->''"If those wisps of smoke are meant to hide Omega Redís '[[ICallHimMisterHappy carbonadium tentacle]]' in order to make sure this thing could still be approved by the Comics Code, then Arkadyís genitals are positioned in a weirdly high spot on his crotch. Congratulations: You now know [[BrainBleach more about Omega Redís ding-dang]] than you did five minutes ago."''\\
--'''Chris Sims''' [[http://comicsalliance.com/bizarro-back-issues-omega-red-and-his-mutant-death-factor/ on]] Jim Lee's ''{{ComicBook/X-Men}}''

The use of strategically placed steam or smoke to censor the "naughty bits". Used most often in {{Anime}}, but also in WesternAnimation. Its use in [[LiveActionTV Live Action]] is rarer, as real smoke is hard to control, and is often transparent. Most recently, CensorSteam can also be seen in the form of glimmering rays of light, or [[CensorShadow black shadows]].

In recent years, many shows are marketed with explicit intent to be released on DVD, and for anime one of the best incentives to encourage people to buy is, literally, FanService. However, many broadcast networks have particular policies against sexually explicit content (as opposed to direct sale via [=DVDs=], which has none).

Thus the cheapest way to fulfill both needs is not to redo animation just to include FanService, but broadcast it initially censored. For many series, fans became suspicious that this was done intentionally merely to get them to pay up.

A BonusEpisode meets the two ideas in the middle.

Coined from the preferred censorship tactic of the {{fanservice}} anime ''Manga/GirlsBravo'', which often obscured entire scenes until the second season premiered on another network.

The comedic version is usually RelaxOVision.

A similar phenomenon is noted in more recent U.S. superhero comics, and is most strongly associated with the Comicbook/{{X-Men}} character Storm.

A related trope, in which strategic placement of props is used to obscure nudity, is SceneryCensor. In bath scenes, often replaced with CensorSuds or a ModestyTowel. In the bedroom, it's often replaced with the ModestyBedsheet.

[[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] ExcessiveSteamSyndrome, nor should it be confused with censoring UsefulNotes/{{Steam}}.

