WMG / Columbo

Lt. Columbo deliberately obscures his first name as protection from Death Notes
This ties in with the Death Note theory that Columbo is L's grandfather. The family has known about the Notes for some time, and Columbo hides his first name from everyone in case one comes up.
  • Columbo also suggested L's name after the initialism of their esteemed ancestor Linnaeus.

Lt. Columbo is the mentor to Robert Goren
At some point, Goren studied Columbo's full case history and his methodology, learning as much as he could from them and then adapting them to his own use.

Lt. Columbo isn't human.
He's one of the Erinyes, also known as Furies, ancient Greek female demigods of vengeance that, as often as not, punished those who showed hubris against the gods (which is about all they cared about) in their otherwise non-Fury notable crimes. Most of Columbo's perps are generally smug and arrogant, and go to great lengths to hide their crimes. No one believes in furies anymore, and just to have something to do in retirement, Columbo pretends to be a shabby homicide lieutenant in a otherwise random city full of murders by people who have to time to plan these things. He might even be Nemesis herself, and her gender flip is just a nod to the times. The wife, the brothers-in-law, the nieces and nephews, none of them exist. A little divine magic keeps the cops confused but generally accepting of the Lt. coming in on another case. The dog is a retired hound of Artemis, because all dogs dream of being as lazy as the average Bassett hound.

Notice, Columbo rarely chases dead ends or red herrings, and more often than not, the killers are rich and powerful people who see themselves above the law. Usually, the person he spends the entire episode irritating is the person that committed the murder, no matter how well they hid the evidence and covered their tracks. Even if everything points to another person, Columbo is still off getting up the nose of the person the audience knows from the beginning did the deed, even if he has no proof. Columbo just knows. He doesn't arrest them, of course, because part of their punishment for the arrogance of both hiding their murder and committing it in the first place is to be utterly humiliated by this little shabby, squinting cop with with broke-down car and cheap cigars.

Lt. Columbo is a sociopath.
He lies without hesitation in order to catch the culprit. He even fakes feelings. He once faked being in love.

His greatest thrill is using the legal system to kill his victims. Yes, some of his victims do get killed — the death penalty was legal in California during most of the original run.
  • Would this make Columbo a proto-Dexter?

Like many sociopathic killers, he sees himself as smart. He's very meticulous despite appearances. He gets an extra thrill out of catching the most cunning killers with the most unusual evidence.

He does not carry the real evidence around with him
Come on, this is not a stupid man. It's rather likely that Columbo obtains copies of the evidence to haul around with him. While he has displayed the actual evidence on occasion he's probably not going to put murder bullets in his pocket or into paper bags where they could be lost or tainted. If he really was doing this, almost all of his cases would be thrown out.

Columbo and Quincy are set in the same universe
Gary Walberg, the actor who played Lt. Monahan in Quincy showed up as an unnamed police sergeant in an early Columbo film Lady In Waiting. Maybe he later got promoted and moved to another precinct?

Coloumbo's wife is smoking hot
She's enough of a looker for Columbo not to chase women who look like Faye Dunnaway.
  • Peter Falk was married to Shera Danese- in a way, this one is true

Columbo's "wife" is actually his husband.
You never see his "wife" because he doesn't have one. He doesn't chase hot women because he's not into women. He's gay, and lives with a male partner. His fellow cops might know the truth, and just turn a blind eye. Being gay in the '70s may not have been as bad as it was in other decades, but the stigma was bad enough to warrant secrecy on the part of Columbo and his partner.

Grace Wheeler was suffering from ill-effects of her condition when she shot her husband
It seems her plan to kill him was cooked up on the spot, not premeditated, after he refused to fund her return to the stage. Then not a few minutes after the killing, she promptly forgot about it. Upon discovering the body and through the rest of the episode, she genuinely did not know she had killed the man. Besides memory loss, her condition caused brief psychosis- enough to kill a man out of greed. She certainly didn't seem to be the homicidal type otherwise...
  • This was literally the reveal at the end of the episode. Is this WMG just a troll?
    • No, the reveal was that her memory was affected as well as her pending death. It said nothing about causing behavioral changes. You done trolling?

Lt. Columbo is suffering from nightmares
That's the reason he always appears tired and distracted, especially in later seasons. All the deaths and sometimes grisly murder scenes he sees keep him restless at night. Also the reason why he keeps himself distracted with trivial things around him, it suppresses the memories.

"Columbo" takes place in the same universe as Star Trek.
Assuming the spin-off series Mrs. Columbo is canon, the lieutenant has some relative who bears a remarkable resemblance to Captain Janeway (but she is NOT Lt. Columbo's wife, just a cousin or something). Columbo also once dealt with a murderous surgeon who looked and sounded remarkably like Spock (who we know is half human). Columbo also dealt with a family named Paris. In the Star Trek universe, it's commonplace for Starfleet officer's ancestors to look and sound astoundingly like them. Conclusion: a lot of Starfleet officers had ancestors who lived in L.A. in the 20th century, and crossed paths with Lt. Columbo.

Lt. Columbo is the grandfather from The Princess Bride.

And, as this fanfiction suggests, he tells his grandson fairy stories based on the crimes he investigates.

Inspired by this fanfiction. Essentially, the grandfather from ''The Princess Bride

nicotine sulfate on such short notice.

"Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health" features the killer take out his victim by lacing cigarettes with nicotine sulfate, which is highly toxic. So how did he get this bottle on such short notice? Most killers seemed to have either set up their plans over time or used a gun, but this was quickly planned and you're not likely to go to a store and just buy this stuff, let alone Wade Anders was a major celebrity and it'd probably raise eyebrows for him to be trying to buy the stuff. Did he know some criminal supplier? Did he have it on hand already, perhaps considering killing Budd Clarke some time before?

Lt. Columbo hates guns because he doesn't want to kill anyone.

Throughout the series we learn he never carries a gun, hates guns, and has to pay Sgt. Burke to take his overdue pistol range test because he's a lousy shot. When he's finally required to carry a gun- in both 87th Precinct adaptations- he's prepared to use them if necessary. While the captain forces him to carry one while undercover, it becomes necessary to point the weapon at Mo Weinberg, and we get the feeling he'd have used it if he had to. The second time is when family is in danger. Columbo CAN use a gun, he's just afraid of having to murder someone so he usually chooses not to carry one. It's only when things go way too far that he would even consider it. The ending to "Columbo Goes to the Guillotine" doesn't count as he was using a novelty bang flag gun.

And yes, we do know that Columbo has a glass eye, much as Falk did, but this is questionable if that would affect aim much as many professional shooters do use only one eye when aiming. His troubled aim could be due more to inexperience with handling guns over the glass eye.

Columbo is God (or some other omnipotent deity).
Columbo always seems to know exactly who the killer is, and he always comes up with the solution. He's actually a god that got bored and decided to be a homicide detective. That's how he always finds out who the murderer is. He pretends to be struggling as part of the fun. Mrs Columbo is also a deity but doesn't bother with a physical form. Dog is a deity that just likes being a lazy-ass dog. That would explain why he's lived 30+ years.

Mrs. Columbo isn't real.
She never appears in the show, and it's been stated that Mrs. Columbo is not canon in this show. Mrs. Columbo in Columbo isn't real; Columbo just made her up as a way to throw off the perps. Alternately, she's dead, but Columbo still acts as if she's still alive.

  • Largely Jossed- he speaks to her several times on the phone.

    • What makes you think he's calling Mrs. Columbo?

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