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Hawaii Five-0 (with a zero) is a re-imagining of the 1968-1980 series Hawaii Five O (with an O), started airing in Fall 2010.

Starring Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarret), Scott Caan (Danny Williams), Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua), Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly), Jean Smart (Governor Pat Jameson) and Masi Oka (Max Bergman). In the new setting, McGarrett is a Navy SEAL whose father is murdered by an international terrorist he had been tracking, triggering the formation of what becomes the Five-0 unit, a special police force that operates above the normal state jurisdictions.

Put character tropes in the Character Tab, please.


Hawaii Five-0 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion
    • Danno, responding to an offer of whiskey from a helicopter pilot played by Jimmy Buffett: "I'm more of a margarita guy myself."
    • Max begins an episode talking about the plausibility of time-travel. In another episode, he asks an ICE agent (played by Greg Grunberg) if they've met before. Both were on Heroes.
    • Danno, played by Scott Caan, refers to a suspect, played by his father James Caan, as "old man."
  • Affably Evil: Danny's brother, Matt. He is a money launderer, Wall Street fraud, and lifesavings thief, but he knows how to have fun.
  • All for Nothing: In season 2, Jenna sells out Steve to Wo Fat for her already dead fiancé and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness Wo Fat kills her afterward. Quite a Genre Blindness, indeed.
  • American Accents
    • Hawaii's pidgin English[1] features in most episodes, as spoken by various minor characters. McGarrett, Kono, and Chin Ho all understand and can also speak it -- to the confusion of Danno, the only member of the Five-0 team not born and raised in Hawaii. Even when not speaking purely in Pidgin, McGarrett, Kono, and Chin Ho often use da Pidgin kine expressions and phrases, brah.

 Surfer: Ho, brah, where you eat it?

Danno: I'm sorry, what?

Surfer: Da kine, brah.

Danno: I'm sorry, are you speaking English?

Surfer: Hey no need for get agro.

McGarrett: He caught it on land, brah... Danno don't surf.

Surfer: Shoots.

Danno: I dare you to tell me what he just said.

    • Danno has a very strong Joisey accent, which is pretty accurate for the region he claims to be from.
  • Anti-Villain
    • SWO2 Graham Wilson, the SEAL with PTSD in "Ho'apono."
    • The bad guy in "Loa Aloha" is quite sympathetic at the end.
  • Astronomic Zoom: Used at the start of "E Malama".
  • Badass: Hillary Chaver, the villain in "Ha Uala". She sets a trap to take out Vince Fryer, gets shot by him as he dies, yet still hangs around long enough at the scene to shoot Max when he follows her blood trail, then steals a police car and leads the chasing McGarrett and Danno right to... HPD headquarters, knowing that it will prove difficult to distinguish her stolen cop car from all the other ones parked there. Then... she fools McGarrett in the hallway to buy time, manages to set up a gas explosion that injures about 20 cops as they try to flee the building, and goes to a nearby veterinary clinic where she kills the receptionist in cold blood, then, after getting the surgeon on duty to patch her up, kills him as well, and then engages in a final, fatal gunfight with the Five-0 team.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted consistently: if anyone gets hit in the face, expect to see bruises. After a long and violent fight which involves destroying about half a house and getting captured and slapped around, Kono shows the damage.
  • Berserk Button
    • Don't mess with Danno's friends. And do NOT come between him and his daughter.
    • Do not hurt, threaten, or breathe wrong near McGarrett's family. Children who lose a parent also seem to be a trigger for him ("He Kane Hewa' Ole").
    • Family for Chin Ho and Kono.
    • And in a way, Wo Fat; never ever try to investigate him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the pilot, McGarret and Chin Ho save Kono from some gangsters by driving a truck through a wall.
  • Big No: McGarrett yells one when Victor Hess shoots his father.
  • Bilingual Bonus
    • All episode titles except the pilot are in Hawaiian.
    • The name of Hiro Noshimuri (a season one villain), while not an actual Japanese name, is made of Japanese words; "Noshi" is a type of origami tied to ceremonial envelopes, "Muri" means impossible." Judging from the Google hits, the writers ate him at a restaurant.
    • In "I Helu Pu," we learn that Danny knows a few Russian phrases, including "I'm a police officer" and "Your vodka tastes like urine."
  • Bulletproof Vest: The team is VERY consistent about putting these on when shooting is likely.
  • By-The-Book Cop: Danno tries to be this but it's tough when the Cowboy Cop is the boss and has been given license by the governer to basically do whatever the hell he wants.
  • Cain and Abel: Danny, a straight cop, is the Abel; his brother, Matt, is a Wall Street fraudster, savings thief, and drug money launderer
  • Canon Dis Continuity: Doubles as a Retcon. In "Kalele", August March tells Steve that a "young officer" that was ALSO named McGarrett arrested him 30 years ago. Steve nods and acknowledges that the other McGarrett is his father, the same father who died in the pilot episode. Apparently, this show wants us to forget that Steve's father was named "John" and now wants us to pass him off as "Steve McGarrett Sr.".
    • Actually, March says he was arrested by a cop named Mc Garrett and no first name is mentioned. In fact this August March is NOT the same character as the one from the original since it has been repeatedly established that this is a new Hawaii Five-0 universe. Just think of this August March as a parallel universe character.
  • The Caper: "Heihei"
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted with Steve and Danny. Lampshaded frequently by Danny when he rants at Steve about the rules of civilised society and how normal people behave.
  • Career Killers: "Po'ipu," "E Malama".
  • Chekhov's...
    • ...Annoying Granny: The talkative granny that saw Kono and Steve's break-in to the HPD evidence locker in "Hana'a'a Makehewa" shows up as the one picking Kono out of a lineup in the Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o."
    • ...Cell Phone: In "Lanakila", Mary photographs all contents of the Champ box. In "Ke Kinohi", the bad guys have stolen the actual contents, so Five-0 relies on her pictures to continue the investigation.
    • ...Gunshot Wound: In "Ho'opa'i", two agents on an FBI security detail are shot during a mob raid on an undercover agent's safehouse. One agent survives, but the other dies. Why? Because the ammunition used to shoot the survivor only contains half as much gunpowder as a normal round would have, making the wound it causes much more survivable. This reveals that the survivor is the mob's mole.
    • ...Newspaper: In "Powa Maka Moana", a woman survives pirate attack in which all of her friends get taken hostage. Her dramatic reunion with her lover is photographed and appears on the front page of the newspaper. For her safety, Five-0 keeps her name secret. When the kidnapper calls Five-0, he demands that she deliver the money, but slips into calling her by her first name. It is later revealed that the woman and her lover are the bad guys.
    • ...Inventory Control Documentation File: In "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau," it is revealed that the list of serial numbers for the $28 million in the HPD evidence locker, which everyone had thought was missing, was still intact. This allowed Chairman Akahoshi to determine that the $200,000 that Chin Ho "returned" actually wasn't the same money that went missing. However, that same list will also establish that $10 million of the $28 million isn't the same $10 million that was originally there -- thereby exposing Five-0's unauthorized "borrowing" to ransom Chin Ho in "Hana'a'a Makehewa".
  • City of Adventure: There are an awful lot of high-profile murders, organize crime rackets, and attempted terrorist attacks in Hawaii; makes you wonder why anyone would want to vacation there...
  • Cool Boat: USS Missouri
  • Cool Guns: Not exactly fancy, but Steve has a tactical light attached to his handgun. It allows the marksman to simultaneously illuminate, blind, and aim the target.
  • Cool Old Guy
    • Ed McKay, who served with McGarrett's grandfather in WWII, and who helps him with the hostage situation in "Ho'apono".

 McGarrett: Thought I told you to lie low.

McKay: I'm an old man, I don't hear so well.

    • Lt. Commander Joe White, Steve's mentor and Navy SEAL instructor.
  • Cowboy Cop
    • What McGarrett becomes, on the implicit approval of the Governor, with his new unit. Justified, or at least justifiable, in that McGarrett was trained as a special forces officer, and not as a police officer. He approaches a criminal suspect as an enemy to be defeated and not as an offender to be arrested and tried, and he has little or no appreciation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments because they don't apply to SEAL teams in combat.

 Danno: If you're going to be one of those "shoot first, ask questions later" types, I would like to be consulted, so I'll know when to duck!

  • Crossover: With NCIS: Los Angeles, which puts it and the original (thanks to Ed Asner's reprisal of August March) into the JAG-verse.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Chin Ho's backstory. Accused of embezzlement, he was dismissed from the Honolulu PD, disowned by his cop-pride family (except Kono), and separated from his fiancée. In "Ma Ke Kahakai" it is revealed that Chin Ho's Uncle Keako took the money to pay for Aunt Mele's black-market kidney transplant, and Chin Ho took the blame for him. Unlike the rest of the family, Uncle's disfavor towards Chin Ho is for taking the fall and not letting the old man own up to what he did.
  • Darkest Hour: Season 1 finale.
  • Dating Catwoman & Star-Crossed Lovers: Kono and Adam Noshimuri in "Ua Hopu".
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the snark-infested waters of Hawaii Five-0, Danno is the undisputed champ, but pretty much everybody gets their turn. See the quotes page for multiple examples.
  • Designated Girl Fight: While men might injure Kono, if there's a female villain to beat down, Kono will be the one doing it. Because we can't have male cops hitting girls. Averted in "Ma'eme'e": Kono goes toe-to-toe with a male Mook.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Kono reaches this after Episode 2 of Season 2.
  • Did Not Do the Research
    • A few things in "Ua Hopu". For instance, Interpol having a worldwide tactical team in Osaka, Japan. Which doesn't work since Interpol is a collection of police agencies working together by sharing intelligence. Although Interpol does have a tactical team responsible for protecting Interpol facilities in France.
    • Same thing with the uniforms of Japanese police officers. Although the basics are correct (e.g. vest, cap, shirt), the shoulder patches and the kanji for the vests are incorrect. In the episode, the kanji is portrayed as "特殊部隊警察官", which means "Special police officer" in Japanese. Although it's correct, all Japanese police officers have vests with the kanji "警察庁", which means "National Police Agency". And don't get us started on the Osaka Police crime scene investigators.
    • The Star Trek costumed guy in the Spectacucon comic convention calls himself "Commander Sisko" from Deep Space Nine, but he's wearing the uniform of the late series, after Sisko was promoted to Captain. He's also wearing Captain insignia and has a shaved head and goatee, also of the latter half of DS9's run. Also, a fan would probably not be so dismissive of Uhura.
  • Didn't See That Coming
    • In "Hana'a'a Makehewa", Hesse forces McGarrett to steal ten million dollars in cash to save Chin's life. To protect himself, McGarrett assigns Kono to snipe the transaction. Predictable, yes? Well, who ever thought that Hesse never cared about the ransom money and would just burn it, then trigger the bomb anyway just to spite McGarrett?
    • And then in "Kai'e'e," we find out that the money's back in the evidence locker it was stolen from!
    • The Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o," is made of this trope. More specifically, who could have imagined that the Governor, of all people, was in with Wo Fat; that she was the one that replaced the $10 million; that she had Laura Hills car-bombed, and that Wo Fat was going to kill her and frame McGarrett for the murder.
  • Did You Actually Believe?: Wo Fat uses this when he meets Steve for the second time. Now Steve knows who Wo Fat actually is, he holds the Chinese under gunpoint. Wo Fat not-so-subtly implies that a CIA analyst will have a "car accident" if Steve shoots him. Steve, being the good guy here, concedes.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: McGarrett in "Nalowale".
  • Dirty Cop
    • Chin Ho had been suspected of being one by the Honolulu PD and forced out when McGarrett recruits him. Most of the department still distrusts him. It is later revealed that Chin's uncle stole the money to pay for his wife's kidney transplant. Chin took the fall, and covered for him. When the truth comes to light, Chin tries to cover for his uncle again, but fails. He has now been cleared of the crime.
    • The arc that's slowly being constructed has McGarrett working on the investigation his father started into some kind of corruption in the force.
    • Detective Kaleo in "Mana'o," revealed to be the mole who betrayed Kono in "Pilot".
    • Koji Noshimuri, the ex-HPD Yakuza mook who killed McGarrett's mother.
    • In "Ho'opa'i," one of the FBI agents on an undercover agent's protective detail is working for the mob.
    • Danny's ex-partner was suspected of being a dirty cop, but is otherwise cleared.
    • Kono began hanging around with a group of dirty ex-cops after crossing her Despair Event Horizon. However, she joined them on the orders of the head of Internal Affairs to take down the group or risk trouble with him and the rest of HPD.
  • Distressed Damsel
    • Mary, Steve's sister, is kidnapped in "Ke Kinohi". Subverted as well, because instead of whining and bitching and despite previously acting like The Load, she is able to communicate her whereabouts, giving Five-0 enough clues to rescue her.
    • Averted by Julie in "E Malama" as well. She more than holds her own, even though there are four armed contract killers after her.
  • Drives Like Crazy
    • Steve, usually when driving Danny's car.
    • Kono
    • Dr. Max, when driving Danny's car in the Season 2 opener, "Ha'i'ole".
  • Driving Question: Who is Shelburne? Answered, apparently, in the second season finale, "Ua Hala":McGarrett's mother, whom he (and we) thought had died years ago in a car bombing.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: In "Powa Maka Moana", a bitchy stolen goods buyer barricades himself behind bulletproof bars. Steve gives him five seconds to come out peacefully and talk about the case. Danny literally begs that guy to yield, but he still refuses. Steve then opens the bars -- with a hand grenade.
  • Dynamic Entry
    • "Ke Kinohi": Steve enters a Yakuza biker bar by breaking the door down with a sportbike.
    • "Ho'opa'i": Steve enters a mobster's gated estate by ramming the gates with Danno's Camaro.
  • Even Evil Has Standards
    • Sang Min, while he is a human trafficker, loves his Rwandan wife and son. He yields when Steve threatens to deport them back to Rwanda.

 Sang Min: What kind of cops are you?

McGarrett: The new kind.

    • In the episode before Season 1 Finale, Sang Min turns himself in because he considers Wo Fat is too much a Complete Monster to be associated with.
    • The pirate chief in "Powa Maka Moana": "I rob people. I don't hurt them."
  • Everybody Owns a New Chevy:
    • Danno has a new Camaro.
    • McGarrett has a crew-cab Silverado.
    • Kono, a new Cruze (which just went on the market). Kono also owns a Chevrolet K5 Blazer
    • Averted: While we've seen Chin-Ho in Kono's Cruze and other Chevy products, he seems to tool around on a Harley-Davidson.
    • Averted in part: the pilot episode had a number of Ford Products. Danno drove a Ford Mustang, and the Honolulu Police Department used Ford Crown Victorias.
    • Un-averted by the end of the first season, as the HPD seems to have acquired a lot of new Impalas to replace the Crown Vics.
    • Averted once again in the Season 2 finale, where the HPD garage is full of...Ford Crown Victorias!!
  • Evil All Along: Governor Jameson per the season 1 finale.
  • Evil Plan
    • Detective Kaleo in "Mana'o," the Dirty Cop in the pay of drug smuggler Ochoa. First, he killed Detective Hanamoa (Danny's old partner) and buried him in a luau pit because he was about to discover that Kaleo was on the take. To cover that murder up, he induces Five-0 to go after his boss Ochoa then shoots Ochoa dead during the climactic drug raid so he can't be arrested and questioned by Five-0. To make sure the investigation stops there, he then plants a gun on Ochoa's still-cooling corpse to make it look like Ochoa murdered Hanamoa. He almost gets away with it.
    • Nicole in "He Kane Hewa' Ole," who fakes her own kidnapping, murders her husband, and then sends her husband's severed head by courier to her father to bilk him out of $5 million for "ransom."
    • Susan and her boyfriend in "Powa Maka Moana". She engineers a pirate attack on young tourists, allows her coworker to be killed, pretends to be the lone survivor, and ensures that she's photographed as such by the local newspaper. This way, the pirate (her boyfriend in disguise) can demand her to deliver the ransom without arousing Five-0's suspicion, because it can be assumed he saw her in the paper and therefore deduced correctly that she's no cop for sure. If only her boyfriend didn't slip up and call her by her name...
    • Richard Cannon in "Ho'opa'i" orders a hit on the FBI agent who has infiltrated his father's criminal empire in order to frame his father--so that he can take over the "family" business.
    • Chloe in "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau" using chemical weapons to kill the owner of the company she worked for so she could continue her affair with the company's #2 man. She used chemical weapons so it would look like a terrorist attack and not a garden-variety crime.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Danno and Kono in "Malma Ka Aina".
  • Faking the Dead: Hiro Noshimuri, with Joe White's help. Becomes a minor Story Arc, as his son suspects Joe of murdering him and Steve has to prevent him from retaliating until he's able to convince Joe to tell the truth about what happened.
  • False-Flag Operation
    • The dictator's private security detail in "Po'ipu" is actually a hit squad hired to assassinate him.
    • The bad guy in "Kai'e'e" fakes a TSUNAMI warning to fool the entire STATE of Hawaii.
    • The "pirates" in "Powa Maka Moana."
    • The mob hit in "Ho'opa'i" was part of an elaborate plot by the Big Bad mobster's son to frame his father for the murder of an FBI agent so he could take over Daddy's criminal empire.
    • The use of sarin in the milk is to make cops believe that this is a terrorist attack, not simple crime of passion.
  • Fan Service:
    • Hello, Grace Park in a bikini.
    • And shirtless Alex O'Loughlin.
    • And Daniel Dae Kim on a motorcycle.
    • Double bonus: Shirtless Scott Caan getting surfing lessons from Grace Park on the beach in "Kai e'e."
    • Ahem. Claire Van der Boom in "Loa Aloha".
    • The "Swimsuit Edition" photo shoot/crime scene in "Ho'ohuli Na'au".

 Danno: I'm going to talk to these models.

McGarrett: Okay, well just stay with the questions that relate to the case.

Danno: What's that supposed to mean?

McGarrett: That means I know you. Just stick to the case.

Danno: Hey. Hey. They're just women.

Chin Ho: Who happen to be insanely hot and make millions of dollars.

  • Faux Fluency: In the pilot episode, McGarrett asks a young Chinese illegal immigrant her name, in Mandarin so badly pronounced as to be barely recognizable. McGarrett once again shows off his (not so) impressive Mandarin in "He Kane Hewa'ole". At some points it's somewhat acceptable for a non-native speaker, while at others it's hilariously bad.
  • Fictional Counterpart: A few episodes reference the "King's Medical Center", instead of the real-life Queen's Medical Center.
  • Fish Out of Water: Danny Williams, formerly of New Jersey, who doesn't like Hawaii, or as he calls it:

 Danno: ...this pineapple-infested hellhole.

McGarrett: You don't like the beach?

Danno: I don't like the beach.

McGarrett: Who doesn't like the beach?

Danno: I like cities, skyscrapers, no tsunamis, no jellyfish.

  • Framed Face Opening
  • Fun with Subtitles: Notice that in the first three episodes Five-0's headquarters is subtitled "Governor's Task Force headquarters" as the team hasn't come up with a name yet.
  • Gender Flip
    • Kono is now Chin Ho's female cousin.
    • Governor Paul Jameson is now Governor Patricia Jameson, probably because Hawaii's governor at the time of the pilot was also female.
  • Gene Hunt Interrogation Technique: McGarrett seems to have taken lessons from the Gene Genie himself when it comes to inventive interrogation:
    • In "Pilot," McGarrett threatens to deport Sang Min's family to war-ravaged Rwanda.
    • In "Malama Ka Aina", McGarrett and Danno convince an associate of the Samoan mob that they're leaving him in a shark cage with vicious man-eating sharks and chum, when in actuality, the sharks are harmless and the chum is just water. Steve and Danno crack open beers and watch the guy freak out.
    • In "Lanakila", McGarrett threatens a corrupt prison guard with a trip to the cell block:

 McGarrett: Billy, so help me God, you answer incorrectly one more time, I gonna put those scrubs on you myself and then drop you in general population. How long do you think you'll last there?

    • In "Nalowale", McGarrett and Danno witness a suspect drug a girl's drink in a club. Danno tells the suspect to drink it, if he "didn't do anything to it", and if he doesn't drink it, Danno will break his teeth and make him drink it. He drinks it, and passes out. McGarrett wakes him up in an interrogation room with an air horn.
    • In "Mana'o," Danno ties a suspect to the hood of his car, then proceeds to drive around the streets of Honolulu like a madman to get information out of him.

 McGarrett: Just for the record, if I pulled something like this, you would be reading me the riot act on proper police procedure.

Danno: No. I'd probably just arrest you.

McGarrett: Compared to this, hanging a guy off a roof and throwing a guy in a shark tank is pretty tame.

Danno: You know what? I disagree. Shark cage is way worse.

McGarrett: Whatever. You're wrong. I'm just saying, to be clear, next time I get a free pass, okay?

    • In "Alaheo Pauʻole", Chin and Danno discover a small cache of weapons in a murder suspect's home. When the suspect tells them that the grenades in the cache are fakes, Danno makes him hold one and takes the pin out, which immediately makes the suspect start talking. Also elicits a What the Hell, Hero? from Chin:

 Chin: You've been hanging out with McGarrett too long!

  • Genre Savvy
    • McGarrett, after pumping multiple rounds into Hesse's body and causing him to fall overboard, still insists on seeing a corpse. And it turns out that Hesse gets better.
    • McGarrett's girlfriend Catherine knows that he will never call her at work (on her aircraft carrier) without asking for some help.

 Catherine: (answering her cellphone) What do you need?

McGarrett: Why can't I just be calling to say "hello?"

Catherine: Theoretically it's possible, sure. But you never have before and it's an odd time to start.

McGarrett: That's a fair point.

  • Good Cop, Bad Cop: Danny is good; Steve is bad. It goes the other way around when the case's about Danny's family, however.
  • Groin Attack: Kono subdues a criminal by taking advantage of that strategy. The other (male) members of the team are shocked and insist it would have been better just to pistol whip him across the face.
  • Gunpoint Banter: McGarrett and Wo Fat in "Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio":

 McGarrett: What makes you think I won't kill you right here in this restaurant?

Wo Fat: "The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out." Old Chinese proverb.

McGarrett: "Say hello to my little friend." (cocks pistol under the table) Old American proverb.

  • Halloween Episode: "Ka Iwi Kapu". Five-0 investigates the murders of two college kids out shooting video for a documentary on legendary Hawaiian ghost warriors in an ancient Hawaiian graveyard at midnight on Halloween.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: McGarrett and Danno catch a suspect putting a roofie into a girl's drink. They force him to drink it before carting him off. He passes out. They then awaken him with an air horn.
  • I Call Her "Vera": Sam Hanna dubs Danno's Camaro "Winifred". "Winnie" for short.
  • I Can See You: At 1:20. "Should have taken the deal. By the way, that's a nasty cut on your eye."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the episode titles (except for the pilot episode) are Hawaiian words or phrases. (The pilot episode is named "Pilot".)
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The Governor, after McGarrett informs her that a very high-profile philanthropist and campaign donor is actually the head of the Yakuza in Hawaii. She doesn't play around either. When McGarrett starts to look for a glass for the beer, she quickly corrects his train of thought and starts drinking straight from the bottle.
  • Internal Affairs
    • Sgt. Cage ("Mana'o"), who drove Chin Ho off the force and investigated Danny's partner post-mortem.
    • Chairman David Akahoshi in Chin Ho's Story Arc ("Ho'ohuli Na'au", "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau", and "Oia'i'o").
  • Irony
    • Pauline in "Ho'ohuli Na'au" goes to great lengths to murder her father because he abandoned her and her mother, only to be told by Danno, as he arrested her, that her father had established a trust for her benefit and was planning to reconnect and make up for it. Even more ironic in that because she murdered the grantor of the trust, she forfeited her rights as a beneficiary.
    • The Governor, whom Jack McGarrett has been investigating, authorizes the creation of Five-0 so she can keep an eye on Steve who subsequently takes up his father's investigation. We see how that finally works out in the Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o".
  • It Got Worse: "Oia'i'o"
  • It's Personal
    • McGarrett in the Story Arc concerning the murders of his parents ("Pilot", "Hana 'a'a Makehewa", "Ke Kinohi", "Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio", "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau", "Oia'i'o").
    • Danno in "Mana'o", "E Malama", and "Loa Aloha".
    • Kono in "Ko'olauloa".
    • Jenna Kaye feels this way about Wo Fat.
    • The entire team in "Hana 'a'a Makehawa", when Hesse rigs the bomb to Chin.
    • And again in "Ki'iluna" when Wo Fat kidnaps McGarrett.
  • Karma Houdini: According to a CIA analyst, Wo Fat is this.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Governor in the first-season finale.
    • Jenna Kaye in "Ki'ilua", midway through the second season.
    • Vince Fryer in "Ua Hala", the second season finale.
  • Lampshade Hanging
    • McGarrett describes the series' most famous phrase as "catchy" when pressed by Danno himself.
    • In this series, as the odd haole (non local) out, he is the king of the Lampshade Hanging, especially when it comes to McGarrett's ridiculously illegal interrogation techniques.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: McGarrett and Danno. Lampshaded in "Ua Lawe Wale":

 Convict: How long have you two been married?

  • Little Miss Con Artist and/or Child Prodigy: In "Kai 'e'e", Grace dominates Kamekona and his friends at the poker table. They're only playing for candy, though.
  • MacGyvering
    • McGarrett regularly improvises fingerprint powder from ordinary household substances.
    • In "E Malama", we get an improvised flamethrower made with hair spray and McGarrett's field-expedient booby trap.
    • In "Ma Ke Kahakai", McGarrett makes his own splint after breaking his arm.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Wo Fat. He's the man behind:
    • Victor Hesse (revealed at the end of "Hana'a'a Makehewa")
    • Noshimuri and the Yakuza (implied strongly in "Ke Kinohi," confirmed in "Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio")
    • Sang Min ("Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau")
    • and even the Governor!! ("Oia'i'o")
    • Don't be shocked if he also has something to do with Danny's brother the money launderer.
    • According to Jenna Kaye, criminals don't work with Wo Fat, they work FOR him. Also she works for him.
  • Mixed Metaphor: Danno, when he gets worked up, creates some entertaining mash-ups of figurative language.

 Danno: I am really happy you are not afraid of anything, okay? I'm glad you have that G.I. Joe thousand-yard stare from chasing shoe bombers around the world, okay? But in civilized society, we have rules, all right? It is the unspoken glue that separates us from jackals and hyenas, all right?

  • Mr. Fanservice: The boys of the Five-0 team. In-Universe, too: Kensi Blye apparently got a little hot and bothered when Danno and Chin Ho showed up in L.A. in part two of the big crossover.
  • Mugging the Monster: In "Ke Kinohi", the Five-0 team discuss on how untouchable the Yakuza in Hawaii is. The next scene is Steve entering Yakuza bar by ramming the door with a motorbike. In the blink of an eye his team follow and line up the dumbstruck Yakuza guys.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Said almost word by word from a victim's parent during one episode. In the episode, college students partying on a boat are captured by pirates. When the Hawaii Five-0 team informs the parents that negotiating with the pirates' demands is a surefire way to get their children killed, one kid's father doesn't listen and secretly gives the pirates 400K to spare his son, despite his wife's reluctance to disobey the Five-0 team. When the pirate group's leader got impatient with the Five-0 team not complying with the ransom demands, he kills a kid and dumps him onto the beach. Guess who's the slain kid? The other students? They eventually get rescued, and were unharmed.
  • Myth Arc: Five-0 vs. Wo Fat, and the related mystery of John McGarrett's past.
  • Mythology Gag
    • The opening titles are clearly an homage to the 1968 original. This even includes the zoom in from the sky on each version's McGarrett at the beginning.
    • The beachfront cookout/make-out scene between Steve and Catherine at the end of "Nalowale" seems to be an homage to the beachfront cookout in the original series' pilot film "Coocoon".
    • The big black '74 Mercury Marquis sedan McGarrett senior had in his garage is one of the cars Jack Lord drove in the original series. (See this article under "The Ride", and this one in a car blog.) Steve decides to finish restoring it, and this was a minor Story Arc ("He Kane Hewa'ole", "Powa Maka Moana"). By the end of the first season, in "Oia'i'o," Steve has finished the restoration and the Mercury may even be his daily driver. (He drives it to Kamekona's place to obtain a gun for use in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.)
    • Al Harrington, who appeared in six different roles in the 1968-80 original, plays an elderly surfer first seen in "Ke Kinohi".[2]
    • Dennis Chun, the son of Kam Fong (the original Chin Ho), has a recurring role as Sergeant Duke Lukela of the HPD.
    • In "Palekaiko", Danny quips that people wear ties on cruise ships "so they can hang themselves when they get bored." This is a reference to the title of the original series' Missing Episode, "Bored, She Hung Herself".
    • Helen Kuoha-Turco, the hula dancer from the original show's opening credits, had a small role in "Malama Ka Aina".
    • More of a Mythology Carryover, but many viewers may not know, or have forgotten, that the original Steve McGarrett was also ex-Navy, albeit not a SEAL.
  • Never Trust a Trailer
    • The trailer of "Ke Kinohi" makes a big deal of the stolen Champ box and the kidnapping of Steve's sister. Five-0 managed to recover the box, and despite all of its contents being removed by the bad guys, it turns out that Steve's sister has photographed them for backup. And the kidnapping is solved within the first fifteen minutes of the episode.
  • Noodle Incident
    • "Ke Kinohi"

 McGarrett: How do you know cop shorthand?

Mary: Um, because I had this incident once in L.A.

McGarrett: What incident?

Mary: It doesn't matter, all right?

    • Danny refuses to talk about what happened in Niagara Falls.
  • Not Quite Dead: McGarrett's mother, also known as "Shelburne".
  • Not What It Looks Like: Lori and Danno being found handcuffed.
  • Oh Crap
    • McGarrett has had several of these.
      • The first is in the pilot, when he hears that his father has been taken hostage.
      • The second occurs in "Ke Kinohi", when he sees the Yakuza boss complicit in his parents' death has a lunch date with the Governor.
      • The third occurs in "Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio" during the meeting with Wo Fat:
      • And then, in "Oia'i'o," when he discovers that the Governor is working for Wo Fat.
    • The whole team has one in "Kai e' e" when they realize that the crooks who generated a fake tsunami warning to cover a robbery are trying to steal the $28 million of drug money in the HPD evidence locker from which the team "borrowed" $10 million to pay Chin Ho's ransom in "Hana'a'a Makehewa". If they try to stop the robbery they'll be exposed as having appropriated the $10 million that Hesse threw into the fire. Then they have another one at the end of the episode, when they learn that someone else put the $10 million back!
    • The pirate/kidnappers in "Powa Maka Moana", when they see what's in the ransom bag is not 20 million bucks cash, but a bunch of yellow pages.
    • Joe White in "Ka Hakaka Maikai". Realizing that there's an intruder in his house, he pulls out the gun he keeps hidden in the freezer for just such an emergency and points it at the intruder, Wo Fat, only to find Wo Fat's already found it and taken the bullets out of the gun.
    • In "Ki'iluna" after being captured by Wo Fat, Steve attempts to engage him in their customary witty banter and is completely ignored. You can see on his face the moment he realizes that Wo Fat no longer regards him as a Worthy Opponent and he's pretty much screwed.
  • Odd Couple: Danny and Steve are this trope.
  • Older Than They Look: Apparently, Grace Park is 37 years old. She looks about ten years younger.
  • Only Sane Man: Danny, as a regular cop, is Five-0's voice of reason. In universe, Danny sees himself as this to the entire population of Hawaii. Especially in "Oia'i'o", when Kono and Steve are arrested, Chin has possibly gone over to the opposition and Rachel's decided to leave Hawaii with about thirty seconds warning...
  • Origin Story
    • In the 1968 original, the team was called "Five-O" from the very start, with no in-show explanation of how the name came about. The re-imagined version provides one. At the end of "Pilot", the characters are sitting around the office trying to come up with something better to call themselves than the prosaic "Governor's Task Force", but can't think of anything. Two episodes later, at the end of "Malama Ka Aina", Kono derives the nickname from McGarrett's high school football jersey number.
    • "Pilot" also has an origin story of sorts for Danny's nickname "Danno".
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • "Pilot"

 McGarrett: There's something you should know about your brother.

Hesse: What about him?

McGarrett: He died the same way you did. (shoots Hesse)

    • Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o".

  Wo Fat: Everything is under control. (shoots the Governor)

    • "Ka Hakaka Maikai"

 Wo Fat: Tell John McGarrett that his son will be along soon enough. (tries to kill Joe White)

  • The Plan: Wo Fat pulls off a beauty in "Oia'i'o".
  • President Evil
    • Averted in "Po'ipu". The Evil Overlord flying in to Hawaii for a state visit is actually doing a Heel Face Turn and coming to testify against his regime before a human rights tribunal.
    • The Governor. Seemingly averted for the entire first season until "Oia'i'o".
  • Product Placement: Where to begin...
    • Early on in the first season numerous characters -- notably McGarrett -- own and prominently use iPhones. In one episode a father and son are seen talking to each other via FaceTime, a scene which eerily looks like an Apple commercial. Kono is also seen with a MacBook Pro numerous times. What makes this interesting is that after many episodes with extensive Apple product placements, in "Mana'o" Chin asks Kono to "Bing it", when she doubts his knowledge about a modern artist. Sure enough, Kono whips out her LG Optimus 7 and we get a close up of the phone's screen for almost 10 seconds. Soon after this episode Danny gets a new Windows Phone 7, and the Apple logos on both Kono's laptop and McGarrett's iPhone are suspiciously covered up.
    • Steve, Danny, and Kono drive 2011 Chevys.
    • Various Hawaii businesses have had their names and products appear on the show, including Liliha Bakery, Kona Brewing Company, Waiola Shave Ice, and Hawaiian Airlines. Most episodes will give at least one local company national advertising.
    • For a group of locals they spend an awful lot of time at the Tropics Bar of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
    • The amount of Scenery Porn amounts to Product Placement for Hawaii itself as a tourist destination.
    • Lampshaded, smacked up against the Fourth Wall, and played for laughs when Kamekona is seen eating Subway footlong subs in "Pu'olo".
  • Put on a Bus
    • Catherine Rollins, in "Mea Makamae"; she's been assigned to a tour of duty in the Persian Gulf. It doesn't stick. "I Helu Pu" finds Rollins on McGarrett's arm during the Governor's party. And then McGarrett does his reserve drill on the Enterprise.
    • The bus was busy in "I Helu Pu". Lori Weston gets put on after resigning from the Task Force and going back to DHS.
  • Quip to Black
  • Real Life Writes the Plot
    • Scott Caan injured his knee in Season 1, leading them to writing in a knee injury for Danny.
    • Alex O'Loughlin had problems with addiction to pain meds. For the episodes filmed while he was in treatment, McGarrett was said to be away from the islands tracking down Joe White.
  • Reality Ensues: In the aftermath of Steve's rescue in North Korea, Joe White has to face the Navy inquiry hearing.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A psycho serial killer holds his hostage at knifepoint just inches away from a cliff. Danny tries to negotiate with him and Hilarity Ensues:

 McGarrett: What are you doing? The guy is clearly a psychopath. You're trying to make friends with him. You're trying to connect?

Danno: He's standing right in front of us! He can hear you.

McGarrett: I see he's standing right here, Danny. But you're a cop. You're not a therapist, you know?

Danno: Hey hey hey! I've been trained for this kind of thing, okay?

