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Series / Quincy, M.E.

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A coroner-slash-crimefighter!

A popular late '70s-early '80s Forensic Drama about the eponymous Quincy, M.E. (Jack Klugman) and his work handling cases in an LA coroner's office. Arguably created the Forensic Drama genre that became so popular many years later.

The show began as an entry on The NBC Mystery Movie before being shifted into a full-fledged series in its own right, and enjoyed a lengthy run (1976-1983). The basic formula had Quincy working on a corpse whose death had been ruled an accident or suicide. In each episode he would find something strange in the autopsy which would lead him to suspect murder. Quincy would then start sleuthing, inevitably picking up on clues the police missed. He'd eventually find enough evidence to force the always-clueless cops to re-classify the death as a homicide, at which point Quincy would expose the identity of the killer.


During his time solving suspicious suicides and uncovering evildoers, Quincy was assisted by loyal Lab Rat Sam Fujiyama (Robert Ito) and was constantly at odds with both Lt. Monahan (Gary Walberg), who resented Quincy's meddling, and Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin), who resented all the overtime hours Quincy and Sam racked up.

This series provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Jack Klugman himself in "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?" because he hated Michael Sloan and Glen A. Larson's script for the episode (in which a body brought into the morgue turns out to be alive, so you can see his point). Klugman eventually had Larson removed from the show, which is why the showrunner credits vary so much.
    • In the most notable example, the Series Finale doesn't have any of the regulars other than Klugman.
  • Accidental Suicide: In "The Final Gift", two partners in a crop dusting business end up in a plane accident, with one of them suffering severe blood loss. His partner gives him a blood transfusion, but the man dies soon after. In the autopsy, Quincy discovers that the dead guy had suffered from arsenic poisoning and begins to think that his partner had poisoned him to get his half of the business. It's eventually revealed that it was the other way around: the deceased had been slowly poisoning his partner with arsenic in order to get his half of the business. He also had a bad liver, so when his partner gave him the blood transfusion, the arsenic in his partner's blood killed him almost instantly. As Quincy put it, if the victim hadn't tried to kill his partner, ''he wouldn't have died".
  • Always Murder: Actually no. It's usually murder, but:
    • "Semper Fidelis" is about a young soldier who dies on night manoeuvres.
    Quincy: Your son didn't fall, and he wasn't thrown. He jumped.
    • Also averted in "Murder By S.O.P." with the town doctor who knows the true identity of this week's murderer. He's killed in a car accident which is a genuine car accident.
    • Averted again in "The Hope Of Elkwood," where a cross-country running coach was accused of working his star pupil to death. The judge threw out the involuntary manslaughter charge on grounds of the specifics of the crime not matching the definition of the charge, only to have the guy sued for wrongful death. It finally turned out that the Body of the Week had a small tumor on his adrenal gland, making his C.O.D. natural causes exacerbated by training for his next race.
    • And again averted in "Nowhere To Run," which begins with a pregnant teenager running from her boyfriend; her corpse is later brought in. She jumps off a cliff and kills herself because the father of her unborn child was... her father.
    • An unusual example in one episode, when a businessman accused of burning down his own business for the insurance money (killing a janitor) is tried for several counts of mail fraud rather than arson or homicide, though the charges carry a combined 50-year sentence (at his age, that's the rest of his life so the end result is the same). Despite accusations of Mafia connections, Quincy takes the businessman's side and accuses the prosecutor of running a Kangaroo Court, especially after he convenes a second grand jury when the first one finds no grounds to indict. The fire was accidental: the janitor's cleaning chemicals leaked into a lit kerosene heater.
  • A Father to His Men: Asten, at least at first, appeared to be a bureaucrat more worried about the budget and efficient performance. Hurt anyone under his employee, however, and he would often drop the facade and start to throw around his political weight to assist, and in one case he physically assaulted a diamond smuggler that tried to kill Quincy.
  • Artifact of Doom: The pistol from "Guns Don't Die" is a rare non-magical example, as every time it passes to a new owner, it's used in short order to kill someone before being almost immediately ditched and into new hands quickly. Then when finally returned to its original owner, the owner's kids find it in a closet and one shoots the other while playing with it. The star emblem on the handle almost seems like it was there to enforce the idea that the thing is just evil.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Despite the series often going out of its way to be accurate, season 5's "Diplomatic Immunity" really exaggerates the effects of heparin on blood clotting to the point of making it look like a super drug. One man dies from a gunshot wound after being jabbed with a needle of it, and the intended victim bleeds profusely during surgery from only a small amount. Heparin IS a blood thinner, but it's nowhere near as potent as shown in the episode- in fact, patients with certain clotting disorders that are on blood thinners are given the drug by IV prior to surgeries as an alternative to their usual medications. The small amounts given in the episode would not have been so deadly.
  • Asshole Victim: None more prevalent than in "Sleeping Dogs", with the Victim of the Week being a man who constantly terrorized a town and always got away with it. When his body was discovered, several people confessed at the same time. To drive the point home just how much he was hated, everyone in town, even the local sheriff, did everything they could to obstruct Quincy trying to learn the truth.
  • Author Filibuster: Some episodes should obviously just be called "Jack Klugman's Soapbox".
    • "A Good Smack In The Mouth," about child abuse, gives co-teleplay and story credit to guess which cast member.
    • An episode where a college student dies in a hazing incident ends with a scene where, out of nowhere and with no prior setup, Quincy is suddenly giving a graduation speech at an unnamed college. His entire speech is about how terrible fraternity hazing is: which is all well and good, but would probably be more useful if he were giving it to a bunch of people who were NOT about to graduate.
    • Lampshaded in the late season episode that introduced his new love interest, later to become his wife. She recognized him as the hot dogging coroner who was always incensed about some issue, only to have forgotten about it a week later, when there was some new issue that he was incensed about.
    • The series named the trope The Quincy Punk with an episode that soapboxed about how Punk Rock derails teenagers' lives and makes you do drugs.
  • The Bad Guys Win:
    • "Scream To The Skies" - following a hearing convened in the wake of an air crash into the sea in which many people die due to the airline not having life rafts (because they weren't legally required to carry them), the airline in question brings a defamation suit against Quincy - "You've just been gagged" - which stops him from continuing his safety crusade.
    • "Passing" features Quincy investigating the remains of a former labor union boss who had been murdered by the union so that others could take over. Between political pressure and threats of violence, they force Quincy to drop the investigation and falsify the results... but a participant who knows the truth still comes forward, thus ultimately averting the trope.
    • Arguably, "Guns Don't Die", if a handgun that wreaks havoc wherever it goes can qualify as a Bad Guy. Even after Quincy and his associates finally track the damned thing down, he's not allowed to have it destroyed, so it ends up in the original owner's hands and gets another innocent victim - a little girl - shot.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Quincy volunteers to assist a prison medical staff so he can investigate an unusual death that took place there the warden has been running illegal fighting tournaments and had killed an inmate that wouldn't go along with it. His kind treatment of an injured inmate saves him later when said inmate fights off several others sent to kill Quincy on orders from the warden.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Dr. Asten and Lt. Monahan.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Memories Of Allison" ends with the arrest of several mobsters, but the title character unfortunately didn't make it to the end before this happened and it's evidence of her death that resulted in the arrest.
  • Broken Aesop: Happens a few times. Notably in the episode "Mode Of Death" in which a big deal is made to show off how wonderful the psychological autopsy is, dedicating most of the episode to it... only for the team to come up with no definitive answer, forcing Quincy to go back and check his initial autopsy results. He finds something that he'd normally have spotted right away in any other episode and determines the cause to be murder. Take away the extended display of the group that went nowhere and the episode would be less than 15 minutes long.
  • Busman's Holiday: Quincy takes a few. He even uses the actual phrase on one episode.
  • Catchphrase: Quincy was prone to saying "holy mackerel", often several times an episode.
  • Character Filibuster: Quincy does a lot of this.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Quincy is friends with Rosie Grier, so this trope may apply.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Lee Porter, Quincy's love interest in the initial movie-length episodes, disappeared without a trace when the show switched to an hour-long format.
  • Cool Car: Well, unique at any rate. It's a hearse that says "CORONER" across the back. Danny hated it when Quincy parked it outside the bar.
    • He did own a restored early 20th century car but it was rarely seen, since he had little opportunity to go on a proper vacation in it.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • While Quincy runs into quite a few of these, one of the later seasons had a memorable aversion. When a executive learned that his company's poor waste disposal practices had caused a fatal accident, told Quincy that, while his lawyers had informed him he held no legal responsibility, he still felt a moral responsibility to assist in solving the crisis.
    • One of the worst cases was played by John Colicos (Kor of Star Trek). He murdered his boss, kept the man frozen for eight years while telling the world the man was living in seclusion, then planted the thawed body and tried to frame another man for the murder(a man who had recently been released from prison, no less, for falsely confessing to a murder to help these people cover up the real culprit in a crime), all in a plot to take control of a major corporation.
  • Corrupt Politician:
    • A few show up, including a labor union boss who threatens to ruin another doctor's career if Quincy doesn't falsify the findings on a murder case.
    • Averted in "Murder By S.O.P." with the town mayor- he's merely been framed and has no problem giving Quincy full authority to find out who is really behind the murders.
  • The Coroner: Quincy is more specifically a medical examiner employed by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. Coroners have generally been governmental or judicial officials, while Quincy is a physician specializing in forensic pathology.
  • Courtroom Episode: There were a few, the most notable being "Guilty Till Proven Innocent", which put Quincy up against a McCarthy-esque Federal Attorney (played brilliantly by Eugene Roche) who was out to nail a friend of Quincy's for Mail Fraud, among other things, all having to do with the poor guy being related to a Syndicate family (he changed his name to avoid any association with them). Quincy winds up going to jail for refusing to testify at the Grand Jury proceedings, seeing it for the witch hunt that it really is. Another notable one in this trope is "Jury Duty", where Quincy's called to serve as a juror on the trial of a young man accused of killing his girlfriend. Guess who infuriates the other jurors by being the only one who thinks the defendant is innocent?
  • Crossover: with Emergency - Robert A. Cinader wrote the episode "Cover Up" which featured paramedics from Squad 44 calling Rampart Emergency to deal with a heart attack at a bowling alley. The patient is directed to a different hospital as it's closer. If they hadn't redirected the patient, he may have lived- an incompetent replacement doctor killing the patient set off the episode's key plot.
    • In season 7- "Smoke Screen", Engine 51 is called as part of the battalion to deal with an apartment building fire, although none of the usual Emergency! cast are present. "The Golden Hour", Rampart is called by paramedics.
      • "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?" has a possible crossover- the hospital scenes are filmed at the same set as Rampart, and it's merely referred to as "General Hospital" in dialog.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Unhappy Hour" focuses more on Asten, whose niece kicks off the plot. It's also Asten, not for once Quincy, who delivers a lecture at the end... what with his niece (who becomes his late niece towards the end) having been an alcoholic.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: "Images."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Danny, the owner of the bar across the street, was king of this- moreso when dragged into the weekly plot somehow, and only averted when things involving him were serious.
  • Deer in the Headlights: At the start of "Images" Jessica Ross dies in an explosion because she's so shocked to see her doppelganger that she doesn't move when the doppelganger drops an explosive device on the floor.
  • Depending on the Writer: Quincy's relationship with his superiors and their enthusiasm for his stubbornness varies between episodes.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Quincy's first wife died before the series started, and then in the final season he marries a woman played by the same actress.
  • Downer Ending:
  • Driven to Suicide: The Victim of the Week in "Semper Fi," the disfigured model at the start of "The Depth Of Beauty," Asten's niece Melody in "Unhappy Hour" and the teenage daughter in "Nowhere To Run."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The beginning episodes make it clear that Lt. Monahan finds Quincy to be an incredibly annoying thorn in his side and even Sgt. Brill doesn't like him very much. Quincy is merely a single man living on a house boat with almost no backstory beyond his current girlfriend, Lee. Lee would later vanish without a word, the subplot of Quincy's deceased wife would be worked in, Lt. Monahan was retconned into having been friends with Quincy for years, and Brill even owed his job to Quincy for clearing him in a possible shooting death of a hostage.
    • The first two seasons’ opening credits do not feature the signature scene of Quincy walking past a row of police recruits to a gurney and throwing back the cover, nonchalantly going about his work as each recruit faints, vomits, etc., at the sight of the dead body. The Season 1 opening was typical of the Mystery Movie opening; Season 2 was a single frame montage of clips, before the more familiar opening came with the fall 1977 (Season 3) episodes.
  • "Eureka!" Moment
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Inverted in "Stolen Tears"- a Jewish man who runs a small Holocaust remembrance museum has been sued for defamation by a professional Holocaust denier. The running B-plot is that an elderly Nazi war criminal has murdered another Jewish man. After being arrested, the Nazi agrees to testify at the lawsuit trial, on behalf of the Jewish man- he openly admits that everything happened and that he'd personally executed thousands of Jews in the camps. However, he wasn't remorseful- he was quite pleased with what he'd done, considering it a victory over a people he personally hated, and was merely disgusted that anyone would deny what he considered to be personal accomplishments, and he considered anyone who denied the Holocaust to be "beneath" Jews.
  • Everybody Lives: Yes, incredibly a series about a coroner managed to have the odd example of this trope (such as "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?" and "Never A Child").
  • Evil Twin: Season 4's "Images" features a lost twin murdering her famous sister to try and take her place.
  • Expy: The elderly cowboy actor from "Last of the Dinosaurs" is a thinly-veiled clone of John Wayne.
  • Extreme Doormat: How many times has Sam stayed late to run tests, to the detriment of his love and social life?
  • Faint in Shock: The opening montage has Quincy conducting an autopsy while six police academy recruits observe. Three recruits whoop their cookies while the other three faint and collapse onto the floor. Quincy takes a moment to peer beyond the corpse to assess his "audience"; after all, he's seen far worse than what the recruits just had.
  • Feghoot: An entire episode about a pair of property developers with the surname Butler who killed a man with X-ray machine-induced radiation poisoning (the X-ray machine being equipment used to inspect building structures for construction flaws). Seemingly all to set up Quincy's line at the Fade to Black: "You've known [whodunnit] for years! The Butlers did it."
  • First-Name Basis: Sam, Danny and Ed (the crime scene photographer who serves as a recurring character) are typically referred to by their first name by everyone. Sam, of course, has a last name that's used often(Fujiyama), while Danny's family name Tovo is not mentioned much. Given that Ed is only a minor character, he was never given a last name.
  • Food End: Many, many episodes end with Quince and his buddies discussing the case's conclusion at their favorite Italian restaurant.
  • Godwin's Law: Quincy once accuses an antagonist prosecutor of having a "Nazi mentality", correctly arguing that he's trying to run a Kangaroo Court.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Danny's.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Corpses generally aren't shown on-screen even during the autopsy scenes, and even in later episodes they're only shown in brief shots. Actual autopsies are never shown, their greens never have a drop of blood on them, and organs are almost never seen.
    • This is played for laughs during the opening titles, in a scene from "Go Fight City Hall... To The Death" (the pilot). Quincy is performing an autopsy as some rookie police officers observe. They all pass out, but all we see are the tools used and the cops dropping.
  • GPS Evidence: In "Tissue of Truth", when a kidnapper dies in a car accident, taking the location of his Buried Alive victim with him, the only way to find the boy is to look over the corpse for clues in order to narrow it down.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: In the episode "Tissue of Truth", after solving the case Sam and Quincy stagger into work the next morning incredibly hungover. Quincy gloats that at least Dr Asten, their boss, will be worse because he kept topping up Asten's glass every time he wasn't looking. Then Asten walks in all bright and cheery and not hungover in the slightest, much to Quincy's dismay.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • One episode dealt with child abuse as Quincy tried to determine which parent was beating the kid. When he found out it was the father, who had taken his son off to a fishing trip and intended to beat his son further, Quincy tracks them down and completely loses it, almost strangling the father as he ranted on about how horrid the act of child abuse was. Quincy only snapped back to sanity when the child begged Quincy not to hurt his father.
    • In the episode where Sam is poisoned as fallout of a plot by an animal handler to kill his lover with snake venom, Quincy breaks down and threatens the killer with a live snake to get the needed information out of him.
    • Something similar happens again in the final season when Quincy is mugged. He spends much of the episode terrified and traumatized, unwilling to even identify the muggers for the police, partly because of the others discussing the low conviction rate of muggers, how so many end up on the streets in short order and how so many witnesses who come forward end up suffering retaliation. Ultimately, Quincy sees a trauma therapist and admits that he isn't afraid of the muggers- he's afraid of himself. he fears that if he ever gets his hands on them he may kill them (as listed above, he's already displayed the possibility of violent assault against another human being, despite his generally high value of human life, if he's provoked)..
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Though the portrayal was more tempered compared to most examples of this trope.
  • Hot-Blooded: Quincy seems to be extremely passionate about, uh... well, just about everything he puts his mind to, especially the social cause of the week. If bureaucracy or plain ignorance get in the way of his investigations, he'll be sure to ramp up the shouty aggressiveness exponentially.
  • Houseboat Hero: Quincy is that much cooler because he lives on a boat.
  • Karma Houdini: Per the above example in Heroic BSoD concerning the snake incident- Quincy threatened to kill a man with a deadly snake yet receives no punishment for it. Then again, the only present witnesses to this were Monahan and Brill who probably didn't give a damn and let it slide, and if anything, they'd claim the killer's accusation was falsified.
  • Kavorka Man: Two words that leap to mind to describe Quincy physically are "craggy" and "wizened", also, he cuts up dead people for a living. He's never lacking for skimpily-dressed 20-something female company, though.
  • The Lab Rat: Sam and Mark.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the end of "Bitter Pill", after Quincy's attempt to pass a law to get rid of lookalike drugs fails, a senator brags that he was right that a law wasn't needed. The ending scene then depicts the senator's daughter, high on lookalikes, about to take more pills, with the implications that she was going to suffer cardiac arrest as a result.
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • The case with Quincy, Asten, Monahan and Brill. Two of them were never given actual first names, Asten's first name of Robert is only mentioned by certain characters (usually his wife or some business associate), and Monahan's first name of Frank is very rarely mentioned.
    • In "Accomplice to Murder", the name on Quincy's business card reads 'R. Quincy', but his first name is never revealed. Throughout the series, he is frequently addressed as Dr. Quincy.
  • Loophole Abuse: D.U.I. starts out with an apparent drunk driver killing a random pedestrian and the episode digging into how lax the laws regarding drunk drivers are. However The killer in question was targeting his victim to keep him from blabbing about a money laundering scheme. He makes sure people see him drinking right before the kill, then takes several more drinks after to load up his blood alcohol. The plan relies on abusing the lax laws so avoid any prison sentence. Quincy exposes the ruse when a test on a sample of blood from a drained hematoma(the killer bumped his knee on the dashboard only seconds after) reveals negligible alcohol content.
  • The McCoy: This describes Quincy to a T. He's impulsive, emotional, very humanistic, and frequently argues with more logical characters.
  • Mood Whiplash: Used to excellent effect in "Guns Don't Die" (see Downer Ending above).
  • Mystery Magnet: Quincy and Danny can't even go on a simple fishing trip without getting dragged into a web of intrigue.
  • Never Learned to Read: The subplot of "A Loss For Words" is that an arson investigator with the coroner's office is illiterate, having relied on his long-time secretary to get by in his job despite this. The one day she's out sick, he manages to really screw things up due to being unable to read a report and is eventually outed to Quincy.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Salome Jens plays a recently-widowed trucker in "Dead Stop" who comes of as a total badass when she has to hunt down truckers hauling illegal and deadly chemical wastes. She's well-respected by the other truckers on the road.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Hiro from "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?" is pretty clearly based on Dr. Thomas Noguchi, LA's "coroner to the stars." At one point, Yuki Shimoda (who starred as Dr. Hiro was considered for a possible spinoff series as a forensic examiner similar to Dr. Thomas Noguchi, but nothing further ever became of it.
    • And Quincy was based on Noguchi.
  • No Full Name Given:
    • Quincy goes by his surname throughout the entire series — not even his girlfriends use his given name — though a business card gives his first initial as "R". He is very frequently addressed as Dr. Quincy throughout the series.
    • Sgt. Brill also lacks a first name, apparently never supplied with one during the series run.
  • Officer O'Hara: Lt. Monahan mentions his Irish grandmother from time to time.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • In "Murder By S.O.P.", Quincy arranged a "good cop, bad cop" scene with a local sheriff to get information out of a suspected accomplice- Quincy dons a pair of brass knuckles and trashes a diner to intimidate the kid.
    • As detailed elsewhere in this article, Quincy can be sent into a violent rage if pushed too hard.
    • Is Monahan going along with Quincy without so much as the tiniest argument? Then it's probably something very serious.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Over the course of eight seasons, the ONLY character to get any sort of promotion was Quincy, who was bumped up to deputy coroner sometime around season 7 (which placed him as head of the coroners on his floor, but still under Asten). Everyone else stays in their respective jobs.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted for the most part- Monahan and Brill are quite competent, but they're also overworked and Quincy's extra-curricular examination work tends to throw more on their plate than they need, although they usually go along with it anyway. Other police officers that become vital to the plot are also shown to be decent at their jobs even when accused of something. Notably played straight in "Even Odds" however when Monahan makes the stupid mistake of waving a loaded gun, dangling off a pencil by the barrel, at a suspect allowing him to grab it, the resulting firefight getting Quincy shot. Asten rips him a new one for such incompetence that a lieutenant(or any police officer) never should have displayed.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: "The Cutting Edge," the final episode of the series, barely features Quincy (the other regulars don't appear at all) and focuses instead on a surgeon who specializes in state of the art surgical techniques. No points for guessing it was meant as a spin-off.
    • The "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?" episode (from which Jack Klugman was absent) starred Yuki Shimoda as Dr. Hiro. Shimoda was reportedly considered for a Quincy spinoff in which he would play a character similar to Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi.
  • The Quincy Punk: The episode "Next Stop Nowhere" is the Trope Namer.
  • Qurac: In one episode Quincy gets involved with a hijacking by some radicals that are implied to be from one of these sorts of countries.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • Season 5's "The Money Plague" was based on the real-life D.B. Cooper plane hijacking.
    • Also from season 5, "Sweet Land of Liberty" was heavily based on the (then recently declassified) MK Ultra experiments.
    • The final season episode, "On Dying High", was based on the Richard Pryor freebasing incident. In this episode, country singer J.J. Chandler (played by real-life country singer Roger Miller) is freebasing cocaine before his show and, like Pryor, got caught on fire and was severely burned. Fortunately for Chandler, Quincy happened to be in the audience when he ran out on stage afire, and Quincy was able to put out the flames.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dr. Asten and Lt. Monahan veer between this and Beleaguered Bureaucrat.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: The Mystery Movie episodes had a more businesslike (though still optimistic) theme tune; the more familiar theme came along when the series debuted and was edited onto the shortened versions, but the original is still heard over their end credits (although the "guy on the landscape with the flashlight" background is replaced with the big Q, and the credits themselves are changed — they're white instead of yellow, and instead of "Mystery Movie Theme: Henry Mancini" there's "Theme: Glen A. Larson and Stu Phillips"). Later seasons got a new arrangement which sounded less quirky and more suitable to the series.
  • The '70s: Some of Quincy's clothes are typical of seventies fashion in all its horrifying glory.
  • Scary Black Man: Starvin' Marvin from "Dead Stop" comes off friendly enough when we first meet him — until he later learns his partner is involved in the illegal dumping of chemical wastes, which has led to the death of a friend, and forces him to spill the beans.
  • Seen It All: The opening credits scene where the rookie police officers pass out due to being shocked and horrified at what they were seeing, perhaps a horribly damaged body. Quincy, meanwhile, goes about his work like a true professional, not traumatized in the least, as (it can be implied) he has seen far worse.
  • Series Continuity Error: In season 4's "Semper Fidelis," Quincy is brought in on the case of a dead Marine as a purely civilian expert to double check the autopsy findings. He's even referred to as a civilian multiple times. Then in season 5's "The Final Gift," we're told he'd been in the Korean war as a doctor, in an unspecified branch of service. Then in season 7's "The Last of Leadbottom," we learn that Quincy holds a rank of captain in the Naval Reserve.
  • Shared Universe: With BJ and the Bear, believe it or not — the Poorly Disguised Pilot "The Girls of Hollywood High" has the PDPs' stars visiting his place of work. Asten and Sam appear but not the main man, understandably given the episode was scripted by both shows' co-creator Glen A. Larson (see Absentee Actor above).
  • Shown Their Work: The series had access to actual forensics lab equipment rather than props, and Mark was played by an actual LA Coronor's Office lab tech. Barring certain allowances to move the plot along, the production crew and actors often went out of their way to keep the science as accurate as could possibly be done.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Because they're Beleaguered Bureaucrats, Asten and Monahan tend to be leery at first about the case of the week, no matter how many previous times Quincy has been right. They also tend to throw in with Quincy pretty quickly when he gives them proof.
    • Subverted when one of Monahan's close friends, a priest, is found dead with a prostitute. Monahan dumps all the pretense and begs Quincy to prove something funny is going on. In this case, even Quincy doesn't see anything strange until Monahan forces him to poke his nose around.
  • Technicolor Science: Justified, since Quincy and his team work on lots of actual scientific tests, including chemical reaction tests that really do involve prettily colored liquids.
  • Temporary Substitute: Dr. Hiro from the Klugman-less episode "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?"
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Usually once an episode, Quincy would find an excuse to chew out the murderer, a corrupt businessman, a politician, or perhaps Monahan or Asten for sitting on their butts. It's a miracle it's not known as "the Quincy speech".
  • Three-Way Sex: The Double Standard attached to it is discussed in one episode as an analogy to alcoholism.
  • Trope Maker: For the Forensic Drama genre. This series fathers many tropes that would be popularized by CSI, especially as regards to revolving around a non-cop forensic scientist who solves crimes in tandem with the actual cops.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Girlfriend: It has to be said, Quincy's girlfriend Lee in the Mystery Movie episodes is smokin'. Between Lee (played by Lynnette Mettey) and Quincy's eventual wife Emily (Anita Gillette), he romances a number of fetching actresses, such as Frances Lee McCain, Sharon Acker, Diana Muldaur and Katherine Justice.
  • Very Special Episode: Very common later on in the series (see "Whatever Happened to Morris Perlmutter?" for a particularly strong example).
  • Wheel Program: The first season.
  • Witch Hunt: A federal prosecutor in one episode is determined to take down a businessman he believes to be a member of The Mafia who burned down his own business for insurance fraud. When the first grand jury doesn't indict, he convenes a second one since double jeopardy doesn't apply to grand juries. Quincy comes to the defendant's defense and manages to get himself thrown in jail for contempt of court after invoking Godwin's Law against the prosecutor. The accused is in fact completely innocent and is eventually proven such: the fire was accidental and the man had spent his whole career keeping his mafia relatives out of his businesses. Unfortunately, even after the truth is revealed, the prosecutor still thinks he's corrupt, and intends to take him down no matter what.
  • Yakuza: One Body of the Week, an LAPD organized crime detective, was the victim of a yakuza assassin. The oyabun was trying to work out a deal with The Mafia to buy black market guns for his operations in Japan.

Alternative Title(s): Quincy