, following Police Lt.
) as he continues to get into trouble. The films serve as parodies of the cop genre and (initially) film noire, and
, get in the way of a good gag. The genius of the Drebin character is that Nielsen plays him almost totally straight: he's a buffoon, but he acts like a completely serious film detective even as lunacy explodes all around him, almost as if he's wandered in from a different movie.
by the bucketful. At three movies, this actually lasted longer than the TV series it was based on. In all three Frank's love interest is Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley).
- Accidental Hero: Frank has a habit of pulling this, especially in the second film: He responds to his award for "One Thousandth Drug Dealer Killed" by remarking that he accidentally ran over the last two with his car. In a later scene, he unknowingly saves his colleagues from a crazed gunman.
- Accidental Pervert:
- Acoustic License: An aversion is played for laughs when a hitman tries to deliver a "message" to Drebin from the Big Bad by cursing and opening fire on him. Drebin's response:
- Acquitted Too Late: Frank finds a plastic box while cleaning his files.
Frank Drebin: Hey! The missing evidence in the Kellner case! My god! He really was innocent!
Captain Ed Hocken: He went to the chair two years ago, Frank.
[box goes back to the drawer].
- Affectionate Parody: Of cop shows, and later spy movies.
- Almost Dead Guy: In part 2. Two of them, no less. The second guy asks where the first one left off.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: In the third movie, the inmates at the state prison (where Frank has gone undercover) riot in the cafeteria simply because they don't like the food they're being served. As depicted in the film the gag is quite funny, but in fact something like that did once happen at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco (it was known as "The Spaghetti Riot"). In the movie, this culminates in a Funny Moment / Moment Of Awesome when the prisoners make the guards eat the awful food!
- Although in this case, Frank's reasoning when yelling to the guards was that it didn't resemble crappy stereotypical prison food enough.
- Precisely. Chateau LeBlanc '68 is supposed to be served slightly chilled, not room temperature!
- Ambiguous Syntax: Subverted in the second film:
Dr. Meinheimer: You're thinking about him again, aren't you? What was his name? "Frank"?
Dr. Meinheimer: You just can't forget about him, can you?
Dr. Meinheimer: ...Frank.
- America Saves the Day: Drebin beats the tar out of America's enemies in the first movie's cold open.
- Amusing Injuries: With or without Injury Discretion Shots.
- And Another Thing: Frank to Jane, in the first film:
Frank: Oh by the way, I faked every orgasm.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: It's to be expected, really.
- Aside Glance: The standard reaction from characters when another character they are in conversation with says something nonsensical. Which, in this movie series, means almost every conversation, and often switches between who is talking nonsense and who is giving the Aside Glance.
- Ascended Extra: Nordberg - originally used for one-shot gags in Police Squad!, he became the recurring Butt Monkey for the Naked Gun movies, played by O.J. Simpson.
- Automobile Opening
- Babies Ever After
- Baby Carriage: The first scene of the third movie, which includes Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) almost spiking the baby after catching it.
- Bait and Switch: Lampshaded in Naked Gun 2½; Frank asks the bartender to give him the strongest thing he's got, to which a muscle-heavy man walks up. Frank says, "On second thought, how about a Black Russian." The bartender looks at the camera and shakes his head, indicating that he's not going to perform the obvious punchline.
- Balcony Escape
- Bear Trap Bed: Nordberg's bed in the first movie. He also manages to step in an actual Bear Trap as well.
- BFG: Nordberg's cannon in 2½.
- Big Bad: Ludwig from Police Squad, Quentin from The Smell of Fear and Rocko from The Final Insult.
- Bigger Bad: Papshmir, The Man Behind the Man in Police Squad and The Final Insult is the over-arching antagonist of the series but has less screen time then the main villains of each movie.
- Bigger on the Inside: Jane's fridge is deep enough to fit her whole on a single shelve while laying face down, and ample enough for her to turn and knock on the door when it closes behind her.
- Big Stupid Doodoo Head: Frank, from 2½:
Frank: Oh it's all right, I'm sure that we can handle this situation maturely, just like the responsible adults that we are. (to Quentin) Isn't that right, Mr. Poopy Pants?
- Bit Character: Tons of them throughout all three movies, to the point where many characters in the credits are simply identified by the one line they say.
- Black Best Friend: Nordberg.
- Blood Knight: Drebin.
