->''"I just wrote on the wall. Take '''that''', society!"''
-->--'''Graffiti sprayed on a wall in an episode of FamilyGuy'''

Since the 1970s, UsefulNotes/{{graffiti}} have become an increasingly common occurrence in urban areas, and you probably won't find a back alley or an underpass that doesn't have a handful of tags sprayed on, unless it's been recently buffed. Therefore, when works of fiction deal with modern urban settings, graffiti cannot be exactly ignored. In live-action movies and TV series, one can just film the real things, but with comics, animation and video games, the artists must stretch their own imagination.

Since most artists don't have an aerosol-scented past, graffiti are usually ignored, unless used as a plot point, such as conveying ArcWords. Also, you rarely see massive murals painted as homages to the neighborhood.

Also a popular form of territorial marking by GangBangers. See also BathroomStallGraffiti, SweetieGraffiti.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The America episode in ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' featured hilariously GratuitousEnglish graffiti.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' features plenty of graffiti written in English. Mostly simple, generic phrases ("DIE PUNKS", "FUCK YOU", etc).
* [[BigApplesauce In case we forget where she came from]], Revy from ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' mention how the painting in the "Das Wieder Erstehen Des Adlers" arc isn't any better-looking than New York subway graffiti. There's also a scene with BathroomStallGraffiti, including rather generic scribbling.
* ''SamuraiChamploo'' had an episode involving some graffiti artists. Then Mugen gets in on it.
* Averted in ''Anime/{{Monster}}'', where some of the graffiti is thematically related (in a slightly [[BreakingTheFourthWall meta]] way) to the plot or surrounding scenery.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' has no tags in sight. "Who Watches the Watchmen" is painted liberally on any available surface, as well as a lot of band names and other thematic stuff.
** There is one notable tag. Artist Dave Gibbons drew a stylzed "G" as part of the repeating graffiti, usually alongside "Who Watches the Watchmen?". So you could say that he tagged the landscape.
* In ''ComicBook/TheFilth'', the tagged underside of a bridge has some tags, but mostly ties in with the theme of the story.
* ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'' visits New York in one story, and one wall has a graffito reading "Lee Falk Was Here", Falk being the author of the strip.
* The Swedish strip ''ComicBook/{{Rocky}}'' has a RunningGag where the word "Penis" is spraypainted everywhere.
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' featured graffiti [[ShoutOut reading notable fans names]].
* Averted by Brandon Graham, who is actually was a graffiti artist when he was younger so he usually has fairly authentic looking tags littered throughout the environments of his comics.
* in ''City Of Silence'' by WarrenEllis and Gary Erskine most of the Graffiti are scrawled phrases like "No Mercy No Future" or "Psycho Christian Rappers Suck".
* In ''TopTen'', the graffitti around Neopolis is a part of the background feel of a city inhabited exclusively by super-heroes and super-villains. Almost all of it is parodies of comics tag-lines throughout history or the territorial tags of Neopolis street gangs, who are themselves parodies of super-teams. The men-room graffitti at ''Godz'' (a bar patronized solely by PhysicalGods) is oriented toward the mythological clientele of the bar.
* ''JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' may lack the more artistic forms of graffiti, but averts this trope when he takes advantage of using the graffiti to help set the mood, reference something, or poke fun at typical writings found on bathroom walls, Such as "If you looking for a good time, don't call me. I am boring."
* Averted in ''TheInvisibles'', where King Mob is often portrayed as tagging properly.
* Averted in ''ComicBook/MarshalLaw''. The city and the comic book are absolutely covered in graffiti, most of it pop culture satire. Half the fun of the book is reading it, a personal favorite is "Real men don't write slogans."
* Issue #50 of the third ''Comicbook/{{X-Factor}}'' comic book series ends with a character walking past a wall covered with graffiti for the names and initials of the various creators who've worked on the title.
* Much like the film of ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' the young girl does graffiti ("BOLLOCKS" and then a V) once the cameras go down. [[spoiler:Except she survives.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'', alongside realistic and real graffiti (including a Banksy piece, which is an anachronism, as someone painted over it some time after the movie's release), there is a lot of Arc Graffiti, such as "Last one alive please turn out the light"
* ''Film/ReturnToOz'', the words "Beware the Wheelers" is written on the wall of the ruined Emerald City.
* In ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'', the protagonist enters a church after the abandonment of London and sees REPENT/THE END IS/EXTREMELY/FUCKING/NIGH written on the wall of the church.
* The ''Film/StarskyAndHutch'' movie [[ShownTheirWork didn't fall to this]]. At the scene where the pair meets Huggy Bear, the graffiti on the background are very authentic-looking 1970s-style graffiti.
* ''Film/TheWarriors'' has the titular gang painting over another gang's tag.
** A real gang's tag, and they were not happy with the producers about it. The studio made it up by hiring them as extras in the film.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' has the political type.
* The film ''Film/DemolitionMan'' has LaResistance using time bombs to speed-paint grafitti on surfaces - which have built-in automated grafitti-erasers eliminate it three seconds later, so one wonders why they bother.
* ''Hood of Horror'' features a magical spray-paint can. If one uses it to "slash" other's tags, they'll die.
* ''Film/TheBrothersBloom'' uses some street art to set up a visual gag in one early scene.
* One recurring element in ''Film/BeKindRewind'' is a large mural the two main characters are working on in honor of a famous jazz musician who lived in their neighborhood.
* In ''Film/VForVendetta'', a young girl who idolizes V starts tagging his logo all over London. When a cop sees her doing it, he shoots her right in a public street. This does not sit well with the people watching.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The hero in ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' is angered when he sees the word "Fuck" scrawled on the wall in a public place where kids are likely to see it.
* The graffiti in [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Ankh-Morpork]] are [[TakeOurWordForIt apparently]] also heavy on profanity. Then there's also Troll Graffiti, which are scratched into walls. [[ArcWords Mr Shine. Him Diamond]].
** Dealing with graffiti is one of many things Adora Belle Dearheart has to do in her capacity as Golem Trust secretary. In ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' when she asks Moist what it says over the door, he replies that it says "Smash the barstuds."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': "[[ArcWords BAD WOLF]]"
* ''LookAroundYou'': "Maths"
-->[Two children on an urban street.]\\
'''Narrator:''' Look around you.\\
[One of the children starts spraying something on the brick wall, while the other plays lookout.]\\
'''Narrator:''' Look around you. Just... look around you. Have you worked out what we are looking at?\\
[The graffito finished, both children run away.]\\
'''Narrator:''' That's right, the answer is... maths.\\
[Pan back to reveal that the graffito is a complicated integral equation.]
* What is Will actually spraying in the intro to ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir''?
** His armpits?
* The character of Jonah in the Australian comedy ''Series/SummerHeightsHigh'' has his personal tag throughout the series: "Dictation", which consists of a crude penis, followed by the letters "TATION", is seen all over the school in many scenes.
* The opening titles ''Series/{{Rome}}'' show that graffiti is, in fact, OlderThanFeudalism. The tags come to life and dance to the opening theme music. Since the tags are in Latin, there's some BilingualBonus to be had, but a lot of it is pretty unambiguous.
* One of the classic sketches of ''Seris/SaturdayNightLive'' was a fake commercial starring real-life New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. He announced a new anti-graffiti measure whereby first-time offenders would have "Sucks!" spray-painted under their tag. Second-timers would have a specially trained artist write "Sucks!" in the same script that you did. And woe be to third-timers: Their tags would be saddled with "Sucks Big Time!"
* The walls of New Cap City in ''Series/{{Caprica}}'' contain many graffitis, some generic and others of some importance. One of the important ones is the stylised "T" symbols that represents [[spoiler: Tamara]]. The other one is the image of a man and a caption reading "This is not me. It's just my body vehicle". The latter graffiti has sparked some EpilepticTrees, particularly because the camera [[LawOfConservationOfDetail spent so much time focused on it]].
* In the earlier episodes of ''Series/RepublicOfDoyle, Des is usually seen tagging areas all over St. John's.
* In the very first scene of ''Series/CitizenSmith'' Wolfie is singing while painting political graffiti on an estate block. "PLAN AHEA-" He ran out of room and then he comments that the structure of the building is wrong.
* In the final season of ''Series/BreakingBad'', a large "HEISENBERG" is scrawled [[spoiler: across the living room wall of the Whites' abandoned home.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Philately]]
* In 1977, the United Nations Postal Administration issued stamps for its [[BigApplesauce New York]] headquarters with the words "Combat Racism" written as a graffito.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* "El Barto" is scrawled on one of the playfield plastics of Creator/DataEast's ''[[Pinball/TheSimpsonsDataEast The Simpsons]]''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In the musical ''Theatre/InTheHeights'', the character "Graffiti Pete" is seen as a blight on the neighborhood (though he is friends with Sonny), and the musical begins with him attempting to tag Usnavi's bodega. [[spoiler:At the end of the show he has, with Sonny's help, painted the bodega with a beautiful mural of Abuela Claudia.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has "AVERLANCHE" [sic].
* ''MapleStory'' has basketball player portraits.
* In ''JetSetRadio'', painting graffiti and slashing over tags are major play elements. The tags and pieces rarely actually read anything. In the late part of the first game, an evil businessman is trying to summon demons by spraying ugly magical symbols on walls, and the heroes [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer spray over them]].
** In the sequel graffiti is just as much SeriousBusiness. Your main way of defeating rival gangs is to catch up to them and graffiti them into surrender before they do the same to you. As before you have to slash over tags and the game culminates in another boss which, yes, you have to spray paint into oblivion.
* The streets and walls of ''{{Anachronox}}'' is liberally embossed with the ominous phrase "Eddie knows".
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' lets you tag over rival gangs. Tag all 100, and a nice arsenal of weapons will spawn at your home in Grove Street.
** You can also do this in the ''SaintsRow'' series, a shameless (and awesome) GTA clone.
** ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' has quite a bit of graffiti all around Liberty City, from rough scrawling to colorful murals.
* ''VideoGame/TheWarriors'' features a graffiti mini-game, graffiti competitions and tags for all the gangs. These were done by real graf artists
* The ''CityOfHeroes'' games feature graffiti in many of the city zones. Some of it is generic while others bits are related to specific gangs and only show up in the areas that they occupy.
* ''Mark Ecko's Getting Up'' was banned in Australia because it was about graffiti.
* ''ShadowHearts From the New World'' has some generic graffiti on the walls in the "secret" town of Harlem. Mind you, this graffiti is appearing about [[AnachronismStew fifty years before it would become a common sight in New York, and the game's setting predates spray paint by about 20 years.]]
* There's some generic graffiti in the various ''[[VideoGame/TonyHawksProSkater Tony Hawk]]'' games, as well as some not so generic graffiti, including in one level the Leeds United Football club logo. In Manhattan. Further games allowed you to create your own graffiti tags, mostly used to spray over more generic graffiti.
** There's also graffiti mode in multiplayer, where doing trick on ramps, benches, rails, etc. will color it red or blue. The person with the most of their color wins the round.
* Many multiplayer [=FPSs=] (particularly those on Creator/ValveSoftware's Source engine) have a "graffiti button" which allows players to apply a user-supplied texture map to walls. Most often, [[{{Troll}} this takes the form of porn or shock pics]], [[MagnificentBastard sometimes used to actually distract opposing players]].
* The {{Wii}} version of ''NeedForSpeed: Nitro'' lets players design custom tags. Walls and buildings along the race are bombed with the leader's tag.
* In one of the later levels of ''Wolverine: Adamantium Rage'' there's some graffiti simply reading "Paul was here", which bothered [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] to no end:
-->'''Linkara''': "Paul was here"? ''Who the hell is Paul''? [[{{Phantasmagoria2}} Paul Warner]]?
-->'''[[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]]''': [[RunningGag I]] ''[[RunningGag heard that]]'', [[RunningGag Linkara]]!
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' has its famous graffiti left by former escapees.
* The filthy restroom in the first ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' game has graffiti all over the walls of the toilet. If you read enough of them, you find a clue.
* The [[ArmiesAreEvil Marines]] in ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' leave some graffiti behind to express their feelings about [[OneManArmy Gordon]]. Specifically "SURRENDER FREEMEN", "DIE FREEMAN!!!", and [[http://i542.photobucket.com/albums/gg410/Mr_Someguy/c2a2d0000.jpg "YORE DEAD FREEMAN"]].
** In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', there is more conventional graffiti in City 17, apparently dating from both before and after the Seven-Hour War.
* Fireball 4 in the original {{Mac}} version of ''VideoGame/DarkCastle'' had "Alaric Was Here", "Huns Rule" and "Vandals Sack". The [[SegaGenesis Genesis]] version idiotically replaced these with "Gamers Rule" and "Saddam Was Here".
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' allows players above a certain rank to create their own emblems for their playercard, and at a certain higher rank, apply that emblem to their weapons. You're limited to specific shapes and objects, but you can position, rotate, resize, recolor and combine them in any way you see fit.
* ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' has graffiti reading "CUT OFF THEIR LIMBS".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Step 4 of ''ThereSheIs'', the spread of hateful graffiti mirrors the growing social intolerance toward Doki and Nabi's forbidden cat/rabbit relationship, covering even the vending machines where they first met. In the Final Step, we see them cleaning it off as a sign that things are going to get better (as well as offering a nice BookEnds finale).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', when Homer became the leader of [[BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats Stonecutters]], he urged them to help the community, including painting over graffiti. The graffiti were just "Graffiti" written over and over again.
** Also Bart's tag "El Barto" violates common sense, since it directly references his name. [[ClarkKenting Not that anybody notices the connection.]]
*** Then there was Homer's variant, [[ThatCameOutWrong "El Homo"]].
* In one ''WesternAnimation/{{Hammerman}}'' episode, "typical" graffiti are just big blobs of color and completely random words.
* "Riley Wuz Here" from ''TheBoondocks'', similar to Bart above.
-->'''Police Officer:''' It says "Riley Wuz Here". And you took photographs of you posing in front of the work. Also, you have paint on your hands.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/PowerpuffGirls'' episode, the Gangreen Gang starts spreading graffiti saying stuff like "The City Of Townsville Sucks" and "The Mayor is Dumb". Then they get to a subway tunnel where they start doing more "personalized" work: Snake writes "Sssssssssss" and Big Billy writes "Graffiti: By Big Billy"
* One plot of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' revolved around someone who was tagging the school and other buildings with the name "Binky". The character Binky claimed it wasn't him, and the gang spends the rest of the episode trying to clear his name. [[spoiler: Turns out it was done as promotional material for a upcoming band.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', the graffiti kid's trademark is the fact that he has the spelling of a 5-year-old.
* Averted in ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}'' in which Dutch's art leads to an ArtShift {{Flashback}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* OlderThanFeudalism (at least!): A Greek soldier--probably one of the Pharaoh's numerous Greek mercenaries--wrote "Archon, son of Ambochios, and ax, son of nobody, wrote this" on Abu Simbel in Upper Egypt.
* While 2000 years may separate ourselves and the people of Pompeii, a [[http://io9.com/5856858/a-weird-chart-comparing-lewd-graffiti-in-ancient-pompeii-and-1960s-los-angeles study comparing graffiti]] found the excavated BathroomStallGraffiti and the graffiti from contemporary 1960's (at the the time of the study) graffiti shows rather remarkable similarity. [[SincerityMode Well, good to know people were always like that.]]
* The Maes Howe tomb on Orkney has Viking-age graffiti on its walls that translates to the same "xy was here" messages you can find on the walls of every bathroom stall. It really is comforting to know that some things ARE constant.
* The walls of the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul also have Viking-age "X was here" graffiti.
* One of the lions in front of San Marco, in Venice, also has some very artsy Viking engravings on its shoulders (although it's mostly gone now). They were originally in Athene.
* Some of the paintings in the Vatican have graffiti from landsknechte that are full of anti-Catholic profanities (landsknechte were rather the rag-tag bunch of misfits of the time).

[[/folder]]
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