[[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, IN COLOR, provides examples of:

* 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.
* 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.
* BangBangBANG
* 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.
* BodyOfTheWeek: along with [[DeadStarWalking Dead Star Walking]], the special guest star was killed off as they were being introduced in the credits.
* 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.
* TheButlerDidIt: [[spoiler:He did]]. But that wasn't a surprise if you read the episode title.
** It would still be a surprise; every single episode had two titles (that read by the announcer, and that displayed on the screen.)
** Of course, said titles are often vague and tend to have little to do with the episode...
* {{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 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.
* CopShow
* CreditsGag: Every credits roll parodied the freeze frame ending by having the actors actually freeze instead of using a still shot.
* 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]].
* 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 ''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: Always contradicted by the voiceover.
* 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.
* 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''.
* 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 pretty much all Zucker Abrams Zucker comedies.
* TheMovie: ''The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad'' and its sequels.
* MysteriousInformant
* {{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; 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.
** 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".
* 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.
* 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.
* RuleOfThree: The opening titles introduce "Leslie Nielson 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.
* 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.
* 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'''.
* 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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