->''"What you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting for\\
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, take your chance you stupid hoe."''
-->-- '''Gwen Stefani''', "''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdcObAQ5OOM What You Waiting For?]]''

This is when the music has ticking clock sound effects to it, or similar, such as instruments, metronome sounds, clicks, or even onomatopeia. This is sometimes used to make you remember that, yes, time is running and to hasten the pace.

Alternatively, the sound of a ticking clock can be used to symbolize the progression of time between verses, i.e. if the first verse is from the singer's perspective as a child or young person, the second verse will often be the singer's present-day viewpoint.

Not to be confused with TickTockTerror, which is the use of various clock sound effects to create a creepy and/or oppressive atmosphere.


* In the original ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' TV series, one background music piece called "Marking Time, Waiting for Death" contains a ticking clock as part of its {{Leitmotif}}.

* Music/HansZimmer is apparently fond of this trope.
** His score for ''Film/{{Inception}}'' prominently features the ticking of a clock on several of its tracks. Not surprisingly, the perception of [[YearInsideHourOutside time]] is an important subtheme of the film.
** ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'' prominently features ticking in several scores, notably when someone is about to die, or when they're trying to stop his plans, with all the subtext that implies.
** The soundtrack for ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'' features clock ticking in some of the scores, most notably the track "Mountains" and its variations.
** His score for ''Film/{{Dunkirk}}'' also features the ticking of a clock. He reportedly incorporated recordings of a pocket watch owned by directer Christopher Nolan into the score.
* "Never Smile at a Crocodile" from ''Disney/PeterPan''. Appropriate, since [[TheCrocIsTicking the Crocodile swallowed a clock]].

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* Music/JohnWilliams' theme tune from ''Series/TheTimeTunnel''.
* One of the theme tunes from ''Series/BeatTheClock'', natch.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has Sylar's {{Leitmotif}}, which is not so much a "time is running out" as a creepy "this guy knows how things tick" thing.
* The theme tune from ''Series/{{Callan}}'' is suspenseful and includes the suggestion of a slowly ticking clock, reinforced by the image in the opening credits of a swinging lightbulb as a substitute pendulum.
** The tune is uncredited, and may be a piece of library music that the producers found. If so, great choice.
* ''Series/BarneyAndFriends'': "The Clean Up Clock".
* ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' has two: one for the Speed-Up round (Final Spin) and another for the BonusRound.
** Most of the Australian versions averted this, but the bonus round in ''Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune'' in 2008 not only had a tick-tock beat to the music, but it was also underscored by a robotic voice counting down the contestant's 10 seconds.
* The ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' ThinkMusic.
* ''Series/SixtyMinutes'' takes this to the extreme, using only the tick tick tick of a stopwatch where other shows would use a theme song.
* The ''Series/{{Countdown}}'' Clock music.
* A not-well-known PBS game show called ''Think Twice'' used this as contest music in its BonusRound. It starts with a clock ticking and adds tracks as the 60 seconds counts down. Also counts as a [[SongsInTheKeyOfPanic Song in the Key of Panic]] (Nearing the end/hurry), even though it's kinda upbeat.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has been known to use this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-SBNgu1hO4 in its score.]] Given [[TimeyWimeyBall the premise]], it was bound to show up sometime.
* Leroy Anderson's "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrpdQngwk2g The Syncopated Clock]]", used as the theme tune for "The Late Show" and "The Late, Late Show".
* The theme from ''The Strange World Of Gurney Slade'' by Max Harris. Later used in ''Vision On'' as the music for the cuckoo clock animations.

* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--BcS3LehnI Time's Up]]" by Music/LivingColour starts with ticking clocks and bells.
* Its only in the chorus, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqkJ30Kh7ZM Tick Tick Boom!]]
* A nice old example from 1876: Henry Clay Work's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txsa97oIi_c My Grandfather's Clock]]."
* From 1794: Franz Josef Haydn's Symphony No. 101 in D major (the "Clock" Symphony), the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1L6p4B2hBs second movement]].
* Music/GustavHolst 's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=159FlTACip8 Saturn the Bringer of Old Age]]" from ''The Planets'', though it's hard to decide whether the alternating chords are meant to stand for the tick-tock or the chime.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZMm8pGaJMA Oily Night]]" from ''Music/TheBlackRider'' and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdF056ZfGM4 The Earth Died Screaming]]" from ''Music/BoneMachine'' by Music/TomWaits.
* The Faithless track "Insomnia" starts with a jangling, ticking clock. Intentionally annoying, to put you in the same perspective as the title implies.
* Music/{{Styx}}'s "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNYKxiRJ2LA Too Much Time On My Hands]]" and it's ticking away, ticking away with me, etc.
* [[Music/NoDoubt Gwen Stefani]]'s "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTfbCOPApsQ What You Waitin' For?]]" and the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk5MAv_X8HM cover]] by Music/FranzFerdinand.
* Ligeti's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0UAx3ZjmAY Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes]]" uses, well, metronomes. It doesn't inspire any ratcheting tension, but expand your horizons by exposing yourself to it anyway.
* The classic Leroy Anderson composition "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0pIXz2omZE The Syncopated Clock]]" features a wood block imitating a ticking clock that eventually stops ticking on the beat and becomes, well, syncopated.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I6y5-GuLPM Frantic]]" by Music/{{Metallica}}.
* Music/BillHaleyAndHisComets' "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud_JZcC0tHI Rock Around the Clock]]".
* The Chambers Brothers' psychedelicized soul epic "Time Has Come Today" - in the tick-tock intro, someone even goes "Cuckoo!" in the background.
* The intro and ending of Assemblage 23's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swa6pTiasiQ Decades (V2)]].
* "[=TiK ToK=]" by Ke$ha.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHQTd8Ub-bc "Tick-Tock Sick",]] Creator/JimHenson's minor novelty hit from 1960.
* Music/{{Placebo}}'s "Without You I'm Nothing." [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GqnDROi6l4 Here's]] the version with Music/DavidBowie.
* Music/TinyTim would make tick tock sounds with his tongue while singing "Tiptoe Through The Tulips".
* Music/DepecheMode's song "Here Is the House" features a ticking clock throughout.
* Sting's "Russians," a song about nuclear war, uses the ticking sound of a time bomb at the beginning and end.
* the gazettE's "Suicide Circus". Though the singer has a heavy accent and it sounds more like "chitatatatatata", that's what it is. Even if the "Nobody can rewind time" afterwards wasn't a good enough indication.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIHe1_Cl8fE Dreaming]] by BT f/ Kirsty Hawkshaw.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLNMrcZtKbA Time Marches On]]" by Tracy Lawrence.
* "Dynamo Clock" by Music/{{Covenant}}.
* The clock starts up the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM8JhvfoqdA Little Boxes]] by Music/WalkOffTheEarth.
* "Tick Tock", by the Vaughan Brothers.
* "Time is Ticking Out" by Music/TheCranberries.
* "Baba Yaga (Hut on Fowl's Legs)" from the ''Music/PicturesAtAnExhibition'' suite by Music/ModestMussorgsky; it's about a design for a clock in the shape of the hut of the named witch from Russian folklore, and the music strongly suggests the ticking of the clock, especially in the Isao Tomita interpretation.
* [[Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon "Time"]], by Music/PinkFloyd, opens with tick-tocking, then a bunch of alarms.
** Parodied in "25 O'Clock" by The Dukes of Stratosphear ([[spoiler:Music/{{XTC}}]]).
* "No Son of Mine" by Music/{{Genesis}} opens with the sound of a ticking clock.
* The first part of J.S. Bach's chorale cantata ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfkq-S7Vis8 Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben?]]'' (BWV 8) has pizzicato strings that suggest passing time. Justified, considering the cantata is about wondering when one will die.
* Both "No Time" and its "Extra Time Remix" by The Heavy start with a ticking sound before before they launch into the song proper.
* "Little Sister" by Music/QueensOfTheStoneAge.
* "Like Clockwork" by The Boomtown Rats.
* "Somnia" by Skyla Vertex.
* "Tic, Tic, Tic" by Creator/DorisDay. Though in the context of the song the tic-tic-ticking she's talking about is coming from a Geiger-Müller counter .. and her heart; it's a jaunty, happy love song. You expected something else from Doris Day?
* "Metrognome" by Music/{{Camel}} has a metronome on the verses, though the rest of the song [[UncommonTime seems to ignore it]].
* "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g5Jw7WWsrA Eggshell]]" by The Future Sound of London.
* Music/MarkWills' "Loving Every Minute" has a tick-tock effect throughout.
* A tick-tock effect is heard during the line "Shaking hands with the clock" on Music/{{Alabama}}'s "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)".
* The ABBA song "Like an Angel Passing through My Room" (featured on the group's final studio album, ''The Visitors'') includes a ticking clock sound effect synthesized by Benny Andersson on his Minimoog which is heard in the background throughout.
* Music/JustinBieber's "What Do You Mean" has a ticking clock sound playing in the background.
* Music/WalkOffTheEarth's cover of "Little Boxes" has a ticking clock in the background.
* Music/JeanMichelJarre's time-themed 1993 album ''Chronologie'' has sounds of clocks of many kinds all over it, be it as layers (!) of ambient noise (the transition from "Part 1" to "Part 2" and after "Part 3", for example), be it as rhythmic percussion ("Part 4", "Part 5" and the end of "Part 8"). To top this off, "Part 4", "Part 5" and "Part 8" contain a sample of the electronic alarm melody of a 1992 Swatch [=MusiCall=] wristwatch which was composed by Jarre himself.
* ''Juelz Santana'': [[https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g0MnHd4JFIw Clockwork]]. First previewed in ''Oh Yes''.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/MontelVontaviousPorter's first Wrestling/{{WWE}} [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCwnoD647lc Theme song]].
-->1, 2, You hear the clock ticking?
-->Tick tock, you're about to stop living
-->Tick tock, I want you to remember me
-->Tick tock, but the dead don't have no memory
-->'''I'M COMING'''
* This also goes for MVP's Wrestling/NewJapanProWrestling theme "Most Valiantly Person" and his Wrestling/{{TNA}} Theme "Return Of The Ronin", though the ticking cuts out in them after awhile.

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* Parodied by Creator/TimVine in "My Marvellous Metronome", where the electronic metronome keeps speeding up until he can't keep up with the beat.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'' features one psychopath postal worker named Carl Schliff, who has taken to building bombs. His personality pretty much boils down to being a ticking time bomb, and his theme music reflects this well.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BwCra_wMPY Hurry!]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETTk83qis0w Reach for the Moon, Immortal Smoke]]" (Mokou's theme) from ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''.
* A good portion of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'''s soundtrack features the ticking of a clock, fitting for the game's theme.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'''s ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k1CGUxespg Thunder Plains]]'' music uses metronomes.
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umlu2QreoHE Temporal Spire]]" from ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon 2''.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMrLP5L_vU Lavender Town]] from ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue''.
* The music played in the background for the Flipsville and Chompworks Galaxies from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2''.
* Despite Tick Tock Clock (from ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'') taking place INSIDE a clock, it doesn't have its own tune. In ''VideoGame/MarioKartDS'' however, it comes complete with its own tick-tock tune.
* The Wawku Shrine from ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' is actually a giant clock, and its [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b24Yjac5_mE music]] features various clock-sounds, including a rythmic tick-tock motif.
* The Fairy Queen's theme in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''.
* In ''Magical Starsign'' there is a dungeon based around the concept of time constantly being replayed (you view holographic versions of events from ealier in the game) and there is a creepy tune complete with "tick tock" style.
* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCellChaosTheory'''s bomb-disarming mission at the bathhouse, the beeping of the timers is integrated into the music, which gets [[SongsInTheKeyOfPanic more frantic]] as the clock runs down.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid Prime}}'' has the [[LethalLavaLand Magmoor Caverns]]' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQCZIb0fbt8 theme]], which is taken from Lower Norfair from ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid.'' There's also [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBwafhQmQyQ the tune]] that plays during the [[TimedMission timed puzzle]] in the Chozo Ruins Energy Core as well as the puzzles in the Phendrana Drifts Observatory and Geothermal Core.
* ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier'' features this in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR52Wi5H5uw Time Lord's region]]. Well, after you get clocks ticking again.
* The tune [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdRWDarD6Mg "Acolytes of the New God"]] from ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' consists mainly of the sound of clocks ticking en masse alongside [[ForDoomTheBellTolls ominous church bells]] and [[OminousLatinChanting chanting]]. Doris Day's "Tic, Tic, Tic" was licensed for ''Fallout 3'' and used as one of the Galaxy News Radio songs.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': Behold [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL-j8h0r2Q8 the Gnomes]]! (Also their Battle Kazoos.)
* ''{{Folklore}}'' has the rather creepy-sounding [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBLMRXuRfFU Engraved Time]], the theme is played in the Endless Corridors, a bizarre realm where time and space is eerily distorted.
* The AGD Interactive remake of ''King's Quest II'' has a track in the library of Kolyma that plays this to the library's grandfather clock. In the original versions, the mechanical nightingale in ''King's Quest VI'' makes a sound like this trope when Alexander winds it.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv3biyYpiC8 Countdown to Death (The Gantlet/Nirvana)]] from ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} II''.
* "Utopiosphere" from ''VideoGame/{{Deemo}}''.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfL5NoUMvbU Time Man's Theme]] from ''VideoGame/MegaManPoweredUp''.
* ''VideoGame/TheSexyBrutale'' has many themes with this incorporated, in keeping with the time theme.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''[[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/album/the-felt The Felt]]'', an album centered around the TimeMaster gang from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', has [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/swing-of-the-clock "Swing of the Clock"]], [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/the-broken-clock "The Broken Clock"]] and [[http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/time-paradox "Time Paradox"]].
** ''[[https://homestuck.bandcamp.com/album/colours-and-mayhem-universe-a coloUrs and mayhem: Universe A]]'', also a ''Homestuck'' album, has [[https://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/temporal-shenanigans "Temporal Shenanigans"]], which features similar clock ticking sounds.
* "[[WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared Don't Hug Me I'm Scared II - TIME]]" uses this from start to finish, since the main subject matter of the video is time. [[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' has "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chotMddRcV4 Watchin' and Waitin']]" which is a song about watching to see how the boys' inventions disappear before Mom gets home. There's also one with a clock theme for Candace waiting by the phone for Jeremy to call.
* ''WesternAnimation/MuppetBabies'' in the episode "Back to the Nursery" has the episode's song number ("Running Out of Time") invoke this trope (appropriate, being a time-travel story).
* The ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy'' episode "Out West" has an expy of the 'Jeopardy' theme playing as lawmen Abner and Ewald try to squeeze out the simplest thoughts.
* The ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' episode "Cuckoo Clock Caper" appropriately uses a cuckoo clock-based arrangement of the main theme.

* Creator/TheBBC's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MDL8CJFmcw news theme]]. Revised in 2013 with extra strings when the news moved to its new studios. The pulsed beeps that provide a "heartbeat" reveal the song's tempo to be '''exactly''' one beat per second (as shown by the on-screen countdown to the top of the hour), and are in fact intended as a reference to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_Time_Signal Greenwich Time Signal]] aka "the Pips", six tones, the first 5 each a tenth of a second long, the sixth a half-second long which are broadcasted on BBC radio every hour on the hour, with the long closing "pip" marking the top of the hour. When a Leap-Second is added to worldwide atomic clocks, a seventh pip is added, a sixth short beep before the final, now '''seven'''th, beep, of greater length than the preceding pulses.
* There was a 1960s novelty instrumental called "Time Beat" by Ray Cathode, based on an interval theme by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop with added instrumentation by George Martin.
* The music outside the Small World ride at [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disneyland]].