• A Guide to Pony Tears - Season Eight

    Howdy, folks! TheSlorg here with another installment of our Guide to Pony Tears series, where I count every tear shed through all the seasons to see which characters have cried the most and why. With the final season well under way, it's about time to see where each character stands for the final showdown.

    There were certainly plenty of tears shed in season eight, but how does it stack up to other seasons? Can Rarity ever be defeated as the true drama queen? Head on down below the break to see for yourself.

    Before We Begin

    So why bother with researching such a thing as pony tears? As we are all aware, the characters we know and love are a complicated lot, with a much larger emotional spectrum than what you might typically find in a show targeting the demographic that it does. Tearful moments are but one small part of that spectrum, but they do tell us a lot about one's personality!

    Additionally, watching an entire season of a series in search of something as specific as tears can be a daunting task. You have to ask yourself what, exactly, counts as crying, for instance. For the purposes of this article, I have skipped over a lot of close calls, or instances where a character came close to crying, but didn't quite make it. I didn't skip them all however, and will make a note of them as they appear. The rest of the moments I have listed will either have visible tears, or will have the character's eyes visibly shimmering. This time around, I've also looked at why the characters cry, and will include an additional instance for each new reason they cry, even if the tears haven't technically stopped.

    Finally, as much time as I put into trying to keep the list as accurate as possible, there is always the chance that I missed a moment or two. There will also likely be some who would contend what, exactly, counts as crying. If you find anything I missed, or wish to challenge a moment that is listed here, feel free to comment below. And now for what we've all been waiting for, let the tears begin!

    Season Eight

    School Daze Part I - Twilight Sparkle comes very close to tears toward the end of the episode, but doesn’t actually cry. Therefore, the season opens with zero tears!

    School Daze Part II - Twilight Sparkle wastes no time this episode, crying in the opening scene over the closure of the School of Friendship. Sensing that she’s close to pulling off an upset over Rarity for the crown of teariest pony, she cries a second time soon thereafter when her friends try to cheer her up.

    The Maud Couple - Pinkie Pie tears up when she thinks Maud prefers the company of Mud Briar over her. She cries again while discussing Maud with her sisters back on the rock farm. Not to be outdone by Rarity and Twilight, Pinkie cries a third time when Marble and Limestone help her understand Maud’s relationship with Mud Briar.

    Fake It ‘Til You Make It - Rarity, sensing a few challengers to her crown, begins the episode in tears as a flashback shows her frustration at trying to find somepony to help run her shop in Manehattan for a while.

    Grannies Gone Wild - Though Rainbow Dash comes close once or twice, there are no actual tears in the episode.

    Surf and/or Turf - Even with the Crusaders all arguing, there were no tears to be shed.

    Horse Play - Despite a few serious moments, no tears in this episode either!

    The Parent Map - Sunburst’s mother, Stellar Flare, cries and runs off after he tells her off for constantly telling him how to live his life. Starlight Glimmer’s father, Firelight, soon follows suit and tears up when Starlight confronts him in an effort to smooth things over. Stellar Flare tears up later after spraying herself in the eyes with a bottle of essence. Towards the end of the episode a background pony named Cracked Wheat cries when Sunburst and Starlight reconcile with their parents.

    Non-Compete Clause - Despite Applejack’s and Rainbow Dash’s best efforts, nopony ended up crying this episode.

    The Break-Up Breakdown - Big Macintosh cries when he thinks Sugar Belle is going to break up with him. He technically stops for a bit while Spike is trying to cheer him up, then starts up again when that fails, so that counts as two. He starts up again when Discord later mentions Sugar Belle’s name. He cries yet again when Discord tries to hook him up with Skelenor and he just ends up telling her all about Sugar Belle. Sensing a chance to beat his mom, Pear Butter, for most tears in an episode, he cries again when Discord riles him up. It’s brief, but his eyes tear up for just a few frames when he confronts Sugar Belle at Sugar Cube Corner, meaning at this point he’s officially tied for most tears in a single episode. Naturally, Sugar Belle tears up as soon as she’s confronted. At the end of the breakup, Big Mac tears up one more time when he says, “This is why I don’t like talking. Words can hurt!” Sugar Belle cries again after he leaves. Having won the crown for Most Tears in a Single Episode, Big Mac tries to ensure this becomes the official Teariest Episode of All when he takes out his anger on Sweetie Belle, causing her to cry. Solidifying his crown. Big Mac tears up once again as he explains to Sugar Belle how he feels. And yet he’s still not finished!To top it all off, Big Mac briefly tears up again when Sugar Belle tries to explain everything to him.

    Molt Down - Spikes tears up briefly after trying to pop a stone scale. Later, Rarity almost cries while trapped in the roc’s claw, but no tears are actually shed. Spike, however, sheds a few tears when he realizes Twilight isn’t going to force him to leave now that he’s molted.

    Marks for Effort - This episode sees Cozy Glow become the first character to ever be introduced while crying when the Cutie Mark Crusaders meet her. She cries again after failing the friendship test.

    The Mean 6 - The first tears of the episode go to Fluttershy, who forgot she was once in the running for teariest pony. She cries after the forest critters turn on her, mistaking her for her mean counterpart. Soon thereafter, Twilight tears up after Pinkie basically tells her to shove it. Starlight Glimmer later tears up when the mean Applejack tells her she looks ridiculous and that she was carrying all the camping gear for nothing. Later, Fluttershy is shown to be crying again… however it’s impossible to tell if she ever actually stopped crying from earlier. Therefore, I can’t count it as a separate instance. Twilight, however, does cry again as she argues with Pinkie Pie. Rarity then cries over having a tiny camping bag. Seriously.

    A Matter of Principals - Discord tears up as the Mane Six leave on a friendship quest. Spike later tears up at the stench of a cheese wheel that Discord magically summons. When Discord takes over Spitfire’s phys ed class, Yona becomes the first of the Young Six to cry when tears up as she gets chased by a bugbear.

    The Hearth’s-Warming Club - The Dragon Lord in Smolder’s story cries after being usurped by Scales. Late in the episode, both Ocellus and Silverstream cry when they realize they probably won’t get to go home for the holidays.

    Friendship University - Flim tears up for dramatic effect during the Friendship University song. Both Flim and Flam tear up later when Twilight tries to explain to Chancellor Neighsay that they’re up to something. Even Starswirl the Bearded gets to cry when Rarity tries to pull his beard off, thinking that he’s Flam in disguise. Twilight tears up when Starswirl states disappointment in her actions.

    The End in Friend - Rainbow Dash tears up at the stench of the bufogren’s breath. Though it’s incredibly brief, Rarity later does the same when she tries to freshen its breath up.

    Yakity-Sax - A giraffe, otter, raccoon, cardinal, and bunny all cry at the sound of Pinkie playing her instrument. They might not be ponies, but no harm in counting them anyway. Rarity later cries over Pinkie’s playing, too. Pinkie cries after her friends tell her how bad her playing is. A random yak later tears up over some pleasant playing of the instrument.

    On the Road to Friendship - Starlight Glimmer tears up when she bangs her elbows after being forced to sleep in Trixie’s wagon. Trixie later tears up twice in rapid succession after Starlight trades her wagon away.

    The Washouts - Though there are several heartwarming moments in the episode, no tears are shed.

    A Rockhoof and a Hard Place - Rockhoof tears up when Yona and her classmates help him realize his worth in the modern world.

    What Lies Beneath - Gallus tears up briefly when trapped in the cave. Smolder walks in on Ocellus crying during the changeling’s friendship test. Silverstream later breaks down in tears during her test, and sheds more tears as she confronts what she believes to be the Storm King. After the tests, Cozy Glow does what she does best and turns on the waterworks, stating that she’ll get expelled if the Young Six tell any of their teachers about what happened.

    Sounds of Silence - Autumn Blaze tears up at the end of her song about her village, and again upon being accepted back.

    Father Knows Beast - An imaginary version of Spike’s mother tears up in Sludge’s story about how they lost Spike. Sludge later decides to cry during his telling of events. Shockingly, Twilight manages to hold her tears in after Spike breaks her heart, so no tears there.

    School Raze Part I - Rarity is the first to cry when she reveals that her magic is gone. Sensing that Twilight was trying to catch her in the tear rankings, she tears up again after punching herself in the face in an effort to swat a bug, and again when complaining about not having magic.

    School Raze Part II - Tirek tears up after laughing so hard he has to cough. And… that’s it! Those are the last tears of the season.

    So Who Cried the Most?

    Season eight had its fair share of emotional moments, but season seven was absolutely crammed full of them. How will season eight hold up in the rankings?

    Of twenty-six episodes, six were devoid of tears this season. This means the series has had 146 out of 195 episodes contain tears to this point. This still works out to 75% of all episodes containing tears of some kind, a number that hasn't changed for the past three seasons.

    But who cried the most? Let's have a look.

    Here is a list of all characters who cried in season eight, from least to most tears:
    • Bunny - 1
    • Cardinal - 1
    • Cracked Wheat - 1
    • Discord - 1
    • Dragon Lord - 1
    • Firelight - 1
    • Flam - 1
    • Fluttershy - 1
    • Gallus - 1
    • Giraffe - 1
    • Imaginary Spike's Mom - 1
    • Otter - 1
    • Raccoon - 1
    • Rainbow Dash - 1
    • Random Yak - 1
    • Rockhoof - 1
    • Sludge - 1
    • Star Swirl the Bearded - 1
    • Sweetie Belle - 1
    • Tirek - 1
    • Yona - 1
    • Autumn Blaze - 2
    • Flim - 2
    • Ocellus - 2
    • Spike - 2
    • Starlight Glimmer - 2
    • Stellar Flare - 2
    • Sugar Belle - 2
    • Trixie - 2
    Well, well, well. Not a lot of tears among those listed so far. So who's in the top five this season? Actually, it's a top six due to a tie by two newcomers! But only Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have been listed so far. Where are all the tears?

    • Cozy Glow - 3
    • Silverstream - 3
    • Pinkie Pie - 4
    • Twilight Sparkle - 5
    • Rarity - 7
    • Big Macintosh - 9

    What reality is this? Big Macintosh beating out Rarity for the crown of teariest pony of season eight? Not only that, but Big Mac's showing in The Break-Up Breakdown knocks his mother off her throne as Teariest Pony in a Single Episode, crushing Pear Butter's total of 6 with his own total of 9 instances crying in a single episode. What's with the Apple family crying so much?

    Oh. Applejack didn't cry this season. Not even once. Again.


    Additionally, we have Silverstream and Cozy Glow, both newcomers, tying for 5th place at 3 cries apiece. With Silverstream tying for fifth place, how did the rest of the Student/Young Six fare?

    Ocellus ended up with 2 moments of crying, and Yona and Gallus both cried once. Sandbar and Smolder each remain tear-free, though there were some close calls.

    In all, season eight featured 68 instances of tears, placing it in third place in the seasonal rankings. Season seven remains in first place at 78, season five stays in second place with 70, season two drops to fourth place with 66, season six gets bumped to fifth place at 50 (90 and 1st if you count the changelings), season four in sixth place with 47, season three in seventh with 41, and season one remains in last place at 31 instances of tears unless you count the movies, which would be in dead-last place at just 25 instances over five movies (the four main EQG movies and the 2017 MLP movie).

    This brings the grand total of tears in the series (not including movies) to 451 over 195 episodes (501 if you count the changeling horde). 

    At the beginning of the season it looked as if Twilight might catch up to Rarity, but the drama queen refuses to relinquish the crown so easily! With such a huge showing from Big Mac, it will be interesting to see where he sits in the total standings. 

