[[quoteright:175:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ateam.jpg]]

->''In 1972,[[note]]"Ten years ago" in early episodes[[/note]] a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the UsefulNotes/LosAngeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... [[TitleDrop the A-Team]]. ([[EarWorm Dun-Dun-Dun-Dunnn! Dun-dun-dun...]])''
-->--'''OpeningNarration'''

''The A-Team'' is one of the most famous of the 1980s action series, running from 1983 to 1987.

The four members of the A-Team are:
* '''Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith''' -- leader of the team, a cunning master of disguise.
* '''Captain H.M. "Howlin' Mad" Murdock''' -- the resident pilot, who may or may not be insane.
* '''Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck''' -- the "charmer" of the team.
* '''Sergeant Bosco "B.A." ("Bad Attitude") Baracus''' -- played by Creator/MrT, he is the team's strongman with a famous fear of flying.

Each episode would start with a bunch of innocent people being menaced by a bunch of people with guns, who want their land, water, taxi company etc.

They would go talk to a man who they thought would get them in contact with the A-Team. Most of the time, it would turn out to be a member of the A-Team -- Hannibal in disguise who had to make sure the people in question are not part of a trap to capture the team.

They would go along to the location of the activity in their CoolCar, which in their case was actually a distinctive-looking custom van -- [[FridgeLogic an odd choice for a group who are supposed to be in hiding]]. There they would do a lot of ATeamFiring, beat up the baddies and often [[MacGyvering MacGyver up]] an armored vehicle over the course of an ATeamMontage.

The show ran for five seasons, with several minor cast changes along the way; the show's eventual decline was attributed to the constantly-recycled and extremely formulaic plot. Attempts to win viewers back, by both changing the overall premise and having the A-Team overseen by a former antagonist, worked for only a short while.

Logic and credibility were usually ignored for the series' trademark over-the-top explosions, but the show never took itself particularly seriously, anyway: most of Hannibal's disguises were paper-thin, the villains were usually mostly-inept and somewhat one-dimensional, and the weapons that the Team [[MacGyvering cobbled together from miscellaneous parts]] were invariably more effective than the machine guns that the episode's villains used.

A [[Film/TheATeam big-screen version]] was released in June 2010, with Creator/LiamNeeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinton Jackson as the team. The trailer can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM0ypzvuphg on YouTube]]. Tropes go to the respective page.
----
!!''The A-Team'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* AccentAdaptation: One episode has the gang going to a [[CaliforniaDoubling horribly]] [[LatinLand inaccurate version]] [[{{Spexico}} of Valencia, Spain]]. In one scene, Murdock pretends to be a local pilot in front of the bad guys by speaking broken Spanish. When this episode was later released in Spain, Murdock was given an over the top, but completely accurate Valencian accent in this scene, making it completely unexpected and jaw-droppingly hilarious.
* AcePilot: Murdock. If it has wings, he can fly it. ...and he might even be able to land it safely!
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Believe it or not, the series had a few of these. The most notable is the season 4 finale, involving their pursuer General Fullbright enlisting their help to go back to Vietnam to find his illegitimate daughter. The humor of the show is replaced by a somber mood, as the team reflects on their experiences in Vietnam.
* ActuallyIAmHim: People looking for the team usually found Hannibal in disguise when they met with the person who was supposed to get them in contact.
* AdjectiveAnimalAlehouse: In "The Big Squeeze", when Hannibal decides to use props from his movie producer friends to fake a new restaurant to lure in some Mafia extortionists, he sets up an Irish pub called "The Naked Lady."
* AirVentPassageway: Several episodes, including one where Murdock escapes from a locked room, with his hands bound no less, through a ventilation shaft. Hannibal and B.A. boost him into the shaft while Face distracts the guard.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The last episode of the series ended with this discussion:
--> '''Hannibal:''' Chasing thugs through the park...it's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?\\
'''Face:''' It has a terrible ring to it.\\
'''Murdock:''' Just think, if we get a pardon, we may never have to eat a knuckle sandwich again.\\
'''B.A.:''' I wouldn't bet on it, Crazy Man. Looks like Hannibal's on the jazz again.\\
'''Face:''' What, what, wha-\\
'''Murdock:''' No, you - you tell me right now, you tell me right to my face, you tell me that you don't have a plan.\\
'''Hannibal:''' Well I - I was thinking, what are we gonna do when this thing's over? I mean, what are ''we'' really qualified to do?\\
'''Face:''' Go after...thugs in the park?\\
'''Hannibal:''' And...outlaw motorcycle gangs, organized crime figures...why, there's a ''world'' of slimeballs out there.\\
'''Murdock:''' I ''knew'' it. I just ''knew'' you had a plan.\\
'''Hannibal:''' Comforting, isn't it?\\
'''B.A.:''' I'll get the van.
* AlwaysCamp: Hannibal takes advantage of this stereotype when playing a hairdresser in "Pros and Cons."
* AntiHero: Colonel Lynch, Colonel Decker, and General Fullbright all qualify as this as well as HeroAntagonist, especially the latter two who are more than willing to use destructive or shady methods in their attempts at apprehending the A-Team. Colonel Decker once even went so far as to work with a group of criminals to try and catch the team, though he did make it clear he wasn't happy to be doing so.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In the Season 2 premiere, "Diamonds 'n Dust", Murdock uses this to insult a South African store owner when he's pretending to be a English officer ("Col. Lexington") as he and Face try to "confiscate" some dynamite:
-->'''Murdock''': No kippers, no herring-bone tweed, no Rolls Royce petrol caps, ''no original pressings of "Hey Jude!!!"''\\
'''Face''': ''(mouthing)'' "Hey Jude?"
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: A second season episode features a sequence where Hannibal Smith attempts to help defend a young woman and her son against a prison escapee invading their home. Hannibal's way of telling the woman to lock the front door of the house is to gesture with his loaded shotgun in an enclosed environment, pointing it directly at her. Strange considering that both the character Hannibal Smith and the ''actor that played him'', Creator/GeorgePeppard, are veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
* AsleepForDays: Inverted whenever they drugged BA in order to fly anywhere. They would tell him he's been asleep for two days and they had driven the whole way, when in truth they flew and it had been only a few hours.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: The native chanting in ''The Crystal Skull'' (see the Lampshade Hanging entry).
* BadassCrew: A prototype example. Maybe the first in primetime TV.
* BadassInDistress: Murdock in "Bounty" gets abducted from the V.A. hospital by bounty hunters who think he can lead them to the A-Team.
* BadassPreacher: Reverend Taylor in "Pure-Dee Poison".
--> '''Villain:''' [[ShutUpKirk Reverend, I'm not gonna listen to any more of your preaching.]]\\
'''Reverend Taylor:''' Well that's fine with me, 'cause I'm through sermonizing. ''(Pulls out a shotgun)'' [[PreAsskickingOneLiner Let us pray]].
* BadGuysPlayPool: Common in episodes set in the rural Southwest.
* {{Balloonacy}}: The team once escaped from prison in hot air balloons made from garbage bags, hair dryers and hairdresser's chairs. It was Murdock's idea, of course.
-->'''Hannibal''': Murdock, how'd I let you talk me into this?\\
'''Murdock (already floating away)''': I don't know--I have intermittent memory loss. *floats away cackling*
* BallsOfSteel: A bad guy slams his rifle into BA's crotch with no effect.
* BandOfBrothers: The main characters due to their shared combat experience.
* BarBrawl: Multiple episodes, usually when the team is facing off against the villain of the week.
* TheBarnum: Face genuinely reveled in being a ConMan, and never showed signs of wanting to reform. He seemed to love the scheme just as much as the payoff.
** FridgeBrilliance: Face, though not a coward by any stretch, often showed signs of not liking violence that much. He probably likes trying to con people so they can get away without a shootout or fistfight - not that he doesn't enjoy the con for its own sake, mind you.
* BavarianFireDrill: Half the series is one long string of these after the other. From conning a plane for a nonexistent Texas millionaire to hitchhiking a landing on the pretense of a heart attack. In about five minutes.
* BedsheetGhost: Murdock's disguise in "Judgement Day".
* BigDamnHeroes: Look in a dictionary and if [[Series/{{Firefly}} Mal Reynolds']] picture isn't next to the definition, chances are a picture of these guys is.
* BlandNameProduct:
** Quite a lot in "Blood, Sweat, and Cheers," given the episode's focus on stock car racing. Most notably, a scene taking place just before a race shows the villain's car with a large "Firestom" logo, even using a slightly fancier version of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company font.
** In "Members Only" the country club that the episode revolves around is host to a number of famous people including "[[Creator/MartinScorsese Sikorski]]", the head of "[[Creator/TriStarPictures BiStar Pictures]]".
* BornLucky: Hannibal Smith. He's either this or a bloody wizard. No matter what the situation, he will find a way to come out on top.
* TheBoxingEpisode: The season 3 episode "Champ!" in which the team protects an up-and-coming heavyweight boxer from a would-be drug dealer trying to threaten him into throwing his first big match.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Used by Murdock at a country club in the Season 4 episode "Members Only":
-->'''Murdock''': The tennis courts are night-lit, there's an extra putting green there, that's the front nine, and that's Faceman chasing someone into the rough.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: In "The Beast from the Belly of a Boeing", Hannibal and Face recieve some money for a hostage situation and Face comments that it sure would be tempting to just take the money and run. Hannibal talks him down, but is clearly tempted himself.
* BuildingIsWelding: All the time. Sometimes taken to ridiculous extremes, such as when the team welds together ''a restaurant'' as part of their scheme to trick the villains.
* BusmansHoliday: "Incident at Crystal Lake". After Colonel Decker has been getting a bit too close, the team goes to the titular Crystal Lake national park for a relaxing vacation, but instead runs into a crew of crooks fresh off an armored car robbery. At the end the team agrees that busting bad guys is more fun than any vacation could ever be anyway.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Especially egregious when California doubled for South America, Africa, and Borneo.
* CantGetInTroubleForNuthin': In the episode "Pros and Cons" the team are trying to get arrested, but the local law enforcement fear that arresting tourists will bring in the FBI to investigate them. The team commit progressively worse and worse violations to try and get arrested, culminating in them ''crashing their car through the sheriff's office window''.
* CarnivalOfKillers: "Deadly Maneuvers" had a syndicate of crime lords pay Major Douglas Kyle to assemble a DreamTeam of mercenaries to hunt down the A-Team.
* TheCasanova:
** Face, the HandsomeLech who can con anyone out of anything and is often seen with a woman on each arm.
** Subverted by Murdock in "Blood, Sweat, and Cheers". He manages to pull it off while impersonating billionaire playboy Giancarlo Figorrati, though it's really all thanks to Face speaking for him while he [[MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels rambles nonsensically in broken Italian]].
-->'''Murdock:''' Dove il barbiere pi vicino? [[note]]Where is the nearest barber?[[/note]]\\
'''Girl:''' Oh, what did you say, Giancarlo?\\
'''Face:''' Ah, he said "your hair is lovely in this light."\\
'''Girl:''' Oh, he's so cute!
* CasanovaWannabe: Murdock as the "Hunk Man" in "Mind Games", oh so very much. When Face is released on a government pardon Murdock tries to replace him. It doesn't go well.
-->'''Murdock:''' You sound like a... groovy chick. I'm a six foot, square-jawed bundle of fun. I've got a [[CoolCar 'Vette]], it's hot, I like to talk about... whales! I like sushi, and sharing. Perhaps I could squeeze you into my date-filled calendar book, say Friday? ... ...huh, must've got cut off.
* CassandraTruth: The other three wouldn't believe Faceman that he was thrown out of a seventh floor window into [[SoftWater a pool]] in "The Battle of Bel Air".
* CatchPhrase:
** "I ain't goin' on no airplane!"
** "I love it when a plan comes together."
** Hannibal's standardized greeting, "What do ya say, [name]?"
* ChainedToARailway: The team does it to a villain in an episode set in, of all places, Miami.
* ChairReveal: Murdock's back is seen for about a minute behind Hannibal and Face in "Members Only" before he turns around. They are at a very upscale country club where Face is trying hard to become a member, and Murdock is there as a guest of his doctor.
* ChaseScene: At ''least'' one per episode.
* TheChick:
** Amy Amanda "Triple A" Allen, a newspaper reporter who assisted the team in the first season and part of the second. She was eventually [[PutOnABus sent to Jakarta "on assignment"]] when conflicts between Culea and the producers led to her departure (either by firing or her simply getting fed up at having no dialog).
** The role of TheChick was next filled by SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute, Tawnia Baker, for the rest of season 2 and early portions of season 3 before she [[PutOnABus got married and moved to LA]], with no new actress brought in to fill the archetype for the rest of the series.
** The new character of Tia was set up at the very end of Season 4 to become this, but due to the actress's contractual obligations, she [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome was never seen or mentioned again]].
** According to both Dirk Benedict and George Peppard, Triple A and her counterpart were there only because of [[{{ExecutiveMeddling}} studio demands]], and the male leads felt that a female on the show slowed the action down too much.
* ChickMagnet: Face can attract women even when he's trying to focus on someone else.
* ChineseLaunderer: One of Hannibal's most-referenced comic disguises.
* CigarFuseLighting: In one episode the team jury-rig a flamethrower, but fail to jury-rig a pilot light. Instead the instructions are: throw the cigar in front of you, then open up.
* ClearMyName: The premise of the fifth season, though it never came to be before the show was canceled.
** This is also what forced the team into hiding. "The Crime They Didn't Commit" was eventually revealed to be a bank robbery in Hanoi, Vietnam, which they were in fact ordered to do, but the man who gave them the order was killed and all evidence of his orders destroyed.
** In the fifth season premiere, they ''were'' cleared of the robbery when [[spoiler: a former Vietnamese colonel testified in their court-martial that their commanding officer sent them to rob a bank in order for them to be captured by the North Vietnamese]]. Of course, by that time [[spoiler: the A-Team was being tried for the murder of their commanding officer]].
* ClothingDamage: Played for laughs. To impersonate a gangster and infiltrate a meeting, the team kidnap him and send Murdock in with his clothes. The gangster escapes and blows Murdock's cover in the middle of the meeting, but stops people from shooting him so as to not damage his clothes.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Murdock. It's never made entirely clear whether he's actually insane or just acting so he can keep living in the Veterans Administration Hospital. One way or the other, he's a textbook example of a Cloudcuckoolander, which B.A. absolutely hates.
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar
* ColonelBadass:
** John "Hannibal" Smith
** Colonel Decker
* ComicBookAdaptation: MarvelComics put out a short-lived comic based on the Amy Allen era.
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike:
** In "The Only Church In Town" the Mother Superior of the orphanage the team saves is quite unhappy with the Team using force to drive off the bandits terrorizing them. [[spoiler:This is because the bandits are just a small squad from a much larger gang and angering them means the rest of the gang will return and try to destroy the orphanage.]]
** In "Harder Than It Looks" when the team rescues a girl from the terrorist group holding her hostage she fights them every step of the way and even holds them at gunpoint and demands they take her back. [[spoiler:Her boyfriend is a member of the group, who has been questioning their methods and she knows the group's leaders are just looking for an excuse to off him. She's worried they'll think he helped her escape and kill him.]]
** In "Deadly Maneuvers", Murdock borrows one of B.A.'s necklaces (a sharp crescent moon) to cut their ropes and free them. In the process he inadvertently implies that B.A. is fat and also accidentally breaks the gold chain to the necklace, both of which B.A. complains about.
** In "Hot Styles" a large part of the plot revovles around the DamselInDistress's unwillingness to let Face and his friends save her. [[spoiler:It turns out the villain is also holding her young son, and she's afraid he'll be hurt if she tries to escape.]]
* ConMan: Face, who also operated as the team's [[TheFixer Fixer]].
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: Murdock sometimes converses with a sock puppet. Another great way of annoying B.A.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment:
** One episode has the team knocking out B.A. (again) so they can get on a plane. This time however they're in the middle of a mission, so they can't wait for him to calm down. Hannibal decides that the only way to solve the problem is to let B.A. take his revenge on them after the mission is over, which Face and Murdock are horrified about. B.A. is creepily cheerful throughout the rest of the episode, and the Team dreads what he'll do to them. Finally, when it's all over, B.A. prepares to punish them. He lines them all up and [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech calls them out on their flaws and why they annoy him]]. B.A. also reveals that instead of flying back, he's chartered a boat. As part of their payment, the rest of the team has to help with the upkeep as well as repaint the whole thing. The team decides they would've preferred if he had just beaten them up.
** Also used to interrogate a villain in "Mind Games". Murdock, as the CasanovaWannabe "Hunk Man" offers to charm the information they want from the enemy. Hannibal suggests that this would be equally as torturous as simply letting B.A. beat the crap out of the guy.
* CoolCar
** Their black van with custom red trim.
** Face's white Corvette with the big red stripe counts, too.
* CorruptHick: To judge from this show, every small town in rural America is controlled by one of these, or was until the A-Team passed through.
* CouldHaveBeenMessy: Every episode has a scene where the A-Team and their opponents exchange billions of rounds of gunfire. Nobody is ever shot. ''EVER''.
** Averted in the season four finale. [[spoiler: Fullbright is fatally wounded by a Vietnamese general as the team makes their escape, and Hannibal retaliates by blowing up the shed he was in]].
** Well, there are the two times in which [[spoiler: Murdock and Face]] get shot, but both times, only a single bullet is fired.
** And in the first scene of the episode "Pros and Cons" (involving illegal prison fights), the warden strides up to the loser and points a gun at him - we don't see what happens next, but a rematch is unlikely.
* CovertDistressCode: "Red Ball One" and "Bag is Leaking" mean "big trouble" and "one of the team took some lead" as explained to Amy by Murdock, who receives the code from the team.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: It wouldn't be ''The A-Team'' without it.
* DestructiveSaviour: Very much so. The millions of dollars worth of property damage the A-Team causes ''per episode'' would be enough for them to be considered criminals even if they weren't already wanted by the government.
* DiegeticSwitch: As the team decorates their own restaurant in an ATeamMontage in "The Big Squeeze", they bring in a piano, Faceman continues the background music on it, which starts again after he stops.
* DistressedDude: Face sure did seem to get captured a lot.
* TheDitz: Gas station attendant Kelvin in "The Little Town with an Accent" is somewhere between this and NoSocialSkills.
* DubNameChange:
** B.A. Baracus in Latin America is called Mario Baracus [[TheDanza and is voiced by Mario Sauret]].
** In Spain, Faceman is called Fnix[[note]]''Phoenix''[[/note]].
** For the French, B.A. is Barracuda.
** In Italian, to keep the "bad attitude" pun, it's P.E. Baracus (short for "pessimo elemento", that is, "bad element").
* EmotionalBruiser: B.A. Baracus.
* EpisodeOnAPlane: "The Beast from the Belly of a Boeing".
* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Chuck]] in "Members Only".
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** In the two-parter "The Bend In The River". The river pirate El Cajn is fine with sinking boats, robbing the passengers, and selling them into slavery. But then [[spoiler: he discovers that his "business partners" are actually Nazi diehards who are trying to rebuild the Third Reich, prompting him to pull an instant HeelFaceTurn]].
** Mob boss Crazy Tommy Tillis in the episode "Steel" - whose list of crimes shown in the episode includes murder, tax evasion, and destruction of property - has this reaction upon discovering Face's propensity for cons. Face even lampshades it.
--> '''Tillis:''' ''(After discovering a bunch of fake business cards in Face's wallet.)'' Either you have a real problem holding down a job, or you're some kind of con artist. And let me tell you, I ''hate'' con artists, always trying to turn people off of their life savings.\\
'''Face:''' Yeah, I guess it's not an honest crime like gambling or drug dealing.
* EverybodyLives: All the freaking time.
* EveryCarIsAPinto: But we always see the goons crawling away, safe and sound.
* FailedASpotCheck: Has happened a few times to the team, most notably in "Incident at Crystal Lake." Face comes across a woman stranded on the side of the road whose car battery supposedly died hours ago... except she's blasting her car radio when he shows up. Face completely fails to pick up on this and nearly falls into Colonel Decker's trap as a result.
* FakeoutEscape: Hannibal effects an escape by hiding under his bunk and deceiving his captors into believing he has escaped; they leave the cell door open, and he makes a break for it.
* FingertipDrugAnalysis: A staple of the series. Played for laughs in "In Plane Sight" when Murdock accidentally sneezes into one bag.
* FiveManBand: For part of the series, at any rate.
** TheLeader: Hannibal
** TheLancer: Faceman
** TheSmartGuy: Murdock (He might have been crazy, but he was able to come up with some damn good plans.)
** TheBigGuy: B.A.
** TheChick: Amy in season 1 and part of season 2, then Tawnia in the rest of season 2. Also, Frankie Santana in season 5.
*** They follow the [[ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia Always Sunny]] model much better, actually: Hannibal is The Brains, Face is The Looks, Murdock is The Wild Card, and BA is The Muscle. The Useless Chick was a variety of, well, useless chicks.
* FlatlinePlotline: The team is executed by firing squad at the start of the last season. It doesn't take.
* FriendToAllChildren: B.A., amazingly enough.
* TheFunInFuneral: [[spoiler: Hannibal's faux]] funeral in "The Big Squeeze". Murdock at first believes it to be a wedding, and later plays "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" on the organ, complete with the upbeat ending normally heard at a ballgame.
* FruitCart
* GameShowAppearance: Murdock on "Wheel of Fortune".
* GeneralRipper: General "Bull" Fulbright and Colonel Decker, both chosen to take on the A-Team because of their willingness to use unscrupulous tactics to secure victory.
-->'''B.A.:''' Yeah, Hannibal and this guy mixed it up once in the Doom Club.\\
[...]\\
'''Amy:''' What, he didn't like the way you sugared his coffee?\\
'''Hannibal:''' No, I didn't like the way he blew up Cong hospitals like it was his favorite sport.
* GenreBlind: Loan shark Jack Lane in "The Big Squeeze." He ends the episode firmly on his boss's hit list, but even so it's curious how a moron like him managed to become a kingpin's lieutenant to begin with.
* GentleGiant: B.A. Baracus, whenever women and kids are present.
* HandsomeLech: Face.
* HeelFaceTurn: General "Bull" Fullbright, shortly before he was KilledOffForReal.
* HellholePrison: The prison in "Pros and Cons." The warden encourages fighting in order to scout out candidates for the fight program. Those that do good enough are separated, trained, and [[FinishHim forced to fight to death]]. Even for prisoners who can't fight it doesn't seem to be a great place. It's not a very safe prison (thanks to the afore-mentioned "encouraged fighting") plus the warden apparently [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking thinks letting the prisoners get their hair cut is "coddling."]]
* HeroAntagonist: Colonel Lynch, Colonel Decker, and General Fullbright, along with their units. Though they oppose the A-Team they're not evil or corrupt - they're good soldiers who honestly believe that the A-Team are dangerous criminals who must be brought to justice ([[DestructiveSavior which is not an unreasonable belief]]).
* HighAltitudeInterrogation: In one episode, the team interrogate a mook by having BA hold him over a cliff above the carnivore pit at a zoo.
* HiredGuns: The eponymous team, of course.
* {{Homage}}:
** In the fifth season episode "[[Series/TheManFromUNCLE The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair]]" the series paired Robert "Napoleon Solo" Vaughn (playing regular character General Hunt Stockwell) with former co-star David "Illya Kuryakin" [=McCallum=].
** The episode "The Spy who Mugged Me", with Murdock posing as a Film/JamesBond-like spy in a Monte Carlo casino.
* HonestJohnsDealership: One of these pops up in season 2's "Chopping Spree"; the owner runs a literal used car dealership. As part of the operation, Face goes there to work as one of the villain's salesmen. Suffice it to say, he does very very well.
* IceCreamKoan: Hannibal in his disguise as Irish pub owner Sean O'Shea rapid-fires these at everybody in "The Big Squeeze."
--> '''Hannibal:''' As me dear departed father used to say, "always move upstream and you're sure to catch a trout."\\
'''Villain:''' What the Hell is that supposed to mean?\\
'''Hannibal:''' I don't know. I never quite figured that one out.
* IHaveManyNames: While the whole team had a ton of aliases, Face takes the cake for most names, even without counting aliases. According to the episode "Mind Games"...
-->"Actually, your name was originally Alvin Brenner. You had it legally changed to Al Brennan, then to Al Peck. ...then to Holmes Morrison, then Morrison Holmes, and ''then'' to Templeton Peck."
* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine: "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair", in which Robert Vaughn is kidnapped by his "former partner" David [=McCallum=].
* ImprobablePilotingSkills: Murdock, of the "If it flies..." variety.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: The A-Team has welded together and used weapons ranging from soda cannons to cabbage guns. These are always more efficient than the machine guns their opponents typically use against them (or vice-versa, for that matter).
* InspectorJavert:
** Colonel Lynch in Season 1, with a one-shot return in Season 3.
** Colonel Decker in Seasons 2, 3 and the early episodes of season 4. Decker crosses into IneffectualSympatheticVillain territory.
** TemporarySubstitute Colonel Briggs in a single Season 3 episode.
** General Fullbright in Season 4.
* InstantExpert: According to Murdock, one day at the V.A. hospital he had a sudden and terrible migraine headache and by the time it passed he could read and speak fluent Mandarin.
* InstantSedation: The team's most common method to get B.A. ready for air travel.
* IrishPriest: Faceman is disguised as Father Sean O'Herlihy in "Lease with an Option to Die".
* IWillShowYouX: B.A. would often respond in this way to whatever nonsense Murdock was spouting. Some of them barely made sense, but Murdock didn't always give him much to work with, and B.A. doesn't like to mince words.
* KilledOffForReal: General Harlan "Bull" Fullbright in "The Sound of Thunder"
* KnightErrant: A team of Knights Errant, in fact.
* LampshadeHanging: At the end of the episode ''The Crystal Skull'', the natives are clearly chanting [[WhoWritesThisCrap "Who wrote this?]] [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign Who wrote this?"]]
** Also in "Steel", when Murdock and Face arrive at a construction scene, where Hannibal and B.A. are duking it out with some goons, Face casually takes off his coat, rolls his eyes, and remarks that this should be predictable by now.
* LargeHam: Murdock, quite often.
* LastBreathBullet: Murdock takes one as the premise of "Curtain Call". It occurs in a BatmanColdOpen.
* LetsGetDangerous: When Murdock stops acting crazy and started being {{Badass}}, usually at an episode's climax.
* LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard: The A-Team tends to get locked in barns or garages full of machinery and explosive things.
** Lampshaded in one episode by Hannibal.
--> '''Hannibal (after a giant truck of destruction has burst out of a shed)''': Where, exactly, did you lock up my team?
--> '''Bad Guy''': In the old equipment shed.
--> '''Hannibal''': [[SarcasmMode What an original idea. I wonder where you came up with that one]].
** Also lampshaded in one of the novelizations, when Hannibal notices how often the bad guys lock them in a room that has everything they need for them to escape.
* LunaticLoophole: Murdock occasionally ends up being the only member of the team to escape arrest.
* MacGyvering: Generally once an episode, involving vehicles.
* MetallicarSyndrome: Since their van had a custom paint job, the authorities should have spotted them a lot more often than they did. Face [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] this in the Season 2 episode "Steel" when Hannibal tells him to keep tailing the episode's villain in his Corvette, which was white with black trim and a bright red stripe along the sides. Face says that the villain will definitely be able to tell he's been following him.
* MiscarriageOfJustice: Pretty much the whole background.
* MistakenForGay: B.A. jokes about this when Hannibal uses a mirror to apply makeup to fake an injury. He's less jocular when a neighborhood block captain\survivalist sees four men living together.
-->He ain't talking about what I think he's talking about.
* MoreDakka: The team's M.O.
* MrFanservice: Face. He probably also counts as a ParentalBonus since the show was technically aimed at children.
* MrSmith: Mentioned with regards to a CIA agent's obvious alias in "Mind Games."
--> '''Hannibal:''' Nobody's named "John Jones."
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: Done by Murdock while impersonating Italian billionaire playboy Giancarlo Figorrati in the episode "Blood, Sweat, and Cheers."
* NitroExpress: There was an episode where they were transporting dynamite - which is not normally volatile until/unless it has a blasting cap attached - but it was really really hot and as a result the sticks of dynamite were sweating nitroglycerin.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In "Members Only" there's a brief appearance by a film executive named "Jeff Sikorski," a dead ringer for Creator/MartinScorsese.
* NobodyCanDie: Since it was classified as a children's show[[note]](not that that kept the censors in some countries, like the UK, from getting the scissors out)[[/note]], you have the ridiculous premise in which the A-Team amasses a massive arsenal of machine guns and weaponry, faces off against a similarly armed force, exchanges thousands of bullets -- '''and everyone lives'''. It wasn't until the series 4 finale that a recurring character actually ''died'' on camera. Discussion ''of'' a death was permitted, and you see at least two people executed (with GoryDiscretionShot at the ready), at least in the first couple of seasons.
** Averted in the Las Vegas episode, where we see the crime boss jump from a window and plummet to his death.
** Related to this, in cases where death would be expected, such as car crashes, there is always a shot of the occupants getting out, aparently unharmed. Made ridiculous with particularly rough crashes, and [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat an exploding helicopter]].
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: "Diamonds 'n' Dust" takes place in Zulabwe, Africa, standing in for Zimbabwe. It has a significant population of European descent, some speaking with a Commonwealth accent, [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent some with an American one]]. Cities Bulawayo and Salisbury (the latter already renamed to Harare at the airing of the episode) were harmed through a mention in the episode.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: In one episode, a helicopter crashes against a cliff, explodes, falls down, explodes again... and then bad guys crawl out from it.
* {{Novelization}}: There were ''ten'' books published in the 1980s; some (the first book (an adaptation of the pilot), ''When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?'', ''The Bend In The River'') were based on double-length episodes, others blended together two basically unrelated episodes (''Small But Deadly Wars'' welded "A Small And Deadly War" and "Black Day At Bad Rock," ''Old Scores To Settle'' used "Recipe For Heavy Bread" and "The Only Church In Town," ''Bullets, Bikinis And Bells'' was based on "Bullets And Bikinis" and "The Bells Of St. Mary's"). Only one book was based on one standard-length episode (''Death Vows'', based on "Till Death Do Us Part") and only one wasn't based on an episode at all - ''Operation Desert Sun: The Untold Story'', the sixth in the series and the last to be published in both the US and the UK (the rest were UK-only). For those keeping count, the other two were ''Ten Percent of Trouble'' ("Steel" and "The Maltese Cow") and ''Backwoods Menace'' ("Timber!" and "Children Of Jamestown").
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Murdock. Combines with ObfuscatingStupidity to make his awesome moments of competence seem even more awesome. He's probably one of the supreme users of this trope.
** Murdock did it so well that it was unclear whether or not he actually was so traumatized by Vietnam that he did go insane, he was always like this, or it was all an act to throw people off.
*** One episode had Murdock discharged by his doctor, claiming he was never insane. Without his particular character trait, Murdock essentially spends the episode moping but acting reasonable. When he goes back to the hospital to gather his things, he finds out the doctor had gone insane and was releasing patients because of it. [[StatusQuoIsGod Murdock quickly and happily goes back into the insanity ward]].
** And doing so while doing a ham Richard Burton impersonation to boot!
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Murdock plays this to the hilt whenever possible; Hannibal and Face aren't averse to it either.
* {{Omniglot}}: Murdock can speak several languages, claiming that one day he had a headache and could suddenly speak several Asian languages fluently. He also imitated various accents several times per episode.
* OnceAnEpisode
** Hannibal, in disguise, contacts the [[WeHelpTheHelpless clients of the week]].
** B.A. says about Murdock, "The fool is crazy." (Or some variation on that.)
** The team breaks Murdock out of the insane asylum (until he's released in the final season).
** B.A. gets tricked into being drugged so they can put him on a plane.
** The team comes up with a plan that's CrazyEnoughToWork...
** ...which involves Face pretending to be someone he's not...
** There's a bit of MacGyvering in an ATeamMontage...
** ... followed by a climactic FinalBattle featuring lots of ATeamFiring.
** [[CatchPhrase "I love it when a plan comes together."]]
** Other things that tend to happen a lot are Face jumping off the top of a van onto a bad guy, and Hannibal punching someone out and then putting a cigar in his mouth.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Face is pretty much the only member of the A-Team who regularly goes by his real name. Hannibal rarely ever goes by John Smith, B.A. Baracus and H.M. Murdock never go by their full names either.
* OvertOperative: Quite often the team goes by their well known names instead of an alias, even when they're supposed to be undercover.
* PaperThinDisguise: Hannibal's 'disguises', usually a bad wig and maybe a moustache. Somehow it manages to fool even his fellow teammates from time to time.
* ParentService:
** Face for the moms.
** Amy and Tawnia for the dads.
* PeopleInRubberSuits: In-universe, Hannibal's acting jobs.
* PityTheKidnapper: In "Bounty", when Murdock gets abducted by bounty hunters he manages to drive his kidnappers nuts before they even get back to their hideout. Even death threats don't manage to shut him up.
-->'''Villain:''' What are you, nuts?!\\
'''Murdock:''' Of course I am! You kidnapped me from the psychiatric ward of a V.A. hospital, STUPID!
* PlankGag: During an ATeamMontage in "The Big Squeeze" while putting up restaurant props.
* PleaseShootTheMessenger: In "Recipe for Heavy Bread", a former North Vietnamese soldier who helped the A-Team out was smuggled into the U.S. along with a note along these lines for the smuggler's accomplice. The murder attempt kick-starts the episode's plot.
* PoliceAreUseless: Multiple episodes established this quickly to explain why the client of the week needed to approach the A-Team instead of the cops to deal with the villain of the week. The cops were usually just being bought off by the villain in question, though sometimes the cops ''were'' the villains. On other occasions the small local police agencies were simply overwhelmed and outgunned by the criminal element. This ended in the final season due to the change in format.
* PosthumousCharacter: Ray Brenner was a fifth member of the team in Vietnam whom the others remember in a heroic and respectful fashion. In a first season episode they risk capture to attend and take part in his funeral with full military honors. They quickly learn from his widow (guest star Joanna Kerns) that he died trying to free his small hometown from a local outlaw family. They promptly seek revenge and justice for their fallen comrade.
* PrisonEpisode: "Pros and Cons"
* ProWrestlingEpisode: "Body Slam"
* ProductPlacement: An odd case. The van was supplied by GMC, but the grille and emblems were then blacked out and obscured by a brushguard making it indistinguishable from a Chevrolet. Confusing things even more, the prop van used for [[ATeamMontage build montages]] ''was'' a Chevrolet, and the blacked out Chevy emblem could be clearly seen in certain shots.
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: B.A. was the unusual protagonist example who'd let the mook get in a good punch or two before smiling, then defenestrating them. Inverted twice when B.A. met a giant Asian mook who could take ''his'' punches without flinching.
* PutOnABus:
** Amy "Triple A" Allen, mid-season 2 with the explanation that she was sent overseas on an important assignment for the paper.
** Tawnia beginning season 3.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: The Mexican terrorists in the first episode, and the family holding Ray Brenner's town hostage in ''A Nice Place to Visit.''
* RatedMForManly
* RedHerring: In the episode "Moving Targets", the A-Team are hired to protect a sheikh's daughter on her way to her wedding, and the show makes a point of making it seem like the sheikh's head of security Jabar is a double agent, leaking security info to the rebels who want to kidnap the princess. [[spoiler:It turns out the inside "man" was Princess Selena herself, since she'd been seduced by the rebel leader, Kalem.]]
* RevengeBeforeReason: General Chow in season 2 episode 2 "Recipe For Heavy Bread." He's one half of a highly profitable heroin smuggling operation, but he's willing to jeopardize the whole thing to get revenge on a cook who helped four prisoners escape from his POW camp ten years ago.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: Hannibal loves this. Notable examples include sneaking onto an army base in "Say it with Bullets", and Hannibal impersonating a police officer in "The Maltese Cow".
* RuthlessModernPirates: "El Cajon" (The Coffin) and his river pirates in "The Bend in the River".
* SawItInAMovieOnce: When a couple of robbers coerce Murdock (at gunpoint) to drive the van to help them get away, and he employs some BadassDriver skills:
-->'''Robber''': Where'd you learn to drive like ''that''?\\
'''Murdock (deadpan)''': I saw ''CannonballRun'' five times.
* ScaryBlackMan: B.A.
* TheScrounger: Face.
* ShootTheRope: Murdock owes his life to the sudden burst of ImprobableAimingSkills Hannibal gets when some Mooks use his life to try and get information out of B.A.
* ShoutOut: "Howlin' Mad" was originally the nickname of WorldWarTwo General Holland Smith of the United States Marines, although today Howlin' Mad Murdock is a lot more well known than Howlin' Mad Smith.
* ShutUpHannibal: Done by Colonel Decker in an episode when he's forced to work with a group of criminals to try and capture the A-Team. The criminals, assuming Decker is a DirtyCop, try to make friends with him. He shuts them down quickly, reminding them that the only reason they're not under arrest themselves is because the A-Team are a higher priority.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple:
** Amy in season one and half of season two.
** Tawnia for the rest of season two and the beginning of season three.
* SpecialGuest: Later in the show's run, when ratings started to slip. Some appearances included Rick James, Boy George, and Hulk Hogan (in two episodes, nonetheless).
** In "There Goes The Neighborhood," the rock star our heroes had to guard was set to be played by CyndiLauper, but it fell through.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Many people spell Tawnia's name as "Tanya", between the strange spelling of her name and the fact that even the ''show'' spelled it wrong in her first appearance.
* StayInTheKitchen: The A-Team are reluctant to even take women along with them for the most part, and make a point of trying to keep them out of harm's way. Off-screen as well, George Peppard worked to get rid of the female main characters, feeling they would slow down the action too much. Though he was mostly cordial to the actresses, Marla Heasley spoke of feeling unwelcome on the set and said in particular that Peppard told her on both her first and last episodes that nobody wanted her there except the network.
* StockFootage: Most notably in "The Beast From The Belly Of A Boeing" [[spoiler: (when Murdock crashes the plane into the airport's terminal, the scene's borrowed from ''{{Airplane}}'')]].
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Tawnia, who replaced Amy midway through Season 2 and stayed through part of Season 3, filled an identical role of a reporter and TheChick.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: "We ain't in South Carolina" - Murdock to B.A. in "Holiday in the Hills".
* SyndicationTitle: The 2-hour Pilot movie was cut to two 45-minute parts in Syndication, and renamed "Mexican Slayride".
* TakeThat: The character of Joe Skrylow in ''There Goes The Neighborhood'' is an episode long example aimed at survivalists. His dialog hints at racist, homophobic, and valor stealing tendencies, and the episode shows him to be an insulting, utterly inept, obese GloryHound, KnowNothingKnowItAll, who ends up pulling a FaceHeelTurn out of jealousy.
* TakingTheBullet: Murdock in "Curtain Call".
* TaughtByTelevision: In "A Small And Deadly War" Face mentions that he learned most of his best cons from ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}''.
* TeamDad: Hannibal.
* TemporarySubstitute: For a single episode in Season 3, Decker was replaced by Colonel Briggs, who was simply intended to be a one-off character when Decker's actor, [=Lance LeGault=], had a scheduling conflict. Briggs even mimicked all of Decker's mannerisms.
* TerribleArtist: Murdock is shown to be actually terrible while undercover as a painter in "Beverly Hills Assault".
* TooDumbToLive: ''Far'' too many little, unarmed {{Mook}}s pick a fight with [[ScaryBlackMan B.A.]]
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: In-universe. Being a fugitive, the best acting jobs Hannibal can get are Z-list PeopleInRubberSuits roles, yet he treats them as if he's [[OscarBait going for an Oscar]].
* TrashLanding: Too many times to count.
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs: "The Maltese Cow", which dealt with a Chinese restaurant being threatened by a Chinese tong.
* TricksterArchetype: Murdock.
** Hannibal and Face can also fit this, to a slightly lesser degree.
* TrojanHorse: The team uses one to sneak into an enemy base. The horse was a delivery truck full of whiskey, and the base was a convent which had been taken over by South American guerrillas, who had recently run out of booze.
* TwentyOneGunSalute: One episode has the A-Team step in to give a funeral for one of their old military buddies who had tangled with the Villains of the Week. With Hannibal calling the orders, the other three fire their rifles several times in salute.
* UndercoverAsLovers: Face and Amy in "The White Ballot".
* UnintentionalBackupPlan: Frequently, prompting Hannibal to spout his CatchPhrase, "I love it when a plan comes together."
* UnwittingPawn: Stockwell sets up the team in the final season.
* TheVietnamWar: The A-Team of course, as well as Decker, having served in the war. The show is credited as being one of the first to portray it, and in a positive light to boot. "A Nice Place to Visit" had the A-Team attend the funeral of a soldier in their unit, with each character descending into hero worship over his actions in Vietnam before going on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against his killers.
* VillainOverForDinner: Through B.A.'s eyes in "Lease with an Option to Die", with his mother and his [[VitriolicBestBuds vitriolic best bud]] Murdock.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Murdock and B. A. actually care about each other a lot despite constantly insulting each other.
-->'''Murdock (while B. A. is knocked out)''': I'm worried about him, Hannibal. It's been almost a full day and we haven't insulted each other--I think I may go into withdrawal soon.
* WalkingTheEarth: Because they're wanted by the military, though they typically stick to the Los Angeles area. They occasionally travel very far afield (most notably in a lot of season five, and in the season four premiere "Judgment Day").
* WeHelpTheHelpless: As explained in the opening narrative.
* WeirdTradeUnion: Murdock and B.A. represent the BBDWOGH (an almighty kitchen worker union) and the AOAMS (Association of Angry Mud Suckers) respectively in "The Big Squeeze".
* WhatKeptYou: Face and Murdock are often captured or kidnapped, but pretty much always rescue themselves before the rest of the team arrives.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: B. A.'s fear of flying. He ended up giving one exception in one of the later episodes, when he learned that his mother was attacked by thugs; even then, he still had to be sedated within several minutes of flying. In another episode, he decides the cause (getting them pardoned) is enough to go on a plane; he still ends up passing out, but it's ambiguous whether they drugged him anyway, or whether he just went comatose (which happened on an early episode where he ended up on a plane).
* WireDilemma: Played straight in "Lease with an Option to Die".
* WouldHitAGirl: In one episode the gang are rescuing a kidnapped woman from the compound of a militia. She resists them because she's fallen in love with one of her captors. Since they're in a shoot out, Hannibal just knocks her out (offscreen) before resuming the rescue.
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