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Suspect Is Hatless

 Suspect Is Hatless
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Suspect Is Hatless
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })You're a witness to a crime, and you saw the criminal and which way he's going. There's just one problem: you can only offer a uselessly vague description of no help to anyone. For example, the best you can do is that you're almost certain he wasn't wearing a hat. This happens with both civilians and police officers.
Basically, a witness gives a vague and more or less useless description, with the only definite clues being ultimately irrelevant (or at least apparently unhelpful).
Truth in Television, when it comes to witness descriptions, especially in cases when it wasn't obvious that the suspect was committing a crime at the time.
May result from watching The Nondescript commit a crime, since they're naturally unmemorable.
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2020-02-25T11:42:55Z
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2020-02-25T11:42:55Z
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Carry On Spying
 Suspect Is Hatless
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Literature: The Shadow Of The Lion
 Suspect Is Hatless
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Series: Dragnet
 Suspect Is Hatless
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Series: Taggart
 Suspect Is Hatless
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Hey Arnold!
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In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, three people witness a child abduction, and none of the statements they give to police are consistent with each other. For instance, they can't agree on what color the kidnapper's van was, or even what race the kidnapper might have been. In this case, the viewer actually has the whole story, as they saw the abduction as well.
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Deliberately invoked in an episode of Rookie Blue when a bank robber has a (fake) baby strapped to his chest specifically so all the witnesses focus on the baby and fail to notice any identifying details. Even Andy, a trained police officer, is not able to give a decent description because her primary concern was that the baby did not get hurt.
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In one Detective Conan case, the police are trying to apprehend a criminal and catch three suspects. The case seems ridiculously easy when they find three eyewitnesses... but then each of those witnesses give vague descriptions (that the criminal was wearing sunglasses, that the criminal was very tall, and that the criminal was an old woman) and none of those traits match any of the suspects. The police eventually have to figure out what conditions took place to cause each of the eyewitnesses to see the traits they saw, and which suspect all three applied to.
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Adam-12 had a woman who could only get out that the guy who shot at her was a Latin male with a yellow shirt. A guy like that is found hiding in the yard and runs, causing Wells to insist he's the one when they catch him. Reed isn't sure and Wells says he trusts too easily. However, Reed was right; the real shooter is found a minute later-the woman's drunk husband.
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In the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode where Will and Philip's mother sneak off to a rap concert has this exchange in the venue's backstage:
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The World Ends with You: One of the random mind-reads you can pick up is a cop on a stakeout.
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In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon tells Puck to smear the love potion on the eyes of a youth dressed in Athenian garb. Given the play is set in a forest just outside of Athens, it is perhaps not surprising that Puck smears the potion on the eyes of the wrong youth dressed in Athenian garb. Hilarity Ensues.
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Kingdom Hearts II: In Hollow Bastion, Tifa Lockhart is looking for "a guy with spiky hair".
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Justified in the spin-off series Angel when witnesses on a subway train give vague descriptions because they don't want to admit a demon attacked them.
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Kojak, "Knockover". The suspect is a tall short man, somewhere between 110-250 lbs. One eye brown, one blue, and a third one green.
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The recurring MADtv character Miss Swan started out this way, driving cops insane by repeatedly describing a suspect.
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In the Psych episode "Psy vs. Psy", Shawn tries to get a look at a suspect on a security camera, but can't see him very well. Later, when trying to "psychically" see the suspect, the best he can come up with is "did not wear corrective lenses".
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Happens to Richard Castle when, owing to a chain of circumstances, he ends up outside while the police are storming a suspect's headquarters only for the suspect to (rather slowly) drive right past him. He misses the license plate, can't see anyone clearly through the tinted windows and ends up only able to vaguely describe the car to the cops, who — given that he's based a very lucrative mystery-writing career on describing things in detail — are less-than-impressed.
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Jack Ryan:
A variation in Clear and Present Danger. The FBI actually have a detailed description of Felix Cortez. The problem is that his appearance is so generic (Latino male in his mid-30s to early 40s, average height and build, no Visual Distinguishing Marks) that a description is totally useless.
Without Remorse, also by Tom Clancy, made use of this trope as a plot point. Retired Navy SEAL turned Vigilante Man John Kelly hit on a nearly perfect disguise early on; on the rare occasions when the presence of an innocent bystander meant he couldn't simply Leave No Witnesses, the best description the police ever got was "a homeless guy". He did have one near-miss towards the end of the book, but even a trained police officer has trouble providing a detailed description of the suspect when a) it's the middle of the night on a poorly-lit street and b) he's being held at gunpoint.
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This applies to direction giving. In Cheers, Carla complains that Woody's directions to his house are useless because he told her he's in an apartment over a shop with dead ducks in the window. Because he lives in Chinatown, all of the shops have dead ducks in the windows, mutters Carla.
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The Simpsons:
The Trope Namer is in "Homer's Triple Bypass", seen above when Chief Wiggum was pursuing the criminal Snake.
In "Separate Vocations" Lou and Eddie are perusing Snake's car after he robbed the Kwik-E-Mart, this scene and the page quote above seems to show that the Springfield police officers are bad at identifying cars.
Another episode, "Marge on the Lam", had him trying to give his current position to another officer over the radio.
In "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore", Homer tries to find Apu's cousin Kavi, who is "medium height, dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair". The trouble is, he's in India. Luckily he only has to ask two passersby if they're Kavi.
In "The Saga of Carl", Homer and friends look for Carl in Iceland.
There was the episode where Milhouse needs help finding his girlfriend at her school, and describes her blue plaid jumper. Since that's the school uniform, every girl is wearing it.
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Cellular: "He's the one on a cell phone." "EVERYONE'S on a cell phone."
