Created By: neoYTPism on July 3, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on December 26, 2017

Interrogators Use Bright Lamps

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http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/interrogate_4922.jpg
How's that? A little too bright? Good.
- Kent Mansley, from The Iron Giant

Do We Have This One?? Oh, and I'm open to title suggestions.

Often associated with interrogations, shining a bright lamp on someone often adds an interrogative feel to a scene, especially if this is done in an otherwise dark room.


Examples:

Comic Strip
  • Peanuts: Snoopy does this to Charlie Brown in a book wherein he's investigating the disappearance of Woodstock's nest. CB specifically asks, "why are you giving me the third degree?" - Zero-Context Example - Does what?

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • July 3, 2011
    TonyG
    Two gangsters try it on Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes short "Racketeer Rabbit". Bugs just puts on sunglasses and a bathing suit in preparation to get a tan.
  • July 3, 2011
    randomsurfer
    This is usually referred to as giving someone "the Third Degree," so I suggest that the trope be called Third Degree.

    • Peanuts: Snoopy does this to Charlie Brown in a book wherein he's investigating the disappearance of Woodstock's nest. CB specifically asks, "why are you giving me the third degree?"
  • July 3, 2011
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
    Perp Sweating is also an interrogation index, but while it seems to have evolved into "any interrogation not covered by one of the subtropes" the description is what you describe.
  • July 3, 2011
    ArtisticPlatypus
    When adding examples, you need to include the name of the work. not everyone knows who Kent Mansley or Pinkie Pie is.
  • July 3, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^ But the first work is linked to by the page image being referred to, and the second work is named (and linked to) by the page quotation.

    I will add the names for now, but it`s pretty much arbitrary.
  • July 4, 2011
    JonnyB
    Babysitter Kari is interrogated this way in The Incredibles short, "Jack-Jack Attack".
  • July 4, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^^^^^ This is about the "bright lamp" aspect in particular, not the third degree in general.

    (EDIT: Though I suppose this could be broadened a bit, if there isn't a trope for the "third degree" in general.)
  • July 5, 2011
    Jallen
    • "There are four lights" Picard from Star Trek:TNG has four bright lights shone in his face when he's capture by the Cardassians.

    • In the Mass Effect novel Retribution Grayson is kidnapped strapped to a table and has a bright light shone in his eyes. While talking the illusive man switches it off but then turns it back on again when his eyes have become accustomed to the gloom. He didn't open his eyes for the rest of the integration even when the light was off.
  • July 5, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    Parodied in the Beatles film HELP! The inspector shines an ordinary desk lamp in the face of the mook demanding he talk -but they are outside on a bright sunny beach at the time.
  • July 6, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • Cast A Deadly Spell. Lovecraft is brought in by the police for questioning but refuses to cooperate. Detective Bradbury shines a light in his face as he starts the interrogation to find out who Lovecraft is working for.
  • July 6, 2011
    mrcoolantspray
    Regular occurence in Burn Notice, especially in Seasons 1 and 2. There was one where Sam is interrogating a Russian mobster, with a 4 light setup and loud techno music on a loop.
  • August 12, 2015
    notShemp
    • In We Bare Bears, "Chloe", the Bears does this to Chloe by using the light on Panda's cell phone but he drops it during Ice Bear's Nails On A Blackboard torture and Ice Bear turns the lights back on to find his phone.
  • August 12, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Correction to the Peanuts example: It's actually from the animated special It's a Mystery Charlie Brown, which was later released in book form.
  • August 12, 2015
    MetaFour
    Web video:
    • Ultra Fast Pony parodies the scene from ''My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      Pinkie: Well, I bet you weren't suddenly expecting me to shine light in your eyes!
  • August 12, 2015
    eroock
    We could migrate all examples from Perp Sweating.
  • August 13, 2015
    Chabal2
    • Feet Of Clay has Nobby suggest lighting a candle (electricity has yet to be domesticated on the Disc) into a golem's eyes during its interrogation.
    • An inversion in The Count Of Monte Cristo: When Villefort (the crown prosecutor) and Dantes meet (both are in disguise), Dantes twists a lampshade as he sits down so the light shines fully on Villefort's face, leaving his in shadow. This only lasts for a few seconds until Villefort asks him to put the light back, as it hurts his eyes.
  • August 13, 2015
    Arivne

    Because the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic and The Iron Giant examples depended upon the page picture and page quote for context, they are Zero Context Examples and need more specific information to explain how they're this trope.

    The Incredibles is also a Zero Context Example. It needs more information, such as who is doing it to her and why.
  • August 13, 2015
    StarSword
    Subtrope of Blinded By The Light where the bright light is used to give the interrogator a psychological advantage.

    Fan Works:
  • August 14, 2015
    robbulldog
    Film

    • Last Action Hero uses this briefly in the movie universe, as Jack Slater and Da Chief interrogate Danny with a bright light in his face, asking him where he's from. He can't convince them he's from the real world, so he gets out of it by telling them he fell off a bridge and into Jack's car. They accept this explanation without question, and proceed.
  • August 14, 2015
    shimaspawn
    Tagged all Zero Context Examples and a misuse of subversion for removal or repair before launch.
  • August 16, 2015
    Hellspawn
    The Reason this is done in real life is because of the way 'one way mirrors' work (the things people stand behind to watch interrogations without being seen). it's actually just very reflective glass, but the viewers room is dark while the interrogators room is well lit. Someone who is more eloquent than me should put this in the page description.
  • August 16, 2015
    eroock
    Could Blinded By The Light contain this?
  • April 18, 2016
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • April 18, 2016
    MasoTey
    The Third Degree seems like too broad/general a name if the trope is specifically about the use of light.
  • April 18, 2016
    MasoTey
    Also: The Youtube link in the caption gets me a "This video is private" message.
  • December 15, 2017
    notShemp
    Bump
  • December 15, 2017
    eroock
    If you are looking for examples, go ahead and mine on Perp Sweating and its inbounds.
  • December 15, 2017
    BKelly95
    Film-Live Action
    • In The Driver, the title character is interrogated about the opening chase while a bright light shines on him in front of a brick wall. (It kind of looks like he's about to do stand up.)
  • December 15, 2017
    Generality
    • Done in The Dark Knight with the Joker to subversive effect: instead of a typical investigator, the light reveals that Batman is standing behind the Joker, and suddenly slams his head against the table.
  • December 15, 2017
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • Played with in V For Vendetta, in which the bright lights are used to make Evey sweat during her interrogation, but they're also there to distract her from the fact that her interrogator is V, wearing a disguise.
  • December 16, 2017
    PapilioTaempesta
    Done in the spanish fantasy novel Kadingir: El caso Shapla, to a suspect wearing special sunglasses because he's extra sensitive to daylight. So there, the means to make him talk are both the annoyance of the light and the threat to cause permanent eye damage if the inspector removes his shades.
  • December 16, 2017
    ZuTheSkunk
    Here's a question: how exactly does one expand the ZCE examples, so that they are more than "X does this during the Y interrogation"?
  • December 25, 2017
    Koveras
    If this is about the prop and the use thereof as a shorthand for interrogation, the title should reflect this. Something like Interrogation Lamp would be good.

    As for the ZCEs, part of the problem is that the the description is barely fleshed out. How the description is written will affect which examples are included and which context they need to explain their inclusion. For instance, the description can go for the camera trick angle, requiring that the bright light is used to emphasize the vulnerability of the interrogated party and to play up the size and menace of the interrogators hidden in the darkness. Or it can go for comedic examples only, and the examples would have to explain how lamps are used impromptu to create a typical interrogation setup and then Played For Laughs.
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