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[[quoteright:350:[[Series/TwentyFour http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jack_bauer_torture.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"You are going to tell me what I want to know; it's just a matter of how much you want it to hurt."]]

->"''You're not going to get any information out of him if you just ''ask''. You gotta make him scream a little!''"
-->-- '''Captain Bailey''', ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''

For all intents and purposes, this is a heroic variant of ColdBloodedTorture. Usually indicates that there is some kind of TimeBomb hanging over the heroes' heads and the interrogator has decided that there isn't enough time to "play nice." Threats to kill will be made, firearms will be discharged. Sometimes done after someone has refused to believe an EmptyCopThreat. Of course, anyone who does this is usually at least an AntiHero at best to begin with or a TokenEvilTeammate and/or a NominalHero at worst. Also, if a suspect knows he only has to hold out for a certain length of time, torture will never work. Good thing TortureAlwaysWorks. Should it fail, one can alternate the plan and exact the interrogations on [[AndYourLittleDogToo someone]] [[ForcedToWatch else]].

In reality, torture is [[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar illegal]] in many jurisdictions (however, that doesn't stop people, and doesn't mean the evidence gets tossed out in all nations), and its actual effectiveness is disputed, depending much on circumstances and individuals. In short, there's no real proof that it works effectively and dependably -- it's just as likely that someone will tell you something just to make it stop as anything else, and while the "just make it stop" factor can in fact be countered by systems of threatening even worse retribution if the given information turns out to be false, it is still hardly 100% perfect. And it may turn out that the guy you're torturing legitimately does not have the information you need, but feeds you false info just to make it stop, so not only are you torturing someone who knows nothing, he's sending you on a wild-goose chase instead of staying silent. Someone truly dedicated to a cause may even view this technique as a sign that his enemies are weak or evil, thus enforcing his own convictions and making him more likely to refuse to cooperate. As well as this, even if it does work and the suspect is guilty and confesses, any halfway decent lawyer can get a confession coerced through torture ruled inadmissible, and any evidence found as a result of it "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" and also inadmissible, or failing that overturn the conviction, meaning torture can even result in guilty people going free. Interrogation is often a long process over days or weeks, as well. [[LawOfConservationOfDetail Good luck stuffing that time into an hour TV show]] revolving around a bad guy bomb, though.

It would be especially problematic using evidence obtained through torture in the United States. The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment." Statute Law, specifically 18 USC 1984, the Civil Rights act of 1869, specifically makes it a crime to violate someone's civil rights under color of law. US treaty obligations also cause problems, as they are a signatory to the "Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," of 26 June 1987, and the use of torture is a violation of "UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar" as set forth in the (Fourth) Geneva Convention, which prohibits even unlawful combatants from being tortured. While executing unlawful combatants is legal under the Geneva Convention, torturing them is not.

Things can get even more dangerous if you have a VigilanteMan conducting the interrogation. As he is not part of a legal force to begin with, he is not restrained by the law. He is free to give cruel and unusual punishment, he [[WeNeedToGetProof does not need solid proof]] to go after someone guilty, he does not need to respect people's rights, and there's no authority you can report him to. And if he is an AntiHero, without a "ThouShaltNotKill" principle, then things are even worse: [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he may kill you after you give him the name he needed to continue his search]].

See also: ExaltedTorturer, TortureTechnician, TortureAlwaysWorks, EnhancedInterrogationTechniques, and MutilationInterrogation, a subtrope that involves {{Fingore}}. For a related but milder trope, see InterrogationByVandalism.

Compare: TortureFirstAskQuestionsLater, and TortureForFunAndInformation, when you're not just torturing someone for information, but having a ''lot'' of fun doing it, too. Contrast TortureIsIneffective, for when torture doesn't get the hero the information. Also see HighAltitudeInterrogation, where the interrogator just threatens to drop someone from a great height.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/AnimeAndManga
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/ComicBooks
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/FanWorks
* [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/{{Literature}}
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/LiveActionTV
** ''JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/TwentyFour'' (TropeNamer)
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/VideoGames
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/WebComics
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/WesternAnimation
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique/RealLife


* Done by Dory in ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' after she politely asks a crab for information to where Marlin went and gets snubbed by him, she essentially threatens to feed him to the gulls and she actually carries out the threat by lifting the crab out of the water in front of said ravenous seagulls.

* Music/ElvisCostello's ''Watching The Detectives'' references this.
--> ''They beat him up until the teardrops start....''
* The video for Music/{{Abnormality}}'s "Mechanisms Of Omniscience" shows two StateSec agents using this on a captive who leaked documents on the internet. He's ultimately tortured to death.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Standard operating procedure for Imperial law enforcement in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Shining example: the "Nine Actions" are the Inquisition's specific guidelines on gradually increasing the intensity of their questioning, psychological manipulation, torture, and MindRape. Action Nine would kill any normal human pretty quick, but then normal humans usually give in at about the two-mark, which involves [[ToThePain explaining exactly what is going to happen through the next seven stages]].
** You all want to know what they are, don't you? Here:
--->'''I Action''': Verbal interrogation of suspect. No harm done.
--->'''II Action''': Threat of force and/or descriptions of further actions. No harm done.
--->'''III Action''': Light physical torture, followed by verbal interrogation.
--->'''IV Action''': Light physical torture, psychological manipulation.
--->'''V Action''': [[MindRape Psychic Interrogation]], light physical torture and verbal interrogation if victim still sane.
--->'''VI Action''': Sensory deprivation. Prior actions following if victim still alive and/or sane.
--->'''VII Action''': Intensive psychic interrogation.
--->'''VIII Action''': Use of psycho-chemical drugs.
--->'''IX Action''': Unrelenting physical and psychic torture. Interrogation optional.[[note]]The lack of interrogation in the IX Action is somewhat justified in the sense that anyone or any''thing'' that can last until the IX Action is probably a terrible threat to Imperial security in its own right.[[/note]]


* In ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing'', when the shepherd who found the abandoned infant Oedipus and gave him to Polybus is brought to Oedipus he refuses to talk. Oedipus orders his guards to twist his arm behind his back until he does. Later, he threatens to have the man killed when he hesitates again.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Parodied in ''Max's Big Bust'': the title character's captain uses a [[NoodleImplement disco ball]] as an interrogation tool. This is 100% successful in terrifying perpetrators into talking, and Max and [[GenderBender her]] fellow police officers are rather frightened by it as well.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', [[ScaryBlackMan Ismail]] tortures [[AntiVillain Izael]], who's revealed to be a member of the [[ReligionOfEvil Totenkopfs]], to find out more about the Totenkopfs' plans from him. Also happens when [[GoodIsNotNice Alessandra]] and [[CoolOldGuy Raphael]] interrogate the dark cleric [[MauveShirt Grigori]]; however, they don't leave the cleric alive after he's spilled the beans, and instead they kill him and toss his body into the city's canals.
* A favorite practice of masked crimefighter Battlecat from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse''.
* The reliability of the technique is played with in ''Literature/HitherbyDragons'' [[http://imago.hitherby.com/?p=668 here]]