Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manly Tears / Live-Action TV

Go To

Manly Tears in live-action TV.


    open/close all folders 

    # 
  • Jack Bauer has a big manly cry at the end of Season 3 of 24.
    • Tony Almeida also briefly bursts into Manly Tears when he finds out his wife isn't going to die after all.
    • Jack also breaks down after the deaths of Teri Bauer, David Palmer, Tony Almeida, Curtis Manning, Bill Buchanan, and Renee Walker.
Advertisement:

    A 
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: Watson spends most of his time early in the reunion episode "Hunt for the Tiger" crying over presumed dead Holmes. But when Holmes finally reveals himself, alive, to his oldest friend, it's Holmes — "brain without a heart" Sherlock Holmes — who buries his face his hands and weeps. The cost of his isolation from his London family comes clear in those tears.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Phil Coulson's eyes well up a few times over the course of the series, usually whenever one of his team/family is hurt or feared dead, but he breaks down and cries when he's reminded that his one-time lover never got to say goodbye when she thought he was dead.
  • In the Season 2 premiere of Archie Bunker's Place, "Archie Alone", Archie sheds these as he laments the death of his wife Edith, who died of a stroke shortly before the episode's premiere.
    Archie: It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be the first one to go. I always used to kid you about you going first. You know I never meant none of that and that morning when you were laying there. I was shaking you and yelling at you to go down and fix my breakfast. I didn't know. You had no right to leave me that way!
  • Played with in the finale of Arrested Development. Michael has been accused of being a "robot" for his inability to cry, mainly by his brother GOB, who cries in a decidedly unmanly, blubbering fashion when any of his family demonstrates actual affection for him. Then when Michael is making a speech about how the past couple of years of trying to save the Bluth company have paid off, he sheds a few Manly Tears...which everyone present finds disturbing and pathetic. GOB mocks him for it.

    B 
  • Babylon 5 had some moments:
    • G'Kar shed Manly Tears a couple of times, once after his vision of his father, G'Quon and G'Lan (a vision given him by Kosh) in "Dust to Dust"; and another episode with himself and Delenn both in tears when Delenn is apologizing for holding back information on the Shadows from him when they were aiding the Centauri in their war against the Narn, which resulted in millions getting killed on his homeworld.
    • Sheridan chokes up a bit when he talks to his father, which for all they know might be the last time, right before he makes the decision to secede the station from Earth in "Severed Dreams".
      • And in "Sleeping in Light", he and Delenn are both tearful their last night together before he departs for the Rim to his death.
    • Vir in "The Long Night" after he assassinates the Emperor.
  • Band of Brothers:
    • Episode 9 "Why We Fight" features the discovery of a concentration camp. Liebgott, who is Jewish himself, is forced to translate to the prisoners that they'll have to close the camp back up before they can return with supplies. Afterwards, he's seen collapsing crying into his hands on the wagon.
    • One episode earlier, Private Vest sobs uncontrollably as a wounded soldier dies in front of him. At the end of the episode, when Captain Winters is promoted to *Major* Winters, he's seen wiping his eyes.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978)
    • "Saga of a Star World" - Colonel Tigh is seen weeping among with Rigel, Athena, and others devastated by the scene of their former home and people slaughtered in the Cylon Attack on Caprica and the colonies.
    • "Fire In Space" - Tears were seen in Apollo's eyes during the aftermath of the fire raging in the Galactica that he and Starbuck had to put out.
    • "War of the Gods, Part 2" - Starbuck cries when Apollo takes the hit of Count Iblis' attack meant for Sheba, and again when the Beings of Light resurrect the said warrior.
    • "The Return of Starbuck" - Boomer is forced to leave Starbuck behind in battle.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003). Tough veterans Bill Adama and Saul Tigh weep on several tearjerker occasions.
    • The normally cantankerous Dr. Cottle looks very close to shedding some manly tears after President Roslin heartfully thanks him for keeping her alive for so many years.
    • Helo breaks down terribly after shooting Sharon so she can resurrect on board the Cylon ship and rescue their daughter.
    • Joseph Adama on the prequel series Caprica, to the extent where it infuriates his hardcore Tauron brother Sam.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Giles broke down in Buffy's arms after Angelus killed Jenny. Giles goes to confront Angelus, nearly gets himself killed, and Buffy rescues him and begs him, "Don't leave me. I can't do this alone." He's not the only one sobbing by that point.
    • Giles also comes close to weeping in "Helpless", when Buffy learns that he has drugged her to subject her to the Cruciamentum. He begs her to let him earn back her trust, his voice shaking, tears in his eyes.
    • When Buffy returns to her friends and family in "Dead Man's Party", Giles is in the kitchen listening to them talk and laugh, and has to stop what he's doing and choke back the tears.
    • Oz cries when leaving behind Willow and Sunnydale.
    • Angel breaks down and cries when he comes into his sanity and realizes he's back in Sunnydale after spending a hundred years in a hell dimension.
    • On Angel, Angel sobs when his infant son is taken to the darkest of the hell dimensions.
    • While neither Xander nor Giles cry at Buffy's death in the Season 5 finale, Spike is seen sobbing uncontrollably into his hands.

