C.O.P.S., which stands for Central Organization of Police Specialists, was an animated series produced by DiC Entertainment that ran from 1988 to 1989 as one of the many Merchandise-DrivenSixty Five Episode Cartoons made for syndication. A few years later, it had a brief run on CBS' Saturday morning schedule under the name Cyber COPS. The show was based on a toy line called C.O.P.S 'n' Crooks, which were futuristic police and criminal based action figures produced by Hasbro.Set in the year 2020, the show took place in the metropolis Empire City. The main story revolved around Agent Baldwin P. Vess, codename Bulletproof, who has been sent out to stop Big Boss (no relation), a criminal mastermind who has taken over the city. However, after being attacked by the henchmen of Big Boss and suffering a near-fatal wound, Vess is taken to the hospital and given a new bullet-resistant torso. While he is recovering, he contacts Officer P.J. O'Malley (aka LongArm) and rookie Donny Brooks (HardTop) to find the best law enforcement officers around. They are able to recruit several people. Among them are David E. "Highway" Harlson, Colt "Mace" Howards, Stan "Barricade" Hyde, Tina "Mainframe" Cassidy, Walker "Sundown" Calhoun, Suzie "Mirage" Young, Hugh S. "Bullseye" Forward, and Rex "Bowser" Pointer and his robot dog, Blitz. Together these people make up C.O.P.S., using their combined power to stop Big Boss.At the very same time as the cartoon, there was also a C.O.P.S. comic book by DC Comics, which had a much different storyline that was Darker and Edgier.Not to be confused with the live action series COPS. Compare with You're Under Arrest!, an anime with a similar (if not more realistic & relatively modern) perspective.
Balloonacy: As a birthday present for Big Boss, Berserko tried to steal the Cornucopia Bridge, by inflating the world's largest balloon and blowing up the supports. The C.O.P.S. stop him before he can fire the explosives so we don't see the bridge fly, but their reaction upon seeing the huge balloon inflated inside the bridge says that it wouldn't work.
Berserk Button: Buttons really hated insects, to the point of sending out his double machine-guns at the mere sight of one.
At the beginning of one episode, he's trying to kill a fly with a Tommy gun, and almost shoots Rock Crusher numerous times.
Early Installment Weirdness: In the initial episodes, Big Boss was a known criminal to the general public and would make open threats against the entire city using public broadcast monitors. Later on, he was regarded as a legit businessman with merely suspected but unproven criminal ties, and his own mother was unaware of any of this—which even Big Boss begged the COPS to keep quiet because the knowledge could've upset or even killed her.
Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: In "The Case of The Brilliant Berserko", Berserko steals a "chess crown" meant to augment intelligence and becomes a well-mannered (if still criminal) supergenius. In the middle of the episode, the battery momentarily fails, setting up the common "it's just temporary" plot - but subverting it when he gets it working again almost immediately.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: The flowers that were mentioned stolen for Berserko's wedding, when you see them at the wedding, are wreaths that say "R.I.P." on them.
In the episode with the cave man, Buttons walks by a figurine of a woman with exposed nipples, picks it up, and looks at it, before walking off with it.
Mirage's cleavage in the Berserko wedding episode.
Lampshaded in one episode, where a waiter asks Mace if he wants a cocktail, and Mace says he doesn't drink. The waiter says, "Very good, sir!", walks off, and promptly says, "Normally I wouldn't have said that, but this is television..."
Lawful Stupid: When Ms. Demeanor is arrested and sentenced to an experimental rehabilitation program, she is made to wear a mind-altering tiara that forces her to abide to the law. All laws. By the book. She finds a car parked three inches out of a space into a red zone and lifts it out by hand, destroying its tires (and presumably its suspension) when she drops it back down. The judge decides to pull the plug on the project when she arrests him for littering.
Leave Him to Me: When Sundown's crooked former partner comes calling, he's taken off the case because it's too close to him - but he just can't let Johnny Yuma get away without a word.
Punny Name: Many of the names, including "Ms. Demeanor".
The Quiet One: Buttons McBoomBoom has speaking roles in very few episodes. Adding on to this he has a low sinister voice.
Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Big Boss does this while working on his keynote speech for the crime convention. "The hotel management would like me to inform you that someone has been stealing towels. Pause for laugh..."
Restraining Bolt: When Ms. Demeanor is arrested and sentenced to an experimental rehabilitation program, she is made to wear a mind-altering tiara.
Right-Hand Cat: Big Boss' pet Scratch is actually a weasel, because subtlety is for chumps.
Rogues Gallery: Fittingly enough, given that this is a police show. The recurring enemies are: Big Boss, Berserko, Dr. Badvibes, Nightshade, Buttons McBoomBoom, Rock Crusher, Ms. Demeanor, and Turbo Tu-Tone.
Shout-Out: In the episode where Longarm's father tries to rejoin the force, the board of directors that signs the rejection form include Paul McCartney and Michael Jordan. When the COPS computers list any sort of information, they are actually listing the supply inventory for the cartoon.
The character Checkpoint's name is Wayne Sneeden III. According to his filecard, his father was a member of a top-secret military team that operated in the '80s and '90s. The G.I. Joe member Beach Head happens to be named Wayne R. Sneeden.
Status Quo Is God: Despite the crooks usually being arrested at the end of any episode where they make a significant appearance and Bulletproof's closing narration that they went up the river for a long time, they're always back out by the next episode.
Mainframe and Mirage surprisingly avert this, both being relatively even handed in design. Neither is overtly "girly" (with Mainframe only investigating a beauty pageant after the surprise suggestion that should enter) and both have shown a few tomboyish traits (Mainframe directly picking up a dead mouse and Mirage carrying Mainframe on her shoulders while running uphill on a treadmill).
While Ms. Demeanor is pretty blatantly a tomboy, she still gets offended if not treated like a lady.
There actually is valid logic for it, because you can't make money off of dead people, so from a business perspective drugs kill off people he could continue making money off of (one can consider his exclaiming 'drugs kill' just leaves off the 'the suckers I make money off of' due to moral watchdog requirements, something many old-school real life crime bosses held to).
On the other hand, he may just have a moral code. Killing police officers may have been an acceptable act if they got in the way (though more than often, he was content to capture and detain them), killing random people seemed beyond him... for that matter, why'd he let Addictem go rather than just having McBoomBoom shoot him?
Video Phone: Video phones are the norm to the point that even public phone booths have screens; they are, after all, fighting crime in a future time. And yes, cell phones pretty much don't exist.
Where The Hell Is Springfield?: Zig-zagged. Empire City's location is never outright said, though it is a coastal city with an open harbor which would place it on the east or west coast. However, the episode with Nightshade entering the beauty pageant featured her trying to escape by crossing state lines, by driving over the bridge spanning Empire City's main river- the sign at the state border read New Jersey, which makes the most likely location somewhere in Delaware, either the Dover or Lewes region.
You Killed My Brother: In issue #1 of the comic, Big Boss blames Bulletproof for the imprisonment and death of his twin brother.
This plot is never mentioned in the cartoon, although while it's implied that Berzerko's father is dead, he says his mother is still alive
Zeerust: Having been made 30 years before the show was actually set, this happens in spades.
Video phones are on every street corner and in every home and business, but portable phones do not exist. Modern cell phones and iPhone types aren't even close, even 80s/90s style portable phones aren't used.
Every computer seems to be running DOS and mice aren't ever used.
VHS and audio cassette tapes are still used by everyone, as are floppy disks.
Flying personal speeder craft and cars exist, although typical 4-wheeled cars are still used by the majority.
The electrical connectors Bulletproof uses to interface with computers would likely be USB or Ethernet connectors these days. Or he'd be Bluetooth-compatible.