[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s1cast4.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The cast members of seasons one and two, looking at something awful happening off-camera.]]

->"''What if you could find brand-new worlds, right here on Earth, where anything is possible? Same planet, different dimension. I've found the gateway.''"
-->-- '''Quinn Mallory''', OpeningNarration

->"''I've been sliding through an inter-dimensional wormhole seeing how many different ways [[TheGovernment people like you]] can '''screw up civilization'''''!"
-->-- '''Quinn Mallory''', to a government scientist, "Fever"

''Sliders'' (1995-2000) is a ScienceFiction show about four people who try out a device for traveling to {{Alternate Universe}}s, then get lost and spend the remainder of the series trying to get back to their world of origin.

It started out as an extremely fun AdventureSeries revolving around the "What If...?" scenarios offered by alternate worlds (''"What if the US lost UsefulNotes/WorldWarII? What if dinosaurs didn't go extinct? What if you were born the opposite sex?"'' etc.), but when Creator/{{Fox}} executives took over, putting in their own man and reducing the original producers to "executive consultant" level (and apparently not ''consulting'' them much), the series [[SeasonalRot steadily self-destructed]], most of its episodes being [[WholePlotReference ripoffs of movies that were popular at the time]], and becoming [[DarkerAndEdgier dark and mean-spirited]], [[McLeaned dumping most of the characters (via death or worse)]] and developing a MythArc about a race of killer-ape-descended villains called Kromaggs which eventually took over the show. The first and second seasons are generally considered the series' best, with the middle of the third season marking the start of the ExecutiveMeddling described above, which led to the series' decline.

The surprisingly competent final episode ended with a CliffHanger meant to try and push SciFiChannel into giving them a sixth season; it had been clear from the start of production on Season 5 that Sci Fi intended to cancel it, having picked it up to get its viewers to watch their new shows. The attempt failed; Season 5's ratings actually were good enough that it normally would've been renewed, but Sci Fi had committed to other shows already.

Over the years, the series has been slowly released on DVD. Season 5 was finally released January 2012. All five seasons are currently on {{Netflix}}.
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!!Trope-based episodes:

* AboveTheInfluence: In "Love Gods," a man is hiding from a country of beautiful women wanting him to impregnate them because he wants only his not-pretty-enough, not-young-enough partner. Awww.
* ApocalypseAnarchy: This is the story of several episodes, particularly "Last Days" and "The Exodus, Part 1," in which the end is near and society has degenerated in this way.
* AdventureTowns: Actually, it's (almost) always the same city (''UseFulNotes/{{San Francisco}}''), but due to our heroes travelling from one reality to another, they find themselves in a different situation each episode.
* AlternateHistoryWank: Several episodes dealt with other countries becoming major world powers.
** The second part of the pilot had SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn as the dominant world power after capitalism fell.
** "The Prince of Wails" had the American Revolution fail, and America wound up as a part of the VERY large British Empire.
** Season 2's "Love Gods" featured an alternate Earth where UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein used a bio-weapon that attacked the Y chromosome, [[{{Gendercide}} wiping out much of the male population on that Earth]]. Because they were furthest from the epicenter and least affected, Australia became the dominant world power on that Earth.
* BigNo: Wade at the end of "The Luck of the Draw," upon discovering that Quinn [[spoiler:got shot in the back]] right before jumping through the wormhole.
* BloodSport / HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: "Rules of the Game"
* BountyHunter: "Into the Mystic"
* BoxingLesson: "The Guardian"
* BrassBalls: "The Exodus, Part 1." Quinn remarks to Maggie that he could hear her "brass balls" clink.
* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind: "Gillian of the Spirits"
* ChemicalMessiah:
** In "Fever," the gang visits an alternate Earth decimated by a plague. Eventually they realize that antibiotics were never discovered in this timeline, so Arturo creates penicillin, which becomes the Chemical Messiah for this world.
** In "New Gods for Old," nanite-tainted water absorbs people into a HiveMind.
* ChristmasEpisode / CompanyTown: "Season's Greedings"
* ContemplatingYourHands: Colin in "Just Say Yes" after being dosed with drugs.
* CorruptChurch: "Prophets and Loss"
* DeterminedHomesteader: "Way Out West"
* DigitalHeadSwap: In "Dead Man Sliding," on a world where criminals are tried and executed live on television, a corrupt TV host killed someone on-camera and then framed that world's Quinn by editing his head onto his own body.
* DrivenToSuicide: "The Chasm"
* ElvisLives:
** The first alternate Earth experienced by Quinn is a BizarroUniverse in which Elvis is still alive.
** In "The King is Back," on an Earth where Rembrandt Brown was a hugely successful singer who died young, Rembrandt Prime decides to "come out of hiding" and take over where he left off. But then the "real" Rembrandt decides to really come out of his self-imposed exile, taking over from Rembrandt Prime at his comeback concert and declaring Rembrandt Prime "the greatest [[ElvisImpersonator Rembrandt Brown impersonator]] in the world."
* ETGaveUsWiFi: In "The Return of Maggie Beckett," the Roswell crash did happen, but instead of being covered up, a trade agreement was struck. TheGreys gave Earth new technologies, allowing for significant advances; this included DNA advances, allowing for a HalfHumanHybrid to appear.
* FakeShemp: The shots from above during the fifth season premiere "The Unstuck Man," after Jerry O'Connell left the show.
* FallenStatesOfAmerica: Couple of episodes have this. [[MexicoCalledTheyWantTexasBack One has Mexico taking advantage of the situation.]]
* FinalSolution: "Prophets and Loss"
* FindTheCure: "Fever"
* FlatlinePlotline: "Slide Like an Egyptian"
* FloatingContinent: "Season's Greedings"
* FutureImperfect: "Dust"
* {{Gendercide}}: "Love Gods"
* GenderRarityValue: "Love Gods" again.
* GrandTheftMe: "Dragonslide" had an evil wizard pull this on Quinn.
* HauntedHouse: "The Alternateville Horror"
* IHatePastMe / MyFutureSelfAndMe: "The Guardian." While not outright [[TimeTravel time-traveling]], the Sliders travel to a world over a decade behind theirs. Quinn encounters his past self shortly after the death of his father, and struggles to help his younger double learn [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong to defend himself against a bully rather than lash out in anger like he himself did]].
* InvadedStatesOfAmerica: The second part of the pilot episode showed a Soviet-occupied United States.
* InvisibleMainCharacter: "Gillian of the Spirits"
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: "The Dream Masters" (which, incidentally, is the only episode with no sliding).
* JustBeforeTheEnd / ScrewTheRulesItsTheApocalypse: "Last Days," "The Exodus, Part 1."
* KangarooCourt:
** In "The Young and the Relentless," Arturo uses the expression "kangaroo court" to describe his treatment on an Earth where everyone over 30 is subject to a nightly curfew.
** In "Dead Man Sliding," the Sliders end up in a world where the justice system has become a GameShow and lawyers are banned. When Arturo tries to object to this attitude that Quinn may as well be convicted, the host warns him not to try any other "lawyer tricks."
* KissMeImVirtual: "Virtual Slide"
* LadyLand: "The Weaker Sex," "Love Gods"
* LightningCanDoAnything: "Gillian of the Spirits"
* LotteryOfDoom: "Luck of the Draw"
* LotusEaterMachine: "Virtual Slide," "The Chasm."
* LovePotion: In "Dragonslide," Rembrandt attempts to use this on a world of magic to make a double of an old love fall for him. Instead, it makes him fall in love with [[spoiler:Wade]].
* LotteryOfDoom: "Luck of the Draw"
* {{Nanomachines}}: "New Gods for Old"
* NeverSleepAgain: "The Dream Masters" depicts a world ruled by a sinister cabal that can kill people in their dreams.
* NerdsAreSexy: Jerry O'Connell as Quinn, who was quite the babe magnet. But in a more literal use of the trope, they once slid into a universe where intelligence was treated with the same amount of celebrity worship as athletes, actors or rock stars. This version of Arturo was a multi-millionaire from celebrity endorsements, and Quinn ended up participating in a hybrid quiz-show / rugby televised sport where you can score points by answering questions while holding the ball.
* NewOldWest: "The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy"
* RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman: In "Stoker," which takes place in a world where vampires are real, UsefulNotes/RichardNixon is said to be the worst vampire of them all, equivalent to the legend of {{Dracula}} on Earth Prime, only real.
* SandWorm: "Paradise Lost" featured one that produced a substance that enabled the residents of a small town to retain their youth.
* ScienceIsBad: The world in "Gillian of the Spirits" came to that conclusion after Hiroshima, resulting in government-enforced stagnation. That universe's Quinn died of polio as a result of this.
* TyrannosaurusRex: One appears in "Dinoslide."
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: In "A Thousand Deaths," the team arrives on a world with very advanced, [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration holodeck]]-like video games. Rembrandt and Mallory play to win, but lose interest when they find all the other players are just interested in killing the VR characters. It gets worse when they discover that the designers replicated human reaction by integrating (unwilling) human hosts, like Maggie and Diana, into the games. Each VR death is very real and a host can be used a thousand times.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome," "The Last of Eden."
** The latter wasn't intended as a flashback episode. [[spoiler:Because {{Fox}} mistakenly scheduled it ''after'' "The Exodus, Part 2" in which Arturo is killed, they had Universal film a brief prologue with Wade and Rembrandt in which it's established that Wade's bothered by memories of the events of "The Last of Eden."]]
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!!This series provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: With maybe one or two exceptions, none of the multi-episode arcs this show started were ever resolved.
* ActionGirl: Maggie, former soldier.
* AdventureTowns: It's (almost) always the same city (starting with ''UsefulNotes/LosAngeles'' in seasons 1 and 2, then ''UseFulNotes/{{San Francisco}}'' after the timer is modified early in season 3), but due to our heroes travelling from one alternate reality to another, they find themselves in a different situation each episode.
* AgentScully: Arturo
* AlienSky: The episode "State Of The A.R.T." changed the color of the sky to lilac. The RidiculouslyHumanRobot gives it a {{Handwave}} about pollution particles-- not one that makes scientific sense, but at least it was acknowledged.
** [[SeasonalRot Later episodes]] brought us green skies (for worlds hidden in hyperspace), and a sky with a moon ''plus two additional Earths'' [[ArtisticLicenseAstronomy (incorrectly said to be "in syzygy.")]]
* AlliterativeName: '''W'''ade '''W'''ells and '''D'''iana '''D'''avis.
* AlternateHistory: Most of the worlds visited fall into this category.
* AlternateUniverse: To both its fans and its critics, the series is the most extensive exploration of this trope on American TV.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Kromaggs. There were a few exceptions, like Kromanus, the disgraced Kromagg leader who was in charge of the [[BuffySpeak human atomizer thing]] in "Common Ground."
* AmazingFreakingGrace: The end of the pilot, sung by Rembrandt.
* AndIMustScream:
** The altered "Eddies" in the fourth season episode "California Reich."
** In "A Thousand Deaths," the human hosts used to drive the simulations. They can die up to a thousand times in the games, and they're fully aware of what is happening to them.
* AndStarring: John Rhys-Davies as Arturo.
* ArbitrarySkepticism:
** In "The Alternateville Horror," Colin claims to have seen a ghost, but is laughed off by the others for even thinking such a thing. [[spoiler:They are no ghosts; just doubles of the Sliders trapped on another dimensional plane as a result of a sliding mishap.]] Aside from the many strange things they've seen in their journeys, this is particularly ridiculous when you consider that Quinn himself was rendered ghost-like in Season 2's "Gillian of the Spirits" and could only be seen by one person. [[spoiler:Considering that, Quinn and Rembrandt should've been more receptive to what Colin was talking about.]]
** Arturo seemed to run on this trope. Being a college professor, he was always intent on suggesting a simple, logical explanation to strange incidents.
** Played with in "The Other Slide of Darkness," where both Rembrandt and Maggie express disbelief in the superstitious beliefs expressed by the locals. Rembrandt's disbelief stems from a personal tragedy; Maggie's, however, is played straight, which gets her snapped at by the more experienced Wade.
** {{Lampshaded}} by Rembrandt in Season 5's "Please Press One":
--->"Sliders Rule #11: Never rule out the obvious, no matter how weird."
* BabyFactory: On some worlds, women (or men) are forced into this trope due to population problems.
* BetterThanSex: In the first episode, Wade claimed that sliding is better than sex.
--> '''Arturo:''' Well, I wouldn't go ''that'' far.
* BigBad: Rickman in Season 3, the Kromaggs in the fourth and fifth seasons.
* BlatantLies: "We're from Canada."
* BookEnds: In "The Exodus, Part 2," Rickman makes his first escape from our heroes with Quinn running after him, but the vortex vanishes before he gets there. In "This Slide of Paradise" it's Rickman who tries and fails to get to a vortex before it vanishes. [[spoiler: Unfortunately for him, it happens to be on the edge of a cliff...]]
* BrilliantButLazy: Quinn. Hence the reason why Arturo is initially so ''[[GreenEyedMonster pissed]]'' to discover the genius who invented wormhole travel, is the same slacker who never bothers to hand his homework assignments in on time!
* CaliforniaCollapse: In the Season 3 finale "This Slide of Paradise," they slide to a world where California has broken up into islands.
* CanonDiscontinuity: Season 3's "The Other Slide of Darkness" stated that Quinn's double from the first episode gave the Kromaggs the sliding equation and is responsible for the Dynasty's activities. Season 4 onward ignored this development, which some felt didn't fit into established continuity in the first place.
* CaptainsLog: Wade's diary, Quinn's videotapes.
* TheCastShowoff: Cleavant Derricks has a beautiful singing voice, which is showcased in several episodes. Justified, in that Rembrandt was a professional musician on Earth Prime.
** This was used to expose Rembrandt as a fraud in "The Prince of Slides," where an alternate version of Rembrandt was royalty and tone-deaf.
* CelebrityParadox: On the episode "Data World," Rembrandt said "What is this, ''Film/Scream3''?" Guess which one of his co-stars got killed (in-character) in ''Film/Scream2''?
* ChangelingFantasy: Tossed, seemingly at random, into Quinn's backstory for the SciFi Channel seasons of ''{{Sliders}}''. Had the season four finale used the original script, this would have been revealed as a complicated ruse engineered by the [[BigBad Big Bads]].
* CharacterDevelopment: Rembrandt. He goes from a DirtyCoward [[ItsAllAboutMe concerned only with himself]] to an [[TheEveryman everyman]] who cares for [[TrueCompanions his surrogate family]] to TeamDad over the course of five seasons. (Being the only cast member to stay for all five seasons certainly helps.)
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Quinn
* CrapsackWorld: As the Sliders visit many worlds, they encountered quite a few of these, beginning with the [[DeathWorld Ice Age world]] in the pilot episode.
* CityOfAdventure: For the first two seasons, UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, in nearly all of the worlds, is somehow majorly relevant to the world at large.
* ComicBookAdaptation: Circa Season 3, Acclaim Comics produced ten issues with various creative teams (with the eighth, ''Narcotica'', being written by series star Jerry O'Connell). A script for an eleventh issue (plus several pages of artwork) was completed and several future ideas (including a ''QuantumLeap'' {{Crossover}}) were being developed, but declining sales led to cancellation.
* ContaminationSituation: In "Fever," Wade becomes infected with a plague.
* CutShort: Canceled at the end of its fifth season on a CliffHanger. A [[PsychicPowers Psychic]] tells the heroes [[EverybodyDies Everybody Is Going To Die]], requiring one to go on one last slide to save everything. Not every fan was broken up about the finale; for many, the show [[JumpTheShark hadn't been worth watching for years]]. The producers did a cliff hanger because they were hoping the fans would convince the network for [[http://www.dimensionofcontinuity.com/bts.htm#cliff another season]]. In-universe, the last episode is set on an Earth where ''Sliders'' is a hugely popular [[http://sliders.wikia.com/wiki/The_Seer TV show]].
* DeadGuyJunior: If dialogue that implies Maggie Beckett is [[QuantumLeap Sam Beckett]]'s niece is taken seriously, this makes her a DeadGuyJunior. Maggie was the name of a news reporter who died on a mission in Vietnam while working with Sam's brother Tom.
* DeadlyEuphemism: In ''Luck of the Draw'', the Sliders land on a world where people can get free money for a chance to be killed. They use euphemisms and the main characters aren't aware why they're getting the money.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:In the Season 3 finale, Rickman dives head-first off a cliff in a failed attempt to follow Rembrandt and Wade through a wormhole.]]
* DownerEnding:
** "The Breeder," which [[spoiler:has Dr. Sylvius being overtaken by the symbiote creature. As they have no time, the Sliders choose to slide out with a weakened Maggie rather than try to help the doctor. With the Sliders gone and the doctor overtaken, the symbiote is free to continue its goals unimpeded.]]
** "The Dying Fields": [[spoiler:The sympathetic Humagg soldier is murdered by her lover for betraying the Kromaggs. Worse, the Sliders aren't able to save the remaining human captives and the camp stays open, meaning business will continue as usual.]]
** "Applied Physics": [[spoiler:Diana attempts to make her double's life better with Dr. Geiger's help but, among other changes, she winds up erasing her double's daughter from existence. The team has to slide before she can set things right.]]
** "Strangers and Comrades": [[spoiler:Rembrandt learns the quest to find Michael Mallory's anti-Kromagg weapon was all for nothing. Turns out the weapon trashed Kromagg Prime's environment a month after it was used, and it would do the same to Earth Prime. Rembrandt is left lamenting that he's run out of chances.]]
* DramaticShattering: Used at the end of the pilot, and again with [[spoiler:Mrs. Arturo]] in "Double Cross".
* TheDrifter: The Sliders themselves.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Almost everybody, eventually. See also PutOnABus.
* {{Dystopia}}: Many of the alternate universes.
* ElectricTorture: In one universe, the residents have to wear electroshock collars to prevent them from lying.
* TheEmpire: The Kromagg Dynasty
* EruditeStoner: Conrad Bennish, Jr.
* EveryoneMeetsEveryone: Quinn knew Wade and Arturo before the events of the pilot, but the two only met one another in the first episode, and none of them knew Rembrandt until the first slide.
* EvilCounterpart: Rickman in Season 3.
* EvilTwin: Numerous evil doubles. For some reason, Arturo's doubles were almost always bad news.
** OppositeSexClone: Logan St. Clair is a [[spoiler:female double of Quinn]] in "Double Cross."
* EyeScream: [[spoiler:Kromaggs really love human eyeballs.]]
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Goal: 'Slide' back to our dimension. This goal was actually achieved at the start of the fourth season, causing the show's [[JumpingTheShark jump the shark]] moment. There was also a much earlier instance where they were implied to get back to their own dimension... but did not realize it, and moved on to the next one.
* FakeoutEscape: Attempted unsuccessfully in the Western-themed episode "Way Out West." It turns out that [[spoiler:Kromaggs have their own westerns]].
* {{Fanservice}}: Quinn. Season 3's "Electric Twister Acid Test" features an interrogation in which Quinn has his shirt off for no reason.
* FinalSeasonCasting: While the show had already substituted two characters by that point, it lost ''half of its main cast including the main protagonist'' between Seasons 4 and 5.
* FollowTheLeader: In season 3, the series started following any leader that presented itself, with episodes that were little more than cheap ripoffs of the movies ''Film/{{Twister}}'', ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'', ''Film/{{Tremors}}'', ''Franchise/JurassicPark'', and ''Film/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau''.
* ForWantOfANail: This was the most common plot in the first few seasons, with such universes as "Exactly like ours, but the atom bomb was never invented", "Exactly like ours but antibiotics were never invented", "Exactly like ours but one of the heroes was Elvis", etc. This plot became less common as the series [[SeasonalRot progressed]].
** This is directly referenced in one episode, wherein the device that creates the wormholes initially cannot be fixed because in this parallel Earth everyone had an almost superstitious aversion to higher technology.
** An early episode also showed that, had the US lost the Korean War instead of it resulting in a stalemate, the Domino Theory would become a fact and would result in the US being conquered by the USSR.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Quinn is sanguine, Arturo is choleric, Rembrandt is melancholic, and Wade is phlegmatic.
* GaveUpTooSoon: In the episode "Into the Mystic," the characters only have a few seconds to decide whether or not to stay on the latest parallel Earth they've landed on. To see if it's their home or not, Quinn tries a fence, knowing it is always squeaky ([[CallBack something he does in the pilot]]), and it doesn't squeak. After they leave, a gardener with an oil can comes into view.
** In their defense, didn't they also see a newspaper headline about a sports team winning a championship; a team which in reality had moved to a new city since the start of the series or was that a different episode?
*** And since they had been gone, O.J. Simpson had been arrested and was still on trial, they had trouble believing that the world could have changed so much in just two years.
* GiantSpider:
** In the episode "Summer of Love," the Sliders first land on a world where the United States has been mostly devastated by these. A mix of a spider and wasp (yes, [[NightmareFuel flying spiders the size of your head]]), they were genetically engineered for pest control--namely the actual killer bees... And ironically enough, a few queens escaped from the labs and suddenly the cure became a lot worse than the plague.
** In "Rules of the Game," one of the {{death trap}}s sees Rembrandt stuck to a metal web and being threatened by three robotic spiders.
* GirlOfTheWeek: The repeated use of this trope in later seasons was criticized by fans, although they were usually {{temporary love interest}}s since most of the time they died tragically at the end of the episode.
* GirlsWithMoustaches: In "Time and Again World," the Sliders travel to a world where women have mustaches. Rembrandt complains about how it feels to kiss a woman with a mustache and Wade comments that now he knows how women feel.
* GloryDays: Rembrandt used to be a singer in a Motown band, who dumped him once they got famous. He's in the middle of staging his "big comeback" when he gets accidentally sucked into a wormhole along with the rest of the team. For the first season, he refers to himself as "[[ManlyTears The Crying Man]]," a nickname he acquired from his one hit song, though this becomes less and less relevant as the show goes on due to CharacterDevelopment.
* GovernmentDrugEnforcement: In "Just Say Yes," in one of the PlanetOfHats worlds they visit, UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud accidentally discovered the pharmaceutical properties of lithium, which he so enjoyed that [[ForWantOfANail he became a biochemist instead of a psychologist]]. As a result, the government mandates psychotropic drug use by everyone, and the alternate Quinn is a leader of an [[LaResistance anti-drug resistance]].
* HalfHumanHybrids: The Humaggs in "The Dying Fields."
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Arturo in "The Exodus, Part 2" (a very debatable one given the circumstances), Wade in "Requiem."]]
* HiddenDepths: Arturo, Rembrandt, Conrad Bennish Jr., Maggie.
* HollywoodNerd: Quinn
* HomemadeInventions: The timer Quinn created.
* TheHomewardJourney: The show's premise.
* HumansAreUgly: Or so the Kromaggs think.
* IdiotBall:
** In "The Exodus," the conflict over [[spoiler:using that world's timer to reach their home coordinates at the expense of that world]] is quite silly. At the very least, [[spoiler:Quinn could have sent everyone but himself home with a literal push of a button]], yet they keep acting like it's an all-or-none deal. Note that Quinn would end up doing exactly this in the season finale.
** Every time Quinn gets access to his double's workshop or even a full laboratory. Quinn built the original timer in his basement out of a cell phone and over-the-counter equipment, so there is no reason he couldn't build a functional duplicate given just a few days (and has had several such opportunities). This would not only allow them to choose their slide window instead of the RaceAgainstTheClock necessitated by the broke one, but in later episodes would have allowed them to slide home immediately. And to top it off, they leave their original timer (with their ''definite'' home coordinates) when it runs out.
*** Especially bad at the start of Season 2, where they meet Quinn's double who actually ''has'' created sliding technology and has quite a great deal of experience with it, but they leave almost immediately after meeting him. Worse in the fact that he actually ''did'' get them home if they hadn't decided to [[GaveUpTooSoon give up so quickly]].
** Stemming from the above, the notion that missing the sliding window renders them stuck for 29 years is ridiculous (except in Season 5, when they definitely cannot reproduce the tech). Quinn made the original timer. As long as they wound up on a world that progressed at the same relative pace as theirs, Quinn should have no trouble making a new timer and continuing on. One episode used this as a plot point to get Maggie to divulge the secret to sliding, and "Slide Like An Egyptian" has them use the Egyptian Timer once their original one fails.
* IWantYouToMeetAnOldFriendOfMine:
** Jason Gaffney (Bennish) is a good friend of Tracy Tormé's.
** Jerry's ''Film/StandByMe'' co-star Corey Feldman appears as Reed in "Electric Twister Acid Test." In a ShoutOut, Quinn and Reed even perform a handshake from the movie, apparently at the actors' suggestion.
* InSpiteOfANail: Numerous episodes, especially the one where everything was exactly the same except that women had moustaches, and the one where the sky was purple but things were much the same until the RobotWar.
* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: The Timer, several of which were actually used by the main characters (the original, the one from Egyptian World, and Colonel Rickman's Timer).
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Arturo
* KidFromTheFuture: Thomas Mallory in "Roads Taken."
* KillingForATissueSample: Colonel Rickman, who killed for brain tissue to combat a brain fungus he picked up in one of his alternate universes' wars.
* KirksRock: Featured in the episode "Electric Twister Acid Test."
* LaResistance: Whenever they're on a PlanetOfHats, there's usually a heroic LaResistance that's opposed to wearing the hat.
** This is {{Lampshaded}} in an early Season 4 episode, as characters ask and acknowledge that "there's always a resistance."
* LargeHam: Arturo, Rickman
* LeadIn: Episodes, mostly in early seasons, always started with the main characters in a random world ready to slide into the world that would be the setting for the episode. These lead-in stories rarely contribute to the main adventure itself (with some exceptions, like "The Breeder")
* LeftHanging: In addition to the main plot, many of the episodes use this intentionally--episodes tend to end with the group taking the next slide without the situation on the world they left being resolved. A great deal of the time the idea is that the future is uncertain...but hopefully better.
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Multiple occasions.
** When the monster attacks in the episode, "Paradise Lost", drums can be heard, presumably for dramatic effect. Except halfway into the ep, Quinn says "Do you hear that? It sounds like drums"
** In the Western parody "Way Out West", a fed-up Rembrandt snaps "you're really getting on my nerves" at a harmonica player just outside the window.
* MakingUseOfTheTwin: In {{real life}}, Cleavant's brother Clinton was used in "The King is Back," "Greatfellas," and "The Prince of Slides" to play an alternate Rembrandt.
* ManchurianAgent: [[spoiler:Rembrandt]] in "Slidecage."
* ManlyTears: Rembrandt takes pride in his ability to cry on command.
* MarsNeedsWomen: The Kromaggs.
* {{Matriarchy}}: One universe, as a Patriarchy Flip.
* {{Misblamed}}: While there's a lot to blame producer David Peckinpah for, the trend of movie rip-offs in Season 3 isn't one of them. The real culprits were the FOX executives that he answered to.
* MisterSeahorse: Rembrandt in "The Prince of Slides."
* MotorcycleJousting: An episode features this as part of a parallel universe that seems heavily inspired by ''Film/MadMax''.
* MouthfulOfPi: In the season one episode ''Eggheads'', Quinn Mallory recites pi to 13 places while playing a full-contact trivia/ball game on a giant Othello board.
* TheMultiverse: The Sliders travel all around it, with no control as to where they land.
* MythArc: Pursuing Rickman in the latter part of Season 3, and the fight against the Kromaggs in Seasons 4 and 5.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Kromagg military culture resembles this, right down to their uniforms.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In "Last Days," the characters arrive in a world that's threatened by an asteroid, and which doesn't have nuclear capabilities. By the end of the episode, thanks to them, it does... and it's ''not'' shown to be a good thing. At all.
* NoodleIncident: The characters frequently mention worlds they've slid to that are never shown (for example, the world where everyone was naked, which we only saw their arrival: "So do you think that we're home?" "Ah, I don't think so, Rembrandt. I'm pretty sure on our Earth, the mailmen wear clothes.")
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Rickman, the highest-ranking Englishman in the US army.
* NoOneCouldHaveSurvivedThat: "Summer of Love" ends with them arriving a world, only to notice the 100ft tsunami rapidly approaching San Francisco. The next (intended) episode is "The Prince of Wails," which began with the group stranded on top of a large skyscraper surrounded by flood waters and giant sharks, with little explanation how they managed to get there in time.
* NotSoDifferent: In "The Other Slide of Darkness," Quinn encounters his double from the first episode. A much more bitter and amoral person than before, Quinn's double invokes this trope.
-->'''Alternate Quinn''': Strip your friends away, slide alone like I have--you'd be just like me. Here I am, the undeniably horrible, the unimaginably disgusting proof that I'm you without your friends.
* TheNthDoctor: Mallory replacing Quinn.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Professor Arturo, despite supposedly being a cosmologist or sometimes a more general theoretical physicist, successfully creates penicillin in an early episode (in a world where medicine was much less advanced). Later, quite unbelievably, he was capable of performing a Caesarean section on another (male) character, despite having no experience with any form of surgery, let alone such an exotic circumstance as a [[MisterSeahorse male pregnancy]]. And then there was the time he revived a deactivated android... However, each of these cases was lampshaded with dialogue about how hard and/or different from maths he found it.
%%* OncePerEpisode:
* OpeningNarration: The network agreed that explaining the [[MindScrew weird concept]] of {{Alternate Universe}}s to new viewers at the beginning of each show was pretty important.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: In order to generate a wormhole, you would have to convert the entire mass of the planet Jupiter into energy. It's hard to do that with a TV remote[[note]]Egyptian timer[[/note]], a cell phone [[note]]original timer[[/note]], or a SegaGenesis controller[[note]]Rickman's Timer[[/note]].
** But it's a really ''small'' wormhole. And maybe he [[Film/BackToTheFuture stole plutonium from the Libyans]].
*** Good news! The same theorists that came up with the "mass of Jupiter" equation have also postulated how much power it would take if you used Dark Energy as the source of negative pressure. Being a much more abundant energy source, you would now require the "mere" output of several megaton nuclear warheads to get a decent-size hole in the universe going.
* OutOfOrder: The first few episodes were clearly linked, with "Summer of Love" meant to follow the premiere and then "Prince of Wails" up next. Despite the linking scenes remaining intact, the order was altered to bump up "Fever" and "Last Days." Tormé has stated that he agreed with this, however, feeling the latter episodes were better offerings. (Note that reruns tend to air in production order, making this rather moot.)
* PetsHomageName: In the first episode, Quinn mentions his cat named "Schrödinger."
* PickyPeopleEater: [[spoiler:Rickman]]
* PlanetOfHats: Many of the universes visited have some schtick that sets them apart from the Prime universe, either culturally or technologically.
** In this Funny or Die [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtasHWLKWSM parody]], everyone wears big bow ties.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Rembrandt with first Wade and later Maggie.
* PlotTumor: The Kromaggs, who were introduced once in season 2, mentioned again once in season 3, and became the BigBad of the rest of the series.
* PoliticiansKissBabies: In "The Weaker Sex," where Arturo runs for Mayor of San Francisco, he screws this up by chasing after a woman shouting "Madam, I need to kiss your baby!"
* PortalSlam: Vortices disappearing when people try to jump through them happens an awful lot. If it's a good guy, they'll always find another vortex. If it's a bad guy, they're usually trapped until the good guys can deal with them. Rickman, the BigBad of season three, meets his end this way when a portal is just over a cliff. When it shuts down just as he's leaping for it, he falls to his death.
* PreCrimeArrest: In "Obsession," the main characters travel to a world where ten percent of the population have psychic powers. Among the various powers is {{precognition}}.
** A bit of research into the history of this world reveals that psychics became popular when one warned UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln about his impending assassination, allowing Booth to be captured before the attempt.
** The Police Oracle identifies Arturo and Rembrandt as people who ''will'' kill Wade, so the police make a Preventative Arrest. A BewilderingPunishment to all four at first. Basically, they're taken to the station, booked, and then released. If someone were to actually ''commit'' the crime, the police would have to chase them down, but otherwise the two are free to do whatever they want. [[spoiler:This is all a BatmanGambit by the old Prime Oracle to make sure his successor is a compassionate man in addition to already being a powerful one.]]
* PricelessMingVase: In the end of ''In Dino Veritas'', we cut away to the new world the Sliders are about to land on, and see an archaeologist at a dig site, looking all excited about "the best-preserved ''Allosaurus'' skeleton I've ever seen." It's not hard to guess what happens next...
* PutOnABusToHell: According to [[WordOfGod Tracy Torme]], this was what happened to [[spoiler:Arturo, rather than being McLeaned]]. In "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome," on a world almost exactly like Earth Prime, [[spoiler:Arturo]] and his less-ethical double have a fight as the wormhole opens and only one makes it through. Fans debated heavily over which [[spoiler:Arturo]] slid, until Torme finally confirmed in 2009 that [[spoiler:it was the alternate Arturo who managed to slide out]]. This means the real [[spoiler:Arturo]] is trapped on a world not his own and separated from his friends [[spoiler:but likely still alive, unlike the alternate one who ended up [[TakingTheBullet taking a bullet for Quinn]]]].
** Later, Colin became "unstuck," meaning that he would involuntarily travel from one dimension to the next for the rest of his life. Dr. Geiger (a character who has experienced this before but found an "anchor") has compared this experience to being caught in a violent storm.
** Finally, [[spoiler:Logan St. Clair, Quinn's Evil HalfIdenticalTwin from another world, who was pushed into an unstable portal and never seen again.]] This is actually a DoubleSubversion, as she was intended to become a recurring villain, but like so many other story ideas, it was [[AbortedArc simply dropped]] and we never heard from her again.
* RandomTransportation: The Sliders have no control over where the Timer takes them. It gets upgraded to let them revisit worlds and track other sliders, but also gets downgraded to increase the working radius and widen the range of places they can slide to.
* RecurringExtra: Alternates of various folks would sometimes crop on different worlds.
* RecycledInSpace: One of the most persistent complaints of Season 3. The vast majority of the episodes ripped off a number of movies, including ''Film/{{Tremors}}'', ''Film/{{Twister}}'', ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'', ''Film/{{Species}}'', ''Film/{{Anaconda}}'', and ''Film/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau''.
* RetroUniverse: * Some of the shown [[AlternateUniverse Alternate Universes]] fit this trope.
* RubberForeheadAliens: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] this time, as the Kromaggs are supposed to share recent common ancestors with [[HumanAliens normal human beings]].
** Also the Humaggs in Season 4's "The Dying Fields."
* RunningGag: Rembrandt coming out of the vortex and crashing into Arturo.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers: This is pretty much the Sliders' philosophy when it comes to running afoul of a bizarre rule or circumstance they had no way of knowing about. After all, it's hard for police or debt collectors to pursue you when you can jump from one Earth to another.
** Episodes featuring worlds where some of the inhabitants have supernatural powers will invariably have at least one person who thinks this way.
* ShoutOut:
** In "Gillian of the Spirits," Quinn [[spoiler:is stuck in an astral plane, making him invisible and intangible. In one scene, he is talking to the only person who can see him (the titular Gillian) in the back of a taxi, and]] the driver, confused, asks twice "Are you talkin' to me?" then, after Quinn gets out, he says [[TaxiDriver "There's no one else here, so you must be talkin' to me!"]]
** In "Into the Mystic," Wade mentions she has a friend [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch named Sabrina who is into witchcraft]].
* SingleEpisodeHandicap: Arturo is temporarily blinded during a wargame in ''Rules of the Game''.
* SkywardScream: Wade in the first season finale: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
* SlowMotionDrop: The last shot of the pilot episode showed Quinn's wine glass falling and shattering in slow motion.
* TheSmartGuy: Arturo. Quinn has his moments as well. Not surprising, considering the former is a lecturer in advanced physics and the latter is his grad student.
* SmartPeopleKnowLatin: In "Eggheads," the protagonists end up in a world where being smart and well-educated is cool (they pass a punk on the street with a boombox blasting classical music). The episode's BigBad is a mobster who constantly likes to quote phrases in Latin and gets annoyed when the others have no idea what he said. At the end of the episode, right before sliding, Quinn turns around and spouts a phrase in Latin, which turns out to be an insult.
* SoWhatDoWeDoNow: [[spoiler:The last line of the series.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Sliders'' is this to ''Series/QuantumLeap''. The shows share a similar episode formula, ''Sliders'' was advertised at least once as "''Quantum Leap'' with an edge," and dialogue in a later episode implies that Maggie Beckett may be Sam Beckett's niece.
* SpotTheImposter: Professor Arturo meets his alternate-universe-evil-self, and with the gang about to depart forever to the next Alternate Earth, the two engage in fisticuffs and one Arturo dives through the extra-dimensional portal, which then closes, stranding the other. We're never, ever told if the team got the real Arturo or the alternate one, but he dies anyway so it probably didn't matter.
** It's hinted a few times in the following two episodes that they took the imposter instead (Arturo was an established football fan in previous episodes but here he wasn't) until the subplot was dropped. A later interview confirmed that they were supposed to have taken the imposter which would have been followed up had the show not gone off in the direction that it did. It was never said if it was only intended to be or if the Arturo that died was the imposter and the real one still lived.
* SpringtimeForHitler: In "The Weaker Sex," Arturo tries to throw an election by weeping in front of the camera, but it backfires and his approval ratings go up.
* StargateCity: Seasons 1 and 2 are filmed in Vancouver. Standing in for UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco.
* TeenGenius: Quinn
* ThisIsReality: During "To Catch a Slider," as Rembrandt points out the dangers of robbing a jewelry store.
-->'''Rembrandt:''' This is not a movie. As strange as it is, this is our lives.
* ThisWasHisTrueForm: Tweaked in ''Dragonslide''. A vanquished fire-breathing dragon reverts to its (true) human wizard form as it lays dying...and then becomes an even smaller cockroach when no one is looking, allowing it to scamper away. [[spoiler:Only to get stepped on moments later.]]
* TimTaylorTechnology: "MORE POWER, MR. MALLORY!"
* TimeParadox: In one universe, time flows backwards. The Sliders still go forwards in time, however, and Quinn ends up stopping something that put him in jail, after he started out there. The result is...[[NightmareFuel not pretty]].
* UnlimitedWardrobe: The sliders seemed to have new wardrobe (and always plenty of money) every week, despite only ever taking one change of clothes through the wormholes between worlds. There were occasional attempts to [[HandWave explain this]] (alternate versions of the sliders have the same ATM PIN), but it still strained [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief credibility]] to have every cast member show up with a whole new ensemble each week, especially since this would happen even with episodes that were set immediately after each other, leading one online fan to ask the question "what really goes on in that wormhole??"
* TheUnreveal: At the end of "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome," it's never made clear ''which'' Arturo actually slid with them.
** [[spoiler:[[WordOfGod Tracy Tormé]] finally revealed in 2009 that it was the ''wrong'' Arturo. It still leaves open the question of why did the wrong one still ended up sacrificing himself for Quinn in "The Exodus, Part 2."]]
* UnpredictableResults: Their own "sliding" device. About the only thing consistent is that it drops them in a location somewhere close to the entrance point between the two dimensions they travel between. Later seasons gave them the ability to at least control when they are going to travel and which dimension they are going to. But since they don't know their home destination, they still have to travel to different dimensions sequentially to find it.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: Happens in [[spoiler:"To Catch a Slider," where Mallory expresses interest in an actress who turns out to be a man. It's somewhat subverted in that this was public knowledge. It's just that none of the Sliders could've possibly known because they had just recently arrived.]]
* {{Utopia}}: In the pilot, Quinn is visited by his double who says that he visited a Utopian world "Where no one was afraid".
* ViewersAreMorons: Suffice to say, with all the ExecutiveMeddling this show suffered, this trope cropped up. In "Slither," for example, snakes somehow knock down a door. This was so idiotic that Cleavant Derricks said he interrupted a script reading to ask how such an action was even remotely possible and a producer responded that the snakes possessed some kind of force, much to Derricks' irritation.
* WalkingTheEarth: Plural, in this case.
* WastelandElder: They ran into quite a few, and every so often an alternate of the main cast would be a local leader.
%%* WeHaveForgottenThePhlebotinum:
* WhamEpisode: "Genesis." The Kromaggs have conquered Earth Prime, Rembrandt has been their prisoner for months, Wade is missing, Quinn learns of his secret past (including a [[LongLostRelative long lost brother]]), and the Sliders have a new goal of searching for an anti-Kromagg weapon.
* WhamLine:
** From "Invasion":
-->'''Quinn:''' Wade, the Kromaggs--they're Sliders!
** "Double Cross":
--->'''Logan:''' (''to Quinn'') [[spoiler:You're ''my'' double]].
* WhatIf: This trope was a major part of its main premise: "What if antibiotics had never been invented?" "What if America had lost the Cold War?" "What if traditional gender roles were swapped?" and so on.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Rembrandt
* WholePlotReference:
** "The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy" is a mix of ''Film/{{Shane}}'' and ''Film/TheManWhoShotLibertyValance''.
** "Into the Mystic" owes a lot to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', which is referenced during the episode.
** Season 3 was rife with these: "The Dream Masters" (''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet''), "The Fire Within" (''Film/{{Backdraft}}'' with sentient fire), "The Prince of Slides" (''Film/{{Junior}}''), "Paradise Lost" (''Film/{{Tremors}}''), "The Breeder" (''Film/{{Species}}''), "The Last of Eden" (the Morlock aspect of ''Literature/TheTimeMachine''), "The Other Slide of Darkness" (''Film/ApocalypseNow''), "Slither" (''Film/{{Anaconda}}''), and "This Slide of Paradise" (''Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau'').
* YankTheDogsChain: In "Into the Mystic," the Sliders have a chance to go home, think they failed and leave[[spoiler:--only for viewers to then see they actually ''were'' home]]. "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" also involves a great deal of this trope, with the Sliders landing on a near-perfect copy of Earth Prime.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Subverted when [[spoiler:they actually make it back to their home Earth, but only have a few seconds to decide to stay or not. They leave after Quinn tries a fence, knowing it is always squeaky, and it doesn't squeak. After they leave, you see a gardener with an oil can]].
** They make it home again in "Genesis," but with the world conquered by the Kromaggs, they leave to find a weapon to defeat them.
* YourMindMakesItReal: "The Dream Masters." Said group is able to enter other people's dreams and twist them into whatever horrifying nightmares they can think of. After Wade falls victim to them, the other Sliders manage to find a way to enter the dream and pull similar tricks to their advantage. After all, it's just a dream.
-->'''Rembrandt:''' I wish I had my gun right now. (''shotgun suddenly appears in his hand'')
* YourUniverseOrMine: This come up more than once.
** In an early episode, a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of Mrs. Fields fell in love with Quinn in a universe which was dangerously short on men. Quinn slid off and left her [[spoiler:[[SomeoneToRememberHimBy pregnant]]]].
** In another, the one with the Malthusian lottery, both Rembrandt and Wade get involved with people in that universe. (Or rather, someone from that universe gets involved with Wade.) Rembrandt's interest would rather die (she's looking forward to it) than slide off, and is looking forward to his joining her; Wade's interest helps rescue them and slides off with them -- though, since this was a SeasonFinale, he is dropped with only a Handwave at the beginning of the next season.
** And in the third season, Maggie gives up an adopted universe, and Quinn gives up a short trip to his home universe, for each other.
----