This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

Too Soon

"Comedy is tragedy plus time."

A kind of self-censorship born out of sensitivity to current issues. One frequent situation is when a new episode (or possibly an old one) is edited or not broadcast because it coincides with some recent tragic event. Can be taken to ridiculous extremes, especially if Executive Meddling is involved; for example, after President Reagan was shot, The Greatest American Hero had the name of its main character changed because his name was Hinkley, the same as the would-be assassin. Sometimes it goes so far that any fictional depiction of someone or something upon which tragedy has been visited cannot be shown at all for fear of "trivialization" - even if the depiction is respectful.

The phrase "too soon" rose to prominence in the '00s to indicate that an observer was still sensitive to the issue at hand and did not feel it was a fit subject for comedy. Likewise a trend of subversions also took hold primarily by referencing an event long since considered to be an Acceptable Target. A prominent example for Americans was that, for several years, any show featuring the former twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, New York tended to be tweaked a bit. Some older shows and even movies had broadcasts digitally edited to remove it from the skyline. This sometimes happened even when the show or movie was set before 2001. This has Unfortunate Implications, in that it allows the folks who destroyed the towers to do so retroactively. Much of the recent popularization of the phrase and awareness of the issue is due to the rather long shadow the World Trade Center attacks cast over the subsequent decade.

In other cases, the result ends up being a Missing Episode (if it's scheduled to air around the time of the tragedy, but has to be replaced with a rerun or another episode) or a Banned Episode (if it aired previously and now has to be shelved until the tragedy dies down, though, in some cases, like the South Park two-part episode "200" and "201," an episode will be considered gone for good if it really caused trouble). Speaking of South Park, they've defined the line between "Too Soon" and not as 22.3 years. That's become a thing now.

Ironically, sometimes it is the very act of censoring a scene that gives it its Too Soon quality. A seemingly innocuous scene has been edited out of a repeat; the only explanation is that it referred to the same kind of situation as in Current Issue X. What was a vague connection has now been made explicit.

For obvious reasons, what qualifies as Too Soon is a matter of opinion. (See: Black Comedy) Johnny Carson famously found out in the 1970s that the Lincoln assassination was still too soon for his audience (to the point that after a while the words "See? Still too soon!" became the punchline), and few comedians even today are brave enough to poke fun at Kennedy's murder (although the conspiracy theories have come in for their share of ridicule) and the Series/Seinfeld episode "The Boyfriend" (1992) famously made fun of Oliver Stone's JFK.

Easier for dramatic series to avert than comedy series, since at least in dramas the sensitive subject matter is being tackled with a degree of seriousness and respect. In contrast, it's the prerogative of a comedy series to satirize and make light of its subject matter, which may be seen as more offensive. If the satire isn't aimed directly at the target, though, audiences might even find it more offensive.

Has elements in common with Harsher in Hindsight and "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.

Examples related to the destruction of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, New York have their own page.


    open/close all folders 

  • Barely a day after the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, comedian Gilbert Gottfried began Tweeting tasteless jokes about it. Aflac Insurance, whose products he endorses (he provided the voice of the duck), fired him less than an hour after discovering these Tweets. It helps that Aflac is VERY BIG in Japan (though someone else does the voice there). He responded to this by tweeting jokes about shoes and/or witches and apologizing after each one.
    • He seems to have a bad habit of this. Soon after 9/11, he made a very off-color joke on stage about the attacks which he only managed to recover from by resorting to The Aristocrats.
    • The Japanese one even earned him the right for Self-Deprecation (to standing applause!) in The Roast of Roseanne Barr.
      "Her rolls of fat swaying and crashing that a Japanese moo-nami! Let me just stop for a second and talk about moo-namis. One should never speak about moo-namis! One should never joke about moo-namis! And most of all, one should never tweet about moo-namis! But if one were to tweet about moo-namis, he's probably long due enough by now and get his endorsement deal back! So he doesn't have to keep doing these horrible fucking roasts!"
  • In 1994, the restaurant chain Jack-in-the-Box released the first commercials with the "Jack" character. In the commercials, he referenced the 1980 commercials where they blew up the jack-in-the-box head that was their trademark, saying they had "fired" him. He then claimed that due to plastic surgery, he was back and would change Jack-in-The-Box. Immediately after this announcement, the commercial showed Jack getting revenge by blowing up the building's boardroom behind him. The commercial was shortly after bowdlerised when the World Trade Center parking bombing occurred. Interestingly, this commercial was responsible for the popular depiction of Jack as a suit-wearing businessman with a (usually) expressionless clown head, which continues to this day, but depictions of him wearing the business suit (which he wore during his act of terrorism) remain despite the Unfortunate Implications.
    • The referenced "Jack Blows Up" commercial from 1980 declared that "The Food is Better At The Box!", which turned into this trope when Jack in The Box had an e-coil outbreak, perhaps the biggest outbreak of the bacteria ever. The outbreak came from the Monster Burger promotion which ran under the tagline, "So Good, It's Scary!"
  • A TV ad for the 1986 Ford Aerostar minivan, which compared the van's profile to that of the Space Shuttle, was pulled after the Challenger disaster.
  • 20th Century Fox pulled ads for the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn comedy Neighborhood Watch in Florida soon after the controversial Trayvon Martin incident. The film itself was later retitled The Watch.
  • Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, did a Weight Watchers commercial in which she said she got most of her exercise running from the paparazzi. It was released the same week as the death of Princess Diana of Wales and was immediately pulled.
  • Throughout the 1960's and 1970's, a popular weight-loss-by-meal-replacement programme in Great Britain was frequently advertised on the TV as AYDS Helps You lose A Lot Of Weight - Fast! Following a certain new disease which came to the public eye in the 1980's, however, AYDS, its advertising and the product itself vanished completely.
  • A commercial for Vigilante 8 featuring a heavily damaged school bus was supposedly pulled after the Columbine massacre.
  • Wal-Mart pulled a commercial featuring a black father saying "I can't breathe!" after the grand jury failed to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man. In particular, the issue was that "I can't breathe" were the last words Garner said while dying on-camera, and subsequently became the rallying cry of those seeking to end race-based police brutality. (It is still available on t-shirts, jackets, hats etc., and his daughter famously wore one in a promo for the Bernie Sanders campaign.)
  • HP and Hardee's ads were pulled in light of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
    • The HP was harsher than the others because it bragged about bringing astronauts to safety.

    Anime and Manga 
  • X1999, which has been suspended at 18 out of a planned 21 volumes since 2003, has been struck by Too Soon repeatedly. The series is intentionally violent and disturbing, but uncomfortable resemblances to real-life tragedies have caused repeated suspensions in publication. In particular, beheadings depicted in the story became controversial after the gruesome Sakakibara Incident and the recurring theme of earthquakes as a sign of the end of the world after the Kobe Earthquake. The current publication hiatus does not seem to have a single trigger, but may be due to the general post-9/11 climate towards terrorism (which is essentially what the antagonists are engaging in). CLAMP has stated in interviews that they did not believe that they would be able to get the planned ending published at the time and that they have not abandoned X. Fans have mixed opinions about the likelihood of the series restarting publication.
  • The second half of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu's first episode had Kaname getting abducted by a female gang leader, with Sosuke responding by kidnapping said leader's little brothernote ; it was cut from broadcast due to a high profile kidnapping case at around the same time.
  • The third episode of the 2011 Black Jack anime series was left unaired, as it was to deal with an earthquake, and a real one had just struck Japan. Which leaves a minor plothole because that episode is the one that introduces their pet dog.
  • One episode of Higurashi: When They Cry and the final episode of School Days had to be delayed for a week in Japan because the contents of it were eerily similar to a murder case in Tokyo, where one girl killed her father with a cleaver which was identical to the kind that Rena has. This eventually led to Higurashi Kai and School Days being dropped from several channels' prime time line up and Higurashi's opening song being reworked to change the scene of Rena's cleaver to that of the junkyard where she goes to. In terms of School Days' changes, see this link.
  • The long-awaited Chinese Federation story arc of Code Geass R2 was delayed a week, presumably due to the earthquake that struck central China in early May 2008.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime, the tornadoes that Placido/Primo creates in his Duel against Yusei are completely absent from the dubbed version of one episode. This was done due to the tornado disasters in the midwest that occurred during this time period.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, the character of South Korea had to be pulled out of the webcast due to protests by Korean groups. This might also explain why Tibet, featured as a part of the East Asian group in one of the strips, was replaced by a panda when said strip was animated.
    • Also likely the reason there is no canon North Korea. The author also avoids mentioning the Holocaust if at all possible to keep up the series' lighthearted tone (and because Germany's one of the main characters). The English dub, on the other hand, isn't afraid to sneak in a few jabs about it.
  • The 1995 sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway remain a very bad subject to be insensitive about in Japan. Neon Genesis Evangelion, for instance, being in production at that time, was more or less re-planned on the fly to avoid being offensive in a manner that it was not intended to be offensive. Also notably, the topic was breached in Excel Saga's infamous 26th episode ("Going Too Far") a few minutes in just to establish that yes, this episode is just about as vulgar as they could make it.
  • A bunch of anime were for various reasons (including "violent content", in the case of Is This a Zombie?) pushed back a week due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and the third Pretty Cure All Stars movie was edited in its initial theatrical release to remove a tsunami scene that was subsequently restored for its DVD release.note 
    • This trope was also the reason why The Melody of Sorrow was completed in Suite Pretty Cure ♪. Similar to the Sesame Street example, the creators wanted the kids to relate to the horrific events on that day by having their beloved heroines suffer through a similar event. However, the show still had a happy ending where the characters defeat Noise and the Melody of Happiness is sung. In addition, a scene in episode 6 of Suite had the glittering effect added to cake mix that Hibiki's brother, Souta, was trapped in to make it look less like a fluid.
    • Puella Magi Madoka Magica got postponed for over a month as a destroyed and flooded city featured prominently in its final episodes.
    • Coppelion, had both the original manga and its anime adaptation put on hold because its plot was initiated by a nuclear reactor exploding due to an earthquake destroying its cooling system and rendering Tokyo almost uninhabitable for more than 20 years.
    • Soul Eater episodes were being re-aired during the time, so two climactic and destructive episodes were skipped in favor of the more lighthearted episodes that immediately succeeded them.
    • After the Tohoku earthquake and nuclear disaster of 2011, the Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma two-parter episode of Pokémon went unaired. Presumably, this is because the episodes had some destruction of part of Castelia City by nuclear energy. Team Plasma was later introduced in a manner that is incompatible with the cancelled episodes, effectively writing them out of the narrative.
    • One manga case in Detective Conan involved a relatively large earthquake striking while the Detective Boys were playing in an abandoned building, which led to a kidnapping victim in the building waking up and trying to alert the kids to their situation. The anime adaptation of that case cut all mentions of earthquakes due to the then-recent 2011 earthquake, and instead had the kidnapping victim simply hear the kids in the building and try to get help.
  • Sports pedophilia incidents such as the Jerry Sandusky scandal have led fans of Basket Ball Light Novel Ro-Kyu-Bu! to accuse its production committee of this trope for banning the series from home video release outside of Japan.
  • Pokémon had one episode (Battle of the Shaking Island! Barboach VS Whiscash!!) that has never aired anywhere: an episode about Barboach creating earthquakes was never shown on Japanese TV because of a strong earthquake a few days before it was set to air. Judging from the episode list on The Other Wiki it seems as though they're trying to forget the episode even existed.
    • Speaking about earthquake and catfish, a Whiscash invoke one in an episode that was aired six months prior to the Earthquake. Said move hasn't been seen in the anime since then. Of course you can still cause your own earthquakes in the games.
    • After Electric Soldier Porygon gave children seizures, Pokémon videotapes were pulled from store shelves, and like the Earthquake move above, in the anime the eponymous Pokémon has never appeared in a major role since and its evolutions have only made extremely rare and brief appearances as stock artwork when the show's forced to show all the Pokémon existing at the time (Porygon2 was shown in the Johto Pokérap, and both Porygon2 and Porygon-Z were glimpsed in the intro of Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice, which featured stock art of all the Pokémon up to Meloetta).
    • The appearance of Jynx (a controversial Pokémon which had earlier caused a couple of episodes to get pulled due to being perceived as a blackface stereotype) in a three-episode Advanced Generation arc set to be broadcast in America during Black History Month in 2006 caused the entire arc to be pushed back to May of that same year.
    • One episode in the XY series, "An Undersea Place to Call Home!", was held back due to the sinking of a ferry off the South Korean coast. The episode depicts a luxury liner that has been submerged for some time. It would finally be aired months later after an initial airing in Korea. The initial Japanese and US airings were skipped and replaced with Ash's gym battle with Grant; with the episode airing in Japan not long after South Korea and later aired in the English Dub in early 2015.
  • After Auditiongate (it's a long story), all DVDs and Blu-ray discs of Kokoro Connect were delayed for a month in the aftermath. It's also the reason why a new opening theme was recorded for this initial home video release; one member of the band who wrote the original OP hinted at the scandal's existence via Twitter and thus unintentionally provoked the Internet into counterattacking the producers, so he decided to take a hiatus from the group as a direct result of the fallout.
  • On the day before the fourth episode of the new-edit Psycho-Pass anime was to be televised, a 16 year old girl murdered her 15 year old classmate in her apartment in Sasebo by dismembering and decapitating her. The episode's broadcasts were initially cancelled soon after, due to very similar violent content in said episode.
  • Similar to the Yu-Gi-Oh! example on the 9/11 page, the premiere of Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream was held back a week due to the March 11th disaster.
    • Five years later, the show's Spiritual Successor, PriPara, suffered from this trope in Korea, when episode 36 was supposed to play on the day of the Brussels attacks. After the incident happened, the episode was pulled from broadcast due to the episode's plot involving Laala trying to revive Falulu after she dies, and they skipped to episode 37. However, the episode did show up on a Korean online TV service.
  • Digital Manga Publishing dropped their release of the controversial Cure Your Gays manga Houou Gakuen Misoragumi mostly due to the rising amount of LGBT bullying and suicides around the time they released it.
  • In the Thriller Bark arc of One Piece, Invisible Man Absalom stabs Sanji repeatedly with a knife as Sanji is protecting Nami, which bites him in the ass when he gives his location away by stepping into a pool of blood. However, when the anime reached that part, a massacre involving a knife had occurred in Japan, so the scene was altered to make Absalom relentlessly beat Sanji instead, and give his location away by stepping too close to him. The scene was restored to normal in the DVD versions, when it wasn't an issue anymore.
    • The anime ran into this problem again later on during the Dressrosa arc. One of Kyros's first acts upon being restored to his human form was to decapitate Doflamingo, only for him to turn out to be Actually a Doombot. While the decapitation itself aired without incident, only a few days later ISIS executed two Japanese hostages in a similar manner (see below), so that in following episodes a swirl of yarn was hastily slapped atop the headless puppet, and frames showing the head on the ground were zoomed in and/or cropped to avoid showing the severed neck.
  • One of the reasons why Blue Comet SPT Layzner was cancelled was how the second part of the series had Earth conquered and oppressed by a tyrannical and virulently racist Empire... whose actions were very similar to how Imperial Japan had treated its colonies and SPECIALLY the Korean Peninsula few decades ago. Technically speaking Gundam had been doing it for years with Zeon, but the difference is that Gundam was at least a little more subtle about it whereas Layzner took the theme and dealt with it much more directly.
  • Thanks to ISIS taking and murdering Japanese hostages, the last weeks of January 2015 have been pretty bad weeks for violent anime, including Assassination Classroom. Even the comparatively light-hearted Tantei Opera Milky Holmes didn't escape the fallout.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Shark wields a card called "Poseidon Wave", which visually creates a tsunami to stop enemy attacks. Thanks to the 2011 tsunami, they were forced to change the card's name to "Zeus Breath" and change the tsunami to a wall of wind.
  • The "Martial Figure Skating" arc of Ranma ˝, which included a girl who stole things and "kidnapped" peope/animals out of Cuteness Proximity, was delayed because of several kidnappings which had taken place in Japan around the time the three episodes were set for broadcast. They would only be shown months later, after the series had been Un-Cancelled and an episode depicting flashbacks to said episodes had been broadcast as part of the initial run.

    Comic Books 
  • Parodied in Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book #2, where after CBG's apparent death, the guest star opens his funeral eulogy:
    Stan Lee: Face Front, True Believers! That is, those of you that aren't lying face up! (beat) What? Too soon?
  • The cover of Preacher #52 was originally supposed to depict an 8 year-old Tulip O'Hare getting a handgun as a Christmas present. After Columbine, it was changed to a standard facial shot of an adult Tulip.
  • One issue of the Vertigo Comics title Hellblazer, containing a story entitled Shoot (written by Warren Ellis) was never released due to its resemblance to the Columbine shootings - it would have come out only weeks after the shootings occurred. As with the above example, the issue had been in the works for several months, the timing was merely coincidental. The issue was eventually released as a standalone story in 2010.
  • Issue #3 of Batman Incorporated was pushed back a month due to the tragic shooting spree that occurred at a Colorado screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The issue, which saw a female Leviathan agent chloroforming and replacing a teacher and then pointing a gun at her students, was deemed insensitive in light of the shootings.
  • On her Tumblr blog, Gail Simone mentioned that she had to rewrite an issue of Batgirl (which featured a Latino youth being brutalized by bigoted security officers) due to some similarities it bore to the death of Trayvon Martin.
  • Trinity was originally scheduled to have a three-issue arc dealing with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman defending a racist hate speaker from angry rioters. The issues were cancelled by DC due to the increasingly volatile political situation in the United States following the election of Donald Trump, including at least one incident that bore superficial similarities to the riot in the story.

    Fan Fiction 

  • Following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, FX pulled Armageddon from the schedule because the opening depicted a space shuttle being destroyed.
  • The page quote from Crimes and Misdemeanors is actually attributable to Larry Gelbart, whom Alan Alda butted heads with on M*A*S*H. Neither Woody Allen nor Alda liked Gelbart, and used his quote to show what a shallow person Lester was.
  • The release of Dr. Strangelove was delayed several weeks due to the Kennedy assassination.
    • One of Slim Pickens' lines was also re-dubbed: "Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."
    • It originally ended with a pie fight in the War Room, and at one point the President is hit, prompting the line "Our gallant President has been struck down in his prime!".
  • Similarly, the censors nixed a gag in Animal House (released in 1978) that would have had a sculpture of JFK on a parade float being shot in the "head" during the chaos when the Deltas attack the parade in their "Eat Me" float. (In the finished film, it is Jackie Kennedy who is disrespected, when Babs Jansen, who is portraying Jackie, has her pink suit ripped off and ends up in her underwear.) Ironically, in-universe the gag would have been a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, since the parade takes place in the autumn of 1962 - more than a year before the assassination.
  • A showing of Die Hard 2 was delayed in the UK and instead replaced with the showing of the Sylvester Stallone movie Cliffhanger. The reason for this was because there had been a recent incident at Glasgow Airport involving a flaming car crashing into the building, and with the movie being set in an airport they probably thought showing it would be in bad taste.
  • Release of Fly Away Home, about a nine-year-old hang-glider pilot leading a flock of Canada geese to their nesting site, was delayed for several months following the death of seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff in an attempt to become the youngest person to fly across the United States.
  • The release of Space Camp, originally scheduled for early 1986, was pushed back several months following the Challenger disaster.
  • Invoked in the RiffTrax of Future Force. Upon seeing the starring credit for David Carradine, Bill riffs "David Carradine? How’d they rope him into this?" After Mike & Kevin protest, Bill apologizes and they try to avoid the subject, but it doesn't last for long.
    • Kevin complained that it was Too Soon, but just seconds later says this is no longer the case (i.e., it's now okay to joke about it). Bill still manages to cross a line with his next joke, and the handful of times he brings it up again over the course of the movie are pretty uncomfortable for everybody.
  • The release of Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone was delayed in the UK because there were parallels to the recent disappearance of Madeline McCann.
  • ITV pulled an airing of The Railway Children (their adaptation) three days after the Ufton Nervet rail crash in 2004.
  • Hours before Brüno's red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson died, so Universal cut a scene that joked about him, a trim that was confirmed for the general release as well.
  • Not long after the death of Heath Ledger an in-text example occurs in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, when the two are speculating titles for the movie they're planning to make:
    Zack: Fuck-back Mountain? [Miri cringes] Too soon?
  • NBC's made-for-TV movie Atomic Train was preempted by Denver affiliate KUSA out of sympathy for the Columbine massacre, and the fact that it depicted the destruction of the city.
  • Phone Booth, the Colin Farell movie with his character stuck in a phone booth at the mercy of a sniper (voiced by Keifer Sutherland), was originally supposed to be released in October 2002. In light of the D.C. Sniper attacks, it was moved to April 2003.
  • The Boondock Saints was also set to be released in theatres the same week as the Columbine shootings, and ended up having an extremely limited release (five theatres in the country, for one week). The film would've been doomed by the coincidence then and there had people not started talking about it to their friends and pen pals and brought about high sales of the DVD, causing it to become a major Cult Classic and leading to a sequel.
    • Another Columbine example is "O", since the film featured gun violence among high school students. It was postponed from its April 1999 release date and wasn't released until summer 2001.
  • Advertisements for the 1991 B horror film Body Parts, in which the protagonist whose arm is severed in an accident receives a transplant limb from a dead serial killer, were pulled in Wisconsin because the promotion and release of the film coincided with the discovery of the Jeffrey Dahmer killings.
  • Trailers for the film The Dilemma were pulled due to Vince Vaughn's character describing hybrid cars as gay ("but not in a homosexual way") after a rash of gay teen suicides.
  • Wes Craven's original vision for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) was to make his villain Freddy Krueger a child molester and rapist as well as a child killer, but had to excise this little detail because he wanted to avoid being accused of exploiting a series of highly-publicized child molestations that was happening in California at the time the movie was being made. The 2010 remake, though, restores said detail.
  • Warner Bros. pulled the Clint Eastwood-directed film Hereafter from Japanese theaters after the Sendai earthquake and tsunami, as the film's opening sequence contains a harrowing tsunami disaster.
  • In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, No. 2 informs Dr. Evil that his plan to end the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales has been overtaken by real life events - an exchange cut from the British release, thanks to another far more tragic real life event involving the Princess of Wales which happened the week before.
  • The Norwegian theatrical release of We Need to Talk About Kevin (a movie about a mother dealing with the fact that her son had massacred the kids at his school) was postponed from autumn 2011 to 2012 due to the recent Utøya massacre.
  • The James Bulger murder, which killed any chance of Mikey ever being released in Britain for the foreseeable future (that, and the fact that it isn't really a film worth fighting for), also delayed a re-release of at least one Video Nasty, Zombie Creeping Flesh, for the next several years; the BBFC told the distributors that now would not be the best time to submit the film for rating. It wasn't until 2002 that the BBFC decided to accept a submission of the film, and the distributors' patience was duly rewarded: the film was rated 18 uncut. Interestingly, the video release of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs was held up until 1995 for the same reason.
    • On the subject of BBFC video classification, Warner Bros. was advised shortly after the Video Nasty crisis that it would be too soon to attempt a home video re-release of The Exorcist (which was always legal to exhibit in theatres, mind you), which ultimately didn't return to shelves until 1999.
  • The Enzian Theater, an independent Central Florida-based movie theater, was planning on doing a special screening of Die Hard for Father's Day in 2016, but following the events of the Pulse nightclub shooting, it was pulled and replaced with a screening of Airplane!.
  • This is the reason why then-regular Lucio Fulci collaborator Dardano Sacchetti is uncredited for his work on Zombi 2. Specifically, his father had died before the film premiered, and he didn't wish at the time to be associated with a film where the dead come back to life only to be killed a second time.
  • The Ben Stiller movie Neighborhood Watch, about suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch and end up fighting aliens, had its marketing pulled from movie theaters in the wake of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch person in Sanford, Florida. The film was subsequently renamed The Watch, with the marketing revamped to focus more on the alien aspect than the neighborhood watch.
    • A similar example happened with the Walter Hill film Trespass. It was originally titled Looters and was scheduled for release in summer 1992. After the L.A. Riots, the film was pushed back to December and had it's title changed to avoid negative connotations.
  • The red-carpet premieres of The Dark Knight Rises in France, Mexico, and Japan were cancelled in the wake of the horrific shooting on the film's North American opening day (July 20, 2012), when a gunman stormed a midnight showing in Aurora, Colorado. 12 people were killed, and dozens more were injured. Ads touting the movie have also reportedly been pulled, and Warner Bros. opted to give final box office updates for the film on Monday, rather than through the weekend, out of respect for the victims of the Aurora shooting.
    • In an in-universe example, Commissioner Gordon decides at the last moment that Gotham isn't ready to hear the truth about Harvey Dent. This happened during a celebration of Harvey Dent Day early in the film.
  • Speaking of the Aurora shooting, Gangster Squad was hit badly by this. Not only was it pushed back from September 2012 to January 2013, but the entire ending had to be rewritten and reshot due to its depiction of gangsters shooting up a movie theater. The trailer, which included scenes from that shootout (and which played in front of The Dark Knight Rises at many theaters), had to be pulled and redone for the same reason. Only time will tell if the offending sequence will be included on a future home video release.
  • As a result of the Columbine shooting, Scream 3 was delayed several months, and toned down for violence.
  • When A Night at the Opera was rereleased during World War II, several lines mentioning Italy were deleted from almost all surviving prints, leaving them unheard for several decades until a print with the offending material intact was discovered in Hungary in 2008.
  • The 3D version of Top Gun was not released until February 2013 due to director Tony Scott's passing; though he lived to see its completion, Paramount apparently didn't want the release to be seen as exploitative, and given that post-converted 3D already has enough of a bad reputation as it is...
  • The Jack Reacher and Parental Guidance red carpet premieres were postponed in the immediate wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (The former film is a violent action movie, and the latter is a family comedy.)
  • Following Haruki Kadokawa's arrest for drug smuggling, his Live-Action Adaptation of Rex: A Dinosaur Story, another CLAMP manga (see Anime/Manga for another example of CLAMP falling victim to this trope), was pulled from theatres. No further attempts have been made at live-action films of CLAMP's manga since.
  • The 2013 version of Carrie was delayed from March 15 to October 18, just two months before its planned release date. The studio's explanation was that it was to take advantage of the lucrative Halloween market for horror films, but director Kimberly Peirce contends that the real reason was the Sandy Hook shooting making it uncomfortable to release a film with Carrie's subject matter (a bullied high school student murdering her classmates at the prom) just three months afterwards.
  • Steamboat Bill, Jr. was originally meant to incorporate a large flood as the disaster that hits the town. However, due to a real Mississippi flood and bickering amongst the producers, the flood plot was changed to a "cyclone."
  • One theory for Muppets Most Wanted's box office underperforming, as raised by user comments at Disney-insider website, is that the movie — which has a plot point of Kermit being incarcerated in a Russian gulag — was coincidentally released smack-dab in the middle of the 2014 crisis in Ukraine and Crimea. Never mind that the film never mentions the Ukrainian crisis, or that Ukraine and Russia are two separate countries.
  • In-Universe example for Jurassic World, when Lowery shows Claire the T-shirt bearing the original Jurassic Park's logo (one of the unused original shirts from the first park, which he paid a lot for on eBay), Claire responds with distaste at how the original logo serves as a reminder of all the people who died in the events of the first film.
  • In-Universe in The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water. When SpongeBob and Plankton are overlooking the ruined Bikini Bottom, Plankton jokes that it should be renamed "Dirty Bottom". SpongeBob reacts in disgust and Plankton quickly agrees that it's too soon.
  • Inside Out aired on Starz Kids at 2:00AM EST on March 22, 2016. The film reached the point where Joy and Bing Bong fall into the memory dump just as the Brussels attacks began. Starz responded to this by pulling most of the planned airings of the film (which were supposed to be aired every single day for the next 14 days) across their networks and either replaced them with other films such as Look Who's Talking, Cinderella and Pixels, or showed the film during prime time or early in the morning.
    • It happened again during the truck attacks in Nice, but the film was being shown on Starz Comedy and was up to the Abstract Thought scene, where Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong's bodies fall apart when they change forms.
  • This has been speculated to be the reason why Toei made such impossible demands for an international release of Battle Royale as a wide theatrical release; specifically, they had heard about Columbine and realized that allowing such a film as that to be released in America so soon after the 1999 shooting would be in poor taste.
  • Walt Disney World resort hotels pulled all movie night screenings of Zootopia after a 2-year-old was attacked by an alligator at the Grand Floridian during movie night, due to said film being the movie shown on that night.
  • Sully had its Brazilian release postponed in two weeks given a few days before its scheduled debut an airplane taking a local team to Colombia crashed, killing 71 people. Even if Sully is about a plane saved from such a disaster by its pilot.

  • Phenomena book 7 was this according to Word of God, because of some recent events that was about 5 months before release, but it was published anyway.
  • Dean Koontz set up his Frankenstein trilogy to involve artificially-created monsters rampaging through New Orleans during a hurricane. Due to the destruction caused by Katrina the third book was delayed, finally being released in July 2009.
  • This was also the reason why Animal Farm was made into an allegory involving animals. George Orwell originally intended for it to directly expose some of the horrific crimes committed by the Soviet Union since Stalin came to power, but because the Soviets under Stalin were part of the Allied Forces during World War II, the book publishers could not release the book without risking Stalin either abandoning their alliance, or worse, attacking them.
  • George Orwell hurried to finish his masterwork Nineteen Eighty-Four ahead of time, as he knew he was dying. For the title, he simply reversed the last two digits of the year of writing - 1948 became 1984. Had he worked on it a little longer, it might have been titled 1994. Literally "too soon"? It still drew flack from left intelligensia and the then-strong British Communist Party, who saw it as a satire on the revered war leader and very recent ally Joseph Stalin.
  • An in-universe example in The Witchlands: after a Cleaved witch (one that's been afflicted with a Mystical Plague turning them rabid) attacks a busy port and is taken down by Merik, Safi and Iseult, Safi starts lambasting Merik for interfering, opening her tirade with "Are you Cleaved?!". In her head, Iseult notes the poor choice of words.

    Live Action TV 
  • Bonanza: Several sources claim that the episode "Kingdom of Fear" (loosely based on Cool Hand Luke, where the Cartwrights were arrested by a despot posing as a lawman for "trespassing on his land"), filmed in 1968 and intended to air during the 1968-1969 season, was pulled due to its violent storyline, in light of the shooting death of Robert Kennedy, race riots (in the aftermath of the killing of Martin Luther King Jr.), clashes between police and war protesters and violence at Democratic National Convention events. The episode was finally aired in the spring of 1971, three years later. note 
  • Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a MyNetworkTV rerun of the Monk episode Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man, which features a murderer use an alibi of being in the San Francisco Marathon at the time of the murder of his girlfriend, was quietly replaced with another episode without notice; it aired the next week.
  • In some kind of awkward aversion, the third season of United States of Tara had in one of its plotlines Kate wanting to teach English in Japan. She wants to go to Tokyo, however, an earthquake hits the country making her change her plans. The episode aired April 11, 2011, exactly one month after the fatal earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region. The episodes were written and produced in late 2010, and screenwriter Diablo Cody apologized on Tumbr beforehand.
  • Intentionally used in 30 Rock episode "Into the Crevasse," not quite three months after Michael Jackson's death.
    Jenna: I don't know if you know this, but werewolves only come out at night.
    Liz: Yeah, I think I remember that from the "Thriller" video.
    Tracy: Too soon!
  • Season 1, Episode 4 of Hannibal was scheduled for soon after the Boston Marathon bombing and Sandy Hook. The show's creator felt like it would be in poor taste to air an episode about children killing other children, so the episode was postponed in the U.S.(but did air overseas) plot-relevant bits were released online as "mini-sodes" and the full episode was later released on iTunes.
  • The US version of The Office (US) has a scene where regional manager Michael Scott discusses which topics are off-topic for comedy, saying that the Lincoln assassination "just recently became funny."
  • Two episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Earshot" and "Graduation Day") were delayed for several months following the Columbine shootings. One episode featured a student attempting suicide on campus, the other ended with the entire graduating class coming to graduation armed and fighting against a horde of vampires that ended with part of the school being blown up. Two particular instances stand out:
    • First:
    Xander: Who hasn't idly thought about taking out the whole place with a semi-automatic?
    (looks from everyone)
    Xander: What? I said idly.
    • Second:
    Xander: I'm still having trouble with the idea that one of us is just gonna gun everybody down for no reason.
    Cordelia: Yeah, 'cause that never happens in American high schools.
    Oz: It's bordering on trendy at this point.
    • That Willow was amused by the joke did not help.
    • Interestingly, the Graduation Day part 2 episode did air in a couple of places in Canada. Fans started tape trains and Whedon was apparently all for it.
    • Word of God has stated that everyone, everyone was in favor of scrapping "Earshot", as it would have aired shortly after Columbine and was a mundane school shooting. However, many (including Whedon, Gellar, and Green) spoke out against the decision to pull the finale (hours before it would have aired) because of kids using axes against a giant snake.
  • The UK airing of the CSI two parter "Grave Danger" was delayed by a week because on the day that it was due to be aired, it emerged that the 7/7 bombings (about a week earlier) were the work of suicide bombers.
    • And the french airing of the finale was delayed following the terrorist attacks in Brussels.
  • An episode of Bones featuring the murder of a college student was delayed because of the Virginia Tech shootings, which happened earlier in the same week that the episode was supposed to air. Those same shootings also forced One Life to Live to curtail its big sweeps storyline involving similar events.
    • Criminal Minds delayed the airing of "Doubt" until the next season for the same reason.
  • In April 1995, All My Children was setting up a storyline in which one of the characters was planning on setting a bomb at the wedding of two other characters. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, producers immediately canceled the storyline, and appeared at the beginning of one of the episodes to explain their choice. A similar plotline on the season finale of Melrose Place (psycho Kimberley was planning to bomb the apartment complex) had already been filmed, but was edited. It did air for the following season's premiere, when the topic was not nearly as sensitive (though ironically, it did air on September 11, 1995).
    • Years later, plans for a school shooting sequence was dropped in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre.
  • Medium had a two-part episode about a shooting at the aerospace engineer husband's workplace and its aftermath. When the Virginia Tech massacre and the Johnson Space Center shooting occurred during the week between episodes (what the hell), the recap of the previous episode (including the shooting itself) was replaced by a brief lecture and an acknowledgment that "there's been enough shooting" from the two lead actors.
  • In The Greatest American Hero, Ralph Hinkley's name was changed to Hanley for several episodes after John Hinkley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan.
    • And a scene that has June Lockhart saying that his name suggests that he's reliable had to be dubbed over with airplane noise.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Following the Dunblane massacre, the 1996 TV Movie was edited on its original BBC transmission, to remove as much of the opening gunfight as possible. This scene has subsequently been reinstated on the DVD release of the episode, but the sound effect of the Master breaking his wife's neck (which was also removed on the original transmission) is still missing on the DVD.
    • "School Reunion" (Series 2) features a school being blown up in order to destroy the aliens inside it. This episode was taken off the air in Australia after a similar event involving a student rebel detonating a bomb in a class room killing 5 students happened. The fact that the rebel was called "Ken" didn't help due to this line being featured in the episode: "Kenny blew up the school! It was Kenny!" (whereupon the happy students cheer...)
    • The death of the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robot of Sherwood" (Series 8) had to be altered at the last minute, from the Sheriff being beheaded, which would've outed him as a robot, to being pushed into a molten vat of gold. This change was due to the recent beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Stoloff by the Muslim extremist militia ISIS; as the show was meant as one of the season's Breather Episodes, the change was probably for the best.
  • A two-episode story in Homicide: Life on the Street was left out of the UK broadcast because it dealt with a hostage situation in a school and would have been broadcast too soon after the Dunblane massacre.
  • The most recent series of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries has been delayed (on pretty short notice) due to the ongoing disappearance of Madeline McCann.
  • Two episodes of Red Dwarf (specifically "Dimension Jump" and "Meltdown") were shunted to the end of Series 4 of the series, because when they were due to air the Persian Gulf War was on, the former for fear that the character of Ace Rimmer would glamorize combat too much (however farcically), and "Meltdown" for its anti-war slant featuring the slaughter of hundreds of (robotic celebrity-wax) soldiers.
    • The repeat of "Rimmerworld" was also pushed back after the Dunblane massacre and Cat's quote (when following Rimmer's escape pod), "Form an orderly queue behind the gunsight".
  • Not long after Katrina a re-run of The Price Is Right was aired during which they gave away a trip to Mardi Gras. The prize package included a boat. CBS was quick on the draw; the re-aired episode was only shown west of the Rockies.
  • Wheel of Fortune has several examples, mostly due to certain things happening between the tape date and air date:
    • A rather unfortunate example was a 1992 episode that had VANNA'S PREGNANT as a puzzle (in reference to hostess Vanna White). She miscarried not long after it taped, so the only choice they had was to edit out the entire round, and replace it with a segment about San Francisco (where they were taping at the time).
    • In May 2001, they had ROBERT BLAKE AS BARETTA as a puzzle on an episode that aired shortly after he was accused of shooting his wife. They had to dub in a clip of host Pat Sajak explaining the situation.
    • Wheel was taping on location in New Orleans right before Hurricane Katrina hit. They got two weeks done, and had to cancel a third (although all of the contestants slated for that third week eventually did get to play). Two episodes from the first taped week had entire puzzles edited out because it was thought that their answers might be insensitive to hurricane victims. In their place, viewers saw clips of Pat and Vanna promoting Katrina relief funds.
    • In November 2006, they used THE CROCODILE HUNTER on an episode that ended up airing right after Steve Irwin died. Once again, a clip was dubbed in of Pat explaining the situation.
    • On a lighter note, something similar occurred when THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN came up just after O'Brien left the show in the wake of the Jay Leno Show debacle, which ended with Leno returning to his old stomping grounds.
    • On December 2, 2013, they used THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS as a puzzle just two days after Paul Walker died. Although the events were not mentioned in-show, the staff did make note of the unfortunate circumstances via Facebook, as did Sajak via Twitter.
  • Only a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit, Jeopardy! aired three episodes featuring a contestant from New Orleans. A short clip was added before each episode of host Alex Trebek explaining that they had been taped before the storm hit, and that the show's production had confirmed that the contestant was safe and well.
  • Casualty rewrote an episode which would have shown a Muslim suicide bombing, because the issue of Islamic terrorism was thought to be too sensitive after the 7/7 London train bombings. (See Western Terrorists)
  • Coronation Street:
    • The show also changed a storyline in which a character's baby was abducted due to similarities with the Madeline McCann abduction case.
    • The episode scheduled to air on the 2nd June 2010 was cancelled by ITV due to the then-breaking news about the Cumbria massacre. The episode in question featured scenes with guns.
  • The British sitcom Absolute Power postponed an episode with a throwaway but hard-to-cut joke about an MP faking a heart attack to avoid being interviewed, after the death of prominent MP Robin Cook from a heart attack. They also postponed an episode about a member of the Bin Laden family trying to buy British Airways following the London bombings.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The first episode featured a terminator trying to kill John in a high school, which coincided with the Virginia Tech event. The scene was kept on, but scenes featuring the students' reactions as if to a school shooting were removed.
  • During the 2001 anthrax scare to spread the disease via mail, the episode of Seinfeld where Susan died from licking toxic envelope glue was temporarily removed.
    • Interestingly, the FBI concluded that the main culprit in those mail attacks was a disgruntled U.S. Army biodefense researcher who was angry that girls from nearby colleges wouldn't date him, and set the entire operation up as an elaborate revenge/murder-suicide plot. Harsher in Hindsight?
  • In the Eleventh Hour episode "Miracle", a "healing" spring turns out to be contaminated with tritium, a component in refining nuclear material. In the original UK version, the source of the contamination was a secret government program to manufacture plutonium for the express purpose of planting it in foreign countries as a pretense on which to invade. "It would be really embarrassing if we decided to invade some country on the claim that they had a nuclear weapons program, and there turn out to be absolutely no evidence," hit a little too close to home on the other side of The Pond, so in the US version, it's the work of white supremacists trying to build a dirty bomb.
  • The episode of Muppets Tonight guest starring Sandra Bullock was delayed for months after the Oklahoma City bombing in the spring of 1995, since the episode was based around a parody of Speed in which a mysterious bomber was threatening to blow up the studio if the ratings went below 50.
  • Fox considered changing the name of the family on Married... with Children due to it being the same as infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. They were actually named for professional wrestler King Kong Bundy.
  • Lauren Graham hurriedly had to voiceover a one-liner involving Bali for Lorelai in Gilmore Girls which aired four days after the 2005 Bali bombings to instead refer to Maui, though the Closed Captioning track wasn't able to be replaced in time.
  • For Shake It Up, the premiere of the second season was supposed to be a 1-hour special to air on September 18, 2011, but the 1-hour episode was postponed due to a terrifying plane crash that happened that weekend at the Reno Air Show in Nevada (and the episode featured CeCe and Rocky flying on an airplane). However, it was replaced with a new episode that night and has been scheduled to air in early October.
  • NUMB3RS (which is set in California) aired an episode that featured a horrible train wreck a couple weeks after one of the worst rail disasters in US history happened in California. Naturally, they aired a brief statement beforehand.
  • The first episode of the BBC sketch show Horne and Corden had a sketch in which a pair of performers magically eliminated gun violence. The following day, a school shooting happened in Germany, and the sketch was removed from the repeats and iPlayer version.
  • In the final episode of the second season of Bottom Ritchie and Eddie encounter a flasher while camping out on Wimbledon Common. After filming was completed, but before the episode was to be broadcasted, a young woman was sexually assaulted and murdered on the Common. The episode was shelved and first appeared on the VHS release.
  • The episode of Mr. Bean where he ends up looking after a baby had its premiere delayed by a few months due to the kidnap and murder of James Bulger.
  • A showing of Child's Play 3 was pulled from British TV screens in the fallout from the James Bulger murder. The murderers (children themselves) had reportedly watched it prior to committing the crime, and their actions bore some similarities to those of Chuckie in the film. This led to a period of demonization of the Child's Play series in the media, reacting as though the films actively encouraged murder.
  • MST3k in-universe example, right after Joel's final goodbye to the 'bots:
    Crow: Well, race you to the Mallow Cups! I found out where he hides them.
    Servo: Crow, too soon!
    • Also consciously averted when they riffed on the movie Overdrawn at the Memory Bank just a few years after its star Raul Julia died. In The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide writer/actress Mary Jo Pehl said they tried to make it clear that their target was the poorly-written movie and characters and not Julia — as evidenced by her character (Mad Scientist Pearl Forrester) sincerely calling him "a very fine actor" in the episode.
  • Parodied in Frasier; much to the Crane brothers' horror, their favorite restaurant burns down as a result of "the worst centerpiece disaster in Seattle's history" days before the 2000 millennium celebrations. To lighten the mood, Niles cracks a joke, only for Frasier to soberly tell him that it's too soon for jokes.
    • There's another Frasier episode where immediately before Frasier starts giving a speech the audience is informed that a beloved local clergyman is missing following a boating accident. The other characters try — in vain — to warn Frasier before he can tell the joke about a rabbi, a minister, and a priest on board the Titanic.
  • Parodied in an episode of X-Play. Adam Sessler makes a jab at a GTA knock-off's controls stinking worse than archduke Franz Ferdinand's rotting corpse, to which he pauses before adding a "Too Soon?"
  • Comedian Bill Maher received some criticism when he dressed as Steve Irwin (with the stingray in his heart) on the first Halloween after his death. Bill himself referenced this trope in a few episodes of his show, where he made jokes about Mohandas Gandhi and Amelia Earhart.
  • Mad Men deliberately invoked this in-series, with an ad campaign that would've featured overhead views of a convertible with two couples riding in it, under development at the time of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
    • And the episode where Pete's father dies because of the American Airlines Flight 1 crashing. Sterling Cooper pulls all of the ads for Tomahawk airlines.
    • And they also developed ads for Playtex rather daringly using the same model to play both Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe (ie. the same bra lets you be My Girl Is a Slut and My Girl Is Not a Slut for your man). Playtex loved it, but declined because it didn't quite fit their image. A few days later, Marilyn dies and Peggy says, "Well, it's a good thing Playtex didn't buy the ad; we would have had to pull it." Don's again impressed because she was the only woman in the office not weeping for Marilyn and was the only one to make that business connection.
    • In season 6 Peggy has to rework a campaign for headphones since the slogan "Give us your ears" might come off wrong in light of the reveal that some US soldiers in Vietnam have been collecting ears of the people they killed.
  • VH-1 cancelled the reality dating show Megan Wants a Millionaire and the third season of I Love Money after a contestant involved in both shows — and alleged to be the winner of the latter — was involved in a murder-suicide case.
  • Police, Camera, Action!, which edited out 2 pieces of footage from the 2007 episode "Less Lethal Weapons" where Michael Todd from the Greater Manchester Police was being shot at with a Taser to demonstrate its use. The Other Wiki has info on him here. The cut hasn't been reinstated since, and an In Memoriam at the end of the episode would have been far better judgment. This is a case of where this trope collides with Executive Meddling and, more possibly Fridge Brilliance. This is also a possible case of Harsher in Hindsight too.
  • An episode of the British Whose Line Is It Anyway? recorded in 1994, just after Richard Nixon's death, has the World's Worst "person to be president of the world during an intergalactic crisis."
    Tony: Ladies and gentlemen, Richard Nix—oh dear.
    Audience: (laughter followed by loud booing)
    Clive: Topical now, it'll be great in six months' time when this goes out.
    Tony: He'll still be dead!
  • Hollyoaks dropped a storyline which would have revealed that two characters had committed murder while underage and were now living under new identities with police protection, because of the similarities to the James Bulger case.
  • At the beginning of the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards on August 29, 2010, host Jimmy Fallon is playing an acoustic guitar. He jokingly says "NBC asked me, the host of Late Night, to come to Los Angeles to host a different show. What could possibly go wrong?" Cameras panned to Conan O'Brien, the previous host of Late Night, then had a brief seven-month stint as The Tonight Show host before leaving the network (because NBC wanted Jay Leno back in his old timeslot of 11:35 P.M. EDT). "Too soon?" Jimmy Fallon asks.
  • Used in Terriers, when Hank and his tech buddies start fearing that the Big Bad might be gearing up to killing a woman in front of their hidden camera:
    "Come on. What can they do to her? They're in a hotel full of people!"
    "Yeah. Tell that to Bobby Kennedy, right? (Beat) Really? That's too soon?"
  • Hawaii Five-0 (2010 reboot): invoked in-show in "He Kane Hewa' Ole"
    McGarrett: Okay, what about our John Doe #2?
    Danno: You mean Jack?
    McGarrett: You got an I.D.?
    Danno: No Ja - his head was in a box. Jack.
    Danno: Too soon?
    McGarrett: Little bit.
  • An episode of the UK show Have I Got News for You which aired a day after the 7/7 London Bombing aired without sight of a joke which was said in it. During the "Caption" section, in which a screenshot is shown and the panel must come up with a caption to go with it in a spot, a picture of a man holding a pink bag on a tube train while standing next to a child wearing a pink shirt was shown and the caption given was: "Gay suicide bomber kiss 10 gay kids." Many complaints rained in and a public apology was given.
    • When the audience reacted to his joke about Princess Diana with indrawn breath, Ian Hislop sarcastically asked "What? Too soon?" Diana's death had been well over ten years earlier.
  • In-universe example from Community episode Beginner Pottery: The pottery teacher (played by Tony Hale note ) has a rule in his class stating that no one is allowed to imitate the pottery wheel love scene from the movie Ghost. He drives the point home by pointing to a poster of Patrick Swayze with an "X" over it. He then quietly tells the shocked students "I had it made before he died so it's not in bad taste."
    • They did it again with another in-universe example in the episode Analysis of Cork-Based Networking when Chang was suggesting a bear theme for the midterm party (with the line "Bear Down for Midterms"), only for Jeff, Shirley, Duncan and Chang to be told by the soda delivery person that a bear broke loose at a birthday party and mauled guests in Wisconsin the morning that episode happened.
  • In the wake of the Columbine massacre, Lifetime removed a scheduled airing of Death of a Cheerleader, a TV movie about an outcast who murders a popular girl for not wanting to be friends with her.
  • A 1997 episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun ("Tricky Dick") features Tommy joining a garage band. In the original script, the band was called "Shattered Princess". As it happened, Princess Diana's death occurred just before filming, so the name got changed to "Whiskey Kitten". The funny part is that that episode was filmed out of order due to scheduling conflicts, so the delayed shooting date ultimately saved them the trouble of looping out "Shattered Princess". (All this is explained in the DVD Commentary for that episode.)
  • Silent Witness had to postpone two episodes (about Pakistani gangs forcing underage girls into prostitution) of series fifteen, due to similarities to a high-profile case in the news.
  • Neighborhood Watch, an A&E reality series that looked like it was about overzealous watch-people, changed its name to Small-Town Security in the wake of the Trayvon Marting shooting by an overzealous watchman.
  • Shortland Street: A scene from an early October 2009 episode involving a character returning from Samoa and boasting of sunshine and drinking on the beach had to be re-shot in the wake of the Samoan earthquake and tsunami.
    • Downplayed with the 20th anniversary feature-length episode, which featured a helicopter crash. A fatal helicopter crash occurred in the South Island just hours before the episode was due to air; pulling the episode would have caused huge disruption so the show went to air as planned with an added Content Warning.
  • Rudy Coby: The Coolest Magician on Earth was going to refer to the cardboard bomb at the end as the "Bomb of Death", but due to the Oklahoma city bombing that had just happened, they said "Doomsday Device of Death" instead.
  • Craig Ferguson had filmed a monologue for The Late Late Show that was mostly about Batman, to be aired on the US premiere date for The Dark Knight Rises. After the mass murders at an Aurora, CO theater, the monologue was replaced with Craig, sitting at his desk, sending condolences to friends and relatives of the victims.
    • The episode that aired the night of the Sandy Hook tragedy had been pre-recorded a week earlier and Ferguson was out of the country for his Christmas break, but apparently on his orders CBS cut out the traditional "it's a great day for America" monologue open.
  • After Pee Wee Herman got arrested for indecent exposure at an X-rated movie theater, CBS pulled Pee-Wee's Playhouse from their Saturday morning line-up (though at the time, the show was already over as Paul Reubens decided to end the show and move on. CBS was just airing reruns until the incident). In addition to this, Pee Wee Herman dolls were pulled from store shelves for the same reason.
  • In Police Squad!, one of the doomed guest stars was to have been John Belushi drowning with Cement Shoes on. This was filmed but never used owing to Belushi's Real Life death.
  • One episode of The Cosby Show, "The Dentist", was originally to have had Danny Kaye as the eponymous dentist persuading a child character into his chair by propelling it up and down and saying "This is the tooth shuttle, and I need an astronaut!" The episode's original broadcast was scheduled for less than one week after the disaster aboard Space Shuttle Challenger, so Kaye overdubbed the line with "This is the tooth ship, and I need a pilot!"
  • Super Sentai has been hit with this at least a couple of times.
    • Chouriki Sentai Ohranger: The show's entire direction suffered from this, as the season had the unfortunate luck to come right between the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attacks. Some of the original premise of the story (involving superpowers and ancient civilizations) was considered to be too close to claims made by Aum Shinrikyo's leader about himself; and Toei thought that with all the recent tragedies in the news, viewers wouldn't feel like watching an intense and dramatic show. Ohranger was then ReTooled into something much more light-hearted. Because of resulting inconsistencies in tone between the first few episodes (that aired before the subway attacks) and the rest of the show, ratings suffered. It was thought to be the Franchise Killer for quite a time until it was revealed that Ohranger toy sales had reached record highs at the time, thus saving it from doom.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger: Shortly after the debut of the Go-on Wings, whose primary weapons are the high-tech Rocket Daggers, the Akihabara massacre occurred, where a man stabbed at least a dozen people using a dagger. Afterwards, the toy versions were renamed "Rocket Boosters" and the Wings avoided calling their attacks for a while.
  • Power Rangers Ninja Storm had an episode in the queue about a Hate Plague Monster of the Week trying to start World War III by infecting everyone at a peace conference — then The War on Terror got rolling. The episode was pulled, and heavily edited to be about a city council meeting trying to increase energy efficiency, and aired later - way later. This means (1) there's a quest to acquire the ancient and powerful Turtle Mace some 20 episodes after it originally debuted by being used as if it had always been there, (2) apparently everyone except the first three Rangers had the day off, and (3) that is the most ethnically diverse city council ever.
  • The episode of Haven named "Reunion", in which there is a shooting at an alumni reunion, was pulled off Syfy's schedule shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and replaced the episode with a holiday-themed episode of Eureka from the previous year.
  • The 2012 season finale of the Biography Channel series I Survived was to feature the stories of those who survived the mass shooting in Norway. It was scheduled to air on 12/16/12—until the freakishly similar Sandy Hook shooting occurred two days beforehand. The episode was immediately replaced with a repeat. Not until almost a year later, in October 2013, did the episode finally air. Very tellingly, episodes featuring survivors of the Virginia Tech, Columbine, and other mass shootings haven't been re-run in a long time, and the show's 2013 season premier was considerably delayed.
  • The BBC has done a fair deal of "Too Soon" damage control since the 2012 revelations that one of its most famous presenters, the late Jimmy Savile, was a prolific pedophile/sexual abuser.
    • The scandal broke when rival network ITV ran a special, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, that revealed that the BBC newsmagazine Newsnight was working on an investigative report on his alleged sexual abuse at the end of 2011, shortly after his nationally-mourned death. The Newsnight report was spiked for disputed reasons... while the BBC aired Savile tribute specials that Christmas. Indeed, one of those possible reasons for the cancellation was that it would have ruined the tributes to bring up such horrific stories.
    • New Tricks swapped the airing order of the ninth and tenth episodes of Series 9 because the ninth, "Glasgow UCOS", featured a recently uncovered child abuse scandal involving a man who was coincidentally also named Jimmy from two decades earlier. Savile's alleged crimes dated back to The '50s.
    • Less than two years before news of the scandal broke, BBC Four had begun airing every archived Top of the Pops episode from April 1976 onward. Subsequently, all the episodes Savile presented or helped to present were dropped from the rerun rotation and banished forevermore to Keep Circulating the Tapes purgatory. After another presenter, Dave Lee Travis, was arrested as part of the Scotland Yard investigation into Savile's crimes, episodes he appeared in were dropped too.
    • The BBC were forced to apologise after parents objected to the content of a January 2013 rerun of a Tweenies episode on Cbeebies. The 2001 episode in question featured a Top of the Pops spoof with Max dressed as Savile.
  • The Castle episode "Still," in which the characters have to disarm a bomb in order to save Beckett, was postponed so that it would air two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing instead of just one week, and was never seen in the Boston area outside of areas which received the Boston ABC affiliate's sister station in New Hampshire, online, and then seven months later when it hit the rerun cycle. Unfortunately, just three days after the Boston Marathon attack, TNT inadvertently aired a rerun of the other episode that has a bomb plot, "47 Seconds." They then had to issue an apology for it.
  • Glee took a three-week hiatus before airing "Shooting Star." Speculation says it was out of respect for the Newtown school shootings a few months earlier. The episode was prefaced with a slide that warned of school violence, although this did not appear on online streams.
  • EastEnders altered a storyline about May Wright kidnapping Dawn Swann's baby, because of the then-recent disappearance of Madeleine McCann. When the air date for a planned storyline about Lucas Johnson murdering a prostitute coincided with the high-profile murders of sex workers in Ipswich, the episodes were rewritten to have him kidnapping a random woman who survives.
  • Danger 5 Season 2, intended to be broadcast in October 2014, was at first delayed indefinitely, then pushed back to 4 January 2015. SBS was worried that airing a comedy show with beheadings during the ISIS crisis (characterised by infamous terrorist beheadings) would be too offensive.
  • A BBC drama about an otherwise impeccable cop who goes rogue and vigilante-kills the nasty piece of work who beat his partner to death was dropped, abruptly, following the gun-murder of two policewomen in Manchester. This would have been the final episode that resolved all the loose ends. It still has not been screened.
  • Used In-Universe in an episode of Supernatural: after Fate has a guy run over by a bus, Dean notices that the back of the bus holds an ad for the same guy's legal firm, where he offers representation for wrongful death and injury. When he points it out, Sam isn't impressed.
    Dean: Too soon?
    Sam: Yeah, Dean, I'm pretty sure six seconds is too soon.
  • An in-universe example in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The live comedy show was to feature a sketch about an incompetent robber taking hostages. Then, just as the show began, the producers learn about a similar event on the news, in which some of the hostages had died. The show quickly cancels the sketch before it airs, and proceeds with the next sketch. The writers come up with a new sketch to fill the time at the end of the show.
  • Mock the Week has fallen afoul of this a few times. One lampshaded Double Standard has Saddam Hussein's execution (only weeks prior) not be too soon for the audiences, but the soldiers who died at the Somme apparently was.
  • Played with (lampshaded and mocked frequently by Jay Leno during his time hosting The Tonight Show. He would occasionally make jokes about Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and when the audience groaned, ask "Too soon?", which would get laughter.
  • Irish TV channel RTE aired a sitcom called The English Class about a group of recently-arrived immigrants attending a night school class to improve their English. In one episode, when a woman misses class, the teacher later announces that she was murdered and dumped next to a railway line (all Played for Laughs.) This had a lot of similarities to the case of a Swiss student recently murdered in Galway, and provoked a large number of complaints about its poor taste.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard has fallen victim to this. Don't expect to see it on television again any time soon after the Charleston church massacre perpetrated by white supremacist and Confederate sympathizer Dylann Storm Roof. (For those who've never watched it, its Sweet Home Alabama theme involves the heroes' car having a giant Confederate flag painted on the roof and being known as the "General Lee".)
  • The first season finale of Mr. Robot was to involve an Evil Corps executive shooting himself during a news conference broadcast live. It was slated to air the day two Virginia news reporters were shot and killed by an ex-employee while reporting a news story on live television. The finale was postponed out of respect for the victims.
  • The Supergirl episode "How Does She Do It?" was postponed due to the plot involving Supergirl stopping a bunch of bombs from going off around National City. The episode was slated to air right after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, leading to it being replaced with the episode that introduced Livewire.
  • The Legends episode "The Legend of Curtis Ballard" delayed its airing due to its depiction of a Muslim teenager shooting up a Paris school, which would have aired within a week of the terrorist attacks also committed in Paris.
  • Allegedly, one of the reasons the planned CW adaptation of Battle Royale fell apart is the spate of high profile mass shootings involving child or teen victims that occurred after 2011 (when the discussions first began). Don't expect a show about high schoolers being kidnapped and forced to fight to the death with weapons to air in America anytime soon.
  • The asadora (morning drama) series Oshin was rejected by several Japanese TV stations before NHK decided to air it, according to its script writer Sugako Hashida, this trope was the reason why:
    ''"The themes were so harsh and dark that the show was rejected by every television network. Even NHK opposed it. I was told "'We can't confront Meiji issues.'""
  • The Season 3 premiere of The Last Ship was delayed after the Orlando nightclub shooting of June 12, 2016 due to a similar event occurring in a nightclub in the series.
  • Good Morning America and The View, both on Disney-owned ABC, were set to feature extensive behind-the-scenes and grand opening coverage of Shanghai Disneyland on June 15, 2016, with Robin Roberts hosting. The night before that, however, a child wading in water at one of Walt Disney World's resort hotels (in Orlando, Florida) was snatched by an alligator. "Tragedy at Disney World" ended up being the top story on GMA the next morning as there was no hope the child would be found alive by then; he was found drowned later that day. With coverage of the disaster being a national news story for days afterward, televised Shanghai Disneyland coverage was indefinitely postponed without so much as an explanation despite all the pre-disaster advertising; even then, the network came under scrutiny for not discussing (as CBS and NBC did) the issue of why Disney beaches didn't have signs posted about the gators.
  • USA Network pushed the premiere of Shooter from July 19, 2016 to July 26, after a sniper murdered five policemen at an anti-police brutality protest in Dallas, TX on July 7. That the protagonist of the show was an Army veteran, as was said gunman, and an ex-sniper didn't help its case, nor did the premise that he's been framed for assassinating the U.S. President. That last point was one reason it was bumped even further back to that fall (the other was a similar Baton Rouge, LA shooting on July 17) — in the midst of the nasty, chaotic presidential election pitting Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton and fears over its outcome no matter who won.
  • Civil was a planned TNT drama about a modern-day American Civil War; it made it to the pilot stage but was completely dropped when the 2016 Presidential election and its outcome proved too similar to the plot's jumping-off point for comfort especially towards left-wing Americans.

  • For a while, WWE Magazine (which contains plenty of material only tangentially or not at all related to Professional Wrestling) had a calendar for whichever month it was, complete with trivia for most of the dates. All of their historical trivia facts were followed by a joke, except one: "On this day in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was shot to death in Los Angeles." That's it. The text actually looks pretty incomplete without a joke. (Of course, WWE could have easily made this both funny and only quasi-offensive by lampshading the taboo: "If you think we're going to make a joke about this, you're nuts!") Interestingly, an earlier issue hadn't shied away from making a joke following their report on the anniversary of the death of Sitting Bull (killed by a large number of United States cavalrymen) or on the birth of Joseph Stalin (where they even admit he murdered millions of people).

  • Kylie Minogue's album Impossible Princess, released in 1997, was retitled Kylie Minogue in the UK following the death of Princess Di.
  • The Black Sabbath album Paranoid was originally going to be called War Pigs, but was retitled due to the Vietnam War. Of course, the war was already going on, and "War Pigs" (the song) was probably about the Vietnam War on some level. The retitle was intended to make the album marketable, and the song stayed on. Still, the cover depicting a soldier remained. Also, the album tour was considered to be in bad taste by many because it happened right on the heels of the Charles Manson murders - despite Charles Manson and Black Sabbath having absolutely nothing to do with each other, except for both being "dark."
  • "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus contains the line "Her boyfriend's a dick; he brings a gun to school". However, the single was released around the time of the Columbine Massacre, and so the clean version had "gun" bleeped out along with "dick". Of course, if you hear the clean version on the radio or somewhere these days it can be a source of confusion.
  • On the day of the Bradford City fire disaster (11th May 1985) one BBC Radio 1 news bulletin, on the Janice Long show, was followed immediately by U2's single, "The Unforgettable Fire." Even for a station known at the time for the vacuous idiocy of its DJs, this was a jaw-dropper.
  • The last verse to "I Get a Kick Out of You" was originally: "I get no kick in a plane / I shouldn't care for those nights in the air / That the fair Mrs. Lindbergh goes through." Following the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, however, Cole Porter changed it to the familiar "I get no kick in a plane / Flying too high with some gal in the sky / Is my idea of nothing to do."
  • Pam Tillis withdrew her 1995 single "I Was Blown Away" over concerns that the title would be insensitive in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombings.
  • Defied by Sara Evans, who released the song "Coalmine" (an uptempo praising an attractive husband who works in a coalmine) right after a mine accident in West Virginia in 2006. Although others had expressed concerns that it would be too soon, she discussed the song with relatives of mine collapse victims, who were fully in support of the single. However, it completely bombed at radio.
  • In December of 2004, a major tsunami hit most of Indonesia and other islands. Radio stations in Germany removed "Die Flut" (The Flood) by Witt/Heppner, "Land unter" (high floods) by Herbert Grönemeyer and, most (in)famously "Die perfekte Welle" (The Perfect Wave) by Juli from regular schedules.
  • Stone Temple Pilots re-recorded an early demo called "Only Dying" with the intention of giving it to the soundtrack of The Crow - Once the film's lead actor Brandon Lee died in a stunt mishap during filming, the title was considered to be in poor taste, so a previously released song, "Big Empty", was used instead.
  • Radiohead's "Sulk" was originally going to have the line "just shoot your gun, you'll never change" as part of the refrain, and early live performances included this lyric. By the time it was recorded for The Bends in late 1994, "Just shoot your gun" became "Just like your dad", due to Kurt Cobain's then-recent suicide by gun. The song was actually inspired by a different tragedy, but one that would have been less fresh in listeners' minds at the time: A lone gunman's killing spree in Hungerford, England that had occurred in 1987.
  • Europe's signature single "The Final Countdown" was released just two weeks after the Challenger accident.
  • Billy Joe Royal's single "Burned Like a Rocket" was climbing up the country music charts when the Challenger disaster occurred. As a result, radio stations withdrew the single from their playlists, ending the song's chart run.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's mega-concert Rendez-vous Houston was scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas on May 5th, 1986 to celebrate Houston's and Texas' 150th anniversary and NASA's 25th anniversary. Of course, the planning phase of such a huge event started in 1985 already. The show was to also feature Jarre's newest album, Rendez-vous, to be released in early 1986. Both on the album and at the show itself via live video link, the astronaut Ron McNair was planned to play a piece specifically written by Jarre for him on his saxophone aboard Challenger. After the shuttle exploded, Jarre wanted to cancel the entire concert, feeling that it was Too Soon, but NASA and McNair's friends and relatives convinced him to carry on and also make the concert a Memorial for the victims of the disaster. The already heartfelt "Ron's Piece", the saxophone played by Kirk Whalum at the concert where it was the last number but one, became even moreso by leading it in with Ronald Reagan's eulogy for McNair projected on a skyscraper and the piece itself being accompanied by photo and video footage of Ron McNair as several-hundred-feet-high projections. To lift the spirits up again, Jarre continued with a projection of Kennedy's "We choose to go to the moon" speech and concluded the concert with the happy "Fourth Rendez-vous" which he even had to repeat as an encore. By the way, the Texans didn't mind Jarre going ahead with the concert so soon after the disaster: He broke his own audience world record with more than 1.5 million live spectators.
  • After the February 1, 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster, some radio stations briefly stopped playing Mark Wills' "19 Somethin'", which contained the line "The space shuttle fell out of the sky" (in reference to the 1986 Challenger disaster). However, this was only a momentary dip at best, as the song still spent a monstrous seven weeks at #1.
  • Capsule's 2011 album was set to be released shortly after the Japanese tsunami but was delayed so the title could be changed from "Killer Wave" to "World of Fantasy."
  • After Michael Jackson's death, Insane Clown Posse paid tribute to the singer, then Violent J transitioned into their song "To Catch A Predator" by saying "speaking of pedophiles..."
  • Brian Eno's song "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More" (1974) was subject to this. It was originally titled "Turkish Airways Give You So Much More," referencing a then-recent plane crash. (Eno was fond of Gallows Humor and Black Comedy at the time.) The record company made him change it, though they somehow found a song about burning airlines acceptable.
  • Following Ray Rice's removal from the Baltimore Ravens for domestic abuse, a Rihanna performance that was slated to kick off the 2014 NFL season was scrapped (CBS feared having a domestic abuse victim perform at the NFL opener in the midst of the ongoing NFL domestic abuse scandal would put Rice's crimes at the forefront). Needless to say, Rihanna was not amused.
  • Brentalfloss made a joke about ebola before ebola was a thing.
  • After the execution by firing squad of murderer Gary Gilmour in January 1977, punk rock band The Adverts put out a song called Looking through Gary Gilmour's Eyes. (Gilmour had asked for useful parts of his body to be donated for transplant. The Adverts noted that somebody out there had got his corneas. And wrote a song speculating on what psychic changes might be expected in somebody receiving a killer's eyes.) The song was slated as tasteless and Too Soon.

  • In late July 2000, a newspaper announced a competition on the bottom of its first page, with the prize a two-person travel aboard Concorde. The upper half of the same page showed the Concorde in flames, with a huge title saying there were no survivors to the crash.
  • The Onion: Is it too soon to make fun of the Boston Massacre? Ironically, now an example of this trope due to a different Boston massacre.
  • Football pundit Rodney Marsh was sacked by Sky Sports for making a pun about Newcastle United fans (the "Toon Army") shortly after the tsunami in 2004.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In an extreme case of bad timing, a Garfield strip involving a spider telling Garfield that if Garfield kills the spider, a day of remembrance will be held in his honor, resulting in a day called "National Stupid Day". It ran on November 11, 2010, Remembrance/Veterans Day.
    • Speaking of Jim Davis comics and bad timing, on September 6, 2012, a devastating earthquake struck China. The U.S. Acres webcomic of the day when it occurred, which was part of an arc about sneezing jokes, had Orson recieving a phone call from China in it. Luckily, unlike the "National Stupid Day" Garfield comic, nobody noticed this because the comic changed 30 minutes after said earthquake happened, because the earthquake happened at 11:30PMEST, 30 minutes before both the Garfield and U.S. Acres comics changed.
  • In FoxTrot, the strip published July 22, 2012 was supposed to be showing Paige in the crosshairs of Jason's squirt gun, but as it was just days after the Aurora, CO movie theatre massacre, Bill Amend pulled the strip and replaced it with a rerun of a 2009 strip.
  • Forget The '70s: Stephen Pastis of Pearls Before Swine discovered that the Turn of the Millennium was too soon to joke about Lincoln's death!

    Professional Wrestling 
  • An episode of WWE SmackDown featured men dressed similarly to terrorists in the various beheading videos that have come out of the Middle East attacking The Undertaker at the behest of Muhammad Hassan (an Arab-American wrestler); after their attack, they carried Hassan's manager Daivari out of the ring and up the entrance ramp like a martyr. The episode unfortunately aired on the very same day as the London train bombings (it was taped two days before), causing general viewer outrage and leading UPN to demand that Hassan and Daivari be removed from the program.
    • Most of the people who were truly outraged weren't even WWE fans. Pro wrestling fans recognize that the point of heels is to offend the viewers (hence a standard part of any heel's dialogue being direct insults to the audience). Hassan was developing into one of the WWE's most effective heels in years, to the point that he was purportedly scheduled to win the WWE Championship at the SummerSlam pay-per-view event that year. Of course, they could have just moved him to RAW, which wasn't on UPN, but that would've made too much sense.
    • A minor upside to this: Hassan got to call out the New York Times on an article proclaiming that the attackers were Middle Eastern, despite wearing ski masks which disguised their true identitiesnote .
  • WWE stumbled into another such moment during the airing of a live broadcast. On the day it was discovered that Chris Benoit and his family were dead, WWE replaced a scheduled three-hour RAW episode with a tribute to Benoit's career. During the airing of the tribute, it became clear that the deaths were a murder-suicide, it was both Too Late (as the show was on the air) and Too Soon. WWE just has rotten luck when it comes to tragedies. WWE instantly turned a 180 — not only did Vince McMahon apologize for the tribute show, but ever since that apology, Benoit has never been mentioned by name on any new WWE programming that has aired since his death, his name is almost completely wiped from their website (save for some minor mentions in title histories and whatnot), and footage containing Benoit in which he was a major part of the footage has not been used on WWE programming. Hooray for Hand Waving. Classic Benoit footage is available on the WWE Network (with a "does not reflect the views of the WWE or the personal lives of the wrestlers" content warning), several passing mentions of Benoit have come up on recent DVD releases, and — starting with Shawn Michaels a few months after Benoit's death — several WWE wrestlers have used the Benoit's signature submission hold, the Crippler Crossface (including the man who tapped to it at WrestleMania 20 — Triple H — and, on the same night, Trips busted it out for the first time, so did The Great Khali.)
    • Ironically, once questions about Benoit's mental state and whether he was responsible for his actions that night arose, some fans and critics complained about McMahon's apology for the tribute. The WWE really just couldn't win in that situation.
    • During Comedy Central's roast of Flavor Flav, Jimmy Kimmel said while roasting Flav that "Chris Benoit is a better father than Flavor Flav." This was about a month after it happened.
    • What makes this even worse? The Raw that was replaced was intended to be one of the major turning points in the "Who killed Mr. McMahon?" angle. A few weeks prior to Benoit's death, Vince had been (kayfabe) blown up after stepping into a limo, and the three-hour Raw was intended to reveal who the perpetrator was. Following the Benoit murder-suicide, the angle was dropped completely, with Vince reappearing on Raw a month later to explain that he'd faked the explosion in an attempt to see what people really thought of him.
  • Hot off the heels of the Steve Irwin tragedy, during a September 2006 segment of Matt Striker's classroom, he praised his intelligence and remarked that people would never see him swimming with stingrays. An apology was quickly posted on
  • Late in its run, the braintrust at WCW decided to repackage goofy German dancer Alex Wright into the Goth-like Foreign Wrestling Heel Berlyn. Trouble was, Berlyn debuted shortly around the time of Columbine, and his attire (specifically, his ring jacket), apparently drew too many comparisons to the killers. WCW was then forced to drop the character after a handful of appearances, and Wright went back to being himself, and partnered with Disco Inferno as the Boogie Knights.
  • On an episode of RAW in 2012, wrestling manager A.W. said "Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant in a hotel room: unstoppable!" That was a reference to Bryant's rape charges, which had happened a few years earlier. With WWE trying to paint themselves as a family-friendly program, and with Linda McMahon running for Senate, WWE fired A.W. for the reference.
  • In late 2005, WWE started airing a series of sketches where former referee Tim White would try to off himself in different ways. It could have been a darkly hilarious series of sketches to some fans. However, there was just one problem: they were aired shortly after the untimely death of Eddie Guerrero.
  • In 2014, Rusev and his manager, Lana (actually, American born Catherine Perry) began a Foreign Heel gimmick where they were Russian sympathizers while degrading America at every opportunity, all to draw heat. The "Russian who hates America" gimmick dated to the height of the Cold War, but the WWE, Rusev and Lana took this a step farther when, at the 2014 Battleground pay-per-view event, Lana delivered a heel promo prior to Rusev's "United States vs. Russia" match with Jack Swagger blaming the United States for "recent current" world events and praising Russian president Vladimir Putin. Some in the media viewed the promo as a veiled reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 three days earlier.note The WWE was forced into damage control, making a statement to and various professional wrestling websites that Lana's scripted promo "was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy," but both the mainstream media and professional wrestling journalists strongly disagreed, with at least one writer saying that a reasonably intelligent viewer could conclude that Lana's promo was making reference to the plane crash.

  • A 1955 Goon Show episode, "The Pevensey Bay Disaster" which featured a train crash was postponed and replaced by a repeat of an earlier episode because of a real-life crash at Didcot in which 10 people died and 116 were injured. Annoyed by the show's cancellation, Spike Milligan re-submitted the script under a new title, "The Hastings Flyer — Robbed", and this version was duly recorded and broadcast five weeks later. "The Pevensey Bay Disaster" was finally broadcast at the end of the series, five months after it was originally scheduled, and confusing listeners who had already heard the same story under a different title.
  • After the December 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean most radio stations pulled a popular song at the time, "Die Perfekte Welle" ("The Perfect Wave"). There was nothing official but it was conspicuous that a song placed high in single charts wasn't played anymore.
  • On episode 1 of the 2015 series of The Unbelievable Truth, David Mitchell made a joke about the death of Mahler's daughter (1907), and off the somewhat shocked audience reaction asked "Too soon?"

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Conspiracy X 2.0 core-rulebook addresses this. As part of the game's Conspiracy Kitchen Sink setting, it includes a separate section on more recent Conspiracy Theories like the ones surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11. The introductory paragraph emphasises that players may be uncomfortable dealing with these events so soon and the GM should be cautious in using them in any games.

  • The Athenian playwright Phrynichus' (now lost) play The Capture of Miletus was produced around 511 BC, soon after the Persian conquest described in the play, and since Miletus was a colony of Athens, this play was deemed to be too soon. Phrynichus was fined "for reminding [of] familiar misfortunes" at the theater.
  • After a performer in Cirque du Soleil's KA died from a fall during the late show on June 29, 2013, the show went on hiatus until July 16 as the company and authorities began investigating the disaster. Beyond the logistical reasons for the hiatus, much of the show's Spectacle involves characters falling, sometimes to their doom, so going on with it in the immediate wake of the company's first onstage death would come off as poor taste. When the show reopened, the Battlefield sequence that the death occured in was gone — even though it was the climax. Luckily the scene preceding it was The Centerpiece Spectacular and worked as a substitute; the original climax was finally reinstated in late 2014. This event was also the likely reason that the premiere and afterparty of a sister production in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson ONE, was not chatted up at Cirque's official website, YouTube channel, Facebook pages, etc. after the buildup to its launch: As it happened, the KA accident took place the same night, during the new show's afterparty.
  • Anything Goes originally had a subplot in the first act that involved a fake bomb scare. This was written out after the SS Morro Castle caught fire, though this was not the only part of the book Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse had to rewrite. note 

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • The original plan for the former Superstar Limo attraction at Disney's California Adventure had it being a thrill ride that involved the guests trying to escape from the paparazzi, who would be in high-speed pursuit. The idea was scrapped completely in light of Princess Diana's death, who died in a car crash while trying to get away from the paparazzi.
    • After a toddler was dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon and killed by an alligator at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida on June 14, 2016, Disney asked its cast members not to say the iconic one-liner "Watch your children, or the crocodiles will!" (or any jokes about the gators and crocodiles) in the Jungle Cruise attraction anymore.
      • The incident also caused Louis to be written out of the Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire show, which debuted just three days later.
      • Additionally, the Tick-Tock float in the Festival of Fantasy parade and the crocodile animatronics in Living with the Land were both temporarily removed in direct response to the incident.
      • Press junkets for the re-opening of Epcot's popular attraction Soarin' as well as the park's new Frozen Ever After ride were also cancelled, due to both this and the Orlando nightclub shooting that had occurred just days before the alligator attack leaving no one in a particularly celebratory mood. None of this stopped the latter ride from being a huge hit from the get-go.
      • As mentioned above under Live Action TV, most of the media coverage Disney planned for the opening of Shanghai Disneyland Resort in China ended up postponed thanks to these incidents, although the grand opening ceremony special aired on The Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior as scheduled.
      • In the Disney Junior Live On Stage! show's Jake And The Neverland Pirates segment, the audience had to make alligator noises to scare Captain Hook. After the incident, the audience now claps to scare him.
  • At Universal Studios:
    • Men In Black: Alien Attack was originally going to feature the "Tiffany" cutout from the first movie in the attraction's opening training scene for riders to shoot at; but after the Columbine massacre had occurred, it was decided that this would be in extremely poor taste.
    • When Universal Studios Florida was in its early planning stages back in 1982, concepts were drawn up for an elaborate nighttime lagoon show that would've featured an explosive finale where a plane would crash right into the water. This idea wound up being abandoned following the devastating helicopter incident that occurred during production of Twilight Zone: The Movie.
    • In response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, Universal postponed its initial grand opening date and press junket for the Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction until July 13th. In addition, Universal also delayed the release of any new announcements concerning Halloween Horror Nights until the next month.
    • Twister...Ride it Out was slated to open in March 1998, but ended up being pushed back several months out of respect, because in the February of that same year there had been an outbreak of tornadoes in Central Florida that claimed 42 lives and injured 260 others, the deadliest outbreak in Florida history.
    • The 2002 theme of Halloween Horror Nights was initially going to revolve around an evil undead girl known as "Cindy", but it was scrapped due to there being a string of child murders in the area at the time. The event's theme for that year was changed to revolve around "The Caretaker", who was Cindy's father in the original backstory.

    Video Games 
  • Although it was first of a two-part video game, Persona 2: Innocent Sin was not translated into English despite Atlus' interest in localizing the title. Ostensibly, this was due to the game's storyline involving Nazis and the resurrection of Adolf Hitler, as well as fighting the main character's high school principal and a teacher in the game committing suicide in a school's belltower. The aforementioned No Swastikas issue was actually used as cover for a far more serious reason, though; Innocent Sin may have been translated had it not been at the time of the Columbine High School Massacre (it should be noted that the main characters of Innocent Sin are high school students, and one of the game's gimmicks involves equipping them with guns.
    • And even though the Updated Re-release managed to make it stateside, any references to Nazis were removed, and Hitler was disguised with sunglasses and a trench coat, and referred to as "The Fuhrer" (though the censorship occurs in the Japanese release as well due to a rule change at CERO.)
  • The NES game Bionic Commando involved Nazis resurrecting Hitler, but the US release was edited to change the group to the Badds and the resurrectee to Master D. The animations were not changed, though, and he still had the signature moustache (and his head still explodes when you kill him at the end).
  • The Japanese version of Fallout 3 has part of a quest removed where you can nuke an entire town; specifically, the NPC Mr. Burke. Without him, you can't set off the nuke. Also, the Fat Man (named after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki) was renamed to Nuka-Launcher. However, in Fallout: New Vegas, the upgrade kit for the Fat Man that halves its weight is called "Little Boy" (the Hiroshima bomb). That made it to the Japanese version unchanged.
  • Future information on the Visual Novel Root Double: Before Crime * After Days (about a group of people trapped in a nuclear reactor after it goes through a meltdown) was postponed for nearly five months due to the 2011 Sendai Earthquake in Japan, which led to the partial meltdown of several nuclear reactors.
  • The Zettai Zetsumei Toshi series (which is basically a Survival Horror series in which the "horror" is a collapsing Japanese city) is effectively dead because of the Sendai tsunami and earthquake.
  • Motor Storm: Apocalypse (which features racing through an earthquake-ravaged city) was delayed due to the 2011 Japanese earthquake.
  • A fan of Fallout 3 made a mod where it is possible to visit the ruins of Fukushima Dai-ichi from the disaster of March 2011. For more info: [1]
  • In-universe example in Batman: Arkham City, made 2 minutes after the death of Talia Al-Ghul.
    The Joker: "You're making me late for my spa appointment! I mean, it's not like you have a girlfriend to save anymore, is it-oh, I'm sorry! Too soon?"
  • In-universe example from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The present ruler of Solitude feels this way about the annual festival where a hated tyrant is burned in effigy - enough so to cancel it, in fact. Her husband, the High King was just murdered, so a festival celebrating the death of a king, even a tyrant, is probably less than appropriate.
    • Interestingly, the modified version of the effigy burning (which is part of the Bard's College entry quest) can be seen as supporting the old High King, by painting the hated tyrant as a false king who came to power by force and treachery, just as Ulfric Stormcloak (the murderer of the previous High King) plans to become.
  • An example that actually did occur in the Pokemon games; specifically, the first generation remakes. In the original, published in 1996, one of the exhibits in the Pewter City museum was the Space Shuttle Columbia. In the international remakes, published in 2004, it was a nameless spacecraft. The Columbia burned up in reentry in 2003. It is notable that the shuttle kept its name in the Japanese version of those remakes.
  • The NES version of Super Contra was retitled Super C to avoid connotations with the Iran-Contra scandal that was going on at the time.
  • When Metal Gear Solid 2 was first conceived, the plot was going to involve Solid Snake and Liquid Snake fighting in the Middle East, and Liquid revealing that he had actually faked his death in MGS1. This concept was scrapped once the Middle East conflict began in real life. However, they did keep the Middle East idea for Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • The Sega Dreamcast launched with House of the Dead 2, and an official Sega-made light gun controller was set for release along with it. But the Columbine school shootings prevented the official gun from being released, while third-party companies got away with releasing theirs.
  • Weeks before Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back was released in Japan, a murder was committed in Japan in which the murderer left only the head and feet of the victim. Because of this, a death animation that involved Crash being pressed down to merely a head and feet had to be cut from the Japanese release, in fear that the Japanese would find it tasteless due to said real-life murder.
  • In Dance Dance Revolution X3, one of the Encore Extra Stages was "Tohoku EVOLVED" (now available for standard play), a song made in tribute to the victims of the 2012 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. If you tried to invoke this trope by getting a AA on your Extra Stage with the Wave modifier turned on, the game prevents you from playing "Tohoku EVOLVED".
  • An in universe one in The Last of Us, when Ellie reads jokes out of a pre-apocalypse joke book, the last joke she reads is about 'the apocalypse' and invokes this in both her and the Player Character. Note that the apocalypse happened 20 years ago, six years before Ellie was born, and it's still too soon.
    Ellie: "People are making apocalypse jokes like there's no tomorrow"... [Beat] Too soon.
    Joel: Too soon.
  • The 1988 BBC Micro game Pipeline was originally set on an oil platform, but after the Piper Alpha explosion the setting was changed to a sulphur mine in outer space.
  • During the 1.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV, Titan (an earth based godly being) and Leviathan (water godly being) were going to be released into the game with an update, but when the tsunami-earthquake disaster struck Japan in 2011, Square-Enix withheld the two boss characters since they felt launching characters who can cause earthquakes and tidal waves would be too soon for its Japanese players. The two characters were eventually patched into the game a few years later.
  • The indie game The Oil Blue, where the player drills for oil in the ocean. Work on it began in November 2009, and it was finished in May 2010... right after the infamous Gulf oil spill. The results weren't pretty, as a lot of potential players were alienated by the premise, or thought that the game was a tasteless attempt to cash in on the disaster.
  • An In-Universe example can happen in Dishonored. Should you milk the Hidden in Plain Sight approach to the assassination of Lady Boyle (attending a masquerade ball as the murderous "traitor" Corvo Attano) at least one guest will find your costume tasteless. Others, however, are thrilled.
    Party Guest: I just love a man with poor judgement!
  • Plants vs. Zombies features a type of zombie that spawns other zombies as backup dancers as it boogies toward your brains. Its original design was based off of Michael Jackson's appearance in Thriller, but was changed to a stereotypical disco dancer after his death.
    Opening Message: Any resemblance to persons living or undead is purely coincidential.

    Web Comics 
  • Parodied in Terror Island, Theorem 159:
    The Green Grocer: Soon you will be late as well. Late as in dead!
    Stephen: Aorist just died. It's too soon to tell dead jokes.
    The Green Grocer: Oh. Late as in, um, pregnant?
  • Averted in Irregular Webcomic!. After one of the strips in the "Steve and Terry" theme coincided with Steve Irwin's death, the theme continued anyway. Of course, David Morgan-Mar's tongue-in-cheek denials that his characters are in any way based on something else are almost a running gag.
    • Morgan-Mar also explained that his comics are produced and added to the upload buffer weeks in advance, so he had no way of knowing that particular strip would go up on that particular day.
    • It's better (worse?) than that. The strip that happened to coincide with Irwin's death featured the comic's Steve waking up in his hospital bed, having recovered from a fight with a croc. In a sense, the coincidence can be seen as a tribute to the man - and Morgan-Mar wrote in the annotation that he would trade the comic Steve's life for the real one if he could.
  • Mocked by Zexion in this Ansem Retort.
    • Note that the creator, Duke, has no qualms about flaunting this trope. In fact, he proudly claimed that he was the first to make a joke at Patrick Swayze's expense after he died.
    • And sort of subverted here once Fridge Brilliance kicks in: because he's traveling through time, Axel doesn't know about the tsunami that wrecked Japan, therefore doesn't know he's making a joke in bad taste. Duke's still flaunting this trope, though.
    • He did, however, note that doing one on the Dark Knight Rises shooting in Colorado was the most difficult comic he ever did, but that he still believed in the power of laughter to help heal the pain.
  • Between Failures had one of these early on.
  • An attempt to use the Japanese tsunami to indicate Bob the Angry Flower's lack of empathy ended up reflecting on the webcomic the same way.
  • The Platypus Comix story "Vess MacMeal Starring in: The More You Know!", which has a Ludd Was Right ending, experienced a two-week delay. Otherwise, it would have appeared a few days after Steve Jobs' death.
  • The creator of Megatokyo had been working on a separate, unreleased comic called "Warmth" for several years. But then the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan destroyed much of Sendai, the comic's intended setting. At this point, it's indefinitely in Development Hell, and may never be released in its original form, or at all.
  • Done in-universe in It's Walky!, where Mike not only dresses up as the recently deceased Big Boss for Halloween but also dresses the dog as Osama bin Laden... in 2001.

    Web Original 
  • The lonelygirl15 episode "Bree's Mom" was originally supposed to be entitled "Girl, Abducted", but was hastily retitled to avoid offending the fan community, after the vanishing and death of Nadia Kajouji, a friend of a prominent fan of the show.
  • The Fine Brothers parody this in the seventh episode of their Lost parody, where the cast refuses to kill the Nolanverse Joker because it's too soon to Health Ledger's death. Christian Bale, however, isn't dead, so Batman is fair game.
  • Subverted in The Nostalgia Critic's review of Blank Check. After making a joke about Michael Jackson, he launches into a monologue where he tells the audience that it is now all right to laugh at him again because no matter how odd Jackson was, he will always be a genius and nothing can take that away from him.
    • Some considered The Nostalgia Chick's role in the 2010 "You're A Dirty Rotten Bastard" Christmas Episode, where she is a married Stepford Smiler with a newborn baby in the world without Critic, to be this, given Lindsay Ellis had then recently released a personal documentary dealing with her abortion in December 2009. Lindsay understood that Doug hadn't been aware of this at the time.
    • Yet played straight in the Nostalgia Critic's 200th review for Ponyo, in which he tries really hard to avoid making jokes about Japan being hit by tsunamis less than a year after it happened in real life and even expresses annoyance at one point when he realizes that he had been provoked into almost cracking such a joke.
    One Ponyo character: Hey, that is quite a boat you've got there.
    Another Ponyo character: I've seen you before. You're Lisa's little boy, aren't you?
    Nostalgia Critic: Boy, they sure are chipper for everything they've ever known suddenly being lost. In fact, a lot of people in this movie treat it like an inconvenience, like the power went out and it will just be on in a second. They don't act like they just lost their house and home. But hey, I'm sure that's a reaction a lot of people would have when they went through... dammit, you almost made me make a joke about it!
    • He also delayed his review of The Good Son after Macaulay Culkin's sister died.
    • In his review of TMNT, he mocks the voice of the re-cast Splinter, saying he sounded like Mr. Miyagi if he smoked a million Marlboros. Unbeknownst to him, the new Splinter's voice actor, Mako, had recently died of lung cancer. After receiving a fair amount of complaints about this, he opened the next video with an apology, explaining he didn't know this at the time and wouldn't have made the joke if he did.
    • After Michael Jackson's death, Doug and Rob released a commentary for their review of Moonwalker, explaining they'd had a brief discussion about whether or not to remove it from the site after his death. They had decided to keep it up, feeling they never went too far with the jokes.
    • The Critic accidentally does this in-universe in Old vs. New Cinderella. Due to the recent death of the musician Prince, Hyper Fangirl calls out the Critic with this exact phrase when he says "Sometimes, a prince leaves no impact on you whatsoever" and later when he says that the one thing the animated prince has that the live-action one lacks is "a shit ton of eyeliner".
  • In Bennett the Sage's review of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, he stopped midway through a joke about the Yellowface in Breakfast at Tiffany's after seeing a news article about Mickey Rooney's death.
  • The Series also had a (lampshaded) Michael Jackson example.
  •'s Michael Swaim's S.W.A.I.M. series shows Homer Simpson beating up Michael Jackson in open-source fighting game "Mugen." He responds to the fight apologetically saying: "Aw, Homer. Too soon, man."
    • A list of "The 5 Major Cities Most Likely to Be Spectacularly Destroyed", putting a few possible natural disasters (volcanoes in Italy, mud slides in Seattle, earthquakes in San Francisco and basically everything in Wellington) came out the same day of a tragedy. They took it down in respect temporarily (and banned all the users who complained). It was put back up the following day with the title of the article changed to "5 Major Cities Most Likely To Be Wiped Away By Natural Disasters".
  • A early running gag in Dragon Ball Z Abridged where Krillin constantly making jokes about something right after it happens.
    Goku: Wait, where's Chiaotzu?
    Krillin: Oh, he's here...and there...and there...and th-
    Gohan: KRILLIN!!!
    Krillin: What?
    Gohan: Too soon.
    • There's also a scene where Tenshinhan, Chiaotzu, Yamcha and Krillin are training in Mr. Popo's time room. The characters remark about how desolate and run down everything looks, leading Krillin to remark "Where are we, New Orleans"? Tenshinhan berates him for it with the above line.
  • In light of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 Film Brain delayed his 2012 Bad Movie Beatdown review from its intended March release, removed a couple of lines which he felt were callous and put up a disclaimer at the front of the review when it was released in May.
  • In Clan Of The Grey Wolf's 16 bit Gems #6: Zombies Ate My Neighbors, A Steve Irwin-like character who the characters save is met with this line.
  • In universe example for Red vs. Blue:Season 10, Sarge makes a joke regarding Donuts habit of wanting to show his "holes", which is quickly followed by Church reminding him that (they think) Donut is dead; this exchanges happens a moment afterwards.
    Sarge: Probably has a few more holes in him huh? ha, heh, heh, heh.
    Everyone else: *Beat*
    Sarge: What, too soon?
    Church: What's the appropriate amount of time to go by for that joke to be okay?
  • On What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?, Nash covered a news story involving extraordinary Jerkassery, it was accompanied by a Douchequake. This was temporarily retired after the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan.
  • Played with on Hollywood Babble On when Ralph Garman made a joke about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, prompting an audience member cried out "Too tsunami!"
  • In their LP of Dark, the Men Drinkin Coffee made a joke about stand your ground and Florida. Then one of them noticed how similar to a certain well-known shooting victim the player character is dressed, and the joke was cut short.
  • Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation review of Yakuza 4 also coincided with the aforementioned earthquake and tsunami, prompting this to appear onscreen.
    The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan was an unqualified tragedy, and Yahtzee offers his deepest sympathies to a country that has long held his admiration and respect. This Statement was given to karmatically balance out the following one.
    Yahtzee: Boy the Japanese are into some weird shit, aren't they?
  • Reddit has an entire subreddit devoted to Too Soon images.
  • Kagerou Project: An English Cover of Yuukei Yesterday added the subtitle "Ayano's Theory of... Relativity. At least she won't have to worry about exams anymore..." beneath an image of Ayano near the end of the video. It is followed by "(Too Soon?)".
  • Princess Rap Battles: Galadriel vs Leia "How's Alderaan doing? Sorry, too soon?"
  • Cerberus Daily News, a fictional news feed created for Mass Effect 2 has an In-Universe example. Nekiya Corridor, a movie well-known for its Troubled Production had a scene where a pilot kills himself by flying his ship into a city at FTL speeds. Shortly after the movie entered post-production a turian separatist group leveled a city by hacking into a spaceship and forcing it to crash into a colony world's capital city at near-FTL speeds
  • A line was changed in RWBY Chibi where Sun Wukong, playing as a "Junior Detective" along with Neptune, yells out as Jaune is attempting to get his library card. In the original Tugg viewing, he shouted "HE'S REACHING!", but the public version has him shouting "WATCH OUT!", most likely due to a string of police-related shootings, especially one in Dallas.

    Western Animation 
  • After the above-mentioned Aurora movie theater massacre, the then in-development Beware the Batman series was heavily edited so that all instances of realistic guns were changed to Family-Friendly Firearms.
  • Due to the death of Pope John Paul II, FOX temporarily banned The Simpsons' Season 16 episode "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Guest Star," since it centered on Bart going to Catholic school (after once again getting expelled from public school) and Marge trying to stop him from converting (since Marge is against Catholicism). It ended up being the season finale while the intended season finale ("The Girl Who Slept Too Little," where Lisa becomes too scared to sleep after the Springfield Cemetery is moved next to the Simpson house) was aired as a season 17 episode with a season 16 production code.
    • Another Simpsons example: in the UK, Channel 4 received complaints after airing the Season 4 episode "A Streetcar Named Marge" (where Marge stars as Blanche DuBois in the musical version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" after the director sees how depressed and beleaguered she is when dealing with Homer, and which included a song about how New Orleans is "full of pirates, drunks, and whores" and is referred to as "the Sodom and Gomorrha on the Mississip'", which was bad enough when it was originally broadcast that the very next episode's chalkboard gag read "I WILL NOT DEFAME NEW ORLEANS") around the time that New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Channel 4 made a public apology.
    • Yet another Simpsons example: the Season 9 episode "The Cartridge Family" (where Homer buys a handgun to protect his family after the town is plagued by a soccer riot — which seemed to disappear from the plot as quickly as it came) was scheduled to air in the UK, but due to the Dunblaine School Massacre (and the fact that the BBFC despises scenes of characters — be they heroes or idiots — fooling around with weapons in such a way that impressionable viewers will see it as fun to imitate), this episode was banned (though it does appear on the "Simpsons: Too Hot for TV" VHS and the Simpsons season 9 DVD set).
    • On the Season 4 episode, "Duffless,"note  the scene of Barney mistaking a pile of rags for Princess Diana (and driving his car up to get a look, leaving Homer to fall on his butt after throwing himself out a window to escape a giant spider) was edited in the UK following Princess Diana's death to make it look like Homer fell and missed the mattress on the car entirely (which, in a way, makes sense, given Homer's character and the fact that Barney is a drunk who shouldn't be behind the wheel of a stationary bike, much less a car).
    • On the Season Five episode "Rosebud" note , Burns's line, "Damn you, paparazzo!" after a camera man flashes a picture of Burns playing with Maggie in her sandbox was cut down to "Damn you!" note 
    • In a parody of this trope, a later episode has Homer crash the Duff blimp in a baseball stadium. This exchange occurs:
    Buck Mitchell: This is the second worst zeppelin crash ever!
    Abe: Too soon!note .
    • In the season 11 episode "Bart to the Future," where Bart is shown his future as a drunken wannabe rock star while Lisa is the President of the United States, Bart tries to come up with a coolness plan at Camp David, and Krusty suggests opening with a joke: "What's the difference between Pakistan and a pancake?" The punchline: "I don't know any pancakes that were nuked by India!" Bart and the others stare at Krusty in shock, and Krusty replies, "What? Too soon?" Apparently, it was — around the time that India and Pakistan really were on the brink of nuclear war, the UK airing of "Bart to the Future" cut that entire part.
    • Back in the late '90s, the Season 6 episode "Homer Badman" note  was edited on UK's Sky TV to remove the part where Groundskeeper Willie accidentally shows a video clip of Mayor Quimby making out with a floozy in the backseat of his car. For those who think the edit was yet another cut to keep the show "family-friendly," there is actually another reason behind the edit: at the time, the UK was plagued by "The Sex Murders," in which a man or woman cheating on his or her spouse with someone else who was married and wanted to have an extramarital affair would kill his or her lover and send the hand of the murder victim to the spouse of the murder victim. Considering this episode aired in the UK around the time that this was in the news and would have been on everyone's minds, it makes sense that Sky1 would censor the scene.
    • After the March 2011 meltdown at Fukushima, episodes that prominently feature the nuclear plant were withdrawn from broadcast for a while in Germany and Switzerland. A spokesperson for German Pro 7, however, recently stated that hadn't had to change its scheduled episodes in the first weeks after the disaster, and didn't edit the opening credits.
    • The 400th episode "You Kent Always Say What You Want" was originally titled "The Kent State Massacre", but the title was change due to the Virginia Tech Massacre occuring one month before its scheduled airdate.
    • Originally, the episode "Stop Or My Dog Will Shoot" was scheduled to air on April 26, 2007. However, again due to the Virginia Tech Massacre on April 16, the episode was pulled (due to scenes of gun abuse and a school emergency calling for evacuation [only on the show, it was because of Bart's pet snake running loose, not from a gun-toting maniac]) and didn't air until May 13th.
    • The 1998 "Treehouse of Horror XI" story "Hell Toupee" was supposed to have Troy McClure, voiced by Phil Hartman, host Snake's execution, but after Hartman's murder earlier that year, the scene was redone with Ed McMahon As Himself hosting it instead.
    • Following Michael Jackson's death, UK's Sky1 removed several scenes from the Season 12 episode "The Great Money Caper" that involved a loopy street performer who was impersonating Jackson with a quartet of rod-and-stick puppets who were resembling his brothers in their days as the Jackson 5. All of those scenes were later reinstated 2 years later.
    • The Season 10 finale "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" was banned in Japan in part because of the scene with Battling Seizure Robots, parodying the Pokémon episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" fiasco that recently occurred around that time.
  • Two Freakazoid! episodes featuring Diana, Princess of Wales, were pulled for several years after her death.
  • The usually shameless Drawn Together delayed the release of the episode "Terms of Endearment" (in which Captain Hero gets confined to a wheelchair as a side-effect of giving up his powers, a reference to the real-life accident which paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve) for over a year following Reeve's death. It was then almost delayed again when shortly before the rescheduled airdate, Reeve's widow announced she had a terminal illness.
  • Happens to Family Guy quite a bit. The episode "The Fat Guy Strangler"note  was nearly delayed due to the cutaway of Brian forcing George W. Bush to come out of his treehouse and actually deal with the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
    • Family Guy occasionally parodies this trope; note the page quote, but in the third season episode "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington", Brian notes that Peter's excuses are "lamer than FDR's legs", only to be met by shocked, appalled stares from the family. His response was to flatly ask "Too soon?"
    • Played with in the multi-verse episode when in an alternate universe, Stewie mentions Lee Harvey Oswald shot Mayor McCheese instead of JFK. Cut to a clip of McCheese getting shot in the back of a convertible; a Jackie Kennedy expy stares for a second, then begins to eat his destroyed head. That leads to this exchange:
    Brian: "That joke's not in bad taste, right?"
    Stewie: "Who cares? He's a cheeseburger."
    • Then there's the preschool play "Terri Schiavo: The Musical". Brian and Chris discuss whether this is too soon or too late to mention. Turns out it was, at least to the real Terri's family.
    • On May 1st 2011, FOX's Sunday night Animation Domination line-up was supposed to include a three-part crossover special featuring all three Seth MacFarlane cartoons (The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, and American Dad!) meeting each other during a hurricane. Sadly, because the Southern and Midwestern United States was already getting pounded by tornadoes and floods, the episodes were pulled at the last minute and replaced with reruns of their respective shows. The three-part crossover eventually aired on October 2nd, 2011.
    • Christmas episodes for Family Guy ("Jesus, Mary, and Joseph") and American Dad ("Minstrel Krampus") were supposed to air on December 16, 2012, but were replaced with repeats in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Masssacre due to the episodes containing "insensitive" material. The Family Guy episode aired the following week as it was pulled more due to its religious themes (with the regular cast retelling the Nativity story) than anything else, but the American Dad episode didn't air until December 15, 2013 since it has gun violence, along with a undeniable Christmas theme that would've been awkward to air in the middle of April, though most of this doesn't really matter, as most FOX affiliates interrupted all of their Sunday night programming with live coverage of the memorial service of the shooting victims.
    • "Turban Cowboy" was removed from streaming on Hulu and the official FOX website (though it did eventually start airing in syndication many months later)) after the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013 thanks to a double whammy: it has a terrorist-themed plot and a cutaway gag where Peter drunkenly runs over marathon runners with his car. The fact that someone put up a video claiming that the episode "predicted" the bombings by editing the two clips together (which Seth MacFarlane called "abhorrent") really didn't help matters.
    • Three minutes before the death of Robin Williams was announced, BBC Three aired the Family Guy episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2," which has the story "Fatman and Robin," in which Peter wishes that everything he touched turned to Robin Williams, which leads to Peter attempting suicide several times over how annoying Williams' comedy is. Making matters worse, the episode ends with Peter cutting off his hands at the wrists (preventing himself from turning any more people into Robin Williams) which was one of Williams' attempted suicide methods in real life. Soon, negative comments flooded the internet about this coincidence, and BBC banned it from ever airing again on their network. [adult swim] had the episode planned on their schedule on the day Robin Williams died too, but when news hit, they pulled the episode and aired another one.
  • In the American Dad! episode "The Vacation Goo," there's a scene where the family walks into the living room (after being tricked into taking a virtual reality trip in the vacation goo) to find Stan watching a Georgetown game on TV and wearing Georgetown gear. According to the DVD commentary, Stan was originally going to wear Virginia Tech gear and be a Virginia Tech fan, but then the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech happened, so they had to change it to a less controversial school at the time.
    • In the episode "Francine's Flashback" the scene where Stan brings in Whitney Houston to sing a private apology performance for some cocaine was removed in airings following Houston's death (though the scene was eventually reinstated later), jumping straight from when Stan yells in horror from midnight fishing with his coworkers to Francine saying she will never forgive him for forgetting their anniversary.
    • The ending to "Pulling Double Booty" originally involved Hayley taking a matchbook and setting fire to a forest after realizing Stan tricked her into dating him by pretending to be his body double, Bill. This ending was cut from the episode's premiere showings on FOX and Adult Swim due to a large wildfire in Southern California that occurred shortly before (making the episode end with Hayley yelling, "Oh my God! Are you KIDDING ME?!"). The ending is restored on later airings on some networks and on DVD.
  • The fourth season of the Total Drama series, Revenge of the Island takes place on a polluted Camp Wawanakwa that has become a toxic dumping ground since the events of Total Drama Island, resulting in many unsightly mutations of the island wildlife whom the contestants must dodge in the million dollar prize competition. Originally scheduled to debut in 2011, the nuclear disaster in Japan that year as a result of the tsunami forced the show's Canadian producers to delay the season and edit it extensively to mitigate any sort of insensitive reference to anything that could be tied to the disaster, like renaming the "Radioactive Rats" as the "Toxic Rats" for instance. The season eventually debuted in 2012.
  • Following Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash, MTV pulled a scheduled rerun the Celebrity Deathmatch episode "Sex, Lugs and Rock 'n' Roll'' in 2001, after the third segment of the episode showed every scenes of car crashes in which it literately made light of fatal accidents, regardless to Earnhardt's death which made headline news during that time. note  However, MTV actually brought this episode back from being banned. The episode later returned to air on MTV on March 22, 2003 at 11:00 pm uncut.
  • King of the Hill aired an episode the same day as the Columbine shootings about a church being burned downnote . It was not broadcast in the Denver area or rerun there for quite some time.
    • The episodes about the Mega Lo Mart explosion and Buckley's death, as well as one in which Bill is suicidally depressed, were shelved from reruns in that area for a while too. In fact, two of the four remaining episodes of the show's third season - specifically, the episode in which Peggy visits a death row inmate and the episode with Buckley's Angel - were almost not broadcast at all in Denver. However, they were ultimately premitted to air, and at least one of them proved helpful to a young woman who had lost a friend in the shooting.
    • A throwaway line in "Joust Like a Woman" in which a teen boy calls the make-believe king at a Renaissance Faire "gay" was edited out of airings on [adult swim] following several high-profile suicides of teens who had been bullied for being gay in late 2010. The scene was reinstated on Adult Swim two years later.
    • Some network television stations ([adult swim] has aired the episode) which air King of the Hill in syndication pulled "The Peggy Horror Picture Show" from rotation following the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, as the episode contains outdated, confusing, and incorrect information about transsexuals (even though most of the people Peggy meet are said to be drag queens [who are gay men who only dress as women as part of a stage show or performance], Peggy's new friend, Caroline, in the episode is implied to be a pre-op transsexual, as she is a man named Jamie who dresses in drag and identifies as a woman, complete with being referred to as "she" and "her").
  • South Park, as noted in the description, has fallen into this a number of times, but once invoked it In-Universe with how long the town's residents had to wait to start making AIDS jokes, complete with Randy calling out the exact time near the end.
  • The Mumfie's Quest song "I Must Have My Night" had a line mentioning that flowers, fruits and vegetables will suffer from mildew and blight when The Secretary of Night reached his goal. It was possibly cut from the movie because it possibly referenced the Great Famine, one of the most deadly events in Irish history, and would offend people whose ancestors came over to the country due to the blight.
  • Archer officially retired the "ISIS" name of the titular character's spy agency in Season 6, as the real world Islamic terrorist group with the same name had gotten a lot of press over a string of high profile murders. This may have been why the previous season featured ISIS being shut down by the FBI, with the cast temporarily becoming a drug cartel to make ends meet; most viewers naturally assumed that ISIS would be reassembled by next season, but Season 6 actually saw the cast becoming CIA subcontractors.
  • Cartoon Network pulled a scheduled rerun of the Regular Show episode "Local News Legend" (which featured Margaret being chased down and attacked on air by a rival reporter actually a cyborg from the future) after a news anchor in Roanoke, Virginia was killed on live television
  • Teen Titans Go!: "Salty Codgers", an episode that involves the characters dying of old age and a subplot of Raven meeting Death, was aired at the same time the Paris shootings occurred. Like the Family Guy Viewer Mail example, Cartoon Network pulled all future airings of this episode, and replaced its slot in Two Shorts airings of TTG that included said episode with another one.
    • It happened again when "Serious Business", an episode with a running gag involving a bathroom exploding, was pulled from reruns after airing at the same time as the San Bernando attacks on the West Coast feed of Cartoon Network.
  • An in-universe example occurs in Phineas and Ferb when Major Monogram makes a hand turkey and refers to it as Agent T, a turkey agent who was implied in an earlier episode to have been eaten at Thanksgiving dinner. Perry responds with a stunned expression, and Monogram realizes the joke may have been in poor taste.
  • The Bonkers episodes "Fall Apart Bomb Squad" and "New Partners on the Block" (the latter of which is the first episode in which Bonkers' new partner is the blonde police officer, Miranda Wright, due to Lucky Piquel's retirement from the force) were both pulled from the rotation following the 1995 Oklahoma bombings, and strangely never came back to the air even before 9/11.
  • Dusing an episode of Metalocalypse, Nathan Explosion falls right into this while giving a eulogy for head of Crystal Mountain Records, Roy Cornickelson.
    Nathan Explosion: I'll never forget, when they asked me to give this eulogy, because, uh, I was letting a rabid dog blow me! [Beat]
    [Complete silence, aside from William Murderface, who is snickering, before quickly trying to compose himself and act like he wasn't laughing at all]]
    Nathan Explosion: Very much like our friend, uh, Roy Cornickelson...That joke died.

  • Jimmy Dore has a stand-up routine on Comedy Central where he jokes about JFK, and when the audience laughs a bit nervously, he asks, "Too soon? I waited the standard forty years, but—" and goes off on a short spiel about how he should've known.
    • Bill Hicks often raised the Kennedy assassination in his acts, and once when the audience nervously tittered at the mentioning of the subject, innocently said "no, wait -- there's more."
    • Comedian Rodney Carrington told a joke that if President Kennedy had been wearing Toughskin jeans on his head, he would have survived his assassination. "Guess I'm the only one who finds that shit funny."
  • Mike Birbiglia got a somewhat subdued "too soon" reaction during his Two Drink Mike standup. After asking how Abraham Lincoln gets credit for really vague quotes, he states he should also get credit for stuff like "How are ya?", "My dad's a really great guy!", and "Well, we already bought the tickets". This last one (after a long pause for the audience to get the joke) is greeted mostly with groans to which Birbiglia responds "Alright, no more assassination jokes. It hasn't been long enough."
  • The Onion ran a story titled "Columbine Jocks Safely Resume Bullying" in every market except Denver.
  • In January 2010, juniors at Irvington (NY) High School were forced to change a T-shirt design that featured a humorous riff on the long-dead Soviet Union after one student objected because, essentially, it was too soon after some of his distant family members were killed during the regime of Josef Stalin, nearly 80 years earlier.
  • After the Virginia Tech shooting, many colleges cracked down on the game Humans vs. Zombies for this reason, either banning it outright or banning the use of Nerf guns. Even today, several years later, some schools are still squeamish about the game.
  • The British Sunday papers were caught badly on the wrong foot about reporting the death of Princess Diana, because it occurred very late on a Saturday night. The most the tabloids could do was to replace their original front pages hastily with respectful coverage of what was known about the tragedy. The inside pages, including opinion pieces written earlier in the week, reflected the previous orthodoxy about Diana: that she was a dumb blonde who intended to bring down the Royal Family with the maximum embarrassment and was most likely going to present them with a half-Arab sibling for William and Harry. The complaints caused much embarrassment among hacks, but the Stalinist revision made by the papers after her death was probably the most noteworthy thing.
    • British comedy-music panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks had a round where the panelists had to guess the lyrics to a completely unintelligible heavy metal song. One guy said "Goodbye England's Rose...?", prompting the presenter to joke that the show had just been cancelled.
  • Roger Ebert condemned Penn State for removing the statue of Joe Paterno, never mind the division about his legacy caused by his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's actions.
  • When Seth MacFarlane hosted the 2013 Oscars, he makes a joke about how John Wilkes Booth really got "inside" Lincoln. Everyone reacts with disgust, to which Seth responds "Oh, 120 years and it's still too soon?"
  • Mazda decided to unveil their MX-3 sport compact at the 1991 Geneva Auto Show. They decided to get the attention of the attendees by firing off cannons. Unfortunately, this was the 1991 Geneva Auto Show. Due to the recent Gulf War and terrorism fears, they certainly got attention. When they fired off the cannons, the crowd dropped to the floor en masse.
  • One of Mardi Gras events of Alabama, Order of Isis was retited for 2015, obviously due to the rise in fame of the Terrorist group of the same name.
  • The blockbuster comedy album The First Family and its sequel were yanked from shelves after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The producers even destroyed all the unsold copies, as they didn't want to be seen as "cashing in" on such a horrific tragedy. Because of this, original copies of the sequel are now highly valued collector's items.
  • Parodied when, in the wake of Kellyanne Conway's comments regarding the Bowling Green Massacrenote , the following remarks appeared on Twitter:
    Justin Shanes: Finding these Bowling Green Massacre jokes to be a little too soon. Out of respect, we should wait until it takes place.