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Obligatory Swearing
"AN: And there you have it folks. Let me know what you thought. Disturbing? Funny? Moving? Or maybe all three. I don't even know if this would make it to an R rating. Fuck, damn, cock, balls, shit, bitch, hell. There, now it's an R fic."

So you've got a series or whatever where the characters rarely say anything stronger than "hell" or "damn", or swear in Unusual Euphemisms or Future Slang, or even do swear more strongly but infrequently.

Then along come the Fan Fic writers, and suddenly everyone's dropping Cluster F Bombs left, right and center. There seems to be this idea that you have to have this in an R-rated story. No matter that it's already got more than enough sex and violence to justify the R, the Obligatory Swearing is obligatory. Also happens to some extent in PG13-rated fics. Fridge Logic ensues when characters swear more strongly than they do in canon in situations less upsetting than they've actually been through, and seeing SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, or a pony dropping a Cluster F-Bomb is nothing if not jarring. Of course, Fridge Logic goes the other way with works involving teenage characters, who don't swear in canon, even when in massive pain: Even Quentin Tarantino movies are cleaner than five minutes of overhead conversation in the average school cafeteria.

A variation occurs in Fan Subs, in which either a word has multiple translations and the subbers go for the stronger one, or simply adding swearing where there wasn't any to cover up the fact that they're not as fluent in Japanese as they'd like us to think. "Bastard" in particular is really overused, apparently the de facto translation for "yarou" or the pronoun "kisama". This also applies to some official translated releases, particularly early English-language dubs of anime, which would add swearing to help "prove" that the audience wasn't watching "kiddy cartoons".

A subtrope of Darker and Edgier; this is to profanity what Hotter and Sexier is to sex and Bloodier and Gorier is to violence. Contrast Rated G for Gangsta, in which a person or character who you would reasonably expect to swear doesn't. Sometimes done to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating. If the swearing occurs only once or twice, it's a Precision F-Strike.

Fan-created examples

  • Almost every fanfic based around adult or teenage characters will have at least some usage of this, most likely in an attempt to sound "realistic".
  • Go to Fan Fiction Net, set the filter to display M-rated stories only, and take your pick. After filtering all the lemons, of course.
  • My Immortal gives us Dumbledore screaming "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!" Not to mention the frequent misspelling of non-profane words as profanities.
    "It was...... Cornelio Fuck!"
    • Hint: If Snape has uttered five lines and already used two obscenities, and the situation is anything less shocking than The End of the World as We Know It or Harry Potter becoming his direct superior (or possibly the line "She has your eyes"), you probably don't know how to write Snape.
    • HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH likewise features, among other things, Harry "killing the fuck out of" Mercury and Venus with his guitar Fuckslayer after Dumbledore informs him that he "must rock the fuck out". Of course, this is merely the cherry on the sundae of utter insanity that is the fanfic itself.
  • One fic averted this by using mild profanity, but the author went back at a later date and changed most of them (except one "damn" that actually worked with the scene) to "more in-character, colorful world-based profanity."
  • There's Bert/Ernie slash in which the dialogue is composed mainly of swearing. As mentioned, it is extremely jarring to hear Sesame Street characters swear for no reason other than sounding "mature". Guess they picked up some habits from their friend, The Count.
  • So much Warrior Cats fanfiction includes swearing, even though the books don't. This isn't because the book characters don't swear, but because they swear using feline profanities. So it seems really out of place when, in a fanfic, someone yells "shit!" or calls someone a "bastard" while in the original novels they would have used "fox dung!" or called them a "fox-hearted traitor".
    • Probably the best example of this in fanfic would be a oneshot which features a kit dropping an f-bomb in every line of dialogue. That's right, a kit.
  • Soichiro Yagami of Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, in addition to being almost Ax-Crazy, swears quite often ("Die you pies of shit!" to L). To say nothing of God, of all people.
  • Danced about in the Jaidenverse, a Darker and Edgier reimagining of the Harry Potter universe, in which the swearing is stronger and more frequent but c-nsored l-ke th-s.
  • My Inner Life features this.
  • Cori Falls's fics suffer greatly from this as well as Hollywood Tourette's.
  • Hunting The Unicorn subverts this. It's a Glee fanfic written in a very traditional style, but the Warblers swear a lot more than they do in canon. It seems more due to the fact that they're a group of teenaged guys who take everything quite seriously rather than an attempt to make things more adult, and they mostly use Precision F Strikes that are Sophisticated as Hell. In fact, the author rates it Teen instead of R, and the most she does is give a warning for people who dislike heavy swearing.
  • The /tg/-created Warhammer 40,000 Angry Marine chapter is practically defined by this trope. Even their battle cry shows it: "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!"
  • "Ronald Fucking Weasley" is described as a "shit wizard" in the first chapter of In This World and the Next, setting the tone for the rest of the fic. In fact, every character in every Robst fic seems to have exactly the same voice, which speaks fluent profanity: there's also a lot more of it in Knowledge is Power than in the books, even allowing for J. K. Rowling's famed Narrative Profanity Filter.
  • Reconciliation has Hanako using quite a bit of profanity in her first-person narration, albeit none in her actual dialogue. Other characters' use of profanity is more reasonable; Akira uses some profanity, and Lilly, as in canon, limits herself to a single Precision F-Strike after her husband Hisao's funeral.
  • How I Became Yours has a fair amount, which is especially jarring considering that it's based on a children's show.
    Katara: Not a fucking chance! I can't what until I see you put up for a trial! Post on death row!
    Mai: Not today... Princess, the day will be painted red with your death... (attacks Katara, but she escapes) Get back here!!! You can't run from me you little bitch!!
  • In Hermione's Talent, everyone drops an f-bomb every other word. Even Hermione herself, who in canon is often found chiding other characters (usually Ron) for swearing.
  • A lot of YouTube Poop gets laughs by making cartoon characters swear profusely, though most of the time the swearwords are bleeped because the characters didn't swear in the original show and it's not easy to find them saying things like "pingas" that can be clipped out of context.
  • This is particularly common among the Fire Emblem modding community. The Fire Emblem games don't swear very much or very strongly at all (the occasional hell or damn at worst, and if the writers are really feeling edgy they'll throw in a bastard for spice, but that's as far as they go), but mod writers tend to "spice things up" by throwing all sorts of strong swears into the dialogue. They generally have little reason other than "people swear when they're angry".
    • Pokémon hackers are about as bad. In fact with them it's even more noticeable, since the Pokémon series has no swearing in canon, anime or games. As mentioned below, Pokémon Quartz is a good example.
  • It seems to be assumed that because he's an angry, rapist killing, former street kid, Jason Todd/Red Hood must speak almost entirely in profanity.
  • One reason why The Angry Video Game Nerd isn't around in TGWTG fanfic much other than when he's paired off with The Nostalgia Critic. Trying to write his dialog and making it not this trope can get really obnoxious both to write and read.
  • The List Of Secrets had this quite a bit, though mostly in the later chapters.
  • Max Wolf Revolutions takes this trope Up to Eleven: By the fifth part of the story, there isn´t a single chapter that doesn´t contain any form of swearing.Harry Grimoire is called fucking Harry Grimoire all the time.
  • In the Saki fanfic, Saki After Story, found here, there's quite a bit of it, especially coming from Teru, of all people.
    Teru: (upon being told that the tournament doesn't start until noon) “But I want to kick some ass”
    Sumire: “You know, maybe you’ll run into your sister.”
    Teru: “God damn it! How many times do I have to tell you, Sumire? “I. Do. Not. Have. A. Sister!”
    Sumire: “Quit bullshitting, Teru.”
  • After the End warns for swearing in its header, but averts this trope by keeping it low-key, dramatically appropriate and in character. At the time it was written, swearing in Harry Potter fanfic was uncommon and mostly done for the questionable edgy humour value of having children's book characters effing and blinding all over the place, as noted on the quotes page.
  • React Watch Believe Yikes can certainly feel like it falls into this category. At the time it was produced, RWBY had only just finished its first volume, in which nobody swore at all save for one Curse Cut Short; an extreme rarity for a Rooster Teeth production. Even considering they probably picked up the habit from watching Red vs. Blue, having them use "fuck" from the get-go is rather out of place.

"Official" Examples:

Anime
  • There's a sizable number of fan translators who think that any Japanese dialogue written in a rough or slangy manner must contain at least one curse word and/or crude idiom when translated into English. This isn't quite Spice Up the Subtitles, since it's rarely done due to lack of practice and usually the gist of the sentence is unchanged.
  • In Japan, a common stereotype of American people is that they swear a lot, often for no good reason. As a result, if an American character appears in an anime, they will often say something like "goddamn" or "son of a bitch", sometimes outside of context or in a situation no actual English-speaker would ever swear in. If they don't end up talking like Mr. Kouhei.
  • In Battle Royale, a good amount of the cast swears at least twice. While the novel did include a few curses, the manga exaggerates it a bit to the point that a character may say a sentence that's mostly just swears.
  • UK distributor Manga Entertainment was particularly infamous for this, as illustrated in these two videos of a clip of Violence Jack and Devilman.
  • In one anTranslation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, one general calls Olivier Armstrong the c-word.
    • Notable, and possibly subverted, in the official Brotherhood English sub that the swearing is usually mild, with the F-bomb only used for three particularly tense or dramatic incidents near the end of the show.
  • Early episodes of Funimation's One Piece dub on DVD often had rather excessive amounts of profanity. It gets better after a couple discs; it simmers down to the occasional "bastard" or "I'm gonna kick your ass!"
    • Somewhat justified with the early episodes, especially Sanji's introduction episodes, because his Catch Phrase is commonly translated as either "shit" or "crap."
    • Another theory is that the swearing was meant to separate Funimation's translation from the infamously kiddie 4Kids Entertainment version.
    • On the subs for Episode 432, the inmates' nickname for Magellan is "Shit Man" (likely derived from his spending hours every day in the bathroom with diarrhea), and they say it over and over in that scene.
  • Initial D: When Keisuke encounters Takumi in episode 1, when he sees the car he's driving, Keisuke goes, "An AE 86? No fucking way!" The official dub and sub translate it to, "That's an AE 86. You got to be kidding me!" Aside from that, with the exception of Bunta encouraging Takumi to beat the pants off a smartass kid, the translation is pretty accurate.
  • Ultimo scanlations often use quite a bit of foul language; Vice drops five f-bombs in one page and Present!Yamato often swears, too.
  • Fan translations of Nnoitra's dialogue in Bleach are often rife with Obligatory Swearing. Justified in that he really doesn't care about anything or anybody outside of being a superior fighter, which makes his potty mouth all the funnier when Neliel throws his and her own Cero back at him and all he can say in response is "Aw... shit!"
  • Vita tends to get Obligatory Swearing in Lyrical Nanoha fan translations, fanfiction and even the A's dub, as a result of often using "Kuso" and having a fairly rude way of talking. (like when she screams "WHAT'D YOU SAY, BITCH?" at Nanoha in chapter 7 of the manga)
  • The Manga Video dub of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro was sprinkled with profanity that never existed in the original subtitled version. The title was considerably lighter than almost every other anime in Manga's stable, perhaps prompting the dubbers to try to make it Darker and Edgier.
  • Bakuman。 fan translations sometimes have this, and as of Volume 3, the Viz translation is moving toward this. It (and some fan translations) has Takagi calling a character in the in-universe series St. Visual Girls' Academy who coldly brushes aside Azuki's character's Love Confession a "bitch", and Fukuda complaining about Yujiro being "half-assed" in not making Eiji meet with him, and Yujiro accusing Yoshida of thinking himself "hot shit" over Otter 11's popularity.
  • The fan translation of the Metroid manga contains six swear words in the first chapter alone.
  • In Mai-HiME, Natsuki and Nao's dialogue often contains profanity in fan translations. One of the more extreme examples is Nao telling Haruka to "shut the fuck up" in Chapter 18 of the manga.
  • In a fan translation of Cardcaptor Sakura, the phrase Sakura used to make Touya believe Kero was a puppet and she was doing a comedy routine was "What the hell? What the hell?". The Tokyo Pop translation used the more common "Fuggedaboutit" phrase.
  • The old Anime Labs Dragon Ball Z fansubs went way overboard. One of the most infamous examples, a line uttered by Vegeta after having his house destroyed, reads "You fucking bastard! You dare to destroy my house! Now you've really pissed me off! Fuck you!" in their translation, but the official (and much more accurate) FUNimation translation reads as "Smash up another man's house, will you?! I'm in a foul mood today! Don't come too close or you'll get burned!". Another example is "Come out, you candy-ass faggot!", corrupted from "Where are you!? Come on out, you coward! Show yourself!".
    • The German dubbing, although not to the point of overdoing it, did periodically insert "Scheiße" (shit) into the dialog, and Cell famously exclaims "Oh, shit!" in English.
  • It's hard to tell where (the uncut) Dragon Ball Kai falls on this. The "dammits" might be more jarring since the original dub suffered from Gosh Dang It to Heck!.
  • In one translation of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga, Kyouko uses Cluster F Bombs when she gets angry. For example, after wounding Sayaka in their first fight, she says "What the fuck was that about? You'd better keep your shit together, pisshead." (emphasis theirs).
  • The official manga translation of To Love-Ru in Spain has a lot of swearing for no reason, especially from Rito, something about as Out of Character for him as it gets. The best example is one line with him saying "What's going on?" in the original becoming simply "Fuckers!", not even "What the fuck is going on?" or something, just "Fuckers!". Since the translation also has quite a bit of Gratuitous Japanese, it gives a "bad scanlation" vibe.
  • In the manga version of Girls und Panzer, there's some jarring profanity in scanlations, such as when Miho is first asked to be commander.
    Miho: No, no! No fucking way!
  • In the manga version of Kingdom Hearts, there's some profanity sprinkled into scanlations; first it starts out in early chapters with words like "crap" and "freaking", no worse then what you'd hear on Cartoon Network, but then the language goes up to "damn", "hell", "bastard", and even one use of "effing." It's quite surprising considering it stars Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, etc. in it. In the official Tokyopop and Yen Press volumes, rated "all ages", there's no profanity at all.
  • In the European Spanish translation of the Death Note manga by Glénat, it's pretty common to find (along with some local expressions sprayed everywhere) profanity that wasn't in the original. Weirdly, most of the profanity appears in Light Yagami's lines.
  • Eren in Attack on Titan has an extremely short temper and tends to yell a lot. Even so, fanfics have taken his anger issues Up to Eleven where pretty much all his dialogue consists of swearing. Levi gets this treatment as well in both fanfic and fansub, probably because of him being a Perpetual Frowner whose default mood is "annoyed at everything."
    • The official English translation has a fair amount of profanity, too, such as this quote from Reiner at an emotional moment in Chapter 42, after revealing that he is the Armored Titan.
    Reiner: We were just kids... we didn't know anything. If only we never heard that these bastards existed... then we wouldn't have become these half-hearted pieces of shit...
  • The Hungarian dub of Dragon Ball GT was so fond of the expression "Basszus!" (meaning "Shit!" or "Damn!") that the translator was eventually asked by the fans to tone it down or at least use other words.
  • The English dub of Gantz, to paraphrase A Christmas Story, works in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It's entirely fitting for the situations the characters find themselves in, but still. Wow.

Comics

Film - Live Action

Film - Animated

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • The first season of Sherlock has John using both "shit" and "fuck," but only as curses cut short. In the season two episode A Scandal in Belgravia, this upgrades to John saying "shit" in full.
  • Torchwood, as part of trying to be Darker and Edgier than Doctor Who. Only in the early first series though; by series 2, it had mostly been toned down to just "shit".
  • There are a number of examples of British productions dating back to the 1970s wherein if an American character is portrayed, at some point he or she will inevitably utter the curse word "goddamn", often for no real reason (as if the term was just a benign swear along the lines of damn or hell, which it is in the UK). Strangely, the pronunciation of the word often differs from how it's really said in the US; usually, the two syllables are uttered separately, but when Brits do it, it often comes out sounding like "goddum". Two productions in which this can be heard are the original TV movie Max Headroom and, of all places, the 2005 Doctor Who episode "Dalek" (the only time this curse has been heard on the series).

Music
  • OFWGKTA is this trope played straight. Tyler is a particularly prime example, utilizing a Cluster F-Bomb in just about every bar, while also having a penchant for dropping the "faggot" bomb and referring to women as bitches and a cunt.
  • The English version of Rammstein's "Engel" has the equivalent of God knows translated as goddamn.

Video Games
  • The anecdote listed above under Anime & Manga also applies here. It's not too bad in most cases, but when you're playing a Fan Translation of a Famicom/NES or Super Famicom/SNES game even such words as "damn" or "hell" can be quite jarring to see, considering most games of those periods had a Nintendo-mandated Gosh Dang It to Heck! hovering over them, though there were a few occasions where they slipped up.
  • Among other things, the game Shadow the Hedgehog was infamous for having the title character (and even a few characters like Sonic himself) gratuitously using the word "damn".
    Shadow the Hedgehog: Where's that damn fourth Chaos Emerald?
  • The So Bad, It's Good ROM hack Pokémon Quartz does this.
    "Argh! Fucking kid! You send my plans down to the WC!"
  • Guilty Gear: "I always knew you were a shitty king! You can't even protect yourself!"
  • The House of the Dead: Overkill has gone on record for having the most instances of the word "fuck" uttered in a game. The first words spoken are "Whazzup, motherfucker!" Isaac Washington uses "motherfucker" so often that the one time he conspicuously doesn't gets a Lampshade Hanging.
    • The game even made it into the Guinness World Records for being the most profane game ever. However, it was beaten a year later by Mafia II, though Overkill's Updated Re-release took the title back.
  • Samurai Shodown: "Shit! You really make me mad!"
  • The Metal Gear series usually has very little swearing, just the occasional "damn" here and there. However, in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, one of the radio conversations you can have is about a nightmare Sigint had about a giant walking turd that turns everything it shoots into shit.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots also dropped an F-bomb in the first boss fight. The first in the series, in fact, if you're playing in English. note 
    Laughing Octopus: It's just so fucking hysterical!
  • Download, a relatively obscure PC Engine shmup, has swearing in its game over messages: "I cannot fuck up for this." and "Shit, is not this a great beginning?"
  • The original Max Payne had only mild to moderate swearing, the worst of which being the odd "goddammit" and one use of "bullshit". The sequel dropped this trend.
  • The 2009 Bionic Commando game has a few of these.
  • The DeJap Fan Translation of Tales of Phantasia has this. This actually caused a bit of Mis-blamed when the game was given an official localization, like how the translators allegedly "censored" the adult humor that was never actually in the original text itself.
  • The original English release of Tactics Ogre Let Us Cling Together, translated by Atlus used practically every swear word in the English language short of the f-bomb. Vice, in particular, is particularly foul-mouthed for somebody on the good guys' side. The PSP retranslation helmed by Alexander O Smith cut out almost all the swearing.
  • Final Fantasy VII has a similar issue. Almost any interjection made by a frustrated character was translated as anything from "dammit" to "shit", even when the characters weren't even swearing originally (e.g. frustrated grunts such as "くっ" often became something like "Shit..."). Granted, it's one of the darker installments in the series. This is probably due to the localization being handled by Sony USA instead of Square themselves, as later Final Fantasy games have much more PG-level language.

Webcomics
  • Parodied in Mason "Tailsteak" Williams' comic series "Band", here.

Web Original
  • Quite a few internet humor websites. Fortunately, many such sites manage to stay funny regardless.
  • The Newgrounds flash game "Arrival in Hell" shows this several times, including "Whoa. Fuckin' thanks for that."
Western Animation
  • The Hungarian dubbing of King of the Hill had great fun with this. That aside, surprisingly many dubs of cartoons meant for kids also use the word "shit" rather arbitrarily. Then again, it seems to have become a relatively tame word these days, as it's no longer bleeped-out in most Hungarian media, similar to "Crap".
    • Also of note is their dubbing of Regular Show, or at least the later seasons, which makes use of the word "basszus" (damn or shit) quite frequently.
  • In the DVD version of Clerks: The Animated Series, Jay swears a lot during one live-action segment to make up for the fact that there isn't any swearing in the cartoon itself.

Other
  • Truth in Television: Junior high and high school, and elementary schoolers trying to look like junior high students. Thankfully, the novelty seems to wear off considerably by college.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in the film A Serious Man, in which one (middle school-aged) character basically exists for the sole purpose of calling everyone and everything a "fucker".
    • Play an online game. ANY online game. You will hear swear words you never thought existed. Bonus points if you're playing with mics, so you can actually hear the pre-pubescence in the kid calling you a faggot.
  • Google Translate, for Japanese anyway. Case point: as of this writing, it translates temee (てめえ、), a fairly rude form of "you" (see Japanese Pronouns) as "mothafucka'".
    • So does Microsoft's translator.
    • Google Translate also manages to turn "fuzaken'na!", simply a rather impolite way of saying "stop screwing around", into "motherfucker", for no particular reason. Fansubbers of all stripes love to render it as "Don't fuck with me!" in almost all anime it's spoken in.
    • As of this writing, Google Translate seems to have topped itself by turning "tondemonai baka" (roughly "complete moron") into "fucking dickhead".


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