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Western Animation / Gargoyles

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"One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness. It was a world of fear.
It was the age of gargoyles.
Stone by day, warriors by night,
We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Now, here in Manhattan, the spell is broken, AND WE LIVE AGAIN!
We are defenders of the night!
Goliath's Opening Narration

Gargoyles is a rare breed of a show, particularly for The '90s (and even more so for a Disney series). A dark, violent Western cartoon with a story that follows deliberate arcs and does things very rarely seen in the average Western 'toon.

The main characters of the series are gargoyles, large winged humanoids (their appearance was vaguely demonic, though saying so is insulting to them) that are extremely (almost literally) nocturnal — they turn to stone, no matter what, when the sun rises. Once, there were many gargoyles, but interactions with humanity have led to their species becoming endangered. The main characters survived a purge in the year 994 thanks to a magical spell that made them permanently statues — at least, unless the castle which they were protecting were to ever "rise above the clouds".


One thousand years later, it did. Billionaire David Xanatos (yes, that Xanatos) bought the ruined castle, then had it transported brick by brick from Scotland and rebuilt on top of his skyscraper in New York City. This action broke the curse for good, reviving the dormant gargoyles in a land and time far from their home. He didn't do it for altruistic motives, though; eventually, Xanatos and the clan of gargoyles became enemies. The clan manages to make an ally in New York detective Elisa Maza, however — and with her help, they work to protect their new home while simultaneously adapting to it.

Gargoyles spans fantasy and science-fiction genres, and its plot would eventually involve magic, robots, The Illuminati, god-like fairies, numerous characters straight out of Shakespearean plays, and much more. In general, All Myths Are True in this show.


The show is also famous for the intricacy of its villains and plots. Very few are Card Carrying Villains; in particular, the charismatic and manipulative nature of Xanatos is why the Xanatos Gambit was named after him. Even the heroes are individuals with their own wants and desires that don't always lead to peaceful relationships.

The initial incarnation of the show lasted two seasons and sixty-five episodes. It was followed by a retooled third season — Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles — but since Greg Weisman was only around to write the first episode of this season, a new team of writers completely new to the series ended up heading the rest of the season. As a result, the series underwent a drastic shift of tone; from a serialized, dark action series, into a more lighthearted, and at times, comedic romp. According to Weisman, this happened due to the show effectively being taken out of his hands by Disney higher-ups, in addition to tightening of schedules, and as such The Goliath Chronicles is not canon.

The series was later resurrected in canonical comic book form in 2006, picking up with an alternate timeline after a comic-book retelling of the opening episode of The Goliath Chronicles before going on to weave an entirely new story; it also resulted in a spin-off title, Bad Guys. When the publisher, Slave Labor Graphics, was hit with higher licensing fees imposed by Disney, both books were cancelled. Greg Weisman has vowed to find a way to continue the story.

The show and the universe it created still has an active online fanbase — including the creator. (Who apparently has read this site.)

As a side note: in what became somewhat of an inside joke, many Star Trek actors, particularly those of The Next Generation, but including The Original Series, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, had at least cameo roles in the series. Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis played the primary villains Xanatos and Demona; Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Kate Mulgrew all played recurring roles; and the guest stars included Avery Brooks, Colm Meaney, LeVar Burton, and Nichelle Nichols.

DVDs of the complete first and second seasons are available for sale, with the episodes uncensored. The complete series, including the non-canonical third season is available to stream on, and most recently as part of the all-encompassing streaming service Disney+. In addition, master horror film maker, Jordan Peele, has expressed interest in doing a film with the property and Weisman has raised the possibility of reviving the series on Disney+.

This trope-heavy animated series had examples of:

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    Tropes #-D 
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: Zig-zagged. Season 1 has 13 episodes, season 2 has 52 and Season 3 has 13. However, the original creators deemed Season 3 to be non-canon, leaving 65 Canon episodes. Except that Season 3 Episode 1 was the last one where the original creators had any involvement, leaving 66 Canon episodes.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • At the end of Deadly Force, Owen says that 37 of the stolen guns were missing, probably sold on the street. Originally, Greg meant to have Broadway seek out and destroy them all, but that idea never came to fruition. On the other hand, this does provide an explanation as to where the various criminals and villains get their Family-Friendly Firearms in future episodes.
    • At the end of the episode Legion, Xanatos salvages the computer virus that nearly destroyed Coldstone, calling it the deadliest weapon he could ask for... and then never uses it or mentions it again.
    • In the episode Kingdom, while Goliath and Elisa are on the Avalon World Tour, Xanatos tells the remaining Manhattan Clan that he'll utilize all his resources to track them down, whether or not they want his help. He never does this, though he does encounter them once during their tour.
    • A two parter titled The Weird Macbeth was planned where the Weird Sisters would imprison the cast in the play of Macbeth. It was rejected on the grounds of being too strange.
    • Reunion (A lost tale from the Avalon World Tour) from the SLG Comics was originally this. The story was intended for an issue of Gargoyles from when Marvel Comics had the license, but was unpublished due to the comic book's cancellation. The story itself lead into Coldstone's appearance at the beginning of Possession and why Angela seemed familiar with him (and not put off by his appearance).
    • Nothing is done with Demona thinking Elisa is dead after "Long Way to Morning," and Demona simply sees her alive a few episodes later. Demona does mention in "City of Stone" that she thought she had gotten rid of Elisa long ago, though.
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: The Gargoyles have claws that are strong and sharp enough leave deep scratches in solid concrete and even solid steel. This is actually how they climb buildings and cliffs.
  • Accidental Kiss: Word of God is that stroking your mate's hair is the gargoyle equivalent of kissing, and Elisa accidentally does this to Goliath just before they're about to explore Manhattan in "Awakening, Part Three". Goliath and Hudson find this about as awkward as you'd expect.
  • Action Girl: Elisa, Angela... and possibly Titania, or at least her human form.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Brooklyn run-in with a biker gang ended with his motorcycle destroyed.
  • An Aesop: Executive Meddling inserted one in every episode of The Goliath Chronicles, but the earlier episodes featured them as well. It was prominent in "Deadly Force", an episode about the dangers of guns, which handled the subject in a mature manner (i.e., making the Aesop not "Guns are super evil and should not even be looked at" but "Guns are dangerous and should be respected and handled properly.") This particular Aesop was actually learned within the show itself, for Elisa was shown to lock away her gun in future episodes, rather than leaving it loaded and lying around. The episode also lead to some Character Development for Broadway, who hated guns from that point forward. Sadly, this was lost on the Moral Guardians, as they still saw fit to first ban the episode from rotation, and then return it with all the gun violence edited, including the shot of Elisa getting shot (which was cropped to remove the blood at her side). Also of special note, Gargoyles won an award note  and was mentioned in The New York Times and other papers as one of the greatest reasons to watch the show for an episode about illiteracy and the importance of reading.
    • Also notably, even when early episodes were clearly centered around Aesops, they still often managed to work in lasting contributions to the series' overall story arc. For example, the above-mentioned "Deadly Force" was centered around a clear Aesop about gun safety, but it also marked the introduction of gangster Tony Dracon, who would go on to become a prominent supporting antagonist. Likewise, "The Thrill of the Hunt" did a pretty obvious Aesop about the dangers of being seduced by television, but it also introduced the Pack—all of whom would turn out to be major players in the continuing saga.
    • Similarly, the episode "The Green" had a Green Aesop. However, this one was actually well-rounded, and showed that deforestation is more complicated than something the average Corrupt Corporate Executive does just because he's evil and has money.
    • "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" though had a "Reading Is Cool" Aesop played straight and was very heavy handed.
  • Affably Evil: Xanatos, Macbeth (at first), and the Canmores.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: This is a standard gesture among gargoyles, the equivalent of kissing.
  • Agent Mulder: Detective Matt Bluestone
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Cyberbiotics' air fortress.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Gargoyle beasts.
  • All Are Equal in Death: Made explicit by Anubis:
    On the contrary, death is the ultimate fairness. Rich and poor, young and old, all are equal in death. You would not like to see the Jackal God play favorites. Think what you are doing: all over the world there is birth, but no death. Our planet cannot support so many lives at once.
  • All Myths Are True: Explicitly stated in the series: "Most Legends contain a seed of truth", and "All things are true." However this is not always in the literal sense. A few of the mythical beings met during the Avalon World Tour are very different from the stories. (For example, some Tricksters tend to be outright evil rather than mischievous.) In another episode, it is revealed that most of the creatures from Greek legends are real, however the stories are notably different. The minotaur, for example, was trapped in the catacombs and used as a source of entertainment by his captors.
    • In the comic book, King Arthur points out that "All things are true... few things are accurate."
      • To which Macbeth, whose depiction in Gargoyles is far more historically accurate than his villainous portrayal in Shakespeare's play (even allowing for the immortality and such), replies, "Aye. No bloody kidding."
    • The following things all exist in the world of Gargoyles:
  • All of the Other Reindeer
  • All There in the Manual: Several bits of dialogue in the comic book continuation only make sense if you're familiar with the gargoyle lore Greg Weisman reveals on his blog. For instance, the London clan vaguely allude to the details of gargoyle reproduction (gargoyle females go into heat thrice in their lives; the Londoners don't explain this, only that they put females in enforced isolation during the third time for population control purposes), and Brooklyn name-drops but does not explain the "humility spell" (an ancient spell which causes gargoyles' clothing and other personal possessions to turn to stone along with their bodies).
  • All There in the Script: Out-of-universe names for the souls inhabiting Coldstone: Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. The latter two eventually got their own in-universe names, Coldsteel and Coldfire, while "Othello" stayed as Coldstone.
  • The Aloner: Demona has suffered this for nearly a millennium, though admittedly it was her own fault. The end of "City of Stone" reveals how much she hates being alone, and how deeply in denial she is about her own culpability in her own fate.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The gargoyles themselves have skin colors across the spectrum; Oberon and Titania also have blue and teal skin, respectively. Word of God is that the giving the King and Queen of the Third Race a realistic skin color, when the Third Race was comprised of gods from all over the world, would have had Unfortunate Implications no matter what skin color it was, which justifies this trope in Oberon's and Titania's case.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Unusually, this is thoroughly averted with Elisa. She's of Nigerian descent on her mother's side, and Hopi on her father's.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Lexington, done intentionally by Word of God, who has stated that Lexington would eventually have realized that he was homosexual, but likewise acknowledged it would probably never get mentioned in the series because of its content.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: In "Golem", which features an accurate retelling of the story of the Golem of Prague and both written and spoken Hebrew, nobody mentions the words "Jew," "Judaism," or "Jewish" even once. Instead, they refer to "our people" and "our community," never actually identifying their people by name.
    • Also, no one wears a yarmulke or any sort of head covering at any point in the story, even when conducting Jewish rituals
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Eye of Odin.
  • Ancient Astronaut: Nokkar, whose appearance inspired the Easter Island moai.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Figures in the episode "The Reckoning".
  • Anachronic Order: Chapters 7 to 9 of the SLG Comic is this. Every panel of every page is out of order, meaning you have to check the date and time on each panel to know what comes before what. Have fun piecing everything together without a Wiki or a timeline.
  • Anachronism Stew: Much of the technology, from stone castles in 10th-century Scotland to Laser Guns and Powered Armor in 20th-century New York, is several decades or even centuries ahead of its time.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Illuminati show up and, of course, Xanatos is a member. A lower echelon member, which should tell you something about the clout wielded by his superiors.
  • And I Must Scream: Being mind-controlled is apparently like this, judging by Goliath's comments in "Temptation" and Brooklyn's comments in "Possession." They were both fully aware of what was going on and what Demona and Iago respectively forced them to do, even though they were powerless to stop it.
  • And the Adventure Continues:
    • The finale of season 2 (which is largely considered the canonical end of the series due to The Goliath Chronicles being officially non-canon) ends this way, with Demona and a new Hunter still out there hunting each other, and the Manhattan clan returning to their former home. Brooklyn references the trope explicitly, "So begins Gargoyles Chapter 2... or is it 3? I've lost count."
    • The end of the SLG comic book series where the Clan just doubled in population, suggesting a bright future, and the whole gang takes off to do some villain butt kicking.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When Gillecomgain reports to Duncan that Findlaech is dead in "City of Stone, Part One", Duncan is ecstatic at the news: "Bring food and drink! This is cause for celebration!"
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: A few examples:
    • The members of the Pack are all canine-based supervillains. Some of which, gradually moved from Type II (Animal Alias) to type I (Animal Ability) through certain means.
    • Elisa's brother was eventually turned into a winged, panther-like creature, making him a Type II as well. The other three mutates were a cougar, a tiger and what seemed to be a house cat. The Bad Guys comics then introduced four more mutates, armored types, them being an alligator, a woodlouse, a turtle and an armadillo.
    • Since Xanatos wore a suit of Power Armor to resemble the "mythological" gargoyle, he would be a Type III (Mythical Monster Motif).
    • Also, the London clan all resemble animals (Una, Leo, and Griff), while some of the New Olympians (such as Taurus) do as well.
  • Animation Bump: Periodically. Standouts include "Awakening", "The Mirror", "M.I.A.", "Future Tense", "The Price" and "Seeing Isn't Believing", the last of which was the only episode animated by Walt Disney Television Australia and as such looked and moved much better than the rest of the series in general.
  • Animesque: Present in some moments of the Walt Disney Japan-animated episodes, but particularly in the ones animated by Animal Ya.
  • Answer Cut: In the very first scene: "What could be strong enough to leave claw marks in solid stone?" The screen then fades to the title: Gargoyles.
  • Anti-Villain: Much of the Rogues Gallery actually, with a handful of exceptions.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Said by one of the Japanese gargoyles, "Gargoyle must never fight gargoyle!"
  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: The Weird Sisters, who all take the same form at the same time, appearing as a trio of creepy little girls, old crones, aged female gargoyles, or voluptuous young 20-somethings, as befits who they are speaking to at the time, though they can still be told apart apart by hair color (blonde, black, white). The little girls are seen by the Manhattan clan, the old crones are seen by Macbeth and Duncan, and the old gargoyle hags are seen by Demona. Meanwhile the 20-somethings are their preferred form, seen by the audience and other Children of Oberon as well as any characters not implied to see them differently (although humans will see them in period/job appropriate attire). Word of God has stated that only the Third Race and the audience ever see them for what they truly are.
  • The Apprentice: In the comics, Gillecomgain (the first Hunter) was this to Constantine.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Peter Maza utterly refuses to believe in his father's tradition and beliefs and that, for more than 40 years. When Coyote the Trickster start messing up Xanatos' Construction site, he still refuses to believe. It's only at the end of the episode that he does and finally reconcile posthumously with his father.
  • Arc Villain: Each of the major multipart storylines has one (or more):
    • "Awakening" has Demona and Xanatos as a Big Bad Duumvirate.
    • "City of Stone" has Demona alone, eclipsing Xanatos as the major threat.
    • "Avalon" has the Archmage, with the Weird Sisters collectively serving as his Dragon with an Agenda. This arc also retroactively establishes the Archmage and the Sisters as the Greater Scope Villains of the entire first half of the series.
    • "The Gathering" has Lord Oberon.
    • "Hunter's Moon" has Demona and the Hunters as a Big Bad Ensemble, opposing each other as well as the clan. Ultimately, the Hunters are a bigger threat to the clan, but Demona is a bigger threat to the world at large.
  • Arm Cannon: The Steel Clan, Xanatos' Power Armor, and Coldstone all have retractable particle-beam emitters built into their arms.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: A series of them directed at Demona in Part 4 of City of Stone, which leads to her defining Tear Jerker moment of the series.
    • Hudson has a few for Xanatos in "The Price". The latter shrugs most of them off, but is visibly nettled. Finally, after being held captive for most of the episode as part of Xanatos' attempt to become immortal, Hudson frees himself and has this parting comment (notably causing one of the few times in the series Xanatos actually seems genuinely affected by criticism):
      "A friendly word of advice. True immortality isn't about living forever, man; it's about what you do with the time you have. When all your scheming's done, what will be your legacy, Xanatos?"
      • Xanatos is doubly shaken by the simple fact that, after freeing himself, Hudson has no intention of stopping Xanatos, saying he's free to go ahead and try for it.
    • In "Temptation", Demona questions Brooklyn for believing Goliath that humans will eventually accept them.
      Demona: They were used to us centuries ago. Did that stop them from betraying us and destroying our clan?
      [Brooklyn solemnly lowers his head]
    • Goliath and Renard zigzag this trope in Outfoxed, trading questions that at best inflict minor chinks in each other's armor, until Goliath finally asks a question that pierces his own armor, which begins to earn Renard's respect.
      Renard: It doesn't matter that you were tricked. You know now that your actions caused grievous harm. Do you take responsibility for them or not? Well, what are you going to do?
      Goliath: A better question might be, what are you going to do?
      Renard: What would be the honorable thing to do? Well, I suppose I should just turn you over to the proper authorities.
      Goliath: Look at me, human! I'll spend the rest of my life as a laboratory specimen! Was my crime against you so heinous, to make that an equitable punishment?
      Renard: Heh. We're making progress. You finally acknowledge that you committed a crime.
  • Artistic License: Most of the myths are altered for the plot.
  • Ascended Extra: Lots, which was a hallmark of the series. The series had a reliable stable of background characters who originally appeared as one-off extras, but kept coming back - the jogger, Brendon and Margot, Vinnie, etc. The Archmage was originally a one-shot villain, but David Warner's performance motivated Weisman into bringing him back as a greater threat. One of the more long-running examples is Officer Morgan. Keith David's performance gave depth to an otherwise generic character, leading to him being used often as the series progressed.
  • Asshole Victim: Almost everyone at Castle Wyvern when the Vikings finally overran them - most if not all of the people who lived there except for young farm boy Tom and the captain of the guard and the King absolutely hated the gargoyles despite the fact that they were the backbone of their entire defense strategy, Princess Katherine hated them from childhood and talked trash about them despite all they did for her and her people, the Magus encouraged her bigotry towards them, the castle soldiers tried to take credit for victories that technically belonged to the gargoyles, etc. You really can't feel that bad for Princess Katherine and her people when Laser-Guided Karma catches up to them.
    • And then, of course, there's the aforementioned captain of the guard, who betrayed everyone. The Captain of the Guard is a tragic example though in that he was trying to help the Gargoyles by getting rid of the ungrateful Princess Katharine, Magus, soldiers and other assorted folk living at Castle Wyvern who treated the Gargoyles like crap despite all the Gargoyles did to protect them. He even told Goliath point blank that he and his clan deserved better. But his plan backfired horribly when he couldn't stop the Viking Leader Hakon and his men from destroying the majority of the clan in stone form. The Captain got some small measure of revenge when he wrestled Hakon off the cliff to their deaths, only to spend centuries with his spirit trapped in a cave along with Hakon's spirit until Goliath eventually came back and set his spirit free by forgiving him.
  • The Atoner: The Magus, Princess Katharine, the Captain's ghost, Yama, and Robyn Canmore.
  • Audible Sharpness
  • Author Appeal: Weisman is a self-described Shakespeare nut (emphasis on "nut"). Hence Puck, Macbeth, the Weird Sisters, Titania, Oberon...
    • At no time, however, does he simply play these characters straight. Puck's nature is balanced by Owen, Macbeth has more in common with his historical than literary namesake, the Weird Sisters are utterly inscrutable rather than necessarily evil though Word of God implies they may be the series' true Big Bad, and Titania and Oberon have reversed their traditional roles, with Oberon being vastly more powerful between the two. Even the implied Othello/Coldstone connection is subverted.
    • Also redheads, since Everyone Wants Redheads.
  • Avenging the Villain: The reason behind Duncan's attack on Demona (who helped Macbeth kill Gillecomgain) and Canmore's war against Macbeth and Demona (who "murdered" Duncan and cheated Canmore out of his inheritance).
  • Ax-Crazy: Jackal and Hyena at the very least. Demona gets her own killing spree in "City of Stone".
  • Back from the Dead: Rarely, and with careful justification. The Captain of the Guard and Haakon return as ghosts, the Archmage abuses a Stable Time Loop, and Coldstone has the misfortune to combine this trope with Me's a Crowd. Coyote (the AI, not the supernatural one) had the easiest time with this... luckily for him.
  • Badass Cape: As seen in the picture, Goliath's wings become one of these when furled.
    • Most of the other Gargoyles as well, except for Lex (his wings are actually patagia, like those of a sugar glider) and Bronx (who has no wings at all). The mutates could do this as well.
  • Badass Crew: Most prominently the Manhattan Clan, though other gargoyle clans qualify as well.
  • Badass Normal: Elisa, Bluestone, Xanatos, and the hunters
    • Subverted with Tony Dracon, who talks tough but whimpers quickly whenever the gargoyles show.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Goliath in "Protection," when he and Broadway decide to help Elisa with her sting operation by pretending to want to ally with Tony Dracon as enforcers for his protection racket. Broadway gets into the part, while Goliath's lines are a stiff and stilted, with the gargoyle clearly uncomfortable saying his lines.
  • Bad Future: "Future Tense" which includes the obligatory Future Badass depictions.
    • Implied with Timedancer and Gargoyles 2198, both of which imply a future so dark that Demona's one of the good guys, with relatively little change in character.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Initially, the first batch of mutates, including Derek Maza/Talon. (Fang was subject to this, but soon decided that his new body was worth that whole 'got abducted and physically transformed against my will' incident.)
    • Puck, after Oberon traps him in the form of Owen Burnett, except when he is training or protecting Alexander Xanatos.
  • Bandage Wince: In "The Journey" Elisa bandages Goliath's wing and he does this. This is odd, because in the pilot he grasped a sword in his fist enough to bleed and didn't make a peep.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Vikings.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: An Establishing Character Moment for Goliath and gargoyles in general in very first episode: no, he's not truly invincible, he can bleed... but he's still really freaking tough.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lady Titania, Demona, Angela in the comic, and Hyena when she becomes an android. Elisa also sports the look in "The Mirror" and "Protection".
  • Bastard Understudy: Thailog was one to Xanatos, but by the time of his first onscreen appearance, he's ready to go his own way.
  • Batman Cold Open: In "City of Stone."
  • Batman Gambit: Demona tries this twice against Elisa and the Manhattan Clan, first in "Long Way to Morning" and then in "High Noon." They both fail. Xanatos himself uses these on a regular basis, often as part of his gambits
    • Macbeth tries to use one in Enter Macbeth against Demona. He captures the rest of the Gargoyles, expecting her to come to their rescue. Goliath pointed out that she basically hated her former clan right now and wouldn't be coming, enraging Macbeth.
    • Duncan used one to play Macbeth and Gillecomgain against each other in "City of Stone," hoping that Gillecomgain would end up killing Macbeth. It didn't work.
    • Angela pulls a combination of this and Stop, or I Shoot Myself! on Goliath during "Eye of the Storm" to convince him to take off the Eye of Odin. Being the Papa Wolf Goliath has become to her, it worked.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: In "Enter Macbeth", "Leader of the Pack," "Double Jeopardy," and "The Reckoning."
  • Battle Butler: Owen Burnett and Preston Vogel.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Raven sent a huge bear after Elisa. Also, Odin took the form of a bear and attacked Goliath.
  • Beast and Beauty: Goliath and Elisa, which is lampshaded in "Eye of the Beholder" where Elisa is dressed up as Belle.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness / Dark Is Not Evil: Played with, and generally averted. The Gargoyles are demonic-looking creatures of the night, yet their moral principles are very important to them. Xanatos and the Pack are handsome action-hero types, but they're amoral at best. There are, of course, exceptions - Demona and Elisa right off the bat, with others following.
  • Beautiful All Along: Goliath realizes this about Elisa after seeing her transformed into a gargoyle in "The Mirror":
    Goliath: "I never realized just how beautiful you are."
    Elisa: "*chuckle* Are you saying you thought I was ugly?"
    Goliath: "Uh, well, that — Careful, updraft!"
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Aesop of "The Mirror".
    Puck: "Did you say that human, or that human? Oh, never mind, I'll figure it out..."
  • Because Destiny Says So:
    • "Avalon doesn't take you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"
    • This trope also applies to anybody who uses the Phoenix Gate to go back in time, because of the resulting Stable Time Loop. (In other words, "Because History Says So".)
  • Becoming the Mask: The reason Dingo does a full Heel–Face Turn after parting company with the rest of the Pack — he found he missed being regarded as a hero back when he'd only play-acted one, and wanted to try doing it for real.
  • Being Good Sucks: No matter how many times the Gargoyles saved people or the entire world, humans never show any gratitude outside of the clan's friends and the occasional exceptions. They are only seen as monsters that must be hunted down.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: When describing Brooklyn and Katana's relationship in Timedancer, Greg Weisman mentioned Sam and Diane. No one got it. Then he mentioned Beatrice and Benedick. That one people got, which should tell you a lot about the kind of fans this show has.
  • Benevolent Monsters: The Gargoyles themselves were relocated from Scotland to Manhattan by David Xanatos as part of his Evil Plan to terrorize New York into his personal fiefdom. However, once the Gargoyles learned that they were expendable pawns in Xanatos' game, they had a Heel–Face Turn, and took to defending the people of New York. Except for Demona, of course: as the Token Evil Teammate, she has her own agenda that puts her in the Heel–Face Revolving Door.
  • Berserk Button: They all have one, and you do not want to push it.
    • Unlike most series, however, we see the origins of each.
      • After losing so many of his clan members, Goliath becomes fiercely protective of all those whom he considers as part of his clan. And judging by the way he treated the guy who turned Elisa's brother into a mutant, you better not mess with his clan's clan, either, because he certainly minds.
      • After Broadway shoots Elisa by mistake, he's angrily hateful of guns being used by criminals, noticeably destroying any he gets his hands on.
      • Lexington was a fan of the Pack, and took their betrayal and subsequent Face–Heel Turn extremely personally.
      • Never Touch Alex Xanatos if Lex is present, it's not good for your health.
      • After Brooklyn falls for one of Demona's manipulations, he spends much of the remaining series holding back rage whenever she shows up. After he becomes Goliath's second, he learns to curb the hate, but Brooklyn is clearly almost homicidal in some scenes. Ironically this may be partially his own fault, as he later finds, having gotten one of Demona's clans massacred in his future and her past. If anything, it's surprising there's not more animosity between the two.
      • Demona, for her part, exists solely in this state, as she's genocidal and bitterly given over to her own exile from the other gargoyles. Elisa does tend to drive her to blind fury, however. Thailog uses this to twist the knife in his betrayal of Demona late in the series, when he reveals that Delilah's a clone of both Demona and Elisa.
      • Macbeth's hatred for Demona leads him to his only dark acts in the series, and is so great that not even the Weird Sisters' combined magic can hold it back for long. Ironically, Macbeth is also the sole exception to Demona's genocidal hate, as his death at her hands would kill her, too.
      • Angela's button may have been Demona, too, but the series was canceled before she had much interaction with anyone other than the core Manhattan Clan.
      • Notably, Hudson does not have a Berserk Button, though many people try to find one over the series.
      • Not to say any of the Clan are super-loving of Xanatos, but Elisa in particular has trouble warming up to him after what he did to her brother. She seems to be quite protective and close with her family, which may be justified since she's the eldest sibling.
      • Even Xanatos has one. He's perpetually suave and in control, so whenever someone manages to pierce his facade, he's visibly ticked. Hudson in The Price when he figures out that Xanatos is secretly terrified of aging, Goliath in The Eye of The Beholder discovering his love for Fox, and Petros in Vows when he hands his son a single penny, since money is all he cares about are all notable examples of someone breaking through Xanatos' shell and his subsequent reaction to it. Oberon, too, unleashes Xanatos' inner Papa Wolf.
      • Puck's is only pushed once, in his first appearance, but the consequences are monumental. Imprison him? Well you are trying to extract wishes from a Jackass Genie, so good luck with that, but that's just part of the game and its not like he isn't used to servitude. Tell him to go away when he is offering you actual help? That's just rude and he won't be happy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Broadway is potentially one of the most intimidating of the Manhattan clan. Especially whenever a firearm is involved.
    • Lexington also fits, the little guy gets pretty pissed when his trust is betrayed. There's also the Twist Ending of "Future Tense"
    • Jon Canmore was originally the nicest of the Canmore siblings, before he became Castaway.
    • Martin Hacker, the FBI agent who is Bluestone's supportive friend and ex-partner, is an Illuminatus assigned to keep Bluestone away from the truth
  • Big Applesauce: Played with a bit during the Avalon World Tour, but even so, all the really weird stuff happens in Manhattan.
  • Big Bad: Xanatos toward the start, but his partner Demona eventually overtook him in this role. She even planned to kill the entire human race with a magically amplified virus in the Hunter's Moon story arc.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Xanatos and Demona for about the first third of the series — they wind up going their separate ways when it becomes painfully obvious that their goals, methods, and personalities are simply not compatible.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At least once every episode.
  • Big Eater: Broadway
  • Big Guy Rodeo: Attempted on the mecha gargoyles. Doesn't work too well.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Demona upon being cursed to turn into a human during the day.
    • Several others too, Goliath being the most prominent.
    • Dr. Anton Sevarius yells a big "No" in the Goliath Chronicles episode "Genesis Undone" when he sees Thailog inject Little Anton with the virus that was injected into Thailog and the other gargoyle clones.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Lexington asked what happened to their motorcycle:
      Brooklyn: Um... It blew up.
      Lexington: Oh. WHAT?!
    • In another episode, Vogel alerted Mr. Renard that Fortress Two was on a collision course with Cyberbiotics Tower. Mr. Renard was obviously shocked and let out a Big "WHAT?!".
    • This exchange after the Hunters blew up the clock tower:
      Elisa: Goliath, please... Let the law handle this.
      Goliath: The law?! What about justice?!
      Elisa: Look I’m sorry, but you don’t want justice, you want vengeance.
      Brooklyn:''' She’s right Goliath.
      Goliath: WHAT?!
  • Bilingual Bonus: The various spells are in Latin, and actually say what they accomplish, and one episode actually includes correct Hebrew, both written and spoken. The "spell" in Hebrew, allowing a human to possess a golem, translates as something like "My soul should enter the body of earth".
    • Some of the Latin spells are grammatically incorrect. "Omnes conspecti, omnes auditi" is translated in the show itself as "all who see this, all who hear this," but in reality it means "all who have been seen, all who have been heard." In other words, the passive voice was used when the active voice should've been.
    • The Japanese gargoyle town is called Ishimura. . .which means "Stone Village." Very appropriate!
    • Anyone who knows the French word for fox guessed pretty quickly that a couple minor characters from season one were vastly more significant than they appeared, and were likely related.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In the "Bad Guys" spinoff, Robyn does it to Dingo, Dingo and Matrix do it to Sevarius, Pistol does it to Robyn and Points does it to Fang.
  • Blessed with Suck: Gargoyles are stronger than humans, have better senses, and can glide, scale walls, and heal while they sleep. But they need to spend twelve hours a day completely immobile, which sucks if, for example, you have to share the planet with a species that hates you and has access to iron tools.
  • Blind and the Beast: Hudson's friendship with Jeffrey Robbins is the non-romantic version of this.
  • Blind Black Guy: Jeffrey Robbins.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played straight and averted, in the first episode Goliath bleeds after a Barehanded Blade Block just to establish the fact that the gargoyles are flesh and blood and not invulnerable. The gargoyles and other characters are shown bleeding other times throughout the series.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: The final battle between Demona, the Hunters, and the Manhattan Clan in "Hunter's Moon" takes place in a cathedral, as does the battle between Demona and the Hunters' father in the flashback. The Cloisters where Brooklyn fights Demona in "Temptation" may count as well, since its architecture was inspired by that of medieval churches even though it isn't a church itself.
  • Book-Ends: The first and last episodes of the Avalon World Tour, "Shadows of the Past" and "Future Tense", both show Goliath returning to what he believes to be his home, and being subjected to nightmarish visions. And in both of them, the beings who subject him to those visions slip up, and Goliath realizes just in time that his visions aren't real.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Played with a twist by Demona. She wants to Kill All Humans for nearly wiping out her species, but when she asks Literal Genie Puck to make her immune to daylight petrification (as gargoyles do), he grants her request by making her turn into a human from dawn to dusk every day. Notably, this doesn't stop her — instead, it just lets her find more ways of reaching her goals, since she can now blend in with her "enemies" undetected. Throughout the series she easily takes to human society and tools, such as human sorcery and technology, even before she gained her human transformation curse. She even started her own freaking company (named Nightstone)! For all of her hatred towards humans, Demona fits in far more with human civilization than she does with her fellow gargoyles.
  • Boring Return Journey: Averted. After their quest on Avalon, it took months of wacky adventuring before Goliath and co return to Manhattan. Goliath went as far as to refuse Renard's offer to fly straight to Manhattan.
  • Born of Magic: All of the explicitly magical beings in the world and throughout history that the main cast encounter are revealed to be "Children of Oberon". It's not made clear if they were created through Oberon's magic, or unspecified fey reproduction.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: When Macbeth's modern gadgets, weapons and traps fail to subdue Goliath, he finds himself in an armory filled to the brim and... selects as his new weapon a traditional Scottish broadsword.
  • Bridal Carry: Goliath usually carries Elisa like this during the course of the series when she travels with the Manhattan Clan by air.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the comic continuation, a time-travelling Brooklyn directly addresses the audience in regards to his ignorance about Scottish history:
    Mary: "Don't you know what is going to happen?"
    Brooklyn: "Too much TV, too few history books. You never know when a giant flaming magical time-traveling bird is gonna swallow you whole and spit you out in the tenth century. So hit those books, kids!"
  • Breakout Character: Goliath and Demona and others shouldn't be shafted, but there's a reason David Xanatos has two tropes named after him.
  • Broad Strokes: The backstory of the Stone of Destiny works because of a combination of this and Unreliable Narrator. ("The story is told, though who can say if it be true?")
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Averted, despite whatever people on the internet keep whispering. Gargoyles regard all their rookery-mates as siblings, and they tend to mate among their rookery-mates, but rookery-siblings are exactly that: gargoyles from the same rookery (Locale where eggs are stored and hatched). They were, essentially, just birthed in the same hospital at the same time, not actually blood relations. Any literal applications of this trope have been Jossed, since gargoyle couples usually have only one egg in each generation. Scent markers prevent Kissing Cousins.
    • However, for the human characters, Jackal and Hyena are a little too close for some fans. Others don't mind too much, and it's established that Hyena's specifically into roboticization kinks — as Coyote gets less and less human over the series, she gets more attracted to him — which would imply her brother may qualify, too. Word of God, however, is that Jackal isn't Hyena's type.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When common thugs are not running away at the sight of gargoyles or other gifted beings, they try to fight them instead. This usually doesn't turn out too well for them.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Demona truly has no idea why that guy(s) with the striped mask want(s) her dead. Not that she would care much if she did know. In a deleted scene of the finale, it's revealed that even the modern day Hunters do not know how the feud began. They just know that it's their destiny to hunt and kill gargoyles.
    • Subverted with Macbeth when Canmore waylays him. At first Macbeth doesn't recognize the full-grown prince (since he was only a boy when Macbeth banished him to England), but after he introduces himself as Canmore, Macbeth does remember him.
      • Played straight with the identity of the Hunter in City of Stone, as Demona'd not seen one in decades, and had thought she ended the line. It was a trick by Macbeth, as he knew Demona'd never suspect it was him under the mask. While he's perfectly willing to kill Demona to end their curse, she normally wouldn't reciprocate.
  • But Not Too Foreign: The protagonists in the Castle Wyvern clan all hail from Scotland, but only one of them (Hudson) actually speaks with a Scottish accent. The rest of them speak with American accents, even before they make the move to Manhattan.
    • It might be noted that none of them would've even spoken English—in the tenth century, Scotland was a patchwork of languages, and they would spoken an archaic dialect of either Gaelic (most probable), Pictish or Cumbrian, depending on where they were, with Goliath probably knowing some Latin, since he reads. Even in England at the time, they spoke Old English, which is completely incomprehensible to a speaker of the modern tongue.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Captain Chavez.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Iago/Coldsteel and Othello/Coldstone.
    • Mail Brigti and Findlaech, although they are technically half-brothers.
  • Call-Back: "Hunter's Moon" is full of Call Backs, mostly to the first season.
    "Would you prefer I lost on purpose?"
    "I'd fire you if you did." Shari and Thailog, in the comic continuation.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The entire Goliath Chronicles except for the very first episode, "The Journey," never happened according to Word of God (Weisman). To enforce this, "The Journey" was included as the beginning of the comic book continuation published by Slave Labor Graphics, solidifying its canon status, followed by the rest of the comic books contradicting The Goliath Chronicles.
    • They also imported one additional scene from TGC: Where Robbins reveals that he'd figured out Hudson was a gargoyle before he could tell him.
      • In a sense; Word of God has specified multiple times that this was always the direction they were intending to bring Robbins' and Hudson's relationship. Greg Weisman did, however, borrow a (slightly altered) version of one fan-favorite line of dialogue from that scene, as "a nice tribute to all the hard work that the TGC crew put in, with little thanks or reward." Weisman may be a hard-liner on declaring Canon Discontinuity, but he's also a notoriously Nice Guy.
    • Much of the events of "Future Tense" are implied to be just a story told by an Unreliable Narrator. Said Unreliable Narrator, however, may have the ability to see the future, so it's difficult to say for certain.
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Demona and Macbeth are a non-romantic twist on this trope, with Demona being the loner type who was forced against her will into a relationship of sorts with Macbeth; they utterly hate each other, but if one of them kills the other, they both will die permanently. Which, at one point, was exactly what Macbeth wanted before Goliath and the Weird Sisters persuaded him otherwise.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Rare, but there are a few. Thailog is more or less aware of the fact he's a monster and a scary bastard... and he revels in it. Proteus is also intent on wreaking havoc on the New Olympus Island simply for the amusement of doing so, and the Quarrymen in The Goliath Chronicles pull traps on the Manhattan Clan, where either street thugs or themselves pretend to attack innocent women, acknowledging the Manhattan Clan's heroic and upstanding tendencies. Xanatos himself notably lampshades the trope, when he asks Goliath and Angela how well he's pulling off his first attempt at "clichéd villainy", in the episode "Cloud Fathers".
    • In their one appearance in The Goliath Chronicles, Jackal & Hyena explicitly refer to the side they're on as evil.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Any spellcaster on the island of Avalon can draw upon its magical power, at the cost of their own health if they're not Children of Oberon. The Magus exhausts himself to death by attempting this. Word of God states that the Magus is dead, and his sacrifice would never be cheapened by bringing him back.
  • Casting Gag: The Star Trek actors voicing most of the villains or trickster characters.
  • Cat Fight: Between Elisa and Demona in "High Noon". Coldstone and Macbeth lampshade it:
    Coldstone: "Well, this is diverting."
    Macbeth: "You don't know the half of it."
    • Also again in "The Mirror" when Eliza was temporarily turned into a Gargoyle and was beating the crap out of Demona to protect the then human Clan from her.
  • Cat Girl: Maggie, one of the mutates. Though in this case, she is outnumbered by catBOYs 3:1. Also counts as Cute Monster Girl.
  • Central Theme: The evils of bigotry and prejudice, and the importance of acceptance. The value of family, both the family you're born into and the one you choose. If you dedicate your life to vengeance you will bring nothing but pain, both to yourself and to those around you.
  • Character Development: Characters repeatedly realize the consequences of their actions and grow from experiences:
    • Broadway grows from being a gluttonous illiterate goof to a studious amateur detective. And don't forget the aforementioned episodes about firearms. Brooklyn grows from a simple hotshot kid to a capable, if romantically frustrated, leader with a flair for tactics. There is a lot of subtle character development with Goliath and Elisa as they slowly become closer. Hudson learns to age gracefully and appreciate his golden years. Xanatos and Fox learn to love and not be quite so evil, and that you probably shouldn't betray valuable allies for short-term gain. And Lexington becomes less naive (and more paranoid, unfortunately).
    • Hey, not all development is for the good guys! At any rate, a lot of the development was also tied into various episodes and arcs rather than the usual route of being standalone episodes designed solely for development. Hudson and Xanatos have quite the conversation about getting old during one of his (relatively) smaller plots... which changes -both- of them. Several minor supporting characters also get notable changes, like Derek Maza and Tom and Mary.
    • Goliath goes through some interesting character development from the Avalon World Tour as well. For example, back in "City of Stone" he said "Death is never the answer; life is!" But when the Emir took this statement to its logical conclusion in "Grief," and his imprisonment of Anubis meant that nobody could die (and if death really never is the answer, is that a bad thing?) Goliath realized that preventing anyone from dying is just as bad as killing them, and he fought to break the binding spell and free Anubis.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Grimorum Arcanorum, the Eye of Odin, and the Phoenix Gate. All three are important for an episode or two, all three are (separately) taken from Xanatos by Goliath, all three taken by the Weird Sisters and given to the Archmage, and two of them ( the Grimorum is destroyed) prove significant in later episodes before Goliath gets rid of them for one reason or another. Then the Phoenix Gate returns again in the comics.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Preston Vogel sure looks familiar, doesn't he? It's actually a subversion. Owen is based on Vogel, rather than any direct tie from Vogel to Owen.
    • The Weird Sisters embody this better than anyone in the series, as their motives are never remotely clear. Word of God implies that the sisters manipulated Archmage, Demona, and Macbeth all far more extensively than any of them realize, and they may have been the series' ultimate Big Bad.
  • The Chessmaster: Xanatos usually claims this role.
    • Thailog would disagree.
  • Chess Motifs: In "Upgrade," the battle between the Manhattan Clan and the Pack is represented as a chess game between Fox and Xanatos. Granted, that battle does break the rules of chess...
  • Chocolate of Romance: Broadway gives Angela a box of chocolates (or, to be more exact, what's left of them) shortly after introducing himself to her. They later become mates.
  • The Clan
  • Clarke's Third Law: The characters from the Middle Ages often describe modern technology in terms of magic, or have it described to them in the same way. Examples:
    • When (the gargoyle who would eventually take the name) Hudson first sees a gun, he says "We must be battling sorcerers!"
    • When Xanatos asks Goliath to retrieve some "disks" from Cyberbiotics, he describes them as "magic talismans, each containing hundreds of spells" and the necessity of breaking the encryption codes on those disks as "translating the spells."
    • When Tom tells Goliath and Elisa about his battles with Demona and Macbeth on Avalon, he describes their guns as "magic weapons."
    • Lexington is the only one who averts it. Having always been fascinated by machines of any kind, he easily notices that modern contraptions such as helicopters are indeed machines.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Finella suspects Constantine has a thing for Princess Katherine simply after seeing him toast to her at dinner the day she arrived after a long journey. She turns out to be right, as Constantine is a scumbag who did later flirt with Katherine, but it was fairly shoddy evidence she used to stake him out.
  • Clock Tower: Located atop the NYPD's 23rd District headquarters, and site of the gargoyles' second home.
  • Cold Sleep, Cold Future: Not only do Goliath and the Manhattan Clan remain in stone sleep for a thousand years (i.e. Cold Sleep), but when they wake up, Goliath quickly comes to the conclusion that 1994 Manhattan is just as savage as 994 Scotland was (i.e. Cold Future).
  • Color Me Black: Fantastic Racism variant- in one episode Demona summons and binds Puck and forces him to grant her various wishes, which he delights in twisting because he doesn't like her. One of her wishes is to be able to move about freely during the day, when gargoyles normally turn to stone- which Puck grants by causing her to turn human during the day instead. For those uninitiated with the series, Demona craves the extinction of all humanity.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: Xanatos' coin trick in Vows is in the spirit of the trope, if not the letter: Xanatos doesn't gain any interest on the coin, but its antique and historic value goes up over 1,000 years. "It's practically worthless now, in 975 A.D... but by 1975, it should be worth... oh about twenty grand?"
  • Continuity Nod: Frequent, and well done. When particular villains return (The Pack, Demona, and Dracon) gargoyles who have been specifically slighted by them (Lexington, Brooklyn, and Broadway, respectively) are more incensed and determined than the others. When King Arthur (Yes, that King Arthur) is attacked by Macbeth (Yes, that Macbeth) he recognizes him and calls out his name, but Macbeth expresses confusion and asks if they me have met; when they had met, Macbeth was being manipulated and later had his memory erased. The show remembers who did what and when, and keeps it all straight.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In the episode "Ill Met By Moonlight". Though to be fair, gargoyles are made of tougher stuff than humans, and Oberon presumably has magical defenses against extreme heat.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: When the pack are in prison, Fox and Hyena are sharing a cell, as are Wolf and Jackal.
  • Cool Big Sis: Elisa Maza, is the older sister of Derek Maza, Beth Maza, and acts like an older sister to the young trio of the Manhattan Clan.
  • Cool Old Guy: Hudson, Jeffrey Robbins, Petros Xanatos, and Halcyon Renard.
  • Corrupt Cop: Elisa turns into one, saying to Dracon that she was fed up with the ineffective justice system. As an aversion, she was working undercover to get closer to Dracon.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Xanatos, though not anywhere nearly as large as expected given his primarily antagonistic role in the series; his biggest venture into this arena (Which he actually lampshades as his first attempt at "Clichéd Villainy") was when he planned to destroy a Native American carving that was on the land he had leased for corporate practices. A more classic example would be Preston Vogel, who was operating a clear-cutting logging site in the Guatemalan rain forest in the episode "The Green" without any consent from Halcyon Renard, who also had hired ex-members of the Pack as security to kill off the local gargoyles that were opposing the logging. Similarly, Demona/Dominique Destine uses her company, Nightstone Unlimited mostly to support and fund her genocidal efforts.
  • Could Say It, But...: Dracon does this to Elisa to taunt her about her inability to arrest him: "I'm not the guy. And if I was the guy, you couldn't do anything about it. In fact, if I were to tell one of my associates to sell some merchandise to raise some operating capital, you couldn't do anything about that either."
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: A bit more justified than usual, as Elisa just needed to resuscitate Angela long enough to get her to sunrise.
  • Creepy Crows: Raven is one of Oberon's Children and a more malicious version of the Native American trickster hero, able to change into a human, raven, or raven-headed gargoyle.
  • Crossover: A crossover with Atlantis: The Lost Empire was fully recorded in audio but never actually animated or aired (It's still considered canonical in Broad Strokes).
    • It seems to be referenced in the comic book with a scene featuring Demona returning St. Daminan's Cathedral and removing what looks a lot like an Atlantean energy crystal from the broken fragments of the Praying Gargoyle.
    • Likewise, a Radioplay written by the head honcho himself for the final Gathering was a crossover with The Spectacular Spider Man. While not canonical, the events fit in fine with both continuities. At the moment.
      • fits fine in Gargoyles continuity if you pretend Clan Building took place in 2008.
  • Crossover Cosmology: All the gods and many of the fantastical creatures of ancient myths exist in one form or another. The various pantheons are linked to each other in a huge feudal system with Shakespeare's Oberon, of all people, on top. Greg Weisman is a huge Shakespeare nut.note 
  • Curse Cut Short: In issue #1 of the SLG comics, one of the Quarrymen manages to call Elisa a "Dirty monster-loving wh—" before she punches him in the mouth.
  • Curse Escape Clause: The gargoyle protagonists had been cursed to sleep as stone until their castle rose above the clouds. Xanatos broke the curse by relocating their castle on top of his skyscraper. In fact, several spells have similar riddle-like ways of breaking them, such as a spell that would turn people to stone "until the sky burns."
    • Word of God said that it is an actual rule of magic in this universe; adding an escape clause is not required, but it makes the magic much easier to cast. Fair folk like Oberon and Puck are powerful enough they do not really need to worry about it, as is an incredibly powerful human sorcerer like the Archmage, but for someone like the Magus or Demona, being able to save on your energy is very important.
    • It helps that the Curse Escape Clauses are worded rather vaguely, and thus open to loose interpretation. The Gargoyles' curse only said "the clouds" so Xanatos raising Castle Wyvern above the cumulus layer of clouds, but not the cirrus layer, is enough to do the job. Similarly, "until the sky burns" apparently does not necessarily mean the entire sky, so only burning the atmosphere above Manhattan is enough to cure even those hypothetical victims outside of the city from the "stone at night" curse.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: David Xanatos averts this. He probably rivals Scrooge McDuck as the wealthiest Disney character of all time, and he doesn't hesitate to make a buck off of his vast intellect. He only spends money on his plans when he can't get what he wants by buying it outright.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: The Banshee.
  • Cute Monster Girl: All female gargoyles shown in the TV series were sexy winged humanoids, except for Una, who resembled an anthropomorphic unicorn and so didn't exactly break the stereotype. Male gargoyles, however, included a much wider variety of body types; the comic continuation eventually introduced Constance (Coco), a heavyset female who resembles a wild sow, and Brooklyn's mate Katana (whom most of the fandom * thought* would be a CMG) was shown to have a beak.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Hyena and Jackal get more Ax-Crazy than they already were after they become cyborgs. Contrast Dingo, who refused to alter his body via implants and who eventually did a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Though Hyena was willing to kill her long-time, er, friend equivalent and leader just because the latter stopped Hyena from killing a prison guard before the cybernetic upgrades, so at least in her case, the rising insanity may be entirely unrelated to the bodywork. It may simply have made it easier to inflict pain (probably the whole reason they got the upgrade) so they have even less restraint.
      • Jackal seems to think they're unrelated. When Hyena shows an interest in mecha-Coyote, Jackal's comment is of mild disgust, but absolutely no surprise.
    • Halcyon Renard had a similar experience with the Golem, though he wasn't really in a cybernetic body, and if anything, he was simply playing around and causing amusing destruction in the body of the Golem.
    • Also, the more Coyote gets upgraded, the less humanlike his frame gets. Then again, he/it was never a human to begin with, and probably never had a soul to eat.
      • Then again, Anubis had dominion over Coyote, too, implying Coyote was alive in some sense.
      • "Grief" implies that Anubis' powers hold over the passage of time on subjects organic or otherwise; note how his energy reduced a city in the distance to ruin, complete with dilapidated buildings.
    • And partially averted with Coldstone, as the insanity was due to an evil Third Wheel battling for control inside. Then the series turns right back around and plays it straight again with Future Lex.
  • Cycle of Revenge: One of the major themes of the "City of Stone" arc, and to a lesser extent, of the entire series. Also, the main theme of the "Hunter's Moon" finale.
    • Notably averted by Xanatos, who considers revenge "a sucker's game." Then again, he never really loses, so he never has to make things personal... or was it the other way around?
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Tony Dracon and his mob of men, his partner Glasses, and rival Tomas Brod.
  • Dark Action Girl: Demona, Hyena, and (prior to their turn to good) Fox and Robyn Canmore.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the show itself generally didn't shy away from some dark elements, the comic continuation (and especially Bad Guys) gets away with quite a lot of graphic violence that would never have made it into the show, including Goliath getting stabbed in the stomach, a person committing suicide by hanging herself, Yama being impaled and Dingo's mother being strangled to death on-panel. (Also the occasional profanity.)
    • The show also applies this trope for The Disney Afternoon. The block mainly consisted of lighthearted adventure shows and comedies, so Gargoyles came off as a bit of a surprise shocking turn for the lineup.
  • Dating Catwoman: Goliath and Demona pretty much in the beginning of the first season.
  • David vs. Goliath: In a literal sense (and inverted), with hero Goliath fighting David Xanatos.
    • Played with to the extreme. Goliath really is the taller, stronger man, using brute strength to win fights. David is the shorter, smarter man, using his brains to conquer his foes. In the middle ages, brute strength and direct power ran supreme. However, in the modern age, in an age of computers, stocks, and science, the genius is the one with the power.
  • Deadly Dodging: Happens frequently throughout the show whenever the gargoyles are being chased around by whichever mooks the villian throws at them. Lampshaded by Brooklyn in one episode:
    Brooklyn: It's amazing how often that works.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Xanatos, Owen Burnett, and Preston Vogel have their moments of this. And Puck just loves to throw sarcastic quips at Demona.
    • The Weird Sisters have a few moments of this too, such as at Gillecomgain's and Gruoch's wedding: "A happy beginning." "Not all would agree." "Certainly not our hero."
  • Death Seeker: This is why Macbeth is after Demona in his early appearances (well, this plus revenge) — only by killing or being killed by Demona can he lose his immortality.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Albeit a forced one, in "Grief". An interesting case, because Greg Weisman later went on to say that he regretted not actually doing anything with the concept; the Pack never tried to kill the characters during Anubis' imprisonment, so audiences only had the Emir's word that death was null during that space of time.
  • Death Wail: Goliath at the end of the first episode. The "City of Stone" flashbacks reveal that Demona did the same thing only a few minutes earlier.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Done in the episode "Pendragon" between Macbeth and King Arthur after Arthur defeats Macbeth to reclaim Excalibur.
    Arthur: No king can lead without his knights. You have fought a good fight, I would have you with me.
    Macbeth: I have been a king too long to serve any man. But if you ever need me to stand by your side, I will come.
  • Defector from Paradise: Puck was initially reluctant to return to Avalon because he viewed it as boring due to his thrill-seeking nature despite being a paradise for his kind. However, his case is a bit of an aversion because he was visibly distraught when he was eternally banished from Avalon after hindering Oberon's plans to abduct Alexander Xanatos before accepting his fate.
  • Depopulation Bomb: What Demona creates in "Hunter's Moon."
  • Description Cut: "Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell." Cut to a demolition crewman walking through the courtyard of Castle Wyvern in huge robotic boots.
    • The verbal debate between Macbeth and Margo Yale in "The Journey" is full of these. While Macbeth defends the Gargoyles, Margo goes on about how they are just mindless beasts.
      Margo: I've seen these beasts up close. They're monsters! (cut to Goliath carrying Eliza as they try to escape a copter)
      Margo: We can't take any chances! Our children are not safe! (cut to baby Alex playing with Lexington and Bronx)
      Margo: Surely Mr. Macduff isn't going to pretend that these, creatures, have human thoughts and emotions! They're beasts! Animals! (cut to Broadway and Angela sharing a romantic moment, then Brooklyn catching sight before sadly walking off in dejection)
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: More like "Did Xanatos Just Shoot The King of the Gods and Faeries?"
  • Disability Superpower: About a quarter of the way through season 2 Owen Burnett's left forearm gets turned to stone (long story). This is a pretty crippling transformation but remember, Owen is a blackbelt, having a fist literally made of rock only makes him better in a fight, to the point he's able to take on Goliath with a quick jab to the ribs.
    • This is also inherent in the rules of (human) magic: You need to be able to see and hear a spell being cast for it to affect you directly, so those who are unable to see and/or hear have greater resistance to magic than most. Jeffrey Robbins demonstrates this most clearly in "City of Stone." It is possible to override this resistance through an Amplifier Artifact or Avalonian magic, as the Roman Magus and Puck demonstrate in the Backstory and "The Mirror" respectively, though.
  • Disney Villain Death
    • Played straight the first time with the Archmage, but later averted by the same character, whose future self very visibly melted on-camera when he could no longer control the power of the Grimorum inside himself.
    • Downplayed with Duncan. When Macbeth tosses Selene's Orb at Duncan, it blows out his eyes and mouth, and sets him on fire...and then he falls off a cliff.
      • Was absolutely hilariously lampshaded by the crew during the commentary...with very nearly the same words!
    • Also played straight in the pilot with Hakon and the traitorous captain, though the typical intention of keeping the hero from being responsible for the villain's death is subverted: Goliath immediately expresses his outrage that he did not get to kill them himself, bellowing, "I've been denied everything... EVEN MY REVENGE!"
    • Sevarius just laughs at this trope.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Gargoyles, due to their clawed feet. Even the few who use more clothes than a loincloth still go barefoot.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Broadway is not a fan of firearms. This actually grew out of an episode of the show, where his enthusiasm for Western films went too far and he played with and accidentally shot Elisa with her service pistol. For many episodes thereafter he happily crushed or broke every firearm he could get his claws on.
    • It's not so much that he hates guns per se, but that he doesn't like them to be mishandled and/or used to hurt people. He seems to recognize their usefulness but prefers them in the hands of responsible people (don't we all). It's guns in the hands of human scumbags like Tony Dracon's thugs that really ticks him off.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Anubis seems like a decent enough guy just doing his job.
    The Emir: Hear me, guardian of the gate, I demand a favor!
    Anubis: I grant but one boon, mortal, and it will be given to you as it is given to everyone; when your time has come.
    The Emir: You took from me my only son, Anubis. Two years ago, in a pointless car accident.
    Anubis: Death is always pointless. That is the point.
    The Emir: Don't toy with me, jackal god! I want my son back! I will make you give him back!
    Anubis: What you ask is unthinkable. Your son has passed. Let him rest. Death comes to us all.
  • Downer Beginning: The Wyvern Massacre in the pilot episode, "Awakening" (Part One). Since it takes place at the end of that particular episode, it may also qualify as a...
  • Downer Ending: In addition to (possibly) the above example, we also have "Metamorphosis" and "Vows". "City of Stone" nudges close to this with Demona, and "Grief" can at best be said to end just narrowly shy of breaking even.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: (Spanish) Latin American dubbers didn't take into account that the gargoyles didn't have names in the past. It is mentioned in the first episodes, but afterwards you seem them using those names during the flashbacks of Scotland. Also, the first time the gang saw Demona in Manhattan, she is called by that name (Demona), even when five minutes later she receives the dialogue "Humans have given me a new name. It's Demona!".
  • Dramatic Irony: Several examples...
    • In "Awakening, Part Two," Goliath asks the Magus and Katharine to take care of the eggs, and they agree to do so. Later, in "City of Stone, Part One," it is revealed that Demona had seen the Magus and Katharine taking the eggs out of the rookery, and she couldn't possibly have overheard Goliath asking them to do so... but she doesn't even try to stop them from "stealing" the eggs anyway.
    • The Canmore family's vendetta against Demona is particularly ironic considering that only Macbeth can kill her. Apparently they've never worked out the immortality angle.
    • Pretty much the entire backstory of "City of Stone" is full of Dramatic Irony; Findlaech's pledge of loyalty to Duncan, Duncan's order to kill Findlaech to keep Macbeth from becoming king, Macbeth's willingness to save Duncan's life on the assumption that Duncan would have saved his, Demona eavesdropping on just enough of Macbeth's conversation to conclude that Macbeth will probably betray her (when he had no intention of betraying her)...

    Tropes E-H 
  • Eating Optional: Dr. Sevarius surmised that Gargoyles must absorb solar energy in their stone forms during the day, or otherwise they would have to eat 3 cows a day to maintain the needed energy to function. Downplayed in that the Gargoyles absolutely do need to eat... just not the equivalent of three cows per day each.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: In "Sentinel". Did you know they were modeled on an alien soldier who is protecting our world from the ravages of an evil empire from beyond our solar system?
  • Egg McGuffin: Goliath's rookery children.
  • Enemy Mine: Goliath and the Clan would sometimes have to work with known enemies to deal with a bigger threat, usually with Xanatos since he's the lesser of all the evils. In "Eye of the Beholder" Goliath works with Xanatos to take down Fox who was mutated into a beast by the Eye of Odin. In the "City of Stone" arc, Goliath and Clan work with Xanatos to take down Demona and lift the stone spell she put on the whole city. In "Double Jeopardy", Goliath and Elisa had to work with Xanatos and Sevarius to beat Thailog. In "Walkabout", Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx had to work with Fox and Dingo to deal with the Matrix. In "The Gathering" arc, the Clan had to work with Xanatos and Fox to repel Oberon.
  • Enhance Button: The security camera in castle Wyvern captured Jon Canmore secretly taking a piece of gargoyle stone skin. Giving that Xanatos is the richest man in the world and Owen is in charge of day to day operations, this not implausible as it may seem.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Owen, big time. Also Brother Valmont, to Constantine, in the comic book's final arc, and Preston Vogel.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Anybody can join the Quarrymen, despite the fact the organization resembles the Ku Klux Klan in both its costume motif and its purpose.
    • Well, anybody human can join.
  • Escaped from the Lab: Thailog was created in Dr. Sevarius' lab using Goliath's DNA, and given subliminal messaging to make him as cunning as Xanatos. Eventually he escaped from the lab and began his own schemes.
    • Sevarius also created the Mutates, human's geneticlaly altered to resemble Gargoyles. Though ,as par tof a Xanatos Gambit, they were actually allowed to escape.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • See Barehanded Blade Block above. In the first scene in the first episode, Goliath catches a sword, and there's a trickle of blood. This reveals important things about both gargoyles in general and Goliath in particular: they aren't quite invincible, which means that combat and leadership require carefulness and genuine bravery just like for humans, but they're still really tough.
    • In addition, Lexington, Brooklyn, and Broadway each get an Establishing Character Episode immediately after "Awakening."
  • Eternal English: The gargoyles have no trouble with the language after they are revived. Nor do Katherine, Tom, the Magus, or any of their gargoyle charges, although that one might be slightly justified as Tom had been taking trips to the real world every 100 real-world years and could have picked up the gradual changes from Old to Middle to Modern English.
    • Say nothing of King Arthur, who was put to sleep sometime around 547AD according to the comic book, and yet speaks perfectly when woken up.
    • No explanation is given on why New Olympians speak English instead of ancient Greek. Does Grandmother Willow live on that island?
    • Trips made via Avalon, at least, included a nifty language module with free installation. That was how the 'World Tour' guys managed in Japan and Guatemala etc. As for why the gargoyles speak English? A wizard did it.
    • For that matter, if Goliath's clan comes from Scotland, how come Hudson's the only one with a Scottish accent?
      • Because Hudson had the most contact with humans
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Bronx in "Upgrade".
  • Every Car Is a Pinto:
    • In the third episode, a motorcycle crashes into a wall and promptly explodes.
    • In "Temptation", Brooklyn's bike violently explodes from a single bullet.
    • Averted in "Turf," where a gunfight breaks out in a mob chop shop, but not a single car explodes. Oddly, though, a leather seat sitting off on its own takes a stray bullet and it explodes.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Mentioned in "Awakening" when Owen brings up the difficulty of finding crews to tear down Castle Wyvern.
    Xanatos: Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Talon to Maggie and later in the comics Dingo to Robyn Canmore.
  • Everyone Wants Redheads: Goliath to Demona (at least at first...), Xanatos to Fox, Macbeth to Gruoch, and even Macbeth's blond henchman Banquo was romantically involved with Macbeth's redheaded henchwoman Fleance.
    • Macbeth to Demona's human form, too, though he gets over it when he realizes who she is.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Or as Elisa put it when Goliath asked why Tony Dracon would believe someone like her would work for him, "The corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted." Thus, despite Macbeth's loyalty and honesty, the corrupt King Duncan, and later Demona, were convinced that he was going to betray them.
    • Subverted, of course, with Xanatos. He comprehends perfectly, it's just not for him.
      Xanatos (referring to Fox): So. Now you know my weakness.
      Goliath: Only you would regard love as a weakness.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Demona's idea of a joke in City of Stone is to say to a petrified shopper "let me help you with those packages," then blow her arms off.
  • Evil Knockoff: After failing to get the Manhattan Clan's cooperation, Xanatos spends the first chunk of the series trying to make his own gargoyle minions; such as the mutates, the Steel Clan, and Coldstone. It's telling that he never ever tries again after he comes up with Thailog. Thailog himself later teams with Demona to make knockoffs of the rest of the clan. And for the record, most of these don't even stay evil for long.
  • Evil Laugh: Thailog has a memorable one. In the SLG comic he even seems a bit disappointed that he doesn't get to use it more often.
  • Evil Redhead: Take your pick. There's Demona, Fox before her Heel–Face Turn, Macbeth's henchwoman Fleance, and even Queen Titania during "The Gathering" parts one and two.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Archmage. Demona as well, though to her magical power and the acquisition thereof is not a primary motivation, as it is with the Archmage, but more the means to an end.
  • Evil Twin: Thailog, who managed to outsmart all the other Big Bads of the show.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Sevarius seems to delight in any perverse and malicious use of genetic engineering.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Xanatos, Demona, Macbeth, and the rest of the villains each have their own agenda, which results in this trope more often than not. Macbeth's initial goal, for example, is to kill Demona so that he can die.
  • Exact Words: Almost all supernatural forces, whether mortal spells or "favors" from The Fair Folk (especially Puck), are subject to literal interpretation.
  • Exposed to the Elements: The Clan can walk about in the snow with no discomfort.
  • Expy: Preston Vogel to Owen Burnett. However, it turns out the opposite is true, with Puck basing "Owen" on Vogel.
    • You also wouldn't be entirely mistaken if you confused Xanatos for an evil Tony Stark.
    • Greg's own words regarding the New Olympians: "I hope the New Olympians weren't a rip-off, but I can't deny that [Jack Kirby's] Inhumans, his Eternals, and his New Gods influenced us". The parallels are pretty clear if you're familiar with any of them.
    • Ascended Extra "Vinnie" is a carbon copy of "Vinnie Barbarino" (originally played by John Travolta) in the TV show "Welcome Back Kotter." He uses the original Vinnie's distinctive way of speaking and refers to his custom-built cannon as "Mr. Carter" (which sounds suspiciously like "Mr. Kotter").
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Sometimes the Muggles seem determined to ignore all possible evidence of the supernatural. Most notable in City of Stone, in which every television-viewing citizen of New York is petrified for two nights running, but any evidence (such as security footage, shattered remains of those who died in that time, or eyewitness testimony from folks who weren't subjected to it) is apparently dismissed. Or, at least, any investigations that took place did so offscreen.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Archmage literally eats the Grimorum Arcanorum to bypass the restriction that human magic cannot enter Avalon while retaining its powers.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Played with. The episodes "Revelations" and "Protection" make it seem that Matt and Elisa respectively have undergone one of these, as Matt is seen helping Mace trap Goliath, and Elisa is under suspicion of accepting protection money. Both are fake; Matt was in league with Goliath all along and ultimately traps Mace in the hotel instead; and Elisa's "blackmail" helps to bust an actual protection racket by Dracon.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Demona used a Secret Path to enter the castle and said Xanatos doesn't know all of its secrets. Xanatos and Owen dismantled and rebuilt the castle and yet they both failed to notice it.
  • Failing a Taxi: Some of the Manhattan Clan try to hail a cab, but they face a few obstacles (what with being gargoyles and all).
  • The Fair Folk: The Third Race are a clear interpretation of the trope: though only a couple of them are "evil" by mortal standards, Goliath and company get into a fight with almost every named member of the group at one point or another.
  • Fair for Its Day: In-universe: Oberon was very benevolent - for one of The Fair Folk - back in the tenth century. Due to the arrogance and cruelty of the others, Oberon had them banished from Avalon to teach them humility and benevolence. While most of the Children of Oberon did learn their lesson in their 1,001 years of exile, Oberon himself didn't.
  • Fake Defector: Matt in "Revelations."
  • False Flag Operation: Xanatos' scheme in "Awakening" involved the "impersonate the enemy and attack yourself" variation of this trope.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Subverted; the origin of the family friendly lasers are actually explained, and only the bad guys get them; the cops have to make do with plain old firearms. They're also explained as pretty expensive and limited in number.
    • Broadway and Goliath blowing up around fifty of them is probably a main reason for this.
    • The police's guns are also generally stowed and used only when lethal force is justified. While Elisa does whip hers out fairly often in comparison to a real world cop, it's still vastly less often than most police dramas, and (let's face it) the Gargoyles are a Weirdness Magnet, so it's understandable that she keeps ending up in situations where she'd need to draw her weapon.
  • Fan Convention: The Gathering of the Gargoyles, an annual event from 1997 to 2009. Common panels include read-throughs of unused scripts and discussions with Greg Weisman.
  • Fantastic Fragility: Curses and enchantments are much easier to craft if an escape clause is part of the spell.
  • Fantastic Racism: An examined tropes. Racism is one of the plot points of the entire series. Most humans (but particularly the Hunter(s) and the Quarrymen) toward gargoyles; Demona toward all humans; members of the Third Race toward humans and gargoyles.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: First off, magic exists and people used it throughout history. Then you've got The Fair Folk, who account for most of folklore, Shakespeare's work, and the Arthurian mythos. Season 2 confirms the existence of Golems, the Dreamtime, ghosts, and Ancient Astronauts. That's not even counting the titular gargoyles.
  • Fatal Flaw: Every character has one. For example, even Xanatos, trope namer of the Xanatos Gambit, has a blind spot when it comes to immortality (which Demona exploits in "City of Stone") and a rather fetishistic interest in Goliath's appearance and strength (which Thailog exploits in "Double Jeopardy").
  • Fate Worse than Death: Mace Malone being trapped in the Hotel Cabal until he eventually died of dehydration.
    • Also, Demona has had a thousand years to watch as everyone she loved died or turned against her. On some level, she realizes all the suffering she's seen is primarily her own fault, and she's bitterly aware of how alone she is. Her hatred's really all that's left of her.
    • Ditto for Macbeth, who is just as alone as Demona is. His virtual immortality forced him to outlive his beloved family. (See Heroic Sacrifice for details.) For a good part of his appearances, he actually wants to die. "I'm just so tired."
      • But then, Macbeth hasn't killed himself either. If they can only die at each other's hands, maybe they can't die at their own. The Weird Sisters certainly imply as much: nothing can kill Demona or Macbeth except lethal force inflicted by one upon the other.
    • The three gargoyle souls trapped within Coldstone. No sense of touch, smell or taste, and the two good souls are trapped with an evil, jealous one. Worse yet, each soul has to fight to control the robotic body they're in. The fear of the evil one gaining control forced the two good ones to separate from the only family they know. This, of course, is finally resolved in "Possession" via extensive magic.
    • Hakon might have gotten this worst of all. First he's trapped in a cave as a ghost with only his bitter enemy for company, then he's trapped in a rock in that cave, until he manages to bind himself to an axe some time later.
  • Fiction 500: Xanatos awakened the gargoyles by moving an entire castle to the top of a skyscraper.
  • Fiery Redhead: Demona so very much. Fox also.
  • Field Power Effect: Avalon is teeming with magic, boosting the Magus' abilities.
  • Finding Judas: The Captain wanted the Wyvern Clan to be accepted and appreciated by the humans they guarded, and he betrayed Princess Katharine only for that reason. Unfortunately, his plan blew up in his face when Hakon slaughtered most of the gargoyles anyway.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The Weird Sisters do this.
  • First-Name Basis: Goliath calls Elisa "Detective" at first, but changes to her name as they get closer.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: They get fairly accustomed to the 20th century pretty quickly though, especially Broadway and Lexington
  • Flashback: The show constantly jumps around in time, going back to 10th Century Scotland, 15th Century Italy, 1960 Arizona, World War II, and others. These skips fill in part of the backstory, but also serve as driving moments for the characters and plot points.
  • Flight of Romance: Strictly speaking, it's gliding, but Goliath and Elisa make a cute airborne couple.
  • Flying Weapon: Thailog in the episode "Genesis Undone" had a laser rifle that could fly as well as having multiple remote operable firing modes.
  • Fool's Map: In the episode "Silver Falcon"
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Almost a standard for a supernatural show.
    • Though the trio actually did dress up, leading to New Yorkers commenting on how awesome "costumes under [their] costumes" was.
    • Dr. Sato went to the Xanatos' Halloween party dressed as a surgeon.
  • Foreshadowing: Gargoyles having been planned out to a degree would foreshadow many upcoming stories. Some of which includes the "City of Stone" 4 parter and the following episode "High Noon" set up the 3 part episode "Avalon" as The Weird Sisters take control of Demona & Macbeth, as well as securing the three talismans (The Grimorum Arcanorum, The Phoenix Gate and The Eye of Odin).
    • A noticeable example is "Future Tense". While the big picture of that Bad Future was merely an illusion, many of those 'future' events have occurred in later stories and were planned.
    • When Demona first summons Puck in "The Mirror", she says "You serve the human", referring to the fact that Owen and Puck are the same being. Other episodes would hint at the same thing, but this one was the first and most noticeable.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A variation; Vogel and Owen fit The Spock and Punch-Clock Villain tropes.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All humans have normal five-fingered hands. On the other hand, the gargoyles have four-fingered hands. As for toes, gargoyles have three toes with the exception of Sora, who has only two.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the Matrix is taking control of the research facility, you can see the name "Waldo" tagged on one of the robotic arms.
  • Freudian Excuse: Deconstructed with Demona, averted with Xanatos.
    • Played straight with Princess Katharine in regards to her initial treatment of the Gargoyles.
  • Friendly Enemy: Xanatos has shades of this, although Goliath usually doesn't agree.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Elisa lives alone in a loft apartment in Soho on a detective's salary. It's possible that her native heritage grants her reparations money, but it's still hard to swallow.
    • A New York City police detective makes $90,000 a year. Minimum. Also, Frank Paur cleared this issue up: "The building and apartment were not always so well maintained, neither was the neighborhood, In real estate, timing is everything. Let's just say a lot of hard work went into it. And who's to say Elisa's not savvy about investment opportunities."
  • From Bad to Worse: The series premiere was a barrage of gut-punches for Goliath. His closest human ally, the Captain of the Guard, betrays him. Five-sixths of his clan are dishonorably murdered, (apparently) including his deeply beloved mate. The chief perpetrators fall to their deaths before his eyes, depriving him of any vengeance. Through a misunderstanding, the few survivors are cursed with eternal sleep - and no method remains to heal them. He opts to join their eternal sleep. Against all odds, the sleep is not so eternal... but that's just so the universe can keep messing with him. After one brief moment of joyful reunion he learns that his species is extinct and utterly forgotten: there's no news of the eggs he gave to human allies for safekeeping. Everything he knew is gone and the new world immediately proves to be full of bigotry and crime. His beloved, miraculously alive, turns out to have become a hateful, twisted mockery of her former self, and the human who now owns his ancestral home immediately exploits and betrays the little trust he has left. And it goes on like that!
  • Furry Confusion: Bronx.
    • Though it's been stated that Bronx is to the gargoyles what a chimpanzee is to humans: a separate species that evolved from a common ancestor, but never gained sentience.
  • Future Badass: "Future Tense" gives you the badass Lexington who will destroy the world!
  • Future Me Scares Me: One episode dealt with Demona going back in time and confronting her younger self. Demona of the past, who's still young and reasonably idealistic, refuses to believe that she could ever turn into the bitter and emotionally scarred monster in front of her.
    • Done more humorously with the Archmage and his future self in "Avalon, Part 2".
  • Gambit Pileup: Thailog causes these sometimes.
    • The Illuminati in the comics. Martin Hacker support Matt to limit damage control with the gargoyles. He also encourage Xanatos's actions to progressively introduce the gargoyles to the human race. All the while, he congratulates Castaway's goals to destroy the gargoyles. Thailog is also a member of the secret society, which complicates things further. Adding to this, Fiona Canmore, a retired Hunter, said that the hunt is merely a vignette of a large tapestry.
    • The Battle of Rathveramoen in 997. Constantine and Kenneth fight for the rule Scotland, while Brother Valmont, allied with Constantine wants to take the Grimorum Arcanorum to rule Scotland himself. Brooklyn has asked Demona and her clan to aid Kenneth. However, Demona secretly wants the Grimorum Arcanorum to kill all the humans and rule over Scotland. Brooklyn also has his own agenda: he wants the Grimorum Arcanorum out of evil's hands and Demona's other half of the Phoenix Gate, while still aiding Kenneth to win the battle.
  • Gambit Roulette: Occasionally and unfortunately.
  • Genius Book Club: Pops up regularly. Fox reads Sartre and Nietzsche: Goliath reads Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. Hudson and Broadway, who start the series illiterate, want to learn to read so they can join the club.
  • Genius Bruiser: Thailog has Goliath's innate power and intelligence, but has also been given a thorough grounding in modern education (with the notable exception of moral education.)
    • Also Goliath himself considering his physical strength and his habit of regularly outwitting enemies.
    • Definitely Goliath. He's extremely well read, preferring to spend his nights with classic literature while the rest of the clan is either out on the town or in front on the TV. He's also very articulate, and prone to philosophical musings.
  • Genre-Busting: It's an epic Urban Fantasy, a cyberpunk thriller set 20 Minutes into the Future, and a gritty crime-drama. And a tribute to William Shakespeare, where Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters have prominent roles. And Macbeth firing tasers in a trenchcoat.
  • Giant Spider: Anansi, a trickster and one of the Children of Oberon. He got that way from being able to eat every hunted animal his servant brought to him.
  • Gigantic Moon: For dramatic purposes, the moon is usually depicted as very large - and almost always full, unless it's being used to show the passage of time.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The gargoyles' eyes glow when they are undergoing intense emotion, mostly anger. They can also make their eyes glow, generally for intimidation. Generally males' eyes glow white; females' eyes glow red.
    • It's actually inverted with the clones. While male gargoyles' eyes glow white and female gargoyles' glow red, the male clones' eyes glow red and the female clones' glow white.
    • There's also Fox, right before she blasted Oberon with her limited magical abilities to save her baby Alex from being taken away.
    • Puck's eyes glow before some of his more seriously magic moments.
    • Much like the gargoyles, the mutates' eyes can also glow when angry.
  • Golem: The subject of the episode "Golem". Features a moderately accurate retelling of the story of the Golem of Prague, as well as some of the actual Hebrew prayers used to animate and control the golem.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When Xanatos made Thailog, he wanted someone with Goliath's physical abilities and his own worldview and intelligence. He did not think this through!
    • Lampshaded in a Shout-Out/Ironic Echo. For much of the series, it's heavily implied that Xanatos' behavior is as much for his own amusement as anything else, with him gleefully quoting Frankenstein while resurrecting Coldstone. After realizing how badly he miscalculated Thailog's creation, he does so again, more straight:
      Owen: You mean, that creature is still out there. It has the money. It's as powerful as Goliath. And it's smarter than you?
      Xanatos: Owen, I think I created a monster.
      Thailog: Evil Laugh!
  • Good Feels Good: In "High Noon," Hudson and Broadway read a newspaper article that discusses this Aesop, and it later influences Elisa's decision to confront Demona at high noon.
    • Also comes up in "Walkabout". The Pack were former mercenaries who played heroes on a TV show. When they went back to being mercenaries, Dingo realized he actually liked being considered a hero, and after splitting off from the others, he decides to try being one for real.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Macbeth in the backstory of "City of Stone" was a genuinely honest, loyal, and all-around good guy, but he misjudged Duncan's character as horribly as vice versa. This is most clearly seen when Macbeth saves Duncan's life and then expresses confidence that Duncan would have done the same for Macbeth.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: The entire Manhattan Clan - in fact they tend to win quite often because their adversaries severely underestimate their intelligence.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Goliath frequently reminds the other gargoyles that they can recover from almost any injury after a day's worth of stone-sleep.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Averted from the start, and it clues the audience to just how badass Xanatos is.
    Xanatos: Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell.
  • Graceful Loser: Xanatos is one of the few villains who is not personally insulted when the "good guys" choose not to sit back and let their world be re-arranged to his satisfaction. He respects the gargoyles even when he wants to kill them (which isn't very often, as he generally considers it 'wasteful') and has enough of a sense of humor to laugh at himself. He also has such a willingness to see the upside of his defeats that you really have to pound him with multiple losses before he gets irritated with you.
    • Of course, since he is the Trope Namer for the Xanatos Gambit, actual losses are relatively rare. It does happen now and then, but more often it just looks like a loss to other characters and in the Dénouement we find out that he got enough out of 'second place' to be content with that.
    • This is only really averted in "Double Jeopardy," where his Thailog project resulted in the loss of $20,000,000, an oil rig, and his pet project - in return for which he gained a new and highly dangerous enemy: and "Cloud Fathers," where Xanatos not only loses, but (however calmly all things considered) expresses displeasure with "these minor upsets."
  • Grand Finale:
    • Because The Goliath Chronicles is officially non-canon, the series' Grand Finale is the three-part season two finale "Hunter's Moon", where the Manhattan Clan have to face off against a new generation of Hunters and Demona's latest scheme in wiping out humanity.
    • While not canon, The Goliath Chronicles has its own finale in the episode "Angels in the Night", where the Quarrymen, having spent the season trying to wipe out the Manhattan Clan, end up discredited while humanity finally accepts the Manhattan Clan.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The gargoyles cannot actually fly, they glide. Nevertheless, they do things that hurt the laws of physics.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Illuminati Society as a whole; a group of chessmasters so skilled and influential that Xanatos is at the bottom of their hierarchy, but they're only directly involved in one episode and indirectly in a handful of others. The comic continuation indicates that they would have ended up in a more central role had the series continued.
  • Grey Goo: Named and almost occurs as a result of Xanatos' "Matrix" project.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Children of Oberon are able to produce offspring with humans by virtue of their shapeshifting ability. Fox is an example, and his character design suggests that the Magus may be another. Otherwise averted; only genetic engineering could produce a human/gargoyle hybrid like Delilah. Humans give birth, gargoyles lay eggs, and it's an issue for Goliath and Elisa.
  • Halloween Costume Characterization: In "Eye of the Beholder", Elisa dresses up as Belle, which neatly summarizes her relationship with Goliath. When the holiday comes around again in the comic book, she further establishes herself as a Disney Princess fan by dressing as Jasmine this time.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • "Eye of the Beholder" involves a 'werewolf' appearing in the city, with the climactic action occurring on Halloween.
    • "Enter Macbeth" takes place on October 31st, but otherwise has nothing to do with Halloween.
  • Harmful to Minors: Many acts of violence were committed within the sight and earshot of children. Katharine saw the Archmage poison her father Prince Malcolm; Tom saw Constantine murder Kenneth; Macbeth saw the Hunter kill his father Findlaech; Malcolm Canmore saw Macbeth kill his father Duncan; and Robyn and Jon Canmore saw Demona kill their father Charles. The trauma of witnessing these events generally led to the predictable results.
  • Have We Met Yet?: In "M.I.A.".
  • Healing Factor: A variation; if a Gargoyle is injured and survives long enough to enter hibernation when the sun comes up, their injuries will be completely healed once they emerge from the stone sleep at sunset.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Brooklyn, twice. Goliath too, when Demona turns against him. Also Macbeth, although his relationship with Demona hadn't been going on as long Goliath's. Demona herself almost immediately after, causing her to rage to the heavens as she pounded on the betrayer.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Way too many examples to cite.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Word of God states that gargoyle skin, when not in its stone sleep, feels like suede.
  • Hell Hotel: The Hotel Cabal. Made to either horribly mutilate or render its visitors insane.
  • Heroes Unlimited: The "World Tour" arc introduced a plethora of new gargoyles and other heroes, some of whom appeared in only their introductory episodes, but others who reappeared later on.
  • Heroic Build: Goliath (and Thailog by extension). Averted with Broadway and Hudson, who both sport some paunch. Must run in the family.
    • Brooklyn also counts, though he's not nearly as bulky as Goliath - more of a gymnast than a power lifter.
    • And Dingo and Wolf from The Pack. Wolf is probably one of the strongest humans alive even before being bio-engineered into a Half-Human Hybrid.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the comics, there was a nameless female gargoyle who was listed as "Sacrifice" in the script because she took a barrage of arrows to save her mate's life.
    • The Magus exhausts himself to death in order to protect the Avalon Clan from the Weird Sisters.
    • In the flashback during the episode "City Of Stone" Macbeth is "killed" by Canmore, and after he comes back to life due to his magical link with Demona, his wife Gruoch tells him that his son Luach has been crowned king in his place and that his supporters in the current war would be shocked to see their supposed dead king back among the living. Gruoch then tells Macbeth that he must disappear and leave Scotland forever in order for his son to win the war. Macbeth sadly agrees, and right before he does he says to her "I will always love you." If leaving your family and country for the greater good doesn't count for this trope, I don't know what does.
      • The Tear Jerker is even worse if you know what happens to Gruoch after Macbeth leaves. According to Greg Weisman, after Canmore had defeated Luach, Gruoch returns home to see that her son and father had both died in battle. Out of grief for losing her entire family, like many Shakespearean characters, she tragically commits suicide and dies a broken woman.
  • He's Back: Coldstone officially rejoined the Manhattan Clan at the conclusion of "Clan-Building", with Coldfire in tow.
    • Though it's doubtful that he was ever really gone, Xanatos proved that prison hadn't dulled his skills in "The Edge". Donating the Eye of Odin to the museum, framing Goliath for its theft, then goading him into unknowingly fighting him in his new Power Armor. Just to prove to himself that he hadn't lost his edge.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: For only being in one episode together, Arthur and Sir Griff develop and foreshadow a most spectacular bromance.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • Rather literally for New Olympus. Avalon is a deserted Hidden Elf Village until the Magus leads his exiles there.
    • The World Tour arc reveals that there are a few clans outside Manhattan, living in secret - these include London and the Amazon. The Ishimura colony is a variation in that local humans are in on The Masquerade.
  • The High Queen: Lady Titania.
  • Hired Guns: Macbeth first appears as one of these, but he's Only in It for the Money because if he captured the gargoyles for free then Xanatos would become suspicious.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Greg Weisman has repeatedly stated that Demona is her own worst enemy. In fact her password is alone
  • His Story Repeats Itself: After the tragic events at Wyvern, Demona made sure to avoid the same fate to her new clan when she allies with Macbeth. She took her clan away from castle Moray when it was attacked by Canmore. Unfortunately, this is once again a betrayal toward her human allies, which was all for naught in the end, because her new clan end up massacred anyway. Demona never learned from her mistakes.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Subverted with Macbeth. Duncan is the obvious villain, not Macbeth. While this inverts the story as William Shakespeare did it, he himself played with history to make it more appealing to King James — the historical Macbeth wasn't, and Duncan overthrew the previous leader, his own grandfather no less, to win the crown in the first place.
    • This is, however, played straight with Gillecomgain and Constantine. Gillecomgain's case is more minor since his murder of Findlaech really happened in real life, but Constantine is made a manipulative bastard, especially in his appearance in the comics.
  • History Repeats:
    • Kenneth II dying at Constantine III's hands because the former choose to spare his life years earlier. This happens again with Macbeth after he sparred Canmore's life years earlier. Although it's averted when Maol Chalvim II overthrew Kenneth III and didn't kill his son Bodhe, who choose not to avenge his father.
    • Demona's unfortunate habit of making an endless list of enemies because of her lack of trust and her unquenched thirst for vengeance.
  • Hold the Line: An example in the very first episode. "Stand fast! We can hold them back! ... In a few more minutes the sun will be down, and then we'll see some fun..."
  • Holier Than Thou: Demona's mad, genocidal schemes to rid the world of evil (meaning humans), her failure to see any evil in herself, and the name that she chose for her human alias (Dominique Destine, being French for "divine destiny") reinforce the idea that Demona is "holier than thou."
    • The extremity of her attitude becomes apparent in "The Mirror". She orders a captured Puck to get rid of all the humans in Manhattan. In typical Puck fashion he does so... by changing them into Gargoyles. She completely overlooks the significance that this ability could have to her stated goal of 'saving' gargoyle-kind: she's merely infuriated that Puck is "giving them the gift of being a gargoyle."
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Jackal and Hyena.
  • Honor Before Reason: In his introductory episode, Macbeth chooses to wait patiently for the gargoyles to wake up rather than just stealing their statues while they're asleep, despite knowing this will lead to a difficult fight. He similarly refuses to smash them in "High Noon."
    • The title is even a Call-Back; in his intro in "Enter Macbeth" Elisa warns of just that: "What if the next freak-job Xanatos hires comes here with a sledge-hammer at High Noon?"
  • Hot Witch: The Weird Sisters Phoebe, Selene, and Luna fall under this trope so very much. Demona also falls under this category considering her magical abilities.
    • The Weird Sisters aren't such Hot Witches to Duncan and Macbeth (who see them as old hags) or to the Manhattan Clan (who see them as Creepy Children).
  • Humans Are Flawed: This is how the show portrays the human race. Yeah, there are a lot of humans who are bastards to each other and other races, and some of them are actually prominent villains, but a lot of them turn to the good side, and there are plenty of human characters like Tom, Elisa Maza, and Jeffrey Robbins, who are heroic characters that make quick friends to the gargoyles. Demona believes all Humans Are Bastards, and she is determined to convince the Manhattan Clan to join her in her goals to wipe out the race, but the fact she's an insane megalomaniac who basically started the humans versus gargoyles conflict in the first place only proves to once again discredit the belief that humanity is evil. To put it shortly, humans aren't inherently any better or any worse than the world's other sentient species, they're just the most common.
  • Humans Need Aliens: Without Goliath's clan's intervention, humanity would have been long gone extinct, especially from Demona's genocide tendencies.
  • Humiliation Conga: Taro gets one at the end of "Bushido". He created a gargoyle theme with the Ishimura clan as the main attraction. Elisa foiled his plan and the gargoyles left the park without being noticed. Guest reporters came in and find Taro humiliated hung in a robot gargoyle's hand only to clumsily fall down. Elisa and Hiroshi then make up wild stories of gargoyles, effectively destroying Taro's credibility. Not to mention this will result in a huge loss of investment.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Gillecomgain, Duncan, Canmore, and most of Duncan's and Canmore's descendants, against gargoyles (or "demons").
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In "The Thrill of the Hunt," although the game in question is gargoyles rather than humans.

    Tropes I-L 
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Xanatos. "It's alive! Aliiiive!"
  • I Call It "Vera": Vinnie names his bazooka "Mr. Carter" and tries to get revenge against the gargoyles for the bad things that happened to him in his life. He actually shoots a banana cream pie from Mr. Carter at Goliath's face and says they're even.
  • Idiot Ball: In a Season 2 Very Special Episode, Hudson manages to track down Macbeth and the Scrolls of Merlin after Macbeth introduces himself to Hudson's blind author friend Robbins as Lennox MacDuff. This alias is uncovered when Robbins realizes that Lennox and MacDuff are two characters from the Shakespeare play "Macbeth". He then tracks down Macbeth by looking up his alias in the phone book.
    • "MacDuff" is apparently a Professor well known enough to be invited to a televised debate on gargoyles during the only canon episode of The Goliath Chronicles.
    • "I'm a brilliant criminal mastermind who runs intellectual circles around all my enemies. What am I going to do? I'm going to make someone who's just as clever and selfish as me but with the super-strength of a gargoyle!"
      • Keep in mind what Xanatos's main redeeming quality is- he's loyal to his family. Gargoyles are implied to be pretty much hardwired to be loyal to whoever they consider to be their clan. Xanatos probably figured that someone who combined traits from him and Goliath would therefore be quite loyal to his creators, even if he was selfish and ambitious otherwise. Unfortunately for him, Thailog got most of his fathers' bad qualities (Goliath's temper and vengefulness, Xanatos's amorality and ambition) without their good ones (Goliath's strong sense of honor and morality, Xanatos's aforementioned familial loyalty). Also note that it puts him off the "personal gargoyle" idea for good- he never tries a fresh attempt at that one after Thailog turns on him.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Played with: Elisa warns Goliath that he will be just like Demona if he kills Xanatos.
    • Nobody said that the Canmores who tried so hard to kill Demona had become just like Demona herself, but it wasn't necessary; Jon Canmore's Call-Back at the end of "Hunter's Moon" made it pretty obvious. ("What have I... What have THEY done to you?" Demona first said those exact same words in "City of Stone.")
  • Ignored Epiphany: Demona lives and breathes this trope. Ignoring the truth behind all the death and destruction she has caused is probably the only way she can continue to function. Although she does it several times, the most notable is in the "City of Stone" arc.
    Demona: You tricked me! You had me under a spell! None of this was my fault, it was the humans! Always the humans!
    Goliath: [sighs] You have learned nothing.
    • Unfortunately, Goliath isn't immune to this trope either. Back in "City of Stone" he tried to convince Macbeth that "Killing her won't solve anything" and "Death never does." He had forgotten that epiphany by the time of "Hunter's Moon," when he went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Canmores.
  • I Have No Daughter: Said by Demona when Angela tries to explain their relationship, though in this case, it's because Demona honestly believes her and Goliath's child should be dead by now.
    • Not really the case since Thailog revealed that Demona knew Angela was her daughter before staging her capture. Angela in turn pulls an inverted on Demona after realizing that she tried to manipulate her into turning on Goliath and her Clan.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Sevarius acts this way towards Angela when she's his captive in "Monsters", playing with her hair when the Xanatos goons first wheel her out on a gurney, and strokes her chin right before he drags her behind his sub as bait.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: ...just doing her job as a police detective, according to Elisa in "High Noon."
  • Immortality Seeker: Xanatos plans to become immortal, though he is not feeling particularly urgent about it yet.
  • Impossible Task: Many spells in the Grimorum Arcanorum have these as conditions. Mortal/Human magic has to be cast with a certain condition that makes it possible to nullify/reverse, so generally, most spellcasters simply create their spells under escape conditions that would generally seem to be impossible.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: In "Shadows of the Past", the ghosts of Hakon and the Captain torment Goliath with an illusion of his fallen clan members reviving as vengeful statue versions of themselves demanding retribution for getting them killed that fateful night. Goliath couldn't bring himself to fight back due to the guilt he held for failing to save them. However, he knew something was up when a statue of Demona appears, claiming she will make him pay for letting her die as well. Goliath knew for a fact that Demona was (unfortunately) still alive, making him realize the setting was all fake.
    Goliath: This isn't real! NONE OF YOU ARE REAL! (Smashes statue fakes)
  • Improvised Weapon: The gargoyles are masters of this. Examples included Brooklyn using a railroad tracke to smash Jackal's arm, Goliath using a train track and construction beam to pierce Coyote, Hudson using piece of stoneskin on a Steel Clan.
  • Incest Is Relative: Gargoyles born into the same generation regard each other as siblings. However, almost all of them also find their mate within their generation, meaning you're mated for life to someone you used to call your sister. This is demonstrated when Iago propositions Desdemona, calling her "sister" as he does so.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Played with. In Africa, Goliath and co falls at the end of waterfall. Goliath saved Elisa, but Angela and Bronx slammed into them and they all fall in the drink.
  • Informed Attribute: King Arthur says he needs Excalibur. Even though pulling it out of the Stone of Destiny proved he was the rightful king of England, that wouldn't mean anything to anyone in the modern world. After he finds Excalibur, it is never seen doing anything a normal sword can't do.
  • Ingesting Knowledge: The Archmage gains the power of the Tome of Eldritch Lore, not by reading it, but by eating it. Of course, he was absorbing its power as a magical artifact as well as knowledge of the spells it contained. (When he lost the Eye of Odin, the book gave him serious indigestion.)
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • David Xanatos looks just like Jonathan Frakes. Coincidence, as the character design was settled on before the actor was cast... or maybe that's just what they want you to think.
    • Elisa Maza's final design, however, was deliberately (and closely) based on her voice actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield.
  • Instant Expert: Within a surprisingly short amount of time after awakening, Lexington becomes skilled enough with computers to qualify as the show's Hollywood Hacker. Not as "instant" as most IE's, but in real-life terms he's a very fast learner.
    • The more dramatic version (apparently forced upon by Executive Meddling motivated by merchandise) is when Lexington repaired and modified a helicopter in the first season. That's right: Only one night for repairing an almost completely wrecked helicopter and even improving and "gargoyleing" its design!
    • Also alluded to when Lex builds a motorcycle. Brooklyn asks him what took so long, since he rode one before, and Lexington snaps back, "You've ridden a horse before, does that mean you could build one from spare parts?"
  • Interspecies Romance: Goliath and Elisa start with an Odd Friendship, complicated by his survivor's guilt and his fear of being betrayed again. "The Mirror" (which features each of them briefly transformed into the other's species) begins a Relationship Upgrade, but they're highly aware of the various obstacles in the way of that kind of relationship. This leads to Will They or Won't They? for the remainder of the series.
    • Demona's and Macbeth's relationship was also implied to contain some romantic tension, before paranoia and treachery turned them against each other. In fact, Word of God says that Demona is the equivalent of Lady Macbeth, notwithstanding Macbeth's marriage to Gruoch.
    • In the comics continuity, this seems to be implied for Thailog and Shari, as a sort of Evil Counterpart couple to Goliath and Elisa.
    • Also planned for the New Olympians spin-off. And don't forget the Third Race.
      • Word of God says that the New Olympians themselves are the result of this between the Third Race and humans.
  • In the Blood: Goliath is terrified that Angela is going to turn out like her mother Demona.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Part one of "City of Stone" starts with the Manhattan Clan confronting a group of terrorists, who refer to Goliath as "it".
    Male Terrorist: It's a monster!
    Female Terrorist: Shoot it!
    • An ironic example in the same episode, after the censors got their hands on it: apparently it's now taboo for anyone to actually use the word "terrorist" in a cartoon, so the censored episode cuts off some of the dialogue mid-sentence, with the resulting effect of Goliath and the Weird Sisters both referring to the criminal he'd just neutralized as simply... "this".
  • It's All About Me: Xanatos and Demona have the mindset of believing only their own needs and wants are important to attempt to justify their actions. Though granted, Demona has lived long enough and made enough enemies that sometimes, it really is about her...
  • It's a Long Story: Brooklyn returning to Manhattan after his forty-year ordeal with the Phoenix Gate, now with wife Katana, son Nashville, kid-on-the-way "Egwardo," and gargoyle beast Fu-Dog. Only time will tell if TimeDancer actually becomes a successful spinoff.
  • It's Always Spring: Averted. Episodes "Her Brother's Keeper," "Reawakening," and "The Price" have it snow in New York, and they're not Christmas episodes. However, these are the only snow days we see in the Big Apple.
    • It's hard to judge with everything playing out at night, but the regular storms and long nights suggest it's perhaps closer to always autumn instead. A show about monsters has to find some way to keep the atmosphere dark...
  • It's Personal: The original Hunter's vendetta against Demona.
  • Irony: The Captain's loyalty lay with the gargoyles in Castle Wyvern rather than with the Scots, but his betrayal of the Scots led to the destruction of the gargoyle clan.
    • This concept is even referenced in "M.I.A." when Goliath says that human problems often become gargoyle problems.
    • Practically everything Duncan did in the backstory of "City of Stone" was an example of Situational (or Expectational) Irony. Findlaech's death was supposed to prevent Macbeth from becoming king, but instead it indirectly led to Macbeth becoming king. Gillecomgain's marriage to Gruoch was supposed to provoke Macbeth into committing treason, but instead he suffered in silence. The attack on Demona's cave was supposed to prevent Macbeth and the gargoyles from making an alliance; they wouldn't have made that alliance, if Duncan hadn't attacked that cave...
    • Robyn Canmore, who along with her older brother Jason decided to give up the hunt against "The Demon", still wears the red-striped Hunter's Mask and calls herself a Hunter in Bad Guys. Jon Canmore, who never gave up the hunt for the Demon and all other gargoyles, no longer wears the striped Hunter's Mask (though he does wear the plain Quarryman's mask) and no longer calls himself a Hunter or even a Canmore.
    • Yama was unsatisfied with a life of isolation from the rest of the world and longed for a more open existence. He got his wish and was exiled for his betrayal. With the Redemption Squad, he must travel the world until he can redeem himself.
    • For all of Demona's schemeing in the final episode, she never seemed to realize that her plague would eventually kill her too. Why? Because it targets humans, guess who turns human during the day, every day.
  • Jackass Genie: Puck plays the part to Demona in the Mirror, largely because she is a Jackass to him.
  • The Jailer: One episode turns Goliath into this when he uses The Eye of Odin to become a Physical God. The best way to "protect his friends" is to seal them in a cave for the rest of time. Nothing can get to them there.
    • Apparently Goliath either forgot about basic ecology during his perusal of Xanatos' library, or he simply just does not consider deep dark squiggly things in caves as worrisome as wars that may never happen anyway (as he could have always simply prevented them in other ways...)
  • Jerkass Realization: Derek in "The Cage" when it was revealed to him that Sevarius and Xanatos were in cahoots all along and that Xanatos was the one who ordered for his mutation. He realized he had been antagonistic to Goliath and the Clan for nothing and that his sister had been right all along.
  • Joe Sent Me: The password to get through the gate to Demona's mansion is "Oberon sent me."
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: In the first story arc, Xanatos nearly gets the Gargoyles killed several times over by hiring a mercenary squad to attack them, building a force of killer winged robots that level half of their castle, and manipulating them into breaking into a rival corporation's facilities. In the end, he gets sent to prison (for only six months, at that) for "Receiving Stolen Goods" after he's found with the technology that he had the Gargoyles steal.
    • Receiving stolen goods is also the crime that Goliath made sure that Dracon would get arrested for at the end of "Deadly Force". Presumably Dracon's sentence was equally light, as it wasn't even commented on in his next appearance in "The Silver Falcon".
  • Kangaroo Court: In "Justice For All" where Goliath is put on trial, accused of an armed robbery (which he and the Clan stopped). It doesn't help that the majority of the court audience and jury are all racist to Gargoyles.
  • Karma Houdini: Most of the Children of Oberon (like the Weird Sisters, Raven, Anansi and Oberon) that antagonize the Manhattan Clan are never given any comeuppance. The only ones who are punished in any way are Banshee and Puck, and they're both punished for completely different reasons.
    • Xanatos, though Word of God is that Karma did in fact catch up to Xanatos: All that arrogance, had to receive some comeuppance. (Can anyone say Oberon?)
  • Karmic Death
  • Karmic Transformation: Demona becoming human during the day.
  • Keeping the Handicap: Halcyon Renard uses magic to transfer his mind from his dying body into a Golem. Unfortunately this causes him to get drunk with power and become a complete Jerkass. After having a Heel Realization, he chooses to go back to his decaying body.
  • Key Under the Doormat: Sort of; Matt keeps a spare key above the door-frame.
  • Kick the Dog: It was not enough for Oberon to go after everyone because he is a megalomaniac. No, he is going after everyone because he wants to kidnap a newborn infant. And he put all the humans in New York asleep, likely killing hundreds of innocent people as their cars crashed.
    • Xanatos, in "Metamorphosis", after intentionally irreversibly changing Elisa's little brother Derek into a mutate, and cleverly framing Goliath and his clan for doing so. Then in "The Cage", when Derek learns the truth, Xanatos also goes the extra mile to twist that knife just a little bit harder by adding, "he's [Sevarius] the doctor. You're just the experiment."
    • From Weisman's ramble on "City of Stone" there's a rather amusing side-note on the use of this trope for Gillecomgain:
      Gruoch seems cold to her new husband Gillecomgain. We wonder if we should feel some sympathy for a man who has married a woman who loves another. We wonder if he has feelings for her as he gently takes up the rose she was sniffing. But then he crushes it underfoot, so basically we feel okay about hating him again.
      Erin asked: "Why'd he step on it?"
      And I didn't want to answer, because the writers are trying to manipulate you.
    • In the same episode, Demona had cast a spell all over Manhattan that resulted in all humans who've heard it to turn to stone at night, which she then proceeds to shatter as many as she could with extreme prejudice. Killing people is bad enough, but killing people who are utterly helpless, who couldn't see, move, or even realize they're being killed, is just crossing the line.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: Sevarius in "The Cage". Unusual in that it's the good guys resorting to abduction and coercion. Not that it works, anyway...
  • Killed Off for Real: Poor Magus.
    • All goon squad members, except Bruno.
    • Findlaech, Gillecomgain, Duncan,, and many versions of the Hunter were killed by Demona.
    • Also Hakon who is literally Deader Than Dead.
  • King Arthur: Everyone shows up in Gargoyles.
  • King in the Mountain: King Arthur, natch.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: In the flashbacks in "City of Stone," there seemed to be something like this: Macbeth's father Findlaech, though not an heir to the throne, had plenty of popular support and could have been a Kingmaker for Macbeth. Fearing this, Duncan had Findlaech assassinated, not knowing that Findlaech was loyal to Duncan and never would have used his influence to make Macbeth king, or that Findlaech's assassination on Duncan's orders would eventually lead to Macbeth becoming king anyway.
  • Knight Templar: The Hunters and Quarrymen. It's understandable if they want to kill the genocidal Demona, but they are just as hate-filled and genocidal as she is.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In the tenth episode of Season 1, the (red) leader of the Steel Clan , after seeing that its comrades were destroyed by Goliath and his clan, decided to retreat. It turns out that the red Steel Gargoyle was Xanatos in a prototype battle exo-frame.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Even the most powerful gargoyle is helpless during the day.
    • Not Demona. On the other hand, she has her own Kryptonite Factor: any deadly wound inflicted on her by Macbeth... or inflicted on Macbeth by her.
    • All of the fair folk and gods are vulnerable to (wrought?) iron.
  • Lady Macbeth: Ironically, it's not the actual Lady Macbeth. It's Demona, and for Goliath as well as Macbeth (not at the same time). Subverted with Thailog; Goliath's first thought is that she's manipulating him, but it's actually the other way around.
  • Large Ham: Sevarius, who despite being quite sane (as far as mad scientists go, which admittedly is not saying a lot) still affects the mannerisms of a cliché psychopath because he finds them so much fun. (Well, he is voiced by Tim Curry.) Thailog has his hammy moments, a trait straight from Sevarius.
    • "Oberon does not act- Oberon HAMS!"
    • Don't forget Fang - voiced by James freakin' Belushi:
      "Take a look at me, Al. Do I look like the kinda guy who can waltz into a store and PLUNK DOWN CHANGE FOR A PACK OF BUBBLEGUM?!?! WELL, DO I, AL?!?! DO IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII?!?!"
    • Goliath has his moments as well:
      "I've been denied everything... EVEN MY REVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENGE!!"
      "Gargoyles don't whine. They ROOOOOAAAAR!"
    • Thailog becomes hammier and hammier the more he appears, but it still does not take away from how dangerous he can be.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Brooklyn gets a bit of this. Near the middle of the first season (in "Temptation"), he was responsible for Goliath becoming mind-controlled by Demona. Near the end of the second season (in "Possession"), he learns firsthand what it's like to be mind-controlled by a malevolent gargoyle. And in "Turf," he's particularly eager to have an "Avalon World Tour" of his own after Angela tells him about the 15 female gargoyles in the Avalon Clan... and later the Phoenix sends him on a "world tour" of sorts...
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The Goliath Chronicles was made by a different staff of writers, and its tone is noticeably different. Each episodes starts an opening narration by Goliath, the episodes are more self contained and less focused on an overarching story, and the characters personalities are slightly different than they use to be, most notably with David Xanatos.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Lexington and Brooklyn usually lose their tempers and charge in without a plan when facing the Pack and Demona respectively.
  • Legacy Character: The Hunter.
  • LEGO Genetics: This seems to be responsible for gargoyle physical variation, and is also used to create the mutates.
  • Leitmotif: Macbeth has a distinct bagpipe theme reflecting his Scottish ancestry. Puck has one with flutes. A brief scene with Puck's theme playing over Owen is the first real hint to his true identity. Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington have one as well - typically but not exclusively used when they're involved in comedic scenes.
  • Licensed Game: For the Sega Genesis. It has Goliath, the Vikings, the 1000-year sleep to New York, The Steel Clan, and the Eye of Odin and Demona, but those are really the only things solidly tying it to the Gargoyles universe. The game itself was rather good, yet somewhat bland and empty.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: Brooklyn, Broadway, and Lexington get confined to the rookery as punishment. However, they were spared the fate of getting shattered like their brethren by the Vikings on that fateful day if they had been outside.
  • Limited Animation: The episodes by Animal Ya and Hanho Heung-Up to some extent.
  • Limited Wardrobe
    • Quite strange considering the amount of money the big antagonist players throw around...
  • Literal Genie: Puck's primary modus operandi. He will, however, repay his "master's" benevolence (see his relationship to Xanatos, as revealed in "The Gathering") or jackassery (see his relationship to Demona in "The Mirror") in kind.
  • Literal-Minded: Puck purposely does this with Demona's wishes for his own amusement.
    • The description for how the Cauldron of Life also counts after Owen's left hand gets turn to stone when dipped in it.
    Xanatos: Ah yes, how did it go again? "He who bathes in the Cauldron of Life will live as long as the mountains stones"? How literal-minded.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: A very popular way to kill gargoyles. Demona did this to a number of humans in "City of Stone".
  • A Load of Bull: Taurus, of course.
    • Minotaurs still exist in modern times. They live on New Olympus.
  • Logic Bomb: In Temptation, near the end of the episode Goliath is still under the spell Demona casts on him that forces him to obey anyone who holds the spell. Elisa manages to undo it by ordering him to live for the rest of his life exactly as he would as if he was not under a spell. Whether it was that this instruction was followed or that the cyclic logic breaks the effect, Goliath is restored to normalnote .
  • Loincloth: Typical gargoyle wear, at least in Scotland.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Give Puck any command or restriction, and he'll weasel his way out through loopholes. Oberon curses him so he can only use magic to teach or defend Alex. Xanatos wants Puck to use his magic to help Coldstone. Puck arranges for a 'lesson' for Alex that just so happens to get Xanatos's goals accomplished. He also gets in a little fun along the way...
    • Peter Maza isn't too happy that the Gargoyles are going break into Xanatos' construction site. Eliza tells her father that the Gargoyles don't legally exist so they aren't breaking any laws.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Goliath was initially mated to Demona. After the Massacre and the curse on Goliath, Demona left Castle Wyvern, hooked up with Macbeth and became Synchronized with him. (Macbeth, by the way, had married his childhood sweetheart Gruoch, who was once married to Gillecomgain and may have had his baby.) Then, some 975 years later, Goliath was de-cursed and made friends with Elisa. They realize there's something more between them in Season 2, but elect not to pursue it until the very last episode, Goliath discovers that he and Demona had Angela, Thailog hooks up with Demona who's trying to lure Macbeth into marriage while Thailog's made a clone of Demona and Elisa named Delilah and then in "Hunter's Moon," Elisa gets a crush on Jason Canmore but realizes she can't be with him or Goliath...are you writing this down?
    • It gets even more complicated in the comics.
      • Elisa realizes that she and Goliath won't do many of the things other couples take for granted, including have kids. She breaks up with him and takes her coworker Officer Morgan to Xanatos' Halloween party, and Goliath takes Delilah (whom Brooklyn has a mild crush on). Thailog returns to reclaim the other clones and collect DNA samples from the Manhattan Clan, Morgan realizes Elisa's not ready to date other people and bows out gracefully, Delilah calls out Thailog and a wounded Goliath for using her and decides to make her own way, Goliath and Elisa reconcile and confess their love, and Brooklyn turns to see Delilah getting cozy with his own clone, Malibu. "You gotta be kidding me," indeed!
      • For metahumor, Elisa and Delilah are both voiced by Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Goliath, Thailog, and Officer Morgan are all voiced by Keith David.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Xanatos is on plan D when he tries to help Fox in "Eye of the Beholder". That normally does not happen to him. (Also note that plan D is, er, "ask my enemies nicely if they would be willing to help me out.")
    • Xanatos' Plan D wasn't entirely successful either, since Goliath initially refused his request. (So his Plan E was even more desperate than Plan D: "Plant another tracker on Goliath, stay within earshot of him, and wait for him to change his mind.")
  • Love Triangle: The Magus, Katharine, and Tom. Also a minor one between Finella, King Kenneth II, and Constantine III.
    • Goliath, Demona, and Elisa, according to Word of God.
      • Plus Coldstone, Coldfire, and Coldsteel.
      • Despite Macbeth's marriage to Gruoch, Demona also saw herself in one of these with them until her betrayal.
      • There was also a Love Square between Angela, Broadway, Brooklyn, and Lexington for a short period of time. Broadway eventually wins in the end.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: A rare case of this trope by Word of God only: Greg Weisman confirmed fan suspicions that Coldstone is Gabriel's father and that Hudson is Broadway's father. However, given gargoyles' instinctively collective parenting, neither would treat that revelation with much interest anyway.
    • Gabriel, having been "Raised by Wolves," in this case humans, probably would, actually. After all, his rookery sister Angela was.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The reveal of Angela's lineage.
    • Also Fox realizing her relation to Queen Titania.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Xanatos may not be able to buy his way out of prison, but he can still get a private cell and make it cozy with the comforts of home.

    Tropes M-P 
  • Made of Iron: The first time we see Goliath transform he stops a sword with his bare hand, and gets only a minor scratch to show for it.
    • Bolstered by the gargoyle's healing sleep, this means that only severe injuries last more than a few days.
  • Magic Cauldron: The Cauldron of Life, supposedly granting immortality to someone who creates the right brew in it. This involves using gargoyle skin. It has an Exact Words twist, though: it promises life "as long as the mountain stones", and it turns you to stone.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: All over the place.
  • Magical Land: Avalon and the New Olympian Island.
  • Magic Mirror: Titania's Mirror (used in "The Mirror") and its twin, Oberon's Mirror (used in "The Gathering").
  • Magic Pants: Any item that a gargoyle considers theirs turns to stone with them. Items they are holding but do not own remain intact (which happens occasionally and seems odd if you do not know there is a rule). Lexington's wings would not normally allow for a loincloth and belt, but according to Word of God his wings are pierced. The official explanation? A Wizard Did It (Specifically, a wizard acting on behalf of the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, who had strong moral values and was offended by the fact that the gargoyles always lost their clothes when they turned to stone and back).
    • Furthermore, Said wizard is confirmed by Word of God to have been the first person to combine the powers of The Grimorum, The Eye of Odin and The Phoenix Gate.
    • Averted when Fox briefly became a werewolf. Elisa had to rip off her skirt to use as a blanket for her when she turned back to human.
  • Mama Bear: Fox in "The Gathering" and Demona in "The Reckoning".
    • Not to mention Princess Katherine in later episodes.
      • Then in the comics, Brooklyn's mate Katana becomes one of these.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Xanatos and Thailog are the obvious examples. Demona has a manipulative streak as well, but tends to shoot herself in the foot (metaphorically speaking) at inconvenient moments.
    • Lexington in "Future Tense." Basically engineering the destruction of nearly his entire clan and all major allies and enslaving New York using a digital doppelganger of Xanatos eliminated all sympathy he'd have naturally engendered in his current state. BTW, "Was it a dream or a prophecy?" How big a mindjob is that!?
  • The Masochism Tango
  • Masquerade: The Manhattan Clan manages to keep from being recognized as real for most of the series — until it is abruptly broken in the penultimate canon episode when the Hunters expose their existence to the world. And there is no going back while the human population goes into a panic.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam
  • Meaningful Name: Goliath, a proud warrior who fights his foes honorably, has a nemesis named "David" who manipulates his enemies through careful strategy. One can see the irony there...
    • Though supposedly chosen at random, a few of the Gargoyles' New York-themed names reflect their personalities.
      • Broadway, named after New York's theater district, is big, brash, and obsessed with entertainment. And, well, the guy is wide.
      • Brooklyn, named after a working-class borough with a reputation for grittiness, is the cool, tough-talking member of the team.
      • Lexington, named after one of the busiest streets in downtown Manhattan, is the smart, savvy one—and he eventually becomes a businessman.
      • Hudson, named after the ancient river that flows through the city, is old and patient.
    • Angela and Demona, the former is angelic in nature and the latter demonic to the core. Hard to believe they're related.
      • More than that: Goliath originally called Demona his "Angel of the Night." Demona's name literally reflects the fact that she's fallen from grace, into her own personal Hell (although the real reason she was named Demona is because "[[You fight like a demon!]]" and the humans who gave her that name didn't know about her history or her fall from grace).
    • Dracon's second-in-command is called Glasses and he wears..., well, glasses.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Steel Clan and the various incarnations of the robot Coyote.
  • Mega-Corp: David Xanatos and Halcyon Renard both run them, which gives them access to plenty of cool technology. In keeping with the show's 20 Minutes into the Future setting, their companies wouldn't seem out of place in a William Gibson novel.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: In the comics, Constantine, who was a mentor to Gillecomgain, and who wore facepaint inspired by the latter's scars, was killed in battle
  • Merchandise-Driven: A few instances. Weisman was particularly critical of the Gargoyle-Copter that he was required to include at least once (it was promptly never shown, used, or mentioned again.)
  • Merlin and Nimue: Certain flashbacks establish the Archmage and Demona as having this relationship in the backstory.
  • Meta Origin: Most gods and figures from mythology and legends either originated or descended from Avalon.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Xanatos for a good chunk of Season 1.
    • And Tony Dracon in "Turf".
  • Mini-Mecha: Demona used one in an episode and it was customized for gargoyles. It was armed with an claw/energy cannon and a shield/pincer. It could also fly with verniers.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: It's easy to forget in light of all the weirdness that goes on in this show, but it all began with Elisa investigating a fairly mundane case of destruction of public property.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • The people turned into "mutates" (combined with various animal genes), including Elisa's brother.
    • Delilah (a mostly gargoyle GMO, with a pinch of human DNA).
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Delilah in Season 2, and "Little Anton," in The Goliath Chronicles. Also, see above.
  • Mob War: The basis for the episode "Turf".
  • MockGuffin: Mace Malone's stolen diamonds in "The Silver Falcon."
  • The Mole: Matt's old partner Martin Hacker for the Illuminati.
  • Monster Modesty: Most gargoyles don't feel the need to wear much more than small strips of fabric.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Anton Sevarius has a stunning intellect, an ego the size of Montana, and little to no regard for scientific ethics. Fortunately he's in it for the research and the money. Were he to go full-on Mad Scientist everyone on Earth could be in deep trouble.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Fox's parents. Oh, boy, are they.
  • Motivational Lie: Xanatos used a whole series of these to get Derek Maza to work for him, to believe that it was Goliath's fault that Derek was mutated into the pseudo-gargoyle Talon, and then get Talon to remain loyal to him as a bodyguard who can potentially defeat Goliath. When Talon finally finds out the truth, he's pissed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Many female characters, but Elisa ( both human and her one time as a Gargoyle), Demona, The Weird Sisters, Hyena as a cyborg, Angela ( even more so in the comics), Fox, and Titania are the most prominent examples.
    • Let's not forget Delilah, a sexy Mix-and-Match Critter of Demona and Elisa that calls Thailog "Master." It's implied she was created entirely for Thailog's gratification, and we all know what that means.
  • Mundane Utility: "In The Green," it's seen that out of all the robotics Jackal could possibly incorporate into his body, it's seen he also has a hair drier installed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Purposely invoked several times (Goliath has one after donning the Eye of Odin). Oddly Xanatos himself has one after his first failure that wasn't a Xanatos Gambit or even a Gambit Roulette in Thailog:
    Xanatos: Owen, I think I created a monster.
    • Subverted by Demona, who upon seeing the destruction of her clan, first utters "What have I — what have they done?!". This extreme denial of her responsibility and culpability would go on to be a long-standing character trait.
      • Subverted again in a Callback in the final episode of Season 2, when Jon Canmore accidentally shoots his brother in his attempt to kill Goliath. He repeats Demona's above line verbatim.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: David Xanatos, Demona, and especially Fox Renard.
  • Never My Fault: A recurring theme throughout the show is how destructive this attitude can be.
    • Demona and Jon Canmore may be on opposite sides, but they both have a real problem taking responsibility. Xanatos and Thailog avert this, willing to admit their mistakes in the unlikely event that they actually make one.
    • The Captain also refuses to take responsibility for his involvement in the Wyvern Massacre (and subsequent attack on the Vikings' camp), first blaming Hakon for slaughtering the gargoyles ("If you hadn't destroyed the others!") and then blaming Goliath for not listening to his advice. ("I told you to take the other gargoyles with you...")
    • This is Halcyon Renard's Berserk Button. Nothing angers him more than when people (or gargoyles, for that matter) claim that something is "not my fault." Even when he ends up saying it himself when he starts to realize that he may be Drunk with Power in one episode, it's followed up soon after with him admitting "What Have I Become?" after hearing Goliath's Armor-Piercing Question.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Averted, the 23rd Precinct is in the same building as a public library. They are apparently connected at the base of the clocktower the gargoyles live in for most of the series.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted to hell (Hey, Xanatos said it) and back. "Die," "Kill," "Murder" and all appropriate permutations are used as required, and the characters do not shy away from doing what they are talking about, either.
    • "Grief", in particular, is one giant showcase of the word.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted; both Demona and the Archmage interact with their past selves with no ill effects (hell, the Archmage rescued himself from death). But then, all time travel is a Stable Time Loop in this series.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Xanatos Enterprises is "a multinational corporation which is bigger than many countries you could name." Xanatos thus considers an attack on his property which he himself had arranged an "invasion."
  • Nighttime Transformation: Since the title characters turn to stone in daylight, most of the series actions take place at night. The four part episode "City of Stone" played this up even more by having Demona curse the human population of New York to turn to Stone during the night in the same manner as the gargoyles do during the day. At one point, she even takes the time out to smash two of the statues.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Y'know, Jon Canmore's turn to evil might have been avoided if Goliath had kept his vengeful, murderous rage in check and not acted in a way that basically confirmed what Jon was thinking of his kind.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: The Pack, at least as far as Lexington comes to believe.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: The Pack were apparantly this in a live action TV show, before turning into (in-universe) real life villains.
  • No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me: Between Goliath and Demona in "Awakening" (Part 4 and 5).
    Demona: The centuries have made you weak, Goliath.

    Goliath: You said the centuries have changed me. They've changed you, too. You've become hard, unforgiving. You're not as I remember you.
  • No Man of Woman Born: The only one who can kill Macbeth permanently is Demona, a female gargoyle, and vice versa. Gargoyles are hatched, not born.
  • No Need for Names: Initially, this is how the Gargoyles feel about the human custom of naming each other. Goliath gets his name from the Castle Wyvern Captain of the Guard, but the rest of the clan goes unnamed. After awakening in 1990s New York, the elderly gargoyle tries to compare the gargoyles' lack of names to rivers, only to wind up stunned upon the revelation that humans name rivers. He gives up and takes the name "Hudson", after the river, which later inspires the rest of the clan to take names based on New York landmarks. Other modern-day clans all give themselves names, and the Avalon Clan (who were raised by humans) seem confused that Goliath would even expect otherwise.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Played straight in "The Price" when the gargoyles see Macbeth explode. Subverted in "Shadows of the Past" when the reincarnated ghosts of Hakon and the Captain are trapped in a collapsing magical structure, Elisa says "No one could survive that," and in fact, they didn't. (They became ghosts again, and the Captain "passed on.")
  • No Swastikas: Averted in "M.I.A." Swastikas can be seen on the Nazi bomber planes, however, the Iron Cross and the Skull and Crossbones are easier to spot.
  • Noir Episode: "The Silver Falcon" and "Revelations."
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Children of Oberon aren't actually Oberon's children, they're his royal subjects and fellow species-members. Oberon just calls them that 'cause he's paternalistic.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Addressed; gargoyles are an egg-laying species, but have also been specifically defined as nursing their young. (Word of God calls them "Gargates", which conceivably could be a Sub-Order or a Family of monotremes, the larger Order of egg-producing mammals.) Children of Oberon can look like whatever they want.
  • Non-Residential Residence: For the first two seasons the Manhattan Clan lives in a clock tower above the police station where Elisa works.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Hudson at least says "lass" and "laddie," but the rest of the clan speaks with modern, American accents.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: As much as "Hunter's Moon" is intended to serve as a Grand Finale if necessary, the producers were hoping the series could continue, but with the proviso that the Clan can never hide their existence in New York again.
  • Not Me This Time: David Xanatos was behind so much of the Gargoyles' troubles, that Brooklyn and especially Talon assumed he was responsible for Goliath and Elisa's disappearance.
    • And Elisa assumed that he was responsible for Demona's theft of DI-7 from his own warehouses in "Hunter's Moon."
    • And when the Scrolls of Merlin are stolen, the gargoyles immediately assume Xanatos was behind it, when Macbeth was really responsible.
  • Not Quite Flight: Gargoyles don't fly, they glide. Still, they do a lot of aerobatic stunts that would make you think otherwise. The mutates avert this, though, as they actually can fly, thanks to their electric powers giving them the energy they need for it.
  • Not So Different:
    • Demona and John Castaway after the latter's Face–Heel Turn. Jason and Robyn Canmore were not so different from Demona either, until their Heel–Face Turn.
    • The same can be said with the New Olympians. Their racism toward Elisa is no different from how humans react toward Gargoyles. It's born out of old prejudices, fear and ignorance.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Xanatos' assistant Owen Burnett seems like an uptight dweeb — but he's an immortal magical creature who lives to Punk humans. However, he is bound by his word and must remain in his present form and job for the duration. Eventually he becomes nearly as harmless as he appears due to Oberon's decree, which prevents him from using his magic offensively. It's also shown that he's a master martial artist in his own right, quite capable of asskicking and even holding his own against gargoyles on occasion.
  • Not Worth Killing: Gillecomgain seemed to have this attitude towards Macbeth in 1020, as he seemed pretty nonchalant in informing Duncan that Macbeth still lived. (In 1032, Gillecomgain had more serious reasons for not killing Macbeth.) Canmore definitely had this attitude towards Gruoch. And when Xanatos had the Manhattan Clan cornered in "The Edge" and could have had them all wiped out, he instead let them flee.
  • Odd Name Out: Talon! Fang! Claw! ... Maggie!
  • Official Couple: Elisa and Goliath, Xanatos and Fox, Broadway and Angela, Talon and Maggie and, if you follow the comics, Katana and Brooklyn.
  • Off-Model: Several episodes, with Wang's "Enter Macbeth" and Hong Ying's "Monsters"note  being by far the worst offenders.
  • Oh, Crap!: "The Gathering Part 1" has Owen display shock and fear upon learning that Anastasia Reynard has remarried her first husband, warning Puck that Oberon has returned to Titania and started the Gathering.
    • Also Xanatos at the end of "Double Jeopardy" when he realizes that Thailog is probably still alive.
    • Banquo is about to smash Goliath who is asleep, just as the sun is setting... and you hear the statue cracking.
    Banquo: Uh-Oh.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Hudson vs David. And, if you want to get technical, all the gargoyles are over 1000 years old, while Xanatos is in his late 30s-early 40s.
  • Older Than They Look: All gargoyles age half as quickly as humans, by virtue of the fact that they do not age when they are in stone sleep, and that is 12 hours a day on average. The Manhattan Clan and Demona are much, much Older Than They Look, the former because they were cursed to sleep for a thousand years, the latter because of Synchronization with Macbeth. Oh, and Macbeth is also older than he looks.
    • Their slower aging also has less of an effect on their physiology compared to humans. In one episode, both Angela and Goliath are magically aged extremely rapidly but surprise the episode's bad guys by demonstrating that even decrepit gargoyles are capable of impressive physical feats relative to what a human in the same condition would be capable of (a gargoyle seems to FEEL maybe half their already slowed age, so it's almost like 1/4 aging really).
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Illuminati.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Every time there's a news story relating to Xanatos or Fox, reporter Travis Marshall always notes how they've been in jail.
  • One Myth to Explain Them All: All of the Pagan gods of yore (yes, all of them) were various Children of Oberon, as perceived by primitive humans. That includes the gods of Ancient Egypt and Scandinavia, and the fairies of English folklore. The New Olympians were the origin of a lot of Greek mythology, although Word of God says that they were created by Children of Oberon breeding with humans.
  • One Steve Limit: Duncan's son, first introduced in "City of Stone," was supposed to be called Malcolm (just like in the play by Shakespeare), but because there was a different Prince Malcolm in the previous episode ("Vows"), they instead used his nickname, Canmore, to avoid confusion. The same goes for Maol Chalvim - there's a lot of Malcolms in the Scottish royal family.
    • Averted with "Coyote" - "Cloud Fathers" has Xanatos pit Coyote the robot against Coyote the trickster.
    • Also averted in a peculiar way with Xanatos and Fox's son, Alexander, and with Thailog, who adopts the name Alexander as the owner of Nightstone Unlimited.
    • Averted with two Kenneth, II and III. Kenneth II is the father of Maol Chalvim II and Kenneth III is Maol Chalvim II's cousin.
  • One-Winged Angel: Banshee of the Third Race deserves mention. Sure she looks like a gaunt woman in a tattered green dress with long purple hair and pale bluish-purple skin, but piss her off, and she will turn into the Cromm-Cruach, a large cross between a dragon and a larva with squeletical face.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Pack, although some of their real names have been revealed. Fox's real name (before she had it legally changed) was Janine Renard and Dingo's real name is Harry Monmouth.
    • Fang's real name is also revealed, that being Fred Sykes. Claw's real name, though, continues to remain a mystery.
    • Canmore, largely because of the One Malcolm Limit.
    • Tony Dracon's right hand man was referred to simply as Glasses, and his real name was never mentioned.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "Protection", Goliath confronts Eliza, who is openly consorting with Dracon and his men and appears to have undergone a Face–Heel Turn. Goliath is convinced that she is under a spell, but Broadway figures that she is really going undercover to shut down Dracon's protection racket.
  • Opening Narration: In season 2.
  • Opposites Attract Revenge: Demona's fling with Thailog is one of these.
  • Origins Episode: The four-part episode "City of Stone" reveals many details about the history of Demona and Macbeth, chief among them being how they both became immortal.
  • Orphaned Etymology: A few examples in the flashbacks.
    • In Awakening, Part One, in a flashback to 994, Hakon commands his catapult crew to "Fire!" The use of "fire" in the sense of discharging a projectile dates to the 1520s and specifically refers to discharging firearms, not catapults.
    • In City of Stone, Part Three, during a flashback to 1040, Macbeth uses "bedlams" (c. 1660) to describe the Weird Sisters, and "demon" (c. 1200) to describe how a certain Gargoyle fights.
    • The Magus in 994 and Duncan in 1032 also describe the Captain and Gillecomgain, respectively, as a "blackguard" (c.1530).
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "Future Tense." "Was it a dream? Or a prophecy?" (See foreshadowing above for some details) While some events have actually occured in some fashion, some that occured in passing would be unlikely or were made up by Puck to deliver further explanations to Goliath.
    • While Puck knew of Thailog through working with Xanatos as Owen, he was unaware that Thailog and Demona hooked up, thus Brooklyn's sudden comment about him dying in the Clone Wars.
    • Demona can only be killed by Macbeth and should be unable to be killed by Xanatos.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock
  • Out-Gambitted: Ironically applied to David Xanatos with Thailog's betrayal in his first appearance.
    • Hudson manages one in "The Price" by hiding a shard of his stone skin in his clothes to use as a knife, then stabbing the robot, kicking Xanatos into a column, and warding off Owen with his reclaimed sword. Xanatos is so impressed, he lets him go.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Macbeth's first introduction and his origin story make his goals clear: He seeks Demona's death, both for vengeance and also to give himself peace after millennia of wandering the Earth. However, in two episodes, for no given reason, he is instead seeking ultimate power through connections to Arthurian legend. First he tries to steal scrolls rumored to contained Merlin's spells, which instead contain Merlin's personal diary (Whose story have a magic all their own...), and then he tries to steal Excalibur itself from an awakened Arthur. In both episodes he has two henchmen who are not seen in any other episodes, and in no other episodes does he make reference to questing for ultimate power, nor in these episodes does he make any reference to his vendetta against Demona. Word of God says that Macbeth wanted to use Merlin's spells against Demona (which also explains why he wanted to test them against another gargoyle). Given that Demona had magic of her own, this is understandable. It doesn't explain his desire to claim Excalibur, though; Macbeth had given up his vendetta against Demona by then. However, becoming the new "One True King" could have given his life, and immortality, some meaning again.
    • Demona has a few Out of Character Moments in the backstory of "City of Stone," such as when she chose to save Macbeth and Gruoch rather than pursue vengeance against Gillecomgain in 1020, and when she honored Macbeth's wish to spare Canmore's life in 1040. On the other hand, this is only out of character for after she crossed the Moral Event Horizon, which she may not have done until 1057.
    • Demona again, after the Wyvern massacre. She noticed the Magus and Katherine taking the Gargoyles eggs. You think Demona would have being enraged and attacked the humans for stealing her children, especially those two particular gargoyles-haters. Instead, it's too much for her to handle emotionally and she let them leave with the eggs.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "Sentinel". Though the show does have sci-fi elements, this episode crossed into full-on Space Opera territory, complete with alien warriors and references to a massive intergalactic war...which was never mentioned again. Word of God says that this was meant to be a setup for a far-future spinoff, Gargoyles 2198, that never came to fruition in the end.
  • Out of Order: Season two of Gargoyles had 52 episodes, making it impossible to tell which would be ready on time. Hence, given the show's very tight continuity, the episodes had to be split into various "blocks" where episodes could be aired in any order within each block. Though they did still run into a problem with Owen's stone arm, as two episodes intended to air before it happened ended up being delayed.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The titular Gargoyles are out of context because they are not only creatures who are stone by day and warriors by night, but they are also from medieval times. They were under a spell that made them sleep for a thousand years before waking up in mid-90s New York where they are the only supernatural creatures around (at least early on). Outside of Xanatos and Demona, most of their earlier enemies were at a loss dealing with them.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Invoked with Xanatos and Fox. Xanatos tells Fox he loves because she's one of the few people in the world as smart as him.
  • Palette Swap: Thailog and Goliath. Also, Owen and Vogel.
  • Papa Wolf: Goliath, plain and simple. In the episode "Hunter's Moon" Angela is nearly killed by the hunters who confuse her for Demona, and Goliath says that he vows to find and KILL the ones who hurt her.
    • David Xanatos deserves mention also. He's willing to fight Oberon himself just to keep Oberon from taking his kid. That feat alone even caused Goliath to respect him.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Gillecomgain's mask was a case of this, according to the DVD commentary: The red stripes on the mask perfectly matched the scars on Gillecomgain's face. On the other hand, Constantine had already worn the Hunter's Facepaint (Mask) by that point. Macbeth's mask inverted the trope: Demona recognized him as soon as the first shot was fired, though the audience might not have known enough about Macbeth and Demona to make the connection as quickly as Demona did.
    • The shadowy gargoyle with glowing red eyes in "Temptation." Is there anyone who didn't immediately realize that it was Demona?
  • Parental Abandonment: Demona does this to the eggs of the Wyvern Rookery (one of which she herself had laid) after she sees the Magus and Katharine "stealing" them, and Mary leaves Tom to protect the Grimorum while Tom accompanies the Magus and Katharine to Avalon.
  • Parental Bonus: There are a few jokes that most kids wouldn't get.
    • In the opening to "Leader of the Pack", Fox and Hyena are sitting in a prison cell, with Hyena flicking rubber bands at cockroaches and Fox reading a book by Sartre. Hyena asks her why she bothers with that, and Fox says, "Because Nietzsche's too butch, and Kafka reminds me of your little friends over there." Kafka's best-known work, of course, involves a man who one day wakes up as a giant cockroach.
    • There are numerous Shakespearean references, although this wound up being an Unconventional Learning Experience - Weisman says numerous kids who watched the show turned to Shakespeare so they could learn more about Macbeth, Puck, etc.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Odin is one of the children of Oberon, but otherwise still like the Asgardian figure of legend. He wears a white bearskin cape, which turns out to help him transform into a polar bear when he needs to.
  • Pet the Dog: Xanatos pets entire kennels in the last half of Season 2.
  • Perspective Reversal: The Hunter's Moon arc has one between Jason and Jon Canmore. The catalyst is Jason's apparent death by Goliath's hands.
  • Photo Op with the Dog
  • Physical Attribute Swap: A magical contract between Macbeth and Demona transfers his youth to her, then freezes them at those ages.
  • The Plague: Demona creates one using a combination of Science and Sorcery during the Hunter's Moon arc
  • The Plan: Xanatos Gambits aren't the only move in Xanatos' playbook.
    • Xanatos' tendency to use these backfires on him at one point. Thailog tricks Dr. Sevarius (one of Xanatos' accomplices) to kidnap him from Castle Wyvern. Sevarius doesn't question it for a second, even when Xanatos (thinking he's been betrayed) confronts him, because he "assumed it was another one of [his] Machiavellian schemes against one of [his] enemies."
  • Playing with Fire: Helios.
  • Pocket Protector: Elisa's badge in "Long Way to Morning," and it actually makes sense. A badge can in no way stop a modern bullet, but since this was actually a poison dart, not a lethal projectile, it might have even been stopped by just her thick leather jacket.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted for the most part, seeing how a few major characters are part of the police force and they're shown to do their job well enough, but on New Olympus this is in full effect, with the police chief, Taurus, being a bigoted Jerkass who arrests Elisa after a mob starts attacking her unprovoked. Despite the fact that the only thing she even did in that fight was dodge a single punch.
    Taurus: You are under arrest. Again.
    Goliath: She did not start this!
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Deconstructed. Prince Malcolm tells his daughter, Princess Katherine, stories that demonize the gargoyles to frighten her into good behavior even though he personally views them positively. When Hudson expresses concern about these stories, Malcolm brushes him off by saying he's being "too sensitive." Fast forward a few years and Katherine's prejudice gets most of the gargoyles massacred and the rest turned to stone for a thousand years.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The main reason for the Wyvern Massacre, Macbeth's falling out with Demona, and the "City of Stone" debacle.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: according to series co-creator Greg Weisman, King Arthur, the New Olympians, and several other characters introduced in the "World Tour" arc were meant to be used in spinoff series.
    • There was also "Sentinel", which was meant to be a lead-in to the proposed Gargoyles: 2198 spin-off. It introduced the interstellar war between Nokkar's people and the Space Spawn, which Word of God says that series would have been about. Since the spin-off never came to fruition, the war was never mentioned again, creating a rather jarring Out-of-Genre Experience.
  • Powered Armour: Various kinds worn by Xanatos, Dingo, and the modern Hunters.
  • Precision F-Strike: Xanatos' infamous "Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell."
  • Previously On…: Every season 2 episode has one of these.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Discussed in "Grief."
  • Promotion to Parent: The Magus, Katharine, and Tom get this, when they agree to take care of the eggs in Castle Wyvern's rookery as if they were their own children.
  • Psycho Electric Eel: Sevarius uses these to augment his mutates' energy regenerating properties as well as afford them electrical attacks... or so he claimed in front of Derek Maza. Given that he faked his own death with them and Xanatos was in on the whole operation, he had to be at least smart enough to know that their actual electrical output is fairly minimal and was just counting on Derek and Goliath to be holding the Idiot Ball at the time.
  • Psycho for Hire: Hyena is a good fit for the female version, especially given her Femme Fatalons, and her brother Jackal and teammate Wolf are not exactly sane either.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Even thought they are more misguided than evil, the gargoyle clones tend to fill this trope during their appearances.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Let. Me. Drive."
  • Pure Magic Being: The Fair Folk.
  • Purple Is the New Black: Elisa and Duncan are both supposed to have black hair, but it appears to be dark blue.

    Tropes Q-T 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington and Bronx survived the genocide of their clan because they were sent to their rooms for misbehaving.
  • Random Transportation: Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go, but rather where you need to be, causing the Avalon World Tour arc.
  • Rain of Arrows: In Brooklyn's time travel arc, in the comics.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: For Hudson and Broadway.
    Robbins: There's no shame in being illiterate, Hudson. It's only a shame to stay that way.
    • In "Awakening, Part Two," they present this Aesop in a roundabout way by portraying Hakon not only as a ruthless marauder, but also as being unapologetically illiterate: "Magic spells, hah! Makes me glad I can't read!" In short, not reading is not cool.
  • The Real Remington Steele: The identity of the Hunter, which is taken by Macbeth before we find out that the Canmores—who had borne the identity for almost a millennium—still existed.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Elisa is at one point seriously injured when Broadway accidentally shoots her while playing with her gun. Elisa, a New York police detective, had left her sidearm, holster and gun belt unattended in another room from where she was (she admits later that she should have known better). Notably, she's much more careful for the rest of the series.
  • Recurring Character: Pretty much all of them; if somebody has a speaking part, you can bet they will appear someplace else down the line.
    • Vinnie is this trope personified. If anyone remembers him.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Thailog and the Hunters.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Originally played straight with Demona and Thailog, then the crew realized what they were doing and gave them to Angela as well to make it merely a feminine (and cloned male) trait.
    • Also happens with Coldstone's right eye, indicating that his cybernetic/mystical programming is taking over.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: Demona doesn't turn into stone during the day, unlike the other gargoyles. During the day she's human.
  • Repetitive Name: Police officer Morgan Morgan.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Princess Katharine and Demona in "Awakening," Macbeth in "City of Stone," and Elisa and Jason in "Hunter's Moon." Also, Sevarius on two separate occasions, even lampshaded the second time.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Sevarius theorized (and Word of God confirmed) that the Gargoyles daytime stone dormant state must have a solar or thermal energy collection function because they would otherwise have to eat the equivalent of three cows a day to stay active. In addition, Word of God is that the Gargoyles were subject to a "Modesty spell" in Roman times that enabled their clothes and regular personal items to turn to stone with their bodies so they would not be destroyed when the Gargoyles awaken.
  • Research, Inc.: Xanatos Enterprises.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The series didn't have a Grand Finale, although Hunter's Moon was meant to serve as one.
  • Restrained Revenge: Notably, the only truly successful example of any kind of revenge in the entire series — Vinnie gets his vengeance on Goliath with a massive, customized, named... pie-thrower. And then he's done. That's all he wanted.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Elisa for Goliath.
  • Retcon
    • In "Long Way to Morning," we see and hear the Archmage hit the bottom, but "Avalon, Part Two" establishes that he never did hit the bottom.
    • The mutates' appearance. Word of God says he was dissatisfied with their original look.
    • Macbeth's coronation, which is indoors in "City of Stone" although Word of God is that it should have been outdoors. In the comics, his coronation is outdoors.
    • At the end of "Avalon, Part Three," after Goliath frees the Weird Sisters, they vanish, and so do the chains that had bound them. In "Ill Met By Moonlight," it is established that the Avalon gargoyles had actually recovered those chains for future use against The Fair Folk.
  • Retool: The Goliath Chronicles.
  • Revenge: Notably averted. Those who wronged the gargoyles die a Karmic Death before Goliath gets a shot at them.
    • Demona's plan to wipe out humanity fails as well.
    • Xanatos is smart enough to avoid seeking it, and the one time he does, he gets Out-Gambitted by Thailog.
    • In fact, only one character has succeeded at revenge: Vinnie, by throwing a pie in Goliath's face.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: "She betrayed Macbeth; it was only a matter of time before she would have betrayed us. Good thing we had the rest of her clan destroyed. Her kind was an abomination!"
  • Rewatch Bonus: "Legion" in particular has this: About halfway through the episode, it's revealed that Coldstone is controlled by three different gargoyle ghosts, and his "erratic" behavior from earlier (e.g. confusion when Goliath calls him "Brother") makes perfect sense when one realizes that those three ghosts were struggling for control. For example, Coldstone's confusion at being addressed as "Brother" occurred while the female gargoyle was in control.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What Titania whispered to Fox in "The Gathering" has been left hanging; Word of God says that it wasn't very important anyway, and would now be a ridiculous anti-climax after so much speculation.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The comic's Stone of Destiny arc is based on the real-life Stone's return to Scotland.
  • Right-Hand Hottie: Owen, right hand of David Xanatos.
    • Notable that Owen actually sacrificed his hand for Xanatos to test a spell/magic-potion that might have granted immortality. The exact wording of the spell had something to due with the "live as long as the mountain stone" and actually just turned flesh stone (and it was his right hand [from our perspective when he is facing us.])
    • Xanatos initially treated Demona as this, until they parted ways.
    • Lady Titania to Oberon also counts, until she remarries him, and they become equals.
  • Robosexual: Hyena is completely attracted to Coyote, especially after she finds out he's a robot. "A robot? Even better..."
  • Robosexuals Are Creeps: Within the Quirky Miniboss Squad the Pack, Hyena is attracted to Coyote; and even more so after learning that he's an android. Her brother Jackal, who is himself labeled a sociopath by Word of God, disapproves and has deadpanned "That's sicker than usual."
  • Robot Buddy: Talos and Matrix.
  • Rock Bottom: "I've been denied everything! Even my REVENGE!!!!" After a pronouncement like that, Goliath must have thought that things couldn't possibly get worse... and that was before he found out that all of the other survivors had been cursed to sleep, and that the page with the spell to wake them up again had been destroyed.
  • Rogues Gallery: Possibly lampshaded in the episode "Vendettas" with a blink and you miss it shop sign that says "Rogues Gallery". The sign appears moments after a member of the pack shows up in the episode.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Count the amount of Heel Face Turns there are in this series. The series does address human evil but also addresses that everybody is complex and humane.
  • Running on All Fours: in some episodes the Manhattan clan do this often when they are in a hurry.
  • Sad Battle Music: The theme song gives this kind of feel.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Some myths were dead-on accurate, and some changes were obviously made for the sake of the story, but some referenced myths bear little resemblance to the originals. This may be a result of the time limits imposed on the writers for each episode and comic issue. Cuchullain in the "Hound of Ulster" episode is painfully inaccurate... this page goes over it pretty well, actually.
  • Say My Name: Everyone says everybody's else name with Goliath and Elisa being the most frequently yelled.
  • Scaled Up: The Cromm-Cruach, the Banshee's One-Winged Angel form when fighting Cu Chullain. She also uses it later on Odin.
  • Scars Are Forever: Hudson's eye and Gillecomgain's face.
  • Scary Black Man: Thailog.
    • Tony Dracon's right hand man Glasses also fits this trope.
  • Scavengers Are Scum: The two most depraved members of the animal-themed mercenary group The Pack are named Hyena and Jackal (according to Word of God they're a psychopath and a sociopath, respectively).
  • Scenery Porn: Gargoyles produced some gorgeous scenery given its budget. Sunset at Castle Wyvern and many jewel-like Manhattan-by-night cityscapes stand out.
  • The Scream: Goliath at the end of the first episode, finding his people mutilated.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Xanatos is so rich, he can say "hell" on a Disney kids' show and get away with it.
    • But he still goes to jail for receiving stolen property...
    • All part of the plan
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Elisa finally worked up the nerve to kiss Goliath at the conclusion of the original show's run; it left him with a smile on his face in his stone sleep.
  • Second Person Attack: Common in the second season.
  • Secret Identity: Several characters.
  • Secret Keeper: Elisa is the original one, but Xanatos knows too and isn't so discreet. Xanatos tells Derek (and, via the Illuminati, Bluestone). Robbins, rather uniquely, turns out to have figured it out for himself but says nothing. Eventually the secret is in tatters, leading to The Unmasqued World.
    • Despite his desire to prove he was right by making the Illuminati public, Matt Bluestone ends up becoming a Secret Keeper for the Illuminati as well.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "Revelations," the Illuminati administer a "loyalty test" on Matt Bluestone: an assignment to bring a gargoyle to the Hotel Cabal. Matt brought a gargoyle there and subsequently helped him escape, condemning a senior Illuminatus to a Fate Worse than Death in the process. Needless to say, Matt demonstrated that he was not loyal to the Illuminati. In fact, the Illuminati weren't testing Matt's loyalty at all; they were testing his cunning and treachery. Needless to say, Matt passed the test and was inducted into the Illuminati.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Macbeth might never have achieved his destiny of becoming "King of Scotland and father of the king hereafter" if Duncan hadn't done everything he could to prevent Macbeth from becoming king.
    • In 975, Demona had an encounter with her future self, who told her about the Wyvern Massacre and the sleeping spell on Goliath, and also told her "I am what you will become!" Past Demona did everything she could to prevent the Wyvern Massacre and the sleeping spell, and to avoid becoming a bitter, vengeful terrorist, with predictable results.
    • It doesn't help that 1995 Demona leaves out the details leading up to the Massacre (particularly her bargain with The Captain).
  • Self-Made Man: David Xanatos, by way of the Phoenix Gate and a Stable Time Loop. His father seemed to consider it cheating.
  • Send in the Clones: Thailog, and the Manhattan Clan clones.
    • In The Goliath Chronicles episode "Genesis Undone", Sevarius makes this request when he appears to be ready to cure the clones of their illness.
    • Talon makes the same request in Gargoyles #3 when Goliath comes to check on the clones.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: After Macbeth was "mortally" wounded by Malcolm Canmore in 1057, Macbeth and Gruoch decided that since he was officially dead and his son Luach wore his crown, the only hope for Luach to defeat Canmore was for Macbeth to remain dead or to disappear. Canmore defeated Luach in 1058.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: The beginning of the Wyvern Massacre was shown as a shadow cast on the Captain's horrified face.
  • The Shangri-La: While on their Avalon World Tour, Goliath and his friends end up in Tibet, complete with Tibetans monks and a monastery. They later found themselves in a lake, in Shamballa. However, what have they done and what has transpired was never revealed to fans.
  • Shoot the Rope: In "The Price", Broadway turns to stone in mid-glide, and Elisa has to break a crate full of carpets to cushion his fall. She does so by using her gun to shoot the cable from which the crate is hanging.
  • Shout-Out: During the Halloween episode, Elisa dresses up as Belle and she and Goliath start dancing the same waltz from Beauty and the Beast. And when the holiday comes around again in the comics, she goes as Jasmine.
    • In "Awakening" during one scene where Hudson is watching TV, a scene from Quack Pack appears on screen for a second, along with a scene from The Lion King and one from The Sword in the Stone.
    • In "Her Brother's Keeper", when Lexington is attempting to pilot a real helicopter, Broadway tells him to feel the air currents like he does when gliding, and Brooklyn quips, "Yeah, use the Force, Lex."
    • Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington go to the movies and watch Bambi.
    • One of the workers in the second episode is seen using a power loader.
    • On one episode, Dingo mentions (sarcastically?) that he always wanted to go to Disneyland.
      • Elisa in "Shadows of the Past": "Now that was an E-ticket ride."
    • This one's absolutely obscure: In "The Hound of Ulster", one of the few episodes where Bronx gets the limelight, he is joined by a young Irishmen, who turns out to be the reincarnation of an ancient hero. At one point, the young man says to Bronx that there's more than meets the eye to him. Bronx is voiced by Frank Welker, aka G1 Megatron. The reincarnated hero is cause for a moment of Fandom Rejoicing.
    • The comic gives a short nod to Star Trek, probably as a thanks for the voice actor thing, when Brooklyn tries to describe his time-travelling dilemma to the medieval Scots.
    • Gargoyles actually got a Shout-Out in one of the Star Wars Legends Jedi Apprentice books. In one book, we're introduced to Qui-Gon's psychotic former apprentice-turned Dark Jedi... whose name is "Xanatos". He's manipulative and wealthy, but decidedly more evil.
    • "The Silver Falcon" has quite a few shout-outs to The Maltese Falcon; to say nothing of the titular Falcon and the MockGuffin in both stories, Broadway paraphrases Sam Spade: "When someone messes with your partner, you're supposed to do something about it."
    • To Shakespeare: More than just a Shout-Out. The cast sheet alone includes Macbeth, Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters; and the Coldtrio is known unofficially, off-screen as Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. The Bad Guys comic adds another when a guy named John Oldcastle adopts the name Falstaff, and hooks up with a gang of people named after Falstaff's gang.
      • There's also Gruoch's suicide after losing the one she loves most. This is very reminiscent of another famous story.
    • In one of the "Goliath Chronicles" episodes, the leader of the Quarrymen tells a Mook named Maxwell, "You'll receive the Silver Hammer for this." Maxwell's Silver Hammer is an obscure Beatles song. Also of note is that The Beatles were known as The Quarrymen before they became famous.
    • Maggie the mutate is a Cat Girl... she's Maggie the Cat. This is how she's listed in the credits.
    • The whole scene where Xanatos hunt down Werefox is taken straight from Predator 2, down to the slaughter house and Xanatos' cannon.
    • Oberon taking Xanatos' gun with telekinesis is from The Empire Strikes Back. The gun even look the same.
    • The cover of Phoenix is taken straight from an old Star Wars poster.
    • The solution Elisa comes up with to free Goliath from a spell compelling his obedience is the same one T'sais comes up with to free Etarr in Jack Vance's Dying Earth.
    • In the first issue of the Bad Guys comic, a song playing on a boombox is from another Weisman/Disney series, W.I.T.C.H. (per Greg, it's also a TV show in-universe- albeit airing a decade before it was actually created in real life).
  • Shown Their Work: Some of their myths are somewhat inaccurate, and others were altered for the sake of the story, but every episode featuring an actual mythology showed that the writers knew something. The episode "Golem" features an accurate retelling of the story of the Golem of Prague, complete with correct written and spoken Hebrew; Fairies are shown to have an explicit weakness to iron, which is in an integral part of many European folk-tales; and the story of Macbeth is actually much closer to the real-life history of King Macbeth of Scotland than to the play written by Shakespeare.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Mace Malone.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Demona in her human form is one of these, and so are Fox, Fleance, and Gruoch in her younger days.
  • Silver Bullet/Silver Has Mystic Powers: At one point, Elisa quips that she'd need silver bullets to fight Oberon, and Katharine points out that silver is for vampires and weres, not for the Third Race.
  • Silver Vixen: Macbeth's wife Gruoch at the end of his flashback during "City Of Stone" has aged pretty gracefully throughout the years, the only notable difference from her younger self being that her hair is now white.
  • Similar Squad: In the episode "Bushido," Goliath meets a clan of gargoyles living in Japan. They're led by a tall, deep-voiced gargoyle named Kai, have a policeman ally, are betrayed by one of their own, and as it turns out later, they're actually being manipulated by a shifty Japanese businessman named Taro who's set himself up as the gargoyles' benefactor. Sounds familiar... Hell, Taro even turns out to have a kick-ass robot suit just like Xanatos, though his is built to look like samurai armor.
  • Single Tear
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: As The Goliath Chronicles is not considered as a "real" season by most fans.
  • Slash Fic: Oh Lordy, this existed even BEFORE the announcement that Lexington is gay.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Due to the amount of Heel Face Turns there are in this series, its safe to say this is a pretty idealistic.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Xanatos and Fox certainly do, which make sense considering they are both chessmasters.
  • Smurfette Principle: Hyena after Fox has left the Pack. Angela once she joins the Manhattan Clan (out of the gargoyle members, anyway). Delilah is the sole female gargoyle among the clones. There's also an unnamed female commando in Bruno's goon squad.
  • Sneaky Spider: In Nigeria, the heroes meet the spider trickster Anansi, who makes magical deals with humans which are intended to be at their expense, but often end up backfiring on him.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Broadway does this to a piece of slime in the rookery in the pilot episode.
  • Something Only They Would Say: How Elisa figures out who Talon is.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Played for laughs in the comic book followup: "You never know when a giant flaming magical time-traveling bird is gonna swallow you whole and spit you out in the tenth century! So hit those books, kids!"
  • Species Title: Centers mainly on the Manhattan (né Wyvern) Clan of gargoyles.
  • The Speechless: Claw of the Mutates.
  • Spell Book: The Grimorum Arcanorum.
    • Subverted with the Scrolls of Merlin. Macbeth believes them to be Merlin's personal scrolls of magic, but they turn out to be his diaries.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": A lot of fan fiction writers write Elisa's name as "Eliza".
    • Even turns up on this very wiki. Even on this very page.
  • Spin-Off: A number were set up in the World Tour, and at least elements of them are being incorporated into new material if/when it gets made:
    • Bad Guys: A group of ex-villain Atoners (and one unrepentant Jerkass) are recruited into a Boxed Crook team. This one got its own comic book miniseries.
    • Pendragon: King Arthur Walks the Earth, searching first for Merlin and then the Holy Grail, and fighting the forces of the Illuminati along the way. The Stone of Destiny arc in the comic was essentially one of these.
    • TimeDancer: Brooklyn gets Unstuck in Time for forty years, picking up a Nuclear Family before returning moments after he left. The first part of his adventures, as well as his return, just barely made its way into the last of the comic material.
    • The New Olympians: The titular group decides to break their Masquerade before they're discovered accidentally, though the decision is hardly unanimous (some want nothing to do with the humans, some want peace, and some want to rule the humans). In addition to the political drama, a human and an Olympian become Star-Crossed Lovers.
    • Dark Ages: Basically Spinoff Babies, set at Castle Wyvern in Scotland. Features Hudson in his prime and teen Goliath and Demona.
    • Gargoyles 2198: Gargoyles IN SPACE! Has descendants of the original series cast (as well as some of the immortals) defending Earth from an alien invasion. Would also have an extended crossover with TimeDancer where Brooklyn joins for a time.
  • Squishy Wizard: Played straight with the Magus and the Archmage. In fact, the Magus is specifically noted for not being strong enough to wield a sword. Averted with Demona and Macbeth.
  • Stable Time Loop: The explanation for Xanatos' fortune is that he went back to the ancient past to acquire a (by modern day standards) priceless coin, then arranged for it to eventually be sent to himself, so that his younger self could use it to build his fortune. Thus proving to his father his claim of being a self-made man.
    • Everything regarding the Phoenix Gate implies a stable time loop, as Goliath learns if someone time travels it is simply the natural way history was supposed to unfold. He even states several times that You Can't Fight Fate. Word of God has it that all time travel works this way.
    • Brooklyn involves himself in a spectacular one in the Time Dancer series. Along with Owen/Puck, Brooklyn arranges for the alliance between Xanatos and Demona to take place, leading to Castle Wyvern being moved to the top of the Eyrie Building. That makes Brooklyn responsible for the entire series, as a result of his time travel.
  • Story Arc: There were several storylines that took multiple episodes to resolve, the journey around the world done by Goliath, Angela, and Elisa being the most notable.
  • Straight Gay: Lexington is canonically gay, but does not portray any gay stereotypes.
  • Stripperific: Demona's outfit falls under this. Angela in the comics also.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Elisa lampshades it when she first sees Angela: "I couldn't help noticing that Angela looks a lot like Demona, except her coloring is different (read: exactly the same as Goliath's). Whose daughter is she, anyway?"
    • It becomes a serious issue when the Canmore siblings mistake her for Demona and almost fatally wound her in "Hunter's Moon".
  • Sunglasses at Night: Brooklyn.
    • Also quoted by Fox when she sees Broadway wearing them in "Broadway Goes Hollywood".
  • Superdickery: In Revelations, Matt Bluestone apparently betrays Goliath to Mace Malone. However, it turns out to be a plot to expose the Illuminati, and that Goliath was in on it the whole time.
  • Superhero
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Neither Goliath nor Demona look old enough to be Angela's parents. Justified by the fact that Demona was immortalized at 35, and Goliath was put into suspended animation before Angela's egg even hatched, and came out of it after she'd already reached adulthood.
  • Super Toughness: The Gargoyles aren't indestructible by any means, but they are extremely tough even for creatures of their size and weight. To prove this point, in the pilot Goliath catches the downstroke of a Viking sword in his bare hand, and though he bleeds some, the cut appears relatively minor compared to the major damage (a bloody stump) that a human being would take from trying something similar. Combined with their ability to apparently perfectly heal any wounds short of total dismemberment they received before sleeping, this makes the gargoyles incredibly difficult to put down.
  • Swiss Bank Account: Mentioned in the non-canon Goliath Chronicles season in the episode "Genesis Undone", where part of Dr. Anton Sevarius' ploy to inject Thailog with an advanced sample of the clone virus is to get him to agree to deliver a large sum of money to his Swiss account in exchange for the cure.
  • Take a Third Option: In the SLG comic, the clone Delilah opts to return to the Labyrinth with her fellow clones rather than side with Goliath or Thailog.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Right before allowing the Magus to put him under the same indefinite sleep spell as the rest of his clan, Goliath asks the Magus and the Princess to protect his clan's eggs. They do.
  • Taking the Bullet: In "Long Way To Morning", Hudson tries to protect Malcolm this way. Keyword tries.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:invoked Anton Sevarius has this reaction to Angela and baby Nessie's interactions in the episode Monsters.
    If it gets any more Saccharine in there, I'm gonna put a finger down my throat.
  • Taught by Experience/Powers via Possession: Puck's prime method of training young Alexander Xanatos in the use of magic. Only it's himself and Alex that do the possessing.
  • Tears from a Stone: Happens twice in one of Demona's flashbacks, and again with Goliath when Elisa is thought to be dead in "Hunter's Moon".
    • In "City of Stone" when Demona reveals the password: "Alone".
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: The premise hits a lot of points for this trope; a group of gargoyles are awakened in New York City after being asleep for a thousand years, and they try to keep their existence a secret while making a human ally, Elisa Maza. Unlike most examples, however, it's acknowledged that the gargoyles can't stay a secret forever, and they gradually make the transition from complete secrecy to urban legends to becoming publicly known... and feared.
  • Tempting Fate: Gabriel says that things are quiet on Avalon and an adventure would be nice. Minutes later, Oberon shows up and kicks everone's tails.
    • Brooklyn wonders when he'll go in his own world tour. A few months later, he's forced to travel around the world and through time for 40 years, before returning to the present.
  • Terrifying Rescuer: There were many a time when one of the Gargoyles would rescue someone, only for the person they rescue to run away from them screaming.
  • Theme Naming: Some of the Gargoyle clans employ it: the Manhattan Clan uses local place names, several Avalon Clan names have to do with angels, the four pendant wearers of the Guatemalan Clan the stones of their pendants, and so on.
    • Demona hung a lampshade on the theme by having a set of clones based on the Manhattan Clan and naming them after place names in Los Angeles.
    • Also, Goliath's main rival is named David.
    • Evil Demona's daughter is the much kinder Angela. Purely a coincidence in-story, as (a) Macbeth named Demona for her fighting prowess, not because she was evil, and (b) the Magus, Katharine, and Tom (who named the gargoyles of the Avalon Clan) didn't know anything about Macbeth and Demona, nor vice versa.
    • The Pack, a group of American Gladiators/Power Rangers knockoffs who moonlight as bounty hunters, are all named after wild canines: Wolf, Hyena, Fox, Dingo, Jackal, and Coyote. Or at least that's the idea; Hyenas are not actually canines, actually being more closely related to cats.
    • Of Brooklyn's family from TimeDancer, his mate and daughter are Katana and Tachi, after Japanese swords. His son Nashville extends the existing "American location" theme.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The unfortunate Gump Vinnie who trails Goliath and Hudson throughout the "Vendettas" episode wanders off afterwards, humming the Gargoyles theme.
  • They Have the Scent!: Bronx is frequently required to sniff out the bad guys. Boudicca does the same for Oberon in "The Gathering".
  • Those Wacky Nazis: In "M.I.A.", the main antagonists are the Nazi bomber planes who attack London during World War II. The pilots even grin evilly!
  • Thunderbird: During Goliath's world tour arc, the heroes run across a pair of Oberon's Children masquerading as Native Americans in an effort to protect/drive off a tribe inhabiting the area they were in. In an effort to convince the tribe's new, modern-thinking chief that All Myths Are True, the benign one (Grandmother) takes the form of the Thunderbird to get him to engage in a ritual magic battle with the hostile one (Raven) for control of the land. This rather backfires when the heroes mistake the transformation for an attack and accidentally down the Thunderbird before the chief can see it.
  • Tin-Can Robot: The cybots created by Cyberbiotcs in contrast to Xanatos' robots made by Scarab Robotics.
  • Timm Style: An early example of a cartoon following the art style of Bruce Timm. Ironically, Bruce Timm himself does not care for this series.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: When Brooklyn is hit with one, he goes down almost instantly, but is still blinking groggily when he's dragged away – so it may not have put him out completely at all. Goliath gets hit with one in "Awakening" as well, which only slows him down for a while. Subverted in "Metamorphosis" when Derek gets shot.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: In the episode "Long Way to Morning", Demona poisons Elisa and taunts her with the antidote, but Elisa's badge had blocked the poison dart so she's actually fine. Goliath and Hudson chase after the antidote anyway, knowing full well it's a trap, because if they don't it will tip Demona off that her plan failed, and she'll come after Elisa again.
  • True Companions:
    • After the deep-cutting betrayal of Demona and the Captain, Elisa was able to work her way up to this quickly in the Manhattan Clan's eyes. By "Deadly Force", the eighth episode of Season 1 and only third after the pilot, Goliath was willing to kill the man he thought shot her.
    • All of the gargoyle clans, to the extent that most gargoyles from different countries and sometimes even different times instantly treat each other as such.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: It's primarily Urban Fantasy, but it uses this to add some sci-fi elements to the plot. Though the world mostly resembles America in the late 1990s, there are a few William Gibson-esque MegaCorps with everything from Powered Armor to Cool Airships to nanobots at their disposal.
  • Twisted Echo Cut: Near the end of "Invitation Only", we get this exchange:
    Goliath (to Delilah): There is an... entertainment at the castle tonight. I would be honored if you would accompany me.
    Delilah: If that is your wish.
    (In the quarryman headquarters)
    Jon Castaway (on the phone): I couldn't care less what he wishes – tell Chaz no hammers! Not tonight!
  • Two-Faced: Coyote the robot becomes two-faced after Bronx bites off half of the artificial skin from his face, exposing half of the skull-like robotic innards.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Elisa Maza is half-black and half-Native American.
  • TV Never Lies: The plot of the first Pack episode.

    Tropes U-Z 
  • Unfazed Everyman: It's easy to miss because of everything that happens in 'Vows', but Petros Xanatos qualifies. Inhuman species secretly dwelling among humanity, power armor, medieval swordfights, temporal paradox, secret societies... A lesser man might Go Mad from the Revelation.
  • Universe Bible: Season 1 here.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Xanatos and Fox. And, extremely briefly, Macbeth and Dominique Destine.
  • Unknown Rival:
    • Demona is completely oblivious that Gillcomgain wants to kill her for scarring him when he was a child.
    • Vinnie holds a grudge against Goliath and the other gargoyles for inadvertently ruining his life. After walking away satisfied from shooting a banana cream pie into Goliath's face, both Goliath and Hudson remain confused as to who Vinnie was and what his beef with them was.
  • The Unmasqued World: Occurs after the existence of gargoyles is revealed to the world at large in season 2's finale.
  • Untrusting Community: New Olympus towards humans, and humans towards gargoyles. Probably Oberon and his court to humans, although they get on with Katherine and the rest fairly well/neutrally.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The gargoyles and Elisa tend to use "jalapeña" as a general euphemism for more modern curse words and exclamations.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Bodhe makes the suggestion that Macbeth should break their alliance with Demona so the English will stop their invasion. Because Demona overheard (and instantly leapt to conclusions), this leads to doom for Demona's clan and Macbeth's family (including Bodhe himself).
  • Unwitting Pawn: While Goliath and Derek are the most obvious examples, and Mr. Renard lampshades a few more in "Outfoxed", Xanatos himself gets special mention for making a clone of Goliath, teaching that clone his trademark trickery, and then getting duped by that same clone in "Double Jeopardy", In other words, he wanted a version of Goliath who was enough like him to be an ally. He got that mostly right.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Elisa and Jason, until they end up kissing.
  • The Usurper: Scotland can't seem to have a stable monarchy in the Dark Ages. After the death of Maol Chalvim I, Indulf, Culen, Kenneth II, Constantine III, Kenneth III, Maol Chalvim II, Macbeth and Canmore all forcibly take the crown at some point in history.
  • The Vamp: Demona, Hyena, the Weird Sisters, and Queen Titania.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Innumerable examples in the backstory, resulting in the near-extinction of gargoyles by the time of the Renaissance. The Pack first cross paths with the gargoyles in this way, the Hunters have adopted it as a way of life, and a lot of the ordinary citizens in The Goliath Chronicles perform fairly petty ones.
  • The 'Verse: Weisman originally intended (and still hopes) to include a number of distinct storylines in the same setting, including:
    • Dark Ages: a prequel about the Wyvern Clan in Scotland, with teenage Goliath and Demona as main characters.
    • Timedancer: A Brooklyn-centric spinoff, sending him on adventures through time. Touched on in the comics.
    • Pendragon: Focusing on the revived Arthur in the present day.
    • Bad Guys: A spinoff regarding a team of minor villains, lead by the Robyn Canmore incarnation of the Hunter, working to redeem themselves while squaring off against the Illuminati. The only one to really get off the ground, as a short-lived comic series.
    • New Olympians: Focusing on the New Olympians revealing their existence to the world, and involving a romance between a human named Terry Chung and a New Olympian named Sphinx. Originally intended as a separate property, apparently- Weisman came up with it independently, then tied the series together with the "New Olympians" episode of Gargoyles.
    • Gargoyles 2198: A Sequel Series starring descendents of the main cast fighting off an Alien Invasion.
    • Unfortunately, as of right now, none of these look likely to be made in any form (though Greg Weisman would still like to do them someday).
  • [Verb] This!: Coldstone take out Coyote 5.0 in a memorable fashion:
    Coyote 5.0: I am programmed to inflict only as much damage as necessary to reach our objective. But I define the parameters of "necessary".
    (Coldstone grab Coyote 5.0's face with one hand and crush it.)
    Coldstone: Define this.
    (Coyote 5.0 blows up.)
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The flashback sequences are based on Real Life history (mostly Scottish), and they get the years and the gist of the events right, especially in "City of Stone". The "loosely", of course, comes in along with the gargoyles and the magic. Artistic License trumps historical fact.
  • Very Special Episode:
    • In "Deadly Force", a gun safety episode, Broadway accidentally shoots Elisa while playing with her gun and then has to deal with the consequences.
    • "A Lighthouse In The Sea Of Time" teaches the importance of reading and literacy, and "The Green", which teaches the importance of the rainforest and the limited resources that are on the planet.
  • Victimized Bystander: In "City of Stone", New York City's inhabitants are turned to stone, and Demona smashes many people, then breaks off one woman's arms. She is never mentioned again.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Not in the sense that you have to be one to appreciate the plots, but that the plots tend to attract the smarter crowd.
  • Villain Ball: Played with in different ways with different villains. Xanatos averts it completely – one gets the sense that he goes over his plans with a fine-toothed comb to make certain he does not fall into it, and then has Owen double-check just to be sure. Demona has several moments where she shoots herself in the foot (metaphorically speaking), but this is somewhat implied to be unconscious self-sabotage on her part. The Archmage plays this completely straight, but it is justified because his massive ego and need to make his enemies squirm before killing them are pretty much his only weaknesses (especially after getting his hands on the Eye of Odin).
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Happened with the Pack, Demona, and Macbeth during their Villain Team-Up.
  • Villainous Rescue: Played with. In the Season 2 finale, Xanatos comes in a helicopter and rescues the Gargoyles from the NYPD. While Xanatos is still a villain, he's on more friendly terms with the gargoyles (at least in his eyes). The gargoyles on the other hand still don't fully trust him.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Oberon, Titania, most if not all of their subjects, and Proteus.
  • Wainscot Society: The gargoyles, sort of. They coexisted with humanity throughout much of our history, but knowledge of their existence went from common, to exclusively folkloric, to completely forgotten in modern times.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: All of the male gargoyles except Hudson. Demona is as close to a female counterpart to this as you can get in a kids' show.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Demona, and also Angela in the comics.
  • Walking the Earth: Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx during the Avalon World Tour.
  • Watching the Sunset: To know that they are about to wake up.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: For the gargoyles, it's the irresistible paralysis brought on by sunlight; for the Children of Oberon it's iron.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Demona gets her hands on one more than once, albeit sorcery-based ones. However, these magical WMDs are often combined with science.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Elisa Maza has actually been compared to Alice (of Alice in Wonderland) by the show's creator. After she 'fell down the rabbit hole' and befriended the time-lost remnants of a forgotten race, she was suddenly drawn into a world of immortals, genetic experiments, feuding multi-millionaires, robots, sorcerers, secret societies, and schizoid cyborg gargoyles – with a smattering of aliens, magical lands, ancient curses, and a few mythological odds and ends. On top of the usual NYPD stuff like organized crime and petty thugs.
  • The Weird Sisters: The Weird Sisters, apparently the actual ones from Macbeth, are shown as inhabitants and guardians of the enchanted island of Avalon. They all take the same form at the same time, but different people see them differently: Depending on who they are speaking to at the time, they may look like a trio of creepy little girls, old crones, aged female gargoyles, or voluptuous young 20-somethings.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Xanatos's relationship with his father Petros seems to be like this. Although, this is more of a subversion, considering what Xanatos is like. Petros gives him his due when Xanatos risks everything to save Alex from Oberon.
    Petros: "We haven't always seen eye to eye, David, but I have never been prouder to be your father."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some of the Quarrymen's rank and file are simply frightened that secretive super-strong beings have been lurking unseen, watching them.
    • Also the Captain, whose loyalty lay with the gargoyles in Castle Wyvern rather than with the Scots, but his betrayal of the Scots led to the destruction of the gargoyle clan, changing him from this into The Atoner as a ghost.
    • Demona started out this way, before descending to Knight Templar and finally to revenge-obsessed whacko who only thinks she is in the right because it is what she has been telling herself every night for the last millennium.
    • Yama, in the episode "Bushido".
  • Went Crazy When They Left: In the episode "Future Tense", an illusion of the future shows that the clan fell apart in Goliath's absence (for the World Tour and other events in Avalon) and then Lexington went berserk and tried to take over the world.
  • Wham Episode: There were several that reshaped the world (or the viewers' perception of it). "Enter Macbeth" forced the clan to relocate from their original home. "Metamorphosis" not only created the mutates but rubbed the viewers' faces in Xanatos' prideful and manipulative villainy. "Vows" and "City of Stone" explained much that had only been hinted at and set up an Alas, Poor Villain or two. "The Mirror" established The Fair Folk as part of the setting and started the transformation of Goliath and Elisa's relationship. "Avalon" started out by revealing that Goliath's clan were not quite the last of their kind, and finished by turning the seeming 'stand-alone' adventure into a strange journey that revealed many secrets. And, of course, "Hunter's Moon" forced the gargoyles' emergence into wider public view.
  • Wham Line: The series has plenty.
    • From "Enter Macbeth":
      Goliath: You know Demona?
      Macbeth: "Know" her? I named her!
    • From "Avalon, Part 1", a mysterious knight introduce himself to Goliath:
      Goliath: Who are you?
      Knight: Why, it's me! Tom!
    • From "Monsters":
      Angela: Goliath... is my... father...?
    • The episode "For It May Come True" has a devastating one.
      Goliath: Where's Angela!?
      Brooklyn: Who's Angela?
  • Wham Shot: The series had several.
    • Tom takes Goliath, Elisa, and Bronx to the shores of Avalon, then shows them the now grown-up rookery eggs. Cue Goliath's Jaw Drop.
    • Molly turning into the Banshee.
    • Owen revealing himself as Puck.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Pretty much underlined in red crayon right from the start.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The whole idea behind the fear of gargoyles by humans.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: 'Naturally' immortal villains don't seem to be troubled by it. Demona and Macbeth have various issues coping with their forced, shared immortality. It's discussed by Hudson and Xanatos when the latter is attempting to create an immortality elixir.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Spiders?: Anansi.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Elisa's alias in "Turf".
  • Winged Humanoid: Obviously, though some gargoyles have wings attached to their arms instead of the usual on-the-back variety.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Demona. Come on, who hasn't watched all of "City of Stone" and not felt sorry for what she's been through by the end?
  • Worthy Opponent: Xanatos considers Fox to be this. A bit of a subversion in that they aren't really opponents.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In 997, Gillecomgain (15 years old) attacks Bodhe (12 years old) in the Battle of Rathveramoen.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Broadway makes it a point to do this to every gun he sees, unless it belongs to a cop. (Goliath in "Awakening, Part Three" and Xanatos in "Eye of the Beholder" do this to Elisa's guns too.) When Macbeth uses a sword, it generally ends up breaking as well.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Generally averted, but there is one example of this trope in "City of Stone". Demona claimed that the spell would steal one minute of life from everyone who saw and heard the spell, and that was how she had lived for more than a thousand years. But to gain even one year by stealing one minute each from people's lives, you would have to cast the spell on roughly 525,000 people; the population of Manhattan in 1995 would not have been enough to extend Xanatos' and Demona's lives by more than 20 years each. Of course Demona was a liar, but a few simple mathematical equations make her lie particularly transparent. And it seems out of character for Xanatos not to see through it.
  • Wronski Feint: Used many many many times throughout the course of the series.
    Brooklyn: (immediately after he and Angela cause two pursuing Steel Clan to crash into each other) "You'd be surprised just how often that works."
  • Xanatos Gambit: Obviously. This may be one of the reasons Gargoyles is so well-remembered and became a watershed moment in Western Animation. It was never as simple as "Good Guys Win" – more often than not, even if the good guys won, the bad guy (usually Xanatos, natch) still benefitted.
    • Note that Xanatos Gambits are not exclusive to Xanatos; the Weird Sisters, for example, pull one off in "High Noon". They brainwashed Macbeth and Demona into fighting the New York clan. Their real goal was distraction so they could steal magical items. If Macbeth and Demona won, however, that would be an additional bonus.
    • Demona takes a note from Xanatos' playbook in "Mirror": She stages a robbery which of course is foiled by Goliath... just as she knew it would be. While he's pursuing her, her accomplices sneak in and steal the artifact she wanted.
    • Then there's also Thailog. In "Sanctuary" where he hooks up with Demona, they pool their resources and plot for Demona to marry Macbeth, then imprison him, staging a death so they could acquire his resources. Unbeknownst to Demona, Thailog plotted to have her and Macbeth kill each other so he'd be the sole heir of all the fortunes for him to build his planned empire on. Even if the planned double death failed, he still has Demona wrapped around his finger for him to use for his benefit.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Most obvious in "Eye of the Beholder". Yet again, Trope Namer. By the episode's end, Xanatos is down to plan E.
    • In "Upgrade", Xanatos and Fox invoke this trope against each other as their version of Family Game Night, manipulating the Pack and the Manhattan Clan respectively against each other, complete with a literal chessboard and chess piece representations.
    • In "Protection", Elisa of all people has to play Xanatos Speed Chess in response to Goliath's and Broadway's interference in her operation, and Dracon's reaction to the same.
  • Xenofiction: A relatively mild example, but definitely present. Gargoyles can relate to humans enough to have reasonably civil relationships with them, but they have trouble grasping the concepts of personal names and individual parenthood. Because they spend part of their lives as stone formations, gargoyles think of themselves as part of nature, and they don't feel the need to go by personal names unless humans assign them names. Likewise, their unique biology means that they collectively raise their eggs in rookeries, and they consider all hatchlings to be the collective children of the clan.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: In "Future Tense", and in the case of Avalon in general, where time runs slower inside of it, at a rate of one Avalon Hour = one Real World Day. 1,000 years in the real world equal just over 41 years in Avalon, which is accurately reflected by how old the humans were portrayed to be.
    • Additionally, it is stated in another episode that gargoyles age at half the rate of humans; every single gargoyle on Avalon appears to be in their late teens or early twenties. Well played, writers!
  • You Already Changed the Past: The Phoenix Gate lets you go back in time, but every use turns out to be part of a Stable Time Loop - it is utterly impossible to actually change anything. It sends you back in time to do things you were meant to do all along, and since it has already happened, you are not changing anything.
  • You and What Army?:
    • Brooklyn to Lexington: "You and what Starfleet?" There was no army, they were just arguing about a video game.
    • Thailog to Goliath: "You and what clan?" Averted, as no clan or army showed up.
    • Thailog to Owen:
      Thailog: You and what army, Burnett?
      (A large group of Xanatos' commandos show up with rifles, snipers, and a gatling gun.)
      Owen: This army.
    • Talon says this to Fang in a half exasperated, half deadpan way when the latter says he's taking over the Labyrinth; Fang then replies "This army, pal," as he reveals Claw, Lou and Chaz carrying energy weapons, followed up by "And you're out first prisoner of war."
  • You Are Number 6: Illuminati must identify themselves to each other by rank, with each rank's number also indicating its number of members (one One, two Twos, etc.); the lowest rank is Thirty-Six. Xanatos, Thailog, Matt Bluestone, and John Castaway are all Thirty-Sixes. Peredur fab Ragnal, the Fisher King, is One. That gives them 666 members altogether.
  • You Can Talk?: Elisa's first words to Goliath after falling off Castle Wyvern & the Eyrie Building.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In "Enter Macbeth", the gargoyles are forced to flee Castle Wyvern because Xanatos' jail time is up, so they find a new home in the Clock Tower in the NYPD's 23rd District headquarters. This is eventually reverted when they're allowed to return after the destruction of the clock tower.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The first few episodes of the second season were unqualified successes for Xanatos: He succeeded in getting Fox an early parole in "Leader of the Pack", he mutated Derek and turned him against the Manhattan Clan in "Metamorphosis", and he acquired the code for the deadliest computer virus in the world in "Legion". Only "Metamorphosis" counts as a Downer Ending, though, because the Manhattan Clan did score a few points against the Pack and the ghost of Iago, although none against Xanatos himself.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Xanatos is always full of surprises:
      Xanatos: Fox and I are getting married tomorrow night. I would like you to be the best man.
      Goliath: You can't be serious.
    • Brooklyn realizes he is dateless again. Even his clone Malibu is having more luck and is hooking up with Delilah:
      Brooklyn: Oh, you gotta be kiddin' me...
  • You Keep Using That Word: Traditionally, a gargoyle is a waterspout carved to have a face. Freestanding statues placed on castles and other large stone buildings are called "Grotesques". Then again, a fictional supernatural race can probably call itself whatever it wants.
  • You Killed My Father: (Part of) Gillecomgain's motive for killing Findlaech, Macbeth's motive for killing Gillecomgain (and Duncan), Canmore's motive for killing Macbeth, and many of Canmore's descendants' motives for trying to kill Demona.
  • You Monster!: "City of Stone", part 3, contains this.
  • Younger Than They Look: The clones, due to an accelerated aging technology.
    • Macbeth in 1040 after he traded his youth to (the gargoyle whom he would soon name) Demona, even though he has continued to look that age in the thousand years or so since then.
  • Yuppie Couple: Several: Brendan and Margot, who are the trope-naming Yuppie Couple; the jogger who appears in most Central Park scenes; the trio of petty crooks. Vinnie Grigori is retconned into this in "Vendettas". Eventually, Vinnie and Margot are given bigger roles, Vinnie as a proper recurring character; and Margot, who is revealed to be an Assistant District Attorney, becoming a member of the NYPD's Gargoyle Task Force and the face of the general population's anti-gargoyle sentiment.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gargoyles The Goliath Chronicles


Goliath and the Wyvern Clan

Goliath and the gargoyle clan are the guardians of Castle Wyvern.

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