Guys Crying

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: ukefication
Related: woobification, OOC, Weepy Uke Syndrome, Clam, Portrayals of Masculinity in Fanworks
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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This article or section needs expansion.

Some fans don't mind male fanon weeping. Others dislike it intensely.

Depends on the Tears

  • out and out blubbering
  • a hint of moisture
  • silent tears
  • blaming his allergies
  • place: alone? who's watching? other men? women?
  • reason: rage? anger? fear? pain? sadness? happiness? relief?

Depends on the Fandom

Some Fannish Comments

"I hate characters that cry... I can just about live with tears of rage, but nothing else, please!" [1]

A fan commmented on the cover of a zine, concerned that the tear on Captain Picard's face:

The cover portrait is a bit unusual. My first reaction was negative - "Picard crying?". But the portrait is explained within the context of the story, "Retreat From Maxima" and shows a nice creative touch. (Picard's eyes are watering because of the poisonous smoke and gas released by the destruction of the Stargazer). [2]
Let's look at this weeping business. Now. I'm not saying that crying is bad, or that people who do so are weak. I'm just saying that it's not Kirk's way. When did we ever, ever see him cry? One time, my friends, one time, and I think we all know when that was. And it was just him and his boy. Why then do writers insist on having him get all sappy and pitiful. "Oh. Spock," he'll sob. ?'???? I don't think so.[3]
It's not necessarily A/U stories that girlify Doyle. There are more than enough CIS-based stories that have Doyle as a fragile flower who weeps down big butch Bodie's shirt front at the slightest opportunity. I don't recognise that view of Doyle at all.[4]
For the first two decades I was in fandom, the subject frequently came up about our TV heroes crying at an unrealistic degree in fanfic. I don't see those discussions anymore. I think it's because men crying isn't a big deal in modern times. I used to get really uncomfortable when men cried -- whether in real life, or on television. In the latter case, my first thought was how embarrassed I was on behalf of the actor and, rather than thinking about the character's trauma, I was thinking about how hard it must be for the actor to do that kind of acting. Eventually, one day, it dawned me that I no longer felt that kind of discomfort. Seeing a man cry was no longer anything odd. I've often wondered if little boys are still told that "boys don't cry", or if that reprimand has pretty much gone by the wayside. In the past, in seemed inevitable that a list discussion would eventually have a thread -- if not many threads, over time -- about how fanfic characters burst into tears at every little thing. Not only was it unmanly, it was out of character. What TV pairing of characters cried on any kind of regular basis? However, there was a thread about S&H in the 90s that really bothered me. At least one person got to talking about the degree of angst in particular situations, and whether tears would be valid or not for any of those situations. I had to speak up then, and point out the quantity of tears, or lack of such, wasn't the only determination for how traumatic a specific situation was.[5]
There is nothing more embarrassing, or disturbing, or that can shatter the impact of a powerful scene than to have a character uncharacteristically break into hysterical sobs over the least little thing. This trait that fans have to make grown, stoic, brave men burst into tears constantly is one of the anathemas of fanfiction and one of the major things that helps contribute to its *lack* of quality. It is simply not believable, and worst than that, it generally only embarrasses the reader. Think about it. Something upsetting happens to a friend of yours and suddenly they burst into hysterical sobs. Yes, you're going to comfort them and feel bad for them, but you are also going to feel incredibly embarrassed and awkward. You'll do what has to be done, but you'll wish you were somewhere else while it's happening. I'm not talking about the extremes of death, I'm talking the million of other reasons fan writers insist on using to "make" their characters break down and cry. Men simply don't cry very much for the most part, and if they do, who the hell wants to sit around and watch it? And more importantly, THESE men only cried under very extreme circumstances.... Convey emotion, yes, please do -- *believably*. In writing, one tiny shed tear that slips out against a person's will, or a small tear that is quickly wiped away, or better yet, eyes filling with tears that are not allowed to fall -- this has far more power than a grown man completely losing it over matters of the heart, not total disaster. And trust me on this, I am not the only person who feels that way. I hear more complaints from other fans on the score of, "it was a really good story up until the point where the guys burst into tears. Then I lost it." It's not effective writing. Please, curtail this impulse to express emotion through extremes.[6]

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Some Fiction Examples

Some Fanart Examples


  1. from Discovered in a Letterbox #19 (Autumn 2001)
  2. Hailing Frequencies #3 from a review of from STARLink #14/#15
  3. from The LOC Connection #45
  4. from Discovered in a Letterbox #3
  5. Men and Crying, posted by Charlotte Frost, January 2014; WebCite
  6. comments by Flamingo,a Starsky & Hutch fan, quoted with permission from The Pits Mailing List (November 9, 1999)