[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RoughnecksIllo.jpg]]
->''"Live forever, apes."''
-->-- '''Lt. Razak'''

->'''Brutto:''' ''The [=LT's=] insane!''
->'''"Doc":''' ''Hey, we're fighting giant bugs on freaking '''Pluto''', man! We're '''all''' insane!''

''Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles'' was an animated CGI series based on ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'', a novel by Creator/RobertAHeinlein that had long-lasting impact on the development of ScienceFiction and chronicled Earth's war against the Bugs, an insectoid alien species. The series combined elements of both [[Literature/StarshipTroopers the original novel]] and [[Film/StarshipTroopers the movie adaptation]] to create a hybrid series that retained the action/adventure story of the movie, but with additional characterization and personal relationships. The series followed the exploits of "[[TheSquad Razak's Roughnecks]]" throughout an ever-expanding BugWar.

The series ran into horrible behind-the-scenes [[TroubledProduction production problems]], and was never properly finished. Forty episodes were ordered and thirty-six were produced, leaving the conclusion of the final story arc unresolved. To fill the original order four clip-shows were created from earlier episodes, one of which also included plot-relevant new footage. The series is divided into eight campaigns, each composed of five episodes which follow the Roughnecks through the numerous battles of an individual combat theatre. Each campaign contains an individual storyline within the larger context of the BugWar, to create [[MythArc one single over-arching plot]].

The series can be viewed on crackle [[http://crackle.com/c/Roughnecks_Starship_Troopers_Chronicles/Roughnecks_Starship_Troopers_Episode_1/2459616 here]]. To see the rest of the media, see Franchise/StarshipTroopers.

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!!''Roughnecks'' contains examples of:

* AbnormalAmmo: The Skinnies' constrictor-foam guns
* AdaptationDistillation: Basically takes the best of the novel and film and smooshes it all together, with a few twists of its own, and dumps the rest (especially the controversial political anvils).
* AFatherToHisMen: Lieutenant Razak cares about each and every member of his squad, [[TrueCompanions and they love him in return]]. He will risk any of their lives if the mission calls for it, but he will be right there with them and he will never ''waste'' their lives.
* AllOfThem: Three times:
** During the Zephyr Campaign, the ''Zephyr'' has crashed on a frozen asteroid and is besieged by "firefries," Bugs which breathe fire. When Razak was away from the ship and being called back by Higgins, he asked how many Bugs were attacking. Higgins responded with "too many."
** Before the invasion of Klendathu, Higgins attempted to get information about the upcoming mission from Razak for his report. When he asked about the scale of the invasion, Razak replied "Every ship, every trooper."
** In the Homefront Campaign, the Bugs invaded Earth. How many Bugs? All of them.
* AllPlanetsAreEarthlike: Averted, Tesca is the only alien planet where the Roughnecks can safely use unpressurized suits.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs:
** The start of the Klendathu arc, when [[spoiler:Bug!Zander]] hijacks the ''Valley Forge''.
** The "Homefront" arc, the final arc of the series, revolves around a Bug invasion of Earth.
* AlienInvasion: Take a wild bloody guess.
* AlienSky
* ArtificialAtmosphericActions: The Infiltrator Bugs keep [[TalkAboutTheWeather talking about the weather]] every time they pass the Roughnecks. It initially provides T'Phai some good snark material, where he brings up that it has always confused him why humans are so preoccupied with the weather, but soon the squad gets concerned when they notice that ''everybody they pass'' keeps harping on what a beautiful day it is.
* ArtificialGravity: The first time the Roughnecks are on the ''Valley Forge'', they are shown floating around the cabin in zero-g. After that they apparently had gravity carpets installed.
* ArtificialLimbs: Razak's arm and Rocquefort's eye.
* AsideGlance: One of Doc and Gossard's favorite comedic techniques.
* TheAsteroidThicket
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Bugs apparently do not respire at all. They are seen surviving without equipment on atmosphere-free Pluto, the methane-atmosphere of Tophet, the not-quite-oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere of Klendathu and the oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere of Earth. They are also seen, on occasion, underwater, although there appear to also be water-specific bugs used for aquatic missions.
* BerserkButton: T'Phai does not like being called a lackluster husband.
* BettyAndVeronica: Dizzy and Carmen.
* BigDamnHeroes: Dizzy is the character who most frequently comes to a dramatic rescue of a Roughneck in trouble, but each member of the squad gets his own chance to save somebody else.
* BizarreAlienBiology: The Skinnies breathe a methane atmosphere with an average temperature too high for human survival. When T'Phai was caught in a fire during the Klendathu Campaign the other Roughnecks fear for his life, but he explains his heat tolerance is much greater than theirs and mentions that it was the first time he has been warm in the months since he left Tophet.
* BoisterousBruiser: Dizzy.
* BolivianArmyEnding: The last shot of the series is of [[spoiler: a massive fleet of transport bugs descending on Earth]].
* BottleEpisode
* BrainFood: The Brain Bugs obviously.
* BreathWeapon: The firefries breathe fire.
* BugWar: An adaptation of the TropeCodifier and [[TropeNamer Namer]].
* TheBusCameBack: Sergeant Brutto sends a few letters after he left the Roughnecks, but then re-appears for the penultimate episode [[spoiler: at Lieutenant Razak's funeral]].
* ButtMonkey: For the first three campaigns, any time a Roughneck needed to be knocked out, kidnapped or shot it would be Goss, at least before the rest got around to being attacked, too. As the series progressed the punishment began to be evenly distributed.
* CallBack: When [[spoiler: Bug!Zander]] is about to kill Rico during the Klendathu Campaign, Dizzy reminds him of the time they had spent together in the Tesca Campaign and quotes back to him his earlier words of friendship and (potentially) love.
* CanNotSpitItOut
* CartwrightCurse: Dizzy ''believes'' this to be the case, but of all her relationships only [[spoiler: Zander]] was killed or removed from the series. Lampshaded when Diz tries to give Johnnie an ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies speech to hold off a RelationshipUpgrade.
* CassandraTruth:
** Carl Jenkins is never wrong, not once in the entire series, but after each psychic pronouncement the squadmates and S.I.C.O.N. superiors complain that he is incorrect. Eventually, [[LampshadeHanging Carl points out that he has been proven right before]], which gets him at least ''some'' credibility with the squad.
** In the Tesca Campaign, Rico is injured and stuck in a medical People Jar while he screams that he hears Bugs approaching, "...they're coming, they're almost here, can't you hear them!?" The doctor believe he is traumatized from his injuries and plan to classify him as Section Eight, which involves a MindWipe to remove the memory of the traumatic event, thus "killing" that version of Rico. It turns out the tank he is in is conducting sounds from underground, where the Bugs are digging their tunnels.
* CastOfSnowflakes: Notably, the one time the Roughnecks run into an [[OnlySixFaces exception]] is a major clue that [[spoiler:the inhabitants of a small town are [[DressingAsTheEnemy not what they appear]]]], just as it would be in real life.
* ChainedHeat: Rico and T'Phai chain ''themselves'' together to keep from being separated when the squad is being picked off one by one. Rico learns to like T'Phai during this time, and accepts that it was not his fault that Carl Jenkins was wounded during the Tophet Campaign.
* TheChick: Higgins
* ClimacticBattleResurrection: [[spoiler:The invasion of Hawaii]] brings back nearly every Bug subspecies seen in the series.
* ClipShow: Four of these, produced to help keep up with the show's shaky broadcast schedule.
* ColonelBadass: T'Phai. Even after he takes a demotion to Private in order to join the Roughnecks, the other troopers routinely refer to him as [[EverybodyCallsHimBarkeep The Colonel.]]
* CommercialBreakCliffhanger
* CompositeCharacter:
** Lieutenant Razak is a composite of Lieutenant Colonel [=DuBois=], who was one of Rico's teachers in High School, and Lieutenant "[[SpellMyNameWithAnS Rasczak]]," his commanding officer, from the novel. This same combination was made in the film.
** Carl, a friend of Rico's from High School, and Jenkins, one of his squad-mates, in the novel were combined into one character.
* ContinuityNod: Production-model C.H.A.S. units appear later in the show, on the bridge of the ''Valley Forge'' and the basecamp on Klendathu. A RunningGag seems to be that whenever they are shown they get almost immediately destroyed by a casual swipe from a single Bug.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious
* CreepyMonotone:
** At times the psychic Carl fell into this.
** Zander, following [[spoiler: his transformation]].
* CuteBruiser: Dizzy.
* CutShort: Just as they were setting up for [[WhatCouldHaveBeen a big climax]]. Four clip-shows were produced instead.
* DeathWorld: Some of the planets shown have particularly hostile local ecologies, in addition to environmental hazards from the atmosphere.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: The Imposter Bugs and the Infiltrator Bugs
* DrillSergeantNasty: Zim is a {{Reconstruction}} in the show. In flashbacks, we see him putting on the whole DSM routine, but when Rico can't make it over an obstacle near the end of training and gives up, Zim [[AFatherToHisMen helps him the rest of the way]]. When he joins the squad on the front lines late in the series, he drops the facade entirely in favor of being a SergeantRock and HypercompetentSidekick to the [[EnsignNewbie inexperienced]] Rico.
* DropShip: Separate versions are used for orbital drop and retrieval, though the orbital version is sometimes seen making direct landings, notably on Hydora.
** DropPod: When the troopers get [[ItsRainingMen dropped into battle]], they do so encased in armor pods to allow them to survive re-entry. The pods break apart afterwards leaving the Troopers free to move before landing.
* EarthIsABattlefield: The final campaign
* EpiphanyTherapy: With a telepathic boost
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether:
** Rico, Dizzy, Carl, Carmen and Zander were all at High School school together. Lt. Razak was one of their teachers.
** In the Homefront Campaign, it is revealed that Lieutenant Razak, Sergeant Zim and General Redwing attended basic training together, only drifting apart after years of service when Razak retired to teach, Zim became a training drill instructor and Redwing climbed the officer ranks.
* EvolutionaryLevels: When discussing the Bugs use of genetic engineering to produce new hybrid species, they explain it as thousands of years of evolution happening at once.
* FaceFullOfAlienWingWong: [[spoiler:Zander]], Combined with TheCorruption and BodyHorror, culminating in WhatHaveIBecome and [[spoiler:RedemptionEqualsDeath]]).
* FacelessMooks: Standard Mobile Infantry battle armor includes a full helmet, which can make it difficult to identify individual team members. However, [[AvertedTrope to make sure viewers know who is who]], personnel names are written on the helmets of all troopers, including extras, to maintain individuality.
* FantasticRacism:
** Members of the squad, particularly Sergeant Brutto, frequently ridicule and insult Carl Jenkins because of his psychic powers, and at one point actually decide his death is preferable to breaking radio silence on a mission. Brutto never does completely accept Jenkins, but he does wear the M.I.A. armband after he leaves the squad, explaining "Jenkins was a freak, but was ''our'' freak."
** Colonel T'phai initially finds it hard to become part of the team because of their natural dislike of the Skinnies, who they had been fighting right up until a short while ago. Rico maintains his dislike the longest, but eventualy the Roughnecks accept him into the squad.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: On Klendathu, Higgins finds a photograph folded within a half-written letter. He laments that the writer, whoever he was, presumably did not even get to finish his letter to his loved ones on Earth before he was killed.
* FauxlosophicNarration: Higgins.
* TheFederation: SICON (the '''S'''trategically '''I'''ntegrated '''C'''oalition '''O'''f '''N'''ations). Called [[InSeriesNickname "Psycho"]] by the troops.
* FromBadToWorse: During the Homefront Campaign, [[spoiler:Lieutenant Razak has just been KilledOffForReal]], but hey, at least they stopped the Bugs' subterranean attack. Then, while the whole team is trying to cope with their loss...
-->'''Soldier:''' "Lieutenant Walker, emergency briefing in ten! The Bugs have hit a dozen other cities. It's ''bad.''"
-->'''Carl:''' "Understatement."
* GadgeteerGenius: Gossard, inventor of the T.A.L.C.Box and go-to guy for last-minute jury-rig spaceship repairs.
* GatlingGood: Large miniguns are used by the troopers several times throughout the series, either on stationary ground-defense platforms or mounted on vehicles.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Brutto tells Higgins that if he points his camera at him again, it is [[AssShove "gonna get a real nice closeup of your lower intestine."]]
* [[GoodThingYouCanHeal Good Thing You Can Replace Your Mechanical Limb]]: Razak manages to get his [[ArtificialLimbs prosthetic]] burned, chewed, or ripped off about a half-dozen times.
* GrapplingHookPistol: Dizzy even used one to [[ThisIsADrill make her point]] to a cliffmite.
* GreekChorus: Higgins, who doubles as narrator for the series.
* GunshipRescue, a few times.
* HalfHumanHybrid: [[spoiler:Zander]], and later the Infiltrator Bugs.
* HeelFaceTurn: Colonel T'Phai. Of course, he was NotHimself during his Heel phase.
* HellIsThatNoise: In one episode, Rico hears a mysterious and creepy grinding sound while in a [[PeopleJars recovery vat]] after sustaining heavy injuries in battle, a sound no one else can hear. His crew and the medical team working on him all worry about his mental health[[labelnote:*]]to the point that the [=REMFs=] are seriously considering having his ''memory erased'' to treat his "psychosis"[[/labelnote]]. Ultimately, bugs emerge in the base and they realize he could hear them tunneling in because the tank, being bolted to the floor, was amplifying the noise .
-->'''Rico''': '''''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny THANK YOU!]]'''''
* HeroicRROD: During the Tophet campaign, Carl - already in bad shape - uses a burst of psychic power to destroy a Control Bug. However, the psychic strain of doing so renders him catatonic/comatose; he doesn't show up again until Klendathu, having undergone extensive work to "repair the damage".
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Several other squads make appearances, including Zebra Squad and Andrew's Aces.
* HiveCasteSystem
* HiveQueen
* HomoeroticSubtext: Brutto and T'phai, of all people. They even [[LampshadeHanging comment on it]] themselves at one point, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar in a network-friendly way]].
* HumanoidAliens: The Skinnies
* InsistentTerminology: The Skinnies are forced to enlist with SICON in order to fight in the war against the Bugs. Thus, Colonel T'Phai spends several episodes being pointedly addressed as ''Private'' T'Phai out of spite. Contrast to the rest of the squad, who normally get addressed on a rank-free LastNameBasis.
* InstantExpert: T'phai learns fluent English between one episode and the next, although the implication is that there has been time spent to integrate the Skinnies into the S.I.C.O.N. military.
* ItsRainingMen: The orbital drops for the Mobile Infantry reappear here.
* JetPack: A realistically large jetpack, the Wasp, is seen in one episode. The smaller backpack-sized units are used in lieu of parachutes, and for [[InASingleBound short range jumps]].
* JoinTheArmyTheySaid
* JustAMachine: Zig-zagged. When the squad is assigned an Automaton in the form of C.H.A.S., the squad, aside from Higgens, is dismissive of him due to this trope. When C.H.A.S. performs a HeroicSacrifice for Higgens, he insists on this trope himself.
-->'''C.H.A.S.''': I was never alive.
* KarmicTransformation
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Zander and Lieutenant Razak]]
* KillItWithFire: Hand flamers appear here; also the Arachnid Tanker Bugs and firefries.
* LadyOfWar: Carmen.
* LandMineGoesClick
* LatexSpaceSuit: For the pilots and civilians, at least, while the Troopers' suits were heavier and armored, but still more flexible and less bulky than real spacesuits.
* LaughingMad: Zander, during the initial stages of [[spoiler:his infection]].
* LeftHanging
* LegoGenetics
* LiteralCliffhanger
* LivingShip: The Transport Bugs (which have FasterThanLightTravel) and [[spoiler:the asteroid-sized Ice Bug]], which does not, and consequently spends thousands to millions of years hibernating in deep space between stars.
* TheLostWoods: Planet Tesca
* LoveRedeems: [[spoiler: Zander]] has been transformed into a human/Bug hybrid and is spearheading a new plan that might spell doom for the human invasion of Klendathu, but [[spoiler: Dizzy]] managed to break through his new intentions by reminding him of their time together and asking him to join her, and humanity as a whole, again.
* LoveTriangle: Dizzy loves Rico, Rico loves Carmen, Carmen does not love anybody. Eventually each character pursues other relationships when they realize that the current dynamics will not change. Of course, that is when the dynamic ''does'' change.
* LoweredMonsterDifficulty: Hoppers. When they are introduced on Pluto they are immune to pulse rifle rounds, requiring grenades or rockets. By the Tesca Nemerosa campaign, pulse rifles kill them with ease.
* MeaningfulFuneral: The Roughnecks gather, including former members and General Miriam Redwing, to lay the ashes of [[spoiler: Lieutenant Razak]] to rest over a wild lake at sunrise, per his final request in his will.
* MeatPuppet: It is revealed towards the end of the Tophet Campaign that the Skinnies are not allies of the Bugs, but rather that mind-controlling Bugs have attached themselves to the spines of the entire species and enslaved them all.
* MiniMecha: The Marauders.
* TheMole: The Imposter Bugs attempt to sneak onto human bases by dressing up in Mobile Infantry armor, but are discovered in quick order. The Infiltrator Bugs, on the other hand, are human/bug hybrids and can actually transform ''into'' humans (Outwardly, at least) and pass completely unnoticed. [[ArtificialAtmosphericActions Until they ask about the weather, that is]].
* MonumentalDamage: [[TakeOurWordForIt Though we do not see it]], the Bugs opened their invason of Earth with the destruction of the White House, the Eiffel Tower and several other landmarks throughout the world.
* MrFixit: Gossard
* MythologyGag: Dizzy refers to their mission as a "bug hunt" in the pilot episode, that being the original title of TheMovie. Other subtle references to scenes and lines from both book and movie appear, often just to [[SubvertedTrope subvert them]].
* MookChivalry: The Bugs are remarkably keen to fight the Roughnecks one at a time on some occasions.
* TheNeidermeyer:
** Zander - he gets better. For a while.
** Lt. Walker, particularly in his first couple of appearances. [[CharacterDevelopment Later]], during the Homefront Campaign, he teams up with Lt. Razak to present an alternative to Sky Marshal Sanchez's plan to [[spoiler: carpet bomb San Francisco to destroy a hidden bug hive]].
* {{Newsreel}}: Appear several times; Higgins is an embedded reporter gathering footage for these.
* NightmareSequence: When Rico is recuperating.
* NonActionGuy: Higgins
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Rougnecks do ''not'' leave one of their own behind.
* NotHimself: [[spoiler:Zander after his infection]], T'phai and the other Skinnies (at first).
* NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont: When Carmen is first thrust into ground combat after her dropship is shot down, she panics when she tries to shoot an attacking Bug and her gun will not fire. After Zander shoots the Bug he explains to her that weapons will not function unless you take the safety off.
* NowYouTellMe: {{Inverted}}. Rico orders Gossard to [[SaltTheEarth rig their base with a nuke to take out the bug swarm that is about to overrun it.]] The squad takes cover in the basement bunker after setting the fuse...
-->'''Rico''': This shelter will withstand the blast right?
-->'''Gossard''': You're asking me ''now''?
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo: The tactical nukes they use for demolitions are referred to as "plasma bombs." However, this [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness only applies to the Pluto campaign]]. Starting with the Hydora campaign onwards, nuclear missiles and bombs are consistently called "nukes."
* OrganicTechnology: Even more than the film, the Bugs consist of numerous specialized castes with weaponized BizarreAlienBiology, up to and including FasterThanLightTravel.
* TheOtherDarrin: Creator/ClancyBrown is the only actor to reprise his role from the film, that of Career Sergeant Zim. All other characters were recast.
* OutrunTheFireball: Even though in one instance the shockwave was specifically mentioned by the characters as the deadly part of the explosion ''and'' the shockwave itself was shown overtaking them! Granted, they were wearing armored spacesuits at the time...
* PeopleJars: Rico spends time in one while recovering from serious injuries.
* PermaShave: Sergeant Zim through waking up ungodly early.
* PhysicsGoof:
** Well, chemistry technically, but Hydora's atmosphere is described as being 25% oxygen, 75% hydrogen. Ladies and gentlemen, Hydora has ''flammable air''. Given all the rocket thrusters, gunfire and bombs going off, what is stopping the atmosphere from catching fire?
** The Zephyr Campaign. The asteroid is stated at least twice to be airless/have a trace atmosphere, yet it has precipitation (snow) and at one point we have a pool of liquid water exposed to the "air"; it should have flashed to vapor given the lack of air pressure.
* PlantAliens: The Skinnies are apparently photosynthetic and need sunlight to survive. Presumably their life-support suits take care of this later in the series.
* PoweredArmor: Standad Mobile Infantry Battle Armor provides combat information to its wearer, includes built-in jetpacks for increased jumping and slowing the rate of descent while falling, and offers insulation from all encountered environments, including extreme heat, submersion in water and exposure to vacuum. The Marauders appear as more of a MiniMecha design than the original PoweredArmor of the novel.
* PsychicPowers: Even more so than in the film, but with a different feel.
* PsychicNosebleed
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The opening theme is a remix of Beethoven's Piano Sonata #8 (''Pathetique''), Opus 13.
* PuppeteerParasite: In the form of control bugs.
* PutOnABus: Sergeant Brutto is reassigned from the Roughnecks after an injury on Klendathu.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Lieutenant Razak is the epitome of this, Commander Marlowe of the Valley Forge is on the low end of this trope, but still qualifies.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Zander]] managed to break out of his new Bug mentality just in time to save the Roughnecks and help destroy the new Bug plan to infiltrate the human forces, but died during the subsequent battle.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Sparky, who also turns out to be a ChekhovsGun.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobot: C.H.A.S., who learns ThePowerOfFriendship just in time to make a HeroicSacrifice.
* SeriesContinuityError: Is Zander a major or a lieutenant? He seems to be addressed as both constantly throughout the series.
* ShoutOut: The {{Drop Ship}}s have "Hades Elevator" on them, an obvious ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' reference.
* ShapeShifting: [[spoiler:The infiltrator Bugs]]
* ShootTheDog: When General Redwing was captured by the Bugs, a Brain Bug arrived to suck her mind dry of all the crucial information that she has on S.I.C.O.N. and its forces. The Roughnecks manage to save her, and she is appreciative, but she comments that they should have killed her in order to insure that her knowledge did not fall into the hands of the Bugs. Rico informs her that that was Plan B.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Pluto and the surface of [=Clovis/=][[spoiler:the Ice Bug]]
* SpaceIsNoisy
* SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay: Winged bugs flying on airless Pluto.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The series changed the spelling of Lieutenant Ra'''''sc'''''zak's name to Razak.
* StaticStunGun: The Shock Sticks. First used by the Skinnies, and later adopted by the Federation's troopers.
* StockFootage:
** The orbital drop sequence.
** A Tanker Bug firing. Actually, a lot of stuff, to cut down on production time, as they were rushed as it was.
* StunGuns
* TakeOurWordForIt: [[MonumentalDamage The destruction of the White House, the Eiffel Tower and other famous landmarks]] is never shown, just described and reflected upon by others.
* TakingYouWithMe:
** Doc planned to detonate a grenade when the leeches of the ice planet had swarmed over him, [[SubvertedTrope but Razak burned them off with a flamethrower and deactivated the grenade before he could go through with it.]]
** As [[spoiler: Lieutenant Razak]] was pulled underwater, with human bombers incoming and no time for the squad to stay and rescue him, he pulled out a grenade to take out the Bug pulling him under.
* TalkAboutTheWeather: The Infiltrator Bugs keep talking about the weather every time they pass the Roughnecks. T'Phai uses this as an opportunity to snark about the apparent human preoccupation with the weather, but the team becomes concerned [[ArtificialAtmosphericActions when]] ''[[ArtificialAtmosphericActions everybody they meet]]'' [[ArtificialAtmosphericActions keeps harping on what a beautiful day it is]].
* TentacleRope
* ThatsNoMoon: [[spoiler:The Ice Bug]]
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Technically, there are, but when your ''first'' resort is to MindWipe a trooper with PTSD and program them with a false obedient-soldier personality, the system is clearly broken.
* TheSquad: Razak's Roughnecks.
** DrillSergeantNasty: the unsubtly-named Brutto. Zim is revealed via FlashBack to be a subversion, acting the part but also helping Rico during his DarkestHour.
** TheMedic: "Doc".
** MrFixit: Gossard.
** NewMeat: Johnny, Higgins, and Max Brutto.
** SergeantRock: Lt. Razak, Zim, Rico (after promotion).
** TheSquadette: "Dizzy" Flores.
** SixthRanger: T'Phai and Zim.
** EnsignNewbie: Rico after his final promotion of the series, until [[SergeantRock Zim]] talks him through his initial HeroicBSOD.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Doc and Gossard.
* TouchedByVorlons: Carl gets a power-up after coming out of his control-bug coma.
* TranslatorMicrobes: A translator device that works on the humanoid Skinnies, but not as well on the Bugs.
* TrueCompanions: On two separate occasions, Lieutenant Razak explained to Higgins that he had no message to send back home to Earth, as everybody he cared about was right there with him. During the Klendathu Campaign, he pointed Higgins' camera at the Rougnecks and stated that ''they'' were his family.
* TryNotToDie: ''"[[AFatherToHisMen Live forever, apes!]]"''
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: Intel Agent Walker
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Dizzy.
* TheVirus: Affects [[spoiler:Zander]]. It is how the bugs [[YouWillBeAssimilated expand their capabilities]].
* TheWarHasJustBegun: The closing narration of the first episode, and a few other times.
* WaterLevel: Planet Hydora, Zegema Beach
* WeHaveReserves: Sky Marshal Sanchez is willing to sacrifice large numbers of civilians in order to achieve a victory over the Bugs.
* WhatMeasureIsANonhuman: The C.H.A.S. model robot is added to the Rougnecks during the Tophet Campaign, where he learns the vaue of human life and sacrifces himself to save Higgins. The closing narration reveals that S.I.C.O.N. considered the mission casualty-free, but the team considers it as the loss of one of their own. However, [[BrokenAesop they never wear the K.I.A. or M.I.A. armbands that they do when they lose other Roughnecks]].
* WholePlotReference: The first episode of the Trackers Campaign is ''Film/{{Alien}}'' and ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', complete with exact quotations and shot-for-shot scene recreations. Clearest when [[spoiler: Bug!Zander]] approached members of the squad as they monitor him with a hand-held motion sensor.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: To motivate the troopers in the middle of hazardous missions, Razak and Rico would spur them into action by asking if they wanted to live forever. This is in stark contrast to the pre-mission command given before every drop: Live forever.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Dizzy's claustrophobia, early in the show. She gets temporarily better via Carl's mind-mojo, but it crops up again later.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Rico and Dizzy go back and forth, back and forth... I am getting dizzy too...
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: When Carl Jenkins returns after his HeroicBSOD, his psychic powers are greatly increased, including new telekinetic abilities. However, his personality is also altered and he becomes violent after telepathically hearing some disparaging remarks from the other Roughnecks. Fortunately, he is able to retain control, and he reintegrates into the squad.
* WombLevel: Transport Bugs and [[spoiler:the Ice Bug]].
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: Doc keeps using "virus" and "bacteria" interchangably, along with related terms such as "infection." An infection, by definition, is not caused by a virus, and a virus, by definition, can not be defeated by means of an anti-biotic.
* YourHeadASplode: Brain bug on Hydora.
* YouWillBeAssimilated: Because it is so much easier to "bug-form" other lifeforms than to {{terraform}} planets.
* ZergRush: Standard Bug tactics.
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