[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/symbol_swearing.jpg]]]]

->''"Just in case there might be little ears around,\\
I won't say it, I'll just spell it out:\\
I feel like pound sign, question mark, star, exclamation point."''
-->-- '''Kevin Fowler''', "Pound Sign (#?*!)"

Over time, people have come up with various handy ways to insert swearing, or at least the recognition of swearing, without setting off the Censor Alarms. One of the oldest and easiest ways to do this is by inserting random %&$#?@! symbols. This method of censorship has been seen in newspaper comics from the beginning, making this trope [[OlderThanRadio Older Than Radio]].

Fun fact: The technical terms for such a stream of symbols is "[[BriffitsAndSqueans grawlix]]", or "profanitype".

More common in recent times is the use of asterisks instead of random symbols, a case of [[TWordEuphemism T-Word Euphemism]] at work. See SoundEffectBleep for the audio version, and NarrativeProfanityFilter for other ways of creatively conveying foul language.

A subtrope of PictorialSpeechBubble. See also SelfDemonstrating.SymbolSwearing.

!!@#$& Examples


[[folder:[+£§€$+] Advertising]]
* This [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1PNlZajtWM Porsche commercial]] for the [=GT2RS=]. Thoroughly appropriate.
* A series of magazine adverts for Tennants Lager featured a pint of lager in various situations, with a pithy phrase underneath including the red "T" logo. One of them showed the glass smashing onto the floor, with the simple caption "$#!T"
* An infamous advertisement for the Dragon 32 computer began this way:
-->'''You:''' "Darling, I've decided to buy a computer."\\
'''Her:''' "**++**??!!***@XX??££**??!!? off!"

[[folder:[+&*#*@+] Anime & Manga]]
* In a rare and rather strange manga example, in the second volume of the ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' manga, when Hughes tells Edward about the message from Roy, the curse word Edward uses to describe Roy is replaced with symbol swearing. However, the later volumes tend to leave in the swearing.
* The Viz-translated ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' uses this, primarily when Jotaro mutters his CatchPhrase. "Yare yare da ze" becomes "Gimme a $*&% break".
* Likewise, the Viz-translated ''Manga/PokemonSpecial''.
* In one chapter of ''Manga/SgtFrog'', a [[InVinoVeritas drunken]] Angol Mois offers herself to Keroro, though what she plans to do is replaced by random symbols and a caption reading "Not appropriate for those under 18".
* Used in the English translation of ''Manga/YuGiOh'', mostly for Bandit Keith and Jonouchi. Hilarious with Keith, as most if not all of his sentences have at least one.
* Used in the ''Anime/CodeGeass: Lelouch of the Rebellion'' manga to represent Lelouch's infamous [[ScreamsLikeALittleGirl girly scream]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' Chachamaru uses a form of [[UsefulNotes/{{Fonts}} Wingding font]] during her ImmodestOrgasm the first time she is wound up by Negi. And [[http://mangafox.me/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v29/c263/3.html again]] just before the two form a pactio.
* in ''Manga/OnePiece'', when Sanji is complaining about having been given a bounty poster featuring a ''very'' poorly-drawn sketch of him instead of a photo, Zoro remarks that the poster looks just like him. This upset Sanji so much that he's reduced to symbol swearing.
-->'''Zoro:''' Use real words. I don't get what you're saying.
* This happens in Chapter 37 of ''Manga/GunsmithCats'' when an ''extremely'' heavy jacket falls on—''and breaks''—Misty's foot. [[http://www.mangaeden.com/en/en-manga/gunsmith-cats/37/9/ It's hilarious.]]

[[folder:[+%$@#+] Comedy]]
* Stand-up by Tim Minchin on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg-Ke36aBh4 some observations]] about this in media.

[[folder:[+#$%*+] Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' uses nasty-looking rebus symbols to represent "ancient Gaulish swear-words." It's in fact very common in old comedic Franco-Belgian comics. The letterers tend to get creative and include Chinese ideograms, swastikas and drawings of volcanoes, explosions and skulls, or even WWI-Germany helmeted skulls blowing nuclear explosion mushrooms out of their orbital fenestrae.
** Variant symbols are used for speakers of different nationalities, which is especially visible in one book where Asterix joins the Roman army (ItMakesSenseInContext). Since this is a polyglot legion of barbarians, there is a translator. At one point, the centurion is hit by a flying breastplate (no, not ''that'' variety) and curses in pain. The interpeter [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/asterixlegionnaire_jurons.jpg explains to a Goth what the centurion has just said.]] The centurion then asks what he just told the Goth, and the translator repeats the commander's cursing back to him. Specifically, the centurion says "skull-n-crossbones, spiral, heavy cross, ampersand". This gets "translated" into Gothic as "skull in a pickelhaube, squared-off spiral, swastika, Gothic-font ampersand".
** There's a fun moment where an Egyptian character in the background of a panel is swearing at another in hieroglyph-like drawings of an angry foot kicking someone in the behind, snakes and waving swords.
** Even earlier in ''Asterix and the Goths'', when the druid is captured and starts swearing this way (the footnote explains that these are ancient Gaulish swear words which they refuse to translate). The Goths runs into an ObstructiveBureaucrat and start swearing, and we get the vaguely-Germanic font symbols, with the footnote giving their translation: the same still-untranslated Gaul symbols.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' stories:
** In [[ComicBook/Supergirl2005 Post-Crisis story arc]] ''Girl Power'', ComicBook/{{Superboy}} does this with asterisks when his ex-team shows up: "Oh, @#$%!"
** ''ComicBook/{{Bizarrogirl}}'': Supergirl as battling her Bizarro counterpart:
--->'''Supergirl:''' How do you like being frozen, you Bizarro#$%#—
* Captain Haddock of ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'', who swears like... well, a sailor, is more of a subversion: While he does sometimes employ symbol swearing, he also has a very rich GoshdangItToHeck vocabulary (which was compiled into a [[http://www.amazon.fr/Haddock-illustr%C3%A9-Lint%C3%A9grale-jurons-capitaine/dp/2203017104 dictionary]]).
* Appears in ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'' plenty of times. Weirdly, in one example, where a teenager's swearing is rendered as random symbols, [[MartyStu Bob]] then reprimands the boy for taking the name "Jesus Christ" in vain.
* As shown above, WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck tends to use this in his comics. It actually makes sense, when you realize in the cartoons you can't understand a thing he says in an angry rage. The image is from Creator/DonRosa's comic ''The Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros Ride Again''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Nextwave}}'' uses skull and crossbone symbols. This has spread across the MarvelUniverse lately. One ''Nextwave'' character was ''named'' "Captain ☠☠☠☠", until ComicBook/CaptainAmerica [[SoapPunishment washed his mouth out with soap]].
** Even though ''Nextwave'' is a decade old, there's still a remarkable consistency in the use of ☠☠☠☠ swearing. It pretty much only appears in comics that aspire to match ''Nextwave's'' particular strain of insane comedy or that are directly referencing the series.
* Pretty much the current record-holder for duration; ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} in ''[[ComicBook/XMen Astonishing X-Men]]'' #6:
-->"Diplomatic #%@*&%!!@#$@%#%$##@@#$$%$#@#$$#%$#@#$%#%@$#$@$&&&%&@&$#%$##%&&&@&!! immunity?"
* ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' has the time a FreakyFridayFlip between Spidey and Wolverine turns out to be [[spoiler:the result of Jean putting Wolverine's mind "where it least wanted to be" when she was pissed at him. Apparently, nothing in his DarkAndTroubledPast compares to high school]]. After it's all over:
-->'''Spider-Man:''' You know why [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer people hate you]]? It's not [[FantasticRacism because you're mutants]]!! It's because you're all a bunch of [=@#$@#$ $@$%@ ##@$!! That's why!! You $^$%^ $%^$ $^$%^ $%#^% #$ $% ^#$%^ $%%^!!!=] AAAGGHHH! ''[swings off]''\\
'''Colossus:''' Why am I an #$@#$@? I was just standing here.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Angloman}}'', Poutinette's swears are represented by small pictures of items from the Catholic liturgy. French-Canadian swearing is famously replete with church-related words.
* You might be surprised but it happens all the time in the original ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' comics by Peyo. Yep, the comic overall was much less childlike than its AnimatedAdaptation. It was even played with in one one-page gag story, where a random Smurf hits his foot with a hammer and begins SymbolSwearing up a storm until Papa Smurf tells him to wash his mouth out with soap. In the last panel, when the Smurf speaks again, his word balloon is completely clean, but now soap bubbles containing swear symbols are floating all around him. On the other hand, bad words were ''never'' "[[{{Smurfing}} smurfed out]]", except on one notable occasion in ''King Smurf'' referencing General Cambronne's last stand.
* Subverted during the Giffen/[=DeMatteis=] run on ''Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}}'', when Guy Gardner, in a fit of pique after accidentally destroying an alien ship that the US government wanted retrieved in one piece, starts swearing. Instead of a bunch of symbols, his angry speech balloon contains a single asterisk, leading to a footnote at the bottom of the frame reading, "Expletives (lots of 'em) deleted."
* Zodon in ''ComicBook/PS238'' does this during his first appearance. At the end of it, he's stopped because he gets a microchip implanted in his brain that censors his swearing by [[UnusualEuphemism replacing the swears with random, non-offensive, words]].
* In the Creator/DeanKoontz graphic novel ''Odd Is on Our Side'', Odd Thomas pulls a little girl from the path of a speeding car and the startled driver exclaims "!@#$%!" Odd narrates, "I really despise potty mouths who speak in symbols."
* In ''Knight & Squire'', when the Squire has a blazing row with her boyfriend, it's represented by them both saying the ''words'' "<Captain Haddock style swearword icons.>"
* In ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'', Scourge the Hedgehog (formerly known as Anti-Sonic) tends to do this on occasion. Notable as he seems to be the only character who does this on a semi-regular basis.
* ''ComicBook/TopTen'':
** An interesting example: Creator/AlanMoore has no trouble using actual curse words, but in ''Top 10'', an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome incredibly awesome scene]] has Smax asking permission to use lethal force on a suspect who just killed a fellow cop. The response from his captain is "Break her $#^&!(% neck, son", written with symbols. Even fans write it this way when they could write the curse out otherwise. It is also PaintingTheMedium: since ''Top 10'' is a police procedural set in a comic book world, it would naturally have the characters curse in symbols.
** On one occasion, the Norse gods were involved in a case. Their drunken cursing was censored with runic symbols.
* This trope is occasionally used in ''ComicBook/TheBeano'' and ''ComicBook/TheDandy'' to express a character's anger and they can't show swear words because those two comics are for children.
* ''ComicBook/{{Iznogoud}}'':
** A story had Iznogoud asking Wa'at Alahf for a rope, when he was down a cliff. Wa'at dropped the entire length of rope. Iznogoud began cursing, with bombs, bones, axes etc. Then a lot of these items began falling from above, seemingly dropped by Wa'at who thought Iznogoud was asking for them.
** In "The Jigsaw Turk", Iznogoud inadvertently gives an enterpreneur the idea to set up a beach resort in the middle of the desert where he is trying to put together a 10,000 piece jigsaw, and soon the area is as packed as the beaches of the Côte d'Azur during peak holiday season. When one boy's wayward beach ball bounces off another man's stomach, the boy's father gets involved, and we get this gem:
'''Boy's Father:''' D'YOU KNOW WHAT MY BRAT SAYS TO YOU?\\
'''Boy:''' ''[cheerfully]'' He says #@%!\\
'''Boy's Father:''' ''[backhanding his son]'' WASH YOUR MOUTH, YOU!
* ''ABCDEF''. Yes, the one and only Creator/{{Gotlib}} brilliantly inverted the trope in the fight between ComicBook/{{Superdupont}} and Creator/BruceLee. When they swear at each other, Superdupont uses a lot of grawlix and chinese characters, and Bruce Lee answers with the same grawlix (looking a bit more Chinese, font-wise), and instead of the chinese characters, "ABCDEF". Epic meta.
* ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' uses this in the comics. A lot. There's even comics called "I think they're F#@%ing" and ''Them *&^%ing.'' It's Buffy and Angel. Guess what they do.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'': In issue #2, once the Mane Six have been set against each other, one panel shows them all shouting at each other, punctuated with a single fancy exclamation point with a dagger set in, which may or may not be this trope, depending on your interpretation.
** In Celestia's Micro Series issue, a ponified Creator/GordonRamsay appears in the background of three different panels, and he's brought his infamously foul mouth with him, symbol swearing in all three panels.
* Archie Comics' ''ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures'' has a character named Juntarra, who does this more or less every time she opens her mouth.
* Also present in the ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' comic books, particularly in the story where Mrs. Rich had set up a SwearJar for her family. For the most part, only Mr. and Mrs. Rich did SymbolSwearing in that story.
* Parodied in ''ComicBook/TheBojeffriesSaga'', in which we hear about a minor punk character who has "[=***=] OFF" tattooed on her forehead. Then we see her, and she '''literally''' has "[=***=] OFF" tattooed on her forehead, with the asterisks.
* While ''Comicbook/{{Alias}}'' was a MAX imprint(meaing strong language was okay), ''Comicbook/ThePulse'' was not, and writer BrianMichaelBendis had to tone down the at-times foul-mouthed Jessica's dialogue accordingly.
* [[ComicBook/ScarletSpider Kaine]] is [[SirSwearsALot particularly prone to this]], being Spidey's self-described "evil clone", with the temper to match, and being a very ReluctantHero.
* ComicBook/SpiderGwen is [[SirSwearsALot very prone to this]] in her book.
* ''ComicBook/{{Dinocorps}}'' has Dirk swearing at Carl after he says that [[CaptainObvious the Saurons waking up is bad]].
-->'''Dirk:''' Bad?! You S#A*! humans!
* Amanda Conner's sketchbook is called "Book of $#!* You May Have Never Seen!". (Sidenote: The [[FanDisservice $#!* cover]] features [[ItMakesSenseInContext Vampirella sitting on the loo]] - so it's rather obvious here which word $#!* denotes.)
* The Swedish comic ''91:an'' uses this all the time. However, it tends to get pretty colorful with the symbols with some almost coming off as more risque than most swears.
* One of Donna Barr's (''Stinz'', ''ComicBook/TheDesertPeach'') comics had a vigorous bout of swearing denoted by a speech balloon containing a devil FlippingTheBird with both hands.
* A major secondary character in ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'' is the telepath superheroine Mind████, whose name is '''always''' rendered that way.