McGarrett: What -- what to bore people into submission?

Danno: Don't listen to him, okay. His idea of communication is -- is he drops a witty one-liner and then shoots you in the face. Don't worry about it!

McGarrett: You know what -- I might shoot this guy just so he doesn't have to listen to you talk.

(when the killer gets distracted by the debate and lowers the knife, Steve shoots him)

  • Retirony: In The Teaser of "E Malama", we find ourselves at an FBI safehouse, where a witness and a federal marshal are. The witness thanks the agent for his dedication to the job, including spending so much time away from his family. He says it's no problem. He's dead a few minutes later.
  • Revealing Coverup: Chin barters his house's deed for 200k cash, which he hopes can obstruct HPD investigation to his uncle's embezzlement, believing that the storage records have been lost. It turns out that HPD have serial numbers on the money stolen, and they ascertain that Chin's money isn't the drug money.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The Governor and Jena Kaye, both by Wo Fat.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The plot of the episode "Kupale" is based partly on the real-life drama of the Hawaii Superferry.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
    • The bad guys in "Lanakila" and "Loa Aloha".
    • McGarrett is on the verge of one in "Ke Kanohi", but Danno talks him out of it.
    • Danny is on one in "E Malama", and Steve can't talk him out of it.
    • An undercover FBI agent appears to go on one of these in "Ho'opa'i".
    • McGarrett goes on one in "Oia'i'o", confronting the Governor at gunpoint.
  • Scenery Porn: Yes, Hawaii is beautiful, but the way the show portrays it, it's like paradise on Earth.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: The Yakuza boss in "Ke Kinohi" is the state's primary benefactor. Averted in a sense, because while Steve cannot prove his involvement in his parents' death, he manages to arrest the boss for breaking in to his house, kidnapping his sister, and stealing the Champ box.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The whole point of the new unit.

 Governor Jameson: ...Your task force will have blanket authority to go after guys like Hesse, and get them the HELL off my island. Your rules, my backing, no red tape....

    • And this is being deconstructed slightly in Season 2, as the fallout from the Season 1 finale is coming back to haunt Five-0. The new Governor is keeping them on a much tighter leash, assigning them a team member of his choosing to keep an eye on them. And it turns out that Captain Fryer used a full police investigation of Five-0's behavior as leverage to get Kono to work for him.
  • Sequel Episode: In "Kalele", Ed Asner reprises his role of art smuggler August March from the original series' 1975 episode "Wooden Model of a Rat". Doubles as Mythology Gag.
  • Sherlock Scan: Jenna Kaye performs one on a Corrupt Corporate Executive in "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau."
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Chin Ho's weapon of choice.
  • Shout-Out
    • In "Palekaiko", Danno refers to a private investigator being interrogated as "Magnum".
    • In "He Kane Hewa' Ole", Steve and Danno spend much of the episode arguing over which of them is more like Erik Estrada. In the last scene, they're watching reruns of CHiPs with Kono and Chin Ho.
    • In "Powa Maka Moana", McGarrett tells Danno that he'll be back. Danno asks if he'll smash their car into the pawn shop just to get Lono to talk.
    • In "Loa Aloha," Danny calls a charter service to get information on a fugitive's travel plans and, not wanting to identify himself as a cop, gives his name as "Clarence Clemons."
    • In "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau", Gracie is seen explaining Angry Birds to Danno.
    • In "Kame'e", The Beatles get a mention:

 Danno: So, what, you’re not going to tell me about "Operation Strawberry Fields"?

McGarrett: No.

Danno: No, no. Of course, you’d have to kill me.... I’m just curious, though: Was there an "Operation Abbey Road"? Were you the walrus? (Joe White gives him a disapproving look) Time to shut up?

Joe White: Roger that. Are you people ready for the magical mystery tour?

  • Story Arc
    • The mystery of McGarrett's mom's death, and the contents of the "Champ" box, which leads to McGarrett discovering that the Governor is in league with Wo Fat -- just in time to be framed for the Governor's murder.
    • The missing money which led to the disgrace of Chin Ho. The arc is resolved in "Ma Ke Kahakai", where it is revealed that Chin's uncle embezzled the money and Chin took the blame to cover for him.
    • Danny and Rachel getting back together -- or not.
    • And, potentially, the fallout of Danno's brother's corruption. Even this one may end up relating to the first two.
    • Kono's dismissal from the force, and her resulting involvement with a shady group of ex-cops ("Hana 'a'a Makehewa", "Oia'i'o", "Ua Lawe Wale", "Kame'e", "Mea Makamae") before it was revealed that she was not going corrupt after all.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Steve and Danny have very different approaches to the law, though they establish something of an understanding over the course of the pilot.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: Invoked by Danny to Steve regarding Ms. Pac-Man, of all things:

 Steve: You ever make it to Double-Pretzel level?

Danny: Triple-banana, bitch.

    • Now with commemorative T-shirt!
  • That One Case
    • For McGarrett, it's the Story Arc concerning the contents of the Champ box and his father's relationship with the Yakuza and Wo Fat.
    • For Chin Ho, it's the drug case where the $28 million was seized. Led to Chin Ho being blamed for embezzling $200,000 of it. Subverted. In "Ma Ke Kahakai" it is revealed that Chin already knows who the embezzler is.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Danny's competency as a cop is often overshadowed by Steve's extreme amounts of badassery, Chin's disgrace arc, and Kono's Fanservice and Badass. But in "He Kane Hewa'Ole", he is the first one who correctly deduces the culprit's plot. Lampshaded by Steve, who asks, "When did you get smart?"
  • Too Soon: Invoked in-show in "He Kane Hewa' Ole".

 McGarrett: Okay, what about our John Doe #2?

Danno: You mean Jack?

McGarrett: You got an I.D.?

Danno: No Ja -- his head was in a box. Jack.

Chin Ho: That ain't right, bro.

Danno: Too soon?

McGarrett: Little bit.

  • Tonight Someone Dies: "Ua Hala"
  • Torture Always Works
    • Somewhat averted. McGarrett uses psychological torture in the first episode to get info (by threatening a man's family). In the second, however, it's not shown whether his method would actually provide information as it's interrupted. Danny then chews McGarrett out for his actions, specifically pointing out information gathered through torture is inherently unreliable.
    • Hilariously averted when Kono takes a suspect's little dog from her arms, then orders everyone else out...

 McGarrett: How'd you get her to talk?

Kono: Told her the dog would be put down once she went down to lock up. Promised I'd find it a home if she cooperated. (the guys are dumbfounded) What? It's not like it's the dog's fault.

 Danny: If a suspect dies, he no longer has the ability to speak! Ergo, he's useless to us!

Steve: (to guy he's hanging off roof) You think anybody's gonna care? You just killed two people, buddy! I'd be doing the world a favor!]]

Danny: That's enough!

  • True Companions: Invoked in show in "Ohana", which is the Hawaiian word for Family.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal
    • Sid in "Mala Ka Aina".
    • Kono in "Ma'eme'e".
  • Vertigo Effect: Used halfway into "Hana 'a'a Makehewa" after showing how Chin Ho wound up with a bomb strapped around his neck.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: McGarrett and Danno.
    • The penultimate scene in "Loa Aloha" exemplifies this. FBI has been hunting Danny's brother, Matt, for Wall Street corruption. Steve reveals to them that Matt has a boat in dock, to which the FBI proceeds to pursue. However, Matt is then revealed to be escaping by his private jet, where only Danny knows its existence. As a cop, Steve does not lie; as a friend, he does not betray Danny either. Danny's quiet "thank you" before leaving Steve perfectly crowns the scene.
    • In the Season 1 finale: Danny, in an earlier scene, has promised to catch up with Rachel and Grace at the airport on their way back to Jersey. At the episode's penultimate scene, instead of going to the airport, he catches up with Steve just as Chin Ho arrests the man, swearing that he will get his buddy out. This scene is juxtaposed with Rachel and Grace leaving the airport in disappointment as Danny doesn't show up.
  • Wham! Episode
    • "Hana'a'a Makehewa". The human trafficker in the pilot, Sang Min, escapes; Victor Hesse returns from the dead; the Five-0 team crosses the Despair Event Horizon by stealing cash from a police evidence locker in order to save Chin's life; and most importantly, Wo Fat appears.
    • "Ke Kanohi": McGarrett's sister is kidnapped by the Yakuza, and then Steve discovers the identity of the corrupt HPD officer who killed his mother, who is the brother of the Corrupt Corporate Executive who heads the local Yakuza. McGarrett and Danno arrest the Big Bad on a golf course, not realizing (just yet) that one of the other golfers in the foursome is The Man Behind the Man, Wo Fat.
    • In the season 1 finale "Oia'i'o" Five-0 is a little bit messed up. By the end of the episode McGarrett is framed for the murders of Governor Jameson and Laura Hills by Wo Fat, Danny misses the plane while trying to stop Steve so a pregnant Rachel thinks he's abandoning her and Grace, Kono is under investigation for her part in the unauthorized "borrowing" of the $10 million in "Hana'a'a Makehewa," and Chin Ho has apparently abandoned Five-0 for HPD.
    • The season 2 premiere ends showing showing Wo Fat kill Hesse while disguised as a prison guard, then leave in a car driven by Kaye.
    • In the penultimate episode of Season 2, "Ua Hopu" (Caught), Steve McGarrett arrests Wo Fat with the help of the Japanese police force. The episode ends with Wo Fat entering his prison cell.
    • In the season 2 finale, "Ua Hala", Fryer is Killed Off for Real, Max gets shot but survives, Chin Ho is blackmailed into getting Dirty Cop Delano out of prison and forced to make a Sadistic Choice between saving his wife Malia or Kono, who are respectively shot and tossed into the ocean bound and gagged, Danny is contesting custody of Grace because Rachel is moving to Las Vegas, and McGarrett finally learns that "Shelburne" is his mom.
  • Wham! Line: In "Ua Hala":

 McGarrett: Mom!

  • What the Hell, Hero?: Danno does this to Steve on regular basis. (Example: see the dialogue under Deadpan Snarker and Gene Hunt Interrogation Technique above.)
  • Witness Protection: "E Malama"
  • Wrestler in All of Us
    • In "Heihei", McGarrett busts out a standing dropkick, kips up, and then takes the bad guy down with a combination crossface and armbar.
    • Kono has started doing kip-ups as well. In "E Malama", she also spears a would-be assassin through a glass door.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: As the only normal cop in the team, Danny constantly reprimands his buddies for their rather wild, not-exactly-police-appropriate, and, a lot of times, insane approach to the cases. But we know better. Invoked in "Kai e'e". He reprimands Steve for even bothering to listen to Mamo, who claims that he could see no tsunami coming. His scolding is justified since Mamo is a surfer, not a scientist. But then again....
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In the ending of the first part of the second Hawaii Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover, "Pa Make Loa", Danno, Chin Ho, Callen, and Sam managed to recover the Small-Pox vials from Dracul Comescu before he could sell them to Chechen terrorists in Hawaii. It seems that their case has been closed for good... until Officer Kalakaua calls and reveals that the "vials" that they recovered had in fact contained saline, and that the real viruses were taken by the doctor who was allied with Comescu, who presumably betrayed him and was planning to release the virus in Los Angeles.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
    • At the end of "Ke Kanohi", the Five-0 team learns that the corrupt HPD officer who killed McGarrett's mother, and who was the next target on Five-0's list, has been found dead.
    • Averted by Sang Min at the end of "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau" -- he surrenders to Five-0 because he's a "loose end" and Wo Fat doesn't like to leave "loose ends" alive.
    • In the Season 1 finale, "Oia'i'o", the Governor is killed by Wo Fat after McGarrett learns that she's in with Wo Fat, and he confronts her. All while neatly setting up McGarrett for the murder.
    • Victor Hesse in the Season 2 opener, "Ha'i'ole".

Notes

  1. Officially "Hawaii Creole English"
  2. The role was originally intended for James MacArthur, who played Danny in the 1968 series, but he died unexpectedly before the episode was filmed.
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