Reno 911!

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The cast

Police officers work hard every day. They put their lives on the line, protecting the rights of you and me to feel safe. They are serious and disciplined, and do their job to the best of their ability, holding themselves to a high standard of conduct.

Then there's these guys.

Reno 911! is a Mockumentary-style parody of COPS and similar reality shows, that ran on Comedy Central for six seasons from 2003 to 2009 and continues in reruns. Much of the material is improvised, based on a broad outline, with minimal scripted material. It features members of the fictitious Reno Sheriff's Department, videotaped in the course of their duties, sometimes addressing the camera directly as though being interviewed.

Tropes used in Reno 911! include:

  • All Just a Dream: The season three premiere parodies the season 2 premiere casting the season 1 finale as a Dream Within a Dream by subverting this: Dangle waking up and describing the horrible nightmare he had (the season 2 finale), only to remember that it wasn't a nightmare and they're all in prison.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Kimball. The other deputies explicitly ask her if she's a lesbian, and don't believe her when she says she's not.
    • A suave con man trying to get into his captors' heads tries to bait her by saying that he hates men.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Done by Jones in the morgue at the end of the Halloween episode.
    • A few of the deputies dream about Chechekevitch doing this.
  • Bad Cop, Incompetent Cop: Practically the whole point of the show.
  • Blind Without'Em: Junior, even though he doesn't realize it.
  • Briar Patching: The return of "Spanish Mike" Alvarez to the FBI. When the real FBI shows up, they provide every form of ID imaginable without being asked.
  • Butt Monkey: Pretty much everyone in the cast at one time or another, but Deputy Weigel most of all.
  • Camp Gay: Terry.
    • Glimpses into Dangle's private life suggest a penchant for this. He even says he likes Terry, or at least he used to.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Jones sees almost the whole cast doing this in The Movie, with Clementine and Kimball being the lone exceptions.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Every season ended with a Cliff Hanger, and more often than not, would start the next season with a copout (but, of course, it would be Played for Laughs). Most Egregious is everyone killing each other at the end of the first season only for it all to be explained away as All Just a Dream Within A Dream at the beginning of the next. The Season Four finale saw Dangle about to enter into a gay marriage-analogue with another man when Garcia comes in, professes his love, and steals him away, only for Garcia to reveal in the Season Five premiere that he was just kidding and would like to remind Jim that gay marriage is illegal.
    • Subverted in the Season 5 finale, which ends with the cops' parade float going up in a ball of flames, followed by a police funeral. The Season 6 premiere reveals that Johnson, Garcia, and Kimball actually were Killed Off for Real.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Trudy
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Just about Once an Episode.
  • Cold Open
  • Cousin Oliver: The introduction of Kimball is explicitly compared to the Trope Namer.
    • Declan and Rizzo in the last season are more straightforward examples.
  • Cool but Inefficient: The Hummer the department buys with money they didn't have to spend on a case settlement.

Clementine: "All right, yeah, it get 6 miles to the gallon on the highway, and 3 miles around town... y'know, the air conditioner doesn't work so well, and it's not very comfortable, um... but I just look so damn good in it, y'know what I mean?"

    • The horses Garcia and Jones temporarily ride.
  • Cool Car: Fast Eddie McLintock's "Battle Hymn Of The Republic"-honking black-with-flame-decals Corvette.
  • Cool Shades: All the cops, but Junior is almost never seen without his.
    • When he took them off during the department's indictment, he was shown to be cross-eyed, due to getting steam in his eyes back in the '80s.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Trudi.
  • Demoted to Extra: Clementine was getting less and less to do even before she was killed off.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Mike Powers reveals that he's cut the heads off of "a lot of hookers". Assuaging their tormentor, the deputies he has at gunpoint respond by saying, "They're hookers."

Scott: "Three heads I understand, nine heads I don't get, Mike. That's crazy."

  • Dream Within a Dream: Season 2 begins with a "Previously On..." showing the last shot of Season 1 (everybody lying dead on the floor in the Reno County Morgue as Jones says "Guys?..."), then cutting to Dangle waking up in bed next to Kenny Rogers. Dangle asks whose dream this is, followed by Garcia waking up in a morning briefing.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him: Inverted. Dangle is told that he accidentally fathered a child with a woman he met at what he thought was a drag show.
  • Drunk on Milk: At Kimball's Christian singles group, Clementine claims "I'm soooooo wasted!" before being told that they're serving non-alcoholic beer.

