[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/avengers1.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:John Wickham Gascoyne Beresford Steed and Mrs Emma Peel (née Knight)]]

->''"Always keep your bowler on in times of stress, and a watchful eye open for [[DiabolicalMastermind diabolical masterminds]]."''

A very popular British SpyDrama running from [[TheSixties 1961-1969]], created by Creator/SydneyNewman and produced by ITC for Creator/{{ITV}}. It ran for a total of 161 episodes across six seasons and singlehandedly started the SpyCatsuit and ActionGirl tropes.

Its most famous male-female partnership, between 1965 and 1968, was Creator/PatrickMacnee (who would later appear in a [[Film/AViewToAKill James Bond film]]) and Creator/DianaRigg (who would later appear in a [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService Bond film]]).

In earlier seasons (1962-1964), the female co-star was Honor Blackman ([[RunningGag who would later appear in a]] [[Film/{{Goldfinger}} Bond film]]).

The series was originally created as a vehicle for Ian Hendry (who would ''not'' later appear in a Bond film), to capitalise on the popularity he had developed during his previous show, ''Police Surgeon''. In the {{pilot}}, his character, Dr David Keel, was recruited by spy John Steed (Macnee) as a part-time expert assistant in return for Steed's help capturing the murderers of Keel's wife; this was pretty much [[ArtifactTitle the last time in the series any actual]] ''[[ArtifactTitle avenging]]'' [[ArtifactTitle took place]]. This first series was generally a grim-and-gritty crime affair, centering around drug smugglers, arms dealers and endless cases involving stolen diamonds.

A TV strike delayed the start of the second season, so Hendry left to pursue a film career. Steed became the show's central character and the production team started to explore other partnerships. The first, lasting just a few episodes, was Dr. King, a blatant SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute. He was followed up by stories that alternately paired Steed up with nightclub singer Venus Smith (TheChick) (played by Julie Stevens, who has never appeared in a Bond film) and female spy Catherine "Cathy" Gale (arguably TV's first true ActionGirl, and played by Blackman, who, as noted already, would later appear in a Bond film). Cathy, who was mostly written identically to Dr. Keel (WordOfGod is that some of her early scripts were actually written for Hendry), proved to be the most popular and Venus was quietly dropped.

This [[ReTool retooling]] of the show became a massive smash. With a consistent AgentsDating format, the show began to move away from more mundane villains and towards science fictional supervillains, {{Mad Scientist}}s and {{Diabolical Mastermind}}s.

Blackman left to pursue a film career (playing Pussy Galore in ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', a Bond film) and was replaced by Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel, described as a "talented amateur". Simultaneously, production switched from videotape to 35mm film. The show became much more stylish and faster-paced and even gained a new theme tune, although it wasn't until the next season that it was produced in colour. Mrs. Peel -- whose husband didn't make an appearance until her final episode -- set the trend of the SpyCatsuit and continued the gentleman spy / ActionGirl setup. Steed and Mrs. Peel became the show's iconic pairing, helped by the introduction of filmed and colour episodes raising the show in the public's consciousness.

The stories became crazier and crazier -- Space plants from the moon! Assassination by laser! Invisible spies! Housecats trained to kill! Politicians hypnotised into becoming children! A ShrinkRay! -- and typified the swinging cool of [[TheSixties 1960s]] Britain.

Eventually Rigg left Steed for the embrace of [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService George Lazenby's doomed James Bond film]], and Steed took on his last partner, Tara King. Tara (played by Linda Thorson, who has ''not'' appeared in a Bond film, but made up for it by being the only one of the bunch to appear on ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Star Trek]]'') was a more feminine character, though still an ActionGirl, but the series never survived the loss of Rigg, massive problems behind the scenes and being put up in America against ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn''. The series finished after just one season with Tara King.

A {{Revival}} was attempted in 1976, with ''The New Avengers'', starring Macnee and Creator/JoannaLumley (who's better known for ''Series/AbsolutelyFabulous'', but had [[RunningGag earlier appeared]] [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService in a Bond film]]) as [[OnlyOneName Purdey]]. Oh, and Gareth Hunt, the guy off the Nescafe adverts (but not Bond films, before or after ''The Avengers''), as Mike Gambit. But the new, gritty tone -- matching shows like ''Series/TheSweeney'' and (later) ''Series/TheProfessionals''[[note]] which was made by the same company as ''The New Avengers'' and continued the producers' trend toward more action-oriented material[[/note]] -- was too much of a departure and it soon collapsed. (Extensive ExecutiveMeddling in the second year was also to blame, as the producers were forced to mount several episodes in France and in Canada, which would have been fine if the scripts and production had remained up to par.) This series lasted from October, 1976 to December, 1977, for a total of 26 episodes in two seasons.

The show was later [[TheFilmOfTheSeries made into a movie]] starring Ralph Fiennes ([[Film/{{Skyfall}} who now appears in]] [[Film/{{Spectre}} Bond films]]) and Creator/UmaThurman (who may or may not appear in some future Bond film yet), whose only redeeming quality was Creator/SeanConnery ([[OverlyLongGag who had appeared ]] [[CaptainObvious in many Bond films]]) [[HamAndCheese hamming it up]] as an evil Scotsman. For more on this film, which is pretty much disowned by fans for straying too far from the concept of the series, see ''Film/TheAvengers1998''.

In the 1990s, the franchise was revived by Eclipse Comics and writer Creator/GrantMorrison for a comic book series, ''Steed and Mrs. Peel'', which could not be titled ''The Avengers'' because of the well-known Marvel comic (this also happened when Creator/GoldKeyComics released a one-off in the 1960s). This comic was reprinted twenty years later by Creator/BoomStudios, who then continued it as an ongoing series with newly-written stories, starting with writer Creator/MarkWaid (who ''definitely'' wasn't in a Bond film, but instead became the only person to write both these Avengers ''and'' the [[Comicbook/TheAvengers other Avengers]]).

For the series' character sheet, see [[Characters/TheAvengersSeries here]].

Not to be confused with [[ComicBook/TheAvengers the American comic]] or [[Film/TheAvengers2012 its film adaptation]], the latter of which was renamed ''Avengers Assemble'' for the British market for precisely this reason.

----
!!Character tropes include:

* ActionGirl: Cathy Gale, Emma Peel, Tara King, and Purdey in the revival.
* {{Adorkable}}: John Steed.
* AlmostDeadGuy: Countless episodes.
* AnonymousRinger: The Prime Minister in "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Station".
* AxCrazy: "Escape in Time", "The Joker", "Don't Look Behind You".
* BadBoss: "A Touch of Brimstone".
* BadassInANiceSuit: Steed.
* BenchBreaker: At one point, Mrs. Peel gets handcuffed to a wooden chair. When the time comes, she swiftly breaks the chair and beats up the baddies with the sticks. At the end of the episode, as they stroll off across a golf course, Steed asks her what her handicap is. She shows him the chunk of wood still cuffed to one of her wrists.
* BigBad: The puppeteer in "Look (Stop Me If You've Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellas".
* BikerBabe: Cathy Gale.
* BoxedCrook: Many episodes.
* BunglingInventor: Quilby in "The See-Through Man".
* TheChick: Venus Smith.
* CombatPragmatist: Steed; a producer's write-up to guide writers of episodes specifically stated that "he fights like a cad and uses ''every dirty trick in the book''..."
* CoolCar: The automobiles used in the series became almost as famous as the actors.
** From the fourth season on, Steed's signature cars were six vintage green 1926–1928 Bentley racing or town cars, including Blower Bentleys and Bentley Speed Sixes (although, uniquely, in "The Thirteenth Hole" he drives a Vauxhall 30-98). In the final season he drove two yellow Rolls Royces -- a 1923 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and a 1927 Rolls Royce New Phantom.
** Peel drove Lotus Elan convertibles (a white 1964 and a powder blue 1966), which, like her clothes, emphasized her independence and vitality. During the first Peel series (Season 4), each episode ended with a short, humorous scene of the duo leaving the scene of their most recent adventure in some unusual vehicle. Mother occasionally appeared in silver Rolls-Royce.
** Tara King drove an AC 428 and a Lotus Europa.
** Lady Diana Forbes Blakeney drove an MGC Roadster.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: "The Fear Merchants", "Silent Dust".
* CulturedBadass: Steed.
* DamselInDistress: Tara often gets chloroformed or clubbed and kidnapped.
* DashinglyDapperDerby: Steed, as mentioned in the page quote.
* DiabolicalMastermind
* DoomedAppointment: Countless.
* DoubleAgent: Merlin - actually a ''quadruple'' agent - in "The Morning After".
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Or rather, an early installment ''lack'' of the weirdness that most people associate with the series.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: Steed gets a ''classic'' one in "The Living Dead". Asked by his firing squad if he has any last requests, he responds "Yes - could you cancel my milk?"
* FilmFelons: "Epic".
* FunnyForeigner: A few, most notably the Russian diplomat in "Fog".
* HammerAndSickleRemovedForYourProtection: The heroes occasionally tangled with The Other Side.
* HeelFaceMole: "The Correct Way To Kill".
* HotScientist: "The Man-Eater of Surrey Green", not to mention Mrs. Peel all the time.
* IconicOutfit: The {{Spy Catsuit}}s.
* ImplacableMan: The Cybernauts in "The Cybernauts", "Return of the Cybernauts" and "The Last of the Cybernauts...?"
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Brodny in "The See-Through Man" and "Two's A Crowd".
* LastNameBasis
* LargeHam: Mother.
* LoonyFan: "Epic", "The Joker", "Don't Look Behind You".
* MadScientist: Countless episodes.
* MeaningfulName: When charged with coming up with a new character, the writers were told to create one with "Male Appeal", abbreviated as "M. Appeal".
** And also when you look at her maiden name: ''Knight'' and ''Steed''.
* TheMole: Many episodes.
* {{Mooks}}: Countless episodes.
* TheNapoleon: "Escape in Time".
* OldFriend: Countless, generally doomed.
* PartTimeHero: Tara King was the first of Steed's associates to be a professional agent like him; all those that came before were "talented amateurs" who maintained their own careers between outings with Steed. The having-to-balance-heroing-with-real-life side of the trope rarely came up with any of them, though.
** Emma Peel is shown pursuing numerous hobbies that suggest she is rather lonely since the disappearance of her husband. No wonder she always looks happy to be solving mysteries with Steed.
* PlantAliens: "The Man-Eater of Surrey Green".
* PlatonicLifePartners:
** Steed and Mrs. Gale.
** Steed and Mrs. Peel.
** Steed and Miss King
*** Debatable: unlike Gale and Peel, Steed and King were shown in unambiguously romantic scenarios and both actors have indicated their belief that the two were in an off-screen relationship.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Steed, naturally.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: The clowns in "Look (Stop Me If You've Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellas".
* RedScare: "The Correct Way to Kill".
* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: "The Mauritius Penny", "The Eagle's Nest".
* SerialKiller: "Fog", "Game".
* TheStoic: Steed, Mrs Gale, Mrs Peel and sometimes Tara King generally treat horrible murder with barely a flicker of emotion.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Dr King.
* TechnicalPacifist: Steed.
* TerroristsWithoutACause: Countless episodes.
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: During a fight in the village library in "Murdersville", Steed grabs an armful of books off the shelf and hurls them at an attacker..
* TheVicar: Numerous episodes.
* TheVoiceless: Mother's bodyguard, Rhonda.

!!Plot tropes include:
* AloneWithThePsycho: "The Joker".
* AmnesiaDanger: "The Forget-Me-Knot".
* AnimalAssassin: "The Hidden Tiger".
* AristocratsAreEvil: "Hellfire Club".
* {{Brainwashed}}: "The Hour That Never Was", "Pandora".
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Occurs in the final original series episode, "Bizarre," when [[spoiler: Mother directly addresses the viewers]].
* BusmansHoliday: "A Chorus of Frogs".
* TheButlerDidIt: "What the Butler Saw".
* ClassReunion: "The Hour That Never Was".
* ClearMyName: "All Done With Mirrors", "Who Was That Man I Saw You With?".
* DamselOutOfDistress: Emma in "The House That Jack Built".
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Professor Keller]] in "The House That Jack Built".
* DeadlyPrank: "Hellfire Club", "Game".
* {{Doppelganger}}: Any way you can think of -- MagicPlasticSurgery, LatexPerfection, IdenticalStranger, FreakyFridayFlip -- ''The Avengers'' did it at least once.
* EnemyMine: "The Morning After".
* EnemyWithout: In an episode where a man's brainwaves are projected into a series of hapless British spies.
* FauxtasticVoyage: "Escape In Time", "Pandora".
* FingerPokeOfDoom: "The Positive Negative Man".
* FreakyFridayFlip: "Who's Who???"
* GroundhogDayLoop: "Stay Tuned", and kind of, in "You Have Just Been Murdered".
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: "The Superlative Seven".
* HypnoFool: "The Master Minds".
* IncredibleShrinkingMan: "Mission... Highly Improbable".
* InvisibleMainCharacter: Kind of, in "The See-Through Man". Definitely in "Get-A-Way!"
* KillerRobot: "The Cybernauts", "Return of the Cybernauts".
* KnifeThrowingAct: "Conspiracy of Silence".
* ManEatingPlant: "Man-Eater of Surrey Green".
* NastyParty: "The Superlative Seven".
* OntologicalMystery: "The House That Jack Built".
* OrgyOfEvidence: "The Curious Case of the Countless Clues", had John Steed go up against a killer who planted clues over each of his hits, and then posed as a detective attempting to "solve" each of the murders he himself committed.
* PeoplePuppets: "Return of the Cybernauts".
* SnuffFilm: "Epic".
* TenLittleMurderVictims: "The Superlative Seven".
* ThanatosGambit: "The House That Jack Built".
* TheRemake: They used to remake their own episodes. Ones with Cathy Gale were often remade with either Emma Peel or Tara King. They made three episodes with exactly the same plot, one with each of them.
** Justified in that in the 1960s episodes were wiped after being shown.
* TownWithADarkSecret: "The Town of No Return", "Murdersville".
* TreasureMap: "Dead Man's Chest".
* WeatherControlMachine: The villain in "A Surfeit of H20" had technology that could create localized rainstorms severe enough to drown his opponents in rainwater.
* YourWorstNightmare: "Too Many Christmas Trees", "Death's Door".

