Series / 21 Jump Street

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"..You'll find you'll need us, 'cause there's no one else to call..."

The 1980s version of The Mod Squad, with a somewhat more believable premise. The series lasted from April, 1987 to April, 1991, with a total of 103 episodes in five seasons.

21 Jump Street was the Fox Network's first drama, and aired on its premiere night along with sitcoms Married... with Children, The Tracey Ullman Show, Duet and Mr President.

Here, it's about a special undercover police unit in an unnamed American city, where young-looking police officers infiltrate schools to investigate youth-related crimes.

The series made Johnny Depp a star, but a Teen Idol was the last thing he wanted to be. As such, he quit at his first opportunity, which made the show Jump the Shark at that moment.

A very well received film "sequel" (a raunchy comedy spinoff) has been released, starring Jonah Hill (who also co-wrote the script), Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, and Ice Cube. Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise appear in cameos as their original-series characters, Tom Hanson and Doug Penhall. Holly Robinson Peete also returned as Judy Hoffs, in a slightly more substantial role. The film itself recevied a sequel, which finally featured small cameos from Dustin Nguyen and Richard Grieco.

Due to the drastic difference in tone and contradiction of the show's continuitynote , the movie is not necessarily recommended for fans of the series.


This series provides examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Penhall's and Ioki's mullets. Hanson's longer haircut he had in Season 3.
  • Adults Dressed as Children: More adults dressed as teenagers; the whole premise of the show is young looking police officers going undercover in high schools. Decades later, Depp would poke fun at the "fascist" nature of this premise.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Several schools are broken into this way during the show.
    • In one episode, Harry tries to sneak in through the vents while a school is under siege. He gets inside, but the vent and ceiling give way beneath him at the worst possible time, dropping him in front of a bunch of guys with guns.
    • Played for Drama with minor character Kenny, who, after convincing Hanson that he [Kenny] is being abused in an institution, dies trying to escape from said institution through an air vent.
  • The Alleged Car : Hoffs' car is in pretty bad shape in the pilot episode. Hanson fixes it up within a few minutes, which impresses her and Doug.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Due to the show's attempts to confront such difficult issues as drug use and criminal behavior in high schools somewhat realistically, episodes often end this way, sometimes qualifying for a Downer Ending if a student they're trying to protect dies or goes to jail, but leaving the viewer with the question of what to do about the tragic circumstances that led to it.
  • Artistic License History: Due to a slightly awkward Retcon, Ioki is hiding the fact that he is Vietnamese, supposedly to avoid the ire of colleagues who may have fought in the Vietnam war. The strange thing is, Ioki would almost certainly be from (the former) South Vietnam, who were America's allies. (And even if he was from North Vietnam, his colleagues wouldn't know that.)
    • Unless their potential discrimination were based on resentment of simply being in the war itself instead of hatred for the enemy.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The Shock Jock whose car gets blown up in Next Victim. Due to his hateful and racist ranting, the team is none too happy about having to look for the person who did it.
    • Character Booker was written out of the show after lasting only one season; ironically, his character was shipped off due to doing the right thing (uncovering that Hanson was sent to prison innocently), but due to Booker being antagonistic to Hanson (the most popular character - hey, it is / was Johnny Depp) from his first appearance on, and to Booker seeming ambiguously racist, Booker can easily be taken for an Asshole.
  • Badass Long Coat: Booker wears these on occasion, when not sporting a leather jacket.
  • Badbutt: Every instance of the word "ass" was dubbed over with the word "tail" in the first Season, leading to "I'll kick your tail!" and such. The mouths of the actors clearly are saying "ass" though.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Hanson reaaally hates it when people make fun of how young he looks.
    • Hanson also reacts very irritated when other characters "accuse" him of having been a nerd during his adolescence:
      Hanson: [...disregarding a whole lot of other characterizations] I did NOT wear a pocket protector!
    However, everything revealed about Hanson's teenage years does indicate he was a nerd back thennote , making this a form of Suspiciously Specific Denial.
  • Bowling for Ratings: Hanson is an avid bowler, and a few episodes feature shots of him in bowling alleys.
  • Break the Cutie: Tom Hanson in Season 4. He starts the series out as a well-spirited and motivated man. But during Season 2 and 3 he is broken down by, amongst other things: having his girlfriend shot dead in front of him in a mugging and his guilt over not having been able to prevent it, causing him to slip in a PTSD-like state for a while (Orpheus 3.3); an undercover operation in a mental institution gone wrong causing him drugged off and lost in the system (I'm OK, You Need Work); an undercover operation in juvenile prison making him cynic / doubtful about whether what he's doing as a cop is actually making lives better (Swallowed Alive). But the straw is the Season 3 finale (Loc'd Out), in which he is wrongfully convicted for murder and sent to prison even though innocent. Beginning Season 4, he's proven innocent, released from prison and returns as a police officer, but the rest of Season 4 he seems a darker, broodier version of himself with a permanent expression of chagrin on his face. He keeps mentioning during Season 4 that he wants to quit the police force. Beginning Season 5, he's suddenly disappeared without explanation and his co-workers seem unaware he's ever existednote .
  • Breather Episode:
    • Fear and Loathing with Russel Buckins is a pretty breezy episode in which Hanson lets himself loose, and it follows the heavy, dramatic Christmas in Saigon episode, which not only had Ioki almost extradited out of the U.S., but featured the war in Vietnam.
    • Chapel of Love, in which the guys reminisce about bad dates over a poker game on Valentine's Day, could be considered this, coming right after a Very Special Episode about a teenager with AIDS.
    • In Season 4, Awomp-Bomp-Aloobomp-Aloop-Bamboom (ep. 18) takes place in Florida during Spring Break and features partying college students and lots of girls in bikini's; this follows after episodes dealing with the death penalty and with illiteracy and college sports corruption, and following it comes arguably the most grim episode of the entire series, La Bizca, which is about the civil war in El Salvador.
  • The Bus Came Back: After Booker quits the force and is spun off into his own series, he returns midway through Season 4 for a two-part crossover between the two series.
  • By-the-Book Cop:
    • Captain Fuller was this straight. He's strict about following procedure and expects his Officers to do the same, scolding or even suspending them when they do otherwise.
    • Subverted for Officer Tom Hanson. He is strict by-the-book during the pilot episodes, but loosens up - sometimes purposely withholding information from Fuller, and one time even breaking into fellow Officer Booker's apartment to get evidence.
    • Double subverted for Officer Booker. He first seems an inversion of this: he goes way over the line doing pranks on suspects, and acts racist. Then it turns out that was a role he played because he is Internal Affairs, and he is trying to provoke the Jump Street team into unacceptable behavior.
  • The Chick: Judy Hoffs. However, she is the only one of officers to make Detective, and is depicted as being an intelligent, well rounded member of the cast. Her status as the chick comes from her tendency to rely on her feelings about the suspect, which often are proven wrong. Also, she tends to be addressed by first name more often than the other officers.
  • Chrismas Episode: Set against the backdrop of Christmas, Christmas in Saigon is about the police finding out that Ioki has been lying about his identity. It has flashbacks taking place in '70s Vietnam, but in present time it is Chrismas, and at the end, all characters have a Christmas dinner together.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Hanson and Ioki's departures between Seasons 4 and 5 are never explained.
  • Citizenship Marriage:
    • In Come From the Shadows, Penhall falls head over heels for an immigrant woman from El Salvador, and goes so far as to marry her mere days after meeting her, to prevent her from being deported. Knowing that Status Quo Is God makes the inevitable Downer Ending a Foregone Conclusion.
    • Also Nadia's motivation for going after every man she met in America, Oh What a Town. She was hoping she could find a way to stay in America.
  • Clip Show: Back From the Future uses a young cop 50 years in the future, interviewing the now elderly members of Jump Street about their glory days, as a framing device for this.
  • Clumsy Copyright Censorship: The American DVDs suffer from this - while the licensed music wasn't the WHOLE draw of the show, it was an important part of the atmosphere, and lyrics were often used to communicate plot, which makes chunks of some DVD episodes make very little sense now that they're backed by nothing but elevator music. The DVDs still sold enough to finish the show, possibly because there weren't many bootlegs in circulation. Uploads of the show now are almost always from this butchered version, even though the full versions do exist (see the Trivia page).
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Played straight for some of the rebellious teens featured. Played with for Hanson, who spent his youth as an uptight Republican and doesn't go through his rebellious phase until after joining the Jump Street division.
  • Compulsory School Age: The cops are still adult age, but they look like high schoolers, so they have to go to high school to fight crime that happens in / around high school.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: While Harry is shot and left in a coma, the other officers visit to make peppy little get-well speeches and talk about what's been going on in the department. Hoffs is mortified when she slips and admits that she thinks of him as dead. He got better.
  • Cool Car : Hanson drives a Sixties-era Ford Mustang.
  • Cop Killer:
    • 2245 episode: Ronnie Seebok kills one of the 21 Jump Street officers; there isn't enough evidence to arrest or convict him for this though. Later, he gets a death sentence for for a murder he didn't actually commit (it was his girlfriend who had shot the convenience store employee, but he was convicted for it).
    • Gotta Finish the Riff: Averts this, as Jenko is killed, but not on the job as a cop; he's hit over by a drunk driver.
  • Da Chief: After Capt. Jenko is killed off, Capt. Fuller takes over and makes it very clear from the beginning that he means business and giving him any lip is a bad idea.
  • Dirty Harriet: Judy joined the Jump Street program because it was the only way she'd be able to get any other type of assignment. Of course, this didn't mean that she didn't still get just such an assignment occasionally.
  • Disguised in Drag:
    • Hanson had to disguise himself as a woman during a case where a boy was abducted and Hanson had to pose as the child's mother.
    • Ioki put himself in drag when the team was trying to capture a man that was exposing himself to women.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme tune was performed by Holly Robinson who played Officer Judy Hoffs on the show (with the "JUMP!" shout provided by Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise).
    • Incidentally, this is one of the few Stephen J. Cannell shows where the theme tune was not written by Mike Post (see also Hawkeye (not that one), Cobra, Street Justice and Missing Persons).
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Captain Jenko, We Hardly Knew Ye.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In "Best Years of Our Lives", this is pretty much everyone's in-universe reaction to Penhall when he starts telling incredibly crass jokes about suicide as a coping mechanism to deal with a student killing himself (and, as it turns out, his own mother doing the same back when he was just six).
  • End of Series Awareness: Season 2 ends with the Jump Street program being suspended, possibly due to the writers not knowing if the show itself would be canned or get a third season.
    • Hanson makes several references to wanting to quit the force in Season 4. It was well known by this point that Johnny Depp wanted to leave the show, which he actually did at the end of the season.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: During the few episodes in Season 3 when Penhall leaves the Jump Street team to join the Intelligence team, he suddenly grows a pretty big beard and his hair is slightly longer and more unkempt than usual. Even the other characters In Universe remark a few times "What's with the beard?". The hairstyle change seems to symbolize how he's doubting he even should be at Intelligence the entire time he is there. His experience there ends bitter, anyway, since he is shipped off from that team after having made a mistake on a case. Then he returns back to Jump Street clean-shaven, and his spirits rise again.
  • Fair Cop:
    • Tom Hanson was the male version. As his colleagues Hoffs and Penhall remark in "Back from the Future", the ladies really noticed him. And he was played by Johnny Depp, who was the shows Mr. Fanservice.
    • Judy Hoffs was the female version. As Penhall remarks at a certain point, it doesn't say anything about Booker that he's flirting with Judy because "everybody always flirts with Judy!". This character trait of Judy's was sometimes exploited when she played the Dirty Harriet.
  • Fan Sequel: 21 Jump Street Rangers, which takes place years after the original team's adventures. (The series also adapts Tomica Hero Rescue Force for added points.)
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck! : Happens frequently. "Good gaul-darn riddance!". Also, when originally aired on tv every instance of the word "ass" was dubbed over with the word "tail"; the actor's mouths clearly were saying "ass" though.
  • Halloween Episode: There were two: The Worst Night of Your Life in Season 1, and Old Haunts in the New Age in Season 4. In both, Halloween was important as background, and both had much in common plot-wise, as noted under Recycled Script under Trivia.
  • Henpecked Husband: Despite not actually being married, Penhall gets a bad case of this when Dorothy rather abruptly decides to not only get back together with him, but also to move in with him. Cue every nagging housewife cliche the writers can think of.
  • Heterosexual Lifepartners: Penhall and Ioki were this to each other for a while during Season 3 - after Penhall was thrown out of his house by his girlfriend Dorothy, he moves into Ioki's apartment (driving the latter almost instane with his bad manners). It even accumulates in a scene with Ioki dressed up in drag and them pretending to be a heterosexual couple on a date (in order to catch a criminal), in which they're bickering about their domestic differences.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Captain Fuller, when he showed up to replace Captain Jenko in Season 1 ep. 6, was played as a very stern, strict man and police Captain - essentially the opposite of the Hippie, rocker Captain Jenko. Fuller remained a very strict and by-the-book Captain for the police officers, but throughout the series little bits of background about the man were unfolded that made you feel for him - especially, that he was hurt very much by having his son taken away out of his life after a divorce after he cheated on his wife with a police co-worker (something he confessed to his police subordinates in a Season 2 Valentine episode, and which he still was regretful about). He also despite his strictness was willing to come through for his officers when push came to shove - most notably, in Season 3 ep. 1 when Hanson suspects something is off about Booker, Fuller pulls some strings to find out Booker is from Internal Affairs.
  • Hold the Unsolicited Ingredient: The episode "Gotta Finish the Riff"
    Reginald Brooks: [Ordering pizza for his hostages] I want 10 with sausage, 10 with pepperonis. And no anchovies. I see one anchovy and I kill the librarian
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: In "Chapel of Love", after telling a story about the time he had an affair with his partner back in the 70s and getting ridiculed by the other guys got it, Captain Fuller points out that they're all going to hell anyway for playing poker in a church.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Judy and Doug almost have sex with each other - and afterwards (mostly on insistence of Judy, who seems to feel very awkward about it) swear to each other to act as if that never happened, and to never speak of it again (least of all to other people, Judy insists; and it is telling that, as far as is shown on the show, Doug never tells even his best friend Tom).
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage:
    • Penhall falls head over heels with, and marries, an El Salvadorian woman within four days of meeting her. She's an illegal immigrant and he is soon being accused of marrying her only to get her into the U.S.; a judge annuls their marriage and sends her back to El Salvador, upon which we don't hear anything about her again for half a season. It does not end well: Penhall and Hanson finally go looking for her in El Salvador but find out she's been murdered by the corrupt military.
    • Averted for Penhall's own parents: he mentions a few times during the series that he has a Jewish mother and a Catholic (former priest) father, and this seems to have been a happy marriage up until his mother died.
  • Manic Pixie Dreamgirl:
    • An episode featuring a girl named Quincy, who sort of positions herself as this, dragging the straight-laced Hanson around and trying to convince him to "lighten up". Of course, her idea of fun is crime sprees and potentially-fatal thrill-seeking. She terrifies him, and ends up shot to death by security guards while robbing a house.
    • Hanson's ex-girlfriend Linda he runs into in Season 4; she is an aspiring painter / artist, married to a nightclub owner (as admitted by herself, mostly because this man has the financial means to get her her own gallery). The attraction between this wacky character and the straight-laced cop Hanson is, is hard to explain, but it's probably "for old time's sake" only. At the end of the episode, she does a Screw This, I'm Out of Here!, leaving town and leaving both her husband and a heartbroken Hanson behindnote .
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The 'psychic' girl in the Halloween episode. She sees/draws things that she shouldn't have any way to know, but she's not infallible either. Psychic, or lucky guess?
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Season 4 featured two episodes that took place out of state: the first (ep. 18) took place in Florida during Spring Break and featured partying college students and lots of girls in bikini's; then in ep. 19, the tone turned very grim and Played for Drama when Doug and Tom went to El Salvador, which had a civil war at the time, and found out Doug's wife had been murdered.
    • Within the Season 2 episode Chapel of Love. This is in general a Breather Episode, consisting of all the characters playing poker and telling about Valentine dates gone wrong. Four of these stories are Played for Laughs or bordering on slapstick, but two contrast sharply as Played for Drama: Fuller tells how his previous marriage ended because he cheated on his wife, and Hanson tells how his father, a cop, was murdered on Valentine day. After he finishes the story, everybody looks shocked and nobody knows what to say. Then Judy walks in, and again a breezier story follows.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Young Johnny Depp.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Young Holly Robinson. There's an in-story reason for it sometimes, when they want her to pose as a "bad girl" and/or distract a perp.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Captain Jenko, an aging hippie who, in the first episode, has to teach Hanson how to act like a bad seed.
  • Oh, Crap!: The reaction when one of the Jump Street officers says "I'm a cop!", or when the young offenders discover the ruse for themselves. ("You're a cop!")
  • Older Than They Look: The show was entirely based around the premise of cops who looked young enough that they could go undercover as high school students.
    • Which was pretty silly, and only sorta worked because of Dawson Casting. The actors standing next to ACTUAL high-schoolers would've looked hopelessly out of place.
      • Not silly considering many programs were based on cops passing as high school students.
  • Orphaned Punchline: The third season premiere ends with a joke of the "Several racial stereotypes walk into a bar" variety being told by Booker to Hanson. We never hear the punchline, which fits the overall Ambiguous Ending concerning whether Booker is actually racist or was just playing the role for a case he and Hanson had worked on together.
  • Out of Focus: Most episodes tend to center around the one or two officers working a case, with the captain and the other characters only getting a few lines here and there, but Season 4's "God Is a Bullet" is notable for not featuring any scenes at the precinct, and Penhall and Hoffs being the only main characters who appear. Later in Season 4, an entire episode took place in El Salvador, and didn't feature any police work at all and no characters but Doug and Tom.
    • This becomes more prevalent as the later seasons progress, with most of the characters other than the one or two in the spotlight getting a mere Mandatory Line, if they appear at all. Johnny Depp - ostensibly still the star of the show - is absent more frequently than any other actor at this point.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: While early seasons almost exclusively revolved around the Jump Street cops posing undercover in high schools, later seasons saw more episodes where the main plot didn't focus on a student, or students.
    • In "Shirts and Skins," Penhall investigates the murder of a neo-Nazi leader with an adult son who is eventually revealed as the killer, while Hoffs and Aoki blend in with anti-racism vigilantes.
    • Numerous later-season episodes which focus on the officers' personal lives, as opposed to campus or youth crimes.
    • "Stand by your Man" starts as a standard episode where the team investigates drug abuse. But that case itself is solved within 15 minutes and the episode turns out to be about Judy's rape, making her the victim here instead of the police officer. It's much more dramatic and less crime/action oriented than most of the series (see also "Break the Cutie" above).
    • The biggest disgression happens with two episodes in Season 4, which respectively center around: first going to Florida on Spring Break, and then going to war-ridden El Salvador and discovering Penhall's wife has been murdered by the corrupt military.
  • Overly Long Title: Season 4's episode Awomp-Bomp-Aloobomb, Aloop Bamboom go Awomp-Bomp-Aloobomb, Aloop Bamboom.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Hanson's mother breaks up with her boyfriend, and Hanson asks why the relationship suddenly ended. She, after asking "Can I be frank with you?" tells Hanson that the sex was bad - to which Hanson has a "Squick, I don't want to know!" reaction.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • The opinion of the Street Rangers from season three.
    • In general, even though the main characters are the police, uniformed officers still appear to be useless, since the story almost always makes some excuse to not bring them in and bust a suspect, because of course Jump Street needs to gather more evidence via their undercover officers first. This can be a bit silly in situations where most real-life officers would call for backup, but it's probably more a case of The Main Characters Do Everything.
    • This is character's Tom Hanson's sentiment during much of Season 4. Following his having experienced what it's like being in a Juvenile Prison in Season 3; having been wrongfully sentenced for a murder he didn't commit; and watching someone he arrested get capital punishment, Tom gets extremely cynical about police work. During Season 4 he keeps mentioning wanting to quit being a cop, and at the end of Season 4, he seems to have finally done that, since he disappears.
  • Popular History: The show stands as a good example of what the 80's were actually like.
  • Prison Episode
    • Swallowed Alive: Hanson goes undercover in a youth prison.
    • I'm OK, You Need Work: Not technically a prison, but practically: it features a private drug clinic where parents put away teenagers, and they are (illegally) treated essentially as prisoners there.
    • Draw the Line: Tom Hanson is in prison after being wrongfully convicted for murder. He manages, with help from Booker, to prove his innocence and is released at the end.
    • 2245: Takes (mostly) place in a prison, where it follows a man convicted to the death penalty.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: In "How I Saved the Senator", a Senator was saved from a bomb explosion targeted at him during a speech. A journalist interrogates all Jump Street members, and gets vastly different and contradictory stories from everyone. They are all shown as films in different styles: Hanson's is a silent, black-and-white movie note , Ioki's a martial arts movie, Penhall's a James Bond-style movie, etc. In the end, it turns out none of the stories was true and a student did most to get everybody away from the bomb.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Penhall and his (most-of-the-time) partner, and best friend, Hanson, respectively. Penhall was more brash, Hanson more by-the-book.
    • When Penhall was living in Ioki's apartment during Season 3, Penhall was the Red Oni to Ioki's Blue Oni; Ioki was shown to be very precise in keeping his house neat and clean, and Penhall was shown to be messy, which caused friction between them.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat: In one episode, Officer Tom Hanson witnesses his girlfriend being shot in a convenience store robbery and feels guilty that he was unable to stop him. He spends his days watching the surveillance camera tape, replaying the same moment over and over, being obsessed over how much time it would take for him to have been able to stop the murderer.
  • Sad Clown: Penhall. He acts all brawny but as the show progresses, we learn that he has a tragic backstory - including that his mother committed suicide when he was six years old, and that he's estranged from his brother.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up:
    • In the episode Woolly Bullies, the main characters recount the bullies who have plagued them in their youth. When Doug Penhall recounts his particularly bitter memories of such a tormentor, a friend suggests he seek the bully out and confront him. However, when Penhall does just that by finding the bully's current home, he learns that the bully is now a pathetic unemployed loser with an unhappy marriage to a shrewish wife. Delighted at this turn of events, Penhall decides not to speak to him and returns home quietly gloating how he got the classic best revenge by living well.
    • He even suffered a case of Threw My Bike on the Roof.
  • Series Continuity Error: The episode "Things We Said Today" has a minor one, at least if episodes are assumed to be set in the same year they aired. A flashback to the day of the Challenger Explosion in January 1986 shows Ioki working a case and the Jump Street squad commenting on Captain Fuller as if he were still new to the squad. The first episode of the series aired in April 1987; Captain Jenko was still in charge at that point and Hanson was just joining the squad.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Booker, who is totally rad and a good guy deep down, but is kinda dangerous and plays by his own rules. Like, totally.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Sal was rushed into marriage at a very young age by an angry father who caught him and his then-girlfriend fooling around, even though nothing sexual had actually happened between them (though it wasn't for lack of trying).
  • Shot in the Ass: Happens to Hanson in "The Dragon and the Angel". Even worse, it turns out to be Penhall's fault.
  • Shout-Out: A lot of episodes are named after, or based on '50s to '70s classic songs — "Things We Said Today" (The Beatles), "Chapel Of Love" (The Dixie Cups), "School's Out" (Alice Cooper), "Woolly Bull(ies)" (Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs), "Stand By Your Man" (Tammy Wynette), "(Re)search and Destroy" (Iggy and the Stooges), "Awomp-Bomb-Aloobomb, Aloop Bamboom" (Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti").
    • There are also three examples of 1980s songs being used as inspiration for episode titles — "Tunnel of Love" (Bruce Springsteen), "What About Love" (Heart), and "(My) Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades" (Timbuk 3).
  • Shower of Angst:
    • A pastor's son feels so ashamed of touching a girl in his teen Bible study group that he goes into the river and frantically tries to "baptize" himself to wash away his sin.
    • Officer Judy Hoffs plays this trope straight after one of the characters in the case she was working on rapes her. Despite knowing intellectually, as a detective, that this would destroy much of the evidence, she is too traumatised by the event to plan out her actions.
  • Stargate City: Filmed in Vancouver.
  • Sixth Ranger: Richard Grieco's character, Dennis Booker, for one season. His character was then given his own short-lived spinoff.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: David Barry Gray's Dean Garrett replacing Johnny Depp's Tom Hanson.
  • Teacher/Student Romance:
  • Teen Pregnancy:
    • "Higher Education" had a teenage girl that got pregnant by her school teacher.
    • "Don't Stretch the Rainbow" was mainly about racial tensions at a high school and a relationship between a black girl and a white boy there (that they had to keep secret to avoid escalation of the racial tensions). The girl turns out to be pregnant, and she and the boy together tell the whole school not only about their relationship, but that they are also going to raise this baby together, no matter what, and that the other students should take this as an inspiration to stop the racial hate. Their message does seem to make an impact.
    • "Whose Choice Is It Anyway" featured this prominently, since it was about pregnant teenagers considering whether they should get an abortion, against the backdrop story of violence against abortion clinics. There was one pregnant girl in particular that Judy befriended.
    • "Last Chance High" subverted this - Hanson meets teenager Frances who shows him her baby. Turns out the baby is not her daughter, but her baby sister whom she kidnapped from her own parents.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Judy and Doug, both acting impulsively, make out and even almost have sex. Afterwards, Judy feels awkward about it and then accuses Doug of deliberately having tried to seduce her - her reasoning being "you had a condom with you" - which might make her a hypocrite note , but Doug's answer to that doesn't help his case: he blurts out that he always has condoms with him just like you always have a spare tire in your car in case your car breaks down. Causing Judy to answer "O great, so I am a road accident?!"
  • Vacation Episode:
    • Awomp-Bomp note : Although Hanson and Penhall go to Florida on a police assignment, it happens during Spring Break, so it has a vacation atmosphere.
    • A very grim version is La Bizca, in which Penhall and Hanson go to war-ridden El Salvador and find out Penhall's wife is dead.
  • Very Special Episode: The show often dealt with hot-button issues, and often had a brief spot afterward with a phone number for the organization dedicated to addressing a particular social problem. Most notable examples:
    • A Big Disease With a Little Name is about Aids, at that time something that was lethal, and a taboo subject.
    • Best Years of Your Life is about suicide among teenagers.
    • Whose Choice Is It Anyway? is about abortion, and violence against abortion clinics.
    • 2245 is about a man getting the death penalty.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Mike's P.O.V from Season 4: Unlike a typical episode where the crime is committed offscreen and we watch the Jump Street crew being briefed about the case and piecing together clues, everything is shown from the villain's perspective. We know from the beginning of the episode that Mike is the murderer, but since Hanson and Penhall function as secondary characters, we don't see the full details of how they manage to figure this out before arresting him.
    • 2245 features as the protagonist a man who earlier in the series had appeared as a criminal, and by now is in prison and sentenced to the death penalty. He certainly is a villain to the 21 Jump Street team, as he had murdered one of their co-workers.
  • Wham Episode: Season 4 ep. 4 "Come From The Shadows": Doug, who previously in the series had only had a serious relationship with Dorothy but otherwise was always pretty much a flirt with all women note , falls seriously in love with and marries an El Salvadorian woman. She is extradited out of the U.S. by the end of the episode and in a What Happened to the Mouse? manner, isn't mentioned in any way for 14 episodes; then ep. 18 "La Bizca", another Wham Episode, shows Doug and Tom going to war-ridden El Salvador to look for her spoiler  For the remainder of the season, her entire existance is again ignored (though Doug adopts and cares for her nefew Clavo).
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • "Christmas in Saigon" is one of these in addition to being A Day in the Limelight for Ioki. "Chapel of Love" is one for the rest of the cast, as they all reminisce about bad dates (though in Hoffs' case, the bad date happened during the timeframe of the episode).
    • "2245" in Season 4 consists mostly of flashbacks of Ronnie showing his backstory and how he got convicted to the death sentence that he gets at the end of the episode.
    • "Chapel of Love" features each character telling about a bad date they once had on Valentine Day, and they're all shown in flashback (even the downplayed example of Judy, who's telling about a date that happened on the same day - it's still shown as a flashback).
    • "Woolly Bullies" had all characters tell about being bullied in their childhood, and featured flashbacks for all of them.
    • "Things We Said Today": someone who Ioki arrested three years earlier, shows up, and tells Ioki in flashbacks how that event shaped his and his family's life.
    • "Back From the Future": This takes place about 50 years after the events in the series, and consists of flashbacks (actually, re-showing) of important moments that had happened on the show until then.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • Johnny Depp's attraction to eyeliner didn't start with Captain Jack Sparrow - during his time on this show, he was undercover in drag in "In the Custody of a Clown" and looked far too convincing.
    • In on episode, Hanson complains about being in drag for other cases, and laughs that it was getting him asked out by guys. Consider how effective he is in drag, it's hard to tell if he's joking or just laughing it off.
    • Harry dresses up as a woman so that his stakeout with Doug in season three looks like a regular date.
  • Woobie of the Week: In many episodes. Some of the most prominent:
    • A teenage boy that had / was dying from HIV/Aids note .
    • A criminal guy who gets a death sentence (in an interesting twist, earlier in the series he's featured as a pretty much one-dimensional criminal; by the 4th Season, he ends up getting the death sentence for his murders and a whole episode is devoted to showing his backstory, drawing some sympathy from the viewer).
    • A family Officer Judy coincidentally finds out physically abuses their teenage children (her Captain Fuller wants her to stay out of it, but she insists on helping the teenage children who are battered).
    • Poor Kenny - introduced in the pilot episode as a somewhat loser teenage boy (with a bitchy teenage sister, and strict parents) who unfortunately gets involved with drugs; he makes an appearance in Season 3 again - only to be put in a mental hospital and there suffocate to death trying to escape.
    • Mike from the Season 4 episode "Mike's P.O.V." - a teenage boy who murders the wife of his teacher for money; the episode explains his back story, which is that he has a major crush on one of his class mates, and it's implied he only did it to impress her.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet