When this trope is in effect, Real Men don't cry, no matter what. Not while facing the camera at least. In older anime, stolen food or an Armor-Piercing Slap may still evoke Ocular Gushers, but tears of sadness would always come from well-hidden eyes or as a Sparkling Stream of Tears over a man's turned shoulder or even in a spontaneous downpour of rain. Sometimes it's passed off as only sand in their eyes. Sometimes the man will flatly deny crying, even as he's doing so. There is a single exception: one single tear is allowed at the retirement ceremony of his favorite sporting icon.
Unfortunately, this trope often makes some viewers confuse any crying or depression whatsoever from a guy with Wangst, also reinforcing the "men have no permission to ever show feelings other than rage" Double Standard - as viewers are much much more likely to be crying "Wangst" over a male character than a female character. This double standard is also why male characters who are Prone to Tears are much more likely to be comedic than female characters.
Contrast Emotional Bruiser.
- For all its intense manliness, Fist of the North Star completely averts and washes this trope away with an ocean of sensitive and warm-hearted Tender Tears, even from its supposed "villains." Also notable in that at no point does anyone attempt to hide such tears.
- Very similarly to Fist of the North Star, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure averts this trope with gusto. At least once per series, Manly Tears are shed by the heroes of the season, usually over the loss of a comrade.
- Completely averted in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Most of the male characters are shown crying at on point or another, even the stoic ones. A special mention goes to the main protagonist, Tanjiro, who is very much Prone to Tears. Rather than showing him to be weak, this is used to highlight Tanjiro's gentle and kind-hearted nature.
- Terra Formars averts this trope wonderfully. Nearly every male character sheds tears at some point. Each time it is completely justified by the circumstances in the story.
- "Bye Bye Butterfree" has the main character shed a single tear, though his face is hidden at the time. During sad scenes in early episodes, Ash would frequently, at least try to, hide his eyes with his hat, while the viewer sees the tears hitting the ground. Ash seems to be doing this less since Johto though. He just breaks out in tears, barely even trying to cover it. His counterpart in the twentieth movie didn't have this trope from the start. The girls on the other hand have no such reservations.
- Averted with James, who cries on camera for humor, but well he's James.
- Elfen Lied:
- Subverted when Kouta realizes how he's handled Nyuu's problems was probably dangerously misguided, and she's just been taken away. He tears up, and his cousin Yuka immediately snaps at him "Jerk! You're a guy, and guys aren't supposed to cry."
- In the final chapter of the manga, the emotional havoc he endures is so strong he spends most of the time crying.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Used during Hughes' funeral, where Colonel Roy Mustang, with his back to the audience and subordinate Riza Hawkeye, comments that it's a terrible day for rain. When Hawkeye says that it isn't raining, he insists that it is as he is shown (still from behind) with a tear stream running down his cheek. When she sees this, she agrees. Armstrong cries all the time, but that's played for laughs...usually.
- Edward averts this several times, especially in the 2003 anime version. One notable aversion is the penultimate episode of Brotherhood where Ed, after having spent the years since Trisha's failed resurrection without crying even once, regardless of how much crap the universe threw his way, finally reaches his limit when Hohenheim offers to perform a Heroic Sacrifice for Al's life after having spent the entire series as the target of Ed's hatred. Ed's heated refusal to exchange one life for another, with tears streaming down his face from the sheer anguish of the choice, causes Hohenheim to tear up as well.
- Played with in Rurouni Kenshin with the character of Soujiro. When he kills his family, Shishio asks him if he's crying. Soujiro passes it off as rain running down his face, but we later find out that he was really crying. Though in this case, it wasn't about masculinity but because his abusive relatives beat him for crying.
- One Piece
- Averted where it's no less likely to see a man cry than a woman. A notable example is Franky, who's arguably one of the most manly-looking of the main cast, yet is also the most prone to bursting into tears at a sympathetic story. And don't get started with the Whitebeard War arc.
- Zoro however very much plays it straight. He only cries once, and that was when he was soundly beat by the man he set his life goal to defeat. Zoro has no particular aversion to crying, whether himself or others, he's just a Stoic.
- Sanji is a bit of a weird example. He regularly goes into Ocular Gushers for the sake of comedy, but when an actual sad situation occurs (like Usopp's departure and Merry's funeral), and Luffy, Nami, Usopp, Chopper, and Franky are crying their hearts out, he will often stand at the sideline and just look all stoic like Zoro (His departure from the Baratie notwithstanding). But since Sanji is not The Stoic in general, it may very well be because he plays the trope straight and chooses not to show emotion.
- In Junjou Romantica, young Hiroki cries and scolds himself, saying that "boys shouldn't cry." He quickly changes that to "boys shouldn't let others see them cry."
- Galaxy Express 999 has Tetsuo repeating this to himself after crying.
- Big Windup!: When Kanou goes all Hidden Eyes when losing the game, Oda wonders what he's thinking until he seems to wipe his face:
- The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. This trope is the reason why Numata wears Sunglasses at Night.
- Duo Maxwell says this in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
- Attempted use in Mobile Suit Gundam. Amuro Ray tries to "correct" his comrade Hayato Kobayashi for crying by punching him but Hayato punches him back stating he has no right to claim others should not cry. Amuro himself also cries several times so it could be guessed he was just trying to follow military rules.
- Kira Yamato of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is a very sensitive person, and has a number of tearful breakdowns, especially in the beginning. Mu La Flaga tells him to not cry, in an effort to get Kira to "man up" and find the strength he needs to survive. Kira tries, but Lacus later encourages him to cry if he needs to, as she feels that keeping one's emotions bottled up like that does more harm than good.
- Digimon Xros Wars plays with this trope to establish Cutemon's character. At the beginning of episode 28, he reprimands Zenjirou for crying, claiming that "boys shouldn't cry." Towards the end of the episode, he must make the decision between staying with his parents (with whom he had recently reunited) or continuing to travel with Xros Heart. Choosing the latter, he tries his best to retain the notion of this but is convinced that it's okay to shed Manly Tears upon bidding farewell.
- Sonic (amazingly enough) cries at the very end of the second season finale of Sonic X, presumably over the inevitable prospect of leaving Chris. The viewer never sees either his eyes or face directly. The writers don't believe it's in Sonic's personality to cry openly as in general (but particularly in this series), as the character is supposed to be The Stoic. There was actually some flak for this at the end of a later series wherein some fans were disappointed by Sonic's inability to react after they were forced to kill Cosmo, as expressing his emotion at the event and his role in it would have been out of character.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Subverted after Goku's second Heroic Sacrifice; Gohan and most of the other fighters (who are primarily men) are crying. Justified in that they might also count as Manly Tears. The only person not shedding tears is Vegeta.
- Subverted again with Vegeta. He openly cries once he realizes that he was no matched against Frieza and when he begs Goku to defeat Frieza. He cries again just before sacrificing himself to stop Majin Buu. All three times, these scenes are used to highlight Vegeta's humanity or growing empathy.
- Played With with Gohan, who Piccolo constantly reprimands for crying. It isn't because it isn't manly, but more because Gohan does it all the time over any little thing before he grows out of it.
- Goku yells at Goten and Trunks for crying after learning Vegeta and Gohan were killed by Buu. It's mostly because his time is limited (he has less than a day to teach them the Fusion Dance) and didn't have time to waste on tears.
- Despite being a fairly emotional person, Goku rarely if ever cries. Vegeta and Piccolo are actually seen crying more than him. One of the few precious times he shred tears is when he meets his dead grandpa and it stands out so much that his friends note how rare it was.
- Kazuma from Scryed claims that crying for his best friend's death is not gonna help at all. Ultimately, he is unable to hold off and cries. Later, Kazuma encourages Ryuho to cry following the sacrifice from a partner who died saving his life if he at least cares about her.
- Averted in Baccano! by Jacuzzi oh so much. He'd rather get it out there and over with, because the times he cries the most are the times he can least afford for his bottled up emotions to distract him. He doesn't care who sees.
- On one occasion, Shippo is told to man up because of this trope.
- On one occasion, Inuyasha is caught crying after his three friends are saved from near death. He denies it on the grounds of this trope.
- Sesshomaru never cries for any reason. On one occasion, the situation is so extreme that Jaken cries, saying He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him.
- Defied in Naruto. It's actually supposed to be a code that Ninja do not shed tears on the battlefield. This does not stop Naruto, who very much wears his emotions on his sleeves.
- Averted in Hellsing. As violent of a "man" Alucard is, he cries. Father Anderson takes this as proof that he is not completely lost.
- The anime adaptation of Gungrave averts this. The male characters may be a leader of a criminal organization, a mafioso, and a techno-zombie, but they never show any hints of holding back their tears when they lose someone who is dear to them (son figure, best friends, etc).
- Yugi, the sixteen-year-old protagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh!, has a tendency toward Tender Tears. Occasionally Anzu tries to stop him from getting weepy by reminding him that "boys don't cry". Somewhat subverted, as the Aesop of the series was that his kind, soft nature is actually a strength, as it is when he manages to save Jonouchi during his possession by the Arc Villain. Seemingly played straight with his alter-ego, Atem. Atem never cries once in the manga, and in-series is considered the pillar of strength that has inspired Character Development in the others. He occasionally cries in the anime, but this is usually a sign that things have gotten really bad. When Yugi defeats him in the Ceremonial Duel, thus sending Atem to the Afterlife for good, Yugi bursts into tears. Atem tells him "if I were you, I wouldn't cry!" but this seems to be a statement that Atem believes Yugi should be proud of his victory and not regretful that Atem has to leave them.
- In one episode of Nurse Angel Ririka SOS Seiya tells Ririka's younger brother Shou that boys shouldn't cry easily. Shou learns to be more brave and less sensitive. Seiya himself occasionally tears up, especially when he sees blood.
- Chrono Harlaown from Lyrical Nanoha didn't cry during his father's funeral, even though he was only three years old. In contrast, Genya Nakajima was openly weeping at his wife's wake.
- One-Punch Man: The Stoic King never shows any expression at all, except possibly contempt. As it's a façade he keeps up due to being sent against giant monsters with no combat ability, we see him break down into Tears of Fear when he's alone.
- Izuku Midoriya, the protagonist of My Hero Academia, is a subversion, as he cries more than possibly every other character in the series as the epitome of an Emotional Bruiser. He tries to stop crying in order to promote his image as a pro hero who will always save the day with a smile, but he ends up crying anyways when his friends tell him it's okay to cry when something awful happens.
- Voltes V: In the first line of the ending song's chorus pretty much embodies this trope, even if the song, titled "Searching for Father" is a heartwarming ballad sung from the perspective of Kenichi, and his younger brothers to a lesser extent, and the dream that they'll be reunited with their Disappeared Dad.
Naku mono ka? Boku wa otoko da! / Am I going to cry? No way, I'm a man!Shinjiteru, shinjiteru sono hi no koto wo / I believe, believe in that dayKono te de chichi wo dakishimeru hi no koto wo / the day I embrace my father in my arms.
- Preacher: Jesse Custer hasn't cried since his father was shot to death in front of him and the killer taunted him about it and is of the firm conviction that men should act manly and should under no circumstances cry. Tulip eventually calls him out on it, after he notices he is crying as he admits that some of his character traits may need to be re-thought.
- In the Marvel Civil War series, the mobster Underworld brings up this trope and says that it's a bunch of bullshit. He says that when his dad died, he cried like a baby, but was no less a man after he had grieved than before.
- Chuck Billy invoked the trope in one story every time something painful happened to him. (And he suffered a lot in that story) The last drop was when he saw his girlfriend with another boy. He couldn't help but cry then.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic's face was changed in one issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) to tone down his tears due to this trope. However, Tropes Are Not Bad; the altered pencils are generally considered an improvement, as the original really did go overboard with the waterworks considering this is Sonic we're talking about.
- Sonic cries when Johnny dies in Sonic the Comic, but all we see are him being teary-eyed and the next panel has everyone's back turned.
- Pride and Joy: A point of contention between protagonist Jimmy (taught by his own father to never "give the bastards the satisfaction") and his teenage son Michael is the latter's lack of embarrassment in showing emotion, especially tears. Jimmy finally gives in and cries Tears of Joy when he sees Michael spit in the Big Bad's face.
- Zig Zagged Trope in Lenny Henry's semi-autobiographical comic The Quest for the Big Woof, when talking about his father's death. During the funeral and wake, Lenny didn't cry, which worried him as this was one of four situations when it's acceptable for a man to show emotion (the others being when your comrade-in-arms is shot in front of you, when your car breaks down, and when you lose the World Cup). Eventually, after the wake was over and the house was quiet again, he cried. And heard his father's voice in his head saying "Bloody sissy."
- The Child of Love: In chapter 2 Shinji is sobbing, and Misato tries to calm him down telling he is a boy and boys should not cry:
Misato: Aha! I knew it! I always knew it!!! My two sweetest roommates in love... and dry those tears, Shinji. You're a boy, aren't you?
- Apprentice and Pregnant: Laurelpaw's father Grayclaw cried with his mate over Laurelpaw's death. When Laurelpaw is brought back, Grayclaw shies away until he stops crying. He claims he has allergies because "Dads aren't supposed to cry".
- In Jonathan Joestar, The First Jojo, Giorno chastises himself for crying while Jonathan hugs him and accepts him as his son.
- Supper Smash Bros: Mishonh From God:
- In The REEL Sekwel, this is how Sara rationalizes Ike's change in design between Super Smash Bros Brawl and 3DS/Wii U; he was sad that his ex-girlfriend Lauren underwent a FaceHeel Turn and dealt with the sadness by working out a lot (because that's how "reel mans" deal with sadness).
- In the reboot, Sara claims that, instead of crying, men go to strip clubs. This is demonstrated with Roy and Link, who go to one after their girlfriends are brainwashed into becoming lesbians.
- Tragically averted in Supergirl (2015) fic Future Shock where Winn is absolutely devastated following the battle of little Krypton where he was brainwashed into having a hand in the deaths of fifteen Kryptonian children
- Averted with Anthony Darrow (male Ann Darrow) in the King Kong (2005) fanfic More Than a Monster. After Kong has fallen to his death, Anthony didn't want Jacklyn Drissel (female Jack Driscoll) to see him cry. Upset that Anthony felt the need to hide his emotions, she went to give him a much-needed hug, until he finally breaks down as everything he's endured sank in.
- In the X-Men: Evolution fanfic XXY:Evolution, where most of the characters are genderbend, Male!Rogue struggled not to cry while running from the X-Men. First when he got Katrina's (female Nightcrawler) memories of her childhood after touching her, and when he realize he can never have a girlfriend because of his powers. But he tells himself he doesn't cry, he's tough and doesn't need anyone. He fights tears again while apologizing to Selena (male Selena) after learning Mysterioss (male Mystique) lied to him.
- In Cars, the chief of the Radiator Springs police department begins to shed Manly Tears when Lightning appears to left the town - he denies doing so when asked about it, stating that he's glad Lightning is gone. Averted with Red within the same film, who has a tendency to run- well, drive- off sobbing at the slightest provocation.
- In Planes, we get this from the British plane after Dusty saves his life:
Dusty: Are you... crying?
Bulldog: [teary-eyed] I don't cry, I'm British!
- Storks: Junior strenuously denies that he's crying after delivering the baby he had bonded with to her family. Tulip bemusedly offers to talk about what he's feeling which causes him to deny feeling emotions.
- The Bridges of Madison County: During the filming, Clint Eastwood had a crying scene, during the filming of which, he would not cry to the camera. He said it was because he had never cried on camera before, and he couldn't just go into an all-out bawl, because he is Clint Eastwood. In the end, he decided that this approach was actually more realistic, and went with it.
- The funeral of Valeria in Conan the Barbarian (1982).
Subotai: He is Conan. Cimmerian. He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him.
- In Groundhog Day, after Rita says that the perfect man for her wouldn't be afraid of crying, Phil responds with something along the lines of "are we still talking about a man?" And he himself later completely subverts this trope when he bitterly weeps when he realizes he simply can't save the life of a sick, homeless, old man in his endless loop through time.
- Invoked in The Science of Sleep when Stéphanie is trying to calm Stéphane down but averted as he cries several times.
- Enforced trope in the war movie, 7 Man Army. When the youngest of the seven, a green private, starts weeping at the sight of killing, the older and more experienced sergeant tells him, "A real men sheds blood but NOT tears!"
- House of Flying Daggers: Averted, where all the men have crying scenes, sometimes twice.
- Likewise, averted in Reservoir Dogs with two of the gangster characters who not only cry but do it in a decidedly non-manly way.
- And averted once again in Gladiator, which went with a full-on snot-fest when Maximus finds his wife and son murdered (the script called for Manly Tears, but Russell Crowe insisted that it would be an underreaction to what Maximus was seeing).
- In Patton, Patton is the ultimate manly man. He, among other things, shoots at a dive-bombing plane with just a pistol, while standing in its flight path. The soldier that he infamously slapped, for having "shell shock", was crying the whole time he did so. Though in all fairness, Patton didn't slap the soldier because he was crying, but rather that he was in the presence of badly-injured soldiers in the medical tent while he did so.
- Zig-Zagging Trope in The Wizard of Oz: The Tin Man (somehow) is capable of crying and is occasionally seen to do so, but is advised against it, since it causes him to rust and hence renders him immobile. The Cowardly Lion is male and is seen to weep out of fear, but he is not a "man" in a human sense, so it's allowed.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Subverted by Éomer when he finds his sister's body on the Pelennor Fields. Whereas in the books he had a "fey mood" overtake him, in the film he fell to the ground howling, sobbing his lungs out as he cradled Éowyn's body in his arms. Thankfully, Éowyn got better.
- Boys Don't Cry: Not too surprisingly, a carrying theme.
- Invoked by name in the lucha film La Venganza de la Momia. After the title monster kills a boy's grandfather, El Santo tells the boy to finish crying, because he's a man now, and men don't cry. (Probably justified for a 1970 Mexican film ... but considering Santo's talking to a character played by a seven-year-old, it still seems off.)
- Lampshaded in The Big Lebowski, when the title character is grieving over the abduction of his wife. "Are you surprised at my tears, sir? Strong men also cry." Granted, he's not actually crying at the moment, but the sentiment is sound enough. He's faking that, too.
- In Pitch Black Carolyn's death is the only time Riddick shows tears. In The Chronicles of Riddick Riddick is close to tears after Kyra's death. The fact he was in front of a Necromonger army at the time, who were known to assassinate their leaders for showing weakness, might have had something to do with him manfully holding back the tears and turning them into white-hot rage.
- X-Men Film Series
- Averted in X-Men: First Class with both Charles and Erik, who cry visible Manly Tears.
- Averted with Charles in X-Men: Days of Future Past, because he cries repeatedly, but in this case, it's very much a rare male example of Tender Tears, as it's used to illustrate his great capacity for empathy by showing how badly he is affected by the suffering around him.
- Subverted in Maleficent: When Diaval brings Maleficent bad news at one point in the movie, he, while not actually crying, is more visibly distressed than she is, despite the fact that the bad news doesn't even directly affect him.
- Powerfully averted in Jacob's Ladder, when Jacob starts crying when he sees a picture of his deceased son. His then-girlfriend is the one to uphold this trope when she throws it out, stating that "she doesn't like things that make him cry." However, this may be less this trope and more wanting to spare someone painful memories - though as the ending showed, it was probably just her trying to loosen one more attachment to his life.
- Following the Rule of Three in Annie:
- Stacks gets teary-eyed but doesn't mention it.
- When he shows Annie where he grew up in Queens, he plays it off as pollen or dust.
- When he's about to lose Annie to her "real parents", she asks him if it's dusty and he says it's not. He then admits on TV that he's actually crying.
- Played with in A League of Their Own, with the famous "There's no crying in baseball!" line. It shows how unprepared Dugan is for coaching a women's team, basically expecting them to act like men.
- Averted Trope in Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables: Briefly shown when Anne talks about her teacher leaving the school.
Anne: Jane Andrews has been talking for a month about how glad she'd be when Mr. Phillips went away and she declared she'd never shed a tear. Well, she was worse than any of us and had to borrow a handkerchief from her brotherof course the boys didn't crybecause she hadn't brought one of her own, not expecting to need it.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only In Death, we are explicitly told that Ezsrah's people show no sorrow (among other emotions). This is borne out by his actions throughout, and in particular in that scene. Ludd, his eyes red and tearful, told him of Gaunt's death, and he just nodded and walked away.
There was no grief, no weeping, no mourning for a Gereon Nihtgane. Such behavior was a waste of time.
- In Dragon Bones this is lampshaded: Ward mentions that a man doesn't cry ... and then cries nevertheless, as he just can't hold the tears back.
- In The Famous Five, George (who is a girl, but desperately wants to be a boy) is very much of the view that boys don't cry, and with this ideal, always tries not to do so herself.
- The Shadow in the North: Addressed in Philip Pullman's mystery novel. Upon Frederick's death Jim cries, while the narrator (so to speak) tells the reader about his feelings toward the action: "For Jim there was no shame about a man crying. There was only pride."
- John C. Wright
- Marshak and Culbreath's Star Trek novel The Price of the Phoenix is based largely around the notion that Kirk, being some sort of galactic alpha-male, cannot, does not, and must not cry. Ever.
- Subverted in Inheritance Cycle. After having killed soldiers invading Carvahall, Roran is shown as being racked by sobs. Other strong characters are shown to cry as well.
- Then there's Eragon himself, who cried no fewer than sixteen times in the first book. Considering the book is about 500 pages long, that's around once every thirty pages.
- Constantly subverted in The Lord of the Rings. The strongest men in the series, including Aragorn, are seen weeping with no shame several times in the books and their related works.
- Subverted in the novelization of Return of the Jedi. Both in the scene where he tells Leia he's going to face his father, and later as Anakin Skywalker is dying, Luke weeps openly and without shame.
- This trope is reversed in A Brother's Price. Jerin gently chides one of his little sisters, coming to him with a scraped and cut knee, with "Hush, hush, big girls don't cry." This is a world of relatively stoic women and much more tender men, due to males being so rare and thus protected, so while he cries at several points, aside from his very young sisters no women shed tears in this book, not even his wife after he's kidnapped or when she thinks he's dead. She plans to sink to the ground and grieve only after he has been avenged.
- In Seanan McGuire's Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, Aaron waits until Velma is out of sight before wiping his eyes.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rita Skeeter writes a news article in which Harry admits to sometimes crying over his parents' death, and Draco Malfoy makes fun of him for it. It's worth noting that Harry never actually said it.
- The trope is played with in the books as a whole. Hermione is free to burst into tears as the mood takes her, but the boys are generally described as "wiping their faces" or "drying their eyes" (Dumbledore and Lupin both give Harry time to dry his eyes before continuing a conversation). It's not until the final book that men are described as "sobbing".
- Averted in The Fault in Our Stars: Hazel's father bursts into tears in almost every scene he's in, but no one ever makes a negative remark about it.
- In The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, the cultural norm in the northern lands is that men don't show emotions, never mind crying. Demane is appalled at such ignorance, as where he's from everyone is allowed to cry. When Cumalo, one of his friends in the band, dies, Demane has to stow away his grief entirely or be looked down upon.
- Defied in The Kingkiller Chronicle by the Adem people. They usually consider it childish and uncivilized to emote openly, so they present themselves as The Stoic and use Sign Language to communicate most emotions; however, they laugh and cry freely, believing those emotional reactions to be too basic and primal to suppress.
- In one episode of Hogan's Heroes, Kommandant Klink is arrested for treason and put in the cooler pending execution by firing squad. When one of Hogan's men asks him how he's taking it, Hogan replies, "Like the man that he is - on his knees, sobbing hysterically."
- Why does nobody like Craig in Big Brother? Two reasons: 1) He's male. 2) He cried. Even if he's gay, he wasn't allowed to get away with it.
- Discussed in Home Improvement when Tim's friend, father figure, and boss, John Binford, died. Tim is no stranger to loved ones passing away since his dad died when he was 11 and he learned to cope by just continuing on like everything is normal. But he was caught off guard when Brad complimented him on not showing such girly feelings, which was not the message he wanted his boys to learn. After the funeral, he admitted to Brad that he cried.
Jill: He cried more than the widow.
Tim: That's cause she didn't have to pay for parking!
- Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars: Knocked gently at the end. Crichton, as his son begins to cry, says, "Hey, Crichtons don't cry. ...often. Or for very long."
- Pushing Daisies': Played fairly straight in the second season opener (source of this page's quote). Even Ned, usually gentler and more empathic than Emerson (albeit deeply, deeply repressed), nods in agreement.
- The Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert insists men don't cry, and as the manliest of men, he'd never break that rule.
Stephen: It's never okay for men to cry! You know who cries? Girls. And little babies. And little baby girls. Man holds it in! Until his eyeballs swell to the size of baseballs, his throat feels like it's about to explode, and his gut just aches like there's a snake wrapped around his heart! That's why we die earlier, but it's worth it!
- Sliders: Our heroes ended up on an Earth where women were the superior gender. Professor Arturo loudly voices his disdain, and as a result ends up in a campaign to become mayor of San Francisco. He's later convinced that this is a bad idea and tries to throw his campaign by "pulling a Muskie", referencing Edmund Muskie from above, and breaks into tears at a debate. In a subversion, the tactic gains him an enormous sympathy vote.
- Let's not forget about "Cryin' Man" Rembrandt Brown, who could do it at will. His biggest hit during his time with the Spinning Tops was called "Cry Like A Man".
- Generally averted by the cast, most notably Jack, who frequently cry without there being anything made of it.
- Probably justified in that the characters have crashed on a desert island and go through some pretty rough stuff, and the many rivers of freely flowing angst that make up everyone's backstories can only add to reasons someone might want to shed a tear.
- 9-1-1 averts this every couple of episodes, with the whole cast having moments where they sob or hug it out. Most notable example is when the chief Bobby Nash asks for help in his time of need.
- M*A*S*H averted this nicely, showing several of the male characters (and hardass Margret Houlihan) to be weeping or out right sobbing at different times in the show. The most famous example would be during the movie/finale when Hawkeye reveals why he's been in a mental hospital the whole episode up to that point.
- Played straight with The Thick of It's alpha male, Malcolm Tucker. In series three there are several moments where Malcolm sounds like he's about to burst into tears, but he never does... not on screen, at least. In episode eight we see him with red-rimmed eyes but as Magnificent Bastards don't cry we never see the crying itself.
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Averted; it's not uncommon to see a man cry as much as a woman.
- Glenn Beck is awfully fond of averting this "for the sake of [his] country" or some such. Beck is a member of the LDS church, where shedding Manly Tears is encouraged.
- Averted on The X-Files with Mulder, who is seen crying at many points in the series. As a whole, he is more likely to show emotion of any kind than his stoic female partner, Scully. This was done quite deliberately on the part of the creator.
- Community: Despite stating that he never cries, Troy breaks down in tears almost Once per Episode.
- In the Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Megamax, Gentarou (the titular Fourze) explicitly states that there's only two times a man should cry - losing his wallet and getting dumped. He says this as he's crying because he found out the girl he fell in love with was an alien and may not return those feelings. He gets over himself when he realizes that she never said anything about not feeling the same. When he gets the chance, it's stolen from him and he ends up crying in anguish. It should be noted that he is the primary source of Manly Tears and Inelegant Blubbering in the show. Ironic, isn't it?
- Averted in Starsky & Hutch where the titular characters do cry - often in front of each other, and when it concerns each other.
- Frasier: Averted for laughs in "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven": Martin's breakdown causes Frasier to start weeping as well, then Niles joins in shortly after.
Niles: [bawling] Nobody wants to come to my party!
- Breaking Bad:
- Averted by Battlestar Galactica (2003), and not through the use of Manly Tears. At one point, William Adama goes down to Galactica's morgue. He sees the corpse of the Sharon model that shot him, and softly asks, "Why?" Then he just collapses to his knees and starts sobbing. And of course there's his epic breakdown years later when his best friend is revealed as a cylon and basically volunteers to be executed as a traitor/hostage. After trashing his own cabin, Bill has to be carried to bed by his son as he sobs his eyes out over how fracked up the whole situation is
- The Sopranos: Phil Leotardo loses all respect for Johnny Sack when he cries in public.
- Coach: Hayden Fox has a hard time getting along with his son-in-law Stuart, a sensitive artist who weeps often and easily. However, it turns out that under the soft exterior, Stuart shows himself to be a self-centered Jerkass, which is what Hayden really can't stand.
- Voyagers!: Mentioned in the episode "Cleo and the Babe." At one point, Jeffrey tears up at seeing Yankee Stadium, as he used to go there with his father. He tells Bogg he doesn't want to be seen like this as crying is "sissy" for a man.
- Played for Laughs in the Mexican sitcom El Chavo del ocho. When someone tells Chavo to stop crying he'll snap back with a pun.
- In one instance, when Don Ramon hits him after Chavo made fun of him, Chavo starts crying and Don Ramon says this word for word. When Don Ramon orders him to bring him a bucket of water, Chavo spills it, and when Don Ramon tries to hit el Chavo again, Chavo uses the bucket as a helmet. When Don Ramon starts crying because he hurt his hand, Chavo says "Men don't cry!"
- Just Shoot Me!: Discussed to the point of deconstruction by Jack, Elliott and Finch in "Puppetmaster" as they all tear up watching Brian's Song. All of them lament (after passing it off with some lame excuses) that they can't cry openly, but the other two are weirded out after Elliott tells them he sometimes wishes he's a woman because then he'd be able to. They then start making jokes at his expense over it.
- The Flight of the Conchords song "I'm Not Crying" parodies this trope, with the Brett and Jermaine defiantly (and unconvincingly) trying to convince the audience that they're not crying after a breakup.
Theres just a little bit of dust in my eye
Thats from the path that you made when you said your goodbye
Im not weeping because you wont be here to hold my hand
For your information theres an inflammation in my tear gland
Im not upset because you left me this way
My eyes are just a little sweaty today
- The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry" (the song; may also refer to LP of the same name, which was a US-only oddity not entirely unlike the UK LP Three Imaginary Boys but with different sequencing, plus a few songs either missing or added).
- Brazilian song "Homem Não Chora", by Barão Vermelho.
- Dee Clark's "Raindrops":
Rain keeps falling from my eyes
Oh no they can't be teardrops
For a man ain't supposed to cry
- "I'm Not Crying" by Chris de Burgh, whose lyrics consist mainly of Suspiciously Specific Denials.
- When a Man Cries by The Divine Comedy is all about how society all but prevents a man from outwardly crying.
When a man cries,
His body shakes
And his eyeballs ache
And his mind vibrates,
But he doesn't make a sound.
Don't wanna wake the house, now.
- "Dust In My Eyes" by Arcadian Days explores this.
- Repeatedly subverted by the narrator in Tim McGraw's "Grown Men Don't Cry".
- Polish song "Chłopaki nie płaczą" by T.Love (also a movie under the same name).
- Deconstructed and defied in "Boys Don't Cry" by KCAT.
Boys boys don't cry
Men do 'cos they got nothing to hide
But boys don't, 'cos boys don't cry
Boys boys don't cry
They don't shed a tear because of pride
- Also defied in "Boys Don't Cry" by C.C. Clarke. The gist of it is a woman thinks her boyfriend is being too cold and emotionless towards her and is bottling things up when she just wants him to be open and honest with her, and there's an implication that neither men or women should be too worried about their vulnerability and should instead be honest about how they feel.
- Both subverted and referenced in "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", which is largely associated with Marvin Gaye.
I know a man ain't supposed to cry
But these tears I can't hold inside
- Referenced and heavily subverted in "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" by The Temptations, which is all about a man begging his girlfriend not to breakup with him.
Now I heard a crying man is half a man, with no sense of pride
But if I have to cry to keep you, I don't mind weeping if it'll keep you by my side
- The man being sung about in Jayn's Obsession Song "Smoke And Mirrors" has a reason to cry, as the Villain Protagonist is holding his wife hostage and is threatening to kill her. Still, this trope gets referenced.
C'mon, what's the problem?
Quit your crying
Be a man!
Surely, she couldn't mean that much?
Let me give you my love!
Take my soul, my heart and body
Yes, I give it all to you
And if you still won't accept it, you're gonna regret it
- From "I'm Not in Love" by Roger Whittaker (not the same song as by 10cc which also references the trope):
You dried the tears I cried because I'd lost a friend
You simply said, that's not what grown men do
- "You'll Miss Me" by They Might Be Giants combines this sentiment with Sand In My Eyes with the line
It must be raining 'cause a man ain't supposed to cry.
- An opposite version is somewhat provided with Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry", though it's more related to age.
- Baby Blues: In an early story arc, Daryl has gotten involved in a minor car accident that broke his abnormally-sized nose- cast and all. Talking about it with his wife Wanda, they both begin to get choked up over the idea of him not being there for his family:
Daryl: Don't start, you'll get me going, too...
Wanda: Don't be ashamed... it's okay for men to cry.
Daryl: I'm not ashamed... I just can't imagine blowing my nose through this thing!
- Used heartbreakingly by Charlie Brown in a Peanuts comic:
Charlie Brown: Those dreams I have at night are going to drive me crazy. Last night I dreamed that little red-haired girl and I were eating lunch together...But she's gone...She's moved away, and I don't know where she lives, and she doesn't know I even exist, and I'll never see her again...and...I wish men cried...
- Averted by ECW alum Tommy Dreamer, who cries freely when he feels like it and challenges that men who don't cry are not real men. However, sort of inverted in that the things he DOESN'T cry over (like getting his scalp pierced or set on fire or whatever else has happened to the guy in matches) are the same things that would send even the manliest man into a fit of uncontrollable whimpering. Physical pain isn't what gets most people to cry in the first place — it's the emotional buffeting that breaks people down.
- Somewhat averted when Kurt Angle cried when receiving a gold medal in the Olympics, but then Played for Laughs whenever it's been called back to in his pro wrestling career. In addition to being mocked by Triple H, Angle has also turned into a crying mess in at least one (possibly more) in-ring kayfabe re-enactments of his medal ceremony which he has done to soothe his own ego.
- Angle turned it around during a 2001 segment in which he kidnapped "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and ordered him to cry, threatening to throw him off a bridge if he didn't.
- Bill Burr mocked this whole stance in his "What're you? A fag?" routine, outlining how men are forced to bury all emotional expression, even natural ones like tenderness down for fear of being mocked by society until it explodes in a fatal aneurysm. The last words you'll hear will be "Lookit this fag! He got bananas on his pancakes! What, it's already not sweet enough for ya?!"
- Bill averted this trope on live television after his friend Patrice O'Neal died while announcing a benefit in his honor on Conan.
- In the stage play Lost in Yonkers, Grandma tells her grandsons that "boys of ten shouldn't cry" and goes into a list of seemingly heart-wrenching circumstances which apparently did not move her, claiming to be "made of steel".
- In The Merchant of Venice Launcelot, the clown, tries to unman his dad by tricking him into crying ("Now will I raise the waters!") and, later, accuses himself of weakness for weeping as he says goodbye to Jessica: "But adieu! These foolish drops do something drown my manly spirit." The more serious characters in the play (Shylock and Antonio) are prone to Manly Tears.
- As You Like It plays with this trope: Rosalind, in male disguise, is determined not to "disgrace [her] man's apparel, and to cry like a woman" after she and her cousin Celia are half-dead from walking all day. Mischievously, she adds, "I must comfort the weaker vessel," referring to Celia. Later in the play, there's an Ironic Echo:
Rosalind: Never talk to me; I will weep.
Celia: Do, I prithee, but yet have the grace to consider that tears do not become a man.
- This is contrasted by several references to the (actual) guys in the play shedding Manly Tears, most notably Orlando and his brother Oliver after they reconcile offstage.
- In The Odd Couple, Felix breaks down in tears telling the Pigeon sisters about his former married life, then apologetically tries to pull himself back together. Gwendolyn says, "You mustn't be ashamed. I think it's a rare quality in a man to be able to cry." Soon all three are in tears.
- Averted in the Metal Gear games, where Otacon is contractually obliged to undergo at least one Tear Jerker per game and is quite open about it. Examined in the first Metal Gear Solid, where Snake, after watching Otacon cry for a while, places Wolf's handkerchief over her face. His rationale is that he doesn't need a handkerchief, having 'no more tears left to shed' - both showing that he only got to the point where he can't cry through massive emotional torture and making him implicitly envious of Otacon's ability to show emotion in that way.
- Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core subverts this with a quote in one of the title screens:
Men cry not for themselves, but for their comrades.
- Zack does indeed cry when his mentor dies and later sobs his heart out in Aerith's church. Likewise, Cloud is implied to be in tears when Zack dies, though it's hard to tell due to the rain.
- Averted in the original Final Fantasy VII, as Cloud and Barret both openly cry a few times, usually over the death of one or more comrades. Barret also cries Tears of Joy when he's reunited with his adopted daughter at an early part of the game.
- Final Fantasy VII Remake plays with the trope. Cloud is subject to an intense and confusing vision, causing him to spontaneously shed a tear. Cloud is quick to hide his face from a concerned Aerith when she checks up on him, though it seems to be less out of embarrassment and more because he cannot explain what just happened. There are also other times in the game where Cloud looks close to tears, only to close his eyes tightly until he regains his composure and carries on. One thing of note is that in an unlockable cutscene Cloud tells Tifa that there is nothing wrong with crying, suggesting that he does not have a negative view towards tears.
- Averted later in the game when Barret breaks down after the Sector 7 plate collapse, fearing his daughter may be dead.
- Painfully averted in Gears of War 2, when Dom finds his wife or what she has degraded to, thanks to Locust torture. It doesn't get any better when he is forced to euthanize her.
- In .hack//G.U. both Alkaid and Shino tell Haseo not to cry when they're pk'd and fall into comas because "Boys don't cry".
- The Kingdom Hearts series averts this, as Sora, Roxas, Terra and Master Eraqus will all tell you.
- Narrowly averted in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, when Guybrush feels so deeply grieved at the death of Morgan LeFlay that it's almost like he is silently weeping, though his Manly Tears may be invisible.
- In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, this takes the form "A gentleman never makes a scene in public." Despite this, both Layton and Luke each cry at one point. For the former, the reason is his love having to leave to die, and for the latter having to leave Layton because his family is moving away.
- Brady in Fire Emblem Awakening defies this trope, crying over everything from feeling bad for the potatoes he's slicing to a blooming flower.
- Sega enforces this with the titular hero of Sonic the Hedgehog. It's extremely rare for Sonic to be depicted crying in canon. Whether it's due to his gender or due to it being Out of Character for his character is hard to distinguish.
- Harvest Moon: Light of Hope: Upon given a gift he really likes, the Harvest Sprite Calvin starts crying Tears of Joy, but he insists that it's just sweat.
- Completely and utterly averted with Tomoya Okazaki from CLANNAD. After all the shit he's been through in After Story, it's hardly a surprise.
- In Little Busters!, Kyousuke's Leitmotif is named 'Boys Don't Cry' and near the end of the game he encourages Riki to keep up his strength and not cry anymore, but otherwise this trope is actually averted. All but one of the male characters cry not-so-manly tears at some point (including Kyousuke), and Riki himself cries many times, even after he becomes stronger and Kyousuke tells him not to. Of course, given the kind of game it is, only the hardest of hearts could blame them.
- Averted in Umineko: When They Cry where most of the men cry when their wife/child/parent is killed. The biggest one is Battler who, despite his joking and tough attitude, is rather emotional and tends to cry a lot, especially in the early episodes.
- There is one notable part in the fifth part where George is killed. His mother naturally breaks down, while his father comforts her. Later, while Natsuhi is hiding in the closet of a different room, the father in question Hideyoshi enters and locks the door. He talks to himself for a few moments... before breaking down in tears and collapsing on the bed.
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
- Ishimaru completely averts this trope and breaks down into Inelegant Blubbering very very easily
- Chihiro averts this trope, but since the viewer is believed that he is female, his frequent tearful outbursts aren't seen as unmanly.
- Katawa Shoujo smashes this trope to bits:
- Early in Rin's route, after opening up to Rin about how much he resents his arrhythmia, Hisao cries for the first and last time about his being disabled. Then he moves on, determined to be a better person from now on.
- In Hanako's Good Ending, Hisao and Hanako completely break down in each other's arms after they both admit how in love they are despite how little they really understand about each other.
- Erika and the Princes in Distress : Gender Inverted. When Pita bursts into tears because she almost hurt Prince Aurel by accident, Erika yells at her to stop crying because "girls don't cry".
- It's implied that Erika herself used to often be on the receiving end of that statement as well, as Kaylane states the reason people think of her as a weakling is that they still see her as "the little fragile and sensitive little girl who cried a lot".
- Averted with the commander in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. A three hundred pound slab of muscle whose job it is to find work for uber macho men from all across fiction, breaks down in tears when he's falsely told that all of his siblings are dead by his commanding officer, who gets angry at him for not bottling up his feelings and becoming a brooding avenger.
- Tower of God averts this - The moment Ja Wangnan realizes that he won't pass the test, he will never achieve anything all his sacrifices were for naught, and that he will be forced to donate all his organs to repay his debts, he just sits there and cries. Goseng tries to tell him to man up but he simply ignores her.
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- The Critic said that a man getting in touch with his feminine side makes him a pussy. This was during the beginning of his Top 11 Saddest Nostalgic Moments and he ends up breaking down at all of them.
- While reviewing "Baby-Doll" from Batman: The Animated Series, the hosts (CR and Nostalgia Critic) begin to cry over the episode only to catch themselves, cough, and say it makes them want to lift weights.
- Shed a Tear, by Kevjumba, Chester See, and Nigahiga pokes fun at the trope by inverting it to a ridiculous extreme.
- In Midnight Screenings, Brad and Jake spoof guys who might be watching a movie and refuse to admit they are crying.
Jake: Oh, come on, Man! This movie's stupid! Let's fast forward through this part!
Brad: [sniffling and wiping his eyes] This movie's pretty gay, Bro!
Jake: [also wiping his eyes] This movie's really gay, Bro!
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged: World's Strongest has Dr. Wheelo break down crying on seeing how beautiful the world is from orbit and knowing he's still stuck as a giant brain in a jar. He and Gohan then lampshade that this is physically impossible (what with no eyes) - he's just that sad.
- In the South Park episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" the eponymous character's favorite band, Radiohead, witness him crying over the deaths of his parents. They note that everyone has problems and he doesn't have to be a little crybaby about it, dismissing him as the most uncool kid they ever saw. To be fair, they didn't know about that; they thought he was crying just because he was dying from cancer.
- Kim Possible: Often referenced by Ron Stoppable, whenever he's about to cry, who says "I have something in my eye."
- Completely averted in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series isn't shy about letting the male characters weep in moments of intense emotion. Not just any men, either: Iroh, one of the most powerful, badass characters in the series, is unafraid to weep openly many times, once when mourning his lost son, and again when Zuko apologizes to him in the finale. Zuko himself is not considered unmanly either for crying and does so many times without anybody thinking to say he's not supposed to. Aang and Sokka also get their moments, and nobody calls them unmanly for it either. Also averted in the sequel, where Bolin breaks out into full-on Inelegant Blubbering when he sees his crush Korra kissing his brother Mako, just when he was bringing her roses.
- The Simpsons inverts this pretty hard, in that the leading adult male of the series is an incredible Mood-Swinger, and the tears he sheds can't exactly be called manly, either. He cries openly in front of family and friends often, and the extremity of the situation wouldn't even matter: anything from losing his mother, to losing a fictional character he liked, to his neck chafing from a shirt's tag that grazed him is enough to set him off. And, maybe even more impressive, he's rarely (if ever) called out for it by anybody else.
- Transformers Animated is very ambiguous about this. In the pilot miniseries, Sari uses tears to convince the Autobots to follow her plan. When Bulkhead says her "eyes are leaking", she patiently explains the concept of crying, but the Autobots neither confirm nor deny whether this is also part of their emotional range. Later in the series, we hear Blackarachnia (a Cybertronian with organic parts) sobbing, and see the one-day-old Wreck-Gar tear up in what may or may not be a one-off gag, as the show did similar things before (Bulkhead's jaw fell off completely in one scene and then immediately got it back between shots). Bulkhead repeats the "leaking eyes" line at Sari later, and it's unclear if that's an inside joke between them or if his species genuinely cannot cry like humans can.
- Chowder: Chowder has been shown crying a couple times in the past, but also provides this great quote:
Panini: Chowder, are you crying?
Chowder: No! Only girls cry. Men weep!
- The Smurfs: The very manly Hefty Smurf chides his fellow Smurf Weepy for being a sissy for cying in one episode, but at the end of it even he is found crying. Despite this, he has cried before in previous episodes, including "Hefty and the Wheelsmurfer", "Smurfquest" (during Grandpa's Disney Death), "Smurf Me No Flowers", "Clumsy Luck", and "The Abominable Snowbeast".
- Metalocalypse: Pickles tells Toki "Admitting sadness makes you gay."
- Inverted on Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Heloise goes Sweet Polly Oliver to find out about Jimmy and Beezy's list of "Secret Guy Stuff", one of them is crying at a sad movie. When she expresses disbelief that this is guy stuff, they respond "Heloise never lets us cry...unless it's from pain."
- On Family Guy Peter accidentally crashes his boat into a bar mitzvah and kills the clown hired for entertainment. The party boy looks on in horror and begins to cry, only for his father to slap him in the back of the head and remind him that he's supposed to be a man now.
- Though it doesn't come up much, averted in Code Lyoko. In the episode with the mega blizzard, Ulrich sheds a single tear (which freezes) when he realizes Yumi is probably going to die (and accompanying the tear with "I need you...") and in the second to last episode, Odd is visibly crying when Aelita returns to reality after the loss of her father.
- Beavis And Butthead: "Huh huh, Beavis is crying." What Butt-Head failed to notice was that Beavis had Onion Tears rather than crying organically. Nonetheless, Butt-head proceeds to mock Beavis' tears for the rest of his natural life.
- In "Feliz Cumpleaños, Enrique" on Dragon Tales, when Quetzal suggests that Enrique cry to let out his sad feelings, he explains that he's been told some version of this. Quetzal essentially calls it out as bull and Enrique feels better after crying.
- Enforced by Bojack Horseman's mother, Beatrice, who drilled into his head when he was still a kid that he should never cry.
- Wakfu: Played with in a flashback Sadlygrove has with his mentor and likely biggest-badass-in-the-series Goultard, who states that Iops don't cry, "and if he did, he'd do it in private where no one can see him." The "played with" comes in because Goultard is denying his own tears when Sadlygrove (who at this point now knows about how he's the mortal reincarnation of the god Iop and by extension he's technically Goultard's father) asks if they're family. Goultard, who as it turns out carries quite a bit of unresolved issues towards Iop, denies both the tears and familial relations.
- Unfortunately, despite the implications this can bring about, there actually is a social stigma related to men crying in public, or if they are simply caught crying in front of the wrong person. Many modern cultures associate crying (particularly anything beyond the Single Tear) almost exclusively with femininity, portraying men who cry (even in the face of serious trauma) as weak and effeminate. The equivalent for women tends to be anger men who respond to trauma with anger are manly, whereas women who get angry are seen as shrewish.
- This trope is likely why it's common for men to wear sunglasses at Western funerals.
- Very much averted in medieval Europe. Crying was quite common among men and without social stigma, with bards even singing about how warriors and knights cried together in fear for their lives before battle.
- This trope was also averted for much of human history. In ancient Israel, warriors were known to collectively weep before the Lord prior to fighting a battle. Ancient Greek epics like The Iliad and The Odyssey show manly men like Achilles and Odysseus crying openly after fighting tense battles. Even the Romans were not immune from Manly Tears, as Plutarch's Lives and Virgil's Aeneid can attest.
- As mentioned above, medieval knights could also be easily moved to tears. Heck, The Song of Roland mentions how 20,000 knights swooned with grief at the death of Roland. As recently as the 18th and 19th centuries, male tears were still viewed as a display of authentic emotion under certain circumstances, and indeed, a sign that separates man from beast. Not until the late 19th century, in England, did the Men Don't Cry taboo really come into being.