* CrowningMomentOfAwesome - "Just remember; I gave you what you wanted... and this bitch didn't flinch"
* DeaderThanDisco: When the series premiered it broke new ground in the cop drama genre, was critically acclaimed for its acting and was hugely controversial for its swearing and nudity. Now it's barely even remembered as just another cop procedural and interest has waned so much that after the fourth season's DVD release in 2006 no further seasons have been released with the prospect of the other 8 seasons ever seeing DVD becoming increasingly unlikely as time goes on. (although all twelve seasons have been released in the UK).
** The lack of [=DVDs=] has less to do with the show's popularity and more to do with the fact that the distribution rights belong to 20th Century Fox, who have given similar treatment to popular shows such as HillStreetBlues, ThePractice, StElsewhere, amongst others. It seems that Fox believe that a DVD box-set for a non-current show that doesn't sell over a million copies isn't worth doing a complete release for, even though it costs them almost nothing to release all the seasons. Fox also demand exorbitant fees to license out the distribution rights to other studios and smaller production companies, which is why NYPD Blue has only seen complete release in the UK.
*** Shout Factory has licensed the series for DVD release in the States and will resume production of the DVD box-sets starting with Season Five.
** The show's disappearance from American cable and broadcast syndication didn't help matters. Still, David Milch's continued attempts at high concept HBO dramas could help renew interest, especially now that the whole series (including the last 4 seasons in HD) is on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming. It's one of their few notable titles not available on competitor Netflix Watch Instantly.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: How Sipowicz became the focus character after Caruso left.
** Also Gordon Clapp as Medavoy who went from a recurring character to being an important character who ended up being the only cast member to stay all twelve seasons besides Denis Franz.
*** Notably, each of these characters earned Emmy Awards for their respective actors (Clapp winning one for Medavoy and Franz winning a record-breaking four in his Lead Actor category as Sipowicz). Perhaps Kim Delaney could also be mentioned, being the only other cast member to win an Emmy, for her portrayal of Detective Russell.
* JerkassWoobie -- Sipowicz, eventually evolving into ''merely'' TheWoobie.
* NeverLiveItDown - Sipowicz has become famous for showing his butt. On the entire run of the show, it actually happened ''twice'' (and one of those was during a prostate exam).
* SeasonalRot-- While there is a VocalMinority that thinks the show was never as good as it was in the first season with David Caruso as the star its usually agreed that the show lost its luster somewhere between the departure of Jimmy Smitts in season 6 and the season 8, by the end of which the entire original cast (as well as the popular Kim Delaney) save Denis Franz had left the show and Sipowicz had entered into a ludicrous UglyGuyHotWife relationship with Connie (Charlotte Ross). There's some other opinions floating around but there's very few fans that think all 12 seasons of the show are worth seeking out and watching.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: When it premièred the show was ground-breaking not only for its gritty depictions of police work but also for the fact that it was willing to push the envelope with the stuff that could be shown on network television, making full use of a FCC clause that claims networks can show whatever they want after 11pm. The show earned the ire of conservative parent groups for its depictions of swearing, violence, sex and nudity (although why Parent groups would target something obviously not intended for children defies all logic). Whilst network television has (at least with regards to sex, nudity and profanity) never been as daring (Blue gained ABC some heavy FCC fines), all of the stuff it was known for can be seen almost ubiquitously on cable television.
* TearJerker -- Simone's [[ADeathInTheLimelight Death Episode]] (though Andy Jr. and Sylvia's deaths hit hard as well)