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Series / Sledge Hammer!

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"Trust me, I know what I'm doing."

"Looks like you and I are the only sane ones here."
Sledge, to his Magnum

Sledge Hammer! is a television sitcom created and executive produced by Alan Spencer which ran on ABC from 1986 to 1988. It is an unrestrained Parody of the Cowboy Cop genre (Dirty Harry specifically), with David Rasche as Inspector Sledge Hammer, a cop who shoots first and asks questions never. He is partnered with Detective Dori Doreau (Anne-Marie Martin), and the two work for the ever-exasperated Captain Trunk (Harrison Page).

While Hammer respects his colleagues, his only true friend is his .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver, complete with customized grip and etched sledgehammer insignia. Hammer's affection for his gun is so deep that he showers with it, sleeps with it, and even talks to it.

The show was produced throughout the run by Alan Spencer Productions, Spencer's production company, and New World Pictures, an entertainment company founded by Roger Corman. During the first season, there was another production company involved, D'Angelo Productions, the production company of executive producer William P. D'Angelo. Spencer was only 26 years old when the show started airing, and he's still one of the youngest series creators and showrunners in the history of television.

The series received critical acclaim, but struggled in the ratings, largely due to its numerous time slot shifts. (It didn't help that at one point, the show competed against Dallas and Miami Vice on Friday nights.) Even so, Sledge Hammer! attracted up to nineteen million viewers who followed the show religiously, along with a very abbreviated Comic Book series from Marvel Comics, which was then owned by New World Pictures. Despite a season finale that ended with a nuclear explosion, ABC changed its mind and renewed the show for a second season. The second season suffered from another horrible time slot (against The Cosby Show) and a reduced budget.

"Trust me, I know what I'm troping."

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Hammer's interrogation of a suspect in the pilot via a carnival-style shooting game, wherein he blindfolds himself before aiming for the balloon near the suspect's head...
    Hammer: I always miss this shot.
    [Suspect breaks down and spills the beans, but Hammer fires anyway and hits the balloon.]
    Dori: Wow, you hit the balloon.
    Hammer: Yeah, I missed.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Sledge's glorification of violence sometimes leads him to approve of the villain's ways. Such as in "To Sledge, With Love":
    Trunk: These animals are violent and destructive, with no respect for authority.
    Hammer: Don't worry, Captain. I won't be suckered in by their virtues.
  • Already Met Everyone: Tripped over in the second season premiere; it was set five years before the first, despite the fact that Hammer and Dori only met in the first season premiere.
  • And This Is for...: Sledge Hammer does this to a bank robber, but after expelling his reasons he punches him one more time. When the robber asks "What was that for?!", Hammer replies, "That was gratuitous!"
  • Arab Oil Sheikh: One tries to buy Doreau.
  • Ax-Crazy: Hammer himself, although it was often Bowdlerised for comedic effect. He never actually killed anyone onscreen; the censors presumably wouldn't allow it. In the pilot he is referred to as killing a pair of armed robbers while grocery shopping.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Sledge starts showing up to work looking disheveled and with unkempt stubble after the love of his life was stolen from him... that love being his gun of course.
  • Bench Breaker: Doreau does this accidentally in "Wild About Hammer." The villain for that episode ties her to a chair. Sledge manages to untie her ankles from the chair before he's attacked. While those two are fighting, Doreau manages to stand herself up on her now-freed legs, only to trip, fall over backwards, break the chair, and free herself from the rest of the rope.
  • Berserk Button: Sledge reacts... badly to being called a wuss.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When fighting the KGB, Hammer speaks his catchphrase "Trust me. I know what I'm doing" in Russian. note 
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Done in nearly every episode by everyone, police and criminals alike.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The handle of his Magnum is made out of ivory and has a drawing of a sledgehammer.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • A regular feature of the show, often with Lampshade Hanging. During one shootout, Captain Trunk even yells, "Where the hell is he getting all this ammo?!"
    • Every time we look at the chamber of Sledge's Magnum it's not loaded, but ten seconds later the revolver can fire ten rounds without reloading.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: "Model Dearest" had women being who were supposedly hired to be models but were actually being put on display to be sold to a man. He decided the first would be a wife, the second a mistress and the third (Doreau) would be a wife AND a mistress.
