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File:C O P S 8451.jpg
"Fighting crime in a future time, protecting Empire City from Big Boss and his gang of crooks."
—from the Opening Narration

C.O.P.S., which stands for Central Organization of Police Specialists, was an animated series that ran from 1988 to 1989 as one of the many Merchandise-Driven Sixty Five Episode Cartoons made for syndication. A few years later, it had a brief run on CBS' Saturday morning schedule under the name Cyber COPS. The show was based on a toy line called C.O.P.S 'n' Crooks, which were futuristic police and criminal based action figures produced by Hasbro.

Set in the year 2020, the show took place in the metropolis Empire City. The main story revolved around Agent Baldwin P. Vess, codename Bulletproof, who has been sent out to stop Big Boss (no relation), a criminal mastermind who has taken over the city. However, after being attacked by the henchmen of Big Boss and suffering a near-fatal wound, Vess is taken to the hospital and given a new bullet-resistant torso. While he is recovering, he contacts Officer P.J. O'Malley (aka LongArm) and rookie Donny Brooks (HardTop) to find the best law enforcement officers around. They are able to recruit several people. Among them are David E. "Highway" Harlson, Colt "Mace" Howards, Stan "Barricade" Hyde, Tina "Mainframe" Cassidy, Walker "Sundown" Calhoun, Suzie "Mirage" Young, Hugh S. "Bullseye" Forward, and Rex "Bowser" Pointer and his robot dog, Blitz. Together these people make up C.O.P.S., using their combined power to stop Big Boss.

At the very same time as the cartoon, there was also a C.O.P.S. comic book by DC Comics, which had a much different storyline that was Darker and Edgier.

Not to be confused with the live action series Cops. Compare with You're Under Arrest, an Anime with a similar (if not more realistic & relatively modern) perspective.


COPS provides examples of:

