Follow TV Tropes


Series / Good Omens (2019)

Go To
Welcome to the End Times.

Aziraphale: We have nothing whatsoever in common! I don't even like you!
Crowley: You do.

Based on the book of the same name, Good Omens is a fantasy comedy series that was first released onto Amazon Prime Video on May 31, 2019, with the series airing eight months later on BBC Two in the United Kingdom.

Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) was the angel who guarded the gates of Eden, while Crowley (David Tennant) was the snake who tempted Adam and Eve. Following humanity's expulsion from the garden, the two are stationed on Earth as agents of Heaven and Hell. Six thousand years of living among humanity later, they are informed that it is time to start the Apocalypse. The problem is, they've both decided that they rather like Earth the way it is and hatch a plan to put off Armageddon as long as possible. Some Satanic nuns, two coincidental births, and entirely too much winking later, they realize they've lost track of the Antichrist, who is unknowingly about to end the world...

Co-stars include Anna Maxwell Martin (Beelzebub), Jon Hamm (Archangel Gabriel), Josie Lawrence (Agnes Nutter), Adria Arjona (Anathema Device), Michael McKean (Shadwell), Jack Whitehall (Newton Pulsifer), Miranda Richardson (Madame Tracy), Mireille Enos (War), Lourdes Faberes (Pollution), Yusuf Gatewood (Famine), and Death (Death)note .

Despite initially being conceived as a miniseries, in June 2021, the show was renewed for a second six-episode season, titled Good Omens 2, with Tennant and Sheen reprising their roles. The second season — which is about Crowley and Aziraphale trying to handle the fallout of an amnesiac Gabriel appearing in London — was released on July 27, 2023.

A third and final season was confirmed on December 14, 2023. Neil Gaiman has stated the third season will conclude the story; and involves ideas he and Pratchett had plotted out prior to the latter's death. Filming is expected to begin on season 3 early in 2025, with no estimates given on a release date.

