Tock in the novel
Vital statistics
Title Tock
Gender Male
Race Watchdog
Faction Guardian of Lethargarians and Kids
Health Above average
Level Hero
Status Alive
Location Anywhere!

Tock is the deuteragonist of The Phantom Tollbooth. He acts as a guard against wasted time. A wise and protective yet friendly biomechanical watchdog, he saves Milo in the Doldrums and accompanies him throughout his entire adventure, giving him answers to his questions and advice to fix his problems and keep him out of trouble throughout the story. He acts as a voice of reason.

Prior to his birth, Tock's mother and father had a puppy whom they named Tick, who made a "tock" noise. Likewise, when the second puppy came into their world, the mother and father named him Tock, figuring that both of their children would make the same sound. However, upon winding him, Tock's parents found that he made a "tick" noise instead. He followed the family tradition of becoming a watchdog.

Role in StoryEdit

Tock met Milo when he was policing the Doldrums, weeding out the time-wasting Lethargians.  He helped Milo get out by telling him "Since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking." He described how time works in the Lands Beyond: "Once there was no time at all, and people found it very inconvenient. They never knew whether they were eating lunch or dinner, and they were always missing trains. So time was invented to help them keep track of the day and get places where they should. […] [W]e were given the job of seeing that no one wasted time again." He then hopped in Milo's car, and accompanies Milo throughout his journey, acting as a voice of reason. As Milo and Tock drive through miles of the new land, the two start to create a quite good friendship.


Tock is a dog with brown, ruffled fur. In the novel, he is depicted with a clock embedded on the left side of his body. As for in the movie he has to open up his stomach to show where the clock lies. Cleverly, the clock rings when something bad happens and it alarms him.


Tock is a friendly and wise watchdog. Although he is a happy and playful person, he is mature, has a strong sense of morality, and often acts as a voice of reason throughout the journey. He forms a strong bond with Milo.

In his opinion, we should not waste time. Tock is a sweet sensitive character with a big heart.


  • Tock is the only main character to have his background told.
  • In the musical, Tock is often portrayed as female.


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