Interrogation Montage

Sometimes, when the police are trying to solve a case and a large number of suspects and/or persons of interest are being interrogated (or perhaps simply interviewed), the questioner is shown getting an answer from one person, then asking a follow-up question that gets answered by an entirely different person (suggesting they are merely asking the same series of questions over and over again), which causes a seamless blending effect.

Compare Terrible Interviewees Montage, Two Scenes, One Dialogue.


Examples of this trope include:

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     Film  
  • The Usual Suspects: The interrogations of the team before the famous "line-up scene", where they successively blow off the cops.
  • In Inside Man, the bank robbers hide themselves among their hostages, so the police have to interview all the hostages afterwards. The interviews are shown as a series of montages, sprinkled throughout the movie anachronically.
  • Used along with overlapping and split screen in Stargate Continuum to show the three Stargate team members from our universe being relentlessly interrogated by military investigators from the other universe they've been diverted to (where Stargate Command and the Stargate program do not exist). That they stick to their stories despite how ludicrous they sound only makes their assertions seem that much weirder to the interrogators—and to us in the audience (and we're on their side).

     Live Action TV  
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Earshot," the gang splits up to investigate who might be the potential killer. The scene cuts between Willow, Xander, Oz, and Cordelia interrogating different people around the school.
    • When the Watcher's Council are grilling the Scoobies in "Checkpoint".
    • Between Buffy and Faith in "Consequences" when they're being interrogated by police over their whereabouts on the night the deputy Mayor of Sunnydale was killed (by Faith). Neither give the same answers, despite both claiming they were together.
  • A variation in the Freaks and Geeks episode "The Diary" - Coach Fredericks has all the boys in gym class recite the prank call Bill made the previous day. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Firefly: In "Bushwhacked", seven of the Serenity crew are arrested, resulting in a truly hilarious game of this - especially given that half of them are reacting comically, and the other half are being excessively serious.
  • In an episode of Titus the gang got thrown off a plane when they were Mistaken for Terrorist. Most of the next episode was an Interrogation Montage of the True Companions, all speaking to a Fourth Wall Federal Marshall.
  • Used in an episode of NCIS in which several members of an insurgent-fighting marine unit use suspiciously identical phrases to recount the events of the same skirmish.
  • In the Doctor Who new series episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp", the Doctor asks a number of dinner guests about the death of Professor Peach, in a manner much like the novels of Agatha Christie (who is a major supporting character in this episode).
  • Castle:
    • In the episode "Deep in Death", Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito simultaneously interrogate three members of a drug gang about a murder.
    • In the episode "A Rose for Everafter", a murder occurs at a wedding and there are several montages of the detectives interrogating the wedding guests.
  • Occurs in the Dollhouse episode "A Spy In the House Of Love" when Echo is interrogating the Dollhouse employees.
  • American Horror Story: Asylum inverts this in "The Coat Hanger". A small number of officials, plus the Monsignor and Dr. Arden, question Leigh about why Sister Jude would try to kill him. The truth is that she did it in self-defense, and it's all part of an ongoing ploy to keep Jude out of power in the asylum.
  • A comedic example of this occurs in The Office (US) where Dwight interrogates the employees of Dunder Mifflin over a joint found in the parking lot. Of course, it ends with Jim taking the piss.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: In "Free Ride," Callen does this to a sailor and a Marine in the brig for fighting in the mess, in hopes of finding clues about the murder of the carrier's resident NCIS Agent Afloat.
  • Person of Interest:
    • "Prisoner's Dilemma" has one between Carter and four men (including Reese) who are suspected to be the Man In The Suit.
    • And again in "Proteus," involving a seismograph used as a lie detector.
    • "Terra Incognita" has a montage of the same suspect being interrogated by two different questioners, one in flashback and one in the present.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode "Coming of Age", this technique is used when Remmick aggressively interrogates various members of the Enterprise bridge crew, while attempting to uncover a mysterious conspiracy.
  • Dr. Zimmerman's interviews of the Deep Space Nine crew to learn about Bashir are this.
  • JAG: The episode "JAG TV" has a scene like this, with Mac interviewing the husband and Harm with the wife suspected of killing her husband's lover.
  • Agent Carter. In "SNAFU", three SSR agents interrogate Peggy Carter separately, each using a different approach — Sousa (betrayed colleague), Thompson (Fire-Forged Friend), Dooley (Worthy Opponent). Carter's answers are cut between the three of them, but form a single dialogue.
  • Lucifer. When an ex-lover of Lucifer's is murdered, Detective Chloe Decker decides to haul in everyone he's slept with recently for questioning (which is a lot of men and women). They all end up saying the same thing: the sex was amazing, various Noodle Implements were involved, and It Doesn't Mean Anything. Lucifer isn't as pleased as he ought to be.
  • Supernatural. In "First Blood", the Winchester brothers have been arrested and since no-one would believe them anyway, they just maintain an absolute silence. The FBI agent's speech is rendered as a single dialogue, with him cutting between Sam and Dean whom he's interrogating in separate cells.
  • The Professionals. In "Private Madness Public Danger" between Cowley and Doyle interrogating a drug pusher at CI5 headquarters, and Bodie interrogating a junkie at a hospital.
  • The X-Files. In one episode Mudler and Scully are interrogating twins separately about a suspicious death, but they both tell the same story. Exactly the same story.

     Western Animation  
  • Batman and Harley Quinn. Nightwing goes round showing a picture of Harley.
    Man: Haven't seen her.
    Bum: Would have liked to!
    Landlord: Dame owes me three weeks back rent! If you find her, you tell her she can eat my sh—
    Old man: Sheee had...the cutest smile.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InterrogationMontage