'''[-This page is for the Portal series as a whole. If you're looking for the first video game in the series with the same name, [[VideoGame/{{Portal1}} please click here.]]-]'''


''Portal'' is a {{First Person|Shooters}} PuzzlePlatformer video game series created by Creator/{{Valve|Software}} that takes place in the [[SharedUniverse same universe]] as the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series. As the name implies, the core gameplay element of the ''Portal'' games deals with using a "portal gun" to create doorway-type portals in order to solve physics based puzzles. The game features the protagonist [[HeroicMime Chell]], a human who woke up as an unwilling test subject in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, a research facility which has become completely abandoned, save for the personality of the [[AIIsACrapshoot insane]] [[MasterComputer central A.I.]] [=GLaDOS=].

'''Officially published games in the series:'''
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal|1}}'' (2007): The relatively short game that started it all, chronicling Chell's journey as [=GLaDOS=] guides her through a series of test chambers in the Enrichment Center.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' (2011): The sequel that takes place after an unspecified amount of time after the original and is 2-3 times longer in terms of gameplay time. ''Portal 2'' introduces a few major characters and explores in greater depth the history and workings of Aperture Science, as well as the origins and character of [=GLaDOS=] herself.
* ''The Lab'' (2016): A TechDemoGame for virtual reality, taking place in an Aperture Science pocket universe.

'''Other media includes:'''
* ''[[http://www.thinkwithportals.com/comic/ Lab Rat,]]'' a short comic taking place before the original game centering on the schizophrenic Aperture scientist Doug Rattman (the guy who wrote all those messages saying TheCakeIsALie) around the time that [=GLaDOS=] was activated.
* ''[[VideoGame/LegoDimensions LEGO Dimensions]]'' (2015): A CrisisCrossover where Franchise/{{Batman}}, [[WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie Wyldstyle]] & [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Gandalf]] explore various dimensions to find a way to defeat [[OmnicidalManiac Lord Vortech]]. One location they visit is Aperture Science, and [=GLaDOS=] plays a supporting role as an antagonist throughout the level and later in the game, [[spoiler: and even gets into an argument with [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL 9000]] at one point]]. There is also a level pack that is more-or-less a continuation of the Portal series story featuring Chell (as the playable character), [=GLaDOS=] and Wheatley. [[spoiler: The ending song for the game, like the previous ''Portal'' games, was written by Johnathan Coulton and sung by Ellen [=McLain=].]]
* ''VideoGame/PortalPinball'' (2015): A PinballSpinoff available for ''VideoGames/ZenPinball'' (''Pinball FX'' for Microsoft platforms). It takes most of its cues from ''Portal 2'', though there are some nods to the first game as well.

The official website of the Portal series can be found at [[http://www.thinkwithportals.com/ ThinkWithPortals.com]]

See also VideoGame/PortalCustomMaps, for fan mods of the series.

Do not confuse this with the similarly-named but wildly different-in-tone VideoGame/{{Postal}} game series.

'''This page applies for the series as a whole. Please add any examples from an individual game to their dedicated pages.'''

!!The Portal series contains examples of:

