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Police Code for Everything

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Random Cop #1: Someone call the Avengers or somethin'—
Random Cop #2: — And tell 'em what? A polite robot just walked into the U.N.?
Random Cop #3: [into radio] — got a 4-3-7 at the U.N. —
Uncanny X-Men #366

We've got a 20-26, someone's trying to describe Police Code For Everything here!

The Monster of the Week has grown to the size of a skyscraper, and is currently rampaging through New York, carrying a load of Noodle Implements. He's even kidnapped the Designated Victim. A police officer on scene calmly pulls out his radio and announces "We've got a 10-340".

No matter how obscure, improbable, or downright weird an event is, the Crazy-Prepared department has a code for it. Furthermore, everyone will have the code memorized and are expected to know instantly what the code means - they might have even trained for its eventual use. (Although there's the frequent exception, or just a non-cop who happens to be involved, leading them to question what it is, and for the meaning to be revealed.) It may be that their beat is a Quirky Town or the City of Adventure, so they come to expect giant apes once again fighting among the stampeding warthogs.

More often than not, this Trope can go hand-in-hand with the Police Are Useless Trope, because having the code just means they know what is happening, not that they know how (or are sufficiently equipped) to deal with it.

Sub-Trope of Crazy-Prepared. Sister Trope to Code Emergency, where a pre-arranged code is used for clandestine communication. See also Hash House Lingo for another profession where everything has its own code which the employees have memorized.


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  • There are a few examples in Stan Freberg's Dragnet parodies.
    • In "St. George and the Dragonet", St. George finally nabs the fire-breathing dragon on these charges:
      St. George: I'm taking you in on a 502. You figure it out.
      Dragon: What's the charge?
      St. George: Devouring maidens out of season.
      Dragon: Out of season?!? You'll never pin that rap on me!! Do you hear me, COP?!?!
      St. George: Yeah, I hear you. I got you on a 412 too.
      Dragon: A 412!!! What's a 412?!?!?
      St. George: Over-acting. Let's go.
    • In "Christmas Dragnet," a man named Grudge is brought in on a 4096325-096704: not believing in Santa Claus. Wednesday had previously brought him in on a 1492: not believing in Columbus.
    • Further parodied in Little Blue Riding Hood.
      Sgt. Wednesday: When I was on my way to a 503, a 618 came in. I added up the 614, the 503 and the 614 and got 1,735.

    Comic Books 
  • Uncanny X-Men Issue 366, providing the page quote for Crazy-Prepared:
    Cop #1: Someone call The Avengers or somethin'—
    Cop #2: And tell 'em what? A polite robot just walked into the U.N.?
    Cop #3: (into radio) — got a 4-3-7- at the U.N. —
  • Green Lantern shows that this trope is in effect for Space Police, too. 1011, for example, is Deicide. Rebirth gives us 1963: "suspect escaped into an extra-dimensional vortex".

    Fan Works 
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, one of the codes Amelia Bones has set up for Magical Law Enforcement is code RJ-L20: "Guard requires relief because prisoner is attempting psychological warfare and is succeeding". The psychological warfare that gets this code invoked is humming.
    Auror Altunay: You don't understand! It's really awful humming!
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: Paradise Valley PD refers to superpowered incidents as "10-9000". Justified, given they've been dealing with GC-161 metas for years.
  • In Takamachi Nanoha of 2814, a 16887 means "Illegal disposal of a disposable pre-packaged beverage vessel by attempted forced ingestion into an endangered species of carnivorous luminescent crystal fungus" in the Green Lantern Handbook. Nanoha appears to have memorized all the codes - and is strongly implied to be the only Lantern presently in the Corps to have read the thing cover to cover.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch has a scale which up until IC-6 is suspiciously reminiscent of that used by the British police force. Then after IC-6 (person of Klatchian or Hubwards Circle Sea appearance), the City Watch scale goes through IC-7 (Dwarf) up to IC-16 (Elf: touches iron). Incidents also have their codes: a Code 23 denotes any manifestation of the eldrich, paranormal, supernatural, or things appearing with too many tentacles. A 23 involving the presence of many IC-16's is something to dread. There is also an unofficial extra category IC-17, which is code for Nobby Nobbs.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Toy Story 2, a Buzz Lightyear action figure at Al's Toy Barn (who thinks he's a real space ranger) is completely baffled at the behavior of the other toys, who are trying to rescue Woody. Andy's Buzz (who realizes he's a toy) tells the deluded Buzz, "It's alright, Space Ranger. It's a code 5-46." Deluded Buzz gasps and bows before Woody, saying, "Your Majesty!" And from that point on, while he still believes himself to be a real space ranger, this Buzz takes the situation entirely in stride and works with the remaining toys, although he ends up in combat against an Emperor Zurg action figure, believing it to be real.
  • Monsters, Inc.
    • A 23-19 call goes out whenever there's contact between monsters and a human object, even something as innocuous as a sock.
    • When Monstropolis appears in Kingdom Hearts III, we get other CDA examples; 8-35 is an indicator that a human has come through the door network, while 72-16 is a warning of unidentified life-forms.
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature: Code 7 means a donut shop selling donuts for half their usual price. When Liberty Land is closed, a cop seizes a donut cart and says it's a code 7. The other cops there approve it.
  • SCOOB!: While Scooby and Shaggy are being chased by Dastardly's robots at the Takamoto Bowl, their friends listen to a police radio and hear a report of a 40-15 in progress.
    Velma: (reading) "Tiny, violent, shapeshifting robots chasing a man and a dog in a bowling alley, linen store or car wash." Wow, the police really do have a code for everything.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle: an illegal chinchilla ranch on the premises is an 11-350.
  • A couple of cops in Mirrors 2 discuss the ghoulish scene of a disemboweling with this exchange:
    First Cop: "You ever see a 10-56 like that before?"
    Second Cop: "I'm not sure."
  • Parodied but good in a Deleted Scene from The Naked Gun (often reinserted for TV airings), when Frank keeps rattling off the wrong police codes to describe an attempt on Nordberg's life while an increasingly panicky hospital clerk correctly interprets them as being for things like fire or a gas leak. On his third attempt, the clerk simply screams in horror and dives out a window.
  • Parodied in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The security guards on the set for the Bluntman and Chronic movie continually mix up the codes for intruders in the lot and removing a dead hooker from Ben Affleck's trailer.
    Security Guard: (arriving to check for Jay and Silent Bob) Sorry to interrupt, sirs, but we got a 10-07 on our hands!
    Matt Damon: (sighs, annoyed) Ah, Jesus, again, Ben?
    Ben Affleck: No, bullshit! Cause I wasn't with a hooker today, Ha HA!
  • In Live Free or Die Hard, John McClane ferrets out the fake "police dispatcher" by subverting it: using the wrong police 10-code to describe his situation. When the dispatcher smoothly claims that all units have been dispatched to his code,
    "You mean you had to dispatch all units for the naked people wandering around?"
  • Dispatch radio in Ted 2: "All units, we have a 3-17 on Maple Drive. Area units please respond."
    First Cop: "What's a 3-17?"
    Second Cop: "Someone's trying to steal Tom Brady's jizz again."
  • In Carnival Magic, the rural police apparently use cutesy names as code, rather than numbers. The sheriff thinks he sees a runaway car with no driver, so he radios that he's "chasing a Ghost Car." The deputy catches up and sees that there's actually a chimpanzee driving, and a woman in the back seat. So he radios back:
    Deputy: It's kind of a King Kong, Sheriff. Ten four.
    Sheriff: King Kong? What's a King Kong?
    Deputy: An ape kidnapping a beautiful girl.

  • In Discworld:
    • The Diary for the Ankh-Morpork City Watch includes a list of pigeon codes, including one which means "The previous pigeon was eaten by a gargoyle officer, please resend".
    • In Feet of Clay, a "no. 23" is "Running Screaming At People While Drunk And Trying To Cut Their Knees Off".
  • There's a naval variation in Good Omens: after trying to find the way to communicate that he's found a sunken city of pyramids, he looks through "international codes" and sends "XXXV QVVX" which means "Have found the lost city of Atlantis. High Priest has just won the Quoits contest."
  • In one of Robert Rankin's Armageddon novels, there is an extended joke sequence with two policemen discussing which ridiculous thing that's just happened is which code. At the end, it is revealed that there is a specific code for "a demon-possessed vehicle in a towaway zone".
  • From a Dave Barry column:
    A tom turkey crashed through the windshield of a dump truck early Monday in Butler County and struck a fighting posture with the surprised driver...Fortunately, the driver was able to escape and call the police, who responded swiftly, as they do whenever they hear the dreaded radio code 10-84 ("Turkey in Fighting Posture")
    Law-enforcement experts will tell you, after they have had a few belts, that in a situation where a member of the marmot family is holding people hostage in a sewage plant (in police radio code, this is known as a "10-6"), the textbook response is to drive a police car over the alleged perpetrator, then, if necessary, advise it of its rights.
  • From a Buick 8 plays with this trope; the officers of Troop D don't standardly have a code for referring to incidents involving a supernatural car, but as a security measure to keep the Buick a secret they come up with "Code D" for when it's necessary to talk about the Buick over the radio.
  • Invasion: Earth. When the protagonist first shows up to deal with an alien spacecraft that's crashed in Central Park, he tells the NYPD captain that they'll be following a specific plan. The surprised captain asks if the government has anticipated a UFO landing. He explains that no, not exactly, but the plan covers a wide range of extreme situations.
    L67. One of the blue-sky plans that everyone had laughed at. What if a flying saucer lands? What then? Ha-ha. Not only weren't they laughing now, they probably weren't even smiling.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. S.H.I.E.L.D. uses the code 084 to refer to an "object of unknown origin". Fitz later clarifies that even if they don't know what an object is, if they know where it came from it doesn't qualify as an 084. It alludes to the box label for the original object that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s predecessor, the SSR, acquired that fit that category.
  • Alaska State Troopers real life example, if you listen closely to the background radio dispatcher, they have a 10-code for Moose stuck in greenhouse!
  • On Baywatch, as Stephanie is taken hostage by an escaped criminal, she receives a call from her supervisor. She starts to respond by saying that she's "dealing with a code—", but the man cuts her off, knowing that she could be giving him a code that alerts him to her situation. Luckily her supervisor figures out she's in trouble anyway as she the tells him that she's driving a lost child around to find his parents, something that's a violation of policy.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Gloriously subverted when Howard has to visit the hospital for an embarrassing injury. The scene sets up this trope when:
    Althea the Nurse (into Tannoy): Can I get an orderly with a wheelchair down here? We got a robot hand graspin' a man's penis.
    Howard: Could you be a little more discreet?
    Althea: I'm sorry. We don't have a code for "robot hand graspin' a man's penis."
    • Crazy fans trespassing on Skywalker Ranch in an attempt to meet George Lucas is common enough that the private security stationed there have code "AA23" for alerts.
    Sheldon: They have tasers, but they wouldn't dare use... AAAAAHHH!
  • Referenced in Castle. In the episode "Undead Again", a murder suspect, dressed as a zombie, has been found dead in his home. In the morgue, the medical examiner sticks a needle into the man's arm - only for the so-called corpse to jerk upright and bolt for the door.
    Castle: (at the telephone) Is there a police code for zombie on the loose?
  • Corner Gas plays it straight in one episode and plays with it in another.
    • For the former, Lacey calls the police when experiencing car trouble while Hank is accompanying them on a police ride-along program. Of course, since there is little to no crime in Dog River, they probably would have police code for the things people actually call them about.
      Davis: You're about to witness a 10-13: Car won't start.
      Hank: Is it safe?
      Davis: Keep your head down and stay close. It'll be okay.
    • For the latter, Davis finds what appears to be an alien Crop Circle and gives a police code, but it turns out to be a mundane one that he is using creatively.
      Davis: Karen, I want you to get the RCMP down here right away. Tell 'em we got a 10-92.
      Karen: Parking violation?
      Davis: [puts on sunglasses] By aliens.
  • In Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood, a "code 9" signifies that the Doctor has been seen in the area.
  • Similarly, on ER, Kerry Weaver tries to implement a code system for people's injuries and illnesses so that they don't have to be embarrassed by having the gory or gross details posted on the admission board. Unfortunately, everyone whines and complains and can't be bothered to learn the various codes, forcing the idea to be abandoned in less than a day.
  • An early episode of The Flash (2014) has a brief gag of Cisco messing up police codes while trying to direct Barry to a crime.
    Cisco: Code two-thirty-seven on Wade Boulevard.
    Barry: ...public indecency?
    Cisco: Wait, I think I meant a two-thirty-nine.
    Barry: Dog leash violation!?
    Caitlin: Bad man, with a gun, in a getaway car, GO!
  • In the world of Get Smart, CONTROL has codes for just about every possible scenario, up to and including alien invasion. Just make sure you've memorized the right codes, and don't accidentally call in that code when you want something else, like Max did in one episode.
  • Precious Puppies: Fang aka Agent K-13.
  • In an episode of Homicide Hunter, Detective Kenda is investigating a woman's murder when he notices the notation "JDLR" on the original missing persons report taken. This stands for "just doesn't look right". When Kenda questions the cop who took the report from the woman's husband, he tells him that he wrote that because he was disturbed by the man's Incriminating Indifference, something highly unlikely for a concerned spouse.note 
  • Iron Fist (2017). Unsurprisingly with all the metahumans running around, the NYPD has the appropriate a police code. In "Heart of the Dragon", Misty Knight responds to a 616, which she explains is "possible suspect with abilities" after someone steals the power of the Iron Fist off Danny Rand and uses it to kill several Triad members. 616 is the universe number of the main Marvel Universe in the comics, so it's also a Mythology Gag.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Carnival Magic, their experiment that episode features cutesy police code names, so Tom Servo and Crow decide to turn it into an Overly Long Gag:
    Crow: Breaker breaker, we've got a Carnival Magic in progress.
    Servo: Carnival Magic? What's that?
    Crow: That's when a second-rate producer has access to a carnival, so he writes a script in three days and pays all his actors in beer and cheese sticks.
    Servo: Oh, right, and he pads out the movie with footage of sad children and a car chase that does nothing to further the plot, but makes the movie long enough so that way he can run it in theaters.
    Crow: Uh-huh, and it gets buried in a vault for years until a mad scientist makes a TV show where they force poor jerks to watch it, thus giving it a second life its makers never truly intended.
    Servo: Yeah, exactly, Carnival Magic.
  • Night Court: The Wheelers are brought in on a 509b violation.
    Harry: I don't believe I'm familiar with that one.
    Dan: Well, sir, it's not used in Manhattan very much. It involves the illegal detonation of poultry.
  • A variant in Red Dwarf, where Rimmer constantly says the latest wacky situation is in violation of a specific "Space Corps directive", and robot butler Kryten chimes in with the actual, ridiculous directive ("No officer above the rank of Mess Sergeant is permitted to go into combat with pierced nipples?"). Even the serious directives are extremely specific.
  • That's So Raven: "Five-Finger Discount" shows Corey hanging out with the wrong crowd and being goaded into shoplifting. When Cory puts the stress-toy monkey he stole back where he found it, Raven has a vision of him being caught by mall security for this offense again, and when he meets up with the gang of bullies again, she disguises herself as a security guard to stop him. The vision comes true, because Raven herself was the security guard who caught Cory shoplifting. Played straight when Cory and Raven try to leave the store, only for them and the bullies to be confronted by a real security guard, who demands to know what sort of situation is going on, and Raven says it's a Code 903, which means a swarm of bees, making everyone freak out. It is then subverted when Raven asks the guard the one for shoplifting, to which she responds there is none and they just call it that. After the shoplifting bullies are caught, it is parodied when Raven tries to put her borrowed mustache back, which hurts when she rips it off and makes her scream "1027 for mustache burn!".
  • On Third Watch, the cops realize that they've caught the criminals who have been Impersonating an Officer in order to attack women by asking them a question in cop lingo, which of course, they don't understand, not being real cops.
  • On World's Dumbest..., Kevin McCaffrey comments on how the police have a code for a guy who drunk-drives himself to jail.
    Kevin: You guys are thorough.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Legend of the Five Rings, the Crab Clan have "battle-language" to describe common scenarios. For example, "Kannishiki!" means "The creature we are fighting can only be harmed by jade weapons!". "Tsuta" means "The staff of this restaurant or geisha house are actually shapeshifted Shadowlands creatures. Fetch your weapons discreetly and meet me at the door." If that fails, "Yasha!" means "The jig is up. Fight your way out however you can."

    Theme Parks 

    Web Animation 
  • Epithet Erased: 96-18 is Sweet Jazz City police code for a suspect in possession of dinosaur bones. When calling it in, Percy is sure to specify what kind of dinosaur bones Indus is carrying.
  • Discussed in Overly Sarcastic Productions' "Wild Hunt" episode, where Red jokes that the Stith Thompson Index of Folkloric Classification sounds like an urban fantasy version of this.
    Red (walkie-talkie voice): Code E-221! E-221! We got a dead-wife-haunted husband on his second marriage!
  • Parodied at the end of the Zero Punctuation review of Astral Chain, on the notion that the feeling of routine that he got from the gameplay makes sense in the context of its setting as a police game.
    Officer Imp: [walkie talkie static] Attention all officers, a giant armoured gorilla is flinging exploding turds around city centre!
    Officer Yahtzee: [walkie talkie static] You mean a 2218?
    Officer Imp: [walkie talkie static] No, it's a 2219, because he's wearing a sombrero!

    Web Comics 
  • Two non-police examples from Questionable Content:
    • When Bubbles comes into the café somewhat distraught after abruptly realizing her feelings for Faye, Dora springs into action and mobilizes her girlfriend Tai by phoning her to report a "Code 3."
      Bubbles: You have an operational code for this situation?
    • Sam finds a random metal part on the floor of Union Robotics and asks Faye about it. Faye feigns horror and Bubbles, without missing a beat, pretends to call in a "Code Fuchsia" directly to the President, with the missiles targeted on her location. Once Sam has had sufficient opportunity to confront her own mortality, they clarify that they were kidding, and "Code Fuchsia," though apparently real, is quite a bit more benign than it sounded.
      Bubbles: "Code Fuchsia" is for a dog loose in the mess hall. It does not typically require a ballistic missile strike.

    Web Original 
  • In Void Dogs the Fickle Finger's security has a code for "exiled royalty has detonated a bottle". They also have one for "exiled royalty has detonated a turtle".
  • This X-Men fanart provides a bureaucratic example. When Cyclops reports his wife's demonically-influenced suicide, he finds that they have a standard form for that.
  • Not Always Working: A story features a theater worker who must indicate that there is a dog loose. He asks for "Technician Scooby" over the radio.
  • In The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014):
    Police Officer: Yeah, we have a 10-10. note 
    Critic: "That's right, a 10-10, four giant turtles fighting a mecha metal samurai. By God, it's been a few days!"
  • Non police code version in Red vs. Blue when Simmons discovers from a computer that the Red and Blues are just training scenarios for testing members of Project Freelancer.
    Sarge: What- what- that's nonsense! We've been through so much! We had that, whole battle with the Blues for the, somethinerother and, then we set off that bomb thingy, and we got blasted through time, and we met an alien and that guy got pregnant.
    Simmons: According to this that is... Scenario 3.
    Sarge: Three!?
  • Hanazuki Full Of Treasure: Dazzlescence Jones, The Sheriff of Hanazuki's moon, has Police Codes for meteor showers and the cleanup effort that follows them. Respectively being 2-13 and 2-18. He also has one for retreating to the Safety Cave (4-12)
  • In Epithet Erased's fourth episode, Indus the strong and good-natured but also somewhat dim-witted bodyguard of the first Arc Villain is trying to capture the main character during their museum heist, while holding the skull of a dinosaur. He then comes across the police, who are here to stop the robbery...
    Percy: (while speaking into a walkie talkie) 96-18, we have a 96-18 in progress. Subject is in possession of a Sauropod, Bronto, possibly Apatosaurus, requesting backup immediately.
    Indus: Ha! Well... this is awkward!

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing Worldof Gumball: In the episode "The Prisoner", as Donut Sheriff is chasing down Frankie and Gumball, we get this exchange:
    Donut Sheriff: I'm in pursuit of a fugitive handcuffed to a tattooed child!
    Officer: You mean a 12-57?
    Donut Sheriff: Uh...If you say so.
  • When Bonkers was wearing a beanie that was making him fly out of control, Miranda calls it in.
    Miranda: East on Franklin Ave. I got a Code 6-21.
    Policeman on radio: Code 6-21. Again? Can't you just shoot him down this time?
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • In one short:
      Chief: Looks like we got an 817, Jones.
      Cop: A creature living in the refrigerator, behind the mayonnaise, next to the ketchup, and to the left of the coleslaw?
      Chief: You got it.
    • Also, the episode "Binky Goes Bad" has this:
      Cop: We've got a 708! That's right! A clown barricaded in a bakery with pies!
    • A non-police variant occurred in one of the U.S. Acres segments, with one of Roy's attempts at placing the most ridiculously Byzantine and unfulfillable order he can dream up at Orson's new dinernote .
      Roy: I'd like an alligator-cheese sandwich made with cheese from an alligator named Cynthia, I want it with lettuce grown in Northern Bolivia and picked on Memorial Day, I want it served on rye bread with exactly 71 caraway seeds per slice, and I want a pickle in the shape of Muncie, Indiana.
      Orson: Very good. One #8!
    • Wade actually has a large file folder system containing code numbers for every possible fear that he could have.
  • In Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, a family dispute about to the existence of Santa Claus is a 12-25. When Jake insists that he saw Santa run over Grandma, the officers put it down as "sleighicular hit-and-run", which is a 12-24. (One officer lampshades the date there.)
  • Gravity Falls has this gag in the episode "Headhunters":
    Voice on handheld transceiver: Attention all units. Steve is going to fit an entire cantaloupe in his mouth. Repeat. An entire cantaloupe.
    Deputy Durland: It's a 23-16!
    Sherrif Blubs: Let's move!
  • Kid Cosmic: After Tuna Sandwich attempts to hijack a truck's direction to get to a crashed spaceship, the truck's driver announces on his radio that there's a 22-10 operating out near the local diner.
    Dispatcher: Crazy feline with an intent to hijack. Copy that.
  • A military variant shows up in the Kim Possible episode "Rufus vs. Commodore Puddles". The initial attack by Drakken's now-gigantic poodle is described as "a 41/5S-type scenario". They even have special equipment ready, trucks loaded with huge dog whistles. When Rufus (also grown to giant size) arrives to help, this development is "a 49/EZ scenario".
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: 'Swapper'. The police have 304. Blue dog loose in store.
  • Lampshaded in Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series episode "Jurassic Puck":
    Mallory: I don't know what bothers me more: the fact that we're being attacked by a dinosaur or the fact that you've got a category for it.
  • A running gag in The Loud House is for Lincoln to call Clyde on their walkie talkies and give an emergency code, for example "Code Aquamarine." Clyde will respond by clarifying what that code means, which is always for something very specific, in this case, trying to do twelve loads of laundry at once in order to make time to go to an amusement park and breaking the washing machine.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, a 10-91-P is a missing platypus that looks like a girl. (For context, Perry and Candace had an accidental "Freaky Friday" Flip due to a teleportation flaw.)
  • In a Robot Chicken sketch based on Beauty and the Beast Belle calls the cops to report her kidnapping. When they arrive the Beast defends himself and the cops call in a "Code 4-5-9: Giant hamster throwing household items."
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Uniform Behavior" Heffer takes a job as a security guard. The stress of the position causes him to have a Shining-style mental breakdown and flee into the streets tearing off his clothes. He catches the attention of a police officer who notes 10-41, naked cow in public.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Used in "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder":
      Chief Wiggum: Alright smart guy, where's the fire?
      Homer: Over there.
      (Homer points at a fire at the police station)
      Chief Wiggum: Okay, you just bought yourself a 317, pointing out police stupidity... Or is that a 314? Nah nah, 314 is a dog uh, in, no or is that a 315?... You're in trouble pal.
    • In "Realty Bites", Wiggum reports "a 318 - Waking a Police Officer".
    • In "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" Wiggum refers to code 8 after a beer explosion, prompting Lou to report "we need pretzels, repeat, pretzels!"
    • A non-police variant for truckers CB codes occurred in "Maximum Homerdrive".
      10-33: Actual bear in airnote 
  • Snooper and Blabber frequently talk in police code when they have a case on their hands. Take this example from "Person to Prison", when Blab gave Snoop the wrong code.
    Snooper: A 7-08 is an elderly boy scout trapped in a pup tent in Mesopotamia.
    Blabber: I'm sorry, Snoop. I mean a 7-09.
    Snooper: Rumor of a jailbreak in Sing-Song Prison, eh?
  • Star Wars Rebels: The Empire uses an emergency code system that it took over from the Grand Army of the Republic. In "Stealth Strike", Kanan and Rex have to infiltrate an Imperial Interdictor. Rex uses his knowledge of the emergency code system (which he helped invent) to convince the crew to let them board in a stolen unscheduled shuttle. The codes are not explained any further than that a 157 is something that can occur on a shuttle and may develop into a 3376, which is not something you want to happen on your starboard side, even if you're sitting in an experimental cruiser inside a restricted 675 testzone.
    • Later in the episode, Kanan and Rex accidentally start a conversation with an Imperial officer in an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment. The officer snidely comments that Rex's armor looks tight on him and Rex mutters an insult under his breath, but Kanan covers him by saying that he has hyper-sickness and that he's taking him to the, uh, 257 — which is the commissary. The officer snarks that the commissary is the last place he'd want to take him before leaving.
  • Taz-Mania: In "To Catch a Taz", Wendal arrests Thickley on "a 219; a fashion faux pas".
  • WordGirl has around 1000 "emergency plans", usually using one or more per episode. She apparently has done them all at least once before, since Tobey and Dr. Two-Brains both have complete records of what each plan does.

    Real Life 
  • ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) is a widely used system for medical coding that is published by the World Health Organization. Being vast and attempting to classify every cause of literally every health problem, this leads to some quite bizarre and odd entries. Examples:
    • Y92.146: Swimming-pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause
    • V80.62XA: Occupant of animal-drawn vehicle injured in collision with railway train or railway vehicle, initial encounter
    • V95.42XA: Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant, initial encounter
    • W21.11XA: Struck by baseball bat, initial encounter
    • V9107XA: Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter
      • For reference, "initial encounter" refers to the initial treatment of the injury, including surgery. "Subsequent encounter" refers to follow-up care after the initial treatment is completed, as well as for side-effects of the initial injury which require future treatment, e.g. baseball bat to the head causing double-vision.
  • In North America, psychiatrists and psychologists use the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) system to classify mental illnesses which is overall similar to the ICD, but has a few quirks of its own. Examples:
    • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, a controversial addition in which children are highly irritable and repeatedly have severe temper tantrums
    • Ganser syndrome, a kind of factitious (i.e. faked) psychosis which features giving nonsensical and bizarre answers to questions and instructions; often found in prisoners (removed from the latest edition)
    • Caffeine-Induced Sleep Disorder (being unable to sleep from drinking too much coffee), REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (acting out one's dreams, like sleepwalking but much more elaborate), Restless Leg Syndrome (kicking and twitching of the lower limbs while in bed)
    • Rumination syndrome, a rare condition in which one regurgitates immediately after eating (reflexively, not intentionally like in bulimia)
    • Culture-bound syndromes, or mental disorders that only exist in one culture. Though they can be explained within the context of their own culture, they are often bafflingly odd from a Western point of view:
      • Taijin kyofusho, or social anxiety due to fear of appearing ugly or smelly, found in Japanese culture - a similar condition called olfactory reference syndrome exists in Western culture.
      • Dhat syndrome, a delusion of losing male potency from a lack of semen, found in South Asian cultures
      • Qigong psychotic reaction or having a psychotic break from doing a kind of moving meditation called qigong, found in Chinese culture
      • Zār, dissociative episodes stemming from a belief of having been possessed by a spirit, found in Middle Eastern cultures
  • Back when telegrams were commonly used, they would charge by the word. Various commercial codes were developed to try and reduce costs for businesses that would send hundreds of telegrams every day.. They weren't exactly secret (though companies could also use secret codes) and were printed in books. Some examples of code words for oddly specific situations.
    • ENBET: Captain is insane
    • PAROMELLA: While leaving dock/harbor, struck the pier, damaging the stern.
    • ANTITACTE: Mozambique, loading at not more than two places, to ____, steamer for about ____ tons general cargo at ____ per ton on the d/w capacity to cargo