Life Lessons from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Posted on 09 September 2019,   0 Comments


I’ve been re-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine recently, and I forgot how much general good stuff is embedded in this show.

I also realised that this week’s blog post will be going out on 9/9, so I thought it would only be fitting to put together a few thoughts of things I’ve learned from the funniest NYPD squad you’ll ever come across. (I’ll also try to keep it spoiler-free, and accessible even if you’ve not watched any of the show..!)


Adversity can be a powerful thing

Captain Holt, the leader of the squad, is an openly gay black cop who had to fight against so many prejudices as he rose up through the ranks. But he used that negative energy as a driving force to help keep him going; using it as a motivation to be able to help someone else who finds themselves facing similar prejudices. 

…as a black gay man, I never had a superior who was on my side… I put all my energy towards rising to a rank where I could make a difference.

Whatever challenges you face, they don’t have to define you, and they certainly don’t have to destroy you. Let this rubbish time be a fire under you, to make you push for change; whether that’s change for yourself, or helping others who find themselves in the same position.


Find your thing, and own it

I think I find I’m most similar to Amy Santiago – a bit of a nerd who loves organising things (and is perhaps a bit of a teacher’s pet), but she knows it, and owns it. It’s actually part of the thing that ends up helping her in her romance arc, but no spoilers here.

By a similar token, whatever positive coping mechanism you adopt can become your thing. Maybe that’s music, maybe that’s hitting the gym, maybe that’s watching ensemble comedies and blogging life lessons from them. Whatever it is, don’t be ashamed. Own it.


Have each other’s backs

Whether it’s busting bad guys on the streets of Brooklyn or managing your mental health, being part of a team who looks out for each other is gonna make a huge difference. The squad in the Nine-Nine are always there for one another, and ready to help each other when the going gets tough.

So let’s work to build an environment where we all look out for each other. Where we’re there for someone if they’re struggling, and they’re there for you when you’re struggling.



Be your own biggest fan

Gina Linetti is the physical embodiment of self-belief. It’s obviously hammed up for comedic effect (it’s a sitcom after all) but the idea of believing in yourself and not letting anyone stop you applies in the real world too. We keep on saying that when it comes to your mental health, you’ve gotta be your own champion – fight for what you want, and not give up until you’ve got the support you deserve.

What’s interesting is that Gina is constantly bigging herself up. And that’s maybe the secret to self belief. Small, regular, consistent affirmations, even as simple as saying “I am trying” or “I am strong” in the mirror each morning will make a difference. The more you say something about yourself, the more you believe it, and the more you believe it, the more you become it. So make sure you’re saying things that are going to build you up, not tear you down.



Accept help when it’s offered to you

Each member of the squad in Brooklyn Nine-Nine has their own unique personality and skills, and they’re constantly being reminded to make the most of the whole team. Alone, they’re good – and might get a good way towards solving a case. But it’s together when everyone’s bringing their strengths to the table that real progress gets made. Throughout the show, Jake in particular gets reminded that he needs to accept help, even though he’s a great detective in his own right.

So as awesome as you are on your own, if someone reaches out and offers to help, accept it and make the most of the both of you working together to face what you’re going through.



I guess finally, this is a show that’s made me laugh when I’ve not felt like laughing. So find something that’s gonna pick you up, and help you forget about whatever else is going on, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. If you’ve not watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine yet, it’s all on Netflix and it’s dangerously binge-able.



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