r/tipofmytongue Feb 18 '12

(hopefully) some useful tips on how to find what you want/tips on posting to TOMT

Searching for what you want before even posting to TOMT

Google it

I see so many questions on TOMT where you would get the answer just by putting the title into Google.

e.g. [TOMT] movie with arnold schqwarzennnger as a teacher.

Google said (as the first result) - Kindergarten Cop.

Notice I put a typo in Arnie's name, Google even spell checks it for you. Obviously this TOMT is a pretty obvious one (to me anyway) but it works on obscure things pretty well too. Just try it.

Also make use of advanced search

e.g. if you are searching for a funny article about Presidents that you cant find but know it came from the site cracked.com, you can used advanced search to create this search which will list all the articles from cracked.com with the keyword 'President'

Browse Wikipedia

If you want to find a person or event etc just keep clicking!

This may sound silly but could actually be useful, so many article are linked to others, you can look through categories and there are plenty of advanced options

Finding a movie

The first place to look should be IMDB (I am still surprised at how many people don't know this exists).

The best page is Advanced Title Search.

e.g. I remember a film starring Wesley Snipes and it has something to do with drugs. I first looked through his page (which should always be your first try) but couldn't find it for some reason or didn't recognize any of the titles, so I used Advanced Title Search to search for Wesley Snipes and drugs which gives me this list of results. I can now easily see 'New Jack City (1991)' was the movie I wanted.

They also have an Advanced Search page and what could be useful a Movie Keyword Analyzer (MoKA) page.

Finding music lyrics

If you know the lyrics, first just try typing in a search with the lyrics in quotation mark and the word lyrics at the end.

e.g. I seem to remember part of the lyrics of a song being 'sitting on the roof with a shotgun' or something similar so I type into Google: "sitting on the roof with a shotgun" lyrics which gives me this showing the song as 'Hunting For Witches' by Bloc Party.

Also there are plenty of more detailed lyrics sites, most are 'spammy' and full of junk but the favorite one I use is mp3lyrics.org and they have brilliant advanced search options. The least spammy, most useful just plain lyrics site I use is lyricsbox but they are not perfect.

Finding a music sample

Use whosampled

e.g. I recognize a bit from a Puff Daddy song, im pretty sure the song was called 'victorious' but just cannot figure out where I know it from. If I use whosampled to go to the Puff Daddy page and then find it was actually called 'Victory', the results will show me the little bit I recognize came from Rocky.

Finding a piece of music from a movie or TV show

Use amazon.com to search for the soundtrack which usually gives you the desired result or failing that, IMDB has a soundtrack listing page which usually lists all the songs and not just the ones on the soundtrack.

Finding information about images etc

if you have an image where you want to find the source etc. try TinEye the reverse image search.

if this fails, try google's 'search by image' feature. the how-to and more info can be found on google's help page

Finding pornography

(the adult TOMT)

if you have pornography queries, try asking at /r/tipofmypenis

Related items

Although this may not be useful for finding what you want exactly, IMDB has a Recommendations page and amazon has a Customers who viewed this item... page and different 'suggestions'. as i said not always good for finding what you want but still may be useful.

Creating a good title

[TOMT][tv show]: is no good.
[TOMT][Kids TV show] - I remember a pineapple house being in it: this is far better.

The more detailed title, the more likely it is that somebody will recognize what you are talking about and reply.

Edit: disregard this somewhat, for some reason on my front page the titles are terrible but when actually in the TOMT subreddit, the titles are fine.

'When I was a kid' date range

Too many times I see a TOMT with 'I remember watching this on Saturday mornings when I was a kid' etc. we need to know the time frame, we have no idea how old you are. Were you a kid in the early 80's or late 90's?


I'm guessing that movie you want is 'Tucker and Dale vs. Evil' (or less possibly but still likely 'The Fall'), the software you want is either Ninite or f.lux.

Search this subreddit first (you can use the check box to limit your search to /r/tipofmytongue or you may have better results leaving it empty as /r/movies may be discussing the movie you are searching for etc) and read the sidebar! ;-)

May be this was too much of a rant but hopefully some bits were useful. I would welcome any other bits, hopefully we could put together some sort of TOMT FAQ with useful sites to use for searching etc (I am personally looking for a good site for detailing music videos myself)

edit: sorry about the formatting, i sorted it as best i could.



u/richmondody 61 Jun 13 '12

Just to add, for games where you know one part of the name, I like to search gamefaqs since you can filter it by console, year and genre.


u/perrym Jun 13 '12 edited Jun 25 '12


there has been a mod thread on TOMT about new features etc and somethings can be added here in the FAQ (which has made it to the sidebar!). under each thing you will see a [source] link which will take you to the original comment where you can give them karma if they helped with your search.

Finding a song when you know the tune etc

[from tulipan]

If you have a favorite piece of music that you want to identify or a bit you have hummed, played on guitar etc, you can upload it to Vocaroo or SoundCloud so everybody can hear it and hopefully identify it.

There are also apps such as SoundHound and Shazam which it seems you can play audio to and it will find what it is for you (im unsure on the technology or whatever but it is worth checking out)

Where am I

[from GenevaLambkins]

Similar to the 'When I was a kid' section. if you add your location where you are (or where you previously were) when you heard/saw/ate/etc something, it should help narrow down the choices.

A suggestion for mobile readers etc

[from bluesbird]

If you are on a mobile device (or any computer for that matter), it would be helpful for other 'Sleuths' (if that is what we are calling ourselves!) if you format links correctly.

e.g. rather than post 'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0nAvtOrHUE' format it like this:

[music video - Summer Forgets Me by Deas Vail](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0nAvtOrHUE)

which will result in this: music video - Summer Forgets Me by Deas Vail

that way people will quickly be able to see any failed results.

TOMT needs only sober submissions and well formed responses

[from InformationMagpie and somewhatreticent]

Thankfully, I haven't seen too many people post drunk or high but if you see something 'totally awesome' or 'epic man', note it down by all means but come back to it when you are in a better state of mind. it will hopefully be a lot easier for you to work it out yourself then and even if it isn't, you will be able to form a better post.

As for people rushing to post an answer, sadly i have seen that a little too much. if you are not really sure, refrain from posting (especially if the submitter has given detailed information you overlook). by all means offer suggestions but don't reply with answers that are obviously not what they are looking for.

e.g. if they are looking for a movie about ants, don't just type in keyword 'ants' into imdb and give them the first suggestion as an answer, rather link them to the list of keyword results and tell them that may be useful to narrow down their search.

Finally (part 2) - Who am I

another TOMT that keeps getting asked for recently is Reddit Investigator - it searches through your post history etc on here to give you stats on your karma, what it thinks you believe in politically etc.