A cocky, arrogant and immature but talented NYPD detective stationed in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct. Although extremely capable, he refuses to take his job seriously. His disdain for the rules and authority figures and his drive to single-handedly prove his superiority to everyone around him brings him into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer.
Cannot Spit It Out: It's heavily implied that Peralta has this regarding his true (possibly romantic) feelings towards Santiago; in "The Bet" Boyle likens his childish trolling of her to a fourth-grader who pulls the pigtails of the girl he has a crush on because he doesn't know how else to express what he truly feels, and in "Operation: Broken Feather" he gets very closed-off and cagey when Santiago presses him about the real reasons that he's so vehemently opposed to her accepting a promotion to the Major Cases unit. Does spit it out right before he goes undercover in "Charges and Specs"
The Chessmaster: In "Halloween." Which is ironic, considering he doesn't even know how chess is played.
Cowboy Cop: Doesn't like following the rules; he just wants to catch the bad guys.
Crappy Holidays: Hates Thanksgiving with a passion. He doesn't want to celebrate, he just wants to eat disgusting food and watch football. He actively badmouths the holiday during the entire Thanksgiving episode.
Deadpan Snarker: He can never stop himself from snarking even when it's not appropriate.
Freudian Excuse: It's implied a lot of his issues with authority and his Man Child tendencies stem from his Disappeared Dad and the fact that his mother had to work long hours to support them, often leaving him alone for long stretches of time.
Hidden Depths: In "The Bet", Boyle suggests that his teasing behaviour towards Santiago is concealing genuine feelings for her. It's also been indicated at times that his Man Child behaviour is a defence mechanism stemming from a rather sad childhood and lonely adulthood.
Insufferable Genius: He's arguably the most brilliant detective in the department and doesn't hesitate to toot his own horn about it.
It's All About Me: Peralta is a good detective, but incredibly narcissistic; he often tries to shut out his team-mates from investigations so he can collect all the glory (which backfires on him in "The Vulture" when his delays in solving a high-profile case due to this create an opening for Major Cases to seize jurisdiction away from him just before he solves it) or tries to take over if someone else is the primary detective.
Manchild: Very immature and Book Dumb. Also cracks jokes at the wrong time and teases his coworkers.
Never My Fault: Reflexively blames others when he's at fault. Often he admits to it immediately after (although primarily because it is, in fact, glaringly obvious who is really at fault and the people he's talking to are not complete imbeciles), but his reflex is to shift the blame.
Odd Couple: He tends to generate this dynamic with his co-workers:
With Holt, he's the irreverent young white detective to Holt's stern, serious and experienced African American captain.
With Santiago, he's a childish, laid back foil to her driven, professional go-getter.
With Boyle, he's the cool guy to Boyle's awkward bumbler. Despite this, they seem to best friends (although Boyle's Yes-Man tendencies towards Peralta no doubt help here).
With Diaz, he's the friendly, sociable one while she's... not.
Sore Loser: A self-admitted example; in "The Bet", when Holt expresses concern over the effects that the bet between Peralta and Santiago might have on their working relationship:
Holt: You are colleagues, and the fallout from this bet has the potential to put a strain on your professional relationship. Peralta: Only if I lose. I'm a terrible sport.
Stepford Snarker: Lampshaded in "The Party" where he admits it's a defence mechanism.
Kevin: Because he's gay, Raymond has been put through hell by his colleagues, many of whom — to put it frankly — look exactly like you. Peralta: Devastatingly handsome? [Kevin frowns] Sorry, I'm not comfortable with emotions.
This Loser Is You: Book-dumb, has a terrifyingly unhealthy diet, and is in crushing debt.
Too Clever by Half: A common aesop of the show is Peralta realizing that he's bitten off more than he can chew and that he needs to remember he's part of a team, and the rest of the precinct can help him.
The new commanding officer of the 99th Precinct, which is his first command. Holt is an extremely stern, serious and rules-conscious man who is unimpressed by Peralta's antics. Although an extremely gifted detective, he has been denied his own command for years due to his open homosexuality, thus making him determined to distinguish himself and the 99th Precinct — and even more determined to rein in Peralta while doing so.
Defrosting Ice King: Gradually warming up to the precinct. He even did a group pop-and-lock with Peralta at the end of "Christmas," and "The Party" revealed that it wasn't his husband who invited them as they thought, but rather Holt insisted and even told his husband that he likes them.
Passing the Torch: Passes leadership of the organization for African-American homosexual police officers to a younger cop, symbolizing how far they've come as group (Holt was the sole founding member).
Stealth Mentor: Holt acts this way towards Peralta; his by-the-book strictness is gradually forcing Peralta to take his job seriously and become a better cop and better person.
The Stoic: Basically an impassive statue come to life.
Straight Gay: Multiple detectives don't realize he's gay (even though he's makes no attempt to hide the fact that he's gay).
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Played for laughs — his extreme stoicism means that he often has to spell out exactly what he's feeling or thinking because otherwise his colleagues are completely unable to tell.
Holt: Both of you have done exemplary work, which I appreciate. Peralta: And I can tell that from the absolutely no indicators on your face.
Twofer Token Minority: Black and homosexual. Part of the reason he got his own command was so that the higher ups could pat themselves on the back about being so progressive.
He also started an organization for African American gay and lesbian police officers, with about 50 members
Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero)
Peralta's partner, with whom she shares a vitriolic, competitive but nevertheless solid friendship, with occasional hints of a deeper attraction. Extremely ambitious and competitive, she is a driven over-achiever determined to prove herself a better detective than Peralta and the other detectives in the squad. She deeply admires Holt and frequently tries to ingratiate herself with him to persuade him to act as her mentor — with often disastrous results for herself in the process.
Adorkable: Her attempts to kiss up to Holt often leave her looking like this. She also tends to get goofy when she's extremely pleased about something (such as when Holt complimented her Thanksgiving toast and when Peralta admitted he thought she was a great detective).
She eventually takes this Up to Eleven with her shame-cigarettes. She makes smoking adorable.
Badass: Not as overtly as Rosa, but when Teddy sneaks up on her to scare her, she puts him in a wrist lock on reflex.
Brainy Brunette: Santiago is a book smart brunette who was almost valedictorian in high school.
Jeffords: She's got seven brothers, so she's always trying to prove she's tough.
Fair Cop: Santiago is an attractive, competent detective.
Freudian Excuse: She's the youngest child and only daughter of a large and competitive family, and her struggles to distinguish and define herself against her brothers have led her to overcompensate when working with others.
Unsportsmanlike Gloating: In keeping with her over-competitive streak, she has a tendency to strut and gloat whenever she gets an advantage over any of the others, Peralta especially. Not that Peralta's much better, mind.
An extremely tough and bad-tempered detective in Peralta and Santiago's unit. Her permanent scowl, sour disposition and willingness to use violence successfully intimidate most of the perps she encounters in her day-to-day work — and most of her colleagues as well.
Hates Being Touched: When Hitchcock tries to tickle her to get her to smile, she quickly gets him into a wrist lock without even dropping her coffee.
Hell-Bent for Leather: Usually wears a leather jacket. Hell, for Thanksgiving she promises to wear her "formal leather jacket" ("it's the one without any blood on it").
Hidden Depths: Went to ballet school, has a soft spot for Boyle, and enjoys the idea of film festivals. Most surprising of all, she was a model student at her Catholic School before transferring to the dance academy.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Scary as she is, she's probably the nicest person in the precinct to Boyle. Despite him being an Abhorrent Admirer to her, she's still polite to him and turns him down in a mature and sensitive (for her) way.
Woman in Black: She's a threatening woman who dresses predominantly in black.
Sgt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews)
The sergeant of the unit. Although a physically strong and capable detective, his ability to do his job has been hampered by the recent birth of his twin daughters, which have left him neurotic about the dangers of his job and obsessed with the possibility of dying in the line of duty.
The Ace: During the NYPD v. FDNY football game, the fire marshal points out every play is give Jeffords the ball. He challenges Peralta to score a touchdown... which he does by grabbing the ball and having Jeffords pick him up and carry him into the end zone, taking down everyone in the way.
Actor Allusion: Jeffords being The Ace at the Department Football game is based on the fact Crews was a pro football player.
Badass: When he's in the field and not in his own head. In "Ebony Falcon" he has three thugs in headlocks at once (one beneath each arm, and another in his legs), while letting the rest of the armed officers know that he kindly left one for them.
Bald Black Leader Guy: As Sergeant, he's second-in-command to Holt and not above yelling to get his way. He's a bit more neurotic and sensitive than the typical example, however.
Big Eater: He requires at least 10,000 calories a day.
Hidden Depths: Fan of foreign cinema and farmer's markets, can speak Japanese, and is secretly a talented artist.
Intimidation Demonstration: Often crushes an object in his hand in order to intimidate someone. This includes a Magic 8-Ball and his own cell phone.
Lovable Coward: Since he's had kids, he's suddenly very afraid for his own well-being out of fear of leaving them fatherless. Peralta notes that he's no longer the Ebony Falcon, who had no fear. He's now the Ebony Antelope, willing to drink from the water hole where there may be crocodiles but still focused on self-preservation.
Muscle Angst: He's concerned about the possibility of losing muscle mass. In an episode where his brother-in-law was visiting, it was revealed he has additional angst due to the guy being even bigger, leading to Terry working out obsessively (including doing chin ups in his sleep).
Terry: I can feel my body starting to digest itself.
Number Two: As sergeant of the precinct, he's number two to the Captain, Holt.
Obnoxious In-Laws: He makes up excuses to stay at the station rather than return home when his brother-in-law is visiting him (who teases him for being small—Terry may be big, but his brother-in-law stands at least a head taller).
Only Sane Employee: Second-in-command of the precinct, he usually manages the detectives at a more personal level than Holt. "Operation: Broken Feather" and "The Party" both show that he knows the detectives well enough that he can actually use their insane tendencies to make them more effective.
Real Men Wear Pink: He doesn't have to dance after every touchdown he scores. He chooses to dance.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Though not the highest authority in the office, he's the second-in-command and very fair to his subordinates.
Scary Black Man: He's very affable, but physically imposing and willing to threaten others to get his way. He also loves playing Scary Black Man in police lineups.
Team Dad: Especially in 'The Party', when he has to wrangle his more childish co-workers.
Team Mom: While he has elements of Team Dad, he generally plays this role, being more nurturing to his subordinates. In "The Apartment" he even compares himself to a mother hen, with the precinct being his chicks.
Third-Person Person: Not an extreme example, but often refers to himself as "Terry" during exclamations.
A bumbling, awkward and eager-to-please detective in the unit with an unrequited crush on Diaz. Although clumsy and prone to accidents, he is a hard worker and succeeds through his willingness to 'grind' through his cases. He is good friends with and extremely supportive of Peralta. A 'foodie', he takes anything to do with cuisine deadly seriously.
Abhorrent Admirer: To Rosa. Unlike most examples, she turns him down definitively but politely and isn't mean to him.
Butt Monkey: Often picked on by pretty much everyone but Scully and Hitchcock. Unlike the other two, however, Boyle is reasonably competent and most of the teasing he receives is fairly good-natured.
Determinator: How he solves cases. Not through intelligence or luck, just working very, very hard.
Dogged Nice Guy: Although Boyle is a fairly nice guy, the trope is deconstructed with him; his poorly-concealed yearning for Diaz makes him the subject of scorn and disapproval from his workmates and Diaz herself bluntly points out that he's making things awkward and should move on to find someone else.
He appears to have moved on to a fellow foodie who it turns out is just as dogged as he is.
Freudian Excuse: Implied; his panicked reaction when Peralta and Holt try to force him to choose between them suggests that he has extremely combative and dysfunctional parents who often force him to choose between them ("This is just like Christmas dinner at my parents' house — why do they have separate dining rooms?!") which may be the source of his eager-to-please nature, and his constant yearning for Diaz is implied to have something to do with his divorce.
Likes Older Women: In addition to his relationship with Vivian, he also mentions that he lost his virginity to a woman in her fifties and had sex with his college friend's grandmother.
Nice Guy: Boyle is extremely likeable and friendly; he even gets along well with his ex-wife's new boyfriend (who is also his landlord).
Obsessed with Food: He's a known foodie and he spends a lot of episodes talking about good food.
Serious Business: Boyle is a huge foodie and takes anything to do with food incredibly seriously.
Too Much Information: Has a tendency to over-share with his colleagues whenever he's in a relationship that's going well.
Boyle:[After discussing a dispute that he is having with his fiancee] Fortunately, it hasn't affected how often we bathe together. Diaz: Almost never? Boyle: All the time.
Yes-Man: Especially with Rosa and Peralta. He admits in "Thanksgiving" that he's a compulsive people-pleaser and that "it's a serious problem."
Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti)
The precinct's civilian administrative support. She's extremely sarcastic, possesses a tendency to troll and bully her co-workers, and at times appears to exist within her own very strange universe. Outside of the precinct, she's a member of an amateur dance group.
Believes that psychiatrists are just people who weren't smart enough to become psychics.
In the episode 'Sal's Pizza', Gina gets paired with Jeffords to find a new IT guy for the department. During her interviews, she's her typical strange self-grilling one applicant on what his favorite Jay-Z song is, deliberately startling another by tossing her water on him, and grosses out another by flossing right in front of her.
In the end of 'Sal's Pizza' she has good reasons for all of her actions-she grilled the one guy because some of the less savvy detectives would ask the same tech questions over and over again, she startled another because Rosa is a scary woman, and grossed out the last applicant because a police precinct can see some gross stuff. She then taps a much better choice for the job.
She also pegged Holt for being gay as soon as she saw him.
The Gadfly: Constantly trolls her coworkers. An excellent (if subtle example) occurs when she accompanies Holt and Jeffords to the firing range. The reason she makes up for wanting to go is because the police precinct in her area is awful... and she lives in the 99's area.
Hidden Depths: Gina turns out to be more mature than Jake when it comes to finances and surprisingly thrifty. She's already saved enough money to buy his grandmother's apartment for a real estate opportunity and offers to rent it to Jake so he doesn't have to move out when it's co-opted.
Jerkass: She can be a bit of a bully, particularly to Boyle and Santiago (and Scully and Hitchcock, but then everyone looks down on them). Her sense of humour tends to be rather snide and cutting in general.
In the pilot, she makes a list of demands for Holt when he asks her a question. As soon as Holt makes an offer to not have her suspended without pay, she instantly accepts it and gives him the information.
She takes great pleasure in uncovering and exposing Holt and Jeffords' efficiency scheme in "Operation: Broken Feather", but recognises when her gloating has gone just a little too far:
Holt: Okay, message received. Jeffords and I will get right to work. Gina: Great! That will be all. Thank you. Holt:[Coldly] Get the hell out of my chair. Gina:[Instantly capitulating] Alright, I pushed it a little bit on that one. Ohh-kay. Bye. [Scurries quickly out of Holt's office]
Narcissist: Jeffords explains to Holt he was able to distract her by putting a mirror on desk:
"She's like a cockatiel sir, fascinated by her own reflection."
Gina (very drunk): Which one of you is named Mark?! (Three guys raise their hands). (Pointing) You. You're good.
Dets. Norm Scully and Michael Hitchcock (Joel McKinnon Miller and Dirk Blocker)
Left: Scully. Right: Hitchcock
Two extremely incompetent veteran detectives in the unit. They make good coffee. This is apparently the only reason they're still on the force.
Butt Monkey: Both are described in the first episode by Jeffords as "basically worthless, but they make good coffee", and every episode they appear in sees them live down to that description in some way, shape or form.