Miami Vice Wiki
Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs


Played By
Marital Status
In a relationship with Trudy Joplin
Detective, Metro-Dade Organized Crime Bureau-Vice Division

Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs (played by Jamie Foxx, b. 1973) is a Detective of the Miami-Dade Police Department and an undercover detective in the Organized Crime Bureau - Vice Division in the film adaptation of the Miami Vice television series. Tubbs is urbane, smart and level-headed, although occasionally prone to somewhat reckless outbursts of violence, particularly when confronted with the abuse of women. In a significant departure from the television series, he is in a long-term relationship with Bronx-born intelligence analyst Trudy Joplin, who he lives with. He is also qualified to fly light aircraft. He is the partner of Metro-Dade Detective James "Sonny" Crockett.

Life before Vice[]

Little is known about this rendition of Tubbs before he joined the Vice team, as the film's director Michael Mann intentionally kept the movie devoid of back-stories so that it could focus solely on the undercover operation and not get bogged down with exposition. Even Tubbs' origins are not defined, to the point where it is not even stated whether he is a New Yorker, like his television series counterpart, or whether he comes from another part of the United States. However, it is shown that he is qualified to fly light aircraft, and implied by his criminal alias' backstory that he has some military training.

Career In Vice[]

Tubbs acts as security on the operation at The Mansion nightclub, although his professionalism somewhat slips when he sees their target, Neptune, beating one of his girls; Tubbs beats down two of the pimp's men before Crockett can stop him attacking Neptune as well. When the Vice team are reassigned to busting José Yero, Tubbs is involved in the assaults on the dealer's current transport network. The Vice squad also uses their high-rolling informant, Nicholas, to spread the word that they are smugglers looking for work and capable of moving large quantities of contraband, thereby facilitating their employment with Yero's group. As things progress, Tubbs becomes somewhat concerned by Crockett's infatuation with Isabella and it's affect on his competence, but ultimately assures his partner that he will never doubt him. Tubbs takes the lead in rescuing Trudy Joplin, somewhat hazardously relinquishing his primary weapon so that he can pose as a pizza delivery man in order to gain access to the trailer where she is being held. Tubbs adopts a similarly reckless approach in the shootout with Yero's men, flanking their position alone, but ultimately killing several of the dealer's thugs before confronting Yero personally, blowing him away with his 40mm shotgun.

Personal Life[]

Tubbs is in a long-term relationship with Trudy, a Metro-Dade intelligence analyst occasionally assigned to Castillo's Vice squad. Despite being co-workers, the two live together happily and are able to successfully balance their professional and personal lives. Their relationship is almost brought to a premature end when Trudy is kidnapped by the Miami branch of the Aryan Brotherhood as a result of the case Tubbs is working on, but fortunately Trudy survives the ordeal.

Director's Cut[]

In the Director's Cut of the film, an important extra scene with Tubbs is included. Immediately after the meet with Montoya in Haiti, Tubbs discovers the drug lord has sent flowers to Trudy, ominously indicating that he knows what she means to him and that he can get to her if he has to. Upon his return to Miami, Tubbs meets with Trudy in a diner to discuss the issue.


Tubbs drives a white 2004 BMW 645Ci in the film, seen during the drive to the showdown with Yero and his men (where it is unfortunately destroyed by gunfire).


Tubbs sidearm in the film is a SIG Sauer P220R chambered in .45 ACP, although throughout the movie he primarily uses a Benelli M4 Super 90 automatic shotgun in 12 gauge.

He also uses a Heckler & Koch HK69A1 grenade launcher loaded with buckshot at two points in the film. In the DVD commentary, Michael Mann notes that he got the idea to use this weapon from a Vietnam veteran who, like many American M79 gunners/grenadiers during that war, took part in the practice of removing the explosive and detonating mechanism out of their 40mm grenades and replacing them with buckshot, effectively turning their weapons into one-shot 1.2 gauge shotguns.

Main Characters:

James "Sonny" Crockett Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs Gina Calabrese Stan Switek Larry Zito "Big Booty" Trudy Joplin Martin "Marty" Castillo Lou Rodriguez

Minor Characters:
Caroline Crockett Billy Crockett Caitlin Davies Isadore "Izzy" Moreno Nugart "Noogie" Lamont Esteban Calderone Orlando Claderone Al Lombard Lester Kosko Valerie Gordon Frank Hackman Oswaldo Guzman Frank Mosca

Miami Vice Film:
James "Sonny" Crockett Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs Trudy Joplin Zito Castillo Gina Calabrese Michael Switek