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Censored Child Death

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So the Murderer attacks a family. He kills the father and the mother and is left with the child. However, we never get to see the murderer kill the child. There may be a scream, but no shadow or gore, if any, gets shown to the viewers at all. This is a very common practice, even in most violent movies, where child deaths are off screen. This is usually due to such onscreen deaths would result in censorship from the Media Watchdogs. This may also be due to the risks of the Moral Guardians complaining about such deaths onscreen. While there are some notable aversions, such aversions are rare to encounter in most works that contain children.

A subtrope of Discretion Shot, Killed Offscreen and Death of a Child. Compare and contrast Improbable Infant Survival, as while the child survives, these depict a child not seen dying. Related to Empathy Doll Shot, wherein a child's favorite toy is presumably all that's left of them.

Note: If it's teenagers, then its not this trope, as teenagers have been known to fight back. A maximum age of 11 is accepted. And this is a Death Trope, so expect unmarked spoilers.


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    Films — Animated 
  • The BFG: The scene in which the Fleshlumpeater devours a sleeping boy is made even scarier because we don't actually see him do it. Instead, when he reaches into the boy's window, it cuts to Sophie, whose reaction says it all before cutting back to Fleshlumpeater obviously chewing something we can't see.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the The Matrix Revolutions, while it was implied that Smith assimilated Sati, her assimilation was never seen or heard.
  • Titanic: Viewers get to see a 3rd class mother telling her children a bedtime story as their room fills with water. Viewers also see dozens of children and infants floating dead in the water, but no actual drownings are shown.
  • Double Subverted in It (2017). When It was about to kill Georgie, instead of an offscreen death, we see him ripping his arm off, with Georgie trying to escape. Then It reaches out to get him. This time, his death is offscreen.
  • Warlock. The warlock is shown talking to a child. When the child asks him what he needs to fly, he gives an Evil Laugh. The child is later found dead, and Redferne learns that the child was unbaptized. Redferne tells Kassandra that the warlock needed the fat from an unbaptized child to make a flying potion. All of this indirectly tells the audience that the warlock killed the child offscreen.
  • Nightbreed: Doctor Decker, a serial killer who targets families, is shown attacking a household of three in the opening. The mother and father are graphically murdered with a butcher's knife, but he's only seen menacingly approaching their young son before the screen fades to black.
  • Zigzagged in Freddy vs. Jason. In his opening scene, Freddy is shown with one of his child victims, but her death is only implied with her screams as the camera focuses on her doll being burned in a furnace. Later, Lori comes across the same little girl in the dream world... with her eyes gouged out.

  • The Sci-Fi Channel's film of Dune shows Harkonnen forces invading a Fremen sanctuary where Paul and Chani's son, barely a toddler, lives. After killing his nursemaid, they see the boy sitting alone on the floor as Rabban smirks, reaching for his knife. Far away, Chani hears a child crying in her dreams as Paul comes into her room and bluntly says, "Our son is dead."

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Black Mirror episode "Crocodile," a Gory Discretion Shot is used as Mia bludgeons Shazia to death and Mia's murder of Shazia's husband is shown onscreen. The scene cuts away when the character realizes that the infant son must die as well (since his memories can be used as testimony in the context of the episode). The next time the victims' house is shown, a police officer wonders out loud who would kill a baby.
  • Borderline example on an episode of Criminal Minds ("Psychodrama", Season 2, Episode 4) and all the more Nightmare Fuel-laden for it: the Monster of the Week, a psychotic bank robber that forced his hostages to strip down and any children in the crowd to attack their parents (as a way to express his own hatred for his parents and what he wanted to do to them through an acting technique he learnt in prison (the titular "psychodrama")) at gunpoint pushes a kid to the ground and empties his MAC-10 sub-machine gun into him in a rage when the kid refuses to strike his mother on one of his robberies. Garcia and the other BAU agents, who see this after the fact by watching the bank's security tapes (which also means that the kid is pushed just barely "off-screen" before being shot) are understandably horrified.
  • In Game of Thrones, King Joffrey Baratheon orders the City Watch to kill all of Robert Baratheon's known bastards which he considers them as threats to his claim for the Iron Throne. While most of these bastards are teenagers such as Gendry, the youngest is still an infant. When Ser Janos Slynt of the City Watch orders one of his men to kill the baby, he refuses causing Janos to do the deed instead in front the mother by grabbing a knife to stab the baby. The next scene cuts away to the mother wailing in terror as she watches her child die in front of her.
  • Westworld: The Man in Black kills Maeve's daughter by shooting her. But the scene shows him shooting her offscreen and then, it went to Maeve's reaction to her daughter's death.

    Video Games 
  • In The Sims, the Social Worker NPC spawns to remove the child from the household, when the child is exposed to certain dangers (such of starvation) that would kill an adult.

    Visual Novels 

    Western Animation 
  • In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Wonder Woman forces that universe's version of Shazam, Captain Thunder, back into his unpowered form of six children by using her golden lasso to force him to say his transformation word. Before they can react and retransform Wonder Woman grabs one of the children (Billy Batson), lifts him up by his wrists (onscreen), stabs him twice with a broken sword killing him (offscreen), before letting his dead body fall to the floor (onscreen).
  • The Prince of Egypt: When the Angel of Death strikes, we see a little boy carrying a jar inside, gasp, then only his arm is visible after collapsing. Other firstborns are seen after their death such as the Pharaoh's.

Statler: I'm going to watch Asriel get killed by The Joker!
Asriel Dies
Statler: Aw, come on! You ruined it!