Rockford Files has approximately three plots. In each show Jim Rockford uses his experience as an ex-con and con artist to solve an unjust closed case. But in addition, one of the three always happens:

1. A distressed (and devastatingly beautiful) girl with no one else to turn to comes rapping at Jim's trailor door. Usually she interrups a sarcastic exchange between Jim and Rocky, Angel, or Denise the down police man. Another common theme was attractive female entering just as Jim had somehow injured himself, lending her natural "feminine wiles" to tend his wound.

2. A complicated story involving people from Jim's past, often concerning his time spent serving in the Korean war or in "the pen". He usually avenges the death of an old friend, or manages to score a personal victory while saving someone's life.

3. Jimmy against the fuzz. Several shows entail Jim getting arrested for crimes he knows nothing about, or getting harrassed by officers of the local and national government. He knows his rights and always has the last word.

Main characters:
Jim Rockford
Rocky; his adorably naive father
Ross; his pretty but tough-as-nails lawyer
Denis; his police hook-up and long time acquaintence
Angel; a wormy con artist who often works cons with Jim