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Castle: Tropes E to L
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View Tropes A-D HERE
View Tropes M-P HERE
View Tropes Q-Z HERE

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Ryan got one line in the pilot, and it was the only time for the first season and a half that Ryan and Esposito were seen without each other. A different detective (played by Colby French) had most of the big speaking roles, but was dropped after the pilot. They'd try for another detective near the end of the season in Detective Karpowski, but she was dropped after 2 episodes. Also, the interrogation room was a whole lot brighter in the first season than other seasons, while the precinct in general is clearly a different set in the pilot from the rest of the series.
    • In the pilot, Esposito wears a suit and Ryan has a leather jacket. They would eventually settle into the opposite dress codes.
  • Easter Egg: In the Cold Open for "The Wild Rover", a cake reads "Happy 99th!" "The Wild Rover" is Castle's 99th episode.
    • And accordingly, the title sequence for the succeeding 100th episode is filled with several hidden "100"s.
  • Easy Amnesia: Refreshingly averted in "The Fifth Bullet", especially with the easy recall that comes with it. It's lampshaded, interestingly enough, by the amnesiac himself:
    "J": Isn't this supposed to be the point where I get a headache, and flashes of memory start overwhelming me until all the pieces come together?
    Ryan: Okay, you've seen too many movies.
    "J": Yeah, that I can't remember.
    Ryan: Wow. That's very... chicken-egg.
    "J": Welcome to my world.
  • Egg Sitting: In "Vampire Weekend". The egg's name was Feggan, and "he" was "murdered" by Alexis's friend as revenge, after Alexis called her dad when her friend drank too much from a spiked punch bowl.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Played literally straight in "Target" and "Hunt"; scenes set in Paris are punctuated by it.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Esposito, Ryan, and a SWAT team ride in one in "Eye of the Beholder".
  • Elvis Impersonator: Castle, Ryan, and Esposito dress up in full regalia in order to sneak into a casino after being kicked out in "Heartbreak Hotel".
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Kitten" for Castle, from his first ex-wife Meredith. Beckett learns this in "Always Buy Retail" and uses it to insult Castle until he makes her stop using it as her thanks for saving her life. However, it comes up again when Meredith returns in "Significant Others".
    • In "An Embarrassment of Bitches", one of Alexis' new friends, Buttons. Even worse when you pair it with her last name, Dutton. Pointing this out backfires on Castle, though:
    Alexis: What's so wrong with that?
    Castle: C'mon! It'd be like calling you Rassle or Tassle or...
    (Castle's phone rings and he picks it up.)
    Castle: ...No Hassle Castle. Hey. ... No, I was just making a point. ... Please don't call me that.
  • Empty Chair Memorial:
    • As a tribute to the late Stephen J. Cannell, in "The Dead Pool" it's revealed that his chair in the writers poker game Castle hosts will remain empty for one year.
    Castle: "That's Cannell's seat."
    • In the season 3 finale, this also occurs at Montgomery's funeral where the ceremonial riderless horse precedes the casket.
    • A less tragic example is the chair beside Beckett's desk. Castle is so often seen seated there whenever Beckett is at her desk, that at certain times when he isn't, Beckett is seen looking at it, almost as if wishing he was there.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: "The Lives of Others": the way other characters react to Castle's insistence that he's witnessed a murder in the apartment opposite his become quite different once you see the ending and realize that it was a surprise birthday party prank and they were all in on it.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In the pilot, a scene was originally written where Beckett would question Captain Montgomery's wisdom in allowing Castle to be part of the investigation. When filming, the producers decided to remove this scene by having Montgomery bluntly shoot down Beckett's request to talk to him ("Nope.")... but didn't inform Stana Katic, whose look of annoyed astonishment is real.
  • Enhance Button:
    • Subverted twice, in successive episodes. Beckett even talks about it in "Murder Most Fowl" and Castle's protest is a Shown Their Work on why it wouldn't work:
    Castle: (examining a zoomed-in photograph that they told the photo tech to "enhance") The enhancement only increased the pixelation on these. You can't even see there's a side-view mirror!
    Beckett: It's not like on 24, Castle. In the real world, even zoom-and-enhance can only get us so far.
    • The one or two times that it does work, the information they get from the photos are realistic details such as how sweaty someone is due to the brightness of the pixels, as seen in "3XK", versus something like a full facial reconstruction.
      • Likewise, it only works in "Kill Shot" because the object they were looking at (a coffee cup) was a fairly large part of the image, facing the camera basically dead on, being held still for a good amount of time, and the thing on the cup they were looking at was very simple and bold. And even then, Ryan has to squint and pause to make out the text.
    • Arguably played straight in "Always", where Esposito identifies a rental car company that the killer used from a vaguely visible key-chain he was holding.
    • Played more straight in "Target" and "Hunt", and done on a camera feed transmitted across the Atlantic, no less.
  • Epiphany Comeback: Played with; Beckett's fight with the sniper who shot her in "Always" certainly triggers an epiphany — but it's got nothing to do with winning the fight (indeed, she gets her ass kicked.) The epiphany is instead about how she is in love with Castle and doesn't want to throw her life away chasing her mother's murderer, but wants to make a life with him. She realizes all this while hanging from the edge of a building, where, in despair, she whispers Castle's name.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • Usually with Castle, and usually inspired by his daughter. In several cases, Castle and Beckett have had a Eureka Moment at the exact same time, or almost the exact same time, which Lanie later comments on, saying how cute it is that they finish each other sentences. Hell, even Esposito and Ryan notice that they do it often. But then, they'd know.
      • It is inverted in "One Man's Treasure" in which Alexis has this instead of Castle.
    • Lampshaded again in "3XK" when Beckett calls Castle. He notes that usually he gets a call because they (the police) have news but this time, there is no update and he thinks she's calling because he might have had one of these. The scene just prior to this one is a Red Herring Eureka Moment to boot.
    • The trope is often parodied/deconstructed in that Castle will usually make several wild, obviously incorrect guesses before the right one. Sometimes, they'll even come across a strange piece of evidence that seems to agree with one of his wild guesses before a rational explanation can be found.
    • The episode "The Lives of Others", Beckett invokes this by saying "fridge", which gets Castle to realize that the murderer he was spying on had hidden the body in the fridge. It turns out that the whole murder was staged by Beckett to get Castle into the apartment for his surprise birthday party. Then it gives us a bit of role-reversal in which it's Castle who makes an offhand comment that gives Beckett the Eureka Moment for another case she's working on.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Sucker Punch" Finn Rourke is an unrepentant Irish mobster who has done plenty of evil things, but, as he notes to Beckett, the Westies as he runs them will not tolerate any drug dealing on their turf. If a person gets caught dealing in their area, this person will likely be dead.
  • Even the Girls Want Her:
    • Many of the girl fans' reaction to Kate Beckett.
    • This promo.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Ryan, in the first episode of season 3, comments on a cardboard cutout of Castle "He really is ruggedly handsome".
    • Esposito gets a moment at the end of "Anatomy of a Murder" when he smiles knowingly after the heartwarming moment between Castle and Beckett. For some reason, he just looks so charmingly happy in that scene.
  • Everybody Knew Already:
    • In "Poof, You're Dead", it turns out that everyone already knows about the big secret — that Esposito and Lanie are in a relationship — but have just decided to play along to give the secret holders some privacy (and no doubt enjoy watching them squirm whenever it's brought up).
    • In "Till Death Do Us Part", when Castle, Beckett and Esposito are trying to tell Ryan that Jenny had slept with a pick-up artist a month after they started dating, he nonchalantly reveals that he knew all along and wasn't bothered because they hadn't been exclusive at the time.
    • In "Still", it turns out that all of Castle and Beckett's public denial that they're a couple so that Gates wouldn't find out was for naught. Luckily for them, Gates doesn't care as long as they're professional at the precinct.
  • Every Man Has His Price: A comically harmless version. The few cops that find Castle annoying for hanging around the bullpen change their tune when Castle buys a quality espresso machine, no less than a La Spaziale S5 Compact-a six thousand dollar machine. Castle has good taste in machines. Even Beckett (eventually) partakes.
    • Castle invokes this on both Ryan and Esposito in "Headhunters", enlisting them to help him and Detective Slaughter investigate a gang murder.
    • Whenever Castle needs a favor from Ryan and/or Esposito, the pair usually ask to drive Castle's Ferrari in return.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Only Beckett is determinedly oblivious. Or, she's having just as much fun toying with Castle as we are watching her (see UST below).
    • Lanie drops this line verbatim during "A Rose For Everafter" about Castle and Beckett:
      Lanie: (while Beckett is walking away) Honey, just because you can't see it doesn't mean everyone else doesn't see what's going on!
      Beckett: (offscreen) Shut up!
      Lanie: Mm-hmm. (Talking to the corpse) Cause I see it. You may not, but I do.
    • Castle's New Old Flame, after deciding that she's going to marry her fiancee, kisses Castle on the cheek, walks up to Detective Beckett, and says, "He's all yours."
    • Even more squee at the end of "The Third Man":
      Ryan: Do they know they're finishing each others sentences?
    • Another moment from Ryan:
      Ryan: Chances are this book guy that Demming's got in the lock up did it.
      Castle: Don't say that.
      Ryan: What? Ohhhhh. *grinning* You wanna be the one to crack it, not Demming, right?
      Castle: Well, the guy is not even homicide. Doesn't that bug you, just a little?
      Ryan: Maybe a little. But that's not why it bugs you, is it?
    • This even extends to people who've never met one of the pair, it's that obvious. The journalist who writes the article that causes most of the fuss in "The Third Man" alludes to a relationship between the two, having just assumed it was the case because Castle couldn't stop talking about how incredible Beckett was (with his favorite subject in previous interviews being Richard Castle). In the same episode, one of the witnesses for the murder of the week immediately pegged Beckett as "the detective girlfriend"... which was bad for Castle, who was desperately trying to hide the article from Beckett.
    • The FBI profiler Jordan Shaw does the same in "Tick Tick Tick". You know, the sort of person who does that sort of thing for a living is 'fooled' into thinking the two are, at the very least, sleeping together.
    • The alternative interpretation is given credit in "A Deadly Affair" as Beckett seems aware (as is Castle) of the various emotions, feelings, and expressions she makes due to Castle (and vice versa). Though as always, circumstances mean it doesn't quite get through to the other.
    • Natalie Rhodes in the episode "Nikki Heat".
    • This extends to Federal Agent Mark Fallon, who said that when he first met Castle and Beckett, he thought they were together.
    • Mike Royce, Beckett's old training officer wrote a letter to her saying "It's clear you and Castle have something real", which she read at the end of the episode "To Love and Die in L.A.".
    • As of the season 3 finale, it's pretty clear that both Beckett and Castle can see it too.
    • Andrew Marlowe has mentioned in an interview that in the conversation where Beckett broke up with Josh, she tried not to mention Castle- but Josh himself kept on insistently bringing him up.
    • In "Eye of the Beholder", after a week of trying to woo him, art "recovery" expert Serena Kaye sees it, too:
    Serena: It's like I said: I don't steal things that belong to someone else.
    • In "Cops and Robbers," the leader of the bank robbery team quickly pegs Castle and Beckett as boyfriend and girlfriend after talking to her over the phone. After about the third time he asserts this, Castle finally speaks up.
    Trapper John: Your girlfriend is a hellcat!
    Castle: Well, she's not my girlfriend.
    Trapper John: She too much woman for you?
    Castle: Ha.
    • Possibly inverted in season five, where everyone appears to be oblivious to Castle and Beckett's Relationship Upgrade, despite their less-than-stellar attempts to conceal it ... or are they?
    • There are certain moments in the episode "Target" where it seems like Gates is already aware of the relationship between Beckett and Castle; one where Gates tells Beckett to do whatever it takes to save Alexis, and another scene has her watching as Beckett holds Castle's hand to try and comfort him. Though to be fair, given the situation, such actions wouldn't really be out of place for friends either.
      • The end of "Still" reveals that she has indeed known about them all along.
    • In an instance that isn't in response to Castle & Beckett's obvious chemistry, when Lanie & Esposito began dating in the third season, they tried to keep the relationship a secret; only for Beckett, Castle & Ryan to comment how cute it is that they think they're fooling anyone. In a later episode, Ryan just outright tells Esposito they're all aware he's dating Lanie.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: In "Cops and Robbers", Castle is one of the hostages at the bank robbery. With no other communication link to the outside, he sends a message with his mother's bracelet by covering the reflected light into a Morse signal. Justified in that, it's Castle. The guy's practically the king of Hidden Depths. Well that, and as a mystery/crime fiction writer it's fairly handwaveable that Castle would have some knowledge of Morse.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French:
    • Detective Kate Beckett reveals she can speak Russian. That accent is very, very hot (Esposito tells her that it's kinda hot). Emphasised by the fact that all she's wearing is red lingerie and a black jacket.
    • Ioan Gruffudd guest-starred as a dashing inventor and a big celebrity in "The Squab and the Quill". Eric Vaughn is a genius-level inventor and billionaire. He's Famed in Story and both Beckett and the coroner have a Celeb Crush on him. They briefly gush about his handsomeness, hotness, and his British accent.
  • Evil Brit: In "Last Call", a pompous British auction house owner shows up. Guess who the killer is.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Castle tries one in "Vampire Weekend", but then breaks into a coughing fit.
    • He does it again successfully in "Food to Die For," complete with a Dr. Horrible Shout-Out.
  • Evil Plan: Each episode is driven by a murder caused by the criminal of the week. On a bigger scale, unraveling the one that killed Beckett's mother ties the seasons together.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The drug dealer they suspect of having a hand in the death of Beckett's mother in the third season. Like wow.
  • Evil Twin: Discussed in "Poof! He's Dead"; when Castle learns the victim, a magician, had a twin, he becomes convinced that there's some sort of evil twin scheme with the evil twin murdering the good twin and posing as him for some nefarious person. He's entirely wrong, and the twin is entirely non-evil.
  • Exact Words: In "Still", Beckett makes Castle promise to leave leave the room where she is standing on a pressure-plate bomb, rather than die with her. He shortly returns with the detonator and two coffees. "I promised I'd leave. I didn't promise I wouldn't come back."
  • Expy: The '90s sitcom 2 Cool For School in "Need to Know" is basically Saved by the Bell, with the victim being the Screech analog and his actor friend and killer being the Slater analog.
    • The victim's Screech-like character also had the suspenders of Urkel and the flip-up sunglasses of Dwayne Wayne.
  • Face-Heel Turn: In "Hunt" the man Castle hires to help him recover Alexis betrays him after discovering the identity and motive of the kidnapper. When Castle's father, Jackson Hunt, shows up, he isn't surprised the man broke under the pressure when he discovered he was out of his league. That doesn't stop Hunt from (rightfully) killing him.
  • Facial Dialogue: A significant aspect of the interaction between the characters of the show. There are many, many moments where a character's emotions are written all over their face, without them having to say a word.
    • It starts in the pilot with Becket's reaction to Castle's cold read of why she became a cop. As Castle accurately comments on her back story, Beckett's expression goes from smug to emotionally pained.
    • One only the audience sees is from the beginning of the season 2 opener. Castle is trying to make amends for betraying Beckett's trust by looking into her mother's murder. When he offers to buy her a pony, you can see her smile a little before controlling her emotions. This lets the audience know that she wants to forgive him but has to remind herself that she can't, and it sets up how easily she forgives him at the end of the episode when he finally apologizes.
    • As with the scenes described above, most of the characters' non-verbal expressions are for the viewer's benefit, and often go unnoticed by the others in the same scene. Although there are scenes where this trope is played straight.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Subverted in "Sucker Punch", as we find out just who Beckett's mother's killer is, and she kills him when he takes Castle hostage. The failure, however, is transferred to who hired him to kill her.
    • "Recoil" has Beckett ending up having to protect Senator Bracken from an assassin. Throughout the episode, she struggles with the dilemma she has found herself in: either do her job and let her mother's killer remain free; or stall and let the assassin kill the senator and deny justice for the woman murdered by the assassin.
    Therapist: As a police officer, you must have faced similar dilemmas.
    Beckett: Yeah.
    Therapist: Why is this time different?
    Beckett: Because this time it feels like there's no right choice.
    Therapist: Maybe the right choice... is the one you can live with.
    • And then finally in "Veritas", Beckett gets enough on Bracken to arrest him, from a tape her mother hid in her elephant heirloom.
  • Fair Cop:
    • Beckett. Lampshaded a lot. In the pilot, Castle tells her that women like her tend to become lawyers, not cops. In "To Love and Die in LA", the directer of the Nikki Heat movie tells Beckett she could be an actress.
      • Justified in-universe; Becket was going to be a lawyer, until her mother was murdered (with no killer found) prompting her to dedicate her life to bringing the guilty to justice and protecting the innocent.
    • Esposito and Ryan aren't that hard on the eyes either.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: In the episode "Knockdown", Castle and Beckett indulge in this trope in order to distract a guard so they can run in and save the kidnapped Ryan and Esposito. As anticipated, it is an incredibly hot scene (it's also pretty clear that Castle's just using the situation as an excuse to kiss the hell out of Beckett, and equally clear that she's using the situation to kiss right back).
  • Faking the Dead: Mr. Smith. Everyone originally thought he'd been killed by Bracken's thugs, but he appears one more time in "Veritas" and gives Beckett a vital clue to find the piece of evidence that would nail Bracken.
  • False Flag Operation: What Tony The Butcher does in "Heroes & Villains" to pin on vigilante Lone Vengeance the killing of Faris.
  • False Innocence Trick: Leo in "After Hours".
  • Fan Disservice: In "Kill Shot", there's a scene where Beckett is dressed only in her bra and pants. This would have been Fanservice if Beckett wasn't going through a mental breakdown and staring at the bullet wound on her chest.
  • Fandom Nod: "One Life to Lose" is partially about the rabid shipping community surrounding a fictional soap opera. Many a Portmanteau Couple Name is used.
  • Fangirl:
    • Beckett is a devoted reader of Castle's novels, the leader of a fanclub for Castle, and has been since before he started shadowing her. She does NOT want him to know the spoiler.
    • Beckett was also raised a baseball fan, and as a result, the normally cool-headed detective turns into a fifteen-year-old girl when she meets Joe Torre in "Suicide Squeeze."
    • Beckett also spends most of "The Final Frontier" at various levels of fan-girl meltdown since the murder revolves around her favourite sci-fi series Nebula 9.
  • Fanservice:
    • See Even the Girls Want Her above.
    • In "The Mistress Spanks Twice" many of the 'quick-cut New York landmark' establishing shots are replaced by shots of attractive young women in leather corsets writhing in various mild BDSM positions.
    • There also seem to have been a few scenes of Beckett either showering or bathing in the recent series; "Boom!" begins with Beckett, having been in the shower just before her apartment blew up, stark naked for the first few minutes. Castle isn't entirely unhappy with this state of affairs, and neither were many viewers of both genders, judging by the above.
    • To Live and Die in L.A. has Beckett getting out of a pool, in slow motion. Castle's reaction says it all.
    • The only reason why, in "After The Storm", Beckett enters Castle's bedroom wearing only one of Castle's shirts.
    • Invoked in-universe in "Cloudy With A Chance Of Murder"; Beckett, worrying about what to wear on her first day back at work, seeks Castle's opinion on the shirt she chooses to wear. After rejecting the first one because he finds it sexy, he shakes his head when she models the second one for him. It takes her all of five seconds to realize that he's only rejecting it because he wants to watch her take her shirt off again.
    • "Murder, He Wrote": Kate Beckett, removing a robe to go into a swimming pool ... and revealing in the process that she 'forgot' her bathing suit. More than a few viewers of various genders and sexual persuasions were no doubt cursing the Victim of the Week for choosing that moment to burst onto the scene and die in the swimming pool.
    • "The Final Frontier": Alexis in full cosplay...as a character whose outfit is a Battle Bikini.
    • In "Significant Others", Castle's ex-wife Meredith stays at his place while their daughter Alexis is sick, at the same time as Beckett is staying there because her place is being repaired. Meredith turns up for breakfast wearing only a t-shirt and panties. Beckett is not pleased.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Where the assassin Lockwood often seemed to be quite sincere when being Affably Evil, his replacement Maddox seems to be barely concealing a strain of sadistic sociopathy beneath a slightly slimy veneer of good cheer.
  • Fauxreigner:
    • Beckett pretends to be Russian to save Castle in the Season 2 premiere and says she used to enjoy going to heavily Russian areas and pretending to be from Moscow.
    Beckett: They just said they're gonna take him for everything he's got.
    Esposito: What, you speak Russian?
    Beckett: Semester in Kiev, between junior and senior year. (imitates a Russian accent) Sometimes when I am bored, I go to Glechik Cafe in Little Odessa and pretend to be Muscovite.
    Esposito: Now that's kinda hot.
    • Johnny Vong in "Sucker Punch" is a Harvard MBA from California who provides legitimately profitable real estate investment advice, but pretends to be a simple Laotian immigrant on Infomercials because Rags to Riches stories sell better. note 
    Video!Vong: When I come to this country, I come with nothing. I come on boat—
    Vong, Castle, and Esposito: now, I OWN A BOAT!
    • Also, Hans von Manschaft (why yes, he is a stripper, why do you ask?) in "Almost Famous". He immediately drops the accent when he hears his rival has been murdered, and Castle, of course, lampshades Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping.
  • Female Gaze: Beckett really likes looking at hot guys, much to Castle's chagrin.
    • Happens in "The Limey" when they stumble on the naked British consulate, and Beckett tries to peek while Castle is blocking her view.
    • Happens again in "Death Gone Crazy" when Beckett and Castle encounter a director trying to compete with 'College Girls Gone Crazy' by making 'College Guys Gone Nuts'. Beckett's stare lingers for a long while on the half-naked male dancers.
    Castle: We're not here about your dancers, Mr. Parrino. (catches Beckett looking at one of the dancers, and glares at her) Are we?
  • Fictional Counterpart: As shown in "A Slice of Death", Castle's New York has the "Nick's" (Terrific, Authentic, Authentic Terrific, etc.) pizzeria lines just as the real New York has the "Ray's" (Original, Famous, Famous Original, etc.) pizzerias. This despite the fact that earlier episodes had established both that Ray's exists in the Castle world and is just as ubiquitous. The rivalry among the "Nick's" is far more deadly than the one in ours.
  • Film Noir: The flashbacks in "The Blue Butterfly" are deliberately done in this style. It's how Castle imagines the PI's story playing out in his mind.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis:
    • In "Sucker Punch", Beckett finds a stash, sticks her finger in, tastes it, and pronounces "heroin". Palms met faces nationwide.
    • Played with in "Murder Most Fowl" when Castle tastes a bird feather and declares it a "bird of prey." It actually was a red hawk feather, to boot.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Castle and Beckett do this a lot, especially when struck by an Eureka Moment. Lampshaded repeatedly.
    Esposito: So, do you guys practice doing that when we're not around?
  • Firemen Are Hot: Beckett's date in "The Third Man", FDNY's Mr. July.
  • First Kiss: Finally happens in "Knockdown".
  • First Name Basis: Castle has been calling Beckett "Kate" a lot in season 4. For example, in "Kill Shot", he just called out 'Kate!' to her in the hallways, no You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious moment in sight. The shippers are delighted.
    • As per their Relationship Upgrade in Season 5, it would probably be easier at this point to count how many times Castle doesn't call her Kate.
    • Strangely subverted in the season 5 two-parter "Target"/"Hunt", where Castle keeps calling her Beckett. Partly justified, though, as he's more concerned about his daughter at that point. It's also implied that he's lashing out a bit and taking his anger, fear and frustrations with the investigation out on her as she's a police officer.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flanderization: Castle's wacky theories get increasingly outlandish through the first half of Season 3, to the point of making him look like a buffoon. This seems to have been corrected more recently.
    • An in-universe example occurs in "To Love and Die in L.A.", when Castle visits the set of the movie of his book Heat Wave and meets the actors playing Raley and Ochoa, the novel's characters whom Castle based on Ryan and Esposito.
    • Castle says in "Lucky Stiff" that this is pretty much what lots and lots of money does to people.
    Castle: Money doesn't really change who you are, it just magnifies your personality.
    • Inverted in case of Martha. She was a bit air-headed at the start. But as the series has progressed, she has matured and Castle actually goes to her for advice from time to time. Fridge brilliance sets in as she just had come to stay with Castle during the start of the series and is now warming up to being his mother.
  • Forced to Watch: Esposito has to watch Ryan's torture in "Knockdown."
  • Foreign Money Is Proof of Guilt: In "A Deadly Game", a victim is suspected to be a spy involved in something highly questionable when his car is discovered with a large quantity of Euros in the trunk. It's subverted; the victim was actually on a 'spy vacation' and the Euros were part of the game. And then double subverted; real foreign money was never used in-game — the money found in the car was actually more than the price of spy vacation itself. Eventually it turns out to be a side-scheme by one of the vacation company employees.
  • Forensic Accounting: In "A Death in the Family", Castle's solution to the problem of finding the name of a mystery plastic surgery patient is to get a warrant for the hospital's billing records to see who paid for the thing.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Nanny McDead", campaign posters for the politician who will wind up dead in "Hell Hath No Fury" and his opponent show up.
    • At least once in "Vampire Weekend", the sister of the first victim shows up in a sweater with the words "Haley Blue" on it, the name of a fictitious celebrity who happens to be the victim in the very next episode.
    • In the season 3 premiere, regarding three seemingly unconnected murder victims, Castle theorizes that they may be CIA agents targeted for termination. Beckett comments on how often Castle gives a CIA-based theory, to which he replies, "Law of averages demands I'll eventually be right." It takes another season for his CIA theory to finally pan out, in "Pandora".
    • In "Knockdown", Raglan's blood ends up on Beckett's shirt. Right where she is later shot in "Knockout"
    Castle: (to Beckett )"When I saw the blood on your shirt, I thought you'd been shot."
    • In "Countdown", while Castle and Beckett are locked inside a freezer, barely conscious:
    Beckett: "I always thought being a cop, I'd take a bullet."
    • In "Law and Murder," after a DA is found to have covered up a crime committed by the family of his biggest campaign contributor, the following exchange occurs between Castle and Captain Montgomery. Notably, Castle's reply makes Montgomery pause for a second:
    Captain Montgomery: I mean, Lou screwed up; he did. But that doesn't take away from all the good he's done.
    Castle: It's unfortunate that despite all that good he's only gonna be remembered for this one bad thing.
    • Also, in "Pretty Dead", Montgomery decides to "retire". Beckett tells Castle that Montgomery is like the "Brett Favre of the NYPD and to trust her...he's not going anywhere"... the next episode, 3x24 Knockout, Montgomery is summarily killed off. Making things even worse, he'd just told his wife he was going to retire next year and she was happy to get more of him as an anniversary gift.
    • Officer Hastings shows up in "Rise" to give Beckett information at the crime scene. Establishing her before she is featured as a key character in the next episode "Heroes and Villains".
    • In "Rise", Beckett freezes and has a minor panic attack when a suspect points a gun at her. This foreshadows the full-blown PTSD breakdown she experiences in "Kill Shot".
    • Of all things, the blurb on Castle's website for Storm Fall foreshadows "Linchpin": specifically, the bit where it suggests that Agent Clara Strike, the character based on Sophia Turner, might have gone rogue...
    • "Probable Cause" opens with Castle, brandishing a fencing blade, bursting out of his office to confront what he thinks is an intruder he's heard — who turns out to be Alexis, home from college to drop off some laundry and raid the refrigerator. It's a typical cute cold open between the two, no different to any number of 'Castle at home with his family before getting a crime scene call' scenes in the series. Except it takes on a darker tone when we learn that 3XK has acquired the plans to Castle's building and has apparently been sneaking in whenever he wants to stalk Castle without Castle realizing.
      • Also, at the crime scene Esposito makes an off-hand comment that the elaborate ritualistic murder kind of puts him in mind of some of Castle's novels. The plot of the episode essentially involves the police coming to suspect Castle for the murder, and part of the evidence they find is deleted scenes from a novel he was apparently writing where the killer commits a murder exactly like the crime scene.
      • Beckett and Castle also have a flirty moment when she gives him an unsubtle hint that he should consider getting her jewellery for her birthday. Part of the evidence against him is that he is seemingly recorded on security camera buying a necklace that the victim is found wearing when she dies. It turns out to be a lookalike..
    • In "Reality Star Struck" Castle asked Beckett "Is this your Valentineís Day gift to me? A complex mystery where nothing makes sense? You know me so well!" Later, in "The Lives of Others", a complex mystery is exactly what Beckett gave Castle for his birthday, as she arranged for a fake murder in the apartment across the street from his loft.
    • In "Death Gone Crazy", Castle is worried about anyone being able to see Alexis's vlog, and tells her that maybe she shouldn't post so much on it. In "Target" the vlog is how the kidnappers know that she and Sara will be at Dr. Posner's speech at the Beaumont Hotel.
      • In a two-fer Castle comments at the end that a father will do anything for his daughter which he effectively demonstrates in "Target" and "Hunt"
    • Speaking of "Death Gone Crazy", the murder victim in that episode is Beau Randolph, the head of a Girls Gone Wild-esque company...who had previously been a murder suspect in "Head Case".
    • Sophia's comments to Castle regarding his father in "Linchpin" turn out to be the truth as of "Hunt".
    • Castle's novels also provide some foreshadowing for the seasons that follow the novels' releases in Real Life. The strange thing is that this foreshadowing aspect only seems to affect the viewers/readers, yet in-universe, Castle himself doesn't seem to notice.
      • Naked Heat (which came out before Season 3) ends with Nikki seeing Lauren and Ochoa go out together. In the middle of Season 3, their in-show counterparts (Lanie and Esposito) are revealed to be in a relationship.
      • Frozen Heat (released before Season 5) has Nikki starting to look into her mother's murder, and her investigation eventually takes her to Paris. Mid-season, Alexis ends up being kidnapped and taken to Paris, and Castle heads there as well determined to get her back.
      • The preview blurb for Storm Front (to be released after Season 5) has Derrick Storm facing his old nemesis, Gregor Volkov. This is actually based off of a "real" person in Castle's world... and guess who ends up kidnapping Alexis?
      • One of the main plot points in Naked Heat is that Nikki's exemplary detective work has her superiors at One Police Plaza considering her for a promotion to Captain. At the end of season 5, three years after the book's release, Beckett impresses an agent of the Attorney General enough to land her an interview for a position on the Federal Task Force in Washington DC.
    • In "The Final Frontier" aired in November 2012, in a blink and you'll miss it moment at a comic convention after Beckett mentions a murder Castle drops the ending to a Marvel Comics storyline playing out in the comic book guessing that Doctor Octopus finally killed Spider-Man which was the end of the Dying Wish storyline that didn't wrap up until December 2012.
    • In one episode, Martha chided against elaborate marriage proposals, saying that all a woman wants is for her love to kneel before her "with tears in his eyes and a ring in his hand". Which is exactly how the fifth season finale "Watershed" ended, with Castle proposing to Beckett.
  • For Want of a Nail: Basically what Martin Blakely did for the CIA, as told in "Pandora"/"Linchpin": he looked at the current situation, he looked at the desired result, and he determined a small event that would eventually cause the desired result. It turns out that Blakely determined that the assassination of a Chinese businessman's daughter at the hands of rogue CIA agents would eventually cause World War III, which the United States would lose after 27 million Americans die. Castle and Beckett discuss the plausibility of the scenario after the case is solved:
    Castle: Do you think we actually saved the world?
    Beckett: I think that... we saved a little girl's life. And that's enough for me.
  • Found the Killer, Lost the Murderer: This happens not once, not twice, but four times with Becket's mother's murderer. The first time, Castle and Beckett find the man who murdered Beckett's mother and learn that he's a hired killer, but Beckett has to shoot him in order to get Castle out of a hostage situation. The second time, Beckett manages to capture another hired killer, a sniper, who was hired by the same person(s) who ordered her mother's murder. This sniper is still alive by the end of the episode, but indicates with a stone-faced glare that he'll never inform on his clients. The third time involves a key person involved (really, really complicated) with her mother's murder- Captain Montgomery! She gets to talk to him uninterrupted, and he knows who the mastermind behind the conspiracy is, but refuses to say the name anyway, saying that the mastermind is so rich and powerful that giving her his name would get her killed as certainly as if he'd shot her himself. He dies minutes later after killing Lockwood, the first sniper. Beckett manages to get out of that scrape alive, but is shot during his funeral by a different sniper, presumably by the people from whom he was trying to protect her. The fourth time, Beckett gets a break in the case when Captain Montgomery's house is broken into. Little does she know that it's her personal sniper looking for Smith, who has the information protecting Beckett from the Big Bad. Later in the season five premiere, Smith has been tortured into giving the information protecting Beckett up to her sniper, Maddox/Marks, who finally wants to close the books on the whole Kate Beckett debacle. Smith thankfully took precautions and rigged the file to blow and it kills Maddox, but destroys the last copy of the file only leaving just enough information to tell Kate who the Big Bad is - Senator Bracken. The only problem? She doesn't have enough evidence to arrest him and without the file over hanging over his head he will kill her, so she bluffs him into thinking she has the file with what little information she recovered. At least now she knows who she's up against. She finally manages to do it when she finds a cassette her mother had of Bracken blackmailing the corrupt cops and confessing to several crimes.
    • This also happens in "Disciple". The actual killer of the two people made to look like Lanie and Esposito is an utter nutter, but was a hired gun to someone else. Someone who wanted the files on 3XK to disappear. Turns out the plastic surgeon who crafted the faux-Lanie and Esposito is the titular disciple of 3XK.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Probable Cause", when Castle is in the precinct's jail after the frame up, the 3XK appears wearing a police officer uniform. If you look carefully, for a second you can see the star says J. Rook. As in Jameson Rook, Castle's alter-ego in the Nikki Heat books. And all things considered, it was probably justifed too. 3Xk certainly would not have randomly picked a name like that so he likely did it to needle Castle and to make fun of the police.
  • Freudian Slip:
    • From "A Deadly Affair":
    Beckett: This victim that called you, what was it about?
    Castle: She said she was in trouble and she couldn't go to the police.
    Beckett: So why did she call you?
    Castle: Because Maya knew I had a relationship with you— with the NYPD; she thought I could help.
    • In "Cuffed", after Castle and Beckett are rescued, they talk about the weirdness of their day. This conversation occurs:
    Castle: And after that experience, if I ever have to be hitched to someone, it would be you.
    Beckett: "Hitched"?
    Castle: Hitched? No, I didn't say "hitched", I said "cuffed". Handcuffed, not hitched. In the colloquial or any other connotation or meaning.
    Beckett: It's okay Castle, I understood what you meant. And for what it's worth, if I have to spend another night handcuffed to someone again, I wouldn't mind if it was you, either.
    • In "The Blue Butterfly" Castle is narrating a scene from an old diary of a tryst between private detective Joe and gun moll Vera. Picturing Vera as Beckett and Joe as himself, he accidentally refers to her as Kate. He insists that he actually said "fate."
    Castle: (narrating Joe's story) As they stared into each other's eyes, Kate's heart quickened—
    Beckett: Did you just say "Kate"? Are you picturing the PI as you and me as the gangster's moll?
    Castle: What? No! And I didn't say "Kate", I said "fate". "Fate's heart quickened". I was being poetic.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Castle has lots of connections from the research he does for his books. Lampshaded in "Fool Me Once":
    Beckett: Who are you calling?
    Castle: My guy in the CIA.
    Beckett: You have a guy in the CIA?
    Castle: When are you gonna learn? I've got a guy everywhere.
    • As it turns out, in "Hunt", Castle has more than just friends; he has a father there as well.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Beckett's apartment.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Boom" when Beckett is on the phone because FBI Special Agent Jordan Shaw was kidnapped by sociopath Castle is seen in the background burning his mouth on some hot eggs and bacon.
    • In "To Love and Die in L.A.", while Castle and Beckett are on the set for the Heat Wave movie, some nuns with guns can be seen in the background.
  • Gallows Humor: An Asian-American police officer is chosen to impersonate Johnny Vong, who has been targeted by a hitman. He says "We who are about to die salute you."
    • In "Dreamworld", Castle is infected with a toxin and given a day to live, prompting quite a bit of this trope. For instance, he says "I would rather die than drink [the coffee in the Attorney General's office]."
    • It's often lampshaded in Castle's novels how dark humor is apparently the detectives' way of coping with the harsh realities they usually encounter on the job.
  • Gambit Roulette: Castle's birthday surprise in season five's "The Lives of Others" requires quite a few coincidences, but most of that could be worked around to make it a Batman Gambit. The final step really required luck, though.
  • Game of Nerds: Both straight and averted in "Suicide Squeeze". Beckett is a noted fangirl of the Mets (and especially Joe Torre), and both Esposito and Ryan were able to identify the baseball player victim on sight. However, Castle only knows the victim by reputation, is matter-of-fact when he and Beckett meet Torre (having met the man previously through his mother) and is notably uncoordinated and largely uninterested in the fine art (as noted in the ending with Alexis).
  • Gayngster: From That 70s Show, Harold Leon and Vince Bianchi.
  • Geeky Turn-On:
    • From "Vampire Weekend":
      Castle (on some art drawn by the Victim of the Week): Reminds me of early Frank Miller.
      Beckett: Which Frank? Epic comic or Dark Horse years?
      Castle: Oh my god, that is the sexiest thing I've ever heard you say.
    • From "Suicide Squeeze":
      Castle: Did you just use the word 'veritable'?
      Beckett: Yes.
      Castle: Sexy!
      Beckett: You should hear me say "fallacious".
    • As seen at the end of "Lucky Stiff", Beckett plays the guitar!
    • Also, Beckett and Castle's shared, unabashed love for comic books and sci fi, which is brought up several times. Geeky couples ftw!
      • She also does cosplay. As does Alexis. Although that one did backfire on both of her and Castle. Castle wanted her to cosplay in one of her old Nebula 9 uniforms. She made a deal that she would if he watched a Nebula 9 marathon with her. She starts strip teasing him with the Lt. Chloe uniform... but she also had the added touch of a grotesque Creever mask. This was enough of a mood killer for Castle he had to skip the sexytime and watch the marathon (which he'd been dreading) first.
    • Beckett once admitted she thought Castle would look good as Doctor Manhattan; "Blue skin. Brings out your eyes."
  • Gender-Blender Name: Introduced in "Punked", Alexis' new boyfriend Ashley. She takes advantage of this fact to get her dad to agree to have him over. Unfortunately, this backfires on her when Castle accidentally surprises them in the act of making out... while holding a pistol. An awkward situation ensues for all concerned.
  • Genre-Busting: The series in general is a Police Procedural Romantic Comedy, but which one dominates tends to flip around — one week, it's about a mystery writer and a cop who solve mysteries while dealing with their UST, another it's the story of two people falling in love with each other who just happen to also be solving mysteries at the same time. Even beyond this, the series tends to enjoy introducing and playing with other genres and the tropes they use; there's been murders dealing with vampire subcultures and haunted houses, alien abductions and science fiction conventions, real-life superheroes and grandiose spy-and-terrorist plots right out of the kind of thrillers that Castle himself would write, and so forth.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Castle, being a mystery novelist who does his research, is a force to be reckoned with in this department.
      Beckett: What are you basing that on?
      Castle: I'm basing that on...it would make a better story.
    • One of the suspects in "Famous Last Words" defends an earlier lie about not meeting the victim of the week the night of her murder with the excuse that "I watch cop shows — those are the little details that help get you convicted." A flaw in his logic/savviness is then highlighted when Castle immediately points out that in those shows, lying to the police also helps get you convicted.
    • In the same episode, Castle jokingly suggests Alexis as a possible suspect for Haley Blue's murder when the team is all out of ideas: "It's perfect! She's peripheral to the case, we don't suspect her, she has no alibi..."
    • In "Boom!" Castle sees through a trap that fools the other FBI agents and police officers. Why? Because that's how he would write it. Justified in this case because the killer is obsessed with Castle's novels and thinks Beckett really is Nikki Heat.
    • In "3XK", Beckett called Castle about the case in the hopes it would lead to a Eureka Moment because she was stumped and three-quarters into the episode. Castle in the same scene because he calls her out on it. Borders on Lampshade Hanging.
    • In "Knockdown", a Smug Snake who narrates each section of his interrogation rather than answering questions.
    • In "Cops and Robbers" Castle uses his skills and love of Die Hard to get information about the bank hostage situation.
    • In "Probable Cause" Castle expresses doubt that 3xK is gone and suggests that he's faked his own death — after all, if anyone knows not to fall into the Never Found the Body trope trap, it's a mystery writer.
    • In "After Hours", Castle thinks this trope is enough to help him fix an old radio:
    Beckett: Did you find some tape?
    Castle: Yes, and I also found a box of tools and a broken CB radio, but I think I can get it to work.
    Leo: Great! You have an engineering degree or electronics experience?
    Castle: No, but I've seen every episode of MacGyver.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In "The Late Shaft": Esposito says "Holy Shift!" in reference to the Bugatti Veyron.
    • In "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind": Beckett says "Let's just stick it in and get it over with", referring to an unlabeled DVD.
    • Shut the front door!
    • In "Lucky Stiff", Castle asks the other characters what they would do with if they won the lottery. Captain Montgomery says he would buy a large fishing boat, with two fishing rods on the side. Castle is impressed, to which Beckett comments:
    Beckett: Okay, while you guys are fantasizing about the size of your rods, I'm gonna go and interrogate our suspect.
    • "Cuffed" has quite a few moments. Some are Ship Tease, others... not so much. For instance, when the two of them are attempting to push the metal crate the first time, it looks and sounds an awful lot like the two having sex.
    • Season 4, episode 13 is titled "An Embarrassment of Bitches". It's about dogs. And a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Kim Kardashian (and other celebrities).
    • In "Secret Santa", Esposito sees Ryan's Christmas gift for his wife, a sexy red negligee. When Esposito runs into Ryan working late at the precinct, he comments, "Shouldn't you be at home, stuffing your wife's stocking?"
    • In "The Wild Rover" Ryan and his wife are about to leave for the fertility doctors office. His wife reminds him that he needs to do something, and offers to help. Ryan goes to do it by himself, and it cuts to Castle saying "So, master baker Jimmy Whelan..."
  • The Ghost:
    • In the second season, Martha gets a New Old Flame, "Chet," who has yet to appear onscreen. And, tragically, never will, as of "He's Dead, She's Dead". Which makes him an actual ghost.
    • Beckett's father held that role for nearly thirty episodes (leading some to suspect that he was going to be someone famous).
    • Ryan's girlfriend Jenny was mentioned several times before he introduced her to the team at the end of "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice".
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Headhunters", Castle works with Detective Slaughter. After the good detective tells Castle that his last partner died after only two days of working with him note , he offers to bring Castle out to celebrate. Castle reluctantly agrees and says, "What's the worst that could happen?" Cut to Castle unconscious and, seemly, bleeding. Turns out it was saliva that looked like blood because of the color of his couch. He passed out drunk after partying all night.
  • Girl of the Week: Three for Castle:
    • Alyssa Milano's character (Kyra Blaine) in "A Rose For Everafter." Too bad for Castle, she's getting married to someone else.
    • Also happened on "The Late Shaft." Ellie Monroe, a guest on Bobby Mann's talk show, got to hook up with Castle 3 times in one episode.
    • Jacinda, the blonde flight attendant Castle meets on his way back from Las Vegas in the episode "The Limey", after discovering that Kate knows what he feels for her but kept silent about it.
    • Averted in "Love Me Dead", where a call girl tries to be the Girl of the Week but is rebuffed by Castle.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: In-Universe. At the end of "A Dance With Death", Castle is not happy about having to read and review a Chick Lit novel written by one of his mother's friends.
    • It seemed, in the episode, to be less about the genre than it was about being a writer asked (most likely again) to review someone's book, as well as the size of the thing (which looked to be well over 800 pages); a common point of contention from established and well-known writers is that being bombarded with requests from first-time novelists to read their novel and 'tell me what you think' gets old quick.
  • The Girlfriend and the Ex: Beckett and Meredith get... acquainted in "Significant Others"...and it's pretty much Castle's own damn fault.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: It's hinted that both Castle and Beckett have at least slightly kinky tastes in the bedroom.
    • In "After the Storm", every conversation between Beckett and Castle which is not related to her mother's case hints toward this.
    • From "Deep Cover":
    Beckett: I don't know, Castle; maybe we're being too ambitious. Maybe we should consider the spring of next year.
    Castle: I thought you didn't wanna wait that long.
    Beckett: No, I just... I wanna be flexible.
    Castle: You already are flexible! (laughs mischievously) See what I did there?
    Esposito: (walking up to Castle) What's so funny?
    Castle: Did you know that Beckett can lift her—
    Beckett: No! Nothing.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Regarding Anton Francis in "The Third Man": "Mr. Francis here, not one to waste such a sinister looking scar, decided to round out the stereotype with a laundry list of criminal activity..."
    • Kate Beckett has a neat circular bullet wound scar on her sternum from when she was shot by a sniper in the Season 3 finale. The scar is still visible in the Season 4 finale, as Castle undresses her before they make love for the first time.
  • Got Me Doing It: In "The Final Nail", Beckett accidentally mimics a witness' accent before catching herself. This was actually a mistake by Stana. The producers decided to Throw It In.
  • Grammar Nazi:
    • Castle in "The Double Down" gets irked when a killer mixes up "your" and "you're," and spends the rest of the episode policing everyone's grammar.
    Castle: I'm just saying — whoever murdered her also murdered the English language.
    • In "The Third Man," even after complimenting Ryan on the correct use of irony, he uses "you and I" in the predicate of the next sentence.
    • Castle's Grammar Nazi compulsions come up a lot more often in his novels, where both Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook often comment on each other's grammar.
    • He's actually rather lenient in the case of using "who" or "whom", admitting it's kind of tricky.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Implied in "Eye Of The Beholder" when Beckett gets jealous over Castle getting close to Serena the insurance investigator-slash-former art thief, who doesn't steal things that belong to others.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • After Demming shows up, Castle is stuck in a very bad mood.
      Esposito: I bought a falafel from the stand every day for two months just so I could talk to the falafel girl.
      Ryan: Yeah, you mean like Demming showing up every morning for coffee just to run into Beckett? *turns to Castle, chuckling*
      Castle: *strange look on his face*
      Ryan: *grin freezing, turns back to look at Esposito*
      Esposito: *shaking his head and mouthing no*
    • In "Eye of the Beholder", Beckett spends most of the episode seething with badly-concealed jealousy over Serena Kaye's obvious interest in Castle.
    • In "Headhunters", Beckett confides to her therapist that she is annoyed that Castle chose to follow another detective on a case. The therapist even wonders whether the other detective is also a woman:
    Beckett: He's acting like a complete jackass! He shows up at the precinct with these bimbos hanging on his arm and now he's running around with another cop.
    Therapist: Is this other cop a woman?
    Beckett: No. No! What? Why would you even ask that?
    • Beckett in general has a tendency to get a case of this when other women take an interest in Castle. In the early seasons, it's a bit of a clue that the lady doth protest a bit too much about precisely how interested in him she is.
    • The early episodes of Season 5 have been playing this straight as a running theme; Beckett has demonstrated clear signs of insecurity regarding other women in Castle's life (outside of his mother and daughter, that is) and seems to be getting quite worried over the prospect of him cheating on her with another woman.
      • Castle returns the favor in "The Squab and the Quail" when a guy richer and more handsome than him shows up and, more interestingly, with a British accent.
  • Groin Attack: in "Suicide Squeeze", when a baseball player is beaten to death with a baseball bat, his assailant starts at his groin.
    • In "Under the Influence", when Esposito goes to meet a guy who's using delinquents to commit robberies, he dispatches the latter's bodyguard by kneeing him in the groin. The second time Esposito walks up to the guy, the bodyguard wisely steps aside with his hands hovering protectively.
  • Guilty Pleasures: In the episode "Always Buy Retail", Castle compares having sex with his ex-wife to a deep-fried Twinkie.
    Ryan: A deep-fried Twinkie?
    Castle: Yeah, the guilty pleasure that you know is bad for you, so you only do it once, maybe twice a year for the novelty.
    • For Beckett, these include the soap opera Temptation Lane and the sci-fi series Nebula 9.
  • Gut Feeling:
    • Subverted in one episode when Castle asks the coroner what his gut is saying.
    Coroner: It's saying I'm hungry. My years of forensic experience, however...
    • Lampshaded in "He'd Dead, She's Dead":
    Beckett: My gut says itís not him. But we still have to look into his alibi.
    Castle: Oh, so you donít believe in fate, yet your gut has magical properties. Thatís cool. Scully.
  • Half-Arc Season
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The victim's death in "Heroes & Villains". Castle says this word by word to a suspect, following it with a Hurricane of Puns.
  • A Handful for an Eye: In "Under the Gun", Castle is being forced to dig up buried loot from a grave as part of a Mexican Standoff between the cops and the various criminals after the loot. He calls out that he's found it and, when the criminals peer greedily into the grave, he flings a shovelful of dirt into their faces.
  • Handshake Substitute: More of a high five substitute — Castle and Esposito's trademark high five, which is referred to, in a blooper reel, as "feeding the birds."
  • Handsome Lech: Gabriel Winters in "The Final Frontier", who turns informing Beckett and Castle that his alibi for murder was that he was seeking treatment for an STD into an attempt to flirt with Beckett. Beckett is appropriately disgusted.
  • Happily Married: In "The Blue Butterfly", Joe Flynn and Vera Mulqueen, who threw away the titular prize because of its supposed curse and not once considered going back for it because they're more than happy with each other.
    • In "A Dance With Death", Ryan realizes that the reason why women no longer hit on him is because he's too obviously in love with his wife. He at first thinks it's his wedding ring, but Esposito disproves it by picking up a stripper while wearing Ryan's ring.
  • Haunted House: "Demons" has the Body of the Week be found in one. Although there's ultimately a mundane explanation for that case, it's still left up in the air whether the house actually is haunted.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky:
    • In "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice", Ryan, Esposito, and Castle are investigating BDSM on the Internet. This trope ensues, with all three of them essentially saying, "Is it even possible to get in that position?" In a Crowning Moment of Funny, Beckett strolls in and casually says,
    • In "Set Up", Beckett holds up a large pair of bolt cutters (in a rather flirty pose) prior to trying a storage unit door. Castle comments, for reasons he won't explain, that her pose looks quite hot. It turns out the bolt cutters were unnecessary, as Beckett had keys to unlock the door.
    Castle: Wait, how are we gonna get it open?
    Beckett: Well, if all else fails... (holds up the bolt cutters)
    Castle: For reasons too disturbing to mention, I find that hot.
  • The Heart: Ryan is perhaps the emotional center of the team. He's the one that tends to have the most visible emotional reactions and take things the hardest.
  • Heh Heh, You Said X: Being the Man Child that he is, Castle has a few of these.
    • In "One Life to Lose," when they're investigating the murder of a soap opera writer:
      Beckett: What's the matter? Homicidal fan not soapy enough for you?
      Castle: You know, when you say 'soapy,' I conjure up imagesó
      Beckett: Castle, focus.
      Castle: I am.
      Beckett: On our suspect.
      Castle: Oh.
  • Held Gaze: Castle and Beckett commonly fall into this:
    • A significant one appears in "Poof! You're Dead", after one of their usual "having a shared break about the case" moments; you can practically see on Castle's face the exact moment when he realizes he's in love with her. Unfortunately for him, Beckett's not quite on the same page yet:
    Beckett: ... What?
    Castle: [Quickly] Nothing.
    [Changes the subject, much to Beckett's confusion]
  • Here We Go Again: in "Room 147", this happens when a third person confesses to having killed the victim.
  • Hero Does Public Service: Exploited in "Den of Thieves". Tom Demming, a detective from Robbery who likes Beckett, is briefly suspected by Beckett, Castle, et al. to be the Killer of the Week. Demming alibis out on account of he was coaching an underprivileged youth basketball league at the time of the murder.
  • Heroes Want Redheads:
    • Played with in that quite a few of the women in Castle's lives are redheads (including his first ex-wife), but a succession of love interests shown since are not (Kyra Blaine, Ellie Monroe and of course Beckett are all brunettes (although Beckett was sort of auburn in the first season), while his second ex-wife Gina is a blonde).
    • Subverted in "Significant Others" where Castle doesn't want to deal with the problem he caused by allowing his ex-wife Meredith to stay at his place, and wants Beckett to help him "get away from the redheads."
  • Heroic BSOD:
    • Beckett in "Sucker Punch" upon learning that the killer of the Body of the Week was also the man who killed her mother.
    • A minor version occurs in "A Deadly Game" when Castle informs Beckett that he's leaving the precinct and that this is their last case together. She's visibly shaken to her core by the news, unusually distracted and uninterested when Ryan and Esposito try to tell her what they've discovered about the case, and it takes her a few moments to get her usual poise back.
    • Not quite full BSOD, but in "Knockout", when Ryan and Esposito discover that Montgomery is the 3rd cop, neither one of them takes it very well.
    • In "Rise" (4x01), Beckett spends most of the episode suffering a slow-burning one, until it breaks the surface when a suspect points a gun at her and she is unable to raise hers to point back at the suspect. From this point on, she begins to act increasingly out-of-control, ranting irrationally at a potential person of interest connected to her mother's case and eventually nearly suffering a complete emotional breakdown at the prospect of having no leads in either her shooting or her mother's murder to pursue. It takes Castle persuading her to step back from the case to get her back on something resembling an even keel.
    • Beckett again during "Kill Shot", when hunting a murderous sniper brings to the fore all of her unresolved issues regarding her own shooting. Esposito helps her past it.
  • Hero Insurance:
    • Beckett and Castle only get a dressing down from Montgomery for breaking and entering an apartment in Los Angeles.
    • Played with "Probable Cause" where, even after the proof that Castle has been framed is located, Gates informs Castle that he will still need to surrender himself to the D.A's office and will face charges for escaping from police custody, but notes that under the circumstances (i.e. being framed by a serial killer with a vendetta, namely 3XK and facing the very real probability of being murdered in jail) he'll most likely be let off with time served.
    • In "Target", this trope ensures that Castle faces no repercussions for apparently torturing a suspect to get information. Justified in the fact that the cops are his friends, who sympathize with him as his daughter is missing and won't be turning him in.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Ryan definitely has a bit of a hero worshiping thing going on with regards to Castle; he tends to take fashion cues from him, has been known to imitate him at times and consulted him on the best way to propose to his girlfriend Jenny.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Downplayed with the victim's boyfriend in "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice". While he's not shown attacking gays or protesting against anyone, he's noticeably disgusted at fetishism and those who're into BDSM, such as mentioning how he should have "made" his girlfriend stop studying them, assumes it was someone involved in such who killed her (though the police thought so too), and when he's told she became a dominatrix, he's fairly disgusted, to the point they briefly think he killed her when he found out.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ryan and Esposito. Castle and Beckett are also pretty close to the two, but closer to each other. Discussing lotto numbers:
    Esposito: I play my firsts: sex and combat.
    Ryan: I play his firsts, too. *everyone stares* What? That way we both win, and it's not awkward.
  • Hey, Catch!: In "The Way of the Ninja", Castle attempts to prove that a suspect is a ninja by suddenly tossing Beckett's coffee cup at him; expecting the suspect to catch. Needless to say, the suspect is not a ninja and the cup ends up smashed on the floor. Beckett is not impressed.
  • Hidden Depths: Both Castle and Beckett:
    • There's lots of layers to the "Beckett onion", which both Castle and the audience are frequently surprised to uncover, suggesting a more fun-loving, lighthearted and even somewhat wilder personality than the seemingly no-nonsense workaholic cop front she projects; among others, she owns a motorbike, alludes to interests in comic books, magic tricks and soap operas, claims to have piercings and tattoos, etc. Of course, several of these may may also be intended specifically to mess with Castle's head or tease his obvious attraction to her. Several of them are also implied to have been part of her personality before her mother's murder caused her to become a lot harder and more serious, some of which having gradually revived the more time she's spent with Castle.
    • Castle on the surface is just a superficial Man Child playboy, but is frequently shown to be a lot more mature, responsible, intelligent and caring than first appearances would suggest.
    • In "An Embarrassment of Bitches", the seemingly vapid "celebrity bimbo" Kay Cappuccio turns out to be more intelligent (if still somewhat ditzy), sensitive and lonely than expected. This is probably an Actor Allusion to one of Hilarie Burton's previous roles as the smart, brooding artist Peyton Sawyer from the show One Tree Hill.
    • In "Significant Others", Castle's ex-wife Meredith tells Beckett that Castle is a lot less of an open book than most people would think. They divorced because she felt like he knew everything about her, but he wasn't as forthcoming about himself in return, particularly about how he really feels about his Disappeared Dad.
    • "Under the Influence" reveals Esposito's past as a delinquent, which makes him more sympathetic to a minor who's being used to commit robberies.
    • Similar to the "Embarassment of Bitches" example above, in "Reality Star Struck" the victim is initially presented as the typical scheming backstabber on the reality show she's a part of. It soon becomes apparent, however, that she was ultimately more naive than anything else, increasingly uncomfortable with the sordid world she'd found herself part of, and was desperately trying to find a way out.
  • Hilarious Outtakes:Onefor each season.
  • His Name Is...: In "Knockdown", John Raglan — the lead detective on Beckett's mother's murder — arranges to meet Beckett to pass on important information about her mother's case. Naturally, he rambles a bit before revealing all, giving the sniper in a nearby building enough time to shoot and kill Raglan before he can pass the information on.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Called by name in the episode "Pretty Dead".
    • A tragic one in "47 Seconds". The bomb had been planted by one of the leaders of the Take Over Wall Street movement, in collaboration with a TV reporter. The idea was that the explosion would gather further support for the move, but it was going to happen somewhere where it would not cause victims, while the TV reporter would activate it in the perfect moment to have a chance to improve her position. However, a pickpocket took the bag where the bomb was in and moved it somewhere else, and the leader tried to call the reporter, but she was distracted and had already activated the bomb. The leader took the explosion head on.
    • In "The Good, The Bad and The Baby", Castle tells Beckett that they (the Castles) dress as Thanksgiving characters, and suggests she dress as Pocahontas, as he is going to dress as John Smith. Turns out it is a joke, and Beckett makes Castle dress as a pilgrim in revenge.
  • Holding Hands: First time at the end of "3XK".
    • An inadvertent one in "An Embarrassment of Bitches". While they're sharing "joint custody" of the murder victim's dog, Castle shows Beckett how the dog likes to be touched by rubbing his thumb over Beckett's hand. He lingers for a while until Beckett snaps him out of it, realizing the awkwardness of the situation.
    • Castle and Beckett at the end of "Once Upon a Crime" as they watch Martha perform her one-woman play. Very sweet.
    • And again in "Always", briefly, as he reassures her about his part in the investigation. Then later as they do.
    • A particular awesome one in "Secret's Safe with Me" It really is the best handshake ever.
    Castle: Walk you out?
    Beckett: You know what? I gotta stick around. I have to go over Angelica's alibi...
    Castle: Right...I so wish I could kiss you right now.
    Beckett: Yeah, I know.
    Castle: (Holds out his hand for a handshake) This is me, softly touching your face pulling you in for a long slow kiss.
    Beckett: (Shakes his hand while rubbing her thumb on his) And this is me, kissing you back, running my hands through your hair.
    Castle: Best handshake ever.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Beckett is enough of a comic book geek to recognize the difference between Frank Miller's work for DC Comics and his later Dark Horse Comics work.
  • Hollywood Silencer:
    • Possibly in "Home Is Where the Heart Stops," where a feather pillow is used for the same function, although without the implication of it actually working.
    • Averted in "Tick, Tick, Tick..." when Beckett theorizes that the killer not only used a silencer, he waited for a train to pull in so it would cover the noise the gun made.
    • Played straight in "One Man's Treasure", where the murderer used a plastic bottle as an impromptu "poor man's silencer" and the neighbors on the same floor didn't hear the gunshot (also the gun is later shown to have been a revolver, which makes it doubly wrong).
    • Justified in "Kill Shot". While the sniper's shot is seen to be effectively silent from the point of view of the victim and he is revealed to be using a suppressor, he also takes all of his shots from inside the buildings where his perches are, which would further muffle the sound. This is a real-life sniping tactic.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Totally subverted in "Always Buy Retail", since Castle talked to an actual expert on the subject, who comes off as a normal person who isn't off raising zombies. And lampshaded, in that the woman was less than amused that Castle had ditched his research and gone with a Hollywood Voodoo portrayal of her religion.
  • Hospital Hottie: Beckett's boyfriend in season 3, Dr. Motorcycle Boy. Also known as Josh.
    Beckett: How much TV do you actually watch?
    Castle: Enough to know that this Nurse McClintock will probably be super hot.
    Male Nurse: Detective? You wanted to see me?
    Castle: And you are?
    McClintock: Nurse McClintock.
    Beckett: (to Castle) Care to revise your theory?
    Castle: Not what I was expecting, but no, I'll stand by it.
  • Hot Scientist: Lanie Parish.
    Lanie: (in a low cut outfit showing lots of cleavage) Quit looking at the girls, Castle.
  • How We Got Here: What Beckett and Castle have to figure out when they wake up handcuffed together and Locked in a Room in "Cuffed". The flashbacks are justified via the fact they've been drugged and have hazy memories.
    • Also done in "A Deadly Affair", chronicling how we got to Castle and Beckett aiming guns at each other (turns out to be a double Bait-and-Switch Gunshot).
    • And in "Always", we get to see how Beckett ends up hanging off the side of a 10-story building (why yes, it does involve the guy who shot her).
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Esposito averts this in "Under The Gun". Then again, Jon Huertas use to be in the military so one would hope he practices good gun habits.
    • In "The Double Down", Beckett is upset when Castle bets that he and Beckett can solve a case they're working on before Ryan and Esposito can solve their case. Then, when she gets a lead on her case, Beckett tells Castle, "Put one hundred down on us."
    • In "The Third Man", Castle and Beckett go on separate dates with different people at the same restaurant, only to end up obsessing over their case of the week and talking about nothing else, frequently finding excuses to abandon their dates and consult with each other, and eventually just abandoning them before the meal had even started. At the end of the episode, they compare notes on their respective dates and conclude that they seemed "boring" and "self-absorbed", leading to this conclusion:
    Castle: Some people just don't know how to behave on a date.
    Beckett: Especially on a first date.
    Castle: She's a civilian! I mean, aren't you afraid she's gonna get in the way and mess up the case?
    Beckett: You're kidding, right?
    • How a young woman died in "Law and Murder".
    • In "3XK", when Montgomery's profiling the murderer Castle remarks that he shares several similarities with Montgomery's profile. When Montgomery gets to "has a menial, unimportant job," Beckett (slightly snidely) points out that this means the killer is "definitely you." Quick as a flash, Castle casually remarks that in that case, he'll base his next book on Esposito instead. Beckett looks genuinely shocked and insulted. You were saying something about "menial and unimportant", Beckett?
    • In "Demons", Castle says to his daughter that she shouldn't be at her boyfriend's beck and call, then right in the middle of his speech, he gets a call from Beckett, and heads out immediately.
    • In "Cuffed", Castle and Beckett talk about Esposito and Lanie. Break out the lampshades.
    Beckett: They both wanna be together but neither of them wants to admit to it.
    Castle: Ugh. Why do people do that to themselves?
    Beckett: Maybe they just don't see it.
    Castle: How could they not? It's so obvious.
    • In "The Final Frontier", Castle is brooding over the extremely revealing cosplay outfit he caught his daughter wearing at a comic convention and complains that she's going to be ogled by an entire horde of fanboys. Beckett snarkily points out that the costume Alexis was wearing isn't incredibly different from the sci-fi costume Castle has been badgering her to wear for the purposes of sexy role-play all episode.
    Castle: Don't say that! That's confusing and disturbing!
    • In "Significant Others", Martha is berating Castle for allowing his ex-wife to stay in his apartment at the same time as he is hosting Beckett, and points out that "this isn't a flophouse, darling, you've gotta stop letting freeloaders just live here." As Martha herself has been doing a pretty good impression of a freeloader taking advantage of Castle's hospitality for five years by this point, Castle is unimpressed:
    Castle: Please tell me you see the irony.
    • In "The Squab and the Quail", Castle complains to Ryan and Esposito that the millionaire that is being threatened is using his connections just to keep Kate near him. The way Ryan and Esposito look at him is pretty much trying to tell Castle to see the irony.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Castle is ecstatic to finally be able to say "The Butler Did It" in "Secret's Safe with Me".
  • Identical Grandson: Lampshaded in "The Blue Butterfly," where a '40s mobster (Tom Dempsey) and his grandson (Tom Dempsey III) are both played by Mark Pellegrino. Who, hilariously enough, used to play a vampire on Being Human - a vampire that probably was a 40's mobster at some point.
    Dempsey III: It's DNA, guys. It's not a magic trick.
  • Idiot Ball: Beckett pulls it off in "Pandora". If you come across an ex-CIA agent who's unarmed and telling you to surrender do NOT clumsily hold a pistol within reaching distance of his face. CIA field agents are trained to disarm people with guns among other things. Underestimating someone like that is a death sentence, especially ex-Navy Seals who are, by definition, the best of the best and, of course, she loses her gun and is stuffed into a trunk with Castle. You would think she would have learned from the last dozen times she was kidnapped which includes the TWO TIMES the CIA kidnapped her, one of which times occurred just hours before hand.
  • I Got You a Drawer: Beckett's first Valentine's Day gift to Castle once they're together, as seen at the end of "Reality Star Struck".
  • I Just Want to Be You/Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: In the episode "Nikki Heat", the actress who is going to play Nikki Heat in the Heat Wave movie shadows Beckett for "character research", and becomes more and more like her as the episode progresses, causing Beckett great annoyance (and a certain amount of identity-crisis consternation).
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: This is how Steve Addison kills his sister, he was waving a gun around in the back seat and it went off.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You:
    • Castle and Beckett's developing relationship seems to work on this principle. Rather than just him trying to find a way to 'win' her, however, it's suggested that part of the appeal is that she can control him.
    • Called attention to in "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice." Castle comments, "Well I would drive if you would let me," to point out that Beckett isn't dominating him. He immediately notes aloud that that does not actually prove his point. Beckett just has a smirk on her face.
    • His relationship with the other women in his life tend to be pretty similar too. Heck, his daughter has to order him to order her to stay home for the weekend so she can study (which she wants to do) as oppose to go on a weekend road trip.
    • There might also be an element of this to a lesser extent for Beckett as well. While she's definitely more of an authority figure than he's ever had in his life and thus is able to exert a great deal of influence over him, and he's more or less happy for her to do so, he's still remarkably free-spirited and independent for a noted Control Freak like her, and Castle even accuses her at one point of intentionally throwing herself into go-nowhere relationships with men she doesn't love rather than risk opening her heart up to someone she genuinely loves (i.e. him) and risk the ensuing uncertainty. Ultimately, it appears to be something of a give-and-take situation between them; they're both increasingly willing to let the other take over things if necessary while still being willing to put their foot down and take the lead when they have to, rather than one completely dominating the other... just like a healthy relationship should be.
    • Somewhat subverted in "Always". Castle's inability to convince Beckett to let go of her mother's murder is what makes him give up on her... until Beckett finally comes around and chooses him over finding her mother's killer. Although it can be argued that because Beckett came to that decision on her own, and not due to Castle's insistence, this trope is still played straight.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Repeatedly.
    • Parodied in "Almost Famous" when Castle and Beckett respond to an "officer down" call. Except instead of a cop, they find a male stripper in a police costume who was killed on his way home from a gig.
    • Used straight in "Knockout". When Professional Killer Hal Lockwood is arraigned for killing another inmate three patrol officers stride into the courtroom. Something about them rubs Beckett the wrong way, then she realizes their collar pins aren't made of NYPD brass, just as they pull out flashbangs and break Lockwood out of the courthouse.
    • In "Probable Cause" Serial Killer 3XK, dressed as a cop, visits Castle in the precinct's holding area to reveal that he's the one who framed the writer for the Murder of the Week. Also implied of the cops who break Castle out of the holding cell later.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Castle in "Boom!" When complimented on shooting the gun out of the perp's hand, he says, "I was aiming for his head!"
    • It was established in "Home is Where the Heart Stops" (see Obfuscating Stupidity entry) that Castle is a very good shot with a handgun, at least when shooting at paper targets.
    • Averted in "Punked", wherein one of the big reasons they know the person who thinks he murdered the vic didn't do it is because the flintlock guns they used in their duel were hilariously inaccurate. Castle, Beckett, and a teed-off officer use every steadying method in the book, and even a laser sight, but not one bullet hit the targets they aimed for (one did knock off the number of the aforementioned officer's target, which is why he got involved).
  • Improbable Cover: In the two-parter "Tick, Tick, Tick..." and "Boom!", Beckett survives her apartment being blown up by diving into her bathtub just as the bomb went off. More justified in this case since her tub is one of those old cast iron jobs.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The show elevates this to an art form. Castle himself seems to love these and tends to encourage the others to do so as well.
    • When Ryan mentions a previous relationship with a member of a vampire coven:
      Esposito:"What happened, did the relationship suck?"
    • In the premiere of Season Two, after seeing a victim who's organs had been tampered with and removed.
      Castle:"Somebody hated his guts."
    • From "When the Bough Breaks":
      Castle: "I almost bought a Russian bride once. You know, a Czech-mate?"
    • In "Vampire Weekend", Castle is dressed up like Edgar Allan Poe carrying a raven. Beckett manages to successfully scare Castle.
      Castle: "I'm giving you the bird."
    • Oh, hell, it's quicker just to say that Castle loves the hell out of these: another one from "Hell Hath No Fury", after a councilman has been found wrapped up in a piece of carpet (and wearing a toupee):
      Castle: What turned you off; the fact that he was wearing a rug? [Beckett gives him a look] Too Soon?
    • One memorable lame pun in "Food to Die For" includes Castle (after laughing like a maniac) realizes that he's late for his date with Madison and accidentally drops his watch into a bowl of liquid nitrogen.
      Castle: Hey look. I froze time.
    • In "Slice of Death," after finding a body in a pizza oven.
      Capt. Montgomery: Authentic Nicks's. Oh, thank God. My wife loves Terrific Nick's. I didn't have the heart to tell her now it came in full-bodied flavor.
    • A funny exchange occurs between Ryan and Esposito in "Death Gone Crazy", where the murder weapon is a bra:
    Esposito: So how goes the im-breast-igation?
    Ryan: ...And that's why you're still single.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Alexis in "Last Call":
    "I need a drink. (Castle, who had been practicing making mixed drinks, gives her a stern look) H20. Dirty."
    • This exchange in "The Final Nail", after Castle learned that a childhood friend of his had murdered his father:
      Beckett: "Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy." F. Scott Fitzgerald said that.
      Castle: It must've been Ernest Hemingway who said, "Man, I sure could use a drink right about now."
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    • In "Deep in Death", Ryan and Esposito are in the coffee room with Beckett when Castle (having royally upset Beckett) peeks his head in:
    Castle: Hey.
    (Beckett takes one, unwavering Death Glare at him)
    Ryan: Oh, hey, uh, don't we have that thing?
    Esposito (not getting it): ...no?
    Ryan (as Beckett focuses her gaze on Esposito): Yeah! You know, that thing with the guy?
    Esposito: OH! Yeah, that thing with the guy!
    Ryan: Yeah, excuse us. (they leave)
    • In "Nikki Heat" Beckett finds herself embroiled in a teeth-grindingly awkward conversation (from her point of view) with Natalie Rhodes, the actress portraying the character based on her, about how Rhodes needs to sleep with Castle because of the relationship Castle wrote between Beckett's character and his own Author Avatar. It gets to the point where Rhodes has completely deconstructed the relationship between Beckett and Castle and is begging Beckett to give Castle "permission" to sleep with her that Beckett feels the need to flee:
    Beckett: I need to go. Over there. [Points at random and scurries off].
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Used to implicate the killer of both the Body of the Week and Beckett's mother in "Sucker Punch." It's only realized belatedly, and it goes by so quickly that it's understandable why they didn't catch it when it actually happened.
  • Interrogation Montage: Found in "Deep In Death." Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito simultaneously interrogate three members of a drug gang about a murder.
  • Invented Invalid: When Castle's ditzy first ex-wife Meredith comes back into town, she at one point tells their daughter Alexis' high school that her grandmother has died so can she please be excused from classes. She neglects to mention that said grandmother died several years ago; she really just wanted to take Alexis shopping.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Castle displays several of these traits, no doubt at least partly as a result of having been raised by a single mother and in turn having been a single parent to a teenage daughter. Ryan has also been increasingly this as a result of his relationship with Jenny, much to alpha male manly-man Esposito's amusement.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The murder victim in "A Dance With Death" is an heiress who competes in a dance reality show. Further investigation reveals that the victim was actually another completely unrelated person who looked like the heiress, a stripper. Apparently, the heiress used the stripper so she could serve her probation time and still hang out with her friends... until she died in a train accident and the stripper took her identity.
    • Somewhat played with; it was explicitly stated that it took at least 1 facial surgery to get the stripper close enough to pass for the heiress.
    • In "Limelight", the young singer that's the focus of the episode employs a body double to help keep the paparazzi away. The body double is killed, and everyone thinks it's the pop star. Turns out her mother paid the double and her daughter's ex-boyfriend to break up her daughter and her current boyfriend, then killed the double when she had a sudden burst of conscience.
  • The Infiltration: Ryan goes undercover to take down a Staten Island gang in "The Wild Rover". He uses the advantage that he'd infiltrated the gang years before... and a former lover from that infiltration who turned into an informant.
    • Beckett herself does so in "In the Belly of the Beast", taking over for a woman who they thought delivered packages for a high-placed man named "Lazarus". Turns out the packages were assassinations. After gaining Lazarus' trust, she is allowed to meet with him...and her cover is instantly blown when she finds out it's Vulcan Simmons, the thug she nearly put through the interrogation room two-way mirror. Except that it turns out he's not Lazarus after all...
  • Infomercial: How Johnny Vong made his money in "Sucker Punch". Well, that and the heroin trade.
  • Informed Ability: Played with; while Castle is a bestselling novelist who can obviously spin a great yarn, other characters have often made snarky comments about his books along the lines of them being "not exactly Shakespeare". While this could just be a result of Castle falling into a genre fiction critical ghetto, it also means that the audience is primed to not necessarily expect the most earth-shattering prose they've ever experienced on the few occasions his prose appears (case in point: his book reading for Storm Fall at the end of the season 1 episode "Hell Hath No Fury", where Beckett criticizes his writing). For what it's worth, however, the "Nikki Heat" novels have made the bestseller lists in the real world, so someone is obviously doing something right.
    • While the writing may not be high art, in-universe it's clearly established that he does have the skill to back his success up; in "Nanny McDead", when throwing around ideas as to how or why a nanny was murdered, Castle proceeds to give a chilling narrative that visibly catches Beckett and the others. He immediately starts to speak normally again, saying "that's how I'd write it" and it takes everyone a beat to shake themselves back to focus.
      • Even having Capt. Montgomery ordering the detectives to follow through on that angle, and he demands someone to figure out who lives in Apartment 8-B (the apartment Castle suggested as the killer's in his story).
    • Truth in Television: Even many die-hard fans will admit a writer might occasionally have weak dialogue or awkward prose. But said fans continue to read because the writing is, on average, very good and, more importantly, the plot is excellent. And considering that Castle writes mysteries, the plot is the most important factor. So it is quite reasonable to assume that Castle may sometimes write "pulp", but he writes damned good "pulp".
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Beckett's apartment is blown up by a serial killer in "Boom!".note  This exchange occurs.
    Beckett: I don't have a home!
    Castle (calmly): Yes you do. It's a secure building with an extra bedroom with people who care about you. With a federal detail on the door, it's the safest place in the city.
    Beckett: Thank you, Castle, but I couldn't.
    Castle: You can and you will.
    • A less innocent variant occurs in "Significant Others" when Castle agrees to let his ex-wife Meredith stay at his place while Beckett is staying in with him.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: "The Way of the Ninja". Though one of the good guys who dressed up as one to fight an evil one, later said there are no ninjas. The person is just very good at martial arts.
  • Insult Backfire: In "3XK", Captain Montgomery is briefing the precinct regarding a serial killer. As the Captain describes the FBI's profile, Castle claims that he may as well be the killer, and Beckett agrees when Montgomery describes the killer as having "a menial, unimportant job." He quips back that "Just for that, my next book will be about Esposito." Beckett gets a rather annoyed look on her face.
    Montgomery: Feds say heís a white male, 25 to 45 years old.
    Castle: Could be me.
    Montgomery: With a dysfunctional relationship with his mother.
    Castle: Still me.
    Montgomery: He has a menial, unimportant job.
    Beckett: Definitely you.
    Castle: Just for that, Iím basing my next book on Esposito.
    Castle: Was that supposed to be an insult, because Nancy Drew solved all her mysteries?
  • Interdisciplinary Sleuth: Castle.
  • The Irish Mob: The Westies, introduced in "Sucker Punch". Comes into focus in other episodes — "After Hours" and "The Wild Rover", to name a few.
  • Ironic Echo: With shades of Brick Joke:
    From the first season episode "Little Girl Lost", when Beckett reveals her past involvement with a detective on the case:
    Beckett: We dated for six months.
    Castle: I didn't ask.
    Beckett: Yea, I know. You were not asking very loudly.
    From the second season episode "A Rose for Everafter", where Becket meets a former flame of Castle's (both these scenes take place in the precinct elevator):
    Castle: We met in college. We were together nearly three years.
    Beckett: I didn't ask.
    Castle: Yes, you were not asking very loudly.
    • In the first episode of the second season, Castle has gotten himself involved in an illegal high-stakes 'no limits' poker game with a group of Russian mobsters. During the climactic hand, the lead mobster goes all in and taunts Castle by saying 'what's money to a millionaire, huh?'. Unfortunately for him, Castle wins the hand; as he collects his winnings he cheerfully comments 'what's money to a mobster, huh?' Not surprisingly, the mobster is less amused when his words are thrown back in his face.
    • Towards the end of the second series, Castle happens to catch Beckett's new boyfriend asking her out on a date and is obviously unhappy about it; Beckett taunts him about it slightly, confirming that she's going out with him "unless you have a problem with that." Later, Beckett is reconnecting with an old friend, who remarks that she could use some moral support at a dinner she's attending that night — Castle leaps in and asks her out, but not before stopping to say to Beckett "unless you have a problem with that." Beckett, obviously unhappy with the situation, is left to seethe jealously.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: "Eye of the Beholder" features a scene which alternates between a conversation with Castle and Martha where Castle is singing the praises of the insurance investigator who's temporarily joined their investigation, and Beckett ranting jealously about the same woman to her therapist.
    Castle: I find her... impressive.
    Martha: So, what's she like?
    [Cut to Beckett]
    Beckett: She's an uncooperative, cocky, stubborn know-it-all.
  • Irrevocable Order: At the end of the third season, a major blow is dealt to whoever ordered Beckett's mother killed when his favorite hired gun is killed. As revealed in "Always", the one who did that killing sent off a bunch of info to a fourth party so that there would be no retaliation against Beckett. Unfortunately, that mail arrived too late to prevent a sniper taking a shot at her.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: In "Secret's Safe with Me" Castle realizes a victim hid evidence inside a female Gemini doll, dolls meant for twins as they are a match set. He gave this one to Captain Gates, who was thankful as it completed her set. So, what does he do? Rush into her office and smash the one on her desk. Unfortuantely this one was Gates' first one not the one Castle gave her. So, what does he do when he sees the one with the evidence? Breaks it without even telling Gates' why.
  • It's for a Book: Pretty much the excuse for Castle to get to hang around and flirt with Beckett investigate murders.
    • It's invoked by Castle to get info from the bad guys in episodes "Home is Where the Heart Stops" and "Deep in Death".
    • It's also established he's got form in this field - he researched CIA officer Clara Strike this way.
    • This trope is also played with in that he actually does use what happens to him and Beckett for his writing.
  • It's Personal: In "Kick The Ballistics", it's discovered that the gun used in the murder of a college student was the same gun that the 3XK Killer stole from Ryan in the previous season. When he learns this, Ryan takes it hard.
    • In "Cops and Robbers", when Castle and his mother are caught in a hostage situation.
      Ryan: Since when do we do bank robberies?
      Beckett: Castle's there.
      (Ryan and Esposito get moving)
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Practically a Catch Phrase for Castle.
  • It Was with You All Along: The key to solving her mother's murder was with Beckett for years. It was hidden inside the elephants that had been on her desk, which were her mother's.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: Beckett on her brief career as a teenage model, revealed at the end of "Inventing the Girl". It was that or waitressing.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: In "To Love and Die in L.A.", the gang is chasing the guy who killed Beckett's mentor. After shooting one of the guys involved (not fatally) Ryan and Esposito question him about the situation, threatening not to call 911 until he spills. Then Esposito shoves the still hot barrel of his gun into one of the bullet wounds.
    • In "Target" Castle resorts to this when Alexis is the victim of a kidnapping and one of the accomplices is less than forthcoming. We don't know exactly what he did but the guy did already have a gunshot wound.
    Beckett: Tell me what happened with Douglas Stevens [the accomplice].
    Beckett: I didn't think you had it in you.
    Castle: When it comes to saving someone I love, I do.
    • Also in "Target", the criminal hired to organize the kidnapping is tortured and murdered. It makes sense to the investigators that he was killed by the people who hired him to cover it up, but the torture is a mystery. The person responsible is later revealed to be Castle's Disappeared Dad, a CIA wetwork asset looking for the men who kidnapped his granddaughter.
  • Jerkass:
    • While everyone rags on Castle a little bit, it's generally good-humoured and without maliciousness ... except for Perlmutter, who takes every opportunity he can get to insult Castle.
    • In the third season especially, some of Beckett's digs towards Castle took on a slightly personal and nasty edge. This was justified to a degree by the events of the second season finale where Beckett broke up with her boyfriend with the intent of asking Castle out, only for Castle — believing he had no shot with her — to show up at the precinct with his ex-wife.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • In "Little Girl Lost," when it's revealed that it was the mother who "kidnapped" the daughter, she says it is because her husband was a bad father. While her actions may have been overly drastic, she is correct in how he's a jobless painter who let his daughter get kidnapped WHILE he was in the house and didn't even realize it. Doubles as a Hannibal Lecture, as she's still arrested for what she did.
    • In "Kick the Ballistics", Seth Carver makes the rather belligerent assessment that Ryan was stupid to let his piece get out on the street the way he did. After a bit of cooling off, Ryan agrees.
    Ryan: Carver is a jerk. But he's got a point.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Castle often comes off as a typically self-centered, thoughtless and narcissistic playboy, but he deeply loves his daughter and his mother, and is revealed to have Hidden Depths of caring and niceness. While he's not shy about flirting with Beckett it's also made abundantly clear that he genuinely cares for and respects her rather than simply viewing her as a potential conquest.
    • In "Setup"/"Countdown", Mark Fallon comes off as a total douche who is quick to use harsh interrogation methods and resort to racial profiling, but the other characters see that he only does those to get his job done as quick and as right as possible, a job which Castle thinks is extremely harsh given that Fallon has to do it every day. His Freudian Excuse for the racial profiling is because his wife died in 9/11.
    Fallon: Listen, uh... what I do is not who I am. It's just how I have to be. I hope you understand that.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: This hilarious scene from "Punked".
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Subverted in "Tick, Tick, Tick..."/"Boom!"; the FBI and the NYPD cooperate remarkably well, and most of the tension stems from Beckett's ill-hidden jealousy of Castle's attention being distracted by the FBI gadgets and his chemistry with the lead profiler.
    • Agent Fallon creates a bit more tension in "Setup" when he shows up, but again the NYPD cooperate well with him. The fact that it's looking increasingly like terrorists have a dirty bomb and are planning to detonate it in New York helps.
    • Also subverted in "47 Seconds", where the FBI leads the investigation of a bombing, while the NYPD functions only in a support capacity.
    • In "Murder, He Wrote" Castle and Beckett are in the Hamptons when a murder victim dies in Castle's pool. When they try to investigate, they are promptly arrested for interfering with a police investigation. It becomes subverted when the police chief realizes who Beckett is, drops all the charges and asks for her help since he never investigated a murder before and could really use an experienced consultant.
    • Subverted again in "Target" when the NYPD covers the murder aspect of a murder/kidnapping while the FBI handles the kidnapping. Especially notable as one of the kidnap victims is Alexis and Castle is operating as a concerned father, not an investigator... until he takes matters into his own hands in the next episode "Hunt".
    • A lot of this comes up in "Need to Know". There's more than enough friction once McCord and Beckett take over Ryan and Esposito's murder case, and then in the middle of the episode, the CIA takes the case from both of them when it's revealed that the dead actor was actually working for them.
    • Big time in "Like Father, Like Daughter". Justified because Castle and Alexis aren't actually cops. But the real reason is that the main cop getting in their way is the actual murderer.
  • Kiss of Distraction: In "Eye Of The Beholder", Castle lays one on Serena to let Beckett and Esposito get away. Subverted when instead they interrupt and arrest Serena. Bonus points for making Beckett jealous.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: One poker game of Castle's (in "Deep in Death") that Beckett is in has her raise $100. Castle has a full house, sevens full of twos, but folds, knowing either she's bluffing or she's got a better full house than his (as he has a seven, she can't have four sevens). Either way, he knows folding would keep his relations with Beckett safe.
  • Ladykiller in Love: As of "Overkill", we can safely place Castle squarely in this category.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: No few cops are square-faced manly men. Played with by Castle, who probably has the squarest jaw in the cast and works for justice as well, but is neither a cop nor, truth be told, much of a manly man.
  • Large Ham: Everyone but Beckett plays for the camera in "Swan Song". You don't notice with Castle, because he's like that all the time.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Senator William Bracken, the man who led the conspiracy that killed Beckett's mother, cares so much about his image that he does everything he can to keep it clean. He ends up arrested while in the middle of a press conference about his candidacy to the Presidency, in the most public way possible.
  • Last Name Basis: Castle and Beckett. To the point that they only say each other's first name when it's a really big deal (at least, Castle does). Same goes for everyone else in the police station.
    • Castle, at least, has gradually become a lot more comfortable referring to Beckett by her first name more frequently and casually over the course of the third and fourth seasons. This, not coincidentally, has coincided with a gradual awakening and deepening of his feelings towards her. He uses her first name mostly when he's being serious and affectionate.
    • Beckett actually calls Castle by his first name less often in later seasons as she did in seasons one and two. She invariably uses it as a term of mockery or ridicule.
    • Ditto Ryan and Esposito, who only rarely get called "Kevin" or "Javier." That one's probably more about workplace professionalism, though.
    • Beckett calls Esposito "Javi" when he's confronting her about her sniper issues in the episode "Kill Shot". She calls him "Javi" again after she nearly dies at the bottom of the Hudson River and gets saved by Castle shooting down her seatbelt and the windows in the last second in "Linchpin". And again when he shows her proof that Castle may be involved in the murder they are investigating in "Probable Cause".
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: In "47 Seconds", the characters are inundated with an overabundance of detail. Trope averted, because while most of it does not reach the viewer, enough irrelevant material appears to give the viewer the sense of information overload.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Ryan and Jenny take several episodes in the fifth season to make a baby, but it doesn't seem to be working. In "The Wild Rover", they go to a fertility clinic to see what they can do... but then subverts the trope by revealing that Jenny is already pregnant.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "The Late Shaft," Castle lampshades the show's tagline, often seen in the promos,
    Castle: "We should have a signature line. She's armed, he's dangerous! Or how about 'A new chapter in crime solving.'"
    • The end of Season 2:
    Beckett: "See you in the fall?"
    Castle: "See you in the fall."
    • In the season 3 opener "A Deadly Affair", Castle doesn't appear until well into the first segment of the show. Characters, commenting on his absence, suddenly see... a cardboard standee of him, with the label "coming soon" on the front.
    • In "He's Dead, She's Dead", one of the suspects is an Australian TV producer. Castle talks with him while he's waiting in the interrogation room:
    Donnelly: Candid reality gold, mate! Cody Donnelly presents: famous mystery writer follows a tough, but beautiful New York cop around, "for research."
    Castle: (referring to Beckett) She'd never go for it.
    • A subtle one in the same episode. The daughter of a murdered psychic claims to have inherited the same abilities, and tells Beckett, "Ask the Masons and you will find closure." The lead does end up with them finding the killer, but the statement takes on a different meaning when you find out that in the climactic interrogation, one of the persons of interest (the killer's daughter) is played by an actress named Mercedes MasŲhn.
    • "The Blue Butterfly"
    Castle: "Why am I narrating?"
    • The end of "The Lives of Others", the 100th episode:
    Castle: How many cases have we solved together?
    Beckett: Oh, about a hundred.
    Castle: Here's to a hundred more.
  • Left Hanging: "Disciple" ends with Beckett moved to tears after hearing a recording that 3XK left behind for them to find before his protegť disappeared. It has yet to be revealed what the song means to her.
  • Leitmotif: From "Always" onward, a certain piano piece occasionally plays during poignant scenes between Beckett and Castle.
  • Let Me Get This Straight: Quoted almost word for word by Beckett in "He's Dead, She's Dead" when a psychic comes into the office, claiming to know who is responsible for a murder.
  • Lighter and Softer: The show is something of a throwback to the romantic comedy detective genre ala Moonlighting. For that matter, the first season is considerably darker than the second and third season; several of the perpetrators in the first season had understandable motives, mental and emotional breakdowns, or sympathetic backgrounds.
    • The first season also starts each episode with a dramatic, kind of artsy shot of the victim as part of a Cold Open. Starting with season 2, more traditional teasers are done.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: This observation has been made about Castle and Beckett.
    • Parodied in "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins", in which Castle suggests that they role-play as a married couple (the husband of whom killed the wife) to go through a crime scene. Beckett objects, and in the process they begin arguing like an old married couple about being a married couple. The guy who owns the apartment they're in even takes note.
    Castle: Okay. So you and I are married.
    Beckett: We are not married.
    Castle: Relax, it's just pretend.
    Beckett: Well, I don't wanna pretend.
    Castle: Scared you'll like it?
    Beckett: Okay. If we're married, I want a divorce.
    Apartment owner: Are you two like this all the time?
    Castle and Beckett: [In unison] Yes.
    • In "Deep in Death", the episode after Beckett finds out about Castle poking through her mother's murder, she is really ticked off. After they're called to investigate a corpse in a tree, the following conversation takes place.
    Lanie: Castle, what are you doing here?
    Beckett: Don't worry, we're still mad at him.
    Ryan: Guy in a tree, mom and dad bickering. Seems like old times.
    Esposito: Mmm-hmm.
    • Again, in "The Final Nail", when Castle's old friend is the prime suspect in a murder investigation, he and Beckett have a little spat.
      Ryan: What's going on?
      Esposito: Mom and dad are fighting.
      Ryan: ...Who's winning?
    • In "Countdown", Beckett and Castle are racing through the streets to reach their destination where a bomb will explode with great urgency... and in the process have an argument about the best route to take as if he were a husband irritating his wife by offering passenger-seat-driver advice:
    Beckett: Don't tell me how to drive!
    Castle: I'm not telling you how to drive!
    Beckett: You are telling me how to drive!
    • They also have the "so in tune with each other's thoughts they finish each other's sentences" part of the equation, much to the amusement of everyone around them.
  • Lingerie Scene: Becket seems to have one or two every season, usually justified by the plot.
  • Literal Cliff Hanger: Beckett in "Always." Results in a Take My Hand.
  • Loan Shark: Several murder suspects throughout the series, most of them red herrings who quickly point out that it's hard to get new customers with that kind of reputation, and even harder to get money from a dead man. Sometimes subverted in that their debtors paid them back in full, often leading to new clues if they were able to get a lot of money in a short time.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Castle and Beckett at the end of "Setup". Also, the corpse that shows up at the beginning of "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins", though she was dead when she went in.
  • Locked in a Room: And handcuffed together in "Cuffed". Lampshaded in a parallel conversation in which Esposito explains to Ryan that canoeing is often used by women as a relationship test by putting two people together in a small space where there's no escape, allowing them to address issues with their relationships and test their ability to work together.
  • Long Distance Relationship: The prospect of one (he wants to go to Stanford, leaving her behind in New York for her senior year) causes Alexis and Ashley to have many a crisis. First, she breaks up with him. Then, they get back together with Alexis deciding to graduate early so she can go to Stanford with him. However, when her application to Stanford is rejected, although they try the Long Distance Relationship route, the time differences and lack of time together ultimately ends with Alexis breaking up with him for good at the end of "Cops and Robbers".
    • The beginning of the sixth season has Castle and Beckett trying to manage this while Beckett is working as a federal agent in DC.
  • Love Confession: In the season 4 finale ("Always"), Beckett, at the end, gives us one of the greatest in television history.
    Beckett: He got away, and I didn't care. I almost died, and the only thing I could think about was you. I just want you.
    • Castle also gives one earlier in the episode:
    Castle: Because of everything we've been through together! Four years I've been right here! Four years just waiting for you to open your eyes to see that I'm right here! And that I'm more than a partner... Every morning I bring a cup of coffee just so that I can see a smile on your face because I think you are the most... remarkable... maddening... challenging... frustrating person I've ever met... And I love you, Kate and... if that means anything to you, if you care about me at all, just don't do this.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: James Brolin shows up as a guest star, saves Castle's bacon, introduces himself with an obvious pseudonym, and then reveals himself to be Castle's dad, in a very short period of time.
  • Lunacy: "The Double Down" opens with the station being flooded by crazies on the night of a full moon. And Castle sitting at Beckett's desk with a bowl of popcorn.
  • Lying to the Perp: Which ends by the tried and true "Divide and lie about the other one cracking" method.
    • Beckett also lied to a car part fence to get info out of him in "Setup". Except that it turned out that her bluff was true; the fencer had actually seen someone there, and assumed it was the "witness" Beckett referred to.
    • Interesting twist in "To Love And Die in L.A.": They don't have jurisdiction in Los Angeles. But they can use the actors playing the detectives in the Heat Wave movie, a prop police car, and a set of an interrogation room to make a perp believe that they do.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Episodes often begin with cheerful, bouncy tunes being played over scenes of horrific violence. A good example is the episode "Home is Where the Heart Stops", which begins with "Birds of a Feather" by The Rosenbergs, a perky, light, bouncy love song, being played over blood-soaked images of a woman who has been shot, bent in half forcibly, and stuffed into a wall safe.
    • Also in "Nanny McDead", with Pink's "So What" played over the discovery of a girl (the aforementioned nanny) in a washing machine.

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