Follow TV Tropes


Series / Reno 911!

Go To
The Season 1 cast.

Police officers work hard every day. They put their lives on the line, protecting the rights of you and me to feel safe. They are serious and disciplined, and do their job to the best of their ability, holding themselves to a high standard of conduct. Right?

Then there's these guys.

Reno 911! is a improv mockumentary-style parody of COPS (1989) and similar reality shows. Created by Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney-Silver, the show ran on Comedy Central for six seasons from 2003 to 2009 and continues in reruns. It revolves around the members of the fictitious and massively inept Reno Sheriff's Department, who are videotaped in the course of their duties and sometimes address the camera directly as though being interviewed. Much of the material is improvised, based on a broad outline, with minimal scripted elements.

In 2020, a revival season of the series premiered on the short-lived streaming platform Quibi. While Quibi shuttered after only six months, the season, along with the rest of Quibi’s library, was acquired by Roku. A second season of the revival, titled Reno 911! Defunded, premiered on The Roku Channel on February 25, 2022. The third season of the revival premiered on Comedy Central (the first season to premiere there since 2009) on October 19, 2022. An additional special, Reno 911!: The Hunt For QAnon, premiered on Paramount+ on December 23, 2021.

This series provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Two recurring serial killers Mike Powers and Trudy's fiance Craig are very nice, friendly men.
  • All Just a Dream: The season three premiere parodies the season 2 premiere casting the season 1 finale as a Dream Within a Dream by subverting this: Dangle waking up and describing the horrible nightmare he had (the season 2 finale), only to remember that it wasn't a nightmare and they're all in prison.
  • The Alleged Expert: The FBI profiler brought in for one episode.
  • Always Someone Better: The Reno Fire Department. Unlike the sheriffs they are professional, kind, and well liked by the community.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Kimball. The other deputies explicitly ask her if she's a lesbian, and don't believe her when she says she's not.
    • A suave con man trying to get into his captors' heads tries to bait her by saying that he hates men.
    • Then again, it’s also implied she slept with Junior, as the deputies awkwardly run into them out at a bar together.
  • Amusingly Awful Aim: Garcia's godawful marksmanship is a Running Gag.
    Junior: (after Garcia empties the magazine of a G36 with an extended magazine attached at some targets and hits nothing but air) "That's got to be some kind of goddamn RECORD.
  • Animal Motif: Junior, as well as being the Department's canine handler, usually also ends up in any situation involving dogs. Most don't end well for him.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • The season 1 finale has Trudi react to Jones Faking the Dead by having her shoot everybody else in the room (see Dream Within a Dream for the resolution).
    • Then in the season 5 finale they crash a car and half the cast is killed.
  • Armor Is Useless: The bullet proof vests that the female deputies get last for one episode before they are revealed to not really be able to stop bullets.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: The deputies break pretty much every gun safety rule in the book, and many criminals and Red Shirt sheriffs pay the price. Of course, it's always Played for Laughs.
  • Ass Shove: One episode sees Junior and Dangle taking a statement from a guy being loaded into an ambulance, where he reveals he's had a hot dog fresh off the spinning rack shoved inside of him. From the dialogue, it's implied this isn't the first time he's been made into a "hotdog cowboy".
  • Attending Your Own Funeral:
    • Done by Jones in the morgue at the end of the Halloween episode.
    • A few of the deputies dream about Chechekevitch doing this.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The various Public Service Announcements and PoliceTEK commercials.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Practically the whole point of the show.
  • Bland-Name Product: the "Reno Sheriff's Department" rather than the Reno Police Department or Washoe County Sheriff's Department.
  • Blatant Lies: Lt. Jim Dangle claims he wears short shorts for mobility purposes, so he can apparently "run faster", which is probably half-true, however everybody knows he wears them simply because he likes them.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Junior, even though he doesn't realize it.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Weigel has a pixie cut.
  • Briar Patching: The return of "Spanish Mike" Alvarez to the FBI. When the real FBI shows up, they provide every form of ID imaginable without being asked.
  • Butt-Monkey: Pretty much everyone in the cast at one time or another, but Deputy Weigel most of all.
  • Came Back Wrong: Wiegel's behavior is explained as this after a botched drug raid in "VHS Transfer Memory Lane":
    Junior: She was dead for fourteen minutes.
    Declan: Oh, that'll kill a brain right there, yeah.
