Created By: DoctorNemesisJuly 3, 2010 Last Edited By: CrypticMirrorJanuary 19, 2011
Troped

The Swear Jar

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Page Type:
Trope
One (or more) of the characters has a particularly foul mouth, so another character decides to institute The Swear Jar so that they have to pay up every time they use rude language. Hilarity Ensues as the character who used to swear like a sailor either drops an unfathomable amount of cash into the jar or ends up having to self-censor everything they say. Also expect the character who instigated the jar to end up falling foul of their own rules and having to put money in as well. May also appear as a more generic Forfeit Jar if any character is particularly prone to specific words, phrases or acts.

Don't expect it to last beyond an episode.

Examples

Advertising
  • There's a Canadian Tire commercial where, because of botched attempts at home repair due to not having the right tools, a man's swear jar ends up paying for the tool being advertised.
  • There was one Budweiser commercial involving the profanity jar, with proceeds going to the next case of beer -- profanity ensues. [1]

Comics

Films
  • Shows up in Hot Fuzz: Nicolas and Andy have other characters dropping coins in he jar for them as they have a heated argument, and both turn aside to politely thank them for paying in.
  • The Richard Pryor movie Moving had one. It is shown used normally to punish his daughter for swearing. She then pays in advance at one point so she can cuss him out. Later, when the "move" goes very badly we see Pryor prepare to let loose... instead the movie cuts to the jar totally stuffed with cash.
  • Legally enforced in Demolition Man.

Live Action TV
  • New Tricks has the detectives install one, which eventually allows them to go out for a nice meal on the town. Gerry's a bit aggrieved that he didn't get to chose, since he "put most of the bloody money in."
  • On Friends the people at Alexandro's Restaurant had initiated a "shouting jar":
    Monica: I did not yell! I am not putting a dollar in the jar.
  • Not for swearing, but an episode of Power Rangers Ninja Storm has Lothor demand that every time Monster Of The Week Boxing Bop-A-Roo says a made up word he is to put a dollar in a jar.
  • Once on Saturday Night Live when Cheri Oteri inadvertantly said "shit" during the show, at the end host David Schwimmer made her put a dollar in the SNL swear jar.
  • In Top Gear when road testing a new Alfa Romeo presenter James May has a swear box for everytime he uses a word like "soul" or "passion", he uses a lot of money. Excerpt here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOv4A_NFswY
  • In an episode of Two And A Half Men, Jake points out that Charlie needs to put a dollar in the jar because he swore earlier. Charlie pulls out a twenty: "That oughta cover me till lunch."
  • In Pawn Stars, "the old man" institutes a swear jar. It quickly fills, and while counting the money, he swears himself.

[AC: Web Original]]
  • The Salvation War has a variation on this; any time one of the researchers looking for a gateway to Heaven wishes aloud for Einstein/Feynman/insert-Nobel-Prize-winner-here to magically appear and help them solve a particular problem, they cough up a couple of bucks. Last Friday of the month, everyone goes out drinking with the cash.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons finds Homer having to deal with one of these whilst he's building a doghouse for Santa's Little Helper. He ends up shouting things like "Fiddle-dee-dee!" after stepping on rusty nails, and puts enough money in the jar to enable the purchase of a rather large and cosy doghouse -- which is good, since the one Homer built sucked.
  • American Dad - In fact the family has dozens of jars, one for each word. Including "moist".

Real Life
  • Director Robert Rodriguez didn't want the crew swearing in front of the young cast in Spy Kids, so he instituted one of these. One of the crewmen slipped up, and went "Oh shit...ake mushrooms", in order to avoid the fine. Rodriguez liked this so much he included the line in the move.
  • During the shoot of 2005's Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe movie, according to the commentary, only Georgie Henley (playing Lucy) was doing the collecting herself.

