"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
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.
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
Film - Live Action
Film - Animated
- 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.
- The Mahou-X scan of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches - while generally regarded as a surprisingly good scanlation with a lot of work put into it - is extremely rife with this, to the point that Shiraishi seems to be the only character who doesn't say "fuck", "shit" or "ass" in every other panel. In Yamada's case, it is believable that he would swear a lot (he also swears regularly in the official Crunchyroll translation, just using milder profanities), but in some of the others' cases, it is a bit overdone even if they are teenagers.
- The subtitle track of the official DVD release of Redline contains frequent Cluster F Bombs, even though this is usually a...loose translation of the original Japanese at best. The fact that the one actual F Bomb in the original audio was a Curse Cut Short makes this seem a bit weird. Oddly, the unofficial Fansub was actualy cleaner!
- Done rather hilariously in the official Kodansha Comics release of the Attack on Titan junior high spinoff series, after Sasha catches some Titans wasting precious food:
Mikasa: Sasha, stop! This isn't a fansub!
- It's possibly justified in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in that the characters are older and the stakes are higher than in any previous book in the series. The same can be said of the films, simply because it's hard to translate "Ron cursed loudly" into film without having Ron actually curse loudly.
- Likewise some of the Doctor Who novels; The BBC actually threatened to withdraw the publisher's license if they continued with it.
- 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).
- 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.
- Parodied in Mason "Tailsteak" Williams' comic series "Band", here.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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".