Trivia / 21 Jump Street

The Series:

  • Bad Export for You: Inverted. All but the German DVD's suffer from terrible Clumsy Copyright Censorship, with missing music and scenes, but the German release features the original music and show. It has the full original audio included even in the English tracks on some episodes, although other episodes only have correct music on the German audio track.
  • California Doubling: Though supposedly set in the U.S., the fact that 21 Jump Street is shot in Canada is made clear by the fact that the extras were hired locally and thus do decidedly non-US things like say "grade 3" instead of "3rd grade" and write graffiti with words ending in "-our" instead of "-or". The only slightly blurred "Beautiful British Columbia" license plates are also a dead giveaway. Though when a license plate is clearly visible, it says "Beautiful Evergreen State", which is the Washington state nickname, but with the British Columbia plate design.
  • Dawson Casting: In Universe done by the 20-something cops whenever they go undercover as high school teenagers.
  • Fake Nationality: Ioki's character was originally written as Japanese, while the actor was Vietnamese. This was retconned to make the character Vietnamese as well and that he'd just been pretending to be Japanese.
  • Irony: Johnny Depp signed onto the show mainly because he wanted to work with Frederic Forrest, the actor playing Captain Jenko. Jenko was killed off after just 6 episodes, and Depp was stuck on the show (to his increasingly vocal discontent) until the end of Season 4.
  • Missing Episode: The Blackout / Business As Usual episode is the last episode of Season 4, but isn't included on Season 4 DVD's. It instead is on the Season 5 DVD. Some more cynical fans think this was done to use Johnny Depp's popularity to sell more Season 5 DVD's—Johnny Depp appeared in Seasons 1-4 but not in 5, and this episode in question is his last one.
  • Out of Order: Blackout (to add further to the confusion, this episode is a.k.a. Business As Usual) is the last episode (26) of Season 4 and the last episode character Hanson appears in—his character is next Chuck Cunninghammed out of existence without any set-up. Taking a look at the last episodes of Season 4 though, it becomes clear that episode 20, Last Chance High, actually subtly set up his character leaving—during it, he discusses with Penhall stuff like "Aren't we getting too old for this?", "We should move on", and "[Their gag] the McQuaid brothers are dead, finito!". The episode then ends with Penhall agreeing they've grown out of this phase, and giving Hanson a big man-hug. This clearly was to be the last episode character Hanson was supposed to appear in. Also evidenced if you take close notice of Hanson's hair during Season 4: it grows longer over the Season, but during the episodes of the latter half of the Season, it sometimes switches length, indicating that episodes were switched in order. In any case, the Blackout / Business As Usual episode, apparently was pushed back to the end of the Season because it was deemed controversial (dealing with high school students physically attacking their teachers at school), which explains why it is such a weird ending for the Season. The episode also for whatever reason wasn't included on the Season 4 DVD when that came out.
  • Recycled Script:
    • The Season 4 episode "Old Haunts in the New Age" seemed this to Season 1 episode "Worst Night of Your Life". Both are Halloween episodes; are about arson in schools; feature a character that at first seems to clearly be the offender but isn't note ; in both, the police officers reveal their true identity pretty quickly to these respective previous suspects and then go on to work together with them to get the real arsonist; in both, religion or spirituality played a role (the 1st took place in a Catholic school, the 2nd was about spiritualism); both ended with the police officers attending a Halloween prom undercover; and a fire breaking out at that prom despite the efforts of police and the schools to prevent this; and the fire doing no physical damage to anyone, but revealing the real arsonist at the prom, who then got arrested.
    • There were two episodes (Afterschool Special and Say It Ain't So, Pete) that featured Fuller going undercover as a teacher, quickly figuring out a student was illiterate, and convincing the student to learn how to read.
  • Science Marches On : In Season 2's Big Disease With a Little Name, Hanson goes undercover as a bodyguard to a teen with Aids; in Season 5's The Girl Next Door, McCann goes undercover to investigate a hit-and-run of a teen who turned out to be HIV positive; it turns out that he'd infected his female friends-with-benefits with the virus as well, which was the motive. Not only does the show now distinguish between Aids and HIV positive (which didn't often happen at the start of the epidemic), but the Season 5 episode acknowledges the advancements in treatment; the teen in Season 2 dies a fairly short time after being diagnosed, but in Season 5 a HIV positive character is taking AZT, and ends the episode by getting into a drug trial that might extend her life even further.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The series is extremely 80's, not just with everybody's hair and clothes, but with the social issues it addressed, and how it depicted society—it's a clear picture of what the 80's were like.
  • You Look Familiar: MANY actors were "recycled" for different guest roles. Some examples:
    • Jason Priestly (of later Beverly Hills 90210 fame) played a troubled teen in Mean Streets and Pastel Houses and later played a different character in Two For the Road.
    • Lochlyn (Rick) Munro played different characters in multiple episodes.
    • One actor, Don S. Davis, even appeared no less than 5 times in different roles, including one as a high school principal, and as a prison warden.

The Film:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Ice Cube's verse from "Straight Outta Compton" plays as he talks to Jenko and Schmidt.
    • When planning for their party, Schmidt and Jenko jokingly wonder how they are going to get alcohol, since neither one has a fake ID, a reference to Super Bad. Jonah Hill and Dave Franco were also high school classmates in that film too.
    • When Schmidt and Jenko are being briefed on HFS, two usernames can be seen as 'Chanchan' and 'Brielar'.
    • A partial example. Molly is starring in a production of Peter Pan. Brie Larson had auditioned to play Wendy in the 2003 version.
  • Dawson Casting: Although the movie parodies this with Jonah Hill (29) and Channing Tatum (32) trying to pass for high school students, it's still played straight with the actors playing the actual high school students. Brie Larson was 22 and Dave Franco was 27, both playing 18-year-olds.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Jonah Hill actually lost forty pounds for the movie, in order to be able to do some of the more physically demanding stunts.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • The directors of these films are best known for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie. Lampshaded by a TV spot for The LEGO Movie, which played up that it was from the directors of 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, then adding, "Neither of which have anything to do with this movie."
    • At the time Channing Tatum was pretty solidly typecast as an action star or romantic lead. This marked his first big comedy and, along with Magic Mike, showed that he had quite a flair for it.
  • Too Soon: In the audio commentary, it is mentioned that the line "Doing cocaine with Willie Nelson's horse" was originally "Doing cocaine with Whitney Houston's niece." This was changed because of Houston's death shortly before the editing of the movie was supposed to be finished, and at the last minute they had to call the actor to come in and dub over a new line.
  • What Could Have Been: Emma Stone was considered for Molly, but she was too busy filming The Amazing Spider-Man.


  • Truth in Television: Whether or not it was deliberately inspired by the show, using young-looking police officers undercover as high school students has actually been done. Read about the real-life example of Alex Salinas here.