[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_tribe_logo_1714.jpg]]

->''"Look into the future, what do you see..."''

''The Tribe'' ran five seasons (1999-2003). It was a New Zealand-produced CozyCatastrophe/Teen SoapOpera set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, after an [[DepopulationBomb apocalyptic virus]] that [[OnlyFatalToAdults wipes out the world's adult population]], leaving the kids and teens to inherit an [[TheCity unnamed city]] that is rapidly degenerating into a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] [[TeenageWasteland urban wasteland]].

The main characters are the Mall Rats, a RagtagBunchOfMisfits who took up residence in an abandoned shopping mall. Over the series, the Mall Rats attempt to restore order to a chaotic world by reintroducing civilized functions like money and democratic elections. The Mall Rats face external and internal conflict with other tribes and between their own members, who don't always see eye to eye.

The first series was notably darker in tone than later series, and more survivalist-oriented. The first season also had very few of the "fantastic" elements that came to dominate later seasons, such as virtual reality, religious cults, insanely well-disciplined and organized antagonist tribes, and mysticism. The show dealt with many of the typical elements of both a TeenDrama with a setting that was part ScavengerWorld and part CozyCatastrophe, including problems like pregnancy and bulimia. It also mostly averted DawsonCasting.

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!!This show provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Lex's father beat both him and his mother.
* AfterTheEnd: A selective DepopulationBomb called TheVirus [[OnlyFatalToAdults has wiped out all the adults]], [[TeenageWasteland leaving kids and teenagers]] in a CosyCatastrophe world.
* AndIMustScream: The Technos don't kill some people, but give them a much worse fate and instead use them in human experiments by hooking them up to an endless, inescape virtual reality simulation for their boss's twisted enjoyment.
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: Ram takes an interest in Ebony when he finds out that she is his lieutenants Java and Siva's younger sister, both of whom he has already married. He tries to persuade her nicely at first by presenting her with gifts and noting how much power she would gain by it, but eventually gets fed up with her reluctance and pretty much gives Ebony an ultimatum to make up her mind. [[spoiler:She chooses Ram's good-hearted Dragon Jay instead.]]
* AntiHero: Lex, kinda - well he's more than willing to take the role of TheBigGuy ''if'' he'd get something out of it.
* AntiVillain: The Guardian, Ram and Mega all have anti-villainous traits.
* AnyoneCanDie: At least, [[InfantImmortality anyone over 12]].
* ApocalypseHow: With a world where all the adults (and a largish portion of the children) have been wiped out by the genetically-engineered virus, this is a solid Class 1 catastrophe. The children still live relatively [[CozyCatastrophe cozily]] in their tribes and scavenging/hunting (later also farming), and cobbling together some post-industrial tech (like water purifiers, and solar panels for lighting). And that's before the Technos got the city's power running again.
* TheApunkalypse: Mainly the Locos.
* BackForTheDead: Fairly common. If someone returns unexpectedly in an episode near the beginning or end of a season after we haven't seen them for some time, you can almost expect they'll end up dead soon (often off-screen). Some examples are [[spoiler: Bray, Tai-San, and Pride]].
* BadassBookworm: Dal proves to be this during the tribe circus invasion of the mall.
* BadBoss: As season 4 progresses it becomes increasingly clear that everyone in the Technos lives in fear of Ram. He constantly [[YouHaveFailedMe executes various mooks for the smallest failure]] and Siva admits that she's terrified he'll [[WetwareCPU use her brain as processing power for his virtual reality games]] as well.
* BadassesWearBandanas: The streetwise bruiser Lex wore one in a few first season episodes as well as his flashback episode.
* BadassLongcoat:
** Lex.
** Also Pride.
** And sometimes Amber.
* BehindTheBlack: An episode has Jack running down a hallway before Ebony sees him, the second he goes off screen Ebony appears on screen, there is no way they didn't see the other.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Ryan is one of the nicest people, ever, yet if you get him angry he will beat the crap out of you. Alice also counts.
