Follow TV Tropes


Obligatory Swearing

Go To

"You know, we've never swore this much during the year, have we? Hell, I think this is the first time we've swore all year."

So you've got a work where the characters rarely say anything stronger than "hell" or "damn", or swear in Unusual Euphemisms or Future Slang, or even do swear more strongly but infrequently.

Then along come the Fan Fic writers, and suddenly everyone's dropping Cluster F Bombs left, right and center. There seems to be this idea that you have to have this in an R-rated story, or simply the writer's own mannerisms leaking in. No matter that it's already got more than enough sex and violence to justify the R, the Obligatory Swearing is obligatory. Also happens to some extent in PG13-rated fics. Fridge Logic ensues when characters swear more strongly than they do in canon in situations less upsetting than they've actually been through, and seeing SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents!, Bert and Ernie, or a pony drop an F-Bomb is nothing, if not jarring. Of course, Fridge Logic goes the other way with works involving teenage characters, who don't swear in canon, even when in massive pain: Even Quentin Tarantino movies are cleaner than five minutes of overheard conversation in the average high school cafeteria.

A variation occurs in Fan Subs, in which either a word has multiple translations and the subbers go for the stronger one, or simply adding swearing where there wasn't any to cover up the fact that they're not as fluent in Japanese as they'd like us to think. "Bastard" in particular is really overused, apparently the de facto translation for "yarou" or the pronoun "kisama" (which, nuance-wise, is actually closer to "ruffian", "swine", or "fiend"). This also applies to some official translated releases, particularly early English-language dubs of anime, which would add swearing to help "prove" that the audience wasn't watching "kiddy cartoons" (even if some of them were, as in the case of shonen series airing on teen or adult-friendly blocks like [adult swim]). Part of the problem may be from the Japanese language's lack of real swears in general, most insults being simply rude, with the ones that do exist being rather obscure and antiquated; it's not uncommon for characters from preschool anime to interject "kuso!", which translates to "shit!" or "crap!"

Fan works that were originally written in non-English European languages tend to invite this, as they generally lack minced oaths like "darn" or "heck". (If the work was translated by the bilingual author, this often overlaps with Did Not Do the Bloody Research, since sexual and excretory curse words, although still viewed as quite impolite, tend to lack the edge in languages other than English—it's religious curse words that are most likely to offend.) Germany, in particular, since they tend to take cursing in stride moreso than other European countries; even "Scheiße" (shit) often appears in otherwise family-friendly works.

A subtrope of Darker and Edgier; this is to profanity what Hotter and Sexier is to sex and Bloodier and Gorier is to violence. Contrast Rated G for Gangsta, in which a person or character who you would reasonably expect to swear doesn't. Sometimes done to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating and flip it right around to Rated M for Manly or Rated M for Money. If the swearing is used for dramatic effect, it's a Precision F-Strike.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the English translation of Battle Royale, a good amount of the cast swears at least twice. While the novel did include a few curses, the manga exaggerates it a bit to the point that a character may say a sentence that just consists of swears.
  • Many fansubs of Pokémon: The Series seem to love doing this with Ash for whatever reason, possibly due to his rough manner of speech; resulting in the bizarre sight of the 10-year-old Incorruptible Pure Pureness of a All-Loving Hero shooting off Cluster F-Bombs. The only time where the fansub swearing would be accurate is Ash's battle against Lt. Surge, mainly because the Japanese version portrays Surge as a stereotypical American who curses in English.
  • Used in one fansub of Good Luck Girl!, to the point where another user controversially made a version of the same fansub with the f-word replaced/removed every time it occurred.
  • UK distributor Manga Entertainment was particularly infamous for this, as illustrated in these two videos of a clip of Violence Jack and Devilman.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In one translation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, one general calls Olivier Armstrong the c-word.
    • Notable, and possibly subverted, in the official Brotherhood English sub that the swearing is usually mild, with the F-bomb only used for three particularly tense or dramatic incidents near the end of the show.
  • Early episodes of Funimation's One Piece dub on DVD often had rather excessive amounts of profanity. Apparently, this was a direct result of the show's target audience, which in the United States would be teenagers - many of whom were right in the middle of their "swearing makes anything cooler!" phase and who would make requests to the effect of "I think it would be cool if Luffy calls [insert antagonist here] a bastard in the next episode" on the forums. After a couple of disks, the dubbers thankfully stopped listening as much; it simmers down to the occasional "bastard" or "I'm gonna kick your ass!"
    • Somewhat justified with the early episodes, especially Sanji's introduction episodes, because his catchphrase is commonly translated as either "shit" or "crap."
    • Another theory is that the swearing was meant to separate Funimation's translation from the infamous kiddie 4Kids Entertainment version.
    • On the subs for Episode 432, the inmates' nickname for Magellan is "Shit Man" (likely derived from his spending hours every day in the bathroom with diarrhea), and they say it over and over in that scene.
  • Initial D: When Keisuke encounters Takumi in episode 1, when he sees the car he's driving, Keisuke goes, "An AE86? No fucking way!" The official dub and sub translate it to, "That's an AE86. You got to be kidding me!" Aside from that, with the exception of Bunta encouraging Takumi to beat the pants off a smartass kid, the translation is pretty accurate.
  • One fansub of Oreimo has the characters gratuitously use 'goddammit' an awful lot in episode 10 of season 2.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo scanlations often use quite a bit of foul language; Vice drops five f-bombs in one page and Present!Yamato often swears, too.
  • Fan translations of Nnoitra's dialogue in Bleach are often rife with this. Justified in that he really doesn't care about anything or anybody outside of being a superior fighter, which makes his potty mouth all the funnier when Neliel throws his and her own Cero back at him and all he can say in response is "Aw... shit!"
  • Vita tends to get this in Lyrical Nanoha fan translations, fanfiction and the official dub of A's, as a result of often using "Kuso" and having a fairly rude way of talking. (like when she screams "WHAT'D YOU SAY, BITCH?" at Nanoha in chapter 7 of the manga)
  • The Manga Video dub of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro was sprinkled with profanity that never existed in the original subtitled version. The title was considerably lighter than almost every other anime in Manga's stable, perhaps prompting the dubbers to try to make it Darker and Edgier.
  • Bakuman。 fan translations sometimes have this, and as of Volume 3, the Viz translation is moving toward this. It (and some fan translations) has Takagi calling a character in the in-universe series St. Visual Girls' Academy who coldly brushes aside Azuki's character's Love Confession a "bitch", and Fukuda complaining about Yujiro being "half-assed" in not making Eiji meet with him, and Yujiro accusing Yoshida of thinking himself "hot shit" over Otter 11's popularity.
  • The fan translation of the Metroid manga contains six swear words in the first chapter alone. The original games, in contrast, only had one use of "damn" in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and even that got removed from later releases.
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki and Nao's dialogue often contains profanity in fan translations. One of the more extreme examples is Nao telling Haruka to "shut the fuck up" in Chapter 18 of the manga.
  • In a fan translation of Cardcaptor Sakura, the phrase Sakura used to make Touya believe Kero was a puppet and she was doing a comedy routine was "What the hell? What the hell?" The Tokyopop translation used the more common "Fuggedaboutit" phrase.
  • Chainsaw Man went through this at times, as Kishibe's line "I'll turn you into the baddest of badasses" had the fan translation of "I'll turn you two into the craziest motherfuckers ever." Additionally, the Crunchyroll subtitles for the anime adaptation translated the Future Devil's line "You're going to die in the worst possible way" as "Your death in the future will be the fucking worst."
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The old Anime Labs Dragon Ball Z fansubs went way overboard. One of the most infamous examples, a line uttered by Vegeta after having his house destroyed in Wrath of the Dragon, reads "You fucking bastard! You dare to destroy my house! Now you've really pissed me off! Fuck you!" in their translation, but the official (and much more accurate) Funimation translation reads as "Smash up another man's house, will you?! I'm in a foul mood today! Don't come too close or you'll get burned!" Another example is "Come out, you candy-ass faggot!", corrupted from "Where are you!? Come on out, you coward! Show yourself!"
    • The German dubbing, although not to the point of overdoing it, did periodically insert "Scheiße" (shit) into the dialog, and Cell famously exclaims "Oh, shit!" in English before being hit by Vegeta's Final Flash.
    • The uncut FUNimation dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai dips into this to a lesser extent, featuring some "dammits" and "what the hells", a few "bastards", and one memorable use of "dumbass". It might be more jarring for longtime viewers since the original dub suffered from Gosh Dang It to Heck!.
    • The MangaStream scanslation of Dragon Ball Super curses a blue streak so wide you'd almost think it was translated by former members of Anime Labs. Seriously.
  • In one translation of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga, Kyouko uses Cluster F Bombs when she gets angry. For example, after wounding Sayaka in their first fight, she says "What the fuck was that about? You'd better keep your shit together, pisshead." (Emphasis theirs.)
  • The official manga translation of To Love Ru in Spain has a lot of swearing for no reason, especially from Rito, something about as Out of Character for him as it gets. The best example is one line with him saying "What's going on?" in the original becoming simply "Fuckers!", not even "What the fuck is going on?" or something, just "Fuckers!". Since the translation also has quite a bit of Gratuitous Japanese, it gives a "bad scanlation" vibe.
  • In the manga version of Girls und Panzer, there's some jarring profanity in scanlations, such as when Miho is first asked to be commander.
    Miho: No, no! No fucking way!
  • In the manga version of Kingdom Hearts, there's some profanity sprinkled into scanlations; first it starts out in early chapters with words like "crap" and "freaking", no worse then what you'd hear on Cartoon Network, but then the language goes up to "damn", "hell", "bastard", and one use of "effing." It's quite surprising considering it stars Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, etc. in it. In the official Tokyopop and Yen Press volumes, rated "all ages", there's no profanity at all.
  • In the European Spanish translation of the Death Note manga by Glénat, it's pretty common to find (along with some local expressions sprayed everywhere) profanity that wasn't in the original. Weirdly, most of the profanity appears in Light Yagami's lines.
  • Eren in Attack on Titan has an extremely short temper and tends to yell a lot. Even so, fanfics have taken his anger issues to the point where most of his dialogue consists of swearing. Levi gets this treatment as well in both fanfic and fansub, probably because of him being a Perpetual Frowner whose default mood is "annoyed at everything."
    • The official English translation has a fair amount of profanity, too, such as this quote from Reiner at an emotional moment in Chapter 42, after revealing that he is the Armored Titan.
    Reiner: We were just kids... we didn't know anything. If only we never heard that these bastards existed... then we wouldn't have become these half-hearted pieces of shit...
  • The Hungarian dub of Dragon Ball GT was so fond of the expression "Basszus!" (meaning "Shit!" or "Damn!") that the translator was eventually asked by the fans to tone it down or at least use other words.
  • The English dub of Gantz, to paraphrase A Christmas Story, works in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It's entirely fitting for the situations the characters find themselves in, but still.
  • The Mahou-X scan of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches — while generally regarded as a surprisingly good scanlation with a lot of work put into it — is extremely rife with this, to the point that Shiraishi seems to be the only character who doesn't say "fuck", "shit" or "ass" in every other panel. In Yamada's case, it is believable that he would swear a lot (he also swears regularly in the official Crunchyroll translation, just using milder profanities), but in some of the others' cases, it is a bit overdone even if they are teenagers.
  • The subtitle track of the official DVD release of REDLINE contains frequent Cluster F-Bombs, even though this is usually a... loose translation of the original Japanese at best. The fact that the one actual F-Bomb in the original audio was a Curse Cut Short makes this seem a bit weird, as does another case where JP simply repeating the name of the planet the eponymous race is to be hosted on is rendered as "no fucking way". Oddly, the unofficial fansub was actually cleaner!
  • Done rather hilariously in the official Kodansha Comics release of the Attack on Titan: Junior High spinoff series, after Sasha catches some Titans wasting precious food:
    Mikasa: Sasha, stop! This isn't a fansub!
  • Very noticeable in fansubs for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (otherwise known as Kirby of the Stars). The anime is based on a series that is consistently rated low, was specifically intended for younger or inexperienced players, and most damningly of all has a cutesy pink creampuff as its main character. There is nothing in the series that would be considered inappropriate for children, aside from the occasional weirdly transparent Parental Bonus, and the odd insistence of making him look a little more angry on the Western box art for his games (as well as a single "damn" spoken by King Dedede in the official English dub of the episode "Cappy Town Down"). All of this is, of course, completely ignored by the fansubs, resulting in jarring and almost surreal moments in which a cuddly Sanrio-esque character uses words like "bullshit".
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt wasn't a clean show to begin with, but the English dub adds even more cursing than what was previously there. This was at the direct request of the series creator, who wanted to learn new English swear words.
  • Comparing fan and official translations of Junji Ito's work shows that the fan translations (all made before his works were officially licensed for US publishing, and made because they weren't translated at the time) go for more harsh language, whereas the official translations don't go stronger than "damn" and "bitch". In this case, it almost seems unreasonable for the official translations to be tamer, however, given the horror genre Ito works in and the horrible things his characters have to witness and deal with. His signature nightmarish imagery is far worse than any curse words the characters could drop, and it would certainly elicit some in-universe.
  • Naruto:
    • The early "uncut" English dub releases of Naruto were essentially the main dub that aired on television, except the violence wasn't censored and there was random bits of mild profanity sprinkled about. This includes such lines as Ino saying "Take that bitch down!" during the Shikamaru vs Temari fight (instead of "Take her down!") and Shikamaru saying "'The hell with it, I give up" when he forfeits against Temari (instead of "Okay, that's it, I give up"). The dub has since made the profanity less sparse as it's stopped airing on Toonami (or at least the kid-aimed version of Toonami).
    • In Japan, Boruto has aired on a kid's block alongside Pokémon. In America, it's a Toonami show and features the occasional light swearing (oftentimes once or twice an episode), such as "damn it" popping up.
  • In Japan, Inuyasha, based on a shōnen manga, was marketed mainly to older youth audiences. In America, it was aired by [adult swim] and the English dub features the occasional light swearing (for example, in Episode 5 of The Final Act, the titular character yells "Bastard!" at someone he's strangling out of anger).
  • Pop Team Epic uses this resource frequently, most in the original 4koma than in the anime adaptation, but isn't safe of this, mostly seen in Popuko's Mickey Mouse imitation where the half of the imitation makes bleep. Then there's the Chilean Abridged Series Pop Team Epic en Chileno, where the swears in Chilean Spanish are very common in this Gag Dub.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • My Immortal gives us Dumbledore screaming "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!" It even misspells non-profane words as profanities.
    "It was...... Cornelio Fuck!"
    • If Snape has uttered five lines and already used two obscenities, and the situation is anything less shocking than The End of the World as We Know It or Harry Potter becoming his direct superior (or possibly the line "She has your eyes"), you probably don't know how to write Snape.
    • Thirty Hs features an intentional overload of cursing as the cherry on the sundae of utter sanity that is the fanfic itself. Among other things, Harry "kills the fuck out of" Mercury and Venus with his guitar Fuckslayer after Dumbledore informs him that he "must rock the fuck out".
    • Ghost of You (Harry Potter) has comparatively less swearing (being much shorter than its predecessor), but still all lines aside from Luna's (who just says "Oh my like god, what are you, like, listening to?") involve either "fuck" or calling one's friends "bitches".
  • One fic averted this by using mild profanity, but the author went back at a later date and changed most of them (except one "damn" that actually worked with the scene) to "more in-character, colorful world-based profanity."
  • There's Bert/Ernie slash in which the dialogue is composed mainly of swearing. As mentioned, it is extremely jarring to hear Sesame Street characters swear for no reason other than sounding "mature". Guess they picked up some habits from their friend, The Count.
  • So much Warrior Cats fanfiction includes swearing, even though the books don't. This isn't because the book characters don't swear, but because they swear using feline profanities. So it seems really out of place when, in fanfic, someone yells "shit!" or calls someone a "bastard" while in the original novels they would have used "fox dung!" or called them a "fox-hearted traitor":
    • Probably the best example of this in fanfic would be a one-shot which features a kit dropping an f-bomb in every line of dialogue. That's right, a kit.
    • Apprentice and Pregnant features more human swears than cat swears. The writer has stated they prefer writing more human-like cats, resulting in a lot of human cursing and human gestures.
    • Warriors: The Days The Clans Died sneaks in a few curses. "Bastard" stands out as Orphaned Etymology because cats don't have an equivalent. They lack marriage systems and queens don't even have to state who their kits' sires are, so the closest to a "bastard" would probably be a Child of Forbidden Love.
  • Soichiro Yagami of Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, in addition to being almost Ax-Crazy, swears quite often ("Die you pies of shit!" to L). To say nothing of God.
  • Danced about in the Jaidenverse, a Darker and Edgier reimagining of the Harry Potter universe, in which the swearing is stronger and more frequent but c-nsored l-ke th-s.
  • My Inner Life features this.
  • Cori Falls's fics suffer greatly from this as well as Hollywood Tourette's.
  • Hunting the Unicorn subverts this. It's a Glee fanfic written in a very traditional style, but the Warblers swear a lot more than they do in canon. It seems more due to the fact that they're a group of teenaged guys who take everything quite seriously rather than an attempt to make things more adult, and they mostly use Precision F Strikes that are Sophisticated as Hell. In fact, the author rates it Teen instead of R, and the most she does is give a warning for people who dislike heavy swearing.
  • The /tg/-created Warhammer 40,000 Angry Marine chapter is practically defined by this trope. For reference, their Codex was once summed up as "JUST HIT THE FUCKERS!", and one of their Battle Barges is named the Maximum FUCK.
  • "Ronald Fucking Weasley" is described as a "shit wizard" in the first chapter of In This World and the Next, setting the tone for the rest of the fic. In fact, every character in every Robst fic seems to have exactly the same voice, which speaks fluent profanity: there's also a lot more of it in Knowledge is Power than in the books, even allowing for J. K. Rowling's famed Narrative Profanity Filter. Despite this, ITWATN, in the same sentence as the phrase "Ronald Fucking Weasley", shows Harry referring to him as a "prat". One critic wondered if the final battle "involved Harry calling Voldemort a pillock and describing his philosophy as bobbins".
    • In many cases, the characters curse inconsistently. It's quite common for authors to asterisk out "fuck" and spell out "shit", and one Redwall fic featured Martin the Warrior (who, frankly, is unlikely to use either term) calling the behaviour of a friend who he thought had ruined his life "cow-skite" and casually dropping "fuck" two sentences later.
  • Reconciliation has Hanako using quite a bit of profanity in her first-person narration, albeit none in her actual dialogue. Other characters' use of profanity is more reasonable; Akira uses some profanity, and Lilly, as in canon, limits herself to a single Precision F-Strike after her husband Hisao's funeral.
  • How I Became Yours has a fair amount, which is especially jarring considering that it's based on a children's show.
    Katara: Not a fucking chance! I can't what until I see you put up for a trial! Post on death row!
    Mai: Not today... Princess, the day will be painted red with your death... [attacks Katara, but she escapes] Get back here!!! You can't run from me you little bitch!!
  • In Hermione's Talent, everyone drops an f-bomb every other word. Even Hermione herself, who — in canon — is often found chiding other characters (usually Ron) for swearing.
  • A lot of YouTube Poop gets laughs by making cartoon characters swear profusely, though most of the time the swearwords are bleeped because the characters didn't swear in the original show, and it's not easy to find them saying things like "pingas" that can be clipped out of context without Walrusguy levels of sentence-mixing.
  • This is particularly common among the Fire Emblem modding community. The Fire Emblem games don't swear very much or very strongly at all (the occasional hell or damn at worst, and if the writers are really feeling edgy they'll throw in a bastard for spice, but that's as far as they go), but mod writers tend to "spice things up" by throwing all sorts of strong swears into the dialogue. They generally have little reason other than "people swear when they're angry".
  • Pokémon ROM hacks are especially noticeable, since to date the only official Pokémon work with profanity of any kind is Pokémon Detective Pikachu—which still doesn't use anything worse than "damn". Pokémon Quartz is a good example.
  • Earlier versions of Final Fantasy VI Brave New World are fairly notorious for this, as the clever reinvention of the base game's mechanics came bundled with a "revised translation" that was full of this (along with more than one Discredited Meme and several characters becoming Wangstier). Relm and Kefka in particular could make a sailor blush. Later revisions starting with 1.3 toned down the swearing a fair bit, but it was still bad enough that there are two patches that fix this. One of them is censored, the other tries to be more faithful to the vanilla game's script.
  • It seems to be assumed that because he's an angry, rapist killing, former street kid, Jason Todd/Red Hood must speak almost entirely in profanity.
  • One reason why The Angry Video Game Nerd isn't around in TGWTG fanfic much other than when he's paired off with The Nostalgia Critic. Trying to write his dialog and making it not this trope can get really obnoxious both to write and read.
  • The List Of Secrets had this quite a bit, though mostly in the later chapters.
  • Max Wolf Revolutions: By the fifth part of the story, there isn't a single chapter that doesn't contain any form of swearing.Harry Grimoire is called "fucking Harry Grimoire" all the time.
  • Second Wind: Used to a noticeable but minor extent.
  • In the Saki fanfic, Saki: After Story, found here, there's quite a bit of it, especially coming from Teru.
    Teru: [upon being told that the tournament doesn't start until noon] But I want to kick some ass!
    Sumire: You know, maybe you'll run into your sister.
    Teru: God damn it! How many times do I have to tell you, Sumire? I. Do. Not. Have. A. Sister!
    Sumire: Quit bullshitting, Teru.
  • After the End (Arabella and Zsenya) warns for swearing in its header, but averts this trope by keeping it low-key, dramatically appropriate and in-character. At the time it was written, 2000-2002, swearing in Harry Potter fanfic was uncommon and mostly done for the questionable edgy humour value of having children's book characters effing and blinding all over the place, as noted on the quotes page.
  • React Watch Believe Yikes can certainly feel like it falls into this category. At the time it was produced, RWBY had only just finished its first volume, in which nobody swore at all save for one Curse Cut Short; an extreme rarity for a Rooster Teeth production. Even considering they probably picked up the habit from watching Red vs. Blue, having them use "fuck" from the get-go is rather out of place.
  • A frightening amount of Pokémon fanfics do this, such as in "When Two are One" (which can be found on Pokemon's fanfic rec page), where White and often her Pokemon swear almost every time they speak or think. It's not uncommon at all for authors to see nothing odd with making relatively normal 11-year-olds swear up a storm, resulting in the rather bizarre sight of Blue,Barry, player characters, and the like dropping a Precision F-Strike or Cluster F-Bomb out of nowhere just from mild annoyance.
    • Alternatively, some fanfics keep the dialogue relatively clean... with the exception of certain characters, e.g. members of villainous teams (one of which is a Yakuza/Mafia analogue, and another one of which is deliberately designed to look comically "edgy"), Silver, a good chunk of the population of Orre, and teenagers, where one can reasonably see said characters swearing if they didn't originate from a children's game. Regardless, it can be rather jarring considering the source material.
  • The majority of the makers of "Grounded" videos on GoAnimate are little kids who dislike "baby shows", but love "grown-up shows" such as Family Guy and South Park. With that in mind, the usage of this trope in some "Grounded" videos (such as this one) is inevitable.
    Caillou: Damn, the moon look awesome.
    Alien: That's it! I'm calling your motherfucking parents!
    Caillou's Mom: You are grounded for [ridiculously huge number that takes almost a full minute to speak] fucking years!
    Caillou's Dad: Go to your fucking room now, you fuck piece of shit!
  • Tales of a Junk Town Pony Peddler, being Fallout in Equestria, can surprise you with colourful language.
  • Harry Potter Becomes a Communist has constant F-bombs, especially from communist!Harry. The F-bomb is also dropped by such characters as Hermione, Professor McGonagall, and Dobby. The first chapter is the only one to contain no swearing.
  • The Stalking Zuko Series tends to fall into this in later installments, since "Not Stalking Zuko" is rated T and "Not Stalking Firelord Zuko" is rated M. As a result, you can see characters using profanity that they not only wouldn't have used in canon but also didn't use in earlier installments.
  • The use of this trope in Star Trek fanfic is particularly noticeable in works written after the release of The Voyage Home, which confirms that, for all intents and purposes, Canon!Kirk doesn't actually know how to swear.
  • Emergence: Between every story in the series, you'd be hard-pressed to find a character in the entire continuity who didn't swear nearly every other sentence.
  • Subverted in the RWBY fanfic The Black Hearts. Melanie Black swears like a sailor, and this story has more profanity than any other story in its series, The Makings of Team CRME. However, she is the only one using it so liberally. Marcus, notably an alcoholic and domestic abuser, only uses one swear word in the whole fic and it's a relatively mild one ("damn"). And as soon as Melanie is taken out of the story, profanity all but disappears. And throughout the rest of the series, while there is more profanity than featured in the show, it is used quite sparingly. The only other time such liberal use of profanity was when she returned in CRME. Her appearance has more profanity than the entire rest of the fic.
  • In The Portal, both Thomas and his best friend, Alex say "Oh, shit!" when they activate the portal and get pulled into the Dragon Realms.
  • MF 217's works tend to mostly include swearing so long as it feels realistic in proportion to a character's given age. Since most of his cast in his works are older versions of younger characters in canon, their swearing can be anywhere between rather mild at best or rather crass at worst. Some notable exceptions to this are characters who are intended to have a massive O.O.C. Is Serious Business moment for when they actually do swear, even if it's only a grand total of once in the entire fic they even do. Citadel of the Heart has done this with regards to AU versions of Ash Ketchum and The Mysterious Man, with both lines in question being a Wham Line that ends the chapter in question on a rather nasty question in which in Ash's case is because of his Tranquil Fury showing as a Rage Breaking Point, and in The Mysterious Man's case it's because of an ongoing Villainous Breakdown of a Sanity Slippage that had begun sometime offscreen and is still ongoing even when he's no longer directly being focused on by the narration.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Transformers: The Movie:
    • Spike's "Oh shit! What are we gonna do now!?" and Ultra Magnus's "Open, dammit! Open!" Transformers has always been Merchandise-Driven, but back in the '80s they were much more shameless about it—the insertion of swear words into the movie was a calculated attempt to get parents into the theater so they'd recognize the new characters on store shelves (though it's debatable if this would have helped, given the Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy of the time).
    • The Hungarian DVD dub of the movie is infamous for this (among other things). Ironhide, for instance, calls the Decepticons "szarháziak" (sons of bitches) twice, while Grimlock calls Blurr a "seggfej" (asshole). Though the "Oh shit!" line was cut from this version.
  • The Secret of NIMH included a "damn" and some gratuitous gorn to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating. They got a G anyway.
  • Batman: Bad Blood has Kate Kane/Batwoman call a thug an asshole for attacking her while drunk in an alleyway, and she calls Talia a bitch for brainwashing her father.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Roughly half the swearing in Troll 2. Poked fun at in the RiffTrax:
    Michael: So where's that damn mirror?
    Holly: In here...
    Mike Nelson: [as Holly] In the damn alcove.
  • The 2002 Crossroads features this at one point when the main character yells at her friends to stop "bitching and fighting every damn second of the day!"
  • Invoked in-universe in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Kirk is called a dumbass by a cabbie for jaywalking in front of the cab. Kirk picks up that profanity is the norm, so he starts using it. Spock tries.
    "They like you very much, but they are not the hell your whales."
  • Executive Meddling forced this on a couple riffs in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, clearly to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating. Still, Mike and the Bots made the best of it, all things considered.
  • Carrigan in Casper is constantly called a bitch for no good reason, in fashions which draw attention to the word's use, culminating in an Ironic Echo when after dying in a car accident she appears to her partner in crime just as he's ready to throw in the towel believing that his attempt to make her a ghost had failed and tells him, "The bitch is back!" Again, obviously to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating.
  • In Planes, Trains and Automobiles, John Hughes wrote a legendary Cluster F-Bomb into Steve Martin's dialogue to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating.
  • Lampshaded in the film A Serious Man, in which one (middle school-aged) character exists for the sole purpose of calling everyone and everything a "fucker".


    Live-Action TV 
  • The first season of Sherlock has John using both "shit" and "fuck," but only as curses cut short. In the season two episode A Scandal in Belgravia, this upgrades to John saying "shit" in full.
  • Torchwood, as part of trying to be Darker and Edgier than Doctor Who. Only in the early first series though; by series 2, it had mostly been toned down to just "shit".
  • There are a number of examples of British productions dating back to the 1970s wherein if an American character is portrayed, at some point he or she will inevitably utter the curse word "goddamn", often for no real reason (as if the term was just a benign swear along the lines of damn or hell, which it is in the UK). Strangely, the pronunciation of the word often differs from how it's really said in the US; usually, the two syllables are uttered separately, but when Brits do it, it often comes out sounding like "goddum". Two productions in which this can be heard are the original TV movie Max Headroom and the 2005 Doctor Who episode "Dalek" (the only time this curse has been heard on the series).
  • Along with sexual content, a ramping up of swearing is also seen as an obligation for series produced for streaming and premium cable. Following this trope backfired on the made-for-streaming Star Trek: Discovery in 2017 when, for the first time, the F-word was used in an early episode. Aside from creating a Broken Base scenario between fans offended by it and those who loved it, when the episode aired pre-watershed in Canada (the only country to release it through traditional broadcast), enough viewers complained that the network was officially reprimanded by the federal broadcast authority for airing the episode too early in the evening in a series from a generally family-friendly franchise.
  • Star Trek: Picard fires off the F-bombs like proton torpedoes its first season. Though likely meant to emphasize the Darker and Edgier nature of the show, it just came off as immature to a lot of viewers. In response, things were scaled back drastically for the second and third seasons, which combined have only 3 F-bombs across 20 episodes.
  • One major complaint about Titans (2018), as the streaming network release gave it significant freedom in terms of content, and thus allowed for swearing. This went alongside being a Darker and Edgier adaptation of the New Teen Titans era comics, which featured Dick Grayson's Robin as a brutal vigilante who memorably declares "fuck Batman" in the first trailer. While it could be argued this was done to be realistic, many found it excessive and made the characters seem far more immature than intended, and came across as the writers trying to be as edgy as possible rather than reflect how the characters would actually talk. It's not helped by the fact Titans was based on the same comics that previously inspired the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon, so most audiences were used to seeing the title characters as their more innocent, comedy-driven selves.
    • Doom Patrol (2019), the pseudo-spin-off was similar, however this was much better received than in Titans thanks to being much better utilised. The show didn't arbitrarily make everyone a pottymouth, with it mostly just being Jane and Cliff who swear regularly, while the more refined Rita Farr and Larry being far more restrained. Jane and Cliff are troubled Jerk with a Heart of Gold types with severe emotional maturity issues, and so for them, the swearing comes off as fitting their characters as it reflects their lack of maturity. Rita and Larry are more emotionally repressed in nature, so while they might swear when heated, they don't spout them out to the same casual level Jane and Cliff do, with Rita talking in her artificial 50s Hollywood manner, and Larry being rather quiet and reserved. And then, the rest of the cast vary, but generally will swear when it seems fitting or not at all if its not in-character. Largely, this works better for Doom Patrol, which is explicitly a surrealist deconstruction of Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits-style superhero teams, and the show being a non-traditional superhero series, so the swearing fits better than it would for a more serious superhero series intended to be an adaptation that plays itself straight.
  • Farscape. In the first episode produced after the premiere (though it aired Out of Order), Aeryn Sun uses the word "crap" to make it clear to the audience that they're not watching Star Trek. However, this quickly became Early-Installment Weirdness with the adoption of a unique vocabulary of alien curse words.

  • OFWGKTA is this trope played straight. Tyler is a particularly prime example, utilizing a Cluster F-Bomb in almost every bar, while also having a penchant for dropping the "faggot" bomb and referring to women as bitches and a cunt.
  • The English version of Rammstein's "Engel" has the equivalent of God knows translated as goddamn.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Discussed by Eddie Murphy in his comedy special Raw, when he recalled being chastised by Bill Cosby for being too dirty with his comedy ("You cannot say... 'fuck' in front of people.").
    Eddie: And I got mad. Because he thought that was my whole act. Like I just walked out on-stage and cursed and left. I manage to stick in some jokes between the curses. You couldn’t give no curse show. Walk out, say, "Hey, filth flarn, motherfucker, dick, pussy, snot and shit. Good night. Good night. Suck my dick. Bye-bye."

    Video Games 
  • Among other things, the game Shadow the Hedgehog was infamous for having the title character gratuitously using the word "damn" as well as, to a lesser extent, "hell". Even other characters, like Knuckles, Espio, and Sonic get in on the act too.
    Shadow: Where's that damn fourth Chaos Emerald? (Circus Park - Opening Cutscene)
    Knuckles: Damn...another dead end. (Glyphic Canyon - Level Progression)
    Espio: Damn. We've been detected. (Mad Matrix - Boss Cutscene)
    Sonic: Damn! They got away! (Lethal Highway - Hero Mission Failed)
  • The So Bad, It's Good ROM hack Pokémon Quartz does this.
    "Argh! Fucking kid! You send my plans down to the WC!"
  • Another Pokémon example is Pokémon Green, which has a crappy translation that naturally includes several uses of "damn" sprinkled throughout.
    Picnicker Nancy: Damn you! Being defeated really lose face
  • Guilty Gear: "I always knew you were a shitty king! You can't even protect yourself!"
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL has gone on record for having the most instances of the word "fuck" uttered in a game. The first words spoken are "Whazzup, motherfucker!" Isaac Washington uses "motherfucker" so often that the one time he conspicuously doesn't gets a Lampshade Hanging.
    • The game even made it into the Guinness World Records for being the most profane game ever. However, it was beaten a year later by Mafia II, though Overkill's Updated Re-release took the title back.
    • Typing of the Dead: Overkill reminds you to type whatever you want to against the Final long as you type like a motherfucker.
  • Samurai Shodown: "Shit! You really make me mad!"
  • The Metal Gear series usually has very little swearing, just the occasional "damn" here and there. But there are exceptions:
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, one of the radio conversations you can have is about a nightmare Sigint had about a giant walking turd that turns everything it shoots into shit.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots also dropped an F-bomb in the first boss fight. The first in the series, in fact, if you're playing in English. note 
    Laughing Octopus: It's just so fucking hysterical!
  • Download, a relatively obscure PC Engine shmup, has swearing in its game over messages: "I cannot fuck up for this." and "Shit, is not this a great beginning?"
  • The original Max Payne had only mild to moderate swearing, the worst of which being the odd "goddammit" and one use of "bullshit". The sequel dropped this trend.
  • The 2009 Bionic Commando game has a few of these.
  • The DeJap Fan Translation of Tales of Phantasia has this. This actually caused a bit of Mis-blamed when the game was given an official localization, like how the translators allegedly "censored" the adult humor that was never actually in the original text itself.
  • The original English releases of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together and Ogre Battle 64, translated by Atlus, use practically every swear word in the English language short of the f-bomb. Vice in particular is especially foul-mouthed for somebody on the good guys' side. The PSP retranslation of the former, helmed by Alexander O. Smith, cut out almost all the swearing.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Almost any interjection made by a frustrated character was translated as anything from "dammit" to "shit", even when the characters weren't even swearing originally (e.g. frustrated grunts such as "くっ" often became something like "Shit..."). Granted, it's one of the darker installments in the series. This is probably due to the localization being handled by Sony USA instead of Square themselves, as later Final Fantasy games have much more PG-level language.
    • Since the (usually grawlixed-out) swearing is one of the things that was innovative about the game at the time, Final Fantasy VII Remake includes as much swearing as the T/PEGI 16 rating will let it get away with - which means any swearing so long as it's never harder than 'shit'. Characters liberally pepper their dialogue with the word 'shit', from toughguys like Cloud, Barret and Reno all the way down to somewhat less expected characters like Aerith. It has, by a long shot, the most profanity out of any Final Fantasy title, including the original game. It should perhaps be noted that in the original game Cloud said 'shit' exactly once (and even that was removed in the PC version).
  • In the Devil May Cry mainline series mostly kept itself with only mild cuss words over the years, ranging from "damn", "shit" to "asshole" at most, strong cussing was implemented in the attempted reboot with DmC: Devil May Cry with "fucks" a-plenty, Devil May Cry 5 however marks the point where the mainline series also brings the "fucks" home, courtesy of Nero later in the game during a very personal fight, he who already did most of the previous mild swearing in Devil May Cry 4 anyway. To top it off there’s Griffon who unlike Nero doesn’t need to be under emotional impulse to spew the strong words, the bird has plenty of fucks to give during gameplay, for attacks and mission dialogue.
  • In the Resident Evil franchise despite the very gruesome nature of the series the dialogue remained fairly tame in profanity for many years, the cast would react to extreme violence mostly with "damn" and once in a while with "shit"; Resident Evil 7: Biohazard came in however and with it the dialogue then matched all the violence, usage of "fuck", "motherfucker" and many variations are plenty, and with the remake for Resident Evil 2 it seems strong cuss words are here to stay for a while.
  • In Senran Kagura after XSEED accommodated the series with an M Rating / 16 PEGI due the values dissonance in some western countries, the English lines got kinkier and strong cuss words started being used; Mirai for one speaks like a sailor once she gets feisty, firing "fucks" like no tomorrow.
  • The DS English translation of Puyo Puyo Fever, handled by Atlus, uses a couple of damns and hells here and there, which wouldn't otherwise be notable if this weren't... well, Puyo Puyo.
  • The Halloween Hack averts this for most of the game, until the Final Boss begins his Boss Banter with a Cluster F-Bomb that contains a homophobic slur, and later uses an attack called PSI Bitchkill. The creator regrets including it, and considering what the base game was like for 90% of the playtime, it's easy to see why.
  • Oh Shit! is a clone of Pac-Man where, as the title implies, the Pac-Man copy screams "Oh SHIT!" when he loses a life. It plays exactly like Pac-Man otherwise. Some versions tone it down to "Oh NO!" instead, renaming the game accordingly.
  • La-Mulana 2 adds much more crude humor in its localization than existed in the first game. Even texts left by Precursors use such words as "jerkoffs" and "nasty-ass" profusely.
  • The Bob-omb Mafia is one of the first full hacks of Super Mario RPG. It's also one of the edgiest; in early versions, the dialogue is full of heavy swearing, including from characters like Mallow (who is a young boy). While most of it is excusable as emphasizing the Wretched Hive setting, it ends on a single screen of text featuring a Suicide Dare directed at the player, seemingly just to be offensive.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • The Newgrounds flash game "Arrival in Hell" shows this several times, including "Whoa. Fuckin' thanks for that."
  • Considering that many users in the website's community are (or were at the time) kids who love adult cartoons, it almost really goes without saying in many GoAnimate videos, where anyone can have a potty mouth. It's especially funny if a character cursing like a soldier is told to stop swearing by another person who is also swearing. Even news anchors and reporters are fairly regularly shown peppering their live reports with f-bombs and s-bombs seemingly because they can, without consequence (which is amusing, considering that news reporters can and have been fired for doing so in real life).

  • Parodied in Mason "Tailsteak" Williams' comic series "Band", here.

    Web Original 
  • Some parenting guides, mostly websites, will have some sort of profanity, because the Target Audience are adults raising children, albeit the material being about children anyway.
  • Play an online game. ANY online game. You will hear swear words you never thought existed. Bonus points if you're playing with mics, so you can actually hear the pre-pubescence in the kid calling you a faggot.
  • Google Translate, for Japanese anyway. Same with Microsoft's translator.
    • Case in point: as of this writing, it translates temee (てめえ、), a fairly rude form of "you" (see Japanese Pronouns) as "mothafucka'".
    • Google Translate also manages to turn "fuzaken'na!", simply a rather impolite way of saying "stop screwing around", into "motherfucker", for no particular reason. Fansubbers of all stripes love to render it as "Don't fuck with me!" in almost all anime it's spoken in.
    • As of this writing, Google Translate seems to have topped itself by turning "tondemonai baka" (roughly "complete moron") into "fucking dickhead".

    Western Animation 
  • Quite a few Hungarian dubs:
    • King of the Hill had great fun with this in its first 8 seasons, inserting all sorts of colorful profanities into the dialogue to make it sound more natural/adult/funny. This practice was abandoned in the rest of the dub.
    • Regular Show, or at least the later seasons, made quite frequent use of the word "basszus" (damn or shit). Some episodes even slipped in the term "kicseszett" ("effing" or "fugging") or a variation thereof.
    • Both Transformers: Prime and its lighter sequel Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) contain a few examples of profanity, like Starscream calling the Autobots "bastards" or giving a big "eff you" to Shockwave, and Thunderhoof telling the Autobots "don't fug with me". Thundercracker from Transformers: Cyberverse almost said "bitch" in one episode in reference to Windblade, but was cut off.
    • Slappy from Animaniacs, Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy, the Scotsman from Samurai Jack and Gorgonzola from Chowder all said "shit" at least once.
    • The episode "I Used to be Funny" from Johnny Bravo had the rhino call Johnny a "fag" or "asshole" when the original dialogue only used "jerk".
    • And finally an example where dub-induced profanities were somewhat appropriate given the subject matter, the Hungarian dub of the RoboCop animated series was written to stay in tune with the original films, sprinkling in words such as "damn", "bastard", "son of a bitch", "asshole" or "whore".
  • In the DVD version of Clerks: The Animated Series, Jay swears a lot during one live-action segment to make up for the fact that there isn't any swearing in the cartoon itself.
  • The cursing in High Guardian Spice only fuels its Uncertain Audience. Good-faith critics have noted that, besides it clashing rather jarringly with the colorful, lighthearted setting and characters, the strong language is highly inconsistent; characters use laughably mild expletives like "dang", "crap", or "oh my word", then drop a casual "shit" for no particular reason, then return to throwing around neutered interjections. A symptom of Crunchyroll executives forcing the writers to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating.
  • Lobo in Superman: The Animated Series was a bit low on the swearing side, saying "Frag" at worst. In the Venezuelan Spanish dub, he calls Superman "son of a bitch", despite this show being geared toward kids.
  • The Dutch theme song to DuckTales translates the line "It's a duck blur!" as "Bliksems, 't is wat!", which translates to "Damn, that's something!"
  • The Simpsons: In "Das Bus", when the children of Springfield Elementary are stranded on a deserted island, Bart says their adventure could be "just like The Swiss Family Robinson, but with more cursing," adding "We'll be living like kings! Damn hell ass kings!".

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Junior high and high school, and elementary schoolers trying to look like junior high students. Thankfully, the novelty seems to wear off considerably by college.
  • Part of the reason Did Not Do the Bloody Research is so prevalent, certain parts of the UK, particularly those of working class nature, swear words and slang terms are so commonly used in unison that if you're not familiar with some terms, you may not realise which ones are considered swear words or not. Conversely, words that are considered at least mild swears in America (like "hell" or "damn") aren't considered swears at all in the UK, and are often treated as their equivalent of "dang it"-level terms.
  • Quite often, people with a stutter will swear quite a lot, which has a great deal of Fridge Brilliance to it; most swear words are single syllable words, they are highly emotive, and they tend to have diverse uses (the word "fuck" can mean sexual intercourse, something going wrong, an exclamation of excitement, etc), so swear words make effective spacer words due to being easy to say and recall, express one's tone, and can be used in a lot of ways. Ironically, because people with a stutter are often quite introverted (naturally as they have difficulty talking in the first place), it's often surprising to people when they hear them swear, because they assumed their introverted nature meant they were polite and shy.