After a cancellation from FOX and a renewal from NBC, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is finally back on TV. Not only is the police workplace comedy one of the funniest shows on right now, it also holds up as a great cop show. That’s because, for all their hilarious hijinks, the detectives on Brooklyn Nine-Nine are actually pretty talented. We took a look at those sitcom sleuths and decided to bring you the definitive rankings of their talents. Check it out and see if you agree with our list of the Best Brooklyn Nine-Nine Detectives, Ranked.
10. Norm Scully
The 99th precinct is a place for brilliant minds and hard work. And also, Norm Scully. Scully is one of the laziest, least-involved detectives in the NYPD. Along with his partner/best friend (more on him later), Scully makes up a corner of the office that’s as devoid of police work as it is full of cheese smell. We’ve had hints before that Scully and his partner, Hitchcock, used to be decent detectives. In fact, we’ve even seen that they’ve got some keen detective skills now. But on the whole, those detective skills are buried under years of minimal effort, social obliviousness, and lack of character. And Cheetos, probably.
9. Michael Hitchcock
Right after Scully is his partner in not stopping crime, Michael Hitchcock. Hitchcock is the Ted to Scully’s Bill. The pair are already lazy separately, but together they make a force of apathy so powerful that not even life-threatening situations can motivate them. The only reason we put Hitchcock slightly above Scully is that Hitchcock doesn’t share his partner’s tendency to be a pervert. Even Hitchcock realized how weird it was when Scully “asked out a breastfeeding mother.” For catching on to at least some social cues, Hitchcock takes the number nine spot. But don’t think that’s something to be proud of.
8. Adrian Pimento
Adrian Pimento was a great detective at one time. Unfortunately, years of undercover work inside the mob have left Pimento’s psyche irreversibly scarred. Now, he’s an erratic, unpredictable member of the police force. His methods, if you can even call them that, consistently border on insanity, and rarely lead to anything but destruction of private property. Still, Pimento is a dedicated member of the NYPD. Granted, it’s a kind of insane, hyperactive dedication, but it’s dedication nonetheless.
7. Charles Boyle
Speaking of dedication, let’s talk about the most clingy member of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine team, Charles Boyle. Charles is a special kind of friend, the type who will regularly check on his loved ones’ sex lives or offer extremely personal information in casual conversation. He’s done both of those, by the way, for members of his family. However, for all his uncomfortable attachment to others, Charles actually is a pretty great detective. He pursues cases with gusto and has a keen ability to think outside the box. Still, most of what we see of Charles Boyle isn’t him looking into the seedy underside of NYC. It’s him looking into the lives of his friends. To be fair, I guess he does look at their undersides as well.
6. Gina Linetti
Gina Linetti is the only person on this list that is not nor has ever been a detective in the NYPD. However, she’s still a pretty great detective. Gina makes connections easily and grand schemes even better. She’s outwitted both Holt and Peralta several times in the show, and regularly collects more information than many of her office-mates combined. Still, Gina is characteristically nonchalant when it comes to mysteries. She’s fine with letting questions remain unanswered as long as her situation is comfortable. She’s kind of like Mycroft Holmes; brilliant, capable, visionary. But at the end of the day, lacks the drive to apply her brilliance to becoming really great. Oh, and she spends a lot more time on Twitter.
5. Terry Jeffords
Sergeant Terry Jeffords excels at everything he does. He’s a great dad, an accomplished manager, and a health expert. As Sergeant of the Nine-Nine, Terry is a wise, empathetic emotional heart of the show, but his skills don’t stop at fatherly wisdom. Terry’s often proven himself one of the sharpest minds on the squad. His boss, Captain Raymond Holt, trusts him with many difficult problems, and he frequently is the go-to advice-giver for a detective on a tough case. Terry is like Columbo, if Columbo was in a lot better shape.
And better with people.
And loved yogurt.
4. Rosa Diaz
Not since Ron Swanson has there been a tougher, more self-starting individual as Rosa Diaz. As the Nine-Nine’s resident badass, Rosa is a credit not only to NYPD, but to police in general. Part of what makes her such a great detective is her unwillingness to give up. She pursues cases relentlessly, unafraid to get her hands dirty in her quest to complete them. Though she might not be at the top of this list, Rosa is one of the best characters on the show, and certainly one of the best detectives her squad employs. Plus, she’s got a level of grit and resilience that could put Frank Castle to shame.
3. Jake Peralta
It’s impressive that Brooklyn Nine-Nine could create a main character as dopey as he is deductive. In many ways, Jake Peralta has the mind of a child. He’s always up for some sort of immature hijinks and tends to obsess over geeky pop culture. However, he’s still one of the force’s sharpest sleuths. Jake sees connections where others don’t. While some other investigators go over the same pieces of evidence without any luck, Jake can successfully assess what’s missing in a situation. Out of everyone on this list, Jake might be the most innately talented detective. He’s got a mind for detail and an almost competitive spirit when it comes to making arrests. He might occasionally be oblivious to how goofy he comes off, but don’t let Jake fool you. Behind his Die Hard pajamas is a talented, genius detective.
And probably another set of Die Hard pajamas. He’s not going to not wear the second pair.
2. Amy Santiago
Amy Santiago is Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Hermione Granger. She is hard-working to an obsessive point. Even when Amy isn’t the smartest or most talented person in a room, she’ll find a way to out-maneuver, out-plan, and out-wit others by sheer force of will alone. Recently, Amy’s made the jump from just a detective on the Nine-Nine to a Sargeant elsewhere in the department. Not only will she be applying her brilliant mind and work ethic to her own problems, but she’ll be spreading them to other officers soon. Amy is exactly the type of police officer we hope exists in real life; thorough, innovative, and able to see every angle of the case. There’s a reason she’s the only person we’ve seen significantly promoted on the show, and it’s not just that she has a binder made for even the smallest of her problems. Though that’s a big part of it.
1. Raymond Holt
When Jake Peralta, amateur police historian, meets Raymond Holt, he’s star struck. Holt is a detective of legend on the NYPD, a cop who’s brought down gangsters, terrorists, and even serial killers. And even though Holt’s days on the street are over, he’s still just as sharp as he’s ever been, and there’s no one else who deserves the top spot as much as he. Holt has all the qualities of his best detectives, wrapped up into a single person. He’s as talented as Peralta, as organized as Amy, and as tenacious as Diaz. To be sure, any of those detectives would be great on even the toughest of cases. But if you want a case closed, and closed for good, you call Captain Raymond Holt.
Who’s your favorite character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Do you agree with our rankings? Let us know in the comments section below!