* ActionGirl: Chell, the PlayerCharacter.
* AbandonedLaboratory: Ain't no one in the Aperture Science labs except you and [=GLaDOS=] [[spoiler: and Doug Rattmann]].
* AdorableEvilMinions: The gun turrets.
* AffablyEvil: The modus operandi of Aperture Science in a nutshell, and of course that of [=GLaDOS=]. They are absolutely willing to risk your life, yet they're ''so'' sincere about it...
* AIIsACrapshoot: A pleasant, amusing, physics game is turned into a brilliant story demonstrating the power of the medium merely by the judicious application of an Insane Killer Disk-Operating System. [[TheCakeIsALie And cake.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: The Aperture Science website revealed much of the backstory, this was removed in December 2010. Then [=GameInformer's=] Portal 2 hub listed [[http://gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2010/03/24/Aperture-Science_3A00_-A-History.aspx an updated version of the history as stated in the Aperture website.]] The [[http://combineoverwiki.net Combine OverWiki]] can also help. The names of [=GLaDOS=] and Chell are never stated in-game, except in the optional developer commentary. However, Chell is listed in the credits, and [=GLaDOS=] has her name on her side.
* AlternateRealityGame: On March 1, 2010, the game received a surprise patch, featuring a new achievement and a load of seemingly innocuous sound files full of static. Until someone savvy enough to know old-school technology (SSTV) found images hidden within them and [[http://valvearg.com/puzzlewiki/SSTV_Pictures oh bloody hell]].
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Chell.
* {{Antepiece}}: The early test chambers are designed to ease beginners into the game, and gradually introduce them to the different elements and aspects of the game, like the concept of portals itself, the cubes and buttons (and how these two aren't necessarily always linked together), entering portals of both colors as opposed to mistaking blue portals for entrances and orange portals for exits... A few test chambers were redesigned in development for that same reason; they introduced too many gameplay elements at once, and confused playtesters.
* AsciiArt: Used in the credits to ''Portal'' as well as in the ''Portal 2'' [[AlternateRealityGame ARG]].
* {{Autosave}}: The games autosave in certain places or intervals. If you want to to back before an autosave, you can always load the previous save file.
* AutoTune: Ellen [=McLain=]'s voice is processed through a harmonizer to make [=GLaDOS=]'s voice sound computer-generated.
* BadassNormal:
** Chell, of course.
** Doug Rattman, a schizophrenic DeadpanSnarker scientist [[spoiler: who was indirectly responsible for almost all the events of both games, and escaped [=GLaDOS=] to do so.]]
* BadLiar: [=GLaDOS=]
* BagOfSpilling: The Emancipation Grill (also called "the fizzler") is a forcefield which is harmless to Chell and her Portal Gun, but prevents her from taking foreign objects like cubes through it, and there's one at the end of each level, which prevents you from cheating or breaking the game. Additionally, you can't shoot portals through one, and passing through erases all current portals. Many puzzles force you to circumvent Emancipation Grills creatively.
* BlackComedy: Aperture Science's approach to anything is steeped in this. So is [=GLaDOS=]'s sense of humor.
* BloodlessCarnage: Like in ''Half-Life'', there is a cheat (one that doesn't invoke NoFairCheating) that disables blood. Specifically, the cheat is violence_hblood 0.
* TheCakeIsALie: The TropeNamer. [[spoiler: Let's just say that the cake [=GLaDOS=] promises turns out to be a bit different than expected.]]
* CanonImmigrant: [=GLaDOS=] will star in the ''VideoGame/DefenseGridTheAwakening'' DLC ''Defense Grid: YouMonster''.
* UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}: [[http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File:Borealis_plans_01.png Apparently]], Portal takes place in Cleveland. Specifically, it takes place in the ''massive'', miles-deep remains of the [[http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/07/eveningnews/main7327498.shtml real-life salt mines]] near Cleveland that were, in-story, purchased by Cave Johnson back in the 40s and expanded into a gigantic labyrinth of testing and production facilities. The sequel, however, apparently {{retcon}}s this by placing the mine in Michigan.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson, according to the company's {{backstory}}. His many questionable acts include founding a shower curtain manufacturing company named Aperture Science, believing time was flowing backwards as he laid on his death bed, and deciding that developing a [[UnwantedAssistance Heimlich Counter-Maneuver]] and creating a [[EvilIsPetty Take-A-Wish Foundation]] were two important plans for Aperture Science's future ([[TimeyWimeyBall or past, as he saw it]]). Even the portal project was originally developed because, [[http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2010/03/24/aperture-science_3a00_-a-history.aspx in Johnson's own words]]:
--> '''Cave Johnson:'''...well, itíd be like, I don't know, something that would help with the shower curtains I guess. I havenít worked this idea out as much as the wish-taking one.
* CollisionDamage: Averted, with a HandWave thanks to Chell's heel springs. Played straight with the toxic floors and energy orbs. [=GLaDOS=] even lampshades it:
--> '''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: While safety is one of many Enrichment Center goals, the Aperture Science High-Energy Pellet, seen to the left of the chamber, can and has caused permanent disabilities, such as vaporization. Please be careful. ]]

