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->'''Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden''': Your record here reads like a cross between ''Film/TopGun'' and ''Film/AFewGoodMen''.\\
'''Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr.''': Sorry about that, sir.\\
'''Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden''': I'm not. The Navy needs heroes. Now more than ever. Pilloried in the press by a liberal media, underfunded by an election driven Congress and shooting ourselves in the foot every time a sailor gets horny.\\
'''Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr.''': Yes, sir.\\
'''Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden''': Now, if I repeated those words to the press, the Secretary of the Navy would demand my resignation. For while my words are as true as the blue ice in the Arctic, [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad they're politically incorrect]]. And today's Navy, Mr. Rabb, sails on the sea of political correctness.
-->-- Season 1, Episode 14, "Smoked".

'''JAG''', an acronym for '''Judge Advocate General''', is a [[LongRunners long running]] TV show (1995-2005), about judge advocates ([[UsefulNotes/ThePentagon pentagonese]] for lawyers in military uniform) in the Department of the Navy's Office of the Judge Advocate General, who deals with military justice matters wherever the forces of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps go in the world.

Created by veteran {{showrunner}} DonaldPBellisario for [[Creator/{{Paramount}} Paramount Network Television]] and originally pitched to the networks as a ''Film/TopGun'' meets ''Film/AFewGoodMen'', the show lasted one season on Creator/{{NBC}} before being canceled. It was picked up by Creator/{{CBS}} the following season, and they turned into one of the most successful shows in their history.

The first and, to a lesser extent, the second season focused primarily on [[ActionSeries action packed pre-trial field investigations]], while the third and later seasons [[ReTool joined that formula together]] with an equal amount of courtroom and office drama in the stylistic vein of ''Series/LALaw''. Many episodes have storylines which often were RippedFromTheHeadlines, e.g. the war in the Balkans, introduction of female combat pilots on aircraft carriers, [[SpyFiction espionage]], racial bigotry, fraternization charges, a U.S. sailor accused of raping Japanese woman in Japan, homosexuality in the Armed Forces in the days of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", [[CrookedContractor crooked contractors]], TheWarOnTerror, homeless veterans, senior officers insulting foreign allies, [[MiscarriageOfJustice miscarriages of justice]], [=AWOLs=] & desertions, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and so on and so forth.

''JAG'' has a number of dramatic episodes, some of which were based loosely on historical events. The [[TheMainCharactersDoEverything main characters are so involved in them]], that considering that they are lawyers, it tends to strain your WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief.

Its popularity led to a spin-off, ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', which has somehow managed to become [[MorePopularSpinoff more popular]] than its parent series[[note]]not least in Britain - ChannelFive dropped the parent show, but not the spinoff[[/note]].

[[WMG: Character tropes added [[Characters/{{JAG}} here]], please.]]

'''Note that the tropes in this page are divided into an overall series section (at the top) and a specific-to-an-episode section (below). Thanks.'''

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!!This series provides examples of:

* AdultFear:
** In episode "Nobody's Child", pregnant Harriet Sims accidentally gets to see crime scene photos of the corpse of a brutally murdered girl and freaks out. A few episodes later in "The Adversaries" she sees the dead girls identical twin sister and gets flashbacks of the photos.
** During the show's last two seasons, Harm became the legal guardian for a teenage girl named Maddie, who was abandoned by her father, who was driving when her mother died in a car accident(it was later revealed that her father was sober behind the wheel at the time). During the show's final season, Maddie was badly injured in a bi-plane crash and faced paralysis. Although Harm was being reassigned to London during the show's finale, he promised that he and Maddie would be together and that he would help her rehabilitate from her injuries.
* ArmedFarces: This trope only happens stateside and never on the frontlines.
* ArmiesAreEvil: SubvertedTrope. The [[YanksWithTanks U.S. Armed Forces]] (naval services in particular) is portrayed, save for a few bad apples, [[EagleLand as the very finest America has ever offered to the world]]. The civilian world is commonly portrayed as something lesser than the military with its inherent codes and values. In fact, the military is implied to be the only place in America where the content of a person's character can be fairly judged without any prejudice. An obvious AuthorTract as the [[DonaldPBellisario creator and executive producer]] did, once upon a time, serve in the [[SemperFi Marine Corps]] and would later make a career in Hollywood.
** Even with the blatant pro-military stance from the get-go, ''JAG'' wasn't BackedByThePentagon for the first two seasons because the Navy, following the Tailhook incident and the controversy of introducing females on combat ships and fighter planes, were in a hyper-sensitive mode and didn't want to be associated with any TV-show dramatizing crimes committed in the service.
** Played straight with the [[PoliceAreUseless Royal Ulster Constabulary]] in an episode taking place in [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles Northern Ireland]], mostly so that the IRA could be portrayed as heroic freedom fighters.
*** [[SarcasmMode For some strange reason]] this line of reasoning was not used [[TheWarOnTerror post-9/11 with regards to US forces]] and various Islamic terrorist groups with similar claims of being "freedom fighters". Also historical conflicts like UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, when referenced, is always depicted with the same American narrative bias.
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: ''JAG'' was - for a Hollywood-made television series - fairly accurate in terms of military protocol and procedures, however as [[BellisariosMaxim one may reasonably expect]], the RuleOfCool and RuleOfDrama always takes precedence above accuracy whenever it benefits the story.
** Although, it has to be acknowledged that well more than half the episodes featured situations that were completely removed from reality. You don't have to look very far. Even the picture above shows a female character with her hair down to her shoulders, which is not allowed in uniform.
** When the pilot first aired, a group of real Navy JAG officers got together to watch it. Before it began, everyone agreed to take a shot each time they saw a mistake. The contest had to end before the first commercial break because they knew they'd be passed out unconscious before the end if it continued.
* BackedByThePentagon: The U.S. Marine Corps supported this series early on, but it took a while for the U.S. Navy to get behind it. They were allowed to film on location with their actors at several military installations in California, such as Camp Pendleton, Point Mugu Naval Air Station, and at Naval installations in San Diego. They also filmed aboard the frigate ''USS John A. Moore'' (FFG-19) for the season 3 episode "Tiger, Tiger", aboard the aircraft carrier ''USS John C. Stennis'' (CVN-74) off the coast of California for the first episodes of season 5, and aboard the amphibious assault ship ''USS Peleliu'' (LHA-5) for season 6 episodes. After the events of 9/11 Bellisario said it became increasingly more difficult to shoot on location than it had been before.
** Following the cancellation in 2005, Commander Bob Anderson of the Navy's Office of Information Agency West is quoted to say that in ''JAG'' "the Navy never looks bad".
* BenevolentBoss:
** Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden, JAGC, USN.
** And the Admiral's replacement Major General Gordon Cresswell, USMC
* BunnyEarsLawyer: The main cast can fall into this at times. General Cresswell lampshades this in season 10 "The Sixth Juror" when he finds Bud having a hobby of code breaking, helping Harm on a case by phone, but still got all the work assigned done, Harm and Mac's usual antics when on a case and Petty Officer Coates [[spoiler:being made a juror on said case and pushed the rules by investigating whether another juror was having an improper relationship with a witness in the trial]]. In summary, the General can abide by these antics, as long as the work done continues being exceptional.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Except for the pilot episode (partly shot on a decommissioned aircraft carrier in Texas), location filming in Washington DC for two season 4 episodes and a season 5 two part episode filmed in Sydney, Australia, the series was entirely shot in California locales.
* TheCaptain: Admiral Chegwidden.
** Probably more of a ColonelBadass.
** Actually, it's TheBrigadier, since Rear Admirals are equivalent to Army/Marine/[=USAF=] Brigadier Generals.
*** Actually, he's the upper half of Rear Admiral, which is equivalent to a Major General, not a Brigadier.
*** He's closer in rank to TheBrigadier than a FourStarBadass. But he is the perfect representation of a FourStarBadass.
* CentralTheme: The military in general represents all thatís good about America, and although there are a few rotten apples in the barrel, the military as a system is never at fault.
** A subversion of ArmiesAreEvil as far as it gets without being outright propaganda.
* ChestOfMedals: This trope is somewhat suprisingly averted, as the main characters actually have far fewer ribbons (in terms of quantity not quality) than Navy and Marine Corps personnel in real-life similar positions do have.
** Although few judge advocates has ever earned the Navy Cross and Bronze Star with "V" (like Chegwidden), a Silver Star and two Distinguished Flying Crosses (like Rabb), or the Bronze Star (like Turner).
* CoolShip & CoolBoat: Various US Navy vessels appear throughout the program, with one of the most prominent being the fictional USS Seahawk.
** They also filmed aboard the frigate [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_John_A._Moore_(FFG-19) USS John A. Moore (FFG-19)]] for the season 3 episode "Tiger, Tiger", aboard the aircraft carrier [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_John_C._Stennis_(CVN-74) USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)]] off the coast of California for the first episodes of season 5, and aboard the amphibious assault ship [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Peleliu_(LHA-5) USS Peleliu (LHA-5)]] for early season 6 episodes.
* CoolPlane: Harm more than once climbs into the cockpit of an F-14 Tomcat [[spoiler: and also flies F-18s, C-130s, a stolen Mig 29, a Boeing 747 airliner, and the Aurora spy plane by the time the series ends]]. Not to mention his very own Stearman biplane "Sarah". (named after his grandmother and not his co-worker).
* CostumePorn: As the series features full display of the uniforms from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps worn by mostly good looking people.
* DadTheVeteran:
** Harm's deceased father obviously.
** Admiral Chegwidden, the the FatherToHisMen also qualifies.
** Sturgis' father also qualifies as he was in both [[UsefulNotes/KoreanWar Korea]] and [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam]] as well.
* DeadpanSnarker: The main characters, with the exceptions of Bud and Harriet, are prone to this. Chedgwidden is the king of this trope though.
* DevilsAdvocate: Happens often in ''JAG'' when one of the characters has to either prosecute an innocent person or defend an obviously guilty one. In addition, it is more frequently used in sparring arguments between the characters, both inside and outside of court. A TruthInTelevision.
* DisappearedDad: Harm's father was shot down over Vietnam [[spoiler: on Christmas when he was a kid, and Harm's attempts to find him were a recurring subplot for the first three seasons.]]
** Admiral Chegwidden, while a part of his daughter Francesca's life, wishes that he was there for her more than he was. His daughter loves him, however.
* DonaldPBellisario: Creator and Executive Producer
* DownerBeginning: Most of the openings starts with an accident occurring or a crime being committed.
* DramaticHourLong: The show's format.
* {{Eagleland}}: Comes in a mixed flavor, but generally the military is almost always of type 1 (Navy & Marine Corps in particular), while civilians and civilian life is often portrayed as type 2.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The show switched networks after the first season, and experienced a ReTool as a result, mostly resulting in much of the supporting cast being replaced. Given that the show centers around the military, the cast switch was remarkably easy to explain as being TruthInTelevision. Further, the pilot episode has Harm paired with Lieutenant Caitlin Pike who would be replaced by Lieutenant Meg Austin in the first season.
* EconomyCast: Even though the show was on the air for ten seasons and had loads and loads of characters this trope came into play. For instance, if there would be an issue somehow involving the {{CIA}}, Clayton Webb would never be far away.
* FinalSeasonCasting: Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) retired at the end of season 9 and was replaced in the final 10th season by Major General Gordon Cresswell (Creator/DavidAndrews). Lieutenants Gregory Vukovic (Chris Beteem) and Catherine Graves (Creator/JordanaSpiro) were also last season additions.
* GhostExtras: There are many people in the bullpen but they rarely ever interact with speaking characters. It gets particularly obvious that every staff meeting only includes lead and recurring characters, and sometimes also the guest star.
* TheGovernment: ''JAG'' is largely an aversion of this trope; as the protagonists work for Uncle Sam, the creator and show runner is a veteran, and the show was supported by the Pentagon; not surprisingly the portrayal of the government at large (excluding the actions of certain individual characters), and the military justice system is overall very favorable. However the {{CIA}} (mostly through the character Clayton Webb) is often portrayed, in contrast to the benign U.S. military, as either (depending on the story) ruthless, inept and/or shortsighted.
* HonestyIsTheBestPolicy: This trope is a recurring theme on the show and is brought up in several episodes. The resolution of the eight season episode "Need to Know" is a good case in point. However, the twist is that there should be honesty among the Americans, but maintaining a false facade towards others is okay.
* InHarmsWay: Harmon ''Harm'' Rabb, Jr. is a real trouble magnet and almost a trope codifier. Other characters on the show often make the, by now, lame joke that ''Harm is in harmís way'' and the like.
* [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Son]]: Harmon Rabb Jr. is identical to Harmon Rabb Sr. (save for the latter's mustache).
* InsistentTerminology:
** Constant references are made to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (and upon occasion the Manual for Courts-Martial) terminology and articles: particularly articles 31 and 32, the first is the equivalent of MirandaRights for service members, and the latter is about pre-trial investigation and hearing. ItMakesSenseInContext.
** A lot of naval aviation jargon show up in the PilotMovie and is completely justified as Bud points out to Caitlin Pike:
-->'''Caitlin Pike:''' ''You a pilot, ensign?''\\
'''Bud Roberts:''' ''No, ma'am. It's just that everybody uses pilot jargon on a carrier.''
** "Recovery" in the first season has Harm point out that the Air Force has ''pilots'' while the Navy has ''aviators''.
** Another episode ("Heroes", the one with the submachine gun fired in the courtroom), Mac claims that Marines never duck. Harm asks her what Marines do, and she replies. "They take cover.".
* InterserviceRivalry: A very common theme on the show. Sometimes it could be something as basic as military people v. civilians, or lawyers vs. non-lawyers.
** The Navy/Marine rivalry/siblingship is occasionally touched on: as one part of Harm and Mac's constant bickering, the all too short-lived rivalry between Gunnery Sergeant Galindez and Petty Officer Tiner, or in any other permutation as the story dictates.
** Harm occasionally indulges in good-natured smack talk with Air Force pilots in "Recovery":
-->'''Meg''': ''You could have used a little more runway''.\\
'''Harm''': ''You want long roll-outs, fly the Air Force''.\\
'''Meg''': ''Careful, Harm. We're in their territory''.\\
'''Harm''': ''There are a lot of friendlies around here, Meg. The space program likes Navy pilots. We make their best astronauts''.\\
'''Meg''': ''Right, I think I read that somewhere in Kepler's laws of planetary motion''.\\
'''Harm''': ''Hey, all I need to say is that the first American in outer space was not an Air Force jock. They put up a man who knew how to make a trap''.\\
'''Meg''': ''Then why was the first man in orbit a Marine''?
** The Marine provost marshal at the [=SeaTac=] base in "Brig Break" obviously didn't think too highly of Navy lawyers. And who could really blame the poor guy with Rabb outfoxing him several times.
** Harm also got into a BarBrawl with Army Rangers while working undercover as a Marine (ItMakesSenseInContext) in "Force Recon".
** Yet another episode had a far more specific example of ''intra-service rivalry'': Harm (an F-14 Tomcat driver) gets into a game of pool against a pair of F-18 Hornet drivers (in the military, the pilots understandably take a lot of pride in the aircraft they fly). One discretion cut later, and we discover that Harm and his pool partner evidently won their opponents ''pants'' in the game when he holds them up as a trophy to show Mac.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: While only four characters are in the opening credits for 8 seasons, it has a fairly expansive supporting cast.
* LongLostRelative: Harm spends a substantial portion of the show (seasons 1-3) searching for his father, who went MIA during the Vietnam War. [[spoiler: His father escaped custody, and was later shot and killed, but not before meeting a Russian woman and fathering another son, Sergei.]]
* LongRunner: Ran for ten years, on two separate networks.
* TheMainCharactersDoEverything: Harm and Mac gets to do a lot more while on duty than just litigating...
* MarriedToTheJob: All the main characters.
* MildlyMilitary: Averted. For a staff corps office they take military protocol very seriously. Take for instance when another admiral bursts into the office, someone yells "Admiral on deck!" and everyone stands to attention without the slightest degree of hesitation, as if at boot camp.
* MissionBriefing: Almost a OncePerEpisode on ''JAG''. Usually it is Admiral Chegwidden who, following the opening title sequence, hands a new case or mission to either Harm, Mac or to them both.
* OddlySmallOrganization: The Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy appears much smaller in the series than in real life, so small that Harm, Mac and Sturgis on occasions are temporarily assigned as Acting Judge Advocate General; despite the fact that in real life there is a flag officer serving as Deputy Judge Advocate General, not to mention all the Captains/Colonels (Assistant Judge Advocate General for X) serving as heads of the various departments; although itís supposed to be the same size as in real life, as Chegwidden in the ''{{NCIS}}'' backdoor pilot stating he has 750 people under his command, which was the actual real-world case in 2003.
** Although never stated in-verse, itís quite possible that the Deputy Judge Advocate General, who in real-life is also dual-hatted as Commander of Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC), has his office at the Washington Navy Yard (as in real life), while the fictional Falls Church office mostly houses OJAG staff and the judiciary.
* OfficeRomance
** Bud Roberts falls in love with co-worker Harriet Sims, gets married, and are allowed to work in the same office because Harriet is, courtesy of Admiral Chegwidden, "temporarily assigned" to the office for several years...
** The WillTheyOrWontThey arc for nine seasons between Harm and Mac.
* OnceAnEpisode:
** EstablishingShot: in season two and onward, the exterior of the in-universe JAG Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia is shown once or twice in most episodes: in RealLife it's an [[UsefulNotes/TheRedCross American Red Cross]] building in Pasadena, California.
** EveryEpisodeEnding: Every episode on ''JAG'', except the PilotMovie, ended with a freeze frame, usually of one or two of the main characters either smiling or showing a concerned look.
** InstrumentalThemeTune: "Theme from JAG", composed by Bruce Broughton and nominated for an Primetime Emmy.
** MilitarySalute. And done well too.
** PhotoMontage during the end credits, except for the PilotMovie which has crawling text on black background.
** TitleIn with the current time (given in military time, e.g. "0451 Zulu") and [[LondonEnglandSyndrome location]] in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OCR-A_font OCR-A font]], and with StockSoundEffects when the "title in is displayed in capital letters at the bottom of the screen" sound.
** TitleSequence: For every episode except the for the [[UniquePilotTitleSequence pilot which has only standard text credits]].
* OverrankedSoldier: Averted mostly, even though the investigation's and field work done by Harm and Mac are borderline.
* PermissionToSpeakFreely: Used frequently for when a lower ranking officer wants to speak to senior officer. Occasionally denied by the senior officer.
* PlotParallel: Used in just about every single episode post the first season.
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: Both Bud (Patrick Labyorteuax) and Admiral Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) did this at the start of Season 2. Turner (Scott Lawrence) and Coates (Zoe [=McLellan=]) did likewise in the final season.
* PutOnABus: Lt. JG Meg Austin was present for most of the first season, but disappeared with little explanation at the start of the second. Mostly averted with other characters, however.
* RatedMForManly: The first season of ''JAG'' on {{NBC}}) was essentially an ActionSeries, where the protagonist just happend to be a lawyer, marketed and made according to this trope. When the show moved to {{CBS}}, it was retooled to include more legal drama and soap opera elements, partially to appeal more to female audiences.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot:
** Catherine Bell's [[HideYourPregnancy pregnancy]] in late season 8, as her character temporarily served as judge to hide the fact. And later that season she followed Clayton Webb on a secret mission to Paraguay posing as his pregnant wife...
** Indirectly through RippedFromTheheadlines, as numerous incidents and happenings affecting the military are used as material for episodes, such as the 2001 April 1st collusion of a American and Chinese plane, or Clinton era budget cuts. One episode had Rabb going up against the RogueWarrior.
** Directly through 9/11 and the resulting armed conflicts in the Middle East, from the seventh season onwards.
* RecurringCharacter: Quite a few. No surprise with a show that was on the air for 10 years.
* RomanticFalseLead: So many.
** All the romantic false leads for Sarah "Mac" [=MacKenzie=] from died one way or another. The CartwrightCurse also affected Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr. too, but with the difference that only one of them died.
* RunningGag: Whenever a promotion is announced, there are accusations of the officer being "out of" or in "incorrect" uniform. Crosses into CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming when [[spoiler: Admiral Chegwidden retires and promotes Bud beyond his "terminal" rank]]
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Female combat pilots in the Navy? The WarOnTerror? Issues with various aircraft? You pick 'em, this show has 'em.
* SemperFi: Do or Die!
* SergeantRock: Most NCO's (particulary [[SemperFi Marines]]) seems to be made of this stuff. Could be case of AuthorAppeal.
* ShownTheirWork: The research and accuracy became better through the years the show was running, though inaccuracies could always be found. Having a [[SemperFi Marine Corps]] veteran as its creator, executive producer, and show runner probably helped. Being BackedByThePentagon probably helped a great deal too. They did sometimes cite real military case law.
** It should be noted that none of the starring characters who are military lawyers became that without having prior military service: Harm started out as an aviator, Mac was an administrative officer, and Bud was from the beginning a public affairs officer. AJ started out as a Navy SEAL, served in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar in that capacity, and was transferred later to surface warfare. Sturgis began his career as a submariner. This makes for interesting characters, as opposed to MildlyMilitary straight-out-of-law-school-graduates, as they can relate to and interact differently with the various communities in the Naval Services. This is not completely unrealistic as the Department of the Navy has a law degree program which allows officers in the Navy & Marine Corps to earn a law degree at an accredited law school on Uncle Samís dime, conditioned that they fulfill service obligation following graduation, which must be within three years. Suffice to say, this program is quite sought after and competitive to enter.
* SlidingScaleOfLikeRealityUnlessNoted: ''Semirealistic''.
* SlidingScaleOfRealisticVersusFantastic: ''Unrealistic'' or ''Semirealistic'', as opposed to ''mundane'' or ''unusual''.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: The show kept a balance between the serious and the silly.
* {{Soaperizing}}: This trend began to accelerate in the second and third seasons.
* SpinOff: ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', which in turn spun off ''Series/NCISLosAngeles''.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Not much changes visibly from episode to episode. The significant changes that inevitably once in a while occurs are few and far between.
* StockFootage: A lot of footage was reused from various military-themed films; particularly Creator/{{Paramount}} films like ''Film/TopGun'', ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'' and ''Film/ClearAndPresentDanger''; before the show itself received full official support from the Department of the Navy in the third season.
** To the show's credit, however, they were able to do some clever things with that stock footage via computer technology, including have Harm interact with then-President Clinton and Bud do likewise with then-President Bush.
* StoryArc: The major story arc for the first four seasons of ''JAG'' was Harmís search for his long lost father, although it was latent in most episodes not directly addressing it.
* StrawmanNewsMedia: All types were used. But, in the later seasons the storylines presented the UnitedStates military as an {{Eagleland}} with infinite PatrioticFervor. [[http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2002/08/a_few_sanctimonious_men.html]]
** There are also several episodes where members of Congress or [[TheWhiteHouse White House staffers]] in concert with StrawmanNewsMedia conducts investigations that turns into a politically expedient WitchHunt. Also, the evidence behind it is always shown as nothing more than either conjecture or hearsay.
* TemporaryLoveInterest: Harm and Mac had through the years various love interests, none of them lasted more than a season. Also Admiral Chegwidden had several short-lived love interests. Averted with Bud and Harriet, who remain married from season 3 to the end of the series.
* ThatsAnOrder
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Almost always the case whenever Harmon Rabb does something heroic or gets someone acquitted from court martial charges.
** Turns into OrchestralBombing in the final aerial battle in the PilotMovie.
* ThirdActStupidity: Harm or Mack confronting the bad guy alone.
* TitleDrop: Occurs throughout the series times whenever a character introduces oneself followed by he/she is from JAG or is a JAG lawyer. Individual episode names are also often, but not always, dropped.
* TruthInTelevision:
** The most incredible flying stunts on the show were re-enactments of actual events.
** Until it diverged with Cresswell becoming the JAG, in reality there has yet to be a Marine serving as Judge Advocate General of the Navy since Col. William Remey, the first Navy JAG.
*** Which simply makes a Marine serving as Navy JAG a distinct improbability, not an impossibility, considering that less than 500 of 1500 judge advocates in the DON are Marines.
* [[FourStarBadass Two Star Badass]]: Rear Admiral Chegwidden and his replacement Maj. Gen. Cresswell.
* UnCancelled: After the first season, the show was canceled by {{NBC}}. However, {{CBS}} picked it up immediately after NBC canceled it upon discovering that the show was [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff absolutely huge in Australia]] and was slowly gaining a cult audience in the United States. CBS proceeded to turn it into the biggest hit on the network. NBC did keep a finger in the pie by securing exclusive cable syndication rights for its USA Network.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Mac and Harm. Also MasterOfTheMixedMessage. [[spoiler: AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther in the last episode "Farewell and Following Seas": however it [[TheResolutionWillNotBeTelevised ends in the middle of the toss with a coin]], is it Harm or Mac who will give up career for love?]]
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: Many connections. AJ served in that war while in the Navy Seals. Harm's father was shot down over the skies of Vietnam and was declared MIA.
* TheWarOnTerror: From season 7 till the end.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Harm and Mac are the best example of the second kind of this trope.
* WithDueRespect
* {{Workaholic}}: All the characters to some extent, but particularly with Admiral Chegwidden who in a season four episode ("War Stories") is forced on leave and we see that he is incredibly bored. Although some of the characters do have meaningful hobbies other than work, like Harm (his Stearman biplane), Mac (Dinosaur bones) and Bud ([[{{Trekkie}} Star Trek]]), itís still implied that they work very long hours and have a limited social life.
** Admiral Chegwidden himself uses those exact words in his very first line on the show - to describe Rabb's file.
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!!Episodes of this series provide examples of:
* FiveFiveFive: In "Heart & Soul" Mac says the number to her office phone is 555-0171.
* AbandonShip: The Russian destroyer in "Cowboys and Cossacks".
* AbortedArc: Harmís Russian half-brother Sergey is not heard from anymore post season eight.
* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: Lots of military terminology. Often played straight, but sometimes used for laughs
* AfricanTerrorists: In the season 4 episode "Embassy", when Harm & Mac are at a reception at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, itís seemingly taken over by a rebel faction supporting an opposition leader. [[spoiler: It actually is an elaborate setup by the asshole ambassador to make him look like a hero and discredit the opposition.]]
* AgainstMyReligion: In the season nine episode "Posse Comitatus", Bud investigates a Navy reservist physician who suddenly claims conscientious objector status when called on serve in Iraq because he became a Quaker. When Bud informs him that after separation his medical practice would at the same time also lose the military health plan affiliation, he backs down.
** Played with in "Soul Searching". Webb reveals information to Chegwidden of a soldier they both think highly of, the admiral going as far as saying he saved his soul. During a attempt to rescue him from terrorists Chegwidden explains his friend didn't call out a sniper target, as they were dressed as a nun. Killing nuns was clearly against his friend's religion and Chegwidden leaves it ambiguous whether he would have taken the shot.
* AirVentPassageway: In "Sightings", Harm and Meg escape the oncoming Colombians by climbing through an air vent.
* AlphabetNewsNetwork: '''ZNN''', the fictional counterpart to {{CNN}}. Often ZNN is just in the background, but sometimes it becomes the very center of the story.
** ThisJustIn occur a few times.
* AlcoholicParent: Bud Robertís father. Macís late father was this also.
* AlienAbduction: In the episode "Vanished", an F-14 Tomcat has disappeared in TheBermudaTriangle. On a helicopter flight back to shore, skeptical Harm spots that nerdy Bud is reading a book titled ďThe Abducteeís Survival ManualĒ and starts a conversation on the topic (see quotes.) [[spoiler: It eventually turns out that the missing F-14 has nothing to do with aliens, but they do manage to get several vital clues to the puzzle from UFO enthusiasts.]]
* AlmostFamousName: Harm once offered to introduce a pair of sailors to JenniferLopez in exchange for them helping him out. It wasn't till after they've helped that we find out ''this'' Jennifer is his dental hygienist.
* AlternateHistory: In ''JAG'' there really was a smoking gun connecting SaddamHussein to Al-Qaeda, discovered by U.S. troops in one of Saddam's palaces, as seen in "Lawyers, Guns and Money". However this information appear to be classified (for some reason), because a year later Harm, Mac & Bud prepare their defense arguments before the International Criminal Court in "People v. [=SecNav=]" and Mac explicitly states that there is no smoking gun connecting Al-Qaeda to SaddamHussein.
* AmbulanceChaser: In the season eight episode "Standards of Conduct", one of these goes after Harm in a [[FrivolousLawsuit traffic accident scam]], and apparently this particular AmbulanceChaser is so good that the ''lawyer'' has to get himself a lawyer!
** Actually Harm concedes that he doesn't know enough about civil law/tort to handle it himself. Enter Bud, who see through the scam.
* [[AmericaWinsTheWar America Won The War]] and [[AmericaSavesTheDay America Will Save The Day]]: In season 9's "People v. [=SecNav=]", the Secretary of the Navy (with presidential approval) goes before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to stand before charges of war crimes in UsefulNotes/Iraq and is defended by Harm & Mac. He faces an aggressive prosecutor with a [[FrenchJerk French accent]].
-->'''Edward Sheffield''': ''Ever since our founding, America has been the symbol of hope for the world, and we remain so today. We accept our responsibility, which all civilized nations should, to fight against oppression and tyranny. But when we fight, we don't fight for land or oil or money or to impose our will. We take up arms against violent men who threaten our freedom and the freedom of others.''
-->'''ICC Prosecutor''': ''I commend your lofty goal of saving the world. But some might say the hundreds of Iraqis civilians you killed is nothing short of evil.''
-->'''Edward Sheffield''': ''The unintentional deaths of civilians is a tragic consequence of war. The purposeful slaughter of American civilians followed in the Middle East by jubilant dancing in the street, that is evil!''
-->'''ICC Prosecutor''': ''Did the world ask you to be its saviour?''
-->'''Edward Sheffield''': ''In 1917, in 1941, and throughout the 40 years of the Cold War, the world asked us for help. And we gave it. But now the war on terrorism has begun, and we can't wait to be asked. We must do what has to be done.''
-->'''ICC Prosecutor''': ''So you feel free to attack any nation of which you disapprove?''
-->'''Edward Sheffield''': ''[[MightMakesRight If that nation poses an imminent threat, we reserve the right to use military force to protect ourselves.]]''
-->Silence follows as the prosecutor [[ChewbaccaDefense is suddenly left speechless]] [[AuthorTract by the thoroughness of the arguments]]...
* AmusementPark: In "Boomerang, Part I", an American sailor kills an Australian sailor on the dock outside Luna Park in UsefulNotes/{{Sydney}} during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar.
* AnchoredShip: This was the case with Harm and Mac for almost nine seasons until it was resolved in the very last episode, "Fair Winds and Following Seas"; due to the fact the they are both career-oriented military officers working at the same place. Plus multiple other vauge excuses were made throughout the series.
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: No more than four episodes had stories involving characters other than the main cast, though still played by the main cast.
** Season 5's ChristmasEpisode was a WholeEpisodeFlashback to when Harm's dad was shot down over Vietnam, framed by Harm speaking with a USO performer who'd met his dad shortly before.
** Season 6's "Mutiny" had a dramatization of the RealLife mutiny attempt on the USS Somers and the investigation that followed, framed by Mac preparing to lecture on those events.
** Season 8's "Each Of Us Angels" focused on a group of Navy nurses before and during the Battle of Iwo Jima, and is the only episode where the entire cast appears, [[StandAloneEpisode but where none of them play their usual characters]].
** Season 9's "WhatIf" is an {{Elseworld}} [[AlternateUniverse story]] inspired by a series of identical fortune cookies. [[spoiler: Harm and Mac are married and about to divorce, Chegwidden's retired and married to his current girlfriend, Sturgis is working as manager for his girlfriend, Bud and Harriet aren't married, Coates is helping in a sting operation to catch thieves, and the head of JAG is Cmdr. Alison Krennick, unseen outside of flashbacks since the first season.]]
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: No one was particularly sad to see Lt. Singer leave for sea duty in the Middle East save Sergei.
* AntiAir:
** In the pilot movie we see Soviet-made AA guns used by the Serbs against U.S. Navy F-14s, and they almost take the CAG out, if it were not for his resourceful passenger.
** Also part of the backstory of Harm's dad: he was shot down by AA during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar (Christmas Eve 1969).
* AntiVillain: Colonel Matthew OíHara is a Marine Corps legend who earned the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, but heís grown tired of American degradation of society with street crimes and corrupted politicians, so he and a few other Marines snatches the Declaration of Independence transported in a mail truck on its back from a restoration job. [[spoiler: What no one knows at the outset is that the Colonel is the uncle of Major Sarah Mackenzie.]]
* ArmorPiercingQuestion:
** In "Ice Queen", the ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' [[PoorlyDisguisedPilot Backdoor Pilot]], Harm is arrested as the prime suspect for the murder of [[spoiler:Lieutenant Singer]] and as heís being handcuffed Gibbs ask a question he wasnít prepared for:
-->'''Commander Rabb''': Can you tell if someone's guilty by their eyes? \\
'''Special Agent Gibbs''': I can.\\
'''Commander Rabb''': Yeah? Well, look in mine. Ask me. Ask me\\
'''Special Agent Gibbs''': Would you kill [[spoiler:for your brother]]?
