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Borderlands 2: Tropes D to N
Tropes A to C | Tropes D-N | Tropes O to Z

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    D 
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff:
    • Slagging does not, in itself, harm an enemy but they take a whole lot more damage from non-slag attacks once they're suffering from slag.
    • Zer0 can apply a "Death Mark" to enemies, either by performing a melee attack on them or throwing Death Bl0ss0m kunai at them. Marked enemies take increased damage from all sources; usually you just end up finishing them off yourself with more melee attacks, though.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory:
    • For those who have the habit of reloading after every fight, this can result in losing ammo when reloading a Tediore weapon, since reloading has you throw the gun at the enemy like a grenade. Very cool, but it takes all the bullets left in the clip with it! It's so bad that even the developers do it during previews. Of course, some players may throw full ones anyway for the damage bonus. Worse yet, the resulting explosion can hurt yourself. A lot, in some cases.
      • This is less of an issue with the legendary Deliverance shotgun, unique among Tediore guns in that it homes in on enemies. Whether or not it has ammunition left in the magazine when you throw it, it'll shoot at its target without using that ammo while en route to its target.
    • With Gaige the Mechromancer, you have 'Anarchy' - Every magazine you empty or enemy you kill trades accuracy for damage, stacking up to 150 times!note  With Reload before your mag's empty though, and ALL those stacks disappear!note 
      Gaige: Don't accidentally reload, don't accidentally reload...
    • The new driving controls: guaranteed to kick you out of a vehicle at least once before you remember that you can't lock onto enemies anymore.
    • The PlayStation 3 version moves the aim and shoot buttons from the analog triggers to the shoulder buttons and uses the triggers to throw grenades and use action skills. Those used to the first game's control layout may find themselves inadvertently using their action skills and blowing themselves up with their own grenades. You are, however, able to change the control scheme to "Classic" Borderlands in the options menu.
    • Using Salvador's "Gunzerk" skill on a controller is simple, as right trigger is default fire (right hand) and vice versa. Should you ever have to swap between controller and mouse, however, here's hoping you remember LMB is default (right) and RMB is secondary (left) before you're in the center of a firefight.note 
  • Darker and Edgier: Yes, it's Denser and Wackier, but the game gets very dark near the end, with the fight against Angel and the death of Roland, and kidnapping of Lilith.
  • Darkest Africa: The continent of Aegrus is pretty much this. Dark swamps, savannahs and jungle mountains filled with bloodthirsty savage tribal warriors and ferocious wildlife trying to kill you at every turn.
  • Deadly Doctor: Doc Mercy, a brutal, insane Bandit doctor who loves hurting a lot more than healing. Much to Dr. Zed's chagrin, however, he's actually a licensed surgeon with a real medical degree.
    • Also Witch Doctors to an extent, as they can heal themselves, their fellow savages, and level them up.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Some weapons have voices, and will sarcastically comment on what you're doing, whether reloading, or if you get a critical hit.
    • Claptrap is also the embodiment of this trope.
      Claptrap: Your ability to walk short distances without dying will be Handsome Jack's downfall!
    • Lilith, in spades. Almost everything she says is a snark directed at someone.
    • Just about everyone gets snarky sometimes.
    • Even the loading screens get in on it.
      Loading screen tip: Shoot a skag in the mouth when it's roaring. It'll do extra damage and make the skag feel really stupid.
  • Death from Above: The Spores from the Hammerlock DLC. They hover in the air, dropping kamikaze versions of themselves onto you.
    • Buzzards from the main body of the game are bandit flying contraptions who pelt your head with bullets, missiles, gun-toting passengers and trash-talk from above. The buzzard pilots yell it word for word.
    • The introduction card for the fight against Piston's airship in Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage actually says this. It's accurate too - the thing circles your position raining missiles and bouncing bombs upon you.
    • Gaige has a skill named this.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • Just like in the first game, you respawn at a nearby station when you die, losing a decent chunk of money but nothing else.
      Hyperion Respawn Station: The next time some idiot tells you that life is meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them.
    • If your entire party dies enemy health will also reset. (This can make solo play occasionally infuriating, as bosses or named Bad Ass enemies like Mad Mike can reset to max life and shields the moment they get a lucky shot off at you.)
    • Subverted when Roland, Angel, and any other named characters die permanently.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts:
    • Some enemies, particularly in co-op games, may have such a huge amount of hp that you're almost essentially forced to do this to them. Also played straight if you use an acid or fire weapon on them, and it whittles them down gradually.
    • There's even a couple of Badass Ranks that can be pulled off by getting your second wind from killing an enemy with damage-over-time caused by fire or acid weapons — LIFE and death of a thousand cuts!
    • There is also an area of the game called "Thousand Cuts." Perhaps not coincidentally, the Bonus Boss "Terramorphous the Invincible" (which must be taken down by this method, raid-style) appears just past this area.
    • Implied to be how Mr. Torgue's grandmother killed a guy. She gummed him to death. "IT TOOK SEVERAL HOURS!"
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: Invoked in Tiny Tina's DLC. While you're using your regular characters, in-game its presented as Brick, Mordecai, and Lilith playing the Bunkers & Badasses game hosted by Tiny Tina. They will comment regularly throughout some of the story missions, as well as some sidequests.
  • Deface of the Moon: While there's no actual mark, Handsome Jack put a humongous space station halfway between the planet and its geosynchronous moon that casts a big shadow in the shape of an H upon the moon's surface. Wherever you are, it's watching you - if it's not explicitly raining enemy reinforcements.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Some of the remnants of the Crimson Lance are now led by Roland as members of the resistance against Handsome Jack. Despite Roland being a Crimson Lance deserter and working with the other vault hunters, they murdered hundreds of them and concretely ended their main employer. Handsome Jack is just that much of a threat. Most of them seem happy to work for Roland.
    • Averted by some of them who decided to become bandits instead of working with the vault hunters.
    • Loader Mal stops attacking you once you beat him down badly enough at the end of the "Real Boy" side mission in Eridium Blight. He's one of the very few enemies you can absolutely only fight once per playthrough because of this.
    • Brick in a fashion, he just lets his underlings do the fighting before accepting the players into his gang.
  • Deflector Shield:
    • Personal Beehive Barrier type shields as part of Regenerating Shield, Static Health. When not taking damage the shields always regenerate after a delay. Some player skills can affect the shields like giving them extra capacity and faster recharge rates. Unless the player has specific skills or picks up items players do not regenerate health. Shields may have other special effects like emitting a burst of elemental energy or cause damage to enemies attacking the player. Some shields even give up energy to boost weapon damage. Enemies also have similar shields.
    • Axton's turret can get a spherical type shieldnote . The shield is a dome or spherical beehive barrier. It stops incoming enemy shots but permits players to fire from inside or through the shield. The shield is not part of a health and shield regen set up.
  • Denser and Wackier: Definitely, compared to the Indecisive Parody in the first installment. One can argue, however, that the shift to full blown Black Comedy took place in the original game's DLC with their Breaking the Fourth Wall and card carrying villainy.
  • Development Gag: One quest has you restore power to a motel truck stop by repairing its generator. The three components you need are a Gearbox, a Valve, and a Steam capacitor.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • If Wilhelm drops his mission item mission in the cliff, making impossible to reach and catch it, the item will automatically be added to your inventory, saving you from the headache of having to re-fight him.
    • When the player is sent to the Marcus Munitions backdoor, if you don't loot a single chest Marcus will only wonder how the hell you ended up there, instead of berating you for robbing him.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway: Limbs can be blasted off of most Hyperion Loaders by inflicting sufficient damage to their weak points, though the weakpoints on certain tougher models may only be hit from behind. Removing the left arm will disable grenade-throwing, right arm takes away their gun, and so on and so forth. Repair Surveyors can digistruct new limbs onto the damaged units in the field (along with restoring the robot's HP), though.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The mission where you assault Control Core Angel has vibes indicating it might be the game's final mission. Nope.
  • Disc One Nuke: Almost every boss enemy has a heightened chance to drop one particular Legendary (orange-rarity) weapon, including those fought at the very beginning of the game. Although it's certainly a Luck-Based Mission to get one, the right spawn can give you a very powerful weapon quite early onnote . Two examples particularly stand out:
    • The very first actual boss in the game, Boom and his brother Bewm, have a chance to drop the grenade mod Bonus Package. This lets you throw a grenade, which explodes into more grenades, which, in turn, explodes into a few more grenades! Will rip clusters of enemies (or one big, slow-moving enemy) to shreds! Making this even better is the fact that both Boom and Bewm can drop it, effectively doubling the chance of it dropping (and potentially - but extremely rarely - giving you two copies).
    • Doc Mercy, the boss of one of the first sidequests you get in Sanctuary, has an increased chance to drop the Infinity pistol, which has great stats in addition to its unlimited ammo gimmick and is absolutely devastating in the hands of Salvador.
    • A notable subversion also exists with the Hornet pistol. Compared to other pistols of the same level, the Hornet really does live up to its Legendary rarity, but it has a boosted chance to drop from Knuckle Dragger, the tutorial boss. This means it will always spawn as a Level 1 variant and will become outclassed very, very quickly. Furthermore, its always-corrosive nature hinders it at a point in the game when every enemy that isn't Boom or Bewm has health instead of armor.
  • Difficult but Awesome:
    • Zer0 seems to have been tailored to this - one of his skills gives you a stacking damage bonus when you get a critical hit, but you lose it if you don't get a critical. Also it fades over time, and sniper rifles only. He also has no early health-restoration abilities, unlike everyone else, forcing you to rely on health vial drops to restore yourself (assuming you don't have a buddy who can heal you or a health regenerating class mod). Most of the rest of his skills are based around high-risk, high-reward strategies involving in-your-face melee or distant-but-precise sniping.
    • Gaige's Ordered Chaos skill tree caters to this as well. Its primary —and mandatory— skill is "Anarchy" which stacks every time Gaige kills an enemy or reloads from an empty clip. The more Anarchy you've got, the more damage you do, but the more inaccurate you become, and this can stack all the way up to +700% Damage (and -700% Accuracy!). Other skills in the tree make use of Anarchy and do awesome things like creating explosions if you shoot at an enemy while jumping through the air or forming health-stealing claws in melee.
    • Hyperion weapons in general. The whole schtick of Hyperion weaponry - that they become more accurate as they fire - is so counterintuitive to every FPS out there that many players just don't use them. However, Hyperion weaponry also has consistently superior stats to just about everything else, so once you manage to get accustomed to the weirdness of using such a counterintuitive weapon family, they become devastatingly effective.
    • Torgue weaponry has the slowest bullet speed of any weapon in the game, and in some cases the speed is variable. This makes leading the target difficult. However, Torgue weapons deal explosive damage, which damages everything pretty well. And on top of that, the damage listed in their description card is actually the splash damage from when the shot detonates close to the target instead of on it. The actual damage dealt by a direct hit is about twice as high. Now, couple Torgue weapons with Axton, who has skills that buff both gun and grenade damage, and remember that Torgue bullets count as both bullets and grenades. Yeah.
    • A Mania-centered Krieg build focused mostly on taking damage and meleeing, can be difficult to play (especially early on until you can get "Release The Beast" at the very bottom of the skill tree). But utilizing it properly, he can chew through waves of both regular Mooks and even some badass ones with little trouble, and a particularly skilled player can chain cast his Buzz Axe Rampage skill, showing bandits, dangerous creatures, and Hyperion just how dangerous psychos can get when they're on the Vault Hunter's side.
    • Certain orange items with very bizarre/non-traditional weapon behavior but great stats can also fit this. One example is the Fastball, a legendary Tediore grenade. It is thrown (so it has travel time, unlike a longbow grenades), but it has much higher velocity and nearly no arc. It has incredibly high damage, but practically no splash damage, making it tricky to use at long distance but incredibly powerful if you can hit with it. Many other orange weapons have similarly strange abilities but great potential... Such as a Tediore shotgun that homes in on nearby enemies when thrown, firing off any remaining shells in the magazine on the way, before exploding on impact.
  • Difficulty Spike: The Arid Nexus/Badlands feature a substantial boost to all enemies' deadliness. Not coincidentally, this is when you start to meet Hyperion's professional troops and large numbers of SGT, WAR, JET, and Badass Loaders.
  • Disney Death: Most players won't notice this unless they're watching it (and not running towards the next area shooting stuff), but during the final story mission, when Mordecai and Brick are helping the Vault Hunters to reach Jack before he activates the Warrior, the cargo ship Mordecai is on starts taking a lot of damage about halfway through the level. Brick then jumps onboard to try and help, but the ship crashes into the lava below, complete with Brick screaming. Then when you finish the story mission, both men show up at the end, a little bit battered, but no worse for the wear.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A few examples.
    • Handsome Jack tends to do these on you during story missions. It never works out, since you destroy everything he sends your way.
    • Three from Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage:
      • Mr. Torgue's side quest "Matter of Taste" wants you to kill a game review critic simply because he gave a 6 out of 10 for a game the former liked. As you leave the area after killing him, the surviving reviewers then comment on you and how you reminded them of yet another game (or rather, a feature in the game) they hated, causing Mr. Torgue to have you kill them as well.
      • In Tiny Tina's side quest "Number One Fan," she wants you to get an autograph from her third favorite murderer. The guy says no, so she has you kill him and collect his head instead. Then after you turn the quest in she mentions her number one favorite person is you.
      • During "Eat Cookies and Crap Thunder," Tina freaks out when she learns that the food vendors in the Torgue Arena are dispensing oatmeal-raisin cookies instead of the chocolate chip she thought they were. She demands you destroy the machines. The game seems to agree with her, saying "Oatmeal cookies should be considered a war crime" when turning in the mission.
        Mr Torgue: Somebody's destroying our food dispensers! In a few months, all the workers will probably starve to death! THAT IS AWESOME!
    • In the fourth DLC, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, after clearing out some guys from Moxxi's bar, one calls her a bitch before leaving, so Mr. Torgue orders you to 'punch him so hard he explodes'. You do. It is glorious.
    • Basically all of Jack's policies in towns he control. One of the announcements notes that littering is a crime punishable by death. It then goes on to specify that speaking badly of Hyperion is considered "Verbal Littering".
  • Dirty Coward: The primary antagonist of Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is afraid of losing his position, so he uses every underhanded move in the book to try to take you out without putting himself in danger.
    • Angel occasionally tells you that Jack is too much of a coward to face you directly and relies on others to do his dirty work. After you kill her, Jack is pissed off enough that he wants to kill the players himself, though he still relies heavily on backup.
  • Door Stopper: In Hammerlock's radio commercial for his "Beasts of Pandora" book, he says that if you were faced up against a stalker, you would know to attack it on the underside of its skull (its weakpoint), or otherwise you could just throw the massive book at it and run away while it's stunned.
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • When discussing Moxxie leaving Jack:
      Jack: Once you've eaten prime rib for free, it's hard to go back to suckin' down hamburgers for cash. If you know what I'm talking about. Do you know what I'm talking about? (Beat) Dicks! I'm talkin' about dicks.
    • There's also the mission where Claptrap wants you to destroy a bandit encampment's furnace so the bandits will "chill out." He explains not only the joke, but the entire concept of humor.
      Claptrap: Since I still don't hear you laughing about "chill out", you must not understand humor in general. See, humor is based on subverting expectations, often through play on words. According to this formula of humor, my "chill out" comment was literally the funniest thing ever said by anyone.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Loyal Handsome Jack follower and Hyperion employee Professor Nakayama isn't too pleased at what the vault hunters did to his boss.
  • The Dreaded: Maya was apparently highly feared by the people of her planet, as the monks used the threat of her powers to scare the populace into paying taxes for the Church. She discovers this after she is ordered to execute a citizen for the crime of not paying a tithe.
  • Dreadful Musician:
    • The AI core that you put into Moxxi's entertainment system overrides the music with a performance by one of these, hoping you'll commit suicide.
    • Jack also invokes this trope in one quest, after he kills Bloodwing. He at first mentions playing a violin, but then doesn't have one, and the dialogue stops. After you reach Sanctuary a few moments later, he comes back on, and then plays some really awful notes on said violin, then berates you and says that it would've been really funny if he had played it right after Bloodwing died. Can be viewed here.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • It's hard to go Up to Eleven much more than your cover bandit looking doubly suicidal.
    • Daisy after you deliver to her the poem written by Scooter.
    • Face McShooty, a bandit that gives you the quest of shooting him in the face. Doing so even nets you an achievement.
    • You, in a sidequest. In Eridium Blight, there's a sidequest where Handsome Jack pays you to jump off a really tall cliff. You can comply and get a lot of Eridium (and get called his bitch), or call the Hyperion Suicide Prevention Hotline to get more EXP instead (and get called a loser.)
    • The AI core who you "rescue" plays bad music hoping that Moxxi's bar patrons would do this.
  • Dumb Muscle: Goliaths, complete with a Simpleton Voice and Hulk Speak. Weirdly, their intelligence seems to go up a few notches when they become enraged.
  • Dummied Out: Various little bits of dialogue, but ones that explain SO much:
    • Angel and Jack are the ones manipulating the New-U system to keep the Hunters alive throughout the game: Angel to take down Jack, and Jack to make sure he kills you himself after you kill Angel.
    • Captain Flynt mentions that he has a bounty out on whoever killed his brother, Baron. Other than that cut line there's no mention of any relation between the two.
    • Borderlands released official ringtones (free to download from their main website) featuring voice clips from Moxxie, Torgue, Claptrap, Tiny Tina, and Sir Hammerlock. The files consist of nothing but dialogue spoken by those characters, almost all of it (Tina doesn't have any of her DLC dialogue, but everything else is there.) This includes some dummied out dialogue, such as Torgue telling you to go down into the sewers and kill rats, and more of Tina's conversation during the tea party that never made it into the game.
    • Moxxi was originally supposed to be involved in Fink's Circle of Slaughter, located right before The Fridge. There was also suppose to be another turn-in NPC named Captain Cabrera, who was later used in the Slaughter Dome DLC. She also has unused Tip Jar lines.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome
    Angel: Dad, I have to tell you something... you're an asshole.

    E 
  • Egopolis: Fyrestone, the first town in the first game is now Jackville.
    • The city of Opportunity, a ridiculously shiny city with statues and cardboard cutouts of Handsome Jack everywhere. True to his actual character, the people building it are overworked to death, there are more security robots around than humans, and it's not very well-planned out because the road to the city just stops without room for a parking lot. The actual builders are even told they won't be able to live there when the city is finished, since they aren't civilized or rich enough. The fact that he's actively paying people to live in a city in the middle of a bandit-infested planet makes the place an example of Fascist, but Inefficient.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Fire is good against flesh, acid is good against armor, and shock is good on shields. Explosive is average-middling on everything and has Painfully Slow Projectiles, but does splash damage. Slag is Non-Elemental, and coated enemies take more damage from non-slag attacks.
    • That said, it's usually a good idea to carry at least one of every type of elemental weapon on you. It may seem extremely inconvenient at first, particularly if you're a Kleptomaniac Hero who has to grab everything they see. But an otherwise tough battle against a badass loader can be made much, much easier if you have a good corrosive weapon on you, or a fire weapon against the goliath whose helmet you just accidentally shot off, particularly in True Vault Hunter Mode.
  • Elite Mook:
    • Besides the usual "Badass" variants of enemies, some enemy types are, in general, more powerful than their companions. Nomads, for example, are slow-moving but tougher than most other bandits, often armed with riot shields or heavy machine guns, and some even function as Mook Commanders by ordering the rest of the enemies after you.
    • Played for Laughs in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. Shortly before you reach Professor Nakayama's ship, he tells you that he's sending his best men to stop you. They're just a group of normal (slightly harder) tribesmen like all the rest. Nakayama panics when you deal with them.
    Nakayama: Those were LITERALLY MY BEST GUYS! Oh, I am so screwed!
  • Emotionless Girl: Aubrey Callahan III from Captain Scarlett's DLC is a perpetually bored and sarcastic-sounding young woman who has some sidequests posted to the Oasis Bounty Board for you. She also returns in Tiny Tina's DLC as a Treant, again with a sidequest for you. Technically this is the only time you get to meet her in person.
  • Empty Room Psych/Missing Secret: Parodied in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep where a friggin' VAULT can be seen in the distance from Flamerock Refuge.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas:
    • Salvador and his grandmother.
    • Handsome Jack invokes this trope in one quest by sending you to check on his grandmother. He sounds rather concerned for her and doesn't seem like the usual jackass that he normally is. Then he averts it by revealing that he hired some bandits to kill his own grandmother, and just wanted you to check and see if they did the job. Even better: since you killed them, he doesn't have to pay them anymore! Given that said grandmother has a buzz-axe in her house which is said to be used as a "disciplinary" weapon, Jack may have a Freudian Excuse for wanting her dead.
    • One quest line follows Taggart, an ex-boyfriend of Sir Hammerlock, where you find several of Taggart's echo recordings to his mother, ending with you looting what was supposed to be a Mother's Day gift. Which gives off one heck of an Oedipus Complex...
  • Everyone Is Bi: Or at least, most people are, and those who aren't don't make a big deal about them. Various characters in the game will make passes at you or comment on how attractive you are regardless of what gender your character is, and in a game with a lot of characters who have almost no redeeming features, not a single one of them ever throws out a homophobic slur.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom:
    • Badass grade robots create a skull-shaped mushroom cloud.
    • Also played straight with Axton's turret gun if you get a certain skill. It will create a mushroom-cloud explosion wherever it lands at.
    • The "Nukem" rocket launcher creates a mini mushroom cloud.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: As in the first game, the wildlife is angry and numerous. Newly added are the plants, like Firemelons, which explode when shot or Stinging Cacti which electrocute anything that gets close when they are shot, struck, or otherwise disturbed.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Jack seems to be under the impression that whether you're good or evil is entirely down to aesthetics: if you look great, have a lot of money, and live in a shiny, shiny city, you're the good guy, and good guys always win. He doesn't really seem to understand the difference between order and chaos, either, because while he mentions he's trying to clean everything up, that's in between fits of mad laughter over how hilarious it is to blow people's brains out and speeches about how mining-induced volcanoes are "the definition of awesome!"
    • Jack seems to genuinely believe he's the hero, and berates the vault hunters for being bandits and unable to recognise that the hero is going to defeat them and make the world a better place. He gives you an example where he talks about that one time he burnt down an orphanage, and a bystander tried to kill him with a spoon. Jack takes the spoon and blinds the guy with it. And then forgets where he was going with the example.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • In full effect. Handsome Jack can't resist constantly calling you to tell you how he Poked The Poodle recently. On several occasions he's audibly eating something. He is also visibly offended by any and all of your attempts to resist him to the point that your continued existence alone causes him to be in a state of constant Villainous Breakdown.
    • One sidequest has Handsome Jack give you a mission to kill yourself, knowing full well you'll respawn; he just wants to humiliate you.
    • Another mission has the Hyperion Corporation hiring you to kill a bunch of bandits, knowing full well who you are and promising a "Hyperion firearm made especially for you" if you do it. The sniper rifle in question has decent stats and an onboard AI that does everything it can to make you feel bad (which is an explicit Shout-Out to this XKCD comic).
  • Evil Weapon: The Bane. Anyone who encounters it will admit it's a fine weapon, but it bears a horrible curse that either kills its users or drives them insane. Specifically, having it out slows your movement to a crawl, and it's a talking weapon which makes a lot of extremely annoying noise when fired, or zoomed, or anything.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • The "Loaders" are repurposed enemy mining robots and come in many deadly varieties. HOT Loaders are armed with flamethrowers. JNK Loaders are assembled from junkyard scraps. EXP Loaders...explode.
    • The mission called "Shoot This Guy in the Face". A guy named "Face McShooty" wants you to shoot him in the face. Guess what you do.
    • There's a unique bruiser named Muscles and a unique midget named Shorty.
    • In Captain Scarlett's Pirate Booty, there is also an ARR Loader, which is a pirate robot complete with pegleg and sword.
    • Jack taunts the Vault Hunters early on by talking about the diamond pony he bought. It's not a statue, by the way: it's an actual living breathing pony with a diamond body.
  • Experience Booster: The Moxxi's Endowment Relic.
    • Krieg's "Pull the Pin" skill causes him to drop a free grenade upon death. If he gets a kill with it, he gets double the XP.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Near the end of the mission mentioned below under Eye Scream.
  • Exploding Barrels: All over the place. Random incendiary, corrosive, explosive, slag, and oddly, barrels of electricity are everywhere. Larger tanks of fuel or explosive gas are around as well; apparently Jakobs was a major fuel provider.
  • Exploited Immunity: One of Krieg's skills allows him to become an Action Bomb if his HP is depleted. If he manages to kill an enemy in the explosion, he'll come back to life thanks to the second wind mechanic.
  • Expospeak Gag: Near the beginning of the game, Hammerlock utters "Ah, fecal matter!" to express his displeasure at the bounty board not working.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge:
    • Bandit "Maylay" shields encourage this as a tactic, granting bonus melee damage when depleted. This is especially the case with the unique Love Thumper shield, which takes a very long time to recharge and gives a huge melee bonus - while also causing explosions with every connecting melee attack.
    • Goliaths drop their weapons when their helmets are knocked off, attacking with their bare hands until killed. Provoking this is the best way to deal with Goliath Blasters, because their rocket launchers are much more dangerous than they could ever be while enraged.
    • A Mania-build Krieg can invoke this, as he has several skills which boosts his melee when his shields are down and delays the shield recharge. However, should you find yourself in fight for your life mode, this isn't as effective if the enemies move out of your hitting range.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • According to Scooter, Crazy Earl once ate one of his cars. The whole thing. With a fork and all...
    • Skags will eat EVERYTHING. One quest flavor text theorizes that guns must taste like filet mignon to them seeing how often they drop them when killed.
    • There is a citizen in Sanctuary that will make claims that his various family members have all eaten various forms of Pandora wildlife... and another who claims all his family members were eaten by nearly all forms of Pandora wildlife.
  • Eye Beams:
    • Loaders can zap you with their Cyber Cyclops eyes, an attack that's usually reserved for when their primary weapon is useless (like when you're out of range or when you shoot their arms off). It charges slowly and is pretty easy to avoid.
      • Angelic Guard loaders have substantially more effective eye beams.
    • Constructors have much more powerful lasers that can cut you down in seconds, though again it's not an attack they use very often.
    • Lab Rats, bandits who were experimented on by Hyperion and escaped, fire very powerful beams from their eyes if they manage to get right in your face.
    • Deathtrap also has an electrical eye beam he'll use against distant flying targets (like Rakk) and can get a more powerful fire-damage beam as an upgrade from Gaige's middle skill tree.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: One of the heads available for Gaige the Mechromancer is a newsboy cap (appropriately titled "Read All About It"), the peak of which hides her eyes (when viewing the character model on the title screen, either variant can occur depending on the angle her head is positioned).
  • Eye Scream:
    • One of your first missions is a result of a bullymong named Knuckle Dragger tearing out Claptrap's eye.
    • Jack gloats about blinding a man with a spoon in front of his children (one of whom lives in Sanctuary and still has the spoon).

    F 
  • Fantastic Racism: Subverted in the Tiny Tina DLC. At one point while fighting the dwarves, Lilith comments that all of them look like Salvador. Tina tries to dismiss it, but the others wonder if she's being a little racist. Tina then yells and asks Salvador downstairs if it's okay that all the dwarves look like him. He yells back and says that he's cool with it.
  • Feuding Families: There's a quest chain where you facilitate the feud between the Hodunks and the Zafords. Which clan comes out on top is ultimately up to the player.
  • Fiction 500:
    • Handsome Jack. Hyperion is the largest corporation on Pandora, and he owns it.
      Jack: I wanted to let you know that I just bought a pony. Made of diamonds. Because I'm rich.
    • Jack later clarifies: not a statue, a living pony made of diamonds. Given that there are species on Pandora composed of precious gems, this is a little less far-fetched, but still.
    • His promised bounty reward to several assassins? Enough money for each of them to buy a mansion composed of smaller mansions.
  • Flare Gun: Flynt's Tinderbox behaves exactly like one, firing low-arcing projectiles that deal laughable impact damage, but near-always sets targets on fire for massive Incendiary damage. Curiously enough, it's also one of the most persistent 'rare' weapons in the game, being guaranteed to show up no less than three times over the course of the main story:
    • The first time the player encounters it, it's dropped by its owner, Captain Flynt.
    • The second time is during the mission A Train to Catch; when you arrive in the Tundra Express, you can blow the head off a nearby snowman to reveal the Tinderbox. It's because you'll need a fire weapon to set Varkids on fire.
    • The third time is during Clan War: Trailer Trashing, in which it's given to you as a mission item (meaning you can't keep it) so you can set the Hodunk Clan's trailer park on fire.
  • Flat "What.": Lilith's reaction to Roland's discovery that the Vault is not a cache of weapons or similar, but a living thing. Twice in a row.
    Lilith: I'm just gonna go ahead and repeat myself. What?
    • Also Jack's reaction to Angel telling him that she's discovered another Siren (Maya, specifically).
  • Five-Bad Band: With the five named big wigs of Hyperion in the main game:
  • Flipping the Bird: With the taunting skill upgrade Come At Me Bro!, Salvador does this with both hands before reaching for his guns.
    • Claptrap does this to Sir Hammerlock after his optic surgery. Claptrap doesn't have a middle finger, so he has to do a bras d'honneur instead.
  • Flunky Boss: Some fights are much more about fighting off waves of enemies than attacking one single foe; in other cases there's a giant foe (usually a Constructor) that's actually making new enemies for you to fight. There's a boss fight against a Thresher that has swallowed a supply beacon and it is inadvertently causing robots to be launched from the moon down to its location, making it one of those rare "inadvertent" flunky boss fights. In a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, this actually works in the player's favour, as it provides the only way to successfully revive yourself out of a Second Wind outside of Co-Op (or if everyone is downed) when the boss still has a reasonable amount of health.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Not too far into the game, you find logs Handsome Jack has left as instructions for people on trying to get one of his bounties, specifically for the Siren Maya. To dissuade bounty hunters from just painting a woman's arm blue and turning in her corpse as "evidence" he says there's only six Sirens in the universe. More importantly, he also says he knows who three of them are. At this point in the game the player only knows two of them, Lilith and Maya. Plot Point! Actually you know all three, you just don't realize it. It is later revealed that Angel is a Siren...and Jack's daughter.
      • It is especially well done because there were lots of hints in borderlands 1 that Steele was also a siren, so returning players WOULD know 3 sirens and might not think there's anything else behind the comment.
    • Even earlier, when Angel hacks a door for you, she uses an ability called "Phaseshift". That is awfully similar to Phaselock and Phasewalk, Maya and Lilith's respective abilities.
    • A minor version in Tina's house. Look at the cards on the table. They're the names of each of the invitees to her tea party, who you will be asked to fetch for a side mission. One of them says "Evil bastard that killed my parents".
    • When you first meet Roland in the flesh, he's on a bed with a giant, red graffiti on the wall that reads "You Die!" Roland is the only one of the original Vault Hunters to die in the story.
    • Before beginning the raid on Angel's location, Roland even mutters "Time to think of some good last words."
    • When you get back to Sanctuary after killing Wilhelm, Scooter is working on one of the fuel cell receptacles, right before Sanctuary has to take off.
    • In the mission "Wildlife Preservation," Mordecai tells the Vault Hunters that he's not going to lose his cool over Bloodwing's capture. When Jack kills her, Mordecai explodes.
    • In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the first story mission is called "Denial, Anger, Initiative". This is a hint that Tina is already aware of Roland's death but is in denial, which is revealed to be the case at the end.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Zer0 is portrayed with only four digits on each hand. This may be just another reference to his Japan-esque haiku-spouting cyber-ninja character, or, given that his body is completely concealed and he seems extremely lanky for someone his strength, it might be a hint that he is not exactly human.
  • Four Point Scale: In-universe; an ECHO sim reviewer gives a bad review to a game Mr. Torgue enjoys... with a numbered score of 6/10. Mr. Torgue calls the reviewer out on his hypocrisy, saying that by any logical standard 6/10 is above average.
  • Freudian Slip: Moxxi gives one when you're going to face off with Motor Momma in the Torgue DLC. She immediately apologizes for it afterward, saying that she went too far that time.
    Moxxi: No one eats my girlfriends but me.
  • Friendly Fire Proof: In co-op games, shooting other players outside of a duel doesn't hurt them. The siren even has a skill that heals others by shooting them. Some special shield effects can hurt your teammates, namely the IED Boosters dropped by the Whiskey Tango and the explosive nova caused by melee attacks when the Love Thumper is depleted.
    • Krieg has a special skill that specifically allows allies to damage him. Given that he often goes on massive rampages whenever he's at low health, this is still beneficial.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • Oh, so there's a tyrannical government/megacorp in charge that tried to kill you when you landed? That sucks! Now, watch a character from the first game is killed, in a recording while the Big Bad laughs, your supposed ally (Guardian) Angel turn on you because she's working for said Big Bad, your city is endangered, a friend's pet is mutated then killed, you are forced to Mercy Kill a girl you find out is the Corrupt Corporate Executive's daughter held in perpetual slavery to stop said baddie, another friend is shot (right after the whole kill-the-slave-girl thing), a third friend is kidnapped and the Big Bad got away with everything! Well, until the final boss battle anyway.
    • In one side quest for Tiny Tina's DLC, players are asked to help Claptrap get a beard and charge up his wand. After fulfilling those quests, he then decides to cast some spells to test out his new toys, by summoning and defeating a demon. Said demon turns out to be sentient brooms not unlike those seen in Fantasia. To make matters hilariously worse, every time he tries to dismiss or weaken them, he ends up making them even stronger, forcing you to deal with ever more powerful minions.
  • Funny Background Event: In Krieg's intro video, he does his toss-buzzaxe-in-the-air-and-catch-it thing. When he's about to pounce the guard in the red armor, he drops it.

    G 
  • Gag Boobs: Moxxi. Jack even refers to her as "Ol' balloon-tits".
  • Gainaxing: Moxxi does it in her intro during the Campaign of Carnage DLC. Ellie does it as well when she's talking to the player.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Most are not completely game breaking, but they can be prevalent.
    • The biggest one was having Bad Ass Rank reset and deleting all skin unlocks/stash items, while still leaving the challenges for them completed. It happened randomly from the first day of release, though it was eventually patched (and the patch re-credited all ranks and unlocks, mostly accurately).
    • After killing Doc Mercy, he drops a quest item. For some reason, this can clip through the floor, forcing you to quit the game so it spawns where Mercy spawned.
    • If an enemy is in front of the New-U station when you respawn, you can get stuck inside of the station. Enemies almost never appear in front of New-U stations, so as to prevent spawn killing, but Loaders can move in front of the station during or after the fight with the Gluttonous Thresher. During the fight it's not a problem, as the Thresher will just kill you, you respawn, and you may move freely again, but after the fight, Loaders won't spawn anymore, meaning that if you die while the last Loader was standing in front of the station, and you kill him upon respawn, you're stuck and have no choice but to quit the game to fix it.
    • The BNK3R boss can get stuck in the geometry. If you kill it, nothing happens, forcing you to reload your game.
    • Bloodwing can suffer the same issue, forcing the player to have to redo the entire level in order to get back to the fight.
    • During the final leg of the "Get to Know Jack" sidequest, if you turn the valve to summon the rakk holding the final ECHO log before pressing a nearby button, you will have one, one chance to kill the rakk before it vanishes, otherwise its ECHO log, and subsequently the sidequest, is Lost Forever.
    • A bug existed with Gaige that if someone is using Anarchy on a multiplayer game and not hosting it, they'll lose their stacks every reload without question.
    • Having any ranks in Gaige's Smaller, Lighter, Faster skill causes any gun with a magazine size of one (rare, but still known to exist) to be reduced to zero, making the gun completely useless.
    • Enemies randomly float into the sky and eventually out of the game world. Turns out to be funny if it happens to an enraged Goliath, because all you'll hear throughout the map is their evil laugh.
    • For Maya players who spec in Cataclysm, critical kills are not registered as such if they trigger Cloudkill, which can be a pain if you're aiming for the bonus objectives for the Circle of Slaughter sidequests.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: None of the original characters can be harmed when they're out fighting in the field with you during story missions. Most blatantly with Brick, whose preferred method of fighting is punching things to death.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Even if Handsome Jack is dead, when you do the Double Rainbow Easter Egg he still ECHO's you because his voice is required for the achievement to pop.
    • Oh so very, very much with Roland's death. He's been tanking gunfire from assault rifles and constructors throughout the entire game up to this point. One shot from a pistol into the back, and boom, dead.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Psychos. That guy on the cover's a Psycho, for instance.
  • Gatling Good: Every Assault Rifle manufacturer makes "spinigun" assault rifles. They feature a gatling style form of operation with barrels that spin up to maximum rate of fire and eat through ammo quickly. Jakobs spiniguns, however, fire all three spinigun barrels at the same time, effectively turning it into an accurate shotgun. Non-Jakobs Pistols can also come with a double rotary barrel which gives them ridiculously fast fire rates. Badass Goliaths heft massive miniguns, literally roughly the same size as themselves, into combat — though, like all Goliaths, they drop their weapon when enraged. Badassasaurus has rocket-firing miniguns mounted as its "arms".
  • Gender-Blender Name: Taggart named an especially big and nasty Stalker after his mother, Henry.
  • Gender-Inverted Trope: In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the side-quest "Fake Geek Guy" is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a gender-reversed example of the 'Fake Geek Girl' stereotype, with Lilith playing the role of the 'true' geek, and Mr. Torgue as the 'suspect' geek. Turns out Mr. Torgue isn't as hardcore a geek as either Lilith or Tina would like, and breaks down in tears because he just wants to be included.
    Mr. Torgue: [Inelegant Blubbering]
    Lilith: Wow... now I kinda feel like a dick.
    Tina: Yeeeeeahmetoo.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Sir Hammerlock (according to his introduction slide, no less). Subverted as he is also Sophisticated as Hell and just as prone to crude humor as everyone else on the planet.
    Sir Hammerlock: I just - y'know what, sod it all - Bonerfarts; they're Bonerfarts from now on!
  • Giant Mook: Bruisers return, but are largely replaced by Goliaths as the Bandit giant mook. WAR Loaders fill this role in Hyperion forces.
  • Gilligan Cut: An audio version is used frequently in TK Baha's old Echo recordings.
    TK: Well, it's the first day on Pandora. Wife wasn't too happy about the move, but she'll come around. This is the beginning of our new life together!
    [next ECHO]
    TK: Welp, my wife's dead.
  • Giver of Lame Names:
    • One quest Hammerlock gives you involves changing the name of the Bullymongs for his almanac. After a while he gives up and just calls them "bonerfarts", which the game will hilariously update them to for the duration of that quest.
    • In the very beginning of the game, Handsome Jack talks about how he's recently bought a horse made of diamonds that he wants to call "Piss-for-brains" in honor of the Vault Hunters. Later on, he settles on "Butt Stallion". According to The Sheriff, Jack just sucks at naming things since his original name for Lynchwood was "New New Haven".
    • Jack's attempt at giving "cool" and "cutting-edge" names to Hyperion's line of gun products doesn't amount to anything more than putting business-related buzzwords on the items, even if they make no sense, like "Synergy!" and "Longitudinal!" His executive board is dumbfounded by this, but of course, Jack assumes that this means they're the stupid ones.
  • Gladiator Subquest: 3 different gladiator fight arenas in the main game.
    • The Mr. Torgue DLC features several whose first level must be completed in order to advance the story. The second and subsequent tiers of these matches are optional.
  • Glass Cannon: The idea behind the Bee shield, which provides a massive gun damage boost with no capacity drain, unlike normal Amplify shields, as long as it's fully charged. Gun damage is very powerful while full, but take one hit and extra damage disappears, and not to mention it has low capacity and long recharge delay, so a user has to be extra careful and take cover frequently.
  • Gone Horribly Right: One of Zed's quests involves getting Rakk and Skag parts for him. Later they turn into Skrakk, or flying skags. The final part of the quest has you kill a Spycho, or a psycho combined with a spiderant.
    Zed: Y'know, if you think about it, this is really all your fault.
  • Gorn:
    • Sometimes enemies turn into chunks if you kill them with a high powered weapon, or they may also vaporize/burn/melt away if you kill them with an elemental weapon.
    • It is possible to blow off limbs
    • The only thing keeping a Golaith's skull from erupting out of his head and flopping around on his distended spinal cord is that helmet he's wearing...
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!:
    • The Guardian Angel occasionally gets frustrated and utters a minor swear word, then acts mortified and changes it to "darn" or "heck" or so on.
    • This may have something to do with the fact that Jack, Angel's father, who is keeping her a prisoner to use her as a living battery, admonishes both her and other characters for "language" later in the game (having presumably done so for Angel's entire life) and has no compunction about inflicting serious pain to reinforce this.
    • The censorship-obsessed robot in Washburn Refinery sends you on a mission to kill a profanity-spewing radio DJ. When you actually meet the DJ, his "profanity" is just a lot of infantile, imaginative made-up words that are not, technically speaking, obscene. "Suck my willywack!"
  • Gradual Regeneration: There are very few shields that restore your health over time compared to the first game, but there are other ways to gain regeneration, like abilities that grant it through action skill use or killing an enemy, or certain class mods.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Like in the first game, sometimes you may find a really good gun from a random garbage can. Usually, that happens after you just spent most of your money buying something ever so slightly less good from a vending machine only five minutes ago.
  • Gratuitous Spanish:
    • From Mordecai, he says stuff like "adios" or "Gotcha, Pendejo" when he's helping you out by sniping enemies.
    • Salvador's speech is also peppered with Spanish, especially in ECHO recordings. "They tried to kill mi abuela!" Becomes hilarious when he has Jack's voice.
  • Gratuitous English: In the Japanese version of the game, the subtitles always spell out the names of people and places in English.
  • Grave Robbing:
    • Claptrap is doing this when you meet him.
      Claptrap: [rummaging in a pile of snow with limbs sticking out] Here! Take this ECHO communicator which I totally didn't loot from one of these corpses.
    • Marcus' vending machines periodically mention that a lot of his stock was lifted from dead bodies.
    • YOU do it in a quest or two.
  • Great White Hunter: Sir Hammerlock is a Gentleman Adventurer who is equal parts hunter, scholar, and gentleman. Most of the reward items he gives you are sniper rifles. Somewhat subverted in that he's not actually white. He doesn't go out in the field much anymore, mostly because he literally lost an arm and a leg to some of Pandora's native fauna. An ex-boyfriend of his is quite Manly Gay, definitely not part of the traditional stereotype.
  • Green Rocks:
    • Eridium, a rare element with ties to the Eridians, and the cornerstone of Eridian technology from the first game. The opening of the Vault is revealed to have spread it all over the planet, which in turn triggered a gold rush and a subsequent takeover by Hyperion. It is used as a currency for a unique vendor. In addition, it seems to have an empowering effect on Sirens like Lilith, who gained the ability to teleport among other things.
    • Slag is an Eridium byproduct and it's all over the place in some parts of this game. It tends to cause crazy mutations in people, so it's the most likely cause of all those weird-as-hell Goliaths and other mutants.
    • Constant overexposure leads to total physical dependence, as is the case with Angel.
  • Grenade Launcher: Unlike the first game, this game has them, though not as a unique weapon type. Dahl's Grenadier assault rifles, E-Tech shotguns, and the legendary Torgue Kerblaster are the various kinds you can get your hands on.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Leave your character standing long enough and s/he will make snarky comments.
    Maya: 27 years of training to stare at nothing!
    Salvador: As fun as watching Skags hump.
  • Guide Dang It: Gearbox didn't spread the word about the Golden Key (see Too Awesome to Use) until late on launch day. Sucks for you if you'd already opened that chest the first time you hit Sanctuary and got two L15 grenade mods...
    • Not that this proved to be a great problem in the longer term, as over time Gearbox has handed out literally dozens of Golden Keys via its Twitter and Facebook pages.
  • Gun Porn:
    • Obviously. New to the sequel is the ability to examine your item models, and every load screen has a rotating gun model (or shield or grenade mod) in the corner.
    • A number of weapons have authentic looking methods of firing or operating. Like some revolvers when being rapidly fired the character fans the hammer to various break action weapons like shotguns opening up realistically. Other details like realistic function actions of the hammers, bolts on some automatic weapons moving like real life weapons, to certain magazines like drums or pans moving like the weapon would believably fire.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Salvador's specialty. And this isn't just limited to pistols or Submachine guns, either; how about rocket launchers akimbo? One of his skills also doubles all grenades he throws while gunzerking.
    • Goliaths, Bandit Giant Mooks, dual wield machine gun-type assault rifles (or rocket launchers in the case of Goliath Blasters), until you make them angry.

    H 
  • Hand Cannon: A specialty of Jakobs and Torgue, especially their revolvers. Provided you acquire them at their highest levels, both Maggie (AKA the Masher) and Rex (effectively a small rifle) are capable of 119982/shotnote  and 115633/shot respectively. With Salvador dual wielding two Maggies, you're talking gamebreaker pistols.
  • Ha Ha Ha No: When the player is delivering invitations to Claptrap's birthday party, this is Marcus' reaction to actually coming there.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Frostburn Caverns; icy but full of nutty fire-worshippers who use flamethrowers.
  • Hair Trigger Sound Effect: Many of the speaking items in the game fall under this trope, making the guns that talk when fired something of a literal example. But bonus points go to the weapon The Bane, which amps this trope Up to Eleven, playing the psycho midget squeal at top volume when fired. Fully automatic fire = CONSTANT EXCRUCIATING NOISE! It's referred to in game as a cursed weapon for a reason..
  • Handicapped Badass: All but literally; One-Armed Bandits are one of the bigger and tougher versions of Goliaths, and provoke Badass callouts when they appear. Their name comes not only from the fact that they carry slot machines on their backs, but also because they're missing an arm themselves.
    • Badass and Super Badass Psychos are 10' tall, grotesquely muscular and wielding gigantic axes, but their left arm is comparatively tiny and also useless.