* CoolGate: Portals.
* CoresAndTurretsBoss: [=GLaDOS=]
* CreepyMonotone: [=GLaDOS=] again, or at least very passive-aggressive.
* CreativeClosingCredits[=/=]CreditsGag: The ending song plays over a text screen that displays the lyrics in the form of a computerized personnel file report, accompanied by some rather hilarious ASCII art.
* CriticalStaffingShortage: The Aperture Science Enrichment Center. Never mind staff, the only actual living ''person'' in the entire game is Chell. There used to be a lot more people working there, but [[spoiler:[=GlaDOS=] killed them all]].
* {{Crossover}}: With ''VideoGame/DefenseGridTheAwakening'', complete with levels that look like the Enrichment Center.
* CuteMachines: The turrets, as well as [=GLaDOS=]' curiosity core.
* CyberCyclops: If Aperture made it, it has only one eye. Even with no depth perception, the turrets are annoyingly good at aiming for you if given the chance and a few seconds of your now-ended life.
* DeadlyEnvironmentPrison: There are multiple indications throughout the series that the world outside the Aperture Science complex poses more danger to Chell than the tests endlessly invented by the murderous AI [=GLaDOS=] inside.
* DeadlyGas: Neurotoxin to be specific. [=GLaDOS=] has tons of the stuff, which she used to kill most of the people in the Center prior to the start of the first game. She attempts to use it again in the second.
* DistinctiveAppearances: The white tile surfaces you can attach portals to are significantly different in color and texture than surfaces you can't use the portals on. This is so you can view things from a distance and know what your options are.
* DVDCommentary: Both games have a "Developer Commentary" option. Here, there are speech bubbles scattered around the maps, and pressing the use key on them gives a fun fact about development.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Enrichment Center. The sequel shows how astoundingly elaborate it really is, and even then we don't directly see all of it. Aperture is ''huge''.
* EssentialMadness: Schizophrenic Doug Rattman was completely right in suspecting the operating system was [[AIIsACrapshoot out to kill everyone]] and so was the only survivor of the lab incident.
* EternalEngine: The facilities behind-the-scenes. Taken to further extremes in the sequel.
* {{Everything Is an iPod in the Future}}: Or more accurately, about the time the iPod came out. The similarity between Aperture's aesthetic and Apple's has been noted and was even exploited for one of Valve's teaser pictures when they were about to release Steam for the Mac.
* EvolvingTitleScreen: After completing the game, the player is returned to a title screen that shows the famous cake sitting in a dark room, instead of the detention chamber where they start the game.
* FauxAffablyEvil: [[spoiler:When Wheatley is in control of Aperture, he attempts to mimic [=GLaDOS=]' mannerisms, but fails miserably]].
* ForScience: Aperture Science doesn't seem to be too good at considering the future implications of the gadgets they make. As the theme tune says, "We do what we must / Because we ''can''."
* GaidenGame: To the ''Half-Life'' series. Of course, given that it involves completely original characters and the sequel has been confirmed to have nothing to do with ''Episode Three'' or ''Half-Life 3'' after all, you could also consider it a BackdoorPilot.
* GeniusLoci: The Enrichment Center is alive, and reshapes itself according to the whims of the AI in charge. This becomes much more apparent in the sequel.
* GenreBlindness: Aperture, you guys gave the sentient supercomputer the ability to release neurotoxin through the air vents, [[TooDumbToLive in your own facility]]. How did you think that would turn out?
* GenreBusting
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Only a ''few'' things in the game with glowing eyes won't try to kill you.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: The ''only'' thing Aperture Science has made that hasn't (yet) had terrible repercussions or just been a flat-out terrible idea? The Portal Gun, and that's only until the singularity inside it destabilizes.
* GraffitiOfTheResistance: The graffiti is of this nature.
* GrowBeyondTheirProgramming: [=GLaDOS=].
* HeroicMime: {{Lampshaded}} by [=GLaDOS=], naturally. Chell's lack of response to her monologues leads her to say "[[/folder]]

[[folder: Are you even listening to me? ]]
" WordOfGod is that Chell won't offer her the satisfaction of speaking; she's just that stubborn.
* HighVoltageDeath: Used to justify Chell's Super Drowning Skills; falling into water causes the portal gun to short out and (presumably) give her a fatal dose of electricity
* IncompetenceInc: Aperture was not a well-run research centre. They were great at inventing innovative things and making profound scientific breakthroughs, but also seemed almost wilfully ignorant of the uses to which said discoveries could be put and tried to shoehorn them into products for which they were completely unsuitable. See InventionalWisdom below.
* IndustrializedEvil: The whole maze is one giant example, with however many test subjects came before.
* InfantImmortality: Judging by the fact that [=GLaDOS=]' initial rampage took place during "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day", it's safe to assume this trope was averted. ([[spoiler:Or at the very least downplayed, considering that Chell was likely among the event's participants.]])
* InsistentTerminology: "Deadly neurotoxin" throughout both games.
* InventionalWisdom: The actual functions of Aperture Science's inventions are almost entirely tangential, if not antithetical, to their ostensible purpose. [=GLaDOS=] and the portal gun started as a fuel system de-icer and a shower curtain, respectively... at least until the retcon established in the sequel.
* KillAllHumans: Apparently, [=GLaDOS=] spearheaded a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7bkewdgjKA&feature=player_embedded Human Annihilation Studies]] program.
* LawOfInverseRecoil: The android turrets are easily knocked over and picked up as if they are quite light, however their guns don't seem to have much recoil - they don't tip back when they fire.
* LevelGoal: In each of the test chambers, the elevator to the next test chamber.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to VideoGame/HalfLife.
* MadScience: One kind of gets the sensation Aperture was run a little like this even before [=GLaDOS=] took over; the test rooms don't really seem to be built with "safety" or "sanity" in mind. The sequel plays this for all it's worth.
---> ''[[/folder]]

[[folder: CAUTION: This Sign is Radioactive. ]]
* MascotVillain: [=GLaDOS=], though her #1 mascot status is edged out by the CompanionCube. The evil comes in the fact that she forces Chell to run around an deadly obstacle course [[IWasToldThereWouldBeCake with the promise of cake]], and that when she gets to the end, tries to kill Chell.
* MeaningfulName: Aperture means opening, hole, or gap. Additionally, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture in optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels]]. This may also be why everything they invent that can have eyes only has one eye, and may also be the basis behind their logo.
* MinimalistCast: A HeroicMime and a [[TheVoice disembodied voice]]. That's it, besides an absent nutcase who wrote messages on the walls, an [[CompanionCube inanimate box]] and some [[AdorableEvilMinions automatic turrets with cute voices]]. The web comic "Lab Rat" establishes that Rattman, the "nutcase", was actually still there. He [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding apparently died at the end of the comic when he saved Chell from the Party Escort Bot]],]] but a particularly creepy easter egg in the second game implies that he's still alive: the sixth and final Rattman Den you can find is just like the others. When you leave, [[ParanoiaFuel any and all portals you made inside the den mysteriously vanish and the wall closes so you can't get back in...]]
* MisappliedPhlebotinum: The Portal Gun originated as an "improved" shower curtain. [=GLaDOS=] originated as an "improved" fuel system de-icer. Aperture developed wormhole teleportation and artificial intelligence, yet used them for nothing more than to run hapless subjects through mazes like lab rats.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** InUniverse, [=GLaDOS=] never quite lets Chell forget about the time she incinerated the Weighted CompanionCube.
** In one test chamber in ''Portal 2'', she spits out [[ReplacementGoldfish another Companion Cube]] for you to use for the puzzle, [[KickTheDog only for it to disintegrate as soon as you touch it.]] She "apologizes," and gives you another one. [[CrossesTheLineTwice Which also disintegrates.]] The third one can be used, and after the puzzle is solved she even tempts you to try saving ''this'' Cube by taking it through the (disabled) Emancipation Grill, [[ReversePsychology explicitly warning you not to try removing anything from the test area.]] [[spoiler:[[RuleOfThree She disintegrates it anyway when you reach the elevator.]]]] Then she reminds you that [[spoiler:they are sentient]], and suggests the last one [[spoiler:was about to say "I love you"]].
* NoMedicationForMe: Inverted in the ''Lab Rat'' comic. Doug Rattman has been saving the last of his anti-psychotic medicine so that he'll have a clear head when Chell destroys [=GLaDOS=] and he can escape, even if the CompanionCube tells him he doesn't need it.
* NoProductSafetyStandards: Shower curtains, the emancipation grill, and probably not the Portal Gun.
* OrangeBlueContrast: Orange and blue are common complementary colors in the game; the portals are blue and orange, Excursion Funnels are blue or orange depending on their direction, the two primary gels in ''Portal 2'' are blue and orange, [=GLaDOS=] has an orange eye while Wheatley has a blue one, and more.
* OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank: Chell can take tons of turret shots, and leaves ''large'' blood smears on walls when hit. 5 seconds, [[RegeneratingHealth and you're okay again, ready to lose another three pints.]]
* PeaceAndLoveIncorporated
* PeopleJars: Implied in the Relaxation Vaults.
* PointOfNoReturn: Within some levels, there are doors that close once the player goes through. (The divisions between each GameLevel are also points of no return, of course, as they prevent players from putting portals across levels.)
* PortalCut:
** Averted: The developers wanted players to feel safe, so if the player tries to put a portal elsewhere when the player or an object is in the middle of a portal, the player or object gets pushed out. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQYg1-t1PRU Most of the time.]]
** Inverted: ''Opening'' a portal pops off security cameras.
* PortalSlam: Gets averted, at considerable programmer effort.
* PressurePlate: The 1,500-Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super-Button.
* PuzzleGame: One of the only genres in which ''Portal'' readily fits.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The turrets.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: The portal gun could revolutionize the world: {{Perpetual Motion Machine}}s, CasualInterstellarTravel, resolve all supply and transportation problems, but there's no suggestion that it was ever used for anything other than testing.
** Aperture has a massive automated complex in the abandoned mines under Cleveland. Just the logistics of building the place boggle the mind, much less operation, and would require considerable expertise. They used it for testing.
** They have Repulsion and Propulsion Gel, which were intended as diet aids, and could be used as, say, engine lubrication or shock padding. Third verse, same as the first.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Chell wears a pair of ankle-springs in order to ensure her legs aren't shattered when she comes flying out of a portal. [[WordOfGod The commentary bubbles]] indicate early on that the reason was that playtesters complained that Chell could survive falls that would kill [[VideoGame/HalfLife Gordon Freeman]]. Despite the fact that the springs are patently insufficient to realistically protect her, they stopped the complaints, so mission accomplished (then again this is game in which dimensional rifts are created by harnessing the power of a singularity and [[ItMakesSenseInContext the moon]] so spring loaded heel devices make sense).
* ResearchInc: Aperture Science, we do what we must because we can.
* RestrainingBolt: [=GLaDOS=]' {{Morality C|hip}}ore was installed in an attempt to curb her psychopathic tendencies.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Several backstage areas show insane scrawlings and disturbing drawings, [[spoiler: done by Doug Rattmann.]]
* ScienceIsBad: Exaggerated and PlayedForLaughs. [=GLaDOS=] and Aperture Science in general regard science with a three-way combination of ComedicSociopathy, CrazyAwesome and ForTheEvulz.
* SentientAIWarningSigns: [=GLaDOS=] hits something like 80%[[note]]Well, actually, currently [[LudicrousPrecision 42.682968296829...%]][[/note]] of points on the list.
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/{{Portal}} Has its own page.]]
* SleptThroughTheApocalypse: "I have an infinite capacity for knowledge, and even ''I'm'' not sure what's going on outside."
* SoundtrackDissonance: "Still Alive", and the radio version that plays in the Relaxation Vault and in Test Chambers.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''[[https://www.digipen.edu/fileadmin/website_data/gallery/game_websites/NarbacularDrop/ Narbacular Drop]]''.
* StuckOnBandAidBrand: [=GLaDOS=] is apparently programmed to use the full name of all Aperture Science products every time she refers to one. Thus, you don't have a "Portal Gun", you have an "Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device". Even something that she doesn't know the name of ([[spoiler:supposedly]]) gets called the "Aperture Science [[BuffySpeak Thing We Don't Know What It Does]]".
** Averted on one occasion: "I hope you brought something stronger than a portal gun this time."
* SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids:
** [=GLaDOS=] was originally designed to be a "fuel-injection system de-icer". Someone went just a ''tad'' overboard.
** The turrets don't really ''need'' to have independent thought and the ability to feel pain. Or an empathy chip, or a chip to cancel out the effect of the empathy chip.
* TacticalSuicideBoss: The final bosses of both games must be defeated this way.
* TeleportGun: The Portal Gun.
* TeleportInterdiction: Portals can only be created on certain types of surfaces (e.g. white tile, yes; bare metal, no). Navigating through areas with few or no portal surfaces becomes an increasingly common puzzle element in the later stages.
* TheTetrisEffect: You ''will'' start thinking with portals.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Referred to in the credits song.
* UnbrokenFirstPersonPerspective: Used in both games.
* VisualPun: During her monologue prior to the final battle, [=GLaDOS=] displays several images on the monitors in her chamber in rapid succession. On certain words of her speech, the images freeze on something related to what she just said.
** Violent behavior; A violin being sawed in half.
** The only thing you've managed to break so far, is my heart; An actual heart.
** Surprise; various skull and crossbones.
** That has got to be the dumbest thing; [[VideoGame/HalfLife Black]] [[TakeThat Mesa]]
** Good news; [[OhCrap A screw.]]
** Deadly neurotoxin; more skulls.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Darkly subverted in the sense that [=GLaDOS=] somewhat treats Chell in this manner, as one-sided as it is.
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: The portal gun is the only weapon Chell uses throughout the entire series (although it is upgraded once) using it to do pretty much everything.