[[folder:Comic [+@#*£+] Strips]]
* Every Newspaper Comic ever has used these. Comics with adult characters, such as ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', or aggressive humor, like ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' tend to use these more often than tamer comics such as ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}''.
* Parodied in ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'', when Peter stubs his toe and starts ranting the ''words'' "[[http://www.gocomics.com/foxtrot/2005/07/17 Asterisk! Dollar sign! Ampersand]]" and so forth, later commenting, "[[MediumAwareness Comic strip curse words leave something to be desired]]."
* ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'':
** A Sunday strip involves Jeremy getting scolded for swearing (represented by grawlixes), and comments that he's the only guy he knows who has a less colorful vocabulary than ComicStrip/BeetleBailey.
** A daily strip has Jeremy ''saying'' "Star-Asterisk-Fishbone!" when he hurts himself, and when Hector comments on it (apparently it's the equivalent of GoshDangItToHeck) he explains that his mother will kill him if he says [string of grawlixes].
* ''The Boondocks'' Huey Freeman uses symbol swearing from time to time in one of the most controversial political comic strips.
* Speaking of ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'', Sarge does this all the time:
** One strip has Beetle correcting Sarge's use of the word ☁ [black cloud], and goes into a lengthy explanation of which other symbol swears should be used in conjunction with it. None of which would make any sense in RealLife, since swearing does not work that way.
** Other examples include Sarge being embarrassed over using old-style cussing like # ("No one says # anymore". Sarge is a little upset, as he thought # was an old classic).
** {{Inverted|Trope}} a few times: Once a flower is included in Sarge's tirade, because he "promised the chaplain he'd say something nice today". He's also been known to revert entirely to "nice" symbols when a superior is nearby, on one occasion signifying actual nice speech and on another still sounding awful because of the way he says it.
** Sgt. Snorkel has periodic swearing contests with Sgt. Webbing, often using Franco-Belgian style symbols, with their men in the background cheering them on and placing bets. Sgt. Webbing won at least once, with a simple black cloud with "CENSORED" inside it. They had to carry Sgt. Snorkle off on a stretcher.
--->'''Beetle:''' This will teach you to play poker with the chaplain while Sgt. Webbing is on the golf course TRAINING!
** At one time, Lt. Sonny Fuzz tried to force Sgt. Snorkel to use substitutes for swearing. In a fit of anger and total frustration, Sgt. Snorkel unleashes a barrage of SymbolSwearing that had inside of the SpeechBalloon: a Mess Hall sign with "closed" pasted over it, the shark from ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', a MushroomCloud, a tombstone with Fuzz's name on it, and even {{Dracula}}. The end result of it all? Lt. Fuzz's Good Conduct Medal had '''''MELTED'''''.
** Sarge and Louise Lugg have been spotted filling a crossword puzzle with strings of swearing symbols instead of letters. "What's a five-letter word starting with #?"
* One stretch of ''ComicStrip/GetFuzzy'' cartoons has Satchel actually pronounce his Symbol Swearing ("Did you leave this lightning bolt plus sign brick on the floor?").
* In ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin is playing Scrabble with Hobbes when he says "2 points?! Is that @*#% all??" and Hobbes replies "My, this game ''does'' teach new words!"
* ''For Better Or Worse'' uses symbol swearing from time to time. Michael, April uses swearing symbols from time to time. Elly Patterson disapproves swearing in her household.
* ''Literature/TheMoomins'' have played with this trope in their newspaper comic, though they take things a little further than normal: Swear words are represented by physical, tangible and agressive little creatures who run around and cause havoc. At one point, the Moomins find an entire box of them floating out at sea, mentioning that there must have been some sailor who decided to stop swearing and threw all his swear words overboard. After the swear words have been making nuisances of themselves for a while, the Moomins get rid of them by, as a practical joke, wrapping them up and sending them by mail to an old, prissy aunt.
* Magazine/{{MAD}}:
** In the parody of ''Film/ETTheExtraterrestrial'', the main character's friends insult each other with typical insults like "butt-head," "armpit" and "nerd," and when the main character uses this kind of swearing, his mother tells him that there will not be any asterisks, dollar signs or ampersands spoken in their house.
** Their parody of ''Film/RiskyBusiness'' had the Creator/TomCruise line "Sometimes you gotta say 'What the Fuck'." with the last word hidden under symbols. Another character then complains that he can't take that philosophy because he can't speak in symbols.
* Used frequently in ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'', sometimes straight, and sometimes as meta humor (Rat using the planet in the line of symbols to replace a missing Saturn from Pig's Solar System model).
* ''Watch Your Head'' does this a lot.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'':
** One strip has Garfield watching an ''Uncle Roy'' episode where he goes to a factory. When Uncle Roy gets too close to a machine, he says "Turn this #%^$ thing off!"
** [[http://www.gocomics.com/garfield/1984/01/16 Guess what happens]] when Garfield's lips get stuck to popsicle.
* This was used quite a lot in ''ComicStrip/DogsOfCKennel'', usually by Will.
* In the original newspaper strip version of ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'', the sailor man himself can often be seen swearing like... well, like a sailor. But it's always shown in the talk balloons as SymbolSwearing.
* In one of Father Justin [=McCarthy=]'s ''Brother Juniper'' comics the title character is out on the golf course with a fellow monk. When he misses a putt the parrot sitting on his shoulder says "**#X#!XXX**!"
* ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' from its 2015 revival onward has Steve Dallas and cast doing Emoji Swearing. The original strip also featured this frequently.

[[folder:Fan [+&!*@+] Works]]
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' DarkFic ''Fanfic/DarkSecrets'' has the ObligatorySwearing [[http://szaleniec1000.livejournal.com/tag/th-s%20f-cking%20f-c%20s-cks censored with hyphens]] for reasons unknown.
* ''Fanfic/NobodyDies'' has people swearing fairly often, but any instances of "fuck" get replaced with "f___". ''Unless'' that specific instance is meant to be a PrecisionFStrike, in which case the word is written out fully.
* Although ''Fanfic/AGrowingAffection'' contains a few {{Precision F Strike}}s, Tayuya's speech is peppered with this. WordOfGod says it was both to avoid stretching the Teen rating, and because he didn't think he could do her foul mouth justice.
* From chapter 35 of ''Fanfic/PaperMarioX 2'':
-->'''[[VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor Grubba]]:''' Did the Blue Blur really turn yella and head for the hills like a dog?!?\\
'''Koops:''' The only time he'd be turning yellow is to go Super Sonic and kick your a$$!\\
'''Goombella:''' [[MediumAwareness Using dollar signs?]]\\
'''[[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]]:''' It was Koops, not me. He's a wimp, remember?\\
'''Koops:''' HEY!
* In [[http://www.sailorenergy.net/SMMiniMangas/SMMiniMangaRudeDriver.jpg this]] ''Anime/SailorMoon'' fanart, Haruka suffers from a case of road rage.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''/''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/TheVampireOfSteel'', Kara forces [[BigBad Zol-Am]] into a personal duel. He doesn't take it well:
-->'''Zol-Am:''' R** damn you!

[[folder:*+!@% Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'', when Bowler Hat Guy realizes he needs Lewis' help to fix the brain scanner, he adds "Get that @!!*# boy" to his [[ObsessedAreTheListmakers "Things to Do" list]].

[[folder:[+$*@^+] Films -- Live-Action]]
* Subverted in ''Film/HotFuzz'', when we see the "[[SwearJar swear box]]", it has a sign on it showing the price for each swear word. All the words have at least one letter changed to a symbol, ''[[BleepDammit except]]'' for [[CountryMatters "cunt"]], the highest priced word, which is left unaltered.
* Used in 1927 silent film ''Theatre/TheCatAndTheCanary'', when aunt Susan finds Paul hiding under her bed.
* ''What the #$*! Do We Know!?'', a dramatized discussion of quantum physics and spirituality. Generally pronounced as "What the Bleep Do We Know".
* ''Film/AChristmasStory'': "Only I didn't say fudge. It was the word! The big one! The queen mother of dirty words! The "F dash dash dash" word!" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgx1sSfriIA Here.]]
* Played with in ''Film/InTheLoop''. "You are a real boring fuck. Sorry, sorry, I know you disapprove of swearing, so I'll sort that out. You are a boring F star star cunt!"

[[folder:[+&%$£!*@+] Literature]]
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Mentioned in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', where we're told that Carrot's friendly greetings to everyone in Ankh-Morpork were reciprocated by people "whose normal response to a remark from a Watchman would be genteelly paraphrased by a string of symbols generally found on the top row of a typewriter's keyboard."
** Carrot can also pronounce the asterisk in "d*mn," and "'!' said Rincewind" is, if not this trope, something close to it.
** Mr. Tulip in ''Discworld/TheTruth'' says "-ing". A -ing lot, like -ing nearly every other -ing word. Due to the prevalence of this trope, most readers will assume that's what's going on. Later in the book, another character hangs a lampshade on this: "Why does that man keep saying 'ing'?"
** In ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', the title character vanishes just before being stabbed. His attackers assume him a wizard, and one remarks: "I hate ----ing wizards", to which his companion replies, "Well, you shouldn't ---- them then."
** The most concrete example is in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', where an excess of life force is causing all sorts of things to come to life -- including wizards' swearwords being manifested as little creatures.
* Also used in ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' books.
** A set of repeated single symbols, such as #### is used and corresponds directly to a particular curse word in English, typically revealed by the reaction dialogue of the characters around them. This being Xanth, these words can literally start fires and peel paint.
** In ''The Color of Her Panties'', an underage Goblin learns a bunch of the rude words. So he's taken by force to the River Lethe to force him to forget the words. After the treatment, all his attempts to shout obscenities are written literally as "____".
* The protagonist of ''The Pigman'' is "asked not to swear" and has two different substitutions, one for regular swears and one for really bad ones, and thinks it's convenient because the reader will likely come up with something far more creative than he ever could.
* In the ''Literature/FreakyFriday'' sequel ''A Billion for Boris'', a character of Chinese heritage strikes right where this trope intersects with the NarrativeProfanityFilter:
--> "#%*'@+!" he said darkly, in inscrutable Mandarin.
* An outtake from the ''Literature/ToughMagic'' trilogy includes a very long line of symbol swearing. Apparently the characters were getting it out of the system, as the Author had forbade swearing in the book itself.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', the Buggre Alle Thys Bible is a fictional "infamous Bible" in which Ezekiel 38:5 was replaced by an angry typesetter's rant about his job and his employers, followed by a string of random typographical symbols.
* Used in the first ''Literature/BlueAvenger'' book for a comic-book feel, up until the English class where they discuss the word 'shit'.
* Former baseball umpire Ron Luciano used symbols to replace cusswords in his books ''The Umpire Strikes Back'' and ''Strike Two''.

[[folder:Live-Action [+%^&*+] TV]]
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'''s "Ten F#@king Years" and "Clusterf#@k to the White House" (now "Poorhouse") graphics rotate the # and @ in such a way that [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar they are briefly readable as the U and C they represent]].
* One ''Series/MythBusters'' test ''requires'' on-camera swearing. Since digitally blurring out their lips (to counter lipreading) gets expensive, Adam builds a mouth shield with grawlix neatly lettered onto it.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', Hiro's reaction to discovering that he's [[TimeTravel in medieval Japan]] is [[FunWithSubtitles subtitled]] "@#$%!"
* The TV series ''Series/ShitMyDadSays'', based on a Website/{{Twitter}} feed titled ''Shit My Dad Says''.

[[folder:[+!&#@$+] Music]]
* As quoted above, CountryMusic artist Kevin Fowler has a song called "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlrCjEOYrAA Pound Sign (#?*!)]]" which lampshades this trope.
* KMFDM's ''Symbols'' album title is supposedly this. The title appears in one of the songs as a SoundEffectBleep.
* Creator/EricIdle's ''I Bet You They Won't Play This Song On The Radio'' from ''AudioPlay/MontyPythonsContractualObligationAlbum'', which is all bleeps and sound effects. No two bleeps are the same, though.
* Music/CledusTJudd has "What the *$@# Did You Say", a parody of Music/MartinaMcBride's "Whatever You Say" that deals with poor cell phone reception. The offending word is censored by a burst of static.
* Wayne Carson [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tginXAiWLL8 recorded a C&W song]] in 1967 (later covered by Sam The Sham) with the tag line "I'd have wrote you a letter, but I couldn't spell <ppthblbplt>". The song's title was printed on the label as "I Couldn't Spell !✱¢#!".

[[folder:[+!%£@?&#+] Pinballs]]
* Done by Q*Bert in ''[[Pinball/QBertsQuest Q*Bert's Quest]],'' naturally.
* In ''Pinball/SpaceJam,'' the SpellingBonus for the Tasmanian Devil's lane is spelled out with various symbols.

[[folder:[+*@£#+] Print Media]]
* In most newspaper stories, the offending words in a statement containing profanity (where there is no compelling reason to use the word) is often replaced with dashes, with only the initial letter shown. For instance, "damn" might be replaced by d---. This is the simplest form of using symbols to acknowledge but censor use of profanity. While the less severe profanity -- such as damn and hell and occasionally ass -- is often spelled out these days, the dashes are used for the more harsh words and, frequently, for [[NWordPrivileges the "n" word]].
* One Creator/DaveBarry column was titled ''[=&*@##%$(!?,.<>+*&'%$!!@@$##%%^&=]''. The narrator of the audiobook used muffled grunts and squeaks as an equivalent.
* The old gaming rag ''Game Players'' was especially fond of using "@$$" as a substitute for "the 'ass' word."

[[folder:[+&+$#+] Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'':
** Referenced in ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxHitTheRoad'', in a conversation with a foul-mouthed psychic who gets his words bleeped out, which leads to the following exchange:
--->'''Sam:''' Percent sign ampersand dollar sign.\\
'''Max:''' And colon semicolon too!\\
'''Psychic:''' What are you @!#$ doing?\\
'''Sam:''' Swearing in longhand, asterisk-mouth.
** Also in ''Sam and Max'', but in the Season 2 finale, Timmy Two-Teeth, a character who is constantly bleeped out due to his "terminal [[HollywoodTourettes Tourette's Syndrome]]", has personal writing lessons: For the moment, he knows how to write ampersands, number symbol and percents.
* This is pretty much VideoGame/QBert's CatchPhrase. It was originally going to be his ''[[TheUnpronounceable name]]''! In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', it's portrayed as a language known as Q-Bertese that causes speech balloons to appear whenever you speak it.
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga''. Princess Peach [[spoiler:(really Birdo dressed up)]] has her voice stolen at the start of the game by Fawful and Cackletta, and her words are replaced with symbols. However, the symbols [[WeaponsGradeVocabulary actually fall from her speech bubbles and explode like bombs.]] She then proceeds to make a long speech and nearly blows up the entire castle.
* In ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'' If you have Closed Captions turned on and Swearing turned off all curse words in the Subtitles will be replaced with symbols.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' played with this trope whenever anyone said f$&*@!.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''
** Obtaining the Unmaker in ''Doom 64'' will display the message "What the !@#%* is this!"
** The game mocks the player if they do not reset after dying. One of the messages is "YOU LAZY @&$#!"
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' a man in the town Narshe says "Narshe is a neutral city. We want no war here. But that #@%!* empire won't listen."
* This is one of the things that a lot of people remember ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' for. Usually it's Cid unleashing the grawlixes, but Barret was also prone (and Cloud uses it in one instance). In one case (when confronting Don Corneo in Wutai), Barret announces a string of symbols longer than any actual swear words. This was not a game that was otherwise entirely clean - the word 'shit' is used several times uncensored. Although in the [=PC=] version, it's censored this way as well.
* In the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' game ''Kid Speedy'', the hero, is slowed down by a variety of junk foods... and swears, shown as "@!?#!". The King of Town, who is a reverse of the hero, ''gains'' speed from these items. Yes, even the swears.
* In ''VideoGame/FullmetalAlchemistAndTheBrokenAngel'', most of Ed's swearing is left in except for one instance where Armony falls on him. Ed demands an apology and when Armony decides to be a smartass about it, Ed is ''not'' amused.
-->'''Ed:''' #@$%&!! Where are YOUR manners!?!? Is that the attitude you cop after using someone's back as a #@$&ing trampoline!?
* One of the most famous moments in the American dub of ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' is [[HeroicMime Matthew]] breaking out the grawlix for a PrecisionFStrike in the final dungeon when [[spoiler:Alex shows up]].
* In the Sierra PC game of ''VideoGame/LauraBow'', if Laura Bow eavesdrops on Clarence Sparrow and Dr. Wilbur. Clarence says to Wilbur "It would've worked out Wilbur. It wasn't our fault that {$#@** horse broke his leg!"
* In the ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' MMORPG, there is a "Profanity Filter" setting that can be turned on or off as the player chooses. When it's on, swear words in chat windows appear either as <bleep> or a short string of grawlix.
* The ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' games have a censor button; the #@$&ing thing got stuck on after a recent patch, so there were several mods to turn it off again. One of them was named something like '#@$& off #@$& filter'
* In ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'', Guybrush asks Herman Toothrot, "How do I get off this [bleep] island?", as the swearing is bleeped in the dialogue and replaced by symbols in the in-game text.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2,'' when the defeated Wart is hauled away at the end, various symbols fly from him as he's taken offscreen.
* In ''[[VideoGame/JetSetWilly Jet Set Willy 2]]'', when you complete the game, Willy finds himself back in ''VideoGame/ManicMiner'' in "Oh [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar $#!+]]! The Central Cavern!"
* In ''VideoGame/CrystalCastles'', Bentley the bear followed in Q*Bert's footsteps by uttering "#?!" when his last life was lost.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun''; a GDI soldier responds to approaching Nod forces by yelling "Oh $#!+". Hardly ambiguous what he was yelling.
* [[BigGood Chip]] in ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' speaks this way if fed a [[DoesNotLikeSpam canned horror]], which is quite jarring considering that [[spoiler: he's Light Gaia, the representation of all things pure and good]]. Hilariously lampshaded by [[http://www.deviantart.com/art/Scumbag-Chip-576381351 this image]].
* In ''VideoGame/RogueLegacy'' characters "born" with [[{{HollywoodTourettes}} Tourette's Syndrome]] let out a string of these whenever they get hurt and as their death message.
* The PETA parody ''VideoGame/SuperTanookiSkin2D'' has this message pop up when you finally get your skin back from Mario:
* From the Gamecube iteration of ''VideoGame/CustomRobo'', at one point early in the game, while Harry is training the protagonist, their boss tries to call him, but is unable to get through because Harry has his phone off, so he calls the protagonist and yells at him to tell Harry to call him back. After Harry is told this and does so, the boss' text box consists nothing of symbols, with the texting's volume turned up to show how angry he is.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', this occurs in the third week when Beat encounters a wall to the Station Underpass, his intended destination. This is the only instance of symbol swearing in the game, and the rest of the game's swears are uncensored.
* "A Fate Worse Than Chess" comic from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has Saxton Hale give out "I am going to fight that @#$%ing monkey."
* In the US version of ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', the '''SilentProtagonist''' [[PrecisionFStrike curses this way]] when [[spoiler:Alex]] appears in the final dungeon, his only actual line in the game. Presumably a {{Woolseyism}}, as it's absent in both the Japanese version and the European version.

