Is there another saying/idiom similar to crocodile tears?

  • Yes. How do you want to use it? For example Academy Award performance is one that refers to someone who over-dramatises their emotions. Eg. "Mother, what will I wear? I don't have an evening dress!" And then comes Mary's Academy Award performance. books.google.co.uk/… Nov 6, 2015 at 0:10
  • As chasly from UK said, please tell us more details about how you would like to use this term.
    – herisson
    Nov 6, 2015 at 3:30

5 Answers 5


One expression is: "turning on the waterworks."


Pretended compassion may fit.

"Compassion" is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

"Pretended" means feigned, insincerely or falsely professed.

Example: From the very beginning of their campaigns to get laws passed, all their pretended compassion for the poor suffering victims, and their intolerable pain, was nothing but a scam.


You may like lugubrious

Defined in Merriam Webster as:

full of sadness or sorrow : very sad especially in an exaggerated or insincere way

And from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English ( via Wordnik):

Mournful; indicating sorrow, often ridiculously or feignedly; doleful; woful; pitiable.



Dictionary.com and the Urban Dictionary define phony-baloney respectively as "nonsense" and "lie(s) and to an extent bullshit."

Whereas crocodile tears unambiguously refers to fake sympathy, phony-baloney (p-b) has a broader usage, for example: "Don't give me any phony-baloney about how the check was lost in the mail." But with the context specified, p-b can substitute for crocodile tears.

Sentence: "She said she was so, so sorry that I had to drop out, but it was all phony-baloney; she didn't give a rats a__."

For an extended discussion of the phrase, see What is the source of the phrase "phony baloney"? This shows up prominently on a Google search for p-b.


While rubbing your thumb and index finger together say:

You: "You know what this is?"

Victim: "No. What?"

You: "It's the world's smallest violin playing just for you."


Violin music is often the musical score accompanying sad scenes in movies when the audience is supposed to feel sadness or sorrow for the characters.


Here is an example in full context from the film Resevoir Dogs by Quintin Tarantino.

(Link is already queued to proper time spot.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPMEoM-cjc&t=1m55s

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