In public, when someone is Running Away to Cry for whatever reason, a restroom stall (or just the public restroom in general) seems like the most private place where they can easily shed their tears without being at risk of being noticed and judged for crying all willy-nilly. Bonus points if they use the toilet paper to clean their face off.
May occur as a result of Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults. If someone is looking for them, they may end up Searching the Stalls. Can occur while Eating Lunch Alone. Sister Trope of Shower of Angst.
- During a flashback in Ojojojo, Haru went to a public bathroom to cry after alienating herself from her middle school classmates with her Rich Bitch attitude again. Akane heard her, but didn't reach out to her until they met again in high school (a fact that she deeply regrets).
- In One-Punch Man, King is revealed to do this as he knows he can't defeat the monster he's up against, so he goes to the bathroom to have his breakdown without revealing himself as a coward. Fortunately, Saitama shows up to take care of it.
- A flashback in ViVid Strike! shows Rinne hiding in a bathroom stall during a montage of her being subjected to bullying.
- In Yuri!!! on Ice, Yuri Katsuki sobs in a bathroom stall in the first episode since he feels like a failure after placing dead last in the Grand Prix Final, combined with all the accumulated stress from hearing that his dog died, his binge eating the night before, and learning that his family had watched him mess up on TV during a public viewing. Cue a furious Yuri Plisetsky, who had been listening outside, kicking the door forcefully.
- Subverted in the Miraculous Ladybug fic "Welcome to WC" by Ozero_Kate (translation to English available here). At the end, Alya hears a gasp from a stall Marinette had locked herself in and is sure she must be crying, maybe because Adrien had rejected her. Except when the stall door is forced open, she finds both Marinette and Adrien there, in the middle of a heated makeout session.
- Paul does this in Travels of the Trifecta after he first learns shocking news that he is terminally ill.
- At the end of the third story of The Negotiationsverse, Truth, Twilight Sparkle locks herself up in a bathroom stall, puts a soundproofing spell around it, and then breaks down crying after hearing Celestia's answers for why she left their entire planet behind to die while relocating Equestria to Earth, started up the conversion bureaus and declared war on humanity.
- Grissom in one of the later chapters of the CSI fic Face the Music. He had already run from the courtroom and into the mens room to throw up anyway because he had his Trauma Button pushed by the defense for the guy who brutally beat and raped him, so kind of justified.
- In The Craft, Sarah retreats to a bathroom stall to cry and avoid her friends after they had a falling out over Nancy causing the death of their classmate. However, the other girls use their powers to unlock the door and confront her about trying to bind Nancy's magic.
- In The Craft: Legacy Lily cries inside a bathroom stall after she unknowingly got her period in class and was humiliated for it by some of the other students. Frankie, Tabby, and Lourdes arrive to comfort her.
- Midsommar: Dani frequently leaves the room to go to the bathroom and cry when she's overwhelmed by her grief, both in Christian's bathroom and in the airplane bathroom.
- Harry Potter:
- In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione spends a good portion of an afternoon in the girls' restroom crying after overhearing Ron and others grousing about her obnoxiousness.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets introduces Moaning Myrtle, an unhappy ghost who haunts a bathroom and spends most of her time in there wailing about being dead. We later learn that she was actually killed in the bathroom, after coming in to have a quick cry.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry observes Draco Malfoy crying in the bathroom over the pressure he's under. Unlike most examples, Malfoy isn't trying to be alone; he's seeking comfort in Moaning Myrtle, a ghost who lives in the bathroom. Malfoy's embarrassment over Harry seeing him in this vulnerable moment leads to a fight between the two.
- Facetiously referenced in The Homestuck Epilogues, when Dave says "brb gonna hit the toilet for a quick power sob" when Karkat doesn't listen to his suggestion.
- Worm: Taylor Hebert hides from her classmates' extended bullying campaign by always eating her lunch in the bathroom stall. Unfortunately, her bullies eventually find her, thus destroying what Taylor calls the closest thing she has to a refuge.
- Being Bindy: After Janey publicly rejects Bindy and Janey's friends make fun of her, Bindy runs off to the girls' room to cry.
- In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, after Rebecca receives a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, she cries with her friends for a while and then leaves them to be alone in the bathroom. Though she isn't there only to cry, it's also so she can watch videos on her phone and use them to try and make sense of her situation in solitude.
- It happens so often and to nearly every character on Glee that it'd be hard to list every example; Rachel frequently runs to the girls' restroom at McKinley High to cry. Most famously in the second season's prom episode, this is done by four people in the space of a minute: Quinn, Santana, Kurt, and Karofsky.
- Grey's Anatomy: The episode "Where the Boys Are" has Addison crying in a bathroom stall.
Callie: You okay?Addison: I'm okay. I'm fine. I'm good.Callie: Don't make me climb over the stall. I'll do it, but I'll be pissed 'cause I don't know you that well.[Addison opens the door.]Callie: You're not okay.
- How I Met Your Mother: In "Drumroll, Please", Robin comes late to the wedding reception to surprise Ted who originally invited her as his date. She sees Ted and Victoria's Almost Kiss. Victoria then hears Robin crying in a stall in the ladies' room and tries to comfort her without knowing who she is. Robin insists that she doesn't know why she was crying, but her friend Lily says she obviously has feelings for Ted.
- Mad Men: In "Ladies Room", Sterling Cooper is awash with women crying in the bathroom stalls.
- Green Day's "Jesus Of Suburbia" off American Idiot (made even more apparent in the video):
I read the graffiti in the bathroom stallLike the holy scriptures of the shopping mallAnd so it seemed to confessIt didn't say much, but it only confirmedThat the center of the Earth is the end of the worldAnd I could really care less
- In the musical Be More Chill, Michael has an entire musical number called "Michael in the Bathroom" where he mourns the loss of his friendship with the now cooler Jeremy. Michael sings about feeling like a loner, about how lame it is to be crying by himself in the bathroom during the biggest party of the fall, and how he wished he'd never shown up.
- In Persona 5, Futaba used to lock herself in the bathroom at recess to escape the bullying she received for being so much smarter than them.
- A common occurrence in high school in Growing Up. Checking on your classmates crying in the bathroom helps you bond with them and also unlocks it as a location, where you can buy cheat sheets to gain Knowledge Points.
- In Sally Face, Sally can catch Travis crying due to personal issues in the boys' bathroom.
- In the Discover University expansion of The Sims 4, Sims have the option to cry it out in a bathroom stall when they're feeling sad. Other Sims can then try and console them from outside the stall to make them feel better.
- In "The Good Sport", Jenna cries in the bathroom after Francine's mean-spirited petition spreads around the school.
- In the special "Arthur, It's Only Rock and Roll", Francine solemnly sits in a stall as she finds out that she's not popular since quitting the band.
- Bojack Horseman: In "Love And/Or Marriage", Taneisha hides and cries in a stall after calling off her marriage with Karen. BoJack follows her and consoles her with a speech in the bathroom.
- Happens twice in Big Mouth: First time it was Jessi feeling overwhelmed and singled out for wearing a red bra to school. Second time it was Missy's...unusual sleeping habits being revealed at a school sleepover. The latter made ten times worse when she's brutally castigated for it by the Shame Wizard.
- Hey Arnold!: Both Phoebe and Helga did this in "Sixth Grade Girls" - Phoebe hides in a stall after figuring out the other sixth grade girls were just using her for their own personal benefits without really considering her their friend; while sitting in the stall, she overhears Helga storming in and lamenting over how she was wrong to try to find someone else to replace her as her best friend and sidekick and wishes for things to go back to the way they were.
- In "Major Unfaithfulness", Caitlin stays in the ladies' room in tears after seeing her awful haircut in the mirror.
- In "Over Exposed", Jen hides and sobs in a stall with her hood up after she finds out that Jonesy tells everyone that he saw her naked.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In "Something Smells", Patrick cries in a stall with a Brown Bag Mask on his head after a bunch of fish run away from his "ugliness". In truth, it was because of his rancid breath.
- In "The Chaperone", when SpongeBob realizes he has ruined Pearl's prom, he runs off crying and locks himself in the bathroom. The girls' bathroom. Complete with Inelegant Blubbering.
- Tuca & Bertie: In "The Promotion", this happens twice; the first time, Bertie goes into a stall because of Dirk's behaviour; the second time is when Tuca inadvertently sabotages her chances of getting a promotion.
- Vera: In "Telling Tales", Holly runs into the bathroom to cry after receiving a bollocking from Vera.