[[folder:Tabletop *?*#^ Games]]
* The FlavorText in the "Swear Jar" card from the ''TabletopGame/MyLittlePonyCollectibleCardGame'' consists of a single instance of symbol swearing.

[[folder:Web [+*~@^#+] Animation]]
* One of Sceb's mailbag cartoons on ''WebAnimation/FredTheMonkey'' has a fan threatening to "@$%#^ THE #%^&!@ OUT OF YOU!!!!" Sceb pronounces this as "symbol the symbols out of you."
* ''WebAnimation/ButtonsAdventures'': After Button's mother grounds him, he swears in his invented language Humgonian, and the English subtitles provided just give us some random symbols.

[[folder:Web [+*?#~!+] Comics]]
* For webcomic artists, Blambot offers a freeware font called [[http://www.blambot.com/font_pottymouth.shtml Potty Mouth]], which makes true use of this trope.
* {{Lampshaded}} in [[http://ozyandmillie.org/2003/06/13/ozy-and-millie-1197/ a 2003]] ''Webcomic/OzyAndMillie'' strip.
* Used by Iron Jane in [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/comics/1990917/their-first-meeting/ an episode]] of ''Webcomic/EverydayHeroes''. Subverted on the very next page when she fails to knock out Mr. Mighty, [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/comics/1991000/no-not-that-finger/ swearing]], [[spoiler:"Oh, shinola."]]
* Appears in [[http://www.gastrophobia.com/index.php?date=2009-07-20 a cover page]] of ''Webcomic/GastroPhobia''. Interestingly, one of the symbols is a hand giving the middle finger. An earlier comic had a character use the word "bullshitting", so the use of this trope is clearly stylistic or RuleOfFunny. Since it's the cover for the story that follows, this is probably to keep actual dialog off it.
* [[http://darklegacycomics.com/193.html One episode]] of the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' strip ''Webcomic/DarkLegacyComics'' has Donald, the resident "not the sharpest banana in the bunch", stub his toe and yell, "And dollars at star number!" After repeating it a few times, another character tells him he really needs to turn off his &$@*# profanity filter.
* [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091009 Along with a case]] of AgonyOfTheFeet in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', the Symbol Swearing gets ''subtitles''. Okay, [[NarrativeProfanityFilter maybe not absolutely faithful subtitles...]] it is doubtful Agatha's language stays that refined.
* [[http://hanna.aftertorque.com/?p=77 Used occasionally]] in ''Webcomic/HannaIsNotABoysName''.
* ''Webcomic/CharbyTheVampirate'' uses this mixed with GoshDangItToHeck, NarrativeProfanityFilter and creative UnusualEuphemism in white text over blacked out bits of text. The side comic ''Here There be Monsters'' uses symbol swearing or just blacking out letters though, as seen [[http://heretherebemonsters.us/comic/37 here.]]
* A variation of this trope is in ''[[http://theoryofeverythingcomics.com/god/index.html God(tm)]]'' where [[http://theoryofeverythingcomics.com/god/01/GOD01_09b.htm photographs of Arno]], a friend of the webcomic creator, are used to replace [[http://theoryofeverythingcomics.com/god/01/GOD01_10a.htm various naughty naughty words]].
* ''Webcomic/YuckHeads'' replaces all swearing with this to parody censorship.
* ''Webcomic/{{Yamara}}'';
** An episode has [[OurElvesAreBetter Drow]] leader Matron Stress say, "You just don't ''get it'', do you, Elsa? Ogrek is beyond strategy. Better minds than mine have tried to undo him. Everything he does always @*!$ works out for him. *§%# his @*#¶>\&¿¢£¥!!!" Persephone the AffablyEvil vampire asks Elsa what that last word meant and is told, "I'll tell you when you're older."
** In another strip, Persephone, insisting that vampires are the epitome of cool, claimed to have "the lowest body temperature and *!¥¢#ingest wardrobe of the lot of you!" A footnote pointed out that adding a superlative suffix to "*!¥¢#" was completely ungrammatical.
* Used periodically in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'', usually by Jean, sometimes in a [[TheTriple comedic triple]] such as [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20090919.html "Egads... Holy Hackensack... !?$&!!!^&!"]]
* [[http://www.urbanjunglecomic.com/?p=1124 Spelling counts]] in ''Webcomic/UrbanJungle''.
* [[http://www.undefined.net/1/0/?strip=493 Toyed with]] in ''Webcomic/OneOverZero''. (Marcus can hear the swearing because he is not GenreSavvy.)
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''
** [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-01-06 The comic]] once launched a [[PrecisionFStrike Precision @#$&! Strike]].
** And let loose a [[ClusterFBomb Cluster @#$% Bomb]] in an [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2002-11-19 earlier comic]].
** [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-05-07 DIE BY THE SHELLS OF YOUR FALLEN COMRADES, YOU @#$! TURTLES!]]
* [[http://mortifer.smackjeeves.com Mortifer]] doesn't censor swear words, but it ends up lampshading this trope anyway:
-->'''[=McRain=]:''' [[AccidentalInnuendo You sounded like you were #$%&ing in here!]]\\
'''Valentine:''' What's #$%&?\\
'''[=McRain=]:''' Censorship you idiot!
* Kazumi Kato unleashes a flood of these in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', before which they had been used very sparingly. (Web comics can get away with slightly more colorful language than comic books and comic strips.)
* ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'':
** The webcomic managed to find a way to {{subvert|ed trope}} this trope. What looks like just slightly unusual symbol swearing [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/02132004/ here]] is actually a language known by very few people that becomes a plot point later on.
** Used [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/03102004/ here]] in the normal way.
* Used in [[http://www.bearandtiger.com/?p=745 a page]] of ''Bear and Tiger''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'':
** [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2011-09-18 Monique's reaction to hurting her foot]] includes this. Also F! and S! without asterisks.
** [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2007-07-29 Slick's decision to reject love is expressed as this.]]
* Played with in [[http://www.0x2121.com/7/Lost_in_Translation a !! strip]] of ''Lost in Translation'', in which apparently the cusser was actually saying the punctuation.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Jane usually swears like this in pesterlogs.
* [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2010/09/05/double-take/ A hilariously brief one]] is delivered by [[BigBad Zenith]] in ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty''.
* In ''Webcomic/PvP'' this was Jade's sister's reaction to a suggestion that she receive some [[http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2005/09/12/mon-sep-12 sensitivity training]] and Francis' reaction to Max Powers [[http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2006/01/14/sat-jan-14 roleplaying]].
* ''Webcomic/BasicInstructions'' uses this to such a degree that the first book was called "The Mummy's Curse", with said mummy saying "&*#$!" on the cover.
* The author of ''Webcomic/{{Selkie}}'' uses this in a clever way -- either the symbols spell out the cuss word using FunWithAcronyms, or the symbols themselves substitute for a full word (such as Cross = God, Fire = Damn, etc.). WordOfGod says [[AuthorAppeal he prefers this method]] to actually putting in the language because of RuleOfFunny.
* Lampshaded [[http://dtoons.com/conroy/2010/11/that-thing-with-the-wingding/ here]] in ''Webcomic/TheCartoonChroniclesofConroyCat''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Godslave}}'':
** Turner can be seen swearing with signs when he collides with something electric offscreen.
** Edith does the same when taunting her second enemy.
* In ''Webcomic/BusterWildeWeerwolf'', there is still mild swearing, but explicit words are censored out.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Deities}}'' God will sometimes swear like this.
* In [[https://derpibooru.org/1209138 this]] ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Celestia's]] Servant Interview'' comic, Derpy is very unhappy with Apple Fritter.
* In ''Webcomic/ChampionsOfFaraus'' this is used in place of strong swears,but seem to have the same number of characters as the swear it's (presumably) replacing.
-->'''Sarengal's cultist:''' ''[to the other cultists trying to deter the protagonists]'' The *** [[ItMakesSenseInContext are you throwing sheep for? Kill them!]]

[[folder:[+*+%$+] Web Original]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar variant, occasionally seen online: [[LeetSpeak $#!+]].
** Which [[OlderThanTheNES dates at least to]] ''VideoGame/JetSetWilly II'' on the ZX Spectrum (the very last screen is called ''Oh $#!+! The Central Cavern'', a backreference to the earlier ''VideoGame/ManicMiner'').
** The TotallyRadical brain injury prevention site [[http://www.ugotbrains.com/cant-make-this-up.htm U Got Brains]] uses this for the title of one of its sections, "Can't Make This S#!* Up", presumably to enhance its image. The title as seen on the actual page is written in a graffiti-style that tries to make it look as close to its obscene counterpart as possible. Interestingly, a different set of symbols are used before you mouse over the link, including the biohazard symbol.
* This may crop up in surprising places due to [[ScunthorpeProblem automatic profanity filters]], such as when discussing Philip K. D!ck on Delphi discussion boards. (If you just write it outright, it becomes Philip K. ####.)
** Comicbook boards with profanity filters can also be fun. I've enjoyed many a discussion of Batman's first Robin, *** Grayson.
** The filters themselves may replace the words with these symbols. The Steam forums replace swears with rows of pink hearts. This has been parodied from time to time, such as a homemade ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' map that featured a sign reading "ATTACK THAT [[color:deeppink:♥♥♥♥]]ING FORT", and a forum post where "Meet the Demoman" was quoted thus:
--->"I'm a black, Scottish cyclops. They got more [[color:deeppink:♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥]] than they got the likes o' me." (NOTE: The hearts correspond to a lengthy SoundEffectBleep at the exact same spot in the movie.)
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in a ''WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum'' mission where an Agent actually pronounces grawlix.
* An actual, useful new search engine for programmers, [=SymbolHound=], plays with this: it has the TagLine, "for finding @%$^#&! symbols." That is exactly what it does -- allows one to search for those symbols (among others) -- but still, it's obvious what they mean, as anyone who's tried to search for symbols using other search engines has probably complained about their lack of *$(%ing support for that.
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': In [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/original-timeline/371-the-three-little-witches The Three Little Witches]] when the Three Little Witches are being chased by the Whitman girls:
-->''"Come BACK here, you little @&&#*!$!" rang about through the night, shattering the quiet around Whitman Cottage.\\
"Slow down you little $#!*&@%$!" screeched the girl with the silver blaze in her black hair.''

[[folder:[+*&^%$!+] Western Animation]]
* The closed captioning on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' used to use grawlixes to represent any swearing that was beeped out.
* The ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' segment "The Guy of Her Dreams" had a comic book where Penelope does this shown during the last song she sings.
* Played with in the "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E4DaringDont Daring Don't]]" episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': one of Caballeron's mook has grawlix as a cutie mark. The others, in the same vein, have different comic book effects for cutie marks.
* Used in the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "Society of the Blind Eye", when translating Old Man [=McGucket=]'s [[OhCrap reaction]] ([[ItMakesSenseInContext in hamboning]]) to discovering the eponymous society's sinister purpose.
''[[SirSwearsALot @$#&!]]''