Angel/Tropes F-J

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  • Face Full of Alien Wingwong: On three separate occasions, Cordelia's body has been used to grow demons, demon babies and demon messiahs.
  • Face Heel Turn: Skip and, later, Knox.
  • Facial Composite Failure: Just as Kate is briefing her men on Penn's composite sketch, Penn waltzes through the door and starts complaining about the poor likeness.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In "Sonmambulist", Wesley enters Angel Investigations' office with their mail—a transparent pretext for Wesley to start trolling for work. He remarks on how he, Angel, and Cordelia make a great team:

Wesley: Yes, most effective. your cryptic visions, Angel's brawn, my highly developed powers of deduction--
Cordy: This isn't our mail.


Angel: And if it comes down to a choice between you and him, then yes, I would fight for his life, just like any other human's. Because that's what people do. That's what makes us—- [Wesley shoots him] ...Were you even listening?

  • Failure Is the Only Option: Angel's quest for redemption. As he tells Faith, "Our time is never up."
    • Wolfram & Hart can't be defeated, because evil will always exist somewhere. Killing their employees is just as fruitless as they continue working for the firm in Hell, and are easily replaced anyway.
    • By the series finale, the Shanshu Prophecy remains unresolved.
    • In After the Fall, Angel is revealed to have turned human through an act of spite by the Senior Partners, depriving him of his powers when he needs them most.. Worse yet, Angel receives a vision of the role he will play in the Apocalypse that earns him his Shanshu destiny: It indicates that Angel will be fighting on the side of evil.
  • Fainting Seer: Cordy and Doyle tend to suffer from this.
  • Fake Memories: Given to everyone at the end of Season 4, regarding Connor.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Angel and Fred do this while trying to avoid Jasmine's followers. It doesn't work.
  • Fake Static: Calling his old contacts in order to locate Angel ("In the Dark") has the added consequence of stirring up Doyle's creditors. Eventually, Doyle starts resorting to the 'wrong number' trick.

Doyle: (Nasally accent) House of Pies.

  • Fake Defector: Angel earns himself a spiffy S.S. unform by pretending to murder Doyle, thus allowing him to join the ranks of the Scourge.
    • Wesley is confronted in a bar by his former colleagues from England, who approach him with an offer to rejoin the Watcher's Council—if he helps apprehend Faith. Wesley seems to go along with the plan, but later reveals that he's going to try and undermine their efforts.
    • Harmony going undercover to infiltrate a motivational seminar for vampires. Subverted when she promptly defects for real.
  • Fake Irish: Angelus. David Boreanaz never really got the hang of the Irish accent. Whedon states that they chose not to use the accent when Angel was reverted to a teenager in "Spin the Bottle" because there was no way that Boreanaz could do it for a full episode.
  • Fake Nationality: Americans David Boreanaz, James Marsters and Keith Szarabajka playing Irishman Angel and Brits Spike and Holtz, respectively.
    • Juliet Landau (Drusilla) may be American by birth, but she spent her entire childhood in London.
    • Alexis Denisof (Wesley) spent thirteen years in Britain and has developed an excellent British accent that only occasionally slips up (on the usual suspects such as saying 'data' the American way). This makes it a shock to see him play roles in his natural American accent.
  • Fallen Hero: Oh, how about Angel, Gunn, Wesley, Cordelia, Connor and half of frickin' L.A.
  • Fantastic Drug: After performing an autopsy on the body of a dead Kwaini, Wesley reports that was on drugs; more specifically, a mystical concoction not unlike street PCP. The drug not only made the normally-peaceful Kwaini demon violent, but also enhanced its strength. Angel is concerned that the drug might have the same effect on an already-powerful battle demon ("The Prodigal").
    • While combing the city for Angelus, Wesley and Faith enters an opium den where women shoot up a mystical drug, then allow vampires to drink their blood (but not kill them). The drug's influence is a powerful one for both parties. In a Thanatos Gambit twist, when Faith pockets one of the syringes to use on herself, thereby knocking both herself and Angelus unconscious when he tries to feed on her.
    • Note: Faith purposely overdoses to keep him out long enough (and she's most likely still a bit suicidal).
  • Fantastic Fragility: The Mohra's regenerative blood ensures that he can never be permanently killed. Unless you smack the jewel in his forehead.
    • The Beast is a particularly strong demon with a rock-like hide, able to shrug off even shotgun blasts (Angel tries going for the eye, but gets stabbed in the neck with his own stake for the trouble). He doesn't fare as well against Angelus, though; he stabs The Beast In the Back with the knife he had carved out of his own bones as a tribute to his master.
  • Fantastic Racism: Examined with regard to demons throughout the show's run. Best embodied by Lorne, who is living proof that pacifist demons do exist.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In L.A., you'll find everything from Egyptian sun deities to vampire lords.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Dr. Royce who is turned into a werewolf and taken away to be eaten alive. Probably averted though, as the next scene has them discussing how they shut down the restaurant that wanted to do this. They let Royce be taken away because at the time it was just a few of them surrounded by guards. Once they got back to their interdimensional superfirm the power dynamic changed.
    • Illyria's takeover annihilated Fred's soul. Girl can't even go to Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
      • Allegedly.
      • Verified by Illyria in the Season Six comics. There's nothing left no matter how much everybody (including, oddly, the God-King) wishes. Just the memory of who she was.
      • Fred's personality and memories (which, in a very real sense, is what humans are) are part of Illyria's "shell" as Illyria comments several times. The idea was that the remnants of Fred's would take on a semi-independent life of their own and sometimes control the shared body.
      • Jossed in the comic series and Only Human mini. Illyria confirmed that no matter how she tried to be Winifred there is nothing left. All she has is the memory of her, everything she was and is, is gone.
  • Faux Affably Evil Once he's revealed as one of the bad guys, Skip.
    • Holland Manners.
    • Marcus Hamilton, most definitely.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Cordelia to Angel, when she wakes from her coma to help him get back on track.
  • Finger in the Mail: Subverted in "The Ring". Darin McNamara implores Angel to save his brother from loan sharks, verifying his story with a severed finger. However, when we finally meet Jack, all ten of his digits are in tip-top shape.
  • Finish Him!: The audience in "The Ring" chants "KILLING BLOW" when a contestant is on the ropes.
  • Five-Finger Discount:

Wesley: Where'd you get the police radio?
Angel: Police car.

  • Five-Man Band: Lampshaded by Fred in "Fredless", right down to naming Wesley as "the brain", Gun as "the muscle", and Cordy as "the heart". Later deconstructed by an incresingly-embittered Gunn ("Guise Will Be Guise"), who resents being the dumb muscle of the group. This gets inverted in Season Five with Gunn's neural implant, then doubly subverted in the series finale, when he rejects those abilities and returns to his old streetfighting persona.
    • The Hero: Angel
      • During the last third of season two, Wesley and Angel tag-team as Hero and Lancer, trading off levels of importance from episode to episode. Wes holds the role throughout the three-part season finale, though.
    • The Lancer: Originally Doyle, replaced by Wesley who doubled as The Smart Guy. Spike when he showed up in season 5.
    • The Smart Guy: Wesley and Fred
    • The Big Guy: Gunn
    • The Chick: Cordelia, also possibly Lorne.
    • The Sixth Ranger: Spike
    • The Heart: Cordelia, later Fred
      • Cordelia could also be construed as the Lancer. Her more down-to-earth perspective contrasts nicely to Angel's anguished ideals on several occasions.
  • Fixing the Game: Angel loses his destiny to a rigged magic gambling thing. Cordy saves him by nudging a slot machine so he wins.
  • Flash Back: Usually to the bad ol' days of Angelus.
    • Done quite well in the episode "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been", set in the early 1950s.
  • Flechette Storm: What happens to people who trespass into Maude's apartment ("Rm w/a Vu").
  • Foe Cooties: Angel never liked Buffy having new boyfriends but was particularly bothered by her sleeping with his long-time rival Spike. A flashback in the Angel series revealed that The Immortal, a former nemesis of both Angelus and Spikes, had sex with both their girlfriends at the same time.
  • Foe Yay: Many examples, including Angel and Spike and Drusilla and Lilah. Turned into Dating Catwoman with Lilah and Wesley.
    • Kate Lockley is implied to have an attraction, as well.
    • And then there was that time Angel and Eve had sex behind a couch.

Cordelia: And I thought Darla was rock bottom.

    • Angelus and Faith. He's disappointed when the Slayer he hears about in LA is her, but he quickly gets over it.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: Doyle's wife shows up with her new fiancé so that she can finalize their divorce. Doyle is naturally mopey, since the only reason she left him was because he found out he was half-demon. Except that it turns out the new guy is also a demon, forcing Doyle to confront his own personal problems.
  • For Halloween I Am Going as Myself: Deconstructed in "Hero". An adolescent demon shares with Doyle his memories of being going out on Halloween with his mom—the one night of the year he was permitted to play with other children. He's pretty bitter about it.
  • For Inconvenience Press One: Angel's testing of the Wolfram & Hart phone directory.
  • A Form You Are (Un)comfortable With: The Conduit.
  • Forced Prize Fight: "The Ring". The promoters keep their stable of demon fighters in line by fastening electrified bracelets to them. Anybody who steps outside the cordoned areas gets turned to ash.
  • Freudian Slip: Still raw from Doyle's death, Angel snaps at Cordelia and Wesley to stop bickering—and achieves total silence by inadvertently calling Wesley "Doyle". ("I've Got You Under My Skin")
  • Friendly Enemy: Boone in "Blood Money".
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: The team pay a visit to Koreatown earlier in "Parting Gifts".
    • Showcased in "That Vision Thing", though the locals are decidedly unfriendly this time around.
  • Fur Against Fang: Averted. Angel has no problem dating a werewolf in Season 5 (well, no problems with her lycanthropy, at least). Connor lampshades the kinkiness of this arrangement.


