Created By: StormtroperFebruary 17, 2010 Last Edited By: StormtroperMay 12, 2011
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Tick Tock Tune

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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.
Franz Ferdinand, "What you waiting for?"

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 hasten the pace.

Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
  • John Williams' theme tune from The Time Tunnel
  • One of Beat The Clock's theme song, 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.
  • Tic Tac Dough''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: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
I'M COMING
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
  • The BBC 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.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • February 17, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    Is this only game music related, or can we throw Time from Dark Side of the Moon onto the list?
  • February 17, 2010
    Stormtroper
  • February 17, 2010
    goodtimesfreegrog
    More non-game music examples: Countdown To Insanity by H-Blockx.
  • February 18, 2010
    CrypticMirror
  • February 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    A good portion of Chrono Trigger's soundtrack features the ticking of a clock. It's not to hurry the player along, but--considering the theme of the game--makes sense anyway.
  • February 18, 2010
    Edgukator
    Time's Up by Living Colour starts with ticking clocks and bells
  • February 18, 2010
    karstovich
    Another one:

  • February 18, 2010
    Tannhaeuser
    • A nice old example from 1876: Henry Clay Work's "My Grandfather's Clock."
    • Even older, from 1794: Joseph Hayden's Symphony No. 101 in D major (the "Clock" Symphony), the second movement.
    • Gustav Holst's "Saturn the Bringer of Old Age" from The Planets, though I can never decide whether the alternating chords are meant to stand for the tick-tock or the chime.
  • February 18, 2010
    LeeM
    • John Williams' theme tune from The Time Tunnel
    • 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.
  • February 18, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    "Oily Night" and "The Earth Died Screaming" by Tom Waits.
  • February 18, 2010
    randomsurfer
    WWE: MVP's Theme song.
    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
    I'M COMING
  • February 18, 2010
    G-Kaiser
    Is morse code similar enough? If so, I nominate Solbrain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej2EvGzlzVg
  • February 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The techno song Insomnia starts with a jangling, ticking clock. Intentionally annoying, to put you in the same perspective as the title implies.
  • February 18, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Depeche Mode doesn't invoke ticking as such but there's definitely a "racing against time" feeling to "A Question of Time"
    • Beat The Clock's theme song, 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.
    • 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.
    • Prince and the New Power Generation has the sexually charged "Bombshell"
      You're such a bombshell / If I ever getcha ever getcha ever getcha / there's no tellin' how long I'd last before I / tick tick tick tick BANG / all over you
  • March 15, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    beep BUMP
  • March 15, 2010
    macroscopic
    Styx's "Too Much Time On My Hands," and it's ticking away, ticking away with me, etc.
  • March 15, 2010
    Sceptre
    Does Gwen Stefani's "What You Waitin' For?" count?
  • March 15, 2010
    karstovich
    If it does, the cover by Franz Ferdinand is even more so.
  • March 16, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    pity, it's not too relevant, but Ligeti's Poeme Symphonique uses metronomes

    Pity it doen't inspire any ratcheting tension, but expand your horizons by exposing yourself to it anyway
  • March 16, 2010
    Chabal2
    Aversion: Final Fantasy X's Thunder Plains music uses metronomes, but you aren't being timed.
  • March 16, 2010
    LeeM
    The theme tune from Callan (starring Edward Woodward) might count. It's 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. Curiously enough it's uncredited, so it may be a library piece.
  • March 16, 2010
    GlennMagusHarvey
    Isn't there a piece for orchestra called the "Tick Tock Clock", by some American composer?

    Edit: Yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Syncopated_Clock
  • March 17, 2010
    AlexChurchill
    The Mario64 level Tick Tock Clock has a ticking background music, but again there's no timer.
  • April 29, 2011
    LeeM
    • Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" might count: the percussion resembles ticking, though it's not exactly clockwork.

    • PS over 14 months in YKTTW?! Vote for launching.
  • April 29, 2011
    CAD
    Temporal Spire from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2.

    And yeah, launch it!
  • April 29, 2011
    Flioro
  • April 30, 2011
    artofcheatery
    Escape from Final Fantasy VIII Metamorphosis from Final Fantasy VI Run!/Escape! From Final Fantasy IV
  • May 12, 2011
    Stormtroper
    I think I owe an apology to the posters from over a year ago for leaving this YKTTW like that for such a long time with an easily misunderstandable description (since fixed). Sorry!

    Anyhow, there are some examples I left out, as I can't hear what's supposed to sound like ticking. There are also some (such as Tom Waits') that I think are supposed to sound like ticking, but since it's the first time I hear these and that's the sound I'm looking for, I'm biased about that.

    Anyways, one last bump before launching.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable