->'''Sebastian:''' Well, your objections have been duly noted and summarily overruled.\\
'''Sarah:''' Yes, sir!\\
'''Sebastian:''' How come when you say "yes, sir" it kinda sounds like "fuck you"?\\
'''Sarah:''' Practice!
-->-- ''Film/HollowMan''

This language trope is most common to family fare: A character's spoken line contains no profanity whatsoever, but the tone and phrasing used by the actor is so obvious that the audience will hear the intended profanity just the same.

This trope does not include [[UnusualEuphemism made-up swear words]] or LastSecondWordSwap. The line is spoken with perfectly mundane words and the actor's inflection, tone and facial expression is what conveys the more intense and profane parenthetical. Super-trope to WitchWithACapitalB. Often shows up in {{Bowdlerize}}d or TV-dubbed versions of movies. It also occurs a '''lot''' in the political arena.

Compare StealthInsult, PrecisionFStrike. Not to be confused with NarrativeProfanityFilter, where a character really does swear--it just doesn't appear directly in the text, or with {{Mondegreen}}, which is when a character doesn't swear, but a word they say can be misheard as a swear word.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One issue of Franchise/MarvelUniverse ''ComicBook/SecretWarsII'' has Phoenix (the Rachel Summers variety) express sympathy for The Beyonder's hurt feelings, while her face makes it clear she'd kill him if she could. (By the way, the reason his feelings got hurt was that she wouldn't let him manipulate her into destroying the universe.)
* In the GrandFinale issue of ''ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan'', all it takes is one quip for the Green Goblin to realize he's not dealing with the so called "Superior" one whom the Goblin had been taunting and playing with, but the original "Amazing" one, who always beats him, and whose return he was ''not'' expecting. He says "It's you", but the inflection is way more OhCrap

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Search the Web for the phrase "made it sound like a curse." It seems to be endemic in FanFic.
* In ''FanFic/ThisBites'', after learning the truth of Ohara, Tsuru responds to Sengoku's orders with a "Yes sir" that sounds far more like "Fuck you".
* Asuka's TheReasonYouSuckSpeech in ''Fanfic/NeonMetathesisEvangelion'' makes it clear she's using the term "Sir" they way most people would use "Dumbass" or "Bastard". Understandable considering she's just been criticized for "an embarrassing victory" and asks if he'd prefer "an aesthetically pleasing defeat".

* ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'': "Who's been messing with the shadow man?!" sounds a lot like "Who's the dumbass?!". It helps that a CoolOldLady is saying it.
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge 4'' utilizes this trope to make "Thank You" sound like "Screw You".

* In ''Film/ThreeHundred'', Leonidas tells the traitor [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephialtes_of_Trachis Ephialtes]] "May you live forever." TruthInTelevision, as according to the Greek historian Herodotus, Leonidas had said something very similar, and it was considered a grave insult in Spartan culture, who venerated death in battle.
* In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', we get this exchange. Han's reply is basically a shout.
-->'''Han Solo:''' Afraid I was gonna leave without giving you a goodbye kiss?\\
'''Princess Leia:''' I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee.\\
'''Han Solo:''' I can arrange that. [[YouNeedToGetLaid You could use a good "kiss"]]!
* In the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film, Spock puts a certain amount of inflection and vitriol into the respectful Vulcan salutation, "Live Long And Prosper", so that it sounds like a PrecisionFStrike.
** In both this film and ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', Dr. [=McCoy=] asks Spock "Are you out of your ''Vulcan'' mind?"
* In the first ''Film/SisterAct'' movie, Sister Mary Clarence says "Bless you" in a way that makes it clear the word she would use, if she wasn't in a nun habit and surrounded by nuns, begins with an F.
* ''Perversion For Profit'' has the main character say "Come join the fun!" in a way that makes one think he really said "[[GoshDangItToHeck Darn]], I just stepped in a huge pile of dog-poo."
* In an inversion of the WesternAnimation example below, in ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', a captured Mystique attacks her interrogator, pins him to the wall and growls out "homo sapien" like it's something disgusting.
* Major Shears in ''Film/TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai'' manages to do this with the single word "''You.''"
* Early in ''Film/ReturnToOz'' the shrink utters an "Oh, dear," with a particular tone.
* The ''Film/CarryOn'' films seemed to ''invert'' this trope by making swear words sound like normal conversation. To name a few, "[[Film/CarryOnDick the Blasted Oak]]", "[[Film/CarryOnAgainDoctor the Bleeding Ceremony]]" and "[[Film/CarryOnDick the Old Cock]]" -- the first and last being a street and a pub, and the one in the middle being the name of a wedlock ritual. Say these three phrases out loud like it's a parenthetical swear if you don't believe us.
* Once Viggo learns just [[TheDreaded who]] his idiot son pissed off in ''Film/JohnWick'', he [[OhCrap says a dull, flat "Oh." that sounds like the beginning of "Oh, shit."]]
** In the [[Film/JohnWickChapter2 sequel]], Winston asks Santino to sign the ledger denoting that John Wick has paid his debt to the man. When Santino deflects, Winston repeats himself but adds on a "Sir" in a tone suggesting he'd say "Assole" if he wasn't a ConsumateProfessional.
* ''Film/TheHastyHeart'': Margaret's explanation of Lachlan's past as the poor child of an unwed mother gives Yank, who can't stand him, the chance to call him a bastard.
--> '''Margaret''': He's a foundling; his mother wasn't married. Do you know what that means?\\
'''Yank''': He sure is.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', Lobsang tries to save his master rather than stop the obliteration of time, leading Susan to say "you ''hero''!" to him in the same tones someone would say "you ''idiot''!"
** Additionally, in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', one of the Silver Horde is the subject of Saveloy's attempts to make him stop swearing every single sentence. He manages to make him use {{Unusual Euphemism}}s instead, but then it is observed that he could turn the air blue just by saying "socks" (which becomes HilariousInHindsight once you read ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'').
*** Especially funny because Saveloy, who's the one who put together the swearword conversion chart, is the only one who knows what he's TRYING to say when he uses an Unusual Euphemism. We don't get a translation, but the thing that he translated to "misbegotten wretch" was apparently pretty shocking.
** In ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'', Duke Felmet is described as the sort of person [[TranquilFury who gets more polite and restrained the angrier he gets]], to the point where he can give the cutting edge of a severe dressing-down to the phrase "Thank you very much."
** In ''Discworld/TheTruth'', Sacharissa can say "you utterly ungrateful person" like it's a curse.
** ''Discworld/NightWatch'' has a Sergeant who doesn't swear for religious reasons, so uses this trope to compensate. At one point he calls a bunch of militia recruits "You sons of mothers!"
** ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' shows that coppers learn to inflect "Sir" so that it sounds like "trembling ''arsehole''".
* The character of Tzetzas in Creator/DavidDrake and Creator/SMStirling's ''Literature/TheGeneral'' series is usually pronounced as if it were a curse.
** "He gives graft a bad name."
** There's a RunningGag that whenever his name is brought up in conversation, Suzette tells the person/people saying it to stop swearing.
* In ''Literature/AndAnotherThing'', someone is said to say the name "Zaphod" "as if it were a curse". Justified, perhaps, because it goes on to say that in many languages, it now ''is''.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', [=McGonagall=] refers to Umbridge as "headmistress", and the author notes that she "pronounced the word with the same look on her face that Aunt Petunia had whenever she was contemplating a particularly stubborn bit of dirt".
** Carries over into the movie adaptation, in which she and Umbridge are seen "politely" sniping at each other several times.
--->'''Umbridge:''' Something you would like to say, Minerva?
--->'''[=McGonagall=]:''' Oh, there are several things I would ''like'' to say!
* One scene in ''Literature/GreatExpectations'' has Pip's sister say "Lord bless the boy!" in a way that makes it sound quite the opposite.
* The following line in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', regarding Jon's unpopular and [[MistakenForGay much-derided]] decision to employ [[ArmyOfThievesAndWhores a former rent boy]] as his personal manservant;
-->Ser Malegorn stepped forward. “I will escort Her Grace to the feast. We shall not require your... steward.” The way the man drew out the last word told Jon that he had been considering saying something else. ''Boy? Pet? Whore?''
* In the novelisation of ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}'', Tony Montana is passing through Miami airport when a customs officer asks him (as the only Cuban-American male) to stand aside for a search for drugs. ''The 'sir' was framed in quotes''. Turns out Montana is a distraction for the actual drug mules, like the nun and the nice all-American family.
* In ''Literature/WutheringHeights'';
-->''"Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir," he interrupted wincing, "I should not allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it—walk in!"\\
The "walk in" was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment "Go to the Deuce!"''
* [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster Jeeves]] would, of course, ''never'' actually swear, but Bertie Wooser did on one occasion point out that Jeeves has a way of saying "Well, sir," and "Indeed, sir," that sometimes leaves the impression that only a rudimentary feudal sense of what is fitting restrains him from substituting those phrases with the words "Says you!"
* In one ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' novel, Hornblower's navigator gives him increasingly pessimistic updates on the stronger enemy ship that's pursuing them in a SternChase and says "my duty, sir" when Hornblower starts showing signs of irritation. Hornblower replies "I'm glad to see you doing your duty" in a tone that effectively conveys "damn your duty" (a phrase which he can't actually use because it would contradict the Articles of War).
* In ''Literature/{{Thunderball}}'', Bond happens to be nearby for an argument with a clerk where, the text confirms, the "damn you" hung in the air unsaid when the client finally goes along.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Penn illustrates this trope in the ''Series/PennAndTellerBullshit'' episode on profanity, by insulting a dog in a soft-spoken voice, then angrily screaming at it "'''''I LOVE YOU, DOG!'''''". The point of this exercise is to show the viewers that the dog reacts to the human's tone of voice, not to what actual words he says.
-->'''Penn''': ''(reassuringly)'' No, it's okay. Really, I hate your stinking guts.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'' example: There is a moment in the third season where Cordelia is forced to overhear a part of Angel's Epic Rage against the way ThePowersThatBe treats Cordelia. She only hears the part: "She is a ''rich girl'' from Sunnydale who likes to play Superhero. She doesn't have what it ''takes!''" Considering Cordelia's reaction, he may as well have said "A ''Spoiled Bitch''..."
* An episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has Rufus, one of the boys' allies, mutter, "I'm too old for this." [[Film/LethalWeapon Four guesses]] as to what everyone heard at the end of the sentence. Plus, he kinda looks like Creator/DannyGlover.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has Bester's name treated like this. Anyone who has spent five minutes in the same room as Bester and is NOT a telepath (and quite a few who are, for that matter...) would understand completely.
* [[http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/04/tim_gunn_critiques_superhero_o.html?ft=1&f=93568166 It's been noted]] that ''Series/ProjectRunway'' fashion consultant Tim Gunn can make the word "implausible" sound like a swear word.
* Occasionally used on ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' as a way of GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "Perhaps he should go sack himself."
** Paul Merton likes to refer to people having been "hung up by the Bolsheviks" or "dragged off by the Cherokees" in a way that makes it sound [[GroinAttack like a particularly painful form of punishment]].
** [[UsefulNotes/BorisJohnson "I've devolved some of my functions..."]] "I'm sorry to hear that."
* The way Jerry Series/{{Seinfeld}} always greets his SitcomArchNemesis Newman, one could easily substitute any swear word in for his name.
-->'''Jerry:''' Hello... ''Newman''.
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' played a clip of professional persecution junkie Bill Donohue ranting about how "every Lenten season" Catholics in America have more PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad to put up with; Jon noted that "Lenten" really sounds like a swearword when you say it in that tone.
* Emily Prentiss from ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has an uncanny ability to make the phrase "Yes, ma'am" sound like a particularly blunt and vicious "Fuck you sideways and the horse you rode in on too".
** Apparently, she picked it up from one of their FBI consultants. It's a habit you get into when you know every word you say is going to be tape recorded... but that the recording will then be typed up as a transcript that won't catch tone of voice.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In "Destiny of the Daleks", the Fourth Doctor tells some Daleks "just back off!" in a way that sounds so strongly like "fuck off!" that there are still debates online today contemplating whether or not he was [[PardonMyKlingon swearing in Gallifreyan]] ("zzh''spack'' off!").
** Somehow, Creator/ArthurDarvill manages to make "so far beyond weird" sound a bit like "so [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] weird" despite saying it in an utterly sweet and friendly tone in Series/DoctorWho's [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33ShortPS "P.S."]] short.
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', [=McCoy=] was always making "Vulcan" sound like a swearword.
* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Kate Mulgrew once delivers the line "My name is Captain Janeway" like a ''death threat.''
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "Shadow", the villain Grover mandates that the naval personnel address him as either [[TheyCallMeMisterTibbs "Sir" or "Mr. Grover"]]. He gleefully notices when Meg manages to do exactly that while making it sound as disrespectful as possible.
* "[[Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn Look that up in your Funk 'N' Wagnalls!]]"
* [[Series/CountdownWithKeithOlbermann Keith Olbermann]] could turn the word "sir" into both a profanity and the filthiest insult known to mankind.
* On ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'', during a multi-episode story arc in which Marie and Debra are refusing to speak to each other, Raymond begs them to make up, calling them "you two mothers" in the process. He's allegedly making an appeal to it being Mother's Day, but his strained and frustrated tone clearly indicate what he actually means.
* This is invoked on ''Series/{{Billions}}''. Bobby and "Dollar" Bill are having a conversation inside a soundproof room with glass walls so people on the outside can see everything happening inside but cannot hear what is being said. The two men are having a tender moment where they are telling each other that they are like brothers and would do anything for each other. However, their body language makes it seem like they are having an extremely nasty shouting match full of swearing and obscenities. It's part of a BatmanGambit to make a rival investment firm try to recruit Bill who then can feed them false information about Bobby's business dealings.
* On ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Frank frequently reacted to friendly greetings from his bunkmates as if they were insults, but the only one to actually employ this trope against him was his CO, Henry Blake.
-->'''Henry''': Our supply line's been cut.\\
'''Frank''': [[AskAStupidQuestion Who did that?]]\\
'''Henry''': ''[[CaptainObvious The other side]], '''Frank!'''''

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* This comes up in places in some translations of Literature/TheBible:
** In the Literature/BookOfJob, Satan dares God to strike Job to take away all that he has and see if he won't "bless" God for it, in which the intended meaning (as pointed out in most other translations) is to "curse" God.
** In other places, people take the self-malefactory oath, "May God do thus and so to me (and more besides!) if...", with the words "thus and so" standing in for the actual curse.
** And in [[Literature/BooksOfSamuel 1 Samuel 20]], King Saul realizes that his own son Johnathan is more loyal to rival for the throne David than he is to him. Some translations render his words to Johnathan as "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!" This... doesn't really hide his real meaning.

* In the ''Radio/CabinPressure'' episode "Abu Dhabi", Martin self-importantly demands that Douglas call him "sir". Douglas manages to pronounce "Yes, sir" like a particularly vile epithet. He then proceeds to refer to Martin exclusively as "sir" in derisive tones until Martin begs him to stop.

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* From Dane Cook's ''Vicious Circle'' special:
-->I said, "God bless you"... but it kind of sounded like "Cover your fucking mouth." Incognito.
* Oddly enough Sam Kinison, who normally had no problem [[ClusterFBomb bombing the neighborhood]], used one when describing his second ex-wife: "God bless 'er!" delivered in a jaw-clenched tone that clearly implies an alternate meaning.

* At one point in ''Theatre/{{Hair}}'', a character says "Thank you, Sandy"; the stage directions call for it to be intoned as "Fuck you, Sandy."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' gives us a particularly wonderful line on the subject:
--> '''Ashley Williams:''' "Why is it that whenever someone says '[[WithDueRespect with all due respect]]' they really mean 'kiss my ass'?"

* "The gnome was muttering to himself, too, in a low, unpleasant manner. He didn't so much curse as deliver each word as if he were cursing, so that 'Butter and bedknobs!' came out sounding like something you'd use to send a demon back to the abyss." - [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/uvernon/littlecreature2/series.php Little Creature and the Redcap]] by Creator/UrsulaVernon.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall''--"Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!" (Being said, of course, in as sarcastic a tone as possible and with an expression of obvious disdain.)
* In the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' cartoon "Donut Unto Others", Homestar opens a donut stand near Bubs' Concession Stand. Bubs comes up to Homestar and makes small talk... at the top of his lungs, in a threatening tone, and with his face solid red. Homestar, [[TheDitz ever-oblivious]], takes a few minutes to realize "Are we in a fight?"

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/XMen'', Wolverine infiltrates an anti-mutant hate group, the Friends of Humanity, by posing as a trashy, mutant-hating bigot. He plays the role to the letter, down to growling "''mutant''" like a swear word (or, more realistically, a racial/ethnic slur).
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', just about any time Goliath says "Xanatos."
* Despite its very family friendly tone, ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas'' has one.
-->'''Charlie Brown''': Man's best friend...
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' Season 2's "Bart's Dog Gets an F", when Santa's Little Helper graduates from obedience school:
-->'''Emily Winthrop''': You son-of-a-bitch, good show! [[note]]"Bitch" originally referred to a mother dog before taking on the negative connotations it has today, and likewise, "Son-of-a-bitch" can refer to a bastard in its literal sense, or be used as a general term of contempt.[[/note]]
* In the pilot movie/first two episodes of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Kid Flash takes issue with Robin's disappearing act antics and calls him on it: "Way to be a team player, Rob." He comes down hard on the nickname.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'', there was this exchange:
--> '''Gumball''': Man, What a pile of beans.\\
'''Darwin''': Dude, watch your language, you'll get us in trouble.\\
'''Gumball''': Well I'm sorry, Darwin, but it is. It's a big, steaming, pile of beans.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': "You're too much of a ''pushover'' to do anything about it." (Also note that Toph is [[VisualPun cracking some nuts of Aang's]] as she says this to him.)
* In the sequel series to this ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' Toph once again does this when she says to Bolin's girlfriend Opal "How did you end up dating a ''dipstick'' like him?" She says it like "dip''shit''" instead.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'': In "Perchance to Dream". Bruce is prepared to jump off a tower to prove he's dreaming, but Mad Hatter asks what if he's wrong: [[SeeYouInHell "Then I'll see you in your nightmares!"]]
* In Series 3 of ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'', when Mavis gets stuck on a level crossing:
-->'''Narrator:''' An angry farmer was telling Mavis just what she could do with her train.
* Whenever [[Franchise/{{GIJoe}} Destro]] addresses his boss as "my dear Cobra Commander", substitute "bless your heart" and you'll get the intended effect.
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'': In "The Fremergency Fronfract" after Lord Hater, [[IntoxicationEnsues loopy from the anesthetic used during a trip to the dentist]], fires on his own troops and has to be knocked out, he awakens in the infirmary and tries to convince himself the events of the episode (which involved bonding with Wander and publicly embarrassing himself) were just a dream. Then Peepers dryly responds "If only, ''sir'', if only...", putting a little more venom into the word "sir" than usual.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Princess Spike", after Spike [[SneezeOfDoom knocks over a fragile statue with a sneeze]], he mutters, appropriately enough, "Ah, ''bless'' me..."
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' by Scary Terry, an {{Expy}} of [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]] who seriously overuses ThisIsForEmphasisBitch. When Rick and Morty help him with ''his'' recurring nightmares, he manages to make the word "bitch" sound like sincere thanks.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CaptainSimianAndTheSpaceMonkeys'', Spydor would frequently use such intensifiers as "monkey-loving" or "monkey-flipping" to compensate for not being able to say "motherfucking" in a children's cartoon.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Everyone in [[SweetHomeAlabama the South]] knows that "Bless your heart" usually isn't a "blessing." While it ''can'' be used in a nice way, the phrase itself is, more often than not, used as a [[SugaryMalice much more polite way of calling someone an idiot]] (compared to Northerners, Southerners are very big on things like manners and etiquette). It can also be a type of preemptive apology, using it to sweeten a not-so-nice comment ("Bless his heart, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen.")
** Similarly, 'gotta/God love you/him/her' means "I despise...," and "I'll pray for you" means "I hope you rot in hell." Also, if someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, you say, "I'll pray over/think about it," meaning "I'd rather eat ground glass."
* In his memoir, Literature/RogueWarrior, Captain Dick Marcinko reports calling bad officers "sir" but meaning "cur."