''Like Marriage. Only with bullets.''
'''''Common Law''''' is an American series following two Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives, Travis Marks and Wes Mitchell, who can't stand each other. The constant bickering between the two partners prompts their commanding officer, Captain Phil Sutton, to send them to a couple's therapist, Dr. Emma Ryan, in hopes of resolving the situation.
[[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] UsefulNotes/TheCommonLaw.
!!''Common Law'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* AllWorkVsAllPlay: Wes is all work, Travis is all play.
* AmicableExes: Wes and Alex
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Wes aggressively telling off the "Iceman" when he insults Travis.
* BigEater: Travis, as displayed in episode "Odd Couple", who consumed just about everything Wes cooked.
* ByTheBookCop: Wes
* TheCasanova: Travis, who has dated almost every woman in the precinct.
* TheCobblersChildrenHaveNoShoes: When the guys have to see a different couple's therapist, they are less than thrilled to discover that the guy is going through a bitter, nasty divorce.
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Wes makes a habit of complaining about things (especially Travis' carefree lifestyle), but he's always presented as the one who's wrong.
* CowboyCop: Travis
* DeadpanSnarker: Wes
* DirtyCop: [[spoiler:The elite SIS unit]] are all dirty cops who steal evidence, commit robberies and have no qualms about killing another cop.
* EnhanceButton: Averted. When they can't quite make out the face of a suspect in a photograph, they get a police artist to draw a composite sketch based on the features they can see.
* EroticDream: Wes and then Travis for Dr. Ryan.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Travis
-->[[spoiler:Gay Neo-Nazi]]:''' You're black, but you have the most amazing green eyes. So, I don't really know what I'm feeling.
* FootDraggingDivorcee: Wes. He refers to Alex as his wife, though they've been divorced for over a year. He moved into the hotel where they've spent anniversaries, he still owns half of the house, etc. It's come up in therapy a few times.
* FreudianExcuse: Travis and his foster care.
* GameOfChicken: At the end of "Odd Couples", Wes and a criminal drive directly towards each other; she breaks first and swerves away, crashing her car.
* HairTriggerTemper: Captain Sutton had some serious anger issues before he went to therapy.
* HomoeroticSubtext: One of the cornerstones of the series.
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: Only Wes is allowed to trash Travis. ''Not you.''
* LandmineGoesClick: Wes steps on one in "The T Word". Travis hastily [[WeightAndSwitch weights it down with some buckets of water]] and they get mostly out of range before the explosion hits.
* MistakenForGay: In the "Odd Couple" episode, a Hotel employee mistook Wes and Travis to be a gay couple, when Wes goes to explain that they are "not gay", Travis cuts him off by flicking his ear. They decided to use the "gay couple" situation as a cover for spying on their target.
* NeatFreak: Wes, even in surroundings that he has no ownership of. While Travis is only this when it comes to his own home.
** Det. David "Pacman" Paek introduced Travis and Wes to each other and as a result they solved a major case and got promoted to Robbery Homicide Division. Grateful, they help him solve some cases and get noticed by the higher ups in the department. As a result he gets offered a position in an elite undercover unit. A few months later Pacman [[spoiler:is murdered by his new DirtyCop partners]].
** Wes pulled his gun on Travis [[spoiler:to stop him from killing a DirtyCop who murdered their friend]]. It almost ends Wes's career and allowed a DirtyCop get away with murder. On top of that Travis never thanked Wes or even acknowledged what really happened.
* NoodleIncident: The reason Captain Sutton sent Travis and Wes to couples' therapy is because Wes pulled his gun on Travis. The circumstances or reasons behind that event are not revealed until the twelfth episode "Gun!"
* OddCouple: Wes and Travis. And amusingly enough, episode nine is titled as such.
* PercussiveMaintenance: In a flashback we see a [[HairTriggerTemper pre-therapy]] Captain Sutton taking his anger out on a malfunctioning photocopier by taking off his shoe and banging with it on the broken machine.
* PoliceProcedural: Obviously.
* PunishmentDetail: When they [[spoiler:violate the terms of their prior inquiry]], Wes and Travis are offered two choices: Go back to their original and less prestigious departments; or remain a team and end up working pawn shops detail.
* RedOniBlueOni: Wes and Travis.
* ReluctantGift: Wes is usually quite reluctant to lend anything to Travis, since he doesn't trust him to take good care of it (not even a stapler -- Travis already lost five). The short tug-o-war happens once with a pen.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Kendall, for Ellen. Justified by Kendall stating that Ellen transferred out, due to her breakup with Travis in the pilot.
* SwappedRoles: Wes and Travis are assigned to do this by their therapist; by the end of the episode they've turned it into a competition.
* TherapyIsForTheWeak: Averted towards the end of the first season when they admit therapy has helped them and [[spoiler:even return to sessions despite no longer being forced to do so]].
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted. The two main characters are in therapy. But they don't benefit too much because TherapyIsForTheWeak.
* TheyFightCrime: One's a street-wise loudmouth with a lengthy list of disgruntled ex-girlfriends. One's a logical former lawyer who's still in love with his ex-wife. Together, they fight crime.
* ThroughHisStomach: Apparently Travis can be instantly wooed if fed occasionally.
* [[WhatTheHellHero What The Hell, Therapy Group?]]: When Wes told the therapy group that he didn't sleep with a woman that he was dating because he found out that she was engaged, they all act like Wes was being an idiot.
* WomanScorned: Jonelle the coroner is holding a grudge against Travis because he didn't call her after sex; in the pilot she and Wes bond over imagining ways to murder Travis.