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A metaphor is a key phrase or object which symbolizes or points to a reality greater than itself.

For other types of linkages between episodes, see also the Lexicon, Foreshadowing, and Callbacks pages.

Throughout the entire series, the daily delivery of coffee from Castle to Beckett (and more recently sometimes from Beckett to Castle) represents the love that they have for each other, and their need (addiction) for each other. In Nikki Heat, when someone else inadvertently takes Beckett's coffee from Castle, she pulls him aside and exclaims "She stole my coffee Castle! What's next, my soul?!" In Always Castle tells Beckett that he brings her a cup of coffee just so that he can "put a smile on her face."
  • Beckett's Jewelery
Throughout the entire series, Beckett wears a wrist watch that belonged to her father and a chain around her neck with her mother's ring on it. She explained to Castle that the watch represents the "life that she saved" and the ring represents the "life that she lost" (A Chill Goes Through Her Veins)
  • Swings
First seen in Nanny McDead in the background as Castle and Beckett first discuss marriage (in general terms), the park swings become a location where key decisions are made regarding the forward progress of their relationship (Rise, Always, Watershed, Valkyrie). Further symbolic significance has been assigned by some regarding whether Castle and Beckett are facing the same/opposing directions in the swings as they talk being indicative of their understanding of their relationship at that moment.
  • Empty Precinct Chairs
Represents an absence and a longing for their partner (Beckett/Castle) to return, as seen in A Deadly Affair (Castle's chair empty), Rise (Beckett's chair empty}, Always (Castle's chair empty), and In the Belly of the Beast (Beckett's chair empty).
  • Ice Cream
Throughout the entire series, the Castle family shares ice cream as a traditional way to handle grief and resolve problems they are facing.
  • Chess
    • In the game of chess, to "castle" means to swap the positions of the rook and the king in such a way as to better protect the king while simultaneously improving the position of the rook for battle. Losing the ability to castle or failing to castle during a chess game often results in losing the game entirely.
    • In Dial M for Mayor, Mr. Smith tells Castle that "There are times when a well-placed pawn is more powerful than a king." referring to his role as Beckett's protector
    • In Pandora, "Bishop, Bishop, Pawn" was used as a code to reference Brooklyn Bridge Park
    • In Recoil, Sen. Bracken refers to himself as a "king"
  • Beckett's Stickman
In Secret's Safe With Me, Castle finds a stickman in Beckett's desk drawer, and she eventually explains that after her mother's funeral, she and her father made the stickman using the twigs and twine that had washed up on the shoreline of Coney Island. She tells Castle that the stickaman "is a reminder to me, that even on the worst days there's the possibility for joy."