Definition of good cop, bad cop in English:

good cop, bad cop


  • Used to refer to a police interrogation technique in which one officer feigns a sympathetic or protective attitude while another adopts an aggressive approach.

    ‘questioners often play good cop, bad cop’
    figurative ‘the prime minister and chancellor were involved in a classic good cop, bad cop routine’
    • ‘The translator should not be used in a "good cop, bad cop" role.’
    • ‘We should play good cop, bad cop with him.’
    • ‘Viewed from Tehran, the west is playing a classic game of good cop, bad cop.’
    • ‘Playing good cop, bad cop, they alternated sweetness and challenge.’
    • ‘Now, don't play good cop, bad cop with me.’
    • ‘Mr Mills claimed that two prosecutors, playing " good cop, bad cop ", had put the words into his mouth.’
    • ‘It seems they play good cop, bad cop out on the training pitch.’
    • ‘Before, the administration seemed to want it to do kind of a good cop, bad cop with Arafat.’
    • ‘But to me, his own piece really hangs together with that of the Post in sort of a twisted "good cop, bad cop" kind of thing.’
    • ‘The reaction of England management was interesting, almost on the lines of good cop, bad cop.’