    C 
  • Castle is not the manliest of men, but he doesn't cry until Beckett gets shot in front of his eyes. It's a bit too messy to be a Single Tear, however: his face while the tears are dropping down his nose is heartbreaking.
    • And when Alexis is kidnapped, he loses it completely and ends up in tears multiple times.
    • In the episode "Last Call", when the mayor agrees to let Castle have a bottle of Mayor Beau James "J.J." Walker's legendary whiskey, in exchange for a generous donation to the NYPD Widows and Orphans fund, Esposito asks, "Castle, are you crying?" Castle admitted that yes, he was.
  • Leo in Charmed cries a river when Chris dies in his arms in the Season 6 finale...
    • Leo's tears are a tip-off to Phoebe at one point. The Source tells Phoebe that someone has died, but she doesn't believe him and sends Leo to check. When Leo returns crying, Phoebe knows immediately it is Piper who is dead.
    • Eighth season, Vaya Con Leos, saying good-bye to Piper.
  • Troy from Community likes to pretend he has these, being an ex-Jock when in truth he has more Tender Tears than the rest of the cast combined.
  • In the Season 5 episode of Criminal Minds entitled "100", the usually-stoic Hotch cries after hearing his ex-wife die over the phone and also after finding her body.
  • Nick Stokes in CSI episode "Turn, Turn, Turn" breaks down into Manly Tears after closing the case of the death of a teenage girl he had met three times previously in the course of one year (said meetings were at the motel her parents worked at that involved a chain of cases leading to her death).

    D 
  • The Daily Show's first episode after September 11th. Bring Kleenex.
    Jon: Luckily we can edit this.
  • Daredevil (2015): Matt Murdoch doesn't make it past the first SCENE before he weeps, talking about the death of his father, but it's the episode "Nelson V. Murdoch" that breaks both him and most viewers. When his loyal sidekick Foggy finds out Matt's the masked vigilante, he lays into Matt for lying to him and Matt just sobs, heartbroken. Their breakup is so traumatic that the next episode Karen hugs Matt and he bursts into tears all over again.
  • Even Dexter sheds a tear when he finally kills the Ice Truck Killer...probably because he's actually his biological brother, and the only person who understands and accepts Dexter for who he is.
    • Killing his brother was not what he wanted to do. The only reason he did it was to protect his sister. The Ice Truck Killer was the kind of monster Dexter would be without the Code of Harry and certain people supporting him.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor, aside from being fairly Hot-Blooded, expresses either amusement, indignation or rage more than any other emotions, which makes the flow of tears in the second and third season finales of the new series incredibly potent.
    • One of the characters in "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood" is a boy about to serve in World War I. In the end, the Doctor and Martha offer to take him with them, but he declines, saying a war is coming, and that he must take part (he saw the future from a bit of Phlebotinum). The Doctor and Martha's next stop is in the present day, where the boy is one of the last living soldiers of the Great War, as a memorial is held. Both the speech and the sight of that terrible and wonderful Doctor moves him to some well deserved manly tears.
    • "Utopia": Professor Yana sheds a few tears while struggling with the revelation that the Doctor and company are time travellers. It's also because these trigger reminders in his real personality.
    • Wilfred Mott is good for these moments in the fourth season, especially in "Turn Left" and especially in "Journey's End". He usually accompanies his tears with a manly salute to add that extra kick. Ramped Up to Eleven in "The End of Time".
    • Later and in a particularly heartwarming example, "A Good Man Goes to War". Rory breaks down a little when he first sees his baby daughter, Melody. Crying Roman with a baby...
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Several episodes that were among the highest acclaimed among fans features several of the male lead characters crying tears, usually when someone is in extreme danger or thought to be dead.
    • James Best arguably was the best at showing emotion, particularly in a pair of second-season episodes, "The Ghost of the General Lee" (he thinks he caused Bo and Luke to crash into a lake and drown; he admits here that he chased the Duke boys just for the sake of the chase), and just weeks later in "Grannie Annie," where he fears the worst possible fate for Boss Hogg after he's been kidnapped by a counterfeiter he pissed off. He also bawled when Flash was kidnapped by fortune-seekers and when he feared he made his "little fat buddy" disappear into thin air for real (when Boss goes missing during a magic show at the Boar's Nest).
    • On the flip side, Bo and Luke also cry when they think Rosco had drowned in the lake.

    E 
  • Invoked cynically in Season 2 of Entourage. Drama and Turtle want to learn if Vince's girlfriend is cheating on him. They're alarmed to find out that she and her ex-boyfriend rented Brian's Song, a good "guy cry" movie. The ex who's trying to win back the girl can cry without shame while watching this movie, showing how sensitive he is. Later, the guys are shown crying at watching the movie.
  • On ER, after mishandling a delivery that results in the death of the mother, Dr. Green dissolves into tears while on the train ride home. Later that season, stern, gruff Benton completely breaks down over the death of his beloved mother. Carter sheds these pretty often too—after his friend's suicide, while grappling with drug addiction, and most tragically after his son is stillborn.
Advertisement:

    F 
  • Farscape: John Crichton lampshades the trope at the end of The Peacekeeper Wars, telling his newborn son that Crichtons don't cry... "Often. Or for very long." In truth, he and Action Girl Aeryn Sun probably shed the same amount of Manly Tears over the series, which is not very much, given what they go through.
  • The Flashpoint episode "He Knows His Brother" sees Sam Braddock attending a funeral procession for one of his military friends who committed suicide. As the hearse passes him, he begins to cry.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has an episode so memorable that Will Smith has said people just call it "The Crying Episode": when Will's father visits only to abandon him yet again, and Will goes into a rant about how he doesn't need his father and never has... before breaking down and asking "how come he don't want me, man?" while tearfully embracing his Uncle Phil. Further proof that Will Smith is the foremost pretty-crying expert in Hollywood today.
    • The look on Uncle Phil's face indicates that he's very close to bursting into tears himself.
  • On the fourth season of Friday Night Lights , in the episode "The Son", Matt Saracen has to deal with the death of his father, as well as the complicated feelings he has about it, and it all finally comes out after he sees his father in his casket, and then goes over to the Taylors for dinner. He starts telling them how much he hated his father, and he starts crying. It's a real Tear Jerker moment.
  • Friends:
    • Ross breaks down when Rachel ends their relationship over his indiscretion with the copy girl, saying "This can't be it." She replies "Then how come it is?" Their fight and breakup were so devastating that the writers purposefully made all of Monica and Chandler's fights funny and not Serious Business.
    • Ross also cried when Rachel got on the plane to Paris despite his profession of love at the gate ("I really thought she'd stay")...but we all know she got off the plane in the end.
    • Another episode revolves around Chandler's inability to cry, causing Monica to call him a robot, but he finally "opens a gate" when he sees Rachel and Ross arguing again and then can't stop crying.
    • After that episode, we see Chandler struggling not to cry when he thinks his efforts to surprise Monica with a proposal have instead driven her away, then crying for real when he realizes that he hasn't, and getting pretty choked up when practically begging the pregnant young woman to let them adopt her baby.
    • Even Joey apparently once cried, although we don't get to see it when he lost a hand of poker ("Read 'em and weep!" "...And then he did").
    • At the end of the "Worst Best Man Ever" episode, all three of the guys wind up crying after Ross decides to make both Chandler and Joey his Best Man. Joey is so touched that as tears start rolling down his face he runs out of the veterinarian hospital to do his best to save face. Chandler and Ross try mocking him, even as the two of them start tearing up as well.
    • One episode has Ross buy Phoebe a bike after learning that she never had one as a kid and Chandler gets so moved he starts crying. Later when Joey later teases him over it, Chandler gets back at him by revealing that Joey always cries at the end of Titanic (1997).
  • In Fringe, Lincoln sheds a few tears when he is holding Fauxlivia as she gives birth and thinks she's died, then again when she revives.

    G 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Walking away from Ygritte's funeral pyre, we see Jon breaking down.
    • Howland Reed openly wept when his son Jojen told him of his vision-dream because he correctly interpreted that it meant his liege-lord and great friend Eddard Stark had been killed.
    • We can see Jorah struggling with his tears — both times when Daenerys dismisses him and once in the brothel.
  • On Glee, Will sheds a few tears at important moments like when he sees his baby on the sonogram for the first time, when he finds out that his wife had been faking her pregnancy for months, and when the glee club sings to him soon before they're to be disbanded.
    • Sam cries when it's revealed to all his friends that he and his family are homeless and the glee club bands together to help him out.
    • Pretty much every guy on the show (including Will, Sam, Puck, Blaine, Artie, Kurt, and Burt) cries during "The Quarterback", which is Finn (and by extension, his actor Cory Monteith)'s memorial episode.
  • In Glue, James sheds Manly Tears in almost every episode (occasionally crossing into Inelegant Blubbering, played for drama). To be fair, the death of a boyfriend, arrests, kidnappings, beatings, and near-death experiences will do that to you.
  • Oddly enough, the only male character shown crying on Gossip Girl is Chuck Bass. He shows up on Blair's bed crying after the death of his father, which is quite understandable. But he also cries in the Season 2 finale when Blair professes her deep love for him and he shoots her down.
    • And then he weeps some more in Season 2 when confronted with his guilt for running away when they pulled the plug on his dad.
    • Chuck is turning out to be quite the little crybaby. He cries again later on in Season 3 when Elizabeth tells him she's not his mother, confirming that he had been played for a fool by her and his uncle.
    • He doesn't even make it two episodes into the fourth season without crying. This time when Blair says she no longer loves him.
    • In Season 5, he doesn't cry until episode three. After Blair tells him she's pregnant and the baby is not his he cries on his bed while comforted by his dog.
    • Then he cries again in the eleventh episode of Season 5 when Blair gives him her umpteenth "I love you but I won't be with you" speech.
    • And again in the fifth season finale. After his not-so-dead father takes his company away from him and points out that he's risked everything time and time again for Blair even though she's done nothing but toy with him; Blair shows up, gives him a little speech on how she loves him even though she doesn't want to love him and expects him to take her back. Cue angry, manly tears.

    H 
  • While House's eyes have welled up plenty of times, he's only really cried twice. Once when he was apologizing to his hallucination/shooter in "No Reason" and the other time was when he found out what was wrong with Amber in "Wilson's Heart". And as with the Dr. Cox example above: House crying equals the audience suddenly having allergies.
    • Make that three times—in the Season 6 premiere, he sheds a few tears while having sex with Franka Potente. Now that's manly.
    • As if House crying out of all his guilt in "Wilson's Heart" wasn't bad enough, we get Wilson breaking down in tears about ten minutes later while holding on to Cuddy for dear life. For the love of God, writers, do you want me to dehydrate myself?
    • House and Wilson both cry when Wilson finds out he has terminal cancer.
    • Taub finally breaks down crying in the hallway after a day of denying his sadness over Kutner's suicide.
    • House is crying from pain and fake detoxing in "Under My Skin", and in "Both Sides Now" when he and Cuddy come in to Wilson's office, looks like he's been crying for a while. As would most people if they just found they'd lost all track of reality.

    J 
  • At the end of the JAG episode "Critical Condition", Harm breaks into tears of relief after learning that Bud has survived his operation.

    K 
  • Kintaros, one of the main Imagin characters in Kamen Rider Den-O. Period. His catchphrase is "You'll cry!", and he tends to shed said tears whenever Ryoutarou (or anyone else, for that matter) displays any kind of notable strength or determination.
  • Key & Peele: One of the earliest sketches involved Carvel (Peele) crying over his deceased friend Twigs since he'll miss all the good times when the two grown men Carvel and Twigs played with Care Bears together, used pillows as a fort and pretend the floor was lava. ("Those are some manly-ass tears right there!")
Advertisement:

    L 
  • Law & Order: UK: Matt Devlin struggles to hold these back when talking with friend/colleague Alesha Phillips after her rape, then lets loose with them at the end of the episode "Confession", berating himself for not being there for his friend neither when they were children and the latter was being abused by their priest, nor as an adult when he failed to realize that his friend was suicidal. His partner Ronnie, on the other hand, manages to hold these back while dealing with his death. Only upon talking with the mother of his killer does he finally break down and even then, it's only a brief moment of his voice catching when he describes Matt as "like... MY son".
  • Sam Tyler, Life On Mars, almost every single episode of the first series. So much that you're left wondering what the hell happened if he doesn't burst into tears at least once per episode. In the second series, John Simm put a moratorium on crying until the final episode, at which point it was more effective.
  • Little House on the Prairie has numerous instances of Manly Tears:
    • In A Promise To Keep Charles and Isaiah cry after Laura has helped Isaiah recover from his alcoholism.
    • In He Was Only Twelve Charles weeps when his son James has been healed.
    • In Times Are Changing Charles weeps twice (hugging Laura before leaving for Iowa, and when he has to say goodbye to his male friends at the farewell party) and Almanzo weeps for his dying brother.
    • In Home Again Charles cries Manly Tears four times! (This is the episode where Albert is addicted to morphine and goes through withdrawals.)
    • In the series finale The Last Farewell, when all the townfolk cry Manly Tears when they blow up the buildings and leave Walnut Grove.
  • The Lonesome Dove mini-series had its share of Manly Tears, but only once was it pointed out. July Johnson, a sheriff from Arkansas, had gone to find an outlaw. While he was away, his pregnant wife ran off to Nebraska to find a former lover of hers. July abandons his pursuit to go find her and it costs him his home, his job, and the lives of his son, deputy, and a girl. Months pass, and he ends up staying the night at the ranch of a woman named Clara. She reveals that July's wife had stayed there about a week ago. While there, she gave birth and abandoned the baby to Clara. Upon hearing this news, July bows his head and covers his eyes. Clara ushers her daughters into another room.
    Daughter: Why's that man cryin', momma?
    Clara: I reckin' he's been lookin' for his wife for a long time. He's heartsick.
    Daughter: But he's a man.
    Clara: Men have tears inside 'em, just as you.
  • Jack Shephard of Lost cries so frequently that fans (and not-so-fans) have a specific name for it — "Jears." Most of the male characters break down at one point or another, but Jack is the king and reigning Manly Tears champ of that island.
    • Other highly memorable moments include a suicidal John Locke in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" right before he is murdered by Ben, Ben's own tears for his murdered daughter Alex, and Desmond's absolute despair and breakdown after reading Penny's letter in "Live Together, Die Alone".

    M 
  • Merlin:
    • Uther Pendragon when his son Arthur is mortally wounded, falls to his knees and sobs his heart out in front of half the knights and people of Camelot. Later he sits by Arthur's bedside, tears still drying on his cheeks, trying to ease Arthur's suffering. For someone who's been the series' resident hardass up until that moment, it's incredibly moving.
    • Half the cast spends most of the episode Beauty and the Beast discussing that the only way to make Uther cry (in order to break an enchantment) is to endanger Arthur's life. And it works — thinking Arthur is dead, Uther cradles him and weeps, and the spell is lifted. Uther cries again when Morgana has been injured and in a coma, this time unable to keep from sobbing even in front of Merlin.
    • And again in the first episode of series 3, which is actually called "The Tears of Uther Pendragon". On being reunited with Morgana, he cries Manly Tears, which she then uses in a spell against him, making this trope an actual plot point.
    • Arthur has also had his fair share of Manly Tears; usually to do with his father Uther, or his beloved Guinevere.
    • Merlin himself has shed a few tears, generally when he loses loved ones. But in the finale, when he completely loses it upon losing Arthur, he outright sobs.
  • Miami Vice: Crockett and Tubbs both do this on several occasions, such as in "Smuggler's Blues", in which Crockett ponders over the Vietnam War with a hired veteran pilot.
  • The Middle takes a more humorous approach to this when Axl is dumped by his perfect girlfriend. Frankie seizes the opportunity to get affectionate with her son until they are found by Mike. The following day, Frankie plays an old answering machine tape containing Mike's weeping voice begging Frankie to take him back. Mike discovers this and feels the need to explain to Axl that women sometimes find it cute when men weep.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Detective Murdoch's eyes fill with tears when Dr. Julia Ogden tells him that her abortion left her barren. She also strongly implies that she wants to end their relationship because she knows how much he wants to have a family. He also cries when his sister tells him she has to return from Toronto to Montreal, and because she is an abbess, they are not going to see each other any more. It's very telling because he usually controls his emotions quite strongly, except for an occasional smirk or smile.
    • Also, she has told him that she's dying.
    • Inspector Brackenreid is on the brink of tears when his son got kidnapped and his kidnappers apparently killed him. He holds them because he doesn't want to cry in front of other people, but his eyes are full of tears and he's very, very shaken.
    • At the end of "The Murdoch Trap" when Murdoch brings Gillies' filmed confession and the judge orders the noose removed from Julia's neck, Murdoch embraces Julia and tears are visibly streaming down his face.

    N 
  • A female example on NCIS, when Gibbs gets blown up and is comatose. While every member of the team is moping, Action Girl Ziva nearly gets into a Cat Fight with Abby after making a bad joke. Later on, they cut to her just staring into the bathroom mirror, stone-faced, as Abby and Ducky's recriminations play in voice-over and tears roll down her face. She breaks down even harder when the time came that she brought Gibbs back to his old self both from reliving the time he shot her brother dead and her grief in general of getting Gibbs to remember finally kicking in. When Gibbs is reliving his family's death, Gibbs actually bursts into these. Good God, this episode dehydrates the soul.
    • In an episode appropriately titled Broken Bird, Ducky falls into these at the end.
    • Everybody, man or woman, breaks down weeping when Mike Franks is killed.
  • Charlie of NUMB3RS breaks down in Don's arms in "Angels and Devils" when he thinks Amita may have been killed.

    O 
  • Jim Halpert of The Office is seen to be discreetly wiping away a tear after he is shot down by Pam in "Casino Night". Along with every Jim/Pam fangirl in the world.

    P 
  • The Pacific: many scenes, obviously, but most memorably with most of K Company when Captain Haldane is killed, and in Part Ten when Gene's father takes him on a hunting trip (which he had enjoyed before the war), and he begins to hyperventilate and sits on the ground, apologizing to his father, who embraces him. Excuse me, I have to go fix my contacts...
  • On Parks and Recreation, part of Ron Swanson's pyramid of manliness is there are only two times men are allowed to cry: funerals and the Grand Canyon.
  • Penny Dreadful:
    • Victor and John Clare cry and sob their way through seasons two and three; there's barely an episode where one or both doesn't bawl his eyes out. Ethan sobs more than once over Vanessa and his family and tears run down his cheeks when he relives any painful episode from his past.
    • Cold and calculated Sir Malcolm only breaks down once or twice, which makes his crying much more heartbreaking.

    Q 
  • Brian Kinney on the first season finale of Queer as Folk weeps silently in the hallway of the hospital after Justin is gay-bashed outside of his prom. Bonus points for the beautiful, bloodstained white tuxedo scarf that he is still wearing—and continues to wear under his clothes for days following the incident. Oh my God.

    R 
  • The Rifleman had a couple of memorable ones. Once when Lucas was challenged by a kid that was the son of a man he killed in the war, the first man he ever killed, he went home and broke down in front of Micah as he told the story. It worked well for the scene and really showed off Chuck Connors' acting chops. The situation was completely reversed when Micah heard that a man who was going to kill him a long time ago was only a town away, and he reverted back to his former drunken self. He didn't hold himself together nearly as well as Lucas, though.

    S 
  • Dr. Cox from Scrubs. He loses two patients due to a risky and quickly-made decision to transplant organs that turned out to be infected but keeps it together. Then, he loses a third patient who he liked and could have waited a month for an extra kidney. He loses it. Cue the manly tears.
    • Much more visible in "My Screwup", where he lost his best friend. Cox in tears at the funeral -> Audience in tears in front of the TV.
    • Also, ironically, while J.D. is often made fun of for being girly and for crying easily, when he's actually seen in tears onscreen, in "My ABCs", it's an example of this trope.
  • Parodied/juxtaposed in the Seinfeld Season 9 episode "The Serenity Now" when Jerry finds himself surprised at the fact that he is crying over the end of another short-lived relationship.
    Jerry: What — what is this salty discharge?
    Elaine: Oh my God. You're crying.
    Jerry: This is horrible! I care!
  • Sesame Street: In the famous scene where the death of Mr. Hooper is explained to Big Bird, the moving effect is enhanced by Bob's real and unscripted tears as he tells Big Bird that they can all be very happy to have known Mr. Hooper.
  • Sherlock: In the third episode of the second season Sherlock is visibly in tears as he makes a final call to his friend John before faking his own death in order to save the latter's life. Though he is partially obscured, John can be heard crying as he stands at Sherlock's grave.
    • This also doubles as a case of Manly Tears for the actor playing Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch was moved that much by Martin Freeman's performance during the scene at St Bart's.
  • The Shield:
    • Vic starts breaking down at the end of the first season when he discovers that his wife has left him and taken their kids with her.
    • Dutch, the resident Butt-Monkey of the precinct, manages to actually win the respect of his fellow officers after winning a lengthy mind game against a suspect in the confession room and ultimately getting him to confess he's a killer. However, some of the things the guy said to him really hit close to home, particularly about how empty and pathetic his life mainly is. As he's getting into his car to head home that night, he suddenly stops and starts sobbing to himself.
  • The finale of the first series of Sirens (UK) has Stuart attempting to come to grips with losing a father he never really knew. Stuart believes he is incapable of crying, but by the end, he climbs on top of an ambulance, strips down to his boxers, stretches out on the roof and cries in the sun.
  • On Sliders, the Ethnic Scrappy Rembrandt used to make a whole career out of being able to cry real tears on command and took pride in the title "Crying Man".
  • In Smallville, Oliver Queen of all people does one with Jimmy dies.
  • Tony cries several times over the course of The Sopranos - usually with good reason - but perhaps never as heart-wrenchingly as in the penultimate scene of the final episode, in which he sheds a single tear when he realizes that Uncle Junior, advanced in his dementia and doomed to spend the rest of his life in a dingy state facility, no longer remembers his family or anything he ever accomplished.
  • Starsky & Hutch tend to do this on occasion, especially when one is worried for the other's safety. Most notably in "Gillian" when Hutch cries in Starsky's arms when he finds Gillian dead and in "Bloodbath" when both titular cops cry in each other's arms after Hutch rescues Starsky from a murderous cult.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation had Picard, a Badass Bookworm if ever there was one, shedding a few many tears here and there. Two of the most memorable came consecutively in Season 4. After being cybernetically body-snatched and literally Mind Raped by the Borg, a scene shows them continuing to upgrade and alter his body while a single tear rolls down his otherwise impassive face, revealing that he's still Fighting from the Inside. In the next episode, he breaks down completely into ground-punching, blubbering tears when he tells his brother about what happened and how he blames himself for not being good or strong enough to stop it. With any other actor, it might've come across as Narm; with Patrick Stewart, it's one of the most powerful Tear Jerker moments in the franchise.
  • The series after, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, had Sisko who was always good for a few Manly Tears especially where his son and late wife were concerned, but the real kicker came at the end of Season 6 when Jadzia Dax is killed and Worf, Worf of all people openly weeps over her body.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise altered-timeline episode "Twilight", Archer (who's suffering from over ten years of amnesia) breaks down into tears when he learns that Earth has been destroyed.
  • Dean Winchester in Supernatural cries a hell of a lot for someone with such hatred of chick-flick moments. Unlike Sam, however, it always manages to look pretty (with the exception of "All Hell Breaks Loose"). He also dissolves into tears when his pre-burned mother tells him she just wants her children to grow up normal and when he's begging her not to get out of bed on November 2. 1983. And he had every right to do so.
    • To say that Jared Padalecki (Sam) cries messily is a massive understatement. Go watch Heart and No Rest For The Wicked if you want to cry a little yourself.
      • This phenomenon may explain why Jensen Ackles (Dean) is scripted with far more tearful moments despite his character's tough-guy persona; Ackles possesses the remarkable talent of making his eyes water without twitching a muscle in his face, thus avoiding any emasculating accusations of emotion that might otherwise ensue. He also has a tendency dubbed by the fandom as the "Single Manly Tear" of only having one tear, from one eye, slide down his face. The man does not ugly cry even when he's breaking down.
    • Dean's speech at the end of Heaven and Hell wasn't exactly pretty either, helped along by the fact that the actor himself found the scene so overwhelming he had to take a walk to stop crying.
    • In the 200th episode, there is literally a song titled a single man tear.
    • Castiel's vessel, Jimmy, almost loses it a few times when faced with the prospect of losing or endangering his family because of his association with the angel. The scenes with his daughter are particularly heartbreaking.
  • The Super Sentai crossover special Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger Vs Abaranger saw this, with Abare Black combining these with a Rousing Speech before joining Abare Red and Deka Red in battle (early in the show, way before the big combined henshin scene later on).

    T 
  • Derek gets one of these in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Mostly a cold, lone and aloof cynic, he's moved to tears when he accidentally sees Cameron dancing ballet by herself.
  • Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, of all people, after completing the Britcar 24-hour endurance race.
  • In Torchwood, Jack is seen crying when having memories of Grey forced on him by Adam, when putting away Owen and Tosh's things after both have died, when holding a dying Ianto in his arms, and when killing his grandson to save the world. Looking at what Jack has gone through, it's a miracle he doesn't spend half his time bawling.
    • He also seems quite red-eyed throughout the last quarter of an hour in "Captain Jack Harkness", and he's actually crying when kissing/dancing with the Other Jack.
    • Snarky, cranky, bitchy Owen collapses into Jack's arms and sobs his heart out at the end of "End of Days" when Jack forgives him for almost, you know, ending the world. Jack's a little teary-eyed himself at that point.
    • Ianto is seen crying throughout "Cyberwoman" (in which his girlfriend has been partially cyber-converted and thus has a completely perverted conception of "love", and while she goes around trying to kill Torchwood, they go around trying to kill her; oh, and Jack gives Ianto this ultimatum: either Ianto kills Lisa, or Jack kills Ianto), when he thinks Jack is dead and breathes in the scent of his coat, and when he's dying in Jack's arms. Yeah, Jack and Ianto have an interesting relationship.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Five Characters in Search of an Exit", the major begins to cry after his numerous attempts to escape the strange room fail. He is also no closer to figuring out what is going on. The ballet dancer comforts him.

    W 
  • A few times on The Walking Dead:
    • Rick sobs really hard when he finds out his wife died in childbirth. He later sobs when he finds his infant daughter Judith's baby carrier empty and full of blood.
    • Daryl, the quiet redneck hardass, silently cries into Carol's shoulder when they're reunited after weeks of being apart. Earlier, he cries hysterically when he has to put down his zombie brother.
    • Glenn absolutely loses it and cries hard as he's forced to watch Noah be eaten alive by walkers.
  • The West Wing has a few examples — Sam, Toby, I'm pretty sure Josh — but most of the most heartwrenching involve Bartlet or Leo or both. Okay, we all know Bartlet's a sensitive soul, but as he puts it in "Bartlet for America": "Leo's made out of leather. His face has a map of the world on it. Leo comes back." And their friendship is one of the show's great constants. So watching Bartlet tear up over Leo finding out about his MS at the same time as he was going public about his alcoholism and drug addiction, or seeing Leo break down entirely at the end of "B4A" after... excuse me, I have something in my eye... setting himself up for more public revelations about his substance abuse in the course of defending Bartlet to Congress for having covered up his MS... [sniffle].
  • In The Wire, resident badass Omar Little sheds tears of pain while fixing up his broken leg. This isn't the only time he has cried on the show, either; he is also shown shedding a few tears for his dead boyfriend Brandon on more than one occasion, as well as over the accidental death of crewmate Tosha, at the hands of his boyfriend Dante in Season 3. McNulty cries openly in the hospital when Kima is shot, and even his hardass boss is moved by his tears.
  • Without a Trace. After spending the day searching for his missing, cancer-stricken aunt, along the way learning that she's been committing mercy kills of people in her support group and finally finding her near death (she decided to kill herself upon learning that she herself didn't have much time left), an exhausted and grieving Martin Fitzgerald breaks down in fellow agent Samantha Spade's arms.
    • His friend Agent Danny Taylor is clearly on the verge of these when Martin himself is shot.
    • Agent Jack Malone sheds these occasionally too.

    X 
  • Mulder cried fairly frequently on The X-Files, almost as often as Scully cried in Seasons 1-7. Most often it had to do with his missing sister or something bad happening to Scully. The most notable example being when he finally breaks down about his mother's death in Season 7 episode "Closure".


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report