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What you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting for

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, take your chance you stupid hoe.

This is when the music has ticking clock sound effects to it, or similar, such as instruments, metronome sounds, clicks, or even onomatopeia. This is sometimes used to make you remember that, yes, time is running and to hasten the pace.

Examples of Tick Tock Tune include:


  • Hans Zimmer's score for Inception prominently features the ticking of a clock on several of its tracks. Not surprisingly, the perception of time is an important subtheme of the film.
  • Zimmer is apparently fond of the style. A Game of Shadows prominently features ticking in several scores, notably when someone is about to die, or when they're trying to stop his plans, with all the subtext that implies.
  • "Never Smile at a Crocodile" from Peter Pan. Appropriate, since the Crocodile swallowed a clock.

Live Action Television

  • John Williams' theme tune from The Time Tunnel
  • One of the theme tunes from Beat the Clock, natch.
  • Heroes has Sylar's Leitmotif, which is not so much a "time is running out" as a creepy "this guy knows how things tick" thing.
  • The theme tune from Callan is suspenseful and includes the suggestion of a slowly ticking clock, reinforced by the image in the opening credits of a swinging lightbulb as a substitute pendulum.
  • The music bed that plays during the Bonus Round on Wheel of Fortune.
  • The Jeopardy! Think Music.
  • 60 Minutes takes this to the extreme, using only the tick tick tick of a stopwatch where other shows would use a theme song.
  • The Countdown Clock music.


Professional Wrestling

 1, 2, You hear the clock ticking?

Tick tock, you're about to stop living

Tick tock, I want you to remember me

Tick tock, but the day don't have no memory


Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Phineas and Ferb has "Watchin' and Waitin'" which is a song about watching to see how the boys' inventions disappear before Mom gets home.
    • There's also one with a clock theme for Candace waiting by the phone for Jeremy to call.


  • The BBC's news theme.
  • There was a 1960s novelty instrumental called "Time Beat" by Ray Cathode, based on an interval theme by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop with added instrumentation by George Martin.
  • The music outside the Small World ride at Disneyland.
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