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"Noisecore is not music insomuch as it is anti-music. It is a recreation of the sounds in our modern technological society through an abrasive form."
Ishkur's Guide To Electronic Music

Defiling the viewer/listener's senses by pummeling them with unpleasant or gruesome images, flashing lights, or loud, dissonant noise.

Note: This must be intentional on the part of the creators. This is not the same as Stylistic Suck. However, they can overlap.

True Artists will also do this, but only if it's symbolic for the futility of modern life, a criticism of mass media, or something along those lines. Dada will sometimes do this just to piss the viewers off. Expect Vulgar Humor for the nastier forms of this.

This can be subverted. Maybe the artist intentionally created ugly, dissonant sights or sounds to beat up the viewer, but the end result is actually pretty cool.

Although there are many more kinds of other Sensory Abuse in Real Life (e.g.: skunks), all media covered in this wiki are limited to sight and sound, so we'll focus on these. The trope will be broken into two sections, with their common tropes listed below them:

Optical Assault

Aural Invasion

To protect those with epilepsy, or sensitivity to loud noises, we advise you not to post any video examples of any of these forms.


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Optical Assault

    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A growing problem with widespread adoption of 3-D films and TV sets is that they have a tendency to cause eye strain and even motion sickness in a large minority of viewers.
  • Basically the entirety of Enter the Void; the cinematography is amazing, don't get us wrong, but at times can only be described as an epileptic's fever dream. There are several times throughout the film dedicated to strobing visuals, such as when the camera zooms in on a hexagonal light that just so happens to be flashing red and blue.
  • Word of God says that the whole point of the infamous Sweet Movie was to bombard the viewer with non-stop offensive imagery until they were "reborn".
  • Bicentennial Man: An In-Universe example early in the film is Andrew showing a holographic recording explaining the Three Laws of Robotics. The laws are a bright white, moving around in a 3d circle and accompanied by drums and trumpets so loud that he has to shout over them to read the laws. Immediately after the presentation, he's ordered to never do that again.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The outfit worn by the Sixth Doctor in Doctor Who — it's not just that it's brightly-coloured and tacky, but that the pinstripes and checks were specifically chosen to cause Strobing on televisions.

  • Cannibal Corpse, full stop. The cover arts of this famous Death Metal band are just... Wow.
  • The music video for Kanye West's "All of the Lights". That epilepsy warning at the start is not kidding.
    • Kanye and Jay-Z's video for "Niggas in Paris" contains a similar warning and both videos share a director: Hype Williams.
    • And a fan-made lyrics video for the Kanye West version of E.T.
  • The works of director Chris Cunningham often has shocking images, Nightmare Fuel, stroboscopic lights and fast editing, his video for "Sheena is a Parasite" by The Horrors was banned in some places because networks feared it could trigger seizures.
  • The music video for SebastiAn's "Total" consists of a hyper-speed montage of random disturbing images plucked from the internet.
  • The music video for Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight."
    • "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" directors Kevin Godley & Lol Creme did an even more extreme variant on its jump-cut style for the music video for Rob Jungklas' song "Boystown." Jungklas directly blames the unwatchable video for the failure of his Closer to the Flame album.
    • Also the extra stages "The Great Majority" and "The Way of All Flesh".
  • Similar to the Kanye West video above, there's the David Lynch-directed video for Nine Inch Nails' "Came Back Haunted".

    Video Games 
  • Hellsinker's final battles are full of this.
  • Llamasoft's Polybius is an incredibly trippy experience, with bright flashing colors throughout. As an added bonus, the game is VR-supported...but don't be surprised if you feel motion sick playing in VR.
  • Red Green Blue, a Canabalt-like game that obscures information on the screen with its painful colour palette.
  • The final boss battle in Siren: Blood Curse takes place in an alien realm full of wildly shifting bright colors flashing in a psychedelic manner. This is in huge contrast to the rest of the dark, drab coloration found throughout the rest of the game.
  • Post Void. On top of the lurid texture work and grotesque enemies, the screen flashes bright white every time you fire your gun. You will be shooting a lot in this game.

    Web Videos 
  • Linus Tech Tips: In-Universe. In "This was all a waste of money. (about YouTube's shoddy HDR support), an example is a cutaway of a hypothetical scene of an LTT employee looking at an HDR TV when it's tuned to "an even worse version of the Vivid mode in the Best Buy showroom" (meaning way too bright). The video itself is in SDR, so the excessive brightness is incapable of reaching the audience.

    Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe has an example of this in the episode "Adventures in Light Distortion". The episode had been largely humorous before, as the gravity engine on the Roaming Eye messed with the proportions of the Hard Light-bodies of the Gems. However, when Steven shuts it off on accident and everyone gets pinned to the walls, the environment turns red, and everything gains an effect much like watching a 3D movie without 3D glasses. The fact that everything starts shaking as well does not help.
  • From Codename: Kids Next Door, there is the episode "Operation: A.R.C.H.I.V.E.", which details the creation of adults and the war that children and adults fought so that both could get their respective rights. Granted, the thing is controversial since it should be separated from the general continuity of the series in order to get the maximum enjoyment out of it, but that is not what makes it this trope. What makes it this trope comes after the narrator (Numbuh 1) proves that adults and children do not live happily by using a The End... Or Is It? styled motive and showing after it the presence of schools which should let children forget about everything, after which you get disturbing image after disturbing image with narration detailing how gruesomely children are getting brainwashed by them until the teacher for which the speech is given demands that Numbuh 1 stops speaking so that he can give him a triple F minus for all of the (In-Universe) alleged lies he taught to those children. The show was already known for its outright gruesome imagery and themes, but this is unbelievably hard to watch even by the standards of the very show.
  • Metalocalypse tends to have moments of rapid flashing and close-up shots of gore.
  • The Problem Solverz has no grasp on the idea of "Dominant Color" and is regularly seizure inducing with its trippy visuals and butt-ugly design. If you have sensitive eyes, or any eyes at all for that matter, you won't after watching this. RebelTaxi said it best:
    Pan-Pizza: Your average LCD TV can display over 16 million colors, and by golly The Problem Solverz is going to do just that.
  • South Park likes — nay, loves — to explore all the myriad ways of making its audience's eyes bleed. One example is when Cartman is told to close his eyes to find inspiration, cue a montage of real-life footage of Nightmare Fuel, including Family Unfriendly Deaths, Gorn, and a lab mouse eating another one's brain. There is also random footage of a severely starving African man in a parody commercial for Towelie products.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants used to have realistic mantel depictions of its characters (Moar Krabs is the most famous one). Thankfully this kind of Nightmare Face dropped out of favor later on but they were intense.
  • Drawn Together is infamous for this, with almost every single episode containing at least one instance of gross-out imagery or a screamer.
  • In the My Goldfish is Evil episode "Goldfish Teriyaki", Admiral Bubbles uses a device he invented to zap the host of a Japanese cooking show who wanted to eat him. When he does this there are strobe effects of black and white for approximately 4 seconds.
  • 12 oz. Mouse loves putting strobe effects at random moments in some episodes.

  • Certain Op Art works fall into this category - for instance, Briget Riley's "Late Morning", a 12ft canvas of red, green and blue stripes that causes nausea, migraines, dizziness and even epilepsy attacks in viewers.
  • Shock Sites
  • Ouch. Epileptics: You are forewarned.
  • Trolls can be like this, especially on forums that let them post images. The Garbage Post Kid is a subtype of troll devoted to doing exactly this to the exclusion of anything else.
  • Just that. Flashing black and white backgrounds along with a load of absurd ASCII art jiggering around your screen. It's even said it'll become a virus if you visit it a second time.
  • Epilepsy is directly triggered by this, since the optical assault overloads your neurons and makes them fire all at once (they should be firing in rapid, but distinct and perceivable patterns). Epilepsy is literally what happens when your brain's Flash plugin crashes.

Aural Invasion

  • One Snickers Ice Cream Bar advertisement (which is a Beach advert for Snickers Ice Cream Bars), contains nothing but a screaming nightmare. Welp, here the part where the chaos infinites...
  • Many ID bumps and promotional adverts on modern rock radio stations fit here. A favorite is to announce the station name with tons of sound effects and yelling. e.g.: This THIS THIS is K-K-K-K *explosion* *woman screams* KBBLA *sci-fi laser sound effects* *snippets from Family Guy* in the morning *lower pitch* IN THE MORNING!
  • The woman telling her baby to "SHUT UP!!!!" in the "Can't Look" PIF for NSPCC.

    Films — Animation 
  • Much like the the original version, Fantasia's Rite of Spring piece features a lot of sudden loud noises, shrill instruments, loud trumpets, and staccato that can be quite grating when people (especially children) hear it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The audiobook version of Eden Green contains a grating scratch sound at the moment when Eden is infected with the alien needle symbiote.

    Live-Action TV 

  • The Stooges:
    • "L.A. Blues" from Fun House where Iggy Pop moans, grunts and growls while the musicians go berserk.
    • According to Iggy Pop, the intention for Raw Power was to make music that would physically hurt the listener. While the originally-released mix by David Bowie featured a thin and muffled sound that belied this intention (thanks to it being done at the last minute), Pop got to fulfil his plans with the 1997 remaster, which took the Loudness War to its logical conclusion by featuring so much compression and volume-boosting that the entire album sits firmly in the red.
  • "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" from Frank Zappa's Live Album of the same name, consisting of one harsh tone. Near the end the audience is literally stunned. There's some applause, some booing and Zappa closes the show.
  • Both Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins and side 1 of Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions feature a prolonged, discordant One-Woman Wail from Yoko Ono.
  • Most Death Metal and Black Metal, with the worst offenders being Internal Suffering and Cryptopsy for death metal, and Anaal Nathrakh and Burzum for black metal. Both genres are essentially Thrash Metal taken to its logical extreme and are filled with just about nothing but heavily distorted and downtunded gutars and bass, contantly pounding and crashing percussion, guttural growls and screaming, and lyrics usually about gore, hate, the apocalypse all meant to scare and disgust rendered unintelligible, played incredibly loud and fast to the point of oftentimes just sounding like noise.
  • Industrial Metal. Ministry, Fear Factory, Marilyn Manson and Strapping Young Lad are among the most notable offenders.
  • Grindcore, more specifically the subgenres of noisegrind, deathgrind and electro/industrial grind
    • Anal Cunt - With a name like that, it comes as no surprise.
  • Brostep can come across as this, thanks to the exaggeration of Dubstep's characteristics. Drops become pretty noisy, 2-step-influenced drumbeats turn into brutal caricatures of themselves, and synthesizers sound more metallic than in old-school dubstep.
    • Even worse is Deathstep, characterized by “machine gun” basses (heavy, rapid synths with a very short decay, usually in triplets), heavy, atonal, almost white noise-sounding synths and general exaggeration of Brostep's characteristics.
  • In the perspective of people who love the genre, dubstep in general can be considered a subversion, as the main characteristic of dubstep is a jumbled collage of random sounds and samples and a bassline that's amped up and heavily distorted, however, it's produced in a way that makes it sound melodic and cohesive rather than unpleasant. To people who hate the genre though, it can be considered a straight example.
  • A number of Futret's tracks are this.
  • Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, with "Bring Back the Apocalypse" being of particular interest.
  • A lot of hardcore electronic genres are based on this, including industrial hardcore, power electronics, death industrial, power noise, Harsh Noise, speedcore, hypertone, supertone, deathtone, suizidcore, terrorcore, frenchcore, neurofunk, darkstep, techstep, hardstep, splittercore, extratone, glitch, breakcore, some digital hardcore, raggacore, hellektro/aggrotech, and some Hardcore Techno/gabber. Venetian Snares is one of the worst offenders.
  • Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music is basically a double record set of nothing but guitar feedback noise. It has to be heard to be believed.
  • IDM artists sometimes do this for fun.
    • Autechre uses this heavily. "Gantz Graf" is one of their more famous examples, and even their most innocuous songs have a fair bit of harshness to them.
      • Even better (or worse), "Confield."
    • Hvratski, too.
    • Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)" would certainly qualify. And generally, any track he has where the beats go so blazingly fast they practically fall all over themselves, which was a lot in the late 90s and early 2000s.
      • He also has some noise tracks that fit this category, like "Ventolin" which has a constantly high-frequency noise throughout (do not listen if you're prone to migraines).
      • "Ktpa1" is even worse than both of them combined.
      • "Aphex Airlines" is also a pretty bad offender.
    • Squarepusher's "Steinbolt". Good song, but definitely an acquired taste. Even a YouTube comment claimed that the song sounds like dubstep having a stroke.
  • The end of Captain Beefheart's "Bat Chain Puller" from Shiny Beast played at high volumes, goes straight here. But in a good way.
  • Starflyer 59's "Dual Overhead Cam" features an eardrum-piercing guitar feedback shriek right after the second chorus.
  • When the Melvins are playing to a particularly unappreciative audience (especially if they're playing at a festival where everyone's really waiting for the big name acts), they've been known to just break into an endless, deliberately irritating noise jam in order to get everyone to leave. If only a few people are left, then sometimes they start playing actual songs. Colossus of Destiny was essentially their attempt to replicate this on record, complete with the cacophony eventually turning into a performance of their song "Eye Flys". Chicken Switch, a remix album heavy on contributions from experimental noise artists, also probably applies.
  • James Leyland Kirby, aka 'V/Vm' is known for the incredibly distorted remixes of popular music that he records, one example including his album "Sick Love", which consists of disgusting, mutated recreations of love songs like Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are", Berlin's "Take My Breath Away", etc.
    • A stand-out piece is "Hate You", from the compilation of the same name. It's 17 minutes, and is a noise jam consisting of a loop of the chorus of The Beatles's "Hey Jude".
    • His Everywhere At The End of Time series as The Caretaker invokes this starting in Stage 4, coming to a head with Track H1, in which the intro of a 1960 performance of the standard "Granada" by Mantovani And His Orchestra is slowed down and distorted so as to resemble explosions, gunfire, and air raid sirens, hence the nickname "Hell Sirens".
  • The psychedelic lo-fi noise dub group Black Dice have this trope in every one of their albums. It's not just their music that is amazingly nauseating (e.g. Repo, Broken Ear Record), but their music videos too, which feature cut up found footage, along with intentional distortion.
  • Some of Mike Patton's more out-there material, most notably the album Adult Themes For Voice, which is nothing but 40-odd minutes of Patton making strange and often abrasive and/or startling vocal noises into a tape recorder and warping the results.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's album Off the Deep End: 10 minutes after the last track ends comes "Bite Me", which consists of six seconds of screaming, backwards drumming, loud guitars and deliberately unpleasant effects intended to scare the listener who forgot to turn off the CD player.
    • To put it bluntly, God help you if you're listening to this in Stereo!
  • Present in Flywrench where the background music is mostly distorted noise.
  • Alice in Chains has a track on their Sap album called "Love Song." The song starts off a slow piano melody with vocals coughing and snorting for the accompaniment while a back up vocalist makes wailing sounds. When the lyrics start, they're sung through a megaphone while the rest of the band wails on their instruments.
  • Nirvana has "Endless Nameless" on the album Nevermind, and "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" and "Tourette's" on their followup In Utero.
  • Depeche Mode's opening track to their Playing The Angel album, "A Pain That I'm Used To", opens with a prolonged, blaring siren that repeats a few times over what is otherwise a fairly subdued song. If you keep the volume adjusted to the siren, you can barely hear the song itself so you have to acclimate to it. The siren becomes a pain that you're used to.
  • The Piz and their VST instrument plugins.
  • KMFDM's hidden track on Nihil (skip to 3:41).
  • "Lower State of Consciousness" by ZZT. Harsh Atari 2600 style bleeps and buzzes set to techno beats.
  • Many of R.A.E.D.'s songs fall into this.
  • Japanese industrial band Dissecting Table.
  • The Flume remix of Disclosure's "You & Me" off the special edition of their debut LP Settle is pretty damn awesome, except for the fact that the chorus involves an irritating, high-pitched ring that sounds for a brief moment. Some have complained that it causes headaches, and someone had to step up and make a version of the song with the ring greatly lessened.
    • Kind of mixed with optical abuse in the video; the footage played over the ringing sound often involves flickering backgrounds or straight-up flashing images.
  • A relatively subdued example, but R.E.M.'s "Leave" features a distorted, siren-like loop that starts playing about a minute into the song and plays continuously for about the next six minutes, at which point the song is nearly over. It's not mixed too loudly though, and the song seems purposely structured in such a way that you repeatedly forget the siren noise is there until suddenly there's a breakdown where you hear nothing but drums and sirens.
  • Most of their music is pretty melodic, but My Bloody Valentine have a habit of inserting a ten-plus-minute segment of pure noise, which according to Word of God is meant to induce hallucinations in listeners, into their song "You Made Me Realise" during live performances. The band refer to the segment as "the holocaust", which is a pretty good indicator of what it sounds like. It was enough to make Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith have a heart attack at one of MBV's London shows.note 
  • Funeral doom is a different take on this trope from most Death Metal and Black Metal. It's played at a glacially slow pace with pretty much the gloomiest instrumentation possible, and the only vocals are incomprehensibly low growls. It's a good example showing that music doesn't have to be fast to be heavy. Take a listen to the song "The March and the Stream" from pioneering funeral doom band Skepticism.
    • Tomb of The Ancient King by Wormphlegm is an even worse offender thanks to its strong Black Metal influence.
    • Sludge metal takes the slow tempos of doom metal, adds a truckload of distortion and feedback, and tops it off with agitated screaming of lyrics about substance abuse, misanthropy, and nihilism.
  • Dir en grey are no strangers to this trope, both in the visual department and in the actual music as well. Particular notorious audio examples include Kyo's ear-piercing screams in "AGITATED SCREAMS OF MAGGOTS" (the entire song), "Kodou" (right after a brief pause), and "Pinku Kirā" (Kyo sounds like he's being brutally tortured during the last 30 seconds or so as the music fades and what remains is his very loud shriek).
  • Porter Robinson directly addresses this in the lyrics of "Fellow Feeling," wherein the girl singing asks the listener to "hear what she hears" before they're graced with synthetic beats and distorted sound, as a parody of modern EDM. She then proceeds to call it "ugliness" and "cruelty." While it's not extremely painful to listen to, it's diegetically considered as such.
  • Death Grips has the song "Punk Weight". The song starts out nice, preparing you for a drop... and next thing you know, your headphones are vibrating from the intense feeling and sound of pure bass.
    • Most of Death Grips' catalogue qualifies for this trope, with MC Ride's forceful rapping layered over distorted, chaotic instrumentation.
  • Baroquecore musician Igorrr's song "Brutal Swing" of the Moisture album begins with and features a heavily distorted drumline with shrieking metallic sounds spliced in it.
  • Extratone. Just check out some of this guy's stuff (most especially “Worst Nightmare”, and that'll tell you everything. Most notably this.
  • Neil Young released a Distinct Double Album Arc/Weld - Weld is a conventional double disc Live Album, but Arc is a 34 minute sound collage of Big Rock Endings from live performances.
  • "Hotburn" by Kawai Sprite from Chuckie Finster features loud, high pitched and incomprehensible screaming in its intro, right after the artist declares that he "decided that this is how (he) wants to start the song".

    Video Games 
  • Power Drill Massacre: The sound effects that accompany the killer tend to be very overwhelming, not helped by the lack of music in most other areas.
  • The CrazyBus title theme, which outside sources indicate was constructed using a literal random sound generator.
    • Older Than They Think: A similar random sound generator was included in one of Microsoft's BASIC demo programs that accompanies certain early PC compatibles. They're also taught as part of the syllabus in BASIC programming classes in the 80s. And going back even further, you can even buy microchips that produce this cacophony, they've been around for the longest time and are meant for "toy robots".
  • Giygas' well-known theme "music" in EarthBound (1994).
  • Axel-F from the PC port of the Beverly Hills Cop tie-in game. Sure, it's no CrazyBus, but it's more like Ear Rape Hills Cop. The Spectrum 48K port fared a little better, sounding more like autotuned farts instead.
  • Much Silent Hill music.
  • The option menu theme of Sonic Spinball has a incredibly loud sound if compared to the other songs in this game.
  • When this trope is applied to video game remixes, you get this.
  • Most music in pirated Nintendo games, which some serves as Copy Protection.
  • Level 3 of Lollipop on Action 52 is an unintentional example, especially when mixed with glitchy sound effects.
  • In Hammer Brother, because the samples weren't inserted correctly, the track that plays in Secret 4-3 (which is supposed to be Cascade Capers) has glitched, high-pitched sounds that change the volume of the sound effects.
  • Shows up twice in Corpse Party Blood Drive, where the game plays music so loud that it actually sounds distorted in the gym and once while wandering Heavenly Host. Considering that it's recommended that you play with headphones to give it a more eerie atmosphere, it will destroy the ear drums of anyone unfortunate enough to actually use them during that moment.
  • While playing SCP – Containment Breach, it's recommended to lower your volume whenever you encounter SCP-066 (Eric's Toy). As mentioned on the SCP article, the damn thing will blare Beethoven at super high decibels, and the game is no exception to that.
  • Right before the Final Boss song in Chrono Trigger loops, the music dims out for a moment, then a bloodcurdling scream plays, much louder than anything else in the game. If it's your first time hearing it, don't listen with headphones.
  • Odio, the Final Boss of Live A Live has an attack called "Saint Alethea", which also assaults the player with a bloodcurdling scream very much like Chrono Trigger later did. What's more, emulators sometimes have difficulty recreating the sound effect (Same with Lavos's scream), which can make it turn into something even worse.
  • The City theme from the 1997 game Postal. Specially when remastered in Redux. NOT. EVEN. BETTER.
  • Many Horror games are prone to this, regarding the use of Screamers. Obviously, they're literal ear rape.
  • Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission have a lot of loud sound effects in general, but Ridley in both games definitely takes the cake.
  • The soundtrack of Drakengard is made up of orchestral pieces chopped up and remixed together, often in very jarring and repetitive ways and with lots of "Psycho" Strings. The result gives the game a very manic and unsettling atmosphere. Here are a few examples.
  • Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning: The intentional shittiness that dominates a lot of the game's design leads to a few cases of exploited bad-quality audio, like Playtime's really strange voice and Baldi's distorted, artifact-choked "GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!" when you finally find all notebooks. It gets worse during the final part of the game where static noises are played incessantly as the player hits fake exits.
  • Arthur's Nightmare uses this as its main scare tactic. While the many Jump Scares in the game have audio that would normally be considered unremarkable (either a shout of "HEY!" or "ARTHUR!"), they have intense clipping that makes them difficult to listen to.
  • Similarly to the previous two examples, Eggs For Bart uses this for enemy sound effects so that they creep you out more. Post 18/24 Bart's sound effect is particularly distorted and loud.
  • Golf Story has "Galf", an 8-bit style game which sporadically features the horribly distorted and crackly voice of a Scottish announcer. According to the in-game manual, the voice actor had to record his lines from a distance...and underwater.
  • When you're spotted by a spirit in GOHOME, a LOUD remix of Csikós Post begins to play, giving you a clue to hightail it out of there.
  • The Upper enemy from Cry of Fear, whose scream is so loud and prolonged it lands itself right here.
  • Kirby: MARX. SOUL. Upon being defeated, he lets out a VERY loud scream, much louder than anything in Super Star Ultra!
  • At the start of Tusker's Number Adventure, a chorus of children will verbally count out items as they are collected. Their voices are a lot louder than you'd expect, especially compared to all the other sounds up to that point. Of course, that's nothing compared to when the game begins to glitch out, where noises become broken and harsher was well as being loud in order to scare you or make the game more immersive.
  • Sagat's original theme in Street Fighter, an attempt at imitating Gamelan or Piphat music gone horribly wrong which has been likened to "somebody torturing a Sega Genesis". Not helping matters, The TurboGrafx-CD arrangement sounds almost equally as hellish as the arcade version.

    Web Original 
  • The YouTube video Luna's Royal Voice takes Princess Luna's Royal Canterlot Voice from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to its logical conclusion...
  • "Earrape" versions of just about any song or phrase with memetic connotation are quite popular, for those times when the original doesn't have enough emphasis. "Bass-boosted" versions fulfill the same role, and are practically the same barring some minor audio differences.
  • A lot of YouTubers in the early-to-mid 2010's used CGI channel intros for their videos. Sometimes it was just letters gracefully forming their name with pleasing sounds to go along with it. However, other times it was 3D text of their name rapidly flipping and spinning around in a bright environment with an erratic camera, dazzling after-effects and rap music blaring at a distortingly loud volume for as much as fifteen seconds.
  • In various GoAnimate "Grounded" videos, one of the many "Punishment Day" punishments is to force the punished person to listen a song very loudly. Many videos do warn viewers to turn down their volumes since they know it's going to be insanely loud.
    • There are a myriad of "grounded videos" where the creator will crank up the volume of a parent's angry dialogue to punishingly loud levels. Some even go as far as to play distorted, loud music in the background just to "compliment" it.
    • Creator samster5677 goes over the top with this; he doesn't use this trope just for "Punishment Days", but for just about anything and everything.
  • All of the dialogue in The Penguins of Madagascar: Operation N-W.O.R.D. has harsh, crackling microphone feedback as part of its Stylistic Suck.
  • Sr. Pelo is one of the most famous examples of this. Good luck trying to find a video of his that DOESN'T involve him or any of his characters screaming at the top of their lungs.
  • The phrase 'ear rape' actually originated on YTMND before YouTube picked it up. The Forgot Poland Army was infamous for making these sites, and the user Psychocola is credited with inventing the 3500Hz square wave, supposedly the most annoying sound to the human ear. Listen at your own risk.

    Web Videos 
  • This is a regular occurrence in Profound Moments In Left 4 Dead 2. The cast regularly scream into their microphones, often to the point of producing microphone-cracking feedback.
  • Wonders Of The World Wide Web:
    • Whenever you hear typing, you can bet it will be very loud.
    • Kinna sometimes clips the microphone when she gets too excited, such as when she says "Wow!"

  • Pick an executable file on your computer. ANY executable file. Turn it into an audio file like .wav or .ogg. Instant ear rape.
  • Similarly, playing a CD's data track in a CD player too old to know better. CDs with both music and data, such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, may have a hidden "track 0" to warn you. Thankfully, newer CD players are actually smart enough to mute what it thinks isn't an audio track.
  • If you get the Blue Screen of Death, and you were listening to music or an audio file at the time, good luck wearing headphones. The only thing you can do is shut down your computer and reboot.
  • Vuvuzelas.
  • Any logo that uses a whoosh sound for its theme. The logos for 3-G Home Video and UAV Corporation are the most infamous contenders.
  • During Joel of Vinesauce's playthrough of a DOS All Dogs Go to Heaven video game, the title screen has an ear-bleeding loud and clipped version of "You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down" playing, startling both Joel (who literally starts screaming in pain) and his viewers.
    • While Vinny himself often encounters accidental examples through corrupted games and others that are just awfully made, the Toad Games stream has an epitome sent by a Troll masquerading as an actual game sender, which can be heard here if you want to euthanize your headphones. It drowned out Vinny's own pained screaming and several watchers reported that being the only time an earrape actually hurt their ears, and woke up others that had fallen asleep.
  • This xkcd has an In-Universe example. Self-proclaimed classhole Black Hat sets his cell phone ringtone to the sound a mosquito makes as it buzzes past one's ear.
  • There is scareware out there that will redirect you to a site saying "your firewall is damaged and irrelevant" yada yada yada. What lands it here, though, is that to make sure it gets your attention, it will blast a loud, high pitched sound through your speakers (or headphones) to get your attention, and the only way to shut it up is to a close the browser tab in question.
  • If you load the music notation software Dorico without installing instrument libraries first, it defaults to a loud, ear-piercing instrument called Dorico Beep, which has been known to startle first-time users. On a Mac, the software also maxes out the volume for some reason, making this even worse.


    Anime & Manga 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion practically has this down to an art form.
    • Perhaps the most infamous example is in episode 22, when Asuka is Mind Raped by the Angel Arael.
    • Then there's episode 26' (part 2 of The End of Evangelion), which features an entire minute of lightning-fast images from the series and a cacophony of voices and sound effects.
    • Shinji also shares one with the viewer in episode 4 when he is surrounded by the harsh, constant buzzing of cicadas.
    • The previews for episodes 14, 19, 22/22', and 25 feature a lot of rapidly cycling images.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Irréversible is never particularly pleasant (what with the Infrasonics in the soundtrack and the at-times assaulting cinematography), but the ending elevates this up to an art form. The last minute or so is the screen flashing rapidly from black to white while a positively sickening sound plays. Even if you aren't epileptic, you will not be feeling great after the ending.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Room 23 from Lost. It's so bad it's designed to literally erase the short term memory of the unlucky victim.

  • Nine Inch Nails has been known for this in both their music and their videos. Most infamously were the "Broken" videos of the early '90s.
  • The last few seconds of Lady Gaga's disturbing but watchable video for "Alejandro," in which her face suddenly melts inwards with a loud bubbling/screaming sound. It's supposed to be the "tape" ripping.
  • Many, MANY songs by Dir en grey. Demons fucking the shit out of geisha women until they bleednote , an animated story drawn in the style of Cannibal Corpse covers (which features a maggot that evolves into an Eldritch Abomination)note , the band playing Death Metal while they slowly rot note , surreal depictions of tentacle rapenote , among others, combined with Scare Chords, Last Note Nightmares, bouts of deafeningly loud banshee screams, and other forms of auditory Mind Screw.
    • Live performances are just as disturbing, maybe even worse; the vocalist sometimes screams out of nowhere while he vomits and bleeds, and speaker volumes are amplified to deafening levels.
  • Sunn O))) live performances. Colored fog, druid robes, Drone of Dread, and volumes to make your ears ring and bones and internal organs vibrate.
  • During the 1980's, the Butthole Surfers (an already disturbing band) would turn this into an art form. For starters, the band would be playing at absurdly loud volumes, flashing strobe lights at the audience at speeds that would induce nausea and seizures in some members of the audience, and displaying a combination of 16mm films frontman Gibby Haynes had fraudulently obtainednote  of things like male to female sex change operations, autopsy footage, driver's ed gore, medical examinations of people with sexually transmitted diseases, and even "innocent" things like episodes of shows like Charlie's Angels - played upside down in reverse, of course. The band would then compliment this with a series of props/stunts (flaming cymbals, dual-drummers, papier-mache dummies being ripped to shreds, copious amounts of fog, a naked dancer...), and improvised various other stunts on top of that to create a complete hellscape of a live show.
  • Being a pioneer of Noise Rock in Japan, Les Rallizes Dénudés made heavy use of very loud guitar feedback and distortion in their music, but it has been said that their live shows additionally used things like strobe lights and mirror balls for an effect frontman Takashi Mizutani referred to as "total sensory assault".

    Tabletop Games 
  • A Vampire: The Requiem sourcebook makes mention of how Chicago's members of clan Mekhet have devised an art style known as "maximalism." One such example listed is a work on the decay of the earth; the display consists of day-glo painted rocks, a sand-covered floor, and a voice screaming "Dead earth! Dead earth!" over the speakers. For mortals, it comes across as abrasive, but for the Mekhet, who make good use of Auspex, it's supposed to be mind-blowing.
  • Devotees of Slaanesh in Warhammer 40,000 will violate all your senses at once (and then the rest of you). Noise Marines in particular use, well, noise, hideously distorted sounds and sirens and turning the volume up (in earlier editions, they used actual electric guitars) and destroy their foes with “deafeningly loud, psycho-sonically and pyrotechnically explosive attacks.". The Emperor's Children's senses are so dulled by centuries of excess only the clashiest of colors get their attention (hence their black-and-hot-pink colors).

  • The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky is possibly the earliest example of both auditory and visual Sensory Abuse working together. Made in 1913, when this ballet debuted the discordant music, disturbing jerking motions of the dancers, and bizarrely jarring sets caused the audience to boo within the first 15 minutes, then (apocryphally) riot before it was over. This Ballet is only half an hour long.

    Video Games 
  • Created for the 7DFPS competition, Game Of The Year 420 Blaze It assaults the player with loud dubstep, flashing lights, and internet memes. The game was created as a parody of montage videos put together by some Let's Players that features the previously mentioned dubstep, flashing lights, and memes, taking them, cranking them up, and rendering it playable. Here, enjoy the fucking madness.
  • Acid Couch, a Journey to the Center of the Mind of a character having a bad drug experience.
  • Sad Satan's main schtick is that its visuals and audio are butchered and specifically tailored to make you feel physically ill. It's terrifyingly effective.
  • Video games that are deliberately corrupted frequently fall into this territory. Either by messing with graphical/model data which can cause flashing textures or large, spastic polygons. Same can go with sound bytes stored in the game, either distorting horribly or becoming plain (if rather painful) white noise.
  • Doom wads produced by the troll known as Terry and his followers commonly feature "Terry Traps", activated when the player trips a certain switch or linedef, in which the player is subject to seizure-inducing flashing lights, disturbing faces or other images, extremely loud noise, and crass walls of text about wanting to anally rape the player.
  • Beat Hazard can be this, just insert a bass-boosted song or something that is incoherent and loud and set the visualiser up to 200%.
  • Covetous features progressively worse sensory assaults in its final three levels: the seventh stage replaces the music with a loud, high-pitched tone, the eighth has Epileptic Flashing Lights in the background, and the final stage takes both of these things further with the tone becoming higher and louder while the flashing becomes much more intense.
  • Cruelty Squad's graphics can be charitably summarized as a vomitous blend of garish colors, Nightmare Faces, and low-resolution textures resembling a malware from the mid-90's. Its soundscape is not much better; many of the songs feature jarring synths mixed with disgusting squelching sounds.
  • Hotline Miami is a psychedelic 80's nightmare, with all the copious amounts of blood, gore and ultra-violence mixed in with bright neon colors, the game field constantly swaying as you move, and eventually TV-style flickering that can sometimes obscure your vision.
    • In the "Tension" chapter, you can find a man who is being held hostage by the Russian Mafia. He is strapped up to several bombs, all of which are triggered to immediately detonate upon either of the room's doors opening. The only way to progress through the level is to take a shotgun, take cover, and fire at the door. What results is an ear-piercingly loud explosion which completely blows both of the doors off their hinges, and can be seriously disorienting to players who aren't expecting it.
  • Top Banana: The backgrounds in the game look like random tiles jammed together, the sprites are poorly compressed photos, and the sound effects are disturbing at best, and this at worst.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

  • Most production logos from the 1970s and early 1980s, particularly those by Viacom ("The V of Doom"), Columbia/Screen Gems ("The S From Hell"), and Paramount ("The Closet Killer" or "The Peak of Fear"). The combination of bombastic synthesized jingles and symbols that seem to charge toward the screen caused no end of distress for young children.
  • The Vanity Plate for "Weird Al" Yankovic's production company, Ear Booker Productions, wherein the background and logo both flash black and white rapidly while loud screaming can be heard (the scream being a shortened version of "Bite Me", mentioned elsewhere on this page).
  • [adult swim]'s sign-off bumper used from January 1, 2020 to July 3rd of the same year, a ridiculously bright and flashy montage of Adult Swim characters' heads morphing into one another in the most psychedelic way possible, while a loud and distorted rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" plays.
  • The Vanity Plate for Southern Star Entertainment from 1985 to 1989 has the ending theme accompanied with a loud thunderclap edited in with rapid flashing, nearly drowning out the music.
    • This variant used in the Berenstain Bears episode "Get Stage Fright"/"Go Bonkers Over Honkers had an even louder and more menacing thunderclap.

    Real Life 
  • This can happen accidentally to people who have issues with sensory overload, which can affect any of the five senses. While the vast majority of sensory abuse these people undergo is unintentional, a very sadistic person could use it for deliberate torture.
  • Flashbang grenades are intended to be this, detonating with loud bangs and bright flashes of white light intended to temporarily blind and deafen the victim. They usually aren't lethal unless you're holding it when it goes off, or are epileptic (seizures can be lethal due to the stress a seizure puts on the brain).

Alternative Title(s): Sensory Rape, Ear Rape, Eye Rape