  • Gambit Roulette: Nearly everything that happened in seasons 2, 3, and 4 are retconned to have been a massive Gambit Roulette all along.
    • And then there was that time it snowed in Sunnydale. Hmmm...
    • Don't forget that we never got a real answer as to why Angel was allowed to return from hell that one time (Also in Buffy).
  • Game Face: Vampires and other part-demon creatures tend to have one. Even Puppet!Angel has one.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Upon discovering that Cordelia has suddenly turned heavily pregnant, Angel instructs Wesley to take her for an ultrasound to see exactly what they're dealing with. Wes misunderstands this.

Angel: I want you to see what's inside her.

    • Cordalia toys with the idea of becoming David Nabbit's wealthy mistress for a while. "I like David. It's such a-- strong, masculine name. It just feels good in your mouth."
    • Wesley provides several synonyms for "private investigator," including dick. Gunn tells him to never use that term again.
    • Season 4 also has Cordelia's quip in 'Spin the Bottle', upon hearing that teenage Wesley was "Head Boy" at academy.

"Wonder how you got that name."

    • Gunn shifting uncomfortably in his seat after a kiss with Fred. His face is priceless.
    • In Waiting in the Wings, while Angel and Cordelia are trying to get out of a mystical room that's making them fool around:

Cordelia: Open the door!
Angel: Kinda hard.
Cordelia: Kinda noticed.

    • And then when they finally get out:

Cordelia: Good thing it wears off right away, huh?
Angel: Yeah. (Takes off jacket and folds it in front of his pants)

    • Pretty much every other thing Angelus says is this.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Residents of the Oden-Tal dimension live in a patriarchal society where the women are all enslaved. The male warriors, known as Vigories, remove the "ko" from each female to temper their sexual energy and make them more pliable. [insert female circumcision allegory here]
  • The Ghost: TPTB
  • Ghostapo: "Why We Fight" details the Nazis' foray into building a vampire army.
  • Gigantic Gulp: Demon!Cordelia chugging Angel's fridge blood.

Angel: I don't think I've ever realized just how disgusting that is.

    • Another demon possessee, in the form of one Philip J. Spivey, attacking a slushee stand.
  • Gladiator Revolt: The ending to "The Ring".
  • Glamour
  • Good Is Dumb: Wesley. The craftiest member of the group also happens to be the most amoral and paranoid. Who would have thought?
    • Gunn's neural implant in Season Five. As would be expected, he's rabidly protective of his new skill set, leading to his downfall.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The Powers That Screw You (™Fred). Or, alternatively, The Powers That Sit on Their Ass (™Gunn).
    • Even Angel is at times unsure about whether the PTB care about his mission, though subtle hints are dropped that this isn't the case.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Cordelia, immediately upon landing in Pylea.
  • The Good, the Bad, and The Evil: Lilah ends up joining Angel Investigations (sort of) after the rest of the firm is slaughtered by The Beast. Subverted when Cordy stabs her in the neck. So much for that.
  • Good Guy Bar / Truce Zone: Caritas caters to good and neutral folks, as well as normal people. Popular for the drinks and the psychic karaoke. If only people would stop finding loopholes to circumvent the wards protecting it.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Every member of Team Angel proves this time and again.
  • Good Parents: Roger and Trish Burkle. While they started out seeming menacing - managing to make Fred almost run away from the Hyperion simply by being mentioned - the episode reveals that they're actually kind, caring and wholesome people. The problem is that if they're part of Fred's new world, it's real. All the horrible things that happened to her were real too, when she tried to hard to convince herself it wasn't.
    • It's very telling that the rest of the group are stunned and jealous when it turns out normal parents (AKA Fred's) do exist.
    • The Burkles' sheer niceness comes back to bite Wesley in the ass later, when he finds himself unable to tell them that Fred's been killed and re-inhabited by a demon queen.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Collins, one of the Watcher's Council operatives sent in to extract to Faith, looks downright sinister as he's puffing on a cig.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal
  • Grand Finale: The series finale is arguably a cross between Animal House and Inglourious Basterds, where instead of finding some MacGuffin to stop the Senior Partners and the unstoppable apocalypse, Team Angel decides to piss them off so royally and offering one last really audacious and futile gesture of defiance by assassinating every member of the Circle of the Black Thorn.
  • Grand Theft Me: Marcus stealing Angel's body. Also, Illyria taking over Fred's body in the fifth season.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol: While attempting to escape a locked room with Kate in tow, Angel fires one of these at a suspension beam....causing it to snap and collapse. Kate decides it would be quicker to just Shoot Out the Lock instead.
    • While making the rounds of Wolfram & Hart ("Home"), Wesley punches out his tour guide, then latches onto the ceiling using a wrist-mounted grappling hook that was concealed under his sleeve. ZZZIP!
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Wolfram & Hart's source books. Well, they seemed pretty nifty in 2004, before the Kindle.
    • Wesley's library of tomes.
    • Inverted in Season Four, when an exhaustive scan of his books fails to dredge up any mention of The Beast. Later, Lilah forks over a duplicate copy of one of Wesley's books—this one, however, has an entry on The Beast earmarked. Explanation? "I got mine from way out of town." (i.e. an alternate dimension).
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: After Knox is gunned down, Illyria shows her lack of regard by kicking his corpse at Wesley.
  • Groin Kick: Cordelia momentarily staves off Barney by grabbing her head in pain, pretending to have a vision which involves him. Barney, now concerned, asks if she's envisioning him in great danger. "Pain." she replies, before kneeing him square in the crotch.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Trevor Lockley. "In my day we didn't need any damn sensitivity."
    • Angel veers into this at times, which is understandable given the weird locale he's in.

"I'm not cheap, I'm just old. I remember when a few bob got you a good meal, a bottle, and a tavern wench."

  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Exploited by Wesley in "The Ring". Wes dodges a security guard at XXI with the help of Cordy, who pretends to have gotten lost on the way to the Ladies Room.
  • Guns Akimbo: Wesley, on occasion.
    • Gunn used this on the Scourge during the "Only Human" Arc of After the Fall. It's as awesome as it sounds.
    • Wes has some seriously badarse guns-akimbo moments (maybe the best is when he decks Skip the Unstoppable this way); by the end of Season 5, it's in the intro.
    • Interestingly enough, this tactic rarely works. Illyria drops the bullets Matrix-style, Skip's carapace seems to be bullet proof, and the Beast seemed more amused than hurt.
  • Guns Are Useless: Despite being incredibly badass, Wesley's John Woo routine rarely works.


  • Half-Human Hybrid: A great number of demons (Doyle included) are some variation of this, causing no small consternation on the part of "purebloods" who wish to preserve the genetic line.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first half of season 2 was about Angel trying to stop Wolfram & Hart's plan with Darla. He succeeds but he fires his team in the process and he tries to win them back for the rest of the season.
  • Half Truth: Wesley's myriad of excuses for why he can't return to England.
    • Angel and Wesley grasping for positive things to say about Cordy's acting debut.

Wesley: Well, your...projection was excellent.
Angel: Yeah. I could hear every word and we were way in the back.
Cordy: Okay, so I was loud. But was I any good?
Wesley: You -- took the role and made it your own!
Cordy: Really? Thanks! Angel, was I good?
Angel: I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think so.
Cordy: Thanks! [beat] You didn’t say it.

    • Cordelia getting caught out in trying to dupe Angel & Wesley into taking on a divorce case. "According to the husband, the wife's a real witch!"
  • Hands Off My Fluffy: In "Judgment".
  • Hangover Sensitivity: In "In the Dark", Doyle starts wishing for one of those head-cracking, brain-splitting visions to hit him. ..Because it would pale in comparison to his hangover.
  • Happy Fun Ball: The "Nest Egg", a giant smiling egg containing the souls of Smile Time's young viewers. Angel is transformed into a puppet by the Egg's energy discharge.
  • Haunted Apartment: Cordelia rents one.
  • Haunted Headquarters: Cordelia's apartment, the Hyperion Hotel, and (of course) Wolfram & Hart.
    • That last one had an episode dedicated to all of the lost souls in the building. "High-risk employment", indeed.
  • Happy Dance: Numfar! Do the Dance of Joy!
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Lorne. The character encompasses many aspects of a stereotypically gay man; and he smirks upon mentioning Angel in leather pants. However he later says that the reason he never lived up to the expectations of his Proud Warrior Race is because he was "hanging by the well and chatting up the senoritas". Andy Hallet explained Lorne's sexuality as being closer to omnisexual (figuratively speaking), since he "loves all humans."
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Zig-zagged with Doyle, who claims that the awakening of his demonic side caused the collapse of his marriage. In actual fact, his wife Harrie came to accept his demon heritage, even becoming an ethnodemonologist, someone who studies demonic cultures. When Doyle withdrew from their relationship, Harrie became engaged to Richard, another demon-human hybrid.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: One of Angel's less-inspired disguises ("Sense & Sensitivity").
  • He Knows Too Much: Trevor Lockley's fate, after he starts asking a few too many questions about his associates.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Holtz became as dangerous and as likely to cross the Moral Event Horizon as vampires.
  • He's Back: "Epiphany" and "You're Welcome".
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Wesley's reaction to some blackmail photos of his client's antics at a demon brothel. When Angel points out that he's looking at the picture upside-down, Wes almost faints.
  • Deadly Change-of-Heart: Lilah. Arguably.
    • Arguably not even a villain per se, but rather simply obedient to whomever had any degree of real power. When Angel is given control of the L.A. branch of W&H, her post-death reaction to "what might have been" is practically face-painted.
    • Lindsey, to his chagrin. Mostly a case of Angel invoking this before he can switch sides again.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Evil Faith looks delicious in her black leather pants ("Five By Five").
    • The trio of evil Watchers (Collins, Weatherby, and Smith) are each wearing matching leather jackets.
  • Hell Hotel: The Hyperion from the 1950s until Team Angel moves in.
  • Hellevator: Complete with obnoxious Easy Listening music.
  • Hellish Pupils: Tom Cribb, a reptilian cage fighter in "The Ring".
  • Hero Antagonist: Buffy shows up to assassinate Faith, and doesn't much care that Angel's trying to redeem her. It gets so bad that Buffy attacks Angel to get to Faith, and at the end Angel tells her to fuck off home.
  • Heroic BSOD: Angel suffers from one of these in Pylea upon seeing the true form of his vampiric face (in his normal dimension even vampires as old as the Master haven't manifested the full horror of a vampire's true face).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Doyle in series 1.
    • Wesley in the final episode.
    • Then in Season 5, Angel and Spike argue over who gets to be the Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Heroic Suicide: Darla
  • Heroic Team Revolt: Self-inflicted in the second season. Angel kicks the team out and when he changes his mind has to go to lengths to get them back on his side.
  • Herr Doktor: Dr. Fetvanovich, from Wolfram & Hart's satellite office in the Balkans.
  • Hidden Depths: Watch the first few episodes of Buffy, then watch "You're Welcome"—Cordelia's come a long way in the course of seven years.
    • The same goes for Wesley, who took a serious level in badarse.
    • Anne Steele, the clueless vampire groupie from Buffy, turns up in Angel as an idealistic social worker.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: Wesley's conservative guess of the destruction caused by Illyria's implosion: Several city blocks. Angel requests an "unconservative" guess. Wes: "Rand & McNally will have to redraw their maps."
  • Hit Me Dammit: In the episode "Billy", a Hate Plague-infected Gunn orders Fred to knock him unconscious with a broken chair leg. It takes a couple of tries.
  • Hobos: The Kwaini are a (supposedly) peaceful species of demons who dress up in wool clothes and hats, causing several passerby to mistake them for hobos ("The Prodigal").
    • Boretz demons are a species known for their bad odor and poisonous mandibles. They have a habit of dressing up like transients to prey on homeless people ("Power Play").
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Wesley tranquilizing one his Watcher associates with the syringe they entrusted him with in the first place.

