Always Gets His Man

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No perp can escape the Law.

[slams jail cell door on fugitive] "That's the last time he'll fish over the limit."
Fraser, Due South

This is a cop's cop. He is incorruptible, competent, and feared by evildoers. If he is not Da Chief it is likely because either he is too young, or his path is blocked by Obstructive Bureaucrats who fear him for obvious reasons.

He is often a By-the-Book Cop, though some versions have a bit of Cowboy Cop in them. May be a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist. If he is an Inspector Javert, he will be portrayed sympathetically as a Worthy Opponent and he is only on the opposite side by an unfortunate error in the system or else because the protagonist is a Villain Protagonist. Often, because Elites Are More Glamorous, this kind of Cop belongs to a famous law enforcement organization: effectively the constabulary equivalent of a Badass Army.

Very often, he's a Determinator who is Lawful Good— with a strong accent on lawful. Generally a fair cop, though if the protagonist is operating outside the law, he'll pursue him as relentlessly as anyone else. You very much do not want to do something to make him follow you. This type is more common in the Cop Show than the Police Procedural, as the former presents an idealized and actionized version of police work, while the latter more often depicts flawed heroes because of its focus on the system as a whole.

Not to be confused with Super Cop, which is a cop with superpowers (though the tropes can obviously overlap).

The Trope Namer is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one of those "constabulary Badass Army" type organizations, thanks to the famous motto: "The Mountie always gets his man!". (It's not really their motto—that's "Maintain The Right"—but it's gotten established in pop culture that way.)


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Molson (IIRC) Lager commercials: "Malcolm the Mountie Always Gets his Can".

    Anime and Manga 
  • Inspector Zenigata from Lupin III thinks of himself this way (To be fair, he's successfully caught everyone he's gone after who isn't part of Lupin's gang. He's even caught them a couple times - getting them to stay caught, however...).
  • Inspector Lunge from Monster loses his family and eventually takes an unpaid vacation of several months to try and catch Tenma. He's so determined that, while dying of blood loss he handcuffs himself to Tenma to try and stop him from escaping.

    Comic Books 
  • Colonel Samuel Benfield Steele, in Don Rosa's Hearts of Yukon. The trope title is even played with:
    "We always get our duck"! note 
  • Green Lantern: "No man escapes the Manhunters!"''
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd is a satire of this archetype. He's a stellar and incorruptible cop who always gets his man by resorting to violence and brutality, but he's still a By-the-Book Cop because he lives in a dystopian Police State where such behavior is institutionalized.

    Film 
  • From Clue:
    Wadsworth: Like the mounties, we always get our man!
    Green: Mrs. Peacock was a man?! (Mustard and Wadsworth slap him)
  • Horse Feathers' Professor Wagstaff (Groucho Marx) is no lawman, but at one point he invokes the trope in song anyway:
    My son is right, I'm quick to fight, I'm from a fighting clan
    When I'm abused or badly used, I always get my man
    No matter if he's in Peru, Paducah, or Japan
    I go ahead, alive or dead, I always get my man
  • The Dick Tracy movie. Breathless Mahoney also has a song called "I Always Get My Man" but it's about... something else.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kojak of...Kojak is an idealized cop: feared in the underworld, and zealous in weeding out corruption. The only reason he hasn't been promoted to Chief is because of insubordination (and a desk jockey isn't as exciting to watch). In the TV movies, he is rewarded with his own Major Case squad.
    "What's the point? Where would you go? If the subway ran to Outer Mongolia I'd still come after you."
  • Odo of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a mix of By-the-Book Cop (when it's his own rules) and Cowboy Cop (when it's other people's rules). He was modeled after the sheriff archetype in Westerns.
  • Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager, as the ship's security officer, occasionally conducts or assists in investigations those times that someone commits a crime aboard ship or one of his crewmates gets falsely accused of a crime by aliens.
  • Babylon 5: Security Chief Michael Garibaldi, formerly of Mars. His past isn't that important, and he prefers not to talk about it, anyway. The Mars colony is considered to be the most dangerous place in the Earth Alliance—doubtless his instincts as a detective were honed on Mars before he was reassigned to B5. (He swore never to return to that planet after getting shot at a few times.)
  • Fraser in Due South, although he protests whenever someone claims that the Mounties' slogan is "We Always Get Our Man."
    • In the pilot Fraser's father evens says "You shoot a Mountie, they'll hunt you to the ends of the Earth".
  • In Bones, Booth mentions this trope when Brennan comments that he could never catch her if she were to commit a murder:
    Booth: That's right. See? Because I always get my man.
  • Sterling on Leverage is a rare morally ambiguous version of this role that is only out for himself. While he is against the heroic thief main characters they are clearly doing it to help people, whereas he works for an insurance company. He is made somewhat more heroic when he joins Interpol but he still serves himself over others. The conflict between him and Nate comes down to To Be Lawful or Good with Sterling choosing lawful with Nate choosing good.
  • Such characters are a staple of the Fargo universe; Hank and Lou in season 2 and Lou's daughter Molly in season 1, in addition to Marge Gunderson from the movie. All of them serve against a backdrop of Police Are Useless.

    Literature 
  • The Rhodian Navy collectively in Over the Wine-Dark Sea. They keep the peace in the Aegean and they are feared by pirates.
  • Solomon Kane, who once pursued a bandit from France into the middle of Darkest Africa.
  • Zinc Chandler, a Mountie from Michael Slade's RCMP novels, recited the Mounties' "Get Your Man" slogan repeatedly in his head when he shook off the effects of being rendered nearly unconscious. Nearly all of Slade's Mountie heroes fit this trope, singly or collectively.
  • In the Commonwealth Saga, Paula Myo fits this trope to a T. Genetically engineered to be an incorruptible super-cop, she has been working for the Serious Crimes Directorate for centuries, and in all that time has only failed to solve one case. Which she is still pursuing, after a century and a half. When circumstances force her to decide between arresting the Well-Intentioned Extremist perpetrator and saving the human race from extinction, she suffers a near-fatal nervous breakdown.
  • Harry Bosch, the hero of many a Michael Connelly mystery novel, is this with Cowboy Cop mixed in.
  • Corellian Jedi are characterized as utterly devoted and incorruptible lawmen who are feared by evildoers in the Corellian sector. The Corellian Security Force (CorSec) has this reputation as well, and Jedi Master Corran Horn is both a Corellian Jedi and an ex-cop.
  • Beka Cooper, the protagonist of the Provost's Dog trilogy by Tamora Pierce. She relentlessly pursues criminals who seem invisible or impossible to nab because of their position. She's a little By-the-Book Cop and a little Cowboy Cop (as most Dogs are, since it's a proto-police force), but on one occassion she actually arrested her partner for taking a bribe to ignore murder.
  • Michael Slade was inspired by the Trope Namer to write about the Mounties. This became the Special X division which is central to his novels.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jacques Rougeau, during his portrayal of The Mountie in World Wrestling Federation during 1991-1992, always boasted "I always get my man!" His entrance theme, "I'm the Mountie!" a heel-type marching tune performed by Rougeau spelled this out perfectly.
    "I'm The Mountie... I'm handsome, I'm brave, I'm strong.
    I'm The Mountie... and I enforce the law.
    You can try to run but you can never hide.
    I'm the Mountie... I always get my man."

    Tabletop Games 
  • In GURPS' Traveller Sword Worlds'' the Confederation Patrol provides a lot of these kinds of Space Police for the Sword Worlds Confederation.

    Western Animation 
  • Joe Swanson in Family Guy has always gotten his man. Always. One episode actually centered around him losing his first criminal ever, but of course he catches him by the end of the episode.
  • In an episode of Evil Con Carne, when Hector is told that he is being targeted by the Mounted Police, he shouts "The Mounties!? They always get their man!".
  • Heckle and Jeckle are mounties in the cartoon "Sno' Fun." They go after their man Powerful Pierre in what appears to be Terrytoons' carbon copy of Tex Avery's Northwest Hounded Police.

    Real Life 
  • Though they may or may not qualify under the trope, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, one of those "constabulary Badass Army" type organizations that have a lot of these kind both in fiction and presumably in Real Life, are the Trope Namers here, thanks to the famous motto: "The Mountie always gets his man!". (It's not really their motto—that's "Maintain The Right"—but it's gotten established in pop culture that way.)
    • Even referenced in Peabody's Improbable History segment of Rocky and Bullwinkle when Peabody and Sherman went back in time to Canada to meet a Mountie who always gets his man. He couldn't arrest a wanted Native American because she's a woman which turns out to be a man in disguise at the end.
  • Robert Carrey, an Elizabethan adventurer who served as Warden of the Northern Marches and patrolled the Anglo-Scottish border keeping evildoers at bay. A decent and honest man and too seldom remembered.
    • As Sir Robert Carey note , he is fictionalised in the novels of P.F. Chisholm, who dramatises the man, the place, and the period.
  • Eliot Ness: He and his men were not called "the Untouchables" for nothing. He was an US Treasury agent who kept organized crime at bay in Chicago in the days of Al Capone.
  • Combining this with Vigilante Man and Best Served Cold: In a town in Arizona a highwayman lies buried at the graveyard. Marked on his tombstone is "Wells Fargo Never Forgets". Yes, that Wells Fargo. Yeah, if you thought messing with the bank was bad today...
  • Theodore Roosevelt apparently acted like this back in his days as a New York Police Chief. He'd go patrolling in the streets and if he saw a cop acting corrupt (taking bribes, hassling people for no good reason), he slapped them and then fired them on the spot.

Alternative Title(s): Always Gets Her Man

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