This page relates to characters seen in the series Miami Vice (1984-1989).
Miami-Dade Police Department
James "Sonny" Crockett
Played By: Don Johnson
- Absentee Actor: Is only missing in one episode in the series, Season 5's "Borrasca", where he is said to be testifying against a mob dealer (alongside Castillo, who is similarly absent) in a neighboring county.
- Abusive Parents: Crockett hints in several episode that his father was an alcoholic who beat his own wife and was gone for long stretches of time. His behaviour is implied to have influenced Crockett's need to protect other women.
- The Ace: He makes it abundantly clear from his earliest appearances that he is very good at his job, being able to bluff his way into numerous situations (as is befitting his alter ego as a high-profile drug dealer) and carry out dangerous tasks with ease. Notably, in the Sonny Burnett arc in season five, he proves himself to be so capable as a mob enforcer that he singlehandedly destabilizes several cartels, doing far more damage as an enemy than he ever did as a Miami-Dade cop.
- Affectionate Nickname: Tends to call Tubbs "Rico" throughout the series, usually during lighthearted moments.
- Amicable Exes: While Caroline files for divorce from Crockett early in the first season, they remain on (relatively) good terms with each for the remainder of her appearances on the series.
- Amnesia Episode: The first four episodes of the fifth season, which sees Crockett subsume his role as the Sonny Burnett alias due to Trauma-Induced Amnesia.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Exemplifed when Crockett gets his memories back. He walks right into the Miami-Dade police precinct, spends a few moments walking around in the building, and strolls right into the middle of the precinct's office before every cop pulls their weapons on him, which finally clues him in that something's wrong.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite being beaten, injured and shot at multiple times over the course of the series, Sonny's looks are none the worse for wear. This is actually a plot point for his character — it's implied that his looks cause mobsters to underestimate him, allowing him to get the drop on them more easily.
- Becoming the Mask: Crockett loses his memories after he is caught in an explosion at the end of the fourth season, and subsumes the role of his undercover alias, Sonny Burnett, for the course of several episodes.
- Being Good Sucks: Part of Crockett's eventual decision to quit the force by the end of the series is that, for all of his (and the rest of the force's) attempts to do the right thing, it often results in the villains getting off on technicalities and innocent people being caught in the crossfire. This is further exemplified in the Sonny Burnett arc in season five, where (as the personal hitman working for multiple cartels), Burnett does far more damage and accomplishes more in destabilizing enemy factions than he ever could as a Miami-Dade cop.
- Berserk Button: Tends to drop all pretenses and lose it whenever he encounters a man who admits to abusing women.
- Big Brother Instinct: Raised in a family with a largely absentee (and possibly alcoholic) father, Crockett had an older brother, Jake, who protected him from bullies in their youth.
- Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Resorts to pointing a gun in Elvis the alligator's face and dangling his prized blanket over the railing of the St. Vitus Dance after latter chews up Crockett's Buddy Holly collection in "Heart of Darkness".
- Bodyguard Crush: How Crockett meets Caitlin (who he would eventually marry). Crockett is on a protection detail to protect her against her former manager, and eventually falls in love with him after he saves her from hitmen.
- Breaking Speech: Though numerous examples abound in the series, the earliest (and most notable) occurs in the pilot, when Sonny reduces his former friend (turned The Mole) Scottie Wheeler to blubbering and tears after laying the weight of his actions on him.
- Break the Cutie: The end of Season Four and the majority of the fifth season is largely devoted to a plotline that sees Crockett pushed past his breaking point, including the death of his wife, Vigilante Execution of her killer, urge to drink, an accident that leaves him an amnesiac, his guilt and distress over what he did as Sonny Burnett, and afterwards, an increasing sense of burnout after he comes to realize Miami is a Crapsaccharine World.
- Career-Ending Injury: Part of Crockett's backstory — he played football in college, but had to stop after fracturing his knee.
- Chick Magnet: No shortage of women fall for Crockett's charms, with him holding liaisons with numerous women over the course of the series.
- Cool Shades: Prefers to wear a pair of turtleshell Ray-Ban Wayfarers throughout the series.
- Cowboy Cop: One of Crockett's signature character traits is his tendency (alongside Tubbs) to go the extra mile to solve a case, even if it skirts the law or gets them into Jurisdiction Friction with other agencies.
- Criminal Amnesiac: Crockett loses his memory while undercover in his alias, Sonny Burnett. As a result, he becomes Burnett and proceeds to take over much of the Miami market. When Crockett does regain his memory and tries to return to the Vice squad, he's arrested. It takes a convoluted plot of defeating an Ax-Crazy criminal and saving Tubbs' life to return Crockett to the force.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Caitlin's death, which motivates Crockett's eventual decision to quit the force in the series finale.
- Dating Service Disaster: In "Love at First Sight", where Crockett goes undercover to stop a serial killer who is targeting men via a video dating service, and ends up being stabbed in the shoulder by her before he takes her down.
- Dead Partner:
- The series begins with Crockett losing Eddie via a car bomb planted by Calderone's men.
- It's established in "Forgive Us Our Debts" that Crockett had a partner, Frankel, who was shot and killed by Frank Hackman.
- Dramatic Gun Cock: Does this while confronting Hackman at the end of "Deliver Us From Evil".
- Drowning My Sorrows: Resorts to drinking heavily in the wake of Caitlin's death.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: In the first season, Crockett's hairstyle is short and parted over on the side; in the second season it becomes slightly longer in the front and becomes a combed back bouffant-like style; in the third season, it becomes short and spikey, and gradually grows out in the back, making it mullet-like; in the fourth season it reverts to being bouffant-like in the front and remains mullet-like, and grows out as the season progresses; for the fifth season he's first portrayed with a stylish ponytail until he regains his memory, after which his hairstyle becomes long and parted over on one side and continues to grow to its longest length.
- Famed in Story: Tubbs is aware of Crockett's former career as a budding football player, and discusses it with him briefly during the first season, just after they first meet.
- Fish out of Water: After a season of Tubbs fulfilling this role, Crockett himself becomes this in "The Prodigal Son," when the bustling metropolis of New York is completely unfamiliar to him.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Crockett meets Caitlin about ten minutes into "Like a Hurricane." The last scene is their wedding. The episode takes place over the course of about a week.
- Friends with Benefits: The series starts with Sonny and Gina being this, though it ends by the time the first-season finale rolls around.
- Glasses Pull: Happens multiple times throughout the series, but the biggest example is when he does this after his beloved Daytona is destroyed in "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".
- Good Ol' Boy: Has shades of this, as his personal music collection (as seen in the pilot episode) is filled with classic country tunes.
- Go-to Alias: "Burnett", which Sonny uses during most of his undercover cases. Becomes a case of Becoming the Mask when he develops amnesia and loses his memories of who he once was, becoming Burnett completely for several episodes.
- Hand Cannon: As befitting his undercover lifestyle, he is fond of carrying the most high-tech (at the time) and powerful handguns, such as the Bren Ten (chambered in 10mm Auto) for the first two seasons, and for the latter three, the Smith & Wesson 645/4506 ACP.
- Heartbroken Badass: After Caitlin's death, he lapses into this, resorting to drinking to dull the pain.
- Heroic BSoD: Goes into one following Caitlin's death (resorting to staying alone on his boat and drinking as a result), and again when he realizes what he did during his amnesiac episode as Burnett.
- Houseboat Hero: He spends the majority of the series living on his houseboat, the St. Vitus Dance, which is infrequently used as a staging area for surveillance against other mobsters.
- It's Personal:
- Crockett makes the decision to go after Calderone in the pilot after the latter had his partner, Eddie, killed via car bombing.
- He (and Tubbs) also chase Calderone to the Bahamas in retaliation for the death of Lt. Rodriguez.
- He makes the decision to gun down Hackman (the man who murdered Caitlin) in cold blood after learning the latter was pregnant, unbeknownst to him.
- Ladykiller in Love: With Caitlin, after he rescues her from a group of assassins.
- Married to the Job: Crockett's work schedule routinely plays havoc with his personal life, to such an extent that it destroys his marriage to Caroline.
