%% MODERATOR ULTIMATUM: Editors who mess around with the format of this article, insert lame-ass made-up jokes, or otherwise make wacky irrelevant changes for the sake of a cheap laugh will be banned on sight, no questions asked.
%%!!!NOTICE!!!: If you have a trope from Portal 2, please put it on the Portal 2 page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/Portal2
[[caption-width-right:218:[[TagLine Now you're thinking with Portals.]]]]


[[folder: [[Blatant Lies The Enrichment Center is committed to the well-being of all participants. ]]
[[TheCakeIsALie Cake]] [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and grief counseling]] [[IWasToldThereWouldBeCake will be available at the conclusion of the test.]] Thank you for helping us help you help us all.]]''

This article is about the video game titled ''Portal''. If you are searching for portal-related tropes, please refer to TeleportationTropes.

''Portal'' is probably best described as a "first-person puzzle game." Essentially, it is a PuzzleGame made in 3D with a FirstPersonShooter engine, which can serve as a somewhat misleading combination.

The player character is Chell, who wakes up in a seemingly uninhabited facility. [=GLaDOS=], the facility's AI robot voice, sends her through a series of puzzles as a test subject for the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, which is capable of opening portals on flat surfaces (only two at a time), creating a link between them. The tests are deadly and require quite a bit of creativity for Chell to get through, navigating the bizarre twists of geometry and gravity that are exploited for all they're worth.

There are [[MinimalistCast no other characters to interact with]], no enemies to kill (except for gun-turrets), and no items to find (other than the portal gun itself, which is given to the player right away and upgraded shortly after). The challenge comes from progressing through the test chambers, as it becomes increasingly clear that [=GLaDOS=] [[MissionControlIsOffItsMeds might not be all there]] and displays an alarmingly cavalier attitude to your safety and sanity. But hey, you're promised cake.

The game nominally takes place in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' universe, but there's nothing connecting them so far other than random hints on walls referring to Black Mesa and the fact that Aperture Science is mentioned in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' episodes. Black Mesa is also mentioned in the credits song, and [=GLaDOS=] herself makes vague references to the events of ''Half-Life'' during the final confrontation.

Released as part of The Orange Box in October 2007. It was patched in March 2010 with an updated ending through {{Steam}}, a rarity for such an old single-player game.

''Portal'' appears to have revitalized a somewhat stagnant industry; instead of being a confusing 'me-too' clone of the big sellers, the game was relatively short, used easily-understood mechanics, and featured a premise that was [[HighConcept clearly spelled out]], [[RuleOfFun easy to grasp]], continually challenging as new puzzles were introduced and didn't bog the gameplay down.

The sequel, ''Videogame/{{Portal 2}}'', was released April 2011. Chell is awakened an uncertain but very long time after the events of ''Portal'' by an AI core named Wheatley, and in an attempt to leave the facility, they accidentally awaken [=GLaDOS=]. [[Videogame/{{Portal 2}} Now, please enter your local Aperture Science Enrichment Center for further testing.]]

!! Tropes:

* 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Portal-2-ARG-SSTV-Images.png oh bloody hell]].
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Chell.
* {{Antepiece}}: the puzzle design is very varied and deals with rather sophisticated ideas. Yet it's approachable for everyone and very concise. To introduce ideas to the player, the designers often use antepieces: small, unchallenging tasks that act as a stepping stone to something more complex. For example, test chamber ten is a three section chamber: the second and third sections are about throwing yourself down a pit into a portal at the bottom and flying out of a wall. But the first section of chamber ten is barely a puzzle at all; it's just a panel and a staircase. All the player has to do to keep moving is make a portal anywhere and go into it. But it introduces a structure that is to be repeated.
* ArcWords: *warping sound* "[[/folder]]

[[folder: "C-C-Cakecakecakecakecake... ]]
" To an extent, anyway. "TheCakeIsALie" fits the bill. (Even though it's never actually spoken in-game -- the Rat Man has scrawled it [[MadnessMantra repeatedly]] on the wall of one of his dens [[spoiler: and over a tube you have to go through a while after escaping the incinerator]]). ForScience is also repeatedly thrown around.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: [[/folder]]

[[folder: "I'm going to kill you. And all the cake is gone." ]]

* AsceticAesthetic: The Enrichment Center...[[RoomFullOfCrazy most of the time]].
* 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.
* 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.
* BechdelTest- There are two named characters- Chell (Your PlayerCharacter) and GLaDOS, the BigBad with a sense of humor- and both are female. Granted, only GLaDOS speaks,but Chell's silence is out of will not irrelevance to the plot.
* BlackComedy: Aperture Science's approach to anything is steeped in this. So is [=GLaDOS=]'s sense of humor.
* BlatantLies: [=GLaDOS=] attempts to convince you that [[spoiler:attempting to murder you]] at the end of the testing procedure was just another test "[[spoiler:[[/folder]]

[[folder: where we pretended [...] to murder you ]]
]]". She then claims that there's a big party being thrown in your honour if you'll just stop right there and lie down. She's not terribly convincing when her test subjects go OffTheRails. This is {{lampshaded}} toward the end:
---> [[/folder]]

[[folder: "Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room?" ]]

* 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.
* BodyHorror: [=GLaDOS=] mentions offhand that the Emancipation Grill may, "[[/folder]]

[[folder: on semi-rare occasions, emancipate dental fillings, crowns, tooth enamel, and teeth. ]]
* BossArenaIdiocy: [=GLaDOS=]' arena has everything you need to beat her, but it's {{Hand Wave}}d as being out of her control. The room was designed so that the Aperture Science employees would have a way to deal with her if she went insane.
* BossBanter: Part of the attraction of this game is [=GLaDOS=]' hilarious banter while you're trying to destroy her.
* BrainUploading: [=GLaDOS=] claims to have a backup of Chell on file, which she later claims to delete. Of course, she is a [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment lying liar who lies]], so who knows.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick:
** Listen to the cake [[http://e-wot.com/2010/01/the-cake-recipe-portal/ recipe]]... At least the [[{{Squick}} less savoury ingredients]] are just garnishes. The cake recipe is legit too, so long as you know the baking instructions.
** Also, [[/folder]]

[[folder: "any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official record, followed by death." ]]

* BrickJoke[=/=]CallBack:
** The patch added one to the ending of ''Portal''. [[spoiler: [[/folder]]

[[folder: "Thank you for assuming the party escort submission position..." ]]
** A lesser Brick Joke comes in the form of one of the radios you can collect for the Transmission Received achievement. [[spoiler:When [=GLaDOS=] decides to kill you at the end of the last test chamber, she'll tell you that all Aperture technologies remains safely operational up to 4000 Kelvin. One of the radios is in the incinerator, still working. This is also told to be why in the second game GLaDOS and the portal gun are still operational after being thrown in the incinerator. Although, ironically, the portal gun's model does actually burn up in the incinerator if Chell falls in.]]
* BriarPatching: Near the end of ''Portal'', [=GLaDOS=] tells you not to touch a certain object and, for once, it would probably be for the best if you complied (but StupidityIsTheOnlyOption in order to beat the game). [=GLaDOS=] actually bets on the player not trusting her and doing the opposite of what she says. Despite her double use of ReversePsychology, her intention is still pretty obvious.
* BrutalBonusLevel: The Advanced Test Chambers. ''Especially'' [[ThatOneLevel Advanced Test Chamber 18]].
* BSODSong: "Still Alive" is a rather weird, villainous version of this.
* CanonImmigrant: [=GLaDOS=] will star in the ''DefenseGridTheAwakening'' DLC ''Defense Grid: YouMonster''.
* TheCastShowoff: Ellen [=McLain=] is an operatic singer, which means she sings one hell of a credits song.
* ChekhovsGun: The radio in Chell's room/cell/pod, a seemingly innocuous prop (which played an uptempo version of "Still Alive"), was given an upgrade into a myth arc/ARG prop status two years after release.
* 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 [[StopHelpingMe 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: Mostly averted, with a HandWave thanks to Chell's heel springs. Played straight with the toxic floors and energy orbs. [=GLaDOS=] even lampshades it:
--> '''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[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. ]]

* CombatStilettos: Played with. Chell wears a pair of heel springs to cushion very fast, very high falls in order to prevent her legs from being crushed. They're also very similar to prosthetic running feet of similar purpose.
* ComedicSociopathy: [=GLaDOS=]' is much of what makes the game so hilarious.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: The incineration room from Test Chamber 19 doesn't appear to burn Chell or suffocate her as it really ought to.
* CoolGate: Portals.
* CoresAndTurretsBoss: [=GLaDOS=]
* CreepyMonotone: Or at least very passive-aggressive. And then when [[spoiler:you destroy the Morality Core]] and [=GLaDOS=] switches from robotic monotone to an emotive, described by the subtitles as ''seductive'', and more obviously female voice, the contrast is actually ''creepier'' than the robotic monotone that you've been listening to all game. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGp-YceTOK8 Listen for yourself]]
* 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.
* {{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.
* [[DeadlyGas Deadly Neurotoxin]]
* {{Defictionalization}}: [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/interests/portal/ed41/?cpg=tw#tabs The Portal Gun ]]
* DeathTrap: [=GLaDOS=] tries one on you in the final test chamber, leading to your escape.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: [=GLaDOS=] is all over this.
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[folder: It was a [[spoiler:Morality Core ]]
]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: they installed after I [[spoiler:flooded the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin ]]
]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: to make me stop [[spoiler:flooding the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin. ]]

[[folder: Thank you for helping us help you help us all. ]]

* DevelopmentGag: The first BrickJoke example above was meant to be in the game from the beginning, but, they couldn't, so they added it in a patch later.
* DiabolusExMachina: Added to the ending to set up the sequel.
* 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.
* DisturbingStatistic:
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]''': [[/folder]]

[[folder: The device is now more valuable than the organs and combined incomes of everyone in ''[Subject Hometown Here]''. ]]

* DVDCommentary: The game has an alternate play mode in which speech-bubble-shaped objects appear that are triggers for audio clips of commentary. Most of the clips are the designers talking about the process of making the game.
* 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''.
* TheEndOrIsIt: Both the original last scene and the updated ending make it clear that [=GLaDOS=] is not really dead, and that Chell's ordeal in the Enrichment Center is far from over.
* EnergyBall: The Aperture Science High Energy Pellet.
* EscapeFromTheCrazyPlace
* {{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.
* EternalEngine: The facilities behind-the-scenes. Taken to further extremes in the sequel.
* EvilSoundsDeep: After the [[spoiler:Morality Core is destroyed]], [=GLaDOS=] voice deepens and becomes much smoother and, dare we say it, [[EvilIsSexy sexier]].
* ExactWords: [=GLaDOS=] claims that she will stop lying to Chell in 3...2...''[[SoundEffectBleep (cut to static)]]''
* ExactTimeToFailure: The Deadly Neurotoxin [[spoiler: that [=GLaDOS=] releases during the FinalBattle]] will kill you as soon as the timer runs out, no sooner or later. Chell will start to choke as the clock approaches zero.
* ExcusePlot: Chell's apparent motivation for completing the tests is, as stated by [=GLaDOS=] in the page quote, "cake and grief counseling." The trope is [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] post-reveal, though, as it raises the question of how insane Chell would have to be to face trigger-happy turrets and spheres of energy that ''disintegrate you on contact'' just for this simple reward - never mind the fact that [[spoiler: she never would have received either reward anyway]].
* ExpositoryThemeTune: Unusually, this one is an EndingTheme rather than an opening theme.
* ExpospeakGag: The "1500 Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super-Button" and "Aperture Science Thing-We-Don't-Know-What-It-Does", among others.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[/folder]]

[[folder: "You will be baked, and then there will be cake." ]]
, [[/folder]]

[[folder: "You will be ''[static]'' cake." ]]
[[note]]This iteration is what is transcribed in the subtitles.[[/note]], and [[/folder]]

[[folder: "When the testing is over, you will be... missed!" ]]
Guess what [=GLaDOS=] attempts to do later?
---> [[/folder]]

[[folder: "You're curious about what happens after you die, right? Guess what...? I know." ]]

** A pretty subtle case, but in on of the Ratman's secret rooms, you can actually find a reference to Cave Johnson, from the second game.
* FlatJoy: "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
* 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''."
%% Fridge Tropes go on the Fridge page.
* 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.
* GameBreakingBug: When you're portalling your way onto the platforms over the water that will eventually lead to the incinerator room, the game saves as you go. If you fall off one of the platforms in the middle of one of the game's auto saves, you'll end up in an endless loop of respawning and dying. The developers realized that this was a problem, so they designed the game to keep the previous save state available. However, the game won't automatically load this previous save. To take advantage of it, you have to exit to the main menu, then load it manually. There's no indication that this is even available, except for a single extra entry in the "Load Game" menu.
* GasChamber: Makes completing the final BossBattle [[TimedMission more urgent]].
* 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
* GenreSavvy: Aperture Science gets a mention for having [[HotLine a red phone]] in the chamber [=GLaDOS=] is in, just in case she goes berserk. The rescue was interrupted by [[VideoGame/HalfLife1 the whole Black Mesa thing]], so it didn't work.
* 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.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Only a ''few'' things in the game with glowing eyes won't try to kill you.
* GrowBeyondTheirProgramming: [=GLaDOS=].
* HelloInsertNameHere:
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' ''[[/folder]]

[[folder: Unbelievable! You, [Subject Name Here], must be the pride of [Subject Hometown Here]! ]]
** The portal gun costs as much as "the collective income and vital organs of everyone in [[/folder]]

[[folder: [Subject Hometown Here]. ]]
** Parodied in the audio commentary where the introduction says: "Welcome to [[/folder]]

[[folder: [Game Name Here]. ]]
* 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
* HotLine: Just inside [=GLaDOS=]' chamber, prior to entering the main arena, you see a red phone. In the commentary, the developers explain that it was a hotline for scientists to use in case of an emergency with the AI. They point out that the connection cord is cut, hinting at just how effective it was.
* HumanResources [[/folder]]

[[folder: The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked, and then there will be cake. ]]

* HumbleGoal: PlayedForLaughs. If [=GLaDOS=] is to be believed, all Chell wants is cake. It's never revealed what she really wants, but since the game leads her to (temporarily) kill [=GLaDOS=] and escape Aperture's testing chambers, we'll assume it's that.
* 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.
* InferredHolocaust: Never mind all the researchers that [=GLaDOS=] gassed; "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day" implies that their ''children'' became victims too, or were tested to death. [=GLaDOS=] also manages to sneak in a reference to the multiple disasters of the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' universe during the FinalBattle and in "Still Alive". It's implied during Portal 2 that Chell herself was the daughter of one of the scientists at Aperture and she was forcibly taken as a test subject by [=GLaDOS=] during her massacre.
* InterfaceSpoiler: Averted -- the New Game level selection menu shows all of the test chambers. But that's only half the game.
* 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.
* IWasToldThereWouldBeCake: Indeed, Chell is told this. Frequently.
* JustifiedTutorial: Chell is a test subject, who is supposed to be learning how to use the portal gun from scratch. The developer's commentary discusses how the flow of the test chambers in all of the games is designed explicitly to train the player for each new feature and make sure they get it before incorporating it into the more complex puzzles later.
* JustJokingJustification: [=GLaDOS=] pulls one of these after trying to [[KillItWithFire drown you in a pit of fire]] by saying she was just pretending to murder you.
* KarmicDeath: The [[KillItWithFire method]] [=GLaDOS=] chooses to dispose of the Companion Cube and the player is [[spoiler:the same method the player defeats [=GLaDOS=]]].
* KillAllHumans: Apparently, [=GLaDOS=] spearheaded a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7bkewdgjKA&feature=player_embedded Human Annihilation Studies]] program.
* KillItWithFire: The faithful CompanionCube. [[TheCakeIsALie [=GLaDOS=] almost does this to the player]]. Then [[spoiler:[[KarmicDeath the player does it to]] ''[[KarmicDeath her.]]'']]
* KickTheDog: You as Chell get to do this when [[spoiler: you drop the ''[[CuteMachines adorable]]'' Curiosity Core into an incinerator.]] YouMonster.
* LaymansTerms: Portals preserve momentum, or as [=GLaDOS=] puts it:
--> [[/folder]]

[[folder: "In layman's terms, speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out." ]]

* 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.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: [=GLaDOS=] tells the player, "[[/folder]]

[[folder: the difference between us is that ''I'' can feel pain. ]]
* LevelGoal: In each of the test chambers, the elevator to the next test chamber.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to VideoGame/HalfLife.
* LongList: One of [=GLaDOS=]'s cores lists an awful lot of "garnishes" for cake, most of which have to do with fish shapes and rhubarb. Some on fire.
* LostInTransmission:
** [=GLaDOS=]'s introductory greeting.

[[folder: "For your own safety, and the safety of others, please refrain from... *crackle* *static* ''Por favor de donde fallar muchos gracias de fallar gracias.'' *crackle* ...stand back. The portal will open in three... two... one..." ]]
[[note]]For the curious, the Spanish is somewhat nonsensical, but ''do'' note that under it, it closely literally translates as "Please fail/die, thank you very much..."[[/note]]
** Subverted later on. The (somewhat inaccurate and probably to-the-script) subtitles say, "...you will be baked *static* cake". But the audio track clearly says "...you will be baked, and then there will be cake."
** Also, when you get the portal gun...
---> [[/folder]]

[[folder: "Do not touch the operational end of the device. Do not look directly at the operational end of the device. Do not submerge the device in liquid, even partially. Most importantly, under no circumstances should you--" ]]
*power drain*
** Levels where the player uses flinging.
** After the level where [=GLaDOS=] admits she lied to you:

[[folder: "As part of a required test protocol, we will stop enhancing the truth in three... two..." ]]
* LyricalDissonance: "Still Alive" is certainly upbeat for a gloating song or a song about how the singer [[spoiler:was murdered, torn to pieces, and thrown into a fire]].
* MadnessMantra: TheCakeIsALie
* 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. ]]
* 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 than 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.
* MissionControlIsOffItsMeds
* MonsterCloset: The game explains where the turrets-in-the-walls come from by showing you a whole distribution system for them criss-crossing the entire facility.
* {{Morality C|hip}}ore: Even with it installed, [=GLaDOS=] still tries to kill you -- and it's the only core you find that's completely silent, implying that it's not working correctly anymore (if it ever was). And of course there's the fact that it was programmed [[ForScience with Aperture Science morality in mind]].
--> [[/folder]]

[[folder: "It was a Morality Core they installed after I flooded the Enrichment Center ]]

[[folder: with a deadly neurotoxin ]]
]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: to make me stop flooding the Enrichment Center ]]

[[folder: with a deadly neurotoxin ]]

[[folder: ." ]]

* MundaneMadeAwesome: Although MemeticMutation has made it hard to remember, the bloodstained message indicating that "the cake is a lie" is actually this.
* MurderByCremation
* 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"]].
* NeverTrustATrailer: In one trailer, a spike plate descended from the ceiling while the path was blocked by a pit of fire. Neither actually shows up. [[spoiler:However, the fire pit does show up later, but in an entirely different form, and there are spike plates in the sequel (again, in a very different form).]] Although, [[HandWave it can still make sense]] since the "Real Life" footage came from a time when the game was in extreme beta.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: When you destroy [=GLaDOS=]' Morality Core. She [[TropeNamers names the trope shortly thereafter.]]
* NoFairCheating: The steps, portals, and time challenges. Also, you can't get achievements with cheat mode on.
* 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.
* NoOSHACompliance: {{Lampshaded}} in-game.
--> '''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[folder: The Enrichment Center promises to always provide a safe testing environment. In dangerous testing environments, the Enrichment Center promises to always provide useful advice. For instance, the floor here will kill you. Try to avoid it. ]]

