Stock phrase when a character has heard of something that crosses a significant line of comfort for him. It may be something that he thought couldn't happen... or something he thought no one would be despicable enough to do. In any case, if a character says this, he has been shocked out of his comfort zone.
It's also Rule 42 of the internet. That is, that no, nothing is.
Compare There Should Be a Law.
Trudy Mason: Patrick has just completed a world tour as part of the Christian Skateboarders Association.Cassandra: Been hittin' the board for the Lord? God, is nothing sacred to you people?
- And of course, there is the Carole Lombard and Fredric March Black Comedy / Screwball Comedy, Nothing Sacred.
- Zukovsky in The World Is Not Enough has a variant, "Is nothing straight?", which he asks both on the corruption he has to deal with as a gangster in post-Soviet Russia and on seeing a crooked wall painting.
- There's a tribe in Africa that worships the number zero. Is nothing sacred?
- Lewis Black's first book is a largely autobiographical work entitled Nothing's Sacred.
- In Spider Robinson's Callahan's story "Have You Heard The One....", this trope is played for laughs. An Intergalactic Travelling Salesman shows up in the bar on Tall Tales Night. When asked to show his wares, he pulls a hole in space-time out of his pocket. When he sees the reaction of the bar, he replies, "What? Is Nothing sacred?"
- Smallville episode "Hero".
Clark Kent: I found the source of Pete's powers. Kryptonite-enhanced gum. I found a whole stockpile.Chloe Sullivan: Chewing gum? Is nothing sacred anymore?
- Knight Rider (1980s) episode "The Nineteenth Hole". The town of Marberry is more exciting than they expected.
Michael Knight: A quiet peaceful retirement community? [snip] It seems to me, Marberry has changed its image, partner.K.I.T.T.: None for the better if you ask me. Is nothing sacred? Isn't there anywhere safe from fast cars and rock 'n roll?
- Charlie's Angels episode "Night of the Strangler"
Jill Munroe: Do you know when Trigger died, they stuffed him! [laughs] Is nothing sacred anymore?
- Sam the American Eagle says this in A Muppet Family Christmas after seeing the Two-Headed Monster from Sesame Street play Santa Claus in a skit.
- Bob Dylan: "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
Disillusioned words like bullets barkAs human gods aim for their markMake everything from toy guns that sparkTo flesh-colored Christs that glow in the darkIts easy to see without looking too farThat not much is really sacred
- There's a Gahan Wilson cartoon in which ornately robed monks are praying to an ornate but quite empty pedestal. A passerby utters the phrase in question.
- In a Garfield strip:
Jon: Garfield! You're using my toothbrush!Garfield: Stick around. You can watch me floss.Jon: Is nothing sacred?!Garfield: Where's the mouthwash?
- Garfield utters the line when Jon buys an aluminum Christmas tree, which turns in an electric stand.
- Pepin of Diablo 1 says the above quote when you report to him that demons have stolen a sign from someone's home. He is disturbed by the idea that the demons from the labyrinth have become bold enough to have ventured through the village at night.