->''[[ArcWords "All the pieces matter."]]''
-->--'''Lester Freamon'''

* ActorAllusion: Mixed with RealPersonCameo: [[http://www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com/features/10-real-people-that-inspired-characters-on-the-wire.html (Examples)]]
** Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich playing a security guard at the governor's office.
** Donnie Andrews, the real-life inspiration for Omar Little, who appears as his sidekick a few times and is [[spoiler:ultimately killed when Omar makes his SuperWindowJump]]. That scene was based on an incident in Andrews' real life.
** Guess which character is played by [[RetiredBadass notorious former crimelord]] Little Melvin, the inspiration for Barksdale? Give up? [[BewareTheNiceOnes The Deacon.]]
** Felicia Pearson basically plays a fictionalized version of herself. [[spoiler: Somewhat.]]
** The woman playing the principal of the local school? Actually the principal of the real high school. No wonder you sat up straight when she yelled.
** Lt. Dennis Mello was played by the actual Jay Landsman, a long-time homicide detective in the Baltimore Police Department. Not to be confused with the fictional homicide detective [[{{Tuckerization}} Jay Landsman]] (see CelebrityParadox below)
** Det. Ed Norris is played by Edward Norris, former Baltimore Police Commissioner who had a somewhat...controversial career (that ended in indictment). His lack of respect for the current Commissioner is a running gag.
** When he goes undercover in the Greek's brothel, [=McNulty's=] alias is "James Cromwell", in reference to "the English fuck who stole my ancestors' land". Dominic West played Oliver Cromwell in the Channel 4 miniseries ''The Devil's Whore''.
** Lester accuses the boys of being "A bunch of draft-dodgin' peace-freaks". The actor who portrays Freamon, Clarke Peters, was arrested in an anti-Vietnam war demonstration and later accused of draft-evasion when he was working in Europe.
* TheDanza:
** Felicia "Snoop" Pearson
** RealLife Baltimore drug kingpin "Little Melvin" Williams plays the Deacon, whose first name is apparently "Melvin".
* DirectedByCastMember: The season 5 episode "Took" was directed by Dominic West ([=McNulty=]). Clark Johnson also directed several episodes (notably [[PilotEpisode "The Target"]]), even before he joined the cast as editor Augustus "Gus" Haynes. He also directed the finale.
* FakeAmerican: [=McNulty=] and Stringer Bell are both played by Brits. The Italian-American Carcetti is played by an Irishman.
* FakeRussian: Ukrainian Sergei Malatov is played by American actor Chris Ashworth.
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** Gordon from ''Series/SesameStreet'' plays a cop in season 5.
** Plenty of cameos from Baltimore-area personalities. The Baltimore Sun office in season 5, for example, has several former Sun writers playing themselves in their old jobs.
** Many remember JD Williams (Bodie Broadus) as being Wangler from HBO's ''Series/{{Oz}}''. At least three cops played medium to minor characters in ''{{Oz}}'', as well. Avon is the C.O. that smuggles a handgun to Said. The FBI mole has plenty of underground experience, what with being Busmalis aka "[[TunnelKing The Mole]]" in Oz.
** James Ransone (Ziggy Sobotka) starred in ''GenerationKill'', another HBO show written by DavidSimon.
** [[Series/TrueBlood Andy Bellefleur]] plays Frank Sobotka (or is that the other way around).
** [[Series/TheHour Hector Madden]] used to work as a cop.
** The Greek will seem very familiar to fans of ''Franchise/LawAndOrder''. His actor has played several roles on that show, perhaps most notably the PedophilePriest who molested Mike Logan as a child.
** Back in season one, [[Series/TheWire Chris Partlow]] can be seen in court wearing a police uniform -- wait what?
** Before he turned to dealing heroin in Baltimore, Avon [[Film/RememberTheTitans was a high school football player in Virginia]].
** [[Film/GoneBabyGone Beatrice McReady]] (Amy Ryan) is actually a decent mother for once, and a cop, no less. Also makes a change from her other day job in HR in [[TheOffice Scranton, PA]]
** [[Series/GameOfThrones Littlefinger]] is another sleazy politician as Tommy Carcetti.
*** Or [[Series/LoveHate John Boy if you're Irish]].
** In a past life, Prez [[Film/TheHudsuckerProxy invented the bendy straw]].
** Davis' bagman [[Series/ChappellesShow is rich, biatch!]] Doubles as RetroactiveRecognition because Donnell Rawlings made his first appearance in Season 1, long before "Chappelle's Show."
** Before being city editor, Gus Haynes worked as [[Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet Det. Meldrick Lewis]], at Baltimore.
* HeyItsThatVoice: ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' fans will recognize Cutty as as [[TeamDad Coach]].
* IAmNotSpock: Defied by Wendell Pierce: "If you see me on the street, feel free for the rest of my life to call me Bunk."
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Marlo Stanfield is pretty much the only CompleteMonster on the show. The actor who plays him, Jamie Hector, teaches martial arts and drama to at-risk youth, counsels them, and checks whether they attend school via his own charitable organisation, Moving Mountains. He also helped raise money for survivors of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.
** Likewise, Sandi [=McCree=] in real life is as far away from EvilMatriarch [=De'Londa=] as you can get, being an advocate for arts education among children and teens, and all the people who contribute to the commentaries on the Season 4 [=DVD's=], particularly Creator/DavidSimon, make it a point to emphasize how nice she is in real life.
* RetroactiveRecognition: ''The Wire'' may have been one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, but it didn't get as wide an audience as some other shows that starred its actors, so it falls victim to this occasionally.
** After the huge success of ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Tommy Carcetti is probably better known to people as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
** Likewise, Cedric Daniels may be better known to people as [[Series/{{Fringe}} Philip Broyles]].
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** There was another season of ''The Wire'' planned which would have dealt with immigration and the large influx of Hispanic immigrants in Baltimore. Since none of the writers spoke Spanish nor knew enough about the immigrants that lived in Baltimore, the season was cut.
** During season 3 the idea was floated of spinning off the political subplots into a separate show called ''The Hall''. Instead the political side was folded into subsequent seasons.
** Kima was supposed to die in the first season. HBO executive Carolyn Strauss urged David Simon not to kill off Greggs, telling him it would be a mistake. This and other changed details can be read in an early draft of the show, [[http://kottke.org.s3.amazonaws.com/the-wire/The_Wire_-_Bible.pdf The Wire Bible]].
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[-...all the pieces matter.-]