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Angels in Overcoats

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There are those that say beneath his coat there are wings.

If angels appear on Earth and are not wearing white robes, they're probably wearing overcoats. Usually winter-weight, wool, 3/4 length overcoats. Sometimes trenchcoats. The trope frequently appears in movies where angels walk among humans, serving as a kind of Uniform Trope to communicate the wearer's angelic nature. The coats may have started as an attempt to hide the angels' wings, but the trend has stuck even in settings where angels don't have wings.

This trope is one of The Newest Ones in the Book; it probably originated with Wings of Desire (1987), although the Ur-Example is Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Due to overcoat-wearing badass angels in such sources as The Prophecy and Dogma, there is often some overlap with Badass Longcoat.

Subtrope of Our Angels are Different. For angels wearing white robes, you'll probably find them in Fluffy Cloud Heaven. Distantly related to the Trenchcoat Brigade.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • D.N.Angel: Dark Mousy, the angelic alter-ego of Daisuke Niwa, usually is seen with various types of black clothes, various of them are overcoats and trenchcoats. Also Krad, Dark Mousy's Evil Counterpart is also seen with a white trenchcoat, usually more seen in official artworks and the manga than the anime.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Wings of Desire, likely Trope Maker. All angel characters, in particular Damiel and Cassiel, but also the secondaries, are all wearing smart wool overcoats during their Earthly tenure. Damiel gets to keep his overcoat even after becoming human.
  • Faraway So Close, sequel to Wings of Desire, focuses on Cassiel and Raphaela, once again in their woolen coats.
  • City of Angels, a remake of Wings of Desire, sees angel Nicolas Cage in a wool overcoat.
  • The Prophecy. Eric Stoltz's Simon, in particular, wears the standard-issue heavy-wool version. Evil angel Gabriel (Christopher, ehm... Walken) wears a lighter coat, though it still fits the trope.
  • Dogma has its nogoodnik angels Bartleby and Loki (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) in wool overcoats, worn over hooded sweatshirts to symbolize their halos. Alan Rickman's creation-weary but non-evil Metatron also wears a hoodie, but under a shorter jacket. (Creator Kevin Smith identifies Wings of Desire's use of overcoat-as-angel-uniform as the inspiration for having his angels wear a unifying article — in this case, the hoodie. The overcoat look for Bartleby and Loki undoubtedly originates from the same source.)
  • Guardian angel Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life wears an overcoat, but it's winter in Bedford Falls, and everyone's wearing an overcoat, so it's not clear that this counts as an example. This is the Ur-Example.
  • Although it's autumn in Iowa and everyone's wearing overcoats, the titular angel in Michael wears a trenchcoat most of the time, indoors and out, specifically to hide his wings.
  • Angels in the film Gabriel are depicted wearing various longcoats. Gabriel spends most of the movie in a brown trenchcoat. Fallen angel Sammael highlights his evilness by wearing a black leather trenchcoat.

  • In Good Omens, there is a deliberate spoof of the convention in spy novels and thrillers that agents from various, normally rival, secret services must have clandestine, deniable meetings whilst dressed anonymously and, for example, feeding the ducks in St. James's Park. In the midst of a duck-feeding session where agents from MI5, the CIA, the KGB, Mossad, and others are gathered whilst huddled in overcoats and having necessary terse conversations with each other, we see Aziraphale (angel) and Crowley (demon) trying to look as inconspicuous as the rest...
  • In Lauren Kate's Fallen series there are the Outcasts, a group of angels that initially rebelled against the Throne but turned back almost immediately... and wasn't accepted. They don't really look like angels, their skins are sallow, hair-thin, wings weak and unpleasant-looking, and they are all blind - and they all tend to wear tan trenches, regardless of gender (if that term can be even applied to angels, that is).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural's angel-in-residence Castiel sports a trenchcoat. Wings of Desire and John Constantine from the Hellblazer comic are acknowledged as inspirations for his look. By-proxy, Lucifer qualifies as well when he temporarily takes Castiel as a host.
  • Lucifer (2016):
    • Amenadiel initially wore a long robe or overcoat, though, after spending time on Earth and his fall and his wings rotting off he started wearing a grey hoodie or biker's coat instead.
    • While Lucifer, who cut his wings off when he moved to Earth, prefers a snazzy suit.
    • Uriel, who is the middle child between Lucifer and Amenadiel, wears one. Lucifer mocks him for it and notes he could be mistaken for a pedophile with the getup.
  • Millennium: Sammael was an angel with an overcoat.
  • Good Omens (2019): Aziraphale wears a nice cream one in his present-day outfit, Sandalphon has a tan one, and Gabriel wears a gray one in a few of his Earth disguises.



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