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Gory Discretion Shot
aka: Violence Discretion Shot

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There's a saying in interrogation: "Violence perceived is violence achieved."
Michael Westen, Burn Notice

Blood or brains are seen splattering against a wall and the rest is left to the imagination.

Most often used with women and children, because it's more okay to hurt men in Hollywood, but available for everyone to control the tone/rating of the work. Often found in the form of a Reaction Shot as the reacting characters' expression (or lack thereof) can serve as a commentary on the action, the character, or the world they inhabit. Sometimes combined with Blood-Splattered Innocents, as the gore splatters on or near them.

A Japanese variation of this trope involves seeing the silhouettes of the participants from behind a translucent washi screen, typically a shouji sliding door, on which the blood gets spattered. The form has since been widely adopted by the west and is often used to give a sense of art. A similar variation is to have the splatter hit the other side of a pane of glass or a window. Another variation shows blood seeping out under a door, through an opening or across a sill or a threshold to imply that violence has occurred on the other side.


A Gory Discretion Shot can serve to keep the rating PG-13 to reach a wider audience. It may also be done for budgetary reasons: red-dyed corn syrup splashed over a window: cheap. Showing someone's head explode: expensivenote . Note that it could also be done to keep the truth hidden from the viewer. Showing the murder in question straight out, so the viewers can see the culprit, doesn't make a good murder mystery in most shows or movies after all.

Combine it with Bloodless Carnage, and you get the Sound-Only Death — the audience hears the gunshot and the body hitting the deck, but what they see is (for instance) the victim's hat falling to the ground with a hole through it. Or the killer walks through a door and we hear gunshots and screams after it closes behind him. Also crosses paths frequently with Scream Discretion Shot.


A related trope is the camera cutting away when things get nasty. Say if someone is getting whipped, we'll only see their face contorting in pain. Alternately, a cut similar to a Screamer Trailer may be used, showing a split second worth of the carnage. In the same vein, the aftermath of murder may be demonstrated minimally with a Dead-Hand Shot, hopefully one still attached to the body.

Contrast Gorn. Compare and contrast Battle Discretion Shot and Nothing Is Scarier; though this may be less "scary" than not showing anything at all in a less overtly violent work, in gornographic works this can be used for horror—with all this overt violence running around, what is so horrible you don't get to see it...? See also Empathy Doll Shot and Pink Mist. May precede a Mortal Wound Reveal, especially if it's unclear who exactly got injured—note that this is a Subversion of sorts, when it does happen.


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  • Edouard Manet unintentionally did this in The Execution of Maximilian. The section of Maximilian and his dying generals was cut from the canvas. It's odd because he didn't cut the deaths out of later versions of the painting.
    • While Manet would sometimes cut up paintings by him he felt failed artistically and rework any salvageable fragments (he notably did this with an "Incident" at The Bullfight" from which the Dead Toreador in the National Gallery and the Bull Ring in the Frick come from), MoMA claims that in this case the London Maximilian painting was cut up after Manet's death.

