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Series / Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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The law. Without the order.note 
Det. Jake Peralta: That's how we do it in the Nine-Nine, sir. Catch bad guys and look good doing it.
Captain Raymond Holt: [noticing Peralta shift uncomfortably] What's wrong with you?
Det. Jake Peralta: I didn't take off the Speedo. Big mistake. It is inside me.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a single-camera sitcom that premiered on Fox in 2013, starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher. It is set in the 99th Precinct of the New York Police Department, based out of Brooklyn (hence the title).

In particular, it focuses on a unit of detectives that includes Jake Peralta (Samberg), a smart but rebellious and immature cop whose relaxed attitude towards his job comes under challenge when the precinct comes under the command of hardass new captain Raymond Holt (Braugher). Holt, a stoic and no-nonsense man, is less-than-impressed with Peralta's flippant nature, creating immediate tension between the two.

Although the tension and developing working relationship between Peralta and Holt is a central driving element, ultimately the series is more of an ensemble piece, focusing heavily on the other members of Peralta's unit as well.

  • Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), a surly and intimidating detective with a highly secretive personal life and a very short fuse.
  • Lt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), the unit's motherly sergeant (later lieutenant), who is initially wary of reentering the field after the birth of his twin daughters.
  • Sergeant Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), Peralta's regular partner, very competent but straight-laced, insecure, neurotic and desperate for Holt to be her mentor. She shares a spiky and competitive friendship with romantic undertones with Peralta.
  • Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), a very clumsy and socially awkward officer who is nonetheless hard-working, enthusiastic and extremely loyal.
  • Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), a civilian administrator who is flighty, narcissistic, and enjoys messing with people.
  • Two other cops, Detective Norm Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) and Detective Michael Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker), extremely dim-witted and incompetent detectives who are basically coasting until their retirement.

A month before the premiere of season 3, a three-episode web series called Detective Skills with Hitchcock and Scully aired on the Fox website.

Following the end of season 5 in May 2018, Fox announced it would not be renewing the series; a day later, NBC announced it would pick it up for a sixth season in 2019, which premiered on January 10 of that year. A seventh season was confirmed in late February, and an eighth in November; it was then announced in February 2021 that the eighth season would be its last. Season 8 premiered on August 12, 2021 and ended on September 16 of the same year.

Now has a French-Canadian adaptation, Escouade 99, which premiered on Club Illico on September 17th, 2020.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to E 
  • Aborted Arc:
    • In the season 1 Episode Tactical Village, A plotline is set up concerning Rosa not getting an invitation to Charles's and Vivian's wedding. Towards the end of the episode, Charles explains to Rosa that Vivian didn't want him to invite her because he was so in love with Rosa until recently, and the two of them reconcile. However, at the very end of the episode, Rosa talks to Vivian and it's revealed that Charles lied to her and that Vivian was never opposed to Charles inviting Rosa, and seems to be totally unaware of Charles's past feelings for Rosa. This seems to be setting up for some potential drama in later episodes, but the engagement is put on hold in the very next episode, and Charles and Vivian break up a few episodes later, so nothing ever comes of it.
    • Also in season one, after arresting his son for vandalism, Deputy Commissioner Podolski sternly warns Jake that he's just made a very powerful enemy. Aside from only two more appearances in the 22nd episode of the same season where he does fire Jake but only due to him disobeying a direct order and being incredibly disrespectful, nothing ever comes from this.
  • Absent Animal Companion:
    • In season 3, Rosa adopts Arlo as a Replacement Goldfish for Charles's dead dog Jason. Charles is understandably upset by Rosa's heartlessness and doesn't want the puppy, so Rosa adopts Arlo instead. Despite her declaration of love for him at the end of the episode, he was never seen or mentioned again, that is, until a season 7 episode hung a lampshade on it.
      Rosa: I never bring in Arlo.
      Jake: Who?
    • Jason himself only appears (alive) in one episode, when Jake is forced to wash Jason as payback for his debt to Charles. Likewise, Charles's other dogs only appear in "Payback" being washed by Jake.
  • The Ace:
    • As silly as he likes to act, Peralta is easily the best detective in the precinct and it's stated several times how often he breaks department records. This is also far from Informed Ability, as many episodes show his process and his Hyper-Awareness extends well outside of work. The episode "Unsolvable" even has him tackling an 8-year-old cold case and resolving it.
    • Santiago - becoming the NYPD's youngest Sergeant and tracking & tackling a perp while wearing a wedding dress are just two examples.
    • Hitchcock and Scully have both been shown to be extremely competent in detective work... But only when food is involved within the case. They were a more traditional example of this trope in The '80s.
    • Holt is a black and gay detective who nevertheless made it into the commissioners' race against racism and homophobia, is noted as being brilliant, and has singlehandedly caught multiple serial killers, which he described as his favorite part of his job.
    • Rosa Diaz has graduated from business school, medical school, has a pilot's license, and has two side hustles selling jewelry online and repairing motorcycles for celebrities.
  • Acoustic License: Justified and parodied in "The Mole". Rosa and Terry go to a "silent disco" looking for drug activity. Everyone wears headsets rather than having the music out of standing speakers "Which is considerate to the neighbors." The end result is that without wearing a headset you just see a crowd dancing but all you hear is awkward floor scuffing, easily allowing Rosa and Terry to talk on the side.
  • Action Girl: Both Santiago and Diaz easily drop perps who are bigger than them.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Peralta's remark about singing along to his favorite rap songs is one to Andy Samberg's parody rap group The Lonely Island.
    • Peralta states he can't grow a mustache just like Rod
    • In "Unsolvable", a sleep-deprived Jake hallucinates "Terry's biceps mocking him".
    • Scully regularly breaks out into operatic singing, likely due to Joel McKinnon Miller having taken opera singing lessons early in his life.
    • In "The Oolong Slayer",: Holt refers to Wuntch as a "bat." It's an insult that's usually accompanied by some sort of prefix ("dingbat," "old bat," etc.). Kyra Sedgewick played Batwoman in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman.
    • Luis Moncada plays Tito Ruiz, the Giggle Pig kingpin, and is wearing the exact same suit he wore on Breaking Bad where he played Marco Salamanca, another menacing guy involved in the drug trade. As a bonus, Jake is very obviously dressed up like Jesse Pinkman in the same scene.
    • In "Operation: Broken Feather", the team plays a football game against the Fire Dept in which Terry is The Ace. Guess which actor is a former NFL player?
    • Terry is a talented artist. Terry Crews originally went to university on an art scholarship before earning a spot on his school's football team and going onto the NFL.
    • In Season 3's "Into the Woods", Gina suggests that Santiago change her first name to "Vanessa" since Gina considers it more attractive. "Vanessa" is the middle name of Gina's actress, Chelsea Peretti.
    • Season 5's "The Box" is essentially a comedic remake of Homicide: Life on the Street's "Three Men and Adena", with the only major difference being that the suspect confesses to being guilty.
    • In "The Set Up", Holt expresses to Jake that he hates colleges that award diplomas for acting. Andre Braugher has degrees in acting from both Stanford and Julliard.
    • Marc Deveraux in "Serve and Protect" is an actor who's played a cop for so long he thinks he's as good as one. He is played by Nathan Fillion, best known for his role as Richard Castle, a writer who's written cop stories for so long he thinks he's as good as one.
  • Actually, I Am Him: The Reveal in "Pontiac Bandit" is that Doug Judy, who'd claimed to be a reformed ex-cahoot of the titular car thief, actually was the Bandit the whole time. Peralta and the rest of the 99 don't realize this until it's too late.
  • Actually Quite Catchy: Even when Jake is determined to undermine CJ by telling the upper management that CJ lost evidence, he still keeps singing along to CJ's Earworm song.
    Jake: This could be our way back to the day shift. Come on and party tonight Wow! It's actually a really catchy song.
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: To rub salt in the wound of not realizing Doug Judy was the Pontiac Bandit, the man Judy claimed was the Pontiac Bandit was actually his hairdresser.
  • Adult Child: Jake Peralta, called so, by name, in-show.
  • Adults Dressed as Children: A variation: as part of Peralta's ritual humiliation of Santiago in "The Bet", he admits that he based the dress he makes her wear on the dresses that the girls he had a crush on as a kid would wear to Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs. In a later episode we see a flashback where Jake has a bad experience at a Bar Mitzvah with a girl wearing an identical dress.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Doug Judy. Sure, he's a manipulative, lying thief, but when he's not unveiling another of his evil plans, he and Jake get along fantastically.
    • While they don't click to quite the same degree as Jake and Doug Judy, Caleb in "The Big House" is Jake's cellmate and only friend on the inside of Jericho.
  • Affectionate Parody: The show loves playing with cop show clichés.
    • The opening titles display each character in action and then freeze to shows the actor's name. The difference is that in this show, the title cards are in splashy colors and the characters are mostly doing things that undercut whatever badass status they possess: Peralta looks like he's giving Perp Sweat, but he's doing it to a small plastic toy policeman; Diaz is giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, but to her computer monitor; Santiago looks like she's aiming a gun, but it's Finger Gun; Boyle is grimacing as if he's been shot, but actually he's just banged his head on the kitchen counter after dropping his muffin on the floor. Of the other three, Gina is dancing like an idiot and Jeffords is stressing out on a phone call with his wife about the dangers of SUVs. In the new intro, Hitchcock and Scully wake up on the couch by surprise, as if they're always ready for action. But really, they were both caught napping on the job. Only Holt is played straight, as befitting his status as Da Chief and The Stoic.
    • Whenever in a standard cop show plot like Turn in Your Badge the show will actually take it in a more realistic direction, only for someone, usually Peralta, to try and make it more like a movie. "You never let me do anything cool!"
  • Alcohol-Induced Bisexuality: Amy Santiago has been given nicknames for how her personality changes after each drink. Four-Drink Amy is "a little bit of a perv", shown flirting with (or making innuendo at) Gina, Jake, and Rosa. This extends into Five-Drink Amy, who is also "weirdly confident", but disappears in Six-Drink Amy, who is "just sad".
  • The Alleged Car: Jake admits he has a terrible car, but he loves it because he associates it with the first arrest he made after graduating from the academy. The sentimental value is (partly) why he takes his bet with Santiago so seriously.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Past examples included Boyle's unrequited crush on Rosa for the first half of season 1, Peralta's unrequited crush on Santiago, and then there's her crush on him after the Unrequited Love Switcheroo. However, the latter two have both been subverted by being an Official Couple. Charles eventually moved on from Rosa at the end of Season 1, and since then, all love has been requited.
  • Aloof Leader, Affable Subordinate: Captain Raymond Holt is very much The Stoic and is a By-the-Book Cop. Sergeant Terry Jeffords, who is in charge of the precinct's detective squad, is very friendly and warm. The contrast between the two can be seen when neither went to Gina's dance recital. Jeffords lies and claims to have enjoyed it. Holt flat out tells her he didn't see it, even telling her that Jeffords is lying.
  • Analogy Backfire: Jeffords is so proud of his team, he tells Holt that he feels like a mama hen watching her chicks take flight for the first time. Holt points out it's interesting that he used chickens, a species of bird infamous for its inability to fly.
  • And Starring: "And Andre Braugher".
  • And the Adventure Continues: The end of the series is merely the endpoint of one part of the lives of the 99 unit. Despite many people transferring or leaving the group, they resolve to remain friends and be part of each other's lives. Both Amy and Holt are still continuing the fight for police reforms. Terry, Boyle, Hitchcock, and Scully are the last remaining members of the original 99, but now Terry is the captain. Jake is fully focused on making sure he raises his son right. While Rosa and Gina are each on their own paths outside of the 99, content with their decisions. This is more noticeable in the final scene where despite most of the group no longer being a part of the 99 they still regroup in order to participate in another Halloween Heist.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • In-Universe, after Jake is in prison for several months, he is initially put on desk duty when he returns because policy says he needs time to reacquaint himself to his job, which Holt insists on because he was worried that Jake wasn't properly dealing with his experience. Jake ended up second guessing himself on a case, which proved to be unfounded, but Holt took it as evidence that he was being more conscientious, growing as a person and as a detective.
    • However, played for laughs and lampshaded later when Amy's sergeant Gary is shocked after being shot with a paintball by Amy accidentally, and when Jake brushes off every single traumatic event that's come his way, whether it be being shot, being forced to write his own suicide note at gunpoint, or accidentally doing drugs while in prison.
      Amy: I shot my husband with a real bullet and it comes up way less than this...
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Played with in "Charges and Specs". Before Jake takes off for his undercover assignment, he confesses his feelings for Amy. It's not anguished, but it's regretful.
      Jake: Look, um, I don't wanna be a jerk. I know you're dating Teddy, and it's going really well, it's just...
      Amy: [curiously] What's going on?
      Jake: I don't know what's gonna happen on this assignment, and if something bad goes down I think I'd be pissed at myself if I didn't say this: I kinda wish something... could happen, between us, romantic-stylez. And I know it can't, 'cuz you're with Teddy, and I'm going undercover, and... it's... just how it is, but...
      [a cop walks by, an appropriately understated Moment Killer for an understated moment]
    • Diaz does this with Marcus in "Boyle-Linetti Wedding", telling Marcus she loves him. She'd previously stated that the only people she'd ever said that to were her parents and her dying grandfather, and she regretted it with her grandfather because he beat cancer "and now I look like an idiot."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Wuntch gave the precinct any resources necessary for a case involving a 20 year old bank robbery with a missing 21 million dollars. Peralta used that to take a helicopter to a remote location, and they eventually hit a snag. Holt is furious because he is certain Wuntch was setting them up to fail, and berates Peralta for treating the case as a big deal, making their failure seem greater. Peralta responds that the case IS a huge deal, but Holt was getting so sidetracked with his rivalry with Wuntch that it was interfering with his police work. Holt came to agree with Peralta, and embraced the helicopter and code names.
    Holt: Call me... Velvet Thunder!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played with in the second season premiere "Undercover":
    Jake: Freddy's like the worst out of all those guys! Extortion, terrible breath, murder... I put terrible breath too high on that list.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: "Yippie Kayak", an Affectionate Parody of Die Hard.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • A UCA could not kill someone to maintain cover as Pimento claims to have done without facing the same reprecussions anyone else would.
    • Early in season 4, after Amy shoots Jake in the leg after he was taken hostage, she's put back to work during the next episode. It's relatively common knowledge that when an officer discharges their firearm, they're immediately put on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted into whether or not the use of said firearm was necessary.
    • Statute of limitations are clearly not a thing that exists in the 99 universe. In real life, the decades-old burglary cases that the squad routinely solves would be immediately thrown out.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Holt and Jeffords in "Operation: Broken Feather". In order to make the office more efficient, they've analyzed their employees and problem spots and uses those flaws to actually make the precinct more efficient.
    • This is also guaranteed to come up in any episodes about cases, which tend to heavily focus on Jake analyzing crime scenes. In "The Crime Scene", for instance, 'Jake figures out that the hitman was posing as a forensics officer.
    • Holt is also shown to be extremely good at this when he's in any cases, such as in "Manhunter" when he is able to pinpoint exactly where the gunman is.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Peralta and Boyle are excited to meet Agent Jack Danger. It's then subverted when it turns out he's a nerdy, officious postal worker and his last name is pronounced "Donger", which is (apparently) derived from a Dutch word meaning "Prudence in financial matters".
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The precinct thinks that Holt's husband invited them to Holt's birthday party. It eventually gets revealed that Holt had them invited against his husband's wishes, and Holt goes so far as to say that he likes them.
  • Badass Crew: To be expected of a cast full of police officers. Diaz and Terry are generally terrifying when they need to be, Peralta and Santiago are both shown to be extremely successful and competent police officers and not too bad in a fight themselves, flashbacks show Holt arresting multiple different serial killers, and even Boyle gets some awesome action moments and, despite his general goofiness, is obviously very good at his job. For a comedy, they don't skimp on action scenes.
  • Bad Date:
    • Peralta tries to invoke "The Worst Date Of Your Life" to humiliate Santiago after he wins their bet and she has to go on a date with him. When it's interrupted by Holt sending them on a stakeout, they end up genuinely bonding and having a pleasant time instead.
    • Pretty much any time we've seen Santiago's personal life, she's been on one of these.
      • Peralta as well, but usually it's his fault.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: A recurring theme of the series is that while the main characters do at times come up against some pretty dangerous and serious criminals, most of their major problems in fact tend to come from other police officers who are less ethical than they are. These can range from Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrats who delight in making life harder or just a bit worse for the characters to full-blown Dirty Cops.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
  • Bad Liar:
  • Bad News, Irrelevant News: Subverted in one episode, in which Scully comes back from checking out a perp's alibi, and announces that he has good news and bad news. The bad (irrelevant) news is that his favorite taffy place was closed. The good news is... the perp's alibi checked out. As Peralta points out, that was actually also bad news.
  • Bald of Authority: The two senior officers of the precinct, Captain Holt and Sargent Jeffords, fit into this trope, but portrayed in different ways.
    • Holt is a gay black cop and as an older guy, he's bald. He becomes the head of the precinct in the pilot. He has the standard personality of this character (authoritative, serious, commanding, etc.) but he actually has a deceptively clever sense of humor, a number of high society interests, and at least occasionally shows that he's Not So Above It All.
    • Jeffords is black and bald. He's a sergent in charge of detectives in the squad. He is very powerfully-built and CAN be very intimidating when he needs to, but is generally very kind and considerate. He loves his family a ton and generally acts as the Team Mom for the Nine Nine.
  • Bash Brothers: Jake and Boyle who's enthusiastic to play the former's sidekick. To a lesser extent Jake and Terry as well.
  • Bat Deduction: Played with. In "The Mole" Peralta tells Holt that he recently learned something about the squad that "disturbed him" and Holt immediately said, "Oh my God! Gina and Boyle slept together?" Peralta is amazed he figured it out on such generic information and Holt explains his reasoning, which was logical and accurate, but still doesn't quite explain the initial leap.note 
  • Batman Gambit:
    • How Peralta wins his bet with Holt that he could steal his Medal of Valor from his office—Peralta gets the rest of the team to help by volunteering to do their paperwork if they do so, knowing that Holt will have to do it as he's doing Peralta's paperwork if he steals the medal. Subsequently, every time Holt catches him, he fails to catch the other cops working on getting the medal.
    • In season 2, Holt has Terry prepare a badly punctuated funding request for the Deputy Chief Wuntch (Holt's arch-nemesis), knowing she'll reject it for the most trivial mistake, giving him an excuse to go over her head.
    • In "DFW", Rosa refuses to let Gina set her up with one of her friends. Gina purposefully brings a woman she knows will annoy Rosa to the bar with the intention of making Rosa bond with the bartender (who is the friend Gina actually wanted to set Rosa up with).
    • In "The Box", Peralta has only 8 minutes to get a confession before the murderer, a highly intelligent but arrogant man, walks. Peralta describes the crime and how he got lucky "at every turn". The murderer gets angrier and angrier before finally snapping and describing how every piece of the murders was intelligent and preplanned. All he had to do to stay free was to ignore Peralta's needling and insults for 8 minutes.
  • Battle of Wits:
    • The premise of the annual Halloween episodes:
      • The original two, "Halloween" and "Halloween II", are battles between Peralta and Holt, with the other squad members just serving as accomplices.
      • "Halloween, Part III" and "Halloween IV" both have a new mastermind secretly work to outwit the previous winners.
      • "HalloVeen" and subsequent Halloween episodes are openly battles between the entire squad.
  • Beat:
    • Used spectacularly in "The Overmining" cold open:
      Jake: Hey there Boyle, how was your weekend?
      Boyle: Well, actually I got a little sick.
      Jake: Oh, really? I'm sorry to hear that, man.
      Boyle: Yeah. Bullets over Broadway was on TV. I came down with a big ol' Dianne Wiest infection.
      Jake: Beat
      Boyle: Beat
      Jake: Beat
      Boyle: Beat
      Boyle: Like "yeast!"
    • Lampshaded in "The Puzzle Master":
      Captain Holt: I just want to say what an honor it is to be up for the same job as a man with your ... experience.
      John Kelly: Thank you.
      Captain Holt: I paused suggestively before I said "experience," so he would know it wasn't really a compliment.
  • Beat Without a "But": When Jake arrested a suspect without any real evidence just for mouthing off, the entire squad had 48 hours to get the necessary proof in order to avoid a lawsuit.
    Holt: I know everyone is upset about having to give up their weekend.
    Jake: But?
    Holt: No "but," I was simply demonstrating for Peralta what a fact is.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The women of the main cast fit these roles.
    • Gina - Beauty. She's the most feminine and cares a great deal about her looks.
    • Amy - Brains. She's highly intelligent and is enthusiastically nerdy about police work.
    • Rosa - Brawn. She's an intimidating badass who is the quickest to resort to violence.
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • Played for laughs when Boyle goes undercover as a gym manager and becomes more concerned about running the gym than the case he's supposed to be working on.
    • Fuzzy Cuddlebear in the first scene of the pilot.
    • Adrian Pimento returns from being undercover for 12 years with extreme PTSD and repeatedly refers to himself as Paul Sneed, his alias while he was undercover.
  • Bedmate Reveal:
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
  • Berserk Button:
    • Holt has a truly beautiful breakdown when Diaz suggests that he and Kevin need to "bone". She ends up being right, but he is furious for being talked to in that manner. We only see bits of his response in a montage that ends with the caption of "40 minutes later".
    • When interrogating a dentist who was a suspect in murdering his partner, Holt ends up getting sidetracked about a discussion on a Doctor of Dental Surgery vs. a Doctor of Medicine vs. a Doctor of Philosophy and he starts screaming about how physicians have co-opted the term "doctor" (his husband Kevin is a professor at Columbia with a PhD in classics). A Gilligan Cut later, he admits that must have been his trigger.
    • You do not want to threaten Cheddar, Holt's dog. When Cheddar gets kidnapped, Jake jokingly compares Holt to John Wick. And he seems to be more right than he thinks. The normally stoic Holt's "Plan A" for getting his dog back seems to involve grenades (Peralta manages to talk him down from this). The episode ends with an (unarmed) Holt delivering a savage beatdown on a knife-wielding kidnapper.
