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Joe Sent Me

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Stock Phrase. Saying "(name) sent me" is the password by which the Bouncer will let people in to some exclusive nightclub, or for people looking for certain illicit goods or services. Compare The Password Is Always "Swordfish" (for pass phrases even more obvious than this) and Spy Speak (for more complex ones).


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  • An animated Raid commercial from the 60s featured a speakeasy for insects. One such insect approaches the door, knocks, and says "Eh, Bugsy sent me." (Could be a Mythology Gag in a way as the insect was voiced by Mel Blanc doing him in Bugs Bunny voice.)

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker will announce himself this way even when it isn't called for, hoping that they'll then ask "Joe who?" so he can answer "Joe Kerr!" Most guards do this out of fear, because he will murder them if they don't.
    • In the Azzarello Bermejo Joker graphic novel, he goes through the regular routine, but when the guard asks "Joe who?" he just puts his mouth up near the eye slot so they can see his distinctive smile.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: "Iggy sent me." "Sorry, that was last week's password."

  • In Cat Tales, the password to the new nightclub Vault is supposed to be "[name of the person who told me about Vault] sent me". Due to a mixup in the early stages, it becomes "Catwoman sent me".
  • In Vikings fanfic Let Me Occupy Your Mind by lady_ragnell, Athelstan gets into a kind of BDSM club by showing the bouncer a card that has the words "referral from Siggy" written on it.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • Will uses a version of this when infiltrating an enemy camp in one of the Ranger's Apprentice books. Knowing people are less likely to bother him if he looks like he's doing something, he grabs a bucket of water, goes to the cookfires, and says "John said to bring you this water", on the basis that, in a camp that size, there'd be about half a dozen "John"s and the cook wouldn't bother asking every one for confirmation.

    Live Action TV 
  • In one episode of Heartbeat, they tricked a porn dealer by name-dropping Claude Greengrass. "That's not the kind of name you make up."
  • Lois tried this trope in Lois & Clark, along with "The Eagle Has Landed" and "Swordfish", all with no results. ("That Old Gang of Mine")
  • The West Wing has a variation on this, where telling a Secret Service agent that "you're here for the card game" will let you into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for high-level politicians (up to the Vice President).
  • The Punisher (2017). The episode "Nakazat" opens with Frank Castle and Amy waiting outside the steel door of a porn photographer, whose equipment they intend to 'borrow' to develop some photographs. The photographer slides open the viewing slot, takes one look at Frank's mean and bruised face, says "Hell no!" and slams it shut. Frank hammers on the door a second time and says, "Uncle Teddy sent us." That works (along with the fact that Amy is dressed up like a Bubblegum Popping Judy Garland).

  • "Monster Mash":
    When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you.
  • The song "Green Door" by Jim Lowe details the singer's efforts to get into a party behind the named door. When he tries the password "Joe sent me", one of the partygoers laughs at him.
  • Archie Bleyer's "Hernando's Hideaway" has a line saying to "knock three times and ask for Joe."

  • "Hernando's Hideaway" from The Pajama Game:
    Just knock three times, and whisper low
    That you and I were sent by Joe
  • In Wonderful Town, Violet Shelton's clients use the password "Marty sent me." Unfortunately, some of them don't know her address has changed.

    Video Games 
  • In Mass Effect 2, you have to name-drop Jaruut to enter the VIP section of Afterlife.
    • One of the people stuck in line outside of Afterlife tries to say that Aria is expecting him — only to be told, flatly, that if Aria was expecting him, he would already be inside.
    • Then subverted in Kasumi's loyalty mission. The guard phones the person you name and learns you aren't actually authorized to enter, saying "nice try". To actually convince him to let you pass, you need to hack into the communications system so Kasumi can give the guard authorization from the other side.
  • Subverted in Quest for Glory II. To meet Aziza, she will ask you who sent you to her. There are various good answers (Keapon Laffin or Rakeesh), but she will then ask you a question relating to that person to make sure you've actually met said person.
  • In Flashback: The Quest For Identity to get false papers Conrad tells Jack that Ian sent him (he did).
  • You can't get into a particular room in Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards until you give the password, "Ken sent me." The name "Ken" is a reference to Ken Williams, founder of Sierra On-Line. In the original version of the game, some people tried substituting the name of another important guy who worked for Sierra, typing in "Al sent me." That also worked.
  • In the NES Adventure Game Nightshade, you can access the Pyramid Club by making friends with the food vendor nearby. His brother is a chef who oversees the back door.

    Western Animation 
  • In one CatDog episode, "CatDog Sent Me" is used for Cat's illegal cafe that serves a recalled brand of dog food.
  • An animated Raid bug spray commercial from the 60s has a bug knocking on a nightclub door and saying "Bugsy sent me."
  • The Pink Panther is a secret agent in the cartoon "Pinkfinger." An enemy spy enters a room after showing the spy inside the contents of a sheet of paper, which he discards. It says "Tsalb Mih." The Panther tries to gain entrance the same way and is shot in the face by the spy in the door. The narrator wants to look at the paper and laughs when he realizes it says "Blast him." The Panther is not amused.
  • The Simpsons. Subverted in "Bart the General". Abe Simpson knocks on a door and a peep slot opens speakeasy style.
    Herman: What the password?
    Abe: Let me in, you idiot!
    Herman: That's it.

    Real Life 
  • An annual Roaring Twenties themed fundraiser at Salt Lake City's Catholic high school is called Joe Sent Me.
  • Truth in Television in some clubs, if you happen to know the owner's name.


Video Example(s):


Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Larry gets into a room by saying "Ken Sent Me" as the password to a man.

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