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Tears from a Stone

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It's emotional now, but wait 'til erosion sets in.

"The rain just falls off of me
The tears just fall off of me
'Cause I'm waterproof, I'm waterproof
The barometric pressure has no relevance to me."
Sparks, "Waterproof"

Boys don't cry. Neither do statues, nor robots, nor things that generally lack tear ducts. But, if you really want to crank up the pathos or despair, have something that can't cry shed a tear—perhaps saline, or perhaps some more appropriate liquid. Often effective, occasionally Narm.

To count as Tears from a Stone, the tears should be one or a few and should be viewed as surprising or miraculous and played for pathos. Crying from anthropomorphic robots or magical creatures, for example, is usually just crying.

Cynical souls may explain away in much the same manner as Sand In My Eyes — rain or the like.

Tears from a Stone may have magical properties, such as breaking a spell in much the same manner as a kiss. They may also be used to show that the "stone" is actually a living person who has been Taken for Granite. Darker examples may involve Tears of Blood.


See also Unable to Cry, Single Tear.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, as one of the badly damaged and shot up tachikomas prepares to sacrifice itself to save Batou, a large drop of oil leaks from its one remaining optical sensor. To add to the symbolism, a large part of the reason that it was aware enough to make that sacrifice was the special oil he had given it.
  • In the original Japanese version of Tekkaman Blade, Pegas (Teknobot) made a Heroic Sacrifice in the final episode, and shed a single oil tear. The UK dub included this, but the US dub removed it for some reason.
  • In one emotional scene in One Piece, the figurehead of the main characters' ship is splashed by a wave and appears to be crying along with its crew.
    • There's also Brook. A living skeleton who outright stated he could not cry, bursts into tears upon learning his crew's beloved Team Pet was still waiting for their return. Word of God (who in this case has a track record of not always answering with total seriousness) Handwaves it by saying "Because even when his tears of sadness dry... his tears of joy can still flow."
  • Mazinger Z was the first Humongous Mecha example.
  • Giant Robo is another, crying a huge torrent of tears when it's almost destroyed by the Monster Sphere.
    • It should be noted that this trope was also played for laughs in a comedic spinoff episode- instead of crying, Giant Robo suffers a nosebleed upon seeing an attractive IPO agent naked.
  • Similarly, the eponymous mecha of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann appears to be crying as rain splashes down its face when Kamina dies.
  • Robot Girl Chachamaru of Negima! Magister Negi Magi once cried after a major breach of her privacy For Science!. It was just lens-cleaning fluid, but tears nonetheless.
    • Especially since human tears are, primarily, not much more then lens-cleaning fluid either, to keep the eyes moist.
    • It happens again later when Chachamaru begins to doubt that she has a soul. Negi points out that even though the tears themselves are actually oil, they're still real tears, as it's evidence of her emotion. The chemical makeup thereof is not important.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, when Domon tells the frozen in DG Cells Rain that her father died through an Heroic Sacrifice, Rain's metallic face is shown and she cries a single tear.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Kio's AGE-3 Gundam emits a spray of lights from his eyes as he cries in the cockpit over the death of Lu Anon.
  • Happens again in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. When Biscuit Griffon is killed, Mika's Gundam Barbatos appears to have tears on its face—it's really water that's sprayed up from the ocean, as they're battling on the beach, but it's perfectly timed. It happens again when Mika is about to execute Carta Issue, the person who killed Biscuit, whether it's Berserker Tears from Mika or Barbatos feeling sad is another question.
  • In Martian Successor Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness, Akito's (non-anthropomorphic) Humongous Mecha cries "tears" of oil after he kills Big Bad Hokushin, who is indirectly responsible for destroying Akito's senses and abducting his wife Yurika.
  • In one episode of Darker Than Black, Yin, a "Doll" supposedly incapable of emotions, cries. This saves her life as a mafia hitman is unable to kill her because he doesn't know how to respond, having thought of her as less than human up to that point.
  • Shaman King had a "crying sword" in a museum - it turned out the tears were coming from the ghost of its smith, who failed to save his best friend with it.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, after Noah kidnaps Seto Kaiba's little brother Mokuba, he aims to escape the virtual world his father (and Kaiba's stepfather) created for him in Kaiba's body by defeating him in a duel. When Kaiba is about to defeat him, however, he used the kidnapped and now Brainwashed and Crazy Mokuba as a human shield to convince Kaiba not to attack. A very touching Tear Jerker scene results when Noah's control is finally broken and Mokuba runs towards his older brother, only for the both of them to be turned to stone by Noah moments before they touch...and a single tear that had been in Mokuba's eyes shed from the stone as the episode closed.
  • In Android Kikaider: the Animation, Jiro (the titular android) can be seen shedding copious amounts of tears, despite the fact that robots obviously do not have tear ducts. Arguably a justified situation; not only is Jiro in possession of a conscience circuit which blesses him with a full spectrum of human emotion, but he now has to stand on the sidelines while his Love Interest is being traumatized for life by her Missing Mom. Turns out Mom was a Deep Cover Agent working for Big Bad Professor Gil, and only married Mitsuko's father in order to keep an eye on him and his robotics research. Mitsuko and her kid brother, Masaru, were just part of her cover. And if that wasn't bad enough, Gil has now given Mom orders to gun Mitsuko down before Jiro's very eyes. The experience of Mom holding a gun to her head is enough to give Mitsuko the Blue Screen of Death. It's when she softly whispers, "Please, Mother. Kill me," that Jiro's hurricane of emotions find their conduit.
  • Emerl in Sonic X does this after seeing his unwilling destroyer, Cream, crying over the Old Yeller-like moment.
  • Astro Boy cries a few times, despite being a robot. Possibly justified, considering he was originally a Replacement Goldfish of a real kid.
  • In the last Ranma ½ OVA when Akane has been turned into a doll, she magically cries as Ranma, while holding her, actually says she's cute (in a tomboy sort of way of course). One of the most touching moments in the whole series, actually.
  • Mic Sounders XIII of GaoGaiGar sheds a few tears after he helplessly watches eleven of his brothers get disintegrated and twelfth die in his arms. This is not only one of his most badass moments but the only time you will see him truly furious at anything.
    • In the GaoGaiGar FINAL OVA, GaoFighGar has a single trail of oil leaking from its eye when Guy destroys the Fake Mamoru and GaoGaiGar.
  • The Mad Artist teacher from Rosario + Vampire is a gorgon and likes to turn people to stone for her collection. Her victims are still aware and clue Tsukune in to what is going on by crying.
  • Naruto had two especially indirect examples when Haku and Zabuza, both rendered emotionless thanks to the technique that brought them back to life as Revenant Zombies, had blood on a sword dripping off into one's eye and running down the reflection of the other's face.
  • In Elfen Lied, just before the scene when Lucy confronts Kouta about her guilt over murdering his family, a raindrop symbolically runs from the eye of a jizu statue, looking remarkably like a tear.
  • When Shachi in Fist of the North Star is defeated inside Taiseiden, Hokuto Soukei's symbol statue in the center of it all sheds tears to allow him to fight once more.
  • Alphonse in Fullmetal Alchemist can't cry, being Animated Armor, but rain substitutes.

    Comic Books 
  • The second chapter of Watchmen opens with a shot of a rain-pelted statue of Justice, with one of the drops flowing down her cheek like a tear.
  • Inverted in homage to Norse myth in an early Thor issue of Journey into Mystery, Loki's first appearance in Marvel Comics. Loki is fated to remain imprisoned in a tree trunk until his plight causes someone to shed a tear. The people of Asgard are perfectly capable of crying—just not for Loki. However, Loki's long imprisonment eventually allows him to take control of the tree and make it drop a leaf into Heimdall's eye, causing him to shed a tear.
  • In The Avengers #58 we see The Vision, an artificial being who overcame his destructive programming and saved the Avengers, shed a single tear when asked to join the team. Even the title of the issue recognizes this trope: "Even an Android Can Cry."
  • Dreamwave's Transformers Generation One #12 has cover art of a grieving Optimus Prime going through a complete emotional breakdown while leaking tears of optic fluid down his face plate, holding the lifeless body of his beloved mate Elita One.
  • In Lucifer: Children and Monsters, Japanese goddess Izanami, who exists as an immobile statue within her realm, is seen to weep one tear after her plan to kill Lucifer costs the lives of two of her children.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Poseidon makes a dramatic entrance by transforming one of the stone corpses of Medusa's ancient victims into water, which starts as water dripping from its eyes and the damaged parts of the stone. When he leaves the corpse turns back to stone.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Done very effectively in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie (that is, for people who had read the books to begin with.) A bit of rain gets spattered on the eyes of a dude in a stain-glass window.
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Abe speculates that he doesn't even have tear ducts. When Princess Nuala dies, you guessed it: a single tear.
  • A cutaway shot in The End Of St Petersburg shows a crying statue: a metaphor for the suffering of the city.
  • In Return to Oz, despite his claims of emotionlessness, Tik-Tok sheds a tear of oil close to the end. And in an extremely subtle shot, the Nome King (an earth elemental) sheds a tear of stone during his Pet the Dog moment.
  • At the end of Battle for the Planet of the Apes, after it is revealed that apes and humans are coexisting together peacefully, the final shot of the film shows a statue of the ape Caesar, which is crying as the film closes.
  • In Gods and Generals, General "Stonewall" Jackson breaks down into Manly Tears upon being informed of the death of the child Jane Corbin from scarlet fever. A watching officer remarks in surprise that he has never previously cried after the deaths of any of his comrades or men. Another suggests that he is "crying for them all".

  • Father Saryon from The Darksword Trilogy, as a living statue, can and does, weep.
  • All the infernal rivers in the The Divine Comedy stem from one source, the bloody tears of a crumbling statue in Crete which represents the inevitable decline of human civilization.
  • In the Spanish art book/story 'Favole' by Victoria Francés, one of the small stories involves a woman falling in love with a statue of an angel. When she dies, the illustration of the statue shows it with tears. Whether the statue was actually sentient or not is up to the reader.
  • Oscar Wilde's short story 'The Happy Prince' features the titular character, a golden statue standing above the city, weeping for the plight of his poor citizens.
  • During the Angel War from the Nightside series, one indicator of the presence of angels from Above and Below was a rash of statues crying, bleeding, and/or soiling themselves.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happened in an episode of Combat! A soldier had to blow up a cache of art treasures for some reason and saw a trickle of blood running down the face of a statue (from an earlier fight) that matched his own tears at having to destroy such beautiful things.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Doomsday": The cyberized Yvonne breaks through her programming and fights off the other Cybermen as they corner the Doctor, constantly repeating, "I did my duty for Queen and country." A drop of oil leaks from one of her eyes.
    • Subverted with the Weeping Angels, who hold their hands over their eyes as if they're crying, but are actually making sure they don't look at each other (they turn to stone when they're being observed, and can only move when nothing's looking at them). The Angels are widely considered to be one of the most terrifying and evil aliens in the whole Whoniverse.
    • In "Hell Bent", a Dalek trapped in what is essentially a Time Lord graveyard was shown with liquid coming out of the eyestalk as it begged for death. For context, Daleks are Scary Dogmatic Aliens shaped like tiny squids inside of mechanical battle suits whose real eyes are nowhere near the eyestalk.
  • Eerie, Indiana: In the final scene of "Heart on a Chain", Melanie places the locket that Devon gave her on the statue of an angel near his grave. After she and Marshall leave, the stone angel sheds a single tear.
  • In Heroes, Tracy Strauss gets one of these while immobilized in her frozen form as she's dying from being fractured for saving "Rebel".
  • In Leverage the team fakes a miracle by creating a statue that cries when it's touched by smoke from the candles. However, the statue isn't made of stone and the liquid it produces aren't tears, meaning that when the Vatican investigative team shows up to ascertain the veracity of the miracle, they would be found out almost immediately.
  • In the Midnight Caller episode "Do You Believe in Miracles?" a statue of Baby Jesus starts crying. The Littlest Cancer Patient's father steals it in the hopes that it will heal her, inadvertently kicking off the episode's plot.
  • In the BBC comedy puppet-show-for-adults/sitcom, Mongrels, a guide dog is blinded and runs away fearing he will be turned into a collection box for a guide dog charity. At the end of the episode, the main characters wonder what happened to him and, as the credits roll, the camera pans to a dog-shaped charity collection box that cries a Single Tear. Mostly Played for Laughs.
  • In the Only Fools and Horses episode "The Miracle of Peckham", the statue of the Virgin Mary in the local Catholic church is seen to cry. Del uses this and his own salesman skills to raise money for the church. It turns out someone stole all the lead off the roof and the rain's getting in. And Del knew this; his "sense" of when the statue would cry was based on weather forecasts.
  • Deliberately used in The Pillars of the Earth; a mysterious rock is found that appears to weep at night due to some geological quirk. Jack, needing a miracle-performing relic to make his cathedral a success, carves a statue of the Virgin Mary and places the rock behind its eyes, and claims the statue is weeping for the sins of the world, in a not-very-subtle jab at Kingsbridge's various enemies. Naturally, stories quickly spread among the superstitious peasants of the statue healing the sick and performing other miracles.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures has this happen with a Taken for Granite Alan in "The Eye of the Gorgon".
  • In Smallville, a stone angel cries black tears as Oliver is being corrupted by Darkseid.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Allison From Palmdale" a particularly powerful moment comes when Cameron undergoes a breakdown while in the "Allison" persona, and actually starts crying. This is especially hard-hitting because earlier terminator models like the T-800 can't shed tears.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In the final scene of "Five Characters in Search of an Exit", having been revealed to be dolls, the ballet dancer cries as she moves her hand towards the major.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The Call", the bronze sculpture of Mary Ann Lindeby, whose spirit inhabits it, sheds a single tear when Norman Blane tells her that he has fallen in love with her.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Older Than Feudalism: There's a Greek myth about a rock/statue that cried: Queen Niobe tried to outlaw worship of the goddess Leto, bragging that she had borne fourteen children while Leto had only two. Unfortunately, those two, Apollo and Artemis, killed all of Niobe's children as punishment, and Niobe stood weeping for them so long that she turned to stone, tears still pouring down her face.
  • Also from Greek mythology: After Orpheus looked back in the underworld and lost his wife Eurydice for the second time, he wandered around for a while playing such sad songs on his lyre that even the rocks and trees wept for him.
  • In Norse Mythology, when Hel said she would let Baldur come back to life if everything wept for him, the very stones wept. (Loki, however, didn't. He's an asshole like that. And he was the one who killed him in the first place.)
  • Many of the miraculous images in Catholic shrines throughout the world have legends saying that they bled or wept. The legend of the image of the Madonna of the Arch in Sant'Anastasia, Naples, says that on Easter Monday of 1450, a man who had lost a game of pall-mall (a precursor of croquet) angrily hurled the ball at the sacred image, which began to bleed from her left cheek.
  • There's a whole genre of late medieval anti-Semitic stories in which Jews would get their hands on the consecrated bread of the Eucharist and stab it with daggers, causing it to bleed.

  • The concept of the album Dead Winter Dead by Savatage centers around an old Gargoyle looking over the town of Sarajevo for centuries, trying to figure out humans and now watching the devastating Bosnian War. When an old musician, playing Cello in the ruins to keep up a last piece of culture ( based on Vedran Smailovic ) is finally killed, a single tear drops from the gargoyle's eye.
  • A song from the group Fiction Junction, 'Stone Cold' used as both Opening and Ending song for the anime series Sacred Seven has lyrics pertaining to this: 'For the sake of a single teardrop/The pebble starts to crack/If I can protect one of your dreams/Then there is probably meaning in getting smashed into bits.' This carries significant meaning in the protagonist's character development.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy VII the party finds Red XIII's petrified father, and Red XIII realizes that his father sacrificed himself to save the village, instead of running off like he'd thought all this time. After Red XIII pays his respects and the party heads off, a single tear emerges from the eye of the petrified Seto. It's sad at the moment, but when you think about it...
    • And in Dirge of Cerberus, when Lucrecia sheds a tear within her crystallized stasis for Vincent, as a final testimony to the end of her tragic life.
  • Robo in the ending of Chrono Trigger. Ironically enough, real tears appear to gush out of his eyes in one of his animations, though that is hardly for dramatic effect.
  • Robot Girl Aigis sheds tears of happiness in a cutscene near the end of Persona 3 when the main character returns from the realm of Nyx, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, after performing a Time Delayed Heroic Sacrifice to seal Nyx away from humanity. Then, at the very end, she cries again when his aforementioned death actually occurs. One of the player's last actions in the game is the option to wipe her tears away.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, hold up the Odin magicite to the stone statue of the petrified queen in the Ancient Castle, and she'll cry a tear that transforms Odin (who she was in love with) into Raiden.
  • Final Fantasy XIII - Not sure if this qualifies, but as Serah Farron is turned into a crystal, she weeps a single tear for her fiancé and sister.
    • Also when fighting Cieth, who are basically big crystalline techno-monster things, you can get dropped items called "Tears Of Woe" or "Cieth Tears". This is pretty disturbing as cieth don't look human at all but they used to be people who failed their Focus.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, the statues of Xolotl gushes out tears when it is reminded of its tragic past, or gameplay-wise when entering Overdrive during the raid battle.
  • In King's Quest VI, Prince Alexander faces Death himself and challenges him in order to resurrect the king and queen. The challenge? Make Death cry. Alex then shows him a Magic Mirror which reveals Death's horrific painful past, which shocks him so much that he sheds a single tear.
  • It is said that the Naomi in Stone statue in The Sims: Life Stories cries often. It should, as it was a gift from Death to the man who selfishly let her be taken to keep his fortune.
  • Castlevania
  • In Super Robot Wars Z, during the Dynamic Finish for Gunleon's strongest attack post-upgrade, Gunleon itself cries.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the moon that's cursed to crash into Termina cries shining blue stones known as Moon's Tears.
  • Giving the Plain Doll the Hair Ornament in Bloodborne causes her to weep Tears of Joy, which solidify into a Blood Gem that grants a small amount of health regen to the player when equipped. The description straight-up says that it should be impossible for a doll to cry actual tears, and anyone who thinks this is cute rather than horrifying must be out of their mind.
  • One of the Jump Scares in Mystery Case Files: Fate's Carnival has an angel statue crying thick, black tears.
  • Knucklotec, the giant Olmec head statue boss in Super Mario Odyssey, sheds some tears upon defeat, right before exploding.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, the statue of Saint Veronica in front of the Bareahard Cathedral starts crying black tears, which is said to be a sign of a crisis in the world. While perhaps true, the immediate cause is a monster in the Bareahard Waterway, which polluted the fountain's water so that it melted the statue's material, thus making it look like it's crying.
  • The giant/mountain in the third Drawn game weeps a small waterfall of tears. Justified because it's both animate and the product of a child's imagination.


    Web Original 
  • In SMG4's Mario Bloopers, after Meggy is transformed into an immobile T-posing zombie, Tari tries to help her regain her senses, but to no avail she can only hug Meggy's motionless body, not noticing that Meggy has a tear streaming down from her eye.
  • Near the end of Lady Lumps VS Boy Bumps video Dr. Doom Likes to Watch, a single drop of rain mimics a tear sliding down Doctor Doom's mask as he mourns the loss of his hover chair, Doom Chair.

    Western Animation 
  • In an animated version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a petrified Mr. Tumnus sheds a single tear.
  • In The Simpsons there was a rating machine that cried. Turned out it was actually battery acid.
    • Parodied several times in "Lisa's Wedding", as it's claimed otherwise Ridiculously Human Robot aren't supposed to have emotions, but cry at sentimental events and short themselves out.
  • Gargoyles did this twice in the same flashback. First Demona sheds an off-screen tear right before she petrifies. Then, when she wakes up and finds her husband petrified, she leaves a tear on his forehead that makes it look like he was crying.
    • Also done with Goliath during Hunter's Moon, when he thought that Elisa had died during his battle with the Hunters.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, a petrified Mystique seems to shed a tear at one point — or was it just condensation? Subverted in a later episode when it turns out that the real Mystique is still alive and the statue was just a statue all along.
  • In one Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode, Red Tornado, an android, sheds a tear. His episodes are huge tearjerkers though, so you can't blame him.
    • He also didn't seem to understand what it was.
    Red Tornado: Oily discharge. I must run an internal diagnostic.
  • Gravity Falls: Goldie, the malfunctioning Gold Rush themed novelty dispenser that Stan keeps in the Mystery Shack, drips a Single Tear of oil when Stan decides to throw him away. Given the nature of Gravity Falls, Goldie may or may not be alive.
  • In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Mr. Krabs sheds a tear while frozen solid after Plankton manages to steal his secret formula.
    • In the "SpongeBob B.C." episode, Squidward chooses between two wooden clubs to carry out with him. When he takes one outside, the one he put down sheds a tear and is actually heard crying.
  • In the episode "Firecake" from The Saga of Noggin the Nog, the statues (revealed to be hibernating guardians of the Sorceror's sword) can cry when faced with death/rejection.
  • The Transformers Animated episode "Along Came A Spider" ended with Blackarachnia crying. Justified, since Blackarachnia is part organic.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series has Aya, a robot, shed a tear at one point. Her body is a collection of smaller drones held together by wires and Green Lantern energy, making it impossible for her to cry in such a manner.

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life at least one Ancient Greek temple used machines to make their statues cry blood. Basically, the head of the statue was hollow and they had tubes running to the corners of the eyes where fluid would come out. It wasn't really blood but some other red fluid, since blood would clot up too much. [Seen on the History Channel on Ancient Discoveries.]
  • The Catholic Church has, among its various oddities, statues and paintings -- typically of the Virgin Mother -- that are said to cry tears and other substances. Possibly related to the Greek thing above. The Church itself tends to be very cautious on the matter, however, and has discarded 99% of the reports; the exceptions include a weeping statue from Syracuse, Italy (approved by local bishops in 1953) and the wooden statue from the Our Lady of Akita apparitions (approved by the Niigata bishop John Soujirou Ito in 1984, and by the Holy See in 1988).
  • Tiny drops of oil still leak from the wreck of the USS Arizona, one of the battleships lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Many claim that these are the "black tears" being shed by the ship as it mourns for the 1,177 sailors and marines who died aboard her. And, according to legend, the tears will only stop once the very last Arizona veteran dies.
  • There's a story, possibly apocryphal, about Peter the Great inspecting a monastery known for miraculously weeping icons. He examined one icon and found out it had a hidden reservoir with oil. Then he said: "If the icons keep weeping oil, the monks' arses will start weeping blood!" Since then, no icons wept in Russia for a suspiciously long time, until Peter was safely dead.


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