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Playing With / Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique

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Basic Trope: The Hero tortures someone for information.

  • Straight: Alice knows Bob has information on where the nuke is, and when he refuses to talk, she tortures him.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice knows that Bob knows where the nuke is, and when Bob refuses to talk, she starts dismembering him.
    • Alice knows that Bob knows where the nuke is, and when Bob refused to talk, she kills Bob and his whole family.
    • Alice knows Bob has downloaded some music illegally. When Bob refuses to talk, she beheads him.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice makes Bob mow the lawn if he won't talk.
    • Alice's torture methods rely on psychological warfare instead of physical harm; and they are as effective, if not more, than the latter option.
  • Justified:
    • Alice needs to get the info somehow, and Bob often suffers from Minor Injury Overreactions.
    • Bob isn't the only person with the info, and Alice is able to convince him that if she isn't able to get the information from him, she could get it from the others - honor among thieves and all that. This makes the perceived loss of his death seem less worrisome as far as Alice is concerned.
  • Inverted: Alice and Bob are staging an elaborate gambit to get Charlie to unintentionally give them the information they're after. Alice physically attacks Bob to make him say things that Charlie think are real, but are not.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice pretends to prepare to torture Bob, as a means of psychological battering, so he'll tell her where the nuke is.
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    • Bob proves to be Too Kinky to Torture.
    • Alice isn't torturing Bob for information, she committed the crime and is trying to get Bob to take the fall.
    • Alice isn't torturing Bob for information, she is torturing Bob for the sake of revenge.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Then tortures him anyway.
    • Since torture won't work on Bob, Alice starts torturing Carol, Bob's partner in crime and love interest. After a few rounds with her, Bob starts telling everything.
    • Bob still has a breaking point. Sure, whipping him may have him screaming he's going to cum, but once he's being force-fed his own fingers, he'll start talking about making deals.
    • But then Alice is in need of information, so she resumes to interrogating Bob.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice tortures Bob to get him to tell her where the peanut butter is.
    • Alice tortures Bob to find the location of his torture tools; she starts by hitting him with a rubber spatula to find the ladle, then hits him with the ladle until he tells her where the frying pan, etc, until she can threaten him with an intimidating enough weapon to get what she really wants.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice is alone, but that doesn't keep her from using some rather bipolar form of Good Cop/Bad Cop interrogation technique on Bob, interrupting torture to apologize and beg him to tell her the truth. Also, Bob gets the chance to torture Alice.
    • Alice is a mistress of subtlety Prisoner Bob is taken to a dark dungeon, with guards dressed ominously and all whispering about the possibility that Bob will be sent to Alice. Even the guards seem to pity Bob's fate. This treatment is kept up for days. Then Bob is sent to Alice who is dressed like a sweet young lady who gives him some coffee and donuts and kindly asks him to please sit down. Whereupon Bob prostrates himself and asks for mercy and tells everything he knows.
  • Averted: Alice interrogates Bob, but torture never comes up.
  • Enforced: "We have an hour for the show, we need to let the hero get at the information as fast as possible. Let's have him torture some mook for it, since that'll be faster."
  • Lampshaded: "Oh, I feel for Bob. You just know some horrible shit is going to happen to him."
  • Invoked: Bob immediately spills his guts because he already knows Alice is going to pull out the knives if he doesn't.
  • Exploited:
    • Bob pretends to crack under the torture, then feeds Alice some very bad information that'll probably get her killed.
    • Alice is a fictional Bogey. The interrogators tell stories about her fiendish sadism to frighten prisoners.
  • Defied:
    • Alice is about to start the torture, but a higher authority reminds her that she's being watched by the authorities/her employers.
    • Bob has given all of his soldiers ambush site locations for interrogation. If his men show up with any unaffiliated escorts they will suffer coordinated headshots from snipers. If they show up without one the place is wired to blow.
  • Discussed: "You do not want to be captured by Alice. She does horrible things to people like us if we don't talk."
  • Conversed: "If you don't start talking, I'll take out the knives. Things get much less entertaining when I take out the knives."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The information Bob gave Alice about the location of the nuke, proves to be false, or alternatively he doesn't know and just says whatever he thinks she wants to hear to make the torture stop.
    • Someone gets the information they're looking for, but their superior finds out and calls them out for it, which could potentially earn them time in prison and get the case thrown out.
  • Reconstructed: After a long enough period of time Bob is too mentally exhausted to come up with a lie and tells Alice what she needs to know. While her actions are considered unethical, they nonetheless save millions of lives and the whole incident is swept under the rug.
  • Played For Laughs: Torture for Fun and Information.
  • Played For Drama: Alice knows it's the only way she can get the information she needs but the very idea of it is against her moral framework. Will she compromise the mission, or her morals?
  • Plotted A Good Waste: This is used to very quickly establish, bare minimum, that Good Is Not Nice in this setting.

Okay, okay, I'll talk. The nuke is back at Jack Bauer Interr-*BANG!*

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