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Talk:Motion Picture Association of America film rating system



there are indeed laws enforcing MPAA ratingsEdit

example from TN

Magus (talk) 09:47, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. As written, the law seems to allow a ticket to be purchased for a PG-13 film, followed by sneaking into an R film. Very poorly written and ill-researched. Anyway, the example could be interpreted as regulating unauthorized misuse of tickets, rather than specific enforcement of the ratings. Any other examples? (talk) 20:49, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

why no ratings listed on wikipedia?Edit

Most movies on wikipedia seem to have no ratings information.

Are there legitimate legal concerns about this or is just another example of wikipedia passively encouraging people to live like animals? -- (talk) 01:32, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I don't know why Wikipedia doesn't have ratings on films, since it does for things like video games. One problem is that different areas of the world use different rating systems and, since Wikipedia is a worldwide encyclopedia, to be fair it would have to include all the ratings. The video games template has solved this (look at Gears of War, for example); they include all of them in their video game template. The templates for films could do this too, but I guess no one has taken the time to do it. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 12:28, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
To really get any attention on this matter, however, you should post your query at the Films WikiProject. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 12:29, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks!
-- (talk) 22:44, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm guessing that such a list would be endless. It would be inappropriate to include only the US ratings and even listing all the ratings from English-speaking countries would be hard work. Plus different versions of the same film (extended versions, cinema versions, DVD versions, later re-releases, etc.) might have different ratings.--ЗAНИA talk WB talk] 21:50, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
MPAA Ratings are trademarked (except the "X" rating, which is the main reason MPAA came up with NC-17). Wikipedia is notoriously adverse to publishing trademarked materials. Somewhere out there, there is likely to be a discussion about these ratings and how telling how a movie may have been rated violates the MPAA's rights. (talk) 23:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
This is because Wikipedia is not a movie database.. Please refer to the article "What Wikipedia is not". For ratings information, please check the appropiate movie title on IMDb, the Internet Movie Database [1] --Fandelasketchup (talk) 08:42, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

The "X" RatingEdit

The "X" rating was never actually deleted. It has moved down the list of ratings, and is now not shown on posters. Films that are rated "NC-17" cannot actually show penetration of the genitals and explicit sex. The "X" rating is what the rating of strictly-pornographic films showing nothing but explicit sex are rated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

The "X" rating was indeed removed in 2001 when the Association took a vote on the matter and majority ruled against keeping the rating and completely replacing it with NC-17 —Preceding unsigned comment added by MRiknowalotaboutmovies (talkcontribs) 03:27, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

There is no end to the rumors and speculation. Both of these statements sound confident, but lack references. The introduction of the NC-17 rating itself removed the X rating from the list of official MPAA CARA rating symbols. Unofficially, it could still be used, since it was the one rating allowed to be self-applied. Look at the poster from CARA: 1990 the NC-17 replaces the X rating. Why would a 2001 vote be needed when their printed directory of ratings had listed X as a discontinued category for the previous 10 years? (talk) 20:55, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

The X rating was originally created for more adult thematic elements in a film that could not be fully explored in a R rated film. It was only after the MPAA allowed filmmakers to self apply the rating to their films, without going to the classification board, was when pornographers began to use the rating for their films. Yes there was a time in movie ratings history before "X Meant Sex". It is because of that self application that we relate X rated films with pornography.WatchinDaFilms (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Rating ProcessEdit

It's implied that The Andromeda Strain has a warning "may be too intense for younger children" because it shows a woman's bare breasts. Is there substantiation that the warning is for the breasts, and not because it also shows a number of humans and animals apparently suffering and dying as they are exposed to the infectious agent, or because the topic of the movie is the potential death of everyone in the world? Also, nudity in The Rescuers is mentioned, but that is an animated movie and the nudity in question is a "centerfold" type photograph (i.e., not animated), probably inserted by one of the animators as a joke. It's more likely this was simply missed by the reviewers at the time, since it appears in only a couple of frames in the background and is essentially undetectable when the movie is played at normal speed. (talk) 19:11, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Came here to say the same thing about The Rescuers, I removed that line from the article. (talk) 20:01, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

20 years of NC17Edit

Here's a source:

WhisperToMe (talk) 13:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

But Wikipedia needs two reliable sources, not just one for verification. --Fandelasketchup (talk) 22:32, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Um, not sure where you heard that. It's a new one on me. - SummerPhD (talk) 01:03, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Please read the article on verifiability, SummerPhD. --Fandelasketchup (talk) 08:44, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Use of FuckEdit

In some pace the article use the world "fuck" while in others it allude to it, by using "F-word". The article should be uniform using one or the other for the entire article. I could fix this, but before doing so, I would feel that I had to know Wikipedia standards, and I do not have time for that right now. Somebody who already knows them should probably do this. TeigeRyan (talk) 17:50, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I think when it's used in a clinical sense, it's appropriate to use the whole word. The more coy use of "F-word" is only understood by a fraction of users, since Wikipedia is an international dictionary. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 19:18, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
CorrectedTeigeRyan (talk) 17:55, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I have seen the movie Draft day and you were right it does the word motherfucker

"Retirement" of Yellow-Band trailers.Edit

I vote that we move the yellow-band trailer to a "defunct" category. As far as I know, it has never been used since Halloween, and it's pretty pointless with the new green-band trailers being for "appropriate" audiences. DanielDPeterson (talk) 09:53, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Honestly, I've never seen yellow- or red-band trailers. Just green. I admit I don't go to the movies as much as I used to, but I swear I've never seen 'em before. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 23:43, 7 May 2013 (UTC)


The article is inconsistent on whether the NC-17 admits people 17 and over, or whether it doesn't admit people 17 and under. -- (talk) 15:48, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Could you elaborate? I just skimmed through the article and it seems pretty clear to me that NC-17 means "No Children 17 And Under". DanielDPeterson (talk) 18:50, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

The NC-17 originally meant "No children under 17 admitted" but in 1996 it was changed to "17 and under." (talk) 20:33, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

X-rating for violence vs. sex late 80s / early 90sEdit

I remember back in the late 80s and early 90s that the MPAA cracked down on "explicit violence". Many movies like Friday the 13th and Intruder (comes to mind) were heavily edited to get an R. Although this frequently happened prior, films still were permitted moderate levels of violence (look at the original Friday the 13th as a reference, which has since been released uncut). I don't have any references readily available, but I think this is an important topic that should be added to the article. Fangoria magazine often had articles bashing the MPAA, so I'm not sure their POV could be considered neutral.

In my opinion, Friday the 13th Part VII was about PG-13 level once all the violence was removed to get the R. Intruder, which was released in Germany uncut, was almost unwatchable in its R-rated form because the scenes were cut so badly that the death sequences looked like someone had literally cut out the offending scenes without any effort to ensure continuity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Erect penises and fellatio in R-rated moviesEdit

All that stuff about erect penises and fellatio being allowed in R-rated movies is completely untrue and unsourced/not covered in the source, so I'm removing all that. For the record, I looked into some of the cases, and it turns out that they were either based on rumor, or removed before the final release.--WikiDonn (talk) 04:24, 14 May 2011 (UTC) Scary Movie, Brüno, The Hangover (credits only), The Sweetest Thing all included erect penisses. -- (talk) 21:39, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Hall PassDr.Terry8 (talk) 23:15, 12 March 2016 (UTC),

List of PG-13 movies including buttock and/or breast nudityEdit

No, really. What's the point of that? --damiens.rf 20:31, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Too many examples, not enough informationEdit

In many paragraphs there are so many movies given for each example that they overshadow the original statement, and hinder absorption of the relevant information (especially since many movie titles are a whole sentence by themselves). Also, there's almost no information here about what the criteria are for the various ratings, or the process a movie goes through to receive them. This article needs less emphasis on the movies and more on the rating system. Dstarfire (talk) 23:26, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Homosexual contentEdit

I've heard it mentioned that homosexual content is treated even more harshly than other sexual content. I forget where I read this, does someone have a citable source, as well as suggestions on where to put it in the article? KingAlanI (talk) 08:19, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

The main source is the highly critical film "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," but I certainly wouldn't count that as a trustworthy source. The best evidence is to locate a film that the MPAA has rated PG-13 (for "thematic material") due to its inclusion of a homosexual relationship. But since you have to rule out any other thematic content as the cause of the rating, the process would involve original research, and thus violate Wikipedia standards. The vast majority of discussion about the rating system is little better than hearsay--even from critics, since they are mostly just expressing their impressions and opinions. (talk) 20:45, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

"R-rated" redirects here, but is not explained.Edit

"R-rated" redirects here, but is not explained in the article. It is used a few times, but it should either be explained here or typing in "R-rated" should NOT redirect here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Distinction between "parent or adult guardian" and "adult" in the description of "R - Restricted."Edit

The article uses both "parent or adult guardian" AND "an adult" to define who is required to accompany a person under the age of 17 ("Children under 17 or those who does not have IDs including state IDs and drivers license are not allowed to attend R-rated movies unaccompanied by an adult.") The distinction is important, as the MPAA site uses only the "parent or adult guardian" terminology and does not substitute "adult" as the requirement for a chaperon ("Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian." <>). I believe the final sentence under R-rating in this article should be either removed (as it doesn't seem to add any add'l information) or changed (to use only "parent or guardian"). Also, describing state IDs or driver's licenses as being needed doesn't appear to be supported by the MPAA definition i.e. if the box-office person and/or usher decides someone's old enough, they're in. (And change "does" to "do" while you're at it.) (talk) 21:54, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Whatever the MPAA intends, in all practicality the result is going to be any adult. How do you prove to the attendant you're actually the parent or guardian of the minor in question? For a variety of reasons, a parent or guardian may have a different last name, be of a different race, etc. in addition the term "legal guardian" is not necessarily synonymous with "adult guardian". Is there any reference that the MPAA intended that only a parent or legal guardian could escort a minor or just merely that some adult escort the minor?Wschart (talk) 18:10, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Who decides the ratings?Edit

I could not find in the article where it actually states who decides the ratings. This info would be helpful to include, if it's not already in the article. Per the MPAA website: "Parents decide the ratings. An independent board of parents rates each film."[1] - Cirrus Editor (talk) 00:31, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


Nowhere in the article is it mentioned why sex and profanity are treated more harshly in the USA than graphic violence and the display of guns. This should be included if possible. Also some explanation for the arbitrary nature of the ratings - why PG-13 rather than PG-12? Why NC-17 and not NC-18? A table showing examples of films and the ratings they received in different countries would be useful - i.e. showing that one film was awarded a "12" rating in the UK but an "R" rating in the USA.--ЗAНИA talk WB talk] 21:54, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

The comparison is actually quite silly. Let's say that a movie includes a bare breast, and another film has a person getting shot. Exactly how much bare breast is equal to a person getting shot? Without any way to make such comparisons, the entire idea is pointless. People may hold opinions about which content is less suitable for children, but for an encyclopedia article, it will take some doing to put this in non-subjective terms. (talk) 20:38, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Rating in the UK is even harsher than in the US.

Very poorEdit

NC-17 – No One 17 & Under Admitted
This film is clearly adult and people age seventeen and under are not admitted. Such films may contain brutality/pervasive extreme non-stop graphic violence, explicit sexual content, sexual assault, extreme horror, extreme emotional intensity, discrimination/bullying, crude situations, strong graphic non-stop language, disturbing/startling images, strong graphic drug use, alcohol, tobacco and/or aberrational behavior.

This reads like a ten-year-old wrote it, and is complete (unsourced) nonsense verging on word salad. I've edited this page many times and someone always adds more of this garbage. The page should be semi-protected at the very least. PenguinJockey (talk) 00:41, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

I've remved the descriptions altogether, though they'll probably come back -- ten-year-olds on Wikipedia can be persistent. Trivialist (talk) 05:10, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
I also agree with your latest removal of the "laundry list" Trivialist. Can we please leave this list omitted permanently?--Soulparadox (talk) 08:38, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree, and there's another paragraph that strikes me. It says the following:"Uncut/extended versions of films that are labeled "Unrated" also contain warnings saying that the uncut version of the film contains content that differs from the theatrical release and may not be suitable for younger children or minors." Clearly, children are considered minors until they turn 18 and get either a driver's license or a passport for age verification purposes, so I think the phrase "may not be suitable for younger children or minors" is redundant. Don't you think? --Fandelasketchup (talk) 22:42, 28 April 2015 (UTC)


Many times the article says that cinemas and video stores don't wish to show or stock films rated NC-17 but nowhere in the article does it say why. This needs explaining as it seems strange. The highest rating in other countries ('18' in the UK and Ireland, for example) don't suffer from this problem and indeed are often more popular because the rating suggests a mature theme rather than a moral story, family buff or something less realistic. Surely an NC-17 rating is a wet dream for advertisers who can target their advertising more effectively. It should also say 'why' films receive this rating more often for sex than violence rather than just stating the fact. Most readers would assume that violence is far more deserving of a restrictive rating.-- (talk) 22:37, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

The article seems pretty clear to me on both of these points. Cinemas don't show these films because they have a poor commercial record, and the "Criticisms" section indicates there is more bias towards sex than violence when rating a film. It's worth pointing out the UK don't have an equivalent of an "R" rating; the reason violent movies get away with an R rating I imagine is because parents don't mind accompanying their children to violent movies, but they don't want to watch full-on sex scenes with them. Betty Logan (talk) 00:44, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Usually certain stores will not sell NC-17 versions of film due to company policies, and the belief that a NC-17 film by any other name is still a X-rated film in their eyes. But they will sell a "Unrated" film all day long. The good news about that is that the film companies can create a NC-17 rated version, then edit that version into a R-rated version for theatrical release. Then when the time comes for the video release of the film, release the NC-17 rated film after "abandoning" the rating as an Unrated version. (My basic rule of thumb is an Unrated version of a film automaticly makes it a rating higher: i.e. a PG becomes an PG-13, A PG-13 becomes an R, and so on.) The bad news is that you need an ID at those stores to buy Unrated versions of current films or films that have never been rated by the MPAA due to their age, which is kind of embarrassing when you're trying to buy a volume in the Three Stooges DVD collection and you're asked for proof of age because the discs are unrated because the MPAA ratings board didn't exist in 1947 (True Story).WatchinDaFilms (talk) 16:04, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The reason is maybe because most parents would buy it and their kids would watch it but there not allowed to. BasicallyIdowrk — Preceding unsigned comment added by BasicallyIdowrk (talkcontribs) 13:46, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Do the math. With a NC-17 rating you have one paying customer. With an R rating you sell two tickets, one to the teenager and one to the adult tagging along. Therefore the R is actually every filmmaker's wet dream, pretending to peddle adult subject matter and raking in twice the money.

Ratings of the 2014 Oscars Nominees moviesEdit

I had to search each of the movies rather than finding them listed together by their ratings:

MPAA ratings for 2014 Oscar nominated movies

  • PG-13 Gravity
  • PG-13 Captain Phillips
  • PG-13 Philomena
  • R "12 years a slave"
  • R The wolf of Wall Street
  • R American hustle
  • R Nebraska
  • R Her
  • R Dallas buyer’s club

Does Hollywood gives us what we want, with six R-rated movies, out of nine. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 01:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what it is you want Hollywood to give you. In any case, do you have reliable sources discussing... whatever this is... that we might have something to include somewhere? - SummerPhD (talk) 05:11, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I think his point is that Hollywood churns out movies for teenagers all year round but come the oscars it is mostly adult movies that are nominated. The disparity between what it sells and what it awards would probably be interesting for the oscar article (if it were sourced), but not so much for this article. Betty Logan (talk) 05:24, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Unsourced additionsEdit

There have been repeated unsourced additions to the article such as [2]. Please take care to provide a source when adding content so it complies with WP:Verifiability. Please note that the source for the aforementioned section only highlights Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins as causing controversy over their ratings; to add further films to the section then another source must be provided. Betty Logan (talk) 20:16, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

PG ratingEdit

There has been a spate of attempts such as in [3] whereby an editor keeps adding an age recommendation of 10 to the PG rating. As explained at the MPAA's own guidance page, the PG certificate does not carry an age recommendation or restriction. The only ratings that do are PG-13, R, and NC-17; the MPAA does not offer age guidance for the G rating or the PG rating. Betty Logan (talk) 20:57, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

  • There have been further edits adding an age recommendation to the PG description. Please provide an official MPAA source or documentation that backs up the claim that the PG rating carries an age recommendation of 10; otherwise stop adding WP:original research to the article. Betty Logan (talk) 01:17, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

F word in PG-13Edit

Where does it say you use the word "fuck" only once in a PG-13 movie? Ocean's 11 uses it twice... Splent (talk) 01:19, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't believe there is a hard rule. A PG-13 can use the word once in a non-sexual context, but after that it is down to the discretion of the MPAA. Gunner Palace, for example, uses the word 42 times. Betty Logan (talk) 01:43, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Common Sense Media states that No Good Deed (2014) has two uses of the word, too. Homechallenge55 (talk) 17:37, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

There are many other examples of the word "fuck" being used multiple times in a PG-13 movies. This has always been a particular interest of mine, and if no one objects within the next 3 days, I would like to add them to this section of the article. Here are some the ones I can think of right now. The Social Network, Antwone Fisher, Sixteen Candles, As Good As it Gets, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Ocean's 11, Lincoln, and many more. Sorenlarrington (talk) 13:46, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

It's a myth that you have one f*** free. It depends on the context.

possible censorship of this articleEdit

I found this article after finding no article dedicated to M.P.A.A.-related controversies. This article contains a variety of uncited claims that seem to protect the M.P.A.A.'s responses to outside criticism, but said statements are uncited. I attempted to add "[citation needed]" tags to them but the article is full-on protected (not just semi-protected). Blocking criticism of the censor is an anathema practice, not a free one. (talk) 16:05, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The article is not fully protected. If you have an edit request, make it. If not, don't post nonsense about censorship.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:32, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
If the article does not include something it is more likely because it has not yet been added, rather than having being "blocked" (the article will have been under semi-protection for less than two months in total out of 12 years of existence). Betty Logan (talk) 16:35, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Criticism of the PG ratingEdit

There could be a section in the article that talks about the decay of the purpose of the PG rating, not in small part thanks to the PG-13 rating.

-- (talk) 04:46, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Article isn't protected so IP users can edit it as well, If you can add that section without violating Wikipedia policies you are welcome to do so. But it should rather be constructive and well-written--Chamith (talk) 04:50, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

G-Rated Film Has LanguageEdit

It seems like like Gone with the Wind has language in a G-rated film. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:0:8500:472:35B8:7657:E6ED:A0A (talk) 22:11, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

G-rated films permit language that is deemed "impolite". What they do not permit is profanity, and Gone with the Wind to my recollection does not contain any. Betty Logan (talk) 22:44, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", which as I recall cost the producers a $5000 fine by the Hays board, a not inconsequential sum in the 1930s. Wschart (talk) 18:16, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but fuck, cunt, goddamn, and cocksucker are the only actual profanities nowadays. Even shit, I wouldn't consider that bad. Damn and shit are both allowed on TV (but most likely the first one is). I think you could get away with whispering shit or ass once in a G-rated movie, as long as the little kids don't "get it." 2607:FB90:427:7C13:0:28:4874:F401 (talk) 19:32, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Planet of the Apes (1968)Edit

IMDB says the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes was rated G. Is that true? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:13, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

No. Films were released under the Production Code until 1968, meaning that films were either passed for release or not. The MPAA ratings were introduced in November 1968, meaning that Planet of the Apes would have been released in compliance with the Production Code since it was released at the beginning of the year. Betty Logan (talk) 13:58, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The film was not rated at all upon its original release, for the reason Betty Logan cites. It might have been given a "G" rating, however, when Twentieth-Century Fox put it into rerelease, when the ratings board was operating. A number of other pre-November-1968 releases received ratings in this way. (talk) 09:51, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

The Italian Job (1969)Edit

IMDb says the 1969 version of The Italian Job is rated G. Is that true? I'd think it was PG-13. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:0:8500:472:BD84:C958:8970:6E75 (talk) 21:42, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Read the article. PG-13 didn't exist until 1984. Betty Logan (talk) 15:30, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

How age is?Edit

How age is Sonora in Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken a 1991 film rated G? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:0:8500:472:858E:E6CF:F658:81E7 (talk) 23:09, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Tennessee's R-rated viewing policyEdit

I learned that Tennessee is the only state in the US where you should be at least 18 to watch an R-rated movie. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Alterations to the language sectionEdit

There has been a spate of changes to the language section of the article, which are not improvements:

  1. The MPAA guidelines do not give any examples, so attributing "banned" words to them (such as "fuck") is WP:Original research. The guidelines should be stated as the MPAA state them without Wikipedia re-interpreting them.
  2. The alteration to the first sentence of the second paragraph introduces unnecessary ambiguity. We are specifically discussing multiple occurrences of the word "fuck" in PG 13 rated films, not exceptions to the guidelines on language in PG-13 rated films regarding the word "fuck" in a general sense, so the rewrite obfuscates the point. The previous wording is superior because it clearly states what is actually discussed.
  3. Replacing "several" with "a few" is poor English. "Several" is a determinable small number, which is what we have here, while "a few" is a ratio. If you have thousands of films, "a few" could be up to several hundred, so unless you provide a context for the scale then "a few" has little meaning for the reader.

These alterations have been reinstated several times now, and WP:BRD requires that editors discuss their edits and obtain a consensus for them before restoring them to the article. I hope my explanation is sufficient, however, to put an end to the reverts. Betty Logan (talk) 18:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

"Use of a sexually-derived expletive will automatically incur at least a PG-13 rating, while multiple occurrences will usually incur an R rating. Usage of such an expletive in a sexual context will also generally garner an R rating." Who knows what curse word(s) the MPAA is actually talking about? It could be cunt and twat as well, though they are seldom used in movies rated PG-13. Homechallenge55 (talk) 18:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The MPAA know, you don't, that's the point. If they stipulated which words were forbidden then we would include them. It is their guideline and we summarise it, but we don't expand it. Betty Logan (talk) 19:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I have just found a reliable source that is not user edited which proves that fuck is an example of a sexually derived expletive, as well as the strongest curse word that the PG-13 rating can allow. This is certain to ease your doubts. Homechallenge55 (talk) 18:34, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
It does not ease anything principally because I do not dispute that "fuck" is a sexually derived swear word. The point is that the MPAA does not state the word at any point in its guidelines, so it is incorrect to insert it when we summarise them. Betty Logan (talk) 20:57, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
You left something out. The word fuck is mentioned in the second paragraph. Homechallenge55 (talk) 03:32, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Only the first paragraph summarizes the guideline. The second paragraph summarizes secondary coverage on the application of the rating, which is perfectly acceptable. What is not allowed is editors adding their own views to the article. Betty Logan (talk) 15:02, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

All G-rated filmsEdit

All G-rated films don't have sex, nudity, drugs, and profanity at all. All language must go beyond polite in all G-rated films, but all of the G-rated films have violence is minimal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:0:8500:472:FD25:E7F6:E4E4:BFE0 (talk) 15:05, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

The article does not say they do, what exactly is your point? The ratings are defined in terms of what is permitted, not what the films contain. Betty Logan (talk) 15:12, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
You mean words like: stupid, hell, idiot, damn, crap, and other mild profanities? lol 2607:FB90:427:7C13:0:28:4874:F401 (talk) 19:35, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

The only Pre-2006 PG-13 Disney filmEdit

The only pre-2006 PG-13 Disney film was Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Other PG-13 Buena Vista films may carry Touchstone, Hollywood, Miramax or Dimension labels before 2006. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:0:8500:472:FD25:E7F6:E4E4:BFE0 (talk) 16:01, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

PG Rating in 1972Edit

  Resolved: Article has been corrected in line with the observations here.

The article I read regarding the PG rating introduced in 1970 was incorrect. I saw movie posters of films from 1970 to early 1972 which are rated GP. GP was introduced in 1970, and was replaced by PG in 1972. ACMEWikiNet (talk) 01:31, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Sometimes sources get things wrong, but unfortunately we can't base a correction on your memory of movie posters from 40 years ago per WP:V. I will dig around, see if can can find a source that corroborates your recollection. Betty Logan (talk) 02:15, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Pre-PG-13 horror films from 1979-1984Edit

What are the Pre-PG-13 rated horror films that was rated PG between 1979 and the start of PG-13 in 1984? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:0:8500:472:DDF0:CDEC:1A5:145A (talk) 23:28, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Concern about ratingsEdit

I always thought the "G" rating stood for "Guidance", as in "Parental guidance recommended" rather than "General audiences" because, as "Guidance" also begins with a G... well, as they say, the rest is history. --Fandelasketchup (talk) 22:20, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Alterations to Motion Picture Association of America film rating system#LanguageEdit

There have been several recent efforts to insert claims into the language section of the article that are inconsistent with the MPAA's own guidelines. May I remind editors that it is not our job to interpret those guidelines, but rather to simply summarize them.


  1. The MPAA provide no list of words that are prohibited either in their guidelines or on their website. They simply provide guidance on the nature of the words that are permitted or restricted in regards to any particular rating.
  2. On the subject of language in G-rated and PG-rated films, page 7 of the guidelines state: The G-rating is not a "certificate of approval," nor does it signify a "children's" motion picture. Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated motion pictures ... The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence and brief nudity.
  3. In view of what the MPAA guidelines state about profanity, it is WP:SYNTHESIS to highlight what you believe is an "example" of a film that contains profanity. In the case of something like Gone with the Wind which contains the word "damn", the only relevant matter is how the MPAA guidelines are interpreted by their own examiners. At least for the purpose of summarizing the guidelines, if the MPAA pass words like "damn" in G-rated films then presumably their examiners regard them as "impolite language" that are part of "everyday expressions" rather than "profanity".
  4. The MPAA guidelines (pp. 7–8) state: A motion picture's single use of one the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. Changing it to "Use of a sexually-derived expletive will typically incur at least a PG-13 rating" alters the fundamental meaning of the guidelines.

If the introduction of new ratings and evolving social standards have initiated revisions to the guidelines then such observations should be attributed to secondary sources, and it should not be integrated into the guideline summaries themselves (unless we can source historic MPAA guidelines) since we risk misrepresenting their position. It is not the place of editors to determine what constitutes profanity or "harsher" sexually-derived expletive since this would amount to WP:Original research and WP:EDITORIALIZING. Betty Logan (talk) 15:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm with Betty on this one. This article is often used by editors to state that various films are examples of the MPAA not following its own guidelines, making exceptions, letting things slip, etc. IMDb is a great site for general information about films (I often use it for those "Where do I know her from?" moments) and I regularly use Commonsense Media to help decide if a show is appropriate for my niece. That said, neither one is reliable for our purposes in this discussion. Unless an independent reliable source directly discusses a specific film's rating as being somehow exceptional or problematic, there is nothing we can say that is not synthesis or otherwise original research. - SummerPhD (talk) 19:04, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Tell me if I'm wrong, but hell, damn and crap usually go in PG films; ass, bitch and shit are typically put in PG-13-rated films, and fuck, goddamn, and cocksucker are mostly in R-rated films. 2607:FB90:427:7C13:0:28:4874:F401 (talk) 19:33, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Okay, you're wrong. (talk) 17:35, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

Other films contributed to the PG-13 labelEdit

Including Disney's bloody Dragonslayer, Tootsie, Poltergeist, The Right Stuff, Terms of Endearment, Sixteen Candles, and Footloose.

Not sure if these need to be included in the article or not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

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Are the rules secret?Edit

Quote: Many critics of the system, both conservative and liberal, would like to see the MPAA ratings unveiled and the standards made public.

Does that mean that there are exact written rules and that they are kept secret?

The article is sadly very thin on how the ratings process works, whether the film is seen by a committee or individually, who the people rating the movie are determined, etc. Maikel (talk) 11:21, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

The article states "... the MPAA will not reveal any information about who or why certain decisions are made". I get the impression there is a lack of transparency about the whole classification process. Betty Logan (talk) 13:57, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

MPAA Rating Wording is IncorrectEdit

The wording on the MPAA Ratings were incorrect. Cold War America has the ratings worded incorrectly. According to another book I read, Roadshow!: The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s This is the correct wording:


  • G: Suggest for General Audiences (all ages)
  • M: Suggested for Mature Audiences (parental discretion advised)
  • R: Restricted. Persons under 16 not admitted unless accompanied by an adult.
  • X: Persons under 16 will not be admitted. [2]


  • G: All Ages Admitted (General Audiences)
  • GP: All Ages Admitted (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • R: Restricted (Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) [MPAA uses this wording since 1970]
  • X: No One Under 17 Admitted. [3]


  • G: General Audiences (All Ages Admitted)
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested (Some material may be inappopriate for pre-teenagers) [I think this was slightly changed to "Children" in 1983]
  • R: Restricted (Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian)
  • X: No One Under 17 Admitted. [4]

ACMEWikiNet (talk) 01:13, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment It is good that you have provided sources for your proposed changes, and I have absolutely no objections to you making corrections (we all want the information to be correct, after all), but if you are going to change the text then you have to change the sources as well which you didn't do. There is no point leaving in sources that contradict the wording of the article. If you do not know how to format and add sources I can help you do this. Also, your proposed alterations introduce some factual inaccuracies which are not even corroborated by your own source: the MPAA ratings system was inaugurated in 1968 (not 1969) and the age restriction for the X-rating was originally set at 16 (not 18). I also question the accuracy of your second source (the "movielabs" site) since it seems to misrepresent the X-rating: it appears to duplicate the wording of current NC-17 rating, which originally set the age restriction at 17 (like the X-rating before it) before raising it to 18 in 1996. We can see from your third source that the age restriction for X was set at 17 in 1981. Betty Logan (talk) 02:41, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Further comments I have twice now had to revert an edit which stated that "Some material may not be suitable for pre-teenagers" was changed to "Some material may not be suitable for children" in 1977. Factual statements must have a source and it is WP:Original research to add information based on personal recollections. If you can find a source that corroborates the claim then by all means add the claim, but if you cannot please don't. Also, on a slightly different note it is unnecessary to introduce notation format: all it accomplishes is to split up information so readers have to travel to the end of the article. If it is important enough to include it should be added to the formal wording or to the commentary accompanying the descriptions. Betty Logan (talk) 06:26, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

"All ages" was not in the explanation of the original (1968) "G" rating. It was added to it as part of the 1970 changes. (talk) 09:56, 29 December 2017 (UTC)

Addition of X to current ratingsEdit

An editor has twice now added the "X" rating to the list of current ratings. As the article explains the X-rating was replaced in 1990 by the NC-17 rating. The MPAA no longer use the X-rating in any capacity as can be verified at the If adult movies carry the "X-rating" then they are self-prescribed, probably as a marketing gimmick, but they are not awarded by the MPAA. Please do not re-add the rating back to the article because it makes it factually inaccurate. Betty Logan (talk) 12:15, 3 June 2016 (UTC)


Can you get arrested if you sneak into an R rated movie underage and get caught? im afraid to do it — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spike2004x (talkcontribs) 00:55, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Only in Tennessee where the R-rating is legally binding. Everywhere else it is only an advisory rating that has no legal standing. Betty Logan (talk) 18:00, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
But are there consequences if you are caught sneaking in an R rated movie underage? Spike2004x (talk) 14:05, 29 July 2016 (UTC)Spike2004x
In Tennessee you will get a fine because it is a misdemeanour. Anywhere else and you will just be shown the door. Betty Logan (talk) 19:01, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Does the NC-17 rating also have a legal standing? User:Spike2004x —Preceding undated comment added 15:31, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Not as far as I'm aware. Betty Logan (talk) 16:56, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Betty :) Spike2004x (talk) 19:17, 7 August 2016 (UTC)Spike2004x


The articles says that South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut got an R rating "after multiple submissions and notes from the MPAA," but the next part of the article says that the MPAA won't reveal to filmmakers what scenes need to be cut to get a lower rating. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmg124 (talkcontribs) 23:35, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

The notes likely did not specify scenes, giving only the nature of the material. - SummerPhDv2.0 00:53, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 December 2016Edit

    • Call for publicizing the standards** Section

... In the film, it is also discussed how the MPAA will not reveal any information about WHO or why certain decisions are made, and that the association will not even reveal to the filmmaker the specific scenes that need to be cut in order to get alternative rating.

information about WHO or why Should be ... information about HOW or why

"please change WHO to HOW because...". WHO is not contextually accurate. (talk) 13:55, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

  Not done Article is no longer protected. (talk) 08:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  Done by somebody. (Noted just so no one else wastes time checking this old request.) Alsee (talk) 22:55, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

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The War Room (1993)Edit

This film is rated PG despite two uses of "fuck." No review actually has commented on this that I can find, though. That it's rated PG is easily verified, but the two uses of "fuck" require using the film itself as a citation. I didn't speculate as to why this was allowed a pass, because that would violate WP:NOR, though I presume because it's a verité-style documentary--Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 21:06, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Unless independent reliable sources specifically discuss the language in this film in the context of discussing the MPAA system (the topic of this article), there's really nothing to add. - SummerPhDv2.0 00:38, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with SummerPhD. It is simply not necessary to list every single exception to the rule. Any films listed should be limited to exceptional cases and unsual cirumstances. This is best gauged by secondary commentary on the issue. If nobody writes about it then it is probably not unusual enough to write about. I have removed The Martian from the list because the context of the commentary is how much swearing got cut from the book, not how much made it into the film. Betty Logan (talk) 05:42, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

I watched that movie about 8 times on VHS and never heard any such language. Perhaps you could cite a DVD or Blu-Ray with a specific time where it shows up in official subtitles? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

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Hollywood Reporter articleEdit

Thanks, Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 14:20, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Appropriate audiencesEdit

The green band mention must had “appropriate audiences” mentioned there. It is the same source. 2601:540:D:2A62:7032:5096:CC6F:5995 (talk) 12:46, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out, I have now corrected it. While you are completely right in this instance it would be advisable to include an WP:Edit summary in the future especially when making alterations to sourced content. Betty Logan (talk) 00:01, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Why is this the same?Edit

The ratings used from 1990 to 1996 were:

Rated G: General Audiences – all ages admitted Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – some material may not be suitable for children Rated PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 Rated R: Restricted – under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian Rated NC-17: No children under 17 admitted The ratings used since 1996 are:[3]

Rated G: General Audiences – all ages admitted Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – some material may not be suitable for children Rated PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 Rated R: Restricted – under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian Rated NC-17: No one 17 and under admitted

The reflected changes from 1990 to 1996 remain unchanged. In fact, from my research, nothing changed in 1996, so I don't understand the significance of this component of the document. Anybody have a differing opinion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiStevenTBrown (talkcontribs) 19:58, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

In 1996 the NC-17 rating changed slightly. From 1990–1996 17 year-olds were permitted, but from 1996 they were barred. Betty Logan (talk) 22:46, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
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