- My Greatest Failure: Caitlin's death causes Crockett to spiral into drinking to cope with the pain, followed by an accident that renders him amnesiac and unable to remember his former identity for several episodes. According to Tubbs, Caitlin's death made "everything turn sour" for Crockett.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Crockett's decision to stop Frank Hackman from being executed (via Clear My Name) results in the latter being released from prison — and telling Crockett on his way out that he really did kill Frankel, leaving the incredulous detective in his wake. Then it turns into a case of Laser-Guided Karma when Hackman shows up and attempts to kill Crockett, but ends up killing Caitlin in the process.
- Perma-Stubble: Is rarely seen without his 5 o'clock shadow throughout the series, to such an extent that his look (in combination with the pastel suits) became a fashion trend.
- The Profiler: Dabbles in this during the third-season episode "Shadow in the Dark", when he tries to track down a cat burglar (and nearly goes insane in the process).
- Put on a Bus: In the only episode of the series in which Crockett doesn't appear (during the fifth season), he's said to be in a neighbouring district giving testimony, alongside Castillo, against a major drug kingpin.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Is fond of wearing pastel-colored pink and blue blazers, as is befitting the style of the culture at the time. Notably, this fashion inspired real-life fashion trends of the same outfit.
- Rule of Cool: Wears pastel blazers and loafers in the sweltering Miami heat, carries weapons that are top-of-the-line (at the time the series was made), drives some of the most powerful vehicles on the road at the time and scores with a bevy of women who love his dangerous lifestyle. In short, there are multiple reasons why Crockett's lifestyle caught on with teens and young men in The '80s.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Takes to wearing a button-up suit in his role as Sonny Burnett at the beginning of the fifth season, in tandem with Badass in a Nice Suit, symbolizing just how ruthlessly efficient he is as an enforcer for the Manolo cartel.
- Ship Tease: Numerous examples abound.
- The relationship / Friends with Benefits scenario with Gina takes up the focus in several early episodes of the series, but fizzles out once Crockett attempts to repair his relationship with Caroline. However, they have many more flirtatious moments through the rest of the series.
- Then there's Brenda, the architect seen in "Nobody Lives Forever", who Sonny is implied to have serious feelings for (to the point that it threatened both their jobs) before they mutually agreed (off-screen) to end their relationship.
- Shoot Everything That Moves: Seen prominently in several episodes; most notably in the series finale, "Freefall," when Crockett and Tubbs confront General Borbon in a running firefight, killing his guards to a man and blowing up Borbon's departing seaplane.
- Shoot the Hostage Taker: In "Glades", when Crockett finds a girl being held at gunpoint by a villain, who threatens to kill her if he so much as twitches Crockett tells him he won't even twitch and shoots him down.
- Sleeping with the Boss's Wife: In the fifth season, Crockett begins a relationship with drug kingpin Oscar Carrera's wife, Celeste, and uses her to help him seize control from the druglord.
- Smoking Is Cool: One of the most prominent examples in 80's television, although this habit was eventually phased out during the second season. His Establishing Character Moment in the pilot shows him waiting for a contact while smoking.
- Sports Hero Backstory: In his youth, Crockett was a "golden boy," a University of Florida Gators football star, once catching a 92 yard touchdown pass with six seconds remaining in a game against Alabama, and catching the winning pass in the Gator Bowl, an act that found him being awarded the game ball. He later sustained a knee injury on the field which put an end to his sports career.
- Strange Cop in a Strange Land: Crockett travels out of state in several episodes, including two trips to New York, one to Los Angeles and other destinations. This is most prominently seen in "The Prodigal Son," when Crockett and Tubbs first go to Bogota, then spend the majority of the episode in New York, where Crockett becomes a Fish out of Water.
- Take My Hand: At the end of the Burnett arc in the fifth season, when Sonny rescues Tubbs via this method while destroying the cartel.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Crockett loses his memory after being caught in a boat explosion at the end of the fourth season (and possibly motivated by his Heroic BSoD after Caitlin's death).
- True Companions: With Tubbs, so much so that the final scene of the series hints that they may continue to work together...
- Turn in Your Badge: Crockett's (and Tubbs') last major act in the series is to throw their badges away in disgust after a federal agent threatens to get both of them kicked off the force after they kill the deposed dictator of a Banana Republic who was in league with corrupt government officials.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: In the pilot episode, in tandem with Tubbs when they both reveal their identities to each other during a stakeout.
- Underestimating Badassery: Numerous times, to the point that it became a Running Gag. Numerous gangsters do business with Crockett (as Burnett) and Tubbs (as Cooper), completely unaware not only of their apparent reputation within the criminal underworld for several years, but their alter-egos as highly-capable detectives.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Gina, to such an extent that his actions towards her veer towards this during the fourth season, even when he's married to Caitlin.
- Vigilante Execution: Delivers one to Hackman, in revenge for the latter killing Caitlin, in "Deliver Us From Evil".
- Water Torture: Resorts to this in the episode "Forgive Us Our Debts," in order to make a gangster talk after the latter stonewalls him.
- Wife-Basher Basher: He has a strong need to protect women, and repeatedly goes out of his way to antagonize and/or beat up men guilty of hitting other women. This was particularly seen in "Death and the Lady," when Glantz's sadism towards women enraged him, first into saying, "You know what really turns me on? The idea of you in a room with all the fathers of all the girls you've turned out." By the end of the episode, he was so eaten up by knowing that Glantz had gotten away with murder that he crossed the line and beat Glantz, saying, "Is that sexy? Do you like that?" Similarly, in "Junk Love", he didn't even try to stop Rosella from shooting her abusive father and showed more sympathy for her than Tubbs even before he knew what her true situation was.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Gina, though this lessens once their Friends with Benefits status fizzles out by the end of the first season.
- You Are Too Late: Happens multiple times to him (and Tubbs) throughout the series, including their failed pursuit of Calderone in the pilot episode, failure to stop Ira Stone from being fatally shot in "Stone's War", inability to prevent certain informers from being killed, and other incidents that contribute to his eventual burnout in the fifth season.
- "You Used to Be Better" Speech: Gives one to a former friend he served with in Vietnam in the episode "Buddies", after the latter is embroiled in several dangerous and illegal activities he's instigated.
Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs
Played By: Phillip Michael Thomas
- Absentee Actor: Tubbs doesn't appear in the first-season episode "The Home Invaders", due to Phillip Michael Thomas having injured himself during production of the previous episode, "The Maze".
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Fond of taking part in busts or investigations while dressed in a tailored suit. The fact that he's dressed up doesn't stop Tubbs from getting down and dirty in melee fights with other dealers.
- Big Brother Worship: Tubbs' backstory establishes that he idolized his brother, and that he pursued a career in law enforcement due to his brother's prior entry into and work in the New York City Police Department.
- Big "NO!":
- Fond of doing this, notably when it involves close associates who are killed in the line of duty.
- In "Little Miss Dangerous", he does this when Jackie shoots herself.
- Busman's Holiday: Ends up winning a trip to an island retreat in "The Afternoon Plane" — only for the whole thing to be revealed as a set-up so that Orlando Calderone could lure him away from Miami and kill him in an isolated place.
- The Cast Showoff: Tubbs sings "Livin' The Book of My Life" (the title track from Philip Michael Thomas' debut album) in the episode "The Maze". Notably, this is the only time a cast member sings a song they wrote on the show.
- Chick Magnet: Has a string of girlfriends during the show, and has no shortage of other women showing interest in him during casual moments.
- Contemplate Our Navels: He is especially prone to this kind of behavior; almost anything involving the Big Bad or his daughter would immediately launch the audience into a five-minute long Big "NO!"-filled flashback montage.
- Cowboy Cop: Like Crockett, he's prone to episodes of this, such as trying to get close to the target in "Walk-Alone" after the latter killed his Girl of the Week, and in his Establishing Character Moment, when he subsumes his brother's identity to chase Calderone to Miami in an attempt to stop him.
- Determinator: Part of his Establishing Character Moment — he chases his brother's killer all the way across the country to get revenge in the pilot episode.
- Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting: He sometimes sits like this while interrogating people.
- Fake Defector: In "Red Tape," when he pretends to quit the force, then sell information about future busts to a drug dealer in order to discover the source of a leak in the department.
- False Rape Accusation: In "Amen... Send Money", when he's accused of rape by a parishioner after he arrests a televangelist's wife.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Gets into this at times, especially when it comes to his friends who are roped into crimes. In at least one case ("Red Tape"), his behavior helps out an internal leak within the Miami-Dade police department.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Crockett, to the extent that it's hinted that the pair will continue working together even after both quit the force in the series finale.
