Pöysti is the main character, aged 30 or 31 years throughout the series. He is single and is always seen sucking on a pacifier. Pöysti's modus operandi can be described as psychological: He finds the sore spots of criminals by going through several options and uses them to crack the perps – or not. Sometimes he goes for overkill, like provoking people to jump off the roof or arresting innocent people without grounds.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's constantly sucking on a pacifier, is often late for work if he bothers showing up at all and spends much of his time playing video games at work: the only real reason people put up with him is because Neponen keeps standing up for him and his theories and the ability to make criminals surrender by giving longwinded speeches to them occasionally saves the day and even then, he's been fired or quit work at least thrice so far but due to the circumstances and/or Repomies' senility, he generally ends up being hired back before the end of the episode. While the other characters generally have their own quirks as well, they don't stand out as much (at least in their line of work) and they usually manage to do their jobs well, or at least to an acceptable degree.
Cowboy Cop: Kyösti has a tendency to rub Repomies the wrong way, although it's got less to do with his methods and more about his overall behaviour.
In fact, Repomies has stated indirectly that Pöysti should be more like John McClane and defy his superiors' will.
Repomies himself borders on this in episode 25 (see Parody Episode in the main article) where he states: "This is no time for political correctness! When democracy and freedom of speech are under threat, they must be moved to safety. And when they're gone, you can do all kinds of things.", complete with an excited smile.
Custom Uniform: Pöysti wears a detective trenchcoat, jeans and sneakers instead of the standard uniform.
Well, debatably the entire police squad has a varying degree of uniformity. Repomies always wears his full Chief dress uniform (trousers, coat, orders and tie), Helga always wears her full outdoor uniform (cap, raincoat, trousers and boots), Neponen always wears an indoor uniform (long-sleeved shirt and trousers), and Pekka always wears a mere uniform stab vest over his grey civilian clothing. The new character in the Spin-Off, Tarja, likewise only wears a stab vest, but hers is too open to actually protect her in any meaningful way and the rest of her outfit consists of a denim skirt, jeans, a decorative belt with a heart-shaped buckle and a bright red shirt with white sun patterns that shows off her bellybutton.
Gratuitous English: He indulges in it quite a lot. Namely, he tends to say "It's a deal!" in English so often that it's become a kind of Catch Phrase for him, and is even repeated by some of the other characters (mostly Repomies) to him. In the episode "Koala vs. Shark", he gives a motivational speech to a squad assisting him, at least half of which is in English. It should be noted that Gratuitous English is actually a part of Finnish slang in Real Life (due to English being compulsory in Finnish schools and taught from age eight), so this might just be Pöysti's excessively slang-ish way of talking, though he does seem to do it a bit more than usual.
Inner Monologue: Usually employed when Pöysti is attempting to seduce women. Parodied with the second woman that actually liked him as he was when he found out she was religious and believed in horoscopes: he desperately tries to tell himself not to flat out bash her beliefs, only for him to do it anyway and think how badly he screwed up afterwards, but barely managing to save the situation by confirming that she's doesn't really believe all that much in either of them and being fine with it. Reversed when the woman asks him why he has the pacifier and her internal monologue sounds similliar, but after ending up bashing Pöysti in the same way, she just decides that being honest is good in a relationship and congratulates herself for being so spontaneous "just like that girl in Amelie" and breaks up with him.
Jerk Ass: As much as humanly possible. Pretty much every single one of his random dates has ended in failure, he hates pretty much everything on some level, he reverses on his opinions on anything he says as soon as someone agrees with them, and he once managed to get a suicidal woman to jump off a building 4 times during the course of a single episode. To his defense, one of those times just consisted of throwing the flowers he had brought to her out of her hospital room window when she said that she didn't want them: she promptly jumped after them while loudly muttering "nodon'tdothatpleasethey'retheonlybeautifulthinginmylife!"). His video gaming habits also seem to involve copious abuse of Videogame Cruelty Potential, not that the game itself is any better in this regard.
In one of the episodes, he does end up pitying a Romanian beggar enough to give him money...or rather, he tells Neponen to give him 10 euros.
He also isn't cruel enough to break a mole's arm with a hammer even with Repomies' permission to get details about an escape plan, despite intimidating the rest of the prison inmates with his colorful threats into doing what he says.
Man Child: Kyösti, as can be seen from his everpresent pacifier. When forced to visit a psychiatrist after a particulary unsuccessful streak of crimefighting, he's stated to have the emotional maturity of a 5-year old. Then he gets similar character analyses in different episodes again until the series seems to lampshade this by having even a random bum analyse him this way.
The final episode elaborates more on this by showing that while he had an otherwise generic childhood, his parents never paid any attention to his mischievous behaviour and never expected anything special from him.
Opinion Flipflop: Inverted with Pöysti: as stated above, he often changes his opinions on anything he says as soon as someone agrees with them. Whether he does this just to annoy people, actually changes his opinion that quickly or just thinks that the other party instantly gets stuck agreeing on whatever viewpoint he presents without bothering to wait and see if they consider other options (ie. "Americans are stupid" "Exactly, I..." "Stop right there, there's a good number of smart Americans too, don't be so stereotypical!") isn't known.
Talking the Monster to Death: Pöysti's arresting method with alternating success. Some lawbreakers break down, some give up out of sheer bemusement, and some are not affected in the least.
"Isn't that stuff you're doing sooooo from the beginning of the 90s? Some kind of recession stuff? Don't you feel ashamed? Think of your kids, think of your mom. Now think of the kids again; now mom; kids. Now think about some sensitive song. Now think about abstract figures, and get confused. Put that axe away. Now think about the smell of grass. Your youth, and first tits. You can break down now if you feel like it. Think about yourself running naked in some meadow. Now think about all of these things at the same time. Confusing, isn't it? Now start walking out!"
Pöysti also manages to use this to confuse a junkie robbing a store into not only turning himself in, but disarm himself as well in less than 30 seconds:
Junkie: Who're ya talking to?
Pöysti: You, what's your name? Hurry up!
Pöysti: That's right, Rane. C'mon now, seriously!
Pöysti: You got it.
Pöysti: Well, let's go then!
Rane: Let's go.
(they both walk out the store)
Pöysti: Listen, are you sure about this?
Pöysti: Tomorrow at 5.
Pöysti: I got it, in there! (Pöysti points at the police car)
Rane: (gives his gun to Pöysti and walks in) Finish the job.
He once did this to his alarm clock.
(clock rings)Pöysti: Can you stop that? Can you stop that?! Right. Ring then. I'm absolutely not going to switch you off! Go on. Juuuuust like that. Very mature. Very mature! You know, I can keep this up longer than you can. You'll run out of batteries, I can stay here for two days. (the ringing stops) Thank you.
Tsundere: In a peculiar way. Not towards any one target in particular, but its his attitude that's tsundere. The usual Pöysti is constantly pissed off and irritated at everything (tsuntsun), but with one of his successful relationships, he went completely deredere with the woman. (which included kissing, sweet talk, slacking off during work making out on a park bench) He was absolutely shattered when they broke up.
Repomies is the Captain of the Pasila precinct, a man with a moustache and heavy medication. He keeps on getting more confused and more poetic, until someone usually reminds him to take his pills.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Implied to be the reason why he stays with his wife even though she's rarely happy with anything he does and keeps punishing him for his perceived wrongdoings: as he states himself, they're a "pair of angry old seniors, nobody else wants us". There might be other underlying reasons for it though, like having her be related to him to begin with so that "the money stays in the family and nobody else gets it!".
Cloudcuckoolander: He's hopelessly senile and prone to trailing off into long rants about random things when his medication starts to wear off, with a lot of them involving trains and nazis for some reason.
In an episode when he's ultimately judged too senile to be in charge anymore, he succeeds in confusing an Egypt-themed museum exhibit with a pyramid scheme since "they schemed against me with those pyramids in the pyramid exhibit! All they had was shitty miniatures of them!", believing he had legitimately purchased one of the actual pyramids in Giza. He sent his men off to arrest both the curator of the museum in question and Ramses the Third before ultimately holding a speech about finding and capturing himself after Kontiovaara has publically chastised his actions on TV. Beyond that, he says prefers sleeping on the couch instead of his bed with his wife, and that she is his cousin. The former excuse might be somewhat logical when you consider the above entries though...
Da Chief: Although his interpretation of police rules allows things like tampering with evidence and false arrests when used in moderation.
Pöysti has heard the following order numerous times):
Embarrassing Slide: Once every few episodes. Sometimes they don't involve Repomies' wife naked and just suggest he's confused about the subject matter. One example being when he lectures the force about the episode's Stalker with a Crush and instead shows slides of and describes the movie "Stalker" by Andrei Tarkovsky about how stalkers live in the USSR, visit forbidden areas and change from monochrome to full color in the middle of the film.
When a pyromaniac expert tries to show her slides, she manages to show a shot of herself tanning in the Canaries. As she comes off as being absentminded like Repomies (which is probably one of the reasons he falls for her), it's most likely her own fault as well. That, or the projector's just defective.
Repomies: GODDAMMIT! Why aren't you chasing criminals?
Pöysti: It's our lunch break.
Repomies: In my youth, there were no lunch breaks. In my youth, we woke up early in the morning when the rooster crowed, ate the rooster and went to work. And with that food we went through the winter, worked hard day and night and only went to sleep when the new rooster had grown up to the crowing age!
as well as:
Repomies: What happened to Pöysti?
Neponen: She (Reetta) beat him up. He didn't have a gun with him.
Repomies: You just had to annoy her again instead of just arresting her right away. Had to run your mouth off, a young person.
Pöysti: I just pointed out some facts to her and she punched me right away!
Repomies: A cop who was beat up by a woman! When I was young, women didn't beat up men. Men beat up women but never for the sheer joy of it. Nobody beat up the elderly and everybody beat up children. Anyone could beat up any random kid playing in the yard and nobody did drugs. The world was in order and people had a nice rhythm and sense of stability in their lives, unlike today. GODDAMNIT!
Pöysti also occasionally makes fun of Repomies' constant tendency to do this, giving birth to lines such as "In your youth there were no fancy little gadgets to make being faggy easier, no Abba records nor nipple piercings, nowadays being faggy is too easy as well!" and "Here's your generation the way you think of it: It's rough all the time. Father works on the fields during the day and in the factory every night. During the weekends he goes to war. Mother gives birth thrice per day and all the children have the plague. There's no toys, the only available food is pine bark and the barn burns down EVERY night. Here's my generation: stupid, ungrateful, lazy. Well, there's no denying that, but you would've been that way too, you just had no money!"
Neponen: There's a bank robbery in progress at Hietaniemenkatu.
Repomies: Go there, and Pöysti, you have 48 hours.
Pöysti: Yeah whatever, couldn't care less.
Repomies: You won't get any longer than that, goddamnit!
Repomies: Okay, you only get 24 hours.
Pöysti: Yeah, I guess that's still long enough.
Repomies: What's wrong with you?! You don't have an ounce of passion for your job within you! You'll get 6 hours! Fine, you'll get 2 hours! 10 minutes! A minute! A stone's throw!
Neponen is Pöysti's classmate from the Police Academy. He's described as the only sane person in the Pasila precinct. He's been married for seven years and has children.
Bad Liar: He's revealed to be one in an episode when he keeps standing up for Pöysti's streak of alcoholism by telling everyone the truth about what he's been doing and then attempting to change it to a bad lie afterwards.
Only Sane Man: Although he doesn't seem to mind much and has nothing but unending adoration towards Kyösti and his methods.
The Smart Guy: This is best demonstrated in the episode featuring the Gentleman Thief Jusu Marttinen. While Pöysti is too busy drowning his sorrows in a bar after Jusu manages to fool him twice, Neponen takes a closer look at the video with Marttinen's Evil Gloating on it and takes note of his necklace, which ends up being token of friendship from Vanuatu given to often-visiting tourists: he also takes a look at Finnair's schedules and finds the only flight there for the current year is tonight, and while he doesn't find Marttinen's name on the list of passengers, he found another suspicious-sounding name which is an anagram of Lewis Carroll's real name, the style of which being similar to Jusu's taunting message. Pöysti being the Jerk Ass that he is, thinks Neponen only did "an OK job, not great, but very solidly average effort."
Routalempi is the 46-year-old desk sergeant at the precinct. He keeps on pondering common things in everyday life and considers these phenomena "fascinating". As he explains in an episode, this behaviour was adopted after he stopped drinking and therefore saw how wonderful life could be even without alcohol. He is divorced.
Mysterious Past: Despite being seen as an one gimmick character as stated below, Routalempi apparently has a somewhat successful past as an artist, which came crashing down when he wanted to experiment too much with different art styles.
As revealed in one of the new episodes, he also wrote a book when he was young. As can be largely suspected, it was a surpremely boring prose about a man watching grass grow which even the publisher bashed thoroughly in the back cover (no idea exactly why they wanted to publish it to begin with if they considered it so bad): despite this, the celebrated author Unto Vilske (who Pöysti also considers his inspiration) considers it to be a surpreme piece of satire and an inspiration for becoming an author even though Routalempi keeps trying to tell him that he genuinely feels the way he wrote in the book.
And again, in another episode, he's ALSO revealed to have been a musician in the past who was similarily screwed over by record companies. Lampshaded by Pöysti who tells Routalempi that his "entire youth couldn't have possibly consisted entirely of being every kind of misunderstood artist possible!"
The Philosopher: The defining character trait of Routalempi. He will go on about how "fascinating" pretty much everything is in a droning voice, and the only time he's ever disagreed with anyone about something being fascinating was when Kyösti stated "nah, when you've seen one fascinating thing, you've seen them all". He later states that the reason he became like this is because he stopped drinking: when he was drinking, he thought the world was boring and he was fascinating, but after he stopped, the world became fascinating to him while he himself became boring.
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Routalempi's philosopher tendencies can often cause him to be distracted from whatever he was supposed to be doing. One episode saw him let a suspect escape from custody because he was too busy admiring a flock of cranes flying overhead to lock the suspect's handcuffs. Surprisingly enough, his tendency to get distracted easily actually saved the day once, as described in the main article.
Also lampshaded in one of the new episodes, where he appoints himself as a mediator for Pöysti's and Repomies' argument and successfully goes through their wrongdoings without getting distracted and then muses to himself afterwards how "this must be first time I've been able to stay in subject for this long".
Trigger Happy: Surprisingly enough, he also seems to show some signs of this whenever the situation presents itself despite acting mildmannered for rest of the time. He himself once muses that holding a gun gives him "an exciting feeling of power", which makes sense considering how meek he acts for the rest of the time.
Helga is the token woman police officer, although very manly in her manners and the most macho of all characters. Her father is ashamed of his daughter, as he wanted a son. He threw Helga into a river as a baby. Helga is doing her best to fulfill her father's wishes and blames her mother for being a girl.
Butch Lesbian: Helga. Her sexual preferences are not discussed in the show, but she's extremely masculine in physique, hates all other women and believes they should all stay in the kitchen and believes violence to be the #1 solution to any and all problems. Most of this stems from the fact that her militant aging father wished for a boy instead and was disappointed enough in her that he dumped her in a river, although specifics on this aren't that clear either. The lesbian part gets some further support in an early episode, where she's stated to have been charmed by a woman criminal central to the episode in the past to avoid being fined/thrown to jail, just like the male characters at that point save for Pöysti.
Helga is also the third suspect that comes to Repomies' mind re: who slept with the assistant town manager's wife (two spaces ahead of the actual culprit, Routalempi). Granted, it's probably more a joke at Routalempi's expense, and this is Repomies we're talking about, but still...
Her lesbianism is confirmed in the Spin-Off, when she confesses her love to the new female character Tarja during a lifethreathening moment. She says she also loves her...as a friend, which causes Helga to leave the room with tears in her eyes.
Trigger Happy: In Totem Animal, she seemed overly enthusiastic wanting to fire the bazooka and see bloodshed.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Helga and her father issues as stated above. At the end of the episode with the alleged illegal weapons, he finally approves of her to some degree after Pöysti has praised her masculinity and neverending tenacity in her attempts of pleasing her father by stating "Stay manly".
You Remind Me of X: Stated to be the main reason why Helga keeps standing up to Repomies no matter how senile he gets and never takes any offense at anything he says or makes her do even though she would've beaten anyone else to a pulp before they would've finished the sentence: he reminds her of her father, who's always been equally abusive towards her for reasons stated above.
The presenter in the morning TV show Huomenta ihmiset ("Good Morning, People"). The character is a parody of Lauri Karhuvaara, presenter at Huomenta Suomi. In his free time, he goes orienteering during the weekends. He holds the police in high esteem and he thinks he's Pöysti's best friend, even though Pöysti hates him and his show.
Bullying a Dragon: After failing to get Barack Obama to come to his show the normal way when he's visiting Finland, he's blessed with an incredible stroke of luck when publicity-hungry former deliveryboy of a countryside hospital gives him the documents that he had stolen once that prove that Obama was actually born in Finland during his parents' holiday visit there. After wrestling with his conscience whether to reveal the documents in public and gain worldwide personal fame or destroy them so that he doesn't ruin the career of the only Finnish person who's made a name of himself in America which he's a huge fanboy of even if they don't know of or acknowledge of their heritage, he comes to a compromise and decides use them to blackmail Obama into making a brief appearance on his show. He fails spectacularily, gets told that "nobody fucks with the Present of United States" and that Obama's "taken down more terrorists in a year than the pussy before me in 8" before getting a severe beating from the Secret Service, and even his normal Karma Houdini immunity only goes far enough to change the official reason for his beating to a sudden desire to "check whether the bodyguards are doing their job properly".
Gratuitous English, Incredibly Lame Pun and Pungeon Master: He insists on greeting anyone he consideres to be a friend of his with "Long time no XXX", last word of which is always equally lame. When he does this to Kyösti repeatedly once, he asks if there's someone whose job consists of making up horrible greeting puns for him. Upon getting introduced to the said man, Pöysti arrests him on the spot.
Kontiovaara in his morning show: To those who have just woken up, I say: good morning. And to those who have just got home from work, I say: get a better job. Really.
He also has a tendency to blame other people for his own screwups (like getting drunk on a cruise and only waking up when they're already back in Helsinki, missing the actual reason of his trip entirely as well as talking Repomies into letting him accompany Pöysti and Neponen during their rounds and letting the criminals they apprehended steal his camera and run away by letting himself be fooled by having them offer to film the crew from "an alternate point of view") and thanks to having most of the populace on his side, never having to answer for any of it.
Running Gag: "Good morning to everyone! Except for those of you who X." Lampshaded when he gets fired and his replacements opens the show with "Good morning to absolutely everyone without any discrimination!"
Tastes Like Diabetes: In-universe: Kontiovaara's morning show, frequently and complete with greetings like "Very best cinnamon-bun flavoured morning to all of you, our dearest viewers".
A former hippie commune resident, she's introduced as a new female character in the first episode of the Spin-Off. She often clashes with Pöysti due to her accepting nature and open mind, but seems to be able to hold on her own against his arguments just as well as he does.