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30 Best Buddy Cop Partnerships

Sarah Ashburn and Shannon Mullins (The Heat)

The Cops: Ashburn is an officious, prim and proper FBI agent with an excellent track record. Mullins is the tough, crude detective who bullies her suspects, colleagues and boss.

The Partnership: Ashburn learns to stop being an anti-social prude when it comes to police work, letting her hair down the more time she spends in Mullins’ company. Mullins learns that she could maybe look after herself a little better and clean out the fridge more regularly.

Best Moment: A drunken night out, which sees the pair bond spectacularly in a dingy bar while throwing some incredibly dubious dance moves.

Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs (Miami Vice)

The Cops: Crockett is the charismatic ladies man to Tubbs’ intelligent, by-the-book partner.

The Partnership: Pushed into a dangerous undercover situation, the partners may seem like an unlikely match but they make for a super-effective team.

Best Moment: When it looks like Crockett has got in too deep into his undercover role, he argues with Tubbs, who looks at him sternly – almost warning him – “I will never doubt you.”

Ray Tango and Gabriel Cash (Tango & Cash)

The Cops: Tango is the rich Beverly Hills cop who takes a brutally hard line when it comes to catching criminals. Cash is the scruffy downtown LA cop who... um... takes a brutally hard line when it comes to catching criminals.

The Partnership: The pair, initially at odds with each other, become good friends and an effective working team via an appreciation for each other’s skills and a LOT of homoerotic subtext.

Best Moment: The shared shower scene in which they make fun of each other’s genitals is particularly noteworthy...

Wendell 'Bud' White and Edmund J. Exley (L.A. Confidential)

The Cops: Exley is the son of a legendary detective and wants to live up to his reputation, isolating himself from the rest of the force by actively trying to stamp out police corruption. Bud is a brutish plainsclothes police officer with rage issues who takes particular issue with woman-beaters.

The Partnership: There’s a lot of animosity between them at first – no thanks to Exley sleeping with Bud’s prostitute girlfriend – but they reluctantly put their differences aside in order to uncover a clear conspiracy within the LAPD.

Best Moment: Bud, enraged at finding pictures of Exley and his girlfriend together, starts beating him to a pulp, all while Exley tries to get him to “think” – it soon dawns on Bud that whoever sent the photos to him is clearly pulling some very corrupt strings.

David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson (Starsky & Hutch)

The Cops: From the trailer: “Detective David Starsky did everything by the book. Detective Ken Hutchinson never even read it.”

The Partnership: The exact same partnership that you imagine Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson to have in real-life, complete with occasional mime make-believe.

Best Moment: Interrogating Will Ferrell’s prison convict Big Earl who insists on only giving up information if he can see Hutch’s belly button.

Scott Turner and Hooch (Turner & Hooch)

The Cops: One is a neat-freak police investigator. The other is a large, slobbery French Mastiff.

The Partnership: Turner takes in Hooch as the only witness to his friend's murder, and the dog proceeds to wreck the house and make Turner's life a misery. They work it out though and Turner soon comes to love the unsightly animal.

Best Moment: Turner lays down the rules to his new canine partner (“No barking, no growling, you will not lift your leg to anything in this house...” etc). Hooch pays no attention.

David Mills and William R. Somerset (Se7en)

The Cops: Mills is the headstrong cop assigned to homicide for the first time and excited about doing some down-and-dirty investigating. Somerset is the calm, jaded detective who has lost all hope in his city after the horrors he has seen.

The Partnership: Mills rushes headfirst into dangerous situations, too impatient to put the groundwork in first, while Somerset is the brains – using extensive experience and reasoning to get inside the serial killer’s head.

Best Moment: It has to be that final box surprise. The tension, the cold calculation of it all, Mills’ wrestling with his own grief and rage, and Somerset realising too late what it all means...

'Kevin' Chan Ka-Kui and Jessica Yang (Police Story 3: Super Cop)

The Cops: Ka-Kui is a Hong Kong cop prone to acrobatic feats of action. Yang is the Chinese Interpol officer who gives him an assignment to infiltrate a drug ring.

The Partnership: Yang acts the perfect officious foil to Ka-Kui’s earnest, wide-eyed cop who seems to get himself into trouble almost as many times as he gets out of it. Obviously, both are formidable fighters.

Best Moment: A climactic double-team action sequence that sees the pair chasing down and fighting bad guys atop a speeding train.

Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala (End Of Watch)

The Cops: Taylor is a former Marine who is filming their police patrols for a project. Zavala is his Mexican partner, unimpressed with the whole idea.

The Partnership: The pair are already close friends, whiling away hours by shooting the shit in their patrol car, in between shooting the shit out of criminals.

Best Moment: Any time the two pass time with beat-cop banter, but particularly Taylor bemoans his luck with finding a meaningful relationship that isn’t just based on sex, while Zavala joking complains that he met his soulmate at prom and married her a week later. A personal conversation laced with brotherly teasing.

Joe Friday and Pep Streebeck (Dragnet)

The Cops: Joe Friday is the stern, by-the-book, section code-spouting cop assigned smart-mouthed, wise-cracking partner Streebeck.

The Partnership: Streebeck mocks while Friday disapproves, but the pair soon bond during their investigations.

Best Moment: Streebeck tests his partner’s patience with him by crashing the birthday dinner of Friday’s grandmother.