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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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  • Katanas Are Just Better: Largely subverted. There's one in Angel Investigations' armory, but no one ever uses it until the final episode of the final season.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Angel chooses not to save the Wolfram & Hart lawyers from Darla and Drusilla.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down
  • Kill the Cutie: Tina in "City Of", and Fred in "A Hole In The World".
    • Sunny from "A New World" was pretty cute for a heroin addict.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fred uses a flamethrower to kill a bunch of baby demon eggs, and the flamethrower shows up in some other episodes.
    • Also, since the scene before that is a happy home old-timey scene of Fred with her folks in Texas, it's a great example of Joss's famous Smash Cut.
    • Angel immolated Darla and Drusilla during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. They aren't actually killed though.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: In the middle of his spiel, Silas takes an axe to the neck in "No Place Like Plrtz Glrb".
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Kind Restraints: There's a werewolf chick who comes to Wolfram & Hart every month to be locked up.
    • Angel himself in "Somnambulist". He lets the others tie him up when he's afraid he's killing people in his sleep. "Eternity" might or might not count....he was having a pseudo-Angelus episode brought on by drugs, so he was evil when they chained him up. However, he was left tied for a while by Cordy and Wes later at the end of the ep.
  • Kiss of Death: Jasmine plants one on Angel. This would be probably be sexier if her face wasn't covered in boils.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Angel and Cordelia in "Waiting In The Wings".
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Cordelia makes a commercial for Angel Investigations, but they never have it aired. Doyle is the on-air "talent," and he's very uncomfortable on camera.
    • Cordelia's Imagine Spot had a bigger budget in mind, with narration from "that bald guy from Star Trek, or one of the cheaper Baldwins."
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Lorne on Pylea, as a non-warrior.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Just about everyone in Angel Investigations, especially Angel and Wesley.
  • Knight Templar: Holtz's crew (Justine included).
    • Contrary to their words, Collins, Weatherby, and Smith are more interested in putting Faith down than in any kind of "rehabilitation". Weatherby is the most fanatical of the lot, and is disgusted Wesley for forming an allegiance with a vampire.
    • Buffy Summers herself, in the episode Sanctuary.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Vampires are vulnerable to sunlight and wood, so, yeah.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: The Gem of Amara.

  • A Lady on Each Arm: Andrew(!) in his departing scene.
  • Last Kiss: "You're Welcome".
  • Large and in Charge: Demons and vampires tend to flock around the biggest S.O.B. in the room. Notable examples are "Head Demon" guy (the juiced-up, ponytailed demon in "The Prodigal") and Deevak ("First Impressions").
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The episode "Spin the Bottle".
  • Laser Hallway: Also, zombies in riot gear.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Angel's introduction to Kate, who inquires about what he does for a living ("Lonely Hearts").
    "I, uh...well, basically I'm...uh, I help— I'm a veterinarian."
    • "Sense & Sensitivity":
    Cordelia: (grumbling about her late-night hours) "Why I ever thought it was a nifty idea to work for a vamp— (sees Detective Lockley) ...triloquist! Hi!"
    • "Expecting":
    Wesley: If shaking your booty at the latest trendy hot spot is your idea of a life, then call me— (trio of beautiful women walk in) ...sick with envy.
  • Last Villain Stand: After her brainwashing powers are lost, Jasmine declares that if she can't rule the world she's going to destroy it. She shrugs off everything Angel tries to throw at her, but we don't get to see how she actually intends to accomplish her new goal because Connor, whose immunity to her powers apparently stretch to ignoring her invulnerability, shows up and kills her.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The fifth and final season involved the protagonists running the Big Bad organization Wolfram & Hart. Due to Budget Cuts, a much greater portion of the episodes took place during the daytime, and Long Running actress Charisma Carpenter was non-present with the exception of one episode that was wholly irrelevant to the series canon.
  • The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay: Wolfram and Hart, a front for the operations of the demonic Wolf, Ram and Hart.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Illyria turns into Fred and comforts the dying Wesley.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Spike and Angel, after being humiliated by The Immortal.
    • After Wolfram & Hart's Emotion Bomb causes Kate to unleash her pent-up emotions toward her father ("Sense & Sensitivity"), he tells her (rather icily) to never speak of it ever again.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!
  • Life Drinker: In the tie-in short story collection The Longest Night, a man was killing people by using a demon's help to steal their youth, because he was desperate to see his son grow up. He tries it on Wesley, and when Angel gets there, it's the boy who's growing older while Wes becomes an old man, at least until Angel manages to break the spell.
