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"Okay, okay, we'll share the donuts. Jeez!"

"How many cops are there in this town?!"

You're a criminal in a city who has just committed a crime. The police are on their way, but rather than run, you decide to risk a shoot-out. After all, you have a truly ludicrous number of weapons. Besides, even in a large city, surely the police won't throw more than a row of cars and a couple of helicopters at a problem before trying another strategy, will they?

A hundred cop cars, 20 helicopters, and at least 300 individual officers and a SWAT unit bristling with More Dakka and an armored car later, there still seems to be no end to the rampage. At this point you have to wonder whether or not the police force of this city simply has an unlimited budget.

This trope is common in any video game where you're acting as a Villain Protagonist. In most games where the police will chase after you, they will continue to send more police cars and helicopters (And whatever other resources they have in that particular game, up to and including tanks; Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will even hit you with Harrier jump jets) until you evade them in some manner. No matter how many cars and helicopters you destroy, they always seem to have another ready to go.

This is especially egregious in games that keep track of how much damage you've caused the police. This number will easily reach into the millions, making you wonder at what point it would be more economical for the police to just bribe you to go away.

It also occurs in large budget action movies that are basing their story on The Rule of Cool rather than advice from a team of veteran police officers. In these depictions, they don't worry about pesky real life constraints like a police force's budgets and the need to maintain capacity to respond to other crimes.

A subtrope of Artistic License Law Enforcement and Infinite Supplies. Super-Trope to I Fought the Law and the Law Won. Compare to Lemming Cops, where the cops show absolutely no concern for their own personal safety. Sister Trope to Clown-Car Grave, the undead equivalent. Compare and contrast Police Are Useless.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Near the end of Boogie, the titular character and his girlfriend Marcia is racing their way from the city's outskirts to the courtroom, which they need to reach within 10 minutes so that Marcia can testify as a witness to local mob boss Sonny Calabria. Cue Boogie stepping on it, driving like crazy as he speeds halfway through the city — and end up having a few hundred police vehicles and six helicopters hot in pursuit. Including a fifteen-second stream of police vehicles pouring across the street.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used to hilarious effect in The Blues Brothers movie's climatic action sequence. (According to the article, this movie held the Guinness world record for cars destroyed in a single movie for 18 years, and was then trumped by its sequel). After Jake and Elwood evade every single member of the Chicago police and the Illinois state troopers, the National Guard gets called in to apprehend them. The National Guard shows up with a tank, helicopters, and several hundred assault-rifle wielding soldiers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Dukes of Hazzard, the Hazzard County Sheriff's Department has an unlimited automobile budget: every week they manage to crash at least a couple but they have all-new cars next week. Possibly partly justified by the Duke boys not being the only gearheads in the county. It's probably fairly easy to find some good ol' boys to help fix up the department's cars.
  • Both the regular police force and the (supposedly) elite Black Ops units in Ang Probinsyano (2015) apparently have an endless supply of personnel at their disposal whom Cardo and his posse make short work of. As to how they are able to recruit new officers in a whim is quite a wonder.

  • The real-life events behind the Alice's Restaurant Massacre appear to have resulted in five police officers and three police cars showing up in a town that has only two police officers and one police car.

    Video Games 
  • Watch_Dogs has this straight as a nail. Especially hilarious when you realize that Aiden should be able to jam their communications, making the whole mess unmanageable for the police.
  • Just Cause and its sequel avert this trope, if only by the letter, since you're simply too big a threat to provoke a police response — instead, you're dealing with the Army from start to finish. Of course, THEY still seem to have a literally infinite supply of Jeeps and attack helicopters to throw at you, no matter how many airfields you've blown up, so the spirit of the trope is still well-preserved.
  • The Elder Scrolls series plays this fairly straight.
    • In the early games (Arena and Daggerfall), towns have an unlimited number of guards. Arena only has a few guards show up at a time when you do something illegal, and they won't spawn any more after you kill all of them. But they will always have another group show up when you commit another crime. Daggerfall will have dozens, even hundreds of guards endlessly spawn if you continue to commit crimes in an area.
    • In the later games of the series (Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, you CAN kill all of the guards in a given town or settlement, but they will respawn after the reset period has passed for the particular game. (Usually 3 in-game days.) The new guards are just as skilled and equipped as the previous guards.
    • In Morrowind, respawned guards will attack you on sight, even if you pay off all your bounty. You won't incur a bounty for killing them at that point, but you will have to kill them every time they respawn.
  • In Jet Grind Radio, Captain Onishima sends out swarms of police officers, police dogs, helicopters armed with missiles, SWAT forces, and paratroopers equipped with machine guns to stop a vandal on roller skates.
  • Need for Speed
    • Throwing unlimited numbers of police cars at a problem is one thing, but when each of these is a Nissan GT-R or Corvette Z06 the damage bill rapidly runs into the millions.
    • However, the first era averts this. Instead, there are several cops (each has its own #). But they are invulnerable determinators.
  • [PROTOTYPE]. Somewhat justified, as it's pretty much an entire Marine division plus a Blackwatch battalion you're fighting. Plus you're pretty much their priority one target.
  • Saints Row takes this to absurd degrees, which is part of the fun. By the third game, the police have laser rifle-armed soldiers in full body armor, an aircraft carrier, VTOL jets equipped with missiles and lasers, and a flying aircraft carrier.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla the EDF will continue to send troops to hunt you down until you either die or manage to get to escape house. Slightly justified, since they are an army, but it gets ridiculous if you ever get your hands on mechs.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and PAYDAY 2: The cops just keep on sending waves of police assaults. Common body counts after a decently-sized heist number in the hundreds, with longer ones breaking a thousand, but the police never show signs of running out of manpower.
  • Red Dead Redemption Whenever you have a bounty on your head, there will be a posse of gunmen somewhere on the horizon. Of course, if you do massacre the first few dozen guys, the bounty is going to climb into obscene territories.
  • Destroy All Humans! sees your human foes throwing an infinite number of forces at you, whether they be cops, soldiers or government secret agents. Subverted occasionally in that eventually some of the lower forms of opposition will stop appearing at higher alert levels.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man (2005), destroying a car as Venom will a point score to appear and endless waves of police to attack. Rack up enough points, and SWAT, helicopters, and SHIELD join in.
  • In Fable, becoming hostile within a city unleashes inexhaustible waves of increasingly powerful guards — unless your alignment is Good enough to apologize and get off scot-free.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Almost Got 'Im", when Batman springs his trap in the Bad Guy Bar, the villains are suddenly surrounded with what looks to be about two hundred cops, all holding guns. Far more than the number of people that should have been able to fit into that room, much less how many were actually in it in previous scenes.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Hall Monitor", the moment SpongeBob says out loud that he's the maniac everyone's been looking for, he's instantly surrounded by police officers.