Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Gargoyles

Go To

  • Accidental Innuendo: Arthur's line about his sword to the Lady of the Lake sound like he was Compensating for Something.
    Arthur Pendragon: I need my sword, my Lady. I am not whole without Excalibur.
  • Adorkable: With his big eyes, reedy voice, and love of technology, Lexington definitely qualifies as this.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Just how evil is Xanatos exactly? Is he even truly evil, or just really, really, REALLY misguided and, in his own way, lacking for social skills?
      • Many of his deeds are understandable From a Certain Point of View, but what he arranged for his trusting employee, Derek Maza, is definitely villainous.
      • Xanatos is never cruel for cruelty's sake, but he can and will do terrible things to innocent people if it benefits him.
      • Is Xanatos truly redeemed or does he see that allying himself with the Gargoyles benefits him more than going against them? While The Goliath Chronicles went with the former interpretation, the canon comic books lean more towards the latter. Or maybe somewhere in between?
    • Advertisement:
    • Is Demona a tragic villain that deserves as much sympathy as her backstory provides or has her atrocities, City of Stone being a glaring example, destroyed any chance of being sympathetic and just made her a completely evil, mass murdering monster who'd blame her misfortunes on others instead of accepting the fact that she's also responsible for the misfortunes that was brought upon her.
    • When he gains the power of Anubis, Jackal mocks his former teammates, Wolf and Hyena, before turning them into infants. Was this For the Evulz and just Jackal testing what his power could do, or by not killing them like Coyote 3.0, was it a Pet the Dog moment where he removed them as an enemy but did so non-fatally?
    • Is Owen really only a persona to Puck or does he have his own individuality or sentience? It's notable that when Oberon sentenced Puck to be permanently in Owen's form unless for protection/teaching Puck is horrified at the idea, but Owen seems to be fine with it. Additionally it may just be a case of Becoming the Mask.
    • Advertisement:
    • The New Olympians claim that their ancestors were persecuted, and indeed their accounts match the way gargoyles had always been treated by humans. However, unlike gargoyles, a willingness to use their abilities to bully the less powerful seems to be the rule rather than the exception among the New Olympians. Perhaps there is a valid reason that their ancestors are remembered as monsters. Or maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.
  • Angst? What Angst?: By the end of "The Hound of Ulster", Rory doesn't seem at all broken up about his close friend Molly turning out to be a disguised Banshee trying to steer him away from his destiny all along. Nor does he seem too upset about having to kill her when she tries to kill him in a fit of rage. To be clear, this is someone who had told him they loved him (and presumably lied about that, making it all the more upsetting).
  • Advertisement:
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Despite being darker than a typical Disney animated series, and trying to reach for an older audience than just children, the show still wound up a victim of this, especially due to the third season and the first volume of the season 2 DVD set underselling.
  • Anvilicious: While the conflict between gargoyles and humans was always presented as similar to real-life bigotry (see below) the Goliath Chronicles removed any hint of subtlety from the matter. It doesn't help that the season's villains, the Quarrymen, wear black hoods that are basically pallet-swapped Klan hoods.
  • Applicability: Humankind's bigotry toward gargoyles serves as a thinly-veiled Allegory for the still-troubled state of race relations in the U.S.; it's especially noticeable in light of the uptick in racial unrest between 2017 and 2021.
  • Arc Fatigue: The World Tour took a really long time to complete, though Greg Weisman insists to this day it would have been better received if the show didn't have to go on hiatus several times due to the episodes not being ready (the OJ Simpson case causing pre-emptions didn't help). He also admits he greatly underestimated the popularity of the Trio, and it was a mistake to remove them from the show for so long.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Most of the music in the show qualifies for this, but the opening theme - with its heavy, ominous drums and Gothic fanfare - is a fan favorite.
    • Becomes even more awesome when episode commentaries with the cast and crew reveal that their music budget was so low that most of the music in the series was just a rearrangement of the opening theme. On a limited budget they managed to take one theme and create enough variations of it to fill a whole soundtrack. Somebody give composer Carl Johnson an award!
    • The opening theme for "Chronicles" isn't too shabby, either.
  • Better on DVD: Perhaps the show was too ambitious for its time; a weekly animated series with a heavily serialized story made keeping up a chore, not helped by the fact that the reruns were shown out of order. Marathon-watching it on DVD or streaming makes it easier to follow the story, not to mention eliminating the frustration of the "To Be Continued" endings.
  • Broken Base:
    • Some fans didn't like that Brooklyn's son name is "Nashville", named after a city mostly known for country music, which clash with the themes promoted in the series. Other fans are fine with it as it fits the American location theme perfectly. Those fans argue that Brooklyn and Katana probably had a good reason to choose that name. We just don't know why yet, as the series and comic book came to a halt.
