Funny / Good Omens
Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt this in your own home.
The Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness
- The really funny part? The member list was, by the end, named after inanimate objects. Shadwell could have easily filled in names with actual names by cracking open an ordinary phone book.
- "Excuse me, young man, but your car is on fire."
- "The point is... the point is... DOLPHINS."
- "...so every hundred years this bird flies-" "-limps-" "-flies..."
- "...And you still won't be done watching The Sound of Music. And you will enjoy it. Every time."
- "Big brains. That's my point. Size of. Size of. Size of big damn brains. Whole damn sea full of brains."
Crowley gave Aziraphale the long cool look of one who has had a girder dropped in front of his train of thought.
The Kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance.
- The level of amusement varies, depending on how funny you find Crowley's panic.
... Bee-elzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me...
"For me," murmured Crowley. His expression went blank for a moment. Then he gave a strangled scream and wrenched the on-off knob.
- Or how they made a ducking stool, but messed up a few points and ended up just using it as a see-saw into the lake.
- Wensleydale, being The Smart Guy, knows that since the Spanish Inquisition was Catholic you have to speak Latin. But since he's still a kid, this results in him saying things like "Benedictine inna decanter".
- And how using this to turn Hastur into Freddie Mercury would be a Fate Worse than Death.
- AND the insistence on Hell using whatever their target is watching or listening to as a way of communicating. Which means that Freddie Mercury suddenly starts singing messages at Crowley.
- This becomes a bit of a Brick Joke near the end of the book when Crowley hijacks a U.S. Army jeep that, thanks to Crowley's diabolic intervention, has suddenly always had a cassette player.
Crowley inserted a cassette labled "Handel's Water Music", and it stayed "Handel's Water Music" all the way home.
"What's this here", he said suspiciously, "about us got to give you faggots?"
"Oh, we have to have them," said Newt. "We burn them."
The guard's face broadened into a grin. And they'd told him England was soft. "Right on!" he said.
I do not care what it says. I never laid a finger on him.
- Crowley trying to conceptualise good luck: "a blessi- a godse- a windfall."
- What's even funnier is that after six thousand years, they're still almost invoking the names of their enemies.
- And everything about Shadwell.
- Madame Tracy (and Aziraphale) on her scooter: 'Gerrronnnimooooo!'.
2. And bye the border of Dan, fromme the east side to the west side, a portion for Aſher.
3. And bye the border of Aſher, fromme the east side even untoe the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
4. And bye the border of Naphtali, from the east side untoe the west side, a portion for Manaſſeh.
5. Buggre Alle this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typeſettinge. Master Biltonn iſ no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tighte fisted Southwarke Knobbeſticke. I telle you, onne a daye laike thiſ Ennywone with half an oz. of Sense should bee oute in the Sunneshain, ane nott Stucke here alle the liuelong daie inn thiſ mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workeſhoppe. @ *"Æ@;!*
6. And bye the border of Ephraim, from the east ſide even untoe the west ſide, a portion for Reuben.
- What makes it funnier if you're listening to the audiobook is the narrator getting increasingly more and more angry as he reads the line.
- It gains even more if you know that at the time of the purported printing, Southwark was London's Red Light District.
- The novel's deadpan description of the "amended" verse as "the lengthy compositor's error, if such it may be called" definitely adds to the humour as well.
- Not to mention the three extra lines in Genesis:
25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given to thee?
26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
27 And the Lord did not ask him again.
"I glaim gis oteg in der gaing og der" he paused. He took the knife out of his teeth and began again.
Aziraphale: Gosh, am I on television?
- Most of the sequence of Aziraphale possessing people, actually.
Aziraphale: Stop making noises!
"You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?"
"Verses two through eight," added the boy in white, helpfully.
- Leading to all the gang members but one looking dumb, the last one noting they are in big trouble — he had to hide in a hotel room for a good while and had nothing but the Bible to read, so he gets the reference. He later thinks he would've paid a bit more attention to Revelation if he knew he was going to be in it.
- He even laments that, well, "there are no bitches in Hell".
Famine: I, uh, I'm not sure I got that...
Death:I did. Let us go.
Heartwarming / Good Omens (2019)
Aziraphale: I like to think none of this would have worked out if you weren't, at heart, just a little bit of a good person.
Crowley: And if you weren't, deep down, just enough of a bastard to be worth knowing.
[Crowley and Aziraphale smile and hold up their champagne flutes]
Crowley: To the world.
Aziraphale: To the world.
- To solidify this point, the scene immediately prior to this one has Aziraphale and Crowley discussing their respective "executions." Crowley doesn't discuss blowing hellfire at Gabriel that's just Crowley. But Aziraphale takes an almost childish glee in telling Crowley how he asked Beelzebub for a rubber duck before making Archangel Michael miracle him a bath towel, which Crowley finds absolutely hilarious. Aziraphale has been rather tight-laced up until now, and doesn't show as many evil leanings as Crowley does good ones, so it really hammers in it that Aziraphale wasn't doing this to act like Crowley and that he really get some enjoyment out of fucking with everyone like that.
- Crowley and Aziraphale's expressions and body language as they toast and afterwards are also worth noting. Crowley is looking fondly at Aziraphale and gives a very slight smile as he raises his glass. Aziraphale lowers his eyes in a shy (or flirtatious) manner, smiles and looks across at Crowley before adding his emphatic "To the world." As the camera pulls back and God's narration drowns out their conversation, Aziraphale is chattering animatedly at Crowley, stretching out an arm towards him, leaning across the table to him and laughing. It's the most open and engaged we see the angel, who always kept a certain distance from his friend before now. It's clear that Aziraphale is no longer holding back on their friendship. Crowley, meanwhile, looks both relaxed and attentive to the conversation, no longer constantly watching their backs.
Awesome / Good Omens (2019)
Crowley: I've had you since you were new and you are not going to burn! Don't even think of it!
Pepper: I believe in peace, bitch!
Aziraphale pretending to be Crowley: You're probably wondering: "If he can do this, I wonder what else he can do?"
- Aziraphale-as-Crowley snarks his way through the entire thing, including asking if Hell has rubber ducks and casually ordering the Archangel Michael to miracle him up a towel, shocking her so much she actually does it. (Even better, this is actually Aziraphale pretending to be Crowley. He's never openly rebelled before, and he's surrounded by some of the worst possible people on either side to piss off, and he pulls everything off flawlessly.) It doubles as Heartwarming because this is probably how Aziraphale sees Crowley - confident, snarky and dismissive in the face of overwhelming odds because of his inherent belief in his own imagination to get him out of any situation.
- Triply heartwarming when you remember that Aziraphale's greatest fear is the Hell will destroy Crowley permanently,or that Crowley will destroy himself first to deny them the satisfaction, to the point where he stopped speaking to him for nearly 80 years after his first request for Holy Water. By hamming it up and making Crowley look as dangerous as possible, he's protecting him by creating a reputation of a demon so dangerous, Hell wouldn't dare come after him.
- Crowley-as-Aziraphale blowing hellfire at Gabriel, Sandalphon and Uriel, and they are scared shitless in response. "Aziraphale" has a very gleeful smile after doing that. Crowley's probably seen how intimidated Aziraphale is in the presence of his fellow angels, and he does his utmost to make sure that Aziraphale is seen as effortlessly intimidating as possible, and worthy of his superiors' respect and awe.
Aziraphale: Well, I suppose I am. I mean... (firmly puts down war uniform) I have no intention of fighting in any war.
Characters / Good Omens
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Characters that appear in Good Omens. For character tropes that are specific to the 2019 miniseries, go here.
Angels and Demons
Aziraphale (An Angel, and part-time rare book dealer)
The angel who guarded the gates of Eden with a flaming sword, Aziraphale has lived among humans for thousands of years, and has become quite fond of them as a result. Due to his friendship with Crowley and all those years among free-willed mortals, he's not quite as pure-hearted as he should be.
- Asexuality: The way it's phrased is a little ambiguous, but the implication is that being sexless unless he really wants to make an effort means he doesn't normally have a sex drive or the parts to act on it with.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Crowley at the end. Nothing comes of it, though.
- Badass Bookworm: Owns a bookstore, and while that's what he truly enjoys, he is still a soldier of Heaven and expected to fight in the coming Apocalypse.
- Being Good Sucks: His Chronic Hero Syndrome often inconveniences him.
- Collector of the Strange: Bibles with interesting misprints.
- Cosmic Plaything: Ineffably so. He and Crowley spend most of the novel attempting to avert the Apocalypse, but when it comes down to it, the most significant work in stopping it was that of Anathema, Newton, and the Them. In the epilogue, Aziraphale and Crowley speculate that the last few days' events had been the actual divine plan all along.
- Demonic Possession: Angelic possession, rather. He body surfs to a few people attuned to be mediums, hijacking their bodies for a time.
- Disco Dan: Unlike Crowley, he doesn't try very hard to keep up with trends throughout history. His wardrobe is from the fifties, he refers to The Velvet Underground as "be-bop", and the narration mentions that he only ever learned one dance (the gavotte) and was very disappointed when it went out of style a few decades later.
- The Empath: Aziraphale, when they're trying to find The Anti-Christ, is puzzled when he doesn't detect any evil in the area; the only thing he senses is pure love.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Aziraphale hasn't updated his wardrobe since the 50s.
- Flaming Sword: Well, briefly. He gave it away to Adam and Eve after they were banished from Eden, because they were defenseless and cold and he wanted to help keep them warm. It becomes a Running Gag that he keeps telling his superiors that he "misplaced it". Becomes a Chekhov's Gun later on when War receives it, and eventually The Them use it to defeat three of the horsemen (well, bikepeople).
25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying 'Where is the flaming sword that was given unto thee?'//
26 And the Angel said, 'I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.'//
27 And the Lord did not ask him again.
- Friendly Enemy: With Crowley. They're basically enemies in name only.
- Friend to All Living Things: Rather, he tries to be.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: An angel frequently having meals, getting drunk with, and all around hanging out with a demon.
- Going Native: Like Crowley, after spending most of creation on Earth, he winds up liking it more than the alternative.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's aligned with the forces of good, but also perfectly willing to do some quite unscrupulous and unpleasant things if it's needed to save humanity. And don't threaten to burn his shop. The most notable is that he's totally willing to shoot a living human child in the face to stop the apocalypse and not as a last resort or because it's necessary, but because it's the easiest way of ending everything. He's only stopped by the resistance of the human woman he's currently sharing a body with.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: He doesn't swear. Well, he does. Twice.
- Healing Hands: "Lord, heal this bike."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Crowley. (Although "non-sexual" might be a more accurate term, since the narrative makes it clear that neither of them even have a technical gender, let alone sexual orientation.)
- I Can't Dance: The only dance he knows is the gavotte. Being immortal, he doesn't bother trying to keep up with the modern dances.
- Innocent Bigot: Despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite basically considering him a friend, he's still convinced that Crowley is incapable of feeling love or loyalty, simply because he's a demon. To him, it's not prejudice, it's just a fact. In complete fairness, it's supposed to be, but Crowley's been around humans too long.
- I Resemble That Remark!: Shadwell calls him a southern pansy. Aziraphale later asserts that he is not just a southern pansy, he is The Southern Pansy.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He can snark with the best of them.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Tries to convince Heaven to stop the war once, but quickly realizes there's no point.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: After the events of the climax, like most characters in the book, he forgets what happened.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: The Flaming Sword. "Once you learn, you never really forget how." Aziraphale's Moment of Awesome.
- Light Is Not Good: He's an angel, and he's quite keen on following the rules where reasonable, but his love of the human world causes him to become dissatisfied with Heaven and ultimately turn on them.
- Mind over Matter: He is capable of changing reality with his thoughts (for instance, his repair of Anathema's bike), though he is often rather bashful about it if someone points out that he's done so.
- Mistaken for Gay: It's stated that pretty much everyone's first impression of Aziraphale, among other things, is that he's "gayer than a treeful of monkeys on nitrous oxide". Him hanging around with Crowley all the time certainly doesn't help.
- Mugging the Monster: Members of The Mafia who threaten his bookstore mysteriously fail to do so again. He probably doesn't harm them, but there's always that ambiguous little possibility...
- Pet the Dog: Yes, from an angel, and one he feels vaguely guilty about - he "lost" his flaming sword because he gave it to Adam and Eve, feeling sorry for them.
Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards)
Crowley was the Serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Having lived on Earth for past six thousand years, he's become rather fond of humanity. His friendship with Aziraphale means he's not quite as evil as a demon should be, though he was never very evil to begin with.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Aziraphale.
- Blow You Away: Crowley toys with the idea of conjuring up a hurricane to eliminate rival job applicants.
- Care-Bear Stare: When filling in Aziraphale's job, which he does sometimes to maintain the status quo.
- Catchphrase: "Ciao!"
- Cool Car: The Bentley, which proves sturdy enough to keep in one piece even when on fire and being moved solely by Crowley's magic.
- Cool Shades: Which he wears all the time. It emphasizes his shady nature.
- Cosmic Plaything: Applies equally to Crowley as it does to Aziraphale.
- Crazy-Prepared: Kept a container of incredibly deadly holy water just in case.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He's a demom, and he doesn't mind a bit of evil here and there, but he quickly becomes disaffected with the forces of Hell since he vastly prefers the human world.
- Deadly Prank: The bucket over the door filled with holy water trick. Subverted when he turns the paintball ammunition into actual bullets, because he also uses his powers to ensure that no one actually dies as a result. Apart from his entry in the Dramatis Personae, this is one of the earliest hints in the novel that he's really not particularly evil.
- Death Glare: when deployed by Crowleyreality tends to realign accordingly.
- The Determinator: He manages to hold his flaming wreckage of a Bentley intact through sheer force of will in the climax.
- Drives Like Crazy: Something of a speed demon. He never actually hits anyone, except Anathema, which is plot-important, but it's really not for lack of opportunity.
- Energy Beings: Converts to energy to travel through a phone line.
- Even Evil Has Standards: After getting praise from downstairs for his work in Spain, despite not having worked there recently, he went there to find out about this thing called the Spanish Inquisition that the humans created all by themselves without any hellish influence. After finding out, he drank himself into a stupor.
- Evil Is Petty: The type of evil he likes to inspire in people; nasty, petty, small-minded little cruelties fueled by bad tempers and off days. It doesn't require much work on his part to get to thousands in this way, and — in his opinion, the best part — people will come up with the evil themselves. People are so much more creative than demons.
- FaceHeel Turn: Crowley is said to be one of the fallen angels, but it turns out that he's not really evil per se. It's less that he became evil, and more that he just hung out with the wrong people. It's right there in the Dramatis Personae introduction:
Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards)
- Felony Misdemeanor: Crowley's reaction to his immediate superiors being rather underwhelmed by his demonic influences (i.e. traffic jams and telemarketers) on the mortal world. It's something of an example of quality vs. quantity, with his superiors focusing on the former and Crowley the latter because Crowley believes the former is outmoded.
- Friend to All Living Things: He seems to switch between idly resurrecting suffocated doves and trying to drown ducks. Note that he only really tries to drown ducks when Aziraphale is around to tell him he has to stop. This seems to run on the same sort of logic of "well, if we go out to dinner together, we're both technically stopping the other from doing good/evil deeds, and therefore doing our jobs"
- Friendly Enemy: With Az. They're closer to friends than enemies, but on paper are still foes.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: He's the only really good demon shown. On the other hand, the narration also notes that most other demons resemble Crowley more than they resemble Hastur and Ligur, who are the only two demons besides Crowley to feature significantly in the narrative.
- Glamour Failure: His Hellish Pupils, his snakeskin boots that might be his feet and his tendency to hiss when he forgets himself.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When he's using his demonic power.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: All things aside, he and Aziraphale really are quite good friends.
- Going Native: After living on earth for thousands of years, humanity has started to rub off on him.
- Guile Hero: Neutralizes two much more powerful demons by outwitting them, the latter with a ploy he made up on the spot.
- Healing Hands: Breathes life back into a squashed dove.
- Hellish Pupils: Quite literally. They burn when he's using his demonic power.
- Heroic Spirit: He holds his burning car together through sheer force of will.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Aziraphale. (Again, "non-sexual" is more accurate, since neither of them is technically straight.)
- Holy Burns Evil: Although holy water would destroy him in a very nasty and painful manner, he keeps a flask of it in his apartment (in a very large safe, the kind designed to keep nuclear material secure). It proves useful in defending himself against Hastur and Ligur, when they come to "collect" him.
- I Gave My Word: A demon of his word. Hell is pretty proverbial for enforcing its agreements.
- Indy Ploy: Does this when the Dukes of Hell are after him.
Plan A had worked; Plan B had failed. It was time for Plan C. The problem was that he had only ever planned as far as Plan B.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: When he was contacted by his superiors and complimented on The Spanish Inquisition, he went to Spain to try to figure out exactly what it was he was taking credit for. He then came back and spent a solid week either drinking or passed out.
- Improvised Weapon: Occasionally uses a tire iron to good effect.
- Inhuman Eye Concealers: Wears Cool Shades to hide his snakelike Hellish Pupils from humanity - and also because he has a fantastic sense of style. They melt away during his climactic charge across the burning M25, leaving the snake eyes unmasked.
- In with the In Crowd: His Start of Darkness. It's stated that Crowley "...didn't so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards.", and that he only really picked up with Lucifer's rebellion because his friends did and he didn't really have anywhere else to go.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's in very deep denial for most of the book about actually being a kind of sweetheart.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Like Aziraphale, he's quite sarcastic.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like most of the characters in the book, he doesn't remember the events after the resolution.
- Laser-Guided Karma: His beloved car ends up totaled when he has to drive it through the M25... after said highway starts emanating a bizarre and dangerous energy field. Which he set it up to do.
- The Legions of Hell: Works for Hell. Not the average worker, though.
- Lovable Rogue:
- Lovable Traitor: He's a traitor to the forces of Hell. For which most of the rest of the characters in the book would be quite thankful, if they knew who he was.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Scares off the paint-balling corporate commando by turning into something dreadful... "I think the maggots were a bit over the top, myself."
- Meaningful Name: Crowley, a reference to occultist Aleister Crowley. It also references his original role as the serpent ("Crawly") that tempted Adam and Eve. For a large part of the book, it's insinuated that Crowley actually is Aleister Crowley. It turns out the initial "A." actually stands for "Anthony".
- Mind over Matter: When he needs his Bentley to drive, it drives, even if it happens to be a burnt-out ruin at the time.
- Minion with an F in Evil: More like a Minion who's actively trying to fail the Evil class. He's good at his job, but doesn't want to be too good because he likes being on Earth.
- More Than Mind Control: Temptation. In his own words, he looks into people's minds and gives them what they really want. If people wants such dreadful things so often, well, is that his fault?
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Doesn't see eye to eye with the rest of the demons.
- Nerves of Steel: Given that he can keep driving his Bentley while it's on fire. Which, we might note, requires his psychic powers for him to continue doing.
- Noble Demon: A literal example, from one standpoint. However, despite being a demon, he's not actually a villainous character.
- Only Sane Employee: He's seemingly the only demon who considers planning in the long-term, believes subtle acts of mass-corruption are the way forward and thinks that the Apocalypse is a bad idea for business. He also tried to introduce technology to Hell, thinking it would be a better way to contact him. Unfortunately, instead of adopting telephones like he'd wanted, they instead decided to contact him through his car radio, satanically twisting whatever he was listening to at the time.
- Partial Transformation: Despite being an accomplished shapeshifter, even when he's in human form he likes to retain Hellish Pupils and it's implied that his trademark snakeskin boots are actually just his feet. Demons not being able to disguise their feet is actually a common trope in Jewish Folklore.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: "He never meant to fall, he just ran with the wrong crowd."
- The Philosopher: "The point is...the point is...dolphins".
- Poke the Poodle: He's a merciless, ruthless taskmaster who likes to make an example... of his houseplants, when they don't grow fast enough.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Punch Clock Demon: He does his best to cause chaos and corrupt souls, but is more fond of the earth and humans than just about every other demon.
- Real Name as an Alias/Steven Ulysses Perhero/Sue Donym
- Really 700 Years Old: The same age as Aziraphale.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he's pissed off.
- Red Right Hand: Crowley has snake eyes, a forked tongue he can do weird things with, and snake skin boots that may or may not be actual boots.
- Rip Van Winkle: Slept through most of the 19th Century. Hey, he is sort of a snake.
- Screw Destiny: Like Aziraphale, he's supposed to be working towards Armageddon (but on the other side), but has other ideas.
- Snakes Are Sexy: He's indicated to be the snake that tempted Eve.
- Speech Impediment: Crowley tends to hiss when agitated.
- Staying Alive: With the exception of holy water, nothing can kill him.
- That Poor Plant: Crowley is one of the premier window gardeners in the world... because he keeps his plants in a state of perpetual fear of him. His favourite motivational tool is to flush one down the toilet in front of its peers.
- Unusual Euphemism/Goshdang It To Heck: "Oh for Go- Sa- Somebody's sake!" Also uses "Bless!" instead of "Damn!", or at least tries to. Alternately, "Manchester!"
Duke Hastur (A Fallen Angel and Duke of Hell)
A Duke of Hell and a nasty piece of work.
- Energy Beings: Converts into energy in order to travel through phone lines.
- Holy Burns Evil: Holy water could and would have totally destroyed Hastur, if any had splashed off Ligur when it destroyed him.
- Properly Paranoid: At one point, it's mentioned that Hastur is paranoid, which is in fact a very reasonable thing since as he is a denizen of Hell where everyone really is out to get you.
- Sophisticated as Hell: While threatening Crowley, he finds the language of Hell not adequate to the task of illustrating how doomed Crowley will be, and has to resort to human euphemisms.
You're going to get taken to the bloody cleaners!
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Like all angels and demons, "size, and shape, and composition, are simply options." He's able to shrink down small enough to zip along a telephone line, get stuck in an answering machine tape, and then emerge from a telemarketer's headset as an eldritch horror:
"But then something climbed out of the earpiece. Something very big, and very angry.
It looked a little like a maggot. A huge, angry maggot made out of thousands and thousands of tiny little maggots, all writhing and screaming, millions of little maggot mouths opening and shutting in fury, and every one of them was screaming 'Crowley.'
It stopped screaming. Swayed blindly, seemed to be taking stock of where it was.
Then it went to pieces.
The thing split into thousands of thousands of writhing gray maggots. They flowed over the carpet, up over the desks, over Lisa Morrow and her nine colleagues; they flowed into their mouths, up their nostrils, into their lungs; they burrowed into flesh and eyes and brains and lights, reproducing wildly as they went, filling the room with a towering mess of writhing flesh and gunk. The whole began to flow together, to coagulate into one huge entity that filled the room from floor to ceiling, pulsing gently.
A mouth opened in the mass of flesh, strands of something wet and sticky adhering to each of the not-exactly lips, and Hastur said:
'I needed that.'"
- Weaksauce Weakness: Holy water is exceedingly dangerous to him, like all demons.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After escaping from Crowley's answering machine and snacking on Morrow and associates, we never see him again.
Duke Ligur (Likewise a Fallen Angel and Duke of Hell)
Likewise a Duke of Hell, and an equally nasty piece of work.
- Holy Burns Evil: Ligur is destroyed (not just "inconveniently discorporated") when Crowley's bucket-of-holy-water-over-the-door-prank catches him on his way into Crowley's flat:
"The bucket teetered, then fell neatly on Ligur's head.
Drop a lump of sodium in water. Watch it flame and burn and spin around crazily, flaring and sputtering. This was like that; just nastier.
The demon peeled and flared and flickered. Oily brown smoke oozed from it, and it screamed and it screamed and it screamed. Then it crumpled, folded in on itself, and what was left lay glistening on the burnt and blackened circle of carpet, looking like a handful of mashed slugs."
The Four Bikers of the Apocalypse
Death a.k.a. Azrael
The greatest and leader of the Horsemen.
- Badass Biker: The most badass of the Horsemen, and like the rest, has changed to a bike rather than a horse.
- Bold Inflation: He speaks IN ALL CAPS, WITH NO QUOTATION MARKS.
- Celestial Body: His wings are described as black holes cut out of space with a scattering of lights gleaming in the darkness, which might be stars or might be something else entirely.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: He's not as kindly as other personifications of death created by the same authors, but he's not truly malicious or destructive, and only seems to be going through with the apocalypse because he must be there. Once the other three are defeated, he leaves without putting up any fight. In the epilogue, he's briefly seen feeding ducks in the park.
- The Dreaded: The other Bikers feel unnerved around him, comparing it to workers hanging out with the boss - they like him, but he's not exactly the sort of person you'd go down the pub with either.
- Expy: Of Death from Pratchett's Discworld series. They're practically the same character and even use the same manner of speech, except that the Good Omens death is less benevolent than the Discworld version (though still not actually evil, unlike the other three Horsepersons).
- The Faceless: The only member of the Horsemen who keeps his helmet on, hiding his face until the climax.
- The Grim Reaper: He's the Anthropomorphic Personification of death.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: He's one of the Four Horsemen, Death. He's referred to as the Pale Rider, but much more obliquely than the others.
- Skull for a Head: Under his helmet.
- Token Good Teammate: He's more in touch with humanity than his comrades and by many leagues the most powerful. The evils of War, Famine, Pestilence and Pollution might someday come to an end, but Death has always walked in the footsteps of life and always will. The others are always a little wary of him.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: When the bikers gather, Death is busy playing a trivia game he had been winning, until he refuses to answer one specific question, which he knows is inaccurate.
I don't care what it says, I never laid a finger on him.
War a.k.a. Carmine Zuigiber a.k.a. Scarlett.
The only female member of the Horsemen.
- Badass Biker: Like all the horsemen, now uses a motorcycle rather than a horse.
- Blood Knight: She pretty much lives for violence (or perhaps the other way around — violence exists because she lives). Her reaction to receiving her sword was ecstatic.
- Conflict Ball: She generates them. A small, isolated little town with no prior history of serious violence will, within a few days of her being there, become a war-torn hell hole.
- Cool Sword: Not fancy, but it looks well-designed for the sort of thing that swords do, which is killing a very large number of people. And it's not just any sword, it's the one Aziraphale gave away. You hand a divine weapon to the two first humans, you don't go expecting a personification of peace to wind up wielding it, do you?
- Dark Action Girl: As deadly as she is beautiful.
- Evil Redhead: She's a redhead and she's the Anthropomorphic Personification of war.
- Femme Fatale: She uses her seductiveness to incite men to fight.
- Finger-Lickin' Evil: Carmine ends the slaughter of a bar full of rebels on a war-torn tropical island by licking blood off her fingers.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: She's the Red Rider, War, for crying out loud.
- Intrepid Reporter : Her day job is a (terrible) journalist who does work on war stories.
- Male Gaze: Inasmuch as is possible in a print medium; see below. As the personification of conflict and violence, she would naturally be alluring and seductive until you get too close.
- Meaningful Name: The names she uses in human form, (Carmine and Scarlett) are both shades of red.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: She has red eyes, and she's very dangerous.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: In her guise as Carmine Zuigiber, she's a war correspondent for a trashy newspaper, envied by all the prestigious war correspondents for her ability to always be where the fighting is. However, her writing is actually pretty terrible, but her employers never actually print most of what she writes, merely cashing her ridiculous expense claims.
- She's Got Legs: Which are mentioned rather frequently, usually with an adjective such as "long".
- Slasher Smile: As her human façade cracks, War's teeth start to gleam "like beautiful bullets."
- The Smurfette Principle: She's the only female of the horsemen.
Famine a.k.a. Dr. Raven Sable
The Horseman who has proven most adept at blending in with humanity, in the worst way.
- And a Diet Coke: He's observed this in his restaurants, and indeed supports it.
- Badass Biker: Like the other Horsemen, he now rides a bike instead of a horse.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He's shown a love for the finer things, like exquisite suits.
- Beard of Evil: A stylish goatee.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Though there's no sign his business practices themselves are more than typically evil, the products sold are designed more for inflicting suffering than turning a profit, although he may be the only one to realize it.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Well, Biker of the Apocalypse. He's the Black Rider, AKA Famine.
- Lean and Mean: As one would expect, he's on the skinny side.
- Louis Cypher: The Black Rider using two words for "black" as his human alias.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: He's a wealthy, jet-setting restauranteur and diet guru who also happens to be one of the harbingers of the end of the world.
- Mean Boss: Resolves to have one of his employees fired for singing while on the job.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Actually, he never had a doctorate. He's much older than doctors. Knows enough to fake one anyway.
- Number of the Beast: His street address is spelled out in giant red numbers on his building. The number actually has no significance to him at all, but he finds it amusing to be reminded of the meaning humans assign to perfectly ordinary numbers.
The Horseman who retired following the invention of Penicillin.
- Bit Character: Doesn't actually appear, with his retirement before the novel's events serving to explain Pollution's presence.
- Light Is Not Good: The "White" Rider before Pollution. It's unknown if Conquest ever existed in this mythology.
- The Pete Best: In-Universe. Left the Horsemen before the Apocalypse actually happened.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Quit being a member of the Horsepeople in 1936, "muttering about penicillin". Pollution thinks he gave up too early, but doesn't mind taking his place.
Pollution (a.k.a. Chalky, Mr. White, etc.)
The replacement for Pestilence.
- Affably Evil: He's wistful and a bit cheery to pretty much everybody.
- Cool Crown: His delivery is a silver crown. A few seconds on his head, and it's tarnished completely black.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Well, Biker of the Apocalypse. He's the replacement for Pestilence.
- Insult Backfire: There's no point in telling him off about littering, because he loves it when people drop garbage all over the place.
- Light Is Not Good: The White Rider. His purpose is to bring the world's end.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Unsurprisingly. He considers a garbage-choked river "so damn beautiful," and waxes lyrical about the biochemical weapons that will get involved once the Horsepeople set off Armageddon.
- Perception Filter: He has an ability to make people forget about their presence, which makes it fairly easy for him to get away with their heinous acts of pollution.
- The Pig-Pen: Anything he touches becomes encrusted with corrosion and filth. Even signing for a package causes the pen to break and spill ink everywhere.
- Pretty Boy: Described as looking like a beautiful, tragic Victorian Romantic poet before the tuberculosis really starts setting in.
- The Reveal: For whatever reason, the fact that he's Pollution and not Pestilence is made intentionally ambiguous until the big confrontation. For example, when he signs for the parcel containing his crown, it's noted that his signature is so messy that, while it definitely starts with "P", it's difficult to tell whether it ends in "-ence" or "-tion".
- Tagalong Kid: The youngest of the horsepersons. Pestilence retired after the invention of antibiotics.
- Technopath: One of his special gifts is making machines do just what he wants them to do, regardless of fail-safe interlocks or foolproof backups. What the machines do isn't even that consequential, usually, unless you discover they're the other end of a long chain of such inconsequential events that lead to toxic waste disasters and oil spills.
- Walking Wasteland: Garbage and filth follow him wherever him goes.
- White Hair, Black Heart: His hair is almost fantastically white, and he basically exists to destroy the world.
Agnes Nutter (A Prophetess)
An exceedingly powerful prophet who lived centuries ago, her prophecies drive much of the plot.
- Awesome, but Impractical: She was the only perfectly accurate prophet in all of history. However... she can only see the things that happen to her descendants. Not only is this pretty useless to everyone else (for example, on 22 November 1963, she predicted a house in the British countryside collapsing, not the JFK assassination... her descendants could've been near that house, but they'd be nowhere near Dallas), it's also pretty useless to her descendants because the predictions generally have very little context. There's also the problem of her almost indecipherable wording choices, which lead to a high number of prophecies only being figured out after they happen.
- Because Destiny Says So: Happily hops up onto the stake because she knew she was going to die.
- The Cassandra: No one believed her in her own time, even though she was perfectly accurate.
- Good Is Not Nice: Even Anathema thinks she was a ornery old hag with a nasty sense of humor.
- Psychic Powers: She was capable of predicting things that would happen seven hundred years later. Her family just gets the interpretations wrong.
- Taking You with Me: When the Medieval Morons decide to Burn the Witch!, it doesn't go as planned... she turned herself into a nail-bomb and took out the entire village when they set her to the torch.
- Thanatos Gambit: She knew of her impending death, took it in stride (and took out those who killed her), and left her prophecies so her descendants will be happy.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: She leaves very personalized notes for the various lawyers who get custodianship of her bequest to Anathema, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets if they peek.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Parodied. Her descendants often can't decipher her prophecies because of her language.
Newton Pulsifer (Wages Clerk and Witchfinder Private)
The most junior member of the Witchfinders (as well as second most senior), he sort of stumbled upon the job.
- Birds of a Feather: Him and Anathema both name their modes of transportation.
- Chekhov's Skill: Or lack thereof. To prevent the Apocalypse through destruction of a computer, the way he manages to make it cease to function is to attempt to make it work better.
- Dating Catwoman: With Anathema. A witch's descendant and a witchfinder.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: About the only thing he's sure of is that his job as a wages clerk may be the most boring in the world. He's gone through several major religions hoping for the "flash of blue light" and didn't have the rock-hard unbelief required to be a real atheist, and only joined the WA because he mistook it for a legitimate home guard.
Newton Pulsifer had never had a cause in his life. Nor had he, as far as he knew, ever believed in anything. It had been embarrassing, because he quite wanted to believe in something, since he recognized that belief was the lifebelt that got most people through the choppy waters of Life. He'd have liked to believe in a supreme God, although he'd have preferred a half-hour's chat with Him before committing himself, to clear up one or two points. He'd sat in all sorts of churches, waiting for that single flash of blue light, and it hadn't come. And then he'd tried to become an official Atheist and hadn't got the rock-hard, self-satisfied strength of belief even for that. And every single political party had seemed to him equally dishonest. And he'd given up on ecology when the ecology magazine he'd been subscribing to had shown its readers a plan of a self-sufficient garden, and had drawn the ecological goat tethered within three feet of the ecological beehive. Newt had spent a lot of time at his grandmother's house in the country and thought he knew something about the habits of both goats and bees, and concluded therefore that the magazine was run by a bunch of bib-overalled maniacs. Besides, it used the word "community" too often; Newt had always suspected that people who regularly used the word "community" were using it in a very specific sense that excluded him and everyone he knew.
Then he'd tried believing in the Universe, which seemed sound enough until he'd innocently started reading new books with words like Chaos and Time and Quantum in the titles. He'd found that even the people whose job of work was, so to speak, the Universe, didn't really believe in it and were actually quite proud of not knowing what it really was or even if it could theoretically exist.
To Newt's straightforward mind this was intolerable.
- Doom It Yourself: As a Walking Techbane, anything he attempts to fix will end up working worse. As mentioned below, he ends up using this to his advantage.
- Epic Fail: Newt once tried to assemble a joke electrical non-working thingy designed for the most hamhanded tech-deficient beginner; if hitting the on-switch does absolutely nothing, that means it's "working". When Newt finished it and turned it on, it picked up Radio Moscow.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Subverted. When he takes his glasses off, he ends up looking less handsome because he keeps running into things and ends up covered in bruises and bandages.
- Occult Detective: He's one of two remaining Witchfinders in England.
- Odd Couple: Him and Anathema. She's a witch, he's a witch hunter. She also knows exactly how her life is going to go, while he's never had conviction in much of anything.
- Unfazed Everyman: As things get crazy and crazier, he seems to stop caring.
- Unlucky Everydude: Probably the most normal of the cast, and hilariously unlucky until the end, where he and Anathema become an Official Couple.
- Walking Techbane: To a truly spectacular extent. He's obsessed with electricity, machines and computers and desperately wants to be an expert — but his destiny has something different in store.
Anathema Device (Practical Occultist and Professional Descendant)
The last descendant of Agnes Nutter, Anathema is a witch, hippie, and all around New Age liberal, who makes quite an impression on young Adam. She's also one of the few people with any chance of sorting through the prophecies her ancestress left behind.
- Aura Vision: An offshoot of her psychic powers. It's somewhat troubling for her when she can't see a certain person's aura.
- Birds of a Feather: She gives her bike a name, just like how Newt names his car.
- Because Destiny Says So: Lives much of her life by this, since Agnes' prophecies lay out a fair amount of her life.
- "Eureka!" Moment: When Newt confesses that he's actually Walking Techbane, Anathema tells him to make the computer systems in the base run better, rather than continue his futile efforts to switch them off. It works.
- In the Blood: The narration notes that she is as close to actually being Agnes Nutter reincarnated as genetically possible.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like most of the other characters, she has no recollection of the novel's oddest supernatural events in the epilogue.
- Odd Couple: With Newton. Unlike him, she goes through life with absolute certainty, because it's been nicely and accurately predicted by Agnes.
- Prophecy Twist: The world doesn't end because there are no more prophecies, there's just another book out there.
- Psychic Powers: Some prophetic, some Aura Vision. But it's there.
- Screw Destiny: While it's not explicitly stated, Offscreen Inertia strongly implies that, despite the existence of a second book of prophecies, she ultimately decides not to pay attention to it because, as Newton argues, "Do you really want to be a descendant for the rest of your life?" Of course, Fridge Logic suggests that Agnes would have known this as well, so it's likely to end up being useful to someone, or else she wouldn't have gone to all the trouble of writing it and then making sure it would end up in Anathema's possession.
- Superpowerful Genetics: A witch, and psychic by inheritance.
Shadwell (Witchfinder Sergeant)
The ranking officer of the Witchfinder Army, due largely to being the only officer in the army.
- Badass Normal: Old, delusional and with a tendency to ramble, but still more than willing to go toe-to-toe with the forces of Hell armed with a Bible, Bell and Candle... or, for that matter, a Ronson lighter, a doorbell and a paperback novel.
- Hates Everyone Equally: He's a racist, a sexist, what have you, but no one's really offended—they even find it endearing—since he obviously hates everyone and when he makes his hatred known, it is cartoonishly over-the-top, but otherwise harmless. Best exemplified by the following line:
Shadwell hated all Southernors, and by inference was standing at the North Pole.
- Heel Realization: When he has a dream vision of Agnes Nutter's execution, he is at first satisfied because the burning of witches is right and proper, but then he realizes that she is really going to die, and burning to death is a horrible way to go.
- Last-Name Basis: If Shadwell has any other name than Shadwell, it's never so much as hinted at.
Madame Tracy (Painted Jezebel [mornings only, Thursdays by arrangement] and Medium) (Real Name Marjorie Potts)
A fake psychic who works down the hall from the Witchfinders.
- Dating Catwoman: Winds up dating the highest ranked Witchfinder in England (granted, there are only two).
- The Ditz: She's not terribly bright.
- Dominatrix: Implied to be one of her jobs.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Invoked, she decorates her flat this way because she believes it's how people think a girl's place should be.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Semi-retired these days, since her clients are the same age she is and tend to prefer a spot of tea or her services as a psychic, but still maintains it as a sideline. No shame about it whatsoever — actually likes it when Shadwell calls her a "harlot" at the top of his lungs, since she considers it free advertising.
- Not-So-Phony Psychic: She has a few moments of genuine prophecy when Aziraphale is around. And apparently is a suitable vessel for possession.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Shadwell, as mentioned above.
Sister Mary "Loquacious" Hodges (A Satanic Nun of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl)
A Satanic nun who participated in switching the babies to ensure the Antichrist ended up in properly evil hands.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: While, as mentioned below, her airheadedness results in the Antichrist being misplaced for eleven years, she ultimately ends up being extremely competent at business, as described under Dumbass No More. Her second appearance doesn't last long enough to make it clear if this is one specific area of competency for her or whether she's become more competent all around.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Her first appearance definitely qualifies, given her cooing over the baby Antichrist's teensy-weensy little hoofikins (which he hasn't got) and various quirks of her internal monologue. By the time of her second appearance, she has become substantially more grounded in reality, however.
- Dumbass No More: When Crowley and Aziraphale revisit her eleven years later, she turns out to have discovered herself as a competent manager and to have made the site of her old convent into a successful corporate retreat. Which, somewhat unfortunately for the supernatural duo, means that they have to dodge adrenaline-crazed power-hungry paintball-shooting executives on the way to finding her.
- Minion with an F in Evil: She's not really evil, for a Satanic Nun. And she's really bad at the whole evil plot thing.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Her accidental switching of the babies wound up being the best thing that could happen for humanity.
- Nuns Are Spooky: Subverted. In Crowley's mind Satanic Orders are more annoying than spooky. Mr Young does appear to be rather unsettled by her, however, though he doesn't seem to be able to elucidate why.
- Punch-Clock Villain: The book goes into detail on how most Satanists aren't any more devoted to evil and Satan than Christians are devoted to good and Jesus, with her as the specific example. The narrative also mentions that she is, above all else, a nurse, which substantially restricts the amount of actual evil she can do.
- Spanner in the Works: Her incompetence is what caused the events of the book, as she accidentally gave the Antichrist to the wrong family. Then her competence trips up Aziraphale and Crowley a tad because it gets in the way of them relocating him.
Mr. R. P. Tyler (A Chairman of a Residents' Association)
A very opinionated old man living in Adam's town who encounters its unusual visitors one after another.
- Elephant in the Living Room: Crowley's car when he pulls up to ask for directions.
- Grumpy Old Man: A pensioner with little to do but complain and yell at people he sees.
- Ignore the Disability: Well, one's car being in flames while you're driving itis something of a disability, wouldn't you say? But Tyler's not going to say a word.
- Moral Guardian: Complains about the decline of morals in the youth of today. In one case, those he perceives as "the youth of today" happen to be four harbingers of Armageddon as old as humankind, because they ride motorbikes.
- The Napoleon: About five foot, and prone to blustering at everyone else. He is the archetypal fussy little British man.
- Strongly Worded Letter: Known for sending these to the local paper on pretty much every topic. Including why they aren't printing all his other letters. If he's really worked up on something, he'll be moved to send a letter to the Times.
- Talk About the Weather: When Crowley rolls up to him in his flaming Bentley, this is the only way he finds himself able to react.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: With everything he encounters up until he meets Crowley.
One of the babies switched with the Antichrist. Perfectly ordinary, though due to some confusing winking, everyone thought he was the spawn of Satan.
- Eagle Land: His family (and their bodyguards) are quite trigger-happy.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Apparently his father got talked into it by a Satanic nun.
- Pet the Dog: In an odd way. Adam gives out gifts for everyone when he sets the world to rights. Warlock has no apparent change to his life, because as far as Adam and Them are concerned, just living in America is already the coolest thing in the world.
- Royal Brat: Not royal, but the son of a diplomat. And fairly realistically bratty.
- Switched at Birth: With Adam.
Mr. Young (A Father)
Unknowingly adoptive father of the Antichrist.
The International Express Man
The International Express Man
An unusually reliable deliveryman who makes sporadic appearances throughout the novel.
- Back from the Dead: Fortunately, someone (most likely Adam) undoes his death at the end of the novel.
- Badass Normal: There's no clear indication anywhere in the novel that he has any supernatural abilities, but as mentioned under Determinator, he fulfils some particularly demanding jobs without flinching.
- Determinator: He'll do whatever it takes to make his deliveries. Even if that includes travelling through a war zone — or dying.
- No Name Given: He's never given a name, only a job description. Became 'Lesley' or 'Stan' in various media adaptations.
- Stiff Upper Lip: He performs his tasks with typical British stoicism.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: They discuss this, in a way, in one of their Seinfeldian Conversations. They ultimately conclude that if they were to permanently defeat their rival gang, Greasy Johnson's Johnsonites, they'd probably end up fighting each other, and they conclude that even if they could defeat the Johnsonites, they wouldn't want to. The parallel to the actual looming Armageddon is clearly evident.
- Good Counterpart: They are this to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse (except arguably Adam, since the novel's Death, as in other works by both of its authors, isn't particularly evil). Specifically, Adam corresponds to Death, Pepper to War, Wensleydale to Famine, and Brian to Pollution.
- Named by Democracy: They tried to give themselves a number of different names over the years, but everyone else always, invariably called them "The Them", so eventually they settled on it too.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: They do this constantly, though it's arguably subverted in that a lot of the seeming nonsense they're discussing ends up being real in the novel's setting. It's strongly implied that this is actually Adam's doing in most, if not all, cases.
- Spell My Name with a "The": It's "the Them", not "Them".
Adam Young (An Antichrist)
The Antichrist, the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness. Also leader of a small gang of ruffians and one of the most human people on the planet.
- Anti Anti Christ: What Aziraphale wants him to be. Ultimately, he does become it, but not in Heaven's name. It's for humanity... which Aziraphale notes may have actually been the idea in the first place.
- The Anti-Christ: He's the son of the Devil, born to lead the Four Horsemen.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Ultimately, he is perfectly human. Neither good, nor bad, but human.
- The Chosen One: Subverted. He's the chosen one, but got Switched at Birth.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Some of the stuff Adam absorbs from the New Age magazines Anathema lent him falls into this category. He's momentarily stymied in his explanation of all this to his friends when they ask him why the government wants to hush up the existence of aliens; the magazine had just taken it as an article of faith that that's what governments do.
- Dramatic Wind: Happens around Adam when his powers begin to manifest.
- Drunk with Power: Once his powers manifest and he gets mad.
- Forbidden Fruit: The penultimate scene of his book, in a deliberate Call-Back to the first scene (as well as the Book of Genesis), depicts him stealing apples, indifferent to the impending punishment this will incur, because "there never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got in for eating it."
- From the Mouths of Babes: There's a lot of wisdom in his words, despite being a kid.
- I Know Your True Name/Meaningful Name: It's made clear with Dog that names influence what a thing becomes. It's more subtle in this case, but maybe if anyone in the book had gone on calling him The Anti-Christ, the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness, instead of Adam (which just means Man) then he wouldn't have turned out so perfectly human.
- Beelzebub addresses him by a word that is described as sounding like "a file dragged down the spine" only for Adam to correct him. Presumably this was Adam's name in a hellish language, and the one that he was never given.
- Ignorant of the Call: He has no idea that the forces of Heaven and Hell are out looking for him.
- The Kid with the Leash: Despite seeming like a normal dog, Dog does still have much of his power.
- Meaningful Name: Adam means "man," and was, of course, the name of the first human according to the Bible. In the end, Adam Young isn't good or evil — he's human.
- Psychoactive Powers: Do not upset the Antichrist.
- Reality Warper: When his powers manifest, he unconsciously makes his beliefs true.
- Screw Destiny: He's supposed to be the catalyst for the Apocalypse. Like Crowley and Aziraphale, he has other ideas.
- Shiny New Australia: Dog has dibs on this section of Earth.
- Slouch of Villainy: He is a prepubescent boy.
- Special Person, Normal Name: Almost averted, as the nuns suggest naming the Antichrist Warlock, a powerful name befitting his station. However, some Switched at Birth shenanigans ensue. It still doubles as a Meaningful Name, since he ultimately winds up a pro-humanity Antichrist.
[Mr. Young] stared down at the golden curls of the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness."You know," he concluded, after a while, "I think he actually looks like an Adam."
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The Anti-Christ the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness.
- You Will Be Spared: When his powers manifest, Adam decides to destroy and recreate the world, bringing about the apocalypse. However, he affirms that his friends and Dog will be spared, allowing them to each rule a portion of the new world.
Pepper, a.k.a. Pippin Galadriel Moonchild (A Girl)
Daughter of a hippie and angriest of all the boys in town.
- Action Girl: Emphasis on the "girl" part. She's the toughest in her group of kids, and even goes toe to toe with War using nothing but a wooden sword. Of course, having a reality warper backing her helps that.
- Berserk Button: Her real name, being treated like a girl.
- Embarrassing First Name/Embarrassing Middle Name: Pepper's real name is Pippin GaladrielMoonchild. It's also her Berserk Button.
- Fiery Redhead: Redhaired and tomboyish, and quick to start a fight.
- Good Counterpart: She's the good counterpart to War, having red hair, being the only female member of the group, and being quick to start fights.
- Hippie Parents: Her hippie mother lived in a commune and is the reason her name is "Pippin Galadriel Moonchild". Despite or because of this, she's fairly temperamental.
- Improvised Weapon: Wields a handmade "sword" (a pair of twigs tied together) in the final battle.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like most of the characters at the end of the book, she does not remember what happened earlier.
- One of the Boys: In reaction to her name, she had to grow up to be very tough. One character mentally describes her as "marginally female." It's strongly hinted that when she isn't around the rest of Them she has much girlier interests, which is something she won't admit to having.
