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Family-Unfriendly Violence

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"The Joker in our show could not kill, because it was a children's television show. Instead of him murdering people we would have him give 'em that hideous Joker grin, which in its own way is almost worse."
— The writers of Batman: The Animated Series

Violence is funny, as long as no one you like gets hurt. Unrealistic slapstick violence is funnier still, perhaps because it's clearer it can't happen to the audience, but sometimes shows cross the line.

Maybe the work shows the consequences of violence a little too vividly, maybe the designated target has become too sympathetic. Whatever the reason, the result is prime Nightmare Fuel.

Sometimes caused by unrealistic expectations. People who think all Fairy Tales are intended for children (which they weren't always) and therefore free from violence (which they weren't, even when intended for children) are often shocked by the degree of violence when they read an unbowdlerised version. The Animation Age Ghetto can lead to similar assumptions.

In Japanese works, Values Dissonance can lead to shockingly gruesome violence in works that fall under the Shōnen Demographic, which are aimed at children and younger teenagers. Those picking up a series such as Dragon Ball or Naruto may be surprised at the sight of characters getting beaten to a bloody pulp, stabbed, impaled, dismembered, and so on, often without a Gory Discretion Shot. As such, these shows, meant for younger viewers in their homeland, end up being either heavily Bowdlerised or marketed towards teens and adults when they make their way over to the West.

If the violence leads to actual death, it's a Family-Unfriendly Death.

Compare Violence Is Disturbing, which is aimed towards more mature works. Compare and contrast Mature Work, Child Protagonists, which is where the work stars child characters but is clearly aimed at adults because of the content.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • An ad for Naturesweet Tomatoes decries the idea that squeezing a tomato will give you a hint as to its freshness and flavor. Which it does with a "parody" of a wartime hospital, complete with tomato juice "blood" squirting everywhere and loud, agonized screams from the damaged produce.
  • An ad for the Scion XD takes the viewer into a dark, gritty, dystopian world inhabited by "sheeple", then lets loose monsters called the "little deviants" to tear them apart in a way that's probably meant to cross the line twice, or at least provide Comedic Sociopathy, but instead comes across as bone-chilling, complete with a bloodless severed head sliding into the street.
  • A commercial for a board game called Grape Escape featured happy dancing claymation grapes getting run over by a roller, decapitated with a pair of scissors, and smashed with a boot with each of their expressions more painful than the next, with a catchy parody of "Funiculi Funicula" with lyrics that went something like "Make 'em, take 'em, to the factory. Bash them! smash them! Now they're history!"
  • Played for Laughs in a Commercial Switcheroo for BattleTanx featuring Snuggles the fabric softener bear getting run over then blown to smithereens by a tank. At the end of the commercial Snuggles comes back badly damaged missing her legs, one arm, and an eyeball, and coughing up stuffing.
  • The Wilkins Coffee commercials are famous for this; it's essentially the standard "one character (Wilkins) likes a product and recommends it to someone who doesn't (Wontkins)" formula, except the former character's recommendations consist of threats of violence, and in many cases, actual lethal punishments. More than one commercial is some variant of Wilkins killing Wontkins after the latter refuses coffee, at which he then turns to the audience and says "Bad things happen to people who don't drink Wilkins Coffee."
  • This fireworks safety PIF from the UK features a scarred hand with missing fingers after a firework accident. Despite this, the ad earned a U (UK equivalent of a G) rating.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin may star Talking Animals, but it sure loves this trope. It's not uncommon for battles to turn into a mess of dogs (and bears towards the end) and High-Pressure Blood. This series (admittedly rather poorly cut) was extremely popular among Nordic children in the early '90s.
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke pulling Zaku's arms until they dislocate. There wasn't any blood but the poor guy was screeching like there's no tomorrow. You can understand why this scares the crap out of Sakura, even though that's the guy who just stomped her into the ground a minute ago.
    • The climax of the Land of Waves arc, particularly Zabuza's final clash with Kakashi.
    • In the manga when the same Zaku had one of his arms blown off at the forearm because of Shino's bugs (in the anime both arms are just injured).
    • Naruto stabbing himself with a kunai to make a promise and remove some poison. The wound healed itself (unbeknownst to Naruto) and the actual scene of him doing it was cut in the initial Cartoon Network broadcast version in the U.S (though Kakashi's line makes it fairly obvious). Oddly enough, later episodes are even more lenient when it comes to censorship.
    • When fighting Killer Bee, Sasuke on separate occasion is impaled with multiple swords like a pin-cushion and has so much of the flesh on his chest blow off to the point that you can see his ribs sticking out. He's lucky his friends can heal him.
    • In the fight in the manga between Naruto and Pain the latter pins down the former by sticking a spike through both of his hands and into the ground. This is eventually followed by six more spikes; one in each of his arms, hips, and legs.
    • Later, from the same arc, Naruto's eight-tailed form is essentially a fox without any skin, and the nine-tails tries to get Naruto to open the seal by making the seal on his chest into a massive bloody hole.
    • There's also when Gaara crushes some people to death with sand, causing a huge rain-shower of blood to fall. The anime had to make the blood black instead of red, or even Japanese censors probably would have vetoed it. In Shippuuden, a giant chameleon summon is sliced in half with predictably horrible results, but here the blood was red though it vanished along with the chameleon.
    • Sasuke fighting Naruto and delivering a head-first piledriver to him on solid rock from over several hundred feet in the air, clearly smashing his head into a bloody impact, his lifeless body dropping limply in the water. The Nine Tails makes him all better, but the visual of it is still nightmarish.
    • In the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke near the end of the they both end up severely bruised. They also blow one of each other's hand off and nearly bleed out, with only Sakura's arrival saving them.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The manga had the Shadow Game between Marik and Mai. Remember how in the anime, the duelists would lose memories every time they lost a monster or life points? Well, in the manga, the duelists take whatever damage is done to their monsters (it's worse when you realize that in the manga, the monsters don't disintegrate or explode when they die, like in the anime). When Mai's monster attacks Marik's, it chops its head off. So MARIK'S HEAD FALLS OFF, AND HE PICKS IT UP - STILL TALKING. It gets worse. Later Marik summons a horrific electric torture device that looks like something out of the Saw movies and uses it to electrocute Mai.
    • Oh, and remember the "Dark Energy Disks" in the Yugi/Arkana duel? Well not only are they back to the original saw blades, one SLICES INTO ARKANA'S LEG AS YUGI FREES HIM AND HE SCREAMS IN PAIN.
    • Happened quite a bit in the manga back when it was in its early days and the focus wasn't so much on card games, but more on Yami dealing out 'justice'. Almost all of what Yami did was Family Unfriendly Violence, but it wasn't just the bad guys that suffered, oh no. A couple of example of FUV towards the main characters includes Yugi getting hung from a chain by the Millennium Puzzle, and Joey/Jonouchi being tortured with tazers. Hoo boy.
    • In fact, the very first "game" played in Yu-Gi-Oh involves knives...
    • The entire concept of the Shadow Games was created in the dub to avoid the show actually saying the characters were dead... by instead saying that losing the Duel sent them to a hellish dimension that either swallowed you whole or destroyed you a piece at a time because that is somehow considered better than just straight up death...
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Usually avoided but Sailor Venus' death comes to mind. She gets impaled through the stomach by large stalagmites and then burns to death. But don't worry, she gets better.
    • The manga has quite a few fight scenes that involve the villain brutally kicking the senshi or physically hitting them with weapons like a staff. Arguably the worst is in the last volume, when Sailor Moon undergoes an epic No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by the Brainwashed and Crazy senshi, who take advantage of the fact that she can't bring herself to harm them back.
  • Battling in Pokémon is usually clean and shown to do little damage. Sometimes the violence is upped though. Pokémon Origins has the infamous scene where Blue's Squirtle uses Bite on Red's Charmander. It's not bloody however it is horrifyingly painful sounding. Charmander screeches in pain until Red is forced to put it back in its Pokeball.
  • Early chapters of Pokémon Adventures are rather gory, such as when Giovanni freezes a Pokemon before splitting it into pieces. Trainers were frequently bruised up in battles as well. Although the violence generally lightens up after the Ruby & Sapphire chapters, the series consistently averts Bloodless Carnage in a way the anime and the games never do. Among other examples: Zinnia getting stabbed (non-fatally) by Rayquaza and coughing up Blood from the Mouth in the ORAS arc; Guzma smashing his head against a wall until his shades shatter and bloody up his forehead in the Sun & Moon arc; and, in probably the most exceptional case of onscreen human violence in the franchise, Lysandre falling onto sharp rocks and shattering his spine, again in very bloody detail.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon: The Series:
      • More than one episode has a battle where a Pokémon is seriously injured or is the victim of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. For example, in Ash's Vermilion City Gym battle, Pikachu got the ever-living snot beaten out of it by Surge's Raichu and has to be sent to an infirmary before the next rematch. But the earliest instance of unfriendly violence for family is the very first episode of the series, where Pikachu was nearly pecked to death by a Spearow flock, requiring the next entire episode to fully recover.
      • One episode has Cynthia ordering her Garchomp to put her claws to a Galactic members throat, making it very clear that Cynthia will invoke mortal damage if needed. This is a rare case of non-comedic violence against humans and is more aggressive than the anime usually goes for.
    • Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!:
      • Hareta versus Mitsumi is a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown where both he and his Pokemon get beat up.
      • Koya's Growlithe gets into a terribly one-sided battle against a Gyarados that was so brutal it ended up mentally scarred. It wouldn't even let its trainer touch it afterwards.
    • Ash's (ill-trained and disobedient) Charizard versus Richie's Charizard in The Electric Tale of Pikachu has Ash's Charizard attempting to kill Richie's. He bloodily bites into his neck.
  • The violence in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure can get downright gruesome at times, as characters are beheaded, their limbs are amputated, they are impaled, crushed under heavy debris, and in one example from Steel Ball Run, completely obliterated into tiny cube-shaped pieces. Someone at Shueisha (or Araki himself) seems to have caught on to this, as from Steel Ball Run on, the series was published in a magazine targeted at adults.
  • One Piece:
    • The series contains frequent instances of characters being shot, stabbed, slashed, savagely beaten, what have you. This is particularly jarring given the series' cartoony look and the story's (supposedly) heavily idealistic perspective.
    • One such example is when Luffy is captured by the Bluejam pirates during a flashback. One member decides to interrogate him by beating the everloving crap out of him with spiked gloves, until he is barely conscious. Luffy was SEVEN YEARS OLD at this point.
    • What Robin does to Spandam (particularly how it's shown in the anime), and what Luffy does to Oars. Both villains get attacked so savagely their spinal columns collapse into pieces. As a slight justification with Oars, it was the only way to defeat him. As a zombie, he didn't feel pain, so the only way to destroy him was essentially ripping his body apart in some way. And as stated before, he didn't feel pain from his spine breaking - he simply fell to the ground and commented that he wondered why he couldn't move anymore.
    • Robin continues the spine-breaking in the Wano arc, ''folding Black Maria backwards until her back breaks. And this is AFTER breaking her arms and legs.
    • Then you get to the introduction of the Beasts Pirates, who start a tradition of torturing and dismembering their opponents. Multiple named characters get limbs lopped off by these guys, and we see the aftermath.
  • Shaman King:
    • The 4kids English dub somehow got away with Hao beating Yoh to a pulp and then ripping his soul out and eating it.
  • Allegedly, Neon Genesis Evangelion received complaints about this from parents during its initial airing due to being broadcast in a time slot usually reserved for family-friendly programming. The fact that GAINAX allegedly had spent so much money on court costs dealing with the complaints resulted in the director and the production team having to redo their intended ending due to the unforeseen "budget constraints."
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • For a few examples, we've got dismemberment (Frieza tearing Nail's arm singlehandedly) and impalement (Dodoria once impales a Namekian warrior with his fist, as does Gohan SSJ2 to Bojack.) And those are just a few examples. DBZ is brutal!
    • The manga contains quite a few instances of surprising violence that are toned down in the anime.
  • The Fairy Tail manga, when Lucy is captured by Gajeel. The manga has him just chucking knives at her like a dartboard. They never showed a knife in the anime version; instead, he brutally attacks her.
  • Rayearth OVA has several grim moments, notably the girls bleeding as the rune gods they pilot are hurt.
  • Bleach is a battle manga with lots of completely normal shounen violence. That is, until As Nodt drops an Emotion Bomb on Byakuya Kuchiki in the goriest, most brutal defeat of the entire story. Byakuya is splattered into a wall, limbs ripped from his body and his entire torso shredded right open to the bone. Literally. His entire ribcage and spine is completely visible. The volume publication deliberately blurs the image compared to the original chapter publication to disguise the torso injury slightly. Apparently even the manga publisher felt that scene was a bit too gory .
  • Daikyouryu no Jidai isn't shy about showing how brutal life in prehistoric times could be, with the Tyrannosaurus getting impaled on several other dinosaurs' spikes, and eating several more, including hatchlings.
  • Mother Keeper has quite a bit of this. In chapter 2, there's a rather gruesome picture of the inside of a guy's chest. Later it moves on to slicing kids' heads off, blowing a guy's head off and slicing a guy's torso in half and showing you the inside. During Hunter part 2, a character suffers second degree chemical burns and has his arm sliced off. The series may be a little tamer than some, but a lot of work is put into the gore.
  • Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai is a shounen manga that at first glance looks like it could be shoujo. It's a mostly melancholy story about The Power of Friendship but it does contain two horrifying, though not too gory, cases of violence. The first one has Nagisa and Mokuzu coming across Mokuzu's deceased dog cut up and dumped in the mountains by Mokuzu's father. The second is even worse but is covered up by a bush, not that it leaves much to the imagination. Nagisa and her older brother go into the mountains to see if Mokuzu's father really kill her. He did, and left her dismembered body in the forest.
  • Deadman Wonderland is notoriously violent to the point where Toonami used it to show off how its revived block wasn't kid friendly anymore. Despite this, it was run in a magazine geared at middle and high schoolers.
  • Hunter × Hunter looks family-friendly at first, thanks to its vibrant character designs and the general ages of the main cast. Then people start getting picked off, and messily, in the Hunter Exams, and one of the protagonists rips a serial killer's heart out of their chest. Whenever the Phantom Troupe are involved, sweeping amounts of brutal and sudden deaths occur, even to named characters, and by the time the Chimera Ants pop up much later in the series, it's not even remotely pretending to be family-friendly anymore, such as when a minor character is shot in the head, blasted repeatedly afterwards, and her corpse summarily devoured while skirting the limits of Gory Discretion Shot. At that point, Anyone Can Die is in full effect.
  • Gunslinger Girl is about Child Soldiers used by the Italian government. Obviously it doesn't shy from showing characters get shot and beat up, though it isn't normally too bloody.
  • Venus Versus Virus is usually rather tame however in order to go into Berserker mode she must shoot herself with a special bullet. It's not bloody, though, and it doesn't appear to hurt. One instance has obvious suicide allusions as she puts a gun to her head and shoots.
  • Fist of the North Star has many, many scenes of people being gorily killed on-page. Even without involving the protagonist Kenshiro and his brothers, capable of making heads explode with a simple poke, the Nanto practitioners who can cut anything with their hands, and the other practitioners of Supernatural Martial Arts. And it's Shonen.
  • The Fantastic Adventures of Unico is pretty kid friendly for the most part, but then the villain Baron de Ghost meets his first death by falling off his tower and getting impaled by a spike with visible blood.
  • Saint Seiya involves many gruesome deaths and illusions. For example in episode 16 many soldiers die in training in horrible ways. Or in the manga Nachi's exploding body. But this series is still popular amongst kids in Latin America and France.

    Comic Books 
  • My Little Pony:
    • A rather infamous issue of the British G1 My Little Pony comics has the backstory of the Twinkle-Eyed ponies. Applejack stumbled upon them living underground, enslaved by an evil wizard into digging for gems. The ponies had gone blind due to a lack of light. Applejack saves them when she accidentally pushes the wizard to his death. The blind ponies put gems in their eyesockets to act as eyes from then on.
    • My Little Pony Micro Series: In the flashback sequence in Celestia's comic, Inkwell incurs a pretty nasty eye-wound. Notably it actually seems to have been bad enough to cause permanent damage as eye seems to be partially forced shut the rest of the comic even into her old age in the present day. It also appears to invoke Black Blood.
  • This was one of Bendis and Oeming's goals with Powers, as they explicitly declared in the afterword to one of the collected volumes. They wanted the violence — especially between anyone other than two supers — to be ugly and painful instead of flashy and stylized. One of the worst moments comes with an arc's Muggle antagonist was caught by the cops after one of her bombs had killed an officer. The "interrogation" was extremely dark and unpleasant, even for a character you had been set up to hate up to this point.
  • In Violine, Violine gets injured at times, either by crashes or villains, and is shown bleeding, often from the head. She also bleeds from her legs in one nightmare. Other characters get bloody injuries as well, and some are eaten by crocodiles offscreen. There are also a few taps on the head which show blood, sometimes even implied to be deadly.
  • Jem and the Holograms (IDW) is aimed at an older audience than the source but there isn't much above PG in the comic. It does contain some relatively gory scenes though, such as the aftermath of Pizzazz's car crash.
  • The french comic book Alone may be intended for children, its cast may be entirely composed of children, but Gazzotti and Vehlmann will put them in rather extreme situations. The fights are short and brutal, no one is really safe, both psychological and physical torture are depicted, and the story can be existentially terrifying.
  • Quite common in Italian comics. Tex Willer has multiple cases of people being shot and knifed on-page, culminating with Mefisto being eaten alive by rats, Diabolik is known as "The Murderer With a Thousand Faces" for a reason (but he wasn't responsible for the one guy eaten alive by rats), Rat-Man had, among the other examples, the protagonist enter gladiatorial games where he suffered such a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the hands of a Kenshiro Expy that the paying public told him to stop it...
  • Possibly the worst cases are the ones found in Italian Disney comics simply for the fact that the ones doing the shooting and beating are Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the other beloved classic Disney characters.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy: For a comic strip in the mid-20th Century, it was extraordinarily bloody with Tracy often tortured and villains often suffering gory Karmic Deaths when they are not simply shot in the head by Tracy.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Golden Bird", the hero's envious brothers shove him down a well to kill him, and succeed in trapping him there.
  • In "The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird", the heroine's sisters try to murder their infant nephews and niece, and the heroine herself is put into a treadmill to slave for years.
  • In "The Blue Mountains", the hero must suffer a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for three nights to free the heroine.
  • In "The Blue Belt", the hero's eyes are burnt out by a troll and his own mother.
  • In True and Untrue, Untrue gouges his brother True's eyes out in a rage.
  • In Grimms' "The Wonderful Musician", the musician traps wild animals to keep them away from him.
  • In The Seven Ravens, the sister loses a bone which she could have used as a key, so she cuts off her little finger and uses it instead.
  • In "The Girl Without Hands", the Devil insists that the miller chop off his daughter's hands.
  • In "The Three Little Birds", the heroine's sisters throw her babies into a river, trying to drown them.
  • In "The Jezinkas", the jezinkas have gouged out the eyes of Johnny's master.
  • In "The King of Love", the hero's mother, by clasping her hands a certain way, magically prevents the heroine from giving birth while she is in labor — until the hero tricks her into undoing her hands.
    • In the Child Ballad "Willie's Lady" (Child Ballad #6), the hero's mother also is keeping the heroine in labor without giving birth until the hero tricks her into revealing how she cast the spell, and undoes it.
    Of her young bairn she'll ne'er be lighter,
    Nor in her bower to shine the brighter.
    But she shall die and turn to clay,
    And you shall wed another may.
  • In The Brown Bear of the Green Glen, the brothers set on the hero and leave him for dead.
  • In "Clever Maria", the king goes to cut off Maria's head on their wedding night; she survives only because she had a dummy ready in her place.
  • In "The Grateful Beasts", Ferko's brother put out his eyes and break his legs.
  • The trope page image is from "The One-Handed Girl", where the heroine's brother chops off her hand.
  • In "The Myrtle", after seven women have torn the heroine to pieces and she has been revived, the court is asked what sentence is suitable for those who would hurt her. The villainesses said being buried alive in a dungeon, and so they are.
  • In "Biancabella and the Snake", the hero's Wicked Stepmother orders her men to kill the noblewoman Biancabella after she marries her stepson; they don't, but they gouge out her eyes and cut off her hands as evidence that they have. She only gains them back after much misfortune and with the help of a snake named Samaritana, whom she considers her older sister.
  • In the Grimms' version of "Cinderella", the evil stepsisters first cut off pieces of their feet to fit the golden slipper, and later had their eyes pecked out by birds who were avenging Cinderella.
  • In "The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead", a woman finds a beautiful girl in enchanted sleep in her husband's house. Not knowing she is her niece, she beats her (accidentally reviving her) and burns her all over with a red-hot iron to make her ugly. Then she enslaves her, maltreating her.
  • In "The Little Good Mouse", a mouse (who is actually a fairy in disguise) repeatedly bites the evil king and his son, biting the king's tongue, lips, and cheeks, and eating the son's good eye.
  • In "The Beautiful Damsel and the Wicked Old Woman", a prince marries a peasant girl but when she is coming to the wedding with an old woman, the woman gouges her eyes out and thrust her into a cave.
  • In "The Enchanted Pig", the heroine builds a ladder of bones, but runs out, and so cuts off her own finger to use.
  • In "The Grandmother's Tale", the story that later developed into "Little Red Riding Hood", the Wolf kills the grandmother and puts her blood in a bottle and her flesh in the cupboard. When Red turns up she says she's hungry. Lucky for her there's wine and meat for her to eat. Then the wolf tells her to take off her clothes and hop into bed with him.
  • Lithuanian folklore features cannibal witches who eat children. One of such tales went into absurdity when the witch mutilates herself to death by chopping off all her body parts, because she wants to impersonate some child's mother, who is supposedly lacking both her legs and arms and finally even her head.
  • In "Sun, Moon, and Talia" (a direct forerunner of "Sleeping Beauty"), the King, rather than kissing the princess like in the tale we're most familiar with, he rapes her. Which results in her being impregnated and having twins, all while still in a magic induced sleep. It turns out this King is also an already married man, and later when he returns and takes her and the kids back to his castle, he kills his (admittedly wicked) wife so he can marry the princess.
  • In Grimms' The Juniper Tree the Wicked Stepmother chops her child stepson's head off with a heavy lid, then makes her daughter believe she did it. To hide the body, she cooks it into a stew and feeds it to the father. Later, the evil stepmother is crushed by a falling millstone.

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Fantasia: Some people had to be carried out of the theater during "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" after seeing shadows of Mickey taking an axe to an animated broom, or our hero nearly get drowned by an army of animated brooms relentlessly fetching water.
    • The Great Mouse Detective:
      • Basil of Baker Street getting the snot kicked out of him by Ratigan on the face of Big Ben was pretty terrifying for a Disney movie.
      • Ratigan has his pet cat eat one of his henchmen for calling him a rat.
      • His cat got one too when she was supposedly ripped to shreds by the Royal Guard dogs.
    • In Hercules, Herc gets this treatment several times through the course of the movie.
    • The final battle in Beauty and the Beast has Gaston starting out by shooting Beast in the back with an arrow, and then ramming him through a window. Then he stabs the Beast with a knife, which mainly falls into this but is probably one of the bloodiest on-screen deaths in a Disney movie.
    • In The Lion King, not only is there the Family-Unfriendly Death of Mufasa early on in the movie, but the scene where Scar smacks Sarabi so hard she goes flying, and the fight scene towards the end, with the hyenas presumably killing and ripping apart Scar offscreen.
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame has several musicals number that take place during sequences featuring or implying death, fire and/or general torture, the villain tries to burn the heroine to death on a stake, and throughout the film the villain is is quite clear (without using the word) that he wants to commit genocide, culminating in him actually following through on his desire (albeit, with no direct on-screen violence, but with the city of Paris still being literally aflame for a good chunk of the finale).
    • Tangled: Several moments of this: the first is when the Stabbington brothers are about to kidnap Rapunzel and are looming over her in a disturbingly predatory manner. The second is when Flynn is being led to the gallows, with Gothel's voice-over bluntly stating that he's going to be hanged. The third and arguably worst is when Flynn climbs the tower after the prison break to rescue Rapunzel: he finds her chained to the floor and gagged, and then Gothel stabs him in the stomach. There's no blood on her knife, but there's plenty on his shirt, and we actually see him paling and dying from blood loss.
    • In Frozen Elsa was dangerously close to killing two of Hans' guards. This has been argued why the film has a PG rating.
  • The Secret of NIMH has a surprising amount for a G-rated filmnote :
    • The flashback to the laboratory, complete with a shot of one of the heroes being impaled through the midsection with a giant syringe. Ironically, in the book the N.I.M.H. researchers were portrayed as normal and actually pretty nice people.
    • The shot of the Lost Nine being carried away to their horrible and inevitable deaths in a ventilation fan, screaming helplessly.
    • Mrs. Brisby getting a nasty slash across her wrist with a piece of wire, complete with a little puddle of blood on the floor.
    • The fight scene between Jenner and Justin. And when Jenner's crony throws the knife in his back.
  • The leopard seal in Happy Feet is well-known as a nightmare-inducing creature. The chase scenes are intense enough to be mildly disturbing to some adults, and terrifying for the small children who are the film's target audience.
  • Balto features a scene in which the main characters are suddenly attacked by a vicious and enormous bear, which can be very terrifying for young children (especially seeing the main character get almost crushed to death by said bear).
  • Coraline shows spider-witches sewing black buttons into children's eyes and then eating the children themselves. This is said to be the reason why it shouldn't be watched by children.
  • Pixar's A Bug's Life has Thumper pounding the absolute crap out of Flik while he's not fighting back and yelping in pain in the background. Cut to a bruised and battered Flik with Hopper preparing to squish his head. And there's the part where Hopper tries to strangle Flik to death on screen.
  • In WALL•E, through the first act, any injuries are Amusing Injuries. Then in the second act we get WALL•E getting violently tasered by AUTO, a dying WALL•E later getting crushed underneath the holo-dectetor as AUTO violently tasers the button to make it shut, and the film's Dragon, GO-4, getting (accidentally) kicked out of a window, smashing on the floor by a pool below. Suffice to say, if it wasn't a robot drone, things would look very different.
  • Cars 2 is surprisingly violent. In the first five minutes one car is turned into a cube via a crusher and another falls off an oil rig and turns into mechanical Ludicrous Gibs. Later on there’s a torture scene which ends with the victim having his innards boiled until he explodes. That’s on top of frequent gunfights and explosions throughout. If the characters were anything but, you know, cars the movie would easily be a hard R, but even then it’s hard to figure out how it got its G rating, especially during an era when the G rating was becoming increasingly rare.
  • One Stormy Night is a heartwarming tale about the friendship between a wolf and a goat. Five minutes in, a goat bites off a wolf's ear, splatting blood over the screen. Not the same goat and wolf, thankfully, but his mother. And it doesn't end there.
  • Watership Down: Bunny rabbits shredding each others' ears, saying "I'll kill you" with blood on their mouths and paws, a dog biting and shaking rabbits while blood sprays around. Rated U in the UK prior to 2022, but even the PG rating it has now seems mild.
  • In Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, near the climax Kim kicks Shego into a giant electrified tower that shocks her and then promptly buries her. More than a few people thought that Kim had killed her before she showed up in police custody.
  • This is a major reason The Transformers: The Movie was a bomb on its initial release; the level of violence in the film wasn't just high by the standards of the original cartoon, but it was the sort of thing that would have gotten the film an R-rating at minimum had the cast not been robots. Pivotal scenes include Prowl getting shot in the gut and melting from the inside, Ratchet getting blasted repeatedly with visible holes in his chest, Ironhide's head being blown off in a Gory Discretion Shot, multiple corpses lying around, Optimus Prime taking shots to his midsection and dying on the operating table, and Starscream crumbling to dust.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • If the first two Indiana Jones movies were made nowadays, they'd get R ratings. In fact, The Temple of Doom and Gremlins were the reason why the PG-13 rating was invented (and the third and fourth movies earned it). Raiders of the Lost Ark did in fact originally get an R rating, but it was negotiated down to PG after trims to the climactic face-melting sequence.
  • The Golden Compass was targeted to the same audience of The Chronicles of Narnia, and yet, despite the Disney Fication process that suffered in comparison with the book, it was still pretty violent, with people being shot and killed, and a very violent Ice bear fight. Specifically, Iorek tears off another polar bear (Ragnar)'s lower jaw , and then bites at the enormous mouthhole that's left. All onscreen.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) has the cutesy singing puppets that greet the guests catch fire and melt... And Violet Beauregarde being all floppy and boneless as they leave the factory is straight out of The Exorcist. Although to be honest that isn't particularly violent...
  • 1985's Return to Oz has the electroshock treatments in the asylum meant to make Dorothy forget Oz, and the reference to "damaged" patients being locked in the cellars.
  • Short Circuit 2. The entire sequence from when Big Bad thrashes Johnny 5 up to Johnny repairing himself is disturbing; the attack was brutal, and Johnny's pitiful cries of mercy don't help. Johnny's silent crawl to save himself - including stealing a car battery to prolong his life and asking for help by writing it on the wall with stilted speech - is also nightmare-inducing.
  • Hook — the moment Peter Pan's arm gets cut by Hook.
  • Peter Pan has the adult Hook knock Peter around hard enough to draw blood, not to mention him grabbing Wendy by the throat at one point.
  • Moonwalker, where Michael Jackson is shot down on his stoop.
  • The Dark Knight was PG-13. Those parents that took their eight-year-olds deserve the therapy bills they will be fielding for the rest of their natural lives, though admittedly, the picture books, sticker sets and lunchboxes didn't help. Almost poetically, debate exists over whether this film should actually have been rated R, with the only reasons is apparently avoiding this initially being there hardly being a single on-screen death and not a single drop of blood in the entire movie.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is PG-13, and parents do need to take that "Parental Guidance" seriously in this case. Remember that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the woman is threatened by a red-hot poker held close to her face? In this, an iron mask is welded directly to someone's face while still red-hot, with much sizzling and screaming. Worse, we see it from the victim's POV as it looms closer... closer... *frizzle*.
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010): Long before Alice fights the Jabberwock, you see why you do not underestimate the Dormouse in battle; she is very good at climbing onto any enemy in a fight and then going for the eyes.
  • Maleficent, for being a Perspective Flip centered around what was originally a villainess, is expectedly dark, and this translates into at least two intense battles - in the beginning, there is one featuring a human army whacked by forest beasts; and in the climax, armored guards fighting a dragon. And then Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has in its third act a massive battle between magical creatures and a human army, with a very un-Disney body count, along with an attempted genocide by improvised gas chamber - all with the same PG rating from the original!
  • Much of The Three Stooges' violent slapstick is humorous by nature, but the short They Stooge to Conga deserves mention here. Curly gets electrified, set on fire, and literally has his nose put to the grindstone. But Moe has a climbing spike dig into his head, his ear, and his eye. This is why that particular short has rarely been shown on television.
  • The original PG-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) features Splinter being chained to a wall and beaten, the Turtles being mercilessly thrashed by the Shredder, and April's home being burned down. The fire was caused by a Foot Clan member swinging an axe at one of the Turtles, missing, and striking an electrical cable, which causes his body to start jerking and smoking.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger is ridiculously violent by superhero movie standards (especially considering the fact later MCU films would deliberately avert this trope): an elderly lady is shot by a fleeing thug (who later machine guns several people on the sidewalk with puffs of red mist), the thug's driver is shot in the back of the head with a blood splatter, and toward the end of the film a Mook falls into a propeller with absolutely NO Gory Discretion Shot.
  • SHAZAM! (2019); on one hand, this is the most lighthearted and family-friendly installment in the DCEU so far. On the other hand, we have the boardroom massacre scene where a room full of people are violently massacred by the Seven Deadly Sins, starting with Dr. Sivana throwing his douchebag older brother out of a window, leading to a man getting his head chewed off onscreen by one of the Sins, Dr. Sivana's father getting mauled limb-from-limb by one of the Sins and a lingering shot of the aftermath showing the boardroom now full of corpses.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse:
    • During the Distant Prologue (which is set in Ancient Egypt), several of En Sabah Nur's followers, including his original Horsemen, are either crushed by debris, blasted into skeletons or set on fire—all onscreen.
    • Another example from the abovementioned scene; the mutant En Sabah Nur is planning to possess (played by Oscar Isaac) has a Healing Factor, and Apocalypse's servants demonstrate this by slicing the mutant's chest with a knife, revealing red tissue underneath before the wound heals.
    • When the ground under Magneto's coworkers is simultaneously dissolved and then reset by Apocalypse, the end result is an assortment of limbs (some of which are still twitching) sticking out of the ground.
    • Apocalypse decapitates a trio of Cairo men shortly after meeting Storm, and we see their heads fall to the ground onscreen.
    • Blood-splatter galore during Wolverine's rampage.
    • Mystique slicing Apocalypse's throat.
  • The Lone Ranger: The film is quite violent at times, but for the most part it's Bloodless Carnage with a Gory Discretion Shot or two.
  • Dinosaur! features a scene where a pair of Deinonychus chase, corner, and then kill a Struthiomimus, in a surprisingly gruesome scene for what was intended as a family-friendly primetime special about dinosaurs.
  • In Paddington (2014), Millicent's character has a few surprising moments of this for a family film, such as when she tortures the cab driver to figure out Paddington's location - even threatening to remove body parts and later on seems to have no problems with the idea of killing and stuffing the entire Brown family when they challenge her.
  • Cry Wilderness is intended to be a family film, but it features a scene where a bird claws out a villain's eyes. Even more surprising considering that Executive Meddling dictated that the film should be appropriate for children.

  • K. A. Applegate's series, Remnants, featured much over the top mayhem, including the homicidal alien Riders and Blue Meanies, and the destruction of the Earth by an unstoppable asteroid.
  • Speaking of K.A. Applegate, her star series, Animorphs, set new standards for children's book content. Since all the characters have a phlebotinum based Healing Factor (they can get as injured as they want, demorph, and be fine), it's hard to find a book that doesn't include graphic depictions of violence that wouldn't be out of place in a slasher film. Severed limbs, getting your guts ripped out, snapped spines, blood gushing, laser burns, and getting bitten in half are just a few of the ways characters get horribly mutilated or, (increasingly severely) mutilate or kill others. In one book, one of the team quits because she can't stand all the violence. What pushed her to this end? She ripped the throat out of an alien while in wolf morph and when she changed back and went home, her father mentioned that she had something between her teeth.
  • Warrior Cats is rife with this.
    • Let's see, Cinderpelt getting her leg crushed by a car, Brokentail getting his eyes clawed out, all of Tigerstar's High-Pressure Blood moments, Firestar almost bleeding to death while fighting Scourge, Berrynose getting his tail removed, Firestar getting his neck caught in a fox trap, the beating that Tigerstar gave a young Scourge, as well as the mental trauma it causes, the few times cats have torn their claws...
    • As an apprentice, Brightheart was unfortunate enough to run into a pack of dogs. They mauled half her face off and left her lying in a pool of her own blood, and while she lived, she was horribly scarred.
    • When Lionblaze discovers that his power is to kick so much ass that by the time he's done, he is absolutely drenched in his opponents' blood, most fights involving him become rife with this. And don't get started on most of the prophetic nightmares throughout the series.
    • One of said prophetic nightmares is resolved through an absolutely horrifying manner: Brambleclaw stabbing his murderous half-brother Hawkfrost through the throat with a stick. Made even worse since Hawkfrost is still alive for a little while afterwards and gurgling blood as he struggles to breath.
  • The Deptford Mice - dear god, where do we START?! Well, how about the rats who worship Jupiter, a giant mutated cat who breathes fire, and feed him live sacrifices, while skinning their own prey alive? And the rat who was rude to a higher-ranking officer in his youth, so said officer cut the kid's lips off? And Madame Akkikuyu's Heroic Sacrifice - she throws herself onto a bonfire when she realises Jupiter's spirit is possessing her. And on another "upsetting the Moral Guardians" note, it's heavily implied that Madame Akkikuyu started out as a prostitute.
  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole. For a children's book series, there's a lot of blood and absurdly gory injuries. For instance, an eagle's tongue is torn out, Ezylryb bit off his own talon, and last of all, the death of the owl Phillip, who was killed by Nyra by first being slashed across the chest and then HAVING HIS HEART PULLED OUT.
  • Redwall:
    • The Redwall series is another fantasy Talking Animal young adult/children's series that is also filled with bloody death and violence. Some more gruesome deaths (mostly of villains) include: being boiled to death by scalding water, having their spine snapped and still living for hours after, being asphyxiated after paralysis, getting shredded to pieces by pike fish, getting force-drowned, being eaten alive by giants snakes, being eaten alive by cannibals, being eaten alive by spider crabs, being thrown onto a row of sharpened javelins, being flayed alive, getting a smashed-in skull, being cloven in two with a sword or axe, being stung to death by thousands of bees, and the usual beheading, impaling, and poisoning. Several good guys die this way as well.
    • And in non-death violence, one Big Bad gets half of his face ripped off by a hawk. Another survives gets bitten in the head by an adder and has a hideously deformed and flayed face to show for it. Yet another has his paw ripped off. One mook gets smashed hard into a wall (and survives). Another mook is tortured on a rack before being strung up and shot full of arrows.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels:
    • One of the reasons the BBC gave for the terminating the Doctor Who New Adventures novels was that they had gone overboard on the sex 'n' violence. The BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures that followed included such stories as The City of the Dead, where the Doctor does horrible things to his broken leg, and Interference, where he spends most of the first book being pointlesslynote  tortured in a Saudi cell.
    • The Target Novelisations, which were aimed at children, weren't particularly fluffy either. "The Twin Dilemma" is about as pointlessly violent as Doctor Who ever got, but the book contains three pages of extremely gruesome description of Peri being strangled by the Doctor, dwelling particularly on the feeling of thumbs driving down into her throat and a description of her gagging on her tongue.
    • The Telos Novellas, which were aimed exclusively at adult fans, are even used as an example of this on the TARDIS Wiki where it points out that 'family franchise' means 'the whole family can find something to enjoy in the fictional world' and not that 'everything in the franchise is suitable for children'. The Wiki specifically highlights a scene in Wonderland where Ben and Polly have to make a room of acid-addled hippies vomit by sticking their hands down their throats, in case any of them have taken the evil LSD that drives the plot, and follows it up with a suggestion that parents read the book first before allowing their children to read it. In terms of psychological violence, Ghost Ship shows the typically cheerful and fearless Fourth Doctor struggling in the Psychological Torment Zone and being Mind Raped into a mental breakdown, and also features a scene where the Doctor finds the drowned body of a naked woman who committed suicide as a result of the torment.
  • While the books is family friendly and not as violent as the other examples, Rosemary Wells 1973 book "Benjamin & Tulip" is very violent compared to the other works the author is more well-known for. The book deals with a duo of raccoons causing a fight with each other with their aunt worried about the two. The book contains lines such as "I'm going to beat you up." and "You're crushing for a brushing!". The book also contained scenes such as Benjamin attempting to throw a big watermelon onto Tulip, spitting watermelon seeds at each other, Benjamin throwing the same watermelon onto Tulip's face, and Tulip throwing mood all over Benjamin. In modern books, she avoids showing any of her characters showing or attempting any types of violence.
  • Darkest Powers is supposed to be a Lighter and Softer alternative to the adult aimed The Otherworld series. It's only mildly more kid friendly overall (mostly simply removing sexual content and profanity). For example, the series has gruesome descriptions of Chloe's budding necromancer abilities.
  • Out of the Dust:
    • The book has some pretty gross descriptions of what happens to Billie's mother after Billie accidentally douses her with kerosene. It also goes into depth on how painful Billie Jo's injuries are (emotionally and physically) after the accident.
    • The writer, Karen Hesse, discussed this trope and What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? at her Newbery Medal acceptance speech in 1998:
    Occasionally, adult readers grimace at the events documented in Out of the Dust. They ask, how can this book be for young readers? I ask, how can it not? The children I have met during my travels around the country have astonished me with their perception, their intelligence, their capacity to take in information and apply it to the greater picture, or take in the greater picture and distill it down to what they need to know.''
    Young readers are asking for substance. They are asking for respect. They are asking for books that challenge, and confirm, and console. They are asking for us to listen to their questions and to help them find their own answers. If we cannot attend always to those questions, to that quest for answers, whether our work is that of librarians, writer, teacher, publisher, or parent, how can they forgive us? And yet they do, every day (...)
  • Her death isn't shown on-screen however The Secret Life of Bees does go into quite a bit of detail about May's body after her suicide.
  • The children's book Dear Hound is aimed at a 7-9 year old audience. It has the protagonist Allfie accidentally getting shot by hunters. He nearly dies of his injuries but ends up saved.
  • Survivors is about wolves and dogs surviving on their own. This comes up a lot, such as when the Doberman's crop a puppy's ears by biting it into shape.
  • Firstborn is a children's novel about a magpie living amongst wolves. It contains such imagery as a wolf getting an ear shot off and another wolf banging so hard against a cage that he bloodily tears a tooth out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who, which in the UK is considered and treated as a children's show (unlike other parts of the world that air it) has been a regular target of criticism over its violence and scariness ever since it first hit the airwaves in 1963. It was a particular favorite target of infamous 1970s TV watchdog Mary Whitehouse, who would regularly issue condemnation whenever anyone got killed or an otherwise PG-rated moment occurred.
    • Some of the William Hartnell stuff could be especially grisly due to the more relaxed content guidelines of the time (it wasn't until the late 60s that clear standards for what was acceptable for broadcast began to be dictated by the BBC, and until then it was up to the judgement of the producers):
      • According to director Waris Hussein, "An Unearthly Child" would have contained a Gory Discretion Shot of a caveman smashing someone's head open with a rock, with a stagehand poised with a hammer and a pumpkin just off screen, but producer Verity Lambert rushed in and ordered him to stop because it was supposed to be for children. The same story also included the Doctor having to be stopped by Ian from bashing someone's head in with a rock on the flimsiest of pretexts.
      • "The Edge of Destruction" has a still-alarming scene where Susan (driven temporarily mad thanks to a Negative Space Wedgie) lunges at Ian with a pair of surgical scissors, then suddenly shreds her bed to pieces with them before collapsing onto it, crying and screaming. This led to the first of the many debates in the media over the years about whether the show was too violent.
      • "The Aztecs" contains a scene where Ian is trying to intimidate a bunch of Aztec warriors by taking them aside with a knife and saying in a very calm, terrifying and unflinching voice that he could stab them to death at any time, in any place, exactly when they least expect it. Ian is normally a Reasonable Authority Figure who makes dad jokes, not a Terror Hero.
      • "The Reign of Terror" has Robespierre get shot in the jaw and he spends the rest of the episode staggering about in agony. (It should be noted that the real Robespierre did suffer a gunshot wound to the jaw during his arrest.)
      • "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" is set After the End, opens with the image of a roboman staggering in agony to a festering river and drowning himself in despair, and later shows Barbara chained to a wall with a neck cuff.
      • Ian getting tortured in "The Crusade" by being smeared with honey and left in the desert for ants to chew slowly through his flesh, birds circling above waiting to start on his eyes. Complete with a gruesome description from the torturer that this was what would happen.
      • A Saxon woman is gang-raped offscreen by Norwegian military scouts in "The Time Meddler".
      • A man getting his hand impaled on a three-inch thorn in "Mission to the Unknown", which is going to cause him to transform into a homicidal plant zombie.
    • According to the director Morris Barry, "Tomb of the Cybermen" (an unusually scary story even by later standards) got him into serious trouble with the BBC for the scene where Toberman kills a Cyberman. There is a special effects shot where awful thick white fluid begins spewing out of its crushed lung unit while it spasms and groans itself to a painful death. Barry claimed the BBC told him it was too much but "children adored it".
    • Much of the footage that survives of the Missing Episodes is actually the violent bits - the Australian censor board removed them, archived the parts they had cut, and then threw away the actual story. Notable examples include Episode 1 of "The Underwater Menace" (which preserves an extended sequence of Polly being forcibly anaesthetised in preparation for being turned into a fish-person while screaming and bellowing in protest) and "Fury From the Deep" (which preserves the alarming sequence of possessed repairmen suddenly opening their mouths and eyes as wide as they can go and emitting toxic gas).
    • "The Web of Fear" was, at the time of broadcast, considered so scary that before the first episode aired, the BBC broadcast a Content Warning speech delivered by Patrick Troughton in character, warning children that this was going to be an especially scary one and asking them to hold their parents' hands if Mum and Dad get too scared.
    • "Spearhead From Space" has a car accident when a man avoids running down an Auton and instead goes into a tree. We see a shattered windscreen covered in blood.
    • "Terror of the Autons" contains a sequence where Jo gets blasted in the face by a Nestene plastic daffodil that seals her mouth and nose under a few inches of plastic, instantly glued to her face. Her look of horror as the Doctor tries to pull it off, can't, and dashes away to get help is stomach-churning. The Doctor rescues her by spraying her with acetone.
    • Barry Letts, when criticised for the violence of the Jon Pertwee era, said he had a policy of Bloodless Carnage - "You never see the spear going in or blood coming out". The show did push this restriction to the limit, and by the early Tom Baker era blood was a common sight.
    • The Hinchcliffe years, nicknamed the "Gothic Horror period" (Tom Baker's Seasons 12-14) were notorious for this and attracted so much media criticism that Hinchcliffe lost his job and the show was Retooled into a Lighter and Softer sci-fi comedy format.
      • "Terror of the Zygons" has the shape-changing Zygon impersonating Harry attacking Sarah with a pitchfork and accidentally getting impaled by it. We don't see anything gruesome, but the way that the scene is shot approaches the Slasher Movie and is one of the most disturbing moments of the era.
      • "The Android Invasion" has Sarah Jane's face falling off, revealing a terrifying robot face with protruding eyeballs. Robert Holmes famously received a letter about this from an eight-year-old complaining it was too scary (a Dramatic Reading of which is included as a DVD special feature).
      • "The Brain of Morbius" features some graphic violence, someone getting shot in the stomach and lurching down a corridor oozing blood from his body and mouth as he goes, and some Sarah Jane-related Eye Scream moments.
      • "The Seeds of Doom" involves the Doctor snapping a man's neck, threatening people with guns and making Molotov cocktails.
      • "The Deadly Assassin" has a whole episode of the Doctor and the assassin chasing each other around a jungle, getting more and more beaten up as they go, with realistic physical effects. The Doctor getting shot, twice. The Doctor staggering around in a White Shirt of Death covered in blood and filth with a broken leg and arm. The Doctor shooting a man with a toxic blowgun that causes his leg to blister up, forcing the victim to perform improvised surgery on it with a knife and needle. The notorious cliffhanger freeze-frame with the Doctor's head being held underwater, making it appear as if he'd drowned. Even Tom Baker had serious misgivings about the sequence, as he has a real-life phobia of being trapped underwater and worried his performance was too genuine and disturbing for children as a result.
      • An ad-lib by Tom Baker to avert what he saw as this in "The Face of Evil" led to one of the Fourth Doctor's most memorable moments. The script called for him to take a man hostage, pull a knife on him, and threaten to slit his throat unless the aliens dropped their weapons. What he actually does in the show is take a man hostage, pull a jelly baby on him, and threaten to kill him with it unless the aliens dropped their weapons. In both versions, they are terrified and do as he says.
    • "Image of the Fendahl" deserves a mention, since even though it was made at the time when Moral Guardians had managed to get the previous producer fired over violence and the executives were watching the show very closely to prevent anything even slightly scary being put in, the script concerns the Doctor fighting a manifestation of the death wish itself, with the characters inside the siege struggling with despair and suicidal ideation as a result of its effects, and the Doctor defeats it by blasting it in the face with a shotgun. There's a definite attempt to avoid showing the audience anything too grisly but it somehow makes it even worse.
    • The other era of the show that was particularly notorious for this was Seasons 21-22, when script editor Eric Saward took a particularly Darker and Edgier direction. Particularly controversial incidents included:
      • "Frontios": People are dragged screaming down into the ground, and we see a digging machine controlled by a severed head. (The latter scene was actually toned down compared to the script, which had the entire machine made from dismembered human body parts.)
      • "Resurrection of the Daleks": Helpless slave workers escaping into London are gunned down by bogus policemen, and a guy gets his face melted off by mustard gas.
      • "The Twin Dilemma": The Sixth Doctor, in a bout of post-regeneration psychosis, strangles Peri nearly to death.
      • "Attack of the Cybermen": Cybermen torture a character by crushing his hands until they ooze blood.
      • "Vengeance on Varos": Pretty much the whole story, whose main themes are Crapsack World and Snuff Film, but highlights include multiple extended scenes of torture by Agony Beam (obviously bloodless, but the actors really sell it), two guys falling into an acid bath while grappling with the Doctor and being briefly seen burned all over,note  and a character's face mask being pulled off to reveal his horrible disfigurement.
      • "The Two Doctors": A sympathetic character is stabbed to death. A villain is horrifically disfigured with acid and then blown up; his realistic severed leg is then waved around in full view of the camera.
      • "Revelation of the Daleks": We get various views of hideously disfigured victims of Davros's experiments, a character is stabbed in the chest with a huge hypodermic syringe, and Davros' non-paralysed hand is shot to pieces.
    • "Dragonfire": Kane's face is gruesomely melted off in a scene with extreme detail and gore approaching the famous Raiders of the Lost Ark scene (in fact, the technique was identical, being sped-up footage of a wax dummy melted by a heat lamp). Notably, this had to be cut in half in the broadcast, as the uncut version showed his face melting down to the bone.
    • "Planet of the Ood" has some Squicky violence that wouldn't be out of place on a Darker and Edgier sci fi show like Lexx, going from the imprisoned Ood being slaughtered by machine gun and gas chamber to a man being painfully ingested by a giant brain, all culminating in a bit of Transformation Trauma as a man rips off the skin of his scalp and coughs up tentacles and a brain to become an Ood. This is also notable for being one of the only times in the revival series that the Doctor showed little to no remorse for the human victims.
    • The revival series, while a lot less violent due to changing societal standards, still managed to sneak some bizarrely gritty violence into "A Good Man Goes to War", which is about a woman being kidnapped and abused in a very sexualised way so that they can kidnap her baby (and with realistic psychological effects on her (for that episode, anyway) rather than the Angst? What Angst? Doctor Who usually relies on to keep the plots fun), with tons of Does This Remind You of Anything? rape imagery (crying woman in nightdress sobbing in horror while covered in sticky white fluid).
    • "Heaven Sent", the penultimate episode of Series 9, is a "What Do They Fear?" Episode for the Twelfth Doctor (already in a fragile emotional state after Clara getting Killed Off for Real in the previous episode) in which he must face every base fear he's ever had in a Psychological Torment Zone. The result is that, among other things, his hands and face are gruesomely maimed by the sharp-clawed Monster of the Week.
  • Ultra Series: Franchise creator Eiji Tsuburaya disliked this trope ("don't show anything too violent", he would say to his crew), but a few evidently slipped past his radar (Ultraman featured quite a number of monster appendages being dismembered). After his death though, series got even more violent, often with Family Unfriendly Deaths. Ultraman Ace, Ultraman Taro, and Ultraman Leo are stellar examples of this, but it was significantly toned down later on.
  • Though played for comedy, some of the contestant eliminations on MTV game show Remote Control were freaky. Being pulled screaming through the back of the set by people in freaky costumes, while the audience chants your failure like a Roman colosseum... rather disconcerting to a child.
  • The black and white television version of Zorro has one particularly disturbing episode. Some witty banter between some Spaniards is taking place in the foreground, while Indian slaves are being whipped in the background — complete with screams.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • CSP\WWC, the promotion where the Invaders basically invented the barbed wire match, the first promotion to use fire as a hazard for wrestlers in matches to avoid, the promotion where Abdullah the Butcher regularly tortured Carlos Colon, offers tickets at a discount to kids.


  • In the BIONICLE storyline, Toa Ignika (a "good" character) wins a fight by using his powers to turn Icarax from an Energy Being to a flesh-and-blood one, knowing this would be extremely painful since Icarax's armor was not designed with room for organs in mind.

    Video Games 
  • Despite being a Roblox game, Bloody Battle will not spare you from gory sights such as a person cut in half or their head being blown to bits. But it's in Roblox and usually only uses a few unique pieces and a lot of red, so it sounds worse than it actually sounds. Don't let this distract you from the fact that it's still very gory and violent for a Roblox game.
  • In Chrono Cross, Kid's stabbing scene is probably enough to give most younger players nightmares. Even the writer expressed concern that the scene may have been too intense.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Many bosses have abilities that involve the in-game audience. Lethally. From the classic dragon Hooktail eating audience members, to the Final Boss preparing a one-hit kill move and then redirecting it from Mario to the entire audience.
  • Super Paper Mario:
    • Mimi at one point: "Stupid-heads... I'd mimicked her perfectly! You know it! ...I guess I'll congratulate tearing you to little bits like stupid confetti!"
    • Dimentio pretends to brutally murder the whole cast, who don't die, but do end up in the Underwhere.
    • Nastasia throws herself in front of one of Dimentio's bullet to save Count Bleck. She doesn't die, but it sure looks like it at first.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King features plenty of dismemberment, and the 1000-Fold Arms finisher for the Stapler has Mario break its jaw!
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, there are enemies in the desert level that, if they spot Link, tuck into a shell, roll after him, and run him over. What makes it so family unfriendly is that the shell is electrocuted. If Link is hit, he goes flying and then lies on the ground, twitching and gasping horribly for a period of time. Although his heavy lightning damage sound effect sounds more like Orgasmic Combat than anything. After you defeat Ghirahim for the second time, he promises to torture Link until he deafens himself with his own screams.
  • Kirby has plenty of this naturally, mostly in its Optional Bosses:
  • Kingdom Hearts can get away with some surprisingly violent scenes. Terra's fight with Braig in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, for instance, ends with him shooting Braig's eye out and scarring his face with darkness on screen. The next time Braig shows up, half his face is covered in bandages. He wears an eyepatch in all future appearances.
  • Banjo-Tooie: You're shooting at Lord Woo Fak Fak's boils, causing them to profusely bleed!
  • Sonic Unleashed had Super Sonic struggling and getting forcibly de-powered by being electrocuted and having the Chaos Emeralds ripped from his body then drained. What really makes the scene disturbing is how Sonic is screaming in agony as this happens. Plus, Sonic slamming through Dark Gaia's eyes, causing them to spurt geysers of green blood. This is most likely why the game was rated E10+.
  • Grand Theft Auto V parodies this with the in-universe animated show Kung Fu Rainbow Lazer Force. Ostensibly a Christian version of Power Rangers, the show features its protagonists violently murdering people for their sinful behavior — and that's before you get into the show's questionable religious and cultural politics. The opening theme tune even has the characters proclaiming that "sex is bad, and violence is good!"
  • While The Wacky World of Miniature Golf is mostly presented as a golf game for all ages, one of the game's holes contains a rather gruesome scene where a T-Rex is stuck in a tar pit and unable to escape from a volcanic eruption, so its skeleton tears out of its skin and leaves it behind, with visible blood on the discarded skin.

  • Anytime Looking for Group's undead warlock Richard shows up, there's going to be absolutely GOBS of this slung around. True, the comic isn't even remotely meant for children, but even some adults can experience a good deal of Squick at his bony, undead hands.

    Web Original 
  • Neopets was made by, and for college kids when it first started. The early plots all were filled with black comedy, where the staff members (fictionally) were killed off one by one (The players got to vote on who died.). The site was made kid friendly after two years, but the old pages from some of the early plots still exist. Some vestiges of it still remain in more recent plots. Galem's death was particularly grisly, for one... THIS. That is ALL.


Video Example(s):


Doragory Kills Muruchi II

When a well-timed dodge by Ace causes Muruchi II to accidentally run into the Terrible-Monster Doragory, the brief villainous partnership between the two monsters (as well as Doragory's master, Alien Metron Jr., by extension) comes to a gruesome halt. Just what does Muruchi II - who came out of nowhere to assist Metron Jr. and his monster - get for this minor mistake?

Doragory abruptly rips off Muruchi II's jaw and one of his legs, in a shocking display of how much stronger Yapool's creations are compared to the kaiju of Earth. As Muruchi II is still making sounds when Doragory tears off his leg, it is likely his death was both relatively slow and absolutely agonising...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / FamilyUnfriendlyDeath

Media sources: