Follow TV Tropes


Series / Jake and the Fatman

Go To

Jake and the Fatman is a television crime drama starring William Conrad as prosecutor J. L. (Jason Lochinvar) "Fatman" McCabe and Joe Penny as investigator Jake Styles. McCabe is a Hawaii-born, tough former Honolulu Police Department officer turned Los Angeles district attorney. He is teamed with a handsome, happy-go-lucky special investigator named Jake Styles. They often clash due to their different styles and personalities. "Fatman" hardly travels anywhere without Max, his pet bulldog.

The series ran on CBS for five seasons from 1987 to 1992. Diagnosis: Murder was a Spin-Off of this series.


Jake and the Fatman contains examples of:

  • Car Fu: In "It Had to Be You", a psychiatrist who is secretly a serial rapist plants evidence on one of his patients to frame him. When it looks like the police aren't buying the frame, he steals the car of one his victims and uses it to run down the patient: looking to close the case on the rapes and frame the victim for the murder.
  • Detective Mole: In "You Turned the Tables on Me", the prosecutor appointed to head the organized crime unit turns out to be literally and figuratively in bed with the biggest mobster in town.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: J.L. McCabe's full name is Jason Lochenbar McCabe. Small wonder he prefers 'J.L.', or even 'Fatman'.
  • Fat and Skinny: McCabe and Styles.
  • Frame-Up: In "It Had to Be You", a psychiatrist who is a serial rapist plants evidence on one of his patients to frame him as the rapist. Later, he steals the car of one of his victims and uses it to fatally run over the patient, in an effort to frame the victim and close both cases.
  • Advertisement:
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "It Had to Be You", McCabe tricks a serial rapist into accusing three women of conspiring against him and saying that he raped them. McCabe points out that the victims' identities were never released to the media, so the only way he could know they had been raped is if he was the rapist.
  • Large and in Charge: J.L. McCabe is the L.A. District Attorney, extremely overweight, and very definitely the boss. When he talks, everyone listens.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Technically McCabe is a prosecutor rather than a cop (although he is an ex-cop) but otherwise the relationship between the Fatman and Jake fits this trope.
  • Only Known by Initials: J.L. (Jason Lochenbar) McCabe, the eponymous Fatman.
  • Parking Payback: In "You Turned the Tables on Me", a pretty young prosecutor steals the parking space Jake has been waiting for. Jake takes revenge by stealing the distributor cap from her car, forcing her to get a ride home with him.
  • Phone-In Detective: McCabe would send Styles out to do his legwork for him.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The episode "Ain't Misbehavin'", with Nell Carter as a tough bail bondswoman.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation: In the episode "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie", Mc Cabe and Jake splice together parts of Mc Cabe's priest's sermons and call his wife, who's also his killer, as well as the killer of two women who were involved with him, in an effort to get her to confess. It does the job.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: McCabe (a no-nonsense and very large prosecutor) has a pet bulldog named Max who looks quite a bit like him.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: After McCabe wins a gangster's trial, said gangster's lawyer congratulates him and calls him his inspiration.
    Lawyer: There's very few people I told such compliment.
    McCabe: That's not a compliment. That's an insult!


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: