Recognizable by Sound

A lot of people have great recognition abilities, which means that they are able to recognize the sounds of various items or even the tone of the voice of their friends. This can even come in handy when a character is separated from his friend and when he hears the voice of his friend, he will say "I know that voice!" The result will prove victorious in the end afterwards.

Compare: Signature Sound Effect, Signature Roar

Compare/Contrast: Sound-Coded for Your Convenience


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, in the Virtual World arc, Noah plays Serenity's screams into the tunnel where the rest of the gang are. Joey instantly recognizes it.
  • In Shikkoku no Hana, Hei, brain-churned by a telepath snaps back when he hears Yin's voice. Awww...

    Comic Books 
  • Averted in one Spirou and Fantasio story: Spirou, while lost in the jungle, overhears the very distinctive cry of the Marsupilami (despite being continents apart), but discovers it's an entirely different creature.
  • BIONICLE: In the Hordika arc, Toa Nuju speaks to his companion Kualus about his old friend Ehrye. Just then, he hears Ehrye's voice calling for help. Kualus warns him not to follow it, but Nuju doesn't care. Sure enough, the source of the voice turned out to be from an Oohnorak waiting in ambush, having read Nuju's mind and then started mimicking Ehyre's voice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey: Chance is heard barking from a distance.
    Hope: I know that bark! It is him!
  • Detective Eddie Valiant and Roger Rabbit are attempting to escape from the weasels by stealing the weasels' police van in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. A voice from the containment area of the van pleas for freedom: "Hey, you weasels, let me outta here!" Roger Rabbit recognizes the voice and replies, "Bennie, is that you?" The sarcastic response is, "No, it's Eleanor Roosevelt! C'mon, Roger, let me outta here!"
  • In the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Jack is in prison when the Black Pearl opens fire on the town. He immediately sits up: "I know those guns."
  • In The Hunt for Red October, Captain Mancuso and some of his men have boarded the titular Russian sub to accept Captain Ramius' defection when a torpedo wooshes overhead. Seaman Jones, Mancuso's sonarman, can tell from the torpedo's pitch that it's Russian.

  • In the Redwall series, Hon Rosie has a very loud, distinctive laugh that the others always recognize her by. "Whoohahahahahoohah!"
  • Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze: Doc sometimes gave off a eerie trilling sound. Several times his men heard the sound when they were in dire straits, letting them know that Doc was nearby.
  • In both the book and film versions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, both Katniss and Finnick hear the sounds of their loved ones and run toward them. It turned out to be mockingjays, not their actual relatives, leading to their being trapped.
  • In the Goosebumps novel The Haunted Car, main character Mitchell claims to be able to recognise any car by the sound of its engine.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Invoked in the classic TV show This Is Your Life.
    Do you remember this voice?
  • Doctor Who:
    • Characters in have reacted to the sound of the TARDIS before, often running to meet the Doctor.
    • In "Closing Time", the sound of his baby crying keeps Craig from full cyber-conversion into a Cyberman.
  • Eliot Spencer of Leverage can not only identify firearms by the sounds of them firing, but even by listening to someone describe the sound of a helicopter instantly knows which agency sent it.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Regularly employed in WWE productions, where a wrestler's entrance music indicates he is on his way to the ring, often to the detriment of the wrestler already in the ring.
    Wrestler A: I throw out an open challenge to anyone backstage!
    (SFX: The Undertaker's "Bong" chimes)
    Wrestler A: Oh, Crap!...
  • One time during an Edge vs. Matt Hardy feud, Hardy's entrance music played while Edge was in the ring, causing Edge to panic and the audience to erupt - but then Edge started laughing. Hardy wasn't there, it was just Edge trolling the audience.

    Video Games 
  • Pokémon: All the species have a unique cry.
  • Final Fantasy X-2 (and to a lesser extent X), Tidus' whistle. (Though in X, the one time it occurs, Tidus is reacting to Yuna whistling in a crowd, even though it was Tidus who taught her to do it.)
  • In Mega Man 3, Dr. Light recognized Proto Man's identity after he heard his whistle.
  • Team Fortress 2 has distinct voices for each of the 9 classes, further facilitated by their unique accents based on their country/state of origin (even though they are not accurate representations of real life accents). Voice commands here. Responses to specific situations here.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the blind Toph recognizes people from their voice or footstep pattern.
    Toph: I never forget a voice!
  • In the DuckTales episode "Hero for Hire", Scrooge, hearing the motor of Launchpad's helicopter, exclaims, "I'd know that sound anywhere!"
  • A running gag on Rocky and Bullwinkle is that Rocky would always recognize Boris' voice but still couldn't see through his disguises.
    Rocky: That voice. Where have I heard that voice?
    Bullwinkle: In about a hundred other episodes, but I don't know who it is either.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Regarding Margie", Marge has amnesia and doesn't recognize her family. The sound of Maggie sucking on her pacifier helps jog Marge's memory and recognize Maggie.
  • The Big-Lipped Alligator from Don Bluth's All Dogs Go to Heaven has Charlie Barkin between his jaws when Charlie howls in terror. The sound is so melodious to the alligator that he set Charlie free. Later in the story, the evil Carface has captured Charlie, and has caused Charlie to howl in pain. Miles away, the Big-Lipped Alligator hears this cry, and comes to Charlie's rescue in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • In South Park's "Super Best Friends", Kyle and Stan are able to locate each other by playing a game of Marco Polo, using their respective and distinctive Share Phrase.
  • While sneaking around the mansion of Mad Scientist Doctor Greenthumb in the Josie and the Pussycats episode "A Greenthumb Is Not A Goldfinger," the three band members encounter a walking pile of leaves. They presume that this is one of the mad doctor's plant creatures, and attack it. While Josie and Valerie are pummeling the creature, it cries in pain from the blows. Melody recognizes the voice, and begins sobbing, "That sounds like Alexandra. The creature-plant must have eaten her!" Immediately, Josie and Valerie realize that Dumbass Has a Point, and it's revealed that the creature was Alexandra disguised as a creature plant.