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Gag Censor

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Hehe... "pussy"!

At times, even the lack of subtlety provided by the ugly Censor Boxes is just not enough. Why not put something amusing in the place of some aesthetically repulsive black bars and boxes? Why not, say, a picture of a squirrel?

Or anything, really. Gag Censors are when faces, amusing pictures, logos, or any image is used to obscure certain parts deemed not suitable for public consumption.

This method ranks the lowest in the sliding scale of censorship subtleties—it doesn't attempt to shoehorn elements in to somehow obscure the sight like the Censor Steam, Censor Shadow, or Censor Suds; nor does it try to cover these parts with meta visual elements like Censor Boxes or Pixellations. It, instead, puts an image over it.

It should go without saying that this is almost always Played for Laughs, and particularly common in anime. In many cases, one can expect these things to disappear when the DVD version comes out. See also: Scenery Censor, Relax-o-Vision. Sound-Effect Bleep can also be used for similar comedic effect.


Not to be confused with Censored for Comedy, which is a type of joke involving censors.


    open/close all folders 

  • A series of Ekosport ads has a nude woman out on a mountain. Whatever isn't covered by her hands is covered by the company logo.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The famous Laughing Man from the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series. In-universe it is actually far from a gag and relates to a terrorist incident, but it's frequently used this way by the fandom.
  • Rosario + Vampire uses censor bats and bears if there is more than one censor to be covered. He even chats with the audience!
  • B Gata H Kei uses a Demon symbol for this on the TV release over the EroGami that normally covers things.
  • To Love Ru uses these as well as censor flashlight-like beams.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi uses large "Forbidden" stamps whenever Nodoka is reading her own mind.
  • I Don’t Like You at All, Big Brother!! uses these everywhere, constantly.
  • The Pet Girl of Sakurasou: In the anime, an upskirt shot of Sorata's little sister is censored with a cat face.
  • Softenni uses these as well in about 50% of the scenes.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei uses the face of one of the manga's assistants for this.
    • Here we go: A completely pointless gag censor. You couldn't see anything even if it wasn't there.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler uses a guy holding a sign literally saying "can not show."
  • The Shonen Jump pirate flag gets used as a censor (much to its embarrassment) in Hell Teacher Nube.
  • Cat Planet Cuties uses several different censorship methods, including this one - generally, it's the Assisdroids jumping into the scene to cover things with their signs.
  • Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga: Phallic vegetables are used in place of male genitals. Trope subverted as the rather... fleshy looking vegetables actually do little to lessen the raunchiness of the pictures.
  • Air Gear has Koo, Ikki's pet crow cover the naughty bits when necessary.
  • Hajime no Ippo uses starbursts early on, but eventually moves beyond this. Ippo's starburst is really long.
  • Future Diary: "HAPPY?"
  • The manga series Switch Girl often uses an image of a cat to censor nudity (mostly the main character Nika). This was kept in the live-action TV adaptation.
  • While Gintama usually resorts to a standard Censor Box or Pixellation for censorship, one instance had Mutsu punch someone so hard that a sign with a slashed-out 18 on it was imposed onto his face in the aftermath.
  • The Hunter × Hunter manga positions speech bubbles in front of any exposed private parts. One particular case had Hisoka completely naked with thought bubbles between his legs about his sexual cravings, forcing the reader to look down there and think about how he likes his sex.
  • The trailer for Discotek Media's re-release of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie hilariously uses this to emphasize that their re-release of the movie will be completely uncut. How? By showing off the infamous Chun-Li shower scene with two Eastern Star logos covering Chun-Li's breasts.
  • The works of Kazuhiko "Monkey Punch" Katō (best known for Lupin III) frequently have an erotic bent, so in order to draw detailed sex scenes, he replaces genitalia with the Mars (♂) and Venus (♀) symbols.
  • Hinata's crotch gets censored by a vertical Venus fly trap in Naruto's Road To Sakura special. Subtle.
  • The Unpopular Mangaka and the Helpful Onryo-san: In Chapter 12, Senai's penis is covered by an emoji of his editor's head, complete with Funny Afro.
  • In the censored version of the Interspecies Reviewers anime, genitals and nipples are (barely) covered by icons of the main characters' faces.
  • A makeout contest in Ayakashi Triangle between Suzu and Shadow Mei has a sticker of Shirogane's head over their mouths as they start to tongue each other. It's arguably Censored for Comedy, as other kisses weren't obscured at all (even when they showed tongue) and the sticker covers practically nothing. In some panels, it's squashed like a physical object, making it look far dirtier.

    Comic Books 
  • Firefly: The Sting: One of Kaylee's diary photos is of Jayne shooting while flipping off the camera, his hand covered in a smiley sun sticker.
  • In Hawkeye Vol. 4 #3, as Hawkeye dives naked across a bed, his naughty bits are covered by... a picture of his face with his traditional purple mask.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The basic cable TV edit for Howard Stern's Private Parts has Howard himself pop up on screen covering naughty parts or blocking the whole screen and explaining what's being censored... then at one point says screw it and tell the audience to just go rent it.
  • Borat did this in the scene where Borat and Azamat get into a fight in the hotel while they're both naked. The censor bar covering Borat's penis reaches almost to his knees, so as to imply that he has a very big dick, while Azamat doesn't even get a censor bar over his crotch, implying that he has a very small one.
  • In a trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter, who is in a Police Lineup, flips the bird, which is covered up with a blur and an "Obscene Gesture Alert". The actual film has the gesture uncensored.
  • Austin Powers censors male private parts with increasingly phallic imagery and female parts with voluptuous objects, up to and including a framed painting of bare breasts.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Mancow Muller's eponymous TV show: they had illustrations of Mancow's face over any and all naughty bits.
  • On MythBusters, many dangerous substances such as explosives or thermite are made by mixing "blur with blur".
    • Alternatively, they use animal sounds, such as "mixing moo with meow". (Or "Add donkey to rooster.")
    • They also built a real-life Gag Censor in the form of a mouth shield covered in Symbol Swearing, when testing whether swearing was better at taking your mind off your pain than other Angrish. Since "Blurs are expensive, bleeps are cheap" the shield enabled them to swear as much as they needed to while relieving them of the cost of blurs.
    • During the "Soda Cup Killer" myth, Jamie promised the audience that one way or another, they would put a hole in Buster's windshield... Cue the mute crash test dummy getting a censor bleep in addition to the classic graphic censors.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: in the Devil Fish episode the MST3K planet logo was used to cover up an accidental nut shot.
    • In the City Limits episode, Joel stands up to show off his new umbrella, which covers up a brief scene of nudity (from the audience and the bots).
    • In the episode where they riff Avalanche, the bots at one point play with remote control flying saucers which cover nudity.
  • On VH-1, whenever someone says "pussy", they have a cat meowing. They also cover up a woman's pussy with a cat...
  • The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson bleeped out its innumerable expletives by playing voiceovers of Craig saying "Ooh-la-la", or some other silly-sounding quasi-foreign phrase, and covering the offender's mouth (if he isn't a puppet) with an appropriate national flag.
  • Whenever Gaki no Tsukai's cast get naked, their privates are covered either with photos of their faces or the first kanji of their names.
  • Australian sketch show Full Frontal managed to take this to new heights in a sketch as a French movie (translated into English as "The Woman Who Talked Too Much") whose subtitles were used to cover up nudity.
  • In Glee, Brody shows up naked for breakfast one day. He was covered by Kurt's box of Rooster-Os.
  • The first episode of Angie Tribeca, Angie goes undercover as a nude model. One of the art students is seen working on a pixelated pencil sketch of her — as in, he actually went to the trouble of drawing the censor pixels.
  • Penn & Teller: Fool Us featured a magician who stripped naked as part of his act. He spent most of the time behind a screen, but for the times he was not, the show's logo was used to cover his nudity.
  • X-Play: For a brief period they would cover up extremely gory game scenes with pictures of kittens.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In one of Terry Gilliam's animations, a fig leaf covering a statue's genitals was snatched away, and underneath was a man's head that said "We're not about to allow this sort of smut to be shown on screen!"
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Once Upon a Time", after Officer Flannagan tells him to watch his step, Woodrow Mulligan mutters in irritation. The intertitle reads "Censored!" Immediately afterwards, Woodrow is knocked into a pig trough by a man on a penny-farthing and shouts something after him. This time, the intertitle is "Also Censored."
  • M*A*S*H: Hawkeye bets he could walk to the mess tent stark naked and nobody would notice. As he does so, his midsection is conspicuously covered by objects carried around in the foreground.