Wesley: [decks Weatherby] That's for calling me a "ponce".

  • Hollywood Exorcism: The episodes "Rm w/a View" and "I've Got You Under My Skin" are centered around exorcisms targeted at a ghost and possessed child, respectively.
    • The latter episode turns out to be a subversion, as the demon in question wasn't responsible for the boy's crimes and in fact held no control at all; the kid was already a psycho from the start.
  • Holy Burns Evil
  • Holy Child: These crop up occasionally in such episodes as "Judgement" or "Time Bomb".
  • Homage: Joss has a fondness for John Woo movies. Shocking, I know. Angel's fluttering trenchcoat, slo-mo walk, and Wesley's patented "Leap sideways while firing two pistols" technique are all shout-outs.
  • Honest Advisor: Cordelia is a no-holds barred example. Wesley fills this role in Seasons 4-5 following her departure.
    • Gunn's sister, Alonna, doesn't mince words when she thinks he's being stupid. ("War Zone")
  • Honest John's Dealership: The only way to contain an Ethros demon is to trap it in a rare Ethros Box. Angel gives Cordelia the address of a shop he knows downtown, Rick's Magick & Stuff; Rick, however, does not have a box carved by "blind Tibetan monks," so Cordy instead buys a discounted one made by "mute Chinese nuns." Rick warns her it might be a little "tight across the shoulders" for the Ethros (oh boy, this'll be fun). Predictably, the box is reduced to splinters when Angel and Wesley exorcise the demon into it.
  • Hope Spot: If people are ever smiling on this show, brace yourself.
  • Hopeless Auditionees: In the wake of Doyle's death, Cordy auditions for a laundry detergent commercial, investing her lines with way more pathos than is called for.

"See? *sniff* Just spray it on, [gulps] ...and rub it in... [chokes back tears] ...and in minutes... [sobs*] ...the stain is gone. IT'S COMPLETELY GONE!!

  • Horny Devils: When females of the Vigorie come of age, they goes through a period where their "ko" supercharges their sexual urges, which manifests as intense heat and super-strength. At first they can't control this power, and need to be cooled constantly in baths of ice.
    • The demon hookers in "War Zone" come with fuzzy tails.
  • Horrible Hollywood: Often lampooned.
    • Wesley laments that Illyria still thinks she's the god-king of the universe. Gunn, searching for an analogy, ends up on "TV star." Wesley replies, "No, nothing that bad." Zing!
    • Angel very nearly decapitates a director who is verbally abusing Cordelia during a commercial shoot.
  • Hot Amazon: Faith is one of the few people who can kick Connor's ass, and he almost seems to like it. Lampshaded by Cordelia that like his father he has a thing for Slayers.
  • House of Broken Mirrors: One of the first signs that Darla's soul is beginning to destabilise her mental state is when Lindsay returns home and finds she's smashed up his entire apartment. When Angel's team later investigate the place, Angel immediately realises that what she was doing was destroying all the reflective surfaces in the apartment to try and avoid catching a glimpse of her own reflection.
  • How We Got Here: "Why We Fight" begins with Angel's friends being picked off one-by-one by a well-groomed vampire. The rest of the episode consists of flashbacks to a World War II submarine, where the mystery man (Jack Lawson) first crossed paths with Angel.
  • Hufflepuff House: Gunn's street gang. Lily's teen shelter can be considered an adjunct.
  • Human Sacrifice: A common practice at Wolfram & Heart, at least until Team Angel moves in. Minor examples are found everywhere else in this show, from the standard "evil cult" variety to the apocalyptic "oh God the Beast just killed Hollywood" kind.
  • Humanity Ensues: "I Will Remember You".
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters Or at least the men are, since one episode involved a guy with evil powers that caused the latent murderous misogyny in all men to emerge. Vampires are immune to this since they don't hate women in such a petty manner.
    • Actually, Angel says that the reason he isn't affected is because he's let go of the rage and hate that Billy brought out. A normal vampire probably would be affected because they wouldn't be as evolved as Angel.
    • Also the reason why Wolfram & Hart can't be stopped.
  • The Hunter: Holtz was a genuine vampire hunter even before his fateful meeting with Angelus and Darla.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Holtz turned Angelus and Darla into this.
  • Hurting Hero: And he can't ever stop hurting, or else he'll slaughter everyone. Dayum.
    • Gunn and Angel bond over their mutually-grim existence at the end of "War Zone", standing side-by-side on a roof overlooking the city.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Cordelia quite often, especially in season one.

Cordelia: You know what I think? I think he uses his tortured, creature of the night status as a license to be rude and insensitive. Sure he’s polite to the helpless and downtrodden but he ignores the people closest to him! The people who matter the most you know! Can you say clueless? (Meanwhile Doyle is being audibly strangled by a demon about four metres behind her.)

    • Doyle himself often said one thing and a moment later did the opposite.

Doyle: Just simmer down here, okay? Violence isn't gonna solve a thing, alright? (punches bar patron) On the other hand, it is kinda festive.

      • In the pilot he tells Angel that the world needs men like them to show that there's still love and compassion left then he tells off a homeless person asking for change.
    • In "Eternity", Angel plays down the news article reporting on his rescue of Rebecca Lowell. "We ran into an actor. It's Hollywood. It happens." When Wesley remarks that there's no mention of Angel, however, the high-minded vampire suddenly does a double-take. "What?!"
    • In "Smile Time" Angel says he's paying more attention to what's going on with the people around him. Then he promptly gets clawed by Nina who he failed to notice had just changed into a werewolf.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Cordy's pitch for an Angel Investigations TV spot. "Maybe that bald Star Trek guy, or one of the cheaper Baldwins."
    • A few weeks into running the firm's Entertainment Division, Lorne finds himself doing this constantly. He suggests selling a script based on the Buffy/Angel/Spike love triangle.

"I see Depp and Bloom. ...Then again, I see them a lot."


[on the phone] "I'm pretty sure Henry Fonda's dead, honey. ..."Bring him back to life"?!"



  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Cordelia, while queen of Pylea, says "Off with their heads!" when asked what to do about her captured friends. She quickly says "Just kidding" and sheepishly admits she's always wanted to say that.
  • I Can't See Myself: Marcus Roscoe's reaction upon bodysurfing into Angel.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Invoked a lot.
  • I Don't Like You and You Don't Like Me: At the conclusion of "Shells", Spike admits to Angel that he doesn't really like him. And another two hundred years probably isn't going to change that. Nevertheless, Spike decides to honor Fred by staying on with the crew.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Point Dume (pronounced DOOM), a real-life promontory on the coast of Malibu. In the Season 3 finale, Angel and Cordelia agree to rendezvous here to confess their feelings for each other, unaware that Connor has some nasty vengeance planned indeed.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Angel once sired a vampire after he had a soul - a mortally wounded submarine captain who had to be kept alive to bring his ship back to the surface to save his crew. This apparently left him with just enough of a conscience to take not the slightest pleasure in his slaughter - but not enough to keep him from butchering people just like every other vampire out there. Sixty years later, he showed up and forced Angel to kill him. The trope name itself also sums up Connor and Angel's relationship, though it's not actually an example.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Nerdy software giant David Nabbit is stuck supporting the wall at his own party. He becomes clingy after Angel and his associates render a service, showing up at their offices with a cape and sword.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Angel's very first client.
    • Gunn fails to stop a gang of vampires from driving away with his sister. By the time Gunn meets her again, she's already been vamp'ed.
    • Not only does Angel fail to cure Darla's illness, but he's foiled in preventing Drusilla from re-siring Darla as a vampire.
    • Angel fails to save Cordy in Season Four, partly due to errors stretching all the way back to the previous year.
    • In the fifth season when Angel learns that the ritual to save Fred will kill thousands, he declares his intention perform the ritual, but can't go through with it.
  • I Lied: Griff, after promising Doyle another day to cough up the money.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Angel chases and corners Spike in an alley blocked by a Chain Link Fence. Spike doesn't even attempt to leap the fence, instead turning around and surrendering with an air of smugness. Angel takes the bait, and is garroted by Spike's henchman, Marcus. Whoops.

Spike: Caught me fair and square, white hat! Guess there's nothin' to do now but go along quietly and pay my debt to society.

  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: As Wesley and Cordelia compare bruises from the previous night's tangle with Faith, Cordy says, "If it's any consolation, it really does look like you were tortured by a much larger woman."
  • I'll Kill You!: In the Victorian-era flashbacks of "Five By Five", Darla reacts to Angel's newfound soul the same way a human would to a vampire—by recoiling in fear and trying to kill him.
    • After Wesley conspires with Holtz to steal Angel's son (and gets a slit throat for his trouble) Angel pays him a visit in the hospital. At first it seems like Angel is prepared to reconcile, but then he suddenly grabs a pillow and tries to smother Wesley with it. Angel continues to hurl curses and threats at Wesley as he is dragged away by Gunn and some orderlies.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: A somewhat dumbfounded Wesley asks, "Is anyone else cold?" after getting shot in the gut. ("The Thin Dead Line")
  • I'm Not Afraid of You
  • I'm Standing Right Here:

Angel: I'm NOT a eunuch!

    • When Cordelia starts fretting over Angel possibly having sex with superstar Rebecca Lowell (and losing his soul), Wesley reminds her that Angel's curse hinges on him experiencing true happiness. Besides," Wes says, "What are the odds he'll find that with an actress? -- before realizing his mistake.
    • Groo's compliment to Cordelia that she is "a goddess":

Cordelia: Well, demonness, anyway. Sure beats horns and a tail.
Lorne: (offended) Hey! I'm standing right here.

    • "Bachelor Party":

Cordelia: Hi Doyle. Are you gonna become loser pining guy, like, full time? 'Cause we already have one of those around the office.
Angel and Doyle: Hey!

  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Angel often has to remind others of this, particularly when they accuse him of being Angelus in disguise.
    • Conversely, Holland Manners spells this out for Angel in "Reunion".
    • In "Underneath", Angel is forced to to free Lindsey from Wolfram & Hart's prison dimension. Lindsey notices Angel's sword and, assuming they've come to kill him, snarls, "Make it quick." Exasperated, Angel replies, "If I was gonna kill you, it wouldn't be quick."
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Gunn is compelled to twist Professor Seidel's neck before tossing his limp corpse down a portal, ostensibly so Fred wouldn't have to do it ("Supersymmetry").
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Darla once tested Angel by offering him a baby to eat.
  • Ignored Epiphany: A couple of cases can be argued, but Lindsey helping Angel save the kids but going back to Wolfram and Heart for a promotion, raise and "ungodly benefits".
    • The entirety of season 5 consists of Angel rejecting his own from the episode Epiphany in season 2. In the end he essentially retries his suicide mission against the Senior Partners from the second season, he just has better information and the rest of the team with him this time.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Angel's advice to Kate before taking the mic at her father's retirement bash.

Kate: (glances at Angel) Way ahead of you.

  • Imagine Spot: Angel being asked if he wants to dance. Ho boy.
    • "Sanctuary" picks up where the previous story left off, with Angel tucking Faith into bed in his apartment. Faith imagines herself springing up and slashing Angel's face with a knife.
  • Immortality Begins At Twenty
  • Immortality Immorality: Rebecca Lowell, an actress who hopes to revive her flagging career by becoming an ageless vampire. Only in Hollywood...
  • Impaled Palm: Wesley interrogates a loan shark by shooting his hand a crossbow bolt, pinning it against a wall. Then Wes reaches for the bolt and twists it. Bear in mind, this is still "Nice Guy Season One" Wesley we're talking about here.
    • After Angel spares her life, a stunned Alonna Gunn missteps and trips one of her own booby traps. With lightning speed, Angel catches an arrow directed at her with his palm. "Ow."
    • Holtz drives a nail through Justine's hand to test her loyalty.
    • Wesley also has this done to him by a booby trap in Season 4, Episode 10.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Angel battles Marcus beneath the shade of an overhanging pier. Angel impales him on a large beam, but the Gem of Amarra renders Marcus invincible—until angel yanks it off his finger.
    • When Penn puts Angel in a headlock, Angel signals Kate to impale him with an oversized piece of wood. She jabs it though both of them, missing Angel's heart but killing Penn.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Wesley and Cordelia make a bumbling effort to pass as detectives in "The Ring". Wes rapidly waves his wallet around to imitate a flashed badge.
    • Angel's masterful performance as a lead detective at a crime scene—using only a styrofoam coffee cup.
  • Implacable Man: This is Hamilton and Illyria's baseline combat strategy.
  • Inherent in the System: The theme of Season Five.

Fred: We didn't sell out. We're changing the system from the inside.
Gunn: You know, when you say it out loud, it sounds really naive.

  • Internal Reformist: The main cast's plan for season 5.
  • In the Past Everyone Will Be Famous: Angel likes to name drop. In addition to hanging out with Charles Baudelaire and the Rat Pack, Angel was also (somehow) at the first taping of The Carol Burnett Show.
  • Indy Ploy: Angel's preferred strategy. And Gunn's. And Groosalugg's. And Spike's. In fact it's probably safe to say that the only member of the team to ever think a plan through was Wesley, and he still came up with plenty of horrible plans.

Cordelia: Gunn graduated with a major in Dumb Planning from Angel University. He sat at the feet of the master, and learned well, how to plan dumbly.

  • The Informant: Merl.
  • Informed Attribute : Angel is told that he's quite attractive. Since he can't actually look in the mirror, he takes their word for it. Also, in the episode 'In The Dark', while wearing The Gem of Amarra and walking around in the daylight, Oz claims Angel is paler than most people. This time it's the audience that takes his word for it.
  • Insistent Terminology: Spike insists on being called "Captain" while aboard a submarine in 1943. "After all, I did eat him."
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: The ones in "Lineage" are of the Cyborg variety.
  • Instant Sedation: The Watcher's Council operatives give Wesley a syringe containing a sedative "powerful enough to bring down a man twice your size - or a Slayer." (i.e. Faith) What's more, all it requires is "a little pressure on the flesh" to work.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Angel and Cordelia. Shipping aside, in Spin the Bottle he calls her "his dearest friend".
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: Gunn grills a wealthy man by juggling a set of priceless conjuring orbs in front of him. He intentionally smashes one to prove his point.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Played for laughs in "I Will Remember You", the episode following Angel's visit to see Buffy. When Cordelia and Doyle arrive for work, they immediately panic when they spout Angel examining a stake. "Don't do it, Angel!" (Angel's using it to prop up his desk.)
  • Ironic Echo: "I just can't seem to care." And let's not forget "Is that it? Am I done?" or even (arguably) "I get that now".
    • Attorney Lee Mercer makes the mistake of getting in Faith's face, warning her not to make him "look bad". Faith immediately starts hammering his head into a table while parroting his line (The next time we see Mercer, he's wearing a neck brace).
    • "Survival of the fittest, bro. And right now you're not lookin' too fit."
  • Is There A Geppetto In The House?
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "All Through the Night".
  • It Got Worse: Connor is seduced by Jasmine-posessed Cordelia during what looks like the end of the world and brainwashed into believing she loves him and that he must protect their love child which is actually Jasmine.
    • He spends a great deal of time believing The Beast's emergence and the mayhem and slaughter which ensues is his fault because The Beast rose on the exact spot he was born. Jasmine planned it that way, but it wasn't his fault. ** Also at the end of "The Magic Bullet" it is revealed that he was never brain-washed by Jasmine and was following her of his own volition.
    • In "Home" he holds a store full of people hostage with a bunch of explosive devices, likely in an attempt to make Angel kill him.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Many things, but an example from this show is the demonstration article of that page.
  • It Meant Something to Me
  • It Works Better with Bullets: As a sporting chance, Faith jokingly tosses Angel a revolver, but it shoots blanks. Subverted when Faith reclaims the gun and shoots Angel point-blank; looks like there was a bullet in the chamber.
  • It's All My Fault: In exchange for being given legal knowledge, Gunn signs off on a document allowing Illyria's sarcophagus to pass through customs, which eventually leads to the death of Fred. Naturally he is devastated and reluctant to tell anyone about it, and is even stabbed by Wesley after he finds out.
  • It's Been Done: In "Soulless", Angelus finds more humor in his son's dalliances with Cordelia than his alter-ego did.

Angelus: Doing your mom, and trying to kill your Dad. There should be a play.

  • It's a Long Story: Subverted in "I Will Remember You" as Buffy is busy taking the piss out of Angel.

Angel: It's complicated how this all happened, Buffy, you know? It's kind of a long story.
Buffy: Your new sidekick had a vision, I was in it, you came to Sunnydale?
Angel: [beat] Okay. Maybe not that long.

  • It's Personal: After Angel telephones Giles to learn what horrors Faith inflicted on Buffy, Wesley notices that Angel is absolutely fuming ("Five By Five").
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: "Birthday", in which Cordelia witnesses a vision of her life had she never crossed paths with Angel during the pilot episode.


  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Wesley has no qualms about sticking a few blades in people for information. Or if he's pissed off. And this is before his gritty makeover—he's torturing people as early as Season One, which gives us this gem not long after Wesley's dorky, incompetent arrival on the show:

"You should understand that the man I work for means a great deal to me. And I will not give you a single red cent. What I will do, sir, is beat it out of you if I have to." {{[[[Impaled Palm]] pins informant's hand}} to a wall with a small, rather painful-looking crossbow bolt, and proceeds to twist it slowly] "Where is my employer?"

  • The Juggernaut: Illyria, The Beast, Hamilton and Jasmine, to name a few.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Angel knows the evil things Faith had done, perhaps even more than Buffy as he had witnessed at least Faith's attempted rape and murder and it's never shown he shares this. Despite this he offers Faith sanctuary when she is so disgusted at how evil she had become she wants Angel to kill her. Buffy on the other hand is more than happy to honor that request, enraged at what Faith had done and enraged that Angel wants to reform her.

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