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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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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
there's excessive gore
Some people can handle a bit of blood, but not things like organs and bones.
someone struggles to breathe
Choking, suffocation, strangling, hyperventilating, and things similar can make people incredibly nervous for multiple reasons, such as personal experience.
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.
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.
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.
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 is copaganda
Celebratory portrayals of unlawful acts by law enforcement.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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 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.
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.
there's fat jokes
People crack jokes and/or make cruel comments about fat people.
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.
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 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.
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 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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