Compelling Voice

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Haley: You don't hear or see us.
Guard 1: Huh, must be a trick of the light.
Haley: You don't work here anymore.
Guard 2: Crap, how am I going to pay my mortgage?
Haley: You're actually a yellow-footed rock wallaby.

Guard 3: Screw this guard stuff, then. I'm gonna go find a wizard to polymorph me back.
Haley shows off her persuasive skills in Order of the Stick #767

Some people are persuasive, some people have even more power than that. Whatever they say, you have to do it. No escape clause, their voice instills immediate obedience. They can tell you to stand on one foot and quack like a duck, to betray your loved one, or to kill yourself, or to just die. If the speaker is of a sadistic turn of mind, they may come up with a more creative Fate Worse Than Death to put you through.

The power is most often tied to the voice of the character, but there are a few variations, such as the Jedi Mind Trick. A frequent cause of Brainwashed, Brainwashed and Crazy and creepy Power Perversion Potential. This is usually the main power of an Enthralling Siren. Heroes tend to get Charm Person rather than a Compelling Voice. See also Hypnotic Eyes for a Sister Trope.

Note that this isn't just about voices that are compelling: these are orders that one literally can't disobey, usually for some supernatural reason.

Hopefully the compeller remembers to figure out a little about the person, or Intrinsic Vows may stop this from working...

Now, you will give this entry more wicks.

Examples of Compelling Voice include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • All Pureblooded vampires have this power in Vampire Knight.
  • Code Geass
    • Lelouch gains a power called Geass at the start of the story, allowing him to give orders that can't be refused, can be fought by the victim, but after a couple of seconds they will fail and obey the command. His power is sight-based rather than voice-based, and only works once per person.
    • Rai, the player character from the Lost Colors visual novel, has a slightly more literal version of this power, in that he simply needs to speak a command to control someone (whereas Lelouch needs to make eye contact first).
  • In Scrapped Princess, all the Peacemakers need to do to control people is to look at them. The only person in the world they can't control is the title's princess and Shannon after he becomes a D-Knight.
  • Sa Shunki in Saiunkoku Monogatari has this power. Because of the potential for tragedy if her power was used carelessly or by accident, Shunki's grandmother Hyou Eiki made her promise that she would only use her power for the sake of the man she loves, Sa Kokujun. Eiki then sealed Shunki's voice, rendering her a Cute Mute for her initial appearances until the time came to use her power on Kokujun's behalf.
  • Used to great effect in Fruits Basket. The Big Bad of the story, Akito, has this because he has a potent God spirit inside him. His voice has a terrifying influence over the other possessed Sohmas and they have to do everything he says. These powers don't work on anyone else and to them he sounds like a spoiled child.
    • Though it's probably more that they really want to please him than that they're compelled to obey, since towards the end of the series some of the Zodiacs openly defy direct orders from him. And there's also the fact that Akito is a woman raised as a man, and few aside of the older possessed Sohmas know it -- by the time she reveals it willingly, she has few to none of this power left.
  • Used by Belldandy in ep 10 of Ah! My Goddess to (a really deserving) Aoshima:

Belldandy: It doesn't matter what kind of schemes you try, we will not lose. Now would you be so kind as to leave.
Aoshima: (* full body shiver* ) (dully) If you'd please excuse me...

