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Hello Again, Officer

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Officer Hummel: Turboman, we sure could use a man like you on the force.
Howard Langston: [pulls off his Turboman mask] Thanks, I'll keep that in mind! Oh, uh... I'm sorry about the bike... and the coffee... and the bus... and, uh, the bomb.

Bob has had a pretty rough day. He's been dumped by his girlfriend, bitten by a dog, soaked by a rainstorm, and he's just found out that he has 8 hours to find his kidnapped buddy. How could things possibly get any worse?

Oh, right. By quite literally running into the same cop who pulled you over yesterday.

Expect hilarity to ensue as Bob encounters this same officer(s) in the most unfortunate situations at least two or three more times. But don't worry—because of its humorous nature, this almost always ends with the two men making amends by helping each other catch the bad guy.

Compare Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist, who is actively pursuing the protagonist. See also Acquainted with Emergency Services. Confuse with Hello, Sailor! and Fair Cop at your own peril.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Combined with Inspector Javert in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: In one episode, Sosuke and Kaname get chased by an enthusiastic policewoman because they're speeding along on a bicycle, with the cop eventually wrecking her car. Several episodes later when dealing with a serial ponytailer, the pair runs into the same cop, who got into deep trouble for wrecking her car and is now trying to fix her reputation. Sosuke recognizes her and uses his Bonta-kun suit in order to prevent her from identifying him. Of course, this causes her to develop a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist-like fixation on Bonta-kun until the real culprit is found.

  • Jeff Foxworthy references this in You Might be a Redneck if... as a singles party isn't considered good unless the cops have shown up a dozen times.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: A Running Gag in Asterix and the Golden Sickle is that Asterix and Obelix keep running into, and getting arrested by, the same Romans whenever they unintentionally draw their attention during their search for a group of sickle traffickers.

    Fan Works 
  • Long Road to Friendship: Shining Armor pulls Sunset over for speeding. Later that day, he spots her again when she drops Twilight off at home.

  • A staple of the silent comedy era:
    • In The Goat, Buster Keaton is chased by three police men. He manages to trap them inside a truck that drives off but a few scenes later, the truck unloads the cops right in front of Keaton and the chase is on again.
    • After their initial encounter in The Kid (1921), the tramp bumps into the local policeman again when trying to place the baby in the stroller and once again when fooling around with his wife.
  • In Die Hard 2, John McClane gets a parking ticket from a no-nonsense airport cop, and then spends the rest of the film butting heads with the chief of airport security because of the Chief's idiocy. The kicker? The two antagonistic cops were brothers. At the end, they reconcile by tearing up John's parking ticket.
  • In Jingle All the Way, Ahnold mistakenly aggravates a local cop and then continues to have run-ins with him throughout the film (including accidentally detonating a package bomb in his face). They reconcile at the end when Ahnold saves the day in the Turbo-Man outfit.
  • In the old Disney film The Absent-Minded Professor (the original version of Flubber), Alonzo Hawk and his henchmen are constantly foiled whenever their car crashes into a cop car, which always causes the cop to spill "BOILING HOT COFFEE!!" in his lap. Needless to say, he promptly arrests them.
  • Throughout Superbad, the main characters keep running into the cops whenever they least want to (buying alcohol underage, getting run over, etc.). The cops make it up (to Mclovin, at least) by letting him shoot at their burning cop car.
  • Super Troopers, both for the stoners as a Brick Joke, and as a variation, for the highway troopers themselves who keep having run-ins with the Spurbury Police Department.
  • The detectives in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) are this.
  • The Blues Brothers - State Troopers Mount & Daniel, and John Candy's parole officer.
  • James Bond has a not-terribly-pleasant encounter with Louisiana Sheriff J.W. Pepper in Live and Let Die, and runs into him again in The Man with the Golden Gun while Pepper just happens to be vacationing in Bangkok. In a variation of this trope, Pepper's attitude toward Bond has improved significantly since their last encounter; while he does continue to create problems for Bond, it's because he tags along and makes himself into The Load.
  • Definitely applies to The Rocketeer, where Billy Campbell's character is continually harassed by federal agents who want the jetpack he has. After they shoot up the Nazis at the end, cue instant good relations.
  • The Hangover - they're caught and dragged in at the worst possible time. Thankfully, the protagonists get off nearly scot-free.
  • Big-time Played for Laughs in Wild Hogs when the protagonist motorcyclists continue to run into the same police officer multiple times. It's suggested that the officer assumes they are homosexual (and envies their casual relationship), and Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Lilo & Stitch, one background conflict is the fact Lilo's family situation (her older sister takes care of her as if they were mother and daughter) is not looked on kindly by Child Protection Services, and it is the same guy they seem to be constantly running afoul of. In the end, it's revealed he's really with the MIB (a.k.a. good guys) and was Obfuscating Stupidity the whole time.
  • The EPA agent Walter Peck from Ghostbusters (1984) continually harasses the eponymous group until he finally gets a warrant to shut down their "environmentally dangerous" ghost containment field. Hilarity did not ensue... at least, not until the very end. And even then, he's still not very repentant.
  • Indiana Jones does this with the Nazi officers a few times in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Jumanji: Lampshaded by Officer Carl Bentley, who was a childhood friend of Alan's.
    Carl: I don't believe this. Every time there's trouble, I run into you.
  • In the Terminator series, the Connor family keeps running into the same police-psychologist, Dr. Silberman.
  • In Star Trek (2009), when Kirk and Scotty are caught in engineering, the security officer who discovers them is the same one Kirk was fighting earlier in the movie, who greets him with "Come with me, cupcake!".
  • In The Gumball Rally, most of the main racers are on a first name basis with the pursuing cop.
  • In Dan in Real Life, Dan becomes familiar enough with one officer that, as yet another ticket is being written for him, he asks the officer to "put it on my tab".
  • In Stripes Harold Ramis and Bill Murray's characters constantly keep running into the same two female military police. Combined with Ship Tease since they end up hooking up.
  • In The Odd Couple II, Felix and Oscar end up in a small-town sheriff's office three times in three days under three charges. The first time the truck lent to them turned out to be full of illegal immigrants; the second time they were caught in a priceless antique car with the dead body of the owner (he passed away naturally); and the third time they were involved in a kidnapping from a bus (but in this case they were the victims). When the kidnappers see the police barricade, Oscar consoles them by saying "Don't worry, I know each of them personally." After this in the sheriff's office, Oscar compares their situation to a trifecta. An enraged Felix threatens to strangle Oscar and get arrested for a "four-fecta". After this the sheriff lets them go, telling his men not to bring them back even if they kill someone and rob the bank.
  • Occurred often in The Three Stooges shorts. For instance, in A Plumbing We Will Go the same officer from the beginning of the short where they are on trial for stealing chickens catches them later on trying to steal fish from an aquarium, and pursues them for the rest of the short.
  • The main character in Bean runs into the same cop three times. Once when arrested in the airport, again after tampering with the ride, and again near the end in the Hospital where Mr. Bean saves the officers' life.
  • Played with in Bridesmaids: the protagonist keeps encountering the same traffic cop because he's genuinely concerned about her inability to get her shit together, and her persistently broken brake light leads to an accident. Overlaps with Meet Cute: the concerned traffic cop becomes her Love Interest.

  • Adrian Mole: In Weapons of Mass Destruction, PC Aaron Drinkwater turns up to berate Adrian for being "abusive" to an emergency call operator, and for throwing rubbish into the canal. Later, when Pandora is signing copies of her autobiography, Adrian requests police protection for the crowds which are certain to ensue. For this, PC Drinkwater turns up again, and is not amused when hardly any people appear at all.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks is the victim of this trope in "Four Leaf Clover". The same policeman catches her (accidentally) breaking Mr. Morelli's barber pole, parking by a fire plug, parking by a fire plug again, makes her pay compensation for damaging a golf fanatic's grass when picking the titular four leaf clover, then he finally forced Miss Brooks into quarantine when she visits Mr. Morelli to pay damages (the policeman had forced her to visit him in the first place!).
  • iCarly has a cop show up in one of the first episodes, where they accidentally change a large traffic sign to say "PEE ON CARL" of course, Officer Carl arrests Spencer. Then about 2 seasons later, some gay pet photographers ruin the iCarly studio (long story), and Officer Carl shows up again, and doesn't help them because of the events in the first episode.
  • In Frasier, a policeman pulls over the Cranes for mistakenly being identified as having a stolen vehicle. Many hours and miles later, they make an illegal U-turn, and the same cop pulls them over for it.
  • The time travelers from Joseon run into that same cop again and end up in jail in Rooftop Prince.
  • Supernatural. Not played for laughs when Sam brutally assaults an officer while soulless, then returns to the same town after getting his soul, unaware of what he's done.
  • In one episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Cody is away at math camp, and Zack misses him and wants to visit. London, meanwhile, is trying to prove to Mosby that she can drive, so she agrees to take him there. They kidnap Maddie so she can't report them, and Muriel and Esteban come along for hijinks. London is a nervous driver, so she gets pulled over for driving too slowly. Shortly afterward, Muriel takes over driving and gets pulled over for speeding. It's the same cop, who's very confused by the change.
  • Pie in the Sky: Played with in the pilot episode. Retired police detective turned restaurant owner Henry Crabbe is interviewing for the sous chef position, and not having much luck until he gets to one particular young lad... who seems naggingly familiar, until it finally clicks: Henry had arrested him for burglary a few years previously. He still ends up getting the job.

  • In the Charlie Daniels song Uneasy Rider '88, the singer and his friend Jim are pulled over for doing 60 in a 45 MPH zone. He lets them off this time, but after the two escape from a bar full of angry transgender people (It Makes Sense in Context), they're heading down the highway, doing a hundred and ten... and "that same blame cop" shows up, and this time arrests them.
  • In Jeff Foxworthy 's music video for Party All Night, Jeff claims that single people don't consider it a good party unless the cops have been there at least a dozen times.
    Jeff: Welcome back, Officer Mitchell!
    Jeff: Hey Officer Mitchell, I thought you said you didn't want to come back out here tonight.

    Western Animation  
  • In Spongebob Squarepants, there is an episode where the same cop shows up to ticket Squidward over and over again.
  • King of the Hill: In "Lupe's Revenge", Hank gets pulled over several times for different reasons by the same female cop who wants to have close contact with him.
  • Played humorously in an episode of Regular Show. While tagging along with Benson on a trip to renew their cart's warranty, they accidentally cause him to swerve off the road. The scene then cuts to a cop making Benson do a sobriety test. Later on, Benson puts on a music tape, and the group moves along with it, even though it causes Benson to take his hands off the wheel. We see them getting pulled over again by the same cop, who's dancing along with them.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show episode "DMV", a traffic cop pulls over Daffy and Bugs (the latter a passenger in the car) and finds out the former doesn't have a driver's license. Not too long after, when Bugs gets a ride from Lola, they are pulled over by the same traffic cop only to find out that Lola doesn't have a license either. Later, when waiting for Porky to pick him up, Porky is pulled over for talking on a cell phone while driving, and when Bugs discovers it's the same cop, he sheepishly waves at him. At the end of the episode, when Bugs is the one finally pulled over for crossing a double yellow line, Bugs greets the officer, "Hello again."
  • The Ruff & Reddy Show story arc "The Treasure of Skipper Kipper" opens at a carnival, where Reddy tries his luck throwing a baseball at some pins while blindfolded at a game booth and proceeds to hit a policeman on the noggin. Moments later at a test-your-strength machine, Reddy hits the same cop's toe with the mallet.