[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CoDBO_300x168_2549.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Splitting the difference between UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and ThePresentDay since 2010.]]
->"''Your name is Alex Mason. You were born in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 1961, you served in a CIA assassination team known as Operation 40. Is that correct?''"
-->-- '''Interrogator'''

And thus begins Black Ops.

''Call of Duty: Black Ops'', like ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'', is a spinoff of the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII-themed FPS series VideoGame/CallOfDuty, but unlike ''Modern Warfare'', it takes place during the height of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. It serves as a sequel to the Treyarch-developed ''Call of Duty: World at War''. You play as Alex Mason, a {{CIA}} operative [[FramingDevice being interrogated about his involvement in various operations]], from an assassination attempt on UsefulNotes/FidelCastro to UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and beyond. The bulk of the game plays out in a series of {{Flashback}}s that recall the many operations Mason participated in.

A sequel, set in [[TwentyMinutesInTheFuture the year 2025]], with flashbacks in [[TheEighties the 1980s]] has been released. Please put all sequel-related tropes in the ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' page.

[[Characters/CallOfDutyBlackOps The Characters page]].
----
!!This game provides examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: General Tropes]]
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeznORdAkGY "ROCK U"]] by Namie Amuro was used as the theme song in the Japanese version.
* AnachronismStew: Black Ops has an alarming amount of weapons that weren't even patented, let alone produced during the setting the game is in. Even if they were the earliest weapon prototypes that the CIA could utilize (and they do HandWave it as such), they're still considered to be pretty damned early for its time.
** Taken to Ludicrous levels with the FAMAS. The model used in the game (the FAMAS F1 FELIN) wasn't developed until 2001, in a game set in the 1960s! Handwaved with being a prototype, just like the [=MP5K=] and several other guns, and it shows (for example: the Enfield, G11, and Commando use the same iron sights, the [=MP5K=] has its prototype foregrip, et cetera). Although those folding rear sights are Troy [=BattleSights=], which also did not exist until the 2000s, though most of the text on them is taken from similar folding rear sights that were experimented with in the mid-60s.
** The Heckler & Koch G11 was developed over a period of twenty years, from the late '60s to 1990. It was a technical success, but never made it to mass production. The G11 depicted ingame is the variant that was produced right before the Berlin Wall fell, in ''1989''.
** The CZ-75 pistol makes an appearance, even serving as a starting weapon in one of the missions. Production started in 1975. Hence, the name CZ-75. The Full-Auto attachment is even worse, as that version wasn't developed until 1992.
** The ASP pistol was designed and produced in the 70s, and so would not have been around for the assassination attempt on Castro. A more appropriate choice would have been the Smith & Wesson Model 39, which the ASP was based on.
** The MAC-11 was developed in 1972, and hence is also anachronistic. Even the earlier MAC-10 wouldn't have been a great fit - while it did see some use in Vietnam, it also was not in production until 1970.
** The [=MP5K=] "prototype" is hilariously anachronistic; the standard [=MP5=] was not developed until 1966, and the [=MP5K=] was prototyped in 1976, but it appears in a level set in 1963.
** The [=AKS-74U=] was first produced in 1979, the base model having been produced in 1974. The RPK-74 also did not enter production until 1974, and is also equipped with further-anachronistic alternate ironsights when used without optics - again, the earlier 7.62mm RPK version would have fit just fine.
** The M203 just barely fits the bill; it entered service in 1969, but there is a documented history of special forces (MACV-SOG) using similar prototype underbarrel grenade launchers. However, the GP-30 is ''way'' off base - not even the earlier GP-25 was around until the 70's.
** Similarly, the Masterkey underbarrel shotgun was not developed until the 80's. The Remington 870 it was based on was around since the 50's, however, so the in-game version could be justified as [[MacGyvering random soldiers sawing them down and attaching them to their rifles for the hell of it]].
** The Spectre M4 was developed in the '80s. See a trend here?
** The Franchi SPAS-12 was developed in 1972, entered production in 1979, service in 1982, and yet it shows up in the hands of Soviet special forces in 1968 Hong Kong. That same year, it also appears being used (with incendiary rounds, no less) by the suspiciously well-equipped North Vietnamese Army.
** The KS-23 is also anachronistic, but slightly less so (it began development in the early 70's).
** The AUG was developed in 1978, a decade after when it shows up in the campaign. It gets worse in multiplayer, where when not using the ACOG it appears to be the A2 version instead, which wasn't developed until '97.
** The M60 is a near miss - while the original version was in service in Vietnam, the actual model present in-game is, save for a different rear sight, the same [=M60E3=] from ''[[VideoGame/ModernWarfare Call of Duty 4]]'', which wasn't developed until the 80's. The HK-21 is much the same (originally developed in '61, the version in-game is also from the 80's).
** The BGM-71 TOW from "S.O.G." is a triple-whammy - it was not developed until 1970, none of them ever made it to Vietnam until 197''2'', and some writing visible on the actual tube indicates it's actually the TOW 2B version developed in ''1991''. For added anachronism, it's mounted on [[ProductPlacement a 2011 Jeep Wrangler]].
** There are numerous other anachronisms, but they are relatively minor compared to the ones above. For example, the AK-47 isn't an AK-47. It's a mishmash of several Kalashnikov variants, most of them actually based on the AK-74.
** Also, "[[Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival Fortunate Son]]" is being played on the radio in January 1968, a year and a half before it was released; "[[Music/TheRollingStones Sympathy for the Devil]]" at least got the year right, but was months too early.
** The Soviet Mi-24 Hind helicopter did not have its first flight until September 19, 1969 and did not enter military service until 1972, but that doesn't stop the helicopters from appearing in multiple missions set in 1968.
** The computer terminals where in you can play Zork and/or access emails from various individuals appear to be running on a variant of Unix, and yet the operating system itself was released in 1969, a year after the game takes place. Then again, [[MindScrew the terminal also holds emails and other documents dated as far forward as 1978.]]
** The Reflex Sight in-game is an Aimpoint Electronic/Mark II, the world's first reflex sight - developed in 1975.
** The level set in Vorkuta takes place in late 1963, a year after the real gulag was closed.
* {{BFG}}: This game features the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Death Machine and Grim Reaper,]] respectively a man-portable [[GatlingGood gatling gun]] and [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill a quad-barreled,]] [[KillItWithFire incendiary]] rocket launcher. Both appear briefly in the single player and are obtainable from care packages/random powerups in multiplayer and [[NaziZombies zombies mode]].
* BlindIdiotTranslation: There'a [[http://kotaku.com/the-bizarre-japanese-of-call-of-duty-black-ops-iis-ne-474580863 a lot of localization errors]] [[http://kotaku.com/5962753/how-square-enix-screwed-up-black-ops-ii-for-japan in the Japanese release.]]
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: Certain groups got mad at the celebrities who are depicted shooting each other in the "Soldier in all of us" commercial--for said glorifying war. (Ironically, ''no one'' is directly hit or obviously harmed in the ad, because of broadcast restrictions.)
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: To counter people using modded controllers in ''Black Ops'', the semiautomatic battle rifles will actually jam if the trigger is pressed too fast. It is possible to fire fast enough without the aid of controller mods to trigger this as well, typically with high amounts of lag.
** At the main menu, [[spoiler: Mason can escape his chair and access the computer terminal behind him. Most players will only use the terminal to play ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' or play Dead Ops Arcade, but you can also look at Mason's e-mail and other things such as concept art and music. The kicker? Initially, you are logged on as Alex Mason. You can also log on as any other major character in the game, including presidents, and access their e-mail and files ([[GuideDangIt as long as you know their usernames and passwords]]). They went so far as to include Directors of the CIA and Henry Kissinger in there, as well as Macbeth's monologue before killing Duncan (they even use what actors call Macbeth, namely "Mackers") in there. To reiterate: Treyarch took the time to add a myriad of {{Easter Egg}}s to an area that many players wouldn't even look at, let alone try to access.]] '''''[[DoingItForTheArt Damn.]]'''''
