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Donut Mess with a Cop

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"If you want to find all the cops, they're hanging out in the donut shop."


In fiction, it's much more probable that you'll see a cop eating a donut than anyone else, except for Homer Simpson. The cop guarding your jail cell is often seen dunking their donut with pink frosting or similar in their cup of coffee. The cop in the stakeout may have a half-empty box of donuts in their car. When taking a break from driving, they commonly hang out at the donut shop.

In more humorous displays, the cop might react to a donut as Scooby-Doo would to a scooby snack. Donuts may be the defining motivation for them to have joined the force. In fact, "Officer Donut" is a casual insult for a cop. A police character might be so obsessed that they could be bribed to do anything for donuts.

In actuality, the historic association between police officers and donuts is less insulting and Makes Sense In Context for practical reasons. Cops will usually consume lots of coffee, because it's necessary for them to stay awake during the night, and the donut pairs well as a sweet to dunk in coffee or to remove its bitter aftertaste. Donuts are also ready-made, boxed for easy storage, do not melt or get inedible when old, and tend to be both filling and cheap. And since bakers want to have a fresh batch ready to sell every morning, donut shops tend to open very early, and some stay open all night. For a while, they were among the few places open for someone working the graveyard shift. Donut shops also tend to give out free donuts to law enforcement, partly as a public service and partly to encourage cops to hang around (and robbers to stay away).note 


As donuts are fattening sweets, the cop munching them is commonly portrayed as a fat, lazy, moustached Obstructive Bureaucrat. Strangely, they never get glaze or frosting in their mustache.

As for Dirty Cops, just remember that Evil Tastes Good — as do donuts. And Rabid Cops might scarf them down with excessive zeal and no restraint, the same way they do their job. But if this trope brought into positive portrayals, especially as Cowboy Cops, a cop who munches donuts or other desserts voraciously can be sometimes portrayed as a Genius Sweet Tooth.

While this might be Truth in Television, it could probably be seen today as an Evolving Trope. If anything, a cop might be hesitant in buying donuts because of the inevitable stigma associated with them. On the other hand, The Red Stapler effect comes into play. On their first round, a rookie might buy some donuts for the station, believing that all cops love them. But then, everyone does, so it's fair. They might subvert this trope by eating different kinds of sweets instead, like cupcakes or brownies.


It should be noted that this is primarily an American/Canadian based trope, as donuts are nowhere near as popular with the police in many other countries. British Coppers, for example, tend to go for chips (which is to say in American, French fries) instead, and Filipino cops have a thing for pancit, the name given to several Chinese-inspired but locally-cooked noodle dishes.


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  • Air New Zealand Safety Videos: The Cop Show portion of "Safety in Hollywood" has Anna Faris and Rhys Darby as cops with "official police donuts".
  • An AFLAC commercial featured two cops describing AFLAC using an analogy with a donut.
  • Some years back, a local commercial in the Orlando market featured the then real-life Orange County Sheriff and several of his deputies chowing down at a particular 24-hour restaurant. The tag line had the good Sheriff pointing at the repast before him and exclaiming, "This is why cops don't eat donuts anymore!" (The spot was quickly pulled after protests that such a commercial endorsement by a law enforcement official was highly inappropriate.)
  • The Foundation For A Better Life's "Honesty" ad - where a boy appears to steal a purse, but in reality chases down its owner - in the extended version, the cops that he appeared to be running from offer the boy a donut when they see him give the purse back.
  • The infamous "Trunk Monkey" ads have one where the titular critter tries to bribe an officer away from giving a ticket to his owner, first with cash, then with a donut. It doesn't work.
  • A coffee commercial (can't remember the name) has one of the people praising the coffee be a cop who, after praising it, whispers that he doesn't like donuts.
  • A toy commercial for the Blue Senturion (a robot Super Cop) from Power Rangers Turbo ends with him buying a donut and a cup of coffee.
  • Although technically not a Donut Shop, Glock featured an all-night-diner (which is basically the same thing to police officers) which some genius crook attempts to rob... only to find it filled to the brim with cops there for a convention. Did I forget to mention that they were all armed... with Glocks?
    R Lee Ermey: "Somebody chose the wrong diner."
  • This commercial for McCafe consists in a horror movie parody with the Running Gag of every character constantly taking a sip of coffee all the time; the exception being the Sheriff, who is always seen eating a donut.
  • The end of this commercial for Cool Spot on Sega Genesis has two incompetent cops accidentally crash the car on a donut stand.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The English Gag Dub of Ghost Stories invokes this when the kids go to the police: "Drop the Krispy Kremes, Serpico!"
  • Koutarou Amon from Tokyo Ghoul has a major Sweet Tooth and loves donuts. In an omake, Juuzou brings him a box of donuts as a bribe.
  • In Death Note L (unsurprisingly) polishes off an entire box of donuts by himself. And in the live-action film adaptation, he creates a donut kebab by placing several on a skewer.

    Comic Books 
  • Sam and Twitch from Spawn also love donuts. Especially Sam. But, then again, he loves everything...
  • Harvey Bullock's love of doughnuts (see Western Animation examples below) carries over from his original appearances in the Batman comics.
  • Oddly enough Sergeant Slipper in The Beano can be seen having a donut doughnut.
  • Lampshaded in Ultimate Spider-Man. Peter is chasing Ultimate Carnage across the city, and we cut away to two cops walking away from a donut shop. Then Carnage lands in front of them and kills them before Peter can do anything.
    "This is why you gotta love the second shift."
    "It's why you love the second shift."
    "You cannot get fresher. The frosting is still cracking."
    "You are a caricature of a caricature."
  • Lampshaded in an issue of Spider-Girl:
    "Cops on a donut run. I feel like a walkin' sterotype."
  • Used very memorably as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner in Ghost Rider 2099. Our cybernetic protagonist is confronted by a squad of corrupt police, and opens the beatdown with, "Bad cop. No donut."
  • In the Jack Chick tract "Murph", Murph and his partner Donovan are having donuts, and Murph complains about always being called away when he orders one. As Murph is dying from gunshot wounds sustained in the robbery, Donovan brings him a sprinkled donut.
  • Played with in the The Batman Adventures story "Laughter After Midnight", in which a cop tries to arrest The Joker, only to get sucker-punched after being squirted in the eye with filling from the donut Joker was eating.
    Joker: Yes! Downed by a donut! I love Gotham cops!
  • A version of the donut shop scene that ended up in RoboCop 3 was in Frank Miller's original script for RoboCop 2, published in comic form as Frank Miller's RoboCop, only it was a Rehab who was pursuing Lewis and confronted by cops who were, until that point, still on strike.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (IDW) issue 226 has some police officers among the customers of Cobra Commander and Dr. Mindbender's lobster roll truck. One cop remarks that while they aren't donuts, he's happy that the lobster rolls are free.
  • Red Xmas: A couple are shown in a police precinct describing their child's kidnapper to a cop who has a doughnut in his mouth.

    Fan Works 
  • In A Sirius Matter Sirius drove his motorcycle, which was charmed to be invisible to the police, at 200 MPH past a car containing "two overweight cops" who "continued munching on their donuts."
  • Revenge Is So Sweet:
    Harry looked at the donuts and pointed to them.
    "Sure, honey. Sounds like you are going to be a police officer when you grow up."
  • Sonic the Comic – Online!: Metropolis' Police Chief Bodger is a bulldog who is first seen eating a donut while being interviewed in the first Tails comic.
  • Chapter 8 of Mars Attacks: Simpsons, Chief Wiggum asks Lou to get some donuts while he was out chasing the Gnard Martians. Wiggum reasons that he forgot it was riot season.

