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Walkie-Talkie Gag, Over

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Sam: [imitating a walkie-talkie] Best friend to super-best friend, what is our plan? Over.
Guy: My plan is to find some ties. You stay put. [beat] ...What?
Sam: You didn't say "over." Over.
Guy: That's because I am not an insane person. ...Over.

Unlike telephones, walkie-talkies are half-duplex devices. This means only one party may speak at a time. If both attempt to transmit simultaneously, neither of them will hear each other. In the professional world, Voice procedure keeps radio communications organized, which commonly involves saying "over" when one station finishes transmitting so that another party knows that they can begin. On large networks, call signs may be used to identify communicators without having to rely on their name. Since available channels are limited and airtime is valuable, code words (called "procedure words" or "prowords" in radio jargon) are typically used to keep transmissions brief. For example, "Roger" is generally used to mean "understood." As well, in the military, there is a codified way to respond to messages to ensure that the orders were relayed.

While this makes sense for a military unit containing hundreds of soldiers or a cab dispatcher keeping track of dozens of cars, the average layperson is unlikely to be familiar with this convention. Chances are they'll think "Roger" is the name of a person, or mistakenly believe "over" is part of the sentence.

An overzealous character will insist their partner use perfect protocol when it's completely unnecessary, such as when there is only one other person with another radio. Expect them to spew non-sensical military or CB slang that they don't even understand themselves. Creating outrageous code names is a must, and they will raise a fuss when the other characters don't cooperate.

"Over" is the radio equivalent of Telegraph Gag STOP. Over.

Contrast Hollywood CB, where walkie-talkies work like telephones and no special protocol is used. For other unrealistic depictions of radio usage by military or professional personnel, see Artistic License – Military.

Oh, and "over and out"? That's an example of the Coconut Effect. In real radio transmissions this would be a self-contradictory instruction, with "over" meaning "ready for you to speak" and "out" meaning "ending communication." Nonetheless, for some reason it's been used that way in so much fiction over the years that it's passed into "Common Knowledge", so you will find people saying it even in situations where they (or at least their writers) should know better.

<Walkie-Talkie Static noise> Over!


Examples:

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    Comedy 
  • When Bill Engvall flew with the Air Force Thunderbirds, the control tower attempts to avert this by telling Bill that he can speak normally. Unfortunately, this is Bill Engvall, who convinced himself that he has to say "Roger" with everything he says or else the jet will fall out of the sky. The combination of his fear of heights and the pilot's high-speed maneuvers causes him to crank it up, where he is randomly screaming "Roger! Roger Roger Roger Roger!" at the pilot in the middle of chewing him out.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Doug's 1st Movie, Doug is talking over a walkie-talkie and ends his call with "Roger" while the bully Roger is walking by and assumes Doug is talking to him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Airplane!: "Over" and "roger" are the names of Captain Oveur and co-pilot Roger Murdock. To make matters worse, the Captain's first name is Clarence, which sounds similar to "clearance", which only adds to the confusion. At the same time, navigator Victor is looking for the proper vector.
    Flight Control: Flight 209 you're clear for takeoff.
    Clarence Oveur: Roger.
    Roger Murdock: Huh?
    FC: LA departure frequency 123.9.
    Clarence Oveur: Roger.
    Roger Murdock: Huh?
    Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
    Clarence Oveur: What?
    FC: Flight 209 clear for vector 324.
    Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
    Clarence Oveur: Roger, Roger, what's our vector, Victor?
    FC: Now we're in radio clearance, over.
    Clarence Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur, over.
    Victor Basta: Roger.
    Roger Murdock: Huh?
    FC: Roger, over.
    Clarence Oveur: What?
    Roger Murdock: Huh?
    Victor Basta: Who?
  • Them! does a gag with the resident Absent-Minded Professor getting frustrated when dealing with this trope when trying to talk to other characters over a radio.

    Literature 
  • In the first Artemis Fowl book, one of the Corporals in the LEPrecon refuses to address his Captain appropriately over the radio because he is his brother.
    Captain Kelp: Check in.
    Corporal Kelp: A big negatori, Trouble.
    Captain Kelp: We’re in the field, Corporal. Follow procedure.
    Corporal Kelp: But Mommy said!
    Captain Kelp: I don’t care what Mommy said, Corporal! Rank is rank! You will refer to me as Captain Kelp.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye is trying to contact his father and his call is routed through a radio communication point, requiring him to communicate in this way. Unfamiliar with it, he asks for clarification.
    Hawkeye: So I'm supposed to say "over"? (Beat) Wait, wait, wait, that wasn't an official "over"!
  • In the season 3 finale of Stranger Things, Hopper, Joyce and Murray are about to infiltrate the Russian Elaborate Underground Base but they need Dustin and Erika to assist them as Mission Control. The latter two agree on the condition that Murray's code sign would be "Bald Eagle". They then milk the gag for all it's worth.
  • The pilot episode of That '90s Show has Eric planning to take Leia to a father-daughter space camp, and essentially making Leia take part in a walkie-talkie bit.

    Radio 
  • Adventures in Odyssey: In the episode "Heatwave", Jack Davis and Oscar Peterson are staking out a hardware store and communicating via radio. Every time Jack gives instructions, Oscar replies "Ten-four!", to which Jack will joke "Nah, it's [time-related joke]." An earlier-established bad joke buzzer goes off at the hardware store to lampshade it.

    Theatre 
  • During the main heist of The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Sam, one of the team members, has gone missing, leading to this radio conversation between Caprice and Cooper, who are standing outside the bank, and Mitch, who's on the bank roof.
    Caprice: Cooper, where's Sam?
    Cooper: Haven't seen him.
    Caprice (into radio): No, Mitch, Sam's gone. Over.
    Mitch (over radio): Gone over where? Over.
    Caprice: No, Mitch, he chickened out and ran. Over.
    Mitch: Ran over what? Over.
    Caprice: No, Sam's gone. We have to stop. Over.
    Mitch: Stop over where? Over.
    Caprice: We don't have Sam to infiltrate the bank. It's Cooper's turn. Over.
    Mitch: Cooper's turnover? What's his annual income got to do with this?
    Caprice (to Cooper): Just put on Freeboys' suit.
    Mitch: And make sure you don't wake him up. Over.
    Cooper: No worries, he's having a nice sleep. Over.
    Mitch: He's having a nice sleepover?
    Cooper: I can't get his pants off. Over.
    Mitch: For God's sake, just grab the pants and pull. Over.
    Cooper: He's not wearing a pullover.
    This goes on for a while longer.

    Video Games 
  • Mario Luigi And Gary: Raphael the Raven usually acts as though he's communicating via a walkie talkie, saying Raphael is his "call sign" rather than his name, and finishing some statements with "over."
  • Viewtiful Joe 2: One of the bosses, Sergeant Big John, frequently talks over the military walkie-talkie and as such he always ends his sentences with "over". Even when he's disguising himself as "Big Lee" later on, he still says "over" after his sentences, which easily gives up his identity to Joe and Silvia.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: In "Professor Calamitous I Presume", Jimmy is trying to rescue Goddard from the villain while Carl and Sheen are at the Candy Bar. They keep in communication with walkie-talkies.
    Sheen: Roger. We'll wait here at the Candy Bar in case the kidnapper comes in for a snack. Over and out.
    Carl: Who's "Roger"?
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "3 Squares and an Ed", after the trio are grounded, they use Tin-Can Telephone with Double D asking Eddy and Ed to use "over" when finishing. Ed, being Ed, fails to get any of his messages through.
  • Family Guy:
    • When Stewie and Brian use a walkie-talkie, Stewie refuses to acknowledge Brian's transmissions unless he ends them with "over." This becomes a problem when the last word in Brian's sentence is "over."
      Brian: I don't want to hang out with you anymore when this is over.
      Stewie: When this is what? You gotta finish your sentence. Over.
      Brian: That's it. My sentence is over.
      Stewie: Your sentence is what, Brian? Over.
      Brian: My sentence is... wait a minute, I have to say "over" even if the sentence ends with the word "over?"
      Stewie: Ends with the word what, Brian? Over.
    • In the episode where Brian and Stewie join the army, Stewie says a bunch of jargon over the radio and tells Brian that he's just making up random names and numbers and doesn't know what they mean.
  • Looney Tunes: In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Haredevil Hare", Bugs is so traumatized by the rocket trip to the moon, once he lands he does a series of spastic fits. He continues to throw fits as he answers the walkie-talkie from mission control, but still takes the time to end the communication properly with "over". Later, when he tries to call for help about Marvin the Martian going to blow up Earth, all the walkie-talkie picks up is a radio commercial jingle.
  • Downplayed in The Loud House. Lincoln and his best friend Clyde live across the street from each other and use walkie-talkies so Lincoln doesn't have to fight for talk time against his 7 sisters. They use very silly Punny Name codenames but otherwise have rather mundane and ordinary communication protocol.
  • The name-confusion gag occurs in the prologue to the The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Space Madness".
    Ren: Come in, Cadet Stimpy. Do you read me?
    Stimpy: Cadet Stimpy here. We read you. Roger.
    [a man appears next to them]
    Man: Roger here.
  • In the Rugrats (1991) episode, "Tommy's First Birthday", Howard gives Tommy a set of baby monitors as a present, which Drew and Grandpa Lou use as walkie-talkies. When Didi realizes she rented a stage and puppets but not puppeteers, she says, "All men report to base immediately!" into one of the monitors. Stu then tells her, "Come on, Deed, that's not the right lingo at all.".
  • The Simpsons: In "Treehouse of Horror V", Marge tries to call the police on a two-way radio when Homer goes insane.
    Marge: Hello! Police! This is Marge Simpson! My husband is on a murderous rampage! Over!
    Chief Wiggum: Well, thank God it's over. I was worried there for a second. [hangs up]
  • Combined with Leaning on the Fourth Wall in Sonic Boom.
    Sonic: Coming in for a hard landing, Tails. You got me covered?
    Tails: Roger.
    Knuckles: Who's Roger?
    Sonic: [in Roger Craig Smith's ACTUAL voice] He's talkin' to me. [in Sonic's voice] Thanks, buddy! I owe you one.
  • Comes up in What's with Andy?
    Steve Rowgee Jr.: Roger dodger. I mean, Roger and Wilco.
    Steve Rowgee Sr.: It's "Roger and out."


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