Created By: NateTheGreat on May 19, 2012 Last Edited By: Q on September 10, 2012
Troped

Police Code For Everything

No matter what happens, the police can assign a code to it.

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Trope
We've got a 20-26, someone's trying to describe a trope here!

The Monster of the Week is raging through New York, carrying a load of Noodle Implements, and he's even kidnapped the Designated Victim. A police officer on scene calmly pulls out his radio and says "We've got a 10-340".

No matter how obscure, improbable, or downright weird, the Crazy-Prepared department has a code for it. Furthermore, everyone will know instantly what the code means, and they might even have trained for its eventual occurrence.


Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Literature]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • A subversion from Corner Gas when Davis finds what he thinks is an alien crop circle:
    Davis: I want you to get the RCMP down here right away. Tell them we got a 10-92.
    Karen: Parking violation?
    Davis: By aliens!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Movie]]
  • From Charlie's Angels:Full Throttle:
    We got a 211, a 183, believe it or not, we got an 11-350, and it ain't pretty.
    An 11-350? You found an illegal chinchilla ranch on the premises?
  • In Live Free or Die Hard, John Mc Clane uses this to oust a fake police dispatcher. The code he gives is for naked people running around, and the dispatcher doesn't pick up on it.

  • There's a Naval version in Good Omens, involving the lost continent of Atlantis.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Occurs in a Garfield and Friends short:
    Chief: Looks like we got an 817, Jones.
    Cop: A creature living in the refrigerator, behind the mayonnaise, next to the ketchup, and to the left of the coleslaw?
    Chief: You got it.
[[/folder]]


Up for Grabs with no Rolling Updates. Please add any new examples directly into the draft. If you see a mistake, please fix it.
Community Feedback Replies: 53
  • May 19, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Could even do a Describe Topic Here joke.

    "We have a 20-46. Someone's trying to describe Everything has a police code here."
  • May 19, 2012
    foxley
    From Charlies Angels: Full Throttle:
    We got a 211, a 183, believe it or not, we got an 11-350, and it ain't pretty.
    An 11-350? You found an illegal chinchilla ranch on the premises?
  • May 20, 2012
    Andygal
    There's a naval version in Good Omens, involving the lost continent of Atlantis.
  • May 20, 2012
    Routerie
    ^ "Good old International Codes. They'd been devised eighty years before, but the men in those days had really thought hard about the kind of perils that might possibly be encountered on the deep. He picked up his pen and wrote down: 'XXXV QVVX.' Translated, it meant: 'Have found Lost Continent of Atlantis. High Priest just won quoits contest.' "
  • May 20, 2012
    RaustBD
    Mallory: "I don't know which is worse, the fact that Aniheim is being attacked by dinosaurs or the fact that you have a code for it." --Mighty Ducks

    Is that the kind of thing you're talking about?
  • May 20, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    Yeah, that works.
  • May 20, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    • The Babylon 5 Security Manual has a list of some of these, some of the more interesting examples include "4-57: gravity problem" and "4-111: unauthorized telepath".
  • May 20, 2012
    nielas
    ^ Are those really that improbable given the setting? Gravity could easily become a problem on a space station and unauthorized telepaths are Serious Business on that show.
  • May 20, 2012
    Koveras
    The title is kinda confusing to me, since "code" can also mean The Code. How about Police Has A Code For Everything?
  • May 20, 2012
    SharleeD
    • The Discworld Diary for the Ankh-Morpork City Watch includes a list of pigeon codes, several of which fit this trope ("The remains of the Alchemists' Guild have just exploded again"; "Previous pigeon eaten by gargoyle officer, please re-send").
  • May 20, 2012
    captainpat
    Sub Trope of Crazy Prepared. The quote for Crazy Prepared seems to be an example of this.
  • May 20, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    The Other Wiki specifically uses "police code" for this. If anything I feel that The Code needs a rename to Code Of Honor or something.
  • May 26, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Night Court: The Wheelers are brought in on a 509b violation.
    Harry: I don't believe I'm familiar with that one.
    Dan: Well Sir, it's not used in Manhattan very much. It involves the illegal detonation of poultry.
  • May 26, 2012
    JonnyB
  • May 27, 2012
    CaptainTrips27
    The Simpsons used one of these gags in the season 11 episode "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder."

    Chief Wiggum: Alright smart guy, where's the fire?
    Homer: Over there.
    Homer points at a fire at the police station
    Chief Wiggum: Okay, you just bought yourself a 317, pointing out police stupidity... Or is that a 314? Nah nah, 314 is a dog uh, in, no or is that a 315?... You're in trouble pal.
  • May 27, 2012
    foxley
    In another The Simpsons episode, Wiggum reports "an 812 - Waking a Police Officer".
  • May 27, 2012
    Koveras
    A Police Code For Everything to make it shorter?
  • May 27, 2012
    lexicon
    This reminds me of the "Space Corps Directives" from Red Dwarf

    • 1742. 'No member of the Corps should ever report for active duty in a ginger toupee.'
    • 5796. 'No officer above the rank of mess sergeant is permitted to go into combat with pierced nipples.'
    • 196156. 'Any officer caught sniffing the saddle of the exercise bicycle in the women's gym will be discharged without trial.'

    and so on...
  • May 27, 2012
    HandsomeRob
    In Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, Jane foster reveals they have a police code for Supervillain attacks. Can't remember the exact number however.
  • May 27, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    Those Red Dwarf examples aren't this trope.
  • June 1, 2012
    ketiltrout
    A subversion from Corner Gas when Davis finds what he thinks is an alien crop circle:
    Davis: I want you to get the RCMP down here right away. Tell them we got a 10-92.
    Karen: Parking violation?
    Davis: By aliens!
  • June 1, 2012
    Astaroth
    Another Simspons example would be the episode where Homer takes up a job as a truck driver, the truckers have a sheet of code which includes 'ask me about my family'.
  • June 20, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    Also from Garfield And Friends, the episode Binky Goes Bad has this:
    Cop: We've got a 708! That's right! A clown barricaded in a bakery with pies!
  • June 20, 2012
    Shnakepup
    Compare My Rule Fu Is Stronger Than Yours, where there's a rule for every possible thing (which opposing characters then attempt to exploit).
  • June 21, 2012
    foxley
    In Live Free Or Die Hard, John McLane uses this to identify the police dispatcher he is talking to is actually a fake. The code he gives for naked people running around and the dispatcher does not pick him up on it.
  • June 21, 2012
    firlz
    There are different actual code systems, the most commonly used is ten codes or 10- codes (they all begin with 10- go figure). A lot of it is the same, but departments just kinda add new codes as they need them. Some of them are really obscure, like 10-1000 meaning 'Bird just pooped on my leg through the car window.', I have learned that these kinds of codes mostly come about as a joke to remember silly incidents, but actually end up getting used for stuff, 10-1000 is used jokingly to refer to any sort of wardrobe malfunction that requires a change (though it is apparently listed on some official paperwork as something like "bird excreted on uniform, requesting break for change").

    So I guess that makes this Truth in Television?

    On a separate note, since this is used just as much by security and others as much as police (though in media it seems to be mostly police using it) having "police codes" in the name seems like a misnomer.

  • June 21, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    The proliferation of police code examples seem to indicate otherwise. Besides, does anybody other than the police use them in media?
  • June 21, 2012
    MidnightRambler
    I vividly recall a trope article describing exactly this... but I can't find it anymore.
  • June 21, 2012
    theo
    @Nate The Great - I think that @lexicon's Red Dwarf examples are the essence of this trope! They're the best examples anybody has given so far. Yes, they're Space Corp directives rather than police codes, but it's still a clear example of ultra-specific rule violations being predicted in advance and given a code, played for comedy.
  • June 21, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    Erm, those Red Dwarf examples aren't really "this bizarre event has happened and we need a shorthand way to tell our superiors about it." The Space Corp directives are "you shall or shall not do these bizarre things." Not this trope anyway.
  • June 21, 2012
    cenauge
    Sounds like the words Absurdly and Comprehensive should be in this title somehow. An absurdly comprehensive police code has a number for just about any situation.
  • June 22, 2012
    StevenT
    • From The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle:
      Judge Cameo: And you, Mr. District Attorney, I'd like to point something out to you in the penal code: Section C, Paragraph 22: "Celebrities are above the law." This case is dismissed.
  • June 22, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    It looks like we need a seperate YKTTW for "Absurdly Specific Regulation" for things like the Space Corp and Rocky and Bullwinkle examples.

    This is about codes used strictly as shorthand between police or other law enforcement personnel.
  • June 23, 2012
    Prfnoff
    (Lifted from Quotes.Large Ham)

    In Stan Freberg's "St. George and the Dragonet", St. George finally nabs the fire-breathing dragon on these charges:
    St. George: I'm taking you in on a 502. You figure it out.
    Dragon: What's the charge?
    St. George: Devouring maidens out of season.
    Dragon: Out of season?!? You'll never pin that rap on me!! Do you hear me, COP?!?!
    St. George: Yeah, I hear you. I got you on a 412 too.
    Dragon: A 412!!! What's a 412?!?!?
    St. George: Over-acting. Let's go.
  • July 14, 2012
    nman
    This looks like a good trope, so here's a bump.
  • July 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In Stan Freberg's "Christmas Dragnet" A man named Grudge is brought in on a 4096325-096704: not beliving in Santa Claus. Wednesday had previously brought him in on a 1492: not believing in Columbus.
  • July 15, 2012
    CastingCrowns
    Barney Fife and even occasionally Sheriff Taylor often names the police code being violated on The Andy Griffith Show.
  • July 15, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • In Void Dogs the Fickle Finger's security has a code for "exiled royalty has detonated a bottle". They also have one for "exiled royalty has detonated a turtle".
  • July 15, 2012
    Blubble
    I think this trope is already included in Crazy Prepared, although making a specific entry for this sounds like a good idea. Ultimately it will depend on the number of examples that are included.
  • July 15, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    This could be a subtrope of a supertrope called Code Phrase for Anything, with other subtropes being the codes used in diners between the cooks and the waitresses, and the slang phrases for various sexual acts used in brothels.

  • July 15, 2012
    LordCirce
    So, there is a supertrope Code Phrase for Anything, then we have subtropes of Police Code for Anything, Diner Code for Everything, Brothel Code for Everything, and so on?

    I would just like to submit my punny name: Ten-For Anything.
  • July 15, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    Don't forget a trope to handle the Space Corps Directives. Job Regulation for Everything?
  • August 10, 2012
    foxley
    Taz Mania: In "To Catch a Taz", Wendal arrests Thickley on "a 219; a fashion faux pas".
  • August 11, 2012
    DaibhidC
  • September 8, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • September 8, 2012
    Q
    I think that this should just be Code Number For Anything. No sub-tropes are necessary, Entries on the trope page could involve any context in which spoken numerical codes are used to refer to a highly specific event.

    Non-numerical codes and emergency codes might overlap with Code Emergency.
  • September 9, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    I don't think so. The point of this trope is that totally farfetched and unlikely scenarios have been foreseen and assigned numbers. And they're not "phrases", they're "numbers."

    Diner code? You mean the shorthand slang they use? That doesn't involve numbers anyway.
  • September 10, 2012
    captainsandwich
    four hats and no examples? you have to be kidding me.
  • September 10, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Only none in the OP.
  • September 10, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    The OP has one; the quote.
  • September 10, 2012
    Q
    Hats are not the equivalent of giving something a thumbs-up on YouTube. As it says when you add them, a hat signifies that the draft, as-written, is ready to be launched as an article. YKTTW comments don't get automatically merged into the article when launched, so they don't count. Given that the description is still written in first person and that there is only one example within the article (launch requires a minimum of three), it is certainly not ready to be published yet.

    Of course, if you're going to bother pointing it out....

    (Edit: Actually, given that this one is Up For Grabs, I'm going to go ahead and clean it up a bit).

    (Edit the Second: Actually, actually, on second thought, is this different enough from Code Emergency to be separate?)
  • September 10, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    Sister Trope, perhaps. We'd probably have to move over a few examples, though. Most of the Code Emergency examples are about realistic events, only a few are improbable and would need to be split into the new trope.
  • September 10, 2012
    Q
    Alright. I've cleaned up the article and added a few examples from the comments.

    I did not add any examples where the "code" was referring to a code of law or conduct, as that's a separate trope. I also didn't add any examples that I didn't know how to categorize. Some of the examples were reworded slightly, and there might be some accidental Mediawiki syntax in there. All other suggestions were implemented indiscriminately.

    Folder controls don't work on YKTTW, but they will work in the article proper.

    Changed title to Police Code For Everything, as that seems to be the most concise title with consensus. Unless there's any objections, I'll be launching this shortly.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=yn1braicnp5wlh35q1gcjgv0&trope=PoliceCodeForEverything