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Gosh Dang It / Western Animation

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Gosh Dang It to Heck! in western animation.


  • Prior to the advent of FOX's animated cartoons, particularly The Simpsons and Family Guy, swearing in cartoons was very rare. For instance, during The Golden Age of Animation, whenever a character expressed disgust or contempt for someone or a given situation, they would utter something nonsensical, such as "Rackin-frackin' rickin'-rackin' ... " and so forth.
    • The ill-tempered Yosemite Sam was particularly prone to this trope, using nonsensical euphemisms for his heavy swearing. He often used the phrase "rassen-frassen"; this is actually Yiddish, meaning "gnawed by rats". This takes center stage in the 1960 cartoon "From Hare to Heir", where longtime antagonist Bugs Bunny in a 17th century English setting informs Sam that he will inherit 1 million pounds if he can keep his temper under control; the wascally wabbit then tests Sam's anger management skills by annoying him with multiple small favor requests, with the penalty for losing his temper at 300 pounds per offense. This frustrates Sam so much he tries to run outside to rant and rave, although Bugs also deducts for these instances as well! Eventually, Sam tries to set up Bugs' doom, but they all end with Sam "rackin' frackin' rickin' rackin'" himself to the wrong end of things. Eventually, Sam does find a way to manage his temper ... too late, as he loses his inheritance.
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    • Granny gets frustrated and snorts "Ohh, flibbertygibbet!"
  • The Hungarian word for "shit" has really gotten out of the bleeped-out zone in recent years, and it is more and more common to hear it in even cartoon dubbings. For example, Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy casually uses the word in one episode. Even though words like "damn" or "hell" can be used freely, this still came completely out of the blue.

  • Adventure Time does it so much there's at least one example per episode. Although Finn has a knack for using random words for expletives, he still occasionally says "butt" even when he's known to use other less direct alternatives.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, "What the what?" is a common phrase said by the characters. Gumball also commonly uses kid-friendly swears
    • After Gumball pedals his bike up a steep hill only to find that there is another steep hill ahead, we get this:
      Gumball: GOSH DARRRRRRN IIIIIIIIIIT!
    • A later episode also has Darwin treat the phrase "pile of beans" as if it where some sort of expletive.
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    • In "The Burden", Chris Morris the hamster spouts several indignant squeaks, which is subtitled as "Forget you."
    • Conversed in "The Safety". When Gumball realizes that there's something editing out the words he says, Darwin tells him he put a childlock on the house which somehow censors people's language because "swear words are unsafe". Gumball then points out that he doesn't know any real swear words, only "Mom-sanctioned" versions. Darwin says those are also unsafe because they remind people of real swear words.
    • In "The Rival": "I really wish Mom didn't raise me so well, 'cause this deserves a much stronger cuss word than FIDDLESTIIIICKS!"
  • American Dad! had Roger telling Francine that she's acting like a real "C U Next Tuesday".
    • Another episode played with this with Francine: "If it's so darned, no damned, yeah I went there, if it's so darned important..."
    • Steve has "brownies" as an expletive.
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    • In one episode, when Stan falls of a bike he was attempting to ride, he shouts "God bless it!" instead of the more common "god damn it!" (Stan is a conservative Christian, so it makes sense he wouldn't want to say anything considered blasphemous).
    • Another Roger example: "What the dickens? I thought you knocked him out! WHAT THE DICKENS?!"
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Frylock scolds Meatwad for using "hell," "damn," & "ass." Both Frylock and Meatwad use actual cuss words, but they're beeped out by other sounds from the Episode.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    Aang: Aw, monkeyfeathers.
    • It should be noted that Avatar takes place in a setting with a different cultural lexicon than our world (i.e. in one episode we're told that the phrase "stay flamin'" is hundred-year-old Fire Nation slang). From an in-universe perspective, "monkeyfeathers" could be a very strong profanity.
  • Weirdly, Batman: The Animated Series had Batman reply "the hell it isn't" at one point. It was changed for repeats and DVD though.
  • Beany and Cecil just uses it to its advantage when villain Dishonest John gets sent to Hell with an inept genie.
    Captain: Now where the devil do you suppose Dishonest John got to?
    Cecil: Heck if I know!
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers maxes out at "gosh", "darn", and "heck". Monterey Jack's "a pain in the Outback" is one of the more creative examples.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door, especially with Numbuh 4, who replaces nearly every possible swear word with the word "crud", leading to phrases such as "why the crud not?"
