"Here's the beer. Here's the entertainment. Now have fun. That's an Order!"
A Stock Phrase
: Someone in command orders a subordinate to do something, and adds, "That's an order." It may be to overrule objection or to show seriousness. It may be worded differently (for example: "I wasn't asking"), but it's always to make clear that he's in charge and what he says goes.
Often used in jest, when the commander orders the friendly subordinates to do something extremely mundane, like asking for a coffee, or telling them to shut up, and jokingly adds, "That's an order."
May also be worded as "Do you need me to make that an order?" Often paired with a With Due Respect
comeback on the subordinate's part.
It may lead to Just Following Orders
later on if the subordinate is subsequently asked to justify his actions to others.
Not to be confused with That Wasn't a Request
, which is said by people who have no official command over others but, for the moment, are ordering them around anyway and are about to use force to back up their demand.
Can be Truth in Television
in the military, but somewhat rare. This is because technically, anything
a lower ranking person is told to do is considered an order, and both people know it.
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Anime and Manga
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Hayate attempts to order Reinforce not to sacrifice herself to save her, ("I'm your mistress! You have to do what I say!"), but Reinforce refuses to comply (saying "People dislike spoiled children. Please be obedient, Mistress" slightly later in the scene).
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy talks with Armstrong about Hughes' murder, and when Armstrong mentions that the investigators are looking for the "individuals" responsible. Roy asks for clarification, but Armstrong is unable to say more, even when Roy orders him as a superior officer to speak, causing him to realize that people who outrank him are involved.
- Played for Drama in Shell Shock, where the New Meat is forced to kill a defense fleeing enemy soldier under threat of death if she doesn't do it.
- Played for angst in the Galaxy Rangers fic "Chrysalis". The Rangers are captured, and the other three believe Zach is dead, leaving Doc in charge. Doc is normally the Deadpan Snarker and wants nothing to do with command. After Niko is taken away and tortured, she is dumped back in the cell, and Doc uses this line on her to try and make sure she doesn't fall asleep and never wake up again.
- Adds a drop of humor to what might otherwise be a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the Fullmetal Alchemist fic "Brilliancy." During a subtly emotional reunion between two military spouses, the higher-ranked one issues the directive "Never leave me again," which is followed with "That's an Order."
- Happens a couple of times in Tiberium Wars. The first is when Commander Karrde is taking control of the battalion of GDI troops around the Pentagon, and has to verbally browbeat their commanding officer into following his orders. Later, when Nod Commander Rawne ends up at the research facility in Brazil, the local Black Hand general (who outranks him) refuses to take Rawne's advice to evacuate, and when Rawne presses him he emphatically tells him to shut up and take command of the garrison instead of questioning his orders in front of the command staff.
- A comedic variation in the Mass Effect fic The Translation in Blood. Commander Shepard is trying to figure out why a whole bunch of supplies have been diverted to the Normandy SR-2 and eventually goes to her mother, Rear Admiral Hannah Shepard.
Leave it be. I know what's happening. Think of it as a gift, there's nothing malicious behind it. Alright? Shepard: (grumbles something unintelligible) Hannah: (in her "giving orders" voice)
You want to repeat
that, soldier? Shepard: (snaps to attention)
No ma'am. (beat)
Hey, that's cheating.
- In one Artemis Fowl book, Root tells Foaly the Insufferable Genius to do something, so Foaly asks whether it's an order. Root says it is, to which Foaly replies that he's not a soldier.
- Shards of Honor: Bothari is back off his rocker after assassinating Vorrutyer. Cordelia attempts to order him to attention so she can give him a sedative. It doesn't go well.
- Honor Harrington has this on an understandably regular basis, but a notable case is when Hamish Alexander illegally orders Honor not to have a duel with a civilian. She knows perfectly well that it's not in his jurisdiction, and moreover, wouldn't especially care at the moment.
- In the novel The Man (which takes place in the mid-1960s), the first black U.S. president (who took office because of the deaths of the president, vice president and speaker of the House) tells his bigoted general he wants something done. The general makes some lame reply and the president tells him that it wasn't a suggestion but that "I order it, I order it now!"
- Tom Clancy uses a variation in several of his books. Military characters almost never need to be told twice when given an order. But several characters with military backgrounds but civilian jobs occasionally deal with career soldiers who outranked them in their previous life. When these high-ranking officers want these civilians to do something, the civilians have their own opinions about it until they are told that if they don't obey, they'll be recalled to active duty, where they'll have to listen. Compliance usually follows quickly. Most notably in Without Remorse, a few years after John Clark left the Navy, he is contacted by an Admiral about a mission in Vietnam. There is a group of high-ranking POWs being held in an area that Clark visited previous as part of a previous operation, and the Admiral wants his know-how and expertise for planning a rescue attempt. When Clark demurs, obviously reluctant to go back after two previous tours, the Admiral offers him a choice: He can do the job as a civilian contractor with relative freedom, nice pay, and an expense account; or he can be recalled to active duty status with considerably less pay and placed under the iron thumb of military protocol. Either way, he's doing the job.
- Subverted in Atlas Shrugged, when Mr. Thompson tries to coax John Galt into sacrificing his principles to save the country without giving him orders. Galt twice asks Mr. Thompson if what he's telling him is an order, and Mr. Thompson is quick to insist it's not.
- Jake does a variant of this once in Animorphs, telling Ax it's an order from his Prince when the Andalite is balking at something. Possibly lampshading Jake's aggrivation in that he normally tells Ax not to call him Prince.
- It's also how Tobias gets around his promise to Ax that he won't tell the others that Ax is going off on a suicide mission alone. Sure, he promised Ax that he wouldn't tell Jake. But Jake is his prince. So if Jake *ordered* him to tell the truth...
- A Song of Ice and Fire has a different version when Queen Daenerys Targaryen loses her temper at her advisor Jorah Mormont.
Jorah: "If my queen commands..."
Daenerys: "She does. She commands!"
- Overridden in The Atrocity Archive. Bob Howard's line manager Bridget starts grouching at him for being behind on his timesheets or something similarly insignificant, and demands that he tell her what he's been up to, calling the trope name. Bob's actual boss, Angleton, overhears.
Angleton: Bridget, you don't have clearance. Drop it. That's an order.
- Babylon 5: In the episode "War Without End Part I", Sheridan tells Garibaldi this when the latter wants to follow them to B4.
- Blackadder: "That is an ORDER, Baldrick!"
- Doctor Who:
- Many times on JAG.
- Langt fra Las Vegas ("Show me your boobs! That's an order!")
- Lost in Space episode "Return from Outer Space"
Margaret: Frank, give them a direct order!
Hawkeye: Oh, do, Frank; we've never ignored one of those before.
- Hawkeye usually followed orders from Colonel Potter, as he had a lot more respect for Potter. One notable time he didn't was when Potter ordered him to fire a weapon at an unseen attacker (something he absolutely refused to do for anyone).
- Red Dwarf episodes "Balance of Power" and "Ouroboros"
- Star Trek: The Original Series had this phrase in 13 different episodes.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- From the episode "In the Pale Moonlight":
Sisko: Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, Doctor. This is not a request, it's an order. You will package eighty five litres of biomimetic gel for interstellar transport and deliver them to Cargo Bay 3. Is that understood?
- Sisko also does this to Nog in "Paradise Lost". Let's just say that he can put the fear of God into any subordinate when he needs to.
Sisko: Cadet, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that I am asking you for a favor. I want a name, and I want it now, and that is an order! Understood, Mr. Nog?
- Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- "The Mind's Eye" has a memorable one: the audience knows Data has an excellent reason for this, but Worf doesn't:
Take Commander LaForge
into custody immediately. Worf:
That is an order.
- The actual trope title is in 14 episodes, "that is an order" in six.
- Star Trek: Voyager: Used in the episodes "Displaced", "Relativity", "Scorpion: Part 1", "Unimatrix Zero" and "Year of Hell: Part 2". Played with in "Displaced", when it's Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres (both Lieutenants):
Paris: On your feet, that's an order!
Torres: You can't give me orders - we're the same rank.
Paris: I'm a bridge officer, and I have seniority.
Torres: Yeah, by about two days!
- Star Trek: Enterprise used the phrase in episodes "Acquisition", "Desert Crossing", "Minefield" and "Shuttlepod One"
- That '70s Show
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "German East Africa, December 1916"
- Torchwood episodes "Captain Jack Harkness", "Meat"
- Several episodes of Stargate SG-1 and, more rarely, Stargate Atlantis. Generally only used with civilians (who will occasionally point out that they don't actually have to do what the military leaders tell them to) or with soldiers when being ordered to retreat and/or leave their leader behind.
- Skinner tries (and often fails) to do this in The X-Files. Actually lampshaded in the episode "Triangle", in which Skinner orders Mulder to rest after being pulled from the sea. One of Mulder's friends laughs, "Not that he takes orders."
- Barack Obama ordering General Odierno to crop Stephen Colbert's hair.
- Hogan's Heroes:
- Even Hogan used it at least once - he was about to make a total guess at how to disable a bomb (a wrong guess would detonate it) and had already told his men to get back, but they weren't going to leave him.
- More in keeping with the comedic tone of the show, he also pulled it on his men when they had to dress up as women (It Makes Sense in Context). To be fair, he dressed up too.
- Disney's The Swamp Fox had one of these, with Marion trying to prevent his girlfriend's house being burned down by ordering some of the group, who were members of his militia, to stand down and leave.
- Mac uses this in CSI NY to convince a mentally unstable man who believed he was a Marine to secure his weapon. Mac played into the man's delusion and pretended to be the guys superior giving him an order to secure his weapon.
- An episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has Ahim saying this to keep an injured Gai from getting back up and fighting the Monster of the Week. It's one of the rare moments where we get a peek behind her exterior and start to understand exactly why she of all people is a Space Pirate.
- Captain Mal wants their medic-on-board Simon to take his crazy sister River for a walk because he needs to do some clandestine business and "she makes things not be smooth". Simon is reluctant to go as they are fugitives and he doesn't want to get caught.
Simon: Still, I'm not sure it's such a wise suggestion.
Mal: Might not wanna mistake it for a suggestion.
- In "Out of Gas", Serenity is damaged and Mal needs his pilot Wash on the bridge. Wash's wife Zoe was seriously hurt in the accident and Wash wants to be with her.
Wash: I'm not leaving her side, Mal! Don't ask me again.
Mal: I wasn't asking. I was telling.
- A silent version occurs in Game Of Thrones. King Robert's son has been bitten by a pet direwolf belonging to one of Ned Stark's daughters. The direwolf flees, so Robert orders the direwolf belonging to his other daughter killed in surrogate retaliation. Because Ned and Robert are Fire-Forged Friends, Ned blurts out "Is this your command?" Robert just turns and looks at Ned coldly, before walking out.
- In Knickerbocker Holiday, Schermerhorn, the town marshal, tells Brom he will go to jail, without giving him a reason because no law can be found to hang him with. Brom asks Schermerhorn whether he is giving him an order, and Schermerhorn tries again: "Vill you go to jail? Please?" Brom doesn't take that as an order.
- Ace Combat 6
- X Fire
- From Deus Ex: You'll behave like a professional, that's an order.
- In Modern Warfare 2, General Shepherd says this to Price while telling him to stand down, when the latter shows him his plan to hijack a Russian nuclear missile sub.
- Metroid Fusion, as Adam orders Samus to destroy SR-338: "That's an order! Any objections, lady?"
- Metal Gear, as Snake approaches the lair of the Metal Gear: "Solid Snake! The operation is cancelled! Return at once. That's an order!! Cut power to the MSX!! ...Over."
Truth In Television
- A suggested inversion: Given that Just Following Orders is expressly not a legal defense for unlawful actions committed by military personnel, a soldier told to do something morally ambiguous or objectionable might ask if that was an order, to give the officer a chance to reconsider or pass it off as a joke or misunderstanding and drop the matter. Another suggestion is to ask for the orders in writing, so the officer would be forced to tie themselves to the crime as well, giving them motivation to drop the matter instead, or at the very least ensure he gets punished along with them.