[[quoteright:228:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/timecop_2596.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:220:They killed his wife ten years ago... ''there's still time to save her''.]]
->''Turn back the clock, and you're history.''
-->-- Tagline

'''''Timecop''''' is a 1994 movie starring Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme as Max Walker, a (wait for it) [[TimePolice Time Cop]] who has to go back in time to prevent other people from going back in time and messing up history. Mia Sara was cast as his wife Melissa, [[TheLostLenore who dies in the opening act]], resulting in Walker's zealotry in his job:

->"''If I cannot go back to save her... this scumbag is not going back to steal money!''"

At no point in the movie are there any legitimate reasons for time travel, implying that the only reason for time travel is [[TerminatorTwosome to prevent other people from using time travel]]. This is actually a plot point. ButterflyOfDoom means that attempting to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong would have disastrous side effects, so about the least dangerous thing you can do with it is either [[ThisIsMyBoomstick go back and steal things with advanced technology]] or [[CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit make investments in the past that you can cash in on in the present.]] And even this is risking some bizarre accident that could kill billions. So aside from the highly risky (and unprofitable) archaeological possibilities, the technology has no productive use, resulting in the titular Cops. One politician even suggests that they simply re-invest the program's funding into tougher regulations on the technology -- but he's really only interested in stopping Walker's interference in his own time travel shenanigans.

The film was a modest box office hit, earning $101,646,581 in the worldwide market. With about 45 million earned it the United States market, it was its 30th most successful film that year. It had a short-lived [[RecycledTheSeries spin off show]], ''Timecop: The Series'', which featured a brand new cast and lasted for one season of nine episodes. There was also a direct-to-DVD sequel ''Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision'' (2003), taking place 20 years following the original.

