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Inelegant Blubbering

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"There's a reason God makes you ugly when you're grieving; so people will leave you the hell alone."

A character cries. It is not pretty. It tends to be loud. Expect the character to, afterwards, need to blow his/her nose and have red, puffy eyes. If any makeup is involved, expect it to run — badly.

A literary trope, mostly, since we do not have to see the character sobbing. Often lampshaded. Plus actors can more easily mimic tears than the full effect.

Note that this may occur for any motive for which someone can cry.

May be done by a Hysterical Woman. Contrast Cry Cute.

Liable to turn drama into unintentional comedy if mishandled. This can be done intentionally, as a form of Bathos. Compare Deteriorates Into Gibberish.



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  • A man sobs and wails loudly upon his regret towards his girlfriend’s death due to him speeding in this 1993 SAAQ PSA. The ad closes out with a closeup of his scarred face; red, puffy eyes; and runny nose.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Assassination Classroom: Nagisa does this after he delivers the deathblow to Koro-sensei.
  • This happens often to several characters in Attack on Titan, especially Armin and Eren, and civilians and soldiers alike have crying breakdowns when they see they're doomed to be eaten by Titans. Deaths are rarely dignified.
  • Whenever Miyoshi cries in Bakuman。, it starts with Cry Cute and devolves into this — for example, when Mashiro and Takagi get their first serialized manga.
  • Bleach, anime Episode 21. After Ichigo defeats the giant Soul Reaper gate guard Jidanbō by destroying his axes, Jidanbō starts crying uncontrollably and lamenting their loss.
  • A plot point in a Case Closed case. Two years before the Tottori Spider Mansion case took place, a girl named Misa Takeda and later her mother Kikuko committed suicide; while Misa's father/Kikuko's husband Nobukazu barely showed any emotions, Nobukazu's younger brother Ryuuji wept so intensely for their deaths that the neighbors and family members were shocked. This was actually the first hint that Misa was Kikuno and Ryuuji's love child and Nobukazu was aware of it; when Conan heard about this detail he began to decipher the Takedas' very dark family dynamics...
  • Played for laughs in Chibi Vampire Karin. Karin is not attractive when she cries. Most characters tend to look pointedly away when she does.
  • Chrono Crusade: Although most of the tears tend to fall in-between the two extremes of Inelegant Blubbering and Cry Cute, Rosette has a full-blown snot-dripping sob fest towards the end of the manga in the afterlife when she realizes that she's dead and admits "Chrono! I don't want to leave you!"
  • In the Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll comics from Sanrio. Mocha does this a lot when she's seen bawling her eyes out, one chapter has her frustrated about how her fortune was horrible that month (her luck is usually bad to begin with), Cinnamoroll pretended to be a fortune teller and her friends tried to cheer her up with a parfait with a chocolate heart but Espresso (who's usually The Smart Guy) foolishly thought it was a good idea to use Milk's head as a table which leads the parfait to fall on the ground with the chocolate heart breaking in half which causes Mocha to cry loudly like a baby.
  • Literature Girl in Daily Lives of High School Boys had one in the skit High School Boys and the Way We Are, breaking down crying like a little child after a humiliating string of Epic Fails.
  • Devil Man:
    • In the Amon: The Apocalypse of Devilman OVA, upon finding Miki's severed head on a pike held by a mob, Akira kills those responsible. He then clutches her head to his chest and begins to cry. Akira then falls to his knees, sobbing and screaming as Satan and Psycho Jenny watch from a distance.
    • In the 2018 adaptation, DEVILMAN crybaby, Akira has to break the news to Miki that her entire family has died. As Miki wordlessly retreats to her room, a close-up shows Akira's face contort as tears begin streaming from his eyes. Akira tilts his head back and sobs loudly in an almost childlike manner. Miki, alone in her room, hears Akira crying and is finally hit by what has happened. Soon both Miki and Akira are heard wailing.
  • In episode 9 of Digimon Tamers, after the rain washes Growlmon's camouflage paint away, Takato becomes so upset (possibly overwhelmed with stress) that he starts sobbing in this manner for almost a minute straight.
  • Dr. Stone: Taiju is prone to this at emotional moments. When he and Yuzuriha finally speak to Senku over the cell phone 50 chapters and one year after parting ways, he's only able to get out an incoherent "SENKU! I... I'm... SENKUUU!", to which Senku responds, "You're not Senku. I'm Senku, dammit."
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Natsu. After witnessing Igneel getting killed by Acnologia, Natsu is reduced to tears, unable to tell Igneel all the things he wanted to tell him.
    • Lucy also does this when she sacrifices Aquarius to summon the Celestial Spirit King.
  • Gakuen Babysitters makes it clear in the first few chapters that crying, especially from very young children, is loud, undignified, and very annoying to most people who are around and don't know what's wrong. Save for a few important moments, it's almost never portrayed as cute whenever the children cry en masse.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: When Makoto cries, it is full-force waterworks and wailing without an ounce of Cry Cute. She most notably does this on the school roof when she believes that she's screwed everything up and can do nothing to fix it.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • At the end of the second episode of Highschool of the Dead, Saya breaks down after killing her first zombie and collapses sobbing into Saeko's arms.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Battle Tendency: This is how Esidisi reacts after his arm is chopped off by Joseph, turns out it is to catch him off-guard as well as a stress-relieving technique. This is even translated to the the fighting game as a counter that causes the opponent's Heat Heart Gauge to go down if they attack him while crying.
    • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable: Okuyasu does this twice when the topic of Koichi's relationship with Yukako comes up. Also drinking the water in Antonio's restaurant, he starts crying momentarily as a side effect of his eyes being shriveled up and relieved of insomnia.
    • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind: Narancia cries as he begs Bucciarati not to leave Abbacchio's body behind after his death. In the anime he even trips and falls, proceeding to lay on the ground while sobbing and wailing loudly.
      • In the anime Mista, while in Trish's body, lets out a Skyward Scream through streams of tears when Narancia is killed.
  • Kakegurui:
    • Itsuki Sumeragi, the first Student Council member that the main character Yumeko Jabami faces off against, turns into an utter crying wreck when her cheating at Double Concentration is not only exposed after Jabami easily beats her in a round but now she's being challenged to put up HER OWN fingernails as collateral!
  • Kimi ni Todoke:
    • Narrowly avoided when Sawako was about to cry because her best friends helped her get ready for a New Year's date with love interest Kazehaya. Ayane and Chizu realized the ultra-sensitive Sawako was about to cry because she was so happy to have such great friends, and quickly pleaded with Sawako to hold it in. Sawako stopped herself from turning on the waterworks just in time to save her makeup from becoming a godawful mess.
  • Aqua from KonoSuba does this so often, it's practically a Running Gag. Usually, this happens when something goes horribly wrong for her or she has to beg Kazuma to do something for her. Have a look for yourself.
  • In Little Witch Academia (2017), Akko does this after she and her friends cure a ghost of its chronic sadness at the magic-themed School Festival. Played for Laughs, since they're Tears of Joy. The announcer comes over to interview her while she's still wailing uncontrollably.
  • All 9 members of µ's break down sobbing like this in the 11th episode of season 2 of Love Live! during the episode's climactic scene. Not even Nico could hold back for long.
  • In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Mikuru engages in this in the last episode of "Endless Eight." It's one of the few times she's not very cute-looking in the series as she has twin trails of snot running down her face.
  • Gundam:
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam, the White Base crew do this after the death of Guntank co-pilot Ryu Jose, complete with Bright Noah collapsing on all fours and sobbing "It's All My Fault!". It was considered such Narm, especially in light of the much more restrained and touching salute they gave the late Matlida Adjan, that the compilation movie version completely redid the scene.
    • SD Gundam Force's Bakunetsumaru is prone to doing this, usually for comic effect. At the end of the series, Zero calls him a "Crybaby Samurai"
    • Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE has a painfully realistic portrayal of this in Episode 20 as two years of trauma comes crashing down on Hiroto after he had to kill the artificial intelligence girl he'd fallen in love with to save GBN from falling apart. There is nothing dignified about the grief in this episode—it is an obvious and still-raw emotional wound.
  • In My-HiME, Aoi's crying is apparently quite dreadful to hear, and when she pretends to be on the verge of tears, her roommate Nao and Nao's Arch-Enemy Natsuki actually put aside their differences as she demands.
  • Naruto:
    • The series plays this straight with several characters, both in the manga and the anime. For instance, the scene where Naruto cries over Gaara's death in Shippuuden is very well done.
    • Sasuke and Gaara get their moments, both with different results. Sasuke looks like he's just taken a level in emo, while Gaara looks like he's finally let a lifetime of pain and torment go.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Kotarou goes into this after he's defeated in the Mahora Tournament after promising to meet Negi in the finals.
  • Noragami features Yukine who cries really really loud on several occasions. Complete with snot and rivers of tears.
  • Chapter five of Omujo! Omutsu Joshi ends with Morei in her room, throwing a tantrum over an Accidental Pervert moment she witnessed between Shouta and Ichigo. The first look at her face in this scene has her bawling her eyes out with snot running freely down one nostril.
  • One Piece:
    • Eiichiro Oda took this trope to a whole new level with the series. Everyone has done this, though male characters more often than female ones. The artist just loves drawing rivers of tears mixing with rivers of snot and saliva, apparently. It's Oda's signature move really.
    • The most extreme examples (with the above snot and saliva) only happen with males. Females only show mucus in the face of emotional trauma. At most, Robin as a child had mucus running down to her mouth in the flashback of her Dark and Troubled Past while trying to get her mother to acknowledge herself as such, but females' snot is generally kept to realistic levels.
    • However, Oda seemed to go further into this trope with Rebecca than most other females. For example, her crying in Chapter 789 as she is nearly forced into killing her aunt Viola is the first instance of a female actually crying to the extent of drool, and her Tears of Joy two chapters later completely cover Luffy's face as he was resting on her Lap Pillow.
    • Chapter 791, in particular, is loaded with the trope. Not just Rebecca, but the entire town and even Kyros let out understandably huge amounts of Tears of Joy following Doflamingo's defeat. That bit wasn't played for comedy, and in the case of Kyros specifically, it's even more justified as he couldn't cry at all when he was a toy, so he's making up for all the time he spent Unable to Cry in one moment.
    • Franky and Chopper are especially prone to this; Franky especially, as it's a Running Gag for him. Luffy's had his moments too, both sad (Ace's death) and happy (reuniting with Usopp after Enies Lobby, the picture up top).
    • Chapter 785 has a minor example, with a little girl crying such inelegant tears of relief after her grandmother regains the will to live. It's a welcome tension reliever, considering the rest of the chapter is serious.
  • Osomatsu-san: In “Jyushimatsu Falls in Love” (season 1 episode 9), the normally cheery Jyushimatsu breaks down bawling after he gets rejected by a girl he had fallen in love with.
  • Pokémon:
    • Max blubbered his eyes out after seeing his father lose to Ash.
    • Oshawott wailed loudly and inconsolably while saying goodbye to Meloetta.
    • In the end of an episode of the Kalos Saga, James' snotty tears look almost familiar to that from One Piece.
    • Serena broke down sobbing after she lost her first Pokemon Showcase.
    • Clemont sobbed in Tears of Joy when Bunnelby agreed to join his team.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion, in the third film, Shinji bursts into a bout of this, letting loose a flood of tears along with the remainder of his sanity, when he realizes that Kaworu is about to kill himself to stop Fourth Impact.
  • In R.O.D the TV this often happens to Anita.
  • In the 1978 film adaptation of Chirin No Suzu (known as Ringing Bell in the West) by Takashi Yanase. After Chirin quickly realizes his mother's dead, he starts crying in a surprisingly realistic manner (especially in the Japanese version). He also starts crying loudly after he accidentally breaks all the mother bird's eggs. While we don't see any saliva or snot, Chirin's face is very wrinkly and actually resembles the way an infant or toddler would cry in real life.
  • In Saint Beast, Maya's tears tend to go along with full-on tantrums, which work really well on his brother.
  • In 7 Seeds, Ryo saves Semimaru from death and delivers an uncharacteristic speech to him, yelling at him for his carelessness in even dangerous situations. The shock from what happened and realization of the consequences his attitude can have, Semimaru is curled up on the floor, hiding his face and obviously crying like a baby (though he tries to do it quietly) and the only audible thing to hear is repeated apologies.
  • Deconstructed in Soul Eater when, during a very serious fight, Medusa going on about parental abandonment/abuse prompts Deathscythe to exit weapon mode and personally threaten his opponent. However, even as he grabs her by the scruff, he chokes on his words and can't get anything out other than "Why you...!" and "You little..." Medusa calls him pathetic for not preparing his words properly and throws him away.
  • In Tamagotchi: The Movie, Chamametchi blubbers after Mametchi gets angry at her, thinking she's the whole reason he and his gang are in the situation they're in with Tamagotchi Planet having gotten sick from a lack of sunlight.
  • Rossiu gets a moment like this in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He's got a stoic face for the crowds the whole time he's planning to sacrifice some of them to save all of them. But in private (as revealed by someone close to him), he was crying his heart out into his bed. It may have been the hardest thing he ever had to do, but he was going to do it.
  • Terra Formars: Akari has himself a good cry when he admits he loved his childhood friend after her death. While it's a little more subdued in the manga, the anime has his face covered in streams of tears, mucus, and saliva. Akari even sniffles and snorts back snot.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki is reduced to this at the end of the first episode, tears and snot running down his face even as he refuses to take human flesh from Touka, screaming that he's still human, not a Ghoul. Touka, who is less than sympathetic, eventually loses her patience and literally shoves a piece of human meat down his throat.
  • Tokyo Godfathers: Pretty much Hana's default method of crying, especially when she is reunited with her foster mother. Also Miyuki and Sachiko. Seriously, nobody cries pretty in this movie.
  • In the Trigun anime, when Vash wakes up after being forced to kill Legato after a series-long vow of pacifism the audience doesn't get to see much of him actually crying but they do get to hear some uncomfortably anguished wailing.
  • In Welcome to the N.H.K. Sato bursts out into screaming, tortured wails at the end of episode 13. Although mostly off-screen, what we see is not at all pretty.
  • Yuri Katsuki from Yuri!!! on Ice does this while calling out Victor, who told Yuri he would resign from being his coach if he didn't place on the podium for his lack of faith in him.
  • Nearly every book owner or mamono/mamodo (save resident badass Brago) breaks out into these in Konjiki no Gash Bell / Zatch Bell!, mostly whenever a mamodo’s book gets burnt, meaning they have to leave their partner and return to the mamodo world.
  • Zombie Land Saga:

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Elongated Man: E. Man, over his wife. Think Monkey D. Luffy during the scene when Ace dies and combine that with spontaneously losing control over his stretching powers and you'll get something like this. A very nice touch seeing as how truly distraught E. Man is over his wife dying.
  • Empowered manages to cross this with Stepford Smiler, with a dash of Frozen Face, in a horrifically tragic way. Poor Sistah Spooky...
  • In The Pulse, Jessica and Luke have a minor argument — really more like a discussion — about her working for the Daily Bugle, but the pregnancy throwing her hormones out of whack causes this.
  • Artist Sara Pichelli seems to excel at portraying this. Her stint on Runaways included scenes of both Molly Hayes and Klara Prast crying in an ugly fashion.
  • Wonder Girl in Teen Titans: Year One.

    Comic Strips 
  • Odie during a movie in this Garfield strip... much to Garfield's annoyance.

    Fan Works 
  • Boys and Girls, a fanfiction of The Loud House, has Lori start "bawling like an infant" upon realising she's done wrong by fawning over Hugh while dating Bobby.
  • Shifts by Fernwithy covers Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from the point of view of Remus (who spends most of it on Order business at Dudley's prep school.) Needless to say, the Inelegant Blubbering comes in near the end.
  • In With Strings Attached, Paul sobs his heart out on John. Later he wipes his nose on one of John's wings.
    I deserve this, John reflected.
  • In ''Heirverse'' Pretty much everyone at some point though special mention goes to Aizen in CF as he desperately tries not to break down in front of Gin and "fails miserably" as he bitterly lampshades
  • In the prequel to Respawn of the Dead, Medic gets so drunk he throws up on Heavy after kissing him for the first time. After Heavy cleans himself up, he comes back to find that Medic is crying in a completely undignified manner which would be totally unlike him if he hadn't just drunk eight beers.
  • Several times in Secret Dreamer, most notably in Chapter 10, when Severa visits her father's grave.
  • In Lucys Unwanted House Guest, after Lisanna hires some thugs to beat up Lucy, Lisanna's older siblings, Mirajane and Elfman, disown her. In Mirajane's case, she even hiccups and stutters as she cries, and Lisanna hearing this causes her to "start crying like a baby."
    Mirajane: And to *sob* think *hiccup* t-that you were SISTER?!
    Lisanna: B-but *sob* One-
    Mirajane: I a-am *sob* NOT your *hiccup* 'Onee-chan'! For I could NEVER have such a monstrous weak mage as my younger sibling!
  • This Steven Universe fanart of Blue Diamond that lampoons that "Crying doesn't always look like it does in beautiful Leiji Matsumoto anime ladies".
  • Kurenai in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto is found by Asuma crying with snot running from her nose due to Naruto having hung Yakumo's paintings in her bedroomnote  and leaving a clone behind to silently remind her of his very real threat to kill her.
  • Junior Officers does this twice with Shellington:
    • Once in "The Swell Shark" during his mental breakdown.
    • Again in "River Riding Adventure, Part 2" while he blames himself for Barnacles' injury.