    • The World Tour arc. One half of the fanbase enjoyed it for expanding the lore of the series and introduced new characters to the series, while the other half hated it for dragging on too long and leaving out half of the main characters barring a few episodes. It didn't help that the show went on hiatus during that period.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Angela being Goliath and Demona's daughter wasn't that hard to figure out since she basically looks like Demona with Goliath's color scheme.
  • Complete Monster: Gargoyles, for the most part, has a well-deserved reputation for sympathetic and three-dimensional villains. There are, however, a few unrepentantly horrible ones:
    • Hakon is the ruthless leader of a group of Viking raiders and the instigator of the Wyvern massacre. In his debut, he invades Castle Wyvern with the intent of looting it and selling off its residents as slaves. After a humiliating defeat, Hakon vows vengeance against the Gargoyles, and with aid from the Captain of the Guard, successfully takes over the castle. However, not content with plundering the castle, Hakon slaughters most of the petrified Wyvern clan, threatening to kill the Captain if he gets in his way. When cornered by Goliath, he attempts to blame the Captain, before they both fall to their deaths. Blaming Goliath for his demise, his soul persisted within Castle Wyvern through The Power of Hate, and he, along with the Captain, torment Goliath with visions of the Wyvern massacre. Luring him deep into the castle, he gleefully commences a ritual that would revive him and have Goliath bound to the castle in his place. When the Captain turns on him and thwarts his plan, he stubbornly hangs onto his hate; binding his soul to an axe and teaming up with Wolf to kill Goliath and Hudson. A savage motivated by petty vengeance and senseless hatred, Hakon set the standard for how truly malevolent the show's villains could get.
    • Jackal is a sadistic and violent member of the Pack who gleefully participates in hunting the gargoyles for sport and abandons his humanity to become a cyborg killing machine, seeming only to take pleasure in violence and cruelty. While Jackal is often kept in check by his colleagues, season 2's "Grief" reveals what he is truly capable of. When the Egyptian god Anubis is captured by an Emir seeking to bring his dead son back to life, Jackal seizes power from the Jackal god and makes himself the god of death, torturing his enemies by aging them to the point they are almost too infirm to move and transforming his own teammates into children. Jackal proceeds to attempt to wipe out every living thing on the planet simply because he can, destroying an entire city before he is stopped.
    • "The New Olympians": Proteus of the New Olympians is a shape-shifting Serial Killer who was imprisoned after murdering the previous captain of the guard. He consistently assumes the form of his victim to mock the man's son Taurus. When he tricks his way to freedom, Proteus delights in sowing the seeds of chaos all through the city, using people's emotions against them with his powers for a sick thrill and trying to destroy his city and commit genocide on his own people.
    • King Constantine III, from part 1 of season 2's "Avalon" and issues 10-12 of the "Clan-Building" comic book arc, is a greedy, ambitious Scottish lord who manipulates the noblewoman Finella so he can murder King Kenneth and seize the crown. A brutal tyrant, Constantine also directs his wrath against the Gargoyles, slaughtering all he finds and intending on their complete eradication. Showing no care for the rules of war, Constantine has a messenger executed and intends in massacring the forces and allies of would-be King Kenneth III, even threatening to kill Kenneth's young son in front of him.
    • Gillecomgain was the first Hunter and the mace through which King Constantine III nearly authored the extinction of Gargoyles in Scotland. Once a peasant boy left scarred from a chance encounter with Demona, Gillecomgain used his scars as pretext for killing as many gargoyles as he possibly could, performing his task with such a single-minded, savage zeal that Constantine adopted a face mask emulating the boy's scars. Gillecomgain had no trouble attempting to murder the unarmed son of Kenneth III when they were both but boys, and when he grew up Gillecomgain murdered the noble Findlaech and took his son Macbeth's beloved Gruoch into a forced, loveless marriage. Finally killed only due to the mutual efforts of Macbeth and Demona, Gillecomgain's brutality still ensured that others would succeed his mantle as the Hunter and preserve his bloodthirsty legacy for centuries to come.
  • Designated Hero: The episode "Pendragon" arguably makes King Arthur and Macbeth of all people into one of these and Designated Villain, respectively. The episode concerns Arthur's quest to reclaim his lost sword, Excalibur, with Macbeth opposing him and wanting to claim the sword as his own:
    • For: Arthur essentially has no moral high ground on Macbeth. As Macbeth correctly points out, he is just as valid a candidate as Arthur as the destined wielder of Excalibur, since the prophecy surrounding it says it is to be claimed by a "timeless king". Arthur spends a large part of the episode acting insulted and irritated by the sheer notion that he might have to prove his worthiness again after centuries of sleeping rather than being immediately granted the sword back, coming across as rather entitled and spoiled. When it briefly seems Macbeth has been granted the sword, Arthur's first instinct is to attack him and insist that a mistake has been made, whereas Macbeth gracefully accepts defeat upon seeing Arthur being granted the real sword. This is compounded by the fact that Arthur doesn't actually solve most of the riddles leading to the sword himself, leaving the gargoyles to do most of the brainwork and not making himself come across as much more worthy of having it than Macbeth.
    • Against: Arthur, having been the One-True-King, has reason to think that he still qualifies and had no reason to think that his title had expired. Additionally, from his perspective he had only been separated from the sword for a short period, even if he intellectually knew it had been centuries. Indeed, both the Stone of Destiny and the Lady of the Lake imply that he needs to prove himself because he woke up too early. As he says, he does not feel "whole" without Excalibur; it is a huge part of his identity, and so the idea that he could lose it terrifies him. People tend to not be on their best behavior during existential crisis. Thus, he acts with rage when he thinks Macbeth has "stolen" it from him, but all Macbeth had to do is remind him of his better nature ("An honest man would acknowledge his true king and yield!") and he does indeed yield; it is similar to Goliath breaking Macbeth's brainwashing by reminding him of his own better nature. Immediately after the fight ends, he basically says "Good game, fellow king. Wanna travel together?" which shows that he is a good sport, does not hold a grudge, recognizes Macbeth as a peer, etc. Also, while the gargoyles provide much help, gathering this kind of help is part of the idea of being king. As Arthur himself said, "No king can lead without his knights." Such leading includes keeping a cool head and giving clear orders on the proper method of defeating undines, even when one of them is moments away from drowning him. He is also the one who figures out the last part of the riddle, without help from anyone.
    • All of the protagonists become this in "Ill Met by Moonlight". Oberon returns to Avalon and tells the Avalon clan to leave. As the rightful ruler of Avalon, he has every right to make this demand. When Ophelia points this out, Elisa says that Oberon forfeited his claim on Avalon by abandoning it for 1,000 years. This rationalization ignores three important facts: 1) Oberon is immortal and 1,000 years wouldn't seem very long to him; 2) Oberon posted guards to make sure no one set foot on Avalon while he was gone, guards that the Magus overpowered, so the Avalon clan weren't just squatters, they were invaders; and 3) the danger which originally forced the clan to seek refuge on Avalon was not only long over, it was long forgotten. The world might not have been gargoyle-friendly but there were a handful of clans still thriving in the modern world, so simply complying with Oberon's demand and leaving really was an option.
  • Designated Villain:
    • The episode "Pendragon" arguably makes Macbeth and King Arthur of all people into one of these and Designated Hero, respectively. The episode concerns Arthur's quest to reclaim his lost sword, Excalibur, with Macbeth opposing him and wanting to claim the sword as his own. We don't know what Macbeth plans to do with the great power that he feels is coming, so it could be heroic or villainous. Based on their history together (just one example is him stealing the scrolls of Merlin in an attempt to siphon the magical power he thought was contained in them), the gargoyles assume it is villainous when they see Macbeth standing on a rooftop chanting over a bubbling cauldron (it's worth remembering that at this point in the continuity Hudson and the trio still don't know what happened on Avalon and in Paris, the last time they encountered Macbeth he was working with Demona to steal Coldstone for reasons still unknown to them). His henchpeople attempt to kill the gargoyles, and it is clear from their actions that Macbeth didn't give them any "don't use lethal force" orders. While he is much quicker to acknowledge Arthur as the One-True-King than Arthur was to him, his attachment to the sword was also much weaker. Like Arthur, he is a good sport about the whole thing in the end, and says that he will help Arthur in the future (as a fellow king, not a subordinate knight).
    • The Weird Sisters. Oberon told them to make sure no one entered Avalon while the third race was in exile, an order he had every right to give and they had every reason to obey. In their first chronological appearance, they failed in this task. Everything they did in the entire series was done to remove the invaders from their homeland. While working with the Archmage, who was a Card-Carrying Villain, doesn't make them look good, they had every reason to be grateful after he rescued them from an eternity of being owls.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Macbeth is a fairly minor example — he's an Anti-Villain who's heavy on the "anti"- but a lot of his fans see him as a Hero Antagonist, which Word of God says he's definitely not, at least when first introduced (later in the series, this may have changed).
    • What's done to Demona in fanfiction...
