Use your imagination.
There's a saying in interrogation: "Violence perceived is violence achieved."
Blood or brains are seen splattering against a wall and the rest is left to the imagination.
Most often used with women and children, whereas it seems to be okay for guys to undergo whatever onscreen suffering Hollywood can think of
. Often found in the form of a Reaction Shot
as the reacting characters's expression (or lack thereof) can serve as a commentary on the action, the character, or the world they inhabit. Sometimes combined with Blood Spattered Innocents
, as the gore splatters on or near them.
A Japanese variation of this trope involves seeing the silhouettes of the participants from behind a translucent washi screen, typically a shouji sliding door, on which the blood gets spattered. The form has since been widely adopted by the west and is often used to give a sense of art. A similar variation is to have the splatter hit the other side of a pane of glass or a window. Another variation shows blood seeping out under a door, through an opening or across a sill or a threshold to imply that violence has occurred on the other side.
A Gory Discretion Shot can serve to keep the rating PG-13 to reach a wider audience. It may also be done for budgetary reasons: red dyed corn syrup splashed over a window: cheap. Showing someone's head explode: expensivenote
. Note that it could also be done to keep the truth hidden from the viewer. Showing the murder in question straight out, so the viewers can see the culprit, doesn't make a good murder mystery in most shows or movies after all.
Combine it with Bloodless Carnage
, and you get the Sound-Only Death
— the audience hears
the gunshot and the body hitting the deck, but what they see
is (for instance) the victim's hat falling to the ground with a hole through it. Or the killer walks through a door and we hear gunshots and screams after it closes behind him. Also crosses paths frequently with Scream Discretion Shot
A related trope is the camera cutting away when things get nasty. Say if someone is getting whipped, we'll only see their face contorting in pain. Alternately, a cut similar to a Screamer Trailer
may be used, showing a split second worth of the carnage. In the same vein, the aftermath of a murder may be demonstrated minimally with a Dead Hand Shot
, hopefully one still attached to the body
. Compare and contrast Battle Discretion Shot
and Nothing Is Scarier
; though this may be less "scary" than not showing anything at all in a less overtly violent work, in Gornographic
works this can be used for horror—with all this overt violence running around, what
is so horrible you don't get to see it...? See also Empathy Doll Shot
and Pink Mist
. May precede a Mortal Wound Reveal
, especially if it's unclear who exactly got injured—note that this is a Subversion
of sorts, when it does happen.
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Anime and Manga
- Tower of God: Kang Horyang beating up Rapdevil. All we see is a door. Lurker eviscerating Nia. It is only heard over the com line.
- In Sora No Woto, Filicia's old tank platoon's communications officer, Anna, is killed by a HEAT round (along with everyone else). The viewer gets a Lightning Reveal of Anna's arm, still holding her trumpet, protruding from under a heap of twisted metal.
- Combined with a reaction shot in Serial Experiments Lain: when the shooter in the nightclub turns the gun on himself all we see is blood spatter on Lain's face. In this case, it's her lack of a visible reaction that's significant.
- Lupin III Island Of Assassins, where someone apparently thought they were making an animated John Woo film, frequently employs these. The film opens with an assassination where the victim's blood is seen splattering over his own birthday cake. Near the end, they get creative; Jigen and Fujiko are seen dealing with a Wire Dilemma, Lupin is preparing to kill the film's Big Bad, he pulls the trigger... Cut to the island rigged to explode not exploding.
- There's also Count Cagliostro's death from The Castle of Cagliostro, as he is being crushed to death by the clock hands, they close on him and we hear the sound of his bones being crushed.
- The first episode of Weiß Kreuz shamelessly abuses the non-gory gory discretion shot when Aya kills the target of the day with a dramatic slow-motion horizontal sword cut... and the target's death is immediately illustrated by a shot of his mask falling to the ground in two pieces, having somehow been cut in half vertically.
- In a later episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, after a very long shot of an Eva gripping Kaworu, a "crunch" is heard as the screen goes to black, and then we see the Eva's hand covered in blood afterwards.
- An earlier episode has a berserk Eva 01 pummelling an Angel-possessed Eva 03 into a fine meaty paste, mostly shown through blood splatters covering entire buildings and turning an entire river pure red. Though later, there is a scene of what can best be described as 'angel squish' being pressure-washed off Eva 01's hand.
- In one shot, only Eva 01 can be seen, while the Angel is hidden from view by a hill. But the river running around the hill is deep red.
- A variation occurs in Fullmetal Alchemist; in a flashback scene where Colonel Mustang is about to immolate a child soldier with his flame alchemy, the camera suddenly pans off to the side at the critical moment, showing the wall behind them lighting up and his shadow stretching.
- Let's not forget Scar killing the chimera-fied Nina with his signature alchemy. The screen blacks out and Ed (along with the viewers) merely see her splattered remains on the wall.
- Also, whenever Gluttony has a meal.
- And yet another occurs in Eureka Seven, in a scene where a Coralian attacks a fleeing civilian; again, the camera immediately pans away once the creature reaches him, and only a large amount of blood, along with an arm, is seen.
- Saiyuki: Flashbacks of Koumyou Sanzo's death are usually shown in this sequence (or any one of the three alone): him shielding Kouryuu; his shadowed coronet, arm and head lying in puddles of blood; Kouryuu looking up from the sight, drenched in blood.
- Kanan's suicide: she holds the knife to her neck, tells her lover good-bye, cut to him him screaming her name with drops of blood on his face. Shadowed shot of Kanan lying dead on the floor optional.
- The last two episodes of Narutaru were filled with this. Contrast with the manga, which was considerably less shy about showing blood and gore. A good example is the scene where Oni rapes and then bisects Aki as punishment for her torture of its master, Hiroko; in the manga we see all details, in the anime we only see the shadows...
- Used almost perfectly by the book in the first episode of Code Geass. The Britannian soldiers put the guns to their throats and pull the triggers, then the camera immediately cuts to Lelouch as we hear the gunshots and blood splashes on his face.
- In episode 8 "The Black Knights", Lelouch (as Zero) meets with a Japanese Liberation Front commander who has taken a number of civilians, including some of his classmates, hostage and has made chucking one off the roof of a hotel building a means of negotiation. When the terrorist leader learns of Euphemia being among the hostages, he tries to chop Zero off the block; cue multiple thuds when the camera shifts outside the room and one of the commander's men goes in to investigate. That poor fool was the only guy Zero blew away in that scenario, as the viewer saw Lelouch geass them to die before the GDS. Expect more of the same in subsequent episodes.
- Tenshi Na Konamaiki cuts away to a passing train before a big fight, and cuts away from other scenes of violence.
- Used occasionally in the anime of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. This makes the scenes like Rika commiting suicide via headbutting a kitchen knife before Shion tortures her to death in Meakashi-hen and Watanagashi-hen or a shot of Rina's completely destroyed face after Rena beats her to death in self-defense in Tsumihoroboshi-hen that much more disturbing. The manga on the other hand...
- The sequel, on the other hand, has no problem whatsoever with Gorn, and Japanese TV has actually had to censor it many times now.
- Mnemosyne uses this, thankfully. One such scene involves a sadistic research scientist torturing the protagonist, and it pans up to her face right before the woman's long, sharp knife is driven through her breast, splashing blood on both her and the scientist's face.
- Used in Episode 1 of Macross Frontier, when the vajra picks Henry Gilliam up in one clawed hand and squeezes him to death in front of Alto. All the viewer is shown is blood and bits of armour falling to the floor in a messy puddle. This was also frequently used in Episode 20 where the vajra brutally cut someone in half and crush another into a long smear of blood.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has Switzerland blowing France's brains out in silhouette during the Christmas Episode.
- In another strip, after Japan pulls a sword on China the next panel consists of a panda eating and China's screams.
- Like the above, when France is captured he's shown tied to a chair and, after trading a few words, the camera cuts away and France's screams can be heard.
- In Elfen Lied, this trope is both played straight and subverted. The first instance is in Lucy's epic escape, as she knocks down one of the guards, all we see is Lucy's masked face with a blood stain flashing here and there and hear the guard beg for his life as the sickening crack of various bones and organs being crunched is heard. We never even see the outcome. Later, the camera cuts away as Lucy supposedly rips a dog to shreds. It turns out she was actually just cutting the leash.
- Also if you ever see a discretion shot after this point, you can assume nobody died, or at least not who you though was going to.
- In Chapter 437, when Pain stabs a downed Hinata, the camera cuts away to the sky while a sound effect is heard, and then blood is shown dripping from the nearby stones. This also hid the fact that the wound wasn't fatal... at least not immediately. Had Sakura not healed Hinata within few minutes, we would've had one dead Hyuuga heiress
- During the fight with Zabuza, a gory discretion shot is used when Zabuza attacks Sakura and Tazuna, accompanied by Sakura's scream, to imply that he killed them. It is soon revealed, however, that he injured Kakashi, but Tazuna and Sakura survived.
- When Sasuke is put in an illusion functioning as a Pensieve Flashback by Itachi, he gets a full-view of Madara pulling out his brother Izuna's eyes, while all we see is him staring at it while some of the blood splatters on his face.
- When Itachi uses an illusion to simulate pulling Sasuke's eye out of its socket we see his eye slowly bulge out of the socket and then pan away as we hear the gory sound of his eye being pulled out and Sasuke screaming.
- In the pilot, when Takeshi gets killed, the last we see of him is a gun pointed at his head.
- Both played straight and averted in Now and Then, Here and There; the camera pans away when Boo, a six-year-old, is shot to death; you expect the same sequence to occur when Soon, a seven-year-old, meets the same fate, but the camera focuses on her bloody collapse the entire time, complete with slow-motion falling and wailing from the protagonist.
- Season Five of Yu-Gi-Oh!, we get one when a character is eaten alive by an insect monster. We only see the silhouette of him being crunched up (though we do hear the bones crunching, the swallowing, etc). Also seen in a less gory scene in Season Two as the camera cuts away when Yami Marik stabs his father to death, although we do see his bloodied corpse lying against the wall afterwards.
- Played for laughs in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series when Joey says, "It is heavily implied that I am punching you!"
- About three quarter through Soukou no Strain Ralph takes over the Deague ship by killing everyone aboard except Medlock. The discretion shots come in every time he kills someone, of course.
- In Baccano!! the Sacrificial Lamb murder of the train conductor is given what is probably the only Non-Gory Discretion Shot in the entire series, as the gunshot rings out at the exact moment the credits come in. Probably to hide the fact that it's the "murderer" who ends up shot. A flashback in episode 9 shows the whole event with considerably more clarity.
- Though the series is generally not shy about showing gore, it does also employ a couple of standard gory discretion shots on some of the occasions that main characters are shot in the head - for example, when Gustavo has his mooks gun down the Gandor brothers late in the series. On other occasions, not so much.
- The death of the Combat Cyborg Due in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. We see the character that's about to kill her break out of his bonds, then we cut to a scene in the hallway where a character who's rushing to the scene hears a loud crash. When we get back to the room, we now see the Combat Cyborg lying in a pool of her own blood with the implication that she was impaled. Kinda weird in a way, since we had just seen Vita get impaled in a graphic, uncensored manner a few episodes ago.
- Also, in episode 17, Ginga's defeat shows her Power Fist lying in a pool of blood and far away from her body, greatly implying that her hand had been severed. Implication became fact later, when we see her now sporting a detachable hand.
- Ayashi no Ceres also showcases an example of this trope. Miori, Aya's cousin whose genes were altered to make her a Tennyo, uses her powers to fly to the top of a very, very tall building, then lets herself fall and then goes SPLAT. The look on poor Aya's face as she witnesses this (which is Miori's Take That against Ceres for killing her beloved mother in a rampage), as well as her hysterical cries, is enough to tell us that a gory discretion shot is MUCH better than showing the outcome.
- Dragon Ball Z, which is normally not gore-shy, gets one of these when the scene really would have been too horrific to contemplate (or hard to draw). In the Buu saga, Piccolo is turned to stone; Trunks accidentally tips him over, shattering the majority of his body. When the character who cast the spell is killed, Piccolo is changed back while he's still in pieces. Trunks sees the aftermath, but we don't - and judging by the look on his face, it's the bloody mess you'd expect. However, fortunately for both our hero and Trunks' delicate eight-year-old psyche, Piccolo can regenerate lost limbs and is good as new a few seconds later.
- Tsukiyono's brother dies like this in Gamble Fish.
- While Black Butler is often not afraid to show Sebastian's hand impaling bad guys and blood spewing all over, this trope is played straight during the end of the Jack the Ripper arc. Ciel and Sebastian are standing outside Mary Kelly's home, who was the Ripper's last victim (in the series and believed to be in real life), so they can catch him. We hear a scream from inside and as Ciel throws the door open a single drop of blood hits his face. Afterwards we see Grell Sutcliff walk outside with blood covering her face and clothes. We never see the body, just a very shadowed shot of an arm and a pool of blood.
- In real life the Mary Kelly murder was believed to be the most gruesome out of the Ripper's five victims. So, perhaps leaving it up to the viewer's imagination was worse than showing us what the Ripper really did to Mary in the series.
- Although Monster has a good bit of overt blood and violence, some shootings are shadowed or otherwise implied.
- In the movie version of AKIRA when Tetsuo murders Yamagata, all you see is Tetsuo pointing his hand at his head as he screams in terror and the scene cuts away, while in the manga version we get to see what happens.
- Also averted when Takashi is shot in the head in the manga, as a huge panel that is almost half-a-page big shows us the outcome.
- In Katsuhiro Otomo's earlier work Domu: A Child's Dream, one of the policemen who arrives at the scenes of the apparent "suicides" remarks that it's far gorier than it should be, and another mentions that he's never eating spaghetti again. We have to take their word for it.
- Not really much gore in this instance, but Pokémon does this with liberal use of the Hit Flash trope, though we still see the after-effect of the hit. One instance of this is from Primeape Goes Bananas, when Charmander starts getting beaten up by the titular Primeape. After a few seconds of Charmander getting punched in full view of the audience, we get shown shots of Pikachu and Ash just sitting there and watching. During this in the background there's the very noticeable rapid-fire delivery of "whackwhackwhackwhackwhackwhack" as Primeape continues turning Charmander's face into pulped meat. When we get a shot of Charmander's tail, its body is still jerking around as Primeape keeps punching. Then the fight clears up and we see Charmander get punched more before it beats Primeape.
- In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, a rogue Syaoran Clone decides to gouge out Fai's left eye to gain magical power. We only see poor Fai's eyes trembling in fear just before Kurogane rushes down the stairs to meet everyone watching a big cyclone of water. Right when he gets there, the cyclone falls apart, and we only see the result of the eye-gouging. Luckily Kurogane was able to stop the clone from biting out Fai's other eye.
- In Cowboy Bebop Pierrot Le Fou is crushed under the heel of a giant mechanical toy dog. The scene shifts from focusing right on him to Spike's perception a ways away. We see nothing but his silhouette disappearing.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica uses this in a way that doesn't make it even slightly better when Charlotte devours Mami's body. While you can't see it happening, you can hear it. In the manga, this is averted. Unfortunately.
- Used in Haou Airen when Hakuron kills Kurumi's first would-be rapists.
- Also, when Fuuron kills the shopkeeper for refusing to sell him the Dragon Sphere in Volume 8.
- Averted in the case of Reilan, who we clearly see bleeding and collapsing into a pool of blood after being shot to death by Hakuron. Made worse by how we think it'll be played straight when the scenery changes to the building facade... only to return to the fatally injured Reilan. It's really, really horrifying.
- It's funny to say that this happened in the first episode of the 1997 adaptation of Berserk, where all we see is a shot of a table top being splattered with blood when Guts cleaves a mook in two with the Dragon Slayer. Coming from a series that thrives on grossing the audience out with as much graphic violence as possible, that is.
- We would have seen Guts splattering Giant Mook Bazuzo's head in two with the added bonus of his eyeball popping out from blunt trauma like in the manga, had there been no gory discretion shot in the second episode as well.
- Though not really any gore, there is a moment in Monster Rancher where Evil General Durahan confronts Lilim on his ship, raises his sword, and is about to stab her... Cut to Moo's troops firing on Durahan's ship, eventually blowing it up.
- In the Sailor Moon anime, when Ann and Prince Diamond are both stabbed, the actual stabbing is not shown onscreen. Although we do see Ann's silhouette as she's impaled alongside blood trickling from her mouth before she dies, and about a second's shot of Wiseman's energy blades embedded in Diamond before they disappear, and a bit of blood.
- Also, when Zoycite non fatally stabs Tuxedo Mask not once but twice, the stabbing is not shown onscreen, although blood is seen on the first occasion.
- Averted in that when Neflite dies; the thorns are clearly shown stabbing him, remain embedded in his chest and stomach, and there is green blood everywhere.
- In Act 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Sailor Mercury's Aqua Mist attack produces a Fog of Doom that obscures seeing Sailor Moon's tiara tear the Monster Of The Day in two, as only an indistinct silhouette is visible.
- While is't mostly played straight in Detective Conan, it's memorably parodied once when Conan gets a massive... nosebleed
- Played straight at least thrice in The Twelve Kingdoms: when Rangyaku is stabbed to death, when Ribi sacrifices herself to release Enki and when Shoryuu gives a fatally injured Atsuyu a Mercy Kill.
- Happens all over the place in Katanagatari, which actually makes the horrific levels of violence much more disturbing. For instance, Emonzaemon killing a child by sticking a gun in his mouth springs to mind.
- A particularly artistic example occurs at the beginning of Kigeki, where the camera pans across a field of white roses that become increasingly more blood-soaked, eventually revealing the aftermath of a massacre.
- In Danganronpa the Anime Series, this is averted in the death of Junko Enoshima — or better said, Mukuro Ikusaba impersonating Junko, but then it's played straight in Leon Kuwata's execution.
- In Chapter 404 of Fairy Tail, Minerva picks up Erza's sword after the latter falls and finishes off their fallen opponent, Kyouka, by stabbing her through the head. There's a spray of blood visible, but the view of the wound itself is blocked by, of all things, Kyouka's cleavage.
- In the anime, when Hisagi slices through Findorr's head, there's a silhouette keeping the details from the camera.
- Soken's death is never directly visible. In Uryu's flashback to Souken's first death, we only see his reaction and a group of Soul Reapers standing respectfully around a lump carefully concealed by a blanket. In Soul Society, Mayuri shows Uryu a photo of Soken's body at death and a hazy reflection of the body can be seen in Uryu's eyes, implying mutilation and beheading but not clear enough to display any detail. The expression on Uryu's face, however, is very clear.
- Edouard Manet unintentionally did this in The Execution of Maximilian. The section of Maximilian and his dying generals was cut from the canvas. It's odd because he didn't cut the deaths out of later versions of the painting.
- While Manet would sometimes cut up paintings by him he felt failed artistically and rework any salvagable fragments (he notably did this with an "Incident" at The Bullfight" from which the Dead Toreador in the National Gallery and the Bull Ring in the Frick come from), Mo MA claims that in this case the London Maximilian painting was cut up after Manet's death.
- Scott McCloud mentions this technique in Understanding Comics. Since in a comic book, a gory discretion shot is nothing but two divorced images that rely on the reader to make the connection, it is through conscious effort of the reader to combine the two images into a violent act. "All of you held the axe and chose your spot. To kill a man between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths."
- Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe : Tom Sawyer's death. A white fence, some amused reactions to "that pigsticker".....and then a slash, and a BIG splotch of red (with brain matter) on the otherwise white fence.
- Garth Ennis' Preacher is heavy enough on the directly-portrayed bloodshed, but one scene is particularly noteable: When Jesse's friend Billy-Bob is attacked by T.C. in the second volume chapter "How I learned to love the Lord", the comic cuts to T.C.'s bloodied knife... And then, two panels later, we see Billy-Bob clutching his slit throat. This is sometimes used straight, though such as when Tulip is killed by Jesse's family, but for style rather than for censorship.
- The only instance where this might be used for censorship is the death of God. Even Garth Ennis might not have been able to get away with showing that particular messily-killed corpse.
- Garth Ennis did this again in the Hellblazer issue Confessions of an Irish Rebel. John and Brendan return to their hotel suite to find a friend tied from the light fixture being held hostage with a shotgun stuck up his arse. Squick. The hostage-taker loses the plot and accidentally fires. Cut to John looking horrified with a blood spattered face. Admittedly, two pages later you do see what remains of their friend, asking, quietly, "What's that on your coat?" Very nasty.
- Sin City plays this trope with many different variations (Blood sprayed on the killer's face, a silhouetted headshot, etc.). This is mostly for artistic purposes, as the film had no problem showing other gory scenes.
- In the last comic of the X-Wing Series, Isard got rid of one of her superiors by having a left-handed shopkeeper kill him with a Sith lanvarok he'd been wanting to buy. We never see the lanvarok or the death, but Isard looks through◊ a little, bloody window and muses that being left-handed is a distinct advantage when using a lanvarok.
- Happens many times in Watchmen, most notably during Rorschach's prison break. After Big Figure's attempt to kill him fails, Rorschach follows him into the men's room, to the annoyance of Laurie and Dan, who are trying to rescue him. A few moments later, he exits the restroom and leaves with them, and we see blood flowing under the door. It's far more disturbing than the violence that's actually shown.
- Even more impressive is the fact that, even though they turned the gore Up to Eleven in the movie, this scene remained intact, and was still way more unsettling than anything they actually showed. Keep in mind, those included a man's forearm bone puncturing through the skin as his arm was broken, Dr. Manhattan literally exploding people with his mind, and a mook getting his arms sawed off with a grinder. The gore is relatively easy to accept once the shock value wears off; trying to imagine what happened is far more likely to keep you up at night.
- When Gammid rips Javi's sigil-enhanced arm off in Negation, a silhouette is used to imply the action.
- Features in this Garfield strip, where the cartoonist elects "not to show this panel due to its graphic nature".
- The Ultimate Spider-Man comics were much more open with dark and edgy topics, but still refrained from graphic violence, being a mainstream comic aimed mostly at teens and young adults. One discretion shot in particular stands out, though, when the Kingpin executes an insubordinate...subordinate by crushing his head between his massive hands. Most of the event takes place in a panel that shows only Fisk's tower viewed at a distance, though later on in the comic a clip of security footage does show the moment where the man's head caves in (still a discretion shot, however, because Fisk had put Spider-Man's confiscated mask over his head).
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog is exempt from most forms of gory violence, but it's not immune when discretion shots are involved.
- In the milestone issue #225, Sonic and Sally infiltrate the newly-built Death Egg Mark II, where they are then immediately confronted by Silver Sonic Mark II. Sonic decides to fight, while Sally runs down a corridor to trace Eggman's intercom signal, where she encounters a giant gun turret that pops out of the wall and blasts her off-panel. (The reader's imagination about the fate of Sally is possibly made worse by the art detailing in the onomatopoeia of the blasts.) The only thing we see afterwards of her is her shattered goggles and a silhouette on the floor of her lifeless hand, while Mobius reboots.
- Another one occurs in issue #234. Antoine D'Coolette is charged with protecting King Elias while Dr. Eggman launches another assault on the Freedom Fighters and the Royal Family. Metal Sonic Mk. II is about to infiltrate the Royal Family's escape vehicle, when Antoine catches up and distracts Metal Sonic enough to let go. Eggman, in frustration, activates Metal Sonic's self-detruct mechanism, catching Antoine's entire body, throwing him to the ground, unconscious, and presumably mortally wounded. Every other panel scene with Antoine in it after the explosion obscures his face, whether by special angles, or someone obscuring his face. For example, Sonic's head while speeding as fast as he can with Antoine off to the hospital.
- Subverted in an issue of the Archie Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures series. Bebop and Rocksteady are at the zoo when they see all the animals trapped in cages. They point their guns and start shooting, and it looks like they've killed the animals...but when they meet the Turtles we see that Bebop and Rocksteady actually shot out the bars of the zoo cages to free the animals. They take the animals back to a Garden of Eden-like alien planet that they've decided to call home, stopping off only to drop the villains the Turtles have defeated back on the prison planet they escape from.
- Shows up in, of all places, Issue #3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW). Chrysalis grabs one of the luvcats and taunts the CMC for their "innocence". What she does with the luvcat in the following panel is never shown, but the splattered black amongst the blank white panel, the "THUMP" and the CMC's screams makes it clear that it is for the best.
- In the same issue, right after Fluttershy points out a natural species rivalry in the monsters that were chasing the ponies, the ponies look epically horrified while said monsters presumably disembowel each other just off-panel.
- In Pocket God, the more gory deaths tend to be obscured.
- Many Astérix comics offscreen fights or block them with big dustclouds. In one comic the narrator pulls an actual curtain over the fight, explaining that it is entirely too violent to watch.
- In this My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic/Team Fortress 2 crossover "Mission: Improbable", the RED Spy interrogates a changeling he captures. However, before we could get into the details of how he tortures it, we get a BRAVE CUT!, courtesy of Saxton Hale.
- During The Nuptialverse story "Families", when Twilight gouges out Garble's eye for threatening Spike, we cut away during the act to the Keeper, who winces in sympathy. This was done for the sake of not forcing the story's rating up.
- In Mass Effect Human Revolution, the narration cuts away before a combat mech does something to a mook Krogan, instead having Adam say a horrified "oh God".
- In Mass Foundations: Redemption in the Stars, The Courier sees his ally Lynch engaging the asari vanguard at the Shadow Broker base before forced to turn around. The next time he looks at him, purple blood is dripping off his armour.
- In Diaries of a Madman, Nav refuses to say in his narration what exactly Kat did when interrogating an assassin for information, but it certainly wasn't pretty.
- Aldev's death in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune left blood all over the ceiling and floor, but his actual death remains undescribed by the chapter ending right as he gets killed.
Film - Animated
- The Direct-to-DVD Superman: Doomsday makes use of this, while still remaining ten times more graphic than anything in Superman: The Animated Series or Justice League combined. The most notable part is when the camera cuts away when the Superman clone removes a piece of kryptonite in his body by using heat vision, x-ray vision, a mirror, and a pair of scissors to preform improvised surgery on his own brain. Eww.
- Disney usually accomplishes this through the obvious means (where they have a folder to themselves), but they're also known to dispatch villains in non-gravity-related yet still excessively vicious manners, and still manage to obscure it in a way that makes it perfectly G / PG-13 as far as the censor is concerned but even worse for the impressionable kiddies who now get to imagine in as much detail as they like what just happened.
- Pinocchio: Monstro slams himself into a seaside cliff, and we cut away before we see more than the first part of a decidedly non-comedic accordion effect.
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: The Headless Horseman throws doom pumpkins at Ichabod. We're to presume they didn't stop midair after the camera left.
- Oliver & Company: Cutaway before the villain's car is smashed by an oncoming train.
- The Little Mermaid: Mercifully, all we get is Ursula's facial reaction and several flashes of lightning to obscure the fact that she's skewered through the gut on a ship's bowsprit.
- The Lion King: The camera pans upward just in time for the audience to miss seeing the villain, Scar, get ripped apart by hyenas, only seeing part of it in shadow.
- Hercules has more than one example during the "Zero to Hero" music number, all of them cut away just as Herc is about to stab, strangle, or pummel a monster to death.
- Mulan: Shan Yu is shot with a massive rocket into a stockpile of fireworks, and this is carefully only seen from a great distance.
- One of the "messengers" Shan Yu sends to the Emperor is killed by an archer.
- "How many men does it take to deliver a message?" *readies bow* "One."
- When Mulan gets slashed across the chest, she's clearly bleeding.
- A Bug's Life: Hopper is lowered into a nest of adorable yet strangely vicious birds.
- The Incredibles: Cutaway as Syndrome is sucked into a jet engine.
- The Black Cauldron: Averted with The Horned King's death. You can clearly see his decayed flesh stripped from his bones. The film got a PG-rating.
- Cars 2: Rod "Torque" Redline's (an offscreen explosion is reflected onto a computer monitor after he is blasted away by the Lemons' radiation cannon) and Tony Trihull's (another offscreen explosion, this time from an above view of the river Thames in London as he is blown up by Finn Mc Missile's bombs) deaths.
- Wreck-It Ralph: Applied to impressive effect...when Ralph wrecks a car with his bare hands.
- Aside from Sparky's death, this is completely averted in Frankenweenie. All other deaths are depicted in gruesome, violent, and gory detail. Just what the fuck were they on when they gave this a PG rating and marketed it to kids???
- In Batman: Under the Red Hood when Batman and the Red Hood fight the armored assassins, the Red Hood breaks one of their helmets and sticks a taser into it, the man screams and writhes in pain just before his head explodes, we then cut to his blood splashing on a wall.
- In The Thief and the Cobbler during Zigzag's death scene he falls into a pit and is eaten alive by a pack of crocodiles we see him as a silhouette and a pair of eyes being munched by the crocs' teeth and until all that remains is his still talking head which is then eaten by his pet vulture it cuts to complete darkness as his head is eaten.
- The Land Before Time does this when Sharptooth jumps onto Littlefoot's mother and bites a chunk out of her neck. (we see it in shadow though.)Interestingly, this was not the original plan, it was altered late in production.
- In The Book Of Life, we're not shown how Carlos died fighting Chakal. Which is probably for the best.
- General Woundwort's death in Watership Down while the film is fairly graphic throughout we don't see the outcome of his demise when he picks a fight with the dog that Hazel lead to him and his officers, we see the two about to clash with their jaws open, the camera then cuts away before the impact.
- Also we don't see the hawk kill Violet, as it grabs her it cuts to Fiver's reaction we then see the aftermath with some feathers and a few drops of her blood, and we don't see the aftermath of the two Efrafa officers being hit by the train.
Film - Live Action
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, more and more as the series gets more mature, and non-discretion shots starts appearing in later seasons.
- Hidden: Chloe and Gabriel struggles for a gun, and it fires, out of view, and blood splatters on the window. For a few horrible moments it seems that Chloe was shot (won't be too much of a difference because she couldn't stop the missile anyway and Clark was also shot by Gabriel just before) but then Gabriel went limp.
- Static: A few during the rampage of Alder. Unfortunately subverted by some scenes. Kindly keep your Brain Bleach handy.
- Trepass: The blood under the door version. Subverted later.
- Tess kicking a man to death with the blood spewing onto her face.
- In Turbulence, when Doomsday apparently kills Chloe in front of Jimmy, her blood is splattered all over a window.
- The MacGyver episode "The Heist" has a non-gory gory discretion shot in which the death of an embezzling accountant is represented by a shot of his glasses falling to the ground with a bullet hole through one lens (but no bloodstains).
- Eden's suicide in Heroes
- And again in Season 3 with Jesse's death.
- Doctor Who:
- In "Spearhead from Space", we don't see the mutilated body of a man who ended up in a car accident evading an Auton, just a closeup of his shattered, blood-splattered windscreen.
- In "The Robots of Death" we are kept from seeing any gore thanks to Shaky P.O.V. Cam and cutting away... until Poul comes across a robot hand covered in bits of his friend's brain. This does not have very good consequences for his mental health.
- In "The Awakening", used when the trooper is decapitated by the Malus' psychic projections.
- In the episode "Father's Day", we don't see Rose's father get run over, but we do see the vase he was carrying shatter on the road.
- The death of Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister in the series 4 episode "The Stolen Earth"—though it seems that this was used more for dramatic effect than actual discretion, as many similar deaths have been shown onscreen.
- In "Rise of the Cybermen", we don't see the actual process of cyber-conversion, but we do see the array of spinning blades and cutting beams as they do their work.
- In "Silence in the Library", we never actually see anyone get eaten by the shadows - just their bare skeletons. The gory process is censored by the spacesuits' opaque visors, or otherwise done offscreen.
- The Weeping Angels are pretty much governed by this trope. Considering how they move/kill, it is literally impossible to witness the incident itself.
- Specifically, "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone" have the lights turn off before Bob's death and the camera cut away before Father Octavian's death.
- The death of Vivien Rook by being sliced up by a Toclafane is only witnessed via the Master's pained reaction as he peers through the door.
- We don't actually see Jack being gunned down on board the Valiant in "Last of the Time Lords", only the sound of gunfire. Likewise, pretty much every Ood casualty through gunfire is off-camera.
- In the Reaper episode "The Cop", we see a body fall and the blood splattered wall.
- The American version of the television mini-series Kingdom Hospital uses this when showing Mary's death at the hands of Doctor Gottreich.
- The 1988 cult series War of the Worlds featured quite a few instances of the discretion shot; most notably, a scene in a salon where an alien uses a handsaw to cut into the head of an unknowing victim, with a spray of blood landing on his face as he dives in. However, the show then averted it by making the second season ridiculously gory, with aliens being shot and graphically melting into goo, with closeups of their melting faces for good measure.
- Due to MTV's restrictions on violence, the live-action version of Snoop Dogg's music video for "Vato" employs Non-gory gory discretion shot. The camera shows Snoop walking towards one, PLOW, the person falls. Snoop turns to face another, PLOW, the person falls. Only scene contains a split-second image of Snoop Dogg lowering his pistol.
- Supernatural: It seems to be a trend to use this shot in the more perfunctory, less important deaths, for example those that begin most episodes with hitherto-unknown characters, one of which almost always blunders into the monster of the week. Climactic death, on the other hand, tend to be anything but discreet.
- They also had several of these kill Dean in "Mystery Spot", when you hear Sam and Dean arguing over an axe, then hear a thunk and see blood spattering the walls and the tied-up owner of the titular Mystery Spot. Other deaths include slipping in the shower and being mauled by a dog.
- This was used to awesome effect in "Simon Says" where Sam had a vision about a man who walks into a gun store, killing the clerk and then himself. When the man places the gun under his chin, the camera pans up to reveal a sink on the wall near the ceiling, on which the blood gets splattered. It's then revealed that Sam is in a bathroom and was looking at the sink when the vision hit, hence the bleed-through of the sink into the vision.
- Spoofed in "Wishful Thinking". A colossal living teddy bear has a shotgun to its head. The camera pans away to the wall, and we see stuffing spray across the room.
- Game of Thrones is probably known more for straight up averting this trope whenever it can, sometimes in a brutal manner, but oddly enough played the trope straight in the scene in which Ned Stark is executed. The camera cuts away for dramatic effect just as the sword is about to slice through his neck.
- In the pilot episode, the pilot of Oceanic 815 is yanked by something out of the cockpit, and seconds later blood spatters on the windows.
- It happens again in "There's No Place Like Home" when Sayid shoots a man who is apparently keeping tabs on Hurley. The shooting occurs in the car and leaves a spatter of blood on the window.
- The Wire varies with the use of this trope, playing it straight with Snoop's death but averted with Bodie and later Omar.
- In the Firefly episode "Bushwhacked," the crewman who has been converted into a Reaver attacks several Alliance soldiers with a bread knife. One cut shows him swinging at a soldier, and the next shot has blood splattering all over their commander.
- The Sarah Connor Chronicles:
- In Highlander, just about every decapitation was done this way by only focusing on part of Duncan MacLeod's sword. It looked like he was just cutting air every single time.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer is very fond of this when some character deaths are implied to be too grusome to show:
- You could show us long extended scenes of Angelus torturing Giles for information. Or, you could shoot one short, quiet scene from a camera positioned behind Giles' back and let Tony Head tell us everything we need to know with a wince, a few drops of blood on his sleeve and a very slight tremor in his voice. And GIVE US ALL NIGHTMARES.
- "Innocence" shows the gang reacting to Jenny's Uncle Janos who was killed at the hands of Angelus. Only his shoes are shown, although whatever Angelus did to him, it loosed enough blood for him to write "Was It Good For You Too?" in blood on the wall.
- "Helpless" shows us established badass Giles reacting in horror to awful fate of Hobson. Hobson's bloody arm is shown, to which Giles gasps, drops his stake, chokes back the urge to vomit, and flees in terror. Ripper doesn't do that often.
- In Season 5 one of Glory's minions snoops into the Magic Box and gets caught by Giles. At first he's determined not to say anything, but then Giles orders Willow and Anya to fetch twine to tie him up. In the couple of seconds their backs are turned he does something, and suddenly the minion starts pleading for his life.
- Caleb's death in the series finale when he get's sliced up from groin to his head happens out of shot.
- The series Monk does use gory discretion shots for a few murders.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus," an elephant trainer has his head crushed by the foot of his own elephant. Rather than actually show the gory nature of this, when the elephant crushes the victim's head, we immediately cut to Monk and Sharona reacting to the murder.
- In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame," when a shooter steps up to the car in which his victims are waiting, the moment he opens fire, we cut to an external view of the shooter firing into the car.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Fired," when a victim is being cut up with a chainsaw, we only see an exterior shot of a garage window as blood streaks appear.
- In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra," when the author is being beaten to death with a set of nunchucks, we see closeups of blood splattering against a poster on the wall, implying that the blows were pretty strong.
- In "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk," when a janitor falls into a garbage compactor and is torn to pieces, as the victim falls in, we cut to blood splattering against a safety record sign.
- Criminal Minds usually shows the characters' reactions instead of the gore that you come to expect on the show.
- The season four finale had an UnSub chopping up his victims, but the camera always cut away to showing the criminal's pigs (which he fed his victims to) while the audio had both the sound of the chopping and pig squeals.
- Once, the UnSub sent the team a video of a girl being eaten alive by rabid dogs. Garcia's horrified reaction is enough.
- "True Night" had another really effective use of this trope; the UnSub's last victim is the one he had the most reason to be angry at, and the only one the BAU hadn't found. His previous crimes had been, in Morgan's words "off-the-charts brutal", and this one was likely to the worst one of all. The BAU arrive at the crime scene, and you don't see the victim, you just see the walls, which are drenched in blood.
- In The X-Files, series 1 episode, "Roland" - in the sequence before the credits, one man forces another's head into a vat of liquid nitrogen. Then lifts his head back out, moves it slightly to the left, and lets go of the head. You hear a "crash", and the man walks off, stepping on a frozen ear. The next scene features a shot of the feet of a chalk outline on the floor, and the camera pans up the body of the chalk outline to the neck, where you see the chalk outline has no head, and that there are several smaller chalk outlines scattered about on the floor.
- In Skins series 4 episode 7 "Effy" Effy's psycotic counselor John Foster beats her boyfriend Freddie to death with a baseball bat. The attack itself happens behind a door, but the splash of blood that hits the window says everything.
- In Campion's "Sweet Death", the main villain is crushed to death by a mill wheel. There's a lot of screaming, then the wheel starts to drip blood. Urrrrrghhh.
- In a seventh-season episode of the Canadian cop show Cold Squad, "C'Mon I Tip Waitresses", a dentist is being investigated due to the disappearance of several of his patients. One woman visits the dentist, and is restrained to a chair while the doctor prepares to murder her and perform dental surgery to contort her face. The camera pans to her trying to futilely move her arms as the dentist operates on her (while she's still conscious).
- GARO, being an action/horror combination series, mostly does this whenever a Monster of the Week devoured its victims.
- CSI NY did this in the flashbacks of 'Blood Out'. The victim was being sawed up with a chainsaw, so it was pretty much a requirement.
- Subverted in Helix. When Dr. Peter Farragut, a research scientist infected with The Virus, breaks into a lab full of his fellow researchers to attack them, the viewer only sees what seems to be a sudden blood spatter on the glass of the lab door, accompanied by a woman's scream. But the subsequent episode's opening scene shows no one is wounded, and reveals Peter's Bad Black Barf as the method of viral transmission.
- In the Masters of Horror episode "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", the camera quickly cuts away before any actual eyeball penetration is shown, though the blood-soaked drill is shown afterwards.
- The tv-movie Dark Night of the Scarecrow got pretty inventive working within network standards when a lynch-mob member falls from a barn loft into his running wood chipper - cut to a blob of jam hitting a breakfast plate next morning.
- In Garth Brooks' ''The Thunder Rolls'', it jumps from a woman pointing a gun at her husband to a window that suddenly shatters, thus avoiding the onscreen shooting.
- At the end of Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" music video, Jeremy shoots himself in the mouth, splattering blood on his classmates. In the edited-for-TV version, the shot of him putting the gun in his mouth is cut.
- Older Than Feudalism: In a very early version, Ancient Greek Tragedies often used this trope. In the Medea a woman is given a dress that melts her skin; in the Bacchae a group of women tear a man to pieces and prance about with his body parts; in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus uses pins to claw out his eyes; in the Agamemnon the title character is brutally murdered in his bed. All of these gruesome scenes are described but never seen, given all the more detailed description precisely because they are hidden from sight; the death of Agamemnon is noted for being particularly gruesome.
- During the fight between Crystal and Gary in Bethany, the lighting momentarily amplifies then blacks out when one deals a blow to the other.
- In The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios when a gangster/bandit attempts to steal a cursed jewel in the Raiders of the Lost Ark scene, a cloud of smoke surrounds them once they touch the cursed jewel, hiding the process of them getting roasted into a skeleton.
- In Girl Genius, at one point an airship is fleeing from certain death at the hands of a swarm of "Torchmen" (flaming robotic flying killer gargoyles), disobeying direct orders from their inept passenger. First the captain and his first officer discuss the need to ditch every ounce of dead weight, then their passenger arrogantly screams at them for saving his life, then the two give each other a certain look... and suddenly the captain is rubbing his hands together and affirming that "We're not pirates. He didn't count".
- Also, we don't actually see what Von Pinn does to Judy, just the Castle Wulfenbach students' horrified reactions.
- For that matter, we don't see what she did to André (but then, neither did Agatha).
- When Baron Wulfenbach kills Lars, we don't see the actual blow. We see Lars' sword break and a blood splash, then in the next panel, the Baron has blood on his coat.
- Happens a few times in Sluggy Freelance. For example, this.
- The last frame of this Order of the Stick strip, and probably a few others.
- See also this page where the girls find the body. For an early example, see the last panel of this strip.
- Six panels straight of this strip, while the villain watches dispassionately. Not that the victim didn't deserve it, but damn, that's cold.
- Everyday Heroes has an example here when Goldie is betrayed by her backstabbing boss.
- Used in Grim Tales from Down Below, when the Pumpkinator rips Minnie to shreds, all we see are Lock's, Shock's, and Barrel's horrified faces, Oogie's scary-happy face, and a couple of Minnie's severed body parts flying. However, in the same comic page, we see Junior's horrified face, and the cause of it: Minnie's shredded up body, organs, appendages, and a look on her face that screams "KILL ME!".
- Diesel Sweeties uses it here.
- Goblins - the comic featuring a man getting crushed to death by his own armor, complete with eyeball popping out - still draws the line at killing children onscreen.
- In Abel's Story, some particularly gory scenes are depicted as silhouettes.
- There's a particularly chilling example in Lackadaisy Cats, with the Marigold Gang and an unknown guy in a pinstripe suit. The last panel of the flashback is Mordecai raising an axe above his head, saying "Keep your head still."
- Captain Tagon, in Schlock Mercenary, isn't shown extracting a knife that was stuck in his eye or what he does with it to the knife thrower, but from the concluding scene the next day, it wasn't pretty.
- Used a few times in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, such as here.
- Used in Homestuck a couple of times. When Jack Noir receives Bec's powers, all we see is a brief shot of Bro and Davesprite staring before the screen fades to static.
- Another example is after Gamzee snaps. We see him advancing on Nepeta, with his clubs, but we don't see the killing. When we see Nepeta's corpse later, we can't see any of the wounds either.
- During Jack Noir's Jailbreak adventure, he conveniently "bes the other (dead) guy" while being beaten senseless by prison guards.
- VG Cats uses this a number of times. Two come to mind: when Aeris aborts Leo from time and when Leo goes back in time For Science!!!
- Dubious Company's Tiren attacks a group of soldiers off-panel. All the reader sees of the carnage is Sal's squicked out reaction and a bit of blood speckle the wall.
- An example from Zombie Ranch is shown here. A child zombie's skull is detonated, but all we see is the resulting splatter on the wall.
- In Bob and George, the death of the Yellow Demon as splattered yellow goo.
- True Villains has the werewolf Xeke biting a man's head off, seen only in shadow.
- Something Positive: PeeJee discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. The next panel shows the exterior of the bar where the gang are celebrating Halloween, then blood splattered on the window as Kyle hits it.
- Played with in Issue 1 of The Code Crimson during Miguel's surprise death. We see silhouettes of the murder, followed by a sneering blood-splattered reaction shot, and then his bloody corpse awash in a sea of blood. So much blood...
- Happens a few times in Nodwick where the title character (or even someone else) suffers a particularly gory death. In one strip where Nodwick suffers the results of two lethal curses going off at once, the first one turning his brain into spinach-artichoke dip and the second making his head explode, the panel is blacked out with a disclaimer from the cartoonist to say that it's too unpleasant to show, and to say that simply, the curses have gone off. Another example in another storyline is where Yeagar convinces Nodwick to try to steal a fancy and valuable "Elysium Barcalounger" in a wizard's mansion, even though the heroes were warned that everything there was "either cursed, trapped, or both. The reader doesn't see what happens to them, but Artax needs to get a squeegee to help Piffany restore them.
- In MMBN 7 The World Tournament, during Tomahawkman and Woodman's match, Woodman has Tomahawkman pinned down but Tomahawk is able to grab his tomahawk. Woodman is essentially a giant tree. Do the math.
- During Entry #49 of Marble Hornets, Jay removed a scene of Alex smashing a stranger's head in with a rock. We were only told what happened.
- Protectors of the Plot Continuum tend to do this with more violent or disturbing fics - sometimes a violent scene in a mission will consist mostly of descriptions of the agents vomiting, with a few Noodle Implements from the fic thrown into the description.
- Mostly avoided by Happy Tree Friends as just about every injury, no matter how gory (and gory they almost always are) is shown on-screen with no discretion. However there are moments where the death is mostly off-screen, such as one episode where Nutty gets trapped under a vending machine as its spiked dispensers lower towards him. The closest one scrapes his eye before we cut away, blood leaking out from under the vending machine. Another involves Flaky, after swelling up due to an allergic reaction, being popped by a pin. We cut away just as the pin pokes her eye and see blood, limbs and other body parts flying across the screen.
- Episode 8 of Sex House has one where the camera goes black as Frank attempts to castrate himself with a hammer.
- In part two of To Boldly Flee, 8-Bit Mickey is looking like he's about to snap from Prick's barrage of short jokes. Cut immediately to The Nostalgia Critic wondering what's taking him so long, at which point Mickey walks in, covered in blood, and throws Prick's severed hand to Paw.
- Then there's the scene where Mechakara does...something to the Nostalgia Chick involving a power drill.
- SF Debris uses playful kittens when discussing particularly gruesome events.
- The SCP Foundation's reports on the things they keep protect the world from include descriptions of what happens when an SCP's behaviour is left unchecked resulting in [DATA EXPUNGED], or a line of research into what it does leads to [REDACTED], with implications of casualties, injuries to researchers, property damage and reprimands for allowing it to happen.
- This has happened at least a couple times in Survival of the Fittest, such as in the Second Chances game, when Nicole Husher was found hiding under a bed by Adam Reeves, who proceeded to brutally dispatch her, possibly raping her first.
- Romeo And Julieta: This is how Roméo dies, complete with Symbolic Blood splatter and a shot of the rope he's hung on swinging back and forth.
- Averted in Starbarians Episode 2 when the Eternoid shoots the spear back - you think it won't show anything, but it really does.
- His review of the original Back To The Future video game, The Irate Gamer goes back in time to kill the main developer of the game because it is so bad. Using a Nintendo Zapper, he shoots "him" and we only see blood splatter on the back wall...which closely resembles grape jelly.
- The Black Comedy cartoon Drawn Together sometimes used this. Purely for reference though, as they had no qualms against showing as much violent, gory deaths they could think up about every other five minutes.
- King of the Hill parodies this trope when a mentally unstable barber puts shaving cream on his head and blows it off with a blow dryer, splattering it on the wall as Hank leaves the premises.
- Played straight with Trip Larson, however, when he falls into a meat grinder and is presumably ground up into processed food.
- South Park has some fun with this: In Die Hippie, Die, we get this shot when a guilt-ridden Mayor blows her brains out. After the act break, she's among the rest of the townsfolk, perfectly fine and wearing a bandage around her head.
- And in "Night of the Living Homeless"? They do it for the scientist committing suicide, but show him soon afterwards, wounded and failing his suicide attempt...multiple times.
- In The Simpsons, when Maude dies in "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" we see Maude get knocked off the back the grandstand but we don't see the result due to the crowds gathering around her body getting in the way.
- Parodied in Avatar: The Last Airbender, when the camera cuts away when Sokka bisects the head of the Melon Lord (a prop of Fire Lord Ozai), and all we see is the top of the head falling on the ground, with Momo running in to gorge on its contents.
- Although in that case Aang was disturbed even at melon-Ozai getting sliced in two, so alternatively the use of the shot (not Momo so much...) reflected what Melonlord actually represented rather than being for laughs. Which leads to Fridge Logic regarding Sokka being so straight-forward about the whole business, given that he's never seen hitting a person with his sword.
- In the flashback of how Zuko got his scar, the camera cuts from his terrified expression over to the audience reaction, with his scream of pain interspersed with Iroh's look of horror and Zhao and Azula's sadistic satisfaction.
- And later on, in the Season 1 finale, we have Zhao's death, of course. We don't actually see the Ocean Spirit drowning him, but we do have a good idea what happens to him after he seizes him in his arms and, despite Zuko's best efforts to save him, drags him down to his doom.
- The Legend of Korra: Lin smashes through the cockpit canopy of a Mecha-Tank with blades on her bracers, which the chi-blocker inside is desperately trying to dodge while trapped in the seat. Such is the power of the attack that the mecha is pushed back into a large steel frame that collapses on top of it, with Lin still utterly destroying the crew cabin. The next shot we see of that now downed Mecha-Tank, Lin's almost done stabbing through it, most of the canopy segments are smashed open, and the rest are discolored as though splashed with something opaque from the inside.
- In Book 3, P'Li (aka Combustion Lady) is about to fire off another combustion shot at Lin when Suyin metalbends her breastplate around P'Li's head, containing the blast. The last shot we see of her is with light glowing through the breastplate, after which it cuts away to Zaheer looking over and shouting her name as we see a plume of black smoke.
- In the series finale, Hiroshi Sato sacrifices his life in a Redemption Equals Death maneuver, completing the hole he cut into Kuvira's Colossus, even as the device's massive hand comes slamming down to crush him. When the hand moves away, all that's seen is Hiroshi's ruined hummingbird mech sliding away.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars sometimes makes use of this trope, like when the Droid Commandos execute the clone sergeant after knocking him to the ground in Rookies.
- In the Tom and Jerry short The Two Mouseketeers, Tom is charged with guarding a king's banquet in 18th century France, and told that if he fails to do this, "off comes ze head". After spending the cartoon (unsuccessfully) battling Jerry and Nibbles, Tom is presumably beheaded offscreen: we get a distant shot of the top of a guillotine and see the blade come down. "Pauvre, pauvre pussicatte ..."
- In "Mouse Trouble", Tom is hiding in a "suprise package" to ambush Jerry. Jerry SAWS the box in half, looks inside, and then holds up a sign that says "Is There A Doctor In The House?" Tom reappears in the next scene covered head to toe in bandages
- Parodied in an episode of Viva Piñata. Fergy goes begging to Pinata Central's Big Boss (who is always shown as a bowl of fruit with an intercom in it) and gets no reply due to the Boss being away. Thinking he is getting the silent treatment, Fergy snaps and bludgeons the fruit bowl with a stapler. Cue various shots with dark lighting, shadows and fruit pulp going flying across the screen whilst Psycho-esque music plays. And considering this is a show created and produced in part by 4Kids, it's amazing how this scene got in in the first place!
- After the first Spider-Man film, there was a teen-oriented cartoon spinoff known as Spider-Man: The New Animated Series that stylistically inferred or cut away people having their fingers, hands and heads sliced off, being electrocuted, drowning, and other such nastiness. A good example being Shikata cutting Damien's head off, we only see Shikata with Damien out of frame, where the scene shifts to focus on the animal heads he collected. When Mary Jane finds him lying behind his desk we see him from the neck down, then her reaction to finding him beheaded.
- On an episode from the Avalon World Tour on Gargoyles, the characters come upon a panther's carcass in a Nigerian jungle. We never see the actual carcass, only hear the buzzing of flies and Angela's grossed out expression. Goliath questions what kind of hunter takes a skin and leaves the meat.
- In BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows, Keetongu kills Sidorak by slamming both of his fists down on him, effectively pounding him into the Coliseum floor. The shot only focuses on Keetongu from the waist up, and we only see pieces of debris flying into the air when he delivers the blow. Then the movie quickly cuts to Roodaka slowly walking away from the scene in complete satisfaction, while the ground is still continues to shake a bit.
- Superman: Doomsday features this immediately after Mercy Graves tells Lex Luthor that the scene of Doomsday's discovery has been sanitized and there is nothing left linking Lex Corp to Doomsday.
- Used an episode of Family Guy when Peter attatches several razor blades to a fan because he wants to shave off all his facial hair at once, he brings the fan closer to his face and we cut to blood splashing on the window.
- Parodied in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. In the episode "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", one of Pinkie Pie's Imagine Spots features the cake she was guarding falling in the hands of a Dastardly Whiplash villain, who proceeds to dispose of it with a Conveyor Belt-O-Doom. As the "victim" nears the sawblade at the end, the camera zooms in on the villain's mustache-twirling face to see it splattered with sugary gore.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Hip Hip Parade", Buford accidentally does a good deed. Dismayed, he announces that he has to "restore the balance," and runs out of shot. The next sound is Baljeet's scream, and the characters remaining in frame are splattered with red goo from the direction of the incident. The shot slides over to reveal that Buford has jumped on top of Baljeet's box of jelly doughnuts, spraying jelly onto the other kids. Before the reveal, the implication is disturbingly gory.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker's edited version utilizes this. In the original, a brainwashed Tim Drake snaps and shoots The Joker in the heart with his flag-gun, killing him. In the edited version, Tim instead throws the gun away and assaults The Joker, spilling various liquids all over the ground, which eventually get in contact with some live electrical wires, electrocuting the Joker off-screen with a hideous scream. Some consider the edited version worse, as we cannot clearly see what happens but we can hear it...
- At the end of the three-part pilot of Superman: The Animated Series, a bunch of unlucky aliens pick up Brainiac's pod. Brainiac bursts out of the pod and attacks. Cut to a scene of the aliens' blood splattering on the walls as Brainiac takes over their ship.
- In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002), King Hsss devoured a victim on two occasions (once in a Flashback scene) and this device was used both times. (Still, even this would have been unheard of in the original version of the series, and it was far from the only reason the remake was Darker and Edgier.)
- In the Total Drama Island episode, "Hook, Line and Screamer", the campers are watching a slasher movie. When the slasher encounters an amorous couple, the original version shows the blood spatter effect on the Fourth Wall, but the bowdlerized U.S. version doesn't even show that. The observant viewer will notice, though, that for several seconds the light beam from the old-style film projector alternates between its normal white and a pale red.
- A particularly dark episode of Invader Zim - which seems to have slipped in through some combination of Early Installment Weirdness and Nickelodeon's malfunctioning radar - had a child's eyes ripped out of his head by a robot, shown in silhouette on the wall of Zim's house. Yes, this is a children's program.
- An interesting, completely unintentional real life example happened with a father shooting the man who had kidnapped and molested his son. As a news cameraman filmed the arrested man being escorted through an airport by an officer, the father lifts his gun and shoots the guy in the head just as the officer passes in front of the camera and obscures the actual headshot, only letting us see the guy subsequently fall to the ground.