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Western Animation: Gargoyles

"One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness. It was a world of fear.
It was the age of gargoyles.
Stone by day, warriors by night,
We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Now, here in Manhattan, the spell is broken, AND WE LIVE AGAIN!
We are defenders of the night!
We are GARGOYLES!"
Goliath's Opening Narration

Gargoyles was a rare breed: it was a dark, violent Western cartoon with a story that followed deliberate arcs and did things very rarely seen in the average Western 'toon. Did we mention that it came from Disney?

The main characters of the series are gargoyles, large winged humanoids (their appearance was vaguely demonic, though saying so is insulting to them) that are extremely (almost literally) nocturnal — they turn to stone, no matter what, when the sun rises. Once, there were many gargoyles, but interactions with humanity have led to their species becoming endangered. The main characters survived purging thanks to a magical spell that made them permanently statues — at least, unless the castle which they were protecting were to ever "rise above the clouds".

One thousand years later, it did. Billionaire David Xanatos (yes, that Xanatos) took the castle from Scotland and transported it brick by brick to the top of his skyscraper in New York City; this broke the curse for good, reviving the dormant gargoyles in a land and time far from their home. He didn't do it for altruistic motives, though; eventually, Xanatos and the clan of gargoyles became enemies. The clan manages to make an ally in New York detective Elisa Maza, however — and with her help, they work to protect their new home while simultaneously adapting to it.

Gargoyles spans fantasy and science-fiction genres, and its plot would eventually involve magic, robots, The Illuminati, god-like fairies, numerous characters straight out of Shakespearean plays, and much more. In general, All Myths Are True in this show.

The show is also famous for the intricacy of its villains and plots. Very few are Card Carrying Villains; in particular, the charismatic and manipulative nature of Xanatos is why the Xanatos Gambit was named after him. Even the heroes are individuals with their own wants and desires that don't always lead to peaceful relationships.

The initial incarnation of the show lasted two seasons and sixty-five episodes. It was followed by a retooled third season — Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles — but since Greg Weisman was only around to write the first episode of this season, a new team of writers completely new to the series ended up heading the rest of the season. As a result, the series underwent a drastic shift of tone; from a serialized, dark action series, into a more lighthearted, and at times, comedic romp.

The series was later resurrected in comic book form in 2006, picking up with an alternate timeline after a comic-book retelling of the opening episode of The Goliath Chronicles before going on to weave an entirely new story; it also resulted in a spin-off title, Bad Guys. When the publisher, Slave Labor Graphics, was hit with higher licensing fees imposed by Disney, both books were cancelled. Greg Weisman has vowed to find a way to continue the story.

The show and the universe it created still has an active online fanbase — including the creator. (Who apparently has read this site

As a side note: in what became somewhat of an inside joke, many Star Trek: The Next Generation actors had at least cameo roles in the series. Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis played the primary villains Xanatos and Demona; Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Kate Mulgrew all played recurring roles; and the guest stars included Avery Brooks and Colm Meaney.

In the grand tradition of the internet, the show has its own Wiki.

Disney has uploaded the entire show's run on YouTube (in the US), Season One being collected in a playlist there. It is also available in its entirety in Disney.com's video archives. DVDs of the complete first and second seasons are also for sale, with the episodes uncensored.
  • As of June 2014, all online videos have been removed and the YouTube playlists set to private for reasons unknown.
    • Low-Quality versions can be found in two playlists on Dailymotion here.

This trope-heavy animated series had examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A-D 
  • Aborted Arc:
    • At the end of Deadly Force, Owen says that 37 of the stolen guns were missing, probably sold on the street. Originally, Greg meant to have Broadway seek out and destroy them all, but that idea never came to fruition. On the other hand, this does provide an explanation as to where the various criminals and villains get their Family-Friendly Firearms in future episodes.
    • At the end of the episode Legion, Xanatos salvages the computer virus that nearly destroyed Coldstone, calling it the deadliest weapon he could ask for... and then never uses it or mentions it again.
    • In the episode Kingdom, while Goliath and Elisa are on the Avalon World Tour, Xanatos tells the remaining Manhattan Clan that he'll utilize all his resources to track them down, whether or not they want his help. He never does this, though he does encounter them once during their tour.
    • A two parter titled The Weird Macbeth was planned where the Weird Sisters would imprison the cast in the play of Macbeth. It was rejected on the grounds of being too strange.
    • Reunion (A lost tale from the Avalon World Tour) from the SLG Comics was originally this. The story was intended for an issue of Gargoyles from when Marvel Comics had the license, but was unpublished due to the comic book's cancellation. The story itself lead into Coldstone's appearance at the beginning of Possession and why Angela seemed familiar with him (and not put off by his appearance).
    • Nothing is done with Demona thinking Elisa is dead after "Long Way to Morning," and Demona simply sees her alive a few episodes later. Demona does mention in "City of Stone" that she thought she had gotten rid of Elisa long ago, though.
  • The Abridged Series: Gargoyles Abridged.
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: The Gargoyles have claws that are strong and sharp enough leave deep scratches in solid concrete and even solid steel. This is actually how they climb buildings and cliffs.
  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Neither Goliath nor Demona look old enough to be Angela's parents. Justified by the fact that Demona was immortalized at 35 and Goliath was put into suspended animation before Angela's egg even hatched, and came out of it after she'd already reached adulthood.
    • At one point Goliath states that gargoyles age roughly half as fast as humans, although Hudson both is and appears old enough to be Broadway's father anyway.
  • Accidental Kiss: Word of God is that stroking your mate's hair is the gargoyle equivalent of kissing, and Elisa accidentally does this to Goliath just before they're about to explore Manhattan in "Awakening, Part Three". Goliath and Hudson find this about as awkward as you'd expect.
  • Action Girl: Elisa, Angela, Fox... and possibly Titania, or at least her human form.
  • All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: Brooklyn run-in with a biker gang that ended with his motorcycle destroyed.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Gargoyles and some of the The Fair Folk.
  • An Aesop: Executive Meddling inserted one in every episode of the third season, but the earlier episodes featured them as well. It was prominent in "Deadly Force", an episode about the dangers of guns, which handled the subject in a mature manner (i.e., making the Aesop not "Guns are super evil and should not even be looked at" but "Guns are dangerous and should be respected and handled properly.") This particular Aesop was actually learned within the show itself, for Elisa was shown to lock away her gun in future episodes, rather than leaving it loaded and lying around. The episode also lead to some Character Development for Broadway, who hated guns from that point forward. Sadly, this was lost on the Moral Guardians, as they still saw fit to first ban the episode from rotation, and then return it with all the gun violence edited, including the shot of Elisa getting shot (which was cropped to remove the blood at her side). Also of special note, Gargoyles won an award note  and was mentioned in The New York Times and other papers as one of the greatest reasons to watch the show for an episode about illiteracy and the importance of reading.
  • Affably Evil: Xanatos, Macbeth, and the Canmores.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: This is a standard gesture among gargoyles, the equivalent of kissing.
  • Agent Mulder: Detective Matt Bluestone
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Cyberbiotics' air fortress.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Gargoyle beasts.
  • All Are Equal in Death: Made explicit by Anubis:
    On the contrary, death is the ultimate fairness. Rich and poor, young and old, all are equal in death. You would not like to see the Jackal God play favorites. Think what you are doing: all over the world there is birth, but no death. Our planet cannot support so many lives at once.
  • All Myths Are True: Explicitly stated in the series: "Most Legends contain a seed of truth", and "All things are true." However this is not always in the literal sense. A few of the mythical beings met during the Avalon World Tour are very different from the stories. (For example, some Tricksters tend to be outright evil rather than mischievous.) In another episode, it is revealed that most of the creatures from Greek legends are real, however the stories are notably different. The minotaur, for example, was trapped in the catacombs and used as a source of entertainment by his captors.
    • In the comic book, King Arthur points out that "All things are true... few things are accurate."
      • To which Macbeth, whose depiction in Gargoyles is far more historically accurate than his villainous portrayal in Shakespeare's play (even allowing for the immortality and such), replies, "Aye. No bloody kidding." And to emphasize the point, the comics show two flashbacks of Macbeth's coronation, in which his lines are slightly different from each other (and other details are somewhat inconsistent with the "City of Stone" flashbacks of the same event).
  • All of the Other Reindeer
  • All There in the Script: Out-of-universe names for the souls inhabiting Coldstone: Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. The latter two eventually got their own in-universe names, Coldsteel and Coldfire, while "Othello" stayed as Coldstone.
  • The Aloner: Demona has suffered this for nearly a millennium, though admittedly it was her own fault. The end of "City of Stone" reveals how much she hates being alone, and how deeply in denial she is about her own culpability in her own fate.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The gargoyles themselves have skin colors across the spectrum; Oberon and Titania also have blue and teal skin, respectively. Word of God is that the giving the King and Queen of the Third Race a realistic skin color, when the Third Race was comprised of gods from all over the world, would have had Unfortunate Implications no matter what skin color it was, which justifies this trope in Oberon's and Titania's case.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Lexington, done intentionally by Word of God, who has stated that Lexington would eventually have realized that he was homosexual, but likewise acknowledged it would probably never get mentioned in the series because of its content.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: In "Golem", which features an accurate retelling of the story of The Golem of Prague and both written and spoken Hebrew, nobody mentions the words "Jew," "Judaism," or "Jewish" even once. Instead, they refer to "our people" and "our community," never actually identifying their people by name.
    • Also, no one wears a yarmulke or any sort of head covering at any point in the story, even when conducting Jewish rituals
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Eye of Odin.
  • Ancient Astronaut: Nokkar, whose appearance inspired the Easter Island moai.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Figures in the episode "The Reckoning".
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Illuminati show up and, of course, Xanatos is a member. A lower echelon member, which should tell you something about the clout wielded by his superiors.
  • And I Must Scream: Being mind-controlled is apparently like this, judging by Goliath's comments in "Temptation" and Brooklyn's comments in "Possession." They were both fully aware of what was going on and what Demona and Iago respectively forced them to do, even though they were powerless to stop it.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The end of the SLG comic book series where the Clan just doubled in population, suggesting a bright future, and the whole gang takes off to do some villain butt kicking.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When Gillecomgain reports to Duncan that Findlaech is dead in "City of Stone, Part One", Duncan is ecstatic at the news: "Bring food and drink! This is cause for celebration!"
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: A few examples:
    • The members of the Pack are all canine-based supervillains. Some of which, gradually moved from Type II (Animal Alias) to type I (Animal Ability) through certain means.
    • Elisa's brother was eventually turned into a panther-like creature, making him a Type II as well.
    • Since Xanatos wore a suit of Power Armor to resemble the "mythological" gargoyle, he would be a Type III (Mythical Monster Motif).
    • Also, the London clan all resemble animals (Una, Leo, and Griff), while some of the New Olympians (such as Taurus) do as well.
  • Animation Bump: Periodically. Standouts include "Awakening", "The Mirror", "M.I.A.", "Future Tense", "The Price" and "Seeing Isn't Believing", the last of which was the only episode animated by Walt Disney Television Australia and as such looked and moved much better than the rest of the series in general.
  • Animesque: In some parts.
  • Anti-Villain: Almost the whole Rogues Gallery, with a handful of exceptions.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Said by one of the Japanese gargoyles, "Gargoyle must never fight gargoyle!"
  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: The Weird Sisters, who all take the same form at the same time, appearing as a trio of creepy little girls, old crones, aged female gargoyles, or voluptuous young 20-somethings, as befits who they are speaking to at the time, though they can still be told apart apart by hair color (blonde, black, white). The little girls are seen by the Manhattan clan, the old crones are seen by Macbeth and Duncan, and the old gargoyle hags are seen by Demona. Meanwhile the 20-somethings are their preferred form, seen by the audience and other Children of Oberon as well as any characters not implied to see them differently (although humans will see them in period/job appropriate attire). Word of God has stated that only the Third Race and the audience ever see them for what they truly are.
  • The Apprentice: In the comics, Gillecomgain (the first Hunter) was this to Constantine.
  • Arm Cannon: The Steel Clan, Xanatos' Power Armor, and Coldstone all have retractable particle-beam emitters built into their arms.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Done in Part 4 of City of Stone, which leads to Demona's defining Tear Jerker moment of the series.
    • Also Hudson in The Price towards Xanatos; after being held captive by the villain for most of the episode in an attempt by Xanatos to become immortal, Hudson frees himself and has this parting comment for him (notably causing one of the few times in the series Xanatos actually seems genuinely affected by criticism):
    "A friendly word of advice. True immortality isn't about living forever, man; it's about what you do with the time you have. When all your scheming's done, what will be your legacy, Xanatos?"
  • Artistic License: Most of the myths are altered for the plot.
    • Artistic License - History: Castle Wyvern, a 14th century style concentric castle, and other such fortifications, in 10th century Scotland, where the motte and bailey was start of the art.
  • Ascended Extra: Lots, which was a hallmark of the series. The series had a reliable stable of background characters who originally appeared as one-off extras, but kept coming back - the jogger, Brendon and Margot, Vinnie, etc. The Archmage was originally a one-shot villain, but David Warner's performance motivated Weisman into bringing him back as a greater threat. One of the more long-running examples is Officer Morgan. Keith David's performance gave depth to an otherwise generic character, leading to him being used often as the series progressed.
  • Asshole Victim: Almost everyone at Castle Wyvern when the vikings finally overran them - most if not all of the people who lived there except for young farm boy Tom and the Captain of the Guard and the King absolutely hated the gargoyles despite the fact that they were the backbone of their entire defense strategy, Princess Katherine hated them from childhood and talked trash about them despite all they did for her and her people, the Magus encouraged her bigotry towards them, the castle soldiers tried to take credit for victories that technically belonged to the gargoyles, etc. You really can't feel THAT bad for Princess Katherine and her people when their Laser-Guided Karma catches up to them.
    • Of course, Katherine and the Magus tried to atone for their bigotry later on.
  • The Atoner: The Magus, Princess Katharine, the Captain's ghost, Yama, and Robyn Canmore.
  • Audible Sharpness
  • Author Appeal: Weisman is a self-described Shakespeare nut (emphasis on "nut"). Hence Puck, Macbeth, the Weird Sisters, Titania, Oberon...
    • At no time, however, does he simply play these characters straight. Puck's nature is balanced by Owen, Macbeth has more in common with his historical than literary namesake, the Weird Sisters are utterly inscrutable rather than necessarily evil though Word of God implies they may be the series' true Big Bad, and Titania and Oberon have reversed their traditional roles, with Oberon being vastly more powerful between the two. Even the implied Othello/Coldstone connection is subverted.
    • Also redheads since Everyone Wants Redheads.
  • Avenging the Villain: The reason behind Duncan's attack on Demona (who helped Macbeth kill Gillecomgain) and Canmore's war against Macbeth and Demona (who "murdered" Duncan and cheated Canmore out of his inheritance).
  • Ax-Crazy: Jackal and Hyena at the very least. Demona gets her own killing spree in "City of Stone".
  • Badass Cape: As seen in the picture, Goliath's wings become one of these when furled.
    • Most of the other Gargoyles as well, except Lex and Bronx. The mutates could also do this.
  • Badass Crew: Most prominently the Manhattan Clan, though other gargoyle clans qualify as well.
  • Badass Normal: Elisa, Bluestone, Xanatos, and the hunters
    • Subverted with Tony Dracon, who talks tough but whimpers quickly whenever the gargoyles show.
  • Bad Future: "Future Tense" which includes the obligatory Future Badass depictions.
    • Implied with Timedancer and Gargoyles 2198, both of which imply a future so dark that Demona's one of the good guys, with relatively little change in character.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Initially, the first batch of mutates, including Derek Maza/Talon but excluding Fang.
    • Puck, after Oberon traps him in the form of Owen Burnett, except when he is training or protecting Alexander Xanatos.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Vikings.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: An Establishing Character Moment for Goliath and gargoyles in general in very first episode: no, he's not truly invincible, he can bleed... but he's still really freaking tough.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lady Titania, Demona, Angela in the comic, and Hyena when she becomes an android. Elisa also sports the look in "The Mirror" and "Protection".
  • Bastard Understudy: Thailog was one to Xanatos, but by the time of his first onscreen appearance, he's ready to go his own way.
  • Batman Cold Open: In "City of Stone."
  • Batman Gambit: Demona tries this twice against Elisa and the Manhattan Clan, first in "Long Way to Morning" and then in "High Noon." They both fail. Xanatos himself uses these on a regular basis, often as part of his gambits
    • Macbeth tries to use one in Enter Macbeth against Demona. He captures the rest of the Gargoyles, expecting her to come to their rescue. Goliath pointed out that she basically hated her former clan right now and wouldn't be coming, enraging Macbeth.
    • Duncan used one to play Macbeth and Gillecomgain against each other in "City of Stone," hoping that Gillecomgain would end up killing Macbeth. It didn't work.
    • Angela pulls a combination of this and Stop, or I Shoot Myself! on Goliath during "Eye of the Storm" to convince him to take off the Eye of Odin.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: In "Leader of the Pack," "Double Jeopardy," and "The Reckoning."
  • Battle Butler: Owen Burnett and Preston Vogel.
  • BEARS Are Bad News: Raven sent a huge bear after Elisa. Also, Odin took the form of a bear and attacked Goliath.
  • Beast and Beauty: Goliath and Elisa, which is lampshaded in "Eye of the Beholder" where Elisa is dressed up as Belle.
  • Beautiful All Along: Goliath realizes this about Elisa after seeing her transformed into a gargoyle in "The Mirror":
    Goliath: "I never realized just how beautiful you are."
    Elisa: "*chuckle* Are you saying you thought I was ugly?"
    Goliath: "Uh, well, that—Careful, updraft!"
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Aesop of "The Mirror".
    Puck: "Did you say that human, or that human? Oh, never mind, I'll figure it out..."
  • Because Destiny Says So:
    • "Avalon doesn't take you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"
    • This trope also applies to anybody who uses the Phoenix Gate to go back in time, because of the resulting Stable Time Loop. (In other words, "Because History Says So".)
  • Becoming the Mask: The reason Dingo does a full Heel-Face Turn after parting company with the rest of the Pack — he found he missed being regarded as a hero back when he'd only play-acted one, and wanted to try doing it for real.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: When describing Brooklyn and Katana's relationship in Timedancer, Greg Weisman mentioned Sam and Diane. No one got it. Then he mentioned Beatrice and Benedick. That one people got, which should tell you a lot about the kind of fans this show has.
  • Berserk Button: They all have one, and you do not want to push it.
    • Unlike most series, however, we see the origins of each.
      • After losing so many of his clan members, Goliath becomes fiercely protective of all those whom he considers as part of his clan. And judging by the way he treated the guy who turned Elisa's brother into a mutant, you better not mess with his clan's clan, either, because he certainly minds.
      • After Broadway shoots Elisa, he's angrily hateful of guns being used by criminals, noticeably destroying any he gets his hands on.
      • Lexington was a fan of the Pack, and took their betrayal and subsequent Face-Heel Turn extremely personally.
      • Never Touch Alex Xanatos if Lex is present, it's not good for your health.
      • After Brooklyn falls for one of Demona's manipulations, he spends much of the remaining series holding back rage whenever she shows up. After he becomes Goliath's second, he learns to curb the hate, but Brooklyn's clearly almost homicidal in some scenes. Ironically this may be partially his own fault, as he later finds, having gotten one of Demona's clans massacred in his future and her past. If anything, it's surprising there's not more animosity between the two.
      • Demona, for her part, exists solely in this state, as she's genocidal and bitterly given over to her own exile from the other gargoyles. Elisa does tend to drive her to blind fury, however. Thailog uses this to twist the knife in his betrayal of Demona late in the series, when he reveals that Delilah's a clone of both Demona and Elisa.
      • Macbeth's hatred for Demona leads him to his only dark acts in the series, and is so great that not even the Weird Sisters' combined magic can hold it back for long. Ironically, Macbeth is also the sole exception to Demona's genocidal hate, as his death at her hands would kill her, too.
      • Angela's button may have been Demona, too, but the series was canceled before she had much interaction with anyone other than the core Manhattan Clan.
      • Notably, Hudson does not have a Berserk Button, though many people try to find one over the series.
      • Not to say any of the Clan are super-loving of Xanatos, but Elisa in particular has trouble warming up to him after what he did to her brother. She seems to be quite protective and close with her family, which may be justified since it's implied she's the eldest sibling.
      • Even Xanatos has one. He's perpetually suave and in control, so whenever someone manages to pierce his facade, he's visibly ticked. Hudson in The Price when he figures out that Xanatos is secretly terrified of aging, Goliath in The Eye of The Beholder discovering his love for Fox, and Petros in Vows when he hands his son a single penny, since money is all he cares about are all notable examples of someone breaking through Xanatos' shell and his subsequent reaction to it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Broadway is potentially one of the most intimidating of the Manhattan clan.
    • Lexington also fits, the little guy gets pretty pissed when his trust is betrayed. There's also the Twist Ending of 'Future Tense'
    • Jon Canmore was originally the nicest of the Canmore siblings, before he became Castaway.
    • Bluestone's former partner in the FBI, who supports Bluestone unconditionally as a friend, while simultaneously trying to help him get over his obsession? He's an Illuminatus.
  • Big Applesauce: Played with a bit during the Avalon World Tour, but even so, all the really weird stuff happens in Manhattan.
  • Big Bad: Xanatos toward the start, but his partner Demona eventually overtook him in this role. She even planned to kill the entire human race with a magically amplified virus in the Hunter's Moon story arc.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Xanatos and Demona for about the first third of the series — they wind up going their separate ways when it becomes painfully obvious that their goals, methods, and personalities are simply not compatible.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At least once every episode.
  • Big Eater: Broadway
  • Bigger Bad: The Illuminati Society as a whole; a group of chessmasters so skilled and influential that Xanatos is at the bottom of their hierarchy, but they're only directly involved in one episode and indirectly in a handful of others. The comic continuation indicates that they would have ended up in a more central role had the series continued.
  • Big Guy Rodeo: Attempted on the mecha gargoyles. Doesn't work too well.
  • Big "NO!": Demona upon being cursed to turn into a human during the day.
    • Several others too, Goliath being the most prominent.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The various spells are in Latin, and actually say what they accomplish, and one episode actually includes correct Hebrew, both written and spoken. The "spell" in Hebrew, allowing a human to possess a golem, translates as something like "My soul should enter the body of earth".
    • Some of the Latin spells are grammatically incorrect. "Omnes conspecti, omnes auditi" is translated in the show itself as "all who see this, all who hear this," but in reality it means "all who have been seen, all who have been heard." In other words, the passive voice was used when the active voice should've been.
    • The Japanese gargoyle town is called Ishimura. . .which means "Stone Village." Very appropriate!
    • Anyone who knows the French word for fox guessed pretty quickly that a couple minor characters from season one were vastly more significant than they appeared, and were likely related.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: In the "Bad Guys" spinoff, Robyn does it to Dingo, Dingo and Matrix do it to Sevarius, and Pistol does it to Robyn. Doll does something similar to Fang, throwing a knife to knock away his gun.
  • Blind and the Beast: Hudson's friendship with Jeffrey Robbins is the non-romantic version of this.
  • Blind Black Guy: Jeffrey Robbins.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played straight and averted, in the first episode Goliath bleeds after a Barehanded Blade Block just to establish the fact that the gargoyles are flesh and blood and not invulnerable. The gargoyles and other characters are shown bleeding other times throughout the series.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: The final battle between Demona, the Hunters, and the Manhattan Clan in "Hunter's Moon" takes place in a cathedral, as does the battle between Demona and the Hunters' father in the flashback. The Cloisters where Brooklyn fights Demona in "Temptation" may count as well, since its architecture was inspired by that of medieval churches even though it isn't a church itself.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Played with a twist by Demona. She wants to Kill All Humans for nearly wiping out her species, but when she asks Literal Genie Puck to make her immune to daylight petrification (as gargoyles do), he grants her request by making her turn into a human from dawn to dusk every day. Notably, this doesn't stop her — instead, it just lets her find more ways of reaching her goals, since she can now blend in with her "enemies" undetected. Throughout the series she easily takes to human society and tools, such as human sorcery and technology, even before she gained her human transformation curse. She even started her own freaking company (named Nightstone)! For all of her hatred towards humans, Demona fits in far more with human civilization than she does with her fellow gargoyles.
  • Boring Return Journey: Averted hard. After their quest on Avalon, it took nearly a year of wacky adventuring before Goliath and co return to Manhattan. Goliath went as far as to refuse Renard's offer to fly straigth to Manhattan.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the comic continuation, a time-travelling Brooklyn directly addresses the audience in regards to his ignorance about Scottish history:
    Mary: "Don't you know what is going to happen?"
    Brooklyn: "Too much TV, too few history books. You never know when a giant flaming magical time-traveling bird is gonna swallow you whole and spit you out in the tenth century. So hit those books, kids!"
  • Breakout Character: Goliath and Demona and others shouldn't be shafted, but there's a reason David Xanatos has two tropes named after him.
  • Broad Strokes: The backstory of the Stone of Destiny works because of a combination of this and Unreliable Narrator. ("The story is told, though who can say if it be true?")
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Averted, despite whatever people on the internet keep whispering. Gargoyles regard all their rookery-mates as siblings, and they tend to mate among their rookery-mates, but rookery-siblings are exactly that: gargoyles from the same rookery (Locale where eggs are stored and hatched). They were, essentially, just birthed in the same hospital at the same time, not actually blood relations. Any literal applications of this trope have been Jossed, since gargoyle couples usually have only one egg in each generation. Scent markers prevent Kissing Cousins.
    • However, for the human characters, Jackal and Hyena are a little too close for some fans. Others don't mind too much, and it's established that Hyena's specifically into roboticization kinks — as Coyote gets less and less human over the series, she gets more attracted to him — which would imply her brother may qualify, too. Word of God, however, is that Jackal isn't Hyena's type.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When common thugs are not running away at the sight of gargoyles or other gifted beings, they try to fight them instead. This usually doesn't turn out too well for them.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Demona truly has no idea why that guy(s) with the striped mask want(s) her dead. Not that she would care much if she did know. In a deleted scene of the finale, it's revealed that even the modern day Hunters do not know how the feud began. They just know that it's their destiny to hunt and kill gargoyles.
    • Subverted with Macbeth when Canmore waylays him. At first Macbeth doesn't recognize the full-grown prince (since he was only a boy when Macbeth banished him to England), but after he introduces himself as Canmore, Macbeth does remember him.
      • Played straight with the identity of the Hunter in City of Stone, as Demona'd not seen one in decades, and had thought she ended the line. It was a trick by Macbeth, as he knew Demona'd never suspect it was him under the mask. While he's perfectly willing to kill Demona to end their curse, she normally wouldn't reciprocate.
  • But Not Too Foreign: The protagonists in the Castle Wyvern clan all hail from Scotland, but only one of them (Hudson) actually speaks with a Scottish accent. The rest of them speak with American accents, even before they make the move to Manhattan.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Captain Chavez.
  • Cain and Abel: Iago/Coldsteel and Othello/Coldstone.
  • Call Back: "Hunter's Moon" is full of Call Backs, mostly to the first season.
    "Would you prefer I lost on purpose?"
    "I'd fire you if you did." Shari and Thailog, in the comic continuation.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The entire third season except for the very first episode, "The Journey," never happened according to Word of God (Weisman). To enforce this, "The Journey" was included as the beginning of the recent Gargoyles comic books, solidifying its canon status, followed by the rest of the comic books contradicting the third season.
    • They also imported one additional scene from TGC: Where Robbins reveals that he'd figured out Hudson was a gargoyle before he could tell him.
      • In a sense; Word of God has specified multiple times that this was always the direction they were intending to bring Robbins' and Hudson's relationship. Greg Weisman did, however, borrow a (slightly altered) version of one fan-favorite line of dialogue from that scene, as "a nice tribute to all the hard work that the TGC crew put in, with little thanks or reward." Weisman may be a hard-liner on declaring Canon Discontinuity, but he's also a notoriously Nice Guy.
    • Much of the events of Future Tense are implied to be just a story told by an Unreliable Narrator. Said Unreliable Narrator, however, is Dangerously Genre Savvy and easily has the ability to see the future, so it's difficult to say for certain.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Rare, but there are a few. Thailog is more or less aware of the fact he's a monster and a scary bastard, but he just relishes in the fact. Proteus is also intent on wreaking havoc on the New Olympus Island simply for the amusement of doing so, and the Quarrymen in the third season pull traps on the Manhattan Clan, where either street thugs or themselves pretend to attack innocent women, acknowledging the Manhattan Clan's heroic and upstanding tendencies. Xanatos himself notably lampshades the trope, when he asks Goliath and Angela how well he's pulling off his first attempt at "Clichéd Villainy", in the episode "Cloud Fathers".
    • In their one appearance in season 3, Jackal & Hyena explicitly refer to the side they're on as evil.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Any spellcaster on the island of Avalon can draw upon its magical power, at the cost of their own health if they're not Children of Oberon. The Magus exhausts himself to death by attempting this.
    • Given that it's Avalon, the above example may be a subversion. When last we see the Magus, he's taken the exact repose that King Arthur had when he was asleep, and in the same location. While still a Heroic Sacrifice, the fact that this is a Disney cartoon couples with the above to imply he may not be dead.
      • Word of God states that the Magus is dead, and his sacrifice would never be cheapened by bringing him back.
  • Cast Herd
  • Casting Gag: The Star Trek actors voicing most of the villains or trickster characters.
  • Cat Fight: Between Elisa and Demona in "High Noon". Coldstone and Macbeth lampshade it:
    Coldstone: "Well, this is diverting."
    Macbeth: "You don't know the half of it."
  • Cat Girl: Maggie, one of the mutates. Though in this case, she is outnumbered by catBOYs 3:1. Also counts as Cute Monster Girl or even Petting Zoo Person.
  • Character Development: Characters repeatedly realize the consequences of their actions and grow from experiences:
    • Broadway grows from being a gluttonous illiterate goof to a studious amateur detective. And don't forget the aforementioned episodes about firearms. Brooklyn grows from a simple hotshot kid to a capable, if romantically frustrated, leader with a flair for tactics. There is a lot of subtle character development with Goliath and Elisa as they slowly become closer. Hudson learns to age gracefully and appreciate his golden years. Xanatos and Fox learn to love and not be quite so evil, and that you probably shouldn't betray valuable allies for short-term gain. And Lexington becomes less naive (and more paranoid, unfortunately).
    • Hey, not all development is for the good guys! At any rate, a lot of the development was also tied into various episodes and arcs rather than the usual route of being standalone episodes designed solely for development. Hudson and Xanatos have quite the conversation about getting old during one of his (relatively) smaller plots... which changes -both- of them. Several minor supporting characters also get notable changes, like Derek Maza and Tom and Mary.
    • Goliath goes through some interesting character development from the Avalon World Tour as well. For example, back in "City of Stone" he said "Death is never the answer; life is!" But when the Emir took this statement to its logical conclusion in "Grief," and his imprisonment of Anubis meant that nobody could die (and if death really never is the answer, is that a bad thing?) Goliath realized that preventing anyone from dying is just as bad as killing them, and he fought to break the binding spell and free Anubis.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Grimorum Arcanorum, the Eye of Odin, and the Phoenix Gate. All three are important for an episode or two, all three are (separately) taken from Xanatos by Goliath, all three taken by the Weird Sisters and given to the Archmage, and two of them ( the Grimorum is destroyed) prove significant in later episodes before Goliath gets rid of them for one reason or another. Then the Phoenix Gate returns again in the comics.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Preston Vogel sure looks familiar, doesn't he? It's actually a subversion. Owen is based on Vogel, rather than any direct tie from Vogel to Owen.
    • The Weird Sisters embody this better than anyone in the series, as their motives are never remotely clear. Word of God implies that the sisters manipulated Archmage, Demona, and Macbeth all far more extensively than any of them realize, and they may have been the series' ultimate Big Bad.
  • The Chessmaster: Xanatos usually claims this role.
    • Thailog would disagree.
  • Chess Motifs: In "Upgrade," the battle between the Manhattan Clan and the Pack is represented as a chess game between Fox and Xanatos. Granted, that battle does break the rules of chess...
  • Chocolate of Romance: Broadway gives Angela a box of chocolates (or, to be more exact, what's left of them) shortly after introducing himself to her. They later become mates.
  • The Clan
  • Clock Tower: Located atop the NYPD's 23rd District headquarters, and site of the gargoyles' second home.
  • Cold Sleep, Cold Future: Not only do Goliath and the Manhattan Clan remain in stone sleep for a thousand years (i.e. Cold Sleep), but when they wake up, Goliath quickly comes to the conclusion that 1994 Manhattan is just as savage as 994 Scotland was (i.e. Cold Future).
  • Color Me Black: Fantastic Racism variant- in one episode Demona summons and binds Puck and forces him to grant her various wishes, which he delights in twisting because he doesn't like her. One of her wishes is to be able to move about freely during the day, when gargoyles normally turn to stone- which Puck grants by causing her to turn human during the day instead. For those uninitiated with the series, Demona craves the extinction of all humanity.
  • Continuity Nod: Frequent, and well done. When particular villains return (The Pack, Demona, and Dracon) gargoyles who have been specifically slighted by them (Lexington, Brooklyn, and Broadway, respectively) are more incensed and determined than the others. When King Arthur (Yes, that King Arthur) is attacked by Macbeth (Yes, that Macbeth) he recognizes him and calls out his name, but Macbeth expresses confusion and asks if they me have met; when they had met, Macbeth was being manipulated and later had his memory erased. The show remembers who did what and when, and keeps it all straight.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In the episode "Ill Met By Moonlight".
  • Conveniently Cellmates: When the pack are in prison, Fox and Hyena are sharing a cell, as are Wolf and Jackal.
  • Cool Big Sis: Elisa Maza, is the older sister of Derek Maza, Beth Maza, and acts like an older sister to the young trio of the Manhattan Clan.
  • Cool Old Guy: Hudson, Jeffrey Robbins, Petros Xanatos, and Halcyon Renard.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Xanatos, though not anywhere nearly as large as expected given his primarily antagonistic role in the series; his biggest venture into this arena (Which he actually lampshades as his first attempt at "Clichéd Villainy") was when he planned to destroy a Native American carving that was on the land he had leased for corporate practices. A more classic example would be Preston Vogel, who was operating a clear-cutting logging site in the Guatemalan rain forest in the episode "The Green" without any consent from Halcyon Renard, who also had hired ex-members of the Pack as security to kill off the local gargoyles that were opposing the logging. Similarly, Demona/Dominique Destine uses her company, Nightstone Unlimited mostly to support and fund her genocidal efforts.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): A bit more justified than usual, as Elisa just needed to resuscitate Angela long enough to get her to sunrise.
  • Creepy Crows: Raven is one of Oberon's Children and a more malicious version of the Native American trickster hero, able to change into a human, raven, or raven-headed gargoyle.
  • Crossover: A crossover with Atlantis: The Lost Empire was fully recorded in audio but never actually animated or aired (It's still considered canonical in Broad Strokes).
    • It seems to be referenced in the comic book with a scene featuring Demona returning St. Daminan's Cathedral and removing what looks a lot like an Atlantean energy crystal from the broken fragments of the Praying Gargoyle.
    • Likewise, a Radioplay written by the head honcho himself for the final Gathering was a crossover with The Spectacular Spider-Man. While not canonical, the events fit in fine with both continuities. At the moment.
      • Well...it fits fine in Gargoyles continuity if you pretend Clan Building took place in 2008.
  • Crossover Cosmology: All the gods and many of the fantastical creatures of ancient myths exist in one form or another. The various pantheons are linked to each other in a huge feudal system with Shakespeare's Oberon, of all people, on top. Greg Weisman is a huge Shakespeare nut.note 
  • Curse Escape Clause: The gargoyle protagonists had been cursed to sleep as stone until their castle rose above the clouds. Xanatos broke the curse by relocating their castle on top of his skyscraper. In fact, several spells have similar riddle-like ways of breaking them, such as a spell that would turn people to stone "until the sky burns."
    • Word of God said that it is an actual rule of magic in this universe; adding an escape clause is not required, but it makes the magic much easier to cast. Fair folk like Oberon and Puck are powerful enough they do not really need to worry about it, as is an incredibly powerful human sorcerer like the Archmage, but for someone like the Magus or Demona, being able to save on your energy is very important.
    • It helps that the Curse Escape Clauses are worded rather vaguely, and thus open to loose interpretation. The Gargoyles' curse only said "the clouds" so Xanatos raising Castle Wyvern above the cumulus layer of clouds, but not the cirrus layer, is enough to do the job. Similarly, "until the sky burns" apparently does not necessarily mean the entire sky, so only burning the atmosphere above Manhattan is enough to cure even those hypothetical victims outside of the city from the "stone at night" curse.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: David Xanatos averts this. He probably rivals Scrooge McDuck as the wealthiest Disney character of all time, and he doesn't hesitate to make a buck off of his vast intellect. He only spends money on his plans when he can't get what he wants by buying it outright.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: The Banshee.
  • Cute Monster Girl: All female gargoyles shown in the TV series were sexy winged humanoids, except for Una, who resembled an anthropomorphic unicorn and so didn't exactly break the stereotype. Male gargoyles, however, included a much wider variety of body types; the comic continuation eventually introduced Constance (Coco), a heavyset female who resembles a wild sow, and Brooklyn's mate Katana (whom most of the fandom * thought* would be a CMG) was shown to have a beak.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Hyena and Jackal get more Ax-Crazy than they already were after they become cyborgs. Contrast Dingo, who refused to alter his body via implants and who eventually did a Heel-Face Turn.
    • Though Hyena was willing to kill her long-time, er, friend equivalent and leader just because the latter stopped Hyena from killing a prison guard before the cybernetic upgrades, so at least in her case, the rising insanity may be entirely unrelated to the bodywork. It may simply have made it easier to inflict pain (probably the whole reason they got the upgrade) so they have even less restraint.
      • Jackal seems to think they're unrelated. When Hyena shows an interest in mecha-Coyote, Jackal's comment is of mild disgust, but absolutely no surprise.
    • Halcyon Renard had a similar experience with the Golem, though he wasn't really in a cybernetic body, and if anything, he was simply playing around and causing amusing destruction in the body of the Golem.
    • Also, the more Coyote gets upgraded, the less humanlike his frame gets. Then again, he/it was never a human to begin with, and probably never had a soul to eat.
      • Then again, Anubis had dominion over Coyote, too, implying Coyote was alive in some sense.
      • "Grief" implies that Anubis' powers hold over the passage of time on subjects organic or otherwise; note how his energy reduced a city in the distance to ruin, complete with dilapidated buildings.
    • And partially averted with Coldstone, as the insanity was due to an evil Third Wheel battling for control inside. Then the series turns right back around and plays it straight again with Future Lex.
  • Cycle of Revenge: One of the major themes of the "City of Stone" arc, and to a lesser extent, of the entire series. Also, the main theme of the "Hunter's Moon" finale.
    • Notably averted by Xanatos, who considers revenge "a sucker's game." Then again, he never really loses, so he never has to make things personal... or was it the other way around?
  • Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster: Tony Dracon and his mob of men, his partner Glasses, and rival Tomas Brod.
  • Dark Action Girl: Demona, Hyena, and (prior to their turn to good) Fox and Robyn Canmore.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the show itself generally didn't shy away from some dark elements, the comic continuation (and especially Bad Guys) gets away with quite a lot of graphic violence that would never have made it into the show, including Goliath getting stabbed in the stomach, a person committing suicide by hanging herself, Yama being impaled and Dingo's mother being strangled to death on-panel. (Also the occasional profanity.)
  • Dating Catwoman: Goliath and Demona pretty much in the beginning of the first season.
  • David Versus Goliath: In a literal sense (and inverted), with hero Goliath fighting David Xanatos.
    • Played with to the extreme. Goliath really is the taller, stronger man, using brute strength to win fights. David is the shorter, smarter man, using his brains to conquer his foes. In the middle ages, brute strength and direct power ran supreme. However, in the modern age, in an age of computers, stocks, and science, the genius is the one with the power.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Xanatos, Owen Burnett, and Preston Vogel have their moments of this.
    • The Weird Sisters have a few moments of this too, such as at Gillecomgain's and Gruoch's wedding: "A happy beginning." "Not all would agree." "Certainly not our hero."
  • Death Seeker: This is why Macbeth is after Demona in his early appearances (well, this plus revenge) — only by killing or being killed by Demona can he lose his immortality.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Albeit a forced one, in "Grief".
    • An interesting case, because Greg Weisman later went on to say that he regretted not actually doing anything with the concept; the Pack never tried to kill the characters during Anubis' imprisonment, so audiences only had the Emir's word that death was null during that space of time.
      • Executive Meddling would've almost certainly prevented it. How do you show this in Disney cartoon?
      • Easy. Show somebody doing something that would normally cause their death but have them not die. The problem would be if the idea was to have someone die but here the idea is to not have anyone die, even in circumstances that would normally cause a death.
  • Death Wail/The Scream: Goliath at the end of the first episode. The "City of Stone" flashbacks reveal that Demona did the same thing only a few minutes earlier.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Done in the episode "Pendragon" between Macbeth and King Arthur after Arthur defeats Macbeth to reclaim Excalibur.
    Arthur: "No king can lead without his knights. You have fought a good fight, I would have you with me."
    Macbeth: "I have been a King too long to serve any man. But if you ever need me to stand by your side, I will come."
  • Depopulation Bomb: What Demona creates in "Hunter's Moon."
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: More like "Did Xanatos Just Shoot The King of the Gods and Faeries?"
  • Disability Superpower: About a quarter of the way through season 2 Owen Burnett's left forearm gets turn to stone (long story). This is a pretty crippling transformation but remember, Owen is a blackbelt, having a fist literally made of rock only makes him better in a fight, to the point he's able to take on Goliath with a quick jab to the ribs.
    • This is also inherent in the rules of (human) magic: You need to be able to see and hear a spell being cast for it to affect you directly, so those who are unable to see and/or hear have greater resistance to magic than most. Jeffrey Robbins demonstrates this most clearly in "City of Stone." It is possible to override this resistance through an Amplifier Artifact or Avalonian magic, as the Roman Magus and Puck demonstrate in the Backstory and "The Mirror" respectively, though.
  • Disney Villain Death
    • Played straight the first time with the Archmage, but later averted by the same character, whose future self very visibly melted on-camera when he could no longer control the power of the Grimorum inside himself.
    • Somewhat subverted with Duncan. When Macbeth tosses Selene's Orb at Duncan, it blows out his eyes and mouth, and sets him on fire...and then he falls off a cliff.
      • Was absolutely hilariously lampshaded by the crew during the commentary...with very nearly the same words!
    • Also played straight in the pilot with Hakon and the traitorous captain, though the typical intention of keeping the hero from being responsible for the villain's death is subverted: Goliath immediately expresses his outrage that he did not get to kill them himself, bellowing, "I've been denied everything... EVEN MY REVENGE!"
    • Sevarius just laughs at this trope.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Broadway is not a fan of firearms. This actually grew out of an episode of the show, where his enthusiasm for TV Westerns went too far and he played with and accidentally shot Elisa with her service pistol. For many episodes thereafter he happily crushed or broke every firearm he could get his claws on.
    • It's not so much that he hates guns per se, but that he doesn't like them to be mishandled and/or used to hurt people. He seems to recognize their usefulness but prefers them in the hands of responsible people (don't we all). It's guns in the hands of human scumbags like Tony Dracon's thugs that really ticks him off.
  • Don't Fear The Reaper: Anubis seems like a decent enough guy just doing his job.
    The Emir: Hear me, guardian of the gate, I demand a favor!
    Anubis: I grant but one boon, mortal, and it will be given to you as it is given to everyone; when your time has come.
    The Emir: You took from me my only son, Anubis. Two years ago, in a pointless car accident.
    Anubis: Death is always pointless. That is the point.
    The Emir: Don't toy with me, jackal god! I want my son back! I will make you give him back!
    Anubis: What you ask is unthinkable. Your son has passed. Let him rest. Death comes to us all.
  • Downer Beginning: The Wyvern Massacre in the pilot episode, "Awakening" (Part One). Since it takes place at the end of that particular episode, it may also qualify as a...
  • Downer Ending: In addition to (possibly) the above example, we also have "Metamorphosis" and "Vows". "City of Stone" nudges close to this with Demona, and "Grief" can at best be said to end just narrowly shy of breaking even.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: (Spanish) Latin American dubbers didn't take into account that the gargoyles didn't have names in the past. It is mentioned in the first episodes, but afterwards you seem them using those names during the flashbacks of Scotland. Also, the first time the gang saw Demona in Manhattan, she is called by that name (Demona), even when five minutes later she receives the dialogue "Humans have given me a new name. It's Demona!".
  • Dramatic Irony: Several examples...
    • The Canmore family's vendetta against Demona is particularly ironic considering that only Macbeth can kill her. Apparently they've never worked out the immortality angle.
    • Pretty much the entire backstory of "City of Stone" is full of Dramatic Irony; Findlaech's pledge of loyalty to Duncan, Duncan's order to kill Findlaech to keep Macbeth from becoming king, Macbeth's willingness to save Duncan's life on the assumption that Duncan would have saved his, Demona eavesdropping on just enough of Macbeth's conversation to conclude that Macbeth will probably betray her (when he had no intention of betraying her)...

    Tropes E-H 
  • Eating Optional: Dr. Sevarius surmised that Gargoyles must absorb solar energy in their stone forms during the day, or otherwise they would have to eat 3 cows a day to maintain the needed energy to function.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: In "Sentinel". Did you know they were modeled on an alien soldier who is protecting our world from the ravages of an evil empire from beyond our solar system?
  • Egg McGuffin: Goliath's rookery children.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: With the Avalon World Tour, this was bound to happen.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Owen, big time. Also Brother Valmont, to Constantine, in the comic book's final arc, and Preston Vogel.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Anybody can join the Quarrymen, despite the fact the organization resembles the Ku Klux Klan in both its costume motif and its purpose.
    • Well, anybody human can join.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • See Barehanded Blade Block above. In the first scene in the first episode, Goliath catches a sword, and there's a trickle of blood. This reveals important things about both gargoyles in general and Goliath in particular: they aren't quite invincible, which means that combat and leadership require carefulness and genuine bravery just like for humans, but they're still really tough.
    • In addition, Lexington, Brooklyn, and Broadway each get an Establishing Character Episode immediately after "Awakening."
  • Eternal English: The gargoyles have no trouble with the language after they are revived. Nor do Katherine, Tom, the Magus, or any of their gargoyle charges, although that one might be slightly justified as Tom had been taking trips to the real world every 100 real-world years and could have picked up the gradual changes from Old to Middle to Modern English.
    • Say nothing of King Arthur, who was put to sleep sometime around 547AD according to the comic book, and yet speaks perfectly when woken up.
    • No explanation is given on why New Olympians speak English instead of ancient Greek. Does Grandmother Willow live on that island?
    • Trips made via Avalon, at least, included a nifty language module with free installation. That was how the 'World Tour' guys managed in Japan and Guatemala etc. As for why the gargoyles speak English? A wizard did it.
    • For that matter, if Goliath's clan comes from Scotland, how come Hudson's the only one with a Scottish accent?
      • Because Hudson had the most contact with humans
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Bronx in "Upgrade".
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In the third episode, a motorcycle crashes into a wall and promptly explodes.
    • In "Temptation", Brooklyn's bike violently explodes from a single bullet.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Mentioned in "Awakening" when Owen brings up the difficulty of finding crews to tear down Castle Wyvern.
    Xanatos: Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Talon to Maggie and later in the comics Dingo to Robyn Canmore.
  • Everyone Wants Redheads: Goliath to Demona, Xanatos to Fox, Macbeth to Gruoch, and even Macbeth's blond henchman Banquo was romantically involved with Macbeth's redheaded henchwoman Fleance.
    • Macbeth to Demona's human form, too, though he gets over it when he realizes who she is.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Katharine saved and raised the next generation of gargoyles safely on Avalon, so she definitely deserves a mention here.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Or to be more precise, "the corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted." Thus, despite Macbeth's loyalty and honesty, the corrupt King Duncan, and later Demona, were convinced that he was going to betray them.
    • Subverted, of course, with Xanatos. He comprehends perfectly, it's just not for him.
      Xanatos (referring to Fox): So. Now you know my weakness.
      Goliath: Only you would regard love as a weakness.
  • Evil Knockoff: After failing to get the Manhattan Clan's cooperation, Xanatos spends the first chunk of the series trying to make his own gargoyle minions; such as the mutates, the Steel Clan, and Coldstone. It's telling that he never ever tries again after he comes up with Thailog. Thailog himself later teams with Demona to make knockoffs of the rest of the clan. And for the record, most of these don't even stay evil for long.
  • Evil Laugh: Thailog has a memorable one. In the SLG comic he even seems a bit disappointed that he doesn't get to use it more often.
  • Evil Redhead: Take your pick. There's Demona, Fox before her Heel-Face Turn, Macbeth's henchwoman Fleance, and even Queen Titania during "The Gathering" parts one and two.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Archmage. Demona as well, though to her magical power and the acquisition thereof is not a primary motivation, as it is with the Archmage, but more the means to an end.
  • Evil Twin: Thailog, who managed to outsmart all the other Big Bads of the show.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Sevarius.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Xanatos, Demona, Macbeth, and the rest of the villains each have their own agenda, which results in this trope more often than not. Macbeth's goal, for example, is to kill Demona so that he can die.
    • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Usually one of the villains is clearly more evil than the other. (Macbeth, Xanatos, Demona, Thailog.)
    • It's not unknown for the gargoyles to get involved of their own accord, rather than be manipulated or attacked by another faction.
  • Exact Words: Almost all supernatural forces, whether mortal spells or "favors" from The Fair Folk (especially Puck), are subject to literal interpretation.
  • Expy: Preston Vogel to Owen Burnett. However, it turns out the opposite is true, with Puck basing "Owen" on Vogel.
    • You also wouldn't be entirely mistaken if you confused Xanatos for an evil Tony Stark.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Sometimes the Muggles seem determined to ignore all possible evidence of the supernatural. Most notable in City of Stone, in which every television-viewing citizen of New York is petrified for two nights running, but any evidence (such as security footage, shattered remains of those who died in that time, or eyewitness testimony from folks who weren't subjected to it) is apparently dismissed. Or, at least, any investigations that took place did so offscreen.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Archmage literally eats the Grimorum Arcanorum to bypass the restriction that human magic cannot enter Avalon while retaining its powers.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Played with. The episode "Protection" makes it seem that Elisa has undergone one of these, as she is under suspicion of accepting protection money. It's all a ploy to bust an actual protection racket led by mobster Dracon
  • Failed a Spot Check: Demona used a Secret Path to enter the castle and said Xanatos doesn't know all of its secrets. Xanatos and Owen dismantled and rebuilt the castle and yet they both failed to notice it.
  • Failing a Taxi: Some of the Manhattan Clan try to hail a cab, but they face a few obstacles (what with being gargoyles and all).
  • The Fair Folk: The Third Race are a clear interpretation of the trope: though only a couple of them are "evil" by mortal standards, Goliath and company get into a fight with almost every named member of the group at one point or another.
  • Fair for Its Day: In-universe: Oberon was very benevolent - for one of The Fair Folk - back in the tenth century. Due to the arrogance and cruelty of the others, Oberon had them banished from Avalon to teach them humility and benevolence. While most of the Children of Oberon did learn their lesson in their 1,001 years of exile, Oberon himself didn't.
  • Fake Defector: Matt in "Revelations."
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Subverted; the origin of the family friendly lasers are actually explained, and only the bad guys get them; the cops have to make do with plain old firearms. They're also explained as pretty expensive and limited in number.
    • Broadway and Goliath blowing up around fifty of them is probably a main reason for this.
    • The police's guns are also generally stowed and used only when lethal force is justified. While Elisa does whip hers out fairly often in comparison to a real world cop, it's still vastly less often than most police dramas.
  • Fan Convention: The Gathering of the Gargoyles, an annual event from 1997 to 2009. Common panels include read-throughs of unused scripts and discussions with Greg Weisman.
  • Fantastic Fragility: How curses work.
  • Fantastic Racism: Oh, so very much, and in so many ways. Racism is one of the plot points of the entire series. Most humans (but particularly the Hunter(s) and the Quarrymen) toward gargoyles; Demona toward all humans; members of the Third Race toward humans and gargoyles.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink
  • Fate Worse than Death: Mace Malone being trapped in the Hotel Cabal until he eventually died of dehydration.
    • Also, Demona has had a thousand years to watch as everyone she loved died or turned against her. On some level, she realizes all the suffering she's seen is primarily her own fault, and she's bitterly aware of how alone she is. Her hatred's really all that's left of her.
    • Ditto for Macbeth, who is just as alone as Demona is. His virtual immortality forced him to outlive his beloved family. (See Heroic Sacrifice for details.) For a good part of his appearances, he actually wants to die. "I'm just so tired."
      • But then, Macbeth hasn't killed himself either. If they can only die at each other's hands, maybe they can't die at their own. The Weird Sisters certainly imply as much: nothing can kill Demona or Macbeth except lethal force inflicted by one upon the other.
    • The three gargoyle souls trapped within Coldstone. No sense of touch, smell or taste, and the two good souls are trapped with an evil, jealous one. Worse yet, each soul has to fight to control the robotic body they're in. The fear of the evil one gaining control forced the two good ones to separate from the only family they know. This, of course, is finally resolved in "Possession" via extensive magic.
    • Hakon might have gotten this worst of all. First he's trapped in a cave as a ghost with a man who hates his ass, then he's trapped in a rock in that cave, until he manages to bind himself to an axe some time later.
  • Fiction 500: Xanatos awakened the gargoyles by moving an entire castle to the top of a skyscraper.
  • Fiery Redhead: Demona so very much. Fox also.
  • Field Power Effect: Avalon is teeming with magic, boosting the Magus' abilities.
  • Finding Judas: The Captain wanted the Wyvern Clan to be accepted and appreciated by the humans they guarded, and he betrayed Princess Katharine only for that reason. Unfortunately, his plan blew up in his face when Hakon slaughtered most of the gargoyles anyway.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The Weird Sisters do this.
  • First Name Basis: Goliath calls Elisa "Detective" at first, but changes to her name as they get closer.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: They get fairly accustomed to the 20th century pretty quickly though, especially Broadway and Lexington
  • Five-Episode Pilot
  • Five-Bad Band: The Pack.
  • Five-Man Band: The main gargoyles.
    • The Hero: Goliath
    • The Lancer: Brooklyn (originally Hudson)
    • The Mentor: Hudson; he used to be clan leader, and before he got a name, Goliath called him "mentor."
    • The Smart Guy: Lexington
    • The Big Guy: Broadway
    • The Chick: Elisa and later Angela
    • Team Pet: Bronx
    • Sixth Ranger: Angela during the series, and as of Clan-Building Volume 2, Coldstone and Coldfire, as well as Brooklyn's family, consisting of his mate Katana, his son Nashville, his beast Fu-Dog and his unhatched egg, Egwardo.
  • Flashback: The show constantly jumps around in time, going back to 10th Century Scotland, 15th Century Italy, 1960 Arizona, World War II, and others. These skips fill in part of the backstory, but also serve as driving moments for the characters and plot points.
  • Flight of Romance: Strictly speaking, it's gliding, but Goliath and Elisa make a cute airborne couple.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Almost a standard for a supernatural show.
    • Though the trio actually did dress up, leading to New Yorkers commenting on how awesome "costumes under [their] costumes" was.
  • Foreshadowing: Gargoyles having been planned out to a degree would foreshadow many upcoming stories. Some of which includes the "City of Stone" 4 parter and the following episode "High Noon" set up the 3 part episode "Avalon" as The Weird Sisters take control of Demona & Macbeth, as well as securing the three talismans (The Grimorum Arcanorum, The Phoenix Gate and The Eye of Odin).
    • A noticeable example is "Future Tense". While largely being a dream that wouldn't come to pass, several events have occurred in later stories and were planned.
      • According to the Word of God, Elisa's boss Chavez does have a daughter.
      • Brooklyn claims that Thailog died in Clone Wars. "The Reckoning" would have Thailog apparently meeting his death during a fight between his clan and Goliath's clan. Though he would resurface in the comic as of Gargoyles #3.
      • An adult Alex Xanatos is introduced in the dream, with the next episode showing the birth of Alex, who like his dream counterpart has the middle name Fox.
      • The clocktower was destroyed by either Xanatos or Lexington using The Xanatos Program. "Hunter's Moon, Part 3" would see the Canmores (specifically Robyn) destroying the clocktower.
      • Lexington's Halloween costume in Gargoyles #4-5 is identical to Cyber Lex.
      • Furthermore, when Brentwood chooses to join Thailog, Lexington's only objection is "You're making me look bad".
      • Additionally, Lexington will eventually go into business with Xanatos.
      • Much like Future Tense Brooklyn and Demona, their clones Malibu and Delilah look to have an interest in each other in Gargoyles #5.
      • Upon returning from his 40 year (the same amount of time that it took Goliath to return home to Manhattan in the dream), Brooklyn resembles his Future Tense counterpart with some differences (including an eyepatch on his left eye) as seen in Gargoyles Clan Building Volume 2.
      • Much like in "Future Tense", an Ultra-Pack will eventually appear.
      • Much like in they did in "Future Tense", Brooklyn and Demona would become allies in Gargoyles 2198.
      • In parallel to Cyber Lex, Gargoyles 2198 would introduce robots modeled after Lexington called LXM (Lexington Xanatos Matrix).
    • When Demona first summons Puck in "The Mirror", she says "You serve the human", referring to the fact that Owen and Puck are the same being. Other episodes would hint at the same thing, but this one was the first and most noticeable.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A variation; Vogel and Owen fit The Spock and Punch Clock Villain tropes.
  • Freudian Excuse: De-constructed with Demona, averted with Xanatos.
    • Played straight with Princess Katharine in regards to her initial treatment of the Gargoyles.
  • Friendly Enemy: Xanatos has shades of this, although Goliath usually doesn't agree
  • From Bad to Worse: Goliath's clan has been massacred at the start of the series. This was done through betrayal by his closest friend and ally, the Captain of The Guard. His mate is reduced to a pile of rubble. Then, the perpetrators fall to their death, denying him of his revenge. Then, the Magus has cursed the five survivors into stone. And then, he learned the page with counterspell was burned earlier. All alone, he choose to be cursed as well, essentially committing suicide. Fast forward to 1000 years which was actually a day later for Goliath, he learned that he and his friends are the last of their kind. He's 1000 years in the future, far away from Scotland. The Gargoyle eggs he gave to the Magus and Katherine are gone. His mate turn out to be alive, but is revealed to be a another traitor. His new benefactor lied to him and tricked him into doing dishonorable things.
  • Furry Confusion: Bronx.
  • Future Badass: "Future Tense" gives you the badass Lexington who will destroy the world!
  • Future Me Scares Me: One episode dealt with Demona going back in time and appealing to her younger self to be a huge prick and kill everyone. Demona of the past, who's still young and reasonably idealistic, refuses to believe that she could ever turn into the bitter and emotionally scarred monster in front of her.
    • Done more humorously with the Archmage and his future self in "Avalon, Part 2".
  • Gambit Pileup: Thailog causes these sometimes.
  • Gambit Roulette: Occasionally and unfortunately.
  • Genius Book Club: Pops up regularly. Fox reads Sartre and Nietzsche: Goliath reads Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. Hudson and Broadway, who start the series illiterate, want to learn to read so they can join the club.
  • Genius Bruiser: Thailog has Goliath's innate power and intelligence, but has also been given a thorough grounding in modern education (with the notable exception of moral education.)
    • Also Goliath himself considering his physical strength and his love of reading.
  • Genre-Busting: It's an epic Urban Fantasy, a sci-fi thriller set Twenty Minutes into the Future, and a gritty crime-drama. And a tribute to William Shakespeare, where Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters have prominent roles, and Macbeth kicks ass in a trenchcoat with a laser gun.
  • Genre Savvy: How Broadway was able to figure out that Elisa's Face-Heel Turn in "Protection" wasn't genuine.
  • Giant Spider: Anansi, a trickster and one of the Children of Oberon. He got that way from being able to eat every hunted animal his servant brought to him.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The gargoyles' eyes glow when they are undergoing intense emotion, mostly anger. Generally males' eyes glow white; females' eyes glow red. The clones get red eyes, too, but theirs are red even when not glowing.
    • It's actually inverted with the clones. While male gargoyles' eyes glow white and female gargoyles' glow red, the males clones' eyes glow red and the female clones' glow white.
    • There's also Fox, right before she blasted Oberon with her limited magical abilities to save her baby Alex from being taken away.
    • They can also force the state at will, and use it mostly to scare humans for fun.
    • Puck's eyes glow before some of his more seriously magic moments.
  • Golem: The subject of the episode "Golem". Features a moderately accurate retelling of the story of the Golem of Prague, as well as some of the actual Hebrew prayers used to animate and control the golem.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When Xanatos made Thailog, he wanted someone with Goliath's strength and his own worldview and intelligence. He got exactly that, and now probably wishes he did not.
    • Lampshaded in a Shout-Out/Ironic Echo. For much of the series, it's heavily implied that Xanatos' behavior is as much for his own amusement as anything else, with him gleefully quoting Frankenstein while resurrecting Coldstone. After realizing how badly he miscalculated Thailog's creation, he does so again, more straight:
    Owen Burnett: You mean that creature is still out there? It has the money, it's as powerful as Goliath, and it's smarter than you?
    David Xanatos: Owen, I think I've created a monster.
  • Good Feels Good: In "High Noon," Hudson and Broadway read a newspaper article that discusses this Aesop, and it later influences Elisa's decision to confront Demona at high noon even though she was exhausted from lack of sleep.
    • Also comes up in "Walkabout". The Pack were former mercenaries who played heroes on a TV show. When they went back to being mercenaries, Dingo realized he actually liked being considered a hero, and after splitting off from the others, he decides to try being one for real.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Macbeth in the backstory of "City of Stone" was a genuinely honest, loyal, and all-around good guy, but he misjudged Duncan's character as horribly as vice versa. This is most clearly seen when Macbeth saves Duncan's life and then expresses confidence that Duncan would have done the same for Macbeth.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: The entire Manhattan Clan, in fact they tend to win quite often because their adversaries severely underestimate their intelligence.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Goliath frequently reminds the other gargoyles that they can recover from any injury after a day's worth of stone-sleep.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Averted from the start, and it clues the audience to just how badass Xanatos is.
  • Graceful Loser: Xanatos is one of the few villains who is not personally insulted when the "good guys" choose not to sit back and let their world be re-arranged to his satisfaction. He respects the gargoyles even when he wants to kill them (which isn't very often, as he generally considers it wasteful) and has enough of a sense of humor to laugh at himself. He also has such a willingness to see the upside of his defeats that you really have to pound him with multiple losses before he gets irritated with you.
    • Of course, since he is the Trope Namer for the Xanatos Gambit, actual losses are relatively rare. It does happen now and then, but more often it just looks like a loss to other characters and in the denouement we find out that it was all according to plan.
    • This is only really averted in "Double Jeopardy," where his Thailog project Went Horribly Right, and "Cloud Fathers," where Xanatos not only loses, but (however calmly all things considered) expresses displeasure with "these minor upsets."
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Macbeth's wife Gruoch at the end of his flashback during "City Of Stone" has aged pretty gracefully throughout the years, becoming a White Hair Pretty Girl.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The gargoyles can not actually fly, they glide. Nevertheless, they do things that hurt the laws of physics.
  • Grey Goo: Named and almost occurs as a result of Xanatos' "Matrix" project.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Children of Oberon are able to produce offspring with humans by virtue of their shapeshifting ability. Fox is an example, and his character design suggests that the Magus may be another. Otherwise averted; only genetic engineering could produce a human/gargoyle hybrid like Delilah. Humans give birth, gargoyles lay eggs, and it's an issue for Goliath and Elisa.
  • Halloween Episode: "Eye of the Beholder", complete with werewolf.
  • Harmful to Minors: Many acts of violence were committed within the sight and earshot of children: Thus Katharine saw the Archmage nearly kill her father Prince Malcolm; Tom saw Constantine murder Kenneth; Macbeth saw the Hunter kill his father Findlaech; Malcolm Canmore saw Macbeth kill his father Duncan; and Robyn and Jon Canmore saw Demona kill their father Charles. The trauma of witnessing these events generally led to the predictable results.
  • Have We Met Yet?: In "M.I.A.".
  • Heartbroken Badass: Brooklyn, twice. Goliath too, when Demona turns against him. Also Macbeth, although his relationship with Demona hadn't been going on as long Goliath's. Demona herself almost immediately after, causing her to rage to the heavens as she pounded on the betrayer.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Way too many examples to cite.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Word of God states that gargoyle skin, when not in its stone sleep, feels like suede.
  • Hell Hotel: The Hotel Cabal. Made to either horribly mutilate or render it's visitors insane.
  • Heroes Unlimited: The "World Tour" arc introduced a plethora of new gargoyles and other heroes, some of whom appeared in only their introductory episodes, but others who reappeared later on.
  • Heroic Albino: The Magus.
  • Heroic Build: Goliath (and Thailog by extension). Averted with Broadway and Hudson, who both sport some paunch. Must run in the family.
    • Brooklyn also counts, though he's not nearly as bulky as Goliath, sporting a more lean and wiry frame.
    • And Dingo and Wolf from The Pack. Wolf is probably one of the strongest humans alive even before being bio-engineered into an actual wolf-human hybrid.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the comics, there was a nameless female gargoyle who was listed as "Sacrifice" in the script because she took a barrage of arrows to save her mate's life.
    • The Magus exhausts himself to death in order to protect the Avalon Clan from the Weird Sisters.
    • In the flashback during the episode "City Of Stone" Macbeth is "killed" by Canmore, and after he comes back to life due to his magical link with Demona, his wife Gruoch tells him that his son Luach has been crowned king in his place and that his supporters in the current war would be shocked to see their supposed dead king back among the living. Gruoch then tells Macbeth that he must disappear and leave Scotland forever in order for his son to win the war. Macbeth sadly agrees, and right before he does he says to her "I will always love you." If leaving your family and country for the greater good doesn't count for this trope, I don't know what does.
      • The Tear Jerker is even worse if you know what happens to Gruoch after Macbeth leaves. According to Greg Weisman, after Canmore had defeated Luach, Gruoch returns home to see that her son and father had both died in battle. Out of grief for losing her entire family, like many Shakespearean characters, she tragically commits suicide and dies a broken woman.
  • He's Back: Coldstone officially rejoined the Manhattan Clan at the conclusion of "Clan-Building", with Coldfire in tow.
    • Though it's doubtful that he was ever really gone, Xanatos proved that prison hadn't dulled his skills in "The Edge". Donating the Eye of Odin to the museum, framing Goliath for its theft, then goading him into unknowingly fighting him in his new Power Armor. Just to prove to himself that he hadn't lost his edge.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: For only being in one episode together, Arthur and Sir Griff develop and foreshadow a most spectacular bromance.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • Rather literally for New Olympus. Avalon is a deserted Hidden Elf Village until the Magus leads his exiles there.
    • The World Tour arc reveals that there are a few clans outside Manhattan, living in secret - these include London and the Amazon. The Ishimura colony is a variation in that local humans are in on The Masquerade.
  • The High Queen: Lady Titania.
  • Hired Guns: Macbeth first appears as one of these, but he's Only in It for the Money because if he captured the gargoyles for free then Xanatos would become suspicious.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Greg Weisman has repeatedly stated that Demona is her own worst enemy. In fact her password is alone
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Subverted with Macbeth. Duncan is the obvious villain, not Macbeth. While this inverts the story as William Shakespeare did it, he himself played with history to make it more appealing to King James — the historical Macbeth wasn't, and Duncan overthrew the previous leader to win the crown in the first place.
    • This is, however, played straight with Gillecomgain and Constantine. Gillecomgain's case is more minor since his murder of Findlaech really happened in real life, but Constantine is made a manipulative bastard, especially in his appearance in the comics.
  • Hold the Line: An example in the very first episode. "Stand fast! We can hold them back! ... In a few more minutes the sun will be down, and then we'll see some fun..."
  • Holier Than Thou: Demona's mad, genocidal schemes to rid the world of evil (meaning humans), her failure to see any evil in herself, and the name that she chose for her human alias (Dominique Destine, being French for "divine destiny") reinforce the idea that Demona is "holier than thou."
    • The extremity of her attitude becomes apparent in "The Mirror". She orders a captured Puck to get rid of all the humans in Manhattan. In typical Puck fashion he does so... by changing them into Gargoyles. She completely overlooks the significance that this ability could have to her stated goal of 'saving' gargoyle-kind: she's merely infuriated that Puck is "giving them the gift of being a gargoyle."
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Jackal and Hyena.
  • Honor Before Reason: In his introductory episode, Macbeth chooses to wait patiently for the gargoyles to wake up rather than just stealing their statues while they're asleep, despite knowing this will lead to a difficult fight. He similarly refuses to smash them in "High Noon."
    • The title is even a Call Back; in his intro in "Enter Macbeth" Elisa warns of just that: "What if the next freak-job Xanatos hires comes here with a sledge-hammer at High Noon?"
  • Hot Witch: The Weird Sisters Phoebe, Selene, and Luna fall under this trope so very much. Demona also falls under this category considering her magical abilities.
    • The Weird Sisters aren't such Hot Witches to Duncan and Macbeth (who see them as old hags) or to the Manhattan Clan (who see them as Creepy Children).
  • Humans Are Flawed: This is how the show portrays the human race. Yeah, there are a lot of humans who are bastards to each other and other races, and some of them are actually prominent villains, but a lot of them turn to the good side, and there are plenty of human characters like Tom, Elisa Maza, and Jeffrey Robbins, who are heroic characters that make quick friends to the gargoyles. Demona believes all Humans Are Bastards, and she is determined to convince the Manhattan Clan to join her in her goals to wipe out the race, but the fact she's an insane megalomaniac who basically started the humans versus gargoyles conflict in the first place only proves to once again discredit the belief that humanity is evil. To put it shortly, humans aren't inherently any better or any worse than the world's other sentient species, they're just the most common.
  • Humans Need Aliens: Without Goliath's clan intervention humanity would have been long gone extinct, specially from Demona's genocide tendencies.
  • Humiliation Conga: Taro gets one at the end of "Bushido". He created a gargoyle theme with the Ishimura clan as the main attraction. Elisa foiled his plan and the gargoyles left the park without being noticed. Guest reporters came in and find Taro humiliated hung in a robot gargoyle's hand only to clumsily fall down. Elisa and Hiroshi then make up wild stories of gargoyles, effectively destroying Taro's credibility. Not to mention this will result in a huge loss of investment.
  • The Hunter: Gillecomgain, Duncan, Canmore, and most of Duncan's and Canmore's descendants, against gargoyles (or "demons").
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In "The Thrill of the Hunt," although the game in question is gargoyles rather than humans.

    Tropes I-L 
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Xanatos. "It's alive! Aliiiive!"
  • I Call It Vera: Vinnie names his bazooka "Mr. Carter" and tries to get revenge against the gargoyles for the bad things that happened to him in his life. He actually shoots a banana cream pie from Mr. Carter at Goliath's face and says they're even.
  • Idiot Ball: In a Season 2 Very Special Episode, Hudson manages to track down Macbeth and the Scrolls of Merlin after Macbeth introduces himself to Hudson's blind author friend Robbins as Lennox MacDuff. This alias is uncovered when Robbins realizes that Lennox and MacDuff are two characters from the Shakespeare play "Macbeth". He then tracks down Macbeth by looking up his alias (his alias!!) in the Phone Book. And finding it! Along with an ADDRESS!!
    • "MacDuff" is apparently a Professor well known enough to be invited to a televised debate on gargoyles during the only canon episode of the third season.
    • "I'm a brilliant criminal mastermind who runs intellectual circles around all my enemies. What am I going to do? I'm going to make someone who's just as clever and selfish as me but with the super-strength of a gargoyle!"
    • Keep in mind what Xanatos's main redeeming quality is- he's loyal to his family. Gargoyles are implied to be pretty much hardwired to be loyal to whoever they consider to be their clan. Xanatos probably figured that someone who combined traits from him and Goliath would therefore be quite loyal to his creators, even if he was selfish and ambitious otherwise. Unfortunately for him, Thailog got most of his fathers' bad qualities (Goliath's temper and vengefulness, Xanatos's amorality and ambition) without their good ones (Goliath's strong sense of honor and morality, Xanatos's aforementioned familial loyalty). Also note that it puts him off the "personal gargoyle" idea for good- he never tries a fresh attempt at that one after Thailog turns on him.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Played with: Elisa warns Goliath that he will be just like Demona if he kills Xanatos.
    • Nobody said that the Canmores who tried so hard to kill Demona had become just like Demona herself, but it wasn't necessary; Jon Canmore's Call Back at the end of "Hunter's Moon" made it pretty obvious. ("What have I... What have THEY done to you?" Demona first said those exact same words in "City of Stone.")
  • Ignored Epiphany: Demona lives and breathes this trope. Ignoring the truth behind all the death and destruction she has caused is probably the only way she can continue to function. Although she does it several times, the most notable is in the "City of Stone" arc.
    Demona: You tricked me! You had me under a spell! None of this was my fault, it was the humans! Always the humans!
    Goliath: [sighs] You have learned nothing.
  • I Have No Daughter: Said by Demona when Angela tries to explain their relationship, though in this case, it's because Demona honestly believes her and Goliath's child should be dead by now.
    • Not really the case since Thailog revealed that Demona knew Angela was her daughter before staging her capture. Angela in turn pulls an inverted on Demona after realizing that she tried to manipulate her into turning on Goliath and her Clan.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Sevarius acts this way towards Angela when she's his captive in "Monsters", playing with her hair when the Xanatos goons first wheel her out on a gurney, and strokes her chin right before he drags her behind his sub as bait.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: ...just doing her job as a police detective, according to Elisa in "High Noon."
  • Immortality Seeker: Xanatos plans to become immortal, though he is not feeling particularly urgent about it yet.
  • Impossible Task: Many spells in the Grimorum Arcanorum have these as conditions. Mortal/Human magic has to be cast with a certain condition that makes it possible to nullify/reverse, so generally, most spellcasters simply create their spells under escape conditions that would generally seem to be impossible.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Played with. In Africa, Goliath and co falls at the end of waterfall. Goliath saved Elisa, but Angela and Bronx slammed into them and they all fall in the drink.
  • Ingesting Knowledge: The Archmage gains the power of the Tome of Eldritch Lore, not by reading it, but by EATING it. Of course, he was absorbing its power as a magical artifact as well as knowledge of the spells it contained. (When he lost the Eye of Odin, the book gave him serious indigestion.)
  • Ink-Suit Actor: David Xanatos looks just like Jonathan Frakes. Coincidence, as the character design was settled on before the actor was cast... or maybe that's just what they want you to think.
    • Elisa Maza's final design, however, was deliberately (and closely) based on her voice actress Salli Richardson.
  • Instant Expert: Within a surprisingly short amount of time after awakening, Lexington becomes skilled enough with computers to qualify as the show's Hollywood Hacker. Not as "instant" as most IE's, but in real-life terms he's a very fast learner.
    • The more dramatic version (apparently forced upon by Executive Meddling motivated by merchandise) is when Lexington repaired and modified a helicopter in the first season. That's right: Only one night for repairing an almost completely wrecked helicopter and even improving and "gargoyleing" its design!
    • Also alluded to when Lex builds a motorcycle. Brooklyn asks him what took so long, since he rode one before, and Lexington snaps back, "You've ridden a horse before, does that mean you could build one from spare parts?"
  • Interspecies Romance: Goliath and Elisa.
    • Demona's and Macbeth's relationship was also implied to contain some romantic tension, before paranoia and treachery turned them against each other. In fact, Word of God says that Demona is the equivalent of Lady Macbeth, notwithstanding Macbeth's marriage to Gruoch.
    • In the comics continuity, this seems to be implied for Thailog and Shari, as a sort of Evil Counterpart couple to Goliath and Elisa.
    • Also planned for the New Olympians spin-off. And don't forget the Third Race.
      • Word of God says that the New Olympians themselves are the result of this between the Third Race and humans.
  • In the Blood: Goliath is terrified that Angela is going to turn out like her mother Demona.
  • It's All About Me: Xanatos and Demona have this mindset to attempt to justify their actions. Though granted, Demona has lived long enough and made enough enemies that sometimes, it really is about her...
  • It's a Long Story: Brooklyn returning to Manhattan after his forty-year ordeal with the Phoenix Gate, now with wife Katana, son Nashville, kid-on-the-way "Egwardo," and gargoyle beast Fu-Dog. Only time will tell if TimeDancer actually becomes a successful spinoff.
  • It's Always Spring: Averted. Episodes "Her Brother's Keeper," "Reawakening," and "The Price" have it snow in New York, and they're not Christmas episodes. However, these are the only snow days we see in the Big Apple.
    • It's hard to judge with everything playing out at night, but the regular storms and long nights suggest it's perhaps closer to always autumn instead. A show about monsters has to find some way to keep the atmosphere dark...
  • It's Personal: The original Hunter's vendetta against Demona.
  • Irony: The Captain's loyalty lay with the gargoyles in Castle Wyvern rather than with the Scots, but his betrayal of the Scots led to the destruction of the gargoyle clan.
    • This concept is even referenced in "M.I.A." when Goliath says that human problems often become gargoyle problems.
    • Practically everything Duncan did in the backstory of "City of Stone" was an example of Situational (or Expectational) Irony. Findlaech's death was supposed to prevent Macbeth from becoming king, but instead it indirectly led to Macbeth becoming king. Gillecomgain's marriage to Gruoch was supposed to provoke Macbeth into committing treason, but instead he suffered in silence. The attack on Demona's cave was supposed to prevent Macbeth and the gargoyles from making an alliance; they wouldn't have made that alliance, if Duncan hadn't attacked that cave...
    • Robyn Canmore, who along with her older brother Jason decided to give up the hunt against "The Demon", still wears the red-striped Hunter's Mask and calls herself a Hunter in Bad Guys. Jon Canmore, who never gave up the hunt for the Demon and all other gargoyles, no longer wears the striped Hunter's Mask (though he does wear the plain Quarryman's mask) and no longer calls himself a Hunter or even a Canmore.
  • Jackass Genie: "The Mirror" has Puck subverting this trope when he deliberately misconstrues Demona's wishes, not only to screw with her, but to avoid having to kill every human in the city.
  • The Jailer: One episode turns Goliath into this when he uses The Eye of Odin to become a Physical God. The best way to "protect his friends" is to seal them in a cave for the rest of time. Nothing can get to them there.
    • Apparently Goliath either forgot about basic ecology during his perusal of Xanatos' library, or he simply just does not consider deep dark squiggly things in caves as worrisome as wars that may never happen anyway (as he could have always simply prevented them in other ways...)
  • Joe Sent Me: The password to get through the gate to Demona's mansion is "Oberon sent me."
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: In the first story arc, Xanatos nearly gets the Gargoyles killed several times over by hiring a mercenary squad to attack them, building a force of killer winged robots that level half of their castle, and manipulating them into breaking into a rival corporation's facilities. In the end, he gets sent to prison (for only six months, at that) for "Receiving Stolen Goods" after he's found with the technology that he had the Gargoyles steal.
  • Karma Houdini: Most of the Children of Oberon (like the Weird Sisters, Raven, Anansi and Oberon) that antagonize the Manhattan Clan are never given any comeuppance. The only ones who are punished in any way are Banshee and Puck, and they're both punished for completely different reasons.
    • Xanatos, though Word of God is that Karma did in fact catch up to Xanatos: All that arrogance, had to receive some comeuppance. (Can anyone say Oberon?)
  • Karmic Death
  • Karmic Transformation: Demona becoming human during the day.
  • Key Under the Doormat: Sort of; Matt keeps a spare key above the door-frame.
  • Keystone Army: A well-guarded amulet is the "key" to their survival. If it's destroyed, they die the next day.
  • Kick the Dog: It was not enough for Oberon to go after everyone because he is a megalomaniac. No, he is going after everyone because he wants to kidnap a newborn infant. And he put all the humans in New York asleep, likely killing hundreds of innocent people as their cars crashed.
    • Xanatos, in "Metamorphosis", after intentionally irreversibly changing Elisa's little brother Derek into a mutate, and cleverly framing Goliath and his clan for doing so. Then in "The Cage", when Derek learns the truth, Xanatos also goes the extra mile to twist that knife just a little bit harder by adding, "he's [Sevarius] the doctor. You're just the experiment."
    • From Weisman's ramble on "City of Stone" there's a rather amusing side-note on the use of this trope for Gillecomgain:
      Gruoch seems cold to her new husband Gillecomgain. We wonder if we should feel some sympathy for a man who has married a woman who loves another. We wonder if he has feelings for her as he gently takes up the rose she was sniffing. But then he crushes it underfoot, so basically we feel okay about hating him again.
      Erin asked: "Why'd he step on it?"
      And I didn't want to answer, because the writers are trying to manipulate you.
    • In the same episode, Demona had cast a spell all over Manhattan that resulted in all humans who've heard it to turn to stone at night, which she then proceeds to shatter as many as she could with extreme prejudice. Killing people is bad enough, but killing people who couldn't even see, move, or even realize they're being killed is just crossing the line.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: Sevarius in "The Cage". Unusual in that it's the good guys resorting to abduction and coercion. Not that it works, anyway...
  • Killed Off for Real: Poor Magus.
    • All goon squad members, except Bruno.
    • Findlaech, Gillecomgain, Duncan,, and many versions of the Hunter were killed by Demona.
    • Also Hakon who is literally Deader than Dead.
  • King Arthur: Everyone shows up in Gargoyles.
  • King in the Mountain: King Arthur, natch.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: In the flashbacks in "City of Stone," there seemed to be something like this: Although Duncan clearly had the most legitimate claim to the throne as the son of the king, Macbeth's potential claim as the king's nephew would be only slightly less legitimate; and Macbeth's father Findlaech, though not of royal blood, had plenty of popular support and could have been a Kingmaker for Macbeth. Fearing this, Duncan had Findlaech assassinated, not knowing that Findlaech was loyal to Duncan and never would have used his influence to make Macbeth king, or that Findlaech's assassination on Duncan's orders would eventually lead to Macbeth becoming king anyway.
  • Knight Templar: The Hunters and Quarrymen. It's understandable if they want to kill the genocidal Demona, but they are just as hate-filled and genocidal as she is.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In the tenth episode of Season 1, the (red) leader of the Steel Clan , after seeing that its comrades were destroyed by Goliath and his clan, decided to retreat. It turns out that the red Steel Gargoyle was Xanatos in a prototype battle exo-frame.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Even the most powerful gargoyle is helpless during the day.
    • Not Demona. On the other hand, she has her own Kryptonite Factor: any deadly wound inflicted on her by Macbeth... or inflicted on Macbeth by her.
    • All of the fair folk and gods are vulnerable to (wrought?) iron.
  • Lady Macbeth: Ironically, it's not the actual Lady Macbeth. It's Demona, and for Goliath as well as Macbeth (not at the same time). Subverted with Thailog; Goliath's first thought is that she's manipulating him, but it's actually the other way around.
  • Large Ham: Sevarius, who despite being quite sane (as far as mad scientists go, which admittedly is not saying a lot) still affects the mannerisms of a cliché psychopath because he finds them so much fun. (Well, he is voiced by Tim Curry.) Thailog has his hammy moments, a trait straight from Sevarius.
    • "Oberon does not act- Oberon HAMS!"
    • Don't forget Fang - voiced by James freakin' Belushi:
      "Take a look at me, Al. Do I look like the kinda guy who can waltz into a store and PLUNK DOWN CHANGE FOR A PACK OF BUBBLEGUM?!?! WELL, DO I, AL?!?! DO IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII?!?!"
    • Goliath has his moments as well:
      "I've been denied everything... EVEN MY REVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENGE!!"
      "Gargoyles don't whine. They ROOOOOAAAAR!"
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Brooklyn gets a bit of this. Near the middle of the first season (in "Temptation"), he was responsible for Goliath becoming mind-controlled by Demona. Near the end of the second season (in "Possession"), he learns firsthand what it's like to be mind-controlled by a malevolent gargoyle. And in "Turf," he's particularly eager to have an "Avalon World Tour" of his own after Angela tells him about the 15 female gargoyles in the Avalon Clan... and later the Phoenix sends him on a "world tour" of sorts...
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Lexington and Brooklyn usually lose their tempers and charge in without a plan when facing the Pack and Demona respectively.
  • Legacy Character: The Hunter.
  • LEGO Genetics: This seems to be responsible for gargoyle physical variation, and is also used to create the mutates.
  • Leitmotif: Macbeth has a distinct bagpipe theme reflecting his Scottish ancestry. Puck has one with flutes. A brief scene with Puck's theme playing over Owen is the first real hint to his true identity.
  • Licensed Game: For the Sega Genesis. It has Goliath, the Vikings, the 1000-year sleep to New York, The Steel Clan, and the Eye of Odin and Demona, but those are really the only things solidly tying it to the Gargoyles universe. The game itself was rather good, yet somewhat bland and empty.
  • Limited Animation: The episodes by AKOM, Animal Ya and Hanho Heung-Up to some extent.
  • Limited Wardrobe
    • Quite strange considering the amount of money the big antagonist players throw around...
  • Literal Genie: Puck pulls this in "The Mirror" when he feels like jerking Demona around.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: A very popular way to kill gargoyles. Demona did this to a number of humans in "City of Stone".
  • A Load of Bull: Taurus, of course.
    • Minotaurs still exist in modern times. They live on New Olympus.
  • Loin Cloth: Typical gargoyle wear, at least in Scotland.
  • Logic Bomb: In Temptation, near the end of the episode Goliath is still under the spell Demona casts on him that forces him to obey anyone who holds the spell. Eliza manages to undo it by ordering him to live for the rest of his life exactly as he would as if he was not under a spell. Whether it was that this instruction was followed or that the cyclic logic breaks the effect, Goliath is restored to normal.
  • Loophole Abuse: "Did you say, that human or that human? Oh, never mind, I'll figure it out." Puck, for the ENTIRETY of his introductory episode.
    • Puck lives and breathes Loophole Abuse. Oberon curses him so he can only use magic to teach or defend Alex. Xanatos wants Puck to use his magic to help Coldstone. Puck arranges for a 'lesson' for Alex that just so happens to get Xanatos's goals accomplished. He also gets in a little fun along the way...
  • Love Dodecahedron: Goliath was initially mated to Demona. After the Massacre and the curse on Goliath, Demona left Castle Wyvern, hooked up with Macbeth and became Synchronized with him. (Macbeth, by the way, had married his childhood sweetheart Gruoch, who was once married to Gillecomgain and may have had his baby.) Then, some 975 years later, Goliath was de-cursed and made friends with Elisa.
    • It gets even more complicated in the comics.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Xanatos is on plan D when he tries to help Fox in "Eye of the Beholder". That normally does not happen to him. (Also note that plan D is, er, "ask my enemies nicely if they would be willing to help me out.")
    • Xanatos' Plan D wasn't entirely successful either, since Goliath initially refused his request. (So his Plan E was even more desperate than Plan D: "Plant another tracker on Goliath, stay within earshot of him, and wait for him to change his mind.")
  • Love Triangle: The Magus, Katharine, and Tom. Also a minor one between Finella, King Kenneth II, and Constantine III.
    • Goliath, Demona, and Elisa, according to Word of God.
      • Plus Coldstone, Coldfire, and Coldsteel.
      • Despite Macbeth's marriage to Gruoch, Demona also saw herself in one of these with them until her betrayal.
      • There was also a Love Square between Angela, Broadway, Brooklyn, and Lexington for a short period of time. Broadway eventually wins in the end.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: A rare case of this trope by Word of God only: Greg Weisman confirmed fan suspicions that Coldstone is Gabriel's father and that Hudson is Broadway's father. However, given gargoyles' instinctively collective parenting, neither would treat that revelation with much interest anyway.
    • Gabriel, having been "Raised by Wolves," in this case humans, probably would, actually. After all, his rookery sister Angela was.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The reveal of Angela's lineage.
    • Also Fox realizing her relation to Queen Titania.

    Tropes M-P 
  • Made of Iron: The first time we see Goliath transform he stops a sword with his bare hand, and gets only a minor scratch to show for it.
    • Bolstered by the gargoyle's healing sleep, this means that only severe injuries last more than a few days.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: All over the place.
  • Magical Land: Avalon and the New Olympian Island.
  • Magic Mirror: Titania's Mirror (used in "The Mirror") and its twin, Oberon's Mirror (used in "The Gathering").
  • Magic Pants: Any item that a gargoyle considers theirs turns to stone with them. Items they are holding but do not own remain intact (which happens occasionally and seems odd if you do not know there is a rule). Lexington's wings would not normally allow for a loincloth and belt, but according to Word of God his wings are pierced. The official explanation? A Wizard Did It (Specifically, a wizard acting on behalf of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, who had strong moral values and was offended by the fact that the gargoyles always lost their clothes when they turned to stone and back).
    • Furthermore, Said wizard is confirmed by Word of God to have been the first person to combine the powers of The Grimorum, The Eye of Odin and The Phoenix Gate.
    • Averted when Fox briefly became a werewolf. Elisa had to rip off her skirt to use as a blanket for her when she turned back to human.
  • Mama Bear: Fox in "The Gathering" and Demona in "The Reckoning".
    • Not to mention Princess Katherine in later episodes.
      • Then in the comics, Brooklyn's mate Katana becomes one of these.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Xanatos and Thailog are the obvious examples. Demona has a manipulative streak as well, but tends to shoot herself in the foot (metaphorically speaking) at inconvenient moments.
    • Lexington in "Future Tense." Basically engineering the destruction of nearly his entire clan and all major allies and enslaving New York using a digital doppelganger of Xanatos eliminated all sympathy he'd have naturally engendered in his current state. BTW, "Was it a dream or a prophecy?" How big a mindjob is that!?
  • The Masochism Tango
  • Masquerade: The Manhattan Clan manages to keep from being recognized as real for most of the series — until it is abruptly broken in the penultimate canon episode when the Hunters expose their existence to the world. And there is no going back while the human population goes into a panic.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam
  • May-December Romance: Tom and Katharine; she is about ten years older than he. But him going out to walk the earth every now and then probably helped him catch up to her.
    • The Magus was also in love with Katharine, and he was an adult when she was still a child. But unfortunately for him she never knew how he felt, apparently seeing him at most as a surrogate brother figure.
  • Meaningful Name: Goliath, a proud warrior who fights his foes honorably, has a nemesis named "David" who manipulates his enemies through careful strategy. One can see the irony there...
    • Though supposedly chosen at random, a few of the Gargoyles' New York-themed names reflect their personalities.
      • Broadway, named after New York's theater district, is big, brash, and obsessed with entertainment. And, well, the guy is wide.
      • Brooklyn, named after a working-class borough with a reputation for grittiness, is the cool, tough-talking member of the team.
      • Lexington, named after one of the busiest streets in downtown Manhattan, is the smart, savvy one—and he eventually becomes a businessman.
    • Angela and Demona, the former is angelic in nature and the latter demonic to the core. Hard to believe they're related.
      • More than that: Goliath originally called Demona his "Angel of the Night." Demona's name literally reflects the fact that she's fallen from grace, into her own personal Hell (although the real reason she was named Demona is because "You fight like a demon!" and the humans who gave her that name didn't know about her history or her fall from grace).
    • Dracon's second-in-command is called Glasses and he wears..., well, glasses.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Steel Clan and the various incarnations of the robot Coyote.
  • Mega Corp.: David Xanatos and Halcyon Renard both run them, which gives them access to plenty of cool technology. In keeping with the show's Twenty Minutes into the Future setting, their companies wouldn't seem out of place in a William Gibson novel.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: In the comics, Constantine, who was a mentor to Gillecomgain, and who wore facepaint inspired by the latter's scars, was killed in battle
  • Merchandise-Driven: A few instances. Weisman was particularly critical of the Gargoyle-Copter that he was required to include at least once (it was promptly never shown, used, or mentioned again.)
  • Merlin and Nimue: Certain flashbacks establish the Archmage and Demona as having this relationship in the backstory.
  • Meta Origin: Most gods and figures from mythology and legends either originated or descended from Avalon.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Xanatos for a good chunk of Season 1.
    • And Tony Dracon in "Turf".
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • The people turned into "mutates" (combined with various animal genes), including Elisa's brother.
    • Delilah (a mostly gargoyle GMO, with a pinch of human DNA).
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Delilah in Season 2, and "Little Anton," in Season 3. Also, see above.
  • Mob War: The basis for the episode "Turf".
  • Mock Guffin: Mace Malone's stolen diamonds in "The Silver Falcon."
  • The Mole: Matt's old partner Martin Hacker for the Illuminati.
  • Monster Modesty: Most gargoyles don't feel the need to wear much more than small strips of fabric.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Fox's parents. Oh, boy, are they.
  • Motivational Lie: Xanatos used a whole series of these to get Derek Maza to work for him, to believe that it was Goliath's fault that Derek was mutated into the pseudo-gargoyle Talon, and then get Talon to remain loyal to him as a bodyguard who can potentially defeat Goliath. When Talon finally finds out the truth, he's pissed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Many female characters, but Demona, The Weird Sisters, Hyena as a cyborg, and Angela in the comics are the most prominent examples.
    • Let's not forget Delilah, a sexy Mix-and-Match Critter of Demona and Elisa that calls Thailog "Master." It's implied she was created entirely for Thailog's gratification, and we all know what that means.
  • Mundane Utility: "In The Green," it's seen that out of all the robotics Hyena could possibly incorporate into his body, it's seen he also has a hair drier installed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Purposely invoked several times (Goliath has one after donning the Eye of Odin). Oddly Xanatos himself has one after his first failure that wasn't a Xanatos Gambit or even a Gambit Roulette in Thailog:
    Xanatos: Owen, I think I created a monster.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: David Xanatos, Demona, and especially Fox Renard.
  • Never My Fault: Demona and John Canmore may be on opposite sides, but they both have a real problem taking responsibility. Xanatos and Thailog avert this, willing to admit their mistakes in the unlikely event that they actually make one.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Averted, the 23rd Precinct is in the same building as a public library. They are apparently connected at the base of the clocktower the gargoyles live in for most of the series.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted to hell (Hey, Xanatos said it) and back. "Die," "Kill," "Murder" and all appropriate permutations are used as required, and the characters do not shy away from doing what they are talking about, either.
    • "Grief", in particular, is one giant showcase of the word.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted; both Demona and the Archmage interact with their past selves with no ill effects (hell, the Archmage rescued himself from death). But then, all time travel is a Stable Time Loop in this series.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Y'know, Jon Canmore's turn to evil might have been avoided if Goliath had kept his vengeful, murderous rage in check and not acted in a way that basically confirmed what Jon was thinking of his kind.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: The Pack were apparantly this in a live action TV show, before turning into (in-universe) real life villains.
  • No Doubt The Years Have Changed Me: Between Goliath and Demona in "Awakening" (Part 4 and 5).
    Demona: The centuries have made you weak, Goliath.

    Goliath: You said the centuries have changed me. They've changed you, too. You've become hard, unforgiving. You're not as I remember you.
  • No Man of Woman Born: The only one who can kill Macbeth permanently is Demona, a female gargoyle. Gargoyles are hatched, not born.
  • No One Could Survive That: Played straight in "The Price" when the gargoyles see Macbeth explode. Subverted in "Shadows of the Past" when the reincarnated ghosts of Hakon and the Captain are trapped in a collapsing magical structure, Elisa says "No one could survive that," and in fact, they didn't. (They became ghosts again, and the Captain "passed on.")
  • No Swastikas: Averted in "M.I.A." Swastikas can be seen on the Nazi bomber planes, however, the Iron Cross and the Skull and Crossbones are easier to spot.
  • Noir Episode: "The Silver Falcon" and "Revelations."
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Children of Oberon aren't actually Oberon's children, they're his royal subjects and fellow species-members. Oberon just calls them that 'cause he's paternalistic.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Addressed; gargoyles are an egg-laying species, but have also been specifically defined as nursing their young. (Word of God calls them "Gargates", which conceivably could be a Sub-Order or a Family of monotremes, the larger Order of egg-producing mammals.) Children of Oberon can look like whatever they want.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Hudson at least says "lass" and "laddie," but Goliath sounds about as Scottish as I do.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: As much as "Hunter's Moon" is intended to serve as a Grand Finale if necessary, the producers were hoping the series could continue, but with the proviso that the Clan can never hide their existence in New York again.
  • Not Me This Time: David Xanatos was behind so much of the Gargoyles' troubles, that Brooklyn and especially Talon assumed he was responsible for Goliath and Elisa's disappearance.
    • And Elisa assumed that he was responsible for Demona's theft of DI-7 from his own warehouses in "Hunter's Moon."
    • And when the Scrolls of Merlin are stolen, the gargoyles immediately assume Xanatos was behind it, when Macbeth was really responsible.
  • Not Quite Flight: Gargoyles don't fly, they glide. Still, they do a lot of aerobatic stunts that would make you think otherwise.
  • Not So Different: Demona and Jon Castaway after the latter's Face-Heel Turn. Jason and Robyn Canmore were not so different from Demona either, until their Heel-Face Turn.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Xanatos' assistant Owen Burnett seems like an uptight dweeb — but he's an immortal magical creature who lives to Punk humans. However, he is bound by his word and must remain in his present form and job for the duration. Eventually he becomes nearly as harmless as he appears due to Oberon's decree, which prevents him from using his magic offensively. It's also shown that he's a master martial artist in his own right, quite capable of asskicking and even holding his own against gargoyles on occasion.
  • Not Worth Killing: Gillecomgain seemed to have this attitude towards Macbeth in 1020, as he seemed pretty nonchalant in informing Duncan that Macbeth still lived. (In 1032, Gillecomgain had more serious reasons for not killing Macbeth.) Canmore definitely had this attitude towards Gruoch. And when Xanatos had the Manhattan Clan cornered in "The Edge" and could have had them all wiped out, he instead let them flee.
  • Odd Name Out: Talon! Fang! Claw! ... Maggie!
  • Official Couple: Elisa and Goliath, Broadway and Angela, Talon and Maggie and, if you follow the comics, Katana and Brooklyn.
  • Off Model: Several episodes, with Wang's "Enter Macbeth" and Hong Ying's "Monsters"note  being by far the worst offenders.
    • "Monsters" was probably much worse in terms of graphics. For one, it had Angela awaken, but instead of the stone breaking off her, it simply fades, with stone shards appearing around her out of nowhere.
    • "Awakening Part 3" has a slightly different look than the other four parts.
    • This is in play largely because of outsourcing to various animation houses (like with many fellow Disney shows), including some they hadn't worked with before (Hong Ying) and some they haven't worked with since (AKOM).note .
    • Also the third season episode "Seeing Isn't Believing", though it makes up for it with incredibly fluid animation.
  • Oh Crap: "The Gathering Part 1" has Owen display shock and fear upon learning that Anastasia Reynard has remarried her first husband, warning Puck that Oberon has returned to Titania and started the Gathering.
    • Also Xanatos at the end of "Double Jeopardy" when he realizes that Thailog is probably still alive.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Hudson vs David. And, if you want to get technical, all the gargoyles are over 1000 years old, while Xanatos is in his late 30s-early 40s.
  • Older than They Look: All gargoyles age half as quickly as humans, by virtue of the fact that they do not age when they are in stone sleep, and that is 12 hours a day on average. The Manhattan Clan and Demona are much, much Older Than They Look, the former because they were cursed to sleep for a thousand years, the latter because of Synchronization with Macbeth. Oh, and Macbeth is also older than he looks.
    • Their slower aging also has less of an effect on their physiology compared to humans. In one episode, both Angela and Goliath are magically aged extremely rapidly but surprise the episode's bad guys by demonstrating that even decrepit gargoyles are capable of impressive physical feats relative to what a human in the same condition would be capable of (a gargoyle seems to FEEL maybe half their already slowed age, so it's almost like 1/4 aging really).
  • One Myth to Explain Them All: All of the Pagan gods of yore (yes, all of them) were various Children of Oberon, as perceived by primitive humans. That includes the gods of Ancient Egypt and Scandinavia, and the fairies of English folklore. The New Olympians were the origin of a lot of Greek mythology, although Word of God says that they were created by Children of Oberon breeding with humans.
  • One Steve Limit: Duncan's son, first introduced in "City of Stone," was supposed to be called Malcolm (just like in the play by Shakespeare), but because there was a different Prince Malcolm in the previous episode ("Vows"), they instead used his nickname, Canmore, to avoid confusion. The same goes for Maol Chalvim - there's a lot of Malcolms in the Scottish royal family.
  • One-Winged Angel: Banshee of the Third Race deserves mention. Sure she looks like a gaunt woman in a tattered green dress with long purple hair and pale bluish-purple skin, but piss her off, and she will turn into the Cromm-Cruach, a large cross between a dragon and a larva with squeletical face.
    • Averted with "Coyote" - "Cloud Fathers" has Xanatos pit Coyote the robot against Coyote the trickster.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Pack, although some of their real names have been revealed. Fox's real name is Janine Reynard and Dingo's real name is Harry Monmouth.
    • Fang's real name is also revealed, that being Fred Sykes. Claw's real name, though, continues to remain a mystery.
    • Canmore, largely because of the One Malcolm Limit.
    • Tony Dracon's right hand man was referred to simply as Glasses, and his real name was never mentioned.
  • Opening Narration: In season 2.
  • Opposites Attract Revenge: Demona's fling with Thailog is one of these.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "Future Tense." "Was it a dream? Or a prophecy?" (See foreshadowing above for some details) While some events have actually occured in some fashion, some that occured in passing would be unlikely or were made up by Puck to deliver further explanations to Goliath.
    • While Puck knew of Thailog through working with Xanatos as Owen, he was unaware that Thailog and Demona hooked up, thus Brooklyn's sudden comment about him dying in the Clone Wars.
    • Demona can only be killed by Macbeth and should be unable to be killed by Xanatos.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock
  • Out-Gambitted: Ironically applied to David Xanatos with Thailog's betrayal in his first appearance.
    • Hudson manages one in "The Price" by hiding a shard of his stone skin in his clothes to use as a knife, then stabbing the robot, kicking Xanatos into a column, and warding off Owen with his reclaimed sword. Xanatos is so impressed, he lets him go.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Macbeth's first introduction and his origin story make his goals clear: He seeks Demona's death, both for vengeance and also to give himself peace after millennia of wandering the Earth. However, in two episodes, for no given reason, he is instead seeking ultimate power through connections to Arthurian legend. First he tries to steal scrolls rumored to contained Merlin's spells, which instead contain Merlin's personal diary (Whose story have a magic all their own...), and then he tries to steal Excalibur itself from an awakened Arthur. In both episodes he has two henchmen who are not seen in any other episodes, and in no other episodes does he make reference to questing for ultimate power, nor in these episodes does he make any reference to his vendetta against Demona. Word of God says that Macbeth wanted to use Merlin's spells against Demona (which also explains why he wanted to test them against another gargoyle). Given that Demona had magic of her own, this is understandable. It doesn't explain his desire to claim Excalibur, though; Macbeth had given up his vendetta against Demona by then. However, becoming the new "One True King" could have given his life, and immortality, some meaning again.
    • Demona has a few Out of Character Moments in the backstory of "City of Stone," such as when she chose to save Macbeth and Gruoch rather than pursue vengeance against Gillecomgain in 1020, and when she honored Macbeth's wish to spare Canmore's life in 1040. On the other hand, this is only out of character for after she crossed the Moral Event Horizon, which she may not have done until 1057.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "Sentinel". Though the show does have sci-fi elements, this episode crossed into full-on Space Opera territory, complete with alien warriors and references to a massive intergalactic war...which was never mentioned again. Word of God says that this was meant to be a setup for a far-future spinoff, Gargoyles 2198, that never came to fruition in the end.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: The titular Banshee.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Invoked with Xanatos and Fox. Xanatos tells Fox he loves because she's one of the few people in the world as smart as him.
  • Papa Wolf: Goliath, plain and simple. In the episode "Hunter's Moon" Angela is nearly killed by the hunters who confuse her for Demona, and Goliath says that he vows to find and KILL the ones who hurt her.
    • David Xanatos deserves mention also. He's willing to fight Oberon himself just to keep Oberon from taking his kid. That feat alone even caused Goliath to respect him.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Gillecomgain's mask was a case of this, according to the DVD commentary: The red stripes on the mask perfectly matched the scars on Gillecomgain's face. On the other hand, Constantine had already worn the Hunter's Facepaint (Mask) by that point. Macbeth's mask inverted the trope: Demona recognized him as soon as the first shot was fired, though the audience might not have known enough about Macbeth and Demona to make the connection as quickly as Demona did.
    • The shadowy gargoyle with glowing red eyes in "Temptation." Is there anyone who didn't immediately realize that it was Demona?
  • Parental Bonus: There are a few jokes that most kids wouldn't get.
    • In the opening to "Leader of the Pack", Fox and Hyena are sitting in a prison cell, with Hyena flicking rubber bands at cockroaches and Fox reading a book by Sartre. Hyena asks her why she bothers with that, and Fox says, "Because Nietzsche's too butch, and Kafka reminds me of your little friends over there." Kafka's best-known work, of course, involves a man who one day wakes up as a giant cockroach.
    • There are numerous Shakespearean references, although this wound up being Accidentally Educational - Weisman says numerous kids who watched the show turned to Shakespeare so they could learn more about Macbeth, Puck, etc.
  • Pet the Dog: Xanatos pets entire kennels in the last half of Season 2.
  • Photo Op With The Dog
  • The Plague: Demona creates one using a combination of Science and Sorcery during the Hunter's Moon arc
  • The Plan: Xanatos Gambits aren't the only move in Xanatos' playbook.
    • Xanatos' tendency to use these backfires on him at one point. Thailog tricks Dr. Sevarius (one of Xanatos' accomplices) to kidnap him from Castle Wyvern. Sevarius doesn't question it for a second, even when Xanatos (thinking he's been betrayed) confronts him, because he "assumed it was another one of [his] Machiavellian schemes against one of [his] enemies."
  • Playing with Fire: Helios.
  • Pocket Protector: Elisa's badge in "Long Way to Morning," and it actually makes sense. A badge can in no way stop a modern bullet, but since this was actually a poison dart, not a lethal projectile, it might have even been stopped by just her thick leather jacket.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Deconstructed. Prince Malcolm tells his daughter, Princess Katherine, stories that demonize the gargoyles to frighten her into good behavior even though he personally views them positively. When Hudson expresses concern about these stories, Malcolm brushes him off by saying he's being "too sensitive." Fast forward a few years and Katherine's prejudice gets most of the gargoyles massacred and the rest turned to stone for a thousand years.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The main reason for the Wyvern Massacre, Macbeth's falling out with Demona, and the "City of Stone" debacle.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: according to series co-creator Greg Weisman, King Arthur, the New Olympians, and several other characters introduced in the "World Tour" arc were meant to be used in spinoff series.
    • There was also "Sentinel", which was meant to be a lead-in to the proposed Gargoyles: 2198 spin-off. It introduced the interstellar war between Nokkar's people and the Space Spawn, which Word of God says that series would have been about. Since the spin-off never came to fruition, the war was never mentioned again, creating a rather jarring Out-of-Genre Experience.
  • Powered Armour: Various kinds worn by Xanatos, Dingo, and the modern Hunters.
  • Precision F-Strike: Xanatos' infamous "Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell."
  • Previously On: Every season 2 episode has one of these.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Discussed in "Grief."
  • Promotion to Parent: The Magus, Katharine, and Tom get this, when they agree to take care of the eggs in Castle Wyvern's rookery as if they were their own children.
  • Psycho Electric Eel: Sevarius uses these to augment his mutates' energy regenerating properties as well as afford them electrical attacks... or so he claimed in front of Derek Maza. Given that he faked his own death with them and Xanatos was in on the whole operation, he had to be at least Genre Savvy enough to know that their actual electrical output is fairly minimal and was just counting on Derek and Goliath to be holding the Idiot Ball at the time.
  • Psycho for Hire: Hyena is a good fit for the female version, especially given her Femme Fatalons, and her brother Jackal and teammate Wolf are not exactly sane either.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Even thought they are more misguided than evil, the gargoyle clones tend to fill this trope during their appearances.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Let. Me. Drive."
  • Pure Magic Being: The Fair Folk.
  • Put on a Bus: Vinnie. (Although he does briefly appear later in the comics, suggesting that he could be seen again if they continue.)

    Tropes Q-T 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington and Bronx survived the genocide of their clan because they were sent to their rooms for misbehaving.
  • Random Transportation: Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go, but rather where you need to be, causing the Avalon World Tour arc.
  • Rain of Arrows: In Brooklyn's time travel arc, in the comics.
  • Reading Is Cool Aesop: For Hudson and Broadway.
    Robbins: There's no shame in being illiterate, Hudson. It's only a shame to stay that way.
  • The Real Remington Steele: The identity of the Hunter, which is taken by Macbeth before we find out that the Canmores—who had borne the identity for almost a millennium—still existed.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Elisa is at one point seriously injured when Broadway accidentally shoots her while playing with her gun. Elisa, a New York police detective, had left her sidearm, holster and gun belt unattended in another room from where she was (she admits later that she should have known better). Notably, she's much more careful for the rest of the series.
  • Recurring Character: Pretty much all of them; if somebody has a speaking part, you can bet they will appear someplace else down the line.
    • Vinnie is this trope personified. If anyone remembers him.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Thailog and the Hunters.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Originally played straight with Demona and Thailog, then the crew realized what they were doing and gave them to Angela as well to make it merely a feminine (and cloned male) trait.
  • Remember the New Guy: The show (and comics) have plenty of long-running and well thought-out plots, but at times they introduce new plotlines with the explanation that they have been there all along. When the Hunters reappear in "Hunter's Moon" they explain that they are part of a continuous line of Hunters stretching back for a millennium, and they have been hunting Demona all this time (Complete with flashbacks showing their various attempts), but this supposedly ancient line has never been seen (or even referenced) until this episode.
    • Demona makes a vague reference to "The Hunter" in "City of Stone" when she fights the disguised Macbeth, and her remark ("How many times do I have to destroy you?") implies that she has faced far more Hunters than just Gillecomgain, Duncan, and Canmore (the three Hunters we saw her confront in the flashbacks of "City of Stone"). On the other hand, this is the only hint to that effect until "Hunter's Moon."
  • Removed Achilles Heel: Demona doesn't turn into stone during the day, unlike the other gargoyles. During the day she's human.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Repetitive Name: Police officer Morgan Morgan.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Princess Katharine and Demona in "Awakening," Macbeth in "City of Stone," and Elisa and Jason in "Hunter's Moon."
  • Required Secondary Powers: Severius theorized (and Word of God confirmed) that the Gargoyles daytime stone dormant state must have a solar or thermal energy collection function because they would otherwise have to eat the equivalent of three cows a day to stay active. In addition, Word of God is that the Gargoyles were subject to a "Modesty spell" in Roman times that enabled their clothes and regular personal items to turn to stone with their bodies so they would not be destroyed when the Gargoyles awaken.
  • Research, Inc.: Xanatos Enterprises
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised
  • Restored My Faith In Humanity: Elisa for Goliath.
  • Retool: The Goliath Chronicles.
  • Revenge: Notably averted. Those who wronged the gargoyles die a Karmic Death before Goliath gets a shot at them.
    • Demona's plan to wipe out humanity fails as well.
    • Xanatos is Genre Savvy enough to avoid seeking it, and the one time he does, he gets Out-Gambitted by Thailog.
    • In fact, only one character has succeeded at revenge: Vinnie, by throwing a pie in Goliath's face.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: "She betrayed Macbeth; it was only a matter of time before she would have betrayed us. Good thing we had the rest of her clan destroyed. Her kind was an abomination!"
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The comic's Stone of Destiny arc is based on the real-life Stone's return to Scotland.
  • Right-Hand Hottie: Owen, right hand of David Xanatos.
    • Notable that Owen actually sacrificed his hand for Xanatos to test a spell/magic-potion that might have granted immortality. The exact wording of the spell had something to due with the "live as long as the mountain stone" and actually just turned flesh stone (and it was his right hand [from our perspective when he is facing us.])
    • Xanatos initially treated Demona as this, until they parted ways.
    • Lady Titania to Oberon also counts, until she remarries him, and they become equals.
  • Robosexual: Hyena is completely attracted to Coyote, even though she knows he's a robot.
    • Especially after she finds out he's a robot. "A robot? Even better..."
  • Robot Buddy: Talos and Matrix.
  • Rock Bottom: "I've been denied everything! Even my REVENGE!!!!" After a pronouncement like that, Goliath must have thought that things couldn't possibly get worse... and that was before he found out that all of the other survivors had been cursed to sleep, and that the page with the spell to wake them up again had been destroyed.
  • Rogues Gallery: Possibly lampshaded in the episode "Vendettas" with a blink and you miss it shop sign that says "Rogues Gallery". The sign appears moments after a member of the pack shows up in the episode.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Some myths were dead-on accurate, and some changes were obviously made for the sake of the story, but some referenced myths bear little resemblance to the originals. This may be a result of the time limits imposed on the writers for each episode and comic issue. Cuchullain in the "Hound of Ulster" episode is painfully inaccurate... this page goes over it pretty well, actually.
  • Scaled Up: The Cromm-Cruach, the Banshee's One-Winged Angel form when fighting Cu Chullain. She also uses it later on Odin.
  • Scars Are Forever: Hudson's eye and Gillecomgain's face.
  • Scary Black Man: Thailog.
    • Tony Dracon's right hand man Glasses also fits this trope.
  • Scenery Porn: Gargoyles produced some gorgeous scenery given its budget. Sunset at Castle Wyvern and many jewel-like Manhattan-by-night cityscapes stand out.
  • The Scream: Goliath at the end of the first episode, finding his people mutilated.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Xanatos is so rich, he can say "hell" on a Disney kids' show and get away with it.
    • But he still goes to jail for receiving stolen property...
    • All part of the plan
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Elisa finally worked up the nerve to kiss Goliath at the conclusion of the original show's run; it left him with a smile on his face in his stone sleep.
  • Secret Identity: Several characters.
  • Secret Keeper: Elisa, her brother, her parents (and siblings. And the mutates), then Matt Bluestone. This was all before the public learned of the existence of gargoyles.
    • Despite his desire to bust the Illuminati's organization wide open, Matt Bluestone ends up becoming a Secret Keeper for the Illuminati as well.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "Revelations," the Illuminati administer a "loyalty test" on Matt Bluestone: an assignment to bring a gargoyle to the Hotel Cabal. Matt brought a gargoyle there and subsequently helped him escape, condemning a senior Illuminatus to a Fate Worse than Death in the process. Needless to say, Matt demonstrated that he was not loyal to the Illuminati. In fact, the Illuminati weren't testing Matt's loyalty at all; they were testing his cunning and treachery. Needless to say, Matt passed the test and was inducted into the Illuminati.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Macbeth might never have achieved his destiny of becoming "King of Scotland and father of the king hereafter" if Duncan hadn't done everything he could to prevent Macbeth from becoming king.
    • In 975, Demona had an encounter with her future self, who told her about the Wyvern Massacre and the sleeping spell on Goliath, and also told her "I am what you will become!" Past Demona did everything she could to prevent the Wyvern Massacre and the sleeping spell, and to avoid becoming a bitter, vengeful terrorist, with predictable results.
    • It doesn't help that 1995 Demona leaves out the details leading up to the Massacre (particularly her bargain with The Captain).
  • Self-Made Man: David Xanatos, by way of the Phoenix Gate and a Stable Time Loop. His father seemed to consider it cheating.
  • Send in the Clones: Thailog, and the Manhattan Clan clones.
    • In The Goliath Chronicles episode "Genesis Undone", Sevarius makes this request when he appears to be ready to cure the clones of their illness.
    • Talon makes the same request in Gargoyles #3 when Goliath comes to check on the clones.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: After Macbeth was "mortally" wounded by Malcolm Canmore in 1057, Macbeth and Gruoch decided that since he was officially dead and his son Luach wore his crown, the only hope for Luach to defeat Canmore was for Macbeth to remain dead or to disappear. Canmore defeated Luach in 1058.
  • Shoot the Rope: In "The Price", Broadway turns to stone in mid-glide, and Elisa has to break a crate full of carpets to cushion his fall. She does so by using her gun to shoot the cable from which the crate is hanging.
  • Shout-Out: During the Halloween episode, Elisa dressed up as Belle. And when the holiday came around again in the comics, she went as Jasmine.
    • And she and Goliath start dancing! The exact same waltz in Beauty and the Beast.
    • In "Awakening" during one scene where Hudson is watching TV, a scene from Quack Pack appears on screen for a second.
    • In "Her Brother's Keeper", when Lexington is attempting to pilot a real helicopter, Broadway tells him to feel the air currents like he does when gliding, and Brooklyn quips, "Yeah, use the Force, Lex."
    • Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington go to the movies and watch Bambi.
    • One of the workers in the second episode is seen using a power loader.
    • On one episode, Dingo mentions (sarcastically?) that he always wanted to go to Disneyland.
      • Elisa in "Shadows of the Past": "Now that was an E-ticket ride."
    • This one's absolutely obscure: In "The Hound of Ulster", one of the few episodes where Bronx gets the limelight, he is joined by a young Irishmen, who turns out to be the reincarnation of an ancient hero. At one point, the young man says to Bronx that there's more than meets the eye to him. Bronx is voiced by Frank Welker, aka G1 Megatron. The reincarnated hero is cause for a moment of Fandom Rejoicing.
    • The comic gives a short nod to Star Trek, probably as a thanks for the voice actor thing, when Brooklyn tries to describe his time-travelling dilemma to the medieval Scots.
    • Gargoyles actually got a Shout-Out in one of the Star Wars Expanded Universe Jedi Apprentice books. In one book, we're introduced to Qui-Gon's psychotic former apprentice-turned Dark Jedi... whose name is "Xanatos". He's manipulative and wealthy, but decidedly more evil.
    • To Shakespeare: More than just a Shout-Out. The cast sheet alone includes Macbeth, Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters; and the Coldtrio is known unofficially, off-screen as Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. The Bad Guys comic adds another when a guy named John Oldcastle adopts the name Falstaff, and hooks up with a gang of people named after Falstaff's gang.
      • There's also Gruoch's suicide after losing the one she loves most. This is very reminiscent of another famous story.
    • In one of the "Goliath Chronicles" episodes, the leader of the Quarrymen tells a Mook named Maxwell, "You'll receive the Silver Hammer for this." Maxwell's Silver Hammer is an obscure Beatles song.
    • Maggie the mutate is a Cat Girl... she's Maggie the Cat. This is how she's listed in the credits.
  • The whole scene where Xanatos hunt down werefox is taken from Predator2, down to the slaughter house and Xanatos's cannon.
  • Shown Their Work: Some of their myths are somewhat inaccurate, and others were altered for the sake of the story, but every episode featuring an actual mythology showed that the writers knew something. The episode "Golem" features an accurate retelling of the story of the Golem of Prague, complete with correct written and spoken Hebrew; Fairies are shown to have an explicit weakness to iron, which is in an integral pat of many European folk-tales; and the story of Macbeth is actually much closer to the real-life history of King Macbeth of Scotland than to the play written by Shakespeare.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Mace Malone.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Demona in her human form is one of these, and so are Fox, Fleance, and Gruoch in her younger days.
  • Silver Bullet/Silver Has Mystic Powers: At one point, Elisa quips that she'd need silver bullets to fight Oberon, and Katharine points out that silver is for vampires and weres, not for the Third Race.
  • Similar Squad: In the episode "Bushido," Goliath meets a clan of gargoyles living in Japan. They're led by a tall, deep-voiced gargoyle named Kai, have a policeman ally, and as it turns out later, they're actually being manipulated by a shifty Japanese businessman named Taro who's set himself up as the gargoyles' benefactor. Sounds familiar... Hell, Taro even turns out to have a kick-ass robot suit just like Xanatos, though his is built to look like samurai armor.
  • Single Tear
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: As the third season is not considered as a "real" season by most fans.
  • Slash Fic: Oh Lordy, this existed even BEFORE the announcement that Lexington might be gay.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Count the number of Heel Face Turns and take a guess.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Xanatos and Fox certainly do, which make sense considering they are both chessmasters.
  • Smurfette Principle: Hyena after Fox has left the Pack. Delilah is the sole female gargoyle among the clones. There's also an unnamed female commando in Bruno's goon squad.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Broadway does this to a piece of slime in the rookery in the pilot episode.
  • Something Only They Would Say: How Elisa figures out who Talon is.
  • The Speechless: Claw of the Mutates.
  • Spell Book: The Grimorum Arcanorum.
    • Subverted with the Scrolls of Merlin. Macbeth believes them to be Merlin's personal scrolls of magic, but they turn out to be his diaries.
  • Spell My Name with an S: A lot of fan fiction writers write Elisa's name as "Eliza".
    • Even turns up on this very wiki. Even on this very page.
  • Spin-Off: A number were set up in the World Tour, and at least elements of them are being incorporated into new material if/when it gets made:
    • Bad Guys: A group of ex-villain Atoners (and one unrepentant Jerkass) are recruited into a Boxed Crook team. This one got its own comic book miniseries.
    • Pendragon: King Arthur Walks the Earth, searching first for Merlin and then the Holy Grail, and fighting the forces of the Illuminati along the way. The Stone of Destiny arc in the comic was essentially one of these.
    • TimeDancer: Brooklyn gets Unstuck in Time for forty years, picking up a Nuclear Family before returning moments after he left. The first part of his adventures, as well as his return, just barely made its way into the last of the comic material.
    • The New Olympians: The titular group decides to break their Masquerade before they're discovered accidentally, though the decision is hardly unanimous (some want nothing to do with the humans, some want peace, and some want to rule the humans). In addition to the political drama, a human and an Olympian become Star-Crossed Lovers.
    • Dark Ages: Basically Spinoff Babies, set at Castle Wyvern in Scotland. Features Hudson in his prime and teen Goliath and Demona.
    • Gargoyles 2198: Gargoyles IN SPACE! Has descendants of the original series cast (as well as some of the immortals) defending Earth from an alien invasion. Would also have an extended crossover with TimeDancer where Brooklyn joins for a time.
  • Squishy Wizard: Played straight with the Magus and the Archmage. In fact, the Magus is specifically noted for not being strong enough to wield a sword. Averted with Demona and Macbeth.
  • Stable Time Loop: The explanation for Xanatos' fortune.
    • Everything regarding the Phoenix Gate implies a stable time loop, as Goliath learns if someone time travels it is the natural way history was supposed to unfold. He even says several times You Can't Fight Fate. Word of God has it that all time-travel works this way.
    • Brooklyn involves himself in a spectacular one in the Time Dancer series. Along with Owen/Puck, Brooklyn arranges for the alliance between Xanatos and Demona to take place, leading to Castle Wyvern being moved to the top of the Eyrie Building. That makes Brooklyn responsible for the entire series as a result of time travel.
  • Story Arc
  • Straight Gay: Lexington
  • Stripperific: Demona's outfit falls under this. Angela in the comics also.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Elisa lampshades it when she first sees Angela: "I couldn't help noticing that Angela looks a lot like Demona, except her coloring is different (read: exactly the same as Goliath's). Whose daughter is she, anyway?"
    • It becomes a serious issue when the Canmore siblings mistake her for Demona and almost fatally wound her in "Hunter's Moon."
  • Sunglasses at Night: Brooklyn.
    • Also quoted by Fox when she sees Broadway wearing them in "Broadway Goes Hollywood".
  • Superdickery: In Revelations, Matt Bluestone apparently betrays Goliath to Mace Malone. However, it turns out to be a plot to expose the Illuminati.
  • Superhero
  • Super Toughness: The Gargoyles aren't indestructible by any means, but they are ridiculously tough even for creatures of their size and weight. To prove this point, in the pilot Goliath catches the downstroke of a Viking sword in his bare hand, and though he bleeds some, the cut appears relatively minor compared to the major damage (complete loss of the hand) that a human being would take from trying something similar. Combined with their ability to apparently perfectly heal any wounds short of total dismemberment they received before sleeping, this makes the gargoyles incredibly difficult to put down.
  • Take a Third Option: In the SLG comic, the clone Delilah opts to return to the Labyrinth with her fellow clones rather than side with Goliath or Thailog.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Right before allowing the Magus to put him under the same indefinite sleep spell as the rest of his clan, Goliath asks the Magus and the Princess to protect his clan's eggs. They do.
  • Taking the Bullet: In "Long Way To Morning", Hudson tries to protect Malcolm this way. Keyword tries.
  • Taught by Experience / Powers via Possession: Puck's prime method of training young Alexander Xanatos in the use of magic. Only it's he and Alex that do the possessing.
  • Tears from a Stone: Happens twice in one of Demona's flashbacks, and again with Goliath when Elisa is thought to be dead in "Hunter's Moon".
    • In "City of Stone" when Demona reveals the password ... Alone.
  • Theme Naming: Some of the gargoyle clans employ it: the Manhattan Clan uses local place names, several Avalon Clan names have to do with angels, the four pendant wearers of the Guatemalan Clan the stones of their pendants, and so on.
    • Demona hung a lampshade on the theme by having a set of clones based on the Manhattan Clan and naming them after place names in Los Angeles.
    • Also, Goliath's main rival is named David.
    • Evil Demona's daughter is the much kinder Angela. Purely a coincidence in-story, as (a) Macbeth named Demona for her fighting prowess, not because she was evil, and (b) the Magus, Katharine, and Tom (who named the gargoyles of the Avalon Clan) didn't know anything about Macbeth and Demona, nor vice versa.
    • The Pack, a group of American Gladiators/Power Rangers knockoffs who moonlight as bounty hunters, are all named after wild canines. Wolf, Hyena, Fox, Dingo, Jackal and Coyote. Or at least that's the idea; Hyenas are not actually canines, they're actually more closely related to cats.
    • Of Brooklyn's family from TimeDancer, his mate and daughter are Katana and Tachi, after Japanese swords. His son Nashville extends the existing "American location" theme.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The unfortunate Gump Vinnie who trails Goliath and Hudson throughout the "Vendettas" episode wanders off afterwards, humming the Gargoyles theme.
  • They Have the Scent: Bronx is frequently required to sniff out the bad guys. Boudicca does the same for Oberon in "The Gathering."
  • Those Wacky Nazis: In "M.I.A.", the main antagonists are the Nazi bomber planes who attack London during World War II. The pilots even grin evilly!
  • Time for Plan B
  • Timm Style: An early example.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: When Brooklyn is hit with one, he goes down almost instantly, but is still blinking groggily when he's dragged away — so it may not have put him out completely at all. Goliath gets hit with one in "Awakening" as well, which only slows him down for a while. Subverted in "Metamorphosis" when Derek gets shot.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: In the episode "Long Way to Morning", Demona poisons Elisa and taunts her with the antidote, but Elisa's badge blocked the poison dart so she's actually fine. Goliath and Hudson chase after the antidote anyway, knowing full well it's a trap, because if they don't it will tip Demona off that her plan failed, and she'll come after Elisa again.
  • True Companions:
    • After the deep-cutting betrayal of Demona and the Captain, Elisa was able to work her way up to this quickly in the Manhattan Clan's eyes. By "Deadly Force," the eighth episode of season 1 and only third after the pilot, Goliath was willing to kill the man he thought shot her.
    • All of the gargoyle clans, to the extent that most gargoyles from different countries and sometimes even different times instantly treat each other as such.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: It's primarily Urban Fantasy, but it uses this to add some sci-fi elements to the plot. Though the world mostly resembles America in the late 1990s, there are a few William Gibson-esque MegaCorps with everything from Powered Armor to Cool Airships to nanobots at their disposal.
  • Two-Faced: Coyote the robot after Bronx bites off half his face
  • Twofer Token Minority: Elisa Maza is half-black and half-Native American.
  • TV Never Lies: The plot of the first Pack episode.

    Tropes U-Z 
  • Unfazed Everyman: It's easy to miss because of everything that happens in 'Vows', but Petros Xanatos qualifies. Inhuman species secretly dwelling among humanity, power armor, medieval swordfights, temporal paradox, secret societies... A lesser man might Go Mad from the Revelation.
  • Universe Bible: Season 1 here.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Xanatos and Fox.
  • Unknown Rival: Gillcomgain, Vinnie.
  • The Unmasqued World: Occurs after the existence of gargoyles is revealed to the world at large in season 2's finale.
  • Untrusting Community: New Olympus towards humans, and humans towards gargoyles. Probably Oberon and his court to humans, although they get on with Katherine and the rest fairly well/neutrally.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The gargoyles and Elisa tend to use "jalapeña" as a general euphemism for more modern curse words and exclamations.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Bodhe little suggestion that Macbeth should break their alliance with Demona so the English will stop their invasion. This lead to Demona betraying Macbeth, Castle Moray destroyed, Macbeth and Demona being "slain" and the destruction of the remaining gargoyles. Canmore will slay Luach and Bodhe a year later and Grouch will commit suicide.
  • Unwitting Pawn: While Goliath and Derek are the most obvious examples, and Mr. Renard lampshades a few more in "Outfoxed," Xanatos himself gets special mention for making a clone of Goliath, teaching that clone his trademark trickery, and then getting duped by that same clone in "Double Jeopardy."
    Owen: You mean that creature is still out there, it has the money, it's as powerful as Goliath, and it's smarter than you?
    Xanatos: Owen, I think I created a monster.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Elisa and Jason, until they end up kissing.
  • The Vamp: Demona, Hyena, the Weird Sisters, and Queen Titania.
  • The Verse: Weisman originally intended (and still hopes) to include a number of distinct storylines in the same setting, including:
    • Dark Ages: a prequel about the Wyvern Clan in Scotland, with teenage Goliath and Demona as main characters.
    • Timedancer: A Brooklyn-centric spinoff, sending him on adventures through time. Touched on in the comics.
    • Pendragon: Focusing on the revived Arthur in the present day.
    • Bad Guys: A spinoff regarding a team of minor villains, lead by the Robyn Canmore incarnation of the Hunter, working to redeem themselves while squaring off against the Illuminati. The only one to really get off the ground, as a short-lived comic series.
    • New Olympians: Focusing on the New Olympians revealing their existence to the world, and involving a romance between a human named Terry Chung and a New Olympian named Sphinx. Originally intended as a separate property, apparently- Weisman came up with it independently, then tied the series together with the "New Olympians" episode of Gargoyles.
    • Gargoyles 2199: A Sequel Series starring descendents of the main cast fighting off an Alien Invasion.
    • Unfortunately, as of right now, none of these look likely to be made in any form (though Greg Weisman would still like to do them someday).
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The flashback sequences are based on Real Life history (mostly Scottish), and they get the years and the gist of the events right, especially in "City of Stone." The "loosely", of course, comes in along with the gargoyles and the magic. Artistic License trumps historical fact.
  • Very Special Episode: "Deadly Force", a gun safety episode in which Broadway accidentally shoots Elisa while playing with her gun, and then has to deal with the consequences.
    • Also "A Lighthouse In The Sea Of Time", which teaches the importance of reading and literacy, and "The Green", which teaches the importance of the rainforest and the limited resources that are on the planet.
  • Victimized Bystander: In "City of Stone", New York City's inhabitants are turned to stone, and Demona smashes many people, then breaks off one woman's arms. She is never mentioned again.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Not in the sense that you have to be one to appreciate the plots, but that the plots tend to attract the smarter crowd.
  • Villain Ball: Played with in different ways with different villains. Xanatos averts it completely — one gets the sense that he goes over his plans with a fine-toothed comb to make certain he does not fall into it, and then has Owen double-check just to be sure. Demona has several moments where she shoots herself in the foot (metaphorically speaking), but this is somewhat implied to be unconscious self-sabotage on her part. The Archmage plays this completely straight, but it is justified because his massive ego and need to make his enemies squirm before killing them are pretty much his only weaknesses (especially after getting his hands on the Eye of Odin).
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Happend with the Pack, Demona and Macbeth during their Villain Team-Up.
  • Villainous Rescue: Played with. In Season 2 finale, Xanatos comes in a helicopter and rescue the Gargoyles from the NYPD. While Xanatos is still a villain, he's on more friendly terms with the gargoyles (at least in his eyes). The gargoyles on the other hand still don't fully trust him.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Oberon, Titania, most if not all of their subjects, and Proteus.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: All of the male gargoyles except Hudson.
    • Demona is as close to a female counterpart to this as you could get in a kids' show.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Demona, and also Angela in the comics.
  • Walking the Earth: Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx during the Avalon world tour.
  • Watching the Sunset: To know that they are about to wake up.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: No matter how powerful Oberon and his children are, they are all completely vulnerable to iron.
    • Also the Gargoyles immobility during their stone sleep.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Demona gets her hands on one more than once, albeit sorcery-based ones. However, these magical WMDs are often combined with science.
  • Weird Moon: The Moon is rarely anything other than full, and is really really huge. And by "rarely," we mean "only when the plot requires it not to be full."
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Xanatos's relationship with his father Petros seems to be like this. Although, this is more of a subversion, considering what Xanatos is like. Petros gives him his due when Xanatos risks everything to save Alex from Oberon.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some of the Quarrymen's rank and file.
    • Also the Captain, whose loyalty lay with the gargoyles in Castle Wyvern rather than with the Scots, but his betrayal of the Scots led to the destruction of the gargoyle clan, changing him from this into The Atoner as a ghost
    • Demona started out this way, before descending to Knight Templar and finally to revenge-obsessed whacko who only thinks she is in the right because it is what she has been telling herself every night for the last millennium.
    • Yama, in the episode "Bushido."
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Pretty much underlined in red crayon right from the start.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The whole idea behind the fear of gargoyles by humans.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Done straight for Macbeth; but immortal villains, including the one synchronized with Macbeth, have no problem with it. Also discussed by Hudson and Xanatos when the latter is attempting to create an immortality elixir.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Spiders?: Anansi.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Elisa's alias in "Turf".
  • Winged Humanoid: Obviously, though some gargoyles have wings attached to their arms instead of the usual on-the-back variety.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Demona. Come on, who hasn't watched all of "City of Stone" and not felt sorry for what she's been through by the end?
  • Worthy Opponent: Xanatos considers Fox to be this. A bit of a subversion in that they aren't really opponents.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Generally averted, but there is one example of this trope in "City of Stone." Demona claimed that the spell would steal one minute of life from everyone who saw and heard the spell, and that was how she had lived for more than a thousand years. But to gain even one year by stealing one minute each from people's lives, you would have to cast the spell on roughly 525,000 people; the population of Manhattan in 1995 would not have been enough to extend Xanatos' and Demona's lives by more than 20 years each. Of course Demona was a liar, but a few simple mathematical equations make her lie particularly transparent. And it seems out of character for Xanatos not to see through it.
  • Wronski Feint: Used many many many times throughout the course of the series.
    Brooklyn: (immediately after he and Angela cause two pursuing Steel Clan to crash into each other) "You'd be surprised just how often that works."
  • Xanatos Gambit: Obviously. This may be one of the reasons Gargoyles is so well-remembered and became a watershed moment in Western Animation. It was never as simple as "Good Guys Win." More often than not, even if the good guys won, the bad guy (usually Xanatos, natch) still benefitted.
    • Note that Xanatos Gambits are not exclusive to Xanatos; the Weird Sisters, for example, pull one off in "High Noon." They brainwashed Macbeth and Demona into fighting the New York clan. Their real goal was distraction so they could steal magical items. If Macbeth and Demona won, however, that would be an additional bonus.
    • Demona takes a note from Xanatos's playbook in "Mirror": She stages a robbery which of course is foiled by Goliath...just as she knew it would be. While he's pursuing her, her accomplices sneak in and steal the artifact she wanted.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Most obvious in "Eye of the Beholder." Yet again, Trope Namer. By the episode's end, Xanatos goes down to plan E.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: In "Future Tense", and in the case of Avalon in general, where time runs slower inside of it, at a rate of one Avalon Hour = one Real World Day. 1,000 years in the real world equal just over 41 years in Avalon, which is accurately reflected by how old the humans were portrayed to be.
    • Additionally, it is stated in another episode that gargoyles age at half the rate of humans; every single gargoyle on Avalon appears to be in their late teens or early twenties. Well played, writers!
  • You Already Changed The Past: The Phoenix Gate lets you go back in time, but every use turns out to be part of a Stable Time Loop - it is utterly impossible to actually change anything. It sends you back in time to do things you were meant to do all along, and since it has already happened, you are not changing anything.
  • You Are Number Six: Illuminati must identify themselves to each other by rank, with each rank's number also indicating its number of members (one One, two Twos, etc.); the lowest rank is Thirty-Six. Xanatos, Thailog, Matt Bluestone, and John Castaway are all Thirty-Sixes. Peredur fab Ragnal, the Fisher King, is One.
    • That gives them 666 members altogether. Just saying...
  • You Can Talk?: Elisa's first words to Goliath after falling off Castle Wyvern & the Eyrie Building.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In "Enter Macbeth," the gargoyles are forced to flee Castle Wyvern because Xanatos' jail time is up. So they find a new home in the Clock Tower in the N.Y.P.D.'s 23rd District headquarters.
    • Averted eventually in that they ARE allowed to return after the destruction of the clock tower.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The first few episodes of the second season were unqualified successes for Xanatos: He succeeded in getting Fox an early parole in "Leader of the Pack," he mutated Derek and turned him against the Manhattan Clan in "Metamorphosis," and he acquired the code for the deadliest computer virus in the world in "Legion." Only "Metamorphosis" counts as a Downer Ending, though, because the Manhattan Clan did score a few points against the Pack and the ghost of Iago, though none against Xanatos himself.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Elisa appears to have dark blue hair, but it's really black.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!:
    Xanatos: Fox and I are getting married tomorrow night. I would like you to be the best man.
    Goliath: You can't be serious.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Traditionally, a gargoyle is a waterspout carved to have a face. Freestanding statues placed on castles and other large stone buildings are called "Grotesques". Then again, a fictional supernatural race can probably call itself whatever it wants.
  • You Killed My Father: (Part of) Gillecomgain's motive for killing Findlaech, Macbeth's motive for killing Gillecomgain (and Duncan), Canmore's motive for killing Macbeth, and many of Canmore's descendants' motives for trying to kill Demona.
  • You Monster!: "City of Stone", part 3, contains this.
  • Younger than They Look: The clones, due to an accelerated aging technology.
    • Macbeth in 1040 after he traded his youth to (the gargoyle whom he would soon name) Demona, even though he has continued to look that age in the thousand years or so since then.
  • Yuppie Couple: Several: Brendan and Margot, who are the trope-naming Yuppie Couple; the jogger who appears in most Central Park scenes; the trio of petty crooks. Vinnie Grigori is retconned into this in "Vendettas". Eventually, Vinnie and Margot are given bigger roles, Vinnie as a proper recurring character; and Margot, who is revealed to be an Assistant District Attorney, becoming a member of the N.Y.P.D.'s Gargoyle Task Force and the face of the general population's anti-gargoyle sentiment.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Elisa Maza and her Gargoyles friends. They had dealing with shady businessmen, immortals, criminals, thugs, robots, cyborgs, mutates, Faeries, a powerful wizard, a secret society, aliens, mythological creatures and King Arthur.
  • Whamshot: The series had many:
    • Molly turning into the Banshee.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Elisa, disguised as "Salli" for an undercover operation, briefly sports this look.


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alternative title(s): Gargoyles
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