The following program is a realish documentary, and may contain language which is vulgar, offensive, or grammatically awkward. Such language has been censored whenever possible, but for the sake of higher ratings, we may have let a few gratuitous and especially titillating instances slide.
— The opening of the "American Dicks
" episode of Duckman
This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).
— Disclaimer from the webcomic xkcd
Interesting tropes about blank
ing out things not meant for corrupting sensitive eyes or ears. This index is not about the Content Policy
of TV Tropes
Compare These Tropes Should Watch Their Language
In-universe, often "conveniently in the way"
Fourth Wall tecnhiques:
Textual and auditive censorship:
Other tropes about censorship:
- Adjustable Censorship
- Bowdlerise: Has some elements in common with:
- Edited for Syndication: Sometimes used to remove content, but mostly used to cut scenes for more commercials or to cut out scenes that are either too long or are superfluous to the plot (if it's the rerun of a sketch comedy show, like Saturday Night Live, SCTV, Fridays, or MADtv, then sketches are usually edited for not being funny, to fit a 30-minute or 60-minute time framenote , having too many technical errors, to get rid of copyrighted material, or because the sketch was too controversial).
- Too Soon (Bowdlerization due to Funny Aneurysm or Harsher in Hindsight moments of the "life imitates art" variety)
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Removing or covering up product placement and/or copyrighted music or footage from reruns, reairings, and when put on different media (i.e. DVD and online streaming). This has become the most popular reason why an old TV show or movie is edited on DVD and streaming programs.
- Missing Episode and Banned Episode, though some missing episodes are usually missing due to non-censorship reasons: Creator Backlash, damage done to master tapes, legal issues, production strikes, and early cancellation.
- But Not Too Evil
- Content Warnings: Mostly played straight; mostly Played for Laughs, depending on context
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: Often the result of heavy censorship.
- Defying The Censors: Sometimes you have to stand up to those who want to silence you, but when that doesn't work, there's always these...
- Dropped Abridged On It
- Family-Friendly Firearms (used in a majority of American-edited anime and kids' shows)
- Finger On Lips (used mostly in music videos and music performances)
- Frothy Mugs of Water (used a lot in American-edited anime for kids)
- Fun with Autocensors (mostly seen on Internet forums)
- Get Back in the Closet
- Hide Your Lesbians
- Informed Obscenity
- Live But Delayed
- Narrative Profanity Filter (mostly used in written media, but can also be used on television shows or movies if a narrator is used)
- Nipple and Dimed
- Nobody Can Die
- No Smoking (seen in American-edited anime series and a lot of recent edits to old TV shows and cartoons that allowed cigarettes to be smoked or seen — unless it's a Very Special Episode about the dangers of tobacco use)
- No Swastikas
- Scunthorpe Problem and The Problem with Pen Island (mostly seen on Internet forums)
- Seven Dirty Words
- Sleeping Single (also a Comedy Trope used in conjunction with Exiled to the Couch or if a work parodies the allegedly "squeaky clean" 1950s sitcoms in which married couples were shown sleeping in separate beds due to TV rules at the time that didn't allow couples in the same bed together)
- Sound Effect Bleep (can be used as a Comedy Trope if the sounds used to cover up the profanity are appropriate to what's being censored [read: if someone says "pussy," it gets censored by a cat meowing, if someone says "fuck," it gets censored by a woman moaning erotically, if someone says "shit," it gets censored by someone farting or flushing a toilet, a marijuana reference gets covered up with the water bubbling noise from a bong or someone exhaling smoke, or a gun reference is covered with the sound of a gun being fired or a rifle or shotgun getting cocked]. A lot of rap and pop songs will do this as Refuge in Audacity in that they conform to Executive Meddling, but at the same time, are mocking them by choosing sounds that are, in a perverted way, associated with what's being censored).
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion (can be a Comedy Trope or used for non-censorship reasons, such as trying to avoid a lame and predictable rhyme scheme — i.e., subverting the old "Roses are red, Violets are blue" poem)
- Think of the Censors: When characters in a fictional work know or realize that their words and/or actions are subject to being censored if actually said or done. Also a form of Breaking the Fourth Wall.
- Think of the Children!: The call to arms for many a Moral Guardian or Media Watchdog group.
- Unacceptable Targets