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Australian crime dramedy series starring Kat Stewart and Shaun Micallef as Nicola and Charlie Buchanan, a married couple who run an industrial cleaning business specialising in crime scene cleanup. Together they help the Melbourne police solve mysteries. The show premiered on Network Ten on February 20, 2013. It's noteable among crime shows for often not showing the victim's body (which of course is gone before they get the cleaners in).


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This show provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pun: From "Little Boxes".
    Charlie: Over by that small groyne.
    Jess: Small groin?
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Charlie is often called Chaka Khan by Nicola, and she's often called Fizzy by him
    • Jess is called Daria often
    • Not so affectionate, but Charlie often calls Peter Detective Thingy.
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Amicable Exes: Nicola and Peter, although they only went on a few dates, a long time ago.
  • Asshole Victim: Keith Skinner in A Dog's Life.
  • Audience Surrogate: Occasionally when Charlie and Nicola have a shared epiphany, Jess.
    Jess: Okay, pretend I'm not telepathically linked to both of you?
  • Auto Erotica: Charlie and Nicola in "A Flare for Murder" after having a few drinks with the victim's father (they would later giggle about this memory).
  • Awesome by Analysis
  • Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: Dan doesn't know why he did this in Early Checkout... Partially justified since he was hit over the head to implicate him, so he wouldn't be thinking clearly.
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  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: Charlie occasionally uses Nicola's "I feel it in my waters."
  • Catchphrase: Nicola's "I can feel it in my waters." and "You might be right, Chaka Khan."
  • Clear Their Name: Our heroes must prove the innocence of a hotel employee in Early Checkout.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Nicola seems this way - she added a good third of a bottle of balsamic vinegar to a pot.
  • Cuddle Bug: Nicola
  • Deadpan Snarker: Charlie can drift into this, particularly where Peter is involved.
  • Dramedy: Described by Shaun as "Crime with a smile".
  • Doppelgänger Dating: Peter's ex is noted as looking remarkably similar to Nicola.
  • Expansion Pack Past: A running gag, Charlie will always have had some minor form of education (half a degree, a training course, etc) in a subject somehow related to the crime. Lampshaded by Peter in "Lost Soul".
  • Exact Words: From the 'The Course Whisperer'.
    Peter: Sometimes I think I’m my own worst enemy.
    Charlie: Not while I’m around, Peter.
    • Also, from 'Zootopia' when they claimed that they were able to get into the house because they had a key, not mentioning their utter lack of permission to use it.
  • Fridge Logic: An in universe example in "A Flare for Murder". A young woman had been faking stops in her one woman sea journey. Upon closer examination of her schedule, the time allegedly taken to get to the South Atlantic would have required her to, in Charlie's words, "have been behind the the wheel of Douglas Campbell's 'Bluebird'."
  • Genre Savvy: From "Lost Soul".
    Charlie: Nic, let me tell you something. For every so-called curse, there is a perfectly logical and rational explanation. Now as I leave through this door, I'm attacked by a man in a cape and a mask. Oh, there he is.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Tracey: You’re not going to tell anyone about this, are you? The police?
    Cut to her struggling against two police officers on either side as they drag her to a police car
  • Happily Married
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: From "The Art of of Murder".
    Nicola: He has to have been somebody.
    Peter: No, not this guy. He was just…some body.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: From "The Art of Murder".
    David: I didn’t plagiarise anything, I didn’t murder anyone and I certainly didn’t burn anything
    Nicola: We didn’t say anything about burning anything, did we, Charlie?
  • Inspector Lestrade: Detective Peter Venetti is of the helpful and self-aware variety, giving Charlie and Nicola leads, information, and business in exchange for their help with cases.
  • It's for a Book: How Charlie and Nicola explain their interest in what at doses ketamine becomes fatal.
  • Laxative Prank: Chris did this to Anton in 'Atlas Drugged'.
  • Mysterious Past: At least Nicola seems to think so when she refuses to believe Alan's claims that he worked at Telstra.
    Nicola: You were so a navy seal.
  • Noodle Incident: From 'Keeping Up Appearances'.
    Charlie: Remember last autumn when one built its nest in our letterbox?
    Nicola: Yes.
    Charlie: I had to make that clockwork owl to fly in and scare it away. Took me weeks to build. It was good, though. But the fireball…
  • Noodle Implements: In 'The Course Whisperer' Jess mentioned that while trying to work out a code, Charlie had 'sawed through a lot of cuckoo clocks' (which he claims helps him relax). Subverted when we see him actually sawing through a cuckoo clock later on, apparently purely to help him relax.
  • Nephewism: Charlie and Nicola have a niece called Jess who lives with them.
  • N-Word Privileges: Referenced in 'The Course Whisperer' with respect to using the term 'dish pig'.
  • ...Or So I Heard: Quoted word for word in A Dog's Life:
    Alan: You have to keep a military dog's training up, or they lose their skill in 30 days… or so I've heard
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Nicola absolutely refuses to lose and makes up rules like 'Scissors cuts up rock'
    • Surprisingly, for a genius, Charlie always runs along with it.
  • Running Gag: Charlie's refusal to use the word 'hooker' in Early Checkout. Also, Charlie and Nicola frequently being assumed to be with the police and having to clarify, "We're the cleaners."
    • Jess has a lot of exams that her aunt and uncle seem to pull her away from studying for to "help" solve the mystery.
    • Nicola cheating at Rock Paper Scissors
  • Take That!: From "The Art of Murder".
    Charlie: Reading art isn’t as simple as reading a Bryce Courtney novel.
  • Tap on the Head: Charlie does this to Michael in 'Keeping Up Appearances' using a small wooden statue.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: In one episode, a man is found standing over the murder victim, holding a knife and covered in blood. It's not him.
  • The Scottish Trope: Averted in "Lost Soul" - every common theatrical superstition/tradition is seen or referred to, except this one.
  • Two of Your Earth Minutes: Invoked (as Shaun is fond to do with this particular trope) when discussing Jess' age.
    Charlie: How old is she now, anyway...in Earth-years, do you think?
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Charlie's standard way of accessing someone's computer is to guess their password.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Also, from Lost Soul.
    Peter: In the tunnel, right next to the vent that leads into the theatre. You sure you didn't touch it?
    Charlie: No. Actually I put my hands all over it. This is my first time at a crime scene and everything. I'm an idiot, you've got to forgive me.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous, to various Micallef works:
    • Charlie hums the Micallef Tonight theme in Lost Soul, and describes a clamp as "common or garden" as Micallef often described things in Talkin' 'bout Your Generation.
    • In The Next Best Man, Roz Hammond guest starred as a rather brusque detective. Charlie makes a remark about wondering what it's like to have to deal with her every week - he does, in Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell.
  • Tracking Device: Charlie was able to improvise one by gaffer-taping Nicola's phone to a suspect's car.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Nicola's fear of dogs in A Dog's Life
  • Wrongly Accused: Early Checkout starts with an arrest; Nicola is convinced it's not the right person and sets out to prove it.

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