The series focuses on the 5 main characters, the ambitious leader of the team, DCI Ingrid Dahl (Charlotte Fich), the rough edged and impulsive DS Allan Fischer (Mads Mikkelsen), the perceptive and cerebral DS Thomas La Cour (Lars Brygmann), the world-weary, senior member DI Jens-Peter "I.P." Jørgensen (Waage Sandø), and the easy-going and levelheaded junior member DS Gaby Levin.
The drama is balanced between the forensic process and an unfolding backstory that includes the sometime ambivalent relationships existing between the unit members, their families and those outside the Unit. The series regularly touches on social issues including the insularity of police work, the social and emotional impact of brutal crime, as well as political and press involvement in the justice process.
- Accidental Misnaming: On several occasions, Allan Fischer is called 'Fisker' by characters who do not know him.
- Accomplice by Inaction: It is mentioned that a local police officer Graf, in episode 4 allegedly did nothing to prevent a suspect from dying, during an interrogation, despite him knowing first-aid.
- Addiction Displacement: Implied with Ingrid as a background thing throughout the series - she's shown smoking in the first episode and subsequently appears to have quit, but instead has a habit of chewing on toothpicks or matches in stressful situations.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Discussed In-Universe. Many of the older male cops in the force accurses Ingrid behind her back of only having become leader of the Unit due to gender politics, and Ulf usually responds by claiming she got the post as part of a deal he made with the female police chief. However, as the series progresses, it becomes clear that Ulf genuinely holds Ingrid in great respect for her investigative skills, and it is implied that he just tells his male colleagues what they want to hear whenever the subject is brought up.
- Amateur Sleuth: On multiple occasions, Johnny Olsen involves himself with the team's work and current cases, despite not being a part of the team as an officer. He even mentions that if he hadn't become a football player, he would probably have become a police officer.
- Based on a True Story/Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Toes on a blurred line between these two, as the cases the team investigates is based on real life crimes that took place in Denmark, but the credits always makes sure to display the following disclaimer: "'Rejseholdet' is fiction, with fictional characters, inspired by real events." Didn't stop some episodes from causing a bit of occasional controversy as some of the people who were involved in the real life cases, felt the show was ripping a bit too heavy into old wounds.
- Clueless Detective: This trope is used to describe a lot of the local policeforces in general, in contrast to the more superior Rejsehold.
- Cowboy Cop: Fischer have a tendency to bend or outright break the rules of lawful conduct whenever he finds them to be too big an inconvenience and he believes he can get away with it, but none of the members of the team can call themselves completely innocent when it comes to this. Not even Ulf, who is supposed to be Da Chief, is above doing it occasionally.
- Da Chief: Ulf.
- Five-Man Band
- Full-Name Basis: At least the first time any character says Johnny Olsen's name, it is by both his first- and last-name. This can also be considered a Running Gag, as it is usually uttered in the same sentence: "Det er sgu da Johnny Olsen!"
- Evil Brit: In one case, The Man Behind the Man turns out to be this. He lay in a prolonged parent custody dispute with his Danish ex-wife, and eventually decided to take matters into his own hands by hiring a guy to kidnap their son and bring him to him in England, knowing that the legal process could take years to resolve.
- Generation Xerox: Ingrid notes that she chose to be a cop like her father and her grandfather. Notably she also unknowningly shares some traits and mannerisms with Ulf, which, of course, is used as Foreshadowing to the fact that Ulf might be her biological father.
- Hospital Gurney Scene: In episode 17. Gaby has a miscarriage, after a suspect escapes from the interrogation room, pushing her into a table. Later, a scene primarily from Gaby's point of view follows, where she's looking up at Ingrid and some doctors, as they run her down for surgery.
- Last-Name Basis: Allan Fischer and Thomas La Cour are almost exclusively referred to by their last-names, with few exceptions. This is not by respect, but more as a nickname within the team itself.
- The Lost Lenore: Gender-Inverted example with Søren, Ingrid's long-therm boyfriend, who dies in the series' sixth episode from a brain hemorrhage. His death then continues to influence Ingrid's private life for the rest of the series.
- Mood Motif: Plenty. Most notably; the sad and tragic scenes are underscored by the same melody played by a wailling saxphone.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: I.P. His real first name is Jens-Peter, but he always goes by "I.P.", even to his wife. One notable exception is an episode where he is subjected to an experiment with hypnosis, during which he is mentally regressed to the age of 8. He then continues to suffer from after-effects of the session throughout the episode, and at one point he excitedly answers a phone call by introducing himself as Jens-Peter, before quickly regaining his composure and correcting himself to "I.P.".
- Putting the Band Back Together: After the events of episode 30, the team was broken up. However, in the Grand Finale, they have to come together again to solve a case involving the minister of justice.
- Psychic Powers: While the show is very much grounded in reality, La Cour develops an increasingly stronger and somewhat supernatural sense of post-cognition as the series goes on, and he even starts developing some kind of clairvoyance to compliment it. These skills are never fully explained and is treated as Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, and La Cour, at least early on, prefers to explain them as just being his "intuition".
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Søren, who dies in the sixth episode.