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[[quoteright:294:[[Film/CryingFreeman http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crying_freeman_1390.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:294:"My God... it's such a finely-crafted sword!"]]

->''"… and Death sheds a single, gray tear."''
-->-- '''Narrator''' in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow''

For whatever reason, a character is moved. But this guy is made of strong stuff: He is beyond [[InelegantBlubbering blubbering]] and won't turn on the waters works. He dammed up the SparklingStreamOfTears and had his OcularGushers surgically removed. [[TryingNotToCry And he promised himself!]] He is not going to cry.

Well, maybe just ''one'' drop.

A Single Tear happens any time someone (man or woman) cries ''only one teardrop''. If a being is [[TearsFromAStone generally incapable of crying]], this is a sign that he is genuinely upset. The tear can be shed for anything, from patriotism to [[CryingIndian pollution]], but the more traumatic, the better.

Compare with ManlyTears, which can often overlap with this.

One reason for this is that it's difficult even for actors to cry on command, so filmmakers sometimes use an eyedropper to put liquid in the actor's eyes just before a crying scene. Of course, you can only squeeze so much water out before the next take, leading to this. Also shows up frequently in animation, because it's easier to animate. It's actually [[OlderThanTheyThink older than film]], though: Dante mentions it in ''Literature/TheDivineComedy''.

Not quite a DiscreditedTrope; lots of examples are parodies, but there are still many, many works that play it straight.



* The best-known example is probably the CryingIndian. He even has his own trope!
* In the ComicBook/JohnnyTurbo series of ads, after being told by a Feka goon that he needs an additional hundred dollars to put towards a companion console for his new [[Creator/{{Sega}} Feka]] CD system, this is the reaction of a young boy.
* A 1970s Smokey Bear PSA starts with footage of a forest fire, which turns out to be an image projected into Smokey's eye, which sheds a tear while he forlornly says "Only you."

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/SailorMoon''
** In the arc where Mamoru breaks up with Usagi for her safety, he cries a single tear onto his motorcycle helmet.
** Also, Usagi's single tear when Mamoru is wounded in the battle with Zoisite is how she is revealed as the moon princess. The one tear also forms the Silver Crystal.
* Mitsuki Oosawa's adaptation of ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War]]'' '''loves'' this trope, and one of the biggest examples is [[spoiler: Jamke]] quietly shedding a tear when [[spoiler: he both saves Sigurd's life ''and'' takes revenge for his father's murder by shooting Sandima down [[TheArcher with a single, perfect arrow shot]].]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece''
** Whitebeard. The strongest man in the world sheds a tear at [[spoiler:the death of Ace.]]
** Genzo sheds a single tear when he hugs Nami and [[spoiler:tells her that the whole village knew her secret all along.]]
** It should be noted that instances of this trope are extremely rare in OnePiece, as the series prefers to go [[InelegantBlubbering the exact opposite route.]]
** In ''Anime/OnePieceFilmZ''. of all people, [[spoiler: the hardened Doberman]] sheds a tear during [[spoiler: Z's final moments]], seeing how [[spoiler: Z was once his mentor.]]
* [[spoiler:Shadow Man]] in ''Manga/MegaManMegamix'', a DarkerAndEdgier AdaptationExpansion of the ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' games, starts laughing and is finally shown to shed a single tear when he realizes that [[spoiler:his home has been destroyed, all the other Wily Numbers have been massacred and he wasn't even able to die an honorable death in battle with them since he had to get Dr. Wily to safety.]] It's especially dramatic since until now this character has been TheStoic and his reaction to the death of [[spoiler:Copy-Rock]] was to vow revenge.
* ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'':
** Gaara does this following talking to Sasuke before their fight in Part II, specifically, when he realizes that [[RivalTurnedEvil Sasuke]] is WAY beyond redemption.
** After his [[spoiler: final]] fight with Naruto, Sasuke sheds a single tear of [[HeelFaceTurn remorse]].
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'':
** The episode "Escape From" presents a BrownNote: a film in a virtual theater that is so moving that TheStoic Major actually sheds a tear—something extremely rare coming from her.
** One tachikoma starts leaking oil around its optical sensor [[spoiler:when it sacrifices itself to save Batou]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** [[spoiler:the "Old Man", the embodiment of Ichigo's Quincy power]] sheds a single tear [[spoiler:before releasing the part of Ichigo's Shinigami power he was suppressing, proud of the man Ichigo has become.]]
** Kaname when he finds Ishida in sooul society.
* A very subtle one in FLAG 189 of ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'': [[spoiler:Despite having successfully revitalized the Jupiter Sisters, and thwarted a looming threat with their help, [[TheChessmaster Keima]] was forced with this trope at the end of the said FLAG due to one single mistake he committed throughout the ''Goddesses Arc'': he was [[BreakHisHeartToSaveHim forced to break Chihiro's heart]] in the process of searching for the last Goddess host.]]