    • "Operation: A.W.A.R.D.S." featured a toilet-based villain called Potty Mouth (not to be confused with the Toiletnator), whose theme is profanity, but uses puerile insults rather than actual cuss words.
    Potty Mouth: Oh, go flush yourself down a pee-pee hole, you toilet paper covered doodyhead!
  • The Daffy Duck cartoon "Draftee Daffy" has Daffy escaping from the little man from the draftboard via a rocket, whose trajectory takes it and him straight to hell. Daffy as he sniffs around and observes:
    Daffy: What's cookin'? This place looks like... [garbled gasp]! It is [garbled gasp]! I am in [garbled gasp]!
  • In Danny Phantom, Vlad Masters uses various candy-related words to express himself. ("Oh, cheeselogs!") The [English] teacher Lancer uses book titles. ("Great Gatsby! What's going on?")
  • Averted and parodied in the Dan Vs. episode "The Gym", Dan uses the word 'hellbent', and a gym android says that he'd prefer Dan used the word 'heckbent'.
    • Also averted in "Ye Old Shakesphere Dinner Theatre" during the beginning of the episode in which Dan clearly says "damned".
  • In Dilbert, an officer in command of a sniper team says "oh, shoot" after hearing bad news, provoking the team to fire, prompting him to say it again, causing more fire. Then he lampshades it by saying "I've gotta come up with a new swear word".
  • The language in Ed, Edd n Eddy is generally fairly tame, with Edd's Catchphrase of "Good Lord!" being among the spiciest things said. This trope was briefly discussed in "Gimme Gimme Never Ed":
    Edd: Oh, Darn it!
    Ed: Double-D almost said a bad word, Eddy!
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, Mr. Crocker occasionally says: "Oh poopy."
  • Family Guy featured this in a not-so family friendly way, in a brief parody of The Smurfs:
    Smurf 1: She smurf'd me!
    Smurf 2: No smurfin' way!
    Smurf 1: Yeah!
    Smurf 2: Shut the smurf up!
    Smurf 1: I smurf you not!
    Smurf 2: Right in the smurfin' parking lot?
    Smurf 1: SMURF yeah!
  • Middle schooler Ingrid from Fillmore! often exclaims "Crackers!" to the point where it's a borderline Catchphrase.
  • In an episode of The Flintstones after an argument with Barney, Fred goes on with his usual muttering of "racking fracking" and ends the rant with "Damn!" which shocks Betty and Wilma.
  • Futurama:
    • "War is the H-word".
      Zap: You're going to be meeting with their leaders, the Brain Balls. We don't know much about them. But they've got a lot of brains, and a lot of... chutzpah.
      Bender: These chairs are a real pain in the... waddya call it? Lower back! Yeah, that whole region! note 
    • "Hell is other Robots"
      Robot Devil: Sorry Bender, you agreed to this when you joined our religion. If you sin, you go to robot hell... for all eternity!
      Bender: Ah, hell. I mean, heck! Heck!
      Robot Devil: It's all right, you can say that here.
    • Also parodied in other places with Farnsworth's... unique expressions. "Sweet Zombie Jesus!" Which makes it all the stranger when the "Jesus" part is muted when it's Edited for Syndication.
    • Also parodied with the character of Mom, who seems to enhance her curse words in random ways, causing them to become more comedic. "What the sweaty hell?" — "Jam a bastard in it, you crap!"
    • Also occurs with some of Hermes's expressions which often rhyme ("Sweet gorilla of Manila!") or involve a green snakes, sugarcane, and trucks "I'm hungrier than a green snake in a sugarcane field" though these do not always take the place of swears.
    • The old lady who uses nonsense words like kirjigger "You young whats-a-callit... idiot"
    • In the early episodes Fry would annoyingly say "crud".
  • In the episode of George Shrinks when George's prized "Zooper Car" is stolen, a very ticked off George states he will find it "wherever the heck it is." His father then proceeds to scold him for saying the word "heck". What world does this family live in?
  • In Gravity Falls:
    • In "The Golf War", Mabel is practicing trying to get a hole in one at the windmill hole, and after yet another miss she yells in frustration "Darn! Poop heck darn!"
    • Grunkle Stan has picked up this habit due to being around his great-niece and nephew all summer. Lampshaded in "Not What He Seems", as the kids watch a security tape of him moving some barrels:
      Stan: [drops a barrel on his foot] Gah! Hot Belgian waffles! [beat] Wait, I'm alone. I can swear for real! [takes deep breath] SON OF A
      Dipper: [quickly fast forwards the tape] That's him, alright...
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Harold tells Billy it's important to have a list while in a Walmart-esque department store so you don't buy "stupid crud" and "catch heck from the missus."
  • Inverted: Friz Freleng's 1940 cartoon "The Hardship of Miles Standish" has a scene of a cockeyed Indian plunking an Indian ahead of him with a bow and arrow. The plunked Indian turns angrily and mouths — but does not say out loud — "Goddamn son of a bitch!" There was rumor that the Indian actually voiced it but was silenced in the final print.
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga's "criminy". She does use "crap" every now and then, though.
  • Hilariously done on Histeria! (the "Lincoln" episode), when Lydia Karaoke (the Network Censor) interrupts a bit about the Battle of Mobile Bay, when Admiral David Farragut famously said "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" Lydia suggests, perhaps "Darn the torpedoes", or "I sure am having problems with these torpedoes". In reply, David sends her on a special 'scouting mission' ahead...floating back on the wreckage, she decides that maybe he was justified in saying that word.
  • Justice League:
    • Very closely danced around in the show and its sequel; usually, a character comes very close to saying hell (or, in the case of one minor creep, ass) in the manner of "Go to hell", but are interrupted just as they're about to say the word. In a clever subversion, in the episode "The Balance", Zatanna speaks the word hell, but backwards (she can only use her real magic by saying what she wants it to do in reverse, like a record played backwards, thus the word is indecipherable to the uneducated ear; besides which, it was a literal reference to Hades).
    • Superman himself once replaced the word "fucking" in a particularly frustrated rant against Luthor with "flipping". Hawkgirl, the show's number one source of Getting Crap Past the Radar frequently finds herself interrupted when she's about to throw in a swear word. Many other characters use "bites" or "stinks" in place of "sucks", etc.
    • Also, Green Lantern's shocked exclamation, "Judas Priest!" This is a pre-existing curse replacement.
    • Unlimited does this in a unique way, by having all curses be cut off before finished (or be turned into puns - GL's "kiss my axe"). There's a few bad ones, and a few gems, such as:
      Dove: How about you calm down, and I'll let you go
      Thug: How 'bout you kiss my (Dove twists his arm) a-aaargh.
    • This trope results in greater comedy in the episode "Kids' Stuff." When all the adults on earth are sent to another dimension, Copperhead hysterically exclaims "It's Judgment Day, and we've gone to the bad place! The bad place!"
    • It is enforced in the episode "Legends", in which some league members get thrown to an Alternate Universe Affectionate Parody of the Silver Age. All of the heroes and villains speak politely and use out-dated and inoffensive swears, most of whom are also puns. Such as Music Master's "fiddlesticks!".
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat uses words like "darn" instead of "damn". When he doesn't, it's usually muted out by a Sound-Effect Bleep or cut short.
  • Kick Buttowski - Kick's trademark expression for impending doom on a stunt gone wrong is "Oh biscuits!".
    "Dam!" "Gunther!"
  • Kim Possible - Kim's teacher Steve Barkin mitigates his blasphemy by saying "Cheese and crackers!" The worst Drakken says is "Oh, snap."
  • In King of the Hill, "Got-Dang it" is one of Hank Hill's catchphrases.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    Lin: What the flameo happened here?
  • The titular family of The Loud House have a Share Phrase of "Dang it!", said when something unpleasant is going on. This makes sense for the 11-year-old Lincoln on down but starts to get amusing when used by the teens and adults.
    • The above becomes more hilarious after the episode "Potty Mouth", where the kids start freaking out over who swore in front of baby Lily.
  • The Mask cartoon has one that doubles as a Shout-Out: "Get away from her you Glitch!"
  • In the Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse episode "A Star Is Milked", Mighty Mouse says "Gosh darn it" twice.
  • My Little Pony characters in G1 and G4 have a habit of saying pony-versions of profanities and exclamations, such as "Pony Feathers". Fanon has also made a whole bunch of equivalents.
  • Bob Oblong of The Oblongs does this a lot. Made even funnier seeing that he appears to be the only character in the show averse to swearing.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Played with in the car wash episode. Phineas overuses the word 'dang', then decides that he's not street enough to pull it off. "It's the Black Knight! And his hounds of heck!"
  • Similarly used in an episode of Pinky and the Brain wherein the characters visit a fiery place very self-consciously named "Hades". Lampshaded as Brain celebrates over a trap door, finally saying as it opens "What am I saying? I'm in hell!" (Though he is cut off before pronouncing the "L" as his shout trails off.)
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In the episode "Speed Demon" Him manages to take over in the girls absence.
      Him: As you raced through time, the whole world went to HECK!
    • The Movie has Buttercup trying to free Talking Dog from the grip of a giant ape. She yells "Get your paws off him, you darned dirty ape!"
    • In "Not So Awesome Blossom", Mojo Jojo holds Blossom's sisters and the Professor hostage in exchange for her servitude. When Mojo challenges Blossom based on her honesty, she can only fold her arms and utter a disgusted "Shoot!"
  • Ready Jet Go!: In the episode "Who Messed Up the Treehouse?", Jet says "It's those darn squirrels again!"
  • Regular Show: Rigby's catchphrase "STOP TALKING!" originates from the makers having a limit on times he could say "Shut Up" to avoid a higher age rating. It proved to make him much funnier, especially when combined with Implausible Deniability.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • The show went one further in an episode where Hell was referred to as Heck (and the sign that said "Welcome to Heck" actually said "Hell", but the letters "ck" were painted over it), and when Heffer started to say "Don't you mean He-" he gets silenced, as though the word was too strong to be heard in a kid's show.
    • The episode "A Sucker for the Suck-O-Matic" actually uses the phrase "oh my God" twice, once by a TV show Heffer is watching at the beginning of the episode, and again by Heffer himself at the end of the episode. However, this trope is played straight in every other episode.
  • Since it was an adaptation of notoriously edgy source material, it's deliberately done as obnoxiously as possible in Sam & Max: Freelance Police:
    Max: From heck's heart, I stab at thee! For Pete's sake, I spit my bad breath at thee!
    • It's even lampshaded on the back of the DVD cover -
      ...about a pair of likeable law enforcement types who don't take crap (oops! we mean guff) from anybody.
    • Averted in one episode where Sam very clearly says "Hell on Earth."
  • The Simpsons:
    • The words "damn" and "hell" are treated as fairly shocking. When the show debuted, "damn" and "hell" ''were'' shocking in a cartoon, at least in America, as was the word "butt". The trope has been fading in the series's more recent episodes, most likely to keep in line with other adult cartoons, such as Family Guy. Definitely long since averted. Words like "bastard", "pissed", and "bitch" have been used occasionally for well over a decade in the show now. Probably because of the show's ever growing immunity to tampering; at this point, the creators can do whatever they like in the show and get away with it.
    • An early episode has Bart reprimanded for saying "Hell" in the context of a Sunday School lesson.
      Bart: But how the HELL can I talk about HELL without saying "HELL"?
      Homer: He's got a point.
      Bart: Hell. Hell hell hell!
      Marge: Bart, you're not in Sunday School anymore. Stop swearing!
    • On the way to find Homer's half brother, Bart asks where the bastard lives; upon being scolded, he points out that it's the correct word, as his parents were never married.
    • Played with when Sideshow Bob is meeting his parole board. He describes prison as a "urine-soaked hellhole", when one of the board members objects and says he could have just as easily called it a "peepee-soaked heckhole". Sideshow Bob cheerfully withdraws his choice of words.
    • When it moved to earlier showings, it was edited to heck and back. The writers are able to sneak some past through which only the sharp eyed viewers can see. Like one store with a sign reading "Sneed's feeds and seeds — formerly Chuck's". If you don't get it, consider that Sneeds rhymes with feeds and seeds — now consider what rhymes with Chuck's using the same starting letters.
    • Naturally Ned Flanders is a walking parody of the trope: "Son of a diddly". It's very noticeable when Ned loses it: "Oh-hell-diddly-ding-dong-crap!"
    • Krusty the Clown's suggestion to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for toning down their song "Give It Away" on his comeback TV special: "Instead of saying 'What I got you got to get it, put it in you,' how about 'What I'd like, is I'd like to hug and kiss you?'". Parodied in that the Peppers love this suggestion.
    • In "Bart Sells His Soul," a stressed-out Moe finds himself unable to keep his temper and language in check at his new family restaurant.
    Moe: (to a little girl complaining her soda's too cold) Your teeth hurt? Your teeth hurt?! Well, that's too freakin' bad. You hear me? I'll tell you where you can put your freaking "sodie" too!
    (All the customers gasp)
    Todd: Ow, my freakin' ears!
    Ned: Well! I expect that type of language at Denny's, but not here!
    • From Bart's Nightmare in that same episode: "Bart sold his soul, and that's just swell. now he's going straight to—hello operator, give me number nine..."
    • In Season 17, Mr. Burns says "dream on, bitch" to Rich Texan.
    • Reverend Lovejoy, after getting hit by a bowling ball on the foot: "HOLY SHIning light unto us all..."
    • Parodied in the episode "Pygmoelian", where a character clearly says "What the fudge?" but is still bleeped.
    • Lampshaded in "Dog of Death" with this exchange:
      Marge: Bart, I know you're upset.
      Bart: Darn right I'm upset!
      Marge: Bart, watch your language! Oh wait, you did... sorry.
    • Marge, driving Homer to the hospital after cutting off his thumb, rear-ends Rainier Wolfcastle's Ferrari, and says "Ohh, doodlebugs!"
    • When Principal Skinner is informed of the exorbitant price to change his airplane reservation, he exclaims, "GM Chrysler! I can't afford that!"
  • South Park:
    • In the episode "Christian Rock Hard", Cartman meets a Christian metal band who describe their music as "hardcore". Cartman sarcastically comments "Yeah, you guys are real hardcore", to which one of the band members responds "You bet your gosh-darned rear end we are!". Jonas did it too.
    • Butters says "gosh dang it to heck". When he throws his baseball cap to the ground in frustration, he exclaims, "Son of a biscuit!" This tendency makes it all the more hilarious when he becomes a pimp and starts throwing around "bitches" and "hoes", though to be fair, he doesn't seem to understand what those words mean. "All About Mormons" contains a more subtle example where Butters refers to Gary, the new kid, as a peckerface, though quiet and in the background. He also tells the rest of the gang to "suck on [his] weiner" in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerBalls"; the entire second book Butters made in the episode is filled with them.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast had an episode wherein the characters began cursing at each other, only for the more offensive words to be replaced by a computerized voice saying something else entirely. Zorak: Bring it on, you son of a (computerized voice overlaps) carpenter! This can be perceived as a blasphemy (Jesus was the son of a carpenter) and ironically more offensive than the uncensored line would have been.
  • In a SpongeBob SquarePants episode all about swearing, SpongeBob and Patrick's newly-discovered "Sentence Enhancer" is heard as a dolphin noise. It is probable that they are actually swearing and the sound that the audience hears is a Sound-Effect Bleep. Played with at the end, however, which implies that the apparent Sound-Effect Bleep is the swear in question. The exact same plot was used for an episode of The Powerpuff Girls and Baby Looney Tunes.
    • "Barnacles", "tartar sauce", and "fish paste" are common SpongeBob expletives.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Averted in "Rookies", with two instances of "hell" from the Clone troopers ("What the hell was that?!" and "Like hell you did!"). On the second airing, however, both were bowdlerised, causing the latter to sound as if the trooper saying it was conceding; the exact opposite of what he meant.
  • Steven Universe: Pearl won't swear, but sometimes when something shocking happens she'll exclaim something along the lines of, "I can't believe my flipping eyes!"
  • Stroker and Hoop had a client in the first episode use this trope, though as he grew more vexed it degraded from "You son of a... darn... You!" to "Son of a bitch @-?! %&*# !?"
  • Gizmo in Teen Titans, practically to G-rated Sir Swears-a-Lot levels. He pseudo-swears so often that he successfully gives off the same foul-mouthed impression that he'd give off if he were swearing for real.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Fowl Mouth zigzags between this and The Bleep, using dad-blamed before going on to the fouler language that needs to be beeped out.
  • Dean and Hank of The Venture Bros. are famous for using unusual substitutes for curse words. They even chide each other if they use real curse words. This gag has been toned down in later seasons of the show.
    "Oh my glory, you're right!"
    "And they kill clean! Don't let dames get in the way!"
    "Double dammit!" "Hank, you said the double-d word!"
  • A Woody Woodpecker cartoon from the late 50s had Woody getting three wishes from a leprechaun woodpecker. After the first two wishes get Woody in trouble:
    Woody: Hold it, buster. I've still got one more wish comin'.
    Leprechaun: Oh? And what might that be?
    Woody: GO TO BLAZES!!! [the leprechaun descends to hell, greeted by the Devil, who had been expecting his return]
  • One notable example from Xiaolin Showdown: "DANG YOU OMI! DANNNNNG YOUUUUU!"


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