Five Ways Something Ruined My Life

Five Ways ‘Law and Order: SVU' Ruined My Life

I don’t really remember when I started watching Law and Order: SVU all the time. I’d always SEEN it. And I was acutely aware that my grandfather watched every episode of Law and Order available on TV on a given day. I think around junior year of college I started really committing to watching it (and dragging my roommate with me). But that’s where the problems began.

There are so many ways that I’m obsessed with this show and I literally have so many feelings about it that I don’t even know if five reasons is enough. I think Mariska Hargitay is the prettiest woman in the world and I’m so jealous of her ability to pull off short hair. I assume all detectives are super smart and committed to their jobs and am intensely obsessed with Ice-T and his relationship with Coco (who also appears in an episode) and love on Ice Loves Coco when they visit the set. I think they have used guest stars in some of the BEST ways on TV and I love that Dean Winters was a detective in the early episodes and then later went on to be Dennis Duffy. I also geeked out over seeing Stephanie March at JFK once and don’t even get me started on Alex vs Casey debate. I can’t decide which ADA I prefer and I refuse to recognize any others.

So, here are the five (major) ways SVU has ruined my life. (Honestly, they could all be titled Christopher Meloni or Elliot Stabler but we’ll get to that.)

1. I Can’t Look At My Fire Escape in the Same Light

I couldn’t watch SVU alone at first.

Like, at all. Maybe it was that I’m just generally a scaredy cat. Or maybe it’s because I was a young co-ed in New York City so basically every episode was about someone like me getting murdered. Either way, someone always had to be with me when I was watching it. Now I can watch it alone (like a boss), but back then it was way too scary to handle alone (it also doesn’t hurt that now I’ve seen every episode – several times – so I know when I have to look away).

During a memorable SVU marathon (I think self-curated from DVR), I suddenly found myself alone in my apartment, at night, with the window open.


Except my living room window opens onto the fire escape and we all know SVU  loves to use fire escapes. I spent the remainder of the night convinced either a murderer was going to be fleeing down my fire escape or someone was going to be running away from someone and jumping in my window or just the typical “Oh, we can see he got into the apartment through her open window on the fire escape” trick.

Well, I wasn’t having any of that. I quickly closed the window and pulled down the blinds . . . and continued watching SVU.

2. It’s Made Me Look at Every Situation as a Potential SVU Opening

It’s hard to say if it’s just the whole problem of living in NYC and watching a show where it feels like around every corner someone is going to rape and/or murder me.

But is also makes me be on high alert FOR those dead bodies. You know how every episode always starts with the fake-out where you think one person is going to die but they’re actually just there to discover the body? Or like, the couple is just sitting down to dinner but then someone runs by them on fire? Well, I’m now convinced that I’m going to find a hand every time I look over a railing into the water or a corpse in an alley or something.

Grim, I know. But these are the images SVU has put into my head. This summer, on a beach outing, we ended up just making up our own SVU openings (the spoiled girl on her cell with her dad who encounters a dead person was my favorite).

I’ll keep looking over those railings, into the water, and hoping I only find garbage.

3. Consistently Ruins Otherwise Productive Sunday Afternoons

So now that I’ve already spent years of my life being obsessed with SVU (as well as a VERY productive Winter-Hiatus-From-Working watching the entire series on Netflix Instant) you’d think I’d be done watching it.

But I’m not.

One of my favorite games to play is Yell Out Which SVU Episode It Is Before Whoever I’m Watching It With Can. (Yes. I’m awesome to watch TV with, this is true.)

The best part of the episode titles is that they’re all one-word titles. So you just have to remember that the Jawbreaker-esque episode where the teenage girls murder their friend is called “Mean”. Or that the one where Bob Saget implants his wife with a GPS chip because she’s having an affair with Chris Sarandon is called “Choreographed” because Chris Sarandon plays a dance choreographer.

The issue is that this show is on ALL the time. I mean, every weekend there is a marathon and I already DVR every episode, so it just becomes this overwhelming game of How Much SVU Can One Person Possibly Consume In a Day.

Also, I’m not kidding in my bio. I DO think I’d do a better job curating Law and Order: SVU marathons than the USA network (usually).

4. Two words: Elliot. Stabler.

I don’t even know how to start this.

Elliot Stabler

We all just agree that Chris Meloni is the best, right? Like, I totally have a thing for guys with brown hair and blue eyes (having that hair/eye combo myself and also being very, very conceited) but like, he’s just THE BEST.

Elliot Stabler is also the best. He has like, 100 kids (okay, 4 or 5), he’s super hot and he is UN-stable at times – but only about saving kids. (See what they did there with his name? Brill.)

Elliot Stabler hates rapists. He also hates child molesters. This is a good thing. He’s also a really talented cop. I’m pretty convinced if I had to go to the police station to give a report and he was there, I’d just ask him on a date rather than actually talk about the crime. It’s just too much.

But I’ve recently realized that everyone loves Elliot Stabler.

Yes, I really re-tweeted two separate tweets about Detective Stabler, then realized it and commented on it. THEN realized they were both from fellow HelloGiggles people! Co-founder Molly AND Marissa Ross both tweeted about him and I just saw the words Stabler and didn’t even give it a second thought.

Now that Christopher Meloni has left his gig on SVU, maybe he should get involved on here. Just saying.

5. “Wildlife”, Season 10, episode 7

In 2008, an insane thing happened. The most epic episode of Law and Order: SVU aired and it was amazing.

The episode is called “Wildlife” and starts with Stabler being shot! And in the hospital! And Olivia comes in and is almost in tears and gasps, “I’m his partner” when they try to keep her out.


Then we go back a week and see where the episode started: a dead blonde girl. Well, this turns into a whole episode about smuggling animals. The details aren’t what’s important. What’s important is we see everyone doing “their thing”.

Stabler has to question someone at a nightclub and brings along Finn because “he knows the after hours club scene” (I’m not joking). I love whenever they use Ice-T in this way. My favorite is when it’s about the football player “on the down low” and Finn explains to everyone what it means to be on the down low and then says, “I just know stuff” as an explanation. Genius.

Next, Stabler decides to go undercover on a whim. I LOVE when they go undercover. Nobody in a million years would ever think that Benson and Stabler are anything other than cops, so there’s pretty much nothing more hilarious than watching them try to pretend to be anyone besides themselves.

Of course, he doesn’t tell his poor wife, Kathy, he’s going undercover so Olivia has to come to his rescue and calm Kathy down. Then she has to tell Stabler about this which leads to the best thing ever, which is Olivia having to pretend to be a hooker while Stabler’s undercover with the Russian animal smugglers.

This is so that OMG KISS EACH OTHER NOW feeling that TV fans (such as myself) love.

But the best part of this episode happens at the very end and involves Captain Cragen. Cragan is easily one of the most underrated characters on TV. He’s a recovering alcoholic, he has to play the dad to everyone and he’s just generally badass, especially when he has to yell at the crew for getting out of line.

The end of the episode involves a show down at the Animal Smuggling Headquarters where a lot of fighting happens (with Stabler’s arm in a sling) and Cragen steals the show by picking up a basketball WITH A MONKEY INSIDE. AND THEN THE MONKEY HUGS HIM. I like to think the monkey is saying, “Papa!” as he hugs Cragen but that’s just me.


Here they are hanging out between takes, I assume

Video of the amazing moment on Best Week Ever.

The only thing missing here is a good Munch conspiracy theory, but with an episode this epic I’m not about to complain.

Also, my dream is to own two dogs (a dachshund and a bull dog) and name them Belzer and Ice-T. So, there’s that as well.

(Featured image from here with me added, Chris Meloni pic from here, Benson/Stabler screengrab from here, Cragen/Monkey pic from here.)

  • Liat Aviram

    AHHHH I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this show, and also how much it ruined my life. My best SVU moment was when I saw Christopher Meloni at the airport in Paris and I shook his hand and everything! He was so nice to me and my mom. He’s much beefier in real life than I expected…♥♥♥

  • Andrea Hernandez-Venegas

    Hahaha! Literally, a few weeks ago I was telling my friend that I was scared to go to NYC because I’d watched so much Law & Order: SVU. It’s a GREAT show.

  • Paola Gonzalez

    Finally someone who understands how amazing and scary SVU is. I love this show so much I call all SUV SVUs. I’m so sad Stabler is no longer there. I don’t have a fire escape, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking of possible scenarios, especially if I’m walking around campus at night.

  • Made Cepeda

    E/O!!!!! 4ever!!!!

  • Molly McAleer

    Thanks for the shoutout, but when it comes to THE ULTIMATE Elliot Stabler fan, I always think of Caragh Poh!

    • Erin Long

      I was just thinking about that actually. We’ll just all have to fight over him!

  • Gia Rose Ciccone

    I’m pretty sure that you & I share the exact same life because this entire article has been me screaming “THAT’S MY LIFE.”

    Thank you for such a ridiculously awesome post.

  • Emily Harris

    I just watched the monkey video, where has this been all my life!?

  • Madison Luikens

    agreed. agreed. agreed. agreed. my husband and i are OBSESSED with this show! and even if reruns are on that we’ve already seen countless times, we will re-watch them again! :) what do you think of the newest season without stabler? i have mixed emotions…

  • Anonymous

    SVU is one of my favorite shows for so many reasons (dark hair and blue eyes here, I feel ya). Yes yes yes Mariska and the short hair. During the short stints where I decided to grow it, she always convinced me to cut it off again. But please, let’s talk some more about Chris Meloni and his beefiness. For even more beef than SVU, I love me some OZ too.

    If you want bizarro SVU, OZ is the place. They live in the Emerald City, Dr. Huang sings “Leather” by Tori Amos (as a priest-it’s just delightful), Dr. Skoda is the Aryan gang leader, Detective Cassidy plays an inmate that it even badder than his Mayhem alter ego, and there are so many more crossover characters. It may be the biggest crossover between shows in TV history.

    Did I mention Chris does some…like…full on nudity and gets dirty with EVERYONE? Male, female, large and small, he just does not care (he only loved Beecher though, despite his numerous ex-wives and penchant for murdering his male lovers). And let’s not forget his turns in Wet Hot American Summer and Harold & Kumar. He’s just so WEIRD. And that’s why I love him.

    Seriously, go NetFlix OZ. So good. Sorry about all that ladies, you got me on a roll. Now to go drool at some pictures.

  • Mary Stokes

    I ship Olivia and Alex, circa Olivia’s butchy mcfabulous hair & rad leather jacket
    (Back when the episodes made sense)
    Nowadays every ep is a Mariska Hargitay emmy grab, but I am OK with that, because she is The Shit
    also, Countdown. Best epsode ever, by good-TV-standards.(Wildlife beats it by WTF standards, though.)

    • Mary Stokes

      Also also can we discuss Olivia dating an adorably chubs Harry Connick Junior?

  • Kayla L. Minto

    I love this show SOOO much!!! I love psychology, criminal and normal, and this show is a good way to just brainmelt from the facts and real cases, and just bask in the joy of cops doing their jobs and always getting the bad guy. ^_^ I disagree with Stabler, though. Two reasons. 1, he’s wayyy to much like my Dad, so I can’t really think of him like that, and 2, guys like Mucnh are *much* more my type. (Yes. I have a character crush on Dective Munch.) I love this show and since I’m really sick, I’m watching ALL OF THEM, IN ORDER, in between reading my books and sleeping. :) Helps pass the time, and I get to see Munch!!! <3 We need to talk more – non of my friends understand my SVU obession. 😀 Also, I have the same Sunday afternoon issue you do. :)

  • Erika Atkins

    My college roommate and I used to re-enact Stabler and Benson’s sexual tension when doing ordinary house tasks…like dishes, lol.

  • Lauren Bell

    I agree entirely with this. Seriously. I wonder while I’m running in the park sometimes if I’m going to stumble upon a body or a crying baby. The best is a guy who does is gardening every day. Makes me wonder if he is hiding something. Lord help me.

  • Morgan Flanagan-Folcarelli

    YESS! This pretty much just made my life! I’ve been a Law and Order: SVU addict since before can remember, and I just recently decided to start over from the beginning. Mariska is and always will be (one of, if not) my favorite actress, and she is SO GORGEOUS in such an unconventional way, and I adore her. Whenever I see her outside of an SVU episode, I have a major freak out.
    And everything else you said… yes. Yes. Yesyesyesyes. Reading that someone else goes through the same things I do with the show makes me so happy.
    And one more thing:
    (Olivia and Elliot were my first and favorite ship. I will ship them forever and ever. That is all there is to it.)
    Mkay… sorry. But this just made me SO HAPPY.

  • Katrina Louise Vowels

    re: #5) have seen that episode and knew exactly what you were taling about before i read the whole post. yes, that’s sad.

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