You called, I can't hear a thing
I have got no service
In the club, you see, see
Wha-wha-what did you say?
Oh, you're breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you
I'm kinda busy
Hello, you've reached the index for tropes about telephones and their uses. To see the list of tropes in English, press "1". Para continuar en español...
- 555: The tendency for In-Universe phone numbers to use 555 as the exchange code.
- Burner Phones: Criminals using cheap phones, which they then destroy or throw away.
- Butt-Dialing Mordor (doesn't always involve a phone, but can): Accidentally contacting evil via long-range communication.
- The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: Plot points based upon the old Urban Legend about a woman who kept getting creepy calls asking how the kids she was babysitting were doing, then was told, "The calls are coming from inside the house" by the police.
- Calling Out for Not Calling: When somebody is late, someone else tells them off for not messaging them.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: To avoid plot holes, cell phones fail far more than they should.
- Compromising Call: A sub-trope of So Much for Stealth for when someone accidentally blows someone else's cover by phoning them.
- Confiscated Phone: Stealing someone's cell phone or snatching a landline or payphone.
- Covert Emergency Call: Calling, or otherwise contacting, emergency services without speaking (or by speaking in code).
- Cut Phone Lines: Someone cuts the phone lines so that their victim can't phone for help.
- Cutting the Electronic Leash: Defying your superiors by throwing away or destroying your phone.
- Disconnected by Death: A phone call abruptly ends because one participant died.
- Dumped via Text Message: Breaking up via text, email, etc.
- Embarrassing Ringtone: A character uses an embarrassing song as their ringtone.
- Escape Call: Someone doesn't want to attend an event, so they have someone phone them and pretend there's an emergency.
- Evil Phone: When a supernatural villain phones a character.
- Fake Static: Someone avoids conversation by pretending that their communications equipment isn't working right.
- Fake Texting: Pretending to text or check social media to avoid interaction or suspicion.
- For Inconvenience, Press "1": An automated dialing maze using interactive voice response.
- Funny Answering Machine: Answering machines or voicemail messages that highlight a character as quirky.
- Funny Phone Misunderstanding: A comical misunderstanding happens over the phone.
- Harassing Phone Call: Being contacted by someone who's either a pervert or straight-up evil.
- I Can See You: Someone gets a call, thinks the caller is far away, but then the caller reveals that they can see the call-ee, and it's creepy.
- Intimate Telecommunications: Audio Erotica via the phone lines.
- Jenny's Number: The phone number "867-5309", as a reference to a song about a woman named Jenny, who had this number.
- Kinda Busy Here: Someone answers their phone while they're busy, to tell the caller that it's inconvenient.
- Landline Eavesdropping: Using a second handset on a landline to listen in on someone's call.
- Lost in Transmission: Someone receives important information, but some of it is lost.
- Mistaken for Prank Call: Someone phones another person for a true, but out-there reason (e.g. "You've won a competition"). The other person thinks it's a prank call.
- Newhart Phone Call: A phone call where we only hear one side of the conversation.
- No Phones Tonight: Turning off one's phone at night in order to have a quiet night.
- "No Talking or Phones" Warning: Before the movie plays at a movie theater, there's a short film warning the audience that they shouldn't talk or have their phones on while the movie is playing.
- No, You Hang Up First: Two characters, who are usually a couple, playfully argue over who should hang up first.
- One Phone Call: Someone in the slammer has the right to one phone call.
- The Operators Must Be Crazy: Incompetent phone operators.
- Pay Phone: When a pay phone is a plot point.
- Phoneaholic Teenager: Teens are constantly glued to their phones.
- Phone Call from the Dead: Someone gets a letter/call/email/whatever from their loved one... except that loved one is dead!
- Phone-In Detective: Someone can do detective work over the phone.
- Phone Number Jingle: Using a phone number as a jingle.
- Phone-Trace Race: Police set up a phone trace for a criminal and need them to stay on the line for a certain amount of time.
- Phone Word: Phone numbers that spell words.
- Phoney Call: Pretending to be on the phone to someone, when you're not, or you're talking to someone else, or they hung up, or it's really an AI on the other end.
- Phoning the Phantom: Phoning a supernatural creature that's invisible/inaudible to certain people.
- Pocket Dial: Accidentally calling someone by sitting down when the phone was in your back pocket (also known as butt dialling).
- Pop-Up Texting: A character is reading their phone, and the words are shown as a pop-up.
- Prank Call: Calling people on the telephone to harass them by tricking them into saying something ridiculous.
- The Radio Dies First: A radio breaks down to set the plot forward.
- Radio Silence: Not transmitting your radio unless you have a very good reason.
- Reaching Between the Lines: People can send objects or body parts via phone, or make their phones grow eyes, mouths, etc.
- Reinventing the Telephone: When characters use this otherworldly way of communicating, even though it'd be easier to phone them.
- Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Someone talks to a person over the phone and repeats what the other person is saying so the audience knows what they're saying.
- Ridiculously Long Phone Hold: Waiting a ludicrously long time for a phone operator to be available.
- Ridiculously Long Phone Number: A phone number that's really long.
- Ring Ring Crunch: Someone is annoyed by their cell phone or alarm clock ringing, so attacks it.
- Ripped from the Phone Book: When someone finds a phone number important to an investigation, they rip out the whole page from the phone book.
- Rudely Hanging Up: Someone rudely hangs up in the middle of a phone conversation.
- Shoe Phone: Spy technology disguised as mundane items.
- Short-Distance Phone Call: Two people are talking on the phone, but they're within speaking distance.
- Smell Phone: Smells can travel through communication devices.
- Split-Screen Phone Call: During a phone call, a split screen effect is used so we can see both the caller and the person being called at the same time.
- Status Cell Phone: Cell phone ownership as a status symbol.
- Sudden Lack of Signal: If someone's lost their cell phone signal, that means they're somewhere peculiar.
- Super Cell Reception: Cell phones work even in places they shouldn't be able to.
- Supernatural Phone: A phone with super tech or magical powers.
- Suspicious Missed Messages: If someone won't answer their phone, they're probably in trouble.
- Telecom Tree: Phoning allies to help with a situation.
- Telephone Song: A song about phone calls.
- Telephone Teleport: A character can travel via phone.
- Tied Up on the Phone: Someone gets caught in a telephone cord.
- Tin-Can Telephone: Low-tech telecommunications using two cans and a string (or a talking tube).
- TV Telephone Etiquette: A character hangs up the phone without even saying goodbye (unlike Rudely Hanging Up, it is at the end of the conversation, but it's still impolite).
- Useless Without Cell Phones: A character who becomes dumb without their phone or computer.
- Video Phone: Phones with video screens.
- Voicemail Confusion: A character mistakes a voicemail for an actual person.