Another related trope, in which the naughty bits simply aren't drawn at all, is BarbieDollAnatomy.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Lampshaded in episode 3 of Ore no Nōnai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru, when censoring efforts prevent kanade from fulfilling his mission of seeing panties.
* Occurs when Yoruichi changes from a cat to [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kerai/1108697944926.png a (naked) woman]] in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', complete with conveniently-placed smoke.
** Also occurs when Nel [[spoiler:becomes Neliel]], although this is a little strange, since [[spoiler:her clothing does cover her naughty bits (barely)]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has a special ninja technique he created known as the "Sexy Jutsu," where he changes into a beautiful, naked woman to throw opponents off guard. Every time he does this, clouds of smoke cover the naughty bits. This can be partly written off, however, as just about ''every'' jutsu that ninja perform creates smoke.
** Although in the Creator/DisneyXD version of ''Shippuden'', it's expanded so much that it covers pretty much everything but the head.
** Related to Jiraiya, a more explicit panel in the manga showed his view while peeping on women in the hot springs. In this case, censor steam was present, but was apparently in short supply as virtually nothing was left to the imagination.
** In the episode where the Harem Jutsu is first used, it shows the Harem Jutsu is basically the same thing; only that multiple clones of the naked girl they have transformed into have appeared. Of course, smoke that slowly moves out of the way covers their chest and groin.
* Pick any anime based on manga by Ken Akamatsu; ''MahouSenseiNegima'' has this in ''spades''. In his mangas there is often no steam, and the outlines of breasts and buttocks will be plainly displayed, but the characters will be drawn without [[BarbieDollAnatomy "naughty"]] details.
* In ''FruitsBasket'', when the Juuninshi turn back from animals into (completely naked) humans, the transformation is accompanied by clouds of magical glittery stuff that handily obscures almost everything but the character's face.
* The ''Manga/AirGear'' anime parodies this by using doofy-looking crows that appear out of nowhere, sometimes even when the original manga panel had ''already'' used Censor Steam. On occasion, the crows start cawing, or fly away when they're done covering people up.
* ''Manga/GirlsBravo'' has this a ''lot'', especially since the bath is very important to the plot.
* In the ''BlueDrop'' anime, the scene between Mari and Hagino in the pool gets obscured by immense air bubbles right at the moment [[spoiler:when the girls declare their love and kiss]], in a degree of prudishness that is quite removed from the [[{{Hentai}} straightforward nature]] of the original manga.
* Used fairly often in ''Manga/ToLoveRu'' whenever any of the cast are naked. Lala also uses her tail for this purpose if no steam is convenient.
* ''Anime/DigimonSavers'': When [[BigBad Kurata]] is upgrading the QuirkyMinibossSquad, they're in [[PeopleJars tubes]] half-full of CensorSteam. The two males are sufficiently covered, while the lone female is sitting down for some reason.
* In ''Manga/ThePrinceOfTennis'', while fan-favorite Atobe Keigo takes a shower.
* Oddly present during Subaru and Teana's ShowerScene in the ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' [[ComicBookAdaptation supplementary manga set before the third season]]. Oddly, because the manga isn't shy about displaying the characters in all their [[BarbieDollAnatomy undetailed glory]].
* Used every now and then in ''Manga/OnePiece''. The author even lampshaded this in his question-and-answer corner:
-->'''Eiichiro Oda:''' If it didn't just so happen to obscure the view, you'd see his weenie.
* While both the ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' manga and anime show Revy's nipples during a ShowerScene, steam conveniently covers her crotch.
* Present whenever the characters of ''Manga/{{Saki}}'' are bathing in the TV version. Naturally, these were removed in the DVD version.
* ''Manga/XxxHOLiC: A Midsummer Night's Dream'' plays this trope perfectly. In an opening scene, Yuuko is naked and half turned away from the screen, covered by transparent spirits.
* ''TheMelancholyOfHaruhiSuzumiya'' uses this ''in-universe'' for the [[NonIndicativeFirstEpisode video they made for the school festival]].
** Wasn't it Lampshaded?
* ''NogizakaHarukaNoHimitsu'' is fast becoming infamous for the nearly comic overuse of this, including multiple frames where the screen essentially goes totally white. Odder still, unedited shots reveal that the characters are quite covered.
* It shows up in the onsen episode of ''PrincessLover'', even to the extent that the girls comment on it.
* Kaito from ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch''.
* ''StrikeWitches'' takes liberal use of this in the bath scenes, and the steam is then removed for the DVD releases. Becomes a bit too obvious as the steam follows the more naked characters around while ignoring others
* In ''Manga/CherryJuice'', a combination of literal steam and BarbieDollAnatomy are used to cover the naughty bits of the protagonists in their bath scenes.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' regularly uses steam when the female characters are bathing. How much it covers actually varies much.
* ''[[Anime/{{Persona 4}} Persona 4: The Animation]]'' uses this in [[HotSpringsEpisode episode 20]] to cover the girls up.
* In episode 33 of ''Anime/SaintSeiyaOmega'', [[spoiler:after being briefly defeated by Gemini Paradox, Ryuhou is shown floating in some kind of limbo, [[OutOfClothesExperience naked]], [[http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdnjqdVcrt1ri7mqwo1_1280.jpg while some kind of black mist covers his naughty parts]]. Another shot during the same scene, showing him from the back, [[http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdqwlxZL7T1rxyeyoo3_1280.jpg averts this]].]]
* In one chapter of the manga version of ''{{VideoGame/Neptunia}}'', in which Nepgear, Uni, Rom and Ram were turned into babies, their private parts are convieniently censored by this and GodivaHair when they return to their normal ages.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Card Games]]
* A few older ''MagicTheGathering'' cards, most notably [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=2723 Essence Vortex]]. What the illustration and card text have to do with one another is... a good question sometimes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' is quite fond of this. The aforementioned {{Storm}} (whose culture doesn't have much of a nudity taboo) is the queen of [[InnocentFanserviceGirl Innocent Fanservice]], and then there are the numerous occasions on which someone proves to be MadeOfIron and their [[ClothingDamage outfits don't.]] This happens to men and women alike. Equal opportunity {{Fanservice}}!
* [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5bcfpMCxb6I/SgbNV8-fMTI/AAAAAAAAFOg/siYBDHIV5lI/s1600-h/Spider-Man+%23593+003.jpg The Censor Steam]] looks good on [[SpiderMan Peter Parker]], too.
** Gwen Stacy's "return" in the ''Smoke and Mirrors'' arc has an overt case of this.
** Mary-Jane Watson and Felicia ''Black Cat'' hardy also get this from time to time.
** ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' is fond of this trope. It seems like Spidey can't beat the bad guys for good unless one of them (and often both) is naked and only censored by steam or [[LensFlareCensor light]]. Electro is probably the worst offender.
* Cloud from ''ComicBook/TheDefenders'' had a 'costume' that consisted of swirls of cloud covering her privates.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' fought the monster Grendel unarmed and completely naked (in order to fight on equal ground). When unexplained smoke isn't around, most of the battle consists of Beowulf jumping around like a circus monkey playing [[SceneryCensor "Hide the Wiener."]]
* The ShowerScene in the movie ''Film/IRobot''.
* The "Arnie" cameo in ''[[TheTerminator Terminator Salvation]]'', as spoofed in [[http://cartoons.sev.com.au/Sev-Space/Terminator/s965 this Sev Trek cartoon]].
* Done to great comedic effect in ''Theatre/MyFairLady'', when Professor Higgins's servants give Eliza Doolittle her first bath. The entire frame fills with steam as they close in on her, so that all we see are billows of white and an occasional towel (all while she loudly protests, "I'm a good girl, I am!").
* The Oracle in ''[[ThreeHundred 300]]''. Not entirely, but for the most part.
* ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Part 1'': Ron's vision of [[spoiler: Locket! Harry and Hermione making out while naked]] Definitely helped it get a PG-13 rating.
* An (interrupted) almost-sex scene in the B-picture HellComesToFrogtown uses the shadow of the the female character's own leg as her CensorSteam.
* Copious amounts of CensorSteam get used on Selene in the fourth installment of the ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' series, ''Awakening''. She breaks out of her cryogenic chamber and is lying on the floor naked for at least a minute before she gets up to retrieve her gear. All the while, not a single "naughty bit" was seen.
\
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Happens in the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' [[LightNovel/DisgaeaNovels novels]] when [[Characters/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness Flonne and Etna]] are bathing in a hot spring.
* ''Lady of the Bees'' by Thomas Burnett Swan has censor steam [[http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/2013/04/lady-of-the-bees on its cover]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The end of the first season of the 2000s ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' has a mob of identical Cylon women nude save for unexplained black shadow-like censor steam.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s Duras sisters. Just as well -- they're all-Klingon.
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series''' first episode, Tessa's shower scene. Interestingly, the amount of censor steam had to be upped for the US version-the amount in the original wasn't enough to get past US censors.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In the Genesis song "The Fountain of Salmacis", when Hermaphroditus first meets the title character: "He turned and saw her, in a cloak of mist alone".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Used in the sauna scenes in the video for the BritneySpears song ''Womanizer''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' with Chadarnook, one of the bosses.
** And in the PlayStation port of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' for Magissa; in the original, her "armour" covers her belly ''and nothing else''.
* When ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' summons a demon, it is formed from her clothes, but a trail of CensorSteam still remains to preserve her modesty.
* Used to obscure some showering co-eds in the second installment of ''TheSpellcastingSeries''.
* The ShowerScene from ''VideoGame/CosmicFantasy 2'' has this in all versions except the ''Cosmic Fantasy Visual Collection''.
* In {{Turgor}} when interacting with the Sisters to give them Color, they're completely naked save for binding chains that, for the most part, obscure all of their "fiddly bits".
* VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty In the ending video, [[spoiler:this happens to Kerrigan]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''{{Magellan}}'' the invulnerable Charisma Epoch has her dress completely burned off by a ball of fire... lucky for her the [[http://magellanverse.com/?p=635 smoke lingers]] long enough to barely shield her modesty.
* ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'' uses the steam from a [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb970.html cup of coffee]] to conceal a nude Pirta's nipples from the viewer.
* Subverted in [[http://intragalacticcomic.com/2010/02/05/135-closet-fight/ this]] ''{{Intragalactic}}'', where the smoke covers the man's nipples, but not the woman's.
* Combined with GodivaHair in [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Crossoverkill/5367110/ this shower scene]] from ''Webcomic/{{Crossoverkill}}''.
* In ''Webcomic/{{GirlsInSpace}}'', Red's modesty is preserved in this [[http://www.girlsinspace.co.uk/comic/around-the-universe-in-a-bath-towel-page-05/ shower scene]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' featured an Animated Segment called "Full Frontal Nudity", in which a man trying to watch a naughty film is prevented from seeing any "naughty bits" by increasingly bizarre CensorSteam and SceneryCensor, someone casting a shadow on the screen and, in the end, a traffic pileup in the middle of the theater.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', along with [[HandOrObjectUnderwear using his hands to cover his you-know-what]], steam covers Danny's naughty zone when he's taking a shower (and exposed to the public).
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FairlyOddParents'' special episode, "Fairly Odd Baby," there's one scene where Timmy steps out of the shower, obviously naked, and sees that all of Fairy World has shown up in his bathroom to celebrate Cosmo and Wanda's baby shower. Luckily, the steam from the hot shower covered up his private parts until he wished for a [[ModestyTowel towel.]]
* The heroine "Fire" in ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', while using her power, is essentially naked, except for strategically placed wisps of green flame.
** The artists had to go through several different designs [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar to get it past the censors]].
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' is famous for it. During Fanservice bits (Yumi taking a bath or Aelita in the shower, just to name a few), [=MoonScoop=] made sure to have the water steam up or to cut the frame so that viewers didn't see their naughty bits.
* Censor Steam is used in ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'' episode 22, when Sadlygrove (suffering from a sun fever) is hallucinating of Evangelyne showering.
* ''InvisibleNetworkOfKids'': One episode featured a shot of three boys showering naked; conveniently placed steam was the only thing covering their crotches.
[[/folder]]

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