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Swiss Army Tears

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Kukuri and her giant eyeball-thing saves the day through the power of crying.

"I guess crying DOES solve your problems after all!"
Spongebob Squarepants, "Stuck in the Wringer"

You can fix just about anything by merely dropping a tear on it, or sometimes a few:

It must be the tear actually having an effect, all the better if you can see it spread from the point of impact. Very often comes in the form of a Single Tear.

Interestingly, there is some truth in this: tears contain lysozymes, an enzyme that attacks certain kinds of bacteria. And Now You Know.

A close relative of True Love's Kiss and The Power of Love. May be crystallized when they go from Body to Jewel. In most cases, overlaps with Heal It with Water and Fantastic Medicinal Bodily Product.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • No less than three times in Digimon Frontier: ending Vritramon's rampage, activating the second Ancient Spirit Evolution, and awakening near-death Kouichi (complete with spreading light effect in the later case).
  • Pokémon
    • Toward the end of Pokémon: The First Movie, Ash is turned to stone in the crossfire between Mewtwo and Mew. Sparkling Streams of Tears from all of the Pokémon distraught by this resurrects him. The dub "explains" this early on through a story told by the pier master Miranda to the Pokémon trainers gathered at the pier.
    • In a Kanto episode, we have The Power of Friendship variety. The tears made Koffing and Ekans realize their masters would love them whether they evolved or not—so they stopped being worried and evolved. Meowth suggested that their time to evolve just happened to be then.
    • In a Johto episode Ash and his group met a Cute Witch who needed to collect an Aipom's tear to finish a spell that would grant them the ability to understand Pokémon language. After chasing a wild Aipom around and making it cry with laughter, the witch performed the spell... and turned Ash into a Pikachu.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Anzu/Téa (as the Magician of Faith) cried in mourning for Jounouchi/Joey's sacrifice against Bakura and this activated her flip effect. As the Magician of Faith she can move one magic card from her player's graveyard to his hand.
    • Yami Yugi sheds a Single Tear in the Doma Arc while dueling Dartz after the latter tries to convince the already emotionally exhausted Pharaoh to surrender the duel. The tear then falls onto his Millenium Puzzle, causing it to glow brightly and repel the Seal of Orichalcos, which was about to close in on him and take his soul.
  • At the end of Revolutionary Girl Utena, tears open the Rose Gate.
  • Ranma ½
    • To make a youth potion for himself, Happosai needs one more ingredient: the tears of a beast that is both male and female. The rest of the chapter involves him chasing Ranma around with onions and tear gas.
    • The Nanban Mirror is a magic mirror that can transport someone to a desired time (and place) and requires teardrops to activate it. They don't need to be emotional tears, though.
  • Sailor Moon
    • Usagi's tears at Mamoru's first death creates the Legendary Silver Crystal. In the manga, it simply forms from her tears, while in the anime, they cause the rainbow crystals to form it instead.
    • In episode 170, Usagi wanted to fight Neherenia and help Mamoru, but her friends told her it's a trap and, as the heartbroken Usagi cried, her tear landed on her heart shaped brooch which caused it to turn into an eternal brooch and Usagi herself became Eternal Sailor Moon.
  • Bleach
    • Parodied - Nel Tu's puke has healing powers. In her defense, she initially thought it was just drool.
    • Discussed and averted as the means to undo Tsukishima's personal Cosmic Retcon.
  • In the shojo manga Pixie Pop, the final ingredient the little pixie needed to create the potion to bring her to maturity was human tears.
  • In GaoGaiGar, Mamoru's tear turns the fossilized ChoRyuJin back to normal.
  • The end of the last Cardcaptor Sakura episode. Sakura starts to cry when she learns that Syaoran, whom she has just realized she's in love with, is moving back to Hong Kong and her tears create a new Sakura Card.
  • In the movie Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time, Sango sheds tears when forced to fight the mind-controlled Kirara and one of the drops happens to fall just on the mind-controlling device, thus empowering Kirara to snap out of it.
  • Baki the Grappler was nearly killed by Lee Kaiou's poison. As he lay dying, Kozue hovered over him crying. As luck would have it, human tears are are the natural antidote to that poison; not only curing Baki, but giving him the strength to kick Lee's ass eight ways 'till Saturday.
  • In Mahou no Mako-chan, the mermaid heroine transforms into a human by swallowing a pearl that formed from one of her tears.
  • Inverted in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. At the moment when Miki Sayaka finally loses it and becomes a witch, it is her tears that turn her Soul Gem into a Grief Seed.
  • Tekken: Blood Vengeance. Towards the end of the movie Ling Xiaoyu sheds a single tear on Alisa Bosconovitch's face after she's ripped apart by Kazuya Mishima and this restarts her circuits.
  • In Toriko, the legendary Mellow Cola is the tears of the Salamander Sphinx. The Mellow Cola's nutritional value is so high that Toriko and Zebra are instantly revitalized after they exhausted themselves fighting a Nitro.
  • In One Piece the princess of the Tontatta Mansherry has eaten the Heal Heal fruit, which gives her this ability.
  • In Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, Natsu gets impaled by one of the spikes from Animus' dragon form. Happy and Lucy cry over Natsu, one of Lucy's tears goes into his mouth, waking him up and continuing his fight with Animus despite his injury.
  • Weaponized by Kukuri in Magical Circle Guru-Guru with the World Fixer Guru Guru to undo Donkama's petrification curse.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Flying Island: The Sky Adventure episode 42, Wolffy tells Wilie a bedtime story where a princess's tears magically wake up a sleeping prince. Wolffy tells Wilie that this can only happen in fairy tales, not in real life. Later in the episode, Wolffy's tears splashing onto Wolnie and Wilie is what wakes them up from the effects of sleeping flower... or so Wolffy thinks. Turns out the flower's wear out by themselves eventually.

    Comic Books 
  • In a twist on Norse Mythology (see below), Marvel Comics' The Mighty Thor (back when the title was still Journey Into Mystery) had Loki trapped forever in the form of a tree unless someone cried for him, but he was such a dick that not even his wife shed a single tear. After a few millennia of experimenting, he discovered that he could make his leaves fall off, and managed to get one to drop into somone's eye. The resulting tear freed him, and the Marvel Universe has never been the same since - among many other deeds, he was indirectly responsible for The Avengers getting together.
  • Duma, angel of silence, speaks at the Sandman's funeral. His speech is a manifest miracle that lets every listener know that their life is meaningful, among other things. The speech consists of a single tear.
  • In one issue of The Superman Adventures, a comic based on the 1990s animated series, Supergirl contracts an Argoian illness. One of the ingredient is Element X, a unknown element — while saying good-bye to Supergirl, Superman cries. It turns out Kryptonians tear contain Kryptonian salt.
  • One Hulk story (Incredible Hulk #302-303) has the heroic monster stuck in what appears to be a typical Fairy Tale world: an evil ruler holds a princess (whose tears create flowers) hostage while his minions enslave the populace. Not only is Hulk completely helpless in this world (it is never explained why) but the princess realizes she can use her tears to create plant monsters... and uses them to massacre the bad guys.
  • In the fifth issue of the BOOM! Studio's Darkwing Duck comics, After Darkwing sadly apologized to the brainwashed Morgana for leaving her to keep her safe and to live a normal life, his single tear dropped onto her beak and it broke the brainwashing curse on her.
  • In Metal Men #16, the robot heroes are accidentally turned into immobile toys and given to a blind boy. When the boy cries, his tears restore the Metal Men.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Rapunzel's tear cures blindness in her prince charming.
  • In The Snow Queen, Gerta's tears washed the ice/mirror shard out of Kai's eye; her kiss melted the lump of ice around/in his heart.
  • Cinderella's godmother appears when she's crying; the Grimms' version has her cry on a lifeless twig, and it magically grows into a living tree.
  • In The Feather of Finist the Falcon, we have tears as magical laundry detergent: the heroine cries over her lover's bloody shirt, and so gets the blood out of it.
    The servant answered: "It is a shirt of Finist the Falcon, who in three days will wed my mistress, but it is so stained with blood that I can by no means make it clean." The girl thought, "It is a garment my beloved wore after he was so cruelly wounded by the knives in my window!" And taking it from the other's hands, she began to weep over it, so that the tears washed away every stain and the shirt was as white as snow.

    The black serving-woman took the shirt back to the Tsar's daughter, who asked her how she had so easily cleansed it, and the woman answered that a beautiful maiden, alone on the sea sand, had wept over it till her tears had made it white. "This is, in truth, a remarkable thing," said the Tsar's daughter; "I would see this girl whose tears can wash away such stains."
  • The titular Green of the Green Angel duet has her vision restored after a cathartic and long-overdue bout of grieving for her deceased family, who were caught in an explosion at the story's beginning.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney seems to like this trope.
    • Belle brings back the Beast by weeping over him in Beauty and the Beast. (This comes from the source material. Technically it's her declaration of love that breaks the spell, but her tears are proof of that love just as much as her words.)
    • In Fantasia 2000, at the end of the firebird sequence when the forest was burned, the sprite's tears made the grass grow back. Though the sprite had to use her magic to make the rest of the trees, flowers and grasses grow back before she disappeared.
    • Parodied in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. After they are too late to save Stitch from his malfunction and he shuts down, Lilo's tear brings him back to life. It's parodied by the fact that Pleakley asks Jumba for the scientific explanation. Jumba proudly states (as if he knew any other way to state things) that there is no possible scientific explanation, declares it a miracle, and celebrates.
    • Bambi II, the Great Prince sheds a Manly Tear for his injured son, who is quickly revived.
    • In Tangled, Rapunzel brings Flynn/Eugene back to life this way. Her magical hair was gone, but the magic was still inside of her.
    • In Brave, Merida sheds some while saying she loves her mum to reverse her bear curse during the Second Sunrise.
    • Frozen: An Act of True Love is the only thing that can save Anna from being frozen solid. It's implied that either Anna protecting her sister, Elsa crying over her frozen body, or both are what were required to melt Anna's frozen heart and break the curse.
  • Felix the Cat: The Movie: When her kingdom is invaded by the Duke of Zill's forces, Princess Oriana tries to summon The Chosen One, but is captured before she can finish. However, one of her tears starts glowing and promptly finishes the job — activating the machine by entering several codes, including a voice command, then tracks down Felix and lures him back through the portal.
  • Near the end of Filmation version of Journey Back to Oz, where all of Mombi's magic was dying with her and Oz turned back to normal when she was defeated, Dorothy and her friends rejoiced until she saw her friend Pumpkin Head dead (since he was created by Mombi, he died along with Mombi and her magic), but Dorothy's tear dropped on Pumpkin Head's forehead and brought him back to life.
  • In The Legend of the Titanic, Elizabeth's tears, mixed with a net of magical moonbeams, allow her to talk to dolphins.
  • Shrek 2: The Fairy Godmother had business cards that would summon her if anyone shed tears on them. Fiona shed tears, and got her, complete with the musical number. When Puss stomped on Donkey's hoof to make him shed a tear, they got voicemail.
  • How Frank recovers in Osmosis Jones. Justified, as Ozzy, who has the MacGuffin needed to help him, hitches a ride in one of Shane's tears.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: SpongeBob and Patrick are captured by a diver who makes souvenirs out of dried-up sealife and are placed under a heat lamp. As they await their fate, they each shed one tear that join to form a heart. That one heart-shaped tear then drips down the power cord into the outlet, causing it to short and activate the sprinkler, which revives our heroes and all the other creatures as well.
  • In Bartok the Magnificent, the witch Baba Yaga told Bartok the Bat that the final ingredient she wanted for her potion was something from himself. When Bartok pulled out his own hair thinking that was what she wanted, Baba laughed at him and Bartok angrily yelled at Baba for that and Bartok said that everyone hates her. Then Baba started crying and after Bartok felt bad for her, he started crying and Baba got the final ingredient she wanted: tears which came from Bartok's heart. She put Bartok's tear in her cauldron and completed a potion to transform someone into becoming on the outside what they are on the inside. It turns the villain into a dragon.
  • In Once Upon a Forest, Michelle is still unconscious even after she receives the medicine; it is only Cornelius' tears which cause her to awaken.
  • In Underdogs, after Ace destroys the bar and the table, Jake sheds tears which falls on his only rescued foosball player, Skip, giving him and his companions life.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The end of The Neverending Story II movie. Tears allow for 'wishing from the heart' instead of the mind and grant Bastion an extra wish.
  • Nutty Professor II: The Klumps has Sherman's Love Interest for this movie (played by Janet Jackson) fix things with a tear. When Sherman needs to reabsorb the arrogant Buddy Love back into his body or otherwise lose his intelligence, and Buddy is breaking down into liquid Buddy reaches a fountain before drying up leaving Sherman stuck without his intelligence. Till Jackson's character's single tear drops through Buddy's remains and carrying them into the fountain allowing Sherman to get his smarts by drinking the fountain water.
  • Ultraviolet has the heroine Violet weep over the prone body of the littlest plague carrier as he dies in her arms. However, being a hemophage, her tear infects him and turns him into a hemophage, thus giving him both immunity to the plague and a Healing Factor to reverse the damage. It takes her a while to realize her crying would have that effect though.
  • In the film Fat Albert, the cartoon characters are able to enter the real world when the magic tear hits the remote control
  • in Osmosis Jones, When Frank is dying, his daughter cries and drops a tear in his mouth, and while it seems like the tears made a "miracle" in reviving Frank, it was actually Osmosis who went along the tear that made a difference.
  • Near the end of The Last Mimzy, a tear falls on said Mimzy, a stuffed rabbit, who stores inside and brings it back to its creator in the future. This allows said creator to fix the Bad Future.
  • Downplayed in Takashi Miike's The Great Yokai War: The Hero Hero was forced to kill a Yokai-friend that had been transformed into a monster. His tears restore its true form in its dying moment, but do not heal it. The Yokai-friend recovers by the end of the film.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, mermaids' tears are a necessary ingredient to mix with the water of the Fountain of Youth.
  • In the film of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Snape's tears can be used in the pensieve to see his memories.
  • We Can Be Heroes (2020): At one point in the film, the kids end up imprisoned on the alien ship, and Guppy gets her water source taken away from her. It briefly appears that Missy has given up hope, causing some of them to cry...then it's revealed that the reason she's doing this is so that Guppy can use their tears to create a key and free them from their cell.

  • Chuck Norris' tears can cure cancer. Too bad Chuck Norris never cries.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: "Phoenix tears have healing powers." They cure basilisk poison in seconds.
  • The New Jedi Order. The alien Jedi Vergere's tears are naturally complex organic compounds which she can modify further with the Force. They can heal, among many other things (she frequently uses them as a paralytic poison).
  • In the Xanth novel Yon Ill Wind, Demon X(A/N)^th (yes, his name is a mathematical formula) makes a complicated bet that can only be won by getting the first Xanth resident he meets to shed a tear for him. (If he loses the bet, Xanth itself will be destroyed — or lose its magic, which is as close as makes no difference.) Unfortunately, said resident turns out to be Chlorine, who has already cried all the tears she has but one and would go blind if she shed that last one. She does, he wins, and Xanth is saved.
  • In Stephen Hunt's The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, a craybarian's tears are instrumental in conveying her immunity to poison to Amelia.
  • In Terry Pratchett's early novel The Carpet People, looking into a termagant's eyes turns people to stone, while its tears will turn them back again.
  • In The Velveteen Rabbit, the velveteen rabbit's real tear landed on the ground and it made the fairy appear.
  • In The Silmarillion, Lúthien Tinúviel's tears have healing properties. (Presumably as a result of her half-Maia ancestry.)
  • Inverted in Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis. It's Farhad's tears that turn Nittish to stone.
  • A phoenix tear in Fancy Apartments has several uses, including being a protective charm, a booster for anti-dark spells, etc.
  • At the end of The Cowardly Lion of Oz, the title character is turned to stone, and the tears of all his friends bring him back to life ("For tears are more magic than anything else, when it comes to melting stone").
  • In The Land of Stories: in the first book, one of the items Alex and Conner needed for the wishing spell to go back home were fairy tears but later on, the vial of fairy tears broke on them and they found out that Alex herself had fairy tears after it activated the wishing spell when the Evil Queen captured them and took the wishing spell from them to save her boyfriend from her magic mirror and they found out later they were half humans, half fairies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Savaged in Six Feet Under when Billy and Brenda watch an animated version of the series of books they were obsessed with as children, and are dismayed at the Adaptation Decay they encounter.
    Billy: A tear? He saves Isobel's life with a fucking tear?!
    Brenda: How does it happen in the book?
    Billy: Mouth to mouth resuscitation! Which makes sense!
  • Smallville: Chloe's healing powers were tear-activated the first time.
  • One episode of the original series of Star Trek had a race of Green Skinned Space Babes who had mind-controlling tears. Kirk made one cry and decided to wipe her tears away with his bare hand. Bad idea.
  • Much of season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer revolves around a seal over the Hellmouth that's opened with by spilling blood on it. It's eventually revealed that to close it requires the tears of the person originally responsible for spilling the blood.
  • Power Rangers
    • In the final episode of Power Rangers in Space, Andros cries at the sight of an apparently dead Astronema/ Karone. The tear trickles down his cheek and lands on Astronema's face, reviving her. It's widely believed to be a delayed reaction to Zordon's purification wave.
    • In an episode of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Karone comes across a warrior she fought and turned to stone back when she was Astronema, and she cries on him, restoring him. This must be a magical power for the residents of KO-35.
    • In Power Rangers S.P.D., a tear is responsible for allowing a nasty bad guy to escape... sorta. (He could travel through reflective surfaces. Naturally, nothing remotely shiny was allowed near his prison, but one Hannibal Lecture to Sky later, there's a Manly Tear...)
  • Lampshaded on an episode of Sabrina. Sabrina's mother was turned into a ball of wax. When she melted after Sabrina left her next to an iron she left on, Sabrina cried on her and she turned back. Her Aunts then run in and tell her that they finally found out that Sabrina can turn her mother back by melting her and mixing her with her tears, before noticing she figured it out herself.
  • In Kamen Rider Wizard, a tear revives Dragon and forms the Infinity ring.
  • Occurs in episode 4 of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. In this instance, a child in the Continent of Despair who fears his mother to be dead begins to lose hope, and, due to the nature of this realm, turns into stone. His mother's tears, when they are reunited, return him to normal.
  • In the series finale of Legend of the Seeker, Richard is fatally stabbed by Kahlan, after fulfilling one of the prophecies and accidentally giving the Stone of Tears to the Keeper. Kahlan cries, and her tear falls on Richard, turning into another Stone of Tears. Power of Love, indeed. Despite the common usage of the trope, Richard isn't healed by the tear or the Stone; Cara revives him, and Zedd heals his eyesight.
  • A couple of examples are shown in Once Upon a Time:
    • In a second season episode, the good guys are searching for an MIA Regina and go to Gold for help. He is able to take one of Snow White's tears and mix it into a spell so that Snow sees and experiences what Regina is experiencing, allowing them to figure out where she is.
    • In season four, Rumplestiltskin needs the tear of a person who was tempted by their inner darkness and turned away from it to break past the final enchantment and open the Sorcerer's Hat.
    • A tear of broken love was used to trap Merlin in a tree and another tear of the same kind was later used to free him.
    • Gideon uses the tears Emma cries into a napkin to keep Hook from coming back to Storybrooke. Her tears are also said to have powerful magic.
  • The Series 10 Season Finale of Doctor Who, "The Doctor Falls", has these prove vital to the "Ray of Hope" Ending. First, thanks to companion Bill Potts sobbing over the Doctor's apparently dead body, her true love Heather — a human who had merged with sentient starship fuel — returns to her from the season premiere, having secretly left her with a sort of tracking device in her tears. From there, Heather frees Bill of her Cyberman body and turns her into a similar creature, whereupon they take the Doctor back to the TARDIS. And then the trope is doubled-down when Bill's augmented tear left on his brow before the women leave effectively jump-starts his body! "Where there's tears, there's hope."

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 has a type of Holy Hand Grenade filled with the tears of statues of the Emperor, which are very effective against The Legions of Hell.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons third edition evil sourcebook, The Book of Vile Darkness, crystallized angel tears count as minor artifacts. When collected using the proper ritual in places where celestials have felt great sorrow or pain (or harvested from a captive angel Forced to Watch horrifically evil deeds), the tears can be fired from slings or thrown as Unholy Hand Grenades.

  • Another doll line, PJ Sparkles, had a one-off pilot for an animated series. P.J. starts to die because she is hit with a hate beam by the movie's villains, but her new powers also cause her to die if she has no more love in her heart. The tears of a broken-down orphan declaring that he loves her revive her.
  • This trope was the origin story for the 1980s doll line Rose Petal Place. The resident family of a Victorian-style house moved away, and the little girl took one last stroll through its garden, weeping, before they left. Her tears changed some of the flowers into little maidens, and their houses, cars, etc. were similarly transformed toys and gardening implements. Each doll/accessory was thus marked with a "crystal" tear. Apparently, the magic was neutral, because it also transformed a spider into Nastina, Rose-Petal's Arch-Enemy. When Nastina killed her in the first of two animated TV specials by locking her in a room with almost no light (deadly for a flower woman), the tears of Rose-Petal's friends landed on her crystal, bringing her back to life.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy VI, the petrified princess of the underground castle can shed a tear that upgrades the Magicite remains of her Esper suitor.
  • Used in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. The cure to the Shroob infection that devastated Mushroom Kingdom in the past was Baby Tears. Though it was somewhat subverted in that Professor E. Gadd whipped up a 'chemical equivalent' to do the job en masse.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, one of Fortune's tears brings Vamp back from a bullet to the head, but it's implied that contact with any water source can do this.
  • Inverted and also used in Legend of Mana. Anyone who cries for a Jumi (basically Elves) will turn to stone, but the Jumi's own tears have healing powers. Both of which actually happen at the end of the Jumi arc.
  • In Final Fantasy XI it is said that the goddess Altana created the Zilart, but once they were destroyed she wept five tears down on the world that resulted in the creation of the Standard Fantasy Races.
  • In Sam & Max: Ice Station Santa, elf tears make plants grow.
  • In Free Realms the Druidess Queen Ayani goes one better. Her tears form rivers and lakes and where her tears touched the ground flowers and trees began to grow.
  • Three examples in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; the Tears of Light, which are used to give the Light Spirits back their powers, the Great Fairy tears Link can drink to heal him and increase his strength, and Midna using her magic tear to shatter the Mirror of Twilight before returning to her own world and separating both her and Link's world. That last one involves regular tears as well.
    • Midna's magic tear carries over to her true form's appearance in Hyrule Warriors, where she can use it to shatter reality.
  • In Super Princess Peach, when you choose Peach to cry, her tears can make plants grow to climb on, make her run faster, make water wheels go around and also defeat bad guys.
  • In the Wii version of A Boy and His Blob, in the second to last level the boy's tears not only return the blob to life, but also allow him to unlock the Mecha transformation.
  • In Brütal Legend, the Sea of Black Tears is a source of power, and evil.
  • In The Binding of Isaac, Isaac's tears are his main weapon. Various items can give his tears the ability to, among other things, poison enemies, set things on fire, home in on enemies, go through walls, petrify enemies, and even temporarily make enemies fight for you. And these abilities stack on top of each other, meaning by the time you reach the endgame Isaac may be crying flaming homing poisonous intangible enemy taming tears.
  • In Undertale, Napstablook uses their tears as an attack, but can also use them to...make a top hat for them to wear.
  • The angelic realm of Elysium in Nexus Clash is full of hoarded Angel Tears, which have the power to cure the pure of heart of even otherwise uncurable debuffs and melt any demons dumb enough to drink them.
    • There's even a skill that grants the ability to create Angel Tears through suffering, but it's universally regarded as the single worst skill choice in the entire game.
  • In episode five of Tales from the Borderlands, Rhys tries to drop some of his tears onto a mortally wounded Sasha, but since the scene is a genuine Tear Jerker, this trope is played as a Deconstructive Parody, making an already tender scene bittersweet in a way that makes you sadly chuckle.
    Sasha: What are you doing?
    Rhys, sniffling: There are all these stories where...where someone's tears heal people. I really feel like that's a thing.
    Sasha, wiping his tears away: Yeah, well...this isn't one of those stories.

    Visual Novels 
  • Deconstructed by Kanon. Mai Kawasumi cures her mother with her tears, and people eventually learn that her tears have the ability to rejuvenate anything, even after it has died. Unfortunately, since she's living in a modern setting, she gets swept up in a media circus that publicizes her powers, is persecuted by the people around her for being different, and is eventually forced to leave her town.
  • The trope is discussed before eventually being subverted in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. After Yamada is seemingly killed, Asahina cries over his body, with Naegi musing that if this were a fantasy story, her tears would bring him back to life. Then the victim wakes up, turning out to be Not Quite Dead, but still has no hope of salvation, and dies for real seconds later after naming the killer.

    Western Animation 
  • The Powerpuff Girls are brought back (from death?) by tears in "The Rowdyruff Boys" and "Knock It Off." They're also brought back from a berserker rage by Mojo Jojo's tears, after they give him an especially brutal beating for stealing the candy that they've become addicted to. What have they done?
  • In Futurama, the solution to Fry drinking an emperor, an alien made up of liquid, is to have Fry cry out him out. After he has trouble making himself cry, the rest of the crew pretend Leela is being killed because of his actions. Until Leela arrives alive ruining this plan, but she beats up Fry to make him weep in pain. Hilarity Ensues, because while Leela, and later the rest of the crew, are beating the crap out of him, he's still thanking them profusely. They continue beating on him after the Emperor has recovered. Even the Emperor himself thanks him for crying him out before beating him with a chair.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Home Sweet Pineapple", SpongeBob loses his pineapple home after nematodes drink it dry, leaving a little "pebble" behind. Near the end of the episode, he plants it in the ground, and a single tear falls on it, restoring it back to normal (on top of Squidward).
  • In the Grand Prix-winning Rene Laloux short Les Escargots, A down-on-his-luck farmer discovers that crying on his lettuces makes them grow large and healthy. Unfortunately, it has the side effect of attracting snails the size of Mack trucks which go on a rampage in the nearby town once they've picked his field clean...
  • In Justice League, Metamorpho is brought Back from the Dead when his fiancee Sapphire Stagg cries into the puddle that used to be him.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog, it's Eustace's drops of sweat that save the day and prove he's a capable farmer.
  • Parodied in South Park - a statue of the Virgin Mary is crying blood from her ass, and Randy Marsh thinks it'll cure his alcoholism.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents special Fairy Idol, when Norm the Genie crosses the Moral Event Horizon by brutally crushing Cosmo and Wanda with a giant wrecking ball, Timmy ends up in tears, depressed at how crappily he had treated him earlier in the special, prompting them, in their full body casts, to float up to the air, as if to demonstrate a straight example of this trope, only to end up becoming a subversion when they disintegrate into fairy dust. Even THEN, though, they reveal themselves to have already gotten better by themselves, thus double subverting this trope.
  • In the She-Ra: Princess of Power episode "My Friend, The Enemy", Hordak was disappearing to death from eating the doomberry pie Skeletor gave him, but Hordak was saved by She-Ra's tears.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!: Nova's tears plus a Love Confession break Sprx out of the Object of Hate's control.
  • In the pilot episode of The Dreamstone, Amberley has been turned to stone by Zordrak, and a single tear from Rufus is enough to reverse the spell.
  • In Season 3 of the Winx Club, Stella had been turned into a monster and her friends have to get to the mirror of truth to break the spell. It didn't break the spell on its own but then Stella's tears touched the mirror and it shattered into a lake and after she got a gift from Brandon, Stella was touched and her other tear landed on the lake and changed her back into a human. Love changed her back and it was expressed through her tears.
  • In the end of final Peter Pan & the Pirates episode: Never land was disappearing and everybody was falling because Peter Pan grew up to an old man and he didn't believe in never land and forgotten about Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell convinced Peter as an old man to believe in never land and become young again and after Peter remembered Wendy's laugh and Tink herself and realized he made a mistake about growing up. Tink's tear landed on Peter and Tink's tear changed him back into a young boy and everything turned back to normal.
  • Care Bears,
    • No Heart creates a raincloud that washes away one's color. When the Care Bears and one of the humans confronted him, the rain wound up hitting Wish Bear. The human boy she was protecting cried on her, and his tear hit her tummy symbol, undoing the effects and allowing her to break the impasse.
    • Hugs and Tugs fake having a chicken-pox like disease. When they clean themselves up and try telling Grams Bear, she sees them and think that the disease is in its second stage, at which point only a teardrop from the Big Bad can provide the cure.
  • One episode of Dungeons & Dragons has Sheila break the spell on a cursed king when she cried a Single Tear of gratitude over him for helping to save her brother.
  • Ren & Stimpy "The Littlest Giant" has Stimpy the "Little Giant" leaving the giant country in exile and sob all over and filling farmer Ren's dried up well with his tears. They both become friends in result.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: A single tear from Darwin was enough to revive a pet turtle that dried out in the sun. But since this particular turtle was a nigh-unstoppable terror driven by an obsessive need to bite, Gumball has a different theory: It feeds on misery.
  • Ewoks: In the second season episode, The Wish Plant, Kneesaa revives the plant by crying on it.
  • On Steven Universe, Rose Quartz had this ability, and when Amethyst's gem is cracked, Steven tries to access the same power to heal her while the others try to reactivate Rose's magic crying fountain. The end of the episode reveals that Steven doesn't have healing tears, but does have healing spit. However, much later during the episode Off Colors, Steven's tears are able to resurrect Lars and give him the same powers and pink color that Lion has.
  • In Mia and Me, unicorn tears have healing properties, which comes in handy on several occasions.
  • In the DuckTales (2017) episode "A Nightmare On Killmotor Road" the triplets, Webby and Lena spend time in a shared lucid dream. Unbeknownst to the others, Magica has been stalking Lena throughout. Her goal is to reclaim her lost powers. This culminates with the cast involved in a literal tug of war with Magica (Who has seized Lena by the neck.) Even forming a chain does little to help, until Webby's tears land on Lena.
  • In Wizards (2020), after Jim turns to stone and seemingly dies, it is Claire's tears that bring him back to life and restore him to his human form.

    Real Life 
  • Human tears contain Lactoferrin, a protein that has been found to fight various infections.


Video Example(s):


The Tear of the Goofy Goobers

SpongeBob and Patrick's tears slide down the lamp's cord into the outlet, causing it to short out and start a fire, which sets off the sprinklers, and they come back to life.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / SwissArmyTears

Media sources:

Main / SwissArmyTears