  • Adult Child: Berserko and Rock Krusher are both essentially giant children.
    • Also the Baby Badguys. To the point that they mess up their own plans fighting over a rattle.
  • All There in the Manual: Clues in the action figure profiles reveal that some members of COPS are the descendants of G.I. Joe members.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Occasionally, with live-action segments!
  • Ax Crazy: Buttons McBoomBoom.
  • Berserk Button: Buttons really hated insects, to the point of sending out his double machine-guns at the mere sight of one.
    • At the beginning of one episode, he's trying to kill a fly with a Tommy Gun, and almost shoots Rock Crusher numerous times.
  • Big Bad: Big Boss.
  • Bound and Gagged: Seemed to happen on a fairly regular basis to the COPS members. Both female cops got this on at least one occasion.
  • Canada, Eh?: Inspector Yukon of the Mounties shows up in an episode to help deliver an iceberg to Empire City to cool a hot day.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Highway, although mostly in the comic.
  • Catch Phrase: "It's Crime Fighting Time!" and "Crime's a Wastin'!"
    • Bulletproof also has "Here's how the caper came down..." and "Case closed".
    • Buzzbomb's beeping often becomes a robotic version of "Nya-nya-nya-nya-nya!", a common children's taunt.
  • Classy Cat Burglar: Nightshade. She actually came from a rich family.
  • Dating Catwoman: The affair between Sgt. Mace and Nightshade.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Nightshade entering, then ripping off, a beauty pageant (which she would've won fairly, had she held off for five minutes).
  • Drugs Are Bad
  • Dueling Shows: More of a Dueling Merchandise with the cartoon series of Police Academy; just look at the gimmicks of both toylines.
    • The same with Kenner's RoboCop line, as both featured cap-firing gimmicks.
  • Dumb Muscle: Rock Krusher and Berserko.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Big Boss refusing to help sell a designer drug because "drugs kill".
    • Big Boss' decision was probably influenced by his nephew Berserko nearly dying from an accidental overdose of the drug.
      • He'd already turned the dealer down before then. Berserko's near-death led to a temporary truce between the C.O.P.S. team and Big Boss' gang until they caught the drug dealer.
  • Every Skateboard Is A Pinto: One episode has two kids fall off their skateboards which run into a stack of boxes and explode. Seriously.
  • Every Episode Ending: Bulletproof gives the lowdown on how everything ultimately turned out and says "Case Closed".
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Sundown specifically points this out when he can't fit into Turbo Tu-Tone's superspeed suit. "Shoot, this thing's plum too small! Sorry, but we're grown big down in Texas."
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Nightshade's favorite target.
  • Evil Clown: The unreleased third series of the action figure line would have featured a whole gang of them called the Pranksters.
  • Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: In "The Case of The Brilliant Berserko", Berserko steals a "chess crown" meant to augment intelligence and becomes a well-mannered (if still criminal) supergenius. In the middle of the episode, the battery momentarily fails, setting up the common "it's just temporary" plot - but subverting it when he gets it working again almost immediately.
  • Fun T-Shirt: In the toy line, Berserko's shirt said "BAAAD is Good!".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The flowers that were mentioned stolen for Berserko's wedding, when you see them at the wedding, are wreaths that say "R.I.P." on them.
    • In the episode with the cave man, Buttons walks by a figurine of a woman with exposed nipples, picks it up, and looks at it, before walking off with it.
    • Mirage's cleavage in the Berserko wedding episode.
    • Lampshaded in one episode, where a waiter asks Mace if he wants a cocktail, and Mace says he doesn't drink. The waiter says, "very good, sir!", walks off, and promptly says, "normally I wouldn't have said that, but this is television..."
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Again, Mace and Nightshade.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Bulletproof and Buttons McBoomBoom.
    • Also Blitz, in Robocop fashion.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is titled "The Case of..."
  • Initialism Title
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the final issue of the comic, the team went after Big Boss for an unpaid parking ticket, knowing that his gang would try to stop them--and racking up tons of charges they could pin on the previously untouchable Big Boss. As he was being put in the paddy wagon, he proclaimed that they'd never be able to make the charges stick, and that sort of thing happened only in comic books. Bulletproof turned to the reader and said, "That's good enough for me."
  • Last-Episode New Character: Airwave in "The Case of The Invisible Crime".
  • Leave Him to Me: When Sundown's crooked former partner comes calling, he's taken off the case because it's too close to him - but he just can't let Johnny Yuma get away without a word.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Badvibes of Big Boss' gang.
  • Meaningful Name: BP "Bulletproof" Vess.
  • Merchandise-Driven
  • Motor Mouth: Again, Airwave.
  • Oh Crap: All of the Crooks have a shocked/horrified expression as they're caught in the opening.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Virtually all of the COPS and Crooks, to the point that Longarm is exclusively referred to by his codename by both his father and his son.
  • Power Fist: Big Boss has a cybernetic right hand that gets a workout whenever he gets really steamed.
  • Pretty in Mink: A few, such as a huge white fox coat among the prizes Nightshade tried to steal from a Beauty Contest. It turns out she could have even kept it if she hadn't tried to steal them.
  • PSA/And Knowing Is Half the Battle: After every episode.
  • Punny Name: Many of the names, including "Ms. Demeanor".
  • The Quiet One: Buttons McBoomBoom has speaking roles in very few episodes. In the first 22 episodes he speaks in only one of them.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Big Boss does this while working on his keynote speech for the crime convention. "The hotel management would like me to inform you that someone has been stealing towels. Pause for laugh..."
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Big Boss' pet Scratch is actually a weasel, because subtlety is for chumps.
  • Robot Buddy: Buzzbomb, Dr. Badvibes' assistant.
  • Shout-Out: In the episode where Longarm's father tries to rejoin the force, the board of directors that signs the rejection form include Paul McCartney and Michael Jordan. When the COPS computers list any sort of information, they are actually listing the supply inventory for the cartoon.
    • The character Checkpoint's name is Wayne Sneeden III. According to his filecard, his father was a member of a top-secret military team that operated in the '80s and '90s. The G.I. Joe member Beach Head happens to be named Wayne R. Sneeden.
  • Show Accuracy Toy Accuracy: Taser was a blond white man in the cartoon and a bald black man in the action figure line.
    • Also, Hardtop had brown hair in the cartoon and black hair in the comic.
    • The Crooks barely resemble their toy counterparts thanks to vast exaggerations on the part of the animators.
  • Sixty Five Episode Cartoon
  • The Smurfette Principle: C.O.P.S. had four major female characters, two each for the C.O.P.S. and Big Boss' gang. None of them was ever made as an action figure.
  • The Starscream: Ms. Demeanor in the comics.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mainframe and Mirage for the C.O.P.S., and Ms. Demeanor and Nightshade for the crooks.
  • Trench Coat Warfare: Buttons McBoomBoom
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future
  • Very Special Episode: The Drugs Are Bad episode, where the cops and crooks team up to fight the distributors of Crystal Twist. Big Boss agrees to help because "DRUGS KILL!" Apparently he forgot that he was quite willing to attempt to kill the C.O.P.S. when they foiled his own crime schemes.
    • There actually is valid logic for it, because you can't make money off of dead people, so from a business perspective drugs kill off people he could continue making money off of (one can consider his exclaiming 'drugs kill' just leaves off the 'the suckers I make money off of' due to moral watchdog requirements, something many old-school real life crime bosses held to).
    • On the other hand, he may just have a moral code. Killing police officers may have been an acceptable act if they got in the way (though more than often, he was content to capture and detain them), killing random people seemed beyond him... for that matter, why'd he let Addictem go rather than just having McBoomBoom shoot him?
  • Video Phone: Video phones are the norm to the point that even public phone booths have screens; they are, after all, fighting crime in a future time. And yes, cell phones pretty much don't exist.
  • Weasel Mascot: Big Boss' pet weasel, Scratch.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: How Bulletproof and Buttons become Hollywood Cyborgs.
  • Where Did They Get Lasers: Averted. Surprising, considering it ran during the same period as G.I. Joe, and would have had more excuse due to being Twenty Minutes Into the Future.
  • You Killed My Brother: In issue #1 of the comic, Big Boss blames Bulletproof for the imprisonment and death of his twin brother.
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