The running gags are:
- License Plate: Two of the officers are in pursuit of a car and struggling to read a vanity plate, and once realizing the plate they crash.
- Dangle's Bike: Lt. Jim Dangle's bike being stolen.
- Traffic Stop: Junior (usually) pulls over a car or truck, often leading to his injury or failing to observe a crime. Distinctive for its fixed dash cam.
- Johnson's drug-friendliness: Clementine Johnson is clearly a pot-user and is lenient on drug and alcohol users.
- Garcia's accuracy: Garcia cannot hit a target. In Bounty Hunter Tommy Hawk, for example, he furiously empties his gun into the TV in the bar and is embarrassed that it continues to play because he didn't ever hit the screen.
- Kimball's sexuality: Kimball claims to be straight, but everyone else is certain she's a lesbian.
- Kimball attracts bullets: In the fifth season, there are numerous incidents where Kimball gets blasted with a bullet and it sprays the camera.
- PSAs: The public service announcements are done by the deputies. Often they are playing teenagers. The Reno 911 actors don't get to see the scripts in advance and they have to read cue cards, giving it a very unrehearsed and amateur feel, but they are also "in character" as people that are doing a bad job.
- Advertisements:: The advertisements are very similar to the PSAs. They are ads for the Reno Sheriff's department or they are selling gear by Police Tech 2000. The Police Tech gear is surprisingly cheap and it uses red white and blue lettering to say that it's made in "North America," but not specifically the United States of America, implying that it's made in Mexico.
- Live From The Reno Sheriff's Department: Maria storm introduces a live announcement. Cut to two deputies at a press conference thinking that they're off the air and either goofing around or having indelicate conversations.
- Terry: The police get called about recidivist gay prostitute Terry.
- Big Mike: The local meth head, Big Mike, is causing a problem of some sort.
- Madam Caramel's Legal Brothel: A "john" causes a problem at the brothel.
- Frisbee: A redneck, Frisbee, and his second cousin/wife and their kids all squat in a burned-out bus.
- Nice Klansmen: The local branch of the KKK are sincerely trying to preach racial reconciliation and diversity but still dress in Klan robes and hold some bigoted ideas. For example, they try to burn a lowercase T for "tolerance." The leader Gary even loves a black girlfriend. A subtle running joke is that Junior knows all of the members of the Klan by their first names.
- Jumping the Shark for Autism: As a fundraiser to fight autism, Jim Dangle jumps over a fish tank with a small shark in it. It isn't really a dangerous challenge, but somehow Jim manages to injure himself in the attempt. It's a play on "when did the show jump the shark?" (have a moment which marks the decline of the show from that point onward), a notion popularized by the Internet about the time The Fonz jumped over a shark on water skis on "Happy Days."
- Arby’s running joke
They name drop Arby’s quite often, usually prefaced with “delicious piping hot Arby’s”. Mayor Hernandez also got married in an Arby’s