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As a Whole
- A-Team Firing: Obviously. They (and the villains) both fire ridiculous amounts of bullets at the climax of almost every episode, to practically no effect.
- Badass Crew: A prototype example. Maybe the first in primetime TV. They are a team and each is awesome in his own way.
- Band of Brothers: From the almost father-and-son-like relationship between Hannibal and Face (or between Hannibal and Murdock) to Vitriolic Best Buds B. A. and Murdock, to Face and Murdock's Odd Friendship (really, how can a suave con man and a crazy pilot be best friends? Just ask Face and Murdock), you can tell they're more like a family than just a team of ex-military acquaintances. For instance, in the Season 2 finale, when Murdock gets shot in the chest during a job in the middle of nowhere, they pull out all the stops and even face possible capture by the military in order to save him. They even include the "we can insult each other, but when outsiders do it we close ranks" bit.
- Bash Brothers: Very much so. Hannibal knows the strengths and weaknesses of each of the other three team members, and knows exactly how to best use their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Different as they may be, when they all fight together, it's a bad day for slimeballs everywhere.
- Face and Murdock especially seem to be this. They have a very effective tag-team fighting style.
- Doubly so for Murdock and B.A. They usually drive each other nuts, but together they are a force of nature.
- Big Damn Heroes: The A-Team bursts in at the last minute to save the day a lot. Even if it's not for a civilian, they tend to take turns doing this for each other.
- The Con: Sometimes they pull a con together (rather than just Face doing it) and what the con looks like often depends which of the A-Team are involved. There is:
- Face and Murdock. Usually, this mostly involves Murdock taking on a role and confusing the hell out of the mark so anything Face says after that sounds reasonable.
- Face and B.A. tend to have a good cop bad cop thing going. Face providing a nice way out of whatever B.A. threatened.
- When Hannibal and Murdock team up for a con, the mark ends up so confused that Hannibal and Murdock simply get away with whatever they're trying to pull and the mark is left standing there with their mouth open trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
- Hannibal and Face usually play a very slick game of a larger-than-life bigshot and his Beleaguered Assistant to make the mark think that there's a new large fish in town.
- Five-Man Band:
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: While Murdock is definitely sanguine and Face is definitely Phlegmatic, B.A. and Hannibal toss the Melancholic and Choleric balls back and forth all the time.
- Military Maverick: All of them.Decker: "Everybody heard the reports from 'Nam on these guys. They were the best because they're fast, sharp, and unorthodox."
- No One Gets Left Behind: No matter how messy a situation gets, they will never abandon one of their members.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: In theory, The A-Team are a band of mercenaries who lease their skills out for cash so they can stay on the run. However, they never seem to ever participate in a job that's even slightly shady and they rarely seem to get paid for whatever they do.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: As Face once put it, "On our own, we're just a bunch of misfits, but when we're together...now that's something special." The leader of the outfit is addicted to his own adrenaline. The mechanic and Big Guy is in desperate need of anger management classes and has to be knocked out every time they need to travel by airplane. The con-man is, you might say, very easily distracted by the presence of pretty women. As soon as he breaks the team pilot and in-house medical advisor out of the psychiatric ward, they're on their way. Aren't you glad you just hired The A-Team?
- Returning War Vet: All of the regulars that stayed throughout all five seasons were Vietnam War veterans who were traveling America trying to escape the individuals hunting them.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: All of them were affected badly by the war, to various degrees.
- True Companions: They are like a family. Given a Lampshade Hanging when they buy a house as part of a scheme, and the head of the neighborhood watch asks if they're gay, forcing the team to physically restrain B.A., or when B.A.'s mother states she doesn't have to worry about B.A. being apart from his family because the team is his family.
- Undying Loyalty: The whole show is filled with moments of the team proving their loyalty to each other. Notable examples include "Curtain Call", which begins with Murdock being critically injured taking the bullet for Hannibal. Hannibal flatly refuses his plea for the rest of them to ditch him and get themselves out (and B.A. agrees with him), and Face makes it quite clear that he is willing to risk capture and being sent to prison in order to get the proper medical supplies to save Murdock's life. Later, in the beginning of Season 5, Hannibal, Face, and B.A. are willing to face the firing squad so Murdock won't have to. Don't worry. They all make it out just fine.
- We Help the Helpless: They've taken on the role of mercenaries who only take jobs from people who can't get help from anywhere else.
- Wrongly Accused: The whole reason they're on the run.
John "Hannibal" Smith
Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith
Played by: George Peppard (series), Liam Neeson (film)The leader of the team.Tropes:
- Badass Boast: Quite adept at delivering them at his enemies.
- Badass Grandpa: Despite his age, he kicks ass just as much as the other members of the team. Furthermore, in "Deadly Manuevers", he shows he has no trouble keeping up with the younger members during training (even outdoing the much younger Face). No matter what the situation, he will find a way to come out on top.
- Catch Phrase:
- "I love it when a plan comes together"!
- Also, "Nice, [insert name of team member who did something really well]" (or just "Nice.")
- "What do ya say, [name]?" — his standardized greeting
- Cheshire Cat Grin: When Hannibal grins, it can mean anything from a team member having to do something he doesn't like to the antagonist of the week's scheme going up in smoke. Or as Face puts it in "Diamonds N' Dust":"That's not even a real smile. It's just a bunch of teeth playing with my mind!"
- The Chessmaster: He is a brilliant tactician.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: He might be a bit less likely to take a request for help at face value, but only because he wants to make sure that it's someone who really needs help (and is not looking to take down himself and his team). He hates it when anybody uses their power to oppress those who are weaker, and won't refuse anyone who is genuinely in trouble. Even though he says they work for pay, he often waives the fee or makes Face 'calculate' their expenses to be something that the person can afford.
- Cigar Chomper: Almost always has a cigar in his mouth (whether lit or not).
- Colonel Badass: "Hannibal", in this case, has nothing to do with the Serial Killer, but rather the Carthaginian general who almost brought down the Roman Republic. This Hannibal is that good. "I love it when a plan comes together."
- Cool Old Guy: The oldest member of the team and one of the coolest.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's quite snarky, usually towards his enemies.
- Determinator: Once he's taken on a job, nothing will stop him from finishing it.
- Guile Hero: He is the one who comes up with all the plans and strategies, and while he can defeat many opponents in a physical fight, he prefers outwitting them.
- I Shall Taunt You: It's practically a compulsive action for him to taunt the bad guy, no matter what the consequences might end up being.
- The Leader: Hannibal is primarily a Mastermind type; he's the man with the plan who organizes the others and is almost perpetually one step ahead of all their adversaries.
- Manipulative Bastard: Definitely a heroic example. He loves playing mind games with his enemies, with the objective of pissing them off and bringing them to ruin (sometimes by pissing them off so they will do something that will bring them to ruin).
- Master of Disguise: He does this at the start of every episode, but he only uses it to fool potential clients until he decided they were O.K. Then he'd take off the disguise right in front of them.
- The Men First: In "Curtain Call", he surrenders to Decker so they can get medical help for Murdock, who is critically injured. Possibly played with as the team proceeds to fake out Decker and drive away. Then in the fifth season, he confesses to a murder he didn't commit so the prosecutor won't go after Murdock.
- Nerves of Steel: He never loses his cool, even when a plan is going off the rails.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His first name is seldom spoken, not even by his own teammates.
- Papa Wolf: The other members of the team may be capable, gutsy grown men with dozens of battles under their belts, but that doesn't mean Hannibal will not take it personally if he feels they're in actual trouble. This shows up in "Deadly Manuevers"note and in "Mind Games"note .
- Phrase Catcher: He's the target almost any time someone refers to someone being "on the jazz."
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Technically, he has a day job as an actor, but his work with the A-Team means that whenever he's seen around a movie set, he's usually pulled away by some business (much to the dismay of the other people on the set).
- Rebel Relaxation: If he's not in uniform, he's prone to slouching against things.
- Red Baron: His nickname is a reference to the Carthagian general who almost took down Rome. This Hannibal is equally dangerous (though only to the villains of the week.)
- Same Face, Different Name: George Peppard also played a crook in the fourth season's opener "Judgement Day".
- Smug Smiler: Whenever he's dealing with the bad guy of the week (or with the army), he often smirks confidently, something his enemies find incredibly infuriating.
- Special Person, Normal Name: While nobody ever calls him by it, his name is John Smith — one can hardly get more ordinary than that. Of course, the person behind the name is anything but ordinary.
- Starring Special Effects: In universe example. His 'day job' of acting is built on playing various monsters in b-movie monster flicks.
- The Strategist: His specialty. His preferred strategy is to manipulate their target into making rash and stupid moves, then drawing them into a trap."I love it when a mark's angry; they don't think straight."
- Team Dad: Hannibal smiles at (and sometimes plays along with) Murdock's antics like a parent watching their young child act out fantasies, he can keep B. A. under control, and he reminds Face to keep his wandering eye in check and focus on the task at hand. He also has this cute habit of referring to the other members of the A-Team by their military ranks (Captain, Lieutenant, and Sergeant, respectively), even though they've all technically been discharged, and they often refer to him as "Colonel." He always has unwavering faith that his men will get the job done, and his nerves of steel are likelier to be rattled by something threatening Face, B.A., or Murdock than him.
- The Trickster: Pissing enemies off is his calling in life. Sometimes it's because it's important to his plan. Most of the time, it's because it amuses him.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Takes every opportunity to put his acting skills to use, taking a great deal of glee in using wigs, fake facial hair, and various costumes.
- The Wonka: He's very unorthodox, in charge of the team, completely addicted to danger, comes up with brilliant and crazy plans, and is easily as crazy as Murdock, if not more so (it's just he, unlike Murdock, doesn't look like it at first glance). Lampshaded by Face.Face: "Hannibal, sometimes I think you're crazier than Murdock."Hannibal (laughs and grins): "Sometimes I am."
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-universe. Being a fugitive, the best acting jobs Hannibal can get are Z-list People in Rubber Suits roles, yet he treats them as if he's going for an Oscar. This appears in his introductory scene in "Mexican Slayride Part I". When Face and B.A. turn up to warn Hannibal that Lynch has found them again, Hannibal is in the middle of filming a B-movie about a monster called the Aquamaniac. He tells the others to hold on a moment, as he's just gotten a hold on his character and proceeds to reel off a description that is much more complex than the filmmakers probably had in mind.
Templeton "Face" Peck
Lieutenant Templeton "Face" Peck
Played by: Dirk Benedict (Tim Dunigan in the pilot) (series), Bradley Cooper (film)The team's con man, who would get whatever you needed. A true womanizer.Tropes:
- Affectionate Nickname: Hannibal sometimes calls Face "kid." Granted, he's old enough to be Face's father, but it also underlines the quasi-father/son relationship that they have.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He's usually well-dressed, but don't let that make you think he can't out-think or out-fight you, if you're a bad guy.
- The Barnum: Face genuinely revels in being a Con Man, and never shows signs of wanting to reform. He seems to love the scheme just as much as the payoff. This makes sense when you think about it: Face, though not a coward by any stretch, often shows signs of not liking violence that much. He probably likes trying to con people so they can get away without a shootout or fistfight - not that he doesn't enjoy the con for its own sake, mind you.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Tends to put on an air of this. Somewhat justified as he is always expected to miraculously produce whatever Hannibal (or anyone else) needs for a plan, and they'll never let him forget that he "can get anything, anywhere, anytime". He laments it thusly in "Where is the Monster When You Need Him?":
- Beware the Nice Ones: He can be a very nice guy, and as a Con Man, his charm is disarming. However, he's former Army Special Forces, just like the rest of the team, and many bad guys forget that to their peril.
- Big Brother Instinct: Face is younger than Murdock, but they both have their share of 'big brother' moments when it comes to looking out for each other. There's a bit of a running thing where one of the bad guys of the week is giving Murdock trouble in a fistfight. Cue Face appearing suddenly and punching the guy, either taking him out or allowing Murdock time to recover and deliver the last punch.
- Broken Ace: He's handsome, suave, impeccably dressed, and so charming few people can resist the urge to give him whatever he asks... and also insecure about losing all of this, upset that he's never had a family, and has commitment issues out the ears due to everyone he's relied on in his life abandoning him, either by walking out or dying.
- The Casanova: If there is a woman within a hundred miles of the team, Face will find her and (almost always) at least land a date with her.
- The Charmer: Part of Face's appeal and Dirk Benedict is quite famous for his characters that often fall into this trope.
- Chick Magnet: He can attract women even when he's trying to focus on someone else.
- Commitment Issues: Any time any girl starts talking about making things more permanent, he's out of there faster than a bolt of lightning. Lampshaded many times by women who see through his charms.
- Con Man: His profession when the team doesn't have a job on hand, and he puts those skills to (literal) good use when they are on a job.
- Cool Car: His Corvette, of which he is very protective.
- Consummate Liar: He can lie his way into anywhere. Lying his way out, however, is not always such an easy task.
- Cultured Badass: Subverted. He's cultured, but not as much as he likes to pretend (or would like to be, for that matter).
- Deadpan Snarker: All the time. What with all of his companions being extremely quirky, he is never short of things to snark about.
- Distracted by the Sexy: All the time. Unless he's pretty royally ticked off, is in immediate danger, or one of his companions is hurt, keeping Face on-task can be a full-time job for the rest of the team when there is a beautiful woman around.
- Distressed Dude: He gets captured, beaten, and tied up with some frequency, though that doesn't necessarily mean he won't have freed himself by the time the rest of the team arrives.
- Ethical Slut: By his own standards. He won't 'put the moves on' a woman he considers a friend (though this might also be because things would then get complicated) and he would never, ever force a woman (one of the few times a bad guy has managed to get a rise out of him was accusing him of doing so).
- The Face: Not surprisingly, Face fulfills this role by procuring rides and equipment for the team. You need a towtruck/limo/cab company? The Faceman can get that for you with some smooth moves and a silver tongue.
- The Fixer: He gets the team whatever they need, usually by scamming it from somebody else (and other times by just being inventive).
- For Happiness: His general philosophy. He's always out for his own happiness (however, not at the expense of others', unless they can afford it — e.g. his cons on the rich — but he doesn't really consider this serious, because they've got more money than they can possibly use anyway). He (unlike Hannibal) doesn't get a rush out of the fights or helping people, but he does like to see good people happy and he'll fight for that.
- Handsome Lech: It helps that he's an awesome Con Man who tends to scam his way into penthouses, so he can make women believe he's rich and powerful.
- Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: He's usually the first to remind Hannibal of this when Hannibal is inclined to feel generous; however, this is just because he feels someone needs to remind people of practical needs, and is just as likely to waive the bill as Hannibal is when faced with someone who needs help and can't afford it.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Murdock. They run scams together, tease each other constantly, they're almost always together in the background (usually goofing off) and Face even tells Murdock "You were always the one I thought I could count on," during a serious argument.
- Hidden Depths: He's a big fan of detective comics. He learned some of his first cons from them.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Is extremely proud of his looks, his charm, and his way with the ladies, and will proudly boast about it to anyone, but he's extremely worried about losing any of those things and is extremely manipulable when anyone suggests he's losing his touch.
- The Lancer: He's the practical, cynical, and grounded personality to Hannibal's risk-taking, idealistic, and mercurial one.
- Lovable Rogue: All of the members of The A-Team are this since the bad guys are so one-dimensionally horrible, but Face probably fits here the most since he's the slick and charming ladies' man (and Con Man).
- Manipulative Bastard: He can manipulate almost anybody (especially women) into doing anything.
- Mr. Fanservice: Both out, and in, story.
- Mr. Vice Guy: He's even more prone to try to live large than the rest of the team, does cons even between assignments, is a big-time womanizer, and a few times during the show needs to remind Hannibal that they are mercenaries (in the sense that they are doing the deed of the day for some amount of money). Still is a pretty reliable member of the team.
- Not in the Face!: As it essential to his cons (and it does draw the ladies), he's rather understandably concerned about not receiving wounds to his face. Says this trope word for word at least once, and in variations many other times. Naturally, it's a running gag that he keeps getting hit in the face.
- Number Two: To Hannibal. He keeps things running smoothly and makes sure anything relating to Hannibal's orders runs smoothly. Strangely enough, however, Face does not usually take over command of the team those rare times when Hannibal is out of the picture, but instead often defers to (and acts as Number Two) to whoever comes up with a plan, only taking charge if no one else has come up with something.
- Odd Friendship: Himself and Murdock. The insane, delusional, wise-cracking pilot and the suave, handsome, unrepentant Con Man probably shouldn't be best friends, but they are. Then again, they're both chameleon-like tricksters during scams. In fact, of the whole team, they're probably the most alike. You just can't tell at first glance.
- "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Any time any of his schemes or cons go wrong or any time any of Hannibal's plans go wrong, he gets a fearful grin on his face.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Only people from his past or some of his girlfriends call him anything other than his nickname.
- Only Sane Man: The most normal of the team and knows it.
- Orphanage of Love: While he's rather bitter about not having a family, he never speaks of the orphanage where he grew up with anything other than fondness.
- Parental Abandonment: He was dropped off at an orphanage when a baby.
- Pretty Boy: Face is less masculine-looking than the other three but is noted as being quite attractive in-universe. Sometimes the antagonists do actually namedrop the trope when referring to him.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Despite his snarky comments, he's still loyal to the team.
- The Scrounger: His greatest specialty. In a Noodle Incident he even scrounged up a '53 Cadillac convertible in the middle of the Vietnam jungle (all he has to say about that is: "trade secret").
- Sharp-Dressed Man: His preferred style of dress is much more classy than the other members of the team.
Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock
Played by Dwight Schultz (series) Sharlto Copley (film)Tropes:
- AB Negative: He has a rare blood type, which comes into play in "Bad Day at Black Rock" when B.A., who has the same blood type, needs a transfusion.
- Ace Pilot: If it has wings, Murdock can fly it...and might even be able to land it safely!
- Adorkable: He's adorable in a man childish way, especially when he has Billy around or is heading therapy sessions for walnuts in a German accent, or, well, doing just about anything really.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Subverted. He never really lets something distract him, he just adds it into whatever goal he has.
- Badass Adorable: Murdock has ginormous, expressive puppy-dog eyes, a child-like demeanor and sense of wonder and imagination... and served two tours in Vietnam, got three unit citation awards and a silver star (the third highest military decoration in the United States armed forces), worked in the C.I.A., was considered the best and most badass pilot during Vietnam, all of which skills (on top of a very sharp mind) makes him as dangerous as he is adorable.
- Badass Bookworm: From the latest psychology book to Bradbury to Melville to Sinclair Lewis to Raymond Chandler, he's frequently either reading an eclectic range of books, referencing, quoting from them, or pretending he's a character (either inspired by or) directly from a book — oh, and, as a member of the A-Team, does it really need to be mentioned that he's badass?
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's generally a friendly, up-beat, compassionate, and easy-going Cloud Cuckoo Lander who is quite difficult to get angry, but anyone those who have managed to tick him off will sooner or later find themselves being given a helping of poetic vengeance, and those that have managed to (heaven help them!) piss him off found themselves confronted with an unstoppable lance of coldly focused fury.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Just because he talks to imaginary animals and people, adopts various ridiculous personas, breaks into song at almost any opportunity, and just generally acts in eccentric and silly manner, doesn't mean he can't kick ass while doing any number of those things at the same time.
- Big Damn Heroes: Single-handedly rescues the rest of the team more than any other one member.
- Brief Accent Imitation: He does this with a considerable frequency, liking to jump from one accent to another (or one impression to another) as his whim takes him.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Completely and totally mentally unbalanced, prone to assuming make-believe identities and over-personifying objects and is just flat-out loony — who happens to be a crack military pilot and in general just as capable as he is kooky.
- Central Intelligence Agency: Used to work for them.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Naturally. It's never made entirely clear whether he's actually insane or just acting so he can keep living in the Veterans Administration Hospital. One way or the other, he's a textbook example of a Cloudcuckoolander, which B.A. absolutely hates.
- Confusion Fu: Very often in his fights, in tactics when he's the one making the plans (usually helped that when he's in charge of the plans, he has precisely one goal in mind: rescuing somebody he cares about, and "not beyond doing anything" to accomplish that), and when he's part of a con with Face (wherein his job is pretty much to make the mark so confused and off-balance that anything Face says after that sounds reasonable).
- Crazy Enough to Work: Most of the gadgets he makes when without the steadying practicality of his team mates (often, fortunately for them), like his one-person balloons made out of trashbags, deck chairs, and hair dryers.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: When Murdock stops acting crazy and started being Badass, usually at an episode's climax.
- Cuddle Bug: Often to his teammates' massive discomfort.
- Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly, since he's not usually the picture of clear thinking, but can be very much so, especially as he tends to be able to see the complete picture, (unsurprisingly) the craziness, and the risks involved in Hannibal's plans better than the others. An example occurs in "West Coast Turnaround":Hannibal: "This [situation] is your classic Western! We're the cowboys in the box canyon. Easterland and his Indians have got us trapped."
- His protectiveness of Face has led him, on occasion, to moments of snark bordering on downright rudeness when he's dealing with people who he thinks are mistreating or using Face. See "Family Reunion" for a prime example.
- Determinator: He won't let anything stand between him and helping his team or someone he cares about.
- Extreme Omnivore: Paint, shaving cream, whole raw eggs... Face lampshades it after the shaving creamFace: "Murdock, you're always eating such weird stuff. Doesn't it ever get to you?"Murdock: "Of course not. *coughs* Look! Bubbles!"
Murdock: "All this talk about food is making me hungry."Amy: "Murdock, we weren't talking about food, we were talking about parking tickets."Face: "Well, anything sounds appetizing when you're a human garbage disposal."
- And again:
- Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Often has them.
- Fun Personified: He's literally Crazy Awesome. Sadly this is toned down in the last season.
- Fun T-Shirt: Lots of them as one of the quirks of his character, most of them designed by Schultz himself.
- The Gadfly: Towards B.A. Half of what he does he seems to do just to get a rise out of B.A.
- Guilt Complex: Often utters the words It's All My Fault or variations on them any time he fails to protect someone or feels that someone has been captured, has been hurt, or will be hurt because of something he's done or failed to do, though his self-blame in the matter is almost always unreasonable. This self-blame often leads to some of the most heartbreaking moments for the audience regarding the Cloud Cuckoo Lander, seeing his light-hearted mask slip and seeing the cracks beneath. About the worst thing a bad guy can do to Murdock is give him a Breaking Speech about how a friend, ally, or client getting hurt or about to be hurt is his fault. May be a case of Fridge Brilliance suggesting that part of his mental issues and why he dislikes being in charge might be dealing with feeling responsible for deaths of other soldiers under his command or protection.
- Heroes Love Dogs: One of his recurring quirks is his imaginary dog Billy. Exploited during "Deadly Manuevers", when the villains capture him by luring him with an apparently injured dog.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Face. They run scams together, tease each other constantly, they're almost always together in the background (usually goofing off) and Face even tells Murdock "You were always the one I thought I could count on," during a serious argument.
- Hidden Depths: Murdock may be a goofball, but don't let that fool you into thinking he isn't as smart, or as dangerous, as the other members of the team.
- Imaginary Friend: Billy, his imaginary dog.
- Improbable Piloting Skills: If it's got wings or rotors, he can fly it.Face: "I got us a Gulfstream. Can you fly it?"Murdock: "Hey, brother, if it's got wings, I can fly it."Face: "Great."*beat*Murdock: "Hey, Face, what's a Gulfstream?"
- In-Series Nickname: H.M. not only stands for his nickname, but also his real name, which we are never told.
- Large Ham: He chews the scenery quite often.
- Last Name Basis: Only the occasional girlfriend calls him anything other than 'Murdock.'
- Let's Get Dangerous: He's usually crazy, but when he drops the act and gets serious he becomes even more awesome.
- Lethal Chef: (in the film) His idea of cooking steak involves seasoning it with gunpowder and putting anti-freeze in the marinade.Face: I got a little Bell's Palsy last time.Murdock: It's only partial paralysis. Come on, take it like a man!
- Lunatic Loophole: A non-fatal variant; Murdock occasionally ends up being the only member of the team to escape arrest.
- Mad Hatter: Proudly declares his madness.
- Man Child: He often plays video games in his room and likes watching cartoons like Woody Woodpecker or Looney Tunes and sometimes will even repeat a Looney Tunes' character's catchphrase like Porky Pig's "th-th-th-that's all folks".
- Messy Hair: His hair is quite frequently unkempt, which fits with his off-the-wall personality.
- Nice Hat: His baseball cap.
- The Nicknamer: Mostly towards B.A. and Face, but usually only uses the nicknames a couple of times before coming up with a new one (and in Face's case, he usually comes up with variations or plays on Face's nickname). Is also implied to be the one who came up with the "Face/Faceman" nickname.
- No Sense of Personal Space: None, except for when he does realize it and invades it anyway for fun.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Murdock was eccentric (and often plays his Cloud Cuckoo Lander -ness Up to Eleven to get people to underestimate him) and likely did suffer from some form of PTSD, but was definitely not mad. His team had to break him out of a mental institution in almost every episode. However, at times he faked more extreme insanity to get into an asylum in order to break someone else out, or take down a gun smuggling ring or something. Of course, he might have exaggerated the problem more regularly for the free accommodation and the nurses, or just to irritate B.A. When the situation called for it, Murdock could act completely sane and coldly competent.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He is extremely smart, but generally plays dumb to keep people underestimating him. He does this so well, that even Face — though not Hannibal — who knows him well, will fall into underestimating himnote .
- Odd Friendship: Himself and B.A. Murdock's the Ace Pilot in the team; B.A.'s afraid of flying. And that's just the start of their differences. At the end of the day, however, each has the other's back without reservation.
- Omniglot: He can speak several languages, including French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Vietnamese.
