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YMMV / Airwolf

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Archangel; is his friendship with Hawke genuine and the terms of their deal the best he can do, or is he just using Hawke as a powerful deniable asset by dangling a carrot on a string?
  • Awesome Music: The show's theme song, though some have argued that this got worse along with everything else in season 4.
  • Complete Monster: Charles Henry Moffett, from the series premiere, is the genius inventor of the attack helicopter Airwolf but also a brutal sociopath. Turning on the US, Moffett massacres a room full of personnel and later sells his services to Libya, using the Airwolf for terrorist attacks where he even wipes out an entire US battleship. Discovering a dancing girl is a spy for the agency called The Firm, Moffett tortures her in the desert where she eventually dies of thirst and exposure. Even after his death, in season 2's "Moffett's Ghost", it is revealed Moffett planned for the possibility and programmed the Airwolf to go berserk and fly itself to destroy everything it could if he did not enter a specific code to stop it, referring to it as his last jest upon an insane world.
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  • Ear Worm: the opening theme. Just TRY to get it out of your head.
  • Faux Symbolism: The Airwolf v. Airwolf II battle is preceded by them hovering near each other like sumo wrestlers.
    • Another episode features a bunch of Vietnamese people, whose village was destroyed via inaccurate intelligence in The Vietnam War, kidnap the families of the pilots involved (including Caitlin and Dom, by virtue of being Hawke's "family", although he was absent). They decide to kill them all in the camp they're in on the 14th anniversary of the attack at the time it took place (although they fail to factor in the time zone- along with a very poorly co-ordinated hostage video), by using Huey helicopters- the same type that did it.
    • In yet another episode, a group of people living in a religious commune are praying for someone to deliver them, An image of the leader is super imposed with Airwolf rising from its den and coming to the rescue.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Just what is it about Airwolf that makes it so only Moffet and Hawke could fly it to its fullest abilities? When in turbo mode, Airwolf essentially becomes a fighter plane. The entire concept is, in terms of realistic military application, a Game-Breaker; helicopters are able to handle situations in small spaces and areas that fighter jets can't because they have minimum cruising speeds. However, helicopters stand no chance against fighter jets in combat, and a single fighter can easily solve the problem of ground units being assailed by helicopters. Airwolf can, at will, switch between both roles with one press of a button. The problem here is that piloting a gunship and piloting a fighter jet are two entirely different tasks, and someone like Dominic who only knows how to fly helicopters can't fly Airwolf in turbo mode because he doesn't know how to fly fighter jets.
      • Dom is show to use the turbos at times when he has to rescue String. However, he is never shown to use them in combat, which would require much more skill.
      • Where this falls down, of course, is that rotary-wing pilots do all of their initial flight training on fixed-wing aircraft, such as the T-34. So while a rotary pilot could not be expected to randomly be able to fly an advanced fixed-wing such as a B-2 or F/A-18, flying normally, even in jet aircraft, is very reasonable. Supersonic flight is not really very different, especially when adding in the computer-assists all modern supersonic aircraft (and of course, The Lady) have.
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    • As mentioned below, in "Echoes of the Past," the villains create some fake news reports to try and trick Hawke into thinking he's been in a coma for 8 months. The main story they create involves Princess Diana and Prince Charles getting divorced. Why that story in particular? Well, although they had the resources to create the elaborate charade to try and fool Hawke, they also clearly didn't want to spend too much time and money on the charade, as every dollar of it would be less from their final reward. Celebrity gossip involving royalty would be the perfect middle ground - big enough to explain why every station on Hawke's TV is playing it constantly, but also trivial enough that someone like Stringfellow wouldn't be too interested in it and therefore wouldn't examine it too closely.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The episode "Firestorm", especially the end, considering Jan-Michael Vincent's own problems with alcoholism.
    • The helicopter itself: after the show ended, it was refurbished as a flying ambulance and eventually crashed into a mountain.
    • In "Echoes of the Past" the villains are attempting to make Hawke think he's been in a coma for eight and a half months, and as part of the ruse they create a series of fake newspapers and television reports. One of the big stories on their fake news is about Princess Diana and Prince Charles getting divorced... 11 years later the two DID get divorced, following Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one episode a character is badly wounded and, rather than wait for an actual air ambulance, the team load him onto Airwolf, using it as a makeshift air ambulance. After the show was cancelled the first time the helicopter was sold and refurbished as an actual air ambulance. Unfortunately it became distinctly un-hilarious when, as mentioned above, the helicopter was involved in a fatal crash killing everyone on board.
  • Seasonal Rot: The fourth season. Budget cuts meant that practically the entire cast was replaced, stock footage of Airwolf had to be deployed because they couldn't afford the actual plane anymore, and Special Effects Failure was a frequent occurrence.
  • Special Effects Failure A badly-painted model (probably an Airfix kit) was employed every time Season 4 had finally scraped right through the barrel for Stock Footage.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Happens quite literally to Dom, who is forced to hide inside Airwolf instead of taking off because he'd previously set up a camo-net on top of the helicopter and he has to wait until the mountain lion meanders away before he can get it off. At one point, he tempts fate by wondering what else can go wrong, and a second mountain lion shows up.


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