"The police are just a janitorial service used to clean up your blood after you've been murdered."
— Wynn Duffy, Justified
Get up, get get get down
Nine One One is a joke in your town
— Public Enemy, "911 is a Joke"
Cops here try so hard, to look just like movie stars...
They couldn't catch a cold, baby don't waste your dime
— Tom Waits, "$29:00"
Get the dawgs,
Let's go fuck with old folks!
— Rucka Rucka Ali, "Go Cops"
“The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.”
—G. K. Chesterton, The Blue Cross: A Father Brown Mystery
"I'm not sure I agree 100% on your police work there, Lou."
— Marge, Fargo
"Due to budget cuts, we only have the resources to enforce the last law passed. (looks at Snake randomly shooting passersby from the roof of the Kwik-E-Mart) Yeah, we'd have been all over that in the old days."
— Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons
"Whadda we have here, the long flabby arm of the law? The last case you got to the bottom of was a case of Mallomars!"
—- Ned Flanders, The Simpsons, "Hurricane Neddy"
"All this work is such a pain. It's like people expect the police to solve crimes or something. Nanako, get Daddy another beer."
Stu: Kill me now, and you give yourself away.
Caller: Not with a silencer. It would take these guys the rest of the day to figure out it wasn't one of their own men that did it. You can be shot 41 times for pulling out your wallet.
Passos: [post-shootout] I ain't waiting to see who else shows up.
Max: [narrating] I thought about saying "the cops". But this was no time for bad jokes.
About an hour or so back, I heard a gunshot. Naturally, I ignored it, until someone came and got me.
— Marshal Friedman, Borderlands 2
It's not that I don't believe you, if you can make fire appear out of nowhere I'll take the rest on faith, but I can't file a police report with the story you're giving me and be taken seriously. We can't press charges against a werewolf for starting a magical fire that caused no property damage... the justice system isn't set up to deal with your kind of problems.
— Detective Rogers, in a justified case, Demon Thesis
See, we've got an open door policy here now. We just ask that you keep it closed out of respect for my authority.
— Sheriff, Squidbillies
Reed Bahia: Dad helps people, right?
Mom Bahia: Of course, it's his job. Why do you ask?
Reed: Police always seem so useless in comics 'n' movies.
Mom: It's just because that makes things more interesting for the hero. But in real life, your dad has to do the hero's job.
"You know what really chaps my hide? It's the way you pledged an oath to serve and protect — and then you don't give a rat's ass when something really happens!"
— Reese Wilson, campus police officer, Urban Legend
Cop: (concluding investigation of robbery at Jerry's apartment) Well, Mr. Seinfeld, uh, we'll look into it, and we'll let you know if we, you know, if we find anything.
Jerry: Do you ever find anything?
Cop: (pause) No.
— Seinfeld, "The Robbery"
Odo: You'll get sloppy without me to keep an eye on you.
Quark: l don't think so. You've kept me on my toes for far too long.
Odo: Sure. I've turned you into a better crook.
Quark: Like it or not!
—Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "A Man Alone"
Lois Lane: You aren't going to look for clues, or dust for prints?
Insp. Henderson: Waste of time.
Lois: Waste of — Let me tell you a little story, Henderson.
Lois: It's late at night. A sweet, innocent little old lady, probably someone's grandmother, is preparing for bed. Suddenly, burglars break in, knock her down and steal her life savings from underneath the mattress. Wanna know why?
Lois: Because some cop like you was too lazy to dust for prints on a prior, so the burglars were never caught!
Henderson: Good story.
Lois: Thank you.
Henderson: Now I got one. Wanna hear it?
Henderson: That same "sweet, innocent, little old grandmother" is preparing for bed when she hears burglars breaking into her house. She rushes to the phone and dials 9-11... but by the time help comes, it's too late. Wanna know why?
Henderson: Because all the good cops are out somewhere else, dusting for prints. (stomps off)
— Lois and Clark, "Foundling"
Rawls: You will reduce the felonies by 5% or more, or let no man come back alive. In addition, we will hold this year's murders to 275 or less. No excuse I will accept. I don't care how you do it. Just fuckin' do it.
Corvin: (wearily) We all understand there are certain 'processes' by which you can reduce overall felonies. You can reclassify an agg assault or you can unfound a robbery... but, ah, how do you make a body disappear?
— The Wire
Blake, I've had just about enough of your shit! You've been chasing this guy for what, two years, and what have you found, huh? Nothing! Abso-fucking-lutely nothing!
— Norman Jayden, Heavy Rain
"This is a pattern that will repeat itself many times during the long night. "How are you gettin' out of here?" asks Sgt. Quinn, convinced that Robin is the culprit. It never occurs to him to search the prisoner for the keys. I can't say much for his police work."
— Roger Ebert on Reach the Rock (1998)
"Welcome to Whose Line, where everything is made up and the points don't matter. That's right, the points are just like the police in Columbia."
— Drew Carey, Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Crow: Shouldn't we call the police or something?
Servo: Eh, we didn't last time and things seemed to work out.
"As slow as people are to accept that they're dealing with the supernatural, cops are always the last ones to catch on. They can watch The Blob dissolve through a kindergarten and suggest out loud that they must have drank too much this morning. No matter what, a cop in a science fiction movie uses drugs as the explanation for everything. Did a dead body get up and eat the coroner? 'PCP.' Did a viking frost giant knock down a skyscraper? 'Stack of PCP abusers.' Did Star Man bring a dead deer back to life? 'That's just what gay sex looks like when you see it for the first time.'"
"After six sequels, the Saw plot only makes sense if you assume everyone in the world is a psychotic invalid. And since a lot of them went to see Saw seven times, the assumption is pretty accurate."
— Luke McKinney, Cracked
"Great, it's the 'Cop at the Door' scene. Which is totally never in any of these home invasion movies."
— The Cinema Snob, Mother's Day (2010)
"Chief Sterns makes absolutely no sense. Is he on the take? Is that why he wants to shut down April’s investigation? Is he being threatened by the Foot? Or is he just that much of a dick that he bribes her boss with keeping his son in jail so that she’ll get fired for asking him questions? Which is, you know, her job."
"In the '70s and '80s, when comic books and their readers 'grew up', readers began to question why Gotham's police force were so damn ineffectual in dealing with the master criminals who murder people, and blow up buildings, and shrink things with ray guns on a monthly basis. Some writers, most notably Frank Miller, asserted that the GCPD was a corrupt institution... In the Schumacher-verse, however, it's entirely possible that Commissioner Gordon and his whole staff are shit-thick, incompetent, useless pencil-pushers who couldn't find their dicks with two hands and a map."
"So let me get this straight. After the apocalypse, law and order broke down in New Angeles. So the cops made a deal with the gangs to institute a curfew where they'd behave themselves until nightfall when they'd resume their wanton crime sprees. They'd protect and serve until 9 PM, and if you were caught outside of your house after that, it's your ass! What kind of pussy-whipped cops do we have after the bombs drop? Awfully regimented and honorable of the gang members too, agreeing to come out only at night to rape and pillage. This isn't The Warriors here, not exactly a bleak future like in RoboCop. The cops essentially do nothing all day but jerk off and eat donuts, then go home. You're out past curfew and they say "fuck it! Not our problem!" 9-1-1 is a joke, man!"
"Blue beats up a cop, escapes from custody, and takes Michael by gunpoint. People don’t hear from Michael and they list him as a missing person. The cop interviews his wife and asks “Does he have any mental problems? Any excuse why he would run away?” ASSHOLES, AN ESCAPED CONVICT KIDNAPPED HIM! This was not done in some vacuum here? The cop personally witnessed Blue kidnap Michael at gunpoint! In fact, you have dozens of eyewitnesses because the kidnapping happened in public. What the hell is the matter with you people!?"
"Fred Thompson, shut yer trap! SHUT UP! Let her go look for her baby! She'd probably have found it by now. You haven't gotten shit done!"
Jailbird good guys:
Clark: Desiree frames him for blowing up her car in Heat, 2x02; he beats three goons severely to protect Lana, and the sheriff carts him off, 2x19; In Lionel's body, starts a jailhouse rock and barely makes it out alive, 4x06; arrested by stereotypical chinese soldiers for interrogation for no real reason, 4x15; arrested in a strip club, 5x06; framed for the murder of a suspect while posing as a cop, 8x12; Almost arrested for the murder of Lex, which he had nothing to do with, 8x15
Lex: Accused of nine murders in the undead project Lionel headed up by a snotty detective who hates the FBI, 3x16; Jailed for a murder he didn't commit, got bail quickly, 4x09 (Not shown in show); arrested by stereotypical chinese soldiers for interrogation for no real reason, 4x15; In the season six finale (6x22), Lex is also arrested for murdering Lana Lang with no trail of evidence and/or body; Arrested for the murder of Lana Lang, which he did not commit, 7x01
Lana: 4x15 Aided and abetted in the theft of a Mustang because Seth made her do it. A likely excuse!
"Know why these guys are trying to rescue the owner? Because the CIA and the FBI apparently they suck! LOOK AT THE PLOT! I'M NOT KIDDING!"
"I wish real cops were this passive."
Blake Thorburn: You’re making it sound like your average cop is pretty shitty at their job.
Officer Behaim: Honestly? The average cop is pretty darn good. But average is average. You think about what average usually gets you, and then you figure that half the people out there are below that average. That’s anywhere. Even here. And you can be better than average, while still having a trend that isn’t so good. Like having an awful lot of good cops who are still guys. Guys with families, wives, girlfriends, kids, guys who just want to work and go home at the end of the day.
Officer Vargas: I get what you’re saying. Good guys, but you spend too many years on a job, you’ll start to take shortcuts, move things along…
Officr Behaim: Human nature. You don’t look like the sort that puts an awful lot of stock in the inherent good of human beings.