    Films — Animation 
  • The police car in Doug's 1st Movie has a vanity plate that says "DONUT-1"
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven 2: Charlie and David distract a large group of cops by announcing that a truck with fresh donuts has arrived outside the police station. Them being so gullible, and that they all left instead of just having a few of them go and get them for all of them, is another trope.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: In Sugar Rush, King Candy's top enforcers are a pair of cops, Wynchell and Duncan, who are respectively an éclair (or a long john) and a ring doughnut, and are named after two known donut chains.
  • Benjamin Clawhauser, ZPD's receptionist/dispatcher in Zootopia, eats so many donuts that his hands are always covered with sprinkles. He's first introduced eating one, comments on how he's the stereotypical fat donut-loving cop after a profiling faux pas, and then pulls out a donut from a fold of his neck when Judy points it out to him. Donuts aren't the only sugary things he constantly eats, though.
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature: When Surly and Buddy try to get food from a donut shop, several cops go there because they're informed that the place is charging half the usual price for the donuts. Once the Mayor is arrested and Liberty Land is closed, one of the cops seizes a donut cart.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In an early scene in RoboCop 3, a rather pathetic hoodlum charges into a donut shop to hold the place up, and is suddenly covered in glowing red dots. He looks around in confusion and belatedly notices all the uniformed police officers/customers pointing their laser-sighted guns at him. This was even lampshaded by the clerk sarcastically commenting to the hood, "So what's it like being a rocket scientist?" Then the main plot kicks in, and they leave him just standing there, pleading "Isn't someone going to arrest me?"
  • In Mars Attacks!, cops are seen fleeing from a donut shop being blown up by Martians.
  • Attack of the Killer Donuts: Officers Rogers and Hammerstein's first scene has them decide to hit up Dandy Donuts.
  • The Boondock Saints:
    Paul Smecker: [enters the police station, packed with cops] First of all, I'd like to thank whichever one of you donut-munching, barrel-assed, pud-pulling sissies leaked this to the press.
  • Hollywood Homicide:
    Ruby: Bad cop! No donut.
  • The bank robbers in The Lookout contemptuously refer to the cop who makes coffee runs for Chris as "Deputy Donut."
  • Also from Raising Arizona:
    Smalls: You wanna find an outlaw, you call an outlaw; you wanna find a Dunkin' Donuts, call a cop.
  • Die Hard refers to this one as well: Sergeant Carl Winslow Al Powell buys a massive pile of Twinkies for his pregnant wife. The store clerk harasses him about it.
    Clerk: I thought you guys just ate donuts.
  • The cop in The Santa Clause had a donut that Charlie proceeded to stuff into his mouth after the elf commando squad tied him up.
    • There's also a very quick "blink and you'll miss it" moment earlier on. When the cops are preparing to go on a manhunt for Scott and have the town mapped out, in the corner one of the key sections underlined is that of a donut shop.
  • In Evil Ambitions (released on DVD as Satanic Yuppies) an obnoxious donut-eating cop attempts to keep Mc Gavin the heroic reporter from the scene of a Satanic sacrifice. When outwitted, the cop takes an angry bite from his donut.
  • During the chase scene finale of Con Air, two Red Shirt cops join in, dropping their donuts to do so.
  • Rush Hour has a scene early in the film which has Clive telling a couple of cops he's having a standoff outside a diner to "get back in the diner and buy some donuts" while holding Carter hostage.
  • Doyle in The Mask. We also had a warden dunking his donut.
  • Psycho Cop Returns opens with slow motion donut eating by the eponymous villain as he overhears the two of the main cast's plan for the afterwork party.
  • In Whos The Man, Denis Leary's character, Sgt. Cooper, attempts to stop Doctor Drénote  from ever eating a donut again, all because he calls himself "Doctor". He proceeds to taunt Dré by letting his partner Ed Lover have all the donuts he wants.
  • In Blue Streak, Martin Lawrence's character is a jewel thief pretending to be a robbery/homicide detective in order to retrieve a diamond stolen years before and hidden in the building. At one point, he sees a box of donuts and happily grabs one, only to put it back with the words, "I'm not a cop."
  • The Crow:
    Sergeant Albrecht: "So many cops, you'd think they givin' away donuts."
  • The credits sequence of the first The Naked Gun finishes with the police car stopping at a donut shop.
  • It took the Police Academy series until the fourth film to play this trope.
    Zed: I'm now about to teach you the most important thing to know while you're out on patrol. And that to eat a donut.
  • Defied in The Amazing Spider-Man.
    George Stacy: "Do you think we just sit around and eat doughnuts all day?"
  • In Beverly Hills Cop after Axel is released by the local police because he is just "on vacation," he sees the two officers staking out down the street from his "borrowed" hotel room. He sends them coffee and doughnuts, ultimately paid for by the Beverly Hills Police Department.
  • In The Fugitive, after taking over the investigation from the obviously incompetent local PD, Marshall Sam Gerard orders them to search every farmhouse, henhouse, doghouse and outhouse within a 4 mile radius. Then he asks for a doughnut with "some of those little sprinkly things on it."
  • Tommy Boy: Michelle's brother used to steal donuts back when he and Tommy were kids. He's a cop now.
  • 2 Guns: Has this alleged old criminal saying:
    Bobby: Didja ever hear the saying, Never rob a bank that’s across from a diner that has the best donuts in three counties?
    Stig: That’s not a saying.
    Bobby: Yes it is.
    Stig: No it’s not. I get what you’re saying, but it’s not a saying.
    Bobby: It’s a saying.
    Stig: Alright.
    Bobby: It’s a saying now.
  • Even as Wolf Cop lycanthropic cop Lou Garou prefers donuts (from Liquor Donut) to devouring human flesh.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), local town cop Tom Wachowski loves eating donuts, even talking to them to practice his promotion acceptance speech. Sonic has taken notice during his time on Earth and gave him the nickname "Donut Lord". Tom eventually uses it as an Appropriated Appellation while fist-fighting Doctor Robotnik in the climax.
  • In The Lookout, Deputy Ted stops by the bank on his rounds each night to share a box of donuts with Chris. The crooks casing the bank start referring to him as 'Deputy Donut'.
  • Stakeout: When Bill and Chris find out the cops who are sharing the stakeout with them have cleaned out the refrigerator, Chris volunteers to run to the supermarket, and asks Bill what he wants:
    Bill: How about some truth and justice?
    Chris: Anything else?
    Bill: (Beat) How about some donuts?
    Chris: Donuts. Why not? We're cops.
    • Later, at the supermarket, when he drops the donuts and other food on the checkout line:
    Cashier: Eating between meals?
    Chris: (mimicking her) Eating between meals?

  • A regional joke in New England revolves around the fact that Dunkin' Donuts (and we mean any Dunkin' Donuts) is the worst place to rob after a gun shop. A Starbucks, on the other hand, is a good target, since cops are mainly from working class backgrounds and hang out at DD, while Starbucks is seen as the place where college kids with lots of money and other snobs go. Ironically, most cops just get coffee these days and avoid the donuts.
  • A joke once detailed that when a Cop goes to Hell, he must make a decision: Bullets or Donuts.
  • There's also this joke:
    Cop: Excuse me sir, your eyes are bloodshot. Have you been drinking?
    Driver: Officer, your eyes are glazed over. Have you been eating donuts?
  • When a Krispy Kreme opened up in one New Jersey town, the mayor joked it was like having a second police station.
  • One social media post expressed the dream of hijacking a donut truck and going on a high-speed chase just for the image of police cars chasing the truck.

