Effective whenever Stephen Fry swears. Such as this from Stephen Fry's Guilty Pleasures: 'The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest is just a fucking lunatic'.
A particularly moving example came from his appearance on The BBC's celebrity genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are, in which he used it when discussing some of his ancestors who died at Auschwitz. Also a Precision F-Strike on the part of The BBC themselves, who almost never (intentionally) broadcast the word uncensored before the watershed.
In fact, Who Do You Think You Are has always been a post-watershed show, though its content doesn't usually require it to be.
In TV recordings, Fry uses the trick of swearing to render a piece of footage unbroadcastable when he has said something he would rather not be used in a final edit: "Oh no, we can't use that now I've said 'cunt'". He does this partly for the benefit of the audience, who enjoy being treated to his delightful swearing.
Also effective in Moab Is My Washpot, his memoir, when he is lamenting his lack of musical talent. After talking about how beautiful music is and everything it does for the human spirit: "AND I CAN'T FUCKING DO IT."
Also from Moab Is My Washpot, Fry's meditation on boys who were good at sport at his boarding school:
"Oh, there was always a Jamie, a good-lad-Jamie, a neat, nippy, darty, agile scrum-halfy little Jamie. Jamie could swarm up ropes like an Arthur Ransom hero, he could fly up window frames, leap vaulting horses, flip elegant underwater turns at the end of each lap of the pool, somersault backwards and forwards off the trapeze and spring back up with his neat little buttocks twinkling and winking with fitness and firmness and cute little Jamieness. Cunt."
John Cleese (of Monty Python / Fawlty Towers fame) once described this trope in an interview, by explaining that the art of making swear words funny is to avoid using them... until the exact moment in the script when it will be most effective. A comedy with gratuitous swearing ends up desensitising the audience to the words in question, meaning they lose a lot of their amusement. But if you go for fifty minutes without a single swear word, then suddenly have a character say 'shit', the swear word becomes instantly more amusing, because the audience has been conditioned not to expect it up to that point.
The eulogy that Cleese delivered for Graham Chapman is a wonderful example of this. The best quote: "Alright, Cleese, you're very proud of being the first person to ever say 'shit' on British television. If this service is really for me, just for starters, I want you to be the first person ever at a British memorial service to say 'fuck'!" The audience, which included the rest of the Pythons, was suitably delighted. The service ended with a rousing chorus of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". Video here.
During the recording of Queen's "The Show Must Go On", Brian May was concerned that due to Freddie Mercury's condition and deteriorating health, he wouldn't be physically able to handle the highly demanding vocals required. At the time Freddie couldn't even physically stand up by himself. Freddie's response was to down a measure of vodka and proclaim "I'll fucking do it, darling!" - he nailed the vocals in one take, making it double as both a Crowning Moment of AwesomeandCrowning Music of Awesome.
Chase Utley was handed the microphone at the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Championship parade. He apparently didn't know what to say besides "World Champions!". He followed up with "World Fucking Champions!".... the crowd went absolutely wild. Especially effective as the parade was being broadcast live on several major radio and TV stations (which as a rule do not broadcast the F-word).
Chase apparently has difficulty with this word and microphones. In an earlier incident, from the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, the crowd, mostly New Yorkers and as a result likely heavily peppered with Mets fans, began booing Utley as he ran onto the field to take part in the event. He took one look at the crowd, promptly forgot that he was wearing a microphone for ESPN, and audibly muttered "Boo? Fuck you!"
Both of these Precision F Strikes are considered Crowning Moments of Awesome among Phillies fans. (Chase Utley himself is considered a walking Crowning Moment of Awesome.)
After several tries, NHL magnate Henrik Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy (read: Goalie of the Year) in 2012. He had a brain freeze, and swore during his nationally televised acceptance speech.
"I have three things to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases caused by malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset about the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
Used by Ron White in his act when discussing how he got kicked out of the debate team
Ron: I got kicked off the high school debate team for saying, "Yeah? Well, fuck you!". The other guy was speechless. I thought I had won!
British comedian Frank Skinner experimented with this trope while on tour, first by removing all swearing from his act and then by reintroducing only the most significant swearwords. He later started promoting the buzzword Intelligent Swearing.
Used hilariously by Bill Cosby, whose comedy has always been notoriously clean, in a stand-up act about drugs:
Bill: "So I ask this guy, 'What is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful?' And he said, 'Well, it intensifies your personality.' And I said, 'Yes, but what if you're an asshole?'"
Paul Gogarty: With all due respect and in the most unparliamentary language, Fuck YOU, Deputy Stagg! FUCK YOU! I now apologize for-
Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Gogarty, that is most unparliamentary language.
Paul Gogarty: It is most unparliamentary language and I now withdraw it and apologize for it.
Barack Obama, on Kanye West's infamous MTV Video Music Awards interruption: "He's a jackass." The language may be tame compared to the rest of the examples here, but it's still harsher language than expected of the president.
Biden, however, DID use the f word, for emphasis mainly, after against all odds the Health Care Bill was successfully passed.
He probably thought that the microphones couldn't hear him at the time.
Obama's also looking for an ass to kick regarding that puddle of oil in the Gulf. His statements in the interview were immediately schmoyohoified.
When he hit his groin on a first-down pole during a Minnesota-Northwestern football game, Simoni Lawrence got up next to the microphone and said: "Muthafucka hit mah pay-ness!"
Michael Jackson rarely cursed in public; but when a news photographer shoved one of his fans to the ground in an effort to get closer to the singer, Michael snapped at him, "No, no, don't you touch my fans! Fuck you!"
John Kerry once referred to a secret service agent as a "son of a bitch".
Twice. Long after the guy knocked him down while they were snowboarding.
Peter Davison while promoting The Furze. Bonus points for wearing a Hard Rock Gallifrey t-shirt and the Fifth Doctor coat.
Tom Baker: "Yeah, you never fucking know the answer when it's important."
The "Shit Heard Round The World", as uttered by then-President Bush in conversation with then-P.M. Tony Blair. Neither man apparently noticed that they were on a live mic at the time.
In a celebrity roast of Tom Hanks, the host spoke of how he'd watched Hanks' rising success as a comedy actor, then as a serious lead, and finally as the star of new classics like Saving Private Ryan. He was modest about his own jealousy over Hanks' initial successes, but when he spoke of seeing his performance in this last film, his only possible reaction was an envious "Motherfucker!"
Some self-defense training courses recommend the strategic use of this trope to present an aggressive front to a potential attacker, thereby making yourself seem less like an easy target.
Not just to an attacker, but to themselves. Self-defense teachers often say that the hardest thing to do is to convince women that it's OK to hit someone (most are afraid to, believing that it's not polite or ladylike.) By screaming an F-Bomb at the attacker, they're saying to themselves, "Screw ladylike, I need to protect myself by any means necessary."
In 1965, Lyndon Johnson actually said to the Greek ambassador Alexander Matsas (regarding Cyprus as well as Greece), "Fuck your parliament and your constitution". Very effective by the fact that movies did not even say the f-word back then.
More mild than most, but still powerful: after the successful detonation of an atomic bomb at Trinity, site director Kenneth Bainbridge stated "Now we are all sons of bitches."
Before a speech during a 2000 campaign stop, an open mic caught George W. Bush calling New York Times reporter Adam Clymer "a major league asshole".
Christopher Hitchens may be the world master of this art. Skip just before the end of this video to see an oft used example.
After U2 won a Golden Globe, Bono's acceptance speech began with "This is fucking brilliant!"
Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss titled a lecture on the concept of Oblivion "We're All Fucked."
Martin Freeman, at a press conference to introduce the cast of The Hobbit, when asked if it was "the role of a lifetime" tried to give an even-handed response: "I've always tried not to be overwhelmed by size. I don't think it's helpful and I don't think it's accurate... Just because something is big that means it's better, y'know? I've never thought that. There's no denying however I'm in The fucking Hobbit, playing the fucking hobbit." It's impossible to adequately describe the perfectly deadpan way he said this, but it's Martin Freeman, so it goes without saying really.
Freeman was a guest on the Graham Norton Show in January 2012. BBC 1 was midway through airing Season 2 of Sherlock. When Norton announced they had a clip from the next episode to show, but that "You don't say a lot in it... you don't say a lot..." Freeman's response was a casual "Fuck you, I won a BAFTA." He was the only person in the studio who didn't fall out of his chair laughing, and the phrase has become a Memetic Mutation.
Steven Erikson, author of The Malazan Book of the Fallen, used it perfectly in his response to Endgame by Derrick Jensen. He swears about three times, buch each time it conveys exactly what could not be conveyed in any other words. He truly uses fuck as a 'sentence enhancer'.
Melissa Leo during her Oscar acceptance speech: "When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so fucking easy!" She later apologized, saying it wasn't the right venue for such an outburst.
Republican New York State Senator Roy McDonald, on crossing party lines in support of gay marriage:
“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this.”
The normally calm and collected Fox News anchor Shep Smith during a webcast discussing the subject of torture:
"We- are- America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps! We are America! We do not FUCKING TORTURE!"
Emma Watson got her own when she called Hollywood "bitchy" when asked what she thought of a possible future Hollywood career. If she's asked why Hollywood seems to hate her pixie-cut, she'll probably use colorful language again.
Ray Romano, long known for being the wishy-washy husband on Everybody Loves Raymond, performed stand-up comedy at Carnegie Hall. He began as follows.
"Excuse me for a moment, ladies and gentlemen...Carnegie F<bleep>ing Hall. <wild applause> The only profanity of the night."
As part of an HBO special shortly after the last episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, he said "You have no idea how many times on that show I just wanted to shout 'Shut the fuck up, Debra! Shut the fuck up!'" He went on to say "This is Cable, I'm allowed to swear."
There's a great story about Ethel Merman, who, according to Stephen Sondheim, "had the vocabulary of a truck driver." She was working with the abovementioned Loretta Young, who insisted that Ethel use the Swear Jar. After becoming more and more frustrated with this, Ethel turned to her, placed a hundred-dollar bill in the jar, and said," Loretta, here's a hundred dollars and go fuck yourself."
Brian Mulroneytelling Peter Newman to go fuck himself.note (This is immediately after Mulroney said "good evening" even to his political opponents, so as to emphasize that his worst indignation was reserved for Newman, who released private tapes. (Look up "The Secret Mulroney Tapes.")
In This Wiki, tropers will often pothole any usage of the word "fuck" to this page.
In 2004, during the holiday season, CBS had a camera at the Jacksonville-Cleveland football game trained on a crowd which included a white-bearded man who could easily pass as Santa Claus. He bore a shirt which clearly read "Your ass ain't getting shit for Christmas!"
This example happens alot in sports such as football and Nascar where the event is live so they are not able to censor it These usually resulted in being fined.
An NFL player was fined when he told a fan who blamed him for losing the game to fuck off.
A NASCAR driver was fined and lost points when he called another driver who wrecked him a piece of shit.
Another sports example is Didier Drogba's infamous outburst after Chelsea's UEFA Champions League semi-final loss to Barcelona.
Drogba: "Hey, it's a disgrace. It's a disgrace. It's a fucking disgrace."
After it was revealed that Obama won the 2012 election, a crowd uproared and praised at his democratic center in Chicago, the censors did not catch this, but a man screamed "America, Fuck Yeah!!"
The first time any teenager swears.
Or the first time they have the courage to swear in front of their parents.
On the Saturday after the Boston Bomber was finally caught, the Red Sox played their game with David Ortiz returning to the team. When addressing what happened, he thanked Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick and the police for the great job they did. Then finished off with "This is our fucking city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong." The added applause he got after he said "This is our fucking city" made this trope more epic and justified. And the FCC? Totally let it slide.
The only recorded non-human use of the trope comes courtesy of Koko the Gorilla, who knows sign language. After she experienced her first earthquake at the San Francisco Zoo, her keepers were worried about how she would react, since gorillas have no concept of earthquakes. Koko's response: