[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lt/psquad.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:320:IN COLOR!]]

->''"My name is Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant, Police Squad. There'd been a recent wave of gorgeous fashion models found naked and unconscious in laundromats on the West Side. Unfortunately, I was assigned to investigate holdups of neighborhood credit unions. I was across town doing my laundry when I got the call on the double killing. It took me twenty minutes to get there. My boss was already on the scene."''

After the success of the movie ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' in 1980, Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker returned to TV, resulting in ''Police Squad!'' (Creator/{{ABC}}, 1982). A blatant parody of 1950s- through 1970s-vintage [[CopShow cop shows]] (specifically 1957's ''M Squad'' and practically every Quinn Martin Productions crime drama ever made - ''Police Squad!'' even uses Hank Simms, the announcer for many QM shows), this HalfHourComedy featured Creator/LeslieNielsen as Lt. Frank Drebin, and filled its half hour with an incredible panoply of fast-paced and hard-hitting puns, surreal non-sequiturs and over-the-top sight gags of the kind that had become familiar thanks to the ZAZ movies.

Unfortunately, ABC canceled the program after only six episodes, with network head Tony Thomopoulos giving as the reason that [[ViewersAreMorons the show required the viewer to pay too much attention]] -- a pronouncement that earned Thermopolous and the network a considerable amount of derision (''TV Guide'' called it "the most stupid reason a network ever gave for ending a series"). Ironically, the producers themselves were actually grateful, as the six episodes they made were already stretching their ideas thin and they knew they'd never be able to keep up the level of quality much longer. To this day the show is remembered with fondness by many as a program that respected (and tested) the intelligence of its viewers even while making them roll on the floor with laughter. The entire series was released on DVD in 2006.

Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker eventually revived the show (and reused many of its gags) in ''Film/TheNakedGun'' series of motion pictures.

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!!This show provides examples IN COLOR of:

* TheAlibi: One episode had Drebin trying to break the alibi of a bombmaker who recently got out of prison in regards to a recent bombing. [[spoiler:While the alibi was bogus, he wasn't the bomber - the reason he was lying about his whereabouts was because he was at a baseball game, and he hadn't cleared leaving the state to attend with his parole officer before he left.]]
* AlmightyJanitor: Johnny the shoeshine guy knows everything and will tell you about it--for a price. (He can even tell you about the afterlife.) Invariably, as soon as Drebin gets the information he needs and leaves, someone else will come for information, such as a surgeon asking how to perform open-heart surgery or DickClark asking about ska (and picking up some more youth cream).
* AlmostDeadGuy: The manager of the check-cashing store in the first episode. He stares at Sally in shock and says her name before staggering into the desk--where he signs and stamps some papers. Then he repeats "Sally!", staggers into the cabinet and files the paperwork. Then, after one final "Sally!" he falls dead.
* AndStarring: [[OneSceneWonder Rex Hamilton]] as UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln.
* AsYouKnow
-->'''Frank:''' That sounded like a tuba in the background.
-->'''Chief:''' Oh that won't be easy to narrow down, this city is the [[SeriousBusiness tuba capital of the world.]]
* ATeamFiring: Frank and a perpetrator are unable to shoot each other while hiding behind a bench and a garbage can that are only five feet away from each other.
* BaitAndSwitchComment: Drebin's introductory monologue in the first episode talks about a baffling mystery of beautiful women being knocked unconscious and left naked all over town... which unfortunately, was assigned to somebody else while Frank investigated the double homicide at a local Savings and Loan.
* BangBangBANG: The opening credits have Frank firing at an unknown attacker. Then his boss, in the squadroom on the upper floors of the building, is fired on. Then ''Abraham Lincoln'' returns fire at his assassin.
* BecomingTheMask: For example, Norberg is more occupied with improving revenues on their key making business cover than with dealing with the mob they went into business to attract.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Georg Stanford Brown, a guest star, is killed off already in the theme sequence.
* BodyOfTheWeek: Along with [[DeadStarWalking Dead Star Walking]], the special guest star was killed off as they were being introduced in the credits.
* BondOneLiner: In "Rendezvous at Big Gulch (Terror in the Neighborhood)", after Frank beats up the Mafia goons and throws them out of his shop onto the street:
--> '''Frank''': Why don't you lie there until Thursday? That's when they pick up the ''garbage''.
* TheBoxingEpisode: episode "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)"
* BracesOfOrthodonticOverkill: First episode, when Frank visits the dentist.
* BrickJoke:
** Frank mentions in the introductory monologue of the first episode that he was doing his laundry when a case came up. About halfway through the episode he finally gets to pick it up.
** The 3rd episode had the Chimpanzee.
* TheButlerDidIt: [[spoiler:He did. He needed the money]]. It was shown as the title in the EpisodeTitleCard, but masked as usual.
* {{Cameo}}: In addition to the BodyOfTheWeek, many of the people who came to Johnny the Shoeshine Boy for advice, including DickClark and Dr. Joyce Brothers.
* CatchPhrase: The first and last line of the page header quote. Also:
-->'''Drebin:''' ''[offering a cigarette to the victim of the episode's crime]'' Cigarette? \\
'''Victim:''' Yes. I know.\\
'''Drebin:''' (''disillusioned'') Well...
* ChairReveal: A chair does a slow turn... revealing another, identical, chair in the seat. The villain is standing off to the side.
* ClumsyCopyrightCensorship: Examples below:
** In the original airing of "The Butler Did It", the party goers were actually singing "Happy Birthday to You". But in the VHS/Syndicated versions, they were singing a totally new song to the tune of the original called, literally, "Something Different".
** "Testimony of Evil", the last episode, originally had Drebin singing Creator/JudyGarland tunes. Again, in the VHS/Syndication versions, these were changed to versions that sounded almost the same, but with totally made up lyrics, and the new singer sounding nothing like Leslie Nielsen at all.
*** Thankfully, the DVD release put back the original versions of those songs in those two episodes, along with Nielsen's original singing for his Judy Garland tribute.
* ContinuityNod: Each episode ends with Ed or Frank talking about how the criminal of the week will join previous episodes' perpetrators in prison.
* CopShow
* CreditsGag: Every credits roll parodied the freeze frame ending by having the actors actually freeze instead of using a still shot.
* CrimeReconstruction: Attempted in "A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise)". The crime scene techs aren't able to get the actual scene to line up with Sally's testimony no matter what to do. Since the techs were using a loaded gun while trying to reproduce a double homicide, they end up taking a lot of casualties.
* DamageProofVehicle: Frank Drebin's green Plymouth seems to be one, no matter how many trash cans and kids bikes it hits it stays pristine.
* DeadStarWalking[=/=]DeathByCameo: A guest star would be immediately killed off as soon as he/she is introduced, ''during the opening credits''.
* DirtForcefield: After a fight involving [[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext herpes and a signed Picasso]], Frank Drebin seems relatively unscathed, but in the next shot we see him dusting himself off with several cuts and bruises all over his face and his hair mussed. [[PlayingWithATrope After the next cut, he's spotless once again]].
* DramaticUnmask: (Deliberately) Overdone to the point of absurdity in the climax of the first episode. Drebin confronts the clerk, and reveals that he knows that before she was a clerk, she had another identity, and then rips off her wig to reveal her true hair color. Then he reveals that she had another identity before that, and rips off another wig. And it keeps going through roughly half a dozen prior identities, [[DressedInLayers all of which she was still wearing the disguises for one over the other, some of which could not possibly have been concealed under the wigs that were layered on top.]]
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Every episode Drebin crashes into some garbage cans with his car. And he once "drives back to the station" by literally driving there backwards.
* DVDCommentary: Unfortunately the commentary for the DVD release of ''Series/PoliceSquad'' is pretty boring - they hadn't seen the series for a while and spend more time laughing at the jokes and saying how wet behind the ears they were than letting you know anything interesting. They only offer it on three out of the total of six episodes, too - and not even the best ones. They spend half the time talking about how they had to fight against having a LaughTrack added - and then annoyingly their commentary is mostly... a laugh track.
* EconomyCast: Parodied with Johnny the shoe shine boy, Drebin's only informant. Johnny already knows ''everything'', why would Drebin bother going anywhere else?
* EpisodeTitleCard: The beginning of each episode shows a title on screen, and the voice over give a contradictory title. One is related to the plot, and the other is a red herring.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding[=/=]EveryEpisodeEnding[=/=]OhCisco: Every episode's "Epilogue" involves Drebin and Hocken cracking a joke about the criminal they just sent to prison, followed by a mock-freeze frame (a.k.a. the YeahShot listed below): the camera keeps rolling, but the actors stand really still.
** In Episode 1, Drebin and Hocken are visibly blinking and struggling to hold their expressions as the credits roll.
** In Episode 2, the episode's villain, Montague Martin, tries to escape, only to find the exits blocked by frozen cops or the FourthWall.
** In Episode 3, a suspect (a dressed-up chimpanzee) starts to demolish the office, while the rest of the cast freeze-frames.
** In Episode 4, Norberg walks into the scene after the freeze frame, and tries to find a suitable pose for himself to freeze on.
** In Episode 5, the ending "freeze-frames" while Hocken pours Drebin some coffee, halfway through Drebin saying "when". The coffee continues to pour, and Hocken has to slowly raise his arm to keep it going as the pot empties. Eventually, Drebin's coffee cup overflows and falls out of his hand.
** In Episode 6, Norberg goes to nail something to the wall, and the impact of his hammering causes the entire set to start falling down around the frozen actors.
* ExcitedShowTitle: The show's official title is written with an exclamation mark at the end, as if it's screaming the name at you.
* TheFaceless: Al, a cop at headquarters who was so tall his head was never seen. Here's what he [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0864096/ looks like]].
* FingerInTheMail: Frank and his co-workers tell the mother of a kidnapped young lady about a similar case they had in which the victim's ear was cut off and mailed to her parents. The story, naturally, horrifies the woman--especially as they prattle on about the possibility.
* FingertipDrugAnalysis: In the last episode, Norberg states there's only one way to find out if these suspicious powders they found in the car are drugs, so he does one... then takes another "test"... and then a whole finger's worth... Norberg was always a little quirky, but [[TheStoner maybe...]].
* TheFool: Drebin.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent:
** The many times the view from the Police Squad office window changes from a generic city-scape to Paris, to a jungle.
** The very, ''very'' long cadaver that is being carried out in episode 1.
** Frank and Ed drive to Little Italy, which the projected background helpfully indicates by having the two drive away from the Colosseum.
*** And at their destination, you can clearly see the Leaning Tower of Pisa out the window.
** Episode 6 has two coroners trying to stuff a corpse into a cabinet while Frank and Ed discuss the case.
* KnowledgeBroker: Johnny the shoeshine guy, who can give you information on literally ''anything'' for a price.
* HalfHourComedy
* HappyBirthdayToYou: Turns into...something different...literally.
* {{Homage}}: Multiple brief recreations of famous and not-so-famous movie and TV moments, plus the series' entire recreation of the look and feel of 1950s police shows, particularly ''M Squad''.
* HiddenDepths: Frank bumbles at just about everything, and is even worse when he goes undercover. But he actually is a skilled entertainer/comedian when he poses as one.
* HiddenInPlainSight: The Police Squad spends five hours almost completely dismantling a car to find the drugs they suspected were being smuggled in it... which were sitting in an unlocked glove compartment. They then manage to restore the utterly destroyed car to near mint condition in a matter of minutes.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: In one episode Frank tries to taunt a boxer with all sorts of insults, to which the man smiles and turns the other cheek. When Frank finally gives up and says, "Forget it!" that suddenly sets the man off and accidentally does the trick.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Each episode had ''two'' names -- the one displayed on the screen, and the one read by the announcer at the same time.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: "Look out, Frank: herpes!"
** "Watch out, he's got a painting! It's a signed Picasso!!"
* LadyInRed: Stella in "Rendezvous at Big Gulch (Terror in the Neighborhood)"
* LatexPerfection: The Frenchman.
* LiteralMinded: Every character whenever it was funny. A signature style found in all Zucker Abrahams Zucker comedies.
* TheMovie: ''The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad'' and its sequels.
* MysteriousInformant
* NauseaFuel: InUniverse when Frank starts using overly-detailed metaphors to try and convince a crime victim that she can't let the mob turn the city into a festering cesspool. Other people in the squadroom yell at him each time he starts on a new description.
--> "Come on, Frank, I'm trying to eat a tuna fish sandwich!"
* {{Narrator}}
* NoFourthWall: Literally -- whenever Olson would take Drebin to the lab where he'd run the episode's critical experiment, Olson would walk through the door -- and Drebin would walk around the end of the set wall in which the door was placed.
* NonSequiturThud: Played straight when Buddy Brigs delivers the knockout blow to the Champ.
-->'''Referee:''' How many fingers do you see?
-->'''Champ:''' Thursday. ''[collapses]''
* OnceAnEpisode: Every episode Drebin will: Come in to work while narrating how he was in the middle of something else; consult Johnny the shoeshine guy for the word on the street (who will then be consulted by someone in a non-cop profession); consult Dr. Olson for forensic info (interrupting him in the middle of some dangerous or creepy experiment he's doing for some kid); crash into something while parking; offer a cigarette or something similar, only to have the offeree agree that it is indeed a cigarette; and mention that the current episode's arrestee would be joining every single criminal (listed off by name) who had been arrested in the previous episodes in Stateville Prison.
** If you wondered which episode it was, [[BrickJoke count the number of garbage cans the car hits]]. Now, imagine if they had made more episodes.
** There will be an Act II. The title will be some sort of play on the words "Act II".
*** Gesundheit.
** A Special Guest Star will be introduced during the opening credits, who dies within thirty seconds.
* OrphanedPunchline: In "Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don't Laugh)": "So anyway, the guy looked up at her and he said, 'Lady, I don't think I can take sixty-seven more of those!'"
* PinchMe
* PoliceProcedural: Well, in theory--definitely a spoof of the genre.
