Cluster Bleep Bomb
I'm a black Scottish cyclops! They got more f[bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep] than they got the likes of me! ExplanationThis is when a character launches into a profane tirade for several seconds, which is bleeped out for comedic effect. It's sort of the intersection between The Aristocrats and a Noodle Incident: the humor comes from how incredibly long-winded and offensive the dialog was, but we're left with only other characters' reactions to inform us about what was actually said. Sometimes intercut with odd words that aren't rude in themselves, but make one wonder in what possible context they would make sense. If the actors are visibly speaking their lines with just the sound bleeped out, this can be a sort of Bilingual Bonus (not to mention Getting *Bleep* Past The Radar) for anyone who can lip-read. A subtrope of Censored for Comedy and Cluster F-Bomb. Compare Lost In Transmission.
— The Demoman, Team Fortress 2
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- Done for laughs in a Bud Light commercial.
- The first half of Toonami's broadcast of Deadman Wonderland had this in spades, which culminated in episode 6 with at least 20 bleeps, most of which came from one character. After which, Funimation rewrote the dialogue to avoid this and help sell the uncensored DVDs.
- In Gintama, Gintoki has one of these in an inner monologue as one of his initial reactions to realizing that a suspiciously similar individual named Sakata Kintoki has taken over his life. So much of it is bleeped out that it's impossible to tell what he could be saying.
- Much like Deadman Wonderland, Black Lagoon is turned into this on its Toonami broadcast. And unlike Deadman Wonderland, Black Lagoon was not actually dubbed by FUNimation (the English dub was produced by The Ocean Group while the show was still licensed by Geneon), which means they and Toonami don't have the luxury of rewriting the dialogue.
- In one of the OVAs of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Andressen is being dumped by a woman and launches into language so foul that music begins playing over him and a message appears across the screen stating the show's gone to a video-only feed.
- This can happen unintentionally when a particularly profane movie is Edited for Syndication. Some cable broadcasts of, Pulp Fiction, for example, will blank out the individual words. In one scene, the F's are flying so fast that all the sound simply blanks out, as if the censor had just given up in exasperation.
- Similarly, cable showings of Blazing Saddles can suffer from this. It's practically a silent movie.
- Occurs in-universe in Happy Gilmore as Happy's Cluster F-Bomb is broadcast on TV. It sometimes slips up, though...
"Piece of fucking <BLEEP>!"
- Wayne's World combines this with Sound Effect Bleep.
Garth: You know what you can do with your show? You can take a- [The loud whine of a nearby landing airplane drowns out Garth's voice. Cut to Wayne's horrified reaction shot, then back to Garth, several times. No kidding, it actually takes this long.] -until the handle breaks off and you have to find a doctor to pull it out again!Wayne: You kiss your mother with that mouth?! You've gone mental!
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Used to parodic effect with Julie's Cluster F-Bomb and censor bars over her mouth when she swears in one scene.
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back has a reporter reading the title characters' letter:
"Once we get to Hollywood and find those Miramax Expletive-Deleted who are making the Bluntman and Chronic movie, we're gonna make 'em eat our Expletive-Deleted, then Expletive-Deleted, which is made up of our Expletive-Deleted, then eat their Expletive-Deleted, which is made up of our Expletive-Deleted that we made 'em eat. Unquote."
- The DVD for Snatch had an Easter Egg which asked "Are you easily offended?". If "No" was chosen, came this Fully Automatic Clip Show of "the best swearing and gunfire in British cinema". If "Yes" was picked, it's a bleeped version of the video - which arguably makes it even funnier.
- In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Joanna drops one on live-television prior to the games.
Johanna: The deal was that if I win the Hunger Games, I get to live the rest of my life in peace, but now you want to kill me again. Well, you know what? [beep] THAT! AND [beep] ANYONE THAT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT!
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, after Mike Teavee announces his disgust of chocolate, Grandpa George flies into a (supposedly, if the family's reaction is anything to go by) foul-mouthed tirade. Mr. Bucket quickly cups his hands over Charlie's ears so he can't hear the profanity being spewed forth, and all Charlie and the audience hears is Grandpa George's muffled voice.
