French Toast Sunday/Bryan Dugan
French Toast Sunday/Bryan Dugan

21 Creative TV Edits of Naughty Movie Lines

French Toast Sunday/Bryan Dugan
French Toast Sunday/Bryan Dugan

There's a lot of language in movies that you can't show on TV. We're so used to the standard ways of dubbing over words for TV that we hardly notice them. Freakin', effing, flippin', heck, shoot, shucks, and "stuff you!" are favorites, but sometimes the dubs or alternate versions do something so unusual that they stand out. Here are 21 creative versions of naughty movie lines from TV edits.

1. Smokey and the Bandit

"Scum bum."

When this 1977 movie aired on TV, one character's signature phrase, "son of a bitch" (which he pronounced "sumbitch") was changed everywhere to "scum bum." For a while, it became a popular insult among kids. Hot Wheels later made a car with the phrase on the back.

2. Saturday Night Fever

"You fakers!"

In one scene, Tony and his buddies pretend to fall off a bridge. A panicked Annette looks over the railing to find them laughing and yells this at them. She did not call them fakers in the original, but the meaning of the word fits the situation well, and the sound of it almost matches the word it's covering up.

3. The Breakfast Club

“Did you slip her the hot wild affection?”

The movie contains the line “Did you slip her the hot beef injection?” which is itself already a euphemism for something else. But TV censors decided it wasn't euphemism enough and changed it. I guess it preserves some of the original meaning?

4. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

“Forget White Castle, let's go get some privates!”

Ah yes, the "p" word. Let's just say if it referred to cats, they would leave it as is. The substitution of "privates" in this line also preserves the meaning of the original, in perhaps too literal a way. In fact, I think it makes it sound even worse.

5. Mallrats

"All it took was a phat karate punch."

This line also covers up something that already contains a euphemism—"all it took was a fat chronic blunt"—but does not leave the meaning intact. I think. Who knows what the kids call it these days.

6. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"Pardon my French, but you're an AARDVARK!"

It starts with the same sound as the word it's replacing, and it has the right number of syllables, and as it turns out, it does feel pretty good to yell this at someone when you're angry.

7. Bridget Jones's Diary

"I'd rather have a job washing Saddam Hussein's cars."

Think "wiping" instead of "washing." Can you guess the rest?

8. Total Recall

"Come back here you steroid."

This one is harder to guess. Sometimes these dubs have nothing in common with their originals in terms of sound or meaning. Actually, that's not true here. The original also has a "ck" and a "you." The "steroid"? That's just another way of saying aardvark.

9. Scarface

"This town's just a great big chicken waiting to get plucked!"

Well, it is pretty hot in Miami. Too hot for feathers anyway.

10. Lethal Weapon

"This is a real badge, I'm a real cop, and this is a real firing gun!"

You firing better believe it. Fire yeah!

11. The Big Lebowski

"This is what happens, Larry! This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!"

This brilliant substitution is famous among Lebowski buffs. The linguistic structural parallels are sound—it preserves the "F a stranger in the A" pattern as well as the truncated trochaic tetrameter stress pattern. That stress pattern in also preserved when the phrase shows up again as “do you see what happens when you fix a stranger scrambled eggs?"

12. Jackie Brown

"Freeze, moldy fingers!"

Sometimes you gotta wonder why they want to try to make a TV version at all. The MF word is used so often in this movie, the editors must have gotten bored with the usual substitutions, which is why there is such a fantastic variety of MF faux profanity on display. In addition to moldy fingers, the TV audience gets to hear melon farmers, melon feelers, motor scooters, mothers and fathers, and "my mutual funded money."

13. Casino

“Forget me? Forget you, you mother forgetter!”

Again, there are some movies that it may not be worth adapting for TV.

14. Robocop

"You're gonna be one bad mothercruncher."

Someone should steal this one for a cereal ad.

15. Pulp Fiction

“That better be one charming mightyfriendly pig!”

You're mightyfriendly right about that.

16. Die Hard 2

“Yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon!”

In order for this important, explosion-introducing line to make sense, the TV version made sure to change an earlier scene so that one of the bad guys is heard being called Mr. Falcon.

17. The Usual Suspects

"Hand me the keys, you fairy godmother."

It might have been closer, soundwise, to use "effing clock shucker," but they decided to go cute.  All five guys in the police lineup have to say this sentence. One after the other.

18. The Exorcist

"Your mother sews socks that smell!"

Another one about, um, shucking clocks. This line is commonly attributed to the TV edit of The Exorcist, but it really came from a Saturday Night Live skit. The actual TV edit was the less ridiculous "your mother still rots in Hell." "Sews socks" is so much better. Let's just pretend it happened.

19. Silence of the Lambs

"Would you marry me? I'd marry me, I'd marry me so hard."

Somehow, this comes off so much creepier than the original.

20. Return of the Living Dead

"Television Version."

In this zombie flick, one of the characters wears a jacket with an impertinent profanity written on the back. In scenes re-filmed for the TV edit, the jacket simply says "Television Version." Much better than "stuff you" and refreshingly honest.

21. Snakes on a Plane

"I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!"

Haven't we all.

Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
15 Must-See Holiday Horror Movies
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Families often use the holidays as an excuse to indulge in repeat viewings of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Elf. But for a certain section of the population, the yuletide is all about horror. Although it didn’t truly emerge until the mid-1970s, “holiday horror” is a thriving subgenre that often combines comedy to tell stories of demented Saint Nicks and lethal gingerbread men. If you’ve never seen Santa slash someone, here are 15 movies to get you started.


Most holiday horror movies concern Christmas, so ThanksKilling is a bit of an anomaly. Another reason it’s an anomaly? It opens in 1621, with an axe-wielding turkey murdering a topless pilgrim woman. The movie continues on to the present-day, where a group of college friends are terrorized by that same demon bird during Thanksgiving break. It’s pretty schlocky, but if Turkey Day-themed terror is your bag, make sure to check out the sequel: ThanksKilling 3. (No one really knows what happened to ThanksKilling 2.)


Fittingly, the same man who brought us A Christmas Story also brought us its twisted cousin. Before Bob Clark co-wrote and directed the 1983 saga of Ralphie Parker, he helmed Black Christmas. It concerns a group of sorority sisters who are systematically picked off by a man who keeps making threatening phone calls to their house. Oh, and it all happens during the holidays. Black Christmas is often considered the godfather of holiday horror, but it was also pretty early on the slasher scene, too. It opened the same year as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and beat Halloween by a full four years.


This movie isn’t about Santa Claus himself going berserk and slaughtering a bunch of people. But it is about a troubled teen who does just that in a Santa suit. Billy Chapman starts Silent Night, Deadly Night as a happy little kid, only to witness a man dressed as St. Nick murder his parents in cold blood. Years later, after he has grown up and gotten a job at a toy store, he conducts a killing spree in his own red-and-white suit. The PTA and plenty of critics condemned the film for demonizing a kiddie icon, but it turned into a bona fide franchise with four sequels and a 2012 remake.


This Finnish flick dismantles Santa lore in truly bizarre fashion, and it’s not easy to explain in a quick plot summary. But Rare Exports involves a small community living at the base of Korvatunturi mountain, a major excavation project, a bunch of dead reindeer, and a creepy old naked dude who may or may not be Santa Claus. Thanks to its snowy backdrop, the movie scored some comparisons to The Thing, but the hero here isn’t some Kurt Russell clone with equally feathered hair. It’s a bunch of earnest kids and their skeptical dads, who all want to survive the holidays in one piece.


To All a Goodnight follows a by-now familiar recipe: Add a bunch of young women to one psycho dressed as Santa Claus and you get a healthy dose of murder and this 1980 slasher flick. Only this one takes place at a finishing school. So it’s fancier.

6. KRAMPUS (2015)

Although many Americans are blissfully unaware of him, Krampus has terrorized German-speaking kids for centuries. According to folklore, he’s a yuletide demon who punishes naughty children. (He’s also part-goat.) That’s some solid horror movie material, so naturally Krampus earned his own feature film. In the movie, he’s summoned because a large suburban family loses its Christmas cheer. That family has an Austrian grandma who had encounters with Krampus as a kid, so he returns to punish her descendants. He also animates one truly awful Jack-in-the-Box.


“Eat me, you punk b*tch!” That’s one of the many corny catchphrases spouted by the Gingerdead Man, an evil cookie possessed by the spirit of a convicted killer (played by Gary Busey). The lesson here, obviously, is to never bake.

8. JACK FROST (1997)

No, this isn’t the Michael Keaton snowman movie. It’s actually a holiday horror movie that beat that family film by a year. In this version, Jack Frost is a serial killer on death row who escapes prison and then, through a freak accident, becomes a snowman. He embarks on a murder spree that’s often played for laughs—for instance, the cops threaten him with hairdryers. But the comedy is pretty questionable in the infamous, and quite controversial, Shannon Elizabeth shower scene.

9. ELVES (1989)

Based on the tagline—“They’re not working for Santa anymore”—you’d assume this is your standard evil elves movie. But Elves weaves Nazis, bathtub electrocutions, and a solitary, super grotesque elf into its utterly absurd plot. Watch at your own risk.

10. SINT (2010)

The Dutch have their own take on Santa, and his name is Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas travels to the Netherlands via steamship each year with his racist sidekick Zwarte Piet. But otherwise, he’s pretty similar to Santa. And if Santa can be evil, so can Sinterklaas. According to the backstory in Sint (or Saint), the townspeople burned their malevolent bishop alive on December 5, 1492. But Sinterklaas returns from the grave on that date whenever there’s a full moon to continue dropping bodies. In keeping with his olden origins, he rides around on a white horse wielding a golden staff … that he can use to murder you.

11. SANTA’S SLAY (2005)

Ever wonder where Santa came from? This horror-comedy claims he comes from the worst possible person: Satan. The devil’s kid lost a bet many years ago and had to pretend to be a jolly gift-giver. But now the terms of the bet are up and he’s out to act like a true demon. That includes killing Fran Drescher and James Caan, obviously.


Another Santa slasher is on the loose in All Through the House, but the big mystery here is who it is. This villain dons a mask during his/her streak through suburbia—and, as the genre dictates, offs a bunch of promiscuous young couples along the way. The riddle is all tied up in the disappearance of a little girl, who vanished several years earlier.


Several years before Silent Night, Deadly Night garnered protests for its anti-Kringle stance, Christmas Evil put a radicalized Santa at the center of its story. The movie’s protagonist, Harry Stadling, first starts to get weird thoughts in his head as a kid when he sees “Santa” (really his dad in the costume) groping his mom. Then, he becomes unhealthily obsessed with the holiday season, deludes himself into thinking he’s Santa, and goes on a rampage. The movie is mostly notable for its superfan John Waters, who lent commentary to the DVD and gave Christmas Evil some serious cult cred.

14. SANTA CLAWS (1996)

If you thought this was the holiday version of Pet Sematary, guess again. The culprit here isn’t a demon cat in a Santa hat, but a creepy next-door neighbor. Santa Claws stars B-movie icon Debbie Rochon as Raven Quinn, an actress going through a divorce right in the middle of the holidays. She needs some help caring for her two girls, so she seeks out Wayne, her neighbor who has an obsessive crush on her. He eventually snaps and dresses up as Santa Claus in a ski mask. Mayhem ensues.

15. NEW YEAR’S EVIL (1980)

Because the holidays aren’t over until everyone’s sung “Auld Lang Syne,” we can’t count out New Year’s Eve horror. In New Year’s Evil, lady rocker Blaze is hosting a live NYE show. Everything is going well, until a man calls in promising to kill at midnight. The cops write it off as a prank call, but soon, Blaze’s friends start dropping like flies. Just to tie it all together, the mysterious murderer refers to himself as … “EVIL.”

The American Museum of Natural History
10 Surprising Ways Senses Shape Perception
The American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History

Every bit of information we know about the world we gathered with one of our five senses. But even with perfect pitch or 20/20 vision, our perceptions don’t always reflect an accurate picture of our surroundings. Our brain is constantly filling in gaps and taking shortcuts, which can result in some pretty wild illusions.

That’s the subject of “Our Senses: An Immersive Experience,” a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mental Floss recently took a tour of the sensory funhouse to learn more about how the brain and the senses interact.


Woman and child looking at pictures on a wall

Under normal lighting, the walls of the first room of “Our Senses” look like abstract art. But when the lights change color, hidden illustrations are revealed. The three lights—blue, red, and green—used in the room activate the three cone cells in our eyes, and each color highlights a different set of animal illustrations, giving the viewers the impression of switching between three separate rooms while standing still.


We can “hear” many different sounds at once, but we can only listen to a couple at a time. The AMNH exhibit demonstrates this with an audio collage of competing recordings. Our ears automatically pick out noises we’re conditioned to react to, like an ambulance siren or a baby’s cry. Other sounds, like individual voices and musical instruments, require more effort to detect.


When looking at a painting, most people’s eyes are drawn to the same spots. The first things we look for in an image are human faces. So after staring at an artwork for five seconds, you may be able to say how many people are in it and what they look like, but would likely come up short when asked to list the inanimate object in the scene.


Our senses often are more suggestible than we would like. Check out the video above. After seeing the first sequence of animal drawings, do you see a rat or a man’s face in the last image? The answer is likely a rat. Now watch the next round—after being shown pictures of faces, you might see a man’s face instead even though the final image hasn’t changed.


Every cooking show you’ve watched is right—presentation really is important. One look at something can dictate your expectations for how it should taste. Researchers have found that we perceive red food and drinks to taste sweeter and green food and drinks to taste less sweet regardless of chemical composition. Even the color of the cup we drink from can influence our perception of taste.


Sight isn’t the only sense that plays a part in how we taste. According to one study, listening to crunching noises while snacking on chips makes them taste fresher. Remember that trick before tossing out a bag of stale junk food.


Have you ever been so focused on something that the world around you seemed to disappear? If you can’t recall the feeling, watch the video above. The instructions say to keep track of every time a ball is passed. If you’re totally absorbed, you may not notice anything peculiar, but watch it a second time without paying attention to anything in particular and you’ll see a person in a gorilla suit walk into the middle of the screen. The phenomenon that allows us to tune out big details like this is called selective attention. If you devote all your mental energy to one task, your brain puts up blinders that block out irrelevant information without you realizing it.


Girl standing in optical illusion room.

The most mind-bending room in the "Our Senses" exhibit is practically empty. The illusion comes from the black grid pattern painted onto the white wall in such a way that straight planes appear to curve. The shapes tell our eyes we’re walking on uneven ground while our inner ear tells us the floor is stable. It’s like getting seasick in reverse: This conflicting sensory information can make us feel dizzy and even nauseous.


If our brains didn’t know how to adjust for lighting, we’d see every shadow as part of the object it falls on. But we can recognize that the half of a street that’s covered in shade isn’t actually darker in color than the half that sits in the sun. It’s a pretty useful adaptation—except when it’s hijacked for optical illusions. Look at the image above: The squares marked A and B are actually the same shade of gray. Because the pillar appears to cast a shadow over square B, our brain assumes it’s really lighter in color than what we’re shown.


The human brain is really good at recognizing human faces—so good it can make us see things that aren’t there. This is apparent in the Einstein hollow head illusion. When looking at the mold of Albert Einstein’s face straight on, the features appear to pop out rather than sink in. Our brain knows we’re looking at something similar to a human face, and it knows what human faces are shaped like, so it automatically corrects the image that it’s given.

All images courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History unless otherwise noted.


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