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    A-D 
  • Ability over Appearance: Melinda was originally going to be a white woman named Althea Rice. Ming-Na Wen gave such a strong audition that the character became Chinese and her name was changed.
    • Daisy Johnson, who was depicted as a basic Caucasian woman in the comics, is portrayed by Chinese-American actress Chloe Bennet.
  • Acting for Two:
    • In Season 2, Elizabeth Henstridge plays both Simmons and Fitz's hallucination of Simmons. The latter looks and acts more like her Season 1 self, but with occasional slips into Fitz's own personality.
    • Also in Season 2, Ming-Na Wen plays both May and Agent 33, who gets her May disguise fused to her face. Not only does she now play two roles, but one involves a quite complex makeup job for a while. And even when 33 gets the mask fixed, the voice remains broken so Wen continues to dub all her disguises.
    • Chloe Bennet also gets a brief turn at playing Agent 33, as she tried to seduce Ward using Skye's appearance.
    • Alicia Vela-Bailey doubles as the stunt double for Mockingbird and as the actress for an Inhuman named Alisha Whitley (whose Me's a Crowd powers evoked this trope themselves).
    • Brett Dalton gets to play this in Season 3, as his character, Ward, gets possessed by Hive.
    • Ming-Na Wen plays both May and the Life Model Decoy of May, made by Aida, during the second third Season 4.
    • Mallory Jansen has portrayed two separate bodies for Aida along with her human base, a woman named Agnes, and Madame Hydra in the Framework arc. The latter two share a scene together.
    • Radcliffe's actor has also portrayed an LMD version of Radcliffe. One could imagine that the list of examples of this trope is going to explode now that LMDs are a focus of the storyline.
    • Patton Oswalt played Eric Koenig ... then he played Billy Koenig ... then Sam Koenig ... then Thurston Koenig, who's the last one. While Eric is dead, Billy; Sam; and Thurston have all been on screen at the same time in the episode "Hot Potato Soup".
    • At the end of "The Man Behind the Shield", Coulson, Mack, and Mace are all LMDs also. The next episode, "Self Control", reveals that there's also a Fitz LMD, and that there is also an entire room of Daisy LMDs.
    • "The Devil Complex" gives us Iain De Caestecker playing two versions of himself, Fitz, and the Doctor as a figment of his conscience. Specifically, while Simmons was portrayed as a kind and mentoring illusion, the good angel; the Doctor wants nothing more than to solve the problems Fitz faces by any means necessary, the bad devil.
    • In the Season 6 episode “Inescapable” Fitz and Simmons are trapped together in a shared mind prison where they relive memories and face personified versions of their own insecurities and issues. Iain de Caestecker plays both Fitz and his Framework dark alter-ego, Leopold, while Elizabeth Henstridge plays both Simmons and a blood thirsty horror movie inspired version of her own Id, created by the feelings she’s repressed through years of multiple traumas.
  • Acting in the Dark: In the first season, Brett Dalton (playing Ward) was only told when it was necessary for him to know that Ward was a HYDRA mole, and the rest of the cast kept in the dark slightly longer. Bill Paxton, on the other hand, was told right from the start that Garrett was the Clairvoyant but none of the other cast was, allowing him the opportunity to play the Large Ham Big Bad pretending to be a good guy right from the start with the others in the dark.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Daisy is half Chinese, half American. Chloe Bennet is half Chinese, half American, only in her case her mom is American and her father is Chinese. To add to it all, Coulson serves as a father-figure, while May serves as a mother-figure to Daisy. Their ethnicities coincidentally correspond to Daisy's birth parents, Calvin Zabo and Jiaying.
    • A minor case; Fitz-Simmons both have the same birthdays and birth year as their actors, according to their ID badges and information given in the tie-in comics.note 
    • Brett Dalton and his character Grant Ward share the same birthday.
    • Melinda May is a first-generation Chinese-American like Ming-Na.
    • Coulson says in "Laws of Nature" that Simmons' family are in Sheffield, which is Simmons' actress Elizabeth Henstridge's home town.
    • Agnes, the physical inspiration for the LMD Aida, is Australian like her actress.
