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     Det. Jake Peralta 

Det. Jacob "Jake" Peralta (Andy Samberg)

"Eyes closed, head first, can't lose!"

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.

  • Ambiguously Jewish: It's heavily implied that he's half-Jewish on his mother's side. He's confirmed Jewish in "Charges and Specs," where we cut to a scene at his Bar Mitzvah.
  • Berserk Button:
    • When Dustin Whitman calls him "Joke Peralta," it's enough to fling Peralta into arresting him with zero evidence.
    • In "Old School," when Peralta punches out his former "hero" for derisively calling Holt a "homo."
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Lampshaded, so far.
    Humility over! I'm amazing!
  • Book Dumb: He's only read fifteen books in his lifetime, he's very bad at basic math, and his spelling and penmanship leaves much to be desired.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Whenever he has to do any actual paperwork far from the action, or soldier through a "slump," he's in agony.
  • Broken Pedestal: In "Old School", he's is initially thrilled to meet his idol, reporter Jimmy Brogan, who wrote a true crime novel about 1970s New York cops that inspired Peralta to become a cop. He gradually becomes disillusioned with Brogan's hard-edged 'old school' ways until he eventually punches Brogan after Brogan makes a homophobic slur about Captain Holt.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Good at crime solving. Also... nope, that's about it.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: It's heavily implied that Peralta has this regarding his 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.
  • Childhood Friends: With Gina. Andy Samberg and Chelsea Peretti are also this in Real Life.
  • Cowboy Cop: Doesn't like following the rules; he just wants to catch the bad guys. It's played with, however, as several episodes demonstrate that while he wants to be a 1970s-style Cowboy Cop so much, he's actually more by-the-book than he appears.
  • 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.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Becomes one for the FBI in "Charges and Specs" in order to take down the Ianucci crime family.
  • Disappeared Dad: His dad walked out when he was a kid. This actually causes a temporary truce with the fire department, as Fire Marshall Boone's dad did the same thing, and is the reason why he's so jittery about Jeffords getting back in the field — he doesn't want Jeffords' daughters to grow up without a father.
  • 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.
    • Freudian Slip: This leads to Jake inadvertently blurting out "Thanks, Dad" after Holt briefs him on one of his cases — within earshot of the whole precinct.
  • 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 (and if he can't, tends to slack off instead).
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Peralta wins the Halloween bet with Holt by distracting Holt with a series of lame attempts to break into Holt's office. While Holt was busy thwarting Peralta, the other detectives worked their way through Holt's security precautions and stole his Medal of Valor.
  • Loophole Abuse: In the pilot, Peralta first skirts the "must wear ties" rule by wearing it tied around his torso under his shirt. Later, he puts on the tie, but isn't wearing pants.
  • Manchild: Very immature and Book Dumb. Also cracks jokes at the wrong time and teases his coworkers.
  • Men Can't Keep House: His desk and locker are extremely messy, and his horrendous spending habits are reflected in his apartment. This is in contrast to Santiago, who's more of a Neat Freak, and Holt, who's a stickler for the rules.
    Holt: Here are two pictures. One is your locker, the other is a garbage dump in the Philippines. Can you tell which... is which?
    Peralta: ...That one's the dump?
    Holt: They're both your locker!
    Peralta: Gah! I should've guessed that. He's good.
  • 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.
    • With Jeffords, he's a head-in-the-clouds and immature bachelor while Jeffords is a grounded and devoted family man.
  • Pants-Free: In the pilot, Peralta at first resists putting on a tie as Captain Holt asked him. Later, he is seen at a desk in records wearing one, and Holt commends him for it. Then Peralta stands up, revealing that all he has on under his waist is a Speedo. Then Holt calls everyone in to see Peralta's hard work...
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Took tap for three years, is a proficient ballroom dancer, and his favorite artist is secretly Taylor Swift.
  • 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.
  • Spanner in the Works: When Jeffords and Holt were trying to make the Precinct run more efficiently in "Operation: Broken Feather," everything falls apart when Peralta comes back from his case.
  • 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.
  • Sweet Tooth: His idea of a healthy breakfast? Gummi bears wrapped in a Fruit Roll-Up.
    Holt: I pity your dentist.
    Peralta: Ah. Joke's on you, I don't have a dentist!
  • Technician Versus Performer: The Performer to Santiago's Technician.
  • 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.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating:
    • He really rubs it in when he wins his bet with Santiago.
    • He also makes a point of gloating to Holt after he wins his bet with him in "Halloween". It's lampshaded by Holt, and Peralta concedes the point:
    Holt: Huh. A poor winner. I would never have guessed.
    Peralta: Yeah, you would have.

