Empirically, the only time man-tears are allowed at the movies:
- When Kirk Douglas gives the order to attack the Japanese fleet approaching Pearl Harbor in The Final Countdown (1 manly tear from each eye)
- When Chewbacca screams at the end of Star Wars IV: A New Hope, because he’s the only one who doesn’t get a medal (2 manly tears from each eye)
- Whenever Tom Cruise is in an F-14 that blows something up in Top Gun (1 manly tear per eye per instance, no more than 3 tear-pairs per viewing unless advised by a physician)
- Steel Magnolias, Opening credits until fade out (sometimes, the manliest thing is not to count the tears at all)
- The scene where Rell allows himself to be crushed to death by stone doors in order to allow comrades Colwyn, Kegan, Titch, Ergo, Torquil and Oswyn entry to the Black Fortress, wherein they can use the magical Glaive to confront The Beast, and rescue Lyssa, the woman foretold to someday bear the child of destiny in a film that, of course, need not even be named* (a single tear from one eye, with the other held closed, in honor of the valiant cyclops)
(* Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how many people I run into who can’t remember this movie, or claim never to have seen it. I mean, really, you know, like I’m supposed to believe that?)
This answer originally appeared on Quora: In what situations is it OK for a man watching a movie to cry “manly tears” and not look like a big baby?