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One of the sure symptoms of fascism in the media is TV screens, radios and loudspeakers (occasionally mounted on vehicles) blaring propaganda and messages from the Glorious Leader reminding his subjects to obey. La Résistance may or may not get the chance to hack into the system and broadcast something more uplifting.

Related to Big Brother Is Watching.


Anime and Manga

  • In Ergo Proxy, fellow citizens of Romdo are encouraged to consume and make waste.
  • The third part of Genocyber has the citizens of what is implied to be the world's last surviving city being ordered to increase their production by 20% or be incarcerated.

Comic Books

  • In V for Vendetta, unlike the movie (see below), the public address system is used for a nightly broadcast from the Voice of Fate (which V enjoys toying with, first driving the man who provides the voice insane, and later hijacking it for his own address). Later, after Finch reports that V is dead, the government wastes no time getting that news out over the public address system.

Film -- Live-Action

  • The infamous "Leave the Bronx!" sequence from Escape 2000.
  • In Buckaroo Banzai, there's a public address system inside the Yoyodyne facility occasionally broadcasting brief messages and propaganda to the Red Lectroid workers.
  • There are large loudspeakers all over London in V for Vendetta, which implies that the Norsefire government engages in this trope. However, they aren't actually used for this at any point in the movie, and the only use they get is when V hijacks them to provide a soundtrack for his fireworks-laden bombings.
  • the Nazi propaganda tower in Saving Private Ryan.
  • Invasion of the Neptune Mens DON'T PANIC. DON'T PANIC." gets Lampshaded by Mike Nelson: "Yeah, right."
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has a mundane example in the form of PA announcements aboard the Enterprise informing crewmembers to remain on watch due to the ship being outside of friendly territory.

Live Action TV

  • The original version of The Prisoner has the eternally cheerful PA announcer (Fenella Fielding) announcing public events and giving dire warnings of possible rain showers. Occasionally (as in "The General") the PA system is given over to other propaganda voices.
  • The Mirror Universe in The Middleman has giant screens broadcasting propaganda messages from FatBoy Industries.
  • Invasion of the Neptune Men: DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIC!

 Mike: Yeah, right.



Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • The Trope Namers is Mass Effect 2, where you hear a Blue Suns officer doing this during the mission on Korlus. None of your team members are impressed, and one of them inevitably serves up a Lampshade Hanging, as in the page quote.
    • In Mass Effect 3, as you storm through Grissom Academy, the Cerberus commander in charge for attacking the facility and abducting the last few students remaining attempts to demoralize and sway the students over the intercom. You can shut him up if you find and shoot the generator powering the computer that's hijacked the academy's PA system, which then allows the good guys to do a heroic version of this trope.
  • One of the first puzzles in Zork: Grand Inquisitor involves turning up the volume on a propaganda-spouting loudspeaker in Port Foozle to drown out the sound of a burglar alarm.
  • The first STALKER game had these shouted in a military roadblock that led into the Zone, where a drunken officer would yell official warnings and scream at his troops. The other factions - namely, the militaristic Duty and the anarchistic Freedom - spewed propaganda and encouraged neutral Stalkers to join.
  • In Half-Life 2, the usual orders from Overwatch to the Civil Protection troops (which are transmitted over loudspeakers for everyone else to hear) are often mixed up with short motivational speeches.
    • Doctor Breen's "Breencasts" certainly fit as well, since they praise the regime of "Our Benefactors". Sure enough, La Résistance hacks them at one point, and Dr. Kleiner begins broadcasting a message of hope, rebellion, and whatever else happens to come to mind at the moment of recording, including a very sesquipedalian recap of events thus far in the storyline and urgings to take advantage of the collapse of the Combine suppression field to, ahem, do your part for the re-population of humanity. Which is unfortunate, since it's supposed to be brief evacuation notice.
  • Bioshock features corny "Rapture Reminder" Public Service Announcements and messages like "Andrew Ryan asks: Are you a man, or a slave?" being broadcast over Rapture's PA system. The sequel has Sofia Lamb using the PA system to broadcast similar messages.
  • In Sim Copter, you can broadcast canned orders over your helicopter's loudspeaker by pressing the F-keys. These range from "Heavy traffic in this area. Use alternate routes." to "Get out of here now, before you all die. Or Worse!!" to "I'd like a room with a shower please"
  • Chinese propaganda towers in Command and Conquer Generals. They heal friendly units who hear them. You can even install them on the Overlord tanks and Helix choppers to turn them into pseudo-Medics.
  • In Borderlands all of the major arms manufacturers seem to enjoy doing this (particularly Atlas and Jacobs, who have both featured prominently in DLC).
  • In Deus Ex, there are prominent screens displaying propaganda slogans in a data entry office of a prestigious biotechnology company.
  • Enclave Eyebots roam the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3 blaring propaganda and patriotic music from the Enclave radio station (while zapping raiders, vicious wild animals, and rampaging robots to build the people's trust).
  • In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, during the mission in Seoul, North Korean troops have set up a series of loudspeakers that are blaring poorly-translated propaganda. Sam can shoot up the loudspeakers as a bonus objective, and will eventually find the broadcasting station by a command vehicle on the way to his objective primary objective, allowing him to permanently deal with that annoyance.
  • Baby Panau's broadcasting vans, in Just Cause 2. Absent from the rest of the game however; not even the bases have a PA system, just alarms.
  • The EDF of Red Faction have... let's see... the Voice of Mars, an almost unnoticeable military announcer (usually drowned out by explosions or gunfire) for base PAs, the obviously-canned "Get out of the vehicle and you will not be harmed!" vehicle PAs, and finally another civilian announcer for the curfew timer and other minor notifications, such as asking civilians to report suspicious activity. After a sector is liberated, the announcements change to friendlier (and often pro-Red Faction) announcements.
    • The first game has Ultor using the mines' PA system to boss miners around.
  • The arrival area of Grandville, capital of the Rogue Isles, in City of Villains has large screens with Lord Recluse giving a rousing speech on his philosophy.
    • Whenever the players visit the Axis Earth/Council Empire dimension in instanced missions, the streets are lined with loudspeakers. However, they are broadcasting motivating military drumbeats instead of propaganda.
  • Star Craft 2 has Dominion holoboards on the first mission, which seem to be loudspeaker but with a hologram of the Emperor saying his own propaganda lines. A later mission on Korhal displays the classic loudspeakers.
  • From several Valve games:
    • Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson made numerous recording to automatically play as his valued test subjects navigated Aperture's Enrichment Spheres, offering his characteristic brand of encouragement. From the Lab Rat tie-in comic, it looks like even after Cave's death, the company modified speakers to issue orders in his voice.
    • The Announcer in Team Fortress 2 will praise/berate the RED/BLU teams depending on their match progress.
  • Jak 2 does this; Baron Praxis spends most of the game "motivating" the populace over the city's public address system. Occasionally he addresses Jak specifically, probably to the confusion of everybody else.
  • Beyond Good & Evil: The leader of the Alpha Section on the floating screens in the market. He even comments on your missions, claiming responsibility for benefits and blaming you for damages.
  • This is the way Mike Toreno communicates with Carl during missions in GTA:SA. It's quite amazing how he manages to have a loudspeaker just where a plane-dropped package fell, despite it being carried away by wind quite a bit.
  • Xerxes is the Von Braun's onboard computer. It continually broadcasts prerecorded messages – all keyed in by Captain Korenchkin, both before and after becoming controlled by The Many. See if you can tell which is which!

