As dark and gritty of a story as it is, all five seasons of Angel exist within the Whedonverse, which means that each episode is full of Easter eggs. While there are plenty of secret crossovers in the series, the things you missed in Angel are bigger than nods to its sister series. We’re talking shrimp; bearded, heavy-metal guitar players; and Dolly Parton.
Out of all the things you missed in the Whedonverse, these Easter eggs and references in Angel are definitely high on the list. At the time, the series didn’t receive as much love as Buffy, but Angel’s cult status has only grown over time.
If you’ve never seen the show, or if you’re rewatching for the zillionth time, keep an eye out for these Angel Easter eggs.
Joss Whedon Appeared In An Accidental CameoPhoto: The WB
As creator of the entire Buffyverse, Joss Whedon has the clout to put himself into whichever spooky show he likes. His cameo in Angel wasn't planned, however. "Through the Looking Glass" finds Angel and his crew in Pylea, Lorne's home dimension.
The episode is full of fun stuff: Cordelia is crowned princess of the dimension; Angel pulls a C-3PO and tells the Pyleans about his adventures; and Amy Acker is introduced to the series, but the low-key best part of the episode comes when Lorne's clan member, Numfar, performs the Dance of Joy and the Dance of Honor.
Numfar is played by Whedon, who was only supposed to choreograph, but one of the on-set writers thought that Whedon looked so funny busting out his moves that he suggested the creator perform them on camera.7810Did you miss it?
Wolf, Ram, And Hart Of Wolfram & Hart Appeared In 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'Photo: The Avengers: Age of Ultron / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Angel has broken out of the WB stronghold and made it to the MCU, although not in any way that you would notice unless you're specifically looking for references to Angel in all of pop culture. In 2015's Age of Ultron, Thor has a trippy dream of Asgard where he sees a bunch of weird Nordic stuff, but there's one shot that's just for the Angel fans in the audience.
At one point, Thor sees three people in masks standing under an archway: someone in a Wolf mask, something in a Ram mask, and a third person in a stag mask, which was also known as a Hart in medieval times. It's not a direct tie-in to the three demons who run Wolfram & Hart, but it is a nice nod to one of Whedon's most beloved franchises.7514Did you miss it?
Dolly Parton Was An Executive Producer On The SeriesPhoto: 9 To 5 / 20th Century Fox
She may not have been working 9-to-5 behind the scenes on Buffy and Angel, but Dolly Parton and her production company, Sandollar Entertainment, was in the Whedon business long before he was a smart bet. Parton initially formed the company with Sandy Gallin, Parton's former talent manager and friend, and the two helped foster a ton of low- and middle-budget projects like Father of the Bride and the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer feature film.
It just makes sense that Sandollar would stay attached to the property after Buffy became a TV series for the WB, as well as when that series sired Angel as its spinoff. There's no word about whether or not Parton has ever actually watched Angel, but it's a safe bet she'd appreciate the existence of Lorne's karaoke bar.6810Did you miss it?
There Is No 'Buffy' Crossover In 'Angel' Season 3Photo: The WB
Even though Angel is very much its own show, there’s no way to ignore the fact that it’s a spinoff of Buffy. Pretty much every season of the David Boreanaz-fronted series contained a cameo from someone on Buffy - be it Oz, Willow, or the show’s namesake. Angel even went back to Sunnydale during Thanksgiving one year, but there was one season without a crossover.
Season 3 of Angel and Season 6 of Buffy basically existed independently of one another thanks to the network switch-up that occurred between Buffy Seasons 5 and 6. In that time, the series moved from the WB to UPN while Angel remained on its original network.
Legally, the two properties couldn’t cross over, but by Season 7 of Buffy, that policy was either out the window or Whedon and company no longer cared about the ramifications, and the two series once again mingled with one another.4021Did you miss it?