* NoProductSafetyStandards: shower curtains, the emancipation grid, and probably not the Portal Gun.
* NoodleIncident: The android tests Aperture was running, involving the non-specific idea of an "[[RobotReligion android hell]]" to keep the subjects in line.
* NothingIsScarier: Despite the humour, the sheer stark ''emptiness'' of the test chambers, accompanied by understated ambient music, does create an effectively unnerving atmosphere.
* OffTheRails: For the first half of the game you're stuck following [=GLaDOS=]' game plan, but when you find out there is no cake waiting for you, it's time to improvise.
%% A friendly reminder: OhCrap is an IN-UNIVERSE trope for character reactions, not audience reactions.
* OntologicalMystery
* 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.
* PleaOfPersonalNecessity: [=GLaDOS=] asks Chell, "[[/folder]]

[[folder: Who's going to make the cake when I'm gone? You?!? ]]
* 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 completely averted, at considerable programmer effort.
* PressurePlate: The 1,500-Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super-Button.
* ProductPlacement: The infamous "cake" is a Black Forest cake, modeled after the one in the window display of "Regent Bakery & Cafe", a bakery near Valve corporation. Since the game's release, the bakery has boosted in popularity because of the cake itself.
* PropRecycling:
** The "High-Energy Pellet" is the same sprite and sound effects as [[VideoGame/HalfLife2 the Combine's energy orbs]]. Its effect on living beings is pretty much the same as well, although Gordon's suit seems to block its damage.
** Chell's leg-springs were part of an unused model for an enemy in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''.
** The sentry turrets have largely the same behavior as Half-Life 2's combine turrets.
* PuzzleGame: One of the only genres in which ''Portal'' readily fits.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot:
** Among other things, beta testers caused the creation of the CompanionCube. Chamber 17 was designed for players to take the cube provided at the start of the level with them through the entire chamber, but at this point players had been well and truly trained that cubes were to be used once and then discarded, and another would be provided next time. What to do? Paint tiny hearts on each of its sides and call it a ''Companion'' Cube. Then have [=GLaDOS=] repeatedly tell you that the cube was your best friend and you should look after it. That worked!
** Beta testers asked why Chell could survive multi-story falls through recursive portals and still land on her feet without being smashed into the floor (particularly as this was an issue in ''VideoGame/HalfLife''). Once she was given leg-springs to absorb the shocks, no one ever asked again.
** "A lot of people like cake." That was sufficient enough reason to put the cake in the game. More accurately, during a design meeting about what sort of philosophy to drive the game with the answer was the above. Of course, the dev team did not expect the reactions from the fans, which is why there is absolutely ''no'' cake in Portal 2. [[spoiler:Unless you count a reference to a "cake dispensary" in one trap. They couldn't resist putting in just one.]]
** Hoopy the Hoop was what the devs thought would become the meme for the game (apparently having it become the focus of the last cutscene and appear throughout the levels). instead "The Cake is a Lie" took that spotlight and Hoopy ended up more or less as an office joke.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: All throughout the final battle.
--> '''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[folder: I'd just like to point out that you were given every opportunity to succeed. There was even going to be a party for you. A big party that all your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn't come because ]]

[[folder: you murdered him ]]
]]. [[/folder]]

[[folder: All your other friends couldn't come either because you don't have any other friends. Because of how unlikable you are. It says so here in your personal file: Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner whose passing shall not be mourned. 'Shall ''not'' be mourned.' That's exactly what it says. Very formal. Very official. It also says you were adopted. So that's funny, too. ]]

* 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.
* ReminiscingAboutYourVictims: [=GLaDOS=] is quite happy to chat about [[spoiler:forcing you to kill CompanionCube.]]
* [[RequiredSecondaryPowers Required Secondary Gadgetry]]: 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!
* 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.
* {{Revision}}: Prior to the release of ''Portal 2'', Valve released an update which adds a few seconds to one of the final {{cutscene}}s, revealing a significant event just after the point where that scene originally ended. This, of course, ties into the sequel.
* RoboSpeak
* RoomFullOfCrazy: I [[HeartSymbol <3]] CompanionCube.
--> the cake is a lie\\
the cake is a lie\\
the cake is a lie\\
the cake is a lie
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: Several, including one at the final boss fight: if you turn on the closed captions (at least for the 360 release) there will be a grammatical error of [=GLaDOS=] saying "I don't want to tell you ''you're'' business" instead of the correct "I don't want to tell you ''your'' business." This can dampen the gravity of the situation quite a bit.
* SarcasmMode: "[[/folder]]

[[folder: Sarcasm sphere self-test complete. ]]
* SarcasticConfession: "Do you think I'm trying to trick you with ReversePsychology? I mean, seriously now."
* ScienceIsBad: Exaggerated and PlayedForLaughs. [=GLaDOS=] and Aperture Science in general regard science with a three-way combination of ComedicSociopathy, CrazyAwesome and ForTheEvulz.
* SequelHook: In the form of [[spoiler:all the spare [=GLaDOS=] cores turning on and the end song stating she was "still alive."]] Then the official patch to the end sequence itself, as part of a ViralMarketing announcement of the sequel.
* SecondHourSuperpower: You originally start out with the ability to just shoot blue portals, but a little bit into the game, and you can shoot both ''orange'' and blue.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Or at least, that's what [=GLaDOS=] proclaims.
--> [[/folder]]

[[folder: "What are you doing? ''Stop it!'' I-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-- We-e-e-e are pleased that you made it through the final challenge where [[spoiler:we pretended we were going to murder you ]]
* SentientAIWarningSigns: [=GLaDOS=] hits something like 80% of points on the list.
* ShapedLikeItself: [[/folder]]

[[folder: "...and sediment-shaped sediment." ]]

* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: What [=GLaDOS=] originally tries to do to you in the final test chamber. The revised ending also shows that Chell is going to be dragged into another "test", so that whole escape attempt pretty much failed.]]
* 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."
* SortingAlgorithmOfThreateningGeography: You start in the clean, pristine test labs, progressing to more and more damaged/deadly labs and finally into the off-limits zones and [=GLaDOS's=] chamber.
* SoundtrackDissonance
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill at the end of each level caused controversy after the first game. It's not a "Grid". ''Portal 2'' pronounces it and has its subtitles clearly as "Grill", putting the argument to rest.
* SpikesOfDoom:
** ''Portal's'' trailer showed a room with a DescendingCeiling with these, presumably from a testing room that never got into the game. This very room (and the next one in the trailer) was recreated in a mappack named [[http://www.fpsbanana.com/maps/40710 Hetzchase Nailway]] ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYz8jDSk8_Q Video here]]) and later in [[http://www.moddb.com/mods/portal-project-beta Portal: Project-Beta]].
** The DescendingCeiling is present (with spikes) in one of the extra challenge levels of the [[XboxLiveArcade Xbox Live Arcade]] version of ''Portal''.
* 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]]".
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: Subverted, in that the only way to progress is to ''escape'' from an apparently inescapable trap. Even more so since, if you get killed there, the game reloads an automatic save point just before you enter that area, allowing you to try to escape again.
* 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.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial:
** A subversion, but then that just makes it funnier. "[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak. ]]
** Played straight with the Morality Core -- [=GLaDOS=]' attempts to get you to destroy it with ReversePsychology are blatantly obvious.
* TacticalSuicideBoss: [[spoiler: [=GLaDOS=] with her rockets]]
* TakeThat: In-universe example: take a look at [=GLaDOS=]'s screens as she says, "... the dumbest thing...," and you'll see the Black Mesa logo.
* 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.
* ThemeTuneCameo: The radios in the game default to playing a short jazzy loop based on "Still Alive". The latter even made its way into the jukeboxes in ''VideoGame/{{Left 4 Dead 2}}''.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Referred to in the credits song.

[[folder: [[spoiler: ...I'm not even angry/I'm being so sincere right now/even though you broke my heart and killed me/and tore me to pieces/and threw every piece into a fire... ]]
* TheToothHurts: Apparently the emancipation grid can suck out people's teeth.
* TotalitarianUtilitarian: In the credits song, GLaDOS claims her actions were for the greater good of mankind...at least, what's left of it. Also, she fully intends to keep killing innocent people ForScience. See page quote.
* UnwinnableByMistake:
** Some of the autosaves are placed over toxic waste. Oops. Also, if you really try, it's possible to exploit the physics to trap yourself or otherwise make the level unwinnable. Thankfully, much of the time the game will notice when you've trapped yourself in a place you can't get out from, and will let you out.
** The Xbox 360 Arcade re-release, ''Portal: Still Alive'', has an achievement for getting stuck.
* UnreliableNarrator: Keep in mind what computer appears to be working as the Aperture web server. (Before its December 2010 change which removed the site's viral advertising features.) This also applies in the actual game; you can't really trust what you're being told.
* VillainSong: "Still Alive", performed by [=GLaDOS=] over the ending credits. The song plays out almost like a break-up song, as [=GLaDOS=] spitefully tells an absent Chell that she's still alive after she leaves and how she doesn't need her around since she still has "Science to do".
* VillainousBreakdown:
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[folder: Stop squirming and die like an adult or I'm going to delete your backup. Okay, STOP! Okay enough, I deleted it. No matter what happens now, you're ''DEAD.'' You're still shuffling around a little but believe me you're ''dead.'' The part of you that could have survived indefinitely is gone. I just struck you from the ''permanent record.'' Your entire life has been a mathematical error. ''A mathematical error I'M ABOUT TO CORRECT.'' ]]

* VisualPun / StealthPun: As the effects of [=GLaDOS=]'s morality core begin to wear off, her monitors display a small pile of screws. [[spoiler: She ''does'' have quite a few screws loose by this point. On top of that, she's about to screw you, and not [[CargoShip the fun way]]]]. Also, when [=GLaDOS=] mentions "violent behavior", a picture of a [[VisualPun violin with a knife on it]] flashes on the screens.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Darkly subverted in the sense that [=GLaDOS=] somewhat treats Chell in this manner, as one-sided as it is.
* WhamLine
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[folder: Good news. I found out what that thing you just incinerated did. It was a [[spoiler:Morality Core ]]
]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: they installed after I [[spoiler:flooded the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin ]]
]] [[/folder]]

[[folder: to make me stop [[spoiler:flooding the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin. ]]
--> Also, from the new ending: [[spoiler: "Thank you for assuming the party escort submission position." ]]
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: The portal gun is the only weapon Chell uses throughout the whole game (although it is upgraded once) using it to do pretty much everything.
* WhyDontYouMarryIt: [[/folder]]

[[folder: "Maybe you should marry that thing since you love it so much. Do you want to marry it? WELL I WON'T LET YOU. How does that feel?" ]]

* WreakingHavok
* YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe:
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' [[/folder]]

[[folder: [[You Have Got To Be Kidding Me You Are Kidding Me ]]
. Did you just stuff that Aperture Science Thing-We-Don't-Know-What-It-Does into an Aperture Science Emergency Intelligence Incinerator? That has got to be the dumbest thing that -- Whoa. ''[-Whoa.-]'' '''[--Whoa...--]''']]
* YouMonster: Combined with a liberal dose of SarcasmMode:
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' You euthanized your faithful Companion Cube more quickly than any other test subject on record. Congratulations.
* YouWakeUpInARoom: The game begins with Chell waking up in a Relaxation Vault.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Just in case [[spoiler:being forced to "euthanize" your Companion Cube]] wasn't already enough of a PlayerPunch, GLaDOS consummates the awfulness by telling you that you did the deed "faster than any test subject on record." Ouch.

[[folder: Thank you for for assuming the TV Tropes Article Viewing Position. [[Video Game/Portal2 *whir* *bzzt* ]]