* CompleteMonster: Elio Escobar, from season 1’s "The Maze", is the most sinister, AxCrazy member of his drug dealing family. A murderer, thief, drug trafficker and vandal, Escobar murders a detective and has people taken hostage in a hotel, including a baby, with intent to murder them later. When he sees a girl he likes, Escobar tries to [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil rape her]]. When his brother Georges sees this, he tries to reason with and stop Elio. Elio simply murders his brother in response to this. [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even his brothers are disgusted by his utter psychosis]].
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Artist songs include "In The Air Tonight", "Long Long Way To Go", "Voices" and "Brothers In Arms". And then there's Jan Hammer's original music, including "Evan" and "Crockett's Theme".
** What other show could use Music/KateBush "Hello Earth" and make it work?
** Godley & Creme's "Cry" underlies a singular ending montage in "Definitely Miami."
* JerkassWoobie: A significant number of [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]].
* HoYay: Crockett and Tubbs. There's a sizeable amount of slash about them.
* {{Narm}}: In the season 3 episode "The Good Collar," Crockett has a PG-rated [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2EqpZatEyM&t=3m06s freakout]] when [[spoiler:the informant he's trying to help is killed]].
* LoveItOrHateIt: The 2006 film generated polarized reactions with critics and viewers. Fans of the film loved its DarkerAndEdgier take and evolution of certain characters (especially Tubbs, who in the show was often overshadowed by Crockett), while more critical takes attacked the lack of chemistry between its two leads and the stripping of much of the show's stylistic elements. To this day, bringing up that you like or dislike of the film can provoke rather ''passionate'' reactions in certain people.
* NightmareFuel: The start of the episode "Honor amongst Thieves" (Season 5 episode 16) is horrifying.
* ParanoiaFuel: One episode had an surveillance expert getting hired by the Vice crew AND a prominent drug lord the squad wanted to arrest [[ContrivedCoincidence at the same time]]. The expert proceeds to manipulate both sides by finding ''his own'' eavesdropping devices, partly to keep the increasingly paranoid drug lord from killing him, and partly because he [[ForTheEvulz enjoys mocking both sides]].
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Creator/KimCoates plays a biker...''thirty-one years'' before he was cast as Tig Trager in ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy''.
** Creator/HelenaBonhamCarter (no, ''really'') appeared in two episodes as Crockett's girlfriend.
** Oscar-nominee David Strathairn in "Out Where the Buses Don't Run."
** Joe Morton, Creator/VingRhames, and Garcelle Beauvais in "The Maze."
** Creator/WesleySnipes in "Streetwise." (Creator/BillPaxton, too, but he had already been in ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' by then.)
** Creator/BruceWillis in “No Exit”, a full year before he would star in ''Series/{{Moonlighting}}''.
* SeasonalRot: Many fans like to pretend the fourth and fifth seasons don't exist. Mainly due to the shift toward comedy and bizarre situations (such as one episode turning into a ''sci-fi AlienAbduction plot'') over gritty crime drama.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: It's hard for a younger audience to appreciate just how much [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1o-NWNmQLM one scene]] in the pilot episode said this show was going to be different from anything that had come before. The film-like editing and camera work, all set to a hit pop song, was completely unlike what ''anybody'' had seen in a television show at that point. Now it is common for shows to use full-length versions of contemporary pop songs, and edit and compose their shots more like cinema.
* SignatureScene: Crockett and Tubbs driving through Miami at night in the pilot episode "Brother's Keeper", city street lights blaring off the hood of their [[CoolCar Daytona]], loading their guns with Music/PhilCollins' [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "In the Air Tonight" slowly building up]].
* SpecialEffectFailure:
** In the pilot episode, the explosion that kills Crockett's partner has a cheesy looking ragdoll in the place of Jimmy Smits' character. In the shot where the car explodes, the ragdoll flies straight up in the air, as if being yanked by someone offscreen.
** In "Phil the Shill", an informant is seen being shot multiple times as he hangs upside down. However, since there was apparently no money in the budget for blood or gore effects, the man shakes around violently while being shot, and doesn't have any wounds or bloodstains when the gunmen leave.
** In "Milk Run", the final action sequence has Tubbs chase a gunman through an airport, just before taking cover behind a pillar as the villain unloads several shotgun rounds at him. Despite the gunman having just killed someone by firing through a pane of glass, no bullet holes or marks are seen on the pillar Tubbs is standing behind, and the sound of the shots is incorrectly timed.
** When Frank Mosca is killed by Gina and falls down the conveyor chute in the fourth-season episode "Blood and Roses", it's an obvious model dummy whose head falls off in the last few frames of the shot.
** The final-season episode "Victims of Circumstance" has a shot seen through a car as Crockett and Tubbs investigate a murder scene. The "car" is just a cut-out photo of a car interior that has been overlaid on the shot through matte work.
* TearJerker: Several of the episodes that dealt with Crockett and Tubbs seeing the violent ends of their former allies and informants, or simply coming to terms with the fact that for everything they've done, [[BeingGoodSucks innocent people die in the crossfire and the villains often get away scot-free]], become this.
* TheWoobie:
** Gina, in spades. Throughout the series, she either falls for men who turn out to be amoral at best, sees her friends abused or raped by villainous boyfriends, or is forced to sleep with mobsters to maintain her cover during sting operations. It's also revealed in the third season that her mother was shot to death when she was a child, and the killer tries to murder Gina 26 years later.
** Even Crockett himself gets this. Despite the fact that he's the main character and is often seen with a parade of women, none of his relationships work out because he's MarriedToTheJob, not to mention that several of his past/present girlfriends are either injured or killed as a result of being around him. Several of his friends and former acquaintances come back to Miami, only to either lose their sanity as a result of his actions or die in messy ways. His plans to get out of Vice and live with his new wife Caitlin are scuttled when a villain (who he inadvertently got off Death Row) comes back and shoots her during a concert, leading Crockett to lose his sanity and resort to his alter ego. By the end of the series, he's so burned out by his work (and [[BeingGoodSucks seeing villains get away while his friends die]]) that he throws down his badge in disgust and quits the force.
* WTHCastingAgency: Several examples throughout the show's run, but special notice has to be given to casting Music/JamesBrown as an ''extraterrestrial alien'' during one of the show's more...bizarre episodes.