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A character spontaneously starts crying, seemingly for no reason. When asked about it, even they don't know why they're doing it. There is inevitably a plot-relevant reason behind this.
Perhaps it's a repressed memory that has just been triggered, or maybe something bad has happened somewhere else and their Spider Sense is tingling. Whatever the reason, it's usually because their subconscious knows something that the conscious mind doesn't.
For characters who are just confused because they didn't know they were capable of crying, see My Eyes Are Leaking.
- This happens in the end of Kannazuki no Miko; then Himeko, after her love Chikane is erased from existence, (including from Himeko's memory) looks at pictures that used be of her and Chikane, but now are only of her because of the erase, she starts to cry and she does not know why.
- In Scrapped Princess, Pacifica starts crying when her accidental protector and surrogate big brother Fulle is killed elsewhere, even though, due to a case of Laser-Guided Amnesia, she doesn't have any memories of him anymore.
- In the Karin manga (not the anime), Karin's vampire family removes all knowledge of them from her mind, so she can live happily without their burdens on her shoulders. When Kenta (who knows about the memory adjustment) asks about her family, Karin starts crying, but she doesn't know why. Cue Kenta's marriage proposal to Karin.
- Rei does this on two occasions in Episode 23 of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- The first is after her conversation with the sixteenth Angel after it forces her to feel sadness. It's not that she doesn't know what sadness is, just that she's actually feeling physical manifestations of emotion.
- The second is after she tries to destroy Gendo's glasses, having lost her memories of her time as Rei II. She feels sadness, but she doesn't know why.
- In the movie of Howl's Moving Castle, this is implied to be the reason Sophie cries as she escapes from Howl's childhood.
Sophie: I'm sorry, Heen. I know I need to keep running. I just can't seem to stop crying, that's all.
- Justice League of America: After their attempt to conquer earth fails when they are found vulnerable to fire, the fifty White Martians,face the Martian Manhunter. At the end, the narrator tell us of a man that, every morning just after awakening, feels like he had once incredible power that is forever lost. This feeling of loss and frustration is shared by other fifty humans scattered in the earth, and is so big, he wants to cry. But he doesn’t, because he is an adult and has no time for such nonsense. So he smiles, goes out and begins his working day as a fireman.
- In Star Trek Generations, Data cries when he finds his beloved cat Spot unharmed in the wreck of the Enterprise D. Not understanding why he is crying in spite of this event making him happy, Data assumes that his emotion chip must be malfunctioning. Deanna tell him that it's working just fine.
- Amy Pond does this in an episode of Doctor Who. She's actually crying for Rory, whom she doesn't remember because he was erased from existence.
- It happens to Amy again in the Season Finale because she's forgotten The Doctor who was erased from existence but not his stories, which help her remember him and bring him back.
- On Lost, Daniel cries while watching a news report about the Oceanic 815 crash. He says he doesn't know why.
- On Friends, Phoebe goes through rapid mood swings later in her pregnancy. When she goes from hysterically laughing to bawling her eyes out, she just says "I don't know." in response to Rachel and Monica's concern.
- Happens often in the Kingdom Hearts series from Chain of Memories on, usually a character crying because of something they can't remember or a link to another character.
- In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword, if you fulfill certain requirements you'll get a secret gaiden chapter in Hector's route. After Nergal's defeat, if you unlocked that chapter Nils will start crying for reasons he doesn't know, but the player has figured out: Nergal was his and Ninian's father.
- At the end of Lufia II Rise of the Sinistrals, Tia, who previously had been Unable to Cry due to overly toughening herself since childhood, suddenly finds herself crying uncontrollably without knowing why. It's because her Unrequited Love Interest, Maxim, has just died.
- Played for Laughs in El Goonish Shive, after Justin encounters a creature seemingly made of fire that doesn't burn. Cut to:
Student: Why are you crying, Dr. Physics Professor?
Professor: I... I'm not sure...
- This is the premise behind the Somewhere An X Is Crying trope names.