    Films — Animated 
  • Alice in Wonderland:
    • Alice gets frustrated with the constant changing of size and cries a river of very undignified tears. Since she's gigantic at this stage, her tears quickly become an ocean.
    Alice: Oh dear. I do wish I hadn't cried so much.
    • Later, midway through the film, during the "Very Good Advice" song, she does some more bawling (this time borderline between this and Cry Cute) when she worries that she's not going to find her way home.
  • The Bimbettes at Gaston's attempted wedding to Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Complete with exaggerated animation too. If one pays close attention, Claudette and Laurette even have snot dripping down. They do this in the stage version too: their crying is even written in the script as "WAAAAAAAHHHHH!"
  • Anna in Frozen II does this when she and Elsa reunite near the end of the film. At one point, she nearly blows her nose into her hand.
  • Helen Parr in The Incredibles displays it when she thinks her husband is having an affair. Special focus is given to the numerous pieces of toilet paper she has been perusing. It's toilet paper and not tissues because this happens at Edna Mode's home and, "There's no crying at E's place."
  • Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, Stitch blubbers unpleasantly when the map was destroyed.
    Lilo: We're sunk.
    Stitch: [glances at what's left of their map, his lip quivers, and he starts sobbing] Uhhhh....wwwwwWWWWAHHHHHH HAH HUH HUH HAH HOO HAH! ANH, ANH, AAH, URGH, WAGH! [An exasperated Lilo grabs him by the leg and drags him away]
  • The Lion King (1994): Timon and Pumbaa bawl over "losing" Simba to his romance with Nala in the first film, and at emotional moments throughout the rest of the franchise. In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Pumbaa even has snot bubbles coming out of his nose and drenches Zazu with his Tears of Joy during the happy ending.
  • Make Mine Music:
    • In Peter and the Wolf, the hunters Misha, Yasha, and Vladimir burst out crying when it briefly looks like Peter has been eaten by the wolf.
    • In the ending of "Casey at the Bat," Casey bursts into very undignified tears after striking out at a major baseball game.
    • In The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met, Willie the Whale imagines himself starring in Pagliacci and floods the orchestra pit with his whale-sized tears during "Vesti la giubba."
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Charlotte did this when she thought Naveen wouldn't come to her party, for comic effect.
  • Narrowly averted in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: In the scene where the dwarfs are crying over the seemingly dead Snow White, Dopey originally made a funny face that ruined the mood of the scene and made the test audience crack up, so it was cut. In the final version, he hides his face.
  • In Turning Red, the younger characters (especially Mei) usually weep like this when overwhelmed with emotion, sometimes even paired with Puppy-Dog Eyes and Ocular Gushers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Every time Neytiri cries in Avatar.
  • The Blair Witch Project features this. It makes the scene especially realistic.
    • And ripe for many, many parodies.
  • Helen in Bridesmaids has this. Her rival Annie sees how flushed and snotty she looks and can't help but smile.
  • Marty in Bully when he was telling Lisa about Bobby.
  • Megan in But I'm a Cheerleader, upon realizing that she is indeed a lesbian (as everyone else could already tell), goes into full hysterics, up to and including high-pitched sobs and drooling.
  • Nicolas Cage in both Deadfall and Vampire's Kiss:
    • In Deadfall he openly bawls. He also has his tongue hanging out and his sobs sound like chuckling.
    • In Vampire's Kiss he actually says "BOO HOO!". Twice!
    • Nic does this to much, much better effect in Mandy (2018), after his titular girlfriend is brutally murdered by a cult. It should be silly because he's openly bawling and screaming in his tighty-whitey briefs while chugging vodka, but considering the circumstances, it totally works.
  • Christopher Eccleston is particularly good at this, and does so in Jude, Flesh & Blood and in a scene that got cut from The Second Coming. Observe.
  • Pulled off beautifully by Stallone in First Blood.
    We were in this bar in Saigon and this kid comes up, this kid carrying a shoe-shine box. And he says "Shine, please, shine!" I said no. He kept askin', yeah, and Joey said "Yeah." And I went to get a couple of beers, and the box was wired, and he opened up the box, fucking blew his body all over the place. And he's laying there, he's fucking screaming. There's pieces of him all over me, just... like this, and I'm tryin' to pull him off, you know, my friend that's all over me! I've got blood and everything and I'm tryin' to hold him together! I'm puttin'... the guy's fuckin' insides keep coming out! And nobody would help! Nobody would help! He's saying, sayin' "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" He keeps calling my name! "I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy!" I said "With what? I can't find your fuckin' legs! I can't find your legs!"
  • The Fountain. Tommy Creo breaks down after the death of his wife.
  • One of the best parts of Funny People was when Seth Rogan's character just starts doing this in the middle of a crowded restaurant during dinner with Adam Sandler's character.
  • The hero of Gladiator when he discovers that his wife and child are dead. There's even snot involved. This was an actor and director decision and invoked intentionally. And it totally works.
  • The Godfather: Fredo after the Don is shot. Not your everyday Manly Tears, this is full-blown sobbing and sniveling, caused not only by the shocking, sudden onset of grief, but from the sheer humiliation of having failed to do anything to stop the assassination (he fumbled his gun at a critical moment).
  • Played for laughs with JP in Grandma's Boy. There were multiple strings of spit coming from his mouth, and his eyeliner was smudged as well.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: After The Grinch’s heart grew three sizes he cried like this in warmth and remorse after he realized the true meaning of Christmas near the end of the movie.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Cedric Diggory's father, and for that matter, Harry himself. A case of Tropes Are Not Bad, because the scene mentioned is agonizing.
  • Mike in The Hole is in clear hysterics after he kills Geoff in a fit of rage.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Katniss loses it when Prim's cat returns to the house. She screams and cries that Prim isn't coming back as she throws things at the cat.
  • In The Impossible, Ewan McGregor's character, Henry, breaks down in loud, uncontrollable sobbing as he tries to tell his father-in-law over the phone that his wife and older son are missing after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. He has to hang up because he simply can't pull himself together long enough to get the words out properly. (See also Moulin Rouge! below – Ewan McGregor is good at this.)
  • In Bruges: the scene in the park when Ray breaks down and bawls into Ken's chest.
  • Belle is prone to this in Knockout, particularly after her father is shot and at the end when she wins the world lightweight boxing championship.
  • Stan Laurel was prone to the comedic version, particularly after being berated by Ollie.
  • Les Misérables (2012):
  • The Martian. In the tension of the pre-launch during his high-risk rescue, Mark Watney breaks down crying when he hears the voices of his crewmates for the first time in well over a year, knowing they've all come back to save him.
  • Played for laughs in Mary Poppins; the "I Love to Laugh" segment ends with Bert making what Dick Van Dyke referred to as his Stan Laurel face. (Van Dyke was a huge fan of Laurel.)
  • Moulin Rouge!'s Christian does this when Satine dies. Because it sounds almost like he's laughing hysterically, it potentially kills the mood. Justified (perhaps) in the director's commentary where it's suggested that only a completely devastated person cries like that because whether or not they sound silly is the last thing they're concerned about.
  • Murder by Death. Sam Diamond and Tess Skeffington are locked in a room with a hidden, ticking Time Bomb.
    Sam: I got an idea. I don't know whether this is gonna work or not. Quick, turn around!
    Tess: I'm turned, Sam.
    Sam: Whatever you do, baby, don't turn back.
    Tess: But Sam, if anything...
    Sam: Do as I say, angel!
    Tess: I will, Sam.
    Sam: Good. Because I think... I'm gonna cry. (starts sobbing pathetically offscreen)
  • Spoofed in The Naked Gun, where Frank Drebin lets Nordberg's wife cry into his shoulder and winds up with a big wad of snot on his jacket.
  • Barbra in the remake of Night of the Living Dead (1990). A very accurate depiction of hysterics. She's half laughing, half crying when Ben shakes her.
  • The Parent Trap (1998):
    • When Hallie reveals to Elizabeth who she really is, Martin breaks down in Tears of Joy. His sobbing makes Grandpa close the door to not ruin the mood of the reunion.
    • Likewise, when Annie reveals herself, Chessy has a hard time keeping it together without revealing the secret when Nick comes in and asks her what's wrong.
  • In Reflections In A Golden Eye, Marlon Brando's character collapses into some of the most pathetic crying ever caught on film after losing control of his wife's horse and then beating it with a branch in a fit of rage. It's in stark contrast to his other roles, where he sheds manly tears at worst.
  • Basically the last few minutes of Reservoir Dogs is this, as a subversion of the awesome manliness, the film had up to that point.
  • In Rocky III, Rocky does some of this just after Mick dies.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio does this in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.
  • Likewise, in Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet, both Leonard Whiting's Romeo and Olivia Hussey's Juliet cry this way.
  • Matt's reaction to Bald Pete's death in Ronja the Robber's Daughter. See attached
  • At the end of Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler does this as he says that he could have saved more Jews if he had sold his belongings (the blubbering grows from the repeated phrase "I could've gotten more...").
  • Cmdr. Shepard in Sink the Bismarck!, The Stoic after losing his wife in an earlier bombing raid and later his son's plane being shot down, and monofocused on sinking the marauding German battleship, finally breaks down weeping in his bathroom after getting a report that his son had been rescued.
  • Stevo in SLC Punk! when Heroin Bob dies.
  • John Conner in Terminator 2: Judgment Day completely loses it when he realizes that, in order to prevent Judgement Day, his guardian, friend, and father figure will have to perform an Heroic Sacrifice. He is just a kid, though.
  • ¡Three Amigos!. After the title characters realize that they aren't putting on a show but are facing a real bandit gang, they start crying and whining like babies.
  • Laura's honking in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
  • During the climax of The Truman Show, Truman begins crying in frustration and defeat when he conquers his aquaphobia only to sail the boat he stole to escape directly into a wall, revealing to him Seahaven isn't an island at all and is, in fact, just a set encased in a large dome. Jim Carrey is a master of authentic-looking ugly tears.
  • When Harry Met Sally...: When Sally finds out her ex is getting married again, she calls Harry. Meg Ryan nails it perfectly. She weeps uncontrollably enough to be sympathetic but balances the pathos AND the comedy of the scene.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger blubbers inelegantly after he's told his wife is playing around. This scene is an almost exact remake of the opening from Chinatown.
  • The Wizard of Oz: The guard on the Wizard's audience chamber.

  • In her Memoirs, the Duchess of Abrantès characterized her late husband — General Junot — as being extremely prone to this.
  • In Amelia Takes Command, Amelia fears doing this after she gets bullied, because, according to her, people tend to have chins that crinkle up or mouths that look like rubber bands when they cry. In the end, the bully, Hilary, dissolves into all-out bawling after Amelia finally tells her off. She's described as having "a rubber-band mouth and a crinkly chin."
  • Asperger Adventures: Ben does this in the first scene of Blue Bottle Mystery when Miss Browning-Lever yells at him for reasons he barely understands, then becomes so enraged that she breaks the ruler on his desk.
  • As described in Aztec, part of the ceremony to the rain god Tlaloc involves all the spectators doing this. First, the two young children who will provide the sacrifice are paraded around and shown off to the group. Then a priest makes the children cry, usually by pinching them. The onlookers all start weeping and wailing and beating their chests because it will bring rain during the upcoming rainy season.
  • In The Belgariad, Ce'Nedra sees Garion with another woman, spits poison at him, and runs off to cry. Polgara tracks her down to let her know that woman was his cousin and clean her up a bit because she does not look pretty after crying. Not the only time this observation is made: Also happens when she's trying to lead a war and gets hit with the enormity of the fact that most of the people she's just rallied to battle are going to die.
    • And again in The Mallorean, after she has a period of deep depression and weeping over her baby's kidnapping:
    Polgara: "You really shouldn't cry in public, dear. You haven't the coloring for it."
  • The Bible: After twenty years of estrangement, Joseph cries uncontrollably at the moment of his reconciliation with his brothers.
  • A Boy Made of Blocks: When Alex arrives in Dan's flat after leaving his wife and son, he almost immediately starts crying hysterically, with snot bubbling out of his nose.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: In The Silver Chair, Jill Pole is doing this when the book opens. Also, young Digory Kirke in The Magician's Nephew. Both times, the author spends quite a bit of time on how unattractive it is.
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, Alex can tell Misty has been crying because her eyes are red and puffy.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Jewels Of Gwahlur" not exactly wise for an imposter goddess.
    Wipe your face. A goddess doesn't cry like a whipped schoolgirl.
  • Scout in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous is described as having a soaked sleeve and a slimy face while still sniffling after a bout of tears.
  • Discworld:
    • In Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals, Glenda's crying is explicitly described as not being like a romance heroine's.
    • In Raising Steam, Harry King cries the fat, blubbery tears of a hard man who would never let anyone see them.
  • Invoked in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher where one of the boys cries so hard snot drips out of his nose. Also happens to "Duddits", a mentally challenged boy with Disability Superpowers, when a group of bullies beat him up and force him to eat a dried dog turd.
    • It happens at least twice to the title character in Carrie. Both times also involve dripping snot.
  • The Dresden Files: Jim Butcher does not like Cry Cute. He does not like it at all. While the female characters are rarely weepy, on the times when they do cry, it is always described as incredibly unflattering. Of course, the protagonist being who he is, that only pisses him off even more. He's fully aware of this flaw, and is getting better about overcoming it. And Harry himself does not weep manfully — he curls into a ball of whatever misery has currently landed on him and sobs his heart out.
  • In Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder's Except the Queen, crying like this is one of the multiple indignities heaped on Serana by her exile.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only In Death, Ludd's tears leave his eyes red.
  • Hermione in the Harry Potter books is prone to this. In the fourth book, she abruptly bursts into tears and hugs Harry and Ron when the two of them make up after a fight. In the fifth book, she pretends to do this to fool Umbridge. This adds a bit of Narm when you realize that about three pages pass of Hermione convincing Umbridge about the weapon in the forest - and she's supposedly got her arms covering her face pretending to sob the whole time. The movie naturally drops this from the scene.
    • That said, the first part of the movie version of the seventh book has Hermione doing a lot of blubbering when Bellatrix is torturing her for information.
  • In Heart of Steel, Mad Scientist Alistair Mechanus breaks down into this after getting his memories back, as he is forced to relive the Trauma Conga Line that led to his psychotic break and subsequent amnesia a decade before. Compounding things is that, due to his Trauma-Induced Amnesia, he still hasn't had time to properly process things, so the pain is still as fresh as if it happened yesterday.
  • From Heralds of Valdemar: When Winterhart breaks down, Amberdrake observes that her eyes are swollen and bloodshot, her nose a brilliant pink, she looks horrible — and he wants to hold her in his arms and protect her from the rest of the world.
  • In Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, Katniss is afraid of this after she volunteers; it would make her look weak. After she shoots the apple out of the mouth of the Gamemakers' roast pig in anger and walks away undismissed, she sobs inelegant Tears of Remorse for fear they will harm her family over it and give her a bad score, meaning she will do poorly after she promised she would try to win.
    • She does it again (complete with Lampshade Hanging) in "Catching Fire" when she thinks Peeta is dead.
  • Joan Foster, the narrator of Lady Oracle, admits in the first chapter that she is prone to this sort of crying; her eyes get as red as "cooked tomatoes," her nose runs, she clenches her fists, snorts, and moans. "Decorous weeping was another of those arts I never mastered, like putting on false eyelashes."
  • Played for laughs with Margaret Twiss, courtesy of some amusing sound effects, in A Leader in the Chalet School:
    “B-but it was me!-hurp-hurp!-it was!" Margaret wept loudly, her words so mixed up with her sobs that none of the girls could make head or tail of what she was saying and even the Head, with all her experience, could gather only a little here and there. “I-I s-saw Miss A-andrews-hurp!-p-put the snake-hurp-hurp!-snake into the d-drawer and I never-hurp!-said anything-hurp-hurp!-even when the rest b-blamed Jack-hurp!-for it!-hurp-hurp-hurp! Wah-hah-hah!”
  • In Andy Weir's The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney gets stranded alone on Mars for months, without any means to communicate with Earth. But after he recovers the old Pathfinder probe, he repairs it and uses it to establish a link to Mission Control. Once he sees the main antenna has moved, indicating successful contact, he goes back inside the Hab and breaks down sobbing in relief.
  • The title character of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Mrs. Fox's Wedding does this in the first part when Mr. Fox plays dead because he feels that he was unfaithful to her. She does this again in the second part when Mr. Fox finally dies.
  • My Dark Vanessa: Vanessa sobs so hard she can barely stand up, with snot dripping out of her nose, when Strane breaks off their relationship because the risk of being caught is too great.
  • In Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Door collapses into tears —afterward, she has red eyes and looks as if she had vigorously blown her nose and scrubbed tears from her face.
    • During the ordeal, the Jessica cries so that her make-up runs.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: In The Lightning Thief, the first of the series, Percy breaks down after seeing his beloved mother choked and kidnapped, sobbing and hoarsely calling out for her even though he knows she's gone, and at this point thinks she's dead. It drives home that heroic and apocalyptically powerful though he may be, Percy is also a love-starved little boy who just lost the only person who's always been there for him.
    • In the sequel series, Piper tries to invoke this, but since Aphrodite decided to bless her with beauty, beautiful she remains.
  • In Derek Robinson's novel Piece Of Cake, a pilot breaks down crying next to the adjutant who is made very uncomfortable and observes that it's a shame that, when men need comfort the most, God makes them look like monkeys.
  • In The Secret Of Drumshee Castle Grace is so overwhelmed by her cousin giving her a beautiful horse for her birthday, she collapses on the floor crying. Her cousin mistakes this for her not wanting the horse and Grace realises how undignified she was acting.
  • In Song of the Lioness, when Alanna is crying after a tiff with Liam, Thayet comes in to console her and remarks that "some women can cry and look pretty. You and I can't."
  • In Neil Gaiman's Stardust, when Tristran finds the star, her eyes are raw and red with weeping.
  • In Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno after Ugugg got his ears boxed,
    Uggug (who was blubbering his loudest, in the hope of attracting notice)
  • In Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, when they catch a thief of apples, he blubbers.
    • The narrator's sister in Carroll's Melancholetta is portrayed this way:
      My dismal sister! Couldst thou know
      The wretched home thou keepest!
      Thy brother, drowned in daily woe,
      Is thankful when thou sleepest;
      For if I laugh, however low,
      When thou'rt awake, thou weepest!
      • And later, when he tries to cheer her up by inviting "three gay young dogs from town" for dinner
      "Hounds IN FULL CRY I like," said she:
      (Oh how I longed to snub her!)
      "Of fish, a whale's the one for me,
  • Lanen of Tales of Kolmar observes that she's seen women who only looked more beautiful when they cry, but her eyes go bright red and puffy and her nose runs.
  • In Henry Zhou's Warhammer 40,000 novel The Emperor's Mercy, after aristocrats are rounded up in a raid, the women are crying with their black make-up running, and the men are worse.
  • Due to their sibling rivalry, Marty and Melissa both ugly-cry in The Worst Thing About My Sister when they learn they'll be sharing a room.
  • That Hideous Strength: When Ransom is meeting with a restored Merlin, Merlin ends up 'blubbering' at one point when he realizes he may have no choice but to take on a suicidal mission. After Ransom orders him to Get Ahold Of Yourself Man, they continue on as if nothing happened (essentially "it's out of my system, why focus on it?").

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Jemma tends to cry like this. Notable examples include T.R.A.C.K.S. after Daisy gets shot and A Wanted (Inhu)man when she's overwhelmed during her long-awaited dinner date with Fitz.
    • Fitz does this during his What Have I Done moment in The Return when he remembers how he became the sadistic Doctor during the team's time in the Framework.
    • Daisy also does this a couple of times, in Absolution when Mack forgives her for what she did while under Hive's influence, and in Ascension when Lincoln sacrifices his life to save the world.
  • Invoked in the last pre-Netflix episode of Arrested Development, when Michael chokes up in the middle of a speech about keeping his family together.
    Narrator: And that’s when Michael finally wasn’t exactly a turn-on.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), after Starbuck - who he considered a daughter - is seemingly killed, the normally stoic and steely Commander Adama gets completely hammered and dissolves into a snot-and-drool puddle on the floor of his quarters.
  • Boardwalk Empire. Normally calm and controlled, Margaret becomes a hysterical wreck by the end of "A Man, a plan". Finding your lover, with whom you intended to elope, murdered and delivered to your house in a box does this to people...
  • A Running Gag in early episodes of The Brittas Empire has receptionist Carole constantly in tears over her divorce, sometimes making her hard to understand.
  • In one episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, after being asked to be the officiant of someone's wedding, Terry writes a wedding speech that manages to provoke buckets of messy, inelegant tears... from Terry himself.
    Terry: Darlene and Lynn, I want you to remember the words of Luther Vandross: "A thousand kisses from you..." [Begins to break, but forces himself together] "A thousand kisses from you... is never... too... much."
    [Terry dissolves into tears; Gina stares incredulously]
    Holt: Every time he reads it, he breaks down.
    Gina: Terry, I thought you had done this before.
    Terry: Yeah, but that was just workout metaphors! You told me to get gorgeous with it, and it took me to some very real places.
  • Willow was a pro at this on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Confessions" when she's weeping in the bathroom over Xander and Faith sleeping together, in "Wild at Heart" when Oz leaves her and especially in "The Gift" where Buffy dies. Another one is "Passion" where we get a Big "NO!" and she collapses gasping in Joyce's arms when she hears Jenny has been murdered.
  • Billie does this in the series finale of Charmed after she's forced to kill her sister. Most fans noted how she sounded uncannily like a seal — yet the scene is still very sad.
  • Debra Morgan in Dexter, when she returns to the spot where Frank Lundy was killed.
  • Doctor Who has a few of these, all with fairly good reason.
  • Drake & Josh: Given that Josh is Prone to Tears, it is natural for him to pull these. One time, when he ends up missing an important test because Drake thoughtlessly abandoned him at the house to make out with his girlfriend, he starts to cry rapidly. Turns into Berserker Tears when Drake gives off a smug comment as Josh is pointing at him, prompting Josh to nearly tackle Drake in a fit of rage.
  • Farscape: Aeryn is a pro at this when she's hugely grief-stricken - in "Relativity" when Crais kills her mother Xhalax (or so she believes at the time) and at the end of "Infinite Possibilities, part 2: Icarus Abides", complete with a running nose, when Crichton dies of radiation poisoning.
  • In the Filipino family drama Flordeliza, Liza undergoes a crying fit, complete with a running nose, when Crisanto smashes her cell phone for lying about her blindness in an attempt to rid Flor and Gener from her life. She undergoes another when Beth throws her to the ground, throws her packed bag to her, abusively declares that she is no longer her daughter anymore, and sends her away to her grandparents.
  • Friends
    • This happens with Monica and Rachel when they are saying goodbye because Rachel is moving to Paris. Her blubbering becomes so unintelligible that Monica can't understand what she's saying.
    • Monica is quite prone to this. When Rachel is about to move out, Monica gives a speech to Phoebe about how great a roommate she was. It begins seriously but becomes comedic as Monica blubbers "I have to live with a BOY!!!"
    • Again when she's proposing to Chandler, she can barely get the words out because she's crying so hard. She even lampshades it saying "there's a reason girls don't do this."
  • In Glue, resident sensitive guy James sheds Manly Tears about once per episode - but he erupts into helpless sobs when he's arrested on suspicion of murder after hallucinating his dead ex-boyfriend during an acid trip, and later when he's kidnapped by the real murderer, beaten and almost killed.
  • In the The Goldbergs, there was one episode where Erica was brokenhearted by her first love, that not even her parents could comprehend what she's saying while she's crying. Only Barry does, as he, himself, has experienced what she's going through.
    Murray: How the hell did you understand her?
    Barry: As most of you know, I've uh, spent the majority of my life hysterical and emotionally out of control, I speak the language.
    Erica: (tearfully squeaking)
    Barry: She'd like some hot tea with a little bit of honey.
  • A pivotal scene in Season 2 of The Good Place involves this trope, as a way to show that Michael really does care about Team Cockroach.
  • Lilly in Hannah Montana is all about this trope when she cries.
  • Highlander. When Duncan accidentally kills Richie at the end of Season 5, Joe Dawson literally breaks down crying on Methos' shoulder. Duncan is slightly more subdued (probably due to shock) but is still whimpering pretty hard as he walks off. A case of Tropes Are Not Bad, as it's really emotionally painful to watch and hammers in the impact of the scene.
  • Horatio Hornblower, "The Frogs and the Lobsters":
    • In the Duchess and the Devil Horatio is confined in an oubliette as punishment. There’s no food, water, or space to turn around, but what brings Horatio to (ugly) tears is a rat crawling on him.
    • The usually stoic Horatio sheds somewhat inelegant Manly Tears, with mucus and everything, when he contemplates the results of British participation on side of the Royalists in the French Revolution. He's also a bit shattered as his French lady friend died a vain death.
  • Marshall from How I Met Your Mother does this hilariously in "The Chain of Screaming" after being yelled at by his boss. The others have a very hard time not making fun of him for it.
    • Also, Ted is notorious for doing this during toasts at all his friends' weddings, which earns him a lot of flack and a YouTube video. However, when he's being mocked for it at Punchy's wedding in the 7th season premiere, Marshall stands up and furiously admonishes everyone at the reception, pointing out that Ted's only crying because he's overcome with joy after Lily announced she was pregnant.
  • Three words to describe Rocky Lockridge's loud bawling in Intervention: Best. Cry. Ever.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • In Kamen Rider Fourze, Gentaro cries inelegantly after Jerk Jock Shun Daimonji breaks down in tears and tells him about how much pressure and stress his father puts on him to be the "King" of the school. It is hilarious.
      • Gentaro also cries again in the Hyper Battle Video DVD when he thinks Kamen Rider Amazon stood him up.
      • This trope is used all over the place much less humorously in Fourze's penultimate episode. After Kengo breaks down crying over having to leave Earth and his friends behind, Gentarou and Yuki try to cheer him up but similarly burst into tears themselves, to the point where they can barely even speak.
    • In episode 40 of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Parado goes into this as he realizes the weight of his actions. It leaves him in a broken heap on the floor before long.
    • Episode 13 of Kamen Rider Saber, period. Kento is dying, in pain, and attempting to tell the others to go on without him and save the world. Everyone is crying, even Ren and emotion-repressing Tetsuo Daishinji, Rintaro is trying not to but obviously is, Touma is sobbing, Ryo Ogami is angry-crying, and hell, even Kento himself is crying because he doesn't want to leave Touma.
  • A recurring sketch in Man Stroke Woman is a man whose girlfriend has just dumped him, causing him to blubber incoherently while his friends hazard increasingly bizarre guesses as to what he's trying to say.
  • Al Bundy on Married... with Children is a master of this. As he pours his heart out to Peg of another day at the shoe store:
    Al: This humongous woman in a short dress sits down in front of me. I saw underwear. It said "Saturday" on it.
    Peg: So?
    Al: Today's Wednesday!! (loses it)
  • M*A*S*H: Happens with some frequency — lots of really red eyes and folks breaking down completely.
  • Merlin:
    • A fleeting example in 3x05 — after Arthur is shot and Merlin thinks he won't be able to save him, he's briefly shown in tears, complete with running nose, as he washes the blood off his hands.
    • Guinevere in 4x09. When Arthur confronts her about kissing Lancelot on the eve of her wedding to Arthur, Gwen is on the verge of hysteria considering she was under a spell at the time, didn't understand what she was doing, and can't provide Arthur with a coherent explanation.
    • Merlin in "A Lesson in Vengeance", once again because it appears that his spell has failed to heal Arthur. Partially done to contrast with Gwen, who was brainwashed the episode before and has spent the entire episode crying Crocodile Tears to get everyone to follow her.
    • Merlin revealing his magic to Arthur in the series finale almost doesn't come to pass since Merlin is crying so much.
  • The Office (US): In the third season episode "The Coup," when Dwight tries to go behind Michael's back to Jan, Michael berates him until Dwight breaks down. He goes on his knees, wailing, and when he comes up he has snot running down his face. In the second-to-last episode "A.A.R.M.", Andy crashes the auditions for an American Idol knockoff called America's Next A Capella Sensation wearing a ridiculous old man outfit. He gets rejected after performing the Cornell University alma mater song, and, having quit his job to compete on the show, burning all his bridges in the process, bawls uncontrollably. This footage ends up getting used on the actual show and becomes a viral sensation, complete with a popular Stupid Statement Dance Mix video.
  • Belle in Once Upon a Time collapses into a heap of hysterics during the Season 3 Winter finale when Rumpelstiltskin sacrifices himself.
  • Peacemaker (2022) in episode 2 after getting back to his trailer home - Peacemaker has a breakdown on his bed - sobbing hysterically, yelling how everyone hates him and they're right because he's a terrible person and also several times he punches himself in his maimed clavicle.
  • Gus in Psych has a tendency towards being an inelegant, undignified weeper when sufficiently frightened or upset.
  • In the mini-series Rhodes, Cecil Rhodes collapses on the ground in tears at the funeral of a friend, implied to be a homosexual lover of Rhodes.
  • SCTV — resident primadonna celebrity Johnny La Rue (John Candy) goes into pathetic blubbering, pleading fits when station higher-ups deny him his perceived perks.
  • Jax Teller does this a couple of times on Sons of Anarchy, once in "Laying Pipe" when he watches his best friend beaten to death and once in "A Mother's Work" when he finds his wife dead on their kitchen floor. His face turns bright red, tears smeared everywhere, full body shaking, the whole deal.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Jean-Luc Picard is twice reduced to this: once while expressing Sarek's repressed anguish and a long Vulcan lifetime of regrets, and once when he finally breaks down over what the Borg did to him, and how he wasn't strong or good enough to stop them.
  • Sam from Supernatural is an ugly crier and gets much fewer crying scenes compared to his brother (Jensen Ackles, who plays his brother Dean, is a master of "the single perfect tear"). When he does, he dissolves into this. See the beginning of Season 2 when his dad dies or the end of season 3 when Dean dies.
  • Happens on Titus when the titular character finally breaks down over his mother's death... in an airplane bathroom.
    • And, according to Christopher Titus's stand-up, based on real events, as smelling turkey on a flight sparked memories of his mother's Thanksgiving dinners.
      Titus: Now I'm lying on the floor in a fetal position and I'm crying. And I don't mean "crying", I mean "snot-coming-out-of-my-nose, booger-bubbles bursting all over the place..."
  • Ianto from Torchwood is a rather ugly crier.
    • Gwen also cries like this when Rhys dies in the Season 1 finale.
  • The Walking Dead has perhaps one of the most brutal examples ever in its Season 7 premiere. After smashing in the skulls of Abraham and Glenn with a barbed-wire baseball bat, Negan literally has the entire group shaking and sobbing on the ground. And then, just to further show everyone how helpless they are, Negan tells Rick that he'll have to cut off Carl's arm if he doesn't want the remaining group members to die equally horrible deaths. It's this threat that finally breaks Rick down to the point where he's nothing more than a blubbering, runny-nosed mess at Negan's feet.
  • Grace from Will & Grace is a champ at this, complete with incoherent high-pitched talking.
  • In Winter Sonata, a drunk Oh Chelin loses it after she proposes that "the jilted ones" (she and Sang-hyuk) start dating. She's the sole blubbering mess while everyone else in the series cries so carefully.
  • One clip on World's Dumbest... features a guy who's blubbering because his football team lost an important game. When he's brought into the studio several months later, he's still sobbing.
  • Whenever Bull from Night Court cries, he makes a sound like a Godzilla with his tail caught in a bear trap.
  • One of Lucy's trademarks in I Love Lucy is to let out an infantile like "WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" whenever she cries.

  • Albert Collins' hard luck blues story ''But I Was Cool''
  • Depressive Black Metal has a lot of these cries formed into vocals. They're so painful to hear you'll want to cry too. Example at about 5:55.
  • The extended version of The Temptations' "Runaway Child, Running Wild" features a little boy crying for his mother, just after the regular version would've faded out. It's only for about five or six seconds, then the instrumental takes over as if to say "No one can hear you, Little Boy."
  • Kids Praise: Psalty himself tends to fall into this when kids pretend to praise God without really meaning it.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Manly Tears are not common in Dino Attack RPG. Instead, expect red eyes, runny noses, and uncontrollable sobbing. Hertz, Frozeen, and Rex are all victims of this trope.

  • Rodolfo traditionally does this after Mimí's death at the end of La Bohème. This might be the reason for the above-mentioned Moulin Rouge! example since that film draws considerable inspiration from this opera.
  • Another famous operatic tenor example is Canio in Pagliacci, at the end of his iconic aria "Vesti la giubba." The sobbing isn't called for in the libretto, but it's a firm tradition, and depending on the singer it can be very undignified. Thanks to Pop-Cultural Osmosis from film, TV, and cartoons, an inelegantly blubbering tenor in a clown suit is probably the main image that the title Pagliacci evokes for most people.
  • Hamilton: "Say No To This" indicates Maria Reynolds is not a pretty crier.
    ''Half-dressed, apologetic, a mess, she looked pathetic, she cried "Please don't go, sir!"

