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Trivia / CHiPs

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TV Series:

  • Completely Different Title: In Japan, the series became Shiro-Bi Yarou Jon & Ponch (Motorcycle Police Guys Jon & Ponch) "Shiro-Bi" is a Japanese shorthand for a motorcycle used for law-enforcing use, in this case it stands for "Shiro(i) Bi(ke)" (White Bike, because most motorcycles used for police use are painted white).
  • Directed by Cast Member: Both Larry Wilcox and Robert Pine each directed two episodes of the series. Wilcox directed the episodes "Ride the Whirlwind" and "Tow Truck Lady", while Pine directed "Overload" and "Things That Go Creep in the Night".
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  • Fake American: British actor Harvey Jason plays the American leader of an annoying TV news team in "Disaster Squad".
  • Fake Nationality: Texas-born Les Lannom plays a very Eastern European motorcycle stuntman (quite possibly Hungarian) in the episode "Suicide Stunt".
  • Hostility on the Set: Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada were often said to frequently clash, and did not get along well with each other during the production of this show. This was reported to be a factor in Wilcox's decision to quit the series. Estrada was said to be similarly displeased working with Tom Reilly, who replaced Wilcox as Poncherello's partner Officer Bob "Bobby" Nelson.
  • McLeaned: Midway through the final season, Tom Reilly (Bobby) was arrested for drug possession. This resulted in his role being reduced, with Bruce Penhall having his role as Bobby's brother Bruce being increased. The California Highway Patrol also threatened to revoke the show's use of their badge and related imagery, over the bad publicity, due to the arrest.
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  • Name's the Same: A child actor named Jon Baker, who's a relative of series creator/producer Rick Rosner, appears in one of the early episodes...and yes, the character of Jon Baker is named after him!
  • Recast as a Regular: Randi Oakes played an unnamed member of the secretarial pool in the first season episode "Baby Food", a car thief named Kim Balford in the Season 2 episode "Down Time", and joined the cast as officer Bonnie Clark at the beginning of Season 3.
    • Tom Reilly was the Audience Surrogate new member of the ninja-cop team in the "Force Seven" Poorly Disguised Pilot, the last episode in Season 6, then shows up in the next episode aired (the first episode of Season 7) as Ponch's new partner, Bobby Nelson.
  • Real-Life Relative: Gwynne Gilford, Robert Pine's real-life wife, played Betty Getraer, wife to Pine's character Sgt. Joe Getraer.
    • Derek Wilcox, Larry's son, appears in the episodes "Moving Violation" and "Second Chance".
  • Unintentional Period Piece: As well as solving the case of the week, the officers would typically partake in a 70s pop culture fad (disco, bio-rhythms, pinball, etc.) Also, piles (literally) of vintage 70s cars.
  • The Other Darrin: The parts of both Melanie Mitchell and Paula Woods were recast between their appearances in the season 4 two-parter "Ponch's Angels" and the Poorly Disguised Pilot for the "Mitchell & Woods" Spin-Off in season 5; in the latter episode, Mitchell is played by the actress who played Ponch's love interest Jennifer in "Ponch's Angels." They're also now working for the fictional "Ocean City Police Department" instead of the CHP; no explanation for the reassignment is given.
    • Timmy Getraer, the son of Joe and Betty, appears in three episodes, each time played by a different actor: Marc Gilpin (the episode "CHP-BMX"), Lindsay Kennedy ("Vigilante") and Rossie Harris ("Diamond in the Rough").
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  • The Wiki Rule: The CHiPs Wiki.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Erik Estrada suffered a very serious motorcycle accident while filming an episode. Until he recovered, he literally shot scenes from his hospital bed.


  • Backed by the Pentagon: Thoroughly averted. The film opens with the message: “The California Highway Patrol does not endorse this all.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $25 million. Box office, $18,600,152 (domestic), $25,500,152 (worldwide). This comedic film version of the 70's TV show was lambasted by critics for relying too much on lowbrow jokes. Its opening weekend saw it smashed by an array of newcomers and holdovers.
  • California Doubling: The opening scenes set in Miami were filmed in Long Beach and San Pedro, California. At least one shot has the battleship USS Iowa prominently visible in the background.
  • Channel Hop: The original series was produced by MGM Television; the movie is from Warner Bros., who inherited the rights via the Time Warner-Turner merger of 1996 (Turner having acquired MGM's library in 1986).
  • Creator Backlash: Erik Estrada has expressed extreme displeasure at the film's main characters pulling out guns, something that his character from the original TV series does NOT do. Even his fans completely agree to this criticism.
  • Fake Nationality: Officer Taylor is played by Australian actress Jessica McNamee.
  • Real-Life Relative: Husband and wife Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell weren't known for being in the same show before this.
  • What Could Have Been: The film was announced in the late 2000s and Wilmer Valderrama was cast as Ponch.


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