History Main / CluelessDetective

17th Aug '16 5:35:21 PM ANTMuddle
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* Inspector Clouseau from ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' movies is probably the best-known example.

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* Inspector Clouseau from ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' movies is probably the best-known example. Though he seems well-aware of his cluelessness.
12th Aug '16 9:58:48 PM dmcreif
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*** Straight example in Michael Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor clearance rate. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, Santangelo is pissing at the opposite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them. When he tires of being Rawls' spy, Rawls gives Santangelo an ultimatum: clear one of his open cases, give something on [=McNulty=], or leave the Homicide Unit altogether. Thus, Jay Landsman tricks him into seeing a phony psychic named "Madame [=LaRue=]", keeping him out of the way while [=McNulty=] and Bunk clear one of his cases, giving Santangelo grounds to stand up to Rawls, and gets himself demoted to a patrol officer in the Western District, [[ReassignmentBackfire and finds himself much happier and more competent there]].

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*** Straight example in Michael Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor 40% clearance rate.rate, which Rawls assumes will make him easy to control. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, Santangelo is pissing at the opposite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them. When he tires of being Rawls' spy, Rawls gives Santangelo an ultimatum: clear one of his open cases, give something on [=McNulty=], or leave the Homicide Unit altogether. Thus, Jay Landsman tricks him into seeing a phony psychic named "Madame [=LaRue=]", keeping him out of the way while [=McNulty=] and Bunk clear one of his cases, giving Santangelo grounds to stand up to Rawls, and gets himself demoted to a patrol officer in the Western District, [[ReassignmentBackfire and finds himself much happier and more competent there]].



** Happens again in season 2 when Major Stanislaus Valchek, in a bitter feud with Frank Sobotka over a stained glass window, wants an investigation opened into Sobotka's finances. He offers Ervin Burrell political influence from the council members in his district in exchange for a special unit devoted to investigating Sobotka. Rawls sends an investigative team from CID to Valchek, all "highly recommended" officers, who are, like the Barksdale detail from season 1, just dead-weight "humps" that other divisions wanted to get rid of. Witnessing the task force's lack of work ethic infuriates Valchek, who promptly demands a real police detail under Daniels' command (on Prez's recommendation and repaying a favor Valchek owed to Daniels from Season 1), threatening to complicate Burrell's effort to become Commissioner if he doesn't agree.

to:

** Happens again in season 2 when Major Stanislaus Valchek, in a bitter feud with Frank Sobotka over a stained glass window, wants an investigation opened into Sobotka's finances. He offers Ervin Burrell political influence from the council members in his district in exchange for a special unit devoted to investigating Sobotka. Rawls sends an investigative team from CID to Valchek, all "highly recommended" officers, who are, like the Barksdale detail from season 1, just dead-weight "humps" that other divisions wanted to get rid of. Witnessing the task force's lack of work ethic infuriates Valchek, who promptly demands blackmails Burrell into giving him a real police detail under Daniels' command (on Prez's recommendation and repaying a favor Valchek owed to Daniels from Season 1), threatening to complicate Burrell's effort to become Commissioner if he doesn't agree.by exposing his premature closure of the Barksdale investigation.
31st Jul '16 5:10:06 PM dmcreif
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*** Straight example in Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor clearance rate. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, he's pissing at the oppossite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them.
*** Augie Polk and Patrick Mahon play it up to pathetically comical levels; [=McNulty=] tasks them with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord. They come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man. Polk's only real concern about the job is paid overtime. Mahon is of the same ilk and jumps at the chance of early retirement after he's injured by Bodie during a raid, scheming he'll even complement his pension with a cushy underground economy job.

to:

*** Straight example in Michael Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor clearance rate. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, he's Santangelo is pissing at the oppossite opposite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them.
them. When he tires of being Rawls' spy, Rawls gives Santangelo an ultimatum: clear one of his open cases, give something on [=McNulty=], or leave the Homicide Unit altogether. Thus, Jay Landsman tricks him into seeing a phony psychic named "Madame [=LaRue=]", keeping him out of the way while [=McNulty=] and Bunk clear one of his cases, giving Santangelo grounds to stand up to Rawls, and gets himself demoted to a patrol officer in the Western District, [[ReassignmentBackfire and finds himself much happier and more competent there]].
*** Augie Polk and Patrick Mahon play it up to pathetically comical levels; [=McNulty=] tasks them with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqbr_fNiMcI They come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man. man.]] Polk's only real concern about the job is paid overtime. Mahon is of the same ilk and jumps at the chance of early retirement after he's injured by Bodie during a raid, scheming that he'll even complement his pension with a cushy underground economy job. Appropriately, their last names, "Póg mo thóin" (pronounced Pogue Mahone and source of ThePogues' band name) are Irish for "Kiss my ass."



** Happens again in season 2 when Valchek, in a bitter feud with Frank Sobotka over a stained glass window, wants an investigation opened into Sobotka's finances. He offers Ervin Burrell political influence from the council members in his district in exchange for a special unit devoted to investigating Sobotka. Rawls sends an investigative team from CID to Valchek, all "highly recommended" officers, who are in fact just a bunch of dead-weight "humps." Witnessing the task force's lack of work ethic infuriates Valchek, who promptly demands a real police detail under Daniels' command (on Prez's recommendation and repaying a favor Valchek owed to Daniels from Season 1), threatening to complicate Burrell's effort to become Commissioner if he doesn't agree.

to:

** Happens again in season 2 when Major Stanislaus Valchek, in a bitter feud with Frank Sobotka over a stained glass window, wants an investigation opened into Sobotka's finances. He offers Ervin Burrell political influence from the council members in his district in exchange for a special unit devoted to investigating Sobotka. Rawls sends an investigative team from CID to Valchek, all "highly recommended" officers, who are in fact are, like the Barksdale detail from season 1, just a bunch of dead-weight "humps." "humps" that other divisions wanted to get rid of. Witnessing the task force's lack of work ethic infuriates Valchek, who promptly demands a real police detail under Daniels' command (on Prez's recommendation and repaying a favor Valchek owed to Daniels from Season 1), threatening to complicate Burrell's effort to become Commissioner if he doesn't agree.
26th Jul '16 4:59:06 AM dmcreif
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* In ''Series/TheWire'', Cedric Daniels' Major Crimes Unit is designed as the dumping ground for the dead wood and ''humps'' from several departments.
** Straight example in Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor clearance rate. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, he's pissing at the oppossite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them.
** Augie Polk and Patrick Mahon play it up to pathetically comical levels; they are tasked with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord and come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man. Polk's only real concern about the job is paid overtime. Mahon is of the same ilk and jumps at the chance of early retirement after he's injured by Bodie during a raid, scheming he'll even complement his pension with a cushy underground economy job.
** Subverted with Lester Freamon, TheChessmaster of the show and BunnyEarsLawyer type who quickly proves to be natural ''po''lice, and zigzagged with Roland Prezbylewski, who is a good data analyst once inside the unit but otherwise a terrible cop.

to:

* In ''Series/TheWire'', ''Series/TheWire'':
**
Cedric Daniels' Major Crimes Unit is designed as the dumping ground for the dead wood and ''humps'' from several departments.
** Straight ***Straight example in Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor clearance rate. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, he's pissing at the oppossite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them.
** Augie ***Augie Polk and Patrick Mahon play it up to pathetically comical levels; they are tasked [=McNulty=] tasks them with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord and druglord. They come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man. Polk's only real concern about the job is paid overtime. Mahon is of the same ilk and jumps at the chance of early retirement after he's injured by Bodie during a raid, scheming he'll even complement his pension with a cushy underground economy job.
** Subverted ***Subverted with Lester Freamon, TheChessmaster of the show and BunnyEarsLawyer type who quickly proves to be natural ''po''lice, po''lice'', and zigzagged with Roland Prezbylewski, who is a good data analyst once inside the unit but otherwise a terrible cop.cop.
** Happens again in season 2 when Valchek, in a bitter feud with Frank Sobotka over a stained glass window, wants an investigation opened into Sobotka's finances. He offers Ervin Burrell political influence from the council members in his district in exchange for a special unit devoted to investigating Sobotka. Rawls sends an investigative team from CID to Valchek, all "highly recommended" officers, who are in fact just a bunch of dead-weight "humps." Witnessing the task force's lack of work ethic infuriates Valchek, who promptly demands a real police detail under Daniels' command (on Prez's recommendation and repaying a favor Valchek owed to Daniels from Season 1), threatening to complicate Burrell's effort to become Commissioner if he doesn't agree.
25th Jul '16 2:41:51 PM dmcreif
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* In ''Series/TheWire'' the dead wood and ''humps'' from several departments are dumped into an inconvenient special unit.
** Straight example in Santangelo.
** Polk and Mahone play it up to pathetically comical levels; they are tasked with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord and come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man.

to:

* In ''Series/TheWire'' ''Series/TheWire'', Cedric Daniels' Major Crimes Unit is designed as the dumping ground for the dead wood and ''humps'' from several departments are dumped into an inconvenient special unit.
departments.
** Straight example in Santangelo.
Santangelo, who Rawls picks to spy on [=McNulty=] specifically because of his poor clearance rate. Santangelo's excuse for his performance is the lack of "dunker" (easy) cases. When Avon and Stringer pay a rare visit to the pit, he's pissing at the oppossite side of the roof where he was supposed to be and misses them.
** Augie Polk and Mahone Patrick Mahon play it up to pathetically comical levels; they are tasked with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord and come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man.man. Polk's only real concern about the job is paid overtime. Mahon is of the same ilk and jumps at the chance of early retirement after he's injured by Bodie during a raid, scheming he'll even complement his pension with a cushy underground economy job.
24th Jul '16 5:17:43 AM dmcreif
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** Straight example in Santangello. Polk and Mahone up to pathetically comical levels; they are tasked with putting a face to Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord and come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man.
** Subverted with Lester, TheChessmaster of the show and BunnyEarsLawyer type and zigzagged with Prez a good data analyst once inside the unit but otherwise a terrible cop.

to:

** Straight example in Santangello. Polk Santangelo.
**Polk
and Mahone play it up to pathetically comical levels; they are tasked with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, the new Baltimorean druglord and come up with a photo of a middle-aged white man.
** Subverted with Lester, Lester Freamon, TheChessmaster of the show and BunnyEarsLawyer type who quickly proves to be natural ''po''lice, and zigzagged with Prez Roland Prezbylewski, who is a good data analyst once inside the unit but otherwise a terrible cop.



* Dr. Watson in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s78NsMFI2S0 "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Mysterious Vampire."
& The entire Seattle PD in ''Series/JohnDoe'' would have trouble solving their way out of a wet paper bag without the show's eponymous [[EncyclopaedicKnowledge savant]]. A couple serial killers even latch onto Doe as a WorthyOpponent, outright stating that the police don't provide them with any challenge.

to:

* Dr. Watson in https://www.[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s78NsMFI2S0 "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Mysterious Vampire."
& The
"]]
*The
entire Seattle PD in ''Series/JohnDoe'' would have trouble solving their way out of a wet paper bag without the show's eponymous [[EncyclopaedicKnowledge savant]]. A couple serial killers even latch onto Doe as a WorthyOpponent, outright stating that the police don't provide them with any challenge.
11th Jul '16 5:33:44 PM PixelKnight
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** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', Luke Atmey cannot deduce anything you didn't already tell him. His reputation as a great detective comes from [[spoiler:solving crimes that he ''paid the criminal'' to commit]].

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** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', Luke Atmey cannot deduce anything you didn't already tell him. His reputation as a great detective comes from [[spoiler:solving crimes that he ''paid ''blackmailed the criminal'' to commit]].into committing]].
24th Jun '16 3:07:49 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''HongKongPhooey'' needs help from his cat Spot in both the brains and brawn department.

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* ''HongKongPhooey'' ''WesternAnimation/HongKongPhooey'' needs help from his cat Spot in both the brains and brawn department.
7th Jun '16 11:40:29 PM MarcInGA
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Added DiffLines:

* Robert L. Fish wrote parodies about "Shlock Holmes" an incompetent detective. In one instance he "deduced" that their visitor had been a toothless diabetic because he discarded a cigar with a dry end and no teeth marks. When he returns you see he uses a cigar holder.


Added DiffLines:

* The police in Perry Mason might seem like it, since they kept arresting Mason's innocent clients. However, he had respect for them. In one episode he tricked a killer into planting evidence by claiming the police had missed it, leading to his arrest. His explanation was, if the police hadn't found it, then it wasn't there.
24th Mar '16 9:04:07 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''[[JohnCandy Who's Harry Crumb?]]'' Largely this trope. Though he does have some moments of deductive prowess.

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* ''[[JohnCandy Who's ''Who's Harry Crumb?]]'' Crumb?'' Largely this trope. Though he does have some moments of deductive prowess.
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