Bleep, Dammit!

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Why did they censor "doggy"?
Is the rest of the song so much more appropriate?

"Whoever came up with this is an ass[bleep]! Ass? Hole? Ass[bleep]? Television makes a lot of sense."

An attempt at censorship that either doesn't hide anything, or is so inconsistently executed, that you wonder why the censors even bothered. Maybe the Censor Box is too small, so you can clearly see what's behind it. Maybe a word is bleeped out in some scenes, but not others in the same episode. Maybe they cut the swearing out, but left in that scene with the nudists and the bacon grease... At any rate, it's clear that the attempt at censoring the work has just been rendered pointless.

Could be used simply to get past censorship laws, as a half-hearted way of saying "look, we tried, honest." Or it could just be that the people in charge of the censorship were putting in a half-asterisked effort that day. Or maybe they're making fun of bleep noises. Inconsistency in the censorship is also likely to occur in shows that make heavy use of Censor Decoys.


Examples of Bleep, Dammit! include:


A*vertising

An*me and M*nga

  • The dub of Tokyo Mew Mew, despite usually trying to cut out Aizawa Mint's crush on Zakuro, had the cast imagining who a character's boyfriend might be and replaced Mint's thoughts of a male figure with Zakuro.
  • The Doujinshi culture has a lot of this. Due to censorship laws, genitalia must be covered, but it is not uncommon to see some doujins to have very short, thin and almost transparent censor bars that pretty much fails to cover anything and only serve as a legal pass for publishing.
    • In one case, the laws against showing genitalia backfired on the censors by creating the "tentacle rape" genre.
    • A meme has even sprung up, of captioning these sorts of pictures with "thank goodness that was censored, or I might have been offended".[1]

C*mic Books

  • The Ultimate Warrior's short-lived comic book, Warrior, has him yelling F-F-U-U-C-- at one point. (How is the Warrior capable of pronouncing the C and not the K can be probably attributed to his near-divine skills.)
  • Empowered makes liberal use of this, despite that its creator is pretty much his own boss on the project.

F*lm

Int*rnet

  • Repeatedly Used On This Very Wiki: sh*t, f***, and f*cking are frequently seen.
  • Notably averted on fantasy and sci-fi site Elfwood, where certain gestures (the finger, the shocker) and the Three Big bad words (shit, fuck and cunt) have always been banned, including partially censored instances. The rule is, it has to be omitted or completely censored. Saying "but s*** stands for sand" won't get you a pass.
  • Supposedly L3375p34k was originally invented to bypass the automatic profanity filters on internet forums without actually censoring anything.

L*terature

  • Dave Barry Slept Here parodies the Watergate Scandal's released tapes:

NIXON: Because you have, you have problems with the, with the [expletive deleted], with the ...
KLAUS: Yeah [garbled], with the, uh, with the ...
NIXON: ... with, uh, with the [expletive deleted].
KLAUS: ... with the ...
NIXON: [Expletive deleted].
KLAUS: ... with the Smoot-Hawley.
NIXON: Shit.

Live Action Tel*vision

  • Many television shows that bleep out words don't actually conceal the word at all. You can see the person's mouth, and often part of the word will be audible, so it's quite obvious what they're saying.
  • Sebastian Bach once demonstrated on a VH-1 television show how one can say the words "ass" and "hole" on television but not both words in quick succession. To demonstrate, he'd say the word "ass," then, after a long pause, would say "hole" and neither word would be bleeped; then, he'd repeat this over and over with shorter pauses in between until he finally did get bleeped. After that, he repeated this exercise from the beginning using the words "god" and "damn" with the same exact results.
  • Happens on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report all the time!
  • Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe has this episode bleeped out for the first obscenity - then is followed immediately by an Atomic F-Bomb with no bleeping.
  • On at least one episode of This Is Wonderland, a perpetrator roared out a Precision F-Strike, which when first aired on CBC Television, it was censored. Unfortunately the scene takes place in an old Toronto City Hall courtroom, whose walls are infamous for echoing...

Mus*c

  • The radio-edited version of the song "Keys" by Soul Position. All the curse-words are blanked out, but due to the echo-effect on the vocals, you can clearly hear various "fuck"s or "shit"s echoing off in the background after the censored bits.
  • The radio edit of the song "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz contains the line "Gonna do just what the fuck I came here to do". The 'fuck' is, of course, censored but slightly late and with a distortion rather than silence, so the end result is that it sounds exactly like they're singing "Gonna do just what the fuck I'm here to do."
  • The radio edit of "Little Lion Man" by Mumford and Sons is another failed attempt to cover up the F-word with audio distortion.
  • Quite frankly most censorship in music results in this, especially when the censored word is part of a rhyme. In the context of the lyrics the intended meaning is generally pretty obvious anyway.
  • Kid Rock's "Cowboy" parodies this:

Cuss like a sailor, drink like a mick!
Only words of wisdom are to [RADIO EDIT]

    • For the edit, the music cuts out entirely and the words are spoken by a robotic female voice, actually drawing more attention to it.
  • The American Top 40 edit of Rihanna's "S&M" silences "sex" the first time it is used in the chorus, but not the second.
  • Parodied by Flight of the Conchords in their song "Mother'uckas". Throughout the song they self-censor themselves by skipping certain letters in swear words, but all it does it just highlight the swears.

Too many mutha'uckas
-uckin’ with my shi...

  • "Jerry Springer" by "Weird Al" Yankovic features a spoken section in the middle during which a character says "bibleepitch"; that is, the bleep appears to have been inserted between sounds instead of dubbed over, so you can hear the whole word (just with a gap in the middle).

Real L*fe

  • Joe Morgan once wrote the following in Sports Illustrated.

Joe Torre met with George Steinbrenner for a nice lunch in Tampa the other day, and I'm sure at some point the subject probably turned to the Yankees. And George, I'd bet, at some point looked at his manager and said, "#$!&@* the heck?"

Thus was the meme "Fuck the heck?" born.

V*deo G*mes

  • In the flash game Resurrection: Let the Evil Times Roll, you at some point acquire a "sleeping" demon fetus. The word "sleeping" is in quotes in your inventory, and you end up feeding it to a dog.
  • In Green Day Rock Band, Billie Joe Armstrong smells like shih.
  • Simple, easy to understand example from the Scout.
  • In Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, the characters occasionally swear, but some of this is left in. However, some of the more provocative swears are bleeped or censored out. This is especially prevalent with Ulala, who swears the most. (She starts off some battles saying, "Don't underestimate me you *bleep*ing bastards!) This actually doubles as Getting Crap Past the Radar, since you can clearly tell what the characters are saying (Such as when Baofu asks, "Who the f##k are you?"), but since they were bleeped, the game got away with a "T" rating in NA.

W*b Comics

W*b Or**inal

  • The Angry Video Game Nerd demonstrated this hypocrisy in one of his videos.
  • Happens often in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
  • Todd in the Shadows tries to show that even he doesn't have any N-Word Privileges during his review Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Niggas in Paris". The first time he had to say the name of the song, he stopped himself and asked for "Ni***as in Paris" to show up on screen. At the end of the review, he almost says it again, but stops once more and points to the bottom of the screen. It now says "Niggas in P***s". He sighs in disappointment. "What the hell do I pay you people for?"
  • Parodied in Source Wars: Day of Defeat vs. The Hidden: at the beginning the hosts mention that some viewers had problems with the uncensored swearing in the first episode, and so have their technical staff ready to censor their swears live. Said technical staff is shown to only consist of a sleepy old man, who either misses bleeping out swears entirely, or fails to do so until a few seconds after they're uttered.

Frank Futter: [The Hidden]'s off to the middle flag now, but he can't capture it because the point requires two people! You have got to be kidding me again!
Turd Schnugel: Didn't we think of this shit before the game started? [beep]

W**tern A***ation

  • South Park makes bleep noises all the time, deliberately, so it carries over to the DVD releases too. Since it's almost entirely adults who watch it anyway, we're perfectly capable of filling in the gaps for ourselves.
  • In one episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Space Ghost calls his guest an asshole. The thing is, the bleep is between the syllables of the word, so it really doesn't cover anything up.

Egads, this trope is filthy! Hm, try spoilering out some of those apostrophes...

  1. No examples will be provided, because by their very nature, they are spectacularly NSFW.