History Main / PhoneTraceRace

26th Jul '16 2:52:40 AM Morgenthaler
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A horror and police procedural trope where the police set up a phone trace to catch a criminal but they need them to stay on the line for a certain amount of time. The amount of time will vary, yet somehow the criminal will know the exact amount of time and [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy purposely hang up]] just before the police can get a trace. If it's a particularly high-tech setup, expect to see a computer generated map showing the tracing process.

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A horror and police procedural trope where the police set up a phone trace to catch a criminal but they need them to stay on the line for a certain amount of time. The amount of time will vary, yet somehow the criminal will know the exact amount of time and [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy purposely hang up]] up just before the police can get a trace. If it's a particularly high-tech setup, expect to see a computer generated map showing the tracing process.
25th Jul '16 1:53:31 PM WillKeaton
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* Invoked in the RealTrailerFakeMovie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg4ztJ32iPI The Waldo Ultimatum]].
* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18385_7-bullshit-police-myths-everyone-believes-thanks-to-movies_p2.html Cracked's references to misconceptions about it]].

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* Invoked in the RealTrailerFakeMovie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg4ztJ32iPI The Waldo Ultimatum]].
Ultimatum.]]
* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18385_7-bullshit-police-myths-everyone-believes-thanks-to-movies_p2.html Cracked's references to misconceptions about it]].it.]]
25th Jul '16 1:52:23 PM WillKeaton
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As digital computers became more powerful, a switch basically was a mainframe computer with a bunch of phone lines plugged into it instead of a bunch of racks connected by mechanical relays. As a result, tracing a call means nothing more than going to the console, entering the phone number and asking who is connected to it. Eventually with the development of SS7 switches, it got to be sophisticated enough you could get it yourself in real time for a few dollars extra through Caller ID.

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As digital computers became more powerful, a switch basically was a mainframe computer with a bunch of phone lines plugged into it instead of a bunch of racks connected by mechanical relays. As a result, tracing a call means nothing more than going to the console, entering the phone number and asking who is connected to it. Eventually with the development of SS7 [=SS7=] switches, it got to be sophisticated enough you could get it yourself in real time for a few dollars extra through Caller ID.
16th Jul '16 10:20:09 AM nombretomado
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* The ''{{Archer}}'' episode "El Secuestro" has ISIS trying to keep Pam's kidnappers on the phone long enough to trace the call (and usually failing, due to Archer or Malory's tactics). The two minutes needed to trace the call is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Gillette, who says Malory cut money from the tracing program to pay for her new conference table.

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* The ''{{Archer}}'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' episode "El Secuestro" has ISIS trying to keep Pam's kidnappers on the phone long enough to trace the call (and usually failing, due to Archer or Malory's tactics). The two minutes needed to trace the call is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Gillette, who says Malory cut money from the tracing program to pay for her new conference table.
10th Jun '16 8:14:25 PM lavendermintrose
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* Averted, but played with, in ''Anime/{{K}}'', when the main character Yashiro Isana, who has been framed for a murder, calls Scepter 4, the local supernatural police unit, to tell them who he thinks might actually be responsible, they trace the location of his cell phone. He's in a truck on a bridge, and a group of officers go to catch him, [[spoiler: but he manages to get away before they pinpoint which truck he's in. He leaves a piece of computer hardware in the back to make them think he was proxying the call from somewhere else and cover the fact that he simply got out of the truck, into a boat on a nearby river]].
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1st Jun '16 3:09:33 AM erforce
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* In ''12 Rounds'', villain Miles Jackson is quite savvy to this, so he keeps hanging up and switching to a different phone every few minutes, frustrating the police.

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* In ''12 Rounds'', ''Film/TwelveRounds'', villain Miles Jackson is quite savvy to this, so he keeps hanging up and switching to a different phone every few minutes, frustrating the police.
15th May '16 1:18:46 AM Arivne
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* ''Film/WarGames''. After David accidentally hacks into NORAD and takes over its main computer system, he hangs up before they can trace the connection and determine his location.

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* ''Film/WarGames''. After David accidentally hacks into NORAD and takes over its main computer system, he hangs up before they can trace the connection and determine his location. When the {{AI}} computer calls David back the FBI manages to trace the calls and find him.
15th May '16 1:16:46 AM Arivne
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* ''Film/WarGames''. After David accidentally hacks into NORAD and takes over its main computer system, he hangs up before they can trace the connection and determine his location.
7th Mar '16 12:35:09 PM DrOO7
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* Similarly subverted in the first ''Film/MissionImpossible'' movie, when Ethan Hunt stays on the line just long enough for his call to get traced to London (but not to the specific address) just as planned. Down to the ''second'', even. The person he was speaking to realizes that someone of Ethan's skill wouldn't have allowed them to track him down unless he ''wanted'' them to. [[spoiler: Ethan is a fugitive, having been branded a traitor. Having just found the real mole, he wants the IMF to catch them.]]



* In the ''Film/MissionImpossible'' movie, Ethan stays on the line just long enough for his call to get traced to London, just as planned. Down to the ''second'', even.
23rd Feb '16 11:30:52 PM Knight20
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