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Tears of Fear

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Whatever's coming, it isn't good news.

When humans cry, their tears are used to convey various emotions — most commonly, anger, happiness, sadness, and when having a breakdown. But tears also fall if people are scared out of their wits. If this happens, it may or may not be an indicator that they are slipping into insanity or panic as a result of the fear.

Can be used in a serious sense to show a character becoming emotionally broken or a comedic sense to show the character as a big baby. Never used as a form of Manly Tears. For many, this is Truth in Television.

Not to be confused with '80s New Wave band Tears for Fears.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the final scene of the last episode of Monster we are treated to a flashback of Nina's and Johann's childhood where their mother is forced to give one of them up for an experiment. The two hold onto their mother's hand begging her not to let go, and their mother hesitates before handing over Nina who proceeds to scream "No!" in horror as tears spring from her eyes.
  • Lovely Complex: Risa was either crying or was close to crying when she was threatened by Mimi.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji often indulged in this, especially in The End of Evangelion. Asuka sheds those as well, during her Mind Rape.
  • Nina in Code Geass does this during her spectacular Freak Out.
    • Also Kallen when she's about to be shot in her prison cell.
  • Serial Experiments Lain: Happens quite a bit with Lain and Alice being the main suppliers of fearful tears. Special mention goes to the final episode where Masami Eiri turns into a grotesque gooey fleshy monstrosity that uses its giant tongue to try to eat Lain and Alice. Alice is so freaked out by this point that her sanity takes a sharp nosedive and she hits Lain out of fear while tears stream down her face.
    • In episode 2 a suicidal drug user does this constantly.
  • Gohan in Dragon Ball Z until about the Frieza saga. Used also in Dragon Ball for weak villains, bystanders, and sometimes a character encountering the next level of Training from Hell.
    • Then again, Gohan is four to five during the above-stated time period. A better example would be Vegeta when he finally realizes he can't defeat Frieza. In the manga, the narrator even points out this is the first time Vegeta has actually cried out of fear.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • (North) Italy will start crying when he gets scared, which happens fairly often. His brother, Romano (South Italy) is prone to this as well, just not as frequently.
    • America did this when he was little because England's expression scared him. As an adult, he got teary-eyed from fear while watching horror movies with Japan one night.
    • Russia can only sob and make futile cries of "Go home!" when his sister Belarus literally tears down his door to demand that they get married. Proof that even Yanderes can fall into this trope when there's an even bigger Yandere in the room.
    • This is usually Latvia's, Estonia's, and Lithuania's response whenever they have to deal with Russia.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Envy does this when reduced to his true form and Roy prepares to kill him in one shot.
    • In his final appearance, Father, begins to weep as he is dragged back into the Gate of Truth.
    • Also, Falman's eyes are streaming as he refuses to open the doors to Central HQ for Fuhrer Bradley. It's the exception to the rule that these are not Manly Tears - he's obviously just this side of wetting his pants, but standing up to a man who just totaled a tank with nothing but a sabre and a hand grenade takes brass ones, however pathetic you look doing it.
    • A scientist involved in creating the immortal legion cries as he is about to be eaten by his own creations.
    • In the 2003 anime version, when Barry the Chopper threatens to kill Ed after capturing him, Ed sheds a few tears of fear as he tries to escape. Winry, having been captured by Barry and at his mercy, does this too.
  • Ghost Stories: In episode 11, the normally brash, foul-mouthed Satsuki breaks down in tears of fear and despair after a good time being stalked by Merry Mary. It probably has something to do with the fact that Mary is a living doll that never goes away and is bent on torturing her for fun.
  • Hellsing: Rip van Winkle's fight against Alucard was unique for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that she spends half the fight sobbing uncontrollably in sheer terror.
    • Not quite unique, given that Luke Valentine had the same reaction to Alucard removing one of his restrictions.
    • In the 7th OVA Seras is Mind Raped into reliving her horrible childhood. She cried out of sadness and fear as she was forced to watch her mother's corpse being raped and she cries as she is reliving said memories in the present.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean: During the final chapters Emporio spends most of it crying in sheer terror, and it's no wonder why: Father Pucchi just succeeded in killing all the heroes, including the previously undefeated Jotaro, using a stand which accelerates time, causing the Earth to start completely eroding and changing, eventualy leading to the whole universe being reset with every living being being unnafected and conscious about the whole thing. So, from a group that included a convicted killer that can destroy his victims from the outside out and someone who can freeze time, the only survivor is a kid with a power that has no combat use, and he's being chased by a villain who doesn't want to leave any loose ends.
