- Alas, Poor Villain: Sam Lawson from "Why We Fight". The only vampire Angel ever sired after getting his soul. He did it because the man was dying and he was also the only one able to repair the submarine they were both on. Since he was sired while Angel was ensouled, he's not able to feel any pleasure from killing. But of course he doesn't have a soul himself. So he's forever stuck between good and evil, unable to be either.
- "Nothing in this world is the way it oughta be", season 4.
- Billy Blim. A man so monstrous, so vile, that he deserves his own special prison dimension. What's his crime? Misogyny.
- Author's Saving Throw: After Cordelia's much-maligned arc in Season 4 which ended with her put into a coma, the show's 100th episode "You're Welcome" was seen as a massive one for her character as it restored her to the person the fans loved and reaffirmed why she was important to the show and to Angel himself. This despite the fact that she died in the episode, because it was done so beautifully overall.
- Awesome Music:
- Lindsey singing "L.A. song" - recorded in real life by Christian Kane, the actor who played Lindsey.
- Lorne singing.
- Deliberately subverted any time Angel sings. His voice brings people to tears...or at least fails to lull screaming babies.
- How about Angel and Connor singing Barry Manilow's "Mandy"...only with "Mandy" being replaced with "Jasmine." Easily counts as a Big Lipped Alligator Moment and a Funny Moment.
- Base-Breaking Character: Illyria. On the one hand she had a lot of Replacement Scrappy heat to shake off and it didn't help that she was introduced towards the end of the series. On the other she is very cool and very well played by Amy Acker. It also helps if you know that if the show hadn't been cancelled, season 6 would have Fred turn out to be Not Quite Dead and fighting Illyria for control of her body, meaning Illyria didn't comdemn her to death without an afterlife.
- Bizarro Episode: Some viewers consider "The Girl In Question" to be this - in the middle of a tense, tragic story arc leading up to the heavily depressing series finale, we get an episode revolving around Spike and Angel gallivanting off to Italy to have wacky, Ho Yay-tastic adventures while trying to rescue Buffy from the mistake of dating an unseen, vampiric sexual predator with whom they apparently have a never-before-mentioned complex history; this unapologetically farcical storyline is played against a bitter, tragic Los Angeles subplot in which Illyria assumes Fred's form in order to deceive her parents into believing that their daughter is alive and well, a state of affairs which nearly breaks Wesley and is difficult to watch even for the viewers (plus it completely ignores how Wesley's final words to Fred were a promise to inform her parents about her death). The episode feels fragmented and out of place at best, and at worst features an incredibly tactless and offensive juxtaposition of storylines.
- Complete Monster: See here.
- Crazy Awesome: Faith's second run in the series. How does Angelus saving the world grab you? Or Faith fighting him while higher than a kite, allowing herself to be fed on so he gets so drugged out he hallucinates the good acts he's done, much to his horror?
- Draco in Leather Pants: A lot of fans side exclusively with Wesley regarding his actions in season 3. Particularly his line "I had my throat cut and all my friends abandoned me" - and villify the other characters for turning on him. This is ignoring the fact that a) Wesley knew about a massive danger towards Angel's son and kept it from all of them. Keeping it from Angel initially is understandable, but he didn't talk through it with the others presumably because he was jealous of Gunn and Fred - and b) chose to conspire with Holtz out of all his other possible options. Regardless of his intentions, it led to a baby being kidnapped through a portal into a Hell Dimension - and said child being raised to assassinate his own father. There's also the fact of Lorne realising what Wesley is up to and Wesley deciding to knock him out rather than explain himself. While it certainly doesn't excuse Angel trying to smother him with a pillow in a fit of rage, the others had more of a case to act like the injured party than Wesley. And while he does patch things up with them eventually, he never actually accepts responsibility for his actions.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Doyle and Lorne.
- Among the recurring characters, Skip. He was so popular in his debut appearance in season 3 that he was brought back for 3 more episodes. Joss has mentioned that he finds Skip to be among the coolest demons in the series, at least in design.
- Matthias Pavayne to a lesser extent. He only appeared in one episode despite having a bit more of an impact than just one episode, but has a reasonable fanbase considering. He's also considered to be one of the most terrifying villains, which is saying something given the various Big Bads and Dragons he has for competition.
- Fan-Preferred Couple:
- Angel/Cordy eclipsed Angel/Buffy due to their chemistry and touching friendship on this show.
- Wesley/Fred is generally preferred over Gunn/Fred.
- Fanon Discontinuity:
- The amount of people who prefer to pretend the much-loathed Season 4 never happened is truly staggering.
- Tomorrow, the Season 3 finale, sometimes suffers from this, too, as everything that happens in it basically sets up for Season 4. It doesn't help that it pulls a Yank the Dog's Chain by coming this close to hooking Angel and Cordelia up, before trapping the former in a box underwater and whisking the latter away to be possessed by Jasmine.
- Foe Yay: Angel and Lindsey. Angel and Eve. Angel and Spike, which is practically Word of God ("Angel and I were never [intimate]...well, just that once."). PLUS Angel and Lilah. The guy gets around.
Angel: I want you Lindsey. (beat) Thinking about rephrasing that.Lindsey: Yeah, I think I'd be more comfortable if you did.
- From the last episode, "Not Fade Away":
Darla: It's not me you want to screw.Lindsey: What?Darla: It's him.
- Also referenced in "Darla"
Cordelia: And I thought Darla was rock bottom.
- Does Drusilla stroking Lilah's face while threatening to bite her count?
- Many examples, including Angel and Spike and Drusilla and Lilah. Turned into Dating Catwoman with Lilah and Wesley.
- Kate Lockley is implied to have an attraction, as well.
- And then there was that time Angel and Eve had sex behind a couch.
- Angelus and Faith. He's disappointed when the Slayer he hears about in LA is her, but he quickly gets over it.
- Fridge Horror: Sure, Rebecca didn't know about Angel's curse when she drugged him, but she still knew that he was a vampire and that his natural instinct was to eat her alive, and that she was removing the inhibitions that kept him from doing just that. She knew she was risking a horrible death by getting close Angel in that state, and didn't care. Either she was Too Dumb to Live or her issues went much, much deeper than we first thought.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: "Eternity" features an offhand comment from Cordelia about how an actress was part of a great show cancelled in its prime. Little did Joss fans know that they would be experiencing the same fate.
- Genius Bonus: Holtz comes off as evil to modern audiences, but his beliefs were only mildly conservative in his day — not the least is that he is indeed glad that Angel has a soul now. While modern audiences may view Angelus' soullessness as a valid Freudian Excuse, in Holtz's day, suffering the proper justice for sins committed was a major part of redemption. To Holtz, torturing a soulless Angel would have been empty sadism, though he'd have done it out of revenge anyway; by Paying Evil unto Evil on a penitent man, however, Holtz is also forcing Angel to atone.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In "The Prodigal," Trevor Lockley asks Angel if he's a father, and Angel replies in the negative. At the time it was a little sad. After Season 3...
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- The interviews Joss Whedon gave before the premiere stating that the show would be more of a "case of the week" show focusing more on guest stars and that it was less of a Soap Opera like Buffy. It turned out Whedon and his writers were not suited to writing those type of stories and the show eventually evolved and became a bigger soap opera than Buffy!
- Years before anyone had ever heard of Twilight, Angel had an episode featuring a vampire from Angel's past named James who has an operation to make him temporarily invincible (but which kills him after a few hours) in order to avenge the death of his girlfriend who Angel had killed. The whole episode deconstructs the idea that true love means that you should commit suicide if you lose the other person. So Angel had an episode deconstructing one of the most irritating and controversial aspect of the Twilight novels, using a villain with the same name as one of the Twilight villains, years before the other series was even written.
- Fred shouts out "Whiskey!" at one point. A few years later in Dollhouse she plays an active named Whiskey.
- Connor is raised as Holtz's son, and given the name Steven. That's right, his assumed name is Steve Holtz!
- In "Home", it appears that Wolfram & Hart are researching portals. And lasers.
- After you've seen Person of Interest, come back and watch Fred tase Connor in "Deep Down."
- Ho Yay: Has its own page.
- Hollywood Homely: An early episode had a monster that switched hosts through sex. It transferred from a male host who looked like an underwear model to a girl who was alternately described as "Sarah plain and tall" and "that dowdy chick" that Cordy declared must be loaded to have such an attractive paramour. She's a gorgeous blonde girl who is no less attractive than anyone else on the show. Ultimately subverted in that the demon really knows how to make its hosts look good, and they all end up looking absolutely gorgeous when it's in control.
- Jerkass Woobie: Connor, though at times more of the former than the latter.
- Like You Would Really Do It: Illyria herding every member of Angel Inc. into a room and effortlessly killing them all. ("Time Bomb")
- Magnificent Bastard:
- Holland Manners.
- Angelus is as close to this as any Complete Monster can get.
- Holtz outdoes Them both though. Lindsey and Lilah are no slouches either.
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Holtz may not a truly evil person, but killing yourself, pinning it on the good guy (granted in a past life he had been evil), and effectively ruining your "son"'s life? Not cool, dude. Others posit he crossed much earlier, when he kidnapped Conner and escaped into another dimension.
- Ryan from "I've Got You Under My Skin" was willing to kill his sister just because he didn't have as many marshmallows as her. Still not bad enough? Then there's the fact the Ethros demon possessing him wanted to escape because he was more monstrous than the demon.
- Narm: When Jasmine launches into a big dramatic speech about spreading her influence, it starts a montage of the team fighting various opponents in her honour. This is intercut with clips of Fred scrubbing Jasmine's blouse in the sink. While It Makes Sense in Context and comes into play later, the two actions being used in the same montage is just ridiculous.
- Painful Rhyme: In the series finale, Spike calls back to the Buffy episode "Fool For Love" where he was mocked for a poem he had written for Cecily. Now he gets to read the full thing - and the entire crowd loves it.
My soul is wrath in harsh repose
Midnight descends in raven colored clothes
But soft, behold! A sunlight beam
Cutting a swath of glimmering gleam
My heart expands, 'tis grown a bulge in't,
Inspired by your beauty effulgent
- Replacement Scrappy:
- Eve, for Lilah, to the point where she's once derisively called "Lilah, Jr."
- Illyria, for Fred's fans who wanted to see more of her and Wesley being a couple. Not helped by Illyria being one of the most dick-ish characters in the entire Buffyverse.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
- Connor when he comes back for the finale. Turns out having a normal upbringing made the kid a lot more bearable, and his father-son team up was very well-recieved.
- Taking the sister series into account, not only does Cordelia count but so does Wesley. The basis of his character is he thinks he is Sean Connery, but is actually George Lazenby. Well the series turned him into Daniel Craig, going from a wannabe rogue demon hunter that the series poked fun at over, to a devoted, driven man so balls to the wall crazy he threatens allies with death, kept the woman who tried to kill him in a cage for months and is almost Jack Bauer-esque in fighting the forces of evil.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: Was there any real love behind Cordy and Connor's relationship, or was it just "I want to bone you" on Connor's side and " I need you to impregnate me so that I can bring about the end of the world as we know it" on Cordy's side? Maybe it's Because You Were Nice to Me on Connor's side. Either way, it's long and unfulfilling.
- Retroactive Recognition: Summer Glau as the cursed ballerina in "Waiting in the Wings." Joss hired her simply for her ballet skills, but was then impressed enough by her acting to cast her in her Star-Making Role in Firefly.
- Tastes Like Diabetes:
- Virtually every scene with Angel and baby!Connor, starting from before Connor was even born. “Dad” in particular is forty straight minutes of highly unusual sweetness.
- Provider is another offender, but many like to pretend that that episode doesn’t exist. If you thought the hockey speech was bad, imagine if Connor had been a girl. Angel was mushy enough with a son; a daughter would have led to some of the most Egregious Daddy's Girl ever broadcast.
- Seasonal Rot: Season 4's inoperable romance tumor, Nausea Fuel and Idiot Ball basketball makes it this. One particular thread has been described by an expert as "becomes the extended rape and death of a much-beloved character".
- Ship Mates:
- One that crosses shows—fans of Angel/Cordy almost always ship Buffy/Spike as well.
- Fans of Gunn/Fred and fans of Wesley/Lilah tend to go hand-in-hand and unite against Wesley/Fred shippers.
- Signature Scene:
- Plenty of the character deaths, specifically Doyle, Darla, Cordelia, Fred, and Wesley, get this reaction.
- "I'll never forget..."
- Faith's Redemption in the Rain.
- Faith breaks out of jail.
- Angel vs. Spike.
- "You're a bloody puppet! You're a wee little puppet man!"
- The final scene of the show.
- Squick: A lot of people's opinion of the above-mentioned Cordelia-Connor Romantic Plot Tumor, especially considering that Cordelia is virtually Connor's mother and (from her perspective) she was changing his diapers just a few months earlier. It only gets worse when you consider Cordelia was possessed by Jasmine.
- Ugly Cute: The squid-hound thing named Pancakes that becomes Illyria's pet in her Haunted miniseries.
- Vindicated by History: "Why We Fight" was loathed by fans purely because it's the episode that follows Cordelia's death and the other characters don't mention it at all. Out of context, fans are more receptive to it these days.
- A lot of Season Three. Most of the time when Darla is around.
- Considering the Romantic Plot Tumor, Season Four actually comes off as worse in this regard. Seriously guys... Fighting over Fred when Angelus is sitting in a cage right below your feet and listening to every word you're saying? Really now...
- What an Idiot: Damage is an episode where William the Bloody is a berk. Let's review:
Spike: Let's talk, you and me. Demon to demon. *vamps out*Dana: Vampire! *whack*
- First we get the idea that something is off with Dana as when Spike confronts her she looks like a kid on Christmas.
Spike: Sorry luv, I don't speak Chinese.Dana: Is it him? *thwack*
- Then we find out she's a Slayer and has the memories of the previous ones.
Dana: I have to get back to Robin.Spike: Robin? You think you're Nikki? The Slayer I...
- Then when Dana thinks he is the one who tortured her and becomes so worked up she thinks she's Nikki Spike let's this slip.
- Did the gang really think they could avoid telling Fred's parents that she died?
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Channel 4 bought the first season in the UK and showed it at 6pm, because, you know, anything with magic in it is obviously teatime fare for kids. Even showing the episodes with cutting severe enough to make some of them barely comprehensible resulted in a formal reprimand from the Broadcasting Standards Council (the then Censorship Bureau, now merged into Ofcom), and the remainder of the first series and the second series were buried in a late-night timeslot.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
- Okay, cheap shot: NewsCorp is a client of Wolfram & Hart.
- Helen Brucker. A blond she-demon senator who wants to become President in 2008 by earning the "chick vote." It's fairly close to how Hillary Clinton's detractors viewed her at the time.
- WTH, Costuming Department?: Many of Cordelia's outfits. Especially the dress she wore when she revealed she was pregnant with Connor's baby. Most fans also had this reaction to her bad choice of hairstyles in Season 3. Charisma Carpenter herself regretted them.
- The Woobie: This is a Whedon show, which means that just about every protagonist fits this trope at some point. The biggest Woobies in the show, though, are Angel himself, Fred, Wesley, and Connor. Even Illyria qualifies, if you're into that sort of thing.
- Also Lilah, in a Cry for the Devil sort of way.