  • Muramasa, the villain of Bleach's Zanpakuto Unknown Tales Arc, uses this power to control other shinigami's zanpakuto.
  • Kurogiri Satsuki a.k.a. "God's Word" from Kara no Kyoukai is, indeed, the god of this trope, though in his case, it's less about his voice and more about the language he speaks, namely, the Unified Language. The Unified Language, a.k.a. Adamic language, was the original language spoken by the entire humanity before the Confusion of Tongues that followed the building of the Tower of Babel. Because of its connection to reality itself, it is literally impossible to disobey an order given in it and not be Erased From Existence.
  • Semi-example: Maro from Samurai Usagi has no magic powers but he is the eldest son of the local lord so everyone "followed whatever he said as if it were an order" to such an extreme that he stopped speaking and ran away from home.
  • Dimitri has this power in Kurobara Alice, and he uses it mostly to drive people to kill themselves. At first by accident, then deliberately.
  • Yuu of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? never speaks because she has this trope Up to Eleven. Her voice is so compelling that reality will distort to obey her words. The first time she spoke was to say "Die"; everything within several yards died instantly.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Jesse Custer, of Preacher (Comic Book), has the Word of God (not to be confused with that other thing). The target has to be able to understand him (meaning that it was useless against agents of the Ancient Conspiracy who only spoke French, or a cat), but beyond that, its potential is near-limitless. He once killed somebody by ordering him to die.
    • Before he completely understood the power, he told an antagonist to go screw himself. The result was as hilarious as it was squicky.
    • He can even trigger other phenomena through the Voice. In one issue, he commands several assailants to "Burn!"... and they catch fire.
      • In another issue he punches a murderer in a rage while screaming at him to just die already. Sure enough, the murderer does exactly that.
    • While never directly demonstrated, there are several indications that he'd be able to pull off Jesus-style healing like giving cripples the ability to walk.
    • Custer's also limited by needing to speak in the first place. Against a hitman fully aware of The Word, Custer only has time to say one word. "Miss."
  • Harry "The Word" Lovelace, of Top Ten. In the city of superheroes, he's the police's chief hostage negotiator. His occasionally poor phrasing is played for comedy. When he uses his power, his printed dialogue turns red. He's generally considered a Shout-Out to Jesse Custer, having the same power and having it represented the exact same way.
  • Emmy, from Demo, is a slightly different example. She doesn't have any control over it: If she tells you to do something, you do it, no matter what. She doesn't talk much. Especially not after she made her mother brain dead. At the end of the story, she tells some guys who are hassling her to "drop dead," and is forced to go on the run.
  • Empress, of The DCU's Young Justice (well, not anymore. Well, again, kind of).
  • There is a minor villain (originally an Ant-Man foe) named the Voice in the Marvel Universe who has this ability.
  • Kara Killgrave (aka Purple Girl, aka Persuasion, aka Purple Woman) from Marvel's Alpha Flight has this power. One time she used it to force gay hero Northstar to be her boyfriend.
    • ...a power she inherited from her father, Zebediah Killgrave, aka the Purple Man, a Daredevil foe. It was more his presence that bent people to his will, but he still had to order them around verbally. Which he did.
  • Wayne Tucker of Psi-Force has something like this; it's a telepathic ability, so strictly speaking he doesn't have to talk, but there does have to be an explicit command. (And the recipient is bound by what he said, rather than what he wants; occasionally this backfires on him.)
  • In Powers, the Superman analogue who casually destroyed Super Heroes with nuclear powers and entire countries after developing a God Complex could only be stopped by his ex-lover who had this power. When she tells him to, he literally ceases to be.
  • Mitchell Hundred, star of Ex Machina, can use his Compelling Voice to control machines above a certain complexity threshold. Even non-electronic machines like guns and engines (although not, tragically at one point, crossbows).
    • Other characters have since turned up who have the same ability with respect to animals and, most recently, people.
  • A variant on this trope is Lullaby, an enemy of Sleepwalker, who has the ability to sing songs that cause people to fall into zombielike trances. While they act this way, they'll do whatever Lullaby tells them, up to and including being willing to commit suicide if she says so. Lullaby initially used her powers to force the children she baby-sat to obey her, before she charmed a real estate millionaire and tried to get him to kill himself so she'd get to keep all his money.
  • Two-Edge the half-troll of Elf Quest is somehow able to use his voice to send Rayek and Ekuar the wrong way when they're trying to find an exit from the troll caverns. This doesn't really seem to be a magical ability so much as a kind of vocal hypnosis, and might have something to do with the fact that the elves are re already tired and disoriented.
  • Max Lord was originally given the ability to subtly influence minds by an alien "gene bomb" that activated latent powers. This has since become full-on mind control able to create illusions powerful enough to make Superman kill on command.
  • In Justice League: Generation Lost, Lord takes this Up to Eleven. With mechanical assistance (including blood transfusions, since he has a nosebleed whenever he uses his powers), he mindwipes the entire world into forgetting he even existed.
  • This power is one that Siryn has that her father Banshee does not.
  • The Marvel Universe example (actually just one of many who have some version of this power) is Mesmero, a mutant who had the psionic ability to mentally control the minds of others. He could hypnotize people into doing what he wanted them to do, and alter their minds with false personalities and memories. He could also make them see him as a different person.
    • An even more classic example was the old Ant-Man villain 'The Voice', who had exactly this power. It worked so long as you could hear his voice at all, even through mechanical reproduction. Ant-Man defeated him by sneaking onto the microphone at his radio station while ant-sized and covering it in laryngitis germs.
  • Glorious Godfrey, one of the minions of Darkseid has this as his main power. In his original appearances he poses as an evangelist and uses his powers to convince people to follow Darkseid, turning them into mindless Mookscalled Justifiers who constantly chant "Anti-Life justifies my hate!." Later in the Crisis Crossover event "Legends" he poses as a psychiatrist and pundit and used his powers to turn a large portion of the United States against superheroes.
  • A villain in one DC arc set around the time of World War II had a power of mass persuasion linked to his voice (or possibly to his amplifier technology). When he whipped up a lynch mob against a black hero, even the intended victim began feeling he deserved to die, despite knowing he wasn't guilty of any crime....

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • Ponies Make War plays with this trope. Rainbow Dash is corrupted by a force known as "the Insanity," which gradually forces her to its will. However, the effect zig-zags, as when she does obey, its influence backs off until she disobeys it again. This turns her into a fully aware Apologetic Attacker.
  • In the Harry Potter fic White Knight, Grey Queen by Jeconais, Harry figures out how to get this kind of effect by lacing his voice with magic while speaking in a lower register, but considers it little more than a stunt and never actually uses it for anything. Hermione provides a Dune shout-out by explicitly comparing him to the Bene Gesserit.

Films[edit | hide]

  • In the movie Love Potion No. 9, there was an Applied Phlebotinum (not the no. 9 potion, but the love potion no. 8) which gave to the one who drank it a similar ability, but in the more sexual/seductive sense (and only over people attracted to their sex, on people attracted to the opposite sex of the user it had an opposite effect). However, the user of the potion lacks control: where the main male lead ends in a scene literally chased by mob of aroused women, the female lead puts her mark under the assumption she just likes to do the "mute game", using Hand Signals and her boyfriend as a Translator Buddy, well knowing that, if she were to speak in public while under the effect of the potion no. 8, she'd stir a major ruckus with a simple word.
  • The pushers in Push have this power. Powerful pushers don't even have to say anything. They just look at the person, and their thoughts are obeyed.
  • Played with in Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Dracula attempts to give instructions, but has difficulty getting people to do exactly what he wants and controlling multiple people at the same time.
  • This is ultimately how Ursula managed to cheat in her deal with Ariel when it became apparent that the latter and Eric would break the spell. Ursula, using the voice that she took from Ariel earlier, disguised herself as Vanessa and then used her voice to brainwash Eric.
  • At the end of X Men Origins: Wolverine, a mutant with this power commands the Big Bad to "Turn around. Now walk until your feet bleed".


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Using someone's true name in the Inheritance Cycle has this effect.
  • The Bene Gesserit in Dune have the Voice. It can be either used to make people obey a short, to-the-point command immediately, or to subtly manipulate people in more long-term ways. It can even be used to push people in the opposite direction, like when Jessica manipulates two Mooks into killing each other over her by saying "There's no need to fight over me."
  • In Robin McKinley's Sunshine, the media puts an electronic effect onto vampire voices, just in case it turns out they can do this.
  • A Discworld example: Gaspode threatened a gang of 'Frothing at the brain' dogs that he will use the Power on them... which turns out to be "Knowing". That is, knowing how to speak Human and commanding them to SIT, which they all do, even in mid-air.
    • Death and Susan have this property when they get stern enough. It's explained as a Voice that goes straight to the brain without contacting the ears - people obey, and then wonder why they just did that.
    • Sybil Ramkin also has a non-supernatural version - her family is so used to command that people obey them unthinkingly. In Guards, Guards she manages to temporarily control a 30-ton dragon by speaking sternly and maintaining eye contact.
      • Though that also had a lot to do with the fact that the ones Sybil is used to commanding are the small pet Swamp Dragons, she just believed that the same attitude would work on their magical cousins.
    • The latter is also true of Carrot - possibly due to his royal blood. Any direct orders or requests by him are almost invariably obeyed, even by his nominal social superiors. Sergeant Colon refers to this as "Krisma", ie "Charisma", which Carrot has in spades; in fact, he's one of the few examples with this skill and Charm Person, normally preferring to use the latter because he's that kind of guy.
    • Sam Vimes appears to have picked up a few skill points in this as well, at least as of Night Watch.
  • This is also seen with the werewolves in Twilight. They cannot disobey a command given in the "Voice of the Alpha".
    • Arguably, Edward Cullen of Twilight uses his Compelling Voice and Hypnotic Eyes to dazzle Bella into submitting to him.
  • Patricia Briggs' werewolf Alphas (as seen in the Mercy Thompson series) have this power over their pack subordinates, except for Omegas who are immune. Briggs' vampires are likewise incapable of disobeying the orders of their Makers.
  • Inverted in Ella Enchanted, as Ella is unable to refuse any order given to her.
    • Also played straight, however, with the ogres, who are able to convince people by the power of their voice that they are friends...right up until they eat them. And Ella somehow manages to copy this power from observation and use it on the ogres.
  • In Damon Knight's Why Do Birds, Ed Stone has a ring that makes his voice work this way. It's less powerful than the standard version, as it only really works as a strong suggestion.
  • One of the abilities tied to the Alton Gift in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series is the Command Voice.
  • A short story in Spider Robinson's Callahan's Lady had a villainess, The Paranoid, who had two devices: a ring that caused any statement that could be taken as a command to be obeyed, (Even something like "I wish you wouldn't..." or "I'd really like it if you would...") and a pair of earrings that made whoever was wearing them immune to the power.
  • Confessors in The Sword of Truth can do this to anyone they have touched with their power. Unfortunately it permanently fries their brain in the process. The main character Kahlan is one of the most powerful, and can command people to voluntarily die.
  • Two of the psychics in the Fingerprints series had this ability: Yana Savari and Melissa Voight. The former is stated to be the most powerful of all the psychics; the later is an Informed Ability attributed to a Posthumous Character.
  • In the Mercy Hollings series, the eponymous main character has this power. It's pretty much Blessed with Suck as she suffers from serious Power Incontinence when not in complete control of her emotions.
  • Dracula's Charm Person abilities are usually manifested in this way. Some actors can pull it off, some just can't. Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and oddly enough Blacula's William Marshall are particularly well known for this.
  • The Phantom of the Opera is often portrayed this way. The strongest examples were in Susan Kay's Phantom.
    • Kay was heavily influenced by the musical, which also plays up this aspect of the character. "Come to me, Angel of Music" indeed...
  • Spider in Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. To the point where he can actually convince computers, and reality itself, to see things his way. About the only thing it isn't 100% effective against is ornery mothers-in-law.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer40000 Eisenhorn novels, Eisenhorn himself.
    • Warmaster Varan from Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel Cain's Last Stand is a villainous example. He can force people to do whatever he says, and the effect persists, even after his death. Jurgen's blank abilities can free such a person but only while he is in range; when he leaves, they revert. Although Donal realizes in time to kill himself instead. At one point he tells his shuttle pilot to wait for him, and the pilot starves to death while waiting his return.
  • In the Nightside series, Walker can speak with the Voice of the Authorities when he so desires. It's said that he once used it to get information out of a corpse.
    • Notably, its derived from God's Voice, hence why a good deal of the beings that happen to be Biblical myths can resist it.
  • In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, powerful Highborn can compel with words. All Lords can compel their bound followers. Jame compels a powerful Highborn Lord in Seeker's Mask, and in To Ride a Rathorn tells an abusive Highborn to "back off"—which he does, straight out of a window. Her twin brother appears to have similar abilities. He's Highlord of the whole Kencyrath and she's his twin, and both are avatars of the godhead to boot, so all their people are their followers in a sense.
  • The fairies' "mesmer" power in the Artemis Fowl series is described as a "layered" and melodious voice, although it also requires eye contact and a spark of magic. With enough magic power behind it, however, it can reach the level of Charm Person even without eye-contact.
  • In The Name of the Wind, the ancient art of Naming is essentially this.
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Sirens of Greek Mythology sing so beautifully that anyone who hears them is compelled to try to get closer, regardless of any ship-destroying rocks in between.
  • Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle—but only to inanimate objects, like clothing and flowers. Well, and animated inanimate objects, like scarecrows, too.
  • Sol, the Warrior Cats series's resident Manipulative Bastard, seems to able to persuade anyone to do anything. The books constantly remind us of how powerful and unnatural his voice sounds, and most converstations with him seem like a struggle not to fall under his influence.
  • In Stephen King's Firestarter, Andy McGee gains "the Push" after receiving an experimental dose of an LSD-type drug called Lot 6. The Push gives him the power to force others to do his will, but each use causes him harm in the form of headaches and brain hemorrhages. He eventually dies from a stroke caused by a final Push that saves his daughter's life.
  • The witch Senna Wales of Everworld uses controlling spells as her main power, though they seem to be less effective(i.e. Charm Person) when used against women. Her bitch sex slave boyfriend David Levin in particular spends a lot of time under the influence of these.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's novel Dances on the Snow (part of the Genome trilogy), jedi-like special agents/knights of the planet Avalon called phages are, among other skills, trained to use the so-called "imperative voice", which acts very similar to the Voice in Dune, making people obey their every command, although they tend not to abuse this ability. The clones of Ada Snezhinskaya are also trained in the use of this skill. It is not specified whether just anybody can learn this ability or only those who have been genetically-engineered (both the phages and the clones are Artificial Humans). The novel even features a battle of sorts with opposing sides using the "imperative voice" to give conflicting commands to the main character, with the clone forcing him to jump into molten metal and the phage telling him to stay. The result of this "duel" remains unclear as the situation is resolved by a Heroic Sacrifice from another character.
  • All of the Forsaken from The Wheel of Time, have this ability as a subpower of Compulsion Most of them used it in different ways, ranging from a subtle charisma to a befuddling Charm Person. Moghedian used it closest to this trope, at one point, befuddling, then interrogating three main characters, then leaving them with no memory of it. Some downsides are brought up occasionally, with vital information not being mentioned because it wasn't asked for.
  • This is a fairly large plot point in Kristin Cashore's Graceling, as towards the end of the book it is revealed that Leck has this as a Grace.
  • In Amber Benson's Death's Daughter, the main character Calliope Reaper-Jones at one point is temporarily granted her father's (the Grim Reaper) powers. Once this happens, she can literally kill someone just by saying "Die."
  • Darkest Powers very horrifyingly showcases the power of necromancy, in which spirits are forced back into their rotting corpses. Even worse, they have no choice but to obey whoever it is that called them back unquestioningly. It’s a mortal fear of most ghosts to be brought back by an Ax Crazy necromancer and used as part of an undead army and released only when their usefulness has run out. Luckily, necromancers with that kind of power are implied to be very rare.
  • In Georgia Byng's Molly Moon series, Molly can hypnotize people "using the voice alone", as said by the book she reads the lessons from. She also has Hypnotic Eyes.
  • The Thrintun in Larry Niven's Known Space series were small (approximately 1.25 meters tall), highly telepathic but not particularly intelligent (with their mind control, they did not need to be), reptilian, with green scaly skin, pointed teeth, and a single eye. On their own they could control others in the local area but, with technology created by their much smarter slaves, one Thrintun could control an entire planet!
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, some daughters of Aphrodite have this power. One of the main characters was regularly convicted of theft after she just asked for things and were given them, until people would later come to their senses and called the police. Said things include jewelry, a BMW fresh from the showroom floor, and a Lawnmower. The witch Medea can do this too, and it's hinted that children of Hermes have similar powers.
  • The Pravus in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod can make anyone, vampire or human, do anything just by asking. They even make a vampire die by just willing it in the last book.
  • Cynthia Binder, the protagonist of Roland Green's story "She Who Might Be Obeyed," discovers how to use a certain tone of voice to accomplish this and is able to teach it to certain other people. When used with enough intensity, the command to "drop dead" can send someone into cardiac arrest. However, it is implied that people who are completely tone-deaf are immune to this power and cannot learn it themselves either.
  • Most of the magically gifted Ilmonish clans in Nina Kiriki Hoffman's Chapel Hollow series have this among a variety of other talents, although the effects are usually temporary. Some of them can use stronger forms of magic to turn ordinary humans into People Puppets.
  • Malka from Delia Marshall Turner's Of Swords and Spells can do this without necessarily having to speak out loud. She and other magic-users refer to it as "bespeaking" and it is implied that some humans with a natural gift for magic discover their abilities by accidentally doing this.
  • The Big Bad of Moon Over Soho has this, and tries to use it to get protagonist Peter Grant to commit Psychic-Assisted Suicide. It doesn't work.
    • Rich Bitch Tyburn tried to have a go at this in the first book, Rivers of London, as well. She just wanted to enslave him though. It's stated the practice he got in to resist Tyburn is what saved him in the second book.
  • The Users from Dan Simmons' Carrion Comfort crank this trope Up to Eleven, demonstrating just how frightening mind-control without any range limits can get.
  • The Hallowed Hunt: This is one benefit of harboring a spirit animal, as Ingrey discovers when he stops a raging ice bear with nothing but a firm verbal command. Horseriver—being a bit more powerful and a lot more experienced—can employ even more complicated tricks, overlapping with Jedi Mind Tricks and Mind Control.
  • Edward in The Company Novels. Nicholas and Alec as well, seeing as they're clones, but Edward especially uses it. Especially noticeable in Not Less Than Gods, in which he manages to talk his boss into finding maraschino booze (which he hates) really tasty.
  • Gothmara, the villain in the Star Trek duology The Left Hand of Destiny, gives both herself and her son Morjod this, thanks to her skills at Bio Augmentation. It should be noted, though, that the effect alone is not powerful enough to compel others; it's combined with rhetoric, seduction or other tactics.
  • In the Firebird Trilogy, sufficiently powerful telepaths are able to use a technique called voice-command to compel anyone who can't block their minds to do as ordered.
  • In the later Time Scout books, this is the central power of Jack the Ripper.
  • In Once a Witch and its sequel Always a Witch, Tamsin's sister Rowena can do this.
  • In The Shamer Chronicles only those who drink dragon blood can disobey the Compelling Voice of a shamer.
  • Piper Cavanaugh of Erin Evans's Rhine Maiden series can do this, being a descendant of sirens. However, the effects wear off after ten minutes.
  • In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, the Dancer gives this. It's powerful enough to raise Schrödinger's Butterfly questions, since it can make you forgot things and remember what it pleases. Donovan realizes at the end that the Dancer's path stems from its own decisions, and destroys it.
  • The Chosen Leader in The Annals of the Chosen is given a talisman which grants them this ability. Priests, wizards, and the other Chosen are immune due to the protection of their own ler.
  • Played semi-straight with Saruman of Lord of the Rings; his main use of magic is in his powerful voice, which makes anything he says seem reasonable and utterly foolish to disagree with, and can only be resisted by maybe a dozen people in all of Middle-Earth. So when it was time to make the movies, they fittingly got Christopher Lee to portray him. Played completely straight when Gandalf comes back from the dead as the the wizard that Saruman should have been. When a defiant Saruman turns to leave their conversation, Gandalf firmly says "Come back, Saruman," and Saruman is literally forced to turn around and face Gandalf again.
    • In The Book of Unfinished Tales Saruman actually manages to compel the Witch-King into believing his lies, to the point that he leaves basically thinking: "What an awesomely loyal servant Sauron has here".
  • This power runs in the Sinistre family in the H.I.V.E. series by Mark Walden
  • In the short novel Silent Thunder by Dean Ing, Donnersprache ("thunder speech") was the true secret of Adolf Hitler's success at oratory; built into amplifiers used for public speaking, it modulated the speaker's voice in ways that subliminally enhanced his or her persuasiveness. It had limitations; in particular, the timbre and vibrato that would inspire or incite a German audience, for instance, instead raised the hackles of Hispanics in the American Southwest, so it had to be re-tuned to properly manipulate differing cultural groups. Once the user had a good idea which settings worked with which audiences, though....
  • Ron Goulart, in The Emperor of the Last Days, has "Professor Supermind," who can control Artificial Intelligences this way. He doesn't hack them; he simply says, "You are completely under my control," and the robot security guards reply, "Yes, master." He gets in trouble, though, when he mistakes a cyborg for a robot. It doesn't work on organic brains.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • "Pusher," Robert Patrick Modell on The X-Files was a hit man who could make people do anything, including kill themselves. In the sequel episode, his sister had the same ability.
  • Eden from Heroes. Parkman's also learning to do it as of season two, though being a good guy, he doesn't make a habit of it.
  • In The Outer Limits TOS episode "The Inheritors", a human who has been taken over by an alien intelligence can control other people by giving them orders, up to and including committing suicide.
  • In Dinosaurs there was a doctor who convinced a skeptical Earl to buy his medicine by using a booming voice. After falling for the trick twice, Earl asks the doctor to write it down for him instead. He is completely mesmerized by the penmanship.
  • Twins Andy and Ansem from Supernatural
  • In the episode "Becoming" of The 4400 , Oliver Knox is able to convince people that they are the ones who murdered some people in the past, and so they can carry on the murder Knox wants them to commit. As this starts with him talking to their victims, NTAC suitably cages him in an insonorized room.
  • Smallville's version of Mxyzptlk. He only needed to see his target; the target didn't even have to hear him. Once he just whispered "trip" and Clark fell over.
  • Recurring character Simone on Pushing Daisies seems to be able to do something similar to this, though it's possible that, apart from dogs, clicking her noise maker and intoning a command may only work on Emerson Cod.
  • Highlander the Series: Roland Kantos and Cassandra both have this power.
  • On Doctor Who, the Master is notorious for this. In the new series he artificially magnifies his abilities to the point that he conquers Britain simply by running for Prime Minister and convincing everyone to vote for him.
    • The Fourth Doctor had the ability to hypnotize people in a Jedi Mind Trick kind of way.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures story The Mark of the Berserker, Sarah grants people this power. Unfortunately, it also tends to take over the user. Fortunately, commands are revoked the instant the pendant is removed.
  • Anna in V-2009 can do a variant of this with other Vs.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode The Magic Voyage of Sinbad, the heroes capture a blue phoenix with a human head that has the ability to put whole armies to sleep with its voice. (Mike and the bots referred to it as the "Garrison Keillor effect.")
  • No Ordinary Family has two applications of this trope: Daphne develops this to go along with her Telepathy, while the Watcher has this along with Telekinesis. Daphne has only used it to influence decisions; Watcher forces people to forget things. In both cases, the target repeats what he or she is told, but without a change in tone, leading to, for example, a mugger threatening to put his gun down and walk away, directly before doing so.
  • Brother Justin in Carnivale (played by Clancy Brown, who is himself endowed with a compelling, if not Compelling, voice) calls to his minions via his radio show, speaking to them in a voice only they can hear.
  • All vampires in Young Dracula but especially Vlad. His mind-wipe of Renfield was so strong that it was still re-wiping his mind four years later.
  • Used in Forever Knight, a voice with a psychic suggestion planting push behind it. Referred to usually as "the whammy".
  • In Alphas, this is Nina's alpha ability. She used it for personal gain until joining Rosen's team.

Music[edit | hide]

  • "Voices" by Disturbed. Take a guess.
  • Tom Jones can cause women to throw undergarments at him just by singing.

Radio[edit | hide]

  • In The Goon Show episode "Six Charlies in Search of an Author", whoever has the typewriter can force the other characters to do whatever that person types - but he has to read it aloud because it's radio, so...


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • A number of Dungeons & Dragons spells do this to one extent or another.
    • Command: The caster says a verb, and the victim must immediately drop everything else and carry out the verb. (Except for "Die", of course, though in some variations that causes sleep.)
    • Dominate Person/Monster: You take command of a creature. For as long as the spell is active, any order to the victim is obeyed to the best of its limits and to the exclusion of almost everything else (unless the order is self-destructive).
    • Many other spells straddle the line between this and Charm Person, where the compelling voice comes after the victim is entranced.
    • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, there are two skills that, when min-maxed all to hell, become this due to poor forethought from the designers.
      • Bluff: by taking a high penalty to your roll, you can make people believe completely absurd lies. You can enter the throne room, declare yourself to be the real king and accuse the guy on the throne with the crown to be an impostor, and even he will believe you. The roll is opposed by the opponent's Sense Motive roll, but nobody min-max that (and it's much harder to do so anyway).
      • Much easier to achieve with the help of the Glibness spell (available to level 5 bards), which gives such a massive bonus to a single Bluff roll that you're almost certain to succeed even without min-maxing.
      • Diplomacy: this skill allows you to change the target's attitude towards you. The difficulty depends on how hostile the target is and how friendly you want it to become (but not how powerful the target is), with an extra penalty to do it in a single round. You can turn the strongest man in the world from Hostile (charging you with his axe, screaming that you killed his brother) to Helpful (your good friend, willing to give you any help you desire) in six seconds, no save. Break out the Epic Level Handbook (because it's quite easy to min-max Diplomacy to an epic rank even at a low level) and you can make him Fanatical (will die for you, loves you so much he gets combat bonuses for it).
  • In Shadowrun Fourth Edition there's a Commanding Voice power that certain characters can learn. (In fact, that's literally what it's called.)
    • You can make them obey a simple command (around five words) that can be undertaken in a turn or two.
  • In the Vampire: The Masquerade this was a power specifically given to vampires of clan Toreador, through the Presence discipline. Most players combined it with the "Enchanting Voice" merit to create vampires that no mortal could say no to.
    • Then there's Dominate, a specialty of the Ventrue in both Masquerade and Requiem. Dominate allows a vampire to look someone in the eye and give them an order they literally can't disobey. At lower levels, it's one-word commands and implanted suggestions; at higher levels, they're able to alter someone's personality and even possess them.
    • Changeling: The Lost has a wealth of these—while not straight-up mind control, they can easily affect a person in similar ways. The Merit Siren Song draws a person's attention whenever the changeling is speaking, imposing a penalty on die rolls. Some Vainglory Contracts also lean in this direction, such as Songs of Distant Arcadia (which gives a bonus to all Expression and Persuasion rolls) and Words of Memories Never Lived (which allows the changeling to tell a story so convincing, the audience believes it's true).
  • Psykers able to influence the behaviour of others have come up a few times in the Warhammer 40,000 fluff, although weaker variants fall into Charm Person.
    • There's also the Tau Ethereals, who control the entire Tau race with a Compelling Voice. They appeared several millennia ago and promptly enslaved their entire species, instituting a rigid caste system / eugenics program for the greater good. It is insinuated that this is pheromone based.
      • The whole thing is rather insinuated and the theory is first proposed by the Imperium (though it would fit very well). Most Tau do of course not think so, maybe even the Ethereals themselves. A Battle Report in the first White Dwarf after the release of the Tau certainly says otherwise. The fluff mentions an Ethereal saying that "[The Imperium] are all wrong [about it being psychic domination]. It is simply the nature of the Tau".
  • The Marvel Super Heroes RPG had, in the Ultimate Powers Book, "Hypnotic Voice". If you didn't mind the power drop, this could be permanently active. Leaves the question: if you were to exclaim "Bugger me!" in surprise, exactly what would happen?
  • Mega-Manipulation Novas in Aberrant could learn to use "The Voice", among other abilities.
    • As can heroes with Epic Manipulation in Scion.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Dnyarri (those little brain-thingies) in Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters have this power - fortunately, they're basically extinct by the time the story starts, so you only meet ONE. But that one's enough. Fortunately, you can acquire a telepathic blocker that prevents it from commanding you around, but even that is imperfect, meaning that you can deflect the more outrageous orders, but still easily gets manipulated if the critter uses his voice smartly.
    • To illustrate how powerful they are, look at what happened when the Umgah find one and undo the genetic tampering that left it a mindless slave. That ONE Dnyarri enslaves every Umgah in the cluster.
  • Gene, the Big Bad in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops has this ability. It's strongly implied, if not outright stated, to be a byproduct of the Successor Project, the CIA project that created him.
  • Male Zuul from Sword of the Stars are able to use their Psychic Powers to enforce dominance over people. They don't even need to give verbal commands; the affected simply know what is expected of them by instinct, and do it. And incidentally, if a Zuul is using Compelling Voice on you, it means it's playing nice.
  • Infecting a unit with nanites in Achron is nearly completely undetectable, the only symptom being your opponent having that units vision and giving the worst possible order at the worst possible time (usually friendly fire)
  • Being based on the Old World of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines gives player characters of the Ventrue clan the ability to use the Dominate discipline in dialogue (but only to mortals; your character is too low generation to affect vampires). Your employer, Prince LaCroix, is a Ventrue, and will use this power on you if you get uppity at him.
  • The (self-aware) Shroud of Eden has this ability in Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy.

The Shroud: "PAIN IS TEMPORARY. COMPREHENSION IS UNNECESSARY."