    • Like his character Mack, Henry Simmons is a devout Christian.
    • Gabriel Luna, like his character, grew up without his father and had to be the man of the house in his immediate family. He also has a brother who was very close with.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Fitz's love for monkeys was inspired by [[Iain De Caestecker's Iain De Castecker]] own love for monkeys.
  • Approval of God: Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen have made positive comments about their characters being shipped together. Gregg has even said that he can see where they're coming from.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • One of the biggest cases ever. Coulson's death being undone in numerous fanfics and such spawned this entire TV show.
    • Nearly happened again by having Victoria Hand and Isabelle Hartley become a couple, which was a popular theory due to Hand's girlfriend in the comics being named Isabelle. That was until the writers realised the implications attached to introducing two gay characters and then killing them both off almost immediately. The familiar way Isabelle Hartley talks about "Vic" in a flashback hints this may have become unspoken canon.
  • Ascended Meme: As seen in Fan Nickname, the name "Kreeapers" for the Kree Reapers was invented by the fandom, and becomes canon when the characters use it in the Season 5 premiere.
  • California Doubling:
    • Many of the exteriors are clearly shot in the Los Angeles area, with only a wider establishing shot to set it as someplace else.
    • Los Angeles (specifically, L.A. Chinatown) doubles for Hong Kong in "Girl in the Flower Dress".
    • Los Angeles City Hall can be seen in the skyline from the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy of Science and Technology in "Seeds".
    • A rare aversion on the series occurs in "...Ye Who Enter Here" — around the second half of this episode takes place in Puerto Rico, and it indeed had location shooting in Puerto Rico.
  • Career Resurrection: Natalia Cordova-Buckley almost quit acting until she won the role of Elena Rodriguez.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Both Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen have martial arts training and use it in the show.
    • Ming-Na speaks fluent Cantonese, which she uses to show Melinda May's Bilingual Bonus. She grew up in British Hong Kong and Portuguese Macau before moving to America with her family.
    • In "The Dirty Half-Dozen", Chloe Bennet did all the fighting in The Oner without a stunt double.
    • Karate champion Mark Dacascos naturally gets to fight May.
  • Creator Couple: Jed Whedon (the younger brother of Joss Whedon) and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen are the showrunners of the series.note 
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Joss Whedon thought that he could bring Coulson back from the dead for the series without cheapening what his death meant in The Avengers. Unfortunately, he found out that death in the cinematic universe isn't as cheap as it is in the comics and wanted to keep the movies and the show separate from each other, meaning Coulson can still be considered dead in the movies. Despite this, the show and the movies continue to influence each other, albeit tangentially through occasional references. Although it should be noted that Whedon did consider revealing that Coulson was alive to the Avengers in the film - he decided against it at least partially because it would take focus away from the main plot too much.
    • Chloe Bennet has been vocal on how the higher ups of Marvel Film ignore the shows and flat out said "People who make movies for Marvel, why don't you acknowledge what happens on our show? Why don't you guys go ask them that? Cause they don't seem to care!".
    • Ian Hart, who played Franklin Hall, has voiced his anger towards the series, due to having been promised an important recurring role which ended up getting reduced to a single episode appearance due to the shifting changes behind the scenes.
    • Clark Gregg, who is a big fan of Daredevil and Iron Fist, has lamented how the "lawyer stuff" behind Marvel Television prevented the show from crossing over with the Netflix Marvel shows, even though there are several references made to each other within the shows. He specifically wanted the opportunity for Coulson to meet Danny Rand, something he considered a geek out moment for him.
  • The Danza: In season 7, the Chronicom known as Luke has his original form portrayed by Luke Baines, before he assumes a new form wherein his actor becomes Tobias Jelinek. The name "Luke" indeed fits in with the Theme Naming of the Chronicoms, who are each named after a Biblical figure.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Inverted with Daisy. Chloe Bennet is four years younger than Daisy.
    • Played straight with Creator/Dove Cameron who is appoximately three years older than Ruby.
    • Kora. She is apparently meant to be in her late teens/early twenties when she is introduced, yet her actress is about a year older than Chloe Bennet.
  • Deleted Scene: The home release of Season 2 contains scene from the finale "S.O.S.", where a flashback to the day Daisy's birth was cut. Jiaying tells Cal to promise her that if anything happens to her, that he would protect Daisy. This is seemingly the promise that Cal mentions before killing Jiaying in the climax.
  • Development Gag: A slight one. The DVD Commentary for Iron Man 3 reveals there was supposed to be an Extremis explosion at Union Station. There is almost an Extremis explosion at Union Station in the pilot.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Clark Gregg had directed an episode in Season 5, and another one in Season 6. Bonus points for the actor who portrayed the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. becoming a literal Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays Jemma Simmons, made her directorial debut in Season 7 Episode 9.
  • Dueling Works:

    E-M 
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Brett Dalton noted on an interview with Marvel after "Turn, Turn, Turn" that he was informed that Ward would be revealed as a HYDRA agent near the ending of filming for "Yes Men", two episodes before the reveal. Assuming this was planned from the start, it means that he played Ward as an authentic good guy, making his deception more surprising when the time came.
    • Meanwhile, in an interview with HitFix before the season finale "Beginning of the End", Bill Paxton was informed he was Hydra right as he was hired, before anybody else on the set knew. So Paxton was allowed to play Garrett as a bad guy knowingly playing a good guy, and the rest of the cast were in the dark for quite a while... including Clark Gregg!
    • Upon being cast, Chloe Bennet wasn't informed that her character would be revealed as Daisy Johnson, which helped make her character more original instead of trying to take aspects from the source material.
    • Simmons' voice is unusually weak and raspy-sounding after waking up from where she was buried in "What If". Elizabeth Henstridge was quite ill while filming the episode, so she really was as sick as she sounds.
  • Exiled from Continuity: According to Word of God, the show couldn't use any X-Men, Fantastic Four, or Spider-Man characters since their film rights were still owned by Fox and Sony respectively.note  They couldn't even use the word "Mutants," which is why similar terms like "Gifted" are used to describe characters like Scorch. It's reinforced every time someone insists psychic powers aren't real. In the X-Men Film Series, it's clear everyone (at least in positions of authority) knows that they certainly are. The presence of superpowered individuals is likewise considered a new thing to the general public in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whereas X-Men not only had very public displays of superpowers, there was a political campaign about registering people with them.
  • Fake American:
    • Englishwoman Saffron Burrows as American Victoria Hand.
    • Irish-Ethiopian Ruth Negga as Raina, who speaks with an American accent, and eventually reveals that she grew up in Thailand.
    • Gordon has a Brooklyn-sounding accent, but is played by British actor Jamie Harris.
    • Lincoln has an American accent, but he's played by Australian actor Luke Mitchell.
    • New Zealander-Irish Lucy Lawless portrayed American Isabelle Hartley.
    • Inverted. American actor Reed Diamond portrayed Werner Reinhardt/Daniel Whitehall, a German. Although since Whitehall is Reinhardt's fake American alias, the actor gets to use his normal accent most of the time.
    • Australian actress Mallory Jansen plays Aida, who has an American accent. Agnes, Dr. Radcliffe's ex-girlfriend whose appearance he modelled Aida after, is an Aussie though.
    • English actress Parminder Nagra plays American senator Ellen Nadeer.
  • Fake Nationality: Several.
    • Englishman Ian Hart as Canadian Franklin Hall.
    • Sunil Bakshi is likely supposed to be of South Asian-British descent based on his name, but he's played by Greek Cypriot-British actor Simon Kassianides.
    • Jiaying is Chinese, she's portrayed by Nepalese-Australian Dichen Lachman.
    • Elena is Colombian and portrayed by Mexican actress Natalia Cordova-Buckley.
  • Fake Russian:
    • Eva Belyakov, a Russian, is portrayed by American actress, Winter Ave Zoli. Her daughter Katya is portrayed by Ava Acres, another American.
    • American actor Zach McGowan portrayed Russian Anton Ivanov.
  • Fandom Nod: In "The Only Light in the Darkness" it's revealed the orphanage Skye grew up at named her Mary Sue Poots. Skye had previously been accused of being a Mary Sue by detractors of the character.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Dad Supreme" for Coulson seems to be emerging.
    • A few have taken to calling the series "Interns of S.H.I.E.L.D.", due to the mostly college age-looking cast.
    • After Ward's season 1 Face–Heel Turn and season 2 Beard of Evil, Reddit users have started calling him Beardy McTraitorson.
    • The mysterious symbols that Garrett and later Coulson began doodling have been nicknamed "Kree math".
    • "Lime Ward" and "Black Ward" for Lance and Antoine, respectively.
      • Similarly "Black Simmons" for Mack, when Simmons was absent from the show and Fitz spent all his time hanging out with Mack instead. Amusingly, the guy who plays Mack is actually named Simmons.
    • The Slicing Talons, Cal's team of gifted humans, is either fan-nicknamed "Angry Dad's Psycho Squad" or "Brotherhood of Evil Gifted Humans".
    • "Bull"-S.H.I.E.L.D. for Robert Gonzales' splinter faction of S.H.I.E.L.D.; it also goes by the nickname of HuffleS.H.I.E.L.D. as well. In reference to the name of the actor who portrays its leader, it is also called Olmost-S.H.I.E.L.D..
    • Thanks to Skye in "The Dirty Half Dozen", Raina is now Sonic.
    • Some viewers have dubbed Alisha, the Inhuman with Me's a Crowd powers, the Ginger Ninja (because Mack did so first)
    • Ward's HYDRA faction in the early Season 3 is either "HYDRA Junior" or "HYDRA-wannabe", because their agents are not only consisting Baron Strucker's son but also generally being unconvincing or petty thugs who aren't even dressed sharply, being seemingly unprofessional (at point Ward sheepishly warned them when they recklessly handle crates that may contain explosives), their base is a warehouse, their motivation is to cause chaos for S.H.I.E.L.D. to handle (aside from Ward's personal motivation for revenge), and they apparently lack of weaponry and manpower (to the point that Hunter attempted to infiltrate them by giving them weapons). They are also apparently not so connected with other HYDRA factions, especially the Inner Circle that includes Gideon Malick. They are also not only curb-stomped by two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents but also by Malick's faction later, to the point that they're eventually forced to merge into Malick's faction, with Ward being Demoted to Dragon. Bobbi also calls them "Ward's little HYDRA dynasty". Even their version of HYDRA symbol looks dirt cheap!
    • Once Ward's corpse was possessed by Hive during season 3's mid-season finale, some fans have opted to calling him SquidWard.
    • Kree Reapers, the Kree who are responsible for creation of Hive, are called "Kreeapers" or "Kreeators".
    • James/Hellfire is Australian Gambit.
    • The second arc of Season 4 (LMD) features alternate versions of several characters which fans have given various nicknames to.
      • LMD May is LMayD. Which even the official social media for the show has acknowledged!
      • The rest of the team is "Coultron", "iMack", "Directonator", and "Skyenet"note , though LMD Fitz lacks a cool name.
    • The third arc of Season 4 (Agents of HYDRA) also features alternate versions of several characters which fans have given nicknames to:
      • The Framework version of Fitz has several names: Evil Fitz, Fritznote , FrameFitz, Fitzwork, and (once he ascended to the head of HYDRA) Fitzler.
      • The Framework version of Ward is known as FrameWard or GoodWard.
      • The Framework version of Agent Triplett is known as FrameTrip.
    • Season 5 throws the team into space and introduces Deke, played by Jeff Ward. He quickly earns the nickname StarWard, thanks to his helmet making him a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Star Lord. Another nickname for him is SpaceWard for obvious reason or RealWard because his actor is actually named Ward.
      • When the Vrellnexians were first advertised, fans started refering to them as "Demodogs". When it was established that the humans called them "roaches", the nickname "demo-roaches" became popular.
    • "Frozen Fitz", "Fitzsicle", or "Leocold" for Main Timeline Fitz that was frozen in Enoch's ship and the team is intending to retrieve after the death of Time Traveller Fitz at the Season 5 finale.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: Season 5 was hit with this, and the writers even planned to write the season finale as a potential series finale in the event that this trope kept their show from being renewed. However, the show managed to survive and get a 13-episode Season 6, along with getting another 13-episode order for Season 7 a few months later when Channing Dungey left ABC. While season 6 keeps the Friday time slot, it’s not quite a kill, but a two-year ride into the sunset.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Dichen Lachman was pregnant during the time of shooting, hence why her wardrobe is always loose fitting.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Half of the fandom knew Bobbi Morse was working for Coulson ever since they first mentioned she was 'Head of HYDRA Security'; the other half were hoping this would be the case and dreading the idea of it not being so. So, when it was leaked that this was indeed the case, people weren't surprised, though were very relieved.
    • People also guessed that Mockingbird would be Lance's often-mentioned ex-wife since about the second time he mentioned her; it helps that he mentioned she was friends with Hartley, who as a high-ranking member of SHIELD, would likely have known Bobbi, given Bobbi's apparent popularity within SHIELD.
    • Also during Season 2, there were two theories being called out: firstly, that the mysterious aliens involved in the backstory were the Kree, thus setting up a plotline concerning the Inhumans; and secondly, related to that, that Skye was not a Canon Foreigner at all but someone from the comics proper, with the most prominent guess being Daisy Johnson/Quake, which by extension would make her Axe-Crazy father Calvin "Cal" Zabo/Mister Hyde. By the mid-season finale, both these theories were revealed to be true.
    • After Winter Soldier, people went back over the MCU with a fine-tooth comb, looking for potential HYDRA infiltrators. "Among Us Hide..." explains a plot point in The Avengers. Remember that guy on the Council who Fury was talking to? He was HYDRA. He convinced them to launch the nuke, probably not to contain the threat, but to kill off all the Avengers before they could become a problem.
    • Quite a few fans correctly guessed that Andrew Garner was Lash.
    • When he first appeared, a few fans guessed that James was probably J.T. James, AKA Hellfire of the Secret Warriors. Then he gets his powers in his next appearance and this is confirmed.
    • Most people were expecting that it was Lincoln who would die in the Season 3 finale.
    • In the lead up to San Diego Comic-Con 2016, promos for Season 4 showing a flaming chain were spotted. Some sites reported that this was likely just hinting at the return of Hellfire, but a number of fans correctly guessed it was actually Foreshadowing the arrival of Ghost Rider. (Though technically, both did happen)
    • Although the end of The Man Behind the Shield would lead the viewer to believe that Coulson, Mack, Mace, and Daisy had been replaced with Life-Model Decoys and only Fitz and Simmons knew, a few fans correctly predicted that Fitz himself had been replaced by a LMD; some even predicted that "Skyenet" was actually the real, flesh-and-blood Daisy.
    • Quite a few people guessed that Jemma would wake up in the Framework buried alive, while others correctly predicted Aida would become the Framework's version of Madame Hydra.
    • Many people theorized Deke was directly descended from Leo and Jemma in some way from his earliest appearances; "The Real Deal" confirmed they are his maternal grandparents.
    • In Season 7, many fans theorized that Fitz and Simmons had been away from the team for much longer than it appeared in the time between being rescued by Enoch at the Lighthouse and Simmons saving the team at Izel’s temple and that they’d had a child during that time. The series finale confirmed that they had discovered Jemma was pregnant while building the time machine and then spent about four years living on the Zephyr out in space with their daughter before going back in time to rescue the team.
  • In Memoriam:
    • The episode "What If..." is dedicated to the late Bill Paxton, who played John Garrett/the Clairvoyant, the Big Bad of Season One, and passed away in February 2017.
    • "World's End" has a dedication to Powers Boothe, who played Gideon Malick (another bad guy, coincidentally) and died in May 2017, just two days before the episode first aired.
  • Lying Creator: Early reports from the crew on Powers Boothe's character in the show, Gideon Malick, were that he would be a different character from the one he played in The Avengers. When he actually appeared in the show, it turns out they were one and the same.
  • Milestone Celebration: Season 5's "The Real Deal" is the show's 100th episode and has several aspects to celebrate it — the Special Edition Title has a montage of every custom logo used over the course of the series, several past antagonist return (albeit just as illusions) and FitzSimmons get married. There are also some (very) fast flashbacks showing Daisy's evolution as a character. In addition, this 100th episode of the first MCU TV series aired in 2018, which happens to be the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the MCU.
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    N-R 
  • Name's the Same:
    • "The Rising Tide", the hacktivist group Skye is part of, is also the name of a Real Life climate change activist group. The real life organisation Rising Tide is not pleased with the series using the name, since fans have confused them for some super hacker group (when in reality they're just a normal protest group).
    • "Melinda May" is also a song by Stephen Foster published in 1851.
    • The Argentine TV series Los Ricos No Piden Permiso has its own Elena Rodriguez.
    • It is safe to say that Robbie Reyes' brother, Gabriel Reyes, is not the same Gabriel Reyes from Overwatch.
  • Network to the Rescue: While ABC seems to do whatever to try and force the show's cancellation — with Season 4 originally intended to be the final season — higher-ups at Disney wanted a Season 5 because they saw the show as free advertising for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. And just when it seemed as though the show was on the bubble of cancellation with the end of Season 5, ABC agreed to compromise with Disney by doing a 13-episode Season 6 to save on budget, with a Season 7 of another 13 episodes filmed immediately afterward to take advantage of the cast's schedules.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Bill Paxton starts out playing his normal role of a tough Action Hero... until it turns out he's Season 1's Big Bad. And, boy, is he enjoying it.
    • Brad Dourif was literally brought in just to sit in a chair for a few minutes, saying and doing absolutely nothing before getting killed, just so the audience would believe he was the Clairvoyant rather than Garrett's patsy.
  • Post-Script Season: The series was expected to get cancelled after Season Five, which is why it ended with Coulson being allowed to die in peace and the team on an And the Adventure Continues mission in the episode named "The End". The show was then unexpectedly picked up for two more seasons, forcing the creators to find a way to bring Clark Gregg back twice without ressurrecting Coulson again.
  • Production Posse:
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Clark Gregg is a long time Marvel comic fan, having grown up watching various Spider-Man tv series and reading comic books. He was a big fan of the characters Daredevil and Iron Fist, and was saddened that his character wasn't able to crossover into those respective series.
    • Patton Oswalt: Patton was very excited to join the series, as he was a big Marvel comics fan and enjoyed the first few episodes
    • Simon Kassianides was a comic book collector as a kid, with Daredevil being one of his favorites. He was already a fan of the series before being cast as Bakishi in season 2, having nothing but praise for the show's first season.
    • Adrianne Palicki was a fan of comics in general, having been influenced by her brother, who is a comic book writer. Upon being approached for the part, she was initially hesitant in accepting, as she thought she would never get the chance to play another Marvel character again if she did.
    • Gabriel Luna: He grew up sharing a love for reading Marvel comics with his younger brother, and the original Ghost Rider was among his favorite characters. When first approached to be on the show, he was hesitant to accept, as he was only being offered a recurring role. Once he was told that the character would be Ghost Rider, he immediately changed his mind.
    • Jason O'Mara: He has mentioned that reading comics was a big part of his childhood,
  • Quote Source: This series provides the page quote for:
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • In "Identity and Change", Coulson's female student who enters the classroom early is played by Clark Gregg's daughter, Stella Gregg.
    • Dichen Lachman (Jiaying) and Maximilian Osinski (Agent Davis) are married in real life.
    • In "Hot Potato Soup, the photograph of a young Fitz with his mother is a real life picture of Iain de Castecker and his mother, Linda.
    • Robin Hinton is played at age 7 by Lexy Kolker and at age 12 by her sister, Ava.
    • The young version of John Garrett is portrayed by Bill Paxton’s real life son, James.
  • Recursive Adaptation: S.H.I.E.L.D. was created in comics, then included in the MCU films, then expanded in a TV series, and then the TV series had a comic book adaption.
  • Recycled: The Series: It's sort of one to the MCU, though it helps that it features an element that hasn't taken center stage in the movies.
  • Romance on the Set: Chloe Bennet began dating Austin Nichols for nearly four years after the latter guest-starred as Skye's no-good boyfriend Miles Lydon.
    • Elizabeth Henstridge had been in a relationship with Zachary Abel two years prior to him appearing as Tad, a SHIELD cadet.

    S-Z 
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • The series is aired by Sony for Latin America. For some reason, the color tone has been changed from the original series, and in scenes that were originally shot in low-light, it is so dark that it is next to impossible to understand what is going on unless you rely on the characters' exposition.
    • The series was caught in a feud between Marvel Studios (who made the MCU films) and Marvel Television (who made the MCU TV series).note  The first conflict started when the TV series had just been confirmed: only two days later they were informed that an upcoming film, "The Winter Soldier", would dismantle S.H.I.E.L.D., basically blowing up the show's premise.
    • The staff and storylines of the film side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem to deliberately go out of their way to avoid giving any recognition whatsoever to the series and its characters — while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. often incorporates or references plot points from the movies in critical and even series-changing ways. It's not without some Throw the Dog a Bone moments, though, such as rare guest appearances from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), having some objects from the show appear in the films, even if not importantly (such as Fury's laser cutter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was an invention of Fitz), as well as getting to use the CGI model of the Triskelion from The Winter Soldier for the Framework arc in Season 4.
    • ABC seems to be deliberately trying to kill off the show as well. Even after all the scheduling issues that plagued the first season, later on when Season 4 came along, the series was pushed back from its previous 9:00 PM timeslot on Tuesdays to one starting at 10:00 PM, which predictably led to a further drop in live ratings (and to a lesser extent on DVR). When the series endured that to get renewed for Season 5, the network announced that it would be shifted again to a new timeslot on Fridays at 9:00 PM, and it would only start airing after the eight-episode premiere of Inhumans concluded in the late fall. And then the show took a very public budget cut.
  • Spared by the Cut: In the middle of the first season, Corrupt Corporate Executive Ian Quinn escapes with the crate of Gravitonium. A scene originally showed a fellow unwitting agent of HYDRA, Raina, killing him by letting the mysterious element consume him but it was removed, leaving the character and plot device open for a return.
    • Ultimately subverted, as the show brought back the Gravitonium plot but the actor playing Quinn had retired from acting. The showrunners decided to simply put the cut scene back into the show, which had killed off Raina herself two seasons prior, leaving the character's fate neatly resolved with no further explanation required.
  • Throw It In:
    • In "Nothing Personal", J. August Richards improvised patting Ward on the cheek after restarting his heart.
    • According to Clark Gregg, Fitz's line to Gordon in "S.O.S., Part 2" was just "science." Ian ad-libbed the "biatch."
    • Toward the end of "Bouncing Back", when Fitz and Simmons re-established their friendship, they fist-bumped each other as the camera pulled away from them. The fist-bump was ad-libbed but worked for them both.
    • In "Know Your Onions", Ernest Koenig's last line "This looks like the start to a marvelous friendship" was ab-libbed by Patton Oswalt. The line itself is a play on the final line of in the movie Film/Casablanca,
  • Trolling Creator:
    • B.J. Britt being spotted on the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron seemingly spoiled the fact that his character, Triplett, would survive the events of Season Two, as it had already been supposedly revealed that some Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters would appear in The Stinger. This being a Joss Whedon production, however, a few fans were banking on a double bluff, with the "accidental" sighting deliberately engineered by the writers. They were right: Trip dies in the mid-season finale, and in the end, none of the series' characters appear in Age of Ultron at all.
    • Brett Dalton has a habit of fanning the flames of the Stand With Ward movement, by giving his own interpretations of Ward's actions. This is all despite the fact that they tend to be at odds with Ward's actions on screen (then again, considering it's Ward, this may be completely intentional).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Nicholas Brendon let slip during a panel at the Albuquerque Comic Expo that he and J. August Richards were the last two choices for Mike Peterson.
    • Melinda was originally going to be a white woman named Althea Rice. Ming-Na Wen gave such a strong audition that the character became Chinese and her name was changed.
    • "The Hub" was written to exploit the real-life friendship of Brett Dalton and Iain De Caestecker. It is the first episode to air after the premier of Thor: The Dark World, and the following episode "The Well" covers the crossover elements. This along with the fact that Episode 10, "The Bridge" ends on a cliffhanger before the show returned the following year with "The Magical Place" strongly suggests that before "The Hub" was written, episodes 8-11 were meant to be aired as #7-10; ending the year 2013 with a two-part, mid-season finale.
    • It's been confirmed that Triplett was originally more of a Mauve Shirt - he was going to die in the Season 1 finale around the same time as Garrett did, but his popularity and likability with the production team (and fans) led to his getting a half-season reprieve before finally biting it in season 2 being killed by the Terrigen that turned Raina and Skye into Inhumans. For that matter, Grant Ward is rumored to have been considered for death in the same season finale before they decided he had too much potential to be killed off that quickly prolonging until the mid-season finale of season 3, where Coulson finally kills him, and the new Big Bad Hive then possesses his corpse for the rest of the season.
    • A spinoff involving Lance Hunter and Mockingbird, Marvel's Most Wanted was planned for a 2015 release, but it was shelved in favor of giving Agent Carter another season. It was revisited a year later and a pilot was featuring Delroy Lindo as Dominic Fortune was shot, but ABC ultimately passed on ordering the series, causing Lance to return in season 5 in a guest role, though Adrianna Palicki's obligations to The Orville presumably kept Bobbi from doing the same.
    • An extended scene on the Season 2 DVD with Bobbi and Agent Calderon implies that the Enhanced HYDRA asset that Weaver fought at the academy was about 8 ft. tall and had skin like steel. Presumably, it got cut because it was too close a reference to Colossus from X-Men.
    • There were plans to use Loki Scepter from the original ''Avengers'' movie during the show, but the idea was scrapped due to Age of Ultron.
    • There were discussions about having Emily VanCamp reprise her role as Sharon Carter from the movies, but her commitments to Revenge prevented this.
    • A storyline involving MODOK was originlly planned, but Marvel Studios revoked their ability to use him. Presumably, the story would have centered around the Superior, who already had numerous Mythology Gags to the character.
    • Crystal from Inhumans was announced to be making an appearance in Season 5 shortly before that show started. Then its horrific reception caused them to walk back on whatever the plan was.
    • After adding Agent Sousa in the final season, there was some hope to use the season's time travel story to reveal that Enver Gjokaj's small role as a cop in The Avengers was actually Sousa, but they couldn't figure out how to make it work on top of all the other timeline issues of the season.
    • A post-credits scene for the finale "What We're Fighting For" was planned but never filmed, which would have had Deke becoming the expy of the original Nick Fury as he already served as the series' expy of Star-Lord, in which he would don the iconic eyepatch.
  • The Wiki Rule: Of course there's a Fandom wiki. The MCU wiki has some data on the show too.
  • Word of Gay: Averted; the writers considered having Isabelle Hartley mention a romantic relationship with Victoria Hand in a nod to their comic-book counterparts, until they considered the implications attached to killing off your only two openly gay characters almost as soon as they appeared — especially if they were once lovers.
    • Played straight with Daisy, Chloe Bennet has stated that she personally considers Daisy bisexual, but this has never come up in the story or been acknowledged by the writing staff.
  • Written-In Absence: Iain De Caestecker was filming a movie during the first few episodes of Season 5, thus necessitating Fitz being the only member of the team left behind on modern-day Earth when Enoch transports the rest of the team through time. Taken Up to Eleven in season 7 where once again due to De Caestecker's filming schedule with other projects, he only appears in the last three episodes of the season (albeit admittedly a much shorter season than 5), and is no longer officially part of the main cast.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Ming-Na Wen was recovering from knee surgery during filming in mid-2017, so the writers gave her a leg wound for the first few episodes of Season 5.
  • You Look Familiar:


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