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Video Game / LEGO City Undercover

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Chase... Chase McCain.
LEGO City Undercover is a Wide-Open Sandbox game developed by Traveller's Tales, released for the Wii U in 2013 and the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows (via Steam) in April 2017. Utilizing the same engine as the LEGO Adaptation Games but, rather than being an adaptation of a famous franchise, is based on LEGO's own original theme, LEGO City with a healthy side helping of Cop Show parody. The game follows the adventures of Chase McCain in his various undercover missions for the LEGO City P.D. and his attempts to track down his archrival Rex Fury, who has recently broken out of prison.

The game made use of the Wii U GamePad in order to mimic using Chase's Police Communicator. The GamePad would function as the game's map and when using the Communicator's scanning function, the player would hold the GamePad up to the TV and physically move it around. This feature was removed from the subsequent re-release since they all lacked a GamePad and all of the features were moved on-screen.

A prequel game, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins, was released for the Nintendo 3DS a month after the first game's original release.

Like most LEGO games, there is a great deal of tongue-in-cheek humor, along with a Hurricane of Puns, a lot of Shout-Outs, some Mythology Gags and... car theft?


LEGO City Undercover contains the following tropes:

  • 100% Completion: Being a LEGO game, there is a lot to collect on the road to 100% completion. There's 450 Gold Bricks, 305 character disguises , 120 vehicles, and 39 Red Bricks . To get every Gold Brick, you'll to complete all fifteen story missions, as well as collect a sufficient amount of studs and all four Police Shields in each one. In the overworld, you'll need to arrest 17 gangs, smash 18 ATMs, destroy 22 precious boulders, catch 17 aliens, rescue 17 cats, take 20 coffee breaks, arrest 12 vehicle robbers, steal 13 vehicles, destroy 17 silver statues, conquer 20 districts, return 22 pigs to Farmer Hayes, extinguish 17 BBQ fires, complete 17 Drill Thrills, construct 65 Super Builds, activate 14 train stations, complete 19 Free Runs, complete 16 Time Trials and activate 17 Disguise Booths. There's also 10 Gold Bricks hidden inside the Police Station, plus 16 that need to be purchased with studs.
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  • Adapted Out: Obviously, all major Nintendo references were removed in the non-Nintendo ports of the game, with only a few subtle and stray ones left in such as Chase's quip about a giant ape being on top of a familiar structure. The one Nintendo-related Easter Egg which didn't even return for the Switch re-release was the Mario Hat Red Brick.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Bucky Butler.
    • Chan Chuang.
    • Pete Peterson, the fake name that Chase comes up with in order to join the fire department.
    • Numerous minor characters that double as costumes, i.e. Pat Patterson, Grubby Grubster and more.
    • Rex's Riot, a heavy vehicle.
    • Two districts: Blackwell Bridge and King's Court.
    • Scrapyard Scrap, the special assignment set in Chan's salvage yard.
    • The Herbert Hotel.
    • The Gang Arrest mission in the Fresco district is referred to as the "Fresco Felon Fracas".
  • Alien Abduction: Farmer Jethro claims to be the victim of one.
  • Always Close: No matter how fast you deliver and set up the phased polarity shield prototypes around Blackwell Tower, when Chase asks Natalia's dad how much time they have left, it will always be T-minus three seconds. Good thing the prototypes work!
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A great deal of the unlockables are new costumes for Chase, with only one of them vital to buy while the rest are just cosmetic. The costume in question, which grants Super Strength necessary for orange handles, is Rex Fury, and is found near the end of the space dive portion of the final level, in one of the stud rings close to the finish.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • As usual for LEGO games, the Red Brick Extras that aren't silly Easter Eggs exist to make things a whole lot simpler and easier for getting collectibles and completing sidequests, like the stud multipliers, currency magnets, and "super" ability upgrades. In particular, the "Unlimited Dynamite" and "Super Color Gun" extras really help with removing the annoyance of looking for dynamite vendors and color switches, though in an understandable Obvious Rule Patch the infinite dynamite is disabled for special assignments to prevent things from getting too easy.
    • Due to all the comedic Red Herring conversations being Permanently Missable Content, the conversation you need to listen to in order to continue the story will always be scrambled, allowing you to check all the other ones at your leisure first.
    • After enough players experienced Guide Dang It! towards the ATM destruction sidequest on the Wii U, the remastered version for all systems added a loading screen explanation that states how the Criminal suit is required to break them.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Played for Laughs in the museum level, where all the exhibits have the audio tour guide give explanations that are massively incorrect. Most notably, the guide says that the Pterodactyl has a silent pee which it uses to blind its prey before attacking.
  • Ass Shove:
    • Implied in one conversation when Chase and Frank are riding horses and Chase has to tell Frank that he's riding backwards.
    Frank: Oh! That explains why it didn't like that apple I tried to feed it.
    • Also implied to have happened to Frank when he mentions trying to imitate Studski and Clutch's signature move of sliding across their cars hood on a loading screen. When he tried it, his car lost its hood ornament and now he sets off the metal detectors at airports.
    • One Red Herring conversation has a patron at the Library ask an employee help them get a book unstuck from his butt after he accidentally sat on it.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Vinnie Pappalardo's ice cream parlor is portrayed as a kid-friendly version of this trope in one cutscene.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: During a section of the game when characters are in space, no one seems to have trouble breathing. Chase even has the visor up on his helmet. Then again, LEGO people don't have noses in the first place...
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Almost all of the Red Herring conversations heard using the communicator's Audio Scanner run on this.
    • Just about every other thing Vinnie Pappalardo says is some kind of stereotypical gangster Deadly Euphemism - except that everything Vinnie says he means literally.
  • Balloonacy: One Albatross Island prisoner is seen escaping by using a bunch of balloons, and in a Brick Joke towards the end of the game he ended up floating to the moon.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Vinnie Pappalardo's motto is "Glace Lactis", the Latin for "ice cream".
  • Blatant Burglar: The regular Criminal disguise for Chase has him wearing a black beanie, a Domino Mask, a black-and-grey striped shirt, two chains across his torso, black gloves, a Utility Belt, and the a crowbar, all of which combined to make it extra blatant how that is the primary "robber" disguise.
  • Border Patrol: Swimming out past the seaweed in the ocean is liable to get you eaten by a shark. Riding a boat is fair game for avoiding this.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: After helping out a gas-stop owner, he asks Chase if he wants ice cream, a hot dog, or an ice-cream hot-dog, particularly since he has a lot of that combo to spare.
  • Brick Jokenote :
    • In one of the cutscenes on Albatross Island (LEGO City's Alcatraz stand-in), a prisoner is seen trying to escape the prison by floating on balloons. By the end of the game the man has reached the moon.
    • Also on Albatross Island, Chase begins playing opera loudly in the Warden's office, causing its speakers to explode. Later, Chase needs to repair a DJ's broken system, and the DJ laments that he should never have played opera on it.
    • One of Blackwell's guards starts chasing Chase on a bicycle (while the latter darts away on a motorcycle). During the epilogue, he's finally almost reached him.
    • On the title screen, after the clowns bust out of the police transport, one of them drives off in a blue car. After the credits, in the scene where the "Traveler's Tales Fusion" logo builds itself in the middle of the street, the same clown in the same car can be seen driving around.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    Chase: Am I glad I remembered to pack my parachute today! Although... some spare pants would've been handy, too.
  • Broken Bridge: There are three bridges in Lego City, all of which are blocked off at first for various reasons. As you progress through the game, the bridges will open up, allowing you to access more parts of the city.
  • Bubblegum Popping: One of the stud-giving minor diversions is using gumball machines and blowing a big and loudly popping gum bubble.
  • Built with LEGO: Just about everything that isn't the land or the water is this. You can even break apart certain objects and then use their pieces to build things yourself.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Sheriff Huckleberry is an eccentric who writes dramatic plays for squirrels, but seems to be good at his job.
  • Call-Back:
    • In a possible call back to LEGO Island, the game uses almost the exact same Literal-Minded joke as the first LEGO Island game.
    • Another possible callback to Lego Island 2 is that: both games culminate in the protagonist going into space to confront the villain, resulting in said villain being trapped in space due to a mishap. During both space sequences, a portion of gameplay is dedicated to skydiving through rings, and both sequences contain a Shout-Out to 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Monolith in Lego Island 2, and a man drifting through space as classical music plays in Lego City Undercover).
  • The Caper: Several of the levels that have you stealing things for the various gangs are classic examples of this.
  • Captain Crash: While not on the level of terrible driving skills like Chase and Frank, Captain Bluffbeard seems almost incapable of docking ships without crashing them into port and, depending on how sturdy they are, sinking them.
  • Cat Up a Tree: One of the fireman sidequests involves Chase rescuing cats up trees. And billboards. And really anywhere, as long as it's very high up.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The red squirrel that's always hanging out with Ellie's uncle Sheriff Philips seems like just another silly gag, only for us to learn that it's part of a rare species whose discovery prevented Forrest Blackwell from creating a major building project in its habitat.
  • City of Adventure: LEGO City features many crazy things to do. From relatively mundane races to the more fantastical hunting of aliens and everything in between.
