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Not in Front of the Kid
Something about a kid being present brings out the best in people. Even a hard-boiled, foul-mouthed sailor will go the extra mile to clean up his act when a little kid is in the room. Okay, it's not so much the best as embarrassment about the worst, but it suffices. Like when you stuff all your clutter in a bag and throw that bag in the shed when your relatives visit unexpectedly.

Of course, the reason for the censor doesn't have to be a kid. Sometimes it's the Team Mom, sometimes an authority figure, or a Morality Pet of some other kind. The difference between this and Think of the Censors is that that's a Leaning on the Fourth Wall trope, whereas this is justified in-universe.

Supertrope to Curse Cut Short and Censorship by Spelling. Y cuando se utilizan otras lenguas para ocultar la verdad a los niņos. This may be a reason for the Swear Jar. It's also why characters Cover Innocent Eyes And Ears.

This is, of course, Truth in Television. See also Not in Front of the Parrot. Sub-Trope of Little Brother Is Watching.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In One Piece, Queen Otohime stops the fishmen from releasing years upon years of pent up anger and oppression in a brutal massacre with one simple phrase: "The children are watching."

Comic Books
  • Watchmen: Rorschach starts to tell off his landlady for telling lies about him to the media, calling her a whore; she pleads with him not to say that in front of her kids: "They don't know." Rorschach pets that particular dog, because he can see a parallel between her kids and his childhood - except he was not shielded from his mother's profession.

Fan Works
  • Parodied in Bait and Switch when Eleya refuses to give her best friend and first officer any details on her one night stand because "there are ensigns present."

Film - Live Action
  • In Old School, Beanie criticizes Mitch for swearing in front of his son. You just have to say "earmuffs" and anything goes, man! Frank immediately begins abusing this.
  • On High Anxiety, Dr. Thorndyke is giving a conference, and is about to discuss penis envy when a man comes in with his two kids, so he forces himself to talk about "peepee envy" and how it relates to the "woowoo".
  • For the DVD Commentary for Superbad, Judd Apatow brought his nine-year-old daughter Maude to its recording, and orders the actors not to swear in front of her. Jonah Hill restrains himself from cursing until halfway through the movie, and he proceeds to chide Apatow for "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day." After this argument, Apatow and his daughter leave to go attend a showing of Spamalot, and the remaining cast and crew begin swearing profusely immediately after their departure. Later the actors mention that she's still inside the studio. Whether or not this is true is unclear.
  • Watchmen: As in the original comic (see above), Rorschach lets up on his landlady after seeing that she (unlike Rorschach's own mother) is trying to protect her child from knowing that she's a prostitute.
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier inverts it. Kirk goes to embrace Spock in a grateful hug, and Spock interjects: Not in front of the Klingons.
  • Iron Man 3
    Rhodes: You don't have to be such a dic (sees children)...tator, Tony.
  • In Payback, Porter has gone to interrogate Arthur Steggman about where to find Val Resnick. Steggman asks if Porter is goong to kill him, but since they are outside and in view of a park Porter says that he will not kill him with all these kids around. He does, however, warn Steggman not to cause any problems, or he will come back when the kids are not here.
  • In Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life, when filming the segment with the Roman Catholic family, Michael Palin as the father would say cleaned up versions of the lines (eg. replacing "cock" with "sock") in front of the child actors and dub in the real lines later.

Film - Animated

Literature
  • The hardened soldiers of the borderlands in The Wheel of Time series have a great deal of respect for Aes Sedai, and really try to watch their language. This causes some of them a great deal of difficulty.
  • In Thud!, when Lady Sybil and young Sam spend time at Pseudopolis Yard, the officers begin combing their hair, speaking quietly, and wiping their boots at the door.
  • In a The Savannah Reid Mysteries novel, Savannah asks Dirk if he wants ice cream, and Dirk replies, "Do bears sh-" Savannah cuts him off, saying that there's a minor in the house and he should watch his language.
  • Salvatore "Sally" Sweet of the Stephanie Plum books is a walking Cluster F-Bomb, until he gets a job as an elementary school bus driver, whereupon he starts wearing a rubber band around his wrist as a pain deterrent for when he swears.
  • Maureen Smith relates, in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, one of her many tactics for dealing with her many children. Retreating to another room for a serious discussion is futile; the children will hear. Better to simply speak in French. And when the eldest learn French, switch to Spanish. And when the next few learn Spanish, switch to German...
  • From the Aunt Dimity series:
    • In Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea, Sir Percy takes Lori and her five-year-old twins to his island castle. When Lori is asking a member of Sir Percy's staff about his experience with children, Sir Percy intervenes, saying, "Andrew's also had specialized training that fits him for the job. Damian and I will tell you all about it after Rob and Will leave."
    • In Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree, Lori tries to warn Bill off a secret topic by saying, "Pas devant les infants," only to have her son Will ask, "What's 'not in front of the children'?" His twin brother Rob informs her that Nell is teaching them French.

Live Action TV
  • Subverted or played straight in the first episode of Arrested Development depending on whether its the tv version or the uncut version. When Michael is talking to his brother GOB about a magic trick he plans to do, GOB says "An illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money." He then notices a bunch of kids staring at him, jaws dropped. In the TV version, he quickly says "Or candy." However, in the uncensored version, he says "Or cocaine."
  • One episode of Castle brought Castle's daughter, Alexis, into the precinct and subverts this.
    Javier Esposito: Found your stalker. Franco Marquez, AKA Frankie Markie. Hayley filed half a dozen complaints against him. Says here that he even tried to break into her apartment and when she filed against him he showed up in court and called her a...
    [stops, looks at Castle and Alexis]
    Javier Esposito: B I T C H.
    Richard Castle: She can spell, Detective.
    Kevin Ryan: Probably better than you!
    • Similar to the How I Met Your Mother example below, in the first season blooper reel, Nathan Fillion (Castle) accidentally swears in front of Molly Quinn (Alexis). Although she's not really a kid, she is a minor, and apparently Fillion gives her a dollar each time he swears in front of her.
    • The commentary to the first season episode, "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins", includes a number of the actors and show creator, including Molly Quinn. Huertas (who plays Esposito) mentions a modelling gig in GQ with an a fellow actor in the episode, and Quinn interrupts with "Minor!" and Huertas stammers, laughing, to a halt. It wasn't a dirty story. It was GQ.
    • Subverted in "Linchpin" when Beckett argues with Castle over an old flame of his, while Alexis was assisting Lanie in the lab.
    Castle: Okay, we slept together, a long time ago! What's the big deal?
    Beckett: No big deal, sleep with whoever you want, the more the merrier!
    Alexis(clearing her throat) I have those toxicology reports you wanted, Lanie. (Castle glares at Beckett, who looks suitably mollified.)
  • The third season of How I Met Your Mother had a blooper reel which gave us this trope. Cobie Smulders swore over screwing up a line in front of a six year old.
    Smulders: No, I'm gonna totally fuck...! [hand in front of mouth]
    Wide-Eyed Kid: ... Did you just say the f-word?
    Smulders: No, I didn't, I said, uh, "Frosted Toasty-O's"
    • This is played with all the time on How I Met Your Mother, as Older Ted keeps censoring parts of the story for the sake of his kids. Thus we get things like the guys getting high on "sandwiches", Barney shocking a crowd by saying "kiss her" instead of the F-word (and then telling security to "kiss off! Who the kiss are you?"), and Roger Murtaugh's Catch Phrase:
      Murtaugh: I'm too old for this sh—
      Narrator!Ted: Stuff! He said 'stuff'!
  • Friends:
    • Phoebe is feeling guilty about spending time with her biological mother and imagines that her mother has been reincarnated as a cat.
      Phoebe: I think someone's upset that there's a new mom at the B E A C H. [Beat] I just spelled the wrong word.
    • When Monica and Chandler are trying to have a baby, they babysit Phoebe's triplets. They start to make out and Chandler says he's not comfortable doing it in front of the B A B Y. Later, Joey comes in and says "You can't have S E X around a B A B I E!"
    • When Phoebe gets Monica and Chandler a Ms. Pac-Man machine as their wedding gift, Chandler wastes no time in making dirty high-score initials. With Ross bringing Ben over, Monica orders the dirty initials removed; when Phoebe fails her last attempt to remove the final dirty name with a high score, she launches a foul-mouthed tirade right when Ross and Ben walk in, forcing Ross to put "earmuffs" on Ben.
      Ross: PHOEBE!
      Phoebe: Oh, hi Ben—NO, DON'T LOOK AT THE SCREEN!
    • When Ross and Rachel think Emma's about to speak, they avoid swearing around her. Rachel tells the others to "get ready to hear a lot of 'boo hockey', 'gosh darn it' and 'brother pucker'."
  • Dexter: Debra won't swear in front of Dexter and Rita's infant son. She's dropped f-bombs on live television and in a hospital waiting room full of children, though.
  • There's an episode of Night Court in which a guy dressed as Santa Claus is brought up before Judge Stone for something involving a prostitute, and there's a kid present, so Stone has people do this.
  • On Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Loren often finds himself cleaning up his language whenever Brian is around. One ep had Loren telling some friends about a burlesque house where the girls lift up their...voices! To sing so beautifully!
  • When we meet Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, everyone spends most of a season trying to keep the slaying away from her. They don't talk about it in front of her, except insofar as they can do so in code (they mostly fail).
    • They even trying spelling things on occasion, only for Dawn to remind them that she's 15.
  • On Greek, one character does this while he's discussing a Friends with Benefits relationship and sees a Nun: "Fu ... n Buddies."
  • In one of the sketches of Studio C, it's Bring Your Daughter to Work Day and the dads are cops at a murder scene, so they all have to change the terminology they use to make it child appropriate, like gunshot wounds are "fairy kisses" and blood is "glitter."
    • It backfires when one dad says "No, dear, the pony was totaled, it's gonna have to be compacted and sold for individual parts."

Video Games
  • In Mass Effect 3, Jack has become a teacher at Grissom Academy and has agreed not to swear for the sake of professionalism. This gets turned around when Joker snarks that they could probably buy a cruiser with her Swear Jar.
    Jack: Cover your ears, kids. Hey, Joker, f— (cue loading screen)

Web Original
  • In the episode of The Angry Video Game Nerd where he reviews the Halloween video game, The Nerd appears to subvert the trope by swearing like a sailor in front of kids and shitting in a trick-or-treat bag. However, a sharp eyed viewer will notice that he never swears while in the same frame as one of the kids. The Nerd may avert the trope, but James Rolfe plays it straight.
  • Adorably, a little boy invokes the trope in this Not Always Right story.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons:
    • Grandpa Simpson babysits Selma's adopted daughter and modifies his old war stories to be baby-friendly.
      I was just telling her how we chased the teddy bears into their cuddle bunkers, [in a creepy voice] then had to tickle them out with machine hugs and fun throwers! [sinister zoom-in] They say the more soldiers you tickle, the easier it gets. Well, sir, it doesn't.
    • Moe does a similar thing while babysitting Maggie, telling her a bedtime story which is a cleaned up version of The Godfather. This was after he decided against reading her Alice in Wonderland, which he thought was a novelization of a porn movie called "Alice In Underpants".
    • In "Who Shot Mr Burns? (Part 1)", Homer sends Bart and Lisa out of the house before unleashing an Atomic F-Bomb.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: The episode "To Bleep or Not to Bleep", featuring Fowlmouth, turns on this trope.
  • Time Squad: In one episode before Tuddrussel and Larry have a heated argument they briefly hold it so they can send Otto to go outside and play. Keep in mind, the series takes place on a space station, so "outside" is outer space.

Narrative Profanity FilterThese Tropes Should Watch Their LanguageN-Word Privileges
Not Actually The Ultimate QuestionDialogueNot so Dire
Little Brother Is WatchingCharacters as DeviceMorally Bankrupt Banker

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