      Holt: You took the WRONG. FLUFFY! BOY!
  • The Bet:
    • Santiago and Peralta's contest over who can make the most busts. In an episode appropriately titled "The Bet", Peralta wins, and forces Santiago to go on "the worst date ever". Said date reveals (via a drug-addled Boyle "dropping truth bombs") that he may have feelings for her.
    • This is a recurring trope beyond this; the detectives like making bets with each other and every other episode has some kind of wager going on. Most obviously in the Halloween episodes, which involve some kind of wager between Peralta and Holt over whether the former can steal something belonging to the latter before midnight on Halloween. And the third one has both of them competing to steal the same object.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Jeffords — who is on an ill-advised diet — lambasts Gina and Amy, who initially joined him only to give in to their cravings for food by yelling at them for being "Team Eating Food". In his defense, he's too hungry to come up with a better burn.
  • Bigot with a Badge:
    • Officer Maldeck, who stops and frisks Terry in "Moo Moo", is casually racist. When he's asked to apologize, he only does so because he didn't know Terry was a cop, refusing to apologize for stopping him (by his own confession) only because he was black.
    • Sheriff Reynolds in Coral Palms Pt. 2 & 3. The Coral Palms sheriff's department had just hired their "first woman" ever. In 2016! The Sheriff takes exception to the accommodations she needs, such as a "separate bathroom". He is also shown to be extremely homophobic. It's not known if his prejudices extend toward racism; he isn't racist to Holt and has at least one African American deputy.
    • With the exception of Olivia, all of Holt's competitors for Commissioner are portrayed as irredeemably racist, remaining committed to stop-and-frisk policies.
    • Season 8 throws out the pretense and openly depicts the law enforcement institution as extremely corrupt and bigoted. Rosa and Jake get as far as to show evidence of police brutality to a higher-up, only to have her delete it in front of them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A few episodes end like this:
    • "The Ebony Falcon": Gina's apartment gets robbed and they never catch the guy who did it.
    • "The Pontiac Bandit Returns": Jake and Rosa catch the Giggle Pig supplier, but Doug Judy gets away again.
    • "The Defense Rests": Gina reluctantly gives her blessing for Lynn to marry Darlene, but Sophia breaks up with Jake and Wuntch manipulates Holt into promoting her, giving her more power over him. The episode ends with Jake and Holt drinking away their sorrows in the bar, while Terry comforts Jake.
    • "Captain Peralta": Jake was able to solve his dad's case, but his dad abandons him and his team in the bar which made Jake kick his dad out of his life.
    • "The Chopper": Jake, Holt, and Charles solve a huge case, but Wuntch promotes Holt as head of Public Relations, which forces him to leave the Nine-Nine.
    • "Johnny and Dora": Holt and Gina leave the Nine-Nine, and Jake and Amy get together.
    • "Moo Moo": Terry makes a point to oppose racism in the NYPD, with Holt's support, but he loses the position he was applying for, probably because he made trouble.
    • "He Said, She Said": The victim of attempted rape has to give up the high-powered job she loves due to being sidelined and bullied at work and loses the financial settlement, but her stand against workplace sexism results in another woman coming forwards about sexual harassment.
  • Black and Nerdy:
    • Holt finds things like obscure historical references to be absolutely hysterical. He's also extremely interested in classical composers and looks for any excuse to bring them up in conversation.
    • Also Terry, who despite looking like a Scary Black Man, is actually a huge nerd. He enjoys fantasy books in particular, and used to dress up as a superhero when he was a kid. It's also discovered in a Season 4 episode that he secretly writes fanfiction in his spare time.
  • Black Comedy Pet Death: The show doesn't seem to respect pet fish much. It's played for laughs when Jake fails to feed Amy's fish while she's undercover - it doesn't even come up as causing any relationship friction - and Hitchcock eats/drinks his own goldfish-in-a-jar while the team bets on the outcome of the inevitable jar mixup (they assumed Scully would've been the one to accidentally confuse the fish with his lemonade).
  • Black Site:
    • In the eponymous episode:
      Jake: We're in a black site, Rosa. I bet they have some awesome name for it.
      Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins: Welcome to the Slaughterhouse.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • "Kwazy Cupcakes," an ersatz version of Candy Crush Saga. (The W is backwards.)
    • The pyramid scheme, or "conical-tiered, multi-flow-through medical marketing entity" NutriBoom is an obvious Take That! against Herbalife, down to its logo.
  • Blatant Lies: Played for Laughs throughout the series, characters will often pretend to be in top form when they are in fact "clearly injured" and make excuses for being where they are not supposed to be:
    • When Jake has been suspended:
      Jake: The Internet says this is the number-one urinalysis lab in all of New York. Fun tourist selfie!
    • When Holt has been demoted:
      Holt: I'm just here in the plaza looking for, uh... this!
      Jake: A half-eaten box of McNuggets?
      Holt: Yup, it's my lunch.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce:
    • Santiago's Establishing Character Moment involves putting too much of this on a sandwich to prove she's tough enough to handle it. (She's not.)
    • Peralta falls victim to this trope while helping Boyle to taste test wedding cakes, of all things. He doesn't know that Boyle has chosen a habanero-infused frosting until Boyle helpfully tells him after the fact. This becomes a Brick Joke later in the episode when, after a bit of a falling out, the two friends reconcile over a bottle of unexpectedly spicy booze.
  • Blended Family Drama: Happens when Boyle and Gina become stepsiblings through their respective single parents, as they had been Friends with Benefits previously. Boyle's father also gets cold feet about the wedding, as he jumped into marriage after only knowing Gina's mother for a short period of time. Later, the marriage ends after Gina's mom cheated on Boyle's dad.
  • Blind People Wear Sunglasses: When Boyle is apparently temporarily blinded during laser-eye surgery, he wears sunglasses to signify this.
  • Book Ends:
    • The pilot begins with Peralta doing a monologue from Donnie Brasco and introducing his undercover informant, Fuzzy Cuddlebear the Nannycam. Season 1 ends with Peralta going undercover in the mob.
    • In the Pilot, before Holt arrives, Jake says that Holt will be like a "robot." In the season 2 finale, Jake asks Holt to "go back to being Robot Captain" to soften the blow of the news of Holt's departure.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: The 9-9 seems to have their own slang, and a number of shared sayings which might have originated with one character but have since spread throughout the whole office:
    • "Smart. [Further explains the previous speaker's plan or theory only to be immediately contradicted.]"
    • "You've grossly misread the situation."
    • "Coolcoolcoolcoolcoolcoolcoolcoolcool."
    • "Bingpot" started as a verbal slip-up by Jake but has since been used by several other characters in place of "bingo" or "jackpot".
    • "...because we are barreling toward a misunderstanding."
    • And, of course: "Terry loves [X]." and "[X] is dumb." from Terry.
      • Taken advantage of during Halloween IV. The team finds a secret message "Heists are Dumb" on the Fakin Macguffin which makes them rush to accuse Terry. This allows the true mastermind, Gina, to lock them all in the interrogation room.
    • Season Five has both Boyle and, hilariously, Holt, making Title Of Your Sex Tape jokes.
  • Bottle Episode:
    • "The Box", revolves around Holt and Peralta conducting a long interrogation of a murder suspect. Almost the entire episode consists of Peralta, Holt, and the suspect in the interrogation room. Gina has a few lines early, Boyle has one line at the end, and the other detectives don't appear at all.
    • "Dillman" is a more expansive bottle episode.
  • Brainless Beauty: Played for Laughs in "The Bimbo," in which it is revealed that Captain Holt is considered to be this by his husband's coworkers who have a bad habit of underestimating the intelligence of anyone who isn't an academic.
    Holt: The problem is I get flustered and defensive because I know how they all see me: as Kevin's working-class bimbo.
    Jake: (laughs incredulously) I can't imagine that's what they all think—
    Kevin: It is.
    Jake: Really?
  • Brick Joke:
    • Early in "Unsolvable", to celebrate closing another case, Boyle asks Jake to dance with him to the song "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Pepa, and Jake replies that he will never dance to that song. At the very end of the episode, Jake (drunk) is singing and dancing to the same song with Terry and Boyle.
      Jake: I hate myself right now!
    • When trying to dissolve an argument between Terry and his wife in The Bet, Holt makes the fatal mistake of taking lame-excuse tips from a drugged-up Boyle.
    • In "The Jimmy Jab Games", Holt realises—apparently for the first time ever—that Deputy Chief Wuntch's family name sounds like "lunch" and delights in the fact that this "opens up so many avenues" for him to insult her. In "The Mole", it pays off when he triumphantly orders her to back off from his precinct or else he'll use the incriminating information he's found out on her to make her "Wuntch-meat".
      Jake: ... You sure you wanna go with that one?
      Holt: Absolutely. It's hilarious.
    • In Season Three's "Maximum Security", Gina suggests the nickname "Scar Joe" for a suspect, which Holt agrees to, saying he likes how it sounds. It takes until the next episode ("Bureau") for him to learn the reference.
      Holt: What? An actress? I didn't know that was where that was from. Bob, I'm so sorry.
      Bob Annderson: No, I'll look past it.
    • Captain Holt denies Jake's request to give Jake any "oh damn"s for his analysis at the start of "The Box". During the climax when Jake gets the suspect to confess to the murder, Holt says "oh damn" three times in a row.
    • In "Coral Palms, Part 2", Jake mentions that he was never arrested before but was detained by Taylor Swift's bodyguards at one point. It returns five episodes later in "Mr. Santiago" where Amy's father confronts him about not being allowed within 500 meters of the celebrity.
    • Hitchcock calls himself and Scully "Flattop and the Freak" in "Jake and Amy", which seems to follow the jokes of the scene and makes Jake wince in second-hand embarrassment. In the following season, it's revealed that they've actually had these names since they were successful studs in the 80's, and it sounds much more badass in context.
    • In "CopCon"'s cold open, Jake finds Hitchcock asleep in the break room and decides to put his hand in a bowl of water for a juvenile prank. His coworkers chastize him for this, worrying that Hitchcock could hurt himself. Seconds later they notice that he somehow wound up face down in the bowl of water so they have to pull him out before he drowns. 3 seasons later in "Pimemento", Jake finds Hitchcock asleep in the breakroom again and this time decides to tie his shoes together. Once again he is told he needs to undo it before Hitchcock hurts himself, and seconds later they notice that Hitchcock is somehow being strangled by his tied-together shoes. Jake can only scream "How?" at the sight.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Played with regarding Peralta. He likes to goof around but that is just a part of his personality, he doesn't like doing paperwork and is otherwise lax in following certain protocols like the dress code. But he knows how to buckle down and do grunt work, as is necessary for a working detective. Ironically, he's proven to be a workaholic who struggles to let go of a case even when told he has to.
  • Broken Pedestal: Somewhat of a recurring theme in the series. Chances are, if a main character meets someone they admire, this trope will come into effect by the end of the episode or story arc.
    • Jimmy Brogan, once idolized by Peralta as a Hardboiled Detective writer straight out of the '70s, turns out to be a racist, misogynistic homophobe straight out of the '70s.
    • Likewise Peralta's father, whom Peralta worships and whose personal failures and poor parenting he constantly excuses—until he realizes that he actually isn't a very good father.
    • After boasting of a "major celebrity" in trouble, Holt reveals it's actually an oboe player no one knows about but he idolizes. He takes the lead on the case to find his stolen oboe with Boyle in tow, gushing over the oboist, who lives in a crummy apartment with little money. It turns out the player staged the robbery to sell the oboe and collect the insurance money ("because oboists are not celebrities") and Holt is stunned his idol could be this way.
      Holt: I finally understand the old adage that you should never meet your heroes. This is like when I found out that Robert Frost was from... California.
    • Terry is gets put on a case where his favorite fantasy author is given a threatening note. He has been a fan of the man for years and kept a letter written back to him which inspired Terry to become a cop. During the investigation, he and Jake discover the handwriting on the note matches the author's. Confronted, the author admits that he's been using an assistant to write the "thank you" letters as he has no time to worry about what every fan thinks of him. Terry is naturally jarred at how much of a jerk the author is but Jake insists Terry is a better cop than the author is a writer.
    • Jake and Rosa are overjoyed to work for Hawkins, a legendary cop who they both idolize. Then they find out she's actually corrupt as hell. And then she frames them both for robbery and has them sent to jail.
    • Amy has long boasted of how much she loves filing paperwork and sees it as a perfect system. When she has to obtain a permit for a case, she finally realizes how much of a mess the bureaucracy is why everyone else hates it. During the case, Amy is happy to meet the woman who created the forms (and many of her other favorites), boasting of her as a "legend." She discovers that not only is the woman a Crazy Cat Lady but her "system" was just a mix of incompetence, spite and dyslexia.
    • Played for laughs when Rosa meets Marshawn Lynch (As Himself), who she idolizes for his tight-lipped media appearances, only for him to be a Motor Mouth
  • Bulletproof Vest: The cast are shown putting these on when they go out after murder suspects.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • The entire squad. All of the detectives and even the higher ranking officers all have numerous weird quirks and obsessions, but are all unambiguously and reliably very good at their jobs. Unlike many examples of the trope, their abilities are on display in every episode, right along side their strange quirks. Even in episodes where they all collectively go crazy (like the later Heists), their intelligence and general competence is still on display. When they did paintball training in the past they were normally having too much fun goofing around acting like action heroes. When they decide to take the training exercise seriously they get the course record.
    • Peralta is described in-show as someone who refuses to grow up, but is extremely good with puzzles and is the precinct's best detective with the highest arrest records.
    • Boyle being an actually successful detective is probably the most improbable. It is explained; the other members of the squad note that while Boyle is undeniably clumsy, he's a 'grinder' who works very hard to overcome his shortcomings rather than it just coming naturally. Unlike Peralta and the other detectives, Boyle never falls into a slump because he just keeps working until he's done.
    • On more than one occasion, Scully and Hitchcock solve a case while the others are distracted. Scully points out that the Seventies were their glory days, and they're just coasting now. The occasional flashback verifies this, and even modern episodes make it clear they're still (mostly) competent detectives, they just choose to be lazy.
  • But Not Too Bi: Zigzagged with Rosa. While she is shown with both male and female partners, she had a Make-Out Kids relationship with her boyfriends, but not Jocelyn. Though she has kissed her girlfriends on-screen, and her boyfriends (Pimento specifically) are much more eccentric, while Jocelyn, her only on-screen girlfriend, is very normal.
  • But Not Too Gay: Played with in regards to Holt and his husband Kevin. They're married but both are The Stoic, so they display next to no emotion, including affection between each other. They pair have never been shown to give so much as a peck on screen, and they once they give each other a firm handshake in the bullpen and consider it a PDA. That said, direct reference to them having sex does happen, so it is discussed, even if not shown.
    • Subverted in Season 8 when they finally get their first on-screen Big Damn Kiss.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Charles Boyle, who, though quite competent, is extremely unlucky. Dude can't even eat a muffin without it spiraling into an unmitigated disaster. Or pursue a murderer without having his face and upper body shoved into several trays of gelato. Or get shot in the butt while trying to do a dramatic save.
      Sgt. Jeffords: [discussing Boyle] He's not physically... gifted.
    • Scully and Hitchcock to an even greater degree. Boyle is at the very least effective at his job, whereas the two of them are mostly there to contrast to the relative competency of the main cast. Hitchcock got kicked in the balls (twice!) and robbed by a hooker. The rest of the 99 call the dash-cam footage of the incident "the best cop movie ever."
    • Though when Boyle is forced to work with Scully and Hitchcock on a case, they surprise him by solving it very quickly. They are actually fairly competent, just lazy and coasting because they think they did their bit in the '70s and '80s.
  • Call-Back:
    • In "The Slump" Terry refers to the French film Breathless as writer François Truffaut's film. Thirteen episodes later in "The Party" he again asserts Breathless is Truffaut's film (and that movies are a writer's medium) while one of Kevin's colleagues argues Terry should credit the director, Jean-Luc Godard, as the primary creative force behind the movie.
    • Also in "The Party", Kevin has the painting that Terry made of Holt in a previous episode featured in the background of his office.
    • In "The Bet", Peralta forces Santiago to wear a horrible dress on their date. He says it reminds him of every girl at every Bat Mitzvah he ever had a crush on. In "Charges and Specs", he flashes back to when he was thirteen years old and his then-girlfriend broke up with him at his Bar Mitzvah. She was wearing the same dress. When present-day Jenny attends the "Boyle-Linetti Wedding" in Season 2 she wears a (admittedly far more flattering) dress in the same shade of blue.
    • In part two of "The Fugitive", Doug Judy dubs Jake's lawyer character Carl Mangerson, a play on Mangy Carl (Jake's undercover alias in the initial "Pontiac Bandit" episode.)
    • In "Chasing Amy", Jake notes that Amy's anxiety over the sergeant's exam has led her to "creepily singing songs from the Great American Songbook" while studying in bed; the flashback shows Amy using the Shoulder Nova, a shoulder-mounted flashlight, that she came up with and tried to market with Gina in "Into The Woods".
    • In "48 Hours" Jake desperately interrogates a suspect by playing guitar and screaming. He does it again in "The Box", lampshading how it never works for him.
    • In "Return to Skyfire", Jake says that he's entertained by everything and that he once went to a play. It comes up again in "DFW", when Amy says that she took him to that play.
    • In Season 4, Hitchcock and Scully mention their Sunday dinners at Wing Slutz. Season 6's "Hitchcock & Scully" takes place partly at Wing Slutz.
  • Captain Geographic: The fictional comic book hero Captain Latvia, the favorite of Charles's adopted Latvian son Nikolaj. Charles buys an action figure for Christmas, then tries to take down a Latvian Mafia operation that delays its shipping.
  • Catchphrase:
    • For Jake: "Noice." and "Smort."
    • For Terry: "Terry loves yogurt!"
    • When hearing even something trivial about Jake and Amy's relationship, Charles tends to say: "Tell. Me. EVERYTHING!"
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Holt invokes this, telling Peralta he injured himself at a hula hooping class and showing him pictures to prove it. He then deletes the photos and reveals that he told him because he knows no-one will ever believe him.
    • Played straight when Peralta and Holt are arrested for running a stop sign with a back seat full of guns while on witness protection.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Stacy Keach plays a Manipulative Bastard, politically incorrect older man who seems to love drinking, much like his role on Titus. His character's fondness for brutal, violent, politically incorrect, rule-bending and old-school law-enforcement techniques would also see him get on well with Mike Hammer.
    • Kyra Sedgwick plays a Deputy Chief sent to evaluate the 99, just like she played Deputy Chief Johnson in The Closer. She even has a rivalry with another straight-laced cop. At least she's using her actual accent this time.
    • "The Funeral" guest stars Archie Panjabi as a member of the legal system who wants casual sex with a cop. Though this time she's a cop instead of a former investigator for the DA's office.
    • This isn't the first time that Andre Braugher has played an uber-serious and imposing police officer. But unlike the grim and gritty environment of urban realism that Detective Frank Pembleton starred in, Captain Ray Holt operates in a comedic setting populated by goofy eccentrics. On top of that, Frank Pembleton was the brilliant-but-arrogant lone-wolf cop who refused to play with others and had to be pressured into doing so by his commanding officer. In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Ray Holt is the commanding officer who has to deal with an arrogant lone-wolf detective who refuses to play with others and has to be pressured into doing so (Peralta). And to finish the gag off, on the earlier show Braugher played the partner of a detective who eventually came out as bisexual, while in this show he plays an openly gay police officer.
      • Braugher won awards for his dramatic character role on Homicide (and Thief, and Men of a Certain Age), and Captain Holt's main character trait is...being The Stoic. It takes a really good actor to emote that little.
    • Melvin Stermley, the crossword puzzle writer who Jake worries Amy has more chemistry with, is played by David Fumero, Melissa Fumero's real-life husband.
    • Failed crossword designer Sam Jepson is played by the famous NY Times crossword editor Will Shortz
    • Peralta and Santiago's respective fathers are Josh Lyman and Matt Santos
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Gina at one point gets tickets to Hamilton; in season 6, songwriter/star Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Amy's brother.
    • Jake offhandedly makes a Friends reference to Terry in the episode where he wanted to get a Vasectomy. Craig Robinson, who plays Doug Judy, appeared in the final season, when Phoebe tried to change her name. In addition to that, Mr. Treeger, the building superintendent of Monica, Rachel, Joey and Chandler's apartment and Captain McGintley, the commanding officer at the 99th precinct prior to Captain Holt were both played by the same actor.
    • Jake's younger half-sister Kate is played by Nasim Pedrad. This wouldn't be a problem until Brooklyn Nine-Nine had a crossover episode with New Girl, where Nasim plays Winston's partner Aly (both police officers)...
      • Similarly, Damon Wayans Jr. appears in season 3 as Jake's very first partner. Damon having played Coach in New Girl.
    • Sean Astin appears in one episode, and despite The Lord of the Rings being previously referenced on the show, no one points out that he looks a lot like Samwise Gamgee.
    • If Kevin had watched all of Jake's collection of Nicolas Cage films, he would have seen someone who looks remarkably like his husband Raymond in City of Angels.
    • A Season 7 episode has Jake compare Cheddar being kidnapped to John Wick. Jason Mantzoukas (Adrian Pimento) played the Tick-Tock Man in the third movie. Dean Winters (The Vulture) was also in the original movie, as the Big Bad's lawyer.
    • Adam Sandler's guest appearance never seems to point out how similar Jake looks to his co-star from That's My Boy (as well as several other B99 guests that are also fellow Saturday Night Live veterans). To a significantly lesser extent, several characters also reference Sesame Street, a series that has featured guest appearances by Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, and Kyra Sedgwick, among others.
    • When the squad is discussing the best cop movies, they bring up Training Day. Terry Crews made a brief appearance in it as an unnamed extra.
    • The Dark Knight is referenced a couple of times, including Jake saying Adrian Pimento liked it in season 7, despite the fact that Eric Roberts played Sal Maroni in the movie and Jimmy "The Butcher" Figgis in season 4, the mob boss Pimento was investigating undercover.