  • Bullet Catch: A trick performed by Hammer's father, Jack, as a carnival performer. Sledge eventually needs to learn the trick.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Sledge's "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (inevitably followed by disaster)
    • Whenever Sledge says something insensitive (and he realizes it):
    ”I’m sorry, I don’t know where my head is.”
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Two issues, put out by Marvel Comics.
  • Companion Cube: Sledge's Magnum, aka "Amigo", is always by his side, even in bed and in the shower. He regularly pulls it out of its holster and speaks to it like a dog owner having a one-sided conversation. He even descends deep into grief when he's separated from it.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Sledge frequently talks to his gun for advice. However, if anyone's within earshot and asks him who he's talking to, Sledge will quickly cover it up.
  • Cowboy Cop: Parodied. Sledge is a send up of Dirty Harry with a shoot-first-don't-bother-to-ask-questions attitude. While other characters react to him as normal people would, they live in a heightened reality where he can mostly get away with his antics.
  • Creator Cameo: Creator Alan Spencer can be seen in the backgrounds of several episodes, usually at the precinct.
  • Detective Patsy: The episode "Play It Again, Sledge" has a woman hire Sledge as private investigator, to make him an eyewitness of her "self-defense" murder.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • When he catches a speeder, Hammer ties the man to the hood of his car and drives around the parking lot at high speed.
    • In the pilot, he ends a shootout by destroying the building the shooter is on with a rocket launcher.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Mocked by Sledge.
    "I would like to address that particular stereotype if I may. Now, your stereotypical donut is nothing but dough and sugar fried in fat, am I right? Now that fat gums up your arteries and goes to your brain, and you turn liberal. And the next thing you know, Barry Manilow is on the turntable and you're not going to work and you're voting for gun control. You see what I'm saying? You see the connection? That's why I eat granola."
  • Downer Ending: The series finale concludes with Sledge pretending that he was kidding when he asked Dori if she'd marry him.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first episode, "Under the Gun", Sledge is somewhat more competent, but he's also far more violent. For example, early in the episode, he captures a suspect by pulling out a bazooka and blowing up the entire building the suspect is holed up in.
  • '80s Hair:
    • Played for Laughs in one episode in which Dori has got herself a new haircut, which turns out to be impractical, because it blocks her vision, forcing her to blow her hair off her face.
    • In the episode "Sledge, Rattle, and Roll," where Sledge and Dori investigate a series of murders revolving around Spinal Tap-esque Heavy Metal band The Plague.
  • Empathic Weapon: Though the audience never sees anything unusual, Hammer treats his gun as a living, breathing entity. Subverted in one episode in which Hammer is hallucinating and the viewers do see his gun talking, complete with animated barrel/mouth.
  • Expy: Of Get Smart, a childhood favorite of creator Alan Spencer. The shows even share one episode plot line ... Sledge/Max get fired from the police force/Control and decide to open a detective agency leading to Humphrey Bogart jokes (Max imitating him, Sledge seeing him).
  • Extended Disarming: In "To Sledge With Love", Hammer has to pacify an Inner City School. In one scene he asks the ruling Gang of Bullies to hand over all their weapons, which results in a prolonged scene of them emptying their pockets full of knives, nunchaku and brass knuckles.
  • First-Name Ultimatum
  • A Fool for a Client: In one episode, Sledge is accused of murder and decides to defend himself. Right before the end of the trial, the judge asks the Prosecution if they have anything to say. The prosecutor responds that Sledge has already made all their points for them.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In one episode where a serial killer is murdering one Elvis Impersonator after another, the chalk outlines for each slain Elvis are in the classic Jailhouse Rock pose (i.e. this one.)
    • Dori and Trunk discuss a case involving an android thief while Hammer keeps being attacked by its detached cyborg arm in the background.
  • Gag Dub: In the German version of the opening, someone shouts "ouch!" as if being hit by Hammer's bullet.
  • The Ghost: Frequent references and jokes are made about Hammer's ex-wife, but she is not seen until one late episode (where she is played by David Rasche's actual wife). Made funnier when she is actually a nice, reasonable person, not the sadistic bloodsucker that Sledge describes.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Lampshaded when Sledge chases a criminal through a television studio with many shows being recorded. When Hammer catches him, the crook yells "Go to heck!" and then states that you're not allowed to say "hell" on television.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Dori patiently waits while a thug tries to break a bottle to use on her before finally grabbing the bottle, breaking it pretty effortlessly, handing it back to him and them dropping him with a single kick.
