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Defacement Insult

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A character's property is defaced by a slur, insult, or warning written in bold letters with the intent of terrorizing the recipient. Cars, desks, lockers, and doors tend to be the common locations. Generally it's anonymous and it's done to illustrate the views of the community against this one person rather than point to a single source of bullying.

It tends to show up mostly in media about teenagers, scorned women, or media that deals with civil rights and/or racial tensions.

Compare Rushmore Refacement and Face Doodling.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • After Suzaku joins Ashford Academy in Code Geass, he's faced with discrimination because he's Japanese in an otherwise all-Britannian school. This includes one of his shirts being spray-painted with "GO BACK TO YOUR GHETTO". Thankfully, it stops when he saves Lelouch's life in the same episode and Lelouch publicly declares him his friend.
  • During the first episode of the second season of Hell Girl, one of the many torments faced by the Victim of the Week was her books being defaced with ugly words.
  • All Might statues get vandalized during My Hero Academia ‘s final arc as the public trust in heroes is shaken. In the one we see, someone keeps writing “I AM NOT HERE” and someone else keeps removing it every day.

    Comic Books 
  • In Avengers: The Initiative, The Gauntlet ends up getting beaten into a coma and having the New Warriors symbol spray-painted onto his body after repeatedly taunting several of the team's former members.
  • During Fear Itself, the community of Bleachville, which was long rife with racial tensions between its majority-white population and a neighboring reservation, experienced a rash of vandalism warning that the "Red Nation will rise again". The vandalism was later revealed to have been carried out by a bunch of white racists hoping to start a riot to wipe out the reservation's inhabitants.
  • In Watchmen, Silhouette and her lesbian partner are murdered, and the derogatory slur LESBIAN WHORES is painted on the wall.
  • "Mutie" is a common graffiti epithet in the X-Men books, primarily used against mutants.
  • In Ziggy Pig - Silly Seal Comics, One of Ziggy's ways to try and get Silly killed is to deface statues of Doctor Doom with insults and then sign Silly's name to them.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Emergency! fic Reclamation, John Gage has this happen as he recovers from being held captive for 18 months and tortured. A firefighter who lost his friend to John's captor keeps scrawling homophobic slurs on John's vehicle and house, his thoughts being that John stayed with the guy so long and survived because he was gay and some kind of pervert. (He wasn't.)

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Lorax, O'Hare gets back at Ted for defying his order not to go back outside Thneedville (and possibly bringing back trees) by painting over Audrey's tree mural with gray paint and writing "Courtesy of O'Hare, Inc." where it once was.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem: After an incident where April O'Neil was giving the school announcements and threw up on camera, everyone started making fun of her and someone wrote "Puke Girl" and "April O'Puke" on her locker. After April becomes a hero in the climax by going on the news during Superfly's rampage and explaining to the panicked citizens that the Turtles and their mutant friends are actually trying to save the city, the insults on her locker disappear and someone writes "April O'Hero" instead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played With in some fashion in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Charles Jefferson, Ridgemont High's star football player, finds his car destroyed and defaced with racial slurs allegedly perpetrated by people from a rival school. But it was actually his brother and Spicoli, who had taken it for a joyride and wrecked it. They painted the slurs to cover up their culpability.
    • Played straight later in the movie, when Linda spray paints "prick" on Mike Damone's car and writes "little prick" on his locker for going back on his promise to drive Stacy to the abortion clinic when he can't pay for his half of the cost, despite being the one to impregnate her in the first place.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there once occured a writing in blood on Hogwarts' walls that reads "The Chamber has been opened. The enemies of the heir, beware." This is coupled with the fact that several muggle-born students got petrified mysteriously. This, understandably, sends the whole Hogwarts into terror. Turns out that it was Ginny, under Voldemort's influence, who did the writings. She's as much a victim as the others, though.
  • In the film Life Is Beautiful, the protagonist comes to his shop to find that it has been vandalized, writing JEWISH STORE on it both to taunt him and to make him a target of other anti-Semites.
  • In Robot Jox, when the main character retires from Humongous Mecha fighting (after being traumatised when his mecha's thrown into a crowd full of spectators) his poster's defaced with Mustache Vandalism and graffiti calling him a coward.
  • In School Ties, David walks into his room to find a large white banner with "GO HOME, JEW!" painted in blood-red letters.
  • Master: Jasmine, the only Black student in her dorm at a very old University, finds the word "LEAVE" carved in the door of her dorm room, complete with a noose hanging from the doorknob. The door is repainted and partially fixed but the words remain visible.
  • In Left Behind: Rise Of The Antichrist, Rayford Steele sees a pig's head with a crown of thorns put upon the cross of an abandoned church, no doubt done by vandals as an insult to God and Jesus Christ.
  • Bottoms: The janitor is used to painting over PJ's and Josie's lockers, which are regularly painted with insults. At the nadir of their popularity the janitor doesn't even bother.
  • Carrie (2013): Carrie is the school outcast and Bully Magnet because of her social awkwardness and her mother's crazy religious beliefs. Early on in the film, a boy is seen spraying the words "Carrie White Eats Shit" in white spray paint across a row of lockers.

  • The first book of Protector of the Small has Kel walk into her room at the palace to see that her belongings have been mauled and a disparaging message against girl pages has been painted on the wall.
  • The Revenge Playbook: After Ana is raped at a party, she is accused of being a cheater and her reputation tanks because her rapist already had a girlfriend. Her missing panties are taped to her locker door and the words "lying whore bitch" are scribbled under it.
  • Oliver Button Is a Sissy: Oliver is bullied by the other boys at his school for taking tap-dancing lessons, who steal his tap shoes and write "Oliver Button Is A Sissy" on the wall. After Oliver competes in the school talent show, although he doesn't win, he returns to the school next day to see that someone has crossed out the word "Sissy" and replaced it with "Star!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of Adam-12, Malloy goes back to college part-time to finish his Bachelor's. After he's involved in arrests of students partaking in a sit-in at the university, his car gets vandalized with the word "pig" spray-painted on it.
  • Alan Partridge finds someone has written COOK PISS PARTRIDGE on his car in spray paint. He tries to correct it himself to COOK PASS BABTRIDGE, but the vandals get the last laugh by spray-painting TWAT on it.
  • All in the Family: The Bunker house gets a swastika spray-painted on the front door, but it isn't intended for them. They live at 704 Hauser, and a Jewish activist lives at 740 Hauser. The activist comes over & explains the situation, and then gets blown up with a Car Bomb right outside the Bunker house.
  • One episode of Aquarius has Shafe coming home to find that his house has been vandalized after someone found out that he's married to a black woman.
  • On Arrested Development, episode "Afternoon Delight", the banana stand is hoisted out of the bay with graffiti painted on it. It reads "I'll get you Bluth. Hello." with a few letters missing. It's very subtly implied that Annyong did it.
  • In one episode of Barney Miller, something like 'BARNEY MILLER IS A " (with the rest off-screen) is spray-painted on the wall of a trashed squadroom by some Hasidim Insp. Luger managed to annoy.
  • The Big Bang Theory - in a flashback episode to when Leonard first moves in as Sheldon Cooper's room-mate, after meeting the previous occupant on the stairs (who advises him to run away, very quickly and very fast), he eventually discovers what will be his room in the flat has graffiti sprayed on the wall in blood-red letters: DIE, SHELDON, DIE!
  • Dwayne and Ron on A Different World once went to a football game at a rival college. Ron makes a bet with a group of white students. After he wins, he and the white students get into a racially-charged argument and one starts to paint a racial slur on his car. He only gets as far as "Ni" when Dwayne shows up and a brawl occurs. The incident sends both parties to a holding cell where they work out their differences. When they get out, they discover someone else finished the word.
  • In the Family Matters episode "Fight the Good Fight", Laura finds her locker open with a racist sticky-note message taped to it and then closes the door to find the N-word sprayed onto it (the latter message is usually cut from reruns).
  • In an episode of The George Lopez Show, Carmen's ex-boyfriend spreads rumors of her being sexually promiscuous, leading alpha-bitch Piper to spray "CARMEN HO-PEZ" on the Lopezs' gliding doors.
    Benny: Hey, thank God our last name isn't "Tucker".
  • Mentioned on Halt and Catch Fire, when Lev is hospitalized after a homophobic assault, Joe reveals to Cameron that the word "FAG" was written on his locker in permanent marker when he was in junior high school.
  • In the very first episode of Hannibal, when the sole survivor of a killing spree returns to the place of the crime - her own house - she finds that somebody sprayed 'CANNIBALS' all over the garage.
  • The Mentalist: The (male, gay) Victim of the Week's locker at work was covered in girly stickers courtesy of another employee who is a bit of a homophobe.
  • Mork & Mindy: In "The Night They Raided Mind-ski's", Mindy outs herself as of Polish descent to a KKK-esque group who her politician cousin is trying not to alienate. One night when she and Mork come back to the house, they find a hanged dummy wearing a sign saying "Go Home Pollack". Mindy hugs Mork in fear, prompting him to vandalize their headquarters.
  • One episode of Scrubs has the Almighty Janitor defaces JD's car with a message asking him not to drop his gum on the chewing gum.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In "A Man Alone", an angry mob accuses Odo of murder. Odo finds that his office has been vandalized, and the word SHIFTER inscribed on the wall by the mob.
  • Summer Heights High:
    • There is an episode where Jonah and his friends deface the lockers of the year 7 boys who annoy them. This leads to Jonah being suspended for a few days. Whilst Jonah is suspended, the year 7 boys retaliate by vandalising Jonah and his friends' lockers with racist language (Jonah and his friends are Polynesian). Later in the final episode, Jonah is shown to have defaced the bag of the boy from year 7 who annoys him, the office door of the English teacher he hates and many of the teachers' cars with his dicktation tag (a drawing of a penis with the word "tation" after it).
    • Later in Jonah's spinoff Jonah From Tonga, Jonah vandalises his uncle's truck by writing "homo" with an arrow pointing to driver's window, which leads to the uncle saying that he felt like killing Jonah because of that. In a later episode, Jonah welds Graydon's locker shut (Jonah hates Graydon) and writes his new "pussycat" tag on it (a drawing of a vagina with the word cat after it).
  • Tyrant (2014): Bassam, the estranged son of a Middle Eastern dictator, remembers that when he was studying at an American college he came back to his dorm room one time to find that his room had been trashed and the walls defaced with graffiti saying stuff like "MASS MURDERER" and "GENOCIDE".
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: In "Mean", the Victim of the Week is a high school bully whose favorite target was an overweight girl named Agnes. At the end of the episode, when the bully's killers and fellow bullies have been arrested, the detectives hope that Agnes can finally find some peace now that her bullies are gone, only to receive a call that shots have been fired at the school. When they enter, the first thing they see is the words "AGNES THE PIG SQUEALED!" spray-painted across a row of lockers. It turns out another girl stepped up to start bullying her, and Agnes finally snapped and shot her dead, knowing it was never going to stop.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE had a storyline in the '90s where the Malcolm Xerox stable The Nation of Domination returned to their dressing room after a match to find it ransacked and racial slurs spraypainted all over the walls. The Nation believed that The Hart Foundation were to blame, but, as it turned out, it was actually D-Generation X trying to frame the Harts and thus turn the Nation against them.

    Video Games 
  • Hotline Miami: Jacket finds his car heavily broken and vandalized after the flatline chapter.
  • In No Umbrellas Allowed, reporting too many customers will have them vandalizing your store with insults the next day. You can even see the window breaking a split second before you leave at the end of the day. You can pay the janitor to clean the graffiti the next day.
  • If you successfully lower a girl's reputation enough in Yandere Simulator, her desk will be defaced with horrible insults and calls for her to kill herself.

    Web Animation 
  • The fourth episode of There she is!! has Doki and Nabi experiencing this along with Broken Window Warnings as the city turns against them for bucking the "one species relationship" rule.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Family Guy, Peter goes to war with Quahog's Amish community, who sprays "YE SUCK" on the front of his house.
    • The School Ties example above is parodied in a flashback in which Brian, who attended Brown University, found a banner reading "GO HOME, DOG!" in his room.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Society of the Blind Eye," some teenagers deface Old Man McGucket's shack with "McSuckit."
  • Referenced in the Kid 'N Play Band Toon, when the protagonists accidentally do this to the back wall of a synagogue (and the insult is only such in context) resulting in a Double Aesop about vandalism and religious toerance.
  • The Proud Family: In the Very Special Episode "Culture Shock", Penny, her family, and their new neighbors arrive home from the restaurant after celebrating the end of Ramadan and find the words "GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY!" written on their garage door resulting in a lesson about post-9/11 Islamophobia.


Video Example(s):


Josie's and PJ's lockers

Josie's and PJ's lockers are apparently frequently painted with insults, to the point that they're acquainted with the janitor who regularly has to paint them over.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DefacementInsult

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