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"That clock was broken! How did you get it to start working again?"
"I chust looked at it and I sait, 'Ve haf vays of making you tock.'"
This is a Stock Phrase often used by the leader of a faction to assure a defiant captive that they can get the information they want by less than normal means. Usually, pronounced "Vee haff VAYS of making hyu took!"
Normally, this involves highly unorthodox interrogation and/or torture techniques, but these interrogators can usually spice things up with more extreme or less conventional methods. Note that heroes can do this too, they just tend to use inventive rather than cruel means.
Here are a few variants:
- Torture: Cold-Blooded Torture, the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, Room 101, Robotic Torture Device and Electric Torture.
- Psychological warfare: Tickle Torture, Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?, Interrogation by Vandalism, a potent Death Glare, Forced to Watch and really good sex. Forcing them to watch someone else suffer is a particularly cruel form.
- Phlebotinum and powers: An Agony Beam, Telepathy, the Jedi Mind Trick, Charm Person, Mind Control, infecting them with The Virus, using an illusionary world via Lotus Eater Machine, etc.
- Oddball: Of course, it could always be something that seems harmless at first but somehow nonetheless gets the job done: Maximum Fun Chamber, Happy Fun Ball and Anything But That.
The original given source of this phrase, Lives of a Bengal Lancer in 1935, is actually a case of Beam Me Up, Scotty -- it's not the actual line.
- In Code Geass R2, Suzaku interrogates Kallen with her biggest object of loathing bar the Britannian Empire, Refrain. She does not take it well afterwards.
- There are allusions to this with Visser Three in his attempts to glean information from a Yeerk Peace Movement Yeerk. Fortunately, she's rescued before it can begin.
- Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935): The line originated in this movie.
- In the 1937 Laurence Olivier film Fire Over England, a Spanish count assures captured English spy Michael Ingoldby: "You English fool, you'll tell everything you know. We understand persuasion."
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (even in the right accent):
Marion: I'll tell you everything!
Toht: Yes, I know you will. (Raises the red hot poker closer to Marion's eyes)
- The terrorist's torture expert in True Lies.
- In Toy Story, Sid uses this line verbatim while pretending to interrogate Woody, as a pretext for burning Woody's forehead with a magnifying glass.
- The line is used, then subverted, in a Muppet Show sketch where a Muppet character says this line to a prisoner who goes soon into an overwhelming stream of babble that gets her free while throttling the interrogators. The Muppet desperately threatens, "We have ways of making you stop talking!"
- Stated clearly if implicitly by Number Two in the opening sequence of The Prisoner, and paraphrased at least once by the same character in the show itself. True to their word, every single method listed in the trope description above is used at least once. None of them work.
Number Two: We want information.
Number Six: You won't get it!
Number Two: By hook or by crook... we will.
- In Sherlock, Mycroft does this to Irene Adler but phrases it rather more politely. "I regret to say, we have people who can extract that information from you."
- In The Consul, the Secret Police Agent says this to Magda:
"We have strange ways to make people talk. Oh, not at all the way you may think. All we have to do is to quicken the beat of your heart."
- In Drowtales, Sillice does this to Chrys. Particularly disturbing when you recall that technically Chrys is Sillice's niece.
- When asked how they got Danger Mouse to be their producer, Murdoc responded word-for-word in a Gorillaz interview.
"We haff vays of making you vork!"
- The Hairmeister from Kingdom Of Magic will sometimes say, if Thidney bothers him too much, "Ve haff vays to make you talk... I just vish ve haff vays to make you SHUT UP!"
- In Tales of Monkey Island, though not spoken by Guybrush, the player can choose the line "I have ways of making you talk!" to frighten Bugeye in Chapter 3. The result is:
Guybrush: Tell me where I can find the Tongue of the Manatee or it's time for Tibetan Tickle Torture.
- And of course there's the Incredibly Lame Pun about the German clock maker.
"Ve hav vays of making you tock!"
- There is a legend of two policemen who interrogated a gullible suspect by putting a colander on his head, wiring it to a copy machine, and copying the message HE'S LYING when they thought he was. The man thought it was a real polygraph and confessed. This originated from David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets which depicted a year's work in the Baltimore City PD homicide division, later adapted into the TV series Homicide: Life On the Street.
- And there is the way of playing with this while cooking or dismembering a Lobster or Crab that is likely attributable to Jerry Pournelle, While holding over the boiling water or while poised to disjoint a claw: "Und now, wretched crustacean, you vill speak to me of Troop Moofments, ja?"