot girl/"Ultimate Weapon" Chise, who seems to cry even when she's simply surprised.
- At one point in Fairy Tail, local water mage Juvia starts crying and nearly drowns several mages around her.
- The administrator at Ichigo's school, who called several students in anime episode 11 to berate them for their misbehavior at Don Kanonji's TV show filming in episode 10.
- Kon and several of Ichigo's male student friends (especially Keigo) have done this repeatedly.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai. Chief Technology maid Ikuyo Suzuki is prone to these. Taro does it in episode 13 and 14 and La Vérité episode 7.
- Axis Powers Hetalia
- Italy pulls this off several times, with tears literally spraying out in all directions. Notably in episodes 3 and 8, when he is faced with Germany, and England's cooking respectively.
- His manlier older brother Romano also does this once or twice as well.
- Ukraine's tears.
- The World God Only Knows:
- Keima at one point claims he's not crying, he's enjoying a hot spring! Complete with Keima suddenly being in a small hot spring filled by his tears. Which other characters apparently see and comment upon. Unless he really made one instantly...
- In Chapter 78, Keima cries a river after losing to Diana in a shogi match.
- FLCL. During the final episode "FLClimax", Commander Amarao has one of these during the final confrontation between Atomsk!Naota and Haruko.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Sara does this when wrongfully accused by Knuckles of piloting the Black Eggman robot. It is rather unfortunate that Robotnik/Eggman is sitting in the path and attempts to jump away from the cascade.
- Or, if you are watching Sonic Bastardized, accused by Knuckles for Going Commando.
- Charmy Bee does this◊ in one episode from Sonic X.
- Hale of Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu has to put up with so much grief from the titular Adorable Abomination, it's no wonder he does this at the drop of a hat.
- Being the light-hearted parodies of the Nasuverse they are, these show up in Carnival Phantasm and its predecessor Take Moon from time to time. For example, when Rin Tohsaka finds out she wasted ten years of her life preparing for a Holy Grail War that's now a Japanese game show.
- Certain Super Mario Bros. manga books would usually have certain characters do this over silly things.
- An example is in this panel,◊ where Yoshi, because of his grown weight, makes Mario, Peach, Luigi, and even his mother do one.
Films — Animation
- Almost every Hayao Miyazaki film has at least one instance where a character will cry massive gobs of tears the size of golf balls.
- The Lion King
- Timon and Pumbaa. At any slightly emotional moment.
- In the sequel, Simba's Pride, they cried at the marriage festival between Kiari and Kovu until they drenched a disgruntled Zazu.
- Happens in The Legend of Rah and the Muggles when the title character's brother sails away with a band of miscreants, to the extent that a flood is triggered that swamps the boats. Intended as a Tear Jerker, came out as just Narm.
- Alice in Wonderland has a chapter called "The Pool of Tears". When Alice becomes a giant after eating the cookies marked "Eat Me", she starts crying piteously, flooding the room with her tears. When she drinks from the bottle marked "Drink Me", she shrinks so small that she nearly drowns in the pool of tears she shed as a giant.
- Absolutely (Story of a Girl) by Nine Days, "This is the story of a girl/who cried a river and drowned the whole world."
- In the Genesis song, "Squonk", the title character, weeping for its own ugliness and ostracization, dissolves into a "pool of tears" while captured in a huntsman's sack. The myth of the Squonk involves this trait.
- As a literary trope, Ocular Gushers go back to The Bible. The prophet Jeremiah wants this, saying, "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" (Jeremiah 9:1) Both his books (Jeremiah and Lamentations) are somewhat depressing.
- This seems to be based on a Japanese bunraku puppet technique used to show mourning, in which ribbons would flow from the eyes. It was also used in the musical version of The Lion King.
- Super Princess Peach, where this is an ability. To clarify, its main use is to let you run really fast, but you can water buds that grow into gigantic vines with your tears. Without any negative effects from all the salt in those tears!
- Luigi does this often in the Mario & Luigi series.
- Street Fighter has Dan Hibiki, who has them when happy almost as often as when sad.
- The Worms-style MMO Gun Bound has certain vehicles (particularly the Triceratops) that will cry like this if they are defeated and respawning is not enabled.
- Rise of Persona 4 does this a lot, but only when it's tears of relief, so it helps lighten the mood. When Teddie started crying like this too, they hugged each other for support... until Teddie tried to cop a feel and Rise decked him.
- Several cases in the MMORPG Ragnarok Online:
- The Dumpling Kid's death animation doesn't really involve its death ... just this trope.
- The /sob emote displays a word balloon (not so) smiley face crying two streams of tears, with a torrent of teardrops falling down.
- In Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, the titular team sports a MANLY version of this in the break scenes of each game's final stage.
- Freddie Wong does a hilarious live-action version of this at the end of the action short "Gun Size Matters" when the Action Girl played by Shenae Grimes leaves him for a guy who pulled a 360 No Scope on the last Mook with a Barrett sniper rifle before landing into his car. According to the Behind the Scenes vid for the movie, Freddie and crew used a garden hose for this effect, primarily inspired by the old Bugs Bunny cartoons.