* BigBad: In the beginning, it was the Locos led by Zoot, then the same tribe led by Ebony, then the Chosen led by the Guardian, then the Technos led first by Ram and later by Mega, and later the Zootists in the final season.
* TheBigGuy: Lex and Ryan are treated as such during the first season, Lex is a class one and Ryan a class two. Season two gives us Alice (class two), and Season three Pride (class three).
* BrattyHalfPint: Cloe, Patsy and KC.
* BurnBabyBurn: Zoot gets sent off like this.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler: Java shoots at Ebony, but Siva [[TakingTheBullet Takes The Laser]] for her, then Ebony kills Java.]]
* CanadaDoesNotExist: Made in New Zealand, and starring an all-New Zealand cast with distinctive New Zealand accents ... but set in '''"The City"''', with absolutely no obvious landmarks anywhere. Not only that, but on the rare occasions early on in the show when old money from before the apocalypse was shown, it seemed to be British coinage.
** In particular, Lex tossing a 50 pence piece, and Ryan hoarding thousands in £50 notes- both shown in the first series
** Zoot's Police Car was a New Zealand/Australian model, but with blue insignia more typical of American police cars. They really went out of their way to avoid setting that show in a specific country.
** Also, in one episode, Jack finds a tape with footage of the President (presumably of the United States, given his American accent and other clues in the footage); later, he simply refers to the character on that tape as "The President" (not "The American President" as we would expect a non-US native to call him). This actually implies that TheCity is in American territory, despite the kids' mostly New Zealand accents and speech idioms.
** However, even though the actors all had fairly obvious NZ accents, it was put about on the (early '00s, now obsolete) Tribeworld Message board that Word of God stated that all of the actors were put through some kind of American accent training. Yes, they're still obviously from NZ, but when you look at some of the DVD extras, especially with some of the older actors, the NZ accent was somewhat toned down within the series' universe. Not a lot, but there's a definite if subtle difference.
* CartwrightCurse: A variant on it - [[spoiler:Lex's partners are fine unless they say "I do."]]
* ChurchPolice:
** The Chosen, and in particular their Praetorian Guard, both of whom were of the FacelessMooks in hooded robes variety. They were a religious cult that worshipped the slain Zoot as a God, and extolled the virtues of "power and chaos." They were led by a SinisterMinister, the Guardian, and his lieutenant.
** In the final episode, members of another hooded, robed tribe were briefly shown; however, it was not established if the costume served a religious purpose, though it might have been meant to connect them visually to the distinctive outfits of the Chosen.
* TheCity: The city where everything takes place is deliberately generic so that it could take place in any Anglophone country.
* ChildSoldiers: Lex and Ryan went through a Boot Camp TrainingFromHell before the last of the adults were wiped out in order to toughen them up so they could survive. This actually explains a lot of their behavior in Season 1.
* {{CloudCuckooLander}}: Tai-San, especially in the first season.
* CosyCatastrophe: A genetically-engineered virus wipes out [[ThereAreNoAdults all the adults]] and quite a lot of the children in the world over some indeterminate timescale, but apart from some low-level fighting (the survivors are, after all, children), life continues. The children first scavenge what remains, and then return to farming to survive in small tribes dotted throughout the city and countryside.
* CurbStompBattle: When the Technos take over the City.
* DarkActionGirl: Ebony when it's time to fight. Later on her sisters Java and Siva qualify as well.
* DeadlyEuphemism:
** Subverted. When the Technos say they're going to "delete" someone, they're not being euphemistic; they're reinforcing the fact that they don't see non-Technos as real.
** Before "Delete," it was played straight with "waste."
* DepopulationBomb: The Virus. Highly selective.
* DisasterDemocracy The city holds a vote for leader, and Ebony wins. She promptly expels those she had a grudge against.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Major Brown, Lex and Ryan's boot camp instructor.
* EatTheRich: The Locos under the Zoot regime wear jackets with "[[http://www.tribeworld.com/2011/tribestyle-zoots-costume/ KEEP WARM BURN THE RICH]]" emblazoned on the back of them.
* EnemyMine: Due to the break up of the Locos Ebony is forced to work with the Mallrats for most of season two, though neither side likes this arrangement.
* EnragedByIdiocy: Used to cement a KickTheDog moment by the new BigBad Ram in season 4. One of Ram's Techno mooks presents him with a set of nonsensical programming orders that would actually erase most of Ram's computer systems. Ram calls him a moron and [[YouHaveFailedMe executes him in front of Ebony for his idiotic failure]].
* EvilCripple: Ram (the leader of the Technos) is confined to an advanced wheelchair he probably designed himself. He does, eventually, learn to walk again by the end of Series 5, so we get to see this slowly subverted. However as he learns to walk again, he also gradually turns to the side of good.
* FaceHeelTurn: Trudy in Series 2 after returning from the Chosen.
* FacialMarkings: It's after the collapse of civilization, food is in short supply, water is in short supply, it's a CrapsackWorld where scavenging is the only way to get anything, but everyone still has an unlimited supply of makeup and hair dye with which to cover themselves in tribal markings.
* FakeDefector:
** Tai-San and Pride in Series 3.
** Jack in Series 5.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: The Technos' Zappers had [[NerfArm stun settings]]. Ram does demonstrate that there's a very real kill setting when he repeatedly [[YouHaveFailedMe executes mooks for failing him]].
* FantasticRacism: The Technos, a powerful technologically advanced tribe, look down on anyone else who isn't them.
* FantasticSlur: The Technos call other people "Virts" (derived from "virtual") to show they don't think of them as real people.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Ram, while not really pleasant, maintains a humorous and playful demeanor while revelling in his own wickedness. For instance, he shoots one of his officers for a minor failure in front of the rest to set an example. When Siva walks in and screams in horror, Ram instantly changes tone and joyously asks her what her day was like.
* FiveBadBand: The Technos.
** TheBigBad: Ram, the leader.
** TheDragon: Jay, who's essentially the military muscle.
** TheBrute: Ved, especially during the takeover of the city.
** TheEvilGenius: Ram, pulling double duty. Ved also fits later on as Ram starts mentoring him in computer science.
** TheDarkChick: Java and Siva, a sister team.
* FreudianExcuse: Zoot, Ebony, Mega.
* TheFundamentalist: Tai-San started out as an extreme Granola Girl Fundamentalist (refusing even to help Amber and the other girls teach the young children science, though she compromised and help to teach them math, even though she believed math and science to be part of "the old ways"- SEE ScienceIsBad below), but thankfully grew out of it and became a more benign sort of mystic.
* FuturePrimitive: The setting: child and teenage survivors of an [[OnlyFatalToAdults adult-killing]] [[DepopulationBomb virus]] wear facepaint and form social units called "tribes," intentionally invoking this trope (despite the series taking place only TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture).
* FutureSlang: see UnusualEuphemism below.
* GangOfHats: The various teenage tribes are identifiable largely by costumes and color schemes (Locos wear red and black; Demon Dogs wear silver; Mozquitos are all female and dress like dominatrices with insect masks, etc.), except for the main tribe, the Mallrats, who all wear very individualistic costumes, being a RagTagBunchOfMisfits.
* GentleGiant: The slow-witted, but kind and compassionate Ryan. He started out much more thug-like, as he came to the mall with Lex originally, and was Lex's "muscle" for the first few episodes, but as he started associating more with the other Mallrats, [[CharacterDevelopment he grew into this kind of character]].
* GovernmentConspiracy: The truth of the Virus's origins is covered up.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Trudy after visiting the Nomads.]]
* HeroicSacrifice:
** [[spoiler: Siva taking a laser for Ebony.]]
** [[spoiler: Mega sacrificing his life to LogicBomb Ram's Zoot program before it can complete the Virus Mark II.]]
** While not resulting in death, Trudy allows herself to be taken away by the Chosen to save Lex's life.
* IDontPayYouToThink: Ram gets increasingly agitated when his lieutenant Jay starts making decisions behind his back for the good of the city.
* ImprobableHairstyle: The characters of have remarkably elaborate hairstyles for survivors of [[DepopulationBomb a world-emptying plague]]. There must have been a lot of hair products [[ScavengerWorld waiting to be looted]].
* {{Jerkass}}: Lex. He later becomes a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* KarmaHoudini: Ebony. A lot of the conflicts that prevailed throughout the series were either caused by her, or if she didn't cause them she helped to further them along. Yet she very rarely answered for any of her crimes, or when she was exposed she was usually in a high enough position of power that nobody could do anything to her.
* KickTheDog: For the first part of season 4, Ram has been mostly FauxAffablyEvil, and while having his forces take over the city, he has been mostly conciliatory to Ebony and the inhabitants. The first sign that he’s a real villain comes when Ebony and Jay start making decisions without consulting him. He calls Ebony in first, drills it into her head that she's just TheQuisling, derides her as a mere "[[FantasticSlur Virt]]", and shoots a Techno mook [[YouHaveFailedMe who failed his programming duty]] in front of her.
* LimitedWardrobe: During the first season only five people actually change their outfit, and of those only Zandra changes it more than once. The younger kids change their clothes in the second season but that's probably because the old ones didn't fit them. This is particularly {{egregious}} because in one episode we see Lex and Ryan have a wardrobe full of clothes and they live in a mall.
* LoadBearingHero: Lex uses his body to hold open an airlock door while Bray, Amber, Dal, and the dog escape from a self-destructing virology lab on Hope Island.
* LoveTriangle: Salene, Bray and Trudy. Though it's a twist on it as the guy isn't interested in a relationship.
** Also Jack, Ellie and Luke.
** Jay, Trudy and Amber.
** Amber, Pride and Bray.
** Salene, Pride and May.
* TheMall: Most of the lead characters live in a mall and many plots would be about them defending themselves and their knew home from rival tribes. The tribe's name who lived inside the mall? The Mall Rats, of course.
* MamaBear: Trudy.
* ManchurianAgent
* ManipulativeBastard:
** Ebony again.
** Ram. Notable in that it's ''Ebony'' who calls him out on this.
-->'''Ebony:''' [to Jay] Is that all he does? Play with people?
* TheMole: May for the Guardian in Series 3 and for Mega in Series 5.
* MrFanservice: Lex. Later also Pride.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: Jack jokingly invokes this.
-->Sasha "Gentlemen."
-->Jack "And KC."
* NerfArm: Baseball bats, chair legs, blunted staffs and occasionally crossbows were the weapons of choice until the Technos arrived with their [[FamilyFriendlyFirearms zappers with stun settings]]. Due to the target demographic, on-screen deaths were usually "accidental," even those resulting from fights, such as [[spoiler: Zoot's fall after his scuffle with Lex]] and the similar fate of several other characters.
* NeutralFemale: Zandra.
* NeverLearnedToRead: Lex is an arrogant, tough, streetwise character... who never learned to read or write beyond a very low grade school level. The series implied several times that he had Dyslexia. It's a major source of insecurity for him, and he does try to improve his skills more than once.
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: The series was set in "The City" - not only did they refuse to give it a proper name, but they even went out of their way to avoid pinning down which country (or continent!) they were in. All the actors spoke with New Zealand accents, but a British 50p coin was seen in an early episode, and several times British banknotes were also shown. No other cities were ever mentioned, and the only landmark was Eagle Mountain, but there aren't any mountains by that name in either New Zealand or mainland Britain (though there is one in Northern Ireland, and several in the United States).
* NoodleIncident: We never did see what happened at Lex and Zandra's wedding.
* NotQuiteDead: The final episodes of season five reveal a bunch of the people who were thought to have died were really alive, and WordOfGod revealed at least one more who survived.
* OffTheWagon: Lex became an alcoholic early in the series, and later on, Salene.
* OnlyFatalToAdults: The Virus, also see AnyoneCanDie.
* OriginsEpisode: There were two of these in the second season; one focused on Zoot and Ebony; the other focused on Lex and Ryan (though the latter example was submerged as a very long flashback).
* TheQuisling: Ebony for the Technos in season 4. She doesn't quite realize this at first, and thinks they're equal partners. Then they move into her mansion, and in a later episode Ram reminds her that she's just a puppet before [[KickTheDog shooting one of his minions in front of her]].
* PaperThinDisguise
* ParentalAbandonment: Via [[OnlyFatalToAdults highly selective]] DepopulationBomb.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish:
** The super secret password protecting all research regarding the Virus is ''please''. The resident genius over-thought and didn't think to try it himself.
** On a related note, [[spoiler: some episodes later, the tribe is at the lab they think might help them figure out the antidote - Jack and Dal try to get ''anything'' to happen with the computer system, but nothing does until Jack, again accidentally, discovers that the system is voice activated]].
* {{Polyamory}}: Ram made wives out of [[SiblingTriangle sisters Java and Siva]], mostly to show off his own power. When he meets Ebony (the third sister) he want to marry her too, to "complete the set", and she seem receptive to this at first. [[spoiler:When she falls in love with Jay instead he becomes heartbroken for her betrayal.]]
* PostMortemOneLiner: After Ram executes a Techno mook for a random failure:
-->'''Ram:''' ...You're fired.
* PraetorianGuard:
** Ebony's militia were a small group of ex-Locos (chaotic evil post-apunkalyptic teenage street fighters) who were loyal to Ebony and still wore the old team colors. When Ebony left the mall, she took the militia with her.
** Billy-Boy, leader of the Jackals, was often accompanied by his own Goon Squad in Season 2.
** As was Moz of the Mozquitoes in Season 3. The Guardian, leader of the religious cult "The Chosen," had the elite Praetorian Guard.
* ProductPlacement: The Technos run on Apple.
* PromotionToParent: Some fared better than others.
* PunkPunk: The fashions.
* PutOnABus: many characters mysteriously "disappeared" during the later series, some it was heavily implied were killed, others (Amber and Jack being notable examples). So much so, the Chosen and Technos [[HumorMode could have been rival bus companies.]]
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Almost all of the mallrats deaths and disappearances were done because the cast members quit. Apart from the ones who were fired.
* RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver: A pretty clear indication that the Locos are a villain faction is their tribal colors: black and red.
* ResemblanceReveal: The reveal of Java and Siva, Ebony's sisters in Series 4. The sisters unmistakeably look like Ebony, with a similar figure, facial features, poise and long, thin braids (and [[RealLifeRelative are in fact related in real life]]). Prior to the reveal, they spent several episodes wearing robot-like masks.
* TheRival:
** Lex is a rival to Bray, as well as most other males on the show with any authority. He's also a thug and a petty criminal who thinks he's much more of a MagnificentBastard than he really is.
** And Ebony to Amber.
* ScavengerWorld: Especially in the first and second series.
* SchizoTech: The show became this when the Technos arrived with their zap guns and VirtualReality games. (Yet still being run on CRT-era iMacs.)
* ScienceIsBad: Tai-Sain believes this, at least, initially. She may have grown out of it by the second series though, when [[spoiler: she is the only person entrusted with the formula for the Antidote to the Virus]].
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Cloe's return.
* ShoutOut: Several, including one to Orwell's ''1984''.
* SiblingYinYang: Bray and Zoot, Jay and Ved, Slade and Mega.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan:
** Taken UpToEleven in first season. The series takes place in a lawless, post-apocalyptic city, where civilization has entirely collapsed and people do terrible things to survive. Most characters- both male and female- have grown pragmatic and distrustful because of this, if not outright evil. And ''then'' there's [[TallDarkAndHandsome Bray]], who is [[EstablishingCharacterMoment introduced]] as Trudy's protector, refusing adamantly to abandon her and her unborn child. Even though the child isn't his. Even though the child is actually the son of his tyrannical younger brother. And said brother is hunting Trudy because of this, and Trudy is [[TheLoad emotionally fragile]] at the best of times. Bray still stands up to the tribe of protagonists, saying 'If I join, so does she.' The ensuing flood of [[UnwantedHarem romantic attention]] and {{catfight}}s nearly destroys the fledging tribe.
** Later on, Bray exemplifies the other end of this trope. He tries to stay away from said romantic attention, focusing instead on scavenging and helping his tribe...and thus falls for [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Amber]], the confident, responsible leader of said tribe who is strongly dedicated to helping others. She's a bit reluctant to return Bray's feelings, seeing him as TheCasanova who spread discord among her tribe, but they eventually hook up and become the political version of a BattleCouple.
** A gender-flipped version in Lex, a {{Jerkass}}. After dating Zandra and Alice, he realises that what he really wants in a partner is someone he can respect, someone who shares similar survival abilities and isn't afraid to disagree with him. He finds this in Tai-San.
* SlapSlapKiss: Lex and Major Brown, it's even in their foreplay.
* TheSmartGuy: Both Jack and Dal.
* StreetUrchin: KC.
* StillWearingTheOldColors: After joining the Mallrats, Ebony still wears the red and black clothing associated with the Locos, her old tribe.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Series 1 avoided this. Series 2 - 5, it became a regular occurrence, most notably Danni replacing [[spoiler: Amber, Amber then replacing Danni,]] and Jay replacing [[spoiler:Bray.]]
* TakeOverTheCity: Pretty much all the series' bad guys' end goal is to establish a new regime over the city, varying from lawless anarchism to religious fundamentalism to technocratic dictatorships.
* ThereAreNoAdults: All the adults of the world dying of a mysterious virus.
* TeamMom: Amber mothers or bosses everyone she comes into contact with. To such an extent that she's the de facto leader of the Mall Rats, no matter who else is technically in charge.
* TeamSpirit
* TechnologyMarchesOn: Clearly the Virus struck in 1998, what with all the CD players instead of iPods being used and traded. Notably, the survival machines made by Jack and Dal in the first series were plausible.
** Although CD players are easier to power than iPods, which need a computer to charge from. It cold be an ease of use thing.
** The Technos also have computers with CRT screens!
* TeenageWasteland: Type 2.
* TeenPregnancy: Trudy in Series 1, [[spoiler: Salene and Amber in Series 3]].
* TeensAreMonsters
* TookALevelInJerkass: Ebony to Amber after the fall of the Locos in season 1. When it's revealed that Amber survived the explosion, while everyone thought she died, only Ebony saw her alive. She then proceeds to make Amber believe that Bray was cheating on her with Ebony, and uses Amber's grave as a means of explaining nobody wants her. Amber believes her and then disappears. Nobody finds out she was really alive all along until season 3, and even then Ebony's role in her leaving is never mentioned.
** Ebony further to Trudy in season 2. She arranges Trudy's kidnapping by the Chosen, and then pretends to not know anything about her kidnapping to Bray and the Mallrats. This at least is revealed in season 3 when Trudy returns (albeit ''evil'' now) and exposes Ebony's role in her capture by the Chosen.
** Ebony again to Amber and Trudy in season 3. She arranges their kidnapping and imprisonment with Ned, frames the Chosen for it, and emotionally manipulates a very distraught Bray that he's not capable of leading the City. The end result finds Ned murdered by the Guardian, the Guardian free from captivity and running off to reform the Chosen, and Ebony in complete control of the city.
