* AlternateCharacterInterpretation
** [=GLaDOS=]: [[spoiler:Did she really delete part or all of Caroline? If she did, was it just a matter of deleting Caroline's memories, or did she murder an actual consciousness? Or was it not a murder but a MercyKill?]]
*** [[spoiler:Does she see Chell as her lover, daughter, friend, enemy, or some combination of the above?]]
*** [[spoiler:How much of her crazy do we attribute to the mainframe, the personality cores, the trauma of Caroline's uploading, and/or Caroline's original personality (after all, she didn't seem to mind Cave's ComedicSociopathy...)?]]
*** [[spoiler:How separate are [=GLaDOS=] and Caroline, anyway? When she speaks of Caroline as a separate person, is she just trying to distance herself from emotions she'd rather not have, or is there more to it? Is it even a meaningful question now that we know her personality cores are fully sentient on their own? If they're truly separate, is that something that developed over time as [=GLaDOS=] lost her memories and had personality cores added on, or were they always two people? Did [=GLaDOS=] have a fully sentient mind of her own even before Caroline was shoved into it? If Caroline's always been a separate person, was she dormant all this time, or [[AndIMustScream conscious but unable to communicate]]?]]
*** [[spoiler:Oh, and is [=PotatOS=] really unable to lie? If it was true when she said it, is she still unable to lie after the extra jolt from the portal gun?]]
*** When, at the end, [=GLaDOS=] says [[spoiler: "And killing you? Is hard.", is that because she's grown emotionally attached to Chell, or is just admitting that Chell is [[{{Determinator}} impossible to kill]]?]]
** During the ending song, when she sings [[spoiler: "That would be funny if it weren't so sad"]], is she still mocking Chell, or is this a tacit admission that Chell really is [[spoiler: her only friend]]?
** [=Wheatley=]: [[spoiler:As with [=GLaDOS=], how much of his FaceHeelTurn do we attribute to the mainframe's influence? Did he really expect Chell to be killed in his escape all along, as he says in the final boss fight?]]
* AwesomeEgo: "Rick" the corrupted Adventure Sphere is so self-absorbed in his own ego that you can't help but love him for it.
* AwesomeMusic: [[AwesomeMusic/{{Portal 2}} It was a triumph, indeed]].
* BaseBreaker: Hasn't exactly sparked too big of a {{flamewar}} over it (yet), but there is definitely a BrokenBase regarding Wheatley's voice. Was Valve wrong to replace Richard Lord, or did they make a good choice hiring Stephen Merchant?
** It is worth noting that Richard Lord was [[MisBlamed never supposed to be Wheatley's voice actor]]. Richard Lord is a programmer for Valve, and did the voice as a stand-in for the E3 demonstration. When Wheatley turned out to be [[EnsembleDarkhorse so popular during the demo]], Valve went out to get big-name Stephen Merchant.
** The Robot Enrichment DLC. Essentially a bunch of completely non-essential skins, animations and ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' hats, just like ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. (The similarity was even noted by the ''[=TF2=]'' team, who said they snuck in and blatantly copy pasted hats into the game against the ''Portal'' team's wishes.) And just like ''Team Fortress 2'', people [[InternetBackdraft raged]]. The Robot Enrichment customisation is largely responsible for the user ratings on Metacritic being (out of 10), 6.5 on on Xbox, 5.2 on Playstation, and 5.8 on PC, compared to critic ratings of (out of 100) of 94, 96 and 96 respectively. (It should probably be noted that, just like the Mann Co. Store, the items are completely optional -- you can unlock one flag and one hat through achievements, and none of the DLC has any effect on gameplay besides looking pretty.)
** The Sixense DLC for the Razer Hydra. It's 10 extra maps with additional abilities for the portal gun that you need to buy a $140 motion sensing controller for. The extra forty is for a copy of ''Portal 2'', and the controller thus far only comes as a bundle that can only be bought online. So if you already ''own'' a copy, you have to buy it again for some added motion controls. To say the fandom has gone ballistic would be an understatement. This isn't helped by the fact that there was miscommunication that led to people thinking this was the promised summer DLC, when it wasn't produced by Valve.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The [[spoiler: turret orchestra that plays during Chell's ascent to the surface at the end of ''Portal 2'']]. There is some minor foreshadowing, but it's out of the way. [[spoiler:In Chamber 16, prior to Wheatley helping you escape, there's a vent guarded by a turret which leads to four turrets practicing.]] You can come up with some justifications - [[spoiler:the lyrics seem to suggest it's [=GLaDOS=] and/or the turrets and/or Aperture as a whole bidding a fond farewell to Chell, who grew up there]] - but that doesn't make it much less bizarre.
** BilingualBonus: [[spoiler: Cara Mia Addio as the song is called is Italian for [[FoeYay "farewell my dear"]]]]
* BrokenBase: There are two real camps of Portal 2 fans, those who find it to be an excellent game and often say it's one of the best games ever, and those who think it's far too short and the focus on Co-op and relative ease of puzzles makes it simplistic. The former are decried as newbies to the Portal franchise who don't understand what made the first game great and the latter are decried as StopHavingFunGuys who can't enjoy the story.
** There's also some disagreement on the ending: [[spoiler: players either consider it to be a face value happy conclusion to the story with [[http://www.halolz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/halolz-dot-com-portal2-fuckscience.jpg Chell finally getting the relief and peace of mind she deserves after all that hell in the company of her old friend]], or is she trapped in the middle of nowhere with no one to help her after being exposed to various harmful chemicals and the vacuum of space doomed to a slow death of dehydration or worse?]]
*** [[spoiler: [[TakeAThirdOption What about those who view it as both?]]]]
* CargoShip:
** Chell/Wheatley is growing increasingly popular. Most of the fics based off of it either involve Wheatley sometime AfterTheEnd, [[spoiler: desperate to apologize to Chell for what he did]] and suddenly finding a means to do so, or Human!Wheatley, typically based off of Creator/StephenMerchant.
** The [=GLaDOS=]/Chell ship (which was already popular after the first game) is still going strong here.
** The cores are often shipped with each other. Space Core/Curiosity Core ("Spaciosity") or its rival Fact Core/Curiosity Core ("Factiosity") have become quite popular, as has Fact Core/Adventure Core ("Factventure").
** [=GLaDOS=] is also often shipped with [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 The Sniper of TF2 fame.]] The gag for it being that their voice actors are married in real life.
* CrazyAwesome: Wheatley performing a ''[[ExpospeakGag manual override]]'' on the wall? [[spoiler: [=GLaDOS=] being turned into a potato?]] [[spoiler: Portaling to the MOON to beat the final boss?]] The entire game qualifies.
** Cave Johnson.
* DesignatedProtagonistSyndrome: Much like its predecessor, [[SilentProtagonist Chell]] seems to win over the fewest fans, and is overshadowed by the CrazyAwesome characters with speaking roles.
* DisappointingLastLevel: Played straight with Aperture Science of the Past section (chapters 6 & 7), then later averted with the excellently designed final two chapters (i.e., [[spoiler: Wheatley Science]]). After five chapters of solid plot/gameplay progression in Aperture Science, the DiscOneFinalBoss twist comes about and suddenly throws you into the Aperture Science of the Past section. The testing chambers are still well made, but transitioning from test to test in wide open, insipidly designed industrial environments is frustrating compared to Aperture's simplistic elevators. Like zooming into the tiny corners of each level to find tiny, easy-to-miss portal tiles, just to reach another test chamber? You'll love this part. Cave Johnson's hilarious audio recordings make these portions somewhat bearable, but hardly excuses the poorly implemented exploration. Getting back to Aperture after the last doozy of a section is a ''very'' welcome relief, and the last two chapters are arguably the game's best. Subjective though, since there are players who enjoyed the Aperture Science of the Past chapters.
** Indeed, some of the hardest-to-figure-out puzzles are the ones between tests.
*** Which, in true YMMV form, made some players yearn to go back to old aperture after returning to new. That's where the ''challenge'' is!
* DiscreditedMeme: Valve said that they don't include cake in ''Portal 2'' since they got tired of TheCakeIsALie jokes. [[spoiler:There's still one reference to it though: [=GLaDOS=] tricks you with a door marked as her central control and cake factory. One of Doug Rattmann's murals at the beginning of the game also shows [=GLaDOS=] holding cake out to you.]]
* DracoInLeatherPants: If [[http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=8CCFE554EFA0AA08 this Let's Play]] is worth noting, [[spoiler:Wheatley]] from Portal 2 is on his way to becoming this.
** The player was probably unspoiled for the game and thus unaware that [[spoiler:Wheatley]] was going to become the bad guy before she got attached to him.
** GLaDOS earned a lot more sympathy than in this game compared to her last.
*** It helps that she was given a healthy dose of legitimate CharacterDevelopment.
* EarWorm:
** "Want You Gone" is every bit as bad as Still Alive.
*** The only way it could be worse is if [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 the Sniper]] suddenly decided to do a duet while playing banjo or something. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVgXSB4_sTU Oh, wait...]]
** "Cara Mia" (Turret Opera)
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jdddFNe-84&hd=1 Exile Vilify]] is haunting, beautiful, impossible to get out of your head, and apparently hand made by The National just for Portal 2.
** It is not advised to be in Chamber 20 to hear the VariableMix of thermal discouragement beams activating buttons for too long or else an ambient music is in one's head.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Mox1Kuptw Rick's "theme song" that he comes up with.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7pqPRQqZTc Robots FTW, the Coop credits song]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse: A quick look at DeviantArt or Fanfiction.net will tell you how popular Wheatley happened to be, especially among women. As a result, he's very prone to be anthropomorphized and paired with Chell.
** The Space Personality Core seems to be turning into this. Imageboards and Youtube comments seem to be inundated with screams of SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE.
** Cave Johnson is getting this. He got an entire DLC about him scamming the entire multiverse and features the Caves of alternate universes.
* EsotericHappyEnding: The co-op ending is very silly and upbeat, [[spoiler: having [=GLaDOS=] finding a horde of human test subjects. Very good for [=GLaDOS=]. Not so much for the test subjects.]]
* EvenBetterSequel: In the first game, the most emotional sequence besides the boss battle is [[spoiler: dropping a box down a hole.]] In Portal 2? We've got so many characters introduced and developed, that it's practically a different world entirely.
* FanDumb: Immediately after the game's release, its Metacritic score was bombed by people complaining about its length and the completely aesthetic in-game store.
** It's possible that some of this was [[HypeBacklash hype backlash]] due to the relatively minor impact of the Potato Sack & the ARG.
* {{Fan Hater}}s: Portal 2 being the memetic game it is, it's no surprise that people have begun posting quotes from each character on videos featuring the actors in the game (i.e. Stephen Merchant and J.K. Simmons), much to the annoyance of people who haven't played the game.
* FanNickname:
** Oracle Turret for the "different" turret you can save from the Redemption Line, since everything it says is {{Foreshadowing}}, though this comes from the developers.
** [=GLaDOS=] is known as [[spoiler: [=PotatOS=] when in her potato form]], a name that also shows up in the developer commentary.
** Similar to how the Adventure Core claims to be named "Rick," some the fandom has begun to call the Fact Sphere "Craig," based on the portion of his monologue where he claims that Craig is the best name, according to the world's most advanced algorithms.
* {{Fanon}}: After the release of ''Portal 2'', it was revealed that [[spoiler:[=GLaDOS=] was once human]], which naturally made many people believe that all cores were created the same way. It's also believed that Wheatley's [[spoiler:human form]] greatly resembled Stephen Merchant.
** Virtually ''everybody'' assumes that [[HeroicMime Chell]] is the daughter of Aperture's founder Cave Johnson and his secretary Caroline. There is evidence to suggest she was the daughter of ''someone'' at Aperture (her apparent signature appears on a children's science project in the 'Bring Your Daughter to Work Day' display) and the assumption is sort of understandable since Cave and Caroline are the only other human characters named in-game and [[spoiler: {{GLaDOS}}, who has Caroline's mind inside her, is obsessed with Chell to an almost mother-like degree]], but nowhere does it imply she was anything near as important as ''the daughter of the founder''. Plus, Cave Johnson died in the early 1980s and was already [[http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRz4dHOxT_HcG9wm4Poh4jO2dNbvgzjsxJwBs4f61DvkvOOC6UHAA old man]] at that point (He looked like [[http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR1St-hilbYCDv9ozHZgfB2kbfPRdp8DoT2ZUjaFIUzChkRUtq7 this]] circa 1943). In the first game, Chell looks like she could maybe be a young-looking forty-something at oldest, and in the higher-quality graphics of the second she doesn't look a day over 30. Cave ''could'' have [[MadScientist invented something]] to keep his daughter young or himself and Caroline fertile, and he's crazy enough to force people to spend years in stasis or something, but you still have to be ''really trying'' to interpret him as Chell's father to make it work.
** There is also a common belief that Chell has no memory of anything before ''Portal'' based purely on the fact that we are given no information on her backstory, and possibly the fact that she ''seemed'' to not know [=GLaDOS=] was evil. The idea that she cannot speak, or has difficulty speaking, is also common despite WordOfGod specifically saying otherwise, although this could be seen as a justified belief, as Valve ''has'' shown that she avoids every opportunity to speak, even in the ''Lab Rat'' comic.
* FountainOfMemes: Cave Johnson is becoming one.
** SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!
* GameBreaker: There's a minor example for those with the Razer Hydra motion controller. The extra features added for Sixense's map pack work in the main campaign, though not in co-op. While the tests are designed in such a way that you usually can't reach the buttons unless you can walk to them in the first place, and the gel sections generally don't need precision, the ability to place cubes at a distance does make your job somewhat easier. It also makes [[spoiler:placing the cores on Wheatley a breeze, since your don't have to jump on the Repulsion Gel]]. Conversely, Thermal Discouragement Beams can be a lot harder to aim.
** With the addition of the Challenge maps in the DLC, the Hydra has become a true gamebreaker. With the ability to move portals and boxes, it's possible to beat courses with less portals than should be possible (without outright cheating).
* GeniusBonus:
** The "lemons" rant is funnier when you realize citrus fruit oils are, in fact, [[http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/exp/fruit-fireballs/ highly flammable]].
** Cave's comment in one of the trailers about how turrets fire the whole bullet when shooting is even funnier if you know a bit about how guns work and pay attention to the mechanisms seen. The turrets appear to use a spring-loaded piston, which is impractical in a gun. At worst, a single bullet would give the target a bruise, which rather well explains how Chell can take over twenty bullets to the chest before going down.
* GoodBadBug: A design oversight in the first half of co-op chamber 5-5 allows you remove the cube from there and take it with you to the second half, completely bypassing that portion of the test.
* HeReallyCanAct: Creator/StephenMerchant has been getting some of the biggest kudos of his acting career for his performance as Wheatley; everyone expected his character to be [[TypeCasting a one-trick pony]] but, in typical Creator/{{Valve|Software}} grand fashion, he shattered everyone's expectations. Merchant himself has described playing Wheatley as [[http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2011/05/12/stephen-merchant-wheatley-portal-2-portal-3/ some of the most challenging and exhausting work he's ever done]], and initially had no interest in doing it again, but has admitted that all the acclaim the game has received has softened his stance on that.
* HilariousInHindsight: Stephen Merchant plays a character who happens to be a [[TheRickyGervaisShow round-headed buffoon.]] One does wonder if the creators of ''Portal 2'' got him on board for this reason...
** Karl Pilkington is the round-headed buffoon, not Stephen Merchant.
** One of the taunt Wheatley gives for making you jump down the pit is the supposed pony farm he has down there. If only Valve knew of a certain PeripheryDemographic of a certain [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic cartoon show]] that suddenly was popular about the time of the game's release...
*** [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q1QIRmSplck/TcmVxYBzjBI/AAAAAAAAEVQ/u0Buxeo3u0c/s1600/pony_farm__portal2_spoilers__by_don_komandorr-d3g1cvv.jpg Yep.]]
** The Space!Cave universe in the Perpetual Training Initiative, where said Cave keeps getting frustrated at his subjects attempting to "uncover the conspiracy" of being in space (and often getting killed in the process) despite him mentioning they're in space ''every half hour''. What was likely originally a reference to the big twist in ''[[spoiler:Film/DarkCity]]'' has taken on a new dimension with the release of a game with a similar twist less than a year later: ''[[spoiler:VideoGame/{{Inversion}}]]''
* InferredHolocaust: Both explicitly and implicitly.
** In addition to the countless Aperture Science personnel who were killed, Wheatley also mentions that besides Chell, there are at least 10000 other test subjects being kept in stasis, and they're most likely all dead.
** At the end of the single-player campaign, [[spoiler:Chell is abandoned in a field of grain with nothing but a CompanionCube for company]]. Depending on how the world of ''Portal'' interacts with the ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life}}'' universe, she could be very screwed. The humans presumably beat the Combine within that time, and they seem to have accomplished some rebuilding since the wheat field appears to have been actively cultivated, but who knows what else is going on? However, it's also inverted: since Earth's atmosphere is still breathable and there are still birds and plants, we can infer that the Combine was defeated before they managed to xenoform the planet.
** Given Cave Johnson's progression from recruiting the "Best of the Best of the Best" as test subjects in the 50s to street bums in the late 60s and finally his own employees (and their children, no less) in the 80s, it's very strongly implied that most if not all of them died.
** Wheatley tells you that the turrets are programmed to feel pain, of a sort. How good do you feel about all those turrets you knocked into pits, incinerated or carried through Emancipation fields now?
** Chell's been continually exposed to the various toxic substances that Aperture Science created, especially during her sojourn in the old test chambers. How long is she going to last, really, after the game is over?
** At the end of the co-op campaign [[spoiler: [=GLaDOS=] gets her hands on a huge supply of fresh human test subjects. After making it abundantly clear that as far as she's concerned, it isn't proper science if the test subjects don't die horribly.]]
*** In the "Peer Review" DLC [[spoiler: she says she's been trying to turn them into "killing machines", only to find that they were "far more fragile, and far vocal about how fragile they are" than "you-know-who". Now they're all dead.]] Bonus points for the fact that occurred in the span of ''one week''.
** The blue screen for the reactor prompts the user to press any key to vent radioactive material into the atmosphere, GLaDOS likely did this because the reactor was in the final stages of meltdown at the time and wouldn't go out of the way to save human life.
* ItsShortSoItSucks: ''Portal 2'' was said in prerelease materials to have a 10 hour single player and 10 hour co-op mode. In the game proper, each mode can be beat in somewhat less than that.
** On a smaller scale, the final boss battle has been critiqued for the time limit being too short to allow you to hear all the dialogue in one playthrough.
* JerkassWoobie
** [[spoiler: Cave Johnson. We get to listen to him descend into bitterness and despair shortly before his death.]]
** [[spoiler: Wheatley, that lovable idiot, floating in space potentially forever. He says he's sorry, and how much of it was ever really his fault?]]
** [[spoiler: [=GLaDOS=]. Apparently spent the time between games reliving her own destruction over and over and over again, if you believe her own report. Has her head painfully ripped off her body while she screams in horror. Attached to a potato battery purely as humiliation. Has to listen to someone she knows to be a complete moron gloat about his victory over her and watch him ruin her beloved facility. Oh, and we find out how maddening the influence of the personality cores and the mainframe must have been all this time. And that's without even getting into the whole Caroline backstory, which is pretty sad and traumatic no matter how you interpret the details.]]
* MemeticBadass: The Adventure Core. Also something of a MemeticSexGod, due to his claims of having a black belt in ''everything,'' including [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Bedroom.]] In fandom, he's typically portrayed as being an AnythingThatMoves guy, being too confident in his own masculinity to really give a crap about the gender of the other.
* MemeticMutation:
** Just about everything the Space Sphere says, especially "SPAAAAAAAAACE".
** Cave Johnson's WhenLifeGivesYouLemons rant.
** "He says what we're all thinking!"
** "They told me that if I made up any more of these memes, I WOULD DIE!"
** [[spoiler: "Gla-tato," "Potat-OS" and its variants seem to be worming their way into this category as well.]]
* MisaimedMarketing: The advertising, tie ins, and just about everything heavily tout Co-op, yet what is this huge page about? Not to mention according to [[http://kotaku.com/5817539/the-state-and-stats-of-the-portal-2-gamer only]] about half of PC Portal 2 players even start co-op, and only a fourth finish.
* NeedsMoreLove: Not this game, but the group of indie games being promoted as part of Valve's [[http://www.aperturescience.com/[=GLaDOS=]@home/ marketing campaign]] to get ''Portal 2'' released early. Didn't result in a significantly early release (about ten hours for Steam download), but it definitely succeeded in getting those games some love.
* NewerThanTheyThink: The "Cara Mia" Turret Opera, though you might think it was some old aria the developers borrowed for the sake of a big finish, was actually written for the game by composer Mike Morasky. EllenMcLain ([[TheCastShowoff a trained opera singer]]) used her knowledge of Italian to come up with the lyrics herself.
* RoboShip: The two cooperative mode robots were being shipped together by [[FanArt fan-artists]] before we ever saw videos of them. Images like [[http://portalwiki.asshatter.org/images/c/ca/GI_58_bots.jpg this]] helped.
* {{Scrub}}s[=/=]StopHavingFunGuys: Admittedly, it's fun to mess around with cheats every once in a while, but then you have a staggering amount of {{Jerkass}}es who will ''only'' play co-op with cheats enabled and deride anyone who doesn't want to use them.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: After entering [[spoiler:Old Aperture]], a piece of music (titled [[spoiler:"Music of the Spheres"]] in the soundtrack) plays that is very obviously inspired by, and sounds a lot like, the famous prelude from ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''.
** People have noted that Robots FTW, the ending theme to the Co-Op campaign, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=022pdmjQ6AI sounds suspiciously similar to]] [[Music/LemonDemon BRODYQUEST]].
* TheTetrisEffect: [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/when-video-games-get-stuck-in-your-head/ This (NSFW) article]] at Website/{{Cracked}} sums it up rather nicely.
* ThatOneAchievement: "Professor Portal", which requires you to play through the co-op Calibration Course with a friend (as in an invited one) who has never played before, is the bane of everyone looking for 100% completion. There are threads on every dedicated forum searching for people who qualify so others can unlock the achievement. It has the third lowest completion percentage of all achievements, trailing behind "Friends List With Benefits" (hug three friends) and "Still Alive" (complete Course 4 without either player dying).
** Speaking of which, "Still Alive" is rather difficult to pull off, even with two players that communicate well. Most of the chambers punish screw-ups with death, forcing you to go back to the first chamber and start again. The final chamber is all that and more, since it's filled with turrets, spikes, and pits.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: They did an ''incredible'' job of giving Wheatley so many facial expressions--and he's just a robotic eyeball!
** Hardly surprising it's such a good job, though- the character animator for Wheatley when he's a core is none other than [[http://www.karenprell.com Karen Prell]], a Muppeteer and the performer and voice behind Red Fraggle.
** The destruction of your "hotel room" in the opening. Check out the commentary bubble after the scene and see just how much work was put into the one sequence; ''nearly nine months' worth of effort.''
* UglyCute: [[spoiler: On the one hand, it's an old potato. On the other hand, [[CutenessProximity DAWWWW [=GLaDOS=] IS SO SMALL LOOK AT HER]]]]
* TheWoobie:
** It's hard not to feel bad for those Frankenturrets. Especially when they look at you with big eyes, shivering after you picked them up.
** The defective turrets. They're blind, bulletless, casing-less, and fully aware they're defective. You also have to feel kind of sorry for the functional turrets that get rejected, shouting, "I did everything you asssskeddd" as they get incinerated.
** The "Space" Core. All it wants is to go to space. [[spoiler: And it gets its wish!]]
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