    Video Games 
  • Played for laughs in Battleborn as Oscar Mike confesses his deepest feelings to Nova, the ship’s computer, thinking he’s talking to a personal diary. As he gets to the point of tears, Nova broadcasts to the ship about it with glee.
  • Splicers cry a lot in BioShock. This is hardly surprising, given how badly they're broken. When they start crying, there's nothing elegant about it — it's full of sobbing and groaning, and it tends to last for quite some time.
  • Heroes with afflictions in Darkest Dungeon sometimes speak in this matter, with some of them going into sobbing fits depending on what affliction they have.
  • Queen Brahne while watching the play "I Want To Be Your Canary" in Final Fantasy IX. As the play is performed every year, she's likely just getting into the spirit of it (it's a tragedy). She pauses for a moment to wonder where her daughter has wandered off to before resuming bawling over the heroine's death.
  • Tidus in Final Fantasy X does some very undignified crying when he discovers the truth about Yuna and the Final Aeon. His line near the end of the game "I hate you, Dad" is a little more dignified.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening's Future Past 2 DLC Owain, the future son of Lissa goes into a sobbing fit upon being reunited with his mother. It gets to the point that he can barely speak properly as he chews himself out. Considering the one who's doing it, it's quite painful to read.
  • Zelda's crying in the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is extremely loud and inelegant-sounding, especially compared to the other versions.
  • Lost Odyssey features an example with Cooke and Mack mourning the loss of their mother... who also happens to be The Hero's daughter. (Long story. No, literally.) Cooke makes increasingly desperate calls for her mom and descends into incoherent wails.
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: "Now Luke, you know a gentleman never makes a scene in public" "I'm sorry, professor, but I'm not a gentleman yet!"
  • In Puyo Puyo Tetris, Ess is shown multiple times in the story mode making a rather melodramatic-looking blubbering face whenever she is sad.
  • Sakuna Of Rice And Ruin: When Sakuna is throwing herself on Lady Kamuhitsuki's mercy after the explosion in the Royal Garner, her face has undergone an Art Shift to be blobby.
  • In The Spectrum Retreat, after the flashback of Robin dying, you can hear Maddie's breakdown, and it's not pleasant at all.
  • In Super Paper Mario, Emotionless Girl Nastasia suddenly goes into a blubbering fit when she learns that Count Bleck is gone forever. She recovers her dignity with equal abruptness.
  • The four youngest kids in Super Sized Family will outright bawl when they cry, as opposed to their older siblings, who have a more dignified cry. Notably, the younger ones are the only ones who cry with a sound effect; the older kids' crying is silent.
  • Oxygen Not Included: Duplicants with the Ugly Crier stress reaction will sit down and start blubbering all over the place if their stress peaks out, just being miserable in a very messy way until their stress goes down. This is apparently so unsightly that everyone witnessing this might get stressed out too and generally finds it demoralizing. On the plus side, it's free water for your colony.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon; Ichiban spends most of the last half hour after the final boss fight bawling and begging Masato to pull a Heel–Face Turn and forget his ambitions. It almost works... then Masato's lackey guts him just as he comes to his senses.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kiyotaka Ishimaru from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc does this (complete with tears and sweat) after Mondo Oowada is revealed as the murderer of Chihiro Fujisaki in Chapter 2 and he is executed at the end of the second trial. The scene is intensified in the anime version, where little puddles of tears are added to the effect.
    • Himiko Yumeno from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony breaks down sobbing when she finally expresses her grief over Angie and Tenko’s deaths in chapter 3.
  • Katawa Shoujo: In Hanako's route when Hanako and Hisao climatically reconcile their feelings for one another with all the pain and loss both have experienced in their pasts. It is likely the player will be crying too, but for a very different reason.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Happens to Richard Watterson all the time, especially in the newer seasons.
  • In the final episode of Amphibia, both Sasha and Grime let out a comical cry after bidding farewell to each other.
  • Animaniacs: Skippy Squirrel bawls inelegantly as he watches the death of the title character's mother and the wildfire scene in "Bumbie the Dearest Deer" (a parody of Bambi). He does this again after Slappy explains that no one gets hurt in cartoons, when they fly to Tucumcari, New Mexico to meet Veena Waleen (who acted as, well, Bumbie's Mom), and when they watch an in-flight movie of an "Old Yeller" parody named "Old Yellow".
    (Skippy sniffles, wiping his nose with his paw.)
    Slappy: Ohhhh (handing tissue), use a tissue.
    (Skippy, shown with red, puffy eyes and runny nose, blows hard on the tissue, which covers him.)
  • Arcane: A distressingly realistic and dramatic example. After being left behind by Vi and the rest of the gang to sit out the rescue mission for Vander, Powder has a tantrum in her room, complete with saliva and snot running down her face.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula's last appearance is this overlapping with Broken Tears. At first, there was incoherent, furious screaming, but within seconds it devolved into sobbing.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Harley Quinn comically (and loudly) sobs and blows her nose during the Joker's famous eulogy scene in "The Man Who Killed Batman".
  • Blaze and the Monster Machines:
    • Starla bawls loudly twice in the episode "The Driving Force". The first time she cries is when she finds out her piston is missing and again when she gets depressed over possibly not ever getting it back again.
    • Crusher has a tendency to cry in a very undignified manner if things do not go his way.
  • In an episode of The Boondocks, Jazmine does this out of guilt after Grandad sneaks her, Huey and Riley into a movie without paying. After watching a guilt-slinging anti-piracy ad she has tears and snot running down her face.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • Pluto the Pup is shown to be prone to this in several episodes, most notably "A Gentleman's Gentleman" and "Pluto and the Armadillo."
    • In "Symphony Hour," Pete's character, an Italian man named Sylvester Macaroni, is outright sobbing like Pagliacci at the end of Mickey Mouse's performance because the instruments are all damaged from an elevator accident, making the performance of Von Suppé's "Light Cavalry Overture" sound like Spike Jones' parody thereof, and Macaroni is convinced that his reputation is shot. He cheers up immediately when it turns out that the audience loves it.
    • "Donald Duck and the Gorilla" ends with both title characters being affected by tear gas and crying their eyes out in each other's arms.
    • In "Hockey Homicide," the Loose Leafs' goalie bursts into tears and throws a tantrum when a puck gets past him. And apparently, the hockey rink is so cold that the goalie's tears freeze on his face.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Dead Duck", Launchpad cries loudly and messily when returning from Darkwing's funeral.
  • Family Guy:
    • Stewie does this near the end of the episode "New Kidney in Town", with literal rivers of snot pouring from his nose. Brian even makes mention of how gross it is when Stewie tries to hug him.
    • Joe Swanson does it at the Drunken Clam in an earlier episode, after trying to catch a thief who stole money raised for a boy's surgery. (He got the money but lost the perp.) This actually causes the other guys to slowly exit the bar through increasingly unlikely ways to get clear of him.
  • In the classic short film Feed the Kitty, Marc Anthony goes into a massive blubbering fit after believing Pussyfoot has been baked into a cookie. He goes into yet another one when he's handed a cookie in the shape of a kitten. Thankfully the kitten turns out to be safe.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Billy does this in the episode "Tricycle of Terror," when Irwin, Pud'n, and Sperg tease him about his tricycle.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Helga Pataki's older sister Olga is infamous for this. She does it in every single episode where she appears, and often over inconsequential things like getting a B+ on an otherwise perfect report card. Making it worse, her thick black mascara always runs.
    • Helga may have some of this as well, though hers is not nearly as frequent or profuse as Olga's. See episodes like "The Subway," when she thinks, quote, "We're all gonna starve to death and get eaten by rats!"
    • Minus the runny makeup, Harold sometimes experiences this. It's often in the midst of one of his meltdowns that begin with, "AHHHH! MOMMY!" In "Weighing Harold," he became so upset at being called fat that he wept uncontrollably onto the blacktop. In "What's Opera, Arnold?" he also sang a parody of "Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci, bawling just as much as any hammy tenor, and in other episodes, the music of that aria tends to underscore his blubbering fits.
  • In Kaeloo, depending on the episode, the titular character's crying can either be this or Cry Cute.
  • The Legend of Korra: Bolin does this in the episode "The Spirit of Competition". Ocular Gushers, rivers of snot, the whole deal. And then he runs away from the offending sight. Although, if you saw the girl you had a crush on and just went on a date with kissing your brother, you’d probably be pretty distraught too.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012): Let's just say whenever Penny Ling cries, she loses all her cuteness and leave it at that.
  • The Loud House: Lori Loud and her boyfriend Bobby Santiago don't exactly Cry Cute. In "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos", they both weep uncontrollably in each other's arms at the prospect of Bobby being away for the weekend, to the point where Lori's brother Lincoln and Bobby's sister Ronnie Anne have to drag them apart. In Lori's case, this trope overlaps with Your Makeup Is Running.
    • This seems to run in the Loud family, as Lori's dad, Lynn Sr., is also shown crying this way in episodes like "Garage Banned," "Breaking Dad," or "Can't Hardly Wait", and it's implied that she got her penchant for this from him. "Camped!" implies that he got it from his dad Leonard.
    • The spin-off The Casagrandes shows Bobby reduced to hysterical weeping in episodes like "Stress Test" and "Operation Dad". Much like Lori, inelegant blubbering seems to run in the Santiago family, since his dad Arturo also breaks down sobbing in "Teacher's Fret" after his soccer team loses the big game.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Done by Rarity (entirely on purpose to irritate her captors) in "A Dog And Pony Show" when one of the Diamond Dogs call her a "mule".
    • In "Baby Cakes", this is how Pinkie Pie, who was so eager to babysit month-old foals and prove she has what it takes, ultimately reacts when she realizes just how in over her mane she is.
    • Fluttershy is reduced to blatant tears, running away in embarrassment when her wingpower is measured far lower than everypony else's in "Hurricane Fluttershy". Then there's the scene where the animals are comforting her. She looks up, her eyes are red and her face is covered with grass.
    • When Fluttershy bluntly tells Rainbow Dash that she'll be spending the winter without Tank in "Tanks for the Memories", Rainbow Dash starts openly sobbing about how much she doesn't want Tank to go. Eventually Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie join her as well.
    • In stark contrast to his earlier tears shed at Twilight Sparkle's coronation, Shining Armour gets like this at Matilda and Cranky-Doodle's wedding in "Slice Of Life".
  • Discussed in The Owl House episode "Eda's Requiem", where King mentions that he's planning to "ugly cry, hard" when he meets his dad for the first time.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Mitch does this in the episode "Gettin' Twiggy With It," when he pleads with the girls not to take the classroom hamster Twiggy away from him, complete with rivers of snot coming out of his nose.
    • Bubbles does this in "All Chalked Up". No red, puffy eyes, but it is quite loud.
    • Professor Utonium sobs loudly and messily in "Reeking Havoc" during a flashback when he lost the chili-cooking contest.
    • Buttercup in "Cover Up" when her blanket is lost and ends up sounding just like Tommy Pickles (who shares her voice actress) when she does so.
    • The entire town in "City Of Frownsville" after Lou Gubrious unleashes a ray that makes anyone who is hit by it do this.
    • Bubbles in "Little Miss Interprets", when she mistakenly assumes the Professor wants to abandon her and her sisters. She wails so much that most of what she says is unintelligible.
    • Big Billy does this in "Slave The Day" after receiving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Blossom, and in "Aspirations" after finding out that Sedusa never cared about him or the rest of the Gangreen Gang.
    • Bunny in "Twisted Sister" blubbers loudly and indecipherably when being told she isn't cut out to be a Powerpuff Girl.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016):
    • Bubbles does this in "Bubbles of the Opera" after she gets a bad school photo, complete with a wrinkly face.
    • Bubbles bawls inelegantly again in "Odd Bubbles Out" after her argument with Donny that apparently went on for two hours straight, with red, puffy, bloodshot eyes and all.
    • The Professor wailed loudly after Sapna Nehru dumped him in the episode "Arachno-Romance".
    • Some bullfighters bawled and sobbed in "The Stayover" after the bull ran away.
    • Eddie in "In The Garden Of Good And Eddie" after Bubbles yelled at her.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show has Stimpy, whose blubbering is as inelegant as they come.note  First there's the Army episode during the tear gas training scene, but even that doesn't compare to the episode where he loses his "son"...
  • South Park:
  • Space Goofs: Candy dissolves into half a minute of this in "The Thing from Beyond" when the aliens get lost in the woods.
    • Bud does this in “The Flyling” three times: First when Etno calls him out for cheating in a game of chess, second when he and the fly Cry Laughing, and third when the fly decides to leave the house.
    • Gorgious does this in “Holiday Heave Ho” when Etno’s mouse trap decapitates his teddy bear. Directly Played Straight in the 2nd Italian dub, where Gorgious is simply reduced to just sobbing.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Mr. Krabs does it in the episode "Clams" after a clam ate his dollar, to the point where his eyes become literal faucets.
    • Patrick in "Nature Pants" while SpongeBob is giving his stuff away and leaving. He is on the verge of losing his best friend after all.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: There was a good amount of this trope at the beginning of "The Bounce Lounge". When they got the news that the Bounce Lounge is closing, Star and Pony Head cry Ocular Gushers of tears and rainbows, respectively. Star even left some snot on Marco’s sweater when she was crying on it.
  • Most crying in Steven Universe is pretty much split between this and cry cute depending on how serious the scene is supposed to be taken.
  • Stickin' Around: Russell does this when mourning over the death of "Castina" (really Stacy's cast in a costume) in "Wimbled' Uh", which annoys Lance. He does it again in "Goodbye, Adios, Sayonara Bradley" when he thinks Bradley is going to leave Latchkey Garden Apartments.
  • In the VeggieTales video, "Silly Sing Along 2: The End of Silliness?". Larry bursts into this after he told Jimmy Gourd that Archibald Asparagus has canceled "Silly Songs with Larry" until further notice.

    Real Life 
  • Whatever else you may say about him, American President Richard Nixon loved his wife and broke down at her funeral, sobbing openly, profusely, and at times uncontrollably during the ceremony.
  • North Koreans think they have to follow and obey their leaders — even worship them. So when they die, they have to appear to openly mourn for them (read: wail and cry as if they really mean it) or else they will be imprisoned or worse. News coverage of the leader's followers once they had died has some people wondering if it's all fake or not for that matter.
    • In 1994, when Kim Il Sung died, they did just that. News reporters, factory workers, tough male soldiers, etc all pounded the pavement, wrung their fists, and wailed loudly.
    • They did so likewise when Kim Jong Il died in December 2011. Again, it was mandatory (which make some viewers of footage of them inconsolably wailing think that they are feigning it).
    • At the same time, such (seemingly) exaggerated emotion is a part of Korean culture, in the South as well as the North, and cannot wholly be put down to totalitarian repression.
  • In 1997, the death of Princess Diana precipitated some inelegant and graceless public weeping in Great Britain, which the more traditional half of the population found distasteful and depressing.
  • In Aztec society, weeping at appropriate times (such as after losing a battle, or when beseeching the gods for aid) was considered the sign of a pious and honorable individual.
  • The Irish and Scottish tradition of keening (singing a lament combined with wailing) over the body during the funeral procession and at the burial site is the human equivalent of the death wail of the Banshee, or bean-sídhe ("the woman of the fairy folk''), who is a guardian spirit of the old Gaelic families; she wails and cries through the night to warn "her" family that one of them will soon die.
    • "Keen" comes from the Gaelic verb "caoin", meaning "to cry/weep, to mourn" and its active article "caoineadh" ("weeping", "crying", "wailing") can also be translated as "elegy/lament". The caoineadh itself was often composed and performed in an improvised way, with at least one keening woman (bean chaointe) hired to lead the rest of the mourners, who generally joined with the chorus. Singing the caoineadh itself was not uncontrolled sobbing so much as a controlled melody and generally consisted of stock poetic elements (the genealogy of the deceased, praise for the deceased, emphasis on the sorrow of those left behind, etc.) set to vocal lament.
  • Brazilian fans' reactions to the 2014 World Cup semi-finals match between Germany and host country Brazil, or for short, 7-1.
  • While watching the ending scenes of Avengers: Endgame, one viewer in China bawled hysterically and loudly to the point of having chest pains, breathing problems, numbness in her extremities, and cramps. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was treated for hyperventilation.
  • The entire population of New York City cried like this on 9/11 after the World Trade Center collapsed.
  • After news broke of Michael Jackson's death on June 25th, 2009, fans of his work were extremely emotional as seen in various news coverages and video uploads between June 25th and June 26th. Notably memorial gatherings at The Apollo Theater and Jackson's Star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame where some female fans were bawling over his death. The same occurred during his memorial services on July 7th where some Jackson fans were weeping at various moments.
  • In countries such as Italy and Mexico, grown men are very open with their feelings and their love, so they are known to weep freely whenever the occasion calls for it (the ending of La Bohème for Italians, the loss of a soccer match for Mexicans, etc.).


Video Example(s):


Amphibia - Grime and Sasha

In the series finale, "The Hardest Thing", Sasha and Grime try to have a dignified goodbye...only to burst into heavy tears as they sob about missing each other.

How well does it match the trope?

4.74 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / OcularGushers

Media sources: