Leisure Suit Larry (like many other Sierra series) contains material which some have found controversial, and it has had its own share of controversies over the years.

This page discusses a number of the controversial aspects of the series as defined by reviewers and players over the years. Note: the 'controversies' are just opinions by different individuals, commentators and writers (some maybe interpretation or biased projection, and therefore the accuracy of opinions cannot be vouched for).

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the cited authors, writers, commentators and other individuals, and do not reflect the official policies or positions of this wiki.


This wiki is not a politically correct soap box, see Canon. Do not try to 'censor' or clean up or explain what is politically correct terminology on the pages, stick to the series and developer's point of views only. If you have a problem with this go elsewhere.

That being said the series has garnered a number of controversies over the years accusing of offensive content. This topic discusses a number of these in detail, and this is the only place for such discussion.

If you have any ideas for controversies and edits to be made to this page, please add to the talk page, and they will be discussed and added as needed.

Political Correctness Policy

As stated in the 'canon' policy:

This wiki is not politically correct and is about a series that didn't care about political correctness and was offensive to many.

This wiki does contain subject matter, words, phrases, jokes, and other material that many may or do find offensive. These topics often get discussed as is from largely NPOV: From an 'in-universe' perspective (from 'original intent' and 'canon' perspective) in relation to the source material, with no censoring or revisionism allowed.

Only specific terms used in the game (including guides/documentation) should be utilized when describing content from the series in articles .

This wiki is not really a place to parse terminology and introduce new concepts or theories, or to advocate or be used as a soap box. The articles themselves must stick to terminology and descriptions used by the games, official guides or other official documentation (including development materials, where applicable), and limit any speculation concerning any subjects being discussed.

Discussion of the games from a modern perspective where subject matter is found 'offensive' should only be added to controversies article, and in that article only. Or in very limited fashion pointing to the 'controversies' page in the "Behind the scenes section' of an article. Note: However that page is restricted (changes by non-admins must be vetted and discussed first, before a decision is made).

If you wish to discuss soapbox and advocacy against certain topics refer back to Number 1 of Advertising and Off-topic discussions...

1.Advocacy, propaganda, or recruitment of any kind: commercial, political, religious, sports-related, or otherwise. Of course, an article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a neutral point of view. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.

Developer criticism

  • Al Lowe was the creator of Leisure Suit Larry, having based game around the bones of Softportn Adventure an earlier Sierra game. In a 2020 article in Vice, the author links Al Lowe to Larry himself stating they are one and the same character that any shortcomings Larry has can be applied to Al Lowe as well. "“If you've played Larry, you know me. You can't hide that much. There's not that much left of me that I haven't shared with you already if you've gone through all those games. That's the kinda guy I am. I'm not pornographic. I'm not sick… I've got a streak of naughtiness in me and I like to laugh a lot, and that comes through in my games.”" It then goes onto suggest Al Lowe/Larry racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. That Al Lowe is a 'boomer'.. [1] In some groups he has been accused of being Republican, some accuse him of being Democrat, since his humor criticizes both parties. He has been accused of being anti-semitic in some groups because some of his jokes mention Jews.[2] But he has a policy that disavows racist jokes.
  • Ken Williams

Political Correctness

Sexual Morality, Religous/Conservative/Liberal Values

  • Using the word racy, as some have in describing the Larry games, is really more of a compliment than anything else. If you look it up in the dictionary, one of the definitions is: "Full of zest; spirited; often piquant, pungent, brisk, etc." "No kidding?" Exactly, Larry. In fact, I left out a few words that were in the beta version; refer to George Carlin for those. There are no scenes removed; I'm just not dirty enough to think of anything really naughty. "Sure you aren't But, it's not the language but the sex they complain about, ain't it, Al?" Yes. Ken Williams, our publisher (and noted village chieftain) is very wary of bad publicity. He wanted to be sure that anyone who played the first Larry game was at least screened a little, so he insisted on the quiz at the beginning of the game. It turned out to be a fun thing to do, so all was okay and we've done it in two of the games to date. Larry 2, instead, has the "filth level" controller and that's our "out" there; if someone wants it to be filthy, it's only filthy because they cranked it over. We start out clean and you change it Now, as to if it's really dirty or not, who knows? I don't think it is; most people think it bland. Most comments are that it isn't really that dirty. My goal was to write a funny game, not a dirty one. Yet, my sense of humor is an adult one, and if people can't take a joke, ____ 'em, as a wise man once said (or was that a . ?) wiseguy .. N ah, just kidding! Larry 2 is silly, but it's not very dirty. If you think National Geographic is dirty, then you won't like Larry 2. "Well, my favorite is "Women of Bali." Now they don't wear no tops and-" When Larry 1 shipped, and when it finally started selling and doing pretty well, we said, "Hey, we need to do a sequel to this game." But we had heard a lot of flack about the sex, and we got some bad reviews. In fact, Macworld just ate me alive. They hated it. So I thought we needed to tone it down a little and do something less raunchy and more funny. Well, that's what I did It was less raunchy and I personally think Larry 2 was funnier than Larry 1.[3]

Racism, Stereotypes, & Cultural Appropriation

Leisure Suit Larry

Sexism, Misogeny, Feminism, etc

Softporn Adventure

Leisure Suit Larry

LGBTQ Representation

Sex and Gender terminology (accusations of Transphobia)

There has been controversy surrounding the characters of Shablee and Koko based on different players interpretation of their genders and/or sexuality, as well as the scene of rape in LSL6, and different opinions on who was the victim in the scene, and if Larry disserved it or not, and the reactions of characters in both games the characters appear in to the situations. It has been common to accuse Larry of 'transphobia'.[12]

Shablee appears to be what modern Psychology calls a 'transvestitic fetishist'[13][14] as a male who gets pleasure off of wearing women's clothing. When you first meet Shablee "she" is wearing more or less unisex workout clothes, and as some of the guides point out more covered up (wearing more clothes) than most of the other 'female' characters (but dreams of having a fancy women's dress), which foreshadows his sexual fetish.

In academic circles and in LGBTQ community there are many 'identity' terms (such as 'transgender', 'transwoman', 'transsexual', and 'cisgendered', 'transvestite', etc). Some fans may think some of these terms might be applied to Larry's universe in 'hindsight'.

However, this wiki is not the place to speculate on identity these characters beyond what the games (and related material) describe them to be (even terms maybe found 'offensive' and 'outdated' by modern standards).

This is not meant to be hurtful to anyone of these groups, but rather to maintain neutral presentation of the characters based on original developers intent (from documentation and the games). (as for the above example transvestites (which usually has meaning and connotations of someone who gains pleasure from wearing clothing of the opposite gender, but also means 'cross-dressing') and occasionally transsexual (unrelated term, meaning identifying as another gender) or drag (simply cross dressing for entertainment purposes) are the only terms used in the games). But the terms being used should only be the ones already used to describe the character in the specific games or related material (including development documentation).

In one episode of Steam Train let's play video was seen as controversial around the time of its release, due to the game's depiction of one of Larry's female love interests as being transvesite, and its use of a stock joke where Larry is shocked and disgusted to find out that the drag queen he is romantically interested in has a penis, and comes to the conclusion that he is actually dating a 'man' (though some reviewers, players, and Steam Train episode assumed that 'she' is a 'transgendered' individual).

While Danny's initial gut reaction was to laugh along with the joke, he and Ross spend the rest of the episode contextualizing it: The game came out shortly after the release of The Crying Game, a movie with a similar plot twist, and the game's depictions of LGBT people are fairly archaic and not politically correct at all by today's standards. Danny still assures that they meant no offense to their LGBT viewers.

The 'GameGrumps' came under fire again during an episode showing the scene between Larry Lovage and Koko, the latter a character who is treated either as a transvestite or a transsexual by the game's 2006 terminology in jokes, but whose description and identity is never made entire clear (from a character who is never truly truthful about their background or who they are, even going as far as assuming a 'French identity'). The hosts made some rough commentary about it, with one even pointing out similarity to a scene in 2011's Hangover II, and that he believes he saw a bulge in the character load up screen forshadowing the situation. At the end of the episode one of the hosts made a disclaimer to soften some of the commentary made in the episode, and to point out that they believed 'trans' people were beautiful and that the joke was repugnant. Some of the viewers criticized the GameGrumps reactions, and some of their commentary, while others criticized Larry for his reaction, and not being accepting of Koko's gender, and reciprocating. While others believing Koko should have been up front about her situation before the relation even started. [15][16][17][18][19]

Paw Dugan has also come under fire for how he handled the Shablee situation as well.[20][21]

In another example someone once edited an article on this wiki to include this line:

"Unbeknownst to Larry, Shablee is actually a transwoman, rather than a ciswoman."

Generally speaking these terms are not quite common knowledge and mainly of academic concern, and likely to confuse majority of readers and players.

Not to mention sometimes people apply terminology or phrases that may go beyond the scope of the original games or authors intent, and the series canon. For simplicity, and series accuracy sake this wiki tries to remain within the boundaries of original creators use of language, and definitions given within the games & official documentation themselves, rather than to apply postmodern terms and ever-changing 'political correctness'.

This wiki means no insult to anyone who may fall into or identify with some modern non-binary category and wants to discuss those categories, however this wiki is not really the place for that. Nor is the place for that kind of specific speculation into game's characters backgrounds and their motives. In general, the rule of thumb is to stick to what the games, manuals, hint books, development docs say about characters, and avoid any 'original research' from 3rd party sources.

If you want to speculate about a character's gender or sexuality then the talk page is a viable option, but please try to avoid arguements., or anything that might be offensive.

Below are some links and notes concerning this (as mentioned above please avoid going to deep into this discussion on the main topic, and stick to the original intent)...

The official description and background of Shablee is that he/she is a "homosexual" "transvestite"[22]. So anyone who has interpreted the character as a 'strong-willed (and a positive role model) transgender, 'transwoman' (and that Larry gets his due for being 'transphobic'), is most definitely wrong. While the arguement can be made that what the character 'self-identifies' as might be the most important, there is no indication that she self identifies as a 'transwoman', or if she identifies as a 'woman' at all times (in reference to those who define themselves as 'genderfluid'). Material related to the games identifies her both in male terminology, and also female depending on the situation, and context.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]. It is a stereotype and satire of the transvestite character from The Crying Game. Shablee actually commits rape on Larry (and documentation states that he is 'homosexual', and that "he/she"[33] only likes men[34]). Larry is the victim in this scene, not Shablee. Rape should never be glorified or praised even against someone considered to be repugnant or bigoted.

In recent years it has becoming increasingly in common to accuse the victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or in worse cases attempted rape (by a transgendered person) as being the villain, the guilty party, of being transphobic, for turning down the advances of the transgendered person, while the person who attempts to force themselves on the unwilling person is portrayed as the victim by LGBTQ allies and activists, who claim the person has suffered from transphobia from the person they are interested in pursuing.[35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47] One of the more high profile cases of this occurring occurred in January 2018, when on filmed TV the musician Ginuwine turned down the advances of Transgendered woman India Willoughby, only for social media to turn on Ginuwine for his refusal, while ignoring India's blatant sexual harassment of Ginuwine. This would never fly if it was a man attempting to force themselves on a woman, or woman who attempted to force themselves on a man, in this day and age there is a 'right to refuse', 'no means no', and "consent" can be revoked at any point in a relationship or romantic situation. In 2017 and 2018 the #metoo movement, a two-word hashtag used on social media in October 2017 to denounce sexual assault and harassment, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, it is clear that the issue is a problem much wider than people thought before, and many women and men were victims of unwanted sexual advances by their colleagues and people they worked with. They would not or should not be considered weak, male haters, cisphobic, heterophobic, transphobic or homophobic simply because they didn't agree with or comply with sexual harassment or rape they were forced to endure.[48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55] Nor should, Larry be considered transphobic or homophobic for not wanting to sleep with transgendered or gay person (despite the viewpoint of some radical extremist feminists and LGBTQ activists) Sexuality is a very personal thing, and no one should be 'forced' into committing to do anything that feels uncomfortable to them (no means no, and consent can be revoked at any point of a relationship). Any attempt to force someone to do something they are uncomfortable with, is emotional blackmail and coercion, it is sexual harassment, it is rape culture. Larry may be a misogynist, there is no indication that he is transphobic or homophobic in the series. He is just not able to 'change' his sexuality or his sexual preferences (except for one instance played as another joke and game over in LSL6 with Gary Fairy, but that's another controversy altogether). Larry also enjoys the 'occasional cross-dressing', that does not make him transgendered. Even in the Larry games consent is important, and unwanted advances leads to game overs. This site does not promote sexual harassment of any kind, nor does it support or promote the sexual harassment or rape by any individuals whatever gender, sexuality, preferences they might have.


  • "This game is slightly different to the others in that it is filled with ugly, rampant homophobia. From the camp shower room assistant (who you can end up in a relationship with) to a transvestite with a penis who rapes you on a beach (can't you just smell the fun family adventure?) this game stinks.[56]
  • [57]
  • [58]

Profanity and Vulgarity

Banned or Restricted Games

  • Apparently all versions of Magna Cum Laude were banned in Australia due to content.[59]
  • Magna Cum Laude is one of the games not allowed to be streamed on Twitch due to content. This may mostly affect the AO version (that is commonly accessible on digital outlets, but may affect the regular game as well.[60]
  • Even the latest Wet Dreams Don't Dry, also has had twitch players streamed blocked because of content early on, although its technically a rather tame game, and now falls within Twitch's boundaries. policies.[61]
  • "A marketing person from VU Games told me that they did not include LSL7 because of a 5-second-long Easter egg that we included as a "reward" in case anyone scored all 1,000 points and found all 32 collectibles. Even though I told him it was easy to prevent it from ever appearing and even told him how to fix it, they were afraid that the ESRB would somehow find out that it was still in the compiled game files and give the entire collection an AO rating. (Or whatever rating the ESRB gives for 5 seconds of cartoon nudity seen by less than 0.001% of the people who play the game!). <sigh>"[62]

See also


  3. TOBOLSL, pg 59
  13. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5 (Fifth ed.). Arlington, Virginia: American Psychiatric Publishing. pp. 685–705. ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8. OCLC 847226928.
  22. LSL6 Design Docs
  33. LSL6 Design Doc, pg
  34. InterAction Magazine, pg
  38. I’m 26, straight, and male. I consider myself a socially progressive person, have been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues since high school, and was president of my college Gay-Straight Alliance. Here’s my issue: I fully support the trans community. I have numerous friends in varying states of transition and I’m 100 percent behind them. But in my own dating life, I wouldn’t feel comfortable dating/having sex with a woman who had at one point in her life been a man. I realize I wouldn’t be fucking a dude, but it’s a mental hurdle I can’t clear. All my LGBTQA friends—be they trans, gay, bi—call me a transphobe, because if I were truly on their side, if I truly “understood,” then sex with a MTF straight woman would be no different than sex with a cisgender straight woman. Do I have the right to not feel comfortable with the idea (or reality) of having sex with these women and still consider myself a supporter of the trans community? Are my friends being unreasonable by judging me against their schema of appropriate sexuality? Or am I a hypocrite? —Fears Real Activism Undermined [by] Dick “He’s not transphobic—not in my book,” says Kate Bornstein, author, performer, “advocate for teens, freaks, and other outlaws,” and herself a trans woman. “One more thing he’s not is straight. Sex-positive, supportive of trans folk, and heterosexual? Cool! He’s a queer heterosexual—and some of my best friends are queer heterosexuals.” As for your specific issue—you’re not attracted to trans women—Bornstein says that by itself isn’t evidence of transphobia. “A queer heterosexual is just as entitled to the fulfillment of their sex and gender desires as anyone else,” says Bornstein. “Sometimes those desires depend on the nature of their lover’s body. Well, trans people have bodies that are different than cis people’s bodies. We’re two (or more) mints in one—a physical blend that attracts a lot of people. FRAUD just doesn’t happen to be one of them. The fact that he’s sensitive to that blending of genders in our bodies does not make him transphobic.” What can you do about it? “Go have good sex with cis women,” says Bornstein. (Don’t know what “cis” means in this context? See: "tinyurl . com/cisdefine".) Whatever else you do, FRAUD, Bornstein wants you to stop identifying as straight. “He’s part of our queer tribe,” she says. “And who knows? One day, he might meet the right trans person.” And who knows? One day, your cranky LGBTQA friends might accept who you are just as you’ve accepted them. Make an effort to use “attracted to cis women” in place of “wouldn’t feel comfortable dating” trans women, and you’ll hasten that day’s arrival. Kate Bornstein’s new memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger (Beacon Press), will be published in the spring. Follow her on Twitter @katebornstein. (Follow me @fakedansavage.) —Dan
  56. "
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