 This is Xerxes. Tri-Optimum reminds you that there are only one-hundred-sixty-three shopping days until Christmas. An extra work cycle just twice a week will give you the spending money you need to make this holiday a very special one.

This is Xerxes. Remember, replicator restrictions are in place for the good of all of us. All unauthorized database interactions will be dealt with to the utmost degree of the law.

This is Xerxes. Can you not feel the glory of the flesh? Do you not yearn to be free of the tyranny of the individual?

Web Original

Real Life

  • For one day in October 2010, a loudspeaker was set up in NewYorkCity and connected to a cell phone, so that random people all over the world could issue their own canned orders via loudspeaker.
  • Some villages in China had speakers installed in private homes during the Mao era for this purpose. This is reportedly still the case today in North Korea.
    • It is hard to verify whether North Korea has propaganda loudspeakers at homes (Radio and TV seems to suffice for most) but they are commonplace around cities and workplaces. Truck-mounted speakers were also reported by travellers. There is also the infamous "Propaganda Village" just north of the South Korea border, so called because there used to be loudspeakers constantly blaring propaganda about how much better it is in the North.
  • Go to any transportation hub (airport, bus terminal, subway station...) in the U.S. and you'll hear periodic announcements reminding you not to leave luggage unattended, and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
    • It used to be worse, though. This announcement used to include the threat level.
    • It's not just in America; the PA system in most British train and subway stations plays a canned message reminding passengers not leave cases or parcels unattended anywhere on the station -which nobody with any sense does anyway, because unattended luggage would be stolen long before the station staff bothered to notice it- every thirty seconds or so.
  • Some modern fire alarm systems work this way. An alarm chime sounds, followed by a pre-recorded polite message along the lines of "A fire has been reported in your area. Please evacuate immediately."
    • Done after a number of incidents where people died because they didn't know the alarm they were hearing was a fire alarm. A study done for British television showed that most department store shoppers hearing a standard fire alarm assumed it had nothing to do with them - many thought it was a warning that a shoplifter had been caught, while for others the alarm didn't even register.
    • In some areas, such as the American Midwest, the loudspeakers won't even bother with the canned orders, but will instead blast out a deafening siren across the landscape. These typically serve a single purpose, which the local population will be familiar with. In the case of the American Midwest, that would most often be tornadoes, with the siren warning the population to seek shelter immediately.
  • Since the year 2000, this has been used in those parts of Israel that were bombarded almost daily by rockets launched from the Gaza strip. When a rocket is detected in the air, a recorded female voice comes on the loudspeaker and repeats in monotone: "Color Red. Color Red. Color Red", over and over. If you hear this, it means there's a missile heading for you. You have less than 15 seconds or so to get to the nearest shelter (if there is one), or risk being hit by the bomb or its shrapnel.
  • Employed by Mosques to deliver the call to prayer.
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