Series: Alarm für Cobra 11
are the safest superhighways in the world (despite not having a mandatory speed limit), but you'd never know it from watching this show.
German-language Buddy Cop Police Procedural Action Adventure Series
about plainclothes detectives working for the Nordrhein-Westfalen Autobahnpolizei,
a police agency responsible for patrolling the Autobahn
superhighways in North-Rhine Westphalia.
Think about it. A petrol-exploding, collaterally-damaging, bullet-spurting take on the legendary hardcore profession of... writing traffic ticketsnote
A Guilty Pleasure
that combines the dead-serious tone and high production values of the CSI
franchise with car stunts worthy of Michael Bay
or The Dukes of Hazzard
. Nearly every episode has at least two or three frenzied chase sequences and at least one multi-car pileup. It's said that the producer had it added to his contract that he could make at least
one pileup and ensuing explosions in each
During Germany's version of Cash for Clunkers, this show was happy to help you, deliberately paying you for your car so that you could later see it being blown up or crashed spectaculary.
tl;dr version: German CHI Ps
. With Car Fu
This series provides examples of:
- Abridged Series: The comedy show Freitag Nacht News, which was produced by the same network, regularly featured an alternate dub parody.
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene
- Actor Allusion — in the opening Chase Scene of "Operation Gemini," Semir commandeers a tanker truck to go after the escaping bad guys. (This being Cobra 11, it later crashes and explodes.) The truck is lettered for a fictional company, "Atalay GMBH". Semir is played by actor Erdogan Atalay.
- A Day in the Limelight — the show is pretty generous about featuring the supporting cast members
- Air-Vent Passageway — "Das Versprechen" (laundry chute)
- Anyone Can Die:
- Being Semir's partner is a dangerous job! Andre Fux, Tom Kranich, Chris Ritter.
- Ingo Fischer, Semir's predecessor
- Two of Tom Kranich's girlfriends.
- Bash Brothers — Semir Gerkhan and each of his many partners
- Benevolent Boss — Anna Engelhardt
- The Berlin Republic — set in Present Day North Rhine-Westphalia
- Big Damn Heroes — Semir Gerkhan
- Bound and Gagged
- Buddy Cop Show
- Bus Full of Innocents — played straight in "Todesfahrt der Linie 834"; subverted in "Tulpen aus Amsterdam", where the folks on the bus were part of the conspiracy
- Chase Scene — at least Once an Episode, usually two or three times
- Cool Car — Semir's 3-series BMW, Horst & Diether's Porsche 911 patrol car
- Cool Tank — the stolen Leopard 2 main battle tank in "Ein Leopard läuft Amok"
- Cool Special Guestcar. One episode ("Freundschaft") featured the Maybach Exelero
- Corrupt Corporate Executive — "Außer Kontrolle," "Flashback," and many others
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists
- Dead Star Walking — Ingo Fischer
- Demoted to Extra — Andrea after she married Semir, she reappers only occasionally as a guest star.
- Dramatic Shattering — "Black Out"
- Domestic Abuse — "Zivilcourage," "Hasen und Igel;" Laura in "Lauras Entscheidung" arranged her disappearance to escape this
- Double Meaning Title — "Alte Schule" ("Old School"). Semir investigates the murder of one of the teachers from his old high school; because his usual partner (Chris Ritter) is in the hospital, he's paired up with an older officer (Diether Bonrath) who does things the "old school" way.
- Empathy Doll Shot — "Außer Kontrolle"
- Everybody Owns A Ford — Averted, different makes are used. And to take it literally, the main characters' cars are not Fords even though they work for the cops in the city where Ford of Germany is based.
- But BMW sponsored many cars. Aside the 3 series, BMW showcased several brand new cars and bikes in episodes. Examples are the BMW X1 in "Das Ende der Welt", the BMW 5 series in "Lackschäden" and the BMW X5 in "Tote kehren nicht zurück".
- Fair Cop — Andrea Schäfer, Petra Schubert, Susanne König, Susanna von Landitz from "Team 2"
- Flashed Badge Hijack — nearly every week
- Go Among Mad People — Frau Schneider in "Das Versprechen"
- Handy Cuffs
- Heroic Bystander
- Hey, Catch!
- Hoist by His Own Petard — often happens to the villain in the climactic action sequence
- I Have Your Wife — "Heldentage", "Kleine Schwester",...pretty much about half the episodes
- Impressive Pyrotechnics — from all the Stuff Blowing Up, with a particular fondness for exploding tank trucks
- Indy Escape
- Innocent Bystander
- Instant Death Bullet
- It's Personal — Semir, when pursuing Tom Kranich's killer in "Auf Leben und Tod", and when trying to bring Chris Ritter's to justice in "Auf eigene Faust"
- Also, Tom Kranich in "Doppelter Alptraum"; Horst in "Alte Freunde"
- Jurisdiction Friction — "Kleine Schwester", "Unter Feinden", "Kurzes Glück"
- Just Keep Driving: Almost in every episode the main characters overtake several cars while shooting at the bad guys or doing other dangerous stuff. But when the hell breaks loose and everyone crashes, cars that were overtaken before also crash into the pileup. Why didn't they stop when they saw someone shooting? That always results in a crash!
- The Killer Becomes the Killed — the jewel thief in "Am Abgrund", for instance
- The Lab Rat — Hartmut
- Lampshade Hanging — In nearly every episode, at least one Dienstwagen (official vehicle)—usually Semir's 3-series BMW or his partner's E-Class Mercedes—is demolished. (See this fan-edited video, which is nothing but three and a half minutes of Semir wrecking one BMW after another.) In later seasons, the show has begun lampshading this.
- In the episode "Im Aus," the new Chefin (precinct captain), on her first meeting with Semir, berates him for wrecking so many Dienstwagen.
- In an Affectionate Parody of CSI and other criminal shows, made by the same program, Semir and his partner are seen at a fast food stand with Semir announcing "Hey, this is the first time we didn't wreck our car!". Cue the movies Chase Scene to happen right there and subsequently, crashing into their car.
- See this promo, in which Semir calls the Chefin to request a new Dienstwagen and Hilarity Ensues.
- Land Mine Goes Click — "Unter Feuer"
- Law of Conservation of Detail — if there's a car pulling a trailer and a tanker truck with hazmat placards in an Establishing Shot of the Autobahn,
- there will be a crash,
- a vehicle will crash through the trailer, and
- the tanker truck will explode
- Let's Get Dangerous — Diether Bonrath in "Zivilcourage"
- Licensed Games: Under the name "Crash Time"
- Linked List Clue Methodology
- Make It Look Like an Accident — a common tactic of the bad guys
- Malevolent Masked Men
- Man on Fire
- Meaningful Background Event — in any in-the-car scene where the camera is looking at Semir and his partner through the windshield, watch the traffic in the rear window. You'll often see a plot development coming up behind them.
- Mexican Standoff — in "Schmölders Traum", occurred between three cars running doorhandle-to-doorhandle at freeway speed. Watch here.
- A Million Is a Statistic — with all those colossal multi-car pileups and vehicles thrown hundreds of feet in the air, there have to be fatalities
- Mistaken for Cheating — "Unter Verdacht," in which Semir is framed for murder and made to look unfaithful in one fell swoop
- The Mole — "Todfeinde"
- Monumental Battle — Urban action sequences often have the Cologne Cathedral or Rhine river bridges in the background. In "Kein Weg zurück", there is a chase sequence involving the Dortmund "H-Bahn" monorail◊. Watch here.
- Mr. Fanservice — Ben Jäger
- Murder.com — "Begraben"
- Necro Non Sequitur
- No OSHA Compliance — when a factory is abandoned, no one ever bothers to drain the propane tanks or remove the hazmat inventory
- Once an Episode — the big Chase Scene, with cars crashing and flying through the air and Impressive Pyrotechnics from all the Stuff Blowing Up
- Opening Narration
- Outrun the Fireball
- Perp Sweating — "Rabenmutter" has a particularly good example
- Runaway Train — using buses and trucks
- Save the Villain — "Der neue Partner", among several examples
- Screaming Woman
- Shout-Out — "Rhein in Flammen" featured what might be called a "Miami Vice tribute montage," complete with the Miami Vice theme music
- Skeleton Key Card — Autobahnpolizei ID cards seem to be quite useful for this
- Slow Motion Pass By — "Todfeinde", and many others
- Suicide by Cop — occurs in "Geliebter Feind"; averted at the last possible moment in "Kein Weg zurück"
- Super Window Jump — using cars!
- Telecom Tree
- The Thin Formerly Green Line — The two protagonists work for the Autobahn-division of the Northrhine-Westphalia State Police.
- Time Bomb — often with a convenient digital readout
- Traintop Battle — done with trucks and buses
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia — "Flashback"
- Treasure Map — "Die schwarze Madonna", a charming mash-up of Indiana Jones and The Maltese Falcon on the Autobahn with ninjas and Stuff Blowing Up!
- Unknown Assailant — so many episodes begin with the Unknown Assailant (often a pair of Malevolent Masked Men) chasing the Pursued Protagonist down the Autobahn that this could almost be its own trope
- Up to Eleven — the first big action sequence in "Auf eigne Faust." A police convoy carrying a key witness to the courthouse is shot up by associates of the organized crime boss on trial—using attack helicopters.
- Urban Legends
- Vapor Trail — "Highway Maniac", "Todesfahrt der Linie 834", "Tödliche Bewährung", and many more
- Western Terrorists — several examples, most notably "Stadt in Angst"
- When All You Have Is a Hammer — the resolution to most episodes seems to require a high-speed chase down the nearest Autobahn
- With My Hands Tied — in "Hals- und Beinbruch", Semir nearly defeats a bad guy in hand-to-hand combat despite having one leg in a cast
- Word Salad Title — Averted. It may look like one without the umlaut, but it merely translates as "Emergency for Cobra 11".
- Wrongful Accusation Insurance — "Am Abgrund", "Unter Verdacht", and many, many more.
- You Just Told Me