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From Full House, when Joey attempts to describe the woman who sold him a stolen car:
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_2858b08a
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The Extermibots from Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando are guilty of this. They have been deployed to Allgon City on Planet Damosel to deal with the Protopet threat... but they've been ordered to eliminate anything that is "small and fuzzy", which puts Ratchet on their kill list as well.
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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning is described over the Yusnaan PA as a woman who "has rose-coloured hair and is carrying an enormous weapon." This, in a game with enough 'women with rose coloured-hair' to be a serial killing's target group.
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The pilot episode of Gotham had a variant. The young Bruce Wayne gives a detailed description of his parent's killer, but since the killer was completely covered up, the description was entirely of the man's wardrobe, which isn't that helpful in identifying someone in an era where most people own more than one change of clothes. But it does provide one useful clue - Bruce pointed out that the killer wore 'shiny shoes', and none of the shoes owned by the original suspect had had a passing relationship with 'shiny' in months, thus proving to Gordon that the man was framed.
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Parodied in Red Ears. A woman filing a police report gives an incredibly precise description of her rapist's appearance (muscular, balding, red beard, black glasses, yellow bowtie, striped green-maroon jacket, beige trenchcoat, grey fedora) to the police officer interviewing her, but he doesn't seem to notice that she's talking about his lieutenant.
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The infamous torture mission in Grand Theft Auto V works on this. Michael is charged with shooting a target wanted by the FIB. Trevor is supposed to get a description of the target from a witness by torturing him. The witness gives only generic descriptors (has a beard, smokes a lot) while Michael is facing down a house party full of people who match the description. This results in either a very long torture session gathering enough "hatless" hints to narrow it down to one guy, or Michael getting fed up and shooting someone at random, depending on the player's choices.
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In Batman Begins, you can't help but feel sorry for the Gotham cops trying to describe the Tumbler to the dispatcher. At least there's no mistaking it after you've seen it.
Later in the same chase:
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In Airheads, Officer Wilson is told to look for Kayla, Chazz's girlfriend, on the Sunset Strip in LA. He's told she's a "blonde wearing something tight and black", unfortunately, nearly every female looks like that, making him mutter "Great, grand, wonderful...". Although he does find her eventually.
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Community:
Parodied in one episode when the notorious "Ass Crack Bandit" terrorizes Greendale. Duncan (a psychology professor) and Britta (a psych major) are brought in to profile the Bandit, but the best that they can come up with is that "He's angry...OR just fell in love", and that he "Hates money, or loves it, or doesn't care about money, and hates butts or loves them."
The majority of "Contemporary American Poultry" has Abed explaining how the study group took over the chicken fingers market at the college. At the end, it's revealed that the story was in response to Dean Pelton asking if he knows who stole the hairnets from the cafeteria. Abed suggests that it's "Someone with hair" note  which really only eliminates Leonard and the Dean himself .
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In an episode of Wire in the Blood, the resident profiler helps the police unit he is attached to by deducing that the suspect is able to drive a car. That's all he's got.
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A variation in Clear and Present Danger. The FBI actually have a detailed description of Felix Cortez. The problem is that his appearance is so generic (Latino male in his mid-30s to early 40s, average height and build, no Visual Distinguishing Marks) that a description is totally useless.
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The first episode of Trigun has the insurance girls and several groups of bounty hunters looking for Vash the Stampede. Each of them is using a different description of Vash that is technically accurate, but is also vague enough that it also describes one of the bounty hunters. Confusion ensues.
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Subverted in Fallout 4 when you're describing the man who kidnapped your child and murdered your spouse to Nick Valentine. The only worthwhile descriptions you're able to give him is that he's a bald guy with a scar, which while seemingly a somewhat common description automatically leads him to him figuring out that you must be talking about Conrad Kellogg.
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On Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, the gang tries to find a friend's missing owner, but the description they get from him is that the boy has two eyes, two ears and one nose, and is wearing clothes. He adds that he is wearing a pointy hat, but that's no help since he's at a birthday party and everyone's wearing a pointy hat.
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In Papers, Please, you can get some...odd physical descriptions of entrants on their documents. You can literally get a description that says nothing more than "no glasses". Said entrant will invariably be wearing glasses.
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One Herman strip featured a man who had been tied up and left lying face-flat on the floor by a burglar. The only thing he can give the police is a very detailed description of the crook's shoes and shoelaces.
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In Cornered!, when a man goes running out of the store, the best description a bystander can give is "he was wearing a hat".
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In the King of the Hill episode where Hank's father runs of to Las Vegas to not deal with the responsibility of supporting his pregnant wife and incoming son. While looking for him, Hank asks a card dealer:
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Geralt from The Witcher often has to deal with peasants for information when tracking down a monster. Unfortunately the testimony mostly boils down to 'it was big and scary' or 'I didn't get a good look because I were runnin' the other way.' It's all Geralt can do not to Face Palm.
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Discworld:
In Maskerade, the angry mob is absolutely certain of the identity of the Ghost of the Ankh-Morpork Opera House; he's the guy in the mask. Granny Weatherwax has to point out the flaw in their logic, and when that doesn't work, she has to exploit that exact same flaw.
This came up earlier in Witches Abroad, where The Girl Who Fits This Slipper trope is pointed out to have this problem. The same slipper that fit Emberella could also fit, say, Nanny Ogg.
Also used in Going Postal, when Moist reflects on how tricky he was to describe.
Also from Going Postal. People apparently keep going into the library of Unseen University (which contains every book that exists and many that don't) to ask questions like "Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins".note If they receive an answer, it's probably "Oook."
Likewise, when Ridcully's trying to bring to mind one of his staff - "You know, thingummy, got a funny name...". Of course, on the Discworld, this is no help at all.
In The Truth, William de Worde takes a statement from a robbery victim that includes "I shall recognize him if I see him again as not many people wear a stocking on their head."
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Relativity:
In "Highway Robbery", a suspect is described as "he had a mustache." This ends up subverting this trope because it actually turns out to be a vital clue.
The trope is played straight in "Master Blankard's Pawn", when one witness describes a thief as being "ugly", and a second witness gives the slightly more helpful description, "He was dressed in winter colors but he was definitely an autumn."
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Columbo: In "The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case", when Columbo asks witnesses about the killer's build, one says he was heavy, another claims he seemed average, and a third claims he was light and possibly even a woman.
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The Grand Theft Auto series in general has the police giving highly generic descriptions over the radio, likely to cut down on voice work. A stolen police car is a "police car", a sports car of any make is simply designated by "[color] sports car", the same likewise applies to any generalization of vehicle type, and a military attack chopper is bizarrely a "red helicopter" (this is due to it having red as its default color code, despite the military paint job; red paint chips even flake off if you hit something). Not that this stops any police officer from knowing it's you from this generic description. Later games subvert this by having the radio controller initially give vague descriptions of the player's vehicle, but start giving more specific ones as the chase goes on, including the car's make and model.
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No Country for Old Men: "What do you suggest that we circulate, 'looking for a man who has recently drunk milk'?"
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Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: Hercules scouts someone for Phil's hero training, and apparently never describes him beyond 'a kid with potential'. Thus, when Roxas shows up at Olympus Coliseum on reconnaissance and completely fails to keep hidden, Phil thinks he's the new rookie. Phil himself falls into this trope by never checking the description with Herc, and so puts Roxas through the wringer until the Games end with a Heartless gatecrash, Roxas wraps up his mission before Phil gets back, and Phil asks where Roxas went.
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This exchange from The Order of the Stick, strip 602:
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In The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret , Todd suspects that his subordinate Dave has stolen his entire inventory. When he gives a description to the police, he's completely unable to give any helpful information about him. The cop issues a sarcastic APB to lampshade Todd's useless description.
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James Bond examples:
In Octopussy, as Bond speeds through the American Air Base's security checkpoint to stop a bomb from detonating, the Security Guard has only this to say:
In The Man with the Golden Gun, when Bond talks to Miss Anders about Scaramanga:
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In Witness, the best description that young Samuel, visiting from the nearby Amish community, can give of the murderer whose face he saw is basically that he was a black man. The detective assigned to the case gets nowhere, with either a line-up or a collection of mugshots, until Samuel wanders the police department and spots the killer in a newspaper clipping of a narcotics officer.
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In The Man with the Golden Gun, when Bond talks to Miss Anders about Scaramanga:
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In The X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", a police force has The Stupendous Yappi, a psychic detective on the payroll:
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The Swan Princess: The dying king describes Rothbart's transformed form (which is a gigantic bat-man hybrid) who attacked him and took Odette, as "a great animal" that "is not what it seems". This (and Derek's discovery that the king meant a transforming "animal") doesn't really helps them in determining which animal to start looking for and as such leads to hilarity (comic sidekick Bromley trying unsuccessfully to attack various small animals) and drama (Derek trying to kill the transformed Odette, because an animal that "is not what it seems" obviously could disguise itself into something like a swan...).
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In the series finale of NUMB3RS Don's gun is knocked from its holster when he's knocked down while making an arrest, and someone else picks it up before he can. The next scene begins with Colby relaying a report.
Surprise, surprise, they don't get the guy (though they do eventually track down the gun).
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There's a non-criminal variant in Fallout 3, in which the best description the Lone Wanderer can come up with for his/her own father is "middle-aged." Also, when the player has a bounty placed on them, it gives only their name, sex and race.
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In The Venture Bros. one episode sees Dr Orpheus get a promotional video from the Guild soliciting him to hire an Arch-Nemesis. He asks his daughter who delivered it, and she replies: "I dunno, some guy in a winter coat, and techno-goggles. Oh, and he had, like, pipes coming out of him."
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In Black Lagoon, the L'homme Sombre arc kicks off with five women searching Roanapur for a tall black man. While that would be unusual in most of Thailand, Roanapur is a Wretched Hive attracting all sorts of criminals and within a couple days, they've already questioned at least six such men.
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In an episode of Quantum Leap the only thing the witness to a murder (a young boy who was hiding under a bed) can remember is that the perp "kept money in his shoes," which makes no sense to anyone. Sam eventually realizes that a character who wears penny loafers - complete with pennies - is the killer.
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Subverted in the third Valhalla album, when Thor tries to describe his encounter with a mysterious stranger. Loki asks "How many eyes did he have?", and it occurs to Thor that the stranger was, in fact, one-eyed, which means it was probably Odin (who has been missing for a while).
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Archer, when Archer helps a group of illegal immigrants in "Coyote Lovely", using the 1973 Chevy Bel Air station wagon ISIS supplied him, Lana and Cyril for the mission, Malory has Bilbo look search for it via satellite, but only tells him it's a station wagon and it's in Texas. Bilbo pulls up images of random wagons and snarkily asks if each is the right car.note One of them is the right car, as Archer has his head out of the window, but no-one is looking due to arguing.
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In Snowball's introductory episode in Pinky and the Brain, the Brain asks Pinky to describe Snowball. While Pinky does note a defining detail (he had a tattoo on his leg underneath his fur), his description beforehand was delivered in an... interesting manner:
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From Barton Fink:
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This immortal line from an RST Video customer in Clerks:
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Warehouse 13:
In "Implosion", Artie asks Pete to describe a thief he saw walk past immediately after having been basically knocked out by an implosion grenade. All Pete can up with is, "not... female?"
A rare non-person-related from the pilot, in which Artie's description of the artifact Pete and Myka are looking for as "bigger than a bread box... or smaller".
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Happens in L.A. Noire. One witness can only describe a suspected criminal as 'sorta average'.
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RuneScape's "Player-Owned Ports" minigame has a minigame where the Black Marketeer is forced to help assassins locate their targets in a crowd. The assassins provide only one clue to start, which may be what color top/trousers their mark is wearing, the target's gender, or indeed whether or not they are wearing a hat (note: males with head kerchiefs are considered hatless). As you spot false targets, they will gradually give you further hints that help narrow it down.
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El Chavo del ocho: Professor Girafales once gave Quico a cat as a birthday gift. When the cat vanished and Quico went looking for him, the only description he offered what that he had four paws. Don Ramon asked, in Sarcasm Mode, if he had two eyes. Comically Missing the Point, Quico confirmed it in excitement.
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Murdoch Mysteries: In "Rich Boy, Poor Boy", Inspector' Brackenreid's son is kidnapped. The other boy who was present provides the police sketch artist with a detailed description... of the man's hat.
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87th Precinct: In Lady, Lady I Did It, a gunman opens fire in a crowded bookstore; killing several people. Despite there being multiple eyewitnesses, the police are unable to get an accurate description as most of them were focused on the gun. And, even then, the description of the gun varies greatly from person to person. It turns out, the gunman was using two quite different guns; one in each hand.
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The rather unhelpful description of Sayid that Shannon gives the security officer in a season 1 episode of LOST.
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In one episode of NCIS, the victim's co-worker says that the victim called in sick, but that she saw her just an hour later walking down a street with a man that wasn't her husband, and that she didn't look sick at all. When Ziva asks her to describe the man, she answers that "he was a male." A subversion, though, since it turns out she was Obfuscating Stupidity. In another episode, a man witnesses a close friend being murdered right in front of him and he's so shocked by what he witnesses that the only thing he can remember about the killer is that he was wearing a blue hat.
Palmer's been the witness twice, and boy is he bad at it. In one episode, Ducky is stabbed, and Palmer's description of the woman is "She's wearing a green headscarf." They find the discarded scarf around the corner, so now they're looking for a woman without a headscarf. In the other episode, he sees both the suspect and his passport, but even under hypnosis, he can only describe the suspect as angry and the passport as blue (which, as McGee is quick to point out, is the most common color for passports, so they can't even begin to narrow down a country).
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Monk:
In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man," a serial killer has struck and killed ten random people in random gruesome ways. Disher informs Stottlemeyer that the FBI has sent a psych profile down. Stottlemeyer promptly puts the file to his head and makes a blind guess:
In "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger," Randy is chasing down a streaker who's been disrupting police press conferences.
The novel Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu has a hit-and-run where the witnesses can't seem to agree on what model of car was being driven, only that it's a sedan. Monk figures out that this is because the killer smeared mud all over the car to make it hard to identify.
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An early episode of The Cleveland Show has this cutaway gag:
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Law & Order:
An early episode features an entire street full of people who have been dragged down to the precinct after a murder who can only offer vague, contradictory and nearly-useless descriptions of the victim, the suspect, and exactly what happened between them. Some of the witnesses were standing right next to one or both of these parties. The cops, not surprisingly, are a little exasperated. This episode was a comment on homelessness in New York at the time. Many of the witnesses were mentally ill people who had been dumped on the streets. The one moderately functional one says she didn't see anything because she doesn't have the glasses social services has been promising to get for her, and asks the cops if they can help her with that. Finally, one of the people, who is quite elderly, and was initially dismissed, actually turns out to be the healthiest, sanest person there, with some useful information.
In the episode "License to Kill," the detectives try to get a description of a vehicle that was involved in a serious accident and most of the descriptions contradict each other. The only thing all the witnesses agree on is that the vehicle had a yellow ribbon bumper sticker, which is not useful at all because these bumper stickers are very common (and, usually being magnetic, very easily removed). In a subversion, there turns out to be a good reason for the differing descriptions: there were two vehicles.
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In Octopussy, as Bond speeds through the American Air Base's security checkpoint to stop a bomb from detonating, the Security Guard has only this to say:
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Bob's Burgers: In "Tweentrepreneurs", Bob's Burgers is the victim of a dine-and-dash. Teddy tries to draw a facial composite of the dine and dasher based on what he and Linda can remember about his looks. All they can remember is that he had two eyes and a nose.
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The Good Place: Chidi was so averse to deadlines that he never named his dog. When it ran away, he posted signs saying "responds to long pauses".
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a07c34e6
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a07c34e6
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In The Voyage Of Alice, one of the first books in Alice, Girl from the Future series, many characters describe the suspected Big Bad as "a human wearing a hat". At best – "wearing a hat, elderly and thin". And even that turns out to be a disguise.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a07c34e6
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a07c34e6
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 The Voyage Of Alice
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_a07c34e6
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a32b6a64
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a32b6a64
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Done to heartbreaking effect in The West Wing. A Secret Service agent knows that a suspicious man in a ball cap has been seen around. After the president is shot, she's in shock and can't remember anything else —not even what logo was on the cap.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a32b6a64
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a32b6a64
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 The West Wing
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_a32b6a64
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a9347d80
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a9347d80
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When trying to find a card thief in Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, the only useful thing witnesses say was that the suspect has blond hair—which leads Joey to deny the theft and mistakenly accuse Mai. The thief turns out to be Bandit Keith, whose hair is very short and tied back with an American flag bandanna.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a9347d80
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_a9347d80
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 Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour (Video Game)
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_a9347d80
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab2a760
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab2a760
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We know next to nothing about the child murderer from Five Nights at Freddy's. All we know is that he's male. The second game gives us some possible hints…but they still might not tell us the whole story. For one, he's somewhat taller than Freddy is. Second, he drives a purple car. Third, he has a badge. And finally, he seems to be holding a phone-like object.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab2a760
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 Five Nights at Freddy's (Video Game)
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab2a760
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab3a6a48
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab3a6a48
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Heavy Rain has a meta example. After Ethan's son, Shaun, disappears, he reports to the police. There, they'll ask for a description of the boy, and it's up to the player to answer. If you're like most people, chances are you won't remember what exactly Shaun was wearing and will give the wrong answer.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab3a6a48
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab3a6a48
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 Heavy Rain (Video Game)
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ab3a6a48
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac5db594
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac5db594
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In The Dead Zone, Sheriff Bannerman mentions that all the description they have about the serial killer they are looking for is this: a boy "thinks he might have seen "some guy" at the scene of the crime.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac5db594
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac5db594
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 The Dead Zone
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac5db594
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac8b90f5
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac8b90f5
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In Mage: The Ascension, the Arcane ability weaponizes this trope. It messes with the victim's recollections so they cannot provide an accurate description (they'll forget some of these: age, hair color, clothing, items carried, even sex). While more costly, it can be more powerful when used on multiple targets, since their descriptions will conflict with each other. Even if someone remembers you well, everyone else will insist that their memories are also accurate. Higher ranks of Arcane will also cause photographs of you to beceome blurry, and database entries about you to disappear.
The lesser-known science fictio game Alternity copies this in its psionic power Obscure.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac8b90f5
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_ac8b90f5
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b0ec0986
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b0ec0986
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Several times in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ventus describes Terra as a tall guy with clothing somewhat similar to his own, which proves sufficient the one time he gives that description to someone who has seen Terra. When searching for Ventus, Aqua describes him to Scrooge McDuck as simply "a boy who's not from around here". Again, this is enough for Scrooge to point her in the right direction.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b0ec0986
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 Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (Video Game)
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_b0ec0986
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9419bd1
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9419bd1
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In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you can at one point see a Belltower goon talking to a civilian in the street, describing the person they're looking for as "a heavily augmented white male, wearing a long coat and dark glasses". Not a very helpful set of clues in a world that faithfully employs many of the Cyberpunk Tropes.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9419bd1
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 Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Video Game)
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9419bd1
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9b7ebab
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9b7ebab
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In D.C. Cab, Harold asks Mr. Rhythm if he remembers which cab he found the violin in. Mr. Rhythm replies: "Of course I do. It was the yellow one."
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9b7ebab
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9b7ebab
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 D.C. Cab
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9b7ebab
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9e26f05
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9e26f05
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In Fargo, none of the witnesses can describe Carl Showalter (played by Steve Buscemi) as anything more than "kinda funny looking" ("in a general way"). Well, except the one hooker who says he was uncircumcised. Meanwhile, his partner-in-crime Gaear Grimsrud (played by Peter Stormare) is only described as "Swedish".
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9e26f05
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 Fargo
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_b9e26f05
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9a9454
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9a9454
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In Se7en, Detective Mills interviews John Doe's neighbors, and gets descriptions of a man between ages 30 and 40, between 150 and 160 pounds, and between and in height.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9a9454
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1.0
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9a9454
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9d1b1c
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9d1b1c
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In Signs, Graham and Merrill are giving their cop friend a description of the trespasser they saw on their property the previous night. The suspect in question was a Grey and the two brothers aren't quite ready to believe that there's an Alien Invasion going on yet, so the only concrete statement she gets out of them are that the suspect is well over six feet tall, presumably male judging by its athleticisim, and, repeatedly, that it was very dark.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9d1b1c
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 Signs
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_ba9d1b1c
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_baa79d8d
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_baa79d8d
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Played with in Taken. When the daughter is being kidnapped, her father tells her specifically to scream identifying characteristics into her cell phone, so he can have something to work with when rescuing her. That doesn't really add much evidence to his searching though, and the real lead comes from when the kidnapper talks into the cell phone after kidnapping the daughter. She does manage to describe a tattoo the man has, which lets Brian identify the gang.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_baa79d8d
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 Taken
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_baa79d8d
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bc8b5fa4
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bc8b5fa4
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Averted in The Night of the Generals. While the witness could only provide one, seemingly unimportant detail regarding the killer (he was wearing trousers with a red stripe on them), that description greatly narrows down the field of suspects, as only German generals wear trousers with a red stripe. Major Grau quickly narrows the suspect pool to the three generals in the city who do not have alibis.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bc8b5fa4
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_bc8b5fa4
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bd15aa4d
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bd15aa4d
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Little Lunch: In "The Relationship", the boys try to identify which of the grade 6 girls sent Rory the note. They are told she is the one with the ponytail. Needless to say, all of the grade 6 girls have ponytails.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bd15aa4d
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1.0
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 Little Lunch
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_bd15aa4d
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Suspect Is Hatless
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Welcome to Night Vale:
The Man In The Tan Jacket, who is unremarkable and indescribable to anyone who sees him, outside of noting that he wears a tan jacket and carries a briefcase full of flies. He is "about five or six-foot something, probably with hair and normal human features." Admittedly, this is Night Vale, where "[probably has] normal human features" excludes a fair chunk of residents and visitors.
Cecil and Kevin's descriptions of each other are basically "this is a guy who looks like me only creepier". Without telling the audience what "looks like me" actually means. The only concrete things we get is that they are neither tall nor short, fat nor thin, and have at least two eyes; Kevin's being completely black.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bfef9cdb
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_bfef9cdb
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 Welcome to Night Vale (Podcast)
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_bfef9cdb
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c0d295c4
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c0d295c4
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Trying to describe spies in Team Fortress 2 to teammates can fall into this trope. Shouting the spy's disguise might work if he's in the heart of battle, but if he's just changed (which good players do often) or has the knife "Your Eternal Reward", it's likely he's someone completely different. Or invisible.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c0d295c4
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c0d295c4
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 Team Fortress 2 (Video Game)
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_c0d295c4
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c1aca30b
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c1aca30b
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Bobwhite:
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c1aca30b
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c1aca30b
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 Webcomic: Bobwhite
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_c1aca30b
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c75d67d
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c75d67d
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In Person of Interest, Reese is known as "The Man in the Suit" because the official police description of him is "Tall, dark hair, nice suit," a description that probably matches at least 10,000 people in New York City. The police actually have some photos of him taken when he was questioned in the pilot but at the time he was homeless, had a bushy beard and shabby clothes. The photos are not useful in identifying how he looks once he cleans up.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c75d67d
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c75d67d
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 Series: Person of Interest
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_c75d67d
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c8e967b2
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c8e967b2
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In Liquidation, the first that is learned about one of the gang leaders is that he is usually disguised as a Red Army captain. Since the plot is set in 1946 Odessa, it's not much help to the investigation.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c8e967b2
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_c8e967b2
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 Liquidation
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_c8e967b2
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca08598f
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The Wire:
A murder victim is asked who shot him shortly before dying was said to have only told a police officer it was "a guy with a gun".
Omar Little and Brother Mouzone kill Stringer Bell and his bodyguard, which is witnessed by developer Andy Krawczyk. During the crime scene investigation, Krawczyk's description of the shooters is, "I told you I saw only the one. I know he was black. Big, I thought. With a large weapon." Or, as Bunk puts it when debriefing Rawls, a classic "BNBG" - "Big Negro Big Gun." This is especially ironic because Omar not only has a distinctive outfit (duster, do-rag and flak jacket) but also a huge facial scar. Not that it means much to Bunk, who immediately knows Omar was behind it due to his past run-ins with him.
Invoked by De'londa Brice, who wants her son Namond to be a drug dealer and makes him cut off his ponytail, claiming that it lets even white police officers easily identify him.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca08598f
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca08598f
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 The Wire
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca08598f
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca9d66af
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca9d66af
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The first movie El Mariachi plays this straight, which is what kicks off the plot as there's two men "dressed in black, carrying a guitar case" walking around town. Apart from that, neither of them look anything like each other.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca9d66af
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca9d66af
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 El Mariachi
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ca9d66af
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccc80720
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccc80720
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On My Life as a Teenage Robot, episode "See No Evil", Jenny gets descriptions from several people in the crowd, that are all things like "he had a coat and a hat" before someone finally goes, "I remember — he was invisible!"
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccc80720
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 My Life as a Teenage Robot
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccc80720
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccf875f7
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccf875f7
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Criminal Minds:
Occasionally lampshaded when the profilers give an especially vague description.
At one point, when a profile turned up something like "middle-aged white man who hates his job," Morgan sarcastically offered to go arrest half of D.C. Fortunately for D.C, they can usually narrow it down eventually.
In "Snake Eyes", the profile indicated that they were looking for a gambler . . . in Atlantic City.
In "Middle Man," the team had a case in an Indiana farming community and their profile suggested that the UnSub was local and worked in agriculture. A local police officer then points out that half of Indiana is farmland.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccf875f7
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hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ccf875f7
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ce5342b2
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ce5342b2
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In one chapter of Dragon Half, Rosario and Vina independently summon up monsters and send them to kill Mink, describing her as having horns, wings, and a tail. Since both monsters also meet this description, they end up killing each other before running into Mink.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ce5342b2
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_ce5342b2
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hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_ce5342b2
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cf2d20a8
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cf2d20a8
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In Johnny Bravo, Johnny is accused of stealing cookies stolen by another man he saw. When asked about him, Johnny says that he has two arms. In Johnny's defense, this was a great shout-out to The Fugitive.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cf2d20a8
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cf2d20a8
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_cf2d20a8
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cfb00a9c
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cfb00a9c
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Parodied in Paddington:
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cfb00a9c
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_cfb00a9c
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 Paddington
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_cfb00a9c
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d03f72c7
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d03f72c7
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In Desperado, the first description Bucho gets of Navajas is that he has brown hair and eyes, which Bucho points out, is not exactly distinctive in Mexico. The description then goes on to list some actually useful information.
The first movie El Mariachi plays this straight, which is what kicks off the plot as there's two men "dressed in black, carrying a guitar case" walking around town. Apart from that, neither of them look anything like each other.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d03f72c7
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d03f72c7
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 Desperado
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_d03f72c7
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d634ac98
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d634ac98
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In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a Scotland Yard sketcher tries to make a drawing of Mr. Hyde after he becomes a suspect in a murder, though they can't quite get one due to inconsistent descriptions, which finally agree on him saying he was deformed, but nothing was quite wrong with him. This became something of a Subverted Trope over time, as modern audiences became more familiar with the Uncanny Valley.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d634ac98
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d634ac98
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 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_d634ac98
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d7f8a855
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d7f8a855
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The kid witness Gillie in Tiger Bay describes the murderer to the police as a "tall-ish, fair-ish, fat-ish man... with a hat". Although she's doing it on purpose to help the real murderer escape.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d7f8a855
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d7f8a855
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 Tiger Bay
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_d7f8a855
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d8118f41
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d8118f41
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Inverted in an episode of Blue Heelers:
It turns out she faked the robbery herself.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d8118f41
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d8118f41
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hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_d8118f41
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d9c602eb
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South Park: When Butters' mom tries to drown him, she blames his disappearance on "some Puerto Rican guy" of average Puerto Rican height.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d9c602eb
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_d9c602eb
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 South Park
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_d9c602eb
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_da2b2d26
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_da2b2d26
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Cammie in The Gallagher Girls often describes herself as such.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_da2b2d26
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_da2b2d26
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 The Gallagher Girls
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_da2b2d26
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_db88afd0
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One episode of NCIS: New Orleans had Nick Torres (in a guest cameo from the main series) report that he's in pursuit of a suspect in a harlequin suit. The series takes place in New Orleans, and it was the Mardi Gras episode. There was a party with at least a hundred people in harlequin costumes present less than a block away from the scene of the crime. It doesn't help that when the local cops try to ask people in the area if they'd seen anyone acting suspiciously, the only person who comes to mind turns out to be Nick.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_db88afd0
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_db88afd0
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 NCIS: New Orleans
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_db88afd0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dbaabb61
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dbaabb61
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The 1934 Mickey Mouse short The Dognapper has the police chief give officers Mickey and Donald a description of dognapper Pete's car: "Four wheels, two headlights, driver in front seat."
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dbaabb61
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dbaabb61
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_dbaabb61
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dc3ba20f
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In the first Sammy Keyes book, the heroine sees a murderer but can only tell police that the man is of average height and weight, looking about thirty.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dc3ba20f
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dc3ba20f
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 Sammy Keyes
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_dc3ba20f
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_de595ef1
type
Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_de595ef1
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The lesser-known science fictio game Alternity copies this in its psionic power Obscure.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_de595ef1
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_de595ef1
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1.0
 Tabletop Game: Alternity
hasFeature
Suspect Is Hatless / int_de595ef1
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dfcb694a
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dfcb694a
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In The Valley of Fear, the court system in the eponymous Wretched Hive browbeats the witnesses into reducing their testimony to "the perpetrator had a beard". (This was 1875.) It's standard enough practice that members of the local crime network regard getting arrested for felonies the way urban hooligans regard a night's lock-up for disorderly conduct - an inconvenience at worst and a rite of passage at best.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dfcb694a
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 Suspect Is Hatless / int_dfcb694a
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_dfcb694a
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Suspect Is Hatless
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_e08cf0e4
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In one issue of Groo the Wanderer, Groo asks a passerby whether he has seen the man who was standing next to where Groo was standing a while back.
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_e08cf0e4
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1.0
 Suspect Is Hatless / int_e08cf0e4
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Suspect Is Hatless / int_e08cf0e4
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Suspect Is Hatless
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Grand Theft Auto IV
Niko is hired by Playboy X to kill someone. Unfortunately his description is unhelpful, to say the least:
At this point X gives up and gives Niko a camera phone so he can go to the place the guy hangs out and send him pictures so he can point out who the target is.
Played with in the case of the U.L. Paper contact. When Niko asks him if he's afraid Niko will rat him out, one of the several reasons he says he is not is the fact that they are sitting in a building with at least a hundred people matching his description (paunchy, middle aged, glasses).
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Spike escapes from being held as an experimental subject by the Initiative, but is unable to recall any faces. Considering the kinds of things Buffy regularly goes up against, this following bit of information is relevant. Not particularly helpful, but relevant.
After first encountering Glory, the Season 5 Big Bad, all Buffy can tells Giles is that she looks human, acts like Cordelia and recently dyed her hair blond.
Faith unhelpfully describes a demon as looking "demonic". Even though she'd knocked off his hat to expose his distinctive demon features, making him literally hatless.
Justified in the spin-off series Angel when witnesses on a subway train give vague descriptions because they don't want to admit a demon attacked them.
Cordelia has trouble describing the demons in her visions as they're accompanied by convulsions and searing pain (she gets better with practice).
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Happens a few times in Ace Attorney, although there's most always an actual reason for it. One such time is in the third case of Investigations, where a witness can't recall any details apart from "they were two men". This was because she was sitting way too far away to be able to tell even the fact that the "two men" were wearing mascot costumes. In fact, it so happens she had even guessed at the two people being men (which turns out to be incorrect, as one of them was a woman), so in the end all her testimony boiled down to was that they were "two people". For the most part, descriptions of witnesses tend to fall onto one point, justified by the fact that these points are very unusual and eye-catching. For example, one case involves a witness claiming that the killer wore a "Nickel Samurai" outfit. A lot of testimonies also tend to have the witness' identification simply be some variation of: "That person was the defendant who's sitting over there."
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One of the powers of Assassin of Black (Jack the Ripper) in Fate/Apocrypha is to invoke this. Anyone who fights Assassin and survives the fight quickly forgets all details of their opponent, so they cannot describe Assassin to anyone else, or recognize Assassin should their paths cross again. This stems from the fact that the powers of Servants are derived from their legends, and a key part of Jack the Ripper's legend is the fact that Jack was never conclusively identified.
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The Dog's attempt to describe Cousin Cathy in Footrot Flats includes that she only has hair on the top of her head and she walks on her hind legs, because all humans look alike to him. Fortunately, Wal can't understand him anyway.
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Sherlock Holmes:
In The Valley of Fear, the court system in the eponymous Wretched Hive browbeats the witnesses into reducing their testimony to "the perpetrator had a beard". (This was 1875.) It's standard enough practice that members of the local crime network regard getting arrested for felonies the way urban hooligans regard a night's lock-up for disorderly conduct - an inconvenience at worst and a rite of passage at best.
The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, after Holmes and Watson burglarize the titular blackmailer's house, witness his murder and barely get away. Then there's the meeting with Lestrade:
Invoked in The Hound of the Baskervilles, when Watson supposes Holmes knew he was hiding in the hut by his footprint. Holmes corrects him by showing it was with Watson's particular brand of cigarette (which are made by a London tobacconist, and can't be bought locally around Baskerville Hall).
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Breaking Bad: Hank interrogates a methhead named Russell who was caught with a packet of blue meth:
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In Mafia II, the police dispatch's description of the protagonist is laughably vague; usually something along the lines of "White male, dark hair, medium build." Although this never seems to prevent policemen from recognizing Vito on sight.
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On Forever Abe thinks that someone stole a statue from his store so he has Henry do a Sherlock Scan to figure out who the thief was. Henry reluctantly takes a look but all he has to go on is a dust void on the table where the statue stood. From this he mockingly concludes that the suspect is someone tall enough and strong enough to pick up the statue without sliding it and thus disturbing the rest of the dust on the table (ie most adults and teenagers in the world).
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In Sekirei, Benitsubasa calls the Izumo Inn and demands to speak to the "big-breasted woman". Among the 108 Sekirei, there's maybe ten who don't fit that description and half those are men or children.
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The 2017 Youngblood relaunch begins with a character trying to report her missing friend to the police. The problem? They're both superheroes, and she doesn't know his real name or what he looks like without a mask. The best that she can give is his hero name (Man-Up) and the fact that he's tall.
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Kingdom Hearts is prone to this; the writers seem strangely averse to having any character give out another's physical description, so when they absolutely have to, they keep it incredibly vague.
Kingdom Hearts II: In Hollow Bastion, Tifa Lockhart is looking for "a guy with spiky hair".
Also in II, Cloud's description of Sephiroth is "Silver hair, carries a big sword," narrowing it down to two traits that are incredibly common in their home franchise.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: Hercules scouts someone for Phil's hero training, and apparently never describes him beyond 'a kid with potential'. Thus, when Roxas shows up at Olympus Coliseum on reconnaissance and completely fails to keep hidden, Phil thinks he's the new rookie. Phil himself falls into this trope by never checking the description with Herc, and so puts Roxas through the wringer until the Games end with a Heartless gatecrash, Roxas wraps up his mission before Phil gets back, and Phil asks where Roxas went.
Several times in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ventus describes Terra as a tall guy with clothing somewhat similar to his own, which proves sufficient the one time he gives that description to someone who has seen Terra. When searching for Ventus, Aqua describes him to Scrooge McDuck as simply "a boy who's not from around here". Again, this is enough for Scrooge to point her in the right direction.
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In Babylon 5, "There All the Honor Lies", witness is Minbari — he is bald and has bone on his head, which describes the entire race (Apart from Delenn). The tone in his voice makes it clear that Sheridan is in Sarcasm Mode when he says it, knowing full well how useless the information is. Garibaldi echoes this sentiment when he mutters "We're going to need a big line-up room."
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Invoked in The Hound of the Baskervilles, when Watson supposes Holmes knew he was hiding in the hut by his footprint. Holmes corrects him by showing it was with Watson's particular brand of cigarette (which are made by a London tobacconist, and can't be bought locally around Baskerville Hall).
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Hill Street Blues: Inverted during a story arc involving a lengthy murder investigation, where a supposed witness was giving a description that was so detailed and such a perfect match for their suspect that Captain Furillo was a little suspicious, especially since reward money was involved. He was right; turns out the guy's girlfriend worked for the police department, and coached him with details that they deliberately hadn't released to the media.
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Justified:
Subverted when Boyd is trying to find out who killed two drug dealers under his protection but the only witness is a big dog person and describes people by comparing them to dog breeds. The fact that the man she saw looked like a husky does not help Boyd much. However, when she mentions that like a husky the man had blue eyes, he realizes that it was Robert Quarles.
In season 4, the Marshals need to locate Drew Thompson who 30 years ago faked his own death. They have no official records of what he looked like and Drew made sure to destroy all photos of himself before he disappeared. They locate his ex-wife but all they get from her is a description of what he looked like 30 years ago and she might be lying about that. In desperation they have her look at DMV photos of local men who are the right age and she points out twenty four men who might be Drew. Boyd Crowder and the Detroit Mob are also searching for Drew but they don't fare much better. They end up resorting to taking photos of the men they think might be Drew and sending them to Theo Tonin who knew Drew in the 80s. It turns out that Drew is the local sheriff who was known to both sides and has been helping the Marshals in their search.
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Need for Speed Hot Pursuit:
There is a race where everyone drives a red McLaren, but police will still say "suspect is driving a red McLaren" (which is admittedly accurate enough, given how few of those exist; just pull over any red McLaren you see!) Also, in other races if you go fast enough, they'll sometimes only get the colour of your vehicle.
Averted in the very first Hot Pursuit, where cops would give out more detail, for example, "Half-mile from Summit Tunnel".
Hot Pursuit 2010 provides us with this example:
In the original Hot Pursuit, as well as High Stakes, cops refer to any add-on car as a "Sports Car", regardless of whatever the car actually is. This is a reuse of the chatter used when the player drives the fictional El Nino.
Most Wanted (and Carbon, by extension, since it reuses a lot of scanner chatter) has varying levels of this when the dispatcher reports she doesn't have the make or model of your car. Sometimes it's reasonable but frustrating ("Hold on for the description, we're having a bit of trouble with our translator) sometimes it falls squarely into this trope ("Caller says it's a sports car." You can practically hear the dispatcher rolling her eyes).
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The Punisher (2017): When Frank realizes that the man who just set off bombs across New York City is Lewis Wilson, a member of Curtis's support group, he tells David that the bomber is "Lewis and he drives a cab", asking him if he can find him in a database. David points out that this is not a lot to go on. Frank then gives additional details, such as his age range, ethnicity, and his status as an Army veteran, which David admits narrows it down.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

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Comedy Tropes
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Crime and Punishment Tropes
 Groo the Wanderer (Comic Book) / int_7e1184d8
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 Relic of the Future (Fanfic) / int_7e1184d8
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 Film: Rurouni Kenshin
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 Contributor's Page make a to do send a pm add to watchlist drop watch go to watchlist Premonition 45
seeAlso
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 Series: Garo The One Who Shines In The Darkness
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