People Share The Weirdly Specific Things That Make Them Cry

"Old men in cardigans with their fly down and mismatched socks."

by Rebecca Kamm
24 January 2018, 2:17am

People don't like it when other people see their eyes leak. Our first instinct is to feign normalcy then rush off somewhere private, like a toilet cubicle. But people sure do like to talk about what things make them cry. Here, in no particular order and collated following an extensive survey of office staff and People We Know, are some of the common categories.

Dogs doing virtually anything

'Dogs that sleep on their owners' graves.'

'Dogs that are a little bit old or are missing a limb or are running into the sea.'

'YouTube clips where neglected dogs get rescued by an animal charity and it's touch and go as to whether they'll live, but then they get all cleaned up and start to perk up a bit, and eventually you see them running around and happy with their new owners.'

'Good dogs, Bad dogs.'

'The thought of dogs dying in movies, before I've even started watching the movie.'

'Clips of dogs reuniting with their owner-soldier who is back from war.'

Scottish wind tunes

'Bagpipes. Every time.'

'Bagpipes get me.'

'Bagpipes. So mournful.'

'Ugh. Bagpipes.'

'Bagpipes. Proper tears. Might just be me, though.'

Old people, just living their lives

'Old men in cardigans with their flies down and mismatched socks. Also, when they have combed their hair in a side part with just a little splodge of gel. Gets me right in the heart.'

'When I see an adult drinking out of a juice box. (I'm almost crying just writing this.) They just look vulnerable and sad. Just thinking about them going to the supermarket and buying the juice box instead of just a normal bottle of juice. Also, the straw in the mouth is childlike; it makes me think about how everyone starts out as a baby and needs someone to look after them but that doesn’t always happen.'

'Seeing an 80 or 90-something being delighted by a baby. The circle of life. So raw.'

'Elderly people walking on the street carrying groceries all the way home.'

Screen entertainment

'The auditions on singing shows where the person has come through adversity to knock everyone's socks off. Or if they are particularly unattractive and the audience is laughing but then stunned by their talent.'

'Spock's funeral in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Every time.'

'I once cried during an episode of Full House. It was about how their mother had died and it was just really moving.'

'At the end of the Jem and the Holograms movie when the dead dad hologram tells his daughter he's proud of her.'

'The sequence in Wall-E when he and Eva are swirling through the stars with the fire extinguisher.'

'When the deaf woman hit her date on First Dates.'

Famous people

'Beyonce; live performances. Not even sad ones, just anything where she seems powerful. I get quite overwhelmed, I think it's the same as 'Beatlemania' where they all lost their shit for no reason, but I do it just watching clips on my laptop. I nearly passed out at the concert.'

'How amazing Stephen Hawking is. I can't read too many quotes or I cry, like when he says how much more he has to do with his life.'

'I cried when Shania Twain was on Martha Stewart, but I think it was because I was really hungover and hungry and stuck on holiday with my parents.'

Air travel

'The Heathrow arrivals hall. I was waiting for my mum and couldn't stop crying at all of the reunited families. None of them were crying. I looked like an idiot.'

'Anything watched on an aeroplane - Bob's Burgers, 30 Rock, the terrible 2014 romcom Blended, you name it.'

'Any movie on an airplane. Or just generally being on an airplane.'


'When I realised I was gonna see humpback whales for the first time.'

'My boyfriend cries when he hears about small businesses doing well.'

'Musicals on closing night. I feel sad thinking that they've put so much work into something they won't get to perform again.'

'When a Muppet opens its mouth to talk and its voice is different due to its original performer having passed away. Even though I know it's coming... every goddamn time.'

'I cried at a description of my sister in law's yoga class: "We will focus on melting away tension in our muscular tissues, as well as removing blockage from our energetic pathways.'

'When you have been away from New Zealand for a while and the person at Customs says, "Welcome home" as they stamp your passport (pre-machines).'

'I cried watching the five-year-olds in a running race. And bagpipes.'