-->'''Keima:''' [[spoiler:Chihiro,]] I'm sorry... I didn't really mean... what I said that time...
* In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', Mimi having one of these land on her (appropriately tear shaped) Crest of Sincerity, wishing there was something she could do to help, is what triggers Togemon's evolution into Lillymon.
* Folken of ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' has a single tear tattooed on his face. Whether it's meant to symbolize the same thing as when Western prison inmates do it or something else is unclear.
* Misaki in the ending of ''Anime/{{K}}'' Return of Kings - in contrast to the very many tears he cries in the flashback to Totsuka's death in season 1.
* The second-to-last episode of ''Anime/SCryed'' begins with Ryuho crying in grief over the sacrifice of [[spoiler: Scheris]] while Kazuma sheds a single stoic tear after having flashbacks of all the needless deaths that have occurred over the course of the series.
* [[TheStoic Signum]] does this in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' when [[WorthyOpponent Fate]] tells her they can still be friends despite the fact that Signum is trying to kill her to protect Hayate.
* Episode 40 of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'' ends with Orga doing this upon finding out about [[spoiler: Naze's death.]]
* In chapter 62 of ''Manga/SchoolLive'' Yuki cries a single tear when Kurumi tells her that [[spoiler:she most likely won't last much longer]]. Yuki starts crying in earnest several panels later.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Franchise/TheFlash'' shows [[EvilCounterpart Eobard Thawne]] shedding one tear after seeing his past self frolick around in a Flash suit and embracing his role as a hero, lamenting that it won't last and that he will never become The Flash like his old idol.
* In ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' story ''Comicbook/KryptonNoMore'', Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} cries one teardrop after her cousin talks about how much he loves Earth.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' story arc ''ComicBook/{{Bizarrogirl}}'', Kara sees SelfDemonstrating/{{Bizarro}} and Bizarrogirl embracing, remembers Superman and herself hugging each other after the loss of ComicBook/NewKrypton, and sheds a tear.
* Used in ''ComicBook/CleanRoom'' to affirm the humanity of characters otherwise unable to do so: a demon being tortured and a man fleshwarped into a human-animal hybrid.
* [[ComicBook/CreatureFeature Creature Feature]] seems to like this.
** After Erik accidentally steps on Curtis' tail in "A Gorey Demise", Curtis does this.
** He also does this again in the pilot comic from "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth" after Erik revived him.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* One hears, in parodies, of {{Mary Sue}}s crying a single perfect crystalline tear, but that may be a DeadUnicornTrope.
* In ''[[http://bobmin.fanficauthors.net/Healing_Harry/Healing_Harry/ Bobmin's Healing Harry,]]'' one of the flashbacks has past!Harry drop a single tear, which disturbs present!Ginny much more than anything else, given that she knows how he was treated at the Dursleys.
* In ''Fanfic/MyImmortal'', Ebony cries a single tear when she's sent to her IronicHell in the hacker chapter.
* In ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'', Firefly wipes a tear away from her eye after overhearing a conversation where Derpy decides to adopt Pipsqueak when she learns his parents were killed during the war.
* In ''Fanfic/BecomingFemale'', Professor [=McGonagall=] cries one at the prospect of [[SeriousBusiness Gryffindor not winning the Quidditch Cup]].
* In ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/117061/revolutionary-fire Revolutionary Fire]]'', Celestia drops one of these when Joshua [[WhatTheHellHero tears her a new one]] for [[BalefulPolymorph ponifying him without his consent]].

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The eponymous character of ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'' cries a surprisingly subtle single tear [[MissingMom when learning his mother's fate]].
* The king in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' cries a single tear whilst he is releasing the lanterns for the first time.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobSquarePantsMovie'': [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick each shed a tear [[spoiler: as they're being dried out under a desk lamp]], [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming both of which combine to form a heart]]. [[spoiler: The resulting tear ends up sliding down the lamp cord and into the electrical outlet, causing a short that releases smoke that activates the overhead emergency showers, which brings them and the rest of the gift shop back to life.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'', Garrett sheds a single tear after telling Ayden about his feelings that Kayley wouldn't see him as a knight if he went back with her to Camelot to return Excalibur.
-->'''Garrett''': You don't understand. In Camelot, she'd only see me through their eyes: not a knight, not a man... not anything.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ActOfValor''. A reluctant female jihadist does this before [[ActionBomb blowing herself up with an explosive vest]].
* In the film version of ''Theatre/BellBookAndCandle'', when Gillian's {{familiar}} Pyewacket is running away from her and she runs into the street, a tear starts running down one side of her face, which is significant because witches aren't supposed to be able to cry. A subsequent cut shows that she has been crying for some time, but it's the close-up of Creator/KimNovak's face that counts.
* In ''Film/CryBaby'' this is not only lampshaded, but tied to the protagonist's FreudianExcuse. Both of his parents were murderers who got sent to the electric chair and he breaks the law every now and then to honor their memory. He states that he'll cry for having to do evil, but one salty tear is all anyone will ever get out of him.
* ''Film/DejaVu'':
** At the end [[spoiler:Claire does this when she and Doug are in the car with the bomb and she's certain she's going to die]].
** After Doug's interrogation of the terrorist responsible for the bombing, he lets out a single tear after he confides in Doug his belief that [[BecauseDestinySaysSo everything is inevitable]].
* Trip's single tear in ''Film/{{Glory}}'' probably earned Denzel Washington the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward.
* Strangely enough, ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'s'' Michael Myers has a Single Tear moment in [[Film/Halloween5TheRevengeOfMichaelMyers the fifth film]]... before reverting back to his evil self.
* In ''Film/{{Hannibal}}'', Clarice Starling sheds one single tear when [[spoiler: she is up against the fridge and Hannibal Lecter kisses her.]]
* The King of Qin in ''Film/{{Hero}}'' sheds a single {{manly tear|s}} when he realizes the man who most understands him is his most hated enemy.
* Claire Dearing in ''Film/JurassicWorld'' sheds one after a severely injured ''Apatosaurus'' dies in front of her and Owen, realizing that the dinosaurs are not just attractions but living beings.
* O-Ren Ishii cries a single tear at her mother's murder in ''Film/KillBill'''s "The Origin of Oren Ishii". She probably would have cried more, but then the bed started weeping blood...
* In the film ''Film/{{Legion}}'', Gabriel sheds one after killing [[spoiler: Michael. Don't worry, he gets better.]]
* ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]''
** After Gandalf dies in the film version, Frodo does this. (A while after. He's sort of a screaming sobbing wreck for a while.)
** A straighter example would be Gandalf himself in ''Return of the King'' when he sees the Dark Tower [[spoiler:tumbling down.]]
** Also Aragorn when Boromir dies. ManlyTears, indeed.
** Wormtongue has one he sees the army of Uruk Hai.
* ''Film/AMatterOfLifeAndDeath'': When the ghost of Peter Carter kisses his one true love June, a single tear falls from his eye. More interestingly, although she is petrified and in another time altogether she also sheds a single tear - which is later used as proof of her love for him.
* In ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'', after Victoria tells Sally that she and Jack are no longer an effective team, she sheds one tear from her left eye ... and then one from her right.
* In ''Film/ThePassionOfTheChrist'' after Jesus dies on the cross, a single drop of rain falls from the sky.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvXKN5Fz_OE This viral ad]] for ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' shows [[ArtificialHuman David]] shedding a single tear after being asked what makes him sad. Arguably a subversion in that it shows the [[UncannyValley artificiality of his emotions]] rather than his emotional control.
* In ''Film/ReadyPlayerOne2018'', Wade drops one [[spoiler:when the Halliday avatar gives him the Egg.]]
* [[RuleOFThree Three instances]] in ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'':
** Kirk after the attack on the war room and the [[spoiler: death of his mentor, Captain Pike]].
** Harrison, whilst talking about how he failed to save his crew.
** Spock, after the events in the warp core.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Anakin Skywalker, after murdering hundreds of Jedi and all the helpless separatist leaders, showed that there is still humanity and decency inside him as he sheds one of self-hatred in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.
** Anakin also sheds a tear earlier in the movie as he stands in the Council Chamber looking towards Padmé's apartment.
* At the end of ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy'' [[spoiler:Bill Haydon, having been exposed as TheMole, is assassinated by Jim Prideaux, his former lover and colleague, with a small calibre bullet through the head. Before Haydon collapses a single teardrop of blood runs down his cheek, matching the single tear shed by Jim.]]
* In ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'', Sam sheds one when [[spoiler:it seems like he's about to be forced to watch Bumblebee, who's probably his closest friend in the world, be executed by Soundwave right in front of him. Fortunately, [[BigDamnHeroes this doesn't happen]].]]
* In ''Film/VelvetGoldmine'', the stone-cold pretty boy Brian Slade (Creator/JonathanRhysMeyers) sheds one single tear after breaking up with his boyfriend Curt Wilde (Ewan [=McGregor=]), at the end of his performance of "Bitter-Sweet".
* Andrew Neiman in ''Film/{{Whiplash}}'' at one point invokes this trope after being brutally verbalized by his harsh musical instructor for the first time. Upon seeing this, the instructor grows even more incensed, mocking Andrew for his lack of emotional endurance.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** ''Film/X2XMenUnited'': Professor X sheds a single tear of joy when he's able to stand again on his own--but then he quickly realizes that he's in a LotusEaterMachine and tries to resist Jason Stryker's ability.
** ''Film/XMenFirstClass'':
*** Xavier wipes a single tear from his cheek after he uncovers a happy memory from Erik's childhood involving the latter's mother with his telepathy. Despite living a much more comfortable and privileged life than his friend, the one beautiful thing that Charles never got to experience is a mother's warm affection.
*** In the same scene, a visible tear falls down Erik's face because he didn't know he still carried that cherished memory of his mother.
*** After [[spoiler:Charles gets shot]], he only sheds one noticeable tear which is partly because of [[spoiler:his injury]], but mostly because he is forced to tell Erik that [[spoiler:no, they really do not want the same thing, and knows that this realisation will push his friend away for good]].
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Magneto sheds a lone tear when he remembers [[spoiler:the close friendship he once had with Charles]].
* While it is hard to determine whether it is being PlayedForLaughs or entirely straight, ''Film/CryBaby'' features an example in the form of the eponymous main character. He explains to his love interest that his father was "The Alphabet Bomber" and that his mother was no better. He adds that after they were both executed, he decided to do something bad every so often in their memory. Lastly he states that he will cry for what he has to do but only one tear. He subverts this when the movie ends.
* As mentioned above, it pops in Dante's ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'', specifically in the first few cantos of ''Purgatorio''. There is a soldier mentioned who is a brutal, bloody bastard his whole life, but when he is struck down in battle he cries a single [[TearsOfRemorse tear of repentance]], which is enough to send him to Purgatory instead of Hell.
* Almost all of the flashback scenes in ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' involve a single shining tear. This one happens so frequently that Website/AntiShurtugal, an [[FanHater anti-fan's]] website's tagline was, "where we shed many single tears."
-->''[[{{Narm}} A single tear rolled down her cheek, like a liquid diamond.]]''
* This also shows up a lot in ''Literature/ChroniclesOfBloodAndStone'', including a two-tear variation (one per eye.)
* This happens to Albus Dumbledore near the end of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix''.
* The ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' novel, ''Yon Ill Wind'', follows a bet between the Demon X(A/N)[[superscript:TH]] and his fellows. In order for him to win, a young woman has to shed a single tear for him. It's her ''last'' tear.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Xaro Xhoan Daxos does this while trying to convince Daenerys of his love for her, but she's not fazed as she's aware that it's an act. Apparently, the Qartheen are able to cry a single tear at will.
* During an early scene in House of Sand and Fog, Jennifer Connelly sheds a single tear. She's on the phone with her mother.
* In ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'', Angeline trying to get Artemis to hand over the lemur to her, and egging him by saying, "don't you love me?". Well, he's spent 3/4 of the book trying to save her and a single tear rolls down his cheek as he says, "if only you knew." Aww.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/TheHermeticMillennia'', Oenoe cries one from each eye before starting her story -- which wins one from Illiance.
* In Creator/JohnMilton's ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Eve weeps one from each eye after being reassured about her dream, and would have wept two except that Adam kissed them away.
* In ''Literature/TheSagaOfRagnarLothbrok'', Aslaug weeps a single [[TearsOfBlood tear of blood]] for her stepsons Erik and Agnar.
* In Creator/JulieKagawa's ''Literature/TheIronDaughter'', when Ash is controlled by Virus, and Meghan and the others escape, he weeps a single tear.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' during ''Literature/SkinGame'' [[spoiler: Nicodemus]] cries one tear when [[spoiler: Harry taunts him about Nicodemus killing his own daughter, just before he wrecks his plan and reputation by ordering his minions to kill Harry.]]
* ''Literature/TerjeVigen'' at the end of the poem. Terje stands on a viewpoint and watches the British nobleman set sail for England. When the British yacht gives a cannon salute at the place where Terje lost his barley years before (because of said British nobleman), Terje sheds a SingleTear and gives God his thanks.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the KoreanDrama ''Series/BadBoy'', most of the main characters, male and female, do this on occasion.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': In a Saul Goodman commercial made to promote the show, after doing a sleazy commercial advertising his services to victims of the Wayfarer 515 incident, Saul has his cameraman zoom in on his face, where a single tear is falling.
* In an episode of [[Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury Buck Rogers in the 25th Century]] called "The Return of the Fighting 69th", an evil [[AlphaBitch villainess]] takes a slave child's memory globe of her parents and [[KickTheDog breaks it in front of her]] [[ForTheEvulz out of pure wickedness]]. Cue the heartbroken girl with this trope.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Nine's Single Perfect Tear in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E2TheEndOfTheWorld "The End of the World"]] when [[PlantAliens Jabe]] tells him she knows where he's from.
** The Doctor, at [[{{Tearjerker}} the end]] of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E13Doomsday "Doomsday"]]. Well, he had more than a single tear there, though he was crying silently.
** Also Amy, near the end of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E3VictoryOfTheDaleks "Victory of the Daleks"]].
** At the very end of [[Recap/DoctorWho2011CSTheDoctorTheWidowAndTheWardrobe "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe"]]. Humany-wumany.
** Eleven sheds one during his BadassBoast in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E7TheRingsOfAkhaten "The Rings of Akhaten"]].
* ''Music/FlightOfTheConchords'', "Albi the Racist Dragon":
-->"And at that, Albi cried a single tear, which turned into a jelly bean all the colours of the rainbow!"
* In the ''Series/{{Friends}}'' episode "The One where the Stripper Cries", in a flashback to 1987, Chandler, for comedic effect, sheds a single tear upon learning that Ross broke one of their college pacts.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Hyperdrive}}'' when a robot sheds an oil tear in the {{narm}}y ShowWithinAShow ''Captain Helix''.
* Parker of ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' cries a single tear when she hears Hardison pull off a difficult violin solo perfectly. It screws over the team's heist. Worth it? Hell yes.
* In a Halloween episode of ''Series/{{MASH}}'', as wounded are brought to the 4077th, one had already been declared dead. At the end of the episode, Father Mulcahy received word that the dead soldier was Catholic, and stopped the truck taking him to the morgue so he could perform last rites. As he's doing so, he notices a tear rolling down the soldier's face. Realizing he isn't dead, they rush him to get medical attention.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' sheds a single tear when he kisses Freya for the first time.
* On ''Series/MondayMornings'', Dr. Tina Ridgeway sheds one perfect Single Tear when she and Dr. Wilson talk [[spoiler:about her break up with her husband.]] He hugs her and tells her he wants to be there for her (which is the least he could do, considering that it's their affair that led to this). Cue the show's favourite close-up shot of the doctor's gorgeous eyes, and one tear flowing down her face.
* ''Series/{{Outlander}}'': In “Wentworth Prison” Jamie sheds a single tear after being left alone with Black Jack, [[spoiler:who has made it very clear he plans on torturing Jamie]]
* Jayden does this every so often in ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai''.
* Jim Series/{{Profit}} cries a single tear when he [[spoiler: [[Theatre/OedipusRex kills]] [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything his father]]]] in the pilot. Justified because he's a SociopathicHero who [[WhatIsThisFeeling does not understand these strange human things called emotions]].
* ''Series/{{Skins}}''
** Emily in the season 4 finale. Her eyes are watery as [[{{Metaphorgotten}} a very watery thing]], but only one tear gets out.
** Rich does it as well when watching Grace at the ballet.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', "Fever", a single tear slides down Chloe's cheek when Clark, in his delirium, muttered [[SatelliteLoveInterest Lana]]'s name when she is alone by his bedside.
** In "Phantom", [[spoiler:she does it again and it falls on a badly wounded Lois' forehead, [[EmpathicHealing healing]] her completely.]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
** The clue that Sarek has Vulcan Alzheimer's was he was moved to one tear while listening to a (Mahler?) recital.
** Also, when Picard is in the process of getting Borgified, a single tear shows that he is still there underneath the Borg uni-mind that has suppressed it.
* Dean Winchester of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. Heck, there's even a drinking game based on each time this happens.
** Not only that, the crew has a name for it. They call it the One Perfect Tear.
** In the MusicalEpisode they wrote a song for it titled "A Single [[ManlyTears Man Tear]]".

* "Savior" by Music/RiseAgainst has the following lines (alluding to loneliness).
-->''As the telling signs of age rain down, a single tear is dropping''\\
''Through the valleys of an aging face that this world has forgotten''
* In the video for Music/PoetsOfTheFall's ObsessionSong "[[https://youtu.be/MKk1u5RMTn4?list=PLjACqN5i5sDWIIpg-5EB4WcitMMqnXhFP Carnival of Rust]]," fortunetelling automaton and SadClown Zoltar cries a black, make-up stained tear when he realizes his customer is leaving the [[CircusOfFear Carnival]] and will never return his affections.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* The political cartoons in ''Website/TheOnion'' have the Statue of Liberty cry either [[TearsOfJoy a tear of joy]] or [[TearsOfRemorse a tear of remorse]] nearly OnceAnEpisode.
* In ''ComicStrip/PricklyCity'', when Carmen says goodbye to Winslow because they won't see each other for a while, Winslow is off-hand -- but cries a single tear once gone.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Big Bird has one during his song "I'm So Blue" in ''[[Film/SesameStreetPresentsFollowThatBird Follow That Bird]]'', as well as in ''Big Bird in China''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[ExpositionFairy Midna]] sheds a single tear at the end of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', when [[spoiler:she must leave Hyrule.]] Interestingly, [[spoiler:after Midna materializes through the portal, the tear itself breaks the Mirror of Twilight, [[TearJerker severing the only known bridge between the Light World and the Twilight Realm.]]]]
* Shadow sheds a tear during the final ending of ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'': Battle during his realization of Maria's promise.
* A significant plot point in ''VideoGame/WildArms5'', occurring in the first hour, whose importance is only revealed all the way at the end of the game.
* Ophelia at the end of ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'' cried a single tear. [[spoiler: It was black, implying there was still some traces of the Sea of Black Tears in her]].
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''
** The ending, wherein Snake sheds a singular tear at the grave of [[spoiler:The Boss, his teacher and "mother", whom he was forced by politics to kill]]. Notable here is that, unlike many other characters that cry a single tear for whatever reason despite having both eyes in perfect working order, Snake has the excuse of having one eye fried by muzzle flash and the tear ducts around it damaged.
*** Echoed in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' during [[spoiler:his own death scene]], once again at the grave site of [[spoiler:The Boss. He sheds a single tear as he tells his son to live for his own sake and enjoy the freedom from the servitude of a soldier, and as he thinks back to The Boss's last words to him before her death, 50 years ago.]]
** Also, The Sorrow. Though that's because he got shot in that eye.
* From ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', Terra [[spoiler:when Master Eraqus dies]] and Aqua [[spoiler:during the SayMyName segment of the secret ending.]] Quite the TearJerker in both cases, although the latter example is more hopeful. Also Sora [[spoiler: once he starts feeling Ventus' heart and taking it in, and thus starts feeling by magic heart-to-heart empathy what any sane person would feel after [[TearJerker that ending]].]] Notably, since Sora's feeling it by proxy, ''he doesn't even know why he's letting out that single tear''.
* From ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'', Roxas gets one [[spoiler:when he kills Xion]] at the end of the game.
* From ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII Final Mix+'', [[spoiler: after Sora fights Roxas and beats him,]] an extra cutscene not found in VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII initiates, with [[spoiler: Roxas and Axel on the clocktower in Twilight Town. At the end of the cutscene, Roxas says he has to go back to Sora, Axel and Roxas say their goodbyes, and a single teardrop is shown falling and disappearing. There was no indication of the person who cried, whether Roxas cried again, or if Axel, also a Nobody, is the one who cried.]]
** If you look closely at the video, you can see that is in fact [[spoiler: Axel]]
* In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow'', if you challenge [[ChessWithDeath the Lord of the Dead]] for the sake of two mortal souls, he defies you to make him cry. You can do so by showing him the Mirror of Truth, which displays his own terrible history, to the point that the mirror itself shatters from the strain -- and Death sheds a single tear. That suffices for the challenge.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', the [[spoiler:Mecha-]]Drago cries a single tear right before [[spoiler:she dies of her injuries given to her by Flint]].
* In the good ending of ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', Laharl sheds one after [[spoiler: believing that Flonne is dead]].
-->'''Laharl:''' What is this...? A tear...? Hmph... I never knew I could shed tears...
* In ''VideoGame/ElementalGearbolt'', one is shed by the protagonist (an [[RevenantZombie animated corpse]] who had [[EmotionSuppression not expressed any emotion]] until this moment) in the final cutscene.
* In ''Farm Mania 2'' hovering over the "yes" button on the quit screen makes the game's sheep mascot shed a tear.
* One incredibly sad example takes place in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates's'' ''Birthright'' route, as [[spoiler: Prince Xander]] sheds one while [[spoiler: he holds his dying little sister Elise, whom he accidentally struck down whe she tried to stop his and the Avatar's DuelToTheDeath]].
* [[spoiler:Klonoa sheds a barely visible one just before leaving Lunatea]] at the end of ''VideoGame/Klonoa2LunateasVeil''.
* At the end of the first promotional video for ''VideoGame/MystIIIExile'', Saavedro drops a single tear. [[WordOfGod The developers]] later recalled being impressed with [[Creator/BradDourif Brad Dourif's]] ability to do one of these on command.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* From ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', as Strong Sad describes his [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible proposal]] for Strong Bad's 150th email episode:
-->'''Strong Sad:''' And we end on an extreme close-up of your reflection in the gooey filling of a jelly doughnut as [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/149pernt5.html you shed a single tear.]]
* [[WebAnimation/WeeblAndBob Weebls-Stuff]]: [[http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/Flying+Squirrels/ Eagles are proud to fly with squirrels.]]
* ''FanFic/HalfLifeFullLifeConsequences'': "A tear droped out of John Freemans' eye and landed on Gordon Freeman."]]
* Combined with TearsFromAStone towards the end of the WebAnimation/LadyLumpsVSBoyBumps video [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ennbJY9FqhQ Dr. Doom Likes to Watch]]. A drop of rain slides down Doom's mask like a tear as he mourns the loss of [[spoiler:Doom Chair, his beloved hover chair.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[spoiler: Rann]], of ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' sheds a single tear as he attempts a TakingYouWithMe in a final attempts to kill [[spoiler: Snadhya'rune]] to avenge [[spoiler: Diva'ratrika.]]
* ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' had, on some occasions, "a single tear of black liquid sorrow".
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has single tears in the intermission between Acts 4 and 5.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Whether listening to your son and husband quarrel as the son goes off to fighter school, separating from a woman because you must put HonorBeforeReason, reuniting with your long-dead little brother in the afterlife, hearing that someone will send a messenger to your home to see whether you can return -- a Single Tear is the appropriate response in this webcomic. Possibly for ease of drawing.
* ''Webcomic/{{Pibgorn}}'' [[http://www.gocomics.com/pibgorn/2009/08/17/ in response to a]] HeroicSacrifice.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', Vanamonde von Mekkan sheds one after an encounter with [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070625 the perfect cup of coffee.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Roza}}'' [[http://www.junglestudio.com/roza/?date=2009-10-26 too weak to continue to search]].
* In ''Webcomic/BlueYonder'', [[http://www.blueyondercomic.net/comics/1273450/blue-yonder-chapter-1-page-24/ when his family's disappearance catches up to him.]]
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionDuck'', [[http://questionduck.smackjeeves.com/comics/1394051/278/ tragically, love was not possible between a man and a mermaid; she sheds one.]]
* Soli of ''Webcomic/TheMeek'' has a teardrop tattooed on her face. She regrets getting it, because she's a bandit but the tattoo makes her easy to recognize.
* Tibalt does it in [[http://www.5colorcontrol.com/comic.php?comic=211 this strip]] of ''Webcomic/FiveColorControl''.
* In ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'', [[http://cucumber.gigidigi.com/cq/page-516/ on being rejected because they want peace, not pizza.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cryeeagle.JPG crying eagle picture]], popular on the Website/SomethingAwful forums.
* ''Website/TheOnion'''s editorial cartoonist Kelly likes to use the image of the Statue of Liberty shedding a single tear.
** "In other news, an elderly black woman is still following [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama President Obama]] around and shedding a single tear whenever he does anything."
* The animated short ''WesternAnimation/{{Kiwi}}'' uses this to [[TearJerker heartbreaking effect]].
* During the Britanick sketch, "Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer", Nick has one as the kid lays dying.
* In WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic Top 11 [[TropesAreNotBad Coolest Cliches]] list, this is one, although it's under the title of "Sexy Cry" and the fact that there are unsexy examples wasn't addressed as much.
** He does it a few times, such as seeing WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry singing and dancing about how they are best friends in TheMovie, and showing that ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM'' is a better done series than ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''.
** PlayedForLaughs in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euO-6Z1Vxsw#t=11m37s his review of]] ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTheTitanic'':
-->'''Critic:''' [[{{Angrish}} YOU REALLY...I...WHA...I...JU...GE...JU...UH...OOOHHH!]]...I'm sorry. I can't get through this in one sitting. If you'll excuse me, I've gotta take the occasional break to look at myself in the mirror and cry.
-->''(cut to him doing that exactly, accompanied by music from ''Film/LordOfTheRings'')''
* Lampshaded by WebVideo/CinemaSins in their review of ''Film/TheHungerGamesMockingjay''.
-->Aw, she's real sad now, she busted out a ''second'' tear!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Most Season One episodes of ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' have Orel crying a single drop at the Rev. Putty's latest sermon.
* The picture from ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' currently on TearsFromAStone.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]] and [[WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower She-Ra]]: Secret of the Sword'', He-Man sheds a single tear as She-Ra vanishes into the sunset.
* Not quite this trope, but in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Bart Gets an F", the creators had difficulty stopping the animators from creating OcularGushers, so they gave instructions saying something like, "Bart cries a single tear." The end result is Bart shedding a series of single tears in succession, which is much more distressing to watch than what they were probably going for.
* The ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "The Man Who Killed Batman" has the Joker shed a single tear during his impromptu [[AntagonistInMourning funeral for Batman]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' episode where Red Tornado (robot) builds himself a son, who ends up going crazy and is taken out by him and Batman. Looking at his corpse, a single "oil drop" runs down his face, before he goes away muttering about oil leaks needing maintenance.
* The koala man from ''WesternAnimation/UglyAmericans'' is prone to this.
* When Wendy gets jealous of Stan's teacher that he likes in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', he blows off their Valentine's Day date to try to impress the teacher. Wendy cries a single tear and sniffles at a montage of him [[AllergicToLove barfing on her.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CloneHigh''
** Abe cries one single tear after he screens his thinly-veiled autobiographical film, "It Takes a Hero." He even comments on it.
** ''Clone High'' parodies the single tear thing a lot; the opening sequence alone has ''five''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''
** Happens when Fry is trying to choose between saving Bender and Leela versus drinking a trough of Slurm, with him crying a single tear into the Slurm. Naturally, his friends think they're pretty screwed.
** Also the episode where he drinks the leader of a planet of water people and has to cry him out. Believing Leela to be dead, is only able to muster a single tear. After she's revealed to be alive, everyone proceeds to beat the tears out of him.
** Happens again when Leela gets plastic surgery to make it look like she has two eyes. Upon looking into a mirror and realizing that she looks normal, she sheds a single tear. The surgeon exclaims "Woops! Looks like we got some leakage. Let me just cauterize that for you." Cue a painful scream from Leela.
* In the prehistoric ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' episode 'Ugh', a club sheds a tear when Squog chooses his other club over him.
* Moppy, a sentient mop from ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum'' sheds one after seeing Fanboy with Chum Chum's cousin. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'' episode "Doomie's Romance," Lydia brushes a tear from her cheek after Doomie's attempt to bring Pinkie (Mayor Maynot's former convertible) to life fails.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheProblemSolverz'' episode "Funny Facez", Roba sheds a tear after his idol, Tony Marv, calls him ugly.
* Shed to tragic effect by Twilight Sparkle in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode ''"[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E2TheReturnOfHarmonyPart2 The Return of Harmony, Part 2]]"'' upon finally losing the last of her faith [[spoiler: in her brainwashed friends]] and [[HeroicBSOD crashing down]] on [[DespairEventHorizon rock bottom]]. The tear's splash on the ground forms the shape of a [[RuleOfSymbolism broken heart]]. Viewable [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6iydLNjoCI here]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': One of the most heartwrenching moments in the series comes when [[BigBad Amon]], [[FantasticRacism of]] [[KnightTemplar all]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist people]], [[TragicVillain pulls th]][[AlasPoorVillain is trope]]. It's left vague whether it was because [[spoiler: he was happy about starting a new life with his brother, regret for his actions - particularly robbing his own brother of his bending - or because he knew what Tarrlok [[MurderSuicide was going to do]] and accepted it.]] More than likely, it was a combination of these and/or other emotions that led to that moment.
** And then Korra herself at the end of Season 3.
* ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'': At the end of the Christmas episode Rogue sheds one of those when listening to the little girl talk about her Angel.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Road to Danville" Doofenshmirtz sheds a single tear when Perry does something nice for him. Doof saves it in a test tube in case he needs it again later. Turns out he does, in a climactic CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.
* {{Enforced}} in ''WesternAnimation/ClerksTheAnimatedSeries''. The DVDCommentary explains that there was a particular animator on the Korean animation crew named Animator Han who would continually argue in favor of OcularGushers, on the theory that if one tear is funny, ''many'' tears must be [[UpToEleven that much funnier]]. The only way the writers were able to get him to tone it down was to instruct him to animate one, and [[ExactWords ONLY one]] tear.
* Mandrake sheds a single tear at the end of the ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'' episode "A Demon in His Pocket" out of pride that Kshin had the courage to admit to summoning a demon using a spell he found in Mandrake's library. Earlier, the demon had tried to frighten Kshin into silence by convincing the boy that Mandrake would disown him if he found out he had disobeyed his instruction not to touch his sorcery books.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls''
** Buttercup sheds one in "Little Miss Interprets" when she wrongly thinks that she along with the rest of her sisters will be ditched by the Professor.
** Robin cries a single tear in "Super Friends" during the "Signal in the Sky" song.
* William Murderface cries one single tear [[TearsOfBlood of blood]] in ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' when he learned that his bandmates, who he thought didn't care for him at all, got him the car Kennedy was shot in, along with the chair Lincoln was shot in, explicitly for Murderface to destroy in a demolition derby. (He likes the idea, don't worry.)
* We don't know if Duck was crying in the Railway Series book, but in the ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'''s adaption of the story ''Dirty Work'', the pannier let out a tear before heading to Edward's station. You just want to be there to comfort the poor engine...

* The {{emoticon}} for crying. :'(
* Used to egregious amounts in many ''ComicBook/ChickTracts''.
* It is said that when he heard Orpheus play his lyre, [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades]] sheds a single tear [[ManlyTears of iron]].
* After UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump signed his "Muslim ban" order, the cover of the ''[[UsefulNotes/AmericanNewspapers New York Daily News]]'', which is vigorously anti-Trump, depicted the Statue of Liberty shedding a single tear, alongside the headline "CLOSING THE GOLDEN DOOR".

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Those Harlequin clowns with the single tear drop drawn onto their face.
* When Kelly Johnson, the founder of the Skunk Works aviation firm died, the company ran a black bordered ad in the Los Angeles Times that featured the Skunk Works logo skunk shedding a single tear.
* Those hardened convicts with the single tear drop tattooed onto their face. The most hardened ones avert it, since generally each tear represents X number of years in prison. Wiki/ThatOtherWiki says each tear represents a man they killed.
* Mischa the Bear sheds a tear upon blowing out the Olympic Flame during the closing ceremony of the [[UsefulNotes/OlympicGames 2014 Olympic Games]] in Sochi.