Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The 10 Saddest Things About Jake


The star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the inimitably goofy Jake Peralta — part-charm, part-annoying, part-genius detective. His career at the 99th precinct is peppered with some of the most inane storylines imaginable at a police station, although to be fair, the others play as much a role in enabling his wackiness as they spend time screaming at him to grow up.

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For the most part, Jake takes life as it comes, in that he cares little for himself in comparison with his career. In fact, he has often avoided eating and sleeping for long stretches of time while on a case, such is his dedication to the role of detective. However, he’s evidently not had a perfect life, and many of his insecurities often get in the way of his peace of mind.

10 Can’t Just Ask Amy Out Normally

Jake in Season 4, Episode 18

At the beginning of the series, the tension between Jake and Amy only exists on the former’s side, as she doesn’t even consider him from a romantic perspective.

It would have been great if he had chosen to directly reveal his feelings, but instead does a whole song-and-dance routine involving competing against each other viciously. It’s not a bad thing that Jake is hesitant to express himself; many people are, but to go to such an extent is quite a pitiful thing to do (just to get attention.)

9 Inability To Act Like An Adult

Jake Peralta simply cannot find it in himself to grow up, regardless of how spectacularly precise his detective skills are. He finds pleasure in the silliest of things, turns everything serious into a game, and responds with repetitive gibberish when pushed into an emotional corner.

There is not the slightest hint of maturity in this man, which is a bit unfortunate, considering that he’s nearly forty years old at this point. Then again, a lot of the show’s humor would be lost if Jake changed, so there’s that.

8 The Way He Treats Charles

Charles doesn’t admire as much as revere Jake, but the latter enjoys the ego massage too much to stabilize their unequal relationship.

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Where Charles is ready to do anything for him, Jake loves the idea of having a personal flunky, implying that he doesn’t care about (or, at the very least, respect) his best friend. In one scenario, he even tries to take control of Charles’ case, being unable to accept not being the primary detective assigned.

7 Search For A Father Figure

Jake’s desire for a strong male authority figure in his life is patently obvious. Although his affection for Holt is indeed heartwarming, the fact that his attachment is predicated on his own absent father is rather woebegone.

He accidentally calls his captain “dad”, and often is the brunt of mild teasing from his friends over this aspect of his life. All Jake ever wanted was someone to play catch with, and he never really gets it, not for a long time.

6 His Finances

The immaturity facet of his character extends into his absolute lack of monetary knowledge — Jake has no savings, and whatever he earns is spent on utterly useless items. When Gina gently admonishes him for his irresponsibility, he lashes out at her instead of acknowledging his own failings.

Therefore, it’s a pleasant surprise when he finally comes around and takes charge of his financial life (to an extent). One major instance of this, though, is when he spends over a thousand dollars on a victory sign for a Halloween Heist that he just expects to win?

5 Cold Reaction To Nikolaj

Like Charles, who gets terrifyingly possessive of Jake at times, the latter has also reacted inhospitably to whatever he believes will replace him in his friend’s life. Even if it’s a little orphan child.

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Jake mopes around the whole time that Charles raves about his new son, Nikolaj, and makes silly excuses to avoid hanging out with the boy. Being jealous of a kid is pretty high up on the pathetic meter, especially if said jealousy morphs into rejection.

4 Doug Judy’s Constant Trickery

As of season 7, Doug Judy and Jake Peralta have become close friends (actual ones this time.) Nevertheless, the Pontiac Bandit has let the unassuming detective on a wild roller-coaster ride of crime, each time promising to do better, before ultimately reverting to his thieving ways.

Jake is deeply upset with every subsequent betrayal, which makes it all the more impressive that he’s capable of forgiving Doug for everything he puts him through. A happy ending to a very sad journey.

3 Lonely Time Growing Up

After his father and mother split up, due to the former’s incessant philandering, Jake’s personal life takes a serious toll. He regularly refers to his school days, claiming his experience of that era is responsible for his current state of mind.

The point is that Jake isn’t making it up as he goes along, but genuinely letting others know about the difficult childhood he had once suffered through. In fact, it has been suggested that his predilection for comedy and slapstick are basically a defense mechanism aimed at reducing any kind of painful triggers.

2 His Bloated Ego

Jake is certainly one of the sharpest officers in the NYPD, having solved a number of cases that others had given up hope on. He is assiduous and resourceful and doesn’t rest until whatever puzzle he’s indulging himself in has been demystified.

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The problem is that his success goes straight to his head, placing him under the patently contorted illusion that he’s under: being the best there is at everything he tries. Of course, this isn’t true, but Jake’s presumption of his greatness is premature at best, and miserable at worst.

1 Refuses Any Attack Against His Masculinity

Jake, for all his progressive viewpoints on race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on, is quite conservative when it comes to his own sense of masculine pride. Perhaps it has to do with not having a strong male role model while growing up, or maybe it’s just a reflection of bygone cultural norms desperately trying to maintain a presence amidst all the newfound wokeness.

In any case, the way he acts when, for example, Charles indulges in something traditionally seen as feminine (such as showing interest in musicals), is nothing short of sad.

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Updated: January 8, 2021 — 1:00 am

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