    • It's done a lot to Xanatos and Fox as well. While they do eventually become allies of the Gargoyles, they still have committed many evil acts, the majority of which they don’t seem too regretful of, that some fans ignore.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Escapist Character: David Xanatos. Xanatos is rich, successful, charismatic, handsome, a fighter capable of taking on the world's greatest warriors in single combat, and so intelligent that he named two planning tropes, always coming out on top. The catch? He's the villain. Though the Gargoyles are our heroes, and Xanatos must often be stopped for the good of others, it's hard not to want to be the Evil Genius Xanatos is presented as.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • When Elisa goes undercover as a crooked cop demanding protection money, she wears a black jacket, tight black pants, and a blue top that shows her midriff, displays cleavage, and nicely accentuates her breasts. No wonder she quickly charms mob boss Tony Dracon into letting her join his crew.
    • In Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, evil shapeshifter Proteus disguises himself as Elisa and all but seduces Goliath into trusting him.
    • Demona. To the point where it was clearly a conscious choice by the creators to make her look that way.
    • There's also Hyena, who's pretty sexy in her own right. Even after she becomes a cyborg.
    • She's more morally ambiguous than Demona or Hyena, but Fox still counts on both the evil and the sexy - even the tattoo on her eye doesn't hurt. Especially if you like redheads.
    • David Xanatos is ruggedly-handsome, intelligent, and sharply-dressed enough to make you want to forgive his crimes.
    • Thailog. He's avoided the Draco in Leather Pants label, but you still Love to Hate him and he's got an amazing voice on the side.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans of the show ignore Goliath Chronicles, and dismiss it as nonexistent. Hell, that was before Weisman himself not only made it clear he goes by that notion, but made it official as well.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • It is not essential to understanding the show, but familiarity with the myths, legends and Real Life history of some of the characters adds much greater depth to some of the stories (on the other hand, there are some points where their inaccuracies can cause headaches amongst that same crowd).
    • The 3 gargoyles who make up Coldstone are nicknamed Othello, Desdemona (Othello's mate), and Iago (Othello's enemy, who desires Desdemona). Othello was convinced Goliath tried to take Desdemona away from him. This is pretty much Othello in a robotic, Frankenstein's Monster-like nutshell.
    • Macbeth is based on the historical Macbeth, not the Shakespearean one. This is off-handedly referenced in the comic, when he and Arthur commiserate on historical accuracy.
    • One of the new characters introduced in the comic book continuation is Quincy Hemings, an African-American man who works as a butler at the White House, and turns out to be a high-ranking member of the Illuminati. If you know your American history, you might note that he has the same last name as Sally Hemings, the slave with whom Thomas Jefferson fathered an illegitimate child. Though never explicitly spelled out, the apparent implication is that Quincy is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, and he inherited his Illuminati membership through his ancestor's ties to the Founding Fathers (whose ranks included several prominent Freemasons).
  • Growing the Beard: Many fans point to "City of Stone" as the point when Gargoyles made the jump from an above-average Action-Adventure cartoon to a true epic with multi-layered characters and complex story arcs. It introduced surprisingly detailed backstories for Macbeth and Demona (leading to major Character Development for both), but it also featured the first official alliance between David Xanatos and the gargoyles—firmly cementing Xanatos as the unpredictable Chessmaster that we know and love.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • This exchange between Elisa and Xanatos in the third episode seems a lot less funny when we see Xanatos ruling Manhattan as his own private nation in "Future Tense".
      Xanatos: The truth is that my men repelled an invasion by a rival corporation trying to steal some of our new technology.
      Elisa: "Repelled an invasion"? You're a private citizen, Xanatos, not a country!
    • Early on Xanatos warned Goliath that New Yorkers would soon start hunting Gargoyles, and that he would be the clan's only salvation. Skip ahead to the episode "Hunter's Moon", where a mob of angry New Yorkers are about to start a riot to kill the "monsters", and Xanatos saves them by offering them a ride in his helicopter. Later still in "Angels in the Night", you see that the Gargoyles are still hunted and persecuted by New Yorkers, and Xanatos helping the clan out of a trap set up by the Quarrymen.
    • In the episode "Mark Of The Panther" Elisa's mother, Diana Maza, tells the story of the Panther Queen which gets a lot worse when you remember that her son Derek Maza was transformed into a panther mutate by Xanatos.
    • In "Future Tense", our heroes are in a Bad Future and the WTC is missing in one scene. The episode aired in 1996 and Puck says it's a prophecy. Disturbing...
    • In fact, since it's based mainly in Manhattan, the World Trade Center towers in general feature prominently in the background of a lot of scenes from this series, and sometimes in the foreground: Puck played some of his best pranks in "The Mirror" from atop those towers, for instance. This can get a bit awkward these days when showing the series to anyone too young to remember 9/11.
    • Maggie Reed being so unhappy with her life as a mutate that she's willing to take a potentially fatal cure in "The Cage" becomes even more tragic in retrospect in light of the Bad Guys spin-off of the Slave Labor Graphics comic continuation, where the fourth issue had a mutate named Tasha commit suicide after realizing that there's no cure for her condition.
  • He Really Can Act: Invoked with the creation of Thailog, as Weisman felt guilty that Keith David wasn't getting to display much of his acting range as Goliath.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Elisa dressing as Belle for Halloween, and reenacting the titular dance sequence of Beauty and the Beast with Goliath, predates Disney hiring such African-American performers as Toni Braxton and H.E.R. to portray Belle in staged productions.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the episode "Mark Of The Panther" Anansi declares his desire to turn the Main Characters into were-leopards, Elisa spites him retorting "Dream on, Spider-Man!". Not only does Disney own Marvel Comics now, but also Weisman was the head writer of The Spectacular Spider-Man.
    • Demona, a gargoyle, flitting about Notre Dame... In a dark and serious animated property by Disney, no less.
    • In "Future Tense", the alternate universe Brooklyn mentions that Thailog died in the "Clone Wars". Greg Weisman later worked on Star Wars: Rebels with Star Wars: The Clone Wars' supervising director Dave Filoni.
    • This is not the last time David Warner voiced an evil wizard.
    • Fans disliked Preston Vogel for seeming like a rip-off of the more fleshed-out Owen. Owen is an in-universe ripoff of Vogel, as he is styled after him by Puck, his true identity.
    • In "A Bronx Tail", a child is shown reading a "Mega Mutants" Comic book near the start of the episode. It seems humorously prophetic now that Disney owns Marvel Comics.
    • In "Walkabout," Anastasia Reynard, voiced by Kate Mulgrew, remarks that they don't know enough about hive mind artificial intelligence. The episode originally premiered before the Borg made their debut on Star Trek: Voyager, where much more about the Borg was revealed then had been known previous.
      • While on the subject of Anastasia Reynard, the later reveal of her as Lady Titania, wife of Oberon, is rather amusing, considering Kate Mulgrew's later role as Flemeth, the witch of the wilds.
    • The Hunter that Demona fights during the Renaissance uses a flying machine very similar to the type Leonardo Da Vinci designed. That wouldn't seem coincidental back then, but nowadays...
    • Lexington befriending Wolf ends up in betrayal by the latter is amusing when Chris Bradfod does the same to Mikey in TMNT 2012, as both villains are voiced by Clancy Brown.
    • Coldstone becomes a bit less intimidating after a chain of ice cream parlors sharing his name rose to prominence.
    • Similarly, it can be harder to take the name "Coldsteel" seriously nowadays thanks to the infamous "Coldsteel the Hedgeheg" meme.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • After Demona destroyed Fortress One, you can see several Cyberbioctics personnel jumping on the water just as a massive explosion took out the ship. There's no way everyone could have survive the drowning and the explosion. There's has to be some casualties.
    • Nothing is ever mentioned afterwards of the entire city which Jackal, mad with Anubis' powers, reduced to mere rubble, though the Emir/Anubis fusion mentions returning the stolen life energies we never actually see it happen.
    • Demona murdered several people while they're turned to stone, plus that woman whose arms she shot off. Just how many people did she kill?
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Bodhe was intended to be a Dirty Coward and the devil on Macbeth's shoulder telling him to make the wrong decision. Creator Greg Weisman believed he slandered Bodhe worse than Shakespeare slandered Macbeth. While Bodhe's last suggestion that Macbeth break his alliance with Demona to appease the British was wrong, cowardly, and had terrible consequences, everything else he said was right:
      • In the SLG comics Bodhe spends the entire battle running and hiding from Gillecomgain. This was supposed to be seen as the origin of Bodhe's cowardice, but Gillecomgain was twice his size and a raging psycho. Running and hiding was the smart move.
      • When Duncan ordered Gruoch to marry Gillecomgain, Macbeth wanted to run away with her. Bodhe told Macbeth that defying Duncan would be treason and there would be no place they would be safe and if Macbeth truly loved her he would let her go. In fact, Duncan had been looking for an excuse to kill Macbeth, he probably would have killed Macbeth and Gruoch just out of spite.
      • When Duncan's army was ready to attack Moray, Bodhe told Macbeth that Duncan would easily overpower Macbeth's loyal soldiers and slaughter his family and that Macbeth's only chance to save his wife and son was to surrender. Indeed, prior to Macbeth making an alliance with Demona, Duncan would have easily plowed through Macbeth's loyal soldiers and probably would have killed his wife and son.
      • After Duncan's death, Bodhe advises Macbeth to kill Canmore, believing that Canmore would be trouble. Once again, he was proven right.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • David Xanatos, the Trope Namer for Xanatos Gambit and Xanatos Speed Chess, is a charming, suave man who always thinks ten steps ahead. Having revived the Gargoyles in modern day, Xanatos befriends them while manipulating them into stealing technology for him while pretending to be an innocent party. After being defeated and sent to prison, Xanatos sets up further plans to make himself look like a model citizen while securing an early parole for his lover Fox, while constantly tricking the Gargoyles into handling problems for him. Even his own wedding shows Xanatos's endless capacity for maintaining an advantage: warping himself and all the wedding guests into the past, Xanatos ends the adventure by having a rare coin set aside to be sent to himself a thousand years in the future when it will be worth a fortune, allowing him to kick start his own career. Rarely at a loss for a contingency and never losing his smile, Xanatos is rarely ever one-upped, and often proves his boast that nothing is beyond his capacity to control.
    • Fox, born Janine Renard, is David Xanatos' wife and partner in crime. A savvy, cunning mercenary, Fox aids her husband's schemes out of their genuine love and admiration for each other. Introduced as the leader of the Pack, Fox quickly proves herself to be head and shoulders above her teammates, manipulating them on Xanatos' behalf before leaving the group during a jailbreak to ensure her own early parole. Equally capable while operating on her own initiative, Fox orchestrates a near-successful scheme to usurp her noble father's company, despite the fact that he would have simply given it to her if she asked, preferring fun over her father's sense of honor, maintaining a positive relationship with him despite this. When Oberon attempts to abduct her newborn son, Fox proves willing to fight tooth and nail to defend him, even summoning a burst of magical power that temporarily stuns the Lord of Avalon. Pairing her skills with a mischievous cunning and genuine affection for her family, Fox proves herself as every bit her husband's equal.
    • Macbeth mac Findlaech is an immortal Scottish king magically linked to Demona. Losing his kingdom and his family to his former ally's treachery, Macbeth sets out to avenge himself upon her, as well as to use the terms of their immortality—that neither can die unless one kills the other, in which case, both die—to end his own painful life as well. Considered one of the greatest warriors alive by the modern day, Macbeth combines tactical acumen, combat skill, and advanced technology to stand his ground against far stronger opponents. Honorable yet ruthless, Macbeth proves that he wouldn't attack his enemies while they were helpless, but can easily outfight them in battle. Initially willing to take the gargoyles hostage or allow them to die if it means he can kill Demona, Macbeth gradually rediscovers his will to live, becoming the clan's ally. Later seeking a new purpose, Macbeth tries to usurp King Arthur as the Once and Future King, only to show humility when Arthur bests him, declining an offer to serve Arthur, but promising his aid when needed. One of the show's most sympathetic, yet capable villains, Macbeth is one of the Manhattan Clan's finest foes, never losing his sense of honor or admirable edge.
    • Puck is the trickster of Oberon's Children, a brilliant prankster who assumes the form of Owen Burnett to assist David Xanatos. Puck, when enslaved by Demona, constantly misinterprets her commands, such as turning humans into gargoyles and vice versa to get around her attempts to murder them, leaving Demona to turn human during the daylight as a form of ironic punishment. Later creating a huge vision of a Bad Future to trick Goliath into handing over the Phoenix Gate, Puck even stands firm against King Oberon to protect the Xanatos family before becoming a talented tutor to baby Alexander Xanatos, even if he has to manipulate events to create chaos for teaching opportunities.
    • Thailog is Goliath's evil clone who enters the scene luring both Goliath and Xanatos to him to claim a massive amount of money and eliminate his rivals. With his plan going off nearly perfectly, Thailog fakes his death and begins to build up a power base in the world. Seducing Demona, Thailog arranges for her to win the heart of Macbeth in her human guise, while planning to have them kill one another so he can take over both their operations. Thailog later arranges for the near elimination of the Manhattan Clan after he's cloned them, while also planning ahead for Demona's betrayal as well. Combining Xanatos's charm and brilliant mind with Goliath's power, Thailog shows why he is one of the single most dangerous villains in all of Gargoyles.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Demona goes over it truly in "City of Stone", where she ends up breaking, and thus murdering, an untold number of humans turned to stone. She also crossed it when she destroyed Fortress One for no other reasons than killing a bunch of humans who weren't even responsible for stealing from Xanatos.
    • Jackal crosses it when he uses the power of Anubis to try and wipe out all life in the world, wiping out an entire city in the process of his attempt.
    • Hakon crossed it when he enacted the Wyvern Massacre while the gargoyles were still stone- the equivalent of killing an unarmed person in their sleep. And later after death, when his ghost pulled Mind Rape on Goliath via transforming into the gargoyle's fallen brethren in order to torment him.
    • Jon Canmore crosses it when he tries to kill Vinnie for disobeying him.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The "Avalon" arc and the ArchMage's alliance with the Weird Sisters was intended to provoke an audience response of "Oh wow, the ArchMage is so all-powerful that even the Weird Sisters are doing his bidding!! How will our heroes ever defeat him?!". But instead, many fans had the opposite reaction. Rather than the arc building up the ArchMage in their mind, it tore down the Sisters: "Oh, the Weird Sisters aren't so powerful after all, they're even doing the bidding of that silly ArchMage guy." Word of God is that he may have "failed" the voice actor who performed the ArchMage when it came to this story.
  • Narm: Occasionally the series' trademark melodrama goes a bit too far.
    • In "A Lighthouse In the Sea of Time", Robbins takes care to make sure that his delivery of the "Reading Is Cool" Aesop doesn't become preachy or narmy. Broadway, on the other hand, is a bit too hammy when he pontificates on the magic of the written word.
    • Demona's multitude of sultry poses while revealing her ability to turn human to Elisa in "High Noon." Weisman admits he has no idea what anyone was thinking with this one.
    • There's a few episodes that try to build suspense over who a character in the shadows is, but the design and/or the voice makes it immediately obvious.
    • The Archmage decides that the best way to get the magic of the Grimmorum into his body is to eat it. No, really, he opens his mouth and shoves a book in.
    • Purely from an animation standpoint, when Goliath gives Hudson a sideways glance in "Her Brother's Keeper," his eyes open just a little too wide.
    • The gargoyles learn about the curse of Demona and Macbeth being the only ones who can kill each other fairly early in Season 2, yet they repeatedly keep assuming Demona has been killed some other way. note 
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Given the fandom's reaction to season 3, some fans see Greg as the true storyteller of the series.
  • Popular with Furries: Several varieties of anthropomorphic beasts appear across the show's run, and several of them are Walking Shirtless Scenes.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Princess Katherine and the Magus were initially seen as snooty and ungrateful idiots but they are are much better received by the audience once they Took a Level in Badass and Kindness.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Granted, Bill Fagerbakke wasn't a complete unknown when this show was on thanks to Coach, which was still running at the time. Nonetheless, fans of Spongebob Squarepants will probably get a kick out of hearing Patrick's voice coming out of the slightly more intelligent Broadway.
  • Ron the Death Eater: This is done a lot to Goliath in fanfiction. It's usually in stories that give Demona the Draco in Leather Pants treatment. There was a period where it got so bad, that when it was being discussed on one of the forums, Greg Weisman himself had to comment.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Derek Maza/Talon, for constantly holding the Idiot Ball. He constantly believes in everything Xanatos tells him despite that normally, anyone would start getting suspicious of someone like Xanatos who's working with a Mad Scientist on mutating people. It gets worse when it was confirmed that he did listen to the tape Eliza gave him and still believes his every word. And when he gets mutated he blames Goliath entirely for it even though part of it was his own fault. This made him rather unsympathetic to many viewers instead of the opposite. Even after his Heel–Face Turn, he still gets the Idiot Ball and makes poor and rash decisions that ended up causing consequences later on in the series.
    • Maggie Reed. While it's understandable that she'd be upset at the unfortunate circumstances that ended up getting her mutated, she's generally seen as overly whiny and constantly making situations worse, from acting ungrateful and aggressive towards the Manhattan Clan despite their going out of their way to help her and keep her safe, to causing Talon to send Fang and Claw to attack the Clan at their home after Maggie revealed it to the other mutates, all while whining that she never meant to. Her being The Load also puts her firmly in Scrappy territory, as she's entirely useless in a fight, despite still having enhanced strength, speed, agility, flight and electric blasts; Thailog's attack on the Labyrinth in the comics is especially egregious, as while Talon and Claw put up a fight, Maggie just stands there, stupidly asking Thailog why he's attacking them, not only not contributing anything but also making herself an easy target for an attack, with predictable results.
  • Signature Series Arc: The City of Stone episodes. It greatly upped the stakes of the show to this point and it revealed the tragic backstories of Demona and Macbeth and why they hate each other so much. It also had Demona kill several people on-screen, introduced the Weird Sisters, and had one of the show's main arc words near the end.
    Demona: The Access code is alone.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • "The Hound of Ulster" is essentially an adaptation of the debut of The Mighty Thor in Journey into Mystery #83. A modern person discovers an old stick/cane underground which turns out to be the disguised weapon of a mythological god/hero, which transforms him into said god/hero. Greg regrets this similarity.
    • Another example in Gargoyles would be the episode "The New Olympians" being heavily influenced by The Eternals, The Inhumans and New Gods.
  • Strangled by the Red String: One episode involves Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington competeing for Angela's affections, and the episode ends without her choosing anyone. A later episode has her hooking up with Broadway, but there's not very much development of their relationship before that happens.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Weisman admits that he really should have done more with the Weird Sisters, after receiving many complaints that after their intriguing introduction in "City of Stone," they're ultimately revealed to just be cardboard evil henchmen for the Archmage.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • One of the big reasons why The Goliath Chronicles is Fanon Discontinuity is a waste of potential. The closure for the characters in the show could've been handled a lot better. A case can be made with Demona in "Generations", where she could've had a proper Heel–Face Turn. But instead, after being rejected by her daughter, Angela, for manipulating her to get Goliath killed in a plot to be welcomed back into the clan, she cries after watching Angela leave with the clan, and is never seen or heard from again. The fact that TGC was loaded with Filler didn't help matters either.
    • In "Kingdom" Brooklyn tries to talk Talon out of attacking Xanatos because if Xanatos isn't responsible for Goliath and Elisa's disappearance he doesn't want to let Xanatos know Goliath is missing. Brooklyn is proven right and it's implied Xanatos will take advantage of Goliath's absence. Xanatos is never seen taking advantage of Goliath's absence (in truth Goliath's presence never really inhibited him) before encountering the Avalon travelers in Arizona.
  • Ugly Cute: A majority of the gargoyles, quite a few of whom actually aren't ugly at all. Broadway, for instance, is hairless and chubby, but also huggable.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: If the now largely-outdated 90s tech (flip phones, CRT monitors) didn't tip you off, the presence of the World Trade Center towers in the skyline definitely does. Not to mention the portable VHS player Owen handed to Xanatos in "Enter Macbeth", complete with a build-in viewscreen.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • There are a few characters in the show who have good intentions and even seemingly sympathetic backstories but don't fully come off as sympathetic characters themselves due to their own character flaws and/or actions in the course of the series.
    • Derek/Talon had every right to be angry/saddened at being turned into a Mutate with seemingly no chance at curing himself. However, the fact that he repeatedly didn't listen to Elisa about how bad of an influence Xanatos was and continuously blamed and attacked Goliath for his own condition makes him come off as less of a sympathetic victim and more of an unlikable Jerkass.
    • Oberon himself had every legal right to reclaim Avalon as his own, and he was never really an outright evil being. He also probably had a legitimate point about how he needed to take Alexander under his care due to his magical powers. However, because he behaved like such an insufferable and entitled Jerk Ass God to begin with, very few people outright sympathize with him and/or want him to succeed no matter how right he may have been over Avalon's ownership or Alex needing proper Third Race guidance to be able to control his powers. The creator did explain his reasoning to take Alex with him (because in his eyes, leaving Alex disconnected from his magical heritage would be equal to crippling him), but that just reeks of Fantastic Racism by itself.
    • Fox in season three's "Ransom"; One season previously, she fought tooth and nail to make sure her son was safe when Oberon tried to kidnap him. Here? All she does is cry and demand Xanathos betray the gargoyles as the kidnappers demand.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: An all-adult cast, serious explorations on issues like prejudice and genocide from the first episode, and a Very Special Episode about the consequences of gun usage (which isn't painted in black-and-white like other Aesops). Not something you'd really see in most Disney animation, much less Disney television in the time that it aired; the closest thing to even aesthetically match it during its runtime at the Disney Afternoon block would have been Darkwing Duck.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The episode "Deadly Force" was accused by the NRA and other Pro-Gun ownership groups of being intended to promote gun control. Weisman responded to these claims by stating that if he was intending to influence political thinking then he picked a very poor time to do so, that being on November 18, ten days after the 1994 midterm elections, when elections for Congress, State and most local offices would have concluded by then. He also clarified that the message of that episode is that guns were weapons that could harm people, thus they must be handled responsibly and that it contained no intended advocating for one side or the other.
  • The Woobie:
    • Many characters take turns with this, but Goliath, Elisa, and Macbeth stand out the most. Just watch Macbeth's back story in "City Of Stone" and try not to feel pity towards him at the end.
    • Poor Brooklyn just can't catch a break. Even the one good thing that does happen to him (being named Goliath's second) just makes his life that much worse.
    • The Magus has this pretty hard. After The Wyvern Massacre, and because of his cursing Goliath's clan and him, Magus spent the rest of his life completely filled with guilt and unworthiness. So much so that he did not act on his feelings for Princess Katherine and watched her and Tom's romance bloom. He saw raising Goliath's Clan's children as his atonement, which Goliath wholeheartedly thanks him before he died protecting them.

Top