     Cpt. Ray Holt 

Cpt. Raymond "Ray" Holt (Andre Braugher)

"Apparently my husband has invited you all to my birthday party. There is very little street parking. No gifts, no singing of ‘Happy Birthday.’ Should be fun."

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.

  • The Ace: This man can pretty much do ANYTHING.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He's apparently a huge fan. When watching Moneyball, their use of math and numbers to win games was so impressive it almost brought him to tears.
  • Badass: He's shown to have arrested at least two serial killers.
    • Badass Gay: Apparently his career is very impressive, though this is deconstructed somewhat as his homosexuality has prevented him from advancing up the ranks.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Not quite bald, but very close. Fits the other stereotypes perfectly.
  • By-the-Book Cop: He's older, more experienced, and a stickler for the rules than most of the cast.
  • The Captain: Of the 99. His first command, and he wants to show he's earned the position.
  • Cassandra Truth: This trope is the reason why Holt comfortably tells Peralta — and only Peralta — the real explanation behind his wrist injury:
    Holt: I was hula-hooping. Kevin and I attend a class for fitness and for fun.
    Peralta: [Overjoyed] Oh my God!
    Holt: I've mastered all the moves. [Produces his phone and shows pictures to Peralta] The Pizza Toss... the Tornado... The Scorpion, the Oopsie-Doodle...
    Peralta: Why are you telling me this?!
    Holt: {Evilly] Because no one... will ever believe you.
    [Holt deletes the photos and smirks triumphantly at Peralta]
    Peralta: [Genuinely furious] You sick son of a bitch!
  • The Comically Serious: In contrast to Peralta's jovial attitude. He's definitely got a sense of humor, but he's such a rock-hard professional that it never rises above the deadpan. A Running Gag is that, despite the fact that Holt never changes his deadpan, flat delivery style, people from outside the precinct tend to find him utterly hilarious, much to the confusion of the people he works with.
    Holt: What's this I hear about you being on administrative leave?
    Jeffords: A year ago, my wife and I had twin baby girls, Cagney and Lacey.
    [Jeffords shows Holt a photo of his daughters]
    Holt: (emotionless cop voice) They have adorable chubby cheeks.
    • Invoked in "The Tagger."
      Peralta: Has anyone ever told you you look exactly like a statue?
      Holt: Yes.
    • In "The Slump," Holt tells Peralta a story about an unlucky detective named Smitty and gives him a lucky rabbit's foot. At the end of the episode, Holt tells Peralta he was just messing with him, in the same deadpan tone.
    • And explored in the "M.E. Time"," where all the other cops relate their experiences with Holt relating what should be either incredibly good news (going on holiday with his husband) or incredibly bad news (a fire which damaged several precious heirlooms) in the same flat monotone, making it impossible to determine what his mood is at any given moment. It's also subverted in the same episode, as when the cops are telling their stories, Scully pitches in with one. We then cut to a flashback which involves Holt, clearly very pissed off, tearing Scully a new one:
      Holt: [Screaming] This is the most incompetent, worthless report I have ever read in my life! [Slams the report on his desk] Get your act together or so help me God, you won't live to see retirement!
      [Cut back to present]
      Scully: It's like, "What's that guy thinking?"
    • In "The Party," we meet Holt's husband Kevin, an equally sober and serious man who apparently considers Holt to be the funny one in the relationship. Furthering this belief are the guests at the party who proclaim Holt as incredibly hilarious.
      Holt: ", no, I said, milli-meter."
      (Guests laugh uproariously as Peralta looks on, puzzled)
      Guest: Okay, I could choke from laughter. You're too funny!
    • The followup episode, "Full Boyle," also shows him thinking of an opening joke for a crowd:
      Holt: "Do you know what the toughest part of being a black, gay police officer is? ...The discrimination." ...I believe that's what you call observational humor.
      Gina: Probably.
    He repeats it to a crowd of African-American gay and lesbian police officers later in the episode and they crack up. Meanwhile, Gina looks on with a Flat "What." and a perplexed expression similar to Peralta's.
  • Consummate Professional: Very serious, and always on-task in the precinct.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Overlapping with The Comically Serious. Basically a straight-faced rock in a uniform, he's exceedingly deadpan and he knows the best way to deal with Peralta is through snarkiness. His husband Kevin, an equally stoic man, seems to view him as "the funny one" in the relationship.
  • 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.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: In "The Bet," every single time Holt tries to apologize for something he tells Jeffords' wife, he gets Jeffords into more trouble.
    Holt: Oh, I've caused a problem. ...I think I am getting a text message. (not even trying to hide it) Bloop. Ah, there it is.
    Holt: Perhaps I should stop talking to your wife.
    Holt: Oh, no. Oh, goodness. I shouldn't have said that. I feel I may have made things worse.
  • The Gadfly: He loves messing with Peralta.
  • Graceful Loser: When Peralta outwits him in "Halloween", he seems almost impressed, and later concedes defeat (and the amount of paperwork he now has to do) with good humour.
    • This is more than likely because Peralta called upon the help of most of the team to pull it off, which made it an excellent team building exercise.
  • Happily Married: Despite not talking about his home life very often.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • His husband and (non-colleague) friends think he has the coolest sense of humor.
    • He's also shown to be an amazing ballroom dancer in "Charges and Specs".
    • He and his husband attend a hula-hoop class, where Holt has mastered all the moves.
  • Not so Above It All: Holt has an imposing demeanor, but he has as many foibles as the rest of the cast: for example, his temporary obsession with a Candy Crush-expy.
    • Played for Laughs in "Thanksgiving": Holt reacts with typical weariness when Peralta eagerly suggests that they role-play as "Barley and Jimes", but when one of the suspects they're following gets embroiled in an out-of-control family argument he ends up drawing upon the backstory Peralta gave 'Jimes' to stop them fighting:
    Holt: (shouting dramatically) MY WIFE WAS MURDERED BY A MAN IN A YELLOW SWEATER! IT'S THE ONE CASE I CAN'T SOLVE! Don't fight with family; it can all go away so quickly. (back to deadpan) Sign this?
  • N-Word Privileges: Implied when Peralta says he can't sing along to his favorite "very explicit" rap songs when Captain Holt is in the car with him.
  • Not So Different: The flashbacks we see of 1970s!Holt imply that he was more similar to Peralta than contemporary surface appearances would suggest.
    Peralta: Wow, I think I really would have gotten along with young Ray Holt.
    Holt: Yes, that's why I decided to change everything about my life.
  • Only Sane Employee: As Da Chief, wrangling his subordinates is actually his job on paper.
  • Parental Substitute: Holt might be one for Peralta, in the opening for "The Apartment," Peralta accidentally calls Holt "dad" which everyone mocks him for.
  • 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).
  • Perpetual Frowner: He rarely expresses any other emotion, and he has a hard face when he says he's happy.
  • Pull the Thread: Holt has a tendency to do this with Santiago when she's in ass-kissing mode with him to reveal the holes in logic, false modesty or insincerity that she's tying herself in while doing so:
    Holt: The D.A wanted me to personally thank you for your work on the James Street drug bust.
    Santiago: [Modestly] It's why we do this, sir.
    Holt: ... For praise?
    Santiago: [Cornered] Uhhh...
    • When Holt's life is threatened in the episode "Christmas" and Peralta gets bodyguard duty instead of Santiago.
    Holt: O.K. the next time someone threatens to kill me, i'll come straight to you.
    Santiago: Thank you sir. I can't wait
    Holt: "beat"
    Santiago: [Cornered] Uhhh...
  • Rainbow Motif: As seen with his binders.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his sternness and strictness, he's a very fair, reasonable commanding officer.
  • Right Behind Me: Holt appears behind Peralta several times in the pilot.
  • 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 why he was promoted up the ranks was because the NYPD was eager to show that they were becoming more and more progressive. Unfortunately for Holt, though, that meant being assigned to Public Relations so that the public could see a black gay officer in a public role when all he really wanted was to be a cop and command his own precinct.
    • He also started an organization for African American gay and lesbian police officers, with about 50 members

     Det. Amy Santiago 

Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero)

"Sergeant, why am I here? I'm always incredibly appropriate. In high school, I was voted "Most Appropriate."

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.

  • Action Girl: Capable of dropping perps twice her size.
  • 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.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: For all her exasperation with Peralta's goofy antics and teasing, there are several moments where she is visibly trying not to crack up at them.
  • 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.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: She seems to be this taste-wise; her home is furnished in such a way that her work colleagues, upon arriving for her Thanksgiving dinner, mistakenly assumed that she lived with her grandmother, and outside of the smart and professional pant-suits she wears for work she tends to favour dresses that sometimes look on the old-fashioned side.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Revealed to be such in "48 Hours" when Peralta tries on her glasses. (Her contact lenses had dried up).
  • Brainy Brunette: Santiago is a book smart brunette who was almost valedictorian in high school.
  • Competition Freak: Explained by Jeffords:
    Jeffords: She's got seven brothers, so she's always trying to prove she's tough.
  • Crappy Holidays: She hates Halloween because she thinks it's an excuse for jerks to dress up in costume and cause trouble — so she's not pleased when forced to go undercover at a rave to bust some drug dealers.
  • 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.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Always goes above and beyond what's asked of her.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She gets jealous of Peralta over how much he gets attention from Holt. Never mind that the attention Peralta usually gets from Holt is negative.
  • I Can't Dance: When going undercover as a ballroom dancer.
    Peralta: How did you manage to step on both my the same time?
  • I Have Brothers: Seven, in fact. This is the given reason for Santiago's competitive streak and desire to prove her toughness.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: For all her tendency to get arrogant and competitive, she's a bundle of neuroses when it comes down to it.
  • Lethal Chef: She apparently considers baking soda to be an appropriate substitute for salt. When she prepares a large Thanksgiving feast none of the dishes are deemed edible by her guests.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: The Light to Diaz's Dark.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: What we've seen of her personal life so far suggests she's this.
  • Nerd Glasses: Normally she wears contacts, but as revealed in "48 Hours," her actual glasses are beyond goofy.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: A colleague mentions the hot sauce she's pouring is hot. In response, she dumps half the bottle on her sandwich just to prove how tough she is.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: She's the youngest of eight kids and the only girl.
  • Oh Crap: In "The Bet", after producing a last-minute felony arrest that puts her ahead of Peralta:
    Santiago: Suck it, Peralta!
    Peralta: [Unconcerned] Oh no.
    Santiago: [Triumphant] That's right, "oh no"! [Realizes; dawning horror] Oh no. You don't seem worried. Why don't you seem worried?!
  • The Perfectionist: She describes herself as "a little OCD." This is a bit like saying that the Atlantic Ocean is "a little wet."
    Peralta: What? No you're not. [He reaches out and slightly adjusts Santiago's shirt collar; Santiago freezes up] Boop!
    Santiago: ... I can leave it there.
    Peralta: Totally.
    Santiago: It doesn't bother me.
    Peralta: I know.
    [Several agonised seconds later, Santiago readjusts her collar]
    Peralta: [Triumphant] There it is.
  • Pink Means Feminine / True Blue Femininity: She's frequently seen wearing pink or blue in contrast to Diaz's Woman in Black.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Just to Holt. She desperately wants his approval.
  • The Resenter: As mentioned above, she tends to get jealous of the attention Peralta gets from Holt.
  • Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: In attempt to suck up to him, she agrees to adopt Holt's puppies...but it's revealed she's terribly allergic to dogs when she tries to hold one.
  • Technician Versus Performer: The Technician to Peralta's Performer.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Diaz. She takes the 'Girly Girl' role.
  • 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.
  • Well Done Daughter Gal: In regards to her family and to Holt.
  • Woman Child: While not as bad as Peralta, she's still pretty immature and childish in many ways — specifically, where Peralta is basically the class clown who never grew up, Santiago acts like she's still running for high school valedictorian.

     Det. Rosa Diaz 

Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz)

"I'm fine at parties. I just stand in the middle of the room and don't say anything."

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.

  • Action Girl: See Santiago's entry.
  • Aloof Ally: The fact that she scares off most people and most of her colleagues know very few things about her (including Jake, who was in the Academy with her) is often played for laughs.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Tall, aloof, and intimidating to those around her.
  • Badass: There's a reason everyone's so scared of her.
  • Beauty Mark: Under her right eye.
  • Berserk Button: She's surly and aggressive a lot of the time anyway, but technology failing on her seems to really piss her off; her Establishing Character Moment in the opening credits is her slapping her computer, she once destroyed a defective printer with a battering ram, and after Holt switches her computer monitor with a malfunctioning one (for reasons of his own) it takes all of five seconds of frustrated prodding for her to start screaming and smashing it.
  • Biker Babe: While we've never actually seen her ride one, it's how she gets to work and she's often seen carrying a motorbike helmet. Her typical wardrobe of leather jackets and pants (or tight jeans) matches the archetype as well.
  • Breakup Bonfire: Her preferred method of dealing with breakups (or at least anything that makes her "feel"), as she demonstrates to Boyle in "Charges and Specs"?
    Rosa: Burn. Everything.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gives Holt a run for his money.
  • Death Glare: Often used to cow perps, coworkers, or pretty much anyone into submission.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Diaz tends to be a little rough when pushed or reacting to unwanted tickling (a one-handed wrist lock without even dropping her coffee). However, it's played for laughs in part because Diaz terrifies just about everyone and is clearly overreacting.
  • Expy: She bears a strong resemblance in terms of personality to April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation - the shows were created by the same people.
  • Fair Cop: Diaz is fairly easy on the eyes, but her surly attitude distances her from this trope a bit more. She does attract her own share of attention however.
    Rosa: Fear is a powerful aphrodisiac.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Her Establishing Character Moment (which is also in the credits) has her snapping and wanting to smash her computer.
  • 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.
  • The Lad-ette: She's definitely One Of The Guys. Her perfect date: "Cheap dinner, watch basketball, bone down".
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: The Dark to Santiago's Light.
  • Perpetual Frowner: She's nearly always seen scowling — so much so that when she does smile, it usually comes across as discomforting.
    Amy: Ugh, she never smiles. Is her mouth broken!?
  • Rugged Scar: Has a small scar on her brow, which fits in perfectly with her personality.
  • Spicy Latina: Hot-Blooded tough Latina chick.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Santiago. She's the Tomboy.
  • The Unsmile: See Perpetual Frowner above.
  • Woman in Black: She's a threatening woman who dresses predominantly in black.

     Sgt. Terry Jeffords 

Sgt. Terence "Terry" Jeffords (Terry Crews)

"Why are you giving candy to a baby in the first place? Don't give candy to a baby! They can't brush their teeth!"

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.
  • Action Dad: He has twin daughters.
  • 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.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A intelligent and capable police officer, hampered only by his fear of dying on the job.
  • Dynamic Entry: Jeffords' return to the field is tackling a guy who already shot Boyle in the ass and had a gun trained on Peralta and Holt from offscreen.
  • Formerly Fat: Used to be fat before he lost it and replaced it with a lot of muscle.
  • Gentle Giant: Easily the tallest and most muscular cast member but also the friendliest and sanest.
  • Happily Married: Very happy with his wife and daughters.
  • He's Back: Jeffords returns to the field when he learns Holt's life is in danger. After tackling the perp from offscreen, he even exclaims "Terry's back!"
  • Hidden Depths: Fan of foreign cinema and farmer's markets, can speak Japanese, and is secretly a talented artist.
    • Also applies to Terry Crews, who actually went to Western Michigan University on an art scholarship before earning a place on the football team.
  • 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.
  • Red Baron: He was known as "the Ebony Falcon" before he got relegated to desk work.
  • Scary Black Man: He zig-zags this trope — physically, he's quite muscular and imposing, and he does have a bit of a temper, but his temper is for a large part bluster and when you get to know him personality-wise he's clearly a bit of a softie. However, when he gets really riled up, he does get pretty damn intimidating. He also enjoys invoking this trope by playing the Scary Black Man in lineups.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: The shooting incident.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Not really, but he started acting like one after his kids were born, which is why he compulsively avoids going into the field.
    Peralta: Is he seriously assigning me to the records room? Why do we even have a records room? The computer's been invented, right? I didn't dream it?
    Jeffords: You're lucky, man. I wish I could get assigned here full time. You could not be farther from the action.
  • Shipper on Deck: Might be one for Jake/Amy, as seen in "Unsolvable."
  • Team Dad: Mostly this is Holt's role, but he can sometimes slip into this, 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.
    Jeffords: Jake, you know I love you like I love one of my daughters.
    Peralta: Really?
  • Theme Twin Naming: Jeffords named his twin daughters Cagney & Lacey.
  • Third-Person Person: Not an extreme example, but often refers to himself as "Terry" during exclamations.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Terry looooves yogurt.
  • Trigger Happy: Jeffords became so scared of getting killed on the job that he panicked and emptied his gun into a mannequin in a department store. At the start of the series, he is on desk duty because of this. In a subsequent episode, it turns out there was a second incident shortly afterward in which he emptied his gun into a piñata. (This, of course, gives Jake the opportunity to grab some candy.)

     Det. Charles Boyle 

Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio)

"You know, some jobs take brains, some jobs take muscles, some jobs take dainty little fingers. Did I ever tell you I had to wear a woman's wedding ring?"

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.
  • Amusing Injuries: He gets shot in the butt.
  • Birds of a Feather: His attraction to Vivian, who's also a foodie and also has a tendency to move too fast in relationships.
  • Brutal Honesty: In "The Bet", he starts dropping 'truth-bombs' on everyone thanks to a dose of particularly strong pain medication.
  • 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.
    • Lampshaded in "The Apartment" where, after having fun together playing a prank on another co-worker, Boyle apologises to Diaz for his clingy and weird behaviour towards her throughout the season.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: With Vivian — they meet at Kevin's party and get it on from there. They're engaged in an exceedingly short amount of time. Ultimately subverted, however, since they ultimately break up after failing to negotiate a satisfactory resolution to Vivian's desire to move to Ottawa for her career versus Boyle's desire to remain in New York.
  • 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.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Downplayed for Boyle. He's not physically gifted, and he isn't as clever as Peralta or Santiago, but he closes cases by working harder than everyone else. Jeffords describes him as a "grinder."
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Rosa, who has a boyfriend and consistently rebuffs his advances, although she does care about him.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Vehemently insisted as a child that "Grandma bought [the dollhouse] for both" him and his sister, and is a fan of Nancy Drew. He apparently also has professional-level calligraphy skills.
  • 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.
  • Shipper on Deck: He's the first to point out that Peralta might have feelings for Santiago, as well as pushing Peralta to make his feelings known for her.
  • Shot in the Ass: In "Christmas," when Taking the Bullet for Rosa.
  • Taking the Bullet: Boyle takes two in the butt diving in front of Rosa. One HELL of a jump.
  • Too Much Information: Has a tendency to over-share with his colleagues whenever he's in a relationship that's going well.
    Boyle: Jake, I gotta tell ya; the engaged life is amazing. Especially sexually.
    Peralta: [Uncomfortable] Well, I don't wanna pry...
    Boyle: [Cheerfully] Oh, you're not prying; I want you to know this.
  • Unlucky Everydude: As the Butt Monkey who actually has to work hard to become a competent detective, he's this.
  • 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 

Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti)

"At any given moment I’m thinking about one thing: Richard Dreyfuss hunkered over eatin’ dog food."

