Characters: The A-Team

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    The A-Team 

The A-Team

  • A-Team Firing: Obviously.
  • Badass Crew
  • 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: A lot. Even if it's not for a civilian, they tend to take turns being 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: Their philosophy regarding each other.
  • Returning War Vet: All of the regulars that stayed throughout all five seasons.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: All of them, to various degrees.
  • True Companions
  • 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.

Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith

Played by: George Peppard (series), Liam Neeson (film)

The leader of the team.

  • A Father to His Men
  • Badass
  • Catch Phrase: "I love it when a plan comes together"!
    • Also, "Nice, [insert name of team member who did something really well]."
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Or as Face puts it:
    "That's not even a real smile. It's just a bunch of teeth messing with my mind!"
  • The Chessmaster
  • 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), and he won't refuse anyone who is genuinely in trouble. Even though he says they work for pay, he often waves 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).
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Deadpan Snarker: Usually towards his enemies.
  • Determinator: Once he's taken on a job, nothing will stop him from finishing it.
  • Guile Hero
  • The Hero
  • 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: Type I.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His nickname.
  • Nerves of Steel: He never loses his cool
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His first name is seldom spoken, not even by his own teammates.
  • Rebel Relaxation: If he's not in uniform, he's prone to doing this.
  • Same Face, Different Name: George Peppard also played a crook in the fourth season's opener "Judgement Day".
  • Smug Smiler: Something his enemies find incredibly infuriating.
  • 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 them into a trap.
    "I love it when a mark's angry; they don't think straight."
  • Team Dad
  • The Trickster
  • 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."

Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" 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.

  • 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.
    • Fridge Brilliance: 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 needs for a plan.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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: Gets captured and tied up with some frequency.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: Is 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 wave the bill as Hannibal is when faced with someone who needs help and can't afford it.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Murdock.
  • Hidden Depths: Was 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
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Meta Guy
  • Mr. Fanservice: Both out, and in, story.
  • Mr. Vice Guy
  • 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.
    • Running Gag: 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.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Any time any of his schemes or cons go wrong or any time any of Hannibal's plans go wrong.
  • 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.
  • Parental Abandonment: Was dropped off at an orphanage when a baby.
    • 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.
  • Sarcastic Devotee
  • The Scrounger: His greatest specialty. In a Noodle Incident he even scrounged up a '53 Cadillac convertible in the middle of the Vietnam jungle.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: His preferred style of dress.

Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock

Played by Dwight Schultz (series) Sharlto Copley (film)

  • AB Negative: Has it.
  • Ace Pilot: Is one.
  • Adorkable: 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: 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 Hero: 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
  • Central Intelligence Agency: Used to work for them.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander
  • 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
  • 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.
    Hannibal: "This [situation] is your classic Western! We're the cowboys in the box canyon. Easterland and his Indians have got us trapped."
  • 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 cream
    Face: "Murdock, you're always eating such weird stuff. Doesn't it ever get to you?"
    Murdock: "Of course not. *coughs* Look! Bubbles!"
    • And again:
    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."
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Often has them.
  • Fun Personified
  • 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.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Face.
  • Hidden Depths
  • Imaginary Pet: 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."
    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
  • Last Name Basis: Only the occasional girlfriend calls him anything other than 'Murdock.'
  • Lunatic Loophole
  • Mad Hatter: Proudly declares his madness.
  • Man Child
  • Messy Hair: Quite frequently.
  • 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 realise 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 him.
  • 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.
  • OOC 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.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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!
  • Tranquil Fury: What happens when someone truly pisses him off. For example, he once calmly beat a man responsible for shooting Face into unconsciousness, then continued to beat him until he was dragged off the guy.
  • The Trickster
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With B.A.
    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

Sergeant Bosco Albert "Bad Attitude" Baracus

Played by: Mr. T (series) Rampage Jackson (film)


    Allied members 

Amy Amanda Allen

Played by: Melinda Culea (seasons 1 and 2)


Tawnia Baker

Played by: Marla Heasly (seasons 2 and 3 (1 episode))

  • And Starring: Every episode in which she appears. Unlike Amy, she never was added into the intro.
  • The Chick
  • Hot Scoop
  • Never Be a Hero: 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.
  • You Look Familiar: Marla Heasly appeared in an earlier episode, as Cherise, one of Face's yacht companions.

Frankie "Dishpan" Santana

Played by: Eddie Velez (season 5)

Became a fifth member of the team in the final season.

  • 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

    US Army 

Col. Lynch

Played by: Bill Lucking (season 1 (2 episodes) and season 3 (1 episode))

  • 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.
  • Punch Clock Hero / 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.


Capt. Crane

Played by: Carl Franklin

Decker's right hand.


Col. Briggs

Played by: Charles Napier (season 3, 1 episode)


Gen. Harlan "Bull" Fullbright


    US Government 

Gen. Hunt Stockwell

Played by: Robert Vaughn (season 5)

  • And Starring
  • Catch Phrase: "Do it... my way!"
  • Batman Gambit
  • 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 Un-Reveal: 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.

Lt. Sosa

Played by: Jessica Biel (film only)


Col. Morrison

Played by: Various


Ray Brenner

Played by: None

Was actually a fifth member of the A-Team during the Vietnam war.


Mrs. Baracus

Played by: Della Reese

B.A.'s mother. A very formidable woman.

  • Almighty Mom
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Like a Son to Me: She loves Murdock and promptly 'adopts' him (and says that if she could legally do so, she would), much to Murdock's utter delight and B.A.'s (apparent) horror.

The Narrator

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..."

  • 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.
  • The Faceless
  • 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.)