"Whoever came up with this is an ass[bleep]! Ass? Hole? Ass[bleep]? Television makes a lot of sense." note
An attempt at censorship that either doesn't hide any
thing, or is so inconsistently executed, that you wonder why the censors even bothered. Maybe the Censor Box
is too small, so you can clearly see what's behind it. Maybe a word is bleeped out in some scenes, but not others in the same episode. Maybe they cut the swearing out, but left in that scene with the nudists and the bacon grease... At any rate, it's clear that the attempt at censoring the work has just been rendered pointless.
Could be used simply to get past censorship laws, as a half-hearted way of saying "look, we tried, honest." Or it could just be that the people in charge of the censorship were putting in a half-asterisked
effort that day. Or maybe they're making fun of bleep
noises. Inconsistency in the censorship is also likely to occur in shows that make heavy use of Censor Decoys
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An*me and M*nga
- The dub of Tokyo Mew Mew, despite usually trying to cut out Aizawa Mint's crush on Zakuro, had the cast imagining who a character's boyfriend might be and replaced Mint's thoughts of a male figure with Zakuro.
- The Doujinshi culture. Due to Japanese censorship laws genitalia must be covered, but it is not uncommon for doujins to have very short, thin and almost transparent censor bars that pretty much fail to cover anything and only serve as a legal pass for publishing. A meme has even sprung up, of captioning these sorts of pictures with "thank goodness that was censored, or I might have been offended". note
- The Ultimate Warrior's short-lived comic book, Warrior, has him yelling F-F-U-U-C--◊ at one point. (How is the Warrior capable of pronouncing the C and not the K can be probably attributed to his near-divine skills.)
- Empowered makes liberal use of this, despite that its creator is pretty much his own boss on the project.
- One issue of All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder had very frequent swearing, with black bars added over the swear words. Unfortunately, they prepared them incorrectly and the swear words could easily be read through the black bars.
- Repeatedly Used on This Very Wiki: sh*t, f***, and f*cking are frequently seen.
- And pretty much the entire rest of the Internet, where people are apparently squeamish about using certain words (even PG ones — "@$$" is strangely common) but not enough to phrase their posts differently. Even on sites with no word filters. In fact, especially on sites with no word filters, since the ones that do are more likely to have mods crack down on this sort of thing.
- Notably averted on fantasy and sci-fi site Elfwood, where certain gestures (the finger, the shocker) and the Three Big bad words (shit, fuck and cunt) have always been banned, including partially censored instances. The rule is, it has to be omitted or completely censored. Saying "but s*** stands for sand" won't get you a pass.
- Supposedly L3375p34k was originally invented to bypass the automatic profanity filters on internet forums without actually censoring anything.
- Dave Barry Slept Here parodies the Watergate Scandal's released tapes:
NIXON: Because you have, you have problems with the, with the [expletive deleted], with the ...
KLAUS: Yeah [garbled], with the, uh, with the ...
NIXON: ... with, uh, with the [expletive deleted].
KLAUS: ... with the ...
NIXON: [Expletive deleted].
Live Action Tel*vision
- Many television shows that bleep out words don't actually conceal the word at all. You can see the person's mouth, and often part of the word will be audible, so it's quite obvious what they're saying.
- Sebastian Bach once demonstrated on a VH-1 television show how one can say the words "ass" and "hole" on television but not both words in quick succession. To demonstrate, he'd say the word "ass," then, after a long pause, would say "hole" and neither word would be bleeped; then, he'd repeat this over and over with shorter pauses in between until he finally did get bleeped. After that, he repeated this exercise from the beginning using the words "god" and "damn" with the same exact results.
- Happens on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report all the time!
- Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe has this episode bleeped out for the first obscenity - then is followed immediately by an Atomic F-Bomb with no bleeping.
- On at least one episode of This Is Wonderland, a perpetrator roared out a Precision F-Strike, which when first aired on CBC Television, it was censored. Unfortunately the scene takes place in an old Toronto City Hall courtroom, whose walls are infamous for echoing...
- On the 2012 BET Awards (which are live), often announcers would say the n-word and then the word after that would be silenced (for example, if someone said nigga, please, the please would end up being censored). They later overcompensated by censoring an entire verse of Rick Ross' performance.
- One of the more unintentionally hilarious moments from Howard Stern's TV replays of his radio show involved a behind-the-scenes shot of Gary explaining some of the finesse of radio censoring to a guest. The fact that it ends up censored when played on network TV just drives the absurd point home all the better.
Gary: So for example, you could say "carrot", and you could say "ass" but you couldn't say "Stuck a carrot in my [BLEEP]".
- History Channel's Pawn Stars has the Old Man doing this verbatim to the three others.
Old Man: [Bleep] Dammit, Chumlee!
- This attempt at censoring identity. So that others don't have to click the link, a photo is shown with a man's face censored. However, there's another photo with the man's face uncensored in a circle pointing towards the censored picture.
- Joe Morgan once wrote the following in Sports Illustrated.
Joe Torre met with George Steinbrenner for a nice lunch in Tampa the other day, and I'm sure at some point the subject probably turned to the Yankees. And George, I'd bet, at some point looked at his manager and said, "#$!&@*
- Thus was the meme "Fuck the heck?" born.
- Infamously, G4's broadcasting of E3 2011 censored "Mr. Caffiene"'s profanity-laden spiel - but the wrong parts of it. Generally, when Mr. Caffeine said "shit", the actual swear word would be uncensored but would be immediately followed by two or three seconds of censor bleep.
- The same thing used to happen very frequently in the world of Professional Wrestling when the concept of doing everything live with only a 7 second delay was still new and the timing wasn't yet practiced. It happens far less often now, but the TV audience will hear "I think he's a big pile of shit an——-four weeks ago!" while any later rebroadcast will have the censoring put in properly in post production.
- In the flash game Resurrection: Let the Evil Times Roll, you at some point acquire a "sleeping" demon fetus. The word "sleeping" is in quotes in your inventory, and you end up feeding it to a dog.
- In Green Day Rock Band, Billie Joe Armstrong smells like shih.
- Simple, easy to understand example from Team Fortress 2's Scout. (Considering it's Valve we're talking about, this is likely completely f*cking intentional.)
- In Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, the characters occasionally swear, but some of this is left in. However, some of the more provocative swears are bleeped or censored out. This is especially prevalent with Ulala, who swears the most. (She starts off some battles saying, "Don't underestimate me you *bleep*ing bastards!) This actually doubles as Getting Crap Past the Radar, since you can clearly tell what the characters are saying (Such as when Baofu asks, "Who the f##k are you?"), but since they were bleeped, the game got away with a "T" rating in NA.
- Done in Poker Night At The Inventory, censoring one of Strong Bad's curse words in the line "That is some *bleep*ed up *bleep*, man!" while leaving one of Tycho's fold lines, "Fuck this shit," perfectly audible. Averted by the fact that according to the subtitles, Strong Bad literally DID say "That is some *bleep*ed up *bleep*, man!"
- Played straight with the subtitles for the aforementioned line for Tycho. Despite the fact that Tycho says the words uncensored, the subtitles censor the two words.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd demonstrated this hypocrisy in one of his videos.
- Happens often in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
- Has become a staple in most Abridged Series.
- Sailor Moon Abridged gets special mention for using a klaxxon alarm exclusively to censor the word "fuck". And only the word "fuck".
- None Piece:
Zoro: I dragged his ass two miles and you had the *bleep* key the whole *bleep* fucking time!?
- Todd In The Shadows tries to show that even he doesn't have any N-Word Privileges during his review Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Niggas in Paris". The first time he had to say the name of the song, he stopped himself and asked for "Ni***as in Paris" to show up on screen. At the end of the review, he almost says it again, but stops once more and points to the bottom of the screen. It now says "Niggas in P***s". He sighs in disappointment. "What the hell do I pay you people for?"
- Parodied in Source Wars: Day of Defeat vs. The Hidden: at the beginning the hosts mention that some viewers had problems with the uncensored swearing in the first episode, and so have their technical staff ready to censor their swears live. Said technical staff is shown to only consist of a sleepy old man, who either misses bleeping out swears entirely, or fails to do so until a few seconds after they're uttered.
Frank Futter: [The Hidden]'s off to the middle flag now, but he can't capture it because the point requires two people! You have got to be kidding me again!
Turd Schnugel: Didn't we think of this shit before the game started? [beep]
- In Benzaie's review of Hunter, he makes disparaging comments about games which Hunter beat to the punch, with increasingly nonsensical censorship.
"I'm sorry, GTAIV
, but you can suck my ass! **"
Egads, this trope is filthy! Hm, try spoilering out some of those apostrophes...