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an animal dies
(besides a dog, cat or horse)
animals are abused
Some animals don't necessarily die, but are severely abused. Are there graphic details about animals being beaten, bloodied, skinned alive, trapped in cages, starved, or neglected?
there's dog fighting
Dog fighting is forcing dogs to fight each other for the sake of human entertainment. It’s gruesome, heartbreaking, and cruel.
a pet dies
I'm glad that there are already categories for animals dying, as well as categories for animals commonly kept as pets dying (such as dogs, cats, and horses). However, I feel like the death of a pet should be its own category - some may find the death of an animal upsetting enough, but it can be even worse when the animal in question belonged to someone. Also, those who have lost a pet recently may want to avoid watching another pet die.
a child is abandoned by a parent
I personally find it disturbing when children are betrayed by the one person they are supposed to trust. it makes me feel sick seeing it and i like to avoid movies that have it.
the abused becomes the abuser
National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233)
I struggle with intrusive thoughts of becoming like my abuser. Its also a trigger for me when people justify abusers’ actions with “well they were abused too”
there's domestic violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233)
someone gets gaslighted
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity (Wikipedia). It’s no fun to be watching a film only for a character to find out they’ve been lied to and/or manipulated the whole movie.
there's child abuse
National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child)
someone is stalked
Stalking can often appear as something small online but builds up over time and can lead to harassment and even violence from the perpetrator. It is an uncomfortable and distressing subject that some may not wish to view.
A character has any sort of addiction, which includes gambling, tobacco or even anything that can be seen or used as a joke.
someone is raped onscreen
a character gets raped on screen e.g. 13 reasons why
someone is restrained
A character is restrained. They have limited movement due to an outside source (not the same as paralysis). Example: a character is tied up, or has limbs encased with dried concrete.
sexual assault on men is a joke
Women (often perceived as "hot") assault a man sexually for laughs. A man rapes another man and it's for laughs. Prison gay rape jokes like the famous "soap drop". Those are examples I see in many movies and shows. Note this is about being played for laughs. I don't talk about serious rape/assault themes.
someone is drugged
Scenes where a person or animal is drugged against their will causing them to either lose consciousness or control of their bodies and mind. This can be triggering to victims of such circumstances.
someone is held under water
My mother did this to me at 2 years old. It's very triggering and traumatizing to see it happen to others.
someone struggles to breathe
Choking, suffocation, strangling, hyperventilating, and things similar can make people incredibly nervous for multiple reasons, such as personal experience.
Someone becomes unconscious
Any instance of a character becoming unconscious, such as fainting, being knocked out in a fight, being sedated/anesthetized/otherwise chemically knocked out, etc; some viewers may find scenes like these disturbing or triggering for a variety of reasons.
someone falls down stairs
I have a crippling fear of stairs, to the point where I use ramps when walking into restaurants, or I use the elevator to go up 1 floor. Characters falling down the stairs triggers this, and I'd like to have a category added so that I can be warned of this
This applies mostly to Space-set content where the body goes through significant harm and deadly trauma when sucked into the vacuum of space but can apply to drownings, claustrophobic environments or violence (which many are particularly sensitive to post the death of George Floyd). Not only that but these situations can be scary for children to watch, the suddenness of many situations where they occur can frighten adults and all viewers should be able to go into a movie aware of what they could see.
Although they have already proposed the categories "Zombies" and "Eaten Alive", cannibalism is a category apart from those two objectively speaking. For example, there are situations where a person is driven to cannibalism by circumstances (either forced by third parties or by desperation) or practice it without knowing it.
somebody is choked
My best friend in the world who I watch tons of movies with is triggered by depictions of choking as are many other domestic abuse/IPV survivors. while 'does somebody struggle to breathe' is sometimes a useful category in this regard, it is too broad and unless a user adds an optional comment to elaborate there is no way of knowing whether a "yes" refers to, say, choking on food/drowning/etc or to somebody being choked, a distressing form of violence that is also EXTREMELY present in films both serious and comedic in tone. making this a distinct category from 'does somebody struggle to breathe' would make a huge difference for me and my friend and make it much easier for us to watch movies together without as much uncertainty, and i'm certain we're not the only ones. thank you in advance!
there's Achilles Tendon injury
Some people have severe phobias of tendon or ankle injuries, specifically when they're cut. Pet Sematary, Hostile, etc. show these in graphic detail. Even typing these examples and thinking about those scenes is making me nauseated.
there's excessive gore
Some people can handle a bit of blood, but not things like organs and bones.
there's body horror
Does some sort of experimentation, mutations, or other event happen that warps the body (ex: Dr. Who’s “Of Love and Monsters, Parayte (manga), Akira (anime)).
someone is crushed to death
A character is killed (or nearly killed) by crushing. Can include being trapped behind moving walls, being trapped inside a garbage compactor, being crushed by falling rocks/rubble/debris, or being run over by a car, tank, or other large vehicle.
an infant is abducted
If an infant dies or gets taken away from its mother it triggers a heavy depressive episode in me and I can't be the only one. I know that's a specific one but you see triggers are specific.
a minor is sexualized
Is there a character who is a minor who is sexualized in any way? This includes pantyshots/changing clothes, bathouse scense, locker room scenes, any close ups of body parts, breasts animated as jiggling, etc. If a character who is underaged is portrayed as sexual at all, put it here.
For many people, any depictions of death at all is extremely triggering. There are specific ones, like parent or child, but not just a general any person dies
someone sacrifices themselves
Scenes where characters sacrifice themselves for another character, i.e. by staying behind to keep the monsters off or jumping in the line of fire to protect another character. These are often times incredibly sad and for people with anxiety, or people who has had a close one die from a similar scenario, this can be extremely hard to watch.
a non-human character dies
Audience members may be attached to non-human characters (androids, aliens, etc) and therefore seeing their death would be the same as watching a human death
the R word is used
This is a common and deeply upsetting trigger for developmentally disabled and autistic people, and can cause major panic attacks and meltdowns.
Seeing a character overdose whether it is accidental or not can be extremely triggering for people with PTSD and the character taking drugs category is not specific enough to know if they overdose or not
a family member dies
It's good that there's a category for parents dying, but there currently isn't a category for family members in general dying. This can include siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles, etc; those who have lost a loved one (especially recently) may find it triggering, and it's generally upsetting to most. This especially goes if the death is a particularly emotional scene or if the character was very close to the deceased family member.
someone is kidnapped
Being kidnapped is a very traumatic experience and can be very distressing to read/watch as it almost always against the person's will.
A child's dear toy is destroyed
Similar to having Santa (et al) ruined for a child, a child being in distress due to the damage or destruction of a dear toy such as a sentimental stuffed animal, or a gift from a beloved relative.
A character interacts romantically or sexually with someone while in a relationship with a different character. This could be triggering to someone who has been cheated on, or is uncomfortable with the subject.
there are mannequins
Automatonophobia can be loosely defined as the fear of wax figures, mannequins, humanoid robots, audio-animatronics, or other figures designed to represent humans. Only rarely does the fear become a full-blown phobia, but it is relatively common to experience hesitation or nervousness when confronting these figures.
trypophobic content is shown
Trypophobia is a fear of holes/patterns that can very strongly effect people with this fear, to the point of extreme self harm and intense panic attacks. its not often addressed in movies/media and is used a lot for a "creepy" feeling but for many people it can have much more serious effects.
there are razors
S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® (1-800-DONTCUT)
The sight of razors or razorblades can be triggering to those with a history of self-harm, as well as those with generally negative experiences with, or a fear of razors.
someone is eaten
Human character is eaten on screen, almost eaten, or ends up inside a creature’s stomach/body. This could include things like people being chomped in Jurassic Park, the kid in the cheerios in Honey I Shrunk The Kids, or typical "explore the body" plots of some cartoons. This category might have overlap with gore, but it’s distinct because it doesn’t always involve blood or injuries.
There's audio gore
Some people are not bothered by visual depictions of gore but may be sensitive to hearing realistic gory sounds like flesh squishing and bones crunching.
there are 9/11 depictions
Anything related to what happened at 9/11. storylines around 9/11 or buildings collapsing in big cities, etc.
there is copaganda
Celebratory portrayals of unlawful acts by law enforcement.
there's deadnaming or birthnaming
Deadnaming or birthnaming occurs when a trans and/or nonbinary person is named not by their chosen/new legal and correct name, but with or without intent by the name given to them at birth, which often induces gender dysphoria and is generally perceived to be very uncomfortable and especially when done multiple times and with visible intent to be very offensive and upsetting.
there are transphobic slurs
Slurs or insults such as (sorry for mentioning them!) tranny, trap, shemale etc. can make a negative impact on trans and nonbinary people. Such words can upset them to the point of dissociation or a panic attack.
there's bisexual cheating
So much of LGBTQ+ content that actually has bisexual or pansexual representation almost always includes the bi/pan person cheating on their significant other. It would be nice to know beforehand if the media I choose to consume has this damaging stereotype before I choose to consume/support it.
Misophonia, or "selective sound sensitivity syndrome", is a neurological disorder often associated with autism and ADHD, in which hearing mouth noises or repetitive sounds like eating, chewing gum, smacking lips, tapping, and other noises when eating, triggers anger, disgust, or even physical pain. Many movies and TV shows have moments like this, with some that are so extreme it becomes unwatchable for viewers who suffer from this, as I do. I have wished for this to be a category on this wonderful site for years.
someone has an anxiety attack
Images of someone having an anxiety attack can trigger an attack in others. It is not possible to function for a long time afterwards.
Autism specific abuse
When an autistic person is abused specifically because they are autistic. This can include parents who openly complain about their child being "gone" or "different" than they want, bullying by others, medical-related abuse, and parents/relatives/others killing an autistic person because they're "sick" of their autistic behavior.
there's body dysphoria
It is important to distinguish between body dysmorphia and dysphoria. Dysmorphia is seeing your body as something other than it is (i.e., someone thinking they are overweight when they are a healthy weight), which dysphoria is disliking your body or feeling that something about it is “wrong.” Both are experiences common to transgender people and people with eating disorders, but they are very much different and should be labeled as such.
someone dies by suicide
there's ABA therapy
Applied behavior analysis (ABA)
someone suffers from PTSD
There's a category for anxiety attacks, but for me PTSD functions differently. It may seem redundant, but as someone with PTSD, watching someone suffer from PTSD and exhibit symptoms can actually trigger my PTSD. I imagine some other people must feel similarly. Movies would fall into this category if a character talks about having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or becomes triggered.
someone says "I'll kill myself"
When your life is traumatized after losing a loved one takes their life and a character says "I would kill myself" and other similar phrases or gestures killing self is very painful and all too real and not a joke.
a mentally ill person is violent
Showing a mentally ill person committing violent acts is a very specific and very focused trigger for mentally ill people, and people who love someone who is mentally ill. This is separate and distinct from demonizing mental illness. Many mentally ill people are shunned, abused, and murdered because people are frightened of them. Many mentally ill people are extremely poorly treated or even killed because so many people equate mental illness with violence. It is extremely upsetting for a mentally ill person to see a movie that tells them they are frightening and dangerous. Mentally ill people have enough to deal with without having to deal with terror and prejudice. Further, it is extremely upsetting to watch someone you love who has a mental illness watching a movie that shows someone like them being dangerous and violent.
Although it is usually fairly easy to tell with movies like Split, sometimes dissociative identity disorder (D.I.D., formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is used as a plot twist, joke, or some other offensive tool. It would be good for those of us who live with D.I.D. to have warnings so we don't have be surprised by the shame and stigma cast on us.
Someone attempts suicide
There are many pieces of media that include suicide attempts, even if the character in question does not die. A piece of media with this would not fall under the "Does a character die by suicide?" category, so there would be no warning of there being an attempt shown or implied. Even if a character doesn't die, seeing an attempt can be just as triggering and harmful as if the character had.
someone self harms
S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES® (1-800-DONTCUT)
there is obscene language/gestures
Obscene language and gestures could make some people uncomfortable, and many parents do not want their children to be exposed to such things. While obscene language is often included in the rations for films, gestures are not. Additionally, there is less of a warning for language on other types of media, such as books.
there's flashing lights or images
Flashing lights or rapidly changing or alternating images (e.g. lightning, flickering lights, ambulance lights, gunfire, fast cuts, club scenes, etc.)
a baby cries
There are several people with autism who enjoy watching movies but find the sound of babies crying incredibly upsetting and disturbing.
the fourth wall is broken
Shows, movies or games that break the fourth wall (For example, a character turning to face the camera and talking to the viewer, or a game tampering with files on the player's computer) may trigger paranoia or anxiety in some people.
Tokophobia is a significant fear of childbirth [Wikipedia].
someone has an abortion
Some people have discovered that their parents would have preferred to have aborted them for a variety of reasons. Also some people have been forced to have abortions which can be very traumatic.
a baby is stillborn
It is important to understand that miscarriage and stillbirth are not the same thing.
there is a baby or unborn child
Seeing a baby or unborn child can be triggering to those who have lost an infant or pregnancy, or who have lost a sibling. I lost a late-term pregnancy and seeing a baby unexpectedly can be a very painful reminder of that and trigger flashbacks. Additionally, unborn children (a fetus or embryo) are shown completely unexpectedly at times and can be similarly triggering to those who miscarried, were coerced or forced to have an abortion, or are infertile/unable to conceive. For examples, the horror movie "The Hallow" showed a (possibly dead/deceased) infant crawling across the ground toward a character, which was completely unexpected and irrelevant to the plot, and the TV series Helix had an extended plot depicting a fetus in vitro in the second season.
the black guy dies first
Having the black character die first or be the only black character to die is a racist trope that people want to know about before they go into a movie so they don't get their hopes up.
someone says the n-word
The term nigger is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War [Dictionary.com]
there are "Man in a dress" jokes
A general category for jokes that involve men dressing/acting in traditionally feminine ways or being gnc (gender non-conforming) being used as a joke or for shock value. Not to be confused with transmisogyny, or calling trans women men in dresses.
a minority is misrepresented
Any minority- be it cultural, LGBT, religious, race, neurodivergent people, disabled people, or any other- represented in a way that is incorrect, stereotyped, or otherwise biased.
there are homophobic slurs
Slurs or insults such as faggot, dike, fair, carpet muncher, etc can make a negative impact on lgbt+ youth. Such words can upset them to the point of dissociation or ever worse a panic attack.
there's ableist language or behavior
This category refers to use of slurs, demeaning language, or abuse of neurodiverse and disabled people. This includes using "autistic" as an insult. This category is important because mocking disabled people or comparing their conditions to being bad is an ableist trope found in many forms of media that feed into a stereotypical narrative.
Is a movie antisemitic or has the portrayal of antisemitism/antisemitic characters? Are there negative Jewish stereotypes portrayed in the movie, are any explicitly or implied Jewish characters killed or abused? Does the movie feature Nazism/the holocaust? Is the director/write/lead actor a known antisemite? There is a lot of casual antisemitism in media, Jewish individuals (or people who don't want to support antisemitic movies in general) should have access to a warning before going to the theater.
there's fat jokes
People crack jokes and/or make cruel comments about fat people.
Aphobia, and its subsets acephobia and arophobia, describe discrimination against asexuals (people who don’t experience sexual attraction) and aromantics (people who don’t experience romantic attraction). Some examples of aphobia are: assuming everyone will be in a relationship/have kids, devaluing platonic relationships compared to romantic ones, forcing people into sexual/romantic situations to "fix" them, and telling someone they’re wrong/broken/mentally ill because they don’t experience a type of attraction. Some examples of acephobia are: saying being ace is equivalent to having no libido, saying they’re a prude for not feeling sexual attraction, and saying that their romantic relationships aren’t "real" relationships because they’re not having sex. Some examples of arophobia are: saying being aro is just about using people for sex, calling people derogatory names (sl*t, wh*re, etc.) for having sex without romance, saying they’re cold and loveless because they aren’t dating.
Depictions of blackface/yellowface/skin darkening can be hugely traumatic and highly revealing of whether the movie would be enjoyable for Black and other racial minority audiences.
there's a large age gap
Some media depicts relationships/desire between people with large age gaps, either minors feeling romantically for adults or adults expressing interest in minors or people much younger than them. This section would allow people to tag whether there are relationships or desire to have a relationship with someone with a significant age gap or toward a minor, and more detail would be included in comments as to the specifics of the dynamic, as these dynamics can be distressing to witness on screen especially if you have personal experience with predatory behavior from those in a position of power over you.
there are nude scenes
Knowing if there is a nude scene is very important in case you want to watch an appropriate movie with your family or friends
there are incestuous relationships
National Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.4673
Tracking incestuous relationships can be helpful for people that have been sexually assaulted and/or abused by siblings. It's important that this not only includes siblings by blood, but also other forms when they were raised as siblings most of their lives. Incest is also sexual relationships between a parent and their child. So people who went through sexual abuse/assault by a parent or maybe a grandparent will also benefit from not seeing any depicted relationships of that kind.
Bestiality is when a human performs sexual acts with non-human animals. This may be upsetting to people with a love for animals.
someone is sexually objectified
The character is highly sexualized through costumes, performance, and camera angles. Sometimes, they have either the bare minimum or no characterization outside of their sex appeal. Seeing sexually objectified characters can be upsetting for viewers.
a male character is ridiculed for crying
As someone who has been made fun of for crying multiple times by abusive friends, this is incredibly triggering. It's often portrayed as a joke, and it's just something I want to avoid. Many men are victims of abuse and get made fun of for it or told that they can't be abused, and would be helped by being able to know ahead of time whether or not that happens.
someone has a chronic illness
Seeing a character who has a chronic illness can be very triggering for people who live with these illnesses and their families. This is often because the way the illness is portrayed in the film is inaccurate.
someone has a stroke
Strokes may be a trigger for some people, especially those with trauma relating to them.
someone has dementia/Alzheimer's
A lot of popular media features (typically older or elderly) characters suffering from dimentia/Alzheimer's/memory loss/ etc and this can be quite distressing or triggering to those watching, especially if they have a personal association to the subject.
there's fat suits
Does an actor wear a fat suit? Offensive and takes parts away from plus size actors.
someone is homeless
A friend of mine has severe anxiety that is triggered by the premise of being homeless, due to trauma from having been homeless themself. It would be extremely helpful if there was some way to know which pieces of media have homeless characters, or characters that become homeless at some point so that my friend can avoid re-living this trauma. An example of this happening is in the movie A Dog's Journey.
a car honks or tires screech
Although the category of "Does a Car Crash?" is helpful, there are often times when the answer to that question is no, but someone slams on the horn or screeches their tires and this can still be triggering to those impacted by car crashes, even if a crash is not present.
there's gun violence
Gun violence/shootings, or even simply the discharge of firearms. Guns in media can easily trigger PTSD and warnings are especially important for survivors of gun violence and veterans.
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