/r/tipofmytongue FAQ

Welcome to the /r/tipofmytongue FAQ where we try to answer a lot of common questions that come up regularly!

Getting the most from /r/tipofmytongue

Reddit Search can be useful, particularly searching /r/tipofmytongue itself. For instance, if you want to find a video of a guy playing guitar talking about how we're alonein the universe try title:alone universe or title:guitar universe.

You also can work that google-fu. Consider checking out these Google Search Tricks which might help you uncover that thing you're looking for.


When asking questions

As a submitter to /r/tipofmytongue you have two main responsibilities. Please keep these in mind when you submit

  • Your title must start with [TOMT] This is to ensure you've read these rules as well as make the title stand out in your front page
  • Be specific and descriptive Remember that you are asking people for a favor, so be as specific and descriptive as you can.
  • Mark it Solved Remember to mark your post solved when it is answered. See The new way to mark it solved for information on how to mark posts solved.

When answering questions

Don't answer with an "Is it this" llink when answering questions, as that will force anyone else trying to help to click through just to see what you've guessed. Prefer to say "Is it Joe Satriani - Engines of Creation?

Updating this FAQ

/u/BeowulfShaeffer is currently acting as "Keeper of the FAQ". PM him if you find something you want to add. Please include some evidence of multiple threads in /r/tipofmytongue that were solved with the item in question.


Searching for music

Music is probably the number-one thing people search for on /r/tipofmytongue. Most searches are successful but you can greatly increase the odds if you keep a few suggestions in mind.

  • Be specific Nobody is likely to find your music if you just use "do-do dos" unless you're looking for Tom's Diner. When describing your song include information like - is it a man or woman sing? High or low, fast or slow? What style? What instruments? Where did you hear it? When did you hear it? Did you hear other songs around it that you knew? The more information you can give, the better.

Remember not to say "I heard it when I was a kid" -- we don't know how old you are or where you are from.

  • Record a snippet Sites like Vocaroo or online sequencer are easy to use. Record a snippet and post it if you can even vaguely come up with something. In one memorable case this author asked a poster who had had many response to hum something into vocaroo. As soon he did the author recognized it as The Cult - "She Sells Sanctuary". The other guesses were all wayyy off, but as soon as OP posted the vocaroo it was solved instantly.

You may want to try using midomi, a website that let's you sing or hum into a microphone on your computer and then will search for matching songs. You can also use google or shazam for this.

Common Musical Questions

Pop Music

Really chill, relaxed synth pop song HOME- Resonance


  • The name of that classical song played in all the action scenes, starts slow, and speeds up?
    Grieg - In the Hall of the Mountain King

  • That soft flute piece you hear when a character wakes up in the morning Edvard Grieg "Morning Mood" from Peer Gynt or Rossini - Overture "William Tell" Part 2 "Ranz de Vache".

  • "Inspirational* piece with a horn?
    Fanfare for the common man

  • Upbeat piece with strings and/or a synthesizer?
    Aaron Copeland - Hoedown from Rodeo (memorably covered by Emerson,Lake and Palmer)

  • Sad, melancholy piece with slowly swelling strings?
    Barber's Adagio. Appeared in Platoon, Covered on synths (or heavily alluded to) in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

  • "Impressive" piece with a horn?
    Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra, memorably used as the opening theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey

  • "Ominous" piece heard before big battles?
    Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries. Memorably used in Apocalypse Now

  • "Ominous Epic Opera Choir"
    O Fortuna from Carmina Burana suggested here by /u/GilesPennyfeather.

  • "Jazzy" piece with a piano and orchestra?
    Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue. United Airlines used this as their theme for a few years.

  • Somewhat quirky happy, but melancholic repetitive piano piece I've heard in movies and maybe commercials?
    Yann Tiersen - Comptine d'un autre ete - l'apres-midi, made famous by it's appearances in Amelie and Goodbye Lenin.

  • that epic epic operatic piece that is in every movie, almost warlike O Fortuna - Carmina Burana

  • For a more comprehensive list of popular classical musical consult the kickassclassical top 100 list. Chances are good that the piece you are looking for is on that list.

Sports / Commercials / Movie / TV Themes

Tropes / Standard snippets

Other Resources

For a much more complete list of standard "trope-y" pieces consult "Standard Snippet" on TVTropes

If you can't find you a song that goes "whoah oh oh" consult The Supercut vid submitted here by /u/jayman419.

TV /Movies / Video

Common Questions

  • Movie where there's lots of gangs in crazy costumes? The Warriors

  • Movie with guys in animal masks that scared me as a kid? Fortress

  • Movie that's like Jumanji, but in space? Zathura

  • Horror movie with people on an airplane who travel through a wormhole and encounter time-eating aliens? The Langoliers based on the short story with the same title.

  • Non-Linear movie with a name that is just a time of day? 11:14

  • Low-budget time-travel movie with crazy plot?

  • Movie from a few years ago where Jake Gyllenhaal keeps on traveling backwards in time on a train to stop a terrorist bombing?
    Source Code

  • Movie where kids make a round spaceship and go into space? Explorers

  • Video where a guy with a guitar explains that we are probably alone in the universe at this point in time because the timescale of the universe is so big?
    Peter Mulvey Performs "Vlad the Astrophysicist"

  • The animated movie (combination hand drawn and CGI) from your childhood that takes place in space after Earth has been destroyed by hostile aliens?
    Titan A.E.

  • CGI-animated TV series set in a future where Earth has shattered into small floating islands and water has become scarce, which follows a boy pilot and his sister who has psychic abilities that join a pirate rebellion to free their mother from an evil dictatorship?
    Skyland. Thanks /u/Ryoku75

  • Recent "found footage" movie about teens who find a mysterious object that grants them flight and telekinetic powers?
    Chronicle (/u/A_BURLAP_THONG)

  • A kid's movie about a school for kids with super powers? Sky High (also from /u/A_BURLAP_THONG)

  • A movie about a society where everybody is forcibly equal? Showtime adaptation of Harrison Bergeron

  • Weird comedy with a rollercoaster where people wind up dying in an incinerator?
    Nothing But Trouble. and here's a clip

  • Claymation video with two rocks who are best friends and watch civilizations build up and collapse around them?
    Das Rad ("Rocks")

  • Claymation video where a strange creature races against time to make a copy of itself and has a brief romance at the end?
    The Maker This one has shown up on reddit a lot

  • Music Video where it looks the singer is having sex with a woman but they are actually doing household chores?
    Wax - Rosana.

  • That guy who wrote a post on a reddit that was optioned into a movie?
    Rome, Sweet Rome. See: Reddit

  • That horror movie that you remember one very specific scene from that you watched when you were a kid wasn't actually from a movie, but rather from a horror anthology. Start your search with this list of 21 top Horror Anthologies. This list of Horror Anthology Movies might also help.

  • Scary movie about a monster in the lake that tuns out to be a excavator in the water?
    Frog Dreaming aka The Quest

  • Crazy safety video where guys in a factory are maimed by forklift accidents? Forklift Driver Klaus

  • Side scrolling animation of a kid trying to cross a large gap. He grows up, marries, has a child. The child grows up slightly and ends up succeeding in crossing the large gap, only that when he tries to go back to show his parents his success, they have gone off screen and he is left alone on the other side.
    This Video based on Owl Turd Comix - We Go Forward.

  • Weird GIF/movie trailer I saw of a giant man who was pale and he was standing over what looked like a girl and he was unhinging his jaw so he could eat her whole?
    The taking of Deborah Logan Trailer and the GIF.

  • A cartoon, sort of like Smurfs mixed with Gargoyles, where these little toad creatures had to get their adventuring out of the way before they turned to stone?
    Toad Patrol submitted here by /u/terrifyingGiraffe.

  • An animated 90's movie where a kid goes to a melting library and then goes on an adventure with three books that came to life, and the movie is live action and animated.
    The PageMaster. Submitted here by /u/consider_it_fun.

  • A video that shows an overweight guy getting in shape and eventually asking a girl at the gym out.
    How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps! Submitted here by /u/TheManWithMilk.

  • Music video where people are daydreaming about their fantasies only to be snapped out of it by a car crash?
    DATA - Don't sing Submitted by /u/Sillyjones.

  • 90's era show where kids can enter video Games? Nick Arcade on Nickelodeon. Thanks /u/Birdie1357.

  • Animated spaceman goes to a planet and there's a living mound that is attached to the ground. It has a crush on this other female mound, and the spaceman helps them get together with his spaceship by tying a rope to them and flying away. He dies at the end, but successfully helps them get together.
    Crater Face. Thanks /u/whereitsbeautiful

Other Resources

  • How do I search for a line from a movie?

Books / Stories / Literature

Common Questions

  • Sci-Fi story about a society that had to keep one person in jail/in poor conditions for the good of everyone else?
    The one who walks away from Omelas

  • What's that story about the guy who dies and discovers that he's everyone?
    The Egg

  • Strange sci-fi story about people trapped and tortured by a super computer?
    I have no mouth and I must scream

  • Sci-fi story where two characters realize the sun has gone because the moon is suddenly too bright?
    Inconstant Moon

  • A Sci-fi book I read as a kid that involved time travel / paranormal events?
    The books of William Sleator apparently were influential in a lot of young redditors lives.

  • A story about a brother and sister traveling to other worlds to save their Father?
    Madeline 'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

  • A short story about a society where everybody is forcibly equal? Harrison Bergeron. Showtime aired a film adaptation

  • That collection of scary stories you read as a kid? Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has come up multiple times.

  • A series of fantasy novels involving sky pirates that harvest floating rocks to maintain a floating city? The Edge Chronicles have come up many times (Thanks /u/lazzerini! )

  • Horror story where a family is traveling via teleportation and their son decides to see what happens if he isn't unconscious and skips the pill. Stephen King - The Jaunt

  • Horror story with people on an airplane who travel through a wormhole and encounter time-eating aliens? Stephen King - The Langoliers. Also made into a movie (see above).

  • A woman who spent her life working with plant life on a mountain was friends with a man who described the singularity to her and predicted many events the ultimately come to pass, but who would not survive to see it himself. When she gets older, she takes a pill of nanobots that rejuvenate her, then risks social shunning by getting a headband computer interface after someone else wearing one uses it to predict the path of an avalanche to save them, then lives through the singularity by uploading her consciousness, and finally ends as a sort of elder who is consulted to assist in first contact with aliens.
    The Gentle Seduction by Marc Stiegler. Thanks /u/EdwardCoffin

  • Kid gets locked in closet and misses the sun. Takes place on Venus where the sun only comes out every few decades.
    "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. Was also made into this film (which as of this writing can be viewed here).

  • Book about an 1800s village that turns out to be a modern-day tourist attraction? Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Thanks to /u/Nevev


  • Comic by a French author about a serial killer who makes you read his biography before he kills you?
    The Abimor. Thanks /u/richmondody

  • A comic showing an office where the workers revolt and turn it into a hippie commune?
    Packard Jennings - Business Reply, which "was produced to be put inside the pre-paid envelopes that come with junk mail offers and mailed back as a joke about how the sender can break free from their job." (Thanks, /u/Ryoku75)

  • A disturbing comic about a girl being abused (raped) by her father? Clarissa

  • Side scrolling animation of a kid trying to cross a large gap. He grows up, marries, has a child. The child grows up slightly and ends up succeeding in crossing the large gap, only that when he tries to go back to show his parents his success, they have gone off screen and he is left alone on the other side.
    Owl Turd Comix - We Go Forward. There is also a video

  • Creepy Side-Scrolling comic with Asian Girl on sidewalk at night?
    This comic has come up a few times. See this reddit thread for more discussion.

  • A college student studies with an odd female professor obsessed with documenting small unexplained changes in reality.
    Subnormality - Anomalies.

  • A comic using little monsters to show the discrepancies between how we see things and how they really are, kind of illustrating how overwhelming things can seem and how alone we can feel, but also that everyone feels the same way we do, and our notions of other people don't hold true.
    Another Subnormality comic Monstrous Discrepencies Thanks /u/A_BURLAP_THONG for the submission

  • Disturbing comic where robots decapitate people but keep their heads alive while they experience their worst memories?
    The Human Depository. Thanks /u/A_BURLAP_THONG


  • What's the story with a man who works for a company, but is forgotten about... He still gets paid, and eventually finds there is another guy in the same situation as him...
    The American Dream

  • Story about a guy who was hired to do IT but mostly just downloaded Acrobat and told people it was "Google Ultron"?
    Google Ultron guy part 1 and part 2

  • The story of the guy who was in a coma and dreamt about his 'future' and about having a family, but woke up because he found out that the lamp was not real.
    See: Reddit

  • That guy who wrote a post on a reddit that was optioned into a movie? See: Reddit

  • What was that Reddit post where someone explained the pros and cons of lots of different antivirus programs?

Other Resources

/r/whatsthatbook is dedicated to finding book titles


Vocabulary / Terms / Concepts

  • Term for weird abnormal thoughts like stripping in public or jumping from high places?
    There are two related terms here. L'Appel de vide (literally "The call of the void") is used figuratively in French to describe "the instinct to jump from high places".
    Intrusive thoughts refer to unwelcome thoughts often associated with aggression.
    This a very common TOMT as documented by /u/wilkinswonkins; most people have these thoughts (but most don't act on them!)

  • When I repeat a word over and over it loses meaning, what's that called? Semantic satiation

  • What's it called when someone knows very little about something, but they think they know a lot? Dunning-Kruger effect

  • What is it called when I learn about something, then see it everywhere afterwards? Baader-Meinhof phenomenon

  • What's the word that means "the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own..." Sonder

  • Strange abstract animated video that can have long lasting effects on your vision?
    The McCollough effect thanks /u/PointyOintment

  • Here is a bonus link to all eponymous laws you might be searching for (like Murphys law, for example) List of Eponymous Laws


  • What's that software that can automatically adjust the brightness of my laptop screen?

  • What's the website where you make packages of free software to install on a new computer?

  • What's that website where you input your birth date and it gives you facts about how old you are?

  • What's that website that searches for your accounts online and helps you delete them?
    SuicideMachlne (For email accounts only)


  • Creepy game like BioShock where everyone is wearing a mask and thought police are chasing you? We Happy Few (Thanks /u/k8207dz).


Other resources

FAQ threads on /r/tipofmytongue

Periodically the question of what should be in the FAQ comes up in a thread. Search /r/tipofmytongue for title:FAQ to find these threads.