  • Gun Porn: The opening title sequence is one big love letter to Sledge's Magnum.
  • Gun Twirling: Sledge does this a lot, including in the above-linked title sequence. Made especially impressive considering the size of the gun he's twirling.
  • Hand Cannon: Sledge's "Amigo", a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver, is not standard cop issue and unfeasibly over-powered for routine police work. It's his pride and joy. So much so that he's never really happy using another weapon, with David Rasche noting that when it comes to guns, Sledge is monogamous.
  • Hand Wave: Expecting to be canceled, the producers ended season one with a nuke destroying the entire city. The show was then renewed for another season, so they just slapped a subtitle on the first new episode ( Sledge Hammer! (The Early Years)) and then carried on as if nothing had happened. Which creates continuity errors since the announcement states that this season takes place five years before, where Hammer met his partner only one year previously. Further, the second season includes references to current events in 1987 (the year most of the second season was aired), not 1981 or 1982.
  • Heart Symbol: Hammer's car has a bumper sticker reading "I VIOLENCE."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Sledge Hammer's over-the-top Cowboy Cop behavior and violence towards criminals is played strictly for laughs, as an Affectionate Parody of Dirty Harry.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: In one episode where Hammer has Humphrey Bogart as a Spirit Advisor, Sledge says "Here's looking at you, kid!", and Bogey answers.... guess what.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Inverted; Sledge has a loudener for his Magnum.
  • Hostage Situation: Occurs in a Shout-Out episode to Dog Day Afternoon:
    Hammer: Second National Bank, hostage speaking.
    Trunk: [outside] Hammer, this is Trunk. Have they hurt anyone?
    Hammer: No.
    Trunk: Have you hurt anyone?
    Hammer: Not yet.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: Hammer drops a bowling ball on Dori's foot, causing her to clutch it and hop around in pain.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Downplayed example. The ditzy Sledge does have his uses. He's inhumanly good in a firefight for example, and sometimes proves he's not as dumb as he looks. But it's Doreau that keeps Sledge on track and does the real investigative work.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the pilot, Sledge does target practice in his own apartment to the displeasure of his neighbors. When he pauses to answer the phone, he berates them for being too loud and so inconsiderate of others.
  • I Call It "Vera": He calls his gun "amigo". Originally, he insisted his gun's name was "Gun." Though his relationship with his gun (the mere fact that he has a relationship with his gun) fits this trope.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Sledge wears very ugly and outdated suits and ties to symbolize that he's a throwback to cowboy cops like Dirty Harry. When Doreau takes on Sledge's mannerisms after a Tap To The Head, she wears even tackier outfits to show that she's a distilled version of her partner.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He may be clueless in many respects but he's really good with his .44
  • Inkblot Test: Sledge received one as part of a psychological evaluation. He identified the pictures as two images of gun violence, "a field of pussy willows," "a [machine gun] blowing away the pussy willows," and "a duck handcuffing a naked woman." The psychologist remarks, "Funny, I've never seen the duck."
  • Insert Cameo: Creator Alan Spencer's hands can be seen stealing newspapers out of a vending machine in the pilot.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: By Danny Elfman.
  • Insult Backfire: When Da Chief chews out the Cowboy Cop.
    Trunk: You sadistic, depraved, bloodthirsty, barbaric...
    Hammer: Is that why you called me in here? To shower me with compliments?
  • Interpol Special Agent: Interpol anti-terrorist expert Lionel Dashman is killed by international terrorist "The Pelican", who then takes his identity in "Icebreaker".
  • Just Between You and Me: Lampshaded when an assassin has Sledge tied to a Death Trap, and tells him how he intends to kill the captain.
    Sledge: I'll never understand why you guys explain your whole plan before you kill somebody.
  • Latex Perfection: Spoofed when a female KGB spy turned out to be a male KGB spy behind a latex mask. However, the rest of the body alterations were permanent so he/she could win the Miss Iron Curtain pageant.
  • Laugh Track: Averted on the DVD release, which had the laugh track removed. Unlike many sitcoms, there aren't really any awkward pauses where the laugh would have been.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Employed several times. The most notable instance occurs in the first-season finale, when Captain Trunk barges in on a terrorist making a live television broadcast.
    Trunk: Your show's been canceled!
    Sledge: You talkin' to me?
    • Another example in "State of Sledge" had Sledge asked what time it was and answer 7:06. Then 6:30 displayed on the screen and he added that his watch must be fast.
  • Lord Error-Prone
    Sledge: The two men then pointed their shotguns at the clerk, so I took out my Magnum and shot and killed them both. I then bought some eggs, and milk, and some of those little cocktail weenies.
    Reporter: Inspector, was what you did in the store absolutely necessary?
    Sledge: Oh, yes. I had no groceries at all.
  • The Ludovico Technique: Parodied when an evil TV company tries to brainwash Sledge Hammer by breaking his spirit with horrible scenes of violence. It backfires because Sledge is a Cowboy Cop Affectionate Parody, so he just cheers on everything they show him and is even dismayed when they stop.
  • Manchurian Agent: The villains in one episode try to turn Hammer into one by messing with his subconscious. It doesn't work; Hammer doesn't have a subconscious.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Some of the things the script demanded of Anne-Marie Martin. Her skirt shrinks to micro-mini after interviewing a suspect in a sauna; the frequent karate high-kicks that ruck her hem up somewhere towards her waist; the cat-fights with female perps; and especially the one that takes place in a mudbath. Not to mention having to dress in very flimsy clothing as a "hooker" in a Vice Squad sting operation.
    • And in a flimsy female aerobics outfit, in the Season 1 finale, "The Spa Who Loved Me".
    • And in the episode "Model Dearest" Dorreau goes undercover at a modelling agency which is a front for a white slavery ring with her and numerous other beautiful actresses parading around in skimpy bikinis and sexy lingerie before being sold into prostitution.
  • Mushroom Samba: In one episode, Hammer hallucinates that his gun is actually talking to him, and the barrel even moves like a mouth. That episode, where everyone in the precinct gets a virus that makes them hallucinate, also includes Doreau thinking she's Jane, Majoy feeling up an imaginary buxom woman in a swimsuit, and Daley thinking that she's a ballerina.
  • Naked in Mink: In "Play It Again, Sledge" his first case as a private investigator starts with a woman entering his office, who is wearing nothing but her mink coat. She had just come from posing for an art class.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Sledge is a sympathatic yet politically incorrect and ignorant police officer with a badge and a gun.
  • Noir Episode: "Play It Again, Sledge", which specifically spoofs the Humphrey Bogart Sam Spade noir films. After getting suspended Sledge decides to become a private detective, and the Femme Fatale who comes to him for help frames him for the murder of her husband, all the while he's assisted by a Spirit Advisor of Bogart himself.
  • No Indoor Voice: Trunk. He yells. A Lot! Sledge lampshaded it once by snarking that he was louder than most airports.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Several episodes suggest that Sledge uses this. Though he's written off by everybody as a violent idiot, sometimes he manages to crack the case with a sudden admission that he had been taking notes all along. This is Lampshaded in an episode when a game show host killed off a contestant who was getting close to the top prize. When Dori wonders how someone that smart got on the show, Sledge explains, "You see, he looks dumb, but turned out to be a genius; a trick I've used myself."
  • Official Couple: Sledge and his gun, one of the rare instances of a canonical Cargo Ship.
    • For a time, the French Wikipedia took it up to eleven, listing Sledge's gun as an actual character, though that's no longer the case. (The French title of the series is Mr. Gun.)
  • Parody Episode: The second season consisted almost entirely of these. ("Hammeroid" was a parody of RoboCop, "Vertical" was a parody of Vertigo, etc.) There are some in the first season, particularly "Witless" (a parody of Witness).
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Sledge makes it clear from episode one that this is how he handles crime.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Extremely subverted in one episode when Hammer sneaks behind a bad guy. Sledge pistol whips him on the head with his revolver, but the crook just grabs his head and starts shouting in pain. Sledge follows it up with a bottle to the head, but the bad guy still doesn't go down. Then Sledge jumps on the bad guy's back, piggy-backs him, gets him in a headlock, rams his head into a wall and he's still conscious.
  • Police Brutality: Sledge sees this as a good thing, and pitches the benefits of being a cop to others on the basis that he gets paid to legally beat up and kill people.
  • Pretend to Be Brainwashed: Sledge is kidnapped by an evil TV company to turn him into a Manchurian Agent so he will assassinate the DA. Attempts to give him The Ludovico Technique fail because he howls with laughter at all the violence they show him, but when they tap into his subconscious it seems to work. Sledge later reveals that he was just playing along, saying he doesn't have a subconscious.
  • Private Eye Monologue: in the episode 'Play It Again Sledge' Dori and Sledge are suspended from the police force so form their own private detective agency, guided by an apparition of Humphrey Bogart who speaks in nothing but hard boiled film noir cliches.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: The owner of a jewelry store's last name is Smith, pronounced 'Smythe', and he will insist on the correct pronunciation. When the store is robbed, the fact that the robbers know the correct pronunciation without prompting is a clue that they're working with the owner to commit insurance fraud.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Sledge all the time, though on this show people react like they should in real life, desperately trying to get out of the way. Played for laughs.
  • Repetitive Name: Dori Doreau.
  • Reversible Roboticizing: Played for Laughs. One episode has Hammer go after a robot being used to commit crimes and get seriously injured in the process. The robot's co-creator then turns Hammer into a cyborg called Hammeroid (who bears a strong resemblance to Robocop). He helps to shut down the robot and gets the cybernetic implants removed with little trouble...except for the enhanced trigger finger.
  • Rotten Rock & Roll: In "Sledge Rattle & Roll", Sledge is disgusted by the sleazy Rock & Roll business.
  • Running Gag
    Sledge: [reaching into his pocket] I have something for you.
    [Everyone takes cover as Sledge retrieves something other than his gun]
    • Not to mention the inevitable disaster that follows whenever Hammer says, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing."
  • Say My Name: HAAAAMMEEEER!!
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Done with Sledge Hammer in the title sequence. ABC wouldn't allow Sledge to shoot directly at the screen lest the older viewers have a heart attack, but the effect is more or less the same.
  • Selective Squeamishness Suppression: In one episode, Hammer eats his lunch in the same room the coroner was performing an autopsy in.
  • Serial Killer: One episode has Hammer and Doreau investigate a series of used car salesmen dying shortly after they get married. It turns out they all married the same woman who becomes their main suspect, but there's no evidence linking her to the killings despite her presence. Autopsies reveal no apparent cause of death, but a theory is given that an undetectable poison was used. However, said poison needs to be in contact with the victim's skin for an extended amount of time for it to work. They find out that she was only targeting bald used car salesmen and poisoning them through the glue in their toupees.
  • Shooting Gallery: Done in one episode, where Hammer simply shoots all of the targets regardless of whether they're civilians or crooks. Naturally, this annoys Captain Trunk to no end.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Creator Alan Spencer has often credited Get Smart as the inspiration for this show. In the pilot a suspect is in room number 86, Max Smart's agent number. As if to drive the Get Smart analogy home, that series's Executive Producer, Leonard B. Stern, was eventually hired as a consultant.
      • In the series' final episode, David Rasche's real-life wife, Heather Lupton, played a character named Susan Hilton. In Get Smart, Agent 99 once said that her real name was Susan Hilton, but that was just a cover.
    • While on a date with Sledge's supposed brother Miles, Dori grows suspicious and mentions Sledge's middle name is Alfred (to which Miles agrees), but in reality this is Majoy's middle name, thus confirming Dori's suspicions that Miles is an impostor. Alfred is the complete first name of Sledge Hammer! writer (and future The Simpsons writer/show runner) Al Jean.
    • In "Sledge, Rattle, and Roll", Sledge quotes the chorus of The Police's big hit "Every Breath You Take".
    • The episode "Last of the Red-Hot Vampires," which features an Expy of famed actor Vincent Price (named Vincent Lagarski) as one of the main protagonists, ends with the credit "In Memory of Mr. Blasko". This is a reference to famed film vampire Bela Lugosi's real-life surname.
  • Slapstick: Poor Doreau got run through the ringer a lot, often while wearing her best suits and dresses. Her tailored suit shrinks by three sizes after Sledge drags her into a sauna to interrogate a perp. In order to detain a perp whose day job is mud wrestler, Doreau is dragged into the arena - in her trademark business suit - and deluged in mud and indignity as she wrestles the woman into the mud. (And wins, by the way.)
  • Stay in the Kitchen: At first, Sledge doesn't approve of his partner being a woman, which leads to the following exchange:
    Doreau: What, you think all women should be barefoot and pregnant?
    Hammer: No, I encourage women to wear shoes.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: It happens to Hammer, allowing him the chance to speak his catch phrase one last time before the series was expected to definitively end...
    "Trust me. I know what I'm doing."
  • Subverted Catchphrase: When Sledge is turned into a Cyborg in "Hammeroid", he starts talking in Spock Speak.
    "Trust me. I am cognizant of what I am doing."
  • Take That!:
    • Many examples, including a rather vicious takedown of fellow ABC program Max Headroom. ("My god! One hour with you would be hell!") Not to forget their feud with Mr. Belvedere, which also ran on ABC:
    Yamamoto: I'm not answering any more questions! Leave! Right now! I want to get home in time to watch Mr. Belvedere.
    Sledge Hammer: I guess somebody has to.
    Yamamoto turned out to be that week's villain.)
    • And in a later episode:
      Dori: How did your father die?
      Malovia: He was watching television, and he just fell asleep and never woke up.
      Sledge: I hope he wasn't watching Mr. Belvedere. I'd hate to think the poor fella went out suffering.
    • The show took a number of digs at the Republican Party. On the DVD commentary, the director notes that the network was okay with that as long as he gave equal time to digs at the Democratic Party. He never got around to it.
    • One episode in the second season poked fun at Ted Turner's penchant for "colorising" black and white films by having the tag scene be in the worst coloring possible.
    • In the second episode, at the end of a TV editorial, the announcer says that Miami Vicenote  is up next. Sledge turns and shoots out the TV.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Sledge's solution for everything. In the series premiere, Sledge deals with a sniper on top of a nearby apartment building by pulling out a rocket launcher from his car's trunk and destroying the building.
  • Toyota Tripwire: Done by Sledge in the premiere to catch a purse-snatcher.
  • Trigger-Happy: Hammer isn't just Trigger Happy, he's Trigger Ecstatic.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine:
    • When the soda dispenser in the police HQ goes on the fritz, takes money and fails to dispense soda. The member of the public involved, who must be from out of town, complains to the nearest policeman: Hammer. Who obliges by un-holstering his amigo, at which everyone runs for cover and Captain Trunk begins to bellow "No, Ham...". The dispenser gives in after several direct hits.
    • In a different episode, Hammer does the same thing to a bank ATM that has swallowed his card and refused to give cash.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In "It Happened What Night?", Dori, upon posing with Sledge as newlyweds for a drug bust, states that she is a fan of love and marriage, as it goes together like a horse and carriage (that song had became the theme for Married... with Children a season earlier).
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: In "Comrade Hammer", Sledge escorts a defecting Russian professor to a conference in Springfield, which happens to be reachable on an Amtrak train that makes stops at San Francisco, Phoenix and Denver beforehand (and is implied to be on the same level as those cities).
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Many episodes in the second season fell under this trope, as whole-episode parodies (e.g. "Hammeroid," "Vertical").
  • William Telling: After Hammer is reinstated at the end of "Hammer Gets Nailed", Captain Trunk asks if there's any favor Trunk can do for him. Hammer mentions that there's something he's always wanted to do, but it takes two people...
    Trunk: This does not involve a gun, does it?
    Hammer: (laughing) No, no!
    [Cut to him raising a kiddie's bow-and-arrow, while Trunk reluctantly puts an apple on top of his head.]
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • In the pilot episode, a female terrorist aims a gun at Sledge and tells him to drop his, "knowing" he'd never shoot a woman. Sledge shoots her gun out of her hand and replies, "Call me a feminist."
    • Subverted twice when he fights a man who turns out to be a woman in disguise. And in another episode where, to his partner's horror, he punches out a female KGB agent, who is actually a man in disguise. (Which he quickly shows her.)

Alternative Title(s): Sledge Hammer The Early Years