Clementine: I'm sorry. I saw what looked like beer, and my mind just... took me to Drunk Town.

  • Donut Mess with a Cop: "Yes Donut? More like <bleep> Yes Donut. Five percent discount for law enforcement." However, they are not fat.
  • Dysfunction Junction: With the exception of the time the FBI was brought in in Season 1 to help catch a serial killer and a couple others, nobody who visits the precinct leaves without exposing themselves as a horrible, horrible person. Even a visiting English constable ends up robbing a bank on duty, getting shot to death, and being shipped home in a cardboard box.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Clementine gets one in The Movie on her breast. The embarrassing tattoo is of Garcia.
  • Everybody Dies: The season 1 finale has Trudi react to Jones Faking the Dead by having her shoot everybody else in the room (see Dream Within a Dream for the resolution).
    • Then in the season 5 finale they crash a car and half the cast is killed.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Expy: In a skit from The State nearly ten years earlier, Thomas Lennon plays a rollerblading man in a thong who looks and sounds like Sgt. Dangle.
  • External Combustion: The Pimped-Out Car that Junior pulls over explodes when he tries to start it.
  • Fake Nationality: Carlos Alazraqui as the "Mexican" Deputy Garcia (Alazraqui is American born, but his mom is from Argentina and his father is from Spain, according to his Comedy Central Presents episode).
    • Though Garcia's Spanish does suck when he tries to go undercover as an undocumented worker.
  • Faking the Dead: Jones, in the Halloween Episode, to scare the other deputies.
  • Fallen-On-Hard-Times Job: The recently-paroled deputies find characteristically low-life ways of paying the bills, or at least marking time:
    • Jones and Garcia are mall security guards.
    • Williams is a cutthroat realtor to the gullible.
    • Junior finds his niche as a carnie.
    • Wiegel operates the planet's ghastliest bed & breakfast out of an abandoned RV.
    • Clemmie becomes a Steely Dan groupie.
    • Dangle turns up as an American Idol no-hopeful.
  • Fan Service: Lots of strippers and hookers. And Clementine was never allowed to button up her blouse.
  • Fetus Terrible: One of Dangle's theories during Trudi's pregnancy.
  • Flatline: Sheriff Chechekevitch's death.
  • Flock of Wolves: All the undercover stings.
  • God Save the Queen: The 'funeral' the deputies give the English exchange constable. Being Americans, half the words they sing are from "My Country 'Tis Of Thee".
  • Good Cop, Bad Cop: Deputy Garcia think it's "Good Cop, Black Cop".
  • Halloween Episode: The Season 1 finale.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Parodied by Mike Powers right down to the glass cell on Jones by claiming to know about Jones's "gritty ghetto life." However, it fails as Jones casually admits he grew up in the well-off WASP-y suburb of Mound, Minnesota. Mike Powers then sheepishly tells where he's hid a body.
  • Harassing Phone Call: After being exposed as a serial killer on the run, District Attorney Mike Powers makes threatening calls, notes, and text messages to each of the cops. They basically tune it out.

Dangle: I'm trying to get my junk mail filter to work on this...

  • Harpo Does Something Funny
  • Have We Met?: One episode has Dangle run into a guy outside of a donut shop. He runs through half a dozen gay hangouts, but can't remember why the guy looks familiar. As they part ways, once the guy enters the store and starts holding it up, Dangle remembers where he's seen the guy:

Dangle: Wanted poster! Wanted poster!

  • Heroic BSOD: More like Protagonist BSOD. Dangle and Junior have one after they walk in on Wiegel in the bath and tell her that the man who says he's her father isn't. And she knows. Then starts singing "pop, pop, go the bubbles." They walk out, clearly BSO Ding. Turns out they're also tripping on peyote.
  • Hummer Dinger: In one episode, the deputies got issued a Hummer and were ecstatic about it... until they encountered problem after problem due to its bulk and poor gas mileage.
  • Idiot Ball: Inverted, in that from time to time one of the officers is handed a Smart or Sanity Ball.
  • If I Had a Nickel: Jones adds up on his hands how much he'd have if he had a nickel for every time a kid claimed that he was their father. He concludes he'd have about a dollar.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A Running Gag in the show is that Garcia apparently graduated from the Academy.

Junior: (after Garcia empties the magazine of a G36 with an extended clip attached at some targets and hits nothing but air) "That's got to be some kind of goddamn RECORD."

  • Jumping the Shark: Parodied (and thus not YMMV) in 'Bounty Hunter Tommy Hawk' where the department is hosting a 'Jumping the Shark for Autism' fundraiser. May double as a Take That Me, considering the content of the previous episode (the fifth season's season premiere).
  • Jerkass: Everybody, but especially Garcia. One of the early episodes described Jones hitting Garcia as "throwing shit onto a big shit pile that already has too much shit on it."
  • Jurisdiction Friction: At least once a season, they'll chase someone all the way to the California border.
    • Also, every now and then someone from the FBI will come in to take over a case. It's gone over differently each time.
    • Later seasons involved arguments on a bridge between Reno officers and those of a neighboring county whose line they shared in the middle of a river.
  • Kavorka Woman: Wiegel. No matter how much they hate/loathe/mock her, even Dangle has voluntarily at least made out with her.
  • Killed Off for Real: The season 5 finale shows a large explosion, followed by a funeral. We learn during the season 6 premiere that Garcia, Johnson, and Kimball all died, although they're quickly replaced by Declan and Rizzo.
  • Kissing Cousins: Deputies Kimball and Junior. They don't realize it until the latter lies about being shot on the pavement cradled by the former, the two share a kiss, and then the former starts talking about her uncle, which the latter realizes they also share.
    • One perp on drugs starts making out with Dangle thinking that he's his "really hot cousin".
  • Lamaze Class: With Paul Rudd as creepy "hands-on" instructor Guy Gerricault.
  • Lemming Cops: Fast Eddie McLintock has a penchant for causing these. Junior describes once actively driving into a 15-car pileup caused by him just to say he did.
  • Libation for the Dead: While toying with the new bomb squad robot, they have it pick up a bottle of liqour then tip some out, Lt. Dangle saying it's for the "dead robot homies" while speaking in monotone.
  • Lie Detector
  • Life's Work Ruined
  • Long-Lost Relative: Played with in an episode where, when things are going badly for Garcia and he's particularly depressed, he runs into his long-lost daughter. Turns out that she's not really his daughter but a stripper that the gang paid to pretend to be his daughter to cheer him up.
  • Look Both Ways: The death of the Milkshake Man.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: One episode has a boy come to the station to tell Dangle he's his son.
  • Man in a Kilt: Dangle's bridesmaids.
  • My Nayme Is: Guy Gerricault (pronounced "Jericho").
    • Seeeeemji. The 'J' is silent.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here: "Just a rapist with a gun to his head."
    • Dangle and Junior shout "FBI, nothing to see here" when they are forced to run past a Catholic school naked after a botched sting operation.
  • The Murder After: Played for laughs in one episode. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  • The Moral Substitute: Kimball's creepy Christian singles group.
  • The Movie (titled Reno 911: Miami)
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Junior and Dangle, after a botched sting operation at a spa.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Dangle's shorts.
    • Junior's bulletproof vest over his shirt. When asked why he wears it like this, he reveals that he was hungover when he first put his uniform on and came in to work, and he kept wearing it in this fashion ever since.
      • This is part Truth in Television as most canadian police officers wear it over their shirt in this exact fashion.
    • Trudi's cat costume in the Halloween Episode. Apparently, she does it every year, because every year she's told everybody's going to.
  • Of Course I'm Not a Virgin: Trudi's response to being called a "virgin" in her first Lamaze Class is "I'm not a virgin, I had sex to have a baby." (Subverted, considering she got the sperm from a sperm bank.)
  • Pimped-Out Car: One of the drivers Junior pulls over drives one of these. Junior proceeds to inquire all about it, gawking at the several after-market performance enhancements. He tries to start it, and it explodes.
  • Pity Sex: Dangle threw Trudy a "pity fuck". Jonesy did the same for Dangle once, too.
  • Porn Stache: All of the men except Jones. One episode focuses on them gathering signatures to stop the state passing legislation requiring them to shave. They end up making them mandatory.
  • Raging Stiffie: Junior gets one at Sheriff Chechekevitch's funeral due to a Dream Sequence.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Junior and Wiegel sell her baby for cash.
  • Running Gag: Dangle's bike gets stolen every time it's off camera. Every time.
    • The deputies get in a car chase and try to report in the license plate, only to realize it's a novelty plate. They get so engrossed in trying to figure out what it says that they crash into the back of the suspect's car.
    • Any segment with Jones and Garcia. Either it turned into: a chase sequence or an argument. The segments could almost be mistaken for a Show Within a Show. The two were probably the most effective partners, in spite of the fact that Garcia is racist.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Williams.
  • Similar Squad: The squad that is hired after the regular squad is sent to jail (made up entirely of Special Guests).
  • SoCalization
  • Special Guest:
  • Stripper Cop Confusion: Has happened to Dangle, Garcia, and Junior (the Porn Staches may have had something to do with it). Jones actually does moonlight as a stripper.
    • Subverted in an episode in which Garcia admonishes a group of women on a bachelorette party. Then played hardcore straight when, as he's leaving, Dangle and Junior come out from another room, dancing and dressed only in their utility belts and underwear.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Usually involves Junior.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: If a perp won't sign a confession, they bring Weigel in to tell them about her appendectomy.
  • Surprise Incest: In one episode, Dangle starts coming on to a 21-year-old who tells him that he's his long-lost son.
    • In another, after Junior is shot and Kimball is the only one around to keep him conscious while they wait for an ambulance, they share a kiss to prove she's not a lesbian, then start talking about how the other looks like a relative, until coming to the conclusion that they're cousins.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Junior.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Inverted with Officer Suzy Kim, who Dangle finds himself inexplicably attracted to. Turns out she was a man all along.
  • Take Our Word for It: At one point, the deputies play a game with a corpse draped by a sheet with a misshapen protrusion, taking turns trying to guess what it is. The sheet is never lifted to the camera, but the deputies state that the one who guessed "roller blade" was close.
  • Take That: A stagehand for Ted Nugent insults/commands ridiculous things for Garcia and Jones to do when they're only supposed to be security right down to calling them dumbasses (note: that they didn't even do anything yet.) In response, they unleash the mob onto "Ted" and the stagehand. Given Ted's track record it could've only been more of an up yours if Dangle wasn't involved (Tom Lennon was playing "Ted.")
  • This Trope Is Bleep: Unless you have the uncensored DVDs.
  • To the Pain: After Raineesha is tricked into putting her hand through "Spanish Mike" Alvarez's cell door:

Raineesha: You're hurting my wrist.
Spanish Mike: There are many levels of pain. You have just crossed into the... 'welcome mat'. You have not even entered the door, walked down the hallway, and gone up the stairs to visit the V.I.P. rooms."

  • Truth in Television: Well, truth in another television show: The arrest segments in COPS are sometimes just as baffling as their parodies here. In both shows, the more mentally unstable or drug-fueled criminals provide the police with a five to ten minute Non Sequitur Scene after the officers respond to the disturbance calls.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A few segments involved the deputies giving lectures to schoolchildren. No matter what kind of mayhem ensued on stage, the kids would always just sit and look bored.
  • Ventriloquism: Jones does a bit with a dressed-up Clementine as the dummy, complete with corny mouth movements and less-than-impressive water-drinking speech.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Milkshake Man.
  • We Should Get Another Tape: Subverted. Clementine reveals that Jones has something he would have wanted everybody to see, and then pops in a videotape of the two of them having sex. She apologizes and says the part she was talking about is later on the tape. Turns out, it's not a Video Will: it's just something Jones said after they had sex.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: The Police-Tek 2000 "Lazarus" Bicycle Lock.
  • Where Da White Women At?: Jones, for Clemmy.
  • White Mask of Doom: The Cold Open of the Halloween Episode has an entire graveyard full of kids with hockey masks.
  • You Look Familiar: Patton Oswalt has played three different characters. Paul Rudd and the comedy troupe Stella have played two characters.
    • The deputies frequently play perps on the show with their faces blurred.
    • Mary Birdsong played a masseuse in one Season 2 episode, then became a regular castmember as Deputy Kimball one season later.
    • Cathy Shim played six different characters in seven guest appearances, and played still another character in The Movie.
    • Every member of The State appeared in the show, either as a regular cast member or in a cameo.