Ah, but they forgot that only the Northern Hemisphere has Winter in December!
This title, taken from an infamous Catch Phrase
of the Daily Mail
, a British tabloid newspaper/comic book, can refer to one of two things.
In some cases, this might be literally about political correctness taken too far, presented through a Granola Girl
or Soapbox Sadie
who embodies the negative aspects of the PC movement
. However, in other cases, the accusations of political correctness are baseless.
Along the same lines, a governmental authority (often a local council) is accused of being over-zealous to the point of parody in trying to avoid offense to minority groups - not unlike the Culture Police
but in the other direction. Certain words or phrases are said to have been "banned"
, as if, say, Chipping Sodbury Borough Council has any effective power over the English language or, indeed, anything
. Often, the body in question are not only being overly cautious, they're also naively playing right into the hands of actual
bigots, giving them a platform to claim that they
are the ones being 'oppressed'.
Politically Correct History
is a specific variant where Common Knowledge
historical accounts are treated as Fanon
to avoid Unfortunate Implications
such as Values Dissonance
or having to explain Aluminum Christmas Trees
Usually, a range of urban myths are presented as examples of Political Correctness Gone Mad
, such as ...
- Blackboards in school being renamed "chalkboards" to avoid offending black people.
- Some schools having a "holiday tree" every "Winter Holiday Season," or even more drastic...
- City councils banning Christmas to avoid offending Jews, Muslims, neopagans, and other non-Christian folknote
- Manholes being renamed "Personnel Access Units" to avoid offending women.
- American public schools in California and other Western states banning clothing depicting the American flag in order to avoid inflaming students who identify as Mexican nationals. note
There is occasionally an element of truth to these stories, in that something vaguely similar happened at least once somewhere, but it's the reaction that is truly "gone mad". More often, such stories are outright fabrications or Insane Troll Logic
extrapolations of something relatively innocuous. Ironically, many current PC taboos are the unintended offspring of anti-PC hysteria, as mass media attention on these fictions leave ordinary people under the impression that such laws really exist, and should be obeyed.
All of this is especially ironic, considering that Political Correctness took on its contemporary meaning when the radical left began using it as a self-aware joke
about the intrusion of Academic (the capital "A" is
required) feminist and socialist argot into their everyday lives. Expect most of those invoking Mars and Venus Gender Contrast
to imply, if not state outright, that they're taking a brave stand against this trope in the name of Truth in Television
A slightly more realistic example is the occasional habit of making up false etymologies for innocuous phrases that supposedly have "unenlightened" origins. For example the claim that crowbars
were so named after the "Jim Crow" character and came from their use by slaves note
. "Xmas" is another common target by those decrying the "taking Christ out of Christmas."
Xmas as a term dates back over a thousand years; the "X" comes from the Greek letter "Chi", which was the first letter in the Greek word for "Christ". Even a word that sounds
wrong can fall victim to this; the word "niggardly
" (meaning stingy, miserly, related to "niggling" over trifles) has often been objected to, despite having no historical or etymological connection to the racial slur
it resembles phonetically.
is an especially unfortunate victim, since it originated in an African-American folktale (but has counterparts in folktales from other parts of the world with no significant history of blacks), and since became a common expression for "an attractive nuisance"
or "a sticky problem"
Parodies typically involve stylized New Speak
used in random areas the original does not cover as well as blatant Windmills
For more censorship-related hilarity
see also the Scunthorpe Problem
. A specific version of this exists in Japan called Kotobagari
, the exclusion of certain "sensitive" words. Compare and contrast with Society Marches On
, for works with political correctness for the wrong time period.
A Fractured Fairy Tale
is a "reimagined" Fairy Tale
often retold from a Politically Correct
viewpoint, Played for Laughs
If you're curious what political correctness
actually means, it's an originally Communist colloquialism related to the "party line", another phrase of the same pedigree; that which accords with the party line, and thus with the Communist Party's position on a given issue, is accurately described as "politically correct", while that which does not is not. (Ironically, on many cultural issues the Communist Party has proven itself to be on the right, not the left.)
Examples of political correctness impacting stories
open/close all folders
- In the late 1980s, as Americans were becoming more health-conscious (itself an example of this trope), McDonald's introduced three kinds of salads, one of which was called "Chicken Salad Oriental" (and the "McDonald's Menu Song", recorded and released in 1989, reflects this). Neither the name nor the dish itself appears on the menu anymore, and in more recent decades other versions of that salad offered at other fast-food restaurants have taken to calling them "Asian salads." This is because, since the 1980s, many Asian-Americans have objected to being called "Orientals", claiming that it is a "colonialist" term and that it dehumanizes them because it's also used to describe things (such as "Oriental rugs").
- This ad for hot chocolate◊, complete with "gender neutral marshmallow snow being".
Anime and Manga
- Many 4Kids shows are famous for this.
- The 4Kids showing of Dragon Ball Z Kai had the removal of halos from dead characters (too religious, presumably). Instead, they were replaced by small glowing orbs. Also, painting Mr. Popo blue (due to fear of him being seen as a caricature of black people, ignoring the fact that every single prior American airing of Dragon Ball left him as is).
- In their dub of One Piece, one of Buggy's pirates was given a Race Lift from black to white; as the character is drawn with prominent lips, this was supposedly to remove a racial stereotype. No lie.◊ Depending on one's perspective, the Unfortunate Implications of literally "whitewashing" a character can make them look at least as racist as the stereotype they were trying to prevent.
- 4Kids also colored Miss MerryChristmas's green Christmas tree tie to purple and renamed her Miss Groundhog's Day (Though admittedly, given her abilities, the rename actually fits more than the original name). They also removed anything in the show even resembling a cross, regardless if it was supposed to actually be one or not. This even included medical crosses.
- They changed Zakuro's/Renee's weapon from a cross to a stick in their badly mangled Tokyo Mew Mew dub (as "Mew Mew Power"). They also went out of their way to airbrush her cross necklace in every shot, as well as to cut shots of her praying at a cathedral and censoring the giant cross in said cathedral, which was the setting of one battle. Surprisingly, they aren't always consistent about what they censor: an early episode of Pokémon had Misty holding up a real cross and specifically referring to it as such.
- The 4Kids dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! was known for removing any blatant religious symbolism, regardless of faith. This included a Star of David in the first episode, which was turned into a generic triangle.
- The Viz release of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga changed an image resembling a crucifix (a man nailed onto a cross) into a man nailed to a stone slab.
- According to FUNimation, Saban wouldn't let them say "idiot" in their original dub of Dragon Ball Z.
- Marvel Comics stopped working with the Comics Code Authority for a while after they refused to approve an anti-drug comic on the basis that the comic had drugs in it.note Something the government would have done nothing about because it was their idea.
- After Infinite Crisis, the DC Comics Christmas one shot was going to be named "Infinite Christmas". It was solicited and advertised as such, but when it actually came out it was called "Infinite Holiday", pretty much eradicating the original pun.
- In the Uncanny X-Men graphic novel God Loves Man Kills, Kitty Pryde's dance teacher Stevie Hunter attempts to keep Kitty from beating up a boy who'd called her a "mutie lover" (not knowing that Kitty herself was a mutant), by telling Kitty that "they're just words." Kitty immediately throws Stevie's seeming hypocrisy in her face, asking her if she'd be so calm had the boy called Kitty a "nigger lover." This is the second time Kitty has used the word "nigger" to highlight hypocrisy and xenophobia. Both examples got a lot of flak and continue to do so, where a number of readers objected to the use of the word even if it was to make a point about tolerance. (Admittedly, part of said objections were disquiet with explicitly equating fictional prejudice and fictional slurs with real-life prejudice and real life slurs, instead of leaving them in the realm of subtext.)
- The Avengers
- Somewhat lampshaded during Kurt Busiek's run, where the team was forced to add at least one ethnic minority to its decidely-white roster. Iron Man spends most of the issue complaining about how idiotic the notion of "diversity" is, while The Wasp feels crappy after realizing just how few minority members the team actually had up until that point.
- A much earlier issue from the 1980s had a similar set-up, but with a much more negative message. Hawkeye is unfairly kicked off the team in favor of The Falcon (an African American), and Falcon ultimately quits because he hates the idea of only being asked to join the Avengers to serve as the Token Minority.
- The character Carla Cortez represents this trope in the independent comic Druid City. Carla is a leftist feminist who campaigns to change the meaning of words or to discourage others from using them. She often chooses to support these causes to the detriment of more pressing leftist causes.
- This is a common problem with advertising Christmas movies. Even if something is clearly about Christmas, or a family is shown celebrating a holiday that is clearly Christmas (the calendar itself is saying that it's December 25), mention of the word "Christmas" will often be bowdlerized into "Holidays" in the marketing campaigns.
- In Germany, swastikas on all promotional material for Inglourious Basterds are censored. While the depiction of swastikas is technically illegal in Germany, the law clearly states that this ban does not apply to works of art (among other things). The law, however, does not exempt commercial use and advertising, so leaving the swastika out of promotional material is actually prescribed. (In other words: You can have a swastika in your movie, but you cannot have it in the posters you use to advertise it.)
- Similar to the above entry, Pacific Rim's Hungarian trailers couldn't mention the name Gipsy Danger, in order to avoid offending Romani people. Despite it playing a pivotal role in the film and being controlled by good guys, the combination of words in its name was seen as terribly racist by many, which is an understandable reason for omitting it, but the name, along with all the robot names, is left untranslated in the movie itself, and that seems to have caused no controversy.
- When Iron Man 2 was released in China, every instance of the word "Russian" was made inaudible. No explanation was given for why, although theories abound in the comments ranging from China thinking viewers would be distressed by a Russian villain, trying lend a courtesy to their longtime ally nation, or instead trying to distance themselves from Russia by obscuring all mention of it.
- The 2012 remake of Red Dawn was repeatedly delayed, and eventually underwent a partial re-shoot in order to avoid offending the Chinese. Instead, the villain is an Acceptable Target (North Korea).
- Star Trek changed the opening lines from the original series from "To boldly go where no man has gone before" to "To boldly go where no ONE has gone before," most probably to avoid sexism.
- The non-fiction book Who Stole the News mentions an incident when a reporter on an aircraft carrier was reprimanded for saying that the blast from a jet plane could "blow a man overboard". He was told to change it to "person", whereupon he pointed out a) there were no women on board U.S. Navy aircraft carriers in a combat zone (it was the first Gulf War) and b) it was a Man Overboard drill not a Person Overboard drill.
- The Language Police by Diane Ravitch is about this phenomenon, specifically when applied to textbooks. It even includes a huge glossary of "banned words" and other material that has been banned from the texts.
- While considered English classics, both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn get a lot of flak for their use of the word "nigger", despite the fact that it is politically appropriate for the setting, and neither of the books condone slavery. In fact, the latter book revolves around a slave's journey to freedom.
- In fact this is played for laughs in one joke edition of the books, where "nigger" is replaced with the far more politically, if not actually, correct "robot"
- Common problem with "The Nigger of the Narcissus", a novel by nowadays classic Joseph Conrad... It has it in its title, so it is quite frequent to rise really heated debate in public libraries and schools. No racism intended in the novel, nigger being a completely acceptable term at the time for any black person.
- It was a bad word back then, not because it was offensive to black people (there being statistically hardly any blacks in Britain in those days) but because it was a "crude" lower-class word that socially diminished the person using it. In that regard, were it not for the racial connotation, "The Nigger of the Narcissus" might actually be praised for having a "down-to-earth" or "anti-elitist" title (comparable to, say, "The Bastard of the Narcissus" or "The Bitch of the Narcissus").
- In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus asks Scout not to say "nigger" because "it's common," meaning this.
- The H.P. Lovecraft novella "The Rats in the Walls" features a black cat by the name "Nigger", after Lovecraft's actual pet. It's changed (often creatively) in every adaptation.
- In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, Donovan uses this ironically, addressing a rock — excuse me, silicon-based lifeform.
- In the German translation of Pippi Longstocking, the word "Negro King", being the title used for Pippi's father, was considered inappropriate for obvious reasons. note It was replaced with "South Seas King" in the book's 2009 edition. With the old title still being present in earlier editions, some Moral Guardians advise parents to replace the word themselves, or "skip" it, among with other "problematic" passages when reading the book out to their children.
- Patti Smith has been accused of racism because of her song "Rock N Roll Nigger". Similar accusations have been leveled against Yoko Ono for "Woman is the Nigger of the World".
News and other Media
- This brief, isolated, yet hilarious example. Apparently, looking for reliable workers counts as discrimination against unreliable people, with an equally hilarious implication that unreliability is not a bad thing.
- Subverted: when the Smithsonian "Museum of the American Indian" opened, a petition quickly pulled up to change it to "Native American". It was quashed by request of none other than the Muscogee High Chief.
- A college campus newspaper once interviewed flautist R. Carlos Nakai, who objected to the term "Native American". He preferred instead to be referred to as a member of his specific tribe, or even generically as an Indian (his reasoning being that the term "Indian" was the result of an honest mistake that just happened to stick, whereas "Native American" imposes a nationality not of his choosing). Nonetheless, the article ignored his request and went on to refer to Nakai as a Native American at least five times despite his objection to the term.
- Many actually call themselves "Indian people" and prefer this. Activists point out that "Indian" is the word used on the treaties, so it's wise to keep it in legal contexts — like for reacquisition of land.
- Calling someone an actor regardless of their gender is slowly becoming standard practice, and many thespians prefer it. Sophia Loren was called an "actor" in her Charlie Rose interviews, for instance. Fridge Logic strikes, however, when one considers the Unfortunate Implications inherent in assuming that the feminine suffix -tress automatically implies a position of lesser respect than the male suffix -tor, and that females must therefore assume a masculine title if they wish to be respected. Newspapers have also sometimes fallen afoul of some amusing complications arising from the practice:
- The Guardian, a left-liberal British newspaper which is the polar opposite of the Daily Mail, insists in its style and usage guide to contributors that the word "actress" is now obsolete, and all members of the thespian profession, regardless of gender, should be called "actors". As many (but by no means all) female thespians prefer to be called "actors" these days, this may be for the good and takes individual wishes into account. The Guardian's stablemate, the Sunday Observer, appears to ask first how the lady wishes to be described and uses actress/actor according to her wishes. However, this came unstuck when one day the Guardian had to publish an obituary for a deceased Italian film director, who in life had been a notorious Berlusconi with regard to the casting couch. It found itself using the phrase "He was notorious for the sheer number of aspiring young actors who he seduced" - thus, in accepted general English usage, giving the impression the director preferred men instead of women.
- The Guardian again became unstuck on this one when reporting on the wedding of American entertainer Ellen deGeneres. The caption to the photo described Ms deGeneres as celebrating her nuptials with a fellow "actor". Thus inadvertently changing Ellen's sexuality and gender preferences to heterosexual in one fell caption.
- The NCAA once attempted to strike North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" team name as "derogatory". Basic summary of the response to the NCAA by actual Sioux: "Fuck you."
- The Spirit Lake tribe did approve the Sioux nickname, but the governing council of the Standing Rock tribe (the other Sioux in North Dakota) refused to even let the matter go to a vote, which is not only a functional rejection, but a veto of the Spirit Lake vote. Finally in 2012, a significant majority of the voting population of North Dakota decided that the fight wasn't worth it anymore, and voted to stop fighting the NCAA on the matter. So, as of the 2012-13 season, the University of North Dakota has no nickname, as they work to decide on a future one.
- The NFL has gotten a lot of flack for the Washington Redskins.
- One main image problem the Redskins have is the fact that their original owner, George Preston Marshall, who was one of the founders of the modern National Football League, pressured all the other team owners not to draft or sign a single nonwhite player until 1946 (this despite the presence of black players in the original NFL in the 1920s), and also because Marshall himself refused to sign any black players for his team until 1962. Despite these marks on his character, Marshall is still in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (he's too seminal a figure in American football history to be omitted) and the Redskins still have his name proudly displayed on one of the many banners decorating the perimeter of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
- Indian people themselves are divided to the suitability of the "Redskins" name. Some point out that "Redskin" can also be a term of pride and that there are more important issues to be concerned about.
- Native imagery in sports is an ongoing debate. Many Cleveland Indians fans would be reluctant to change their team's name, although few are willing to actually defend the caricature known as Chief Wahoo on any platform other than "he's been there for decades, it's tradition". This type of topic has been known to fan a Flame War here and there. As far as the NCAA goes, though, if the representative tribes give their approval, a school can keep their nickname (such as the Florida State Seminoles).
- The topic of the Cleveland Indians is particularly egregious, as there is some evidence that the team was named after an Indian who had played extremely well. Then again, there's just as much evidence that this was only a Retcon, and, in any case, Chief Wahoo has only tradition to justify its use.
- Because a historical display put up in North Carolina's old house chamber for the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War included a Confederate battle flag, the entire display was shut down due to protests by the NAACP over its presence. That's right, even though the historical context of the flag in the display was acknowledged by the complainant, a commemoration of the Civil War was still considered an inappropriate place to display a Confederate battle flag. Story here.
- There was one school in Utah that was forced to change its name from the Cougars to avoid offending middle aged women (for whom "cougar" is a term). Unfair and ridiculous, since the zoological definition precedes the offensive sense of the word by centuries.
- Not to mention "Cougars" is probably one of the most ubiquitous sports teams names, falling under a derive of "The Wildcats" (yes, we even have a trope for it).
- From the July 7, 2013 episode of WNYC's Radiolab, crossing over with the Scunthorpe Problem: A right-wing Christian publication replaced every instance of "gay" in an article with "homosexual". Sounds okay, right? Not when the article is a sports piece about a player with the last name "Gay".
- Similar Artificial Stupidity did the same to veteran Irish TV personality Gay Byrne. In his case, Gay is a long-accepted Irish diminutive of the name "Gabriel".
- In an overlap with N-Word Privileges, any given NPR (probably other news outlets as well) segment will not allow their hosts to use the word "nigger". However, black guests are sometimes allowed to use the word un-bleeped, resulting in a conversation in which one half uses the word openly in a theoretical context and sounds like an intelligent adult, while the other half must use the euphemism "the N-word" and ends up sounding like a third-grader, even though more often than not they are both in complete agreement about the context in which the use of the word is harmful.
- This American Life staffer Elna Baker, talking about letters from listeners about drug experiences, mentioned that several people on mushrooms had had visions of a Native American elder beckoning them along a path. Both Baker and host Ira Glass characterized such visions out of hand as "racist".
- Salon online magazine ran a Randa Jarrar rant about "white bellydancers" that was promptly demolished by commenters from all races, including a number of professional raqs sharqi instructors.
- Oxford University Press came in for some criticism when the BBC revealed that their editorial guidelines for children's textbooks prohibited mentioning pigs or sausages or pork products, so as not to offend Muslims or Jews. Muslim and Jewish leaders were quick to protest that they were perfectly fine with mentioning pork, just not eating it.
- The Turner Network intended that CNN would change the user of the word "foreign" to "international". This directive accidentally became applied to all Turner Network companies. Including WCW, who subsequently changed the wrestling term for weapons like chairs, tables and so on, "Foreign Objects" to "International Objects".
- Cards Against Humanity, launched with the philosophy that there are no such things as Unacceptable Targets, has softened this stance and removed cards such as "Date Rape" and "Passable Transvestites" from later releases. Interestingly, the 19-year-old trans gentleman who most famously protested the "Passable Transvestites" card has since recanted, saying that it was not okay for him to single out only transgender people as Unacceptable Targets and he never meant for his post to go viral.
- When Star Trek: Voyager was launched, media described Tuvok as an "African-American Vulcan" when, as an alien, he was neither African nor American. Of course, the actor is. note
- The Pokémon Jynx was originally designed with black "skin" and is based on a combination of a Japanese spirit called a yama-uba and ganguro women. A woman named Carole Boston Weatherford complained about Jynx's racial offensiveness since they resemble the golliwog, a racist caricature, so Jynx has since been redesigned to be purple. Complaints about the changes still persist.
- To avoid swear words being seen, later Pokémon games have made it so you can't name your character, or nickname a Pokémon with a swear word or similar inappropriate words, and have the same words banned in no less than 11 different languages. The problem is that even if one of the words is part of a totally innocent word or name, it won't go through. Even if you hack your own copy of the game so it will, the problem persists while trading between games. This even caused problems with un-nicknamed Pokemon — for example, there was a period where one monster, Cofagrigus, couldn't be traded unless it was nicknamed to something supposedly more appropriate!
- Players of World of Warcraft used to be able to get a pet Maine Coon cat until a small but extremely vocal group of players whined to have it removed. When other players pointed out that Maine Coon was a real life breed of cat and not racist in any way, the complainers switched to complaining about the Orphaned Etymology of the name, and ultimately succeeded in getting it changed.
- The name of the weapon "The Nicker" was changed to "The Blackrock Slicer" because the former name was enough to create a hurricane of racist jokes. Originally it was called that because it was a two-handed battle axe with a blade in the shape of an oversized razor blade; the joke being that getting cut with it was like nicking yourself shaving, only much worse.
- In City Ville, players can build a Wedding Hall as a Community Building. It looks like a church, with no other religious iconography. After arguments that it wasn't inclusive enough, Wedding Halls are now a nondescript building with two giant rings on it. Those who already had the church can still keep it.
- The original intro of Street Fighter II featured generic white man and black man characters getting in a fistfight. Instead of being seen as an attempt at racial diversity (not that the game didn't have plenty of it in the first place), Capcom was accused of racism solely because said sequence shows a black guy getting punched by a white guy. Later releases of the game have both characters as white.
- The HD Remix, replaced an image of the Indian god Ganesha in the background of Dhalsim's stage with the Taj-Mahal, a more generic Indian symbol.
- As mentioned under Film above, swastikas and Nazi iconography pose a particular problem for releases in Germany. And unfortunately, video games are not protected as "art" in the same was as films, so any game set in the European Theater during World War II must remove all swastikas from the game for the German release.
- In 2010, Microsoft banned someone from Xbox Live because he (truthfully) identified his home location as Fort Gay, West Virginia (the town's actual name). Fortunately, they retracted the ban after the town representatives spoke up. They also banned someone for entering "Dick Wood" into the name field of their Xbox Live account. His name is, in fact, Richard Wood. After he complained, they enforced the ban on the justification that it's against the rules to use your real name for a username.
- Some of the examples on the pages for Family-Unfriendly Aesop, Unfortunate Implications, and other related tropes can dip into this when people start reading too deeply into things. Please don't list anything specific, alright?
- The online comics community scans_daily is probably more famed for this than for anything else, with a long list of rules that is dedicated almost solely to how not to offend anybody (and thus get banned), with the rules for posting comics as almost an afterthought.
- Reddit has the Shit Reddit Says "fempire", which mostly collects misogynist sayings on Reddit, but polices language in its own community, much like scans_daily. Rule number one is "don't break the circlejerk": if you don't know why it's offensive, they're not going to explain it to you... rudely. ("I'm not here to educate you" is a common saying in social justice activism.)
- Not Always Right has a few example of customers becoming angry when someone uses a culture-specific term for a holiday (Merry Christmas), rather than a politically correct general term (Happy Holidays). It sometimes happens in reverse when highly religious customers become furious when someone says something other than their culture-specific term (Wishing Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas).
- This Not Always Working post. It's about an Opinion Override incident where the co-worker doesn't even get the race of the guy she's being offended for right.
- Inverted here. A customer was upset there wasn't a Caucasian Dora plushie. So upset, she demanded to get a white Dora, until the employee says they don't make those. Then she just leaves and says she'll take her business elsewhere.
- Fanlore has an extensive article about Race Fail 2009, and numerous examples of social justice arguments in specific fandoms.
- Looney Tunes shorts have been victims of this for a long time. Many older shorts are sprinkled with content no longer considered suitable for children (even though children are most likely not even going to understand what they're seeing, and at worst will probably just become frightened at the stereotyped characters' grotesque appearances), which means that some scenes get cut and leave the overall effect pretty disjointed. Others are never shown on kids TV at all anymore, only to adults who seek them out and are assumed to be able to understand the context they were written in. Even worse, segments that poke fun at white ethnic groups do not get cut, even though it's acknowledged that they're also insulting.
- The DVD releases for most of the older (pre-1960s) animated shorts now come with a disclaimer regarding how such racist overtones were once acceptable behavior, but the publishing company is only including it to be accurate.
- Speaking of which, Speedy Gonzales was a victim of this, as his cartoons were taken off the air for many years due to the idea that Mexicans would find the stereotyping offensive. The irony of it all is that a whole lot of Mexicans actually ''love'' Speedy, and a few years and several petitions later, he's back on the air.
- Disney's Pocahontas is often accused of this, but it actually wasn't that bad - although it did feature a very bowdlerized Politically Correct History (albeit with a Politically Incorrect Villain) for a story that claims to be based on real events.
- When MTV and the Disney Channel aired The Beatles cartoon in the late 80s, they left out the first season opening due to a scene where Ringo fools a bunch of screaming girls by impersonating a Chinaman. Several episodes that had ethnic stereotypes (Arabic, Mexican and Japanese, mainly) were left out as well.
Examples of political correctness being parodied
- Audi used this in their Green Police Ads. Essentially the gestapo in smart cars. Predictably, many anti-environmentalists were offended and claimed that the ad had Unfortunate Implications, apparently not realizing that it was just a gag.
- Virgin Mobile used this in their advertisements during the winter of 2007-2008. 
- Snickers had a football team being blessed before the big game by about twenty different holy men, a priest, a rabbi, an American Indian shaman, etc, all in the name of Political Correctness, with the implication this was going to take all afternoon.
Anime and Manga
- The Axis Powers Hetalia OVA "Paint It White" is about a race of aliens who use light to change everyone into gray emotionless faceless humanoid creatures, in an attempt to get them to stop fighting and pouting. They set up a base with Off Model versions of several countries' famous landmarks around it.
- For a brief period in X-Factor, humans were known as "genetically challenged" or "geecees" for short. The character who coined the phrase was being funny, but it still caught on...
- An old strip from The Wizard of Id had the King of Id threatening to imprison anyone caught telling ethnic jokes. When one of his guards quips "We don't have a Chinaman's chance of making that stick," the next panel shows said guard in the dungeon.
- Wet Blanket from Empowered personifies this trope. Strangely, working together with supervillains is no problem for him.
- The independent comic Druid City features a Straw Feminist character named Carla Cortez who supports ridiculously politically correct causes. She once lobbied to changed the name of Asperger's Syndrome, and protests that female cockroaches should be renamed vaginaroaches.
- The Dutch series De Familie Doorzon regularly has fun with this. When you have a family consisting of on one side a conservative right-wing father and his Surinam-born son-in-law, and on the other side a tree-hugging stuck-in-the-seventies left-wing mother, an overly sensitive gay son and a Drop-In Character who's been filling all kinds of New Age roles it's difficult not to. In one joke they try to redefine the Saint Nicholas tradition the be "non-racist" (Black Pete is now an "allochtonous compagnion"), non-denominational ("Friend Nicholas" in stead of Saint Nicholas), environmentally friendly (uses a water-bike in stead of a steam boat) and non-repressive (naughty kids don't get punished but receive "intensive guidance").
- One of the early issues of the Heroes Reborn Avengers series has a scene where a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent mentions that there are some people who are upset with the lack of racial diversity in the Avengers line-up. Nick Fury scoffs at this and proceeds to insult anyone who would actually hold such an opinion, even though diversity continues to be a hot button issue in comics to this day.
- An issue of Justice League International had Black Canary chastise a Manhunter android by saying that it should have changed its name to "Personhunter", which would have been gender neutral.
- One of the Ultimate Avengers mini-series has a scene where the second Black Widow refers her teammate Tyrone as an "African-American", despite the fact that he comes from England. War Machine points this out and says that there's nothing offensive about calling him black, but Widow states that it still makes her uncomfortable and asks if "African-English" would be more appropriate.
- In Hawkeye 17, Clint Barton has a dream based on the fictional Winter Friends cartoon, starring superheroes based on winter holidays: Yaldog, Santalope, Menorable, Kwanzaagator, Rama-in-Pajamas, and Samantha Hain, the Pagan Princess. The Winter Friends theme song goes: "Wintertime's the best/Better than the rest/Snowball fights, shining lights, and multidenomnational, pantheistic, all-inclusive seasonal fests."
- In Gorsky and Butch, the main characters end up in medieval times and are accused of being "black mages". Gorsky (the black one) complains that it's racist, while a footnote states that, in politically correct language, the proper word would be "African-American mages".
- The movie PCU is a Wacky Fratboy Hijinx film set against the backdrop of a I-can't-believe-it's-not-Wesleyan college where everybody protests everything. The movie's climax actually had the students protest that they were not going to protest.
- Parodied in Undercover Brother; the all-black B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D organisation has exactly one white employee, Lance (who is stereotypically 'white' — i.e nerdy, uncool and lame), who only has his job there because of affirmative action. He's often heard complaining about their politically incorrect attitudes towards him.
Lance: Always trying to shut the white man down.
Conspiracy Brother: THAT'S RIGHT! That's Right!... Oh, ain't right.
- In the remake of the film The Ladykillers, one of the characters (a foul-mouthed, "gangsta" black teen) is fired for hitting on a female customer. When he hears he's fired, he says his boss is doing it because he's black. The entire cleaning staff is black, and the guy doesn't fall for it until they bribe him.
- Lampshaded in Muppet Treasure Island when referring to 'Blind Pew'
Rizzo: He's some kind of blind fiend!
Gonzo: I believe they prefer 'visually challenged fiend'...
- In Dmitry Puchkov's Gag Dub of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King, Elrond insists on calling elves "Elven-Americans" to be PC. It's immediately corrected to "Elven-Newzealander", considering where the movie was filmed.
- In the French film Le Placard (The Closet), a salaryman learns that he's about to be downsized. On the advice of his neighbor, he allows "proof" that he's gay (he's not) to reach his office, reasoning that the bosses will never dare to fire an employee who's just been outed, because it would look like discrimination.
- In RoboCop 2, Robocop is revamped to be a more politically-correct role model by having over two hundred directives installed in his brain to teach "pro-social" messages (as defined by a committee). It drives him effectively insane.
- In Hot Fuzz, Sgt. Angel is such a By-the-Book Cop that he constantly interrupts his fellow officers to insert correct terminology ("police service" because "police force" is too aggressive, "staffing" instead of "manpower" because it's not fair to the female police, et cetera)
- Inverted with his use of "traffic collision" instead of "accident" since "accident implies there's no one to blame".
- And towards the end of the film, he lightens up when "staffing" is brought up, and makes an off-color comment about the female police officer "enjoying a bit of manpower." It should be noted that this officer had been making off-color comments in reference to herself the whole movie, and laughingly calls Angel a "cheeky monkey."
- Also parodied with the Sanford Police Station's swearbox, where the list of words the coppers have to pay to say is bowdlerized with asterisks, except for the worst of them.
- In Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen trolls a black talk show audience by, among other things, describing Africa as being full of "African-Americans" note and, when corrected, insisting that "Africans" is an offensive term.
- Demolition Man takes place in a strange future where everything improper has been completely scrubbed out of society, including anything that could possibly be offensive.
- Blackboard Jungle has the teacher of a notoriously troublemaking class demonstrate how hurtful their use of slurs can be. One of the students then tries to get him in trouble by reporting him for using those words in class, deliberately leaving out the context. Luckily, the teacher is quickly believed when he explains the truth.
- Kurt Vonnegut:
- In the short story Harrison Bergeron parodies the attitude of those who shriek about trying to generate more equality in society. It takes place in a future dystopia where everyone has been made equal by handicapping devices which curtail excess intelligence, strength, creativity, beauty, or any other natural advantage (and if you had an unnatural advantage, such as skill due to training, you were only allowed to use it to make yourself average). There's even a government official (The "Handicapper General") whose job is to oversee this. She's fond of using shotguns as a tool of equality. The TV movie had a similar take. The government remakes the world to look like the 1950s (because that's when Americans are thought to have been happiest); the death penalty is enforced—on live television—for crimes like jaywalking; in schools, you fail if you score too low... but also if you score too high; you're supposed to be embarrassed if you beat someone in chess too easily... And people are in favor of all this. One government official (in order to rule, of course, they must be free of the devices that inhibit them) explains to Harrison in a borderline non-sequitur that while this has resulted in a marked decline in, for example, the arts, if it had meant an end to atrocities like what happened in World War II, he would put the gun to Beethoven's temple (they were listening to Beethoven while watching footage of World War II) himself.
- In The Sirens of Titan, the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent has people handicap themselves so that everybody is equal—for instance, a good runner always carries a heavy bag to slow him down, or somebody with good eyesight wears glasses that nearly blind him.
- In the atheist-ruled world of Soon by Jerry Jenkins, Christmas has been replaced by 'Wintermas'. Apparently Jenkins felt that having 'Christ' in the world would have offended the Straw Atheist world government but the word 'mas(s)' is left untouched.
- Some Discworld novels feature the Campaign for Equal Heights, who protest about using terms like "short weight", and insist employers should hire three dwarfs for every two humans because humans are half again as tall. Most of their campaigners are human; dwarfs are baffled by the whole thing. (And if they do feel insulted by humans, they can make their feelings quite clear without any help, except possibly a battleaxe. Generally, though, a dwarf will answer such insults by outworking a human, making better stuff, getting more money, and buying his business out from under him.)
- There is also at least one human who has renamed himself Strong-in-the-arm and cranked up his prices because "Dwarf Made" is a synonym for quality. The Campaign for Equal Heights can't complain because it would require them to draw attention to his height as a disqualifying point.
- There are also the "differently alive" (not "undead") like vampires (hereditary) and banshees, not the same as "living impaired" for those who have died but are still walking around, or "vitally challenged" (not "dead") persons. Except in rare instances that those who have died and aren't walking around are considered lazy by people who should really know better (Reg Shoe, mostly). There was also, for a brief time, a group of humans who wanted to protect troll rights. Trolls never joined, because they thought they already had plenty of rights, what with being multi-ton masses of living stone.
- In Goblet of Fire and continuing on afterward, Hermione founds S.P.E.W. in order to free the house elves from slavery. The majority of the characters roll their eyes at this, suggesting that Hermione is taking it too far. It's later revealed that even the elves are against it, since they enjoy serving others. Dobby later tells Hermione that the house elves appreciate her sentiment and that she's thinking of their well-being, but what they don't appreciate is that she was trying to trick them into accepting clothing against their will, making them regard her as something of a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Latter subverted when it's suggested that the S.P.E.W. ideals motivated some house-elves to participate in the Battle of Hogwarts, and Harry attempting to be nice to Kreacher prompts the elf to tell him about the location of a horcrux. It's implied that Hermione has shifted her stance over time, however, as her understanding of the house-elf psyche has improved—she isn't calling for Harry to free Kreacher (as she might have in the previous two books, especially Phoenix); rather, she merely suggests that Harry treat Kreacher well.
- A story by Connie Willis called Ado, in which a high school student was trying to get her fellow classmates to read Shakespeare's plays while increasingly bizarre censorship blanked out the text entirely. For example, one group got Polonius's death in Hamlet censored because "curtains don't kill people, people kill people." Moreover Interflora wanted the scene where Ophelia is gathering flowers removed because it reflected badly on flowers. In the end only the very first scene between the guards complaining about the cold night was left. It was short some lines to boot.
- Incompetence by Rob Grant is set in a future United States of Europe where (based on actual laws proposed in France) it is illegal to discriminate against candidates for employment not only on the grounds of gender, age, race or creed, but on actual ability to do the job, with predictable results.
- MAD, appropriately enough, had an article like this wherein at the close of the article one person got to join the NBA despite being dead, and the horrible circus accident where a six-foot-tall "midget" clown suffocated inside a clown car along with his three-foot-tall co-workers because of being hired via affirmative action.
- It was also a Tom Lehrer one-liner.
- A duo of "children's books" called Politically Correct Bedtime Stories take this trope and run wild with it, to the point of parody and turning the old classics into something new and amusing in their own right. Ant and the Grasshopper? Ant gets arrested for illegal stockpiling. Princess and the Pea? The "Princess" turns out to be a medium who channels many different spirits, which makes for interesting mealtimes at the castle. Little Mermaid? The rescued prince ends up getting a genetic procedure done so that he becomes half-man, half-prawn, instead of her going to live up with him. And then there was the "Politically Correct Alphabet"...
- Though this is never explicitly stated, it's likely that this played a role in the development of the Utopia Justifies the Means society of The Giver. Even color is eliminated. Not just skin color — all color except black, grey and white. And couples don't actually reproduce through intercourse, but are assigned exactly two children (children are born to specifically designated Birth Mothers who are never seen) and every citizen begins taking medication during puberty to suppress "the Stirrings".
- There is a story called The Highest Treason by Randall Garrett. A society where you cannot say that one man can be better than another in anything, promotion is strictly according to age, and that society is quickly losing a war against aliens. So, the protagonist, as a desperate patriot, joins the enemy, helps them conquer a planet, and slaughters the people there, showing the humanity that one person can be ''worse'' than another. In the end, the humanity is victorious, and their philosophy is now that one man cannot be better than another in everything.
- The backstory of Fahrenheit 451 gives this as the reason for the censorship and banning of virtually all printed literature. Word of God states his point was television dumbing down people too much so they banned books because thinking become too strenuous. Guess he should have focused on the dumbness part more.
- The second Odd Thomas book, Forever Odd, has a hand in this. The Pico Mundo high school football team used to be called the Braves. Someone got it into their head that this offended the Native Americans in the area and so the school was forced to change their name to the Gila Monsters. They call themselves the Monsters, though, saving some embarrassment. The really stupid thing about this? NONE OF THE INDIANS WERE COMPLAINING. Truth in Television since most of the complaints for Indians aren't made by Indians. In fact, when the Smithsonian "Museum of the American Indian" opened, a petition quickly pulled up to change it to "Native American". It was quashed by a request from none other than the Muscogee High Chief.
- Paralleled in Real Life as the Washington Redskins are now being forced to change their name despite the team having this name for decades and that fact that not one person involved in the lawsuit against them was actually Native American.
- This video explains why a lot of Indians support the name "Redskins", associating it as a term of pride.
- In Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, Acheron (the villain) insists he's differently moraled.
- In the Swedish YA novel Omin Hammbe i Slättköping, Omin (a black kid, in fact the only kid in town who isn't purely ethnic Swedish) performs a prank with two friends at school. When he is exempt from punishment because the headmaster is afraid of looking racist, he gets very angry because the treatment is racist in itself: is the headmaster saying he can't be hold responsible for what he does because he is black (i.e., he's stupid)? That he cannot take detention because he is from Africa? He insists on going through with detention.
- Spoofed in a Harry Potter parody series named Barry Trotter. When Barry receives an ugly pair of pajamas from his children on his birthday, he comments to himself that they are "Gay with a side order of retarded." A footnote then adds: Or to be more politically correct, "These pajamas practice an alternative lifestyle and have special needs."
- In Kage Baker's The Company Novels, in the future alcohol, tobacco, sugar, chocolate, meat, fish, dairy... pretty much everything even remotely "bad for you" or involving possible discomfort to any animal, is illegal. Sex is being phased out as well.
- This 2013 story from the CBC Radio news-parody program This Is That involves a spokeswoman for a fictional protest group that wants to ban the phrase "happy holidays", on the grounds that it offensively assumes that the recipient is both happy and on holiday.
- Russell Peters has a piece where he's playing Bla... oh, sorry, African-Americanjack.
- Larry The Cable Guy did a routine where he translated Twas The Night Before Christmas into PC-speak. Non-Denominational Holiday Figure's trademark "ho ho ho" was replaced with "lady-of-the-evening lady-of-the-evening lady-of-the-evening"
- It was a regular feature on Blue Collar TV. He also had Snow Caucasian and the Seven Handy Capable Little Persons (including Mood-Enhanced Little Person, Slightly Mentally Impaired Little Person, and Little Person in Need of Anger Management, among others), Vertically-Challenged Native American Riding Hood, and The Tortoise and the Hare and the Non-Competitive Fun Run. There were a few others, but I can't remember their titles. All versions lampshade this trope endlessly.
- Bill Bailey: "[...] and a feminist jumped out of a manhole and she didn't like that".
- British comic Stewart Lee does a brilliant routine defending political correctness by discussing how insisting "political correctness has gone mad" has lost meaning due to people using it as a Strawman for everything they disagree with:
[On his Nan abusing the term to confusion] "In the old days, you could get your head and you could submerge it in a vat of boiling acid, and now they're going 'Oh, don't do that, what if Jews see it? It'll annoy the Jews'."
- Robin Williams, in reference to people complaining about mentioning God in the Pledge of Allegiance, suggested, "How about, 'One Nation, under Canada, over Mexico'!"
- During Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special, this exchange with Achmed the Dead Terrorist (who is trying to sneak into the United States wearing a Santa hat) happens, all lampshaded:
Your disguise is this Christmas hat? Achmed: No! Don't say "Christmas"! It's a holiday hat. Jeff:
Why can't I say "Christmas"? Achmed:
You offend the other infidels. Jeff:
You're afraid of offending people. Achmed: Yeah. Jeff:
But you're a terrorist. You kill people. Achmed:
That's different. Jeff:
Killing folks is easy. Being politically correct is a pain in the ass.
- And earlier, with Walter:
Jeff: So, Walter, Happy Holidays!
Walter: *beat* You're *really* going to do this, huh?
Jeff: So, Walter, Happy Holidays!
Walter: Screw you, it's Merry Christmas!
- Dara O'Briain has a routine in one of his stand-up shows in which he describes receiving a letter of complaint from a gay-rights campaign after making a joke about Elton John writing the score for a musical version of Billy Elliot because "he saw a little of himself in Billy Elliot", which accused him of contributing to "a culture of violence against gay men." It's played with in that O'Briain, while clearly finding their specific accusation a bit ludicrous ("their previous target was Robert Mugabe ... and now me."), initially describes his defensive reaction before conceding that the complaint had a point, he had no real defence for it and as an Irishman he's benefited quite a bit from increased politically correct attitudes so really doesn't have much cause to complain about them. He also goes on to point out that a lot of typical defences of politically incorrect material from stand-up comedians such as "civil rights, comedy's obligation to say the difficult thing and freedom of speech" tend to sound a bit lofty and pretentious for what are, most of the time, basically dick jokes.
- While joking about her experiences in the Deep South, Rene Hicks stated that she doesn't respond to the N-Word, as she prefers "Mahogany-American". She immediately jokes that all the white people in the audience were probably looking around going "Did they change their name again!?"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- A large banner in the Magic Shop reminds everyone that Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance are coming.
- In "Pangs", several characters (most notably Willow) are ambivalent about fighting a Native American spirit seeking revenge due to the atrocities committed against his people, despite the fact that he's killing innocent people who had nothing to do with said atrocities. It takes an epic The Reason You Suck speech from Spike to goad them into action.
- Buffy is arguing with Angel, saying she can't trust him because he's a vampire. When Angel takes offense, she snarks, "I'm sorry, should I have said Undead American?"
- Ethan Rayne is giving the We Used to Be Friends speech to Giles, who points out that Ethan now worships Chaos. Ethan replies, "Oh, religious intolerance."
- Buffy's Watcher informs her she can't leave Sunnydale to go to college, being The Chosen One. Buffy whines, "You can't just define me by my Slayerness! That's... Something-ism."
- Wesley once appeared with a black eye after saving a pair of power walkers from being devoured by a Hacklar demon. The injury wasn't inflicted by the demon.
Wesley: Apparently she felt I'd disrespected the Hacklar's culture by killing it.
- In the fifth season Harmony proves to be extremely accepting of cultural differences, arguing in defense of a cultural imperative to dismember virgins, and bringing a live camel into the office so Angel could slaughter it and offer pieces of it to their clients. Of course, she doesn't have a soul.
- Season one had an episode called "Sense and Sensitivity" which gleefully parodied this trope. A demon used magic to cause the L.A.P.D. to become politically correct beyond the point of lunacy, not only in order to control them, but to cause general mayhem. In a day, all the police are "sharing their feelings", that is, babbling incoherently and pathetically about all the injustice and pain in the world, and showing weakness and an aversion to violence in front of hardened criminals. The entire precinct is almost overrun.
- Then we have Angel's own Berserk Button regarding the politically correct attitude thinking that vampires sleep in coffins - it's actually an offensive stereotype that seemingly originated solely from Dracula's own weirdness, and doesn't remotely apply to anyone else.
- In an episode of All in the Family, Archie did this intentionally. When a black man said that Hispanic people tended to avoid birth control, Archie responded, "Well ain't that the black calling the kettle pot?"
- There was an episode where Elliot had apparently been practically assaulted for singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at a karaoke, and outright told she, as a white person, could never try to sing that song. At the end of the episode she does again and is given a murderous look by a black doctor.
- Another episode featured JD on a first date with his new girlfriend (who is black). During the date they end up at the hospital and JD orders a resident to do something trivial before laughing about it...
JD: It's so great because the residents are practically our slaves.
In JD's head: Ah! I just said "slave" to my new, black girlfriend!
- A similar thing occurs when Turk's brother comes to visit, and he makes Turk sleep on the couch while he takes Turk's bed, justifying it because he paid for Turk's medical school.
JD: We should, like, make him be our personal slave.
Turk's Brother: Our personal what now?
JD: Uh, I didn't mean-
Turk's Brother: How about this? How about he be the house slave, and I be the field slave. That sound like fun to you?
JD: No, that doesn't sound fun at all.
Turk: What's going on?
Turk's Brother: I forgot how much fun it was messing with Alfalfa here!
- 30 Rock
- In one episode, Liz discovered that she simply could not tell her black date that she disliked him as a person without being Mistaken for Racist. At the end of the episode, the following conversation is set to inspirational music:
Liz: Can't one human being not like another human being? Can't we all just not get along?
Steven: Liz, I wish it could be like that. And maybe someday our children or our children's children will hate each other like that, but it just doesn't work that way today.
Liz: So what you're saying is that any woman that doesn't like you is a racist.
Steven: No, no, no, no, no. Some women are gay.
- In the first episode of My Name Is Earl, Earl refers to a gay man as "gay", then to avoid offending him follows up with, "Sorry... Homosexual-American?"
- A Touch of Frost has Detective Frost wincing every time he accidentally uses a phrase like 'keeping in the black' in front of his black coworker. She eventually tells him that he doesn't need to alter the English language for her.
- Another episode has Frost make racist comments about a new black officer, but only when Mullet is around. Just to screw with him.
- Thoroughly parodied in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Santa Claus with the song Merry Christmas... If That's Okay.
- COMPLETELY subverted in the actual episode, with Santa's multicultural montage of his helpers.
- Also parodied in Track of the Moon Beast:
Paul: I just blacked out.
Mike: Uhh, excuse me, you "African-Americaned" out.
- An episode of The Thin Blue Line parodied this, with Fowler ordered to get everyone at the station up to standard on political correctness. He makes a series of embarrassingly awful attempts to express enlightened views about race, gender and sexuality: "That would be the pot calling the kettle ... er ... African-American!" Even more absurd in that the series is set in Britain.
- The main schtick of Dean Pelton on Community (aside from being not-so Ambiguously Gay) is going overboard with political correctness. In the first Christmas episode he dresses up as "Non-Denominational Mr. Winter" and wishes people a "Merry Happy" and in the second, the college has designated "religious expression zones" with Christmas trees and menorahs cordoned off with yellow tape.
- In an attempt to create a school mascot with no features anyone could identify as stereotypically of a specific race, they ended up with a grey skinned, Uncanny Valley dwelling horror known as the Greendale Human Being."◊
- One MacGruber skit involved MacGruber being sent to learn about being racially sensitive after accidentally insulting an assistant, an African-American guy. MacGruber takes it so much to heart, he can't even say the names of colors like black or yellow (an insulting name for Asian people). Unfortunately, that's not the end of it.
- The sketch-comedy Almost Live! did a lot of good-natured sending up of political correctness, especially as it related to Seattle's liberal reputation and culture. One such sketch is linked here.
- No Reservations, Ace Of Cakes, and Dirty Jobs did Generic Holiday Episodes; Anthony Bourdane and Mike Rowe did endless lampshading. When Duff & Co. made a cake for No Reservations's holiday feast, they included all the holiday symbols.
- When Dick discovered white guilt on 3rd Rock from the Sun: "Angel food cake is white, devil's food cake black! Who gets to make the first move in chess? The white guys!"
- From Seinfeld
- The whole idea behind the Festivus pole.
- The "The Cigar Store Indian" episode has Jerry insulting his Native American girlfriend with the eponymous item, and spending the rest of the episode struggling with things like telling her he made a "reservation" at a restaurant. He offends an Asian mailman by asking where a good Chinese restaurant is, not noticing he was Chinese at first and figuring that as a mailman he'd know the neighborhood. She eventually dumps him when she gives him something and then tries to take it back and he stops himself a little too late from calling her an Indian giver.
- Episode The Outing. A reporter overhears Elaine joking about Jerry and George being gay. The spend the rest of the episode vehemently denying being gay, but always interceding with "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
- X-Play wishes all of its viewers a "Happy Non-Denominational Winter Season". The winter shows with this theme tend to depict the hosts with a forced air of polite cheer and vodka in place of their cocoa.
- The Daily Show had a segment where Jon spoke to two people on his news team: Al Madrigal and Jessica Williams. The two of them said they felt sorry for white men because they actually have to work hard in order to become successful, while minorities like the two of them don't have to do any work at all and just get everything handed to them due to this trope. Jessica said that as a black woman, she is particularly privileged. All she has to do is mail a picture of herself to a university and they mail her back a diploma.
- An unfortunate case in Malcolm in the Middle, in which Malcolm is reported for using "The R word," the joke being that it's impossible to tell what the word actually is. Trouble is, since the episode aired, "retard" has been designated as an offensive slur.
- Episode 3 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a scene where Santiago is speaking to a group of at-risk teens, and does an impression of a drug dealer. When one of the kids disgustedly asks why her impression sounds like a black kid, she quickly asserts that her fictional drug dealer is not black, at which point Gina then asks Santiago why she thinks black people are too incompetent to sell drugs.
- That Mitchell and Webb Look had sketches starring the incredibly offensive superhero Captain Todger, who is about every kind of -ist as well as an all-round tosser (literally, according to him) fighting against the supervillain General Drayfox, who is his perfect foil and, hence, embodies this trope wholeheartedly.
Let him kneel before me! Unless
of course he is an orthodox Jew and has an issue with kneeling for religious reasons, in which case I'll be happy for him to pay his obeisance in whatever way he finds culturally appropriate. Muahahahaha
- The Complete History of America (Abridged) includes a politically correct version of "America the Beautiful." Among other alterations to the lyrics, "God" is replaced with "non-theologically specific supreme being (if she exists)."
- When Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa was still running, it featured this trope for the holiday season. The AFS referred to it as "Seasonal Holiday Observance" or SHO, where major military bases would sport a "Festive Seasonal Holiday Observance Flora" (Christmas tree), under which soldiers could find "Holiday Hats" (a Santa Claus hat). The political correctness was probably tongue-in-cheek given the overblown military acronym style of the names.
- Graham Nelson's seminal interactive fiction game Curses used the phrase, "Call a spade a spade." This lead to protests from a surprising number of people who thought this was a racist phrase, when in fact it comes from ancient greek and really does refer to spades.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, this was Mr. Mination's fatal flaw: He refused to wear the Monarch of Crimbo's hat, since the color red is offensive to the colorblind, and the fur trim is offensive to naked mole rats. If you choose to fight Uncle Crimbo and win, he throws that hat on the ground, allowing Uncle Crimbo to take it, get his power back, and split Mr. Mination back into his composite elves.
- ClickHole does this, with articles written in the style of Buzzfeed and Upworthy, which are criticized for being patronizing and preachy. For example, the satire article, "Let's Have an Open Dialogue About Sexuality That Completely Validates My Point Of View" paraodies what is seen as a flaw in many social justice movements by detractors; an unwillingness to consider other points of views on topics.
- On Homestar Runner, resident Granola Girl Marzipan hosts a disturbingly politically correct school program called L.U.R.N. in the Strong Bad Email coloring. Students are referred to as "life-blossoms", classes are in a variety of environmentally conscious topics such as "eco-algebra" and "talking to animals", and coloring is done with crayons that have "politically correct" names (like "Crimson Suggestion" for "red") and can't actually be used to color, "so that no one life-blossom shines brighter than any other".
- In Red vs. Blue, Andy is a sentient bomb, and Caboose tells everyone to refer to him as an "Explosive-American".
- Don't even get Doc started with this. Any time anyone says anything that could possibly be construed as offensive toward anyone at all, he jumps in with the inane politically correct version. Most notable in one of the holiday specials, where he constantly corrects even himself.
- Sarge, of course, would have nothing to do with it. It doesn't work out well for him.
- "Piracy" is such a condemning word. How about "pre-emptive nautical salvage experts"?
- Speaking of World of Warcraft, The original Scourge Chat Log had a spider "discriminated against on the basis of his spinal condition" (he hasn't got one).
[BlizzardRep]: Phylumism, were it an actual thing, would go against everything we stand for as a corporation.
[An00b’arak]: yes thats what ive been saying thank you thank you
[An00b’arak]: >8< >8> <8< <8> >8< spider priiiiiide
- Those statements are "lactose intolerant". And not in that sense.
- From a deleted article on Wikipedia: Huperprogeny, a "politically correct" term for Human ("man"->"person", "son"->"progeny").
- The FanFiction Critic parodies this, in that every time a story she is reviewing misspells the interjection "Whoopie!" as "Woppie" or something along those lines, she will yell out "Hey! As an Italian-American, I find this very offensive!" as though the fanfic writer meant the ethnic slur instead.
- Mr. Butch from Chopping Block objects to some terms too.
- Penny Arcade conducts a sociological survey on double standards — so Please Check One (the inspiration is Resident Evil 5, which involves the killing of zombified Africans, when the main protagonist is white, and his partner is Not Too Black).
- El Goonish Shive has a character (already established as very Politically Correct) exclaiming in fear "An evil Monkey-American!" (the page's name before host overhauling was "Politically Correct to the Bitter End, though Ironically, I Think the Bloodgrem's British").
- pictures for sad children has a strip in which a father disapproves of his child staring at a man-eating monster because he "can't help the way he looks."
- A representative for the Giant Disembodied Zombie Heads (one of the basement-dwelling races in Skin Horse) takes offense at being called "undead", preferring the term "undead-american".
- As The Order of the Stick points out, Hasbro folk obviously cater to the lizard feminists.
- A good parody of "preventive groveling" style: Alt Text Luke Surl added to this Incredibly Lame Pun. And another one here.
- Pibgorn Troll? Hardly! Bridge substructure symbiont.
- Bobwhite: During her senior year, Cleo suddenly realizes that she's the only privileged white person in her circle of friends, so she begins apologizing to all her non-WASP friends for any hypothetical times she may have unintentionally oppressed them. Her friends just find it annoying.
- Sinfest shows us the power of positive thinking: "Victory-challenged", "virtue intolerant", "nutritional over-achiever". On several occasions, Slick can also be seen at the appropriately named "Politically Incorrect Cafe", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Kankri from Homestuck, as a parody of Tumblr and the Overly Narrow Superlative sect of the LGBT community, overly defines every potential facet of his caste system and tries way too hard to make sure nothing he says offends anyone in the slightest, often asking people for a detailed list of what would offend them before going into one of his monologues. He seems to be blissfully unaware that his attitude comes off as incredibly sexist and bigoted to his friends. It gets to his point where he actually criticizes a mentally-ill person who falls down a lot and has poor coordination for wearing a helmet on the grounds that it implies that all of the mentally-ill should be forced to wear helmets. Another character suggests that his political correctness is just a ruse to get away with backhandedly talking about his friends's flaws to their faces.
- He's also completely failed to notice that his entire society now consists of twelve trolls, and most of them really don't give a damn about the subjects of his speeches. Of course, he may just be ignoring this as it would refute his right to talk on and on at length.
- This goes so far that Karkat (of all people) reflects that, by just shouting everything he thinks in everybody's faces riddled with expletives, he is not just a more honest, but also a more respectful person - he actually tells people what he thinks.
- In Freefall the roof has handicapped access because most burglars break in that way.
- In an early Stan the Crow strip by Granitoons, the cartoonist censors anything that sets bad examples to the readers including Stan's corncob which promotes thievery and Farmer Giles' shotgun which promotes violence.
- The basic idea behind The Goode Family.
- In a latter-day episode of The Simpsons, the school is segregated according to gender by a staunch feminist, and Lisa is so disappointed with said feminist's "How do numbers make you feeeeeeeeel?" style of teaching (complete with light show) that she crossdresses herself into the boy school, which descended into chaos.
- In the 90's flashback episode, Marge's college teacher Professor August is being consistently and obnoxiously politically correct about everything he says and does, going way beyond an ordinary Soapbox Sadie. (When the New England Patriots are decisively beating the Washington Redskins on TV, he bursts into tears and calls the game a "genocide.")
- In an earlier episode, the kids bought ice cream from an ice cream van called "Native American Ice Cream (formerly Big Chief Crazy Cone)".
- South Park does this one several times a season. In "Death Camp of Tolerance", the kids are sent to the eponymous camp after they complain about Mr. Garrison being "gay"... when they're trying to say that Mr. Garrison is performing sexual acts in front of the class. At said camp, they are held at gunpoint and deprived of food.
- Subverted in that he WAS doing it to try to get fired, then sue the school for discrimination and make out like a bandit. He had actually tried just about everything OTHER than blatant sex acts in front of the class before resorting to it.
- It was also subverted in "Death Camp of Tolerance", when, after having just emerged from the Museum of Tolerance - where the boys were encouraged by the curator and their parents to be accepting of the life-choices of others - the curator yells at a smoker to go away (even though he was outside and away from the doors), with the parents joining in by calling him "dirty lungs", among other things.
- At the conclusion of the episode, after Garrison tries to explain, the town conclude Garrison and his lover, Mr. Slave, hate themselves. For hating gay people, they are sent to the Camp. Mr. Slave likes it.
- Additionally, in "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", Randy Marsh (Stan's dad) gets hounded everywhere as "that Nigger Guy" because he accidentally used a racial epithet on national television, (A quick explanation of how- It was wheel of fortune, the bonus round, the clue was "People that annoy you" and the letters were N_GGERS.The answer? Naggers.) even after he literally kisses Jesse Jackson's ass while seeking forgiveness. This episode slowly turns into a subversion of the trope by the end, though, when Congress becomes so outraged by the oppression of Randy Marsh and others like him that they ban the epithet "Nigger Guy".
- "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo" in which Mrs. Brofloski protests the school's Christmas play so that the school will remove the overtly Christian elements. The priest counter-protests that if they take Christ out of Christmas, they'll need to take out all the stuff about Santa Claus as well. They have to take down the Christmas tree due to objections by environmentalists and the lights because it may offend epileptics. One person even claims to be offended by mistletoe, though they don't explain why. So, what they get is an abstract avant-garde musical, with all the third graders prancing around in black unitards to ambient music and chanting. It's not received well, and the audience breaks out into a riot. At the end, Mr. Hankey delivers the Stock Aesop about how Christmas is about people being nice to each other and baking cookies. Cut to Jesus, alone in his TV studio, sadly singing "Happy Birthday to Me".
- Another episode has Cartman throwing a rock at Token because he thought Token called him fat. Because Token is black, the police consider it a hate crime and put Cartman in juvie. The boys (including Token) get him pardoned with a presentation they call "Hate Crime Laws-A Vicious Hypocrisy" which "made more sense than any presentation I've heard all year" according to the governor.
- In the Sealab 2021 episode "Article 4", nearly everyone on Sealab abuses the affirmative action policy to get promoted to Captain... except for Quinn, who's too proud and too sensible, and Stormy, who's too stupid.
- "Don't go out there, that black chick is crazy!"
- Pelswick had some examples of this. The title character, who uses a wheelchair, is often referred to as "differently able". In one episode he anonymously published a cartoon in the school paper that people objected to on the grounds that "differently able" people might be offended by it... and then blithely withdrew their complaints when it came out that Pelswick was the artist.
- Lampshaded in The Venture Bros. where Jefferson Twilight fights Blackulas for a living. When asked if he only fights African-American vampires, he responds "No, sometimes I fight British vampires, they don't have African-Americans in England! ...Look, I specialize in hunting black vampires, I don't know what the PC name for that is." The stealth joke here is that he probably does it so that white vampire hunters don't get accused of being racist when they kill black vampires.
- The in-universe explanation is that Jefferson saw his mother be raped and killed by Blaculas when he was ten.
Doctor Orpheus: Wow.
- In an episode of Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World, the gang goes to San Francisco for Pride Week, only to be shunned by the rest of the gay population for being normal-acting gay people, rather than extreme stereotypes. Also, the introduction to the Mayor's Welcome Speech lasts the entire episode, as he is sure to include the politically correct term for every sexual preference imaginable.
- In one Robot Chicken sketch, you see a standing in front of the Creature Fromthe Black Lagoon. Or as the creature would say.. .
- In an episode of Clifford's Puppy Days the family was on a trip for "Fall Feast" instead of "Thanksgiving".
- In an episode of "WordGirl", Becky's family hosts a 'Holiday' party, where everyone brings their 'Holiday' cheese (which of course, Dr. Two-Brains steals). The thing is... Well, there's Christmas trees and all that, not really any sign of any OTHER holiday; and they even sing "Oh, Holiday Cheese," which has the exact tune as "O, Christmas Tree." The episode is named, "Oh, Holiday Cheese." Mr. Botsford also makes a reference to "The Christmas Song": "I'm gonna roast some nuts. And I'm gonna do it over an open fire!" There is a slight chance that all this was intentional...
- In Duckman, Beatrice becomes one in terms of gender equality, at one point lobbying to change the term mailmannote to personperson.
Examples of stories complaining about it
Anime and Manga
- There's an episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei about prejudice. Near the end of the episode, Nozomu is about to have sex with a gay man because he thought that turning down his advances would be offensive. He did not enjoy it.
- At least 50% of Mallard Fillmore. The other 50% being Author Filibusters.
- Garfield also did this in a 2010 strip with the title character watching on TV cowboys in The Wild West dueling... with a lively game of tag. As expected, this ended up being perceived as a parody.
- This Baby Blues comic. Doubles as an Lawyer-Friendly Cameo-added homage to the Looney Tunes.
- Superman's denouncing of his U.S. citizenship had people raving that an American hero was being taken from them for the sake of being PC. In reality, however, Superman's reasons make a lot of sense, he's a hero to everybody, not just the States, and he doesn't want to feel like he has to be loyal to just one country, when the whole world needs his help. Also a mistake, deliberate or otherwise, on the part of the author about looking into the matter of Superman's citizenship, because at one time it was stated that he held honorary citizenship in pretty much every single country in the world, already making him a citizen of Earth. Combined with this, his decision to renounce his American citizenship and only his American citizenship is why it's interpreted as a deliberate snub.
- The David Zucker film An American Carol points out many of the fallacies, ill-logic and over the top rhetoric used by those who approve political correctness.
- One of the points of the 2012 Oscar-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty; to the point of being an Author Filibuster, painting a realistic and gritty image of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, not like it was presented by the government.
- The film Uncommon, which was made as propaganda by the right-wing group Liberty Counsel, deals with a public high school that under the guise of "Political Correctness" bans all forms of religious expression and threatens the student's Bible-based play.
- Brad Paisley and the Buckaroos released the "Cowboy Christmas Song", with the word Christmas getting bleeped, then the word White, finally leading them to sing the original version, ignoring the bleeps.
- The USAF fighter pilot band Dos Gringos has a song called You Gotta Be In The Guard, which decries the increasing restrictions on fighter pilot behavior. The Air National Guard, according to them, is more lenient on conduct than the Air Force.
News and Other Media
- One of George Carlin's last performances includes a rant about how the search for political correctness has masked the true nature of the things they are being renamed. He highlights this with the evolution of the term "Shell Shock" to what it's now usually called, "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder".
- Earlier, he'd criticized feminists for going too far with certain concepts. He agreed with renaming policemen "police officers" and firemen "fire fighters", but drew the line at "person-hole covers".
- "What do you call a ladies' men, a persons' person?"
- Stewart Lee is actually in favour of political correctness and one routine has described as "Tediously politically correct".
never mentions it, but the Conservative Party won a by-election in Birmingham, and they sent out little kids with leaflets that said, 'If you want a nigger for an neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour.' And if political correctness has achieved one thing, it's to make the Conservative Party cloak its inherent racism behind more creative language."
- Ralphie May's stand-up routine, Just Correct. The theme of the act is that he thinks America is trying too hard to be politically correct, while his goal is not to be politically correct, but instead, just correct.
- Frankie Boyle sometimes complains about political correctness, or as it was known in his day, spastic gay talk.
- DCI Gene Hunt from Life On Mars is highly politically incorrect and rather popular with the viewing public because of it. One of his more printable quotes is:
Dealers are so scared, we're more likely to get Helen Keller to talk. The Paki's in a coma, the evidence is about as hard as Liberace's dick when he's looking at a naked woman, and all in all, this case is going about as fast as a bunch of spastics in a magnet factory! [Beat
] What? Sam:
I think you left out the Jews....
- One subplot on The Sopranos involved the fiercely Italian guys from Tony's crew butting heads with a Native American group protesting their town's Columbus Day parade. note
- In one episode of Jonathan Creek, a police officer who rails against the death penalty being abolished turns out to have been the murderer and becomes the subject of a rather dark version of Hypocritical Humor.
- Subverted when Adam gets interested in endurance stunts, and has himself crucified in the park. Exactly zero people care.
- A season two episode of Rescue Me Kenny insults Laura, the only female firefighter in the house. After her complaint to HQ, the firehouse is subjected to sensitivity training, complete with condescending instructor and even-more condescending video. On the instructor's question of "So what did we learn today?" Gavin's first answer is "only white people can be racist?" The fire crew then launch into a mockery of the entire sensitivity program.
- From Doctor Who:
Shakespeare: "Who are you, exactly, and, more to the point, who is this gorgeous blackamoor lady?"
Martha (British, of Ghanaian and Iranian descent): "What did you say?"
Shakespeare (apologizing): "Oops. Isn't that a word we use nowadays? An Ethiop girl, a swarth, a Queen of Afric?"
Martha (angry): I can't believe I'm hearing this.
- An entire episode of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle is an extensive deconstruction of this phrase, defending political correctness.
- The entire series of Love Thy Neighbour. Interestingly, it was made during a time when political correctness extended as far as not using the "N" word (at least not in public), but it seems to make a mockery of racism and intolerance as a whole despite the liberal use of derogatives.
- Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special lampshades this trope at least twice:
Jeff: Well, Walter, you look very festive. Happy Holidays!
Walter: You know, there's something I've been wanting to say for a while: Screw you, it's Merry Christmas!
- And later, with Achmed the Dead Terrorist, who has donned a Santa Claus hat for the occasion:
Jeff: I like your Christmas hat.
Achmed: Oh, don't say "Christmas"; it's a Holiday Hat.
Jeff: Why can't I say Christmas?
Jeff: You're afraid of offending people? But you're a terrorist; you kill people.
Achmed: That's different. Killing folk is easy; being Politically Correct is a pain in the ass!
- In the '60s Red Skelton gave a monologue on his television show in which he went over the Pledge of Allegiance, explaining the meaning of each line, and expressing his concern that the inclusion of the phrase "under God" would cause the Pledge to be labeled as a prayer and banned from public schools.
- In the TV version of Pretty Little Liars, Emily's swim teammate's father accuses the team of giving Emily the spot over his daughter Paige because she's a...you know.
- The irony is that Paige is a lesbian, although one that is not out of the closet yet.
- In The George Lopez Show, George mentions Max's school's multi-faith holiday play that had Abraham, Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha all celebrating Kwanzaa.
- In Peep Show, Mark hates 'Political Correctness Gone Mad'. However this attitude is then parodied when Mark has an uncomfortable experience when he makes friends with Darryl, who also hates Political Correctness but turns out to be a racist.
- JAG: The very first appearance of Admiral Chegwidden on the show, in "Smoked", has him ranting a lengthy tirade about the state of political correctness imposed on the Navy in the wake of the Tailhook Scandal.
- The same topic is furthermore alluded to many times by other characters in the first and second seasons, in less explicit terms.
- In The West Wing President Bartlet, a devout Catholic, is given an almost 300-year old hand-drawn map of the Holy Land that he plans to frame and hang up in the White House, only to be told not to by his press-secretary, since some visitors might be offended by the map not recognizing the state of Israel.
You can't put it up in the West Wing. Bartlet:
It doesn't recognize Israel. Bartlet:
no Israel in 1709. CJ:
That's right. Bartlet:
So, it's not on the map. CJ:
Which is what some people are going to find offensive. Bartlet:
That is ridiculous! CJ:
You know what would be great? Bartlet:
Me hanging it somewhere else? You know Leo has — in what used to be his house when he was married — a map of the United States. The first third of it is the 13 original colonies. The second third of it is the French territory of Louisiana. And the third third is Mexico. In this map of the United States, there is not a single state. That's because when this map was made there was
no United States. I am the President of the United States and I am not offended by it. CJ: Well you're bigger than ten men, sir.
What do you say we put it away? Bartlet:
I'm having it enlarged and bolting it to the hood of my limo!
- An episode of Murphy Brown had the news anchors forced to attend a "Cultural Sensitivity" seminar after an on-air discussion on acceptable terminology included seemingly-innocuous phrases that offended various groups. Murphy actually complained that "Cultural Sensitivity" was merely a euphemism for "Political Correctness". That's right, folks—the phrase "Political Correctness" is no longer politically correct.
- In an episode of You Know Whats Bullshit, James Rolfe explains how people used to say "Merry Christmas", then someone decided the phrase was offensive to people who did not celebrate Christmas and pushed to replace it with "Happy Holidays", then people complained that not being able to say "Merry Christmas" was offensive to them... in conclusion, James suggested to replace all those phrases with "Happy Shut The Fuck Up".
- Seanbaby enlisted Frosty the Snowman to combat the War on Christmas in this comic from Cracked. What Frosty learns in his quest is A: the people whining about how offensive and exclusionary the word "Christmas" is are doing so on behalf of people who don't exist, and B: just let them whine, because Christmas is the most unkillable cultural achievement since pornography and it's not going anywhere.
- Also from Cracked is this Quick Fix about "racist" incidents that weren't actually racist. Although, to be fair, #3 on that list involves a word that is rarely used anymore, so the confusion caused by that one makes sense.
- This is inverted by Moviebob in his Big Picture video "Correctitude", where he claims that it's political incorrectness that's gone mad. More specifically, he feels that "PC" has been turned into a strawman by people trying to defend their sexism and bigotry.
- In this video made by the YouTube atheist, Thunderf00t, he argues that this trope is the core issue of the March 2013 "Donglegate" affair, as well as his comment on the short-lived "Ban Bossy" campaign.
- Youtube user InternetAristocrat has several videos dedicated to criticize and lampoon this trope, including his series "The Hugbox Chronicles" and "Tumblrisms".
- The actual phrase is used on two separate occasions in the animated show Bromwell High.
- On one occasion, one of the teachers suggests kidnapping someone and when told that's illegal he utters the phrase.
- In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzalez complain about not getting much work because of this.
- In one later season King of the Hill episode, a "diversity expert" was brought in to Tom Landry Middle School by the school board to make sure all the different minorities were "cooperating". He singled out Bobby's carnival committee to do a few experiments and eventually just heaped racial guilt on each member for things their respective cultures were responsible for. When Bobby insisted the students get back to work on the carnival, the expert made a comparison to the Nazi holocaust, and given that Bobby's grandpa Cotton is a WWII veteran, it really got to him. Instead of a carnival, the kids decided to just announce their "guilt" of various global atrocities until a riot almost started because they didn't finish the carnival. Hank, Peggy, and the other parents finished putting together the carnival, and the diversity expert weaseled out of any punishment by claiming it was his idea.
- In one Halloween episode, a overly religious woman complains about the celebration of Halloween, making it out to be offensive and satanic. As the whole neighborhood gets swept up by her nonsense, it ends up falling to the Halloween-loving Hank to step in and try to be the voice of reason.
- In one episode of The Simpsons, Ned Flanders is shown watching EVERY TV show and finds something "offensive" or just something to complain about on all he sees, except for two shows. If that's not Political Correctness literally Gone Mad... It doesn't stop there; even his sons tell him, in their own way, that he's gone off the deep end.
- Grampa Simpson typed a letter in a similar vein, requesting certain vulgar terms aren't put on air, including one that was said in an earlier scene in the same episode.
...you do know you can't say "woman" anymore, right? It's "breasted American".