Dawson Casting: Donna Wilkes was 23 years old when she played the 15-year-old high school student/prostitute.
The Other Darrin: All the sequels have a different actor playing Molly "Angel" Stewart, Betsy Russell in Avenging Angel, Mitzi Kapture in Angel III: The Final Chapter. Darlene Vogelnote who's blonde in Angel 4: Undercover.
Ability over Appearance: Doyle wasn't originally supposed to be an Irishman, but was written as such when Glenn Quinn was cast. The role of Doyle was Quinn's first role where he was able to use his own Irish accent.
Alexis Denisof came up with a background story for Wesley regarding his father to explain "why he was so repressed." While discussing Wesley's character development, Denisof explains: "I decided that Wesley was internally confronting his father and that released him a little bit and made him less repressed."
In "Lonely Hearts" during the fight in the apartment, as Angel is thrown into a wall, a cameraman is visible on the opposite side of the screen. He would have been Behind the Black when the episode aired, but is quite obvious in the widescreen version on Netflix and DVD.
Cast the Runner-Up: Jenny Mollen originally auditioned for the role of Eve. The part went to Sarah Thompson. However, the producers liked Mollen so much, she was brought back as Nina Ash, aka Werewolf Girl.
In a strange view of this trope,Doyle was supposed to come Back from the Dead but this became impossible when Glenn Quinn died of a drug overdose.
Following Andy Hallett's death, Lorne was retired in a self-titled, one-shot comic. While it would've been easy to keep the character alive since the series had long since transitioned from television to comic books, this was seen as the proper way to give tribute to the actor.
Christian Kane didn't like how Lindsay ended up the whipping boy of Darla and Drusilla, and only returned in the fifth season with a promise he Took a Level in Badass ("I didn't want to be beaten up by girls again"). Even then, he was unhappy with Lindsey impersonating Doyle in Season 5, as he had been good friends with the late Glenn Quinn. Kane also took issue with a throwaway line by Angel referring to him as "a tiny Texan", claiming Joss Whedon put it in there as a Take That! to him.
Cordelia was gradually phased out during seasons four and five due to friction between Charisma Carpenter and Joss Whedon (he told TV Guide that it this was due to the writers running out of things for her to do). This became Harsher in Hindsight when Carpenter revealed in 2021 that Whedon had essentially written her off the show to punish her for getting pregnant at a time he considered inconvenient.
Vincent Kartheiser says he quickly lost interest in playing Connor after about four episodes. He disliked that every scene would have him and Angel arguing, and he would then go into a corner to sulk. He said he wasn't surprised when he learned that Connor was The Scrappy to fans as well.
Cordelia. This worked fairly well on Buffy, but by the second season of Angel, Charisma Carpenter was in her 30s, while Cordelia was supposed to be 20, and it showed. This is all the more noticeable after Fred joined the cast. If you do the math, Fred should be four or five years older than Cordelia, yet Amy Acker was six years younger than Carpenter. They made a point of never explicitly stating Cordelia's age in the entire series, only once having somebody refer to her as "twenty-something."
Executive Meddling: In order to get a season 5, the series changed location, Mind Wiped the characters, changed their jobs from detectives to clueless employees of the same evil corporation that had been laboring for years to dismantle, shifted from a Arc based format to a Monster of the Week setup (for the first 1/3 of the season; after that they had at least somewhat of a Story Arc), and transplanted Spike into the show. It worked to some extent, as season 5 was better received than the previous one, though not enough so to bring about season 6. (Joss Whedon tried to leverage the property to obtain an early renewal, but overestimated his own clout and was canceled instead.)
Executive Veto: The series was originally going to be darker in tone, similar to the oppressive feel of Season 3-5. In the scene where Angel bursts into Tina's apartment and finds her dead, the script called for him to taste her blood. This was actually filmed, but edited out from the finished episode; You can see David Boreanaz about to do it, but the camera fades out just in time.
The following episode, "Lonely Hearts", was scripted to be even darker than that. In David Fury's first draft (then-entitled "Corrupt"), Kate Lockley was written as a drug-addicted cop who worked undercover as a prostitute. The plot would have also involved Cordelia disguising herself as a working girl. For obvious reasons, the network nixed the idea saying it was just too much.
Exiled from Continuity: The third season saw no crossovers with Buffy due to that show moving from The WB to UPN (unless you count Darla's presence). By the time the issues were cleared, the final two seasons more than compensated.
Juliet Landau (Drusilla) may be American by birth, but she spent her entire childhood in London.
Alexis Denisof (Wesley) spent thirteen years in Britain and has developed an excellent British accent that only occasionally slips up (see the usual suspects, such as saying 'data' the American way). This makes it a shock to see him play roles in his natural American accent.
Fake Irish: Angelus. David Boreanaznever really got the hang of the Irish accent. Whedon states that they chose not to use the accent when Angel was reverted to a teenager in "Spin the Bottle" because there was no way that Boreanaz could sustain it for a full episode.
Fans often would call this Angel the Series (abbreviated as ATS) on message boards to distinguish when they were talking about the character and the series.
Fans called Angel's gang the "fang gang".
Television Without Pity referred to them as the Ministers of Grace, after a line fromHamlet: "Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!" Usually shortened to "Mo G".
Hide Your Pregnancy: Played with in season four. Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy was (poorly) hidden, but Cordelia's secret pregnancy became a plot twist. One she eventually revealed to the other characters by wearing an Obviously Evil black evening gown. Likewise, after Cordlia gave birth (but Carpenter had not) she was unconscious and only shown from the chest up.
Killed by Request: As the finale approached, Joss Whedon asked Alexis Denisof what he should do with Wesley. It was his suggestion to kill Wesley off in the finale. Whedon claimed that he would have lived had the show continued.
Looping Lines: On several occasions, Glenn Quinn had to re-record his dialogue, due to his thick accent.
Magnum Opus Dissonance: Despite its arc-driven and not-especially-accessible nature, the series nevertheless gained a devoted following that included numerous high-profile television critics. The Series Finale ended up topping the Buffy finale in terms of viewers. If you measure the uninterrupted 110 episode run of Angel against Whedon's other shows, it is actually one of his strongest, something which surprised Joss himself.
Only Barely Renewed: Borderline as of the end of its fourth season. In an attempt to jumpstart the ratings, the producers changed the show's direction completely and brought over Spike. It wasn't enough, and the fifth season was the last. Joss Whedon said in an interview that an attempt to avert this trope led to the show's cancellation. WB's refusal to renew the show until the last possible minute created problems for the cast and crew, as it left them no time to seek new work if the show weren't renewed. Joss requested a quicker decision for the staff's sake, and WB decided to cancel.
Out of Order: "That Old Gang of Mine" was due to be the second episode of season two, but was switched with "That Vision Thing" to become the third episode. Indeed, Angel requests that Cordelia encourage Fred to venture into the "outside world," which already happened in the previous episode, creating a minor continuity error.
Post-Script Season: The last (fifth) season was this, albeit one that didn't arise from being renewed at the last second. The long story arc of the third and fourth seasons had come to a close, the characters had moved on to a completely different setting (the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart), several characters set out to be or were forcibly retooled, everyone except Angel had their memories of Connor erased and replaced by a false past, and Spike was added as as regular cast member. The change was apparently done at the network's request. Then, due to conflicting accounts, including the high per-episode cost, the show was cancelled anyway. What makes it a Post-Script Season instead of a retool is that, while it was intended to cover multiple seasons, the cancellation aborted the arc.
Promoted Fanboy: Mere Smith originally wrote fan fiction on Buffy and Angel, and eventually wrote a spec script for an Angel episode that became "Untouched". She got to become a writer on the series afterwards.
Reality Subtext: After Buffy moved to UPN, the WB execs asked if Angel could cut down on their references to it, though to their credit they did allow for some mentions early in season 3 so Angel wouldn't spend the rest of the show thinking Buffy was permanently dead. This gave us Cordy's line "We try not to say the B word too much anymore."
Perhaps not surprisingly, the LA office of Wolfram & Hart was later used for Dollhouse
The Hyperion was torn down to make way for the Wolfram & Hart set. However, pieces of it can be spotted in the bank where Illryia and Knox attempt to reopen her palace in "Shells".
On the DVD extras, production designer Stuart Platt reveals that one set was used for many purposes: for the basement in which Angelus (when his soul was removed) is imprisoned behind bars; for the upper loft where Connor and Cordelia were hiding from the rest of the gang; and as the room in which many fights occurred, such as ninjas crashing in through windows and the gang fighting.
Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy in season four led to Cordelia being written out and then brought back for the next season, only to be killed off.
Screwed by the Network: The series was suddenly canned to the confusion of those making the show, as it was consistently high-quality with high ratings. The reason the network gave was even more confusing: the show was so popular and good that they wanted the series to end on a high note instead of letting it die in obscurity. Possibly the only example of a show being canceled (ostensibly) because everyone liked it too much.
Word of God says that the network wanted to wait until the end of the season to consider renewal. Joss demanded an answer at mid-season and Jamie Kellner canned it, seemingly out of spite.
Worse, Word of God was that this had happened for the last several seasons of the show. Joss finally snapped since the show was, as established, quite popular. For some reason, the network dropped the ball on what probably would've been the best season yet for fear of Joss actually gaining enough leverage to know if those scripts he'd been writing for next season were a waste of time or not.
In her scenes with Lindsey (Christian Kane), Lilah (Stephanie Romanov) wears high heels to accentuate her height. They are actually about the same height, but the heels gave her a notable lead on him and the producers loved how it looked. Kane laughingly referred to the duo as "Boris and Natasha."
In "Underneath", Hamilton (Adam Baldwin) utterly towers over Angel in his introductory scene, rendering his feel-good personality that much more absurd. Baldwin is already quite tall, but as the scene was shot in a parking garage he also stood on the ramped incline.
Serendipity Writes the Plot: Alexis Denisof was diagnosed with bells palsy three weeks before shooting Season 5. Many episodes are filmed so that only the right side of Wesley's face could be seen. He eventually made a full recovery.
During Angelus' return in season 4, David Boreanaz improvised a lot of his dialogue, such as "You're preaching to the guy who ATE the choir!" Also during the episode "Spin the Bottle" they had to structure a comedic bit so that Angel and Wesley didn't have to look at each other because neither actor could keep a straight face.
Troubled Production: Season 4 had a sudden and drastic rewrite brought on because of Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy, which required changing much of the later two thirds of the series. Joss Whedon, supposedly out of spite and anger at having to do so, subsequently wrote Cordelia as the villain for the early half of the season while writing around the pregnancy, and ultimately Cordelia was written out of the show at the end of Season 4 with only a brief appearance in Season 5 to wrap up her arc. In 2021, with Whedon in hot water after accusations of abusive behavior while making Justice League (2017), Carpenter piled on with claims that the situation on Angel was even worse than anyone knew at the time, including Whedon trying to pressure her to abort her baby. From there the floodgates opened with numerous other actors from both Angel and Buffy, male and female alike, saying her story fit perfectly with their own experiences with Whedon.
Word of God: Amy Acker claimed in an interview that Whedon would have brought Fred back or had Illyria regain more of Fred's memories if the series had a sixth season. Also revealed to be the process by which Angelus made Drusilla lose her mind. The former idea has been used in Angel and Faith, Season 10 comic; after Illyria's death and subsequent resurrection in Buffy, Season 9, she and a recently revived Fred now co-inhabit Fred's body.
Written-In Infirmity: David Boreanaz suffered a knee injury during a stunt early in the fifth season, and had surgery on it about halfway through. "Soul Purpose" was both Boreanaz's directorial debut but also written to have all scenes staged to keep him stationary, justified as a parasite feeding on him while sleeping and he had increasingly weird dreams. This is also the case with "Smile Time" where Angel is turned into a puppet, Boreanaz only needed to do voice-over work. The directors for other episodes also went out of their way to have him leaning on a desk to try and not put too much strain on the knee.