Not Safe for Work
aka: NSFW

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"I can't let my boss see this!"

A common internet warning, abbreviated as NSFW, usually denoting a picture or video that you wouldn't want to show up when you are surfing the web at work. It's one thing to look up the latest news, check your email or play Solitaire. It's another to be looking at porn. Anything with nudity in it at all will often be labelled thus, on the off chance that a passing observer simply thinks you might be looking at porn.

So called because if you are caught reading a page that is Not Safe For Work...at work, you can get in a LOT of trouble. For the more graphic NSFW pages, simply having them in the hard drive or cache of a work computer can get you fired. Even showing up in the server log files could be unhealthy.

Also applies to school, of course. Usually even being caught simply going to casual sites like YouTube, Facebook, or Dailybooth can get you in pretty big trouble there; being caught looking at anything deemed "pornographic" can result in a trip to the vice principal's office, detention, suspension, or even expulsion.

Also particularly helpful to parents who are at home - believe it or not, some people on the Internet do have small children and still find time to netsurf. These same people like to have a warning to wait until the children are in another room before clicking a link.

NSFW can be applied to vulgar or violent, as well as pornographic, content. Also applied as a near-synonym for Squick. It may also be applied if the link requires sound, as not everyone has headphones at work (or should be wearing headphones, depending on the job).

Incidentally, get back to work before your Final Boss notices you slacking off by browsing this site!

See also, No Lewdness, No Prudishness for how this site handles the issue.


This phrase can take many forms:

NSFW In Fiction

  • Filth, in general
  • Farm Sluts
  • This trope gets a name-drop in Grand Theft Auto V during the mission "Friend Request", where Michael has to do a pop-up clicking minigame for Rickie Luckens because he got a virus after clicking a "totally NSFW link".
  • Curtailed does occasionally descend into NSFW status. For instance, this sketchbook entry, which features, among other things, a disconnected fire alarm and spilled marbles on the floor.
  • In Injustice 2, a possible opening battle dialog between Injustice!Batman and Injustice!Harley is that the latter had a NSFW dream with the Joker.
  • Inverted by a book giving children various tips and "cheats" to get through school (memorization aids, easy arithmetic tricks, etc.): the front cover included a flash saying "WARNING: this book is not suitable for adults".

Alternative Title(s): NSFW, Safe For Work, Work Safe

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NotSafeForWork?from=Main.NSFW