A lot of people have great recognition abilities, which means that they are able to recognize the sounds of various items or even the tone of the voice of their friends. This can even come in handy when a character is separated from his friend and when he hears the voice of his friend, he will say "I know that voice!" The result will prove victorious in the end afterwards.
Compare/Contrast: Sound-Coded for Your Convenience
- BIONICLE: In the Hordika arc, Toa Nuju speaks to his companion Kualus about his old friend Ehrye. Just then, he hears Ehrye's voice calling for help. Kualus warns him not to follow it, but Nuju doesn't care. Sure enough, the source of the voice turned out to be from an Oohnorak waiting in ambush, having read Nuju's mind and then started mimicking Ehyre's voice.
- Averted in one Spirou and Fantasio story: Spirou, while lost in the jungle, overhears the very distinctive cry of the Marsupilami (despite being continents apart), but discovers it's an entirely different creature.
- In Superboy (1994), Guardians Of Metropolis and Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Guardian can generally tell if the Newsboy Legion are about by listening for their "pet" Angry Charlie's signature GROIK vocalization.
- Damian has a good ear for voices. After only meeting Tim briefly before (and setting off an explosion during that brief meeting), he's able to recognize Tim's voice from a single short sentence when Damian breaks into the Batcave in the Robin Series. Damian can also mimic voices incredibly well.
- Wonder Woman (1942): Steve Trevor can recognize Diana by voice alone, but will not call out an identifying name until he's got enough context to know what identity he should be using.
- The Big-Lipped Alligator from Don Bluth's All Dogs Go to Heaven has Charlie Barkin between his jaws when Charlie howls in terror. The sound is so melodious to the alligator that he set Charlie free. Later in the story, the evil Carface has captured Charlie, and has caused Charlie to howl in pain. Miles away, the Big-Lipped Alligator hears this cry, and comes to Charlie's rescue in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey: Chance is heard barking from a distance.
Hope: I know that bark! It is him!
- In The Hunt for Red October, Captain Mancuso and some of his men have boarded the titular Russian sub to accept Captain Ramius' defection when a torpedo wooshes overhead. Seaman Jones, Mancuso's sonarman, can tell from the torpedo's pitch that it's Russian.
- Throughout the movie, Jonesy can recognize a lot of things by sound. When he first hears Red October approaching, he guesses that she's a Typhoon-class sub, and the computer confirms this. Later on, after Red October disappears with her new silent propulsion system, he hears what the computer identifies as a "magma displacement" and figures that the sound is actually artificial. This allows him to put two and two together and figure out about the new silent propulsion system and how to track Red October.
- In the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Jack is in prison when the Black Pearl opens fire on the town. He immediately sits up: "I know those guns."
- Detective Eddie Valiant and Roger Rabbit are attempting to escape from the weasels by stealing the weasels' police van in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. A voice from the containment area of the van pleas for freedom: "Hey, you weasels, let me outta here!" Roger Rabbit recognizes the voice and replies, "Bennie, is that you?" The sarcastic response is, "No, it's Eleanor Roosevelt! C'mon, Roger, let me outta here!"
- In Return of the Jedi, Leia has just freed Han from carbon-freeze, but before they can get anywhere, they hear a slow, low-pitched Evil Laugh. Han mutters, "I know that laugh." Cue Jabba the Hutt.
- The gluttons in The Divine Comedy are rendered indistinguishable from each other by penitential emaciation. Yet, upon hearing the voice of a particular glutton, Dante can recognize every feature of that face lost in Purgatory belongs to his childhood friend, Forese Donati.
- Doc Savage: Doc sometimes gave off a eerie trilling sound. Several times his men heard the sound when they were in dire straits, letting them know that Doc was nearby.
- In the Goosebumps novel The Haunted Car, main character Mitchell claims to be able to recognise any car by the sound of its engine.
- In both the book and film versions of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, both Katniss and Finnick hear the sounds of their loved ones and run toward them. It turned out to be mockingjays, not their actual relatives, leading to their being trapped.
- In the Redwall series, Hon Rosie has a very loud, distinctive laugh that the others always recognize her by. "Whoohahahahahoohah!"
- Doctor Who:
- Characters have reacted to the sound of the TARDIS before, often running to meet the Doctor.
- In "Closing Time", the sound of his baby crying keeps Craig from full cyber-conversion into a Cyberman.
- Eliot Spencer of Leverage can not only identify firearms by the sounds of them firing, but even by listening to someone describe the sound of a helicopter instantly knows which agency sent it.
- Jack Killian from Midnight Caller never forget a voice, which comes in handy when criminals call the station or when he meets callers in person.
- Invoked in the classic TV show This Is Your Life.
Do you remember this voice?
- Regularly employed in WWE productions, where a wrestler's entrance music indicates he is on his way to the ring, often to the detriment of the wrestler already in the ring.
- One time during an Edge vs. Matt Hardy feud, Hardy's entrance music played while Edge was in the ring, causing Edge to panic and the audience to erupt - but then Edge started laughing. Hardy wasn't there, it was just Edge trolling the audience.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the blind Toph recognizes people from their voice or footstep pattern.
Toph: I never forget a voice!
- In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Hero for Hire", Scrooge, hearing the motor of Launchpad's helicopter, exclaims, "I'd know that sound anywhere!"
- While sneaking around the mansion of Mad Scientist Doctor Greenthumb in the Josie and the Pussycats episode "A Greenthumb Is Not A Goldfinger," the three band members encounter a walking pile of leaves. They presume that this is one of the mad doctor's plant creatures, and attack it. While Josie and Valerie are pummeling the creature, it cries in pain from the blows. Melody recognizes the voice, and begins sobbing, "That sounds like Alexandra. The creature-plant must have eaten her!" Immediately, Josie and Valerie realize that Dumbass Has a Point, and it's revealed that the creature was Alexandra disguised as a creature plant.
- A running gag on Rocky and Bullwinkle is that Rocky would always recognize Boris' voice but still couldn't see through his disguises.
Rocky: That voice. Where have I heard that voice?
Bullwinkle: In about a hundred other episodes, but I don't know who it is either.
- In The Simpsons episode "Regarding Margie", Marge has amnesia and doesn't recognize her family. The sound of Maggie sucking on her pacifier helps jog Marge's memory and recognize Maggie.
- In South Park's "Super Best Friends", Kyle and Stan are able to locate each other by playing a game of Marco Polo, using their respective and distinctive Share Phrase.