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The character was going to say one thing. At the last second, someone else comes into the room, or they just think better of it, and the character is forced to say something else. Last-Second Word Swap can be Played for Laughs to Get Crap Past The Radar or Played for Drama when a character quickly finds him or herself in a stressful or unexpected position.

Compare Curse Cut Short, where another character or outside circumstance cuts off the word. Also compare Right Behind Me. Contrast with Unusual Euphemism. Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion is a subtrope; before adding an example here, make sure it doesn't belong there.

Sister Trope to Lame Rhyme Dodge.

Examples of Last-Second Word Swap include:

Anime & Manga

  • It isn't obvious, but at one point, while still in the "fervently denying I'm in love with her" stage, Inu-Yasha gets very upset at "someone that made away with Kagome...'s shards."
  • One episode of Pokémon, "Hassle in the Castle", has Team Rocket doing this with their motto.

 Jessie: To protect us from all that chafing and itching!

James: It might finally stop all of Jessie's...complaining!

Comics -- Books

  • At the end of Watchmen, when Laurie and Dan visit Sally in disguise:

 Nurse: Your friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hollis are here to see you.

Sally: What? But I don't know any...I don't know anyone I'd rather see!

  • Done by none other than Peter David on his run on Incredible Hulk. On a special issue, the moment where a frustrated Hulk shouts "Aw, sh-" is interrupted by another scene; and when we get back to him he ends his exclamation with "-oot!"

Fan Works

 "I for one would never say f...oul language like that, Headmaster, I hope you know!"

  • Luminosity has one with a Fantastic Slur for vampires, "leeches". For context, there are some vampires who are on Jacob's side, whom he is addressing, and some who aren't.

 Jacob: I want those lee...ders of the supernatural world gone.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series
    • In its second christmas episode: "The Pharaoh awoke the very next day / Wearing an outfit that made him look -- erm -- handsome."
    • Also with the Paradox Brothers: "You may think us rather crass, But you can take your cards and stick them right up your...NOSE!" (Though it's doubly subverted in the next few lines, "You were supposed to say "ass", brother, I thought we rehearsed this!")
    • Joey: I'm in love with Mai Valentine...'s breasts.
  • Evangelion Abridged, during its eighth episode, when the characters are discussing Asuka, only to find she's waiting at the top of the escalator they're riding:

 Misato: "She's as energetic as a firefly!"

Toji: "Yeah, I bet there's something burning up her ass-uka! Uh-oh."

  • Beating the Heat gives us this lovely gem from Zecora when she sees Pinkie Pie and Braeburn.

 "Behold these ponies, without any class! A fillie like that likes it in the-"



Films -- Animation

  • From Ratatouille: "Because I love youuuuur advice!"
  • In The Road to El Dorado Tulio exclaims "Holy...Ship!" as a boat appears and nearly runs over his raft. Of course, as a ship of the conquistadors, it literally WAS a Holy Ship...
  • Shrek
    • Shrek and Donkey enter Lord Farquaad's castle and are greeted by musical wooden puppets at the Information Center, who sing, "Please keep off of the grass / Shine your shoes / Wipe your...FACE." Made funnier, because as the puppets sing, they also mime/dance what they're singing. By the time they get to the last line, their butts are in the air and they're looking backwards, but they quickly turn around.

  Come on in. What the heck?/ Fall on down. Break your... face

    • "I like an honest fight and a saucy little maid / What he's basically saying is he likes to get...paid."
  • In the Disney movie Brother Bear, two squabbling moose brothers share a fond memory of drinking fresh dew. They realize that Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other but can't admit it: "I love...dew!" "I love dew too!"
  • In Disney's Hercules, Phil's response to Herc's ambitions:

 Phil: My answer is, Two Words--

(hit by lightning)

Phil: ...okay.

 Nani: You are so finished when I get in there! I'm gonna stuff you in the blender, push "puree", then bake you into a pie and feed it to the social worker! And when he says, "Mmmm, this is great, whats your secret?" I'm gonna say...(Bubbles hooks Nami's foot, and pulls her out of the dog door)! And...nurturing.

Films -- Live-Action

 Carmen: Oh Shi--ttake mushrooms.

    • Reused in the fourth one.
  • And in the second one:

 Carmen: You are SO full of shi--ttake mushrooms.

 Narrator: And they were dangerously close to sticking a coconut up Lyle's...sleeping bag.

  • In A Knight's Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer is begging Will Thatcher (who is masquerading as the knight Sir Ulrich) to help with his gambling debts in front of his creditors.

 Geoffrey: Please Will-- (others shoot him a look) Please will you help me, Sir Ulrich?

 Queen Clarisse: You look so...young.

Mia: Uh, thank you. And you look so...clean.

  • In the Loop contains a rare example of a word being swapped for one which is more offensive:

 Malcolm Tucker: You are a real boring fuck! Sorry, I know that you disapprove of swearing, so I'll sort that out: you are a boring eff-star-star-cunt.

  • The Hilarious Outtakes of Emmitt Otter's Jug Band Christmas had a great example, after the mother otter flubs a line:

 Mother Otter: Ah fff-phooey.

 Buzz: Now, enough of this gooey sh-- of emotion.

 Little Rock: Have you heard about Pacific Playland? There are no zombies there.

Columbus: The amusement park?

Little Rock: Yep!

Tallahassee: That place totally blows!

(Little Rock and Wichita give Tallahassee angry looks)

Tallahassee: mind. Just fun for the whole family.

  • In My Cousin Vinny, Vinny's foul mouth has already gotten him in trouble a couple times when he's presented with a boatload of new disclosed evidence. "I need some more time to go over all this sh...stuff!"
  • From Igor:

 King Malbert: What are you doing?

Carl Cristall: Scratching my invisible...but onto my next question.

  • In The Man, Eugene Levy tries to get Samuel L. Jackson to stop cursing so much: "Oh, fffor crying out loud!"
  • An interesting example in A Christmas Story: a censored "re-enactment" using the word-swap. Young Ralphie, after a mishap, ends up saying "Oh...fuuddggee." But then, the narrating older Ralphie reveals, "Only I didn't say 'fudge'."
  • Back to The Future has a rare example where the whole word comes out and then has to be converted retroactively -- which only Marty McFly could pull off:

 Marty: You're not gonna be picking a fight, Dad...Dad...Daddy-o!

  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, one of the male gamers quickly tries to avoid insulting the one girl in the party when he makes a comparison between losing track of time while playing D&D to losing track of time when "looking for porn...-litical commentary." Another player immediately Lampshades it: "Nice dodge, Gary."
  • Bruce in Bruce Almighty pulls one of these when he realizes who it is he's talking to.

 Bruce: Holy shhhh- ...cow.

  • In St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, Geoffrey infiltrates a organization dedicated to hating women for the titular (all-girls) school but during it, goes against orders and delivers a tirade against them, joining the bad guys. At one point in the speech, though, he nearly calls the girls "bitches" but can't bring himself to do it and says "minxes" instead, hinting that he's actually trying to earn the leader's respect in his own way.
  • In The Frisco Kid Tommy the cowboy starts to swear in front of Rabbi Avram and (of course) swaps it out at the last second.

 Tommy: Well shhhhhhhheeee.....oot.

  • Done in Sister Act after the climax when Delores's ex, Vince, is about to be taken away.

 Delores: I've got two words for you Vince -

Reverend Mother: Sister Mary Clarence!

Delores: Bless you.

  • From Monty Python and The Holy Grail, as the Lord of Swamp Castle holds his hands in front of his chest to suggest a woman's breasts: "She's rich, she's beautiful, she has huge...tracts of land!"
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: One character has a rather severe stutter. To get around it, he swaps one word for another, despite it not being close to the original word.
  • In the Bud Spencer and Terence Hiill 1977 comdey film Crime Busters, the duo plans to rob a a supermarket and bust through the door with the words "This is a...!". When they realize they are standing in an office room of the local police department with everyone staring at them, they quickly finish the sentence with "... really nice office!" (as opposed to "... robbery!").


  • In Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell, Ariel is requested to speak in other than rhyming couplet. In response, a limerick:

 The judgments that you tend to pass,

On poets you wish to harass,

Would give me to swear,

Were I unaware,

That you are naught but an asset to the Heavenly throne, wherefore I leave you alone.

  • Sherlock Holmes of all people gets one of these in The Adventure of the Norwood Builder.

 Holmes: Arrest you! This really is most grati-- most interesting. On what charge do you expect to be arrested?

    • Though to be fair he was probably bored out of his skull before McFarlane (the guy he was talking to) showed up...
    • Another (even funnier) one comes in The Adventure of the Empty House, as he speaks to Lestrade.

 Holmes: [You] handled the Molesey Mystery with less than your usual -- that's to say, you handled it fairly well.

  • A travel guide detailing various local traditions says that, "In France, many believe that raw oysters enhance your appetite for...Christmas." Probably a Parental Bonus as well.
  • In the Star Trek novel Cast No Shadow, the Klingon General Igdar challenges a subordinate, Kaj, regarding her "communications with the - the Federation", and it's clear that he was going to say "with the enemy", forgetting that the Klingons and Federation have been at peace for seven years.
  • In This Rough Magic, the well-endowed Svanhild Thordardottar is described as "the one with the big pair of--of--bodyguards". To be fair, her brothers are rather imposing, in a Viking sort of way.

Live-Action TV

  • In Friends, when Chandler panics and disappears before his marriage to Monica, Rachel is about to break the news to her when Phoebe arrives and signals that they've found him.

 Rachel: We can't find Chandler...'s vest.

  • In Quantum Leap, Al is talking about a very attractive photographer.

 Al: She has the biggest, lenses.

 Tobias Fünke: Oh, great. And now you're mocking me. You selfish cun--

(Daughter enters room)

Tobias Fünke: --try-music-loving lady.

    • Another example involving Tobias and Maeby:

 Tobias: Oh, a pregnancy test. There's something we never had, huh, Lindsay? Oh, no, we had to create our little Frankenstein monster out of science and money and just a dash long have you been standing there?

Maeby: I just walked in.

Tobias: (chuckling) Seems like only yesterday you were bursting forth from your mother's fertile womb.

    • Yet another example, again with Tobias:

 Lindsay: We managed to raise $50,000!

Tobias: Well most of that money was from the Bluth Company, I mean how...

(Lindsay shoots him a look)

Tobias: ...are you?

 Wolowitz: We only did it because you were being a giant dictator.

Koothrappali: I thought you said we were going to be nice to him!

Wolowitz: That's why I added the "tator".

  • The couple who run the village shop in Father Ted are always on the verge of throttling each other. When one of the priests enters, they often turn a stabbing motion into a warm embrace. (Not a word swap so much as a gesture swap, but the same idea.)
  • Babylon 5
    • In the episode where Ambassador Mollari objects to the figures of him sold in the station gift shop because they do not include "attributes" (the tentacle-like sex organs attached to the back of Centauri men), Ivanova says, "So you're saying you're being symbolically a bad light?"
    • She does it again in a later episode, when discussing a nightmare in which she shows up naked on the command deck: "This morning I dreamt I walked into C&C totally...unprepared for my work." But then the punchline is itself punchlined when Sheridan offhandedly remarks it could've been worse...and then describes the actual dream.
    • Not to mention Delenn in "Shadow Dancing", discussing what happens if a male Minbari continues to express interest in a female if she's not interested: "She can leave when he's asleep, file a complaint with the elders, even cut off his...access to her family." Word of God has it that this is a subversion, in that she was merely stumbling over her words and what she actually said is true; Sheridan's reaction to what he thought she was going to say is a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • In a scene set in the future, holograms possessing the personalities and memories of the B5 crew were being manipulated by a propaganda minister in a totalitarian government. After gaining control of the system's defense computers, the Garibaldi hologram suggested to the minister, "My recommendation for you would be to stick your head between your legs and kiss your aspirations goodbye."
  • From the final episode of Seinfeld: "I love You--...United Airlines."
  • Most episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where the "Scooby Gang" is discussing the Monster of the Week in a public area ("Angry.. puppies").
    • In the musical episode, Tara's song has the added-syllables variant: "You make me come...-plete!" Come-plete with back-arching and camera-dodging actions suited to one of those words.
    • Same episode, Xander substitutes clearly sexual terms with "tight embrace". Twice.
    • "We kissed, you and me. All Gone With the Wind, with the rising music and the"
    • Buffy also has a rare version where adding syllables makes it worse, in the Season 5 premiere, "Buffy vs. Dracula":

 Xander: As if even that's enough to stop the unholy master!...bater.

      • There's a little bit of Fridge Brilliance there, when you consider Dracula had hairy palms in Bram Stoker's original novel, coinciding with a popular urban legend that this characteristic may develop from excessive masturbation.
    • In "Lies My Parents Told Me":

 Buffy: (to Giles) It was boring, old, and English. Just like you...ul. Yul Brenner. A British Yul Brenner.

    • A adorable scene from "Into the Woods" -- Joyce is worried that Buffy is neglecting her boyfriend because of her illness:

 Buffy: I gave Riley the day off.

Joyce: I don't think he thinks of you as a chore, Buffy.

Buffy: I know that. Look, I told him to make plans with his friends because I wanted to have you all to myself, okay? Besides, I can see him any time. And I'm sure he'll come over later looking for a little (remembers that she is talking to her mother)...Bible Study!

Joyce: (not buying it for a second) Well, good. I mean, just as long as the two of you are spending some quality time with...The Lord.

Buffy: Oh, we are. Absolutely.

    • Andrew talks to Jonathan about Warren in a particularly Ho Yay inducing example:

  Andrew: He never really loved...hanging out with us.

    • Spike has Harmony on a bed and is running his hand up her leg.

 "I knew you'd end up welcoming me back with open...arms."

    • In "Phases" Cordelia is parking with Xander at the local Make-Out Point and implies that at least one of them is no longer a virgin.

 Cordelia: Excuse me? We didn't come here to talk about Willow. We came here to do things I can never tell my father about because he still thinks I'm a...good girl.

 Michael: And he thought, hang on, I've paid my money, I'm going to have something; so he flips him over, and he fu--

(Lynn enters the room)

Michael: --and fu-- and funnily enough, it lands on its wheels, and it starts first time and they just drive away.

Alan: (confused) ...That's the strangest story I've ever heard.

  • In The Golden Girls, when Dorothy visits one of her students in hospital, they have the following conversation:

 Dorothy: Ah, I see some people have already signed your cast.

Kevin: Uh, yeah, some of the guys from the team. Are you signing it?

Dorothy: Correcting it. There is no K in victory. Oh yeah, and we'll just change this to "Ms. Zbornak eats shittake mushrooms".

 Pearl: Starring the late Raúl Juliá, a very wonderful actor. What was he doing in this piece of sh...surely very quality, quality programming.

    • Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Fire Maidens of Outer Space: Joel and the 'Bots are demonstrating that any sentence can be turned into sexual innuendo with the right vocal tone ("Does this TV have a ree-MOTE? Ooh!"). Crow, at the behest of his evil doppelganger Timmy (long story), is citing examples that are rather too on the nose, culminating in "She's built like a brick sh--" "CROW!" "sh-showboat."
  • A commercial for the show Greek included a scene where one character was telling another that his female friend wanted to be fu...(nuns walk past) buddies with him.
  • That 70s Show played this trope straight twice, and then subverted it.
    • While the gang is discussing Playboy girls:

 Hyde: True, but they're not bigger than Barbara's.

Kelso: Yeah, they are.

Eric: You're dreaming. It's like comparing (Red walks in) Exodus and Deuteronomy, both of which have taught us very valuable lessons! Oh, hi Dad!

    • And again:

 Hyde: Because Barbara's are bigger than... (Kitty comes in) The Walls of Jericho, which as we all know came tumbling down, right?!

    • And finally:

 Hyde: Sounds like your dad is losing it.

Kelso: Jeez. He's like this now, he's gonna be a total headcase if they shut down the plant. He's just gonna be this pathetic guy (Red enters) WITH BREASTS THE SIZE OF WATERMELONS!

    • In another episode:

 Eric: I stole my dad's tap! (sees Red) Back from those thieves!

  • In A Touch of Frost, Inspector Frost is being disrespectful to his superior as usual.

 Frost: Horn-rimmed Harry can stick it up his aahhh hello sir!

    • It should be noted that this particular joke has been used quite a few times in television and theater.
  • My Family: "Oh come on Dad! I'm no longer a virrrrrrrry naive person!" In a minor subversion, the Last-Second Word Swap doesn't work.
  • How I Met Your Mother
    • "...and she had a pierced...Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan is my favorite of all the Bonds."
    • Also, "I'm in love with...tacos!"
    • "I'm too old for this sh--" "STUFF. He said stuff."
  • From Chuck:

 Emmett: I'm sorry to interrupt this little meeting of the minds, but you're not the only ones who find this new regime insufferable. It's obvious that our rotund leader is channeling his sexual energies into the Buy More. In my opinion, our only hope--

Morgan: --is to channel them back into sex, yeah, it's brilliant, Emmett, but where do we find Big Mike a ridiculously out-of-his-league hottie?

Lester: Yeah, someone who'll suck his...will to work out of him.

  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: Gaius Baltar is pretty much the god of this trope; because he's constantly talking to his hallucination of Six, when he's actually having a conversation with someone else he has to swap or insert words at the last minute to keep the real conversation going in a logical fashion.
  • The Benny Hill Show used this trope at least once an episode. Example:

 Mary had a little lamb

She also had a duck

She put them on the window sill to see if they would...

good night, ladies and gentlemen!!

  • Thirty Rock
    • In one episode, Lemon and Pete are discussing how old Tracy's alleged son is.

 Lemon: You know, I always do have trouble telling ages when it comes to black...

(Toofer walks into the room)

Lemon: shoes are my favorite color of shoes.

    • There was also an episode where a maintenance man had to deal with a gas leak during his last day before retirement.

 "I'm getting too old for this shhhh sound the gas makes.

  • In the last episode of The Fast Show Ralph stops himself from drunkenly confessing his love to Ted just in time: "I don't care how old you are, even if you were a hundred I would love...I would love to get another drink."
  • Intentionally done by Veronica in Veronica Mars. When one of the characters in the programme that Veronica hates tells her that they were dealing with some trouble, Veronica says, "Trouble with a capital "T", that rhymes with "C", that stands for..." When her father objects she replies, "What? I was going to say "cute."
  • In Grace Under Fire, a guy at the plant realizes Grace, the supervisor, has just entered the room, and alters his story about the topless pancake house: "the waitresses all had these really big jugs...of syrup, that they poured over your pancakes..."
  • From Psych:

 Lassiter: I have one thing to say to you, Spencer. Kiss my--

(a nun walks past)

Lassiter: Sweet honey buns.

Sean: I don't think you made that any better.

 Jamie: That was definitely one of those "What the (pause) heck am I doing?" moments.

 Will Betty be the one that he loves truly,

Or will it be the one that we'll call...Lulie?

 C.C. Babcock: I'd love to meet the man who's taking you away from

Niles: Oh, nice save!

    • On another occasion, when Fran substitutes for C.C. to schmooze an investor:

 C.C. Babcock: He is throwing money at us, and she didn't even have to put out! (pause) Hors d'oeuvres! The cat!

    • There was an episode where Maxwell tries to keep Maggie from spending a whole vacation making out with boys, and wants to send her to a convent in Switzerland. Fran suggests sending Maggie on a kibbutz instead, because she remembers having a good time on hers, but then tries to take back her suggestion when she realizes the only reason she enjoyed her kibbutz was because that was where she lost her..."hat".
  • Subverted in the Community episode "Comparative Religion", when Shirley confronts Jeff over his plan to fight a bully:

 Shirley: What's going on here?

Troy: We're trying to get Jeff ready for the fi-iiiiiii....iiiighhhh...t.

Troy: (whispers) I couldn't think of another word.

Jeff: Idiot. He meant we were figh- ...ting. It is hard to think of another word.

 Olive: Tell Ned I love...his pies.

  • A Taxi episode had Louie addressing Latka as "you dumb fff...oreigner".
  • Frequently used by Del and others on Only Fools and Horses "Fff..for Gawd's sake, Rodney!"
  • From Better Off Ted: "I love you...tah! I love Utah"
  • In an episode of Wonderfalls, Aaron mentions the human instincts to "fight, flee or"
  • The JAG episode "Meltdown" was the second half of a two-parter that introduced the NCIS characters. In one scene, a nervous Abby is testifying on the witness stand and is asked about a piece of evidence":

 Abby: Oh, I ran a whole slew of sh...stuff on that.

  • In The Vicar of Dibley, Geraldine has just been blindsided by someone who came into the room without knocking.

 Geraldine: Oh, fuc...rying out loud!

  • In Frasier, in the studio, Roz is talking about how hot a new colleague is and how she'd like to "give him a --" Frasier's chair spins around and she suddenly spots his young son sitting in it. "-- a great big Seattle hug!" She follows by giving him the hug in question. Frasier's son calls her on it with a dry, "Nice catch, Roz" in response.
  • Nathan Fillion get one in Castle, when he talks to a witness about Beckett.

 Castle: She'd never go for it. She's a real bi...

(Beckett comes in)

Castle: For the record, I was gonna say "big rule follower."

  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will is comforting Carlton after his girlfriend leaves him at a wedding chapel and Carlton admits he is a virgin. Will says that it's okay and...

 Carlton: You mean you're a virgin too?

Will: Keep your voice down man, I AIN'T NO VIRGIN! (woman in front of him gets up and leaves) Hey, look man, when it comes to me and the honeys I just say de... (priest walks up to him) no way! Ooh, ugh yucky!

  • Skins: Emily's and Katie's mother has problem dealing with life's curve-balls. Her daughter's girlfriend is trying to play the perfect host:

 Mom: Look at her swarming around, like she did nothing wrong!

Katie: (coming to grips with things) ...she hasn't.

Mom: I want the best for Emily, and she isn't!

Katie: How do you know?

Mom: Mums knows these things, you realize that some day.

Katie: Are you really going to leave dad?

Mom: I never thought that we would split up. But then I never thought that I would be evicted from our home, that my daughter would be a rebellious. People always let you down, princess. They fuck things up!

 "And to use the vulgarities of the gutter, you are a worthless...Coulter."

 Al: (to Jill) That is a nice picture of you.

  • In an episode of NCIS, Ziva reads a report from her computer about a protester who smeared the side of a building with horse- *Beat* ...manure.
  • In an episode of Jonathan Creek, when Jonathan discovers that his boss's new bodyguard is a little person:

  Jonathan: Oh, you must be jo...sef.

  • Happens quite a bit in Young Blades:
    • At the end of the extended version of "Da Vinci's Notebook," Ramon finishes his poem about how everyone gets a girl except him with:

 I love a good rack...of lamb to taste.

    • Again in the extended version of "Coat of Arms":

 Maybe I was distracted by the beautiful Emanuelle

If D'Artagnan tries, he can go to -- *stabs* well...

    • In "Rub-a-Dub Sub":

 D'Artagnan: There's nothing like lowering yourself into a soothing, warm body...of...water.

    • In "The Invincible Sword," Jacqueline tells Louis that she will "sleep across [his]...doorway every night," although this is probably an unintentional case.
    • In a deleted scene from "Four Musketeers and a Baby," when women are swooning over the Highwayman:

 Jacqueline: To see women act like that -- it makes me ashamed to be a...

Siroc: To be a what?

Jacqueline: To be a man who has to see women act like that, that's what.

Siroc & Ramon: *confused looks*


  • Many, many playground songs, such as "Miss Susie Had a Steamboat".
  • "Polka Dot Undies" by Bowser & Blue is a novelty song built entirely around this trope.

 Well, I went for a drive in my pickup truck.

I picked up my girl, 'cause I wanted to...

Show her my gloves, 'cause she had on her mitts,

And I blushed brightly when she showed me her...

Perfume that she buys whenever Avon calls,

So I took off my pants, and I showed her my...

Polka-dot undies!

  • And before that, "Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell repeatedly sets up each verse for a Last-Second Word Swap with the same substitution:

 I have a sad story to tell you

It may hurt your feelings a bit

Last night as I walked into my bathroom

I stepped in a big pile of

Shaving cream, be nice and clean

Shave every day and you'll always look keen!

  • Following this trend, Hayseed Dixie's "Poop In A Jar" cleverly swaps in a word that, while not as offensive, means exactly the same thing as the word it's replacing:

 How could I ever fergit

That you're a piece of... poop?

  • A popular French song, La Jeune Fille du Métro (The Young Maiden of the Subway) is completely based on this trope, each verse concluded with a pause, followed by a an innocent sentence replacing a much more obvious, shorter, and naughtier conclusion.
  • Similarly, a popular song in Spanish, Pican los mosquitos (Mosquitos bite) is based on this trope, each verse running into the start of the next one instead of the obvious curse.
  • "FTK" from Guitar Hero II is a heavily-Bowdlerized version of the Vagiants' song "Fuck the Kells", with most of the changes applying to one or two words at a time ("fuck" becomes "frack", "the whole fuckin' NFL" becomes "the whole entire NFL"). However, the line "You can take this bar, and shove it up your fuckin' ass!" becomes..."You can take this car, and fill it up with tons of gas!" It's pretty clear they just went for goofy rather than reasonable substitution on that one.
    • To add a bit of insult to injury, they went and added a lead guitar track to this version that wasn't in the original, and the song is kind of boring without it, so the only way you can buy the song with it in is to get the cheesy Bowdlerized version.
  • Often used by George Formby in his efforts to Get Crap Past the Radar (although radar hadn't been invented yet...) in the 1930s. Examples:
    • One of his songs, called "With Me Little Ukulele In Me Hand" (no more needs be said than the title), actually didn't manage to get past the radar.
      • Parodied by The Fast Show by having a Formbyesque character singing Formbyised versions of Prince songs.
      • Skins used this exact song during a scene where JJ plays with his ukulele.
  • Often used by Allan Sherman in his efforts to avoid saying the word "ass." Examples:
    • "Get Me To The Temple On Time" -- "...some new shoes to break the glass. Tell all my old friends they can kiss my BRIDE."
    • "Hello Mudduh, Hello Faddah (Live version)" -- "...They've got style here, they've got class here. And if you're not careful you could lose your CHIPS here."
  • Dinah Shore's (utterly non-suggestive) hit "Sweet Violets".
    • Bran Van 3000's song "More Shopping" borrows a couple of these, swapping between the two vocalists each time there's a dodgy line.
  • The Assumption Song.
  • Tim Minchin's Taboo
  • Jonathan Richman's "Monologue About Bermuda" tells the story of when he was an overly serious young musician who went to Bermuda with his band and had his outlook changed by a local band who convinced him that fun music is cool, too. He was blown away by a song of theirs that went "Bang, bang, Lulu/ Lulu ran away/ Lulu had to go bang, bang, that's why she ran away/ Lulu had a boyfriend/ Name was Tommy Tucker/ Took her out to his house to see if he could/ Bang, bang, Lulu/ Lulu ran away..."
  • Inverted with Bo Burnham's Rehab For Fictional Characters.

 Tony the Tiger: Everyday I wake up, and I get to work late,

My boss says "Hey, what's up?" I say I'm grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrowing tired of this shit.

 Bo: Maybe it's 'cause of the way that I walk, makes them think I like...boys.

  • The Who's song "My Generation": Many listeners interpret the line "why don't you all fff-fade away?" as a Cluster F-Bomb swapped at the last second. Nobody knows for sure.
    • Word of God says it's supposed to represent angst amongst the youth.
  • In Mika's "Lollipop", I always have to wonder if he really wants to sing it, or if it's just what he had to sing it as:

 Take a look at the girl next door,

she's a player and a down right bore,

    • Especially considering the next lines:

 Jesus loves her, she wants MORE,

oh, bad girls get you down!

Nelly is a nice girl, but Hannah is a (w)hor(e)--

--rrible prude

Bob is a policeman, but Peter is a pimp--
—ly and rude young man

 They'll wine you, dine you, undermine you

Better not bring the wife

  • Sugarland's "It Happens"

 Irrefutable, indisputable

The fact is psssh it happens

  • The Scared Weird Little Guy's Christmas Song is an entire song full of this trope - which then entirely blows up at the end of the song.
  • The entire point of Mitch Benn's "Not Bitter"; a song about how the singer is totally okay that his girlfriend left him.

 You bitch, you bitch, you bitch,

You betcha life I'll be okay.

Ya whore, ya whore, ya whore,

Ya horoscope told you it was the right thing to do today.

You slut, you slut, you slut,

Use lots of self-control and don't turn around.

You cow, you cow, you cow,

You count on it, I won't be breaking down.

 There once was a sailor who looked through the glass

Spied a fair mermaid with scales on her--

Island where seagulls flew over their nests.

She combed the long hair that hung over her--

Shoulders. It caused her to tickle and itch.

The sailors cried out, "It's a beautiful--

Mermaid a-sitting out there on the rocks!"

The sailors rushed forward, all grabbing their--

Glasses and crowding four-deep to the rail...

 Miss Lucy had some leeches, her leeches liked to suck

And when they drank up all her blood she didn't give a

Funny when the doctors had locked her in her cell

Miss Lucy screamed all night that they should go to bloody

Hello to the surgeon with scalpel old and blunt

He'll tie you to the table and he'll mutilate your--

  • The Grammar Club's "Suck My Wallet" has a great one for its chorus, though the name of the song sort of gives it away:

 Rock and roll ain't got no soul.

Just a dick and a wallet, and you can suck my...wallet.

  • Lit's "Miserable" plays with this trope in its chorus/opening lyrics:

 You make me come--

You make me complete

You make me completely miserable

  • In the song "In My Country" by the Lemon Sisters, the singer implores lonely sailors with great big cocktail-shakers to come and visit her country.
  • Mr Brightside by The Killers:

 Now I'm falling asleep / and she's calling a cab

While he's having a smoke / and she's taking a drag

Now they're going to bed / and my stomach is sick

And it's all in my head / but she's touching his...chest now

He takes off her dress now...

  • And that's a double dose of this trope from Carcass' "Don't Believe a Word":

 I promise to tell the truth

The whole truth and nothing but...

Lies -- you believe them all

Lies -- you swallow them whole

Lies, lies, half truths misinformation and...

Lies -- you believe them all

Lies -- you swallow them whole

Lies, lies, half truths misinformation and...

  • Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans":

 Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise

If we didn't fire our muskets 'til we looked 'em in the eye

We held our fire 'til we seed their faces well

Then we opened up our squirrel guns and really gave 'em...welllllll, we...

  • Also played with in Homer and Jethro's parody, "The Battle of Kookamonga":

 Well, our counselor said we could take 'em by surprise

If we didn't say a word 'til we looked 'em in the eyes

We kept real still and we had our eyes a-glued

We saw how they were dressed, they were swimmin' in the...welllllll now!

  • "The Black Painting Song" by Matrin Pearson:

 Using brushes is not chic,

Body contact is the thing you seek,

You should paint using your hands and feet,

I suspect you painted this one with your ass...ass...asking for the gallery

  • A certain (unofficial) school song: "Within our ancient, ivied halls / Smith women show they've got some poise."
  • In Anna Russell's grand-opera spoof "Anaemia's Death Scene," the dying Anaemia refers to her Unwanted Fiancé as a "miserable old...baritone."
  • A double subverted lyric with different words than you'd think - Hieroglyphics' Throw it in Ya Grill:

 A little bit of this is all I need

Can't wait to get home and smoke some salmon

Throw it in ya grill, then called my seed (scene?)

And when the street lights go off, we're jammin

    • Not where you thought they'd go with that, was it?
  • Roy Zimmerman lives for this trope. Combined with his frequent Subverted Rhymes, you can never be 100% sure how a line will end, but unless you know the lyrics ahead of time, you can almost guarantee that the line won't end how you think it will. One good example is One World, One Bank

 "I see a future where we're all in one big tent together talking

On cell phones, to people in some other tent somewhere

And I see a future where poverty and starvation have been eliminated

From all news coverage

 I see a future where there are no wars

Just corporate-sponsored police actions with play-by-play on ESPN

And I see a future where concern for privacy is a thing of the past

Because privacy, my friends, is a thing of the past."

  • Tom Lehrer's (spoken) introduction to his song "Lobachevsky": For many years now, Mr. Danny Kaye, who has been my particular idol since childbirth, has been doing a routine about the great Russian director Stanislavsky and the secret of success in the acting profession. And I thought it would be interesting to st... to adapt this idea to the field of mathematics."
  • The song Deutschland by the German band Die Prinzen starts out as a tongue-in-cheek song praising the positive attributes of Germany and Germans. After the second chorus the singer starts sounding increasingly serious, nationalistic and subtly reminiscent of Those Wacky Nazis, culminating in the line "Wir können stolz auf Deutschland..." (We can [...] proud of Germany...). But instead of finishing it with "sein" (the German word for "be", which should go at the end of the sentence in this case) the band starts chanting the word "Schwein" (swine/pig), a common German insult and the band's favourite word, to show that the preceding passage was just satire.
  • Matt Nathanson's "Come on Get Higher"

  "I see angels and devils and God when you come... on get higher"

  • "Take a Hint" by Victoria Justice and Elizabeth Gillies:

  "But it always seems to bite me in the...Ask me for my number"

Newspaper Comics

  • A Beetle Bailey strip had Beetle writing on the wall "SGT. SNORKEL IS A BIG STUPI--". He then notices said sergeant, and finishes writing "SGT. SNORKEL IS A BIG STUPENDOUS PERSON". Beetle walks away relieved, with Sgt. Snorkel looking happy.
  • This strip in Garfield, sort of.
  • This Dilbert strip.


  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue`s Limericks game is halfway between this and Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: each player has to make up one line of a limerick that goes with the previous ones according to the AABBA rhyming scheme, so the earlier players often deliberately set up words that obviously rhyme with something obscene. Then the later players scramble to come up with something else (which may also be dirty), subverting the audience's expectations and leading to a laugh. Example (where the subverted rhyme is "hysterectomy"):

 A woman once said: "What the heck" to me,

"You look like a physical wreck to me,

You're a leery old gent --

However, come to my tent,

Though it doesn't look very erect to me.


 Robbie: Because we are living in a material world, and I am a material...guy...

    • Also seems like it's going to be used in "Rosie's Letter," but then subverted. In fact, a word is added.

 Rosie: Because Linda is a filthy rotten...skanky whore!

  • From the Reduced Shakespeare Company's (musical) version of Othello:

  Othello loved Desi like Adonis loved Venus / And Desdemona loved Othello cuz he had a big...sword...

 Hamlet: For thou must know, oh Damon dear, this realm dismantled was

Of Jove himself and now regns here a very, very--pajock.

Horatio: You might have rhymed.

Presumably the avoided word was "ass".

 Eliza: You, dear friend, who talk so well / You can go to...Hartford, Heresford and Hampshire!

 Mrs. Lovett: Ain't that just revolting

All greasy and gritty

It looks like it's molting

And tastes like...well, pity...

Video Games

 Graham: Why you...

Hagatha: Witch?

Valanice: I'm sure it would have rhymed.

 Sig: It's gonna be a big pile.

Daxter: (holding Sig's Peacemaker) Yeah, a big pile of sh--ould I cock this?

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, while Drake is being chased on a train by an attack helicopter, he comes across a large vehicle that ends up being an anti-air attack tank.

 Nate: How the hell am I supposed to shoot down a hel-lo.

 Chip: Thanks for asking, Mister Monster Gu-- I mean, Sonic The Hedgehog!

    • This one isn't as bad though, is it?
  • Psychonauts: "And I'll kick your ASS...tral projection out of here, too."
  • An early version of X-Plane had this description of the B-52: "Known by pilots as the BUFF: Big Ugly Flying Fu- um...Fellow."
  • Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts has this lovely challenge starring Piddles the Cat: Cheating Witch.
  • In World of Warcraft you can fish coins out of the Dalaran Fountain. A lot of well-known characters from the Warcraft universe have done a wish you can read when you fish up their coin. Aegwynn, who doesn't like the mages of Dalaran, wished the following:

 Aegwynn: I really wish you mages would get your head out from inside your own...books.

  • Ace Attorney Investigations: "B-b-b-b-however, sir!"
  • Kingdom of Loathing's "pirate pamphlet", quoth the in-game description, "contains helpful tips on all manner of pirate activities, such as swabbing, quaffing, pillaging, and, rapier-sharpening."
    • And on using its peppermint pip packet: "You pop open the packet of peppermint pips and put them in the pocks you poked with your p... your finger."
  • In Mass Effect 3, Jack's not allowed to swear in front of her students. At one point she tells Joker "Screw you, f...flight lieutenant!"

Web Animation

  • Teen Girl Squad episode #7: "I saw Tompkins in his under--where're you going?"

Web Comics

 Haley: I think I'm in love with y--

Durkon: Cure Critical Wounds!

(Beat Panel)

Haley: --ukuleles.

    • Also rather harshly enforced by Haley in a much later strip.

 Tarquin: You remind me a bit of my fifth wife.

Hayley: Why? Was she a redhead too?

Tarquin: No, but she had the most magnificent set of perky round...

Hayley: Eyes. Let's both pretend you were about to say "eyes".

Tarquin: Fair enough.

 Julia: You KNOW what I mean, you can read, e-mail.

Web Original

  • Commentary the Musical
    • In the song "Better Than Neil", Nathan Fillion sings about all the ways in which he's better than Neil Patrick Harris. There's one segment of the song where every line ends in "ness," with lines such as:

 Look at his smallness

Compared to my tallness,

    • This goes on for a few counts of 8. He then sings:

 My wonderful me-ness,

My hammer, the pe--ople can tell that I'm awfully swell.

 Joker are you busy? Let's call a truce.

I need you to help explain the plot to-- Batman.

  • On an episode of Yes, Dear, Kim goes "Oh, shhhhhh...sugar." because there are kids around. Either Dominic or Logan looks up at her and says "I know what you wanted to say."
  • In this Pokemon Musical, for some reason one of these rhymes was last second swapped:

 Misty: /Hey, Ash, baby are you ready to jet/

/I'm the water themed trainer and you make me so-/

Ash: /Let's go pick up our old pal Brock/

    • But the very next one wasn't:

 Misty: /Oh he's the poke-trainer with the really big-/

Brock: /Cock!/

  • A non-profane example from the Zero Punctuation review of Portal 2: "the icing on the...French Fancy!"
    • A less worksafe, one, however, from his review of Little Big Planet: "There's a very in-depth level designer built in, with a host of tutorials, you'll be tempted to go through just to have Stephen Fry's voice tonguing your coc...hlea for hours on end."

Western Animation

 Rhinox: What are you saying?

Rattrap: I'm sayin' that our little spider chum--

(Silverbolt -- Blackarachnia's love interest -- walks in)

Rattrap: --is...a credit to her web-spinnin' species, and I don't know what we ever did without her.

  • In Beast Machines, Rattrap exclaims, "Botanica! Am I glad to see you...'ve brought us this new power supply."
  • Transformers Animated
    • Mixmaster says the following after Sari's failed attempt to attack the Constructicons:

 Mixmaster: What the fffront end loader was that!?

    • There's also this (the last part being a quote from Sergeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes):

 Starscream: Megatron...?! Did you just say Megatron?! Did he just say MEGATRON?! THERE IS NO MEGATRON! MEGATRON IS OFFLINE! TERMINATED! I DID IT MYSEL-- saw it myself.

    • Then Sentinel Prime does it when trying to disguise his intent to blow up Omega Supreme.

 Sentinel Prime: As acting Magnus, I must be ready to strike should Omega...should Megatron make a move against us.

 Homer: Mister Burns' reign of terror is over, and now begins my reign of terr-- (workers gasp) --iffic management. (relieved sighs)

Lenny: Whoo, I thought he was gonna say "terror"!

Carl: Eh, I didn't think he was going that way.

    • An earlier Simpsons episode has Smithers almost confessing his crush when the town is convinced by a self-help guru to act uninhibitedly:

 Smithers: Mr. Burns, I love those colours, sir!

    • In the "King Homer" segment of the third "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Mr. Burns is discussing going ashore to Ape Island when Marge shows up:

 Marge: Am I going, too?

Burns: Of course! We wouldn't think of going without the bait...uh, that is, the bait-thing beauty. The bathing beauty! ...Heh, heh, I covered that up pretty well.

    • "The Wife Aquatic" involves Homer and others on a boat during a storm. As a giant tsunami is about to wash them away they yell: "SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPWWRREEEEEEECK!"
    • Lisa and a friend also do a variation on "Miss Suzie Had a Steamboat" in the opening of "Little Boy and Fat Man". Homer eavesdrops on them and faints after a few lines.
    • In "Brother from Another Series" Sideshow Bob's brother Cecil screams Shhhhhhh...oot after he accidentally flings millions of dollars into the base of a dam.
    • In "Stark Raving Dad", Homer calls home from a mental institution.

 Homer: Boy! When I get home, I'm going to wrap my hands around your neck--

(the doctors suddenly gasp and look at him)

Homer: --and smother you with kisses.

Bart: Dad, whatever they got you on, cut the dose!

    • When he tells Reverend Lovejoy that God spoke to him in a dream in "Homer the Heretic":

 Homer: He appeared before me in a dream, and I knew that was special because I usually dream about naked...Marge.

  • In one episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Prince Adam, Teela, and Man-At-Arms are onboard a small spaceship heading to one of Eternia's moons. An asteroid is heading their way, and Adam comes to realize that there's no way to avoid turning into He-Man in front of Teela (who is not a Secret Keeper) and starts the first few words of By the Power of Greyskull...only for Man-At-Arms to eliminate the threat mechanically. Teela then asks Adam what he was about to say...prompting him to make up the transparent lie that he was about to say "By the way, Teela, remind me to show you my new vest". Teela, of course, concludes that Adam is an even bigger idiot than she thought...but still doesn't figure out there's more going on.
  • Filburt and Rocko in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Kiss Me, I'm Foreign", are in the middle of an argument, when they're interrupted by a knock at the door. They find it's the immigration agent who's been threatening to have Rocko deported throughout the episode, and their response comes out as "What the hellooooo!"
  • Looney Tunes
    • On the short The Bashful Buzzard, Beaky calls a worm an "infinitesimal piece of sh-sh...shoe leather!"
    • Hilariously subverted in a gag reel: Porky Pig hits his finger with a hammer and says the following:

 Porky: Oh son of a bi-bi...son of a bi-bi, son of a bi-bi, son of a bi-bi...gun. Heh heh! I bet you thought I was going to say "son of a bitch", didn't you?

    • In Booby Hatched, a Looney Tunes cartoon involving a semi-hatched baby duckling whose legs are sticking out of the egg, the duckling tries to find his mother, or a viable option: "I gotta find someone who will sit on me. Someone with a nice, warm...disposition!"
  • Family Guy
    • Neatly done in the song "When We Swing":

 Brian: ♪ I love the work of Allen Funt ♪

Stewie: ♪ Or a nicely shaven leg

    • Also in the song "We're Too Different to Ever Be Pals":

 Brian: ♪ You get a kick out of carnage and guts ♪

Stewie: ♪ And you get a kick out of stroking your...♪

Brian: (interupting him) Whoa!, Whoa you can't say that on TV!

Stewie: What? Ego?

 Miiis-suuus Landers was a health nut. She cooked food in a wok.

Mr. Harris was her boyfriend, and he had a great big--

Cock-a-doodle-doodle, the rooster just won't quit

And I don't want my breakfast, because it tastes like--

Shih tzus make good house pets. They're cuddly and sweet.

Monkeys aren't good to have, because they like to beat their--

Meeting in the office or meeting in the hall,

The boss, he wants to see you so you can suck his

Balzac was a writer, he lived with Allen Funt

Mrs. Roberts didn't like him, but that's 'cause she's a--

Contaminated water can really make you sick.

Your bladder gets infected, and blood comes out your--

Dictate what I'm saying, 'cause it will bring you luck

And if you all don't like it, I don't give a flying fuck!

  • Tried and failed in The Venture Bros, when the boys ask why they don't remember a villain who claims to be their mommy, Brock says "Look, you don't remember because you're clo-- (clones)". Both Brock and Doc stutter, trying to find a suitable replacement word, but fail.
  • Animaniacs.
    • "And now it's time for Dot's Poetry Corner":

 Dot: Ode to a veggie. "Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more that you eat, the more they kick you off the air for finishing this poem." Thank you.

    • Also in Dot's song I'm Cute:

 Dot: ♪ I never am vain ♪

Yakko and Wakko: ♪ She's becoming a pain in the...♪

Dot: ♪ But...I'm also real nice. ♪

 Trixie: And Jake he keeps it on the level/ Taaking down The Jersey Devil--

Spud: Bear!

  • In the Phineas and Ferb special "Summer Belongs to You!", the ever-hopeful Phineas momentarily gives up, and Isabella tries to snap him out of it:

 Isabella: That's not the Phineas Flynn I fell this situation with.

 Scratch: She's beauuuutiful!

Grounder: Yeah! She's got really big--

Scratch: Hair!

    • Also from the episode "Lovesick Sonic"

 Scratch: Nice work Agent Breezie.

Grounder: Yeah, very nice; that little brat is a real pain in the--

Scratch: Hey!

Grounder: --transmission!

  • From the Re Boot episode "End Prog", the musical at the end gives us this gem:

 The Web invaded Mainframe, sprite and virus battled side by side

Attempting to reclaim the city from the rift which opened wide

But Megabyte betrayed Bob and he threw him deep inside the pit

The pit was closed and Bob was hosed and all that he could say was "NO!!!"

  • In the Kim Possible episode "Go Team Go", Kim and two of Shego's Team Go brothers show up at Drakken's lair. Drakken tries to demand an explanation:

 Drakken: Shego, as long as you're going to live under my roof, you'll follow my rules. And rule number one: no secrets. Whatever is going on...

(Shego lights up her plasma)

Drakken: obviously a private matter.

Real Life

  • The Tex-Mex dish chimichanga, a deep-fried burrito garnished with vegetables and sauce, is said to have earned its name in 1922 when a Tucson, AZ restaurateur accidentally knocked a prepared burrito into the deep-fryer. She began to utter a Spanish curse word but, upon realizing children were present, modified her oath into "chimichanga".
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. /Banana split, we think your team plays like/ shift to left, shift to the right/ Come on "team name" fight fight fight!
  • A common neuroscience mnemonic, as follows: The functions of the amygdala are the four F's -- feeding, fighting, fleeing, and mating.
    • Or "fornicating", if you prefer Added Alliterative Appeal.
    • Also exists in the form "feeding, fighting, fleeing and fff...inding a mate."
    • This phrase was hilariously said by Jane Goodall.
  • Common in Phở restaurants such as What the Phở? and Phở King ("Phở" is pronounced as "fuh?", with the question mark.) The latter's slogan was "so Phở King great."
    • Also in certain lounge furniture stores that glory in the name Sofa King, and advertised their prices with the slogan "it's not just cheap, it's..."
  • Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau claimed to have said "fuddle-duddle" and not the phrase attributed to him by opposition MPs.
  • A cheer said at RPI hockey games: "We eat Wheaties, We keep fit! / Not like the other team, they eat shhhhhhhhreaded wheat!"
  • Rick Santorum may or may not have attempted this during one speech about cutting welfare because it shouldn't be there just "to make blah people's lives better." He claimed that he started to say "a word" and then mumbled. His opponents said he said "black" and attempted a Last-Second Word Swap but couldn't think of another word. And that's all we'll say about that.
  • A danish amusement park named Bon-Bon Land (which also had some controversial candy reasembling a turd, boobs, and so on, which until it got removed of the market, was an miracle that it pulled a Getting Crap Past the Radar moment) had it's slogan to be 'It's fucking hilariuos in Bon-Bon Land'. Later it got censored, and lately it's doesn't even have the F-word at all.
    • It should be noted that the Bon-Bon Land slogan above is roughly translated. A better version would be one without the direct F-word.
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