- Only Known by Initials: H.M. not only stands for his nickname, but also his real name, which we are never told. Dwight Schultz was told that 'Howlin' Mad' was Murdock's real name, but whether this was just the writers pulling one over him... However, if this was so, it makes it into something of a case of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
- Once an Episode: Breaking him out of the asylum. Until the final season, in which he was devastated to learn that he'd been declared sane and released permanently.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: There's a handful of instances where he drops his idiot routine and becomes deadly serious. It's a signal the excrement has just hit the jet turbine.
- Phrase Catcher: He's the target of B.A.'s Catch Phrase "Shut up, fool!"
- Pop-Cultured Badass: He loves Marvel comics, is constantly referencing movies and TV shows (from Monty Python to Star Trek), loves playing arcade games (he even has some in his room in the asylum) and his Atari (he even tried finishing a level while in the process of being abducted) and, like the rest of the team, is not someone to be messed with.
- Raised by Grandparents: He implies this.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Especially in "Black Day at Bad Rock."
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: When he feels so inclined, he can talk in words that make him sound like a college professor rather than a pilot.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: More visibly so than the others; B.A. says Murdock went crazy after his helicopter crashed in Vietnam. No matter the current (as in, during the show) state of his sanity (there has, and is, much debate about how much of it is put on), it is recognised (both by himself and his teammates) that he needed psychological help after Vietnam.
- Southern-Fried Genius: Extremely smart (possibly to genius level) and, if his accent is anything to judge by, from the south.
- Supreme Chef:
- In "Cup 'A Joe", despite B.A.'s complaints that he's crazy and will poison the diners with his cooking, Murdock turns out to be quite good at it. Face says that his crepes remind him of the kind one of his girlfriends used to make.
- In contrast to the Lethal Chef trope mentioned above, the movie shows Murdock being this (the team love him "nuking" (applying gunpowder to) their stakes, and promising to make (and having made) food for B.A. calms him considerably when he is angry about having had to fly).
- Talkative Loon: To Hannibal and Face's amusement, and B.A.'s constant annoyance. He is constantly talking (whether in English, French, or some other language or accent), singing, and spouting whatever comes into his head.
- Talking to Himself: In universe. He occasionally makes up theatrical scenes or has a persona with a sidekick where he has intense conversations between two or more characters/personas, including between a sock puppet who is a sidekick to a superhero and his alter ego (that's three voices, not including his own), and two personas who are flirting with each other (one of which has a very posh British RP accent).
- Team Chef: After a job where he was the chef for a diner, he liked cooking so much that he becomes this and the others happily let him do so as he's quite good at it.
- Terrible Artist: In "Beverly Hills Assault", Murdock is shown to be actually terrible while undercover as a painter.
- Tranquil Fury: What happens when someone truly pisses him off. For example, he once calmly beat unconscious a man responsible for shooting Face, then continued to beat him until he was dragged off the guy.
- The Trickster: Loves to boggle and/or piss off his enemies with his eccentricity in order to make them open up for attack, and the greatest Running Gag on the show is him constantly angering B.A. with whatever crazy idea he had this week, sometimes for kicks.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Murdock sometimes takes a break from being a pest in B.A.'s general direction to insult B.A. directly and sometimes does things like encouraging B.A.'s fears that getting his blood will make B.A. like him. However, it's clear that they care about each other quite a lot. Murdock really does try well-meaningly to help B.A. learn to deal with airplanes, among other instances of sincerely meant aid.Murdock: "I'm worried about [B.A.]. It's been almost a full day and we haven't insulted each other; I think I may go into withdrawal soon."
- Wacky Guy: In the first four seasons, before being permanently discharged from the mental institution in season 5.
Sergeant Bosco Albert "Bad Attitude" Baracus
Played by: Mr. T (series) Rampage Jackson (film)Tropes:
- AB Negative: He has a rare blood type, which comes into play in "Bad Day at Black Rock", when he needs a transfusion and the team has to spring Murdock from the V.A., because he has the same blood type.
- Almighty Mom: Has one.
- And Starring: "And Mr. T as B. A. Baracus"
- Adorkable: When around children or in love. When he's in love he's bashful and very teddy-bearish and when there are kids around, he's quite gentle.
- Badass Driver: "Nobody drives my van but me"
- Beware the Quiet Ones: He is pretty quiet, and he is the strongest and most short-tempered member of the team.
- The Big Guy: The biggest and strongest member of the team.
- Big Brother Instinct: B.A., towards both Face and Murdock. He's allowed to verbally abuse them and threaten them with physical violence on a regular basis, but if anyone else tries it, they'll find themselves on the wrong end of B.A.'s fist "Knockout". A little odd in his case, seeing as, when you do some figuring, B.A. may actually be younger than Murdock, and possibly younger than/the same age as Face. He's still protective of them. But he'll never admit that he likes either of them, especially not Murdock.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He has a soft spot for kids.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Shut up fool!" to Murdock.
- "He's on the jazz" about Hannibal.
- "I ain't going on no airplane!" when he believes the others will try to get him to fly.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Scooter", the nickname his mother gave to him. It only appears in that episode though.
- Emotional Bruiser: He's a tough, intimidating Scary Black Man but is often shown as a friend of little children.
- Enraged by Idiocy: He often gets angry because of Murdock's wacky antics.
