Created By: TheHandle on April 12, 2014 Last Edited By: TheHandle on July 1, 2014

Bad Answer; Bad Times

The content of an interrogee\'s reply determines whether they will be administered... retribution

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Clone!Doythaban: If you were in my shoes, would you trust you not to make a beeline for the nearest security guard?
Captive F'sherl: Is this another one of those questions where one of the answers goes "blam"?
Clone!Doythaban: Actually, I think several of your possible answers make that noise.

One character interrogates another about something, and they warn that, depending on the answer, violence may ensue. Often, they're asking about the motive for a seemingly-heinous act before they decide whether brutal punishment is deserved ("Why did you punch my mother?"). Sometimes, it's a form of Throwing Down the Gauntlet when the interrogated has dropped a snide insult en passant ("What did you just call my mother?"). Compare with Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, when violence does ensue, often due to a lack of answers.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure. Joseph Joestar, Blood Knight and Guile Hero, does that very often, to the point that it's a catch phrase of his: "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? Depending on your answer, I may have to kick your ass!"
  • Samurai Flamenco's Flamenger Blue demands answers of the Prime Minister in this fashion.

Comic Books
  • World War Hulk had this as a recurring theme. Since people wouldn't let the Hulk make himself comfortable for interrogation without a fight, this point tended to be moot. Especially notable when the Hulk went to ask Professor Xavier about his role in his forced exile, and, after hearing the answer, decided not to kick his ass.

Film
  • Taxi Driver's "Talking To Me" monologue is him doing a very one-sided version of this, where the answer is made irrelevant.
  • Pulp Fiction. Jules will ask you questions. He won't take "What?" for an answer.
  • The Dark Knight. Batman doesn't like the Joker's answers as to where his hostages are. The Joker is not impressed with the threat, but complies save for one vital detail.

Live-Action TV
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus Cheese Shop sketch. A customer repeatedly asks whether a cheese shop has specific types of cheese and is told by the owner each time that it doesn't. He's getting rather frustrated.
    Customer: Tell me something, do you have any cheese at all?
    Owner: Yes, sir.
    Customer: Now I'm going to ask you that question once more, and if you say "no" I'm going to shoot you through the head. Now, do you have any cheese at all?
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • April 12, 2014
    dalek955
    Possible page quote:
    Clone!Doythaban: If you were in my shoes, would you trust you not to make a beeline for the nearest security guard?
    Captive F'sherl: Is this another one of those questions where one of the answers goes "blam"?
    Clone!Doythaban: Actually, I think several of your possible answers make that noise.
  • April 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique when violence does ensue.
  • April 14, 2014
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • Monty Pythons Flying Circus Cheese Shop sketch. A customer repeatedly asks whether a cheese shop has specific types of cheese and is told by the owner each time that it doesn't. He's getting rather frustrated.
      Customer: Tell me something, do you have any cheese at all?
      Owner: Yes, sir.
      Customer: Now I'm going to ask you that question once more, and if you say "no" I'm going to shoot you through the head. Now, do you have any cheese at all?
      Owner: No.
      Customer: [Shoots him] What a senseless waste of human life.
  • April 14, 2014
    Arivne
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
    • Added Example section media headers.
    • Namespaced and italicized work names.
    • Added a space between the * and the first word of examples.
    • Blue Linked Throwing Down The Gauntlet.
    • Corrected spelling (thi -> this).
    • Capitalized "minister".

    The Jojos Bizarre Adventure example is a Zero Context Example because it doesn't say specifically what he does and who he does it to.
  • April 14, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    lol @ drive by motion to discard.

    add "Compare Wont Take Yes For An Answer"

    also, Violence Threat Interrogation?
  • April 14, 2014
    TheHandle
    I don't think so. It isn't so much "answer me or I'll beat you" , more like "answer me wrong and I'll beat you".
  • April 14, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ unfortunately, title is broad enough to encompass both...
  • April 14, 2014
    TheHandle
    Well, we need a title that avoids No New Stock Phrases, so we can't call it "Depending on your answer, I may beat you".

  • April 14, 2014
    dalek955
  • April 14, 2014
    DAN004
    Seriously though, this should also cover "answer me or I'll beat you". Which is also very common.
  • April 14, 2014
    dalek955
    ^That's already covered by Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • April 14, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ That's "I'll beat you so you answer me". aka, what DAN wants is the opposite.
  • April 15, 2014
    TheHandle
    ^Pretty much

    "Are you angry at me, private?"
    (obviously insincere) "Sir, no, sir."
    (with venomous glee)"You know, I don't think I could stand it, if you were angry with me."

  • April 15, 2014
    dalek955
    ^^Eh, I'd say it covers both actual and threatened beatings, as long as the goal is to extract info from someone who doesn't want to give any. This seems to me to be a different concept, where the content rather than the mere presence/absence of the info makes or breaks the interrogee.
  • April 17, 2014
    DAN004
  • April 18, 2014
    TheHandle
    ^That sounds more like pavlovian teaching.

    WELCOME... to the WEAKEST LINK!
  • April 18, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 30, 2014
    Bisected8
    What about Bad Answer Bad Times (custom titled to Bad Answer; Bad Times)?
  • June 30, 2014
    arbiter099
    off-topic to the YTTW, but I'm confused by the pothole there, Weakest Link is a show outside the Whoniverse too and the version Rose played was, "wrong answer gets you disintegrated"
  • July 1, 2014
    TheHandle
    ^^ I like that one.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=x7poniskrw4oluliaxm9skxi