    Here's the updated list for all tears shed over all seasons so far:
    • Berry Punch - 1
    • Braeburn - 1
    • Breezette - 1
    • Bulk Biceps - 1
    • Brown Dragon - 1
    • Bunny - 1
    • Burnt Oak - 1
    • Cardinal - 1
    • Caretaker - 1
    • Cloudy Quartz - 1
    • Cracked Wheat - 1
    • Cranky Doodle - 1
    • Cream Puff - 1
    • Daisy - 1
    • Dragon Lord - 1
    • Dream Foal - 1
    • Flam - 1
    • Firelight - 1
    • Fluffy Clouds - 1
    • Gabby Griffon - 1
    • Gallus - 1
    • Giraffe - 1
    • Hacksaw McColt - 1
    • Harry Bear - 1
    • Imaginary Spike’s Mom - 1
    • Lemon Hearts - 1
    • Lightning Dust - 1
    • Lily Lace - 1
    • Mane-iac - 1
    • Meadow Flower - 1
    • Mint Flower - 1
    • Mrs. Cake - 1
    • Mrs. Shy - 1
    • Noi - 1
    • Otter - 1
    • Party Favor - 1
    • Pinkie Pie Clone - 1
    • Plaid Stripes - 1
    • Princess Skystar - 1
    • Queen Chrysalis - 1
    • Racoon - 1
    • Random Yak - 1
    • Raspberry Beret - 1
    • Red Dragon - 1
    • Royal Guardpony - 1
    • Sable Spirit - 1
    • Seabreeze - 1
    • Seasbreeze's Wife - 1
    • Shoeshine - 1
    • SkyStinger - 1
    • Sludge - 1
    • Snails - 1
    • Star Swirl the Bearded - 1
    • Storm Guard - 1
    • Storm King - 1
    • Sunburst - 1
    • Teddie Safari - 1
    • Tempest Shadow - 1
    • Timber Spruce - 1
    • Tirek - 1
    • Vera - 1
    • Windfall - 1
    • Yak Guard 1 - 1
    • Yak Guard 2 - 1
    • Yona - 1
    • Zephyr Breeze - 1
    • Zipporwhill - 1
    • Angel Bunny - 2
    • Autumn Blaze - 2
    • Countess Coloratura - 2
    • Flim - 2
    • Gilda - 2
    • Matilda - 2
    • Ocellus - 2
    • PiƱa Colada - 2
    • Prince Rutherford - 2
    • Rockhoof - 2
    • Scouts Honor - 2
    • Sugar Belle - 2
    • Star Tracker - 2
    • Stellar Flare - 2
    • Twilight Velvet - 2
    • Windy Whistles - 2
    • Bow Hothoof - 3
    • Cozy Glow - 3
    • Discord - 3
    • Flurry Heart - 3
    • Grand Pear - 3
    • Lyra Heartstrings - 3
    • Moon Dancer - 3
    • Pound Cake - 3
    • Princess Luna - 3
    • Pumpkin Cake - 3
    • Silverstream - 3
    • Snips - 3
    • Steven Magnet - 3
    • Sunset Shimmer - 3
    • Diamond Tiara - 4
    • Princess Cadance - 4
    • Shining Armor - 4
    • Apple Bloom - 5
    • Granny Smith - 5
    • Thorax - 5
    • Trixie - 5
    • Pear Butter - 6
    • Princess Celestia - 6
    • Sweetie Belle - 7
    • Scootaloo - 8
    • Big Macintosh - 12
    • Spike - 19
    • Applejack - 20
    • Starlight Glimmer - 22
    • Rainbow Dash - 24
    • Fluttershy - 33
    • Changelings in Disguise - 40
    • Pinkie Pie - 43
    • Twilight Sparkle - 47
    Well, while there's plenty of movement in the Top Ten, one thing just never changes:
    • Rarity - 58
    She refuses to budge! With her showing this season, she's back to a double-digit lead over Twilight Sparkle. Can anyone topple her? There's just one season left to go (and a few more EQG specials).

    Big Macintosh's showing had him bump Scootaloo from the tenth spot, officially making him a Top Ten tear producer. Despite this, Scootaloo remains the teariest Crusader, but Sweetie Belle is right behind her! 

    Applejack remains tearless for the season, cementing her spot as the Mane character who cries the least. Princess Celestia is still the teariest princess (not counting Twilight, as pre-princess tears would need to be ignored!). Cozy Glow has the most tears for a debuting villain. Rockhoof is the Pillar of Equestria who cries the most, followed by Star Swirl the Bearded as the only two Pillars to have cried. To date, Rainbow Dash's family (Rainbow, Bow Hothoof, Windy Whistles) is the only family (not counting characters who haven't had family members introduced) to have every known member cry at least once (the princesses don't count, as Prince Blueblood has never cried).

    And that's all for now! Did this season's winner surprise you? Can anyone topple Rarity overall? How is your favorite character doing in the rankings - are they a crier? Let me know in the comments, and keep an eye out for more pony guides!