"WARNING: The following program is a realish documentary, and may contain language which is vulgar, offensive, or grammatically awkward. Such language has been censored whenever possible, but for the sake of higher ratings, we may have let a few gratuitous and especially titillating instances slide."
— Duckman, "American Dicks" opening
Interesting tropes about blanking out things not meant for corrupting sensitive eyes or ears. This index is not about The Content Policy of TV Tropes itself, and not to be confused with Censor.
Compare These Tropes Should Watch Their Language. See also Help! Help! This Index Is Being Repressed!.
Tropes too adult for kids and banned in several countries:Perps responsible:
- Digital Bikini: Sometimes used in conjunction with a Shower Scene, Bathtub Scene, or a Hot Springs Episode of an anime that has been edited when aired in America, mostly used now to cover up nudity and revealing clothing on live-action movies that have been toned down for pre-watershed TV.
- Gag Censor: Any visual censorship technique Played for Laughs.
- Rainbow Puke: A character throws up a rainbow-colored stream of light or liquid to make the act less disgusting for the viewer.
- Toplessness from the Back: A naked or topless woman is shown only by the camera showing her bare back.
In-universe, often "conveniently in the way"
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Depictions of nudity are kept from being too lewd by making it so the naked character has no visible nipples and/or genitalia.
- Censor Shadow: Nudity is censored by keeping the character's private parts hidden in shadow.
- Censor Steam: Censoring nudity by covering the body with steam or smoke, also a Bathing Trope
- Censor Suds: Censoring nudity by having soap bubbles cover up the character's naughty bits, also a Bathing Trope
- Conveniently Interrupted Document: A document that just so happens to have its important parts interrupted or missing.
- Godiva Hair: A naked or topless woman has the inappropriate body parts covered up by her long hair.
- Magic Pants: If a character's clothes are destroyed by a transformation, the character will either regrow their clothing when returned to normal or will somehow have the clothes keeping them modest remain intact.
- Magic Skirt: A woman wears a skirt that covers up her pelvic regions regardless of the skirt's size and what position she is in.
- Modesty Bedsheet: A woman naked in bed has bed sheets obscuring her breasts.
- Modesty Towel: A naked character stays decent by wearing a towel, also a Bathing Trope
- Rainbow Puke: A person vomits up rainbows to make it look less disgusting than actual barf.
- Scenery Censor: Nudity is censored by objects conveniently placed in front of the characters' privates.
- Shoulders-Up Nudity: A naked character is only shown from the shoulders up.
- Stop Motion Lighting: A scene is censored by having it happen in the dark with brief moments of illumination provided by lightning flashes.
- Thong of Shielding: A woman wears a thong that doesn't reveal too much of her buttocks.
Fourth Wall techniques:
- And Some Other Stuff: The ingredients to make something are not made explicit so viewers Don't Try This at rich palms no deposit bonus codes.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Nude characters lack visible genitalia and/or nipples to prevent the nudity from being too explicit.
- Black Blood: Changing the colour of blood for censorship reasons.
- Black Screen of Death: While two or more characters are fighting, the screen goes black.
- Bloodless Carnage: The work depicts violence, but no one bleeds.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: when a joke gets out of hand or a description gets too risque or explicit.
- Censor Box: can immediately become a gag censor if Played for Laughs
- Censored for Comedy: Deliberately bleeping innocuous words can qualify if done intentionally or on a show or film known for always topping itself when it comes to Getting Crap Past the Radar
- Discretion Shot: Preventing the audience from actually seeing the violence or objectionable content. Comes in sexy, vomit, gory, and kissing.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: A naked character deliberately covers themselves by placing their hands over their private parts or holding objects over their private parts.
- Hit Flash: White flashes occur during fight scenes to avoid depicting punches and other imitable acts of violence.
- Lens Flare Censor: A lens flare hides something from sight.
- Made of Bologna: The inside of flesh is portrayed as a solid, uniform substance.
- Pixellation: Using pixels to cover up nudity and swear words.
- Product Displacement: Logos of real-life brands are obfuscated due to lack of rights to use them.
- Relax-o-Vision: Scenes that may be too disturbing or unpleasant for the audience are replaced by more pleasant and cutesy scenes.
- Speech-Bubble Censoring: A speech bubble covers up someone's nudity.
- Stop Motion Lighting: A dark scene is only momentarily illuminated by brief, occasional flashes of light.
Textual and auditive censorship:
- *Bleep*-dammit!: The censoring doesn't really do an effective job of hiding the content needing to be censored.
- The Body Parts That Must Not Be Named: Euphemisms are used to talk about private parts without directly naming them.
- Censored Title: A work has the title censored so that people can mention the work without having to say bad words.
- Censorship by Spelling: Can also be used as a Comedy Trope if what's being spelled is an Informed Obscenity or if the person can't spell or comprehend what's being spelled.
- Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Bleeping out excessive swearing results in a character's dialogue almost being completely bleeped out.
- Country Matters: Relating to the usage of the C-word, especially between different cultures.
- Curse Cut Short: Is often used as a Comedy Trope.
- Gay Euphemism: Avoiding direct usage of homosexuality-related terms.
- Never Say "Die": Used a lot in American-edited anime and a lot of kids' action shows in the 1970s to the 1990s. These days, a lot of action cartoons in America are trying to be grittier and more realistic by mentioning death [or heavily implying it].
- Pardon My Klingon: Alien swear words.
- Precision F-Strike: A swear word, usually a stronger one, is used by a character or work to make a point.
- Symbol Swearing: Symbols appear in speech bubbles to indicate the character is cussing, used primarily in American comic book stories or literature.
- T-Word Euphemism: Referring to a swear as "the (first letter of swear)-word" so you can mention it without actually saying it.
- Witch with a Capital "B": Calling someone a "witch" when it would make more sense to call them "bitch".
Other tropes that can involve censorship:
- Abridged for Children: Literature that is abridged in content and length so that it is suitable for kids.
- Adjustable Censorship: A video game has options that change the kind of content featured in the game in accordance with what the player is comfortable with.
- Banned Episode: When an episode of a TV series (or other installment of a media franchise) is prohibited from being shown again.
- Banned in China: Media that has been banned from an entire country, usually due to the national government's censorship laws.
- Bowdlerise: General toning-down of content considered obscene into something more palatable.
- But Not Too Evil: Toning down a character's evilness to avoid supposed bad influences.
- Censor Decoy: Invoking Getting Crap Past the Radar by playing into the censors' fears of finding explicit material in implicit content with a simple bait and switch (i.e., a writer or director has a scene featuring violent torture and a scene where someone uses the word "fuck". Most American censors will ask the writer or director to get rid of the "fuck" scene and keep in the violent torture. Of course, the opposite can happen, and sometimes, both scenes will be cut).
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Removing or covering up Product Placement and/or copyrighted music or footage from reruns, reairings, and when put on different media (i.e. DVD and online streaming).
- Content Warnings: Mostly played straight; sometimes Played for Laughs, depending on context.
- Defying the Censors: Sometimes you have to stand up to those who want to silence you, but when that doesn't work, there's always these...
- Distanced from Current Events: Bowdlerization due to Harsher in Hindsight moments of the "Life Imitates Art" variety.
- Dub-Induced Plotline Change: Often the result of heavy censorship and/or localization.
- Dub Text: Another form of Getting Crap Past the Radar (particularly in American-dubbed anime series), whether done due to incompetence, ignorance of suggestive dialogue, or to blatantly thumb their noses at censorship by being underhandedly obscene.
- Edited for Syndication: Sometimes used to remove content, but mostly used to cut scenes for more commercials or to cut out scenes that are either too long or are superfluous to the plot note .
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Used in a majority of American-edited anime and kids' shows.
- Family-Friendly "Mature" Content: Content that emulates mature content, usually (but not always) on a Show Within a Show.
- Finger on Lips: Used mostly in music videos and music performances.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Replacing alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic drinks is used a lot in American-edited anime for kids.
- Fun with Autocensors: Mostly seen on Internet forums.
- Get Back in the Closet: Gay stuff is treated harsher than straight stuff.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Defying the Censors on an underhanded level. Leads to Crosses the Line Twice or Refuge in Audacity if done with explicit content or if done in excess.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Homosexuals with Plausible Deniability.
- Informed Obscenity: Treating an innocuous or nonsensical word as if it were a profanity.
- Live but Delayed: Delaying a Broadcast Live event by at least a few seconds so that any inappropriate material can be removed or bleeped out.
- Music Is Politics: The music industry is a business with political machinations and as such can result in censorship.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: Mostly used in written media, but can also be used on television shows or movies if a narrator is used or if the TV show or movie loves breaking the fourth wall.
- Nipple and Dimed: The censorship of female nipples. Male nipples rarely face such scrutiny (unless you want to satirize the sexual inequality of this trope by either gender-flipping it or censoring male nipples along with female nipples in the name of true gender equality).
- Nobody Can Die: None of the main cast will ever be Killed Off for Real.
- No Smoking: Seen in American-edited anime series and a lot of recent edits to old TV shows and cartoons that allowed cigarettes to be smoked or seen — unless it's a Very Special Episode about the dangers of tobacco use.
- No Swastikas: All Nazi symbols and references are absent even in settings where they should be.
- Political Correctness Is Evil: Political correctness considered a problem by many who believe that today's media is too tame.
- Politically Correct History: Distortion of historical truth by removing or downplaying its more unpleasant aspects.
- Radio Friendliness: Songs may be censored in order to make it palatable for radio.
- Religious Redub: Redubbing or remaking something to be friendly to religious people.
- Re-Release Soundtrack: Re-releases of works may be censored for any number of reasons.
- Scunthorpe Problem and The Problem with Pen Island: Mostly seen on Internet forums.
- Seven Dirty Words: George Carlin's list of words you can't say on television.
- Sleeping Single: Also a Comedy Trope used in conjunction with Exiled to the Couch or if a work parodies the allegedly "squeaky clean" 1950s sitcoms in which married couples were shown sleeping in separate beds due to TV rules at the time that didn't allow couples in the same bed together.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: Can be used as a Comedy Trope if the sounds used to cover up the profanity are appropriate to what's being censored note
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Can be a Comedy Trope or used for non-censorship reasons, such as trying to avoid a lame and/or predictable rhyme scheme — i.e., subverting the old "Roses are red, Violets are blue" poem.
- Surprisingly Lenient Censor: When the censors are more easy-going than expected.
- Think of the Censors!: When characters in a fictional work know or realize that their words and/or actions are subject to being censored if actually said or done. Also a form of Breaking the Fourth Wall.
- Think of the Children!: The call to arms for many a Moral Guardian or Media Watchdog group is to push the argument that stricter censorship means less children being corrupted or harmed.
- Translation with an Agenda: The translators of a work in a different language deliberately misinterpret the work to bring its message more in line with their own values.
- Unacceptable Targets: Targets that are considered to not be okay to mock.
- Video Game Perversity Prevention: Video ovo188 have systems to prevent people from crafting items, using names or images, or putting characters in poses, that are considered offensive.
- Book Burning: Destroying books to destroy free thought.
- Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Covering the eyes and ear of (usually) a child so they won't be exposed to things they're too innocent to know about.
- Culture Police: Used in fictional works — both comedic and dramatic — to show or satirize what can happen when being politically correct gets out of hand.
- Political Overcorrectness: Political Correctness is exaggerated to the point of hilarity.
- Pre-Approved Sermon: A religious sermon that is heavily pre-planned, perhaps by a meddling authority.
- Profanity Police: A character says a dirty word, but someone else tells him not to.