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Running Away to Cry

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Getting emotional and crying can be an embarrassing thing. It leaves you emotionally vulnerable to others, and often times you don't look terribly nice while doing it either, though a lot of media don't show that. Heck, according to the media, men just plain aren't supposed to cry at all, so letting others see them crying is a no-no. Therefore, it's pretty common for characters when they get worked up to go somewhere no one else can see them do it. A pretty common one is the bathroom since people have to leave you alone there. Usually, this will be followed up (or even revealed to the audience) by having one character find the other crying in whatever private area they found.

An alternative to Sand In My Eyes usually for when using that would fall into Implausible Deniability for the character. It's also a Sister Trope to Trying Not to Cry, which will overlap if characters just plain don't want others to see them cry. In fact, oftentimes, this trope will serve as a last resort when they realize that Trying Not to Cry isn't working.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • During a flashback in Ojojojo, Haru went to a public bathroom to cry after alienating herself from her middle school classmates with her Rich Bitch attitude again. Akane heard her, but didn't reach out to her until they met again in high school (a fact that she deeply regrets).
  • In One-Punch Man, King is revealed to do this as he knows he can't defeat the monster he's up against, so he goes to the bathroom to have his breakdown without revealing himself as a coward. Fortunately, Saitama shows up to take care of it.
  • In Bleach, during the Arrancar arc, Orihime meets with Urahara to ask him for help in becoming strong enough to protect her friends. Instead, he bluntly tells her that he doesn't want her on the battlefield, since the 4th Division are better healers and she doesn't have the resolve necessary to fight (the real reason is so Aizen won't abduct her and use her to fix the Hougyoku). Chad protests, but Orihime thanks him, then runs off, crying once she's some distance away from Urahara and the others.
  • Doraemon: Occurs in "Soap Bubbles". Big G and Tammy both run away when they feel upset.
  • Kaguya from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War was raised to never express her emotions unless it was so she could manipulate others. As such, she has the tendency of hiding under a staircase whenever she's sad in order to cry away from view. It's implied that her habit of doing this is how Shirogane knew where to find her during the fireworks arc.
  • Asteroid in Love: In the manga's New Year Has Come chapter, it is implied Ao attempts to do this after Mira states her new year's wish being finding an asteroid with Ao—we don't get to see Ao's face, but she runs away from the shrine with a hand on the chest, being obviously upset from what sounds like an reiteration of their Goal in Life. It's at this point Mai finds the OOC Is Serious Business too hard to ignore. In the anime, this trope is changed to a quiet sigh. Because of her father's job transfer, she will be moving out of town in March.
  • Made in Abyss: In an attempt to dissuade Riko, the girl he has a crush on, from descending into the Abyss, likely never to return, Nat tells her that her mother - whom she is hoping to meet in the depths of the Abyss - almost certainly died a long time ago. This causes Riko to run away in tears.

    Fan Fic 
  • Return of the Hero: Nate does this after he learns that Kelly isn't really his mother.
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, Katsura runs off in tears after the third trial, in which one of the victims was her close friend Akasaka.
  • Megami no Hanabira: Nanami rushes off to be alone after learning that the Flock, who she had been idolizing, was behind the demon outbreak the whole time. When Yuuna goes up to check on her, Nanami is sobbing into a pillow.
  • Fate/Starry Night: In a flashback to the events of Orleans, Ritsuka knows he has to put up a strong front for the sake of everyone counting on him. So he sneaks away from the campsite at night to pound a tree with his fist in frustration and cry Tears of Fear over his feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness as an Ordinary High-School Student with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
  • In Mastermind: Strategist for Hire, Tsukauchi runs out to cry in his bathroom after watching All Might's coffin being lowered into his grave.
  • The Archmage's Last Bow: As Nova Shine begins to lose his composure after learning that he's dying, he teleports out of Canterlot entirely and up to the top of Mount Canterhorn.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's The Sword in the Stone has Merlin's magic change young Arthur into a squirrel as a lesson in survival mechanisms. An amorous female squirrel takes a strong liking to squirrel-Arthur and shadows him relentlessly. Once Merlin undoes his magic, Arthur is restored to human form, and the female squirrel is devastated. She scurries into a tree to mewl with grief despite Arthur's apologies.
  • The titular character of Cinderella flees to the garden in tears, after her stepsisters tear off her dress.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, when Aurora finds out that she is a princess and already betrothed, she runs to her room crying, unaware that the young man she met in the woods is the prince she's engaged to.
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, after calling Simba out on exiling Kovu and that he will never be like Mufasa, Kiara cries and runs into Pride Rock leaving Simba shocked about what she said and the other lionesses worried and bewildered at her.
  • Disney's The Little Mermaid has this a lot whenever Ariel argues with her father, or for that matter when Ariel's daughter Melody argues with ''her.''
    • In the first film, after being scolded by her father, King Triton, for being late for the concert and going up to the surface when she wasn't supposed to, Ariel swims away crying with Flounder following her.
    • In the sequel, Melody runs away crying to her room after being embarrassed at her birthday dance and everybody laughing at her. Later, she discovers the necklace that has her name on it and Ariel scolds her for going outside of the wall and into the ocean where it's not safe for her. Melody calls out on Ariel for never being in the ocean, but she doesn't know that Ariel was a mermaid before she became human. Melody takes the necklace from her mother's hand and runs out of her room crying.
    • In the third movie, Ariel confronts her father on why music is banned in the kingdom, but Triton avoids the question. He shouts that he will not have music in his kingdom at her. Ariel, on the brink of tears, says to him that her mother wouldn't have wanted Triton to ban music just because of her death. She swims to her room and cries for a short period of time.

    Films — Live Action 
  • In Caché, when the family's son is thought to have been kidnapped, the father allows himself to cry once he is alone in the kitchen.
  • In the 1938 film of A Christmas Carol, young Ebenezer is shown putting on a good face when he's the only one at his school apparently not going home for Christmas, but when the other boys leave, he's weeping in a classroom.
  • Theo in Children of Men in the immediate aftermath of his ex-wife's sudden and violent death, when they arrive to a clearing in the woods, he wanders off to a nearby tree, at first trying to light up a cigarette, but soon crumples into quiet tears.
  • In 50 First Dates, when Lucy finds out about her condition for the first time, she runs out to the docks and breaks down in tears.
    Lucy: (sobbing) WHY?!

  • The Bible: In the Book of Genesis, Joseph hides his identity from his brothers when they come to Egypt twenty years after they sold him into slavery. But his facade nearly breaks when he sees Benjamin, the only other son of his mother (the others are their half-brothers). He hurries away and secretly goes to his bedchamber to weep, then washes his face before coming back.
  • Harry Potter
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione hides in a bathroom to cry after Ron makes rude comments about her. Unfortunately for her, a troll gets loose that day, and Ron and Harry try to trap it by locking it in a bathroom... the same one she's in. Luckily they quickly realize their mistake, and all three manage to bring down the troll together.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: "Moaning Myrtle", a ghost that haunts the girl's bathroom, frequently bursts into tears at anything said to her good or bad. It later turns out she died in this same bathroom, having been crying after some bullies picked on her, only to be killed by the basilisk lurking in Hogwarts.
  • In Bridget Jones' Diary, Jude is introduced crying in the bathroom.
  • The Belgariad: Garion and Ce'Nedra have a fair bit of unacknowledged Belligerent Sexual Tension, so when he goes on a trip without her and returns with a new young lady in tow, she blandly wishes them happiness together and excuses herself to sob in the bedroom. Fortunately, this means she has some privacy when Polgara explains that the newcomer is actually Garion's cousin.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In the second episode, Katelyn, to the Bad Mood Retreat of the ladies' restroom, when emotions from events that occurred between games, comes to a head, and she needs a place from everyone else, to calm down:
    Katelyn turned bright red and, releasing her clutch from the tablecloth, ran off sobbing. The door on the ladies restroom slammed hard behind her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It happens so often and to nearly every character on Glee that it'd be hard to list every example. Rachel most frequently runs to the girls' restroom at Mc Kinley High to cry. Most famously in the second season's prom episode, this is done by four people in the space of a minute: Quinn, Santana, Kurt, and Karofsky.
  • Little House on the Prairie: One of the young girls does this in one episode. Another girl follows her and when she catches up to her friend, she briefly mistakes her crying for laughter.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Naked Time", Spock locks himself away when the virus breaks down his emotional control.
  • Sex and the City: In the episode "A Vogue Idea", Charlotte throws Miranda a baby shower and suddenly gets choked up when her friend receives a Tiffany's silver baby rattle, just like the one her ex-husband Trey had given her. Overwhelmed by this, she runs to her room to cry in her pillow.
  • Space Cases: In "It's My Birthday Too (Yeah!)", Radu runs off to cry after Bova chews him out for tricking the others into celebrating his birthday when he even doesn't know his birthday, since members of his species are born in hatcheries.
  • Late in Space Sheriff Gavan, Retsu takes a stray dog with him to a deserted beach after surviving a long brawl against the Makuu and suddenly starts crying in despair over his father Voicer still being held captive by the villains. The only time Retsu cries in front of others is when Voicer dies from his injuries after he had finally rescued him.
  • Vera: In "Telling Tales", Holly runs into the bathroom to cry after receiving a bollocking from Vera.

    Myth and Folklore 
  • A Japanese urban legend describes a girl named Hanako who haunts girl's toilets. This may have been the inspiration for Moaning Myrtle.

  • Annie: When Annie's "real parents" (actually Rooster and Lily in disguise) appear just as Warbucks is about to adopt her, Annie responds to the celebratory toast the adults drink for her by bolting up the stairs and out of sight, presumably to cry about being forced to leave Warbucks. In the 1999 TV version, Grace follows her, finds her crying in her room and comforts her.

    Video Games 
  • Played for Drama in Until Dawn. Hannah runs into the forest to cry after learning that she was the victim of a cruel and humiliating prank. Beth runs after her and trouble ensues, ending with Beth's death and Hannah's transformation into a wendigo.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates following the death of Ryoma in Conquest, the Avatar sneaks off to do exactly that.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Groose at one point is paralyzed with fear as he watches Link reseal the Imprisoned. He afterward concedes that Link is more of a hero than he is. If Link follows him outside afterward, he can be seen running to an isolated corner to cry over his cowardice and uselessness.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, in the "Beyond the Beef" quest, one of the ways to get Philippe out of the way is to psychoanalyze him with a sufficient Medicine skill, which causes him to rant about his horrid childhood, get depressed because he reminded himself of his horrid childhood and run off to cry.

    Visual Novels 
  • In CLANNAD, Ushio was specifically instructed by Sanae that she was only allowed to cry in the bathroom, an order that she follows relatively consistently. That is until the other place that Sanae said it's okay to cry becomes available - in her father's arms.
  • Exaggerated in Double Homework with Johanna, who does this for a whole day (apparently) after photos of the protagonist at a nightclub with Lauren surface online.

  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace runs away to cry in the bathroom after learning about World War II for the first time.

    Web Original 
  • Minilife TV: In "The Lost Undead", when Snowball the vampire realizes how much he misses his friend, Rob, he flies out of Chris and Ian's car and into the woods to find a place to cry.

    Western Animation 
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, the title character is the one of the Western Animation RULERS of this trope:
    • In the episode "The Chaperone", when SpongeBob realizes he has ruined Pearl's prom he runs off crying and locks himself in the bathroom. The girls bathroom.
    • SpongeBob also does this in "Grandma's Kisses" after being humiliated and laughed at by Squidward and the Krusty Krab customers for being kissed by his grandma.
    • He also does this in "No Weenies Allowed", "You Don't Know Sponge", and "Little Yellow Book".
    • Patrick does this in "No Nose Knows" and "Grooming Gary".
    • An electric eel does this in "Walking Small" after Plankton (through Spongebob) threatens him for ice cream.
  • Cow and Chicken. Cow frequently did this in "Horn Envy," in which her failed attempts at enhancing her horns to impress her crush sent her running to the bathroom bawling her eyes out. Her Girl Posse is able to cheer her up each time, though.
  • Hey Arnold!. Both Phoebe and Helga did this in "Sixth Grade Girls" - Phoebe hides in a stall after figuring out the other sixth grade girls were just using her for their own personal benefits without really considering her their friend; while sitting in the stall, she overhears Helga storming in and lamenting over how she was wrong to try to find someone else to replace her as her best friend and sidekick and wishes for things to go back to the way they were.
  • Recess. Mikey runs off crying and shuts himself in the bathroom whenever he gets particularly upset, such as the time in "The Voice" where he develops a crush on his new music teacher but is crushed to learn she's engaged to be married. Another time was "The Copycat Kid," where he turns into a clone of Vince after saving his life, but when Vince turns the tables and copies Mikey, he takes to the stall; even Vince eventually caught up to him and asked, "Mikey, are you hiding in the stalls again?"
  • One Regular Show episode deals with Muscle Man being dumped, who locks himself in the shower and cries about it. When Mordecai and Rigby try talking to him, he denies it.
    Mordecai: Muscle Man, are you taking a shower so we can't see you crying?
    Muscle Man: No! It's... it's just the sound of the water hitting the drain!
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Hearthbreakers", Applejack goes off to the crystal mines by herself to cry when she thinks she's ruined everyone's holiday. She finds out Pinkie's come there for the same reason.
  • In The Fairly OddParents, season 2 "Super Bike", when Mr. Turner sees Timmy on his new bike that he didn't build, he's crushed when he learns that Timmy has never ridden the bike he made for him and walks away to cry.
    Mr. Turner: I'll be right over here doing my pre-race, deep breathing exercises. Don't be alarmed if it looks like I'm sobbing. Oh, and if my eyes start to water, that's normal too.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • In "All Chalked Up", Buttercup breaks Bubbles' chalk and Bubbles, despite being sorely tempted to fight her, ends up flying into a nearby forest to cry.
    • In The Powerpuff Girls Movie, the girls fly to the moon in self-exile when they realize the attempt to make the town a better place only made the town hate them even more.
  • Gravity Falls: Near the end of "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", Mabel feels betrayed about Dipper accepting Ford's offer to stay with him and be his apprentice, and she runs off into the woods and go to "sweater town", making her a perfect patsy for Bill.
  • Steven Universe: In "Rose's Scabbard", Pearl runs away to the Strawberry Battlefield after having a fight with Steven and her fellow Crystal Gems about Rose keeping secrets from her despite her being Rose's "sole confidant".
  • A common occurrence with Cassie of Dragon Tales, often proceeded by her shrinking very small.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Bolin does this upon seeing Korra making out with his brother Mako. Unlike most examples, however, it's Inelegant Blubbering, so it's both sad and funny at the same time.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball Lampshaded by Gumball himself in the episode "The Words".
    Gumball: Where do people go when they run away crying like that?
  • Downplayed in Bojack Horseman. Bojack was harshly punished by his mother for crying in front of her, so he eventually trained himself not to cry in front of anyone. We see this in the second season after filming a scene that hits Bojack particularly hard for the Secretariat film, where he wraps, walks outside of the location to have a smoke, and then breaks down crying when he's sure he's alone.