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For other uses, see Dead Men Tell No Tales (disambiguation)
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"The world's still the same. There's just...less in it."
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Armando Salazar explains to Henry Turner that dead men tell no tales.

"Dead men tell no tales! So, I'm forced to let ye live."
Jolly Roger[src]

Dead men tell no tales was a common pirate phrase, meaning once someone is dead, they can no longer communicate, hence killing someone is the best way to keep him/her quiet. A standard pirate excuse for leaving no survivors.


"No, no, no. No need to fear me, boy. I always leave one man alive to tell the tale. Find Sparrow for me, and relay a message from Capitán Salazar. Salazar! Tell him... I will behold the daylight again, and on that day... Death... Death will come straight for him. Will you say that to him? Please?"
"I wish I could do it myself, but dead men tell no tales.
Armando Salazar and Henry Turner[src]

When the stolen Royal Navy vessel HMS Interceptor sailed through Shipwreck Cay, a graveyard of ships off the shores of Isla de Muerta, Cotton's Parrot spoke "Dead men tell no tales."[1] Some time later, during the War of Jolly Roger, the infamous undead pirate Jolly Roger captured the sloop Grim Reaper and turned the ship's treacherous captain Bo Beck into a living skeleton, devouring his soul. Admitting that dead men tell no tales, he decided to spare Beck's passenger so that Roger's enemy Jack Sparrow could receive the news of Roger coming for revenge.[2] When the crew of the Monarch was slaughtered in the Devil's Triangle, Armando Salazar spared Henry Turner on the account that dead men tell no tales, because he needed him alive in order to deliver a message to Jack Sparrow.[3]

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Behind the scenes[]

John Alvin's poster for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

"For the Tokyo version of the attraction, we found out that instead of saying, 'Dead men tell no tales,' the ghost voice was saying, 'There is no mouth on a dead person.' Well, that doesn't make sense, that wasn't what we were trying to do. There's no Japanese equivalent of 'Dead men tell no tales,' so we had to come up with something along the lines of, 'If you're not careful, you will not pass this way again.'"
X Atencio[src]
"In retrospect, it might've been cool to have Davy Jones say 'Dead men tell no tales' at that moment, but that's something that did not occur at the moment. 'Course, in our film, dead men do tell tales, but, still, would've been a nice ride tribute."
Terry Rossio[src] (DVD audio commentary)
  • In the Dead Man's Chest DVD audio commentary, writer Terry Rossio admitted that in retrospect, when Davy Jones' crew executed the survivors of the Kraken attack on the Edinburgh Trader, it "might've been cool" to have Jones himself say "Dead men tell no tales" at that moment of the film.[9]
  • On August 22, 2013, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg revealed that the title of the fifth film would be Dead Men Tell No Tales, alluding to the line well-known from the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.[10]
  • In LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, when a player completes all the main story missions, collect all the Minikits, get True Pirate on all levels, and find all the secret compass locations, a bonus level is unlocked. The level is a recreation of the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride, in which the phrase "Dead men tell no tales" is heard in the background.



Notes and references[]