[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/magnum_pi.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:210:[-[[ChickMagnet Women just love]] the [[BadassMoustache moustache]].-] ]]

Created by DonaldPBellisario and Glen A. Larson and airing on CBS from 1980 to 1988, ''Magnum, P.I.'' seemed at first glance to be yet another ActionSeries show, using the old ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' production facilities in Hawaii, with a handsome lead actor talented in comedic schtick and the usual buddies helping him solve his case-of-the-week. But it soon revealed its more dramatic plot threads by alternating the comically-toned episodes with those concentrating on TheVietnamWar background of Thomas Magnum and his friends. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7vW1oEKP1k The concluding scene]] in the season three two-part premiere "Did You See the Sunrise?" was the key moment that illustrated Magnum's darker side. It remained the most unexpected and controversial scene of the series' entire run.

These deeper character-developing episodes became fan favorites, and helped to spur the series to a five-year stay in the top-20 rated shows on television between 1981 and 1985. Also, both TomSelleck (Magnum) and John Hillerman (Higgins) won multiple awards for their work.

Magnum was assisted ably by his friends T.C. and Rick, and alternately helped and hindered by Higgins, the manager of Robin Masters' estate where Magnum lived. Masters was only occasionally heard as TheVoice of Orson Welles via telephone.

DonaldPBellisario (who unlike Larson had a lot to do with the series after the pilot) became known for his darker, almost fantastical overtones (see ''Series/QuantumLeap''), and they were introduced slowly into ''Magnum, P.I.'''s storylines by way of prophetic dreams, psychic connections, and ghosts.

A [[TheFilmOfTheSeries feature film adaptation]] is planned in the future. George Clooney, Matthew [=McConaughey=], and even [[OlderThanTheyLook Selleck himself]] have been floated as possible big-screen Magnums.

----
!! ''Magnum, P.I.'' contains examples of:

* EightiesHair: Well, look at the production dates, but pretty much ''every'' female has big, ''BIG'' hair. Not to mention Magnum's perm.
* AbnormalAmmo: Magnum uses ''lemons'' in "The Love-For-Sale Boat". ItMakesSenseInContext.
* AccidentalAimingSkills: Garwood Huddle manages to shoot the baseball bat [[spoiler: Walt Brewster is brandishing]] into pieces. Turns out Garwood had been aiming for his chest.
** Susan in "A Girl Named Sue" ends up shooting a [[PrettyLittleHeadshots Pretty Little Headshot]] into the Wainwright family portrait when demonstrating her skill to [[spoiler: Melissa]].
--> '''Magnum:''' And ''that'' was about the most amazing shot I've ever seen.
--> '''Susan:''' ''(shyly)'' Well actually, I-I was aiming for the lamp.
* AcousticLicense: Susan's radio in "Rembrandt's Girl" is able to pick up a signal and play music. ''From inside of a bank vault''.
* ActionSeries
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Magnum finds himself giggling at Luther's "onions" joke directed at Lloyd [=DeWitt=] in "The Return of Luther Gillis".
* AdultFear: This series has more than its share of stalkers, kidnappings, hostage situations, children in danger, etc.
* AllJustADream: "Flashback." [[spoiler: Subverted in that the dream Magnum has for most of the episode ''does'' give him the info he needs to clear the name of his client's grandfather.]]
* AllPartOfTheShow: In "Italian Ice", when Magnum manages to [[spoiler: disarm Katrina and rescue Margo, the students in Margo's acting class applaud enthusiastically, thinking this was simply one of Margo's acting exercises.]]
* AlwaysKnowAPilot: Thomas Magnum, P.I. frequently seeks help from T.C., a helicopter pilot that conducts aerial tours of Hawaii. Though it's often an imposition, T.C. routinely comes through for TheHero.
* AngryGuardDog: Zeus and Apollo, Higgins's "lads". Although they're perfectly friendly to everybody but Magnum.
* AsideGlance
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Thomas Magnum.
* AutomobileOpening: More like Chopper Opening, though the Ferrari does appear.
* BadassBaritone: Col. Buck Greene.
** Robin Masters himself, as voiced by OrsonWelles.
* BadassLongcoat: [[{{Aversion}} Averted]] by Susan's [[ImpossiblyTackyClothes red vinyl trenchcoat]] in "A Girl Named Sue", something Magnum is far too happy to point out.
-->'''Magnum:''' Nice looking coat! What is it? Unborn linoleum?
* BadassMoustache: Magnum, obviously, as he's played by Creator/TomSelleck, a man who so defined the moustache in TheEighties that on the brief periods he shaved it off, he looked wrong. Higgins and T.C. had these to a lesser extent as well.
* BandOfBrothers: Magnum, Rick, and T.C. (not to mention [[spoiler: poor, blown-up]] Mac) all served together in Vietnam--Magnum was a SEAL, while Rick and T.C were Marines with [=VMO=]-2. What they went through over there is precisely why Magnum would die for either of his friends, and they for him.
* BaseballEpisode: There's a softball episode in season 4 ("Squeeze Play"). Noteworthy in that Robin Masters bets a year's use of his estate on the game [[spoiler: and Magnum's team loses. The bet is rendered invalid in the end, though.]]
* BeardOfSorrow: Magnum grows an unkempt one after his client and love-interest [[spoiler: kills herself in front of him]] at the beginning of season five.
* BerserkButton: "The Arrow That is Not Aimed": Higgins ''really'' loses it when Magnum's found to have dog repellent in his possession yet again, leading to the DrawSwordDrawBlood below.
* BigFancyHouse: "Robin's Nest" is a 200-acre beach front estate.
* BigNo: In the two-part episode that started off season five, "Echoes of the Mind", Thomas lets out one of these after one of the Dupre Sisters (played by Creator/SharonStone), with whom he is in love, [[spoiler: kills herself offscreen just before the freeze frame.]]
* BigShutUp: Magnum to Higgins in "J. 'Digger' Doyle" in TheMunchausen below.
** ''Everyone'' to Princess Wanda Martine in "The Big Blow".
* BilingualBonus: [[http://magnum-mania.com/Episodes/Season2/Italian_Ice.html The Marchese's dinner dialogue]] at the start of "Italian Ice" regarding Katrina: "Dearest friends, sometimes she's a real Madonna and then [[spoiler: [[{{Foreshadowing}} suddenly turns into a witch]]. [[{{Tsundere}} It's a very interesting combination]]. Should we see who it is is at the moment?"]]
* BlackBestFriend: T.C.--who is the [[OnlySaneMan most normal and likable of the group.]] He is also badass enough to pull a ScaryBlackMan on occasion.
** T.C. is so likeable that even Higgins doesn't seem to mind him always referring to him as "Higgy-Baby".
*** He even has it on the sign he creates for [[spoiler: Higgins' birthday]] and attaches to his helicopter.
* BlandNameProduct: Magnum is seen drinking "Coops" beer in several episodes.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: T.C., during part of "Did You See the Sunrise?". Brainwashed by a brutal, Soviet officer during the Vietnam War to later become a sleeper killer.
* BritishStuffiness: Higgins
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler: Olivia Ross]] at the end of "Double Jeopardy".
** "Death of the Flowers" subverts this big time. Carol's mentor Judge Kearns had been taking bribes to dismiss cases, Magnum's investigation of said bribes implicates Icepick, affecting Rick and his relationship with him, while Icepick realizes the person who bribed Judge Kearns and then [[spoiler: had him murdered is the woman he was in love with decades earlier. In the end, Icepick accompanies the woman to turn herself in, while salvaging his relationship with Rick.]]
* BrokenRecord: "Work the lock, don't look at the dogs, work the lock, don't look at the dogs, work the lock, don't look at the dogs, work the lock, don't look at the dogs"... Looks up at Zeus and Apollo getting nearer... "Damn it you looked at the dogs."
* CallBack: Generally, when a recurring character like Luther Gillis appears, expect references to their prior episodes, such the presence of holding cellmate Scrungo whenever Magnum and Luther get arrested.
* TheCameo: Creator/BruceForsyth once appeared, appropriately enough playing a game show host (ironically, the same year his only American game, ''Series/HotStreak'', both went on the air ''and'' got cancelled, lasting 4 months).
* CareerEndingInjury: [[spoiler: Dorsey Bramlett]] in "One More Summer", as Magnum tells him that the episode's bad guys have [[spoiler: not been healing his shoulder injury, but just numbing it the whole time, and that playing just once more will ruin his shoulder for good. Dorsey, after careful thought, [[TheLastDance chooses to go out onto the field anyway]].]]
* CatchPhrase: Magnum narrating to the audience: "I know what you're thinking. And you're wrong/right."
** Also: "Yeah, I don't believe it myself."
** "OH MY GODDD!"
** Honorable mention goes to Higgins' "Have you gone irrevocably, irretrievably mad?!". And yes, [[ButtMonkey it's always directed at (or said in relation to) Magnum]].
* TheCharmer: Rick, who usually has some bikini-clad girl in tow.
** Would make that argument for Magnum and T.C. as well.
* ChekhovsGunman: The person responsible for stealing the English relic from Northern Ireland in "Faith and Begorrah" is not Father Paddy [=McGuinness=] or Brigadier Ffolkes, but [[spoiler: the female tour guide who had only previously appeared ''at the beginning of the episode''. It's also implied that she took the relic for the sole reason of ''keeping Father Paddy away from her tour group.'']]
** A subversion: The old man seen at the beginning of "Rembrandt's Girl" ''is'' important to the episode's plot, but it turns out he's [[spoiler: ''not'' Herb "Rembrandt" Norton, Susan's father, but Lefty Schultz, his rival and partner-in-crime to the episode's bad guy.]]
* TheChewToy: Magnum in "Of Sound Mind", once he's inherited the bulk of Wilson [=MacLeish=]'s fortune.
** Luther Gillis' nephew Jack in "The Return of Luther Gillis". The fact that he never appears again [[FridgeHorror doesn't have the best of implications]].
* ChristmasEpisode: Season one's "Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too" and season four's "Operation: Silent Night".
* ClearMyName
** Magnum spends most of "Foiled Again" trying to clear Higgins of the murder of an [[AssholeVictim abusive bully]] who'd married the woman Higgins loved.
** In "Thicker Than Blood", Magnum and Rick do the same for T.C., who's TakingTheHeat for another fellow soldier.
** As do Magnum and T.C. for Rick in "The People vs. Orville Wright".
* CliffHanger
** The memorable seventh season finale "Limbo", in which Magnum apparently dies from a gunshot wound; originally intended as the series finale.
** The actual series finale did end on a cliffhanger, albeit a much lighter-hearted one. Rick is getting married, but hesitates when it comes time for him to give his vow. Magnum, T.C., and Higgins all prompt him, "I do," and finally he opens his mouth and says, "I..." and the credits start rolling.
* CoolCar: The Ferrari 308 (and the '29 Bugatti replica in "Flashback").
** Fans sometimes say the Ferrari was the real star of the show.
* CrashCourseLanding
* {{Crossover}}: With ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' and ''Series/SimonAndSimon''.
** A proposed ''Series/QuantumLeap'' script had Sam Beckett leaping into Thomas Magnum, but never reached the filming stage.
* CrusadingWidower: [[spoiler: Jean Claude Fornier in "The Man From Marseilles".]]
** Michael Doheny (Music/FrankSinatra) in "Laura", though it's his [[spoiler: murdered granddaughter]] he's out to avenge.
* CulturedBadass: Higgins
* CulturedWarrior: Higgins
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Magnum'' always had a mix of action and humor, but episodes seemed to go into darker and darker territory as the series went on.
* ADayInTheLimelight: The eponymous Hall of Records clerk in "Ms. Jones", who hires Magnum to find her missing husband.
* DeliveryNotDesired: Magnum writes a letter to the daughter he thinks is dead, in a plot about why he [[spoiler: doesn't kill her murderer.]]
* DisappearedDad: Magnum's father died in Korea when Magnum was ten.
* TheDon: Icepick is an interesting example, as while he has no problem threatening people he feels wronged him with terrible things, he [[EvenEvilHasStandards feels sick at the thought of innocent people getting hurt]].
* DrawSwordDrawBlood: "The Arrow That is Not Aimed": When he's in trouble with Higgins yet again, Magnum mentions this trope in reference to Higgins unsheathing a katana. Then Higgins gets this crazy gleam in his eye and says ''"I know."''
* DropInCharacter: Jim "Mac" Bonnick and Luther Gillis are the first that come to mind.
** It's clear that Higgins sees Magnum himself as this despite Magnum actually living on the property.
* DroppedAfterThePilot: Rick's Cafe Americain, a disco club, is never seen after the pilot, replaced by the King Kamehameha Club. It's later explained in "The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club" that the Cafe Americain had gone under, leading Rick to buy the KKC.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Aside from the original ThemeTune by Ian Freebairn-Smith, many of the show's recurring characters don't appear until after seasons two or three. And Magnum introduces himself several times as "Tom" Magnum, rather than the more familiar "Thomas".
** The "trades" between Magnum and Higgins for use of the tennis court / wine cellar / photo lab etc. were mentioned a lot less as the series went on.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Orville Wright. He much prefers to go by his nickname, Rick.
* ExpansionPackPast: Higgins
-->'''Magnum:''' Higgins, what did you do with your life? Is there anything you haven't done, anywhere you haven't been?
* TheFaceless
** Robin Masters, only seen onscreen once, and most definitely not from the front.
** Icepick was only mentioned and never actually seen for the first few seasons.
* FakingEngineTrouble: In "Home From the Sea", Rick takes one of his girlfriends out on a boat for the 4th of July. Later, he tells her one of the engines is out so they can't make it home through the reef in the dark and will have to wait until morning, and he intends to make the most of it...until he starts to get the feeling that Magnum's in trouble and starts up both engines without a problem. She just rolls her eyes at that.
* {{Fanservice}}: Not just the unending stream of women who want Magnum, and not just the endless parade of near-naked beach babes in the background. This was Tom Selleck as a MrFanservice, often wearing a loose shirt and tiny shorts that showed off plenty.
* FilmNoir: Other than the bright sunshine in Hawaii, the emphasis on lightheartedness ([[CerebusSyndrome at first...]]), and the fact it's in color, the series follows the rest of this trope pretty straight.
* FirstNameUltimatum: Higgins does this to Magnum a lot.
* FoodAsBribe
** To Lt. Tanaka, when he's on a diet. Other times, Magnum just has to pay him money.
** Also used shamelessly with Mac whenever Magnum needed a peek at classified military documents.
* FourPhilosophyEnsemble: Magnum (the Optimist), Higgins (the Cynic), T.C. (the Apathetic), and Rick (the Realist).
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: The four main characters fit these roles pretty well. Magnum (choleric), Higgins (melancholic), T.C. (sanguine), and Rick (phlegmatic).
* FrickinLaserBeams: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in "Smaller Than Life" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy", which have lasers invisible to the eye and characters taking great pains to avoid them.
* FriendInTheBlackMarket: Rick
* FriendlyEnemy: Magnum and Higgins are constantly at odds, but gradually develop a genuine fondness for each other.
* FriendlyRivalry: Magnum and Susan in "A Girl Named Sue", right down to Susan's matching red Ferrari.
-->'''Magnum:''' [[LampshadeHanging I got mine for free.]]
** Just about all the characters (regular and recurring) in "The Treasure of Kalaniopu'u".
* FriendOnTheForce: Lieutenant Tanaka. [[spoiler: After Tanaka is killed,]] Lt. Nolan Page takes his place.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: Higgins is this except when he is quarrelling with Magnum. Which is a good deal of the time.
* GentlemanSnarker: Higgins, very, ''very'' much.
* GentlemenRankers: Higgins again. He's the Baron of Perth, but joined the British Army as a common soldier after being sent down from Eton. He made Sergeant Major before his retirement.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the guest house, [[http://magnum-mania.com/images/guesthouse_painting.jpg Thomas has a Gauguin painting]]--actually it's a combination of two Gauguin paintings, created especially for the show. Prominently featuring [[NationalGeographicNudity a beautiful topless woman]]. On national television.
** The phone number on Cleo's business card in "Straight and Narrow" is (808)-555-''6969''.
** "Resolutions, Part 2" has the guys get into a fight at a strip club, where the naked breasts of one of the dancers are accidentally seen briefly in two separate shots.
* GoodGuyBar: The King Kamehameha Club.
* HairpinLockpick: Magnum often only needs a pick for a lock, though occasionally he's accurately depicted using a torsion wrench as well.
* HeroicBSOD: Each of the guys had at least one of these:
** Magnum after the deaths of [[spoiler:Mac]] and [[spoiler:Michelle.]]
** Rick after the death of [[spoiler:his sister.]]
** T.C. when his friend gets killed [[spoiler:getting him a soda.]]
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: Masters--to the point where, in "J. 'Digger' Doyle", ''great'' pains are taken to ensure that we ''never'' see his face (though we see a lot of his hand, and a few instances of his back to the camera, in that episode).
* HighHeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Jennifer Chapman in "Tropical Madness"]] for Higgins and [[spoiler: Jeannie in "A Little Bit of Luck, A Little Bit of Grief"]] for Rick.
* HollywoodDarkness: Episodes like "Never Again... Never Again" and "The Sixth Position" use this in nighttime scenes on Robin's Nest. Other episodes avert this for similar scenes.
* HowWeGotHere: "The Treasure of Kalaniopu'u" opens this way.
* [[HowsYourBritishAccent How's Your Texan Accent?]]: John Hillerman uses his natural Texan accent playing Elmo Ziller [[spoiler: (actually Higgins in disguise)]] in "The Elmo Ziller Story" and Sam Caldwell in "Murder by Night".
* IJustKnew: Magnum spends most of "Home From the Sea" trying to stay afloat in the ocean; T.C., Rick, and Higgins all have a bad feeling about him despite having no reason to think anything is wrong. When they acknowledge it and start looking, T.C. tells Rick--who turns out to be only a few hundred feet away from where Magnum is treading water--to stay right where he is until dawn, but can't explain why he does so.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: How Magnum figures out the "inside man" of the King Kamehameha Club robbery in "I, Witness", as the robbers refer to [[spoiler: Keoki]] by name, despite [[INeverToldYouMyName never being told it prior.]]
* InfantImmortality: Averted at least twice in the series. [[spoiler: Magnum is led to believe for some time that this also happens to his daughter Lily.]]
* InsistentTerminology: As Magnum will surely attest, it's "private investigator", not "detective".
* TheJeeves: Higgins.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Wilson [=MacLeish=], despite being an all-around JerkAss ungrateful to everyone around him (leaving paltry sums to those who genuinely worked hard for him), has a point in not leaving the bulk of his fortune to his cousins Tony and Marina. Tony is perpetually broke with possible mob connections, while Marina is clearly an alcoholic, and there's no reason to believe they ''wouldn't'' squander his fortune somehow.
* KaraokeBox: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93mO5rR-4Tg Used to hilarious effect]] in "The Man From Marseilles", when Magnum has to sing "Misty" at the [[PunnyName Sing Sing Palace]].
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Lt. Tanaka in "Tigers Fan."]]
** [[spoiler: Michelle in "Unfinished Business".]]
** [[spoiler: "Mac" [=MacReynolds=] in "Did You See the Sunrise?".]]
* KnowledgeBroker: Icepick, by way of Rick, is Magnum's go-to guy for information that can't be acquired through legal channel.
* LaserGuidedKarma: [[SarcasmMode Come on, you didn't think Jim Bonnick coming to rope Magnum into his schemes was karma for Magnum's treatment of Mac the first two seasons?]]
** "Don't Say Goodbye": As they battle it out on a yacht, Stewart Crane tries impaling Magnum with a large boat hook, but gets thrown into the water and [[spoiler: ''[[CruelAndUnusualDeath chopped into pieces by the boat's propeller]]''. Ouch!]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Magnum's aforementioned AsideGlance to the audience whenever something ridiculous was going on.
* LeaveNoWitnesses: The main reason why [[spoiler: Wendy Wright in "Distant Relative"]] was murdered, as she had witnessed a crime being committed, whether knowingly or not. Even worse, [[spoiler: Magnum was with her before she was killed.]]
* LightningReveal: How Magnum discovers [[spoiler: Captain Cooly's body]] in "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii".
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Magnum and Carol Baldwin. She logged more time with Magnum throughout the series than any of his numerous love interests. Could possibly be seen as WillTheyOrWontThey, but if the show hinted at this at all, it was extremely subtle.
* LongLostRelative
** Over the course of the series, we come to learn that (a) Magnum met and married a woman in Vietnam, [[spoiler: (b) she's still alive, and (c) she has a daughter.]]
** Higgins's series of half-brothers.
* ManChild: Thomas can sometimes appear to be this. Higgins often assumes a parental role with him. Throughout the series it's established that Thomas' father died when he was very young, and that his military service caused him to feel he had never had a chance to be a young man.
* MeaningfulName: Discussed by Carol InUniverse regarding her mentor Judge Hannibal Kearns in "Death of the Flowers":
-->'''Carol:''' Thomas, you know Hannibal, the other Hannibal, [[spoiler: he committed suicide rather than surrender to the Roman army.]]
** Subverted later when Magnum determines that Judge Kearns' [[spoiler: [[NeverSuicide murder was made to look like a suicide.]]]]
** Amy Crane in "Don't Say Goodbye", [[spoiler: revealed to actually be her friend Carol ''Foster'', having taken over Amy's identity and the care of her grandmother Agatha.]]
* MixedArchetypes
* TheMunchausen: Higgins is always telling stories about all his adventures. They annoy his companions despite the fact that some of them are quite interesting. They are also all quite true.
** It was already being lampshaded in season ''one's'' "J. 'Digger' Doyle" where, under a truth serum, Higgins tells such a story virtually nonstop before and during his rescue, to the point of Magnum having to yell a ''massive'' [[BigShutUp "SHUT UP!!"]].
* NearDeathClairvoyance: Magnum in "Limbo", as he lies dying in the hospital.
* {{Nephewism}}: Buzz Benoit's (intentionally) CousinOliver nephew [[Creator/EddieDeezen Mickey]] in "Squeeze Play".
* NiceHat: Magnum's trademark baseball caps, including a Detroit Tigers cap and a [=VMO=]-2 cap from his Vietnam days.
** Luther Gillis' Panama hat, in keeping with his hardboiled FilmNoir persona.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Buzz Benoit (Dick Shawn) in "Squeeze Play", for ''[[Magazine/{{Playboy}} Playboy]]'' magazine's Hugh Hefner, ''Penthouse'' magazine's Bob Guccione, and ''Hustler'' magazine's Larry Flynt.
* NotSoDifferent: Magnum and Luther Gillis, as much as Magnum would like to believe otherwise.
* NunTooHoly: David Bannister in "The Jororo Kill" employs a habit as a disguise.
* OddFriendship: Higgins and T.C.
* OnlyKnownByInitials: T.C. (His real name is Theodore Calvin.)
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Orville "Rick" Wright, Jim "Mac" Bonnick, and Francis "Icepick" Hofstetler.
* PapaWolf: Magnum [[spoiler: with Lily, naturally.]]
** Icepick with [[UnseenCharacter his daughter]] Hilda.
* ParanormalEpisode: The episode "Rapture". Magnum sees the ghost of a young boy, leading him to investigate the boy's death.
** Another had Thomas in an extended NearDeathExperience after he got shot and seriously wounded. This almost was the SeriesFinale until the series got renewed at the last minute.
* ThePatriarch: Rick considers Icepick to be like a father to him.
* [[PerFumigation Perfumigation]]: "Patchismo" cologne for Magnum, unfortunately, in "The Legacy of Garwood Huddle".
* PerpetualPoverty: Magnum does live on a lush Hawaiian estate free of charge, but his personal finances are another story...
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: Model/actress Erin Gray appeared on first season episode "J. 'Digger' Doyle" as a security expert hired by Robin Masters to evaluate Magnum. It was supposed to lead to a spinoff series for Gray, but the series never came to pass.
** Season four's "The Return of Luther Gillis," dealing with an old-time St. Louis PI tangling with Magnum, was another show planned as a spinoff. Unlike "J. 'Digger' Doyle" above, however, Gillis did make several appearances as a DropInCharacter--the [=PDP=] was a sequel to the same season's "Luther Gillis: File #521," the first of five episodes featuring him.
** In season three, "Two Birds of a Feather" featured a fellow Vietnam War aviator who crashes into Robin Masters' tidal pool. According to the [[http://magnum-mania.com/Episodes/Season3/Two_Birds_of_a_Feather.html Magnum Mania]] website, "it was a 'backdoor pilot' for a potential TV series about treasure hunter and ace combat pilot Sam Hunter and his family. The Mike Post and Pete Carpenter score that is heard when Sam comes home (and in the closing credits) was to be used as the theme song. The pilot went unsold. After the pilot failed to attract any interest, Donald P. Bellisario took the bare bones of the concept and eventually developed it into ''{{Airwolf}}'' (1984-1986).
* PornStache: Magnum himself of course, but Higgins and T.C. too. A very high facial-hair quotient.
* PrisonEpisode: Magnum goes undercover in one in "A Pretty Good Dancing Chicken".
* PrivateDetective
* PrivateEyeMonologue: Magnum in every episode.
** Played with whenever Luther Gillis shows up and narrates his own adventures.
** And with Susan Johnson in "A Girl Named Sue".
* PsychicPowers: It's very low-key, but Magnum has moderate clairvoyant abilities. Sometimes it's just an intuitive "little voice," other times he has actual visions and precognitive dreams.
** Laura Bennett in "Fragments" is a NotSoPhonyPsychic who hires Magnum, having apparently seen her own murder. She later realizes [[spoiler: she was only half-right: The killer is actually trying to kill Magnum.]]
* PunBasedTitle: "[[Film/ToraToraTora Torah, Torah, Torah]]", "[[Franchise/SherlockHolmes Holmes]] Is Where the Heart Is", "Novel Connection", "Legend of the Lost Art", etc.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: Higgins's prayerful response to most of Magnum's activities: "Oh. My. GOD!!!"
* PygmalionPlot: "Professor Jonathan Higgins". Magnum even lampshades it, referring to ''Film/MyFairLady''. Higgins, purist that he is, prefers that he compare it to ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}'' itself.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Higgins.
* RaidersOfTheLostParody: "Kiss of the Sabre" features a guest star who is an author working on an adventure novel somewhere between ''Raiders'' and Film/JamesBond, using Magnum and friends as her inspiration. Doubles as ActorAllusion, since Creator/TomSelleck was considered for the role of Indiana Jones but had to turn it down because he was already under contract for Magnum.
** This actually happens ''twice''. In "Legend of the Lost Art", a notorious villain is a huge fan of the old movies that ''Raiders'' was derived from, and plans all his crimes using elements of said films. Magnum, again cast as the Indiana type character, plans his countermoves by drawing on his own memories of said films.
* {{Rancher}}: In one episode there is a teenage rancher who needs our heroes' help.
* RashomonStyle: "I, Witness"
* RealPersonCameo: Carol Channing at the new wave club in "Distant Relative". Magnum even includes it in his story to Rick and T.C. later.
** Magnum briefly meets Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker of the Detroit Tigers at a bar near Tigers Stadium in "A Sense of Debt".
* RecurringCharacter: A veritable arsenal of them. Carol Baldwin deserves special mention, being the closest thing the series ever had to a regular female character.
* RedOniBlueOni: Magnum is red, Higgins is blue.
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: In "A Girl Named Sue", Magnum says he "bent the firing pin" of his gun hammering his way out of the locked storeroom. If one considered it to be a Colt MKIV/Series 70 9 millimeter (the model in real life, as opposed to the .45 it was called on the show), this would be absolutely impossible to do.
** On top of that, back when he's still in the storeroom with Susan, he [[BottomlessMagazines fires too many shots without reloading.]]
* RememberTheNewGuy: Ron Pennington in "Round and Around" is said to be a close friend of T.C.'s, even though he only appears and is mentioned in this one episode.
** Most if not all of the series' TragicOneShotCharacter[[PotHole s]] fall under this trope.
* ReplacedTheThemeTune: "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii" (the pilot movie) had a light jazz piece by Ian Freebairn-Smith that was used for the first nine post-pilot episodes; the show didn't have the Mike Post and Pete Carpenter theme we all know and love until "Thicker Than Water".
** The original theme had a Mannix-like "early '70s action hero" feel, while the Post-Carpenter theme features an early '80s style persistent rock obbligato like (the four-years-later) ''MiamiVice''.
*** Purists be warned--Universal subsequently took the trope to its logical conclusion by dubbing the Post-Carpenter theme onto syndicated prints of the pilot and the first nine regular episodes! Uniformity is one thing, but still...
* RetiredBadass: Higgins. Occasionally we get evidence that not everything about his stories is exaggerated.
* SacrificialLion: Mac, Magnum's friend and fellow Vietnam veteran. He'd normally show up only when Thomas needed access to military information, but you got the idea that he was one of Magnum's closest friends and that while the two hung out together, it was always off-camera. And then came "Did You See the Sunrise?".
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Magnum wasn't above simply running away from the bad guys if he got what he wanted or things got too hairy.
* SeriesFauxnale: "Limbo"
* SharedUniverse: With ''Series/SimonAndSimon'' (which followed the show on CBS's lineup and by extension a OneSeasonWonder show called ''Whiz Kids'' that crossed over with ''S&S''), ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' (which ''Magnum'' replaced in CBS's lineup and is [[ShoutOut continually referenced throughout the show's run]]--see WhatCouldHaveBeen), and ''Series/MurderSheWrote''.
* ShoutOut: One of Garwood Huddle's old robber buddies uses the name Creator/WilliamDaniels.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: Magnum versus Higgins, though usually rather lighthearted.
* SnapBack: In the episode "Did You See the Sunrise?", some pretty dramatic things happen. [[spoiler:the Ferrari is blown up, T.C. is brainwashed and Magnum freaking kills someone.]] The next episode there is no mention of this, [[spoiler:Magnum and T.C. are fine and the Ferrari is inexplicably back again]].
* [[spoiler: SplitPersonality:]] The Dupre Sisters, played by Creator/SharonStone in the episode "Echoes of the Mind".
* SportsHeroBackstory: Magnum is noted to have played on his high school football team--which won the Virginia State championship--and then been quarterback of the U.S. Naval Academy football team.
* SteppingOutForAQuickCupOfCoffee: Whenever Magnum contacted Mac (an active duty Naval officer) about some bit of classified information he needed for the current case, this was almost always how Mac gave Magnum the information. "Well, I'm gonna go get a soda. Whatever you do, do ''not'' read the file on my desk while I'm gone, okay? Because its classified, Thomas. I mean it. Do not read it, no matter what you do."
** Subverted with Carol in "One Picture is Worth", as she simply "drops" her case file onto the ground for Magnum to pick up and read.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler: Poor Jean Claude Fornier in "A.A.P.I".]]
* SunshineNoir
* {{Taps}}: One episode had him thinking back to his father's funeral, after he'd been killed in [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]], and Taps is played following a 21 Gun Salute by his fellow Marines.
* TimeShiftedActor: Crossing with RealLifeRelative, in "Lest We Forget", June Lockhart's younger self is played by her daughter Anne Lockhart, and Jose Ferrer's younger self is played by his son [[Creator/{{Miguel Ferrer}} Miguel Ferrer]].
** The opening scenes of "Let Me Hear the Music" has Dennis Weaver's younger self played by his son Rusty Weaver, his other son Robby Weaver as George Lee Jessup, and his ''other'' other son is longtime ''Magnum'' producer Rick Weaver.
** Higgins' father gets one in "Who is Don Luis Higgins...". Courtesy of ''[[Series/WithoutATrace Anthony [=LaPaglia=]]]'', no less!
* TitleDrop: Many episodes are named after either an important or [[ItMakesSenseInContext seemingly-random]] line from said episode.
* TitleSequenceReplacement: If you're watching an episode in syndication, chances are you'll see the opening from season seven (with the standard ''Magnum'' theme and title font), even for earlier seasons.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Susan Johnson (Creator/CarolBurnett) in "A Girl Named Sue".
** While Higgins is always seen to be capable in combat, the ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' episode "Magnum on Ice" is the only time where his infamous karate chop actually works.
* TheTroubles: A major plot point in "No Need to Know". Brigadier Ffolkes even gives a short exposition early in the episode.
* TwentyOneGunSalute: At Magnum's father's funeral.
* TwistedEchoCut: The scenes in "Home From the Sea" are constantly cutting to these; for example, T.C. saying that he doesn't want to be out here all night cuts to Magnum, who's been out in the sea all night, which cuts to Rick saying he and his date will have to stay all night on his boat.
* TragicOneShotCharacter: Many, sadly, with several of them being friends of the main characters.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Higgins has three illegitimate brothers, all played by Hillerman.
** The one time we see Higgins' dad, he's also played by Hillerman.
* TheUnreveal: In the final seasons, Magnum suspects that Higgins was the real Robin Masters all along. This is never proven or disproven.
* VideoWills: Wilson [=MacLeish=] in "Of Sound Mind", complete with TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat.
* TheVietnamWar: Forms a critical part of many characters' backstories. Magnum, T.C. and Rick all fought together in 'Nam, which is why their bond is so strong. The show itself was one of the earliest shows to portray Vietnam veterans as human beings instead of stone cold killers.
* VigilanteExecution: Magnum, at the conclusion of season three's two-part premiere "Did You See the Sunrise?". One of the most memorable moments of the series.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Higgins and Magnum.
* TheVoice: Orson Welles as Robin Masters.
* TheWatson: Rick, a former TropeNamer.
* WhamEpisode: "Did You See the Sunrise?"
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: ''"[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Nuns don't work on Sunday]]."'']]
** ''"[[Creator/CarolBurnett I think...]] [[OhCrap I locked us in the vault]]."''
** [[spoiler: ''"Dutch didn't die."'']]
* WhamShot: [[http://magnum-mania.com/Video/Lighthouse_Toss.html The ending of "Faith and Begorrah"]] has Rick and T.C. spying on the adulterous couple they and Magnum have been tailing for the whole episode at a lighthouse. Through the camera, Rick sees them arguing at first, but seconds later he watches as [[spoiler: the woman is suddenly thrown off the lighthouse to her death.]] Cue credits.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The beginning of "Laura" is the only time we see the title character's babysitter in the episode, talking on the phone (and paying little attention) and telling Laura to go out of the apartment. Considering that Laura eventually [[spoiler: ends up murdered]], you would think said babysitter would at least be ''mentioned'' again.
* WhosOnFirst: Magnum and T.C. in "Missing in Action", after T.C. fixes the Ferrari:
-->'''T.C.:''' That'll be fifty bucks.
-->'''Magnum:''' Fifty bucks? What for?
-->'''T.C.:''' Well, there's something known as parts man.
-->'''Magnum:''' Fifty bucks for spark plugs?! C'mon!
-->'''T.C.:''' That's right.
-->'''Magnum:''' Look, I gotta run. I'll see you this afternoon.
-->'''T.C.:''' Hey man, it's Friday. I need the fifty bucks to buy a fuel pump for my chopper.
-->'''Magnum:''' Well, all I've got is a twenty.
-->'''T.C.:''' Alright man, that will do for right now.
-->'''Magnum:''' T.C.! You mean you'd let me drive out of here broke?
-->'''T.C.:''' Well that's the way you ''always'' drive in! The money Thomas.
-->'''Magnum:''' Okay, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll loan you ten until this evening.
-->'''T.C.:''' You'll loan me ten? You ''owe'' me fifty!
-->'''Magnum:''' That's right, which I don't have, so I'll loan you ten to keep you afloat. You can pay me back when I pay you the fifty.
-->'''T.C.:''' Whoa, whoa, whoa. What's with this [[Creator/AbbottAndCostello Abbott and Costello]] routine? - You owe me fifty, you loan me ten? Forget it!
-->'''Magnum:''' Oh, ok. Thanks, I owe you one. ''(drives off)''
-->'''T.C.:''' You owe me one? You owe me fifty!!
* WholePlotReference: "The Treasure of Kalaniopu'u" is this show's version of ''[[Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World]]''.
** "Innocence... A Broad" shares many similarities to ''[[Theatre/BornYesterday Born Yesterday]]''.
** "Legend of the Lost Art", [[Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk for obvious reasons.]]
** "Kapu" has Magnum get injured, lose his memory, and live among a tribe of natives, just like Captain Kirk in the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Paradise Syndrome". The episode is also similar to ''Film/{{Witness}}'', in that Magnum also has to find a young native girl who had witnessed a murder.
* WomanScorned: [[spoiler: Holly Fox in "The Look" sees herself as this, so much so that she hires Magnum to find her missing fiance so she can kill him.]]
** [[spoiler: Katrina Tremaine]] in "Italian Ice", when Magnum doesn't reciprocate her affections, goes on her version of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, not only [[spoiler: going off to kill Magnum's [[GirlOfTheWeek girlfriend]],]] but also [[spoiler: ''shooting Higgins''. (He gets better.)]]
** [[spoiler: Susan Johnson in "Rembrandt's Girl" is a milder example, understandably pissed that [[MorallyBankruptBanker the coworker]] she thought was going to propose to her was actually planning to frame her for embezzling from their bank.]]
* YouWouldntShootMe: Ivan in "Did You See the Sunrise?". He's spectacularly wrong.
** [[spoiler: Walt Brewster]] in "The Legacy of Garwood Huddle". He's also quite wrong.
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