call the shots/the tune

call the tune

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. The phrase is a shortened version of "Who pays the piper calls the tune," which means that the person who pays for something assumes control over it. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call the tune here! Mom calls the tune for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, tune

call (all) the shots

to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots? Do what you're told. I'll call the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

 and call the tune
Fig. to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done. Sally always wants to call the shots, and Mary doesn't like to be bossed around. They don't get along well. Sally always wants to call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

Exercise authority, be in charge, as in It's up to the boss to call the shots. This term probably alludes to determining accuracy in target practice. [Mid-1900s] Also see call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the tune

Make important decisions, exercise authority, as in Nancy said that it's her turn to call the tune. The full term is Who pays the piper calls the tune, meaning whoever bears the cost of an enterprise should have authority over it. [Late 1800s] Also see the synonym call the shots.
See also: call, tune

call the shots

INFORMAL
COMMON If you call the shots, you are the person who makes all the important decisions in an organization or situation. Is the military really the power behind the President now? Who really calls the shots? He had to be the one calling the shots, in control of everything. Note: This may refer to someone shooting and saying which part of the target they intend to hit. Alternatively, it may refer to a snooker or pool player saying which ball they intend to hit or which pocket they intend to hit it into.
See also: call, shot

call the tune

COMMON If someone calls the tune, they are in control of a situation and make all the important decisions. If managers tried to get players to come back in the afternoon they'd have a riot on their hands. The players call the tune these days. Whether you're talking plant-breeding or choice of seed, supermarkets call the tune. Note: This expression comes from the proverb `he who pays the piper calls the tune'.
See also: call, tune

call the shots (or tune)

take the initiative in deciding how something should be done; be in control. informal
Call the shots was originally an American phrase, first recorded in the 1960s. Call the tune comes from the saying he who pays the piper calls the tune , which dates from the late 19th century.
1996 Sunday Telegraph Britain is no longer run from Downing Street. It's Brussels that calls the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the ˈshots/the ˈtune

(informal) be in control: Ask Jenny — she’s the one who calls the shots around here.
See also: call, shot, tune

call the shots

verb
See also: call, shot