Family-Unfriendly Violence

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
A nice little Fairy Tale: a brother is about to lop his sister's hand off.
"The Joker in our show could not kill, because it was a children's television show. Instead of him murdering people we would have him give 'em that hideous Joker grin, which in its own way is almost worse".

Violence is funny, as long as no one you like gets hurt. Unrealistic Slapstick violence is funnier still, perhaps because it's clearer it can't happen to the audience, but sometimes shows cross the line.

Maybe the programme shows the consequences of violence a little too vividly, maybe the designated target has become too sympathetic. Whatever the reason, the result is prime Nightmare Fuel.

Sometimes caused by unrealistic expectations. People who think all Fairy Tales are intended for children (which they weren't always) and therefore free from violence (which they weren't, even when intended for children) are often shocked by the degree of violence when they read an unBowdlerised version. The Animation Age Ghetto can lead to similar assumptions.

If the violence leads to actual death, it's a Family-Unfriendly Death.

Examples of Family-Unfriendly Violence include:


  • An ad for Sunfresh Tomatoes decries the idea that squeezing a tomato will give you a hint as to its freshness and flavor. Which it does with a "parody" of a wartime hospital, complete with tomato juice "blood" squirting everywhere and loud, agonized screams from the damaged produce...
  • An ad for the Scion XD takes the viewer into a dark, gritty, dystopian world inhabited by "sheeple", then lets loose monsters called the "little deviants" to tear them apart in a way that's probably meant to cross the line twice, or at least provide Comedic Sociopathy, but instead comes across as bone-chilling, complete with a bloodless severed head sliding into the street. The sheeple themselves live on the slopes that border the Uncanny Valley, as well. See the even creepier webgame version here. Also, apparently we're supposed to cheer for the little deviants? Riiiiight. It doesn't help that "sheeple" is generally considered a rather snobby term. Oh, and we're supposed to avoid being "sheeple" by... doing exactly what the commercial tells us to do and buy a Scion XD.
  • A commercial for a board game called Grape Escape featured happy dancing claymation grapes getting run over by a roller, decapitated with a pair of scissors, and smashed with a boot with each of their expressions more painful than the next, with a catchy parody of "Funiculi Funicula" with lyrics that went something like "Make 'em, take 'em, to the factory. Bash them! smash them! Now they're history!"
  • There was a commercial for a game called Battle Tanks featuring Snuggles the fabric softener bear getting run over then blown to smithereens by a tank, at the end of the commercial Snuggles comes back badly damaged missing her legs, one arm, and an eyeball, and coughing up stuffing. Here it is. Quite funny, actually.

Anime and Manga

  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin may star Talking Animals, but it sure loves this trope. It's not uncommon for battles to turn into a mess of dogs (and bears towards the end) and High-Pressure Blood. This series (admittedly rather poorly cut) was extremely popular among Nordic children in the early '90s.
  • Many Shounen series (e.g. Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece - see below) contain scenes of surprisingly graphic violence considering that most are aimed primarily at kids/early teens.
  • Naruto has Sasuke pulling Zaku's arms until they dislocate. There wasn't any blood but the poor guy was screeching like there's no tomorrow. You can understand why this scares the crap out of Sakura, even though that's the guy that just stomped her into the ground a minute ago.
    • The climax of the Land of Waves arc, particularly Zabuza's final clash with Kakashi.
    • Or in the manga when the same Zaku had one of his arms blown off at the forearm because of Shino's bugs (in the anime both arms are just injured).
    • Naruto stabbing himself with a kunai to make a promise and remove some poison. The wound healed itself (unbeknownst to Naruto) and the actual scene of him doing it was cut in the broadcast version in the U.S (though Kakashi's line makes it fairly obvious). Oddly enough, later episodes are even more lenient when it comes to censorship.
    • When fighting Killer Bee, Sasuke on separate occasion is impaled with multiple swords like a pin-cushion and has so much of the flesh on his chest blow off to the point that you can see his ribs sticking out. He's lucky his friends can heal him.
    • In the fight in the manga between Naruto and Pain the latter pins down the former by sticking a spike through both of his hands and into the ground. This is eventually followed by six more spikes; one in each of his arms, hips, and legs.
      • Later, from the same arc Naruto's eight-tailed form is essentially a fox without any skin, and the nine-tails tries to get Naruto to open the seal by making the seal on his chest into a massive bloody hole.
    • There's also when Gaara crushes some people to death with sand, causing a huge rainshower of blood to fall. The anime had to make the blood black instead of red, or even Japanese censors probably would have vetoed it. In Shippuuden, a giant chameleon summon is sliced in half with predictably horrible results, but here the blood was red though it vanished along with the chameleon.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh Manga had the Shadow Game between Marik and Mai. Remember how in the anime, the duelists would lose memories every time they lost a monster or life points? Well, in the manga, the duelists take whatever damage is done to their monsters (it's worse when you realize that in the manga, the monsters don't disintegrate or explode when they die, like in the anime). When Mai's monster attacks Marik's, it chops its head off. So MARIK'S HEAD FALLS OFF, AND HE PICKS IT UP - STILL TALKING. It gets worse. Later Marik summons a horrific electric torture device that looks like something out of the Saw movies and uses it to electrocute Mai.
    • Oh, and remember the *Cough* "Dark Energy Disks" in the Yugi/Arkana duel? Well not only are they back to the original saw blades, one SLICES INTO ARKANA'S LEG AS YUGI FREES HIM AND HE SCREAMS IN PAIN. Yikes.
      • Happened quite a bit in the manga back when it was in its early days and the focus wasn't so much on card games, but more on Yami dealing out 'justice'. Almost all of what Yami did was Family-Unfriendly Violence, but it wasn't the bad guys that suffered, oh no. A couple of example of FUV towards the main characters includes Yugi getting hung from a chain by the Millennium Puzzle, and Joey/Jonouchi being tortured with tazers. Hoo boy.
      • In fact, the very first "game" played in Yu-Gi-Oh involves knives...
  • Usually avoided by Sailor Moon, but Sailor Venus' death comes to mind. She gets impaled through the stomach by large stalagmites and then burns to death. But don't worry, she gets better.
  • More than one Pokémon episode has a battle where a Pokémon is seriously injured or is the victim of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Probably the earliest in the series might have been Ash's Vermilion City Gym battle, where on his first try Pikachu got the ever-living snot beaten out of it by Surge's Raichu.
  • One Piece contains frequent instances of characters being shot, stabbed, slashed, savagely beaten, what have you. This is particularly jarring given the series' cartoony look and the story's (supposedly) heavily idealistic perspective.
    • One such example is when Luffy is captured by the Bluejam pirates during a flashback. One member decides to interrogate him by beating the everloving crap out of him with spiked gloves, until he is barely conscious. Luffy was SEVEN YEARS OLD at this point.
    • What Robin does to Spandam (particularly how it's shown in the anime), and what Luffy does to Oars. Both villains get attacked so savagely their spinal columns collapse into pieces.
      • As a slight justification with Oars, it was the only way to defeat him. As a zombie, he didn't feel pain, so the only way to destroy him was essentially ripping his body apart in some way. And as stated before, he didn't feel pain from his spine breaking - he simply fell to the ground and commented that he wondered why he couldn't move anymore.
  • The Shaman King manga has Manta being FORCIBLY DISSECTED ALIVE, WITHOUT ANESTHETIC.
  • Allegedly, Neon Genesis Evangelion received complaints about this from parents during its initial airing due to being broadcast in a time slot usually reserved for family-friendly programming.
    • The fact that GAINAX allegedly had spent so much money on court costs dealing with the complaints resulted in the director and the production team having to redo their intended ending due to the unforseen "budget constraints."
  • Dragonball Z. In spades.
    • For a few examples, we've got dismemberment (Frieza tearing Nail's arm singlehandedly) and impalement (Dedoria once impales a Namekian warrior with his fist, as does Gohan SSJ2 to Boajack.) And those are just a few examples. DBZ is brutal!
      • The manga has it even worse (For an example, when Gohan rips apart the Cell Juniors, you can see their brain splatering around!).
  • The Fairy Tail manga, when Lucy is captured by Gajeel. The manga has him just chucking knives at her like a dartboard. They never showed a knife anime version instead he brutally attacks her.

Fairy Tales

Of her young bairn she?ll neer be lighter,
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter.
But she shall die and turn to clay,
And you shall wed another may.

  • In The Brown Bear of the Green Glen, the brothers set on the hero and leave him for dead.
  • In Clever Maria, the king goes to cut off Maria's head on their wedding night; she survives only because she had a dummy ready in her place.
  • In The Grateful Beasts, Ferko's brother put out his eyes and break his legs.
  • In The One-Handed Girl, the heroine's brother chops off her hand.
  • In The Myrtle, after seven women have torn the heroine to pieces and she has been revived, the court is asked what sentence is suitable for those who would hurt her. The villainesses said being buried alive in a dungeon, and so they are.
  • In Biancabella and the Snake, the hero's Wicked Stepmother orders her men to kill the noblewoman Biancabella after she marries her stepson; they don't, but they gouge out her eyes and cut off her hands as evidence that they have. She only gains them back after much misfortune and with the help of a snake named Samaritana, whom she considers her older sister.
  • Almost every Grimms' Fairy Tale ever. Consider the Grimms' "Cinderella", in which the evil step-sisters first cut off pieces of their feet to fit the golden slipper, and later had their eyes pecked out by birds who were avenging Cinderella. The second volume is even worse—those are the "Morality Tales", wherein "bad children" face even more sadistic fates.
  • In The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead, a woman finds a beautiful girl in enchanted sleep in her husband's house. Not knowing she is his niece, she beats her (accidentally reviving her) and burns her all over with a red-hot iron to make her ugly. Then she enslaves her, maltreating her.
  • In The Beautiful Damsel and the Wicked Old Woman, a prince marries a peasant girl but when she is coming to the wedding with an old woman, the woman gouges her eyes out and thrust her into a cave.
  • In The Enchanted Pig, the heroine builds a ladder of bones, but runs out, and so cuts off her own finger to use.
  • In the original story of Little Red Riding Hood the Wolf kills the grandmother and puts her blood in a bottle and her flesh in the cupboard. When Red turns up she says she's hungry. Lucky for her there's wine and meat for her to eat. Then the wolf tells her to take off her clothes and hop into bed with him.
  • Lithuanian folklore features cannibal witches who eat children. One of such tales went into absurdity when witch mutilates herself to the death by chopping all her body parts, because she wants to impersonate some child's mother, who is supposedly lacking both her legs and arms and finally even her head.
  • In "Sun Moon and Talia" (the original story of "Sleeping Beauty"), the King, rather than kissing the princess like in the tale we're most familiar with, he rapes her (even though he thinks she's dead). Which results in her being impregnated and having twins, all while still in a magic induced sleep. It turns out this King is also an already married man, and later when he returns and takes her and the kids back to his castle, he kills his wife so he can marry the pretty young princess.


  • If the original three Indiana Jones movies were made nowadays, they'd get PG-13 ratings, and said PG-13 ratings would be pretty hard, for that matter! In fact, the second Indiana Jones movie and Gremlins were the reason why the PG-13 rating was invented.
    • Actually, the third film was PG-13.
  • The entirety of Felidae. It was in a time where animation was for kids, and got fairly low ratings (Germany: FSK 6, meaning kids 6 and up), but was chock full of graphic violence. It was also marketed at kids with the trailers, but was later taken off the air instead of re-rating it.
  • The film adaptation of The Golden Compass was targeted to the same audience of The Chronicles of Narnia, and yet, despite the Disneyfication process that suffered in comparison with the book, it was still pretty violent, with people being shot and killed, and a very violent polar bear fight. Specifically, one polar bear tears off another polar bear's lower jaw , and then bites at the enormous mouthhole that's left. All onscreen.
  • The seal in Happy Feet is well-known as a nightmare-inducing creature. The chase scenes are intense enough to be mildly disturbing to some adults, and terrifying for the small children who are the film's target audience.
  • Similar to the seal chase in Happy Feet, the film Balto features a scene in which the main characters are suddenly attacked by a vicious and enormous bear, which can be very terrifying for young children (especially seeing the main character get almost crushed to death by said bear).
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's latest film adaptation -- the cutesy singing puppets that greet the guests catch fire and melt... And Violet Beauregarde being all floppy and boneless as they leave the factory is straight out of The Exorcist. Shiver.
  • 1985's Return to Oz has the electroshock treatments in the asylum meant to make Dorothy forget Oz, and the reference to "damaged" patients being locked in the cellars.
  • Short Circuit 2. The entire sequence from when Big Bad thrashes Johnny 5 up to Johnny repairing himself is Uncanny Valley disturbing; the attack was brutal, and Johnny's pitiful cries of mercy don't help. Johnny's silent crawl to save himself - including stealing a car battery to prolong his life and asking for help by writing it on the wall with stilted speech - is also nightmare-inducing.
  • Hook—the moment Peter Pan's arm gets cut by Hook.
  • Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, where he is shot down on his stoop. (At about 4 mins into it)
  • Disney's Fantasia. Some people had to be carried out of the theater during "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" after seeing shadows of Mickey taking an axe to an animated broom, or our hero nearly get drowned by an army of animated brooms relentlessly fetching water.
  • Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame has several musical numbers that take place during death, fire and/or torment sequences, and burning down the whole town.
  • The Great Mouse Detective
    • Basil of Baker Street getting the snot kicked out of him by Ratigan on the face of Big Ben was pretty terrifying for a Disney movie.
    • Ratigan has his pet cat KILL one of his henchmen for calling him a rat!
    • His cat got one too when she was ripped to shreds by the Royal Guard dogs.
  • The flashback to the laboratory in The Secret of NIMH, complete with a shot of one of the heroes being impaled through the midsection with a giant syringe. Ironically, in the book the N.I.M.H. researchers were portrayed as normal, and actually pretty nice, people.
    • The shot of the Lost Nine being carried away to their horrible and inevitable deaths in a ventilation fan, screaming helplessly.
    • Mrs. Brisby getting a nasty slash across her wrist with a piece of wire, complete with a little puddle of blood on the floor.
    • The fight scene between Jenner and Justin. And when Jenner's crony throws the knife in his back.
  • The Dark Knight was PG-13. Those parents that took their eight-year-olds deserve the therapy bills they will be fielding for the rest of their natural lives, though admittedly, the picture books, sticker sets and lunchboxes didn't help. Almost poetically, debate exists over whether this film should actually have been rated R.
  • Coraline, is animated, and is technically a family film (though that is still debatable), it's really not a movie to show your pre-schooler. Unless he has no problems with spider-witches sewing black buttons into children's eyes and then eating the children themselves...
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is PG-13, and parents do need to take that "Parental Guidance" seriously in this case. Remember that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the woman is threatened by a red-hot poker held close to her face? In this, an iron mask is welded directly to someone's face while still red-hot, with much sizzling and screaming. Worse, we see it from the victim's POV as it looms closer... closer... *frizzle*.
    • The kid-friendly action heroes of the toys and 1980s cartoon are here depicted as actually killing enemy soldiers, occasionally in some rather brutal ways, ranging from "crossbow to the face" to "forklift through the gut."
  • Pixar's A Bug's Life has Thumper pounding the absolute crap out of Flick while he's not fighting back and yelping in pain in the background. Cut to a bruised and battered Flick with Hopper preparing to squish his head. And there's the part where Hopper tries to strangle Flik to death. On screen.
  • Alice in Wonderland: Long before Alice fights the Jabberwock, you see why you do not underestimate the Dormouse in battle; she is very good at climbing onto any enemy in a fight and then going for the eyes.
  • In Disney's |Hercules, Herc gets this treatment several times through the course of the movie.
  • Much of The Three Stooges' violent slapstick is humorous by nature, but the short They Stooge to Conga deserves mention here. Curly gets electrified, set on fire, and literally has his nose put to the grindstone. But Moe has a climbing spike dig into his head, his ear, and his eye. This is why that particular short has rarely been shown on television.
  • The original PG-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles features Splinter being chained to a wall and beaten, the Turtles being mercilessly thrashed by the Shredder, and April's home being burned down, the fire that started being caused by a Foot Clan member swinging an axe at one of the Turtles, missing, and striking an electrical cable, which causes his body to start jerking and smoking.
  • In WALL-E throught the first act, any injuries are Amusing Injuries. Then in the second act we get WALL-E getting violently tasered by AUTO, a dying WALL-E later getting crushed underneath the holo-dectetor as AUTO violently tasers the button to make it shut, and the film's Dragon, GO-4, getting (accidentally) kicked out of a window, smashing graphically on the floor by a pool below.
  • In The Lion King not only is there the Family-Unfriendly Death of Mufasa early on in the movie, but the scene where Scar smacks Sirabi so hard she goes flying, and the fight scene towards the end. With the hyenas presumably killing and ripping apart Scar off screen.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger is ridiculously violent by superhero movie standards: an elderly lady is shot by a fleeing thug (who later machine guns several people on the sidewalk with puffs of red mist), the thug's driver is shot in the back of the head with a blood splatter, and toward the end of the film a Mook falls into a propeller with absolutely NO Gory Discretion Shot.
  • Arashi no Yoru ni is a heartwarming tale about the friendship between a wolf and a goat. Five minutes in, a goat bites off a wolf's ear, splatting blood over the screen. (Not the same goat and wolf, thankfully.) And it doesn't end there!
  • Watership Down: bunny rabbits shredding each others' ears, saying "I'll kill you" with blood on their mouths and paws, a dog biting and shaking rabbits while blood sprays around. Rated U in the UK.
  • Despite its PG rating, Attack of the Clones contained a lot of onscreen violence that would bof given the film a PG-13 rating nowadays such as Jango Fett's ONSCREEN decapitation, Anakin's arm getting chopped off, just to name a few.
    • In fact a head butt between Obi-Wan and Jango during their fight on Kamino was cut in the UK release so it would get a PG rating and not a 12a, which is the UK counterpart of the PG-13 rating


  • K.A. Applegate's series, Remnants, featured much over the top mayhem, including the homicidal alien Riders and Blue Meanies, and the destruction of the Earth by an unstoppable asteroid.
  • Warrior Cats is rife with this. It's kind of amazing how much violence the authors were allowed to put in them.
    • Let's see, Cinderpelt getting her leg crushed by a car, Brokentail getting his eyes clawed out, all of Tigerstar's High-Pressure Blood moments, Firestar almost bleeding to death while fighting Scourge, Berrynose getting his tail removed, Firestar getting his neck caught in a fox trap, the beating that Tigerstar gave a young Scourge, as well as the mental trauma it causes, the few times cats have torn their claws...
    • When Lionblaze discovers that his power is to kick so much ass that by the time he's done, he is absolutely drenched in his opponents' blood, most fight's involving him become rife with this. And don't get me started on most of the prophetic nightmares throughout the series.
  • The Deptford Mice - dear god, where do we START?! Well, how about the rats who worship Jupiter, a giant mutated cat who breathes fire, and feed him live sacrifices, while skinning their own prey alive? And the rat who was rude to a higher-ranking officer in his youth, so said officer cut the kid's lips off? And Madame Akkikuyu's Heroic Sacrifice - she throws herself onto a bonfire when she realises Jupiter's spirit is possessing her. And on another "upsetting the Moral Guardians" note, it's heavily implied that Madame Akkikuyu started out as a prostitute.
  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole. For a children's book series, there's a lot of blood and absurdly gory injuries. For instance, an eagle's tongue is torn out, Ezylryb bit off his own talon, and last of all, the death of the owl Phillip, who was killed by Nyra by first being slashed across the chest and then HAVING HIS HEART PULLED OUT.
  • The Redwall series is another fantasy Talking Animal young adult/children's series that is also filled with bloody death and violence. Some more gruesome deaths (mostly of villains) include: being boiled to death by scalding water, having their spine snapped and still living for hours after, being asphyxiated after paralysis, getting shredded to pieces by pike fish, getting force-drowned, being eaten alive by giants snakes, being eaten alive by cannibals, being eaten alive by spider crabs, being thrown onto a row of sharpened javelins, being flayed alive, getting a smashed-in skull, being cloven in two with a sword or axe, being stung to death by thousands of bees, and the usual beheading, impaling, and poisoning. Several good guys die this way as well.
    • And in non-death violence, one Big Bad gets half of his face ripped off by a hawk. Another survives gets bitten in the head by an adder and has a hideously deformed and flayed face to show for it. Yet another has his paw ripped off. One mook gets smashed hard into a wall (and survives). Another mook is tortured on a rack before being strung up and shot full of arrows.
  • One of the reasons the BBC gave for the terminating the Virgin New Adventures (in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe) was that they had gone overboard on the sex n' violence. The BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures that followed included such stories as "The City of the Dead", where the Doctor does horrible things to his broken leg, and "Interference", where he spends most of the first book being pointlessly[1] tortured in a Saudi cell.

Live-Action TV

  • Though played for comedy, some of the contestant eliminations on MTV game show Remote Control were freaky. Being pulled screaming through the back of the set by people in freaky costumes, while the audience chants your failure like a Roman colosseum... rather disconcerting to a child.
  • The black and white television version of Zorro had one particularly disturbing episode. Some witty banter between some Spaniards was taking place in the foreground, while Indian slaves were being whipped in the background—complete with screams.
  • Doctor Who, which in the UK is considered and treated as a children's show (unlike other parts of the world that air it) has been a regular target of criticism over its violence and scariness ever since it first hit the airwaves in 1963. It was a particular favorite target of infamous 1970s TV watchdog Mary Whitehouse, who would regularly issue condemnation whenever anyone got killed or an otherwise PG-rated moment occurred. One of the most notable of these occurred at the end of an episode of the serial The Deadly Assassin in which the episode's cliffhanger freeze-frame occurred with the Doctor's head being held underwater, making it appear as if he'd drowned.


Newspaper Comics

  • Dick Tracy: For a comic strip in the mid-20th Century, it was extraordinarily bloody with Tracy often tortured and villains often suffering gory Karmic Deaths when they are not simply shot in the head by Tracy.

Video Games

  • In the game masterpiece American McGee's Alice is not exactly directed to children, but rather grownups' childhood memories of the (already creepy and somewhat disturbing) Alice children's book (or its Disney counterpart, still creepy). As it takes the rather naive and innocent protagonist to do horrible disturbing things like decapitating card soldiers and burning ablaze one of the book's characters. Just to name a few.
    • The fates of the Dormouse and March Hare. *shudder*
  • Mimi at one point in Super Paper Mario: "Stupid-heads... I'd mimicked her perfectly! You know it! ...I guess I'll congratulate tearing you to little bits like stupid confetti!"

Web Comics

  • Lackadaisy: Cute, big-eyed anthropomorphic kitties... hacking each other to bits with hatchets, smashing each other in the face with a riflebutt, and pumping each other full of lead.
    • While the comic isn't really meant for kids, the fact that the cast consists of very cute anthro-cats plus the fact that the series is often compared to the cute family film Cats Don't Dance (mainly due to the art style and, once again, the cats) moves it into Family Unfriendly Violence Territory.
  • Anytime Looking for Group's undead warlock Richard shows up, there's going to be absolutely GOBS of this slung around. True, the comic isn't even remotely meant for children, but even some adults can experience a good deal of Squick at his bony, undead hands.

Web Original

  • Neopets was made by, and for college kids when it first started. The early plots all were filled with black comedy, where the staff members (fictionally) were killed off one by one (The players got to vote on who died.). The site was made kid friendly after two years, but the old pages from early plots still exist.
    • Some vestiges of it still remain in more recent plots. Galen's was particularly grisly, for one...
  • Darwin's Soldiers has some rather nasty deaths.

Western Animation

  • The Animals of Farthing Wood had this real, real hard. Despite being called a series for toddlers, we see animals being spiked, run over, dying in front of our eyes, bitten to death, being eaten, getting shot in the ass and various other examples.
  • The short-lived but popular Nicktoon Invader Zim had a plethora of Nightmare Fuel, although asking the famously disturbing Jhonen Vasquez to make a kid's show was probably not the smartest of ideas to begin with turned out fantastically but was definitely not suited for the station. For a few examples:
    • In the episode "Bestest Friend," Zim befriends an Earth child, and later rips his eyes out; even the fact it's only shown in the shadows doesn't dilute it much. (Though, as Jhonen said, he did get a new pair of eyes.)
      • Just as bad, or worse, is when he falls off the roof of a house after being attacked by a squirrel the eyes made him believe was Zim. The column of smoke implies that the eyes either malfunctioned or exploded when he hit the ground. Supposedly, the only reason he didn't end up pulling a Kenny (dying in more than one episode) was because the network wouldn't allow it.
    • Then there was "Dark Harvest," which had Zim going around stealing children's organs and jamming them into himself.
    • Or "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy," where Zim slowly ruined Dib's life by throwing rubber pigs into a time machine, thus causing Dib to become more and more seriously damaged -- and eventually killing him. (though he's eventually resurrected).
    • "Lice" had a school infested by lice, a series of cruel "treatments," a hideous Louse Queen, and the clincher, -- Zim's skin can kill lice. After the threat is eliminated, we get to see a skinned-alive Zim writhing around screaming "THE PAIN!"
    • "Bolognius Maximus" turned Dib and Zim into sausages. Sure, they hit the reset button right after, but the damage would be done at that point.
    • In the episode "Hamstergeddon" Peepi the class hamster is tampered with by Zim and he becomes a giant monster that begins to eat the students (we see him pull them under the floor and we hear crunching sounds), he then goes on a rampage and steps on many people, at the end of the episode was a message saying that no hamsters or people were harmed, that was probably the only way Jhonen was able to get away with it.
      • In the DVD commentary he constantly and explicitly says "she's dead/he's dead". Then he goes on about the large amount of people who died during the message saying that no one was harmed!
    • The episode "Game Slave 2" had Gaz stalking Iggins, the stupid little boy who lied about a preorder and bought the last Game Slave 2 after she'd been waiting in line for hours to get it. It appeared, at the end of the episode, as if Gaz had killed Iggins (after making sure that he'd never have batteries for the system again) but, because Nickelodeon execs took umbrage at this, they tacked on the wildly out of place "Flying Iggins" ending.
    • In "The Frycook from Outer Space" at one point to escape from his job which he hates he hides himself inside a taco which allows a fat alien to eat him and therefore doesn't allow the laser to fry him when he goes by, after leaving the restaurant he bursts out of the alien's stomach leaving a gaping hole in him and spilling his stomach contents on the ground, it didn't seem to bother the alien much.
  • The short "Willie the Operatic Whale." It's about a whale who sings! And this opera manager thinks Willie swallowed an opera singer (silly opera manager!) and sets out to find Willie. Willie is excited ? could this be his big chance? So he sings! Yay, fun! And then he has fantasies about performing on stage! Yay, fun! Then he has fantasies about performing Mephistopheles and there's fire all around and the audience is sweating horribly and there's a bunch of terrified firemen offstage with a hose just in case the theater catches fire. Then the opera manager harpoons Willie and the animation shows him thrashing about in the water in a far less cartoony style than the rest of the short has. All while the manager-guy gleefully cries "I gotta heem, I gotta heem!"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has how Zuko got his scar. Although we do get a Gory Discretion Shot, it's entirely obvious that Ozai shot his son in the face with fire (for speaking out of turn, no less), which would be rather...disconcerting to younger viewers.
    • "The Boiling Rock" has a man tortured by being held upside down for a long time, which sounds like Cool and Unusual Punishment, but is actually quite painful and is a real form of torture.
    • In "Appa's Lost Days," Appa gets into a fight with a giant boar crossed with a porcupine, and although he wins, he winds up stuck with several giant quills. He pulls one out, and not only does he visibly bleed (a rarity for this show), but it is apparently so painful that he roars at the top of his lungs and doesn't bother trying to get rid of the rest. He remains that way for days.
    • Bloodbending is first introduced in The Puppetmaster. The victims always look in great pain and shock. Potentially, a Bloodbender could not only manipulate muscles which is implied, but crush the victim's internal organs, stop the heart or, in a similar vein to extracting fluid from plants (killing the plant in the process)... yeah.
    • The GENOCIDE that occurred in the story universe 100 years prior to the plot of the show? Sure, they never directly call it genocide, they never directly call it mass-murder or large-scale killing, they never actually show them getting killed, but however you look at it, the Fire Nation killing off every single one of the Air Nomads for being Air Nomads is GENOCIDE.
      • Aang crying over the skeleton of his dead mentor and all of his attackers' is a pretty chilling scene, it has to be said.
  • Tom and Jerry, despite being a beloved and classic cartoon, is famous for having some of the most violent gags ever devised in theatrical animation, especially the older episodes. These include Jerry slicing Tom in half, shutting his head in a window or a door, Tom using everything from axes, pistols, explosives, traps and poison to try to murder Jerry, Jerry stuffing Tom's tail in a waffle iron, kicking him into a refrigerator, plugging his tail into an electric socket, pounding him with a mace, club or mallet, causing a tree to drive him into the ground and so on. Luckily, these are all Amusing Injuries, so there is no blood and gore.
    • Oddly enough though, the closest the series ever came to blood was in the recent direct to video film Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars which features Tom attempting to grab Jerry only to crush a tomato. This leads Tom to believe that he crushed Jerry's body to the point that his hand is covered with Jerry's blood.
      • Later in the same movie, the Martians decide to invade Earth. When they get there, one of the lovable astronauts we had been watching throughout the movie gets up and confronts one of the aliens face-to-face, remarking that he didn't look too tough. The alien gets angry, so he whips out his ray gun and actually vaporizes the astronaut, reducing him to a pile of ash. It Gets Worse. The aliens then decide to go on a rampage, and start vaporizing every innocent civilian in sight, while you hear their screams of pain. It's not gory, but it's not done in a cartoony style, making it traumatizing and out-of-place in a Tom and Jerry movie.
      • One cartoon directed by Chuck Jones contained another 'false gore' scene. The storyline involved Jerry and another mouse playing malicious pranks on Tom to make him believe he was attacking himself in his sleep. They tried lowering a hangman's noose where he was sleeping, placing a gun on a string nearby, and other stuff. Then the mice poured ketchup on Tom's belly while he was asleep, covered a knife with ketchup, and put the knife in Tom's hand. When Tom woke up, he thought the ketchup on the knife, and his belly, was blood, and that he'd accidentally stabbed himself. When he found out what the mice were doing, he shoved them in a bottle, rigged with a gun that would go off if they tried to escape.
    • There is an episode during The French Revolution with Tom messing up a fancy dinner while trying to catch Jerry and another mouse, and being sentenced to death. The last scene is a Gory Discretion Shot showing a faraway guillotine with drums playing. The drums stop, the blade drops, and there is this visceral, organic "chok!" sound you hear in your nightmares for the next ten years.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the direct-to-DVD movie The Fast and the Furry, in which a large number of secondary characters are rather messily Killed Off for Real. To elaborate, a mother of four is heavily implied to be devoured by jungle insects, a man is cooked alive by a mermaid, a little old lady and her dog fall to their deaths, a Mad Scientist is vaporized, and a Corrupt Corporate Executive is disintegrated. Say what?
  • Ironically, this is much less common in Warner Bros' Looney Tunes cartoons, where the impact of the violence is often blunted by the recipient's reactions to it (and the usual cartoon exaggeration. For example, Daffy Duck can be shot point-blank with a gun, and come out with nothing more than a misaligned bill and frustration towards Bugs Bunny for getting the upper hand once again.
  • The entire Samurai Jack series veers between this and Bloody Hilarious. Every fight scene with robots involves Symbolic Blood and High-Pressure Blood to a ridiculous degree. In numerous cases Jack ends the fight liberally soaked in oil and standing on a mountain of dismembered Mecha Mook parts. And also in battle sometimes Jack would get full of bloody cuts all over his body.
    • This is actually a parody/homage of samurai films' brutal deaths of combatants.
  • For implied violence, the various mutilations that happen to Baxter Stockman in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series qualify to an almost ridiculous degree:
  1. The first time he fails the foot clan he had an eye removed.
  2. The second time he ended up in a wheelchair and was missing his arm.
  3. After his first robot body is destroyed, he's reduced to a head connected to a spider-bot.
  4. After escaping, he's then found again by the Foot and reduced to a brain, an eye, and a spinal cord.
  5. He eventually makes a new organic body, but it ends up rapidly decaying and driving him insane.
  6. Finally, after the body is destroyed, he's revived as a brain in a jar again, even though he was actually wishing he'd died.
  • Justice League has a bad habit of playing incredible violence against minimally superpowered foes as being slapstick or perfectly harmless, even when it should have maimed or killed the person. Countless guns are blown up in people's hands with little more than a flinch, thieves slipping and landing on their heads, entire blocks being blown up complete with people panicking, that sorta thing. A nasty example would be the fate of the vile Steven Mandragora. The episode "Double Date" holds him as the Huntress's target, someone she is willing to kill to avenge the parents he killed before her very eyes, and while tough enough to take a punch or sonic wail, not particularly superpowered. The Huntress plans to kill him with a few crossbow bolts. In the episode's denouement, she has the option of killing him in front of his son or letting him back into police custody. Instead of executing him with the crossbow bolts, she refuses to kill and instead... drops a ton of steel I-beams on his head from at least a hundred feet up. Wait, what?
    • Batman the Animated Series does this quite a bit, too. People are routinely thrown across rooms, hit in the jaw with fists/crowbars/baseball bats/two-by-fours, and seen falling 20–30 feet onto their faces, necks, shoulders, etc.. Victims usually sit up a moment later rubbing their foreheads, but even once you realize this pattern, the moment of impact never really gets any less cringe-inducing. Even Mask of the Phantasm, which got away with blood and on-screen deaths, has a few glaring moments - most notably, Bruce getting hit in the stomach with a baseball bat, which was being held out by a passing motorcyclist and thus connected with huge amounts of force, then getting up a few seconds later without so much as a cracked rib. Or, just the DCAU in general is a very violent "kids show" (though it may not have been intended to be).
  • Ever since the writers went off their medication at the beginning of the third season, Transformers Animated has been a bit like that. In addition to the Family-Unfriendly Death of Blurr, we've seen the mangled body of Ultra Magnus and Sari accidentally stabbing her best friend Bumblebee through the chest, a near-fatal injury.
    • How about the EXTREMELY detailed death of Soundwave?
  • Transformers Prime is going full-throttle with this. The first episode has Cliffjumper getting stabbed by Starscream, complete with Symbolic Blood, while episodes three and four include Bulkhead tearing out an Eradicon's "guts" and Optimus and Ratchet slicing their way through a small army of the robot undead.
    • Later we get to see Car Fu where the Autobots run cars off the road and blowing up at least one of them, with human mooks inside. As a bonus this is apparently acceptable for Optimus's order to use MINIMAL force.
    • In "One Shall Fall" Optimus goes all out on Megatron. He grinds his truck wheels into Megatron's face and then punches hard enough to spill energon, more Symbolic Blood. You wouldn't want to see what that would have looked like on a regular human.
  • Ren and Stimpy was full of this: Ren would often abuse Stimpy usually by slapping him or hitting him with any object he could find, and Ren often had some of the worst of the violence done to him like getting hit by a car and reduced to a bloody mess, having his lower body stripped to the bone by a buzzard, having his skin, blood, and organs sucked out by a vaccum cleaner, smashed to a messy puddle with a shovel, electrocuted, set on fire, etc. One episode was banned after one late night airing which included a scene where Ren brutally beat his owner George Liquor with an oar. This episode also was one of the reasons for creator John Kricfalusi's firing.
    • Blood has also been displayed several times in the show. One, in "Sven Hoek", where Ren threatens Stimpy and Sven - while saying the line "tear your arms out of the sockets" and very realistically imitating the action, a blood spray is visible for a brief moment.
      • Also, at the end of "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen". In a scene where hats are being thrown up with triumph, there's also a very indiscreet shot of a bleeding intestine in the air.
      • There were plenty of bloody bandages in a Games episode (oddly) "Ren's Pecs".
  • Flap Jack has Captain K'nuckles's story about how he got two wooden hands: When he was a kid he stuck one hand in the garbage disposal, which was hand-operated. Since he couldn't afford to buy a fake hand, he carved a replica of one he saw in a pawn shop... but it was for the wrong hand so he cut off his other hand and carved another replica for the first hand he lost. Later in that same episode, Flapjack calls K'nuckles a liar, so a gang of people come out, says he stole all his stuff until he was reduced to a pair of eyeballs and one wood hand.
  • The earlier episodes of Rocko's Modern Life was full of this scenes include, an ox getting his arms ripped off by arm crunchers with blood spraying from his stumps, a bird smoking a cigarette coughs up his heart, a dog belonging to a shark tears a man's leg off with blood dripping from it, Heffer's face getting ripped off exposing his skull while riding a rollercoaster, Really Really Bigman ripping off people's arms to give them autographs and tossing a child into the sun, Rocko getting attacked by Earl the bulldog and emerging with a bloody nose and a chunk bitten out of his tail, etc.
  • Given that a large chunk of its characters were robots, Ruby-Spears' Mega Man was able to get away with dismembering or otherwise mutilating them (but not on FOX):
    • Gutsman gets a basketball-sized hole blown through his chest. ("Mega X")
    • One fairly cartoony Designated Girl Fight in "Electric Nightmare" ends with Roll vacuuming her opponent's face off.
    • After the attack on his creator's lab, there's not much keeping Megaman's right arm attached to his body. ("The Big Shake")
    • The disruptor chip placed on Megaman in "Bro Bots" essentially sent severe electric shocks directly to his brain. (It's supposed to "scramble [his] circuits", but the SFX suggest otherwise)
    • In "Crime of the Century", Protoman fired into a room of humans. And they didn't move afterward...
  • Popeye would punch animals and turn them into meat products or fur coats.
    • Happens to birds in the Popeye versions of both Sindbad the Sailor and Aladdin.
  • The Teen Titans episode "Haunted." It's half-an-hour of a grown man viciously pummeling a teenage boy, while all the boy's friends refuse to believe his attacker exists. The attacker didn't exist. Which meant that to the friends, he was beating himself up. And was at one point clearly diagnosed as being under so much stress (for fear of the imaginary attacker) that it was damaging his health.
  • In Kim Possible: So the Drama, near the climax of the film Kim kicks Shego into a giant electrified tower that shocks her and then promptly buries her. More than a few people thought that he was not the only one who thought Kim had killed her before she showed up in police custody. She was meant to die, but since she's the reason, or a part of the reason, most people watch the show..It didn't end well and they had her live.
  • The Powerpuff Girls was full of this especially in the earlier episodes, the most violent things tended to happen to the monsters they fought they sometimes got decapitated, torn in half, impaled, or ripped limb from limb.
    • One of the most disturbing examples is where the girls get addicted to candy to the point where it's treated like a drug addiction, when Mojo Jojo betrays their trust of rewarding them with the candy by stealing it they beat him to the point where he is hideously deformed and has blood dripping from his mouth. They seem to leave Mojo in that state A LOT.
  • Danny Phantom had this in spades in 'The Ultimate Enemy.' We see some rampant destruction of buildings, but also the effects of the violence on the ghosts and many of the humans—many of them are crippled, or in the case of one human character, losing an arm altogether.
  • Sat AM Sonic the Hedgehog had a scene of this. In the episode "Sonic's Nightmare", Princess Sally is roboticized, not only a Fate Worse Than Death but extremely painful. Very mildly subverted by the fact that it occurs in Sonic's bad dream, but who could forget the SCREAMING....
  • Sam and Max Freelance Police was working with What Do You Mean It's Not for Kids? source material and adapting it for seven year olds, so had to tone down the characters' bloodier excesses (and replace their guns with tanks and flamethrowers). It still leaks into this pretty frequently, though. An example is an episode where Sam and Max raise a baby alligator, and discover it won't eat any food except off Max's arm. His arm gets increasingly mangled throughout the episode, until eventually he mentions he's lost all sensation in it, and they both giggle about it.
  • Happened quite a few times on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (what do you expect from a show where the Grim Reaper is one of the Main Characters?) One of the most gruesome examples is when Billy is thrown off his bike and hits the ground face-first; his entire face is shredded off, revealing the muscles and arteries underneath. He's completely healed five seconds later, but still . . .
  • Sym-Bionic Titan. Aside from the brutal monster battles, some of the human fights can get pretty intense as well. "The Fortress of Deception" features a scene where Lance is taken in for questioning. He is tortured by getting shocked and beaten by a large muscular man, blood is seen trickling from his mouth and he spits some of it out, later that same man is seen lying on the floor in a puddle of blood and teeth.
  • Quite a few times on Adventure Time, but most notable is "Dad's Dungeon", where a fruit witch accidentally eats her cursed apple and consequently gets covered in vines, which rot off to reveal an apple that has entrapped her. Her two sisters then eat her and what's left behind is a bloody apple core covered in bones. No not apple juice that sorta looked like blood, actual blood (it was even visible on the red apple skin). Did we mention this was a kid's show?

SpongeBob SquarePants

  • "Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy IV". SpongeBob shoots Squidward with Mermaidman's belt, making him undergo painful transformations. Among them, getting set on fire, losing all skin, and getting cut in half. Later, SpongeBob shrinks every single citizen of Bikini Bottom. They get their revenge on him by invading his body - he HAS holes everywhere, so invading wasn't much of a problem for them - and crushing him from the inside. This includes breaking his bones, destroying his kidney, punching out his eyes and brain... Yes, it did look creepy and painful.
  • One time, Spongebob killed a flock of scallops to protect his beloved Krabby Patty. At one point, you can see one of the tongues flying out.
  • "Plankton's Regular", when Plankton rips off his own skin and SpongeBob has his front skin peeled off by the heel turned yellow fish.
  • "Atlantis Squarepantis" has Spongebob And Patrick's flesh melt off.
  • "The Krusty Crushers" is full of this.
  • In "Dying for Pie", SpongeBob performs open heart surgery on Squidward, and accidentally cuts his heart. Lots of blood sprays from it.
  • "House Fancy"'s scene with the leg of a couch ripping Squidward's toenail off. Eeugh
  • In "Enchanted Tiki Dreams" at the beginning Spongebob and Patrick are caught up in their game they created and Patrick jumps on Squidward's head breaking his neck!, and Spongebob steps on his barely intact neck causing his head to fall off, though seconds later he picks it up and screws it back on.
  • In "Karate Star", Patrick cuts his own hand off.
  • In another episode, Patrick tears off his skin, and in "Pranks A Lot", he has a hole blown through him.
  • "Squid On Stike" has Squidward tear SpongeBob in two. You can see his bones and organs.
  • "Roller Cowards" has SpongeBob and Patrick Buried Alive.
  • In Doing Time Mrs Puff angrily rips a guards face off.
  • A recent episode has Squidward fried alive, and another one has Plankton cut in half by a propeller.
  • In "Code in Yellow", SpongeBob tries to perform surgery but ends up only chopping up Squidward such as ink squirting, his heart coming out, his leg cut off with sushi on top, his body parts, and lastly, his nose being put on a burger (talk about disturbing).
  1. his guards probably didn't even care what he knew