    Dangle: Shouldn't have revived her. It's what the doctor said. The doctor said I should've let her go.
  • Camp Gay:
    • Terry.
    • Glimpses into Dangle's private life suggest a penchant for this. He even says he likes Terry, or at least he used to.
  • Cannibal Larder: Officer Weigel discovers a human foot in her boyfriend's, the Truckee Killer's fridge.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • The revival series on Quibi seems to have gone the route of acting like Johnson, Garcia, and Kimball were never killed in the parade float accident at the end of season 5. Declan and Rizzo are still part of the sheriff's department, however.
    • The improv format of the show and recurring characters often mean continuity is loose, and characters even behave erratically and inconsistently depending on the episode.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Ryan Stiles (known for shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway?) visits in one episode to teach everyone how to do act during undercover work, but it ends up being a lesson on improv.
    • In one episode, Dangle gives two prostitutes an improv lesson when their "two-girl show" isn't convincing.
  • Catchphrase: Dangle's "Here's the thing" just after he has tried and failed to explain something and just before he actually spits it out.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Jones sees almost the whole cast doing this in The Movie, with Clementine and Kimball being the lone exceptions.
  • Cleans Up Nicely: Weigel can actually be very pretty whenever she makes the attempt to wear something flattering. Such occasions are rare.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Every season ended with a Cliffhanger, and more often than not, would start the next season with a copout (but, of course, it would be Played for Laughs):
    • Most Egregious is everyone killing each other at the end of the first season only for it all to be explained away as All Just a Dream Within A Dream at the beginning of the next.
    • The Season Four finale saw Dangle about to enter into a gay marriage-analogue with another man when Garcia comes in, professes his love, and steals him away, only for Garcia to reveal in the Season Five premiere that he was just kidding and would like to remind Jim that gay marriage is illegal.
    • After the season 5 finale, which ends with the cops' parade float going up in a ball of flames followed by a police funeral, the copout was subverted. The Season 6 premiere reveals that Johnson, Garcia, and Kimball actually were Killed Off for Real. Then the revival jerks its head in the opposite direction, and the three are alive again.
  • Clock Discrepancy: A psychic tells Jones that he'll lose one of his testicles by midnight. He spends the episode worrying about it, and he's relieved when a clock shows that it's past midnight. Then someone mentions that clock is a little fast; cue testicle injury.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Weigel, FBI profiler Hardcastle.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Just about Once an Episode.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • While being filmed for a kids' show, Dangle relates how Junior once stepped on a hypodermic needle at the beach and thought he might have contracted AIDS. When asked to change it to something more appropriate for children, Dangle says that Junior stepped on a "beach ball" but keeps the rest of the story intact, including the part about AIDS.
    • Later in the same episode, the show's host goes on patrol with Junior, who verbally points out every prostitute he sees. The host asks him to say "I saw a bucket" instead. Junior then nonchalantly mentions that there's a "bucket goin' down on a Puerto Rican right there."
  • Cousin Oliver:
    • The introduction of Kimball is explicitly compared to the Trope Namer.
    • Declan and Rizzo in the last season are more straightforward examples.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • The Hummer the department buys with money they didn't have to spend on a case settlement.
    Clementine: "All right, yeah, it get 6 miles to the gallon on the highway, and 3 miles around town... y'know, the air conditioner doesn't work so well, and it's not very comfortable, um... but I just look so damn good in it, y'know what I mean?"
    • The horses Garcia and Jones temporarily ride.
  • Cool Car: Fast Eddie McLintock's "Battle Hymn Of The Republic"-honking black-with-flame-decals Corvette.
  • Cool Shades:
    • All the cops, but Junior is almost never seen without his.
    • When he took them off during the department's indictment, he was shown to be cross-eyed, due to getting steam in his eyes back in the '80s.
  • Crapsack World: This version of Reno is filled to the brim with crime and vice, the police force sways between incompetent and completely apathetic and corrupt, the mayor is a degenerate, the DA is a serial killer, con artists seem to crop up just about anywhere, and almost all of its citizens are revealed as insane, amoral, perverse, or in some way disturbed. And the rest are merely selfish or desensitized to all the chaos.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Trudi.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Clementine was getting less and less to do even before she was killed off.
    • In the Q Anon special, Garcia does and says so little you'd be forgiven for forgetting he's even in it.
  • Determinator: The guy in the milkshake costume.
    Who is this guy?
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Jones ends up punching Garcia over a racially insensitive comment, causing him to end up doing crossing guard duty as punishment. By the end of the episode, Garcia goes to Jones to apologize and give him a peace offering, and ask if they can still be partners. Jones takes a look at the peace offering to find that it's fried chicken and malt liquor.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Mike Powers reveals that he's cut the heads off of "a lot of hookers". Assuaging their tormentor, the deputies he has at gunpoint respond by saying, "They're hookers."
    Scott: "Three heads I understand, nine heads I don't get, Mike. That's crazy."
  • Dream Within a Dream: Season 2 begins with a Previously on… showing the last shot of Season 1 (everybody lying dead on the floor in the Reno County Morgue as Jones says "Guys?..."), then cutting to Dangle waking up in bed next to Kenny Rogers. Dangle asks whose dream this is, followed by Garcia waking up in a morning briefing.
  • Drunk on Milk: At Kimball's Christian singles group, Clementine claims "I'm soooooo wasted!" before being told that they're serving non-alcoholic beer.
    Clementine: I'm sorry. I saw what looked like beer, and my mind just... took me to Drunk Town.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: "Yes Donut? More like <bleep> Yes Donut. Five percent discount for law enforcement." However, they are not fat.
  • Dysfunction Junction: With the exception of the time the FBI was brought in in Season 1 to help catch a serial killer and a couple others, nobody who visits the precinct leaves without exposing themselves as a horrible, horrible person. Even a visiting straitlaced English constable ends up savagely beating suspects, having sex with street hookers in the patrol car, robbing a bank on duty, shooting the bank's security guard, getting fatally shot by the same guard, and being shipped home in a cardboard box.
  • El Spanish "-o": Garcia doesn't speak a word of Spanish (though Carlos Alazraqui actually does). His attempts are embarrassing for everybody.
    Garcia: Hello? Sheriff's Department! Uh...el departmento de...Sheriffs!
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Clementine gets one in The Movie on her breast. The embarrassing tattoo is of Garcia.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Deputy Jones.
  • Expy: In a skit from The State nearly ten years earlier, Thomas Lennon plays a rollerblading man in a thong who looks and sounds like Sgt. Dangle.
  • External Combustion: The Pimped-Out Car that Junior pulls over explodes when he tries to start it.
  • Faking the Dead: Jones, in the Halloween Episode, to scare the other deputies.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: The recently-paroled deputies find characteristically low-life ways of paying the bills, or at least marking time:
    • Jones and Garcia are mall security guards.
    • Williams is a cutthroat realtor to the gullible.
    • Junior finds his niche as a carnie.
    • Wiegel operates the planet's ghastliest bed & breakfast out of an abandoned RV.
    • Clemmie becomes a Steely Dan groupie.
    • Dangle turns up as an American Idol no-hopeful.
  • Fan Disservice: Dangle is almost never seen without his short shorts, and it's never to look pretty; his balls sometimes even drop out. Wiegel at one point expresses her happiness that he's getting promoted because "he's been wearing those plum-smugglers for years now."
  • Fanservice: Lots of strippers and hookers. And Clementine was never allowed to button up her blouse.
  • Fetus Terrible: One of Dangle's theories during Trudi's pregnancy.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The 'Reno Sheriff's Department' in the show is a combination of the real life Reno Police Department and Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
  • Fireman's Safety Net: When the officers have to save someone from the upper story of a burning building, they grab a trampoline for the person to land on. Needless to say, it doesn't go to plan.
  • Flat Line:
    • Sheriff Chechekevitch's death.
    • As well as that of Jackie the hooker.
  • Flock of Wolves: All the undercover stings.
  • Friendly Enemy: Former District Attorney Mike Powers, after he's arrested for trying to kill the deputies and for multiple prostitute murders. They visit him in jail for help with cases, tech support questions, and even advice on which phone plan to use. Their interactions are very friendly and cordial, like old friends having a chat.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Garcia and Wiegel share this role, depending on the episode.
  • Genre Mashup: It's a Sketch Comedy show done as a COPS-style Mockumentary.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Deputy Garcia think it's "Good Cop, Black Cop".
  • Good Ol' Boy: Deputy Travis Junior.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Happens in pretty much all the bulletproof vest testing skits, from cartoon physics to Junior describing a gun as a ".357 Magnum, 50 caliber".
  • Halloween Episode: The Season 1 finale.
  • Hannibal Lecture:
    • Parodied by Mike Powers right down to the glass cell on Jones by claiming to know about Jones's "gritty ghetto life." However, it fails as Jones casually admits he grew up in the well-off WASP-y suburb of Mound, Minnesota. Mike Powers then sheepishly tells where he's hid a body.
    • Later played more like straight Lecter/Starling scenes…except the officers' questions are about computer problems and office administrivia.
  • Harassing Phone Call: After being exposed as a serial killer on the run, District Attorney Mike Powers makes threatening calls, notes, and text messages to each of the cops. They basically tune it out.
    Dangle: I'm trying to get my junk mail filter to work on this...
  • Have We Met?: One episode has Dangle run into a guy outside of a donut shop. He runs through half a dozen gay hangouts, but can't remember why the guy looks familiar. As they part ways, once the guy enters the store and starts holding it up, Dangle remembers where he's seen the guy:
    Dangle: Wanted poster! Wanted poster!
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: In one of the Quibi episodes, Big Mike calls the sheriff's department over an emergency, because as it turns out Dangle got "Winnie-the-Poohed" in a glory hole. Apparently, this was the second time that's ever happened to him.
  • Heroic BSoD: More like Protagonist BSOD. Dangle and Junior have one after they walk in on Wiegel in the bath and tell her that the man who says he's her father isn't. And she knows. Then starts singing "pop, pop, go the bubbles." They walk out, clearly BSODing. Turns out they're also tripping on peyote.
  • Hummer Dinger: In one episode, the deputies got issued a Hummer and were ecstatic about it... until they encountered problem after problem due to its bulk and poor gas mileage.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: There's a lot of accidental shootings in the series.
  • Idiot Ball: Inverted, in that from time to time one of the officers is handed a Smart or Sanity Ball.
  • If I Had a Nickel...: Jones adds up on his hands how much he'd have if he had a nickel for every time a kid claimed that he was their father. He concludes he'd have about a dollar.
  • I Have This Friend: The 'Hypothetical Criminal' played by Keegan-Michael Key.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A Running Gag in the show is that Garcia apparently graduated from the Academy.
    Junior: (after Garcia empties the magazine of a G36 with an extended magazine attached at some targets and hits nothing but air) That's got to be some kind of goddamn RECORD.
  • Informed Attribute: Garcia is noted by all his coworkers to have a serious anger problem, be very violent, and have a supremely depressing personal life. However, aside from a few key moments and off-camera incidents referenced, Garcia is no more quick to anger and violence than his coworkers, whose home lived are equally depressing.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Dangle describes someone as "well-spoken for a black guy."
    Jones: By the way, Jim, do I speak clearly and—and—and—uh—and clear—and clearly as for black man?
    Dangle: Often, but not right then.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: A variant occurs as a Running Gag: the deputies will be scheduled to make some public announcement and, while waiting for the broadcast to start, amuse themselves in various unprofessional ways. When they actually go on the air, they're too distracted to notice.
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear!: Inverted in one episode in which Dangle hosts a murder mystery dinner theater and tells the other deputies it's a "dress-up party"—meaning they should dress up nicely. Junior interprets this a little differently and shows up dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • Jumping the Shark: Parodied In-Universe in 'Bounty Hunter Tommy Hawk' where the department is hosting a 'Jumping the Shark for Autism' fundraiser. May double as a Self-Deprecation, considering the content of the previous episode (the fifth season premiere).
  • Jerkass: Everybody, but especially Garcia. One of the early episodes described Jones hitting Garcia as "throwing shit onto a big shit pile that already has too much shit on it."
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • At least once a season, they'll chase someone all the way to the California border.
    • Also, every now and then someone from the FBI will come in to take over a case. It's gone over differently each time.
    • Later seasons involved arguments on a bridge between Reno officers and those of a neighboring county whose line they shared in the middle of a river.
  • Kavorka Woman:
    • Wiegel. No matter how much they hate/loathe/mock her, even Dangle has voluntarily at least made out with her.
    • Really, everyone in the department could qualify. It's pretty much impossible to think of anyone in the show who hasn't had sex with each and every other officer.
  • Killed Off for Real: The season 5 finale shows a large explosion, followed by a funeral. We learn during the season 6 premiere that Garcia, Johnson, and Kimball all died, although they're quickly replaced by Declan and Rizzo.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Deputies Kimball and Junior. They don't realize it until the latter lies about being shot on the pavement cradled by the former, the two share a kiss, and then the former starts talking about her uncle, which the latter realizes they also share.
    • One perp on drugs starts making out with Dangle thinking that he's his "really hot cousin".
  • The Klan: A Running Gag has the officers respond to a Klansman who claims to be fighting racism. His stunts include running a lemonade stand with "Free lemonade for n***s!" or lighting a "lowercase 't' for tolerance" in his yard.
  • The Klutz: The Klansman's sidekick ends up hurting himself at the end of all their skits, by e.g. setting himself on fire, falling off a ladder or getting his hand stuck in a blender.
  • Lamaze Class: With Paul Rudd as creepy "hands-on" instructor Guy Gerricault.
  • Lame Comeback: When they arrest Terry, which gets Lampshaded.
    Dangle: (referencing Terry's roller skates) Xanadu it right into the car now.
    Terry: You Xana-don't it!
    Dangle: Did he just say "Xana-don't it" to me?
    Junior: I think so.
  • Lemming Cops: Fast Eddie McLintock has a penchant for causing these. Junior describes once actively driving into a 15-car pileup caused by him just to say he did.
  • Libation for the Dead:
    • While toying with the new bomb squad robot, they have it pick up a bottle of liqour then tip some out, Lt. Dangle saying it's for the "dead robot homies" while speaking in monotone.
    • Jones does this with the malt liquor Garcia gives him in "Jones Gets Suspended".
  • Long-Lost Relative: Played with in an episode where, when things are going badly for Garcia and he's particularly depressed, he runs into his long-lost daughter. Turns out that she's not really his daughter but a stripper that the gang paid to pretend to be his daughter to cheer him up.
  • Look Both Ways: The death of the Milkshake Man.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: One episode has a boy come to the station to tell Dangle he's his son.
  • Made of Iron: Travis Junior takes a lot of punishment, and is no worse for wear.
  • Man in a Kilt: Dangle's bridesmaids.
  • Manipulative Editing:
    • In-Universe. The milkshake guy, after convincing Jones and Garcia to let bygones be bygones after their lengthy foot chase, tells them the costume is so thick he couldn't feel anything and encourages them to hit him, to no avail. As he's walking home, he's hit a truck. The episode ends with a newscaster playing a clip of just them beating him, accusing them of police brutality, and blames them for his death.
    • According to Dangle, the entire series is a case of this. All of their 'good' policing ended up on the cutting room floor.
  • Manly Gay: Dangle thinks he comes across this way, but he's usually more of a dorky Straight Gay.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In one episode, the other deputies notice Garcia being very affectionate with an attractive woman. When they see her leave Garcia's house with another man, they wait for them to return and ambush him, threatening him with bodily harm if he ever comes back to Nevada. Turns out the woman was Garcia's sister, and the guy they beat up was her actual boyfriend.
  • Mistaken Nationality: In "The Prefect of Wanganui", the deputies mistake a crazy homeless man for the titular New Zealand prefect.
  • My Nayme Is:
    • Guy Gerricault (pronounced "Jericho").
    • Seeeeemji. The 'J' is silent.
    • One episode involves a runaway child pageant contestant. Her real name is Lauren, but her pageant name is "Sk'ylur," pronounced Skylar.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: A Running Gag involves the officers making Spanish-language public service announcements. Every one is either hilariously mistranslated, or completely unintelligible.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here:
    • "Just a rapist with a gun to his head."
    • The deputies pushing along a naked, birthing Weigel inside a giant cake, preceded by police cars and followed by an ambulance and fire truck, all with sirens blaring.
    "Nothing to see here! Nothing to see here!"
    • Dangle and Junior shout "FBI, nothing to see here" when they are forced to run past a Catholic school naked after a botched sting operation.
  • The Murder After: Played for laughs in one episode. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  • The Moral Substitute: Kimball's creepy Christian singles group.
  • The Movie (titled Reno 911: Miami)
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Junior and Dangle, after a botched sting operation at a spa.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform:
    • Dangle wears short shorts as part of his uniform instead of pants.
    • Junior's bulletproof vest over his shirt. When asked why he wears it like this, he reveals that he was hungover when he first put his uniform on and came in to work, and he kept wearing it in this fashion ever since…because he's hungover every day.
    • Trudi's cat costume in the Halloween Episode. Apparently, she does it every year, because every year she's told everybody's going to.
  • Noodle Implements: Kimball can apparently peel a kiwi with her private parts.
    Junior: I don't think there's even a kitchen appliance that peels a kiwi.
  • Of Course I'm Not a Virgin: Trudi's response to being called a "virgin" in her first Lamaze Class is "I'm not a virgin, I had sex to have a baby." (Subverted, considering she got the sperm from a sperm bank.)
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Deputy S. Jones was called 'Jones' or 'Jonesy' throughout the series with his first name unknown by most, only to be revealed in the movie it's 'Sven'
    • Raineesha had a more interesting case in that it was revealed in the episode 'Strong Sister' that her entire name & possibly identity is fake.
    Jones: Her real name is Megan Linderman
  • Only Sane Man:
    • On the job, usually Jones or Kimball, Dangle generally also knows when to pull rank. But it varies, as every single character picks up the Idiot Ball at some point.
    • All of them, even Weigel, are capable of routine police work.
  • Origins Episode: "VHS Transfer Memory Lane", in which the deputies watch old videotapes of themselves.
    • Dangle cuts the legs off his trousers to save himself after they catch fire and in the process creates his signature shorts.
    • Junior gets steam in his eyes, explaining his glasses.
    • Wiegel is revived by Dangle after an explosion and comes back with brain damage.
    • Big Mike is their lieutenant, but gets hooked on confiscated meth.
  • Pimped-Out Car: One of the drivers Junior pulls over drives one of these. Junior proceeds to inquire all about it, gawking at the several after-market performance enhancements. He tries to start it, and it explodes.
  • Pity Sex: Dangle threw Trudy a "pity fuck". Jonesy did the same for Dangle once, too.
    Jones: (Visibly exasperated) Shit. Guess I'll try anything once...
  • Porn Stache: All of the men except Jones. One episode focuses on them gathering signatures to stop the state passing legislation requiring them to shave. Briefly, when they are forced to shave, Junior actually quits and becomes a mailman just to keep his. They end up making them mandatory.
  • Prison Rape: Apparently happens to Craig, Wiegel's serial killer boyfriend, in prison. The phones aren't working, so he tries to tell her in charades. Wiegel, of course, doesn't get it.
    Wiegel: "Somebody's been bass taping you? Have you been bass taped?"
  • Quiet Cry for Help: Inevitably played for laughs:
    • See above for Craig's attempts to ask for help via charades.
    • Jonesy and Garcia get tacos from a drive-through restaurant that happens to be in the middle of a robbery. They completely miss every hint that the woman at the window tries to give them. They even manage to misinterpret a note included with their order that explicitly states that there are two armed men inside (because obviously, the men working inside would have to have two arms, or they wouldn't be able to make tacos).
  • Raging Stiffie: Junior gets one at Sheriff Chechekevitch's funeral due to a Dream Sequence.
  • Racist Grandma:
    • Garcia is expressly forbidden from participating in Sheriff Chechkevitch's funeral, because the Sheriff believed any Mexicans in attendance would try to loot his dead body.
    • The WW2 veteran from "Junior Runs for Office".
  • Running Gag:
    • Dangle's bike gets stolen every time it's off camera. Every time.
    • The deputies get in a car chase and try to report in the license plate, only to realize it's a novelty plate. They get so engrossed in trying to figure out what it says that they crash into the back of the suspect's car.
    • Any segment with Jones and Garcia. Either it turned into: a chase sequence or an argument. The segments could almost be mistaken for a Show Within a Show. The two were probably the most effective partners, in spite of the fact that Garcia is racist.
    • Garcia's almost supernaturally terrible aim... he's fired his gun many times with wanton disregard for safety, but has rarely ever hit a single thing on camera. After his death, he requests his ashes to be fired from a canon... which ends up misfiring, launching the canon into the air and crashing into one of the cruisers. Everyone present blames it on Garcia and his infamous "marksmanship"
    • The deputy's cruisers are constantly getting stolen, stripped for parts, or blown up.
  • Sexiness Score: In "Concealed Carry Fashion Show", there is a Gun Nut fashion show where the fashion models all walk the runway, showing off both their clothes and their guns. When one of the models pulls two 9mm pistols the announcer jokes "She's a ten with a pair of nines!"
  • Sassy Black Woman: Williams is perhaps the sassiest member of the team.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Dangle and Weigel are tasked with explaining to the obstinate bride at a bungee-jumping wedding that it's illegal to bungee-jump off that particular bridge. She finally relents (after realizing her unflattering mugshot will show up on the Internet if she gets arrested), and the couple is married without incident. Then the bride tosses the bouquet over the side of the bridge... and one of the bridesmaids follows it.
    Dangle: She's fine. My associate's vomiting for a completely unrelated reason.
    • The entirely of season 3 episode 4, "SARS Outbreak" is basically two unrelated Shaggy Dog stories. When the officers are being filmed for a children's show, they quickly realize that very little of what they do on a daily basis is kid-appropriate. They try to stage a cat "rescue" by planting one of Weigel's cats on a roof, but that also backfires when Junior drops the cat into an A/C unit. At the end, when everyone tunes in to watch the episode, they discover that the entire episode was scrapped and replaced with one about firemen. Meanwhile, Jones, Weigel and Dangle spend a nerve-wracking two days in quarantine thinking they've contracted SARS from a dead perp, only to find that the man died of AIDS.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Weigel is usually treated as Hollywood homely, but on more than one occasion she's been cleaned up and the others are shocked at how attractive she is. The biggest offender is when the female officers are issued new bulletproof vests, which essentially fit like a corset. Dangle, of all people, can't resist Weigel in the vest.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Junior describing the decision to hire a new deputy.
    Junior: The Reno Sheriff's Department is a perfect law enforcement engine. And you do not make an engine faster by adding another part. You make an engine faster by putting nitrous in it. And I don't mean an analogy, I mean... (thumps the hood of his squad car) we should get nitrous in our cars.
  • Similar Squad: The squad that is hired after the regular squad is sent to jail (made up entirely of Special Guests).
  • 6 Is 9: In "Security For Kenny Rogers", the officers completely trash a crying woman's apartment in a drug search and find nothing. They finally spell out the address ("917 Keystone Avenue, number 6"), and she tells them that this is apartment 9, not 6, and reveals that a nail has fallen out of the number on the door. Subverted when it turns out that it really was number 6 all along, and they return just in time to find her flushing a bag of drugs down the toilet.
  • Sixth Ranger: Deputy Kimball joins the crew in the second season.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • When the deputies are being filmed as part of a children's TV show, Clementine holds up a bag of cocaine. She then tells the children watching not to touch this if they find any, because... it's expensive.
    • An author asks the Reno Sheriff's Department and then the fire department to rescue his manuscript - the only copy of his book - from a burning building. They first refuse to help him until he tells them what the book is about, and then refuse to help him because it's too derivative of Frequency.
  • Slapstick: In every episode, usually involving Junior. A Running Gag has him stopping a car only to get knocked out somehow when the driver opens the door.
  • Sorry Ociffer: Happens in almost every episode. In one particularly egregious instance, the driver is not only drunk, but legally blind.
  • Special Guest:
    • Kenny Rogers as himself, first in Garcia's dream in "Dangle Gets Promoted" and then in "Security for Kenny Rogers".
    • Jeff Foxworthy as the voice of Fast Eddie McLintock.
    • Carrot Top, in one episode.
    • Ryan Stiles as the acting coach for undercover police work.
    • In a single episode: Martin Mull, Lorenzo Lamas, Donna D'Errico, Wayne Brady, Lou Ferrigno, Sean Young, and Traci Bingham.
  • Straight Man: Dangle is often this during meetings, Kimball is usually the most professional at work.
  • Stripper/Cop Confusion:
    • Has happened to Dangle, Garcia, and Junior (the Porn Staches may have had something to do with it). Jones actually does moonlight as a stripper.
    • Subverted in an episode in which Garcia admonishes a group of women on a bachelorette party. Then played hardcore straight when, as he's leaving, Dangle and Junior come out from another room, dancing and dressed only in their utility belts and underwear.
    • Deliberately invoked in the movie, when Dangle and Junior investigate a noise complaint at the mansion of a gangsta rapper throwing a party. After Dangle recklessly fires his pistol in the air, they find themselves not only outnumbered but heavily outgunned. Dangle and Junior immediately begin removing their uniforms, claiming that they are, in fact, strippers hired for the party, and then book it once the the party goers lower their guns.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Usually involves Junior.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: If a perp won't sign a confession, they bring Weigel in to tell them about her appendectomy.
  • Suicide by Sea: In one episode Wiegel threatens to kill herself by walking out into the ocean, despite the state of Nevada being landlocked. Clemmy deadpans that Wiegel would be lucky if she could find her way to her own car, let alone the nearest coastline.
  • Suicide Watch: Trudy Wiegel gets put on suicide watch after accidentally (almost) asphyxiating herself in her car. With everyone else forced to be nice to her for a change, she milks the situation for everything it's worth.
  • Surprise Incest:
    • In one episode, Dangle starts coming on to a 21-year-old who tells him that he's his long-lost son.
    • In another, after Junior is shot and Kimball is the only one around to keep him conscious while they wait for an ambulance, they share a kiss to prove she's not a lesbian, then start talking about how the other looks like a relative, until coming to the conclusion that they're cousins.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Junior.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Inverted with Officer Suzy Kim, who Dangle finds himself inexplicably attracted to. Turns out she was a man all along.
  • Take Our Word for It: At one point, the deputies play a game with a corpse draped by a sheet with a misshapen protrusion, taking turns trying to guess what it is. The sheet is never lifted to the camera, but the deputies state that the one who guessed "roller blade" was close.
  • Take That!: A stagehand for Ted Nugent insults/commands ridiculous things for Garcia and Jones to do when they're only supposed to be security right down to calling them dumbasses (note: that they didn't even do anything yet.) In response, they unleash the mob onto "Ted" and the stagehand. Given Ted's track record it could've only been more of an up yours if Dangle wasn't involved (Tom Lennon was playing "Ted.")
  • That Poor Cat: A running gag on the show usually sees any house cat being horribly murdered in some way, from having a lit firecracker shoved in it, to being accidentally thrown into an A/C unit, or having its already dead body desecrated in some way.
  • To the Pain: After Raineesha is tricked into putting her hand through "Spanish Mike" Alvarez's cell door:
    Raineesha: You're hurting my wrist.
    Spanish Mike: There are many levels of pain. You have just crossed into the... 'welcome mat'. You have not even entered the door, walked down the hallway, and gone up the stairs to visit the V.I.P. rooms."
  • To the Tune of...: The 'funeral' the deputies give the English exchange constable is to the tune of "God Save The Queen". Being Americans, half the words they sing are from "My Country 'Tis Of Thee".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sheriff Chechekevitch wasn't murdered; he ate an obviously peanut-filled chocolate bar, even though he's deathly allergic to them.
    Junior: Okay, new theory. Sheriff Chechekevitch is a fucking idiot.
    Dangle: We kinda already knew that.
  • Trapped In a Tanning Bed: In "The Tanning Booth Incident," Dangle oversleeps in a tanning bed and ends up sunburned so deep he's stuck in the hospital and unable to speak from the pain.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Jones and Kimball get put through the ringer selling candy door-to-door in "Coconut Nut Clusters".
  • Truth in Television: Well, truth in another television show: The arrest segments in COPS are sometimes just as baffling as their parodies here. In both shows, the more mentally unstable or drug-fueled criminals provide the police with a five to ten minute Big-Lipped Alligator Moment after the officers respond to the disturbance calls.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A few segments involved the deputies giving lectures to schoolchildren. No matter what kind of mayhem ensued on stage, the kids would always just sit and look bored.
  • Ventriloquism: Jones does a bit with a dressed-up Clementine as the dummy, complete with corny mouth movements and less-than-impressive water-drinking speech.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The whole cast to some extent, but definitely Jones and Garcia.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Milkshake Man.
  • We Should Get Another Tape: Subverted. Clementine reveals that Jones has something he would have wanted everybody to see, and then pops in a videotape of the two of them having sex. She apologizes and says the part she was talking about is later on the tape. Turns out, it's not a Video Will: it's just something Jones said after they had sex.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Capt. Dwayne Hernandez from the Department of Homeland Security in "Terrorist Training" has a hard-to-place Latin American accent, with traces of Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican, but also little oddities like using the British pronunciation of "lieutenant", and some hints that he might actually be from Spain. Since it turns out that he's really a con man who's using the identity as a front to burglarize the police department, it's anyone guess what his real background is.
  • Where da White Women At?: Jones, for Clemmy.
  • White Mask of Doom: The Cold Open of the Halloween Episode has an entire graveyard full of kids with hockey masks.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Implied when Clementine visits Kimball's Christian singles group.
    Kimball: You made those two men kiss each other!
    Clementine: I did not make them. I dared them.
  • Your Mom: From the movie:
    Terry: I am recording my album! See? I have a violin!
    Kimball: That's a ukelele, Terry.

Alternative Title(s): Reno 911 Miami