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Bruce Willis is Jimmy Monroe, a grizzled, no-nonsense cop, and Tracy Morgan is his partner Paul Hodges, a somewhat abrasive, feelings-on-his-sleeve cop. A botched undercover operation (which in turn jeopardizes a huge drug sting two other cops are organizing) results in the two getting suspended from the force just before Jimmy's daughter has a huge wedding that Jimmy was hoping to pay for. Frustrated, he goes to sell a prize baseball card to get the cash needed for the wedding. Of course, things go even further south for Jimmy when the card then gets stolen along with one of Paul's guns.
Not to be confused with the French movie Le Samourai, which was released under the title Cop Out in some parts of the US.
This movie has examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Paul's interrogation "technique" involves quoting classic movies, which Jimmy usually rolls his eyes to while naming the movie. When Paul says "Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker!", Jimmy goes, "I've never seen that movie."
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: Given how odd Paul acts much of the time, yet manages to be effective, it's likely his captain just looks the other way except (as in the beginning) when he majorly fouls up.
- Chekhov's Gun: Literally. Paul is shown early on in the movie to keep a bunch of extra guns in his car. Just before the big shootout during the climax, he arms up with as many as he can carry.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Dave, the guy who steals Jimmy's baseball card and Paul's favorite gun. Played a bit more realistically, as it's shown just how freaking annoying someone like this would be to deal with.
- Cowboy Cop: Both Paul and Jimmy. While Jimmy is pretty much the classic stereotype for this sort of character, Paul goes along readily with Jimmy's style and occasionally takes the lead.
- Curse Cut Short: In a sequence when Jimmy is discussing what a homeowner should do while Jimmy and Paul apprehend someone breaking in to their house, due to the presence of her son. Resulting in Jimmy letting loose with a Cluster F-Bomb that's literally a cluster of "F"s.
- Geek: Po' Boy, the leader of the drug cartel looking to expand in New York City, is a huge baseball fan. Also, Officer Hunsaker is really into boots.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Initially invoked when Dave is apparently killed when he falls out of tree and breaks his neck. However, the credit scene shows that he gets better when he plays a nasty prank on the coroner.
- Executive Meddling: Inverted. Kevin Smith originally wanted to call the movie "A Couple of Dicks", which the executives shot down. When he called it a cop out, they told him that was a better name, which he agreed with and decided that in this case they were smarter than him.
- Fridge Brilliance: Why are Hunsaker and Mangold given so much screentime? Among other things, in any other cop movie, they'd be the leads.
- Groin Attack: Paul takes one from an eleven-year-old car thief... then returns the favor.
- Hannibal Lecture: A funny parody of this when Dave is in the police car with the officers. He drives Hodges crazy with some simple statements, mostly by saying that his wife is cheating on him.
- Hero of Another Story: Hunsaker and Mangold appear to be in a more routine buddy-cop movie just off-camera.
- Magic Floppy Disk: Averted - the MacGuffin sought by the bad guys is actually a thumb drive, disguised as a crucifix.
- Memetic Mutation: Discussed at one point, as a kid explains "All Your Base" to his mother. Although why a mom would just now be asking about a ten-year old meme, to a son about as old as said meme, is another question entirely.
- Mood Whiplash: When Po' Boy does a round of You Have Failed Me, it's downright disturbing. Particularly the batting cage sequence.
- Pocket Protector: Subverted. Po' Boy is shot in the chest, where he kept Paul's baseball card.
- The Rivals: Officers Hunsaker and Mangold, to Paul and Jimmy. It's their investigation that the opening screwup ruins, and there's obviously some rivalry there throughout the whole movie. They don't let it get in the way of their jobs, though; they actually vouch for Paul and Jimmy when it turns out their interference saves their lives.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: The B plot, about Paul's fears that his wife is cheating on him with the neighbor.
- Shout-Out: Any time Paul starts "acting" by quoting classic movies.
- Stop Copying Me: Dave does this at one point.
- Title Drop: Averted. Jimmy says "...couple of dicks" early in the movie. However, the title has been changed to Cop Out.
- Uncle Tomfoolery: Paul skirts this a bit. He is quite buffoonish, but he does end up being oddly competent at police work.
- You and What Army?: Not actually invoked, but discussed afterwards.
Po' Boy: Did you like that? We practiced it for, like, an hour!