Created By: lalalei2001 on November 27, 2011 Last Edited By: lalalei2001 on June 6, 2016

Instant Police

Whenever something bad happens, the police instantly show up.

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Do We Have This Already? Needs a Better Description.

There's trouble in Tropeland! A bad guy's around, but luckily the police are there to help...Even if there was no time to call them. For some reason they knew what was going on and when to show up. A common manifestation of this trope is when you don't actually see the police, but hear the sirens of the police cars.

Despite this, if the police aren't effectual, this can fall into Police Are Useless.


Western Animation
  • Seen in Jem when there's a bomb placed at Starlight Mansion and the police show up immediately after it's set off.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • November 27, 2011
    Film example:

    • Discussed in Chasing Amy when a character idly wonders why the police haven't arrived yet several minutes after two other characters faked a shooting for the sake of a media stunt. The only explanation for the cops' absense is "Wrong coast."
  • November 27, 2011
    Monty Python: In the Church Police sketch, all someone does is call the Church Police (by calling out "The Church Police!") and they show up.
  • November 27, 2011
    Also, another variant can be of the Oblivion "Stop right there, criminal scum!" variant, where any crime, no matter how minor, will ALWAYS be witnessed by a police officer who will then blow a whistle, wave his billy club, and give chase, usually in a humorous fashion. Bonus Points if Yakety Sax starts playing and Scooby Dooby Doors are involved.
  • November 27, 2011
    An inversion of The Cavalry Arrives Late.
  • November 28, 2011
    Scott Pilgrim: The Vegan Police
  • November 28, 2011
    SpongeBob SquarePants, "Hall Monitor": the moment SpongeBob realizes out loud that he's the maniac everyone's been looking for, he is surrounded by the entire Bikini Bottom PD.
  • November 28, 2011
    Deja Vu: You could be in the most far off region of town, even in an area that is stated that is so bad that the police won't even patrol there, yet if you murder someone (at least with a gun or a sharp object), the cops will always find you. Somewhat averted if you kill people with the syringe, but it will make the game Unwinnable.
  • November 28, 2011
    An episode of Star Trek The Next Generation had a society where there is only one punishment for all crimes: death. They had very few "mediators" (police) who hung around near randomly selected "punishment zones" that changed every day, and showed up immediately if a crime was committed in a punishment zone.
  • November 28, 2011
    Security Teams in Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Voyager tend to show up pretty immediately after they're called, too.
  • November 28, 2011
    Driven by The Law Of Conservation Of Detail, in real life the police are minutes away, but those minutes do not advance the plot.
  • November 28, 2011
    The Simpsons parodied this in "Cape Feare". After Bart stalls Sideshow Bob long enough, the boat they were on crashes on the shore of Springfield and Bob ends up in the presence of policemen in bathrobes.
    Chief Wiggum: Uh, yeah. It's a good thing you drifted by this brothel.
  • November 28, 2011
    Grand theft auto games have this alot, considering the theme of the videogame. however, the police have also have a habit of doing it even when the crime is completely miniscule or all you do is pull out your gun.

    Same thing in Destroy all humans when and if you aren't wearing a human disguise

    And A few episodes of Invader Zim have this too when Gir or Zim cause city wide destruction - only to end up doing nothing about it.
  • November 28, 2011
    Comically done in a Pixie and Dixie short. The cat Jinx was put under a restraining order, so whenever he would get too close to the mice, a group of Keystone-esque cops would appear in a cloud of dust and begin beating him with billy clubs.
  • November 29, 2011
    @randomsurfer: I think you mean the Spanish Inquisition. But more generally, Monty Pythons Flying Circus has spoofed the concept of police arriving on the spot whenever something happens. Taken to ridiculous extremes in the hungarian dictionary sketch, when a police officer hears the commotion from at least two blocks away.

    A common manifestation of this trope is when you don't actually see the police, but hear the sirens of the police cars.
  • November 29, 2011
  • November 30, 2011
    In Grand Theft Auto II, once you commit enough crime to catch the attention of police, so long as you're near a major road they'll show up from within a few seconds to within a half a minute depending on how much you're moving around, etc... and if you go out into a major road while already wanted, police cars will show up within seconds. It's partly justified, though, in that police patrol very heavily, and it's partly counteracted by the incompetence of said police.
  • December 1, 2011
    Can be subverted, in that the Instant Police will show up just when you don't want them to, on the one time in a hundred when they happen to be nearby, and will inevitably arrest somebody who had nothing to do with the crime and who in fact was striving to prevent bloodshed and keep the peace. In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Unseen Academicals, when Mr Nutt is stabbed by football hooligans who have had the presence of mind to flee the scene, the arrestee is Trevor Likely, who had been doing his best to prevent a fight from starting and was innocent of the stabbing.
  • December 6, 2011
    We already have Instant Emergency Response, which mentions the police as a variant. Not sure if there's room for this as well.
  • June 5, 2016
    ^ Throwing in a bomb for redundancy.
  • June 6, 2016