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"AN: And there you have it folks. Let me know what you thought. Disturbing? Funny? Moving? Or maybe all three. I don't even know if this would make it to an R rating. Fuck, damn, shit, bitch, hell. There, now it's an R fic."

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

Then along come the Fanfic writers, and suddenly everyone's dropping Cluster F Bombs left, right and centre. There seems to be this idea that you have to have this in an R-rated story. No matter that it's already got more than enough sex and violence to justify the R, the Obligatory Swearing is obligatory. Also happens to some extent in PG13-rated fics. Fridge Logic ensues when characters swear more strongly than they do in canon in situations less upsetting than they've actually been through, and seeing SpongeBob SquarePants or The Fairly Odd Parents dropping a Cluster F-Bomb is nothing if not jarring.

A variation occurs in Fan Subs, in which either a word has multiple translations and the subbers go for the stronger one, or simply adding swearing where there wasn't any to cover up the fact that they're not as fluent in Japanese as they'd like us to think.

This interacts interestingly with the Literary Agent Hypothesis, if we view canon as the Politically-Correct History version of the story.

A subtrope of Darker and Edgier; this is to profanity what Hotter and Sexier is to sex and Bloodier and Gorier is to violence. Contrast Rated "G" for Gangsta, in which a person or character who you would reasonably expect to swear doesn't. Sometimes done to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating. If the swearing occurs only once or twice, it's a Precision F-Strike.

Fan-created examples

  • Almost every fanfic based around adult or teenage characters will have at least some usage of fuck and shit, most likely in an attempt to sound "realistic".
  • Go to, set the filter to display M-rated stories only, and take your pick. After filtering all the Lemons, of course.
  • My Immortal gives us possibly the most insane, surreal and Out of Character example of this trope imaginable, quoted above. This is not to mention the frequent misspelling of non-profane words as profanities.

 "It was...... Cornelio Fuck!"

    • Hint: If Snap has uttered five lines and already used two obscenities, and the situation is anything less shocking than Endofthe World As We Know It or Potter becoming Snape's direct superior (or possibly the line "She has your eyes")... you probably don't know how to write Snape.
      • The Girl Who Lived series has a lot more swearing. A lot. Rose loves to lace her narmful speeches with profanity. And this is a Fix Fic, so...the author apparently thought that Harry should have swore more.
  • One fic averted this by using mild profanity but the author went back at a later date and changed most of them (except one "damn" that actually worked with the scene) to "more in-character, colorful world-based profanity."
  • There is Bert/Ernie slash in which the dialogue is composed mainly of swearing. As mentioned, it is extremely jarring to hear Sesame Street characters swear for no reason other than sounding "mature". Guess they picked up some habits from their friend The Count.
  • So much Warrior Cats fanfiction includes swearing, even though the books don't. This isn't because the book characters don't swear, but because they swear using feline profanitites. So it seems really out of place when, in a fanfic, someone yells "shit!" or calls someone a "bastard" while in the original novels they would have used "fox dung!" or called them a "fox-hearted traitor".
    • Probably the most painful example of this in fanfic would be a oneshot which features a kit using the word "fuck " in every line of dialogue. That's right, a kit.
  • Soichiro Yagami of Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, in addition to being almost Ax Crazy, swears quite often ("Die you pies of shit!" to L). To say nothing of God. Yes, God
  • Danced about in the Jaidenverse, a Darker and Edgier reimagining of the Harry Potter universe, in which the swearing is stronger and more frequent but c-nsored l-ke th-s.
  • My Inner Life features this, among many, many other flaws.
  • Cori Falls's fics suffer greatly from this as well as Tourettes Shitcock Syndrome.
  • Naruto Veangance Revelaitons has this quite often, but it gets even worse in the Author's notes.
  • Hunting the Unicorn subverts this. It's a Glee fanfic written in a very traditional style, but the Warblers swear a lot more than they do in canon. It seems more due to the fact that they're a group of teenaged guys who take everything quite seriously rather than an attempt to make things more adult, and they mostly use Precision F Strikes that are Sophisticated As Hell. In fact, the author rates it Teen instead of R, and the most she does is give a warning for people who dislike heavy swearing.
  • The /tg/-created Warhammer 40000 Angry Marine chapter is practically defined by this trope. Even their battle cry shows it: "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!
  • "Ronald Fucking Weasley" is described as a "shit wizard" in the first chapter of In This World and the Next, and this sets the tone for the rest of the fic.
  • Reconciliation has Hanako using quite a bit of profanity in her first-person narration, albeit none in her actual dialogue. Other characters' use of profanity is more reasonable; Akira uses some profanity, and Lilly, as in canon, limits herself to a single Precision F-Strike after her husband Hisao's funeral.
  • How I Became Yours has a fair amount, which is especially jarring considering that it's based on a children's show.

 Katara: Not a fucking chance! I can't what until I see you put up for a trial! Post on death row!

Mai: Not today... Princess, the day will be painted red with your death... (attacks Katara, but she escapes) Get back here!!! You can't run from me you little bitch!!


"Official" Examples:


  • Early English-language dubs of Anime tended to use this trope to help "prove" that the audience wasn't watching "kiddy cartoons". The UK distributor Manga Entertainment was particularly infamous for this.
  • Some subs for Anime contain several "shit"s and even a "fuck" or two, in a failed attempt to make things sound Darker and Edgier than they really are.
    • It got very very bad in one fan translation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, when one general called Olivier Armstrong "a cunt".
    • Ed's general portrayal in fanfiction. Yes, fanficcers, he does swear, but not so much that every second word out of his mouth is 'fuck' or variations thereof. This is especially silly considering most of these fans probably got into FMA via the English dub, where Ed's voice actor prefers not to swear unless he thinks it's absolutely critical for a scene.
  • Early episodes of FUNimation's One Piece dub on DVD often had rather excessive amounts of profanity ("bastard" is particular is really overused). It gets better after a couple discs; it simmers down to the occasional "bastard" or "I'm gonna kick your ass!"
    • Somewhat justified with the early episodes, especially Sanji's introduction episodes, because his Catch Phrase is commonly translated as either "shit" or "crap."
    • Another theory is that the swearing was meant to separate Funimation's translation from the infamously kiddie 4Kids! Entertainment version.
    • On the subs for Episode 432, the inmates' nickname for Magellan is "Shit Man" (likely derived from his spending hours every day in the bathroom with diarrhea), and they say it over and over in that scene.
  • Initial D: When Keisuke encounters Takumi in episode 1, when he sees the car he's driving, Keisuke goes, "An AE 86? No fucking way!" The official dub and sub translate it to, "That's an AE 86. You got to be kidding me!" Aside from that, with the exception of Bunta encouraging Takumi to beat the pants off a smart ass kid, the translation is pretty accurate.
  • Ultimo scanlations often use quite a bit of foul language; Vice uses "fucking" five times in one page, and Present!Yamato often swears, too.
  • Fan translations of Nnoitra's dialogue in Bleach are often rife with Obligatory Swearing.
    • Justified in that his character really doesn't care about anything or anybody outside of being a superior fighter, which makes his potty mouth all the funnier when Nel throws his AND Nel's own Cero back at him and all he can say in reaction "Aw...shit!"
  • Vita tends to get Obligatory Swearing in Lyrical Nanoha fan translations, fanfiction and even the A's dub, as a result of often using "Kuso" and having a fairly rude way of talking. (like when she screams "WHAT'D YOU SAY, BITCH?" at Nanoha in chapter 7 of the manga)
  • The Manga Video dub of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro was sprinkled with profanity that never existed in the original subtitled version (to the disappointment of fans who had wanted to show it to their kids). The title was considerably lighter than almost every other anime in Manga's stable, perhaps prompting the dubbers to try to make it Darker and Edgier.
  • Bakuman。 fan translations sometimes have this, and as of Volume 3, the Viz translation is moving toward this. It (and some fan translations) has Takagi calling a character in the in-universe series St. Visual Girls' Academy who coldly brushes aside Azuki's character's Love Confession a "bitch", and Fukuda complaining about Yujiro being "half-assed" in not making Eiji meet with him, and Yujiro accusing Yoshida of thinking himself "hot shit" over Otter 11's popularity.
  • The fan translation of the Metroid manga contains six swear words in the first chapter alone.
  • In Mai-HiME, Natsuki and Nao's dialogue often contains profanity in fan translations. One of the more extreme examples is Nao telling Haruka to "shut the fuck up" in Chapter 18 of the manga.
  • In a fan translation of Cardcaptor Sakura, the phrase Sakura used to make Touya believe Kero was a puppet and she was doing a comedy routine was "What the hell? What the hell?". The Tokyo Pop translation used the more common "Fuggedaboutit" phrase.
  • The old Anime Labs Manga Dragon Ball Z fansubs went way overboard. One of the most infamous examples, a line uttered by Vegeta after having his house destroyed, reads "You fucking bastard! You dare to destroy my house! Now you've really pissed me off! Fuck you!" in their translation, but the official (and much more accurate) FUNimation translation reads as "Smash up another man's house, will you?! I am in a foul mood today! Don't come too close, or you'll get burned!". It's the single example that fans in denial will cite in an attempt to prove their show is for adults, though they're doing nothing but proving otherwise. Another golden line is "Come out, you candy-ass faggot!", corrupted from "Where are you!? Come on out! You Coward! Show yourself!". Very mature.
  • In one translation of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga, Kyouko uses Cluster F Bombs when she gets angry. For example, after wounding Sayaka in their first fight, she says "What the fuck was that about? You'd better keep your shit together, fuckhead." (emphasis theirs).
  • The official manga translation of To Love Ru in Spain has a lot of swearing for no reason, especially from Rito, something about as Out of Character for him as it gets. The best example is one line with him saying "What's going on?" in the original becoming simply "Fuck!", not even "What the fuck is going on?" or something, just "Fuck!", like that. Since the translation also has quite a bit of Gratuitous Japanese, it gives a "bad scanlation" vibe.
  • In a Taiko no Tatsujin game fan translation, specifically 'Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Dodoon to 2-daime!' had the character Lantern Eel call someone a "son of a bitch" for causing terror at a festival. Keep in mind the series is aimed at mostly children. Very mature.
  • One early Dragonball Z fan subber was infamous for tossing in swears when the characters didn't say worse than "damn" in the Japanese version.


  • "The Goddamn Batman", The fondly-remembered part of Frank Miller's All Star Batman and Robin.
  • Countdown To Final Crisis had Mary Marvel (normally the cute kid sister of the DC Universe) go evil, then get a grip on herself and turn good... only to go evil again at the very end. In the final issue, she explained just who she was: "I'm Mary Damn Marvel."

Film - Live Action


 Michael: So where's that damn mirror?

Holly: In here...

Mike Nelson: (as Holly) In the damn alcove.

  • The 2002 cinematic flop Crossroads 2002 features this at one point when the main character, played by star Britney Spears, yells at her friends to stop "bitching and fighting every damn second of the day!" The way Spears delivers the line, you can tell this was obviously a forced attempt to make her seem "edgier" and more "adult", considering her relatively clean image during the film's production.
  • Snakes on a Plane notably had some scenes reshot to add more gore and profanity (including the now-iconic "Muthafuckin snakes on this muthafuckin plane!" line) to bump the rating from PG-13 to R.

Film - Animated


Live Action TV

Video Games

  • Among other things, the game Shadow the Hedgehog was infamous for having the title character (and even a few characters like Sonic himself) gratuitously using the word "damn" to the point that it didn't even sound serious.

 "Argh! Fucking kid! You send my plans down to the WC!"

  • Guilty Gear: "I always knew you were a shitty king! You can't even protect yourself!"
  • The House of the Dead, Motherfucker!: Overkill has gone on record for having the most instances of the word "fuck" uttered in a game. The first words spoken are "Whazzup, motherfucker!"
    • Isaac Washington uses "motherfucker" so often that the one time he conspicuously doesn't gets a Lampshade Hanging.
    • The game even made it into the Guinness World Records for being the most profane game ever. However, it was beaten a year later by Mafia II.
  • Samurai Shodown: "Shit! You really make me mad!"
  • The Metal Gear Solid series usually has very little swearing, just the occasional "damn" here and there. However, in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater, one of the radio conversations you can have is about a nightmare Sigint had about a giant walking turd that turns everything it shoots into shit, and Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots peppered in "fuck" and "shit" here and there.
  • Similarly, in Assassin's Creed 2, the second or third line out of Lucy's mouth is "Desmond, just shut the fuck up".
  • Download, a relatively obscure Turbo Grafx 16 shmup, has swearing in its game over messages: "I cannot fuck up for this" and "Shit, is not this a great beginning."
  • The original Max Payne had only mild to moderate swearing, the worst of which being the odd "goddammit." The sequel dropped this trend, being filled to the brim with Cluster F-Bombs.
  • The 2009 Bionic Commando game, as Zero Punctuation sums up:

 The first Bionic Commando was a characteristically wholesome Nintendo platformer that taught us simple moral lessons like "hook-shot arms are awesome" and "all Nazis should die," but the new Bionic Commando has taken the dark and edgy route, meaning everyone says "fuck" like it's on their Word-of-the-Day calendar.


Web Comics

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

Web Original

  • Pretty much every internet humor website. It doesn't matter if the topic matter is related to something kids are too old to relate to or if dong jokes run rampant, you have to drop the word "fuck" into most every article you write at least four times to prove you're trying to reach a teenage/adult audience. Fortunately, many such sites manage to stay funny regardless.
  • The Newgrounds flash game "Arrival in Hell" shows this several times, including "Whoa. Fuckin' thanks for that."


  • Porn uses this trope. Apparently they think that, just because they can't get a higher rating due to language, they have to shoehorn in as many "shit"s and "fuck"s as they can, to the point that it's Fetish Retardant for some. And that's as specific as we're getting on the subject.
  • Truth in Television: Junior high and high school, and elementary schoolers trying to look like junior high students. Thankfully the novelty seems to wear off considerably by college.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in the film A Serious Man, in which one (middle school-aged) character basically exists for the sole purpose of calling everyone and everything a "fucker".
  • Google Translate, for Japanese anyway. Case point: it translates てめえ、a fairly rude form of "you" (see Japanese Pronouns) as "dickwad".
    • It just translates to "Teme" now.
  1. The caption actually puts the ALL CAPS emphasis on "fourth", but the actual line fails to do so.