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Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 10 Times Jake Was The Smartest Detective

Content Warning: This article contains discussions/references to violence and murder.

Several characters have referred to Jake Peralta as the best detective on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Most of the time, he goofs off and makes jokeseven while working a case— so it's hard to take him seriously or believe that he's actually one of the smartest detectives.

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But from time to time, Jake solves an unsolvable case or displays brilliant insight in a casual situation that shows how smart he is. There have even been times when he's figured out or spotted something that Amy and Holt couldn't. Jokes and childish bets aside, Jake has proven himself to be the smartest detective several times.

10 When He Solved The Crossword Fires

In "The Puzzle Master," Jake decided that he and Amy should work one last case together to close out her tenure as a detective. The case was about a serial arsonist connected to the creator of Amy's favorite crossword puzzles. After some misdirections and poor decisions on Jake's part, he eventually figured out who the real arsonist was.

One thing that makes Jake's genius truly shine here is that all through the case, he felt insecure over his intellect as compared to Amy and the crossword author. It led to him doubting himself and their proposed tactics until he communicated his worries with Amy and had the epiphany that solved the case. So, even though he was doubting his intelligence at the time, he proved to himself and the others that he was actually the smartest.

9 When He Got A Confession From The Dentist

One of the best episodes of the show was "The Box," featuring Sterling K. Brown, one of many celebrities appearing on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In the episode, he played a dentist named Phillip, who was suspected of murdering his partner and Jake was interrogating him. Holt joined in and after a hassle, Jake finally got his confession.

The outstanding performances of the actors and the unique format of the episode weren't the only things that made it one of the best. Throughout the episode, Phillip kept undermining Jake and taunting him, and Holt's presence didn't help matters much. Even though most of Jake's interrogation tactics failed, including the all-famous guitar strum and shriek, his last tactic worked as he realized that Phillip's weakness was his ego. It was a genius move.

8 When He Solved The Unsolvable Case

To keep himself from dwelling on the fact that Amy was going away with Teddy in the episode "Unsolvable," Jake gave up his free weekend to keep himself busy with a cold case that was deemed unsolvable. Although he and Terry hit a wall a couple of times during the investigation, Jake didn't give up until he solved the murder mystery.

The fact that he solved a case that was believed to be unsolvable by everyone is an amazing feat on its own. He showed his determination on this case, in spite of all the dead-end leads he kept finding. His determination stemmed from a need for a distraction from seeing the woman he had a crush on with someone else, but it showed how good a detective he could be when he was motivated.

7 When He Found The Real Art Thief

While Jake and Charles were in the courthouse waiting for their case to go to trial in the episode, "Boyle's Hunch," Charles met Genevive and they hit it off. She was later sentenced to prison for insurance fraud but Charles she was innocent and investigated with Jake to find the real criminal. When all the evidence pointed to Genevive, Charles gave up but Jake kept working the case and figured out the gallery assistant was the real thief.

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Aside from showing his intelligence with this case, Jake's persistence, even though Charles considered it open and shut, showed how he was willing to keep working for his friend's happiness. It was one of the memorable Brooklyn Nine-Nine episodes, where Jake proved to Charles he was just as invested in their bromance.

6 When He Solved Terry's Old Case

In the season 3 episode "Terry Kitties," Jake helped Terry with a case of several burglaries from 20 years ago. When Terry gave up, Jake stayed up all night, going through details of the case and realized Terry had the right man before.

Once again, Jake showed incredible persistence and good observation skills with this case. His motivation this time was to help Terry, who was being mocked by detectives from his former precinct over how he'd failed to solve the case, proving again that he was a good friend (which many Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans would say is one of Jake's best traits).

5 When He Found The Oolong Slayer

The Oolong Slayer was a famous serial killer the NYPD had been hunting for years. In the episode named after him, Jake got a lead to the Oolong Slayer but the Vulture wouldn't let him work it. So, he did it in secret with Holt's help. They went after the wrong person, leading to their suspension, but Jake kept working it anyway and found the killer.

At the time, Holt was no longer part of the Nine-Nine but he, Jake, and Gina worked together and were quite the comedic, crime-solving trio. Thanks to Jake's persistence and keen observance, he found a clue they'd previously missed and helped put a killer behind bars. He even gave up credit for the arrest to get Holt reinstated as Captain, which showed how much he was willing to sacrifice for the happiness of the people he cared about.

4 When He Figured Out Everyone's Secret Santa

In the cold open for season 5 episode "Game Night," the squad picked their Secret Santa and chose names out of a hat. A few seconds after everyone had picked, Jake figured out, not only who had his name, but also everyone else's Secret Santa.

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Jake's analytical skills were really impressive at this moment, despite the casual scenario. He solved the mystery in record time merely based on the others' facial expressions, as well as a bunch of other tells.

3 When He Solved Mr. Santiago's Cold Case

To impress Amy's father during their first meeting in season 4's episode "Mr. Santiago," Jake did research on Amy's father and made a binder with all kinds of information, including a cold case he never solved. While they were arguing over him not being good enough for Amy, Jake had an epiphany on who the real criminal could be and his hunch proved to be correct.

Jake's solve was impressive because he'd thought of an angle that Mr. Santiago, a seasoned detective, hadn't thought of. It impressed him enough that he stopped undermining Jake and instead viewed him as a good detective and a good man for his daughter.

2 When He Found The Killer In The Vents

During the season 6 episode "Crime Scene," Jake and Rosa partnered up on a murder case with a messy, bloody scene. Jake promised the victim's mother that they'd solve the case and got obsessed with it. He started noticing things that other people didn't, like an extra CSI forensic member. However, Rosa began to worry about his mental health and gave the case away to major crimes.

The killer turned out to be someone who disguised themselves as a CSI forensic worker, proving Jake's previously dismissed observation to be correct. Rosa and Jake have one of the best friendships on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the patience she showed while he spiraled over the case truly reflects that.

1 When He Solved A Case In 48 Hours

After a hasty arrest without evidence in the season 1 episode, "48 Hours," Jake and the rest of the squad had to give up their weekend to get the evidence or else let the suspect go. Just as their time was running out, Jake realized he'd seen the suspect's former prison mate in security footage of the crime scene and figured out they were in cahoots.

This was not the first or last time Jake's impulsiveness led to him making rash decisions that affected the group. He took responsibility for his actions and did his best to find the evidence they needed. After the case was solved, he also offered to cover a shift for each of his colleagues to make up for ruining their weekend.

NEXT: 10 Best Investigations On Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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