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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

This is when the creator defiles the viewer/listener's senses by pummeling them with unpleasant or harsh images, flashing lights, or loud, dissonant noise.

Note: This must be intentional on the part of the creators, otherwise it's just awful. 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 Refuge in Vulgarity 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:

Eye Rape

Ear Rape

Warning: As the above should hint at, beware of the potential for disturbing images, headaches, and hearing loss from any links found below. People with medical conditions such as epilepsy may want to take extra caution.

Examples of Sensory Abuse include:

Eye Rape

  • Shock Sites
  • Ouch. Epileptics: You are forewarned.
  • Trolls like this, especially on forums that let them post images.
  • South Park is fond of eye rape. 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 Towely products.
  • The opening credits for Enter the Void. Quentin Tarantino called them the best opening credits to a movie ever.
  • rgb, a Canabalt-like game that obscures information on the screen with its painful colour palette.
  • The infamous seizure-inducing Porygon episode of Pokémon, which was only aired once, and only in Japan.
  • Problem Solverz.
  • The music video for All of the Lights. That epilepsy warning at the start is not kidding.
    • Kanye and Jay-Z's video for "N***as 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 music video for Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight."
  • Hellsinker's final battles full stop.
    • Also the extra stages "The Great Majority" and "The Way of All Flesh".
  • 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.
  • 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, migranes, dizziness and even epilepsy attacks in viewers.
  • The music video for SebastiAn's "Total" consists of a hyper-speed montage of random disturbing images plucked from the internet.

Ear Rape

  • Anal Cunt
  • Passenger of Shit
  • A number of Futret's tracks are this.
  • Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, with "Bring Back the Apocalypse" being of particular interest.
  • Some of the more extreme metal subgenres, particularly grindcore.
  • A lot of hardcore electronic genres are based on this, including noizecore, power electronics, speedcore, splittercore, glitch, breakcore, raggacore, hellektro/aggrotech, and some gabber.
  • Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music
  • IDM artists sometimes do this for fun.
    • Autechre uses this heavily. "Gantz Graf" is one of their more famous examples, and even their most not-ear-rape songs have a fair bit of harshness to them.
      • Even better (or worse), "Confield."
    • Hvratski, too.
    • Aphex Twin has some noise tracks that fit this category, like "Ventolin."
    • Squarepusher's Steinbolt. Good song, but definitely an acquired taste.
  • The end of Captain Beefheart's "Bat Chain Puller," played at high volumes, goes straight here. But in a good way.
  • 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!
  • 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. The Colossus Of Destiny was essentially their attempt to replicate this on record. Chicken Switch, a remix album heavy on contributions from experimental noise artists, also probably applies.
  • 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", the "most annoying six seconds of audio ever recorded" to scare the listener who forgot to turn off the CD player.
  • Present in Flywrench where the background music is mostly distorted noise.
  • Much Silent Hill music.
  • 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 two songs on their In Utero album that fits this trope, "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" and "Tourette's."
  • When this trope is applied to video game remixes, you get this.
  • Most music in pirated Nintendo games.
  • The Crazy Bus title theme, which outside sources indicate was constructed using a literal random sound generator.
  • Chipmunked vocals in Eurobeat songs, particularly those on the Hi-NRG Attack label. Supposedly it's to appeal to the Japanese audience.
  • The Piz and their VST instrument plugins.
  • KMFDM's Hidden Track on Nihil (skip to 3:41).
  • Old-school (ie true) Industrial music, such as Discipline by Throbbing Gristle.


  • The Rite of Spring is possibly the earliest example of both Ear Rape and Eye Rape 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 riot before it was over. This Ballet is only half an hour long.
  • Screamer Videos
  • 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.
  • Many Youtube Poops.
    • Same goes to some of the YTMND fads, like the Poland one.
  • Hell, by David Firth.
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff.... SwEEet BrO And hEEeElLA JeEeEeFFF!!!
  • Room 23 from Lost. It's so bad it's designed to literally erase the short term memory of the unlucky victim.
  • Irreversible is never particularly pleasant, 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.
  • 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, who still grit their teeth through the logos as adults. Fortunately, these logos were retired in favor of less frightening ones in the late 1980s. Paramount went one step further by replacing the Peak of Fear in its legacy series, first with a full color, computer-rendered mountain, then with the CBS Syndication logo. You actually have to hunt for a scary Paramount logo on television these days, and frankly, who would want to do that to themselves?
  • Acid Couch, a Journey to the Center of the Mind of a character having a bad drug experience.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Real Life, this can happen accidentally to people who have issues with sensory overload (link takes you to the Wikipedia article on it). It often accompanies autism or related disorders and it can affect any of the five senses, not just vision or hearing. While the vast majority of sensory abuse these people undergo is unintentional, a very sadistic person could use it for deliberate torture.
  • In The Slender Man Mythos, Slender Man causes video and audio distortion in camera footage of him, so video series like Marble Hornets, Everyman HYBRID, and Tribe Twelve feature this a lot.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • YAY YAY, a Stick Figure Animation that features rapidly flashing images, crackling sound effects, and Toilet Humor.