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Angel / Tropes F to J

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This page covers tropes found in Angel.

Tropes A to E | Tropes F to J | Tropes K to O | Tropes P to Z | YMMV

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  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: On three separate occasions, Cordelia's body has been used to grow demons, demon babies and demon messiahs.
    • Cordy testily lampshades this, when told she's supposed to mate with the Groosalugg.
    Cordelia: If you ever figure out how to get us out of here, I want you to find me a dimension where some demon doesn't want to impregnate me with its spawn. Is that just too much to ask? What is it about me anyway? Do I put out some sort of com-shuk me vibe? I mean, you'd tell me, right?
  • Facial Composite Failure: Just as Kate is briefing her men on Penn's composite sketch, Penn waltzes through the door and starts complaining about the poor likeness.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In "Sonmambulist", Wesley enters Angel Investigations' office with their mail — a transparent pretext for Wesley to start trolling for work. He remarks on how he, Angel, and Cordelia make a great team:
    Wesley: Yes, most effective. your cryptic visions, Angel's brawn, my highly developed powers of deduction—
    Cordy: This isn't our mail.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Illyria taunting Angel by asking if, since he values humans so much, he's willing to defend Knox — the man responsible for Fred's death. Angel sets his jaw and prepares a Patrick Stewart Speech.
    Angel: And if it comes down to a choice between you and him, then yes, I would fight for his life, just like any other human's. Because that's what people do. That's what makes us—- [Wesley shoots Knox dead.] ...Were you even listening?
    • Speaking of Wes, this trope would often befall him in his early Season 1 episodes (as he was still getting over his status as Butt-Monkey on Buffy).
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Angel's quest for redemption. As he tells Faith, "Our time is never up."
    • Wolfram & Hart can't be defeated, because evil will always exist somewhere. Killing their employees is just as fruitless as they continue working for the firm in Hell, and are easily replaced anyway.
    • By the series finale, the Shanshu Prophecy remains unresolved.
    • In After the Fall, Angel is revealed to have turned human through an act of spite by the Senior Partners, depriving him of his powers when he needs them most. Worse yet, Angel receives a vision of the role he will play in the Apocalypse that earns him his Shanshu destiny: It indicates that Angel will be fighting on the side of evil.
  • Fainting Seer: Cordy and Doyle tend to suffer from this.
  • Fake Memories: Given to everyone at the end of Season 4, regarding Connor.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Angel and Fred do this while trying to avoid Jasmine's followers. It doesn't work.
  • Fake Static: Calling his old contacts in order to locate Angel ("In the Dark") has the added consequence of stirring up Doyle's creditors. Eventually, Doyle starts resorting to the 'wrong number' trick.
    Doyle: (Nasally accent) House of Pies.
  • Fair Cop: For the first 2 seasons unreasonably gorgeous Dirty Harriet LAPD detective Kate Lochley is both helper and antagonist to Angel Investigations. Her original origin story was that she had been posing undercover as a prostitute but had started Becoming the Mask and actually worked as one.
  • Fake Defector: Angel earns himself a spiffy S.S. unform by pretending to murder Doyle, thus allowing him to join the ranks of the Scourge.
    • Wesley is confronted in a bar by his former colleagues from England, who approach him with an offer to rejoin the Watcher's Council — if he helps apprehend Faith. Wesley seems to go along with the plan, but later reveals that he's going to try and undermine their efforts.
    • Harmony going undercover to infiltrate a motivational seminar for vampires. Subverted when she promptly defects for real.
  • Fallen Hero: Oh, how about Angel, Gunn, Wesley, Cordelia, Connor and half of frickin' L.A.
  • False False Alarm: In one episode, Angel wants to infiltrate Wolfram & Hart, but they have a vampire-detecting alarm. Solution: Angel's street friend Gunn tosses a captured vampire through the front door of W&H at the exact same moment that Angel sneaks in under the sub-basement. The detector goes off, but security assumes it's because of the vampire they can see instead of suspecting a vampire they don't see.
  • Fantastic Drug: After performing an autopsy on the body of a dead Kwaini, Wesley reports that was on drugs; more specifically, a mystical concoction not unlike street PCP. The drug not only made the normally-peaceful Kwaini demon violent, but also enhanced its strength. Angel is concerned that the drug might have the same effect on an already-powerful battle demon ("The Prodigal").
    • While combing the city for Angelus, Wesley and Faith enters an opium den where women shoot up a mystical drug, then allow vampires to drink their blood (but not kill them). The drug's influence is a powerful one for both parties. In a Thanatos Gambit twist, when Faith pockets one of the syringes to use on herself, thereby knocking both herself and Angelus unconscious when he tries to sire her.
    • Note: Faith purposely overdoses to keep him out long enough (and she's most likely still a bit suicidal).
  • Fantastic Fragility: The Mohra's regenerative blood ensures that he can never be permanently killed. Unless you smack the jewel in his forehead.
    • The Beast is a particularly strong demon with a rock-like hide, able to shrug off even shotgun blasts (Angel tries going for the eye, but gets stabbed in the neck with his own stake for the trouble). He doesn't fare as well against Angelus, though; he stabs The Beast In the Back with the knife he had carved out of his own bones as a tribute to his master.
  • Fantastic Racism: Examined with regard to demons throughout the show's run. Best embodied by Lorne, who is living proof that pacifist demons do exist.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In L.A., you'll find everything from Egyptian sun deities to vampire lords.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Dr. Royce who is turned into a werewolf and taken away to be eaten alive. Probably averted though, as the next scene has them discussing how they shut down the restaurant that wanted to do this. They let Royce be taken away because at the time it was just a few of them surrounded by guards. Once they got back to their interdimensional superfirm the power dynamic changed.
    • Illyria's takeover annihilated Fred's soul. Girl can't even go to Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
      • Allegedly.
      • Verified by Illyria in the Season Six comics. There's nothing left no matter how much everybody (including, oddly, the God-King) wishes. Just the memory of who she was.
      • Fred's personality and memories (which, in a very real sense, is what humans are) are part of Illyria's "shell" as Illyria comments several times. The idea was that the remnants of Fred's would take on a semi-independent life of their own and sometimes control the shared body.
  • Faux Affably Evil Once he's revealed as one of the bad guys, Skip.
    • Holland Manners.
    • Marcus Hamilton, most definitely.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Cordelia to Angel, when she wakes from her coma to help him get back on track.
  • Finger in the Mail: Subverted in "The Ring". Darin McNamara implores Angel to save his brother from loan sharks, verifying his story with a severed finger. However, when we finally meet Jack, all ten of his digits are in tip-top shape.
  • Finish Him!: The audience in "The Ring" chants "KILLING BLOW" when a contestant is on the ropes.
  • Five-Finger Discount:
    Wesley: Where'd you get the police radio?
    Angel: Police car.
  • Fixing the Game: Angel loses his destiny to a rigged magic gambling thing. Cordy saves him by nudging a slot machine so he wins.
  • Flechette Storm: What happens to people who trespass into Maude's apartment ("Rm w/a Vu").
  • Floating Head Syndrome: On the British DVD boxsets, the covers tend to be floating busts but every single disc has a floating Angel head. All doing the same "Am I brooding or did I leave the iron on?" face, but separate images. You get the camera team got drunk and did a giant photoshoot of this one expression at different angles, then realized they had to do something with it.
  • Foe Cooties: Angel never liked Buffy having new boyfriends but was particularly bothered by her sleeping with his long-time rival Spike. A flashback in the Angel series revealed that The Immortal, a former nemesis of both Angelus and Spikes, had sex with both their girlfriends at the same time.
  • Foil: The show delves a bit into how Angel and Spike are different from each other when the latter arrives in the fifth season, and also shows how they are foils to themselves as humans and vampires.
    • Liam, the hard-drinking party boy who loves a brawl, becomes Angelus, a monstrously cruel vampire who loves tormenting his victims for extended periods, is cursed with a soul to become Angel and spend a century hating himself for the crimes of Angelus.
    • William goes from a sweet, sensitive, terrible poet who loves his mother to a raging Blood Knight who lives to fight and kill and seeks out his soul when he falls in love with the Slayer, only to become a Sad Clown trying to hide how terrible he feels about the things he did as a vampire.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: Doyle's wife shows up with her new fiancé so that she can finalize their divorce. Doyle is naturally mopey, since the only reason she left him was because he found out he was half-demon. Except that it turns out the new guy is also a demon, forcing Doyle to confront his own personal problems.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Come on, did you really think that Connor would be allowed to stay with Angel and grow up in a nice, semi-functional family? Difficulties of filming infants and small children aside, this is Angel. Only perfect happiness can actually lose him his soul, but there's no clause specifying that he can't be eternally miserable.
  • Forgot About the Mind Reader: The morning after Doyle's rescue of Cordelia from a pack of vampires, she catches him reenacting his gallantry in front of a mirror.
    • Dramatic example: Wesley begins to sing a lullaby to calm the crying baby Connor in the midst of his kidnapping plan, forgetting Lorne’s ability to read a person’s aura/future when they’re singing.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. Doyle, Cordelia, and Fred are all mentioned several times after their deaths.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Deconstructed in "Hero". An adolescent demon shares with Doyle his memories of being going out on Halloween with his mom — the one night of the year he was permitted to play with other children. He's pretty bitter about it.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": Angel's testing of the Wolfram & Hart phone directory.
  • A Form You Are (Un)comfortable With: The Conduit.
  • Forced Prize Fight: "The Ring". The promoters keep their stable of demon fighters in line by fastening electrified bracelets to them. Anybody who steps outside the cordoned areas gets turned to ash.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Angel either managed to get a sweetheart deal on the Hyperion, or (more likely) applied for a preservation grant and got it listed as an historic building.
    • There was the suitcase full of cash that was never mentioned again, plus the Hyperion was long-deserted.
  • Freudian Slip: Still raw from Doyle's death, Angel snaps at Cordelia and Wesley to stop bickering — and achieves total silence by inadvertently calling Wesley "Doyle". ("I've Got You Under My Skin")
  • Friendly Enemy: Boone in "Blood Money".
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: The team pay a visit to Koreatown earlier in "Parting Gifts".
    • Showcased in "That Vision Thing", though the locals are decidedly unfriendly this time around.
  • Friend to All Children: Angel is definitely a kid person. Pity about Season 3...
  • From Bad to Worse: Connor is seduced by Jasmine-posessed Cordelia during what looks like the end of the world and brainwashed into believing she loves him and that he must protect their love child which is actually Jasmine.
    • He spends a great deal of time believing The Beast's emergence and the mayhem and slaughter which ensues is his fault because The Beast rose on the exact spot he was born. Jasmine planned it that way, but it wasn't his fault.
    • Also at the end of "The Magic Bullet" it is revealed that he was never brain-washed by Jasmine and was following her of his own volition.
    • In "Home" he holds a store full of people hostage with a bunch of explosive devices, likely in an attempt to make Angel kill him.
  • Frozen Dinner of Loneliness: After Wesley is kicked out of the group, he's shown eating a frozen dinner. This is especially poignant as his table is still immaculately made and candlelit, but he's still completely alone.
  • Fur Against Fang: Averted. Angel has no problem dating a werewolf in Season 5 (well, no problems with her lycanthropy, at least). Connor lampshades the kinkiness of this arrangement.

  • Gambit Roulette: Nearly everything that happened in seasons 2, 3, and 4 are retconned to have been a massive Gambit Roulette all along.
    • And then there was that time it snowed in Sunnydale. Hmmm...
    • Don't forget that we never got a real answer as to why Angel was allowed to return from hell that one time (Also in Buffy).
  • Game Changer: In the fourth season, the Big Bad of the season, Jasmine, had brainwashed masses tracking down the heroes and they had no idea how to fight back. They even mention that they needed a break somehow. Traveling in the sewers they come across a demon from another dimension who claims to have loved Jasmine first, and Angel travels to that dimension to find out something more about her.
  • Game Face: Vampires and other part-demon creatures tend to have one. Even Puppet!Angel has one.
  • Gaslighting: Jasmine, while in Cordy's body, did this with Connor to make him more vulnerable to her manipulations.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Residents of the Oden-Tal dimension live in a patriarchal society where the women are all enslaved. The male warriors, known as Vigories, remove the "ko" from each female to temper their sexual energy and make them more pliable. [insert female circumcision allegory here]
  • The Ghost: TPTB
  • Ghostapo: "Why We Fight" details the Nazis' foray into building a vampire army.
  • Ghostly Death Reveal: Cordelia Chase had last been seen in a coma in the finale of season 4, but she suddenly returns midway through season 5 to help Angel deal with the return of an old enemy and take a trip down memory lane. At the end, it's revealed she died earlier in the hospital and the Cordelia who assisted him was a ghost sent as a favor by the Big Good.
  • Gigantic Gulp: Demon!Cordelia chugging Angel's fridge blood.
    Angel: I don't think I've ever realized just how disgusting that is.
    • Another demon possessee, in the form of one Philip J. Spivey, attacking a slushee stand.
  • Gladiator Revolt: The ending to "The Ring".
  • Glamour
  • Good Is Dumb: Wesley. The craftiest member of the group also happens to be the most amoral and paranoid. Who would have thought?
    • Gunn's neural implant in Season Five. As would be expected, he's rabidly protective of his new skill set, leading to his downfall.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The Powers That Screw You (™Fred). Or, alternatively, The Powers That Sit on Their Ass (™Gunn).
    • Even Angel is at times unsure about whether the PTB care about his mission, though subtle hints are dropped that this isn't the case.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Cordelia, immediately upon landing in Pylea.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Lilah ends up joining Angel Investigations (sort of) after the rest of the firm is slaughtered by The Beast. Subverted when Cordy stabs her in the neck. So much for that.
  • Good-Guy Bar / Truce Zone: Caritas caters to good, neutral and evil folks, be they human or non-human. Popular for the drinks and the psychic karaoke. If only people would stop finding loopholes to circumvent the magical wards enforcing the neutrality agreement.
  • Good is Not Nice: Every member of Team Angel proves this time and again.
  • Good Parents: Roger and Trish Burkle. While they started out seeming menacing - managing to make Fred almost run away from the Hyperion simply by being mentioned - the episode reveals that they're actually kind, caring and wholesome people. The problem is that if they're part of Fred's new world, it's real. All the horrible things that happened to her were real too, when she tried to hard to convince herself it wasn't.
    • It's very telling that the rest of the group are stunned and jealous when it turns out normal parents (AKA Fred's) do exist.
      • Angel- critical and harsh father; Wesley- abusive father; Gunn- orphan; Cordy- felon father, currently in prison. Fred may be the only person in a Joss Whedon work with two decent, surviving parents, which of course only makes it more painful when Illyria wears Fred's face and fakes being her to them.
    • The Burkles' sheer niceness comes back to bite Wesley in the ass later, when he finds himself unable to tell them that Fred's been killed and re-inhabited by a demon queen.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Collins, one of the Watcher's Council operatives sent in to extract to Faith, looks downright sinister as he's puffing on a cig.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal
  • Grand Finale: The series finale is arguably a cross between Animal House and Inglourious Basterds, where instead of finding some MacGuffin to stop the Senior Partners and the unstoppable apocalypse, Team Angel decides to piss them off so royally and offering one last really audacious and futile gesture of defiance by assassinating every member of the Circle of the Black Thorn.
  • Grand Theft Me: Marcus stealing Angel's body. Also, Illyria taking over Fred's body in the fifth season.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: While attempting to escape a locked room with Kate in tow, Angel fires one of these at a suspension beam....causing it to snap and collapse. Kate decides it would be quicker to just Shoot Out the Lock instead.
    • While making the rounds of Wolfram & Hart ("Home"), Wesley punches out his tour guide, then latches onto the ceiling using a wrist-mounted grappling hook that was concealed under his sleeve. ZZZIP!
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The ones in "Lineage" are of the Cyborg variety.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: Wolfram & Hart's source books. Well, they seemed pretty nifty in 2004, before the Kindle.
    • Wesley's library of tomes.
    • Inverted in Season Four, when an exhaustive scan of his books fails to dredge up any mention of The Beast. Later, Lilah forks over a duplicate copy of one of Wesley's books — this one, however, has an entry on The Beast earmarked. Explanation? "I got mine from way out of town." (i.e. an alternate dimension).
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: After Knox is gunned down, Illyria shows her lack of regard by kicking his corpse at Wesley.
  • Groin Kick: Cordelia momentarily staves off Barney by grabbing her head in pain, pretending to have a vision which involves him. Barney, now concerned, asks if she's envisioning him in great danger. "Pain." she replies, before kneeing him square in the crotch.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Trevor Lockley. "In my day we didn't need any damn sensitivity."
    • Angel veers into this at times, which is understandable given the weird locale he's in.
    "I'm not cheap, I'm just old. I remember when a few bob got you a good meal, a bottle, and a tavern wench."
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Exploited by Wesley in "The Ring". Wes dodges a security guard at XXI with the help of Cordy, who pretends to have gotten lost on the way to the Ladies Room.
  • Guns Akimbo: Wesley, on occasion.
    • Gunn used this on the Scourge during the "Only Human" Arc of After the Fall. It's as awesome as it sounds.
    • Wes has some seriously badarse guns-akimbo moments; by the end of Season 5, it's in the intro.
    • Spoofed when Wesley does his two-gun thing instead of leaving one of his pistols with an unarmed Fred, much to her annoyance.
  • Guns Are Useless: Despite being incredibly badass, Wesley's John Woo routine rarely works. Illyria drops the bullets Matrix-style, Skip's carapace seems to be bullet proof, and the Beast seemed more amused than hurt. Of course, in all three examples, it's not just the guns that are useless.

  • Half-Human Hybrid: A great number of demons (Doyle included) are some variation of this, causing no small consternation on the part of "purebloods" who wish to preserve the genetic line.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first half of season 2 was about Angel trying to stop Wolfram & Hart's plan with Darla. He succeeds but he fires his team in the process and he tries to win them back for the rest of the season.
  • Half-Truth: Wesley's myriad of excuses for why he can't return to England.
    • Angel and Wesley grasping for positive things to say about Cordy's acting debut.
    Wesley: Well, your...projection was excellent.
    Angel: Yeah. I could hear every word and we were way in the back.
    Cordy: Okay, so I was loud. But was I any good?
    Wesley: You — took the role and made it your own!
    Cordy: Really? Thanks! Angel, was I good?
    Angel: I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think so.
    Cordy: Thanks! [beat] You didn’t say it.
    • Cordelia getting caught out in trying to dupe Angel & Wesley into taking on a divorce case. "According to the husband, the wife's a real witch!"
  • Handshake Refusal: Cordelia introduces herself to the friendly but corrupt lawyer Eve. When Eve begins to introduce herself in turn, Cordelia interrupts her, saying, "I didn't ask."
  • Hands Off My Fluffy!: In "Judgment".
  • Hangover Sensitivity: In "In the Dark", Doyle starts wishing for one of those head-cracking, brain-splitting visions to hit him. ..Because it would pale in comparison to his hangover.
  • Happy Fun Ball: The "Nest Egg", a giant smiling egg containing the souls of Smile Time's young viewers. Angel is transformed into a puppet by the Egg's energy discharge.
  • Haunted Apartment: Cordelia rents one.
  • Haunted Headquarters: Cordelia's apartment, the Hyperion Hotel, and (of course) Wolfram & Hart.
    • That last one had an episode dedicated to all of the lost souls in the building. "High-risk employment", indeed.
  • Happy Dance: Numfar! Do the Dance of Joy!
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Lorne. The character encompasses many aspects of a stereotypically gay man; and he smirks upon mentioning Angel in leather pants. However he later says that the reason he never lived up to the expectations of his Proud Warrior Race is because he was "hanging by the well and chatting up the senoritas". Andy Hallet explained Lorne's sexuality as being closer to omnisexual (figuratively speaking), since he "loves all humans."
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Zig-zagged with Doyle, who claims that the awakening of his demonic side caused the collapse of his marriage. In actual fact, his wife Harrie came to accept his demon heritage, even becoming an ethnodemonologist, someone who studies demonic cultures. When Doyle withdrew from their relationship, Harrie became engaged to Richard, another demon-human hybrid.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: One of Angel's less-inspired disguises ("Sense & Sensitivity").
  • Heist Clash: In "Ground State," Angel and his friends break into a heavily secured auction house to steal an artifact called the Axis of Pythia. They run into Gwen Raiden, a professional thief with an electrically charged body who beats them in stealing the item. After Gwen is betrayed by her employer (and shares a passionate kiss with Angel when her electrical powers briefly restart his dead heart), she allows them to take the Axis in exchange for returning it to her later.
  • He Knows Too Much: Trevor Lockley's fate, after he starts asking a few too many questions about his associates.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Holtz became as dangerous and as likely to cross the Moral Event Horizon as vampires.
  • He's Back!: "Epiphany" and "You're Welcome".
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Wesley's reaction to some blackmail photos of his client's antics at a demon brothel. When Angel points out that he's looking at the picture upside-down, Wes almost faints.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Spike and Angel didn't actually get along when they were soulless fiends. With souls, things are just as bad.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Lilah. Arguably.
    • Lindsey, to his chagrin. Mostly a case of Angel invoking this before he can switch sides again.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Evil Faith looks delicious in her black leather pants ("Five By Five").
    • The trio of evil Watchers (Collins, Weatherby, and Smith) are each wearing matching leather jackets.
    • "Rogue demon hunter" Wesley — but he stops because the pants chaff his crotch.
    • And of course Angelus, as lampshaded by Lorne and Cordelia.
  • Hell Hotel: The Hyperion from the 1950s until Team Angel moves in.
  • Hellevator: Complete with obnoxious Easy Listening music.
  • Hellish L.A.: Sunnydale may be where the Hellmouth is, but Los Angeles, from Hollywood to South Central, is portrayed throughout the series as the true Hell on Earth. Complete with it getting sent to literal Hell in the finale.
  • Hellish Pupils: Tom Cribb, a reptilian cage fighter in "The Ring".
  • Hero Antagonist: Buffy shows up to assassinate Faith, and doesn't much care that Angel's trying to redeem her. It gets so bad that Buffy attacks Angel to get to Faith, and at the end Angel tells her to fuck off home.
  • Hero of Another Story: The whole point of the show is Angel and his team becoming this to Buffy and The Scoobies.
  • Heroic BSoD: Angel suffers from one of these in Pylea upon seeing the true form of his vampiric face (in his normal dimension even vampires as old as the Master haven't manifested the full horror of a vampire's true face).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Doyle in series 1.
    • Wesley in the final episode.
    • Then in Season 5, Angel and Spike argue over who gets to be the Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Faith agrees to do one in season 4 to save Angel (drugging herself and letting Angelus feed on her), though they both end up surviving.
  • Heroic Suicide: Darla
  • Heroic Team Revolt: Self-inflicted in the second season. Angel kicks the team out and when he changes his mind has to go to lengths to get them back on his side.
  • Herr Doktor: Dr. Fetvanovich, from Wolfram & Hart's satellite office in the Balkans.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Partway through season four, Charisma Carpenter starts wearing baggy layers to hide her pregnancy.
  • Hidden Depths: Watch the first few episodes of Buffy, then watch "You're Welcome"—Cordelia's come a long way in the course of seven years.
    • The same goes for Wesley, who took a serious level in badarse.
    • Anne Steele, the clueless vampire groupie from Buffy, turns up in Angel as an idealistic social worker.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: One episode had a aged sorcerer who could Body Surf, and would take over younger bodies that would eventually burn out. He then hijacks Angel's body who, as an immortal vampire will never burn out. He then tries to do everything in his power to keep this new body.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: Wesley's conservative guess of the destruction caused by Illyria's implosion: Several city blocks. Angel requests an "unconservative" guess. Wes: "Rand & McNally will have to redraw their maps."
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: In the episode "Billy", a Hate Plague-infected Gunn orders Fred to knock him unconscious with a broken chair leg. It takes a couple of tries.
  • Hobos: The Kwaini are a (supposedly) peaceful species of demons who dress up in wool clothes and hats, causing several passerby to mistake them for hobos ("The Prodigal").
    • Boretz demons are a species known for their bad odor and poisonous mandibles. They have a habit of dressing up like transients to prey on homeless people ("Power Play").
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Wesley tranquilizing one of his Watcher associates with the syringe they entrusted him with in the first place.
    Wesley: [decks Weatherby] That's for calling me a "ponce".
  • Hollywood Exorcism: The episodes "Rm w/a View" and "I've Got You Under My Skin" are centered around exorcisms targeted at a ghost and possessed child, respectively.
    • The latter episode turns out to be a subversion, as the demon in question wasn't responsible for the boy's crimes and in fact held no control at all; the kid was already a psycho from the start.
  • Holy Burns Evil
  • Homage:
  • Honest Advisor:
    • Cordelia is a no-holds barred example. Wesley fills this role in Seasons 4-5 following her departure.
    • Gunn's sister, Alonna, doesn't mince words when she thinks he's being stupid. ("War Zone")
  • Honest John's Dealership: The only way to contain an Ethros demon is to trap it in a rare Ethros Box. Angel gives Cordelia the address of a shop he knows downtown, Rick's Magick & Stuff; Rick, however, does not have a box carved by "blind Tibetan monks," so Cordy instead buys a discounted one made by "mute Chinese nuns." Rick warns her it might be a little "tight across the shoulders" for the Ethros (oh boy, this'll be fun). Predictably, the box is reduced to splinters when Angel and Wesley exorcise the demon into it.
  • Hope Spot: If people are ever smiling on this show, brace yourself.
  • Hopeless Auditionees: In the wake of Doyle's death, Cordy auditions for a laundry detergent commercial, investing her lines with way more pathos than is called for.
    "See? *sniff* Just spray it on, [gulps] ...and rub it in... [chokes back tears] ...and in minutes... [sobs*] ...the stain is gone. IT'S COMPLETELY GONE!!
  • Horrible Hollywood: Often lampooned.
    • Wesley laments that Illyria still thinks she's the god-king of the universe. Gunn, searching for an analogy, ends up on "TV star." Wesley replies, "No, nothing that bad." Zing!
    • Angel very nearly decapitates a director who is verbally abusing Cordelia during a commercial shoot.
  • Hot God: Cordelia during her brief time as a Power. Jasmine as well later on in Season 4.
  • Hourglass Plot: Two examples, both related to the rogue slayer Faith:
    • Her two-episode arc in Season 1 first has Angel going after Faith, and Wesley trying to hold him back, insisting she can be rehabilitated; then in the next episode, after Wesley gets kidnapped and tortured by Faith and Angel realizes her true motives, they switch roles. The arc goes even further back, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3, in which Angel's attempt to rehabilitate Faith is interrupted by Wesley getting her arrested by the Council, meaning they have switched roles twice on the subject.
    • Her return in Season 4 is a double example. She switches her role in the Good versus Evil battle with the now soulless Angel(us), as well as her outlook on life with the now cold and jaded Wesley.
  • House of Broken Mirrors: One of the first signs that Darla's soul is beginning to destabilise her mental state is when Lindsay returns home and finds she's smashed up his entire apartment. When Angel's team later investigate the place, Angel immediately realises that what she was doing was destroying all the reflective surfaces in the apartment to try and avoid catching a glimpse of her own reflection.
  • How We Got Here: "Why We Fight" begins with Angel's friends being picked off one-by-one by a well-groomed vampire. The rest of the episode consists of flashbacks to a World War II submarine, where the mystery man (Jack Lawson) first crossed paths with Angel.
  • Hufflepuff House: Gunn's street gang. Lily's teen shelter can be considered an adjunct. Wesley gathers his own team around him after being kicked out of Angel Investigations in Season 4; once he returns to the fold we never see what happens to them.
  • Human Sacrifice: A common practice at Wolfram & Heart, at least until Team Angel moves in. Minor examples are found everywhere else in this show, from the standard "evil cult" variety to the apocalyptic "oh God the Beast just killed Hollywood" kind.
  • Humanity Ensues: "I Will Remember You".
  • Humans Are Bastards:
    • Or at least the men are, since one episode involved a guy with evil powers that caused the latent murderous misogyny in all men to emerge. Vampires are immune to this since they don't hate women in such a petty manner.
    • Actually, Angel says that the reason he isn't affected is because he's let go of the rage and hate that Billy brought out. A normal vampire probably would be affected because they wouldn't be as evolved as Angel.
    • Also the reason why Wolfram & Hart can't be stopped.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Holtz was a genuine vampire hunter even before his fateful meeting with Angelus and Darla.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Holtz turned Angelus and Darla into this.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Cordelia quite often, especially in season one.
    Cordelia: You know what I think? I think he uses his tortured, creature of the night status as a license to be rude and insensitive. Sure he’s polite to the helpless and downtrodden but he ignores the people closest to him! The people who matter the most you know! Can you say clueless? (Meanwhile Doyle is being audibly strangled by a demon about four metres behind her.)
    • Doyle himself often said one thing and a moment later did the opposite.
      Doyle: Just simmer down here, okay? Violence isn't gonna solve a thing, alright? (punches bar patron) On the other hand, it is kinda festive.
      • In the pilot he tells Angel that the world needs men like them to show that there's still love and compassion left then he tells off a homeless person asking for change.
    • In "Eternity", Angel plays down the news article reporting on his rescue of Rebecca Lowell. "We ran into an actor. It's Hollywood. It happens." When Wesley remarks that there's no mention of Angel, however, the high-minded vampire suddenly does a double-take. "What?!"
    • In "Smile Time" Angel says he's paying more attention to what's going on with the people around him. Then he promptly gets clawed by Nina who he failed to notice had just changed into a werewolf.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Cordy's pitch for an Angel Investigations TV spot. "Maybe that bald Star Trek guy, or one of the cheaper Baldwins."
    • A few weeks into running the firm's Entertainment Division, Lorne finds himself doing this constantly. He suggests selling a script based on the Buffy/Angel/Spike love triangle.
      "I see Depp and Bloom. ...Then again, I see them a lot."
    • How does The Grapes of Wrath IN SPACE grab ya?
      [on the phone] "I'm pretty sure Henry Fonda's dead, honey. ..."Bring him back to life"?!"

  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Cordelia, while queen of Pylea, says "Off with their heads!" when asked what to do about her captured friends. She quickly says "Just kidding" and sheepishly admits she's always wanted to say that.
  • I Can't See Myself: Marcus Roscoe's reaction upon bodysurfing into Angel.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Invoked a lot.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • From "The Prodigal", yeah Angel banging on someone's door and frantically yelling for him to invite you in when you'd threatened him the last time you saw him is a really good idea.
    • Damage" is an episode where William the Bloody is a berk. Let's review:
    • First we get the idea that something is off with Dana as when Spike confronts her she looks like a kid on Christmas.
    Spike: Let's talk, you and me. Demon to demon. *vamps out*
    Dana: Vampire! *whack*
    • Then we find out she's a Slayer and has the memories of the previous ones.
    Spike: Sorry luv, I don't speak Chinese.
    Dana: Is it him? *thwack*
    • 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.
    Dana: I have to get back to Robin.
    Spike: Robin? You think you're Nikki? The Slayer I...
    Dana: It is him. Heart and head. Keep cutting until dust, It's the Only Way to Be Sure.
    • Did the gang really think they could avoid telling Fred's parents that she died?
  • I Don't Like You And You Don't Like Me: At the conclusion of "Shells", Spike admits to Angel that he doesn't really like him. And another two hundred years probably isn't going to change that. Nevertheless, Spike decides to honor Fred by staying on with the crew.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Point Dume (pronounced DOOM), a real-life promontory on the coast of Malibu. In the Season 3 finale, Angel and Cordelia agree to rendezvous here to confess their feelings for each other, unaware that Connor has some nasty vengeance planned indeed.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Angel once sired a vampire after he had a soul - a mortally wounded submarine captain who had to be kept alive to bring his ship back to the surface to save his crew. This apparently left him with just enough of a conscience to take not the slightest pleasure in his slaughter - but not enough to keep him from butchering people just like every other vampire out there. Sixty years later, he showed up and forced Angel to kill him. The trope name itself also sums up Connor and Angel's relationship, though it's not actually an example.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Angel suspects that Gunn's neural implant is corrupting him. He's half-right; it's not the implant that destroys Gunn, but the fear of losing it.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Nerdy software giant David Nabbit is stuck supporting the wall at his own party. He becomes clingy after Angel and his associates render a service, showing up at their offices with a cape and sword.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Angel's very first client.
    • Gunn fails to stop a gang of vampires from driving away with his sister. By the time Gunn meets her again, she's already been vamp'ed.
    • Not only does Angel fail to cure Darla's illness, but he's foiled in preventing Drusilla from re-siring Darla as a vampire.
    • Angel fails to save Cordy in Season Four, partly due to errors stretching all the way back to the previous year.
    • In the fifth season when Angel learns that the ritual to save Fred will kill thousands, he declares his intention perform the ritual, but can't go through with it.
  • I Lied: Griff, after promising Doyle another day to cough up the money.
  • Intimate Artistry: When Cordelia has disappeared at the start of season four Angel sketches a photo-realistic portrait of her, which demonstrates his longing to find her and the fixation he has.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Angel chases and corners Spike in an alley blocked by a Chain-Link Fence. Spike doesn't even attempt to leap the fence, instead turning around and surrendering with an air of smugness. Angel takes the bait, and is garroted by Spike's henchman, Marcus. Whoops.
    Spike: Caught me fair and square, white hat! Guess there's nothin' to do now but go along quietly and pay my debt to society.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: a subtle running gag has Angel often taking offense to these.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: As Wesley and Cordelia compare bruises from the previous night's tangle with Faith, Cordy says, "If it's any consolation, it really does look like you were tortured by a much larger woman."
  • I'll Kill You!: In the Victorian-era flashbacks of "Five By Five", Darla reacts to Angel's newfound soul the same way a human would to a vampire — by recoiling in fear and trying to kill him.
    • After Holtz manipulated Wesley into stealing Angel's son (whereupon he gets his throat slit when Holtz engineers Connor's kidnapping from an isolated, and therefore easily targeted, Wesley) Angel pays him a visit in the hospital. At first it seems like Angel is prepared to reconcile, but then he suddenly grabs a pillow and tries to smother Wesley with it. Angel continues to hurl curses and threats at Wesley as he is dragged away by Gunn and some orderlies.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: A somewhat dumbfounded Wesley asks, "Is anyone else cold?" after getting shot in the gut. ("The Thin Dead Line")
  • I'm Not Afraid of You
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    Angel: I'm NOT a eunuch!
    • When Cordelia starts fretting over Angel possibly having sex with superstar Rebecca Lowell (and losing his soul), Wesley reminds her that Angel's curse hinges on him experiencing true happiness. Besides," Wes says, "What are the odds he'll find that with an actress? — before realizing his mistake.
    • Groo's compliment to Cordelia that she is "a goddess":
    Cordelia: Well, demonness, anyway. Sure beats horns and a tail.
    Lorne: (offended) Hey! I'm standing right here.
    • "Bachelor Party":
    Cordelia: Hi Doyle. Are you gonna become loser pining guy, like, full time? 'Cause we already have one of those around the office.
    Angel and Doyle: Hey!
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Angel often has to remind others of this, particularly when they accuse him of being Angelus in disguise.
    • Conversely, Holland Manners spells this out for Angel in "Reunion".
    • In "Underneath", Angel is forced to to free Lindsey from Wolfram & Hart's prison dimension. Lindsey notices Angel's sword and, assuming they've come to kill him, snarls, "Make it quick." Exasperated, Angel replies, "If I was gonna kill you, it wouldn't be quick."
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Gunn is compelled to twist Professor Seidel's neck before tossing his limp corpse down a portal, ostensibly so Fred wouldn't have to do it ("Supersymmetry").
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: Darla once tested Angel by offering him a baby to eat.
  • Ignored Epiphany: A couple of cases can be argued, but Lindsey helping Angel save the kids but going back to Wolfram and Heart for a promotion, raise and "ungodly benefits".
    • The entirety of season 5 consists of Angel rejecting his own from the episode Epiphany in season 2. In the end he essentially retries his suicide mission against the Senior Partners from the second season, he just has better information and the rest of the team with him this time.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Angel's advice to Kate before taking the mic at her father's retirement bash.
    Kate: (glances at Angel) Way ahead of you.
  • Imagine Spot: Angel being asked if he wants to dance. Ho boy.
    • "Sanctuary" picks up where the previous story left off, with Angel tucking Faith into bed in his apartment. Faith imagines herself springing up and slashing Angel's face with a knife.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty
  • Immortality Immorality: Rebecca Lowell, an actress who hopes to revive her flagging career by becoming an ageless vampire. Only in Hollywood...
  • Impaled Palm: Wesley interrogates a loan shark by shooting his hand a crossbow bolt, pinning it against a wall. Then Wes reaches for the bolt and twists it. Bear in mind, this is still "Nice Guy Season One" Wesley we're talking about here.
    • After Angel spares her life, a stunned Alonna Gunn missteps and trips one of her own booby traps. With lightning speed, Angel catches an arrow directed at her with his palm. "Ow."
    • Holtz drives a nail through Justine's hand to test her loyalty.
    • Wesley also has this done to him by a booby trap in Season 4, Episode 10.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Angel battles Marcus beneath the shade of an overhanging pier. Angel impales him on a large beam, but the Gem of Amarra renders Marcus invincible — until angel yanks it off his finger.
    • When Penn puts Angel in a headlock, Angel signals Kate to impale him with an oversized piece of wood. She jabs it though both of them, missing Angel's heart but killing Penn.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Wesley and Cordelia make a bumbling effort to pass as detectives in "The Ring". Wes rapidly waves his wallet around to imitate a flashed badge.
    • Angel's masterful performance as a lead detective at a crime scene — using only a styrofoam coffee cup.
  • Implacable Man: This is Hamilton and Illyria's baseline combat strategy.
  • Inherent in the System: The theme of Season Five.
    Fred: We didn't sell out. We're changing the system from the inside.
    Gunn: You know, when you say it out loud, it sounds really naive.
  • Internal Reformist: The main cast's plan for season 5.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: Angel likes to name drop. In addition to hanging out with Charles Baudelaire and the Rat Pack, Angel was also (somehow) at the first taping of The Carol Burnett Show.
  • Indy Ploy: Angel's preferred strategy. And Gunn's. And Groosalugg's. And Spike's. In fact it's probably safe to say that the only member of the team to ever think a plan through was Wesley, and he still came up with plenty of horrible plans.
    Cordelia: Gunn graduated with a major in Dumb Planning from Angel University. He sat at the feet of the master, and learned well, how to plan dumbly.
  • The Informant: Merl.
  • Informed Attribute : Angel is told that he's quite attractive. Since he can't actually look in the mirror, he takes their word for it. Also, in the episode 'In The Dark', while wearing The Gem of Amarra and walking around in the daylight, Oz claims Angel is paler than most people. This time it's the audience that takes his word for it.
  • Insistent Terminology: Spike insists on being called "Captain" while aboard a submarine in 1943. "After all, I did eat him."
  • Instant Sedation: The Watcher's Council operatives give Wesley a syringe containing a sedative "powerful enough to bring down a man twice your size - or a Slayer." (i.e. Faith) What's more, all it requires is "a little pressure on the flesh" to work.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Angel and Cordelia. Shipping aside, in Spin the Bottle he calls her "his dearest friend".
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: Gunn grills a wealthy man by juggling a set of priceless conjuring orbs in front of him. He intentionally smashes one to prove his point.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Played for laughs in "I Will Remember You", the episode following Angel's visit to see Buffy. When Cordelia and Doyle arrive for work, they immediately panic when they spout Angel examining a stake. "Don't do it, Angel!" (Angel's using it to prop up his desk.)
  • Ironic Echo: "I just can't seem to care." And let's not forget "Is that it? Am I done?" or even (arguably) "I get that now".
    • Attorney Lee Mercer makes the mistake of getting in Faith's face, warning her not to make him "look bad". Faith immediately starts hammering his head into a table while parroting his line (The next time we see Mercer, he's wearing a neck brace).
    • "Survival of the fittest, bro. And right now you're not lookin' too fit."
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "All Through the Night".
  • It Gets Easier: The team gets steadily more ruthless and downright casual about killing as the series goes on. It's a fair bet that season 5 Angel would have capped Lindsey and Lilah in their first episode and season 5 Wesley would have done the same but tortured them first.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Many things, but an example from this show is the demonstration article of that page.
  • It Meant Something to Me
  • It Works Better with Bullets: As a sporting chance, Faith jokingly tosses Angel a revolver, but it shoots blanks. Subverted when Faith reclaims the gun and shoots Angel point-blank; looks like there was a bullet in the chamber.
  • It's All My Fault: In exchange for being given legal knowledge, Gunn signs off on a document allowing Illyria's sarcophagus to pass through customs, which eventually leads to the death of Fred. Naturally he is devastated and reluctant to tell anyone about it, and is even stabbed by Wesley after he finds out.
  • It's Been Done: In "Soulless", Angelus finds more humor in his son's dalliances with Cordelia than his alter-ego did.
    Angelus: Doing your mom, and trying to kill your Dad. There should be a play.
  • It's a Long Story: Subverted in "I Will Remember You" as Buffy is busy taking the piss out of Angel.
    Angel: It's complicated how this all happened, Buffy, you know? It's kind of a long story.
    Buffy: Your new sidekick had a vision, I was in it, you came to Sunnydale?
    Angel: [beat] Okay. Maybe not that long.
  • It's Personal: After Angel telephones Giles to learn what horrors Faith inflicted on Buffy, Wesley notices that Angel is absolutely fuming ("Five By Five").
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: "Birthday", in which Cordelia witnesses a vision of her life had she never crossed paths with Angel during the pilot episode.

  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Wesley has no qualms about sticking a few blades in people for information. Or if he's pissed off. And this is before his gritty makeover — he's torturing people as early as Season One, which gives us this gem not long after Wesley's dorky, incompetent arrival on the show:
    "You should understand that the man I work for means a great deal to me. And I will not give you a single red cent. What I will do, sir, is beat it out of you if I have to." [pins informant's hand to a wall with a small, rather painful-looking crossbow bolt, and proceeds to twist it slowly] "Where is my employer?"
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "Sense and Sensitivity", the gangster who hires Wolfram and Hart to break him out of jail takes advantage of the chaos to try and settle a score with the detective who arrested him, killing several cops in the process. When he gets caught again, he angrily berates the Wolfram and Hart lawyer when the lawyer refuses to help him a second time. The lawyer points out that instead of shooting up a police station and getting more charges added to his sheet, he could have just walked out the door and driven straight to the airport a free man.
  • The Juggernaut: Illyria, The Beast, Hamilton and Jasmine, to name a few.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Angel knows the evil things Faith had done, perhaps even more than Buffy as he had witnessed at least Faith's attempted rape and murder and it's never shown he shares this. Despite this he offers Faith sanctuary when she is so disgusted at how evil she had become she wants Angel to kill her. Buffy on the other hand is more than happy to honor that request, enraged at what Faith had done and enraged that Angel wants to reform her.