Created By: Twiddler on October 31, 2012 Last Edited By: CaveCat on March 29, 2016
Troped

Cover Innocent Eyes And Ears

Someone covers up a child's eyes/ears to prevent them seeing/hearing something obscene

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Perhaps someone is letting loose a torrent of profanity. Perhaps there's a streaker running past. Whatever the case, there are children around, and they are being exposed to some highly inappropriate content. Quick! Cover their eyes/ears!

Usually it's a parent who will do this. They and the children might be characters in their own right, or they might just be one-offs who are there for the sake of a gag.

Compare Not in Front of the Kid.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • A Running Gag in Chobits. Every time Hideki acts strange in public, a woman's voice can be heard telling a child "Don't look at him, honey."
  • One episode of Tenchi in Tokyo has Ayeka, Sasami, Ryoko, and Ryo Ohki watching a soap opera. When the action onscreen starts to heat up, Ayeaka blushes in embarrassment and covers Sasami's eyes, who then covers Ryo Ohki's eyes. Guess whose eyes were glued to the screen?
  • In the A Certain Magical Index light novels, Brunhild Eiktobel puts to sleep a little boy she's been watching over when she senses danger. The last thing she needed was for the boy to see the ensuing carnage when her attackers struck.
  • Mizore casually covers Yukari's eyes in Rosario + Vampire Capu2 after Ruby trips and exposes herself, while a confused Yukari tries to look around her hand.

Comic Books
  • An inversion happens in the chapter "The Most Bizarre Bizarro Of All" from the Bizarro Comics anthology. When a Bizarro starts walking on his hands and generally acting even too strange by Bizarro standards, all the children tell the adults not to watch or listen. (It is Bizarro World, after all.)

Fanfic
  • In chapter 33 of Magical Troubleshooting Crossover Fighting Federation Ultra succubus Morrigan strips herself naked in an attempt to distract Wolverine during a match. Combat Commentator Hiroshi covers guest commentator Sana's eyes, which she protests, since she has the same basic anatomy as Morrigan.

Film
  • In the 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield, Roger covers up JP's ears when George Knox starts swearing during the game.
  • In Spy Kids, the parents ask the kids to shut their eyes before beating up a bunch of Mooks.
  • In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas covers a child bystander's eyes when one of the bad guys impales himself on a model building.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, after Mike says "I hate chocolate," Grampa George begins to rant, "Well it's a good thing you're going to a chocolate factory, you ungrateful little-" At which point Charlie's ears are covered by Mr. Bucket, and we hear nothing until he removes them. Fair guess that it's swearing.
  • In The War of the Worlds, Ray Ferrier blindfolds his daughter and tells her to cover her ears and sing her calming song so she won't see or hear as he kills Ogilvy.
  • Used in the movie Old School, where Vince Vaughn's character sets up a system where he tells his child "earmuffs," and the kid will cover his ears, allowing adults to say what they will.

Live-Action TV
  • In Friends, Ross walks in with his son Ben just as Phoebe starts cussing out a game machine. He immediately dives to cover Ben's ears before shouting "Phoebe!" to get her attention and make her stop.
  • There's a House episode where the mother of a preteen girl covers her daughter's ears so she won't hear the word "masturbation".
  • An episode of Get Smart had Max communicating with a trapped Chief via Morse code. After Max bungles his rescue, Chief sends out some angry sounding taps. Max responds with "Watch your language, Chief. There is a lady present." When the angry taps continue, Max covers 99's ears.
  • In an episode of Bones while discussing the case of the week in front of Booth's young son, Booth covers his son's ears and makes him sing a little song while the adults talk.
  • In Ugly Betty Justin is repeatedly told to put his headphones on during the second episode, when he is still rather young.

Newspaper Comics
  • A post-9/11 Blondie strip parodied the, um, excesses in airline security by having Dagwood have to repeatedly go through a metal detector, with the operator making him take off more clothes each time. He's in his underwear and the machine is still beeping when another guard comes up and tells the operator that the machine's broken. Cut to Dagwood on the plane begging the flight attendant to let him put his clothes back on before take-off, with a mother covering her kid's eyes elsewhere in the panel.
  • This Heathcliff strip had a mother covering up her son's ears while birds are angrily swearing at Heathcliff, with the mother saying "Don't listen to the birds, honey".

Video games
  • If Jack, known for her unusually foul mouth in Mass Effect 2, survived that game's endgame, in 3 she turns up as a teacher and makes a special effort not to swear in front of her students. Joker teases her that her Swear Jar could fund the war effort by itself. At which point Jack tells the kids to cover their ears and the scene cuts away.

Webcomics
  • Eerie Cuties had a scene where Maria, misinterpreting a little incident between Layla and Brooke, "soothes" the girls by happily giving them Too Much Information from her own... fond memories. Brooke covers Nina's ears.
  • In Yamara, a dark elf mother covers her son's eyes when the tour they're on visits an erotically-carved temple. Ironically, the tour members had already been tortured as part of their visit, but the boy's mom doesn't mind that, only the raunchy art.

Western animation
  • In Spongebob Squarepants, Spongebob indulges in some Innocent Swearing over the PA system of the Krusty Krab. Among the shocked customers, one octopus mother uses her arms to cover up her children's ears, and manages the fifth by sticking a popcorn bucket over his head.
  • Ned Flanders does this to one of his sons in an episode of The Simpsons after Moe loses his temper and repeatedly uses the word "freakin'". The boy cries "Ow, my freakin' ears!"
    • The Simpsons Movie: The Disney Creatures of the Farce who help Homer and Marge undress watch aghast as they have sex, and a buck puts his hoof over his son's eyes.
    • A variation where Bart is sent to a religious school and is asked by the teacher to recite a poem. Bart complies with "Beans, beans the magical fruit! The more you eat the more, you toot!" Cut to Bart fleeing the furious mob, with the teacher yelling "Avert your eyes, children! It may take on other forms!"
  • An episode of Peter Pan & the Pirates had Hook spouting some strong insults at Peter, prompting Wendy to cover Michael's ears. One of the pirates decides Hook's language is too strong by even pirate standards and covers the cabin boy's ears.
  • This happens in Family Guy at one point. Peter takes Stewie to the bar with him, and Quagmire is about to tell a story of what he did with some women last night. Peter covers Stewie's ears so he won't hear and we see some very strange pantomime on Quagmire's part but hear none of it thanks to Peter.
  • In The Boondocks, Sarah covers Jazmine's ears when Tom starts swearing after the basketball team he is coaching not only loses but he misses the opportunity to have a "miracle" win.

Real life
  • In one scene from Little Miss Sunshine, the adults in the van were having an obscenity-filled conversation while young Olive listened to music on her headphones. The director made sure that nine-year-old Abigail Breslin, who played Olive, had the music on her headphones loud enough that she actually couldn't hear the conversation.

Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • October 31, 2012
    CaveCat
    • In the 1994 remake of Angels In The Outfield, Roger covers up JP's ears when George Knox starts swearing during the game.
  • October 31, 2012
    TonyG
    The Simpsons Movie: The Disney Creatures Of The Farce who help Homer and Marge undress watch aghast as they have sex, and a buck puts his hoof over his son's eyes.
  • November 1, 2012
    Chabal2
    There's a House episode where the mother of a preteen girl covers her daughter's ears so she won't hear the word "masturbation".
  • November 1, 2012
    TBeholder
  • November 1, 2012
    StarSword
    Video Games
    • If Jack, known for her unusually foul mouth in Mass Effect 2, survived that game's endgame, in 3 she turns up as a teacher and makes a special effort not to swear in front of her students. Joker teases her that her Swear Jar could fund the war effort by itself. At which point Jack tells the kids to cover their ears and the scene cuts away.
  • November 1, 2012
    StarSword
    Newspaper Comics
    • A post-9/11 Blondie strip parodied the, um, excesses in airline security by having Dagwood have to repeatedly go through a metal detector, with the operator making him take off more clothes each time. He's in his underwear and the machine is still beeping when another guard comes up and tells the operator that the machine's broken. Cut to Dagwood on the plane begging the flight attendant to let him put his clothes back on before take-off, with a mother covering her kid's eyes elsewhere in the panel.
  • November 1, 2012
    DracMonster
    See No Evil Hear No Evil? Not sure if that's clear enough.

    Shielding The Little Pitcher (Or does that sound like a little league baseball trope?)
  • November 1, 2012
    Hertzyscowicz
    Not See No Evil Hear No Evil; that's about how you can't hear offscreen stuff that should be audible.

    In Spy Kids, the parents ask the kids to shut their eyes before beating up a bunch of Mooks.
  • November 1, 2012
    DracMonster
    Oops, didn't realize it wasn't a red link, haha.
  • November 1, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • An episode of Get Smart had Max communicating with a trapped Chief via Morse code. After Max bungles his rescue, Chief sends out some angry sounding taps. Max responds with "Watch your language, Chief. There is a lady present." When the angry taps continue, Max covers 99's ears.

    • An episode of Peter Pan And The Pirates had Hook spouting some strong insults at Peter, prompting Wendy to cover Michael's ears. One of the pirates decides Hook's language is too strong by even pirate standards and covers the cabin boy's ears.

    • A Running Gag in Chobits. Every time Hideki acts strange in public, a woman's voice can be heard telling a child "Don't look at him, honey."

    • An inversion happens in the chapter "The Most Bizarre Bizarro Of All" from the Bizarro Comics anthology. When a Bizarro starts walking on his hands and generally acting even too strange by Bizarro standards, all the children tell the adults not to watch or listen. (It is Bizarro World, after all.)
  • November 1, 2012
    spyergirl4
    This happens in Family Guy at one point. Peter takes Stewie to the bar with him, and Quagmire is about to tell a story of what he did with some women last night. Peter covers Stewies ears so he won't hear and we see some very strange pantomime on Quagmire's part but hear none of it thanks to Peter.
  • November 1, 2012
    robinjohnson
    Ned Flanders does this to one of his sons in an episode of The Simpsons after Moe loses his temper and repeatedly uses the word "freakin'". The boy cries "Ow, my freakin' ears!"
  • November 1, 2012
    Generality
    In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas covers a child bystander's eyes when one of the bad guys impales himself on a model building.
  • November 1, 2012
    mew4ever23
    In Charlie And The Chocolate Factory After Mike says "I hate chocolate," Grampa George begins to rant, "Well it's a good thing you're going to a chocolate factory, you ungrateful little-" At which point Charlie's ears are covered by Mr. Bucket, and we hear nothing until he removes them. Fair guess that it's swearing.
  • November 4, 2012
    JonnyB
    In The War Of The Worlds, Ray Ferrier blindfolds his daughter and tells her to cover her ears and sing her calming song so she won't see or hear as he kills Ogilvy.
  • November 5, 2012
    Ogodei
    Used in the movie Old School, where Vince Vaughn's character sets up a system where he tells his child "earmuffs," and the kid will cover his ears, allowing adults to say what they will.
  • November 7, 2012
    SKJAM
    Fanfiction: In chapter 33 of Magical Troubleshooting Crossover Fighting Federation Ultra succubus Morrigan strips herself naked in an attempt to distract Wolverine during a match. Combat Commentator Hiroshi covers guest commentator Sana's eyes, which she protests, since she has the same basic anatomy as Morrigan.
  • November 7, 2012
    notShemp
    In The Boondocks, Sarah covers Jazmine's ears when Tom starts swearing after the basketball team he is coaching not only loses but he misses the opportunity to have a "miracle" win.
  • November 7, 2012
    Twiddler
    ^ Was that in the comic or the show?
  • November 8, 2012
    Twiddler
    Okay, I just took a wild guess and put it under Western Animation.
  • November 8, 2012
    JoeG
    • Real Life: In one scene from Little Miss Sunshine, the adults in the van were having an obscenity-filled conversation while young Olive listened to music on her headphones. The director made sure that nine-year-old Abigail Breslin, who played Olive, had the music on her headphones loud enough that she actually couldn't hear the conversation.
  • November 8, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime and Manga

    • One episode of Tenchi in Tokyo has Ayeka, Sasami, Ryoko, and Ryo Ohki watching a soap opera. When the action onscreen starts to heat up, Ayeaka blushes in embarrassment and covers Sasami's eyes, who then covers Ryo Ohki's eyes. Guess whose eyes were glued to the screen?
  • November 9, 2012
    Twiddler
    Does anyone think it could use a better name? Or maybe one redirect for Cover Innocent Eyes and another for ears?
  • November 9, 2012
    StarSword
    Seems fine as-is.
  • November 23, 2012
    robinjohnson
    Cover The Children's Ears for a succinct What It Says On The Tin title? I think it works even though the trope also covers covering eyes and people who aren't children. (Or would it fall foul of No New Stock Phrases?)
  • November 23, 2012
    GoldenDarkness
    In the A Certain Magical Index light novels, Brunhild Eiktobel puts to sleep a little boy she's been watching over when she senses danger. The last thing she needed was for the boy to see the ensuing carnage when her attackers struck.
  • December 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Bones while discussing the case of the week in front of Booth's young son, Booth covers his son's ears and makes him sing a little song while the adults talk.
  • December 19, 2012
    StarSword
    Fixed namespaces and a wick.
  • January 11, 2013
    SharleeD
    • In Yamara, a dark elf mother covers her son's eyes when the tour they're on visits an erotically-carved temple. Ironically, the tour members had already been tortured as part of their visit, but the boy's mom doesn't mind that, only the raunchy art.
  • January 12, 2013
    lakingsif
    • In Ugly Betty Justin is repeatedly told to put his headphones on during the second episode, when he is still rather young.
  • January 12, 2013
    TropeEater
    I think "Cover Innocent Eyes" OR "Cover Innocent Ears" would work better than "Cover Innocent Eyes/Ears".
  • February 13, 2013
    Twiddler
    Anyone else have thoughts on the name? I'm stumped here.
  • February 13, 2013
    lexicon
    My thought is to take the one that's more common and use that one. The description can say that the other one counts too. After it's launched please put in on Tropes Of Innocence.
  • March 18, 2013
    CaveCat
  • March 19, 2013
    Chabal2
    A variation in The Simpsons where Bart is sent to a religious school and is asked by the teacher to recite a poem. Bart complies with "Beans, beans the magical fruit! The more you eat the more, you toot!" Cut to Bart fleeing the furious mob, with the teacher yelling "Avert your eyes, children! It may take on other forms!"
  • March 29, 2016
    barryc10
    Does this have a sister trope where the subject is covering their own eyes or ears? Like they just walked in on something or heard something obscene or embarrassing?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1v6suxk8j9b6l9eib235b9cy&trope=CoverInnocentEyesAndEars