Celebrity | Television

13 Facts You'll Only Know If You Watch Way Too Much 'Law And Order'

Think you've seen every episode of Law and Order? If you have, we're impressed, because there are over 1,100 episodes and counting of America's favorite cops and lawyers show.

See how many of these facts you already know. If at least 10 aren't new to you, consider yourself a Law and Order superfan.

1. It's all in the family

When series creator Dick Wolf was making characters for the spinoff Law and Order: SVU, he named the main characters Olivia Benson and Elliott Stabler after his own children.

Wolf poses with his son Elliott.

2. The "Dun Dun" sound is pretty complicated

More than a dozen noises are mixed together in this classic sound effect, including monks stomping on the ground. To settle the debate once and for all, it's meant to sound like a judge banging his gavel and a jail door closing.

3. The voice-over actor is famous in his own right

The intro read at the beginning of every episode is done by Steven Zirnkilton. He had a small role in the pilot episode of Law and Order, and Dick Wolf asked him to read the introduction. He did such a good job that he's read the intro for every single Law and Order series in the U.S.

But Zirnkilton also has a successful career in politics. He served in Maine's House of Representatives for eight years, and now records voice-overs for TV ads.

4. There have been a LOT of shows in the series

After the original Law and Order was a hit, the series branched out.

Next was Law and Order: SVU, the only show in the series that is still on the air.

There was also Law and Order: Criminal Intent, following the Major Case Squad.

Law and Order: Trial by Jury, which focused on court cases.

Law and Order: LA, the only American show in the series set outside of New York.

And finally there have been a number of spinoffs in foreign countries, including a pair of Russian series and Law and Order: UK.

5. Mariska Hargitay keeps things real

The SVU star stays grounded on set by keeping a photo of her real mother, Jayne Mansfield, on her character's desk.

Hargitay and Mansfield.Mariska Hargitay / Instagram

Hargitay is also a trained rape crisis counselor, who runs a charity for sexual abuse survivors called the Joyful Heart Foundation. She even helped a pregnant woman who fainted near the actress on the streets of New York. Who's more heroic, Hargitay or her character?

Another detective on the show was only meant to last a few episodes...

6. Ice-T was supposed to be a guest star

When the actor and rapper got the part of Detective Odafin Tutuola, he was only supposed to play the role for four episodes, but the actor got along so well with the rest of the cast and enjoyed working on the show so much that he became a series regular.

7. The show's plots have landed them in hot water

The Law and Order series is famous for its "ripped from the headline" episode plots, but sometimes the hot topics the show tackles cause trouble for producers.

Fans claim this character from SVU was based on football player Tom Brady.

When SVU made an episode focusing on a football player as the NFL was facing backlash for a domestic violence case, the league tried to pressure the producers to scrap the episode, according to show-runner Warren Leight.

“There is no bigger moneymaker for all network television, and we went there twice since I’ve been here," he explained, "nobody’s asked me to do a lot more of those, though.” Episodes about sexual abuse and the Catholic church also drew a backlash from the organization.

8. Detective Munch is a busy guy

Detective Munch in Homicide.CNN

The character, played by Richard Belzer, has appeared on a number of crime shows, beginning his career on Homicide: Life on the Street. He later moved to Law and Order: SVU. But the character has also appeared on shows like The Wire, The X-Files, 30 Rock and Arrested Development.

Munch on X-Files.The Movie Waffler

He was even featured on an episode of Sesame Street in a skit called Law and Order: Special Letters Unit.

9. Don't expect Stabler and Benson to get together

Fans waited with baited breath for the two main characters from SVU to finally become a couple (it didn't seem to matter that Stabler was a married man) but they were disappointed when Christopher Meloni left the show.

In fact, Meloni has said that a non-professional relationship between the detectives would be "the death knell of that relationship," and still believes that. But in real life these two are very close; Hargitay is the godmother to one of Meloni's children.

Stay tuned, because Meloni has hinted that he might return to SVU for the series finale.

10. Some big names have played small parts in the series

If you watch a few reruns of Law and Order you're bound to notice a famous face or two, either as a guest star or in a small role before they were big names in Hollywood.

Some of our favorites include Robin Williams as a master manipulator,

Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond in a much more serious role,

and Julia Roberts as a witness with a dark secret.

11. There's a trick to SVU titles

After 18 seasons the show has given up, but most episodes of SVU followed a specific pattern to come up with their titles. Season one titles were just one word, season two episodes had two word titles, and so on until season 12.

Between seasons 13 and 17, the titles always added up to the season's number of letter (example: season 13 episode "Scorched Earth," 13 letters). By season 18 the writers must have gotten tired, because they don't use the number system anymore.

12. Chris Noth designs his own costumes

The star of the original Law and Order series was a fan favorite in his role as Detective Mike Logan, but series creator Dick Wolf didn't like his chemistry with other characters and ended his contract after season five.

The backlash was so bad that Noth convinced Wolf to let him wrap up Logan's story in a TV movie called Exile. By the way: Noth picked up Logan's signature trench coat in a second hand store. A snappy dresser and pretty frugal too.

13. An episode about current events was pulled off the schedule

After the tape of Donald Trump's inappropriate conversation with TV host Billy Bush leaked, Law and Order: SVU taped an episode called "Unstoppable" about a presidential candidate facing sexual assault allegations.

Gary Cole as the Trump-like candidate.Best PROMO /YouTube

The episode was delayed again and again as the election campaign continued, and finally shelved entirely.

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I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com