  • Able Team. Carl Lyons is offered a box of jelly donuts while investigating a homicide. Then just as he's biting into one, the police show him the crime scene photos in the hope of grossing him out. Lyons is a former LAPD cop however, so takes it entirely in stride.
  • Rare British example: The Ankh-Morpork City Watch, in the Discworld novels. Captain Vimes has a doughnut at Harga's House of Ribs in Men at Arms (and describes the recipe in full, to express his annoyance at Harga's literal-minded response to his asking for coffee "black as midnight on a moonless night"). In Thud!, it's mentioned that Sergeant Colon and the ex-Watchmen who come in to chat with him get through a lot of doughnuts, but it's worth it for the information. In Night Watch it's mentioned that one of the reasons Ankh-Morpork-trained watchmen are held in such high regard is that they don't accept bribes, apart from the occasional free beer and doughnut. And in Unseen Academicals, one character refers to the Watch being annoyed about breaking up a riot because it would be keeping them from the doughnut shop. Of course, while Discworld is a British creation, it takes its tropes from everywhere.
    • But for the most part, Watch members prefer foreign takeout, partly because that's what usually comes with coffee in the setting, but this is a British trope: British Coppers working the night-shift often end up grabbing something to eat from a Chinese takeaway or a kebab shop because they're usually the last place on the high street to close for the night.
  • Invoked and exploited by Dora Wilk Series - Dora brings a box of donuts to her old police station so that her ex-colleagues can say that they were having a break while she was (illegally) looking through their archives for a magical.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Small Favor, Harry requires some donuts to bribe a faerie and asks Murphy to get some. She's offended until he explains exactly why cops eat donuts, pretty much the same as in the page description. She grudgingly accepts this and tells him which car they're in. (She says that she prefers granola bars herself — similar advantages but healthier.)
    • Harry likes doing this to Murphy. In "Something Borrowed", the following dialogue ensues:
      "I'll pay you in donuts."
      "Dresden, you pig. That cop-donut thing is a vicious stereotype."
      "Donuts with little pink sprinkles."
      "Professional profiling is just as bad as racial profiling."
      "Yeah. But you know you want the little pink sprinkles."
  • Many cops in Michael Connelly's books are seen enjoying donuts. Churros are substituted once when Harry Bosch can't find a donut store in a Hispanic market. Lampshaded in The Concrete Blonde when Bosch meets up with his partner while he is on a stakeout:
    Edgar was parked in front of a Winchell's Donuts store, apparently not realizing the comic implications of this.
  • Once every few novels of the In Death series, someone is bound to bring a box of donuts into "Cop Central". Usually it's intrepid reporter Nadine Furst, who routinely bribes her way into Eve Dallas' office by this method, but sometimes it's just "someone brought donuts." A feeding frenzy inevitably ensues, and the cop who takes care to set a donut aside for a colleague is considered a thoughtful person indeed.
  • A slight variation on this trope often appears in Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks novels. Banks and his co-workers have an almost-daily routine of going to a restaurant near the police station and ordering coffee and toasted teacakes.
  • In the Relativity story "Ghosts of Christmas Past", officer Aaron Brooks loudly complains about this stereotype, when a superhero approaches him as he's leaving a donut shop.
    Aaron: Why is it when a police officer goes and gets a donut, people give them shit about it? You don’t see someone give an auto-mechanic crap when they go out to get a cup of coff— (realizes he's talking to a superhero)
  • The Cardassian constabulary in the Star Trek: The Fall novel The Crimson Shadow enjoy "ikrit buns", which are described as having a sugar coating and fruit filling.
  • Tortall Universe: Beka Cooper, a Guardswoman (or "Provost's Dog"), dines on "fried dough spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg", which she later describes as "dough knots". Her partner Tunstall also has a fondness for stopping at the local bakery stall on the slightest pretext in Terrier, which are not strictly donuts but close enough.
  • Everyone Jo knows from Da Chief to her cabbie buddy Gary knows her favourite types of drink and her favourite pastries from the local donut shop in The Walker Papers.
  • The shtekeleh, a Filipino-style Chinese donut in The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. Tears come to the detective protagonist's eyes when he realises that nothing in his life is better than eating one of them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The A-Team: When Murdock and Face are captured, they bluff their kidnappers into choosing a Donut Café as a meeting point. Once inside, the two simply get up and walk out of the Café, calmly asking the Gangsters what they're gonna do, shoot them in front of all the Cops
  • The Australian comedy series The Late Show has this as a Running Gag in Bargearse (a Gag Dub of 70's cop show Bluey (1976)). The episode "Where's My Bloody Donuts?" has the overweight Detective Sgt. Bargearse investigating the theft of ten dozen jam donuts from his lunchbox.
    Da Chief: According to this report you've eaten over 64,000 donuts in the first five episodes alone!
  • The detective in Blackpool is a Big Eater. Doughnuts feature at one point (he doesn't want icing).
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • The fire department regularly taunts the cops about this.
      [while Jake and Charles are investigating a fire]
      Fire Marshall Boone: What are you doing here? What, did somebody call in a missing donut?
    • And then later two more firemen pretend to help Detective Peralta with a case... only to present him with a donut stuck in a file. Which Scully then requests from him.
      Scully: Jake, would you like me to file that for you?
      Jake: Just ask for the donut.
      Scully: Can I have the donut, Jake?
    • In another episode, Jake actually finds a box of powdered doughnuts in his apartment and offers them to Amy... but then Amy promptly throws them out of her car.
      Amy: This is a new car. I won't have you Jake it up with doughnut powder.
    • Too bad Amy didn't count on Jake's "pocket doughnut" though.
  • Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer by the title character when, on Career Day, various people suggest she could join the police force. She's not enthusiastic.
  • While Ryan of Castle was having a juice fast, Javier was eating a doughnut in front of him. Ryan snapped at him for being cliché and fought him for the doughnut.
  • Played with on Cold Case as Det. Vera is pissed that someone ate his TastyCakes, which are a Hostess-esque brand of snack cakes that are mainly sold on the East Coast and are especially popular in Philadelphia.
  • COPS: The subject of a joke and lampshade hanging in one episode when a pair of cruisers investigates a call to a closed (and burglarized) doughnut shop in the middle of the night. The cop that the camera was riding with can't help chuckling and pointing this out to his coworker.
  • In the very first scene of the pilot for CSI, Detective Jim Brass quipped that he wanted to get out of the crime scene quick so he could "catch the first rack at Krispy Kreme".
  • Dexter - the title character offers donuts to his coworkers, many of whom are cops. They don't last very long. The donuts, that is. This is all part of his "I'm just a harmless nice guy" façade.
  • In the Eureka episode "Welcome Back, Carter", at the beginning of Carter's 10-Minute Retirement, he meets Jo in Café Diem and jokes "A coffee and donut, you're already eating like a sheriff." She informs him it's a sixteen-grain protein bagel.
  • Family Matters:
    • In one episode, overweight cop Carl Winslow gets caught cheating on his taxes when an audit turns up (among other things) that he used his purchases of doughnuts as deductibles.
      Carl: I'm a cop. It's a business lunch!
    • On another episode, Carl gives directions to avoid a traffic jam caused by a fire, saying a landmark is easy to spot because it's near "a great donut shop" he frequents.
    • His mother, Estelle Winslow, once said that "donut" was Carl's first word.
  • In The Flash Pilot Movie, Barry had to steal two cops' entire in-car supply of doughnuts because of his Big Eater requirement for his speed powers.
  • Subverted in Forever Knight. In one episode we discover that Don Schanke's nickname in the police academy was "Donut Don", even though he's usually seen craving souvlaki. Turns out the actual reason was his lousy grouping during pistol practice.
  • Friends:
    • When Gary (a cop) asks Phoebe out, he says, "Don't worry, I'm not just gonna take you out for donuts." Chandler laughs, and everybody else stares, befuddled. Chan explains that it was a bizarre form of self-defense: "He has a gun!"
    • Chandler made his own donut joke when Phoebe first found Gary's badge. It got an awkward silence, and he quickly admitted he could do better and asked for a do-over.
  • In one episode of Good Eats, Alton is trying to smuggle muffins to his incarcerated brother B. A. (who wanted a cake with a file in it, but that's irrelevant) when a cop catches him. Alton distracts him by throwing a muffin, then remarks, "Huh. I thought it only worked with donuts." Interestingly, it doesn't work with English muffins.
  • In Heroes, Eden uses her persuasion powers to make Matt sit in his patrol car all night eating donuts, because "That's what you guys do, right?". When his colleague sees him, he complains that Matt is "a walking cliché".
  • Hill Street Blues. Bobby Hill goes to meet an attractive reporter to try to talk to her about her somewhat unfair reporting of their day's shift, which basically showed them every time they had something silly happen or were waiting for something. The two of them end up having sex, so now, her unfair reporting only focuses on Hill's partner Renko showing every time he stopped to buy donuts, and left any disparaging video of Hill not used. Then the next time she follows them around, she gets film of Renko foiling an armed robbery, so she apologizes for her previous reporting on the air, and says as long as he does stuff like that, he's entitled to all the donuts he wants.
  • Rejected by Detective Misty Knight in Iron Fist (2017), who says the last thing you need when you're a cop is to come down from a sugar high at the wrong time. She's shown eating potato chips instead and griping to Colleen Wing that she got teriyaki-flavoured instead of habenero.
  • In one episode of Kenan & Kel, Kel got a job at a donut shop. Kenan's father pestered Kel for a free donut until Kel decided to give him one only to activate an alarm and accuse Kenan's parent of donut theft. Kenan's parents were arrested by cops who were there as customers.
  • In Law & Order, a pair of detectives were interviewing a donut store owner about seeing a suspect. The owner didn't see anything, but he does lampshade the situation. Then, they showed an officer who just happened to be eating a donut saying that he saw something.
  • On an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a group of terrorists left a box of donuts full of high explosives for the cops to find. It didn't work.
  • In 13th season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit the man Benson is seeing asks to meet her at a donut shop. She tells him that he really knows how to woo a cop.
    • The "Bad Cop, No Donut" (see Real Life) sign has been sign on Stabler's locker.
  • From Lost:
    Sawyer: A doctornote  playing golf. What's next, cop eatin' a donut?
  • In the Luke Cage (2016) episode "Just to Get a Rep", Misty Knight's corrupt partner Rafael Scarfe has fallen under investigation from Internal Affairs. He meets with his equally crooked shift lieutenant to discuss the removal of Cottonmouth's seized guns from evidence:
    Lt. Perez: I've got Sgt. McClane from Property on it.
    Rafael Scarfe: McClane? That fat, donut-eating bastard's gonna get us burnt.
    Lt. Perez: We'll be fine. He's on payroll. If we go down, he goes down.
  • On The Mentalist, it's traditional for Lisbon's team to have either donuts or pizza following the successful closure of a case.
  • Bulk and Skull join the Angel Grove Junior Police Force in season 3 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and their new credit clip in the opening titles shows them looking all serious in their uniforms... before delightedly brandishing donuts, to which they then devote their attention.
  • One episode of Monster Garage involved turning a police car into a rolling donut shop. A police official said that the conversion was a good idea as it would allow officers on patrol to stop for a snack without leaving their vehicles, "but it's still wrong."
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Hangman", George and another constable have tea and donuts while on a stakeout. They even have a Seinfeldian Conversation about the origins of the donut.
  • On an episode of My Name Is Earl, a beleaguered cop explains that his food gets spat on a lot, and it's hard to hide a loogie on a donut.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 ended Experiment 409, "The Indestructible Man" with a pair of police officers instructing the SOL crew to never again make a police/doughnut joke. Joel, Servo and Crow actually signed a contract swearing that the would never make a cop/doughnut joke again. According to the Amazing Colossal Guide, they've remained true to that since.
    • Although in season 10, Servo has a dirty cop refusing to stop at a Krispy Kreme so as not to "advance the stereotype."
    • In Experiment 618, "High School Big Shot" during the short ("Out Of This World", the one where good and evil vie for a breadman's soul) Mike makes a cop/doughnut joke.
  • Referenced on NCIS, when McGee and Tony get into a bit of a old school/new school police approach competition. Tony declares himself a winner, and begins asking for a jelly donut.
  • Once Upon a Time does this, Graham, the Huntsman/Town Sheriff, brings in a box of donuts to Emma, the deputy. Emma gives Graham a flat stare, and he responds "Some stereotypes are true."
  • Porter Ridge: When Terry and Danny Bob fix a cop's car, they take it for a test drive to pick up coffee and donuts. Averted with the actual cop though, who doesn't eat donuts.
  • In The Pretender, Jarod discovers donuts while pretending to be a policeman. A delivery guy correctly guesses that Jarod is a cop (at the moment) when he sees the many, many boxes of donuts in his house.
  • Used in a teaser for Psych where Gus questions where Shawn managed to find a donut at a crime scene. As Shawn gives less and less probable answers, the camera moves to show a box of donuts that was carried by the covered victim.
    Shawn: Ooh. (licks red stuff on hand) That wasn't a jelly donut.
    • The season seven finale has Obstructive Bureaucrat Jerkass Harris Trout bring in donuts for the team as they explain to him their mishap with their latest case,, only for Trout to throw the untouched donuts into the trash mid- story. Even Reasonable Authority Figure Chief Vick reacts in horror.
      • Though to be fair, Trout had just gone on for ages about wasteful spending, only to waste the donuts. One wonders if she wasn't objecting to the waste.
  • From the Saturday Night Live sketch "Two A-Holes at a Crime Scene":
    Female a-hole: [to cop] Can I have one of your donuts?
    Male a-hole: Yeah, I'll take one with sprinkles.
    Cop: I don't have any donuts.
    Male a-hole: [to female a-hole] He ate 'em all, babe.
  • At the start of Moriarty's crime spree in episode 6 of Sherlock, DI Lestrade is relaxing in his office with coffee and a doughnut. He doesn't get to finish it.
    DS Donovan: Sir, there's been a break-in!
    Lestrade: Not our division!
  • Mocked on Sledge Hammer!:
    Sledge: I would like to address that particular stereotype if I may. Now, your stereotypical donut is nothing but dough and sugar fried in fat, am I right? Now that fat gums up your arteries and goes to your brain, and you turn liberal. And the next thing you know, Barry Manilow is on the turn-table and you're not going to work and you're voting for gun control. You see what I'm saying? You see the connection? That's why I eat granola.
  • Played with on Stargate SG-1 when the team are helping out in a police surveillance van on Earth.
    Daniel: I've never been on a stakeout before. Shouldn't we have... doughnuts?
  • Stranger Things: In the first episode of season 2, Hopper is introduced trying to eat a donut as he arrives at work and is being pestered by Murray Bauman. He gets in one bite before Flo takes the donut away and gives him an apple.
  • Supergirl (2015): Played with. When Winn gets called into the police station for questioning, he decides to bring doughnuts as a peace offering. Cut to him sitting in an interrogation room, stuffing his face while the cops look on, unamused.
    Winn: I'm stress-eating, okay!?
  • In Supernatural a fellow law enforcement officer sources the joke. As part of his Establishing Character Moment as a scarily effective, no-nonsense man, FBI Agent Victor Henriksen responds to a local cop's assumption that the FBI would be working with the police on stopping the serial-killing, grave defiling Winchesters with "you can go eat a donut and bang your wife for all I care!"
  • Referenced on Third Watch:
    Bosco: No powdered sugar on your shirt, Sully. What, Krispy Kreme burn down?
  • Titus episode "What's Up, Hollywood?"
    Ken Titus: You built me a cop magnet! I might as well be a black guy driving a large powdered doughnut!
  • In Twin Peaks, the protagonist FBI agent Dale Cooper sees a spread of donuts at the police station and exclaims "A policeman's dream!"
  • Averted in the Weinerville New Year's Special; Boney offers a cop a donut, but the officer replies, "Nah, I never touch the stuff. I'll take this apple, though."

    Magazine Comics 
  • A cartoon from the National Enquirer depicts a police academy instructor pointing to a pull-down map.
    Instructor: Now, this lesson is very important, so listen carefully. These stars represent all-night donut shops...
  • Discussed in one of MAD Magazine's Monroe comics when the titular loser's mother begins dating a cop. In the morning she serves him a bowl of cereal saying she doesn't know what cops eat, with Monroe swiftly quipping "donuts!" The cop, a genuinely good officer, explains that it's a misconception as a healthy diet is a priority so he can keep physically fit.
  • In a Nodwick strip in Dragon based on Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (the D&D adventure where your Standard Fantasy Setting heroes encounter a crashed spaceship), Yeagar gets past the guardian robot by realising it's basically a cop, and offering it donuts he swiped from the Henchmen's Union break room.

  • Brad Paisley, in his song "Mr. Policeman," taunts the cop chasing him: "There's no way you're keeping up with me / Just go on back to Krispy Kreme."
  • Then there's the line from The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian", quoted above. It might be the Trope Maker.
  • The "Smoked Pork" skit from Body Count's self titled album Body Count.
  • House of Pain's "Jump Around" features the line "Feel it, funk it / Amps in the trunk/ And I got more rhymes than there's cops that are dunkin..." It's hard to imagine it's in reference to anything else.
  • During the music video for "Sabotage" by The Beastie Boys, a scene during the middle break shows the cops stopping for donuts.
  • Ice Cube's song "Say Hi To The Bad Guy" has a particularly dark take on this trope.
  • The music video for the song "Stylo" by Gorillaz features a donut munching cop giving chase to a speeding car driven by the band members. To be fair, the only reason he stops was because Cyborg Noodle was popping shotgun shells into his police car and causing it to crash through a billboard. Said cop gets taken away by the Boogeyman to hell before he could reach for a nearby box of donuts.
  • A concert poster for the band Cop Shoot Cop depicts two policemen dueling over the last doughnut.
  • Ben Folds' song "Rent a Cop" mentions whispering lewd comments about women through his doughnut.
  • In the music video for The Smashing Pumpkins' "1979", the teens messing around in the convenience store stop when two cops walk in. They buy some donuts, and leave, after which the real mischief begins.
  • "Gimme the Loot" by The Notorious B.I.G. has this gem of a lyric.
    Biggie's Partner: Oh shit, the cops!
    Biggie: Be cool, fool; they ain't gonna roll up! All they want is fucking donuts!
  • "Fat Cop" by Regurgitator doesn't mention donuts specifically, but watching a cop eat one inspired Ben Ely to write the song.
  • In the song “Pigs” by Cypress Hill, several despictions of corrupt officers are described. In one bar, B-Real tells how “This Pig’s steady eating donuts while some motherfucker’s out robbing your home”.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • According to Scott Adams, one Dilbert strip he wrote featured Dogbert with a cop who would shoot a victim who was conveniently off-panel. The syndicate didn't like it, saying it was too violent. Adams rewrote the strip so the center panel would be replaced with "BANG BANG BANG" instead of the cop shooting. This didn't work, as it wasn't the act of shooting but the image of the cop holding the gun that was too violent. The published strip featured the cop holding a donut and shooting bullets out of that, giving rise to the term "Dangerous Donuts".
  • Garfield: Two cops seeing Jon, Garfield and Odie's antics.
    Bubba's partner: I'd say they've at least broken at least three city ordinances. Right, Bubba?
    Bubba: I didn't see nothin'. Let's get a doughnut.
  • Don Bousquet once made a comic claiming to be a police vision test. The letters on every line of the eye chart spelled out chains of donut shops.

  • In The Getaway: High Speed II, the second ball is locked by having the player pull up to Donut Heaven, where Car 504 happens to be taking a break.
    • There's even a secret Mania Mode that can be invoked when three cop cars are present.
  • Safe Cracker lets you collect donuts to distract the guards with.
  • In Mustang (Stern), "Police Pursuit" begins with a driver racing past a cop at a donut stand.
  • Heist!: If the player collects enough donuts, they can bribe the police to get out of an arrest should they fail a recruitment mode.

  • Quest In Show: Downplayed when Richie De L’Argent tries throwing donuts at the cops to get them to stop attacking him. They are momentarily tempted, but ultimately aren’t interested in donuts that have landed straight on the ground.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Gabriel Iglesias was once pulled over by a cop in a Krispy Kreme parking lot for exiting the wrong way (in his haste to get home and eat up). The policeman asked the obligatory "You know why I pulled you over?" He felt compelled to answer, "Yeah man, 'cause you could smell it!" The cop got enough of a kick out of that to let him off with a warning.
    • Another time he was pulled over by a cop who happened to be a big fan. The excited cop said "Wait 'til I tell everyone I met you! This is even better than the time a buddy of mine pulled over this fat guy who gave him donuts!"
  • Gallagher notes that "Sugar gets you wired up. So does caffeine. So, why do we let cops go to donut stands? They're gonna be like WheredidIputmygun? WheredidIputit?"
  • Canadian comedian Andrew Grose once pissed off a Tim Horton's (Canadian coffee and donut chain) enough to get them to threaten to call the police. His response was to get out of there immediately, because "even if they were just bluffing, the police are likely on the way there anyway!"
  • Jim Gaffigan brings up his own theory as to why cops are commonly believed to love donuts so much.
    Jim: Of course cops love donuts! It's because cops know right from wrong! Have you ever met somebody who doesn't like donuts? No, you haven't, because they're all in jail.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Sheriff Sugarfeet from Transformers: BotBots is a living donut herself. Her stealth is unfortunately hindered by the trail of powdered sugar she leaves behind her, however.
  • The zombie cop figure from ToyBiz's Resident Evil 2 action figure line is clutching a donut (the figure's sculpt was reused, scaled up with significant changes, for the cop who comes with the Sabretooth figure in ToyBiz's X-Men line, donut and all).

    Video Games 
  • In the first Gabriel Knight game, there are a few police officers (such as the Desk Sergeant) who have quite a taste for beignets (New Orleans' equivalent to donuts).
  • Grand Theft Auto
    • ''Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a few examples.
      • During the mission "Reuniting the Families", two bike cops drop their snack to join the chase. The camera focuses on the ground where the donuts drop.
      Motorcycle Cop: Waste of good donuts. Let's roll.
      • Also, the first two C.R.A.S.H. missions have you meeting the dirty cops of the unit at the only donut joint in Downtown, Jim's Sticky Ring. The first mission's cutscene actually features the fully rendered inside of the shopnote .
      • And sometimes if a fat CJ is arrested:
      CJ: You got some spare donuts? I'm hungry.
    • In the first game, there's a mission where you had to kill a group of cops who are all parked outside a donut shop.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
      • A variation using soldiers:
      Sergeant: Private! Go get some donuts!
      Private: Sir, yes sir! CONVOY HALT!
      • Also, the radio dispatcher on the emergency radio asks:
      "Is there an officer near the Rusty Brown's downtown? There must be."
  • Half-Life
    • In the expansion Blue Shift you play as a security guard; not quite a police officer, but close enough. At the beginning of the game, where you can wander around some areas of the complex for a bit before all hell breaks loose, one of the scientist NPCs might say "Why are you standing around? Shouldn't you be guarding some coffee and doughnuts right about now?"
    • Before that, you're required to go to the gun range to pick up your sidearm. In the range are two fellow security guards: a regular "Barney" guard near the entrance, using the range for its intended purpose, and a fat "Otis" one way in the opposite corner, hiding there to eat a donut.
  • In the final showdown in LEGO Island, you need to help the cops catch the Brickster. You can launch donuts at them to give them a speed boost.
  • Wendy Oldbag in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a security guard. When Phoenix and Maya discover her eating donuts this exchange occurs:
    Maya: That security lady is in the guard station stuffing her face with donuts! I guess all cops like their donuts!
    Phoenix: Yeah, and they're soft enough she doesn't need teeth to chew them...
  • Donuts are mine-type weapons in Operation: Inner Space, which don't do damage, but cause those who pick them up to spin out temporarily. They're especially effective against the Enforcers, who will usually go out of their way to catch them. In fact, grabbing a donut that an Enforcer is after is actually a crime (albeit a minor one).
  • When Faultine (formery known as That One Level) of the City of Heroes was revamped to great effect, a donut shop was built with several police cars parked nearby (and a giant pink donut on top). Some gang members like the idea:
    Lost Member: It's a donut shop. We can take out half the force in this city with one good blast.
  • Hitman: Blood Money extends this trope to FBI agents. A difficult mission that tasks you to assassinate a man under heavy FBI guard (he's in the witness protection program), and by far the easiest way to accomplish this is to plant a pack of donuts injected with anesthetic (or poison, if you're feeling mean) outside the unmarked FBI surveillance-van, knock on the door, and run away. The FBI-agent pops out, goes "Ooooh, donuts! Score!" and then proceeds to share them with his partner... leaving you with a conveniently closeable surveillance-truck where you can check out the cameras, and safely change into your brand-new FBI-uniform.
    • If you don't leave the donuts and knock, the FBI agents will eventually steal them from the catering truck on their own.
    • A small lampshade hanging also occurs if you hide at the side of the van, you see a pair of feet below the vans backdoors and hear "Ooooh donuts! Nice... Full disclosure: We're actually FBI".
    • Absolution plays it straight by having one of the ways the player can make a cop disguise more convincing to the NPCs is to eat donuts out of a box left laying around. The scene is spoofed by Harry Partridge in this animation where our Master of Disguise is not the cop, but one of the donuts!
  • In Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven (or at least in the Xbox port thereof, renamed Return from Darkness), there's an unlockable mission for Rikimaru that involves him going through a portal into the future. Most of the people he's required to kill are cops/security guards, and as they're dying, their last words are, "I see donuts...donuts from heaven."
  • In Postal 2 you can lure cops away by throwing doughnuts at the floor.
    • A rather sickening variation exists in the same game. Throwing a doughnut on the floor and then peeing on it will produce a contaminated doughnut which you can pick back up. These get lumped in with the rest of the doughnuts in your inventory and look no different than normal doughnuts. If contaminated doughnuts have a cop happen across the]... well, Vomit Indiscretion Shot ensues.
    • Also, finding and putting on a cop uniform causes the Postal Dude to say "Someone stole my donuts, and now you're all going to pay!".
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: While never actually seen eating doughnuts, Sam and Max have a box with one, ancient uneaten doughnut in it. Sam comments that there's a microscopic civilization on there. Eventually one of their "Continents" is blown up with a tiny nuclear missile.
  • In Chaos Overlords, the super heavily armed police that sweep through city sectors that players have overexploited have a stereotypical donut with pink frosting and sprinkles in their auxiliary equipment slot.
  • The So Bad, It's Good Transformers tie-in game shows Barricade scanning his alternate mode from one police cruiser out of multiple parked outside a donut store. (Of note is that you can also throw the giant donut on the roof at the cops. Stuff like that is what makes this tie-in So Bad, It's Good.)
  • The tutorial from SWAT 4 is a traditional assault course which ends in a debriefing room... Only, the new team leader (you) has left a box of doughnuts on the table. The general reaction is appreciative, albeit interspered with a few eyerolls and sighs.
  • Blast Corps has a level with a donut shop with a police car parked in front of it.
  • In MadWorld, donuts are used to distract the enemies in Area 66, who are essentially sci-fi tinged policemen/security guards. Agent XIII even notes that donuts are the vice of every law enforcement officer.
  • One of the recurring character in the Fu'un Series is Gordon Bowman, a fat cop. Nearly every last one of his pre-fight conversations in Savage Reign involve donuts.
  • Carmageddon 2: One of the missions has you deal with a whole team of cop cars, because you blew up their favorite donut shop.
  • In one of the Mass Effect games, a Turian C-SEC officer (cop) talks about how much he loves donuts. Apparently, this trope is strong enough to exist on both sides of Mirror Chemistry (“Dextro Dunkins” perhaps). There's a corporate security guard (close enough?) on Noveria with a similar line.
  • One of the side missions in Driver: Parallel Lines involves outlasting a police pursuit. How do you initiate this? You guessed it. Ram a donut stand.
  • Steve the Sheriff 2: The Case of the Missing Thing has a series of "fun facts" which are revealed by finding the cigar hidden in each location. Fun Fact #19 is that a particular convenience store sells Steve's favorite "cop car snacks:" pies that fit in your pocket and a "copper's dozen" of donuts (which happens to be thirty-six).
  • In the Atari arcade game APB, the player gets extra time when they drive through a donut shack. Driving over donuts along hidden pathways will also net bonus time. Destroy a donut shack by plowing into it, and the player receives one demerit.
  • In the 2-D game of Neuromancer a cop at "Donut World" tells you that civilians aren't allowed in donut shops.
  • In Burrito Bison Revenge all of the "corrupt" cops carry donuts.
  • In one of the many conversations you can have with people in Scarface: The World Is Yours, Tony asks the Crockett and Tubbs wannabes what sort of donuts they like. They both indignantly react to such accusations, but "Crockett" sheepishly admits to liking powdered donuts.
    • One of the missions has Tony wanting to buy a donut shop. The owner agrees to sell, but only if he can get rid of the cops who are always trying to get free donuts and coffee from him. Tony hijacks a police car and leads them on a chase that proves lethal for the cops.
  • In LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins, the first tutorial mission has rookie cop Chase McCain sent out by Chief Dunby to fetch donuts for his fellow officers.
  • Need for Speed:
    • In the original game, open road tracks disable traffic and cops in multiplayer and tournament modes due to hardware limitations. The manual handwaves this by stating that the cops are all resting in the donut shop.
    • One of the pursuit breakers in Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) is at a donut shop, and running over the supports will have the giant donut fall on any cop cars chasing you.
  • Shadowrun Returns has a scene where you can bribe a Lone Star officer with a doughnut and soykaf.
  • In Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom the flavor text for the Watchtower mentions your watchmen fortifying themselves with hot tea and sweet pastries before going on patrol. The implications are clear.
  • The "Police Provisions" case in Another Case Solved involves locating a particular donut shop for a cop with a sweet tooth.
  • In Stay Tooned!, sometimes the door to Apartment 5D will be guarded by a giant donut. To get past him, you'll have to call the police (which he even dares you to do), who come over and eat him.
  • In the Papa Louie Arcade series, there is a customer named Hank who is a patrol officer. The creators of the games, Flipline Studios, revived him as a closer in Papa's Donuteria after a run in his debut game, Papa's Pancakeria.
  • The police station background art in Cate West: The Vanishing Files includes a box labeled "DONUTS" sitting on a desk.
  • Officer Johnson in Delicious 8: Emily's Wonder Wedding orders nothing but donuts when visiting Emily's restaurant.
  • SWAT 4: At the end of the tutorial level (an assault course), you find a box of donuts in the debriefing room. The team's reactions are generally appreciative, though there is some eye-rolling from the oldest team members.
  • Road Rash: Jailbreak: If you win a stage in "Five-O" mode (the game's mode where you play as a cop), one of congratulation messages for you is "Grab extra donut back at the station".
  • In SPY Fox 3: Operation Ozone, Stanley Seagull will give you the tapioca needed to make the Secret Donut XY if you give him the donut he wants. However, there is a cop in the donut shop that will eat any donut you order. You have to distract him by opening a can of laughter outside the shop and tricking him into investigating a laugh riot outside.
  • In Chapter One of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings talking to one of the guards outside the prison barge, will have him say: "I could for a doughnut right now."
  • The Darkside Detective:
    • Near the beginning of the "Disorient Express" chapter, Dooley makes several attempts to persuade McQueen that they should blow the case off and head back to the precinct house before they miss out on a free donut offer.
    • In the "Police Farce" chapter, the whiteboard in the briefing room of the precinct house is covered in writing that proves on closer inspection to be the donut and coffee rota.
  • Early in LEGO DC Super-Villains, a cop can be seen trying to eat a donut before being approached by Commissioner Gordon.
  • One of the boss ghosts in Luigi's Mansion 3 is an overweight security guard who has delusions of being an action cop, and his name is Kruller.
  • One of the dioramas in Puzzrama includes two cops eating donuts from a box placed on the hood of their car.
  • Referred to by a couple of pool players in the tavern in Dink Smallwood mod Picnic Perils.
    First player: Those Royal Guards couldn't find their fists.
    Second player: They could if it had a donut.
  • One custom police station for Simcity 4 is just a Krispy Kreme coded to act as a small police station.
  • Goat Simulator: The police station's sign in Goat Payday is a giant doughnut like the one at Randy's Donuts painted white with a blue band and letters.
  • In the Henry Stickmin Series game Escaping the Prison, some of the prison guards can be seen eating donuts. Clicking on all the donuts in the game gets you a medal.
    • Also invoked in one of the bios for the same game, in the remastered version. The bio for Kev Portly mentions that he joined the police force specifically because he loves donuts and knows that cops eat donuts.
  • Police officers in Saints Row 2 will occasionally eat donuts when they're standing idle.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4) when ol' Web Head and Officer Davis are working together to investigate an old warehouse, and the cop proves to be surprisingly nimble by jumping over an impressive gap:
    Spider-Man: Nice! Stuck the landing and everything!
    Jefferson Davis: We're not all donut eaters!
  • In Arcane Arts Academy Erika is brought to her grandmother by the police.
    Mrs. Tinsdale: What did she do this time?
    Erika: I interrupted them while they were eating donuts.
  • In the solitaire portion of GO Team Investigates a donut card frees all cards blocked by police lines.
  • Red Alert 3: In the tutorial, a bunch of Peacekeepers (the Allied basic infantry, basically riot cops with military-grade training and gear) are garrisonned in a donut shop.
  • City-Building Series:
    • 'Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom'': A watch station mentions the guards fortifying themselves with "tea and pastries" before going out on patrol.
    • Pharaoh: Police constables tend to have punny names, including Merydonut.
  • Downplayed in Hidden City. While none of the law enforcement officers are ever seen indulging in donuts, the only location thus far that features donuts as a possible search item is the Octopus Citadel, which is the former headquarters of the Security Service.

    Web Animation 
  • In the trailer for the cancelled Sly Cooper film, the Cooper Gang try to steal donuts when Murray begs for some. But when the donut store closes...Sly steals donuts from cops, causing them to get chased. Bentley yells "Why can't we just order pizza like normal people?"
  • Among the hints to Sheriff Gorou’s favorite snack in Epithet Erased: He wears a donut bolo tie, carries pistols with decorative donut handles, and keeps an open dozen on his desk. We would also say his beard is full of sprinkles, but according to an eyecatch it’s actually made of sprinkles perpetually stuck to his face.


    Web Novel 
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: Graham remarks on the association between police and doughnuts when he sees a police member consuming one in a hospital.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Rick Potion #9", several donuts can be seen on the ground next to the dead policeman when Jerry grabs his rifle.
  • Chief Wiggum in The Simpsons. But, then again, Donuts are popular with other characters as well. Still, he's the only one who threatened someone with violence because of some donuts that fell on the sewer.
    • In Treehouse of Horror IV episode, Homer - due to an encounter with The Devil - has his head turned into a four-foot-wide donut. As a result,the Springfield Police Department lays siege to his house, cups of coffee in hand, waiting for him to emerge.
    • Wiggum is also known to eat a stack of donuts off his gun, often without the safety on.
    • When Homer wants to find a fancy donut cart all he does is call 911 and the police promptly call out a massive search complete with helicopters. Once they find it and the donuts are already sold out Wiggum pulls out his gun and threatens the owner.
    • In the episode where Marge becomes a cop, she's seen having coffee and a donut for breakfast while her family eats more regular breakfast fare. Marge, is, however, much more competent than the usual Springfield policeman.
    • In the Springfield's Most Wanted special, every desk has a box of donuts.
    • A cop show about the Springfield Police has Snake Jailbird escape their attempted arrest by car, taunting "Close but no donut!"
    • Mayor Quimby once called Wiggum a "talking tub of donut batter" during an argument.
  • Stick Girl: In the episode "Activism", after the police are done asking Stick Girl who broke into a lab in released all the bunnies (completely ignoring the fact that Stick Girl is sitting in a bulldozer), the head cop turns to the others and says "Let's go out for donuts.", to which they cheer.
  • American Dad! - Roger wonders if there's a donut shop nearby when a bunch of cops appear. The currently drunk Stan doesn't get it.
    Roger: Cops already? What, are we next door to a freakin' Krispy Kreme?
    Stan: You're thinking about donuts now?
    Roger: No, I'm just saying the cops got here fast.
    Stan: What the hell do fast cops have to do with a Krispy Kreme?
    Roger: Because cops love donuts!
    Stan: You're not making any sense!
  • Happened in The Powerpuff Girls.
    • The episode "Cop Out" has Mike Brickowski, a fat and lazy cop sitting in his patrol car eating donuts and bragging about what a great cop he is while his partner is across the street foiling a bank robbery. On the way back to the station, he got donuts from practically every donut shop he found, including one that also sells chinese food. And he's still eating donuts back at the station when Da Chief gives him the Turn in Your Badge speech. Brikowski then hands over his gun, which Da Chief tells him to keep as a "souvenir"...and asks for his donut instead, because he's hungry for one himself.
    • The Movie has the cops portrayed in a ''bad'' light. Before the girls came along, crime was rampant, and we see the reason...during every crime, the policemen were always at the DONUT SHOP.
  • Subverted in Sealab 2021: Quinn tries to get a cop to leave a crime scene by throwing a donut away from it, even speaking to him like a dog ("go get, get it!"). The cop then tells he's diabetic, so Quinn just tasers him.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Harvey Bullock's love of donuts goes without saying. There's one scene early in the show's run, in "Pretty Poison", where most of the police rush out of headquarters in response to some emergency and he lingers to grab one. Twice.
    • Also, "Sins of the Father", Tim Drake's origin story, begins with him stealing a whole box of them from an elderly cop, then using them as improvised weapons against Two-Face's thugs.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In "Girls Night Out", Supergirl visits Gotham and teams up with Batgirl to take on Livewire, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. After Detective Bullock makes a snide remark toward the two heroines, Batgirl assures Supergirl, "Don't let that donut dunker get to you."
  • While the main food of the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Short Order Crooks" is Cheddarhead Charlie's Cheese Chowder, an early scene has Officers Kirby and Muldoon picking up a box of donuts at the diner. Ma's donuts are highly praised, though Ma suspects they just come there because it's conveniently next door to the station.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog once distracted a cop from his evil package by throwing a donut down the subway train. He came back anyway, mouth covered in frosting.
  • The "Little Rock of Horrors" Musical Episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy contains a scene of a cop eating a donut.
    Creep into the donut stop
    Sneak in, tiptoe past the cop
    Pick me up a cruller and a cupful of tea
    And any other sweet brains you happen to see
  • Gargoyles has some of the cops use this trope. The cops are eating donuts, see the monster, and blame the donut's sugar.
  • Lucky Piquel of Bonkers sure loves his pastries.
  • In one episode of Funky Cops, Ace gets a new partner, a fresh academy grad, when Dick is incapacitated.
    Ace: So what do they teach you at the academy these days?
    Dash: Uh, I, uh... could we get some donuts?
    Ace: Heeey, that's what they taught me, too.
  • In the first episode of Dan Vs., a cop eating a donut watches Dan and Chris chasing a little boy down the street. He continues to eat his donut, then realizes, "Oh yeah, I'm a cop!" and goes after them.
  • One scene from the Pixar animated short Tokyo Mater involved Mater luring a Japanese police car into a donut shop while attempting to beat the villain to the top of Tokyo Tower as part of a drift race. Since the characters are cars, the donuts are of the stunt variety.
  • On The Amazing World of Gumball, the sheriff is a donut. He eats other, non-anthropomorphic donuts. All the other police officers are some sort of food, including a cup of coffee.
  • Subverted on an episode of Birdz. Officer Pigeon buys a box early in the episode, but after losing his job due to Eddie and Sleepy's interference, he throws them at the bank robbers to stop them and admits that he doesn't eat them because "they're bad for you".
  • Osmosis Jones tells Drix he has police work to do. The next scene, he orders donuts(?) (one glazed, and one with a jelly-filled nucleus) from a cell that has a donut for a face before calling the Memory Center and asking about "El Muerte Rojo" The white-blood-cell precinct is also right next to the donut shop.
  • Oh Yeah! Cartoons
    • The short "A Cop and his Donut" revolved around a cop who's partners with a talking donut.
    • The Dan Danger Show referenced this trope and lampshaded how cliche it was in the short "A Date with Danger", where the dinner Dan ordered on his date with a female police officer named Pepper turned out to be donuts and Dan remarks that he knew cops like donuts because that's what he heard from washed-up comedians. In addition, some of the cops Dan's date works with complains that the stereotype of cops liking donuts was a rumor started by firemen.
  • The Cow and Chicken episode "Orthodontic Police" featured the Red Guy as an orthodontic policeman forcing everyone he meets to wear huge braces. One of his victims is a cop who laments being unable to eat donuts because of his braces.
  • In Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, the heroes' cop ally, after being knocked out, is able to revive and get the drop on the bad guy... after a donut rolls by his nose.
  • A literal version of this was seen on an episode of Garfield and Friends as a plot device. In that episode, Garfield tries to warn a cop about a bank being robbed. The cop ignores this and goes to a donut shop instead. To make him realize that the bank is being robbed, Garfield puts the message "Bank Being Robbed" in his donuts. The cop soon notices and goes off to find the robber.
  • The Bikini Bottom Police Department from Spongebob Squarepants has an entire room in the police station for storing them. Also the officer who arrests Plankton has Doughnut shaped earmuffs.
  • What's with Andy?: during careers week, a kid is told by the cop he is partnered with to memorize the different kinds of donuts there are, since this is a crucial aspect of becoming a real cop.
  • In the "Makin' Bank" episode of SheZow, Guy uses a donut truck to slow down his police officer dad and his dad's partner so he can restore his size and his superhero identity.
  • The cop in Bee and Puppycat that watches Bee to make sure she doesn't jaywalk (while ignoring the kids running in the street) eats a doughnut after "warning" her not to.
  • In Atomic Puppet, the Mega City police station is located next door to a donut shop. And in one episode, Joey and AP find a group of cops positioned around the donut shop waiting for somebody to come out. but it turns out they were only waiting for a rookie member to come out with the donuts.
  • Beetlejuice is able to distract two Netherworld cops by conjuring up a donut stand and yelling "Free donuts!" (Unfortunately, the donuts he has are the type he likes, dirty and covered with bugs, so it doesn't distract them for long.)
  • The Legend of Korra has Lu and Gang wolfing down Varri-cakes (a kind of deep-fried snack cake with frosting and a jelly centre) when they're supposed to be protecting the President.
  • In an episode of SWAT Kats, two Enforcers guarding a prisoner hear a noise. The younger one thinks something is wrong. The elder one says it is nothing, and to “get yourself another donut” ostensibly to calm his nerves. Subsequently, that prisoner does escape because the guards went to get donuts. This is consistent with the show’s portrayal of Enforcers as useless.
  • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures alluded to this trope in the episode "Mighty's Tone Poem", where Petey Pate lambastes caricatures of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert by remarking that they can find the nearest donut shop by following the trail of cops.
  • In the Mixels episode "Every Knight Has Its Day", the MCPD (Mixopolis City Police Department) are introduced in the parking lot of a donut shop with donuts and coffee. They perform a Spit Take when they are alerted of an assignment.
  • The Toxic Crusaders episode "A Sight for Sore Eyes" has a police officer approach Mayor Max Grody while he's sleeping on a park bench and informs him that sleeping in the park is illegal. Mayor Grody replies that he invented the law to try and get the cop off his case, only for the officer to angrily reply that the mayor also made it illegal to eat donuts while on duty.
  • Sheep in the Big City referenced the trope in the episode "Baa-hind the Scenes" when Sheep's agent proposes that a new show Sheep could star in is a cop show titled Baaah and Order. The hypothetical show's opening narration states that the two most important kinds of people in the world of crime are the police officers solving the crimes and the bakers who make the cops' donuts.
  • The Bump in the Night episode "Loss of Face" had Mr. Bumpy dress as a police officer and take a bite out of a donut while interrogating Squishington about what happened to his missing face.
  • In the Arthur episode "Sue Ellen Moves In", the kids are curious about the family that just moved in, who they hear has been all around the world. Prunella guesses that they're on the run, and has an Imagine Spot of Sue Ellen robbing the Louvre while a security guard is distractedly eating a croissant.
  • Transformers:
    • Alluded to in the Transformers: Rescue Bots episode "One for the Ages", where Myles expresses his frustration at him and his brother Evan getting caught by Chase by sarcastically asking if there isn't a robot donut shop around.
    • The trope is referenced once more in the Sequel Series Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy, where the episode "Museum Mystery" has Chase invite Whirl to a police ride-along and Whirl offers to get the donuts. Humorously, neither Whirl nor Chase even know what donuts are, the latter guessing that they are some kind of puffy cookie.
  • Defied in Milo Murphy's Law:
    Fuller: Donut?
    Hastings: Seriously? Cops eating donuts? Don't be such a cliche!
    Fuller: So now you speak French?
  • C.O.P.S. (1988):
    • In the first part of the two-part episode "The Case of C.O.P.S. File #1", Mace is shown biting into a donut and tossing it away before apprehending a pair of criminals.
    • The episode "The Case of the Baby Bad Guys" has Longarm remark that he needs to cut back on the donuts when his attempt to arrest Small Guy is thwarted by the diminutive crook escaping through a hole in a fence that Longarm is too big to go through.

    Real Life 
  • "Bad Cop, No Donut" adorns many a T-Shirt of anti-authority youth and is the name of an anti-police subreddit.
    • This also exists as a bumper sticker, popular on pickup truck rear windows, where a cop can't not see it.
    • They also make ones that say "Police Headquarters" in the orange-and-pink Dunkin' Donuts logo font.
  • Protestors sometimes taunt riot police by dangling donuts from the end of (usually improvised) fishing poles.
  • Perhaps the ultimate instantiation of this trope comes from Boston, which (not coincidentally) is the cradle of Dunkin' Donuts. (Technically, Dunkin' started in Quincy, but in any state but Massachusetts, Quincy—which is essentially urban—would've been absorbed into Boston a long time ago.) Indeed, after the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013 and the citywide manhunt and subsequent lockdown, the Dunkin' Donuts in Boston were among the only businesses that stayed open in order to accommodate all the law enforcement personnel in the area, since it was seen as a vital service—effectively serving as secondary police precincts.
  • Starbucks is pretty popular with Seattle police, since DD doesn't have the footprint, and Starbucks is a local company. It's also indoors, which is a good thing when it rains 9 months out of 12.
    • Amusing subversion in a few of Detroit's nicer suburbs (Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills): the cops all hang at Starbucks, despite the presence of several Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Horton's within the city limits or the next suburb over.
    • It's also worth noting that, traditionally, Dunkin' Donuts had a reputation for having just about the awesomest coffee in the universe, even if you weren't buying any donuts. Granted, that may be less true these days since specialty coffee shops have become so popular.
    • Helsinki, Finland has a similar joke referring to an ABC gas station which happens to be one of the few such places open 24/7 in the downtown. As a result, it's the go-to place for downtown police officers and also patrol security guards in the area. They provide free coffee for both.
    • In urban Britain, lacking widely available doughnut shopsnote , the police generally make do with kebabs or other greasy fried food from late-night takeaways. In rural Britain they have to make do with a flask of tea and a packet of sandwiches from home because nowhere's open past 11PM.
  • A 1994 MIT "hack" had some students secretly place a fake police car on the top of the Great Dome on campus. Inside, a mannequin dressed as a campus cop had a box of donuts nearby.
  • A T-Shirt guide shows that the best way to avoid a cop is to throw a donut at him.
  • There's been at least one real-life case where the attempted robbery of a doughnut shop has been thwarted by a cop who just happened to be there purchasing doughnuts at the time. Which is how this trope got started. Dunkin' Donuts decided that, to keep their employees safe during the Grave-yard shift, they would offer cops free donuts and coffee. For one reason or another, they don't do it anymore, but this example is the reason why the trope got started. While they may not be allowed to offer free coffee and food anymore, places like Dunkin' Donuts and Waffle House continue to be popular with cops on overnight shifts because they generally have reasonably clean bathrooms (necessary after that fifth cup of coffee on a shift) and a nice-sized table that makes it much easier to spread out and work on paperwork there than trying to do the same in a squad car.
  • In Clare, Michigan (a quaint little farm town about a hundred miles north of the state capital), the town bakery, which had been in business since 1896, was in danger of closing. The Clare Police Department - all nine of them - banded together and bought the bakery, and renamed the joint enterprise "Cops & Doughnuts". Link They've now opened several more "precinct houses" in Mid-Michigan, and branched out into coffee (which is locally roasted and excellent quality), as well as T-shirts and other merchandise, with such classic sayings as "Don't Glaze Me, Bro" and "Handcuffs and Cream Puffs." The entire enterprise is run as a not-for-profit, which returns the proceeds to all manner of community events and law enforcement charities.
  • In the 90s, Atlanta-area radio DJs Randy and Spiff had a "contest" called "Cop In, Cop Out", wherein they scouted a donut shop, then challenged the caller to guess whether there was a policeman in the store or not. Saying "Cop In" was pretty much a sure thing.
  • This article is a story about a donut delivery truck being hijacked and chased by a minimum of nine officers from four agencies in a half-dozen cruisers. The company donated the stolen donuts to the arresting officers.
  • An Alberta city in the early 90s saw an internal police memo leaked to the press where, to avoid people believing this trope by seeing the Tim Horton's parking lot full of police cars, officers were asked to park down the street and walk.
  • Infamous doughnut run by Albuquerque police. Using a helicopter, no less.
  • A small arcade in Marina Del Rey, CA had a recurring problem with gang fights, so the strip mall's proprietors designated a parking space for police vehicles. Unfortunately, they chose the one directly in front of the adjacent donut shop, making it a local Running Gag for years.
  • Subverted in many communities where breakfast tacos are a favorite treat; breakfast tacos also taste delicious with coffee and there are many opportunities to grab a taco anytime, day or night (and they taste as good at 10:00 PM as they do at 10:00 AM), so tacos are the cop's best friend there.
  • Tim Horton's, far and away the largest coffee, baked goods and fast food chain in Canada, was founded by the hockey player Tim Horton, but his first investor and franchisee was Ron Joyce, a police constable who frequented Horton's shop on his beat. After Horton's death, Joyce took over the chain and expanded it into the empire it is today.
    • Instead of paying for security, Tim Horton's offers free menu items to members of Law Enforcement, encouraging police to frequent timmies.
  • In Portugal, the bifana (a marinated pork sandwich), normally accompanied with a beer and sometimes with french fries, is the stereotypical policeman's treat.
  • In Brazil, during the 80s, policemen were nicknamed "coxinhas" (a Brazilian chicken croquette), since a coxinha was one of the few things their small meal tickets would afford, making coxinha the donut equivalent to Brazilian cops. Nowadays, though, "coxinha" is rarely used to refer to cops, being mostly used as a pejorative term for conservatives and right-wingers in general.
  • In Mexico, policemen eating Tacos with a cool soda is the local version of this trope, or sometimes replace the tacos with burgers or burritos. On the other hand, a Mexican policemen eating donuts is considered unusual, as donuts are more expensive in Mexico than in the U.S. and Canada.note 
    • Meanwhile, Filipino cops prefer hanging out at panciterias (Chinese-style noodle houses).
    • In Sweden, police are stereotyped as obsessed with the local gatukök (literally "street kitchen", think somewhere between a hot-dog stand and a fast food restaurant), and many of these will have a "police-meal" somewhere, though what that meal actually is varies according to region and the culinary preferences of local law enforcement.
    • In Israel, the police are stereotyped as being crazy over shawarma, a dish consisting of roast meat cut into slices and stacked in a cone-like shape.
  • This news story has a case of a cop going about double the speed limit to get to a local donut shop, which is almost as unintentionally stereotypical as you can get.
  • At certain Greasy Spoons, the Hash House Lingo for donuts and coffee is "Cops and Robbers".
  • Countless convenience stores, donut stores, coffee shops, and the like evoke this trope by giving massive discounts or even outright freebies to cops in uniforms. Though it's not to say this isn't somewhat motivated by supporting the troops, the store owner's main interest is in having regular customers who carry guns, know first aid, and are able and obligated to help customers or employees in the event of a robbery or emergency.
  • In Lexington, Kentucky in December 2018, a Krispy Kreme truck caught fire on the highway. While no one was injured, the Lexington Police Department posted photos on Twitter of officers weeping next to the burned-out shell of the truck.
  • The Cop on a Rooftop fundraiser for Special Olympics Illinois, in which police officers spend the day at Dunkin Donuts locations, taking turns standing on the roof, to attract attention and donations.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Doughnut Mess With A Cop


Fetch the Donut

Courage uses a donut to distract a cop.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / DonutMessWithACop

Media sources: