Follow TV Tropes


Context Main / StrangeCopInAStrangeLand

Go To

1[[quoteright:330:[[Series/McCloud]]]] ˛˛-> '''Sergeant Taggart:''' We're more likely to believe an important local businessman than a foulmouthed jerk from out of town.\˛ '''Axel Foley:''' Foulmouthed? ''[Taggart nods]'' Fuck you, man.˛-->-- ''Film/BeverlyHillsCop''˛˛A very specific sub-trope of FishOutOfWater, this is what happens when a cop must journey outside their assigned jurisdiction to solve a case or catch a criminal.˛˛A very effective story-telling tool, this trope can set the stage for many interesting deconstructions, reconstructions, or parodies of cop/detective tropes. One of the most popular byproducts of this trope is the CultureClash between a CowboyCop and his ByTheBookCop partner. Indeed, the Cowboy Cop may come from a place where his rule-breaking antics are not only not punished, but are necessary to his job, but he relocates to a place where such initiative is frowned upon. Naturally JurisdictionFriction may occur.˛˛Also this can result in a Buddy Cop scenario, as two cops from two different law enforcement worlds may [[NotSoDifferentRemark realize that aren't so different]] after all and come to a comfortable working relationship.˛˛For obvious reasons, this applies to local, city, or state law enforcment officials or detectives. May include domestic national investigators. Government espionage agents like Franchise/JamesBond, [[Series/MissionImpossible Jim Phelps,]] or [[Film/MissionImpossible Ethan Hunt]] travel the world as part of their duties, so they wouldn't count.˛˛----˛!!Examples:˛˛[[foldercontrol]]˛˛[[folder:Anime & Manga]]˛* ''Anime/ArmitageIII'' is made of this trope. ByTheBookCop travels to Mars, meets CowboyCop, awkwardness (and later buddying) ensues.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Comic Books]]˛* Happens whenever ComicBook/JudgeDredd leaves Mega-City One to pursue criminals in foreign jurisdictions. He'll note that local judges are too lax or corrupt, but is forced to abide by their laws.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]˛* One of the best examples is TheEighties hit ''Film/BeverlyHillsCop''. The eponymous character is not a policeman in Beverly Hills, but rather a UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}} cop whose CowboyCop ways clash with the more straight-laced Beverly Hills PD. To be fair, his CowboyCop ways clash with his own superiors in Detroit as well.˛* In ''Film/BlackRain'', a simple task to return a Yakuza back to the Japanese authorities leads to two NYPD cops getting embroiled in a gang war in Osaka.˛* In ''{{Film/Cruising}}'', a BigApplesauce straight cop goes undercover in the [[TheSeventies 1970s]] local gay scene to catch a SerialKiller preying on homosexual men.˛* ''Film/DemolitionMan'': a [[CowboyCop loose cannon]] LAPD cop from the late '90s [[RipVanWinkle wakes up]] in the pacifist dystopia of the 2030s.˛* ''Film/FinalJustice'' emphasizes this to the point it becomes a mind numbing wash, rinse and repeat routine. The film's main character, Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, a deputy sheriff from Texas, constantly is at odds with the police force of Malta. It's not hard to understand since Geronimo puts virtually no genuine effort at all throughout the movie in subduing criminals preferring instead to shoot them dead.˛* The first two ''Franchise/DieHard'' movie see UsefulNotes/{{New York|City}} cop John [=McClane=] taking on terrorists in unfamiliar locations (an office tower in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles, and a UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC airport) and with law enforcement that don't necessarily appreciate his methods.˛* ''Film/TheFrenchConnection II'' finds Detective Popeye Doyle, the New York narc from the first film, traveling to Marseilles to catch the French drug kingpin. He isn't fond of the French law officials, and they aren't very fond of the alleged "true American hero". ˛* A dramatic example with ''Film/InTheHeatOfTheNight'', released in 1967, in which a black UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} detective finds himself first accused of killing a white man in very racist town, [[DeepSouth Sparta, Mississippi]], and then actually gets pressed into helping the bigoted white police chief catch the real killer.˛* ''Film/{{Hellbound}}'': Shatter and Jackson are two Chicago cops who are summoned to Jerusalem by Israeli police for questioning regarding a Rabbi who was murdered by a demon posing as a businessman. Shatter ignores the demands of the local chief not to get involved and starts his own investigation.˛* In ''Film/RedHeat'', Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger plays a humorless Soviet cop on a special mission to arrest a Georgian drug kingpin that has fled to Chicago. Creator/JamesBelushi is the laid-back American cop paired with him.˛* ''Film/RisingSun'': An American detective investigates a murder in a Japanese company's headquarters. In Los Angeles, but the Japanese corporate culture (and culture in general) is centerfold.˛* The ''Film/RushHour'' movies. In the first, Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) is the (very) Strange Cop in the (very) Strange Land, in this case Los Angeles. In the second movie, Detective Carter (Chris Tucker) has to figure out how to fit in in Hong Kong. In the third movie, both are Strange Cops in Paris, France.˛** [[SpiritualSuccessor Spiritual]]... "Predecessor" ''Film/ShanghaiNoon'' stars Jackie Chan as Chinese ''Imperial Guard'' Chong Wang (pronounced Creator/JohnWayne), who travels to TheWildWest to rescue a kidnapped Chinese princess and later [[IChooseToStay decides to stay]] and become a sheriff in Nevada. In the sequel ''Film/ShanghaiKnights'', Chong and his American pal Roy team with UsefulNotes/ScotlandYard to catch an international criminal in VictorianLondon.˛* ''Film/ShaftInAfrica''. ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.˛* ''Film/AStrangerAmongUs'' is about a New York City police officer sent undercover to solve a crime in the city's Hasidic (Orthodox Jewish) community. That said officer is a woman creates further complications as she must adopt a more conservative appearance and struggles with attraction to a man who is betrothed to another.˛* ''Film/WindRiver'': Jane is a young white FBI agent stationed out in Las Vegas. Being sent out to TheRez in freezing Wyoming is a brutally eye opening experience on how neglected they are. ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Literature]]˛* In the ''Literature/AnnaPigeon'' novels, Anna is a law enforcement park ranger whose usually works in the wilds of various large national parks. In ''Liberty Falling'', she visits New York City and ends up solving a crime while staying on the ranger accommodation on Liberty Island. ˛* Sam Vimes in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels ''Literature/{{Jingo}}'' ([[{{Qurac}} Klatch]]), ''Literature/TheFifthElephant'' ({{Uberwald}})), ''Literature/{{Thud}}'' (Uberwald again) and ''Literature/{{Snuff}}'' ([[UsefulNotes/HomeCounties the Shires]] [[spoiler: and [[{{UsefulNotes/Paris}} Quirm]]]]). And also ''Literature/{{Night Watch|Discworld}}'', where the strange and foreign country is his own native [[AFoggyDayInLondonTown Ankh]]-[[BigRottenApple Morpork]] -- but thirty years previously in his past...˛* Happens twice to Jim Chee in the ''Literature/LeaphornAndChee'' series by Creator/TonyHillerman. Chee is a Navajo Tribal Police officer whose jurisdiction is the Navajo reservation in New Mexico and Arizona. In ''The Ghostway'', however, his case takes him to Los Angeles. In ''Talking God'' he goes to Washington, D.C. He experiences mild culture shock in both instances, mostly due to being very much a CountryMouse.˛** In the TV adaptation, Joe Leaphorn is the fish out of water, a detective with little to no knowledge of Navajo culture (quite unlike the books, where he has advanced degrees in it), assisted by young cop/novice medicine man Jim Chee.˛* The ''Literature/RiversOfLondon'' book ''Foxglove Summer'' drags PC Peter Grant into the countryside. According to Ben Aaronovitch, it was originally going to be the second book, but the publishers felt there should be more books set in London to establish Peter as a CityMouse before taking him out of his comfort zone.˛* ''Literature/SonchaiJitpleecheep'': In ''Bangkok 8'', FBI Agent Jones is the Strange Cop in Thailand, cheerfully attaching herself to local cop Sonchai Jitpleecheep.˛* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'': ''Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Droids'' recounts an anecdote where a [[ 501-Z police droid]] pursued a crime lord to Nar Shaddaa, one of many {{Wretched Hive}}s in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Not really getting that its authority wasn't any good there, it attempted to proceed according to normal procedure and got blasted.˛* ''Literature/TortallUniverse'': ''Literature/BekaCooper'' experiences this in ''Bloodhound'' when her investigation takes her out of Corus to Port Caynn. Fortunately, part of her cover is being flighty and incompetent, so she can get away with not knowing where everything is. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:the head of the Provost's Guard is totally cowed by the local crime lord]].˛* This is one of the focal points of character development for Literature/ShiraCalpurnia in her first book, ''Crossfire''. None of her previous posts have prepared her for the environment of Hydraphurian politics and the myriad social mores and cues that she needs to learn to fully function in her role. Her superior, Leandro, is an adroit teacher, but Calpurnia often finds herself driven to frustration over this.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Live-Action TV]]˛* ''Series/{{Continuum}}'' has a law enforcement officer from a futuristic corporate dystopia sent back in time along with a group of terrorists about to be executed, and works her way into allying herself with the circa-2012 Vancouver police department to try and stop them, posing as a secret service agent. ˛* ''Series/DueSouth'', wherein a Canadian Mountie comes to UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} to fight crime, while still being a stereotypically unfailingly polite Canadian.˛* ''Series/MiamiVice'':˛** One of the two protagonists was originally a New York detective. When his quest to avenge the death of his brother brough him into conflict, and grudging partnership, with a UsefulNotes/{{Miami}} vice cop, he was persuaded to stay permanently.˛** A later episode reverses this when they have to travel to New York to stop some Colombian drug dealers. Now Tubbs is back on his home turf and Crockett is the fish out of water.˛** Several episodes feature Crockett and/or Tubbs having to leave Miami and go to some exotic, dangerous location to pursue criminals. The above-mentioned New York episode begins with a ColdOpen in Bogota.˛* In ''Series/TimeTrax'' late 22nd-century Fugitive Retrieval Section Captain Darien Lambert pursues some convicts who've escaped to the late 1990s.˛* ''Series/{{Life on Mars|2006}}'' has a PresentDay DCI wake up in TheSeventies, where, needless to say, [[CowboyCop police work has a much different meaning]]. There has been an American, Spanish and Russian remake of the same concept, though the Russian version ''Dark Side of the Moon'' inverts the idea -- the CowboyCop is from the present day, and is forced to work under the bureaucratic Communist system.˛* Marshal Sam Series/McCloud, of Taos, New Mexico, escorts a prisoner to New York City and winds up on semi-permanent, "special assignment" with the NYPD. While he is a literal CowboyCop who regularly drives his bosses bonkers with his methods, it's very much downplayed otherwise.˛* ''Series/{{CSI}}'':˛** In the ''CSI''-verse, the two spinoffs began with this trope. ''Series/CSIMiami'' began with the original Vegas crew going to Miami to solve a case and likewise when the Miami crew went to New York, it spun off ''Series/{{CSINY}}''.˛** Mother series ''Series/CSICrimeSceneInvestigation'' also had "Jackpot," where Grissom travels to a small mountain town after a severed head is mailed to Las Vegas from there; and "Hollywood Brass" and "Two and a Half Deaths," where Grissom and Brass travel to Los Angeles as part of their current investigations (though ironically, this is where ''CSI'' was [[CaliforniaDoubling actually filmed]]).˛* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'':˛** Mac in Chicago. The CPD does not like him waving his badge to get into a vacant Tribune building floor in "The Thing About Heroes."˛** In the episode "Grounds for Deception," Detectives Bonasera and Taylor travel to Greece in pursuit of a ring of antiquities smugglers. Detective Taylor not only brings his firearm to Europe (for which he does not have a license in Greece), but discharges it multiple times while in pursuit of a fleeing suspect, eventually shooting him. No legal consequences or complications with local authorities arise from this exchange.˛*** The authorities DID tell him he was allowed to keep his gun, but that they *preferred* he not use it. Yeah, right.˛** In the episode "2,918 Miles," Mac and Jo follow a lead to San Francisco with a friend of hers, FBI Agent Cade Conover. At one point Mac tells the suspect he's just apprehended, "I'm not from around here." Conover, who was also chasing the guy, immediately arrives to take charge.˛* Franchise/SherlockHolmes adaptation ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' features a flavor of this when Holmes, former Scotland Yard consultant, checks into rehab in New York City and becomes a consultant for the NYPD.˛* ''Series/TwinPeaks'': [[AgentMulder Special Agent Dale Cooper]] in the eponymous TownWithADarkSecret.˛* FBI agent Audrey Parker on ''Series/{{Haven}}'' goes to the titular Haven, Maine to investigate a case. She ends up staying and working with local cop Nathan after seeing the effects of the Troubles.˛* Many episodes of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' have some shade of this on account of every new episode taking place in a new location. Some notable examples are "Machismo" (set in Mexico), "Lessons Learned" (set in Guantanamo Bay), "Honor Among Thieves" (set in a secluded Russian immigrant community in Maryland), "House on Fire" (set in a small Indiana town), "Exit Wounds" (set in Alaska) and "Corazón" (set in an Afro-Caribbean community in Miami).˛** And it is made a permanent feature in the second SpinOff, ''Series/CriminalMindsBeyondBorders'', due to the SequelGoesForeign aspect. [[WeAllLiveInAmerica At least in theory]].˛* In ''Series/{{Narcos}}'', DEA Agent Murphy didn't even speak Spanish when he arrived in Colombia.˛* ''Series/MartialLaw'' [[FollowTheLeader repeats the formula]] of ''Rush Hour'' with the very FishOutOfWater Shanghai cop Shammo Law travelling to Los Angeles on a special mission and then staying as part of a new exchange program. The trope is averted with his pupil Pei-Pei, who was raised in America and is familiar with the local culture.˛* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'':˛** The episode "Republic of Murdoch" had Murdoch solving a murder in Newfoundland.˛** The ChristmasEpisode "Home for the Holidays" had Murdoch take a BusmansHoliday to visit his brother in Vancouver.˛* ''Series/DeathInParadise'': In the two part "Man Overboard", Humphrey, Florence and Dwayne travel from Saint Marie to London in pursuit of a murderer. While this is Humphrey's old stomping ground, Florence--and especially Dwayne--are well outside their comfort zone. Humphrey takes a certain pleasure in being the one playing guide for once.˛* ''Series/DelhiCrime'': Two suspects flee to their homes in rural Rajasthan and Bihar, forcing the Delhi cops to deal with undeveloped infrastructure, communist insurgents, and cultural differences while tracking them down.˛* Variation in ''{{Series/Tracker}}''. Cole is a Tracker and prison guard on his planet of Cirron but travels to Earth to capture 218 alien fugitives hiding here in human bodies.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Comics]]˛* The setting of ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'' features many video game characters of different origins and genre trying to co-exist in the same city. Newcomer game heroes often bring with them their old habits of attempting to right perceived wrongs and end up performing unwanted and illegal acts of vigilantism due to the culture shock. Rocket-Knight, one particular law-enforcement with a sense of chivalry that doesn't match with the setting, noted that he had struggled at first to adapt to the city and its varying rules and citizens. The situation we see in a quick flashback is when he intervened in what he thought was rescuing an accosted damsel in distress in an alley, only to be admonished by said "damsel" for scaring away her best customer. Mega Man, an actual law-enforcement agent of the city, remarks snarkily that the prostitute was no damsel while also chiding Rocket-Knight for his disruptive "heroic scene".˛[[/folder]]˛----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: