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Curse Cut Short

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"It's not swearing if you don't enunciate the last phoneme. PRO TIP"

A character is part way through saying a rude word when they are abruptly interrupted, often for comic effect. Often, the interrupter will finish the curse with his/her first syllable. Likely began as a means of Getting Crap Past the Radar.

More common in post-watershed viewing, for obvious reasons, but family shows can also get away with it. Possibly related to the practice of censoring written swear words by blanking all but the first letter, the rationale being that the reader will understand the sentence without being offended.

This can happen in different ways:

Alternately, this may be enforced by a Narrative Profanity Filter. A character will get in "Oh—" and then the you will be informed that the narrator has neglected to transcribe the rest of what was said.

The phrase, "Son of a..." is such a widespread variant that it's practically become a valid expression in its own right. Similarly, "Why, you little..."


Compare Last-Second Word Swap, in which the expected curse is avoided by saying something else, rather than being cut off. For the non-cursing variety where important information is cut off instead, see Lost in Transmission. See also Catchphrase Interruptus. See also Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion, for the common case where a speaker sets up a rhyme to lead you to expect a bad word, then says something else. Not to be confused with Curse Escape Clause.


Wait, it's over already? Well, f-


Video Example(s):


Spider-Man: Homecoming

Aunt May's reaction to finding out Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

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