    Comic Books 
  • Scott McCloud mentions this technique in Understanding Comics. Since in a comic book, a gory discretion shot is nothing but two divorced images that rely on the reader to make the connection, it is through the conscious effort of the reader to combine the two images into a violent act. "All of you held the axe and chose your spot. To kill a man between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths."
  • Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe : Tom Sawyer's death. A white fence, some amused reactions to "that pigsticker".....and then a slash, and a BIG splotch of red (with brain matter) on the otherwise white fence.
  • Garth Ennis' Preacher is heavy enough on the directly-portrayed bloodshed, but one scene is particularly notable: When Jesse's friend Billy-Bob is attacked by T.C. in the second volume chapter "How I learned to love the Lord", the comic cuts to T.C.'s bloodied knife... And then, two panels later, we see Billy-Bob clutching his slit throat. This is sometimes used straight, though such as when Tulip is killed by Jesse's family, but for style rather than for censorship. The only instance where this might be used for censorship is the death of God. Even Garth Ennis might not have been able to get away with showing that particular messily-killed corpse.
  • Garth Ennis did this again in the Hellblazer issue Confessions of an Irish Rebel. John and Brendan return to their hotel suite to find a friend tied from the light fixture being held hostage with a shotgun stuck up his arse. Squick. The hostage-taker loses the plot and accidentally fires. Cut to John looking horrified with a blood-spattered face. Admittedly, two pages later you do see what remains of their friend, asking, quietly, "What's that on your coat?" Very nasty.
  • Sin City plays this trope with many different variations (Blood sprayed on the killer's face, a silhouetted headshot, etc.). This is mostly for artistic purposes, as the film had no problem showing other gory scenes.
  • In the last comic of the X-Wing Series, Isard got rid of one of her superiors by having a left-handed shopkeeper kill him with a Sith lanvarok he'd been wanting to buy. We never see the lanvarok or the death, but Isard looks through a little, bloody window and muses that being left-handed is a distinct advantage when using a lanvarok.
  • Happens many times in Watchmen, most notably during Rorschach's prison break. After Big Figure's attempt to kill him fails, Rorschach follows him into the men's room, to the annoyance of Laurie and Dan, who are trying to rescue him. A few moments later, he exits the restroom and leaves with them, and we see blood flowing under the door. It's far more disturbing than the violence that's actually shown. Even more impressive is the fact that, even though they turned the gore Up to Eleven in the movie, this scene remained intact, and was still way more unsettling than anything they actually showed. Keep in mind, those included a man's forearm bone puncturing through the skin as his arm was broken, Dr. Manhattan literally exploding people with his mind, and a mook getting his arms sawed off with a grinder. The gore is relatively easy to accept once the shock value wears off; trying to imagine what happened is far more likely to keep you up at night.
  • When Gammid rips Javi's sigil-enhanced arm off in Negation, a silhouette is used to imply the action.
  • The Ultimate Spider-Man comics were much more open with dark and edgy topics but still refrained from graphic violence, being a mainstream comic aimed mostly at teens and young adults. One discretion shot, in particular, stands out, though, when the Kingpin executes an insubordinate...subordinate by crushing his head between his massive hands. Most of the event takes place in a panel that shows only Fisk's tower viewed at a distance, though later on in the comic a clip of security footage does show the moment where the man's head caves in (still a discretion shot, however, because Fisk had put Spider-Man's confiscated mask over his head).
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog is exempt from most forms of gory violence, but it's not immune when discretion shots are involved:
    • In the milestone issue #225, Sonic and Sally infiltrate the newly-built Death Egg Mark II, where they are then immediately confronted by Silver Sonic Mark II. Sonic decides to fight, while Sally runs down a corridor to trace Eggman's intercom signal, where she encounters a giant gun turret that pops out of the wall and blasts her off-panel. (The reader's imagination about the fate of Sally is possibly made worse by the art detailing in the onomatopoeia of the blasts.) The only thing we see afterward of her is her shattered goggles and a silhouette on the floor of her lifeless hand, while Mobius reboots.
    • Another one occurs in issue #234. Antoine D'Coolette is charged with protecting King Elias while Dr. Eggman launches another assault on the Freedom Fighters and the Royal Family. Metal Sonic Mk. II is about to infiltrate the Royal Family's escape vehicle when Antoine catches up and distracts Metal Sonic enough to let go. Eggman, in frustration, activates Metal Sonic's self-destruct mechanism, catching Antoine's entire body, throwing him to the ground, unconscious, and presumably mortally wounded. Every other panel scene with Antoine in it after the explosion obscures his face, whether by special angles, or someone obscuring his face. For example, Sonic's head while speeding as fast as he can with Antoine off to the hospital.
  • Subverted in an issue of the Archie Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures series. Bebop and Rocksteady are at the zoo when they see all the animals trapped in cages. They point their guns and start shooting, and it looks like they've killed the animals...but when they meet the Turtles we see that Bebop and Rocksteady actually shot out the bars of the zoo cages to free the animals. They take the animals back to a Garden of Eden-like alien planet that they've decided to call home, stopping off only to drop the villains the Turtles have defeated back on the prison planet they escape from.
  • Shows up in, of all places, Issue #3 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW). Chrysalis grabs one of the luvcats and taunts the CMC for their "innocence". What she does with the luvcat in the following panel is never shown, but the splattered black amongst the blank white panel, the "THUMP" and the CMC's screams make it clear that it is for the best. In the same issue, right after Fluttershy points out a natural species rivalry in the monsters that were chasing the ponies, the ponies look epically horrified while said monsters presumably disembowel each other just off-panel.
  • In Pocket God, the more gory deaths tend to be obscured.
  • Many Asterix comics offscreen fights or block them with big dust clouds. In one comic the narrator pulls an actual curtain over the fight, explaining that it is entirely too violent to watch.
  • In issue #4 of Garth Ennis's run on The Shadow, the Shadow and co. encounter a village that has been massacred by the Japanese. There are plenty of male corpses, but the females... All we get to see are the horrified reactions of two characters.
  • In Violine, several scenes of crocodiles eating mooks are offscreen, however, we see them with bloodied jaws later. A lion that attacks the main villain is mauled offscreen, and we see it covered in blood later.
  • Nemesis the Warlock: After Torquemada successfully ousts Mazarin as the new ruler of Termight, he tortures his rival to death in a way so gruesome that the comic explicitly leaves it off panel.
  • Revival does not shy from gore at all through its run except for when November Dismember takes a knife to his own genitals, which mercifully switches to Em's reaction panel.
  • With the exception of the Ghost of Christmas Present's death, the worst deaths in Zombies Christmas Carol are off-panel or covered by the hordes of zombies.
  • In The Infinity Gauntlet, when the Earth heroes confront Thanos, his captive brother Eros narrates the issue and watches as the Mad Titan kills the heroes in various creative ways. But when Thanos turns his attention to the Scarlet Witch, the only woman in the group, Eros looks away, not wanting to see her death.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Such a part can be found in the 1954 animated film adaptation of Animal Farm. When Napoleon's Dobermans execute the animals that attempted to revolt, it's so gruesome that not only do we the audience not see it, but the raven that's watching looks away in fear. A rather clever subversion of the raven's connotation with death, but it's nonetheless one factor that makes the movie unsuitable for minors.
    • Also, when the animals rebel once again in the end and kill Napoleon, all you can see is the portrait of the Big Bad falling to the floor and shattering.
  • In Batman: Under the Red Hood when Batman and the Red Hood fight the armored assassins, the Red Hood breaks one of their helmets and sticks a taser into it, the man screams and writhes in pain just before his head explodes, we then cut to his blood splashing on a wall.
  • In The Book of Life, we're not shown how Carlos died fighting Chakal. Which is probably for the best.
  • Inverted in The Brave Little Toaster when a completely non-gory scenario uses this to appear violent and frightening. The scene of Mr. St. Peter dismantling a blender and removing its motor is framed exactly like a scene in a horror movie, complete with malevolent shadows and the blender's lifeless "corpse" dripping "blood" to give the blender's dismantling all the gravity of an actual murder.
  • Disney usually accomplishes this through the obvious means (where they have a folder to themselves), but they're also known to dispatch villains in non-gravity-related yet still excessively vicious manners, and still manage to obscure it in a way that makes it perfectly G / PG-13 as far as the censor is concerned but even worse for the impressionable kiddies who now get to imagine in as much detail as they like what just happened.
    • The oldest example would be its very first animated movie Snow White, where the inside of the chest the Huntsman hands the Queen, which contains a deer's heart, is never shown.
    • Pinocchio: Monstro slams himself into a seaside cliff, and we cut away before we see more than the first part of a decidedly non-comedic accordion effect.
    • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: The Headless Horseman throws doom pumpkins at Ichabod. We're to presume they didn't stop midair after the camera left.
    • Oliver & Company: Cutaway before the villain's car is smashed by an oncoming train.
    • The Little Mermaid: Mercifully, all we get is Ursula's facial reaction and several flashes of lightning to obscure the fact that she's skewered through the gut on a ship's bowsprit.
    • The Lion King: The camera pans upward just in time for the audience to miss seeing the villain, Scar, get ripped apart by hyenas, only seeing part of it in shadow.
    • Hercules has more than one example during the "Zero to Hero" music number, all of them cut away just as Herc is about to stab, strangle, or pummel a monster to death.
    • Mulan: Shan Yu is shot with a massive rocket into a stockpile of fireworks, and this is carefully only seen from a great distance.
      • One of the "messengers" Shan Yu sends to the Emperor is killed by an archer.
      • "How many men does it take to deliver a message?" *readies bow* "One."
      • When Mulan gets slashed across the chest, she's clearly bleeding.
    • A Bug's Life: Hopper is lowered into a nest of adorable yet strangely vicious birds.
    • The Incredibles: Cutaway as Syndrome is sucked into a jet engine.
    • The Black Cauldron: Averted with The Horned King's death. You can clearly see his decayed flesh stripped from his bones. The film got a PG rating, which was quite a feat for animated films at the time.
    • Tangled: Near the end of the movie, Mother Gothel undergoes Rapid Aging when Rapunzel's magic hair is cut, robbing it of its life-giving powers. She glances at herself in the mirror, and pulls her hood over her rapidly-aging face in horror, only to stumble out the window thanks to Pascal. By the time Gothel hits the ground, there's nothing left but her cloak and a cloud of dust.
    • Cars 2: Rod "Torque" Redline's (an offscreen explosion is reflected onto a computer monitor after he is blasted away by the Lemons' radiation cannon) and Tony Trihull's (another offscreen explosion, this time from an above view of the river Thames in London as he is blown up by Finn McMissile's bombs) deaths.
    • Wreck-It Ralph: Applied to impressive effect... when Ralph wrecks the car he and Vanellope made with his bare hands.
  • Aside from Sparky's death, this is completely averted in Frankenweenie. All other deaths are depicted in gruesome, violent, and gory detail. This is a PG rated film.
  • The Land Before Time does this when Sharptooth jumps onto Littlefoot's mother and bites a chunk out of her neck. (we see it in shadow though.)Interestingly, this was not the original plan, it was altered late in production.
  • The Direct-to-DVD Superman: Doomsday makes use of this, while still remaining ten times more graphic than anything in Superman: The Animated Series or Justice League combined. The most notable part is when the camera cuts away when the Superman clone removes a piece of kryptonite in his body by using heat vision, x-ray vision, a mirror, and a pair of scissors to preform improvised surgery on his own brain. Eww.
  • In The Thief and the Cobbler during Zigzag's death scene he falls into a pit and is eaten alive by a pack of crocodiles; we see him as a silhouette and a pair of eyes being munched by the crocs' teeth and until all that remains is his still talking head which is then eaten by his pet vulture it cuts to complete darkness as his head is eaten.
  • Watership Down:
    • General Woundwort's death. While the film is fairly graphic throughout we don't see the outcome of his demise when he picks a fight with the dog that Hazel lead to him and his officers, we see the two about to clash with their jaws open, the camera then cuts away before the impact. This also makes it ambiguous whether the dog manages to kill Woundwort or not.
    • Also we don't see the hawk kill Violet, as it grabs her it cuts to Fiver's reaction we then see the aftermath with some feathers and a few drops of her blood, and we don't see the aftermath of the two Efrafa officers being hit by the train.

  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, Hermione and Ron looked away when Buckbeak was being slaughtered. This, of course, serves the narrative purpose of preventing them from seeing Harry and Hermione's future selves rescue Buckbeak.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: "The children did not see the actual moment of the killing. They couldn't bear to look and had covered their eyes."
  • The Miserable Mill, book four in A Series of Unfortunate Events has the Baudelaire children being threatened by one of Count Olaf's henchmen in an active sawmill. They manage to escape, but not before the henchmen trips and "there came a most gruesome incident indeed."
  • In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck and Jim come across the House of Death. There's a dead body inside the house, and Jim goes to investigate, leaving Huck (and also the reader, as Huck is the narrator) to the side. All we learn of the body is what Jim tells Huck: He was shot in the back, dead for two or three days and naked.
  • A variation is used in The Hardy Boys Casefiles and the Nancy Drew Files. Whenever somebody had to die when the Boys or Nancy were present they usually did so in a way that no blood was actually spilt. An example is a No Celebrities Were Harmed Howard Stern called Ron Minkus getting electrocuted at a mall whilst the Boys were there.
  • In Sourcery, Carding, an important wizard dies from a horrible curse. The only thing that is described that is his skin began to blister.
    Most of the wizards managed to turn their heads away. A few - and there are always a few like that - watched in obscene fascination.
  • In The Plague Dogs, you never see the Tod's death. He jumps over the stone fence, pursued by hunting dogs who jump after him, you hear one last agonized yelp, and the dogs' owner holds his dead body up by the tail, angled in such a way that you only see his backside and not what the dogs had likely done to him. Which is just a little ironic since there is plenty of gore and horror to be had in the whole story.
  • General Woundwort's death in Watership Down: we last see Woundwort clash with a dog. Later no trace of his body is found, there is just blood at the site of the battle — perhaps he was eaten (being a rabbit).
  • In Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, forgemaster Inch's rather messy death — being crushed by the works of the waterwheel he was using as a torture device — is not directly observed by the characters; the text relates only the nasty bits raining down out of the mechanism, and the reaction of the soldiers who have to "clean up" the mess afterwards.
  • In the Left Behind book Armageddon, Chloe William's televised death was purposely blanked out on the screen by the angel of the Lord.
  • Despite Warrior Cats having many High-Pressure Blood moments and being built on Family-Unfriendly Violence, this occurs during Needletail's death scene. Violetpaw, who narrates that particular chapter, doesn't see the exact moment where she dies because she's running for her life. She does, however, hear her scream, out of sight.
  • In the Dear America book Hear My Sorrow, during the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire scene, Angela passes out when she sees her cousin Rosa about to jump from the window and regains consciousness to be told that Rosa jumped and is dead, which means that the reader is also spared a description of those moments. note 

  • In Garth Brooks' ''The Thunder Rolls'', it jumps from a woman pointing a gun at her husband to a window that suddenly shatters, thus avoiding the onscreen shooting.
  • At the end of Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" music video, Jeremy shoots himself in the mouth, splattering blood on his classmates. In the edited-for-TV version, the shot of him putting the gun in his mouth is cut.
  • Due to MTV's restrictions on violence, the live-action version of Snoop Dogg's music video for "Vato" employs Non-gory gory discretion shot. The camera shows Snoop walking towards one, PLOW, the person falls. Snoop turns to face another, PLOW, the person falls. Only scene contains a split-second image of Snoop Dogg lowering his pistol.


  • Older Than Feudalism: In a very early version, Ancient Greek Tragedies often used this trope. In the Medea a woman is given a dress that melts her skin; in the Bacchae a group of women tear a man to pieces and prance about with his body parts; in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus uses pins to claw out his eyes; in the Agamemnon the title character is brutally murdered in his bed. All of these gruesome scenes are described but never seen, given all the more detailed description precisely because they are hidden from sight; the death of Agamemnon is noted for being particularly gruesome.
  • During the fight between Crystal and Gary in Bethany, the lighting momentarily amplifies then blacks out when one deals a blow to the other.
  • Notably for an opera, the final knife fight between Turiddu and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana is not shown at all, it and Turiddu's death taking place offstage. We only know about the latter because a Screaming Woman informs us that Turiddu was killed.

    Theme Parks 
  • In The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios when a gangster/bandit attempts to steal a cursed jewel in the Raiders of the Lost Ark scene, a cloud of smoke surrounds them once they touch the cursed jewel, hiding the process of them getting roasted into a skeleton.

    Visual Novels 
  • Inverted in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Although you never see the pieces of the exploded characters, they will give you its run for money in Description Porn. Fleshy, bloody description porn.
  • Zigzagged with Liar Liar. It goes into descriptive detail about some of the scenes instead of showing them, however the few scenes that actually are bloody aren't too violent (they're mostly just characters being stabbed or being covered in blood). Bad Ends usually fade to black before anything is actually shown and several deaths aren't depicted in the art themselves.
  • In ATOM GRRRL!!, it's implied in the text that Big E's killings are quite brutal, though all the audience sees is a splatter of blood on top of the current background.
  • Used on multiple occasions in Sickness, though the text does not hold back from describing the brutality.
  • Used in the executions of Celes and Kirigiri in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

    Web Animation 
  • Mostly avoided by Happy Tree Friends as just about every injury, no matter how gory (and gory they almost always are) is shown on-screen with no discretion. However there are moments where the death is mostly off-screen, such as one episode where Nutty gets trapped under a vending machine as its spiked dispensers lower towards him. The closest one scrapes his eye before we cut away, blood leaking out from under the vending machine. Another involves Flaky, after swelling up due to an allergic reaction, being popped by a pin. We cut away just as the pin pokes her eye and see blood, limbs and other body parts flying across the screen.
  • In the Volume 5 finale of RWBY, Professor Lionheart attempts a Villain: Exit, Stage Left. Unfortunately for him, Salem's Seer Grimm is waiting for him, and he has Outlived His Usefulness. Begging for mercy, he's dragged offscreen. The wet, visceral sounds that ensue suggest that he's being repeatedly stabbed by its tentacle spines.
  • One of the things Strong Bad has often been asked by fans is that he remove the wrestling mask he always seems to wear. He has repeatedly insisted that it's actually his face, but eventually he finally chose to oblige the perennial request... after having bought a fancy high-backed chair that obscured almost the entire view of his usual set-up. But judging by the horrific gargling screams of pain he makes during the attempt, this may have been a blessing in disguise.
  • At the end of the short Voodont, the doll rips her own arm off, Ellie is heard screaming in pain off-screen. Considering Ellie actually got a cut when Sam slit the doll's arm at the beginning, not to mention Sam's satisfaction with what is going on, it should be pretty obvious what happened.

  • Park's comics tend to utilize this trope, such as in The Ward.
  • Girl Genius:
    • At one point an airship is fleeing from certain death at the hands of a swarm of "Torchmen" (flaming robotic flying killer gargoyles), disobeying direct orders from their inept passenger. First the captain and his first officer discuss the need to ditch every ounce of dead weight, then their passenger arrogantly screams at them for saving his life, then the two give each other a certain look... and suddenly the captain is rubbing his hands together and affirming that "We're not pirates. He didn't count."
    • Also, we don't actually see what Von Pinn does to Judy, just the Castle Wulfenbach students' horrified reactions. For that matter, we don't see what she did to André (but then, neither did Agatha).
    • When Baron Wulfenbach kills Lars, we don't see the actual blow. We see Lars' sword break and a blood splash, then in the next panel, the Baron has blood on his coat.
  • Happens a few times in Sluggy Freelance. For example, this.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The last frame of this strip, and probably a few others.
    • See also this page where the girls find the body. For an early example, see the last panel of this strip.
    • Six panels straight of this strip, while the villain watches dispassionately. Not that the victim didn't deserve it, but damn, that's cold.
  • While normally averted in Charby the Vampirate Menu tearing apart and eating the scientists in the cabin is shown as a silhouette, and then just the gore encrusted things in the room.
  • Everyday Heroes has an example here when Goldie is betrayed by her backstabbing boss.
  • Used in Grim Tales from Down Below, when the Pumpkinator rips Minnie to shreds, all we see are Lock's, Shock's, and Barrel's horrified faces, Oogie's scary-happy face, and a couple of Minnie's severed body parts flying. However, in the same comic page, we see Junior's horrified face, and the cause of it: Minnie's shredded up body, organs, appendages, and a look on her face that screams "KILL ME!".
  • Diesel Sweeties uses it here.
  • Goblins: The comic featuring a man getting crushed to death by his own armor, complete with eyeball popping out — still draws the line at killing children onscreen.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures In Abel's Story, some particularly gory scenes are depicted as silhouettes.
  • There's a particularly chilling example in Lackadaisy, with the Marigold Gang and an unknown guy in a pinstripe suit. The last panel of the flashback is Mordecai raising an axe above his head, saying "Keep your head still."
  • Captain Tagon, in Schlock Mercenary, isn't shown extracting a knife that was stuck in his eye or what he does with it to the knife thrower, but from the concluding scene the next day, it wasn't pretty.
  • Used a few times in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, such as here.
  • Used in Homestuck a couple of times.
    • In the Hivestuck arc, a flashback shows how Vriska Serket used Aradia Megido's boyfriend, Sollux Captor, to murder her. The last we see of Aradia in this flashback is the flashing lights on her face from Sollux's glowing eyes, caused by his powers, while Aradia looks up at him in confusion and Vriska messages her "Arrivederci, Megido", leaving the readers to assume from there what happened.
    • When Jack Noir receives Bec's powers, all we see is a brief shot of Bro and Davesprite staring before the screen fades to static.
    • Another example is after Gamzee snaps. We see him advancing on Nepeta, with his clubs, but we don't see the killing. When we see Nepeta's corpse later, we can't see any of the wounds either.
    • During Jack Noir's Jailbreak adventure, he conveniently "bes the other (dead) guy" while being beaten senseless by prison guards.
  • VG Cats uses this a number of times. Two come to mind: when Aeris aborts Leo from time and when Leo goes back in time For Science!!!
  • Dubious Company's Tiren attacks a group of soldiers off-panel. All the reader sees of the carnage is Sal's squicked out reaction and a bit of blood speckle the wall.
  • An example from Zombie Ranch is shown here. A child zombie's skull is detonated, but all we see is the resulting splatter on the wall.
  • In Bob and George, the death of the Yellow Demon as splattered yellow goo.
  • True Villains has the werewolf Xeke biting a man's head off, seen only in shadow.
  • Something*Positive: PeeJee discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. The next panel shows the exterior of the bar where the gang are celebrating Halloween, then blood splattered on the window as Kyle hits it.
  • Played with in Issue 1 of The Code Crimson during Miguel's surprise death. We see silhouettes of the murder, followed by a sneering blood-splattered reaction shot, and then his bloody corpse awash in a sea of blood. So much blood...
  • Happens a few times in Nodwick where the title character (or even someone else) suffers a particularly gory death. In one strip where Nodwick suffers the results of two lethal curses going off at once, the first one turning his brain into spinach-artichoke dip and the second making his head explode, the panel is blacked out with a disclaimer from the cartoonist to say that it's too unpleasant to show, and to say that simply, the curses have gone off. Another example in another storyline is where Yeagar convinces Nodwick to try to steal a fancy and valuable "Elysium Barcalounger" in a wizard's mansion, even though the heroes were warned that everything there was "either cursed, trapped, or both. The reader doesn't see what happens to them, but Artax needs to get a squeegee to help Piffany restore them.
  • In MMBN 7 The World Tournament, during Tomahawkman and Woodman's match, Woodman has Tomahawkman pinned down but Tomahawk is able to grab his tomahawk. Woodman is essentially a giant tree. Do the math.
  • Used in Gunnerkrigg Court when we're shown how Mort the Ghost died as a young boy during the Blitz. First, there's a page with a textbook cross-section of the bombs used. Then, a pile of rubble and a bloodied white helmet.

    Web Original 
  • During Entry #49 of Marble Hornets, Jay removed a scene of Alex smashing a stranger's head in with a rock. We were only told what happened.
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum tend to do this with more violent or disturbing fics - sometimes a violent scene in a mission will consist mostly of descriptions of the agents vomiting, with a few Noodle Implements from the fic thrown into the description.
  • Episode 8 of Sex House has one where the camera goes black as Frank attempts to castrate himself with a hammer.
  • To Boldly Flee:
    • In part two, 8-Bit Mickey is looking like he's about to snap from Prick's barrage of short jokes. Cut immediately to The Nostalgia Critic wondering what's taking him so long, at which point Mickey walks in, covered in blood, and throws Prick's severed hand to Paw.
    • Then there's the scene where Mechakara does...something to the Nostalgia Chick involving a power drill.
  • SF Debris uses playful kittens when discussing particularly gruesome events.
  • The SCP Foundation's reports on the things they keep the world protected from include descriptions of what happens when an SCP's behaviour is left unchecked resulting in [DATA EXPUNGED], or a line of research into what it does leads to [REDACTED], with implications of casualties, injuries to researchers, property damage and reprimands for allowing it to happen.
  • This has happened at least a couple times in Survival of the Fittest, such as in the Second Chances game, when Nicole Husher was found hiding under a bed by Adam Reeves, who proceeded to brutally dispatch her, possibly raping her first.
  • Romeo And Julieta: This is how Roméo dies, complete with Symbolic Blood splatter and a shot of the rope he's hung on swinging back and forth.
  • Averted in Starbarians Episode 2 when the Eternoid shoots the spear back — you think it won't show anything, but it really does.
  • His review of the original Back to the Future video game, The Irate Gamer goes back in time to kill the main developer of the game because it is so bad. Using a Nintendo Zapper, he shoots "him" and we only see blood splatter on the back wall...which closely resembles grape jelly.
  • Used in the The Key of Awesome video "Modern Monster Mash", which has Frankenstien's monster's attempt at inviting modern movie monsters to the party ending in disaster. Most of the modern monsters' violent actions are done off-screen with the video cutting to the other monsters' appalled reactions once the violence starts (such as Hannibal Lecter eating a woman's face and Jigsaw ripping off a man's jaw), the only on-screen violence being when Michael Meyers beheads the Wolf Man.

    Real Life 
  • An interesting, completely unintentional real-life example happened with a father shooting the man who had kidnapped and molested his son. As a news cameraman filmed the arrested man being escorted through an airport by an officer, the father lifts his gun and shoots the guy in the head just as the officer passes in front of the camera and obscures the actual headshot, only letting us see the guy subsequently fall to the ground.

Alternative Title(s): Violence Discretion Shot


Example of: