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9-1-1 is a police and rescue procedural drama created and produced by the creative trio of Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Tim Minear (known collectively for their work on American Horror Story), which premiered on Fox on January 3rd, 2018.

Taking place in Los Angeles, the series tackles the lives of the city's first responders through the leading lens of LAPD Sergeant Athena Grant (Angela Bassett), LAFD Captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause), and 911 operator Abby Clark (Connie Britton) during the first season, later replaced by Maddie Buckley (Jennifer Love Hewitt), sister of one of the LAFD firemen.

A spinoff, titled 9-1-1: Lone Star, debuted January 19, 2020.

Not to be confused with Rescue 911, a series re-enacting a variety of real-life emergency situations, which ran from 1989 to 1996.

It has a character sheet and a recap page. Tropers are encouraged to contribute.

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This show provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Everyone for the main cast has missed at least one episode.
  • Action Girl: Sergeant Athena Grant is definitely one.
  • Action Mom: Athena ticks all the boxes.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: At a car wash, the team helps a guy who's been caught in one of the huge brushes. Buck calls them in to show the video of the guy sprayed by a hose and backing up into the brush, which then spun him around, laughing wildly. At first, Bobby and Hen tell him this could have been dangerous but within moments, they too are hunched over in hysterical laughter.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: A Truth in Television example occurs during “Under Pressure”, when Athena is dispatched to a disorder at a local store. The owner has started jacking up the price of necessities in response to the earthquake and Athena is quick to point out that Price Gouging is illegal. Faced with legal consequences for his actions, the owner relents and gives everyone a 50 percent discount.
  • Adult Fear: Happens in quite a few episodes:
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    • In the “Pilot”, the team tries to rescue a newborn baby that is trapped behind a wall, inside a pipe. They succeed.
      • The teenage mother that gives birth to the above baby, does so without telling her father, she comes back home and pretends nothing is wrong. When Athena figures out that the teen is the one that gave birth by following a trail of blood, she and the girl’s father find her bleeding out in her bed.
    • Athena comes home in “Let Go”, only to find that her daughter has taken a whole bunch of her own leftover pain pills and has attempted to kill herself due to being bullied at school.
  • Afraid of Needles: Bobby has a huge phobia of needles as shown in "Karma's a Bitch", ironically, his blood has a unique makeup which can be used to treat pregnant women and their fetuses with rhesus disease.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Between Abby and Buck. She’s sixteen years older than he is, but for a while they make it work.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Revealed in "Hen's Begins", Hen was this when she first joined the fire department, due her minority status (one of only three female graduates), she had to deal with a sexist Jerkass captain that forced her to cook and clean up after the unit, while the other members of the unit were too afraid of said captain to do anything. The only one who treated her with any open respect was Chimney.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Did you find the snake call ridiculous? This is what turns up when you google "911 snake".
  • Always on Duty: Averted, if only through passing references. Like real firehouses, Firehouse 118 has several different crews that man the trucks at different times. The main characters are seen leaving at the end of their shifts and there are other unnamed firefighters seen throughout the fire house.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Buck is definitely into women, but his relationship with Eddie brings this trope into play, especially considering it bears a strong resemblance to his relationship with Abby. Maddie even asks about Buck's "man-crush".
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • Defied. Athena applied for promotion to lieutenant several times pre-series, only stopping when her previous captain made it clear that as a woman, sergeant was as high as she was getting. When her new captain offers her a lieutenant's position, everyone encourages her to take it. Her refusal frames Athena now viewing personal satisfaction and maternal responsibilities as higher priorities than ambition, not better ones.
    • Also averted with Taylor Kelly when she profiles the firehouse for a TV piece after they rescue her from a downed helicopter. The 118 are annoyed with her presence, but no one blames her for taking advantage of her brush with death in order to advance her career.
  • Amicable Exes: Athena and her ex-husband Michael become this almost immediately after their divorce. Michael encourages her relationship with Bobby, and Athena grows to like Michael's boyfriend Glen, bonding with him over dinner.
  • And Starring:
    • Season 1’s first and last spots always remained the same starting with Angela Bassett and ending with "and Connie Britton".
    • Season 2’s first spot remains Angela Bassett but the “with” is dropped completely.
  • Artistic License – Law: Athena and the detective in charge after Chimney gets stabbed by Maddie's abusive ex say that anything found on Chimney's phone (after Buck unlocked it by using the unconscious Chim's thumbprint) cannot be used against the ex. Except the "fruit of the poisonous tree" exception applies only to the rights of the accused, not the victim. The cops could use anything on the phone against the ex.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Proper EMS procedures, patient assessments, and even basic bleeding control are not something you will find on this series, which frequently portrays its characters as heroic for doing things that would actually get them fired, send them to prison, and/or kill their patients.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: The waste truck fire in "Fallout" has some standout moments. Alpha and Gamma are used to refer to levels of background radiation despite those being types of radiation. Additionally, the Cobalt-60 undergoes a combination of Beta and Gamma decay - there is no Alpha radiation involved.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • May Grant was a recurring character in Season 1, but was promoted to the main cast for Season 2.
    • Harry Grant was a recurring character in Season 1, but was promoted to the main cast for Season 2.
    • Christopher Diaz was a recurring character in Season 2, but was promoted to the main cast for Season 3.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Ted in "Heartbreaker" was a cheating douchebag, but being mutilated to death and being stuck back together with Superglue was a little too much.
    • The Dentist in "Karma's A Bitch" that ends up being mauled to death by an escaped tiger. Not only did he taunt the animal, he was a big-game hunter despised for killing a much-loved lion. While cleaning up his remains, the crew jokes that public opinion will probably be on the tiger's side.
    • The sexually-harassing boss from "Under Pressure", who greets his female senior employee in a bathrobe and proposes they shower together, then warns her that the company's HR committee are all his cronies when she rightly threatens to report him. The earthquake dumps him sprawled onto a tilted window hundreds of feet in the air, where he gets to watch one Ominous Crack after another spread out beneath him, before an aftershock shatters the glass and sends him plummeting to his death. The scene also deconstructs this trope as the guy pleads with the firefighters to save him, telling them that just because he is an asshole, it does not mean that he deserves to die like this.
    • In "Suspicion", team members of 118 discover that a woman has been making her son sick to garner sympathy and monetary donations from people. However, before they can do anything about it, the son discovers that his mother has been putting chemicals in his food and puts the same stuff in her food. He puts too much in and she almost dies from poisoning. When the cops and firefighters figure out what happened, they have no sympathy for the woman and feel that the son was fully justified in what he did.
  • The Atoner:
    • Bobby and his notebook. After an on-the-job injury, he became addicted to pain killers. One night, his space heater malfunctioned and started a fire that consumed the apartment building. It ended up killing over a hundred people, including his wife and young children. Bobby keeps track of the lives he saves on the job, trying to balance the two numbers.....so he can finally kill himself.
  • Auto Erotica: Buck 1.0 had a habit of taking out the fire truck to hook up in. He has gotten better.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In "First Responders", Josh from the call center remotely shepherds multiple police officers through a massive maze of shipping containers at night, allowing them to corner and apprehend the kidnapper whose car ran down Sue. As no helicopter can make it in time, he maps out their relative locations using just the containers' numbers, entirely in his head.
  • Ax-Crazy: Melora in"Heartbreaker", complete with actual axe.
  • Balancing Death's Books: Bobby was attempting to save the same number of people as died in an apartment fire he started before killing himself. He has moved on from this plan.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted In "Powerless" when Athena goes up against a serial rapist, the fight and she’s gets beaten and her arm broken before she is able to subdue him
  • Berserk Button:
    • Buildings not up to safety codes are a huge trigger for Bobby. Fitting, since his old apartment building wasn't up to code and if it was, his family might've lived.
    • When Chimney and Buck decorate Maddie's apartment for Christmas she freaks and kicks them out. At the end of the episode, it's shown that Maddie's husband beat her particularly bad for decorating wrong for Christmas the previous year, with him telling her she'd "get it right next year".
  • Big Damn Kiss: In “Fight or Flight”, between Maddie and Chimney
  • Big Disaster Plot:
    • Season 2 opened with an earthquake hitting Los Angeles and the first responders dealing with the fallout of the deadly aftershocks over 3 episodes.
    • Season 3 opened with a tsunami hitting the Santa Monica Pier and the aftermath is dealt with over 3 episodes.
    • Season 4 opened with a dam break that caused a mudslide. the aftermath is instead dealt with for only 1 episode.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Subverted, in "Blindsided" Maddie gives birth to her and Chimney’s daughter at the same time Albert seems to be flatlining in the aftermath of a serious car crash. However, Albert pulls through and survives his injuries.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Maddie's coworker Gloria seems to have it all figured out. Even offers her a muffin. Then we see her reject call after call with rude, insensitive, and even racist remarks.
    Gloria: If you were really going to jump, I doubt you'd be calling me.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Season 2 finale has this. Chimney and Maddie finally get together, while Athena and Bobby get married at city hall. However, Buck still got major injuries from the fire truck landing on him, and the doctor's say he might not be able to work again. This puts major worry on Buck, who believes he's nothing if he's not a firefighter.
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Mild case. Athena's mother doesn't approve of Athena dating Bobby, but then again, she doesn't seem to approve much of anything Athena does. Her father is more accepting, but is drowned out by his wife.
  • Boom, Headshot!: In "Full Moon (Creepy AF)", Athena does this to a man who was eating someone's face when tasing him didn't work.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Carla, Abby's mother's nurse, understandably left after her mother's death and Abby leaving for Ireland. She later comes back to help Eddie through red tape of getting his son childcare.
    • The woman that broke her femur while stealing packages is now committing insurance fraud after suing the family that lived on the property where she collapsed.
    • Abby herself makes an appearance in "What's Next?", allowing Buck to finally get closure on his relationship.
  • The Caretaker:
    • Abby is this to her sick mother, who has Alzheimer's.
    • Abby also has an unreliable nurse that watches her mother while she is at work, this nurse only stays for the “Pilot” before she is replaced with Carla.
    • Carla takes over as Abby’s mother’s main day nurse. She is very good at her job.
      • Carla also becomes this towards Christopher Diaz.
  • Character Death:
    • Patricia Clark dies in her sleep from a pulmonary embolism in "A Whole New You"
    • Doug Kendall is killed by Maddie in self defense in "Fight or Flight"
    • Shannon Diaz is hit by a car and dies from her injuries in "Careful What You Wish For"
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The man, in “Let Go”, who reported being attacked by rabid dogs leaves his number with Athena, she is able to use this to track him down and arrest him when it’s discovered that he was actually robbing the place when he was attacked.
  • Cheerful Child: Eddie's son Christopher. He is always seen smiling.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Played straight and averted. Bobby is a devout catholic, while Athena, Michael and their kids are baptists. This is even brought up by Athena when Bobby notices her discomfort in his church in "A Whole New You".
    Athena: I'm baptist. We don't go to church; we do church.
  • Christmas Episode: Has had one in seasons 2 and 3.
    • “Merry Ex-Mas”
    • “Christmas Spirit”
  • Coincidental Broadcast: In “Let Go”, as Abby is getting ready for work, the news she was watching shows an interview with Buck, after the roller coaster accident. Giving Abby her first look at Buck, as she had only spoken to him over the phone in the previous episode. Happens again later in the episode, Abby is speaking with Carla when Buck appears on the news again, his interview having gone national. Carla then convinces Abby to get into contact with Buck.
  • Confessional: Bobby goes to confessional once a week, to remind himself how easy it would be to fall back down the wrong path.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: While Buck and Christopher are trapped on top of the firetruck after the tsunami, Buck plays "I Spy" and at one point has him look at the sky as a dead body floats by.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Inverted. Often the characters perform it for about 20 seconds then give up. When it is played straight for the woman whose heart stopped after giving birth on a lobby floor, the crew themselves are boggled and call it a miracle.
  • Crime After Crime: This is lampshaded by Athena in "Under Pressure", when she arrests a teenager car thief. The kid claims that he was just joyriding and since he is a minor, he will get a slap on the wrist from a judge. Athena tells him that he made the mistake of running from the cops and leading them on a high speed chase through a residential neighbourhood. By doing so he raked up a number of serious felonies on top of the original joy riding charge.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • In “Let Go” a man is flung from a moving roller coaster and he dies as soon as he hits the ground.
  • Cure Your Gays: Michael married Athena in belief their marriage will "fix" him. Obviously, it didn't work, as they had divorced at the beginning of the first season and he had begun dating by the end of the season.
  • Cut-and-Paste Suburb: In the “Pilot”, Athena has trouble locating a little girl who is trapped in her house while men are breaking in due to all the houses looking the exact same.
  • Death Seeker: Bobby intended to kill himself, once he'd met his quota of lives saved. He eventually abandons this idea, accepting that he should go on living.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Honestly, it would be easier to say who isn't.
  • Determinator: Maddie. After managing to subdue Doug (to the point where he is next seen in a body bag), she manages to get up and keep walking until Buck finds her and she's taken to the hospital.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In the “Pilot”, to rescue a baby that is stuck in toilet pipes, Buck was planning to smash the wall with the fire axe, Bobby stops him before he can, saying that he could have hit the baby and tells him to go get the saw.
      • The teen mother of the above baby, didn’t really think of the aftermath of her decision to not tell anyone about the baby and having her on a toilet. This results in the baby getting stuck in the pipes and nearly dying, as well as herself nearly bleeding out due to not getting any medical care.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • When Hen's ex Eva tries to get custody of Denny (who is her biological son), she brings Denny's father, a former drug addict who had since turned his life around and had no idea he even had a son. Of course, Eva broke her parole orders and doesn't get custody. While he does want visitation, he is more than willing to go along with what Hen and Karen want.
    • On some level, Eddie was this to Christopher in his early years. Eddie signed up to another tour of Afghanistan when he was overwhelmed by his son's disability. Chrispher was raised by his mother and Eddie’s parents.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Buck has a birthmark over his left eye.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Doug dies after Maddie stabs both sides of his heart.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In "The Taking Of Dispatch 9-1-1", it's revealed that Tiffany, the supposedly meek driver of the gang of thieves, was actually the one who put the entire thing together, expertly covering her identity so the gang had no idea she was really the boss and working a secondary plan with her lover to let the gang to take the fall while they got away with the loot.
  • Double Standard: In-Universe. Eddie points out to Buck hat when he signed up for another tour of Afghanistan when overwhelmed by his son's disability, Eddie is seen as a hero, while his wife Shannon is seen as a terrible person by his family for leaving do to her own overwhelming feelings.
  • Dramatic Drop: "Blind Norman" drops the food he just purchased at a lunch truck when he realizes the deranged woman whose antics on the overpass have created the traffic jam he and the truck are stuck in is his own wife.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Bobby is unable to stop a woman from leaping to her death, in the “Pilot”.
    • After agonizing over failing to save a victim stuck on a broken roller coaster, in “Let Go”, Buck learns the young man had been suicidal before and likely chose to die.
    • At the end of “Let Go”, Athena's daughter, May, attempts suicide due to bullying via pills. She gets better, and later episodes show her as more well-adjusted.
  • The Dutiful Son: Abby takes care of her mother, who has Alzhiemer's, while her younger brother suggests putting her in a specialized care home, though this is more out of concern for his sister's well-being than any responsibility on his part. Abby refuses.
  • Eager Rookie: In season 1, Buck is the newest recruit of the 118 fire station.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Maddie’s story in Season 2, hands down. After spending most of the season hiding in fear of her ex-husband, she finally stands up against him and kills him, letting her truly start again with a new love in the form of Chimney.
  • Emergency Services: One of the most comprehensive treatments of this trope, incorporating police, fire services (both firefighters and paramedics), and 911 dispatch workers.
  • Ensemble Cast: There's no single protagonist.
  • Experienced Protagonist:
    • Bobby has been a firefighter/captain for numerous years before the show starts.
    • Athena has been on the police force for over 30 years.
  • Failsafe Failure: Highrise buildings in Los Angeles are built to survive major earthquakes. However, a hotel is too close to the fault line and there is structural failure in the underground parking garage which causes the building to partially collapse. The hotel is still built well enough that it keeps standing even after two aftershocks which gives the firefighters time to rescue the trapped survivors.
  • Family of Choice: The 118 is this for Buck.
  • Felony Murder: A thief tries to create a distraction by knocking out a security guard with "non-lethal" scorpion venom. The guard turns out to be allergic and dies. The thief ends up with a murder charge.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Buck and Eddie get off on the wrong foot, where Buck seems to be jealous of how easy Eddie seems to be fitting in with the 118, but following a call where they have to pull a live grenade round out of a man’s leg, they become best friends.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Buck and Eddie get off on the wrong foot, but following a call where they have to pull a live grenade round out of a person, they're best friends.
  • Firing Day: After not following the rules one too many times, Bobby has no choice but to fire Buck, in the “Pilot”. He is rehired by the end of the episode.
  • Firemen Are Hot: The whole firehouse cast is attractive, with extra points to Buck and Eddie who attract this response In-Universe.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus in "This Life We Choose," you can see the comments to the live video of the beauty blogger the team is working on that go like "OMG FF Soooooo hot!" and the like.
  • Five-Man Band: The firehouse crew.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Hen. If there's an animal involved; she'll know how to treat it and does her best to ensure they're cared for as well.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Averted for the most part:
    • Bobby and Eddie have small apartments befitting public servants.
    • Hen and Athena have spacious houses, but their current or former spouses have high-earning careers.
    • Chimney is implied to come from a wealthy family, and possibly has family money to supplement his salary.
    • Buck and Maddie, however, buy extremely nice, spacious apartments despite being public servants, one of whom had to flee her marriage, and presumably her savings.
  • Foreshadowing: In “Let Go”, May being “sick” and not wanting to go to school. The lack of communication between her and her family, all signs that something else is going on with her. Later revealed that she is being bullied at school.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Bobby and Athena go on a date at the end of "A Whole New You", get engaged at "Merry Ex-Mas", and marry in"This Life We Choose".
  • Funny Background Event: While Athena is writing her report in “Let Go”, dealing with the rabid dog attack, Chimney can be seen cringing badly as animal control leads the dogs into the back of his van.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • The guy that takes Abby's mother to the hospital in "Point of Origin" is a tough-looking biker guy and is at least a head taller than Abby.
    • Buck might also count; he's the tallest of the team but also sweet-natured and good with kids.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Buck is a major source of this.
    • In the “Pilot”, the woman he took the firetruck to go and sleep with, asks if his job is the reason his screen name is 'Firehose'. With a smug grin he says, 'Nope!'
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: The tsunami in the eponymous story arc in season 3.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Buck is initially very jealous of the arrival of Eddie to the 118 in "Under Pressure", due to the ease that Eddie fits in with the rest of the crew.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Buck might be a dumbass on occasion, but his heart is always in the right place. Athena even mentions his heart of gold by name.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: This happens to an unlucky motorcyclist in "A Whole New You", when a truck t-bones another car.....with him in-between the two vehicles. It's played for the full horror, with the crew arriving to a gruesome scene only to learn the victim is still alive and doesn't realize what has happened to him. Bobby manages to keep it together long enough to help the dying man talk to his son on the phone, but then has to step away from the scene to compose himself.
  • Halloween Episode: Has had one in seasons 2 and 3
    • “Haunted”
    • “Monsters”
  • Heist Episode: Played With in the episode "Ocean's 9-1-1", where the first responder protagonists are accused of robbing a bank during the very emergency they were sent to control. Multiple homages to the Ocean's franchise are present as the cast tries to unravel what exactly transpired.
  • He's Back: After suffering numerous setbacks from his injuries he received in "This Life We Choose" Buck finally returns to work as a firefighter in “Monsters”.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: A baby’s cries, in the “Pilot”, are heard through the walls of an apartment, alerting the tenant that it is stuck in the pipes.
  • Heroic BSoD: Buck suffers from one after he loses his first patient on the job in “Let Go”, he is unable to do the more dangerous rescues until he has a heart-to-heart with Bobby. By the end of the episode he is working through it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chimney's friend Kevin dies when he pushed a pregnant woman out of the way, only to burn to death.
  • High Turnover Rate: Before Bobby took over as captain, the company had six captains in two years. According to Hen, the Fire Department brass used the 118 as a dumping ground for problematic officers close to retirement.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The bride in "Under Pressure" reports her groom's car stolen after he leaves her at the altar. Athena arrests her for filing a false report.
  • Hollywood California: Specifically, the show spans across the rural and urban parts of Los Angeles.
  • Hollywood Driving: The truck driver in "Fallout" is telling his trainee about the nuclear waste in the truck and does so by looking away from the road. This ends in him crashing the truck.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: How Maddie got into Buck's apartment after three years of estrangement.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most episode titles, from Season 2 onwards, are from a piece of dialogue spoken within the episode.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Out of all the rescues the 118 crew perform, children tend to survive while not all of the adults do.
    • In the “Pilot”, a young boy that drowns in a pool is resuscitated.
    • In the “Pilot”, a baby that was born on a toilet, flushed and got stuck in an apartment building's pipes is safely rescued.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Eddie's son Christopher has Cerebral Palsy and walks with crutches. That being said, he is mostly seen as a happy kid that the team takes to immediately.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Seems to happen to Buck a lot.
    • In the “Pilot”, Bobby catches Buck on a roof top with one of his hookup, just before they have sex.
  • Intoxication Ensues: The firefighters regularly receive baked goods from the public. In "Dosed", someone slips some LSD in their brownies…
  • It's All About Me: Athena's mother is furious because of the fact that Athena didn't tell her that May attempted suicide, and expresses constant disappointment that Athena didn't follow life according to her plans.
  • It's All My Fault: Buck realises, in the “Pilot”, that getting fired was completely his own fault, Hen agrees with him and tells him that everyone in the station thinks that too. Luckily he is able to fix it.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Buck says this to Abby when she asks him out on a date in “Let Go”. He has come to realise that he has issues when it comes to intimacy and doesn't want to ruin the thing between the two of them by sleeping with her on the first date. They decide to keep talking together on the phone, like the olden days.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: Abby is on one post-season one. The drama comes not from her trip, but her left-behind boyfriend Buck, as they are still together, but the time and distance are taking a serious toll, as well as forcing Buck to do all of the emotional work.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Chimney's girlfriend didn't love him, he gets into a car crash and winds up with rebar through his head he makes a full recovery, later finding out said girlfriend has since moved on and is already pregnant, despite her claims of not wanting to settle down with him. And as of the mid-season 2 premiere, gets stabbed in the gut by Maddie's estranged husband, and his new friend, Doug.
    • Athena's mother tells Bobby, who lost his family in a fire, that her grandkids are not his "consolation prize".
  • Kinky Cuffs: Athena and her new lover are getting hot and heavy and he decides to spice it up by cuffing her to the bedposts...only to accidentally cuff them both. Athena has to secretly call Abby to call Hen ("911 is the only number I know!") and Hen bursts out laughing at the sight. Athena then tells her to bring the key over...but just leave it within arm's reach and Hen taking a selfie with them to tease Athena.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The entire point of "Karma's A Bitch" as various folks who did some bad things are hit by ironic fates with the team thrown by how utterly bizarre it all is:
      • A woman tries to shoot her abusive husband, but misses and the bullet gets stuck in a tree. The woman then hangs herself from that tree and her husband doesn't even care that he drove her to do it. He tries to blow up the tree later on . . . and the explosion causes the bullet to fly out and hit him in the chest.
      • A beauty spa owner left his dog inside a hot car and fired an assistant for breaking her out. The next day, that assistant comes in to pick up her last paycheck and finds the guy almost charred alive when his tanning bed broke.
      • A woman steals packages from the doors of people right after they've been delivered. She ends up falling and breaking her femur trying to carry one large package away and is arrested by Athena while lying in pain.
      • She returns in “Awful People”, and now has turned to committing insurance fraud (ie. faking accidents). She is about to commit another incident before she is run over by a speeding van driver and her planned target accidentally runs her over.
      • A dentist becomes hated for killing a lion during a safari trip. He ends up being mauled by a tiger at a zoo, after he threw items at it in order to get a photo.
      • It's mentioned that the team handled off-screen a guy who robbed a store and was hit by a truck as he fled.
    • In "Fight or Flight", Doug, after spending the entire episode practically torturing Maddie, gets stabbed to death by Maddie, determined not to let him kill her.
    • In "The New Abnormal", a man tells Blatant Lies about how he did not metaphorically "thrown his female coworker under the bus" during an important business meeting. Seconds later a freak accident causes a city bus to crush into the building and the man is trapped under it.
  • Late Coming Out: After decades of marriage and kids, Michael comes out to his wife and children.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Averted With Bobby, who seems to be the one that does most of the cooking at the station.
    • Play straight with Eddie, even his son jokes that he can’t cook very well.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: In the three-part Season 2 earthquake story arc, a high school basketball star's leg is pinned by debris in the half-toppled hotel. The rescuers leave it up to him to decide if they should bring in a surgeon to amputate his limb or risk lifting the debris - which could collapse the ceiling on top of him - to extract it intact. He opts to take the chance, afraid that living with the knowledge he could have saved his leg would be worse than dying.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As of Season 3, there are 11 main characters, then there's all the recurring characters.
  • Lovable Jock: Buck is what happens to this after high school.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Deconstructed. While Buck is well-liked by everyone, his antics end up crossing the line into unprofessional and gets himself fired, he is later rehired. It serves as a wake-up call that he needs to address his problem.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • In the “Pilot”, while on duty Buck takes out the fire truck and hooks up with a woman.
      • Buck is caught by Bobby having sex a the roof with a woman the team had perivously rescued.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Athena, big time. When her daughter nearly kills herself because of bullying, she hunts down the tormentor at a house party, makes it clear who she is, arrests her for drug use and when her parents rip into her, stands up on how they "failed her." Expect her to fill in this role when there's any child in danger.
    • Hen too, upon finding the girl that was separated from her family during the earthquake.
  • matchmaker.com:
    • Buck 1.0 uses an app version of this for his hookups.
    • Chimney met his girlfriend on a dating site just for cops and firefighters
May–December Romance: A reversed example between Buck and Abby, as Abby is the older one of the partnership. They make it work for a while.
  • Mid Life Crisis Motorcycle: In "A Whole New You", a call comes in about a man who bought one of these, only to, after being distracted by the flirtations of a cute girl, get torn in two.
  • Mission Control: As a 9-1-1 operator, Abby does what one would expect out of the job: finding out the source of the emergency and distributing the information to the appropriate first responder before. However, there are times where a situation may ask more of her assistance than usual.
  • Mistaken for Gay: When Buck tags along with Eddie so Christopher can get a picture with Santa, one of the elf workers tells Buck that he and Eddie have an adorable son. Buck doesn't correct her.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus in "This Life We Choose," you can see the comments to the live video of the beauty blogger the team is working on that go like "they [Eddie and Buck] are so cute together" and "those two should TOTALLY be a couple.
  • Multipart Episode:
    • Season 2 has a three-parter with "Under Pressure", "7.1" and "Help Is Not Coming"
    • Season 3 has a three-parter with "Kids Today", "Sink or Swim" and "The Searchers"
    • Season 4 has a two-parter with "The New Abnormal" and "Alone Together"
      • Season 4 also has "Suspicion" and "Survivors" .
  • Münchausen's By Proxy: "Suspicion" deals with this. After the 118 rescue a mother, Shelia, that has fallen halfway through her balcony’s floor she needs to be taken to the hospital but she is unwilling to leave her sickly son, Charlie, who is suffering from an unnamed autoimmune disease. Eddie volunteers to stay with her son until she comes home. Upon staying in the apartment, Eddie learns that Shelia and Charlie are always moving and are never in the same state for long and Charlie never sees the same doctor. Eddie also discovers a large amount of unopened eye drop bottles kept in the cupboard. Later that night it is uncovered that Shelia has set up numerous fundme pages asking for donations for the sick Charlie. Each page has the same first names and pictures, but have different last names and are from different states. Numerous comments on the pages accuse Shelia of being a fraud and warn that she is swindling money out of people. Eddie works out that Shelia has been putting the eye drops into Charlie’s food everyday, not enough to kill him but just enough to make him appear sick. Charlie calls Eddie and he tells him that he’s put the eye drops into Shelia’s food because he wanted to see what would happen, as she has told him that the drop were just vitamins, Charlie is afraid that he accidently killed his mother. Eddie, Buck and some of the other paramedics arrive in time to save Shelia and get Charlie the help he needs.
  • Mushroom Samba: As a result of eating brownies laced with LSD, the entire unit (except Chimney) are hallucinating and it's played for laughs until Bobby says he sees his daughter, who is telling him to join her in the sky.
  • New Meat:
    • Buck is this for Season 1.
    • Eddie is this for Season 2.
    • Ravi is this for Season 4
  • The Narrator: Abby narrates the opening of season 1, explaining her life and her job, leading into the jobs of the first responders.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Athena and her boss reminisce about their previous boss, a sexist pig who Athena describes as "a real son of a bitch. May he rest in peace."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • In “Let Go”, while responding to an unusual home invasion of rabid dogs, Athena and Hen rescue a sink-top cowering man from being mauled in his home by luring and trapping the dogs. After the rescued man escapes, the real homeowner shows up. Athena quickly realizes that the perpetrator called 9-1-1 to get himself out of the home robbery situation that he committed when he didn't account for homeowner's attack dogs. For Athena’s sake, she quickly redeemed the situation later using the cell phone number of the perp.
    • In "Heartbreaker", it's Played for Drama as an attempt Athena makes to console a girl who's been dumped gives her the idea to mutilate her cheating boyfriend, whom she'd bound and gagged in her closet, to death and then putting him back together with superglue and giving him another heart in order to make him a better person'', not to mention kidnapping and preparing to kill the woman she was being cheated on with.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Two men come up with a fairly ingenious plan to steal thousands of dollars. However, one of them gets greedy and hatches his own plan to steal millions instead. He reports the first theft to the police so they are distracted looking for his partner while he tries to flee the country.
  • Number Two: Chimney is Bobby's second-in-command, taking over when Bobby is unable.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Athena's mother. While she makes her displeasure with Bobby being engaged to Athena, the main focus of her criticism is her daughter.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: A tactic used by the first responders sometimes so other victims don’t panic.
    • In “Let Go”, one of the riders of a roller coaster dies as he was flung out of the moving ride and hit the ground, in order to keep the remaining riders of the stuck roller coaster calm, Bobby tells Hen and Chimney to pretend that he survived. They put him on a gurney and wheel the body to the ambulance.
  • Off with His Head!: Losing time and patience, in the “Pilot”, Buck decides to decapitate the large snake with an axe before it claims the strangled owner. Needless to say, most of his team treat the decision with ire, but oddly not the strangled woman.
  • Once per Episode "9-1-1, what's your emergency?"
  • One-Word Title: "Heartbreaker", "Trapped", "Stuck", "Dosed", "Haunted", "Broken", "Triggers", "Rage", "Monsters", "Malfunction", "Fallout", "Fools", "Pinned", "Powerless"
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Howie Han is called Chimney by everyone. It is not revealed how he got this nickname.
    • Henrietta Wilson goes by Hen.
    • Evan Buckley is called Buck by everyone, even his sister. It’s a name he wants his friends and people that are close to him to call him.
      • His parents call him by his given name, showing that they don’t really know him.
    • Edmundo Diaz goes by Eddie, claiming the only people that call him Edmundo are the people he won’t respond to.
  • Open-Minded Parent: The inverse happens when Athena has to explain to her and Michael's kids that Michael is gay. Due to their religious background, she assumes the worst, but the kids are perfectly fine and accepting of this fact.
  • Origins Episode: Although the series is an ensemble theme, every main character has had at least one episode devoted to how their life was before they came to be at Station 118.
    • Hen has - “Hen Begins”
    • Chimney has - “Chimney Begins”
    • Bobby has - “Bobby Begins Again”
    • Athena has - “Athena Begins”
    • Eddie has - “Eddie Begins”
    • Buck has - “Buck Begins”
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Eddie's ex Shannon leaves him and their son. When she comes back, she does feel guilty and genuinely wants to be in her son's life. Eventually she does but is hesitant about remarrying Eddie. She is killed in "Careful What You Wish For".
      • In turn, Eddie was in the army when his son was very young, leaving Shannon to raise him.
    • Hen's father left her and her mom when she was 9
    • Chimney's father lives back in Seoul and is more focused on his much younger son with his Trophy Wife than Chimney.
      • Turns out to be more literal as of "Seize the Day", where during an assignment in America, his mom wanted to stay while his dad left to go back to Korea, and his mother died when he was 15, leading to him being taken in by his best friend's parents.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: "Kids Today" has an elderly man who not only gets a flesh-eating STD, but ends up giving the entire population of his retirement home the STD in question. According to his daughter, his sex talk to her consisted of giving her a box of condoms and a can of mace.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Kevin's parents acted as this for Chimney after his mom passed and his father never got him. They're the ones whom he introduced to Maddie.
    • Maddie was this to Buck when they were growing up.
  • Playing Sick: In “Let Go” Athena thinks that May is pretending to be sick, because she hasn’t studied for a test at school.
  • Police Procedural: Sgt. Grant's side of the story usually deals with the run-of-the-mill tales found in the occupation, such as home invasions.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Hen and Chimney's first captain, Captain Vincent Gerrard, from "Hen Begins", while a firefighter, is also a sexist Jerkass. He introduces Hen to the unit as their "diversity hire", forces Hen to stay behind to prep dinner and clean up, and when Chimney helps Hen with dishes, he is told by said captain to "stop messing around in home ec. class". He also treats the Korean Chimney in a similar manner in "Chimney Begins", with him and the rest of the team shafting Chim with clean up duty and generally ignoring him.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The Westboro Baptist Church expies. Not only are they total homophobes (given their signs), their leader spouts racist sayings at Athena and refuses to let any non-white person touch him before the team is forced to carry him onto the ambulance. Eddie gets so fed up with the guy at one point that he says he could use the white half of his gene pool to treat him but he isn't sure which side that is.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: For some unexplained reason, Buck and Maddie don't always get the references that the others make.
    • In the “Pilot”, Buck doesn’t get Chimney’s reference to Conan the Barbarian, stating that he believes that the world began when he was born.
    • When Buck is tasked with driving the fire truck around to try and find a trapped little girl, in the “Pilot”, Athena tells him don’t go chasing waterfalls. Buck tells her he doesn’t know what that means, Athena assures him that no one thought he would.
  • Precious Puppies: A small dog named Paisley has her owner killed during the earthquake. She helps Hen find the girl missing from her family and by the end of the episode, Hen has adopted her.
  • Psycho Psychologist: The therapist Buck goes to in “Let Go” isn't crazy, per se, but she did sleep with Buck and then tosses him out without referring him to another, which is a massive violation of ethics and shoddy practice, respectively.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Carla is last seen in “A Whole New You”, which quite makes sense as the one she was caring for, Abby’s mother, dies. So she is no longer needed.
    • Abby leaves for Europe in "A Whole New You" shortly after her mother's death.
    • Lena Bosko rejoins Station 136 in "Malfunction".
  • Rank Up: Eddie is promoted from a probationary firefighter to a full time firefighter in "This Life We Choose"
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After been written up and warned by Bobby in the “Pilot” about using the firetruck to hook up, Buck still gets caught having sex on a roof top - having used the firetruck’s ladder to get up top, Bobby has no choice but to fire Buck. He is rehired at the end of the episode after helping to rescue a trapped little girl with Athena.
    • While she agrees and understands Athena's feelings that led her to arrest her daughter's bully, her captain makes it clear she can't condone an officer using her badge for a personal vendetta and has to suspend Athena and put her on desk duty.
    • In "Heartbreaker", one man thought it would be romantic to fake a plane emergency to propose to his girlfriend. The stress she gets from both situations leads her to having a heart attack.
    • In appropriately titled episode "Awful People" some Westboro expies protest a military funeral (with similar signs to the real life church). The uncle of the fallen soldier wants Athena to stop them, but she informs him as long as they stay behind the fence they can say whatever they like. Likewise, when their leader passes through the gate, Athena tells him to stay behind the fence or she can and will arrest him.
      • In the same episode, Maddie reports Gloria because she constantly hangs up on calls, only finding this out after she and Athena help a man that Gloria hung up on. When police are at the office, a co-worker tells Maddie that Gloria would face serious jail time.
    • In "Buck, Actually", a woman is on a highway overpass desperate for her husband's attention. She flashes a crowd of people looking at her on the freeway, and later shoots the airbag and threatens (but doesn't actually shoot) Buck. While she and her husband make up, Athena arrests her when she is on the ground, her charges including assault, indecent exposure, and blocking traffic, among numerous other charges.
    • Season 3 has an arc involving Maddie and a fitness trainer who calls 9-1-1 multiple times. Maddie traces the call and in an attempt to help her, ends up stalking her. When her supervisor finds out about this, while sympathetic to Maddie's experience with abuse, she suspends her from taking calls and orders that Maddie must undergo a psychological evaluation before returning to work.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Eddie speaks Spanish with his family with no subtitles offered.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Buck’s sister Maddie is introduced in "Under Pressure", with no previous mentions of her at all in Season 1. However, this is justified by their three-year estrangement and Buck’s general lack of discussion about his past.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Invoked and used to his advantage by Murphy, who claims that every single call in the series is based on a real 9-1-1 call.
    • There's also the backstory of the dentist killed by a tiger, seeing as the guy who killed Cecil the lion was also a dentist and also was hit with a large amount of public outcry for the deed.
    • The season 3 Halloween episode used a variant of the 2002 death of Gregory Biggs, who got trapped halfway through the windshield of the car that struck him and was despicably left there to die by its driver. In the show's variant, the driver isn't to blame, being too addled by a head injury to realize the victim is there, and the trapped man is saved when Buck realizes the body draped over the passing car is not just a Halloween prop.
  • Runaway Bride: In "Under Pressure", one of the stories is a groom who bolts from the altar.
  • Saying Too Much: Two women are in a "rage room" where people smash up items for therapy. One encourages her friend to cut loose on all her issues with her husband. They're getting into it as the wife yells about the dumb habits of his and her friend chimes in with one of his annoying antics after sex...which the wife had never told anyone, meaning her "friend" has been sleeping with her husband and attacks her.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • In "Help Is Not Coming" of the earthquake premiere, Bobby's team refuses to evacuate the very dangerous hotel site without Hen.
    • In “Hen Begins”, Hen regularly defied her racist captain to do the right thing.]]
    • In "Chimney Begins", when learning that the floor collapse caused a gas leak (hence all the victims complaining about migraines), Chim rushes in to save a fellow firefighter who was knocked out by the gas after said racist captain refused to listen to him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon seeing the two angry guard dogs in “Let Go”, Chimney slowly backs away from the situation and allows Hen to deal with it. Claiming that if she thinks he’s a coward, she is 100% correct.
  • Seen It All: Ruth and Earl from the Gas & Sip, whose response to being robbed is simply "Again?".
  • Sex Addiction: Buck 1.0 self-diagnoses as a sex addict.
  • Sex with the Ex: By the end of "Haunted", Eddie manages to patch things up with his estranged wife, Shannon.
  • Shower of Awkward: In "Under Pressure", Buck hears the shower at Abby's place and enters, thinking it's her, it's actually his sister.
  • Shipper on Deck: Michael for Bobby and Athena.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Maddie's trainor, Josh, tells her the first rule of dispatch is "Everybody Lies".
    • In "Dosed", when Agatha talks Bobby, who's having visions of his dead daughter, down the ledge, she says it's "Right here, right now" very much like in Strange Days, whitch was sampled by Fatboy Slim in the song of the same name.
    • In "Broken", Chimney is shown organizing his clothes with Hen using the Konmari method, even using the phrase "sparks joy".
  • Side Bet: Once Bobby and Athena reveal they're together, Hen tells everyone else to pay up since she figured it out some time ago.
  • Sixth Ranger: Lena Bosko is temporarily assigned to Station 118 after her team was injured during the tsunami. After the events of "Rage", she rejoins Station 136 after Buck is allowed to return to the 118.
  • Social Media Before Reason: Happens regularly, with people just standing around getting in the way of the first responders.
    • In “Let Go”, instead of clearing the area when the roller coaster gets stuck and allowing the first responders to do their job, bystanders stand around with their phones recording the situation. This doesn’t help, as Devon, the man hanging from the ride, doesn't want his situation to be put onto the internet and this just cements his decision to let go and fall to his death.
    • Downplayed with the beauty blogger in "This Life We Choose", who actually forgot her camera was still going when the team takes her to the hospital.
    • Played completely straight in "Under Pressure". Two YouTubers force their friend to put his head in a microwave full of cement so he can become a "legend". Of course, their friend becomes stuck.
  • Spanner in the Works: Two examples of the robbers in "Oceans 9-1-1": One robber, a mechanic at the fire house, thinks he's got a great idea to rob a bank and excellently plays it out. What he doesn't count on is that his accomplice, the bank manager, decides to double-cross him by using the robbery (with a fake poison breakout) to steal some diamonds from the vault that he's "trapped" in while also suffering from the "poison." What he doesn't count on is Hen racing into the vault to try and save him so he has to alter the plan to take her out too which forces him into a foolish idea to swallow the diamonds to smuggle them out. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Spiritual Successor: A third of the show focuses on the lives of a team of paramedics, which has drawn some comparisons to popular 60s series Emergency!.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • In “Let Go”, while filling out her report about the dog attack, Athena asks Hen if the house’s slide door was open or closed. Hen says it was closed. With the front door also closed, Athena figures out that the only way the dogs would have gotten in the house was if they already lived there.
    • In one of his early days on the job, Bobby has to handle a restaurant that catches on fire. Something about it bugs Bobby and he returns to the scene where he's met by Athena. She states she was bugged by how the sprinklers in the building failed to go off and discovered the water main was shut off. Bobby responds that the electrical box didn't show any signs of the patterns that would be there if it was the source of the fire. He also notes how the father had raced into the blaze to find his son and headed right to the very heart of the fire..which he'd only known if he's the one who set it in the first place.
  • The Squadette: Hen is the only female member of the 118.
  • Stairs Are Faster: In the “Pilot”, once the team has rescued the baby from the pipes, they need to get her down to the ambulance as fast as possible, however the elevator is taking too long, Buck tells Bobby to give the baby to him and he’ll run down the stairs with her, that he’s twice as fast. He’s right.
  • Stealing the Credit: A non evil version. In season 1, Chimney is dating a woman that is adrenaline junkie and foreplay for them is him telling her stories of all the high risk rescues he performs, however he is just telling her about the rescues others have performed and saying he did them.
  • Struggling Single Father: Eddie. Due to his wife abandoning him and their son, he struggles to find childcare, often leaving said son with relatives while working.
  • Take a Third Option: In “What’s Next?” a beam is pinning two injured passengers of the train crash one a young female victim and the other being Abby’s fiance. Bobby, Eddie and Buck have to decide on who they are going to save first, as the pressure of the beam will likely kill the other person. The longer they wait the higher the chance of both of the passengers dying. The younger victim has the higher rate of survival, but Buck, after it's revealed that he promised Abby that he would save her fiance, comes up with a dangerous plan that should save both passengers.
  • Take My Hand:
    • In “Let Go”, Buck attempts to rescue a man stuck on a roller coaster by reaching out his hand, he doesn’t succeed.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Bobby attempts this in the “Pilot”, he is unsuccessful.
  • The Team:
  • Team Dad: Bobby to the 118.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Athena's daughter, May, almost kills herself due to being bullied. Athena then tracks down the bullies at a house party. She then tells the girl who was the main bully about what happened and what does the girl do? Say that she's glad that May almost died and then starts insulting her. Subverted with one of the other girls, who actually feels terrible about the bullying and even asks Athena to tell May that she's sorry.
  • Teen Pregnancy: The 118 are called out to the results of this in the “Pilot”, when the teen gives birth on a toilet, getting her baby stuck in the pipes, hoping her father won’t find out.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: After their fight at the hospital in the “Pilot”, Buck and Athena have to work together to save a little girl who is stuck in her house, while men are breaking in to rob the place.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • A common occurrence as someone will make a line that will soon lead to a disaster.
    • Too often, the rescue crews are just remarking on how easy a job looks when something happens to create a bigger emergency.
    • The fourth season premiere (airing in January of 2021) has a worker on a phone telling his wife "It's September, how much worse can it get?" Not only does the dam he's on break but (as viewers know) things would, in fact, get much worse for the Los Angeles area over the last months of 2020....
    • In "Jinx", the firehouse never uses the words "pretty quiet" or any variation because they believe it jinx them and they have to deal with crazy calls.
  • Threatening Shark: Subverted in New Beginnings. The crew initially respond to a call of a man being attacked by a shark, and find a shark beached in the middle of the street with a man trapped with his arm down its throat. When they start to approach things with a focus on saving him, he begs Bobby to save the shark. It's a wildlife rehab team that was transporting their patient for release, and the man was bitten while inserting a hose into the shark's mouth to save her. After very carefully prying open the shark's mouth to free the man, the shark becomes their patient and is transported to the ocean via their firetruck.
  • There Are No Therapists:
    • Averted Athena and Micheal are seeing a therapist together to deal with his coming out and how it affects their family.
    • Averted Buck attempts to see a therapist about losing his first patient on the job in “Let Go”, however instead of helping Buck, he and the therapist end up sleeping together. She then kicks him out without referring him to anyone else.
  • Time Skip:
    • Season 2 is set 4 months after Season 1.
    • Season 3 is set
  • Title Drop: “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
    • From Season 2 onwards most episodes have a title drop, usually some dialogue spoken.
  • Too Dumb to Live: About half of the calls the gang get are people who do incredibly stupid things.
    • Athena's daughter almost kills herself because she was being viciously bullied at school. An angry Athena busts the bully at a house party she was throwing and tells her what happened. Does the bully show any remorse for what she did? Nope. Instead, she says that she's glad it happened and starts throwing insults about the girl. That's right. This girl flat out says that she's glad a girl she bullied almost died to the girl's mother, who also happens to be a cop! And then she's shocked when Athena arrests her.
    • A guy tosses a couple of pine cones at a tiger at an open-enclosure zoo so they can get photos...and the tiger manages to get out of the area and start chasing him down.
    • In “Under Pressure”,, two guys force their friend to put his head in a microwave full of cement for YouTube views. Later, when the guy is cut out of the cement, his friends record the event for more views. And they're upset when Bobby, sick of their stupidity, drop kicks the phone in the pool.
    • In "Awful People", the leader of the Westboro-expies is so racist he actively refuses medical care from the multiracial team until they have force him into the ambulance.
    • In "Stuck", a girl got her head stuck in the tailpipe of a car because a cute guy dared her to. She also thinks she can get a date with one of the men of the team, and Bobby calls a cab for her and her friends.
    • A bank manager thinks the best way to smuggle out $6 million in diamonds during a robbery is to swallow them all. It never occurs to him that there's a very good reason why swallowing that many stones isn't done more often as it can be lethal and causes him to collapse and die of severe stomach failure later that night.
    • A race car driver, whose long hair is his trademark, doesn't tie his hair back so it ends up getting caught in the gears and ripping part of his scalp off.
  • Tracking Device: How Bobby finds Buck in the “Pilot”, when he takes the fire truck out again to have sex, the truck has a GPS tracking device.
  • Trail of Blood: In the “Pilot”, Athena follows a trail of blood to the toilet pipe a baby was born in.
  • Tritagonist: While the show presents itself as an Ensemble Cast of first responders in Los Angeles, the leading representatives of the police, fire department, and 911 operators usually fall onto Sgt. Athena Grant, Cpt. Bobby Nash, and Abby Clark (Season 1) respectively. Nash's paramedic team, usually, play off him or the aforementioned sergeant and operator.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes:
    • “Heartbreaker”
  • Vast Bureaucracy: Eddie has to deal with this in order to obtain proper care for his special needs son.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: All the 9-1-1 operators are this.
    • Abby's role in Season 1
    • Maddie's from Season 2 onwards.
    • May joins in Season 4
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: The Valentine's Day Episode opens up with a guy flying his girlfriend in a plane and faking engine problems so that she'll open up the manual and read the marriage proposal he wrote in it. Things then go wrong as the girlfriend collapses due to all the stress affecting her broken heart syndrome. After the boyfriend is able to land the plane and the team is able to revive the girlfriend, she still says yes to the proposal, much to Buck's shock. Although she does give the guy a good slap in the face after he puts the ring on.
    Abby: Love hurts.
    • Played for Drama in "Stuck", where a guy tries to propose to his girlfriend by coming up an escalator with a ring pop, only for him to fall through the floor of the escalator when it collapses. Then after the team is able to pull him out, and the girlfriend says yes, the poor guy then dies due to internal bleeding.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The mid-season finale of Season 2 has a "Good News Bad News" like scenario. Good news? Bobby and Athena are now engaged. Bad news? Maddie's ex husband has finally found her.
    • The episode "New Beginnings". Not only does Doug stab Chimney multiple times, he finds Maddie and punches her and 'kidnaps her as well.
    • "Ocean's 9-1-1" has the fact that Bobby may lose his job as captain, and is put on suspension.
    • Two episodes later, "Careful What You Wish For", not only ends with a news report of a serial bomb threat throughout L.A., but Eddie's wife Shannon is killed in a car accident.
    • At the end of "Christmas Spirit," Michael tells Bobby that he just found out that he has a brain tumor.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In "Merry Ex-mas", we finally see what Maddie's ex husband looks like in a flashback... and he's the same guy Chimney met earlier in the episode.
    • The end of "Powerless" as the caller on a derailed train is revealed to be Abby.
  • What Happened to the Mouse??: There's little or no follow-up on the victims after the team has gotten them to the hospital. As Bobby states in the “Pilot” their job stops at the hospital doors.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In the “Pilot”, Buck initially refuses to have to wait for the teen mother of the baby that was stuck in the pipes, Bobby overrides his decision and puts the mother in the ambulance. Buck then tells Athena that if the baby dies it’s on her. Once they make it to the hospital, Athena catches up to Buck and chews him out, telling him that he does not get to decide who lives and dies, based on his own bias. If he doesn’t change his thinking he’ll get someone killed.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In "Awful People", Hen's ex Eva returns to steal custody of their son. When Hen later leaves to confront Eva, she finds Eva dying from a heroin overdose. Hen seems tempted to just leave her there to die, but she saves her anyway. Hen gets the last laugh, though, by telling Eva's parole officer so she goes straight back to jail.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • "Hen's Begins", shows how Hen quit her job as a saleswoman to join the unit and became the tough paramedic of the present.
    • "Chimney Begins, shows how Chimney went from a lost figure coming up with hopeless "get rich quick" schemes to the serious paramedic we know.
    • "Bobby Begins Again", focuses on Bobby when he first comes to L.A. from Minnesota.
    • While not totally set in the past, "Athena Begins", does show how Athena joined the police force and rose up as a cop.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The “Pilot” has Bobby's crew arriving, to their surprise, at a motel den decorated with illegally hoarded snakes to respond to the hoarder's suffocating pleading for help. Chimney makes it very clear that he doesn't want the situation to persist any longer, mainly out of trepidation of surrounding reptiles. Not that it stops him from playfully taking the credit for the rescue in order to appease his girlfriend.
    • "Monsters" reveals that Chimney is a bit creeped out by crows as well.
  • Yandere: Melora of “Heartbreaker”. After finding out her boyfriend cheated on her, Melora killed him, mutilated and put him back together with superglue, and wants to put Athena's heart in him, believing it will make him a better person. When Athena gets a look in Melora's medicine cabinet, she finds plenty of medication that's long expired.
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