Every night in a different place / I'll meet you tender lady / You're my no tell lover
It's the sleazy motel that rents rooms by the hour. The clerk doesn't ask what for, and doesn't want
The No Tell Motel
is where philandering affairs
and criminal deals take place. Human nature being what it is, that also makes it the site of gruesome unsolved murders. Long story short, if you have something you can drink, smoke, snort, shoot, or fuck but don't have a convenient/affordable place to carry out the activity in question at, you go here to do it.
Low-lifes on the run, prostitutes turning tricks, and the detectives who want to talk to them, will all end up here sooner or later.
See also Smithical Marriage
, and Love Hotels
for Japan's more glamorous (or cleaner
, at least) equivalent. Detectives usually end up here by Going by the Matchbook
. May also be a Hell Hotel
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Anime and Manga
- Yuki, the bar girl prostitute in The Warped Ones, takes people to hotels like this for 30-minute stays.
- In Highlander, the motel that The Kurgan stays at in New York apparently has at least one door-to-door hooker (Candy). It's neither shown nor explained exactly what he does there. (For anyone else it would be obvious, but this is The Kurgan we're talking about.)
- Seen in Twelve Monkeys, where Bruce Willis and his psychiatrist visit one to work out just what the hell is going on with their lives in privacy.
- When he is released in Psycho II, Norman Bates is shocked to find that this is how the Bates Motel is being run. He promptly sacks the manager, the hilariously sleazy Dennis Franz.
- In Time also has their own variation.
- La Habitacion Azul (The Blue Room), a Mexican film, has this in its title, where the manager of the hotel especially rents the eponymous blue room for lovers and their escapades.
- Early Russian Stop Motion animated classic The Cameraman's Revenge features Mr. Beetle, a married man (married beetle?) taking his girlfriend out for a tryst at the "Hotel Amour".
- Vlad Taltos and Kiera both find one of these immensely useful in Orca. Which fits the trope quite well, considering they are, respectively, an assassin on the run from an organized crime syndicate and the best thief and, secretly, most feared demigoddess in the entire Empire.
- L.A. Confidential has two examples - one is El Serrano motel, where Buzz Meeks waits to be snuck out of the USA ( he doesn't make it) and Victory Motel, headquarters of Mobster Squad run by the resident Magnificent Bastard Dudley Smith, where out-of-town gangsters arriving in L. A. are hauled over and persuaded to leave and never come back (usually through applying cut rubber hose).
- The Black Dahlia has The Red Arrow, which appears again in White Jazz.
- In the Maggody mystery novels, Ruby Bee absolutely refuses to acknowledge that this trope applies to the motel she owns, even though it's an open secret that's what all the passing truckers rent rooms for. The only one who doesn't use it for his trysts is Mayor Jim Bob, who takes his girlfriends to Farberville's No Tell Motel to be farther from his wife.
Live Action TV
- One features in the Heart song All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You.
- The Panic! at the Disco song "Build God, Then We'll Talk" is about one.
- Lupino's hotel from the first Max Payne game, which you have to blast through twice, was of this type.
- The Visual Novel Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for the Nintendo DS takes place in one of these.
- Though it's rundown and out of the way, it's more a place for people with troubled pasts than dirty goings on. Rosie wouldn't stand for it.
- "King Arthur & the Knights of Justice" (SNES Action-RPG game) had a motel called literally "No Tell Motel".
- Also featured, in all places, in the explorable landscape of the game Bully. You can't take girls there, of course, being fifteen (and rated T) but... well, other people do.
- Galerians features one of these, complete with drug pushers, a sketchy maintenance man, pedophilic priests, men making nuclear weapons and a whore.
- Fallout: New Vegas has the Bison Steve hotel, where you can find ransom notes and a murder/suicide. It's also where a group of criminals are currently holed up.
- No More Heroes Motel in No More Heroes is the residence of one Travis Touchdown. While it does seem bright and cheery, don't forget it's in Santa Destroy.
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines has the Luckee Star Motel in Hollywood. After witnessing some brutal stuff there, you can ask the manager if he was aware of a dead body in one of his rooms. His response? "That early in the evening? Well, I guess I'll have to call the cops then."
- The Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Decemberween special is called "Cactus Coffee and the No Tell Motel". There is, of course, neither a No Tell Motel or cactus coffee involved, but Eh! Steve's mouth does explode the universe, and Ready For Primetime does a tiny, tiny dance. Even Strong Bad is stumped and he created the show.
- The motels frequented by Mayor Quimby in The Simpsons. In particular, the "SLeEp-eAZY" Motel that Marge and the kids stay at during the episode "The Cartridge Family", complete with prostitutes at the entrance, coin-operated vibrating beds, and a corpse in the pool. Homer, Marge (and Mayor Quimby) go to one closer to a Japanese style Love Hotel in "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy" too.
- The Family Guy episode "Screwed The Pooch" hits all the notes in this tune: prostitutes, sleazy proprietors, crime, roaches, non-working switches, Murphy beds, insane residents, people on the run, America's Most Wanted, police raids.
- Rocko's Modern Life, king of the Parental Bonus and Getting Crap Past the Radar extraordinaire of The Nineties, has a cut scene with one named the No Tell Motel. The cut version of the episode just shows the exterior of the hotel. What they didn't cut just makes it even worse once you know what this trope is about!
- This trope was referenced in Chowder, where a hotel is called the No Tell Motel. We don't actually see this trope in action, though.
- There is a hotel shamelessly called the No-Tel Motel in the sleazy part of Tucson, Arizona. According to the Tucson Weekly, it lives up to its name.