  • Lighter and Softer: The series is not afraid to poke fun at itself or to throw humor into the show, and where in Buffy some trauma happens or a character makes a mistake and they can be mired in such a deep depression it lasts for the episode, or that particular storyline, or occasionally for the whole season. Here some trauma happens or a character makes a mistake that is just as big and they are more grown up and equipped to deal with it. They'll mourn, they'll cry, but then they'll pick themselves up, dust themselves off and continue fighting the good fight.
  • Limited Social Circle: Lampshaded several times by Angel's teammates, including Gunn after a while.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted. While none of the main characters are magic-users (at least in the way Willow was in Buffy), they all find a way of defeating warlocks like Vail. Usually with fire.
    • Vail himself handles a wizard duel quite well. He doesn't handle being punched though the face by an Eldritch Abomination very well.
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage: Gunn asks what type of equipment they'd need to burgle an auction house. Angel suggests repelling hooks, flashlights, aerosol spray — all against a montage of these items being prepared. Lockpicking tools, rope, a knife and...lipstick? Turns out it's a female Classy Cat-Burglar who's after the MacGuffin as well.
  • Literal Metaphor: The prophecy regarding the vampire pregnancy states "there will be no birth, only death". Wolfram & Hart take this literally and assume that means the baby will be killed before it's born, or at least be stillborn. However, this turns out to be the literal truth. A vampire body is incapable of giving birth and magical protection for the unborn baby means a C-section is impossible. Darla stakes herself to destroy her body, leaving behind a very alive baby.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The Haxil from "Expecting" is killed when Angel throws a container of liquid nitrogen at it, which Wesley then shoots open with a well-placed shot, causing the Haxil to freeze in place. With its dying throes, the Haxil's psychic link with his surrogate mommies (Cordelia included) is broken, erasing his children from their wombs. Cordy climbs out, grabs a block and tackle from the ceiling, and hurls it directly at the frozen Haxil, shattering it to coldly-smoking smithereens.
  • Little Miss Almighty: The Conduit manifested itself as a little girl for a while.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Angel ultimately decides that he's becoming this to Buffy, as she is endangering her life in trying to protect him. This results in Angel choosing to revert back to being a vampire ("I Will Remember You").
  • Living Motion Detector: The villain in the season 1 episode "Blind Date".
  • Living Structure Monster: A demon who's also a wall, which inspires worshipers to fight over it, shows up in a second-season episode.
  • Loan Shark: Doyle runs up against a trio of debt collectors in "Rm w/a Vu". Doyle explains it's not so much a matter of clearing his debt (he can't) as performing favors for people until they owe hima sophisticated system of checks and balances.
    Doyle: Well, I don't have the money! You can't get blood from a stone, man.
    Angel: They can get blood out of you.
    • "Double Or Nothing" has Jenoff, a demonic casino owner who comes to collect Gunn's soul. In his teens, life in the ghetto hardened Gunn to the extent that he traded his soul for a pickup truck, believing that he had no future.
    • "The Ring" features Ernie, a rather nonchalant loan shark. Sadly for him, he's just met his match: a skinny bespectacled British man. With a crossbow.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: With Season Five's cosmic retcon, only Angel is aware of Connor's existence and the terms of Angel's agreement with Wolfram & Hart. Wesley (and Illyria, accidentally) learn the truth in "Origin", but the revelations are so devastating that he keeps it under wraps.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The Prince Of Lies. The character's body movements, those little twitches and grimaces, are modeled directly on Max Schrek.
  • Loony Fan: Subverted in "Eternity". The "stalker" turns out to be a stuntman hired by the actress' overzealous agent, Oliver.
  • Lonely at the Top: Rebecca Lowell actually engenders sympathy in the first half of "Eternity", which explores the darker side of celebrity. To Angel's disappointment, she later turns out to be just as self-absorbed and superficial as everyone else.
  • Longing Look: Wes and Gunn catch each other casting such glances on Fred...simultaneously.
  • Lopsided Dichotomy: Lorne translating for some demons:
    "Either they're going to talk to their prince, or they're going to go and eat a cheesemonkey."
  • Losing the Team Spirit: Angel upon embarking on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Season 2. Wesley undergoes this after getting his throat slit in Season 3.
  • Love Hungry: Jasmine's plot was partly fueled by this, and helped thanks to Glamour.
  • Love Theme: "Close Your Eyes", Angel and Buffy's theme from Buffy, returns in the first season episode "I Will Remember You"
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Faith eventually tires of Wesley's calm disposition during his torture. She holds a pocket knife to Wes' throat, saying she wants to hear him scream. He glares icily and whispers, "You never will."
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Inverted by Angel in "Sanctuary", who chooses to take Faith under his care rather than tie her up (to Cordelia and Wesley's consternation).

  • MacGuffin Melee: In Season 3 Episode 10 when several different factions want to get their hands on Angel's baby son.
  • MacGyvering: In "The Ring", Wesley struggles to locate a thread which is fine enough to break Angel's shock handcuffs. Cordy offers to use the horsehair wound around her bracelet - a memento from her IRS-impounded pony, Keanu.
  • Mad Artist: Penn considers himself to be one, even as he's being taunted by Angel about his lack of creativity. Ultimately, Penn proves incapable of changing his centruries-old MO.
  • Mad Oracle
  • Made of Iron: Despite being able to break through concrete walls like tissue paper, creatures like the Beast seem to have trouble causing similar damage to the human main characters.
  • Made of Plasticine: If you're a Wolfram & Hart employee or a Hollywood celebrity, odds are that vampires and other beasties can punch straight through you and use your blood to decorate their lairs.
  • Madness Mantra: Pretty much anything uttered by Dana, the psycho Slayer.
  • Magic Kiss: Cordelia gets Doyle's vision power when Doyle kisses her; she later also passes a vision to Angel that way.
  • Magical Abortion: Cordelia got one of these because there's No Ontological Inertia (she also had a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong destroyed, but that's not quite the same thing).
  • Magical Defibrillator: Gwen Raiden's electric abilities temporarily restart Angel's heart.
  • Magical Database: Demons, Demons, Demons, your one-stop demon database. Dawn has also been known to visit the site on Buffy.
  • Magically Binding Contract: Wolfram and Hart's employee contracts extend into the afterlife.
  • The Mafia: "Little" Tony Papazian and his sidekick, Bobby Bacala.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: Wolfram & Hart, "a multi-dimensional law firm", keep Angel busy with just about anything the plot needs.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Finding Wilson at the shooting range, Angel demands to know the identity and whereabouts of his demon lord. When the rest of his goons show up, Wilson gets to his feet and announces that Angel's "about to have an accident" with a firearm, then promptly shoots Angel three times in the gut. Oh boy, now you pissed him off.
    "I really don't like it when people shoot me."
  • Male Gaze: Lampshaded by Cordelia as she tries on her necklace.
  • Man on Fire: The Puppeteer Parasite in "Lonely Hearts" is dispatched by Angel chucking his (human) host into a Trashcan Bonfire.
    • Played straight in "The Magic Bullet". Jasmine explains that everyone is connected by her "love", granting her control over the entire population of L.A.. Fred checks into a motel, where people around her start pursuing her. Fred takes off running, passing a man who is fueling his car. Another driver jumps a curb, hits the first car, then sets off an explosion. The driver calmly gets out of his car, his body wreathed in flames, and resumes his unflinching walk towards Fred.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been", set in the 1950s, follows Angel's attempts to rid the Hyperion Hotel of a demon who feeds off peoples emotions by causing them to kill each other. Unfortunately, the angry hotel guests mistake Angel for a murderer and form a lynch mob, hanging him from the chandelier. After they leave the lobby, Angel cuts himself down and pretty much gives a big fuck you to the guests, telling the demon he can have them.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: The Pyleans.
  • Marionette Motion: Illyria initially finds her new vessel quite confining.
  • Masked Luchador: Numero Cinco, who works for Wolfram and Hart in the fifth season.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: The Master > Darla > Angelus > Drusilla > Spike. In the last season, however, Spike fights Angel and wipes the floor with him, somewhat subverting this trope by making it clear how, if you're angry enough, the Master-Apprentice Chain doesn't mean jack.
  • Menacing Stroll: The Beast, and his less rocky counterpart Hamilton.
    • Angelus does this in his brief first appearance.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You never know your strength until you're tested." ("Hero")
    • Spike delivers the same quip ("They'll let anyone in here.") in two different time periods — on a German submarine in 1943, and Wolfram & Hart in 2004. Similarly, Jack Lawson parrots the line "Give me a mission." ("Why We Fight").
    • The whimsical discussion on whether cavemen or astronauts would win is echoed by Fred as she nears death due to an ancient demon, whispering "Cavemen win... of course cavemen win."
    • In the first and last episodes of the series:
      Angel: Let's go to work.
  • Megacorp: Wolfram & Hart, whose size and influence seems to grow with each season.
  • Metaphorgotten: Spike invokes this as a way of consoling himself that least he won't be lonely in Hell.
    Spike: Least I got company, eh? You and me, together again. Hope and Crosby. Stills and Nash. Chico and the—
    Angel: Yeah, we done?
  • Mid-Season Twist
    • Season 2: Wolfram & Hart wanted Angel to sire Darla. BAD IDEA.
    • Season 3: The arrival of Holtz.
    • Season 4: The Beast covers Los Angeles in darkness. Cordelia and Connor have sex.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Cordelia's eyes turn white while she's under the control of Phantom Dennis, who directs her to demolish down a partition in her apartment, revealing his skeleton moldering behind the wall.
  • Mind over Matter: Bethany in "Untouched".
  • Mirror Scare: Happens a few times in the show but played with as the scare is usually for the audience rather than characters in the show. Characters look into a mirror and it's clear the room's empty behind them, but the camera suddenly reveals (to the audience) that Angel is lurking there. It does a good job of showing just how creepy that kind of situation is. It's also used to reveal the ghost of Pantom Dennis's mother standing behind Cordelia as she's brushing her teeth in the mirror. Again, it's played to surprise the audience rather than Cordelia.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Angel gets this a lot. Both he and Wesley are mistaken for a gay couple by Cordelia's friends ("Expecting").
    Wesley: You don't think sticking the axe in the wall put them off?
    Angel:: That was charming.
    Wesley: What about the fact they thought we were gay?
    Angel: Adds mystery.
    • Angel gets this, hilariously, by someone possessing him (Looks at his clothes, thinks...) "Of course.").
    • Cordelia first mistakes Harmony's vampiric tendencies — such as stalking Cordy while she's asleep — for being a latent lesbian.
    • Kate Lockely is treated to a Backhanded Compliment by her father, who seems relieved that she brought Angel to his retirement party: "I was beginning to wonder if she didn't swing in another direction altogether."
    • In "Harm's Way" a group of Wolfram & Hart employees are discussing who they think has a crush on Fred. Harmony suggests Wesley but is dismissed by the others,
    Office Girl: Mr. Wyndam-Pryce? Everyone knows he's- *distracted* Oooh! Muffins!
  • Mistaken from Behind: When Fred is on the run from her brainwashed friends, she loses them by taking off her jacket and giving it to a stranger with similar hair. In the time in takes her pursuers to see the stranger from the front, Fred manages to hide.
  • MockGuffin: The Cup Of Eternal Torment in "Destiny".
  • Mock Millionaire: Sam Ryan, Angel's client in "Provider".
  • Moment Killer: Doyle and Cordelia see plenty of these. The pair are just about to ask each other out on a date when Doyle's wife, Harrie, pops in. Doyle also comes close to admitting that he's part-demon in "Hero", only for a crippling vision headache to hit him.
  • Monster Lord: According to Lorne, Archduke Sebassis is a member of "bona fide royalty" down below. He certainly acts like a pompous aristocrat.
  • Mood Dissonance: Angel ranges from pants-wettingly funny to pants-shittingly scary at a moment's notice. Either way, they're probably going to need changing.
  • Mood Whiplash: Switches between comedy and Tearjerker -ness at the drop of a hat. "Smile Time" is immediately followed by "A Hole In The World," which begins with Angel and Spike arguing over who would win in a fight between cavemen and astronauts, and ends with Fred dying in agony in Wesley's arms while an Eldritch Abomination consumes her body and soul.
    • The ending arc of of season 2 with the gang stuck in Pylea is mostly played as a farce comedy. When they return home at the end of the episode they find Willow at the Hyperion to tell them of Buffy's death in the Gift.
  • Monster Roommate: Phantom Dennis.
  • Monster of the Week: Starts out in the earlier seasons, but gets dropped later in favor of plot-intense story arcs. In season 5, the creators deliberately moved back to more Monster of the Week after the very long story arcs of seasons 3 and 4.
  • Moral Myopia: Holtz.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Professor Oliver Seidel likes to send his students into other dimensions via portals if he considers them a threat to his prestige.
    • Wolfram & Hart have their own model, Dr. Sparrow.
  • Mortality Ensues: According to the Shanshu Prophesy, the Vampire with a Soul will eventually be rewarded by dying - which is to say, he'll be rewarded by becoming human, and thus being allowed to die as a human.
  • Mouth of Sauron: The Senior Partners pass down their messages through other lawyers at the firm - usually shadowy, menacing types. Holland Manners and Hamilton both get turns at the wheel.
  • Mugging the Monster: Faith is approached by a hustler the moment she steps off the bus in L.A. He offers her a place to stay - to which she breaks his jaw and steals his wallet, jacket and apartment key.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Cribb shoots out his tongue to steal another fighter's lunch and (later) Wesley's handcuff key. ("The Ring")
  • The Murder After: "Harm's Way". Harmony finds herself in a bit of a predicament.
  • Muppet Cameo: "Smile Time": You're a wee little puppet man!
  • My Card: Angel Investigations' business cards. Cordelia designed the logo, a stylized angel which, according to Angel and Doyle, resembles "a lobster".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gunn, after learning that the deal he made to have a permanent brain boost caused Fred's death.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Angel warns Jhiera that while he supports her cause, if she ever crosses the line and endangers the people of his world, she's in for a world of hurt, Sonny Jim. — Angel has a bit of trouble spitting it out, especially since he's reeling from Jhiera's sexual aura. When she turns to leave, Jhiera's "ko" is burning red, signaling that the feeling is mutual.
    • When Illyria meets Connor for the first time. "Your body warms. This one lusts for me."
    "It's the leather."
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Lorne, though it's unusual because we met him first, and only later learned he was considered a freak by the rest of his Proud Warrior Race Guy species.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: A repeat offender: Cordelia alone had two. Darla became pregnant with Angel's child, despite both of them being vampires and vampires being unable to breed in this universe.
  • Mythology Gag: Dana having the memories of past Slayers in "Damage" is a nod to the 1992 Buffy film.

  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: What the gang quickly concludes when they learn the prophecy that Cordelia must com-shuck with the Groosalugg, a hideous, impure and misshapen Pylean summoned from the scum pits of Ur. Subverted when he's revealed to be a hunk.
    • Played with with Connor. The demonic slugs that infest the Hyperion Hotel call him "The Destroyer", before he's revealed to be a teenage boy, who then turns out to be all kinds of scarily lethal and well-deserving of his nickname, despite appearances. It's also Lampshaded by Cordeila.
    Cordelia: Oh, that is just not the name you want to hear.
  • National Stereotypes: Mostly imported from Buffy.
    Robert Wyndam-Pryce: Oh that's right, this is Los Angeles. We're supposed to talk about our feelings. Then maybe we'll hug.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Scourge (from the episode "Hero").
  • Neck Snap: This is one of the most consistent way of dispatching demons. Angel (and Angelus) in particular are prone to it, while the humans usually use weapons.
    Angelus: "I never get tired of doing that" (after just snapping Jennifer Calenders neck)
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Episode "I've Got You Under My Skin" implies that sociopaths are people born without souls.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: During his first cage match at XXI, Angel refuses to fight his opponent, Baker. The ringside guards toss a knife into the pit, which Baker grabs. During their struggle, Angel ends up stabbing Baker with his own knife, winning the bout by proxy.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Cordelia's rent-controlled apartment. There must be a catch somewhere...
    • The Hyperion Hotel has been siting abandoned quite a long time until Angel rents it. Of course, the demon in residence there might have had something to do with that...
    • In the fourth season Connor also moves into what appears to be an abandoned natural history museum, full of dust and stuffed wildlife, complete with working electricity.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Mars, the health spa guy. ("She")
  • New Old Flame: Harrie Doyle.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Cordelia in Season 4, and to a lesser extent Angel (due to the vagueness regarding vampire senses).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Played for laughs in the final shot of "The Ring". It suddenly dawns on Team Angel that by freeing the prisoners of XXI, they've just set a bunch of demons loose on the streets.
    • Not played for laughs at the end of "The Shroud of Rahmon" a series later. Angel's been getting increasingly unstable over the Darla situation and Cordelia and Wesley hope that getting him involved with a case will help set him back on track. At the end of the episode, Cordelia and Wesley observe that sending Angel into a situation where he driven half-crazy by a mind-twisting demon-shroud and had his lust for human blood reawakened for the first time in years has made things much, much worse.
    • Entirely without sarcasm by Lilah in "Home." After all, from her perspective, Angel just prevented world peace and removed Wolfram & Hart's chief opposition.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Vampires, The Beast, and a few other things.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Played straight in Season 4 after the Beast blocks out the sun, allowing vampires to roam with impunity. Cordelia even mentions that all of the trees will wither and die if daylight isn't restored soon.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Spike imagines Angel doing this while mockingly impersonating him.
    • Jay-Don has this attitude about both his hair and his sunglasses. When Angel stakes him to impersonate him, he gets rid of the glasses as quickly as he reasonably can but he retains the fuss about the hair.
    • When Fred starts playing with Puppet Angel's hair, he barks, "YOU'RE FIRED."
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dr. Meltzer honed his telekinetic control over his limbs after being inspired by a book which posits that everyone was connected due to their shared molecules. Angel pays a visit to its author, who is revealed to be a thinly-veiled parody of Deepak Chopra.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Any time Hamilton lays his mitts on someone.
    • To a particularly graphic extent when he confronts weakened Illyria.
    • It's marginally less sickening when you realize that the 98 pound "girl" who is taking repeated fists and stomps to the face is so Made of Iron that she spends about all of a day recuperating.
  • No Such Thing as H.R.: Holland Manners takes employee termination literally.
  • Noodle Incident: Did you know the Devil built a robot?
    • El Diablo Robotico.
  • Not Brainwashed: Connor during the Jasmine arc.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • Holtz is an Englishman, but speaks with an (albeit upper-class) American accent. Admittedly he's an 18th century Englishman, so speaking with a modern English accent wouldn't have been accurate either.
    • Lampshaded in "Spin the Bottle" when Angel reverted back into Liam. He blames the Devil for losing his accent.
  • Not Himself: So frequent in the Whedonverse via body swaps that it's amazing none of the characters ever seem to notice anything.
  • Not So Different: Angel's Wolfram & Hart and the original WR&H. Both have the often killing of employees (Angel kills the evil ones, the original one killed enemies). They even both make the same termination jokes.
    • In "Spin the Bottle" while Angel is convinced he's still in the 18th century and therefore doesn't recognise who Connor is, he's ranting to Connor about his relationship with his father. Connor does notice how similar some of Angel's complaints are to some of his own complaints about Angel.
  • Not So Dire: On several occasions, most memorably with Angel and Spike's extremely heated argument about whether astronauts or cavemen would win in a fight.
  • Not-So-Phony Psychic: Parodied with Lorne's "psychic friend", who works a day job as a psychic hotline operator.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Season 5 changeover to Wolfram & Hart. Just as the early seasons parodied the trials of early adulthood, the series is nicely bookended by Team Angel's settling in and gradual acceptance of their newfound corporate roles. Indeed, a major theme of the season is the struggle to stay idealistic within a vast, bureaucratic structure.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Played for Drama when Buffy catches Angel consoling Faith in his arms. Her overreaction is a lot more understandable if you've seen the preceding Buffy episode, "Who Are You" - not only did Faith temporarily steal her body, but she also shagged Buffy's new boyfriend while in her body.
  • Nothing Personal: Quoted by Lilah, after using Cordelia's life as a bargaining chip. Angel disagrees.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Angel has a pair of spring-loaded bracelets under his coat sleeves, allowing him to fight with Stakes Akimbo. Like the grappling hook, however, he eventually loses interest in such gadgets. Other members of the Fang Gang end up using them from time to tme, usually when the writers want to make a Call-Back to Season One.

  • Obfuscating Disability: The demon sorcerer Cyvus Vail appeared reliant on a complex intravenous drip, physically vulnerable and weak. However when under genuine attack his IV was broken and he ignored it, he shrugged off being hurled twice into a wall, and gutted his opponent with a kukri.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Angel was known to do this on occasion. Most notably in the very first scene of the pilot.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Gavin Park.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Illyria looks like Fred with her whole body turned blue. Just as Fred has brown hair, light brown skin and brown eyes, so Illyria has blue hair, blue skin...and an unnatural shade of blue for her eyes. Of course, this use of blue eyes has the effect of making her look as eerie as possible.
  • Occult Detective: The main premise of the series until Season Five, when they became Occult Lawyers.
  • Odd Friendship: Wesley and Gunn in Season 2.
    • Wesley and Cordelia also qualify. When they first met in Buffy, they were unabashedly attracted to each other, and even danced together at the prom. But after sharing one very awkward kiss, they realized they had no real chemistry and that their attraction to each other was more aesthetic than romantic. One would expect their relationship to be pretty awkward after that, but when Wesley joins Angel Investigations, he and Cordelia actually get along really well, alternating between bickering like siblings and watching each others' backs. They clearly adore each other, and the fact that there is absolutely no romantic subtext actually makes it sweeter.
  • Off on a Technicality
  • Off with His Head!: Dr. Meltzer's head goes spinning off like a bowling ball after Angel gives it a solid whack. Meltzer was a psychic surgeon who could detach and reanimate his body parts, so you might consider it poetic justice.
    • In the Batman Cold Open for "Five By Five", Angel performs a drive-by beheading.
    • The first zombified cop we meet in "The Thin Dead Line".
    • See also "Shut Up, Hannibal!."
    • Linwood.
    • Sahjhan's ultimate fate.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Upon noticing that Doyle has an injury on his hand and is acting twitchy, Angel calls for him downstairs, saying there's a "big guy" asking for him. Doyle yells back that he'll be there in a minute. A split-second later, he bolts for the back exit — running straight into Angel, who somehow teleported there before him. Angel correctly guessed that Doyle's in deep with loan sharks.
    Doyle: You know, it's not nice to trick people!
  • Offing the Offspring: Angelus turned Holtz's daughter into a vampire and left her behind as a message. Holtz had no choice but to kill her.
    • Depending on how you view their relationships, Angel has also done this with vampires Angelus personally sired and trained in the past.
    • Wesley's fear of the prophecy that Angel will do this is what prompts him to betray the group.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lindsey, before being sucked into hell by the Senior Partners.
    • Wesley, when he realizes that his singing to comfort the crying Connor has given away his plan to Lorne.
  • Old Superhero: Numero Cinco.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Despite being comprised of the most evil of the Senior Partners' employees on Earth and Hillary Clinton, the Circle of the Black Thorn doesn't seem to do anything besides play racquetball.
  • One-Man Army: Angel, especially when he's miffed about something.
    • The Grand Finale features Gunn, Spike, and Lindsey fighting alone in separate locations, yet still managing to fend off entire roomfuls of demons/vampires. (Though Lindsey had a little help.)
    Lindsey: Couldn't have done it without that high note in "MacArthur Park"!
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, with three Marcuses throughout the series (Marcus the vampire torturer from "In the Dark", Marcus Roscoe the body stealer from "Carpe Noctem", and Marcus Hamilton from Wolfram & Hart).
    • Fred and Wesley's fathers are both named Roger.
    • We can't forget the two Knoxes. (Knoxi?) In addition to the semi-regular character in Season Five, a vampire leader named Knox (name omitted from dialog) appears in the first-season episode "War Zone".
    • Also averted with the name "Magnus"; the second season episode "Guise Will Be Guise" features a wealthy businessman and wizard named Magnus Bryce, while an early Season 5 episode has Angel and Spike encounter Magnus Hainsley, a wealthy Necromancer and a former Wolfram & Hart client.
  • One Super One Powerset: One early episode had Angel acquire a ring that grants vampires immunity to sunlight and makes them all but invulnerable. Wow, Angel, you'd be able to do a lot of good with that ring, wouldn't you? He destroys it by the end of the episode, deeming it "too powerful".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lorne was originally known as just "The Host". That said, even "Lorne" is a nickname: his real name is Krevlornswath (of the Deathwok Clan).
    • Also, Fred, whose full first name is Winifred.
    • Gunn, which is his surname. Only Fred calls him Charles regularly.
    • Even Angel himself. His real name is Liam. As well as Spike who's name is William.
    • Darla is so known by the name "Darla" that even SHE doesn't remember her real name anymore.
    • Doyle. It's his surname. His full name is only revealed when his ex-wife shows up calling him Francis. Even then, that's actually his middle name. His full name is Allen Francis Doyle.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Inverted. Lindsey's kind of upset when Lorne kills him. It was supposed to be Angel.
    • Connor is prophesied to kill Sahjhan, meaning that no one else can. Although he is defeated in season 3 by being trapped in a magical urn. Vail realizes that "urns break" and insists Connor be brought in to finish him properly.
  • Only One Name: Vampires in general, as their sires grant them new names. Averted with the Pilot Episode's Villain of the Week, Russell Winters, who resembles a legitimate businessman.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Angel affects a somewhat inconsistent Irish accent during flashbacks. Notably, in a later episode ("Spin the Bottle") in which he reverts to his old identity from he was vamped, the writers had him speaking in American dialect so that Borranaz wouldn't have to maintain the brogue for a full hour. This is lampshaded by "Liam's" confusion at his sudden lack of an accent.
    • Fred on Angel's Texas accent also kind of came and went at random. It seemed by season 4 she had given up on it altogether. While impersonating Fred, however, Illyria went all out with y'alls and aint's.
    • Irish actor Glenn Quinn was accused of having a poor Irish accent when playing the character of Doyle. In reality, he was asked to affect an American accent on words the editors thought were difficult to understand when spoken in his natural Irish one.
  • Opt Out: Lorne (the Host) chooses to leave before the final battle begins, only staying long enough to kill Lindsey.
  • ...Or So I Heard: After Angel receives the Gem of Amara, rendering him impervious to sunlight. Doyle suggests they go check out a few strip clubs which offer a fabulous luncheon buffet... or so he's been told.
    • When Kate shows Angel some photos from murder scenes, he immediately recognizes the killer' work as that of Penn, a vampire he sired in 1786. Angel shows remarkable insight into his MO, even refuting Kate's theory that he carves a cross onto his victims because he believes it's "God's work." Angel says it's just the opposite — this is about mocking God. Then, recovering quickly, Angel mutters "That'd be my guess."
      • It's worse than that. The reason that Angel shows such insight into Penn's MO is because it's co-opted wholesale FROM ANGELUS. Angel's description of the cross carvings is based on the reason he made such marks on his victims. This is made even more chilling by the fact that Angel has been having (ENJOYABLE!) dreams of killing humans, waking up to news of murders, which initially leads him and the audience to believe that he has been killing in his sleep.
  • Oracular Head: The Keeper of the Word, or to be more precise, the only soul in the universe who knows Jasmine's name. Angel cuts him down to travel-size.
    Lorne: Something big went down.
    Gunn: [squicked] Yeah. And here's its head.
  • Orphaned Punchline: In "Lineage", Wesley asks where his father's gone to. Fred says she left him back at the Entertainment Division with Lorne. ..And then realizes the horror of that statement. (Cut to Roger Windam-Pryce, facepalming in agony)
    Lorne: I am covered in cherries, the police are just pounding on the door, and Judi Dench starts screaming, "Oh, that's way too much to pay for a pair of pants!"
  • Our Demons Are Different
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Maude Pearson and her son Dennis. In life, Maude was an Evil Matriarch who walled Dennis' body up in her apartment (while he was still alive) as punishment for trying to run away with a girl (She died of a heart attack immediately afterward).
  • Our Souls Are Different: Vampires have no souls, yet a human soul can be reinserted into its body and suppress the demon inhabiting it.
    • Also, you can store them in jars.
    • If a soulless vampire becomes pregnant, and the fetus has a soul, the vampire will receive some of the effects of having a soul, like a conscience.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Ranging from Anne Rice-style pretty boy vamps like Spike and Angel to the grotesque Prince of Lies. Even Dracula-style vampires appear, although Nostroyev's crimes against humanity seem to be confined to the mental images accompanying the line "I was Rasputin's lover!"
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies are usually puppets, although their purpose for being will vary (and they don't eat brains). In the "The Thin Dead Line" a sorcerer brought back dead police officers who were obsessive about upholding the law and punishing transgressors for even minor breaches. In "Habeas Corpus", the dead employees of Wolfram & Hart come back from the dead to protect the office from invaders. In both episodes, they're undead puppets of a greater power.
    • In one episode, a woman comes to Angel Investigations because she's having trouble with her ex-boyfriend who won't accept they're not together anymore and keeps stalking her. It turns out she poisoned him to death, he came back from the dead as a zombie and is determined to get back together with her. By the end of the episode, they actually reconcile and get back together. Team Angel don't know whether to be squicked or just shrug it off. Although this zombie is not an undead puppet, the obsessive behaviour that characterises zombie puppets in other episodes still factors in (although he seemed to have been obsessive in life as well).
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Subverted. Lorne signals Fred over the phone to send help: "Say hi to Fluffy for me." — "Fluffy" being their nonexistent dog. Fred thinks he's referring to something else.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: Justified. Cordelia is magically shown several conversations her teammates have about her by the demon Skip, all of them seemingly very insulting towards her. However, Skip is actually deliberately showing her very specific parts of the conversations taken out of context for his own agenda.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Especially Seasons 4 & 5.


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