** In "Shifting Sands", Bud asks Rear Admiral La Porte [[spoiler:how non-English speaking Bedouin tribe could break American English codes if it wasn't his daughter, who was injured, found by the tribe 12 years previously, and fell in love with the sheik, who did it.]] The Admiral is stunned and broken as he realizes [[spoiler:his daughter was guilty of treason]].
* ArtShift: The two part episode of ''JAG'' in season eight which served as a backdoor pilot for ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' had much faster cuts and a completely different musical score from the usual fare on ''JAG'': whenever the ''NCIS'' characters were on screen (except for when they went to JAG HQ).
* ArtisticLicenseGeography:
** In one episode, Harm's partner is kidnapped by a gang in South Central UsefulNotes/LosAngeles. They tell Harm to drive back to Camp Pendleton, grab one of their members who has joined the Marines, and bring him back in one hour. Camp Pendleton is 90 miles from Los Angeles - even with no traffic it would be extremely difficult to make the drive down there in one hour, let alone back.
** In several episodes they also drive awfully fast, judging by stated Zulu times, from UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC to both Norfolk and Blacksburg in Virginia.
* AsianStoreOwner: In "Wedding Bell Blues", Harm goes to the dry cleaner to get his Dress Whites uniform back in time for Budís wedding, but is has been mixed up with a police uniform from another customer. The Indian owner will only help Harm locate the other customer if he agrees to take his daughter on a date.
* AuditThreat: Ted Lindsey's investigation in season 8.
* BadDate: Bud shows up too late at his first date with Harriet in "Washington Holiday" because his car had a flat tire.
* BadassGrandpa: The season 3 episode "Yesterday's Heroes" has three retired underwater demolition divers (one played by Creator/ErnestBorgnine) in Florida avenging on a South American drug dealer who'd hurt one of their grandchildren.
* BananaRepublic: Subverted in the ninth season episode "Secret Agent Man". While on a {{CIA}} mission in the [[UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}} Philippines]], Harmís partner Beth OíNeill has managed to get caught by the local police. Harm goes to the police station and tries to first play the act of an ignorant American tourist. When that doesnít work he changes to a tactic which completely misfires.
-->'''Harm''': All right, I get it. What's it gonna cost?
-->'''Police Officer''': What? You think that we are some kind of banana republic here where every official is for sale? You listen to me. You just go back to your nice comfortable tourist hotel and you think about it. (Starts shouting aggressively in Tagalog)
* BaseballEpisode: At the beginning of "Innocence" in season 4 it's the Navy judge advocates versus the Navy Chaplains.
** Also "The Boast" in season 9 where Harm and the Admiral witness a Navy pitcher hit a Marine batter during a friendly baseball game, leading to the pitcher being charged with assault.
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible: In "Skeleton Crew"
-->'''Bud Roberts''': Well, the medical examiner faxed over more autopsy details for Agent Turque.
-->'''Harmon Rabb''': Can I see them?
-->'''Bud Roberts''': Sorry, sir. Agent Turque instructed me that these were for his eyes only. In fact, his ExactWords were, "Don't hand any faxes over to Commander Rabb."
-->'''Harmon Rabb''': I see.
-->Bud Roberts drops one copy of the report for Harm to pick up.
* BedlamHouse: In "''The Martin Baker Fan Cub''", paraplegic Vietnam veteran Roscoe Martin (from "''King of the Fleas''") has been placed in a secured psychiatric ward in a VA hospital, rather than in prison due to Harmís lawyering skills. Now heís charged with second degree murder for the death of a fellow patient who jumped out of a window. While the hospital isnít bad, itís understaffed. Roscoe, quite obviously, donít like being institutionalized there, is described by a doctor as the most disruptive patient, and he makes an escape with a few other patients.
* BedouinRescueService: In "The Black Jet", bedouins have seized the downed jet, but proves to be helpful, and while Harm takes off in the downed jet, Mac and Keeter manage to sneak out of UsefulNotes/Iran with the aid of the bedouins.
* TheBermudaTriangle: An F-14 fighter plane disappears in the Bermuda Triangle in third season episode "Vanished".
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: After Mustafa Atef, the in-universe Al-Qaeda number 3, was sentenced to death by the military tribunal in "Tribunal", he committs suicide in his cell without uttering a sound.
* BikiniBar: Bud Robertsís womanizing drunk old sailor father has his sonís bachelor party in a strip club of this variety in "Wedding Bell Blues".
** At the same time, Harrietís SouthernBelle mom has arranged her daughterís bachelorette party at a club with [[ChippendalesDancers Chippendale-style dancers]].
* BilingualBackfire: In "Silent Service" Sarah Mackenzie is on a submarine as part of a fact-finding mission to determine whether women should be allowed to serve on submarines. A sailor looks at Mac and says, in Russian, "Do you think they'd look like her?" Another sailor says, also in Russian, "No, more like sperm whales," and they both laugh. Mac, who is fluent in Russian, says, "Let me know if you see any sperm whales. I thought they were rare in these seas."
** In "To Russia with Love", where she and Harm travel to Russia, two hotel clerks make some crude remarks about him 'being able to afford' a woman like Mac (they are in civvies). Mac steps forward and rattles off a quick, [[BilingualBonus untranslated]], reply, then tells Harm not to bother trying to look up what she said in his phrasebook.
** In "Nobody's Child", Harm and Mac questions a convicted child molester who had violated the terms of his parole and watched school children from his car and said he listened to ''Als ich bei meinen Schaffen wacht'' in his car, which Mac correctly translates from German to ''As I watch over my sheep'' and by doing so really gets his attention.
* BlatantLies:
** The 5th season episode "Rogue" begins with a [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope statement that it's not based on any real person or event]]; but even the episode title is a play on [[RogueWarrior Richard Marcinko]] and his Red Cell team that would play terrorists to test military security. They apparently really were able to infiltrate nuclear subs (how much of this is fiction is a matter of debate, but the team was real.) [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as even with his court martial and trial at the beginning of the decade the Navy was still very much trying to keep Marcinko's SEAL Team Six and Red Cell under wraps when the episode aired in 1999.
** The following episode, "The Colonel's Wife", also starts with the same disclaimer and is clearly inspired by the real-Life story of a military wife stationed abroad who in effect became a drug courier.
** The 7th season episode "Head to Toe", although its starts with a disclaimer, is clearly inspired by the famed lawsuit ([=McSally=] v. Rumsfeld) U.S. Air Force pilot Martha [=McSally=] brought against the Secretary of Defense for having to wear the Abaya while stationed in UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia.
* BootCampEpisode:
** "Boot" has Meg investigating Paris Island's female DI's in the most straightforward way.
** Harm goes undercover as a Marine Gunnery Sergeant in "Force Recon".
* BrandX:
** "Heroes" introduced a hamburger chain called Beltway Burgers.
** An OceanicAirlines flight to Seoul gets hijacked by South Korean radicals in 5th season episode "The Bridge at Kang So Ri". Luckily enough our heroes take care of the situation.
** The faulty F-14 maintenance contractor in "Flight Risk" is named Froehlke.
* BuildingOfAdventure: ''JAG Headquarters'' in Falls Church, Virginia has had its fair share of hostage situations, impostors, screaming births and courtroom antics (including assault of counsel and an automatic weapon fired in the courtroom).
* BurialAtSea: At the end of "Need to Know", the families of the crew of a submarine that foundered off the Soviet coast in 1968 on a secret mission gets to see a declassified film of the burial at sea that took place shortly after recovery of the wreckage.
* BuriedAlive: Mentioned in the 3rd season episode "Vanished". The villain orders one of his underlings to kill the hostage and bury them in the woods. The underling seems to interpret this literally by asking if they are to be buried alive. The villain replies by saying heís not heartless and he can shoot them first.
* ButtMonkey: The writers obviously had the recurring character Ted Lindsey to fill this role.
* CallingTheOldManOut:
** Bud and Harriet both do this in the season 3 episode "Wedding Bell Blues" with separate parents, Bud with his blowhard, semi-abusive working-class father and Harriet with her meddlesome SouthernBelle mom.
** Mac in season 4 gets one of her own against her mother in "Second Sight" at the deathbed of her father.
* TheCameo:
** [[LenoDevice Jay Leno]] comments on the events in the PilotMovie in his monologue on ''TheTonightShow''.
-->''This just in, one of the Navy F-14 Tomcats shot down a couple of Serbian [=MIGs=] over Bosnia this afternoon. Listen to this, the radar intercept officer in the Tomcat was a woman! Boy, you thought getting shot down by a woman in a bar was bad! Oh my God!''
-->''Another thing about that female aviator, now, this has got to be very embarrassing, to UsefulNotes/BillClinton and UsefulNotes/DanQuayle, Now women their daughters' age have more combat experience than they do.''
** Oliver North appears in a few episodes (two in the first season) as himself. Apparently he and Meg's father were old friends, and she calls him "Uncle Ollie".
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Allred Gloria Allred]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Cochran Johnnie Cochran]] in "JAG TV" comments on an in-universe televised court-martial with Mac as trial counsel.
** Mary Hart as host of ''Series/EntertainmentTonight'', also in "JAG TV".
** BillOReilly [[NewscasterCameo comments on a case]] in "Firendly Fire" involving friendly fire with British forces.
* CanadaEh: Clayton Webb getting assigned to a station in Canada ("Need to Know") was considered punishment for leaking classified information, and Harm expresses sympathy that he was getting assigned there, despite Canada's status as a first world country that's culturally a fair bit like the US, speaks the same language, and is only a short flight from his home in the DC area.
* TheCartel: In the second season episode "The Game of Go", a U.S. Marine is captured by a drug baron in Colombia while on joint operation with the Colombian authorities.
* CelebrityParadox: DonaldPBellisario, the series show runner and creator, exists in the JAG-verse as does his series ''Series/QuantumLeap''. Actor Dean Stockwell who had a major part in ''Series/QuantumLeap'', later plays Secretary of the Navy Edward Sheffield.
* ChekhovsGun: In the episode "Brig Break", Lt. Kate Pike and Lt. Meg Austin have a minor disagreement weather the proper title of the visitor's registration form for the brig is -77401 or -77501. At the climax, gunnery sergeant in charge of the brig has activated a nuclear weapon and it can only be deactivated by entering a five digit code. Since the Gunny had perversely tormented Meg by telling her the 5-digit code he picked "has a seven in it", Meg, Harm and Kate desperately try to choose a string of numbers with a seven in it that Gunny might have used on a regular basis.
* ChristmasEpisode: JAG had five of these, once per season following the fourth (save the show's sixth season) and with the common sight of Harm visiting the Vietnam Memorial [[spoiler: his father was shot down on Christmas Day]]. One episode aired on Christmas Day 1997, but had nothing to do with Christmas.
** Season 4: "Jaggle Bells"
** Season 5: "Ghosts of Christmas Past"
** Season 7: "Answered Prayers"
** Season 8: "All Ye Faithful"
** Season 9: "A Merry Little Christmas"
*** SpinOff ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has been carrying on the tradition with style.
* [[CIAEvilFBIGood [=CIA=] Evil, [=FBI=] Good, [=NCIS=] Incompetent]]: The CIA and other espionage agencies are evil or morally gray/grey. The FBI is portrayed as using JurisdictionFriction to take control of the investigation and refusing to cooperate with others. And with a dash of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness for the sequel show, Series/{{NCIS}}, [=NCIS=] agents, before the in-show pilot "Ice Queen", were prone to JurisdictionFriction and overlooking evidence that Harm or other lawyers would notice and solve the case. In fact, only the JAG lawyers acts fair and balanced. Everybody else is only concerned with saving their own asses.
* CigarChomper: Harmon Rabb occasionally smoked cigars, until third season episode "The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse" when he had decided to quit. Many minor characters; particularly senior military officers, intelligence officers and businessmen; are often seen chomping cigars. In review panning the series in its first season, TV Guide even characterized it as:
-->''... macho swaggering, muscle-flexing, cigar-chomping military men who canít stop whining about having to share their Navy with sailors in skirts.''
* ClearMyName:
** Harmon Rabb in "People v. Rabb" in season 3 most notably.
** And in season 10, Jennifer Coates in "There Goes The Neighborhood".
* CliffHanger:
** The first season ended [[spoiler: with Harm being arrested for murder]], though same episode was a MissingEpisode and later adapted, thus bordering on CanonDiscontinuity.
** The third season ended with a BolivianArmyCliffhanger in "To Russia with Love" [[spoiler: where Harm and Mac's plane is hit by a missile behind a cloud, while in Russia looking for Harm's father]].
*** [[spoiler:CliffhangerCopout: In the next season resolution, in "Gypsy Eyes", we see that they managed to eject before the plane exploded]].
** The sixth ended with [[spoiler: Harm lost at sea, having ejected from his F-14 trying to get back in time to catch Mac's wedding]].
** The seventh ends with [[spoiler: Bud stepping on a landmine while trying to prevent an Afghan boy from doing likewise]].
** The eighth ended with [[spoiler: Harm leaving JAG to save Mac and Webb against orders]].
** The ninth ends with [[spoiler: Webb apparently killed and the Admiral's retirement]].
** The series itself ends with something like a cliffhanger, [[spoiler: leaving the audience wondering if either Harm or Mac will retire after they decide to marry and whether they'll end up in London or San Diego afterwards]].
* ClipShow: JAG only had one: "Lifeline" in season 6. Though there were a couple of brief clip-show-style moments in a few other episodes.
* CoincidentalBroadcast: This happened several times on ''JAG'', and ZNN was the news network of choice.
* ColdSniper: In "High Ground"; when a promise by his former CO not be deployed to Bosnia is reversed by the new Colonel; Gunnery Sergeant Ray Crockett shots the rear mirror of the Colonelís car, [[ImprobableAimingSkills when moving at 1 000 yards distance]], as a warning before he takes off to the hills.
** But he's also at the same time a FriendlySniper, because he felt he was unjustly treated and never meant to harm anyone.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: In the second part of season 5's "Boomerang", after Harm and Mic get into a fight that inadvertently breaks Bud's jaw (he stepped in between their simultaneous punches), Admiral Chegwidden, with the approval of Mic's superior officer Captain Howell, offers them "non-judicial punishment". He takes them to an empty building, opens the door, and tells them they are not to leave until they inflict damage and pain [[LetsYouAndHimFight on each other]] equal to what they inflicted on Bud. The next day in court, they both look like they went 10 rounds with the heavyweight champ.
--->'''Captain Howell:''' I always did like Yank [=SEALs=].
* CoolCar: Harm owns a '70s Chevy Corvette. [[spoiler: It gets stolen and stripped for parts, but he eventually builds a new one.]] Mac buys herself a more modern Corvette at one point. [[spoiler: Something of a KickTheDog moment, however, as this was in the same episode that Harm's Corvette was stolen and stripped.]]
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: ''JAG'' has throughout the series many references to the Cold War, the former threat of the Soviet Union, and with particular emphasis on [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar that nasty proxy war in Vietnam]].
* CommieLand: Harm goes twice to China and twice to Cuba on the show.
* CommonNonsenseJury: Basically the plot of the season ten episode "The Sixth Juror" when Petty Officer Jennifer Coates is brought in as juror and starts asking pertinent questions which no one had thought about.
* ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination: The female assassin in "Washington Holiday" tries to do this twice with the Romanian royals, first in Brussels and later in DC.
* CoolOldLady: Porter Webb, {{CIA}} officer Clayton Webbís mother, a former {{NSA}} analyst who is perfectly comfortable with her sonís fake deaths and other cloak and dagger shenanigans.
* CoolShades: On ''JAG'', all Naval Aviators has at least one pair.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: used often as defense contractors will sell faulty equipment at premium prices often resulting in deaths of service members. Any military officer who aids them is always a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_officer junior officer]].
** In "Act of Terror", Percival Bertram is a wealthy businessman (looking like a CorruptHick) who supports right-wing conservative politicians and brands himself as a super-patriot advocating that the U.S. should take gloves of with respect to terrorists to U.S. interests in the Middle East. However, the alleged super-patriot finances terrorism in the Middle East against U.S. interests (supposedly to create a self-fulfilling prophecy gaining his own business interests.)
* CourtroomAntics: Frequently. DisregardThatStatement and ThatWasObjectionable in particular occur innumerable times.
** Harm fired a loaded MP-5 during a trial in "Heroes". The key piece of evidence in the case was a submachine gun that allegedly failed to fire due to a malfunction. Harm proceeded to pick up the gun, [[ArtisticLicenseGunSafety which had evidently never been unloaded]], and fired it into the ceiling. This did get him an epic ass-chewing, and the judge would continue to hold this against Harm for at least 7 more seasons. [[NeverLiveItDown No one else lets him forget about that either]].
*** Bud later uses a loophole in the building regulations so that the incident, which has evidently caused a structural weakness in the leaking roof, will not count as a black mark on Harm's record.
** During the [[http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2002/08/a_few_sanctimonious_men.html military trial]] of a terrorist Harm uses questioning that violates the spirit of the law. Both the judges and the defense tell him to stop.
* CovertGroupWithMundaneFront: In "Impact", The Bradenhurst Corporation officially handles toxic waste near Twenty Nine Palms, CA: but in reality builds [[FlyingSaucer UFO-like]] [=UAVs=] for Uncle Sam.
* CrashCourseLanding: Harmon Rabb lands a 747 airliner belonging to OceanicAirlines in "The Bridge at Kang So Ri" after having taken out South Korean radical-left hijackers. Considering that heís a pilot, he only gets a reminder of how big a 747 really is.
* CrazyHomelessPeople: In "The Guardian", Harm and Mac defend a homeless former [[{{Badass}} Navy SEAL]], in civilian court, who is accused of killing three men while thwarting a convenience store robbery.
* CreepyMortician: Averted with recurring character Lt. Commander Teresa Coulter, a Navy pathologist. The only creepy thing about her might be the deep southern accent.
* CunningLinguist: Mac, as she speaks or reads [[GratuitousRussian Russian]], Japanese, Spanish, [[GratuitousForeignLanguage Farsi]], [[GratuitousGerman German]], Arabic (beginning in season 10) and Hebrew.
* DamnedByFaintPraise: When President of the Captains' Promotion Board, [[spoiler:Chegwidden could only give a bare minimal compliment to Commander Lindsey. Then the board made further inquiries and Chegwidden's real feelings showed through.]]
* DangerousDeserter: In the season nine episode "Shifting Sands" [[spoiler:a Navy petty officer believed to be lost since the first UsefulNotes/GulfWar is found in UsefulNotes/{{Iraq}}, married to a Bedouin sheik. It turns out that sheís provided intelligence to Saddamís regime through the years.]]
* ADayInTheLimelight: Just about every supporting character on the show got an episode an season when they were the lead.
** Or an episode when they were put on trial (the "People v. X" episodes, among others). Harm got two.
* DeathWorld: A non-science fiction example; several episodes in the later half of the 7th season depicts {{Afghanistan}} as one.
* DecoyTrial: The episode "Defenseless" has a female Ensign in the U.S. Navy killing the Turkish military attachť in Washington. To convict the perpetrator, murder charges are brought against the Ensign who actually, unbeknownst to everyone involved in the trial, is a fake identity of a an officer with Naval Intelligence and evidence is by purpose stacked against the ensign to maintain US-Turkish relations. In spite of this, the Ensign's defense counsel, Harmon Rabb, [[ChronicHeroSyndrome manages to get her acquitted]].
* DeepCoverAgent: Harm's new neighbor, Meghan O'Hara, in "Washington Holiday" turned out to be a trained assasin, whose mission was to kill the Romanian king while in DC.
* DespairEventHorizon: In "King of the Fleas", Roscoe Martin tells the story how had as a POW during the Vietnam War been tricked into revealing the names of the pilot inmates at the POW camp, and was then forced to watch as the Vietcong executed the rest of them, which had plagued him ever since. Subverted in that after he had killed the camp commander in the present-day (1997-98), he regained hope again, as evidently seen in "The Martin Baker Fan Club".
* DidntSeeThatComing: In 1st season episode "Sightings", Colombian drug smugglers use the underground facilities of a supposedly abandoned navy base in Texas where they have a cocaine processing facility without the locals knowing anything about it. The Colombians also used a [[BlackHelicopter helicopter equipped with lights and low-frequency emitters, appearing as a UFO]], to scare away the locals. Obviously, they didnít foresee that the disappearance of a young local girl would lead the Navy to send two of its most resourceful investigators and foil the whole operation.
* DieHardOnAnX:
** "Code Blue" in the second season had Hamas terrorists take over a DC hospital where the Israeli defense minister was receiving a heart transplant. Unfortunately for Hamas, Harm was there to save the day. A few {{Shout Out}}s and an IncrediblyLamePun ensues, [[HilarityEnsues along with hilarity]].
** Another episode, "Tiger, Tiger" in the third season, was basically [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard]] [[UnderSiege on A Warship]], with Cuban hijackers seizing a frigate while it is taking a group of [[MilitaryBrat Navy Brats]] [[BusFullOfInnocents on a Tiger Cruise]]. [[spoiler: Turns out, they are not supporters of Castro's regime, but instead want to use the ship's weapons to [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized assassinate him.]]]]
** "Embassy" in season 4 is Die Hard inside a foreign embassy.
* DirtyCop:
** [[EvilBrit Royal Ulster Constabulary Inspector Vincent Hutchinson]] in "Trinity" who arranged the kidnapping of the infant child of an American naval officer and an IRA member, only to put the blame entirely on the IRA.
** DC Detective Frank Coster in "The Stalker", who did not only [[StalkerWithACrush stalk Mac, but killed her former boyfriend Dalton Lowne and kidnapped her]].
** In Season 6 "Retreat, Hell", Gunny must protect a Korean War veteran and survivor of the Chosin Reservoir from a dirty cop and friends who [[spoiler:want him dead so they don't have to give up their land that was illegally taken from the veteran's family years ago]].
* DirtyHarriet: Mac goes undercover in season 5 as a Chief Petty Officer trying infiltrate a Wicca group, including getting herself [[NudeNatureDance sky-clad]].
* DistractedByTheSexy: In "Yesterdayís Heroes", as part of the plan of busting a drug kingpin is having [[MsFanservice Mac]] approach him in a [[WalkingSwimsuitScene two piece swimsuit]]. It works.
* DrJerk: The character played by Patrick Labyorteaux in "Each Of Us Angels".
* ADogNamedDog: The dog Admiral Chegwidden adopts in the season nine episode "Empty Quiver" is named ''Dammit'', because that was the only expression to which it would pay attention.
* DontCallMeSir:
** In 1st season episode ("Sightings") a former enlisted service member takes offense being called sir by Harm.
** Another example is in "Dog Rober: Part 1" when Harm goes to Admiral Booneís place to inform him that the [=SecNav=] wants to have him as his troubleshooter.
-->'''Boone''': Don't sir me. I'm retired.
* DontMakeMeDestroyYou: From ''Soul Searching'', when [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Adm. Chegwidden]], a former Navy SEAL, gets into a scrape with a Italian mafioso:
-->'''Admiral:''' Signor Amati, many people have tried to kill me one time or another. They're mostly dead. So there's a good chance that your brother-in-law will join them if he does come after me.... Does he have other sons?\\
'''Enrico Amati:''' Uno.\\
'''Admiral:''' When he comes, I'll regrettably kill him too. And after him?\\
'''Enrico Amati:''' My sister will expect me to uphold the honor of mi familia.\\
'''Admiral:''' Then I'll have to kill you. I don't want to have to do that.\\
'''Enrico Amati:''' [in Italian] You're either a very ''bold'' man, or crazy!\\
'''Admiral:''' [In Italian] Not crazy. Practical.
* DoubleAgent: Sina Kazzari in "The Black Jet", who at first is assumed to work for the Americans, but later turns out to be working for the Iranians as well.
* DramaBomb: The death of Loren Singer in season 8. [[PoorlyDisguisedPilot Enter]] ''Series/{{NCIS}}''.
* DrawingStraws: In "Retrial", the wives of the bigamist prosecuted by Mac drew straws on who shouldn't divorce him.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Inverted in the season 1 episode "Boot", where the nasty sergeant, Staff Sergeant Carrington, is a woman (played by Julie Caitlin Brown) training female Marine recruits at Parris Island.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: One episode a young ensign from Jersey played by SarahSilverman, who absolutely tears across base in a Humvee, hardly ever looking at the road, rambling on about whatever comes to mind, and generally terrifying poor Bud and even making Harm nervous. Bud is forced to have her drive him somewhere on the other side of base because he's in a hurry, and finds her driving much less terrifying if he takes his contacts out first.
* DroppedAfterThePilot: The two episodes that comprised the PoorlyDisguisedPilot for ''{{NCIS}}'' had a character named Vivian Blackadder on Team Gibbs. Come the first episode of the spinoff, she's nowhere to be seen, and her slot on the team is quickly filled by new recruit Caitlin Todd.
* DrugsAreBad: In the episode "JAG TV", Harm investigates the death of a sailor onboard an aircraft carrier who apparently committed suicide by jumping in front of an F-14 during landing. Turns out the reason was his drug use plus other personal problems.
* DuelToTheDeath: In "Dog Robber (Part 1)", Mac deals with two Naval Academy midshipmen (and fictional descendants of Burr & Hamilton) who staged a failed duel.
* EjectionSeat: Played straight, averted, subverted, and discussed in various different episodes. Also part of the backstory for both how Harm became a lawyer and how his dad ended up [[DisappearedDad Missing In Action]].
* ElectricTorture: Clayton Webb, while on an undercover mission in Paraguay together with Mac, is subjected to this particular kind of torture in the season eight episode "A Tangled Webb". Mac is also about to treated the same, [[spoiler: but then Harm arrives and saves them.]]
* ElevatorFailure: Bud takes the elevator not realizing it is malfunctioning in the episode "Yeah Baby".
* EmptyQuiver: In the episode "Empty Quiver" a nuclear torpedo disappeared during transfer to a submarine. Subverted when it was discovered that, through a series of minor missteps (including a short blackout due to transferring to ship's power), the missile was ejected into the harbor. Sturgis notes that while it was an accident, it was very likely all of the sailors involved would never serve on any combat ship again.
* EngineeredPublicConfession and BluffingTheMurderer: In "Killer Instinct" (season 6), the defendant is a petty officer on an Aircraft Carrier suspected of murdering a subordinate (by throwing overboard at night), [[DisproportionateRetribution because they were incompetent at their jobs]]. One crucial piece of evidence is not admissible in court because the ship's CO did not have probable cause for issuing a search warrant, and this necessitates a different strategy from the prosecution. Harm does the standard [[ThePerryMasonMethod Perry Mason Method]], knowing beforehand that the defendant will not fall into the trap and make him overconfident. And when Bud later has his turn to question him, he begins by asking the defendant several questions that Harm had asked earlier, then proceeds to make several other basic errors before dropping his notes in mid-question, and finally drives the pedantic defendant [[PenultimateOutburst into a rage]], before revealing that he was ObfuscatingStupidity and it was all part of a plan.
-->'''Petty Officer Duell''': Some people donít belong in the United States Navy.
-->'''Lieutenant Roberts''': No, but the Navy wonít kill them.
-->'''Petty Officer Duell''': No, but somebody has to.
-->'''Lieutenant Roberts''': Somebody has to, ''[[TheyCallMeMrTibbs sir]].''
* EnsignNewbie: Both Bud and Harriet literally starts out as this.
* EpisodeOnAPlane: An OceanicAirlines (how typical) flight to Seoul gets hijacked by South Korean radicals in season 5's "The Bridge at Kang So Ri". Luckily enough our heroes take care of the situation.
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: Played straight in the season 4 episode "Embassy", when Harm is taken hostage in the Sudanese embassy and the FBI has already decided to cut off the embassyís electric power, Harm signals the word ''power'' in Morse code by failing to light a cigar, and this is noticed by Bud at JAG Headquarters through ZNN live coverage and Clayton Webb relays it the FBI.
* EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes: ''Scotland The Brave'' is played at Admiral Chegwidden's dining-out retirement party in the last episode of season nine.
* EverythingsWorseWithBees: In the first season episode "High Ground", after breaking brig and taking to the hills Gunnery Sergeant Ray Crockett is spotting Marines approaching and instead of shooting at them, he shots at a beeís nest above themÖ
* ExactWords: In season 8 episode "Friendly Fire" acting judge Harmon Rabb and his clerk Jennifer Coates realize that both prosecution and defense have missed evidence which would [[spoiler:give the defense a crucial edge in showing reasonable doubt]]. However, Judicial Conduct rules are strict and interference beyond the scope of his duties in the case is a court martial offense. [[spoiler:However when Harm realizes the rules only prohibit from giving advantageous help to the side which would gain the advantage. So he nudges the prosecution to look over where he found the evidence. Upon discovering it, they must give it to the defense]]. And with that, the case was over.
* FakingTheDead: Clayton Webb does this, twice, with Harm and Mac unintentionally doing likewise on one occasion.
* FallbackMarriagePact: In season four at the end of "Yeah, Baby", Harm and Mac agrees to have a child together in five years if neither have a significant other some time in the future.
* FalseReassurance: In "Cowboys and Cossacks", Harm and Bud conspire with the officers of a Russian warship to take command of the ship away from the Captain, who seems intent to go rogue and attack an American warship. Bud asks if they could be charged with mutiny for this, and Harm assures him that legally, they can't. Because it's technically an act of terrorism.
* FanConvention: Harm, Mac and Bud stay at a motel in "Father's Day" where a ''Series/QuantumLeap'' convention is held.
* FighterLaunchingSequence: * Just about every episode taking place on an aircraft carrier will feature this trope in some fashion.
* FootDraggingDivorcee: Mac had an abusive husband who refused to sign the divorce papers. And then he wound up dead and Mac was tried for murder.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the pilot episode when Harm arrives on the USS Seahawk both the Skipper and the CAG notices this from the tower and speaks on the phone where they hint at Harm's backstory.
-->'''Skipper''': ''Damn, CAG. [[GenerationXerox He looks like Hammer]].''
-->'''CAG''': ''[[PursuingParentalPerils Yeah]]. Too bad he couldn't fly like him.''
-->'''Skipper''': ''[[CareerEndingInjury I thought it was a night vision problem]].''
-->'''CAG''': ''So they say, Skipper.''
* FlareGun: In the episode "Full Engagement", Harm and Mac crash land his Boeing-Stearman biplane in the woods and fall afoul of a group of poachers who have recently shot and killed a park ranger. The Mac shoots one of the poachers with a flare gun in self-defense (at very close range) because they don't have any real weapons on them.
* FrameUp: In "Ares", TheMole planted floppy discs with corrupted software code from the eponymous weapons system with an innocent colleague, to steer attention away from his own planned escape.
* TheGeneralsDaughter: Bud's brother Mikey ends up briefly dating the daughter of the series' last JAG, Maj. Gen. Gordon Cresswell.
* GenreSavvy: [[FinalSeasonCasting Last season addition]] Lieutenant Catherine Graves is a [[AscendedFanboy fan of crime and mystery novels]]. Even though she is not a lawyer, being savvy of those genres turns out to be quite useful on several occasions.
* GlamorousWartimeSinger: The season 5 episode "Ghosts of Christmas Past", dedicated to BobHope and USO, casts Catherine Bell as one back in 1969.
* GoingDownWithTheShip: The Russian destroyer captain in "Cowboys & Cossacks" invokes this.
* GoingNative: In "Gypsy Eyes", after Harm & Mac have had their plane shot down by the Russian Air Force in Russia, they join a gypsy BrotherSisterTeam during his quest to [[IWillFindYou find his father]]. Also a case of SacredHospitality.
* GoodCopBadCop: In the season fifth episode "Into the Breech" of ''Series/{{JAG}}'', when Bud and Gunny go to the ex-wife of an old sailor they're looking for to testify at a hearing, Gunny says to Bud that they should approach it as good cop and bad cop to obtain a positive result.
-->'''Gunny''': Lieutenant, we play Mutt and Jeff. Do you wanna be good cop or bad cop?
-->'''Bud''': Well, uh, let's see.
-->'''Gunny''': Good cop. Absolutely.
* GoodLawyersGoodClients: This is generally the case on ''JAG''.
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: Military Space Agency & Defense Security Division.
* GradeSystemSnark:
** On Clayton Webb's first appearance in "We the People", he gives a rating of Mac's beauty. When someone asks, ''You go into fractions?'' Webb replies, ''I use the Richter Scale''.
** Mac makes a comment on the coffee made by Petty Officer Tiner to Harm in "Ready or Not".
-->'''Mac''': Tiner's brew has reached yet another octane level.
* GreasySpoon: Appears several times throughout the series, often on or close to military installations. Season one cliffhanger "Skeleton Crew" has a typical one.
* GreatEscape:
** "Brig Break" is about a jailbreak and with Meg in a HostageSituation.
** In "Scimitar", Harm and Meg gets the captured marine out of an Iraqi prison.
** In "The Black Jet", Harm and Mac gets Keeter out of an Iranian prison.
* [[GrumpOldMan Grumpy Old Men]]: Basically, every Admiral/General or senior NCO on the show near retirement will exhibit these traits. It goes for those who have already retired too. Itís justified, since those characters are almost always involved to some extent in an investigation or trial.
* UsefulNotes/GulfWar: Several references to that conflict are made throughout the series. In the 4th season episode "Mr. Rabb Goes to Washington", rumors are spread on a cable news network (ZNN) that Sarin nerve gas was used by U.S. Marines during the invasion of Kuwait in 1991.
* GunshipRescue:
** At the final climax in the 1st season episode "Scimitar", Harm and Meg while driving a limousine are chased by Iraqis in a Soviet made Hind. But at the Kuwait border a U.S. Army Apache saves the day.
** At the end of "The Black Jet", American F-18s provides cover for Harm to escape in the downed jet.
** Also in the 5th season episode "The Bridge at Kang So Ri", two U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles out powers two North Korean Migs.
* GuyInBack: Skates, who was Harm's RIO when he [[TenMinuteRetirement went back to flying Tomcats in early season 5.]] Various other characters fill this role in episodes featuring the Tomcat, including the pilot episode, where one such GIB was murdered.
* HauledBeforeASenateSubcommittee:
** The first Secretary of the Navy in the series, Alexander Nelson, gets called before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to answer for his unauthorized intelligence activities carried out by JAG lawyers. Ironically enough, the Chairman of the Committee, Edward Sheffield, ends up becoming his successor.
** In the pilot episode, Admiral Brovo makes the assumption that if the investigation into Lt. Arutti's death is negatively portrayed in the press in the wrong way, as in the Tailhook investigations, he might be made a political scapegoat by the feminists on the hill.
** In "Mr. Rabb goes to Washington" Harm assists Congresswoman Bobbie Latham in her House subcommittee hearings on the alledged use of sarin nerve gas by U.S. Marines at the time of the UsefulNotes/GulfWar.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: In the episode "Someone to Watch over Annie", the ten year old son of Harm's RomanticFalseLead by accident gets to see a murder at Andrews Air Force Base while slipping away from his school class when on a tour. It turns out the bad guys are weapons smugglers who don't shy away from killing witnesses.
* HeadsOrTails: The series finale ends with [[spoiler:[[AcePilot Harm]] and [[SemperFi Mac]] ([[UnresolvedSexualTension who]] [[WillTheyOrWontThey finally]] [[TheyDo tied the knot]]) flipping a ChallengeCoin to decide which of them will leave the military and live with the other so they don't have to be stationed apart from each other.]]
* HearingVoices / CuckooNest: In first season episode "The Prisoner", when Harm is taken to a [[HellholePrison Chinese military prison]] he begins to talk with, what appears to be, another prisoner in another cell who turns out to be his father. However, we see on the surveillance cameras that Harm is talking to no one, and the Chinese later explain that itís all due to the drugs theyíve administered.
* HeyThatsMine: {{Subverted}} in "Rogue". Harm is talking to a [[RogueWarrior Richard Marcinko expy]], and at some point, the guy holds up Harm's wallet, criticizing him for letting the guy steal it, pointing out that he could use the ID contained within to allow him access onto the base. Harm then tells him to [[GenreSavvy open the wallet]], revealing that the ID card holder inside contains only a note saying "Arrest Me".
* HonorBeforeReason: In "The Colonel's Wife", the eponymous wife has involuntarily become a drug courier in order to protect her husband's anti-drug program in UsefulNotes/Panama from blackmail. When the facts are about to be revealed, she gets herself killed in order to save her husband's honor.
* HollywoodHealing: Subverted. If a main character is injured, they will remain so for a few episodes. Then there's Lt. Bud Roberts who [[spoiler: never gets his leg back and we see him working with a prosthetic for the rest of the series.]]
* HollywoodNerd:
** Subverted in places, particularly less than five minutes in the [[PilotMovie pilot episode]], where one of the aviators and air crew of the USS Seahawk (one of the series fictional Aircraft Carriers) banter about what taking out Klingons and Romulans would mean when painting on kill symbols onto the F-14.
** After getting Harm out of a minefield in Afghanistan (season 7, episode 23 "In Country"), Mac acknowledges that she [[SawItInAMovieOnce only learned how to do it by watching movies]].
** Played almost straight in other places, like with Bud and his various "nerdy" interests.
* HollywoodSilencer: The first season of JAG had these in several episodes, including "Brig Break" and "Hemlock".
* HorribleHollywood:
** Harm's RomanticFalseLead Rene Peterson, in seasons five to seven, is very much a personification of this trope. An up and coming director of commercials and music videos, her neurotic personality traits are very much the anti-thesis of all the main characters.
** Admiral Chegwiddenís brief stint as technical advisor in "War Stories" was brought to an abrupt end because his ''can-do due-diligence gung-ho'' attitude was ultimately not very compatible with the nonsensical herd instinct of the Hollywood folks.
* HospitalHottie: Beverly Tromatore (played by Catherine Bell) in the season 8 episode "Each Of Us Angels".
** Foreshadowing of course the fact Bell would play a nurse in ''Series/ArmyWives''.
* HostageSituation: Happens fairly often. Before 9/11 it was usually part of a DieHardOnAnX.
* HowUnscientific: The show usually kept itself grounded in something resembling reality... except for the episodes involving Mac's psychic powers and Bud's near-death experience. And then there was that one time in "Ghost Ship" a villainous plan involving a fake ghostly vision was foiled by the appearance of a real ghost.
* HumanShield: Done several times. In "Tribunal", Mac is made a human shield by a suspected Taliban in Afghanistan with a knife aimed at her throat. She manages to get of his grip and beats him up.
* HuntingAccident: 3rd season episode "With Intent to Die" had Admiral Chegwiddenís mentor decease at such an occasion, and Chegwidden refuses to believe it was either a [[NeverSuicide suicide]] or an accident. Turns out he was right.
* ICouldaBeenAContender: Bud's college roommate Ron Katz who became a dot com millionaire at one point had asked Bud to become his business partner. Bud ponders in "The Colonelís Wife" what could have been if he had taken that path. Ultimately, he realizes that if so, he wouldn't have met his wife and had their kid.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: Played straight in "Washington Holiday", when the team were witnessing a failed assassination attempt on the Romanian royals. Told that the would-be assassin had named him as being behind the plot, the EvilChancellor protested that it was ridiculous to accept the word of a woman who had been subjected to lengthy police questioning. Of course, nobody had mentioned that [[MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial the assassin was female...]]
-->'''Minister Kepish''': Your Majesty, how can you possibly believe the lies of a woman tortured by the Belgian police?
-->'''King Josip''': How did you know the assassin was a woman, minister? They didn't even tell me that until an hour ago.
* IWasNeverHere: In "Tribunal":
-->'''Rabb''': Webb, I didn't know you were here.
-->'''Webb''': I'm not.
* IdiotBall: In the season 5 episode "Drop Zone", Mac grabs hold. She is prosecuting a Navy [=SEAL=] for causing deaths and injuries of some of his trainees in a jump exercise. [[spoiler:When she leaves the office, in her car she found a medical report about the defendent, including his admission he was taking drugs during the time of the mission, and so guilty. She shouldn't have this as it was meant to remain between Doctor and patient. Using her legal knowledge, she doesn't call the police to dust for prints nor the judge to inform him. She kept it and then burned it, but was still found out for merely possessing it by the defense attorney Lt. Singer.]] As a result, Mac nearly loses her career for her actions.
** Another example shows them playing with it intentionally. In "Killer Instinct", Rabb and Bud are prosecuting an officer that they believed murdered weak soldiers by throwing them overboard, but the court case wasn't going so well. The murderer grew in confidence seeing that their lawyer tricks weren't working, which Rabb caught on to. So, at one point during questioning, he acted defeated and (in a prearranged move) called Bud to continue the questioning. Bud proceeded to act like an idiot, dropping his papers, asking the same questions over and over again and stumbling around the courtroom, which riled the murderer, [[spoiler: eventually leading to his confession on the stand]].
*** Also in "Killer Instinct" the skipper of the ship the alleged murderer served on holds it as well by acting without due process and searching the alleged murderer's locker without proper justification. Had he held off for one hour, Harm and Bud would have given him the justification, but his rush for answers made the evidence illegally obtained. Thus making it inadmissible.
* ImpersonatingAnOfficer: In "[=JAGathon=]", an enlisted Navy corpsman saves a manís life in a traffic accident, but at the same time he wears the uniform of an officer (with an enlisted SWO pin) and is spotted by a superior who apparently recognizes him.
* ImprovisedWeapon: In the episode "''Code Blue''" (second season), when a terrorist in a hospital demands that he identify himself, Harm claims his callsign is ''Zapper''. [[IncrediblyLamePun And then zaps the guy with]] a defibrillator.
* InjunCountry: "The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse", in the third season in set in a contemporary version.
* InsaneEqualsViolent: Averted in "The Martin Baker Fan Cub", where only one of the four escaped mental patents from a VA hospital exhibits violent behavior (by grabbing a sidearm from a police officer) and two others are completely harmless with the mental acuity of small children.
* InsanityDefense:
** In "The Martin Baker Fan Club", Harm begins to explore the possibility of an insanity defense after his client made an incriminating outburst in the courtroom.
** In "Act of Terror", a Marine guard is charged for murder after he shot a terrorist suspect during a prisoner transfer. Harm, as defense counsel, begins to explore the option of an insanity defense, but heís taken of the case by the defendant whoí s hired a different attorney.
* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Strangely enough for a military-themed show, they never played this trope straight. Inverted at the end of "High Ground", when the hardened old master sniper is told by the colonel to pin his chevrons back on.
* InternalAffairs: In the season five episode "Contemptuous Words", Harm is suspected of having written an unsigned op-ed piece in newspaper denigrating the then-president UsefulNotes/BillClinton, and internal affairs are brought in.
-->'''Admiral Chegwidden''': Hell, I tried to keep this thing in-house, but to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, pursuit of the matterís been turned over to the Office of Inspector General.
-->'''Commander Rabb''': OIG? Admiral, they land a crooked JAG, their budget goes up.
-->'''Admiral Chegwidden''': Oh, hell yes.
* InterogationMontage: The episode "JAG TV" has a scene like this, with Mac interviewing the husband and Harm with the wife suspected of killing her husband's lover.
* InvisiblePresident: This trope is averted at every opportunity in the first season, making it a RunningGag.
** A first season episode of ''Series/{{JAG}}'' used stock footage of UsefulNotes/BillClinton jogging through a park, edited to look like Harm, who was jogging the other way, passed him.
** The second season opener starts with UsefulNotes/BillClinton presenting Harm with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Again stock footage was edited into the show.
** In one episode, Bud Roberts carried the so-called "football" for UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush, and archived footage of the President was used in the episode.
** Stock footage of the President of the time were often seen in the background in the bullpen scenes. Later seasons more often featured regular background footage of then-SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld.
* IrishPriest: Father Harry O'Rourke, [[ChristianityIsCatholic Vatican investigator]] in season six episodes "Miracles" and "Salvation".
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: In "Nobody's Child" when questioning a convicted child molester Harm gets dangerously close to this.
** "Flight Risk" had Harm investigating a military contractor after a faulty plane crashed killing both pilots. There was evidence of poor work, cannibalized parts, putting military personal at risk, and he takes up a pilot's offer to fly in one of the planes. The plane malfunctions due to Rabb's flying, and he is accused of doing this deliberately, but it is the evidence he needs and the pilot makes a tacit admission that the repair crews are lowest bidder and the contractor is more concerned with profits than safety.
* JapanesePoliteness: Harm and Mac faces this trope in the episode "Innocence", which is set in Japan.
* TheJudge: There were several judges as recurring characters.
** Both Harm and Mac, under various circumstances, gets to serve on the bench in later seasons.
* JuryDuty:
** Bud Roberts in "Odd Man Out" (season 7).
** Jennifer Coates in "The Sixth Juror" (season 10).
* JusticeByOtherLegalMeans: Invoked on at least 2 different occasions when an aviator did something which was clearly the wrong thing to do (e.g. accidently killing Russian peacekeepers in Serbia, and intervening in civilian law enforcement in the U.S.), but got acquitted of all significant charges all thanks to having Harm as his defense counsel. After the trial, however, the CO informs the aviator that heís permanently grounded and will undergo extensive evaluation. In any case UncleSam always wins.
** Season 5ís "Rules of Engagement": The Aviator acquitted is grounded and reassigned to a stateside post. He later resigns his commission.
** Season 9ís "Posse Comitatus": The Marine helicopter pilot is grounded as well.
* KangarooCourt:
** 1st season episode "Scimitar", set in UsefulNotes/Iraq (in 1996 during the reign of SaddamHussein), has an American Marine convicted for violating their territory. While the first part of the trial seems, if not sympathetic to the prisoner, remotely interested in distributing justice, at one point Harm manages to prove that the Marine was on the Kuwait side of the border. Then, a recess is asked, and when they come back, the witness changes the original distance that would prove the prisoner's innocence, and the records from where he stated the other distance just [[BlatantLies magically vanish]].
** 4th season episode "The Black Jet", set in UsefulNotes/Iran has an American on trial for violating their airspace. While the first part of the trial seems, if not sympathetic to the prisoner, remotely interested in distributing justice, at one point [[spoiler:Rabb manages to prove that the planes were miles outside the country's airspace. Then, a recess is asked, and when they come back, the witness changes the original distance that would prove the prisoner's innocence, and the records from where he stated the other distance just [[BlatantLies magically vanish]].]] Good thing [[spoiler:it was a DecoyTrial and the plan was to break out the prisoner anyway.]]
* UsefulNotes/KoreanWar:
** Harm and Mac travel to South Korea along with an Army General to investigate an alleged massacre that took place at the time of the war in the fifth season episode "The Bridge at Kang So Ri".
** Gunnery Sergeant Galindez helps an old Hispanic Marine veteran of the Korean War who fought at the Chosin reservoir in the sixth season episode "Retreat, Hell".
* LandDownUnder: Australia didnít exactly go unnoticed in this series. One of the recurring characters, Mic Brumby, was an Australian naval officer originally on exchange duty in season 4. In season 5 the production team actually went to Sydney to film the two part episode "Boomerang" on location in Oz. The fact that the creator and executive producer had an Australian wife is probably the chief explanation for all this.
* LandMineGoesClick: Played with for laughs in "In Country", before taken very seriously in the following episode. Harm and Mac end up wrecking their Humvee amidst a minefield, and Harm ends up stepping on the Hollywood click-and-wait variety of mine. Mac takes cover on the other side of the Humvee while Harm prepares to drop a weight on the mine and leap away, barely escaping in the process (along with landing on Mac in quite the ShipTease arrangement).
** In the next episode, [[spoiler: Lieutenant Bud Roberts]] steps on a mine, and this one goes off immediately, leaving [[spoiler: him]] severely wounded just before the credits roll.
* LaserGuidedKarma: In "Boomerang, Part II", Chegwidden and Captain Howell, Mic's superior in the Royal Australian Navy, deliver this onto Mic and Harm for [[spoiler:throwing punches and ended up breaking Bud's jaw in two places when he got between the punches.]] After Bud covers for the two, Chegwidden decides on a "non-judicial punishment" is chosen and [[spoiler:Mic and Harm are put in a storage unit until they inflict the same level of harm onto each other as they did to Bud.]]
--->''Captain Howell:'' I always did like Yank [=SEAL=]s.
* LastMinuteHookup: After nine freakin' seasons of WillTheyOrWontThey {{UST}}, [[spoiler: Mac and Harm get engaged in ''the last seven minutes of the series finale'']].
* LatinLand: An 1st season episode takes place at the U.S. embassy in Peru.
** Harm and Mac goes to UsefulNotes/Panama in "The Colonel's Wife".
** In the last two episodes of season 8 and the first of the 9th season, Mac goes undercover as Clayton Webb's wife on mission in UsefulNotes/Paraguay where they aim to stop terroist Sadik Fahd from establishing a base. But everything does not go according to plans.
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: When Admiral Chegwidden receives a mysterious tape with no return address in his office, he has Tiner play it. [[spoiler:It is a video of the Admiral's fiance dressed seductively holding the roses he sent her quoting Shakespeare and inviting him to a very special dinner.]] The Admiral cuts the tape off midway and tells Tiner to never speak of this again. Tiner wisely claimed nothing happened.
* LimitedAdvancementOpportunities: Averted mostly - most of the officers among the regular main cast and some of the recurring characters all get promoted at least once.
** Harmon Rabb starts the series as a Lieutenant, is promoted to Lieutenant Commander midway through Season One, becomes a Commander in Season Five, and finally reaches Captain in the second-to-last episode of the series.
** Sarah Mackenzie starts the series as a Major and is promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by the fifth year.
** Bud Roberts starts off as an Ensign, is promoted to Lieutenant JG (and the opening credits) when he joins JAG in the second year, reaches Lieutenant in the fourth season, and is promoted to Lieutenant Commander in Season Nine.
** Harriet Sims' career path follows Bud's pretty well, going from Ensign to Lieutenant JG by Season Four to full Lieutenant at the end of Season Six.
** Even recurring characters such as Thomas Boone (first Commander Air Group- or CAG- aboard aircraft carrier ''Seahawk'', then a Rear Admiral) and Caitlin Pike (first Lt. JG, later a full Commander) get a promotion or three, albeit offscreen. Episode 200, in addition to promoting Petty Officer Jennifer Coates to Petty Officer 1st Class, even showed a what-if scenario where Cmdr. Alison Krennick, unseen since the first year outside of a flashback to a LostEpisode, was Rear Admiral and heading JAG.
** One example of TruthInTelevision in relation to promotions comes with the final season - upon Adm. Chegwidden's retirement, a new character, Col. Gordon Cresswell, is promoted to Maj. Gen. to fill his position as JAG. A variation comes earlier when Secretary of the Navy Alexander Nelson is forced to resign and Senator Edward Sheffield is appointed to the position.
** Several characters went without promotions however, but these were either due to seniority (Chegwidden), being late additions to the series (Turner), being unpopular with their co-workers (Cmdr. Lindsey, Lt. Singer), or being murdered (Lt. Singer, [[spoiler:''by'' Cmdr. Lindsey]]).
*** One episode has Commander Teddy Lindsey up on a promotion list to Captain but Admiral Chegwidden as chair of the promotion board will not recommend him despite Lindsey being a rigged favourite of the then-Secretary of the Navy Alexander Nelson.
* LocalHangout: [=McMurphy=]'s, and to a lesser extent Benzinger's.
* LogicBomb: In "Ares''," the eponymous computerized weapons control system onboard a destroyer in the Sea of Japan goes havoc and starts firing at friendly aircraft, as programmed by the North Korean Mole. However, Harmís partner Meg is en route in a helicopter: the on the spot solution advocated by Harm is for the helicopter to fly low altitude (20 feet) and at low speed (20 knots), thus simulating a ship, which the computer wonít target.
* LooseLips: In "People v. Rabb", when Admiral Chegwidden says that what he's about to say is sensitive, Bud replies that ''My loose lips will sink no ships''.
* LostEpisode / CutShort: Something of a unique example - the first season was to end with an episode called "Skeleton Crew", which ended with a CliffHanger of Harm being arrested for murder. It wasn't aired by NBC, but did air in reruns on USANetwork and was included in the DVD release. While the original episode was never used, footage from it was later included in the third season's "Death Watch".
* TheMafiya: Pretty much every time a storyline involves either Russians or when the main characters go to Russia, this trope almost instantly comes into play.
* MagicalNativeAmerican: Directly averted in "The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse" where a Navajo medicine woman refuses to believe that the remains of a WWII code talker are the right ones, despite a conclusive DNA analysis. They end up concluding that it was him, only [[WarIsHell his spirit had been changed by the experience of war]] enough to make him seem a different person.
* MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: In the pilot episode, Lt. Arutti and Lt. Painter has sex in a transport plane parked on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Seahawk.
* ManlyTears: At the end of the ''Series/{{JAG}}'' episode "Critical Condition", Harm breaks into tears of relief after learning that Bud has survived his operation.
* MasterComputer: In "Ares", the eponymous computerized weapons control system onboard a destroyer in the Sea of Japan goes havoc and starts firing at friendly aircraft, as programmed by the North Korean Mole. But Harm et al eventually sorts it out.
* MasterOfDisguise: ''JAG'' had several. The eponymous assassin Hemlock in "Hemlock", rogue DSD agent Clark Palmer in "Imposter", and Al-Qaeda associate Sadik Fahd in "Persian Gulf".
* MataHari: In eight season episode "Dangerous Game", Chegwidden tells Rabb that a new attorney, Lieutenant Commander Tracey Manetti, on the recommendation of the new [=SecNav=] will work at JAG, Rabb quips "Mata Hari in our midst". It later turns out (in a later episode) that she actually was assigned there as the Secretary's pair of extra eyes and ears.
* MaybeEverAfter: Played with in the last episode. During the last ten minutes, Harm and Mac finally admitted their love for each other [[WillTheyOrWontThey after nearly a decade]] and she accepted his marriage proposal. However, as she was being reassigned to San Diego, and he was reassigned to London, the show did end on a question mark, as they literally flipped a coin to determine whether Mac would resign from the Marines or Harm from the Navy so they could be together.
* TheMenInBlack: {{Lampshaded}} by Admiral Chegwidden in "Vanished" when an F-14 has disappeared in TheBermudaTriangle.
-->'''Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden''': Oh, lieutenant, if you get a visit from any strangers in black suits and sunglasses, don't talk to them.
* MetaphoricallyTrue: In "Dungaree Justice", the article 32 hearing of Macís dubious actions in "People v. Mac" takes place and it is discussed to what extent she had lied in the earlier episode.
-->'''Lt. Commander Alan Mattoni''': Major Sarah Mackenzie, having taken a lawful oath in a trial by court-martial that she would testify truly, did wilfully, corruptly and contrary to such oath, testify falsely regarding the killing of her husband, Christopher Ragle.
-->'''Lt. Commander Harmon Rabb''': Sir, Major Mackenzie did testify that she shot and killed her husband. There was no lie there.
-->'''Lt. Commander Alan Mattoni''': But she omitted certain details, including the fact that Lieutenant Colonel Farrow was present at the time.
-->'''Lt. Commander Harmon Rabb''': She took the blame, sir, to protect an innocent man.
-->'''Lt. Commander Alan Mattoni''': A lie of omission, no matter how noble the intention, is still a lie.
-->'''Lt. Commander Harmon Rabb''': Yes. But for it to be perjury, it must be material to the case. Murder charges against Major Mackenzie and Lieutenant Colonel Farrow were subsequently dismissed. Therefore, I submit: the detail of Colonel Farrow's presence was not material, and the omission of said detail should not be considered perjury.
* MidairCollision: This happens several times on ''JAG''.
* MilitaryAcademy:
** Harm, Sturgis and Admiral Chegwidden are graduates of the United States Naval Academy.
** Bud's younger brother Mikey attends the United States Naval Academy in the later seasons.
* MilitaryBrat: Harmon Rabb is a GenerationXerox example (right down to his dad looking identical to him in flashbacks, plus a mustache). His dad being shot down during Vietnam and declared MIA forms a central part of Rabb's character arc as he tries to find out what happened to him.
** Also the case with most of the rest of the cast - Mac's biggest influence was her Marine uncle, Bud's father was a Master Chief (and he himself fathers four kids of his own with Harriet), Sturgis' father is a Navy Chaplain, and Maj. Gen. Cresswell's daughter is attending the Academy by the time the series ends. Of the main cast members, Chegwidden is the only one who isn't stated to be a military brat or the parent of one.
** In "Survivors", Rabb also had to locate a former soldier who apparently kidnapped his son. According to the son, the son was a military brat. It gets a bit convoluted when the ending heavily implies that the son [[spoiler:might be the {{Reincarnation}} of his father's best friend who was killed in action back in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar]].
* MilitaryMoonshiner: In "Cabin Pressure", Harm & Mac are sent out to a ship to investigate the death of a moonshiner.
* MilitarySalute: In "War Stories", Admiral Chegwidden bawls out a sailor who failed to salute him while passing. The "sailor" snaps at him sarcastically, because it turns out he was an actor in a movie being shot next to JAG HQ.
* MilitarySchool: Harm and Mac visit such a school in "Into the Breech".
* MiscarriageOfJustice:
** The episode "Secrets" revolves around an escaped prisoner trying to prove his innocence.
** In "Retrial", a sailor had unbeknownst to him hired a transsexual prostitute. [[UnsettlingGenderReveal When finding out]], the sailor changed his mind and the [[CreapyCrossdresser prostitute threatens him with a knife]]. The sailor defends himself and accidently stabs the prostitute and runs away in fear and shame. Not long thereafter, another man comes and viciously stabs the prostitute to death. The sailor is convicted for the murder, but only because the military prosecutor, presumably on purpose didnít follow up on a lead from the local DA in order to further his own political ambitions as being "tough on crime".
* MisguidedMissile: Done more than once on. [[spoiler:Commander Rabb put himself in front of a "dirty nuke" missile aimed at a Carrier Group after it closed too close to be shot down to lead it away until it's fuel ran out.]] And in a separate instance: [[spoiler:A similar trick was done with a torpedo, drawing it into one submarine to save another.]]
* MistakenForAnImposter: In the episode "Imposter", Clark Palmer had Rabb tied up in his apartment and impersonated Rabb in court to frame an innocent defendant in court with planted evidence. When Rabb eventually gets back to JAG the Marine security guards thinks he's the imposter.
* MistakenForTerrorist: ''{{JAG}}'' has an inverted example predating 9/11. In 6th season episode "Valor", Sergeant Joan Steele was found with terrorists attempting to sabotage a US warship in the vein of the attack on the USS Cole. It is unclear whether Steele was kidnapped and succumbed to StockholmSyndrome or was a MilitaryMaverick on a mission of her own trying to stop the terrorists. [[spoiler:It turns out to be the latter, as she was killed in an explosion stopping them]].
* ModestyBedsheet: Seen several times in season nine with Mac and FalseRomanticLead Clayton Webb.
* TheMole: In "Ares", Lieutenant Commander Gino Campisano is the senior weapons officer running the eponymous computerized weapons system onboard the destroyer: and suddenly, while off the North Korean coast, it starts to go crazy, operating without human input, and allowing no vessels other than ships to approach it. What no one knows is that Campisano is a North Korean mole, planted in the United States many years ago.
* MurderByMistake: In the PilotMovie, [[spoiler: Lieutenant Carter accidently threw Lt. Arruti overboard in anger because she wore a jacket with Lt. Cassie Puller's callsign Lobo on the back. Cassie had beaten Carter in weightlifting three times and he couldn't stand being beaten by a woman]].
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: Mac's stalker kills off her ex-boyfriend.]]
* TheMutiny:
** "Cowboys and Cossacks" plays with both this trope, and the [[InsistentTerminology Barratry gag]] from ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', when Harm and Bud, while guests aboard a Russian destroyer, conspire with one of the Russian officers to take the ship from the [[RenegadeRussian renegade Captain]]. Harm explains to Bud that what they are doing can ''not'' be legally defined as mutiny, given that they are not members of the crew. Technically, it's an ''act of terrorism''.
** In the episode named "Mutiny" Mac prepares to give a speech on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Somers_%281842%29#The_.22Somers_Affair.22 the infamous mutiny on the USS Somers]], which actually happened, and three officers were hung at sea by the Captain Makenzie (no relation to her) with flimsy evidence at best and the subsequent inquiries into whether this was a just response or he murdered three of his own men.
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: In the episode "Fighting Words", a Marine tries to say, "Stop or I will shoot," in Arabic during a classroom training session, but according to an Iraqi woman who's helping with the class, he actually said, "Stop or I will release the mice."
* [[MyMasterRightOrWrong My President, Right or Wrong]]: In "Contemptuous Words" Harm is accused of writing an article which contains a harsh opinion against [[UsefulNotes/BillClinton then-President Clinton]], going well beyond insubordination. To help defend him, a lobbyist group helps pay for a private lawyer. During a mock-cross, the lawyer forces Harm into a corner when he cannot say he would condone a higher ranking officer to play loose with the truth and having sexual relationships with subordinates as President Clinton did.[[note]]It is revealed one of the leaders of said group actually wrote it to try and get Harm to join their cause.[[/note]] When the truth comes out, Harm tells one of the group's leaders while he may have personal issues with President Clinton's actions. The man is his Commander-in-Chief and he would take a bullet for the man if need be.
* NamesTheSame: Harm's Boeing Steerman biplane is named ''Sarah'', named for his grandmother. This causes a bit of confusion for Major Sarah "Mac" Mackenzie when Harm is taking her for a ride and she thinks he has [[ShipTease started calling her by her first name.]]
* NewJobEpisode: When Harm starts working for the CIA in season 9.
** Also earlier in season 3 when Mac very briefly worked for a civilian law firm, and Harm's TenMinuteRetirement to fly jets in Season 5.
* NewsReel: First 20 seconds of "Port Chicago" begins with an authentic Paramount News Reel.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the season four episode "Innocence", Harm first thinks that heís made a deal with the Japanese prosecutor who smiled and bowed in a friendly manner. It turned out that he had been greatly offended and had contacted the Japanese Prime Minister who told the press that U.S. Authorities were uncooperative and obstructive, and thus forced them to handover the suspect to Japanese authorities.
* NightVisionGoggles: Used by the Colombian drug smugglers in 1st season episode "Sightings", and later used by Harm against them.
* NoAntagonist: In "Mishap''," Harmís former RIO, Lieutenant Elizabeth Skates, acts as LSO when a crash occurs aboard the aircraft carrier USS Patrick Henry. Skates gets court-martialed for alleged culpability in the incident, but it turns out she was not doing anything wrong; but rather that the entire crew was overworked and underfunded (lack of manpower, lack of spare parts etc.). Captain Ingles acts as the HateSink, by charging Skates in the first place and impeding Harmís request for documents: but he didnít act maliciously or with any hidden motives other than to maintain his prerogative of command and unit cohesion.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Brought up several times throughout the series.
-->'''Webb''': ''There's one thing I've always admired about [=SEALs=], admiral.''
-->'''Chegwidden''': ''What? Just one?''
-->'''Webb''': ''Your code of never leaving a man behind. In the [[{{CIA}} Company]], we not only leave them behind, we deny ever knowing them.''
** Deconstructed in the season seven episode "Code of Conduct" where going back was against orders and cost the life of another soldier to rescue the one who was left behind.
* NoodleIncident: In the episode "Shakedown".
-->'''Mac''': ''Nothing personal, but that last meat loaf you made was nasty.''
-->'''Harm''': ''Are you dogging Harm's special meatless meat loaf?''
-->'''Mac''': ''Let's put it this way: if you were to make the Harmon Special on this ship, they'd have to unload it with the toxic waste.''
* NoPartyGiven: The political affiliations of both [=SECNAVs=] are unknown. The political affiliation of [[StrawmanPolitical Congresswoman Bobbie Latham]] is never explicitly stated, but many of the issues she supports are definitely left-wing (and thus can't be a republican by any stretch of the imagination).
* NoWomansLand: The season 7 episode "Head to Toe" centers on this. A female naval aviator serving with the U.S. Air Force in UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia is defending herself on not wearing an abaya, and arguments are made for abiding by the culture and appeasing terrorists (OsamaBinLaden is even quoted as Americans in the Middle East being cause for Jihads, meaning the abayas will protect women) and against the subjugation of women and treatment of foreigners. When Mac is subjected to this poor treatment she sides with the defendant.
* NotSoDifferent:
** Bud bonds with a suspected terrorist in a possible example of this trope. [[spoiler: Both are fans of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', and Bud uses this to obtain information about an attack.]]
** Later, when [[spoiler: he's recovering from his leg injury]] he befriends the Admiral's current girlfriend, a professor of Shakespeare, by noting how several episodes of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' borrow from some of Shakespeare's plays.
** In the episode "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Harm uses this trope as a defense tactic. His client is dishonorably discharged black Marine Drill Instructor who pushed his black recruits harder than the whites because he refused to accept their crap and wanted to turn them around into decent young men. When two men died on a force march through a swamp, he plead guilty and faced the consequences of his actions. The prosecutor, intending to put him away for life with the Three Strikes law for a later crime of felony assault, is also a black man who refuses to cut favors for his fellow blacks and sees the parallels between himself and the defendant. The prosecutor agrees to remove the third strike from the mans record in exchange for just two years in jail.
* ObfuscatingDisability: In the season 3 episode "Yesterday's Heroes", retired navy diver Artemus Sullivan (played by Creator/ErnestBorgnine) is avenging the death of his grandson by a drug dealer. When meeting Harm & Mac at first, Sullivan pretends to be in a senile vegetable state of mind.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The promotion of Rear Admiral Thomas Boone to Vice Admiral is called off in "A Separate Peace" because of credible sources claiming he took part in [[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar war crimes]] during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar when working closely with {{CIA}} officers. [[spoiler: He didn't do it, but witnessed such actions under protest]].
* ObstructiveVigilantism: In "Dungaree Justice", a female sailor passed out in a bar and at closing time, the owner helped her out to her car. When she woke up, she discovered that she had been raped. Some of her shipmates decide to exact vengeance on the bar owner, who they assumed to be the perpetrator. However the bar owner is proven to be medically impotent. The real perpetrator turns out to be one of the shipmates who didnít like having females serving in the navy.
* OmnidisciplinaryLawyer: Harm argues before a Navajo Tribunal Court in "The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse" and an [[BritishCourts Australian Court]] (New South Wales Supreme Court, dressed in gown and wig attire.) in "Boomerang, Part II". ** Mac argues before a Sharia court in "The Princess and The Petty Officer".
** And both Harm and Mac defends Secretary of the Navy Edward Sheffield at the International Criminal Court in "People v. [=SecNav=]".
** Averted in "Innocence" where they hire a Japanese attorney.
** Also in "Standards of Conduct" where it's clear that neither Harm nor Sturgis has any intimate knowledge nor experience with civil cases (but Bud does).
* OneOfOurOwn: Happens a few times;
** Harm is suspected of murdering a Russian Mafioso in "People v. Rabb".
** Mac is suspected to have participated in the killing of her husband in "People v. Mac".
** Harm is suspected to have published an anonymous Anti-Clinton piece in "Contemptuous Words".
** Gunny is suspected to be a gay basher and Tiner is assumed to be homosexual in "People v. Gunny".
** Bud Roberts was charged for dereliction of duty in "Exculpatory Evidence".
** Admiral Chegwidden is CaughtOnTape hitting a high school student in "Code of Conduct".
** Jennifer Coates is a murder suspect in "There Goes the Neighborhood".
* OneOfUs: In-universe example; Bud is a ''Franchise/StarTrek'' fan. In one episode, unable to get a suspected terrorist to talk, Bud mutters to himself, "What would Captain Kirk do in this situation?" The suspect then answers, "He would tell you to respect the Prime Directive." Bud ends up engaging the suspect in a discussion of Trek, leading to his getting the suspect to open up to him. In another episode, he has a spirited conversation with Admiral Chegwidden's girlfriend, a literature professor, on Shakespearean themes in classic Trek.
** He and Harriet named their second son James Tiberius Roberts. One Of Us indeed!
* OnlyLawFirmInTown: Often it makes you wonder why Harm, Mac et.al. at JAG Headquarters gets to act as trial and defense counsel from an wide array of cases from all around the Navy & the Marines and why they're not handled by the command staff judge advocates out in the field.
** In the pilot episode Admiral Brovo makes a suggestion that there wouldn't have been a perceived need to send HQ people out to the USS Seahawk if the missing RIO had been a male for political purposes.
** It's suggested many times that they're sent out in the field to be impartial whenever there's a concern that the local judge advoctates might not be, or that there are none present on the location at all.
* OpeningNarration: Used for the second and third seasons (and provided by Creator/DonLaFontaine for good measure!), but not for the others.
* OrganizationWithUnlimitedFunding: Funding, provided by U.S. taxpayers, is never really an issue, and often in court-martials held in Virginia, foreign nationals as witnesses are flown in from across the world.
** Subverted though in "Father's Day" when Harm, Mac and Bud had a tight budget; due to Harm's tortious interference with the secret business of the Bradenhurst Corporation in a previous episode.
* OutOfCharacterAlert: In season 2's "Secrets", Admiral Chegwidden is being held at gunpoint inside his office, and tells Bud over the phone to get him a specific case file. Harm and Mac realize the file the Admiral asked for is about a sailor who held his CO hostage, tipping them off.
* PaedoHunt: In "Nobody's Child" there are initially few clues as to who the killer of an unidentified African-American girl on a naval facility is. Harm's initial hunch is to look after convicted pedophiles. [[spoiler: It turns out that the killer wasn't a pedophile: but a pedophile was able to give valuable information that solved the identity puzzle because he had violated terms of his parole by watching children]].
* PaidForFamily: One episode has a marine refusing to testify in his own defense, because he believes it will dishonour the memory of a dead friend. Vic, his lawyer, brings in the dead friend's father, who reads a letter his son sent him about how the thing that killed him was an accident waiting to happen, which gives the marine courage to tell the truth about how his friend died. [[spoiler: Both the father and the letter were fakeó Vic hired an actor to encourage his client to take the stand.]] Of course, this action being morally suspect at best, the lawyer does get called on it by his superiors.
* ParanormalEpisode:
** In "Ghost Ship", Harm and Mac are saved from a fire [[spoiler:by a real ghost.]]
** "Psychic Warrior" deals with psychic phenomena.
* PardoPush: During Harm's brief return to flying carrier operations, he found himself flying with another Tomcat during the Kosovo War. The other jet was damaged and losing fuel, and would not make it over a mountain range before they could leave Serbian territory [[note]] It is a general rule of thumb in air warfare to try and avoid bailing out over the area you just bombed, for obvious reasons[[/note]]. Harm used his own jet to physically push the other plane to keep it in flight long enough to clear the mountains. [[RealityIsUnrealistic This was based on a Real Life incident]].[[note]] Of course, [[InterServiceRivalry the Air Force did it in real life.]][[/note]]
* PassedOverPromotion: [[spoiler:Commander Lindsey]] spends much of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" trying to avoid this trope. [[spoiler:He does have the support of the Secretary of the Navy. However, the Captains Promotion Board felt in the Navy, lacking much field experience, being a pencil pusher only, and Chegwidden admitting to the assembled board that he would accept his people (Mac and Harm) doing questionable actions but considers Lindsey untrustworthy and wouldn't have him back in his command serves to ensure Lindsey is not made Captain.]]
* [[UsefulNotes/PersiansWithPistols Persians With Pistols]]: In "The Black Jet", Harm and Mac stages a jailbreak of downed pilot Keeter from an Iranian prison, and is chased by the Iranian Army to the location of the not-crashed airplane.
* PhonyVeteran:
** Played straight in "Real Deal Seal", Medal of Honor recipient and Navy Seal team leader Lieutenant Curtis Rivers [[note]]played by Montel Williams, who did serve in both the Marines and Navy[[/note]] rips off the SEAL-trident of a congressional candidate falsely claiming to have served in Vietnam as a Navy Seal.
** Subverted in "Take It like a Man" where a former Marine who served in the Invasion of Panama claims to have earned the Silver Star. It turns out that he did deserve it, but had never been awarded it because none of his team members would back up his story.
* PlagiarismInFiction: In the season nine episode "Secret Agent Man", one of Mikey Robertsí classmates at the U.S. Naval Academy is accused of plagiarism.
* PleaBargain: they are offered regularly, but often turned down.
** In "Head to Toe", opposing counsels make a deal, but when the defendant gets into even more trouble, the deal becomes untenable.
* PoliceAreUseless:
** The local Texas sheriff in 1st season episode "Sightings" isnít much of a help and only manages to get himself killed.
** The deputy sheriff in "Survivors" is outfoxed by Harm.
** In "Death Watch", we learn that NCIS Special Agent Turque never found the murderer of Diane Schone in "Skeleton Crew".
** Subverted by [[Series/{{NCIS}} Team Gibbs]] in "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown".
* PoliceBrutalityGambit: In "Survivors", a shell-shocked Marine colonel intends to take his son, whom he believes to be the {{reincarnation}} of a war buddy from UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, to a cabin in the woods. Faced with an arrest warrant, he has a scuffle with an unsympathetic deputy sheriff at a gas station. Having almost reached the cabin, with the help of Harm, the cops also arrive. The incensed deputy sheriff tries to arrest Harm, but Meg claims that she has a tape from a surveillance camera at the gas station, which would show that the deputy sheriff had committed acts of PoliceBrutality. Although it's later revealed that Meg had no such video, the deputy sheriff had in fact been more brutal than necessary at the gas station and backed off from arresting Harm as a precaution.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: The very first appearance of Admiral Chegwidden on the show, in "Smoked", has him ranting a lengthy tirade about the state of political correctness imposed on the Navy in the wake of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_scandal Tailhook Scandal]].
** The same topic is furthermore alluded to many times by other characters in the first and second seasons, in less explicit terms.
* PostNineElevenTerrorismMovie: The first two episodes after September 11 included several references to the terrorist attack and subsequent conflict in Afghanistan. Plot A was Harm trying to work with a retired admiral (to resolve a problem in China, who America needed as an ally in the fight against terrorism), who was going to turn him down but agreed to help resolve a problem after 9/11. Plot B has Mac presiding over two soldiers who were dueling, and she is upset that they were being idiots when their brothers and sisters are fighting and dying in the war on terror. Gunny is recalled to active service and Chegwidden wishes he could go with him. Future promos would place the series during the war on terror. OsamaBinLaden made a case a woman facing legal action hard (American bases in the Middle East as cause for Jihad, and the Americans subjecting women to Middle Eastern standards that the defendant had issues with). Harm reunites with his co pilot to fly security over the Superbowl. And a Seebee who supposedly died on 9/11 tries to avoid media attention after he saves his team from a terrorist attack, as when his wife thought he was dead he had an affair.
* {{Polyamory}}: Mac has to defend polygamists in both "Killer Instinct" and again in "Retrial". In the latter episode there's even a ContinuityNod to the first, despite taking place several seasons later.
* POWCamp: In "King of the Fleas", paraplegic Vietnam veteran Roscoe Martin tells Harm about his experiences as a POW and the DespairEventHorizon it was. It all comes down to that heís seeking legal representation for a fateful stabbing he had committed the same day on a Vietnamese immigrant, who actually turned out to have been the POW camp commander.
* PrisonEpisode: ''JAG'' had "The Prisoner" in its first season in which Harm was held by the Chinese.
* ProductPlacement: It could be argued that ''JAG'' and ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' are dramatized recruitment and retention commercials for the [[BackedByThePentagon Department of the Navy]].
* ProfessionalKiller: The eponymous Hemlock in "Hemlock" whoís out to kill Russian President Boris Yeltsin while in UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC is not just a professional killer, but also a MasterOfDisguise.
* ProtocolPeril: The main story in "Head to Toe" is about a female Naval Aviator who refuses to wear the abaya and show deference to the locals while stationed at a U.S. Air Force base in UsefulNotes/SaudiArabia.
* PsychicPowers: The fifth season episode "Psychic Warrior", deals with a Navy Intelligence experimental program, STAR GAZE, on remote viewing in which one of the test subjects committed suicide.[[note]]This is based/inspired by the now declassified DIA program known as STAR GATE. [[Franchise/StargateVerse No, not that bogus one]].[[/note]]
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: "Anchors Aweigh" and "The Marines Hymn" are played several times.
** In "Boot", "The Marines Hymn" is sung by female Marines during an exercise.
** In "Heroes", both Harm and Mac get to whistle their respective service song.
** In "Trojan Horse", a marine who won an American Idol-like competition closes the episode by singing the Marine Hymn.
* PublicSecretMessage: In "The Black Jet", Jack Keeter has downed in UsefulNotes/Iran with a secret airplane and is detained by the authorities. When first meeting Harm and Mac, accompanied by an Iranian official in prison, he says ďNo Martin BakerĒ several times over. Harm later decodes the message: Martin Baker is the manufacturer of ejection seats, and thus Keeter didnít eject but landed the plane and was captured elsewhere.
* {{Qurac}}: Despite having several episodes taking place in the Middle East, ''JAG'' subverts this trope by always using real countries, no matter how unfavorable the portrayal may be.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: Admiral Chegwidden hints at the possibility in "We the People".
-->''Lieutenant [=JGs=] don't joke with admirals, son, it could get him transferred to a supply ship in the Aleutians. Joking is strictly an admiral's privilege only.''
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic: ''JAG'' has realistic quantity of 'um's and 'ah's, except for when closing arguments are delivered.
* {{Realpolitik}}: This way of reasoning is often used by Clayton Webb and other CIA characters to justify their actions.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: In "People v. Gunny", Admiral Chegwidden tells the Maryland stateís attorney that:
-->''But we all know that your only intent is to bolster your own campaign for the stateís attorney. Youíre nothing but a hypocrite and an opportunist and Iíll be damned if Iím gonna have a bottom feeder like you further your personal ambition trampling the integrity of this office''.
* RebelliousPrincess: [[RoyalMess King Josip and his daughter]] Princess Alexandra of Romania in the season 2 episode "Washington Holiday".
* RecapByAudit: In "Soul Searching", Harm and Bud goes over the budget request for the office in which it appears that Harmís [[NeverLiveItDown firing of an H&K in the courtroom]] (two seasons earlier in "Heroes") has caused a structural damage to the roof. Through clever lawyering, Bud makes the outstanding expense go away under a building health plan.
* RecruitersAlwaysLie: Subverted in "Promises" (season 5) where a young female sailor is court-martialed for going AWOL after she simply had enough of swabbing the deck of a destroyer. Back when she signed up at the recruiter she was almost promised education as an air traffic controller, but she didn't ReadTheFinePrint of the contract which stated "subject upon availability and to the needs of the Navy".
* RedAlert: The trope is seen in several episodes in the contemporary U.S. Navy sense.
* RedChina: In the two-part episode "Dog Robber", a U.S. reconnaissance plane has to make an emergency landing in mainland China.
* RetiredBadass: The trio of retired underwater demolition divers (one of them played by ErnestBorgnine), in ďYesterdayís Heroes", whom despite living at a retirement home in Florida decides to take on a drug dealer.
* RightWingMilitiaFanatic:
** In "Brig Break" the Gunnery Sergeant in charge of the brig uses a right wing militia group as a decoy to keep base security busy while steals weapons for SaddamHussein's Iraq.
** In the "Vanished", a right wing militia group called ''Freedom Brethren'' kidnaps the wife and child of a F-14 pilot, and convinces the aviator to bring them the aircraft and to shoot down a certain civilian airliner. If demands are not fulfilled, the wife and child will die.
** In "Rivers' Run" Harm and Mac defends Navy Seal Lt. Curtis Rivers in a kangaroo court under the common law, as interpreted by anti-government separatists in West Virginia.
* RoaringRampageOfRescue: In the the episode "Going after Francesca", while in Italy, Chegwidden's daughter has been kidnapped and he essentially does a ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight with Harm by procuring weapons through Navy channels under the false pretense that they are meant for "target practice".
* RogueAgent: Clark Palmer, former DSD agent who has tried to either kill or frame on Harm several occasions.
* RoyalMess: In the world of JAG ("Washington Holiday"), [[{{Ruritania}} Romania]] has restored its monarchy but the King and his heir are living under assassination threat from hardliners who don't want their country to join {{NATO}}.
** While Romania once had a monarchy, abolished by the communists, the people in this episode are fictitious. The country did however join NATO in 2004.
* RunForTheBorder: In "Scimitar", Harm and Meg along with the freed marine sergeant struggle to get out of Iraq (in 1996) and into Kuwait.
* SaveTheVillain:
** Chegwidden serves as defense counsel to the captured Al Qaeda third banana in "Tribunal" because he doesnít want anyone of his people to be forced to defend him. However, Sturgis volunteers to sit second chair because he wants to ďbe part of historyĒ.
** Also, from an American point of view, [[spoiler:FidelCastro in "Tiger, Tiger"]].
* ScamReligion: The Wicca religion is portrayed as such in "The Witches of Gulfport".
* SceneryCensor:
** In two-part episode "Boomerang" Mac is supposedly sunbathing topless with Mic on Manly Beach in Australia. When Harm and Bud comes she had a magazine covering her chest.
** In "A Tangled Webb (Part 2)", Mac has a BathtubScene, but the audience (as opposed to Harm) don't get to see anything because of strategically placed bubbles and camera angle.
* ScreamingBirth: Harm delivers a baby in "Code Blue" on a DC hospital taken over by Hamas terrorists.
** Admiral Chegwidden delivers two babies in his office: Bud and Harriet's son in "Yeah, Baby", and another baby in "All ye Faithful".
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Harmon Rabb invokes this trope several times:
** In "Brig Break" when Lieutenant Austin is taken hostage.
-->'''Lt. Caitlin Pike''': ''Major Aspinal ordered us to start an investigation!''\\
'''Lt. Harmon Rabb''': ''He suggested, Kate. I don't have to follow suggestions.''\\
'''Lt. Caitlin Pike''': ''To him a suggestion is as good as an order.''\\
'''Lt. Harmon Rabb''': ''Damn it! Thay have my partner! I'm sorry Kate, but if that was you out there, would you want me to start an investigation or come after you?''
** In "Impact" when a UFO-like UAV from the Bradenhurst Corporation kills Marines with impunity in an accident, Harm is determined to bring them to justice.
* SeaStories: Many episodes.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Harm failed one in "In Thin Air". The Admiral assigned him to defend a mechanic accused of manslaughter in the death of a Navy pilot. Harm did a poor job because he believed the mechanic was responsible, forcing Chegwidden to take him off the case. Afterwards he revealed that the only reason Harm got the case was to see if he could put aside his personal feelings, because the Admiral was looking at assigning him to serve as a judge on a temporary basis.
* {{Seppuku}}: An American admiral stationed in Japan committs suicide in the episode "Innocence" for what he perceived to be a failure on his part. The characters canít help by commenting how Japanese it was.
* SelfDestructMechanism: In the season eight episode "Need to Know", Harm, Mac and Sturgis is investigating why a submarine on a CIA mission in 1968 foundered off the Russian coast. There are rumors floating that so called spec-boats had self-destruct charges aboard but this is flat out denied, and the cause of the sinking was in fact caused by a collision with a Soviet sub.
* SexualExtortion: In the first season episode "The Prisoner" Harm has been captured by the Chinese while sailing off the coast of Hong Kong (in 1996 before the 1997 transfer). Commander Allison Krennick has through unofficial contacts learned of Harmís whereabouts and a Chinese traitor is willing to bring him back in exchange for political asylum in the United States. The Assistant Secretary of State is reluctant at first, but when Krennick threatens to call his wife and say that sheís his lover he quickly changes his mind.
* ShellShockedVeteran:
** Colonel Matt Anderson in "Survivors" who has many flashbacks to UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and believes his young son to be the {{Reincarnation}} of a dead war buddy.
** In the second season episode "The Guardian", Chief Petty Officer Paul Bauwer, a homeless former Navy SEAL, is accused of killing three men while thwarting a convenience store robbery [[spoiler:which he did to protect his young son who doesnít know who he really is.]]
* ShotgunWedding: The trope is mentioned in "Wedding Bell Blues" by Budís father.
-->'''Big Bud''': Hey, this isn't a ''shotgun wedding'', is it?
* ShoutOut: Many examples are [[ShoutOut/{{JAG}} found on a separate subpage]].
* ShowWithinAShow: In season 4ís "War Stories", Admiral Chegwidden while on leave gets persuaded by a Hollywood producer to act as technical advisor on the movie ďFields of GoldĒ which is a [[AffectionateParody navy-themed action adventure with a court-martial]]. Chegwidden is a FishOutOfWater as the [[ThisIsReality Real Navy]] differs quite a lot from the [[SelfParody Reel Navy]], and HilarityEnsues.
** Chegwidden tells the producer that he'd like to [[WritersSuck talk to the writer]] while we see that he's attached quite a few post-it notes to the script.
* TheShrink:
** Lieutenant Commander Jordan Parker, first introduced in "Jaggle Bells". RomanticFalseLead to Harmon Rabb in season 4.
** Lieutenant Commander Vera [=McCool=], counseling, [[TherapyIsForTheWeak at first reluctant]], Sarah Mackenzie twice onscreen in season 9 & 10. Mac is ordered by Admiral Chegwidden to see a psychiatrist in "Take It Like a Man", following changes in behavior after the events in "Persian Gulf". At first the therapy seems to be ineffective, but when seen in the season 10 episode "The Four Percent Solution" it proves to be effective.
* SimulatedUrbanCombatArea: The season 2 episode "Force Recon", filmed on location at Camp Pendelton.
* SinkOrSwimMentor: This trope occurs several times on ''JAG'', usually it is part of either an ongoing court case, or a preliminary investigation, where an instructor may have pushed the envelope too far.
* SlidingScaleOfGenderInequality: While the men are more numerous, the women are no less capable.
* SnipeHunt: In "Iron Coffin" Mac sends [[spoiler:the ''entire Russian Navy and Intelligence'']] on one. To explain, [[spoiler:Mac is on a US sub as Harm is on a Russian one. The Russians are about to test fire a new torpedo (a previous test of the same type turned on the sub that fired it and destroyed it. The Americans know it but the Russian captain doesn't know this) and Mac makes the captain break silence to warn about this. To prove she knows what they are about to do, she cites happenings on the Russian sub she couldn't know happened. When asked how the Americans can possibly know all the details happening on a Russian Sub, rather than admit the US sonar tech is so advanced [[ExactEavesdropping they can clearly hear the Russians conversations]], Mac tells them the sub and every other sub since the Cold War has had bugs put on them by American Agents.]] The US Captain compliments Mac on this as it will cause the ones fooled to waste a lot of manpower and resources.
* SniperRifle:
** The episode "High Ground" has an NCO FriendlySniper with ImprobableAimingSkills becoming a Cold Sniper, due to the fact that his Colonel didn't give a damn about an agreement he had made with the predecessor to not ship him off to a combat zone ever again.
** The female assassin in "Washington Holiday" carries one of those sniper rifles convertible to components for a stealthy getaway.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Subverted in season 9, when Harmon Rabb seeks to be the guardian to Matilda "Mattie" Grace: because social services are very thorough.
* SociopathicSoldier: Roscoe Martin, the paraplegic Vietnam veteran in "King of the Fleas" and "The Martin Baker Fan Club", is the broken soldier type who while getting himself in trouble manages to manipulate people around him (including Harm).
* SovietSuperscience: The 6th season epispde "Iron Coffin" features the supercavitating Russian torpedo [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VA-111_Shkval VA-111 Shkval]], which for an uninformed viewer might come across as pure fiction. However, [[spoiler: the Shkval in the episode has a serious design flaw as it retargets the submarine which launched it. The Americans have observed it before, but the Russians thinks the Americans are interfering.]]
* SpinningPaper: "Contemptuous Words" opens with a printing press spinning, however, the relevant content is read in the following scence.
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: Only used once; in the 8th season episode "Persian Gulf" in a dramatic moment, when Mac speaks to Al-Qaeda terrorist Sadik Fahd.
* SpySatellites: In the second season episode "Rendezvous", a murder case is solved by obtaining photos from a Russian spy satellite showing that the defendant's car was present at the scene of the murder.
* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Frequently. One example is used as evidence against Harm in the investigation into [[spoiler: Singers murder.]]
* StartsWithASuicide: "The Martin Baker Fan Club" starts with a former naval aviator jumping out of a window at a VA hospital.
* StockholmSyndrome: Is explicitly mentioned twice on ''JAG'': 6th season episode "Valor" where it is used in its straight meaning, and in 9th season "A Tangled Web: Part 2" where itís used jokingly.
* StrawCivilian: Occurs often. In fact, the TheWarOnStraw tropes applied heavily in the later seasons. The only exception was StrawmanHasAPoint, the military was never portrayed as wrong. The corrupt members of the military were always the exception and lectured on their betrayal of the UnitedStates.
* StrawLoser: Kateís superior in "Ares", Commander Dennis Brockman, fits this trope. Self-centered, mousy, lack of resourcefulness and eventually taken hostage by the bad guy: only to be saved by Harm.
* SubStory: JAG featured several episodes taking place on submarines, with plots ranging from historica events, espionage to fish-out-of-water stories to the occasional bit of HotSubOnSubAction.
** 12 out of 227 episodes featured sub stories.
*** 1x3 "Shadow"
*** 4x16 "Silent Service"
*** 5x7 "Rogue"
*** 5x22 "Overdue & Presumed Lost"
*** 6x15 "Iron Coffin"
*** 7x5 "Mixed Messages"
*** 7x14 "Odd Man Out"
*** 7x23 "In Country"
*** 7x24 "Enemy Below"
*** 8x7 "Need To Know"
*** 8x17 "EmptyQuiver"
*** 9x7 "Close Quarters"
* SuperCellReception: In "Tiger, Tiger", Harm's cell phone starts ringing, despite being onboard a frigate out in the Mexican Gulf somewhere between the Florida Keys and Cuba, and he had tried to use before to no avail. Moments before it started ringing, Harm told the terrorists holding the ship's crew as hostage something to the effect that "It won't work out here." The caller is Mac, but she plays the role of an ignorant tourist. After the non sequitur call is over, Bud explains it away as an atmospheric distortion, which the terrorist buy for lack a better explanation.
* SuperReflexes: In "High Ground", Gunnery Sergeant Crockett, a hardened master sniper, catches a fly by its wings. Harm does the same at the end of the episode.
* SurpassedTheTeacher. In "JAG TV", Mac as trial counsel (prosecutor) in a televised murder case faces her old law professor Juanita Ressler as defense counsel. Ressler knows how use the media to her advantage, while Mac is utterly dismissive of interview requests and is overwhelmed and distracted by the sudden interest of the media in her as a mysterious sex object. Following words of wisdom from Admiral Chegwidden, Mac begins to spin-doctor the media to her advantage which brings forth new evidence from anonymous sources which helps to convict the defendant for murder.
* SWATTeam: Appears a few times on ''JAG''.
** In the second season episode "The Guardian", Bud is trapped inside a church with a crazy homeless veteran who is a murder suspect and a MPD SWAT team is sent to the church and captures the suspect, but only after Harm has done his usual share of heroics.
** In "The Martin Baker Fan Club", A MPD SWAT team enter Harm's appartment after on of the crazy fugitive veterans grabbed a side arm from a police officer. The suspect is arrested but another veteran is shot at.
** The opening of "The Colonel's Wife" is of a San Diego SWAT team, while on a drug bust, discovers the origin of a drug shipment.
** In "Persian Gulf", an MPD SWAT team enters after Mac killed the terrorist Fadik Sahd.
* TargetAudience: The show's biggest fans fall into one of two categories: the late middle-aged and [[PeripheryDemographic bored college students]], who came to love the show via the USANetwork's early-to-mid morning repeats.
* TechnologyMarchesOn:
** In 1st season episode "Sightings" (1996), Harm asks a ten year old girl: ''Do you know how to operate a cellular phone?''
** In 3rd season episode "Impact" (1998), when escaping from the Bradenhurst facility, Harm captures a 3.5" floppy disc containing digital photos of the UFO-like UCAV, taken directly out from a digital camera.
* TenMinuteRetirement:
** Mac resigns to become a civilian lawyer in season 3, only to realize she was far happier in the Corps. Turns out, Admiral Chegwidden never actually processed her discharge papers, and she was allowed back on.
** Harm had his [[HandicappedBadass vision impairment fixed]] and went back to flying Tomcats for a short while, before his new commanding officer convinced him that he was [[BadassGrandpa too old]] to be competitive as an aviator against all the younger pilots, despite his skill, and that he would do the most good as a judge advocate.
** Harm actually did resign his commission at the end of season 8, and went to work for the Agency for a few episodes. After being fired from the CIA for lack of discretion: he was reinstated in the beginning of 9 by the Secretary of the Navy upon the recommendation of Admiral Chegwidden, due to a lack of qualified personnel.
* ThatWasObjectionable:
** Kinda hard to avoid in court room scenes...
** Deconstructed in the second season episode "Rendezvous", when incriminating evidence is presented and the defendant asks defense counsel to object.
-->'''Chief Petty Officer Holst''': Do something!
-->'''Major Mackenzie''': What?
-->'''Chief Petty Officer Holst''': Object!
-->'''Major Mackenzie''': On what grounds? I'm not a magician, chief. I can't make a murder go away.
* TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin
* ThereIsNoHigherCourt:
** Averted in the season 5 episode "Life and Death" where Mac argues before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
** Played straight in the military tribunal episode "Tribunal" in season 8 where the fictional Al-Qaeda top third banana is given the death sentence without chance of appeal.
* ThisIsReality: Clayton Webb says to Mac in a heated argument that ''this is the real world Sarah'' in the season nine episode "Take It like a Man".
* ToplessnessFromTheBack:
** In the pilot episode, when Harm and Kate searches the deceased female officerís belongings in her cabin, her bodybuilding roommate Cassie comes to change and as Harm gentlemanly offers to leave, she quips "Why? Never seen a naked sailor before?Ē before he even gets a chance to, as shown from the back. Both Harm and Kate get noticeably uncomfortable in their facial expressions. When Cassie has left, Kate asks Harm:
-->'''Kate''': Did you see the muscles on her?
-->'''Harm''': I wasn't looking at her muscles.
** Also, in the first part of two-parter "Boomerang", Harm and Bud walks on the beach when takes of her bikini top, which makes Bud [[DistractedByTheSexy clearly distracted]].
* TrackingDevice: Used by Clayton Webb in his first dealing with Harm and Mac, in "We The People", to track their rental car. However, they're GenreSavvy enough to leave it.
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: In "Fatherís Day", Corporal Wetzl runs a tank over his COís tent, claiming to be distracted about the divorce from his drug-addicted wife and impending custody hearings on their infant son. Frustrated by the countless lies spun in court and in the media by his wife and her lawyer, he takes action of his own, commandeering a tank with his son inside. He blows up a TV van and gets into a stand-off. Eventually Harm and Mac manages to get him to surrender by bringing his grandmother on the spot.
* TrainingAccident: In "Force Recon", Harm is sent undercover as a Gunny to investigate a Marine captain who is suspected of exposing his recon marines to dangerous situations, such training in an area with live artillery shells hitting the ground.
* TropaholicsAnonymous: Bud Roberts is sent to an Anger Managment class in "Automatic for the People". HilarityEnsues.
* UsefulNotes/TheTroubles: In the season 2 episode "Trinity", Harm and Mac go to Belfast to investigate the disappearance of an infant child whose mother is an American naval officer, and the father, who is an active member of the IRA.
* UnderTheMistletoe: * ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Harriet kisses Bud under a mistletoe she holds up out in the bullpen in "Jaggle Bells".
* UndercoverAsLovers: Mac and Clayton Webb went undercover as husband and wife on a CIA mission in Paraguay in season 8/9.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece
* VacationEpisode: the two-parter "Boomerang", filmed and set in Australia, could be seen as an example of this trope.
* VigilanteExecution: The season four episode "Act of Terror" has two vigilante executions. First, a suspected terrorist is transported back the United States but a Marine guard shots at him on live TV coverage. The Marine is charged with murder in a court-martial. [[spoiler:However, the suspected terrorist survived because he wore a protective vest and the FBI takes the suspect away for interrogation unbeknownst to everyone. Harm discovers this because there was a major discrepancy between the autopsy report and the video footage.]] The Marine charged with murder receives top civilian counsel provided by a right-wing businessman. But it turns out that the businessman has made money transfers to terrorist suspects in Saudi Arabia, and while he agrees to let the FBI apprehend the next receiver, that one is gunned down in a drive by shooting. The episode ends with the businessman smiling.
* WalkAndTalk: Happens frequently, both at the headquarters building in Falls Church and onboard Navy ships.
* WealthyYachtOwner: It is mentioned in "Wedding Bell Blues", when the future in-laws meets, that Harrietís wealthy father owns a yacht.
-->'"ĒBig" Bud Roberts''': So, Rollo, I hear you have a yacht.\\
'''Roland Sims''': Well, a small yacht.\\
'''Lydia Sims''': It is not that small, Roland.
* WeddingDay: Bud and Harrietís wedding in the season 3 episode "Wedding Bell Blues".
* WesternTerrorists:
** In first season episode "Shadow", a civilian contractor onboard an nuclear attack submarine (SSN) holds the sub ransom, through his lap top computer, with which he supposedly can activate charges or to have them explode automatically unless he stays online.
** Doubly subverted in "Rogue" where the RogueWarrior {{Expy}} and his men, not only captures a nuclear attack submarine (SSN), as per orders, but also takes it to sea and threatens to attack UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity unless a ransom is paid. Turns at that the end that the intentions were honorable: a wakeup call to make officials aware of the threats posed by terrorists such as OsamaBinLaden...
* WithDueRespect: That phrase occurs many times on the show, which is not surprising given its military theme.
** In "Gypsy Eyes", when Admiral Chegwidden learns that Harm and Mac are missing in Russia on Harmís private quest to find his long lost father, the Secretary of the Navy forbids Chegwidden from going over there, to which the old Navy SEAL courteously replies.
-->'''Admiral Chegwidden''': ''With all due respect'', Mr. Secretary, you donít want to try to stop me.
* WitnessProtection: A witness to a crime doesn't want to testify because he's in DOJ witness protection in the season 5 episode "Front And Center".
* WhatIf: JAG's 200th episode revolved around the main characters making different decisions (or events that occurred one way in the "prime" timeline happening the other way). The episode was even titled "What If?".
* TheWhiteHouse: Harm & Mac first met in the Rose Garden in "We The People", following an presidential awards ceremony where Harm recieved his first Disthinguished Flying Cross.
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII:
** Episode "Each Of Us Angels" focuses on a group of Navy nurses before and during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
** Also the episode "Port Chicago" is based on a real-life accident during WWII.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The episode featuring the IRA went to great lengths to glamorize and idealize them as rugged yet heroic freedom fighters, with the main characters actively joining and aiding them for a while (in fairness it was to recover the child of a US navywoman) and the episode amazingly goes so far to portray a suicide bombing by an IRA man against British soldiers as a HeroicSacrifice. The episode naturally thus goes out of its way to demonize the British/RUC who were uniformly portrayed as being either faceless or sneering jackbooted monsters and attempted baby killers to boot. This was broadcast before the Good Friday Agreement when UsefulNotes/TheTroubles were still ongoing, which just adds to the UnfortunateImplications seeing how the show was was cheerleading a then active terrorist group.
* TheYugoslavWars: Many episodes in seasons 1-5, including the PilotMovie, takes place against the backdrop of this conflict. It's also established in canon that Mac served in Bosnia at some point before season 2 began.
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''"This court-martial is adjourned."íí

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