* PrettyInMink: Stella in "Rendezvous at Big Gulch (Terror in the Neighborhood)" wears a white fox stole.
* TheProfessor: Mr. Olson.
* ReverseWhodunnit: The opening of "A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise)" clearly shows that Sally committed the crime.
* RightHandCat: The Villain of Episode 5 has a white one.
* RockStarParking: Parodied; Frank Drebin parks no matter what objects might be in the way.
* RunningGag: Drebin regularly goes places mentioning that "my boss was already there".
** [[strike:Sergeant]] [[strike:Lieutenant]] [[strike:Captain]] Drebin's rank changes every time it's said.
** In every indoor scene with a window, some strange background will be visible through it (the U.S. Capitol, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a scene set in a "Little Italy" neighborhood).
** While it didn't quite happen every episode, a few times Drebin and Hocken would step into an elevator, and then we'd see inside as they talked about the case. In the background, an unlikely passenger would enter, then the elevator doors would open to a setting that makes no sense for an elevator to be present, but makes sense with the outfit the passenger is wearing, who disembarks (A woman in a bathing suit who heads to a floor with a swimming pool, for example).
* RuleOfThree: The opening titles introduce "Leslie Nielsen as Detective Frank Drebin", who is in an alleyway when someone shoots at him and he returns fire. Then "Alan North as Captain Ed Hocken" who is also fired on and returns fire, even though he's in the police station. Finally, "Rex Hamilton as UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln". He's at the theater and, of course, someone shoots at him. He returns fire.
* SaintBernardRescue: As an unexplained sight gag, a boxer's drunk girlfriend has a pet St. Bernard with a cask of brandy on its collar.
* SerialEscalation: How many sight gags and bad puns can we fit into a half-hour show?
* ShoeShineMister: Johnny the Shoe-Shine Boy, who knew everything, so much that he's listed on this site as an AlmightyJanitor.
* ShoutOut: The original newspaper ads for ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' featured a picture of a 747 tied in a knot. The ABC TvGuide ads for ''Series/PoliceSquad'' featured a picture of a police revolver with its barrel tied in a similar knot.
** The opening credit shot of Leslie Neilson is a direct parody of Lee Marvin's ''M Squad'' opening credit shot right down to the theme music.
* SomeonesTouchingMyButt: In the episode "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)", when Drebin confronts the villain inside a steam room.
-->'''Drebin:''' All right, hands up, Luca! I got a gun in your ribs!
-->'''Mary:''' I'm not Luca, and those aren't my ribs.
* SpinningPaper
* TeaserOnlyCharacter: All of the celebrities killed during the opening credits. Also Rex Hamilton as ''[[HistoricalHilarity Abraham Lincoln]]''.
* ThrowAwayGuns: Drebin and a criminal begin pelting each other with a seemingly bottomless supply of empty guns.
* TurnYourHeadAndCough: In the first episode, Sally Decker plans to rob the bank she works at. Just off-screen, Ralph Twice is opening up an account at the bank, and the overheard signing-up procedure grows increasingly surreal until the bank teller instructs Ralph, "Now, turn your head and cough."
* VisualPun: Again, so very many. In one episode, Drebin follows a lead to the "Club Flamingo" bar. The mechanical sign shows a man clubbing a flamingo to death.
** In another, "Here comes the tow truck." A truck arrives, resembling a toe. A '''toe truck'''.
** In the 3rd episode, the "Japanese garden" in question is a garden full of Japanese people in pots.
** The same episode had a Glove compartment...full of gloves.
* VomitingCop: Subverted: in response to seeing a picture of Alexander Haig.
* WalkThisWay: Students at a ballet school continue to imitate their teacher, even as she gets roughed up by the local mob.
* WarriorPoet: Parodied with the champ, in reference to Muhammad Ali:
--> Roses are red,
--> Violets are blue,
--> Sugar is sweet,
--> I'm gonna break his face.
** And later:
---> Jack and Jill went up the hill,
---> I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR FACE! I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR FACE!
* WhatsAHenway: Built on this trope.
* WhosOnFirst:
** The first episode alone had a lengthy conversation that went like this. But what do you expect when you're investigating a double murder involving guys with names like Ralph Twice and Jim Fell? For extra fun, they throw in Phil Din, Once, and a hunch back at the office.
** Not to mention Sergeants Takeheraway and Booker.
* WingdingEyes: "No sale" eyeballs, animated onto a live-action boxer.
* WorkCom
* YeahShot: Parodied at the end of every episode.
* YourLittleDismissiveDiminutive: When Frank is minding a key-cutting shop in order to flush out a gang of extortionists:
-->'''Extortionist''': You'd better watch your little key store.
-->'''Frank''': [[IncrediblyLamePun What about my little keister?]]
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