History Main / GoodCopBadCop

12th Apr '16 6:42:38 AM JackG
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* Literature/{{Serpico}} plays this straight. A rapist is beaten up by the detectives and doesn't talk; Serpico tries a softer approach afterwards and gets the names of the other criminals. Then after arresting them, Serpico is threatened with a reprimand for not having his notebook written up, [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished unless he allows the detectives to claim the arrests]].
8th Apr '16 10:01:32 PM JackG
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* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. In "Precious Cargo" Captain Archer pulls this stunt on an alien kidnapper (his partner has taken off in a spaceship with Trip Tucker). Archer convinces the alien that T'Pol is a ruthless 'judicial administrator' appointed by the Vulcans to enforce discipline on Enterprise.
-->'''Archer''': If you're late for your shift you might receive a beating. But for more grievous offenses, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer... we started out with eighty-three crewmen on board. We're down to seventy-six.
** T'Pol then enters the room in formal robes and asks some sinister questions about the alien's height, weight, and possible "post-mortem rituals", whereupon Archer tells the now-panicking alien that he might be able to get her to show "leniency" if he's seen to be co-operative...



* Mocked in ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Hungry" when the GenreSavvy suspect, who, indeed, is a man-eating monster, calls Mulder on his supernatural slanted inquisition.

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* Mocked in ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Hungry" when the GenreSavvy suspect, who, indeed, is a man-eating monster, calls Mulder on his supernatural slanted supernatural-slanted inquisition.



* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. In "Precious Cargo" Captain Archer pulls this stunt on an alien kidnapper (his partner has taken off in a spaceship with Trip Tucker). Archer convinces the alien that T'Pol is a ruthless 'judicial administrator' appointed by the Vulcans to enforce discipline on Enterprise.
-->'''Archer''': If you're late for your shift you might receive a beating. But for more grievous offenses, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer... we started out with eighty-three crewmen on board. We're down to seventy-six.
** T'Pol then enters the room in formal robes and asks some sinister questions about the alien's height, weight, and possible "post-mortem rituals", whereupon Archer tells the now-panicking alien that he might be able to get her to show "leniency" if he's seen to be co-operative...
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''
** In “Living Witness”, a historian shows a grossly-inaccurate portrayal of the Voyager crew as militaristic thugs. The Good Cop was Chakotay. The Bad Cop was ''Harry Kim''. Both are the two nicest characters on the real Voyager.
** In another instance, in "Equinox", Janeway and Chakotay are interrogating a crewmember of the ''Equinox'', a Starfleet ship whose crew has been killing aliens in order to power their ship. Janeway wants the crewmember to give her the tactical status of the ''Equinox'''s captain, Ransom. She threatens to lower the shields in the room, which would allow the aliens an opening to get through and attack the man, while she and Chakotay leave the room. The crewmember demonstrates his familiarity with this trope, looking at Chakotay and asking "I suppose the plan is that you're going to come to my rescue now, right?" Chakotay, however, admits that "There's no plan as far as I know. The Captain's on her own." When the crewman continues not to talk, Janeway and Chakotay leave the room and Janeway proceeds to do just what she said she was going to do, shocking Chakotay, who thought she was only bluffing. (The crewmember does crack, but not before being badly spooked.)
** Subverted in "Critical Care". Security chief Tuvok is playing bad cop when Neelix enters and insists on feeding the prisoner. However he's a LethalChef...



* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' did this in a somewhat ahistorical account in “Living Witness.” The Good Cop was Chakotay. The Bad Cop was ''Harry Kim''.
** In another instance, in "Equinox", Janeway and Chakotay are interrogating a crewmember of the ''Equinox'', a Starfleet ship whose crew has been killing aliens in order to power their ship. Janeway wants the crewmember to give her the tactical status of the ''Equinox'''s captain, Ransom. She threatens to lower the shields in the room, which would allow the aliens an opening to get through and attack the man, while she and Chakotay leave the room. The crewmember demonstrates his familiarity with this trope, looking at Chakotay and asking "I suppose the plan is that you're going to come to my rescue now, right?" Chakotay, however, admits that "There's no plan as far as I know. The Captain's on her own." When the crewman continues not to talk, Janeway and Chakotay leave the room and Janeway proceeds to do just what she said she was going to do, shocking Chakotay, who thought she was only bluffing. (The crewmember does crack, but not before being badly spooked.)
3rd Apr '16 7:32:46 AM Morgenthaler
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[[folder:Film]]

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[[folder:Film]][[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' has a single character with a LiteralSplitPersonality ''called'' Bad Cop/Good Cop. He's one of those minifigures whose head has two faces with different expressions and rotates to change them, the "inactive" face being obscured by the helmet.
-->'''Emmet:''' Look, um, [[GenreSavvy I watch a lot of cop shows on TV]]. Isn't there supposed to also be... Isn't there supposed to be a good cop?\\
'''Bad Cop:''' Oh, yes. But we're not done yet.\\
''(Bad Cop's head swivels around to become Good Cop.)''\\
'''Good Cop:''' Hi, buddy! I'm your friendly neighborhood police officer. Would you like a glass of water?\\
'''Emmet:''' Yeah, actually, that sounds--\\
'''Bad Cop:''' ''(head switches back to Bad Cop)'' Too bad! ''(punches glass across the room)''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]



* ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' has a single character with a LiteralSplitPersonality ''called'' Bad Cop/Good Cop. He's one of those minifigures whose head has two faces with different expressions and rotates to change them, the "inactive" face being obscured by the helmet.
-->'''Emmet:''' Look, um, [[GenreSavvy I watch a lot of cop shows on TV]]. Isn't there supposed to also be... Isn't there supposed to be a good cop?\\
'''Bad Cop:''' Oh, yes. But we're not done yet.\\
''(Bad Cop's head swivels around to become Good Cop.)''\\
'''Good Cop:''' Hi, buddy! I'm your friendly neighborhood police officer. Would you like a glass of water?\\
'''Emmet:''' Yeah, actually, that sounds--\\
'''Bad Cop:''' ''(head switches back to Bad Cop)'' Too bad! ''(punches glass across the room)''
26th Mar '16 9:57:47 AM JackG
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* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. As the Winchester brothers are often ImpersonatingAnOfficer they sometimes play this while interviewing witnesses, with the more caring Sam as good cop. However in Season Six, Sam loses his soul turning him into a callous sociopath. He therefore naturally falls into the bad cop role, as only Dean has the required empathy.
16th Mar '16 8:47:48 PM Ambaryerno
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* Subverted a couple ways in ''Comicbook/{{X 23}}: Target X'': While interrogating X-23 throughout the framing story, ''Comicbook/CaptainAmerica'' of all people plays the bad cop, with Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} as the good cop. A second subversion is that ''it's not an act''. Steve sees Laura as a merciless, remorseless killer responsible for the deaths of hundreds, and he's genuinely belligerent and hostile towards her, in large part because [[MyGreatestFailure he blames himself]] for allowing her to kill so many people[[note]]He actually had her in custody after her very first assassination, but she escaped him by masquerading as one of the victims of her own rampage.[[/note]] Matt, by contrast, genuinely believes in Laura's innocence because of the circumstances of her creation, and takes a much more compassionate and supportive position while questioning her.
7th Mar '16 2:44:29 PM Morgenthaler
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* In ''WalkerTexasRanger'':

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* In ''WalkerTexasRanger'':''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'':



* On ''MurderSheWrote'', Sheriff Metzger, a former New York cop, once attempted this gambit with a suspect, but his deputy was a bit confused; he accidentally told the suspect that Metzger was the bad cop, after Metzger warned the suspect that his deputy was the bad cop.

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* On ''MurderSheWrote'', ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', Sheriff Metzger, a former New York cop, once attempted this gambit with a suspect, but his deputy was a bit confused; he accidentally told the suspect that Metzger was the bad cop, after Metzger warned the suspect that his deputy was the bad cop.
4th Mar '16 11:42:02 PM nombretomado
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* In an issue of the ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' spinoff ''Comicbook/{{X-Factor}}'', during one of its DarkerAndEdgier periods (in the 90s, of course), two of the team members confront a villain and mention they'd considered playing Good Cop/Bad Cop, but neither of them wanted to be the "Good Cop". Unfortunately for them, the attempt at intimidation is a total failure and the bad guy gets away.
* Believe it or not, a reverse situation was done once with CaptainAmerica as the Good Cop, of all people, in a six-issue SpiderMan story called "The Assassin Nation Plot". When trying to find Sabertooth (who had just murdered the prime minister of Symkaria) Cap and Silver Sable track him to a group of sleazy thugs in Latin America. After trouncing them, Cap tries to get the leader to talk, but the crook knows Cap's reputation and says he wouldn't hurt him. Then Silver points a gun at him and says "Yes, ''he'' won't." The guy quickly starts to talk. (It's doubtful Cap would have actually let her shoot him, but the situation was rather dire.)

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* In an issue of the ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' ''Comicbook/XMen'' spinoff ''Comicbook/{{X-Factor}}'', ''Comicbook/XFactor'', during one of its DarkerAndEdgier periods (in the 90s, of course), two of the team members confront a villain and mention they'd considered playing Good Cop/Bad Cop, but neither of them wanted to be the "Good Cop". Unfortunately for them, the attempt at intimidation is a total failure and the bad guy gets away.
* Believe it or not, a reverse situation was done once with CaptainAmerica ComicBook/CaptainAmerica as the Good Cop, of all people, in a six-issue SpiderMan story called "The Assassin Nation Plot". When trying to find Sabertooth (who had just murdered the prime minister of Symkaria) Cap and Silver Sable track him to a group of sleazy thugs in Latin America. After trouncing them, Cap tries to get the leader to talk, but the crook knows Cap's reputation and says he wouldn't hurt him. Then Silver points a gun at him and says "Yes, ''he'' won't." The guy quickly starts to talk. (It's doubtful Cap would have actually let her shoot him, but the situation was rather dire.)
16th Feb '16 6:55:15 PM Klavice
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** Happens again as more of a literal example in the episode ''Rarity Investigates!'' with Dash again where (bad cop) Rainbow Dash interrogates the castle guards with (good cop) Rarity. Rainbow asks biting questions while Rarity talks softly and seductively (while posing on her fainting couch).
7th Feb '16 8:49:54 AM maxwellsilver
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* Doug and Carey try this when buying a new car on ''Series/KingOfQueens''. Doug plays Good Cop while Carey plays Bad Cop. When Doug gushes over the car, Carey announces "I wanna take a sledgehammer to this piece of crap." Doug then tells her in private "You're supposed to be Bad Cop, not... ''Gestapo!''"

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* Doug and Carey try this when buying a new car on ''Series/KingOfQueens''.''Series/TheKingOfQueens''. Doug plays Good Cop while Carey plays Bad Cop. When Doug gushes over the car, Carey announces "I wanna take a sledgehammer to this piece of crap." Doug then tells her in private "You're supposed to be Bad Cop, not... ''Gestapo!''"
7th Feb '16 8:49:06 AM maxwellsilver
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--> ''[[ColdBloodedTorture It was then that Evy realized [he] wasn't her friend.]]''

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--> ''[[ColdBloodedTorture It ''It was then that Evy realized [he] wasn't her friend.]]''''



* From one of DavidLetterman's shows: Dave and Paul are Good Cop, Good Cop. "One of them plays by the rules. The other one... also plays by the rules." They aren't very effective.

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* From one of DavidLetterman's Creator/DavidLetterman's shows: Dave and Paul are Good Cop, Good Cop. "One of them plays by the rules. The other one... also plays by the rules." They aren't very effective.



* Justified in an episode of ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' in which Don teaches Dick to be a cop. First Dick is good cop and Don is bad cop. Then they switch places, but they don't stop there. Instead, they ''both'' do bad cop and finally both do good cop. This, by the way, is all done on the same (very confused) suspect. At the end, Don explains that this experiment proves that good cop/bad cop is the only viable combination

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* Justified Sone in an episode of ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' in which Don teaches Dick to be a cop. First Dick is good cop and Don is bad cop. Then they switch places, but they don't stop there. Instead, they ''both'' do bad cop and finally both do good cop. This, by the way, is all done on the same (very confused) suspect. At the end, Don explains that this experiment proves that good cop/bad cop is the only viable combination



** Josh attempts it on another occasion (where it's also being PlayedForLaughs) but is quickly [[AvertedTrope stopped in his tracks]] by Toby:
--> '''Josh:''' We're going to do good cop/bad cop.
--> '''Toby:''' No, we're really not.
--> '''Josh:''' Why not?
--> '''Toby:''' Because this isn't an episode of Series/HawaiiFiveO!

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** Josh attempts it on another occasion (where it's also being PlayedForLaughs) but is quickly [[AvertedTrope stopped in his tracks]] tracks by Toby:
--> ---> '''Josh:''' We're going to do good cop/bad cop.
--> ---> '''Toby:''' No, we're really not.
--> ---> '''Josh:''' Why not?
--> ---> '''Toby:''' Because this isn't an episode of Series/HawaiiFiveO!



* Michael and company from ''Series/BurnNotice'' have had to do this a few times when interrogating people. Perhaps most amusingly, on one occasion they had to use [[TriggerHappy Fiona]] as the good cop that a female suspect can sympathize with.

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* Michael and company from ''Series/BurnNotice'' have had to do this a few times when interrogating people. Perhaps most amusingly, on one occasion they had to use [[TriggerHappy Fiona]] Fiona as the good cop that a female suspect can sympathize with.



* ''Series/KeenEddie'': Eddie and Monty play GoodCopBadCop with boxer Jimmy Fishkin, who gets the same treatments from his criminal bosses.

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* ''Series/KeenEddie'': Eddie and Monty play GoodCopBadCop Good Cop, Bad Cop with boxer Jimmy Fishkin, who gets the same treatments from his criminal bosses.



-->'''Robocop:''' (''punches scenery'') '''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Dismember mode]].'''

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-->'''Robocop:''' (''punches scenery'') '''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Dismember mode]].'''Dismember mode.'''



* Comedy version in ''BetterOffTed'', where Veronica and Linda use this routine to coerce employees into giving to their charity donation drive.

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* Comedy version in ''BetterOffTed'', ''Series/BetterOffTed'', where Veronica and Linda use this routine to coerce employees into giving to their charity donation drive.



* Deputies Jones and Garcia were going to invoke this trope in ''{{Series/Reno911}}'' with a suspect they had in custody... that is until Garcia slipped up and called it [[FreudianSlip "Good Cop Black Cop"]], understandably pissing off Jones.

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* Deputies Jones and Garcia were going to invoke this trope in ''{{Series/Reno911}}'' ''Series/{{Reno 911}}'' with a suspect they had in custody... that is until Garcia slipped up and called it [[FreudianSlip "Good Cop Black Cop"]], understandably pissing off Jones.



* ''{{Series/CSI NY}}'' in 'Civilized Lies'. Mac is angry and aggressive, and Flack comes in and is nicer, and the perp even asks if it's this trope.

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* ''{{Series/CSI ''Series/{{CSI NY}}'' in 'Civilized Lies'. Mac is angry and aggressive, and Flack comes in and is nicer, and the perp even asks if it's this trope.trope.
* Doug and Carey try this when buying a new car on ''Series/KingOfQueens''. Doug plays Good Cop while Carey plays Bad Cop. When Doug gushes over the car, Carey announces "I wanna take a sledgehammer to this piece of crap." Doug then tells her in private "You're supposed to be Bad Cop, not... ''Gestapo!''"
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