: That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar
, you moron! You killed five actors! Good
- Bowdlerise: The infamous "Nice beaver!" quote from the first film was dubbed with the less funny "Nice one!" in TV airings. Which ruins the gag.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The villain's various victims in the first movie.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Or in Frank's case, burglary, arson, and sexual assault with a concrete dildo. Though the last one was Not What It Looks Like, so it falls somewhere between this trope and Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.
- Brick Joke:
- The zoo animals in the second movie.
- In the first film, "Hey, it's Enrico Pallazzo!"
- Also in the first film, the corpse in the meat factory reappears as a still-ringed finger found in the Big Bad's hot dog.
- Brutal Honesty: From the climax in 33-1/3:
Jane: I was wrong. Taking you away from Police Squad was a mistake. I know now that's why you couldn't perform decent sex with me.
(Frank looks very confused)
- Butt Monkey:
- Nordberg, especially in the first two films.
- Dr. Meinheimer and Barbara Bush in The Smell of Fear.
- Enrico Pallazzo in the first film. He's Bound and Gagged and impersonated by Frank, and then the TV captions display his name during Drevin's horrible interpretation of the national anthem, adding insult to injury.
- The Cameo:
- "Weird Al" Yankovic in all three films.
- In the first film, Frank's dramatic speech is cut short when Ed informs him that the massive crowd gathered outside his plane is actually for Weird Al. They go ecstatic when he departs the plane.
- In The Smell of Fear: As a criminal who has taken Ed, Nordberg, and the rest of the station hostage. Frank accidentally incapacitates him when opening a door too fast.
- The Final Insult: As Himself as Vanna White's escort at the Oscars.
- Thanks to the abovementioned Oscars, the third movie has a whole pile of these.
- In the first movie, Reggie Jackson is the one brainwashed into trying to assassinate the Queen.
- In the second movie, Zsa Zsa Gabor slaps the police siren during the opening credits.
- Casual Danger Dialog: Usually Drebin, but the driving instructor in the first movie puts Hindu cows to shame.
- Celebrity Paradox: Anna Nicole Smith also appears on a Playboy cover in the third movie... which lampshades this at the same time by giving Anna's character a Gag Penis. Think about it for a second.
- Chalk Outline:
- Spoofed by type and position. For type, there's a stick figure and an Egyptian, and for position, there's Chalk Outlines that appear on a building's walls, or roof, or one that appears floating on the water.
- The second movie has outlines of body parts...
- There was also an outline on an elevator door.
- Chekhov's Gun: The cuff links in the first movie.
- Comedic Sociopathy: During the romance montage of the first movie, Frank and Jane come laughing out of a movie only for it to turn out to be Platoon.
- The Comically Serious:
- The villain often fills this role.
- Drebin as well, since Leslie Nielsen's shtick is saying the most absurd lines with a straight face.
- Really, everyone in all three movies has to behave this way, since they're ostensibly appearing in a series of film noir crime dramas.
- Comically Missing the Point: Very frequent.
- In The Naked Gun, when Drebin meets a Mook standing at a distance:
Frank: Yeah, I'm Drebin!
Mook: I have a message for ya from Vincent Ludwig! [firing gun] Take that, you lousy cop!
Frank: I'm sorry, I can't hear you! Don't fire the gun while you're talking!
[Frank reads a business card]
Frank: That's the red-light district. I wonder why Savage is hanging around down there.
Ed: Sex, Frank?
Frank: (beat) Uh... no, not right now, Ed.
- Comic-Book Time: There's a bit of it early on in the third movie when the characters remember having seen Tanya Peters in a dance club sometime during the disco era of the late '70s (lets say, 1978). Since Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy were already middle-aged in '78, seeing them looking more or less the same (except for the '70s Hair, of course) in the disco setting isn't too much of a stretch. But when we see Tanya herself, she's blatantly the same age as in the present day (about her mid-20s); if she had aged along with everyone else, she'd be at least 40 years old throughout most of the movie, which she is not. (Interestingly, Tanya's portrayer, Anna Nicole Smith, was not even a teenager when the disco era ended.)
- Commonplace Rare: Used as a joke in the third movie. In reality, the "rare" Canary Island Pine is actually one of the most common trees in the world.
- Continuity Nod:
- The car Frank and Jane drive in the flashback to their wedding in 33 1/3 is the same solar-powered car that Hapsburg shows to his co-conspirators in the previous film. This scene was meant to be the previous film's ending, hence Nordberg getting dragged with it.
- The flashback also features Frank's previous love mentioned in the beginning of the first film.
- A deleted scene from the third film (which aired in the TV broadcast) showed Frank walking past a cell in the state prison containing a lion. This could be the same lion that mauled Hapsburg to death at the end of the second film; given the "logic" of this series, it's conceivable that the lion would've been charged with homicide.
- Cosmopolitan Council: In the beginning of the first movie. It includes Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, Ugandan President Idi Amin, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Col. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, among others.
- As of October 2011, all of these people are either dead or no longer in power. That's right, it took 23 years for the opening sequence of The Naked Gun to be completely outdated.
- Crazy-Prepared: When Frank and Jane meet in the first movie, they use condoms during their first bedroom encounter to guarantee "safe sex." Not too strange in itself, until you see that the condoms cover their entire bodies.
- In the second movie, Nordberg begins to add accessories to his handgun during a shootout; the next scene shows him pulling parts out of nowhere as he puts together a gun mount; by the time Drebin calls out to him for cover, he has already put together a full-fledged cannon and proceeds to shoot down a massive chunk of wall, disabling basically every one of Hapsburg's cronies.
- Creator Cameo: David Zucker (director of the first two films) appears as Davy Crockett and later as the teleprompter operator in 2½ and 33⅓, respectively.
- Credits Gag: Happens in all three films. They include people getting credited by their single spoken line, people getting credited for made-up roles like "Second Second Assistant Director," "NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED DURING THE FILMING... HOWEVER, SOME SPECIES DID BECOME EXTINCT DURING PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY", and the safety warning, "In Case of Tornado: SOUTHWEST CORNER OF BASEMENT."
- Crowd Panic: Happens at the end of 2½, when everyone learns about the bomb.
- Crush Parade: At the end of the first film, Vincent Ludwig falls off the upper deck of a baseball stadium to the parking lot below where he gets hit by a bus, flattened by a steam-roller, and then trampled by a marching band playing "Louie Louie."
Ed: Oh, Frank! It's horrible. It's so horrible!
Frank: (comforting Ed) I know...
Ed: My father went the same way...
- Cut Himself Shaving: In 33 1/3, Jane removes Frank's shirt to discover whip marks on his back.
: Frank! What's this
: I... fell. On a rake. Jane
: You're lying! Now I know why Ed's been calling every half hour; you've been back on the case, haven't you? Frank
: No, I swear, it's another woman
: In your wildest dreams!
- Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Performed by one of the mafia goons in 33⅓'s Untouchables parody opening sequence.
- Death by Looking Up: Rocko's mother gets hit with a falling APPLAUSE sign.
- Dirt Force Field: Parodied. In the second film, Frank falls through a roof window of the building where the villains are. He gets up, all dusty and dirty, and begins to wipe his hair. In the next cut, Frank is completely clean.
- Disaster Dominoes: Both Nordberg in the beginning of the first movie and later Drebin.
- Disney Villain Death:
- The Ditz: Frank.
- Dominatrix: Frank Drebin has an encounter with one after he mistakes a sperm bank for a regular doctor's office and asks for "help."
PA System: Dr. Rosenblat, foreplay in room 7 please, Dr. Rosenblat.
Dr. Rosenblat: *cracks whip*
- Dramatic Unmask: Drebin attempts this with the impersonator in 2½, not knowing that the real Dr. Meinheimer had been freed and taken his place while the impersonator had been arrested. Made worse when the means of unmasking involved pulling down the poor doctor's pants because of a Distinguishing Birthmark on his backside. When discovering it is there, he assumes it's a fake and tries to remove it with a buffing machine in front of the entire award banquet audience.
- Drives Like Crazy:
- Whenever Drebin gets behind the wheel, something bad happens. The scene when Drebin tags along in a driving school car is especially notable, when the driving instructor instructs the student how to flip the bird.
- Drebin gets into a tank; When Cpt Hocken tells him that Frank doesn't know how to drive it, he means it.
- The opening credits are also built on this. A cop car (presumably containing Drebin) viewed from the emergency lights shows absolutely insane or just plain nonsensical driving behavior, including driving on sidewalks, into people's homes, on rollercoasters, into bullfighting arenas, restaurants, hockey rinks, the air, the surface of the Death Star, and prehistoric times.
- (to Jane) "After I met you I noticed things I never saw before. Birds singing, dew glistening off a leaf, stop lights."
- Jane driving the humongous semi in 33 ⅓; When she stops at Rocco's place, she has a road worker stuck at the grill.
- Also, in a Thelma & Louise nod, Jane and her lady friend practically pack their whole house on the trunk of their convertible, constantly spilling appliances down the road.
- Driving Test Smashers \ Backseat Driver: In the first movie, Frank does a Follow That Car... on a driving school car.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the second film, the villain (played by Robert Goulet) survives falling out of a window. When he gets up, it seems like Goulet is going to escape. Just then, a lion appears out of nowhere and kills him on the spot. It is however incredibly funny and a great Brick Joke since earlier in the film Drebin released a bunch of animals from the zoo.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Rocko Dillon in the third film.
- Escaped Animal Rampage: In the second The Naked Gun movie, Frank accidentally causes a break out at the zoo, and animals are seen running around in the background of some scenes. In the end, the Big Bad is dispatched by an escaped lion.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the third film, when Tanya who is a prostitute walks into a room of the Dillon's house wearing a bathing suit to flash her body to everyone there with, Mrs. Dillon tells her "That's no way to walk around. Put some clothes on. And what are you doing in my bathing suit?"
- Every Car Is a Pinto
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Creatively named locations such as "The Hospital" and "The Police Station" are prominently signed as such. Word of God is that the hospital was supposed to be called "Our Lady Who Never Got The Pickle" but Ricardo Montalban, a devout Catholic, requested the change. The hospital is name dropped as "Our Lady of the Worthless Miracle."
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Robert Goulet's character manages to escape in the second movie, only to be pounced on by a lion.
- Expository Hairstyle Change
- Face Palm: Happens in Naked Gun 33 ⅓ when Frank attempts to get the gun from Rocko while holding on the bomb in the envelope only for them to switch places causing everyone including the audience to facepalm.
- Falling in Love Montage: Parodied.
- Fee Fi Faux Pas: Played with in a deleted scene from the first movie:
Frank: Why you sniveling scum! You're no better than your old man!
Johnny: My old man's dead!
Frank: Oh, sorry, Johnny, I forgot.
Johnny: Yeah, well, maybe this will help refresh your memory a little. (slips Frank a bill)
Frank: Oh yeah, he is dead.
- Feet-First Introduction: In the third movie, when Frank is re-introduced to Tanya, the camera pans up her long legs... and goes past two sets of knees.
- Five-Bad Band (in the third movie):
- Funny Afro: '70s Nordberg had one so big, he couldn't get past the disco's door with it.
- Funny Answering Machine: Frank and Jane's answering machine ends with:
Frank: Which button do I press?
Jane: No, not that one!
- Funny Background Event: The king of this form of humor. For example, in Naked Gun 2½, there's a series of framed pictures in the background of the bar Frank's in, all of which are various disasters (the Hindenburg, the sinking of the Titanic, and....Michael Dukakis).
- Fun with Acronyms: In the second film, the three major energy lobbies (coal, oil, and nuclear) are given incredibly ironic acronyms: Society For More Coal Energy (S.M.O.C.E.), Society of Petroleum Industry Leader (S.P.I.L.), Key Atomic Benefits Office Of Mankind (K.A.B.O.O.M.).
- Going Postal: Parodied in the third movie. While Frank is dealing with a number of threats (itself a parody of The Untouchables), a woman screams "disgruntled postal workers!" and he sees a number of mailmen firing assault rifles.note
- GPS Evidence: parodied several times
- Groin Attack: Repeatedly
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Drebin has apparently killed at least a thousand drug dealers, any number of fleeing suspects, and an entire Shakespeare In The Park production of Julius Caesar. Throw in his reckless incompetence and inability to drive or park, and he's probably as big a menace as any of the villains.
- He's Got a Weapon!: Thanks for that update, Jane.
- Hidden Depths - The Queen of England from part 1 throws a mean curve ball.
- Hidden Wire: In the second film, Frank infiltrates Hapsburg's hideout while wearing one of these. As expected, Frank's not very subtle about saying the codeword into the vest mic to signal the rest of the team to infiltrate the lair.
: What's that smell?! Frank
: Oh, that would be me. I've been swimming in raw sewage. I love it. (Beat
) I love it
. (later...) I LOVE IT!!!
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Drebin
- Hospital Hottie: Tanya goes undercover as one.
- Humiliation Conga: Only in the Naked Gun series can you have the villain fall off a stadium ledge, be hit by a bus, flattened by a steam-roller and ''then'' a marching band playing "Louie Louie" walk over him.
- Also poor Dr. Meinheimer in "Naked Gun 2½." When he and Drebin are tied up in a warehouse, Drebin tries to saw through the ropes binding his hands behind his back by repeatedly scraping them up and down the sharp corner of a shelf. However, the vibrations send all sort of loose objects falling off the shelf and onto Dr. Meinheimer's head. By the end, he's barely conscious when the police come to his rescue.
- Though by all rights, he should be dead. He was hit by a baseball bat, two baseballs, three softballs, and entire rack of billiard balls, four horseshoes, a bowling pin, a bowling ball, an oil can and all its contents, and a small anvil.
- See also the Dramatic Unmask above.
- Also in the second movie, First Lady Barbara Bush.
- Hurricane of Puns
- I Ate WHAT?
- Ignore the Fanservice: Tanya's failed attempts to distract a guard in 33 and 1/3. She ultimately pulls it off with bubble wrap.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Frank to Jane near the end of the first film, when she's hypnotized into trying to kill him.
- Improbable Weapon: When the hit man who came to kill Jane fights with Frank in ''2 1/2", they use a whole series of these, including a hair dryer and a towel thrown in Frank's face (a Call Back to the Vorpal Pillow?), and culminating with a firehose that Drebin accidentally breaks while it's shoved in the hit man's mouth, leading to an off-screen Your Body Asplode. Crosses the Line Twice!
- Not mentioning that before the fight, the mook fits a revolver... with a silencer (not entirely impossible, but tremendously impractical).
- Also, Nordberg's accessorized gun-to-cannon upgrade in the second film. This and the previous example also serve as Improbable Use of a Weapon
- Innocent Innuendo: The first meeting with Frank's future love interest Jane, including one right after she climbs up a ladder. Later innuendo gets a lot less innocent.
Drebin: Say, nice beaver.
Jane: Thanks, I just had it stuffed.
(hands down a literal stuffed and mounted beaver)
- Insane Troll Logic: Drebin and Rocko's argument over who should have the gun and who should have the bomb in part 3. The audience actually does a collective Face Fault.
- Intimate Marks: In film #2, a famous scientist is identified by a birthmark on his buttcheek. When a criminal disguises himself as the scientist, the main character yanks down the man's pants to expose him... only he grabbed the scientist and not the criminal.
- Is This Thing Still On?: In the first movie, Frank's microphone stays on as he goes to the bathroom after a press conference. Hilarity Ensues.
- It Came from the Fridge: In the first film, Frank makes the mistake of sniffing an example of this.
- I Was Young and Needed the Money: The phrase is used by Jane in one of the movies, but that's not what Frank Drebin was looking for.
- Jail Bake
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lt. Frank Drebin. Mostly because he is a very blunt person.
- Juggling Loaded Guns:
- Karma Houdini:
- Tanya Peters never gets punished (at least not onscreen) for being affiliated with Rocko Dillon's terrorist gang, which is particularly odd since in the end she is the last surviving member of the gang. Sure, we know that she switched sides to the good guys by telling Frank where the bomb had been hidden, but that shouldn't absolve her from punishment for having knowingly collaborated with killers.
- Lame Comeback: In the third movie, Jane is so mad with Frank she calls him a "white Anglo male!"
- Jane's subplot is a massive spoof of feminist tropes (and one big Shout-Out to Thelma & Louise, so such insult is only to be expected.
- Last Name Basis: Even Nordberg's wife doesn't seem to know his first name.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Burglary, arson, and sexual assault with a concrete dildo.
- Leitmotif: Tanya from the third movie has a sultry one.
- Lethal Klutz: The third movie shows that Drebin has accidentally killed his fiancee, a fact he remains unaware of.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: "The president of the United States!" No it's not.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Subverted; Frank and Jane are a married couple, but Rocco and co. aren't aware of it.
Tanya: Hey, look at this. She's married. What if her husband comes looking for her?
Frank: He probably will. He must be a great guy.
Jane: He breaks promises.
Frank: Well, look at you traipsing all over the countryside just to spite a big, wonderful guy.
Jane: He left me.
Frank: More like you left him.
Jane: You should talk.
Frank: Well, listen to you.
Jane: Listen to you.
Frank: Listen to you.
Jane: LISTEN TO YOU!
Frank: LISTEN TO YOU!
Rocco: Jeez, you two knock it off! You'd think you were married or something.
- Literal-Minded: Frank, in so, so many ways:
- In the first movie Frank is searching Ludwig's office for clues, opens a drawer and shouts "Bingo!"... Has he found a smoking gun? No, he's found a literal bingo card.
- In the second movie, when the big bad is described as having "a moustache, about six-foot-three", Frank retorts with "awfully big moustache."
- In the third movie, when asked by Frank to "start at the beginning," the scientist in the forensics lab starts to describe the creation of the universe.
- Los Angeles Doubling: The baseball scenes in the first film, which take place at an Angels home game, were actually filmed in Dodger Stadium. (Los Angeles is doubling for Anaheim here.)
- L Is for Dyslexia
- The Man Behind the Man: Papshmear from parts 1 and 3 who was a liaison for a mysterious organization who's only purpose is to spread mayhem around the world. You can hear him utter "Gaddafi" over the phone in the 3rd movie.
- Man Child: Frank and Jane. "Their song" is "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
- May-December Romance: Jane and Frank. Leslie Nielsen was 20 years Priscilla Presley's senior.
- Meaningless Meaningful Words
"The problems of two little people don't amount to a hill of beans, but this is our hill and these are our beans."
- Mistaken for Gay:
- When trying to gain access to the baseball field in part 1, Drebin knocks out one of the umpires so he can steal his outfit. He throws the unconscious umpire on a table and undoes both their pants, when a cleaning guy happens to walk in. He just shrugs it off with "sorry, fellas," and continues his rounds.
- In 2 1/2, Frank is dwelling in a bar with Hocken when they receive a couple of heavily decorated drinks from Jane, who beckons Frank to come closer. Absentmindedly, Frank sits and declares "This is not easy to say. I'm lonely. I'm lost. I need someone to hold," not realizing that he sat in a table next to Jane's, getting a sneer from the butchy guy sitting on the table.
- In 33⅓, Drebin goes to the Sperm Bank he mistakes for a regular doctor's office and describes an injury he sustained in the back yard with his uncle. He thinks he's talking about his arm describing a football injury. They... don't.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: "I haven't had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!"
- Move Along, Nothing to See Here: In front of an exploding fireworks factory.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Sadly, she is (we're talking about Drebin's first girl).
- Mythology Gag: Dozens, the best known of which would be the Automobile Opening.
- The second movie homages the four-foot shootout from the series.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation - Drebin beats up the world's most evil men in the first movie. Also, whoever Papshmear is working for.
- Negative Continuity: Played for laughs, of course. In the second film, Frank crashes through the villain's window and is shown appropriately dirty and battered. But in the very next shot, he stands up and is completely clean.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: At the beginning of the third movie, Frank has a nightmare (which at first is presented as if it's really happening) in which he's at a train station and finds himself trying to stop a Mafia shootout. Things quickly become even more complicated when President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II wander into the crossfire....and then a gang of deranged postal workers show up....
- No, Except Yes: In the third film:
Frank: Cheer up, Ed, this is not goodbye; it's just I won't ever see you again.
- Noodle Incident: In 2½, after surviving an assassination attempt:
Jane: Oh Frank! Who would want to kill you?
Frank: Before tonight? Only the cable company...
Frank: Oh congratulations, I understand that Edna's pregnant again.
Hocken: Yes, and if I catch the guy who did it—
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught and Establishing Character Moment: A very subtle one. Quentin Hapsburg is playing Solitaire at a gala and begins to get fed up with the cards he's being dealt; he gives up and picks up the pile to look for the cards he needs. He doesn't even have the respect for the rules or the patience for a game where he has no opponents and there's nothing at stake.
- Also, Hidden Depths, considering how buffoonish the environment of the movies plays out.
- Not Helping Your Case: In the second movie, all three major energy industries (coal, oil, and nuclear) produce commercials that defend their energy brand. However, all are filled with ironic imagery that, if it weren't played for comedy, wouldn't convince people that their energy policy is the way to go. (for example, the nuclear ad features a mutated, two-tailed dog).
- Add in that the acronyms for the industry organizations for coal, oil, and nuclear are SMOKE, SPIL, and KABOOM
- Not What It Looks Like: In the first film, Frank is swapping clothes with the knocked out umpire. The janitor walks in and assumes something sexual (understandably so, since the umpire's ass is propped up on the table) and says, "Whoops. Sorry, fellas." and backs out.
- Also, the aforementioned "sexual assault with a concrete dildo" incident. See Accidental Pervert.
- Obfuscating Disability: Dr. Meinheimer's double in The Naked Gun 2 1/2.
- Oedipus Complex: Played for laughs as Frank's internal monologue describes Jane as an alluring goddess when he meets her, only to end with noting that she reminds him of his mother.
- Offhand Backhand: While beating up Ayatollah Khomeini.
- Once per Movie: A visit to the lab to view the new Q-worthy gadgets
- Only a Flesh Wound: Nordberg is shot up in the beginning of the movie, but luckily "The bullets missed every major organ". He spends the movie recovering and is just fine in the next movie.
- Most of the damage that he receives is unwittingly caused by himself or Frank.
- Police Brutality: Hilariously averted in part 2 when Ed tries to beat up a goon whom he thought beat up Prof. Meinheimer.
- Police Code for Everything: A deleted scene from the first film (which is seen in most TV airings) involves Frank informing the front desk of the hospital that they've got a 411 in progress. The woman replies, "411? Oh my God, fire!" Frank corrects her: "No no, 1411." She replies, "My God, a poison gas leak!" Frank tries again, "No no, a 1414." The woman screams and jumps out the window.
- The Precarious Ledge: Drebin escapes a burning room from a window onto a ledge filled with anatomically correct male and female statues. Hilarity Ensues.
- Precision F-Strike: Zsa Zsa Gabor's cameo during Smell of Fear's opening credits.
"This happens every fucking time I go shopping."
- Prison Rape: Played for laughs and averted in the third movie.
- Prison Riot: Frank starts one in the third film to divert guards' attention from Rocko's escape plan. For completely silly reasons:
Frank Drebin: Hey! You call this slop? Real slop has got chunks of things in it! This is more like gruel! And this Château le Blanc '68 is supposed to be served slightly chilled! This is room temperature! What do you think we are? Animals?
- Private Eye Monologue
- Punny Name: Papshmear (Pap-Smear).
- Race Lift: Nordberg, who is played by O.J. Simpson in the movies, was white in Police Squad!.
- In the third movie, played for laughs when Tyrone (an ostensibly black prisoner stereotype) points out that prison can change a man, because he used to be white... and played drums for The Osmonds.
- Ransacked Room: Frank wreaks havoc when he sneaks into Ludwig's office.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Done in the third film when Frank is on stage with Raquel Welch. Amusingly, he not only reads the stage directions, but also Raquel's lines as well as his own.
- Red Herring: The Swiss Army Shoe from the 1st film never gets used.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: From the third movie, when Jane catches Tanya kissing Frank:
Jane: How could you!
Tanya: Well, you just shove your tongue as far down his throat as you can.
- Rule of Funny
- Running Gag: Drebin's bad driving.
- After saving the day, Drebin being mistaken for a celebrity. In the first, Enrico Pallazo. In the third, Phil Donahue.
- Sarcasm-Blind: In the third film:
Frank: Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant, Police Squad.
Frank: Mr. De Niro, we've got to get inside!
- Say Your Prayers: In the second movie, a punk points a gun at multiple police officers and says this. Luckily, he's knocked out by Frank opening the door and knocking the punk unconscious in the process. Amusingly, Frank doesn't even realize he thwarted a crime when thanked for it.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Frank Drebin tries to live this trope from time to time, sadly with more realistic consequences than most Big Damn Heroes.
- Seven Minute Lull: in the second movie. "I haven't had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!"
- Sexophone: When we first meet Jane in the first film.
- Sexy Shirt Switch: Played for laughs.
- She's Got Legs: Parodied—Tanya's introduction has the camera scrolling upwards for about 6 solid feet of leg, with two sets of knees.
- The scene revealing the induced hypnosis is almost identical to a similar scene from the Charles Bronson classic Telefon: Same setup, dialog, camera angles, you name it.
- In the second film, there is a parody of the sexual pottery scene from Ghost. Ghost was directed by Jerry Zucker, who co-created Police Squad and co-wrote the first film.
- The Automobile Opening shows the car driving through Death Star and Jurassic Park.
- After experiencing marital problems, Jane goes with a girlfriend on a Thelma & Louise-style road trip in the third movie. The friend is even named "Louise" and dresses just like Susan Sarandon did in that movie.
- The third film begins with a Cold Open that sends up The Untouchables (and, by extension, The Battleship Potemkin) (see Baby Carriage above)
- Also in the third movie, the Dillon gang go to a bunker to test their atomic weapon. After the detonation, the explosion blows their hair straight up, making them look like the main characters from Beavis And Butthead, which Rocko himself further alludes to by muttering: "Huh-huh-huh, huh-huh-huh, cool..."
- "I shoot the bastards. That's *my* policy." is a parody of a similar scene of Dirty Harry about Cowboy Cop antics.
- Frank describing the creation of the universe when he's asked to "start at the begining" is a nod to ZAZ's earlier masterpiece, Airplane, which has a similar scene after Jonny is asked for a summary of what's happened so far.
- Jane's introduction at the top of the staircase is from Farewell My Lovely.
- Sickbed Slaying: A Vorpal Pillow against Norbert is thwarted by Frank, but not without inflicting some damage to the target.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: In the third film, Frank and Jane reconcile while at the therapist's office:
Jane: Oh, honey, it's just that I love you so much.
Frank: My little lover sparrow.
Jane: My puppy wuppy wuvver.
Frank: My little love biscuit.
Jane: My little snookie wookums.
Frank: My little lady cheesy puffy.
Therapist: Mr. and Mrs. Drebin, please, I'm a diabetic. I really think you two ought to go now.
- Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: In the third movie, the bomb that was said to be powerful enough to destroy the Academy Awards only destroys the bad guy's helicopter.
- Slip into Something More Comfortable: Parodied in the first film. After Frank Drebin arrives home late at night, he finds Jane (then working for Ludwig) wearing one of Drebin's shirts. After some suggestive dialog, Frank, who is wearing a collared shirt, slacks, and a tie, says that he will go slip into something more comfortable. He emerges wearing a suit. Then he slips out of it completely by just pulling the collar.
- Statuesque Stunner: Tanya
- Status Quo Is God: played straight in 2½ (Frank's promotion to Captain and proposal to Jane didn't stick) but averted in 33⅓ (not only are they married, but he's left the force).
- Stunt Double: Parodied; suddenly, Leslie Nielsen can do multiple front flips and perform a complicated dance with Priscilla Presley.
- Take That: Constantly.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded or subverted depending on how you want to look at it - In 2½ Frank and Jane are having a heartwarming moment when Ed reminds Frank about the huge bomb that's set to explode any second
- That Came Out Wrong: In the second film, Jane walks out on Frank at the restaurant, and Frank replies with:
Frank: I'm single! I, I love being single! I haven't had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!
[Music and conversation stops; everyone stares]
Frank: I mean, at the time, I was dating a lot.
- Tranquillizer Dart: Frank Drebin's cufflink tranquilizer darts in the first movie. However, they're not quite instant enough, since the bad guy staggers around long enough to fall over a railing to a Cruel and Unusual Death.
- Unconventional Smoothie: Jane's "protein shake" in the second movie.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Goes further than usual with flips and cartwheels while Drebin is searching his house.
- The Unreveal: Rocko thinks that the Academy Awards show is "a pretty big target", but we have no way of knowing until much later.
- Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Tanya's silhouette reveal in her final scene.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Denver jockstrap", anyone?
- Verbal Backspace: See above with Juggling Loaded Guns. Also, in the first movie, done by all the other baseball umpires who were arguing against Drebin's (flagrantly incorrect) call, when he draws his gun.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: In the third film, Frank vomits into a tuba, but it's not shown.
- Western Terrorists: The Dillon gang in the third movie. Granted, they are secretly taking their orders from Arabs, but they're obviously plotting bombings more for the money than for hatred of the United States.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the first movie the Queen seems to be entirely forgotten about after the assassin is foiled. Technically she doesn't need to appear since she's out of danger but it's strange that we don't see her reaction to Frank talking down a hypnotized Jane despite multiple reaction shots from the other people in the stadium.
- To say nothing of the fact that Nordberg was never actually cleared of the crime he was accused of.
- In the third film, Anna Nicole Smith drops out of the film after Drebin discovers she's a man. Thus, making her a Karma Houdini.
- Who Are You?: At the beginning of the first Naked Gun movie after beating up the various Arab leaders, Idi Amin and Mikhail Gorbachev:
"I'm Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Police Squad! And don't ever let me catch you guys in America. (Drebin then falls out the window)
- Whole Plot Reference: Romantic subplot aside, 33⅓ is basically a comedic retelling of White Heat. A police officer infiltrates a prison, befriends a violent criminal who loves his mother, and helps him escape in order to determine the site of his next crime.
- Will Talk For A Price: Parodied. Frank Drebin questions the dock manager during his investigation of the attempted murder on Nordberg. The guy's memory is foggy, so Frank gives him a twenty. When the guy subsequently asks Frank an innocuous question, he gives Frank his twenty back to persuade him to answer, gives him another twenty for another question, and has to borrow an additional twenty from Frank because he's out of money.
- You Are Too Late: Two of the henchmen in the second movie tell this to Frank as he interrogates them.
- Also in the third movie, when the police squad arrives at the Academy Award ceremony while Frank is already on the stage, causing mayhem. When they declare they are there to stop a disaster, one of the people behind the stage assumes they are talking about Frank and states "you're too late".
- Your Cheating Heart: In the second film:
Frank: Congratulations, Ed; I understand that Edna's pregnant again.
Ed: (angrily) Yes, and if I catch the guy who did it...