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Homestuck Characters' Use of Profanity

Profanity Statistics

Character Profanity in Speech Profanity Count Word Count
Nannasprite 0% 0 797
Terezi 0% 0 5164
Jaspersprite 0% 0 257
Calsprite 0% 0 78
Sollux 0% 0 412
Jade .028% 1 3539
Kanaya .063% 1 1593
Davesprite .357% 1 280
Tavros .464% 6 1292
Rose .114% 8 7013
John .304% 25 8212
Karkat 1.113% 46 4132
Dave 2.132% 190 8912

A character's profanity count includes the profanities 'shit,' 'hell,' 'fuck,' 'damn,' 'ass,' 'bitch,' 'bastard,' and all variations of the previous words, such as 'bullshit,' 'shitstorm,' and 'hellacious.'

Several things are notable when comparing characters who use profanity and those who do not. The only characters who never curse are those who are minor characters with low word counts. However, being a minor character does not necessitate cursing. We can see that Tavros, a troll who only hits on Dave, has a high use of profanity. Jade, on the other hand, is a main character but curses only once in Acts 1-4. Her singular incident of cursing is not particularly memorable or significant in the plot of the story.

Karkat is known for his creative use of profanity, and his use of creative words, such as 'grubfuck' should be considered one of his distinctive typing quirks. He is known amongst the fan community for his catch-phrase of 'fuckass,' and after Act 4, this word catches on with the character Jade, as well. Karkat is acknowledged as having a dirty mouth, but surprisingly, he does not have the highest proportion of profanity in his speech. This title belongs to Dave, who has a casual cursing style and sounds like a teenage boy. Although Dave has a higher occurrence of profanity, Karkat's profanity may be more distinctly memorable, because he has a more aggressive style and often curses when angry. His mere 2nd place in profanity may also reflect his creative bypassing of tried-and-true curses such as 'shit' and 'hell'. This speech, for example, shows how he is obscene and rude but does not rely only on familiar profanities:


<line speaker="CG">IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE THAT HUMAN VACATION WITH THE GIANT RED CHIMNEY <profanity type="ass">ASSHOLE</profanity> UP IN HERE.</line>


This is a case where creativity deceives computer analysis, because Karkat's novel words are impossible to specifically seek out. Although we are able to gather data on traditional words such as 'shit' and 'hell,' there are times when this does not convey the nature of a character's speech.

Profanity Represented on a Radar Chart

INSTRUCTIONS: To toggle the fill for a character on the radar chart, click the name of that character in the Key.

fuck ass shit hell damn 0 1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 Narrator Dave John Rose Karkat Tavros Sollux

The radar chart is the best representation for the raw counts of characters' obscenities. It shows data for characters that curse more than one time in Acts 1-4. On the axis for each word, a character has a dot determined by the number of times he uses that word. The character's five dots are connected by a line, and for most characters, the area between the lines show that character's total amount of profanity. Dave has a large area on the radar chart because he has a high word count and a high density of profanity in his speech. It is interesting to note that Davesprite, a future version of Dave, has no cursing in his 560 words.

The fact that lines cross means that types of profanity are not evenly distributed across characters. Certain characters prefer certain obscenities. For example, Rose has a significantly lower profanity count than John, but she surpasses him in use of the word 'fuck.' Also, the shape of the narrator's dots on the word count is wider and shorter than Dave's, which shows that the narrator has a tendency for 'hell' and 'damn' compared to Dave, who uses more of 'fuck' and 'shit.'

The characters in the key are sorted in order of highest to lowest word count. This way, we can compare a character’s amount of profanity in relation to the other characters (represented on the radar chart) to his word count in relation to the other characters (represented in the key). As we can see, the characters with highest word count are typically the characters on the radar chart that have the largest raw counts of profanity, although Dave and Karkat are notable exceptions.

The data show that there are differences in the profanity usage amongst characters. Most obviously, some characters do not curse and other characters talk like sailors. It is clear that the author of Homestuck created variation amongst his characters.