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • In Erfworld, Everyone can be said to have this, as any order given by a higher ranking unit must be obeyed. Any order.
  • Girl Genius has the Sparks can be very charismatic, and as Mr. Rovainen put it, those around "Wish to aid them. To serve them." - with more predisposed people becoming permanent minions.
    • Agatha's voice worked on Mr. Rovainen himself, the citizens of Sturmhalten, and on Von Pinn. Of course, that's because her voice resembles that of the Other, especially when she's angry - and since for the old girl "natural" minion-commanding level wasn't enough, to "revenants" and her other creations Agatha's voice gives irresistible commands, whether she wants it or not.
    • The people of Mechanicsburg quickly get "caught up" to the point of "Yes, lady. Wait. What did I just say?" They are the descendents of minions—any Spark would have that effect on them. Of course, by the same token the "Mechaniacs" are used to living like this, and don't get too shiny-eyed. If the Spark happens to be an heir of the Heterodyne family, they won't overcome the effect after a while, otherwise it doesn't override their loyalty.
  • Psycho Mantis of The Last Days of Foxhound. It doesn't work on everyone.
  • Last Res0rt has this as a default power of the Celeste, called "Tone"—when they give an order, it's an otherwise innocuous statement / gentle command backed by a hidden message in the Black Speech.
    • Fortunately, certain creatures can be born with resistance or full-out immunity to these statements (among other things, it's heavily implied that being a Light Child of some kind grants you this immunity), which can cause it to backfire pretty impressively.
    • Gabriel takes things up a notch when he transmits a silent Tone over the spaceship's sound system, catching most of the players as well as Cypress!
  • The fantasy webcomic Harkovast has a character appropriately named "The Speaker". You don't want to anger him...
  • In Sluggy Freelance Sam gains this ability after becoming a vampire. It's still not enough to make girls like him, though.
  • In Noblesse, Rai, the main character, can do this. He doesn't give many commands, but each are followed to the letter, including an order not to breathe.
  • Persona 4: "Hey, maybe you should try that thing Chie was talking about. Hm..."
  • In Endstone, Cole can do this to the guards.
  • The "Ultimate Diplomat" in Dr. McNinja has this ability, which he uses to make people and/or dinosaurs stop trying to kill each other. And boy, does it work.
  • Shortpacked claims that actor Liam Neeson has this. The characters hope he never uses the power for evil. Cut to a party, where Neeson is explaining to Robin that The Phantom Menace was a great movie that everyone enjoyed, and Robin can't help but agree.
  • The Order of the Stick here show the glibness effect (see D&D above).


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Vox, at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Well, with a codename like Vox, what would she be able to do? (There are other mutants at Whateley who are resistant to her power.)
    • It's implied that this is a standard ability of people with sound-control.
    • To contrast, Solange, Don Sebastiano, and other psychics have Charm Person.
    • One part of Ayla's stories is actually spent on analyzing the specifics. Biggest one? People remember what she said, it wears off, and she can't order them to forget.
  • An author named Nekollx reveals this in one of his stories, posted on Deviant ART. Anyone who has a 'Greater Beast Spirit' has ability to control someone with a lesser beast spirit. Unfortunately, the bad guys manage to awaken the old hero's Beast Spirits, allowing them to cause a Face Heel Turn in the old guard, meaning that a group of new heroes have to save the day. And one of them, Sonya, gets it FAR worse then the others...
  • SCP Foundation has this as the main power of Dr. Clef's SCP-001, the Eden's Gatekeeper. Anyone who hears his voice automatically obeys his command, usually an order to leave at once and forget any sight of it. Disobeying it is absolutely impossible.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Daemon from Re Boot actually called it "The Word". Once she infected anything, even other viruses, they had no choice but to submit to her will.
    • She doesn't even need to say anything. She infected all of Mainframe with her first step into the system.
    • Technically she didn't infect viruses, as Hexadecimal was currently a sprite. When she re-powered, she was able to fight Daemon to a standstill.
  • While he doesn't quite have this ability in Real Life, the South Park version of Dateline reporter Chris Hansen is able to make anyone "have a seat, right over there", his ability not only able to manipulate sex offenders, but Cartman as well.
    • It gets to the point that dozens of sex offenders kill themselves rather than being forced by Hansen to humiliate themselves.
  • Similarly, Sgt Mike Cosgrove from Freakazoid! is able to tell anyone, "Hey! Cut it out!"
    • Besides stopping Freakazoid, a worthy achievement in itself, it has also stopped Yakko, Wakko and Dot, who are incarnations of chaos.
    • The only character this doesn't work on was an expy of Cthulhu named Vern. Cosgrove just pissed him off.
  • Batman the Brave And The Bold has the Music Meister. And everyone just fawns.

Music Meister: As I regale you with my story, you'll know you have no choice
But to do my evil bidding, when you hear this booming voiiiiice!

  • The Lich from Adventure Time uses this to make Finn commit suicide by jumping into a well full of poison.

The Lich: Aren't you cold...Finn? Walk into the well...Finn. Aren't you cold?

    • Thankfully, Finn had "A SWEATER OOOON!!!"
  • Zick, the protagonist in Monster Allergy, has many different powers called Doms. One of these is the Voice Dom, where anything he says to a monster, the monster will do.
  • The Hypnotoad from Futurama. It's easy to see w- ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD

I will give this entry more wicks...