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[-[[caption-width-right:319:The overly blatant portrayal of sexual symbols on this statue's underwear [[{{Irony}} really goes against the grain!]]]]-]

-> ''"It's been a week, dude. You came back from the [[[NeverSayDie hurt]]] after I [destroyed] you and sent you to [[[GoshDangItToHeck Hades]]]. That stuff was cut. For, uh... time.''"
-->-- '''Joel''', to the no-longer-dead Phil, after retooling ''WebAnimation/BonusStage'' as a kids' show

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[[folder: ''This page has been deemed Too Inappropriate by the Moral Guardians so they have set up a [[Bowdler/Bowdlerise Family Friendly Substitute ]]
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To Bowdlerize[[labelnote:Pronunciation]]"Bow" (as in "port bow" or "cow" minus c) plus "dler" (as in Film/SchindlersList) plus "ize" (pronounced like eyes).[[/labelnote]] means to alter existing programs, plays, etc. so they are less rude and/or offensive. Commonly, this takes the form of swapping "curse" words for less effective euphemisms. The term is used in a negative sense, by those who think the alterations are often done with a ridiculously high [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope fear of lawsuits]] and/or [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad need for political correctness]].

While some changes may seem reasonable for broadcast (editing out blood splatter, a character being riddled by bullet holes, or a ClusterFBomb), some are less forgivable ([[FrothyMugsOfWater changing beer to water]], editing out a cigarette even from a bad guy's hand, [[FamilyFriendlyFirearms changing a six-round revolver to a water gun or slingshot]], or [[NobodyCanDie whenever a situation presents itself where death should be a given, it's always avoided or explained away]]).

Extreme cases involve editing out emotions like sadness (even when it makes perfect sense for emotions to be shown), removing entire episodes or seasons, or causing a [[DubInducedPlotHole plot hole]] to develop.

Named after Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), who first did it on Literature/TheBible and Creator/WilliamShakespeare's plays; for instance, changing [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Ophelia's drowning]] from suicide to accident. It's worth noting that Bowdler himself created his "Family Shakespeare" versions as a way to introduce Shakespeare's plays to audiences who would otherwise be barred from experiencing them at all, and actively encouraged people to seek out the originals. Sadly, this cannot be said of most modern Bowdlerisers. Before him, the French Duke of Montausier published "ad usum Delphini" versions of works for the Dauphin (heir apparent) of France. "Ad usum Delphini" is now a synonym of this trope.

CulturalTranslation can often contain elements of Bowdlerization. See TWordEuphemism for a mild form of bowdlerization. See also CutAndPasteTranslation (which specifically refers to Bowdlerization in translated works and refers more to the final product than the process) and {{Disneyfication}} (which generally goes further, in not only removing content, but adding new, "kid-friendly" content). See BluenoseBowdlerizer for when it happens here on the wiki.

The inverse of this trope is AmericanKirbyIsHardcore. Yet another related trope is BleachedUnderpants, where a creator self-censors his work to appeal to a broader audience. There is also a CensoredTitle, for when a work seems to be Bowdlerized, but only the title is for marketing purposes.

Tropes which often or always arise from Bowdlerisation include:

* BikiniBar: Strip clubs and other sex establishments have the workers in relatively "innocent" skimpy clothes (usually a bikini) rather than being naked, topless, or in some kind of overt fetish costume.
* BlackBlood and MadeOfBologna: Covering up extreme gore and blood through digital editing or redrawing the carnage so it's less shocking.
* DigitalBikini: Using digital editing to add clothes to naked people or to make someone's clothes less revealing. Can be used in conjunction with BikiniBar.
* EditedForSyndication: Most of the bowdlerization does occur after a TV show is put into syndication or makes its rounds on the international market.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: Replacing realistic weapons with more fantastic or less lethal (often ridiculous, in the case of ''Anime/OnePiece'') ones.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Replacing alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks (usually juice, soda, or water) and hand-waving the drunken behavior as "acting crazy" or "[[TookALevelInJerkAss being a jerk]]".
* GoshDangItToHeck: Replacing sensitive words with their "safer" variants ("damn" to "darn", "hell" to "heck", "ass" to "butt" or "rear", etc). WitchWithACapitalB is the same thing, only it focuses on toning down the word "bitch".
* NeverSayDie: Characters can't mention anything about death and the afterlife because it may be too upsetting; even ghosts might be seen as too creepy for kids. In many cases, the word "kill" can ''never'' be used, even if [[JustJokingJustification it's in a comedic context]].
* NoSmoking: Characters can't enjoy a cigarette (be it tobacco or marijuana -- or, in extreme cases, crack cocaine or meth), lest more impressionable viewers imitate what they see.
* NoSwastikas: Removing racist imagery (usually swastikas or anything having to do with AdolfHitler and his Nazi regime).
* PositiveDiscrimination: The villain or ButtMonkey can't be a member of a race, ethnic group, religion, or social class that has historically been persecuted. Even when the group the hated character represents ''hasn't'' been persecuted, this trope may still come into play if the group the character represents wields a lot of power in society and threatens a boycott of the work. (However, if a character becomes a villain ''[[ThenLetMeBeEvil because]]'' [[StartOfDarkness of persecution]], that's usually okay to show.)
* ShesAManInJapan, GetBackInTheCloset, and HideYourLesbians: Changing a gay, lesbian, or transgender character into a heterosexual character (and turning their gay, lesbian, or transsexual relationships into heterosexual ones) for less tolerant audiences.
* TooSoon: Editing, delaying, or banning something (mostly TV shows and movies) due to the plot being similar to a real-life current event that may be considered "in bad taste." FunnyAneurysmMoment is similar, but only applies to past media that somehow "predicts" future bad events.

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!!Examples:

* Bowdlerise/AnimeAndManga
* Bowdlerise/ComicBooks
* Bowdlerise/{{Film}}
* Bowdlerise/{{Literature}}
* Bowdlerise/LiveActionTV
* Bowdlerise/{{Music}}
* Bowdlerise/MythAndLegend
* Bowdlerise/NewMedia
* Bowdlerise/NewspaperComics
* Bowdlerise/{{Pinball}}
* Bowdlerise/ProfessionalWrestling
* Bowdlerise/{{Theater}}
* Bowdlerise/VideoGames
* Bowdlerise/WebComics
* Bowdlerise/WesternAnimation
* Bowdlerise/RealLife

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