- The ½ Prince novels sometimes have "XXX" bombs, the most spectacular of which appears when the protagonist critiques an antagonist's method of killing, describing what he should do if he really wants to horrify people. (From what can be deciphered, it would begin with ripping out her intestines and stuffing them in her mouth.)
- "—— me! A ——ing wizard! I hate ——ing wizards!" proclaims a character in the Discworld book Mort, "effortlessly pronouncing a row of dashes". Obviously, the response is, "well, you shouldn't —— them, then."
- Similarly, The Truth features a thug who liberally peppers his speech with "-ing". It's stated several times that this isn't censorship, however, and he is actually just saying "Ing" for some reason. It's implied that he really wants to swear, but has a mental block because of a very strict upbringing.
- Captain Carrot, in his early appearances, has the unusual skill of being able to pronounce "D*mn!"
- The upcoming science fiction novel Illuminae, being told in hacked documents, censors its curse words.
- This was sometimes done in 19th-century novels as well. Perhaps in response to this, Patrick O'Brian also blanked out some of the swear words in his Aubrey-Maturin series, resulting in one humorous scene where Diana introduces herself by yelling at her horse, "Get over, you —," which intrigues Jack, who had never heard a woman say "—" before.
- Though it hasn't been published, the whatever that is Mundementia One briefly features a Censorship Device that cloaks the characters' profanities from everyone, including onlooking hostile supernatural beings that are strengthened by such things. It is immediately dropped and becomes miscalibrated, censoring words some distance after curses.
- In L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth, all profanity is replaced by the word bleep, explained in-story as being translated from an alien language to English by a robot which was programmed as unable to curse.
%$!@ing Live Action TV
- In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Agent For Harm, Crow tapes testimony as a character witness at trial of Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds. Hilarity Ensues:
Crow: Is This Thing On? Hi! I'm Crow T. Robot and I'm here to tell you that Mike Nelson is innocent. Mike Nelson is 200% [bleep]ing not guilty. And if you [bleep]s don't [bleep] find him innocent, then you can just [bleep]ing kiss my fat [bleep]ing [bleep]. And that [bleep]ing goes for your bull[bleep] court system, too! Mike, I'm so [bleep]ing sorry I couldn't [bleep]ing be there for this [bleep]ing [bleep]y really bogus trial, man. But let me [bleep] tell ya something, Nelson. If I was there, I'd [bleep]ing kick everyone's fat stupid [bleep]ing behinds and then cram it up their [bleep]ing [bleep]. Anyway, Mike, buddy, I hope this [bleep] helps. Take care, Mike.
- Used twice in rapid succession by Buster on Arrested Development: once when trash-talking Michael before a bike ride ("Well let's hope it doesn't come to that"), and when dissing his own mother ("I don't think anybody's going to top that").
- Also used during Gob's sexual-harassment speech before the office Christmas party. Nobody does anything even slightly untoward afterwards.
- Used again by Nellie, the prostitute Michael mistakenly hires to work at the Bluth Company, when she tells her fellow employees what she is and is not willing to do. It sounds a lot like Gob's speech.
- Used in the fake behind-the-scenes clips of "Wormhole X-Treme" on the episode "200" of Stargate SG-1, when the Colonel Mitchell Expy is discussing how he came up with his catchphrase:
"It just hit me: 'Sweet [Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep].' And we can get away with that too, because... it's cable."
- Richard Hammond of Top Gear loves this.
- When Tom Green appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, he did this as an impression of Morse Code.
- The Middleman is loaded with allusions and tropes from The Silver Age of Comic Books, where cursing is rendered as Symbol Swearing. Thus, the tv series has a lot of fun with the Sound Effect Bleep + Censor Box over the mouth. Generally mild swears (and stealthy euphemisms) get a pass, and the bleep is used on a Rule of Funny basis.
- This happens a lot with particularly profane comedians' TV specials, which usually doesn't affect the joke but sometimes makes the joke sound dirtier than it is (censoring shit for example) or not dirty enough.
- This occurs in the legendary Intervention episode involving Linda, the Fentanyl addict.
- Happens in an episode of The IT Crowd when Jen, having spent much of the episode in pain due to a poor choice in shoes, finally lashes out at a Japanese investor who just stepped on her foot. It turns out that the censorship was entirely diegetic, allowing for Denholm to tell Jen that she fucked up.
- In one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina, her aunts, Mr. Kraft, and Mr. Kraft's ex-girlfriend all end up on Jerry Springer. During this, Aunt Hilda gives the ex a piece of her mind. Her rant is bleeped out every other word. Sabrina points out that Hilda wasn't swearing, and Jerry just shrugs and says "Yeah, but this way, it sounds like she did."
- Mythbusters has fun with this one when testing whether swearing helps in enduring pain. They use the bleeps to spell out messages in Morse code.
- Since profanity isn't easy to translate, the German dub for That '70s Show bleeps out almost everything of Red's Cluster F-Bomb when he takes Hyde in after his mother left him. While profanity usually is never censored in German TV, this arguably makes the scene even more hilarious (and definitely better than an awkward translation).
- Used by Kitty exactly once in the entire series. It made the Crowning Moment of Awesome page.
- Since the audience can be just as rowdy as the people on stage, the audience on Maury is just as likely to drop and F-bomb as the guests. This means that, if you haven't picked up on this yet, watching an episode of the show can be disoriented, since random bleeps will show up out of nowhere while the guests are perfectly calm.
- Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 has a version using Pixellation instead of a bleep, as Chloe and Vincent mouth insults to one another. (Chloe's seems to be a whole sentence.)
- On the British comedy Chef, the titular character has agreed to the filming of a documentary in his kitchen. When Everton loses several crayfish, Chef Gareth Blackstock goes on a profanity laced tirade that the producer said might not have a time slot late enough to air. Sous chef Lucinda read a review of the documentary aloud.
Lucinda: "A special BAFTA award for swearing in a documentary should be minted at once!"
- Southland has this a few times throughout, due to the show having several bleeped f-bombs per episode. One of the most notable examples being the episode where Sammy confronts gang member Strokeface and the two of them go on an f-bomb tirade with each other.
- In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "You Are There", a modern day reporter and his crew inexplicably show up and start interviewing everyone. When he gets to Xena's daughter Eve, Eve eventually loses her temper, beats him up, and cusses him out in bleeps.
- Gareth drops one in Galavant as a knock-knock joke.
- Bad Judge: Judge Rebecca Wright gives one cursing out a player at a hockey game.
- The Series/QI episode 'Ladies and Gents' has a question about Anglo-Saxon swearwordsnote . Sue Perkins drops one swearword, bleeped because this is the BBC, and gets a klaxon that covers all bases. Sue decides 'In for a penny' and drops about six more, all bleeped, all klaxoned. She ends with the unbleeped, unklaxoned 'knob-gobbler'.
- In an episode of Dance Moms, Christi tells Abby, "You don't need to know my [bleep] attorney's name." Abby's jaw drops at her use of profanity and Christi does it some more by leaning forward and repeating the F word several times in rapid succession underneath a long bleep with her mouth blurred out. Later, during a rehearsal, Abby is yelling at the girls for nearly every little thing and tells them, "You can all thank Christi for my mood. She stood at my front desk and yelled the F word. Seventeen times. That's sickening!" She then makes a rule that the next mom who says the word in front of her will have their daughter pulled from performing in the upcoming competition. In the dressing room before the competition, Leslie lets loose a Precision F-Strike at Abby twice and her daughter Payton's solo is promptly canceled.
- Five Iron Frenzy's "These Are Not My Pants (Part 8)" starts off bleeping out random words. Then the bleeps get more frequent until there's more bleeps than audible words at the end.
- Played With in the song "Mutha'uckas" by Flight of the Conchords, but with parts of the swear words simply left out by the singers instead of bleeped. Some of the curses are obvious (like "mutha'uckas") but as the song goes on and the frequency of swear words increases, it increasingly becomes harder to understand. Bret's second verse, in particular, devolves into nothing but an awkward string of pauses and consonants.
- From Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady": "Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell records. Well, I do, so [bleep] you and [bleep] [bleep] him too."
- The radio edit of Eamon's song "I Don't Want You Back" edits out all of the swears, which is like half the song.
- "I Bet They Won't Play This Song On The Radio," from Monty Python's Contractual Obligation album.
- Marilyn Manson's "Blank and White" contains the line "shoot up the mall, the school <BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP>". This line is bleeped out even on the "unedited" version; the censored words (which can be heard here at about 3:34) are "or the President of whatever".
%$!@ing Video Games
- Team Fortress 2:
- The Meet the Demoman animated short. At one point the title character goes on a 3 second long swearing jag, all of which is bleeped out. Watch it here.
- In the Blood in the Water comic, Zhanna curses out the Spy when ordered to "be racist!" Of the fourteen words she shouts at him, the only ones not blacked out are "you" and "the".
- Sam and Max Beyond Time and Space featured Tiny Timmy, a rat afflicted with Hollywood Tourette's who spoke with every other word bleeped out. In the final episode of the season, Sam and Max switch a Bluenose Bowdlerizer's list of naughty words with a shopping list so that they can get a vital clue out of Tiny Timmy...and discover that his "swearing" is all of the Gosh Dang It to Heck! variety.
- At one point in Killer7, Suzie goes off on a tangent about what she did to some men who made fun of her name, and parts of it get censored out. This is funny for three separate reasons: in the English version, Suzie (like all ghosts) is The Unintelligible; in the Japanese version, her speech is so full of Gratuitous English that it makes no sense anyway; and the game doesn't censor profanity anywhere else!
- Mr. Torgue in Borderlands 2 had his voice box censored by his own company.
"LOTTA PEOPLE BEEN ASKING WHY MY VOICE BEEPS ALL THE F*CKING TIME. THE TORGUE STOCKHOLDERS WIRED MY VOICEBOX WITH A DIGITAL CENSOR SO I CAN'T SAY STUFF LIKE SH*T, C*CK, P*SSY-F*CKIN' D*CKBALLS. THAT'S LIKE HALF MY F*CKING VOCABULARY! IT'S GODDAMN BULLSH*T!"
- In this ad for Lollipop Chainsaw, a gamer talks about his sexual fantasies with Juliet Starling, with most of the words bleeped out.
- Cross Edge has this line (by the way, the sound effects are all different):
Etna: "Stupid (sound effect) mother (sound effect) two-dollar (sound effect) what a mother (sound effect) DRANK ALL MY JUICE!"
- In Saints Row IV:
Civilian: "Oh my stars, it's the president!"The President: "Hi, how are..." *notices the civilian is glitching* "What the f***!"
- The President's swears end up being filtered while trapped in a 50's style simulation.
The President: Aw man, this place?! F**k me!The President: (whiling sabotaging a loudspeaker 50s Cyrus is using to deliver sexist rantings) *** you, you piece of *** dirtbag *** ***-sucking mother-*** ***-eating ***!
- There's even more when you return to 50s Steelport to rescue Kinzie from the deliberately Flanderized Straw Conservative / Straw Misogynist Cyrus Temple.
- In Bob and George the author will frequently pixelate curses, or hide them behind a black bar. Then you have Ran on this page.
- In Gene Catlow, swear-words are replaced by black bars. At one point, a human lets loose with a rant that's almost entirely blacked out, causing the main characters to comment on "That odd human fascination with excrements..."
- Yuck Heads had this strip.
- In Skin Horse, cyborg helicopter Nick has a filter that replaces curses with other random words (shown in a different, slightly bolder font). This culminates in:
Nick: What the mosaic-tiled poorhouse floor do you think you're flipping gingerly, panther? Like I don't get enough opal circles, some secret Mayan astronaut has to eat the magic fudge? Sahara!
Jonah: What the hell?
Nick: Easy for you to say, gorilla-watcher. Easy for you.
%$!@ing Web Original
- On YouTube, a popular means of editing works to sound vulgar is to bleep out random words to make it sound like the characters are swearing, which often gives off a Cluster F-Bomb feel without having to go to the extra effort of trying to find things that sound directly like swearing. (And often times it ends up being funnier anyway.)
- The Wiiviewer's review of Arc Rise Fantasia includes one discussing Easy Levels, Hard Bosses:
Because while the regular enemies are a breeze to kill, the bosses will bend you over and *beep* with mayonnaise and just shove their hand up *beep* fingers out and *beep* *beep* *beep*! And trust me when I say, you'll never look at a pencil the same way again.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series does this when The Pharaoh finds out Yugi tricked him into going on a date with Tea.
"Yugi you little *beep*! You son of a *beep*ing *beep* *beep* *beep*! I'm going to tear off your *beep* and shove them right up your *beep* *beep* *beep* *beep* and then *beep* *beep*ing *beep* on your *beep* with *beep* *beep* in the *beep* and *beep* *beep* *beep* your *beep* *beep* *beep* so then you'll have to *beep* sideways! *Beep*!"
- And then averted later in the same episode: "Fucking birds!"
- Tristan: "Holy *bleep* on a *bleep* sandwich! With *bleep* on top! And a side order of *bleep*!" When we hear the original line uncensored in episode 48, it turns out he's actually just saying "bleep".
- The Elder Swear, the worst wizard swear word ever, is said this way in Potter Puppet Pals. The only words not bleeped out are extremely non-sequitur. Even better, the whole thing takes 43 seconds to say in full.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged parodied this when you heard Vegeta saying a bunch of bleep words, and then you heard what he actually said, which was a cluster Gosh Dang It to Heck! bomb.
- Occurs on I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC, when Green Goblin sees the Joker hit Harley. At some point, they even give up on the individual bleeps; there's just one long, siren-like whine for a few minutes.
- Otaking does one of these in his otherwise quite professional Anime Fansub Documentary on Youtube.
Translation Note: Terran is the word Vampires use to refer to humans.Otaking: Yeah, I think we can work that out ourselves, you ***ing mother*** *** ***king ***cks!
- This video from comedian Elliot Chang: "Worst Way to Meet Your Female Boss."
- Daily Grace does this from time to time, most famously when she tried In-N-Out Burger. Borders on Does This Remind You of Anything.
- Ultra Fast Pony: From the episode "Purple Party Pooper":
Spike: Oh, that's right, I forgot to tell you. Your friends said they couldn't make it today.
Twilight: Motherfu— [bleeeeeeeep] one little [bleeeeeeeeeeep] I'm gonna [bleeeeeep] right where Celestia doesn't shine!
- Honest Trailers: Since The Wolf of Wall Street has an average of 3.6 f-words per minute, its trailer has to bleep them out of nearly every clip. Then the Narrator joins in as well and punctuates every sentence with "f***ing".
- Possibly the longest bleep in an original fan cartoon, If Bo Burnham Was On MLP:FiM, a true cluster f-bomb if there ever was one. There is an uncensored version, for which the gentle readers may search for themselves.
- One bit in Naruto The Abridged Series has this from Sasuke:
Sasuke: Are you done? You sure? 'Cause I'm not going to get interrupted again by that stupid plot! Okay then. Haku, you're min—[scene cut] SON OF A FUC[bleep] MIS[bleep] CUN[bleep bleeeep] BALONEY!
- A Buzz Feed video titled "True Love Stories" features a Q&A of three women about their love stories. When asked the sweetest thing her love interest has ever said to her, one woman repeats what judging from the censoring is a graphic description of the sex he said he wanted to have with her.
%$!@ing Western Animation
- Family Guy, "PTV." the FCC has taken to censoring real life, and stations an agent next to Peter with an airhorn to censor anything rude he might say.
Peter: Oh, Lois, you are so full of (BEEP)! WHAT?! Now I can't say (BEEP) in my own (BEEP)ing house?! (BEEEP)in' great, Lois. Just (BEEEP)in' great. You know, you're lucky you're good at (BEEP) my (BEEP) or I'd never put up with ya. You know what I'm talking about, when you (BEEEEEP) lubed-up (BEEEEEEEP) toothpaste in my (BEEEEEEEEEEEP) while you (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP) on a cherry (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP) Episcopalian (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP) extension cord (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP) wetness (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP) with a parking ticket. That is the best!
- The Robot Chicken video "The Emperor's Phone Call", when Vader tells Palpatine about the Death Star's destruction.
- From Stan and Kyle's encounter with extraterrestrials from the 1st South Park episode, "Cartman Gets An Anal Probe":
Kyle: Hey, you scrawny-ass ***! What the *** is wrong with you?! You must be some kind of *** *** to be able to ignore a crying child!
Stan: Whoa, dude!
Kyle: You know what you *** like?! You like to *** ***, and ***, and ***, and ***, and ***, and ***!
Stan: Hey, Wendy. What's a ***?
- Kenny often swears in frustration (the 'F' word is particularly common), and is the one most likely to describe lewd behaviour graphically, but everything he says is muffled by his hoodie. Ironically, when he's cursing he is actually clearer than when he's just having a normal conversation, and the close listener will be able to get the gist of what he's describing or the words he's using.
- Towards the end of "201," Kyle's entire speechnote has been censored, before it's realized that Comedy Central is the one applying the censors. On the official uncensored DVD release, the bleeps still remain.
- The Critic has a few examples.
"You no good ***. *** you, you piece *** **. Kiss my white, feminine, toned and tattooed ***, *** ***!"
- Jay Sherman's interview with Cher ended up with this tirade:
Host: Hey, kids! Lets welcome our special guest: Madonna! Hey Madonna!
- And then we had a interview with Madonna on a children's show:
Madonna: Don't *** with me, hippo.
Host: Hey, do you eat with that mouth?
Madonna: Yeah, and I also *** and *** with it!
- Tiny Toon Adventures had the appropriately named Fowlmouth who casually swore constantly, usually to the deleterious effect of those around him (such as making a trio of toddlers in the background burst out crying.) Once, Buster was trying to help him get over it so he could entice a girl on a date, ending up using a contraption so torturous that the background music was barely audible through the beeping. Fowlmouth cursed it to death. Though at the end of the episode, Buster swore (apparently; debate rages on "Well what do you *BLEEP*" could be) and he was subjected to the same treatment... With the same amount of swearing in response.
- Total Drama had Lindsay and Owen cussing out Heather in "That's Off the Chain" and "Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon", respectively, while Izzy goes ballistic on her film crew in the Action special. In the American airings of said episodes, the bleeps are supplanted with alternative dialogue.
- During the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Gee Whiz", a pregnant Meatwad, suffering from mood swings, tears into Frylock and Master Shake. The bleeps used to cover his cursing get more and more ridiculous with every word out of his mouth.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Sailor Mouth" is all about this. Spongebob and Patrick learn some "sentence enhancers", and put them into every sentence they can think of (but they're all censored with dolphin sounds, foghorns, and other sea-related sounds). Then Mr. Krabs does this with all "thirteen" dirty words he'd mentioned. His mother appeared to have done this as well, but the beeps turn out to be "Old Man Jenkins in his jalopy".
- Also of note is The Powerpuff Girls episode "Curses", which was almost an exact copy of the Spongebob episode.
- In the The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XI segment "Starship Poopers", Homer and Kang go on Jerry Springer to settle Maggie's parentage. Things quickly devolve into cluster bleeping.
Homer: You two-timing ***!Kang: Oh, yeah? Well, ***, ***, hyperbolic tarapaloid, *** yo mama!
- In an Animaniacs short, Dot keeps messing up her lines, and at one point, she gets so angry from messing up that she goes into a rant, and every two to three words during her rant are a (bleeped) swear.
Yakko: That's my cute little sister who said that. Good night, everybody!
- From the season 3 opening of Archer:
Malory: Three months! Sterling's been missing for three months, and you idiots have nothing!Ray: Well, yelling at us isn't going to—Malory: beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepRay: (looking shocked) —solve anything