- It's Personal: Opts to go after the crooked cops responsible for Angelina's capture in "Sons and Lovers", prompting intervention from Crockett and the rest of the department.
- The Lancer: To Crockett, in that Tubbs doesn't necessarily take the lead on many cases, and is often focused on support tasks in some episodes.
- Misblamed: An in-universe example. Tubbs is blamed by Orlando Calderone for his father's death, when it was Crockett who fired the fatal shots and was on Calderone's hitlist in the first season. Despite this, Orlando continues to pursue Tubbs, up to instigating a fake lottery to draw the detective out and get him alone on an isolated island.
- Prodigal Hero: In "The Prodigal Son", Tubbs is this, having been drawn away from Miami back to NYC to help the DEA bust a cartel, and running afoul of his former police precinct in the process.
- Put on a Bus: He doesn't appear during the first-season episode "The Home Invaders", due to Philip Michael Thomas having injured himself during a stunt performed during the previous episode, "Made For Each Other". Tubbs' absence is excused by having Crockett explained that Tubbs is visiting "his girlfriend in New York" (Valerie Gordon).
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Part of his Establishing Character Moment — he embarks on one after Calderone has his brother (and a fellow NYPD agent) executed during a sting operation, and pursues Calderone to Miami to seek justice.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Fond of using one throughout the series. In the first season, he used a standard sawed-down double-barrel model; in the second, he switched out for a custom Ithaca 37 Stakeout, an already short-barreled shotgun that was cut down even shorter, and for the third and fourth seasons he used a similarly-cut down S&W Model 3000.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
- Tubbs' backstory involved an incident where he was forced to testify against his own partner, Clarence Batisse, in New York after a shooting incident, and gets him dismissed from the force as a result. Tubbs is then able to clear his partner's name via an internal memo that exonerates him over the charge.
- Part of his Establishing Character Moment — against his better judgement, he forges interoffice documents and takes his brother's name to get a chance at arresting or killing Esteban Calderone.
- Slimeball: Has shades of this in the pilot episode, sweating profusely, drooling and making really strange sounds when he sees a beautiful woman walk past him. This is dialed way back by the time the second episode begins.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Valerie Gordon, his on-again, off-again girlfriend. The relationship finally fizzles out for good by the end of the series.
- Strange Cop in a Strange Land: The series begins proper with this concept — having lost his brother and intent on pursuing a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Tubbs follows Calderone to Miami. After his antics during the pilot episode, and after realizing that his actions have permanently crippled any chance he may have had of moving up the ranks in New York, Tubbs elects to stay in Miami and pursue a career in "Southern law enforcement".
- Turn in Your Badge: Like Crockett, he throws away his badge in disgust at the end of the series upon seeing the futile nature of the duo's quest against crime, via a deposed dictator who is in league with corrupt government officials.
- Undercover as Lovers: Goes undercover alongside Trudy to draw out a convict with information in "Walk-Alone", with both of them claiming that their lovers having a "conjugal visit".
- Weapon of Choice: Prefers to carry a Smith & Wesson Model 38 revolver throughout the series.
- Written-In Absence: In "The Home Invaders", due to Philip Michael Thomas having injured himself performing a stunt in the previous episode. His absence is excused by having Crockett state that Tubbs is spending time with Valerie in New York.
Gina Navarro Calabrese
Played By: Saundra Santiago
- A Day in the Limelight: In "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", "Give a Little, Take a Little" and "Blood & Roses".
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Has shades of this, in line with her character moving from working as a "lure" (prostitute) to detective work.
- Attempted Rape: In "Bought and Paid For", when mobster Nico Arroyo pursues her to her apartment and attempts this, leading Gina to shoot him in response.
- Big "NO!": In "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", when she is forced to gun down Sean after he pulls a weapon on Crockett.
- The Cast Showoff: In both "Heroes of the Revolution" and "Someone to Watch Over Me", when Santiago performs several songs (the former in the role of her mother, a nightclub singer, and as Gina in the latter).
- Damsel in Distress: She is critically injured in "The Prodigal Son" after a group of Revilla mobsters storm a DEA party she's attending, necessitating immediate surgery.
- A Day in the Limelight: "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", when her budding relationship with an Irish mobster takes centre stage.
- Dirty Harriet: Alongside Trudy, she is often seen in this role, acting as a prostitute in order to catch a criminal.
- Friends with Benefits: Has this arrangement with Crockett in the first few episodes of the series, but a combination of bad timing and Crockett's feelings towards his ex-wife (to such an extent that he whispers Caroline's name during sex) ends things between them.
- Hidden Depths: She proves to be a capable singer, performing the songs "Stormy Weather" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" in the episode bearing the latter title.
- Identical Grandson: Plays herself and her own mother in "Heroes of the Revolution".
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten:
- In "Give a Little, Take a Little", when she is forced to have sex with a crimelord (under the guise of a prostitute) in order to maintain her cover.
- Does the same thing in "Blood & Roses" when she sleeps with mobster Frank Mosca to protect her cover... only for her to find out later that Mosca knew she was a cop all along.
- Ms. Fanservice: Often seen in Vapor Wear, seen as a Satellite Love Interest for Sonny in the first season, and has no shortage of Ship Tease moments with the latter throughout the majority of the series.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Gets this in "Fruit of the Poison Tree", when she realizes that a C4 bomb meant for her (due to her identity being made) ended up causing the death of a 12 year-old boy, Nicky, instead.
- Raised Catholic: In "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", she tells Sean that she thought all teachers were nuns until she was twelve years old.
- Series Continuity Error: Gina's birthplace changes several times over the course of the series. The first season firmly establishes her as an Italian-American (who was Raised Catholic). The third season episode "Heroes of the Revolution" then explicitly lists her origin as being born to a Cuban mother before she was brought to America as a child by her relatives. In the fourth-season episode "Blood & Roses", she once again is listed as being Italian-American (and born in Philadelphia), with no rationale given for the discrepancy.
- Snap Back: Is seriously injured in the second-season opener, "The Prodigal Son", to such an extent that no one in the department is sure she'll pull through the surgery. When Crockett and Tubbs get back to the department at the end of the episode, Gina's little worse for wear, with only an arm brace as proof of her injuries and an explanation that she'll be back to work in a couple weeks.
- Vapor Wear: Is fond of wearing thin tops, though at least she tends to wear a bra (as opposed to Trudy).
- You Killed My Father: In "Heroes of the Revolution", when it's revealed that Gina is willing to help the German spy Herzog kill the drug dealer Pedrosa, because Pedrosa killed her mother twenty-six years ago.
Stanley "Stan" Switek
Played By: Michael Talbott
- The Artifact: Once Zito (his partner and one half of the Plucky Comic Relief) dies, his character arc and connection to the main storyline is greatly reduced, and he becomes little more than a background character and extra presence in the department. In the fifth season, the producers attempted to get around this by giving Switek more to do (a storyline involving his girlfriend and growing gambling addiction), but this was all but ignored by the end of the series. Scenes that would have better explained his decision to become a turncoat were deleted from the series finale, and his arc ends without answering what happened after he shot and killed the goons attempting to kill him after he ratted out his fellow detectives.
- Darker and Edgier: Literally and figuratively, as his wardrobe and personality changes completely after Zito's death. He begins dressing in darker suits, his gambling problem becomes an underlying plotline and his demeanor is far more serious.
- A Day in the Limelight: During the first-season episode "Made for Each Other", focusing on his friendship with Zito.
- Elvis Impersonator: Pretends to be one in "Everybody's in Showbiz", even resorting to singing part of "Heartbreak Hotel".
- Expository Hairstyle Change: In tandem with his Trapped by Gambling Debts lifestyle, Switek's hair becomes longer and shaggier in the final episodes. While working undercover, he often wears it slicked back.
- The Gambling Addict: Switek's gambling habits take up more and more of his time following Zito's death, leading him to become indebted to gangsters and eventually culminating in him selling out Crockett and Tubbs in the Series Finale.
- Manly Tears: Breaks down crying at Zito's funeral when he gives a eulogy for his friend.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Alongside Zito. This ends almost completely after Zito's death in "Down For The Count".
- Shoot the Television: Resorts to doing this at the end of "Phil The Shill" when he sees the titular con man posing as a faith healer on television.
