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Cover Innocent Eyes And Ears
O be careful little eyes what you see,
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So, be careful little eyes what you see.
O be careful little ears, what you hear...
- Popular Sunday School song

Perhaps someone is letting loose a torrent of profanity. Perhaps there's a streaker running past. Perhaps somebody is about to rip out somebody's heart. Whatever the case, there are children around, and they are being exposed to some highly inappropriate content. Quick! Cover their eyes/ears!

Usually it's a parent who will do this. This can be played for laughs if the "innocent" kid still understands what's going on (cf. The Simpsons episode "Bart Sells His Soul" where Rod still curses after Flanders covered his ears).

Compare Not in Front of the Kid.


Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • A Running Gag in Chobits. Every time Hideki acts strange in public, a woman's voice can be heard telling a child "Don't look at him, honey."
  • One episode of Tenchi in Tokyo has Ayeka, Sasami, Ryoko, and Ryo Ohki watching a soap opera. When the action onscreen starts to heat up, Ayeka blushes in embarrassment and covers Sasami's eyes, who then covers Ryo Ohki's eyes. Guess whose eyes were glued to the screen?
  • In the A Certain Magical Index light novels, Brunhild Eiktobel puts to sleep a little boy she's been watching over when she senses danger. The last thing she needed was for the boy to see the ensuing carnage when her attackers struck.
  • Mizore casually covers Yukari's eyes in Rosario + Vampire Capu2 after Ruby trips and exposes herself, while a confused Yukari tries to look around her hand.

Comic Books
  • An inversion happens in the chapter "The Most Bizarre Bizarro Of All" from the Bizarro Comics anthology. When a Bizarro starts walking on his hands and generally acting even too strange by Bizarro standards, all the children tell the adults not to watch or listen. (It is Bizarro World, after all.)
  • In the Secret Invasion Runaways/Young Avengers crossover, Chase hastily covers Molly and Klara's eyes after they stumble across a television display showing footage of the Young Avengers apparently getting slaughtered by the Skrulls.
    • Earlier, when the group goes to New York to prove Cloak innocent of attacking Dagger, Chase also covers Molly's eyes and tells her not to look when they watch a video of the attack. While it's not made explicit what happens, given the reaction of, "Oh God, is he...?" and the reveal that the real culprit was a Stalker with a Crush who seemed deluded into thinking Dagger was his girlfriend, one could only imagine.

Fanfic
  • In chapter 33 of Magical Troubleshooting Crossover Fighting Federation Ultra succubus Morrigan strips herself naked in an attempt to distract Wolverine during a match. Combat Commentator Hiroshi covers guest commentator Sana's eyes, which she protests, since she has the same basic anatomy as Morrigan.
  • When Daryan is being to the detention after being found guilty, the police guard makes Trucy turn around and cover her ears when he tells Apollo what will be Daryan's fate in prison.

Film
  • In the 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield, Roger covers up JP's ears when George Knox starts swearing during the game.
  • In Spy Kids, the parents ask the kids to shut their eyes before beating up a bunch of Mooks.
  • In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas covers a child bystander's eyes when one of the bad guys impales himself on a model building.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, after Mike says "I hate chocolate," Grampa George begins to rant, "Well it's a good thing you're going to a chocolate factory, you ungrateful little-" At which point Charlie's ears are covered by Mr. Bucket, and we hear nothing until he removes them. Fair guess that it's swearing.
  • In The War of the Worlds, Ray Ferrier blindfolds his daughter and tells her to cover her ears and sing her calming song so she won't see or hear as he kills Ogilvy.
  • Used in the movie Old School, where Vince Vaughn's character sets up a system where he tells his child "earmuffs," and the kid will cover his ears, allowing adults to say what they will.
  • Done in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the hilarious things being first that the scene isn't really worth an eye-covering anyway (a dancer in a leotard), and second that the youngest brother whose eyes are being covered is not a child.
  • In Silent Hill, Rose tries to cover Sharon's eyes and years as a cult is horribly, gorily slaughtered by the vengeful Alessa.

Live-Action TV
  • In Friends, Ross walks in with his son Ben just as Phoebe starts cussing out a game machine. He immediately dives to cover Ben's ears before shouting "Phoebe!" to get her attention and make her stop.
  • There's a House episode where the mother of a preteen girl covers her daughter's ears so she won't hear the word "masturbation".
  • An episode of Get Smart had Max communicating with a trapped Chief via Morse code. After Max bungles his rescue, Chief sends out some angry sounding taps. Max responds with "Watch your language, Chief. There is a lady present." When the angry taps continue, Max covers 99's ears.
  • In an episode of Bones while discussing the case of the week in front of Booth's young son, Booth covers his son's ears and makes him sing a little song while the adults talk.
  • In Ugly Betty Justin is repeatedly told to put his headphones on during the second episode, when he is still rather young.
  • In one episode of Full House where it's learned Rebecca is expecting, the family congratulates Jessie, only for Jessie to think they're talking about a gig he got and say he couldn't have done it without lots of 'practice', resulting in Danny covering DJ and Stephanie's ears.
  • In Atlantis, Hercules covers Pythagoras's eyes when Jason walks into the house naked.
  • In Game of Thrones, Tywin covers Tommen's eyes during Joffery's death scene.
  • One episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has Buffy telling Dawn to close her eyes, so Dawn doesn't see the oncoming death scene.

Newspaper Comics
  • A post-9/11 Blondie strip parodied the, um, excesses in airline security by having Dagwood have to repeatedly go through a metal detector, with the operator making him take off more clothes each time. He's in his underwear and the machine is still beeping when another guard comes up and tells the operator that the machine's broken. Cut to Dagwood on the plane begging the flight attendant to let him put his clothes back on before take-off, with a mother covering her kid's eyes elsewhere in the panel.
  • This Heathcliff strip had a mother covering up her son's ears while a flock of birds are angrily swearing at Heathcliff, with the mother saying "Don't listen to the birds, honey".
  • In a Garfield strip, when Garfield is watching TV, and hears that "viewer discretion advised", he covers Pooky's eyes.

Video Games
  • If Jack, known for her unusually foul mouth in Mass Effect 2, survived that game's endgame, in 3 she turns up as a teacher and makes a special effort not to swear in front of her students. Joker teases her that her Swear Jar could fund the war effort by itself. At which point Jack tells the kids to cover their ears and the scene cuts away.

Web Comics
  • Eerie Cuties had a scene where Maria, misinterpreting a little incident between Layla and Brooke, "soothes" the girls by happily giving them Too Much Information from her own... fond memories. Brooke covers Nina's ears.
  • In Yamara, a dark elf mother covers her son's eyes when the tour they're on visits an erotically-carved temple. Ironically, the tour members had already been tortured as part of their visit, but the boy's mom doesn't mind that, only the raunchy art.
  • In Flaky Pastry, Sister Mona makes a little boy turn around before going Holy Retribution on Zintiel.
  • In Brawl in the Family, the Halloween specials usually begin with Adelaide warning the audience to "send the little ones to bed early", before tuning in.

Western Animation
  • The Yogi Bear Show: The Yakky Doodle segments, where his protector and best friend Chopper (a bulldog) would ask Yakky to cover his eyes and ears whenever Chopper got ready to pound one of the duckling's antagonists usually Fibber Fox or Alfie Gator, who were looking for a quick meal into a lifeless pulp. Said beatings always happened off-screen, with Fibber, Alfie or any other antagonist screaming and yowling off-screen (implying they are suffering severe punishment), although the aftermath was shown.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Spongebob indulges in some Innocent Swearing over the PA system of the Krusty Krab. Among the shocked customers, one octopus mother uses her arms to cover up her children's ears, and manages the fifth by sticking a soda cup over his head.
  • Ned Flanders does this to one of his sons in an episode of The Simpsons after Moe loses his temper and repeatedly uses the word "freakin'". The boy cries "Ow, my freakin' ears!"
    • The Simpsons Movie: The Disney Creatures of the Farce who help Homer and Marge undress watch aghast as they have sex, and a buck puts his hoof over his son's eyes.
    • A variation where Bart is sent to a religious school and is asked by the teacher to recite a poem. Bart complies with "Beans, beans the magical fruit! The more you eat the more, you toot!" Cut to Bart fleeing the furious mob, with the teacher yelling "Avert your eyes, children! It may take on other forms!"
    • "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" Has Homer telling Bart and Lisa to go outside before he unleashes an Atomic F-Bomb.
    • Another instance occurs when Santa's Little Helper gets into a greyhound racing circuit and manages to jump She's The Fastest. Bart and Lisa are confused by what's going on, with Bart thinking SLH is trying to jump over STF and can't quite make it. Marge groans and covers their eyes the moment she catches on to what's actually happening.
  • An episode of Peter Pan & the Pirates had Hook spouting some strong insults at Peter, prompting Wendy to cover Michael's ears. One of the pirates decides Hook's language is too strong by even pirate standards and covers the cabin boy's ears.
  • This happens in Family Guy at one point. Peter takes Stewie to the bar with him, and Quagmire is about to tell a story of what he did with some women last night. Peter covers Stewie's ears so he won't hear and we see some very strange pantomime on Quagmire's part but hear none of it thanks to Peter.
  • In The Boondocks, Sarah covers Jazmine's ears when Tom starts swearing after the basketball team he is coaching not only loses but he misses the opportunity to have a "miracle" win.
  • King of the Hill does this often whenever Hank and/or Peggy don't want Bobby to hear anything remotely adult, but instead of covering his eyes and/or ears, they usually tell Bobby to go somewhere else.
    • In "Hank's Dirty Laundry," Peggy tells Bobby to get out of the house after Peggy thinks Hank is masturbating to a porno flicknote .
    • In "Ceci N'est Pas Une King of the Hill," Hank orders Bobby to get in the truck when one of the artist shows him a sculpture known as "Industrial Penis #5"
    • Taken to extremes on "Harlottown," when, after Hank and Peggy pick up a pair of porno actors who are stranded on the road, Hank leaves Bobby with John Redcorn in his house.
    • In another episode Hank and Peggy order Bobby to leave the living room while a tampon commercial plays on TV and to come back when it's over.
    • The propane convention episode has a mother covering her child's ears when Hank goes on a drunken rant denouncing Buck Strickland as a "bastard".
  • In a flashback episode of Adventure Time, Simon is trying to find some chicken soup for the sick Marceline. They come across an ambulance, which Simon hopes will have some. Upon only finding clam soup in the vehicle, Simon looks at the back door and sees that it's a clambulance. Simon tells Marcy to cover her ears before unleashing his wrath on the door.
    MOTHER MOTHER MOTHER MOTHER MOTHER MOTHER MOTHER!!
  • In Transformers Prime, Bulkhead tells Miko to look away as he rips out a Vehicon's fuel pump. It's different for robots obviously, and she watches and declares "Cool!"
  • A Running Gag in The Fairly OddParents involves someone covering another person's eyes and shouting "Shield your eyes!" when something disturbing happens.
  • In an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, when Flapjack accidentally revealed that he faked a muteness curse so Captain K'nuckles can take him to a fair, the captain gets very mad and tells Flapjack to cover his ears. When he does, K'nuckles starts spewing unintelligible swears. After K'nuckles tells Flapjack he can take his hands off, a carnival barker awards him for his swears.
  • In an episode of Braceface, when Sharon accidentally came across a pornographic website, she covered the eyes of the cat sitting on her lap.
  • Happens in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Equestria Games during Spike's attempt at the Cloudsdale anthem.

Real Life
  • The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings posters (for when the new NC-17 rating was issued in 1990) had illustrations for each rating; the one for "PG" (Parental Guidance Suggested) included a woman covering (presumably) her daughter's eyes the implication being that "some material may not be suitable for children." The PG-13 rating had the father covering one of her son's eyes, while the girl — still with both eyes covered — also covered the eyes of an anthropomorphic rabbit. (The rabbit, BTW, humorously appears in the NC-17 portion of the poster wearing dark sunglasses!)
  • In one scene from Little Miss Sunshine, the adults in the van were having an obscenity-filled conversation while young Olive listened to music on her headphones. The director made sure that nine-year-old Abigail Breslin, who played Olive, had the music on her headphones loud enough that she actually couldn't hear the conversation.

Children Are InnocentTropes Of InnocenceThe Cutie
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