- Friend to All Children: Surprisingly. He may be a big, tough guy who can easily smack down the villains of the week, he earned his nickname "Bad Attitude" by striking officers, he's punched his own teammates in the mouth...but he loves kids, and they seem to love him as well. He also turns into a Papa Wolf quickly whenever children are threatened or bullied.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His specialty is in creating anything that needs building.
- Genius Bruiser: B.A. may not seem intelligent at first blush, but he was part of a crack commando squad, like the rest of the A-Team, and is an incredibly skilled builder and fabricator. B.A.'s ability to design and build whatever weapon or equipment is needed from a pile of junk became a recurring trope throughout the entire series. B.A. is also large and muscular, and in combat, seems to favor throwing his opponents.
- Gentle Giant: He's large but gentle, whenever women or kids are present.
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite his "bad attitude", he's still a heroic and loyal character.
- Got Me Doing It: To his immense annoyance, he occasionally picks up whatever verbal tic Murdock has going on for the episode, like rhyming or speaking like he's in a Raymond Chandler novel.
- Grumpy Bear: He's perpetually grumpy and Murdock's behaviour certainly doesn't help.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He's the easiest of the team to enrage, especially when he's near Murdock.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Though it's never expressly stated, it's pretty obvious that B.A. is the only one who's allowed to be mean to Murdock and Face. He frequently verbally abuses them and threatens them with physical violence (Murdock is his main target, but Face gets quite a bit of this too, at times). And then you'll get a scene where the team is facing the slimeballs of the week; Murdock and Face, the physically weaker half of the team, frequently find themselves fighting a mook who's too big for them to handle. Cue B.A., who proceeds to knock the sucka's lights out. Five minutes later he's back to insulting Murdock and Face and threatening to beat them up himself.
- Incessant Music Madness: Murdock's constant singing drives him up the wall.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Usually bad-tempered and nicknamed "Bad Attitude" for a reason, but he's a Friend to All Children, and even though he acts like he can't stand Murdock, he deeply cares for him deep down, as shown several times in the series.
- Only Known by Initials: He's always referred to as "B.A."
- Only Sane Man: Believes himself to be, but, in his own way, is nearly as wacky as Hannibal and Murdock.
- Papa Wolf: None of the A-Team likes seeing children abused, but B.A. is the most blatant about it. One of the easiest ways to draw him into a case is to show him that there are children who have been harmed or are in danger of being harmed...and then woe betide the person who endangered them.
- Perpetual Frowner: Rarely smiles, being a Grumpy Bear and all.
- Put on a Bus: IT ALMOST HAPPENED. Around season 4, which was a hard time for the show, Mr. T many times threatened to quit. Rumors say that NFL Player William "The Refrigerator" Perry would replace him. Luckily, Mr. T decided to stay.
- Scary Black Man: He's played by Mr. T, a large, muscular African-American actor. Most goons seem suitably cowed when he gets in their faces.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Murdock drives B.A. up the wall with his antics. A fair portion of B.A.'s dialogue is devoted to insulting him and trying to get him to shut up, and sometimes B.A. actually tries to throttle him. However, B.A. also told off at least one person outside the A-Team who complained that Murdock should shut up. He will also always come to the rescue if he's in trouble, and in "Curtain Call", when Murdock is shot and in real danger of dying, he calls him his friend.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hates flying, mostly because of Murdock's piloting skills. Giving him drugged milk (or stabbing him with a needle of sedative) to knock him out so they can get him on a plane is a Running Gag.
Amy Amanda Allen
Played by: Melinda Culea (seasons 1 and 2)Tropes:
- Alliterative Name: A three part "A" name, "Amy Amanda Allen".
- The Chick: In the pilot she's an important character, but afterwards she's just more or less the "token girl".
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Besides the episode after her departure, in which Decker mentions she's working in Jakarta, Indonesia, Amy just vanished from the series. The final episode of the second season was "Curtain Cull" in which Murdock was seriously wounded. While saving his life, we see flashbacks from previous episodes, and NONE of these flashbacks have Amy in them. They never even mention her again.
- Hot Scoop: An attractive reporter.
- In-Series Nickname: Triple A. She gets it in "Mexican Slayride Part II" after she reveals that her full name is Amy Amanda Allen.
- Out of Focus: After the pilot, the character had little impact in the following episodes, until she was...
- Put on a Bus: In the middle of season 2. It was mentioned that the team had helped her get an assignment in Jakarta.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the team and the main cast.
Played by: Marla Heasly (seasons 2 and 3 (1 episode))Tropes:
- And Starring: Every episode in which she appears. Unlike Amy, she never was added into the intro.
- The Chick: Basically introduced to have another female character, after Amy is Put on a Bus. It didn't work.
- Hot Scoop: Like Amy, she was a newspaper reporter and very good-looking.
- Never Be a Hero: Tawnia wants to be involved with doing the dangerous stuff, but she's not so bright in field situations and Hannibal fobs her off with something that keeps her out of the way and makes her feel like she's doing something.
- Put on a Bus: Beginning of season 3.
- The Smurfette Principle: But, unlike Amy, she was never a full-time member of the team.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Is one for Amy.
- The Team Wannabe: Desperately wants to be a full-fledged member of the team. Never happens.
Frankie "Dishpan" Santana
Played by: Eddie Velez (season 5)Became a fifth member of the team in the final season.Tropes:
- In-Series Nickname: "Dishpan", according to the opening titles, but this nickname is rarely used by other characters.
- Promoted to Opening Titles: In the first two episodes of that season, Frankie was only a guest star, as he was credited with "And Eddie Velez as Frankie Santana"
- Remember the New Guy: Supposedly, Frankie had worked at the film studio for a long time. But before the fifth season, Hannibal, who also worked at the studio, never mentioned a special effects guy named Frankie Santana.
- The Sixth Ranger: More like fifth ranger who joins the team in the last season.
Played by: Bill Lucking (season 1 (2 episodes) and season 3 (1 episode))Tropes:
- Butt Monkey: Not at all bright, and Hannibal has such fun running around him in circles.
- Glory Hound: He only wants to capture the A-Team for the credit and the glory which he hopes will skyrocket his career.
- Inspector Javert: In Season 1, with a one-shot return in Season 3.
- The Neidermeyer: Being a Glory Hound would make him qualify.
- Punch Clock Villain: depending on how you want to look at it. Is only after the A-Team because he's ordered to and because catching them might get him promoted.
- Put on a Bus: He made a comeback in season 3's episode "Showdown!"
Col. Roderick Decker (seasons 2-4, and 1 episode in season 5)
Played by: Lance LeGault.Tropes:
- Arch-Enemy: For Hannibal, in particular.
- The Bus Came Back: In the fifth season's "Trial on Fire".
- Colonel Badass: The second Colonel who tries to catch the team and somewhat more competent than Lynch. He was picked for the job because of his unorthodox warfare techniques.
- Colonel Kilgore: Was said to be a little... 'enthusiastic' during the Vietnam war and perpetrated some actions that the army tucked him away in disgrace for before resurrecting him to capture the A-Team.
- Guttural Growler: Has a deep, gravelly voice.
- Hero Antagonist: Along with his units. Though he opposes the A-Team he's not evil or corrupt - just a soldier who honestly believes that the A-Team are dangerous criminals who must be brought to justice.
- Inspector Javert: Is technically on the good side, but is after the Wrongly Accused team. He doesn't seem to particularly care whether or not their innocent or guilty, it's just his orders to bring them in.
- Jerkass: He's more ruthless than Lynch. When one of the team (Murdock) is shot in the second season finale, he gloats about how it will be the team's undoing, because their scramble to save their injured member will mess with their capability.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Later on in that episode, he allows the team members to drive with Murdock in the van, so they could be with him if he died on the way to the hospital.
- Put on a Bus: After the early episodes of season 4.
- Smug Snake: No matter how much he tries, he will never outsmart Hannibal.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Lynch, though much more intelligent.
Played by: Carl FranklinDecker's right hand.Tropes:
- Number Two: Decker's right-hand man.
Played by: Charles Napier (season 3, 1 episode)Tropes:
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Never mentioned again after the episode "Fire".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He only appeared in the episode "Fire!". Originally, Decker was suppose to appear, but actor Lance LeGault was unable because he was currently working on Magnum PI. Briggs really looked and almost sounds like Decker.
- Put on a Bus: After only one episode.
Gen. Harlan "Bull" FullbrightTropes:
- Character Death: Shot dead in "The Sound of Thunder".
- Heel–Face Turn: Shortly before his Character Death.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Gen. Fullbright's trademark white scarf. He luckily didn't wear it when he died.
Gen. Hunt Stockwell
Played by: Robert Vaughn (season 5)Tropes:
- Cool Old Guy: It is Robert Vaughn after all.
- Promoted to Opening Titles: Unlike the other recurring militaries who chased the A-team during the series, Stockwell would be the first (and only) to be become a main character. It may have something to do with that he's played by the great Robert Vaughn and/or that his character was more important to the storyline than his predecessors.
- The Unreveal: Unfortunately, the series was canceled before we would know if he really was a bad guy who only used the team for his own good, or actually wanted to clear their names.
Played by: Jessica Biel (film only)
- Jerkass: She can come across as this, even towards Faceman. Also see The Neidermeyer below. However, she gets better.
- The Neidermeyer: She is condescending towards the A-Team even before they were framed. Plus, one of the reasons why she is personally chasing after the A-Team is particularly because she thinks they're the reason why she got demoted from Captain to Lieutenant.
- Tsundere: To Faceman.
Played by: VariousTropes:
Played by: NoneWas actually a fifth member of the A-Team during the Vietnam war.Tropes:
- Posthumous Character: He's never even mentioned until the episode when the team tries to attend his funeral.
Played by: Della ReeseB.A.'s mother. A very formidable woman. She appears in only one episode, "Lease With an Option to Die".Tropes:
- Almighty Mom: Mrs. Baracus is a very formidable, feisty woman. She tries to stand up to the men harassing her and her neighbors before they break her arm by throwing her down the steps and she is able to keep B.A. in line.
- Like a Son to Me: Mrs. Baracus loves Murdock and announces she wants to adopt him, much to Murdock's utter delight and B.A.'s (apparent) horror.
Voiced by: John Ashley (seasons 1-4, intro's only)John Ashley, who was the show's producer during the entire show, did the infamous voice in the intro who said "In 1972..."Tropes:
- Opening Narration: "In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit..." And you know the rest.
- Put on a Bus: Sort of. He didn't do the opening narration anymore for the fifth and final season since it's intro was heavily changed. (Respectively, now the team is finally arrested and working for Stockwell, it became useless to say these lines.)