Canned Orders Over Loudspeaker
One of the sure symptoms of fascism in the media is TV screens, radios and loudspeakers (occasionally mounted on vehicles
) blaring propaganda and messages
from the Glorious Leader reminding his subjects to obey. La Résistance
may or may not get the chance to hack into the system
and broadcast something more uplifting
Related to Big Brother Is Watching
Anime and Manga
- In Ergo Proxy, fellow citizens of Romdo are encouraged to consume and make waste.
- The third part of Genocyber has the citizens of what is implied to be the world's last surviving city being ordered to increase their production by 20% or be incarcerated.
- Father Cornello's radio broadcast in Fullmetal Alchemist has shades of this.
Film — Live-Action
- In V for Vendetta, unlike the movie (see below), the public address system is used for a nightly broadcast from the Voice of Fate (which V enjoys toying with, first driving the man who provides the voice insane, and later hijacking it for his own address). Later, after Finch reports that V is dead, the government wastes no time getting that news out over the public address system.
- In Ach!lle Talon: Roi des Zôtres, this is used as part of a Zero-Approval Gambit: the cheap-ass record is supposed to sound like adoring crowds mindlessly repeating their leader's call to war, but starts skipping in the middle. Every listener easily recognizes it as a fake (one noting it must be at least forty years old) and revolts- Just as Planned.
- The infamous "Leave the Bronx!" sequence from Escape 2000.
- In Buckaroo Banzai, there's a public address system inside the Yoyodyne facility occasionally broadcasting brief messages and propaganda to the Red Lectroid workers.
- There are large loudspeakers all over London in V for Vendetta, which implies that the Norsefire government engages in this trope. However, they aren't actually used for this at any point in the movie, and the only use they get is when V hijacks them to provide a soundtrack for his fireworks-laden bombings.
- The Nazi propaganda tower in Saving Private Ryan.
Capt. Miller(repeating): "The Statue of Liberty is kaput." Well, that's disconcerting.
- Invasion of the Neptune Men's "DON'T PANIC. DON'T PANIC." gets lampshaded by Mike Nelson: "Yeah, right."
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has a mundane example in the form of PA announcements aboard the Enterprise informing crewmembers to remain on watch due to the ship being outside of friendly territory.
- Used during the battle of Stalingrad by the Red Army as a means to bolster morale in Enemy at the Gates.
- Mister Roberts. At regular intervals an unseen crewmember laconically announces "Now hear this, now hear this" followed by Captain Morton's latest act of petty tyranny. This serves as a Chekhov's Gun for the Is This Thing Still On? moment, when the captain inadvertently broadcasts to the entire crew how he coerced Roberts into toeing the line.
- Mad Max. The female dispatcher primly announces directives that bear little relevance to the brutal gang-plagued world the underfunded Main Force Patrol is trying to keep in line.
The Captains of the Hall have asked that pursuit officers refrain from using the slang "Bronze" for the Main Force Patrol. The word is considered disrespectful and citizens should be actively discouraged from its use.
- The original version of The Prisoner has the eternally cheerful PA announcer (Fenella Fielding) announcing public events and giving dire warnings of possible rain showers. Occasionally (as in "The General") the PA system is given over to other propaganda voices.
- The Mirror Universe in The Middleman has giant screens broadcasting propaganda messages from FatBoy Industries.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: This always seems to be happening on Cardassia Prime.
- According to the Star Trek Novel Verse, a permit is required to not have them playing in any public space, such as a restaurant. They even play them in mess halls aboard Central Command starships.
- Non-villainous example in M*A*S*H, via Radar's various loudspeaker announcements.
- This also happens in the 1970 film, to the point where it's even employed in place of closing credits!
- For one day in October 2010, a loudspeaker was set up in New York City and connected to a cell phone, so that random people all over the world could issue their own canned orders via loudspeaker.
- Some villages in China had speakers installed in private homes during the Mao era for this purpose. This is reportedly still the case today in North Korea.
- It is hard to verify whether North Korea has propaganda loudspeakers at homes (radio and TV seems to suffice for most) but they are commonplace around cities and workplaces. Truck-mounted speakers were also reported by travelers. There was also the infamous "Propaganda Village" just north of the South Korea border, so called because there used to be loudspeakers constantly blaring propaganda about how much better it is in the North. The South Koreans retaliated by drowning it out with cheesy pop music and the situation escalated until neither side could stand the racket anymore and they called a ceasefire.
- Transit hubs worldwide follow this trope, with pre-recorded messages in multiple languages - usually that country's official language(s), plus English if that isn't already included - reminding travelers not to leave luggage unattended and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities. Such announcements come in for a lot of mockery from frequent travelers, as "unattended luggage" is much more apt to be stolen long before it'll be reported.
- Some modern fire alarm systems work this way. An alarm chime sounds, followed by a pre-recorded polite message along the lines of "A fire has been reported in your area. Please evacuate immediately."
- Done after a number of incidents where people died because they didn't know the alarm they were hearing was a fire alarm. A study done for British television showed that most department store shoppers hearing a standard fire alarm assumed it had nothing to do with them - many thought it was a warning that a shoplifter had been caught, while for others the alarm didn't even register.
- In some areas, such as the American Midwest, the loudspeakers won't even bother with the canned orders, but will instead blast out a deafening siren across the landscape. These typically serve a single purpose, which the local population will be familiar with. In the case of the American Midwest, that would most often be tornadoes, with the siren warning the population to seek shelter immediately.
- Since the year 2000, this has been used in those parts of Israel that were bombarded almost daily by rockets launched from the Gaza strip. When a rocket is detected in the air, a recorded female voice comes on the loudspeaker and repeats in monotone: "Color Red. Color Red. Color Red", over and over. If you hear this, it means there's a missile heading for you. You have less than 15 seconds or so to get to the nearest shelter (if there is one), or risk being hit by the bomb or its shrapnel.
- Grocery stores, shopping centers and malls on occasion do something similar, whereby the PA system is used to announce sales, employment benefits or in general just tell the customer how great the store they are currently shopping in is.
- There you go.◊ Psy Ops HMMWV: Canned orders over loudspeakers in the field. Damn things are loud, too. You'll hear one long before spotting it. Also useful for throwing parties.
- Some communities have electronic warning sirens that can also issue voice messages.