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  • Absentee Actor:
    • Lanie is absent in a few episodes, replaced by the grumpy male ME Pearlmutter.
    • Averted, somewhat, by the fact that Perlmutter appeared quite regularly in Season 2, and once each in Seasons 3 and 4. Including one episode, "The Double Down", where Lanie and Perlmutter work together on a case. Also by the fact that New York City has more than one medical examiner.
    • Both Lanie and Captain Montgomery were missed in "Nikki Heat", presumably to make way for the big guest star.
    • Captain Gates has been missing for swaths of episodes at a time in the 4th season. There's hating your boss so much you avoid her at every opportunity, and then there's this.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: "Last Call" comments on the New York sewer system (including the "alligators in the sewers" myth), making a sewer system near one of Castle old haunts (called, well, The Old Haunt) a perfect access to the storeroom for a speakeasy, which houses whiskey made by Mayor "Beau James" Walker.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: "Heroes and Villains" opens with someone cutting someone in half head to groin.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Castle in "Boom!", with appropriate Firefly Shout-Out ("I was aiming for his head!"). Although Castle had proved himself a good shot in an earlier episode (albeit against a stationary target and not against another person in the field).
    • This discrepancy is usually explained by Castle being a crack shot on the gun range, but bad when under the influence of large amounts of adrenaline. As many people are.
  • Action Girl: Kate Beckett
  • Actor Allusion: The writers are excited to make shout outs to Nathan Fillion's Firefly days and he has no problem obliging their requests, even adding in little ones himself when appropriate. See the Trivia page for examples.
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 Alexis: Didn't you wear that, like five years ago?

Castle: So?

Alexis: So, don't you think you should move on?

Castle: I like it.

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    • In one episode, a minor character jokingly refers to Castle as "Jason Bateman". Castle retorts that their similar looks got him out of a traffic ticket once. This actually happened to Nathan Fillion in real life.
    • A similar joke is made in "An Embarrassment of Bitches."
    • "Nanny McDead:" Castle reminisces about the nannies Martha had watch over him back when he had yet to discover his talents for the art of writing, for whom he bestowed a wonderful range of other identities, one of them being 'completely irresponsibly middle aged women who instead of looking after me while you were acting like they were supposed to, instead watched daytime television.' The upside of it all was that he "got the plot of (his) first novel by watching One Life to Live". Nathan Fillion's first TV role was Joey Buchanan on the soap opera One Life To Live. Subtly reprised by the episode, "One Life to Lose".
    • "Headhunters" opens with Castle playing with action figures, the exact same way the pilot of Firefly did, with Wash. Notably, this is the episode guest-starring other Firefly alumni Adam Baldwin as--what else?--a gun-toting, ruthless gang cop.
  • Adorkable: Most prominently, Castle and Ryan. Castle, because he often gets giddy for the dorkiest reasons, and Ryan in general, because he's awkward, but in a cute way.
  • Adult Child: Castle. Laser Tag. Radio hijinks. A Kevlar vest stenciled "WRITER" instead of "POLICE". Property on the moon, bought "last month."
    • "One Man's Treasure" opens with him flying a remote-control toy helicopter around his loft, making the appropriate police narration and sound effects. Martha is not amused.
    • He even calls himself out on it in "Lucky Stiff".
    • In "Heroes and Villains", he finds out that his mother knows how to sew, and complains that she said she didn't know how when he asked for an ET costume for Halloween. Her defense is that he was 31 at the time.
    • He's upset that Alexis is going to college, because he's going to miss her, of course, but also because "... who's going to play with me?"
  • Affably Evil: Lockwood. For a ruthless hired assassin he certainly seems quite courteous and considerate, taking a moment to genuinely complement Ryan and Esposito on their work in "Knockdown" and allowing the man he's about to kill a moment to prepare himself in "Knockout".
    • Detective Ethan Slaughter, though YMMV.
  • Affectionate Parody: Kay Capuccio in "An Embarrassment of Bitches" is a good-natured parody of "celebrity bimbos" who appear to have gotten incredibly rich and famous for doing little of note; she's essentially depicted as being a bit of The Ditz, but sweet, vulnerable, good-natured and a bit more intelligent than you'd expect under it all.
  • Affectionate Pickpocket:
    • Alexis to her father as he was Bound and Gagged to a chair in Ep "A Rose Forever After". She says he wouldn't respect her otherwise.
    • Beckett picks Castle's phone in ep "Poof! You're Dead"
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 Castle: "You had your hand in my pocket and I didn't even feel it? Do it again."

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  • Agent Mulder / Agent Scully: Whenever a case takes on a supernatural, paranormal and / or unusual edge, expect Castle to eagerly and credulously buy into the far-out explanation and Beckett to be the voice of pragmatic down-to-earth skepticism. In the beta duo, Ryan's usually the believer and Esposito the skeptic.
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  Castle: Law of averages says I'll eventually be right.

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    • In "He's Dead, She's Dead," Castle actually calls Beckett "Scully" when she keeps finding logical explanations for a so-called psychic's visions.
    • He also calls himself "Mulder" in "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind", which revolves around aliens.
    • In "Undead Again" he admits to Ryan that the reason he does this is to annoy Beckett, not that he actually believes it (at least with regards to zombies in this case).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Played with in 'Food To Die For' and the bad boy chef who is the victim of the week: He was in love with his adoptive brother's girlfriend and got her pregnant, but she ultimately rejected him because if she couldn't trust him as a man, she couldn't trust him as a father; this inspired him to change his ways and to propose to her. It's hinted that their relationship shares some parallels with how Castle and Beckett's seem to be developing.
    • A closer examination of the Castle / Beckett dynamic, however, would suggest a subversion or an inversion; while Castle might have the surface reputation and appearance of a 'bad-boy' playboy and ladykiller, closer examination reveals him to be genuinely generous and kind-hearted, a devoted father and son, a loyal friend and partner and overall a good and decent man -- not quite the 'bad boy' we're initially lead to expect. The more we learn about Beckett, however, suggests there's more of a 'bad girl' to her nature than the surface suggests; as well as some of the wilder Hidden Depths she's hinted to have, the fallout over her mother's murder suggests a more broken and much darker character than just the upright police officer.
  • Americans Are Cowboys: Scotland Yard detective Colin Hunt seems to be under this impression when he impersonates an American Homeland Security agent.
  • Amicably Divorced:
    • Castle genuinely likes Alexis’ mother Meredith; he just doesn't particularly want to be married to her. They appear to have a quite cordial relationship and very little custody friction.
    • Similarly with Castle and his second wife, Gina. She's still his publicist. However, they do fight whenever they try to start dating again.
  • Analogy Backfire/Insult Backfire:
    • In "Little Girl Lost," Will, the FBI Guy calls Castle "Nancy Drew."
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 Castle: "Is that supposed to be an insult? Because Nancy Drew solved every one of her cases."

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    • Inverted in one scene which was put into the opening montage.
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 Castle: "Do I look like a killer to you?"

Beckett: "Yes, you kill my patience."

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    • And this:
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 Castle: "After 30 years of marriage, you still don't know what to get her?"

Montgomery: "It gets kind of difficult to stay original after the first ten." (Noting that Castle has been married twice for very short periods)

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  • Anchored Ship: Castle and Beckett, due to Beckett not being able to have the kind of relationship she wants until she catches her mother's killer. Firmly cemented by the episode' Eye of the Beholder'. Type 1 ending is expected.
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 Alexis: Does she make you happy?

 Castle: Yeah, she does.

 Alexis: And is that enough?

 Castle: It's enough for now.

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 Castle: Beckett, what do you want?

 Beckett: You. She kisses him

 Beckett: (whispering) I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, Castle.

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  • And That's Terrible: The reaction that Castle and Beckett have in "Famous Last Words" to Ian having raped Haley and later killed her can be considered this.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Castle to Beckett in the Season 3 finale, after she is shot.
    • Castle delivers another one to Beckett in the Season 4 finale as part of a desperate attempt to both convince Beckett to drop the investigation into her shooting / her mother's murder and as part of his justifying why he kept the knowledge of his contact secret from her. At the end, while she doesn't actually say the word, Beckett's declaration of her feelings to Castle is this trope in almost every other respect.
  • Anyone Can Die: Captain Montgomery in the Season 3 finale.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Season 4, Kate's therapist generally asks her these as a means of getting her to realize her true feelings.
  • Arc Words: "Always."
    • Season 4, ep 23 is named "Always." Gee, wonder what that will be about...
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Beckett and Castle realize that their victim was afraid of change. They muse for a few seconds.
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 Castle: [claps hands] She hated Obama!

Beckett: (ignores him)

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 Kay Cappuchio: He could have seen me in the shower! He could have seen me in bed with Reggie! He could have seen me without my makeup!

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  • Artistic License Astronomy: The episode with the "alien abductions" features a radio astronomer involved with SETI. One plot point is that the victim was following an anomalous signal that turns out to have been a Chinese spy satellite and thinks it might be an alien signal. Radio astronomers have to be careful to eliminate satellites first thing and have a number of ways to do just that. No professional astronomer would be confused, titillated, or even momentarily stymied by a satellite. Well, maybe titillated. For giggles. The plot did also involve her being subject to various mind-games, truth drugs and fake abduction techniques, however, which might have explained her disorientation and confusion.
  • Artistic License Biology: Ashley's pet rat is stated to be five years old. This is technically possible, but the rat seen on the show must be far younger to be that active.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Kate Beckett is secretly a big fan of Castle’s and Nikki Heat, the main character in his new books, is based on her. So much so that people mistook her for a character actress when she showed up for a book premiere. This gets to be problematic when an obsessed serial killer stages his murders in order to test Nikki Heat.
  • Ascended Meme: As of "One Life To Lose," the Portmanteau Couple Name "Esplanie" has been made canon.
  • As Himself:
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 "Ah! Oh, um... (Beat) That's Cannell's seat."

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    • Joe Torre, a baseball player and manager. Castle is fairly nonchalant, having met Joe before and not being overly interested in the game anyway, but Beckett can barely keep from Squeeing and immediately rushes off to call her dad to gloat. Torre asks Castle to say hi to Castle's mom for him.
    • Chef Rocco Dispirito appeared in "Food to Die For" during Castle’s date with Beckett's high school BFF.
    • Gene Simmons shows up in "To Love and Die in L.A." Castle finds this creepy because he was Simmons once for Halloween. Beckett does as well, for the same reason.
  • Aside Glance: Three, thus far, once when Martha asks him if he's ever heard of the Serenity, although that was a Fourth Wall Psych at Alexis, and once more when Alexis was being evasive about her trip to Brooklyn. The third one happens at the very end of "Undead Again" with Castle in his zombie makeup creepily leering at the camera before it cuts to black.
  • The Atoner: As revealed at the end of season three, Captain Roy Montgomery.
  • Audio Erotica: In "Cops and Robbers", Trapper John describes Beckett as having a 'bedroom voice.'
  • Autopsy Snack Time: The Medical Examiner (Perlmutter) occasionally takes a meal in the mortuary.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Castle’s opinion of his Ferrari. He doesn't seem to mind it when Beckett gets behind the wheel, however.
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 Castle: You know, I have one; not as cool as you'd think.

Esposito: Yeah, but they're hella fast.

Castle: As fast as any other car in rush hour traffic.

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  Ryan, while being tortured in ice water: "Listen, assclown. I went to Catholic school for twelve years. Hell, they use to do this to me for talking in class."

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  • Bad Liar:
    • In "Poof, You're Dead", Esposito turns into this in order to conceal his big secret namely, his relationship with Lanie:
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 Esposito: Saw him perform a couple of weeks ago. Awesome, awesome show. We loved it.

Castle: 'We'?

Esposito: [Cornered] Yeah... me and my buddy... Ray.

Ryan: You have a buddy named 'Ray' who you went with to a magic show?

Esposito: Yeah. What about it?

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    • Both Ryan and Esposito are called out on this by Montgomery in "To Love and Die in L.A." when they are covering for Beckett.
  • Bait and Switch Gunshot: A double-dose of Stab the Scorpion variety at the end of "A Deadly Affair", as Castle and Beckett apparently point guns at each other, then each take out one-half of a husband and wife team of counterfeiters standing behind them both.
    • In Linchpin, Sophia is about to shoot Castle on the back of the head when a gunshot is heard... and Sophia falls to the floor, having been shot by Danberg.
  • Bait and Switch Tyrant: Captain Montgomery's replacement after his retirement and death. Where Montgomery was happy to go along with the Mayor's request to let Castle hang around the bullpen and go on ride-alongs with Beckett because he was both amused by Castle's antics and impressed by his intelligence as well as feeling sorry for getting Beckett's mother killed, the new girl wastes no time in telling Castle he's no longer welcome and is on thin ice -- one screw-up and he won't just be ejected from the precinct, he'll be arrested. She warms up to him, though. Slowly.
  • Batman Cold Open: "Heroes & Villains", appropriately, opens with a vigilante superhero intervening in an attempted rape. By cleaving the attempted rapist in two.
  • Beautiful All Along: Trina, the model who woos Castle in "Inventing The Girl" and who's advances Castle is keen to encourage until he realizes that she's actually Alexis’ old babysitter and not that much older than she is, apparently did this; Castle remembers her as Katrina, "a gangly girl with stringy hair and braces", hence why he didn't initially recognize her:
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  Alexis: She did the whole 'ugly duckling became a swan' thing, shortened her name and became a model.

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  • Bedmate Reveal: In the Cold Open of "Poof, You're Dead", Lanie and Esposito.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Castle and Beckett. Oh so much.
  • Benevolent Boss:
    • Captain Montgomery is made of awesome. One of his many highlights is a One-Scene Wonder in season premiere "A Deadly Affair". He offers to keep Castle locked up for not calling Beckett after the summer break. This isn't him offering a favor or because he dislikes Castle or anything like that. He's just that nice (well, okay so locking someone up isn't nice but you know what we mean) of a guy who truly worries about his officers.
    • In the Season 3 finale. It is discovered that he is the missing 'third cop' who ransomed gangsters in the case of Beckett's mother. Lockwood threatens that he will kill his family unless he lures Beckett into a trap. Seemingly, he does, and Beckett falls into it, but he was actually luring Lockwood into a trap. He takes Lockwood's crew by surprise and kills three of them, before being fatally shot by Lockwood. And he still manages to take Lockwood out with him.
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 This is where I make my stand.

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  • Beta Couple: Ryan and Jenny. Their relationship has been completely devoid of anything more than the usual misunderstandings, in complete contrast to Castle and Beckett's ups and downs.
  • Big Bad: The person (always referred to as a single individual) behind the murder of Beckett's mother and connected to several other crimes that our heroes investigate. As of the end of Season 4, we know nothing about him except that he "cannot be touched."
  • The Big Board:
    • The police put one together for every case. Castle also has an electronic one in his office which he uses to plot his mysteries. The FBI brings in a fancy electronic smart board in "Tick, Tick, Tick" which Beckett shuns in favor of her old-fashioned whiteboard. In "Knockdown", Beckett reveals she's been keeping a big board on her mother's murder since the summer (since any board she might have had before then was blown up with her old apartment). Also, Castle reproduces the precinct Big Board at home in "Set Up", using a camera phone picture of it, a projector and a bed sheet. Beckett comments it smells nicer.
    • Beckett also somehow manages to get a Big Board whilst in a fancy hotel in LA from Maurice the magical concierge.
    • In "Rise", Castle has repurposed the board he had used to plot his novels to investigate who shot Beckett's mother.
  • Big Brother Instinct: "A Deadly Affair" has Ryan and Esposito act like this (in regards to Beckett) crossed with a woman scorned (themselves) in response to Castle’s return.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Esposito and Ryan for Beckett and Castle in "Cuffed".
    • Beckett and Castle for Esposito and Ryan in "Knockdown".
    • Ryan for Beckett in "Always". She hallucinates that it's Castle, however, which helps trigger an epiphany.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: "Always".
  • Big Secret: In "A Deadly Game," a suspect lies to Beckett's face about killing a guy. He didn't do it because he was having sex with the deceased's wife at the time. This is the go-to trope for many episodes of Castle.
  • Bitter Almonds: In "Law and Murder."
  • Bittersweet Ending: Season 4's finale. Beckett resigns from the force, Esposito is forced to take administrative leave, Ryan feels miserable because, even though his actions saved Beckett's life, he got his friends suspended. On the other side, Beckett finally realises that the only thing she wants is to be with Castle, and goes to his house, where They Do. On the other side, the man that shot at Beckett is still free and plans to kill her for real. And he just found Smith, the guy that had the info that was keeping her safe...
  • Black Best Friend: Medical examiner Lanie Parish, Kate's only friend seen in the show, is a sassy black woman.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Lampshaded in "Under The Gun," where Ryan jokes that Esposito would be the first to die in a horror movie as he was cocky and Hispanic. Happens for real, when Montgomery is the first (and so far only) member of the main cast to die.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • "Kill the Messenger" subtly lampshades this; Alexis is helping her grandmother create what the grandmother refers to as a MyFace account. Alexis then neatly obscures the "real" name of the networking site:
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 Castle: Don't you mean a --

Alexis: Save your breath, I've been correcting her all morning.

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    • During "Suicide Squeeze", they never had licensing from Major League Baseball or any affiliate organization, so they used Joe Torre and an oblique mention of "The Big Move" (Joe Torre, at the time of the airing, had recently moved from the New York Yankees to the LA Dodgers) to sell the episode, though they kinda gave it away with "World Championship" instead of "World Series."
    • The numerous "Ray's" pizza joints in NYC are renamed to "Nick's."
    • Occupy Wall Street becomes Take Over Wall Street.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The drug-dealer in "Sucker Punch" (Trucho) who, after Beckett and Castle literally walk in on him having the shit kicked out of him by a rather angry member of the Irish Mob, blithely attempts to persuade them that he fell. And hit his badly-battered eye on a door. And put his hand on a grate to steady his fall.
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 Castle: Well. Thanks for keeping it real.

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    • And then there is the character Random in the episode "Under the Gun":
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 Random: I wasn't running away. I was jogging.

Beckett: So what were you doing climbing down the side of a building?

Random: Cross training. Better cardio-vascular workout.

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    • Beckett herself lies to Castle and presumably everyone else in "Rise" what she remembers about the shooting, but finally admits to her shrink at the end, "I remember everything".
  • Bluff the Impostor: In "Heroes and Villains", Beckett's about to get a confession off of a guy for a murder by a masked superhero when Castle tips her off to something, so she asks him about the murder and slips a detail out of whack. When the guy answers without correcting the slip, she knows he's not the killer.
  • Bluffing the Murderer:
    • In "One Life To Lose" the murderer is exposed via a scene Castle has written for the soap opera that she and the victim wrote for, which exposes her motive -- an act of plagiarism -- via the characters on the show.
    • In "Poof! You're Dead" the murderer is exposed by the twin brother of the victim making a ghostly appearance while Castle and Beckett are sweating the suspect
  • Body of the Week: Naturally for a murder mystery.
  • Book Ends:
    • The opening of "A Deadly Affair"
    • "Setup" begins and ends with Castle and Beckett, locked together in an isolated room (quarantine chamber, freezer), staring at each other in horror after making an unpleasant discovery.
    • The two photos of Jane the victim that Ryan hands to Ben Lee in "Kick the Ballistics."
  • Bond One-Liner: At the end of "Always Buy Retail", Castle distracts a baddie with a champagne bottle so Beckett can get the drop on him. After he's laid out, Castle goes "I think that deserves a toast!" and drinks. Castle’s quick to approve when the other characters do this:
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 Ryan: To a political campaign manager arrested for murder You can stop running, bro. The campaign's over.

Castle: [Looks at Ryan approvingly] Ooh! Yes!

Beckett Go ahead, I need the practice.

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 Martha: Honey, you know I've always loved younger men, they have so much energy, enough to keep up with me... Most of the time.

Castle: (Haltingly) I'm... I'm going to erase that image from my mind with a bottle of scotch.

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  • Brand X: Castle purchases a coffee machine labeled "Espresso Intenso", which is actually La Spaziale S5 Compact Ek.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Alexis is a wonderful aversion of this Trope. Her few almost-bratty moments have usually been inspired by Castle’s immaturity / over-protectiveness rather than teenage bitchiness. She displays the attitude mostly towards her mother... her mother that used the dead relative excuse (of someone who's been dead for six years already) to get her out of school to go shopping, which caused her to miss a Calculus test she studied a week for. At least her mom didn't take her out of the country again.
    • It's at times hinted that Beckett herself went through one of these stages as a teenager; whenever Castle approaches her for advice with an issue he's got with Alexis, Beckett often seems to advise him directly from the perspective of someone who knows first hand what a Bratty Teenage Daughter can be like. It can be safely assumed that the death of her mother put a rather brutal end to this stage, however, even if she hadn't grown out of it by then.
  • Breaking Speech: Castle and the killer exchange these on "3XK", with Castle starting his in reaction to the killer's "Then you don't know me at all."
  • Break the Cutie: "3xk" does a number on Castle and leaves him with a few cracks. Normally, even serial killers don't rattle Castle that much. He knows them very well. But the Triple Killer not only out-Castles Castle, but leaves him alive knowing that Castle couldn't stop him and because Castle couldn't stop him, the Triple Killer will resume killing.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: At the end of "Always", Esposito is on admimistrative leave and not talking to Ryan anymore since he went to Gates over his objections; Beckett resigns rather than joins Esposito; this leaves Ryan the only member of the core cast still on the force...and miserable; and Castle is ready to move on with his life without Beckett...until she shows up at his door and They Do.
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Almost Famous," which aired after "3XK," in which the bad guy got away in the end.
    • "One Life to Lose" after the tense two-parter "Setup" & "Countdown" In which Castle disarms the dirty Time Bomb
    • The episodes after episodes on Beckett's mother are breather eps. ("The Third Man" after "Sucker Punch", "Lucky Stiff" after "Knockdown", "Heroes and Villains" after "Knockout" and "Rise")
  • Brick Joke: "Honey milk." Also the correct meaning and use of irony.
  • Broken Bird: Kate. To put it in perspective, in most shows, her brokenness would be a background plot point and the underlying cause of some sort of wackiness that everyone just puts up with. Here... while her mom dies before the start of the series, her other two mentors in life die on screen in equally violent ways.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Beckett's former partner turned bounty hunter Mike Royce in "Under the Gun" throws it all away for a rumored buried treasure. Still, when he turns up murdered in "To Love and Die in L.A.", she chases the guy who killed him across the country.
    • Castle faces this in "The Final Nail" when his old school friend Damian Westlake -- who, years before, had supported and encouraged him in his writing -- is the prime suspect in the brutal murder of his wife. Double subverted -- Westlake didn't murder his wife, but he did hire another old classmate to murder his father years before.
    • Surprisingly averted with Captain Montgomery. After explaining how and why he did what he did, and that his entire career has been an attempt to atone for his actions, he performs a Heroic Sacrifice in order to Take a Third Option, and the only people who know his past decide to keep it quiet in honor of the man he became.
    • Another one for Castle--Sophia, the inspiration for Derrick Storm's Clara Strike character, as revealed in "Linchpin."
    • Following his discovery in "47 Seconds" that Beckett remembered her entire gunshot ordeal, including Castle's admission that he loved her, Castle came away very hurt that his partner and love interest could have deceived him about it as long as she did. This has led him to pull away from her, which everyone at the precinct seems to notice (except for Gates, who likely doesn't give a damn.) In "The Limey" Lanie appropriately calls her on her BS before it becomes apparent (read: Castle pulling up to a crime scene in a sports car with a hot blonde) that Beckett has missed her window. (Note: most of this info appears in the promos for the episodes, so spoilers don't apply.)
  • The Butler Did It:
    • The victim in "Lucky Stiff" employed a butler. As it's the first time they've ever encountered one, Castle is desperate for it to be him. It wasn't, but the butler was ripping the victim off.
    • He lampshades it in "Famous Last Words" as who he'd pick as the murderer in a particularly tricky part of solving the case. The victim here didn't even have one.
    • Averted in "A Dance with Death". Surprisingly, the trope is not brought up at all by Castle this time.
  • Bumbling Dad: As often as this gets played straight, it gets averted a few memorable times, most notably when Castle’s daughter is at a party with spiked punch, and her friend got drunk, and he acts exactly as how every parent in the world would hope to.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Castle gets himself a custom one that says "WRITER". Subverted, however, as he's not shot or even shot at while wearing it. He wears it in subsequent seasons, and it's included in the opening montage. Yay for continuity!
  • The Butcher: Of Benin, in "Always Buy Retail".
    • And Tony The Butcher in "Heroes and Villains".
    • Variation: as if running around with the name Ethan Slaughter or being played by Adam Baldwin isn't badass enough, his nickname is The Widowmaker, for the three partners who've been KIA'd while working with him. Two on their first day.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Ryan seems to be the member of the team who usually gets everything dumped on him. He and Esposito sometimes manage to turn the tables, though.
      • A deconstruction of this in the S4 finale. Ryan's actions saved Beckett. Unfortunately, those actions were what Esposito didn't want him to do: Tell Gates about the case and get a real squad on the case. As a result, Espo and Beckett are suspended (and Beckett resigns), and Espo thinks Ryan is a traitor.
    • Esposito fills the role in "Punked", thanks to the increasing amount of slapstick physical encounters -- and resulting injuries -- he's subject to.
  • California Doubling: Castle is not filmed in New York, but Los Angeles. If you're someone who lives in Southern California (or knows the general L.A. area), then you can easily spot an orange Los Angeles Metro Bus just driving by in the background once in a while.
  • Call Back:
    • In "Sucker Punch", the senior coroner Lanie calls to confirm her suspicions about the murder (namely, that the guy who did it also killed Beckett's mother) is the same "Dr. Death" Castle regularly consults with, including in "A Death in the Family" to review Beckett's mother's case file.
    • In "Little Girl Lost", Beckett and Castle have a conversation in an elevator about Beckett’s ex-boyfriend which begins with Beckett preempting Castle’s curious question about him. They have pretty much the same conversation in "A Rose For Everafter", except with the roles switched and Castle’s ex-girlfriend the subject. ("I didn't ask." "Yes, you were 'not asking' very loudly.")
    • "Almost Famous": "Do you have any brochures? I'm looking for an apartment. Mine blew up."
    • "Countdown": The final scene, where Castle appears to be on the verge of asking Beckett out only to lose his nerve upon seeing her boyfriend Josh, mirrors the end of "A Deadly Game" where the roles were reversed and Beckett was in the exact same position as Castle, only for Gina to show up.
    • "One Life to Live": Remember the Old Haunt, the bar Castle brought? It's brought up in this episode when Ryan mentions to Esposito and Castle that he found a quicker route to the place and mentions he knows the owner.
      • It is mentioned again at the end of "Cops and Robbers" when Beckett asked Castle if he wants to go there after they saved the day.
      • In "Law & Murder" the DA offered Montgomery a red bottle of 1875 scotch. Those could only have come from the old cache that was found under the Old Haunt.
    • "Law & Murder": "Can we stop at Remy's for burgers on the way?" Remy's is the burger joint they went to after wrapping up the case in "The Third Man".
    • Natalie Rhodes is not on set because she went back into rehab in "To Love and Die in L.A.".
    • The pilot: "My safe word is apples." A few episodes later: Beckett grabs him by the nose, "Apples! Apples!" Season two: They visit a dominatrix club. "My safe word is apples."
    • In "Rise", it turns out that Beckett has not called Castle in the whole summer. Pretty much like Castle did the year before.
    • In "Pretty Dead", one suspect claims as his alibi, "I was with Councilman Bollinger." Bollinger was the man running in the election from season 1's "Hell Hath No Fury."
    • A subtle one in "Always". In "Knockdown", Castle kisses Beckett, Beckett breaks it in surprise and then she kisses him with more intensity. In "Always", Beckett kisses Castle, Castle breaks it in surprise and then he kisses her with more intensity.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: After a safe deposit box belonging to a mob figure is broken into, the mobster claims it contained his stamp collection. One of the cops asks him how long he has been a philatelist. His response is "Hey! I don't roll that way!".
  • Camp Straight: Castle was called a metrosexual in "The Third Man," though he's a pretty mild example. He has a fine appreciation for good interior decorating and fashion.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Both Castle and Beckett.
    • It happened twice for Castle: first, in "When the Bough Breaks" at the launch party after Beckett read the sweet dedication he made to her in Heat Wave and rather than telling her how he felt about her, he launched into a theory about the Killer of the Week, giving Beckett Mood Whiplash; second, in the same episode at the end when he thought they had worked their last case and instead of confessing his feelings he offered her an awkward handshake. Sigh. Oh, Castle.
    • Beckett suffered from a small version of this in "A Deadly Game" in a couple different occasions because Castle is apparently Oblivious to Love. The end of the episode resulted in her becoming The Woobie as she watched him walk away with his ex-wife not knowing how she felt. Sigh. Oh, Beckett.
    • When they're not mucking things up themselves, small events and bad timing seems to add to the confusion. Sigh. Oh, you two.
    • A darker version in "Knockdown"; Detective John Raglan, with vital information to pass on to Beckett about her mother's case, instead nervously rambles on about coffee and Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol for a few moments. This, naturally, gives the sinister conspiracy behind her mother's death ample opportunity to ensure Raglan never reveals anything to anyone ever again.
    • Also, in "Knockdown", When Castle shows up at Beckett's apartment, and she asks him "Why do you keep coming back, Rick?", the answer is all over his face, but not coming out of his mouth.
    • Castle also gets a heartbreaking moment in "Knockout"
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 Castle: If, if anything happens to her... It...*sighs*

Martha: Go on.

Castle: I-I...

Martha: Oh, Richard, Richard. For a man who makes a living with words, you sure have a hell of a time finding them when it counts.

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    • Finally averted on Castle's end in the Season 3 finale. He confesses his love to Beckett as she's lying on the ground, losing consciousness, having just been shot in the chest by a sniper.
    • In "Eye of the Beholder", Kate's therapist asks her why the thought of Castle liking another woman bothers her and she responds, "Because he's supposed to be..." and stops before she can say what she really means, instead settling for "my partner."
    • In "47 Seconds", after thinking about how short life is after a bomb explodes in the middle of a protest, Castle is ready to tell Beckett his feelings for her (and she's smiling and ready to hear it), but he gets interrupted by Ryan. Apparently, Beckett was shocked by the experience too and, later in the same episode, tried to open up to him, but she's interrupted by Esposito. Castle later accidentally discovers that Kate remembers what happened after she was shot, which makes him stop trying to tell her.
    • Averted again in "Always". Castle tells Beckett that he loves her, and, after a Love Epiphany after nearly dying, Beckett tells Castle she loves him.
  • The Cast Showoff: Castle finally sings along with the other cast members (minus Lanie) as they head out for a drink at the end of "Last Call."
    • While not necessarily the normal definition of a cast showoff, "Kill Shot" gives Jon Huertas (Esposito) an opportunity to show off his military training and knowledge.
    • And in "Blue Butterfly", Lanie (well, a fictional version, sorta; let's just say Tamala Jones and end it at that) does a few song numbers. And wow, she's pretty darn good.
    • Stana Katic got to impersonate a Russian accent; one of several Slavic languages she actually speaks in real life.
  • Casual Kink:
    • Beckett loves teasing Castle with this, by delivering the quotes listed in Cool Bike and Head-Tiltingly Kinky without blinking.
    • Just about all of "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice" but especially...
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 Beckett: Bondage cuffs, custom made. Looks like our killer liked public play.

Castle: How can you tell the difference between custom and regular?

Beckett: The leather is too high quality to be mass produced and it's hand stitched.

Castle: No, I mean how can you tell the difference?

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    • And...
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 Lanie: I can do the chocolate, I'll even do the whipped cream bikini, but caramel? I prefer slippery to sticky.

Castle: Does she know we can hear her?

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    • In "Poof! You're Dead:"
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 Castle: I never pegged you for a magic fan. You know any good tricks?

Beckett: I do have this one thing with ice cubes.

Castle: (steadies himself against a display window)

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    • For a non-Beckett example, see Did I Just Say That Out Loud?.
    • Also, Castle has offhandedly mentioned that his safe word is "apples." Twice thus far.
    • At the end of "Cuffed", Beckett suggests the possibility that she might be amenable to cuffing herself to Castle. Castle's face says everything.
  • The Cavalry: Beckett is saved by Ryan, Gates, and a bunch of SWAT guys at the end of the Season 4 finale.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: Castle apparently makes his up without reading the books.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Played with; although Castle is overall quite happy being a famous, successful novelist, he was clearly getting a bit bored with the whole thing by the pilot, which is partly why he enjoys hanging out with the down-to-earth Beckett and solving mysteries with the other cops.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Martha would just be in all the roles Susan Sullivan has had.
    • And, in fact, there's at least one scene of Martha watching an old role of hers--Susan Sullivan in an episode of The Incredible Hulk.
    • Since Castle seems to be familiar with Desperate Housewives, it would be interesting to know who played Adam and Katherine Mayfair in this universe.
  • Censor Box: In one episode, Castle is examining some blackmail photos, and assures Beckett that he wasn't ogling the naked girl. When he hands her the photo, the viewer can see that he put sticky notes over the naughty bits.
  • Censorship by Spelling: Lampshaded when Esposito, nervously looking at Alexis who happens to be in the squad room, spells out B-I-T-C-H. Alexis and her father give each other a disgusted look.
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 Castle: She can spell, Detective.

Ryan: Probably better than you!

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  • Cerebus Syndrome: There has been a noticable shift towards more hard hitting, emotionally engaging storylines roughly starting with the second season's two-part episode special Tick, Tick, Tick... Boom. The enjoyable light comedy is still there, but episodes focusing on Beckett's overall Story Arc tend to be darker in tone.
    • Executive Producer Andrew Marlowe has said that if Castle is renewed for a fifth season, that it will be a return to the lighter, funnier tone of the early seasons.
  • Chained Heat: Castle and Beckett wake up handcuffed together and Locked in a Room in "Cuffed". This trope is lampshaded by Esposito and Ryan when discussing how a relationship can have a make-or-break moment when two people are stuck together in close proximity. Castle and Beckett pass with flying colours of course.
    • Anybody think that Chained Heat could be a great title for a Nikki Heat novel?
  • Character Blog:
  • Charity Ball: In one episode, the main cast goes to a charity ball in order to track down the murderer of the week.
  • The Charmer: Castle is very popular with the ladies.
  • The Cheerleader: Played with in "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice" where Alexis considers trying out for the team but decides she doesn't want to devote the time and effort it would take away from her other activities.
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 Castle: Well, we both learned a valuable lesson today. You learned you can expand your horizons and grow. I learned that if that involves short skirts and boys I'm not gonna like it.

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  • The Chessmaster: Alexis spends most of "Under The Gun" trying to get Castle to get her a scooter. In the end, she tells her dad that she no longer wants one after realizing she would have to sell a childhood memento to do so. Castle is much relieved and though he will not buy her a scooter, he will buy himself a scooter and maybe she can borrow it. To which she happily accepts and adds a:
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 Alexis: ...and when you're using the scooter, I can borrow the car!

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  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Vampire Weekend", the grave that Castle notices before they find the body turns out to be the grave of the deceased's mother, who was murdered by the nanny, who then murdered the deceased when he confronted her about it...in front of her grave.
    • In "The Fifth Bullet", when Castle arrives at the crime scene he is enamored by a dog that had been tied up near the crime scene. It turns out that the dog belongs to the amnesiac in the episode, thus helping to identify Jay.
    • In "Murder Most Fowl", the circuit breakers invented by the victim are critical to apprehending his killers.
    • "Knockout": The Captain is seen loading his Colt Detective Special, and a two-shot derringer. Which makes the subsequent fight Dramatic Irony, since even viewers unfamiliar with the CG concept are likely counting the bullets fired from the revolver and waiting for the derringer to come out.
    • "Rise": Castle's Big Board which he used to plot his mysteries, is now co-opted for Johanna Beckett's murder.
    • "Heroes and Villains": Castle points out that the "hero" they're after based his costume on various comic-book heroes with dead parents, indicating they lost one or both of their parents. He's right.
    • "Kick The Ballistics": The gun that 3XK takes from Detective Ryan while escaping police custody.
    • "Blue Butterfly": The brick that falls off the wall when Joe is thrown from the bar.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Another go-to trope for writers of the series. For example, the deceased art gallery's owner's assistant in "The Fifth Bullet", Darius. Not only did he do it, but he's not Darius (he used his roommate's identity to get the job.)
    • In "Heroes and Villains", we get a very specific shot of the officer who discovered the body of a "superhero"'s victim. Guess who turns out to be the superhero? But she actually didn't do it.
  • The Chew Toy: Esposito's injuries in "Punked" is played for laughs...and he gets some of it back in the end.
  • China Takes Over the World: In "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind," the killer was working for a Chinese intelligence agent looking to obtain U.S. military secrets.
    • In the two-parter "Pandora"/"Linchpin", a Chinese official is the intended victim... but only because the villains have discovered that China has the power to destroy American pre-eminence forever with a stroke of the pen.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Castle.
    • "Love Me Dead" has Castle and Beckett enlisting the help of a call girl to solve the case. At first Castle reacts as you'd expect -- "[When she gets here] tell her to wear something sexy!" -- but when she shows up beaten in his house, his first instinct is to get her medical help, even when she tries to kiss him. Quite reminiscent of a previous role, in fact.
    • In "Tick, Tick, Tick," the other cops show up at Beckett's apartment to find Castle making her pancakes at 7:00 in the morning. When they jump to the (mistaken) obvious conclusion, Castle is quick to correct them instead of going along with it.
  • Cliff Hanger: Tick... Tick... Tick.... Beckett's apartment explodes just as Castle tells her that the killer is still alive. Most people EVERYONE knows that her Plot Armor will protect her, but still. Those bastards!
    • The other two-parters have usually had a similar cliffhanger. In Season 3, it was that Castle and Beckett are locked in a freezer, slowly dying of hypothermia. In Season 4, Castle and Beckett were in a car that was pushed into the Hudson River.
    • The cliffhanger for the season 3 finale, where Beckett is shot by a sniper and in critical condition.
    • The cliffhanger for the season 4 finale, where Beckett resigns, finally tells Castle that she loves him, and the man that shot Beckett tells the misterious man that told Castle to keep her off the case that, as soon as he gets the information Roy sent the latter, he will kill Beckett.
  • Combat Stilettos:
    • "Home is Where The Heart Stops" has a close-up of Beckett's high-heeled boots crushing a suspect's hand, though they're not stilettos.
    • "A Deadly Affair" has Beckett's introduction be a low-to-the-ground shot of her stilettos. While not a combat situation, it's certainly sticks out.
    • In episode 2x18, near the end Special Agent Jordan Shaw catches the serial killers gun with some pretty deadly heels!
    • Lampshaded by her former training officer to which Beckett plays a straight answer.
    • Further lampshaded in "Nikki Heat" in which the actress (in-universe) playing Nikki Heat notices them and notes they must be hard to run in and that Beckett must use them to get a authority from the height advantage. Beckett acknowledges that it helps, but she mainly wears them because she likes them.
    • Lampshaded again in "Cuffed" when Beckett asks Castle to take off her boots. "How do you run in these things?"
    • Alexis wears them while playing laser tag with her dad in "Undead Again."
  • Cold Open: Every episode, except season and midseason finales, which have a "Previously On...".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Remember kids, Castle's bondage Safe Word is "apples". First mentioned in the pilot and again in the bondage themed episode "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice." (2x16)
    • At the beginning of "Boom!", Beckett asks if anyone has seen her father's watch. Castle ducks out of the building saying, hastily "It's not in the hall". Turns out whether or not it was actually in the hall, Castle did find it, but it was broken, and you can see him tucking it into his pocket in that scene so that he can have it repaired before giving it back to Beckett.
    • During the cold open of the Season 3 opener, Ryan sees a cardboard cutout of Castle and says, Wow, he really is ruggedly handsome.
    • 3x10, they find a cache of Prohibition era liquor which they turn over to the city. Nine episodes later the DA asks someone to celebrate with him, because he just got a bottle of it.
    • In "Dead Pool" Ryan and Esposito tell a young writer Castle is mentoring about a previous case, which was "Knockdown".
    • "Kick the Ballistics" has 3XK come back into focus.
    • 4x07, "Cops and Robbers": Castle has apparently been keeping track of the many times he's saved Beckett's life (9 to be exact) and when she dares him to recount these incidents, he specifically mentions distracting the gunman in the Season 1 episode "Always Buy Retail" with a champagne bottle and the Season 2 episode "Tick, Tick, Tick" when he warns her about the bomb in her apartment.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment:
    • In "Sucker Punch", Castle's proposed strategy for getting Johnny Vong to talk is "force him to watch Paris Hilton videos".
    • In "Home Is Where The Heart Stops" Castle reconnects with Powell, a retired cat-burglar who was forced to retire because Castle, using him as a source for a book, ended up blowing his cover. Powell gets his revenge... by crashing a high-society benefit which Castle and Beckett have infiltrated. And bringing Martha along. Castle suddenly finds himself the subject of an impromptu one-man bachelor auction.
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 Powell: [smugly] Now we're even.

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  • Cool Bike: Beckett owns a Harley softail. Also counts as Fetish Fuel since Beckett teases Castle with:
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 Castle: Why don't you show me a picture of the bike?

Beckett: Because I don't think you could handle the sight of me straddling it in tight black leather.

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  • Cool Gun: "Under The Gun" in the climactic scene, Beckett and Ryan have their usual service pistols. Esposito? He has a M4A1 Carbine with combat grip and some other attachments.
  • The Coroner: ME Lanie Parish, who is also Beckett's Black Best Friend. Also, a different, grumpy coroner named Perlmutter was introduced in "The Double Down." He appeared several times in Season 2 and once or twice in every season since.
  • Corrupt Politician: A mild example in a DA willing to subvert the justice system and convict an innocent man to make sure he has funding for re-election. Okay, not that mild.
    • Subverted in "Dial 'M' for Mayor" -- We are led to suspect the Mayor has embezzled funds and tried to cover it with a murder. He claims he is being framed by a conspiracy. It turns out that he is right.
  • Cowboy Cop: Deconstructed. It's revealed that a group of cowboy cops killed an undercover FBI agent investigating a mobster and set into motion the events that led to Johanna Beckett's murder.
    • Det. Slaughter (played by Adam Baldwin) in "Headhunters" plays this for laughs. It's exactly what would happen if Jayne Cobb got made detective.
    • All the leads whenever it comes to investigating the murder of Beckett's mother or covering up Montgomery's involvement in that murder. However, Ryan eventually stops.
  • Cyanide Pill:
    • Subverted in "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind" when Castle stops the Chinese agent from this:
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 Castle: Cyanide Capsule!. (sweeps item from man's mouth) Eww, gum.

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    • Played absolutely straight in "Head Case" when a murderer commits suicide by this method in order to join her husband in death/cryonic freezing after killing him.
  • Daddy's Girl: Alexis Castle, Castle's daughter.
  • The Dandy: Castle is such a metrosexual. He's starting to influence Ryan and Esposito, amusingly enough.
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 Castle: (searching an apartment) You see this moulding? That's the original wood. Gorgeous! I bet the bathrooms have marble wainscoting.

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  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Happens in "Boom" to Special Agent Shaw of all people.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the show tends towards being a lighthearted comedy, episodes about Beckett's mother's murder and two-parter half season finales have a tendency to be very dark.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Averted. Both Alexis and Molly Quinn are 15 (at the start of the show).
    • Played straight with some guest stars, though: In "Suicide Squeeze", a 17-year-old was played by a 4-foot-10 30-year-old actress. The actress did not really look at all like a 17 year old... just like a short adult.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Esposito gets much more of a focus than usual in "Den of Thieves."
    • Ryan's time comes in "Kick the Ballistics."
  • Dead Man Writing: Mike Royce's letter to Beckett in "To Love and Die in L.A." It's also a Voiceover Letter at the end, revealing Mike sees that she has something special with Castle
  • Dead Partner: Used as Esposito's backstory for "Den of Thieves." Except it turns out he's not quite dead after all, and in fact is the suspect for the killing of the Body of the Week.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Beckett to Castle mostly.
  • Death by Looking Up: The Victim of the Week in "Wrapped Up In Death". Cause of Death: Falling Gargoyle.
  • Death By Origin Story: Beckett's mother.
  • Death Equals Redemption:
    • When Detective Raglan realizes he is dying, he contacts Beckett and tries to tell her about his role in her mother's death.
    • Captain Montgomery
  • Death Glare:
    • Beckett has one and it is almost always aimed at Castle.
    • Castle, in turn, aims one at Beckett when she agrees to spend time with Alex Conrad, the writer he's mentoring.
    • Lampshaded in "Demons" when Ryan gets one from Beckett after offering to help Castle investigate the so-called "haunted house":
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 Castle: Ooh, that's a look.

Ryan: Yeah.

Castle: I get these a lot. Just start walking. Faster. [They scurry off]

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  • Deceased Fall Guy Gambit:
    • What the real killer was trying to do in the pilot, though the patsy is insane, not dead. He might have gotten away with it had Castle not had the first of his many Your Princess Is in Another Castle realizations.
    • In "Tick, Tick, Tick..." the perp kills another guy in view of Castle and Beckett and makes it look as though it was a suicide. Castle has another such realization and is able to warn Beckett just before the perp blows apartment up with her in it.
    • The perps in "Setup"/"Countdown" were planning on this, but didn't count on one of their planned patsies getting suspicious and stumbling on their plan early, forcing them to off him ahead of schedule. Didn't stop them planning on doing the same to his wife, however.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: A quick scan of this page will show you how many tropes are subverted, lampshaded and otherwise played with -- as befits a Police Procedural where the title character is a mystery writer.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Heat Wave, the first Nikki Heat novel made it onto the Times bestseller list as did Naked Heat and Heat Rises.
    • Deadly Storm is a graphic novel "adaptation" of the first Derrick Storm novel. Storm Rises has also been announced.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Averted in "Vampire Weekend". Crow is bisexual and, as a member of a vampire cult, very strange, but he's the victim, not the villain. The killer hoped to take advantage of this trope to pin the murder on his freaky friends.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?:
    • Det. Ryan in "The Double Down" after "So much for my famous warm honeymilk with Jenny tonight." This is mentioned in a subsequent episode when Ryan is introduced to a Vice cop that Esposito knows, and right after the introduction the Vice cops asks Esposito "Honeymilk?"
    • Also in "Sucker Punch", when the team is investigating a late night infomercial host who's "I'll make you rich!" program -- which Ryan has been slightly suckered into -- is a front for heroin smuggling:
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 Beckett: Someone on this end had to know which boxes contained the drugs.

Ryan: [Absently] And which boxes contained the secret path to financial independence.[Everyone looks at him; he realizes] ... What?

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    • Inverted in "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice" when, over the body of a young woman found in her underwear covered in caramel sauce, Lanie matter-of-factly discusses her own tastes in this area, much to Castle and Ryan's interest:
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 Lanie: I can do the chocolate, I'll even do the whipped cream bikini, but caramel? I prefer slippery to sticky.

Castle: ... Does she know we can hear her?

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    • Upon seeing Natalie Rhodes enter the room wearing a wig and a suit to make her look like the double of Beckett:
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  Castle: [wondering] Just like I dreamed it! [Beckett stares at him] Did I Say That Out Loud?

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  • Die for Our Ship: In-Universe example in "One Life To Lose" though it's a writer, not a character, that the shippers want dead. The shipper didn't kill the writer, but she was quite happy about her death.
  • Disappeared Dad: Castle doesn't know who his father is. Unlike many other examples of the trope, however, he seems quite free from bitterness or Wangst over this fact (as he says, it gives him the chance to imagine his father as whatever he wants to think). It probably goes some way towards explaining both why he's a bit of a Man Child and so devoted to Alexis, however.
    • Something Sophia said at the end of Linchpin may indicate that Castle's father worked at the CIA. However, given that she was a USSR double agent, it might have just been a bunch of Blatant Lies.
  • Disney Dog Fight: Parodied at the end of "An Embarrassment of Bitches". Castle vs. Beckett, winner: Kay Capuccio!
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: During an investigation, our hero sees himself on an electronics store camera and remarks "I really am ruggedly handsome.' Of course, he is played by Nathan Fillion. This actually an aversion... he had actually gone over there to see if any footage of the killer might be available.
  • Distressed Damsel / Distressed Dude: Both Beckett and Castle seem to have a knack of getting into distressing situations requiring the other to rescue them. In "Cops and Robbers" we learn that Castle has apparently been keeping score and that by his count he's saved Beckett's life nine times while she's only saved his eight in return. Beckett is less-than-impressed by either revelation.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Would be a Stock Visual Metaphor but for the "Stock" bit. In the opening scene of "Wrapped Up in Death," we see a gargoyle plummet towards the soon-to-be-Body of the Week, and just before his head ends up being splatted much like a tomato by a hammer, we cut to a scene of a tomato getting splatted by a hammer (as wielded by Alexis).
    • In "Heroes And Villains", Castle and Beckett watch another writer and his muse (an attractive female cop driven by the death of her parent) leave the office. Castle invokes this trope...only to watch the other two kiss (as they are a couple). Cue an awkward exit, stage left by Castle.
      • At the start of the episode, we see the victim of the week getting split in silhouette, cut to Castle chopping vegetables with a cleaver.
    • The "let's try to push the freezer" scene of "Cuffed" purposely invokes the sexual version of trope for ship teasing purposes. It is incredibly effective. Also, hilariously lampshaded:
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 Beckett: (with her back pressed to Castle's front before they push) You better not be--

Castle: --enjoying this? I'll let you know in a minute.

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    • "Headhunters" has Castle work with another detective while Beckett's busy in court. While what it might mean for the Castle-Beckett not-relationship is explicitly discussed by Beckett and her psychiatrist, Esposito and Ryan are both miffed, and Ryan openly says it feels like Castle's "cheating" on them.
  • Don't Call Me Ma'am: Captain Gates insists on being called "sir".
  • Double Date: In "The Third Man"; they're too busy talking about the case to enjoy their dates...and by the end they both step out, leaving their dates to hook up.
  • Downer Ending: "3XK" . (Just saying the episode name is a spoiler.)
  • Dualvertisement: Tom Bergeron plays a murdered talk show host in one episode. Not so coincidentally, Bergeron is the host of Dancing With the Stars, which airs right before Castle. Later, Castle did an episode with a Brand X version of Dancing With The Stars.
  • Dude Not Ironic: Inverted; Castle is very pleased when other characters correctly identify irony.
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted with Natalie Rhodes in "Nikki Heat". She looks like standard a B-movie horror actress at first, and then the team get to meet her and find out she's smart, a good actress, very perceptive, and extremely dedicated to her art. The rumor about her living in a crawlspace for a week for a horror movie about a crawlspace wasn't true, though. It was actually a month.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: In addition to the spoiler above, Natalie Rhodes used a complete makeover to "come closer" to Beckett's style, including using a wig to change her hair from blonde to brunette (neither of which happens to be Laura Prepon's natural hair color).
  • Dying Declaration of Love: The final scene of the third season. Except that she doesn't, you know, actually die or anything.
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