- Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Fun drinking game - count the number of offensive Italian jokes directed at Luigi. If you're still conscious past the first three episodes, you're doing it wrong.
- Awesome Ego: Gene Hunt.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Gene Hunt.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Literally. When Gene starts to remember who he is, he describes the world the series is set in as "Somewhere we go to sort ourselves... Coppers." Nelson (from Life On Mars) is the gatekeeper, and Gene guides lost souls to him.
- Foe Yay: Gene and Keats. Gene and Supermac (sauna scene anyone?). Also Alex and Keats.
- Growing the Beard: With some exceptions, series 1 in general has a much more frivolous feel to it, particularly in the behaviour of Alex's character. The drama gets much better when she becomes more the serious police officer from series 2 onwards.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In the very first episode. Remember how confident Alex was about getting home to see her daughter and "I am not going to die."? Yeah...
- Also, during episode 3.06, Ray tells Viv to go to Hell. It's later implied that thanks to Keats, that's exactly where he went.
- Ho Yay:
- Chris and Ray, nigh constantly.
- In episode 3.04, "Gene <3 Sam".
- Les Yay: Shaz and Alex, considering Shaz's appreciation of Alex's hooker dress and insistence that she'd pay for a night with Alex.
- Misaimed Fandom:
- Or is it? Who's the star of this show, anyway? Seems like Drake and Hunt are actively dueling for that right; the narration, all the private introspection scenes are Drake's, but the Gene Genie acts like he's in charge (justified, perhaps, because he is), so often and so strongly that he often winds up as the dominant character. This wouldn't be confusing if it was Law & Order, but Gene's strength of acting is strange considering Alex is supposed to be locked in her own mind. (Although the fact that even in the first season there are scenes where Alex isn't present suggest it might not be as simple as that. It isn't.) Note:
- Arguably the easiest way to put it is that while Alex is the main character, Gene is the central character.
- Thanks to some advertising in the run-up to the 2010 general election, the misaimed fandom apparently includes the UK's two largest political parties. On the morning of 3rd April 2010, the Labour party put out an advertisement claiming that then-opposition leader David Cameron would "take Britain back to the 1980s", showing him Photoshopped on the front of an Audi Quattro a la Gene Hunt. Later that same day, the Conservatives responded with a re-Shopped version announcing: "Fire up the Quattro. It's time for change". It later turned out that neither party had sought permission from the BBC or the production company for the adverts, and they were both asked to stop using them. It's not clear why Labour (generally perceived as being weak on crime) thought that likening the other guy to everyone's favourite Cowboy Cop was a smart plan.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Adrien Dunbar as the bent copper Martin Summers 3 years before becoming Superintendent Ted Hastings in Line of Duty.
- Rupert Graves as a Thatcherite Wanker in 1x02.
- Jim Keats popped up on Outcasts as an Anti-Hero security officer and on Doctor Who as Alex, the dad in "Night Terrors".
- Caroline Price is now Sgt. Murray on Scott and Bailey.
- Watching The Borgias can get very uncomfortable if you're used to seeing Sean Harris (Micheletto) as Arthur Leyton.
YMMV / Ashes to Ashes (2008)