  • Karin: A little girl does this in chapter 13 when confronted with a serial killer who escaped from the Creepy Doll Boogie-kun.
    • Karin does this when asked by Anju if she wants to listen to her tell the history of her collection of creepy dolls.
  • The eponymous character from Kaiji, along with other people, did this while crossing a beam bridge. As a matter of fact, this is a recurring trope in this series. We get to see a lot of men breaking into tears as they face the despair derived from the Absurdly High Stakes Games.
  • Future Diary: Yukiteru does this a lot, especially in the beginning.
    • The other Yuno does this in chapter 53 after she's been stabbed by the first Yuno, as she's writing "Help me" on the wall with her own blood.
    • Minene does this in the anime as she's getting her bad eye pulled out as torture.
    • Eighth does this as she faces death by Yuno.
  • In the anime of Umineko: When They Cry, Rosa Ushiromiya is terrified to the point of a torrent of tears while she is being forced to eat her own daughter Maria's living, laughing, disembodied head.
  • Keiichi from Higurashi: When They Cry combines this with Tears of Remorse and Berserker Tears in the first arc.
  • Minoru of Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru does this during the two times he is almost raped by Pedro.
  • In Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest Kuroda takes a break from blowing up stuff (and students) to try to rape Student Council President Noriko with his gun. When Kuroda announces these intentions, poor Noriko reacts by wetting herself and crying to the point where her face is a mess. Fortunately, Inugami interrupts him.
    • Later, Haguro starts crying and shivering in pure fear when Inugami shows him his werewolf form. Then he starts Laughing Mad and things just go downhill from there.
    • Aoshika does this as she's being gang-raped.
    • A guy Inugami threatens as to Haguro's whereabouts does this.
  • Tsuna of Reborn! (2004) does this at times.
  • Gankutsuou: Two men who are going to be executed do this during the public execution scene.
  • Makoto does this in the last episode of School Days as he's being stabbed to death by Sekai.
  • Lunar during the 2nd half of the 2nd My Bride is a Mermaid OVA, when everyone else starts disappearing.
  • Takada in episode 35 of Death Note after Mello has kidnapped her.
    • Light does this in the final episode as he lays on the ground writhing in pain from after Matsuda shot him and he realizes he's all out of options and he's going to die.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura does this when she's frightened by how much Sasuke has changed as a result of the Curse Seal which makes him act more violent and sadistic.
    • Sasuke did this when he was younger after he found out his beloved brother was the one who killed their entire clan and is terrified his brother will kill him.
    • Naruto himself did this as he was being mind raped by an Itachi lookalike in part II.
    • Haku also does this in the anime, when his father just killed his mother and is about to kill him.
    • Sakura does this in episode 5 after Kakashi hit her with a genjutsu that made her see an injured Sasuke.
  • Bleach:
    • Omaeda as he's being chased by Barragan. It's an understandable reaction considering Barragan has the power to age flesh and bone into nothingness. Even more justified in that if even a bit of his black flame touches you, you'll have to remove that part of your body, or you'll die without Barragan needing to put all the flame around you.
    • Dondochakka frequently does this.
    • Keigo in chapter 413 as he's running for his life from Aizen.
    • Hiyori after Hollow Ichigo nearly strangles her to death.
    • A notable one comes from the Sternritter Robert Accutrone in Chapter 603 when he realizes that Yhwach is about to unleash his Auswählen on all Quincies that were left on the battlefield.
  • Poor Tetsunosuke of Peacemaker Kurogane is prone to enduring traumatic situations such as running for his life so he occasionally lapses into this.
  • Lenalee does this in chapter 88 of D.Gray-Man as the Millennium Earl terrorizes her.
    • Allen also gets these as he's taking a glimpse at Kanda's horrific childhood memories, though "tears of simultaneous fear, frustration, betrayal, and rage" might be a better description.
  • Perfect Blue: Mima during the rape scene, during her Freak Out moment after returning to her apartment, and as she's running for her life from Rumi.
  • Betrayal Knows My Name: Yuki during episode 13 when his best friend Kanata reveals himself as Big Bad Reiga, tries to kill him with ice spears and he notices Reiga's stabbed Takashiro with the ice slabs because he shielded him.
  • Sukisho: Sora as he's suddenly bombarded with memories of his horrific childhood, as he's struggling not to stab Minato after being mind raped into doing so, and as Minato decides to walk into the knife as his way of atoning for his past sins.
  • A lot of characters in Highschool of the Dead do this, what with all the scary zombies running around. A notable example occurs at the beginning when a schoolgirl gets attacked by a zombified student and she starts crying profusely. Her friend soon gets attacked as well and cries in the same fashion.
  • Sousuke of Full Metal Panic! breaks down in tears when he is left behind to be killed by an atomic bomb heading his way, sobbing "I don't want to die." Out of all the horrific things he's seen and near-death experiences he has been through, this is the only time it happens.
  • Numerous ship passengers do this in chapter 55 of Black Butler as they're being chased by zombies.
  • Used in Claymore, the source of the current page pic.
  • Happens at least twice in Franken Fran: to the female spy from chapter 5, and to officer Kuhou in chapter 13. Both times, Fran was about to operate on them, which make the young women's tears more than justified.
  • The class rep does this when being scared in an episode of Ouran High School Host Club.
  • In chapter 13 of No. 6 Safu has been kidnapped and is in the correctional facility against her will about to be operated on and feels tears come to her eyes upon learning this.
    • Shion does this in episode 3 when he is being taken over by the "wasp".
  • In chapter 16 of Koharu no Hibi Mika does this as she's confronted by Koharu.
  • In Deadman Wonderland Ganta does this understandably as he's being forced to watch the Carnival of Corpses.
  • In SHUFFLE! Asa does this as Kaede is threatening her with a knife.
  • Speed Grapher: A woman does this as a Depraved Dentist approaches her with his "instruments".
  • Fruits Basket: Takei does this after being threatened by Black Haru. Tohru also does this in the woods when she thinks someone ominous is sneaking up on her and she hits the person with her bag but it turns out to be Kyo.
  • Devil & Devil: In volume 1, a young girl has them as she's being transformed into an infant.
  • Casca of Berserk gets these during the Eclipse as she's being confronted by demons as well as when she is raped to insanity.
  • Skuld does this in Ah! My Goddess when Aoshima tries to take her away to rape her.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Two guys do this in chapter 38 of the second manga season after Akuha threatens them.
  • When the Arc Villain Master Hades in Fairy Tail finally manages to lure Big Bad Zeref out of hiding, his pissed-off expression alone is enough to render what remains of the Quirky Miniboss Squad paralyzed and crying in terror.
  • In Gakuen Babysitters, all the toddlers have displayed this for comedic effect at one point or another. Kazuma has these the most, being the resident crybaby.
  • Sakuya Kumashiro from Tenchi in Tokyo lets out a mix of this, a brief Big "NO!" and Broken Tears when she's about to be reabsorbed into Yuugi, her creator.
  • A common response to impending death in Attack on Titan, like it happened to Carla Jaeger right before she was at the receiving end. Quite a few soldiers break down crying at the mere thought of having to actually face the Titans in battle, well aware that they are members of a Redshirt Army.
    • Sasha is prone to this but still manages to be a Cowardly Lion when the chips are down.
    • Krista can barely contain her tears, she's so terrified of what is to come when she enlists in the Survey Corps.
    • Bertolt weeps hysterically both times that Mikasa tries to kill him. One would hardly blame him.
  • Mami had these in Episode 10 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica when during an earlier timeline, the others found out about the Awful Truth about the fate of the Magical Girl after seeing Sayaka transform into the Witch Oktavia von Seckendorff. After managing to put Sayaka out of her misery, Mami has a Freak Out upon realizing that if that is the fate of all Magical Girls, then it would have better to die as a human (or at least humanlike) rather than suffer as a Witch. The tears she cries after shooting Kyouko were a mix of this and utter despair at being alone again.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Chimchar's 'battle' with Paul's Ursaring. Seeing Ursaring bearing down on him with a Hammer Arm not only drives Chimchar to terrified tears, but also makes him pass out. One can hardly blame the little monkey: as if a grizzly bear ten times your size trying to smash him like a pancake isn't bad enough, he's also under the influence of the fear-inducing Secret Power attack. Through the eyes of Chimchar, the already-intimidating Ursaring appears downright nightmarish.
  • Mekakucity Actors:
    • Episode 11 shows us a flashback of Ayano's suicide two years ago, and she's shown breaking down into tears just before she goes through with it.
    • Hiyori cries every time she's killed in Episode 4. While she's also shown to be smiling, the horror of each death (hit by a truck, impaled multiple times, falling a great distance) and the fact that she's just a child makes it obvious that she's crying out of fear.
  • One Piece:
    • After being horribly abused by a gangster named Sibir, E.M. Pino would start crying with terror whenever she thought about what would happen if she didn't follow his commands.
  • Sakura no Ichiban!: A would-be victim of "The Jack The Ripper" in the second chapter sheds tears of fright while he is pursuing her and before he almost kills her, Asami jumps to her rescue.
  • Played for Laughs in Chapter 10 of Asteroid in Love. Mikage gives out this when Ao gives her a huge Death Glare when she raises the possibility of Mira moving to the Geology Group.
  • Dorothea of Akame ga Kill! breaks down massively in the face of death where she is about to be killed by Leone. With her body starting to undergo Rapid Aging to reveal the old woman underneath her childish facade, her eyes are full of terrified tears as she begs for Leone not to kill her. Her begging goes as well as you'd expect, and she ends up Squashed Flat with a boulder.

    Comic Books 
  • Near the end of Infinite Crisis, Alexander Luthor Jr. nearly kills Nightwing with a blast of antimatter. Batman is so enraged he's willing to throw away his principles by drawing a gun and presses the barrel right into Alex's forehead, seconds away from blowing his brains out. Forced to face his own mortality after all of his delusions of godhood, Alexander starts tearing up in fear.
  • In All Fall Down, Portia weeps at the climax— not for her own sake, but for what the Modern Prometheus could do to her friends.
  • During one of the first appearances of Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #300, Mary Jane Watson underwent this after the former freaked her out. Later Spider-Man, dressed in his black suit (which resembled Venom's of course), was approaching her and she mistook him for the villain. Peter lampshaded this, commenting that Mary Jane was a tough girl and wouldn't easily be scared, so whatever freaked her out like that must have been something truly frightening (as he himself would eventually find out).
  • Issue #20 of The Powerpuff Girls, "Bow Jest," has Blossom losing her hairbow during the girls' battle with Princess Morbucks. Her eyes well up with tears, then she freaks out before going after her bow.
  • Various characters in Fables do this when their lives are in danger or they're badly wounded. Even characters who are recognised badasses do this, and they don't get belittled for it; the comic treats war, violence, and death very seriously, and nobody suggests that crying when faced with a horrible death or in terrible pain is the mark of a coward.
  • Happens in Empowered quite a few times. Usually to Emp, but it happens occasionally to others. Despite the generally light tone of the comic, it actually treats trauma very seriously and being absolutely petrified when in danger of death or mutilation is not considered to be embarrassing by any character who isn't a total moron/assholenote .
  • Figment (Disney Kingdoms): When separated from Figment, Blair, and Fye in the Nightmare Nation, Chimera curls up and starts sobbing after being reminded of her (unrevealed to the audience) fears.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy sheds these very often. They work all the time on Germany and Japan.
  • Child of the Storm has, in the sequel, Carol Danvers' little brother, Steven 'Stevie' Danvers, after they're kidnapped by vampires, on the entirely reasonable grounds that he's a thirteen-year-old boy - and unlike his older sister, is not a combat-hardened Super Soldier - and they're monsters that don't particularly need him alive and have quite seriously speculated about eating him, and only aren't as part of a deal Carol made to come quietly.
  • Loved and Lost: Fluttershy, who is terrified of dragons, sheds these when she and Rainbow Dash are exiled to the Dragon Lands by Prince Jewelius.
  • The Very Secret Diary: Ginny starts shedding these when she realizes who Tom Riddle REALLY is. She starts shedding more as Tom drags her into the Chamber of Secrets, cruelly taunting her with how he will kill her, Harry, and her brother.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction What You Wish For, Lori cries out of fear that she is insane or that her attempt to exorcise a supposedly-possessed Carol will kill her.
  • the superhero game: Kyle Rayner used to induce this reaction back in his heyday as the White Lantern, and more than a few shed these when he shows up back in his prime, spoiling for a fight.
    Villains used to cry when they heard Kyle Rayner was in town.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Turning Red, Tyler cries after being attacked by Mei.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Occurs during the scene before Stanley rapes Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Blanche is feeling very intimidated by Stanley's drunken advances on her so she cries, causing her mascara to run down her face.
  • Abominable: Amanda is visibly crying as the monster pulls her back up by her climbing rope and looks her over hungrily.
  • During the second half of the movie in which the Titanic is sinking, pretty much everybody is now clearly horrified and sheds a few tears here and there.
  • Stan Laurel in several of his performances.
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc is pretty much 80 minutes of tears of fear (or faith, or desperation, or..). And it works really, really well.
  • Laurie in Halloween does this when she comes across the corpses of her friends, causing her to flee the room screaming and begins sobbing in the hallway. Also occurs at the end of the movie when she realizes Michael is still alive and still after her.
  • Tomoka does this in Ju-on 2 as Kayako coils her hair around Tomoka's neck and strangles her to death.
  • Bam Margera was reduced to tears in the second Jackass film after being locked on a bus with a cobra. Then he managed to jump through the bars of the door trapping him in.
  • Casey (played by Drew Barrymore) does this in the infamous opening of the first Scream (1996) movie where she is being stalked and harassed by the killer.
    • Sidney too when the killer chases her for the first time.
  • Rachel in War of the Worlds (2005) often cries when something traumatic is happening. It's justified since she's a 10-year old girl.
  • In Inside Man one of the hostages tries to hide his phone from the bank robbers and starts crying when he thinks they're about to kill him.
  • When Missy is hypnotizing Chris in Get Out (2017), he starts off vaguely uncomfortable with her questions, and ends up stunned and frozen, with tears dripping down his face.
  • Wheatley, after having spent most of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom being a ruthless and somewhat sociopathic Great White Hunter, is reduced to this when confronted with the Indoraptor. Justified as it had just ripped his arm off.
  • In the climax of Jason's Lyric, Lyric breaks into tears when she's cornered and held at gunpoint by her boyfriend, Jason's, Jerkass younger brother, Joshua.

  • Blood Angels: In Deus Encarmine, Adept Pellis cries these as the Dark Apostle breaks into his rooms.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is implied to cry after the lynch mob departs. It's likely that he was reacting to the fear of the mob hurting his children. As Scout describes:
    I turned to Atticus, but Atticus had gone to the jail and was leaning against it with his face to the wall. I went to him and pulled his sleeve. "Can we go home now?" He nodded, produced his handkerchief, gave his face a going-over and blew his nose violently.
  • That Hideous Strength: This occurs when Merlin realizes that redemption equals being possessed and killed by an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: At one point in The Vor Game, Miles Vorkosigan begins crying in front of the villainous commander of a rival mercenary fleet. She thinks it's hardly in his nature to weep in fear, and she's right; he's just violently allergic to her perfume, which she finds hilarious.
  • Flashman: At the Charge, Flash bawls his eyes out with shock, fear, and self-pity after the prince he was minding gets killed. Fortunately for him, it is taken for 'manly grief'.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: In The Ersatz Elevator, after Esme pushes the children down the elevator shaft, they find the Quagmire siblings locked in cages, terrified and looking like they've been crying.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Lindsey asks if it's all right to cry when she's afraid — it doesn't mean she's whiney.
  • They aren't shed — big girls don't cry in A Brother's Price — but Princess Rennsaellaer has to blink back tears when her fiance is kidnapped, as she's trying to enact a Roaring Rampage of Rescue.
  • Tash sheds some of these while running from The Virus in Galaxy of Fear: Spore.
  • Myth Adventures: At the very end of Myth-ing Persons, Skeeve catches up with Vic, the vampire fugitive he's been chasing for the entire book; when Vic starts crying out of sheer terror, Skeeve realizes that he's been running so hard because he thinks Skeeve is here to kill him.
