In music videos for songs that contain swearing, individuals in the videos (usually the vocalists) may put their fingers to their lips in place of saying the offending words. This action often occurs in music videos when the song's swear words have already been censored, such as with a "shh" sound.
A subtrope of Filming for Easy Dub.
- Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl" - a number of times.
- Beyoncé is doing this in her and Gaga's video for "Telephone"
- Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" (the clean version of "Fuck You") uses this trope once in the music video. When teenage Cee Lo says "Ain't that some shh?", he puts a finger to his lips at the last word.
- In Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life", the whole song is about crystal meth, but the drug is only mentioned by name once. When it's mentioned in the video, the lead singer covers his mouth with his hand to prevent uncensored lip-reading.
- Panic! at the Disco's video for "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies" at the word "whore". Complete with a "shh" sound. Later, Brendon Urie very blatantly covers or makes a cross over his mouth when he's onscreen for the "goddamn", apparently in reference to the issue of taking God's name in vain.
- Seether's "Fake It" video. Whenever Shaun Morgan sings "you're such a fuckin' hypocrite", one of the scantily-clad women surrounding him covers his mouth and feigns shock.
- The Bloodhound Gang's "Fire Water Burn" is an interesting example. In the video, when you hear Jimmy Pop sing "Burn motherfucker, burn," the video shows him making a strained face instead of pronouncing "fucker". In the censored version of the song, "fucker" is replaced with a donkey's bray.
- In the music video for Theory of a Dead Man's "Hate My Life", when the construction worker is about to say "My boss is a dick" the "dick" is censored by another worker covering his mouth and a jackhammer sound effect.
- Bruno Mars performed "The Lazy Song," on television during an awards show and censored the part where he sings, "Find a really nice girl, have some really nice [sex]."
- An acoustic version of Korn's "Freak On a Leash" has both Jonathan Davis and guest singer Amy Lee move their mouths away from the mic on the word "fuck" in the chorus "A cheap fuck for me to lay".
- In the MTV edit/radio version of Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' but a G Thang", at the line "You know and I know / I'll throw some old funky shit", the "shit" is replaced with Snoop Dogg putting a finger to his lips and says "Shhhhhh!".
- In the video for Xzibit's "What U See Is What U Get" Xzibit stops rapping and puts his finger on his lips upon saying the "shit" in "got my own shit loud".
- When the cast of Spring Awakening performed at the Tony Awards, they self-censored "Totally Fucked" and "The Bitch of Living" by clapping their hands over their mouths.