* EasterEgg: Black Ops [[spoiler: has a playable version of ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'', as well as a ''VideoGame/SmashTV''-esque zombie mode]].
** To access the former, [[spoiler:at the main menu, hit spacebar repeatedly[=/=]mash the triggers to break out of your chair, then turn around, go to the computer and type "zork" in the command bar.]]
** For the latter, [[spoiler:type in DOA, and you'll access Dead Ops Arcade, an extremely fun ''VideoGame/SmashTV'' like game.]]
** Shooting off all the heads on the Multiplayer map "Nuketown" within fifteen seconds of the round's beginning causes "Sympathy for the Devil" to play over the level's loudspeakers.
** You can get the Thundergun in the Kowloon mission, similar to ''World at War'''s hidden raygun.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous - The only non-elite faction in the game are the NVA[=/=]Viet Cong and the Cuban Army.
* GatlingGood: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Death Machine]].
* GenreShift: The EasterEgg [[spoiler:Dead Ops Arcade, a top-down arcade-style shooter.]]
** The game becomes an arcadey vehicle simulator at one point, and one mission has you leading Hudson's squad through a blizzard, RTS-style.
* GunsAkimbo: Available for some weapons, though if you do it, you get an accuracy penalty as well as being unable to use the sights.
* ICallItVera: As shown by the cover and by an in-game achievement, Mason owns a pair of Colt M1911's, one called "Sally", and the other called "Mustang" (as revealed in NaziZombies).
** The player can scratch their clan tags onto their guns in multiplayer, allowing you to actually have a gun named "Vera".
* IsntItIronic: Ads for the game had Music/TheRollingStones' "Gimme Shelter" playing in them; a song about the horror and ugliness of war.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Jason Hudson is a fan of this, employing it on both [[spoiler:Clarke]] and [[spoiler:Mason]]. The latter is the [[spoiler:framing device for the entire game.]]
* KillItWithFire: The above-mentioned Grim Reaper, as well as an under-barrel flamethrower attachment for assault rifles. There's also a KillStreak in multiplayer that calls in a flight of F4 Phantoms to drop napalm.
** Also, the Dragon's Breath rounds in the SPAS-12 in the singleplayer mission.
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: Availible in standard, hardened and prestige editions. The prestige edition includes a working replica of the RC-XD, which is essentially an RC toy car with the frame removed and explosives added. [[CaptainObvious Presumably the replica doesn't blow up.]]
* ObviousBeta: In the case of PC version. The released game featured insane CPU usage (caused FPS stuttering), too low network rate (caused multiplayer stuttering even if the FPS is good), LOD bugs (objects appearing a couple steps in front of you)... and that's not counting content unavailable to PC users for unknown reasons: can't change loadout between matches and raise stakes in the money matches. These problems are so omnipresent many players consider the game hasn't been beta-tested on PC at all.
** An update to the game caused Xbox 360 logos and information to appear... on the PS3.
** In the Xbox version, the napalm killstreak will sometimes result in a lower frame rate when outdoors and facing the fire. Even after it has been extinguished, the framerate in certain areas will be noticably lower.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: Mason's password on the computer system is "password". [[LampshadeHanging There's also an email from Hudson in his inbox telling him to change it.]]
** Rather ironic in that almost nobody else's passwords on the computer system are much better - one person uses his own codename, another two use the names of their pets, yet another two use their wives' names, etc.; with enough patience and attention to detail, it's possible to find a hint on someone's password in-game, log into their account, and then receive hints on the passwords of everyone who's emailed them to boot.
* ProductPlacement: Hey everyone! Let's get in the brand new 2011 Jeep ''Call Of Duty Black Ops Edition!'' Has its own {{Dualvertisement}} and everything. It is also shown, wrecked, on the Multiplayer map "Nuketown" for more anachronistic fun.
* RareGuns:
** Possibly winning an award here: in several missions and the multiplayer, you're able to find the China Lake shotgun-style grenade launcher. This is an actual weapon, of which ''20 to 30'' made it in to service, and never in the [=MACV-SOG=]. Say what you want about the G11 being in the game, the China Lake is possibly the rarest represented gun in any game series.
* RecursiveAmmo: A secondary grenade in the form of a traditional Russian Doll. It can explode four times.
* ReverseGrip: The standard reverse-grip knife attack returns, but it gets amped up when using the Ballistic Knife weapon- your character holds both the ballistic knife and your regular one this way. While you have both out your knife attacks are faster and have a shortened cooldown.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Campaign Tropes]]
* AllThereInTheManual: If you collect pieces of intel throughout the game, you unlock Intel documents that you can read to get more info on the characters and locations in the game.
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: You play as [[spoiler: Reznov]] during the mission "Project Nova". You also control the USAF members Neitsch and Mosely as they guide Hudson's squad in the early part of the mission WMD.
** Earlier in the game your perspective shifts to Hudson during the mission to capture Clarke. Given that the game has been told exclusively from Mason's perspective up to this point, it's quite jarring.
* ArcWords: "[[BigBad Dragovich]]... [[TheDragon Kravchenko]]... [[EvilGenius Steiner]]... '''All''' must die..."
** "What are the numbers/What do the numbers mean?!" with your choice of obscenity added for flavor.
* AtomicFBomb: [[spoiler: Woods, upon being forced to play Russian Roulette by his NVA captors, screams one while pulling the trigger... luckily for him, he got an empty chamber.]]
* BackForTheDead: [[spoiler: Dimitri Petrenko.]]
** Technically, [[spoiler: Reznov too.]]
* BadassBookworm: Jason Hudson; in addition to being a double-major in psychology and political science prior to his service, he is described as an excellent tactician with genius-level IQ.
* BadassBeard: Viktor Reznov, Frank Woods and Bowman.
* BadassGrandpa: According to intel, Reznov is 51 in ''Black Ops''.
* BadToTheBone: ''"[[CreedenceClearwaterRevival He ain't me, he ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no!]]"''
* BehindTheBlack: The Viet Cong that blindsides Swift from the rat tunnel in "Victor Charlie" clearly wasn't visible by the player until he made his move, but Swift himself really should have seen it coming when he turned his head back after scolding Mason for [[spoiler:talking to someone who wasn't there]]. Swift wasn't the one holding the flashlight, but [[FridgeLogic that just calls into question why he was taking point.]]
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Alex Mason bumps with some of the most prominent figures in the 1960s (Robert [=McNamara=], John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro), and takes part in some world-changing events (the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Battle of Khe Sanh, the Tet Offensive, and [[spoiler:assassinating Kennedy]]).
** An in-series example: if you go to the computer terminal hidden in the main menu and log into the "asmith" account, you can read a bio on Mason. It mentions that his father is a WWII vet who was awarded the Purple Heart for his actions during the Makin Island raid in 1942 - the setting of the very first mission in ''World at War''.
* BerserkButton: Never, ''ever'' hurt, or God forbid, kill a friend of Reznov, especially one that he fought alongside for an entire war. Even if it takes 23 years and a proxy, he WILL come back, and he WILL have his revenge. [[spoiler: Not even death can stop him.]]
* BigBad: Nikita Dragovich
* BilingualBonus: Dragovich. Drago is a prefix taken from the Russian Drakon meaning "dragon". Vich means "Son of". so his name means "Son of the Dragon" (Dracula, Transylvanian for "Son of the Dragon"). In Slavic folklore "dragon" is used to indicate the Devil. So Dragovich's name actually means "[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Son of the Devil]]".
** During one sequence you are required to commandeer a helicopter. When you approach the helicopter, you can overhear an unsubtitled exchange in Russian by the two soldiers guarding it that the rear rotor has a tendency to jam, and it will be fixed in about ten minutes. You are expected to immediately kill them and fly off in it.
** A rusalka is a Slavic mythological creature that haunted waterways and entranced men, typically to their deaths. A rather fitting name for the in-game ship, given its purpose.
* [[spoiler: BittersweetEnding: Mason averts the total extermination of America at the last moment and kills the three BigBads, but he killed JFK five years before and eventually is marked for termination along with Hudson and Weaver.]]
* BloodierAndGorier: This series continually tries to one-up itself with this, now featuring fully-detailed sliced throats. It goes without saying that it's much gorier than the last Modern Warfare game, but compared to ''World at War'', gibs are actually ''less'' common, even when explosives are used - unless you use guns like the Colt Python or any machine gun or shotgun. You can't even decapitate anyone at all!
* BodyDouble: [[spoiler: The Castro you kill is a double.]]
* BookEnds: In the Khe Sanh level, the phrase "You look like hammered shit."
* BoomHeadshot: Clarke suffers from this just as he's about to reveal some important information to you.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler: Mason. Reznov arguably saved him from the Crazy part. [[MindScrew Maybe.]]]]
* BreakTheBadass: [[spoiler: Bowman, he was broken and had a severe HeroicBSOD when captured by the Viet Congs]].
* BrokenFaceplate: One mission requires you to wear an NBC suit during a chemical attack. You're still fighting, though, and as you take damage, your faceshield will crack. While your health will regenerate normally, your faceshield won't, meaning that if you take too much damage in the entire sequence, you'll die from exposure to the chemical agent. It can be very disorienting to have to worry about your health in a game series famous for RegeneratingHealth.[[note]]Doubly so when a temporary bug made it impossible to regenerate health ''at all'' during that mission.[[/note]]
* BulletproofHumanShield: Mason uses a Vietnamese soldier as a shield while escaping a POW camp.
** Made a little more noticeable because during gameplay, bullets penetrate various objects, including enemy soldiers.
* ChekhovsGun: The cargo ship ''Rusalka'' is briefly seen at the end of the first mission. [[spoiler: It later turns out that the numbers broadcast is being transmitted from there.]]
* TheCityNarrows: "Numbers" takes place in Hong Kong's infamous Kowloon Walled City. Yes, it really did look that bad in real life.
* ClusterFBomb: There's a lot of foul language in the interrogation scenes, with the subtitles only sometimes censoring it.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Your mysterious interrogators are very liberal with the electrocution early on.
** And when you're in Kowloon the level opens with Hudson torturing Clarke by inserting a shard of broken glass in his mouth and repeatedly punching him in the jaw. This would have gone on, if the Russians hadn't arrived.
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: The first ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' game set in it.
* CollapsingLair: Near the end of the final mission.
* TheConspiracy - The main plot ''and'' the intel plot. Turns out, [[spoiler:Mason isn't just being used by the Russians, and JFK was assassinated by an even more mysterious organization.]]
* ConspiracyKitchenSink: It's a game set during the Cold War. JFK. Mysterious third parties threatening various US Government officials. Nuff' said.
* CoolShades: Hudson wears these all the time. When he ''does'' take them off, it's plot relevant...
* CrazyPrepared: Dr. Clarke has a mind boggling number of escape routes and weapon caches prepared in the event that someone tries to kill him, and has mattresses on rooftops in case the escape requires RoofHopping. When [[LampshadeHanging asked about]] this preparation, he simply states that while he may have accepted he was going to die, he was going to go down fighting.
** How crazy is he? At one point, a Russian helicopter flies in to grab what's left of Clarke's research, which wouldn't have been very predictable in Hong Kong. Seeing this, Clarke pulls out a detonator and ''destroys the helicopter with explosive charges planted in his laboratory''. This isn't just CrazyPrepared, this is [[Awesome/CallOfDuty So Crazy It's Awesome]].
* CutsceneBoss: [[spoiler:Dragovich and Kravchenko.]]
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Castro knows how useful body doubles are from combined paranoia and repeated assassination attempts on him prior to Operation 40.
* DarkerAndEdgier: This takes a more bleak, underhanded, and [[SpyFiction Stale Beer-styled]] approach than the ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' and prior VideoGame/CallOfDuty series, which plays out more like traditional action movies and heroic WWII war movies, respectively.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Reznov. Turns out he was dead after the escape from Vorkuta and he was just a hallucination in Mason's mind - though he does successfully enact his revenge via Mason.]]
* DeadlyGas: The cloudy, green, near-instantly fatal Nova-6, [[spoiler: the cornerstone of Dragovich's planned genocide and invasion of the US.]]
* DeathByDisfigurement: Averted with [[spoiler:Weaver. He is [[EyeScream knifed in the eye]] by Kravchenko, but he survives right to the end.]]
* DefconFive: The DEFCON meter is shown to (correctly) click down towards "DEFCON 1" during [[CutScene cutscenes]].
* DirtyCoward: At the end of WWII, Dr. Steiner defects to the Soviets by offering up his chemical-weapons research, just to save his own hide. He then tries to defect again to the CIA when he realizes [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's outlived his usefulness to Dragovich. ]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Kravchenko's]] grenade belt goes off after he falls out the window. ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2 Black Ops 2]]'' bizarrely reveals that he and [[spoiler: Woods]] both survived the explosion.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: '''Mason:''' "Too late to back out - Slam it in!"
* DoomedByCanon: Double subverted, the tutorial mission has you assassinating [[spoiler:Fidel Castro]] making it seem like it's AlternateHistory. [[spoiler: Turns out Castro was using [[BodyDouble a double]]]]
** JFK, on the other hand, is played straight.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: [[TheDragon Kravchenko]] gets one during "Project Nova", as he kills a group of surrendering Germans who are on their knees begging for their lives. One by one he executes them with a single shot to the head. As he turns to kill the last German he finds he's out of ammo, so he grabs a comrade's knife and slits the German's throat.
* EveryCarIsAPinto
* {{Expy}}: Hudson -> [[Film/TheRock Hummel]] is pretty clear.
** The "Call of the Dead" DLC level pits Film/{{Machete}}, Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer, [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]], and [[Series/TheWalkingDead Merle]] against an army of zombies led by [[NightOfTheLivingDead George Romero]]. Seriously.
* EyeScream: Weaver takes a knife to the eye during the mission to the Cosmodrome. Fortunately, he survives (unlike the last guy who got a knife to the eye in a ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' game), and spends the rest of the game with an eyepatch.
* TheFaceless: Finally averted with respect to the main character, who can be seen clearly on monitors in the interrogation room between levels and in every opening CutScene.
* FastRoping: Naturally. It's even featured prominently in the trailer. Just as in ModernWarfare 2, rappelling too fast will get you smashed.
* ForegoneConclusion: With Reznov prisoner in Vorkuta and [[spoiler: Dimitri nowhere to be seen]], it's clear "Project Nova" will end poorly.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Similar to ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'''s [[spoiler: NICOLE IS DEAD]] message, all of the mission start briefing messages contain a word from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, with XRAY hinting at spaces. Subtracting these [=XRAY=]s, the "letters" chronologically spell [[spoiler: REZNOV IS DEAD]].
** And according to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLZlfHGo-Ro Maverick Code]], the numbers listed after each alphabet ultimately spell out in alphanumeric code [[spoiler: Or is he?]]
*** And at one point after a conversation with [[spoiler: Reznov, Swift will angrily ask Mason "what the fuck is wrong with you?" since he's hearing Mason talk to ''no one at all''.]]
** During the scene where Mason receives his mission from JFK, there is a moment where [[spoiler:Mason quickly hallucinates pointing a gun at JFK's head.]]
** Asute players will notice that at no point do any of the NPC's that Mason interacts with [[spoiler: directly address Reznov nor talk about him, hinting at his non-existence.]] There's other hints, such as [[spoiler: Reznov being FriendlyFireProof- shooting him will show animations indicating that he's been hit from behind and he will shout the typical "Friendly fire!" lines, but pursuing this reveals that the player ''cannot fail the mission'' no matter how many times it's done. Because he's not really there.]]
*** Even more astute players will notice that [[spoiler: Reznov has both index fingers intact in many of his appearances. Reznov lost his right index finger in Stalingrad, just before his introduction in ''World at War''.]]
* ForeignCussWord: Lots, in Spanish and Russian (and they are not subtitled), most notably the Cuban officer in the first mission calling the girl in the bar 'Puta Capitalista' ("capitalist whore").
* FramingDevice: All the campaign missions are Mason's memories of what he did and when, being recounted to an unseen interrogator (except for the missions where Hudson is the POV, in which case Mason is stating what he knows about those). Since they are trying to figure out what the numbers mean and Mason's connection is to them, they start with Mason's whole experience in chronological order.
* FriendlyFireproof: To a degree. You can't even point your gun at allies if they're very close, and melee is disabled. However, if your allies are far enough away you can shoot and kill them for the usual "Friendly fire will not be tolerated!" game over.
** In an example of TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything, [[spoiler:Mason has no trouble attacking Reznov after Vorkuta. Because unlike the other allies, ''he's not really there''.]]
* GasMaskMooks: Some of the enemies at Vorkuta and Rebirth Island. Justified, since the guards at Vorkuta use tear gas on you and Rebirth Island is a chemical weapons research facility... where NOVA 6 just got released.
** Also, the CIA strike team assaulting Rebirth wear Level B {{Hazmat Suit}}s.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: [[spoiler:Mason's interrogation was to get him to snap out of his MK-Ultra brainwashing he had endured at Vorkuta.]]
* GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath: Achievement achievable by escaping Vorkuta.
* GollumMadeMeDoIt: [[spoiler:Mason and Reznov]], though the former insists the latter is his friend.
* GlassesPull: an incredibly epic one in the [[spoiler: "Revelations"]] mission. YEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH
* GodzillaThreshold: Basically the concept behind the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wunderwaffe "Wunderwaffe"]], or wonder weapons, that Nazi Germany attempted to develop when it became clear to Hitler that Germany was losing the war. Which also plays an important role in the game, as a rogue Russian officer attempts to secure one of those weapons, the Nova 6 biochemical weapon, to further his own selfish goals. The US is concerned about that, and as a result allows a lot of freedom to their covert ops groups to obtain as much data as possible on said weapon, and especially to prevent its use on American soil.
* {{Gorn}}: The single player campaign adds mutilation on the death animations if the weapons have enough damage output.
** In one mission, you get an auto-shotgun loaded with Dragon's Breath incendiary rounds, which gib close-up enemies and burn the ones that don't die immediately.
* GottaCatchEmAll: In the style of the Modern Warfare games, you can collect intel hidden in various places through the maps, in the form of tape recorders. Collecting pieces of intel unlocks extra material you can read to [[AllThereInTheManual get background on various characters and places in the game]].
* GreatEscape: After the tutorial level, you execute a plan to stage a mass breakout from a Russian prison. The plan has been in the works for months, but the player only sees it as it plays out.
* TheGulag / HellholePrison: Vorkuta. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorkuta_Gulag And it actually]] [[TruthInTelevision existed in real life, too!]]
* HeavilyArmoredMook: Enemies wearing heavy body armor[=/=]riot gear appear about halfway through the second mission, the prison break from Vorkuta. Several appear guarding the number station control room at the very end of the game, also. They carry shotguns and machineguns, and advance slowly instead of running or using cover. While not on par with [[ModernWarfare Juggernauts]], they can withstand about half a mag of assault rifle fire before dropping, which is pretty impressive given that every other enemy in the game drops after only 2 bullets.
* HeroicMime: Averted after many games in the series played it straight: Alex Mason speaks both in interrogation scenes and in the levels themselves, as do [[spoiler:Hudson and Reznov]] when you play as them.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Woods dies to save Mason from Kravchenko's TakingYouWithMe.]]
** Reznov leads the Army away during the bike chase so Mason can escape Vorkuta, but he survives. [[spoiler: Turns out Reznov was actually killed, and his later appearances were hallucinations.]]
*** [[spoiler:Concerning both of the above sacrifices, hacking into the terminal and checking Mason's, Hudson's, and Weaver's emails, all three receive messages from a Mr. X telling them Reznov, Woods and other unmentioned but AllThereInTheManual loved ones may still be alive.]]
* HeroKiller: Dragovich. Kravchenko tried to be one [[spoiler:but is foiled by Woods]].
* HisNameIs: [[spoiler:Clarke]]'s [[BoomHeadshot death.]]
* HistoricalInJoke: In the "Five" cutscene at the end of the game, [[spoiler:Nixon freaks out when he hears a crash, assuming it's a break-in. [[ZombieApocalypse It actually is.]]]]
** In one portion of the level "S.O.G.", the player has to rescue Woods from a VC soldier who is about to kill him. The sole reason Woods didn't shoot the guy himself? His rifle jammed.[[note]]The earliest M16 model was notoriously unsuited for the environments of Vietnam. It's rather appropriate that this was the one time in the series a character's weapon jammed.[[/note]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Both Kennedy and Dragovich are killed by Mason, after sending him to kill the other.]]
* HoldTheLine: The defense of Khe Sanh in Vietnam. A ''[[ZergRush tide]]'' of NVA troops rush at you throughout the mission.
* {{Homage}}: The RussianRoulette scene in the Payback mission is a homage to ''Film/TheDeerHunter,'' and the Spetsnaz operator's presence is one to ''Rambo: First Blood, Part Two''.
* HonorBeforeReason: Reznov makes no effort to hide to Mason his distrust of Kravchenko and Dragovich in a FlashBack mission "Project Nova". He regrets not killing them then, as they had promised reinforcements during the Battle of Stalingrad but never followed up on it, and he already knew they were looking out for themselves first and foremost. However, Reznov also tells you that at the time he was a soldier, and still obeyed orders, hence why he did what he was told to by them.
* HellishCopter: Not even considering the various choppers that get shot down through the course of the game, there is the helicopter that gets taken out by a ''harpoon'' tethered to a railing at one point. One level starts out in a freshly crashed one.
* HumanShield: DoubleSubverted. [[spoiler: "Castro" tries to use his mistress as a hostage when you burst in. It barely slows you down, as you just shoot him in the head anyway. Then ''she'' grabs his rifle and starts shooting.]]
** Played straight later, [[spoiler:Mason uses this to break out of the rat tunnel he and Woods are held in.]]
** Earlier, Mason also did this with a Viet Cong on a sampan. Still subverted since the other VC open fire anyway.
* InkSuitActor: Alex Mason, Jason Hudson, and Joseph Bowman are dead ringers for Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, and IceCube.
** Averted with Reznov, Petrenko, and Kravchenko.
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: Zig-zagged. There are plenty of doors you can open on your own, along with doors you can't open until your superiors order you to do so, some good old-fashioned NPC-only doors thrown in for good measure and some that are just part of the level art and can't be opened in any way by anyone.
* InterfaceScrew: During the mission in which Hudson is wearing a NBC suit to protect against nerve gas exposure, taking damage will [[BrokenFaceplate crack the faceshield.]]
* LampshadeHanging: When reminiscing about the Battle of Berlin, Reznov says of Dmitri Petrenko, "The wounds he sustained ensuring our victory should have earned him a hero's welcome to Russia." That battle takes place in World at War, in which Dmitri is the player character with RegeneratingHealth.
** The wound he took [[spoiler: at the end of the game when he is shot by the German soldier near the flag.]]
*** [[spoiler:And when the flaming log falls on him, and when he was almost drowned in a subway tunnel, and when he jumped 3 stories into a Nazi infested street, and when he was blown up by friendly fire, twice, and...]]
* LargeHam: Reznov, the incredible scenery-chewing Soviet from ''World at War'', returns, and he's still as awesomely hammy as ever.
* LeapOfFaith: At one point during the Kowloon mission, Dr. Clarke tells Hudson to jump from one rooftop to the balcony of an apartment about three stories below to evade the incoming Spetznaz. [[spoiler: Clarke, as CrazyPrepared as he is, had already piled mattresses on said balcony.]]
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Generally any mission where you're controlling a vehicle that has rockets on it, such as the boat in the "Crash Site" mission, or the helicopter in "Payback".
* MacGuffin: The numbers.
* MadeOfPlasticine: Despite less LudicrousGibs, it's possible to gib with revolvers and shotguns. Most noticeable during tunnel-crawling, when the player is forced to use a Colt Python and flashlight.
* MeaningfulEcho: [[spoiler: In "Vorkuta," a prisoner asks if they can trust Mason because he's American. Reznov vouches for him. Subverted when later, Mason vouches for Reznov in the same fashion, but he's dead and being hallucinated by Mason himself.]]
* MindScrew: When Mason blindly wanders through [[spoiler:the Pentagon, hallucinating badly as his Russian brainwashing begins messing with his sense of reality.]]
** [[spoiler:The ending cutscene of the game. Mason rattles off a series of phrases and names (Texas, Kennedy, 6.5 millimeter) and we see films of the day that Kennedy came to Dallas, Texas. Eventually it stops at a crowd shot and focuses on one man. Mason. He was there, though whether or not he even assassinated Kennedy is still in question.]]
** [[spoiler:Unlocking all the intel and reading all the e-mail makes the plot into this.]]
* MoodWhiplash: The ending to ''Black Ops''. [[spoiler:After a brief sequence that might as well be from the music video to "America, F**k Yeah!", a chilling cutscene reveals that Mason might have assassinated Kennedy, and the game seems to end with a pithy quote by Kennedy summing up the story ("those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future")... which suddenly transitions into the hilarious "Five" cutscene with Kennedy, Castro, [=McNamara=], and Nixon facing a horde of zombies inside the Pentagon.]]
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. Steiner and Dr. Clarke, both know ''exactly'' what Dragovich plans to do with the nerve agent they are creating for him, but neither one cares about the dire global consequences. Steiner's arguably just trying to avoid summary execution for [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness no longer being of value]] to the Nova6 program, and Clarke's dossier specifically describes him as a "malignant narcissist" who defected to the Soviets to get revenge on his western peers who snubbed him for his politics.
* MoreDakka: Some guns operate on this, especially machine guns with large magazines. Also played straight with mounted machine guns on vehicles. That said it's usually not a good idea to keep spamming bullets, as the vehicle guns will eventually overheat if you continuously fire from it. And handheld machine guns tend to have really long reload times, leaving you vulnerable to enemy fire or grenades while reloading.
* MuggingTheMonster: When Sergei is introduced in the "Vorkuta" level, he has a prison guard in a headlock. [[BilingualBonus You can hear him cursing Sergei out]], continually threatening to kill him and then telling him to let go, before Sergei snaps his neck.
* MusicalNod: Play through the first third or so of Reznov's reminiscence mission and the Soviet March from World at War's endgame starts playing. Glorious.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: [[spoiler: "My name is Viktor Reznov. And I will have my revenge!"]]
* NewMeat: The "kid" manning the PBR bow gun in "Crash Site". [[spoiler:He dies, and Woods has a miniature BSOD.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Mason when he killed [[spoiler: Steiner]].
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: Averted. The original Nova 6 stocks are destroyed, but Dr. Steiner spends the next 20 years re-creating them with facilities provided by Dragovich. They even manage to ''improve'' on the original formula while they're at it with help from Dr. Clarke.
* NostalgiaLevel: Project Nova, where [[spoiler:Reznov is playable, Dmitri Petrenko fights at your side, and many weapons and soundtracks from World at War return]].
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler:Mr. Mason -- Woods is alive and remains the sole remaining American guest at the Hanoi Hilton. Thought you should know. --X--]]
* NotSoDifferent: Reznov befriends Mason partly because both of them have been betrayed and abandoned to their fate in the gulag. [[spoiler:Reznov also implanted in Mason a strong desire to kill the three main antagonists in the game as well, since he knew he wouldn't be able to exact his revenge on them, so he has Mason do it for him.]]
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Plenty, Execution of surrendering soldiers, execution of civilians for collaboration, exposing non-combatants to chemical/biological agents just to see if they're effective, ColdBloodedTorture, [[MindScrew attempts at brainwashing]], nobody's hands are clean by the time it's over.
* OnceMoreWithClarity: The first part of the mission "Rebirth" is Mason's POV, but his account of its events is inaccurate due to him being an UnreliableNarrator. The mission is then played from Hudson's POV, which reveals how things actually went down.
* OneManArmy: Mason [[spoiler:in the final mission where Mason and Reznov go to assassinate Steiner once and for all. Then you play from Hudson's point of view, and find out Reznov is all in Mason's head. Which means Mason has been tearing through the entire facility '''by himself'''.]]
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Sam Worthington voices the protagonist in Black Ops. It appears he has come no closer to perfecting an American accent since ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. It's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL_Pc2Aj48s most notable]] in the scene where [[spoiler:Bowman]] dies in "Payback"
* PineappleSurprise: The protagonist is almost killed by an enemy pulling a suicidal version of this trope until the villain is tackled out of a window by a self-sacrificing friend.
** Also used against a NVA soldier during ''"S.O.G"'' after he jumps on the player and attempts to kill the player.
* [[ViewersAreGoldfish Players Are Goldfish]]: "Dragovich, Kravchenko, Steiner-- All must die."
* PlayingThePlayer: Might be considered an example, as the player only sees through Mason's eyes unless the mission centers around Hudson, making the reveal of Mason [[spoiler: actually being brainwashed]] even more shocking to the player.
* PrecisionFStrike: "''DO NOT '''FUCK''' WITH ME'', Mason! I know when you're lying!"
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: Dmitri Petrenko shows up in the flashback mission "Project Nova". [[spoiler:He then [[BackForTheDead dies a horrible death by chemical agent]].]]
* PressXToNotDie: In Khe Sahn, a Vietcong soldier gets into a brief hand-to-hand altercation with Mason which is won by pressing a button as fast as you can. It's a ShoutOut to a similar event in Call of Duty 3, where a Nazi ambushes you in the same exact way. You also have to mash buttons to open a stuck side door on a crashed helicopter before it sinks in a river. There are also other places that the game slows down during that moment to give you time to kill unsuspecting guards as you break into their buildings.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "My name! Is Viktor! Reznov! AND I WILL HAVE! MY! REVENGE!!!"
* RailingKill: On the Soyuz mission, players have the option of sneaking up on one sentry and shoving him off the roof of the building.
** One of your allies in "WMD" does another one of these to a sentry after the window-breaching section.
* RashomonStyle: The penultimate act is portrayed from two different perspectives.
* RedShirt: A mainstay for the [[{{Mook}} Mooks]] in a series like this, though invoked by Reznov to Mason about the prisoners revolting in Vorkuta.
* RegeneratingHealth: Averted in "Rebirth," as [[spoiler:while Hudson wears the gas mask, the hazmat suit's integrity does not regenerate, as represented by any cracks on the mask visor, and if it's compromised he dies from Nova-6 exposure]]. An achievement/trophy requires the player to successfully clear that portion without dying and without the usual regenerating health; failure requires the player to restart the level [[spoiler:and play through Mason's portion again as well]] in order to try again. Otherwise played straight, as is standard for a Call of Duty game.
* RenegadeRussian: Dragovich's plot in Black Ops is said to be operating outside the knowledge of the Kremlin ([[spoiler:or so hallucination-Reznov claimed. Supplemental "intel" you find indicates that the Soviet government undoubtably endorsed the development of Nova 6, but leaves the question of whether they approved Dragovich to initiate a suprise first-strike use ambiguous]]).
* {{Retirony}}: The last supposed mission of [[spoiler: Soviet war hero Dmitri]].
-->[[spoiler:'''Dmitri:''']] After this mission, do you think we will go home?\\
[[spoiler:'''Reznov:''']] I hope so, [[spoiler:Dmitri]], I hope so!
* TheReveal: At the start of Black Ops, the guys interrogating Mason seem to be total assholes who are pissed at Mason for no good reason. [[spoiler: And then you find out they are Weaver and Hudson, and they have very good reason to be pissed at him, especially Weaver since ''Mason shot him in the abdomen'', albeit he wasn't exactly sane at the time.]]
** [[spoiler: And they're also not kidding about being on the "Brink of War". They've only got a few hours left until the BigBad triggers his Nova 6 strike on the US, kicking off World War III.]]
* RevolversAreJustBetter: Mason seems to think this, as he keeps a Python revolver as his sidearm rather than the usual M1911.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The mission "Payback". [[spoiler:Hint: It's the Hind mission. You shoot down three other Russian choppers, blow up a shitton of NVA structures, supply routes, and pipelines, and eventually defeat Kravchenko.]]
* RousingSpeech: Reznov gives one in Vorkuta:
---> "Brave comrades of Vorkuta, the time has come to rise against our oppressors! Today, we show them the hearts of true Russians! We have all given our blood for the Motherland. We have answered her calls without question. We gave our youth, our hearts, our very souls for her protection..As brothers, we fought side by side against the German fascists. We crawled through dirt and blood and sand to achieve our glorious victory..Not for medals, or glory...but for what was right. We fought for revenge...When Berlin fell, how did our leaders repay us? We returned not to the rapturous welcome...but to suspicion and persecution. In the eyes of our leaders we were already tainted by the capitalist West. Torn from the arms of our loved ones, we found ourselves here... this place... this, this terrible place. Here we have languished, with no hope for release... No hope for justice. We have toiled in Dragovich's mines until the flesh peeled from our bones... We have watched our comrades succumb to sickness and disease... We have been starved. We have been beaten. But we will not be broken! Today, we will send a message to our corrupt and arrogant leaders. Today, my comrades... Vorkuta - BURNS!!!"
* {{Roofhopping}}: In Kowloon. Hudson is not pleased to discover this has become part of the plan.
* RussianGuySuffersMost: [[spoiler: After the brutal Soviet campaign in ''World at War'', things actually manage to get '''worse''' for Petrenko and Reznov.]]
--> '''Reznov''': Victory cannot be achieved without sacrifice, [[spoiler: Mason]]... We Russians know this better than anyone.
** [[spoiler:You spend a lot of the levels kicking the shit out of Soviet personnel, including blowing up a Soyuz launch.]]
* SchmuckBait: One of the last levels has an enclosure in the middle of a lab that might make for a keen place to hide [[GottaCatchEmAll intel]]. [[spoiler:If you go inside and don't immediately leave, you'll discover that you've entered a DeathTrap and will be gassed to death.]]
* SequelHook: Gathering all the intel in the final mission reveals a document detailing [[spoiler: that Mason, Hudson and Weaver are considered to have gone rogue and that [=CIA=] analyst Ryan Jackson is gathering a team including a hugely talented young [=SAS=] trooper named Jonathan ????? [[note]]It's five letters long and his first name's Jonathan. [[ModernWarfare Who do you THINK they're implying it is?]][[/note]] to travel to South Africa in order to hunt them down.]]
** Which is either a ShoutOut, CallBack, or TakeThat [[spoiler: at ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'', which ends with Price, Soap, and Nikolai going rogue.]]
** There's also a computer accessible at the main menu telling you that [[spoiler: as of 1978, Frank Woods is still alive and the sole remaining American prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton, North Vietnam's largest prison camp. ''Black Ops 2'' contradicts this by showing that he was transferred to Da Nang in 1972, from which he escaped and made it back to the United States, and managed to live to a ripe old age.]]
** In addition, [[spoiler:there's some sort of shadowy organization watching the CIA and are the ''real'' ones responsible for murdering JFK.]]
* SemperFi: Woods and Mason were Marines, before being assigned to Operation-40.
* ShownTheirWork: Yes, there '''is''' a Gulag named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorkuta_Gulag Vorkuta]], and yes, it '''was''' notorious for holding American inmates. And yes, it was most famous for a prisoner uprising.
** And there is a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirth_Island Rebirth Island]] which was used to test [=WMD=]s. However, it's not really an island anymore, due to the rapid drying of the Aral Sea.
** Contrasting AnachronismStew above, some of the guns fit right in. The Stoner 63 (seen in this game in machine gun variant) was only in active service from 1961-63, and some five-hundred Colt 629 Commandos were ordered by the real-life MAC V SOG in April of '67, under the designation of [=XM177E2=] (Although the real [=XM177=] has a longer flash-hider than the in-game model).
** And Mount Yamantau (often spelled Yamantaw) is a real location as well. Several theories surround it. And, indeed, one of the main theories is that it is a "doomsday bunker", a title ascribed to it during the game. Another theory is that it is the Russian counterpart of NORAD's old Cheyenne Mountain facility, or maybe even the Russian Area 51.
** The "intel" files are pretty well done too. Almost every non-fictional name and piece of background information in those has at least some sort of grounding in either reality or at least a realistic theory.
* ShoutOut: "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival plays on the radio in the background at the beginning of the first Vietnam level, as it does in ''Film/ForrestGump'', ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', and ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Vietnam'', making the scene feel like it was ripped right out of a war movie.
** Many of the intel documents are written by a CIA analyst named Ryan Jackson. Creator/TomClancy wrote several novels featuring a CIA analyst named Literature/JackRyan.
** NOVA 6's effects are a lot like ''Film/TheRock'''s version of VX, [[spoiler:and the sequence in which Hummel is forced to leave one of his men behind when a VX capsule breaks, and see the man's skin boil off as he helplessly watches is similar to Reznov watching Dmitri dying.]]
** The Vorkuta escape ends with the player driving a motorcycle while shooting a Winchester 1887 one-handed and flip-cocking it, similar to the Terminator's own car chase and rescue of John Connor in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''.
*** You also use a mobile Gatling Gun in that level.
** In the Kowloon level, Hudson begins with GunsAkimbo and the player receives an achievement for using [[Creator/JohnWoo only dual weapons all the way through.]]
** In Reznov's flashback, Dragovich says [[Film/InglouriousBasterds "We are here for one German and one German only"]].
** One of the unlockable multiplayer face paint is blue and black, recalling ''Film/{{Braveheart}}''.
*** Another is SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker's facepaint.
*** And ''Franchise/TheCrow'''s.
** The final section before [[spoiler:killing Dragovich]] has you fighting alongside [[Series/TopGear Pvt. Clarkson and Pvt. Hammond.]] The two also can show up in "The Defector".
** The multiplayer map "Nuketown" features a Double Rainbow.
** The opening scene in "Payback", where Bowman and Mason and eventually Woods are forced to play a game of RussianRoulette by Viet Cong, which is nearly a shot by shot recreation of the Russian Roulette scene in Film/TheDeerHunter, right down to the bandanas and the Viet Cong slapping the characters in the face.
** There is a quite blatant shout-out to ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' in one of the intel files for the mission Crash Site. CIA Analyst Ryan Jackson is talking about the versatility of the PBR boat, and illustrates it by speaking of the elimination of a rogue Special Forces Colonel by a CIA agent who infiltrated his base using one such boat. The name of the agent sent to kill the Colonel and the name of the actual Colonel are censored, but it is pretty clear that Captain Willard and Colonel Kurtz are being referenced here.
** The third mission is one long cut scene where President Kennedy briefs you at the Pentagon. Walking into the nerve center, with the multiple split screens, is reminiscent of ''Series/TwentyFour''.
** In the mission "Payback", [[spoiler:Woods and Mason escape from a Vietnamese prison camp, steal a Russian helicopter, and embark on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge. This mirrors the final act of the second ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' film.]]
* SilentProtagonist: Averted. Every character you play as speaks when you're in control, a first for a Call of Duty game.
* SmugSmiler: [[SarcasmMode You'd never guess that Dragovitch and Kravchenko weren't nice people.]]
* SnubByOmission: BookEnds for the mission ''SOG'', each time Agent Hudson introduces himself to one of Mason's team mates, they pointedly ignore him as if he weren't there. Presumably because, not having worked with him yet, they are assuming he's a desk-jockey simply trying to be TheAce.
** This probably has more to do with the common soldier having a distrust for the CIA. There is a stigma among soldiers that CIA agents are smug assholes who can't truly understand the plight of the common soldier, they bark out orders and then go back to their cushy little desk safe from the danger of the battlefield. It also has to do with the not-unfair assumption that any time the CIA appears, shit is about to go down, and that more serious threats are over the horizon. Though it does seems strange that Woods acts like this at the end of mission when Hudson had fought alongside him and Mason, showing that he wasn't just a pencil pusher. For his part, Hudson seems to understand this isn't personal, as he continues his briefing anyway as if nothing had happened.
* SociopathicHero: At least a few of the members of Mason's team seem to fit this, particularly in ''Victor Charlie''.
* SoftGlass: Subverted in one mission where your character shoots a window multiple times and it still doesn't give way before you crash through it.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Unintentionally done during "Op 40" due to a translation error. A Cuban soldier calls a woman in a bar a "capitalist whore" and tells her to leave, but uses the Spanish "formal" command to tell her to do so.[[note]]He says "Salga de aquí, puta capitalista." It would probably be better to use the "informal" ''sal''.[[/note]]
* SpannerInTheWorks: Dragovich had planned to use Mason as a sleeper agent for his plans to attack the US. Unfortunately for him Reznov also implants ideas of his own into Mason to kill the three main antagonists, and Mason ultimately succeeds in that.
* SpySpeak: Reznov's escape plan. The steps are given code names both for secrecy and because they are awesome to yell.
** Step 1 - Secure the Keys! [[spoiler: Stage a fight and steal the key chain off the guard sent to break it up.]]
** Step 2 - Ascend From Darkness! [[spoiler: Fight your way out of the coal mine.]]
** Step 3 - Rain Fire! [[spoiler: Use a slingshot to fling homemade bombs onto the guard towers.]]
** Step 4 - Unleash the Horde! [[spoiler: Arm the prisoners with stolen guns.]]
** Step 5 - Skewer the Winged Beast! [[spoiler: Use a harpoon gun to bring down the camp's helicopter.]]
** Step 6 - Wield a Fist of Iron! [[spoiler: Steal a minigun.]]
** Step 7 - Raise Hell! [[spoiler: Use said minigun to kick ass.]]
** Step 8 - [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Freedom!]]
* StealthPun: Woods shoulders a rocket launcher and exclaims: "Let's rock it!"
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: "You look like hammered shit." Considering these quotes BookEnd the hardest mission in this game, it can count as BreakingTheFourthWall too.
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: The level Victor Charlie shows a comrade ahead of you in a tunnel getting ambushed, with all you can do for him being killing his killer.
* SynchronousEpisodes: The "Rebirth" mission first has you play as Mason, infiltrating a Soviet base with Reznov to kill Steiner for his war crimes along with the latter's best friend Dimitri Petrenko. As the last scene plays out, some men in hazmat suits break into the room, too late to save Steiner. Then you play as Hudson, who was also on the island, and live through the events as he saw them while you were attacking the base as Mason.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler: Kravchenko attempts to do this to Mason, but Woods subverts it at the last minute ... [[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2 or so it seemed.]] ]]
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: Something very bad was about to happen in 1968...
* TheStinger: [[spoiler:[[GainaxEnding ...wait, did Mason really kill Kennedy after all?!]]]]
* TheStoic: Mason constantly refers to Hudson as "a fucking ice cube." [[spoiler: This starts to [[NotSoStoic fade]] after the mission at Rebirth Island.]]
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: In the finale, [[spoiler: Weaver has managed to call in a massive U.S. Navy fleet consisting of no fewer than ''four'' battleships, dozens of helicopters, and fighter jet support... to destroy a single Russian cargo freighter. Then again, there was also an underwater submarine pen/broadcast station to destroy as well...]]
** Also, the finale takes place in [[spoiler: the Gulf of Mexico, which is next door to the United States. It wouldn't be hard to muster a sizable fleet under the circumstances.]]
* ThanatosGambit [[spoiler: Reznov.]]
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: "Payback, ya sons of bitches!"
* ThoseWackyNazis: Nova 6 was created by the Nazis as a last-ditch [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wunderwaffe "Wunderwaffen"]] to throw at the Allies.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: [[spoiler: [[TheReveal Mason.]]]]
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: Downplayed. In Project Nova you control Reznov in a flashback of 1946 and the fighting is done with the appropriate weapons, going from RPG's and AK-47's to MP40's and Panzershreck's (making it a big CallBack to ''World At War'' with less GrenadeSpam).
* UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler:Mason.]] Makes all those anachronisms a little easier to swallow, at least.
* VillainousRescue: In the "Project Nova" level, when Dragovich and Kravchenko throw Reznov in a chamber to subject him to the Nova 6 compound, he's saved by the arrival of British commandos who also wanted to get their hands on the biochemical weapon.
* WhoShotJFK: [[spoiler:It is implied in the ending that Mason was meant to assassinate JFK if Oswald (who was also hired by the Russians) was killed.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mason''': You tried to make me kill my own president!]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Dragovich''', smirking at the player: ''[[SmugSnake Tried?]]'']]
** [[spoiler: How "Sympathy for the Devil"- featured in the game- has the lyrics: "Who killed the Kennedys? When after all, it was you and me!"]]
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler: The missions "Rebirth" and "Revelations."]]
** [[spoiler: WhamLine: "Viktor Reznov has been [[DeadAllAlong dead for five years.]] For all this time, you though he was with you, but that was just in your mind!"]]
*** [[spoiler: It's possible that he may not have died. That doesn't, however, change the fact that he was a figment of Mason's imagination for the majority of the game.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened to Nevski, the [[spoiler:only surviving]] teammate of [[spoiler:Reznov]] in "Project Nova"?
** [[spoiler: Considering that Reznov was caught soon afterwards and imprisoned in Vorkuta, it's fair to assume that Nevski suffered a similar fate.]]
** The numbers broadcast was stopped, but there are still hidden communist cells in the United States with stockpiles of Nova 6.
* [[spoiler: WhereItAllBegan: The numbers station is on the ship Rusalka in Cuba.]]
* YouHaveGOTToBeKiddingMe: Hudson's reaction when told to leap from a rooftop onto a balcony three stories below in Kowloon.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Dragovich does this to [[spoiler: Clarke]] and later to [[spoiler: Steiner]]. He also attempts to do it to Reznov, but British commandos end up inadvertently saving him before he can be subjected to the Nova 6 compound.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: [[spoiler: Dmitri Petrenko. Perhaps the war got to him...]]
** Daniel Clarke, as well. Granted, he has spent the last four years assuming that his employer would kill him as soon as he finished his work.
* ZergRush: The NVA's common tactic. Especially in missions like 'SOG', where you'll see NVA soldiers endlessly gushing out from a hill in the horizon like an army of pissed off red ants. This is actually TruthInTelevision to an extent, though it's revealed that the presence of Russian tanks is what's bolstering them to suddenly break out of the the stalemate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Multiplayer Tropes]]
* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: The NVA weren't ''that'' well armed or trained in real life (as regular troops can curbstomp [[EliteMooks SOG]] in multiplayer and can come equipped with [=G11s=] and PSG-1s), but then again, no one likes multiplayer turning into a "hide and seek and pray to God the Americans don't bomb us/pray to God my M16 doesn't jam and I don't step on landmines" war. One also doubts that Cuban forces had access to advanced weaponry, or that a massive shootout in Kowloon, the Berlin Wall, and New York between Russians and Americans would go unnoticed.
* AscendedMeme: The multiplayer map Nuketown features a Double Rainbow.
** The caption for a Headshot medal is "BoomHeadshot", one to WebVideo/PurePwnage.
** The multiplayer map "Hangar 18" includes an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTtzoIusyh4&feature=related apple]] floating in an anti-gravity device.
* BattleInTheRain: The [[DownloadableContent First Strike DLC]] gives us "Kowloon", a [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal rain-soaked romp across the rooftops]] of urban Hong Kong, echoing a similar level from the campaign. It features ziplines, which, while a quick way to traverse the map will likely expose you to enemy fire.
* BigApplesauce: The multiplayer map "Stadium", set where the infamous Soviet vs. America "miracle" hockey match took place.
* BilingualBonus: The non-American factions speaks in their native tongue (see EnemyChatter), but the announcements are still in English.
* BlingBlingBang: If you get enough prestige levels in multiplayer, you can buy Gold camouflage for any primary weapon. Serves no purpose other than BraggingRightsReward and looking incredibly cool.
* BoomHeadshot: Name-dropped if you accomplish one.
* CaptainObvious: If a bunch of killstreaks are launched at once (usually near the end of a round), the announcer can fall a little bit behind the action.
--> *Jet flies over, bombs explode, player burns to death horribly.*
--> (Two seconds later) '''Announcer''': Enemy napalm strike incoming.
* CharacterCustomization: The multiplayer allows a great deal of character customization. You can change the way your character looks with the first perk, you can apply face-paint, you can emblazon your clan tag and emblem on your gun, and you can even change the color and shape of the crosshairs on your precision sights, to name a few.
* ChirpingCrickets: On some maps, if there is a lull in the action, you will hear these.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Combat Training mode features bots. Bots who have an ungodly reaction time when you're coming around a corner, and who can headshot a moving target from across a map with just the ironsights on an LMG, even on lower difficulty settings. However, [[ArtificialStupidity they have a bit of an issue with actually noticing you]], and sometimes don't even notice when you're shooting them. They're also different from actual players, in that they tend to move like actual soldiers instead of rushing up and down the map. Bots have instant acquisition (the ''millisecond'' any part of you becomes visible to them, they're aiming at it), perfect tracking (they can keep their cross-hairs/iron-sights on you no matter how oddly you move), can see through walls (though they won't fire until you're actually in line of sight; they will iron-sight early, however), aim perfectly (they can and will throw frags and semtex over walls and buildings and hit you square in the face with them, assuming they don't just instantly nail a headshot with an unmodified gun from the other side of the map), can turn faster than you can (on consoles, at least, they can do a 180 faster than you can if your sensitivity was turned up to 10), can knife faster than you can (players have a split second between the animation starting and their target dying; bots that have noticed you will counter-knife you the instant you try if they're looking anywhere near your general direction when you get in range), and last but ''definitely'' not least, they '''have no recoil''' (meaning they can snipe you with a full mag/belt of LMG ammo). The only thing that makes these monsters beatable is the fact that they usually wait a good second or so before firing on you after they've acquired their target, [[DoNotRunWithAGun rarely move and shoot at the same time]], and often try to throw grenades at you rather than just shoot you.
* DeadlyGas: You can equip and throw Nova 6 Gas grenades. They deal middling damage, [[InterfaceScrew slow the movement of]] ''[[UpToEleven and]]'' [[InterfaceScrew blur the vision]] of enemies caught in the cloud. However, only one can be carried at a time, and it's easy enough to move out of the cloud's radius and the Tactical Mask perk completely negates its effects, though it can still be hard to see through the cloud itself.
* DoubleUnlock: In multiplayer, you have to reach a certain level requirement to unlock a gun, or meet certain conditions to unlock a perk's Pro version. In both cases, you still need to spend COD Points on the gun or perk to actually obtain it. There's also the final weapon in most categories, which isn't even revealed until you purchase every other weapon of that type.
* TheElevatorFromIpanema: The elevators on "Hotel" play a SuspiciouslySimilarSong version.
* EnemyChatter: Strangely, also applies to player characters in multiplayer, which can be annoying since it gives your position away and if you're by yourself. On the other hand, also a good way to locate your enemies. Disabled in Hardcore mode.
* EnemyDetectingRadar: The Spy Plane and SR-71 Blackbird (the former can be shot down and only shows where they are the moment the radar line sweeps over the map; the latter can't and shows location and direction of enemies at all times)
* HollywoodSilencer: Averted, the silencer only reduces muzzle flash, preventing you from showing up on the enemy radar, and make it harder for the enemy to tell where the shots are coming from. Otherwise, suppressed weapons are still quite loud and can be heard by other players.
** The sound suppressed weapons make is ''criminally'' pathetic though; it's a kind of ''pi-pi-pi'' instead of the dull bangs and thumps of other recent VideoGame/CallOfDuty games.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Flamethrower attachments, RC Car bombs, Tomahawks, Exploding Bolt Crossbows, etc.
* JustPlaneWrong: The U2 spyplanes and counter-spy planes apparently fly low enough to be hit by small-arms fire, which is incorrect as that plane was specifically designed to fly so high as to be above existing anti-air technology.
** Multiple Mi-24 Hinds show up starting from the first Vietnam level, despite all of them taking place at best a year and a half before its first flight.
* KillStreak: Many killstreaks from ''Modern Warfare 2'' return. The [[DeathFromAbove artillery strike]] and [[AngryGuardDog attack dogs]] from ''World at War'' return as well, the former in the form of a [[DeathFromAbove mortar strike, which can be targeted at three separate locations.]] Most notably, the much-hated [[NukeEm Tactical Nuke]] is gone, replaced by [[OhCrap a player-controlled]] [[GunshipRescue Hind-A gunship.]]
* LuckManipulationMechanic: Hardline Pro allows you to "re-roll" the results of a care package drop if the player doesn't like what it gives.
* MoreDakka: Gone is the damage-boosting Stopping Power perk, but there are other ways to boost your dakka. Almost any gun can be equipped with extended magazines. Typically you get 10 to 15 more rounds per mag, but it gets crazier with the machine guns. The mag-fed, 30-round [=HK21=] and Stoner 63, and the 40-round RPK get boosted to 60 and 80 round drums, while the already sizable 100-round belt for the M60 gets ''doubled'' with its unique "[[MeaningfulName Big Ammo]]" attachment.
* OneHitKill:
** Dogs, Tomahawks, and Knives (ballistic or otherwise).
** The bolt-action sniper rifles, if you hit your target in the chest or head.
* PrestigeClass: An option once you hit the max level, though also give you some bonuses, but you will be reset to level 1 and have to redo the pro perks challenges again.
* RPGElements: As always, you can level up for more perks and weapons.
* SentryGun: Multiplayer features [[GatlingGood gatling sentries]] that target enemy players and Surface-To-Air missile ones that target enemy spy planes and helicopters. The DLC map "Berlin Wall" has neutral ones that will fire on anyone who enters the "red" zones indicated on the minimap.
* UpToEleven: The game's sales. It even surpassed ''ModernWarfare 2''.
* VisualPun: The Counter-Spy Planes orbit the battlefield counter-clockwise.
* YouHaveResearchedBreathing: A literal example with the perk "Scout". It lets you hold your breath longer while sniping.
[[/folder]]
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