Dog the Bounty Hunter

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"I'm the Dog,
the big bad Dog,

the bounty hunter!"
—"Dog the Bounty Hunter", theme song by Ozzy Osbourne

Dog the Bounty Hunter is a Reality Show on A&E that follows bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman and his wife Beth, sons Leland & Duane Lee, and daughter Lyssa as they pursue bail jumpers across Hawaii and Colorado. The show has run since 2004, and has propelled the Chapmans to celebrity status.

Tropes used in Dog the Bounty Hunter include:


  • Angry Guard Dog: One episode had a fugitive's family owning a pitbull that was particularly aggressive; the team had to mace it because they thought it was about to attack them. The dog was chained to a truck tire and was dragging it along.
  • Badass Long Hair: Dog's preferred hairstyle is a massive mullet.
  • Berserk Button: Do not insult or try to harm a member of Dog's family when he's around.
  • Big Fancy House: Dog has at least one of these.
  • Bounty Hunter: Or "bail bondsmen", as the team prefer to call themselves.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: See for yourself.
  • Buxom Is Better: Beth is very well-endowed. Doesn't hinder her effectiveness in the field, though.
  • Catch Phrase: "Aloha" and calling people "bra" (surfer slang for "brother"). Justified in that they're in Hawaii and those phrases are commonplace there.
  • Chase Scene: One episode had a high-speed chase with a fugitive, resulting in the suspect crashing into a ditch and escaping on foot.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: At least once per episode, the bleeps will start coming hot and heavy when the team gets into a heated argument with each other, a fugitive, and/or a fugitive's friends/family.
  • Cool Shades: Dog is very rarely seen without these on when out in the field. The rest of the team will don these on occasion as well.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The team often wear black body armor and tactical gear in the field, yet are incredibly compassionate to the fugitives once they have them in custody, even offering them drinks, cigarettes, (they even stopped by McDonald's en-route to the jail for one fugitive) as well as help in getting their problems straightened out once the fugitives' legal troubles are resolved.
  • Determinator: Dog and the team are relentless in their pursuit of fugitives, and don't stop chasing them until the fugitives are caught by them, other bounty hunters, or the cops. Backfired big-time when they went into Mexico to arrest a fugitive, since bounty hunting is illegal there.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Beth has accused Dog of this a few times, mainly when he treats female fugitives with kid gloves or shows more leniency than he would with a male fugitive in the same situation.
    • The team sometimes use this as a ploy to lure in fugitives.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Setting aside the fact that Dog cannot own a gun due to having a felony conviction on his record, he does not like them very much at all.
  • Do Not Try This At Home: The show starts with a disclaimer warning viewers of the hazards of chasing potentially dangerous fugitives and advises them against trying it themselves. The very low entry requirements for the profession in most states may be behind this.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: There's been multiple times on the show where a person arrested by the team with various heinous charges against them will become emotional when their parents or other family members are discussed, sometimes even calling them to apologize before being taken to jail.
  • Everybody Owns a General Motors product: The main "work" cars are either GMC, Chevy, and/or Cadillac SUV's, with Leland's H2 Hummer thrown into the mix.
  • Family Business: Dog runs Da Kine Bail Bonds with his wife and kids, as well as a few family friends.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Due to the reasons mentioned above in Does Not Like Guns, Dog and the rest of the team use only less-lethal weapons, namely mace cans and pepperball guns (basically paintball guns firing powdered mace).
  • Guns Akimbo: One episode had Dog wielding two pepperball guns while searching a home for a fugitive.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: There's been several times where the team has maced a fugitive and ended up getting it in their faces as well. One time a fugitive even managed to get ahold of Leland's mace can while struggling with him and sprayed Leland with it.
  • Hot Mom: Lyssa Chapman.
  • Huddle Power: The team often does this to pray before and/or after going after a fugitive.
  • Let Me At Him: Often happens when the team gets into heated arguments with family and/or friends of the fugitives.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Leland often runs down fugitives who try to flee on foot and is more than capable of holding his own should things get physical, seeing as he partakes in boxing matches when not hunting down bail jumpers.
  • Mission Briefing: Done prior to going after each fugitive; the team gathers together and goes over the information on the person such as their description, likely location, who signed for their bail, what their criminal history is, and so on.
  • Mr. Exposition: Dog often does this when the team is having Mission Briefing on a fugitive before going out after them; often explaining the hazards they're likely to face with that particular fugitive due to their criminal history. Since the others are likely well-aware of this information already, it's likely done for the benefit of the viewers.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Beth and Lyssa completely avert this; both regularly go out into the field and are just as capable as the guys. Lyssa was even chasing bail jumpers while pregnant.
  • Team Mom: Beth often fills this role, both figuratively and literally as she's often shown carrying out parental duties for her youngest son, Gary Boy.
  • Uncancelled: Subverted: the show has been suspended by A&E a few times due to several incidents involving the Chapmans, but fan outcry and closed-door negotiations have kept the series from being permanently canned.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Dog and the others are noticably less aggressive when apprehending female fugitives.
    • Averted by many of the fugitives who are alleged to have committed acts of violence against women, and one fugitive in particular who threw Lyssa to the ground when she tried to apprehend him. BIG mistake on his part!