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.

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Constantly seems divorced from reality.
    Holt: So, Gina, civilian administrators, like yourself, often have their ear to the ground. What do Santiago and Peralta have riding on this bet of theirs?
    Gina: I will tell you, on six conditions. Number one: you let me use your office to practice m' dance moves. Second...
    Holt: How 'bout this: you tell me, and I won't suspend you...without pay.
    Gina: Oh, that sounds great. The deal is, if Amy gets more arrests, Jake has to give her his car. It's an old Mustang and is pretty sweet. If he gets more arrests, she has to go on a date with him. He guarantees it will end in sex. I bet on at least some over-the-clothes action, at the very least, some touching...
    Holt: That's enough, Gina.
    Gina: (Undeterred) I could see him showing up in a silk robe...
    Holt: That's enough, Gina. Thank you.
    • 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.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Takes pictures while Boyle's coat is on fire.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right:
    • 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.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • 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."
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "The Ebony Falcon," Gina's apartment gets broken into, and while for the most part she remains her snarky self, Holt knows Gina's more scared than she lets on. Santiago and Diaz finally understand how bad it is when Gina stays at work late:
    Gina: Uh, you know me, I love working. Can't tear me away from my work. I just love requisitions, and corporate records, and just... you know, message from people for Holt.
  • Really Gets Around: Her psychic predicted she would have a 'sensuous encounter' with a guy named Mark. Gilligan Cut to a bar..
    Gina (very drunk):Is anyone here named Mark?! (Three guys raise their hands). (Pointing) You're good.
  • Sticky Fingers: Terry has to specifically ask Rosa to make sure Gina doesn't steal anything at Holt's birthday party. Unfortunately, Gina's already stolen a bagful of hats and scarves. It's later revealed she's also stolen a drawerful of silverware as well as a clock that doesn't belong to Holt or his husband.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker: In "Charges and Specs," Gina decides that the English language is no longer sufficient to "capture the depth and complexity of my thoughts" and so begins describing Emojis to express herself. This leads to nonsense sentences like "The fact you have him on trial is cat doing Home Alone face!" and "Our friendship is little boy holding little girl's hand!"
  • Too Much Information: Gina to Holt about the probable outcome of Peralta and Santiago's date if he wins their bet. See Cloudcuckoolander, above, for sordid detail.

     Dets. Norm Scully and Michael Hitchcock 

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.

  • Ascended Extra: They were initially background characters with occasional lines to show that they were complete humps in contrast to the main characters. They became more and more prominent as the first season progressed and even get involved in the team's antics outside the office.
  • 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.
  • Expy: They're both an expy for Jerry from Parks and Recreation, which was created by many of the same staff.
  • Hidden Depths: They display the occasional flash of insight to show that there is a reason why they became detectives. They're able to deduce that there is a hidden bathroom in the precinct just by observing Boyle, and Hitchcock, of all people, goes on a hot streak when Jake falls into a slump.
    • Both apparently had major problems with cocaine in the mid-1980s.
    • Scully appears to be quite a good opera singer (if prone to annoying his co-workers by bursting into song with little prompting).
    • Hitchcock's lack of real hidden depths is lampshaded in "The Party" when Scully is told to talk about opera, and Hitchcock is told to say absolutely nothing.
  • The Load: They contribute nearly nothing. Lampshaded in "Tactical Village."
    (during a training simulation)
    Jeffords: Scully, I want you to do nothing. Just stand next to me and say, "Yes Sarge."
    Scully: Okay, Sarge.
    Jeffords: C'mon, man.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Some of Holt and Kevin's friends mistake them for a gay couple.
  • Nausea Fuel: In-universe, Scully has a lot of problems with his body and apparently constantly informs people about them much to their disgust.
    • Scully's feet smell so bad even Hitchcock gets involved in disposing Scully's shoes.
  • Police Are Useless: The straightest examples on the entire show. Neither of them contribute very much and are pretty much kept around for their coffee.
  • Prematurely Bald: Hitchcock apparently went bald at fifteen.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: From the second season.
  • Those Two Guys: They're practically inseparable. To the extent that they show up to their self-evaluations together.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: One of the running gags of the show is that Hitchcock will find any reason to take off his shirt.

     Recurring Characters 

Fire Marshall Boone (Patton Oswalt)

The dimwitted marshall of the fire department, who harbors an intense hatred for the 99.

  • Disappeared Dad: When Jake reveals his dad walked out on him as a child, Boone reveals the same thing happened to him, and they amazingly manage a temporary truce.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Between the NYPD and the FDNY.
  • Missing Mom: She's dead.
  • Self-Serving Memory: He claims that Jake overstepped his boundaries and started the fight, when in reality Boone had thrown the first punch.
  • Your Mom: He attempts to defy this when, in a war of words with Peralta, he makes a comment that leaves a perfect opening for a 'Your Mom' joke but then instantly points out that his mother happens to be dead "so let's tread lightly on the response." Peralta, who apparently had one ready to go, finds this unfair.

Det. Warren Pembroke (Dean Winters)

A detective from the Major Crimes Unit known as "The Vulture" for his tendency to take over cases that are near-finished and take all the credit for them.

  • Homoerotic Subtext: He seems very fixated on Jake's "big white ass."
  • In Universe Nickname: "The Vulture" for his trend of claiming jurisdiction over practically-solved cases so he can take all the credit without doing any of the work.
  • Jerkass: He fits in this trope like a glove, what with his constant swooping in to steal cases that our main characters have almost solved to claim the credit, his obnoxious and bullying "alpha male" personality, his unwelcome advances towards Santiago, his strange obsession with Peralta's "big white ass" and his Vladmir Putin-collection underwear.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: The entire squad possesses a burning hatred of him, with good reason.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In-Universe. He routinely takes "unsolved" cases after 98% of the work has been done. It's shown in montage that he's actually done this as Diaz was about to break down a suspect's door, and as Santiago was in the middle of reading the suspect's Miranda Rights. And he stole Boyles coffee.

Vivian Ludley (Marilu Henner)

A food author and friend of Holt and his husband who becomes romantically involved with Boyle, with whom she shares several similarities.

  • Birds of a Feather: With Boyle. They have many things in common, most notably great taste in food and a tendency to move too fast when starting a relationship.
  • Disposable Fiancé: In "Charges and Specs" she breaks off their relationship because he didn't want to move to Canada with her.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: She and Charles get engaged extremely quickly.
  • Make-Out Kids: An older-couple version. Vivian and Charles need little provocation to start making out.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Charles is several years younger than her.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: She and Charles have a very...loving relationship.

Det. Teddy Wells (Kyle Bornheimer)

An ex of Amy's whom she begins dating again after meeting up with him at a training session.

  • New Old Flame: He and Amy used to date, and restart their relationship after he moves to Brooklyn. They begin dating again, just in time for Peralta to realize that he might like her.
  • Nice Guy: He seems affable and genuinely seems to care about Amy. She describes him as a "good listener."
  • Romantic False Lead: He seems to be set up to be this for Peralta and Santiago.
  • Satellite Love Interest: He's not given much characterization.

Deputy Commissioner Podolski (James M. Connor)

An arrogant, intimidating senior officer with a tendency to use his position to bully subordinate officers in a way that benefits him and his family.

  • Dirty Cop: A relatively mild example so far; he uses his position and influence in the department to prevent his delinquent son from facing any kind of punishment for his crimes.
  • Jerkass: Is not a particularly nice man.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Is clearly not above using his position as a high-ranking police officer to abuse the laws in ways that benefit him or that stick it to people who displease him.

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