  • Comically Missing the Point: At the end of the story, when Chase says that there's more important things than your job (clearly referring to pursuing a romantic relationship), Frank Honey asks him if he means playing videogames.
  • Company Cameo: In the Special Assignment "High Steal", one of the Police Shield fragments is earned by building three builds in one of the areas. One of the builds is the current Traveller's Tales logo.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Due to the lack of a handheld screen in the Playstation 4, XBox, PC, and Switch ports of the game, all the features on the GamePad were moved onscreen.
  • Console Cameo: The police communicator tablets are very obviously patterned after the Wii U's GamePad since the communicator's scanning function was used by holding up the GamePad to the TV screen. These were recoloured black in the non-Nintendo ports, but it still doesn't help that said GamePad also had a black colouration and to a lesser extent, resembles the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • During the first part of the game, for no apparent reason, a gardener just so happens to come along and water some plants that are in front of fence that is too high for Chase to surmount. One of the plants grows large enough that Chase is able to climb it and get over the fence. The gardener lampshades this himself, stating that he came a long way just to water some stranger's plants.
    • Upon starting the investigation of the optional crimes via Audio transmissions, Chase will always hear the perpetrators at the beginning of the conversation about the crime they're about to commit.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: Invoked for laughs. Chase has an incredibly short trip to the Moon, which Professor Kowalski explains as the Moon actually being really small and very close to Earth. Apparently this is a secret that only scientists know.
  • Cool Guns: Since this is a kid-friendly game, you don't use real guns but instead there are paint guns, laser guns, and... chicken eggs?
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Studski and Clutch discuss the ways Chuang could torture Natalia. Such methods include force-feeding the victim a lot of ice cream to bring on an ice cream headache and making them drink a lot of soda because ladies can't burp in public. Chase initially dismisses these ideas as absurd, but sure enough Chase and Vinnie resort to the ice cream technique to gather information on the whereabouts of Rex.
  • Cutscene Boss: Forrest Blackwell, despite being a major villain, is defeated in a non-interactive cutscene. He appears in a small craft, ready to take on Chase... and then a cow inexplicably flies in from nowhere and knocks him away. To be fair, you just fought Rex Fury in two consecutive fights immediately beforehand, so you are given a proper climactic boss fight for the level.
  • Da Chief: Like Dunby, the Fire Chief Cornelius Burns is aggressive, easy to anger, and having a prominent mustache, as shown when Chase meets him in a foul mood from his crew messing up on a few things for his birthday party like the cake flavor.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Parodied by much of Vinnie Pappalardo's dialogue via Bait-and-Switch. Like the guy who disappointed him who "sleeps with the fishes" (he works the night shift at an aquarium) or the other who "bought the farm" (even after Vinnie told him it was a bad investment.)
  • Deep South: The Fort Meadows district. Its most distinctive feature is a large farm, and everyone there has a Dixie accent.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Just like in all of the Traveller's Tales Lego games, players restart right at the point they die.
  • Detectives Follow Footprints: Chase can use the blacklight feature on his communicator to find and follow hidden footprint trails that lead to hidden items.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • In some places, doing certain things will make Chase say something. The earliest seems to be in Warden Stonewall's office. Paraphrased is the following.
    Chase (After destroying every possible thing in Warden Stonewall's office): Wow, I can't believe all that noise I just made didn't get his attention.
    • Chase will correctly comment of the state of the slide if you destroy it before he finishes his comment on the fact that Forrest Blackwell has a private playground.
    • After you steal a vehicle on Chan's orders from his rivals in Paradise Sands, he will comment on the state of the vehicle. If you damage it even slightly, he'll still consider your performance better than that of his usual guy... who he promptly fires.
    • If you manage to flip your vehicle completely, Chase will ask why the world is upside-down.
  • Don't Try This at Home: After Chase almost gets hit by a falling car in "Scrapyard Scrap", he reminds the audience that scrapyards are dangerous places which shouldn't be played in.
  • Double Unlock: New disguises, vehicles and red bricks are obtained by finding and collecting them or accomplishing certain tasks. To actually use them, you need to buy them in the basement of the police station.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: If you poke around early around in the story at Aurburn, you can see the workplace of Heinrich Kowalski, although all you can see is his face as the logo with his initials.
  • Eerily Out-of-Place Object: There is an ATM in the prison yard. Perhaps Blue had it smuggled in?
  • Energy Weapon: The astronaut disguise has a blaster that fires a non-lethal version of these.
  • Evil Brit: Barry Smith seems like one, being a Cockney Kung Fu master... but it's subverted as he's a friendly plumber who teaches Chase martial arts.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • At one point, Natalia calls to chew Chase out over having police keep an eye on her, which he knows nothing about. She describes them as smartly dressed for cops, with a black van and an unmarked limo, and... they aren't cops, are they?
    • Done again when halfway through explaining how Forrest Blackwell is petting a cat, Ellie realizes he has to be evil based on that fact.
    • When Chase and Heinrich find Blackwell's moonbase model in his mansion, Chase wonders how Blackwell can pull this off since the shuttle on Apollo Island isn't big enough for his cronies. He then looks at the uniquely-shaped rocket in the model and wonders where Blackwell could've hidden it. This kicks in when he remembers that there's a countdown at Blackwell Tower, and that he realises that he's seen the rocket before as it's nearly the same shape as the tower.
  • The Family for the Whole Family:
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: No one uses bullet based firearms but most of Chase's disguises get a projectile weapon of some kind. His normal police gettup has a grapple gun that can tangle and snare opponents making for an easy arrest.
  • Flashed-Badge Hijack: Chase can do this since he's a police officer. He can even do this to other police officers.
  • Fluorescent Footprints: These show up when Chase uses his Communicator on certain spots. Following them will lead to a clue or reward of some sort.
  • Foreshadowing: Rex Fury's cell on Albatross Island has a jukebox which plays a recording of "Sull'Aria" from The Marriage of Figaro. Most people would simply pass this off as a Shout-Out to The Shawshank Redemption (which it is), but the same opera piece showing up in Forrest Blackwell's penthouse is a subtle hint that Rex is actually working for Blackwell.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Makes up a district of the city. Oddly enough, not where the karate monastery is located.
  • Funny Background Event: Several happen during the various cutscenes.
  • Global Currency Exception: In every other Traveler's Tales LEGO game, everything that can be purchased always used studs, whether it's characters, special bricks, or even buildings. While most things still use studs, this game has a unique "brick" currency, which broken objects produce instead of studs in this game, that is used exclusively for constructing Super Builds.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Rex Fury has the "evil scars" variety.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: There is tons to do in this game ranging from putting out barbecue fires, coffee breaks, growing flowers, launching pigs out of cannons, etc. By doing this, you gain Gold Bricks and getting all 450 snags you the ability to grow twenty times your size!
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The grapple gun, which can be used to ascend, pull things towards you, or tie up enemies. They were apparently police-issue-ordered in the past until enough cops fell off buildings that they were banned.
  • The Greys: Can be seen walking around the city. May just be party goers in costume.
  • Groin Attack: Barry Smith uses one against Chase when he's testing out his kung fu skills.
  • Guide Dang It!: While most of the suit abilities get an explanation or at least some hint about how they work, nowhere in the game does it actually explain that the Criminal disguise is needed for the ATM destruction sidequest, with the player most likely finding that out on sheer accident by messing around. This was apparently such a common problem that one Anti-Frustration Feature for the remastered version was a loading screen that explicitly mentions this.
  • "Here's Johnny!" Homage: When using the fire axe for the first time in "Hot Property", Chase says "Here's Petey!" upon breaking through the boarded-up door.
  • Herr Doktor: Professor Kowalski, Natalia's father, speaks with a German accent (that his daughter doesn't have) and has Einstein Hair, just to drive the point home.
  • Human Cannonball: How Chase gets the pigs scattered across LEGO City back to Jethro's farm. They're shot out of pig cannons, which only farmers can operate. This is because a chicken is used as a handle to control the cannon.note 
  • Humongous Mecha: The Megafig is a large mech resembling a cross between an Aliens power loader and Peter Reid's Classic LEGO Space Exo-Suit.Chase uses it on the Moon to battle Rex Fury's mechanical T-Rex.
  • Hurricane of Puns: In classic LEGO game style, especially from Traveller's Tales, most of the humor is based on puns. But unlike the LEGO Adaptation Game franchise, the story is completely original, so the puns are even more prominent, including theme puns, situational puns, Lawyer-Friendly Cameo characters that Speak In Shoutouts, and more.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: After talking to Duke Huckleberry about his past mistake on the Rex case that got him Reassigned to Antarctica, Chase states he won't do anything that stupid again. Cue him immediately falling into the river because he was too focused on talking to notice his surroundings.
  • Jet Pack: One can be found late in the game as an upgrade for the astronaut disguise. As it only works in short bursts, it mostly just functions as a Double Jump that also allows Chase to hover momentarily.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
    • Several minor characters are this as seen in the shout-outs section below, such as "Blue" being a stand-in for Red from The Shawshank Redemption, or "Studski and Clutch", a character named "Harry" who looks exactly like Dirty Harry and a nameless minifigure (listed as DaMumbo when you unlock it) who looks just like Columbo. Vinnie Pappalardo is basically Joe Pesci's character from Goodfellas, including being introduced with with a "do you think I'm funny" exchange.
      Heywood: Uh, are you free, man?
      Blue: (surprised) No! No, I am not Freeman. (looks around) His lawyers might be watchin'.
    • Various cops skins include "Cacey and Lagney", "Bricket", and "Horace Cone".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Near the end of the game, Chase asks Natalia's father on how to describe his force field generator so that "little kids" could understand it.
    • The Wii U GamePad is the communicator.
  • Le Parkour: Chase is a practitioner and uses several of the same moves as Faith does in Mirror's Edge, although he can only do them in designated areas built out of blue-and-white bricks.
  • Literal-Minded: Several characters at points, but the game's shining example of the trope is Frank Honey.
    Chase: Frank, I'm getting closer to Rex.
    Frank: Oh, that's sweet, do you liiiike Rex?invoked
    Chase: No, I meant that I'm getting closer to arresting Rex.
  • Little Green Men: Space Aliens can be called down using the astronaut boxes. One of the open-world missions is to find and arrest all of them.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading:
    • While the game doesn't load super-frequently, whenever it does it takes quite a while to finish.
    • This happens In-Universe as well, since Chase at the beginning of the game has to wait for a few minutes for his Police tracker to update, complaining about progress bars.
  • Logic Bomb: One of the Red Herring conversations overheard on the audio scanner involves two guys trying out a lie detector. One of them breaks it by saying "This is a lie." to it.
  • Low-Speed Chase: Rex Fury's most recent arrest prior to the game starting was ridiculously easy because he had the "bright idea" to use a lawn mower as an escape vehicle.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Rex Fury's cell is hidden in a secret chamber that can only be accessed by a concealed elevator in the warden's office and is full of high-class amenities as well as being the size of a small apartment.
    Chase: Wow, this place is nicer than my apartment!
  • The Mafia: Vinnie Pappalardo is in charge of an Italian-style crime syndicate that dabbles in genuine ice-cream production.
  • Making a Splash: As a firefighter, Chase's main tool of choice is a fire extinguisher. Not only is it a projectile, but it can be used to douse fires and fill empty pools with water.
  • Maybe Ever After: The ending cutscene of the game suggests that Chase plans to spend more time with Natalia but does not outright confirm it.
  • Mission Control: Various characters, depending on the level, will provide commentary on your actions and direct you to where you need to go and what to do.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Whenever Frank Honey is the mission controller, very little of what he says is helpful, usually talking about his personal life before capping off with obliviously giving Chase useful info on accident.
  • Mob War: Between the Italian and Chinese gangs.
  • Mocking Sing-Song: The criminals on Albatross Island taunt the guard with "nya nya nya nya nya nya" when they escape from their cells.
  • Monster Clown: While not too monstrous, the first gang Chase takes down is a group of clowns, complete with throwing pies, Squirting Flower Gag, and an Electric Joybuzzer.
  • Mood Whiplash: The game gets considerably darker when it is revealed that Blackwell Tower is actually a rocket ship, and that if it launches, the heat and exhaust fumes would likely kill everyone nearby.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Committed by Rex Fury's gang to Vinnie Poppalardo's family paintings when they raid his base. Vinnie reacts with horror at the painting of his mother with a moustache, considering how much he had to pay the artist to leave off the moustache in the first place.
  • Mythology Gag: The game that Frank Honey plays very early in the game causes him to comment that "they talked more in the movie", referencing the pre-LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes LEGO Game adaptations by Traveller's Tales, which replaced dialogue with signing and grunts (with a few exceptions though).
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Vinnie Pappalardo and Chan Chuang provide a zig-zagged dynamic for this. Both are mobsters with a friendly front, but while Vinnie is genuinely Affably Evil, Chan tries to put on a Faux Affably Evil persona while failing miserably due to his Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • Never Say "Die": Zigzagged. Death is mentioned occasionally in non-lethal contexts but when actually dealing with possible actual deaths, such as the ramifications of Forrest Blackwell's plan, they'll use lines like "This is a matter of life or... um... the other thing", although the game does directly state that the emissions from Blackwell's construction project would be lethal to the nearby animals.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Chase gets various costumes that grant him new powers and access to new areas as the player progresses through the story mode. In order of appearance: Civilian (Default), Police, Robber, Miner, Astronaut, Farmer, Firefighter, Construction Worker. He also unlocks several abilities as the story goes on such as parkour, advanced combat, boat driving and upgrades to previous powers. The sudden mastery is lampshaded in the first special assignment where Chase is as stunned as the player that he can do all these crazy parkour stunts.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: LEGO City is a mishmash of various areas and landmarks from real-life cities, such as San Francisco, New York and Miami.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: One of Chase's counters is simply stepping out of the way of an enemy's attack while sarcastically "welcoming" them to fall face first onto the ground.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: In contrast to the above Monster Clowns, several Non-Ironic Clowns are seen walking about the city.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Fuse boxes throughout the city are electrified, causing a zap to all characters except construction workers, who may repair them. Sometimes these boxes just stop certain devices from working, and sometimes they electrify floors, preventing entry. Lampshaded by Chase in while in Forrest Blackwell's Mansion.
    Chase: Did Forrest hire Frank to wire this place?
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Played with. During the Bluebell Mines level Chase performs a very impressive free fall for quite some time. A soft collision into wood only lightly harms him at best but he will die if he collides with something more solid. Lampshaded by Chase in-game.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: "Unlimited Dynamite" is the only Extra that is disabled in special assignments, because several complex puzzles could be easily skipped and the levels blitzed through if it was usable.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Parodied in the final sequence. The music for that part has a choir that chants "LEGO, LEGO, LEGO // CI- TY, CI- TY." However, it doesn't make it any less awesome.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The fact that the game was created, or at least recorded, in Britain becomes apparent with certain phrases and pronunciations. Among others, everyone pronounces "lever" with the British "Lee-ver" instead of the American "Leh-ver", and many allusions are made to Chase having been "on holiday" instead of "on vacation".
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • Most idly standing characters have absurdly long strings of idle chatter that you'll only hear by staying near them for several minutes, before they eventually repeat the string, such as Captain Bluffbeard talking about contemplating becoming a Pirate and reminiscing about his sailor past, with him lampshading the dialogue resetting part by saying he's so old he's starting to repeat himself.
    • A very notable example comes from Frank when he's playing video games before you wake up Dunby near the start of the game, where he'll make several Leaning on the Fourth Wall references to the LEGO Adaptation Game series, specifically the early ones compared to this one, including: a Mythology Gag about how the older games had Speaking Simlish while the movies had actual talking, finding a "special" brick, complaining about there being "free play" when he spent money to play, being excited about unlocking a character before getting sad that he lacks studs for the Double Unlock part, messing around with the Character Customizer to create himself as closely as possible out of different parts, being surprised how they kept the games fresh despite having little innovation over the years, wondering what'll happen when they run out of movies to adapt, and stating his belief that setting the game in a Wide-Open Sandbox city would make it even better.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • To ensure that no one knows he's bringing the crane to the observatory, Chase pulls out a box and draws a smiley face in sharpie and puts it on his head. Not only that, but he also scribbles two other faces (anger and surprise) onto the other sides of the box and it's not even commented on! However, the trope is ultimately subverted as the person he was trying to fool couldn't make out Chase's appearance anyway; he forgot to bring his glasses.
    • In The Chase Begins, Rex Fury is able to get away with committing crimes because he wears a Domino Mask that doesn't hide his face at all. The police aren't fooled by this disguise, but they believe that their photographic evidence can't convict him because he's wearing the mask. Even Natalia, when asked to identify a masked Rex, gives an unsure answer because he was not wearing a mask.
  • Parental Bonus: A very large portion of the game's humor consists of references that would fly over the heads of younger players.
  • Percussive Maintenance:
    • Not even 15 minutes into the game. The following is paraphrased.
    Unnamed Guy (referring to the computer): ...but it didn't blow up until Frank tried repairing it.
    Frank: With a hammer!
    • As a construction worker, Chase can fix fuse boxes by hitting them a few times with a hammer. Unlike Frank's aforementioned shenanigans, this actually works.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Chase attempts one of these, but ends up saying it out loud, resulting in Ellie pointing out the mistakes in it.
  • Poke the Poodle: The gangs that Chase must arrest as part of a sidequest all seem to want to be bad, but never really do anything worse than vandalism. One group seemed horrified when their leader only paid ten percent tip at a restaurant. Chase is eager to stop their crimes, but really, he's probably destroyed more random objects than all of the vandals he puts away combined.
  • Powerful Pick: The Miner suit's pickaxe, besides its use for breaking boulders otherwise too tough to punch or shoot, is quite a handy weapon and brick-breaker thanks to its Shockwave Stomp function.
  • A Rare Sentence: The phrase "I've got a chicken that will let me glide to the roof of the museum" is a sentence Ellie was not expecting to ever hear Chase say.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After Chase makes a blunder that frustrates a big arrest, Chief Dunby reassigns him to Bluebell National Park and doesn't even pretend that it's not to get him out of his hair. Thankfully, one of Chase's criminal connections calls him with a job that draws him back into the Rex Fury case.
  • Retirony: One of the guards at the courthouse takes pride on his last day of work that his thirty-six-year-long career ended without a single mistake or mishap. He immediately realizes that he let a prisoner who was to be transferred to jail get in the wrong vehicle. Then a bird poops on his head.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Takes it even further than the Lego Adaptation Games in that driving over things rewards you bricks to build with, and driving over several consecutive things rewards you with a multiplier, encouraging you to destroy even more things with your vehicles. Maxing out the multiplier even makes you invincible for a short while. Your car starts glowing in many different colors, too. This is actually required, in that Chase has to break certain things so he can use the parts to build other things.
  • Right-Hand Cat: The story has a few gags using this trope: Chan Chuang has a Right Hand Bunny that is used not to signify his villainy but to act as a stress pet when his Hair-Trigger Temper goes on the fritz (it also barks like a guard dog for whatever reason), and Ellie comes to realize Forrest Blackwell really is evil like Chase told her because during a public speech he had a cat on his lap that he tenderly stroked while talking.
  • Safe Cracking: As a robber, Chase can use a stethoscope to crack open any safe.
  • Sequel Hook: As Chase never managed to arrest Forrest Blackwell, it seemed possible that a sequel might come. In 2017, LEGO Dimensions gained a LEGO City Adventure World, and one of its challenges provides a more conclusive rematch.
  • Sequential Boss: Rex Fury is fought in two consecutive battles, the first against him piloting a T-Rex, and the second against him and his minions.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The special attack for the Miner suit is slamming the ground with tremendous force and sending out strong shockwaves from the point of impact, whether from a jump-slam or swinging when not next to anything. It helps with smashing several objects quickly before you get the drill, and can provide some breathing room from a group of swarming enemies
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sherlock Holmes appears under the name of "Doorluck Homes". He's also apparently friends with "Dr. Whatsit".
    • The LCPD is practically staffed with them, including undercover specialists Studski and Clutch, and the eternally high-strung gravelly-voiced Shaky Harry.
    • The Sentinels, personal security detail of Forrest Blackwell, are dead ringers for The Agents from The Matrix.
    • Another Matrix reference is the Kung-Fu training cutscene which is a dead ringer for the "I Know Kung-Fu" scene from the first movie. Once you complete the level that follows it, most of Chase's moves (especially his finishing moves) heavily resemble one's from The Matrix.
    • The above mentioned cutscene also ends with a Street Fighter style K.O. sound effect.
    • A whole mission based off The Shawshank Redemption, complete with a nod to "Free Man" (not now, his lawyers might be watching)
    • Several Shoutouts to the Super Mario Bros. franchise are included as the result of Nintendo being publisher. Look out for coin boxes, a Starman, and Cheep-cheeps.note 
    • During the final level, Rex's T-Rex is defeated in a manner similar to Bowser in Super Mario 64, by grabbing its tail and then throwing it at the explosive energy tanks around the room. This battle also takes place in space while Chase is piloting a yellow Mini-Mecha inspired by Aliens; combined with the aforementioned Super Mario 64 reference, the end result is almost identical to the final boss of Conker's Bad Fur Day.
    • The tones used for the Space Boxes are "Daisy Daisy," from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Furthermore, one of the astronauts in The Chase Begins is named Hal Bowman.
    • One of the symbols at the space center resembles the Super Smash Bros. logo.
    • Albert Spindlerouter takes The Ahnold trope to a whole new level by incorporating the name of a Schwarzenegger movie into just about everything he says. It's even lampshaded when a nearby construction worker in the same level notes that he reminds him of someone.
    • Two major side characters are cousins Moe and Vinnie Poppalardo. Naturally, Moe occasionally refers to the other as "my cousin Vinnie".
    • The name "Chase McCain" is a clear reference to John McClane, and both characters are loose cannons.
    • The centerpiece of Blackwell's vault is The Maltese Falcon.
  • Silence Is Golden: In stark contrast to the rest of the game, the space freefall segment of the final mission has almost no dialogue.
  • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: Special boxes scattered around the city have colored lights which flash in a certain order, requiring the astronaut's special pad to repeat the pattern, beaming down objects and aliens when successful. This can be averted with a Red Brick which skips the minigame and just opens the box for you.
  • Sting: Every time Rex Fury is mentioned a brief bit of ominous music plays.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • When Chase teams up with Studski and Clutch to rescue Natalia, the two speculate on how she might be getting tortured, with ridiculous ideas like giving her brain freeze from ice cream and using Tickle Torture. When Natalia's rescued, she's in pain and says they fed her ice cream. Later, Chase and Vinnie interrogate one of Rex's crooks by force-feeding him ice cream, and Rex Fury tortures Professor Kowalski by using a giant machine that tickles him.
    • Only two characters refer to computers as "compupers". One is The Ditz Frank. The other is the highly-sophisticated Forrest Blackwell.
  • Talking Animal: The punchline of one of the Red Herring Audio Scanner conversations reveals that the "people" Chase was listening to were, in fact, farm animals the entire time.
  • Teleportation: As an astronaut, Chase can utilize teleporters to travel between two points, although they're usually never that far apart.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Chase: (looking down after using the grappling hook to climb a building) Good thing I don't have vertigo or some kind of ridiculous phobia.
    (cue a cute little parrot landing next to him)
    Parrot: Brawk! Bonjour!
    Chase: AHHH! FRENCH PARROTS! (faints)
  • This Is a Drill: As a construction worker, Chase can use a drill to break through certain areas on the ground. The drill can also be used to break surrounding objects and stun nearby enemies.
  • Threatening Shark: There are a few shark signs on some of the beaches that seem entirely forgettable. Get out in open water though, and there's a chance you end up dying very quickly.
  • Timed Mission: Certain missions on the main overworld are timed. Can be quite jarring considering none of the story mode levels or missions in the previous LEGO Adaptation Games were under a time limit.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • You will explode some outhouses in a certain part of this game. With people still inside them too.
    • At the end of the game, Rex Fury crashes through the roof of a house, and lands headfirst into a toilet bowl. It's still stuck on his head during his arrest.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Chan's gang is basically the Chinese mafia.
  • Training Montage:
    • Spoofed. When Chase gets the fire extinguisher, he starts squirting it everywhere where there are fires. Cut to the head firefighter chastising him for using it without proper training or even orders.
    • Also spoofed during the "Plumb-fu" training montage, where grandmaster Barry kicks the crap out of Chase, and then concludes he should practice on a few of his Mooks first.
  • Troperiffic: The developers actively tried to invoke as many Cop Show tropes as possible... and a lot of other tropes aside.
  • The Unreveal: Dunby's advice for the cops is muted out by someone activating a vacuum while he speaks.
  • Video Call Fail: Late in the game, Chase spies on Rex Fury talking with his boss. The image of the boss only shows his torso and lower jaw and his voice is distorted. At first, it seems like he's trying to obscure his identity, but Rex tells him that he has his camera set at the wrong angle and the system is making his voice sound weird. The boss complains about working with the device and manages to correct it, revealing himself to be Forrest Blackwell.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Destroying city property is encouraged as a way to build up your block count. You can also very easily mow down the civilians nearby. They'll just pop back up and continue walking a second later. They dive out of the way like most sandbox games, with the addition of having an animation for when they dive into the wall. Ouch.
  • Walking Spoiler: Played for laughs with Mikey Spoilers. True to his name, he walks up to the camera and tells you how to get a secret item in an upcoming level.
  • Wall Crawl: Farmer Jethro's pigs can do this. And, apparently, use lockpicking tools. They're rare mountain pigs, which explains why Chase so often finds them on top of buildings.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: "Stinky" Fletcher, who is supposed to have information on the theft in Bluebell Mine, is kidnapped by Rex's men, but after McCain gets a newer lead in the form of Chan, Fletcher is never seen or heard from again. Also, Chan himself is mentioned to have gone missing after his disappearance following the elimination of his gang's key members and the rescue of Natalia, and is never seen again.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: As mentioned in the Shout-Out section, an entire level is dedicated to spoofing The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Quite a few of Chase's costumes are of women. He will even adopt their more feminine poses while undercover.
  • Witness Protection: A big part of the backstory is that Natalia Kowalski was in witness protection, until Chase blew her cover, which is why Chase was kicked out of LEGO City. She's back in witness protection when he returns, albeit as a paramedic rather than a journalist.
  • World of Weirdness: A lot of the LEGO City world falls under this. There are rare Mountain pigs which are intelligent enough to pick locks and scale buildings, and according to the Red Herring conversations, animals can secretly talk and mermaids exist, as well as you being able to legally marry one.


Video Example(s):


Blackwell Tower Is A Rocket

When Chase and Heinrich find Blackwell's moonbase model in his mansion, Chase wonders how Blackwell can pull this off since the shuttle on Apollo Island isn't big enough for his cronies. He then looks at the uniquely-shaped rocket in the model and wonders where Blackwell could've hidden it. This kicks in when he remembers that there's a countdown at Blackwell Tower, and that he realizes that he's seen the rocket before as it's nearly the same shape as the tower and that people nearby will likely be killed by the exhaust of the rocket if something isn't done quick enough.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExplainExplainOhCrap

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