Bowdlerise / Newspaper Comics

  • Boy, have Pearls Before Swine and Dilbert gone through this.
    • What's weird is that in one instance ("I yust got out") it improved the clarity. That's two for a thousand so far.
  • When Scott Adams was told he could not have Satan as a character in one of his Dilbert strips, he introduced "Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light", who wielded a large spoon and would temporarily "darn" people to "heck" over relatively minor offenses. Adams does admit that this character ended up being funnier than what he had planned for Satan.
    • When Adams did a story about a police officer shooting a criminal in the leg, he was told he couldn't use guns, so instead the officer shoots the crook with his donut, which makes it funnier.
  • In an early Garfield strip set on a farm, Garfield said, "Wanna swap sheep jokes?" Although Jim Davis didn't intend it that way, his editor thought that it sounded like a bestiality joke. It became "dirt jokes" as a result.
  • Gary Larson often had his Far Side cartoons rejected because they were "too scatological." Often this meant they only contained innuendoes, such as a boy sitting behind an outhouse and playing a tuba.
    • And as Larson relates in his book The Prehistory of The Far Side, an editor once told him he could not use the term "dork" because it meant "penis" (Larson didn't know this, he says, till he looked the word up later).
  • The original version of an early FoxTrot strip had Jason leaving a Funny Answering Machine message for the "Satan Hotline". When reprinted in books, it was changed to him singing "A Million Bottles of Beer" instead.