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[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Show_Logo_870.jpg]]

''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:
* TheAlcoholic:
** From the first episode, Sipowicz is established as an alcoholic, who goes to AA meetings and mostly manages to stay sober (though he does fall OffTheWagon two times). He also helps various colleagues with their drinking problems.
** Detective [[spoiler: Russell]] is later revealed also to have problems with alcohol; she was driven to drink by traumatic events in her past. She is always shown ordering soft drinks when others drink, but does not want to discuss the reason, which causes resentment with some people.
* 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.
* 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 much more frequently occuring 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 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.
%% * {{Costumer}}: One of the series' most reviled episodes.
* CreepyCrossdresser: In the season 11 episode "Andy Appleseed", the detectives go to the apartment of a murdered woman because they think the suspected murderer may be there. They find him in her closet, trying on her bras and panties.
* CrimeAndPunishmentSeries
* DeadpanSnarker: Det. Sipowicz -- when he's in a good mood.
* DeathIsDramatic - Bobby Simone's death
* 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]] is murdered off-screen by [[spoiler: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 will lower their guards when talking to a good-looking woman, and Baldwin Jones has the same effect on most female suspects and witnesses (sometimes he was too successful when a female witness gets so DistractedByTheSexy that they can'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 is frequently a double-edged sword, especially in the early seasons where it seems to be used for shock value. The later seasons tone down the nudity and tend to use it more for straight FanService than for disservice.
* {{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. He can be very abrasive even to people he respect and like, but he is a loyal friend and willing to help people in need.
* 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 has one or more of these, sometimes leading up to a sex scene, sometimes as a result of ClothingDamage.
** A more gratuitous example: in one of Det. Connie [=McDowell's=] first episodes, she is investigating a crime at a bar when a patron spills a drink over her. ''Of course'' she immediately has to go to the rest room, take off her shirt, and wash it in the sink. The scene itself is important to the plot as it leads to her discovering important evidence; the shots of her in her lacy black bra are 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. These examples obviously don't apply to the seasons that were filmed in the 2000's.
** 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.
** People wear typical nineties fashions such as flannel shirts and high-waisted jeans. Not to forget the women with their push-up bras and tight shirts.
** Most cars have the rounded, streamline shape that was popular before [=SUV=]s became predominant.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Sipowicz, though this is toned down in the later seasons. This is shown as character development: he comes to realize that his dislike of African-Americans is based on a traumatic incident in his past and manages to re-direct his anger at the actual bad guy rather than into general racism.
* 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, the CampGay civilian aide, may seem like this in the beginning, but this turns into a subversion in that he is portrayed quite respectfully and seriously. Initially he has some difficulty being accepted by some of the detectives, most notably Sipowicz, but ends up being a good friend of everybody in the squad.
* PointyHairedBoss: Blatantly unqualified Sgt. Gibson, though it is made clear that his appointment is a stop-gap meausre, due to a shortage of qualified lieutenants. And perhaps his being golf buddies with the Chief of Detectives played a small part in it as well.
* 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: Often used not so much to recapitulate the previous episode, but to refresh the viewer's memory of what happened several months ago. Played more straight in the later seasons.
* PunBasedTitle: Most of the individual episodes.
* RabidCop: Sipowicz. He learns to control his aggressiveness over the course of the series, but woe those suspects who talk back at him.
* 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.
* UsefulNotes/SafeHarbor: One of the few shows on network TV to exploit this.
* SevenDirtyWords: Used four or five of them regularly.
* SexySecretary (though they're actually civilian aides, performing clerical and secretarial duties in the squad):
** SweaterGirl Donna.
** Dolores, who has a second job as a [[spoiler: stripper]].
* SoapOperaDisease: [[spoiler: Bobby Simone]] had a a terminal case.
* SweaterGirl:
** Donna's and Adrienne's usual look.
** Connie, Dianne and Rita also often wear tight sweaters, though Connie and Rita alternate with button-down shirts, and Dianne's tops usually are sleeveless.
* UglyGuyHotWife:
** Sipowicz. ''Twice'', with Sylvia and Connie. His first wife (ex-wife already when the series starts), while not bad-looking, looks more like you'd expect the wife of a middle-aged detective to look like.
*** 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 is the beginning of this, though they break up before marriage is discussed.
%% * VanityPlate
%% * WhipPan
%% * WorstNewsJudgmentEver