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"I will no longer be allowed to cuss! Instead I will have to use 'television' curse words. That's right, you motorscooters! Now don't give me any of your bullfreak! This is some serious stuff right now! And if you think I'm some kind of sellout as—airhead for changing my format, then you... you can go pluck yourself!"
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In some family-oriented shows and movies, instead of using completely made-up swear words, real but relatively mild cuss words, such as "hell" and "damn", will get promoted to the top of the swearing ladder. To make up for the situation, they may use a Bowdlerisation of it.

Contrary to popular belief, the words "damn" and "hell" are permissible in a G-rated film. For example, the 1971 movie Airport had both ("Where the hell are you?" and "You've always got some damn excuse!") and it still received a G rating, though movie-rating standards have changed since then. Even some G-rated animated features, such as Sleeping Beauty, The Secret of NIMH, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, have included mild swear words. However, it is worth noting that "Hell" can refer to the place and "damn" can mean condemnation to said place, and thus are not swear words even if such concepts are a little heavy for children. "Bitch" (the official term for a female dog - from which the derogatory use is derived) and "ass" (an alternate name for a donkey) almost never get such passes, unless it is explicit and obvious that the non-swear meaning is intended.

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While "damn" is normally permissible, "goddamn" is considered blasphemous amongst more conservative Christian sects and so might be seen as on par with "fuck", if not worse, resulting in literal examples of *Bleep*-dammit!. (This is particularly true in the US.) The M*A*S*H movie when shown on TV has had Sergeant Gorman's Catch-Phrase, "Goddamn Army" bowdlerised to "Damn Army".

Some words are considered acceptable in some cultures but not in others, and this may appear in G- or PG-rated contexts in one place, but generate complaint in others. For example, in the UK the word "bloody" is considered to be quite a strong swear word when used as an epithet; elsewhere it's not an issue. Also in the UK, the word "ass" is rarely used; instead, the word "arse" is used, and it's considered a mild swear. In North America, "arse" is used as a non-offensive variant of "ass" in the same context as using "heck" instead of "hell."

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The use of "Hades" as an old-fashioned synonym for "Hell" is theologically correct, in the right context, but is commonly misused in any context in which "hell" would work. Using Hades as Satan is never correct though. See The Underworld article for other terms that may be substituted in this manner in works based on other theological settings.

The kid-friendly variant of Bowdlerise. A favorite tool of the Badbutt, a G-rated badass. Another character type known for this is the Minnesota Nice.

Compare Country Matters, which is where a medium takes great lengths to avoid not general cuss words, but one word in particular which is seen as immensely offensive and explicit.

Contrast Cluster F-Bomb which is the exact opposite. See also Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head, Curse of the Ancients, Mondegreen, Never Say "Die", T-Word Euphemism, Unusual Euphemism, and the Wikipedia article on minced oaths.

Note: This is a page for listing moments where swearing is deliberately censored or a replacement to a real world swear word is used. It is not a page to list moments where swearing would have looked cool, or for moments where you believe swearing would have improved a line.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • This commercial for Orbit gum, guaranteeing clean mouths. The slogan "It cleans a dirty mouth!" applies to a scenario where a wife and her husband's mistress argue passionately using such insults as "you cootie queen" and "lint licker".
  • Travel site Booking.com loves copiously using "booking" as a sub for the F-bomb in their ads.
  • The father turtle from one of the Comcast commercials says "fast" as a curse word, something his kid picked up. Stuff includes "Aw fast!", "What the fast?!", and "You're fasting kidding me!"
  • This infomercial for the UK's Independent Television Commission about time-appropriate language on TV lampshades with gems like "these nasty handcuffs are really chafing you know!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • Saiai Kinuhata from A Certain Magical Index. Justified in that while she was undergoing esper training, her mind was coded with Accelerator's thought patterns, who has a penchant for swearing. In her case, her mind automatically censors each swear, so instead of always cursing, she uses "super" or "ultra" as her default adjective.
  • The MegaMan NT Warrior manga in the Viz translation.
    • Mega Man Hub Style is about to die unless he can pick himself up off the ground and can only mutter "dang blang!" Bass who is simply incensed will preach about experiencing "Hell itself".
    • This translation also uses vocabulary like "Pablum," "wanton"...
    • The later game translations also had some odd euphemisms such as "Pit Hockey". Even "heck" at least would've been alliterative. Zero: Curses! Dang! Rats!
  • Fruits Basket: In certain Internet versions they took out the line "What the fuck?", which they said at least seven times in a row, and put in various other lines. Natsuki Takaya doesn't usually do this, but the translators apparently wanted to make it cleaner.
  • Slayers:
    • In the anime, "damn," "bastard" and "hell" are thrown around semi-liberally (a given, because "hell" is a part of the name of one Big Bad, Hellmaster Fibrizo), but they never go beyond. The biggest blurb is when the word "bitch" has the opportunity to pop up, but it doesn't, leaving many instances of awkward uses of "you son-of-a...". It is mentioned in an episode of NEXT, but only once and not in the aforementioned context. It's pretty clear that they go far beyond that in the Japanese version, if one knows the local profanity.
    • Even though the translated Light Novels series had some censorship, they avert this trope and throw "shit" around frequently.
  • Dragonball Z: The Funimation dub and the Viz manga have used this trope.
    • We hear a brutal tyrant like Frieza saying "Oh my gosh".
    • Goku is watching something horrible happen and responds with "Guh...Darn it!" in Sean Schemmel's voice, no less.
    • They even went so far as to change the writing on the T-shirts of demons in the afterlife so that instead of Hell (as in the place), they said HFIL, stating it was an acronym for "Home For Infinite Losers."
    • "Darn" is said in several places.
    • The uncut dubs of DBZ and Dragon Ball Kai use both this trope and uncensored swears, often within the same episode. The dub of Dragon Ball Super then turns this trope on its head by almost only using actual swears, with neutered neologisms ("darn", "heck", etc.) being very rare if used at all.
  • Eyeshield 21: Hiruma's charming nicknames for people and things get this treatment in the Viz editions.
  • Soul Eater averts in the Hungarian dub. The teen heroes use a rich vocabulary of swears and profanity that would make even the creators themselves hide under the table, whenever they're seriously pissed. The fact that it's airing after ten PM may have something to do with it.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, after Al and Ed's battle at the 5th Laboratory, Winry comes to visit Ed at the hospital and tries to force him to drink his milk (which he hates). Al then tells Ed to "Shut up and drink the dumb milk." Entirely in-character, seeing as Al is a very polite young boy trapped inside a giant suit of Animated Armor.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Canada instead of swearing, squeaks "Maple hockey!"
  • In the Cluster F-Bomb fest that is the dub of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, the Daemon sisters' dialogue is far more refined in comparison. Notably, Kneesocks is the only major character that doesn't swear. (Scanty normally doesn't, either, but seeing the Mayor go One-Winged Angel was a bit too much for her to bare.)
  • One Piece : In a scene from the 4Kids Dub, we have Dracule Mihawk cut down Zoro in a very broad diagonal stroke to his chest. Then we cut to Luffy who, in turn, screams "DARN YOOOOOOOOOOOU!!!" at Mihawk.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane has its teenage girl protagonists replace relatively mild "Omigod!" with "Omigosh!" whenever they get excited.
    • J. Jonah Jameson in most incarnations has an impressive vocabulary of mild swears ranging from "Poppycock" to "What in the dad-blamed Sam Hill?" Although in one comic by Peter David, when he gets repeated notes signed "F.N.S.M." (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), he mutters "I hate that F-n' S.M."
  • In Madman, the titular character can't bring himself to curse even in the most dire of circumstances.
  • Luke Cage: Hero for Hire - Luke promised his Momma he wouldn't swear. He just says things that sound kinda like usual swears, like "Sweet Christmas" and "Holy Spit!". This was averted in his later incarnations (SWEET F**KING CHRISTMAS!), but then was Taken Up to Eleven in his most recent Heroes for Hire series (where wife Jessica Jones has him control his language after the baby starts cussing in imitation), and this carries over to his missions with Iron Fist.
    Cage: This guy is a bad Knick-Knack-Paddy-Whack!
    Iron Fist: A bad what?
  • Nova never swears for the same reason. "Blue Blazes!" (his dad does it too)
  • No one swears in Marvel Adventures, the all-ages version of the Marvel Universe, but cursing is alluded to...
    Captain America: For the record, I didn't say that.
    Storm: What did you say?
    Captain America: I can't say with ladies present.
  • In Queen Of The Universe, Spaniel Man can't even do punctuation swearing.
  • Squirrel Girl seems incapable of anything harsher than "Good golly gosh!" During the GLX-Mas Special, she warned the readers that the comic contained inappropriate use of the word "flock." Partly justified because the use of the word "flock" involved Mr. Immortal screaming Flock You!, as a substitute for, you know. Partly because Mr. Immortal was flocking with a flocking gun...
  • X-Men: Wolverine, whose vocabulary likely includes a lot of words The Comics Code would have looked askance at, has generally settled on "flaming" as a compromise. He once prepared to fight Sabretooth by announcing it was time to open a can of "kick-butt." Seeing as, in more modern times, "flaming" refers, often in a derogatory way, to being flamboyantly homosexual, the change makes it worse. Instead of being a potty-mouth, now Wolverine sounds like a homophobe.
  • Mark Gruenwald's Justice League pastiche series Squadron Supreme did this constantly, being released before Marvel began releasing comics without Comics Code approval. The result is a dark and cynical take on the Justice League with no insults harsher than "Son of a fish!"
  • The Irredeemable Ant-Man lampshades and justifies this trope: S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives are trained to say "Blast!" instead of "Damn!" to avoid offending anyone in the field.
  • PS238 has Zodon, a evil genius attending a school for superpowered children. The staff janitor is a technical genius himself though and implants a chip into Zodon which forces him to replace swear words with harmless random words. If he tries to go into a stream of profanity he will begin speaking out the lyrics to show tunes.
  • Atomic Robo doesn't swear, tending to make use of more esoteric terms like "horsefeathers!" and "Cheese and Crackers!" Justified, since Robo was created and "grew up" before World War II.
  • Captain America: The Cap, being traditional American values on legs, never swears, though he sometimes uses this trope.
    (Captain America jumps onto an F-15 and smashes the cockpit; understandably, the pilot expresses his surprise)
    Pilot: Jesus!
    Captain America: Keep flying, son. And watch that potty mouth!
  • Tintin:
    • Tintin himself would use "Great Snakes!"
    • As a sailor Captain Haddock's stream of abuse is, if not rude, then certainly inventive. His trademark phrases are "Billions of blue blistering barnacles!" and "Thousands of thundering typhoons!" When particularly angry, "billions of blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon!" is heard. When Hergé originally designed the character, he wanted him to swear, well, like a sailor. However, the publishers wouldn't let him, so he came up with a bunch of creative euphemisms instead. It became one of the Captain's defining and most memorable character traits.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: In the early black and white issues, the characters' swearing was limited to heartfelt cries of "Dung!"
  • Rogue Trooper uses hell! as its curse of choice. This continued even after 2000 AD started to use proper swearing. In some parts of the world (America specifically), it is still proper swearing (albeit very mild).
  • World War Hulk had this exchange between the Incredible Hulk and his father-in-law.
    General Ross: Hulk! Why won't you die already?!
    Hulk: That's your job!
    Ross: Not ding-dong likely, you crazy monster!
  • Super Dinosaur being an all ages series uses this crud all the time.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls story "Smart And Smarter" (Cartoon Network Block Party #59), Blossom alienates her sisters by trying to show how intellectually inferior they are to her. When she asks Buttercup what her motivation for fighting Mojo is, Buttercup replies, "Usually it's to beat the puckey out of him...but right now it's to get you to shut up!!
  • Knights of the Dinner Table usually spells "God" as "Gawd". They also frequently use amusing outburst like "Firk-Ding-Blast!" and "What the SAM FRICK?"
  • Several members of the Archer family in Archer & Armstrong speak like this. Even during a battle to the death they won't utter anything stronger than "goshdangit" or "flippin' bullcorn".
  • Superlópez: ¡Mecachis en la mar! (a family friendly "Holy crap!")
  • If Superman utters even the word "hell", you know you've pissed him right off.
    • In-universe, those who know his secret identity general attributed this to his upbringing (in small-town middle America). It's not just his language that's mild compared to some of his colleagues, either; one of his in-universe nicknames is "the Big Blue Boy Scout". If you've made Superman mad enough to start actually swearing at you, you are in trouble.
    • His (formerly alternate company) expy Captain Marvel is, if anything, even milder than Supes himself under most writers, justified in that the Big Red Cheese's alter ego is a kid several years too young to drive.
  • "Marvel What-The..." parodies the trope to hell and back, as usual. Executive Meddlers take offense at "Son of Satan" and change the character to "Son of Santa". Hilarity and a hailstorm of bad X-mas puns ensue.
  • In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, "damn" and "hell" are now considered as passable curses. However "frag" and "scrap" are also thrown in for variety. Most notably though, there is the occasional use of the word "frikking" — it translates to "freaking" which is itself a potential replacement for "fucking". So far Whirl is the only one to have used it to imply that he is particularly foul-mouthed.
    • Ultra Magnus is particularly polite, and when he does attempt to curse it's usually via some euphemism from decades past. The closest he's gotten to a real curse word is when he yelled "Screw Getaway!" and them promptly apologized for his language.
  • Dan Dare and his friends liked to employ alliterative space-themed curses like "Jumpin' Jets" and "Great Galaxies".
  • In an issue of X-Force, Psylocke gets fed up with Marrow swearing constantly, and messes with her brain so that she's saying random words or gibberish instead. But Marrow still thinks she's swearing and doesn't understand why people keep giggling at her.
    Marrow: Aw, croutons.
  • In the 2017 Comic-Book Adaptation of Rocko's Modern Life, when Rocko's Deal with the Devil takes him to hell, there's a "Welcome to Heck" sign with the "ck" being written on a piece of paper that's covering what's likely to be two "l"s. The sign also reads "Mind your manners. This ain't a barn! We got families here!"
  • Batman: The Robins usually used interesting lingo in place of swears, until Tim took up the mantle as he generally just used cuss words instead (though milder ones, like saying "Crap squared"). Damian makes no attempts to avoid cussing either.

    Eastern Animation 
  • In Kapitan Bomba, Torpedo sounds like this, especially in comparison to the titular character. This is yet another reason for Bomba to accuse him of being homosexual.

    Fan Works 
  • In Power Girl story A Force of Four, Jimmy Olsen reveals that he had some... creative curses when he was ten, such like "oh, yes, by golly gosh all hemlock" and "dad-blamed".
  • In the Harry Potter fanfic And I Swear, Ron casts a "Potty Mouth Reversal Spell" on himself to try and curb his swearing. It automatically translates everything he says into this trope (even when he's having sex with Hermione). He even says "Gosh darn it to heck!"
    Ron: You and your vagina are extremely slippery tonight. I hope you found my efforts satisfying.

    Ron: Mother loving cheese on a biscuit!
  • In The Feel of Feelings Harry comes out of an undeserved two-year stay in Azkaban a little loopy. When Hermione drags him by his foot after he exhibits extreme reluctance to go shopping with her he yells "Holy mother of sheep! What in the name of chickens are you doing? Cheese and crackers woman! Stop killing the brain cells that I have managed to preserve!"
  • Hivefled: Equius has become a little less repressed at the age of eight sweeps, to the point that he takes an obvious opening for a sexual insult towards Eridan, but still doesn't swear. The gang know something is horribly wrong when he utters the word "crud".
  • Another Homestuck fic, Shock Collar, renders Eridan unable to even do this; Equius makes the eponymous device to prevent Eridan swearing. Eridan eventually resorts to "Goodness!", which freaks everyone out.
    cA: burn in hell
    cA: GOD DARN I
    cA: IT SETS OFF AT DARN
    cT: D —> Of course
    cA: im goin to find you and rip your intestines out through your a
    cT: D —> Oh dear
  • From Maim de Maim: Both Mako and Satsuki clearly don't use as much profanity as their respective friends do. One notable exception for Mako is when she compared Ryuko's body to that of Satsuki over the phone. As for Satsuki, she is capable of using the big three, but only when rightfully deserved or prompt, such as when she thought she accidentally ripped Ragyo's face off prior to the curbstomp or while Satsuki was being "purified". She even elaborated on the subject herself after Ryuko told her rival that she suffered the same fate. She later curses a few more times in Chapter 22 during her confrontation with The Staple Eyed Gentleman.
  • Enter Ken Finlayson: features this such as using "Freak" as an expletive. It is justified given the K+ rating of the story.
  • A Running Gag in the Miraculous Ladybug fic Tangled Up In You with Adrien: not only does he repeatedly scold Alya on her casual swearing, he resorts to euphemisms such as "Holy shoot", "Fudge", and "H-E-double hockey sticks". And when Alya and Nino try to push him to curse like a normal teenager, he says "Shit," only to amend it to "Shiitake mushrooms" after a moment.
    Alya: Adrien, repeat after me. Holy shit. Fuck.
    Adrien: Holy sh-shih tzu. Funk.
    Alya: You really are a hopeless case.
    Adrien: Hey, I don’t need to curse to be cool!

    Films — Animation 
  • Several films use the word "hell" metaphorically to mean a very horrible place or situation in two Disney/Pixar films. Other films use hell literally. Examples include:
    • Cars: McQueen laments to a tourist couple passing through Radiator Springs "Don't leave me here! I'm in hillbilly hell!"
    • Ratatouille: Skinner greets Linguini on the latter's second day on the job with "Welcome to hell!", both of which are G rated.
    • Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty: "Now you will deal with me and all the powers of Hell!"
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Frollo says "hell" about a dozen times, but it's always literal. His own song is called Hellfire.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, all swear words are replaced with "cuss", including the graffiti.
  • Cars:
    • In the clip at the end of the credits: "For the love of Chrysler!"
    • Mater uses "Shoot!" as a euphemism a few times in the film.
  • Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio calls Lampwick a "jackass" even before he knew about the whole "turning boys into donkeys" thing. He meant in the sense of "jerk" or "fool." (Incidentally, the two homonyms for ass are etymologically unrelated.)
  • The dwarves in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs swear "Jiminy Crickets!" The foul-tempered Grumpy goes so far as "Mad as hornets!"
  • Averted in The Iron Giant, which makes significant use of both "hell" and "damn" for a PG movie. We also have Mansley's glorious last line, from a dialogue with Gen. Rogard. Combined with Never Say "Die", and Patriotic Fervor:
    Mansley: You mean we're going to...
    Rogard: To die Mansley! For our country!
    Mansley: (finally snaps in fear) Screw our country! I wanna live... (tries to flee)
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix Jr. is a justified example of this trope, since swearing or being mean isn't in his code, so as a result, he can't swear or anything of the sort. An example is when Ralph attempts to break Felix out of jail. This line is spoken:
    Felix: I don't have to do boo - forgive my pottymouth. I'm just so... so cross with you!
  • The Lion King:
    • Timon censors Pumbaa before he says the word "Fart." "Pumbaa! Not in front of the kids!"
    • Timon is about to say ass, before turning said word into a scream.
      Timon: Why do I always have to save your aAAAGGGHHH!
  • Played straight and parodied in Madagascar. At one point Alex says "Darn you! Darn you all to heck!" This is when a wooden model of the Statue of Liberty is burnt down on a beach, and he misquotes Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes. Later on this is parodied as a Parental Bonus. The protagonists are stranded on an island and a character makes a large "HELP" out of unsturdy tree trunks, and the right side of the P falls to the ground, forming "HELL".
    Marty: Oh, Sugar honey ice tea!
  • Cats Don't Dance: Darla Dimple gets away with swearing in the German-language version though not in the English. "I wouldn't have gotten all of this/If I hadn't learned to defend myself damned well!" This seems appropriate, considering her personality.
  • In Hotel Transylvania, Dracula says "bat-poop crazy" instead of "batshit crazy".
  • The LEGO Movie: Everyone speaks like this. It makes for good comedy when you have Liam Neeson as Bad Cop going "Darn, darn, darn, darny-darn!" when the heroes escape. It's justified in that the entire story is being thought up by a young boy, who probably isn't old enough to know any real swears.
  • Despicable Me; Victor says "Oh poop" when he finds out he's stuck in the moon.
  • Both played straight and averted on some levels in Zootopia. On one hand, there are multiple religious utterances ("Oh my God", "By God", "hurt like the devil", "hell" gets said once, etc). On the other, Judy Hopps's favoured swearword is "Sweet cheese and crackers!" and there are other similiar euphemisms.
  • There's a point in The Angry Birds Movie where Red says "Pluck my life".
  • In Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Robin indignantly declares that Catwoman's attempts to seduce Batman to her side will succeed "when Heck freezes over".
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Charlotte shrieks "Cheese and crackers!" at one point. This is well known among more prudish folk as a way of saying "Jesus Christ!" Yep. The Lord's name was taken in vain in a Disney movie .

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Jeff is tricked into missing an important Senate vote to spend the day seeing the sights with the gorgeous Susan Paine. After hearing his naive gushing about the time he had, Saunders seems to relish using the family-friendly BS euphemism, "horseradish," in reply.
  • Galaxy Quest: When Jason turns around and realizes what Gorignak is, "Oh darn." His mild language is probably due to years of having to tone it down for the TV show in the first place. A more literal replacement of a swearword is when Nesmith and Gwen first see the "mashers" while being guided by a fan of the show, she utters "well SCREW THAT!" but her mouth obviously forms a different word entirely - the line was overdubbed. This is partly due to the movie changing its target rating from R to PG-13 during production.
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol where the bookkeeping staff gives us this little gem:
    Rat: Our pens have turned to ink-sicles! Our assets are frozen!
  • Back to the Future:
    • Doc Brown uses "Great Scott!" whenever he's excited or surprised.
    • In the second movie, Doc expresses his frustration with "Sir Isaac H. Newton".
    • It's parodied when young George wonders if it's appropriate to swear when coming to Lorraine's rescue, to which Marty responds "yes, definitely, goddamnit George, swear!"
    • At the beginning, Lorraine scolds Dave for saying "Goddamn it".
    • Zigzagged with Biff, who at first uses a lot of lame insults, like "Butthead". It's averted in a few scenes, like when Biff chases Marty through Hill Valley in Part 1:
      (Biff and his cronies look forwards, there is a manure truck in front of them)
      Biff and Co.: SHIIIIIIIIIIT!
      (crashes into the truck and manure falls into the convertible)
    • And later tells Marty he's going to take the cost of it "outta your ass".
    • This may well be justifiable, as he uses the lame insults casually and reserves the actually profanity towards guys he has a reason to be angry at.
    • In the third movie when Mad Dog Tannen winds up in a pile of manure the sheriff says "Get him out of that shit".
    • This iconic quote:
      Doc: When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit.
    • Marty says "Holy shit!" quite a few times throughout the trilogy.
  • Hocus Pocus:
  • In Johnny Dangerously, Roman Moronie mangles all his cursing, resulting in words like "bastige" and "farging iceholes." In one scene, he says, "Thees ees fargin war!" Cue the Spinning Paper, the headline of which reads, "Fargin War."
  • Averted in Speed Racer: The film keeps a PG rating despite having its fair share of cursing. They used "ass" and "damn" a bunch of times, and used "shit" twice - one had a Sound-Effect Bleep in-movie because the character was on TV, but the other wasn't and was said by Speed himself, although it was hard to hear due to the car noises in the background. The Annoying Younger Sibling flips off the main villain.
  • The end of Planet of the Apes (1968), and this trope, is parodied in several works:
  • In The Right Stuff, John Glenn is portrayed as being very averse to foul language. Even if he wants to curse, he can't. Not even the word "damn"!
    John Glenn: And most of all, I am sick and tired of being second to those... (struggles) ...those darn Russians!
  • Swearing in The Hays Code Era films was a big no-no, so Remember the Night is filled with gems like "Hogwash" and "Fiddlesticks".
  • Lampshaded in the 1991 film adaptation of Oscar; Sylvester Stallone is having the worst day of his life, as he is walking through his house, cursing, he notices the Cardinal who is waiting for him, and immediately switches to non-offensive "swears".
  • Mel Brooks loves to employ this trope as Rule of Funny
    • In High Anxiety, Dr. Thorndyke (Brooks' character) is holding a conference on penis envy when one of the attendees brings his kids, forcing him to switch to "pee-pee" and "voo-voo".
    • Freddy in Young Frankenstein describes his grandfather's work as "doo doo".
    • Blazing Saddles: Taggart gives us this gem:
    Taggart: What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a-going on here? I hired you people to get a little track laid, not to jump around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots!
    • Silent Movie: Brooks' character is clearly seen mouthing "You son of a bitch!", but the intertitle instead says, "You bad boy!"
  • Bullet Proof Monk was originally going to have an R rating. During the switch to a PG-13 rating, one of the characters was renamed Mr. Funktastic from his previously, more offensive moniker. His original name is still noticeable where his necklace has been suspiciously affixed to his chest to cover up his tattoo.
  • Parodied in The Brady Bunch Movie, which lampooned the goody-goodyness of the 70s show. When Mr. Brady confronts the villain, the bad guy, ready for a showdown, angrily threatens to "Kick your Brady butt!" The entire family, who are watching, gasp in absolute horror, with little Cindy crying, "Daddy, he said the B-Word!"
  • The films of Jared Hess, such as Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, do not contain any hard swear words, most likely due to Hess' Mormon faith. This gets parodied in Date Movie with a Napoleon spoof repeatedly saying "God"
  • Played with very amusingly in Zack and Miri Make a Porno; during their scene in the titular porno, Zack and Miri are (very badly) doing cliche porno dialogue. Zack blurts out "I'm gonna fuck you with my pecker" and Miri crossly tells Zack that she's offended by that. Bemused, Zack changes the word 'pecker' to 'penis' to Miri's approval.
  • In Semi-Pro, one character calls another a "jive turkey," and this is treated as the worst insult imaginable. The other characters try to defuse the situation by claiming he actually said "cocksucker".
  • In Mystery Men the Blue Rajah uses cutlery-related speech, which thereby extends to swearing like "What the fork?" It is done for laughs: he also uses genuine curses more than any other character in the movie. For example, at one point he quite audibly mutters "Oh, shit." Plus cases of distinctly British cursing, like "bugger all." That could be a case of Did Not Do the Bloody Research because the Blue Rajah is very British (You just have to know your history.)
  • The DVD release of Hot Fuzz included a feature entitled "Hot Funk: The TV Version", which takes some scenes from the movie that involve swearing and replacing them with typical TV edit dubs, leading to lines such as "What the funk?!" and "Aw, peas and rice!"
  • The Shaun of the Dead DVD has a segment called "Funky Pete," which censors Pete's Cluster F-Bomb in a similar way.
  • The Scott Pilgrim vs. The World DVD has a segment called Scott Pilgrim Vs The Censors. They seem to replace every instance of "ass" with "owl".
  • Angels in the Outfield:
    • The main kid in the remake is berated by his foster parent for saying "shut up" at the dinner table.
    • The coach insists that his players cease all swearing to appease the angels. One of said players notes that this eliminates most of the team's vocabulary.
  • Alan in The Hangover is crude in many ways but not with his language:
    Phil: God damn it!
    Alan: Gosh darn it!
    Phil: Shit!
    Alan: Shoot!
  • The Doors are asked to replace the word "Higher" with "Better". This is based on a real incident behind the scenes on The Ed Sullivan Show.
  • In the 1950s-set Far From Heaven, the main character admonishes her child for saying "shucks." There is later a Precision F-Strike from another character.
  • When the Captain finds the body in The Trouble with Harry, he exclaims For rice cake!
  • The impact of the scene in It's a Wonderful Life where George, filled with rage and self-disgust, rejects Potter's job offer and tells him off is a little diluted by George's wrathful "Doggone it!" South Park showed us how these scenes might have gone without The Hays Code:
    You-oo you just can't buy people, Mr. Potter, wuh— Why, you know what you are? You're a little bitch. That's right, you're a bitch, and I bet you'd like to suck it, wouldn't you?
    • Given the way Jimmy Stewart talked in real life, it isn't too far fetched to imagine him doing this in an out-take.
  • The Hairy Bird: "Up your ziggy with a wah-wah brush!" and "None of your floppin' buggies!"
  • The eponymous Mystery Team expresses pain and anger through childish euphemisms... usually.
  • Averted in the 1954 film version of Carmen Jones, though it took quite a bit of effort at the time to get the censors to pass Hammerstein's line, "Stan' up an' fight like hell!"
  • The 1962 movie The Music Man uses this, but is justified by its setting being 1912. This causes some great comedy when all the parents are terrified by their children using such foul words like "swell" and "so's your old man".
  • In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the crooked meat dealer is outwitted by a clever ploy Francie's mom told her to use, and responds "Sweet Jumping Christopher!"
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the single rudest thing Captain America has ever used is "bastard". He also used "son of a gun" rather than anything more expletive than that.
  • In The Cave, Piper Perabo screams memorably of the monsters coming after her that "They fly, they freaking fly!" Another case of sacrificed on the alter of the PG-13 rating.
  • In Aliens, when ordered not to use heavy weapons for fear of setting off a destructive chain reaction, one of the Marines shouts back at Ripley "Well, what are we expected to use, then; harsh language?"
  • The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, being an Affectionate Parody of 50s B movies, has this trope in spades.
    Paul: Now, for the love of Mike, will someone please tell me what the heck is going on here?
  • Christopher Nolan's Batman films approach this trope if you go back and study the characters' dialogue (Commissioner Gordon's "Dammit, Harvey!" in The Dark Knight particularly stands out) - and especially if you compare them to Tim Burton's Batman films, which certainly earned their PG-13 ratings. Not only that, but the Nolan films contain much less gore (even bordering on Bloodless Carnage) and feature practically none of the sexual innuendoes for which the Burton and even the Schumacher films were notorious. Kudos to Nolan for still managing to make the films so intense that they're remembered for being less tame than Burton's efforts!
  • The first Spy Kids movie has Carmen say, "Oh, shiitake mushrooms!" It gets a Call-Back in the sequel.
  • In silent film The Patsy, when Ma and Grace are badgering Pat, she busts out with "I don't give a whoopin' darn!". Her mother and sister are shocked.
  • Stroker Ace features Pembrook, who only ever says "darn" on occasion. Justified in that she's a Sunday school teacher and is so pure that she simply doesn't swear like everyone else.
  • Thanks to The Hays Code, Life With Father has Clarence Day Sr. frequently exclaiming "Oh, GAD!" rather than God—though the ham level is still very high. (The exception is when he is actually praying... in which he still yells OH GOD at the top of his lungs.)

    Literature 
  • In the Gone series, Diana is often referred to as witch, instead of the obvious swear word bitch. She refers to herself as a bitch in Plague, averting this trope.
  • In the Harry Potter context is all: these are British books. While "damn" and "hell" might offend some in the US, they are no longer at all offensive in the UK. "Arse" and "bitch" are both relatively minor curses, and "effing" is just a euphemism. For the examples we have:
    • They use "damn" as early as Chapter 3 in Book 1, and throw in "hell" when Cedric is about to be tortured by the Mind Controlled Krum in Book 4, but come Book 5, we get to drop the fucking F-Bomb and all we get is "EFFing" used at least twice if not more ("Enough...effing...OWLS!") (second time was in Book 7, near the end I think). Also in Book 7, Hermione calls Ron an "arse," and Molly Weasley famously calls Bellatrix Lestrange a "bitch."
      Molly: ''Not my daughter, you BITCH!!*kills Bellatrix*
  • The children's book Library Lil has a Badass Biker gang use words like danged, lily-livered and tough cookies.
  • Discworld:
    • Parodied in Interesting Times. After Truckle the Uncivil is given a list of swearwords and their "civilized" counterparts, and being cut off every time he tries to use a word not on the list, he is finally reduced to shouting "Dang it all to heck!" "We've captured a f...a lovemaking pipe!" Later in the book, when facing the Big Bad, he spends a few minutes consulting the list, after which he pronounces the Big Bad a "misbegotten wretch". Mister Saveloy, who wrote the list, is shocked. In something of a lampshade hanging, it's noted at one point that whilst Truckle isn't actually USING swear words, somehow the 'civilised' equivalents end up sounding equally crude.
    • In Reaper Man, the excess of life force causes Mustrum Ridcully to produce small, strange-looking creatures whenever he swears. He resorts to euphemisms to prevent this from happening, and eventually produces "the most genteel battle-cry in the history of Bowdlerisation: 'Darn them to heck!'" In the same book, one character suggests he use "Sugar!" like Mrs. Whitlow does. He responds, "She might say 'Sugar', but she means--"
    • Feet of Clay: Captain Carrot vocalized the word "D*mn!" A difficult linguistic feat.
    • The Truth,: Mr. Tulip's swear of choice was "——ing." Yes, with the hyphens. Other characters sometimes ask why he keeps saying "ing". Mr. Tulip responds to a complaint about his constant profanity with "What? I don't ——ing swear!" at one point. One can only imagine that Pratchett's response is much the same. It's said that Mr. Tulip has a speech impediment that prevents him from saying much more than "——ing." One of the conspirators does manage to understand Mr. Tulip's censored swearing:
      Mr. Tulip: It's not a ——ing harpsichord, it's a ——ing virginal! One ——ing string to a note instead of two! So called because it was an instrument for ——ing young ladies!
      Chair: My word, was it? I thought it was just a sort of early piano!
      Mr. Pin: A device intended to be played by young ladies.
    • In Monstrous Regiment, Shufti gives herself away as a woman when she says "Sugar!" instead of a proper swear. Polly internally tsks her about it when she realizes, "Sugar! She doesn't swear either." Later on, when Polly says "damn" in the middle of a sentence, Tonker tells her "Er... not damn. Not with the skirt on, Ozz." The Folklore of the Discworld claims that this is Truth in Television: real-life Sweet Polly Oliver soldiers allegedly found an unforeseen challenge when they realized they couldn't swear without flinching.
    • Susan Sto Helit, a kindergarten teacher, realizes she really must get out and meet more adults when, in the complete absence of any children, she says, "Does a bear poo in the woods?"
    • In Night Watch, we're introduced to a Night Watch sergeant with strict religious values, which stops him from swearing at recruits— or would do "if sergeants weren't so creative." He redresses the "regiment" they've acquired with "sons of mothers" and "you shower!"
    • The squib "Medical Notes", written by Sir Terry for one Convention programme guide, claims some people on the Disc suffer from Floribundi Syndrome, the opposite of Hollywood Tourette's. These sudden outbursts of polite language only count as a disorder if suffered by fishwives, drill sergeants and other people expected to swear. Named after Sergeant-Major Floribundi, whose men mutinied after being called "You quite vexing gentlemen".
  • Award-winning British young adults' novel Henry Tumour sprinkles profanities all over the place, including "fuck" — once in bold, very large print — with the teenage narrator explaining that this is just how teenagers talk, but that since there's one word he's not allowed to use in a kids' book he has to misspell it "cnut". So someone is insulting someone else by calling that person an Anglo-Saxon king?
  • The Baby-Sitters Club has liberal use of "darn" and "heck" in place of actual swearing. "Oh, my lord!" was nearly Claudia's Catch-Phrase.
  • Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead. He changed every instance of the word "fuck" to "fug" because he had too much profanity. When Mailer later was introduced to Dorothy Parker, she allegedly greeted him by saying, "So you're the man who can't spell 'fuck.'" "Fug" is a real word, funnily enough, meaning "stale air." It was a word for smog in the late 19th century. Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg sometimes claimed that this was the origin of their band name.
  • In John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, Colin and Hassan both say "fug" instead of "fuck". When the character Lindsey asks (to paraphrase) "Why the fuck do you say fug?" they explain that it is a reference to Norman Mailer's The Good and the Dead.
  • In the Pagan series (it was his name), he used, "Christ in a cream cheese sauce".
  • Completely justified in Warrior Cats, since all the characters are cats with a different vocabulary, and therefore, different profanities than humans, so it's understandable when a character exclaims "mouse dung!" or calls someone a "fox-hearted traitor". Tigerstar calls Firestar, his arch-enemy, a "stinking furball". When Ashfur called Squirrelflight a "faithless she-cat", he really meant "whore" (it works in context, and explains Hollyleaf's shocked reaction).
  • Justified in Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books, where the word "kriff" is used ("If it is a trick, it's a kriffing good one."). Futuristic setting, spacefaring culture, different profanities.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • Characters generally use fictional profanities, such as telling people to "Zark off", or swearing to the great prophet Zarquon. Interestingly, it mixes in the occasional real swear word, although usually only for effect, such as when a character receives an award for "The most gratuitous use of the word 'Fuck' in a serious screen-play".
    • In the American release and the original radio version, the word "Belgium" is a terrible profanity in every location except Earth. As the single worst swearword in the universe, it is brought up (appropriately) when the ship crashed into a 15-mile high statue of Arthur Dent Throwing A Cup At The Nutromatic Machine.
  • In the Tortall Universe by Tamora Pierce we have justified versions.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 novels, the characters use swears like "feth" and "feth-wit" in a rampant grimdark setting. "Feth-wit" could be a replacement for "fuckwit", but unless Dan Abnett weighs in, its tough to be sure. After serveral thousand years, it's likely that the human race has developed new curse words.
  • In the Young Jedi Knights books, Jacen Solo says "Blaster bolts!" when he gets frustrated.
  • In one of Outdoor Life humorist Patrick McManus' stories, he mentions that one of his hunting/fishing/camping companions dislikes another and insists on referring to him by a variety of "crude anatomical names". Throughout the rest of the story, the character in question keeps addressing the other as "you kneecap", "that elbow", etc.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden finds this trope amusing, and once had the following exchange with a Church Militant friend:
    Harry: Holy shit. Hellhounds.
    Michael: Harry, you know I hate it when you swear.
    Harry: You're right, sorry. Holy shit. Heckhounds.
    • White Court vampires say "Empty night" in contexts that suggest they consider it very "strong language". Harry's favorite curses are "Stars and stones" and "Hell's bells". According to the author, those phases will also be the titles in the apocalyptic trilogy which caps off the series.
    They're curses for a reason.
  • Komarr:
    • Ekaterin doesn't like to give offence. After falling down four metres into a muddy pond while wearing her best clothes (and a VIP falling in after her while trying to save her):
      Ekaterin: [faintly] Oh. Drat.
      Miles Vorkosigan: Madame Vorsoisson, has it ever occurred to you that you may be just a touch oversocialized?
    • Later, after she discovered the extent of the terrorist plot, her reaction is the same; the narration notes that any stronger word would still have felt inadequate in the circumstances, so she went with what she's used to.
  • Stephen King:
    • Big Jim Rennie from Under the Dome doesn't like to swear. His favorite substitute for a swear word would be "cotton-picking" (as in "this cotton-picking short-order cook"), but he's also fond of using "rhymes-with-witch" instead of "bitch" or "clustermug" instead of "clusterfuck". Rennie can't stand it when people swear in his presence, either.
    • Annie Wilkes' in Misery uses weird swear replacements like "dirty bird" or "cockadoodie".
  • The Wheel of Time treats bloody and flaming as horrific curses. Many of the made-up curses in the books are based on these, such as the positively indecent blood and ashes! As a matter of fact, this is how a Cluster F-Bomb is represented in the books:
    Uno: All I'm bloody saying is that I bloody saw her, burn you. Just before we found the goat-kissing Halfman. The same flaming woman as at the flaming ferry. She was there, and then she bloody wasn't. You say what you bloody want to, but you watch how you flaming say it, or I'll bloody skin you myself, and burn the goat-kissing hide, you sheep-gutted milk-drinker.
  • In Eclipse, Bella describes having The Talk with her father as "beyond the seventh circle of Hades."
  • In the Doctor Who spinoff novels,
    • The Eighth Doctor uses terms such as "sugarmice" and "poppycock". However, other characters swear from time to time. The Doctor is just quirky.
    • The Doctor averts this from time to time. In the Eighth Doctor novel "Camera Obscura," he not only says "Damn," but even "Son of a bitch!"
    • It's lampshaded by the Fifth Doctor when he says "you know, I wish there were times when I used expletives".
    • Fitz, possibly the most foul-mouthed character in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, occasionally uses minced oaths such as "Gordon Bennett". He's from 1963, his mum raised him well when she was in her right mind, and he's basically a Nice Guy, so even though he smokes, drinks, wears leather, and has a Girl of the Week in almost every book, it's believable his language would only be as vulgar as the situation warrants.
  • In Invisible Man, the word "motherfouler" is used a lot.
  • This trope is used unintentionally in a lot of older books, due to Values Dissonance. For example, Holden Caufield is often admonished for swearing when the worst thing he ever says is "goddamn" (granted, it was more serious at the time). It later decades, it's funny for younger people to read because the swear is so mild.
  • The Kingdom Keepers usually has a Narrative Profanity Filter to indicate that stronger language was used but in book five this is not the case after a character states "You about scared the pee out of me!"
  • Zoey from The House of Night, doesn't swear. She says words like "bullpoopie." Given that she's the narrator, this results in many unintentionally amusing Sophisticated as Hell moments. Interestingly this is Downplayed in a way, since she has no problem using the words "slut" and "hell".
  • As The Ultra Violets is a children's book series, obviously they can't use the more colourful originals.
  • Journey to Chaos: A justified trope given the difference in culture.
    • "Abyss take it" is the Tariatlan version of "damn it". It means the same thing.
    • "Oh Trickster!" is the equivalent of "Oh my God!".
  • Trail of Glory: Features liberally, as it's set in a time and place which took "not taking God's name in vain" seriously. The tendency is noted as a strictly Anglo-Protestant affectation, however, and mercilessly mocked by Pierre Toussaint, who is a Creole Catholic from New Orleans.
    Did they really think they were fooling anyone by asking "Gol" to "dern" their enemies?
  • Sharpe: Subverted for laughs. In reference to a stuck-up lieutenant under Sharpe's command:
    Wellesley: He claims that you struck him. That you insulted him. That you called him illegitimate.
    Sharpe: I would never use language like that, sir. I may have called him a bastard, though...
  • In the original BattleTech novels printed by FASA, strong profanity wasn't allowed, so despite it being military science fiction, characters were limited to "damn" or "hell." This was lifted after Catalyst Game Labs took over production, so it's now possible for characters to express their displeasure via Cluster F-Bomb.
  • FASA's other big game, Shadow Run also had this in its novel line, though it also featured some made-up profanity to make up for it. Like Battletech, it now has much more adult language allowed in the novel line.
  • For a group of Greaser Delinquents, there is very little cursing in The Outsiders. This is likely used to show that, while they're delinquents, they're not "hoods". Any cursing that occurs is censored out by Ponyboy.
  • Martín Fierro: The protagonist deliberately replaces his Spanish real world swear words when he uses them, justified because he is singing a poem, something he deems important, and because the author wanted his book to be read by all ages.

    Music 
  • The song "Love You" by Jack Ingram built around this trope: "Love you, love this town / Love this motherlovin' truck that keeps breakin' lovin' down". As the song puts it, "There's some words that some words just have to replace."
  • "A Friendly Goodbye" by Bowling for Soup is the perfect musical example of this trope.
    Ain't that a bee with an itch
    Ain't that a mother trucker
    You can go to H-E-Double-Hockeysticks and eff yourself
    'Cause I'm so flippin' gosh darn
    Sick of all the s-words you put me through
    So F-U
  • The song "Dang, Fetch, Oh My Heck" by the Mormon boy-band Everclean is full of this trope.
  • Red Like Roses Part II from the RWBY soundtrack has a subversion and plays the trope straight within a stanza of each other.
    No way in Hell that I could ever comprehend this!
    Now I'm trapped inside a nightmare every single f'ing day!
  • Def Leppard's "Let's Get Rocked"... Replace all instances of the word "Rock" with "fuck" and the song makes sense...
  • Duran Duran's "UMF", off the 1993 album The Wedding Album, dances around what "UMF" stands for by not explaining what it means but rather phrasing it in a less explicit way ("Making love to the ultimate mind").
  • Hilariously done in the Lil' Jon song "Get Low," where in the radio edit the lyric "To all skeet skeet motherfucker, to all skeet skeet goddamn" is changed to: "To all skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet, to all skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet." ("Skeet" is a slang term for ejaculating onto someone, which to many is a lot more inappropriate than the words it replaced). The edited version of this song in general is about 50% of this trope and only 50% the actual lyrics.
  • The Mockumentary Sons Of Provo features a made-up Latter-Day Saints boy band. Among their songs, is Dang, Fetch, Oh My Heck, with the chorus: ''Dang, fetch, oh my heck / What the holy scrud / H-e-double-hockey-sticks / That's frickin', flippin' crud!" It is... far too catchy.
  • Heavy metal group Blue Öyster Cult once sang (on "Hot Rails to Hell") that "you know darn well the heat from below can burn your eyes out!" "Darn well!" In 1973! (They amend it to "damn" at some concerts.)
  • Weezer has a slight tendency towards this at times: "Pork And Beans" has the repeated line "I don't give a hoot about what you think", while "Brightening Day" has "they don't give a spit". On the other hand, "god damn" and "bitch" have shown up in multiple songs.
  • Heavy D & the Boyz's song "Don't Curse" lampshades this trope, including several instances of cursing cut short and replaced with other words, leading to one of the few raps you'll ever hear where a verse contains the phrase "Aww, shucks!"
  • Two versions of the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" made airplay in 1979. The album edition had the last line of the last verse "I done told you once you son of a bitch, I'm the best there's ever been." The single release for AM pop stations changed it to "'Cause I told you once you son of a gun, I'm the best there's ever been."
  • Gregg Allman's 1988 solo hit, "I'm No Angel" has the line, "So you don't give a darn about me".
  • Parodied in John Lennon's 1973 Mind Games closer, "Meat City".
    "Chicken-suckin', mother-truckin' Meat City shook down U.S.A."
  • "Why don'tcha all ffffffffffffffffffade away?!
  • "Yes We Can (Can)", originally by Lee Dorsey, Covered Up by The Pointer Sisters:
    I know we can make it.
    I know darn well we can work it out.
  • Stevie Wonder in "Higher Ground": "I'm so darn glad he let me try it again"
  • Jason Mraz's song "The Dynamo of Volition" has this line: "Singing heck is for the people not believin' in gosh"
  • "This Beat Goes On" by The Kings (1980): "I don't give a hoot 'bout what people have to say".
  • The Bellamy Brothers' "Old Hippie" has the line "He's got young friends into New Wave/But he's just too frickin' old".
    • Which, interestingly, doesn't fly in parts of the Deep South. The radio version changed the lyric to "too damned old," ironically swapping a substitute swear word for a real one. "Damn" is acceptable in country music.
  • George Harrison's "Piggies" was the first and only Beatles song that included a profanity in its lyrics:
    In their eyes there's something lacking,
    What they need's a damn good whacking
  • The only major difference between fan_3's "Geek Love" in its original and Radio Disney versions is the background vocal saying "Oh my gosh, my gosh..." instead of "Oh my god, my god..."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • This Doonesbury strip:
    Sarah Palin Doll: After all, we're not just the party of "No" - we're the party of "Hell, No!"
    My Little Pony: <Gasp!> What did you say?
    Sarah Palin Doll: Oops... Sorry, My Little Pony - I meant "Heck, No!"
    My Little Pony: Shouldn't that be "Heavens, No"?
    Mister Potato Head: Who the hell cares?
  • Dilbert: Playing with the trope through exaggeration, it features a demonic character, Phil, who is the "Prince of Insufficient Light" and "Supreme Ruler of Heck." Armed with a giant pitch-spoon, he is empowered not to damn people for eternity, but to "darn" them, usually for 15 minutes, or with an annoying, sometimes ironically appropriate, fate. Scott Adams claims he came up with the concept when the syndicate didn't allow him to use Satan as a character in the strip and that he is more pleased with the end result.
    • Also, this strip.
    • From Scott Adams' dilbertnewsletter: "I received an emotional letter of complaint after a strip in which Dilbert used the expression "jeepers cripes." The writer chastised me for using the Lord's name in vain. I can only pray that the almighty Gosh will not darn me to heck for offending his son, Jeepers."
  • Calvin and Hobbes
    • Calvin uses minced oaths, like "by golly" or "darn". He states that this is because he doesn't know any swearing words.
    • In a Christmas comic strip, Calvin's dad stubs his toe and yells, "Slippin'-rippin'-dang-fang-rotten-zarg-barg-a-ding-dong!"
  • One The Far Side cartoon has Satan declaring to his minions, "To heck with you! To heck with all of you!" Justified, they are presumably already in hell. The "joke" of that cartoon was, he had overheard them calling him a wimp. Since he wasn't willing to say "hell", he kind of proved them right.
  • The Wizard of Id once had the King tell Sir Rodney to "go to heck."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • A tell tell sign that Sting is talking, even if you can't see him, is that he doesn't cuss. The closest he comes are "hell" and "pissed off". This persisted even when "Asshole" became a common Crowd Chant.
  • Perennial National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight champion Ric Flair. He vowed to kick the butt of that son of a gun Nikita Koloff at Starcade.
  • Kurt Angle during his initial pro wrestling debut for the World Wrestling Federation, during its "Attitude Era" no less, though it would later be averted in TNA.
  • Matt Sydal was known for his tirades of G-rated cursing, even in the explicitly "Adults F-N Only" shows of Gateway Championship Wrestling, where profanity otherwise flowed freely. His reasoning was he wanted to do as little as possible to offend anyone who might otherwise buy his products.
  • Stevie Richards wanted to enforce this and other forms of censorship during his "Right To Censor" run and succeed when he recruited former porn star Val Venis and former pimp The Godfather, who starting going by "The Good Father". Ivory had already talked in such a manner before and after Right To Censor though, while Venis and Godfather quickly reverted to their former ways after it was done.
  • At the Chikara event From Zero to Hero (& Castagnoli), Delirious ended his and Hallowicked's promo by referencing Booker T's infamous botched promo from WCW Spring Stampede 97 by saying, "Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, we coming for you, n-word!".
  • Mary Elizabeth Monroe was very reluctant to use any words considered swears and would never initiate them in conversation, in an effort to maintain a "rated G" image.
  • The Peacock Party Boy Dalton Castle swears with long outdated swears like "deuce" and "dickens".
  • A trait displayed by those who joined Drew Gulak's Campaign For A Better Combat Zone Wrestling, including Kimber Lee, who around the same time was dropping cluster f bombs in WSU(It Makes Sense in Context, sort of).
  • Heidi Lovelace almost always stops her cussing at the word's first letter, even in front of what are supposed to be adult audiences because children could still be watching, d-word! Most commonly with the b-word, which when asked she insists is "broad".

    Radio 
  • The very title of That Gosh Darn Hippie Show. It came from an incident where a friend of the host called jokingly called her "the goddamn hippie", which was subsequently Bowdlerised for radio suitability before it was adopted as the title of the show.

    Stand-Up Comedy 

    Theatre 
  • In Paint Your Wagon, "They Call The Wind Maria" includes the line, "And now I'm lost, so goldurn lost." The same character (followed by others) sings "who gives a damn" in another number with less potential to become a song hit.
  • The Odd Couple: Spoofed in the play and the movie version when Oscar complains about a cryptic note that Felix left for him, which was signed "F-U". "'F-U' meant 'Felix Ungar.'"
  • Played for laughs in The Book of Mormon. Being Mormons, the missionaries can't swear at all; in I Believe, Elder Price belts "And dang it!" and "By Gosh!". Then at the end we have the payoof. Price announces "You know what, guys? Fuck him!"
  • From West Side Story, one gol-darned tough street gang:
    Here come the Jets, yeah, and we're gonna beat
    Every last buggin' gang on the whole buggin' street,
    On the whole ever-mother-lovin' street!
  • In "Without You" from My Fair Lady, Eliza tells Henry to "go to Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire!" (This is actually a Call-Back to one of Henry's speech exercises.)
  • In the play Rain, Sadie Thompson calls the Reverend a "psalm-singing son of a—", ending her sentence in an Angrish scream.
  • In Man of La Mancha, Aldonza tells the leering Muleteers, "I spit in the milk of your 'little bird.'" This is a minced translation of a common Spanish insult.
  • In The Music Man, Tommy Djilas frequently says "Jeely Kly." The movie version makes it "Great honk!"

    Video Games 
  • In Splatoon, at the end of the Callie vs Marie Splatfest Marie won and she sprouts "Holy Carp" as her reaction.
  • In Skullgirls, Annie Girl of The Stars says in one Beowulf's Story Mode scenes "God dam- dang it!"
  • In Noitu Love, the evil robot hordes are called "Grinning Darns". Played for Laughs in that members of the Darn Army have no problem using slightly more severe curse words, the army itself is created by Dr. Darnicus Damnation, and one enemy type is a zombie enemy called "Darn Piece Of Crap."
  • In Mega Man X: Command Mission
    • X yells "Ooooooh Shoot!" when he's critically hit.
    • Massimo's curse is cut short in a cut scene:
    Massimo: Feeble Massimo? Grrrrrrrrrrrr! You sunnova— (That's how it was spelled in the subtitles)
  • Earthworm Jim villain Evil the Cat lived on Planet Heck, where he unleashed Cool and Unusual Punishment (like banging your shins on table corners and going to the DMV office) upon The Darned.
  • The Monkey Island series:
    • There's a spoofing of this tendency by referring to the once-again-resurrected LeChuck as a "Zombie Demon Ghost Pirate From Heck" in the third and fourth games. This is purely for the Rule of Funny because they're clearly allowed to use the word ("Alright then, 'ROLL! ROLL through the gates of hell.' Must you take the fun of out everything?").
    • You can also make Guybrush do this in Escape from Monkey Island if you have him examine a "No Cursing" sign in a school.
    "Fiddle-faddle!"
    "Watch your mouth, young man!"
    "Monkey knuckles!"
    • Averted in Act III when Guybrush tells Herman Toothrot, "How do I get off this [bleep] island?"
  • Bionic Commando:
    • In one of the "neutral zones", talking to a certain enemy agent would result in him telling you to "Get the heck out of here, you nerd!"
    • It's also averted where Master D mentions the word "damn", and since this is followed by a gory animation of you shooting him in the face, it gives the impression that the creators of this scene don't care about censors.
  • Secret of Mana - The original English SNES version translated hellhounds as "heck hounds" even though 'hell' wasn't being used as a swear word. Sword of Mana for the GBA set its tolerance for swears several levels below "darn." This leads to a certain character's death resulting in the hero screaming "Blaaaast iiittt!!!" at the top of his lungs.
  • In the first Devil May Cry title, Dante tells a boss to "flock off". It sure sounds like a tame version of a certain other expletive that starts with "f" and ends with "ck". On the other hand, he just could have been punny, since said boss is a giant bird.
  • Bayonetta uses "Flock off, feather-face!" line. It's a rare occurence considering the number of times the F-bomb has been dropped by that point, and throughout the rest of the game.
  • Super Smash Bros., a family-friendly Mascot Fighter series, uses this trope quite a bit, mostly in trophy descriptions. In terms of in-game dialogue, two M-rated characters - Colonel Roy Campbell and Bayonetta - were hit with minor instances of this trope, due to their swearing in their home series; the Colonel uses the word "heck" in a codec conversation, and Bayonetta's "Don't fuck with a witch" line is censored as "Don't mess with a witch". Ironically, downloading Bayonetta also adds a notable aversion of this trope to the game, with Rodin's trophy mentioning his bar/shop, "Gates of Hell".
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance - Seeing as the game's plot involved genocide, racism, and a touch of implied homosexual lust, it seems odd that characters would use "dang" and "crud", when the line was very clearly written to use "damn" and "crap". It is particularly jarring when the commander, in danger of being slaughtered along with his friends and family at the hands of the villain, growls "dang it!". However, the word "damned" is actually used in one instance, and if Ike dies on the last chapter, he also says "damn". The character Marcia, who under most circumstances would probably be a Madam Swears A Lot, pretty much runs with this idea as if the translators were aware and making fun of this fact, with the Unusual Euphemisms she has used as expletives including, but not being limited to: crackers, chestnuts, mutton chops, horsemeat, sponge-head, jerky, and barnacles. This is also parodied in one line completely original to the localization, in which a random NPC soldier shouts "Eat rock!", only to start giggling and ask if his joke was clever.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn averts much of its predecessor's use of this trope by using "damn" instead of "dang". However, the game still uses Unusual Euphemism from time to time, e.g. the guard after the second mission that shouts "Moldy onions! Where'd they go?!".
    • On a fan-translation note, Sigurd's final words in Genealogy of the Holy War/Seisen no Keifu have (in)famously been translated as "Arvis! You dastard!". Naturally, this line has enjoyed abundant circulation as Memetic Mutation, to the point that starting from Fire Emblem Awakening, 'dastard' has officially became the go-to word to replace 'bastard'.
    • Many of the games in the series overall somewhat famously make common usage of archaic words in their English releases, including slurs, like "cur", "blamed", "dastard", and "mooncalf", which almost always induce some degree of Memetic Mutation due to how utterly silly or strange and unfamiliar they sound in modern times. Some of the more famous examples include the aforementioned "You dastard!", and Eliwood of all people shouting "Craven cur!" at a boss. Considering the fantasy medieval sitting, they're actually rather appropriate, and most fans find it quite charming.
    • In Blazing Blade, Hector, one of the three main characters of the game, uses "blast!" quite noticeably often; considering his character, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that if this weren't an E-rated game, he would be throwing out swears liberally.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening it's not uncommon to see strange half-vulgarities uttered by characters, such as Sumia's "pegasus poop" (or, as uttered by Frederik not even a few lines into the first chapter, "pegasus dung"), and the return of the infamous "dastard". However, minor swears such as "damn", "hell" and "crap" are not uncommon. Sully in particular, unlike Marcia before her, constantly uses as many actual swears at the highest intensity the T rating will allow her to, outright saying "bastard" quite a few times; including her voiced love confession cutscene if Robin S-supports her.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has Kiragi, Takumi's (possible) son. While all his critical hit lines are childish and funny, this one takes the cake.
    Kiragi: War is heck!
  • In God Hand, demonic guitarist Ravel yells "Rock off!" after getting trashed.
  • Angel from Borderlands 2 is reluctant to swear and quick to correct herself if she lets a cuss word slip. That's because of the control her father, Handsome Jack, has on her. Just before she dies, she makes a point of defying this trope and straight-up calling her dad an asshole.
  • Space Quest:
    • In Space Quest IV, Roger is held captive by the Latex Babes of Estros.
    Roger: "Let me go, b-buh-wuh... witch!"
    • In Space Quest 6, the Narrator complains that the censors made him say a line this way:
    "You were supposed to see Quazar Live in Concrete with Beatrice. Of course, that was before you got busted back down to Janitor and assigned to this dad-blasted heckhole of a mother-talking spaceship!"
  • Star Fox 64: Only characters like the brash Falco ever went as far as "heck". Assault had more swearing, but just as minced.
    Fox McCloud: [after Pigma escapes with the Aparoid Core Memory they've been trying to get] Stop! Pigma! [beat] Dang! [kicks the ground]
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IX - Zidane is prone to using 'heck' a lot in the English translation.
    • Final Fantasy X has a wonderful example. Rikku has just had her hometown blown up and The Team is flying away in an airship. Wakka tries to comfort her by saying 'Boom! Like happy festival fireworks, ya?'. Rikku says 'You can cram your happy festival, ya big meanie!'
    • Final Fantasy X-2 has its share of swearing; ass, damn, bastard, from everyone except Yuna. The closest she gets to swearing is, "Oh, poopie". Rikku scolds her for saying something so vulgar. Yuna was copying Rikku! In Kingdom Hearts II, Yuna gets even more polite: "Oh, foofie".
  • The Spyro the Dragon series has these expressions. Such as Moneybags's gem after you chase him down: "Drat! *pant pant* Double drat! *pant pant* Drat drat drat drat drat drat!"
  • Initially, most of the classes in Team Fortress 2 did not swear very much in-game, at most using "damn" and "hell" note  and utilizes several 60's media tropes (such as Film Noir for the Spy). The Pyro (as far as we know) and Medic still do not swear. Class updates have provided at one line for the other classes in which they swear, usually some form of "ass" or "son of a bitch." Some class-specific examples:
    • The Engineer used to be notable for going on G-rated blue streaks involving words like "damn it", "dagnabit" or other similarly mild phrases in keeping with his educated Southern Gentleman personality. In Meet the Engineer, he comes up with euphemisms like "structurally superfluous new behind" and "motherhubbard." After his update, he started swearing for real ("I'm wolverine mean, you son of a bitch!" "I just beat on your sneaky ass like a mule, boy!").
    • In contrast, the Scout has always been foul-mouthed, making liberal use of "ass" and "dumbass" even before the class updates. Even though he usually says "freakin'" or "frickin'" in-game, he uses "fucking'" in Meet the Scout and Meet the Pyro (although censored).
    • The Spy, generally, didn't swear except for one instance of "shit" (in French). He's become more foulmouthed after his update, and also uses "fuck" in Meet the Spy (censored like in Meet the Scout).
    • The only class who has used curse words from the beginning is the Sniper who, in keeping with his stereotypical, vulgar, impolite, knife-wielding behaviour, frequently used swear words such as 'wanker' and 'piss' even pre-update.
    • The worst the Medic has called anyone is "Dumpkoff", which translates to "Stupid Head".
  • In Darkest of Days, your CO/buddy Dexter breaks out the following whilst you flee from a German Prison:
    "Time to make like shepherds and get the flock outta here!"
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, after your first (and only) mission with Larxene, when you talk to Demyx, he says "Man, why's Larxene gotta be such a witch all the time?" We all know what he meant at that point, but apparently Demyx is so lazy, he can't even bother to swear.
    • It's averted in the Game Boy Advance version of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories where Axel says "It's about time you gave me one hell of a show!"
  • Shadow the Hedgehog is a inversion. He uses "damn" and "hell" in every other sentence.
  • Mass Effect's: Depending on how you've role-played Commander Shepard, s/he can be a hard-bitten ruthless mass-murderer, but will keep their dialogue PG. Squadmembers, on the other hand, have no restrictions whatsoever. Shepard is a Commander after all. In the sequel s/he and everyone else got more liberal with their language they were dealing with a lot of criminal scumbags, and Udina. Guys like Anderson were still quite clean about their language.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Jack (provided she survived the previous game) becomes an instructor at Grissom Academy. In order to maintain a visage of professionalism, she's had to tone down her cussing quite a bit. Even she has her limits, though.
    Joker: What, does she have a swear jar? I bet we could empty that out and have enough to buy a new cruiser!
    Jack: ...hey, kids, cover your ears. Hey, Joker! F[loading screen]
  • Rome: Total War measured your popularity. One was, "When a plebeian greets you on the street, the second word is usually 'off'."
  • In many SNK games, the English translators tend to use "Hades" instead of "Hell" even in the Samurai Shodown series with Far Eastern warriors. They should not have any knowledge of Greek mythology whatsoever. By the same token, they shouldn't have any knowledge of Abrahamic religions either.
    The King of Fighters: Rugal says, "Even with my new power, I lost. What? My body...????? No... to meet such a fate! But I'll be back... you jerks!"
  • Chrono Cross: Kidd uses "bugger" liberally and in place of "ass" as in "I'll kick your ass so hard you'll hit the moon!" she uses "arse" instead.
  • Command & Conquer is almost completely swear-free but in Red Alert 2, the occasional Sam-hill slips in courtesy of Carville.
  • In the 1st Degree presents Inspector Looper, who tries very hard not to swear. When Ruby put a Lampshade Hanging on it, Looper had to explain that her tyrant of a mother told her to stop swearing. Then she says "And I don't want any crap this time" to Tobin when she was interviewing Tobin. Does "crap" count as a minced oath or not?
  • Call of Duty: United Offensive is an odd example of taking an already mild instance and further "G-rating" it.
    Sgt. Moody: "Ender, I'd find that funny if I wasn't freezing my can off!"
  • The XBLA re-release of Guardian Heroes features such gems as "Holy schnitzel", "Mother bucket", and "Son of a cyclops".
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War has P.J. shout "DANG IT!!" just before he gets shot down. Unusually for this trope, he sounds genuinely furious, and this is the only time P.J. really loses his cool.
  • Drippy in Ni no Kuni has quite the obsession with the word "flipping," which he uses extensively in the same ways one would vigorously use that other word that starts with F. "En flipping garde!"
  • One of the courses in SSX On Tour is called Son of a Birch (although it can be argued that for snowboarders birch trees are just as bad, especially running into them in game and real life).
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day apparently wasn't allowed to use the F-word, despite the game being rated M, and tries to work around it by having a sign reading "FECK OFF CROWS" and a Terminator-like killer robot choosing to say "buff you, asshole" over "f*** you, scum" (asterisks sic).
  • Used in the chapter 28 of the second season of Criminal Case where one of the murder suspects call the victim a "gosh darn motherfudger" in place of "goddamn motherfucker".
  • Time Crisis 3 contains a hilarious instance where your partner says "F—!" One might think it's a Curse Cut Short from reading it here, but no; she really does yell out the letter F. There's also numerous grunts in part 2 who holler "Shucks!" when hit by gunfire and not in a pained way, either, making it sound as though they're embarrassed to have been shot.
  • Grand Theft Auto (Classic) had "screw" in place of "fuck". A cheat code allowed for the dialogue to be replaced with more traditional swearing.
  • Lampshaded in Lego Marvel Superheroes: one sidequest involves some snakes on the helicarrier. The agent who gives it to you says that Director Fury wants the snakes off this goshdarn helicarrier. He then says, "I'm paraphrasing".
  • MacCready in Fallout 4 has a habit of avoiding swearwords or substituting them for another word ("Those assho-those idiots...") due to a promise he made to his son. This is in stark contrast to the foul-mouthed brat that he was in Fallout 3.
  • Averted in Mega Man & Bass, in which Bass refers to Proto Man as a "prick".
  • Wizard 101: King Thermidor complains about being trapped by "the dratted eels."
  • Hitman (2016): Guards will occasionally say "What in the fargly HE double hockey sticks is that doing there?" when they encounter a suspicious object.
  • In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, at the beginning the protagonist gets attacked by Pokémon. When Professor Kukui questions them on it, one of the replies is "Scared spitless".
  • In Persona 5, Ryuji will often substitute "fuck" with "eff". This is hilariously jarring since he's a Sir Swears-a-Lot who says curse words like "asshole", "shit", or "goddamn" a lot. To make it worse, he does say "fuck", but only in unvoiced dialogues.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Cartoon Hooligans episode "What If Superman Got Sick?!", when the Justice League starts beating Superman up for peeking into the women's locker room of the JLA headquarters, Green Lantern says "What the frog, Superman!"
  • Homestar Runner: The Chapman Brothers purposefully avoid harsh language in because they think "cute flash cartoons shouting obscenities" are a tired cliché.
    • They attribute Strong Bad's popularity to his trademark overuse of the word "crap". "Crap" was almost the site's trademark word for awhile before they got sick of it and stepped it down.
    • There is liberal use of "freaking" and "hella" when appropriate.
    • Strong Sad said "damn" in one Halloween episode, but it was used in the religious sense ("... and if you answer wrong, you get eternal damnation, but if you answer right you get a Twizzler?").
    • One they forgot to remove is in the SBEmail "comic". In the Used 45's box is a copy of Mudhoney's "You Stupid Asshole", which got censored in the DVD release. This is the strongest swear word to appear on the site proper.
  • Yahtzee is Playing with a Trope in his Zero Punctuation reviews. What he says is much dirtier than what appears on the screen. His comment on Halo Wars's mission timers was written as "What arbitrary silliness", contrasting with "Bull fucking shit." A rebuttal to Moral Guardians decrying videogames is captioned "No, and I consider your argument misinformed," but he says "No, and go fuck yourself, you ignorant scaremongering cockbags."
    • This is used to make a point in his review of Bayonetta 2: "I like my swearing, but in the wrong place it brings down the whole gosh-darn tone. You cunt."
  • Pimp Lando has its title character's catchphrase, "What the foo?!?"
  • Death Battle:
    • Invoked for humor by Deadpool in his match against Deathstroke. "Now where is that son of a gun, I'm going to show him what-for, I swea- *gets shot in the head* -OW!" Death Battle (and Deadpool) generally have no problems swearing elsewhere in the video.
    • And again by Deadpool in his match against Pinkie Pie. When he notices a army of Pinkie Pie clones rushing towards him, goes "Oh, what the—", then notices the TV-Y7 logo, before finishing off with "-heck".
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: While the Emperor is certainly not shy about cursing up a storm under normal circumstances, the vox-hailer equipment used for podcasts has a built-in censor that bleeps out anything rude with an excessively loud truck horn. Thus, to keep up his swearing streak and vent his anger he needs to resort to this instead, which amuses both his Custodians and Rogal Dorn.

    Web Comics 
  • Waste of Time has Seth.
    • This was actually later used as a plot device. When Seth and Jon switch bodies, Jon (in Seth's body) says the F-bomb to make Anna believe that he's not actually Seth.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Lampshaded with Grace and her No Social Skills nature. Once, when something went wrong, she let off a long string of "Crud"s before apologizing for her choice of language. In fact, when she used the word 'dammit', everybody was stunned.
    • Elliot sheds his superhero form by changing into a more "mild-mannered" one.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court flirts with this trope.
    • Most of the time, the harshest cusses we hear are "damn" and "hell", even from characters who would presumably have a more colorful vocabulary. The characters react realistically (namely, not at all) to this mild swearing, while the author facetiously reproaches characters in the comment section below the comic for their language. The result of all this is that the few times that harsh language is used, it's genuinely startling.
    • Kat is among those with the colorful language; amazingly, she's also the character to have used to strongest curse to date. Even if it bleeped out.
    • Eglamore probably uses stronger language here, but since it's all replaced by tamer substitutes by the time Parley tells it to Annie, the world may never know.
  • The Doom comic, despite being having been made during the Dark Age, uses this trope. The closest it gets to a swear word is "sunova..."
    Doomguy: Sweet Christmas! Big-mouthed floating thingies!
  • Cwen's Quest:
    • The heroes all have censored swear words like $%#& but the villains use stand-in words and phrases like "Frex!!!" and "Lords of Darkness!", though the word "ass" gets through unedited.
    • It's lampshaded with this exchange
    Ace: ...so Knives would like to know why the frex they are dead!
    Sven: Frex?
    Ace: It's a faerie word Sven. Figure out what it means yourself, asshat.
  • Averted in Captain SNES: The Game Masta.
    • Captain SNES is supposed to be kind hearted and the epitome of good. Alex swears so much that he uses it as an attack. It doesn't work due to "slippage".
    • It is played straight by Alex's captor, who at worst uses very mild cuss words and hates Alex for swearing so much.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! (with Multiple Demographic Appeal) uses this. On the rare occasions when cursing would appear, it's depicted as Symbol Swearing. Jean's catchphrase is "Egad," and Bob and Molly are deliberately corny enough to say "Gosh," "Hokey Smoke!" or even "Jeepers!". The insectoid Nemesites say "Frass!" (bug poop) and the dragons say "fewmets" (dragon poop).
  • In Penny and Aggie, when the devout and gentle Katy-Ann suspects her boyfriend has gone back to binge-drinking, she calls two of her friends for help. When Brandi says she's reluctant to get involved in others' relationship conflicts, Katy-Ann shouts, "Brandi, just get the heck over here!" A stunned Brandi thinks, "Holy f#$%, she just cursed at me."
  • I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space: "Golly, I'm sure in a pickle."
  • Homestuck:
    • Equius Zahhak sticks to genteel curses like "fudgesicles" unless he's extremely flustered, and berates others for foul language, believing it to be a habit of the lower classes. He was once embarrassed for having used, "shoot."
    • Jane is similarly mild in her expletives, although unlike Equius she doesn't care about her friends swearing.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja almost never uses swearing, the exception being an occasion utterance of "jackass". In one issue, a NASA employee shouted "AAAA what the flarking heck!?" when his printer shorted out.
  • Dumbing of Age:
    • The page image comes from this strip. Joyce doesn't swear, but sometimes she really wants to.
    • From a later strip, Joyce again lets Joe have it:
    Joyce: It'd better be, or I will fudge you up so dang hard everyone'll call you 'poopieface' 'cuz your head'll be stuffed up your own a-hole!
    Joyce: ...you all know what I meant.
    • The previous comic It's Walky featured a scene where characters offer Joyce money to swear. The artist, David Willis, has said that this is autobiographical, as he had Joyce's mannerisms when he was young and his friends also offered him money to curse.
  • In The Specialists, Max makes frequent use of the exclamation "Applesauce!" such as in this montage.
  • Downplayed in Bob and George. Most of the time the characters will use minced oaths or be censored outright, but every so often something will happen that one character (usually Roll) can only respond to with a hearty "fuck".
  • The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom) has the exasperated Cthulhoo occasionally exclaim, "Fthagn!".
  • Super Doomed Planet:
    Dr. Crane: Exploding Planets! Dr. Gregor ffinch!
    Dr. Finch: Why, Maximilian Crane! I'd know your moronic expletives anywhere!
  • From cartoon singles by Aaron Williams — "Gates of Heck":
    (one fiend to another): It's part of our new 'Family Friendly' policy.
  • Nodwick - Piffany, whose language is so comically mild that you know it's serious when she says "darn" or "crud".
  • In Olympus Overdrive Hades never uses curse words, because it's Persephone's duty as the Queen of the Underworld to carry out any curses Hades makes and she doesn't like doing it, so he took an oath to never swear.
  • Noted in this strip of Phil Likes Tacos, with Phil calling Kick-Ass as "Kick A-Butt" and another employee calling Inglourious Basterds as "Inglourious Bees."
  • Swearing in Girl Genius is generally on the mild side - justified, as it's set in alternate universe Victorian-era Europe. "Darn" is probably the most-used 'swear word', as well as various science-related words used as expletives. Agatha's one outburst, after being hit on the foot with a hammer by one of her creations, is censored with various mad science themed doodles and is helpfully 'translated' in a footnote.
    Agatha: [in footnote] Ooh, what naughty little devices, to so turn upon your creator! Oh! Indeed, my foot is in such excrutiating pain! I shall construct a device that will give you such a whack, see if I don't!

    Web Original 
  • In the review for Noitu Love, Hadriex just can't say things like "that Darn army of robots" or "that darn creator" aloud with a straight face.
  • From 'That Guy with the Glasses:
    • That Dude in the Suede doesn't use then because he is never angry enough (and possibly because of his religious upbringing).
    • Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall. Downplayed in that he does curse, he just doesn't use the "more colorful four letter words" to prove that he doesn't need them to be funny. You can hear him curse a few times in Behind The Scenes videos. This is saying something compared to nearly all of his colleagues.
      • During a live charity drive, he offers to say "Fuck" if enough money is donated. The other reviewers point out that he just did.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd:
    • An aversion is in Lester the Unlikely review, but only at the cave stage in the game.
    • In his crossover with Captain S, the Nerd was forced to tone down the language due to The New Adventures of Captain S being a G-rated show. Needless to say, it's weird as hell hearing the normally foul-mouthed Nerd saying things like "What a buttload of crud."
    • He does get to swear normally at the end of the episode, though it's bleeped out.
    • He makes up for his lack of profanity in his next review, within the first sentence.
  • Ashens does this as he stops himself swearing in his "Sonic Man" (a Robocop rip-off) toy review. This was due to YouTube becoming much harsher with their monetization-appropriate content rules, although Ashens adds that he doesn't need to swear to make his videos funny. Subverted. Ashens defies thus trope immediately afterwards by describing the toy as a "Mother-fucking piss-faced lump of wanky twat shit."
  • "Scarface School Play" demonstrates this trope to a hilarious extreme.
  • Several Let's Play members, particularly those not associated with Something Awful, do this. Examples include the Linkara-esque DeceasedCrab, the Badbutt Manchild Sir Ron Lion Heart, and Auto-Tune NBA2K fan Chris Smoove.
    • raocow swore a lot more in some of his earlier videos, and still at times lets a swear past when stressed (usually in French), but even when that happens, they're generally not that strong. Any other time, however...
    Raocow: Oh, pumpernickel.
    • Kikoskia often says "Fiddlesticks" and the like. Out of hundreds of videos, he's sworn twice.
  • Lampshaded/directly quoted in Volume 8 of My Opinions on Every Pokémon Ever.
  • LPer Super Skarmory avoids cursing in his walkthroughs. As long as they're not Castlevania.
    Super Skarmory: Holy... pickles.
  • Stuff You Like's Sursum Ursa, seeing as the show normally carries a PG rating.
    Sursum Ursa: He's completely batfrakked!
  • SlimKirby tends to avoid strong swear words. He drops a Precision F-Strike from time to time, but it's a rare occurrence.
  • A Very Potter Musical parodies this trope. In the canon of the first musical (set in the "second year" for Hogwarts students), every character swears, our hero even dropping the F-bomb once. However, in the sequel (or really the "prequel," seeing as it's set in the FIRST year of the students at Hogwarts), when Professor Lupin swears, the children cover their ears and gasp until he replaces it with something less obscene.
  • Olan Rogers never uses a more vulgar word than "crap", and his videos are much funnier for it.
  • This CollegeHumor sketch makes fun of excessive TV re-editing.
  • The language on Eat Your Kimchi is kept pretty clean most of the time.
  • Egoraptor from Game Grumps has a habit of combining this with genuine swearing.
    Egoraptor: What the fucking gosh dang!?
  • PeanutButterGamer doesn't use swearing in his videos, he has said he doesn't swear because he doesn't feel he needs to.
  • Bonesaw of Worm speaks like this, and chides other characters for swearing, which is actually a plot point when she's impersonating Tattletale to an amnesiac Taylor.
  • Maggie Holt in Pact is unable to swear, having traded the ability away to a goblin. She gets caught out by this several times during the Toronto arc, which is a sign that all is not as it seems. When she later loses her name and regains the ability to swear, she uses it fairly often.
  • Roahm Mythril has only gotten to "Bastard". Later videos never use the word, and even when the game swears, he will not.
  • Pittsburgh Dad's Catchphrase "Ah, jeez!"
  • Parodied in Third Rate Gamer. In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers "review", he starts awkwardly shoehorning in G-rated curse words alongside the typical fare, in response to how the The Irate Gamer suddenly started to inconsistently tone down the cursing in his videos.
  • Several flavors show up in Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • A last minute episode skit shows Vegeta sub a ton of words for an otherwise profusely bleeped out rant.
    • "HFIL" is used several times as a jab against the original translation's Bowdlerisation.
  • This is a mandate whenever Pooh's Adventures tackles a mature movie or TV Show. They would censor the "inappropriate content" when it involves language. The other stuff is left alone.
  • Darkmindedsith tries to do this for his videos. He claims that he wants to be kid-friendly on his channel.
  • In this submission to Not Always Right, an irritated customer switches to saying "poo-poo caca" when he notices that there's a young child standing nearby.
  • Despite the team at Rooster Teeth being able to swear like sailors, there are a number of times where they have averted it.
    • Geoff Ramsay will not swear around his daughter and the times where he's on camera with her or doing a Let's Play, he refrains from doing so.
    • During their Extra Life '15 livestream, they got Lindsay Jones to read an excerpt from Fifty Shades of Grey as Ruby Rose from RWBY. However, she doesn't like the idea of having her character cuss, thus invokes this trope by having Christian telling Anastasia "I don't make love. I truck. I truck hard."
    • David from Camp Camp plays this very straight.
      David: What the gosh-darn-heck happened here!?
  • Fighting Leaf does not swear at all in his reviews. He tries to be as kid-friendly as possible because of the types of movies he reviews.
  • Josh Scorcher is not very fond of swearing. When he DOES swear, it's usually censored.
  • Zig-zagged on The Bowling Otter Show. Both hosts are pretty good at keeping their own language within a clean range, even if the games they play have significantly harsher profanity. But on occasion they'll let a Precision F-Strike slip, usually when startled during a horror game.
  • Timothy Mcgladden, who would rather go by the name PK (short for the nonsensical name PksparxxDathotneSS) will always exclaim "YOU SON OF A BISCUIT!" or just "SON OF A BISCUIT!!" rather than cuss. He will also say "You rooney-dooney!" from time to time. Enforced Trope in that PK generally wants to keep things family-friendly (and was commented on positively for that in at least one of his videos for showing class), and if he accidentally curses, he will go back and edit it out (at least one time doing so rather humorously with the coin get sound effect from Super Mario Bros.) However, his livestreams are not subject to this rule, as people he plays with can let curses fly because he has no control over what they say, and PK himself has been known to let his own tongue slip, especially when somebody really pissed him off by saying something so rude PK directly addressed them by explicitly saying "shut the fuck up".
  • Cryssi of Diva Dirt got in a fantastic one in one editorial (and note that the website doesn't have a policy against swearing):
    "What the H-E-double hockeysticks?"
  • This is the reason behind the "Let [That Guy] Say Fuck" meme. When a fandom finds out that a character frequently never swears or uses minced oaths, they usually make jokes about the giving that character the chance to launch a Precision F-Strike.

    Real Life 

  • Sometimes people who work around children try to temper other people's language. In the 1970s, one school district in the US dealt with a demand that the book Making It With Mademoiselle be removed from the shelves of the high-school library. An assiduous investigation, in the form of actually opening the book, revealed that it was a volume of sewing patterns from the editors of Mademoiselle, a fashion magazine.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers of adult learners are often split on the topic of just how clean your speech needs to be in class. On the one hand, teachers should be professional and this includes appropriate language; on the other, part of teaching your students about usage includes vulgarity (so they at least know just how bad other people's language is). Most teachers settle for keeping their own vocabulary G-rated but not censoring students.
    • Making matters worse, textbooks written for ESL teachers in training are largely silent on the topic. One assumes that lessons on correct usage of vulgarity and profanity are not condoned, though.
  • In the UK "sod" and "bugger" are mildly obscene (not that most people across the pond know this) but permissible pre-Watershed — about as bad as to "hell" or "damn". (Not realizing that "bugger" is a swearword in the UK is not this trope, but something else entirely.)note 
    • In English (or the United States at least), 'fucking' is increasingly being replaced with 'freaking'.
  • Foreign languages have their own equivalents of this trope. In particular, oaths that refer to religious imagery were often "sanitized" into nonsense.
    • In German, "Gottes Blitz" (God's Lightning) became "Potz Blitz." Otherwise, it is averted in general German media. Religious swearing is much less of a deal than in English-speaking countries, and can be uttered in elementary schools without consequences. Even "Scheisse", the German pondon of "shit", while not very sophisticated, is never censored, and is used in media regularly; even on KIKA (the public children's TV channel).
    • The Dutch "godverdomme" ("God damn it/me," same root as "goddamn") often becomes "potverdomme" —or simply "verdomme" (which still means "damn" and is a Dutch equivalent of the "shit" expletive). More clean-mouthed Dutch change it further into "potverdorie" or "verdorie". As a word, it's meaningless, but sounds close to the original.
    • The word "shit" in the Netherlands is a much milder word there than in English speaking countries and can be seen as the equivalent of "damn".
    • "Sacré Dieu" (Holy God) became "sacrebleu."note  Similarly, "Par Dieu" ("By God") became "Parbleu".
    • The (rather old fashioned) French swearword "jarnicoton" comes from one of the French King Henri IV's Bishop advisers, Coton, asking the reportedly foul-mouthed King to use his own name instead of God when swearing - so instead of saying "Ja r'nie Dieu" (accented version of "Je renie Dieu", "I deny God"), it became "Ja r'nie Coton" ("I deny Coton").
    • In Belgian French, "Nom de Dieu" (for God's sake) often becomes "nomdedjeu," "nomdidju", and other variants. Gaston Lagaffe's Prunelle is notorious for it("Rogntudjuuuuuuu!!!"). "Nom d'un chien" ("name of a dog") is another old-fashioned form.
    • The Russian
      • "Blyad"(technically "Whore", but used more like "Fuck") becomes "Blin" (Pancake) in front of sensitive ears.
      • "Khuy" ("cock") becomes "Khren" ("horseradish", which is rather apropos. Have you ever seen a horseradish? Now you have). "Yebat'" ("fuck") becomes "Yeteet'" or "Yedreet'" (nonsensical erratives, the latter probably derived from the word for "tough, healthy" or "kernel").
      • "Yobana mat'" / "Yob tvoyu mat" ("fucked (your) mother") becomes "Yo moyo" (Oh, me), "yedryona vosh" ("strong, healthy louse"), "yokarny babai" ("freaking boogeyman"), "yoperni teatr" ("yo-pera theater"), and "YOPRST" (letters in sequence).
      • Russian has quite a lot of inventive obscene cursing, and most of it has at least one "heck" form, sometimes many and often quite picturesque. In a nutshell, any word, I mean any, starting with "yo" (including loanwords and mispronounced "ya" words), can be a euphemism for "yobana mat'". But religious curses are never "hecked", they are considered very mild by themselves.
    • Québecois is ripe with this.
      • Crisse de tabarnac de calisse! This is considered very obscene, for a more "Gosh Darn It To Heck" name, try "Crime de tabeurslak de caline!" It doesn't mean anything but it's still used. There's also "cinq six boîtes de tomates vertes" for "sainte ciboire de tabarnak".
      • A rather hilarious one is "château de marde", which translates into "shit castle". I shit you not.
    • All Québecois swearing comes off as this or even Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head to French speakers, once they learn the words are deformed versions of church items (Christ, tabernacle, chalice etc.) and given how most French insults are scatological or sexual. A Canadian comedian made two versions of a song listing French and Québecois insults, the former is much more vulgar than the latter.
    • The Polish swearword of choice is very often "kurwa" (meaning "whore", but contextually the same as "shit" or "fuck" in English), and is vulgar enough to be censored on TV. Poles wanting to avoid offending delicate sensibilities often use "kurczę" which means "chicken".
    • In Argentina was once usual the euphemism Me cache en dié for Me cago en Dios ("I shit on God"). The euphemistic form even made it to a tango's lyrics.
    • The Spanish-speaking countries have a more contrived example of this: In Mexico and the rest of Latin America, albeit not universally, they have no problems with using the Spanish equivalents of damn (¡maldición!, ¡rayos!, etc) , or hell (¡Diablos!), since they're considered at worst childish insults, despite those countries have a mostly conservative Catholic population, while more stronger profanities are censored in TV transmissions, albeit this is starting to change. On the other hand, Spaniard media, both originally-made and dubbed, have no problems with using even stronger profanities normally censored in Latin America, due to historical reasons since the death of Francisco Franco, who previously banned the use of profanity in Spaniard media during his rule. In the same way, invoking the name of God is not considered a bad thing there either.
      • In Spain "Me cago en la mar" (I shit in the sea) has "Me cachis en la mar". In some areas that is shortened to "cachi la mar". In Spain, many cuss words have similar euphemisms, though "joder" (fuck) probably is the word with the most substitutions: "joer", "jope", "jolín", "jolines", and more.
      • Also, "Te Jodiste", as in, "You're fucked", has been shortened to "Tejo" — which is the first person present tense of knitting (equivalent to "I knit") and (in some places) a sport similar to Bocce Ball.
      • In Mexico many people tend to finish any phrase with Chihuahua, the name of a Mexican state, when not intending to use the real word: chingar, which is used as "fuck". Many Latin American dubs or subs used to replace every swear word with a fammily-friendly slur. This can range from saying "damn" to ludicrous painfully outdated words that sound weird even to 50-something adults.
    • Italian has "cavolo" ("cabbage") as a euphemistic form of "cazzo" ("cock"—no, not a rooster—but more like "fuck", as in "what the fuck" or as an interjection).
    • The Finnish curse "perkele" (euphemism for Satan, originally the name of a pagan thunder god) often gets corrupted mid-sentence into "perjantai" ("Friday") if the speaker realizes there are sensitive ears present. This was parodied in the Finnish amateur film Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, where the main character Pirk uses "Oh, Thursday!" as a curse.
    • Similarly in French, "Merde!" ("Shit!") will occasionally change to "Mercredi!" ("Wednesday!") mid-word and "putain!" (lit. "whore", meaning "fuck") to "purée" ("mash!") or "punaise!" ("drawing pin!")
      • In Spanish, as well, it's not uncommon to swap the word for "shit" with the word for "Wednesday" ("Mierda" and "Miércoles", respectively); be it mid-word or deliberately from the start.
    • In Arabic subtitles/dub for any foreign movie, any Cluster F-Bomb gets invariably swapped with the generic "Tabban" ("Curse!"), which is a cause of great amusement for many Arabic-speakers (anyone with a middle-school education in the Arab world speaks either English or French, and often both). Oddly enough there are many insults with thinly-veiled sexual overtones which get spared by Rule of Funny, in local productions.
    • In most cases, Japanese swears ARE this trope already. Words often translated as "bastard/son of a bitch, etc" ("temee, omae, konoyaro, koitsu", etc.) literally just mean "you/him/her/that guy", etc. but with aggressive/hostile implications. Sometimes a "dirty mouth" in Japanese is defined by HOW something is said, not WHAT is said, (compare "nani o yatte ru no?" to "nani yattenn da?" Both lit. "what are you doing", but the latter implies an intent closer to ".. the fuck you doin'?") These words and turns of phrase occupy the same position in the Japanese vernacular as harsh swear-words in English, but due to the lack of sexual and religious expletives, they lack the taboos cursing does in the West, and hearing them in manga and anime aimed at kids is pretty common. This creates a dilemma for translators, as these expletives are used very liberally in a media where their rough English equivalent would not be considered appropriate. Some words, such as "kuso" (lit. "shit, crap") do directly translate, but are not treated with the level of taboo seen in the West.
  • Many Utahn members of the LDS church use rather odd substitutions for curse words. It's justified by their use of the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth. All Mormon youth are given this to read and follow as a guideline, specifically admonishes readers against using swearwords, among other things.
    • Examples include: "Oh my heck!", "Oh my gosh" or "holy heck". Stranger ones include "Biscuits", "Fridge it", and "Snap".
    • They also commonly abbreviate the state of eternal punishment to "What the H?" (This is given a captioned "footnote" in the parody "The Work and the Story".)
  • Survivor contestant Neleh Dennis was known for saying "oh my heck" all the time, clever editing made it look like a Verbal Tic, which we can't really be sure it's not.
  • When asked for his opinion of Ted Bundy, Charles Manson called him a "poopbutt".
  • Preacher Tony Campolo was somewhat famous in religious circles for pointedly averting this trope:
    "I have three things to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases caused by malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. [dramatic pause] What's worse is that you're more upset about the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
  • In the United States Air Force Basic Military Training program, the instructors aren't allowed to use profanity. So they develop a weird alternate vocabulary that lets them get the same ideas across without actually swearing. It's fairly common to hear an instructor screaming "WHAT THE PISS, CLOWN?! IS THAT HOW WE DO IT NOW IN THE AIR FORCE?!!"
  • Joe Biden will often retort claims by saying "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey". He said this most notably during the 2012 vice-presidential debate towards Republican opponent Paul Ryan. But Biden is also responsible for the most famous aversion of this trope by an American politician in recent memory, where he called the signing of the Affordable Care Act "a big fucking deal."
  • On the commentary for the Justice League episode, "Legends, Part 2", director Butch Lukic invokes this on himself as the crew was talking about Orion's voice actor, Ron Perlman, to which, he refer to Perlman's role as Hellboy, then backtracks and says "Heckboy".
  • Most video game Let's Players tend to curse a lot and make jokes utilizing said curse words to garner laughs, views and subscribers. However there are a growing number of Let's Players who prefer to keep their videos family friendly and try hard not to curse and the rare times they do, they usually bleep it out, chocobo wark it out, or just omit it in favor of silence. Some examples would be Chuggaaconroy, Roahm Mythril, Markiplier, JoshJepson, DeceasedCrab, and Retro Challenge Gamer.
  • Financial adviser and radio personality Dave Ramsey seems especially fond of "dad gum"
  • The Unix/Linux command "fsck" has become a substitute for the F-word, particularly in the geek community. Somewhat justified, since having to use the "fsck" command can indicate serious hardware issues.


Alternative Title(s): Gosh Darn It To Heck, Minced Oaths, Such Mild Language

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