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Western Animation / Axe Cop

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One day, at the scene of a fire, The Cop found the perfect axe. That was the day he became... Axe Cop!

One of the first shows on FOX's Animation Domination High Def (ADHD) block note  alongside High School U.S.A.. Based on the hit webcomic, this series premiered on July 21, 2013. Some changes were made to continuity and character backstories. In Season Two, first-run episodes premiered on FXX's Animation Domination block.

Tropes applying to this series:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Axe Cop creates "Cyborg" versions of himself and Sockarang, and which almost immediately take up vandalism, bank robbing and infanticide. Somewhat justified as their original directive was "watch Unibaby and punch her if she cries."
  • Abnormal Ammo: The Magic Police's hats turn into bazookas that shoot incendiary rabbits; the poop cannon might also apply, although it's never specified whether poop is the actual payload or just the primer. Bad Santa has a rifle that fires candy canes.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Axe Cop's old friend Super Axe and his wife Tracy became the first living things after Axe Cop and Super Axe killed every animal at the beginning of time. They even have a religion devoted to them.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Axe Cop's ancestor Book Cop gets an entire episode to himself, complete with Identical Grandson partners Stockarang and Fife Cop and a new Plot Device in the Secret Attack Almanac. The "rabbit who broke all the rules" gets upgraded from one-off joke to arch-nemesis, and an episode named after him. In the comics, Chemist M was practically a Creator Cameo for Malachai; in the series, he's a grown man with a family. See Bad Santa, Happily Married, and Origins Episode, below.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • Has shades of this, the biggest difference being that Flute Cop remains in his human form, is Happily Married and is the adopted father of Uni-Baby.
    • Another tell is that in this continuity, Sockarang always had his signature black beard (instead of getting it while fighting Bad Santa). The fact that Bad Santa has a dirty-grey beard in this continuity instead of a black one like in the comics is proof of this.
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: Parodied; Flute Cop tries to play it at the grave of Dead Rabbit, but keeps going off-key.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: A really weird example that starts out as a Birthday Episode (premiering in mid-August), which somehow segues into this (except it isn't even about Saving Christmas; for Axe Cop, It's Personal). See Bad Santa below.
  • Animesque: The show avoids Ethan Nicolle's more caricatured designs, as creative director Ben Jones sought "the most serious artist dudes trained in the anime style", lending everything a sharp and serious look for prime Art-Style Dissonance.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The King of All Bad Guys, Chicken Head, Dr. Doo Doo's Zombie Robot...
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Axe Cop communicates with Flute Cop via an invisible walkie-talkie, which serves no real purpose and would be a nightmare to find if dropped. But it looks cool. Or... Doesn't, as the case may be.
  • Bad Boss: The King of England. Upon hearing the mission to retrieve the Secret Attack Almanac was a failure, he asks the messenger whether he would like to be killed with acid or with sharks (see Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs, below). Later, when he finds the Almanac, the soldier with him exclaims how he can't wait to tell his pregnant wife and three children about it. The king promptly stabs him, leaving with a "Cheerio!"
  • Bad Santa: He gets a much larger role this time around (he's responsible for making Axe Cop an orphan) and a totally different characterization (see Deep South, below). He lives on the "South Pole planet" and enslaves or outright murders good children.
  • Badass Boast: "Only when I am not ready to fight... which is almost never."
  • Badass Bookworm: Book Cop
  • Big Damn Heroes: Probably the only instance of zombies fulfilling this trope. Liborg pulls it off in the pilot, although it's more of a Gondor Calls for Aid situation.
  • Blunt "Yes": In one episode, Axe Cop has said that all girls are on the Dumb List.
    Reporter: My daughter's a girl. Do you think she's on the Dumb List, too?
    Axe Cop: Yes.
  • Bond One-Liner: In "The Rabbit Who Broke All The Rules": Axe Cop gives his late foster son a eulogy thus:
    "You were my foster son, but I never gave you a name. Now I can: Last name, Rabbit, first name, Dead."
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "An American Story" the King's execution methods include acid, sharks, and acid sharks.
    • In "Birthday Month", Flute Cop opens a cooler full of apple juice, grape juice, and apple grape juice.
  • Breath Weapon: Both Chicken Head and Wexter have these.
  • British Royal Guards: Stand there and don't move a muscle when the queen is kidnapped.
  • Busman's Holiday: Seemingly inverted in "Birthday Month" when Axe Cop takes Flute Cop on an "important mission" that's actually just a trip to the beach, then played straight when the mermaids appear and then tragically subverted when it turns out to all be a misunderstanding.
  • Butt-Monkey: Grey Diamond fills this role in the first episode. Axe Cop ignores him, refuses to let him tell his story after listening to someone else's, and also runs over his car.
    • It continues in “Mark Frankenstein” with G.D. quitting the team after it’s pointed out to him he has no battle cry, no powers and no training (and he doesn’t even get unemployment for quitting). Then he pawns his diamond hat—his only possession of value—for $15, and his Backstory reveals no one took him or his ideas seriously and he was reduced to teaching elementary school. He’s somewhat vindicated by the end though.
  • Captain Ersatz: Chubby Doll is an Expy of a Tubby doll from the comic, for legal reasons.
  • Captivity Harmonica: Axe Cop finally relents and lets Grey Diamond tell his story, to get him to stop doing this.
  • Cardboard Prison: In the episode "Heads Will Roll", Axe Cop is incarcerated. He decides to stay because it makes killing bad guys very convenient. As soon as he learns that Flute Cop is in trouble, he easily escapes.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I chubby-wubby you!"
    • "I will chop your HEADS OFF!"
    • Sockarang has a tendency to shout his name when fighting or answering the telephone.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Axe Cop doesn't want Unibaby pooping until his evil Cyborg doppelganger needs stopping
  • Composite Character:
    • Ray from "Taxi Cop" is a mix of comic characters Officer Lightning, Sergeant McQueen, and Telescope Gun Cop. He's also seen playing with an action figure version of Telescope Gun Cop as a child in flashback.
    • Bad Santa is revealed to be the one who killed Axe Cop's parents via poisoned candy canes, as opposed to Telescope Gun Cop.
  • Couch Gag: The opening sequence is based on the first few panels of the original webcomic. The crime that Flute Cop was recruited to stop changes with each episode.
  • Creator Cameo: Ethan Nicolle confirms here that he had two, as Chubby Doll and a disgruntled merman.
    • Also the boy looking out the window while Malachai Nicolle provides the opening narration bears a suspicious resemblance to Malachai's previous appearance in the comics...
  • Creepy Child: The boy possessed by Dead Rabbit, although it's mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Cyborg: available in Sockarang and Axe Cop flavors, although they're more like Noisy Robots than cyborgs. The Axe Cop model comes with arm cannons and police cruiser emergency light shoulder pads!
  • Darker and Edgier: Insofar as is possible with Axe Cop - The series goes for a more realistic tone than the comic, with the unchanged Axe Cop being painted as a Cloudcuckoolander Bunny-Ears Lawyer Manchild compared to Flute Cop. "Birthday Month" is probably the best example (see Bad Santa, Heroic BSoD).
  • Deader than Dead: The fate of Dead Rabbit.
    Axe Cop: I learned that if you're going to kill something, you have to make sure you kill its soul too.
  • Deep South: Bad Santa is a depraved redneck with Scary Teeth who sits in a rocking chair on the front porch of his dilapidated house, holding a gun. It's an entertaining (and creepy) departure from the comic's morbidly obese, alcoholic Osama bin Laden muppet interpretation.
  • Demonic Possession: Dead Rabbit possesses a random boy in order to get close to Axe Cop.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Lampshaded.
    Beautiful Girly Bob: You can't beat up a girl on national television!
    Axe Cop: No, but she can!
  • Detonation Moon: The moon contains a self-destruct mechanism in case of an emergency such as "super werewolves." Because this is Axe Cop, the self-destruct switch requires karate-kicking the moon's guardian vampire in the chest, where the Big Red Button is.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: the series runs on this trope.
    • Axe Cop and Sockarang are unmasked as "fake magicians" by the Magic Police; the crowd's response? "Let's kill them!"
    • Young Axey beheads a rabbit for the crimes of a) walking upright, and b) eating coconuts.
    • "Soda is better than juice!"
    • Axe Cop seems ready to decapitate his own foster son for being bad at kicking. Though to be fair, how you kick determines if you're good or evil in the Axe Cop universe.
  • Double Meaning: When Axe Cop uses a bear disguise to enter Bearopolis, Flute Cop (who is, keep in mind, a middle-aged man carrying a comfy amount of extra weight) asks why he doesn’t get one.
    Flute Cop: I mean, I’m a husky guy, I could pass for a bear!
  • Dumb Is Good:
    • Invoked. The dinosaurs that Axe Cop summoned ate all the bad brain cells in the King of All Bad Guys, making him into "a really dumb good guy."
    • Inverted by Baby Man, who gets recruited to Axe Cop's team after Axe Cop wishes for him to stop being so dumb. He gains Brainy Specs in the process.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Two "Ask Axe Cop" cartoons were animated to help promote the then still in development television series: President and Halloween. While the fact that they have the same tone as the original comics can be chalked up to being from Axe Cop's POV (or, in the case of President, his Fantasy Sequence), the fact that his team has different members in Halloween means that the trope's still played straight. To be specific, Ralph Wrinkles the talking dog and Baby Man the are both present as his official team members, but not Gray Diamond. Note that this episode was animated before Baby Man officially joined the team in the episode "No More Bad Guys".
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Happens twice, with Axe Cop FIRE! and the Power of Christmas.
  • Evil Twin: Santa Claus invokes this in reference to Bad Santa; they even have green and red eyes, respectively.
  • Fake-Out Opening: "President Axe" begins with the opening titles of High School U.S.A., which are interrupted by coverage of Axe Cop's first press conference as President.
  • Fanservice Extra: The animators seem to enjoy sneaking buxom female characters into the background. There's a ridiculously well-endowed lady magician (with a suspicious resemblance to Zatanna), a buxom villainess...
  • Flipping the Table: Axe Cop does this to his desk when his birthday cake is "all wrong".
  • Forced Transformation:
    • Book Cop sprinkles Fife Cop with eagle blood, turning him into Fife Eagle Cop.
    • Flute Cop in "No More Bad Guys". First he gets dinosaur blood on him, transforming into "Dinosaur Soldier". Then he eats an avocado and becomes "Avocado Soldier". Finally he asks Axe Cop to wish him back to being Flute Cop, only for Axe Cop to wish for him to become "a giant gorilla with robo-gun fists and a red bow-tie". Flute Cop's wife isn't pleased.
    • Downplayed in “Night Mission: The Moon”. Flute Cop becomes a bear after Axe Cop showers him with a decapitated bear’s blood, then Spider Bear Cop after accidentally swallowing a spider. This time, Flute Cop just rolls with it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The auction scene in "Heads Will Roll" includes bad guys who look a lot like M. Bison and Sagat.
  • Generation Xerox: Book Cop was assisted in the Revolutionary war by Fife Cop and Stockarang.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: As befitting a show written by a nine-year-old, no one swears. Even the British characters say "Bloody heck".
  • Happily Married: Flute Cop has a wife, named Anita.
    • When Axe Cop meets up with Super Axe again, we learn that he has given up crime-fighting to focus on his marriage.
  • Hates Being Touched: looks like the show is making Axe Cop out to be this; after he saves some child slaves from Bad Santa, they rush forward to hug him and he stops them with "Not a chance." See also Running Gag.
  • Heroic BSoD: A rarity for Axe Cop, a borderline Sociopathic Hero who claims he never cries; after the mermaid incident, he sheds a Single Tear.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Grey Diamond and Liborg.
  • High-Class Glass: Chemist M sports one, a trait he shares with his wife, his daughter (even when she was a small child) and the turd excreted by the zombie who ate his brain.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Dr. Doo Doo forces the Queen of London, England to marry him so he can obtain her scepter, which gives poop power.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In "No More Bad Guys", Flute Cop finally undergoes his trademark transformations from the beginning of the comic. By the end of the episode, the bad guy is defeated with the help of Uni-Baby's horn. Flutey (as Avocado Soldier) asks Axe Cop to wish him back to normal (so as to not disrupt his marriage), but Axe Cop instead transforms him into a gorilla with robo-gun fists and a red bowtie.
    Flute Cop: Aw, what? I wanted to be normal!
    Axe Cop: But I wanted you to be better.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Bad Santa's Evil Plan.
    Axe Cop: [You're going to] Heaven? Why?
    Bad Santa: To kill God and become Jesus, obviously.
    • Ethan Nicolle explains that the writers asked Malachai what Bad Santa's plan was, and that was his verbatim response, delivered in a tone that suggested everybody should know this.
  • Keet: Sockarang, as brought to life by the inimitable Patton Oswalt.
    "Magic world is so magical! I could cryyy!"
  • Kinda Busy Here: During deadly combat with evil cyborgs, Axe Cop answers a phone call from Flute Cop with "What is it, Flute Cop? I'm babysitting."
  • "London, England" Syndrome: Parodied; "London, England" seems to stand for the whole England or Great Britain in the second episode, and later on, the phrase still comes up, although just "England" also exists.
  • Magic Music: The show really emphasizes Flute Cop's Magical Flautist qualities. He can drop coconuts from trees and allegedly charm volcanoes into never erupting again.
  • Magical Society: Magic World, complete with Magic Police, although it's not clear whether Magic World is an actual place or just Axe Cop's fantasy brought to life by Unibaby's horn.
  • Magical Incantation: "Babysitting Unibaby" lovingly preserves the nonsense "magic words" Malachai invented for the comic, although in this version they might just be gibberish Axe Cop concocted to mess with the people of Magic World, since Unibaby's horn requires no magic words. "Abra-ca-handcuffs" is a straight example (that doubles as Calling Your Attacks).
  • Male Gaze: a first for the franchise; Flute Cop (and the viewers) get a good look at some bikini-clad women in "Birthday Month"
    • Mr. Fanservice: In the same scene, Axe Cop shows off his perfectly-toned body in a Speedo!
  • Manchild: It's justified, in that Axe Cop's creator is a literal child, but the show emphasizes this even more. So far, Axe Cop has: pounded on his partner's door in the middle of the night to demand food (to go), decapitated a helpless alien for not liking soda, and declared that everyone must celebrate his birthday for an entire month.
    • And in “Axe Cop Saves God”, when Axey finds out a diner is out of birthday cake he leaps onto the table and screams that every day is his birthday.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum / Mundane Wish: Axe Cop and Sockarang obtain a magic item that can do virtually anything. They use it to go to Magic World... and then fuck with some spectators and give themselves a bunch of money, which they end up not even using.
  • Mood Dissonance: Axe Cop has just learned who killed his parents. The music is very dramatic. But Sockarang and Flute Cop are just enthused they got Axe Cop a birthday gift he likes.
  • More Dakka: Wexter's arms, cyborg Axe Cop, and Bad Santa's sleigh.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "I love paperwork. One time me and my buddy filled out like ten forms at once. It was like, what!"
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Lampshaded with Soul Kick, which didn't exist until the first time it was used.
  • Nobody Poops: Inverted with Dr. Doo Doo's global Brown Note; EVERYBODY poops, even The Pope. Invoked later on, when Axe Cop uses the Queen's scepter for a wish.
    Flute Cop: I dunno if that's such a good thing, I mean, sometimes I enjoy a good poop.
    • Justified in the case of Axe Cop, whose body is so efficient it produces no waste.
  • Opening Narration: Done by none other than Malachai himself, although it was changed slightly from the original opening line.
  • Origins Episode: "Taxi Cop" takes a few known facts about Axe Cop's history to construct an Adaptation Expansion of his early career, even as it contains a Compressed Adaptation of the Evil Planet Tinko arc.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: they look fairly standard; but they make mean faces instead of smiling (and vice versa), are Always Lawful Good and might be a One-Gender Race.
  • Police Are Useless: Axe Cop points out that "The Magic Police are the slowest police." They do seem to be mostly out of shape and not very competent. Although it’s never clear whether this is their fault, or because Axe Cop imagined them that way.
    • The Regular Police are ineffective, having essentially been replaced by Axe Cop.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Certain elements of the original comic have been combined or altered for TV, with Ethan Nicolle's hearty approval; Flute Cop has stayed Flute Cop, to better facilitate his role as the Only Sane Man; and Sockarang already has his beard despite (presumably) never encountering Bad Santa.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: in more flavors than Baskin Robbins!
    • "I hope you like being dead, Dr. Doo Doo!"
    • "Say hello to my parents... in Hell!" Also the closest this series comes to a Precision F-Strike.
    • "I have it all in my head!" "You do now." (cue Book Cop throwing a book through the King's skull)
  • Prepare to Die: "Bad Santa, I hope you like dying as much as I'm going to enjoy killing you."
  • Rage Against the Heavens: See Insane Troll Logic, above.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Due to their ocean themes, the Water Queen is now the daughter of the King of All Time, and the King also adopted Lobster Man after his parents were murdered.
    • On the other hand, Flute Cop adopted Uni-Baby (and later, the orphaned Vampire Man Baby Kid) after a momentary Psychic Link seemed to confirm that Uni-Baby is not Uni-Man's daughter, only from the same planet.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Inverted. While the setting is arguably modern, $200 is treated as a preposterously large sum amongst a group of the top bad guys in "Heads Will Roll".
  • Robotic Reveal / Tomato in the Mirror: Causes the final scene of “President Cop” to take a surprisingly dark turn when Flute Cop realized he was one of the bomb clones all along.
    Dumb Bomb Clone Flute Cop: But why do I have feelings? Memories?
    Axe Cop: Because I’m really good at drawing.
  • Running Gag:
    • Someone puts a friendly arm around Axe Cop's shoulder, and he casually pushes it away.
    • Whenever someone undergoes a Forced Transformation, other people will immediately begin calling them by their new and most up-to-date name.
      Axe Cop With Lemon: Look, I'm Axe Cop With Lemon.
      Baby Man: (Just now walking up) Hey, Axe Cop With Lemon...
  • Sanity Slippage: In "President Cop", as Axe Cop goes insane from the utter boredom of world peace, his antics including growing out his fingernails a la Howard Hughes and marrying a gender flipped time-travelling Abraham Lincoln.
  • Serious Business: How someone kicks is indicative of whether they are good or evil.
  • Ship Sinking: Preemptively and In-Universe! A Running Gag in "Zombie Island" is Isabella nearly having a moment with Flute Cop, only for him to remind her that he's Happily Married.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The main cast of Happy Days are the friends Bat-Warthog Man was looking for.
    • The King of England's throne is remarkably similar to the Iron Throne, and the king himself has an eerie resemblance to a certain other king...
    • Axe Cop was born with a mustache and was thus nicknamed "Baby Mario" by his parents. He even wore a red cap with an "M" monogram.
    • In Baby Man's flashback during "No More Bad Guys", Milla Vodello, Jonah Hex and The Ice King can be seen trying out for Axe Cop's team.
  • Sociopathic Hero / Psychopathic Manchild: Mostly Comedic Sociopathy, but Axe Cop hews closer to this than before. While clearly on the side of good, he has a clear Lack of Empathy and no qualms whatsoever about extorting his partner for the cost of a gift Axe Cop purchased himself, or starving said partner's baby, or subjecting it to cyborg violence, or even allowing it to die because he's "not done having fun yet." See Darker and Edgier, Flipping the Table, Manchild.
    • "No More Bad Guys" plays Baby Man's baby motif for creepiness, sucking on pacifiers while plotting a kidnapping, and falling over bawling as he decides to carry out a death threat.
  • Spell Book: The Secret Attack Almanac.
  • Spoof Aesop:
    • If you're going to kill something, make sure you kill its soul, too.
    • At the end of "Babysitting Unibaby":
    Sockarang: So Axe Cop, do you still think babies are dumb?
    Axe Cop: Of course I do.
  • Status Quo Is God: In "No More Bad Guys", Flute Cop turns into Dinosaur Soldier, Avocado Solider, and a gorilla with robo-gun fists and a red bow tie. Flute Cop is back in his original form in the next episode with no explanation.
    • In the same episode, Axe Cop kills every bad guy on Earth. That doesn't stop bad guys from showing up for the rest of the season.
    • Happens again in “Night Mission: The Moon” to Flute Cop—oops, I mean Spider Bear Cop.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Hitler captures Chemist M and forces him to create an army of zombies on Zombie Island IN SPACE! Some of the zombies wear actual jetpacks, although we sadly never see Hitler wearing one.
  • There Was a Door: Seems to come with the general disregard of life and limb, such as when Liborg bursts through the wall of Axe Cop's office just to arrive at the Thanksgiving party, or when Wexter crashes through the roof of a wedding chapel to give Axe Cop a lift more immediately.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: We're never explicitly shown how far Earth, Zombie Island IN SPACE! or the "dinosaur planet" are from each other, but everyone arrives where they need to be at the right time.
    Flute Cop: (while flying through space) How much longer?
    Isabella: Ten minutes; fifteen at the most.
    Axe Cop: Wrong! We're here!
  • Troll: Axe Cop and Sockarang turn into jerkass trolls in Magic World. After hijacking the big magic show, they taunt the audience by vandalizing and then repairing the tent, and then giving everyone in the audience $100... moments before giving themselves twenty times as much.
    Axe Cop: We win!
    Sockarang: You lose!
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Flute Cop is short, bald, and paunchy; his wife, Anita, looks like a magazine model. The show points out how good Flute Cop is with his flute.
  • Was Once a Man: Army Chihuahua and Liborg.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Adolf Hitler kidnaps Chemist M and forces him to make a zombie army on Zombie Island... IN SPACE! Hitler is never seen or mentioned again.
  • World of Weirdness: The Queen has a magic scepter with global control over fecal matter, dinosaurs go to summer camp, the American Revolution was more like Mortal Kombat and any layman can rent a magic horn that summons dinosaurs. It says a lot that Stupid Jetpack Hitler is the least strange thing about the setting.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Played with for laughs; Axe Cop never commits any actual violence against Unibaby, but he's perfectly willing to abandon her to the company of cyborgs he personally programmed to punch her if she cries. Threatening to kill Unibaby is what signifies the cyborgs have crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Played straight with Bad Santa, who enslaves/harms children and claims to have a "workshop of torture".
  • Would Hit a Girl: Axe Cop would, until he learns about the bad PR inherent in doing so.