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Torture First, Ask Questions Later
Interrogations are hard.

Torturer: Just give us the answers we want and I'll stop.
Torg: YOU HAVEN'T ASKED ME ANYTHING YET!

Torture Always Works, of course, but there are some cases when that doesn't happen: Normally, because the torturer got a little excited and started torturing before asking any questions.

Note that this isn't about when the torturer has no desire to actually learn any information; that's a subversion of Torture Always Works. This is when the torturer wants information, they think the victim has it, and they want to torture the victim first to soften him up or inflict punishment before getting to the questioning.

Or maybe they just want to show the victim they're serious about inflicting pain.

Compare Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, which is about interrogating by torture, Torture for Fun and Information, which is about being into interrogating by torture.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • Happens with the pair of wrestling sisters in Futaba-kun Change!. They beat people up for information, but forget to ask the question before beginning the beating, so the poor victim has no idea why he's being beaten.

     Comic Books  

  • In Kick-Ass (the comic, anyway) KA gets tortured for information by having a car battery attached to his nuts. He immediately folds, letting them know that he'll tell them anything, but is informed that the questioning won't start for another 20 minutes yet.
  • One of the many running gags in Groo The Wanderer. He enjoys slaying and sometimes when he greatly needs information from someone he kills them first. Afterwards, he reminds himself that he should ask questions first next time.
  • In Trolls De Troy, it's once said that past a certain level of pain, the victim can guess the question without help (and if they're wrong, that extra info can always be useful).
  • In an Astérix and Obelix book, Obelix starts hitting a suspect upside the head while demanding "Aren't you going to answer? Well, aren't you?" Asterix points out that they haven't asked him anything yet.

    Film 

  • In Pan's Labyrinth, Vidal does this intentionally to one of the captured guerillas. It's because he claims that he won't believe anything the guerilla says unless it's a result of torture. The rebel does talk a little as a result, but it's flat-out implied that Vidal doesn't necessarily believe what he says, he just does it anyway, because he can. There's a good reason why Vidal is considered one of the worst villains to grace 21st century screens.
  • Darth Vader tortures Han Solo to within an inch of his life in The Empire Strikes Back. When Han is taken back to his cell, he weakly remarks that they didn't ask any questions. This is because Vader doesn't want any information from Solo (or Chewbacca, who is tortured with high-frequency sound). He just wants Luke to sense the suffering of his friends and come to Bespin to rescue them; also, to test whether Han Solo can endure the painful process of being encased in carbonite.

     Live Action TV  
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel (under possession of his evil former self, Angelus) took a time-out from his impending world domination to blithely torture Giles, who may or may not have the information needed to help him, because it had been hundreds of years since Angelus last tortured somebody. He openly admits he hopes Giles is either ignorant or defiant, because it'll give him an excuse to torture him longer.
    "I mean, the last time I did it, they didn't even have chainsaws.''
  • In the pilot episode of You Have Been Watching, Charlie Brooker played a clip from 24 where Jack Bauer threatens to shove a towel all the way down a guy's throat, leave it for a few days to work its way into his stomach lining, and then pull it out. David Mitchell asked, "At what point in that scenario is he supposed to talk?"
  • In an episode of Foyle's War, the murderer plays Russian Roulette on a guy he wants information from, and kills him on the third try before he hears what he needs. Judging by his Oh, Crap face, he didn't really consider this as a possibility.
    • In another episode, Foyle is investigating the death of a conscientious objector. From one look at the guy's former cell, he deduces that the poor sod was hosed down until his weak heart gave out. Nobody actually wanted to ask the guy any questions - they just wanted to punish him for not wanting to go and get killed. Foyle's disgust at the torturers is palpable.

     Literature 
  • The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth. KGB thugs torture a Dutch fence of stolen diamonds by Putting a Hand Over His Mouth and snapping his fingers one by one. When the thug takes his hand away, the fence is begging to be asked questions.

     Newspaper Comics  

  • The subject of a Far Side cartoon, in which the phrase "shoot first, ask questions later" is taken too literally by a Western gunslinger.

     Video Games  

  • Silverstar, a psychotic elven rogue added in one Baldur's Gate 2 mod did this during a sub-quest.
  • In the first Assassins Creed, in order to interrogate someone, you must first beat them into submission. Note that you can't just ask them what you want to know before you start attacking them.
    • In the second one, you usually have to fatally stab them. The conspirators get very generous with their Last Words, apparently.
  • Volgin in Metal Gear Solid 3 winds up actually giving critical information to the interrogated during the torture scene. Fittingly, this is who Ocelot, shown in Metal Gear Solid to be almost as incompetent at torture, learns torture from.
    • Lampshaded, of course, in Hi Im Daisy's Metal Gear comics
      Ocelot: Well, I guess I'm gonna torture you now.
      Snake: But I don't have any information.
      Ocelot: That's okay. I just need someone to talk to.
    • Actually, Ocelot was a quite competent torturer. He killed the DARPA chief on purpose and, unless the player has thumbs of steel, he breaks Snake.
  • Played for Laughs in Armed And Dangerous when the Big Bad's new torturer decides to 'soften up' one of the captives before interrogation by pulling out his tongue. For some strange reason, he doesn't say a word during the interrogation. The torturer then picks another prisoner and replaces his head with a large cauliflower, but for some reason he doesn't say a word either.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, both the IAA and the FIB torture Mr. K on the grounds that he knows the whereabouts of a suspected terrorist. However, they just skip straight to the torture before asking him anything, even going so far as to cut him off when he's will to provide details they want.

     Web Comics  

Torture Chamber EpisodeA Tortured IndexTorture for Fun and Information
Too Kinky to TortureImageSource/Web ComicsLoserz

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