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''NYPD Blue'' is a CopShow with [[CrimeTimeSoap Soap Opera elements]] that ran on ABC from 1993 to 2005. Originally a star vehicle for David Caruso (who left after the first season to pursue a movie career), the show evolved into an [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters ensemble]], with Det. Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) as the focus character.

The show courted controversy from the start with its [[TooSexyForThisTimeSlot liberal use of nudity]] (mostly sideboob and butts, with the occasional steamy love scene) and salty language (one of Sipowicz's first lines is calling A.D.A. Sylvia Costas a "pissy little bitch", and it was one of the first shows to use the word "shit" on network television). The [[MoralGuardians Parents Television Council]] was formed primarily because of this show. It was also noted for resurrecting the careers of those (besides Caruso) who played Andy's partners ([[Series/LALaw Jimmy Smits]], and former child stars [[Series/SilverSpoons Rick Schroder]] and [[Series/SavedByTheBell Mark-Paul Gosselaar]])

The show was created by producer Creator/StevenBochco, and is considered the SpiritualSuccessor to his earlier, similarly ground-breaking ensemble cop show, ''Series/HillStreetBlues''.
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!!This show contains examples of:
* AmoralAttorney: James Sinclair is a brilliant lawyer who often defends high-profile criminals and mob bosses, and tends to get them acquitted. This doesn't make him too popular among the detectives, and he is a special nemesis to Sipowicz who sees him as not just amoral, but positively evil, and doesn't hesitate to tell him so to his face. Despite this, Det. Kelly hires him to defend one of their colleagues when she is on trial for murder.
* AnyoneCanDie: Especially if they're connected to Sipowicz. [[spoiler: 2 partners, his elder son, and a wife. And his boss, almost.]]
* AshesToCrashes: a detective who used to work in the squad died and his widow wants the squad to store half of his ashes there, because that was the man's last wish. "Just put the urn in the back of a file cabinet or something, it wouldn't be any trouble." But the Lieutenant refuses on the grounds that it isn't regulation. Sipowitz manages to get the ashes stirred into the plaster being used to repair the bathroom, so he'll be there forever.
* AspectMontage
* {{Auction}}
* BaldOfAwesome: Sipowicz.
* BerserkButton
** Andy Sipowicz was a veteran of UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar. So ''please'', do not lie to him about having fought in that war if you weren't actually there.
** AmoralAttorney James Sinclair acts as a living BerserkButton to Sipowicz.
** Sipowicz and John Clark, Sr. tend to press each other's berserk buttons a lot. When Clark finds out that his son is partnering up with Sipowicz, he [[spoiler: packs his son's bags and throws him out of their apartment]].
* TheBoxingEpisode: In season nine, Det. Clarke agrees to settle a personal quarrel with one of the uniformed cops, Laughlin, by boxing against him at a precinct charity event. When rumour gets out that it is a grudge match, the captain stops the match. Laughlin puts intense pressure on Clark, pointing him out as a coward. Finally both combatants agree to hide their enmity and pretend the match is just for fun, which leads the captain to reinstate it.
* BreakoutCharacter: Sipowicz, who started out second banana to John Kelly and ended up as one of the most famous TV detectives of all time. (Dennis Franz's ''four'' Emmys for the role certainly didn't hurt.)
-->'''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Marge]]:''' Homer, I don't think you should wear a short-sleeved shirt with a tie.
-->'''Homer:''' But Sipowicz does it.
-->'''Marge:''' If Detective Sipowicz jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?
-->'''Homer:''' Ohh... wish I was Sipowicz.
* BuffySpeak: The dialogue during the period where David Milch's drug problem was at its worst and he had Sipowicz ranting about a ringmaster whipping an ostrich.
* ButICantBePregnant: Connie's Season 11 pregnancy
* ButtMonkey: Medavoy (who usually got the "Odd" case of the week)
** Subverted in the episode where he's fueled by disgust for the sexually motivated murder case he catches, does a great job investigating it and interrogating the perpetrator, and gets a commendation.
** Also subverted to a degree by the circumstances of his retirement at the end of the series.
* CaptainObvious: Medavoy.
* UsefulNotes/CensorshipSystems: the show was frequently rapped for its language and nudity, but rarely for the just as frequent violence.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: It can be a little strange, after watching the later seasons, to look back at season one and behold a Sipowicz who frequents prostitutes and strip joints. He even ''smiles'', which later on seems to nearly [[PerpetualFrowner break his face]].
* ChillyReception
** When Simone replaces Kelly, Sipowicz gives him an extremely cold reception. This was actually intentionally [[BatmanGambit engineered]] by the writers -- they figured that if Sipowicz took an immediate, irrational dislike to Simone, it would leave the audience saying "Come on, Andy, give the guy a ''chance''." It worked.
** And when Simone in turn is replaced by Sorenson, Russel's initial reaction to him is outright hostile. Justified since Russel is [[spoiler: in grief over Simone's death]], and Sorenson is a bit less than diplomatic his first day on the job. Their relationship improves considerably with time.
** After serving under Lt. Fancy for over seven years, Sipowicz is extremely suspicious of Lt. Rodriguez, interpreting everything he says or does in the worst possible light and even taking an irrational dislike of his non-regulation beard. After Sipowicz confronts Rodriguez about interfering with his interrogation, and Rodriguez backs off and agrees to let him do things his way, Sipowicz starts warming up to him.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Detective Lesniak just stopped appearing after season 3, with no explanation given.
* ClothingDamage: Connie [=McDowell=] gets her shirt almost torn off during a struggle to arrest a criminal, showing off her black bra.
%% The following is a ZCE since it doesn't explain why the episode is reviled. And YMMV as well since it only describes the audience reaction.
%% * {{Costumer}}: One of the series' most reviled episodes.
* CrimeAndPunishmentSeries
* DeadpanSnarker: Det. Sipowicz.
* DeathIsDramatic - Bobby Simone's death
* ADeathInTheLimelight - Simone
* DeusAngstMachina: Sipowicz has had a dead wife, a dead son, two dead partners (and a third resigning in disgrace), and TWO cancer scares (his own and his youngest son's).
* DirtyCop: Harry Denby, who is first seen as the detective investigating Jill Kirkendall's ex-husband for drug-running. He comes across as a JerkAss with a drinking problem who comes on to Russell and tries to use her loyalty to Kirkendall as leverage. Later he is discovered actually to be working with the criminals he is investigating. After he is suspended and waiting for indictment he tries to take over the drug operation himself. Like all his endeavours, it fails tragically. [[spoiler: He more or less forces Jill to shoot him.]]
* DirtyHarriet:
** In the sixth-season epsiode ''Mister Roberts'', Jill Kirkendall goes undercover as a callgirl to get evidence against a suspected murderer. The operation is pictured as unusual and highly dangerous.
** [=McDowell=] impersonates a prostitute in order to get past a drug dealer's henchmen and into his apartment. This is not a real underconver operation, since as soon as she is inside, the other detectives burst in and make the arrest. Doubly played for FanService: not only is she wearing quite revealing clothes, but her shirt gets ripped off during the fight that follows.
** Discussed by Det. Rita Ortiz in the ninth season: one of the reasons she transferred from Vice into the squad was that she was tired of the clothes she had to wear while undercover. We later learn that her jealous husband was very frustrated about this.
** In the season 10 premiere, [=McDowell=] and Ortiz pretend to be prostitutes to get into a heavily guarded drug stash house. They drop the pretense as soon as the guard has opened the door.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Det. Sorenson]] was murdered off-screen by his stripper girlfriend's ex.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Whilst the final episode makes it very clear that life and work will go on as usual for Andy Sipowicz, he is far better off at the end than he was at the beginning.
* FairCop:
** All the female detectives on the squad are very good-looking and often wear tight clothes. Most of them have at least one scene in the nude or in their underwear.
** Most other female cops are as well, such as Mary Franco (who was dating Sorenson in season 7).
** Baldwin Jones is the main male example (though Sipowicz's partners were generally good-looking, too). He is also very tall, athletic and well-toned. He has many shirtless scenes to show off his abs.
** Sometimes used to their advantage by the detecives: many male suspects would lower their guards when talking to a good-looking woman, and Baldwin Jones had the same effect on most female suspects and witnesses (sometimes he was too successful when a female witness would get so DistractedByTheSexy that they couldn't concentrate on their statement).
* FanService: The show often pushed the boundaries of how much skin (or sexuality) you could show on network TV.
* FanDisservice: The nudity and sex was frequently a double-edged sword.
* {{Gayngster}}: Jimmy Del Marco in "A Tushful of Dollars."
* GeodesicCast: Andy and his current partner, Medavoy and his, often a third female duo.
* TheGreenEyedMonster: Rita Ortiz's husband was jealous to the point of paranoia, even asking Lt. Rodriguez to keep an eye on her (which Rodriguez refused to do).
* IconicItem: Sipowicz's famous short-sleeved shirt and tie combo.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Sipowicz.
* JurisdictionFriction: Any time the FBI shows up, expect Sipowicz to hate them. He seems to have good reason, as they are generally portrayed as useless at handling street crime.
* LingerieScene:
** More or less the entire female cast had one or more of these, often leading up to a sex scene.
** A more gratuitous example: in one of Det. Connie [=McDowell's=] first episodes, she was investigating a crime at a bar when a patron spilled a drink over her. ''Of course'' she immediately had to go to the rest room, take off her shirt, and wash it in the sink. The scene itself was important to the plot as it led to her discovering important evidence; the shots of her in her lacy black bra were less so.
* LyingToThePerp: A technique often used by the detectives when interviewing suspects.
* LongBusTrip: Though it was never followed up, David Caruso's departure from the series was certainly open-ended enough that for a couple of seasons afterwards it wouldn't have been unexpected to have seen Detective Kelly walk right back through those doors.
** Particularly strange was his complete non-appearance at Sipowicz's wedding. Apparently the writing staff were tempted to [[PutOnABusToHell put John Kelly on a bus to hell]] following the way Caruso had treated them, as a TakeThat to the actor. But ultimately they felt that whatever problems they had to deal with as far as the actor was concerned, the ''character'' of Detective John Kelly deserved more respect than that, so they allowed him to have a dignified departure with no repercusions.
* MediaWatchdog: one of their go-to targets.
* TheMobBossIsScarier: PoliceProcedural shows like this one utilize this trope a lot when dealing with organized crime. [[TheMafiya Russian mobsters]] are portrayed as being especially intimidating, with a willingness to wipe out employees, witnesses, and families of same.
* NewYorkCityCops
* TheNineties: in the first six seasons.
** In the first seasons, the detectives don't have cellphones but have to look for payphones if they are not carrying a walkie-talkie. The squad later gets one cellphone that has to be checked out if a detective needs it.
** Various characters wear typical nineties fashions such as flannel shirts and high-waisted jeans.
** Most cars have the rounded, streamline shape that was popular before [=SUV=]s became predominant.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Sipowicz (he gets better)
* NoEnding: Done deliberately.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Dennis Franz's Chicago accent coming from Brooklyn boy Sipowicz.
* NotInFrontOfTheParrot: Sgt. Gibson's obnoxious parrot. (Made more obnoxious by Andy secretly training it to say nothing but "douchebag")
* OffTheWagon: This happens twice to Sipowicz. Russel also has an episode.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: InUniverse with civilian aide Naomi Reynolds, who claims to be from South Carolina but is actually Australian (as was her actress, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick).
* PetHomosexual: John
* PointyHairedBoss: Blatantly unqualified Sgt. Gibson (though it was made clear that it was temporary and by default, due to a shortage of qualified Sergeants and Lieutenants)
* PoliceBrutality:
** There's rarely an episode that passes without a suspect getting "tuned up". Sometimes it's as minor as a [[DopeSlap slap upside the head]]. Sometimes it gets pretty bad (and the suspect gets off because of it), especially early in the series.
** Even when he doesn't actually use physical force, Sipowicz often threaten suspects with violence to intimidate them.
** Sorenson is suspended after beating up a murder suspect during interrogation, making his confession inadmissible in court.
* PreviouslyOn: Used not so much to recapitulate the previous episode, but to refresh the viewer's memory of what happened several months ago.
* PunBasedTitle: Most of the individual episodes.
* RabidCop: Sipowicz (again, he gets better)
* RapeAsBackstory:
** Sylvia, though it's not really an ongoing trauma.
** [[spoiler:Diane's]] undercover operation with [[spoiler:Jimmy Liery (see below)]] sends her into a serious mental tailspin, causing her to [[spoiler:finally confront the fact that her father molested her when she was twelve.]]
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: When Diane goes undercover to investigate violent psychopath Jimmy Liery, he slips a pill into her drink. She gets dizzy and he carries her out of the bar, after which she wakes up naked in bed with him with no memory of how she got there. When she confronts him (armed), he admits he drugged her with the intention of raping her, but he couldn't go through with the latter part.
* SafeHarbor: One of the few shows on network TV to exploit this.
* SevenDirtyWords: Used four or five of them regularly
* SexySecretary:
** SweaterGirl Donna.
** Dolores, who has a second job as a [[spoiler: stripper]].
* SoapOperaDisease: [[spoiler: Bobby Simone]] had a a terminal case.
* SweaterGirl:
** Donna's, Adrienne's and Diane's usual look (though in Diane's case she wore tight tank tops as often as sweaters).
** Connie also often wore tight sweaters, though she alternated with button-down shirts.
* UglyGuyHotWife:
** Sipowicz. ''Twice''.
*** Sylvia's actress, Sharon Lawrence, was seventeen years younger than Dennis Franz, though the age difference didn't appear as obvious in the show.
*** Which goes to show how egregious the case with the second wife, Connie (played by Charlotte Ross) was, that Sylvia is the one considered Sipowicz's age.
** Greg's relationship with Donna was the beginning of this, though they broke up before marriage was discussed.
* VanityPlate
* WhipPan
* WorstNewsJudgmentEver