!!Other tropes that appeared on the show include:
* AbsenteeActor: Usually the female lead.
* AcquittedTooLate
* AlanSmithee: "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Station" gives script credit to "Brian Sheriff," alias Brian Clemens and Roger Marshall (when Marshall left the series due to CreativeDifferences with Clemens, he rewrote Marshall's script - the pen-name indicates [[MeaningfulName the sheriff doing the marshal's job]]).
* AuctionOfEvil: "The Girl from Auntie".
* BoundAndGagged[=/=]DistressedDamsel: Happens fairly often to the female lead, considering the time period.
* BloodlessCarnage
* CatchPhrase: "Mrs Peel - we're needed!"
* CatFight: "The Living Dead".
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Wardrobe]]: Mrs. Peel's amazing ability to always wear a catsuit if she would be involved in a fight later.
* ClipShow: "Homicide and Old Lace".
* ChainedToARailway: "The Gravediggers".
* ChameleonCamouflage: One episode had a villain escape prison and attempt to murder John Steed with such a gimmick.
* ComicBookAdaptation: In 1968, Gold Key Comics published a one-shot comic book based on the series, reprinting a British comic strip. However due to the fact Creator/MarvelComics owned the name ''The Avengers'' in comics, the adaptation was titled ''John Steed Emma Peel'', though its official title remained ''The Avengers'' in the indicia. In 1990-1991 Eclipse Comics published a 3-issue comic book mini-series (written by Creator/GrantMorrison), but it ran into the same problem so it was titled ''Steed and Mrs. Peel''; it also suffered from a months-long delay before the release of part 3. An ''Avengers'' comic strip also ran in one of the UK weekly comic magazines, but there were no problems using the original title over there. The ''Steed and Mrs. Peel'' title of 1991 was revived by Creator/BoomStudios in the early 2010s (beginning with a reprint of the Morrison mini-series and then moving into original tales) and ran for about 18 months. ''The New Avengers'' was adapted in comic strip form in a pair of UK-published Annuals.
* ContinuityNod: Cathy Gale sends a Christmas card in "Too Many Christmas Trees" from Fort Knox. Doubles as a ShoutOut to ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}''.
* CompletelyDifferentTitle:
** In France, the show was titled ''Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir'' (Bowler Hat and Leather Boots).
** The German title translated as "With Umbrella, Charm and Bowler". That hat must REALLY have made an impression.
*** Well, it's a [[NiceHat nice hat]].
** As noted, American-published comic-book version of the series needed to be retitled ''John Steed Emma Peel'' or ''Steed and Mrs. Peel'', because the title ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'' is already taken for Marvel's superhero comic. Turnabout is fair play, however: the 2012 ''Film/The Avengers'' film based on the Marvel title had to carry the title ''Avengers Assemble'' in the UK because of the TV series.
* ConveyorBeltODoom: "Epic".
* CoolCar: Emma's Lotus Elan.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: "The Living Dead".
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: "The Living Dead".
* FakeOutMakeOut: Steed and Mrs. Peel in "Escape in Time".
* FallingChandelierOfDoom: "Death's Door".
* {{Fanservice}}: Mrs. Peel in "The Girl from Auntie", "A Touch of Brimstone", "Honey for the Prince", just to name a few.
* FrickinLaserBeams: The murder weapon of choice in "From Venus, With Love".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: At one point, Steed infiltrates into a society of radical cat lovers, and the director asks him about his own cat. Steed proceeds to describe in great detail his "beloved pussy Emma", and looks quite amused when the director asks how nice Emma feels purring in his lap.
** From the arrival of Cathy Gale onwards, innuendo became a hallmark of the series.
* HammerAndSickleRemovedForYourProtection
* HellBentForLeather
* InstrumentOfMurder: One enemy agent in had a clarinet with a blade that would slide out of the bell when the right key was pressed.
* ItMustBeMine: "The Girl from Auntie".
* JumpedAtTheCall: Both Steed and Mrs Peel clearly enjoy their adventures, even though it occasionally means killing lots of people.
* LastNameBasis: Steed, Gambit and Purdey are this to each other.
* LimitedWardrobe: Steed.
* LostEpisode: All but two-and-two-thirds episodes of the first season. Videotape was expensive in the early 60's and was routinely reused. The first act of the first episode can [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKmvXaRInEs be found on YouTube]].
* LovingDetails: When Emma Peel departs, she meets her replacement, Tara King, on the stairs. A little wistfully, Emma tells Tara, "He likes his tea stirred anticlockwise." The series had always been very coy about the nature of the relationship between Emma Peel and John Steed, so this plays as a final bit of ShipTease.
* MilkmanConspiracy: Many episodes, and a literal one in "False Witness".
* {{Monster Clown}}s: "Look - (Stop Me if You've Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellers..."
* MostWritersAreMale: In this case, ''all'' the writers - which explains a lot about Mrs. Peel in particular.
* MusicalPastiche: In "The Winged Avenger".
* NeverFoundTheBody: Mrs. Peel's husband Peter; a pilot found to be alive in the Amazonian jungle years after a plane crash, which signals Mrs. Peel's exit from the series.
* {{NewWeird}}: Some of the episodes delved into "Weird Fiction," John Steed was once shrunk to "doll-size."
* NiceHat: Steed and his bowlers, complete with a steel plate in the crown for clonking people on the head with.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup
* NothingIsScarier: "Don't Look Behind You".
* OfCorsetsSexy: "A Touch of Brimstone".
* OhCisco
* OpeningNarration: The American screenings of the Emma Peel episodes.
* ParasolOfPain: Steed's umbrella.
* ParentService: Emma Peel.
* PrettyInMink: Emma Peel.
* PressurePoint: Emma Peel in "The Living Dead".
* PullingTheRugOut: Used as a method of murder in "Look - (Stop Me If You've Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellers...". The two murderous clowns slide a length of red carpet under Lord Dessington's door. When the distracted Dessington steps on it, they yank it out from under his feet, and Dessington plummets to doom out of an open window.
* PutOnABus: Tara King in two episodes.
%% RecycledScript is already on {{YMMV/TheAvengers}}
* ReplacedTheThemeTune: It originally had a theme tune by Johnny Dankworth. It also underwent a complete makeover when production was switched from videotape to film, simultaneous with Diana Rigg's arrival, resulting in the more familiar Laurie Johnson theme.
%% ReplacementScrappy is already on {{YMMV/TheAvengers}}
* ResemblanceReveal: In the episode that writes out Mrs. Peel, her husband (a pilot who was lost in a plane crash some years before her entry into the series) turns out to be still alive. He doesn't appear in person until the final scene, at which point he is revealed to look exactly like Steed. (What this might imply about Mrs. Peel's reasons for hanging around with Steed is left as an exercise for the viewer.)
* ReTool: The show changed dramatically with the introduction of Cathy Gale.
* ReVision: Mother.
%% SeasonalRot is already on YMMV/TheAvengers
* SheFu
* ShoutOut:
** In one episode a plot to destroy a train is summed up as such: "[[Literature/TheRailwaySeries Pop goes the diesel?]]"
** In two early episodes Mr. Steed is reading ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' comics, respectively, ''[[Recap/TintinLandOfBlackGold Tintin and the Land of Black Gold]]'' and ''[[Recap/TintinTintinInTibet Tintin in Tibet]]''.
** To the Creator/AdamWest ''Series/{{Batman}}'' when the climax of "The Winged Avenger" is fought with the series's music and sound effect balloons.
* SickbedSlaying: In "The £50,000 Breakfast", a killer disguised as a doctor slips into the hospital room of a smuggler in a coma, dismisses the policeman guarding him, and administers a lethal injection.
* SpyCatsuit: The original, in fact, and the origin of the trope.
* SpyDrama
* SpyFiction
* SwordCane: Steed had a sword concealed in his umbrella.
* TheTag: Humorous variety.
* ThereWasADoor: One episode has Steed always entering through a window. [[spoiler:Doing this saves Mrs. Peel's life when she's BoundAndGagged and opening the door would have triggered a fatal trap]].
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: "The Cybernauts".
* VirtualRealityInterrogation: Tara King was victim of such a ploy by villains trying to locate John Steed and whoever he was protecting. Another episode had a fake "training seminar" orchestrated by enemy agents. British agents would not crack during the "interrogation simulations", but would later casually discuss the subject matter at the bar...
* WeHelpTheHelpless: The Avengers' scope of action varies from episode to episode -- sometimes it's impossible or unusual crimes, sometimes it's purely spy-based, sometimes it's breaking smuggling rings.
* WeaponizedHeadgear: Steed's steel-lined bowler.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: There was a palpable sexual chemisty between Steed and Mrs Peel. And between Steed and Mrs. Gale. And between Steed and Miss King. And between Steed and Purdey.
* WholePlotReference: "Dead Man's Chest" is basically ''ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld''; "The Superlative Seven" is a riff on ''TheMostDangerousGame''.
* YouGotMurder

!!The 1976-77 remake series ''The New Avengers'' provides examples of:
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: "Gnaws".
* AIIsACrapshoot: In "Complex", the computer controlling the entirety of the security headquarters has actually been constructed to act as a spy for the Soviets. It starts murdering any agents who get too close to figuring out its secret.
* AirVentPassageway: In "The Deadly Angels", Purdey gets into the maze in the health farm by crawling through the vents.
* AnimalAssassin: In "Cat Among the Pigeons", the villains uses birds as his assassins.
* AnachronisticClue: In "K is for Kill: Tiger by the Tail", Steed and Gambit realise that the K agent had a recent photo of his target despite having in [[HumanPopsicle cryogenic suspension]] since UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. This tells them that the agent had access to a recent file since his awakening.
* ApocalypseHitler: "The Eagle's Nest" featured a group of Nazis attempting to revive the cryogenically preserved body of Hitler.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: The threat in "Gnaws" is a sewer rat mutated to monstrous size by an undiluted experimental growth formula spilled down the drain.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Colonel "Mad Jack" Miller in "Dirtier By The Dozen".
* BadHabits: "The Eagle's Nest".
* BlowGun: Used by an assassin in "Target!". Gambit turns the tables on him by blowing down the end of the blow gun, causing him to swallow the poison dart.
* BodybagTrick: In "Hostage", Purdey's kidnappers carry her out of her flat hidden in a coffin.
* BookSafe: In "Forward Base", a Russian agent has the radio for contacting the eponymous forward base inside a copy of the Bible.
* BulletCatch: In "The Gladiators", the Russians had developed a super-martial arts training program which would enable those who survived to deflect bullets with their hands. The graduate did fairly well, but it turned out he could only deflect attacks from one direction at a time.
* CasualDangerDialog: In "The Midas Touch", Gambit and Purdey have a casual conversation about who was the director of ''Film/TheTreasureOfTheSierraMadre'' during a CarChase.
* CarFu:
** In "The Last of the Cybernauts...??", the super-strong Kane physically shoves Mike's Range-Rover into him, squashing him between two cars and knocking him out before going after Purdey.
** In "K is For Kill: Tiger by the Tail", Purdey takes the handbrake off Colonel Stanislav's car while it is parked on a slope, causing it to roll downhill and slam into him.
* CarMeetsHouse: In "Three Handed Game", an amnesiac agent desperate to find his way back to Steep crashes his motorbike through the window of Steed's living room.
* CatFight: The episode "Angels Of Death" has Purdey taking on not one but two gorgeous female opponents (played by Caroline Munro and Pamela Stephenson), after Gambit's basic decency prevents him hitting women and they beat the bejasus out of him.
* CaughtInASnare: Happens to Gambit in "Trap" when he is trapped by Soo Choy's men.
* ClickHello: Gambit pulls this when he gets the drop on Colonel 'Mad Jack' Miller in "Dirtier by the Dozen".
* ClothingCombat: In "Trap", Gambit improvises a bolas out of his tie and a pair of shoes.
* ContinuousDecompression: In "Trap", Steed, Gambit and Purdey are on a plane when the main cabin starts filling with gas. Gambit opens the main door to depressurize the cabin and suck out the gas. The depressurization goes on for long enough for the pilot get out of the cockpit and still be sucked out of the plane.
* TheCorpseStopsHere: Happens to Steed twice in "Medium Rare" as part of a FrameUp. The first time, he sent to a DoomedAppointment and arrives just after the man he was supposed to meet has been murdered, and seconds before internal security arrives. The second time, he happens to walk him on a murder the killer was planning on framing him for. The killer knocks him out and leaves him beside the body with the murder weapon in his hand.
* CostumeCopycat: In "Hostage", one of the villains dresses in a copy of Steed's distinctive suit, bowler hat and umbrella as part of a plan to frame Steed as a traitor.
* CovertGroup: Soviet spymaster Ivanov planted many undercover agents in Great Britain, where they wormed close to tactically important persons, ready to assassinate them on cue. This covert network was called "the House of Cards," because select playing cards would activate the moles. British Avengers John Steed, Emma Peel and Mike Gambit thwarted Ivanov and neutralized his moles.
* CutPhoneLines: Done in "Sleeper" to isolate central London while the gang are TakingOverTheTown.
* CyanidePill: In "The Eagle's Nest", Gambit captures an enemy operative who kills himself with a concentrated dose of jellyfish venom.
* DanceBattler: Purdey was a former ballerina who practiced a very balletic fighting form, complete with pirouettes and high kicks.
* DangerTakesABackSeat: In "Cat Among the Pigeons" Steed is attacked by [[AnimalAssassin a falcon]] that has been planted in the back of his car.
* DeadfootLeadfoot: In "The Deadly Angels", Steed is in a car being driven by one of his friends. A sign is flashed that causes the friend to suffer a fatal heart attack. The car continues to careen along as Steed attempts to steer it to a safe stop.
* DeathCourse: An episode had one of these disguised as a British agent training course. Agents would be shot with harmless little darts to show whether they passed. The villains poisoned the darts.
* DeepCoverAgent: The episode "House of Cards" features a rogue Russian agent activating an old cold war project of deep, deep cover agents, [[spoiler:two of whom are old friends of Steed]].
* DisconnectedByDeath: In "Target!", the poisoned Palmer manages to make it to a phone booth and call Steed. He gasps out some vital information, including the fact that he is already dead, before keeling over.
* DisposableVagrant: One of the victims of the giant rat in "Gnaws" is a tramp.
* DodgeTheBullet: In "K is for Kill: Tiger by the Tail", Gambit is able to use his pistol to deflect the bullet a Russian assassin fires at him.
* TheDoorSlamsYou: An intruder kicks the door closed into Steed's face as he goes to enter Stannard's apartment in "The Eagle's Nest".
* {{Doppelganger}}: "Faces", of the MagicPlasticSurgery variety.
* DramaticDrop: The villain attending Steed's party drops his champagne glass when he hears the general announce that the 'Eye of God' satellite is going to do an underground scan of Buckinghamshire, where he has concealed his stolen missile.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: At the end of "Sleeper", Steed, Gambit and Purdey steal outfits from unconscious robbers and infiltrate the gang, using the balaclavas to disguise their identities.
* EasyAmnesia: A variant in "To Catch a Rat". A agent suffering crippling injuries in an attempt on his life and loses all of his memories. Unlike most uses of this trope, his memory stays gone for 17 years. The EasyAmnesia comes into play when a blow to his head (from a child's swing) restores his memory instantly.
* TheEiffelTowerEffect: "Complex", the first episode filmed in Canada, opens with a shot of the CN Tower in Toronto so there can be no doubt where they are.
* EmbarrassingCoverUp: In "To Catch a Rat", Purdey and Gambit charge into a church expecting to confront an enemy agent. Instead, the confront two local ladies arranging flowers. Purdey immediately announces that this is wrong and he cannot force her to marry her and storms out. Gambit stands there for a few moments looking embarrassed before hurriedly stuffing some money in the poor box and slinking out after her.
* EmptyQuiver: In "Obsession", a rogue air force officer steals a rocket to blow up the Houses of Parliament during a state visit by a Middle Eastern statesman.
* EnemyEatsYourLunch: The Avengers help themselves to the Unicorn's champagne while holding him prisoner in his apartment in "The Lion and the Unicorn".
* EvilCripple: Felix Kane in "The Last of the Cybernauts...??". A double agent crippled and hideously disfigured trying to escape from Steed, Gambit and Purdey, Kane is confined to a wheelchair and resurrects the robotic Cybernauts to extract his revenge.
* EvilElevator: In "Complex", the murderous AI controlling the building causes the floor to drop out of the elevator beneath Greenwood's feet, send him plummeting to his death.
* EvilFormerFriend: In "Dead Men Are Dangerous", Steed's life is threatened by a revenge campaign from Mark Crayford, a childhood friend (at least to Steed), who viewed Steed as a lifelong rival, and who Steed was forced to shoot when he revealed himself to be a double agent.
* EyepatchOfPower: Colonel Miller has one in "Dirtier By The Dozen". It's [[FridgeLogic never explained]] how a man with only one eye could remain as a serving line officer in the British Army.
* FakingTheDead: In "Dead Men are Dangerous", Mark Crayford starts his scheme of revenge against Steed by having himself declared dead and a death certificate issued in his name, so Steed will not suspect him.
* FingerInTheMail: In "Hostage", the kidnappers send Steed a lock of Purdey's hair with a warning that worse is to follow if Steed does not obey their instructions.
* GroupieBrigade: The Avengers stage one as a distraction to allow them to snatch a defector from an airport in "House of Cards".
* HandCannon: In "Gnaws", Gambit thinks enemy agents might be using some kind of specialised armoured transport in the sewers, and arms himself with a handgun which, in his words, will "stop a tank at 30 paces". In the end, it proves just as effective against the actual threat which turns out to be a giant rat.
* HandOrObjectUnderwear: In "Three Handed Game", Purdey bursts in on Gambit as he is posing as a life model for a sculptress. He hurriedly grabs a sheet to cover himself up.
* HarbingerOfImpendingDoom: "Trap" opens with an agent being caught eavesdropping on the villains. Despite being shot by a guard, he manages to escape and survives long enough to deliver a cryptic message concerning a drug deal to Gambit.
* HeroStoleMyBike: In "The Lion and the Unicorn", Gambit steals a window washer's three-wheeled van to chase a fleeing thug through the streets of Paris. Naturally he ends up wrecking it.
* HeyYouHaymaker: Gambit does this to O'Hara in "The Gladiators" when he finds O'Hara scoping out the bad guys' escape route. He taps him on the shoulder and then slugs him on the jaw as he turns round.
* HillbillyMoonshiner: In "Emily", Gambit and Purdey fight a hillbilly moonshiner to acquire several gallons of his hooch in order to fuel a car (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* HiredGuns: The [[ArmyOfThievesAndWhores rouge British Army unit]] in "Dirtier By The Dozen".
* IHaveYourWife: In "Hostage", a gang of villains abduct Purdey and hold her hostage to ensure Steed's compliance.
* ImpairmentShot: Double vision and going in and out of focus are used to indicate curare poisoning in "Target!". There is a prolonged sequence from Steed's POV as he staggers poisoned through the ShootingGallery.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The border guards in "Dead Men are Dangerous" show some spectacularly bad aim when they manage to miss Steed despite him lying prone on the ground no more than 20 or 30 feet away.
* ImprovisedWeapon: In "Dirtier by the Dozen" Gambit uses Purdey's bra as an improvised sling to knock out a commando.
* InstantSedation: "Sleeper", where a group of bank robbers disperse a powerful knockout drug over UsefulNotes/{{London}} early on a Sunday morning in order to pull off a series of bank heists.
* ISurrenderSuckers: In "Trap", Purdey walks up to the captain of Soo Choy's men and gives herself up. While he is securing her, Steed gets the drop on him and knocks him out.
* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: In "The Tale of the Big Why", TheMole draws a gun on Steed, Gambit and Purdey and plans to shoot them so they cannot reveal his secret. Steed orders Gambit to disarm him and Gambit moves forward. TheMole fires but his gun merely clicks as the hammer falls on empty chamber. Steed had spotted the gun in TheMole's pocket and - suspicious of why an undersecretary would be carrying a loaded pistol - had removed the clip.
* KangarooCourt: In "Dirtier by the Dozen", Colonel 'Mad Jack' Miller holds a drumhead court martial and sentences one of his to be [[ShotAtDawn executed by firing squad]].
* KillAndReplace: This is the bad guys scheme in "Faces", using MagicPlasticSurgery to create doubles of people in the security services, then killing the original and having the doppelganger take their place.
* LadyInRed: Purdey in "Dirtier By The Dozen", in contrast to the men all dressed in khaki.
* LastBreathBullet: After being shot by the White Rat in "To Catch a Rat", Gunner struggles to his feet long enough to shoot the Rat as he was about to shoot Purdey.
* LivingOnBorrowedTime: An enemy agent in one episode who had a bullet working its way toward his brain, and was desperate to kill Steed before that happened.
* LockDown: "Complex".
* LovesOnlyGold: Professor Turner in "The Midas Touch". Gold is Turner's obsession, which is why he names his secret project Midas. A {{Plaguemaster}}, Turner creates a PoisonousPerson named Midas that he intends to sell to the power that can pay him the greatest amount of gold.
* MagicPlasticSurgery: Used by the bad guys in "Faces" to create doubles used in their KillAndReplace scheme.
* MarriedToTheJob: In "House of Cards", Steed refers to his career as "my one and only marriage…and I've been very faithful."
* MistakenForAnImposter: In "Faces", both Gambit and Purdey go undercover to infiltrate an organisation that is creating duplicates of intelligence operatives, where they are employed as doubles of themselves. Each ends up believing that the other is an imposter, and has killed the real Gambit/Purdey.
* TheMole: In "To Catch a Rat", a former agent recovers his memory after having amnesia for 17 years. He remembers he was hunting a mole known as 'the White Rat'. Realising the the Rat is still in the department, he resumes his hunt.
* MuggedForDisguise: In "Sleeper", the main bad guy disposes of of a visiting scientist and steals his clothes to take his place at a demonstration where he plans to steal the secret weapon.
* MuggingTheMonster: In "Dead Men are Dangerous", a mugger attempts to mug a ex-spy and trained killer. The spy slams him around and then recruits him as a henchman.
* MurderByCremation: In "Complex", the murderous AI controlling the building disposes of one its victims by dumping him into the building's trash incinerator.
* NewOldFlame: The villain in "Obsession" is an ex-fiancee of Purdey who had never been mentioned before.
* NobodyHereButUsStatues: Purdey poses as a mannequin in a store window in an attempt to avoid two of the robbers in "Sleeper". She is hampered by the fact that her pants keep falling down.
* NoImmortalInertia: The soldiers in the Russian 'secret army' who have been in 'cold storage' since WorldWarII in the "K is for Kill" two-parter. When they are killed they revert to their chronological age.
* NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont: In "The Deadly Angels", Gambit is held at gunpoint by a secretary. He starts instructing her on the proper way to hold and search a prisoner at gunpoint. When he tells her to take the safety catch off the gun, she goes to obey. As she does so, he turn around and snatches the gun off her. He then gives it back to her, kisses her and asks her for a date.
* {{Novelization}}: A half-dozen storylines from the series were adapted as novels. (The parent series also had a series of books based on it, but they were all original novels.)
* OfCorpseHesAlive: In "The Lion and the Unicorn", Steed has to go to extreme lengths in order to convince the Unicorn's gang that he is still alive (after being accidentally shot by one of his own men) in order to prevent a gang war and recover a hostage the Unicorn's gang is holding.
* OffWithHisHead: In "Trap", Soo Choy plans to behead Steed, Gambit and Purdey as revenge for foiling his drug operation. He gets as far as getting Gambit's head on the chopping block.
* OlderAndWiser: Steed.
* OnlyOneName: Purdey.
* OutfitDecoy: In "Emily", Steed tapes his bowler hat to the roof of a car to protect a palm print (ItMakesSenseInContext). Later the police are after them and Steed manages to temporarily lose them by taping his hat to the roof of a different brown car (and stealing that driver's hat to tape to the roof of Emily).
* OutsideRide: In "Dead Men are Dangerous", Gambit leaps on the back of a fleeing car. He gets thrown off but manages to pull off the number plate as he goes.
* ParanoiaGambit: In "Forward Base", Purdey and Gambit spook a Russian agent into revealing the location of the base by calling him to tell him his cover is blown, and then doing absolutely nothing. They reason that the fact that he cannot find them will absolutely convince him that they are on to him.
* PinPullingTeeth: In "K is for Kill: The Tiger Awakes", one of the Russian does this before tossing a grenade through the window of the Allied HQ museum.
* {{Plaguemaster}}: Professor Turner in "The Midas Touch". Turner has found the ultimate carrier for a host of deadly diseases, calls him Midas and offers him to the highest bidder in exchange for gold.
* PocketProtector:
** In "The Midas Touch", smuggler Hong Kong Harry is shot by an assassin to prevent him from reaching a meeting. He is saved because he is wearing a quarter of a million dollars worth of gold dust inside a FatSuit.
** In "Faces", Steed is saved when his doppelgänger's bullet hits the pocket watch givien to him minutes earlier by his best friend's widow.
** In "K is for Kill: Tiger by the Tail", Steed is saved by because he is a gentleman. Although he doesn't smoke, he carries a cigarette case for those of his friends who do, and an assassin's bullet strikes the cigarette case.
* PoisonousPerson: Midas in "The Midas Touch". Midas is the perfect carrier for diseases, and {{Plaguemaster}} Professor Turner turns him into a living weapon whose slightest touch kills.
* PopTheTires: One of the people chasing the MacGuffin in "The Tale of the Big Why" shoots out the tyres on Steed's Range-Rover to stop Steed and Gambit chasing her.
* PrettyInMink: Purdey dons a fur coat when she poses as a gangster's moll in "Faces".
* PursuedProtagonist: "The Eagle's Nest" opens with an agent on a remote island being chased by two murderous anglers. He attempts to seek sanctuary in a monastery where things do not go well for him.
* TheRemnant: In "K is for Kill", a cadre of Soviet soldiers are accidentally awoken from their cryogenic sleep and embark on following their original Cold War orders; attacking several former military targets that have been abandoned for decades.
* RenegadeRussian: In the "K is for Kill" two-parter, Colonel Stanislav is a hardliner who is not happy with the thawing Cold War, and puts in a motion a scheme set up after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in an attempt to trigger World War III.
* RevealingInjury: In "To Catch a Rat", Gunner knows that he will be able to identify the White Rat because he shot the White Rat in the left leg during their last encounter.
* {{Revival}}
* RodentsOfUnusualSize: "Gnaws".
* SeekingSanctuary: In TheTeaser to "The Eagle's Nest", a PursuedProtagonist flees from his attackers into a monastery. He disturbs the monks at their devotions, demanding sanctuary. This ends badly for him, as the monks are actually [[BadHabits Nazis in disguise]].
* SelfOffense: In "To Catch a Rat", Purdey and Cromwell end up attacking each other when they both have the same idea of searching Cledge's apartment in the dark.
* SexyJester: In "Three Handed Game", Purdey puts on clown wig, red nose and face paint.
* ShootingGallery: "Target!".
* ShootTheRope: Done as part of a TwangHello by a bow-wielding assassin in "Faces". He uses an arrow to sever the the rope holding up a training dummy next to Purdey as a way of announcing his presence.
* ShotAtDawn: In "Dirtier by the Dozen", Colonel 'Mad Jack' Miller has one of his men executed by firing squad following a drumhead court martial.
* SoMuchForStealth: At the start of "The Lion and the Unicorn", Steed and Purdey are listening at the door of the hotel room of ProfessionalKiller the Unicorn when Purdey knocks over an ashtray and they have to flee for their lives.
* StabTheSalad: TheTeaser of "Complex" opens with what appears to be a sniper sighting down a rifle on someone exiting a building. As he squeezes the trigger, it is revealed that he is actually using a special long-distance camera mounted on a rifle-style stock to take a photograph.
* StrappedToABomb: In "The Lion and the Unicorn", the villains strap a bomb to their royal hostage in case Steed attempts a double-cross before the hostage exchange can take place.
* StupidJetpackHitler: "The Eagle's Nest".
* StylishProtectionGear: Purdey had a gold silk karate gi, which really stood out compared to Gamnit's plain white one when they were sparring.
* SufferTheSlings: In "Dirtier by the Dozen", Gambit uses Purdey's bra as an improvised sling to hurl a rock that knocks out a commando.
* SupernaturallyYoungParent: In "K is for Kill", Colonel Stanislav activates a cadre of Soviet soldiers who were put into [[HumanPopsicle cryogenic sleep]] shortly after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. One of the soldiers is his father, who now appears about half the age of his son.
* SuperWindowJump: Gambit was fond of doing this when he was racing to the rescue. He comes crashing through the window of a folly in "Dead Men are Dangerous", a health farm in "the Deadly Angels", and a suburban home in "Complex".
* SwissCheeseSecurity: Enemy agents seem to wander into Steed's house in every other episode.
* TakeOffYourClothes: In "To Catch a Rat",Purdey tells Cromwell to take of his trousers, to his obvious surprise. It turns out she had ripped his trousers during the struggle and intends to sew up the rip.
* TakingOverTheTown: In "Sleeper", a gang uses a secret weapon to knock out a section of central London, then put in roadblocks and [[CutPhoneLines cut the phone lines]] to allow them to loot a series of banks at will.
* TelepathicSprinklers: In "Complex", Purdey is trapped inside a building which is attempting to kill her. Steed and Gambit dump a bunch of matches and lighters to her through the mail chute. She uses these to trigger the sprinklers which go off through the entire building and short out the computer controlling the building.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: In "The Tale of the Big Why", the Avengers find themselves alternatively pursuing or being pursued by a brains-and-brawn pair of thieves who do not even know what the MacGuffin they are trying to steal is: merely that it is extremely valuable in the right hands.
* TownWithADarkSecret: "The Eagle's Nest" where a remote Scottish island was harbouring a dark secret. The island had been secretly taken over by Nazis at the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, and the monastery as being used to house the cryogenically frozen body of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler until such time as they could revive him.
* ToyotaTripwire: In "The Tale of the Big Why", Gambit and Purdey drive after two villains who chasing a man across a field. Gambit opens the door of the Range-Rover as they drive past to knock down one of the villains as he stops to aim his shotgun at the fleeing man.
* TransferableMemory: In "Three Handed Game", a device is invented that allows memories and skills to be transferred from one mind to another. It is stolen by a mercenary who intends to use it to steal espionage secrets. When the Avengers get too close, he uses it to transfer his mind to a new body.
* TrojanPrisoner: Steed and Purdey pull this trick to inflitrate Soo Choy's base in "Trap"
* TwangHello:
** Done by a bow-wielding villain to announce his presence to Purdey in "Faces".
** In "Dirtier by the Dozen", Gambit is unlocking Purdey's cell when a knife embeds itself in the door beside his head.
* UnderwaterBase: In "Forward Base", the eponymous base turns out to be an elaborate submersible community hidden in Lake Ontario.
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: In "The Deadly Angels", Steed and Purdey are trapped in a room with the walls closing in to crush them. They end up extremely close quarters before Gambit manages to switch the machinery off.
* WarForFunAndProfit: In "Dirtier by the Dozen", Colonel 'Mad Jack' Miller plans to trigger a war in the Middle East and use the confusion to loot whatever isn't nailed down and disappear before any of the powers involved can work out what has happened.
* WithMyHandsTied: In "The Tale of the Big Why", Purdey takes down one of her kidnappers despie having her hands tied.
* YellowPeril: The Chinese crime lord Soo Choy in "Trap", who wears traditional Chinese robes and a Mandarin cap and generally comes across as a poor man's Fu Manchu. Not helped by being played by a Caucasian in obvious YellowFace.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: In "The Last of the Cybernauts...??", Kane employs Goff to get the Cybernauts working. Once they are operating, he quickly determines that Goff is only an engineer and incapable of making any improvements to the robots, he uses a Cybernaut to snap Goff's neck.
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: In "Faces", Gambit poses as a homeless man to infiltrate a group creating duplicates of intelligence operatives. While looking for someone he can turn into a double of Gambit, the plastic surgeon initially doesn't think the disguised Gambit will be suitable.
* YouWouldntShootMe: At the end of "Obsession", Purdey and her NewOldFlame are standing pointing guns at each other, with him standing between her and the rocket that is about to be launched at the Houses of Parliament. He calmly states that she will not be able to bring herself to shoot him. However, Gambit, who arrives at this point, has no such qualms and shoots him.
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