This series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A to C 
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • The logical consequences of some of Adam's actions (like Battersea Power Station being unable to generate power after the reactor disappears) don't happen because they didn't occur to him while he was rewriting reality.
    • Crowley and Aziraphale decide to hide the amnesiac Gabriel from their superiors and, to keep it under Heaven's radar, work together to perform the smallest miracle possible. However, rather than create a small miracle, their combined power creates a miracle so strong neither the forces of Heaven nor Hell can identify Gabriel while also immediately alerting the archangels that something has happened.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • It's not the first time we've seen David Tennant quoting Shakespeare to the Bard himself. He's also using the same Estuary accent (Tennant is Scottish) that he'd previously used for Killgrave and the Tenth Doctor. Additionally, Arthur Young's number plate reads "SID RAT", which is "TARDIS" spelled backwards.
    • Another example: when R. P. Tyler of the Tadfield Neighbourhood Watch introduces himself to Anathema, he says, "I thought you were a person of interest". Anathema is played by Adria Arjona, who previously appeared in Person of Interest.
    • Adam's earthly father has also previously been associated with Hell and the Antichrist.
    • The little demon usher in "The Very Last Day of the Rest of Their Lives" is voiced by Andy Hamilton, himself no stranger to the infernal.
    • In episode 3 of season 2, during a flashback to 19th century Edinburgh, Crowley introduces himself as "Doctor" to a surgeon.
    • In episode 4 of season 2, Aziraphale is talking to a Doctor Who fan and reveals that he has the original unpublished Doctor Who Annual in his bookshop. Later on, they go to a magic shop, where Crowley puts on a fez and plays around. The Eleventh Doctor is more closely associated with a fez, although the Tenth Doctor also wore it in "The Day of the Doctor."
    • An immortal Derek Jacobi becoming a huge problem for an immortal David Tennant is something that has happened before.
    • A writer allusion: Aziraphale is seen driving a yellow car.
  • Actually, I Am Him: When Gabriel surrenders himself to Shax, she doesn't believe it's actually him even though he repeats this almost word for word.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several extra scenes have been added, such as Episode 3's scenes of Aziraphale and Crowley's relationship throughout history, and minor characters like Hastur, Ligur and Beelzebub have larger roles. Satan actually makes an appearance, while in the book his arrival is undone by Adam. The final episode includes an additional climax where Aziraphale and Crowley are put on trial by their respective factions for defying them.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • The novel's gag about Elvis note  and its ultimate punchline note were never executed, but the scene where the International Express deliveryman sees someone who looks and sounds suspiciously like Elvis working the grill at the Des Moines Burger Lord is still included.
    • The show uses Queen songs liberally, and the end titles track, which is the opening titles track in the band's style, is called "The Theme That Got Left in the Car". But the bit about any tape left in a car eventually turning into The Best of Queen is never explicitly mentioned. Though this does come up again in season 2 with a pub in Edinburgh whose jukebox turns any record put into it into a Buddy Holly single.
    • One line of prophecy obliquely refers to the Hell's Angels (the one that mentions fish), but they otherwise are neither mentioned nor appear.
    • Crowley's methods of causing frustration and inconvenience for lots of people at once (e.g. disabling the cell phone networks during a work day's lunch hours) are explained early on in the book: his rationale is that putting everybody in an entire area into a worse mood simultaneously has a snowball effect that makes the world a measurably more toxic place overall, thereby doing a lot more damage than the traditional method of tempting people one by one. This explanation is something we only see in his thoughts, though, and is not included in any of his expository dialogue on screen in the series. This has the unintended effect of making it seem like he's doing essentially harmless pranks which only seem evil.
      • This also changes how his relationship with other demons comes off. Hastur, Ligur, and everyone else in the demonic hierarchy's contempt for him becomes akin to co-workers who are sick of seeing someone who doesn't put in as much effort as they do somehow skating by, or worse, getting recognition for their non-efforts from the big boss (in this case, Satan) as "innovations" and "big think", while their more serious efforts go unremarked and unrewarded. Whereas in the novel, Hastur and Ligur and the other denizens of Hell come off as being so behind the times as to be largely ineffective, and Crowley's methods, which have evolved with humanity, would be a real threat if duplicated by the rest of Hell's forces.
      • It's also worth noting that, in the series, Crowley doesn't really try to convince other demons to use his approach to tainting souls and tempting people into sin. He explains his reasoning to them, but when they don't really get it, he just kind of gives up on them and just relies on the fact that Satan does (and approves of them) to keep the others from skinning him out of pure dislike. In the novel, he's always trying to get Hell to update their tactics based on the ingenuity of torments that humans come up with to do to themselves (End User License Agreements, for example).
    • The Them's discussion of aliens spreading a message of universal harmony misses the bit where Adam calls them "sort of g'lactic policemen", but the one who shows up still sounds like a bored traffic cop.
    • The scene where Aziraphale lights a ticket attendant's notebook on fire is missing the exchange afterwards (establishing the angel and demon as Mirror Characters), so it's just a flash of pyrotechnics and viewers who haven't read the book probably assume Crowley did it.
    • Aziraphale manages to find a host to possess in England on his first try, unlike in the book where he got bounced between several different people all over the world first. This makes the scene where he tries several different languages somewhat nonsensical.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Not a big one, but the television series (and the actors themselves) play up the Homoerotic Subtext to make it very clear that Aziraphale and Crowley's relationship is romantic in nature. In the original novel, while there was a Homoerotic Subtext it was much more subtle: the focus on their Odd Friendship made their relationship more akin to True Companions, and falling sometimes in the Pseudo-Romantic Friendship category.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Downplayed with Anathema Device, who in the original novel was described as having facial features that were attractive individually, but don't mesh well and so result in someone who is more "vivacious" than pretty. Here, she's played by the actress/model Adria Arjona and is a lot more conventionally beautiful, though most of the outfits she's in serve to hide her figure.
    • Newton Pulsifer is described in the book as "Tall Dark and Not Handsome". Here he's played by very conventionally attractive Jack Whitehall wearing unflattering clothing, glasses and a messy haircut (all of which are also things he has in the book).
  • Adaptational Diversity:
    • Pepper being described as a pale redhead in the books has been interpreted as implying she was white. Anathema is given even less description, as the book merely cites that she is renting Jasmine Cottage without ever clarifying where she was actually born and raised, and that her features are more "vivacious" than pretty. However, Internet reaction after news of Adria Arjona being cast in the role demonstrated that she was assumed to be a white character simply on the basis of her descent from a British witch.note  Both are played by actresses of color in this adaptation. In addition, several celestial beings are played by people of color (not that they have defined races in general).
    • God is also gender-flipped into a "She" from the book and the Bible itself, although She is still referred to as "Lord". Some celestial beings traditionally depicted as male are also played by women (Dagon, Uriel, and Michael), and Pollution and Beelzebub are non-binary.
  • Adaptational Gender Identity: In the book, Pollution is described as a sickly-looking young man. In the show, they are non-binary (and played by an Asian woman), with even God herself referring to Pollution with they/them pronouns.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Aziraphale doesn't have as much of an edge as he did in the book, and also isn't the one to initially suggest killing Adam so as to avert the Apocalypse.
    • Crowley similarly lacks some of his edge due to the above mentioned removal of the logic behind his actions on Earth. With that, his tendency to take credit for evils humanity comes up with all on their own, and his tendency to be confounded by his own machinations (e.g. needing to use a pay phone to contact Aziraphale because he disabled the cell phone system earlier in the day), Crowley comes off as more of a cunning trickster than irredeemably evil.
    • The miniseries version of Shadwell is significantly less bigoted than his book counterpart was.
    • In the book, Aziraphale does not have any contact with any other angels until his conversation with Metatron. When Metatron reveals that Heaven wants the war with Hell, it is a shock to Aziraphale, who had believed Heaven would side with him that the war should be averted if at all possible, and the moment in which Aziraphale decides to rebel against Heaven to stop the destruction of earth and humanity that will ensue. Gabriel is not a character in the original book at all; he is mentioned once by Aziraphale, who was warning Crowley that they didn't want to attract the archangel's attention.note 
    • In the series, Gabriel states almost from his first scene with Aziraphale that Heaven has no intention of doing anything to avert the war, and Aziraphale spends most of the series under the impression that this is just a misunderstanding of their Heavenly mission; that if he can only speak with a Higher Authority, their orders will be clarified and Heaven will stand down from their war footing and stop the Antichrist from starting Armageddon. The scene with Metatron loses much of its impact as a result: instead of Metatron's insistence that the war is necessary being a metaphorical slap in the face that makes Aziraphale angry/bitter enough to rebel, it becomes nothing more than another exercise in futility like all his other attempts to convince Gabriel to stop the ramp-up to the war.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Sorta. After the baby switch, Baby B is wheeled away to God-knows-where, and She advises you to give him his own story offscreen, implying that what actually happened is a lot darker than whatever you might come up with. In the original novel Baby B is revealed to be living a normal life, having been adopted by a normal family; but this is Adapted Out here, leaving it less certain what actually happened to him and opening up the possibility that the nuns didn't put him up for adoption and instead did... something else with him.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Hell's Angels aren't present in this adaptation, although the prophecy about Four Angels of Hell riding behind the Four Horseman is shown at one point. They were in the script, and had even been cast; but unfortunately, the budget and shooting schedule dictated that they had to be left out.
    • The first episode of the series shows the 3-way baby swap, with Adam being swapped with the Youngs' actual child (baby A) and then the Youngs' child being swapped with the Dowlings' actual child (baby B). There is a line narrated by God that is lifted from the book about the audience imagining that the baby was adopted and wins prizes for his tropical fish as the baby is being wheeled in his hospital bassinette down a hallway, but nothing is mentioned about Baby B again. In the book, Baby B is revealed to be a character known as "Greasy" Johnson, head of Tadfield's other troublemaking "gang", the Johnsonites. "Greasy" Johnson and Adam have an implied rivalry as heads of their respective "gangs", intended to echo sibling rivalry since they were both born on the same day; Adam even "compensates" him for having been taken from his real family and given to the unnamed, unseen Johnsons for adoption in order to bring Adam into the world by inserting an article about American football into one of his fish magazines that was supposed to "change his life". However, "Greasy" and the Johnsonites are left completely out of the series, and therefore the tropical fish line, like the Elvis scene, becomes something of a non-sequitur.
    • In the book, there are three aliens that come out of the flying saucer. The third is described as being shaped like a pepperpot (a pepper shaker, for Americans) and beeping frantically, with the fandom debating whether this was meant to be a Dalek or R2-D2. Presumably, copyright issues kept it from appearing in this show. note 
    • Mr. Cortese and Mr. Harrison, Warlock's tutors. Presumably, they'd have been Aziraphale and Crowley in disguise again.
    • Pepper's little sister and Adam's older sister are never mentioned, with Wensleydale taking the role of suspected witch in the English Inquisition scene.
    • Mr. Rajit and his family, who in the book run a newsagents on the ground floor of the building Shadwell and Madame Tracy live in, and who are the target of some of Shadwell's worst bigotry.
  • Affably Evil: The nuns of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl are painfully polite and enjoy cookies with pink icing on them (and Sister Mary finds the Antichrist absolutely adorable as a baby). Nevertheless, they are enthusiastically working to bring about the apocalypse on behalf of Hell, and the narration is quite insistent that we don't want to know what happened to the extra baby the nuns were left with after the three-baby swap.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Anathema's mother fondly calls her "mi amor."
    • Crowley often calls Aziraphale "angel". Of course, Aziraphale is a literal angel, but it's fairly obvious that there's more behind it than simple fact.
    • Shadwell calls Newt "laddie," and it seems to progress from a condescending sort of nickname into one of these as the series continues.
  • Alien Catnip: In a flashback to 1827 Edinburgh, Crowley drinks half a glass of laudanum (mostly to keep a young girl from committing suicide with it) and immediately gets high. He accidentally shrinks to the size of a mouse and then overdoes it when growing back, turning into a giant. Justified since laudanum is a mix of opium and alcohol. It would normally be fatal to a human in such doses, but demons can't be killed that way, so the dosage is enough to get him high.
  • All There in the Manual: Crowley and Aziraphale's relationship can come across as rather one-sided, with the exasperated demon constantly bailing out the silly angel. The script book has a brief note from Gaiman stating that it works both ways, and Aziraphale did go to Crowley's rescue multiple times over the centuries - they just didn't show it.
  • Ambiguous Gender: In Season 2, Nina's demanding offscreen partner Lindsey is never referred to with any pronouns, making their gender unclear.
    • Crowley himself. When he's called a "good lad," he replies that's he's not... either. Fans have discussed how Crowley's costumes throughout the ages seem to range between masculine and feminine (during the crucifixion scene, for example, Crowley seems to be presenting as femme). Neil Gaiman himself has expressed that he supports the fan interpretation of Crowley as genderfluid.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Excluding the whole "Biblical timeline being real" thing, Aziraphale and Crowley are seen wearing some anachronistic outfits during the montage that shows how their arrangement has worked across the ages, including both of them in 16th-century plate armour in Arthurian England. Crowley's AD 41 sunglasses, however, actually do have historic precedent as the emperor Nero is said to have owned a pair of glasses set with gemstones.
    • The series keeps to Pepper's mother having conceived (and named) her while she was a member of a traditional hippy commune. It was already stretching it in the book when she was born in 1979, but it becomes this trope when the story now takes place in 2019 and Pepper thus has to have been born in 2008. Especially glaring, as the series cuts to very grainy footage of said commune such as you'd expect from an early camcorder. Of course, hippie communes do still exist, although nowadays they're usually called intentional communities.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: The main story is how an odd, enduring friendship between an angel and a demon helps stop the end of the world. This Shipping trope is also invoked and lampshaded when the demon realizes that the angel is his best friend, and the angel likewise.
    • In season 2, Gabriel and Beelzebub officially become a romantic couple. In fact, their relationship is brought up by Crowley while confessing his own feelings to Aziraphale, saying that if the former Supreme Archangel and Prince of Hell could do it, so too could they.
  • Angels Demons And Squid: With two "squid" factions. Heaven consists of bureaucratic angels that care more about looking good than doing good, to the point of wishing the death of all life so they can have their fight with Hell, just as the demons. Hell is a much dingier, dirtier place on the opposite floor of their shared office building, which is obsessed with spreading sin and temptation. Humanity, one of the squid, is capable of evils worse than any demon, but goods better than any angel. The other squid, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, lean to no side between Heaven or Hell; they only want to bring the apocalypse, end all of humanity and set the stage for the final war.
  • Angels in Overcoats: 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.
  • Animal Eyes: Crowley the demon quite literally has snake eyes, due to originally being the demonic serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. He always has to wear sunglasses to hide them, even at night.
  • Animated Credits Opening: As seen here, the opening credits have paper cut-out versions of Aziraphale and Crowley walking through the ages to the end times. Season 2 changes the opening credits to different scenes, but the overall theme and animation style remain the same.
  • Anti Anti Christ: Adam ends up like this, thwarting the very Armageddon he was meant to cause.
  • Anti-Magic: Some demons have a special "miracle blocker" license that can allows them to temporarily negate any miracle in the immediate area. The license only works a limited number of times, and activation requires punching a hole in the card.
  • Arc Words: "Ineffable plan."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Gabriel is dead set on following the Great Plan no matter what it takes... until Aziraphale asks him if the Great Plan is God's ineffable plan. This stops Gabriel dead in his tracks, since even in his self-righteousness, Gabriel would not presume to claim that he knows God's whole plan.
  • Art Shift: In episode 3 of season 2, as Aziraphale is driving to Scotland, the background changes to the animated style of the title credits, complete with the Loch Ness Monster in a lake and the show's theme music adding bagpipes.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Agnes Nutter is described as the last person burned for witchcraft in England. However, people convicted of witchcraft were hanged in England, rather than burned. Even so, as she isn't shown getting tried, the event may have just been "mob justice" as led by the witchfinder.
    • Noah's flood is presented as a local event that destroyed the Iraqi flood plain and not much else in 3004 BCE. While this is based on a real event, it occurred circa 2900 BCE. It doesn't line up with the Ussher timeline they used for the day of creation either, which puts the flood in 2349 BCE.
    • In S1, E3, a vignette is stated to be set in "The Kingdom of Wessex, 537 AD." A few seconds later, the camera shows us Aziraphale dressed in a set of full plate armor that, while being of surprising good quality for a TV series, is at least 900 years too early.
  • Ascended Extra: Aziraphale and Crowley certainly didn't want for attention or importance in the book, but they were still just members of the Ensemble Cast. Here, they're the unquestioned stars of the show, they get more screentime and attention than any other characters, and most of the added scenes involve them.
    • Even more so in season 2, where the story largely focuses on them.
    • Also, Gabriel is a lot more prominent in season 2 than in season 1.
  • Asshole Victim: During the French Revolution, Aziraphale is arrested and sentenced to death. He is visited by the executioner, who brags that Aziraphale will be his 999th "customer" and first Englishman. When Crowley frees Aziraphale, the angel switches clothes with the executioner. The executioner is then mistaken for a prisoner and taken to the guillotine. Neither angel nor demon are disturbed by this development and instead discuss what they should eat.
  • Atlantis: As a part of Adam's Reality Warping powers, he brings Atlantis up out of the sea in the middle of the night. When Crowley looks at a globe after it appears, it's shown to be in the South Atlantic.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Aziraphale and Crowley bicker Like an Old Married Couple, but Crowley has saved Aziraphale from discorporation at least twice, and Aziraphale has procured holy water for Crowley so that he doesn't accidentally kill himself trying to get it.
  • Awkward Kiss: While it's certainly a Big Damn Kiss, Aziraphale's and Crowley's kiss at the end of Season 2 is also quite stiff and awkward, which makes sense given their mutual inexperience and Aziraphale's shock in that moment.
  • Baby Talk: Sister Mary Hodges constantly coos over the baby Antichrist's cute little "toesie-woesies".
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The demons often speak this way, using such figures of speech as "for Satan's sake" and "bless it" instead of "damn it". At one point, Ligur tells Hastur that he thinks Crowley is up to no good. Hastur shrugs and says that's all right, he's a demon, he's supposed to be up to no good. Ligur then has to clarify he means Crowley is up to "no bad" before Hastur gets the message. Crowley himself will often say "what the heaven" instead of "what the hell". At one point Crowley accidentally says "For Heaven's sake!" before immediately feeling disgust at his own words.
  • Bad Liar:
    • Gabriel and Sandalphon attempt to have a clandestine meeting with Aziraphale at his bookstore. To try to not appear suspicious to the customers, they loudly declare their intent to purchase pornography, while Gabriel is holding a book that is clearly not porn.
    • In season 2, when Aziraphale and Crowley are faking the deaths of Job's children in a flashback, Gabriel and Michael are clearly doubting the story that the fully-grown three children "birthed" by Sitis are new kids rather than the supposedly dead old kids (the trick works because no angel has ever actually witnessed a human birth, except for Gabriel who's only seen God turn one of Adam's ribs into Eve and assumes that all humans are born this way). They turn to Aziraphale, who, for the first time, openly lies to their faces and even swears as an angel.
  • Bag of Holding: Michael pours holy water out of a one-liter carafe in sufficient quantities to fill an entire bathtub.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Anathema does virtually everything based on what her ancestor Agnes Nutter had prophesied, including having sex with Newton (though she does develop feelings for him). At the end, though, she burns the sheaf of new prophecies delivered rather than living her life according to them. However, it's unclear whether Agnes predicted that as well...
  • Been There, Shaped History: The opening of the third episode follows Aziraphale and Crowley's involvement all the way from the Garden of Eden through the Old and New Testaments and then all the way into modern day. For instance, Crowley was responsible for the temptations of Christ, which he saw more as a kind last gesture to a "bright young man".
    Crowley: I showed him all the kingdoms of the world... He's a carpenter from Galilee. His travel opportunities are limited.
    • Season 2's flashbacks also show more of their participation in biblical events, such as the torments of Job, with Crowley being the one ordered to do it. When Aziraphale tries to stop him, only for Crowley to show him that he has a permit from God.
    • In episode 3 of season 2, Crowley starts singing "Flower of Scotland" in a flashback to 1827 Edinburgh. Since the song wasn't actually officially published until 1967, it seems that Crowley is the one who made it up on the spot 140 years before thatnote .
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: In the light of seasons 2 Crowley and Aziraphale bickering qualifies as this. A few characters In-Universe even acknowledge this.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Archangel Gabriel and Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, are the two most powerful and influential characters seen in the respective divine and demonic hierarchies. Furthermore, they're also the two characters most focused on making sure the Apocalypse happens properly. In season 2, this ends up bringing them closer, as both feel the loneliness of their respective high offices, and eventually they fall in love.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Crowley gives one to Aziraphale at the end of season 2, only for Aziraphale to reject him in favor of taking Gabriel's vacant position.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When Aziraphale possesses Madame Tracy at the seance, one of the participants, Brenda Ormerod, still insists on speaking to her long-deceased husband Ron... and when Aziraphale patches her through, she begins talking Ron's ear off. Fortunately for the increasingly impatient Aziraphale, Ron, speaking through Madame Tracy, finally says there's something he's always wanted to say to Brenda: "SHUT UP!"
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Agnes's prophecy about Anathema and Newton having sex includes a wish that he's well-endowed, for Anathema's sake. (At least, it's strongly implied that it mentions this; we don't hear the entire thing.)
  • Bittersweet Ending: In contrast to season 1, season 2 ends with Gabriel and Beelzebub leaving Earth together on their happily ever after, and Nina and Maggie potentially having a future together. Also, Shax takes over for Beelzebub as the Grand Duke of Hell. However, the Metatron offers Aziraphale Gabriel's job and even offers to restore Crowley's angelic status, so they could work together on the Second Coming. Crowley refuses outright, wanting nothing to do with either side, and finally kisses Aziraphale, hoping that they might be happy together. But Aziraphale chooses to accept the job. Both go their separate ways.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The war between Heaven and Hell at its best is presented as two factions equally eager to get on with the destruction of the world, and the death of everyone living on it. The difference is that one side believes it is necessary for "the greater good" and the other side just wants to cause suffering.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word:
    • Gabriel doesn't like the word "kidnapping." He prefers "extraordinary rendition."
    • Upon being greeted by Beelzebub as "Crowley the traitor," the demon replies that it's not a nice word.
  • Blackshirt: The Satanic nuns are an entire order of these, established to help the Antichrist be put in place so he can take over the world in the end times. Until then, they pretend to be regular nuns who run a maternity hospital. However, they utterly mess things up with the Antichrist and soon disband as a result of Hastur burning down their convent.
  • Blatant Lies: "I don't even like you!" proclaims Aziraphale to Crowley at one point — loudly, and very unconvincingly.
  • Blessed with Suck: The spies are shocked that Furfur doesn't restore them to human life... but decide that being immortal zombies really isn't so bad.
  • Book Ends:
    • A Garden of Eden motif, which is lampshaded by God. The story begins with Eve stealing an apple in Eden. It ends with Adam (the former Antichrist) stealing an apple from his neighbor.
    • The first episode ends with Crowley and Aziraphale drinking together, and Aziraphale glumly saying, "Welcome to the end times." The last episode ends with them drinking together, and the two of them happily toasting "to the world."
  • Book Safe: In 1941, Aziraphale kept a derringer in a hollowed-out book under the counter in his shop.
  • Both Order and Chaos are Dangerous: One of the main themes of the miniseries is how Heaven and Hell represent the worst sides of Order and Chaos respectively (with Heaven being painfully dull and the angels being primarily Tautological Templars, and Hell being surprisingly lively but still awful while the demons are mean-spirited weirdos). Meanwhile, humanity and the Earth are a harmonious balance of Order and Chaos existing between the two and are worth saving, as while humans are capable of committing even worse sins than any demon ever could, they can also accomplish virtues better than any angel ever could.
  • Brandishment Bluff: Crowley sets up a Bucket Booby-Trap of holy water over his door, which kills Ligur, and then threatens Hastur with a plant mister, claiming that there's more holy water in it. There isn't.
  • Brick Joke: It's mentioned at the start that the only music that will be in Heaven is The Sound of Music because God personally likes it, and all the other good composers are in Hell. Later, it's a copy of the script that's the kindling for the book shop fire, and Uriel and Sandalphon later riff on "My Favorite Things" when kidnapping Aziraphale.
  • Brief Accent Imitation:
    • When visiting Scotland in the 19th century, Crowley does a variety of Scottish accents. This was a deliberate choice on Gaiman's part to let David Tennant use his native accent.
    • In another 1941 flashback, Crowley imitates an American hillbilly accent.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Season 2 starts with a stark naked Gabriel walking up to Aziraphale's bookshop and knocking on the door. He has absolutely no memories of himself or anything else and doesn't seem to have any angelic powers (or at least he doesn't know how to use them).
  • Bullet Catch: When Aziraphale offers to perform stage magic at the Windmill Theatre in 1941, Crowley tells him that he needs something bigger than sleight of hand to wow the crowd, so they go to a magic shop. Aziraphale decides to do a bullet catch trick against the protestations of the seller. Crowley agrees to fire the gun, as long as Aziraphale agrees to go beyond his self-imposed "one miracle limit" if anything goes wrong. During the performance, the demon Furfur appears and uses his "miracle blocker" license to block all miracles in the theater for half an hour. Despite this, and the fact that Crowley has never fired a gun before, the trick works: Crowley just misses Aziraphale's head (nearly hitting the theater owner), and Aziraphale opens his mouth to reveal a bullet in his teeth. Both are happy that the mountain of paperwork that would've been involved is averted.
  • Business of Generic Importance: United Holdings (Holdings), the generic company that was ground zero of Newt's short-lived attempt to have an ordinary office job.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": How Beelzebub reasons that ze wants the holy water brought by Michael tested.
    Beelzebub: Now, it's not that we don't trust you, Michael, but obviously, we don't trust you. Hastur, test it.
  • Can't Believe I Said That: A stressed-out Crowley exclaims "For Heaven's sake!" and visibly flinches.
  • Caught in the Rain: A recurring motif in the series, combined with Umbrella of Togetherness and Wing Shield.
    • In their first season 1 scene together at the Garden of Eden, Aziraphale uses his wing to shield demon Crawley from the very first rainfall.
    • In a season 2 flashback set in space before the Fall, the angel who will be Crowley uses his wing to shield Aziraphale from a spray of falling meteors and starstuff.
    • When playing matchmaker in season 2 for humans Nina and Maggie, Crowley is dead set on arranging a sudden rainstorm that will force them to take shelter together under an awning, as Crowley is convinced this will make them fall in love.
      Crowley: Get humans wet and staring into each other's eyes, va-voom! Sorted.
    • Promotional images such as a season 1 teaser poster and the announcement poster for season 2 feature Crowley and Aziraphale sharing an Umbrella of Togetherness.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Doctor Who is a show in this universe, first implied by Pepper shouting "Exterminate!" when talking about alien visitors (referencing the Daleks) and then outright stated when Aziraphale bribes a shopkeeper with a never-seen-before Doctor Who Annual. The elephant in the room here is Aziraphale himself being played by the voice of House while Crowley has the same face as the Tenth and Fourteenth Doctors. Other significant paradoxes are Metatron being the Yana Master and Mr. Harmony being numerous bit characters. Satan shares the voice of Howard Carter in Big Finish Doctor Who.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: As in the book, the reason the Antichrist was lost was due to a mix-up with the mortal side of Hell's bureaucracy. In the series, Heaven is also bureaucratic. To drive the point home, both Heaven and Hell are depicted as interiors of office buildings, but in different ways; Heaven is clean, white and pristine but has a cold and sterile feeling to it, while Hell is much more crowded and lively but also dark, dirty and cramped with constantly flickering lights and leaky pipes. Season 2 reveals that no one in Heaven bothered to revoke the fallen angels' status or clearance. Thus, Crowley is able to just waltz into Heaven and access classified files because he's still a Dominion as far as the angels are concerned.
    Aziraphale: Who exactly summons [the Horsemen]?
    Gabriel: Not my department.
  • Central Theme: The importance of free will, the ability to Screw Destiny, and The Power of Friendship. Nature versus nurture is another theme; you have the ability to choose who you want to be, no matter what circumstances you're born into.
  • Cessation of Existence: What happens if a demon touches holy water, or when an angel touches hellfire. This is apparently the only way to truly kill them, since killing them on Earth only amounts to "discorporation". Heaven and Hell try to execute Aziraphale and Crowley this way, but fail.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When Crowley and Aziraphale first meet they discuss the fact that God's plan is ineffable. Aziraphale remembers this when Heaven and Hell are trying to restart Armageddon and uses it to stop them dead in their tracks.
    • Crawley tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the apple so that humans will know good from evil, and Aziraphale gives them his Flaming Sword. They discuss whether it's possible for a demon to inspire good or for an angel to inspire evil. In the final episodes, this is revealed to be the case: The Flaming Sword has become the symbol of the man-made evil that is War, but ultimately the Antichrist Adam chooses to do good instead of following his destiny.
    • In season 2, the fly that Gabriel tries to kill with two books early on turns out to contain his memories. The fly was given to him by Beelzebub as a gift.
  • Composite Character: There's nothing in the book suggesting that Nanny Ashtoreth and Brother Francis are Crowley and Aziraphale in disguise, and Aziraphale's line about "my little team" would rather suggest they're not.note 
  • Conscription: All angels and demons are expected to fight in the Great War, no matter what.
  • Conspiracy Theorist:
    • Though it's not really discussed outside of one particular scene, Anathema appears to be one. Not only is she sure that GMOs and nuclear plants are evil, but she's subscribed to a magazine that advocates for many different theories (ranging from aliens really visiting us or Atlantis being real to Tibetans spying on people from tunnels). Adam reads all of her issues and turns into a believer too (with all their claims becoming real as a result of his powers).
    • Shadwell, in his own peculiar way, is also a conspiracy theorist, albeit one more focused on witches and other supernatural phenomena.
  • Cool Car: Crowley's Bentley, which is getting some prominent focus in the advertising. In season 2, when Aziraphale convinces Crowley to reluctantly let him drive the Bentley to Edinburgh, Crowley contacts Aziraphale through the car's radio to let him know that he can feel when the Bentley is driving under the speed limit. He also knows that the car now has travel sweets and is yellow. Plus the car is playing classical music instead of Queen. Crowley demands that Aziraphale change the car back. When Aziraphale refuses, Crowley threatens to start selling his books or, better yet, giving them away. Aziraphale complies.
  • Crapsack World: Hell (of course). The Hell set is dingy and decayed. It is decorated with demotivational signs proclaiming WE HATE YOU and IT COULD BE WORSE... AND IT WILL BE. Another announces "____ days without anyone saying "The road to Hell is paved...", implying what will happen to anyone who does.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Neil Gaiman portrays a passed-out patron of a movie theater in episode 4 and voices the bunnies on screen.
    • Terry Pratchett's iconic hat and scarf are in Aziraphale's shop. Next to Newt's want ad for the Witchfinder Army is a lost hat notice from "Uncle Terry".
    • T.Pratchett is the only one whose high score D.Eath couldn't beat, with 9,999,999 points in the pub arcade game (notably only one point more than D.Eath's second place score).
    • The Electricity Board spokesman whose voice is heard in Episode 4 discussing the disappearing nuclear reactor is Paul Kaye, using the same voice he used playing Sir Terry in the drama-documentary Terry Pratchett: Back in Black. Terry was indeed previously a press officer with the Electricity Board answering questions about three nuclear power stations.
    • The soldier at the gate to Tadfield airbase is reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods.
    • While sorting books in Aziraphale's bookshop by the first letter of the first sentence in them, Gabriel reads the first page of Good Omens.
    • Gaiman also appears in The Hillywood Show parody of season 1 to tease season 2.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Shadwell harangues passersby to join his "Witchfinder Army" (while the stereotypical sandwich board) so they can hunt down and kill witches. Not only is he right that witches exist (although the ones we see aren't evil), but demons and far more do too.
  • Cultural Translation: A minor one: when the narrator explains why Anathema can't see Adam's aura, She uses Times Square and America for her analogy instead of Trafalgar Square and England from the novel.

    D to K 
  • Death Faked for You: Crowley does this with Job's goats by turning them into crows instead of actually burning them to death. Aziraphale doesn't realize it until he hears the "crows" bleat. He then also turns Job's children into lizards after setting their room on fire and then, with Aziraphale's help, has Job and Sitis "produce" three new children... who happened to look exactly like their three supposedly dead children. When Gabriel and Michael turn to Aziraphale in confusion, he openly lies to them that those are indeed new children. Since neither archangel can contemplate the idea of an angel being untruthful, they accept it.
  • Demoted to Extra: Metatron is the only angel other than Aziraphale that we see in the book. He appears in the final confrontation at the end as well as the scene where Aziraphale uses the Solomonic circle to communicate with "a Higher Authority" in the bookshop earlier on. However, since Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, and Sandalphon (Metatron's twin) were added to the series, with Gabriel acting as the CEO of Heaven's forces, the impact of Metatron on the story during the bookshop scene is lessened from what it was in the novel, and it is Gabriel that appears in the climactic confrontation at Tadfield Air Base at the end instead. The Metatron does appear in season 2, though.
  • Diagonal Billing: The first season features a variation; Michael Sheen's name appears first, but David Tennant's name lingers after Sheen's name fades out. The second season uses the standard diagonal billing system, with Michael Sheen at top right and David Tennant at bottom left.
  • Disappeared Dad: Adam cites this as a reason for rejecting Satan, his father, saying the latter isn't really his dad as he never took an interest in him before he rejected the plan for Armageddon.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Thou-Shall-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, in the Agnes Nutter flashback, does not appreciate being called Adultery.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Anathema rather matter-of-factly proposes to Newton that they have sex, as her ancestor predicted it. He eagerly agrees.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: While both Crowley and Aziraphale seem to be able to perform separate miracles without too much trouble from Heaven or Hell, as soon as they try to perform just a teeny, tiny miracle together in Season 2, using as much restraint as possible, it's powerful enough to theoretically raise 25 men from the dead, sets off alarms in Heaven, and prompts them to launch an investigation. Crowley later Lampshades this, commenting that "when we perform miracles together, they work a little too well."
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • The audience (and God) knows that the wrong baby was switched and that Adam is the Antichrist, but the plot rests on the fact that no one knows there's been a mixup until only a few days before the apocalypse, and no one knows who is the Anti-Christ until just before it despite multiple characters trying to find him (and in Anathema's case, actually meeting him).
    • While much is made of the "Great/Ineffable Plan" throughout the show by several characters - what it means and whether or not it's worth following - God makes clear to the audience from the beginning of episode one that She plays games with the universe and the plan likely doesn't exist.
      God: I play an ineffable game of My own devising. For everyone else, it's like playing poker in a pitch-dark room, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
      • Crowley, for his part, realizes that earlier than most.
        Gabriel: God does not play games with the universe.
        Crowley: (incredulously) Where have you been?
    • In the final episode of Season 2, Crowley and the audience witness Gabriel get cast out of Heaven for refusing to go along with yet another armageddon, alongside falling in love with the demon Beelzebub. Crucially, Aziraphale doesn't see, nor is aware, that the Metatron was part of the council that cast Gabriel out, and gleefully accepts the Metatron's offer for Aziraphale to return to Heaven to "reform" it, and to even reinstate Crowley. The audience and Crowley are all too aware that Aziraphale is being manipulated, but Aziraphale himself perceives the Metatron as an ally.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: The angels sometimes fail to understand that the point of being good is to be good, not just to oppose the demons.
    Aziraphale: There doesn't have to be a war.
    Gabriel: Of course there does. Otherwise, how would we win it? (gives "duh" look)
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: The angels wear muted white and light gray clothing which looks professional, like business suits. Hell's team wears dark colors like black, with sores, critters, and other gross "tells".
  • Drives Like Crazy: Crowley, like in the book, drives like a maniac at ridiculous speeds in downtown London, swerving through traffic. When Aziraphale borrows the car in season 2, he initially goes the wrong way on a one-way street and nearly causes several accidents (justified because he hasn't driven a car in 90 years). But the trope is averted later when he drives well below the speed limit on a country road. As it turns out, Crowley can actually feel when the Bentley is underperforming and demands that Aziraphale drive it the way he does.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Adam notes that once he first came into his Antichrist powers he wasn't thinking clearly, being controlling of his friends and only snapping out of it once they told him to leave them alone and he wasn't their friend anymore.
  • Eating Optional: With the exception of Aziraphale and Crowley, neither angels nor demons eat or drink. When Gabriel finds Aziraphale in a sushi restaurant, Gabriel refuses to "sully [his] celestial body with gross matter" and is generally perplexed by Aziraphale's willingness to eat. One of Crowley's arguments that Aziraphale should work with him is that there are no restaurants in Heaven... nor even food of any kind, for that matter.
  • Either/Or Title: Nina's coffeeshop in season 2 is named Give Me Coffee or Give Me Death, which is a play on Patrick Henry's famous quote. In the final episode, the Metatron asks her if anyone ever asks for death.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Crowley calmly asks a villager for directions while sitting in his Bentley, which is on fire. The villager finds himself unable to comment on the fact that the car is on fire because it's so bizarre and obvious that Crowley must know already.
  • Enemy Mine: After Adam stops Armageddon, Gabriel and Beelzebub join forces to try to convince Adam to let them fight one another. The angels and demons later join forces to put Crowley and Aziraphale on trial for their defiance.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • With the onset of the Biblical flood, Crowley calls it some thing that "his side" would do rather than God; while he's mostly blasé about it, he seems disgusted at the idea of children drowning just because God wants to make a point.
    • In the Coronavirus one-shot, Crowley explains that, due to the pandemic, humanity as a whole is so miserable that even he, a demon, doesn't have the heart to torment them further.
  • Everybody Lives: Adam resets everything by preventing Armageddon. Not only does no one die in the war between Heaven and Hell, everyone who died in the lead up to it was miraculously restored to life.
  • Everyone Can See It: Crowley and Aziraphale are constantly taken as a couple. Uriel calls Crowley Aziraphale's "boyfriend in the dark glasses." After a public argument outside the bookshop, after which Crowley drives off angrily, a passerby comforts the angel by saying, "I've been there. You're better off without him," clearly believing he's just witnessed a lovers' quarrel. Nina the coffeeshop owner asks Crowley how long he and Aziraphale have been together, even going so far to ask if Crowley's married and having a secret affair with the angel, seeming unable to conceive that what's between the two is platonic. In the last episode of season 2, Nina and Maggie sit Crowley down and tell him that it's obvious he and Aziraphale have feelings for each other and that Crowley should tell him the truth.
  • Evil Counterpart: The final episode shows the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be this to the Them. More specifically, Pepper is War's counterpart (peace), Wensleydale is Famine's (nutritious lunches), and Brian is Pollution's (cleanliness).note  Adam and Death, the final corresponding pair, are the odd ones out since both represent powers that are neither inherently good nor evil, but rather are natural parts of the cosmic balance.
  • Evil Wears Black: Demon Crowley wears black and has black wings. Most of Hell's minions wear black and have black wings.
  • Evil Smells Bad: At least, if you're an ethereal being.
    • Sandalphon notes that something "smells evil" in the book shop. Aziraphale brushes it off as being due to the Jeffrey Archer books, but the likely culprit is, of course, Aziraphale's favourite demon, who had been getting extremely drunk with the angel the night before. It's not clear whether this is an actual smell (perhaps brimstone), or a Detect Evil ability that angels have; either way, Crowley's "scent" doesn't seem to be much of an issue for his best friend. Then again, whether you can even call Crowley remotely "evil" is seriously up for debate.
    • A demon who definitely smells bad is Hastur, as Not-The-Antichrist Warlock observes and Crowley confirms he "smells like poo". If evil does indeed smell bad, you must be pretty fragrant for a fellow demon to find you a bit niffy.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: While Aziraphale's hairstyle has been more or less the same ever since he was first assigned to guard the Garden of Eden, Crowley goes through a lot of different hairstyles throughout the centuries.
    • War wears her hair long and straight for most of the series, since she's in her human guise as Carmine Zuigiber. Once she fully transforms into War at Tadfield Air Base, her hair changes into an elaborate, impractical up-do coiffure in the blink of an eye.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Gabriel is ostensibly on the side of good, but he's rooting for the apocalypse to happen. Most of his interactions with Aziraphale are full of an obviously false friendly veneer. He finally drops it at the end when trying to execute Aziraphale for treason.
  • Fauxtivational Poster: While it's hard to see because it's so dark, Hell's walls are littered with these. Neil Gaiman admitted on his Tumblr that he had never "asked anyone to make sure that they used Comic Sans before."
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Zigzagged. Demons and angels are technically sexless, with male- and female-presenting beings shown on both sides. The book explicitly states that they are sexless unless they want to "make the effort", and there is a line narrated by God in the series confirming that "size and shape are simply options". However, the factions are ostensibly led by Satan, a Big Red Devil voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, and God, the unseen narrator voiced by Frances McDormand. A level down though, the commander of the angel's forces is the male-presenting Gabriel, while the demon commander is the non-binary Beelzebub played by a female actress.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Crowley and Aziraphale keep meeting eachother throughout the years.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition:
  • First Kiss:
    • Anathema and Newt kiss when they think the world is about to end, as predicted by Agnes Nutter.
    • Crowley kisses Aziraphale to stop him from leaving. It doesn't work.
  • Flaming Sword: Aziraphale was given one by God in order to guard the gate of the Garden of Eden, but he gave it to Adam and Eve before they left the Garden so they would be able to keep warm and defend themselves.note  It's later revealed that War's sword is the same flaming sword Aziraphale gave away, and he gets it back briefly for the final conflict with Satan himself; but in the end, he gives it to the Delivery Man along with the other Horsemen's items.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Aziraphale and Crowley up to eleven. As an angel and demon they're not even meant to have met each other, let alone developed anything more. Just a few photos of the two of them together - not doing anything incriminating, simply meeting up and talking - is enough for Gabriel and Michael to turn on Aziraphale.
  • Forbidden Love: Crowley and Aziraphale have been in love for a while now, but because of their angelic/demonic status they could never communicate their feelings until season 2, where they do and it doesn't go well for the same reasons.
  • Forced from Their Home: In season 2, Crowley is living out of his Bentley because his home has been taken by Hell and given to his replacement Shax. Even two of his plants are in the back seat. He gets it back in the end when Shax is promoted to Grand Duke of Hell.
  • Forceful Kiss: Crowley performs one on Aziraphale, grabbing him by the lapels and holding him in place. The angel briefly reciprocates but ultimately rejects him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Episode 1 talks about how the Antichrist binding with his Hellhound will set him on the path to his destiny. In episode 5, the realization that Dog is afraid of him is the reason why Adam is able to regain control of himself and try to stop Armageddon.
    • Episode 3 has a little arc about Crowley's attempts to procure holy water as "insurance." In episode 4, the holy water plays a major part in Crowley winning enough time to escape Hastur and Ligur.
    • Water doesn't tend to bode well for Crowley: he shelters from the first storm under Aziraphale's wing, he makes no secret of the fact that he considers the Great Flood an atrocity, and he gets knocked down by a water jet as the firefighters try to put out the fire at the bookshop. We learn in Episode 3 that holy water kills a demon Deader than Dead — and in the final episode, Crowley is sentenced to death by immersion in holy water.
    • In his first appearance, Adam is acknowledged as the leader of the Them and inventor of the best games, and is shown climbing on to a structure that looks like a throne. When his Antichrist abilities kick in, these traits take a darker turn: he turns his friends into puppets, the world into his plaything, and rewrites reality to suit himself (before his friends manage to snap him out of it). In fact, the parallels between each member of the Them and the Horseman they correspond to were all foreshadowed in that scene:
      • Pepper is seen "sword-fighting" with Brian; she corresponds to War, whose talisman is the flaming sword.
      • While they are "fighting", Brian is seen wearing a cardboard crown; he corresponds with Pollution, whose talisman is a crown.
      • Wensleydale is seen placing something on a set of scales; he corresponds to Famine, whose talisman is a set of measuring scales.
    • In Season 2, Gabriel asks his fellow angels if he'll be sent to Hell for vetoing Armageddon 2.0, and seems very calm about the prospect. And why not? Beelzebub is in Hell, after all, and it's later revealed that Gabriel had intended to go to them for protection when he escaped from heaven rather than sticking around until the angels punished him.
  • Forgiveness:
    • Briefly discussed by Aziraphale and Crowley in the third episode. After Crowley rages against the Great Plan, Aziraphale uncomfortably mumbles that he hopes Crowley will be forgiven. This prompts a rant from the demon how that will never happen due to his very nature. Aziraphale tries to amend that by reminding him that Crowley used to be an angel once but he brushes it off.
    • Later, when Aziraphale tells Crowley of his plan to contact the Almighty and have Her call off Armageddon, Crowley asks "how can someone as clever as [Aziraphale] be so stupid?" Aziraphale, looking incredibly wounded by his oldest friend's disdain, only responds with "I forgive you". This could be taken on face value as forgiveness for Crowley calling his idea to contact God stupid, but some in fandom have offered the interpretation that this was an attempt to forgive Crowley more generally in Heaven's name, referring back to Crowley's assertion during their confrontation in the bandstand that Heaven will never forgive him his part in the rebellion and that his status as a demon makes him permanently beyond forgiveness (read: salvation).
    • In the season two finale, the line "I forgive you" makes an especially brutal comeback. Aziraphale asks Crowley to come back to Heaven with him, but Crowley refuses, begging the angel to run away with him instead. Crowley kisses Aziraphale in a last ditch attempt to get him to change his mind, and Aziraphale bitterly delivers the dreaded line to a heartbroken and defeated Crowley.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Season 1 opens with what looks to be the first time Aziraphale and Crowley (then Crawley) meet on top of the wall of the Garden of Eden. Aziraphale doesn't even know the other's name. However, season 2 starts with the two of them meeting at the moment of Creation, with Aziraphale assisting Crowley (still an angel) in creating his part of the universe. Aziraphale is the one to introduce himself then, and Crowley shields Aziraphale from a meteor shower with his wing, similarly to Aziraphale shielding Crowley from the first rain on Earth. Then again, nothing in that season 1 conversation deliberately says that they'd never met before, and season 2 makes it clear that Crowley has a terrible memory for fellow angels.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Them. Adam is Sanguine, Pepper is Choleric, Wensleydale is Melancholic and Brian is Phlegmatic.
  • Free-Range Children: No one in Tadfield seems to have any issue with the Them hanging out in the woods and spending most of the day on their own, save for Mr. Tyler of the Tadfield neighborhood watch. Anathema also doesn't think anything of inviting Adam inside for a snack, nor does he think anything of accepting (except for the rumors that she's a witch, but even that doesn't seem to bother him much). Justified as this is fairly common in small towns, and the Them are all about eleven, so they don't necessarily need to be supervised all the time.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Aziraphale is reading the book of Agnes Nutter's prophecies, several of them flash on screen for a fraction of a second each, all of them somehow plot relevant to the last couple of episodes (such as the prophecies describing Newt's car overturning, Newt lying about being a computer engineer, and Aziraphale and Crowley swapping bodies to face judgement by Heaven and Hell, respectively).
    • When Crowley is going through the pages of an astronomy book, trying to find a new home after Armageddon, one of the pages shows Gallifrey, even listing it by name.
    • A couple of shots show the door of Aziraphale's bookshop. Zoom in and you'll see one of those placards is a rambling, complicated explanation of the shop's extremely limited hours (a reference to the book version, where Aziraphale actively discourages customers because he doesn't really want to sell any of his books).
    • When Aziraphale gives Crowley the holy water, there appear to be three small bullet holes in Crowley's window. These were mentioned in the book; they are actually James Bond bullet-hole-in-the-window transfers that Crowley mailed away for in 1967.
    • The delivery address of Death: Everywhere.
    • The guard at the US Air Force base is reading American Gods.
    • Slow down the footage of Death racking up the points on the diner quiz machine and you'll see assorted questions that subtly allude to aspects of the plot, such as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped in World War II, how to say "hello" in Spanish, or the year in which Apple Computers was founded.
    • The book Gabriel-as-Jim shows Saraqael is The Colour of Magic.
  • Friendly Enemies: To Aziraphale's shame, his best friend is a demon. Crowley, on the other hand, doesn't seem to mind that his best friend is an angel.
  • Friendship Denial: Aziraphale denies his friendship with Crowley quite often, which makes sense considering they're not supposed to be friends.
  • Funny Background Event: A few.
    • When Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell meets Crowley in a cafe to be given his assignment regarding Tadfield, the cafe's TV is showing The Witchfinder General, with Vincent Price as the titular Matthew Hopkins, who was mentioned earlier by Shadwell.
    • Most notably, after Crowley replaces all of the office workers' paintball guns with real ones, he and Aziraphale exit the former Satanic church as the police arrest all of the employees for their use and possession of weapons. Crowley and Aziraphale pay them no heed.
  • Game Face: Crowley scares off one of the United Holdings (Holdings) employees by briefly turning his head into something horrible with fangs - possibly a fiercer version of his snake form. In the book, this transformation involved maggots.
  • Garden of Eden: Seen in the prologue (which shows the story of Adam and Eve), and used as a motif to book-end the story (as it ends with Adam stealing an apple from his neighbor in the novel and with Aziraphale and Crowley in the park in Berkeley Square in the series).
  • Gender Flip:
    • Pollution is non-binary, referred to in the narration as "they", and played by a woman.
    • God is referred to as female and voiced by a woman.
    • Michael, Uriel, Beelzebub, and Dagon are all traditionally portrayed as male-presenting in the iconography of Abrahamic religions. All are portrayed by female actors, and none are explicitly referred to with any pronouns, gendered or otherwise (although Beelzebub is called "Lord" by Crowley, and Aziraphale masquerading as Crowley calls Michael "Dude!"). Word of God states Beelzebub has neopronouns, implying ze's non-binary.
  • Ghostapo: During a flashback to the Blitz, Aziraphale meets some Nazi spies wishing to buy books of prophecy off of him on behalf of Hitler, referencing the real interest many Nazis had in the occult. One of them even mentions Hitler is interested in the Holy Grail and the Spear of Destiny if Aziraphale happens to run across them.
  • Gilligan Cut: Immediately after Crowley says "That was a class A, surreptitious, half-a-miracle." in reference to hiding Gabriel there's a Smash Cut to Michael sitting in Heaven with a full Red Alert going off around her.
  • Glamour Failure: Aside from Death, who remains a cowled skeleton throughout, the Four Horsemen start out appearing as attractive humans, but become far more monstrous-looking as Armageddon draws closer. War's skin becomes redder and starts bleeding inexplicably; Famine becomes eerily thin and grows fangs; and Pollution becomes covered in black, oily splotches.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: All of the angels and demons consider Lucifer Adam's father, and don't even consider his adopted family as a factor. Adam himself completely inverts this; Lucifer is nothing to him, and Mr. Young is, always will be, and always has been, his real dad.
  • Going Native: When word comes down that Armageddon is on the way, everyone is excited... except for Crowley and Aziraphale, who after six thousand years on Earth have grown fond of humanity (or rather the things they invent and create). The idea of no more "fascinating little restaurants" and "old book shops" actually causes them to work together to put a stop to it. The forces of Heaven and Hell even name-drop the trope when their attempts at executing the duo fail miserably.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Aziraphale has white wings, while Crowley has black wings. This is in contrast to the book, where it's mentioned that the only obvious difference between angels and demons is that demons are slightly better-groomed.
  • Grave Robbing: In episode 3 of season 2, a flashback to 19th century Edinburgh has Aziraphale and Crowley run into a young and poor Scottish girl digging up a body at a graveyard in order to sell it to a doctor. Aziraphale is firmly against desecrating the dead, while Crowley is all for it. Aziraphale makes the body decompose faster in the barrel in order to prevent the sale. After sitting down with the surgeon, they learn that he teaches at a medical school and cuts up bodies so that his students can learn to save lives. Aziraphale realizes that not everything is as black and white as he thought.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: The War between Heaven and Hell is presented as this.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Crowley asserts at one point that God is just "moving in mysterious ways and not talking to any of us", accusing Aziraphale of being "stupid" in his insistence on trying to obtain Her intervention to stop Armageddon. Aziraphale goes ahead with the plan to try and contact Her, but Heaven's bureaucracy doesn't let him get any further than the angel Metatron, who claims to speak for Her but then simply reinforces the same "Great Plan" that the other angels have espoused the entire time. This leaves our heroes alone to stop the war between Heaven and Hell from destroying Earth, which the novel and series both hint may have been Her Ineffable Plan all along.
  • Heaven Above: Heaven and Hell share an office building, but one takes the upward escalator to get to Heaven and the downward escalator to get to Hell.
  • Heaven Versus Hell: Armageddon is set up to be the ultimate battle between the forces of heaven and the forces of hell. Gabriel even reminds Aziraphale that there was war in Heaven long before God created the Earth and humanity that Aziraphale is so defensive of, implying that trying to stop the war from being played out just for the sake of one planet and its species is short-sighted, and that the ultimate goal should be the final resolution of the eons-old conflict between the two sides.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Many characters assume that Crowley and Aziraphale are a couple after seeing how they interact and how much time they spend together. Notably, when Uriel refers to Crowley as "your boyfriend in the dark glasses" Aziraphale looks a little flustered but doesn't object to the description.
  • Hellfire: Hell has access to Hellfire, which burns tall and can destroy an angel if they touch it — not only destroying their bodies, but annihilating their essence as well.
  • Hellish Pupils: Crowley has these, which he usually hides behind sunglasses (even in Ancient Rome). It's sort of implied that he used to (and therefore still can) hide them with a glamour so people who see him without glasses don't notice.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: Angels measure miracles in "Lazarii," or the energy it takes to bring a dead person back to life. In season 2, Aziraphale and Crowley attempt to each do "half a miracle" in order to not show up on Heaven's radar, but they accidentally overdo it and register as a 25 Lazarii burst.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Crowley apparently knew Jane Austen well as a brandy smuggler, a master spy, and the brains behind the 1810 Clerkenwell Diamond Robbery. Aziraphale is aghast to hear of this, as he loved her books. Crowley is similarly alarmed to learn that she became an award-winning novelist, calling her a bit of a "dark horse" for it while struggling to wrap his head around the idea that she wrote novels for a living.note 
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Crowley runs into this on occasion.
    • In the first episode, when he tries to call Aziraphale to warn him about the Antichrist's impending birth, he can't connect because his evil deed of the day was to break London's cellphone network.
    • In the penultimate episode, his efforts to get to Tadfield are hindered by a project he had done forty years previously to make the M25 Orbital Motorway into a demonic sigil, which is now a circle of hellfire blocking his path.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Demons use Heaven in their expletives, so for example, "What the heaven".
  • Holy Burns Evil: Holy water burns demons to ashes if they touch it. They also find consecrated ground (like churches) to be unbearable, but not lethal; Crowley hops around like he's walking on hot coals and describes the feeling as walking barefoot on a beach. Crowley uses holy water to kill Ligur. Later, the demons try to execute Crowley this way, to no effect—because Crowley and Aziraphale have temporarily switched bodies. Crowley-as-Aziraphale survives a Hellfire execution in Heaven at the same time as Aziraphale-as-Crowley survives a holy water execution in Hell. Both Heaven and Hell are left horrified and confused.
  • Holy Water: Holy water is presented as the opposite substance to Hellfire; whereas Hellfire is associated with Hell and will destroy angels, holy water is aligned with Heaven and will dissolve any demon that comes in contact with it.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Though Crowley and Aziraphale aren't technically men in that both of them are supernatural beings who only have a sexuality "if they make an effort"note , it's even more blatant than in the book that they both love each other and are in love with each other.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Hastur likes pain, death, etc., but there's one thing that is too much for him and causes him to completely lose what there is of his cool: holy water, used on a fellow demon.
  • How's Your British Accent?: Crowley speaks with a generic English accent. When pretending to be a nanny, though, he adopts a Scottish accent. David Tennant is Scottish in real life. On the other hand, Crowley isn't really either English or Scottish; he's a demon who's been on Earth for 6,000 years and just happens to live in London during the time of the story.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: After spending 6,000 years living among humanity, it's clear that both Aziraphale and Crowley are more like humans than heaven and hell would like.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Aziraphale and Crowley have seen plenty of examples in their time on Earth, including during the Crucifixion:
    Crowley: What did he say to get everyone so upset?
    Aziraphale: (wincing with each impact of the hammer) "Be kind to each other."
    Crowley: Oh, yeah. That'd do it.
  • Humans Are Flawed: The message of the story. Humans, thanks to actually having an imagination, are capable of greater evil than demons, but the opposite also rings true: humans are capable of greater benevolence than even angels.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Crowley claimed credit for The French Revolution, The Spanish Inquisition, and World War II, but the truth is that Hell had nothing to do with those events. Humans did so of their own free will, which actually allows them to be more despicable than any demon.
  • Idealized Sex: Newt and Anathema appear to have mutually satisfying sex despite Newt's total inexperience and the fact that they're taking shelter from a tornado under a bed which has maybe six inches of vertical clearance between the mattress and the floor. This is also in contrast to the book, where Newt almost suggests to Anathema that a second run shouldn't take too long.
  • Identical Grandson:
    • Thou-Shall-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer and his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson Newton Pulsifer are both played by Jack Whitehall.
    • Crowley pretends he's his own identical son to Shadwell, so he won't get suspicious of him not getting any older.
  • Invincible Classic Car: Crowley fondly credits his vintage Bentley for driving through hellfire on the M25, saying "You wouldn't get that sort of performance out of a modern car."
  • Irony: No matter how determined they are to destroy the "traitors", Gabriel and Beelzebub at their Armageddon-obsessed, ruthless, power-hungry worst aren't able to pull Crowley and Aziraphale apart, or overcome them when they work together. A Gabriel and Beelzebub who have fallen in love, grown disenchanted with their factions and become more interested in earthly things — in short, acting more like Aziraphale and Crowley themselves — accidentally set in motion the events that will tear the seemingly inseparable duo apart.
  • It's All About Me: When Nina gets trapped in the coffee shop and is unable to text home, her partner takes it as a personal affront, eventually breaking up over it, with the implication that they never even listen to Nina's side of the story.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Jesus Christ is portrayed as being a Nice Guy and "bright young man" who only died because he encouraged people to be kind to each other. Even Crowley (a Fallen Angel) liked him, and admitted that him showing Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world was meant to be a last kind gesture since "his travel opportunities were limited".
  • Just as Planned: Heaven and Hell both feel that the Antichrist's birth and the ensuing destruction of the Earth are all part of the Great Plan. As Aziraphale realizes at the end, the Great Plan is not God's Ineffable Plan.
  • Kangaroo Court: After averting Armageddon, Crowley is put on trial. Beelzebub is judge, Hastur is prosecutor and accuser, and Dagon is... back-up accuser if Hastur forgets anything; he doesn't get an advocate. Aziraphale gets a similar one from Gabriel, which is even more blatant - Gabriel makes no pretense of it being anything but an execution.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While the miniseries still manages to mine some Black Comedy in their appearances, they're overall presented as being legitimately terrifying in comparison to the other supernatural threats in the story, and the tone gets significantly more serious whenever any of them arrive on the scene.

    L to P 
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In season 2, Gabriel appears in front of Aziraphale's bookshop stark naked and having absolutely no memory of who he is and what he's supposed to be doing. Occasionally some memories come back, but then he forgets it all again.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: A difference in lighting is used to contrast heaven and hell, which are seemingly in the same building. Heaven is a brightly-lit, spacious white office building populated by sharp-dressed angels; hell is a dark and cramped office basement populated by shabbily-dressed demons.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias:
    • When Shadwell meets Crowley at a cafe to receive an assignment, he assures him that he'll send some of his best operatives to do the job: Witchfinder Lieutenant Table and Witchfinder Sergeant Peppernote .
    • Aziraphale pulls the same trick in season 2 when he's trying to come up with an alias for Gabriel. As he's thinking, he glances around the bookshop until his eyes land on the book Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. And so we get "Jim short for Gabriel."
  • Literal Metaphor: Played With, when he reaches the front of the line at Give Me Coffee Or Give Me Death, the Metatron asks Nina if anyone ever asks for death. They do not.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Some of the demons have minor aspects of an animal they're associated with. Crowley has snake eyes, Ligur has a chameleon as part of his face and head, and Beelzebub has hair shaped like a fly's head with eyes.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: War was asking for it by taunting Pepper. The surprise makes her drop the flaming sword.
  • Little Miss Badass: Pepper fearlessly defies both Adam (even when it becomes clear that he's got supernatural power) and then the Horseman (well, Horsewoman) of War to their faces, kicking the latter in the shin, then defeating her by advocating peace at Adam's urging.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Part of how Crowley convinces Aziraphale to help him avert Armageddon. While Aziraphale protests that he can't go against God's plan, Crowley points out that the Antichrist is Satan's kid, and therefore the whole thing is Hell's plan, and Aziraphale is supposed to thwart those, isn't he?
    • Aziraphale claims that if he uses a miracle to get paint off his clothes, it will only feel like he glamoured over it and that the stain is still really there "underneath". This is rather blatantly played as a deliberate ploy to get Crowley to do it for him instead, though it's unclear if there is actually a difference if Crowley does it or if Aziraphale is just trying to avoid getting reprimanded for frivolous miracles again.
    • Adam is grounded, so he is only allowed outside so he can watch over Dog playing in the garden. However, should Dog find a hole in the fence and run off, Adam would be required to run after him even if it meant leaving the garden. If Dog runs toward the circus setting up outside of town, then it is not Adam's fault. This plot device is lifted straight from the Just William books on which the Them were based.
  • Love Across Battlelines: For most of human history, Aziraphale and Crowley got away with their attachment to each other thanks to the demons and angels being locked in a cold war without much action. It gets harder as both sides prepare for Armageddon, with Aziraphale torn between heaven and Crowley, Crowley trying to persuade Aziraphale to run away together, and both of them wanting to protect humanity. Ultimately they agree they're on their "own side" and prevent the war from happening at all.
  • Love Epiphany: Crowley has one after Nina explains it to him.
  • The Matchmaker: After Aziraphale and Crowley accidentally set off miracle alarms in Heaven, and Michael comes down to ask what miracle Aziraphale has performed, he (recalling an earlier conversation with Maggie) says that he used a miracle to get Maggie and Nina to fall in love. Michael accepts his explanation, but Heaven still sends a junior angel to verify it. So now Aziraphale and Crowley have to play matchmaker and get the two women together without miracles. While Maggie has fallen for Nina, Nina has a partner and doesn't seem interested. Crowley tries to cause rain to get them to run under an awning, and it starts to work, but then the awning tears, drenching both women. Instead, Aziraphale agrees to host the annual meeting of local business owners and sets it up like a ball from a Jane Austen novel. It just so happens that Nina's partner breaks up with her, so they both end up at the meeting and start dancing. Still, at the end, they both come to Crowley and tell him that they're not going to start dating until Nina is completely over her ex, as she doesn't want the relationship to be a rebound one, but she hopes Maggie will still be there when Nina is ready. Maggie confirms she'll be waiting.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Crowley takes Agnes Nutter's book from the burning bookshop as a "souvenir" after thinking Aziraphale has been killed Deader than Dead. It ends up saving their lives at the end.
  • Metatron: His role from the original book is reduced here, with Gabriel appearing at the base instead, but he still appears when Aziraphale tries to speak to God, where he confirms to Aziraphale that the angels indeed want Armageddon to begin. He claims to be the means through which beings speak to God, but his role is compared to the Presidential spokesperson. He reappears in season 2 as part of the council that votes Gabriel out of his position and finally in the flesh to offer Aziraphale Gabriel's old job.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: When Madame Tracy is possessed by Aziraphale, she sees his face in the mirror. He smiles and waves.
  • Mirroring Factions: Not only is Heaven implied not to be all that great and Hell isn't all that terrible, but they're both shown to be full of Obstructive Celestial Bureaucrats more concerned with "winning" the Apocalypse than showing off how "good" or "evil" they are.
  • Misspelling Out Loud: When Shax is besieging Aziraphale's bookshop in "The Ball," she says that unless they send out Gabriel, they're toast. T-O-S-T....E. Toast! This is a Running Gag in the season that demons are bad spellers.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Or rather, mistaken for having just broken up. After Crowley and Aziraphale fight about whether they should run away together in front of Aziraphale's bookshop, and Crowley dramatically storms off, a passing man tries to comfort Aziraphale by saying that he understands what it's like and "you're better off without him".
    • Crowley and Aziraphale are constantly assumed to be a couple in Season 2 by demons, angels, and humans. Since the two have explicitly romantic feelings for each other at this point, this doubles as Everyone Can See It.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: After she has sex with Newt, Anathema carefully covers herself with the sheet.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Gabriel and Sandalphon pretend to be human customers in order to speak with Aziraphale at his bookshop. They do an altogether less-than-convincing job.
  • Mundane Utility: Crowley routinely uses his demonic powers to fix his car or clean his clothes. Aziraphale creates a street-lamp quality light in the middle of pitch-dark woods, repairs Anathema's bike, and creates a bike rack on the Bentley so that Crowley doesn't have an excuse to not take Anathema home after they collided with her.
    • Conversely, Crowley keeps dozens of pairs of his preferred sunglasses in the glove box of the Bentley rather than just miracle up a new pair if the ones he's wearing get damaged, and Aziraphale uses tricks like having unpredictable hours, unusual smells and other excuses to keep people from buying his books instead of using supernatural means to discourage people from noticing or entering his shop.
  • Must Be Invited: We learn in season 2 that a demon can't enter Aziraphale's bookshop without an invitation because it counts as an embassy even after his fall from grace. Crowley has a free pass, but Shax can't enter, and Crowley isn't about to invite her in. It seems anyone present at the bookshop is able to invite demons in, not just the owner. Maggie does it by accident when taunting the demons besieging the place by saying, "Come in here and tell that to my face!"
  • My Grandson, Myself: When Shadwell, who first met Crowley in the sixties, meets up with him in the present day, he asks how Crowley's father is doing and comments that he looks just like him. Crowley casually plays along.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Two other Neil Gaiman books appear. In the first episode, a drunken Crowley has a copy of The Sleeper and the Spindle in hand; in the fifth, the guard at the US Air Force base is reading American Gods. It's harder to spot, but Word of God says Aziraphale's bookshop contains a complete Discworld collection.
    • When returning to his book shop, Aziraphale notices that a set of the Just William books have appeared on prominent display. Good Omens famously started life as the idea "Just William as the Antichrist" with Adam basically being an Expy of William.
    • A literal Mythology Gag; one of Aziraphale's superiors is Uriel, who according to tradition was the actual angel with the flaming sword guarding the gates of Eden.
    • Crowley explains that the Antichrist has a psychic defense which causes all suspicions in people's minds about him to slide off like water from... something water slides off, which Crowley can't remember at the moment. A couple of minutes later he remembers it's "off a duck's back". The book somewhat notoriously mangled the expression by describing the effect as "slipped away like a duck off water", which nobody noticed before it made print. Doubles as a subtle Take That, Us.
    • When they're first introduced, The Them are seen with the items they use in the book to defeat the Horsemen. Pepper and Brian are swordfighting, and Pepper wins, brandishing her wooden sword afterward, while Brian is wearing a paper crown. A moment later, Wensleydale is standing next to an improvised set of scales.
    • At the beginning of the Noah's ark scene, the score plays the tune of "The Animals Went in 2 by 2".
    • The "I'm In Love With My Car" sequence is preceded with Crowley putting a Mozart CD in his car stereo, showing that like in the book, whatever is left for too long in his Bentley turns into Queen.
    • Agnes Nutter behaves pretty much exactly like the archetypal Discworld witch; she prefers practical solutions drenched in occult terminology, is completely helpful to her community (who want to burn her anyway just because she plays up the occult part), is fully aware of modern medicine and health practices, and is aware of how she'll die and uses the opportunity to get the last laugh. She also has a strikingly similar name to the Witches series' Agnes Nitt and dies in a similar manner to a historical witch in I Shall Wear Midnight, only with a much higher body count.
    • According to Series 2, Mr. C.M.O.T. Dibbler, the infamous street vendor from numerous Discworld novels, sold laudanum in Scotland in the 19th Century.
    • In the second season, as Gabriel is shown sorting books alphabetically by opening sentence, one of the books he opens, based on its opening text, is shown to be Good Omens itself.
    • Mrs. Sandwich referring to herself as a "seamstress" is also a reference to Discworld.
  • A Mythology Is True: As with its source material, the series presents the Christian Bible as complete fact, to the point of Doing in the Scientist and having the Earth only be roughly 6,000 years old. Dinosaur fossils are a prank God played on said scientist(s).
  • Nazi Zombies: After the three Nazis killed by the bomb during the London Blitz in 1941 are brought down to Hell, they're processed by a demon named Furfur. When he learns that their demise was caused by Crowley and a certain "Mr. Fell," whom Furfur assumes to be an angel, he gives all three the chance to return to life as zombies for 24 hours in order to find proof that Crowley is up to some good, so that Furfur can move in the demonic hierarchy. They accept when they learn that the alternative for Nazis is to be eternally devoured, digested, and crapped out by a giant spider. They return to the bombed-out church and eat a homeless man's brain to sustain themselves.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Very nerdy Newton had yet to kiss a woman before meeting Anathema, let alone have sex, when he was in his 20s.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Anathema inadvertently kickstarts the Apocalypse by handing the Antichrist conspiracy theory magazines.
    • In Series 2, Maggie inadvertently invites the demons in when she says "You wanna come in here and say that to my face?" to Shax during the standoff at the bookshop.
  • Noble Demon: Crowley is a trope codifier for a decent sort who isn't so demonic. Crowley fights to stop the Apocalypse and save humanity. He is also capable of friendship and imagination.
  • Not So Above It All: Gabriel chastises Aziraphale for eating sushi, which he considers disgusting gross matter humans consume that would corrupt the temple of his body. However, Gabriel also willingly puts on human clothes and admits that he does because he likes them.
  • Number of the Beast: As Aziraphale is reading through Agnes Nutter's prophecies, he stumbles upon one that seems to indicate that the Number of the Beast is the way to contact the Antichrist. Reaching for his Bible, he reads Revelation 13:18note , and figures that it's worth a shot to dial the phone number with the Tadfield area code preceding it, at which point he gets Mr. Young.
    Aziraphale: Sorry, right number!
  • Oblivious to Love: A platonic version (supposedly). When Aziraphale is able to contact Crowley after his discorporation, he asks Crowley if he's gone to Alpha Centauri yet. Crowley says no, because "I lost my best friend." Aziraphale awkwardly offers his condolences, not realizing Crowley was talking about him. Alternatively, he knew but didn't know how to respond to the situation. Either way, he doesn't acknowledge it.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Furfur keeps gleefully blocking Shax's request for mooks... possibly in revenge for the bullet catch incident.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Aziraphale is an angel and Crowley is a demon, literally on opposite ends of the eternal conflict between Heaven and Hell. Yet they actually get along going all the way back from the days of Adam and Eve to the modern day, even if Aziraphale protests.
    • Madame Tracy and Shadwell have one as well. Even in the series, which tones down Shadwell's bigotry by several orders of magnitude, he has nothing but contempt for her since she either earns her money through "harlotry" or "ghost-raising". Yet somehow Madame Tracy sees the man beneath all the bluster and borderline-abusive language as someone deserving of compassion, and by the end of the series, he's realized that she's probably his only friend in the world other than Newt and that he's willing to die to protect her. They end up planning to move to a bungalow in the country together; whether as a couple or just platonic friends and roommates is up for interpretation.
      Shadwell: I suppose now I, er, pop the question?
      Madame Tracy: Yeah. Go on, then.
      Shadwell: Aye. Visibly screws up his courage: How many nipples have ye got, Jezebel?
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Crowley and Aziraphale have a big one when they realize that the Hell Hound did not show up because they have been monitoring the wrong boy and they have no idea where the Antichrist is.
    • Heaven and Hell each have one as they try to execute their respective traitors, both of whom prove immune to their executions, and in fact, show themselves capable of wielding them toward their would-be executors. "Aziraphale" breathing hellfire towards Gabriel and his cronies, while "Crowley" splashes holy water towards the demons. Both groups decide to release the captives and just no longer bother with them.
  • Omniglot: Angels and demons can speak any human language. However, while Aziraphale has shown to be fluent in Chinese and Japanese, his French is another matter. When Crowley asks him about it, Aziraphale explains that he learned it the hard way, from a teacher. Despite this, he insists on speaking it to a French restaurant owner, even though she's perfectly fluent in English.
  • Only Friend: Aziraphale and Crowley for each other, as misfits among their own sides and too long-lived to properly befriend humans. Which makes the fact it's a Forbidden Friendship all the more painful.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Present in the teaser poster (with the blue around Crowley's car clashing with the red-orange of the apocalyptic destruction) and in the official poster (with the blue of Heaven contrasting with the orange of Hell).
  • Order Versus Chaos: A more accurate way to describe the conflict between Heaven and Hell. They might think they're fighting over Black-and-White Morality, but Heaven is better at preaching virtue rather than practising it; even the major Commandments such as "Thou shalt not kill" (or, presumably, "Thou shalt not obliterate troublesome colleagues") are routinely ignored. Instead, Heaven likes things organised and predictable, while Hell wants to cause as much mayhem and noise as possible. Aziraphale and Crowley themselves showcase the more positive side of the trope, balancing each other out.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Even moreso than the book, due to the format allowing for casting. The majority of roles from Heaven and Hell were gender-neutral auditions, leading to several Gender Flips and a few characters that don't even try to present as male or female.
  • Out of the Inferno: Crowley marches out of the flaming ruins of Aziraphale's bookshop (to the accompaniment of Queen's "Somebody to Love"). He later repeats this when he drives out of the firestorm on the M25 (with another Queen song, "I'm in Love with My Car").
  • Outdated Outfit: Anathema wears old-fashioned dresses that look almost Victorian. Meanwhile, Aziraphale's favorite coat is nearly 200 years old and he thinks "tartan is stylish".
  • Overt Rendezvous: Crowley's first scene in Season 2 is sitting on a bench in the park when a man sits down next to him and gives an obvious Spy Speak code phrase. Crowley tells the man that he's talking to the wrong person and directs him to the actual spy he's supposed to be meeting.
  • Phony Psychic: Madame Tracy works as one of these, with all her "readings" being obvious fakery, at least until Aziraphale possesses her — then she actually channels a spirit.
  • Plausible Deniability:
    • When Michael uncovers evidence from the Earth Observation Files that Aziraphale has been meeting with Crowley on the regular for centuries, she asks Gabriel for permission to investigate the matter further using "back channels". Gabriel placidly replies that there are no back channels, looking confused. She merely smiles and leaves him to contemplate the photos while she calls Ligur. Since she must have been meeting with him regularly herself over the centuries in order to cultivate a relationship in which they exchange intel, any pictures of her meeting a demon could be construed in the same way she wants the photos of Aziraphale and Crowley to be interpreted. But by telling Gabriel that she wants to investigate Aziraphale's possible treason through "back channels", it's clear that was always her ready excuse for those meetings if they were uncovered.
    • This is also technically how Crowley justified the "Arrangement" to Aziraphale: since their magic comes from the same source and neither Heaven nor Hell can tell the difference when it's used on humans, Aziraphale can perform temptations on Crowley's behalf and Crowley can do miracles on Aziraphale's. When they complete their routine "paperwork", they can each claim to have done the work themselves even if the other did it, and neither Heaven nor Hell would be the wiser.
    • Crowley also takes credit for evil that humanity comes up with on its own this way: since Hell doesn't believe humans can come up with truly evil things to do to itself without Hellish intervention, Crowley knows they won't check up on whether he actually inspired any of the awful things he's taken credit for over time. If they did and found he'd been overstating his influence on his reports, he can always claim that since they're all demons, they're supposed to lie as a part of being evil.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Crowley and Aziraphale have a few moments in which they briefly stop being friends for plot-related reasons.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • The entire mess starts because of a series of misunderstandings surrounding the delivery of the Antichrist. In order:
    1. Arthur Young mistakes Crowley for a doctor and directs him to room 3 to help with Deirdre, not considering that he might be there to attend to the other woman giving birth in the very next room despite the ruckus that Harriet and the Secret Service would've made when they came past him on their way in.
    2. Crowley, distracted and disconcerted by the existence of the Antichrist and the pressure of his role in bringing him into the world, doesn't question Arthur Young's identity and assumes that he's the American ambassador despite the human's obvious British accent.
    3. Because of the Youngs' unexpected arrival a week early, the nuns that were expecting Crowley and prepared for the swap are split between Harriet Dowling and Deirdre Young. The only one left to greet Crowley and accept the infant Antichrist is Sister Mary, who was dismissed to the larder before the Youngs arrived and therefore didn't know there was another couple besides the Dowlings delivering a baby at the time.
    4. The above leads Sister Mary to believe, just as Crowley does, that the Dowlings are the couple that was delivering in room 3, and therefore that is the room she goes to with the infant Antichrist. She misunderstands multiple verbal cues during her conversation with Arthur Young, including his obvious British accent, and never realizes that she's not talking to an American ambassador or that she's in the wrong room.
    5. When Sister Theresa enters the room because she's realized that Sister Mary has the Antichrist in the wrong room, Mr. Young's presence forces them to eschew verbal communication in favor of winks. Sister Mary interprets Sister Theresa's wink as a congratulations on having executed the switch and request for confirmation of which child is the surplus baby, while Sister Theresa interprets Sister Mary's wink as a confirmation of which child is the Antichrist to be switched with the Dowlings' baby in the next room.
    6. End result, the Youngs end up with the Antichrist, the Dowlings end up with the Young baby, and the Dowling baby gets sent off for adoption.
    7. Shortly after both sets of new parents leave and the third baby is handed over to his adoptive parents, Hastur takes it upon himself to burn down the convent, destroying all the records and inadvertently preventing anyone from discovering the error until it's too late.
    • In season 2, Crowley doesn't tell Aziraphale about his trip to Heaven or what he discovered there, with the result that Aziraphale doesn't know that Metatron's offer to him is in bad faith.
    • Also in season 2 Beelzebub threatens Crowley to find and give them Gabriel unless he wants to be severely punished, convincing Crowley to run to Aziraphale and hide Gabriel even better. Actually, Beelzebub was in love with Gabriel and wanted nothing more than to hide and protect him. If they had told Crowley, the story would have been different.
  • Pop-Up Texting: In season 2, text messages received by Nina from her partner appear as animated handwritten letters that pop up from envelopes and unfold, although one time they appear as chalk notes on the "today's special" board. Apparently, the showrunners wanted to do something different from Sherlock, so they asked the same person who developed the pop-up texting on that show to come up with several new ways to display text messages.
    • The way Nina crumples up the notes and erases the chalkboard can be seen as her deleting the storm of messages.
  • The Power of Friendship/The Power of Love: One of the key themes of the series. Aziraphale and Crowley's love for humanity drives them to try and stop the war; the Them's friendship with Adam prevents him from being consumed by his power and gives them the strength to fight the four horseman; Adam's love for Tadfield stops Armageddon and his love for his adopted parents defeats Satan; Crowley and Aziraphale's friendship and love for each other saves their lives against Heaven and Hell.
    • Also the same happens in season 2: Gabriel becomes better as a person and forms with an agreement with Beelzebub to stave off the Armageddon because they learned firsthand what love is, by falling in love themselves.
    • On a darker tone Aziraphale and Crowley realize their friendship is true love, but they're torn apart because of their choices about Heaven and Hell.
  • Precision F-Strike: Happens three times.
    • Aziraphale goes to great lengths to never utter a swear, which makes his utterance of "Oh fuck!" when he accidentally walks into his summoning circle a good indication of how dire his situation is.
    • Crowley gets the second one when he realises Satan himself is about to make an appearance at the Tadfield airbase.
      Crowley: This is Satan himself. It isn't about Armageddon. This is personal. We are fucked.
    • Gabriel gives the third one when he admonishes Aziraphale.
      "Don't talk to me about the 'greater good', sunshine. I'm the Archangel fucking Gabriel."
  • Prevent the War: Aziraphale and Crowley are trying to prevent the final war between Heaven and Hell by preventing its triggering event from taking place.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Episode 3 opens with possibly the longest cold-open ever created: a series of flashbacks showing Aziraphale and Crowley's history together, from the Garden of Eden up to the modern day. The opening credits don't appear until almost 30 minutes into the hour-long episode.
  • Public Execution: Crowley's punishment for his crimes against Hell is execution via a bath of holy water while a horde of demons eagerly watches.
    • Agnes Nutter was to be burned in front of her entire town. She used that fact to take them all out with her as punishment for the fact that they wanted to burn her for the terrible crimes of being able to cure people of diseases and also jogging.
  • Pun: Dagon, the underling of the Lord of the Flies, is properly titled Lord of the Files.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: The angels treat answering prayers, blessing, and performing miracles like job assignments, and Heaven in this universe is literally an office building. This actually ties in quite well to how angels don't actually care about humanity, only caring about what the Great Plan says.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Downplayed. The demons also treat tempting and chaos-sowing as job assignments, with Crowley presenting his design for the M25 like he was presenting a proposal for a new building at a board meeting. However, what downplays them is that unlike other instances of this trope, they really are evil, with them actively taking delight in damning human souls.
  • Punny Name:
    • Agnes Nutter's daughter is named "Virtue Device", which sounds like "Virtue d'Vice." Considering Agnes could accurately predict the future, this was probably deliberate.
    • The name Hastur chooses when with the American Ambassador is "Hastur La Vista."
  • Put on a Bus: None of the human cast of the first season returns for the second. The closest any of them get to a return appearance is a brief flashback to the climax of the season finale. Hastur and Sandalphon don't appear in the second season either.

    R to Z 
  • Race Lift:
    • Pollution is a chalk-pale man in the book and played by a Filipina woman here.
    • Pepper, a freckled redhead in the book, is now a black girl with brown hair.
    • Anathema Device is still of British descent (she'd have to be since she's Agnes Nutter's descendant), but she's now American and played by a Puerto Rican actress.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: In the end, Crowley speculates that the "ineffable" plan is all about setting up the real final battle: humanity and its supporters against both heaven and hell.
  • Rank Up: At the end of season 2, Shax becomes the Grand Duke of Hell after Beelzebub leaves with Gabriel for parts unknown. Aziraphale also accepts the Metatron's offer of taking up Gabriel's job of the top archangel (against Crowley's objections).
  • Reality Warper:
    • Adam can make things become real, or unmake them. One example is removing all the nuclear fuel from a nuclear power plant without affecting its ability to produce electricity.
    • To a lesser degree, this is the ability of every angel and demon. Angels refer to it as "Miracles". Neither can perform the kind of wide-ranging changes Adam is capable of making.
  • Reading Lips: In "The Hitchhiker", during the flashback to 1941, the Nazi zombies are spying on Crowley and Aziraphale from across the street, as Aziraphale is practicing stage magic in front of Crowley. Mr. Harmony asks for the binoculars and claims to be good at lip-reading. He proceeds to list off seemingly random words, "Banana, fish, gorilla, shoe lace, with a dash of nutmeg." Greta Kleinschmidt is writing down the words and then realizes they're gibberish, calling Harmony a "dummkopf" (idiot). Except later it turns out that Aziraphale actually did say that.
  • Redemption Rejection: Crowley has an opportunity to become an angel. He rejects the very idea of it.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In Season 1, the nature of Crowley's and Aziraphale's relationship is more of an Ambiguous Situation that they both seem to perceive as a friendship but as of Season 2, the two are explicitly romantic towards one another, with the season ending with a Big Damn Kiss and, unfortunately, a wrenching breakup.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Season 2 introduces a new archangel named Saraqael, and we're expected to believe that she was involved in everything, just off-screen. To the show's credit, it lampshades the trope by having Crowley fail to remember Saraqael, even though they worked together on the Horsehead Nebula during Creation. Also, after his memories are restored, Gabriel recognized all the angels present, except for Saraqael, who is very annoyed at this.
  • Rescue Romance: When Nina asks Aziraphale why he appears to be waiting for Crowley to come back rather than making his own plans to save them while his bookshop is being attacked, Aziraphale smiles and responds that he is making plans, but that rescuing him makes Crowley happy.
  • Ret-Gone: Anyone written out of the Book of Life is erased out of reality, as if they'd never been born. This is only used by Heaven as an extreme punishment.
  • Romantic Rain: Crowley invokes this when trying to pair Nina and Maggie together.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Heaven and Hell are part of the same office building, with Aziraphale taking the escalator to the top floor, where the angels work, and Crowley sinks into the floor to take the inverted reflection of the escalator to the basement, where the demons work. This symbolizes a recurring theme throughout the series: the two sides are opposite (good/evil, light/dark, clean/unclean) yet somehow still fundamentally the same (bureaucrats who only fulfill the role they're assigned, and who don't understand humanity and their nuances).
  • Running Gag:
    • Aziraphale is asked where he kept his Flaming Sword. He responds usually by deflecting the question, having given it away to Adam and Eve.
    • The use of Queen music is a nod to the book's repeated joke that any cassette tape left in a car for more than two weeks will turn into a "Best of Queen" album. Even the brass band in the final episode is playing a Queen song ("Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" from A Night at the Opera).
    • Shadwell asking people how many nipples they've got (since having more than two is traditionally considered a sign of being a witch).
    • In Series 2, There's a minor one of Crowley running into past acquaintances who expect him to remember them, only for the demon to not even bother hiding he has absolutely no idea who they are.
  • Secret Relationship:
    • Aziraphale and Crowley spend millennia hiding their relationship note from Heaven and Hell. Even after years going unnoticed, they still have secret rendezvous points, attempt to meet up in crowded areas (something they discuss outright in Elizabethan times) and Aziraphale frequently lies to protect Crowley from being discovered by other angels.
    • In season 2, Gabriel and Beelzebub start meeting in secret after the failed Armageddon first to keep the back channels open and then because they enjoy each other's company until they fall in love.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Subverted. Anathema gets a package that contains The Further Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, complete with the tagline "ye saga continues". She burns them instead of following them, as she and Newt have decided to Screw Destiny.
    • Played straight with the ending where Aziraphale and Crowley muse that the actual "big one," after the Apocalypse has been averted, will be "their side" (Humanity and the Earth) against both Heaven and Hell.
    • The second season ends with the Metatron telling Aziraphale about the new project they're about to start and want his help on. A project called the Second Coming.
  • Setting Update: The book was set around the late eighties/very early nineties (being published in 1990). The series clearly takes place in 2019, though Crowley still uses a cassette tape answering machine that is noted to be "ancient" since he's fond of it (and also because the answering machine itself is too plot-important to be replaced by something more modern).
  • Sex Starts, Story Stops: Anathema and Newton rather abruptly have sex, with basically no buildup prior to this. Justified, however, as she acts on her ancestor's prophecies, who predicted they would do it. There's also the fact that the world is ending and Newt really doesn't want to die a virgin, which is as good a reason as any other.
  • Shame If Something Happened: The novel mentioned that occasionally men would come into the bookshop and remark on how flammable it was. A deleted scene shows why they only ever do this once: when they meet the angel, they're suddenly inspired to stop being mobsters and take up floristry or something.
  • Shared Mass Hallucination: After the events of the show, the governments of the world pass them off as being this, even when said "hallucination" ate one's trade delegation.
  • Silly Reason for War: In War's first appearance, she manages to get peace talks in some African warzone to fall apart over an argument about who gets to sign the peace treaty first.
  • Sleight of Handiness: The one time Aziraphale's sleight of hand skills actually work is when the demon Furfur takes a photo of Aziraphale and Crowley working together, planning on handing it to Dagon in order to get Crowley recalled and Furfur to get a promotion. Furfur shows the evidence envelope with the photo to the two of them and takes it back. But when he hands it to Dagon, it turns out that, instead of the photo, the envelope contains a theater flier. Aziraphale had managed to swap the items without anyone noticing.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Crowley slouches all the time. Like his odd way of walking, it might be a hint of his serpentine nature.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: As an evil demon, Crowley, literally has snake eyes. Crowley can change into a serpent, and he was the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Pepper is a young version who denounces war and relationships as a violation of the feminist ideas she's learned from her mum. Anathema also has a little of this, though downplayed, when she lectures Adam about how GMOs and nuclear plants are evil.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: In season 2, when there's another flashback to the London Blitz, Mrs. Henderson, the owner of the Windmill Theatre complains about everything going wrong for her that day before saying "I'm f—" just as a piano chord interrupts the word.
  • Spotting the Thread: Crowley tries to convince Hastur that he has more holy water in his plant mister, but a single drop of water falls from the spout of the mister, touching Crowley's finger. Since Crowley does not die instantly, Hastur realizes he's bluffing.
  • Start of Darkness: Crowley's fall (well, sauntering vaguely downwards) starts during the Creation, when he (still an angel) helps start the universe into motion. He's very excited about the nebula he has personally made, only to be shocked when Aziraphale tells him that all this will only exist for 6000 years before being destroyed. He's wonders why anyone would bother creating an infinite universe just for the enjoyment of someone living on a remote blue-green planet that's nowhere near the center of the universe and only for a few millennia (not nearly enough time for any new stars to form). Aziraphale tries to warn him not to ask too many questions for his own good, but it's pretty clear that this is when Crowley starts to doubt God's plan.
  • Stereotypical Nerd: Newton "Newt" Pulsifer is a classic. He has nerd glasses and messy hair, is quite socially inept, and remains a virgin in his 20s (he'd never even kissed anyone prior to meeting Anathema).
  • Stiff Upper Lip: We are in England (for the most part), after all:
    • R.P. Tyler embodies this spirit when he politely gives Crowley directions... despite Crowley sitting calmly in a car that is currently on fire. God makes it clear that Tyler has actually noticed this, and isn't saying exactly what he would like to say.
    • One interpretation of Aziraphale's "So sorry to hear it" when Crowley quietly tells him that he lost his best friend is that Aziraphale knows that Crowley means him, but he doesn't want to upset Crowley further (or make it awkward) by fully acknowledging it. The other interpretation is that Aziraphale is just that oblivious.
  • Straw Feminist: Pepper regards war as "masculine imperialism executed on a global stage" and dismisses Anathema as "another deluded victim of the patriarchy" after Anathema called Newton her boyfriend. Justified since she's a child who's just parroting whatever she heard from her mother, who studied Sociology after a stint as a modern day hippie.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Aziraphale and Crowley work very hard playing matchmaker with Nina and Maggie, manipulating events to do so. However, thanks to them barely knowing each other and Nina's recent breakup, the women decide it would be unhealthy to start a relationship so quickly and give Crowley a talking-to about interfering with their love lives.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: In season 2, we learn that it's really easy for a demon to walk around Heaven as long as they manage to trick their way up there. Crowley gets Muriel to "arrest" him and then changes his appearance to that of an angel. When Muriel shows him Gabriel's file, she explains that her low rank prevents her from opening it, only a Throne or a Dominion has the authority to do it. Cue Crowley opening the file and explaining that he wasn't always a demon, plus Heaven never bothers to change passwords.
  • Switched at Birth: The baby everyone thought was the Antichrist was actually accidentally switched at birth shortly after he was born. The actual Antichrist ended up with a perfectly normal couple in Tadfield, with everyone (save perhaps God) being none the wiser until it's almost too late.
  • Take a Third Option: Adam, Aziraphale, and Crowley all end up doing this in the end. When it comes to the Great War between Heaven and Hell, they choose to fight for... humanity. Or, as Crowley puts it, "our side." In the last episode, Crowley speculates that the real final battle will ultimately be between humanity and its supporters, and the forces of Heaven and Hell working together.
  • Take That!:
    Sandalphon: Something smells... evil.
    Aziraphale: Oh, that'll be the Jeffrey Archer books, I'm afraid.
  • Taking You with Me: Agnes Nutter knew she was about to be burned at the stake... so she filled her skirt with gunpowder and roofing nails. The ensuing explosion killed her before she could be burned alive; more to the point, it also killed the witchfinder who condemned her, as well as her jealous, treacherous neighbors.
  • The Teaser: Every episode has a short scene before the opening credits, but Episode 3 takes it to an extreme, with the opening credits not showing up until fully half-way through the episode, after a montage of Aziraphale and Crowley's friendship over the centuries.
  • Telephone Teleport: Crowley tricks Hastur into following him into a phone, and then traps him on an answering machine tape. Unfortunately, he leaves the tape in the machine, and Hastur is able to escape through a telemarketer's headset when they call.
  • Their First Time: Anathema and Newt in Episode 4. He'd never had sex because he's hopeless with women.
  • Through His Stomach: Crowley has a tendency to take Aziraphale out to eat, even though he isn't really eating much. He was also the person who made him try human food for the first time. He also can't hide his affection for the angel, often staring at him lovingly when he's enjoying a meal.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Pepper gives one to War at the airfield.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Young Newton and Young Anathema appear in a flashback to eleven years ago. Young Shadwell appears in a flashback to the sixties.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit:
    • A variant — Agnes Nutter directs her descendants in The '80s to invest in "Master Jobbe's machine" for "an Apple will arise that no man can eat". Anathema is shown growing up in a luxurious mansion on the beaches of Malibu because, as her mother explains, they figured out that the prophecy was given because buying shares in Apple's IPO allowed "good fortune to tend [their] days".
    • She also, according to Aziraphale in the scene at the church with the Nazis, advised people not to buy Betamax in The '70s.
      • Anathema cites "Do not buy Betamacks" in the book. It was a clear warning, but nobody at the time had any idea what it meant.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The full trailer shows several scenes people who've read the book know come near the end, including Aziraphale's bookshop burning down and Adam almost giving in to his Antichrist self. Also the bit in the trailer where Aziraphale and Crowley toast "To the World" together that is the actual final scene of the series.
  • Trash the Set: Repeatedly, and with fire. The TV Companion book reveals that the filmmakers had to construct from the ground up, then burn down, both Aziraphale's bookshop and a life-sized replica of the Bentley. The latter was quite upsetting to the expert who'd been consulted on the designs, but he conceded that he'd rather see a replica burn than the real thing.
  • Uncertain Doom: The American ambassador's actual son is taken away by the nuns and his actual fate is left unknown. God's narration that "it would be nice to think" that the baby is adopted and has a good life, but since the nuns are Satanic (read: evil) and the baby's fate is never shown, the viewer could interpret that line as an implication that it would be naive fantasy to assume that outcome is what happened. Book readers know perfectly well that's exactly what happened, as the eleven-year-old Baby B/Greasy Johnson shows up at multiple points in the story, but he was left completely out of the series after the baby swap in episode 1.
  • Unflinching Walk: War strides away with explosions going off behind her at the end of her introductory scene, after successfully turning a peace talk into an imminent battle.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Many of the things Agnes's neighbors cite as proof she's a witch are helpful things she did, like healing them. Even the rest are neutral (making prophecies, taking up jogging, suggesting diets that are higher in fibre), not malicious.
    • Hastur, oh so very much. He burns down the convent where the Satanic nuns live after they swap the baby (albeit incorrectly), devours a telemarketer and her colleagues in a sea of maggots after she frees him from Crowley's answering machine (though that could be considered a community service), and drops the court usher in the holy water to test it at Crowley's trial in hell - for killing a demon with holy water.
  • Unknowingly in Love: Crowley and Aziraphale don't realize they're in love with eachother, possibly because they are comically inexperienced with such human concepts. In season 2 Nina explains this to Crowley who proceeds to have a Love Epiphany.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In season 2 episode "The Ball," Mrs. Sandwich is trying to describe her profession to Ms. Cheng, but all she can say is that she's a "seamstress." Except she's not a seamstress, she's a "seamstress." For some reason, she can't say what she means to say (possibly due to some miracle placed upon the bookshop by Aziraphale, although it doesn't prevent Nina from dropping the f-bomb). Mrs. Sandwich proceeds to describe that her girls help lonely men by doing certain things, listing off a number of clothes mending tasks in a very suggestive way. Ms. Cheng clearly understands what she means and likes it.note 
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Crowley wears sunglasses to hide his snake eyes most of the time, but starting from the bookshop fire and through most of the final confrontation, multiple humans see him without them and yet don't seem to notice. Hastur's blighted head and the black ooze that comes from it after Warlock is revealed not to be the Antichrist are similarly overlooked by multiple humans. It's not clear if this is because Crowley and other demons with obvious demonic aspects are all maintaining a Masquerade, or if the situation in which these aspects have become noticeable are already so chaotic that no one is calm enough to say: wait a minute, what's wrong with your face/eyes?
    • Likewise, his ranting about falling from Heaven, running away to Alpha Centauri/"off in the stars" and other unusual statements are either shrugged off as drunkenness or metaphor by anyone close enough to hear the conversations. They certainly notice the flaming Bentley though.
  • Vanity License Plate: Crowley and Young's license plates spell things when read backwards. Crowley's is NIATRUC (Curtain)note , and Young's is SIDRAT (TARDIS).
  • Verbal Tic: Wensleydale liberally sprinkles his dialogue with the word "actually", using it at least once in each scene in which he appears, as if it were a punctuation mark.
  • Volleying Insults: A substantial amount of Crowley's and Aziraphale's interactions consists of this, with both declaring loudly how little they actually like the other and how evil/good/boring/petty/etc. the other is, only to then proceed to help each other out in various ways that prove the exact opposite. It drops noticeably as the series goes on, Armageddon keeps drawing nearer, and the stakes continue to rise.
  • Walking Techbane: Newt desperately wants to work with computers, but whenever he so much as touches one, it doesn't just crash, it causes every single device in the room to lose power. In a flashback to his childhood, his attempt to replace the plug on his computer knocks out the electricity for every house on his street, while on his first (and last) day at United Holdings (Holdings), it takes him less than two minutes to render his computer completely non-functional and take down the other electronics in the room with it. Anathema is able to weaponise this when she and Newt get into Tadfield Air Base, and he accidentally takes down the computer network the Four Bikers are using to start worldwide nuclear war by typing a few commands into one terminal.
  • Wall Pin of Love: When Aziraphale tries to compliment Crowley by saying he's "quite a nice person", Crowley grabs him by the lapels and shoves him into the nearby wall to snarl that demons are not nice. Instead of being intimidated, Aziraphale simply stares at Crowley's mouth while he rambles, until they're interrupted by Mary Loquacious, who identifies them as having an "intimate moment".
  • Wardrobe Wound: After they're both shot at the paintball event, the most significant and upsetting injury is to Aziraphale's coat. Crowley also has paint on his chest, but doesn't really seem to care either way.
  • Warning Mistaken for Threat: At the end of season one when Satan is approaching, Aziraphale holding his flaming sword urges Crowley to come up with something.
    Aziraphale: Come up with something, or... Or I'll never talk to you again!
    • What he probably meant by that is that he literally will not be able to talk to Crowley or see him ever again if Satan restarts the Apocalypse - they will probably be locked in Heaven and Hell without any possibility to reunite.
  • Wham Line: "I forgive you" in season 2, episode 6.
  • Wham Shot: A big moment in the Season Two finale finally answers a burning question fans have had for twenty-five years since the book came out. Crowley kisses Aziraphale, officially elevating the Homoerotic Subtext to text.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Crowley is very protective of his Bentley. It burns down and explodes during the climax of season 1. Thankfully it recovered.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The fate of the third, superfluous baby is never explicitly shown. While God provides two possibilities (either the nuns quietly disposed of him or had him discreetly adopted), a clear answer is never given. In the book, he was adopted, and after Armageddon ended Adam helped him out a little bit because he still remembered him from when they were babies.
    • We never see just where Aziraphale sent the soldier that tries to stop him, Crowley, Shadwell, and Madame Tracy from getting into the airbase. In the book, he gets a short epilogue scene where he wakes up in his childhood bed at the family farm back in the U.S.
    • The U.S. Ambassador and his family are never seen again after Warlock turns out not to be the child that's supposed to start Armageddon after all.
    • The demon Furfur resurrected three Nazi spies as zombies in 1941, and left them shambling around London when their mission was done. Between the Blitz going on at the time and their difficulty in keeping themselves in one piece for just one day, they may not have lasted long.
  • What Have We Ear?: Aziraphale can walk on water, levitate vehicles, and mind-control humans. But he just can't get the hang of the coin trick. Crowley finds the whole thing embarrassing.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Non-Divine in this case. At times it seems that Crowley and Aziraphale are the only people in Heaven or Hell who care about humans as anything other than pawns in the Great Plan. But even then, Aziraphale is not above tempting humans to sin on Crowley's behalf, and obviously Crowley is dedicated to doing so. Which means that, while they don't want humanity to be destroyed by a celestial war, they aren't suddenly fighting to keep humans from being sorted to one place or the other. They don't particularly care about humans being pawns in that game; they just neither of them want to see the chessboard and all its pieces blasted into nothingness.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: As Armageddon approaches, Crowley and Aziraphale are both aware that killing the 11-year-old Antichrist could stop the whole thing. Aziraphale isn't up for doing it himself because "I'm the nice one", and Crowley refuses to be personally responsible for "killing kids".
  • Wing Shield: Aziraphale demonstrates his angelic niceness by using his wing to cover Crowley's head during a rainstorm outside the Garden of Eden. In the flashback to the Creation that opens Series 2, Crowley shields Aziraphale from a meteor shower.
  • The Witch Hunter:
    • The Witch-Finder Army. The only member of the army from the olden days that is seen or described in the series is Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer; others are mentioned during Shadwell's monologue after he believes he banished Aziraphale, but only their last names and they aren't given any of the context given in the book. By the time Shadwell meets Crowley in the sixties, he's essentially inherited what's left of the WFA's knowledge, artifacts, records, and traditions from his cellmate, Narker, but he adheres to the forms Narker taught him without any real understanding of what they mean or imply. There's no indication that Shadwell has actually ever done anything to actively seek out witches, let alone set them on fire, since inheriting the WFA from Narker: he seems to do nothing more than cut out newspaper clippings and con both Crowley and Aziraphale into paying him an annual wage on the pretext of funding the payroll of an army that doesn't exist.
    • Similarly, Newt is rather mildly horrified at the idea of actually subjecting anyone to the pin test, let alone using thumbscrews or setting people on fire. He's basically in the WFA for the company, especially after meeting and becoming fascinated by Shadwell. He's not even in it for the family connection, since he doesn't know about his ancestor being part of the WFA until Anathema tells him while he's at Jasmine Cottage.
    • In the end, the definition of "finding" a witch seems to have shifted for both Shadwell and Newt from "identifying a woman that the WFA rules say we have to set on fire because reasons" to "identifying a woman with whom we can spend the rest of our lives". In the book, Shadwell outright thinks to himself that his retirement with Madame Tracy and Newt's relationship with Anathema means that the WFA is finally officially disbanded.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: All of Agnes Nutter's prophecies lean heavily into this, with the stereotypical "ye"s, archaic spellings like "sayd", and old ligatures like "st". We even get lowercase "f" being used in place of long S ("ſ") , resulting in spellings like "fayed".
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: In the second season, Aziraphale and Crowley decide to share two half-miracles to keep Heaven and Hell out of the loop on either of them performing a miracle. The result is particularly notable by Heaven, who immediately call on an investigation on Aziraphale, and the miracle in question (keeping Heaven and Hell unaware of "Jim's" identity as Gabriel) is stronger than they anticipated. Crowley later comes to the conclusion that the result of an angel and a demon performing a dual-miracle is far stronger than usual.
  • You Have Failed Me: Crowley enforces this on his plants in a ritual that almost seems to echo the expulsion of rebellious angels (including himself) from Heaven. Any plant that does not meet his standards is taken to the garbage disposal. This makes all the other plants terrified of him, and grow perfectly.
    Gaiman's notes in the script: The plants are terrified. No, I don't know how we show this on television either.

"To the world!"

Alternative Title(s): Good Omens



According to God, demons aren't very good dancers, but that doesn't stop them from doing it anyway.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SucksAtDancing

Media sources: