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Informed Obscenity

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"Face it, Mackenzie! When you're not allowed to say the 'A' word, the 'B" word, the 'C' word, the 'D' word, the 'E' word, and the 'F' word, you have nothing to say."

R2-D2: (electronic beeps)
C-3PO: You watch your language!

A completely nonsensical word (sometimes made up, sometimes not) established as being "inappropriate". In order for it to fit this trope, and not other foul language tropes, the audience should not be able to recognize the word as a swear except via the reaction of others. An alien shouting something in his own language after something bad happens is a case of Pardon My Klingon. The same alien talking casually with no tone change, only to be admonished by another character for using foul language is this trope.

Compare with Felony Misdemeanor. Related to Unusual Euphemism and a sub-trope of Perfectly Cromulent Word. Fantastic Slurs often fall under this trope when they're not just real words and phrases applied pejoratively in a fantastical context.

See also Calling Me a Logarithm.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Hanasaku Iroha, Tsurugi Minko uses the word "hobiron" (meaning "balut") as an insult towards Ohana as a replacement for the more harsh insults that she'd been using, as per Ohana's request.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, the halfling Chilchuck insulted the human Laios after the latter royally screwed up when fighting a dragon, in a foreign language neither he or the readers understand.
    Chilchuck: The common tongue doesn't have enough words to describe your idiocy! ***! ***! ***!
    Laios: I'm being insulted in a language I don't understand!
  • In an episode of Onegai My Melody: Kuru Kuru Shuffle, Miki and Piano get in an argument over creative differences, to which Piano eventually responds by saying "puukyuu", which causes her to gasp. Hilariously, it sounds a lot like she's saying "fuck you".
  • In a filler chapter of GTO: The Early Years, Shinomi overhears some girls talking about a "pink elephant". Not knowing what it is, she asks her friends about it, but they're no help, only leaving her more confused, and anyone else she asks about it avoids her or pretends not to know. She gathers from context that it has something to do with sex and requires a man and a woman. A creepy older guy offers to show her a "pink elephant", and they go to a hotel, but she punches him and runs away when he gets naked. She eventually goes to Eikichi's house and decides to ask him to show her a "pink elephant", but he doesn't know what it is either.

    Comic Books 
  • In Nodwick, one issue revolves around the word "Krutz", a fictional swear word , intentionally created by a cabal of villains hoping to resurrect a powerful warlord, that ends up being a one-issue Berserk Button to Piffany. It even comes with its own marketing campaign!
  • Sweary Mary of Viz invents a new swearword. "Fitbin" is both (we are informed) obscene, and also obscure enough to put on the front page of a comic.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Harry Potter/Torchwood crossover The Magic of Torchwood, Owen becomes a Quidditch commentator. Upon learning the name of the foul "flacking", he promptly makes it a goal to make that an unofficial swear word within Hogwarts.
    "Flack you, you flacking flacker!"
  • When Paul is invisibly walking amongst the Chandallans in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, they shout things like “Farg!” and “Murking Guardian!” at the hapless Spectrem, who hasn't turned invisible. Paul assumes these are obscenities.
  • Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: Lexi has learned from Amelia that Specter once tore a book in half to spite Blue Angel (Lexi himself is a flying book and he was Buried Alive by a younger Grace and Simon after they tore him apart). When he finally gets to see Specter for the first time, he starts to talk about everything he's going to do to Specter with such a foul mouth that Emma Bessho has to cover Aoi's ears and Chloe turns red in shock.
  • In Harry Potter and Defeating Dark Lords, Inc a couple of house elves are annoyed that Dumbledore put mind-influencing statuettes in various Hogwarts locations.
    "Nasty Headmaster has no bonds and wears clothes he cleaned himself!" Juniper swore.

    Earnest hung his head. Such language. But she was provoked.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976). Lieutenant Bishop talks to Leigh about how he grew up in the area and that his father had once sent him to the police station for using bad language, whereupon Bishop had carved something rude on one of the desks there. When Leigh asks what the word was, Bishop points to an (off-screen) desk which is apparently still marked, because Leigh quips it shows an impressive vocabulary for a kid.
  • From the original Star Wars:
    R2-D2: (electronic beeps)
    C-3PO: You watch your language!
    • Gets a callback in The Last Jedi, where Luke scolds R2 for swearing on a sacred isle.
  • In Paddington (2014), Mr. Brown's attempt to pronounce Paddington's bear name is met with the following:
    Paddington: (with forced calm) Mr. Brown. That is extremely rude.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Baby Groot apparently says something naughty.
    Groot: I am Groot.
    Yondu: What's that?
    Rocket: He says, "Welcome to the frickin' Guardians of the Galaxy." Only he didn't use frickin'."
    Rocket: (later) We're gonna need to have a real discussion about your language.
    • He does this again as a teenager in Avengers: Infinity War, shocking the entire team. Apparently, Vin Diesel's copy of the scripts include translations of Groot's dialogue so he knows what emotion to put into his lines...
  • In the Polish classic comedy Miś the protagonist is watching a children's Show Within a Show while trying to figure out what to do. The specific episode he gets is about how the kids stop one of their group from excessive swearing - and the swears he uses include "butterfly's leg!" This is treated by the other children as the height of profanity.
  • In The Smurfs, Patrick gets annoyed with the Smurfs Smurfing and says "Smurf! Smurfity smurf smurf smurf!" in anger after questioning what the word "smurf" even means. All of the Smurfs gasp in horror and Gutsy says "There's no call for that kind of language, laddie!"
  • In Muppets Haunted Mansion, in the musical number Tie the Knot Tango, the ghosts of the previous suitors of the bride appear (all muppets), one is a penguin and quacks a musical line. The other suitor ghosts tell him that he cannot say that, this is a family show.

  • Artemis Fowl had the narrative refuse to translate "D'Arvit" saying it would have to be censored. You would think, using context clues, that it would just mean "damn it" which is NOT censored, but apparently not.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
    • Life, the Universe and Everything did this in the U.S. edition of the book, trying to avoid saying the word "fuck" for the American censors. The original British version refers to an award for the "Most Gratuitous Use of the Word 'Fuck' in a Serious Screenplay". The U.S. version changed "fuck" to "Belgium" — the single most vulgar expletive in the known Universe. The radio adaptation used the straight British "fuck" and overdubbed the word with a starship engine (even the scripts just said "fuck"). The U.S. version of the book, though, expanded significantly on the gag; it's an illustration of Earth's isolation and backwardness that it has a country with that name (in the same book it's revealed that the Galaxy's bloodiest and most horrific war was adapted into the game of cricket). The Unfazed Everyman Arthur, on hearing "Most Gratuitous Use of the Word 'Belgium' in a Serious Screenplay", innocently uses it to chat up a girl at a party:
      "Have you been to Belgium in fact?" he asked brightly, and she nearly hit him.
      "I think," she said, restraining herself, "that you should restrict that sort of remark to something artistic."
      "You sound as if I just said something unspeakably rude."
      "You did."
    • "Zark" sees frequent use in the series as a multi-purpose swear word. It's uncertain exactly how strong it is; it's as productive as "fuck" (as "zarking" is heard as well), but it seems to be derived from the name of the Great Prophet Zarquon, making it analogous to the much milder "Jeez".
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
    • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, Manny starts calling Greg "ploopy" out of the blue. Thinking it is a "little kid bad word", Greg asks their mother about it, though she is clueless and does nothing about it — freeing Manny to use the word wherever and whenever he wants. Later, while the family is in church, Greg uses the name on Manny to get him to stop bugging him, and Manny becomes hysterical — only then does the word become obscene in their mother's eyes.
    • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, Greg and Rodrick come up with their own system of bad words so they can use them without their mother knowing. This includes nonsense like "spooky stork" and "raspberry plastic tickle bear."
  • Discworld:
    • In Hogfather, carolers have changed the lyrics to a song so it starts "the red rosy hen" (presumably the word used to be "cock"). The book goes on to say that the carolers often had to stand and show people where they thought the obscenity was before they would be offended by it (and being bewildered that they had to point it out).
    • In Going Postal Miss Maccalariat scolds Moist for his language using T-Word Euphemism. The thing is, no real English profanities exist starting with the letters she calls out. The Y-word? Then again, Morporkian isn't English. (Unless it is.) The Post Office Diary says that any addition to the initialism code ("S.W.A.L.K." etc.) must be approved by Miss Maccalariat, which will only happen if she can't think of anything obscene it could possibly stand for. This never happens.
    • Sergeant Colon in Guards! Guards! and Nanny Ogg in Maskerade say "I'll be mogadored!" which is apparently the word you use when regular swearing simply isn't enough. (It's actually just an archaic word for "confused".)
  • At one point in The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin, Mrs. Carillon is jailed and protesters gather outside the prison. Because the signs the protesters are using were painted over and reused after a grape farmers' strike, one sign that was evidently left unfinished inadvertently reads "GRAPE MRS. CARILLON". Nearly everyone who sees the sign comes to the conclusion that "grape" means something horribly offensive, culminating in a bystander attacking the sign-holder and yelling "Grape Mrs. Carillon? Grape you!".
  • Harry Harrison's Bill the Galactic Hero introduced 'bowb' as a made-up all-purpose swear word to substitute for the rich variety of vulgarities in use by soldiers (in order to keep the book from being censored):
    Don't give me any of your bowb!
    Get over here, you stupid bowb!
    What is this, "Bowb Your Buddy Week?"
    Every week is Bowb Your Buddy Week."
    Bowbity-bowb bowb!
  • Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest: Stinkymudfungle!
  • In one of the Oz books, in a moment of great rage, the Nome King exclaims "Hippikaloric!" The narrator helpfully notes that this "must be a dreadful word because we don't know what it means."
  • In the ninth Animorphs book, the Yeerks set up a front organization called the Dapsen Lumber Company. Ax is amused by that, since apparently "dapsen" isn't a very polite word on other planets.
  • In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Roxim has to apologize to his neighbor at the dinner table when he lets slip a "by George!". Since these are dragons we're talking about, it makes sense.
  • In Ender's Game a group of playground bullies repeatedly insult Ender by calling him "Third," a reference to his status as the third child in his family. The society they live in only allows two children per family, and Ender's parents were only able to have him with special permission from the government; the other kids look down on him as a lesser person for it.
  • In the society of Brave New World, the words "mother" and "father" have become obscenities; all women are rendered sterile by having their eggs extracted, and babies are grown in incubators.
  • Done in Harriet the Spy, when Harriet overhears her father angrily complaining about all of the troublesome "finks" at his office, and assumes that it's an all-purpose swear word. Later, when she gets into an argument with her parents after they try to force her to take dance lessons, she screams "I'll be FINKED if I go to dancing school!", much to her parents' puzzlement.
  • In the early Deryni novels, Deryni characters occasionally swear "Khadasa!" We are never told what this is, but it is presumably not nice.
  • In E. E. "Doc" Smith's The Vortex Blasters (a novel loosely associated with the Lensman series), the ultimate unrepeatable expletive on Tominga (where the language metaphors all revolve around plants) is "srizonified". Sentient telepaths, just like the Lens, leave this untranslated, but we are told that it is loosely rendered as "descended from countless generations of dwellers in stinking and unflowering mud."
  • In Cordwainer Smith Norstrilians swear by the mutated sheep which are the foundation of their One-Product Economy. At one point Rod is even admonished for his "sacrilegious" language.
  • In the Redwall novel Lord Brocktree, one young squirrel is constantly being Dope Slapped before he can open what we're told is a filthy pottymouth. When we do get to hear him swear, it falls under this trope.
  • The Belgariad: Occurs In-Universe when Belgarath asks the Gorim about Zandramas, the Malloreon sequel series' Big Bad, only for the Gorim to react with utter shock — the name is the most profound curse in his people's language, such that Belgarath never knew because nobody in seven thousand years was willing to repeat it to him before.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Trope Codifier is Monty Python's Flying Circus, where, after a sketch filled with naughty words, Michael Palin appears to show us a list of words that will not be tolerated on the program. After a list of (decidedly British) dirty words, the word "Semprini" appears. A woman then comes on screen and says, "Semprini?" prompting Michael to throw her out. Incidentally, the word is the last name of composer Alberto Semprini.
    • The album Another Monty Python Record has a cut about how to keep from being embarrassed and starts off with words that supposedly make people feel embarrassed. The first group is "shoe," "megaphone" and "grunties." But even words like "tits," "winkle" and "vibraphone" can't compare to the embarrassment potential of noises.
  • Dinosaurs had one episode in which a great controversy erupted over the word "smoo".
    • Not to mention flark, and glick.
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie had a man on trial for public obscenities, all of them bizarre.
    • This was actually a joke about censorship which was set up in the previous sketch. The show started with them claiming that their next sketch would involve a lot of "language of the street", but that the censors wouldn't allow them so instead they were inventing their own swear words which no one could stop them using (which became the words in the next sketch).
    • Another sketch involved a business deal between an English-speaker (Laurie) and a Strom-speaker, with a translator (Fry). Seemingly innocent English phrases such as "long-term contracts" and "after sales service" have different meanings in Strom, at one point prompting the Strom-speaker to slap Laurie across the face.
  • The classic jailhouse comedy Porridge wanted to show the prisoners cursing but was unable to use actual swearwords. The solution was to invent the term "naff off," which after all was technically a four-letter word and sounded like an actual curse (in fact, some people started using the term in Real Life as a milder alternative to the F-bomb.)
    • While "naff off" might have been coined as a slightly milder replacement for "eff off", as with "smeg" below "naff" already had an older meaning as a euphemism for "fanny".
  • Red Dwarf:
    • According to Holly, Tottenham Hotspur counts as a euphemism for shit.
    • This series also gave us "Smeg!" which was intended to be this but turned out to have an obscene real meaning.
      • ...and is also the name of an Italian manufacturer of domestic appliances and white goods (!)... which causes fans of the show a LOT of amusement!
  • The episode of Doctor Who, "A Town Called Mercy", has the Doctor stating that he speaks horse. He rides a horse out past the outskirts of town in order to find a crashed space ship, conversing with it the whole way, his side of the conversation giving the viewer the idea that the horse has a bit of an attitude. At one point the horse whinnies, and the Doctor replies "Oi, don't swear!"
  • 8 Simple Rules has an episode where Bridget and Kerry start talking in a secret language they thought up as kids. Cate gets annoyed at them talking in code...
    Cate: What do you say to that? "Wamma-damma-ding-dong?"
    The girls gasp.
    Kerry: Mom! You just called Bridget a slut.
  • Parodied in How I Met Your Mother where Lily gets furious with Ted for calling her an unrevealed swear word on his old answering machine. As Ted is narrating the story to his kids, the word is censored as "grinch" - but it prompts an angry phonecall from his mother and a Spit Take from his super-religious cousin after her children start to repeat it. Fans agree that the real word probably had something to do with Country Matters.
    • At one point, he has to pause the story and invert this trope... he used the word "grinch" to describe Lily's behavior with regards to stealing Christmas... given that he had up to this point been using it as a substitute, he had to inform the kids that this time, he really said "grinch" and not a different word.
  • On 30 Rock as Kenneth becomes steadily more Flanderized, he gets increasingly offended and/or apologetic about ever-milder and increasingly unclear "bad words." At one point he exclaims "excuse the language, but no thank you!"
  • Mork & Mindy: When Mork and Mindy were to meet Robin Williams during his show in Boulder, Mork tells her:
    Mork: (tittering) Does he really call himself "Robin?"
    Mindy: Yeah, why?
    Mork: (still tittering) Do you know what "Robin" means on Ork? (whispers into Mindy's ear)
    Mindy: (gasp) That's disgusting!!
    Mork: Don't blame me. I didn't give him that smutty name."
  • During the "news" portion of the show Fridays. a new swear-word was announced. It was coined by a young boy who had ice cream in his mouth when he said it. Supposedly so bad, his father would not let him repeat it to the on-site reporter. When she convinced the father that "it was only a swear-word locally," since it hadn't been announced, she convinced the father to allow the boy to whisper into her ear. When she repeated to the camera, it was "Karkfum!" As soon as the news anchor confirmed it as a swear-word, the news show censors obligingly bleep her repeat of the word.

  • Sleeping with Sirens' music video for ''Do it Now, Remember it Later' shows Kellin Quinn vandalizing a building with what a news channel describes as an obscenity. The offending word turns out to be "graffiti", and the channel blurs out the letters "aff".
  • System of a Down's not particularly subtly named "Vicinity of Obscenity" uses object and visual imagery to suggest sexual and scatological themes without saying anything even remotely dirty in a literal way.
    Banana banana banana banana terracotta banana terracotta terracotta pie!

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In a brief arc in Bloom County, moral guardians were cracking down on the strip for the use of "inappropriate language", citing frequent uses of "the four-letter H-word, the four-letter D-word, and the fourteen-letter S-word". After heavy speculation as to what this latter word is, one of the characters announcing this can only think of "Snugglebunnies?" In the next strip, the two remark on how somehow saying "Snugglebunnies" is bad enough to get the strip cut. Their response: "We have one thing to say to that. Snugglebunnies! Snugglebunnies! Snu-" and the strip gets cut mid-word. Interestingly, later in the strip's run, the word started showing up frequently.
    • In another strip, Opus, who is working at the Bloom Picayune, is trying to help a shy woman write a personals ad. He suggests using the word "snugglebunnies", but she wonders if it's too tame. After a Beat Panel, he says, "Madam, I have to write something," and she suggests, "Sweaty snugglebunnies."

    Oral Tradition 
  • There is a "Shaggy Dog" Story about a man who repeatedly gets into progressively worse trouble (culminating in a courtroom case) for uttering the phrase "purple flower", because he keeps saying it when asking people what it means and getting into trouble instead of getting an answer. The punchline involves him getting hit by a truck or something and suddenly dying just as he's about to find out. Other variants involve a boy getting kicked out of school for a similar infraction. The word/phrase varies with each telling, with examples including "two pink elephants", "purple passion", and "branchwater".
  • There is a technically work-safe "Shaggy Dog" Story in which a man hears someone claim to have attained ultimate pleasure through having received a 'sleeve-job'. The protagonist is too embarrassed to admit being ignorant of the nature of that act, but eventually obsessed, he goes on a bit of an odyssey in search of one...meeting with great disgust at all turns. It doesn't end well for him.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Muppets (2015) episode "Pig Out", Scooter thinks saying "good grief" means he's "swearing like a sailor".

  • In Adventures in Odyssey episode "War of the Words", two kids overhear Eugene call Connie a "maladroit", which they don't understand, but like the word anyway. They proceed to call various people "millijoit" before they get in trouble. The episode ends with An Aesop about speaking respectfully, regardless of what words are used.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the BattleTech universe, the Clans consider all words that are connected to birth or pregnancy extremely obscene, and to call someone a Freebirth (a human who has been conceived and born the natural way and not grown from the Clan's artificial "Iron Wombs") is among the worst of insults. Technically, this is the second worst possible insult. "Truebirth bastard" is the worst, because it invokes both the out-of-wedlock status of trueborns (created by the Clans' eugenics program) and their privileged status within the Clans as a whole.
  • Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot has an inversion. Several cards allow the players to give penalties for use of bad language. Since "bad language" is subjective and can't be really defined within rules, the playgroup must decide for themselves which words count. However, the authors specifically decree that the word "Shazbot" (title of the first card with this sort of effect) is always OK, and it can be freely substituted for any actual "bad" word.

    Video Games 
  • A Hat in Time: "Peck" is a swear word to birds, at least according to DJ Grooves, who will panic if you use it on live TV and quickly cut the broadcast. It sets him at odds with the Conductor, who outright abuses the word when upset (and he's almost always upset). With the multiplayer update, having the elementary school aged Hat Kid/Bow Kid yell "peck" became one of the emotes.
  • During a side quest in Destroy All Humans! 2, Pox yells out the word "frak", and tells Crypto that it's an "ancient Cyton curse word".
  • In The Sims 4, Sims have the ability to "shout forbidden words."
  • One case in Hypnospace Outlaw involves investigating a hack distributing shock images. They're described by various characters as scarring, but they're really just creepy photo edits made up of feet, potatoes and eggs with googly squid eyes stuck on.
  • Disco Elysium deals with serious themes of prejudice and colonial violence, and gets around being too repulsive to play by using invented slurs (most prominently, 'kipt' as a slur for black people, and 'loincloth' as an all-purpose racial slur). This is mixed with some real world slurs like 'yellow man' (an offensive but outdated slur in our world; just as offensive but without the old-fashionedness in Disco Elysium's Retro Universe) and 'f***t' (always censored in this style).
  • Dr. Mobius of Fallout: New Vegas tells the Courier that he considers various words obscene, likely due to being unscientific.
    Dr. Mobius: I consider [coincidence] to be profanity, along with astrology, herbal tea, and luck, so watch it, potty mouth!


    Web Original 
  • A Something Awful Let's Play of Quest for Glory stars a hero with the pseudonym "Nike von Slartibartfast"; when questioned, the hero explains that he chose nonsense words that most people would think sounded dirty. Douglas Adams came up with the name Slartibartfast by working backwards from a string of obscenities (Phartiphukborlz) to come up with a name that sounded very rude but could be read over the air for the original The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series.
  • The satirical news site Babylon Bee, in a similar vain to the previous mentioned foul mouth of Groot, once featured an article calling for Groot to apologize and demanding he be removed from Twitter after he said "I am Groot" at a Botany event, much to the shock of the scandalized crowd.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Berenstain Bears, "Furball" is considered horribly offensive, as Sister found out when she and Lizzy learned it from a video Lizzy's older brother rented.
  • Big City Greens plays with this in "Bleeped", where Cricket starts using a bad word he heard from Gramma. However, instead of using real swears (highly unlikely since it's a family show), or even bleeping them out with sound effects, they use made up swears like "Blort".
  • The Bonkers episode "Imagine That" begins with Bonkers D. Bobcat freaking out over sidewalk graffiti of a tree, a mailbox, and a book. When Lucky Piquel asks what the big deal is and is given the Soap Punishment for saying what the graffiti depicts out loud, Bonkers explains to Lucky that the group of images has an obscene meaning to toons and whispers it to Lucky. We do not hear Bonker's clarification, but Lucky does apologize for his ignorance of saying a toon swear.
  • In The Boondocks episode, "The S-Word," the eponymous 12-letter "s" word is "spearchucker." While this is a derogatory (if somewhat antiquated) term for a black person, the fact that the school district expects people to automatically know what the "twelve letter S-word" is is what makes this an example. Of course, the entire episode is a non-stop mambo over the N-Word Privileges line.
  • An episode of Danger Mouse has DM and Penfold in transit to a caper when they happen upon the Northern Lights:
    DM: The Aurora Borealis.
    Penfold: Now, now...language.
  • Family Guy has something like this, where Tom Tucker mentions the "trendy new curse word — clemen." According to the DVD commentary, Seth MacFarlane jokingly said that if "clemen" does become a real-life curse word, then the scene of Tom Tucker mentioning it will have to be censored in hindsight.
  • In Futurama, when Zoidberg gives Fry a physical he asks Fry to "open your mouth and say some [unintelligible alien gibberish]." Fry botches it.
    Zoidberg: What? My mother was a saint! Get out!
  • Fluttershy in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can converse with animals in their own languages, so naturally she's occasionally treated to some animal outbursts that she refuses to translate. Happens with Seabreeze in "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies", and Beaverton Beaverteeth in "Keep Calm and Flutter On".
    • In the ponies' own language, the word "peeved" is evidently a dirty word.
  • On Recess there was an episode where T.J. was brought to court for use of his catchphrase "This whomps". The judge decided that "whomps" was not dirty in and of itself, and that only a dirty-minded person would think it was.
    • The irony in all of it was that T.J. made up the word to avoid swearing.
  • Rick of Rick and Morty mentions that for a certain race of alien species, the word "glip-glop" is "if the N-word and the C-word had a baby and it was raised by all the bad word for Jews." He then promptly greets a group of the aforementioned aliens with "What up, my glip-glops!"
  • In an episode of Rolie Polie Olie, Zowie learns not to use bad words like "dingly dangly doodle." Billy's father also ends up teaching it to Binky.
  • On The Simpsons, when his "Vegas wife" asks Ned to "Irish up" her coffee, he scolds her to not use the "I-word" in his house.
    • In "Radioactive Man" a scene from the titular hero's movie has his sidekick Fallout Boy spout his catchphrase: "Jiminy jilikers!" Radioactive man responds with "There's no need for profanity, Fallout Boy."
  • In the South Park episode "It Hits The Fan", The Knights of Standards and Practices each represent a different bad word. One of these: Meekrob, the name of an actually delicious Thai dish that Cartman had earlier said he was going to start using as a swear word.
  • An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants claims that there are thirteen dirty words, all of them represented by some sort of sound effect, the most prominently featured being a dolphin's chirp. This appears to be an odd version of Sound-Effect Bleep until a moment of Lampshade Hanging at the end of the episode in which an actual car horn is mistaken for a character swearing.
  • Peridot from Steven Universe uses "clods" as her epithet-of-choice for the Crystal Gems. As clod can mean both "idiot" and "lump of dirt", it's surprisingly suitable for insulting sentient gemstones.

    Real Life 
  • The humorously-named Water buffalo incident at the University of Pennsylvania, in which a Jewish student shouted "Shut up, you water buffalo!"note  to a mostly-black crowd of sorority sisters. The student was charged by the school with using racial epithets, though the charges were ultimately dropped after intense media scrutiny.
  • During Clint Eastwood's infamous "Invisible Obama" performance at the 2012 Republican National Convention, he implies that the President has just told Romney to go fuck himself.
  • In his satire of the attitudes of Moral Guardians, The Filth Amendment, Willie Rushton mentions discovering an obscure novel from the 1920's in which the censor has seen fit to render an entire sentence in asterisks. Rushton pondered what the censor had seen fit to obscure for quite some time, coming up with more baroque possibilities, then realised this was making a mockery of the whole point of censorship. Finally he speculated that *** ** *** *** *** *** was a crossword clue - Something utterly filthy in 1929 (7,2,8,3,10).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Snugglebunnies



Mr. Krabs sees the word "overtime" as foul language, and properly sends SpongeBob away due to his abrasive side using said word.

How well does it match the trope?

4.54 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / InformedObscenity

Media sources: