[[caption-width-right:300:They killed his wife ten years ago... ''there's still time to save her''.]]

->''"Turn back the clock, and you're history."''
-->-- Tagline

''Timecop'' is a 1994 movie starring Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme as Max Walker, a (wait for it) [[TimePolice Timecop]] who has to go back in time to prevent other people from going back in time and messing up history. Creator/MiaSara was cast as his wife Melissa, [[TheLostLenore who dies in the opening act]], resulting in Walker's zealotry in his job:

->"''If I cannot go back to save her... this scumbag is not going back to steal money!''"

At no point in the movie are there any legitimate reasons for time travel, implying that the only reason for time travel is [[TerminatorTwosome to prevent other people from using time travel]]. This is actually a plot point. ButterflyOfDoom means that attempting to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong would have disastrous side effects, so about the least dangerous thing you can do with it is either [[ThisIsMyBoomstick go back and steal things with advanced technology]] or [[CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit make investments in the past that you can cash in on in the present.]] And even this is risking some bizarre accident that could kill billions. So aside from the highly risky (and unprofitable) archaeological possibilities, the technology has no productive use, resulting in the titular Cops. One politician even suggests that they simply re-invest the program's funding into tougher regulations on the technology -- but he's really only interested in stopping Walker's interference in his own time travel shenanigans.

It had a short-lived [[RecycledTheSeries spin off show]], ''[[Series/{{Timecop}} Timecop: The Series]]'', which featured a brand new cast and lasted for one season of nine episodes. There was also a direct-to-DVD sequel ''Film/Timecop2TheBerlinDecision'' (2003), taking place 20 years following the original.

!!''Timecop'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AmnesiacLover
* AnachronismStew: Played for full effect in the opening scene where five Confederate cavalrymen guarding a gold wagon [[spoiler:are massacred by a single man, when he suddenly produces two laser-sighted M91S submachine guns from under his coat.]]
* ArtisticLicenseBiology + ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics: Apparently you can carbon-date gold bars.
** Even if you could, carbon dating isn't as precise as it's depicted in the movie. And even if it was, if the gold was brought through time it wouldn't have measurably aged.
*** Both could theoretically be explained (at least somewhat better) by the simple idea that they didn't bring it back with them, just hid it somewhere and then dug it up in the present. Probably much cheaper re: energy expenditure, and also might leave other trace on or around the gold that could be dated.
** A more valid method of asserting the authenticity of the gold would have been to examine whether the impurities in the metal and the casting marks match the time and place.
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: The TEC has its own in-house courtroom with an always-on-call judge, but no attorneys arguing for the defense or even the ''prosecution'', let alone a jury. And they [[JudgeJuryAndExecutioner conduct their own executions]] by sending convicts into the past at great heights. It's inferred that they [[AllCrimesAreEqual execute every suspect they catch]] within minutes of their return, as they don't have holding cells on-site. They probably only haul suspects back to headquarters as a manner of paperwork. One could HandWave this as a top-secret agency working above the GodzillaThreshold to police time, but their inability to offer leniency means that they can't really investigate crimes occurring in the past, just execute everyone they can prove isn't indigenous to the timeline.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology + ArtisticLicensePhysics: another egregious scientific error has to do with the claim that "the same matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time". Technically, of course, this is true, they physically ''can't''. If you touch yourself in the past, like if you touch any object, the atoms in your body and your other body will actually occupy the space next to each other. And also there's Pauli's exclusion principle which states that two identical fermions (what matter is made up of) cannot occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. But in the film, what this apparently means is "if you touch yourself in the past, your body will melt into a revolting mass". But this can't happen in reality, since the same matter is always going to occupy a different space anyway. And, of course, the body replaces much of the matter that it contains, such that two versions of someone from ten years apart will not have much of the same matter in their body anyway.
* AutomatedAutomobiles: Voice-activated. In 2004! See {{Zeerust}} below.
* BeardOfEvil: [=McComb=] has got one.
* BeardOfSorrow: While '94 Max is clean-shaven, the Max of 2004 who's lost Melissa has notable PermaStubble and generally unkempt hair.
* CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit: temporal criminals try to buy Wall Street stock on the day of the crash, and Hollywood land when it's worth only a few cents.
* CorruptPolitician: [=McComb=].
* DartboardOfHate: Senator [=McComb=]'s picture is stuck to a dartboard and is quickly turned around when he drops by for a visit.
* DrivenToSuicide: Max's ex-partner, Lyle, tries to jump out of a window on the reasoning that if he dies, [=McComb=] won't [[RetGone erase him from history]].
--> '''Lyle''': He'll send back someone to kill my grandparents. It'll be like I ''never existed!'' My entire family! My parents, my wife, my kids! Hell, even my fucking ''cat!''
** It's also one of the few cases in which the subject knows that the Mob Boss will keep his word - If he'd testified, then erasing him would solve the entire problem at a loss, but if he kills himself or lets himself be executed by the TEC without naming a superior, the boss will let his history remain intact so as to not erase his contributions to the organization.
* EightiesHair: Hilariously enough, it's the 2004 Max Walker the one who wears a mullet.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: Fielding pulls one out before she jumps for the first time.
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: The Time Enforcement Commission (TEC), where Max Walker works.
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: After Fielding is betrayed by [=McComb=], she agrees to testify his crimes to Walker, only to be immediately murdered in her hospital bed.
* HerrDoktor: The inventor of the time machine is a "Doctor Hans Kleindast", a "Nobel Laureate who helped us during the space program."
* HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct: The MrExposition in the Senate hearing explicitly said it would be a bad idea to go back and kill Hitler, much as he'd personally like to.
* IHatePastMe: [=McComb=] really doesn't like his past self.
* InSpiteOfANail: Future Walker stops the purse snatcher from doing so like he did in the original timeline. He also warned Melissa about what will happen, and neither has any profound affect on Present Walker's meeting with Melissa.
* JobTitle
* KarmicDeath:
** The criminal buying Wall Street stock makes a joke about a stockbroker who threw himself out the window just before he arrived. After being caught and sentenced to death, he's sent back in time to Wall Street -- in mid-air, several hundred feet up.
** [[spoiler: [=McComb=] insults Walker with a snide comment about the agent's "fancy kicking". Walker kills him in the climax by kicking 1994 [=McComb=] into his older self.]]
* KissMeImVirtual: The tech guy at the time agency is caught by his boss just as he's using the resident VR machine for a porn scenario.
* MadeOfExplodium: One small brick of C4 should not make his entire large house explode in such a huge fire ball.
* TheMobBossIsScarier: Early in the film, Walker's ex-partner who has started working for [=McComb=] refuses to testify against [=McComb=]. After all, the worst the police can do is execute him. [=McComb=] can make him and his whole family RetGone... along with all the money he earned for [=McComb=]. SuicideByCop is thus a very rational alternative.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: The rule is that "two instances of the same matter cannot occupy the same space". So if lets say two different time-displaced counterparts of the same person (such as a Past Self and Future Self) ''do'' meet (or more specifically, touch), they end up canceling each other out. By that we mean [[spoiler:they fuse into a giant gushing fluid mass of body parts that dissolves out of existence in a matter of seconds]]. It's a blatant violation of the laws of conservation of mass and energy, but hey, [[TimeCrash it could be worse]].
* NonViolentInitialConfrontation: The first time Walker and [[BigBad Senator McComb]] meet, Walker's boss is showing the later the TEC's installations, so naturally there is no physical confrontation. There is a SnarkToSnarkCombat, though.
* NoOshaCompliance: A large number of clearly marked flammable barrels are ignited, yet no audible smoke or fire alarms go off. When emergency services arrives, it's the police with guns drawn, not the fire department.
* NotSoDifferent: [=McComb=] attempts to invoke this on Walker in the climax, [[ShutUpHannibal but Walker points out that unlike [=McComb=]]], he was trying to set the timeline right.
* PreMortemOneLiner: Doubles as an IronicEcho.
-->'''Max Walker''': I'm still kicking. I must be on Broadway!
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Matusak is the polar opposite of DaChief.
* RetGone: How do you make sure your mooks aren't tempted to testify against you? By threatening to go back and murder their grandparents, thus erasing a few generations of their family.
* RippleEffectIndicator: In a fight in 1994, Walker kicks the 1994 version of [=MComb=] across the face, opening up a huge cut. Instantly, a scar materializes on the face of the 2004 [=MComb=] who's standing nearby.
* RippleEffectProofMemory: It's implied that this is a constant phenomenon; The TEC has the technology to detect "ripples" well before they impact the present, but unless an agent is sent to investigate, they'll never know precisely what changed - though their intelligence branches will often offer theories such as the Iranians trying to assassinate a President, someone trying to buy up pre-development Beverly Hills, etc. Likewise, agents returning from the past are expected to need to be reminded about current events. When Walker returns after [[spoiler:failing to prevent [=McComb=] from killing one of his business partners]], Matuzak isn't at all bothered when he tells Walker that [=McComb=] has come to power [[spoiler:and has no idea who Walker is talking about when he asks about Fielding, his turncoat partner]]. On the other hand, after Walker returns from [[spoiler:killing [=McComb=]]], Matuzak is rather baffled that his star agent is asking about a public figure who's been missing for a ''decade.''
-->'''Walker''': I've got a blank spot.\\
'''Matuzak''': You've got a ''hole'' in your head!
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Explicitly stated by Walker during his final confrontation with [=McComb=].
* SickbedSlaying: [[spoiler:The protagonist's partner]] is recruited by the bad guys as TheMole, but becomes a loose end after they alter history to secure their rise to power. When the hero goes back in time where he left her in a hospital, he finds that she's already been murdered by an assassin and it ends up looking like he did it.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The 2012 sci-fi film ''Film/{{Looper}}'' is basically a PerspectiveFlip of this film; instead of cops policing time, it's about organized crime using time travel to make money.
* TemporalParadox: Averted, changing the past makes a new present, but doesn't change you, thus if you went back and time and killed your father, you'd come back to find that you never existed, but you'd be fine. You can still receive new scars from injuries suffered by your younger self, though, as [=McComb=] learned when his younger self suffered a nasty cut on his cheek.
* TerminatorTwosome: The Timecop's main job is to form half of one.
* TimeIsDangerous: The Timecop's method of time travel requires extremely high speed when they pass through the time travel field. There was one failure that just left two red spots on a heavy steel wall, which could have simply been averted by building a runway twice longer with runway brakes on the second half.
* TimeMachine: Timecop Type, a [[TechnicolorScience giant sled]] shoots you back into the past, but you arrive with out said machine, you have a remote control that will get you back to the sled.
* TimePolice: Well, ''duh''.
* TimeTravel: ...Well, duh.
* TimeyWimeyBall: You can't travel into the future because it hasn't happened yet, but you can return to the present from the past.
* UnscientificScience: The premise that you daren't come into contact with your past self because "the same matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time" is absurd. ''All the atoms'' in our bodies are replaced on a regular basis. In other words, not one single atom present in your body today was there five years ago. So what's causing the violation then?
** Also, if you ''tried'' touching yourself from five ''minutes'' ago, you'd have a hard time making any one ''atom'' touch itself as atoms are [[CaptainObvious on the small side]]. There are ''millions'' in the width of a ''hair,'' their size is measured in ''fractions of nanometers.'' If you touched fingertips, the same atom wouldn't likely end up touching itself; being a ''literal'' hair off would put any atom and its past self pretty far apart. This means the ''same'' matter still isn't touching itself. And if you were pushed into yourself from behind, forget it - that's the atoms from the front of your shirt touching the atoms from the back of your shirt. The same specific atoms' counterparts are ''feet'' away, which may as well be light-years. ''Also'' also, if you ''could'' make the same atom touch itself, they are still not "occupying the same space," just, well, touching.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Apparently, the reason why Atwood was trying to take advantage of the Stock Market Crash was because [=McComb=] threatened to kill his ancestors if he didn't or failed to do so.
* {{Zeerust}}: Remember back in 2004, when we all had those self-driving, voice-activated cars that looked like spaceships? Good times, good times. We also evidently had some sort of cartridge music player instead of tapes or [=CDs=]. Widescreen [=TVs=] a few years early, too! Mullets came back into style, too.