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Censored for Comedy
aka: This Trope Is BLEEP
The 'F' is already revealed.
GO TUCK YOURSELF IN

"Son of a gum chewing funk monster! Why the fruit does all this funny stuff happen to me?! Forget my life! Always surrounded by miserable failing clods, like this whole world just wants to bend me over and find me in the alps! Like I'm some sort of schlock receptacle! Well, as far as I care, these miserable cows can have a fancy barbecue with a god damn pig!"

When a show removes a perfectly innocuous word or words in a sentence, giving it dirty connotations. This can be done intentionally for comedy, to parody censorship, or unintentionally as a result of actual censorship because some one really messed up.

Intentionally bleeping out sections of innocent dialogue to make it sound dirty for comedic purposes has become known as Unnecessary Censorship.

Compare and contrast Innocent Innuendo, Accidental Innuendo. See also Cluster Bleep Bomb, Sound Effect Bleep, Manipulative Editing, Scunthorpe Problem, Smurfing, and T-Word Euphemism.


Intentional Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • A Tecate "cerveza" radio commercial aired in California in 2007 has the word "beer" beeped out.
  • A commercial for Knorr frozen dinners deliberately bleeps out the word "frozen", but only enough that you can still hear the "f" at the start and "n" at the end. Near the end of the commercial, the narrator notes "frozen doesn't have to be a bad word".
  • A Swedish insurance company is currently running radio commercials of the form: insurance clerk repeats the claimant's story, with every third word or so bleeped. The claimant confirms that this is what happened, and the clerk tells him that no problem, we can cover that.
  • Commercials for the then-new TV Land channel featured clips from wholesome shows like "The Brady Bunch" and "The Andy Griffith Show" with random censor bleeps, as if they'd been re-edited into something Darker and Edgier.
  • Around March 2010, limited edition cans of Tango were printed with risqué slogans printed with temperature-sensitive ink, so the cans would have to be chilled to reveal hidden words in phrases such as "Chilled Tango froze my pips off", "Chilled Tango made my stalk shrivel" and "Chilled Tango made my stones shrink".

    Anime/Manga 
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: It wasn't a literal bleep, but some people found Mikuru's "I tried to contact but they said Classified Information, etc.," thing in Endless Eight similar to this. Especially when you consider what could be in there. Kyon even asks whether it's meant to censor something obscene.
    • Haruhi gets bleeped in the anime as she blackmails the computer science club president to give her a computer by taking photos of him groping Mikuru. In the event he tries to deny it, Haruhi says she'll say all the male thugs ganged up on Mikuru and *BLEEP* her.
  • Lucky Star's Kagami in the OVA:
    "I want to *** with Konata!
    • This is apparently supposed to mean 'cosplay'...
  • A common practice in comedy anime in general is censor any names of anime/manga not from the production studio. Partially because of actual copyright laws, and it's funnier that way. Animes like Lucky Star, Pani Poni Dash!, and Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts love to replace one letter with an asterisk to censor the name while still giving enough of a clue of what they're referring to.
  • Episode 7 of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu has tons of censoring speech by Sousuke, who was quoting verbatim all the lines from the exceptionally foul-mouthed Gunny from Full Metal Jacket, in order to butch up the sissy-pants rugby team. One of the best examples in anime (and one of the funniest as well).
  • Hayate the Combat Butler has a lot of these effects throughout the anime series, which is due to parody.
  • According to Fairy Tail volume 8's Q&A, Loke's guild tattoo is on his back.
  • Gintama uses this at times, usually to censor the names of copyrighted material, and also to make things sound perverted when they aren't (Which almost always get lampshaded by somebody). The Pixellation they apply to poop and vomit probably could count, as well.
    • Invoked in-universe during a recap episode, where Gintoki proudly shows a clip of him saying the quote that was voted most popular by fans, only for Shinpachi and Kagura to try making it sound perverted by censoring parts of it immediately after.
    • Episode 252, which the cast devotes to apologizing to all the viewers they might've offended (Due to it having been planned as the final episode at the time), has this in spades. They censor things that normally aren't censored, such as the names of copyrighted material they got away with mentioning in previous episodes and Kondo's butt. They also add a Censor Box saying "We're sorry" on top of Kondo's already pixeled groin (Though while having him pose in a fashion that emphasizes it and zooming in with each take...). Then Gintoki points that they can make vomiting less offensive by covering up the sound of it with something else, which leads to pleasant music playing while he, Kagura, and Shinpachi puke their guts out for about 10 seconds straight
  • One of the previews in Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai cover what the hell Hanyuu's horns are. Well, it's obvious isn't it? They're horns!
  • Fruits Basket bleeps when Hana says she'll *BLEEP* you with her poison rays. This is done both in the manga and anime.

    Comic Books 
  • During J Michael Straczynski's run on The Amazing Spider-Man, JMS had a scene where a Video Editor for a News Station was pulling out archive footage of Spider-Man in battle, all of which involved Spider-Man swearing (covered with bleeps), one of which involved more 'bleeps' than words and one incident where, fighting a Sentinel, Spider-Man says 'Hey buddy, that's not a bag of peanuts you're crushing!'.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • The "Lazy Pirate Day" interlude in Epic Movie has a short bit parodying rap censorship.
    • Which in turn is based on "Beep" by The Pussycat Dolls, which does the same thing.
  • Several instances in the Austin Powers movies.
    • In Austin Powers in Goldmember, there is a scene where Austin visits Mr. Roboto in his office looking for his father in Japan. He speaks Japanese to Austin for most of the scene but is revealed to have known how to speak English the entire time, so subtitles are used to translate his words into English. The subtitles are displayed in white, and coincidentally, many objects in the office also happen to be white. Austin is aware of the subtitles, and as a result of carefully aligned camera angles, certain words in the subtitle are blotted out, creating seemingly dirty phrases which elicit shocked reactions from Austin. Of course, once the objects blocking the subtitles are removed, the phrase is revealed to be perfectly normal. Mr. Roboto and Austin lampshades heavily on this trope.
      • "Please eat some shitake mushrooms.note "
      • "Your assignment is an unhappy one."
      • "I have a huge rodent problem."
      • And at the end of the scene, Austin says "I do have a huge rod... I wish."
    • Austin isn't the only one. The third phrase results in Roboto's female assistant shockingly covering her lips after reading it. For reference, she's Japanese, so she should understand what he said without reading English subtitles.
  • In The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl, Sharkboy is singing to get Max to sleep;
    • "...Dream a dream you little bleem."
  • The Coen's decided to have fun with this with the television censorship of The Big Lebowski. This is what happens when you F-eed a stranger in the alps!

    Literature 
  • In a MAD parody about a reality dating show, one of the crew is a sound editor, whose job is "bleeping out random, inoffensive words of a couple's conversation — making even the most articulate, civilized discussion sound like a drunken sailor's profanity-laced tirade". Example:
    Man: You're such a cutie! I could look you in the eyes all day long!
    Woman: Oh, thank you!
  • Also in MAD, Al Jaffee showed us that what we were thinking when we heard *bleep* was probably a lot dirtier than what was actually said. A family is watching Johnny Carson, and the guest says "And I said *bleep* *bleep*." Each family member (including the dog) is thinking something unbelievably filthy, indicated by symbols.
  • In that or another piece, Jaffee has "if censors had their way." Some older men are sitting around talking, one says "I played poker last night and was dealt a royal rinse!" Another says "This censorship is all a hemorrhaging nuisance!"
    • These may have been written in response to the hue and cry that was raised by the Moral Guardians when Jaffee used the word "schmuck" in an earlier piece.
  • There was a book called Mother Goose Censored that did this, way back in the 1926, with nursery rhymes. (e.g., "He put her in a pumpkin shell, / And there he [CENSORED] her very well.")
  • In Catch-22, Yossarian is given letters to censor while in hospital. To relieve the boredom, he censors random words rather than actual valuable information.
    • For one letter, just for the hell of it, he blanks out the entire thing and replaces the text with a fake love letter purportedly from one of the other characters. It leads to some unpleasant consequences.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Done to comedic effect on Arrested Development. The bleeping makes the cursing funnier than if it were left in, and preserves the generally light-hearted tone of the show. In one scene in particular, Buster is being encouraged by his siblings to gently deride their mother; Buster gets over-excited and launches into a string of epithets that is mostly bleeped out and goes on for quite some time while the increasingly shocked expressions of those around him convey just how big a leap down the slippery slope he has taken.
  • The episode End Game from Homicide: Life on the Street had these news interview segments interspersed with the real time events of catching and interrogating the suspected shooter of the three detectives. Meldrick's interview is notable in that the, not-usually profane, Meldrick takes the opportunity to swear at the reporters, each of these instances covered with a 'bleep', which adds humour to an otherwise fairly bleak episode.
  • Can happen occasionally on Jerry Springer or Maury. They are cutting out actual swear words, but most of the time, this is an audience member saying/shouting it, not the hosts or the guests. This can result in bleeping out parts of a sentence the host was saying that were perfectly fine.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: On a Jerry Springer clone, the Spellman family finds random words bleeped out, so that their arguments sound more heated than they really are.
  • The short-lived Jay Wolpert Game Show Blackout effectively made a game out of this trope, a celebrity had to communicate a word to their partner, but instead of doing it directly with the contestant, they had to record it (while the contestant wore headphones). When it was played back, the other team could use a giant plunger to mute out parts of the recording to make the clue word harder to guess.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live has a recurring segment called "This Week in Unnecessary Censorship", which consists entirely of this trope. So, for example, a clip of the President saying "I visited the Queen and we talked for hours" will have the words "visited" and "talked" bleeped out.
  • The writers behind the Match Game series loved this trope; many of the questions allowed the audience to go make up dirty words for themselves.
  • The explanation of the "Jewish mistletoe tradition" by Jon Stewart in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All. A forty-five second censor bleep, complete with hand gestures, ending "...with a lamb shank." The audience's mind is always filthier than anything the writers could have come up with.
  • In Time Trumpet, innocuous political rhetoric like "these cuts must be stopped" is bleeped into sounding like "these c__ts must be stopped". Armando Iannucci appears to be quite a fan of subversive wordplay.
  • Similarly subverted in Harry Hill's TV Burp with bleeps dubbed over a wildlife documentary on penguins: "I just can't find any [bleep]king penguins! Ah! There's a [bleep]king penguin!" The presenter is of course searching for ''king'' penguins...
  • Done so very many times on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, thanks to a combination of Genre Savvy and Medium Awareness. One suggestion in the ever-popular Scenes From a Hat game actually challenged the players to make the censors do this.
    "That's never gonna make it to air, if you know what I mean..."
  • MythBusters: The famous clip of Jamie saying "That's what we do on MythBusters: We blow bleep up!" When the clip was aired without the bleep for the "Favorite Myths" special, Jamie clearly says "crap", which is a borderline bleepable word in the U.S. (but often considered "optional").
    • The episode "No Pain, No Gain" tested a myth that swearing increased a person's tolerance to pain. To help the editors out (so they wouldn't have to blur people's mouths), Adam built a "curse-proof tool", a piece of headgear with a "visor" that could be lowered over the mouth. Adam's test of the device resulted in the sound editors spelling out "HELLO" in Morse code. Later, Tory jumped the gun during the control test (where he was supposed to be shouting non-swear words only), and his stream of swearing was censored in much the same way (appropriately, this time the Morse code spelled out the word "HURTS").
  • Leverage features a visual rather than audio example of this trope. In "The Office Job," the characters are performing a con at a greeting card company and during talking-head interviews (a documentary film crew is filming there at the same time - the episode is an homage to The Office) characters hold up a blurred-out greeting card.
  • Flight of the Conchords - "Mother Uckers"
    • Also, "Boom". The word "boom" is used as a substitute for many words in different contexts. What each usage of the word actually means is up to the audience.
  • Seinfeld does this with The Non-Fat Yogurt episode after Jerry drops an F-bomb and the store owner's kid starts repeating it.
  • Boy Meets World: As Corey is being grounded for sneaking off to Disney World.
    Alan: For starters, this house and school are the only two places you are going to see for the next month.
    Morgan: A month? I got more the time I said [BLEEP]
    Alan: MORGAN! Get up to your room there, you're grounded for two months!
    Morgan: I've got to learn self-control.
  • One episode of The Red Green Show has a Cold Open with Red in front of a car that has "CK OFF" written on its back in duct tape, an article of clothing covering everything before the "CK". He then removes said article, and reveals that the missing letters are BA, and says something about how things aren't always as they seem.
  • In Scrubs, J.D. is seen in a fantasy with an incomplete phrase in a game of hangman that reads, "Your _sswipe boyfriend h_s Gonorrhe_"
    Kylie: Is there an "A?"
    JD: Yes there is!
  • In Series 6 of They Think It's All Over, following team captain Gary Lineker's replacement as the face of Walker's Crisps by Michael Owen, presenter Nick Hancock announced in one episode that the word "Walker" would be treated as a swear word and bleeped. Unsurprisingly, the bleeping was done in such a way that it sounded as though they were instead censoring the word "wanker", especially in the final round, "The Name Game", in which Lineker and his teammate Fred MacAulay had to identify a series of athletes all named "____ Walker".
  • In an episode of The IT Crowd, Jen shouts at a Japanese business client after he accidentally injures her. The tirade is bleeped. Shortly after, her boss thanks the employee who was apparently pressing a button to bleep the swearing in the office. He then tells Jen she fucked up, with said employee being too late on the buzzer.
  • Done to incredibly hilarious effect in Drop the Dead Donkey. Due to the show being post-watershed, there was little to no censorship, which made it even worse when Henry went on an epic rant at Gus, calling him a "*bleep*ing, *bleep*ing, *bleep*ing -" Continuing for a good five minutes with reaction shots showing the other characters either horrified, appalled, or in Joy's case, highly amused — only to end with an *extremely* loud and very uncensored scream of "FUCKWIT". Although the actually censored words are easy enough to divine and fairly mild (pissing, shitting, etc.), the bleeping turns the rant up to 11.

    Music 
  • Aerosmith does this in the song "Just Push Play" (from the album titled the same) "Just push play, Fuckin' A! They're gonna *bleep* it anyway", with an actual bleep obscuring the word bleep, while "fuck" is left uncensored. This becomes amusing in radio broadcasts of the song, when BOTH are bleeped.
    • The amusing thing is that the first two choruses have "fucking" beeped while saying "They're gonna beep it anyway." It's only the last chorus, after doing that twice, that they leave the profanity and beep the actual word beep.
  • Five Iron Frenzy did this to parody the copious swearing of gangsta rap in Part 8 of their mock rock opera "These Are Not My Pants": loud BEEP's are applied liberally and completely at random over Micah's improvised rapping.
  • When someone on the Lemon Demon forums asked for a version of "The Ultimate Showdown" with the word "ass" bleeped, he was given this instead. Made even better when "ass" remains one of the only words not bleeped.
    • Another Lemon Demon example is his version of Sesame Street's "Song of the count", where everytime the Count count something, it's bleeped out. Watch here
  • One version of Dropkick Murphys "Pipebomb On Lansdowne (Dance Remix)" has bleeps in the entirely wrong spots at times (you'll have bleeps and then a clear "FUCK!" right after).
  • Fall Out Boy has a live album titled *** Live in Phoenix. But what lies behind the *** anyway...?
    • Fall Out Boy also has a song entitled "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued". Nobody knows what the original title is.
      • Sure they do, it was "My Name is David Ruffin... and These are The Temptations"
  • As mentioned above, the Pussycat Dolls song "Beep" sounds incredibly dirty, as the end of almost every line is a beep, talking about what men "look at" and what men "play with." The most explicit thing mentioned, however, is wanting to hold the singer's hand.
  • Used in the Songs To Wear Pants To song Little Eeeee Foo Foo where 'bunny' is among the random bleeped words.
  • Benny Bell's legendary "Shaving Cream."
  • "Gallows Hill" by Sta' Warz, which was an entry in a songfight competition: It's a mock-gangsta rap song where nearly every line had a bleep or two, but the members also posted the full lyrics, which were completely clean, if pretty nonsensical. For instance, "Mother said you can suck on my peppermints!", and "They call me fireman, 'cause I am one!".
  • Subverted in The Notorious Cherry Bombs' song "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long". They even Lampshade it with the lyrics 'It's okay if we say it, 'cause the radio won't play it'.
  • There's a comedic barbershop song called "Dirty Words", which operates on the conceit that "barbershop music has gotten so dirty lately", and then proceeds to sing the lyrics to popular barbershop songs with some of the words strategically bleeped out with humorous sound effects (horn honks, slide whistles, pop guns, etc.). Ten times funnier if you're actually familiar with the songs in question, so you know what's being bleeped. As an example:
    "Casey would waltz with a strawberry blonde, and the band played on..."
    "Oh, you can bring Pearl, she's a darn nice girl, but don't bring Lulu..."
    "He'd kiss her now and then, she would tell him when, he'd fool around and fool around and fool around again..."
  • Eric Idle's B-side to Always look on the Bright Side of Life was called I Bet you They Won't Play This Song On The Radio and is virtually all unnecessary bleeps for comedic effect. Some of the bleeped words seem like they might be perfectly innocent, while some others are just impossible to guess.
  • The Good Ship Venus is dirty enough to begin with. Selective censoring of the clean words takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Two recorded comedy instances: "Dirty Old Man" by Jim Backus, and "Obscene Phone Bust" by Hudson and Landry.
  • In the mid '90s, a popular Marilyn Manson T-shirt had the following quote on it. While it wasn't technically censored, the same principle applied; the words in bold below were all written in much larger print than the rest of the message, making it look as though it was telling people to... well, just read it.
    Warning: the music of Marilyn Manson contains messages that will KILL GOD in your impressionable teenage minds. As a result, you could be convinced to KILL YOUR MOM & DAD and eventually in an act of hopeless "rock and roll" behavior you will KILL YOURSELF. Please burn your records while there's still hope.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Mad Libs strips of Pearls Before Swine from November 2010, and before them, this.
  • A Robotman and Monty comic strip did an inverted version. When the Fourth Wall Mail Slot gave them a letter complaining about swearing in the strip, the characters explained that the asterisks and other symbols actually stood for words like "puppy" and "Iowa".

    Pinball 
  • In Medieval Madness, one of Lord Howard Hurtz's introductory clips is "I'm Howard Hurtz, who the [BEEP] are you?"

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Long before cable television (particularly, the Monday Night Wars) and the advent of the internet, most professional wrestling fans got their dose of the sport through syndicated programs, which were taped several weeks in advance and shipped to affiliates. On February 5, 1988, André the Giant was booked to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Hulk Hogan in a match that was to be aired live on NBC, which aired after production was completed for that weekend's WWF syndicated programs and sent to local stations. To give the illusion that WWF officials were convening in a closed-door meeting to discuss possible action surrounding the Andre-Hogan match and Andre selling the title to Ted DiBiase (and since in a few markets WWF Superstars aired on Friday evenings before the airing of the match), a side storyline was contrived for that weekend's Superstars of Wrestling wherein WWF President Jack Tunney placed a "gag order" on announcers and commentators from discussing the events surrounding the match. Heel color commentator Jesse "the Body" Ventura attempted to bring up the subject several times but was censored each time (with "bleeps" inserted each time he began to talk about the match), upsetting him so much that he left the broadcast booth toward the end of the show.
    • In 1987, portions of a televised "debate" between Ken Patera and Bobby "the Brain" Heenan – as part of a build-up surrounding Patera's return to the WWF as a babyface, after serving a two-year prison sentence for a real-life vandalism incident – were "bleeped." Mostly, this was Heenan insulting Patera and calling him a criminal who was unworthy of respect or redemption.

    Radio 
  • Britney Spears' "Oops I Did it Again" was played on Radio Disney with the word "innocent" obviously silenced:
    "I'm not... that... [three note piano sound]"
  • A certain game on I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue does this to songs. In addition to the example above, there was a version of "My Favourite Things" from The Sound of Music in which everything except the "and"s and "...all tied up with string; these are a few of my favourite things" was bleeped.
    • One ISIHAC Christmas special played the Censorship Game with "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". It worked very well indeed. So did one with "Underneath The Arches" ("...I [buzz]note  my [buzz]note  away.")
    • Two songs give a taster of what this round was all about. Panel members would listen to a song hitherto thought cleaner than Whistler's Mother and deliberately insert bleeps to make it sound filthy beyond all belief. Maurice Chevalier's "Thank Heaven for little Girls", for instance, became
    Every time I zee a leetle girl of five or six, or maybe seven;
    I can't resist a joyous urge to {{BLEEEEEP!}} and say,
    Zank Heaven for leetle girls...."
and the Everly Brothers' "Dream" now includes the lines
I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine, any time, night or day;
only troubler is, gee whiz, I'm {{BLEEEEEEPI!}}ing my life away!"
  • The day after the first McCain-Obama Presidential debate in 2008, an Atlanta radio station aired the audio of the event...with random bleeps inserted, while the DJs tried to determine whose fake profanity-laden tirade was funnier. Obama, apparently. McCain just sounded like a generic Grumpy Old Man.
  • British radio presented Danny Baker inserted random bleeps into John Denver's Annie's Song and the results sounded like this.
    "You f*** up my senses; come f*** me again!"
  • ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike have made this an occasional segment. They'll take the radio call of an exciting moment, then add in random bleeps between words, claiming that's how it would sound if co-host Mike Greenberg was doing the call.

    Stand Up Comedy 

    Video Games 
  • In the Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space finale, What's New, Beelzebub?, the Freelance Police replace a list of "bad" words in the FCC office (which is a division of Hell) with Satan's grocery list. This leads to stuff like the Soda Poppers being referred to as the @#$% Poppers for the rest of the game.
    • The whole point in this exercise is to get a vital piece of information out of Tiny Timmy, whose Tourettes Syndrome seemingly turns the little rat tyke into a fountain of bleeped-out cursing. Of course, once you switch the lists, it turns out that his "expletives" were all family friendly to begin with, although it's soon obvious why the demented Media Watchdog responsible would censor out the information as well (it's the name "Dick Peacock"... think about it).
    • Also, in Situation: Comedy, you can bring Specs in as a guest on Myra Stump's show. If you do, he will complain about how he should have *bleep*'d his brother. He's referring to the "American Idol" parody earlier in the episode where he was ultimately convinced to vote for Sam rather than Peepers. He doesn't seem to realize that he's being censored, and gets confused when Myra responds with disgust.
  • The visual novel Tsukihime uses it interestingly by (actual spoiler) blanking out the word 'kill' to make the line "I want to her."
  • Starcraft II has an interview with the Dominion's best ghost; sadly he cannot reveal any information about his job. But we are told it's very important.
  • BlazBlue does this humorously. Kokonoe in one "Teach me miss Litchi" segment says she would use the rocket punch extension on his GIGANTIC TAGER!! She does this again in Rachael's Gag Reel with Ragna the Bloodedge's attack names.
    Kokonoe: Well, no reason not to tell you. First, I intended to take his *INFERNO DIVIDER!* and put it in a *CARNAGE SCISSORS!*, maybe a little *GAUNTLET HADES!* too? Heh! My goodness, I can only imagine what his *HELL'S FANG!* will *DEAD SPIKE!*.
    • The Japanese version of "Slacker 0, Good Guy 1" in the "Teach Me, Miss Litchi!" section does this rather interestingly. When Litchi's slip of the tongue nearly leads to a mention of Chipp Zanuff, she is cut off by a "GANTORETTO HĀDESU", courtesy of Tomokazu Sugita. And in the next segment which features Iron Tager, there's also the usage of this trope when describing Kokonoe trying to put a Rocket Punch-esque technology to Tager's certain vital part. Which is covered by either Kenji Nomura giving his own version of "GAUNTLET HADES!" or an existing voice clip of "GIGANTIC TAGER!!". The latter caused the joke to become even funnier.
    • This is also done in the "Spring Raid" special of "Blueradio". Tetsuya Kakihara is sometimes referred to as "the German guy" by other members of the cast. "Deddo Supaiku" becomes a convenient censor for the nickname during the broadcast.
  • In Meet the Demoman, the statement, "There are more fecking sea monsters in the great Lochett Ness than they've got the likes of me" is mostly bleeped out, making it sound much more vulgar than it is.
  • At the beginning of Brutal Legend, immediately before the first swear word is uttered, the player is asked if they would like to censor the swearing. You can either answer "No, keep it uncensored." or "Yes, it's funnier when it's bleeped out."
    Eddie: I told you not to climb on that, you stupid mother—
  • Anti Idle The Game's Battle Arena:

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Take a look at this YTMND. Now take a look at this one.
    • Here's another YTMND that uses this. If you didn't know, the song is about baking cakes...
  • A popular gag on YouTube Poop videos.
  • It's popular to take Robin's dialogue from Superfriends ("Holy -something-, Batman!") to make him a walking Cluster F-Bomb.
  • YouTube musician Julia Nunes does this in a video answering viewers' questions. Apparently, someone objected to Julia's mild, infrequent language as they allowed their children to watch her videos. Julia responded: "Hot dog! When will you billy goats realize that I'm twenty years old, and I'm gonna say whatever comes to my mind? Fungus! Tingly! Duck! Sheets! Fondue!"
    • What made it even better, though, is that the beep she used to censor herself was a recording of her own voice saying the word "beep".
  • OAFEnet did this with their review of Shipwreck, under the conceit that since he's a sailor, he'd be cursing like one. Though all of the bleeped words were chosen at random, some of them worked out well:
    If nothing else, at least he got to date Cover Girl every month.
  • This Youtube video of Sesame Street's The Count singing his signature song has been subjected to this in the most simplistic but devastating way possible.note 
    I count the spiders on the wall,
    I count the cobwebs in the hall,
    I count the candles on the shelf,
    When I'm alone I count myself! (Oh yeah ...)
    I count slowly, slowly, slowly getting faster,
    Once I've started counting it's very hard to stop.
    Faster, faster, it is so exciting,
    I could count forever, count until I drop!
  • Due to difference in cultures, some Australians are amused when commonly used words such as hell and damn are censored on some websites and message boards, making the censored words seem a lot worse than they actually are.
  • Episode 19 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged makes use of this trope, with an homage to the TV-edit of The Big Lebowski.
  • The IGN review of Pokémon Black and White was "redacted" prior to the game's release to avoid spoilers. This resulted in humorous bits like this:
    But then he turns into ¦¦¦¦¦¦, who looks like ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦ narwhal ¦¦¦ ¦ drunk bear ¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦. ¦¦¦¦¦ conveys the image of ¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ melted ice cream sandwiches ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ cigarette butts.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with censor bleeps.
  • Though the original videos are only rarely bleeped (most often in the case of Precision F-Strike), this edit manages to take the soft spoken and eloquent Engie of Team Fortress 2 and manages to make him sound much more crass than he actually is. And then there's the bit at 0:54 in the edit which takes a bit of the game's innate abuse of Ludicrous Gibs and turn it into positively hilarious black comedy...
  • The Micro-Episodes of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes got this treatment here.
    Ant-Man: There's a couple of mercenaries out on the beach; I shrank them down. Could you just make sure the ants don't eat them? Thanks.
    The Wasp: Eat them? Eww!
  • An odd example in JonTron's video about quicktime events: the show gets the temporary title "Sh*t that F*cks Games Up"; when Jon says the title out loud, every word EXCEPT "shit" and "fucks" is censored.
  • On Bad Call TV, the usual attempt to threaten the audience into subscribing is replaced with this. Lampshaded by the narrator:
    "What the fuck did he just say?"
  • "Do you wanna build a snowman?"

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy uses this in the episode "A Hero Sits Next Door": On Wheel of Fortune, a contestant ponders the incomplete puzzle phrase "GO _UCK YOURSELF". After the complete phrase is shown as "GO TUCK YOURSELF IN".
    • Actually, "GO TUCK YOURSELF IN" is the only option that is actually possible - there is already an "F" in "YOURSELF", which would have revealed the other "F" had it been guessed. Also, the two unguessed letters in the word "in" would have been visible on a real-life Wheel of Fortune board.
    Chris: You were close, dad!
    Peter: Yeah, but I still can't believe I missed the phrase: "My Hairy Aunt."
  • Another Wheel of Fortune gag turns up in the South Park episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson." Randy is a contestant on the show, and is confronted with the following puzzle phrase (in the category of "People who annoy you"): "N_GGERS". With time running out and after several long moments of hesitation, he finally blurts out the only answer that occurs to him... after which the correct answer is revealed as "NAGGERS".
    • The episode "Preschool" bleeped out words like "dummies" to make it appear the preschool-age characters were swearing as much then as they did in fourth grade. All preschool and kindergarten-aged characters on the show are voiced by small kids in the studio, so Matt and Trey made those kids say nice words when recording this episode's dialogue, but bleeped them to make it sound like swearing.
  • MAD pulled this off once, when Scott Pilgrim said he wasn't going to fight a bunch of [BEEP]. One of the dwarves was shocked that he would use "the M word", only to have Scott reply that he said "old men" and he didn't even know why they bleeped it.
  • The Sealab2021 episode "Radio Free Sealab": The end of the episode, the Father-Son FCC duo have an exchange that is heavily but masterfully bleeped, implying a nasty conversation. A DVD extra features the unbleeped dialog, which is much tamer and in many cases the opposite of what you were expecting. The younger agent's entire last line of dialog is bleeped to implying that he is cursing out his father, when he's actually saying something like "I love you, dad."
    • Bleeped lines of dialog followed by unbleeped lines like "That's legal in Tijuana" make this an example of a Noodle Incident.
  • An episode of Kablam! had Henry being bleeped randomly as a practical joke.
  • Zig-zagged in the Danger Mouse episode "One Of Our Stately Homes Is Missing". The brick-and-mortar theft of the Duke of Bedbug mansion prompts DM to conclude they need help:
    DM: Well, Colonel, looks like it's a job for BLEEP.
    Penfold: Who's that?
    Colonel K: Organization called BLEEP, Penfold.
    Penfold: Oh, go on. You can tell me. I'm a trustee.
    DM: Penfold, it's BLEEP.
    Penfold: All right then. I shan't tell you where I hid the corn flakes.
    DM: Penfold, shush. BLEEP is the Building Location and Emergency Expedition Platoon.
  • Animaniacs' Beauty and the Beast parody involves Hilarious Outtakes of Dot repeatedly messing up her tounge-twister of an Overly Long Name gag. She eventually gets so frustrated that she devolves into a flurry of Angrish punctuated by bleeps.
    Yakko: That's my cute little sister who said that!
  • The Dexter's Laboratory episode "Rude Removal", which was never aired on television due to complaints from Cartoon Network's standards department. As a result, it became a Missing Episode that, until 2013, was only screened on a few occasions by Genndy Tartakovsky.

Unintentional Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • During Jim Steranko's run on Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. he had drawn a passionate, yet fully-clothed heterosexual kiss. Knowing that it wouldn't pass the Comics Code Authority, Marvel editor Roy Thomas simply replaced it with a blow-up of a portion of an earlier panel — which depicted Fury's gun in its holster.
    • The best part is that Thomas didn't realize what he'd done until Steranko called him up to congratulate him for making the page dirtier than he himself could ever have dreamed up.

    Film 
  • Occasionally, efforts to censor or cut a scene on the grounds that it would be objectionable to viewers might make the result seem worse due to Nothing Is Scarier:
    • In Frankenstein, there is a scene where the Creature is playing with a little girl, throwing flowers onto a pond. After they are out of flowers to throw, he looks for something else pretty to throw into the pond, and chooses her, not understanding that she would drown. His killing the girl accidentally was deemed too intense for audiences of 1931, so execs cut off the scene just as he reached for her, jumping to her bereft father carrying her lifeless body back to town. Unfortunately, it might have caused audiences to think that the Creature murdered her instead of an innocent mistake or something accidental.
    • In The Brood, the birthing scene was similarly cut. David Cronenberg lamented at the cut, saying that he had a long and loving scene of Nola biting the infant free of the birthing sac and licking it clean, but the censors cut it just as she bit through the sac, leaving audiences with the impression that she was eating her baby.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Wheel of Fortune: While incomplete puzzles with blanks that could lead to extreme profanity have been fodder for several animated program gags, the situation has arisen several times on the real-life game show.
    • One episode from the mid-1980s used the puzzle DAVID HASSELHOFF. At one point, the H's and E's had not been revealed, but the A's and S's were… and Pat Sajak was sure to point things out.
    • Another episode featured the puzzle BARBECUE SPIT, with the P not yet revealed. At one point, a contestant guesses "H" ... and then a buzzer sounds. Pat: "Happily, no" (to audience laughter).
    • One game had everything but the I revealed in the second word of PIANO RECITAL.
    • Yet another was ASSEMBLY & THE DOTTED LINE (a "Same Name" puzzle). S and A were the first two letters called.
    • Another example: MARCO POLO SHIRT (Before & After). At one point, everything but the R was showing on the bottom word. When R finally was called, Sajak said, "Thank you!"
    • There's a fake video floating around featuring the puzzle CLAM DIGGER. With only the D not revealed... only that the contestant guesses "N".
  • TV quiz show 'Catchphrase' had a famous visual equivalent. A picture is revealed 1/9th at a time. Contestants and Host struggle to contain their laughter when the character revealed appears to be pleasuring himself. See it here.
  • The first time episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus were shown in the US, on ABC (yes, ABC's Wide World of Entertainment), there was some interesting censorship. Specifically, for this trope, in the episode about the Montgolfier brothers, the narrator says "That night the Montgolfier brothers had a good bath, they washed their [a list of body parts follows] and also their BLEEP BLEEP." The words that were censored were "naughty bits".
  • On one episode of the American Whose Line Is It Anyway?, during a game called "Title Sequence", Drew asked the audience for "Unlikely Roommates in a Sitcom". One audience member shouted "Bill Cosby and Hitler!", and the group all looked really excited to run with it... until the director walked over and told them they couldn't use Hitler. Carey and the crew, obviously pissed, ripped on the whole fiasco up until Ryan's fantastic verse during "Hoedown" -
    Our director, he really is the boss,
    For yelling and screaming, he's never at a loss,
    He's the meanest guy you will ever see,
    He should sprout a mustache and move to Germany!
    • Sidenote: Here, Ryan is not subject to Godwin's Law.
    • Drew: "If Tarzan and Tonto were roommates — oh, I like that, let's make fun of Native Americans, who gives a fuck about them?
      "Tonto": "Will you go upstairs and tell Hitler to be quiet?"
    • One "Party Quirks" game had Colin pretend to be a trained seal, dragging himself in on his hands and making weird barking noises. Brad's hilarious but extremely inappropriate guess of "Stephen Hawking" was promptly bleeped.
    • Averted in a game of "If You Know What I Mean" with a gym theme. It ended in hilarity when Brad mentioned a "200-pound snatch," a genuine weightlifting move rendered completely filthy by the context of the game. Ryan predicted "I don't think that will make it to air, if you know what I mean." Rather impressively, the segment not only made it to air, but the censors apparently agreed enough with Brad's logic for it to remain uncut in the original airing! Subsequent reruns, however, played the trope straight and bleeped the offending bit.
  • One season of Survivor featured a contestant whose regular outfit included camouflage-pattern pants. For some reason, CBS censors blurred out the pants, thus making it look like the contestant was pantsless.
    • The reasoning (well, "Reasoning(TM)") was probably that camo... somehow... indicated gang affiliation.
  • In one episode of 7th Heaven, Mary is upset that Simon called her "Big Butt." When the episode airs on the Hallmark Channel, they cut out the word "butt." This leaves the viewer to wonder what parts of his sister's body Simon could think are big.
  • Dave and BBC America both censor the use of the word "cock" as an exclamation. As a result, Top Gear's James May, the most even-tempered of the bunch, suddenly becomes the most foul-mouthed among them.
  • GMC (The Gospel Music Channel) censors words like "stupid" and "jerk" from its reruns of Sister Sister.
  • On the TV show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a guest uttered a stream of swear words, which were bleeped out. The guest then informed the production team that they had just broadcast the Morse Code for "fuck".
  • The Robertsons of Duck Dynasty do not curse, but are often bleeped in order to make it appear that they do as part of a production policy that they ought to appear rougher in order to be better characters. Their exercise of their religion is also often cut for similar reasons. Later seasons stopped the fake bleeping, as their general good-natured ribbing toward each other is considered part of the show's charm.

    Music 
  • The radio version of Lily Allen's "Alfie" lets her mention her brother's "lazy arse" but transforms "smoking weed" to "smoking ..." and "high on THC" to "high on ...". It's not even a positive portrayal of drug use, and seems especially bizarre.
    • Similarly, MTV's version of Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" uses back-tracking to garble the words "crystal meth" and mutes out a couple of other references to drugs ("hit a bump") and sex ("She goes down on me").
  • A particularly odd example occurs in some radio versions of the Nickelback song "Rockstar", in which the words "drugs" is bleeped out, leading to the line "the girls come easy and the —- come cheap".
  • MTV does this a lot with any lyrics relating to guns, violence (particularly against women), or drug abuse. One example that makes the song sound filthier was the video edit for "Le Disco" by Shiny Toy Guns, which turned "on your back, with loaded guns" into "on your back, with —-".
    • There's a line in Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet" where he refers to his altercation with a guy who was having an affair with his wife:
      What I did was stupid, no doubt it was dumb
      But the smartest shit I did was take the bullets out of my gun
      'Cuz I'd have killed him, shit, I would've shot Kim and him both
      It's my life, I'd like to welcome y'all to the Eminem show
    • MTV censored "shit," "bullets" and "gun," thus destroying a condemnation of violence. There's probably some kid somewhere who drifted into a life of crime because he never got to hear his idol denounce violence.
    • Everlast's "What It's Like" contains the line "He pulled out his chrome .45, talked some shit, and wound up dead" on some radio stations. The second bleep is a legitimate swear word, but the first is "chrome .45." The gun-less version easily leads to some bad guesses about what exactly he "pulled out" that got him killed.
    • British MTV even edited out the line "I drank a fifth of vodka, do you dare me to drive?" in Eminem's "Stan"
    • MTV also had a habit of censoring corporate logos and lyrics that sounded like Product Placement... so in Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance", when it got to the line "I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom", the "Burger King" part got bleeped out, making the line sound nastier than it actually was.
    • Perhaps the most ridiculous example: the video for Electric Six's "Gay Bar" (already a masterpiece of comedic raunch) that censors words like "war" and "nuclear war." That's right, "nuclear war" is a dirty word. Even better is how the verse is censored with whip cracks: "Let's start [wha-khish!]/ start a [wha-khish! wha-khish!]/ at the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar!"
      • If The Other Wiki is to be believed, the edits occurred on the UK version due to the song's release at the start of the Iraq war (the one that started in 2003). Which explains it, even if it's still borderline silly. Incidentally (and even more ridiculously) the BBC banned Lulu's "Boom Bang-a-Bang" during the original Gulf War.
    • Maroon 5's "This Love": "Keep her cumming every night". Since even the most censor-prone radio station allows the word, it could lead to a lot of questions from innocent children as to why the word was removed. Later in the song, there's a pair of lines "Diggin' my fingertips/into every inch of you, because I know that's what you want me to do." Want to know which word got cut? Diggin'.
      • Around the same time, Avril Lavigne's "Don't Tell Me" was on their hits rotation regularly. Due to their strict No Sex Allowed policy, a pair of lines was censored as such: "Don't think that your charm and the fact that your arm is now around my neck/Will get you in my pants I'll have to kick your ass and make you never forget" Never mind that the message of the song is abstinence, or that a curse word ("ass") is left unbleeped just six words later. MTV is hilarious when it comes to censorship.
    • Amusingly, they recently had All Time Low performing their song "Poppin' Champagne" live...wherein they censored the word "champagne." This is dumb/amusing for two reasons. One, it's the title of the song, and two, in protest to this, the band, as the last time they said it, replaced the lyric with "snortin' cocaine."
    • Coheed and Cambria's "A Favor House Atlantic" has the line "I'll shoot, you run" in its refrain. MTV censors the word "shoot".
    • The song "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus has the line "Her boyfriend's a dick/And he brings a gun to school" censored on the radio edit and the MTV video version.
  • The radio edit of Ice Cube's "You Can Do It" blanks out the word "ass" in the chorus and replaces it with the sound of a whip cracking and a woman moaning - sounding way more sexual than the original words...
  • The radio edit of Scissor Sisters' "Filthy/Gorgeous" bleeped the word "acid" (slang term for LSD)... but only the second syllable, which makes it sound weird and vaguely sexual ("Trip on a hit of ass"? Really?!)
  • In Malaysia, Katy Perry's song "I Kissed a Girl", after playing uncensored for a couple of weeks, had the word "Girl" censored out of the title and the song. The first thing that comes to mind after hearing the beep in the chorus are certain...erogenous parts of anatomy, which makes the song sleazier than intended.
    • Which seems odd, considering they ran Jill Sobule's song of the same name with absolutely no cuts back in the '90s, much to the delight of Beavis.
  • At Jamba Juice, the music that plays is from disks sent to the stores from the company. In an effort to be more hip, the disks have been including more recent hits, like MIA's "Paper Planes." They made the choice to censor out the sound effects, leaving us with "All I wanna do is ... and a ... and take your money," which can be interpreted as being strikingly sexual.
  • The radio version of the 30 Seconds to Mars song "From Yesterday" suffers from this as well.
    On a mountain he sits,
    Not of gold but of sin
  • There's at least one radio edit of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" that blanks out the line: "When it's love, if it's not rough, it isn't fun."
  • A music video and a radio version of "Almost" by Bowling for Soup edited out a reference to underage drinking...and ended up making this line sound either really risque or really incomprehensible:
    I almost got drunk at school at 14
    • This also happened with "No Hablos Ingles". There's a bit in the video where they microphone up to someone bare ass on the line "Where'd you leave your pants?/No hablos ingles!" When aired it gets the black bar with the song title on it, making it look worse than it actually is. (You can't see anything in the uncensored version.)
  • The original radio edit of Eve's "Let Me Blow Your Mind" simply blanks the cuss in the line, "Don't fight that good shit in your ear / now, let me blow your mind". A cover by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, however, has the line, "Don't fight that [boing] in your ear...", making it sound like something else entirely is being inserted into the listener's ear.
  • Taylor Swift and T-Pain's made a short song "Thug Story". The end of the song was censored for comedic effect, with Taylor Swift protesting "But I didn't even swear".
  • The radio version of "Na Na Na" by My Chemical Romance censors the word "drugs" three times in a row right from the start, while leaving the word "fuck" uncensored later in the song. Priorities!
  • The version of Flogging Molly's "Drunken Lullabies" used in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 censors the word "gun," which is pretty standard for this list. For reasons that are a bit shakier, it also censors "bigot."
  • There is a radio edit of Foster the People's song "Pumped Up Kicks" that censors the words "bullet" and "gun". The Other Wiki notes that the song was intended "to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence amongst youth."
  • The song Love The Way You Lie by Eminem and Rihanna is heavily censored on radio stations to get rid of offensive language and references to violence against women. One line is usually completely censored, which inadvertently gives the message that committing arson is okay by editing out the reference that a woman is being forcibly tied to the bed just before the aforementioned act of arson:
    If she ever tries to fuckin’ leave again
    I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.
  • Some radio edits of The Doors' Break on Through to the Other Side censor "high" in the "She gets high" part, which makes it end up sounding like this: "She gets ______/She gets ______/She gets ______/She gets ______"
  • Some edits of Cirrus' "Back on a Mission" take 'shotgun' out of the line "Boom like a bolt of lightning goes my shotgun," instead making it "Boom like a bolt of lightning-a-what." Guess what word that seems to create...

    Western Animation 
  • Nickelodeon decided to censor the phrase "Shut up" in The Angry Beavers, leading to people sending angry letters to the studio regarding what they thought was a swear word in a show for kids.
  • Nickelodeon also bleeped out the surname of George Liquor (American!) in Ren and Stimpy, letting active imaginations come up with dirty words for it.
  • Treehouse TV's broadcast of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic censors out every instance of the word "loser" from "Boast Busters", ""Call of the Cutie", and "Party of One" (though not from "Sonic Rainboom", "The Return of Harmony Part 2", or "Hearth's Warming Eve"). This only makes anything the character said sound like it must've been worse, the most jarring example being in "Party of One" when Pinkie Pie holds a party with inanimate objects after believing her friends abandoned her and provides the objects with voices.
    Rocky: Not so bad?! Pu-lease! Dey’re a bunch’a [censored]!
    Pinkie Pie: Oh, c’mon now. “[censored]” might be a little strong, don’cha think?
    Sir Lintsalot: After the way they treated you? I say “[censored]” isn’t strong enough!
  • The South Park episode "201" (the second part to "200") censored all mentionings of Muhammad, and Kyle's speech at the end is entirely censored, even though it's been said that there wasn't anything vulgar or obscene about it. Comedy Central ordered all of this to happen because of the Muslim controversy that stirred shortly after the airing of "200".
    • Predating this is another two-parter centering around Muhammad, "Cartoon Wars". Even though a lot of people took the note in Part 2 that says that Comedy Central had to censor the Muhammad scene as a joke, that note was actually true.
  • When Comcast aired Meet the Small Potatoes on Disney Junior, a TV movie about the Small Potatoes (a group of anthropomorphic potatoes), they accidentally bleeped when a character said the word "dares". This was fixed on later airings.

    Real Life 
  • Some local TV stations' weather tickers will have three beeps as a sound effect, which may overlap with dialog and unintentionally censor it.
    • Also happens on BBC radio when presenters "crash the pips" - accidentally overrun so that their dialogue overlaps with the hourly time signal.
    • Most schools have abandoned actual bells to signal the beginning and ends of periods and instead use a tone played automatically over the PA system at a certain time. If a PA announcement is being made while the tone is scheduled to play, this trope happens.
      • It's especially funny if it happens during the national anthem. "Oh, Canada! Our home and *** land!" (Accidentally Accurate on some occasions, because some messed up stuff happens here, just like in any other country on the planet.)
  • Every seen a comedian call someone an ass[BLEEP]? Doesn't that sound like they got... rather creative, in their insults? Apparantly the cencored word is just the inoccuous "hole," since asshole is deemed to be more offensive than ass. And no, ass[blank] doesn't work much better.
  • Jeremy Renner was presenting Zero Dark Thirty at the Golden Globes. He noted that "Kathryn Bigelow is a great director who likes to film great movies in shitty locations."note  A jumpy censor started bleeping out as soon as they heard the word "shitty" and cut to the audience so you couldn't read his lips, so that with the seven second delay the version that played on broadcast was, "Kathryn Bigelow is a great director who likes to film ..." which incidentally made it seem like he said something far, far worse.


Bug BuzzSound FX TropesThe Coconut Effect
Atomic F-BombThese Tropes Should Watch Their LanguageCluster Bleep Bomb
Censor BoxCensorship TropesDiscretion Shot
Celeb CrushComedy TropesCentipede's Dilemma
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alternative title(s): Censorship Makes It Dirty; Unnecessary Censorship; This Trope Is Bleep
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