[[caption-width-right:300:''"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."'']]

->''"Looks like you and I are the only sane ones here."''
-->-- '''Sledge''', to his Magnum

''Sledge Hammer!'' is a television sitcom created and executive produced by Alan Spencer which ran on Creator/{{ABC}} from 1986 to 1988. It is an unrestrained {{Parody}} of the CowboyCop genre (''Film/DirtyHarry'' specifically), with David Rasche as Inspector [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Sledge Hammer]], a cop who [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill shoots first and asks questions never]]. He is partnered with Detective Dori Doreau (Anne-Marie Martin), and the two work for the ever-exasperated Captain Trunk (Harrison Page).

While Hammer respects his colleagues, his only true friend is his [[HandCannon .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver]], complete with customized grip and etched sledgehammer signia. Hammer's affection for his gun is so deep that [[CompanionCube he showers with it,]] [[CargoShip sleeps with it,]] and [[ConsultingMisterPuppet even talks to it.]]

The show was produced throughout the run by Alan Spencer Productions, Spencer's production company, and New World Pictures, an entertainment company founded by Creator/RogerCorman. During the first season, there was another production company involved, D'Angelo Productions, the production company of executive producer William P. D'Angelo.

The series received critical acclaim, but struggled in the ratings, largely due to its numerous time slot shifts. (It didn't help that at one point, the show competed against ''Series/{{Dallas}}'' and ''Series/MiamiVice'' on Friday nights.) Even so, ''Sledge Hammer!'' attracted up to nineteen million viewers who followed the show religiously, along with a very abbreviated ComicBook series from Creator/MarvelComics, which was then owned by New World Pictures. Despite a season finale that [[KillEmAll ended with a nuclear explosion]], ABC changed its mind and renewed the show for a second season. The second season suffered from another horrible time slot (against ''Series/TheCosbyShow'') and a reduced budget.

!!''"Trust me, I know what I'm troping."''

* AccidentalAimingSkills: Hammer's interrogation of a suspect in the pilot via a carnival-style shooting game, wherein he blindfolds himself before aiming for the balloon near the suspect's head...
-->'''Hammer:''' I always miss this shot.
-->''[Suspect breaks down and spills the beans, but Hammer fires anyway and hits the balloon.]''
-->'''Dori:''' Wow, you hit the balloon.
-->'''Hammer:''' Yeah, I missed.
* AdmiringTheAbomination: Sledge's glorification of violence sometimes leads him to approve of the villain's ways. Such as in "To Sledge, With Love":
-->'''Trunk''': These [[GangOfBullies animals]] are violent and destructive, with no respect for authority.
-->'''Hammer''': Don't worry, Captain. I won't be suckered in by their virtues.
* AlreadyMetEveryone: Tripped over in the second season premiere; it was set five years before the first, despite the fact that Hammer and Dori only met in the first season premiere.
* AndThisIsFor: Sledge Hammer does this to a hijacker, but after expelling his reasons he punches the hijacker one more time. When the hijacker asks "What was that for?!", Hammer replies, "That was gratuitous!"
* ArabOilSheikh: One tries to buy Doreau.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Sledge Hammer, of course.
** And his father, Jack Hammer.
** And his mother, Armen Hammer.
* AxCrazy: Hammer himself, although it was often {{Bowdlerise}}d for comedic effect. He never ''actually'' killed anyone; the censors presumably wouldn't allow it.
* BeardOfSorrow: Sledge starts showing up to work looking disheveled and with unkempt stubble after the love of his life was stolen from him... that love being his gun of course.
* BenchBreaker: Doreau does this accidentally in "Wild About Hammer." The villain for that episode ties her to a chair. Sledge manages to untie her ankles from the chair before he's attacked. While those two are fighting, Doreau manages to stand herself up on her now-freed legs, only to trip, fall over backwards, break the chair, and free herself from the rest of the rope.
* BerserkButton: Sledge reacts... badly to being called a wuss.
* BilingualBonus: when fighting the KGB, Hammer speaks his catchphrase "Trust me. I know what I'm doing" in Russian. [[note]]Доверьтесь мне. Я знаю, что я делаю . (Dover'tes' mne. Ya'znayu, chto ya delayu).[[/note]]
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Done in nearly every episode by everyone, police and criminals alike.
* BlingBlingBang: The handle of his Magnum is made out of ivory and has a drawing of a sledgehammer.
* BottomlessMagazines:
** A regular feature of the show, often with LampshadeHanging. During one shootout, Captain Trunk even yells, "Where the hell is he getting all this ammo?!"
** Every time we look at the chamber of Sledge's Magnum it's not loaded, but ten seconds later the revolver can fire ten rounds without reloading.
%%* BuddyCopShow
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: "Model Dearest" had women being who were supposedly hired to be models but were actually being put on display to be sold to a man. He decided the first would be a wife, the second a mistress and the third (Doreau) would be a wife AND a mistress.
* BulletCatch: A trick performed by Hammer's father, Jack, as a carnival performer. Sledge eventually needs to learn the trick.
%%* ButtMonkey: Poor, poor Captain Trunk...
* CatchPhrase:
** Sledge's "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (inevitably followed by disaster)
** Captain Trunk has a very simple, oft used one....."HAMMER!!!!!!!!!!"
%%* CharacterTitle
%%* DaChief: Captain Trunk.
* ComicBookAdaptation: Two issues, put out by Creator/MarvelComics.
%%* CompanionCube: Sledge's Magnum.
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: Sledge frequently talks to his gun for advice. However, if anyone's within earshot and asks him who he's talking to, Sledge will quickly cover it up.
%%* CowboyCop
* CreatorCameo: Creator Alan Spencer can be seen in the backgrounds of several episodes, usually at the precinct.
%%* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass
* DetectivePatsy: The episode "Play It Again, Sledge" has a woman hire Sledge as private investigator, to make him an eyewitness of her "self-defense" murder.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** When he catches a speeder, Hammer ties the man to the hood of his car and drives around the parking lot at high speed.
** In the pilot, he ends a shootout by destroying the building the shooter is on with a rocket launcher.
* DonutMessWithACop: Mocked by Sledge.
-->"I would like to address that particular stereotype if I may. Now, your stereotypical donut is nothing but dough and sugar fried in fat, am I right? Now that fat gums up your arteries and goes to your brain, and you turn liberal. And the next thing you know, Music/BarryManilow is on the turntable and you're not going to work and you're voting for gun control. You see what I'm saying? You see the connection? That's why I eat granola."
* DownerEnding: The season 2 finale concludes with [[spoiler: Sledge pretending that he was kidding when he asked Dori if she'd marry him.]]
%%* DrivesLikeCrazy
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In the first episode, "Under the Gun", Sledge is somewhat more competent, but he's also far more violent. For example, early in the episode, he captures a suspect by pulling out a bazooka and blowing up the entire building the suspect is holed up in.
* EightiesHair:
** PlayedForLaughs in one episode in which Dori has got herself a new haircut, which turns out to be impractical, because it blocks her vision, forcing her to blow her hair off her face.
** In the episode "Sledge, Rattle, and Roll," where Sledge and Dori investigate a series of murders revolving around [[Film/ThisIsSpinalTap Spinal Tap]]-esque HeavyMetal band The Plague.
* EmpathicWeapon: Though the audience never sees anything unusual, Hammer treats his gun as a living, breathing entity. Subverted in one episode in which Hammer is hallucinating and the viewers ''do'' see his gun talking, complete with animated barrel/mouth.
* ExcitedShowTitle: The show's title uses an exclamation mark at the end.
* {{Expy}}: Of ''Series/GetSmart'', a childhood favorite of creator Alan Spencer. The shows even share one episode plot line ... Sledge/Max get fired from the police force/Control and decide to open a detective agency leading to Creator/HumphreyBogart jokes (Max imitating him, Sledge seeing him).
* ExtendedDisarming: In "To Sledge With Love", Hammer has to pacify an InnerCitySchool. In one scene he asks the ruling GangOfBullies to hand over all their weapons, which results in a prolonged scene of them emptying their pockets full of knives, nunchaku and brass knuckles.
* FirstNameUltimatum
* AFoolForAClient: In one episode, Sledge is accused of murder and decides to defend himself. Right before the end of the trial, the judge asks the Prosecution if they have anything to say. The prosecutor responds that Sledge has already made all their points for them.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent:
** In one episode where a serial killer is murdering one ElvisImpersonator after another, the chalk outlines for each slain Elvis are in the classic ''JailhouseRock'' pose (i.e. [[http://media.dvdtown.com/images/displayimage.php?id=7490 this one]].)
** Dori and Trunk discuss a case involving an android thief while Hammer keeps being attacked by its [[EvilHand detached cyborg arm]] in the background.
* GagDub: In the German version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkgO_ODkIzw the opening]], someone shouts "ouch!" as if being hit by Hammer's bullet.
%%* GagSeries: The second season, even more than the first.
* TheGhost: Frequent references and jokes are made about Hammer's ex-wife, but she is not seen until one late episode (where she is [[RealLifeRelative played by David Rasche's actual wife]]). Made funnier when she is actually a nice, reasonable person, not the sadistic bloodsucker that Sledge describes.
* GoshDangItToHeck: Lampshaded when Sledge chases a criminal through a television studio with many shows being recorded. When Hammer catches him, the crook yells "Go to heck!" and then states that you're not allowed to say "hell" on television.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: Dori patiently waits while a thug tries to break a bottle to use on her before finally grabbing the bottle, breaking it pretty effortlessly, handing it back to him and them dropping him with a single kick.
* GunPorn: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUZMK7fBiZU The opening title sequence]] is one big love letter to Sledge's Magnum.
* GunTwirling: Sledge does this a lot, including in the above-linked title sequence.
* HandCannon: the Amigo. Not standard cop issue and unfeasibly over-powered for routine police work.
* HandWave: Expecting to be canceled, the producers ended season one with [[spoiler: a nuke destroying the entire city]]. The show was then renewed for another season, so they just slapped a subtitle on the first new episode ([[spoiler: Sledge Hammer: The Early Years]]) and then carried on as if nothing had happened. Which creates continuity errors since the announcement states that this season takes place five years before, where Hammer met his partner only one year previously. Further, the second season includes references to current events in 1987 (the year the second season was aired), NOT 1981 or 1982.
* HeartSymbol: Hammer's car has a bumper sticker reading "I '''♥''' VIOLENCE."
* HeroicComedicSociopath: Sledge Hammer's over-the-top CowboyCop behavior and violence towards criminals is played strictly for laughs, as an AffectionateParody of ''Film/DirtyHarry''.
* HeyThatsMyLine: In one episode where Hammer has Humphrey Bogart as a SpiritAdvisor, Sledge says "Here's looking at you, kid!", and Bogey answers.... guess what.
* HollywoodSilencer: Inverted; Sledge has a ''loudener'' for his Magnum.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Downplayed example. The ditzy Sledge does have his uses. He's inhumanly good in a firefight for example, and sometimes proves he's not as dumb as he looks. But it's Doreau that keeps Sledge on track and does the real investigative work.
* ICallItVera: He calls his gun "amigo". Originally, he insisted his gun's name was "Gun." Though his relationship with his gun (the mere fact that he ''has'' a relationship with his gun) fits this trope.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: He may be clueless in many respects but he's really good with his .44
* InkblotTest: Sledge received one as part of a psychological evaluation. He identified the pictures as two images of gun violence, "a field of pussy willows," "a [machine gun] blowing away the pussy willows," and "a duck handcuffing a naked woman." The psychologist remarks, "Funny, I've never seen the duck."
* InsertCameo: Creator Alan Spencer's hands can be seen stealing newspapers out of a vending machine in the pilot.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: By Music/DannyElfman.
* InsultBackfire: When DaChief chews out the CowboyCop.
-->'''Trunk:''' You sadistic, depraved, bloodthirsty, barbaric...
-->'''Hammer:''' Is that why you called me in here? To shower me with compliments?
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Lampshaded when an assassin has Sledge tied to a DeathTrap, and tells him how he intends to kill the captain.
-->'''Sledge:''' I'll never understand why you guys explain your whole plan before you kill somebody.
%%* KnightTemplar
%%* LampshadeHanging
* LatexPerfection: Spoofed when a female KGB spy turned out to be a male KGB spy behind a latex mask. However, the rest of the body alterations were permanent so he/she could win the Miss Iron Curtain pageant.
* LaughTrack: Averted on the DVD release, which had the laugh track removed. Unlike many sitcoms, there aren't really any awkward pauses where the laugh would have been.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Employed several times. The most notable instance occurs in the first-season finale, when Captain Trunk barges in on a terrorist making a live television broadcast.
-->'''Trunk:''' Your show's been canceled!
-->'''Sledge:''' You talkin' to me?
** Another example in "State of Sledge" had Sledge asked what time it was and answer 7:06. Then 6:30 displayed on the screen and he added that his watch must be fast.

* LordErrorProne
-->'''Sledge:''' The two men then pointed their shotguns at the clerk, so I took out my Magnum and shot and killed them both. I then bought some eggs, and milk, and some of those little cocktail weenies.
-->'''Reporter:''' Inspector, was what you did in the store absolutely necessary?
-->'''Sledge:''' Oh, yes. I had no groceries at all.
* LoudLastName: HAAAAMMEEEER!!
* TheLudovicoTechnique: Parodied when an evil TV company tries to brainwash Sledge Hammer by breaking his spirit with horrible scenes of violence. It backfires because Sledge is a CowboyCop AffectionateParody, so he just cheers on everything they show him and is even dismayed when they stop.
* ManchurianAgent: The villains in one episode try to turn Hammer into one by messing with his subconscious. It doesn't work; Hammer doesn't ''have'' a subconscious.
* MsFanservice: Some of the things the script demanded of Anne-Marie Martin. Her skirt shrinks to micro-mini after interviewing a suspect in a sauna; the frequent karate high-kicks that ruck her hem up somewhere towards her waist; the cat-fights with female perps; and especially the one that takes place in a mudbath. Not to mention having to dress in very flimsy clothing as a "hooker" in a Vice Squad sting operation.
* MushroomSamba: In one episode, Hammer hallucinates that his gun is actually talking to him, and the barrel even moves like a mouth. That episode, where everyone in the precinct gets a virus that makes them hallucinate, also includes Doreau thinking she's [[Franchise/{{Tarzan}} Jane]], Majoy feeling up an imaginary [[FanService buxom woman in a swimsuit]], and Daley thinking that she's a ballerina.
* NakedInMink: In "Play It Again, Sledge" his first case as a private investigator starts with a woman entering his office, who is wearing nothing but her mink coat. She had just come from posing for an art class.
* NoirEpisode: "Play It Again, Sledge", which specifically spoofs the Creator/HumphreyBogart Sam Spade noir films. After getting suspended Sledge decides to become a private detective, and the FemmeFatale who comes to him for help frames him for the murder of her husband, all the while he's assisted by a SpiritAdvisor of Bogart himself.
* NoIndoorVoice: Trunk. He yells. A Lot! Sledge lampshaded it once by snarking that he was louder than most airports.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Several episodes suggest that Sledge uses this. Though he's written off by everybody as a violent idiot, sometimes he manages to crack the case with a sudden admission that he had been taking notes all along. This is [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in an episode when a game show host killed off a contestant who was getting close to the top prize. When Dori wonders how someone that smart got on the show, Sledge explains, "You see, he looks dumb, but turned out to be a genius; a trick I've used myself."
* OfficialCouple: Sledge and his gun, one of the rare instances of a canonical CargoShip.
** In fact, the French Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} takes it UpToEleven, listing Sledge's gun as an actual character. (The French title of the series is ''Mr. Gun''.)
* ParodyEpisode: The second season consisted almost entirely of these. ("Hammeroid" was a parody of ''Franchise/RoboCop'', "Vertical" was a parody of ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'', etc.)
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Sledge makes it clear from episode one that this is how he handles crime.
* PistolWhipping: Extremely subverted in one episode when Hammer sneaks behind a bad guy. Sledge pistol whips him on the head with his revolver, but the crook just grabs his head and starts shouting in pain. Sledge follows it up with a bottle to the head, but the bad guy still doesn't go down. Then Sledge jumps on the bad guy's back, piggy-backs him, gets him in a headlock, rams his head into a wall and he's ''still'' conscious.
* PoliceBrutality: Sledge sees this as a good thing, and pitches the benefits of being a cop to others on the basis that he gets paid to legally beat up and kill people.
* PretendToBeBrainwashed: Sledge is kidnapped by an evil TV company to turn him into a ManchurianAgent so he will assassinate the DA. Attempts to give him TheLudovicoTechnique fail because he howls with laughter at all the violence they show him, but when they tap into his subconscious it seems to work. Sledge later reveals that he was just playing along, saying he doesn't ''have'' a subconscious.
* RecklessGunUsage: Sledge all the time, though on this show people react like they should in real life, desperately trying to get out of the way. Played for laughs.
* RepetitiveName: Dori Doreau.
%%* RuleOfFunny
* RunningGag
-->'''Sledge:''' ''[reaching into his pocket]'' I have something for you.
-->''[Everyone takes cover as Sledge retrieves something other than his gun]''
** Not to mention the inevitable disaster that follows whenever Hammer says, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing."
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: Done with Sledge Hammer in the title sequence. ABC wouldn't allow Sledge to shoot directly at the screen lest the older viewers have a heart attack, but the effect is more or less the same.
* SelectiveSqueamishnessSuppression: In one episode, Hammer eats his lunch in the same room the coroner was performing an autopsy in.
* ShootingGallery: Done in one episode, where Hammer simply shoots all of the targets regardless of whether they're civilians or crooks. Naturally, this annoys Captain Trunk to no end.
* ShoutOut:
** Creator Alan Spencer has often credited ''Series/GetSmart'' as the inspiration for this show. In the pilot a suspect is in room number 86, Max Smart's agent number.
** While on a date with Sledge's supposed brother Miles, Dori grows suspicious and mentions Sledge's middle name is Alfred (to which Miles agrees), but in reality this is Majoy's middle name, thus confirming Dori's suspicions that Miles is an impostor. ''Alfred'' is the complete first name of ''Sledge Hammer!'' writer (and future ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' writer/show runner) Al Jean.
** In "Sledge, Rattle, and Roll", Sledge quotes the chorus of Music/ThePolice's big hit "Every Breath You Take".
** The episode "Last of the Red-Hot Vampires," which features an {{Expy}} of famed actor Vincent Price (named Vincent Lagarski) as one of the main protagonists, ends with the credit "In Memory of Mr. Blasko". This is a reference to well-known film vampire, Bela Lugosi's real-life surname.
* SlapstickKnowsNoGender: Poor Doreau got run through the ringer a lot, often while wearing her best suits and dresses. Her tailored suit shrinks by three sizes after Sledge drags her into a sauna to interrogate a perp. In order to detain a perp whose day job is mud wrestler, Doreau is dragged into the arena - in her trademark business suit - and deluged in mud and indignity as she wrestles the woman into the mud. (And wins, by the way.)
* StayInTheKitchen: At first, Sledge doesn't approve of his partner being a woman, which leads to the following exchange:
-->'''Doreau:''' What, you think all women should be barefoot and pregnant?
-->'''Hammer:''' No, I encourage women to wear shoes.
* StrappedToABomb: It happens to Hammer, allowing him the chance to speak his catch phrase one last time before the series was expected to definitively end...
-->"Trust me. I know what I'm doing."
* SubvertedCatchPhrase: When Sledge is turned into a cyborg, he starts talking in SpockSpeak.
-->"Trust me. I am cognizant of what I am doing."
* TakeThat:
** Many examples, including a rather vicious takedown of fellow ABC program ''Series/MaxHeadroom''. ("My god! One hour with ''you'' would be hell!") Not to forget their feud with ''[[{{Series/MrBelvedere}} Mr. Belvedere]]'', which also ran on ABC:
-->'''Yamamoto:''' I'm not answering any more questions! Leave! Right now! I want to get home in time to watch ''Mr. Belvedere''.
-->'''Sledge Hammer:''' I guess somebody has to.
-->[[spoiler: Yamamoto turned out to be that week's villain.)]]
** And in a later episode:
--->'''Dori:''' How did your father die?
--->'''Malovia:''' He was watching television, and he just fell asleep and never woke up.
--->'''Sledge:''' I hope he wasn't watching ''Mr. Belvedere''. I'd hate to think the poor fella went out suffering.
** The show took a number of digs at the Republican Party. On the DVD commentary, the director notes that the network was okay with that as long as he gave equal time to digs at the Democratic Party. [[BlatantLies He never got around to it]].
** One episode in the second season poked fun at Ted Turner's penchant for "colorising" black and white films by having the tag scene be in the worst coloring possible.
%%* TestosteronePoisoning: Sledge, full stop.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Sledge's solution for everything. In the series premiere, Sledge deals with a sniper on top of a nearby apartment building by pulling out a rocket launcher from his car's trunk and ''destroying the building.''
--> [[BondOneLiner "I think I got him."]]
* ToyotaTripwire: Done by Sledge in the premiere to catch a purse-snatcher.
* TriggerHappy: Hammer isn't just Trigger Happy, he's Trigger Ecstatic.
* VengefulVendingMachine:
** When the soda dispenser in the police HQ goes on the fritz, takes money and fails to dispense soda. The member of the public involved, who must be from out of town, complains to the nearest policeman: Hammer. Who obliges by un-holstering his amigo, at which everyone runs for cover and Captain Trunk begins to bellow '''''"No, Ham..."'''''. The dispenser gives in after several direct hits.
** In a different episode, Hammer does the same thing to a bank ATM that has swallowed his card and refused to give cash.
* WholePlotReference: Many episodes in the second season fell under this trope, as whole-episode parodies (e.g. "[[Franchise/RoboCop Hammeroid]]," "[[Film/{{Vertigo}} Vertical]]").
* WouldHitAGirl:
** In the first episode, Sledge shoots a female terrorist, then tells her, "Call me a feminist."
** Subverted twice when he fights a man who turns out to be a woman in disguise. And in another episode where, to his partner's horror, he punches out a female KGB agent, who is actually a man in disguise. (Which he quickly shows her.)
%%* {{Yandere}}: Jenkins in "Wild About Hammer".