    • Saturday Night Live, which had B99 star Andy Samberg on it for several years, apparently exists in this world, and Peralta even interacts with the real Adam Sandler... who apparently doesn't notice how much the detective resembles his That's My Boy co-star.
    • NY Times crossword editor Will Shortz cameos as failed crossword designer Sam Jepson, despite Shortz being mentioned by name multiple times in the series.
    • Mr. Robot has been mentioned multiple times throughout the show. Craig Robinson, who plays Doug Judy aka The Pontiac Bandit, has a recurring role in its second season.
    • This Is Us gets a shoutout in "Grey Star Mutual"...four episodes after star Sterling K Brown appeared as a suspect Jake interrogates.
  • Censored for Comedy: With the jump to NBC for Season 6, the Nine-Nine began using bleeps and pixelation for comedy. This was avoided during the show's run on Fox due to that channel having a strict policy against bleeps and pixelation. That said it is still used relatively sparingly.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Hitchcock and Scully will often mention "Wing Sluts," a place they regularly frequent. As we find out in Season 6, they were once handsome, muscular and highly competent detectives until they helped a mob boss' estranged wife create a new identity by getting her a job there and began regularly checking on her, sending them down the path of gluttony that made them the fat incompetent messes they are today. This was mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • After the show introduces Adrian Pimento and Jimmy "The Butcher" Figgis, the show develops a four-episode story arc towards the end of season 3 that puts the Nine-Nine, especially Jake and Holt, in danger.
    • Season 4 can be hard to watch. It starts with the surprisingly depressing Coral Palms premiere, which results in the Night Shift story arc. Once that finally ends, Gina gets hit by a bus, the Nine-Nine almost gets closed, and Terry deals with racial profiling. But the worst part is that in the season 4 finale, Jake and Rosa get framed for robbing a bank and the season actually ends with them getting sentenced to prison, after having been deemed guilty. The next season begins with the pair in jail, which doesn't do much to help the tone, although after they're released the show does lighten its tone back up quite a bit.
  • Chained Heat: In "Christmas", Peralta handcuffs himself to Holt and throws the key down a grate to keep him from leaving the safe house. Holt calls Boyle to fetch him, but when Boyle can't decide whether to remove the cuffs or not, he panics and cuffs himself to Holt as well.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Done frequently around Boyle, who is very fond of bringing up subjects other people would consider rather gross.
    Boyle: Jake, I got to tell ya, the engaged life is amazing, especially sexually.
    Peralta: Well, I don't want to pry.
    Boyle: You're not prying. I want you to know this.
    Peralta: [smiling] No.
    Boyle: Vivian and I have a wonderful intercourse itinerary that we have planned. [waiter brings out cake samples]
    Peralta: Ah, ha! I'm usually more of a chocolate guy, but this one's closer, so I'm gonna do that.
  • Chase Scene: Subverted in "Thanksgiving"; Peralta discusses a cocaine bust he performed which looked like it was building to one of these, completely with the perp hijacking someone's flashy-looking sports car to get away... except that as soon as the perp pulls into traffic, he immediately finds himself trapped behind a huge garbage truck which is itself part of a gridlocked traffic jam down a one-way single lane street. Peralta, naturally, is equal parts smug and amused.
    Peralta: Hey, criminal. It's me, Johnny Law.
  • Characterization Marches On: While Jake has always been a headstrong wiseass and learning to be more respectful is part of his Character Development, his characterization in some early episodes, such as making constant fat jokes about a victim and screwing with Charles' case in "M.E. Time", is outright mean compared to his later Nice Guy personality.
  • Childhood Friends: Jake and Gina have been friends since they were very young, as revealed in "The Apartment". Appropriate, since Andy Samberg and Chelsea Peretti have been friends since grade school.
  • Christmas Episode: Happens every season until the 5th. From Season 6 onwards, the show aired at midseason, so there were no Christmas episodes.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the pilot episode, there was another female cop named Daniels who was friends with Scully and Hitchcock (and shared the same (lack of) skill as a police officer). She quietly disappeared from the rest of the series.
  • Church of Happyology: The pyramid scheme NutriBoom, mostly a Take That! against MLM companies, also has a practice of harrassing former members and, more blatantly, a CEO whose wife hasn't been seen in years.
  • Closed Circle: "The Box" has Holt and Peralta take on interrogating a murder suspect on functionally no evidence, meaning they need a confession or they have nothing. The episode takes place almost entirely in and around the interrogation room, with only a few brief scenes elsewhere in the building, and takes place over the course of one night.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
    • Gina Linetti is certifiably insane. Eccentric, genius, and quirky. At one point she finds herself at a party being interviewed by a Psychologist who specializes in psychotic personality disorders. The Psychiatrist ends up interviewing her for the duration of the party because she displays so many abhorrent personality traits that he'd only ever heard about in theory.
    • Adrian Pimento did twelve years deep cover with the crew of Jimmy "The Butcher" Figgis; a powerful and ruthless mob boss. Understandably, this experience has left Adrian with severe paranoia, PTSD, and lingering psychosis tied to his time away and the things he witnessed and did while working for Figgis. He is prone to violent outbursts, and erratic behavior. He also has a variety of strange eccentricities as a result.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Peralta is a very good detective but he tends to miss key facts about his coworkers. He completely fails to realize that Holt is gay even though it is public knowledge and Holt even has a framed newspaper article about it hanging in his office.
  • Cold Open: Done every episode, with varying degrees of plot relevance.
    • One episode has the team resorting to their bomb disposal gear to get Scully's shoes to get rid of the stench. Turns into a Brick Joke eventually when they do the same thing with the Jimmy Brogan book.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The "Halloween" episodes tend to bring out the squad's competitive and ruthless sides, which results in all kinds of callous mistreatment of the others as they compete for whatever trinket they have to 'heist' this year and the attending glory that comes with it.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • In "The Bet", Peralta and Santiago act as a couple getting into an argument in front of the perps in order to take them down.
      Criminal: I'm sad y'all are arresting me, but I gotta say I'm glad you're back together!
    • Also, in "Two Turkeys", when Amy accuses Jake and his mother of sloppiness:
      Amy: Wow. The unhygienic apple doesn't fall far from the unhygienic tree.
      Jake: Did you just call my mom a tree?
  • The Comically Serious:
    • Holt full stop. As the audience starts getting to know more about his life it's revealed that his whole world is like this. His husband and friends are so serious that they consider him "the funny one" and his fiercest enemy and him regularly trade insults and gloat without a hint of emotion in their faces. It's a Running Gag that nobody is able to read his expression and know what mood is he in.
    • Rosa also displays this, although not to the extremes of Holt. She has problems expressing any emotions other than anger or annoyance and often laughs at the people around her, but very rarely shows romantic attraction or compassion, although she has been shown to have a Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Consummate Professional:
    • Holt. He makes it very clear that being an openly gay black man meant that in order to get his own command he had to be extremely good at his job.
    • Santiago thinks she is, but is a little too invested in her BST-laden rivalry with Peralta, as well as her completely obsequious attitude towards Holt.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The painting Terry painted of Captain Holt is in his husband Kevin's office in "The Party".
    • The dollhouse that became a dollprison can be seen in Terry's house in "The Ebony Falcon".
    • In "The Bet", Jake notes the tacky dress he makes Amy wear makes her look "just like Jenny Gildenhorn" before asking, "Why do I wish you had braces?" A flashback to Jake's bar mitzvah in the season finale, "Charges and Specs", features Jenny wearing the same tacky dress and braces.
    • In the first season episode "Sal's Pizza", the 9-9 hires Savant, a delinquent teen, as their IT guy. Season Two's "Payback" shows Savant is still working there.
    • In "Pontiac Bandit", Doug Judy is smitten with Rosa, and starts composing a song to her with her name as only lyric. In "The Cruise", it turns out he still remembers that song and has expanded it some more.
      • In "Game Night", when Jake is briefly forced to pretend he and Rosa are dating, he also sings a song where her name is most of the lyrics.
    • In New Captain, Amy drinks four shots before sleeping with Jake for the first time, despite their no-sex rule, because "four-drink Amy is a bit of a pervert."
    • In Season 4, Amy finally convinces Jake to start reading Harry Potter. They make several allusions to it in the episodes that follow.
    • In "The Ebony Falcon", the squad play "wife or dog" to try to figure out if "Kelly" is Scully's wife or his dog. Six seasons later, in "Pimemento", they finally learn that "Kelly" is the name of both his ex-wife and his dog. It remains unclear which Kelly he was describing during the game, however.
    • In "The Crime Scene" Holt says that the two best detectives he worked with are "Montez and Dillman". The latter actually shows up a season later in the appropriately-titled "Dillman".
  • Contraception Deception: Averted. Terry's wife wants him to get a vasectomy, and he agrees, but spills to Jake that he doesn't want to because he still wants children. He does come clean to his wife, who's cool with it.
  • Cool Car: Subverted with Captain Holt's beloved Gertie, as everyone but him thinks it's an unremarkable piece of junk. In one episode it gets stolen, and master car thief Doug Judy manages to buy an exact replacement for $600.
    Doug Judy: This is not a nice car, man.
  • Courtroom Antics: In "Jake and Sophia", Jake (arresting detective) finds out he had a one night stand with Sophia (defense attorney) the night before. Neither takes this with a great amount of maturity.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Peralta pretends his "Halloween II" bet is as impromptu as the previous year's, but he has actually been planning for three months. Unfortunately for him, he finds out the hard way that Holt has been plotting his revenge for the entire year. Then the trope gets stretched to the point of ridiculousness when Peralta, after losing the second bet, says that he's already planning for next year, to which Holt replies that Peralta is only three months behind him. From then onwards, every single person is always very, very prepared for the heist. One year, it's revealed that Jake and Amy both gave each other Christmas gifts that were actually tasers in disguise so that they could activate them 10 months later during the heist.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When the team needed to rescue Holt, they let Hitchcock drive because, as he put it, he has nothing to live for and drives accordingly. His driving even had Rosa screaming in fear. It worked, they managed to arrive in time to save Holt.
  • Creator Cameo: Longtime executive producer Maya Rudolph finally gets in front of the camera as U.S. Marshall Karen Haas in the Coral Palms arc in season 4.
  • Crossover: Season 4's "The Night Shift" is the first of a two-part crossover with New Girl (continuing in an episode of the latter). It was lampshaded by Jess:
    Peralta: I need to commandeer this vehicle!
    Jess: It's a crossover! Beat. It's a Crossover SUV and you can't have it.
  • Cutaway Gag: A surprisingly large number of these for a live-action show.
  • Dance of Romance: Happens a few times with Jake and Amy, though it's not quite played straight on either occasion:
    • In the Season 1 finale, while partnered up while undercover at a ballroom dance contest, Jake offers to teach Amy to dance properly, since she's terrible. It seems to more or less fit the trope for Jake—while Boyle and Terry have been telling him for several episodes that he obviously has a thing for Amy, it's the first time Jake seems to acknowledge it for himself without needing to get horrendously drunk as a way of dealing with it. Amy, however, quickly ruins the moment by wondering aloud if she and Teddy should take a dance class together.
    • It gets Parodied in "Boyle-Linetti Wedding": when Jake is depressed to see Jenny dancing with her date, Amy coyly tells him that while she knows it's not the same, there's someone else there who's been wanting to dance with him all night. Then when Jake agrees, she introduces him to the very elderly lady standing next to her who's "been asking about [him] all night". Weirdly, though, it still ends up in a nice moment of Ship Tease for Jake and Amy, who end up smiling at each other through the whole dance—up until Jake's partner turns out to be surprisingly handsy.
    • Happens yet again in "The Cruise", and is initially played more straight as Jake tells Amy that he loves her, for the first time. Then the announcer tells the participants to turn to their partners and talk about how their spouse died. Jake and Amy immediately ditch the dance.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The Figgis story arc from seasons 3-4.
    • There's the Hawkins arc from seasons 4-5.
    • Zig-Zagged with the Seamus Murphy arc from season 5. On the one hand, Murphy is a threatening, Genre Savvy villain who puts Holt through an emotional wringer; on the other, much of the episodes' runtime concerns things like Too Dumb to Live Kyle Murphy, or Jake and Kevin snarking at each other about Nicolas Cage movies.
  • Delayed Family Acceptance: After Rosa comes out as bisexual to her parents, they both react badly. Her dad comes around a matter of days later but tells a disappointed Rosa that her mother needs longer to process it and not to visit for a while.
  • Department of Major Vexation: Amy tries to file some forms in order to organize a block party, having faith that the system is perfect and scoffing at Rosa's cynicism regarding the procedures. Unfortunately, she runs into a legal error in which a form she must get approved can only be approved after getting another form approved that requires the original form to be approved. The women manage to get around the issue by exploiting another legal error allowing them to get Hitchcock to reserve space for the party under the pretense of holding a women shaming event, due to the horribly misogynistic and archaic forms having never been removed from the system.
  • Desk Sweep of Passion: Jake goes to visit Sophia in her office and dramatically sweeps everything off of her desk so they can make out. Sophia then quietly points out that her desk is the other desk in the office, on the opposite side of the room.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Santiago wants to get Holt a Christmas gift, but knows he won't accept anything that he recognizes as a gift. So she smugly tells Peralta that she's put it in an unmarked cardboard box on his desk, and written his name on it with her wrong hand so that he won't recognize her handwriting and realize it's from her. At this point, Holt walks past their desk, greets them, and goes towards his office.
    Peralta: So, just to recap, you left an unmarked package on a police captain's desk on a random Monday, with a suspicious message written on it that looked like it was scrawled by a crazy person.
    Santiago: [pleased] Mm-hmmm.
    [Holt walks quickly out of his office.]
    Holt: Bomb! There's a bomb! Everyone out! Let's go! Let's go!
    [Everyone gets up and starts heading for the exit.]
    Peralta: Great gift, babe!
  • Diet Episode: In the B-plot for "Fancy Brudgrom", Terry signs up for a diet for his wife's sake and manages to recruit Amy and Gina. When the diet's ridiculous provided meals (such as an extremely thin slice of cantaloupe for lunch) prove too much for the girls, they quit.
  • Dirty Cop: The Nine-Nine often face police officers less ethical than they are, but some push this into outright corruption:
    • Deputy Commissioner Podolski, initially appears to be a downplayed example, as he transparently uses his position to ensure his delinquent son gets away with causing hundreds of dollars worth of vandalism damage to police cars. However, it is later heavily implied that he is in fact in the pocket of a local Corrupt Bureaucrat with ties to drug smuggling and has links to the mob. He tried to destroy Jake's career when he investigated said bureaucrat.
    • Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch is a downplayed example. While she's not outright corrupt, she shamelessly abuses her position to make Holt's life miserable as part of their petty rivalry. She is also perfectly willing to organise a fake Internal Affairs investigation simply to get dirt on Holt. She makes it abundantly clear in the season two finale, that she'll happily destroy Jake, Amy, Rosa, Charles and Terry's careers just to beat Holt.
    • Jake's first partner was caught taking a short cut by planting drugs on a suspect who he believed was guilty.
    • Officer Maldack, who harassed Terry in his own neighborhood for being black.
    • Corrupt FBI Agent Bob Annderson. While posing as Holt's friend and a dedicated agent, he is in fact in the pocket of Jimmy "The Butcher" Figgis, and is outright willing to commit murders for him.
    • Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins manages to make all the previous police examples look like upstanding officers of the law by comparison. Publicly regarded as one of the NYPD's best cops who chases the most dangerous criminals, she is secretly the mastermind behind New York's most notorious gang of bank robbers and in charge of a massive criminal conspiracy, purely to line her own pockets. She also happily uses Police Brutality to keep people in line, is addicted to cocaine and successfully manages to frame Jake and Rosa for her crimes.
    • Commissioner John Kelly turns out to be an elitist and willing to send spies to rival precincts to bring them down, and also revealed to be involved in a highly illegal massive surveillance program.
  • Distracting Fake Fight: Jake and Holt try to escape from a prison in one episode by staging a fight between them in the hopes that the guard will open the door to break it up. When the guard just sits back to watch the show, they switch tactics and kiss instead. This immediately has the guard stepping in to separate them, which allows them to escape but leaves Jake disapproving of his homophobia that he'd be more comfortable seeing them fight than kiss.
  • Distress Ball:
    • Rosa in "Christmas". Despite usually being one of the most capable people in the Nine-Nine, Rosa is tricked by the Freestyle Killer without much difficulty. This allows Boyle to take the bullet for her.
    • Jake in "Sabotage". He leaves the car on a street that's completely unknown to him, then gets kidnapped by a criminal and is Bound and Gagged for the entire second half of the episode.
  • Disturbed Doves: Peralta references the trope when tracking down bank robbers to a barn, specifically going in slow motion. When inside the barn a dove does pass by, Peralta says "That was faster than I thought, but still cool."
  • Dope Slap: In "Thanksgiving", the perpetrator who robbed the precinct is on the receiving end of this by his mother when Holt and Peralta arrest him.
  • Double Date:
    • Disastrously with Jake, Charles, Vivian and Bernice in "Full Boyle", and even more disastrously with Jake, Sophia, Amy and Teddy in "The Road Trip".
    • Again at the end of "Halloween, Part III", With Boyle and his girlfriend on one side and his stepsister Gina and the twin brother of his girlfriend. Although it's left ambiguous if Gina actually stayed for the date.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Amy's conversation with Holt about her inability to get angry at him in "The Slaughterhouse" seems reminiscent of a talk about a rather different subject.
  • Downer Ending: The fourth season ends on a downer note. Jake and Rosa are deemed guilty of robbing a bank and are sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • Drama Bomb Finale: The first four seasons all end on a more dramatic note than usual.
    • Season one: Jake leaves on an undercover mission, and the risk this presents prompts him to finally admit his feelings to Amy. This is resolved fairly quickly the next season.
    • Season two: Wuntch manages to get Holt transferred. This one takes a few episodes of season three to resolve.
    • Season three: Jimmy "The Butcher" Figgis threatens the lives of Jake and Holt, forcing them to go into witness protection in Florida.
    • Season four: Jake and Rosa are framed for bank robbery and convicted.
  • Dreaded Kids' Party Entertainer Job: While not their main job, while undercover in Florida, Holt and Jake worked at a games complex that threw birthday parties for children. When Jake got promoted to manager, he gave Holt the job of entertaining the kids' parties.
  • Dropped After the Pilot: The Pilot introduces Scully and Hitchcock as part of a trio of incompetent detectives who happen to make great coffee, with the third being a female detective called Daniels, who has never been seen since (including the remainder of the pilot).
  • Dropped in the Toilet: Jake shows up to work late and tells Captain Holt he had problems with his alarm clock. Cut to a flashback of Jake sleeping when the alarm clock on his smartphone went off and Jake threw it into the toilet.
    Jake: Also, I'm going to need a new department issued phone.
  • Drugs Are Good: Or so thinks Isaac, the drug dealer/confidential informer in "Charges and Specs", who takes exception to being called a drug pusher.
    Isaac: Dude, drugs don't need pushing. They push themselves. People love drugs.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Gina is complaining about the Halloween prize to the "best detective", as she feels she's left out of it, because she's not a detective. Complaining as a Drama Queen about being ignored by this, she says that that's worse than the segregation. Holt and Terry, the two black guys of the precinct, made an offended "no-no" with their heads. Gina accepts that she took her point too far.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Scully and Hitchcock have their moments of brilliance, especially if the "logical choice" is even stupider than they are. For example, when Hitchcock cuts his hand open, he wants to simply apply tape to it instead of going to a hospital to give some doctor 100$ for the same (though probably cleaner) piece of tape.
  • Dysfunction Junction: A mild example, given that the show is a sitcom version of the Cop Show, but most of the detectives have some sort of family issue, are overworkers, are neurotic, or any combo of the above.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • In an early episode, Holt was depicted as someone with just as much of an informed interest as Boyle in the 'mouthfeel' of a good pizza. This was later dropped, and Holt became utterly uninterested in food.
    • Holt during his younger days was stated to be very much like Jake, in fact that was his Old Shame so much that he reinvented himself as a strict no-nonsense cop. Flashbacks set in that time and earlier show Holt to be the same serious no-nonsense individual.
    • There were three "useless" detectives outlined by Terry in the pilot: Scully, Hitchcock and Daniels, a middle-aged woman. She is never seen or mentioned again, though Scully and Hitchcock go on to be a major part of the show.
    • Terry and Charles' eccentricities take a few episodes to emerge. Amy and Holt, similarly, are less fussy, and Jake much more of an insensitive jerk.
    • During the Vulture's debut appearance, he has an unexplained obsession with Peralta's butt. All subsequent appearances drop this quirk to focus on his womanizing and tendency to steal anything and everything from the precinct cops.
    • Boyle has an all-consuming crush on Rosa for the first several episodes. Pretty much everyone realized it came off as more creepy than cute and Boyle's crush disappeared.
    • Stephanie Beatriz's voice in the pilot is much closer to her normal speaking voice. After the pilot, her voice drops several octaves, and Beatriz jokes a lot in interviews about how shocked people are to hear her actual speaking voice.
  • Elderly Ailment Rambling: Norm Scully, who is close to retirement, has a habit of going into way too much detail about his various medical problems and ailments, much to the disgust of the rest of the squad.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch:
    • Amy takes the last danish for her coffee break. Gina takes it from her and starts eating it. Lampshaded. They are discussing characters from Terry's book for his children that are kind of based on them. The character based on Gina is a stone-cold bitch, while Amy's character is a pushover.
      Gina: Is that how people see us?
      Amy: Well, you did just steal that danish out of my hand and start eating it. And I let you. And apologized.
    • Terry's intimidating brother-in-law who unfairly treats him like a wimp takes the sandwich that Terry prepared for himself and casually starts eating it.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Our first glimpse of Peralta is him goofing around childishly in an electronic store that has been robbed. He seems to be just a typical comedy incompetent bumbling cop... and then he reveals that he got there before his partner, found a security 'nanny cam' concealed in a teddy bear and used it to ID the robbers. He's good at his job, he's just really immature about it.
    • We get a sense of Holt's character immediately with his first interaction with Peralta; less than impressed by Peralta's dismissive impression of him, rather than chewing him out he instead turns it back on Peralta by forcing him to repeat it to his face in front of everyone, before ordering him to wear a tie and delivering a very to-the-point introduction speech:
      Holt: I'm Captain Ray Holt. I'm your new commanding officer.
      Santiago: Speech!
      Holt: That was my speech.
    • Jeffords' introductions to the rest of the main characters gives them each one of these via flashback; Diaz intimidates a colleague into revealing and changing her Secret Santa gift with nothing more than a glare and stony silence, Boyle manages to turn eating a muffin into a humiliating series of minor disasters, and Santiago foolishly douses her entire sandwich in (incredibly) hot sauce simply because a colleague warned her it was hot.
  • Exact Words:
    • In the pilot, Captain Holt told Peralta to wear a tie. He didn't say anything about pants.
    • A variation appears In "Full Boyle". At one point, Captain Holt discusses when he founded the society for gay and lesbian African American NYPD officers which he is president of. We see a flashback to young Holt requesting the money to do so from the precinct, only for the rest of his precinct to fall about the place laughing derisively. In the present, however, Holt notes that because no one actually said no, he just went ahead and took the money to do so anyway.
  • Expy: All the main cast are essentially variations of the characters from Parks and Recreation.
    • Jake is Andy Dwyer, the good-hearted, often-dumb, but sometimes brilliant goofball of the team.
    • Amy is Leslie Knope, the overachieving, over-energetic, overly-organized smartass.
    • Holt is Ron Swanson, the very serious, dull-toned, seemingly-boring, hiddenly-badass, but ultimately loving boss. Hilariously, Nick Offerman make an appearance as one of Holt's ex-boyfriends named Frederick, who is similar to both Ron and Holt.
    • Boyle is Tom Haverford, the straight metrosexual who is kinda annoying but everyone tolerates.
    • Rosa is April Ludgate, the beautiful Snark Knight and slightly crazy badass.
    • Terry is Chris Traeger, the impossibly healthy man with a very sensitive soul.
    • Gina is Donna Meagle, the sassy office manager who seems to be incredibly skilled at everything but their actual jobs.
    • And Hitchcock and Scully are Garry/Jerry/Larry/Terry Gergich/Gengurch, the old and overweight Butt Monkeys of the team (although Garry was actually a good guy who didn't deserve his abuse, while Hitchcock and Scully are just... the worst...)
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Used just a little too much for a Police Procedural. So it's fair play here then.
    • "The Vulture" has the team combing the crime scene for the murder weapon, stopping short of learning it was a corkscrew, but failing to find it before the Major Crimes guy swoops in to claim jurisdiction and credit. The team gets drunk and sneaks back in, and gets the idea to reenact the murder by going into the victim's apartment—whereupon Amy spots the refrigerator magnets and realizes the corkscrew could be one of those fridge-magnet types and be stuck in the trash chute when the murderer tried to junk it. She's right.
  • Everyone Can See It: Subverted to a degree. The Unresolved Sexual Tension between Peralta and Santiago actually goes under the radar by most everyone, including them, but the utter delight in how Jake gets to take Amy on the worst date ever has Boyle (on painkillers that act as Truth Serums) comment on how boys like to pull girls' pigtails. Peralta later has to outright admit to Jeffords that his workaholic behavior was trying to distract him from Amy being in a relationship. Once it becomes more common knowledge that they do like each other others start noticing their normal banter as being flirtatious, and Rosa even challenges Jake to stop doing it for his own sake.

    Tropes F to K 
  • Failed a Spot Check: Scully and Hitchcock apparently have this bad.
    Santiago: [Holt] and I are exactly the same. Except I'm younger, Cuban, female, single and straight.
    Scully: [laughing] Captain Holt's not gay!
    [Santiago and Jeffords stare at him incredulously]
    Scully: ...Captain Holt's gay?
    Santiago: Seriously, man—just retire.
  • Fair for Its Day: In-universe. Holt fondly remembers an old partner who was homophobic but not racist, which he claims was pretty good for the time.
  • Faked Food Contaminant: Jake's half-sister Kate makes a habit of this. He finds this out when she offers to treat him for dinner, then pulls out a Ziploc full of glass shards, plants a couple in her food, and begins loudly complaining and making a scene. He and Amy are utterly mortified.
  • Fake Texting:
    • When Boyle is medicated with super strong pain meds, he gets super relaxed and super honest. So he admits he does fake texting.
      Gina: You get all relaxed and you have no filter and you just start dropping truth bombs on everyone.
      Holt: Oh, that explains the elevator.
      [flashback to the elevator]
      Boyle: [to his boss] I'm worried you don't find me interesting. I'm gonna pretend someone texted me. [stares at his phone]
    • Holt pretends he got a text when he wants to back out from an uncomfortable conversation with Jeffords and his wife.
      Holt: I think I am... Getting a text message. Bloop. Ah, there it is.
    • In "The Party", the detectives are invited to Captain Holt's birthday party. Terry wants to keep them in line and tries to enforce good behavior. The first thing he says is "no staring at your phones".
  • Fakin Macguffin:
    • When Jake attempts to steal a phone with an incriminating video back from a Florida woman, her cronies beat him up and take it back. Afterward Jake explains to holt that he gave them a duplicate and kept the one with the evidence.
    • In "Halloween IV", Gina manufactured three fake Plaques so she could trick each of the heist teams while keeping the real one for herself.
  • Family of Choice: All the 99 crew come from some variety of dysfunctional home, and treat the team as their found family.
  • Firefighter Arsonist:
    • In "Payback", whilst examining some discrepancies on a case he worked back in the 80's, Holt discovers evidence proving that some of the fires attributed to a notorious serial arsonist the Brooklyn Broiler, were actually committed by a firefighter who wanted to look like a hero. Unfortunately, as the case is decades old the firefighter died of old age two weeks before hand without ever facing justice.
    • Lampshaded in "A Tale Of Two Bandits". Upon discovering the local firefighters want to claim Shaw's, the 99's usual hangout, due to needing a new bar, the squad mockingly asks whether one of them turned out to be an arsonist and burned down their old one. The Fire Lieutenant declares this to be a nasty and unfounded stereotype, before sheepishly admitting that did actually happen.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Holt and Peralta begin the series barely able to tolerate each other. Over the course of the series, they develop mutual trust and respect. By the end of the fifth season, they openly love each other like father and son.
  • Fish out of Water:
    • "The Party" involves the unit being invited to Captain Holt's birthday party by his husband, a classics professor at Columbia University, and much of the comedy comes from the rather low-brow, socially inept detectives dealing with the high culture types they're mingling with. It initially appears that Holt's husband looks down on the cops for precisely this reason until Peralta deduces that his disdain actually comes from his resentment at the way the NYPD has often treated Holt due to his homosexuality.
    • The Bimbo reveals Holt to be one of these around the high culture of Kevin's university, too, for being a "hot bimbo".
    • The squad in general is one of these at polite social events, such as Captain Kim's party in Season 7.
  • 555: The number featured in the sleazy PI's commercial in "The Ebony Falcon".
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Charles and Gina fall into this sometimes, due to their history together and Charles' tendency to be inadvertently inappropriate—he often introduces Gina as his "sister and former lover," despite Gina begging him not to say those at the same time.
    Charles: Brother to sister, you've never looked sexier.
  • Flush the Evidence: Parodied when everyone realizes what a terrible cook Amy is, they flush their food down the toilet to avoid telling her.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Halloween", whenever Holt catches Peralta in an obvious attempt to break into his office or distract him so that Peralta can steal his Medal of Valor, Peralta protests that the plan was designed to fail. At the time, it seems just like Peralta trying to soothe his ego. The ending reveals that they were, in fact, designed to fail—so that Holt would be distracted from noticing that the other detectives in the squad were breaking into his office and helping Peralta steal the medal.
    • Near the beginning of "The Fugitive, Part 1":
      Gina: You know, honestly, I'd rather get hit by a bus than get one more text from you, Charles.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In "The Pontiac Bandit Returns", while Amy is contemplating telling Holt about his mistake in the Brooklyn Broiler case, the sign behind Terry reads "If it's wrong, make it right"
    • In "Halloween IV", Gina can be seen in the background shots of the station after she supposedly left to get dental surgery.
  • Freeze-Frame Introduction: The intro does this for the main cast at the end of their respective scenes.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • A lot of Jake's hangups come from the fact his parents got divorced and he rarely saw his dad, and that his dad is a manipulative cheater who frequently gaslit his mom. This made him especially protective of his mother, while also instilling a loner mentality.
    • In "Admiral Peralta", Jake's father is revealed to have an extremely cruel and rude father who abandoned him, too.
    • Amy's competitiveness and goody-goody nature come from having very strict parents who actively encouraged their children to compete for their affection, even arranging family photos in order of who pleased them most.
    • Terry had a physically and emotionally abusive father. This seems to be part of the reason why he's generally afraid to be too harsh with those in his command, but it's also pointed out that he has subverted it by becoming a good father.
  • Freudian Slip:
    • Happens to Jake when his UST with Amy starts to reach critical mass.
      Santiago: Why doesn't your mouth work?
      Peralta: "Why doesn't your mouth work?" Title of our sex tape!
      Santiago: ...What?
      Peralta: Your sex tape! What? No!
    • Jake often makes slips indicating that he sees Holt (and occasionally Holt's husband Kevin by extension) as a surrogate father figure.
    • Ditto Amy:
      Amy: [after Rosa comments that Holt and Kevin need to 'bone'] What?! Gross, Rosa, those are our dads!
      [Rosa does an Eye Take]
      Amy: I mean, that's not what I think, Captain Dad is just my boss!
      Rosa: Wow.
      Amy: Never mind, I'm teaching Father the math! Whatever, Rosa! [runs off]
    • Boyle starts to worry about making these after Rosa confides in him about her bisexuality, which unfortunately causes him to actually do it. Rosa decides to just bite the bullet and come out to the rest of the squad to spare him.
  • Fridge Brilliance: In-universe, it takes Peralta most of the first episode to figure out why Holt is so intent on his detectives wearing neckties, leading to him gleefully experiencing an epiphany while the team is in the middle of arresting a murder suspect.
  • Friendly Enemy: Peralta and Doug Judy are this, much to everyone's chagrin. Even Peralta gets aggravated by their relationship from time to time.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Played with in Season 1. Jake lives in a very large apartment that he would probably have a hard time affording even if he did have great personal finance habits (he doesn't, at all). He mentions that his grandmother negotiated a rent control deal decades earlier and he is benefiting from that, driving his rent way down. However, he loses the apartment anyway when the building goes Co-Op and he can't afford to buy the place. Gina ends up buying it and subletting her old one-room studio apartment to Jake.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Inverted. While Gina does seem to get along with everyone, she says at different points that she doesn't really like them that much, or at least that they "don't have that kind of friendship."
    • Hitchcock and Scully are often included in the main gang's plans despite them finding the pair off-putting, gross, and dumb.
  • Funny Answering Machine: Gina's voicemail, fittingly with her personality, simply says that she won't check any of her messages.
    "It's Gina's phone. Leave me a voice-mail. I won't check it 'cause it's not 1993."
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During the NYPD-FDNY brawl in "Sal's Pizza", one of the cop extras lifts up one of the firefighter extras upside down.
    • An easily missed example in "Bad Beat": in the middle of Amy and Charles's debate over their food truck/former crime scene, Rosa scooting by on her rolly chair (with all her usual intensity) passes entirely without comment.
  • Funny Flashback Haircut:
    • The usually bald and serious Captain Holt has a funky short afro and mustache in his 70s flashbacks.
    • Boyle had unflattering sideburns in the past.
    • Terry, famous for his big bald dome, had absolutely massive dreadlocks. In other flashbacks he has a way too-tall hi-top fade.
    • When Jake and Amy first met, Amy had overly-long bangs and way-too-voluminous hair, while Jake sported overly-long curls.
    • Back in high school, Jake had untypically flat and feminine shoulder-long hair.
  • Funny Foreigner: Mlepnos, played by Fred Armisen.
  • Gambit Pileup: While the first Halloween heist is relatively straightforward, the later ones devolve into this trope as more and more people decide to take a shot at the prize.
  • Gender-Concealing Voice: In "Cinco de Mayo", Terry uses a vocal distorter to sound like a woman in order to sell a banner to Jake without him knowing who it was, as part of his Zany Scheme to win the annual Heist.
  • Generic Cop Badges: In "Suicide Squad", the Vulture wears a detective badge despite being a captain.
  • The Generic Guy: Amusingly enough, both Holt and his husband Kevin take on traits of this for laughs. Their tastes range from high-brow to utterly bland. Among Holt's favorite meals includes a bottle of water and a plain scone. Kevin wants to cook rice for a dinner with guests.
  • Genius Ditz:
    • Gina seems like an incredibly self-centered and shallow idiot, but she has some people skills as a civilian that the cops, too immersed in their jobs as they are, lack. She also passes her astronomy final test after studying for a single night and is the only one that immediately perceives Holts' homosexuality after meeting him.
    • Peralta spends most of his time messing around, thinking up Bond One-Liners, placing stupid bets and generally acting like an idiot—and he's also a genuinely brilliant detective.
  • Ghost Extras: The Nine-Nine is populated by scores of cops and detectives who walk in the background, attend daily briefings, and in some cases even work at nearby desks, yet they rarely interact with the main characters.
  • Gift-Giving Gaffe: Gina and Boyle try to invoke this, after their parents start dating. They peek at the gift Boyle's dad is giving her mom, an electric scale. Subverted in the end though — Gina's mom actually loves it.
  • Gilligan Cut: The one with Gina's apartment broken into, where Gina becomes so fearful and insecure that she threatens Amy and Rosa with a civilian complaint for what appears to be them slacking off (despite clearly being a red tape thing). They scoff at the idea—cut to Holt yelling at them for getting a civilian complaint.
  • Given Name Reveal: In "The Mole", Jake notices that Holt's robe has "Raymond J. Holt" embroidered onto it, and he spends a good part of the episode guessing what his middle name is. Holt finally tells him what it is at the end of the episode—it's Jacob. Jake is very pleased.
  • Glasses Curiosity: In 48 Hours, Santiago has to start using backup glasses after her contacts dry out due to being forced to spend 48 hours in the precinct. Peralta snatches them off her face and wears them for a few seconds, which he soon regrets.
    Peralta: You're a blind cop! How has there not been a made-for-TV movie about your struggles?
  • Glorious Death: When Charles' stew blows up Terry heavily scolds him for being reckless, revealing he had no intention of dying this way.
    Terry: I'm not going out in a stew-making accident! Terry's gonna die saving the president, or Terry's never gonna die!
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Jake's nemesis, a serial car thief known as the Pontiac Bandit, considers Jake his best friend and always finds excuses for them to pal around when they cross paths. Jake tries his best to stay angry and focused on catching the Bandit, but usually can't help enjoying himself a little.
  • Golden Snitch: How Peralta wins in "The Bet"—a vice bust nets him ten in one go. And those are just the convictions that will stick.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns:
    • The majority of the detectives carry Glock 19s, a common standard police-issued sidearm. Terry carries a slightly more advanced SIG Sauer P226, setting him apart in a justified way since he is the Sergeant (and later Lieutenant) of the group. Det. Diaz, being a "not nice" Action Girl, stands out by carrying a higher-power Colt Compact M1991.
    • Captain Holt, having come up as a detective in the '70s and '80s during the Big Rotten Apple era, carries a Colt Detective Special revolver which would have been a common sidearm in that era. It's "old school" factor identifies him as both an authority figure and veteran of the force.
    • In a twist, when geared up as part of SWAT teams, the "nine-nine" detectives are likelier to carry more "heroic" police pump-shotguns while the generic SWAT officers get assault rifles and submachine guns.
    • "Bad guys" throughout the series are much more likely to carry flashier handguns and sometimes machine pistols/submachine guns, quickly identifying them.
  • Good News, Bad News:
    • Scully opens with this in "48 Hours", even though both the bits of news he delivers turn out to be bad.
    • Shows up again in "Operation: Broken Feather". In this case, the good news is that they made a ton of busts... the bad news is that they have to process a mountain of paperwork by the next day.
  • Good Policing, Evil Policing: While every cop in District Nine-Nine is a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who constantly pranks their fellow officers, they are still law-abiding and try to close their cases fast and properly (and Captain Holt, for all of the gags about him being one of the most humorless human beings alive, is an effective leader), while Deputy Chief Wuntch and "The Vulture" (to name but two examples) are obsessed with getting the glory of closing the cases and utilize their power as higher-ups in the NYPD's command structure to put the cops of the Nine-Nine through a living hell just because they don't like them.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Parodied. Gina attempts to take a dolly from a Zip & Lock employee to wheel Holt out, she pretends to speak in only Italian the entire time but says nonsense phrases and at one point yells out "Garbanzo marinara! Pizzeria restaurante!" as a sign of gratitude.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Terry and his fling from Japan speak Japanese when he has a flashback from his foreign exchange program.
  • Grin of Rage: Holt is normally The Stoic, but when a very bad week leaves him in a state of constant smiling in "The Wednesday Incident," the entire squad is terrified. Probably because the "smile" is more like a teeth-baring grimace.
  • Groin Attack: In the first Christmas episode, Boyle ends up giving this to one of the Mall Santas during the cold open.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow:
    • Numerous flashbacks to Holt as a younger cop shows him with an afro and mustache, and the exact same deadpan expression.
    • It's shown more rarely for other characters, one episode shows Peralta talking about an eight-year-old cold case with Terry and Boyle in the exact same positions when the case first occurred, Peralta had frosted tips, Boyle had longer, wavy hair and Terry wore a beret.
    • Retconned with Hitchcock and Scully. Back in the 70s, they were shown to only have hair, but Season 6's "Hitchcock and Scully" shows them as much younger men in the 1980s (although they do both have hair then).
  • Halloween Episode: Once a season. With the twist that all the cops are working in and Halloween is supposedly the busiest night of the year for them, so it's more of a dark-shady-backside-of-Halloween episode, really. They do get into costumes in the end. In the second season's Halloween episode, in which several characters are seen in costume, though the audience can't tell it's them at first. Charles is the one who loves costumes and Halloween the most, and others prank him or ridicule him. The show has also a unique thing going on: the annual Halloween heist-slash-bet, each year more elaborate than the previous one.
  • Hands-On Approach: Terry is on the receiving end of this a lot.
    • While at the shooting range with Jeffords and Holt, Gina encourages Jeffords to do this, saying "Show me! Like put your thick, muscular arms and...", it's one-way, as Jeffords is happily married, but that doesn't stop Gina from enjoying it.
    • He also gets groped by Trudy Judy in Season 6.
  • Happily Adopted: Nikolaj, as well as his dad Charles.
  • Happily Married: Holt and Kevin, Terry and Sharon. From season 6 onwards, Jake and Amy.
  • Happy Place: Boyle recommends it when you're nervous. His is slurping an infinitely long piece of linguine... and every 20 feet? A sauce change. Rosa takes his advice while she's on the stand and imagines herself, in a cabin, beating the defense attorney examining her to death and ripping his arms off.
  • Hard Truth Aesop
    • The message of "Karen Peralta" can essentially be summed up as "you have to let people make their own mistakes". Jake is horrified to learn that his mother Karen has once again started seeing his hated father Roger and, initially assuming that his father has somehow tricked his mother into taking him back, sets out to break them up however he can. This lasts until Karen sits him down and gently-but-firmly tells him that she's a grown adult, she still has feelings for him and is entering a relationship with him with her eyes open to his faults, and while she appreciates Jake looking out for her he ultimately has no say in who she chooses to become romantically involved with.
    • From "He Said, She Said": people have to pick their battles when their superiors at work assault or harass them. The price of helping an investment banker speak up against her attacker is that she loses a giant settlement and feels compelled to resign because she doesn't want anyone at her firm pitying her. Amy reveals she also didn't speak up about her superior trying to kiss her because she didn't want to sabotage her career.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?:
    • Holt, of all people, makes gratuitous use of this trope while maintaining a cover identity in the first few episodes of Season 4, going out of his way If to mention his love of heavy-breasted women whenever he's with his power-walking group.
      Holt: I see a pair of thick, weighty breasts and all logic flies out the window.
    • Played With in "Game Night" in that Charles does this to avoid outing Rosa to the rest of the squad.
      Charles: Bye, Rosa. [Beat] I mean, not "bi," but "bye." I mean, see ya! I mean, have fun only having sex with men! Just bangin' dudes, left and right!
  • Heist Episode: Usually doubling up with Halloween Episode. Every Halloween (and in season 6, Cinco de Mayo), the characters challenge each other to steal something within the precinct (usually for bragging rights). The stakes and competitiveness rise every year, and the plans are elaborate and involve a lot of theft and betrayal.
  • Hero of Another Story: Detective Dave Majors, the Swedish Interpol agents (who are good cops despite their snooty condescending attitudes towards Jake and Rosa), and Teddy (who is a competent, honest cop despite being a Stalker with a Crush towards Amy). These examples stand out because whenever the main characters have to work with other cops they usually turn out to be crooked (Stevie, Bob, Hawkins) or incompetent (Jack Danger, C.J., the Vulture)
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Diaz:
      • Despite Diaz's surly attitude and the fact that her taste in guys is apparently "anyone but [Boyle]", she is surprisingly willing to go out on a date to a movie with him. Even though he completely blows his chances with her at the end she admits that she still enjoys his company and finds him 'sweet'.
      • She was a model student at her Catholic high school and for a time attended the American Ballet Academy. (But then again, she did get kicked out of the ballet academy for beating the crap out of the other ballerinas, so there's that.)
      • It takes Diaz until near the end of season 5 to reveal that she attended medical school for 3 years, and also went to business school.
      • It's parodied in "Halloween" when Peralta reveals the rest of the team's involvement in his plan, as both he and Holt note that it's not surprising that Diaz can pick locks.
      • Lampshaded in "Old School", when it turns out that the reason she's so bad on the witness stand is because she's nervous, not just naturally angry.
        Diaz: Of course I'm nervous! What did you think was the problem?
        Jeffords: We just assumed you were a terrifying human being with a short fuse!
    • At first glance, you might think that Sgt. Terry Jeffords was simply the cop version of the Scary Black Man... except he's hyper-cautious and terrified of going into the field, has twin baby daughters whom he clearly utterly dotes on, loves yogurt, French arthouse movies and going to the farmer's market, and personality-wise is basically the complete opposite of the stereotype. He is also a gifted painter and sketch artist, and graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse.
      • "Return to Skyfire" reveals that he's also written a fantasy novel. It's apparently terrible, but he did finish it.
    • Those Two Butt Monkeys Scully and Hitchcock have the highest arrest record in the history of the 99.
      • Scully is fluent in French, Italian, and Morse code, and has a lovely operatic singing voice. As revealed in "Safe House", years of doing jigsaw puzzles have also granted him the ability to piece together readable documents out of enormous piles of shredded paper.
      • They were both apparently heavily addicted to cocaine "for most of 1986".
      • Both Hitchcock and Scully still have unparalleled detective skills when they care to use them. They just only care to use them for things like deducing when Holt is hiding a pie.
      • The episode "Hitchcock and Scully" reveals that they were both badass, Miami Vice style cops in the 80s.
    • Peralta apparently took tap for three years and is proficient at ballroom dancing.
    • Captain Holt is apparently one of the funniest people ever around people he doesn't work with, is an expert ballroom dancer and takes hula-hoop lessons with his husband. He's also incredibly adept at flirting with women, despite not being attracted to them at all. He exploits this trope when confessing to Peralta that he takes hula-hoop lessons:
      Jake: Why are you telling me this?
      Holt: Because no one...will ever believe you. [deletes photos of himself hula hooping on his phone]
      Jake: No, no! [Holt smirks triumphantly] You sick son of a bitch!
    • Gina, despite being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, has saved up enough money to buy a piece of New York real estate.
  • Hollywood Board Games: In "Game Night", Rosa is playing Pictionary with her conservative family. She's in the middle of her coming-out arc and, predictably, her family is writing off her bisexuality as a phase despite Rosa being a grown-up woman. Being as Hot-Blooded as she is, Rosa devices to throw a jab at her homophobic parents and draw a lesbian wedding. Her mother is so delusional in that nobody can't truly fall in love with people of their same gender that she writes them off as very close friends, then sisters, then business partners. Queer erasure at its finest.
  • How We Got Here:
    • In the beginning of "Charges and Specs", Peralta is alone at a bar, comically drunk. He buys everyone a round and the guy next to him asks what the occasion is. He replies that he's celebrating because he just got fired. Then the episode flashbacks to a week earlier to explain why.
    • "Valloweaster" begins with a gang of bunnies running around and fighting in the precinct. The show then keeps flashing back to show how it happened, and how the Halloween heist got postponed to Easter.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • When Boyle refers to his save-the-date cards as "STDs";
      Santiago: Will your first dance be to "You Give Me Fever"?
      Jeffords: Will you be serving crabs at the reception?
      Gina: Do you have herpes?
      Boyle: Guys, this is my wedding. This is important to me, no more jokes.
      Peralta: You're right, and we're sorry. We love you, buddy. Warts and all! Sorry, I made a rash decision. I was itching to say it. Okay, I'm done.
    • Subverted with Boyle's gunshot wounds, when Peralta just defaults to "butt" after the first two tries.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • At one point, Holt busts Santiago for talking to Peralta during one of his briefings, prompting Santiago to protest (not without reason) that Peralta was the one who was talking and she was merely trying to extract herself from the conversation. Peralta accuses her of being "the worst fourth-grader ever" by trying to throw the blame on him. The hypocrisy comes through in that in almost every episode up to this point, whenever Peralta's gotten into trouble at some point he's childishly tried to throw the blame onto Santiago somehow.
    • After Gina's apartment gets burgled and the detectives investigate, this exchange happens:
      Diaz: You don't have locks on your windows.
      Gina: Way to blame the victim! Sorry I'm not rich like you, Miss One-Percent.
      Diaz: [annoyed] They cost eight dollars. You have a fur bed-spread.
    • Diaz frequently doesn't seem entirely aware of just how awful her temper is:
      Diaz: [To Jeffords and Holt] You think I have an anger problem? I don't. You are both dead to me.
    • Boyle spends all of "The Puzzle Master" chiding Jake for being jealous of Amy spending time with Melvin Stermley. In the final scene of the episode, Melvin asks Jake if he wants to hang out, and Charles jumps in to escort Melvin out of the precinct, claiming Jake already has enough friends.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The first five season finales' titles are all variations on Name and Name.
  • Ignorant About Fire: In her very first scene, Jake's mom Karen opens her door to greet him, and gives him a big hug as an alarm goes off like crazy in the background. Jake worriedly asks if something is burning, to which she cheerfully replies, "Yeah!" without making any move to go deal with it.
    Jake: Mom, seriously, the fire?
    Karen: It's fine! Things don't burn down like they used to.
    Jake: [hurrying towards the kitchen] I'm just gonna put it out.
  • I Have Brothers: Played With.
    • In the first episode, it's explained that Amy Santiago grew up with seven brothers, explaining her hyper-competitive, perfectionist streak.
    • On the other hand, Badass Biker Rosa Diaz pointedly does not have a backstory explaining how tough she is - she's just naturally hardcore. She doesn't even have any brothers; she actually only has sisters.
  • I Love the Dead: The coroner Peralta dated in "M.E. Time" was turned on by having him be as cold and still as possible. They also engaged in roleplay where he plays a dead body that she finds and... you know. It's not explicitly said that she does anything with the dead bodies, but she's definitely into them.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Caleb, Jake's cellmate in the Season 5 opener "The Big House", was convicted for eating nine people...children, in fact.
    Caleb: Well, that's not how I would define myself... If we're going by what I'm most passionate about, I would say that I'm a woodworker.
  • Improvised Cross: Gina makes one with pencils to "ward off" the germs from Rosa's cold in "The Road Trip".
  • I'm Your Worst Nightmare: Amy at the end of Halloween, Part III.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    • In "The Bet", Boyle is stuck in an elevator with Holt, and in order to dodge the awkward silence...
      Boyle: I'm worried you don't find me interesting. I'm going to pretend someone texted me. Bloop! [looks down at phone and chuckles]
    • Holt then subsequently repeats that stunt after accidentally getting Jeffords into trouble with his wife.
      Holt: Oh, I've caused a problem. ...I think I am getting a text message. Bloop! Ah, there it is.
    • "Full Boyle" gives us two in a row, when a caped guy calling himself Super Dan wants to report a crime he witnessed.
      Diaz: I'm busy right now, working on this...
      [another beat]
      Diaz: ...excuse.
    • She then directs him to Santiago, who replies...
      Santiago: Oh, gosh, I am so sorry; I literally just retired! [picks up a cupcake and starts eating] This is my retirement cake! Mmm! Thanks, you guys! I'm gonna miss this place!
    • "USPIS" provides a string of them when people are telling Jake how they got out of Scully's birthday party:
      Amy: I panicked and said I had to go to the vet because my puppy-cat got sick.
      Boyle: I said I had to take my mom to get birth-control pills.
      Terry: That's better than my excuse. I said I had to go to my girls' bat mitzvahs.
      Holt: [entering the break room] Squad, we missed Scully's birthday, and it was a big one. I told them I was in Ecuador. I think they bought it.
  • Inner Thoughts, Outsider Puzzlement: Subverted. At one point during the arc where Peralta goes to prison, it looks like this trope is being set up. Jake, while high on meth, repeatedly tells himself to play it cool around the criminals. It seems like the joke will be that Jake spent so long telling himself to be cool that his strange behavior was noticed... instead it turns out Jake was actually telling himself to be cool out loud and didn't notice.
  • Innocent Awkward Question: In the episode "Moo Moo," when Jake and Amy are babysitting Terry's elementary-school aged twin daughters, Cagney and Lacey. The girls accidentally learn the word "orgasm" from Jake and Amy and Amy hastily tries to fix things by teaching them that it's another word for "orange." This leads to an awkward moment the next morning when the twins ask Terry for "orgasm juice."
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: Peralta and Holt's cover in Coral Palms is compromised when a bystander films Holt being run over by a Go Kart. The rest of the episode - "Coral Palms, Part 1" - revolves around the said YouTube video, which in turn drives the action of the following episode.
  • Intimate Hair Brushing:
    • In a Running Gag, Charles Boyle keeps suggesting the most romantic move of all times: washing your beloved's hair. He's also obsessed with shampoos.
    • Episode "The Crime Scene" has Rosa appearing in a new Gag Haircut for every different scene. She dates a woman who's training to become a stylist and she practices on Rosa. Some of them are new cuts, some use hair extensions and she even wears one elaborate updo that would be ok for a ball, but is quite impractical for a detective working a murder case.
  • Insignificant Anniversary: Boyle has a tendency to "go full Boyle" and scare off prospective lovers by getting too involved too quickly. For his 20-day anniversary with Vivian, he wanted to have a fancy dinner and 300 roses. Turns out she was just as crazy for him, and they wound up getting engaged.
  • Insurance Fraud: The assumed motivation for arson in both "Sal's Pizza" and "Gray Star Mutual".
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Rosa Diaz and Adrian Pimento have an intense relationship based on pure lust which develops into love. They're attracted to each other right from the start with understated aggression. Once they get together, their sex talk is very graphic and violent, their making-out sessions are very physical, Rosa occasionally slaps Pimento and when they break up, each returns to the other their blood (Rosa wore a small vial around her neck while Pimento had a plastic zip bag, taken without Rosa's knowledge).
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Samberg's Saturday Night Live colleague Fred Armisen plays an English-challenged witness, Mlepnos, in the pilot. He also re-appears in "Operation: Broken Feather", where the two of them sing a song together, and in "Jake & Amy", where he plays the violin at Jake and Amy's wedding.
  • Jerkass:
    • Warren "The Vulture" Pembroke, an obnoxious, entitled, credit-stealing Hate Sink for both the characters and the audience. See the character page for more info.
    • Eleanor Hortsweil, Charles' ex-wife from "Hostage Situation", is almost as bad; she's bitter, amoral and a prime example of Lack of Empathy. She never wanted children with Charles, but made sure that she owned his sperm. When he finally needs his "Boyle oil", she holds it hostage (destroying some of it to prove she means business) in exchange for Charles using his badge to bully a person Eleanor hit with her car into dropping the charges. Said person turns out to be a 90-year-old priest... who was sitting on a bench when Eleanor hit him.
    • Deputy Chief Wuntch isn't a particularly nice person either. As Captain Holt's Evil Counterpart, she's a smug, spiteful and unscrupulous Bad Boss perfectly willing to step over others to get what she wants.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During Jake and Amy's wedding a bomb threat is called in and everyone has to evacuate the building. The bomb disposal tech send to investigate turns out to be an ex-boyfriend of the bride who clearly still carries a torch for her. He takes his sweet time looking for the bomb and insists that every possible location be checked. Even when the detectives find evidence that it was a hoax, he refuses to allow anyone back in the building till it is fully inspected. It becomes obvious that the guy is trying to sabotage the wedding but in the end it turns out that there really was a bomb and by being an Obstructive Bureaucrat he saved a lot of lives.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Several examples in the main cast.
    • Jake can be a very arrogant Manchild, and he can be very thoughtless in how he interacts with other people, but he is also a genuinely kind and compassionate person who cares about his friends and will go to extreme lengths to make them happy.
    • Rosa is an aggressive and ill-tempered person with a Hair-Trigger Temper who terrifies most people, but she does care about her friends and shows this by giving them surprisingly solid advice and by always having their back whenever they find themselves needing help.
    • Gina's "heart of gold" is really more just a nugget of gold in a heart of stone, but she does have her moments of kindness.
    • Hitchcock and Scully's shenanigans can rank from goofy to jerky, but they have a strong sense of justice. In 1986, they stole confiscated money in order to help an endangered witness start a new life, and in season 7, they let themselves look like incompetent morons to make sure a witness would not be taken by ICE.
  • Job's Only Volunteer: "Jake and Sophia" reveals that despite his sheer incompetence, Scully is union representative of the 99th precinct simply because nobody else wants the job. His motivation for doing so is that the meeting each year has a party sub.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Detective Pembroke of the Major Crimes Squad, an obnoxious and smarmy jerk known as "the Vulture" (in the episode of the same name), waits until the local detectives have almost completed an investigation before swooping in to claim jurisdiction, thus managing to take all the credit without having to do any of the work. He also seems curiously fixated on Detective Peralta's "big white ass".
    • The rivalry between the NYPD and the FDNY rears its ugly head during an arson case in "Sal's Pizza".
    • And both of these rivalries (professionally for the former, but not the latter) are referenced again in "Operation: Broken Feather".
    • "USPIS" features Jake having difficulties playing nice with the liaison for the titular US Postal Inspection Service. Eventually Jake oversteps his boundaries and the USPIS, being a federal service, takes over the investigation.
    • "The Negotiation" features a disgruntled hostage negotiator who can't stand the fact that his first real negotiation got taken over by Peralta and then Diaz. Too bad for him the hostage-taker was Doug Judy, who asked for the two detectives specifically.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Every single Halloween Heist episode involves one. The first two mostly revolved around Holt and Jake's second-guessing of each other, but (in order), Amy, Gina, Terry, Kevin, and finally Rosa all got involved in various ploys.
    • In "Halloween", Captain Holt and Detective Peralta make a bet that Peralta can't steal Holt's Medal of Valor from his office, where Holt has placed it inside a safe within a locked cabinet. Holt proceeds to catch Peralta out in a series of lame attempts to break into the office and steal the medal using what seem to be feeble disguises and distractions until he ends up being locked in an interrogation room and handcuffed to a table... whereupon Peralta explains to Holt the real plan; while Peralta was distracting Holt with his increasingly feeble attempts to break into Holt's office, the other detectives in the squad—whom Peralta had bribed with an offer to do their paperwork for them—were subtly breaking through Holt's defenses and stealing the medal for him. Since he lost the bet, Holt now has to do all of Peralta's paperwork, which now includes the entire squad's.
  • Kinky Role-Playing: On their honeymoon, Jake and Amy try some role-play, with Jake dressing up as the creator of the Dewey decimal system, which really gets Amy going, and her dressing up as the love interest from Jake's all-time favorite movie, Die Hard. While they both find the costumes extremely sexy, they think keeping in-character is exhausting and more trouble than it's worth, and decide to just skip to the part where they get naked.
  • Klatchian Coffee: For Christmas in "Yippie Kayak", Boyle buys Peralta a bottle of "Heart Attack" soda which, as Peralta notes, is technically just "carbonated fudge", and which he thought was banned. Boyle points out that it's not banned in Syria, where "they use it to induce labor in goats."

    Tropes L to P 
  • Lame Comeback:
    • Peralta to Santiago.
      Santiago: Going to be hard to win our bet when you're on the bench, Peralta. Although, I did start a new category: Murderers we let go. And look at that! You're winning! [leaving] Have fun with your files.
      Peralta: Yeah, you know what? I will have fun with my files! Have fun with... your face! [attempts to slam door, which rebounds off some boxes] SLAM! That was a slam!
    • The various members of the fire department who get into slanging matches with Peralta and Boyle in "Sal's Pizza" tend to come up with these—although oddly, they seem to view them as being the height of wit:
      Peralta: What are you two doing here?
      Firefighter 1: You're a detective; you detect it out!
      Firefighter 2: Good one, bro!
      Firefighter 1: I know, bro!
      Firefighter 2: Yeah, bro!
      Peralta: [snarking] Wow, it's like watching Meet the Press.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: The Running Gag of "The title of Amy's sex tape." Jake usually does the lampshading at first, but by the end Amy herself does it a few times, as well as other characters.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Full Boyle", Santiago and Diaz get a lot of snide pleasure out of mocking an incredibly dorky guy who dresses up as a superhero and tries to report a crime to them... only to discover afterwards that he actually had a lot of valuable information on a major drugs ring they've been investigating. Sgt. Jeffords takes them off this case partly to punish them for their Jerkass behavior and partly because the superhero refused to give the information to them after they dismissed him. In addition to this, Diaz shows little remorse for her cruelty even after this... so at the end, when they've made it up to the superhero, she's the one who has to take his statement and feign enthusiasm for his rambling.
  • Last-Name Basis: Played straight to start with but averted over the course of the series as the characters become closer. Played straight with Hitchcock and Scully, however.
  • Laughing Gas: In "The Party", Jake has a flashback to the dentist's office where he is laughing while being pumped with gas.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Jake and Amy begin trying for a baby in season 7. In the episode appropriately titled "Trying", which takes place over the course of several months, the two try and try again with absolutely no success whatsoever. This makes them feel even worse when Hitchcock and his new wife get pregnant on their first try and a pair of guinea pigs hiding in one of the storage rooms have over 600 babies.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • At the end of Season 3, Amy goes undercover in a women's prison. As part of her identity she wears a fake stomach to make her appear seven months pregnant, in order to allow her to talk to her "doctors" (actually her handlers, Charles and Jake) at any time. This allowed the then heavily pregnant Melissa Fumero to get out from behind the increasingly unconvincing Scenery Censors and in on the action for the first time in half a season. Needless to say, many Lampshade Hanging jokes are made, including Amy refusing to believe that she looks realistically pregnant.
    • Similarly, Chelsea Peretti's pregnancy during Season 4 is dealt with by having Gina also become pregnant. After a night with one of the Boyle cousins.
    • During Season 5, Jake comments that he seems to run into Doug Judy once a year, in a nod to how Judy always shows up Once a Season.
    • In Season 5, Jake also mentions that he and Bill only meet once a year, for the Halloween Heist. This is actually subverted in Season 5 (where Bill appears twice), but played straight in Seasons 4, 6, and 7.
    • After fans of the show getting annoyed that they didn't get to see Jake and Amy kissing in season six, Charles complains about the same thing in the finale. He also calls them 'Peraltiago', the fandom's ship name for them.
    • After the move to NBC for Season 6, the Halloween Heist is no longer a Halloween Episode. Seasons 6 and 7's episodes were both devoted to showing how they ended up taking place on different days - Cinco de Mayo and Easter (although both heists started on Halloween and spiraled increasingly out of control).
    • In Season 7, Amy announces that she's pregnant, and the rest of the department reveals that they've known for a while due to her obvious Hide Your Pregnancy tactics. In spite of it being a plot point that her character couldn't get pregnant for most of the season, the actress had been using these tactics to hide her real-life pregnancy. She used the same tactics during her first pregnancy in an earlier season.
    • In Season 8, when there are only a few episodes left, Boyle's reaction to his possible testicular cancer sounds like him acknowledging that the show is going to end soon.
      Boyle: No more stakeouts or drinks after a long shift or midnight calls when you've had a breakthrough in a case. I've always had this image of us in our 90s hunting down criminals at the retirement home. But I guess that was just a dumb fantasy... because soon I won't be here anymore... because I'll be dead and gone forever.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: After an episode of goofy antics and neurotic behavior, the teamwork as an efficient, well-oiled unit to bring down the fugitive murderer at the end of the pilot episode.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Goody two-shoes Santiago is the Light Feminine and narcissistic and vain Gina is the Dark Feminine.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: In addition to the frequent bickering and competitiveness between then, Peralta and Santiago frequently give the impression of two people who have been around each other for so long they've gotten incredibly comfortable with each other's habits and foibles over time and have picked up numerous odd little personal things about each other in the process (Peralta, for example, knows about Santiago's dedication to and special technique for brushing her teeth). Invoked when they actually act as a bickering couple in order to bust a couple of perps.... who, even when they drop the act and bust them, remain incredibly convinced by it:
    Perp: I'm sad y'all are arresting me, but I gotta say I'm glad you're back together!
  • Limited Wardrobe: Despite being a cop show where they have a uniform and dress code, the individual characters do tend to wear their own style. Peralta wears either a hoodie or a black leather jacket with his badge on a chain around his neck. Santiago and Boyle wear more business casual attire. Terry has a tight dress shirt with suspenders (that emphasize how massive his shoulders are). Rosa wears all black. Holt is rarely outside of full uniform. Hitchcock wears short-sleeved dress shirts and Scully wears a sweater vest. Gina is more casual and colorful than the rest.
  • Long Last Look: When Sophia breaks up with Jake, he brings a box of her stuff to her work. He expects her to give him one last look to express her possible regrets. She doesn't look at him though, and Jake doesn't turn to have a final glance at her either.
    Jake: Tell me if she turns back for one last look. [rapid-fire] She turning? Did she turn? Did she turn?
  • Lovely Angels: Both Amy Santigo and Rosa Diaz are competent female cops and often team up. They started to call themselves "the Sleuth Sisters" in Season 5.
  • Love Forgives All but Lust: Jake is chasing after a mobster who escaped a sting operation he masterminded, who he states is worse than any of the people they did catch. They interview his mistress to see if she knows where he is and she protects her violent criminal boyfriend up until Jake reveals that he has another mistress: her sister.
  • Love Triangle: Between Amy, Teddy, and Jake. Jake realizes his feelings a little too late, Amy's already with Teddy and Jake funnels his emotions into drinking, brooding, and working overtime. Until he gets called into a dangerous undercover mission, that is.
  • Love Overrides the Law:
  • Low Count Gag:
    • "Old School": Detective Jake Peralta boasts of having read 15 books. Detective Amy Santiago, ever the competitive cutie, mishears and claims that 50 books is not a lot, then realizes the actual number and is confused.
      Jake: It's the best book I've ever read, and I've read 15 books.
      Amy: 50 books is not a lot. Wait... You said 15?
    • In "Fancy Brudgom", Terry, Amy and Gina go on a very 'scientific' diet, despite them all being in perfect shape, as Captain Holt points out. All the meals are pre-planned and delivered. For example, the breakfast consists of an orange wedge, three cashew nuts and a solitary grape. Another meal is a single baby carrot (the container says "ingredients: carrot") or one almond.
    • In "Mr. Santiago", Jake boasts that his credit score is 100 points, only to immediately be told it's out of 850.
  • The Mafia: Jake infiltrates a crime family for 6 months.
  • Maternity Crisis: In the Season 7 finale, Amy goes into labor while attempting to help coordinate the police response to a citywide blackout. She (badly) attempts to hide the pain of her contractions for so long, that when she finally admits she can't handle it anymore, she's forced to give birth in the precinct because she doesn't have time to reach the hospital.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • During Peralta's dismissive robot impression of what he expects the new precinct captain to be like, you can see Holt—the new precinct captain in question—walk up behind him.
    • In the Season 1 finale, you can see Captain Holt getting a phone call as he, Peralta and Santiago are walking down the hallway. This is when the FBI told Holt that Peralta would have to deny having evidence so as not to ruin a deep undercover case.
  • Meaningful Name: "Amy" is derived from a French word meaning "beloved," while "Santiago" is a Spanish name derived from the Hebrew name "Jacob." "Amy Santiago" quite literally means "beloved by Jacob." Those who study naming etymology were even less surprised than everyone else of what happens in Amy's future.
  • Meet Cute:
    • Mentioned by name by Scully when talking about meeting his wife after she had just left an orgy.
    • In "HalloVeen", we see in a flashback that Jake and Amy had such a moment... for all of two seconds, before Boyle came along and torpedoed it.
  • Memory Wipe Exploitation: A more benign version when Pimento's memory resets every five minutes or so. Jake has been forbidden by his wife Amy to tell anyone they're trying for a baby, but he's excited and is going crazy not telling anyone, so he tells Pimento, since he won't remember anyway. Except this backfires when he does remember just long enough to blurt it out in front of Jake's best friend Charles — who is pissed Pimento was told before him.
  • Mirror Character:
    • In the episode "Christmas", we start to see shades of Holt and Peralta, acting like each other. It's made even clearer when flashbacks show that young Holt was more brash and cocky than he is now—much like Peralta, and it then becomes clear that this is the case when Holt becomes more and more of a Blood Knight throughout the seasons.
      Peralta: Wow, I think I really would have gotten along with young Ray Holt.
      Holt: Yes, that's why I decided to change everything about my life.
    • Jake and Doug Judy, the Pontiac Bandit, are both playful lovers of all the same things, love jokes and gambits, and both love their mothers very much.
  • Mistaken Death Confirmation: Played for laughs with Scully multiple times.
    • In "Fancy Brudgrom", a flashback to Scully in the The '70s shows him collapse after taking diet pills. Hitchcock checks his pulse and cries, "HE'S DEAAD!" Jump Cut to the present and Scully casually explains that he was actually in a coma. Justified, since Hitchcock isn't the best judge of... well, anything.
    • In "The Negotiation", Scully fakes a heart attack (which he refers to as "turning his heart off") while delivering food to Doug Judy and the hostages in order to distract the cops outside. When the hostage negotiator believes the body under the sheet is Doug Judy, he lifts the sheet to reveal Scully, who was mistaken for dead by the medical examiners because his pulse is, by Scully's own admission, "super weak".
  • Mistaken for Brooding: To demonstrate that Holt's mood is impossible to determine, a flashback showed Rosa comment that Holt seems down and asked him if he had a rough weekend. He actually just came back from vacation with his husband and had never felt better. Inverted in the same episode when Terry thinks Holt seems chipper, but actually there was a fire in Holt's home and he was devastated. Later Terry paints a picture of Holt which was meant to look serious, Holt is impressed that Terry was able to make him look so happy.
  • Money Dumb: One of Jake's (many, many) problems with living as an adult is that he loves to spend money on all kinds of unnecessary things such as multiple massage chairs, a DJ table, etc. He also has no idea of how in debt he is because he throws away letters containing that information.
  • Mood Whiplash: The stakeout in the pilot episode is fairly comedic and lighthearted until Captain Holt reveals that the reason his career stalled out for so long is because of the institutional discrimination he faced as a gay man. Peralta even (briefly) drops his clownish demeanor and apologizes for his earlier antics.
  • Murder, Arson, and Jaywalking:
    • The Vulture steals an arrest from Rosa just as she's about to break down a door, poaches a perp from Amy while she's reading him his rights, and swipes Charles' coffee just as he's about to take it from the barista.
      Charles: I used a gift card for that!
    • In "Sabotage":
      Jake: Okay. This is everyone I could think of who'd want to mess with my life. Perps, people I've testified against, the old guy who lived underneath me when I was learning the Gangnam-style dance.
    • After finding out what Hitchcock and Scully were like in their prime.
      Jake: You guys were so cool and alert and job-doing.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: From the first Thanksgiving Episode.
    Peralta: I'd just like to say that I am happy to be here with my family. My super-weird family with two black dads and two Latina daughters and two white sons and Gina and... [looks at Scully] I don't know what you are. Some strange... giant baby?
  • Never My Fault:
    • The episode "Hostage Situation" has Santiago getting upset that Jeffords supposedly wrote her a bad recommendation letter for a mentorship program because she broke his nose and spilled coffee on him. She actually has the gall to be offended that he's angry about it.
    • A recurring theme with Gina, too, best shown with her bratty behavior over her space heater (which is dangerous and she's angry that Terry is trying to ban it) who even lampshades it:
      How was I supposed to know there'd be consequences for my actions?
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The final season was set and released in 2021. The final scene takes place after a one-year Time Skip, meaning that it takes place in the year 2022.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!:
    • Santiago. Her over-competitive nature is introduced in a flashback in the pilot when Scully warns her that the sauce she's applying to her sandwich is incredibly hot. He's not even challenging her, he's merely pointing this out to her. Her response is to snarl "Oh, is it?!", pop off the cap, and defiantly drench the sandwich in hot sauce. One bite later, she's instantly regretting it.
      Jeffords: [Santiago's] got seven brothers, so she's always trying to prove she's tough.
    • Holt and Jake also love to be told they can't do something, because they'll instantly do it, or try to, at least.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: D.C. Parlov bears an undeniable resemblance to George R. R. Martin.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A recurring theme throughout the series is that most of the time, doing the right thing ends up costing you something important. Jake and Holt are the most common victims of this, with the former having to give up (sometimes major) opportunities or face punishment for doing the right thing, while the latter toiled away for decades in order to get far enough to improve the NYPD, but at many points was unfairly prevented from doing so by the system or more rarely by unfair consequences, but all heroic characters on the show have suffered this in various ways, from dramatic like Rosa's decision to investigate a crooked cop causing her to ending up in prison to mundane like Amy's attempt to help her friends or improve the force being met with dismissiveness at best.
  • Noodle Incident: Part of the reason Wuntch hates Holt is an incident never explained beyond:
    Wuntch: You embarrassed me in front of Derek Jeter!
    Holt: You embarrassed yourself in front of Derek Jeter.
  • No Social Skills: To varying degrees, but for a group of police officers in general, the Nine-Nine don't exactly excel when it comes to personal skills.
    • Peralta is on the 'lesser' side of the scale; he can be very charming when he wants to be, but his immaturity and Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies frequently gets in the way.
    • Holt's robotic, stoic nature frequently suggests that he barely seems to understand how humans work at times.
    • Santiago gets nervous, awkward, and flustered easily, leading her to babble, stumble over her words, and do strange things out of sheer panic.
    • Diaz shares Holt's robotic stoicism and his lack of understanding of how normal human emotions work, but with added anger issues on top of it.
    • Boyle just blurts out whatever thoughts go through his head regardless of how weird or creepy they come across.
    • Gina's fundamental narcissism means that she's usually utterly disinterested in the people she's interacting with to begin with.
    • Hitchcock and Scully just seem to live in their own strange, not-very-bright little world.
    • About the only member of the squad who seems able to effectively navigate adult human social interactions on a consistent basis is Jeffords, which frequently places him in the Only Sane Man role when it comes to this. A Running Gag is that whenever the Nine-Nine is representing the precinct or interacting en masse with non-cops in a non-police work related social setting, he frequently ends up having to take them all aside and mentor them in how to actually interact with people.
  • Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used to Be: In "Old School", Peralta's hero—a journalist who wrote a true-crime novel about a tough gang of 1970s New York cops—shows up, prompting Peralta to idealize the old 1970s cops. Holt, an openly gay African American who was actually there, takes a far less rosy-eyed view of the past:
    Holt: The '70s were not a good time for the city or for the department. Corruption, brutality, sexism... Diaz or Santiago never would have made detective, and an openly gay man like me? I never would have been given my own command.
  • Not Afraid of Hell: Played for Laughs by Pimento, who has no fear of anything as a result of having been undercover with Figgis for years and being forced to participate in various horrors. Gina is the only person who's able to one-up him with a Badass Boast.
    Gina: I worked at a sunglasses kiosk at the mall for four years, so not only have I been through Hell, I was assistant manager there.
  • Notary Nonsense: Amy loves doing paperwork and is very proud about being a notary. When Jake, by this point her husband and father to her child, uses a different notary for something, she reacts like he had an affair.
    Jake: But he's not lying, Terry will not be heisting. I had him get a notarized letter that says he legally cannot win.
    Amy: You cheated on me with another notary?
    Jake: I mean, you're making it sound more intimate than it was. He just embossed something.
    Amy: Just embossed? What else are you gonna tell me? Did you just put your thumbprint in his log book?
    Jake: Both of them.
    Amy: Oh, my God. You know what? We'll talk about this later.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Very downplayed, it's because of the messy way Boyle and Gina broke up that their parents started dating and later got married. The sex was long over by the time they became family. Still, Gina instructs Boyle to scratch the "I used to boink my new stepsister" from his best man toast.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Holt eventually betrays that he has a good wit and sense of humor, it's just filtered through his stone-faced expressions (like most of his insults to Wuntch "If you're here, who's guarding Hades?"). Even then in the right circumstances he demonstrates an Out of Character laugh or gleeful fist pump, which is made all the more hilarious.
    • Rosa is not so much "stoic" as much "hates everyone," but a few episodes show that she does have a sensitive side and is afraid of connecting with people.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: In one episode, Jake's idea of a healthy breakfast is a "burrito" which us actually just gummy bears wrapped up in a fruit roll-up.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Scully and Hitchcock can actually be competent from time to time. Just don't let the world know. It might affect their nap time.
      • They also have a moral compass deep down. In season 7, they voluntarily mess up a case to make sure the main witness, an undocumented immigrant, would not have to testify in court, where ICE would likely arrest him.
    • Holt and Peralta try to break a murder suspect in interrogation with a tactic called "smart cop, dumb cop," wherein Peralta plays dumb to make Holt look like the only threat, suckering the suspect into lowering their guard around Peralta.
    • Gina uses this to manipulate people, going so far as to forge her report cards (with lower grades) to cement the illusion.
      Gina: If people knew how smart I was, it would have been harder to control them.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Charles, whose biological father was a man his mother had an affair with. Lynn decided to raise him regardless. The reason he never figured it out is that he's the Boyle-est of them all.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging:
    • In the B-plot to "The Apartment", Diaz and Boyle get back on Det. Lohank shaving on her keyboard by filling his locker full of loose hair and shaving cream. However, when they talk to him and ask him if he's going to hit his locker before going to the gym, he tells them that he hasn't gone to the gym in a while because he's been having marital problems, his wife's become addicted to painkillers, and his dog accidentally got out and was hit by a drunk driver, and says his vet told him that the dog's suffering was "unending and terrible."
      Lohank: ...I'm sorry, I'm just venting a little. I appreciate it.
      Diaz: O-of course, anything for a friend like you. Charles, can I see you for a minute?
      Boyle: Yep. [both hastily leave for the locker room]
    • When he catches them cleaning up the mess, Holt angrily points out that Lohank has been diagnosed with cancer, thus unwittingly adding to the carpet-bombing of guilt that Boyle and Diaz have already experienced:
      Diaz: Of course he has...
  • Obsessive Hobby Episode: In one episode, Captain Holt becomes obsessed with a Match-3 game on his phone.
  • Odd Couple: Jake tends to generate this dynamic with his co-workers:
    • With Holt, he's the irreverent young white detective to Holt's stern, serious and experienced captain.
    • With Santiago, he's a childish, laid-back foil to her straight-laced, uptight go-getter.
    • With Boyle, he's the cool guy to Boyle's awkward bumbler. Despite this, they're best friends (although Boyle's Yes-Man tendencies towards Peralta no doubt help here).
    • With Diaz, he's the friendly, sociable one while she's... not.
    • With Jeffords, he's a head-in-the-clouds and immature bachelor while Jeffords is a grounded and devoted family man.
    • In terms of being the main characters of the series, the serious, imposing and stern Holt and the irreverent, mischievous Peralta have this dynamic.
  • Odd Friendship: Pretty much any pair you can think of amongst the 99.
  • Office Romance:
    • Detectives Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago both work at Precinct 99 of NYPD. It starts with Jake teasing Amy constantly and Amy being either annoyed or amused. Later Jake realizes he likes her for real; they have the classic will-they-won't-they tension, and both date other people. They later get together, agree to take it slowly and casually, but it's not working out — both want a serious relationship. The Vulture (their captain) tries to break them up (and he actually abuses his power of a superior because they are not breaking any rule). Once they screw up a case because they argue during a stakeout and their cover is blown. However, they keep dating, then start living together, then Jake proposes, Amy says yes and they get married in season 5 finale. Amy is the more ambitious one and she becomes a sergeant.
    • Detective Charles Boyle has a huge crush on detective Rosa Diaz with "badass bitch" attitude. He keeps asking her out nervously. She doesn't reciprocate, but they become close friends instead.
    • Gina (an assistant responsible for administrative stuff) and Boyle start having casual sex for a while. They break it off with no hard feelings, but Gina is embarrassed when their colleagues find out about them.
  • Office Sports: NYPD detectives from Precinct 99 love those:
    • Exaggerated in episode "The Jimmy Jab Games". The event is described by Diaz as "a bunch of dumb contests we play to kill time"; examples would be "the monster mouth bagel toss" (trying to hit Scully's mouth with a piece of bagel), "the mouthathon" (eating month-old Chinese food from the fridge) or "bulky bulky run run" (the bomb suit foot race), "keep your cover" (they must talk to as many officers without being recognized) and "obstacle course".
    • Jake Peralta does FBP ("the full bullpen"): he skids on his socks all the way from Holt's office to the elevator.
    • They play bowling with huge barrels of water; Jake tosses them with a swivel chair, with Charles Boyle sitting in it.
  • Official Couple: After some will-they-won't-they tension, Jake and Amy get officially together at the beginning of Season 3. They make a cute couple and Amy is pumped that Captain Holt totally approves of them.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Roger accidentally cutting his thumb off.
    Jake: Again?
    Roger: The other one.
  • Once a Season:
    • The first season Halloween Episode Jake bet Holt that he could steal an item from his office without him knowing, earning the title of Ultimate Detective/Genius. Each season on Halloween the detectives compete in a heist, which escalates every year and more people getting involved. Changed to Human/Genius the year Gina won, since discriminating against non-detectives is, quote, "worse than segregation."
    • The Pontiac Bandit Doug Judy shows up for one episode every season, a Friendly Rival to Jake who always sneaks away at the end. Lampshaded in the fifth season, where after getting away again Peralta suggests they wait 12 months because that's when he'll probably see him again.
    • There was a Paintball Episode in the first two seasons.
    • The Season Finale typically results in a change to the status quo, which results in the first few episodes of the following season dealing with the fallout and eventually go back to the way things are supposed to be.
  • Once More, with Clarity: In "Old School", it's revealed near the end that Jake punched Brogan in the face, but the full context of the immediately preceding conversation isn't shown until later, when it's revealed that Jake punched him because he derisively referred to Holt as a "homo".
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: After Peralta arrests an 86-year-old and notes it was his oldest arrest, Diaz and Santiago compare their oldest collars. Boyle then walks in and mentions the 68-year-old that he had bagged, before Diaz realizes that Boyle's not talking about an arrest.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted; two minor characters named "Kate": Jake's half-sister and Doug Judy's fiancee.
  • Only Sane Employee: Given the general level of sanity operating within the Nine-Nine and the fact that all of our main characters possess plenty of quirks, the role of "voice of reason and good sense within the precinct" tends to zig-zag between characters depending on the situation and context. However, Jeffords and Holt tend to fill this role more than the others, both because they're the ones in positions of authority, Jeffords because his quirks tend to only emerge within particular situations and his default characterization tends to be level-headed and stable, and Holt because his quirks generally tend to lead him to approach situations logically to begin with. The only two characters who have yet to serve the role as "Only Sane Employee" are Hitchcock and Scully, for perhaps obvious reasons.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the season two finale, Holt gives an emotional goodbye speech to the team. Peralta lampshades how out of character it is for him.
  • Opinion Flip Flop:
    • Boyle has quite a few of these, having something of a wimpy demeanor in general. Most of them are prompted by Detective Diaz, whom he clearly has a crush on, saying something that contradicts him and his desperate attempts to try and impress her.
    • Santiago has this as well when it comes to Holt as part of her being a Professional Butt-Kisser.
  • Out of Focus:
    • The show's normally pretty good about including every cast member in every episode, but the season 4 premiere, "Coral Palms, Part 1" is notable for featuring none of the main characters aside from Holt and Peralta, and for taking place entirely outside of Brooklyn.
    • Gina is absent for the first half of Season 5, as both the character and actress were on maternity leave. (She is then Put on a Bus in Season 6, so the show resorts to generally highlighting each character equally.)
  • Overly-Long Gag: A Running Gag has someone go on a very long and convoluted conversation, where the audience is only privy to certain parts at 20-minute intervals via subtitles. One especially epic version was Rosa going undercover to meet a hairdresser and pry information about her boyfriend, someone with mob ties. She starts off with a basic haircut, but in needing to prolong the session she asks to get a perm, and Gina feeds her a VERY long story to get the hairdresser to let down her guard. Needing more time still, Rosa asks to go blonde. By the end of the episode Jake sees a blonde, permed, and VERY sour-faced Rosa out of context.
    • In "Fancy Brudgrom" there's Holt trying to get Rosa to sincerely apologize to another police officer by showing her how to say it. Given both being The Stoic, it becomes both of them saying it in monotone several times until Holt says she got it.
    • In "The Crime Scene", Jake challenges Rosa to rock paper scissors to prove that he doesn't always select paper. They play eight rounds with Jake picking paper and Rosa picking scissors before Jake gives up.
      Jake: God, this reverse psychology is a bust!
  • Paintball Episode: "Tactical Village" features an NYPD training course. They perform so well at the course that they are the only non-federal agency invited to a similar training course in "Windbreaker City".
  • Parental Sexuality Squick:
    • Jake hates hearing about his father's sex life and is still traumatized by the time he accidentally witnessed his father cheating on his mother.
    • Amy sees Holt as a father figure and is grossed out by talking about his sex life.
    • Averted with Jake, who also sees Holt as a Parental Substitute, but loves hearing about his love life.
      Jake: I can't believe I'm saying this, but we don't have time to hear about the Captain's sordid romantic past.
      Gina: What have you become?
      Jake: A hero in a time of crisis.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: At the end of "The Bet". Just as Peralta's "bad date" had tanked and he'd been getting a little closer to Santiago, the stripper he hired early on to cap things off finally shows up.
  • Pocket Dial:
    • "The Funeral": Scully's pocket-dialing the Vulture is how the Vulture knows that Jake only pretends to befriend him.
      Jake: So, what, you bugged the briefing room?
      The Vulture: No, Scully butt-dialed me yesterday and he still hasn't hung up.
    • When Terry tells the squad not to call him over the Christmas holiday, he refers to last year, in which Scully called him FIFTY times.
      Scully: No, I only called you once. My butt called you the other 49 times.
  • Police Are Useless: Played with. The main characters are quirky but competent police officers. However, the other detectives in the squad are described by Jeffords as completely useless. Later, Gina tells Holt that she wants to learn how to shoot because the local cops are useless. She lives in the area policed by Precinct 99. Although in Gina's case, she does have a habit of outright trolling Holt and the other cops, and the real reason she was there was as an official witness to get Jeffords re-certified to go into the field.
  • Power Dynamics Kink: Jake is very into it when Amy (his girlfriend, fiancé, then wife) acts domineering, which increases when she's promoted to Sergeant. For instance, when she's twisting his thumb around during the Halloween Heist, he asks her to "do it harder".
  • The Precarious Ledge: Jake, Charles, and Pimento get stuck on one in "Pimemento".
  • Precious Puppy:
    • More often than not, Captain Holt's corgi Cheddar will spend his appearances in this role, as while the characters treat the little guy with seriousness, he'll still be the happy little pooch he always is.
    • One Season 1 B-plot has Holt somehow winding up with two of these that he tries to pass to someone in the team. Anyone.
    • In Season 3, a similar thing happens to Rosa after she attempts a Replacement Goldfish for one of Boyle's dogs that has passed away. He responds angrily that he can't just replace the dog, but Rosa ends up adoring the puppy, Arlo, herself.
  • Prison Episode: "The Big House, Part 1" and "Part 2", the first two episodes of Season 5, take place largely inside the walls of the fictional Jericho Supermax Prison in South Carolina after Jake and Rosa are framed for the Golden Gang's bank heists by crooked 'hero cop' Lt. Hawkins at the end of Season 4.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Dirk Blocker (Hitchcock) and Joel McKinnon Miller (Scully) in Season 6. The pair were originally credited as guest stars in season 1, and were promoted to regulars in season 2. However, they weren't added to the opening title sequence until after Chelsea Peretti's departure early in season 6.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: A Running Gag is Boyle correcting Jake's pronunciation of the name of his adopted son Nikolaj—only both are pronouncing it the same.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: In "48 Hours", Peralta causes everyone at the precinct to have to work a case all weekend due to a knee-jerk arrest with insufficient evidence. Everyone hates him for it.

    Tropes Q to S 
  • Queer Colors: Captain Holt, who is openly gay, displays his pride through his office accessories. He keeps a small rainbow flag in his desktop pen holder, and his shelves hold a row of six binders that are each one of the rainbow's colors.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Terry and Holt both loved model train sets, but with very opposing ideologies. Terry focuses on the Cool Train aspects but Holt opts for accuracy and realism. It becomes a sore point for both of them when they find out that no one else is interested, not children or even Kevin.
  • Randomly Reversed Letters: Parodied in episode "Tactical Village", where Gina claims that the addictive computer game "Kwazy Kupcakes" has a reversed w.
  • Rash Promise: In season 5, Amy is approached by mob boss, Seamus Murphy to exchange information on the set-up against Jake and Rosa for a favor. She refuses, and later Holt shows up with proof to free Jake and Rosa, saving the day. It turns out Holt took the offer, and later Seamus asks them to throw a block party so a truck will be rerouted and his men can rob it. However, when the detectives manage to outwit Murphy, he proves how dangerous he can be by threatening Kevin's life.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: In the pilot, when Terry is giving the run-down on the other officers, he gives a nice well-prepared blurb about all of them, especially Peralta finishing with a tag-line esque "The only puzzle he hasn't solved is how to grow up." Holt lampshades this by saying it was very well put, and Terry justifies the trope by saying he's talked a lot about Jake at his department-ordered therapy.
  • Real Stitches for Fake Snitches: Invoked when the team stages an attempt on the life of a corrupt FBI agent who refused to testify against the mobster he was working for to make him think the mobster was trying to kill him to make sure he couldn't testify. This causes the agent to give up an incriminating file that brings down the mobster's organization.
  • Real Time: Episode "Ticking Clocks". Peralta and Diaz have 19 minutes to catch a hacker who is somewhere in the precinct building, hacking into their servers. The episode starts off with Scully and Hitchcock putting a lasagna in the microwave and setting it to cook for 21:30—the exact length of the episode. The Stinger to the episode has Scully and Hitchcock eating said lasagna.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Subverted in the last scene of Season 1's last episode. After a Will They or Won't They? plot that's been going on for the whole season, the penultimate scene with Diaz and Boyle suggests something might actually happen between the two. The final scene then shows Boyle in bed, the camera slowly panning to what will obviously be a Bedmate Reveal... Except that said bedmate turns out to be Gina!
    • After 2 seasons of relentless UST Jake and Amy finally get their Big Damn Kiss at the very end of season 2. The wedding happens exactly three seasons later.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Discussed in the episode "9 Days": After Charles' dog, Jason, dies, Rosa quickly gets him another dog and basically tells him to accept the dog and move on. This enrages the still-grieving Charles who storms off after the talk, leaving Rosa with the dog. She ends up bonding with said dog, now named Arlo, after which she holds an impromptu funeral service for Jason where she states she understands why Charles mourns for Jason and gives him some time to recover from the loss.
    "When Jason died, seven days ago, I didn't give a rat's ass. Because I didn't understand why people care so much about their dumb dogs… until I got a dumb dog myself. I've only had Arlo for a day and a half, but if anything happened to him, I would kill everyone in this room and then myself. Charles, I'm sorry. You don't have to get over it. Take as long as you want."
  • Repression Never Ends Well: Jake and Boyle arrogantly believe they can manage an eight-day stakeout without a relief team. Unfortunately, they quickly realize how hellish it really is, but in order to prove themselves right, they pretend everything is fine and formulate a No-No List to ban potentially annoying behaviors. This only makes things worse and eventually results in a massive fight between the two as they are unable to keep it together any longer.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: A few songs had to be replaced for the versions on streaming services. The subtitles still show the song titles and lyrics from when it originally aired.
  • Retcon:
    • Holt had at least as much interest in food as Charles back in Season 1, before his Plain Palate became one of the RunningGags.
    • In Season 1, Amy says Rosa refers to her parents as "smiling morons and hug freaks". When we see them is season five, they're much sterner. That said, Season 1 Rosa was much more tightlipped about her personal life, so she may not have been telling the truth.
    • In Season 6's "The Bimbo", Holt tells Jake that Kevin's co-workers think he's one of these because he's "working-class". However, given that Holt's mother is not only a judge, but one of the first black female judges, this seems extremely unlikely.
  • Retroactive Stepsibling Relationship: When Gina and Boyle break off their Friends with Benefits fling before Valentines Day, they are horrified to realize they accidentally set their single parents up in the same romantic hotel room together, since each took their child's reservation. It gets more awkward when Boyle's father and Gina's mother decide to move in together. While the two initially try to break their parents up, they see how happy their parents are together, and even help them get married. Later subverted when Gina forces her cheating mother to divorce Boyle's dad. Boyle's tendency to use Accidental Innuendo does not help matters.
    Boyle: Oh, it's just my former lover. Hello, sister.
    Gina: Ugh. I hate when you say those things back-to-back.
  • Rewatch Bonus: "HalloVeen" once it is revealed Jake was using the heist to set up his marriage proposal to Amy.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Rosa swears that if anything happens to her puppy, she will kill everyone in the Precinct, and then herself.
  • Rousing Speech: Parodied in "Halloween", Peralta claims to Holt that in order to get everyone else to help him win his bet to steal Holt's Medal of Valor, he delivered "a rousing speech that would put Shakespeare to shame"... that failed to convince anyone. His offer to do their paperwork for them, on the other hand...
  • Rule of Three:
    • One episode has one Cutaway Gag after another when different members of the team mention how Holt simply cannot emote. The fourth one is when Hitchcock comes in with his own Cutaway Gag, where he claims he can't read Holt either even when Holt was clearly on his last nerve and yelling at him at the time.
    • While trying to give relationship advice near the end of "New Captain", Boyle punches Jake three times, twice for saying something stupid and once because he's already really worked up.
    • Three flashbacks at the end of "HalloVeen" - Terry claims he gave Jake the idea to propose to Amy via a metaphor about mixing yogurts. Boyle claims he gave Jake the idea to propose to Amy when he introduced them in 2009. Jake then flashes back to when he knew he wanted to propose to Amy for real - when she freaked out about a typo in the crossword puzzle six months prior.
  • Running Gag:
    • Early on they seemed to be setting flashbacks to the tenure of Holt's predecessor, Captain McGintley, where he leaves his office to find the rest of the station goofing off, asks what they're doing and being given a matter-of-fact answer, before simply responding "okay" and walking back into his office. Ultimately, only a couple were shown.
    • Flashbacks to Holt's past career in the 1970s and 1980s—which provide an excellent excuse to give Andre Braugher an era-appropriate mustache, dress him up in an afro-wig and a collection of extremely tasteless suits—tend to pop up quite frequently.
    • When arresting a perp, Holt has a tendency to call them a punk, to the point that when Jake arrests a serial killer in front of him he insists Jake call the perp a punk as well.
    • Every perp Holt has ever arrested seems to have a cool Serial Killer nickname (the Disco Strangler, the Brooklyn Broiler, etc.).
    • Peralta taking things Santiago says out of context and claiming they'd be good titles for her sex tape. It has a neat progress: He calls them Santiago's sex tapes, then Amy's sex tapes, then has one Freudian Slip and calls it "title of our sex tape" when he tries to tell her he likes her for the first time, but immediately corrects himself. Then taken to its natural conclusion when Jake makes the joke while in bed with Amy.
      Amy: I hope it wasn't a mistake.
      Jake: "I Hope it Wasn't a Mistake": Title of your sex tape. [Beat] Title of our sex tape!
    • Sgt. Jeffords' fondness for yogurt has been brought up on several occasions, usually with one character remarking that "Terry loves yogurt." Even Terry himself says it like this.
    • "Terry loves [X]." or "Terry hates [X]." Terry's one-liners about Terry in general.
    • Terry letting out a Big "WHY?!" when confronted with his coworkers' shenanigans.
    • Nobody knows anything personal about Rosa, especially in the first and second season. Whenever something about her life is mentioned, it contradicts her badass exterior (jewelry making, trained in gymnastic, does yoga, she likes Gilmore Girls etc.)
    • Amy's tolerance and reaction to alcohol is measured on a scale. One-Drink Amy gets a little spacey. Two-Drink Amy talks loudly. Three-Drink Amy is "dancepants" Amy. Four-Drink Amy is a bit of a pervert. Five-Drink Amy is "weirdly confident". Six-Drink Amy gets depressed very easily etc.
    • Whenever the team has to put on new outfits or assume new identities, they will be introduced with a slow-motion Team Power Walk set to badass music.
    • Hitchcock will find any excuse to take his shirt off.
    • Hitchcock manages to cut himself at every opportunity, no matter how unlikely it is.
    • Hitchcock's perverted Dirty Old Man tendencies pop up often.
    • Scully nonchalantly discussing his various disgusting medical ailments, which frequently centre around his feet.
    • Peralta will latch on to any excuse to develop an overly elaborate undercover/role-play identity for his current assignment, even when it's something as simple as running a sting to catch a graffiti artist or chasing down a perp by getting the suspects to sign a document.
    • Captain Holt being found hilarious by everyone but his actual coworkers.
    • The criminals the squad deal with have a tendency to get sucked into the petty personal dramas of the detectives, to the point where they often end up nonchalantly confessing to their crimes. They also tend not to be incredibly bright and terrible liars.
    • Boyle inevitably finds the grossest, weirdest or creepiest ways of expressing his thoughts, even though the sentiment itself may be actually rather sweet.
    • Boyle's obsession with gourmet food. The weirder, the better. Foods from all over the world make an appearance. He twice connects with women over food, too: his ex-fiancee Vivian and partner Genevieve are both food obsessed as well.
    • Boyle has numerous family members who all have weird habits, weirder than Boyle. Many of his male family members have traditionally feminine names, e.g. Becca, Pam or Lynn.
    • In the second season, whenever the subject turns to romance between the detectives Boyle is constantly advising that washing your partner's hair is the most romantic thing you can do.
    • Boyle ships Amy and Jake, at times rather inappropriately, e.g. him pushing them to have children asap.
    • The members of the Nine-Nine using bird-calls to 'secretly' communicate with each other while enacting their various schemes. They will usually be indoors in rather incongruous locations while doing so.
    • Any time that Jake is prompted to do a Big "NO!", a Big "WHAT?!", a Say My Name or a similar Big Word Shout (which is quite often), the episode will somehow intervene to cut him off before he finished (either by cutting to commercial, beginning the credits or ending).
    • Gina has a tendency to throw things that aren't hers into the garbage.
    • Boyle seems to find Terry's body disgusting, in contrast to literally everybody else.
    • Peralta, whenever someone discusses something he finds either confusing, weird or doesn't understand will often respond along the lines of "Mmhmm, mmhmm, [word he doesn't get] and whatnot."
    • Peralta will occasionally buy an extremely expensive cup of coffee for someone, only for them to turn it down.
    • Someone will mention Charles' adopted son Nikolaj, and Charles will tell them it is pronounced Nikolaj, which is no different than how it was pronounced. When Nikolaj's bio dad appears, he's not satisfied with Charles' pronunciation of the name either.
    • Whenever gay Captain Holt plays a straight character (e.g. when he's undercover), he will fixate on breasts and describe them in elaborate detail.
    • Canada, Eh? is often brought up, either as a nice place, but more likely as the butt of jokes. Nine-Nine people just can't help themselves and snark at how unspeakably nice and safe or boring and useless Canada is compared to Brooklyn.
    • Amy loves making lists, laminating, organizing (she even reads a magazine for organizers), expensive stationary, pens, binders (she loves their smell, too), old books...
    • Pimento has no sense of what's appropriate and his crazy antics get crazier every time he resurfaces. He will casually bring up horrible experiences from his years spent undercover among mafia or hiding abroad and sometimes he will refer to them as fun, like getting mugged in Argentina; next minute, he will scream that they have no idea what it's like to have to eat your own toe as a loyalty test.
    • Teddy is the most boring man in America. His only interest is drinking pilsners, making pilsners, bottling pilsners, talking about pilsners...
    • When Rosa dates Jocelyn who is at cosmetology school, she lets her do her make-up and, later, hair. Most noticeable in episode "The Crime Scene" where she has a different haircut for each scene; some nice and understated, but usually it's a Gag Haircut.
  • Sanity Ball: The role of straight man is passed around a lot, primarily between Terry, Holt, Amy, and Rosa.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: See I'm a Humanitarian.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Rosa quits the force and becomes a PI early in season 8, having had an epiphany the explosion of the BLM movement. She remains close to the 99 and occasionally works with them. This is also one of the reasons that encourage Jake to leave the force in the finale, on top of being present for his son.
  • Secret Test of Character: While interviewing IT consultants, Gina repeatedly asks one what his favorite Jay-Z song is until he yells at her, she screams at another and flosses in front of the third. It turns out she was secretly pitting them against challenges they'd be facing every day: handling Hitchcock's daily questions about logging in, Rosa's constant angry outbursts, and the general disgusting nature of a police station that has to deal with both criminals and Hitchcock and Scully. Since none of the candidates manage to pass her tests, she recommends the hacker whose attack spurred the precinct to hire a new IT manager in the first place.
  • Self-Deprecation: Adam Sandler shows up As Himself in "Operation: Broken Feather" and gets into an argument with Peralta, which results in this exchange:
    Adam Sandler: I collect antiquities, I'm a serious person. I'm writing a movie right now about the Russian Revolution.
    Peralta: Oh, really? Who does Kevin James play in it?
    Adam Sandler: Ha ha, it's a serious movie.
    Adam Sandler: ... Trotsky. But he's got a wife who never wears a bra, I think you're gonna like it.
  • Self-Serving Memory:
    • After Holt apologizes for Peralta starting a brawl between the Fire Department and Police Department, Peralta points out he was the only saying they should stop hitting each other. Jump Cut to back to the fight, and...
      Peralta: Stop hitting them! Kicking them will hurt more!
    • Although Fire Marshall Boone isn't that much better; after the fight, he angrily demands that Holt fire Peralta for overstepping his boundaries and starting the fight—conveniently leaving out the fact that, while Peralta did overstep the mark, it was in fact Boone who threw the first punch (without provocation at that, since he didn't even wait for Peralta to finish speaking).
  • Sequel Episode:
  • Serious Business: The annual Halloween heist is taken very seriously by the characters, to the point characters will put their plans to acquire the year's trinket up a year before the competition takes place.
    • Lampshaded in the fifth season's heist, which Jake uses to propose to Amy. She initially thinks it's part of the heist.
  • Sexy Coat Flashing: In a flashback, Wuntch does this to Holt. Holt's reaction is a No-Sell, between his stoicism and homosexuality.
  • Shag Wagon: Hitchcock and Scully drive around in an old van which is a relic from a bygone era inside and out. Hitchcock calls it "The Beaver Trap", which is painted in very large letters on the outside. When Jake and Charles have to drive it, they feel very skeevy and regret not taking an Uber.
  • Share Phrase: Peralta and Holt saying "Bingpot!" when they find what they're looking for.
    Jake: BING...pot! ...Nope, I was gonna say bingo, but then I was like, "Jackpot's better", but then it was too late, I was halfway through the word.
  • Shared Family Quirks:
    • Whenever Boyle talks about his family life or his father shows up, it becomes obvious that eccentricity is a family thing. No matter what they're like otherwise, all Boyle cousins have an intense fondness for beige clothing and use "I love you" like punctuation.
    • Season 2 shows beyond a doubt that Boyle and Gina are both essentially Generation Xerox of their same-sex parent, though Gina's mother is arguably a bit more mellow than her daughter.
    • Holt and his mother are both high-powered, extremely stoic people involved in law enforcement.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Boyle, during a painkiller-induced truth bombing spree, gives Jake a pep talk about how Jake is too immature to properly admit his feelings for Amy. When he learns that they've kissed in the Season 2 finale, he becomes the uncontested captain of the Jake/Amy ship, squeeing unabashedly and insisting that they tell him everything!!.
    • Terry is rather gleeful upon finding out that Jake has feelings for Amy and suggests they get drunk so that Jake can at least temporarily forget about how Amy is dating Teddy.
    • Rosa also seems to ship Jake and Amy, as on more than one occasion she gives Jake advice about the best way to get Amy's attention.
    • And as for Captain Holt... "He approves!" Though in a later episode he does, apparently seriously, question Amy's life choices when faced with one of Jake's Felony Misdemeanor personality traits.
    • Let's be honest, the Belligerent Sexual Tension between Jake and Amy is so blatant that they've actually been shipped by perps they were in the middle of arresting... (see Comically Missing the Point, above). Even Doug Judy, Jake's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, is openly supportive of them as a couple.
    • Jake/Amy may be the main ship in the show, but it's also clear from early on that everyone in the 99 is very much shipping Holt and Kevin as well.
  • Ship Sinking: The first season initially hinted at making Boyle/Diaz a thing, but it became increasingly clear that almost no one was on board with it. The creators eventually torpedoed it by having the other characters disapprove of it, Rosa herself bluntly tell Boyle that nothing was going to happen, and Boyle himself eventually move on to other people.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The show also occasionally hinted that Diaz, despite her attitude, might be more fond of Boyle than she lets on. As of the second half of Season One, these hints diminished, and they've been solidly established as Better as Friends.
    • The first episode of Season Two begins teasing Boyle and Gina. Even when their hookups stop, Gina admits he "isn't horrible" in bed, which is high praise for her. However, it's dropped entirely by Season 3, when Boyle meets and instantly falls in love with Genevieve.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Much like Scrubs and Night Court, being a comedy without the need for high stakes drama lets the show more realistically depict the inner workings of law enforcement. In particular is Holt's constant demands on getting paperwork done.
    • In the very first episode, Santiago expresses hope that Captain Holt will be her 'rabbi'. It is real-life police slang to refer to an older police mentor as a 'rabbi' that helps a new cop learn the ropes after joining the force.
    • When designing the character of Holt, the police advisers for the show told the producers that the New York police had made great strides in the 90s towards minority officers, but would often relegate them to PR positions. Thus Holt was written as having spent years in PR work before getting his own precinct.
    • Many episodes realistically depict the amount of drudgery needed to effectively close cases, including "door duty" (knocking on doors for witness statements), months to years of working informants, research & surveillance for leads on high-profile criminals, as well as the changing face of investigation in the Information Age.
  • Silly Prayer: In "Show Me Going", Gina prays like this when she and Amy are trying to fix the broken toilet while Rosa is in an active shooter situation.
    Gina: First, let's say a prayer. Dear Beyoncé, Solange, Rihanna, someone cool that's white, Cardi B, please bless this flush. A-women.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • The petty Field Marshall Boone was this for Season 1, where he and Jake were involved in one that often pulled in their co-workers into a general one between firefighters and police officers. This was dropped after Season 1, though.
    • The Vulture serves as this for all the detectives, due to his irritating demeanor and annoying habit of swooping in to steal their cases at the last minute.
    • Season 2 introduces Madeleine Wuntch, a fellow cop with whom Holt has had a bitter rivalry for decades. It's initially played for laughs but then played for drama near the end of the season, when she forcibly re-assigns Holt to a different department out of spite.
  • Sitcom Character Archetypes:
    • The Square: Terry.
    • The Wisecracker: Jake, Rosa.
    • The Bully: Rosa, Gina.
    • The Dork: Amy
    • The Goofball: Jake, Charles, Gina (on rare occasions, when she's not being the Bully).
    • The Sage: Holt.
  • Sleep Deprivation: In "48 Hours", everyone has to work over the weekend to find evidence against the perp Jake arrested and the whole precinct skips sleeping. They just take a three-hour nap.
  • Smile of Approval:
    • Liberal use of these marks Holt as a Defrosting Ice King towards every member of the 9-9, except Terry, who he smiles at more readily. Notable examples include his smile when he's told that Jake beat up his homophobic idol and when he leaves the Nine-Nine at the end of Season 2.
    • Despite the fact that they're very much in love, Holt's husband, Kevin, is also not at all demonstrative, but he gives Holt a genuine smile like this when Holt reads out romantic wedding vows during "Boyle-Linetti Wedding".
  • Smokescreen Crime: In the season 7 finale, Jake and Charles arrest a man who caused a citywide blackout by getting drunk and driving into a power substation. Jake and Charles notice that something is off when the man is not only sober, but is revealed to be a recovering alcoholic who has been clean for two years. It turns out that the man simply caused the blackout as a distraction so his friends could rob a bank.
  • Sock Slide Rink: Jake attempts this (as 'The Full Bull Pen' or FBP) in "Skyfire Cycle", in which he tries to slide all the way across the office floor in his socks after it's freshly waxed. He succeeds, but accidentally slides into the elevator and crashes into Holt. To everyone's surprise, Holt congratulates him for it.
  • Special Guest: Kid Cudi guest stars as a suspect in "48 Hours".
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • It's basically a twenty-first century equivalent to Barney Miller, a 1970s Work Com which also revolved around a straight-laced police captain in charge of a unit of eccentric detectives based out of a New York city police station.
    • It's pretty similar to The Unusuals, or at least the more comedic parts of that show.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In "Christmas", upon receiving a death threat Holt appoints Peralta as his bodyguard. Holt dismisses the threat as a hoax and appoints Peralta because he figures that Peralta will goof off as normal and thus leave him alone to carry on as normal. Unfortunately, not only does Peralta take the death threat a mite more seriously than Holt expects, but the position of Holt's bodyguard comes with numerous ways of asserting authority over Holt that Peralta is unable to pass up, thus providing more of an imposition on Holt. It's later revealed that Holt in fact knew the threat was real, but the trope plays out the same since Holt was actually hoping Peralta would leave him alone so that Holt could investigate the threat by himself.
  • Staggered Zoom: Onto Holt in Season 4 premiere "Coral Palms, Part 1", when he realizes that if they don't investigate the case they might be left indefinitely in witness protection in the worst place on earth, Florida.
  • The Stakeout: Frequently as it's a police procedural. A notable episode, actually titled Stakeout, is about Jake and Charles getting on each other's nerves after insisting that they could do an eight-day stakeout without a relief team.
  • Stamp of Rejection: When Charles's food truck is set on fire, the insurance investigator is the squad's former member Adrian Pimento. When Pimento feels slighted by Jake and Charles, he very dramatically stamps Charles's claim "DENIED".
  • Standard Office Setting: Precinct 99 of NYPD is located in an older New York building. All the detectives have a desk in the bullpen and their direct superior Captain Holt has a small office. The show is a Work Com and there is much office tomfoolery, e.g. the detectives bet each other who will have more arrests, Scully and Hitchcock are useless as detectives but make good coffee, Diaz has rage issues and is occasionally seen slapping computer screens or smashing printers (Percussive Maintenance/Percussive Therapy style); they argue over their break room, try to find secret hiding spots, or in one arc the office is overcrowded because one floor was shut down for maintenance because Captain Holt is unpopular with the higher-ups. They also often play cool Office Sports. And they actually do lots of police work.
  • Story Arc:
    • The Jimmy Figgis story arc spanning over 7 episodes, starting from "Paranoia" and ending with "Coral Palms, Part 3".
    • The corrupt cop/prison arc begins in the final episodes of Season 4 and concludes in the second episode of Season 5, although its ramifications are felt through Season 5 as the Nine-Nine are moved to the night shift.
    • The race to become commissioner, which begins early in Season 5 but only really heats up a few episodes in, and it lasts all the way through the season and into the first episode of Season 6, which reveals that Holt didn't get it.
  • Straight Gay: Holt takes this to extremes, being as he is The Stoic to such a degree that his coworkers consider his face to be completely unreadable. His husband Kevin is only slightly softer by virtue of using a variety of expressions and vocal inflections on a regular basis. It is also Played With here, in that Holt does have several features of stereotypical camp gay characters, they're just harder to notice because he is so reserved. He is fussy, neat, and cultured, for example, and is an amazing ballroom dancer. Not to mention the pride flag on his desk. He is, in fact, the head of a gay police officer's advocacy group, and has been out since the 1970s. When his sexuality was revealed in the first episode, the joke was not, as with many of these characters, simply that the character was unexpectedly gay, but that all the professional detectives that work under him didn't notice the really obvious signs. Like the framed newspaper article about how he was the first openly gay captain in the NYPD.
  • Stupid Crooks:
    • Discussed in "Halloween" after Peralta arrests a criminal who tried robbing a bank wearing a banana costume. During his getaway the crook managed to get himself trapped in a revolving door and then a dye pack exploded in his face. Peralta then claims that he would be a much better criminal and none of the other detectives could catch him. Holt disagrees and they end up making a bet whether Peralta can outsmart Holt and steal Holt's Medal of Valor before midnight.
    • Often played for laughs; in general, most of the crooks who show up on the show aren't exactly the brightest sparks out there.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Has its own page.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Jake on a regular basis, but most of the cast uses this tactic when undercover or bluffing a suspect/witness and the latter reveals information preemptively.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • Take Our Word for It: In "Fancy Brudgom", after Diaz apologizes to an officer she humiliated for mislabeling the weapon in a case, she takes him to the second floor to show him how to fix his mistake. But before stepping into the elevator:
    Diaz: Oh, one more sorry. You're about to see a drawing I did of you in the elevator. Just remember, I was really pissed at you at the time. [elevator door opens, and Officer Deetmore stares at the elevator with increasing horror and shock]
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Subverted when Doug Judy left a video message for Jake. Jake initially mistook it for video conferencing before Judy continued talking, and while Judy claims to know what Peralta is going to say nothing actually lines up.
  • Team Kids: while Terry and Holt are the Team Mom and Team Dad respectively (with Holt's husband Kevin also being referred to as the squad's dad sometimes), the rest of the squad are collectively the Team Kids, with Jake and Amy in particular both referring to Holt as their dad on separate occasions. This dynamic is even lampshaded a couple of different times.
    (in the season 1 episode "Thanksgiving")
    Jake: So, I'd just like to say I'm happy to be here... With my family. My super-weird family, with two black dads and two Latina daughters and two white sons and... Gina, and... (to Scully) I don't know what you are... Some strange giant baby?
    (in the season 8 episode "Lake House")
    Jake: The point is, we can't let that [divorce] happen to Daddy Holt and Daddy Kevin.
    Rosa: So we're just dispensing with subtext now?
    Jake: Yes, this workplace is my family. Was that not clear? Holt is my dad, you're my mean older sister...
  • Team Power Walk: Done by the main cast in the opening credits, and also whenever they assume cover identities.
  • Technician vs. Performer:
    • Amy Santiago vs. Jake Peralta, with the two of them even having a bet to see who can catch more criminals in a year. They both follow the two sections of this trope nearly perfectly, with Amy as the perfectionist By-the-Book Cop technican who always tries to do things properly in contrast to Jake, who desperately wants to be a Cowboy Cop and is quite frequently a Manchild.
    • To a lesser extent, Charles Boyle is also the technician in contrast to Peralta and to a lesser extent Rosa Diaz. While he is not as smart as Amy, as clever as Jake, or as intimidating as Rosa, he works harder than everyone else and is more than capable of keeping up with them.
  • Temporary Scrappy: Captain Dozerman is brought in as an unlikable replacement for Captain Holt and is then Killed Off for Real after just one episode, leading to Holt's eventual return.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage:
    • If a team gets door duty, we seem to get treated to this. So far this has occurred in the Pilot and "The Vulture".
    • Played with in "Sal's Pizza", in which Gina uses her Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies to freak out the interviewees. Later she explains why each interviewee was unsuited for the job.
    • "The Apartment" has Jake and Gina searching for an apartment to replace the eponymous one he's going to lose, and each one is horrible.
    • The team invokes this in "Charges and Specs" when asked to stall for Jake at the titular hearing.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Played surprisingly straight here. There's the overeager family member trying to make it all perfect (Double Subverted: looks to be Boyle, turns out to be Santiago) and bonding in the B-plot (Peralta and Holt).
  • That Came Out Wrong: Boyle is a magnet for this, but largely subverted in the sense that he rarely catches on to his own bad phrasing and everyone else has to tell him not to say things like that. Things like him referencing getting Shot in the Ass and saying that his "butt holes" still hurt.
  • Theme Naming: During the Coral Palms episodes set in Florida, most referenced local places are named for famous Miami Dolphins; there's a street named for Don Shula, a storage facility named for Larry Csonka, and a high school named for Dan Marino.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: 'Chuck' in "Captain Kim":
    Charles: That's how I always walk, bitch!
    Jake: Bitch!?
  • Token Minority: Holt is this in-universe; he's a good cop who got sidelined because he was openly gay, until times changed and the brass wanted to make a big deal about having a gay officer, which instead resulted in him being shunted into a primarily PR position with no actual caseload.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Diaz and Santiago, for a given value of 'Girly Girl' at least given that they're both police officers, not a typically 'Girly Girl' profession. Santiago is more fashionably conscious and quite often seen dressed up for a date or party. Diaz is perpetually sour-faced, wears black leather and has anger issues.
      Santiago: [talking about her planned first date that evening] Dinner and a movie. [Diaz makes a farting noise] Dinner and a movie is the perfect first date.
      Diaz: For me: cheap dinner, watch basketball, bone down.
    • Often, this is the dynamic between both Diaz and Santiago vs. extremely high-maintenance Gina.
  • Town Girls: High-maintenance dance enthusiast Gina is the femme, stone-cold badass Rosa is the butch, and Amy is neither.
  • Trash of the Titans:
    Holt: Here are two picture. One is your locker, the other is a garbage dump in the Philippines. Can you tell which is which?
    Peralta: ...[pointing at the right side one] That one's the dump?
    Holt: They're both your locker!
  • Truth in Television: Holt points out that the 1970s was a lot harder on ethnic and sexual minorities than the present day. At one point he talks about one of his best partners, a man who was homophobic but not racist, which was pretty good back then.
  • Tuckerization:
    • Fire marshall Boone from Sal's Pizza is likely named after executive producer Marshall (as in, his first name) Boone.
    • Same for Dan McCreary, from Halloween II, probably named after executive producer Laura McCreary.
  • Turn in Your Badge:
    • Subverted when Jake tries to do this in anger, only to be told by Holt that he's only on administrative leave and thus doesn't have to.
    • Invoked at the end of "Charges and Specs", the season one finale, when Jake's antics actually do get him fired... at least, for appearance's sake. He's actually going undercover with the FBI, and only Holt and the other members of his squad know about it.
    • Jake was suspended for failing a drug test, which was merely protocol until they sorted out what happened. When it's cleared up at the end of the episode he demands Holt return his gun and badge to him, and informed that Holt doesn't actually keep them in his office for the purpose of a ceremonial return but are in storage at the equipment locker. Jake insists he do it anyway and Holt uses his own gun and badge for a mock return, and when Jake keeps up the Cowboy Cop character Holt quietly orders him to leave.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Holt is gay and black, both of which caused him difficulty in his career as a cop. Diaz is Latina and bisexual (she and Santiago were in fact written ethnicity-neutral).
  • Unconventional Courtroom Tactics: At Peralta's suspension hearing, Jeffords has the other members of the squad stall the proceedings in order to buy time for Peralta, Santiago and Holt to find the evidence that will clear Peralta. This leads to Boyle engaging in extended Wangsting over his recent break-up with his fiancée, Diaz spacing out her syllables by several seconds, and Gina bombarding the panel with Emoji-speak.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage:
    • At the end of "Halloween", Peralta explains to Captain Holt his plan to steal Holt's medal of valor, while in flashback we see the other members of the squad executing the plan.
    • Happens again at the end of "Halloween II", only this time it's Holt explaining his plan to Peralta.
  • The Unspellable: Mlepnos.
    Santiago: Hello.
    Mlepnos: Hello.
    Santiago: What's your name?
    Mlepnos: My name? Mlepnos.
    Santiago: Can you spell that please?
    Mlepnos: M... L... E... P... Clay...
    Santiago: Did you say 'clay'?
    Mlepnos: Yes, de 'clay' is silent.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Essentially, if someone reveals their plan early in the Halloween Heist (and it's not a double bluff), they aren't winning.
    • When Peralta reveals his heist plan merely a few minutes into "Halloween II", you just know something's gonna go wrong.
    • It also doesn't stop him from making this mistake in "Cinco de Mayo", where he reveals his plan relatively early to Terry, believing he's won. Holt and Amy also make this mistake in the same episode. It turns out Terry outthought them all.
  • Unusual Pop Culture Name: Jake and Amy name their son after the protagonist of Die Hard, McClane (Mac for short), after rejecting the more commonplace "John" and "Bruce".
  • UST:
    • Peralta and Santiago started off the series with a competitive relationship, but they spend so much time with each other that there is an undercurrent of enjoying harassing each other. The first episode to make this more textual is "The Bet" where Amy loses their bet on who will make more felony arrests and is forced to go on the worst date ever devised by Jake (she would have gotten his car), and they continue the "date" as a bickering couple in order to get close to some criminals without causing suspicion:
      Criminal: I'm sad y'all are arresting me, but I gotta say I'm glad you're back together!
    • In the first season finale, Jake goes undercover for a mafia bust and openly confides to Amy he wished something could have developed between them. By the first episode of season 3, that tension was... resolved... and they became an official couple.
  • Values Dissonance: In-universe. Holt remembers his former partner, fondly remarking that he was homophobic but not racist and "in those days that was pretty good".
  • Vanity Plate:
    • For Doctor Goor Productions. "Not a doctor, shh."
    • There's also a brief one for Fremulon which might be otherwise unremarkable if not for the fact that it is voiced by Nick Offerman.
  • Very Special Episode:
    • Touched upon in "Moo Moo", which addresses police profiling and the Black Lives Matter movement when Terry is accosted by a police officer while walking in his own neighborhood. He struggles with the humiliation of the event while trying to navigate the political and moral issues with filing a complaint against a fellow officer. He and Holt end up with a protracted discussion on how to deal with the situation, as Holt realizes that with his own command he needs to step up against such issues. Meanwhile, Jake and Amy have to navigate the delicate minefield of explaining all of this to Terry's young daughters.
    • "He Said, She Said" in Season 6 is about the #MeToo movement and the harassment that women face, especially in male-dominated areas - it begins with the investigation into a physical assault (that turned out to be a response to Attempted Rape) and Amy shares that she was sexually harassed by her old boss.
    • "The Good Ones" is a response to the death of George Floyd. Rosa leaves The Force and becomes a PI who helps victims of police brutality. As Jake and Rosa investigate the case of a woman assaulted and then arrested by two officers who lost their body camera footage it also shows how police unions protect bad cops and how even the so-called good ones are essentially powerless to make meaningful change.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show:
    • Caleb the Cannibal, who moved across the country multiple times and killed and ate children. He refers to their blood as "sauce".
    • Dr Tate in Season 6's "The Therapist". He slept with his patient, murdered her husband and framed him for it, and reveals in a single offhand remark that he murdered a previous couple after sleeping with the wife and "nobody misses them."
  • Vile Vulture: Invoked with Capt. Keith "The Vulture" Pembroke, who got his title by taking over near-complete cases so he can finish them off and take sole credit for them. For this reason, nobody likes him and they do everything they can to finish the case before he takes over.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Peralta and Santiago are constantly snarking at and competing against each other, but deep down they clearly like and respect each other a great deal. And eventually marry.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: In the annual Halloween heist—a complete free-for-all this year—Jake manages to steal the belt from Amy's desk safe. She figured it out and tracked Jake to the evidence room where it was hidden. When she realizes that Jake has replaced the belt text with "Amy Santiago, will you marry me?" she turns around to see Jake on a knee with a ring.
  • Wangst: invoked
    • Invoked by Peralta, for Fuzzy Cuddlebear, the nanny-cam that caught the electronics store robbers.
      Peralta: You did it, Fuzzy. You busted 'em. It's time to come home. [as 'Fuzzy Cuddlebear' in faux-Baritone of Strength] I'm not sure if I can. I've been undercover so long, I've forgotten who I am. I have seen...terrible things. I haven't known the touch of a woman in many moons...
      Santiago: All right. {walks off]
      Peralta: [Still as 'Fuzzy'] Detective Santiago! Don't walk away from meeee!
    • Played for laughs in the very first shot, when Peralta delivers a grim monologue to camera about how every passing day on the streets, he's becoming more and more like the animals he puts behind bars... except it turns out he's just quoting Donnie Brasco into the camera display of an electronics store that's been burgled.
  • Welcome Episode: Sgt. Jeffords introduces Holt, the new captain, to the squad. Jeffords gives the standard Info Dump that often happens in this scenario.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Johnny and Dora": Jake and Amy kiss, and Holt is forced to leave his job as captain.
    • "Coral Palms, Part 3": Figgis is finally arrested, meaning that Holt and Jake can return home, Jake can reunite with Amy, and Pimento is safe for once. However, the events of this episode have caused the 99 to be transferred to the night shift.
    • "Crime And Punishment": Jake and Rosa are accused of a crime they didn't commit. The episode ends with them being judged guilty and sent to prison.
    • "99": Rosa comes out as bisexual.
    • ''He Said, She Said": Amy reveals that she transferred to the Nine-Nine because her captain back at the Six-Four tried to sexually assault her.
    • "Ding Dong": Wuntch is dead, Holt is captain again, and Amy is pregnant.
    • "Game of Boyles": Charles learns he's biologically not part of the Boyle family, but still manages to be the "One True Boyle" when he opens the un-openable jar.
  • Wham Line:
    • In "Halloween", when Peralta is explaining his gambit to the skeptical Holt.
      Peralta: Captain, let me tell you a little story. Do you remember when I fell through your ceiling?
      Holt: [deadpan] Yes. That was six hours ago.
      Peralta: It was, I admit, a disastrous failure. But, it gave me the idea for Herman, the friendly janitor you met. With Herman, I commenced the perfect crime.
      Holt: ...I caught you as Herman.
      Peralta: But you didn't catch Rosa.
    • A more serious example from the cold open of "Charges and Specs": "My name's Jake Peralta, and I just got fired from the NYPD." Followed by a How We Got Here / Once More, with Clarity.
    • Also from the same episode: "I kinda wish something... could happen, between us, romantic-stylez."
    • From "The Chopper": "Say goodbye to the Nine-Nine, Raymond."
    • From "HalloVeen": Amy reading the new inscription on the belt.
      Amy: "Amy Santiago, will you marry me?"
      Jake: Surprise.
    • From "The Good Ones":
      Holt: Kevin and I are separated.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In the pilot Sgt. Jeffords mentions Scully, Hitchcock and Daniels as worthless detectives, who make decent coffee. While Scully and Hitchcock go on to become series regulars, Daniels is never even mentioned after the pilot.
    • What happened to Bernice in "Full Boyle"? She and Peralta got along really well but she just sort of disappeared at the end of the date.
    • What happened to the father of Gina's baby? He was introduced as an amazing guy in a relationship with Gina, and Boyle's cousin to boot, but after Gina gives birth there's no sign of him or mention of how the relationship panned out. The guy seemed excited to be a father, but all dialogue indicates that Gina is raising the baby alone.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Played for Laughs in "Tactical Village". After Boyle "saves" Diaz from a man marked as a Perp, the following exchange ensues:
    Diaz: Hey, thanks for shooting that guy.
    Boyle: [chuckles] Hey, my pleasure.
    Perp: Your pleasure? This was a human being you just killed. Bill Perp had a family!
    [after a Beat, both Boyle and Diaz decide to shoot the Perp again]
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Pontiac Bandit", when he learns that everyone has escaped to an upstairs evidence room in order to avoid having to help out Boyle, Captain Holt storms in and angrily gives everyone a piece of his mind about how Boyle is not only a cop who was wounded in the line of duty to protect another cop, but he's also a well-meaning man who only wants affection from people and so deserves better from them. It's parodied as well; while everyone is suitably abashed and ashamed of themselves, they also point out that Holt for various reasons happens to be holding a pair of adorable puppies, which tends to undercut the anger he is trying to convey.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Mlepnos.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
    • "The Jimmy Jab Games", in which the gang get into some silly office games while Captain Holt is away, is a retread of an Office episode, "Office Olympics", in which the gang get into some silly office games while Michael Scott is away. Michael Schur was a writer on both shows.
    • "Yippie Kayak" is one to Die Hard, in which a police officer (although in this case, Jake, Charles, and Gina) all get trapped in a mall during a hostage situation. As it's his favorite movie, Jake wastes no time in deciding to crawl through the pipes, although it's actually Charles who gets to do it. (And makes a mess of John McClane's catchphrase.)
    • "Pimemento" is one to Memento. Despite lots of references to Finding Dory, Pimento is a traumatized amnesiac who tattoos bits of information he needs to know about himself or his life on himself. He's also betrayed by the one person he thought he could trust.
  • William Telling: "Old School": Played for laughs. Drunk detective Jake Peralta and Brogan, an author who wrote his favorite book about cops and real-life crime, play William Tell... with darts. Jake has a lemon on his head and Brogan hits Jake's chest with a dart.
  • With Due Respect: Peralta in the pilot, when he asks Holt why it took so long for Holt to receive his first command in light of Holt bringing down 'the Disco Strangler'. Played with, in that Peralta actually is showing Holt respect for the first time in the episode.
  • Witless Protection Program: Subverted. After receiving death threats from Jimmy Figgis, Jake and Holt end up living in Florida under witness protection. They manage to live there under the false identities of Greg and Larry for six months and are often checked up on by their Marshal. However, the two intentionally break several rules to lure Figgis to Florida in order to finally apprehend him and resume their lives in New York.
  • Women Are Wiser:
    • Subverted by Gina. She's a raging Narcissist who barely cares about other people at all. The sanest, stable and common-sense character in the cast is arguably the male Terry.
    • Of the female characters, Santiago initially seems like one of the most mature characters in the cast, particularly compared to her partner/love interest Peralta, but when you look closer she's actually just as immature, competitive, socially awkward and childish as he is — just from a different direction (whereas he's the class clown who never grew up, she acts like she's constantly striving to be high school valedictorian), thus leading her to get into just as much trouble. Diaz also seems like she's got a good head on her shoulders, but this is contrasted with a very short temper and tendency towards violent solutions to problems, which also doesn't always help.
    • However, played with once Amy and Jake get married. Amy seems to be the one who does everything around their marriage; Jake didn't even know wedding insurance was a thing and assumed it was a genius improvisation by Amy.
  • Word Association Test: Jeffords invariably goes to "gun... die" during his psych evaluation.
    Evaluator: Grass?
    Jeffords: Marijuana... Drugs... Bust... Gun... Die.
    Evaluator: Cat.
    Jeffords: Kitten... Cute... Calm... False sense of security... Gun... Die.
  • Working Through the Cold: Rosa in "The Road Trip". Subverted in that it isn't successful, Gina locks her in a room and she sleeps for ten hours.
  • World of Ham: While realistic consequences plays into a large part of the world, this show runs off of Surreal Humour/Rule of Funny- which runs off of pure Bathos. Even the parts where realism can end up funny because it can be a stark contrast to the absurd things that happen around them.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Wuntch pulls a clever one on Holt in "The Chopper". On the trail of a murderer who stole $21 million, Wuntch offers Peralta, Boyle and Holt any resources they require to track him down. Holt is cautious about using this offer too liberally, as he correctly realizes that if the team fails to catch the murderer, it will be all the more embarrassing for Holt given the resources at their disposal, which Wuntch is banking on. What he doesn't realize is that when the team successfully catches the murderer, it's such a masterful collar that Wuntch uses as an opportunity to "promote" Holt to the department of public relations. Either way, Wuntch comes out on top.
  • Yes-Man:
    • Santiago is impressed by Holt and has adopted him as her 'rabbi'. So far, this appears to involve copious amounts of unprompted sucking up on her part.
    • Boyle also has a tendency to act like this to everyone, especially Peralta and Rosa. It's lampshaded in "Halloween" when, faced with his team's skepticism about whether he'll be able to win his bet with Holt, Peralta protests that they're normally telling him he's the best. After a moment's thought, he realizes that it actually only ever seems to be Boyle who keeps telling him this. In "Thanksgiving", Boyle admits that he's a chronic people-pleaser and that "it's a serious problem."


Wuntch Dies

And Holt could not be any happier.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (30 votes)

Example of:

Main / AndThereWasMuchRejoicing

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