call the tune

(redirected from calls the tune)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to calls the tune: Who pays the piper calls 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 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 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 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/tune Informal
To exercise authority; be in charge.
See also: call
References in periodicals archive ?
History has taught us over and over again that "the one who pays the piper calls the tune.
He who pays the piper calls the tune and we're not all in this together when Mr Cameron sips champagne with billionaires and ultra-wealthy heads of industry while driving down the living standards of low and middle earners.
Newcastle's director of rugby Dean Richards seemed far from amused at the prospect of his words being broadcast to an eager audience, but he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Striker Diego Forlan calls the tune in the Uruguay attack
Reacting to the Varney report, Plaid economy spokesman Adam Price said, "He who pays the piper calls the tune, and since it was Gordon Brown who commissioned the Varney report it is no surprise it supports Gordon Brown and the Westminster Treasury keeping control of setting tax rates.
He who pays the piper calls the tune, and the only thing the SRU can do about it is try to make sure that they are calling the tune next time by persuading these players to sign contracts for the two super districts.
He who pays the piper calls the tune and we are not all in this together when Mr Cameron sips champagne with billionaires and ultrawealthy heads of industry while driving down the living standards of low and middle earners.