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!!''Timecop'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AmnesiacLover
* ArtisticLicenseBiology + ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics: Apparently you can carbon-date gold bars.
** Even if you could, carbon dating isn't as precise as it's depicted in the movie. And even if it was, if the gold was brought through time it wouldn't have measurably aged.
*** Both could theoretically be explained (at least somewhat better) by the simple idea that they didn't bring it back with them, just hid it somewhere and then dug it up in the present. Probably much cheaper re: energy expenditure, and also might leave other trace on or around the gold that could be dated.
** A more valid method of asserting the authenticity of the gold would have been to examine whether the impurities in the metal and the casting marks match the time and place.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology + ArtisticLicensePhysics: another egregious scientific error has to do with the claim that "the same matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time". Technically, of course, this is true, they physically ''can't''. If you touch yourself in the past, like if you touch any object, the atoms in your body and your other body will actually occupy the space next to each other. And also there's Pauli's exclusion principle which states that two identical fermions (what matter is made up of) cannot occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. But in the film, what this apparently means is "if you touch yourself in the past, your body will melt into a revolting mass". But this can't happen in reality, since the same matter is always going to occupy a different space anyway. And, of course, the body replaces much of the matter that it contains, such that two versions of someone from ten years apart will not have much of the same matter in their body anyway.
* AutomatedAutomobiles: Voice-activated. In 2004! See {{Zeerust}} below.
* BeardOfEvil: [=McComb=] has got one.
* BeardOfSorrow: While '94 Max is clean-shaven, the Max of 2004 who's lost Melissa has notable PermaStubble.
* CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit: temporal criminals try to buy Wall Street stock on the day of the crash, and Hollywood land when it's worth only a few cents.
* CorruptPolitician: [=McComb=].
* DartboardOfHate: Senator [=McComb=]'s picture is stuck to a dartboard and is quickly turned around when he drops by for a visit.
* DrivenToSuicide: Max's ex-partner, Lyle, tries to jump out of a window on the reasoning that if he dies, [=McComb=] won't [[RetGone erase him from history]].
--> '''Lyle''': He'll send back someone to kill my grandparents. It'll be like I ''never existed!'' My entire family! My parents, my wife, my kids! Hell, even my fucking ''cat!''
** It's also one of the few cases in which the subject knows that the Mob Boss will keep his word - If he'd testified, then erasing him would solve the entire problem at a loss, but if he kills himself, the boss will let his history remain intact so as to not erase his contributions to the organization.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: Fielding pulls one out before she jumps for the first time.
* FutureMeScaresMe: The villain of the second movie scares his past self. So much that he may change his future.
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: After Fielding is betrayed by [=McComb=], she agrees to testify his crimes to Walker, only to be immediately murdered in her hospital bed.
* HerrDoktor: The inventor of the time machine is a "Doctor Hans Kleindast", a "Nobel Laureate who helped us during the space program."
* HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct: The MrExposition in the Senate hearing explicitly said it would be a bad idea to go back and kill Hitler, much as he'd personally like to.
** The second movie begins with the villain attempting to kill Hitler.
* IHatePastMe: [=McComb=] really doesn't like his past self.
* InSpiteOfANail: Future Walker stops the purse snatcher from doing so like he did in the original timeline.
* KarmicDeath: The criminal buying Wall Street stock makes a joke about a stockbroker who threw himself out the window just before he arrived. After being caught and sentenced to death, he's sent back in time to Wall Street -- in mid-air, several hundred feet up.
** [[spoiler: [=McComb=] insults Walker with a snide comment about the agent's "fancy kicking". Walker kills him in the climax by kicking 1994 [=McComb=] into his older self.]]
* MadeOfExplodium: One small brick of C4 should not make his entire large house explode in such a huge fire ball.
** It is in a shiny futuristic silver case. Maybe it's tightly compressed making it a much larger amount of C4 than would normally be contained in it.
* TheMobBossIsScarier: Early in the film, Walker's ex-partner who has started working for [=McComb=] refuses to testify against [=McComb=]. After all, the worst the police can do is execute him. [=McComb=] can make him and his whole family RetGone... along with all the money he earned for [=McComb=]. SuicideByCop is thus a very rational alternative.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: The rule is that "two instances of the same matter cannot occupy the same space". So if lets say two different time-displaced counterparts of the same person (such as a Past Self and Future Self) ''do'' meet (or more specifically, touch), they end up canceling each other out. By that we mean [[spoiler:they fuse into a giant gushing fluid mass of body parts that dissolves out of existence in a matter of seconds]].
** Its a blatant violation of the laws of conservation of mass and energy, but hey, [[TimeCrash it could be worse]].
** In the sequel, however, this does not cause the person in question to melt out of existence, but results in them fusing into straight-up BodyHorror.
* NotSoDifferent: [=McComb=] attempts to invoke this on Walker in the climax, [[ShutUpHannibal but Walker points out that unlike [=McComb=]]], he was trying to set the timeline right.
* RecycledTheSeries
* RippleEffectProofMemory
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong
* SpiritualSuccessor: The 2012 sci-fi film ''Film/{{Looper}}'' is basically a remake of this film.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: When he's back in the 1920s, Max's ex-partner -- who comes from the early years of the twenty-first century -- listens to a portable music player. However, since the movie was made in 1994, it's a CD Walkman. Apparently, he never got around to updating to an iPod.
* TemporalParadox: Averted, changing the past makes a new present, but doesn't change you, thus if you went back and time and killed your father, you'd come back to find that you never existed, but you'd be fine.
** You can still receive new scars from injuries suffered by your younger self, though, as [=McComb=] learned when his younger self suffered a nasty cut on his cheek.
* TerminatorTwosome: The Timecop's main job is to form half of one.
* TimeIsDangerous: The Timecop's method of time travel requires extremely high speed when they pass through the time travel field. There was one failure that just left two red spots on a heavy steel wall, which could have simply been averted by building a runway twice longer with runway brakes on the second half.
** The sequel uses a different method which can cause the time traveler to disintegrate upon departure, which is increasingly more probable if the same person goes through it repeatedly within a short period of time (from his/her point of view).
* TimeMachine: Timecop Type, a [[TechnicolorScience giant sled]] shoots you back into the past, but you arrive with out said machine, you have a remote control that will get you back to the sled.
* TimePolice
* TimeTravel
* TimeyWimeyBall: You can't travel into the future because it hasn't happened yet, but you can return to the present from the past.
** The sequel plays with time travel much more than the first one. In the end, it is implied [[spoiler: that all the preceding events of the movie never happened because the villain accidentally changed his own past]].
* UnscientificScience: The premise that you daren't come into contact with your past self because "the same matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time" is absurd. ''All the atoms'' in our bodies are replaced on a regular basis. In other words, not one single atom present in your body today was there five years ago. So what's causing the violation then?
* YouHaveFailedMe: Apparently, the reason why Atwood was trying to take advantage of the Stock Market Crash was because [=McComb=] threatened to kill his ancestors if he didn't or failed to do so.
* {{Zeerust}}: Remember back in 2004, when we all had those self-driving, voice-activated cars that looked [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_BffVRhsD5v0/SUVZvPzhvYI/AAAAAAAAA1c/Lliw5nSBfsU/s320/h-tcop-car12s.jpg like this]]? Good times, good times.

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