** Ebony, ''again'', to Bray and a pregnant Amber in the season 3 finale. Bray finds out too little too late of Ebony's manipulations as new leader of the city and calls her out on her misdeeds in front of everyone. Ebony responds with banishing Bray and Amber from the city entirely, even though Amber was close to giving birth.
** Ebony to Java and Siva when they were with the Locos. Though the sisters had a volatile relationship even before the virus, they swore to start fresh and take care of each other after their family died. Java and Siva were uncomfortable being with the Locos because of their violent behavior and wanted to leave, but Ebony ratted out their intentions to Zoot and they were imprisoned with the intention of being executed. Even though they were later released, Ebony believed they'd died and barely batted an eyelash and continued on with her life as if they never existed. [[spoiler: their appearance in season 4 and first confrontation with Ebony was on of the few times Ebony showed real fear at that point.]]
** Ellie towards Jack in season 3, after the fall of the Chosen and Jack returns to the City after being enslaved. Ellie by this point had already moved on with Luke, who'd previously been the Guardian's second-in-command. When Jack tries to rekindle his relationship with her, Ellie is cold and cruel to him and never tells him why. He witnesses Ellie and Luke kissing and ''that's'' how he finds out about their relationship. He leaves, feeling the Mallrats betrayed him by not telling him about this relationship, but Chloe goads him into coming back. Upon his return, Ellie treats his return as an intrusion and is colder and meaner to him than ever.
* TribalFacePaint: The kids sure do love their face paint.
* TrueCompanions: The Mall Rats have this sort of relationship. They are one big, dysfunctional family - complete with marriages, affairs, power-grabs, friendships, substitute parental figures and siblings both literal and metaphorical. They frequently had issues and disagreements in the group but would come together as a tribe when they needed to.
* TurnCoat: Multiple characters on different occasions.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture
* UnusualEuphemism: "Waste" and later, "Delete" for killing someone or making them disappear.
** To "waste" someone was fairly common slang during the time of the show's run (it's still well-understood, just not as popular in 2010 as it was in the '90s).
** Also "Virt" (how the Technos referred to other tribes, derived from "Virtual") ... as opposed to the Technos, who are "real" people, the "Virts" are considered second-class, as though they merely appear to be living.
* ViewersAreMorons: Particularly egregious at times.
* VikingFuneral: During Season 1, [[spoiler: Zoot, the psychotic leader of tribe Locos,]] gets a Viking-style sendoff as well. This is mainly because the local cemetary has been overrun by members of a hostile rival tribe, but also because (as [[spoiler: his brother]] Bray explains) "[[spoiler: Zoot]] thought of himself as a warrior chief."
* WetwareCPU: The Technos are carrying out a secret project by kidnapping various people and hooking them up to an inescapable virtual reality environment for Ram's private enjoyment. The hordes of respawning mooks he fights off are created from those people's minds.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** The Demon Dogs seemed to disappear after the Locos do, though they never were as large or as organized.
** Many members of the Mall Rats disappear and are never seen again, some of whom are children: Paul, Charlie, Andy, Tally, Dee and Patch just disappear into thin air either between episodes or between seasons, while Bray, Cloe, Tai-San and Ved are "deleted" (which, depending on the source, either means executed or imprisoned).
* WhatTheHellHero: Lex calls Tai-San out about her treatment of him during early season one when she begins going off at him about his treatment of Alice.
* WhosLaughingNow: Trudy in Series 3 when she has the Mallrats at her mercy:
-->'''Trudy:''' Do you remember Jack? When I was just a scared pregnant Girl begging to be allowed to stay here?
-->'''Salene:''' We took you in Trudy!
-->'''Trudy:''' I was never welcome here! Do you have any idea how that felt?
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Numerous pairs.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Both Amber and Ebony are only 14 when the series starts; you wouldn't be able to tell by the way they act.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Ram kills a Techno who completely failed his programming mission, mostly to show Ebony that he doesn’t shy away from killing people. He does it again in a later episode in front of the rest of his terrified mooks.
* {{Youngsters}}: Half the list.

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