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10 Signs You’re Watching a Buddy Cop Movie


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Did you know that the buddy cop genre dates back to Kurosawa’s Stray Dog, released in 1949? Since then, dozens of flicks have expanded the formula. Here are 10 things you’ll see in just about every buddy cop movie.

10. They’re An Odd Couple

Lethal Weapon epitomizes the central buddy cop trope. Roger Ebert used to call them “Wunza movies” – in this case, one’s a loose cannon and one’s a straight-laced family man.

9. Their Boss Hates Them

A vital part of the buddy cop dynamic is the fact that their boss can’t stand either of them and chews them out on every possible occasion.

8. Who Gets To Drive?

The leading cause of friction between buddy cops is who gets the keys to the car and who has to ride shotgun.

7. The Interrogation Scene

When the cops need information, the way they get it is by beating it out of a low-level scumbag in a closed room. Police work at its finest.

6. Turn In Your Badge And Gun!

The loose cannon often has to step away from the force as a result of his antics, and we usually get a dramatic scene involving badges being slapped down onto desks.

5. The Building Dangle

When the regular interrogation doesn’t work, true buddy cops will each grab a pant leg and shake a guy out over a high drop.

4. A Crack Shot

At least once in every buddy cop movie worth its salt, one of the heroes will manage to pop a creep with a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

3. A Bonding Moment

About 2/3 of the way through, you can bet your life that the pair of cops will have a heart-to-heart about a serious issue.

2. Car Chases

When you’re a cop with a buddy, one of you can drive while the other one shoots. It’s just a perk of the genre.

1. Something Explodes

Well, duh. You can’t be sure that your crime’s been totally solved until there’s at least one enormous explosion.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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