- Shout-Out: Her names are references to The Lord of the Rings and The Neverending Story, though the latter is likely also a reference to British occultist Aleister Crowley, after whom the novel's Crowley is named.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the Them.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's very tomboyish and has grown up as being One of the Boys, but it's hinted that she secretly has girlier interests that she won't tell the other Them about.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Her interesting name comes from being conceived and birthed while her mom was on a nature kick... which lasted for a few months, and ended permanently shortly thereafter. But Pepper's still left with the name, of which there are only two ways to respond.
- Youthful Freckles: Parodied. Her face is "one big freckle with bits of skin" under it.
Jeremy Wensleydale (A Boy)
One of Adam's friends, who acts more mature than most of the adults in the story.
- Good Counterpart: He's the good counterpart to Famine, having a meticulously neat appearance and being very businesslike in personality.
- Last-Name Basis: Nobody refers to him as Jeremy, not even his parents. (They call him Youngster, in the hope that he'll take the hint.)
- Neat Freak: In contrast to Brian, he's always meticulously tidy.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: "All that separated [him] from chartered accountancy was a matter of time."
Brian (A Boy)
Another of Adam's friends. The smelly one.
Dog (Satanical hellhound and cat-worrier)
A Hellhound sent to Adam on his birthday. Unlike everyone else, he identified his master with perfect accuracy, which is what alerted Aziraphale and Crowley that something had gone wrong.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Which basically causes him to become a dog, rather than a hellhound. A little sort of mongrelly terrier thing.
- Deathbringer the Adorable: He was supposed to be a hellhound, but Adam unwittingly transformed him into a regular dog. Over time, he adjusted to the mundane life of a dog and started to enjoy things like scaring cats and chasing rabbits.
- Good Feels Good: When the Apocalypse begins, Dog finds himself not wanting to be a Hellhound or for the world to end. Dog likes being a normal dog and chasing rabbits and scaring cats.
- Hell Hound: His original form. He gets turned into a regular dog by Adam's reality-warping abilities when he hears Adam musing aloud about what kind of dog he'd like to have.
- I Know Your True Name/Meaningful Name: Adam assigning him a name is what gives him his true purpose. If he had been named Killer, or Walks-by-night, the hound's personality would've changed to match. But then Adam named him Dog, turning him into a fairly normal...dog.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: His name may have been the final nail in the coffin, but the book makes it quite clear that changing his shape to fit Adam's description of his dream pet was the major contributing factor behind Dog's... doggishness.
- Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear: He's a hellhound and still marginally aware of that, but due to being forced into the form of a real dog he's far too easily distracted and excitable to do anything about it.
- Team Pet: For the Them.
Omens tvtropes good
Tear Jerker / Good Omens
"Crowley...we will win this war, but even if we lose, at least as far as you are concerned, it will make no difference at all. For as long as there is one demon left in Hell, Crowley, you will wish you had been created mortal. Mortals can hope for death, or for redemption. You can hope for nothing. All you can hope for is the mercy of Hell."
Crowley turned off the radio and bit his lower lip. Beneath the ash and soot that flaked his face, he looked very tired, and very pale, and very scared.
- On a related note, Crowley panics at song lyrics, something that could very well be a sign of trauma.
... Bee-elzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me...
"For me," murmured Crowley. His expression went blank for a moment. Then he gave a strangled scream and wrenched the on-off knob.
- Given Hell's habit of interrupting whatever he's listening to or watching at the moment to convey messages, including at one instance, Queen too, no wonder he's panicking, especially when the lyrics are so apropos.
Series / Good Omens (2019)
Welcome to the End Times.
Aziraphale: We have nothing whatsoever in common! I don't even like you!
Crowley: You do.
Based on the book of the same name, Good Omens is a six-episode miniseries that was first released onto Amazon Prime Video on May 31, 2019, with the series airing eight months later on BBC Two in the United Kingdom.
Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) was the angel who guarded the gates of Eden, while Crowley (David Tennant) was the snake who tempted Adam and Eve. Following humanity's expulsion from the garden, the two are stationed on Earth as agents of heaven and hell. Six thousand years of living among humanity later, they are informed that it is time to start the Apocalypse. The problem is, they've both decided that they rather like Earth the way it is and hatch a plan to put off Armageddon as long as possible. Some Satanic nuns, two coincidental births, and entirely too much winking later, they realize they've lost track of the Antichrist, who is unknowingly about to end the world...
Co-stars include Anna Maxwell Martin (Beelzebub), Jon Hamm (Archangel Gabriel), Josie Lawrence (Agnes Nutter), Adria Arjona (Anathema Device), Michael McKean (Shadwell), Jack Whitehall (Newton Pulsifer), Miranda Richardson (Madame Tracy), Mireille Enos (War), Lourdes Faberes (Pollution), Yusuf Gatewood (Famine), and Death (Death)note actually portrayed by Jamie Hill and voiced by Brian Cox.
The show won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) in 2020, making it the late Terry Pratchett's first Hugo. Neil Gaiman gave an emotional acceptance speech, saying Terry never thought he'd win one because they wouldn't give a Hugo to anything funny.
In June 2021, the miniseries was renewed for a second six episode season, titled Good Omens 2, with Tennant and Sheen reprising their roles.
In a blog post, Gaiman revealed that many years ago he and Terry Pratchett had actually plotted out the sequel (elements of which - most notably the angels - were used in the first season), and added "[there] are so many questions people have asked about what happened next (and also, what happened before) to our favourite Angel and Demon. Here are, perhaps, some of the answers you've been hoping for. As Good Omens continues, we will be back in Soho, and all through time and space, solving a mystery which starts with one of the angels wandering through a Soho street market with no memory of who they might be, on their way to Aziraphale's bookshop. (Although our story actually begins about five minutes before anyone had got around to saying 'Let there be Light'.)"
David Tennant commented saying how excited he was to work with Michael Sheen again, while Sheen said while personally he was against the idea of a second season, "the world isn't just going to save itself, is it? If David and I can manage to not fall out too badly this time, it may even have a chance of getting finished."
See the first trailer here, and the second here.
This series provides examples of:
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- Achievements in Ignorance: The logical consequences of some of Adam's actions (like Battersea Power Station being unable to generate power after the reactor disappears) don't happen because they didn't occur to him while he was rewriting reality.
- Actor Allusion:
- Not the first time we've seen David Tennant quoting Shakespeare to the Bard himself. He's also using the same Estuary accent (Tennant is Scottish) that he'd previously used for Killgrave and the Tenth Doctor. Additionally, Arthur Young's number plate reads "SID RAT", which is "TARDIS" spelled backwards.
- Another example: when R. P. Tyler of the Tadfield Neighbourhood Watch introduces himself to Anathema, he says, "I thought you were a person of interest". Anathema is played by Adria Arjona, who previously appeared in Person of Interest.
- Adams earthly father has also previously been associated with Hell and the Antichrist.
- Adaptational Diversity:
- Pepper being described as a pale redhead in the books has been interpreted as implying she was white. Anathema is given even less description, as the book merely cites that she is renting Jasmine Cottage without ever clarifying where she was actually born and raised, and that her features are more vivacious than pretty. However, Internet reaction after news of Adria Arjona being cast in the role demonstrated that she was assumed to be a white character simply on the basis of her descent from a British witch.note The concept that she might be part Hispanic because Agnes descendents might have moved from England to other areas of the world and married non-white persons was an explanation that had to be repeated multiple times in some social media circles. Both are played by actresses of color in this adaptation. In addition, several celestial beings are played by people of color (not that they have defined races in general).
- God is also gender-flipped into a "She" from the book and the Bible itself, although She is still referred to as "Lord". Some celestial beings traditionally depicted as male are also played by women (Beelzebub, Dagon, Uriel and Michael), and Pollution is non-binary.
- Adaptational Gender Identity: In the book, Pollution is described as a sickly-looking young man. In the show, they are non-binary (and played by an Asian woman), with even God herself referring to Pollution with they/them pronouns.
- Adaptation Expansion: Several extra scenes have been added, such as Episode 3's scenes of Aziraphale and Crowley's relationship throughout history, and minor characters like Hastur, Ligur and Beelzebub have larger roles. Satan actually makes an appearance, while in the book his arrival is undone by Adam. The final episode includes an additional climax where Aziraphale and Crowley are put on trial by their respective factions for defying them.
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
- The novel's gag about Elvisnote a footnote mentioning that one item in a paragraph describing various tabloid stories is actually true and its ultimate punchline note Death remarking I NEVER LAID A FINGER ON HIM when playing the trivia game and stopping at a question asking when Elvis diedwere never executed, but the scene where the International Express deliveryman sees someone who looks and sounds suspiciously like Elvis working the grill at the Des Moines Burger Lord is still included.
- The show uses Queen songs liberally, and the end titles track, which is the opening titles track in the band's style, is called "The Theme That Got Left in the Car". But the bit about any tape left in a car eventually turning into The Best of Queen is never explicitly mentioned.
- One line of prophecy obliquely refers to the Hell's Angels (the one that mentions fish), but they otherwise are neither mentioned nor appear.
- Crowley's methods of causing frustration and inconvenience for lots of people at once (e.g. disabling the cell phone networks during a work days lunch hours) are explained early on in the book: his rationale is that putting everybody in an entire area into a worse mood simultaneously has a snowball effect that makes the world a measurably more toxic place overall, thereby doing a lot more damage than the traditional method of tempting people one by one. This explanation is something we only see in his thoughts, though, and is not included in any of his expositive dialogue on screen in the series. This has the unintended effect of making it seem like hes doing essentially harmless pranks which only seem evil.
- This also changes how his relationship with other demons comes off. Hastur, Ligur and everyone else in the demonic hierarchys contempt for him becomes akin to co-workers who are sick of seeing someone who doesnt put in as much effort as they do somehow skating by, or worse, getting recognition for their non-efforts from the big boss (in this case, Satan) as innovations and big think, while their more serious efforts go unremarked and unrewarded. Whereas in the novel, Hastur and Ligur and the other denizens of Hell come off as being so behind the times as to be largely ineffective, and Crowleys methods, which have evolved with humanity, would be a real threat if duplicated by the rest of Hells forces.
- Its also worth noting that, in the series, Crowley doesnt really try to convince other demons to use his approach to tainting souls and tempting people into sin. He explains his reasoning to them, but when they dont really get it, he just kind of gives up on them and just relies on the fact that Satan does (and approves of them) to keep the others from skinning him out of pure dislike. In the novel, hes always trying to get Hell to update their tactics based on the ingenuity of torments that humans come up with to do to themselves (End User License Agreements, for example).
- The Them's discussion of aliens spreading a message of universal harmony misses the bit where Adam calls them "sort of g'lactic policemen", but the one who shows up still sounds like a bored traffic cop.
- The scene where Aziraphale lights a ticket attendant's notebook on fire is missing the exchange afterwards (establishing the angel and demon as Mirror Characters), so it's just a flash of pyrotechnics and viewers who haven't read the book probably assume Crowley did it.
- Aziraphale manages to find a host to possess in England on his first try, unlike in the book where he got bounced between several different people all over the world first. This makes the scene where he tries several different languages somewhat nonsensical.
- Adaptational Attractiveness:
- Downplayed with Anathema Device, who in the original novel was described as having facial features that were attractive individually, but don't mesh well and so result in someone who is more vivacious than pretty. Here, she's played by the actress/model Adria Arjona and is a lot more conventionally beautiful, though most of the outfits she's in serve to hide her figure.
- Newton Pulsifer is described in the book as "Tall Dark and Not Handsome". Here he's played by very conventionally attractive Jack Whitehall wearing unflattering clothing, glasses and a messy haircut (all of which are also things he has in the book).
- Adaptational Nice Guy:
- Aziraphale doesn't have as much of an edge as he did in the book, and also isn't the one to initially suggest killing Adam so as to avert the Apocalypse.
- Crowley similarly lacks some of his edge due to the above mentioned removal of the logic behind his actions on Earth. Between that, his tendency to take credit for evils humanity comes up with all on their own and his tendency to be confounded by his own machinations (e.g. needing to use a pay phone to contact Aziraphale because he disabled the cell phone system earlier in the day), Crowley comes off as more of a cunning trickster than irredeemably evil.
- The miniseries version of Shadwell is significantly less bigoted than his book counterpart was.
- In the book, Aziraphale does not have any contact with any other angels until his conversation with Metatron. When Metatron reveals that Heaven wants the war with Hell, it is a shock to Aziraphale, who had believed Heaven would side with him that the war should be averted if at all possible, and the moment in which Aziraphale decides to rebel against Heaven to stop the destruction of earth and humanity that will ensue. Gabriel is not a character in the original book at all; he is mentioned once by Aziraphale, who was warning Crowley that they didnt want to attract the archangels attention.note Gaiman publicly stated that Gabriel was intended to have a role in the never-written sequel that he and Sir Pratchett had intended to write before the latters death, and the characters inclusion in the adaptation was in honor of that intention.
- In the series, Gabriel states almost from his first scene with Aziraphale that Heaven has no intention of doing anything to avert the war, and Aziraphale spends most of the series under the impression that this is just a misunderstanding of their Heavenly mission; that if he can only speak with a Higher Authority, their orders will be clarified and Heaven will stand down from their war footing and stop the Antichrist from starting Armageddon. The scene with Metatron loses much of its impact as a result: instead of Metatrons insistence that the war is necessary being a metaphorical slap in the face that makes Aziraphale angry/bitter enough to rebel, it becomes nothing more than another exercise in futility like all his other attempts to convince Gabriel to stop the ramp-up to the war had been.
- Adapted Out:
- The Hell's Angels aren't present in this adaptation, although the prophecy about Four Angels of Hell riding behind the Four Horseman is shown at one point. They were in the script, and had even been cast; but unfortunately, the budget and shooting schedule dictated that they had to be left out.
- The first episode of the series shows the 3-way baby swap, with Adam being swapped with the Youngs actual child (baby A) and then the Youngs child being swapped with the Dowlings actual child (baby B). There is a line narrated by God that is lifted from the book about the audience imagining that the baby was adopted and wins prizes for his tropical fish as the baby is being wheeled in his hospital bassinette down a hallway, but nothing is mentioned about Baby B again. In the book, Baby B is revealed to be a character known as Greasy Johnson, head of Tadfields other troublemaking gang, the Johnsonites. Greasy Johnson and Adam have an implied rivalry as heads of their respective gangs, intended to echo sibling rivalry since they were both born on the same day; Adam even compensates him for having been taken from his real family and given to the unnamed, unseen Johnsons for adoption in order to bring Adam into the world by inserting an article about American football into one of his fish magazines that was supposed to change his life. However, Greasy and the Johnsonites are left completely out of the series, and therefore the tropical fish line, like the Elvis scene, becomes something of a non-sequitur.
- In the book, there are three aliens that come out of the flying saucer. The third is described as being shaped like a pepperpot (a pepper shaker, for Americans) and beeping frantically, with the fandom debating whether this was meant to be a Dalek or R2-D2. Presumably, copyright issues kept it from appearing in this show. note Reference to both of these possibilities is made when, instead of promoting peace, Pepper says that the aliens should say prepare to die, Rebel swine! (Darth Vader/Star Wars) and Brian says that aliens should say "ex-ter-min-nate!" (Daleks/Doctor Who).
- Mr. Cortese and Mr. Harrison, Warlock's tutors. Presumably, they'd have been Aziraphale and Crowley in disguise again.
- Pepper's little sister and Adam's older sister are never mentioned, with Wensleydale taking the role of suspected witch in the English Inquisition scene.
- Mr Rajit and his family, who in the book run a newsagents on the ground floor of the building Shadwell and Madame Tracy live in, and who are the target of some of Shadwell's worst bigotry.
- Adult Fear: Even while drunk on the darkside and being influenced by Hell, Adam is not the soulless embodiment of evil that horror stories that involve the Antichrist usually like to portray, but an eleven year old kid who is completely failing to deal with the harsh realities of life, who is beginning to have trouble distinguishing fact from fiction, and who doesn't really seem to understand how many people he would have to kill if he just ended the world and started over. Adam's adoptive parents start to notice him acting oddly at one point, but don't understand what is bothering him or know what to do to help him.
- Affably Evil: The nuns of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl are painfully polite and enjoy cookies with pink icing on them (and Sister Mar finds the Antichrist absolutely adorable as a baby). Nevertheless, they are enthusiastically working to bring about the apocalypse on behalf of Hell, and the narration is quite insistent that we don't want to knowwhat happened to the extra baby the Nuns were left with after the three-baby swap.
- Affectionate Nickname:
- Anathema's mother fondly calls her "mi amor."
- Crowley often calls Aziraphale "angel." Of course, that's what he is, but to a casual observer it looks like this trope.
- Shadwell calls Newt "laddie," and it seems to progress from a condescending sort of nickname into one of these as the series continues.
- All There in the Manual: Crowley and Aziraphale's relationship can come across as rather one-sided, with the exasperated demon constantly bailing out the silly angel. The script book has a brief note from Gaiman stating that it works both ways, and Aziraphale did go to Crowley's rescue multiple times over the centuries - they just didn't show it.
- Anachronism Stew:
- Excluding the whole "Biblical timeline being real" thing, Aziraphale and Crowley are seen wearing some anachronistic outfits during the montage that shows how their arrangement has worked across the ages, including both of them in 16th-century plate armour in Arthurian England. Crowley's AD 41 sunglasses, however, actually do have historic precedent as the emperor Nero is said to have owned a pair of glasses set with gemstones.
- The series keeps to Pepper's mother having conceived (and named) her while she was a member of a traditional hippy commune. It was already stretching it in the book when she was born in 1979, but it becomes this trope when the story now takes place in 2019 and Pepper thus has to have been born in 2008. Especially glaring, as the series cuts to very grainy footage of said commune such as you'd expect from an early camcorder.
- Angel/Devil Shipping: The main story is how an odd, enduring friendship between an angel and a demon helps stop the end of the world. This Shipping trope is also invoked and lampshaded when the demon realizes that the angel is his best friend, and the angel likewise.
- Angels in Overcoats: Aziraphale wears a nice cream one in his present-day outfit, Sandalphon has a tan one, and Gabriel wears a gray one in a few of his Earth disguises.
- Animal Eyes: Crowley the demon quite literally has snake eyes, due to originally being the demonic serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. He always has to wear sunglasses to hide them, even at night.
- Animated Credits Opening: As seen here, the opening credits have paper cut-out versions of Aziraphale and Crowley walking through the ages to the end times.
- Anti Anti Christ: Adam ends up like this, thwarting the very Armageddon he was meant to cause.
- Arc Words: "Ineffable plan."
- Armor-Piercing Question: Gabriel is dead set on following the Great Plan no matter what it takes... until Aziraphale asks him if the Great Plan is God's ineffable plan. This stops Gabriel dead in his tracks, since even in his self-righteousness, Gabriel would not presume to claim that he knows God's whole plan.
- Artistic License History:
- Agnes Nutter is described as the last person burned for witchcraft in England. However, people convicted of witchcraft were hanged in England, rather than burned. Even so, as she isn't shown getting tried, the event may have just been "mob justice" as led by the witchfinder.
- Noah's flood is presented as a local event that destroyed the Iraqi flood plain and not much else in 3004 BCE. While this is based on a real event, it occurred circa 2900 BCE. It doesn't line up with the Ussher timeline they used for the day of creation either, which puts the flood in 2349 BCE.
- Asshole Victim: During the French Revolution, Aziraphale is arrested and sentenced to death. He is visited by the executioner, who brags that Aziraphale will be his 999th "customer" and first Englishman. When Crowley frees Aziraphale, the angel switches clothes with the executioner. The executioner is then mistaken for a prisoner and taken to the guillotine. Neither angel nor demon are disturbed by this development and instead discuss what they should eat.
- As You Know...: Aziraphale tells the Metatron, "You are the voice of God in the same way a presidential spokesman is the voice of the president." It makes little sense to be explaining the Metatron's own job back to him and even less to be using a human comparison to do so, other than to clarify who the Metatron is to the audience although one might argue Aziraphale is putting it in these mundane terms to try and deflate the pretention in the Metatron's boast of being "the Voice of God".
- Atlantis: As a part of Adam's Reality Warping powers, he brings Atlantis up out of the sea in the middle of the night. When Crowley looks at a globe after it appears, it's shown to be in the South Atlantic.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Aziraphale and Crowley bicker Like an Old Married Couple, but Crowley has saved Aziraphale from discorporation at least twice, and Aziraphale has procured holy water for Crowley so that he doesn't accidentally kill himself trying to get it.
- Baby Talk: Sister Mary Hodges constantly coos over the baby Antichrist's cute little "toesie-woesies".
- Bad is Good and Good is Bad: The demons often speak this way, using such figures of speech as "for Satan's sake" and "bless it" instead of "damn it". At one point, Ligur tells Hastur that he thinks Crowley is up to no good. Hastur shrugs and says that's all right, he's a demon, he's supposed to be up to no good. Ligur then has to clarify he means Crowley is up to "no bad" before Hastur gets the message. Crowley himself will often say "what the heaven" instead of "what the hell".
- Bad Liar: Gabriel and Sandalphon attempt to have a clandestine meeting with Aziraphale at his bookstore. To try to not appear suspicious to the customers, they loudly declare their intent to purchase pornography, while Gabriel is holding a book that is clearly not porn.
- Bag of Holding: Michael pours holy water out of a one liter carafe in sufficient quantities to fill an entire bathtub.
- Because Destiny Says So: Anathema does virtually everything based on what her ancestor Agnes Nutter had prophesied, including having sex with Newton (though she does develop feelings for him). At the end, though, she burns the sheaf of new prophecies delivered rather than living her life according to them. However, it's unclear whether Agnes predicted that as well...
- Been There, Shaped History: The opening of the third episode follows Aziraphale and Crowley's involvement all the way from the Garden of Eden through the Old and New Testaments and then all the way into modern day. For instance, Crowley was responsible for the temptations of Christ, which he saw more as a kind last gesture to a "bright young man".
Crowley: I showed him all the kingdoms of the world... He's a carpenter from Galilee. His travel opportunities are limited.
- Big Bad Ensemble: The Archangel Gabriel and Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, are the two most powerful and influential characters seen in the respective divine and demonic hierarchies. Furthermore, they're also the two characters most focused on making sure the Apocalypse happens properly.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Agnes's prophecy about Anathema and Newton having sex includes a wish that he's well-endowed, for Anathema's sake. (At least, it's strongly implied that it mentions this; we don't hear the entire thing.)
- Big "SHUT UP!": When Aziraphale possesses Madame Tracy at the seance, one of the participants, Brenda Ormerod, still insists on speaking to her long-deceased husband Ron... and when Aziraphale patches her through, she begins talking Ron's ear off. Fortunately for the increasingly impatient Aziraphale, Ron, speaking through Madame Tracy, finally says there's something he's always wanted to say to Brenda: "SHUT UP!"
- Black-and-Gray Morality: The war between Heaven and Hell at its best is presented as two factions equally eager to get on with the destruction of the world, and the death of everyone living on it. The difference is that one side believes it is necessary for "the greater good" and the other side just wants to cause suffering.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word:
- Blackshirt: The Satanic nuns are an entire order of these, established to help the Antichrist be put in place so he can take over the world in the end times. Until then, they pretend to be regular nuns who run a maternity hospital. However, they utterly mess things up with the Antichrist and soon disband as a result of Hastur burning down their convent.
- Blatant Lies: "I don't even like you!" proclaims Aziraphale to Crowley at one point — loudly, and very unconvincingly.
- A Garden of Eden motif, which is lampshaded by God. The story begins with Eve stealing an apple in Eden. It ends with Adam (the former Antichrist) stealing an apple from his neighbor.
- The first episode ends with Crowley and Aziraphale drinking together, and Aziraphale glumly saying, "Welcome to the end times." The last episode ends with them drinking together, and the two of them happily toasting "to the world."
- Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous: One of the main themes of the miniseries is how Heaven and Hell represent the worst sides of Order and Chaos respectively (with Heaven being painfully dull and the angels being primarily Tautological Templars, and Hell being surprisingly lively but still awful while the demons are mean-spirited weirdos). Meanwhile, humanity and the Earth are a harmonious balance of Order and Chaos existing between the two and are worth saving, as while humans are capable of committing even worse sins than any demon ever could, they can also accomplish virtues better than any angel ever could.
- Brandishment Bluff: Crowley sets up a Bucket Booby-Trap of holy water over his door, which kills Ligur, and then threatens Hastur with a plant mister, claiming that there's more holy water in it. There isn't.
- Brick Joke: It's mentioned at the start that the only music that will be in Heaven is The Sound of Music because God personally likes it, and all the other good composers are in Hell. Later, it's a copy of the script that's the kindling for the book shop fire, and Uriel and Sandalphon later riff on "My Favorite Things" when kidnapping Aziraphale.
- By "No", I Mean "Yes": How Beelzebub reasons that they want the holy water brought by Michael tested.
Beelzebub: Now, it's not that we don't trust you, Michael, but of course, we don't trust you. Hastur, test it.
- Can't Believe I Said That: A stressed-out Crowley exclaims "For Heaven's sake!" and visibly flinches.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: As in the book, the reason the Antichrist was lost was due to a mix-up with the mortal side of Hell's bureaucracy. In the series, Heaven is also bureaucratic. To drive the point home, both Heaven and Hell are depicted as interiors of office buildings, but in different ways; Heaven is clean, white and pristine but has a cold and sterile feeling to it, while Hell is much more crowded and lively but also dark, dirty and cramped with constantly flickering lights and leaky pipes.
Aziraphale: Who exactly summons [the Horsemen]?
Gabriel: Not my department.
- Central Theme: The importance of free will, the ability to Screw Destiny, and The Power of Friendship. Nature versus nurture is another theme; you have the ability to choose who you want to be, no matter what circumstances you're born into.
- Cessation of Existence: What happens if a demon touches holy water, or when an angel touches hellfire. This is apparently the only way to truly kill them, since killing them on Earth only amounts to "discorporation". Heaven and Hell try to execute Aziraphale and Crowley this way, but fail.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- When Crowley and Aziraphale first meet they discuss the fact that God's plan is ineffable. Aziraphale remembers this when Heaven and Hell are trying to restart Armageddon and uses it to stop them dead in their tracks.
- Crawley tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the apple so that humans will know good from evil, and Aziraphale gives them his Flaming Sword. They discuss whether it's possible for a demon to inspire good or for an angel to inspire evil. In the final episodes, this is revealed to be the case: The Flaming Sword has become the symbol of the man-made evil that is War, but ultimately the Antichrist Adam chooses to do good instead of following his destiny.
- Coitus Ensues: Anathema and Newton rather abruptly have sex, with basically no buildup prior to this. Justified, however, as she acts on her ancestor's prophecies, who predicted they would do it. There's also the fact that the world is ending and Newt reallydoesn't want to die a virgin, which is as good a reason as any other.
- Composite Character: There's nothing in the book suggesting that Nanny Ashtoreth and Brother Francis are Crowley and Aziraphale in disguise, and Aziraphale's line about "my little team" would rather suggest they're not.note In fact, Brother Francis's aptitude with plants and all animals great and small seems to imply him to be Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Astoreth (without the "h") is a Middle Eastern goddess of fertility, sexuality, and war, who was turned into a demon of lust in later Jewish mythology.
- Conscription: All angels and demons are expected to fight in the Great War, no matter what.
- Conspiracy Theorist:
- Though it's not really discussed outside of one particular scene, Anathema appears to be one. Not only is she sure that GMOs and nuclear plants are evil, but she's subscribed to a magazine that advocates for many different theories (ranging from aliens really visiting us or Atlantis being real to Tibetans spying on people from tunnels). Adam reads all of her issues and turns into a believer too (with all their claims becoming real as a result of his powers).
- Shadwell, in his own peculiar way, is also a conspiracy theorist, albeit one more focused on witches and other supernatural phenomena.
- Cool Car: Crowley's Bentley, which is getting some prominent focus in the advertising.
- Creator Cameo:
- Neil Gaiman portrays a passed-out patron of a movie theater in episode 4 and voices the bunnies on screen.
- Terry Pratchett's iconic hat and scarf are in Aziraphale's shop. Next to Newt's want ad for the Witchfinder Army is a lost hat notice from "Uncle Terry".
- T.Pratchett is the only one whose high score D.Eath couldn't beat, with 9,999,999 points in the pub arcade game (notably only one point more than D.Eath's second place score).
- The Electricity Board spokesman whose voice is heard in Episode 4 discussing the disappearing nuclear reactor is Paul Kaye, using the same voice he used playing Sir Terry in the drama-documentary Terry Pratchett: Back in Black. Terry was indeed previously a press officer with the Electricity Board answering questions about three nuclear power stations.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Shadwell harangues passersby to join his "Witchfinder Army" with the stereotypical sandwich board so they can hunt down and kill witches. Not only is he right that witches exist (although the ones we see aren't evil), but demons and far more do too.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Done by Aziraphale when Crowley rescues him from the Bastile.
- Cultural Translation: A minor one: when the narrator explains why Anathema can't see Adam's aura, She uses Times Square and America for her analogy instead of Trafalgar Square and England from the novel.
- Dating Catwoman: Their relationship goes beyond human conventions of dating, but Aziraphale and Crowley have to hide their attachment to each other as they're trapped on opposite sides of an eternal cosmic war. By the end of the series they've declared they're on their own side and support each other openly.
- Demoted to Extra: Metatron is the only angel other than Aziraphale that we see in the book. He appears in the final confrontation at the end as well as the scene where Aziraphale uses the Solomonic circle to communicate with a Higher Authority in the bookshop earlier on. However, since Gabriel, Michael, Uriel and Sandalphon (Metatrons twin) were added to the series, with Gabriel acting as the CEO of Heavens forces, the impact of Metatron on the story during the bookshop scene is lessened from what it was in the novel, and it is Gabriel that appears in the climactic confrontation at Tadfield Air Base at the end instead.
- Diagonal Billing: A variation. Michael Sheen's name appears first, but Tennant's name lingers after Sheen's name fades out.
- Disappeared Dad: Adam cites this as a reason for rejecting Satan, his father, saying the latter isn't really his dad as he never took an interest in him before he rejected the plan for Armageddon.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": Thou-Shall-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer, in the Agnes Nutter flashback, does not appreciate being called Adultery.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Anathema rather matter-of-factly proposes to Newton that they have sex, as her ancestor predicted it. He eagerly agrees.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: The angels sometimes fail to understand that the point of being good is to be good, not just to oppose the demons.
Aziraphale: There doesn't have to be a war.
Gabriel: Of course there does. Otherwise, how would we win it? (gives "duh" look)
- Dramatic Irony:
- The audience (and God) knows that the wrong baby was switched and that Adam is the Antichrist, but the plot rests on the fact that no one knows theres been a mixup until only a few days before the apocalypse, and no one knows who is the Anti-Christ until just before it despite multiple characters trying to find him (and in Anathemas case, actually meeting him).
- While much is made of the "Great/Ineffable Plan" throughout the show by several characters - what it means and whether or not it's worth following - God makes clear to the audience from the beginning of episode one that She plays games with the universe and the plan likely doesn't exist.
God: I play an ineffable game of My own devising. For everyone else, it's like playing poker in a pitch-dark room, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
- Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: The angels wear muted white and light gray clothing which looks professional, like business suits. Hell's team wears dark colors like black, with sores, critters, and other gross "tells".
- Drives Like Crazy: Crowley, like in the book, drives like a maniac at ridiculous speeds in downtown London, swerving through traffic.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Adam notes that once he first came into his Antichrist powers he wasn't thinking clearly, being controlling of his friends and only snapping out of it once they told him to leave them alone and he wasn't their friend anymore.
- Eating Optional: With the exception of Aziraphale and Crowley, neither angels nor demons eat or drink. When Gabriel finds Aziraphale in a sushi restaurant, Gabriel refuses to "sully [his] celestial body with gross matter" and is generally perplexed by Aziraphale's willingness to eat. One of Crowley's arguments that Aziraphale should work with him is that there are no restaurants in Heaven... nor even food of any kind, for that matter.
- Elephant in the Living Room: Crowley calmly asks a villager for directions while sitting in his Bentley, which is on fire. The villager finds himself unable to comment on the fact that the car is on fire because it's so bizarre and obvious that Crowley must know already.
- Enemy Mine: After Adam stops Armageddon, Gabriel and Beelzebub join forces to try to convince Adam to let them fight one another. The angels and demons later join forces to put Crowley and Aziraphale on trial for their defiance.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- With the onset of the Biblical flood, Crowley calls it some thing that "his side" would do rather than God; while he's mostly blaise about it, he seems disgusted at the idea of children drowning just because God wants to make a point.
- In the Coronavirus one-shot, Crowley explains that, due to the pandemic, humanity as a whole is so miserable that even he, a demon, doesn't have the heart to torment them further.
- Everybody Lives: Adam resets everything by preventing Armageddon. Not only does no one die in the war between Heaven and Hell, everyone who died in the lead up to it was miraculously restored to life.
- Evil Counterpart: The final episode shows the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be this to Them. More specifically, Pepper is War's counterpart (peace), Wensleydale is Famine's (nutritious lunches), and Brian is Pollution's (cleanliness).note Their clothing colors even match to further emphasize the point Adam and Death, the final corresponding pair, are the odd ones out since both represent powers that are neither inherently good nor evil, but rather are natural parts of the cosmic balance.
- Evil Wears Black: Demon Crowley wears black and has black wings. Most of Hell's minions wear black and have black wings.
- Evil Smells Bad: At least, if you're an ethereal being.
- Sandalphon notes that something "smells evil" in the book shop. Aziraphale brushes it off as being due to the Jeffrey Archer books, but the likely culprit is, of course, Aziraphale's favourite demon, who had been getting extremely drunk with the angel the night before. It's not clear whether this is an actual smell (perhaps brimstone), or a Detect Evil ability that angels have; either way, Crowley's "scent" doesn't seem to be much of an issue for his best friend. Then again, whether you can even call Crowley remotely "evil" is seriously up for debate.
- A demon who definitely smells bad is Hastur, as Not-The-Antichrist Warlock observes and Crowley confirms he "smells like poo". If evil does indeed smell bad, you must be pretty fragrant for a fellow demon to find you a bit niffy.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: While Aziraphale's hairstyle has been more or less the same ever since he was first assigned to guard the Garden of Eden, Crowley goes through a lot of different hairstyles throughout the centuries.
- War wears her hair long and straight for most of the series, since shes in her human guise as Carmine Zuigiber. Once she fully transforms into War at Tadfield Air Base, her hair changes into an elaborate, impractical up-do coiffure in the blink of an eye.
- Faux Affably Evil: Gabriel is ostensibly on the side of good, but he's rooting for the apocalypse to happen. Most of his interactions with Aziraphale are full of an obviously false friendly veneer. He finally drops it at the end when trying to execute Aziraphale for treason.
- Female Angel, Male Demon: Zigzagged. Demons and angels are technically sexless, with male- and female-presenting beings shown on both sides. The book explicitly states that they are sexless unless they want to make the effort, and there is a line narrated by God in the series confirming that size and shape are simply options. However, the factions are ostensibly led by Satan, a Big Red Devil voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, and God, the unseen narrator voiced by Frances McDormand. A level down though, the commander of the angel's forces is the male-presenting Gabriel, while the demon commander is the non-binary Beelzebub played by a female actress.
- Fire/Water Juxtaposition:
- Flaming Sword: Aziraphale was given one by God in order to guard the gate of the Garden of Eden, but he gave it to Adam and Eve before they left the Garden so they would be able to keep warm and defend themselves.note Crowley is the only character that, when he asks, Aziraphale admits to having given it to the expelled humans. When God and Gabriel ask, he dodges the question. He presumes that the quartermaster angel is going to ask about it when hes assumed back into Heaven after his conversation with Metatron and confrontation with Shadwell, but instead the quartermaster is only interested in what happened to the physical body they issued him.It's later revealed that War's sword is the same flaming sword Aziraphale gave away, and he gets it back briefly for the final conflict with Satan himself; but in the end, he gives it to the Delivery Man along with the other Horsemen's items.
- Forbidden Friendship: Aziraphale and Crowley Up to Eleven. As an angel and demon they're not even meant to have met each other, let alone developed anything more. Just a few photos of the two of them together - not doing anything incriminating, simply meeting up and talking - is enough for Gabriel and Michael to turn on Aziraphale.
- Episode 1 talks about how the Antichrist binding with his Hellhound will set him on the path to his destiny. In episode 5, the realization that Dog is afraid of him is the reason why Adam is able to regain control of himself and try to stop Armageddon.
- Episode 3 has a little arc about Crowley's attempts to procure holy water as "insurance." In episode 4, the holy water plays a major part in Crowley winning enough time to escape Hastur and Ligur.
- Water doesn't tend to bode well for Crowley: he shelters from the first storm under Aziraphale's wing, he makes no secret of the fact that he considers the Great Flood an atrocity, and he gets knocked down by a water jet as the firefighters try to put out the fire at the bookshop. We learn in Episode 3 that holy water kills a demon Deader Than Dead — and in the final episode, Crowley is sentenced to death by immersion in holy water.
- In his first appearance, Adam is acknowledged as the leader of the Them and inventor of the best games, and is shown climbing on to a structure that looks like a throne. When his Antichrist abilities kick in, these traits take a darker turn: he turns his friends into puppets, the world into his plaything, and rewrites reality to suit himself (before his friends manage to snap him out of it). In fact, the parallels between each member of the Them and the Horseman they correspond to were all foreshadowed in that scene:
- Pepper is seen sword-fighting with Brian; she corresponds to War, whose talisman is the flaming sword.
- While they are fighting, Brian is seen wearing a cardboard crown; he corresponds with Pollution, whose talisman is a crown.
- Wensleydale is seen placing something on a set of scales; he corresponds to Famine, whose talisman is a set of measuring scales.
- Briefly discussed by Aziraphale and Crowley in the third episode. After Crowley rages against the Great Plan, Aziraphale uncomfortably mumbles that he hopes Crowley will be forgiven. This prompts a rant from the demon how that will never happen due to his very nature. Aziraphale tries to amend that by reminding him that Crowley used to be an angel once but he brushes it off.
- Later, when Aziraphale tells Crowley of his plan to contact the Almighty and have Her call off Armageddon, Crowley asks how can someone as clever as [Aziraphale] be so stupid? Aziraphale, looking incredibly wounded by his oldest friends disdain, only responds with I forgive you. This could be taken on face value as forgiveness for Crowley calling his idea to contact God stupid, but some in fandom have offered the interpretation that this was an attempt to forgive Crowley more generally in Heavens name, referring back to Crowleys assertion during their confrontation in the bandstand that Heaven will never forgive him his part in the rebellion and that his status as a demon makes him permanently beyond forgiveness (read: salvation).
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Them. Adam is Sanguine, Pepper is Choleric, Wensleydale is Melancholic and Brian is Phlegmatic.
- Free-Range Children: No one in Tadfield seems to have any issue with the Them hanging out in the woods and spending most of the day on their own, save for Mr. Tyler of the Tadfield neighborhood watch. Anathema also doesn't think anything of inviting Adam inside for a snack, nor does he think anything of accepting (except for the rumors that she's a witch, but even that doesn't seem to bother him much). Justified as this is fairly common in small towns, and the Them are all about eleven, so they don't necessarily need to be supervised all the time.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- When Aziraphale is reading the book of Agnes Nutter's prophecies, several of them flash on screen for a fraction of a second each, all of them somehow plot relevant to the last couple of episodes (such as the prophecies describing Newt's car overturning, Newt lying about being a computer engineer, and Aziraphale and Crowley swapping bodies to face judgement by Heaven and Hell, respectively).
- When Crowley is going through the pages of an astronomy book, trying to find a new home after Armageddon, one of the pages shows Gallifrey, even listing it by name.
- A couple of shots show the door of Aziraphale's bookshop. Zoom in and you'll see one of those placards is a rambling, complicated explanation of the shop's extremely limited hours (a reference to the book version, where Aziraphale actively discourages customers because he doesn't really want to sell any of his books).
- When Aziraphale gives Crowley the holy water, there appear to be three small bullet holes in Crowley's window. These were mentioned in the book; they are actually James Bond bullet-hole-in-the-window transfers that Crowley mailed away for in 1967.
- The delivery address of Death: Everywhere.
- The guard at the US Air Force base is reading American Gods.
- Slow down the footage of Death racking up the points on the diner quiz machine and you'll see assorted questions that subtly allude to aspects of the plot, such as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped in World War II, how to say "hello" in Spanish, or the year in which Apple Computers was founded.
- Friendly Enemies: To Aziraphale's shame, his best friend is a demon. Crowley, on the other hand, doesn't seem to mind that his best friend is an angel.
- Friendship Denial: Aziraphale denies his friendship with Crowley quite often, which makes sense considering they're not supposed tobefriends.
- Funny Background Event: When Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell meets Crowley in a cafe to be given his assignment regarding Tadfield, the cafe's TV is showing The Witchfinder General, with Vincent Price as the titular Matthew Hopkins, who was mentioned earlier by Shadwell.
- Game Face: Crowley scares off one of the United Holdings (Holdings) employees by briefly turning his head into something horrible with fangs - possibly a fiercer version of his snake form. In the book, this transformation involved maggots.
- Garden of Eden: Seen in the prologue (which shows the story of Adam and Eve), and used as a motif to book-end the story (as it ends with Adam stealing an apple from his neighbor in the novel and with Aziraphale and Crowley in the park in Berkeley Square in the series).
- Gender Flip:
- Pollution is non-binary, referred to in the narration as "they", and played by a woman.
- God is also referred to as female and voiced by a woman.
- Michael, Uriel, Beelzebub and Dagon are all traditionally portrayed as male-presenting in the iconography of Abrahamic religions. All are portrayed by female actors, and none are explicitly referred to with any pronouns, gendered or otherwise (although Beelzebub is called "Lord" by Crowley, and Aziraphale masquerading as Crowley calls Michael "Dude!").
- Ghostapo: During a flashback to the Blitz, Aziraphale meets some Nazi spies wishing to buy books of prophecy off of him on behalf of Hitler, referencing the real interest many Nazis had in the occult. One of them even mentions Hitler is interested in the Holy Grail and the Spear of Destiny if Aziraphale happens to run across them.
- Glamor Failure: Aside from Death, who remains a cowled skeleton throughout, the Four Horsemen start out appearing as attractive humans, but become far more monstrous-looking as Armageddon draws closer. War's skin becomes redder and starts bleeding inexplicably; Famine becomes eerily thin and grows fangs; and Pollution becomes covered in black, oily splotches.
- Glorified Sperm Donor: All of the angels and demons consider Lucifer Adam's father, and don't even consider his adopted family as a factor. Adam himself completely inverts this; Lucifer is nothing to him, and Mr. Young is, always will be, and always has been, his real dad.
- Going Native: When word comes down that Armageddon is on the way, everyone is excited... except for Crowley and Aziraphale, who after six thousand years on Earth have grown fond of humanity (or rather the things they invent and create). The idea of no more "fascinating little restaurants and old book shops" actually causes them to work together to put a stop to it.The forces of Heaven and Hell even name-drop the trope when their attempts at executing the duo fail miserably.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Aziraphale has white wings, while Crowley has black wings. This is in contrast to the book, where it's mentioned that the only obvious difference between angels and demons is that demons are slightly better-groomed.
- Guilt-Free Extermination War: The War between Heaven and Hell is presented as this.
- Have You Seen My God?: Crowley asserts at one point that God is just moving in mysterious ways and not talking to any of us, accusing Aziraphale of being stupid in his insistence on trying to obtain Her intervention to stop Armageddon. Aziraphale goes ahead with the plan to try and contact Her, but Heavens bureaucracy doesnt let him get any further than the angel Metatron, who claims to speak for Her but then simply reinforces the same Great Plan that the other angels have espoused the entire time. This leaves our heroes alone to stop the war between Heaven and Hell from destroying Earth, which the novel and series both hint may have been Her Ineffable Plan all along.
- Heaven Above: Heaven and Hell share an office building, but one takes the upward escalator to get to Heaven and the downward escalator to get to Hell.
- Heaven Versus Hell: Armageddon is set up to be the ultimate battle between the forces of heaven and the forces of hell. Gabriel even reminds Aziraphale that there was war in Heaven long before God created the Earth and humanity that Aziraphale is so defensive of, implying that trying to stop the war from being played out just for the sake of one planet and its species is short-sighted, and that the ultimate goal should be the final resolution of the eons-old conflict between the two sides.
- Hell-Fire: Hell has access to Hell-Fire, which burns tall and can destroy an angel if they touch it — not only destroying their bodies, but annihilating their essence as well.
- Hellish Pupils: Crowley has these, which he usually hides behind sunglasses (even in Ancient Rome). It's sort of implied that he used to (and therefore still can) hide them with a glamour so people who see him without glasses don't notice.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Crowley runs into this on occasion.
- In the first episode, when he tries to call Aziraphale to warn him about the Antichrist's impending birth, he can't connect because his evil deed of the day was to break London's cellular network.
- In the penultimate episode, his efforts to get to Tadfield are hindered by a project he had done thirty years previously to make the M25 Orbital Highway into a demonic sigil, which is now a circle of hellfire blocking his path.
- Holy Burns Evil: Holy water burns demons to ashes if they touch it. They also find consecrated ground (like churches) to be unbearable, but not lethal; Crowley hops around like he's walking on hot coals and describes the feeling as walking barefoot on a beach. Crowley uses holy water to kill Ligur. Later, the demons try to execute Crowley this way, to no effect—because Crowley and Aziraphale have temporarily switched bodies. Crowley-as-Aziraphale survives a Hellfire execution in Heaven at the same time as Aziraphale-as-Crowley survives a holy water execution in Hell. Both Heaven and Hell are left horrified and confused.
- Hollywood Nerd: Newton "Newt" Pulsifer is a classic. He has nerd glasses and messy hair, is quite socially inept, and remains a virgin in his 20s (he'd never even kissed anyone prior to meeting Anathema).
- Holy Water: Holy water is presented as the opposite substance to Hellfire; whereas Hellfire is associated with Hell and will destroy angels, holy water is aligned with Heaven and will dissolve any demon that comes in contact with it.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Though Crowley and Aziraphale aren't technically men in that both of them are supernatural beings who only have a sexuality "if they make an effort",note And Crowley's gender presentation is fairly fluid it's even more blatant than in the book that they both love each other and are in love with each other.
- Horrifying the Horror: Hastur likes pain, death, etc., but there's one thing that is too much for him and causes him to completely lose what there is of his cool: holy water, used on a fellow demon.
- How's Your British Accent?: Crowley speaks with a generic English accent. When pretending to be a nanny, though, he adopts a Scottish accent. David Tennant is Scottish in real life. On the other hand, Crowley isn't really either English or Scottish; he's a demon who's been on Earth for 6,000 years and just happens to live in London during the time of the story.
- Humanity Is Infectious: After spending 6,000 years living among humanity, it's clear that both Aziraphale and Crowley are more like humans than heaven and hell would like.
- Idealized Sex: Newt and Anathema appear to have mutually satisfying sex despite Newt's total inexperience and the fact that they're taking shelter from a tornado under a bed which has maybe six inches of vertical clearance between the mattress and the floor.
- Identical Grandson:
- Thou-Shall-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer and his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson Newton Pulsifer are both played by Jack Whitehall.
- Crowley pretends he's his own identical son to Shadwell, so he won't get suspicious of him not getting any older.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Dagon, the underling of the Lord of the Flies, is properly titled Lord of the Files.
- Invincible Classic Car: Crowley fondly credits his vintage Bentley for driving through hellfire on the M25, saying "You wouldn't get that sort of performance out of a modern car."
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Jesus Christ is portrayed as being a Nice Guy and "bright young man" who only died because he encouraged people to be kind to each other. Even Crowley (a Fallen Angel) liked him, and admitted that him showing Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world was meant to be a last kind gesture since "his travel opportunities were limited".
- Just as Planned: Heaven and Hell both feel that the Antichrist's birth and the ensuing destruction of the Earth are all part of the Great Plan. As Aziraphale realizes at the end, the Great Plan is not God's Ineffable Plan.
- Kangaroo Court: After averting Armageddon, Crowley is put on trial. Beelzebub is judge, Hastur is prosecutor and accuser, and Dagon is . . . back-up accuser if Hastur forgets anything; he doesn't get an advocate. Aziraphale gets a similar one from Gabriel, which is even more blatant - Gabriel makes no pretense of it being anything but an execution.
- Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While the miniseries still manages to mine some Black Comedy in their appearances, they're overall presented as being legitimately terrifying in comparison to the other supernatural threats in the story, and the tone gets significantly more serious whenever any of them arrive on the scene.
L to Z
- Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: A difference in lighting is used to contrast heaven and hell, which are seemingly in the same building. Heaven is a brightly-lit, spacious white office building populated by sharp-dressed angels; hell is a dark and cramped office basement populated by shabbily-dressed demons.
- Line-of-Sight Alias: When Shadwell meets Crowley at a cafe to receive an assignment, he assures him that he'll send some of his best operatives to do the job: Witchfinder Lieutenant Table and Witchfinder Sergeant Peppernote this is likely a reference to the Beatles song Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band from their 1967 album of the same name.
- Little Bit Beastly: Some of the demons have minor aspects of an animal they're associated with. Crowley has snake eyes, Ligur has a chameleon as part of his face and head, and Beelzebub has hair shaped like a fly's head with eyes.
- Little Girls Kick Shins: War was asking for it by taunting Pepper. The surprise makes her drop the flaming sword.
- Little Miss Badass: Pepper fearlessly defies both Adam (even when it becomes clear that he's got supernatural power) and then the Horseman (well, Horsewoman) of War to their faces, kicking the latter in the shin, then defeating her by advocating peace at Adam's urging.
- Loophole Abuse:
- Part of how Crowley convinces Aziraphale to help him avert Armageddon. While Aziraphale protests that he can't go against God's plan, Crowley points out that the Antichrist is Satan's kid, and therefore the whole thing is Hell's plan, and Aziraphale is supposed to thwart those, isn't he?
- Aziraphale claims that if he uses a miracle to get paint off his clothes, it will only feel like he glamoured over it and that the stain is still really there on the inside. This is rather blatantly played as a deliberate ploy to get Crowley to do it for him instead.
- Adam is grounded, so he is only allowed outside so he can watch over Dog playing in the garden. However, should Dog find a hole in the fence and run off, Adam would be required to run after him even if it meant leaving the garden. If Dog runs toward the circus setting up outside of town, then it is not Adam's fault.
- Love Across Battlelines: For most of human history, Aziraphale and Crowley got away with their attachment to each other thanks to the demons and angels being locked in a cold war without much action. It gets harder as both sides prepare for Armageddon, with Aziraphale torn between heaven and Crowley; Crowley trying to persuade Aziraphale to run away together and both of them wanting to protect humanity. Ultimately they agree they're on their "own side" and prevent the war from happening at all.
- Memento MacGuffin: Crowley takes Agnes Nutter's book from the burning bookshop as a "souvenir" after thinking Aziraphale has been killed Deader Than Dead. It ends up saving their lives at the end.
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: When Madame Tracy is possessed by Aziraphale, she sees his face in the mirror. He smiles and waves.
- Mistaken for Romance: Or rather, mistaken for having just broken up. After Crowley and Aziraphale fight about whether they should run away together in front of Aziraphale's bookshop, and Crowley dramatically storms off, a passing man tries to comfort Aziraphale by saying that he understands what it's like and "you're better off without him".
- Modesty Bedsheet: After she has sex with Newt, Anathema carefully covers herself with the sheet.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain: Gabriel and Sandalphon pretend to be human customers in order to speak with Aziraphale at his bookshop. They do an altogether less-than-convincing job.
- Mundane Utility: Crowley routinely uses his demonic powers to fix his car or clean his clothes. Aziraphale creates a street-lamp quality light in the middle of pitch-dark woods, repairs Anathemas bike, and creates a bike rack on the Bentley so that Crowley doesnt have an excuse to not take Anathema home after they collided with her.
- Conversely, Crowley keeps dozens of pairs of his preferred sunglasses in the glove box of the Bentley rather than just miracle up a new pair if the ones hes wearing get damaged, and Aziraphale uses tricks like having unpredictable hours, unusual smells and other excuses to keep people from buying his books instead of using supernatural means to discourage people from noticing or entering his shop.
- My Grandson Myself: When Shadwell, who first met Crowley in the sixties, meets up with him in the present day, he asks how Crowley's father is doing and comments that he looks just like him. Crowley casually plays along.
- A Mythology Is True: As with its source material, the series presents the Christian Bible as complete fact, to the point of Doing In the Scientist and having the Earth only be roughly 6,000 years old. Dinosaur fossils are a prank God played on said scientist(s).
- Mythology Gag:
- Two other Neil Gaiman books appear. In the first episode, a drunken Crowley has a copy of The Sleeper and the Spindle in hand; in the fifth, the guard at the US Air Force base is reading American Gods. It's harder to spot, but Word of God says Aziraphale's bookshop contains a complete Discworld collection.
- When returning to his book shop, Aziraphale notices that a set of the Just William books have appeared on prominent display. Good Omens famously started life as the idea "Just William as the Antichrist" with Adam basically being an Expy of William.
- A literal Mythology Gag; one of Aziraphale's superiors is Uriel, who according to tradition was the actual angel with the flaming sword guarding the gates of Eden.
- Crowley explains that the Antichrist has a psychic defense which causes all suspicions in people's minds about him to slide off like water from... something water slides off, which Crowley can't remember at the moment. A couple of minutes later he remembers it's "off a duck's back". The book somewhat notoriously mangled the expression by describing the effect as "slipped away like a duck off water", which nobody noticed before it made print. Doubles as a subtle Take That, Us.
- When they're first introduced, The Them are seen with the items they use in the book to defeat the Horsemen. Pepper and Brian are swordfighting, and Pepper wins, brandishing her wooden sword afterward, while Brian is wearing a paper crown. A moment later, Wensleydale is standing next to an improvised set of scales.
- At the beginning of the Noah's ark scene, the score plays the tune of "The Animals Went in 2 by 2".
- The "I'm In Love With My Car" sequence is preceded with Crowley putting a Mozart CD in his car stereo, showing that like in the book, whatever is left for too long in his Bentley turns into Queen.
- Nerds Are Virgins: Very nerdy Newton had yet to kiss a woman before meeting Anathema, let alone have sex, when he was in his 20s.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Anathema inadvertently kickstarts the Apocalypse by handing the Antichrist conspiracy theory magazines.
- Noble Demon: Crowley is a trope codifier for a decent sort who isn't so demonic. Crowley fights to stop the Apocalypse and save humanity. He is also capable of friendship and imagination.
- Not So Above It All: Gabriel chastises Aziraphale for eating sushi, which he considers disgusting gross matter humans consume that would corrupt the temple of his body. However, Gabriel also willingly puts on human clothes and admits that he does because he likes them.
- Mirroring Factions: Not only is Heaven implied to not be all that great and Hell isn't all that terrible, but they're both shown to be full of ObstructiveCelestial Bureaucrats more concerned with "winning" the Apocalypse than showing off how "good" or "evil" they are.
- Number of the Beast: As Aziraphale is reading through Agnes Nutter's prophecies, he stumbles upon one that seems to indicate that the Number of the Beast is the way to contact the Antichrist. Reaching for his Bible, he reads Revelation 13:18note From the KJV: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.", and figures that it's worth a shot to dial the phone number with the Tadfield area code preceding it, at which point he gets Mr. Young.
Aziraphale: Sorry, right number!
- Oblivious to Love: A platonic version (supposedly). When Aziraphale is able to contact Crowley after his discorporation, he asks Crowley if he's gone to Alpha Centauri yet. Crowley says no, because "I lost my best friend." Aziraphale awkwardly offers his condolences, not realizing Crowley was talking about him. Alternatively, he knew but didn't know how to respond to the situation. Either way, he doesn't acknowledge it.
- Odd Friendship: Aziraphale is an angel and Crowley is a demon, literally on opposite ends of the eternal conflict between Heaven and Hell. Yet they actually get along going all the way back from the days of Adam and Eve to the modern day, even if Aziraphale protests.
- Madame Tracy and Shadwell have one as well. Even in the series, which tones down Shadwells bigotry by several orders of magnitude, he has nothing but contempt for her since she either earns her money through harlotry or ghost-raising. Yet somehow Madame Tracy sees the man beneath all the bluster and borderline-abusive language as someone deserving of compassion, and by the end of the series, hes realized that shes probably his only friend in the world other than Newt and that hes willing to die to protect her. They end up planning to move to a bungalow in the country together; whether as a couple or just platonic friends and roommates is up for interpretation.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Crowley and Aziraphale have a big one when they realize that the Hell Hound did not show up because they have been monitoring the wrong boy and they have no idea where the Antichrist is.
- Heaven and Hell each have one as they try to execute their respective traitors, both of whom prove immune to their executions, and in fact, show themselves capable of wielding them toward their would-be executors. Aziraphale breathing hellfire towards Gabriel and his cronies, while Crowley splashes holy water towards the demons. Both groups decide to release the captives and just no longer bother with them.
- Only Friend: Aziraphale and Crowley for each other, as misfits among their own sides and too long-lived to properly befriend humans. Which makes the fact it's a Forbidden Friendship all the more painful.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: Present in the teaser poster (with the blue around Crowley's car clashing with the red-orange of the apocalyptic destruction) and in the official poster (with the blue of Heaven contrasting with the orange of Hell).
- Order Versus Chaos: A more accurate way to describe the conflict between Heaven and Hell. They might think they're fighting over Black-and-White Morality, but Heaven is better at preaching virtue rather than practising it; even the major Commandments such as "Thou shalt not kill" (or, presumably, "Thou shalt not obliterate troublesome colleagues") are routinely ignored. Instead, Heaven likes things organised and predictable, while Hell wants to cause as much mayhem and noise as possible. Aziraphale and Crowley themselves showcase the more positive side of the trope, balancing each other out.
- Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Even moreso than the book, due to the format allowing for casting. The majority of roles from Heaven and Hell were gender-neutral auditions, leading to several Gender Flips and a few characters that don't even try to present as male or female.
- Outdated Outfit: Anathema wears old-fashioned dresses that look almost Victorian. Meanwhile, Aziraphale's favorite coat is nearly 200 years old and he thinks "tartan is stylish".
- Out of the Inferno: Crowley marches out of the flaming ruins of Aziraphale's bookshop (to the accompaniment of Queen's "Somebody to Love"). He later repeats this when he drives out of the firestorm on the M25 (with another Queen song, "I'm In Love With My Car").
- Phony Psychic: Madame Tracy works as one of these, with all her "readings" being obvious fakery, at least until Aziraphale possesses her — then she actually channels a spirit.
- Plausible Deniability:
- When Michael uncovers evidence from the Earth Observation Files that Aziraphale has been meeting with Crowley on the regular for centuries, she asks Gabriel for permission to investigate the matter further using "back channels. Gabriel placidly replies that there are no back channels, looking confused. She merely smiles and leaves him to contemplate the photos while she calls Ligur. Since she must have been meeting with him regularly herself over the centuries in order to cultivate a relationship in which they exchange intel, any pictures of her meeting a demon could be construed in the same way she wants the photos of Aziraphale and Crowley to be interpreted. But by telling Gabriel that she wants to investigate Aziraphales possible treason through back channels, its clear that was always her ready excuse for those meetings if they were uncovered.
- This is also technically how Crowley justified the Arrangement to Aziraphale: since their magic comes from the same source and neither Heaven nor Hell can tell the difference when its used on humans, Aziraphale can perform temptations on Crowleys behalf and Crowley can do miracles on Aziraphales. When they complete their routine paperwork, they can each claim to have done the work themselves even if the other did it, and neither Heaven nor Hell would be the wiser.
- Crowley also takes credit for evil that humanity comes up with on its own this way: since Hell doesnt believe humans can come up with truly evil things to do to itself without Hellish intervention, Crowley knows they wont check up on whether he actually inspired any of the awful things hes taken credit for over time. If they did and found hed been overstating his influence on his reports, he can always claim that since theyre all demons, theyre supposed to lie as a part of being evil.
- Poor Communication Kills: The entire mess starts because of a series of misunderstandings surrounding the delivery of the Antichrist. In order:
- Arthur Young mistakes Crowley for a doctor and directs him to room 3 to help with Deirdre, not considering that he might be there to attend to the other woman giving birth in the very next room despite the ruckus that Harriet and the Secret Service wouldve made when they came past him on their way in.
- Crowley, distracted and disconcerted by the existence of the Antichrist and the pressure of his role in bringing him into the world, doesnt question Arthur Youngs identity and assumes that hes the American ambassador despite the humans obvious British accent.
- Because of the Youngs unexpected arrival a week early, the nuns that were expecting Crowley and prepared for the swap are split between Harriet Dowling and Deirdre Young. The only one left to greet Crowley and accept the infant Antichrist is Sister Mary, who was dismissed to the larder before the Youngs arrived and therefore didnt know there was another couple besides the Dowlings delivering a baby at the time.
- The above leads Sister Mary to believe, just as Crowley does, that the Dowlings are the couple that was delivering in room 3, and therefore that is the room she goes to with the infant Antichrist. She misunderstands multiple verbal cues during her conversation with Arthur Young, including his obvious British accent, and never realizes that shes not talking to an American ambassador or that she's in the wrong room.
- When Sister Theresa enters the room because shes realized that Sister Mary has the Antichrist in the wrong room, Mr. Young's presence forces them to eschew verbal communication in favor of winks. Sister Mary interprets Sister Theresas wink as a congratulations on having executed the switch and request for confirmation of which child is the surplus baby, while Sister Theresa interprets Sister Marys wink as a confirmation of which child is the Antichrist to be switched with the Dowlings baby in the next room.
- End result, the Youngs end up with the Antichrist, the Dowlings end up with the Young baby, and the Dowling baby gets sent off for adoption.
- Shortly after both sets of new parents leave and the third baby is handed over to his adoptive parents, Hastur takes it upon himself to burn down the convent, destroying all the records and inadvertently preventing anyone from discovering the error until it's too late.
- The Power of Love / The Power of Friendship: One of the key themes of the series. Aziraphale and Crowley's love for humanity drives them to try and stop the war; Them's friendship with Adam prevents him from being consumed by his power and gives them the strength to fight the four horseman; Adam's love for Tadfield stops Armageddon and his love for his adopted parents defeats Satan; Crowley and Aziraphale's friendship and love for each other saves their lives against Heaven and Hell.
- Precision F-Strike: Happens three times.
- Aziraphale goes to great lengths to never utter a swear, which makes his utterance of "Oh fuck!" when he accidentally walks into his summoning circle a good indication of how dire his situation is.
- Crowley gets the second one when he realises Satan himself is about to make an appearance at the Tadfield airbase.
Crowley: This is Satan himself. It isn't about Armageddon. This is personal. We are fucked.
- Gabriel gives the third one when he admonishes Aziraphale.
"Don't talk to me about the 'greater good', sunshine. I'm the Archangel fucking Gabriel."
- Prevent the War: Aziraphale and Crowley are trying to prevent the final war between Heaven and Hell by preventing its triggering event from taking place.
- Prolonged Prologue: Episode 3 opens with possibly the longest cold-open ever created: a series of flashbacks showing Aziraphale and Crowley's history together, from the garden of Eden up to the modern day. The opening credits don't appear until almost 30 minutes into the hour-long episode.
- Public Execution: Crowley's punishment for his crimes against Hell is execution via a bath of holy water while a horde of demons eagerly watches.
- Agnes Nutter was to be burned in front of her entire town. She used that fact to take them all out with her as punishment for the fact that they wanted to burn her for the terrible crimes of being able to cure people of diseases and also jogging.
- Punny Name:
- Agnes Nutter's daughter is named "Virtue Device", which sounds like "Virtue d'Vice." Considering Agnes could accurately predict the future, this was probably deliberate.
- The name Hastur chooses when with the American Ambassador is "Hastur La Vista."
- Race Lift:
- Pollution is a chalk-pale man in the book and played by a Filipina woman here.
- Pepper, a freckled redhead in the book, is now black.
- Anathema Device is still of British descent (she'd have to be since she's Agnes Nutter's descendant), but she's now American and played by a Puerto Rican actress.
- Rage Against the Heavens: In the end, Crowley speculates that the "ineffable" plan is all about setting up the real final battle: humanity and its supporters against both heaven and hell.
- Reality Warper:
- Adam' make things become real, or unmake them. One example is removing all the nuclear fuel from a nuclear power plant without affecting its ability to produce electricity.
- To a lesser degree, this is the ability of every angel and demon. Angels refer to it as "Miracles". Neither can perform the kind of wide-ranging changes Adam is capable of making.
- Running Gag:
- Aziraphale is asked where he kept his Flaming Sword. He responds usually by deflecting the question, having given it away to Adam and Eve.
- The use of Queen music is a nod to the book's repeated joke that any cassette tape left in a car for more than two weeks will turn into a "Best of Queen" album. Even the brass band in the final episode is playing a Queen song ("Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" from A Night at the Opera).
- Shadwell asking people how many nipples they've got (since having more than two is traditionally considered a sign of being a witch).
- Secret Relationship: Aziraphale and Crowley spend millenia hiding their relationship note though not a conventional, human romance from heaven and hell. Even after years going unnoticed, they still have secret rendezvous points, attempt to meet up in crowded areas (something they discuss outright in Elizabethan times) and Aziraphale frequently lies to protect Crowley from being discovered by other angels.
- Sequel Hook:
- Subverted. Anathema gets a package that contains The Further Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, complete with the tagline "ye saga continues". She burns them instead of following them, as she and Newt have decided to Screw Destiny.
- Played straight with the ending where Aziraphale and Crowley muse that the actual "big one," after the Apocalypse has been averted, will be "their side" (Humanity and the Earth) against both Heaven and Hell.
- Setting Update: The book was set around the late eighties/very early nineties (being published in 1990). The series clearly takes place in 2019, though Crowley still uses a cassette tape answering machine that is noted to be "ancient" since he's fond of it (and also because the answering machine itself is too plot-important to be replaced by something more modern).
- Shame If Something Happened: The novel mentioned that occasionally men would come into the bookshop and remark on how flammable it was. A deleted scene shows why they only ever do this once: when they meet the angel, they're suddenly inspired to stop being mobsters and take up floristry or something.
- Shared Mass Hallucination: After the events of the show, the governments of the world pass them off as being this, even when said "hallucination" ate one's trade delegation.
- Silly Reason for War: In War's first appearance, she manages to get peace talks in some African warzone to fall apart over an argument about who gets to sign the peace treaty first.
- Slouch of Villainy: Crowley slouches all the time. Like his odd way of walking, it might be a hint of his serpentine nature.
- Snakes Are Sinister: As an evil demon, Crowley, literally has snake eyes. Crowley can change into a serpent, and he was the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
- Soapbox Sadie: Pepper is a young version who denounces war and relationships as a violation of the feminist ideas she's learned from her mum. Anathema also has a little of this, though downplayed, when she lectures Adam about how GMOs and nuclear plants are evil.
- Spotting the Thread: Crowley tries to convince Hastur that he has more holy water in his plant mister, but a single drop of water falls from the spout of the mister, touching Crowley's finger. Since Crowley does not die instantly, Hastur realizes he's bluffing.
- Stiff Upper Lip: We are in England (for the most part), after all:
- R.P Tyler embodies this spirit when he politely gives Crowley directions... despite Crowley sitting calmly in a car that is currently on fire. God makes it clear that Tyler has actually noticed this, and isn't saying exactly what he would like to say.
- One interpretation of Aziraphale's "So sorry to hear it" when Crowley quietly tells him that he lost his best friend is that Aziraphale knows that Crowley means him, but he doesn't want to upset Crowley further (or make it awkward) by fully acknowledging it. The other interpretation is that Aziraphale is just that oblivious.
- Straw Feminist: Pepper regards war as "masculine imperialism executed on a global stage" and dismisses Anathema as "another deluded victim of the patriarchy" after Anathema called Newton her boyfriend. Justified since she's a child who's just parroting whatever she heard from her mother, who studied Sociology after a stint as a modern day hippie.
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: The dialogue in the scene at the "Firebird" submarine is spoken in perfect Russian with authentic accent and all the intonation quirks English speakers almost never get quite right.
- Switched at Birth: The baby everyone thought was the Antichrist was actually accidentally switched at birth shortly after he was born. The actual Antichrist ended up with a perfectly normal couple in Tadfield, with everyone (save perhaps God) being none the wiser until it's almost too late.
- Take That:
Sandalphon: Something smells... evil.
- Take a Third Option: Adam, Aziraphale, and Crowley all end up doing this in the end. When it comes to the Great War between Heaven and Hell, they choose to fight for... humanity. Or, as Crowley puts it, "our side." In the last episode, Crowley speculates that the real final battle will ultimately be between humanity and its supporters, and the forces of Heaven and Hell working together.
- Taking You with Me: Agnes Nutter knew she was about to be burned at the stake... so she filled her skirt with gunpowder and roofing nails. The ensuing explosion killed her before she was burned alive; more to the point, it also killed the witchfinder who condemned her, as well as her jealous, treacherous neighbors.
- The Teaser: Every episode has a short scene before the opening credits, but Episode 3 takes it to an extreme, with the opening credits not showing up until fully half-way through the episode, after a montage of Aziraphale and Crowley's friendship over the centuries.
- Telephone Teleport: Crowley tricks Hastur into following him into a phone, and then traps him on an answering machine tape. Unfortunately, he leaves the tape in the machine, and Hastur is able to escape through a telemarketer's headset when they call.
- Their First Time: Anathema and Newt in Episode 4. He'd never had sex because he's hopeless with women, while she'd been instructed to stay a virgin until then by Agnes' prophecies.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Pepper gives one to War at the airfield.
"I believe in peace, bitch!"
- Time-Shifted Actor: Young Newton and Young Anathema appear in a flashback to eleven years ago. Young Shadwell appears in a flashback to the sixties.
- Time Travel for Fun and Profit:
- A variant — Agnes Nutter directs her descendants in The '80s to invest in "Master Jobbe's machine" for "an Apple will arise that no man can eat". Anathema is shown growing up in a luxurious mansion on the beaches of Malibu because, as her mother explains, they figured out that the prophecy was given because buying shares in Apples IPO allowed good fortune to tend [their] days.
- She also, according to Aziraphale in the scene at the church with the Nazis, advised people not to buy Betamax in The '70s.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The full trailer shows several scenes people who've read the book know come near the end, including Aziraphale's bookshop burning down and Adam almost giving in to his Antichrist self. Also the bit in the trailer where Aziraphale and Crowley toast "To the World" together that is the final actual scene of the series.
- Trash the Set: Repeatedly, and with fire. The TV Companion book reveals that the filmmakers had to construct from the ground up, then burn down, both Aziraphale's bookshop and a life-sized replica of the Bentley. The latter was quite upsetting to the expert who'd been consulted on the designs, but he conceded that he'd rather see a replica burn than the real thing.
- Uncertain Doom: The American ambassador's actual son is taken away by the nuns and his actual fate is left unknown. Gods narration that it would be nice to think that the baby is adopted and has a good life, but since the nuns are Satanic (read: evil) and the babys fate is never shown, the viewer could interpret that line as an implication that it would be naive fantasy to assume that outcome is what happened. Book readers know perfectly well thats exactly what happened, as the eleven-year-old Baby B/Greasy Johnson shows up at multiple points in the story, but he was left completely out of the series after the baby swap in episode 1.
- Unflinching Walk: War strides away with explosions going off behind her at the end of her introductory scene, after successfully turning a peace talk into an imminent battle.
- Ungrateful Bastard:
- Many of the things Agnes's neighbors cite as proof she's a witch are helpful things she did, like healing them. Even the rest are neutral (making prophecies, taking up jogging, suggesting diets that are higher in fibre), not malicious.
- Hastur, oh so very much. He burns down the convent where the Satanic nuns live after they swap the baby (albeit incorrectly), devours a telemarketer and her colleagues in a sea of maggots after she frees him from Crowley's answering machine (though that could be considered a community service), and drops the court usher in the holy water to test it at Crowley's trial in hell - for killing a demon with holy water.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- Crowley wears sunglasses to hide his snake eyes most of the time, but starting from the bookshop fire and through most of the final confrontation, multiple humans see him without them and yet dont seem to notice. Hasturs blighted head and the black ooze that comes from it after Warlock is revealed to not be the Antichrist are similarly overlooked by multiple humans. It's not clear if this is because Crowley and other demons with obvious demonic aspects are all maintaining a Masquerade, or if the situation in which these aspects have become noticeable are already so chaotic that no one is calm enough to say: wait a minute, what's wrong with your face/eyes?
- Likewise, his ranting about falling from Heaven, running away to Alpha Centauri/"off in the stars" and other unusual statements are either shrugged off as drunkenness or metaphor by anyone close enough to hear the conversations. They certainly notice the flaming Bentley though.
- Vanity License Plate: Crowley and Young's license plates spell things when read backwards. Crowley's is NAITRUC (Curtain), and Young's is SIDRAT (TARDIS).
- Verbal Tic: Wensleydale liberally sprinkles his dialogue with the word "actually", using it at least once in each scene in which he appears, as if it were a punctuation mark.
- Volleying Insults: A substantial amount of Crowley's and Aziraphale's interactions consists of this, with both declaring loudly how little they actually like the other and how evil/good/boring/petty/etc. the other is, only to then proceed to help each other out in various ways that prove the exact opposite. It drops noticeably as the series goes on, Armageddon keeps drawing nearer and the stakes continue to rise.
- Walking Techbane: Newt desperately wants to work with computers, but whenever he so much as touches one, it doesn't just crash, it causes every single device in the room to lose power. In a flashback to his childhood, his attempt to replace the plug on his computer knocks out the electricity for every house on his street, while on his first (and last) day at United Holdings (Holdings), it takes him less than two minutes to render his computer completely non-functional and take down the other electronics in the room with it. Anathema is able to weaponise this when she and Newt get into Tadfield Air Base, and he accidentally takes down the computer network the Four Bikers are using to start worldwide nuclear war by typing a few commands into one terminal.
- Wall Pin of Love: When Aziraphale tries to compliment Crowley by saying he's "quite a nice person", Crowley grabs him by the lapels and shoves him into the nearby wall to snarl that demons are not nice. Instead of being intimidated, Aziraphale simply stares at Crowley's mouth while he rambles, until they're interrupted by Mary Loquacious, who identifies them as having an "intimate moment".
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- The fate of the third, superfluous baby is never explicitly shown. While God provides two possibilities (either the nuns quietly disposed of him or had him discreetly adopted), a clear answer is never given. In the book, he was adopted, and after Armageddon ended Adam helped him out a little bit because he still remembered him from when they were babies.
- We never see just where Aziraphale sent the soldier that tries to stop him, Crowley, Shadwell, and Madame Tracy from getting into the airbase. In the book, he gets a short epilogue scene where he wakes up in his childhood bed at the family farm back in the U.S.
- The U.S. Ambassador and his family are never seen again after Warlock turns out not to be the child that's supposed to start Armageddon after all.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Non-Divine in this case. At times it seems that Crowley and Aziraphale are the only people in Heaven or Hell who care about humans as anything other than pawns in the Great Plan. But even then, Aziraphale is not above tempting humans to sin on Crowley's behalf, and obviously Crowley is dedicated to doing so. Which means that, while they don't want humanity to be destroyed by a celestial war, they aren't suddenly fighting to keep humans from being sorted to one place or the other. They don't particularly care about humans being pawns in that game; they just neither of them want to see the chessboard and all its pieces blasted into nothingness.
- Who Will Bell the Cat?: As Armageddon approaches, Crowley and Aziraphale are both aware that killing the 11-year-old Antichrist could stop the whole thing. Aziraphale isn't up for doing it himself because "I'm the nice one", and Crowley refuses to be personally responsible for "killing kids".
- Wing Shield: Aziraphale demonstrates his angelic niceness by using his wing to cover Crowley's head during a rainstorm outside the Garden of Eden. Crowley, who has perfectly functional wings of his own, does not return the favor.
- The Witch Hunter:
- The Witch-Finder Army. The only member of the army from the olden days that is seen or described in the series is Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer; others are mentioned during Shadwell's monologue after he believes he banished Aziraphale, but only their last names and they aren't given any of the context given in the books. By the time Shadwell meets Crowley in the sixties, he's essentially inherited what's left of the WFA's knowledge, artifacts, records and traditions from his cellmate, Narker, but he adheres to the forms Narker taught him without any real understanding of what they mean or imply. There's no indication that Shadwell has actually ever done anything to actively seek out witches, let alone set them on fire, since inheriting the WFA from Narker: he seems to do nothing more than cut out newspaper clippings and con both Crowley and Aziraphale into paying him an annual wage on the pretext of funding the payroll of an army that doesn't exist.
- Similarly, Newt is rather mildly horrified at the idea of actually subjecting anyone to the pin test, let alone using thumbscrews or setting people on fire. He's basically in the WFA for the company, especially after meeting and becoming fascinated by Shadwell. He's not even in it for the family connection, since he doesn't know about his ancestor being part of the WFA until Anathema tells him while he's at Jasmine Cottage.
- In the end, the definition of "finding" a witch seems to have shifted for both Shadwell and Newt from "identifying a woman that the WFA rules say we have to set on fire because reasons" to "identifying a woman with whom we can spend the rest of our lives". In the book, Shadwell outright thinks to himself that his retirement with Madame Tracy and Newt's relationship with Anathema means that the WFA is finally officially disbanded.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: All of Agnes Nutter's prophecies are written in the stereotypical "ye"s and we even get to old spelling like "sayd".
- You Have Failed Me: Crowley enforces this on his plants in a ritual that almost seems to echo the expulsion of rebellious angels (including himself) from Heaven. Any plant that does not meet his standards is taken to the garbage disposal. This makes all the other plants terrified of him, and grow perfectly.
Gaiman's notes in the script:The plants are terrified. No, I don't know how we show this on television either.
"To the world!"
Alternative Title(s):Good OmensSours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/GoodOmens2019
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Ho Yay / Good Omens
"Can we get on?" said Crowley. "Goodnight, miss. Get in, angel." Ah. Well, that explained it. She had been perfectly safe after all.
It isn't exactly nice and accurate to say that Good Omens has homoerotic subtext, since angels and demons are sexless unless they "make an effort". But we are only human, with limited understanding and limited vocabulary.
Note that this is for the book only. For examples from the TV adaptation, please go here.
- There is a particularly ship-worthy line towards the end of the book: "And perhaps the recent exertions had had some fallout on the nature of reality because, while they were eating, for the first time ever, a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square." Nothing is specified about the nature of said "exertions". One would assume it refers to Adam remaking reality, but "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"  is an old love song; and Adam is pretty clearly still at the cooties stage.
- The scene also takes place smack in between two scenes featuring canon couples that confirm the continuation, or beginning, of their own relationships.
- A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square contains the line "There were angels dining at the Ritz". Aziraphale and Crowley dine at the Ritz regularly. Mentioning the song is probably not for the sole purpose of creating subtext. The line "was it a dream, or was it true?" probably refers to the characters forgetting what happened.
- This is not the only time a love song that involves The Ritz is mentioned. Well, it's indirect, but hear me out: There is a song by Queen called "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" . For the unfamiliar, it contains the line: "Dining at the Ritz we'll meet at nine precisely (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine o'clock)/I will pay the bill, you taste the wine / Driving back in style, in my saloon will do quite nicely / Just take me back to yours that will be fine (come on and get it)" Sound familiar?
- The Bentley is a saloon car, which was rather more rare at the time it was built than these days.
- Aziraphale refers to Crowley as "Dear" and "my dear". Crowley calls him "Angel". Aziraphale is literally an angel, but not everybody knows that, so some people think it means something different. And it's entirely within the realm of possibility that Crowley knows full well what he's doing.
- This is why Anathema thinks they are a couple in the page quote.
- It doesn't help that Aziraphale comes off, in the words of the text itself, as "gayer than a treeful of monkeys on nitrous oxide".
- When Satan is about to burst through the crust of the earth, we have this lovely scene:
He smiled at Crowley.
"I'd just like to say," he said, "if we don't get out of this, that . . . I'll have known, deep down inside, that there was a spark of goodness in you."
"That's right," said Crowley bitterly. "Make my day."
Aziraphale held out his hand.
"Nice knowing you," he said.
Crowley took it.
"Here's to the next time," he said. "And . . . Aziraphale?"
"Just remember I'll have known that, deep down inside,you were just enough of a bastard to be worth liking."
- It is not clear when—or if— they let go.
- Regarding a different supernatural pair, in Hastur and Ligur's introduction they're sharing one cigarette, despite the fact that both of them can conjure up as many cigarettes as they want from nothingness, and Hastur seems to take it personally when Ligur is killed.