NBC’s light-hearted cop-comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which chronicles the adventures of a New York Police Department precinct, is about to come to an end after 8 critically acclaimed seasons. Led by the stone-faced Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), the Brooklyn 99 precinct has given us some incredibly wholesome laughs thanks to the goofy antics of detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), the inimitable sass of Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), or the slovenly sloth of detectives Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller). Loaded with jokes and character beats, one of the best examples of the show’s high bar for writing is their cold opens. Totally unrelated to the narrative of the rest of the episode, the cold open immediately sets the mood for the hilarious journey that they have planned for the viewers.
Choosing the most memorable ones is no easy task, but we’ve given it a shot. So here are some of the funniest, silliest, wackiest cold opens from the Nine-Nine!
1. Ant Invasion! [S2, The Defense Rests]
The season 2 episode The Defense Rests starts with a literal cold open. The precinct is covered in ants and things escalate quickly when they get onto Amy Santiago’s sanitised desk using Jake’s monitor cord, and finally get to Sergeant Terry’s beloved yogurt. Captain Holt suggests freezing out the ants who seem to be seeking refuge from the cold weather. Letting in the cold air and snow, the detectives are the ones in discomfort and covered in layers and layers of warm clothes… which are soon invaded by the ants!
2. The Oopsie Doodle [S1, Unsolvable]
Captain Holt is known for his lack of emotional display and keeping his personal life a mystery. So when he walks into the precinct with a cast on his hand, everyone starts speculating on what might have caused the injury. Jake obviously has the most reasonable answer—he must’ve hurt his hand by smiling. The Captain quickly renders the conversation moot by telling them he slipped on an uneven sidewalk. As everyone gets back to work he whispers to Jake alone that he hurt his hand while hula-hooping, but that nobody would ever believe him. Check and mate, Jake!
3. Oldest Bag [S1, The Vulture]
When Jake brings in an 81-year-old drug dealer, it sparks a conversation about the oldest person everyone has ever arrested. Boyle, who is not known for his discretion or his sharp eye, misinterprets the discussion thinking they’re talking about the oldest person they’ve slept with. Like your normal everyday workplace conversation, right? He goes on to tell them about the time he bedded his college friend’s 61-year-old grandmother at the ‘tender age of 20’. We dare you not to laugh when he talks about the hip replacement which enabled her to make love like a ‘Transformer’.
4. The Holt Off [S4, Mr Santiago]
Throughout the show, Jake does several impressions of Captain Holt. In this cold open, he takes it upon himself put an end to the age-old question—who does the best Captain Holt impression?—with everyone taking turns to impersonate Holt eating a marshmallow. You’ll never guess who wins!
5. Wife or Dog? [S1, Ebony Falcon]
The Nine-Nine investigates whether the Kelly that Scully keeps mentioning is his dog or his wife. They start to decode all the things Scully says which slowly turns into a game of 20 questions, with everyone interrogating Scully to solve the mystery. Scully is effortlessly evasive though, and eventually a frustrated Jake asks him the question straight up.
6. Holt Break-Dancing [S3, Hostage Situation]
Things take a weird turn when Captain Holt, Jake, and Boyle are taking a walk down the street and a dancer knocks the coffee out of Holt’s hands with his moves. Polite as ever, Captian Holt decides to defuse the situation in the most civilised manner possible—a dance-off!
7. Crazy in Interrogation [S4, Your Honor]
When Terry and Boyle fail to crack a criminal for six hours, Jake steps in to try his luck. Which runs out almost immediately, as he steps into the interrogation room and breaks the door handle. Locked in with a crazy criminal, Jake’s claustrophobia kicks in, leading to the invention of one of the most bizarre interrogation techniques ever.
8. Thanks Dad [S1, The Apartment]
Jake has always had Daddy issues thanks to his alcoholic pilot father. So when he calls Holt ‘Dad’ in front of the entire precinct, it’s open season on Jake jokes. Amy, Rosa, and Terry gang up on him, and are soon joined by the perp Jake is questioning. In all this chaos, everyone misses out on one of the most disturbing things Boyle has said throughout the show: “I called Vivian ‘Mom’ once and she’s my fiancee.”
9. The Full Bullpen [S4, Skyfire Cycle]
When the Nine-Nine comes in for the night shift only to be limited to one room because the floors are being waxed, Jake looks at it as a great opportunity to do something amazing—The Full Bullpen. He puts on a helmet, gets a good luck kiss from Amy and attempts to slide from Captain Holt’s office to the elevator. Fittingly, Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now provides the soundtrack. But disaster and hilarity await as the elevator door opens to reveal… Captain Holt.
10. I Want It That Way [S5, DFW]
There’s only one way to describe this episode’s cold open—literal chills. In what might be one of the best cold opens in television history, the amazing detective/genius Jake Peralta makes the suspects in his line-up sing the Backstreet Boys hit single I Want It That Way. Though the murder witness there to identify the perp is not so amused.