  • German punk band Die Ärzte's music video for "Junge" has the musicians defend themselves against a horde of zombies in all its gory glory. Anticipating Germany's harsh laws against showing violence on TV, they produced another "censored" version with the bloodiest details covered by cartoon character's heads or have the entire screen blocked by phrases like "This scene is unacceptable. We'd like to apologize for that." or "At least the video is now over. I wonder if these sounds will be on the single?".
  • Siiva Gunner: A video featuring the "Dongcopter Pirate," a man wearing nothing but a vest and a pirate hat, uses Tito Dick's head to cover his penis.
  • The cover art for "In The Zone" by Ken Ashcorp features ZONE-tan drawing lewd fanart of Kenny, whose crotch is, thankfully, covered with a picture of a burger. Made funnier by the fact that his next song, "Burgz", released several months later, actually is about burgers, and its cover art features Kenny eating said burger.
  • The 24-Hour Party People soundtrack has a case sticker, noting New Order's latest release on the album, conveniently placed over the rude word labelling Tony Wilson on the cover.
  • In Neil Cicierega's song "Rollercloser", he censors the usage of "fuck" from "Closer" with funk vocals.
  • Similarly, in "Alternative Polka", "Weird Al" Yankovic replaces eaxh instance of "fuck" in "Closer" with cartoony sound effects.

  • Anime Slushie: The YouTube upload of the Vividred Operation review, by its nature, contains many screenshots from the show. As these contain lots of butts, particularly skeevy shots are censored by the application of Feen's avatar.
  • Random Assault:
    • Funny sound effects are used to cover up the few things the podcast DOES censor.
    • In articles on the show's website, Slabflapper's face is used to cover up naughty bits in pictures.

    Video Games 
  • Among the many myths revolving around Final Fantasy IX, one particular legend involves a risqué scene involving Cloud's head as a censorship method.
  • Rosalina in her Super Smash Bros. appearances has an image of the cosmos under her gown, which doubles as both censorship and giving her a more mythical "space"-like characteristic.
  • During Lambda's gag reel in BlazBlue: Chronophantasma EXTEND, Bullet's pelvic region is covered in its entirety by the game logo, as her hottopantsu have been stolen. Don't ask.
  • In Space Quest 3, on the garbage scow, Roger can fall into a garbage grinder at one point, causing a censor box reading "NOT A PRETTY SIGHT" to appear in front of the carnage.
  • In The Spellcasting Series, the hero, Ernie Eaglebeak, can woo several women during the course of the plot and have sex with them. When playing on censored mode, the game replaces the sex scenes with Ernie just doing perfectly innocent activities with the women he charm, such as "playing chess" and "washing dishes".
  • Playing HuniePop censored will result in the girls' naughty bits covered up with "Whoops! Can't show that in a Christian manga!" text boxes.
  • In Senran Kagura, if a girl loses the top of her swimsuit, her breasts are covered with chibi images of her own head.

    Visual Novels 
  • In ATOM GRRRL!!, you can't see the police officer's corpse being dissolved even in the 18+ version. Instead, you see a bright red box reading "R18" and the horrified/fascinated expressions of the characters around it.
  • At one point in Sickness, Misa's head is blocking the reader from seeing a rectal exam. Suoh is covering her eyes, and a "?" speech bubble is above her.
  • Ladykiller in a Bind has an optional censored mode. If activated, any sex and nude scenes will feature the involved characters wearing tacky Christmas pullovers instead of being naked.
  • The censored version of Plumbers Don't Wear Ties covers John and Jane's butts in their Shower Scenes with gray faces that have Gag Noses and slashed-out circles through them. This is one of the least weird things about this visual novel.

    Web Animation 

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja covers up "naughty" things (usually profanity) with black boxes saying things like "Filth!" or "Goodness!" instead. These are also used to cover up a middle finger...and nothing else, leaving the shape of what's being censored perfectly obvious.
  • According to Black Adventures, Black's penis looks like Reggie Fils Aime, N's looks like Junichi Masuda and Cheren's is just a question mark.
  • In Unintentionally Pretentious, the Censor Box gets more insistent.
  • The previews for adult-themed donation incentives for Heartcore use a creature called a Meefu to block out the more titillating parts of the picture.
  • Walter in Knights of Buena Vista has a Swear Jar, so whenever someone swears, "(swear jar)" is written instead.
  • Schlock Mercenary has the censor box bubble block view of a head injury, which also prevented Doyt and Haban from taking a good look at the wound until they pushed the body off-panel. Doyt then got an eyeful of the gory wound.
  • El Goonish Shive introduced the Angelic Tweeting Bird here, whose job was to hover between Grace and the camera during the MV5 storyline.
  • My Childhood Friend Who Keeps Transforming into Monsters: When Ayari turns in to a giant cyclops, the webmanga "shows" her nipples without actually drawing nipples by portraying them as clothing buttons.

    Web Original 
  • Video game blog Kotaku used to insert a vector pink fish for this purpose, but now they just tag the article with "NSFW" and call it a day.
  • The NSCL uses a deck of cards to censor clips with bare breasts in his High School D×D review.
  • That Guy with the Glasses:
  • From Allison Pregler's review of Witchcraft 666: "You got two guesses as to what's on screen next: boobs, or delicious chocolate cake." Naturally, it's boobs censored by pictures of delicious chocolate cake.
  • StephenPlays: In his Let's Play of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, upon entering a certain room in the morgue, he encounters a corpse which apparently has visible male... parts. Either YouTube's policies, his own morals, or both prevent him from leaving the parts exposed, so throughout any screentime said corpse receives, the Gag Censor he uses is an image of his own face in a goofy expression. However, in later episodes where nude corpses appear, he instead merely blurs out the offending area.
  • Immersion uses, among other things, two melons for censorship in the episode Fighting Girl Clothes.
  • Zero Punctuation goes for the standard black boxes, but usually decorates them with sayings like "IMAGE VERY CENSORED," "THANKS DEVIANTART!", or "NOPE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE."
  • This YTP uses this, with the most amusing being Haruhi shaking her finger captioned "No fanservice for you!"
  • Ebony Devil shows up in Vaguely Recalling Jojo to censor any scene too severe for the viewers. One time, Polnareff's hair was used to cover up the scene where Rubber Soul is devouring some beetles.
  • CinemaSins used an Easter Bunny in their Showgirls video, having it cover two sex scenes plus the notorious rape scene in the "licks" bonus round.
  • Chris Evans censors Hayley Atwell Flipping the Bird with Captain America's shield.
  • KPopp uses a picture of a teddy bear nicknamed "Teddy Ass" to censor in-game nudity.
  • Retsupurae uses the text "Unregistered Hypercam 2", as an "homage" to the fact that many Let's Players would use the unregistered version of that product to record their videos. And thus would have that watermark on them.
  • In The Mysterious Mr. Enter's review of Seth Mac Farlanes Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy, Mr. Enter censors the Mountain Climber's lower regions with the poster for Norm of the North in the "Mountain Climber" sketch. In the same sketch, he later censors the feces that land on the bride and groom with the Burger King logo and Jigglypuff, respectively, and in the "Name that Animal Penis!" sketch, he censors the animal penis with a picture of Oscar from Shark Tale.
  • In Felix Recenserar, an image of Bamse is used to cover up any nudity in the movies being reviewed.
  • Whenever RevScarecrow of Vinesauce speedruns the Sakura visual novel series, he uses pictures of kittens to cover anything that could be suggestive.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Logs over crotches at the end of "Wizard." Originally, it was going to be beavers, but the censors wouldn't allow it.
  • Audio version: Perfect Hair Forever censors the word "fuck" with a sound effect of Coiffio saying "EFF." Other swears are bleeped "normally," however.
  • The Simpsons:
    • On the TV version of The Simpsons Movie, Bart's lower nudity when he skates through a bare spot in a hedge is covered by a Censor Box that reads, "EUROPEAN VERSION ONLY!" (Which on the DVD commentary the directors state was going to be alternate theater image if the MPAA couldn't give them a PG-13 on the first viewing.)
    • "Steal This Episode" censors various scenes (particularly those dealing with how one actually pirates movies) with, of all things, scenes of a NASCAR race (which makes sense cause they're also on Fox).
    • Mentioned but not shown in "Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife." When Homer and Bart moon the cameras and the cameraman complains that there aren't enough pixels in the world to censor them, the producer suggests covering them with Ryan Seacrest's head.


Video Example(s):


Toothpick Censor

While naked in front of Misato, Shinji's crotch is first covered by a beer can. Misato then picks up the beer can, revealing a small pack of toothpicks that had been hidden behind the beer that is now just barely covering Shinji's crotch, implying he has a Teeny Weenie.

How well does it match the trope?

4.61 (36 votes)

Example of:

Main / GagCensor

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