We Have Ways of Making You Talk
This is a Stock Phrase
often used by the leader of a faction to assure a defiant captive that they can get the information they want by less than normal means. Usually, pronounced "Vee haff VAYS of making hyu tok!
Normally, this involves highly unorthodox interrogation and/or torture techniques, but these interrogators can usually spice things up with more extreme or less conventional methods. Note that heroes can do this too, they just tend to use inventive rather than cruel means.
Here are a few variants:
- Torture: Cold-Blooded Torture, the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, Room 101, Robotic Torture Device and Electric Torture.
- Psychological warfare: Tickle Torture, Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?, Interrogation by Vandalism, a potent Death Glare, Forced to Watch, paying them off and really good sex. Forcing them to watch someone else suffer is a particularly cruel form.
- Phlebotinum and powers: An Agony Beam, Telepathy, the Jedi Mind Trick, Charm Person, Mind Control, infecting them with The Virus, using an illusionary world via Lotus-Eater Machine, etc.
- Oddball: Of course, it could always be something that seems harmless at first but somehow nonetheless gets the job done: Maximum Fun Chamber, Happy Fun Ball and Anything But That!.
Their method may or may not work, and may or may not be shown onscreen, in which case it probably involves Noodle Implements
and Take Our Word for It
The original given source of this phrase, Lives of a Bengal Lancer
in 1935, is actually a case of Beam Me Up, Scotty!
— it's not the actual line.
Contrast Too Kinky to Torture
. Not to be confused with I Have My Ways
. If the Torture Technician
does not himself say this, expect him to be nearby waiting to go about his work.
Anime & Manga
- In Code Geass R2, Suzaku interrogates Kallen with her biggest object of loathing bar the Britannian Empire, Refrain. She does not take it well afterwards.
- Although, Suzaku doesn't actually use the Refrain on Kallen, but he does come extremely close to doing it.
- Subverted in Baccano!! 1934 — Alice in Jails. When Mad Scientist and Manipulative Bastard Huey Laforet is arrested and delivered to the FBI, he naturally expects that they're going to either interrogate, torture, or experiment on him for his incredibly valuable alchemical knowledge that he is withholding from them. Instead, Victor Talbot just has him sent to Alcatraz without so much as a trial, knowing exactly what happens to the interrogating party in those situations.
You'd have them brainwashed in three days flat. First you'd whisper your promises into their ears, getting them interested, and before they knew it they'd be eating your of your goddamn hand. One of those scientists'd say, 'Hey, this Huey fella, I think he's a really swell guy. We should talk to him and see what sort of information he might share with us'. And you can bet your ass by that point his brain'd already be dribbling out his ears. Then oh, look, a strap on your straightjacket came loose, and oh, the next day they walk in and find out everyone in the lab is dead, and oh, Huey fucking Laforet is nowhere to be fucking seen! Oh no oh what ever shall we fucking do Mr. Talbot please do something even though you told us this exact thing was going to happen and we ignored you like the fucking idiots we are...
- Astérix the Gaul, with a bit more Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness than usual:
Crismus Bonus: You refused to talk, druid, but perhaps your friend will prove more loquacious under torture tomorrow! (He leaves.) Aut Caesar, aut nihil! (I)
(Asterix and Getafix laugh heartily)
Asterix: I'll be loquacious all right! I'll loquace like no one ever loquaced before! (I)
- Said exactly in You Obey, where it is lampshaded briefly.
- In Animorphs, there are allusions to this with Visser Three in his attempts to glean information from Aftran, a prominent member of the Yeerk Peace Movement. She's rescued by Cassie before anything happens, fortunately.
- Subverted by the Stainless Steel Rat in Harry Harrison's sci-fi spoofs. Captured by the humourless Grey Men, Jim diGriz responds to this line by cheerfully offering to tell everything he knows straight away without the need for torture, as he quite reasonably tells his captors there is nothing that cannot be extracted from an interrogee by a suitably motivated and equipped interrogator. As his cracking under torture is merely a matter of time, he's prepared to speak up now, spare everybody the inconvenience and aggravation, and then we can all have an early night. How about it? The Grey Men then proceed to torture him anyway, because it's in the script and they can't deviate from it. And because they can.
- The few times this line is used in Hogan's Heroes, Hogan immediately lampshades it by saying somebody's been watching too much American movies.
- The line is used, then subverted, in a Muppet Show sketch where a Muppet character says this line to a prisoner who goes soon into an overwhelming stream of babble that gets her free while throttling the interrogators. The Muppet desperately threatens, "We have ways of making you stop talking!"
- Stated clearly if implicitly by Number Two in the opening sequence of The Prisoner, and paraphrased at least once by the same character in the show itself. True to their word, every single method listed in the trope description above is used at least once. None of them work.
Number Two: We want information.
Number Six: You won't get it!
Number Two: By hook or by crook... we will.
- In Sherlock, Mycroft does this to Irene Adler but phrases it rather more politely. "I regret to say, we have people who can extract that information from you."
- The Hannah Montana episode "Bye Bye Ball" parodies this: Jackson (in a german accent) speaks this line right before stuffing Oliver into his repulsive closet.
- In the Supernatural episode "Devil May Care" (S09, Ep02), Sam and Dean decide to leave Crowley alone to think realizing they are unable to torture the King of Hell.
- Ilsa from "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" did this to Maddie to get her to tell her and Mr. Moseby where London and Todd are hiding.
Mr.Moseby: Maddie have you seen London and Todd?
Maddie: No, haven't seen them, not sighting, see ya!
Ilsa: Candy girl we have ways of making you talk!
Maddie: There's nothing to say
Llsa: Here Blitzkrieg.
Maddie: Ok, ok they're on the roof!
Jaro: No one despises the Cardassians more than I, Major... but we did learn a few things from them. Like how to encourage people to talk.
- The Imperial Inquisition of Warhammer 40,000 has multiple ways. One of them is describing those ways in detail, giving the accused a chance to talk before the inquisitors really get started.
- In Drowtales, Sillice does this to Chrys. Particularly disturbing when you recall that technically Chrys is Sillice's niece.
- The Hairmeister from Kingdom Of Magic will sometimes say, if Thidney bothers him too much, "Ve haff vays to make you talk... I just vish ve haff vays to make you SHUT UP!"
- In Tales of Monkey Island, though not spoken by Guybrush, the player can choose the line "I have ways of making you talk!" to frighten Bugeye in Chapter 3. The result is:
Tell me where I can find the Tongue of the Manatee
or it's time for Tibetan Tickle Torture
- Referenced in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. South America's continent bonus is "We Have Ways," and it allows the player to complete all autopsies of dead aliens and interrogations of live ones instantly.
- Used as a Kick the Dog moment for Rolff Stone-Fist on your first visit to Windhelm in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. A thoroughly racist Jerkass who hates Dark Elves, he accuses Suvaris Atheron, one such Dunmer, of being an Imperial spy, and threatens to "pay her a visit" later, stating "we have ways of finding out what you really are."
- Uttered to the word by Walton Simons in Deus Ex when interrogating a prisoner at the Unatco HQ. Wasn't a bluff either.