- Sorrowful Stutter: When Switek is giving Zito's eulogy in "Down for the Count," he begins with "Lar was my partner..." He pauses for almost twenty seconds before continuing, "...but to me, he was more like a brother." He then stops, overcome by emotion.
- Status Quo Game Show: Goes onto a game show in "Phil The Shill", but fails to realize that the game has been rigged by a crooked host.
- Those Two Guys: Alongside Zito, as the comic relief of the series.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: As the series rolls on, it becomes abundantly clear that Switek's gambling habits are consuming him. In an act of desperation, he sells out his colleagues in an attempt to get himself out from debt, though he eventually changes his tune and takes out several of the gangsters in response.
Played By: Olivia Brown
- Affectionate Nickname: Referring to her... assets, the staff are fond of calling her "Big Booty Trudy". She even proudly displays a nametag bearing the same nickname on her desk.
- Agony of the Feet: Is tied up and has foot tortute techniques performed on her in "Asian Cut", just before Crockett and Tubbs rescue her.
- Character Development: After spending the first three seasons largely acting as Dirty Harriet, she eventually moves out of the role and becomes the department's resident information gatherer
- Dirty Harriet: Practically the only thing both her and Gina ever seem to do is go undercover as prostitutes. At least, this tends to be the only time they get the spotlight; otherwise they are mostly support for Crockett and Tubbs.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: In "Asian Cut", where she becomes immersed in the BDSM culture (to such an extent that she ends up undergoing Agony of the Feet at a BDSM club) in order to protect her cover.
- Married to the Job: Like Crockett, Tubbs and Gina, she's committed to seeing cases through to the end. This results in her personal life suffering over the course of the series, costing her at least one relationship in the process.
- Mind Screw: In the infamous fourth-season episode "Missing Hours", when she begins to go crazy due to not knowing if she's hallucinating UFOs and aliens.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In "The Dutch Oven", when she begin beating a suspect to a pulp after he tries to solicit her to have sex with two teenagers in the back of a car. Crockett has to pull her off the suspect to stop her.
- Sex for Solace:
- In "The Dutch Oven", she turns to an old boyfriend for this after shooting her first suspect.
- After Zito's death in "Down for the Count," she sleeps with a man she hasn't seen in five years because she doesn't want to be alone. It doesn't make her feel any better.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In "Give a Little, Take a Little", when she calls out Gina for not wanting to bring backup when a mobster offers to bring her out for dinner, backed by several of his associates.
Played By: John Diehl
- Affectionate Nickname: Switek often refers to him as "Lar" (pronounced as "lair").
- Afraid of Needles: It's established that Zito has a crippling fear of these, leading to Death by Irony (a forced overdose).
- Badass Beard: Ends up growing a massive one during the second season, seen to great effect in various busts and investigations.
- The Boxing Episode: "Down for the Count", when he goes undercover to help a budding boxer and catch a crooked bookmaker. At the end of the episode, he is murdered by the bookmaker and his accomplices.
- The Cavalry: Takes this role multiple times throughout the second season. Notably, he leads the group that comes in to rescue Crockett and Tubbs in "Sons and Lovers", and appears at a critical moment to distract a mobster's attention on the sand dunes (helping Crockett gun down the enemy) in "Definitely Miami".
- A Day in the Limelight: In "Made for Each Other", when his partnership with Switek and their investigation into a case fuels the plot of the episode.
- A Death in the Limelight: In the final episode he appears in, Zito gets much more characterization dealing with his efforts to coach a budding boxer, and talking about some of his vices. He ends up being killed at the end of the episode by a mobster and his crew.
- Recovered Addict: In "Down for the Count", he mentions this of himself, saying he hasn't had a drink in five years and has been attending AA meetings.
- Series Continuity Error: His beard reappears and disappears at random throughout the second season, due to the running order of some episodes being changed around by NBC.
Played By: Larry Riley
- Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by his partner and some of the other detectives at Miami-Dade.
- Distaff Counterpart: Of Tubbs — loud, boisterous and extremely loyal to his friend and partner.
- Rule of Symbolism: Price, along with his partner, Esteban, are used as a cautionary tale in the series regarding what happens to detectives who fail to ensure they have proper backup.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Walks into a drug meet while acting arrogant and refusing backup — and pays for it with his life.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Gets gunned down and dies instantly in a hail of Uzi fire after the Jamaican drug runners ambush him and Esteban in "Cool Runnin'".
- Tempting Fate: Alongside his partner, they set up a "preliminary meet" with a drug kingpin — and refuse to bring any backup, even when help is offered to them. The bust goes south, and he is shot and killed instantly during an ambush.
- Those Two Guys: Forms a conventional duo with Esteban. Unfortunately, their partnership doesn't last much longer in the show.
Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez
Played By: Gregory Sierra
- Da Chief: The first leader of the department seen in the series.
- Cigar Chomper: Is fond of his cigars, particularly when he's first seen.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Crockett. While it's never made explicitly clear, it is suggested that both of them have been friends for many years and have worked together on numerous cases.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Goes above and beyond the call of duty to get Crockett into witness protection, but ends up paying the price for it — with his life.
- Rule of Symbolism: His behaviour, mannerisms and story evoke that of the "classic" portrayal of police chiefs from 70s cop shows, and after his death, he's replaced to a much more complex and nuanced character in Martin Castillo.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Is the first major character to die in the series, demonstrating the extent to which some villains will go in the series.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He is only seen in five episodes, but he gives Crockett the idea to partner with Tubbs to work on the Calderone case, personally leads a group of officers into danger to rescue Tubbs, and ends up Taking the Bullet to save Crockett from an assassin.
- Taking the Bullet: After attempting to get Crockett to safety, he realizes too late that Armstrong is aiming at them with a sniper rifle, and takes a bullet pushing Crockett out of the way.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets offed four episodes into the series after taking a bullet for Crockett.
Captain Martin "Marty" Castillo
Played By: Edward James Olmos
- Absentee Actor: Does not appear in any of the four "banned" fifth-season episodes, as well as the aired fifth-season episode "Borrasca".
- And Starring: Takes this spot at the end of the opening credits.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Refuses to raise his voice, keeps details about his personal life to a minimum and runs into friction with his detectives over his cold demeanor... but once he cuts loose, it becomes abundantly clear why enemies fear him.
- Ceiling Cling: In "Bushido", when he clings to the ceiling in a house in order to outwit a group of assassins chasing him and Jack Gretsky's family.
- Clothing Reflects Personality: Is fond of wearing a muted black suit, pencil-thin black tie and white shirt, which can be seen as a metaphor for the way in which he views the world, with no shades of gray.
- Da Chief: Is transferred to the Miami-Dade Police Department early on in the first season, and remains as its Captain through the rest of the series.
- A Day in the Limelight: Several, notably "Golden Triangle" (which provides the first hints to his Hidden Depths) and "Bushido" (which further explores his DEA background and connections).
- Death Glare/Kubrick Stare: One of his defining traits, so much so that the "Castillo staredown" has been used as a shorthand for a character looking at someone else intently with restrained rage in their eyes.
- A Father to His Men: Castillo makes it clear on multiple occasions that he'd rather end a stakeout or investigation than lose one of his officers.
- Four-Star Badass: Multiple episodes prove that he has no problem joining his fellow officers during field missions, to the extent that he gets kitted out in field fatigues and joins the team in Bogota during the opening of "The Prodigal Son".
- I Need a Freaking Drink: At the end of "Golden Triangle", to the extent of becoming OOC Is Serious Business. He takes Crockett up on his offer of a drink, after having socially-distanced himself from the rest of the department for the majority of the first season.
- In the Back: Gets stabbed in this fashion by Laura Gretsky in "Bushido", but manages to survive and hold his own against a group of KGB assassins.
- Limited Wardrobe: Based on the few times he's seen out of his standard outfit, Castillo only appears to own a single black suit, a single black tie, a single white shirt, a white blazer, and a pair of shorts/T-shirt for casual days.
- The Lost Lenore: Castillo's wife, May Ying, who was presumed dead before the events of the series... that is, until it's revealed that she survived and moved to Miami.
- Married to the Job: To the point that he has no problem sleeping at the office during multi-day cases. With the exception of his (ex-)wife, May Ling, he's never shown to have any major personal connections or hobbies besides meditation, and rarely (if ever) goes on personal excursions with any other member of the force.
- Mysterious Past: While bits and pieces of information about his past in the DEA are mentioned in the show, his full history is never explored, and he remains about as mysterious a person at the end of the show as he does at the beginning.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- In "Bushido", he cracks a smile while talking to Gretsky about his past.
- He also ends up warming up to Crockett in later seasons, to such an extent that, in the wake of Caitlin's death, he admits he "cares" about the detective during a heart-to-heart conversation in the latter's office.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Like Tubbs, he's fond of carrying a Smith & Wesson revolver.
- Samurai: He displays obvious proficiency with a katana, is able to move in stealth and appears to abide by the Bushido code, as seen in the titular second-season episode.
- Second Episode Introduction: Or rather, sixth episode. Castillo wasn't originally intended to be added to the series until Gregory Sierra (Lt. Rodriguez) opted to leave, necessitating Edward James Olmos' casting. Castillo first appears in "One Eyed Jack", the first episode after the Calderone arc is completed.
- Tranquil Fury: Besides yelling for his agents to get out of harm's way, he never raises his voice in anger against anyone, instead staring them down until they avert their eyes or leave the room.
- Worthy Opponent: Is considered to be this by General Lao Li during "Golden Triangle".
Residents of Miami
Played By: Martin Ferraro
- A Day in the Limelight: Season 2's "Whatever Works", which introduces his assistant, Manny, and follows his efforts to recover Crockett's Daytona from an overzealous government employee.
- Ascended Extra: While a supporting character, he remains one of the few characters in the series to appear in all five seasons, including the pilot episode and series finale.
- Character Development: Initially set up as an altruistic thief who engages in petty crime, Izzy forms a friendship with Crockett and Tubbs, so much so that when the former is shot in the line of duty, he breaks down while visiting him in the hospital.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In "Whatever Works", after initially thwarting the department's attempt to seize Crockett's Daytona, he shows up again to get it back at the end of the episode, risking his own freedom to do so in the process.
- Citizenship Marriage: Izzy claims it's a "tragic coincidence" that he and his ex-wife got divorced shortly after he got his green card.
- The Informant: Is often consulted by Crockett and Tubbs in each season for intel regarding the villain of the week. Izzy once even helped the two cops out while Izzy was in the middle of committing another crime (the crime was straight burglary... they're Vice cops... they cut him a break).
- Lovable Rogue: He's committed virtually every petty crime under the son, but the Vice cops excuse his antics due to his ability to glean information on various criminal enterprises — and his charming personality.
- The Merch: In-universe, Izzy capitalizes on the Miracle Man's success by selling items such as hats, guitars, and baseball bats with his logo on them.
- Refuge in Audacity: One of his Running Gags involves Izzy creating criminal ventures that are so convoluted and ridiculous that there's no way they'll succeed. These include ventures like offering dance classes (with a free financial advice seminar), celebrity dog walking, interior design, stealing a cement mixer and more.
- Running Gag:
- When Izzy gives up the information in each episode he appears in, he claims he'll be killed if anyone else finds out.
- Crockett and Tubbs threaten to arrest Moreno in each episode he appears in, hanging his previous felonies over his head. This is then subverted in the series finale, whereupon realizing that they'll either be killed or quit the force due to the impending battle, they realize they don't hold any leverage over him and release him from any form of prosecution.
- Salt and Pepper: During his brief escapades with "Noogie" Lamont.
- Small Name, Big Ego: In-universe, Izzy considers himself to be this, owing to his connection with the "hotshot" detectives Crockett and Tubbs. In "Whatever Works", he also claims that both detectives "respect him" after helping Crockett keep his Ferrari Daytona.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Is one of the few to visit Crockett in the hospital during the fourth-season Clip Show episode "A Bullet For Crockett", and nearly has a breakdown upon seeing the cop, contrary to his typically argumentative stance towards the latter.
Nugart "Noogie" Lamont
Played By: Charlie Barnett
- Action Survivor: He manages to survive the shootout between Vice and the Jamaicans in "Cool Runnin'", despite not being armed with a weapon and being injured in the crossfire.
- Affectionate Nickname: Everyone either refers to him as "Noogie" or "The Noogman", and never by his first name.
- Demoted to Extra: Unlike Izzy, whose usefulness to the Vice squad remains consistent throughout the entire series, Noogie's role reduces further and further, despite also being The Informant. By the time of his final appearance on the show ("Missing Hours"), he's been reduced to a glorified extra who is seen helping Izzy with a scheme, and disappears completely from the series after the first act of the episode.
- Happily Married: To local resident/stripper "Ample" Annie, who aids the Vice cops in a separate case.
- The Informant: Provides intel and tips to Crockett and Tubbs, most notably during the first season.
- Put on a Bus: Disappears at the end of Season 2's "Trust Fund Pirates", and doesn't appear again until Season 4's "Missing Hours".
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Noogie all but disappeared after the second season due to an alleged incident where Charlie Barnett (Noogie's actor) was on drugs during filming, causing Don Johnson to swear off doing scenes with him in the future.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His ultimate whereabouts are left unknown at the end of "Missing Hours", and he never appears in the series again.
Played By: Belinda Montgomery
- Amicable Exes: Though they do run into friction, Crockett and Caroline continue to treat each other well for the rest of their appearances together.
- The Bus Came Back: Disappears after the first few episodes of the series, and only reappears once in the fourth season (when Crockett goes to check up on her), and in Season 5 (when he is tasked with helping his son, Billy, and learns that she is pregnant with Bob's child).
- The Cameo: Shows up in the form of a photograph, alongside Billy's, seen in Crockett's locker during the series finale.
- Damsel in Distress: Briefly, as she is put in danger after Calderone's hitman, Ludovici Armstrong, tries to kill them in their family home.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In "To Have and to Hold", she blames herself for Billy's troubling behavior in school and towards her new husband, Bob.
- The One That Got Away: How Crockett considers her, as he relates to Tubbs at the end of "To Have and to Hold".
- Parent with New Paramour: Ends up dating (and eventually marrying) businessman Bob Ballard, with whom she has another child.
- Ship Tease: It seems as though Caroline and Crockett (who are on the outs at the beginning of the series) will mend their relationship, and even seem to be steering towards moving back in together. However, the events of "Calderone's Return" end things permanently.
- Spanner in the Works: It is implied, but never confirmed, that Caroline's (and Billy's presence) near the end of "Calderone's Return, Part I" causes enough of a distraction that Armstrong doesn't immediately fire on him. In the first moments during the gunfight, Armstrong shifts his position to attempt to shoot around them, giving Crockett enough of an opportunity to get them to safety.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Crockett for not visiting at any point after the family was nearly killed by Calderone's hitman, with the former only bothering to make an appearance after he was searching for answers after accidentally shooting a teenage suspect.
Played By: Sheena Easton
- Bodyguard Crush: She starts off the series acting antagonistic towards Crockett (who is assigned to protect her), but warms up to him once he saves her life.
- Cartwright Curse: What could have happened to Caroline does end up happening to Caitlin, as the latter is murdered by one of Crockett's enemies
- The Cast Showoff: Being played by a famous singer, Easton performs several songs in various episodes.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: She ends up being shot and killed by Eastman, and dies offstage in Sonny's arms.
- Expecting Someone Taller: How she perceives Crockett during their first meeting, shortly before they start dating.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Is introduced to, dates and marries Crockett within the span of a week in-universe (and in the span of one episode, no less!).
- Hand on Womb: She discovers that she's pregnant before her final concert and calls Crockett, but doesn't have time to tell him before she ends the phone call. Crockett later discovers that she was six weeks pregnant, according to an autopsy.
- Her Boyfriend's Jacket: Takes to wearing Crockett's jacket after they consummate their relationship.
- Imperiled in Pregnancy: Though known only to the audience (at first), Caitlin is six weeks pregnant when Hackman decides, on a whim, to shoot and kill her at the end of her concert.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Gets killed, with virtually no foreshadowing, by a criminal that Crockett unintentionally helped free from prison, who decides at the last second to shoot her, ostensibly to push him over the Despair Event Horizon.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Is cruelly killed off, just a few episodes after being introduced, so that a villain can twist the knife further into Crockett and drive him to a Despair Event Horizon.
"Elvis" The Alligator
- The Artifact: Elvis appears less and less as the show rolls on, notably appearing only a couple of times in the third season (in tandem with the show's tone becoming Darker and Edgier). While he is referenced in the fourth-season episode "Love at First Sight" (and it's established that he's still living onboard the St. Vitus Dance), but he never appears again, and is only referenced in a montage (in flashback) at the end of the series.
- Cool Pet: A domesticated crocodile who lives on Crockett's boat, the St. Vitus Dance.
- Karmic Trickster: Befitting his status as a large amphibian creature, he is fond of scaring the locals, causing havoc in nearby boats and freaking out guests onboard the St. Vitus Dance. Despite this, he is generally neutral (or friendly) to everyone he encounters, even letting himself be led back onto the St. Vitus Dance by a pair of government agents sent to talk to Crockett.
- Mascot: He originally served as the Team Pet for the University of Florida Gators (the team Crockett played on in his previous football career), until Crockett brought the alligator with him after the latter bit one of the free safeties.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Elvis stops appearing by the fourth season, and is never referenced or seen again, with his fate left unanswered after Crockett quits the force at the end of the series.
The Calderone Family
Played By: Miguel Pinero
- Affectionate Nickname: Appears to be fond of calling his daughter "Angia".
- Asshole Victim: With the exception of his son (who's set on revenge), and given his crimes, no one mourns his passing, not even his own daughter, who concedes that she understands why Tubbs wanted to kill him. Subverted later in the series, when it's revealed in "The Afternoon Plane" that the townspeople on the island where Tubbs is trapped aren't so much bothered by Calderone's death, so much as angry at Tubbs for causing a main source of revenue that flowed to the townspeople to vanish virtually overnight.
- Berserk Button: During his final scene, he snaps into a a rage at the drop of a hat once he learns that Tubbs escaped his ambush for the duo.
- Big Bad: The first (and, to some, the most important) villain of the series, as his actions have far-reaching consequences, both for Tubbs and Calderone's own family.
- I Own This Town: Brags about his connections with local law enforcement and rule over the people in St. Andrews for Crockett's benefit.
- Morality Pet: In the form of his own daughter, Angelina, who he keeps arm's length away from his criminal business dealings.
- Only Known By His Nickname: Up until Crockett and Tubbs begin tracking him, he's only known to Miami cops as "The Columbian".
- Professional Killer: Implied — he has no problem whatsoever picking up a weapon and killing his enemies, as evidenced during "Calderone's Return, Part II".
- School Is for Losers: According to the rapsheet read out by the detectives in the pilot, and later by his own admission, Calderone dropped out of school in the fourth grade.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Calderone skirts justice in the pilot episode by bribing a judge to get out of custody after Crockett and Tubbs apprehend them. Four episodes later, he brags to Crockett about the judges he plays golf with, and how much power he wields.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Though he only appears for two episodes in the series (and in those, he appears for about ten minutes each), his actions have far-reaching consequences for Tubbs and the rest of Calderone's family.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Gets an entire Uzi magazine pumped into him, courtesy of Crockett, causing him to have a "dance of death" by his own pool. Notably, the "extended" sequence of this death was trimmed after its original television airing (though the footage can still be seen in the Montage at the end of "Calderone's Return, Part II").
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Says this to Tubbs in the pilot, after the latter has him at gunpoint with a shotgun.
Angelina Madeira (Calderone)
Played By: Phanie Napoli
- Big "NO!": Shouts out in despair when Crockett shoots down her father in "Calderone's Return, Part II".
- The Cavalry: Dispatches a sniper, on her orders, to rescue Crockett and Tubbs during the botched drug deal at the beginning of "Sons and Lovers".
- Contrived Coincidence: She just happens to be the daughter of one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the country — a fact Tubbs only discovers after they've slept together.
- Damsel in Distress: When she's kidnapped by her brother, Orlando, in "Sons and Lovers".
- Instant Seduction: Falls in love with Tubbs and consummates her feelings towards him after only a few minutes of interaction.
- Lady in a Power Suit: During her second (and final) appearance, she becomes fond of wearing a white suit with massive shoulder pads.
- Morality Pet: For Calderone, who doesn't let her in on his inner business dealings and leads her to believe that he's an honest businessman. When the truth is finally revealed to her, she immediately disavows him and supports Crockett and Tubbs.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of her introductory episode, when she elects to stay on St. Andrews' Island as Crockett and Tubbs leave. Two years later, The Bus Came Back, when it's revealed that she's not only amassed her own group of loyal bodyguards, but is pregnant with Tubbs' son, who she has been raising in the interim.
- Someone to Remember Him By: Discovers that she's pregnant with Tubbs' child just after he leaves in "Calderone's Return, Part II". True to the trope, Tubbs Jr. was conceived after they'd only slept together once.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Tubbs. She attempts to rekindle their romance after two years apart from each other (and giving birth to their child), but is cruelly killed by Orlando before her and Tubbs share more than a night of passion.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: After a two year-absence, Angelina returns at the end of the second season, intent on reuniting with Tubbs and having him take care of their son — only to be kidnapped, tied to the wheel of a limo set to explode, spit on and inadvertantly blown up after she frees herself from her restraints.
Played By: John Leguizamo
- Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Tears off Angelina's dolphin necklace, which their father gave to both of them as children. He later mails the necklace, along with a bouquet of flowers and a threatening note, to Tubbs during Angelina's funeral.
- Misplaced Retribution: Goes after Tubbs due to the latter having shot and killed his father... except it was Crockett who actually did so, a fact that both Angelina and Tubbs witnessed personally. Despite this, Tubbs never attempts to clear the record, and Orlando is never led to believe otherwise.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Immediately flees the scene when his plot to kill Tubbs in Miami goes south; as such, he's the only member of the attacking force to survive — albeit barely.
- Spiteful Spit: He spits on Angelina before leaving her to die in the rigged limo in "Sons and Lovers".
- Would Hurt a Child: Subverted; he initially intends on leaving Tubbs' and Angelina's baby to die in the limousine the latter is rigged up to, but has a change of heart at the last minute and has it replaced by a doll, leading Tubbs to think his child has been killed.
- Xanatos Gambit: Runs a large-scale operation to ensure that Tubbs gets onto a remote Caribbean island alone, without his gun, for the purposes of hunting and killing him. This includes bribing nearly everyone on the island along with a rigged raffle where he wins the grand prize.
Played By: Antoine Pagan
- The Alcoholic: Displays this trait on several occasions in the one episode he's seen in ("The Afternoon Plane").
- Chekhov's Gunman: He pilfers a weapon from a local deputy who didn't agree to the Calderones' plan to pursue and kill Tubbs in St. Gerard... which is then taken from in turn and used by Tubbs' girlfriend, Alicia, after Xavier is shot and killed.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Throws wads of money at the local police chief in St. Gerard so that the latter will remain off the island during Tubbs' arrival and pursuit in "The Afternoon Plane".
New York City Police Department
Played By: Pam Grier
- Action Girl: Unlike Gina or Trudy, who function within a larger police unit, Valerie ends up taking on missions or personal quests on her own, and is highly capable with a weapon, to boot.
- Battle Couple: With Tubbs, notably in "The Prodigal Son", when they end up being Back-to-Back Badasses while fending off the Revilla Cartel.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Takes part in two gunfights, but never gets her makeup or clothing damaged, with the exception of a stray shot that wings her shoulder in "Rites of Passage".
- Becoming the Mask: In "The Prodigal Son", when she ends up doing drugs and having a physical relationship with James Sacco, a New York drug dealer. Notably, she gets called out on this by Tubbs when they reunite.
- Break the Cutie:
- Goes through this hard in "Rites of Passage", when the string of events leading to her sister's death causes her to snap and go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the man who killed her. This is hinted to be the cause of her Becoming the Mask the next time she's seen, at the beginning of Season 2.
- Happens again in "Too Much, Too Late", when the act of being complicit in the death of her friend, which she approved of, leads her to head back to New York to quit the force in disgrace.
- The Bus Came Back: Shows up after three seasons in one of the last episodes of the series, ostensibly to tie up her lingering plot threads with Tubbs while solving one final case.
- But Now I Must Go: Broken up over her complicit nature in her friend's death (via goddaughter) in the fifth-season episode "Too Much, Too Late", she heads back to NYC, intent on resigning from the force.
- The Cavalry: Shows up to interrupt the drug deal with the Revillas in New York, just when it appears that things are going south for Crockett and Tubbs.
- Dirty Harriet: Like Gina and Trudy, she has conducted undercover operations by ingratiating herself as the girlfriend or confidante of drug dealers. In Sacco's case, it leads to her sleeping with him to maintain her cover.
- Foreshadowing: In her first appearance, she mentions that she's considering quitting the NYC police force due to having worked on homicide for too long. In her last appearance, nearly five years later, she actually goes through with it, having lost her goddaughter and become burned out from the job.
- Hope Spot: Happens in each episode she appears in, due in part to the Will They or Won't They? tension with Tubbs:
- In "Rites of Passage", Valerie and Tubbs talk about spending their future together in Miami after reconnecting while searching for Diane... only for the mood to be ruined when Diane is murdered and Crockett breaks the bad news to her.
- In "The Prodigal Son", when both seek Sex for Solace after fending off the Revilla Cartel. It looks as though Tubbs will stay behind and rekindle his relationship with her... only to leave and meet Sonny back at the airport.
- In "Too Much, Too Late", when Tubbs finally tries to persuade Valerie to marry him, only for The Reveal of what happened to her friend to come out, causing him to swear off it completely.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Wears one during her love scene with Tubbs at the end of "The Prodigal Son".
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lapses into this once she shoots down her brother's killer, and several years later, when she covers up for her goddaughter after the latter kills her own mother. In the former case, she asks Crockett to read the Miranda Rights for her, intent on turning herself in; in the latter, she heads back to NYC, intent on quitting the force after realizing she was burned out.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In her introductory episode, "Rites of Passage", she embarks on one to kill the man responsible for her sister's murder.
- Sex for Solace: Sleeps with Tubbs at the end of "The Prodigal Son", after both of them survive the shootout with the Revilla Cartel.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Tubbs. Several factors conspire to keep them apart, including their distance from each other and Diane's death.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the original broadcast run, Valerie disappears after "The Prodigal Son", and doesn't appear again proper in the series (despite being setup as Star-Crossed Lovers with Tubbs). Her storyline was originally intended to be concluded in the fifth-season episode "Too Much, Too Late", but the episode was banned by NBC due to its controversial subject matter. The episode was later broadcast in syndication and in home media releases.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out by Rico after she decides to sleep with an NYC drug dealer, ostensibly to maintain her cover while taking down the operation. Notably, this occurred soon after Rico had visited her in New York after the events of "Rites of Passage".
- Will They or Won't They?: How both she and Tubbs feel about their relationship. The tension is finally resolved when she refuses to get married to him in her final appearance.
- Working with the Ex: How she is introduced in the series — she had a relationship with Tubbs prior to the series that ended on bad terms. When she turns up in Miami looking for her sister, she rekindles her feelings towards him.
Played By: Ernest Robinson (uncredited)
- Death by Origin Story: Is killed in the pilot episode, causing Tubbs to go to Miami to seek revenge.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Dies in the arms of his younger brother after being shot down by Calderone's men.
- Oh, Crap!: Gets this reaction once he hears his brother shout his name in a panic, just before he's gunned down by Calderone's goons.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Is shot and killed by Calderone after his undercover identity is blown, leading his brother to pursue Calderone to Miami to seek revenge.
- Posthumous Character: His only appearances are in flashbacks and fleeting memories in the first few episodes of the series, entirely by his younger brother, Ricardo.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Were it not for his death, Tubbs never would have met Crockett, and the entire series might not have happened.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Is only present for a single scene in the pilot episode, but his death sets the whole series in motion and leads his brother to Miami.
Played By: Charles S. Dutton
- Actually Pretty Funny: He cracks a smile once Crockett and Tubbs realize the DEA in New York won't commit any resources to the Revilla bust.
- Idiot Ball: Like Commander Rene, he seems to enjoy the fact that Crockett and Tubbs aren't getting any help from the DEA, despite the fact that the Revilla Cartel have established themselves as a major player in drug operations within the city, and the Miami cops are close to busting the entire organization.
- Jerkass: Due to the friction between his department and the DEA, and the fact that one of his former detectives is back in town and giving orders to him, Pearson acts in this way towards both him and Crockett.
- Karma Houdini: Despite his abrasive attitude towards Crockett and Tubbs, he never gets any comeuppance for refusing to help the duo, and his reaction to the Revillas effectively being wiped out is never shown.
- Underestimating Badassery: He clearly doesn't expect much from Crockett or Tubbs, and makes his opinions known to them several times during the course of their stay in the city.
Played By: Bill Smitrovich
- Being Good Sucks: He becomes resentful after discovering that $30,000 (his yearly salary on the force) is considered to be a drop in the hat to Miami drug dealers, who make much more with illegal activities. This motivates his decision to become The Mole.
- Fallen Hero: Established as a two-time recipient of the Medal of Valor in combat, and as Fire-Forged Friends with Crockett... before it's revealed that he sold out his fellow detectives for a payoff from Calderone.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Crockett, to such an extent that they routinely visited each other's families for holidays and dinners together.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He admits to taking the money Calderone offered him, both to pay off his mounting debts and due to a sense of inadequacy after seeing how much money dealers in Miami made, versus his own salary.
- The Mole: Has been acting as one inside the DEA/Metro-Dade area for several months, at Calderone's/Trini's behest.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He finally breaks down crying after the weight of his actions (and being caught) collapses in on him.
- Not So Stoic: Starts suffering from a breakdown once the weight of his actions as The Mole collapses on him.
- Scylla and Charybdis: In his last scene before being arrested, he admits to Crockett that he was caught between trying to honor his obligations to his workplace, feeding intel to Trini DeSoto and trying to protect his co-workers from being killed.
- Taking the Bullet: It's established in his backstory that he took a bullet for Crockett during their early years working together in Vice Division.
- True Companions: Initially said to be this to Crockett, to the point that their families ate dinner together often.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Is on the receiving end of this by Crockett (and, by virtue, the rest of the Miami-Dade force) after it's revealed that he was The Mole for Calderone.
Played By: Bill Smitrovich
- All There in the Manual: He is identified as "Burr" in the DVD captions and the script — in the episode itself, he's identified only as "Miami DEA Commander".
- Dare to Be Badass: He's the one who suggests that Castillo send Crockett and Tubbs to New York as the middlemen to bust the Revilla Cartel, after his entire network of agents is compromised.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is the one of the few (if only) DEA representatives seen in the series who isn't a turncoat or outright evil, and he consistently supports Crockett and Tubbs throughout their excursion in New York.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He disappears for good after the Miami detectives confront Pearson and Rene on the rooftops of New York, and despite being unambiguously on their side, he isn't able to help the duo during the final battle, and is never seen again.
Played By: Anthony Heald
- Idiot Ball: He refuses to commit resources to the Revilla bust, out of misplaced anger, after Crockett and Tubbs stand up for their actions blowing up the cartel's warehouse. Were it not for Valerie's intervention, both cops likely would have been killed during the deal.
- Jerkass: He is needlessly antagonistic towards both Crockett and Tubbs, even though the latter two are seemingly the only ones capable of stopping the Revilla Cartel.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While he is antagonistic towards the Miami cops, he does have a point when he says that their actions have likely caused a gang war in New York.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He nearly sabotages the entire Revilla operation by refusing to provide resources to Crockett and Tubbs, forcing them to conduct the deal without backup.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He calls out Crockett and Tubbs for blowing up the Revilla Cartel's warehouse and stealing their shipment of drugs, even though they needed to take that action to initiate a deal to draw the Cartel out of hiding.
Played By: Jim Zubieka
- Assassin Outclassin': Due to a combination of carelessness and Underestimating Badassery, Armstrong is besieged and shot down by nearly the entire Miami-Dade department after he attempts to kill Crockett in his own home.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: Is fond of carrying a chrome-plated Model 1911, which he wields to great effect in several scenes.
- Crazy-Prepared: He appears to have planned for every possibility during an assassination, setting up weapons for an ambush, taking care not to leave prints and always having an escape route.
- Fatal Flaw: Crockett's family being present during his final assassination proves to be his undoing, as his hasty retreat from the living room clues Crockett in that something's wrong. Notably, Armstrong attempts to shift his aim around the family when he sees them, giving Crockett enough time to get them out of the line of fire.
- The Ghost: No one has a clue about his identity, his name or his purpose in Miami until the Vice unit stumbles upon him due to sheer coincidence.
- Hero Killer: He ends up fatally wounding Lt. Rodriguez, who succumbs to his injuries shortly afterwards.
- Last Stand: Attempts to go out in a blaze of glory against the Miami-Dade officers when they have him dead to rights.
- More Dakka: Sprays the Crockett family home's living room with Uzi fire when it becomes clear he's outmatched, just before attempting to make a break for it.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Compared to the villains previously established in the first few episodes, he initially comes across as a non-threatening relic from a bygone decade. It isn't until he quick-draws on a hapless guard and flees the area that it becomes abundantly clear why Calderone was so fond of him.
- Oh, Crap!: The look on his face says everything when he jumps out of the front window of Crockett's home — and finds himself face-to-face with the entire department and deputies, who all have their weapons drawn on him.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: At the outset, he's only known to cops as "The Argentinian".
- Professional Killer: Despite looking like a holdover from The '70s, he has one of the quickest draws humanly possible (he was played by a real-life trained marksman). In fact, he kills Sonny Crockett's boss and most of the targets before being taken down, and that's only because more than a few police officers unload at him at the same time.
- Quick Draw: Fond of this style of maneuver, as is befitting the style of the actor who plays him, Jim Zubieka.
- Spanner in the Works: The Vice department only happens upon him by chance while performing surveillance on an unrelated target at a nearby hotel. In a rush to flee, Armstrong leaves behind his "hit list", which gives the cops the lead they need to start tracking him.
- Super Window Jump: Takes a headlong leap through the front window of the Crockett family home after Crockett and Tubbs outgun him — only to come face-to-face with the rest of the department, who all have their guns drawn on him.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He uses a shotgun to pump several rounds into the back of a limousine where his target is, utterly destroying the area (and blowing half the vehicle apart) in the process.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Is fond of eating coffee and donuts during his assassination missions, while waiting for his target to show up. Turns into a Chekhov's Gun when their presence alerts Crockett to the fact that Armstrong is inside the family household.
Played By: Dennis Farina
- Bolivian Army Ending: Is presumed dead at the end of "Lombard", as he's followed out of a courthouse by Librizzi's henchmen and disappears shortly thereafter. "World of Trouble" reveals that he escaped and has been hiding out overseas in the interim between seasons.
- The Bus Came Back: In Season 5's "World of Trouble", after a four-season absence.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Gets namechecked several times in the first season before he shows up proper near the finale, including references in "Nobody Lives Forever" and "Golden Triangle, Part I".
- The Ghost: When Crockett and Tubbs start investigating him, his identity is so secretive that no one knows what he looks like.
- He Knows Too Much: His former business associate, Librizzi, puts a hit out on him after he decides to turn state's witness in order to avoid jail time.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In his final episode, he goads Frederick Librizzi into shooting him so that the Vice cops will have a chance to take down the mobster by the book.
- Hypocrite: Considered to be this by his son, Salvatore, who points out that his father can't criticize him for not attending law school when Al himself did the exact same thing (giving up a legitimate career to pursue criminal activities).
- I Gave My Word: He ends up dying while seemingly pulling a gun on Librizzi and his bodyguards, before revealing to Crockett that he was never armed and maintained his promise not to carry a weapon, just before he dies.
- Not So Harmless: Despite his status as one of Miami's top racketeers, he seems to abide by a code and repeatedly maintains his innocence in Barbara Carrow's murder. However, when his back is up against the wall, he kills a group of assassins Librizzi sends after him... and dumps one of them into Librizzi's pool from a helicopter, to boot.
- Survival Mantra:If I'm owed, I'm paid.
- Villain Respect: He ends up coming to respect Crockett for his commitment to his job, to such an extent that he puts the life of his grandson in Crockett's hands.
Played By: G. Gordon Liddy
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Seems to have no problem
- Coffin Contraband: Gives the order to start smuggling heroin out of Vietnam by hiding it inside corpses. Unfortunately, the wood alcohol used to preserve the corpses turned the heroin toxic, killing many people.
- Desecrating the Dead: Gets the idea to increase heroin profits by smuggling it out of Vietnam — via stuffing it into the corpses and shipping them back home.
- Karma Houdini: He gets away scot-free after ordering the death of Ira Stone's wife, and again after his actions cause the death of Stone himself in a later episode. Even worse, he is not identified as the leader of the militia that instigated the war against the Sandinistas, meaning that no one is likely to come after him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He flees to Nicaragua with his militia at the end of "Stone's War", and is never seen again in the series.
Played By: Guy Boyd
- Actually Pretty Funny: Hackman, along with Felicia and Barkley, start smiling and waving goodbye at Crockett after revealing that the former was responsible for Hackman's death — and that Sonny can do nothing about it.
- Ambiguous Situation: Whether or not he was armed when Crockett shot and killed him. The majority plays out as if Hackman didn't have access to a weapon, and was completely caught off-guard reading on Cailos Island. After Crockett shoots him and walks away, a pistol is seen being held in Hackman's left hand. NBC added the shot of the gun in to make Crockett's actions appear less villainous, though Crockett himself says that he went outside the law and tracked Hackman down to kill him, regardless.
- Bald of Evil: On Death Row, he had his head shaved in preparation for the execution, but is released at the eleventh hour. As soon as he's released, he brags to Sonny that he really did kill Frankel, mocking him all the while.
- Big Bad: Eventually revealed to be this, of the fourth season.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He returns a season after his introduction to terrorize Miami, and winds up killing Crockett's wife in retaliation for a raid that resulted in the death of his own wife.
- Eye for an Eye: He murders Crockett's wife due to believing that Sonny was behind the death of his own wife during a botched raid.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Starts out as a two-bit criminal who is sent to Death Row for shooting Crockett's old partner, gets released from Death Row on a technicality, then proceeds to create a new gang and torment Crockett after his own wife was killed, leading to him killing Caitlin Davies.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Seems to think he's gotten away scot-free after killing Caitlin... but makes the mistake of pretending to be Crockett. The latter tracks him down, threatens him and shoots him dead as he relaxes at an island resort.
- Last-Minute Reprieve: Gets busted out of Death Row, seemingly at the eleventh hour, after Crockett finds the evidence necessary to prove his innocence... then Hackman brags that he really was the killer, before driving off in amusement.
- The Sociopath: Styles himself to be the moral opposite of Crockett, and targets innocents (including families and children, who he kills) for fun. As such, it's not a surprise when his actions catch the interest of the Vice team.
- Villains Out Shopping: After killing Caitlin, Hackman goes island-hopping for a suitable place to settle down. When Crockett (as Burnett) finds him on Caicos Island, he's chilling out drinking iced tea and reading a book.
- Would Hit a Girl: Revealed to have no problem injuring — or killing — women, to the extent that he shoots and kills a teenage girl in her own home.
Played By: Arielle Dombasle
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted; she allows her husband to beat her up in order to lure Crockett in.
- Blatant Lies: Gives a sob story to Crockett about how her life is tough, and that she's been abused by her husband — a story which Crockett immediately knows is suspicious at face value. Once she attempts to claim that Charlie busted in on them because of her claim that she was arranging a cocaine buy of $60,000 from him, he knows she's a criminal.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Preys on the sympathy of men by telling them a sob story about her husband, then convinces them to help her "escape" by arranging a cocaine buy with said husband... who murders them, takes the money and buries the evidence in sand.
- Femme Fatale: She uses her charms to lure in unsuspecting men who want to "save" her, then leads them to her husband, Charlie, who kills them and buries their bodies and vehicles in sand.
- Hope Spot: Initially thinks she sees her husband walking down the beach towards her... until it's revealed to be Crockett, wearing a similar outfit.
- Oh, Crap!: Once she witnesses a police helicopter arriving with officers to arrest her on the beach.
- Rule of Symbolism: The cut from the cars being unveiled in the sandpiles at the end of the episode to her building sandcastles on the beach suggests she was complicit (if not directly aided) her husband to dispose of the bodies.
- The Vamp: Definitely not above using this against her targets, though she points out to her husband that Crockett resisted her advances, claiming that he's "old-fashioned".
- Villains Out Shopping: Appears to spend most of her time lounging around or building sandcastles on the beach. Later revealed that she acts innocent in order to draw in gullible men for her and her husband's benefit.
- Visual Innuendo: Tempts Crockett by plucking an ice cube out of a glass of iced tea and rubbing it on his arm in an attempt to seduce him.