  • In A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man, Tony Reisman cries some of these when he learns that he was "impregnated" with hundreds of wasp larvae which are currently chewing their way out of him through his stomach.
  • In the first novel of the Temeraire series, Laurence finds his little ten-year-old runner, Emily, sobbing by the covert walls, fearing for what might happen to her mother, a Senior Captain who had just been called away to action against Napoleon. Laurence brings her inside and consoles her with a cup of hot cocoa, and his own tale of how he cried himself to sleep for his entire first week at sea after he ran away to the Navy at age twelve.
  • Sheila Rae, the Brave: Sheila Rae cries when she's afraid due to being lost in the woods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The character Joyce does this in the episode "The Tale of the Vacant Lot" as she finds disgusting marks on her body as a result of a Deal with the Devil.
  • In Chernobyl, Toptunov begins to cry while opening the water valves to try and cool a reactor core that isn't there anymore, knowing that both he and Akimov are exposing themselves to a lethal amount of radiation. It's combined with guilt because he's also afraid that he's the one responsible for whatever it was that went wrong.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's eyes are noticeably damp during his Mind Rape in "Midnight".
    • Same with Donna when she's in the circle of mirrors in "Turn Left".
    • Clara is fighting to control these in "Deep Breath" when the Monster of the Week is threatening her with death and torture. She freely admits to being "bloody terrified of dying" but while her composure cracks badly, her wits remain unimpaired.
  • River Tam of Firefly often falls into sobbing fits during her worst mental breakdowns and panic attacks, particularly in The Movie.
    • Kaylee (and probably half the audience with her) cries tears of sheer terror in "Objects In Space" when Jubal Early threatens to rape her.
  • In the season 2 finale of Game of Thrones, Sam sobs in fear when he meets a White Walker and his army of wights.
  • A lot of the characters cry in this manner in the season seven finale episode "Sanctuary" of Grey's Anatomy. Rather understandable really, seeing as how there's a shooter in the hospital.
  • In the finale of Glue, James, who is Alone with the Psycho, starts crying after having his leg broken during a Thwarted Escape attempt. It all goes downhill from there.
  • Legion: In "Chapter 22", Charles Xavier is so overwhelmed with fear when he's telepathically linked to Amahl Farouk through Cerebro that a tear spills from his right eye.
  • Leverage: Hardison does this when he is buried alive in "Grave Danger".
  • Lost: In the first episode, Kate is scared to the point of tears of the whatever-it-is that tore the pilot out of the plane.
  • Shirley Bellinger of Oz does this right before she is hanged.
  • In Prison Break Tweener does this in his cell while T-Bag serenades him and says that he's "coming for you."
  • Punky Brewster cries tears of fear in the episode "Ouch" when she learns the stabbing pain in her stomach is her appendix and she'll need an operation for it.
  • Raven has a few instances of the child contestants who are scared of heights crying from fear during their attempts at the challenge Leap of Faith, Kinia sobbing during her failed attempt at it in series 2 being the most notable one.
  • Supernatural: Misha Collins (no, not Castiel, Misha Collins) in "The French Mistake".
  • In The X-Files episode "Pusher", Scully tears up while trying to desperately pull Mulder from his trance induced by a crazy man who can will people to do things with his mind. Actually, both Mulder and Scully are near tears in that scene, as Mulder is forced to include Scully in his and Modell's game of Russian Roulette.
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "Another Mother", a teenage boy is kidnapped. He's already displaying this trope, but it kicks into high gear when one of the kidnappers starts coming towards him with an incredibly creepy look on his face, leaving little doubt as to what he has in mind.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Book of Revelation starts it off with a prophecy concerning Jesus:
      Look! He is coming with clouds,
      and every eye will see Him,
      even those who pierced Him.
      And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.
      Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
    • In Revelation chapter 18, the merchants of the earth weep at the destruction of the city of Babylon, realizing that the end of the earthly kingdoms ruled by man has come and the Day of the Lord is at hand.

  • Papageno in The Magic Flute cries when he gets lost in the vaults under the temples and worries that he'll be trapped there forever and starve to death.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Esmeralda cries when the reality of her death sentence begins to sink in and she realizes she will be burned at the stake the following morning.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Overlaps with Broken Tears and Villainous Breakdown during V's route of Mystic Messenger when V tells Rika that he never actually loved her in the first place and that, on his end, their relationship was just him trying to figure out who he was through her. She completely breaks down, clutching at her chest with tears streaming down her face, frantically trying to figure out why she was never good enough for him and what she must have done wrong to make him stop loving her, hysterical at the thought that she's never been truly loved by anyone.

  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Happens to Annie and Parley when they face Jeanne in the etheric world in chapter 30.
  • This probably explains Karkat's reaction in Homestuck to seeing Gamzee apparently advance upon him while holding the Warhammer of Zillyhoo. (Contrast to other characters in both Homestuck and Problem Sleuth, who've also shed tears at the sight of the hammer, but purely out of wonderment at its sheer splendor.)

    Web Original 
  • No Evil: Corn is known for this, seen in "And the Raven Brought Fire" and "Soft Child."
  • In the review of The Shining, Rachel cries a lot when The Nostalgia Critic is scaring her.
  • Near the end of the 9th episode of Glitchtale's 2nd season, Papyrus suffers this courtesy HATE causes an illusion of Gaster turning to dust in his arms before looking at it as it's about to kill him.
  • RWBY: Emerald weeps silent tears of terror as Salem herself prepares to torture the truth out of her.
  • DeathBattle: Omni-Man vs Homelander has Homelander whimpering and crying in terror after Omni-Man tears his lower jaw off its hinges and shoves his heart down his throat.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode called “Ghost Jeffy” Luigi and Mario try to find Jeffy’s ghost so they can bring him back to life. But once they find him, Luigi starts crying because of his fear of ghosts. Luckily, Mario helps him surpass his fear and brings Jeffy back to life.
  • Happy Tree Friends: In "A Class Act", Toothy is singing a Christmas carol for the school play, but he breaks into tears once his friends start getting gruesomely injured around him.

    Western Animation 
  • Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Boogie Frights" after being scared by Buttercup.
  • Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have done this a few times.
  • In Teen Titans:
    • Terra does this at the end of the second "Aftershock" episode when Slade begins controlling her body through the special suit she's wearing.
    • Raven in "The End".
  • A barely teenaged Zuko of Avatar: The Last Airbender does this in the flashback which explains how he got his scar. Ozai is about to burn him as punishment for talking back to him, the camera shows a Zuko who turns to look at his father while about to cry in complete terror... These are simultaneously tears of absolute heartbreak, given he's being forced to face the fact that his father doesn't love him at all. He goes back into denial about it for a few years afterward, though.
    • Another example is Toph (who is blind) crying when she and Sokka are hanging from the airship. With only Sokka's hand for contact - and her grip slipping - she cannot see a thing, and only knows she's high in the air.
    • Katara also does this when Hama controls her with bloodbending.
  • Doug: Doug Funnie in the episode, "Doug's Secret Song," when it looks like all the girls from school are about to see his goofy video of the song he wrote for Patti.
  • Randy Marsh does this in the South Park episode "Sarcastaball" during a brief breakaway from the "sarcasm sickness" that's taking over him.
  • Louise does this in the Bob's Burgers episode "Large Brother, Where Fart Thou?" when she's about to be beaten up by Logan.
  • In one CatDog episode, Dog's instincts take over and he starts chasing Cat and trying to attack him. When Cat is finally cornered, he starts crying out of fear.
  • DuckTales (2017): To hammer home just how abusive Magica is, Lena starts crying when Magica (who has just regained physical form) approaches her... to draw her in for a hug. What makes this even more disturbing is that this was part of a magic-induced nightmare - Magica is just that abusive for Lena to have those mental scars.
  • Todd McFarlane's Spawn: Jason Wynn (of all people) is utterly terrified when Spawn confronts him and is in tears when he thinks Spawn is about to kill him.

    Real Life 
  • Roger Ebert noticed this when he first reviewed Night of the Living Dead (1968) with a predominate child audience. He noticed that this trope was happening a lot with the kids inadvertently experiencing the first really serious horror film of its era.
  • As said above most people do this for many reasons, especially children.