I'm sure there's more.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • November 3, 2009
    FireWalkWithCheese
    Shows up in Hot Fuzz: Nicolas and Andy have other characters dropping coins in he jar for them as they have a heated argument, and both turn aside to politely thank them for paying in.
  • November 3, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I'm pretty sure one showed up in at least one strip of ''Beetle Bailey', as part of a joke on Sarge's proliference towards "@#£¤$%&§!!" style swearing (we DO have a trope for that, right?) with comments about him singlehandedly balancing the military budget.
  • November 3, 2009
    FireWalkWithCheese
    @UT: That's &%*!ing Symbol Swearing in Beetle Bailey
  • November 3, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Real Life: Director Robert Rodriguez didn't want the crew swearing in front of the young cast in Spy Kids, so he instituted one of these. One of the crewmen slipped up, and went "Oh shit...ake mushrooms", in order to avoid the fine. Rodriguez liked this so much he included the line in the move.
  • November 3, 2009
    foxley
    Patty, a kindergarten teacher, maintains one for her gaming group Patty's Perps in Knights Of The Dinner Table.
  • November 3, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I don't know if it counts, but Gabe from Penny Arcade tries something similar to save money.
  • November 3, 2009
    Unknown%2520Troper
    In an episode of Two And A Half Men, Jake points out that Charlie needs to put a dollar in the jar because he swore earlier. Charlie pulls out a twenty: "That oughtta cover me till lunch."
  • November 3, 2009
    CrypticMirror
    In Top Gear when road testing a new Alfa Romeo presenter James May has a swear box for everytime he uses a word like "soul", "passion" he uses a lot of money. Excerpt here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOv4A_NFswY
  • November 3, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    In Pawn Stars, "the old man" institutes a swear jar. It quickly fills, and while counting the money, he swears himself.
  • November 3, 2009
    FurikoMaru
    The Salvation War has a variation on this; any time one of the researchers looking for a gateway to Heaven wishes aloud for Einstein/Feynman/insert-Nobel-Prize-winner-here to magically appear and help them solve a particular problem, they cough up a couple of bucks. Last Friday of the month, everyone goes out drinking with the cash.
  • November 3, 2009
    random surfer
    Once on Saturday Night Live when Cheri Oteri inadvertantly said "shit" during the show, at the end host David Schwimmer made her put a dollar in the SNL swear jar.
  • November 4, 2009
    CrypticMirror
    I get the feeling we have this one already. Oh well example time:

    Not for swearing, but an episode of Power Rangers Ninja Storm has Lothor demand that every time Monster Of The Week Boxing Bop-A-Roo says a made up word he is to put a dollar in a jar.
  • November 4, 2009
    Nate the Great
    On Friends the people at Alexandro's Restaurant had initiated a "shouting jar" for similar reasons:
    Monica: I did not yell! I am not putting a dollar in the jar.
  • November 4, 2009
    Wristmilk
    The Richard Pryor movie "Moving" had one. It is shown used normally to punish his daughter for swearing. She then pays in advance at one point so she can cuss him out. Later, when the "move" goes very badly we see Pryor prepare to let loose... instead the movie cuts to the jar totally stuffed with cash.
  • November 4, 2009
    Seikai
    Baby Blues has this, with Darryl having to put money into the Swearing Jar numerous times.
  • December 9, 2009
    CrypticMirror
  • December 9, 2009
    choir
    Similar Real Life incident during the shoot of 2005's Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe movie, according to the commentary, only Georgie Henley (playing Lucy) was doing the collecting herself.
  • July 1, 2010
    CrypticMirror
  • July 1, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    American Dad - In fact the family has dozens of jars, one for each word. Including "moist".
  • July 1, 2010
    Stratadrake
    There was one Budweiser commercial involving the profanity jar, with proceeds going to the next case of beer -- profanity ensues. [1]
  • July 1, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
    Legally enforced in Demolition Man.
  • July 1, 2010
    Koncur
    • There's a Canadian Tire commercial where, because of botched attempts at home repair due to not having the right tools, a man's swear jar ends up paying for the tool being advertised.
  • January 19, 2011
    Jumpingzombie
    I can't think of any new examples ATM, nut I'm bumping this up because I think it is worth launching.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable