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Oddly, it is understood that, while Men Don't Cry, the biggest, strongest guys are allowed more leeway in this respect than the average man or the hero. Perhaps because he was so tough nobody ever called him a "wimp" or "crybaby", so he was never bullied into hiding his emotions like others. Maybe it's just cultural, Russian or African society may value stoicism less than, for example, the uptight British, so that the Scary Black Man and the Husky Russkie can show their grief more openly than the Eaglelander or the Quintessential British Gentleman. Maybe it's just that big guys are generally uninhibited. Maybe it's something to do with the sensitive tough stereotype. Whatever; The Big Guy and/or the Boisterous Bruiser gets to cry more with less loss of credibility than other men.

Also, big bruisers are allowed to have a soft spot for children. Partly this is to make them less frightening. The other, more worrying part is that it seems safer than allowing normal-sized men to like kids. People assume men who like kids like them in the worst possible way, but someone so big and macho couldn't be that sort, could he? I mean we all know paedophiles are weak, cowardly and contemptible, no way could they be huge, fearless and muscular. Strong men can play with children. Average Joes who do so are viewed with, at the very least, suspicion.

They are also less inhibited about a Man Hug, though your ribs may regret the experience after.

Sub-Trope of Bruiser with a Soft Center. Contrast Sensitive Guy and Manly Man where the traits are divvied up. See also Gentle Giant and Real Men Wear Pink.

Examples of Emotional Bruiser include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Marv of Sin City admits to crying as he listens to old Country and Western songs. And when he rescues a little girl from being sold into sexual slavery, he cradles the child in his arms as he brings her back to her mother.
  • Superman of course gets away with all sorts of emotional displays from crying openly to cooing over puppies and babies without being thought of as wimpy. It's sort of hard to think that way about a guy who can lift passenger jets and stop freight trains in their tracks, and since the superhero genre in general is much more forgiving of manly emotions than most action genres, obviously the toughest superhero would hit this trope the hardest. Even Clark Kent gets away with it, though, just because he's 6'3 and massive.


  • Zangief, one of the most famous Husky Russkies is moved to tears by Bison's (hypocritical) speech in the Street Fighter movie. He was also the only one of Bison's henchmen motivated by loyalty instead of money.
    • In the games canon, he is also a huge and rather cheerful Friend to All Children due to his status as a wrestling living legend.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for all his boisterousness, Thor shows plenty of emotional vulnerability.


  • Hagrid weeps more often than any other Harry Potter character except Moaning Myrtle.
  • In The Iliad, we have Hector, mighty warrior, devoted husband and father, and named by Helen as the only one who's nice to her but Priam.
  • The Princess Bride: Fezzik. Especially in the book.

Live-Action TV

  • Mr T, especially in his A Team days was often shown as a friend of little children.

Video Games

  • Kingdom Hearts isn't shy about letting guys show emotion to begin with, but Terra - the "brute force" type in Birth By Sleep - seems to be less ashamed of his emotions than even Sora. He's great with kids, too -- just look at the scene where he meets a five-year-old Riku.
  • Dozla from Fire Emblem the Sacred Stones, whose very expressive tears were the biggest spectacle in the wedding of his mistress, Princess/Queen L'Arachel of Rausten.
    • Also Garcia, a very strong fighter who also works hard to be the best dad for his beloved son Ross and while he doesn't cry, he isn't shy about expressing his love for the kid.

Web Original

  • Ultra-Man, a member of the Global Guardians has his mopey periods whenever he's reminded of the fact that all of his friends and loved ones are now dead from old age.
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