  • Hand Wave: Maya's first ECHO log notes that she isn't affected by eridium the same way Lilith is, avoiding the potential effect that would have had on the plot.
  • Have a Nice Death: The New-U stations will taunt you on occasion.
  • Have I Mentioned I am Gay?: See Straight Gay below.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Deputy Winger, if you spare him during the showdown with the Sheriff.
    • Subverted in the Tiny Tina DLC with Greedtooth. When you destroy the magical sphere that The Handsome Sorcerer was using to control him, he thanks you and wants to help you. Then he learns that you're the one who killed the dwarven king earlier and resumes trying to kill you.
  • Heroic Second Wind:
    • If you lose all your health, you can get a "second wind" either by killing an enemy, or in a co-op player game, another player helping you back on your feet.
    • Some badass ranks can be achieved by purposely doing this, such as killing a badass while dying, or killing enemies with a certain gun-type.
  • Helpful Mook: Pixies in the Tiny Tina DLC become this if you manage to catch them, after which they'll give you random buffs and heals. If you shoot at them however, they turn hostile instead.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks: Torgue holds this opinion about the ECHOcast game reviewers in the Badass Crater of Badassitude, in-universe. In fact, having an opinion about a game that he disagrees with is such a Berserk Button for Torgue that he sends you off to kill them!
  • Hero Killer: Handsome Jack murders Helena Pierce, one of your main allies in the original game. Near the end of the game he also personally kills Roland by shooting him in the back.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • As you finish story quests, there is a data pod in Sanctuary where you can hear the latest news. No matter what you did, the newscaster always paints you or your allies in a bad light.
    • Fortunately, you can pick up a sidequest late in the game that allows you to "take care of that problem", aka go kill the guy making all those negative announcements about you and Sanctuary.
      • And after all, these newscasts are put out by Hyperion Corporation, so what else would you expect by Blatant Lies?
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: You use Hyperion's Lunar Deployment system against Jack on more than a few occasions. Culminating in you using it to finish off the Warrior.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Marcus is normally a sociopath and a very unscrupulous businessman, but one quest late in the game is all about how he conned an idiot into buying an (admittedly quite good) gun at an outrageous price, and you retrieving the 9$ change he gave too much.
    • His vending machines also occasionally remind you that "if you shop anywhere else, I'll have you killed" and that most of his wares were looted from dead bodies.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Happens at the beginning of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. With Tina as DM for a game called Bunkers & Badasses, she sends down a dragon just as the Vault Hunters approach Flamerock Refuge. Weapons are ineffective and its attack results in a One-Hit KO. When called out for this severe imbalance, Tina revives everyone and substitutes the dragon for a different boss.
  • Hope Spot: Towards the end of the game, Roland starts talking to you again, after having been killed by Jack, about how you should go kick Jack's butt and then go out for some drinks. Then Jack comes on and says that it was just him, and that Roland still really is dead.
  • Horse of a Different Color:
    • Like in the Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC from the first game, some enemies have skag mounts. In this case, they're average-sized bandits riding huge armored skags, rather than the Knoxx DLC's midget bandits riding average-sized, sometimes-armored skags. Also in this case, they're very specifically meant to stand in for horsemen, since they only show up in the Western movie themed Lynchwood area.
    • One early boss is a psycho midget riding a bullymong (a four-armed alien ape thing), and the commentary makes a clear reference to Master Blaster.
    • Handsome Jack claims to have a living pony made of diamonds, which he named Butt Stallion in honor of the Vault Hunters.
    • Midget bandits will occasionally hop onto a Goliath's shoulders. Particularly hilarious when it's a midget goliath...
  • Hostile Show Takeover: In one quest for the Torgue DLC campaign, Moxxi has you grab a bunch of ECHO's which has interviews with Mr. Torgue and herself. In the last recording, Tina takes over the show briefly, with very hilarious results (starts at 1:37 in the video).
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Atlas. After losing hundreds of men and tech and millions of dollars trying and failing to kill the original Vault Hunters in the original game's endgame and Secret Armory, they've gone from the dictators of Pandora in all but name to a virtually nonexistent figurehead company. Their former role has been taken over by Hyperion, with a new and even more outrageously evil (and/or petty) CEO.
  • Hulk Speak:
    • Goliaths aren't big on grammar, syntax, or intelligence in general. It's pretty funny to hear them try to describe the things around them — if Zer0 leaves Decepti0n near them, they might cry "Ghost person!" Strangely, when angered their speech is much more grammatically correct.
    • Averted by the one friendly Goliath in the game, a questgiver named Ulysses. He uses complete, coherent sentences — and is smart enough to desperately want to leave Pandora.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Parodied in the quest where you help a robot become a human - his ideas of what it means to be a person are rather... off. Although this being Pandora, it's quite understandable how he came to those conclusions. Some of the stuff he says is still pretty surreal, given that Pandora is a post-apocalyptic wasteland filled with brain damaged psychpaths...
    Mal: Hi! I'm human! I eat food, and desire things! I'm in credit card debt and have a wife for whom I feel nothing!
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The reason the crystal monsters found in the Caustic Caverns and the Fridge became violent is because Dahl wanted the valuable crystals they are comprised of. The foreman even maimed the security chief and anyone with her, who was trying to defend them.
  • Human Sacrifice: Hidden away in a corner of Scaylion Grove is an Aegrian native tied up and dangling above the ground. Just press the switch and... A GIGANTIC CLAPTRAP appears from the cave, eats him up, and then disappears just as quickly as he came out.
    • At the Shrine of the Gunbringer, if playing multiplayer, one or more players can jump into the shrine and another can pull the lever... which closes the shrine, slowly incinerates the sacrifices, and rewards some guns. The more bodies in the hole, the higher quality the guns.
    • Part of the Firehawk quest chain has you take a midget to a mechanical fire-spewing dragon to be burned alive. The midget in question is more than willing.
      • Also part of that quest was Incinerator Clayton's plan to sacrifice innocent people to the Firehawk. The Vault Hunters foil that plan, though.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Super Badass Loaders stand several times taller than a person, and have enormous cannon arms. Then there is Saturn, which is the size of a building, and one of the toughest bosses in the game, since its weak spot is impossible to hit if you play solo using Maya or Salvador.
    • Badassasaurus is a gigantic, mechanical dinosaur. It's bristling with armaments, featuring gatling rocket launchers as its "arms", a "hornet's nest" style rocket barrage on its back, and nuclear missiles in its knees.
  • 100% Completion: Oh God! There are zillions of Challenges in the game and one of the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 Achievements/Trophies requires you to get at least the first level in all of them (at least, the ones not located in a specific area). The trickier, area-specific ones usually have only one level but that means you need to do everything you can to find them all, usually in the form of boss challenges or finding all hidden audio logs or Vault Symbols. Also, that achievement: You have to reach level 5 in a very specific Shotgun challenge before you even open up the challenge that in all likely hood will be the last one you need for the achievement.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: In the credits, Brick is seen with Tiny Tina (riding piggyback on his shoulders) killing bandits.
  • Hybrid Monster: The "Monster Mash" questline ends with you hunting down skag/rakk hybrids, or "skrakk", and later a spiderant/psycho hybrid ("Spycho"), created by Dr. Zed for God knows what reason. You also helped him make the monsters in the first place by bringing him body parts.
    Zed: If you think about it...this is really all your fault.
  • Hypocrite: The Sheriff. "Pistols at high noon. Come alone." Of course, she doesn't tell you that she'll be carrying a shotgun and surrounded by mooks, and hiding behind cover on the roof of her office...
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Vladof promotes its weapons as a tool of revolution against the Mega Corp. evil - despite being clearly just as corporate and ruthless.
    • Made more evident in this Dummied Out Vladof-Brand Vending Machine quote: "TO HELL WITH CAPITALISM, EXCEPT IN THIS CASE!!!"
    • The Censorbot in the first DLC asks you to kill a DJ for swearing on-air. After you do that and return, what does the bot say? "That DJ was a real asshole!"
    • When entering the area where Motor Mamma resides in the Torgue DLC for the first time, Moxxi tells you this:
      Moxxi: I don't want to get too graphic, but lets just say she eats her own children.

    I 
  • I Die Free: Angel, whose life has consisted of being used to charge the Vault Key because she's a Siren. The player(s) destroy the machinery keeping her alive both at her request and to stop Jack.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • As in the previous game, Psychos make no bones about the fact that they want to eat you. Rats appear to be cannibals as a rule — when starting combat they might shout "Allez cuisine!" They also rant about licking their chops and how delicious you look.
    • When the Rats are killed by a fire weapon, their death cry is sometimes "I smell delicious!"
    • Frequently when dying, Rats exhort their brother Rats to eat their remains.
    • One of Salvador's crimes on his wanted poster alongside manslaughter and arson is cannibalism.
  • Immune to Bullets:
    • Crystalisks are bulletproof — except for the crystals on their legs. Explosive weapons are capable of punching through their thick hides, but in this case it's much more efficient to just go for the weak points.
    • Boroks have plating on their heads that makes bullets bounce off, but are vulnerable everywhere else.
    • Prof. Nakayama's experiments. Shots are likely to ricochet and might hit you. Like Crystalisks, however, they have weak spots — Woundspike becomes vulnerable to regular bullets after you destroy the turret on its back (though being a giant Borok it still reflects some bullets), and Jackenstein can only be hurt by attacking the electrodes on its back and chest.
    • The Ravenous Wattle Gobbler is actually invincible, until it is poisoned.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The most accurate attacks in the game aren't lasers or sniper rifles but thrown projectiles. Psychos can throw their buzz-axes with pinpoint accuracy from further away than you can reliably hit them with a sniper rifle. Bandits and Loaders also aim their grenades a lot better than they aim their guns; if you don't move they will consistently put them directly under your feet regardless of distance. Bandits can even achieve this level of accuracy with grenades while being shot in the face mid-throw.
    • Fortunately, Krieg can take advantage of this. His thrown buzz-axe is the single most accurate ranged weapon in the game!
    • Zig-zagged with Hyperion guns. At first, they're wildly inaccurate, but once you're fired a few shots, the internal stabilizer kicks in, and becomes ridiculously accurate.
  • In a Single Bound:
    • Rampaging Goliaths are bad news, and this trope is why. They can leap through the air to find you and pound you no matter how high up you climb. In some cases their jump arcs are totally ridiculous.
    • Bullymongs are large apelike creatures that can propel themselves through the air on their large arms.
    • Hyperion Troops are outfitted with Exoskeleton style Power Armor permitting them to make large leaps or for some of the troops glide.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Zer0, who Gearbox has admitted they created to be a parody of a Sociopathic Hero with a Mysterious Past. There is absolutely no information given on who he is, what is his goal and why is he spouting philosophical haiku alongside gaming jargon. Even Handsome Jack admits that he has no idea what his deal is.
  • Infant Immortality:
    • In the Tiny Tina DLC, after you "defeat" Prince Jeffrey, Roland tells you that you can't kill him since he's just a kid. You are however encouraged to slap the hell out of him, at least until Tina runs out of dialog for him..
    • Tiny Tina herself, as she is one of the few NPCs to live outside of Sanctuary, is not part of the local bandit clan, and lives within spitting distance of no less than 3 bandit camps. Then again it's implied that she can and has killed anyone who tried to enter her workshop unannounced.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Most legendary (orange) items are like this in that they tend to be better than any other weapon of its type in the game, but two items in particular stand out: The Bee (an amp shield without the Cast from Hit Points factor, allowing its massive damage boost to apply until you take damage) and the Conference Call (a shotgun that spawns additional bullets when it hits something or travels a certain distance). The Bee drops from an optional late game mini-boss; the Conference Call from the final boss (though both can drop elsewhere, just those two have the highest chance of dropping each item).
    • Another contender is Infinity, which is a legendary rapid fire pistol that has only one bullet per clip, but does not use ammo at all, effectively having a Bottomless Magazine. Combined with some other items (the aforementioned Bee, and a unique relic that increases pistol fire rate by 50% and damage by 20%), it is one of the strongest and most reliable weapons in the game. It also has one of the lowest drop rates in the game (listed on the Borderlands wiki as 0.007%), and the boss it drops from is incredibly annoying and powerful.
    • With the addition of Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, Pearlescent weapons from the first game have returned, essentially making them an Infinity Plus Two weapon. Depending on what gun you get, it may or may not be better than an orange weapon, but it will be powerful in its own right.
  • Informed Flaw: To hear the Catch-A-Ride machines say it, Scooter's cars are four-wheeled deathtraps that blow up spectacularly if you so much as look at them funny. In-game, they're not the prettiest vehicles, but handle with no real problems, and only explode when they're destroyed - which takes a lot of gunfire.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja
    • Probably the entirety of what Zer0's deal is.
    • In Captain Scarlett's Pirate Booty, you also have Ninja Pirates who can use a kind of deception.
  • Ironic Echo: Lilith is fond of teleporting around, surprising enemies, and killing them. She most commonly says "Sup." while doing this. Handsome Jack later teleports in behind Roland and shoots him in the back, greeting a surprised Lilith with "Sup."
  • Item Amplifier: The original game gives us Class Mods which offer boosts to specific armaments. This game adds Artifacts which can do similar things to just about all aspects of your character.
  • It's All About Me: Handsome Jack is amazingly evil and amazingly self-centered. The most amazing thing is that he's somehow managed to convince himself he's the good guy of the story. Yes, he's the hero, standing up to the "bandit hordes" from the safety of his orbiting spaceship, behind an army of robots, while laughing about how he once gouged a man's eyes out in front of his kids. If he does it, it's a good deed, 'cause he's the hero. If you do it, it's horrible, 'cause you're the bad guy.
  • It's Personal: Invoked on both sides. After Handsome Jack kills Mordecai's Bloodwing, kills Roland, and kidnaps Lilith, Mordecai and Brick are hit hard by the events and they swear they will make Jack pay for what he did. After you kill Angel, Jack gets extremely angry and promises he will kill you himself.
  • It's Raining Men: The giant H-Station in the sky isn't just for show. It can launch supply crates and robots straight at your location, all the way from the MOON.

    J-K 
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: During the events of the Tiny Tina DLC, the actual Vault Hunters are busy beating info out of a Hyperion employee. They finish just after the campaign is finished, with Maya saying that they now have the codes to go to the moon base.
  • Jack of All Stats: Tediore gun parts are this compared to other guns. While each gun brand has it's own unique qualities about them which give their own strengths and weaknesses, the guns themselves can be made up of multiple parts from different companies. Grip, Scope, Barrel, Body, accessories. While a Torgue barrel on a rocket launcher will greatly increase the damage of the weapon, it'll also decrease all the other stats such as reload, recoil, and accuracy. Besides the body giving a faster reload, Tediore parts gives neither any positive benefits or negative drawbacks to weapon stats.
  • Japandering: Animated Actor Claptrap did this at some point, as seen here
  • Javelin Thrower: Hunters in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. Naturally they have an endless supply.
  • Jump Scare: The Mimic monster in the Tiny Tina DLC will quickly teach you to open up certain types of chests from as far away as possible.
  • Just Think of the Potential: It's suggested that, when the Vault Hunters get their hands on the Vault Key, they should just destroy it. Roland suggests the idea of turning the Vault's contents on Handsome Jack and driving Hyperion off Pandora for good.
  • Kangaroo Court: Salvador was subjected to one in his backstory. The judge refuses to believe that the bandits who attacked Salvador's grandmother were, well, bandits, and insists that they were innocent men whom Salvador murdered.
  • Karmic Death: Some audio logs in the Caustic Caverns reveal this happened to at least one of the heartless Dahl executives. There were strange, elephant-sized creatures made of crystals down there and the security chief lady noted they were peaceful. The executive goes, "Made of crystals, huh? Chop 'em up, I want my money!" The security chief declines, especially since she's befriended the big blue one, but she gets shot by the executive. The final audio log is of the executive panicking as the peaceful creatures are not so peaceful anymore now that they've been attacked, and she gets squashed by the big blue one.
  • Kick the Dog: As if his attempt to kill you would not be enough to convince the player that Jack's evil, one of your first mission involves finding ECHOs of Handsome Jack gratuitously and mercilessly executing a major character of the first game.
    • In fact, he really makes it a point to constantly rub this trope in your face throughout the game. Which makes his inevitable death at your hands at the end of the game all the more rewarding after putting up with all of his shenanigans.
      • Even the tie-in merchandise has him do it: if you buy the real-life Diamond-Plated Loot Chest, it contains a Hyperion shipping crate from Jack to the Vault Hunters with the heads of Roland and Helena Pierce in it. And a bag with what was left of Bloodwing's.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire weapons are generally pretty useful, but especially so against Bullymongs.
  • Kill the Poor: Handsome Jack's plan for Pandora, in a nutshell: All stinky poor people must die! Naturally, you get to introduce him to the fact that Pandora eats the rich.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better:
    • Largely played straight. A gun with a high damage output will generally trump elemental weapons. Averted however, if you take advantage of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, as elemental weapons receive a damage bonus even if their effects don't trigger.
    • Also played straight with some e-tech guns, which can be tricky to hit enemies with, especially over long distances.
    • Averted by some e-tech weapons- bouncing bullets, piercing bullets, or even both together are possible, and unlike in Borderlands 1 they do not travel any slower than regular projectiles.
  • King Mook: Smash-Head is basically the ultimate Goliath, several times normal Goliath size and wielding a huge shield and rocket launcher. The Big Sleep is the "king" version of pirate Anchormen. There's also Saturn, who is essentially a giant Loader, Dukino's Mom, a massive skag, and King Mong, who is just a really huge Bullymong.
    • Krieg is a PLAYABLE variant, essentially being a Psycho on serious steroids. He looks much like one, but is much larger in stature and build. He also wears a unique mask, which you can change.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Just like the first game, you'll probably search every nook and cranny for item containers, and may pick up every gun you find, if nothing else to sell for Vendor Trash. You also get badass ranks by picking up colored items too, so don't be surprised if, in a co-op game, you see someone grabbing everything that the other players leave/drop behind.
  • Klingon Promotion: Subverted with Hyperion personnel. If you kill one with another nearby:
    Nearby personnel: Woohoo! Looks like someone is in line for a promotion!
  • Knight of Cerebus: Surprisingly, Handsome Jack. In a game filled with Comedic Sociopathy and black humor, Jack sets the tone very early on by laughing as he describes the noise Helena Pierce's head made when he blew it off. Things only get worse later on.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: The player characters are never referred to by name, with most NPCs simply calling them "Vault Hunter". The old Vault Hunters, on the hand, each of their own nickname for them. Lilith calls them "killer", Roland calls them "soldier", Mordecai calls them "amigo" and Brick calls them "slab".
  • Knights and Knaves: One of Marshal Friedman's missions has you trying to figure out which one of four robbers (Sam, Lindy, O'Cantler, and Lee) took all the money for him-or-herself. Friedman explicitly tells you that only one of them is truthful and the others are all lying. The culprit is Lee, the only one who didn't try to accuse anyone else; the truth-teller is probably O'Cantler, who accused Sam of lying but not of stealing the money.
  • Knight Templar: Appropriately, the Knight-class enemies you fight in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep. Their battle dialogue indicates that they believe they are champions of justice and righteousness, but they serve the Handsome Sorcerer and are all too eager to try to kill the Vault Hunters.
  • Konami Code: Enter it at the title screen, and you unlock the "Extra Wubs" option in the menu. It literally does nothing. Sorry to disappoint.

    L 
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • "Since arriving on Pandora you have been mauled, shot, stabbed, and frozen... and yet, that pun hurts worst of all." The mission in question is called Arms Dealing. You get a bunch of actual human arms for Doctor Zed. Get it? Arms dealing?
    • During the mission "The Ice Man Cometh" (in which the player is sent by Claptrap to rig some bandits' furnaces to make them too cold to fight), Claptrap loves making puns.
      Claptrap: Hey bandits - FREEZE! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    • Claptrap also cracks a weak pun about fingers and hands in a "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" story mission. When he realizes you aren't laughing he says "Fine, last time I try to make a "flip the switch" objective interesting."
    • Sometimes, when deploying his Sabre Turret, Axton will shout "Sorry, boys, I've got turret syndrome! Get it? 'Cuz of the turret...? Sorry." There's even an achievement for killing enemies called 'turret syndrome,' though it involves vehicle turrets.
    • During the Tiny Tina DLC, when you use the password ("fart") to unlock the exit from the Dwarven Mines:
      Claptrap: Hey, guys! Did someone just say "fart"!? What a stinky thing to say! Ahahahaha!
      Tiny Tina: You ruin everything.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A few missions specifically lampshade elements of the game:
    • The "No Vacancy" mission, wherein you turn the power at the Happy Pig motel back on. Scooter guides you through the motions, and at one point asks if it's weird that he knows what you're doing over the ECHO communicator.
    • The "Uncle Teddy" mission has you collecting T.K. Baha's old ECHO logs for evidence of Hyperion stealing a gun design of his. T.K.'s neice Una notes that he "kept all his ECHO correspondence — like a lot of people on Pandora, evidently", lampshading the fact that you find these things everywhere and they seem to be recording near-constantly. One mission even has someone saying (literally) "Here I am taking a walk, talking into my ECHO recorder and enjoying not being torn apart and having my gun broken into four pieces — (skag roars) OH GOD THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW!"
  • La Résistance: Sanctuary is an entire town opposing Handsome Jack's oppressive dictatorship led by the former Vault Hunters called the Crimson Raiders. When you enter it for the first time, Roland outright tells you they're losing the fight since Hyperion has access to a lot more resources than they do, not to mention all the robot troops at their disposal.
  • Large Ham: Goliaths, once they become enraged.
    GET READY TO FEEL MY FINGERS IN YOUR EYEBALLS
    GET ON YOUR GODDAMN KNEES
    I'M GONNA GOUGE YOUR EYES OUT
  • Last of His Kind: The Claptrap you meet at the beginning of the game is the last CL4P-TP robot in existence, as the others were all destroyed on Handsome Jack's orders. He keeps the corpses of the rest in his home. One sidequest in the Sir Hammerlock DLC has him find the signal for another Claptrap. It's dead.
  • Last Lousy Point: The one Challenge that takes everyone the longest to complete: Finding and killing Jimmy Jenkins, a rare-spawn robot that pops out of a Hyperion loot container. Sometimes. Once the Random Number God decides to bless you. Getting this challenge is the last step in getting the "Challenge Accepted!" trophy/achievement too.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: As it takes place some time after the main game, a major subplot of the Tiny Tina DLC is Tina dealing with Roland's death.
  • Laughably Evil: Handsome Jack to a tee. He's clearly having a blast being evil.
    Jack: Ohoho man did - did you see her head?! It was all like PBBBPTH! Ahahaha...hoohoo...
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Courtesy of Sir Hammerlock.
      Hammerlock: Oh dear, I'm spouting exposition again, aren't I? Apologies.
    • Nomads also spout enough dialogue about "gear" and "loot" to qualify for this.
    • Gaige in the item screen:
      Gaige: Show me some green arrows!
    • Krieg does the same, ranging from a line similar to Gaige's above to a conversation with the Psycho on the cover of the game's box.
      Krieg: Too. Many. Icons ...
    • One quest involves finding a steam valve and a gearbox. During the quest, Scooter says the steam pumps used to work on a different power source, but people complained so they switched over. Borderlands 1 used Gamespy's multiplayer matchmaking system, which nobody liked, but Borderlands 2 has switched over to Steam's.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Rosco in the Captain Scarlett DLC, who is a domesticated Rakk Hive. The Rakk Hive was one of the first bosses announced for the original Borderlands.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • The Fibber gun. First off, this gun lies to you. Hard. It'll claim it has ludicrous damage, firing speed, and mag size (sometimes more than you can actually carry ammo for pistols), but also immense reload times. The special effects also note it has +3000% damage and +50% love. However, depending on what version of the gun you get, it can either remain the lethal joke item, or it can go well into the Difficult but Awesome category. On the joke effects side: the more you shoot with it the slower the bullets go or a parabolic and heavy drop off with bouncing bullets which makes it very hard to aim. The very powerful effects include a version which shoots 5 to 7 bullets that go slightly slower than normal, but penetrate your enemies, a version that has incredibly high critical hit damage, and a version which makes its bullets ricochet once and let it spawn an additional 8 projectiles when it does, effectively multiplying its damage by 9.
      • Turned Up to Eleven with the Practical variant. Shooting enemies directly with it does virtually no damage, but if the bullets bounce off a wall/floor first, it can kill some raid bosses in under a minute.
    • Some of the randomly generated loot is this, especially since all guns are generated with a mix of benefits and drawbacks. Both can get ridiculous pretty rapidly.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: Every "o" in the name of Zer0 and his skills has been replaced with the numeral "0". The names of some of his alternate heads follow suit, this time including E/3, I/1, and A/4 as well.
  • Life Drain: All Moxxi weapons heal the player for a percentage of the damage deal when wielding them. The weapon with the biggest bonus currently is the Grog Nozzle of the Tiny Tina DLC, which deals minimal amounts of damage but heals you for 65% of damage dealt.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Two versions above the standard preorder, including an art book, Marcus bobblehead, some extra in game items, and various other things. The most expensive version comes with a scale replica of the red loot chests from the first game!
  • Look Both Ways: Just like in the first game, a Skag meets its end because it walks into a road. Soon after, the vehicle that hit the skag even more abruptly gets hit by a train. One bandit somehow survives this stands up on top of the train only to immediately get clotheslined when the train goes under a sign. Life on Pandora ain't pretty, folks.
  • Lost Forever: The challenge that tasks you to complete optional mission objectives is an example of this. You only get one shot in each playthrough to finish the optional objectives, and that's it. Not even joining a friend's game to do the mission again will count towards the challenge if you've completed the mission already. If you're looking to finish the challenge, better take care.
  • Lottery Of Doom: Hyperion runs one (for no reason) in the town of Overlook, throwing "winners" into the "Grinder" which is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Several enemies employ this in combat, such as BUL Loaders, Nomad Torturers, and Badass Nomads.

    M 
  • MacGyvering/Homemade Inventions: The resourceful, but technically-inept Bandit cults also make guns equipped with huge mags that are so ramshackle that they make the guns of the Resistance of Brink look professionally manufactured by comparison.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Torgue shotguns substitute clouds of gyrojets for pellets, which is taken Up to Eleven when you find a Torgue shotgun with the rare (but appropriately Torgue-manufactured) Quad barrel.
    • As the commando, getting the Scorched Earth skill midway through the Guerrilla tree adds a pair of rapid-fire rocket pods to your turret. While it's already an impressive light show on its own, you can also get the Gemini skill at the bottom of the Survival tree for two turrets, with the twin getting its own rocket pods as well. Hijinks ensue.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • The various barrels you can shoot throughout the game is made from this trope. The vehicle you're riding in can also seem to be this if an enemy destroys it quickly, usually via rockets.
    • ANY bullet fired from a Torgue gun is explosive. Shotguns, pistols, rifles, ANYTHING. With Tediore guns, however, the entire gun explodes when it runs out of ammo. Hilariously enough, you don't reload a Tediore gun; you just hurl it at the enemy like a grenade and a new copy materializes in your hands.
    • If your damage is high enough, almost anything killable becomes this (even if you just melee them). It's incredibly fun to watch bandits explode into a shower of gore from Gaige's little hammer swing.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Pops up every now and then. Some notable moments include the pre-recorded dialogue to the residents of Overlook and an ad Marcus gives to the Crimson Raiders, encouraging them to buy guns to fight the bandits... and the same ad to the bandits, except with every instance of Crimson Raiders and bandits swapped.
  • Magikarp Power: Larval varkids are mostly annoying. But if you don't contain them, and fast, you'll be fighting an armored Badass variant. They're almost as bad as the trope namer, the Magikarp, itself.
    • They evolve far beyond the normal Badass though... Wait long enough and they become burrowing artillery platforms as the Super Badass varkid, and one stage further is the aerial gunship Ultimate Badass varkid. Of course, each version has several times more health than the previous. It goes even further on the second playthrough, where if you are lucky (or unlucky, if you weren't actively trying to get him to spawn) the second Raid boss from the main game could potentially evolve from an Ultimate Badass. Vermivorous the Invincible has at least twice as much health as the other raid boss Terramorphous the Invincible, and a wide array of attacks to (insta)kill you with.
  • Male Gaze: In A Meat Bicycle Built For Two, the close-up of Maya starts at the curves of her rear and lower back and slowly pans up. Then again, considering Krieg's reaction to her, this makes sense.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Handsome Jack, to a tee. In one sidequest he tries to pay you to kill yourself, and when you finally find Angel, he gives a masterful performance to try and stop you from killing her.
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: The Vladof Corporation highly encourages you to buy glorious Vladof proletariat firearms to overthrow the capitalist pigs in a glorious revolution.
  • Man on Fire:
    • Burning Psychos are back, whose combat strategy consists solely of running around, being on fire, and breathing fire at you. Elementally-charged wildlife also exhibits this trope: skags, spiderants, et cetera.
    • With the right skills, setting Krieg on fire only makes him stronger!
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Hyperion translates as "Watcher from above". Their Kill Sat is visible with the naked eye from every outdoor location in the game and tracks your progress.
    • Zer0; it refers to both his mysterious nature, and the emoticon that flashes on his visor whenever he gets a kill.
    • Gaige is rather close to "gauge" (a mechanical measurement device or assessment of a situation); this relates to both her cyborg nature, and the predictive ability required to play her most complex skill tree. She also loves to "gauge" the inventory items and see how they stack up.
    • Salvador translates from Spanish as "Savior"
    • Krieg is German for war. His name was originally going to be Blitz (German for lightning).
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: The "Do No Harm" quest.
    Zed: Alright: make a small incision just below his sternum, but be careful - we don't want to nick the coronary artery.
    [player melees the patient to perform the surgery and kills them]
    Zed: Close enough.
    • Just shooting the man works too. Especially hilarious on higher difficulties where you can perform the "operation" with a high level rocket launcher.
  • Medium Awareness: See Meaningful Name directly above. Gaige in the inventory screen. "Show me those green arrows!" (referring to the green arrows that show how an item is superior to what you're comparing it too.)
    Gaige I love comparing loot!
  • Medium Blending: As with the first game, there is live action footage not only of the Guardian Angel, but also Lilith.
  • Menu Time Lockout: Bringing up the multi-tiered menu screen effectively freezes the action around your character, allowing you to calmly scrutinize a dizzying array of sprawling weapons stats in order to determine precisely how best to effectively murder the face of whatever cold-blooded homicidal thing happens to be bearing down on you at the time.
    • Averted in multiplayer, though; everything happens in real time.
  • Mercy Kill: Played completely straight. Angel, held prisoner by Jack, her own father, asks to die to both end the torment and stop Jack's plot to use her as a power source—disconnecting her ends her life but also prevents the Vault Key from charging.
  • Metal Slime: The chubby version of enemies, who rarely show up but drop more loot than usual when killed. The Loot Midgets become this in True/Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, where they can drop Legendary/Pearlescent items alongside simple ammo and money.
  • Mexican Standoff: Referred to as a Truxican standoff in this game, there are two instances of this. The first is near the end of the mission "The Good, the Bad, and the Mordecai", where you stand off against two other people in a fight for a treasure chest. The other is in the mission "BFFs", which has a group of four people in this state because they can't figure out who stole their cash.
  • The Milky Way Is the Only Way: Averted; humanity has colonies in six galaxies.
  • Mini Mook: Midgets are back, and there's a couple of new types. Some regular enemies may also be micro-sized, such as mini-goliaths, or tiny nomad raiders.
  • Money Multiplier: The Vault Hunter's Relic increases the chance of finding rare loot.
  • Money Spider:
    • Shooting the crystals off of Crystalisks can allow you to pick them up as an equivalent to cash. And since they spawn with a degree of regularity, they can be farmed to pad one's bank account.
    • Barf Skags are a lesser degree of this, usually through Vendor Trash. Explained in-universe by the fact that Skags eat damn near everything, and vomit up whatever they can't digest.
  • Moment Killer: Non-romantic variation: Pyro Pete is your typical pyromaniac nutter who loves ranting and raving and laughing manically. Then Mr. Torgue hangs a lampshade on everything Pete does, including his inevitable betrayal of you. Pete's volume goes down by half and he loses a lot of his enthusiasm.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • This game is both a bigger parody than the first, as well as much darker, leading to tons of this. Tiny Tina's tea party is a funny bit of Comedic Sociopathy...until it becomes clear she's torturing the bandit who got her parents killed right in front of her.
    • In the Hyperion Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, there are funny announcements about not getting near the animals unless you're in the "human bait" test group and similar, cut with finding ECHO recordings of a scientist being forced to conduct horrific human experiments because Jack has her wife.
    • Then during the storyline mission set there, you're tricked into killing a mutated Bloodwing while Mordecai watches, distraught. Then as you're heading back, Handsome Jack scrambles to find a violin before playing you a mocking requiem. Terribly.
      Handsome Jack: Alright, screw you, it would have been hilarious if I found it earlier! Shut up!
    • During the hilarity that is the Hodunk/Zaford quest chain, Ellie offhandedly mentions the reason Moxxi took her away from the Hodunk clan was because they were planning to raise her as the clan wife. Pretty much everything in the game has at least a little Fridge Horror attached to it.
    • After the part where Handsome Jack kills Roland and takes Lilith hostage is a part where you're teleported into some closet with a ton of chests. Upon exiting, you see that it's Marcus' storage area, and he sees you coming out and admonishes you for being in there. Ahahaha... might have been more amusing if it hadn't been for the previous scene.
    • For that matter, the entire Bearer of Bad News quest. If you ever want to see how the people of sanctuary would act when you take the pep out of them, this quest has your answer.
    • The final quest of the Tina Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC is chock full of this. Most of it is hysterical, but it also deals with Tina finally coming to terms with Roland's death.
  • Mook Maker:
    • Constructors are what Jack sends after you when he gets really serious about killing people. They're big, heavily-armored floating replicators that can digistruct a small army of loaders and turrets, and making mooks isn't their only attack, either. They are also armed with huge cutting lasers, missile volleys, a ground-pound if you try to get too close to them, and the Badass ones launch tactical mini-nukes at you. Their one weakness is shooting their eye, which disrupts how they construct new loaders, but you still have to dump a ton of bullets into them.
    • Scylion Broodmothers can spawn Scylion Minions in unlimited supply.
    • Blue, the giant Crystalisk, can spawn mini-versions of himself that he catapults to you. They also explode on impact, with you. If they do not impact you they will do so by chasing you down.
  • Mook Medic:
    • Hyperion uses small flying robots called Surveyors to either repair Loaders or give them shields. Thankfully, you can still kill a Loader getting healed pretty easily unless multiple surveyors are healing it.
      • Surveyors can be annoying to destroy, as they zip around and shoot lasers at you. Easy way to take them down is to damage a Loader to the point that the Surveyors flock to it to heal it, and take them out while they hover in place.
    • Witch Doctors in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. Frustratingly, not only do they heal themselves, they also have many other tricks at their disposal, like leveling up other enemies (for instance, making a Savage Warrior into a Skilled Warrior) or turning into tornadoes
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: "Dr." Zed, is a subversion, as he constantly reminds you of his lack of a medical license. Doc Mercy is a straight example, a bandit doctor who is far more interested in causing wounds than patching them up.
  • More Dakka:
    • Vladof weapons, to the point where some of their sniper rifles (especially the Droog and Lyuda lines) are functionally long-range assault rifles, which are often considered even better than actual assault rifles. Assault rifles with spinigun barrels. And especially Vladof and Torgue manufactured spiniguns.
    • Bandit Weapons look like they were designed by Orks, with a massive magazine to boot. Two of their bandit legendary weapons, the Slagga and Madhaus!, have mind-boggling high magazine counts and rates of fire, allowing you to literally cloud your field of vision with bullets.
    • The gunzerker playstyle is all about this, with twice the gun putting out four times the bullets with the right skills. One of his ultimate skills grants you faster firing speed and faster reload the longer you hold down the trigger. Another skill gives him the ability to prolong gunzerking duration as he kills.
  • The Morlocks: Rats, Bandits who live in especially isolated areas and are even more detached from society than regular bandits. They're first encountered in the sewers of the Bloodshot Stronghold and are most plentiful in the cavernous Fridge. For some reason there are a few of them in Lynchwood, though.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Invoked with Claptrap, especially after you get to Sanctuary and he's just running around the city saying stupid things. The citizens and Sir Hammerlock hate him.
      Sir Hammerlock: When I hear that robot speak, I can feel my brain cells committing suicide.
    • Also invoked with a few weapons, such as The Bane. It's a cursed weapon for a reason - even the game subtitlles its babbling as [annoying sound]!
      The Bane: YEAHAHAHAHYEAHAHYEAHAHAHYEAHAHAHAYEAHAHAHAHAYEAHAAHAHAHYEAHAAHAHYEAAHAHYAHAHAYEAAHAHAYEAHA
    • The Morningstar, the reward for "Hyperion Contract 873", is a special sniper rifle "custom designed, for a murderer like yourself." It makes this xkcd strip a reality, shrieking at you for every time you shoot an enemy (defending those poor little bandits and adorable little creatures by saying that maybe they were having bad days or that they were probably raised in a broken home), reload ("There are children on Promethea who can't afford ammo, you know!"), or gain a critical ("Most serial killers thought THEY were good people too!")
    • Quest-givers "helpfully" chiming in when you, in their opinion, do something incorrectly. Example: the mission to wake up Mordecai in the Tundra Express, which you'll most likely run in parallel with Sir Hammerlock's mission to study the varkids. If you wake Mordy (by setting the varkids on fire) before you finish mutating them and collecting their bits, he'll "helpfully" slag them from his sniping tower with rifle, usually killing them before you can finish the job and getting slag all over you. If you don't set the varkids alight, Roland will, in a very condescending tone, remind you that "you have to set the varkids on fire" to wake Mordy's hungover arse up. Annoying at the best of times. Being lectured while you're being wailed on by three badass varkids at once will lead you to yell unpleasant things back at him.
  • Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: The game states quite often in the loading screen messages that playing with other people increases the game's difficulty but also increases the loot quality that drops.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: On Pandora it would seem to be the only solution to life's problems, judging by many of the game's sidequests. One example, from the DLC "Torgue's Campaign of Carnage" involves the player being asked to hunt down and murder a video game critic, for the crime of giving a bad review to a game Torgue liked.
  • My Beloved Smother: There are two distinct Psycho voices, each with its own personality. Both of them are seemingly fearful of their mothers; Psycho 2 has lines that indicate she dominated his life before he killed her. The challenge for killing Psychos is even called "Mama's Boys".
    • At the entrance to Southpaw Steam & Power, you come across three psychos who are arguing with each other over which one actually killed their mother, and by doing so, proved which one she loved the most... and caused the most pain.
  • My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: During the quest to return to Sanctuary and planting a fast travel station in Overlook, Jack sends robots to try and stop you. Most players won't experience this (unless you're soloing on True Vault Hunter Mode with sub-par weapons, or have an extremely bad group), but if the robots repeatedly interrupt/destroy the beacon, Jack will chime in, commenting on how bad you are and wonder how you can defeat him if you can't even protect a little beacon.
    • He sends a similar taunt if you take too long to rescue Roland (either due to dying repeatedly, and/or taking too long to destroy the robots). It then takes him to the Hyperion prison in The Dust, where you now have to travel to and fight more enemies to rescue him.
    • Played for Laughs at the start of the Campaign of Carnage. Torgue says that you start off right below his own grandmother on the rankings. She gummed a guy to death. IT TOOK SEVERAL HOURS!!!
  • Mysterious Protector: In the "Victims of Vault Hunters" sidequest of the Son of Crawmerax DLC, the various assassins gathered by Sparky Flynt are all dead by the time you get to them, to the frustration of Flynt. At the end of the sidequest, Hammerlock tells the Vault Hunters that each of them received a message from six different individuals who were the ones responsible for killing the assassins (though he states that they weren't working together).
    • Axton's assassin (a sergeant he knew and hated) was killed by his ex-wife Sarah, which he takes as meaning that she still wants him.
    • Gaige's assassin (Marcie Halloway's uncle) was killed by her father.
    • Salvador's assassin (the survivor of a bandit clan he wiped out) was dealt with by his abuela, who hired the resort staff to deal with him.
    • Maya's assassin (Sophis' brother and a Siren Hunter) was killed by possibly Patricia Tannis, judging by how the letter was written.
    • Krieg's assassin (a Hyperion scientist involved in the experiments that created him) was killed by Dr. Samuels, the Reluctant Mad Scientist mentioned in the Doctor's Orders sidequest.
    • Zer0's assassin, who Sparky knows nothing of, is killed in a way that only he understands. His letter is simply "To Zer0: One", which even he considers infuriatingly cryptic.

    N 
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The names Goliaths get as they level up. Ultimate Badass Goliath, Fatal GOD-liath, Hulking Mass of Destruction, Giant Midget of Death....
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The launch day trailer suggests a massive battle Lord of the Rings style with the four new heroes teaming up with the old. This does not happen. Furthermore, this quite amusing scene never occurred.
  • New Game+: Just like the old game, the player may run through the entire game again after finishing the story, facing tougher enemies while getting better loot. This is intended to be a Difficulty Spike on the level of Nintendo Hard, but whether that is true is up to you.
  • Nice Hat: Sir Hammerlock's hunting hat. Turning in the initial quest to collect bullymong fur to Sir Hammerlock results in him mounting the fur on his hat, making it even more badass.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lilith qualifies for one when she ignores Angel's warning to stay away from Angel's core and gets kidnapped by Jack to charge the vault key.
    • Your own character ends up doing this during a story quest, where putting a new power core in Sanctuary ends up disabling the town's shields. To be fair however, none of the protagonists were aware of this, as it was yet another of Jack's many Xanatos Gambits.
    • In one quest during Tiny Tina's DLC, Mr. Torgue shows up, and has you destroy two of the blimps watching over the town in that campaign because EXPLOSIONS!. However, it turns out that said blimps were watching for enemies approaching the town, and destroying them causes enemies to show up near the outskirts. In a rare aversion of Karma Houdini, Mr. Torgue doesn't get away with it, and when you return to town later, he's locked in a pillory as punishment.
    • Later in the same DLC, when greeting the king of the dwarves in a mine, Brick wins the roll, and says he wants to punch the king. Despite Lilith and Mordecai's objections, he wins out, and when you "punch" him, you end up killing him, causing the dwarves to be hostile to you.
    • And this comes into play again later when you reach a trapped girl in the dungeon. Brick once again wants to hit her, but this time Mordecai and Lilith win out, and you end up freeing her. She thanks you by plotting her revenge against the world, and turns into a giant spider forcing you into a boss fight. Brick wishes then he did punch her while she was locked up.
    • During a sidequest in Flame Rock Refuge, Sir Reginald Von Bartlesby asks you a riddle. However, Brick accidentally breaks the figure on the board when he slams the die down a little too hard, and in-game its represented by Reginald getting squished by the die. Nonetheless, Tina decides to consider the sidequest completed.
    • In the Wattle Gobbler DLC, Torgue helps you poison Wattle Gobbler (who has been made invulnerable) so that you can kill it and he can eat it, to the frustration of President Smith. When you finally make your way to Wattle Gobbler, Smith reveals why they rigged the fight: They wanted Torgue to be the one to kill the beast as a publicity stunt. Torgue doesn't care and still goes through with it and ends up fired from his own corporation.
  • Noble Savage: One of the Savages who captures Sir Hammerlock in the Son of Crawmerax DLC takes offense to Hammerlock calling them savages.
    Hey! Who are you calling a savage!? I graduated from Eden-4 Megatech with honors! Check your privilege, dick.
  • No Flow in CGI: Everyone's hair is pointy and immobile. Mordecai's ponytail or Lilith's bangs could put an eye out, and some alternate heads make it even worse.
  • No Hero Discount: Largely because of Adam Smith Hates Your Guts, the most you can expect for helping people out on a quest is whatever reward they give you. Marcus and Dr. Zed still expect you to pay full price for their wares, no matter how many quests you've done for them and how many times you've saved them from Hyperion.
  • No Indoor Voice: Salvador yells almost all the time.
    • Torgue in the DLC yells in every single voice clip he has. His captions are likewise (mostly) done in ALL CAPS.
  • No Name Given: The Sheriff of Lynchwood has no name and the deputy even points it out during a broadcast. He doesn't know who she is, just that she showed up one day, deputized him, and scares the shit out of him. This may be a stealth Shout-Out to "The Man With No Name." It wasn't until Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! that her name was revealed to be Nisha.
  • Noodle Incident: Gaige's father apparently aided her escape with the aid of a golf cart and explosives.
    • A particularly amusing radio advert for Tediore weapons has a man named John claiming that he lost both of his thumbs in a "horrific foreplay accident".
    • "That buttcrap with General Rancid" (whoever he is..)
  • No OSHA Compliance: We've lost count of the broken or missing safety rails. There's also the various Eridium mines with exposed moving drill bits that players might accidentally blunder into and be killed by. Never mind the per-usual explosive barrels that just happen to be...oh, everywhere.
    • One sidequest has you fight a miniboss that you reach by walking up a conveyor belt. Sounds easy? Well, it is, even while dodging the giant pistons, but that's still a really odd way to get up to what seems to be the guy's living space.
  • Nostalgia Level: Arid Nexus - Badlands is basically the starting zone of the first game after Hyperion got their hands on it.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Unlike the first game, there's no fall damage at all. This allows you to take shortcuts out of dungeons, or to do something so badass that the Slab King is amazed at you.
    • ... Except when you try to jump off the mesa that Magnys Lighthouse is built upon. Jumping off the lighthouse to it's base is fine, but jumping off the base to the town down below will kill you.
  • Notice This: Anything that can be opened or looted has glowing green lights on it somewhere. In the event it's not a chest, locker, lockbox, crate, junk pile, washing machine or cardboard box, it will still have something green and glowing about it. Piles of animal refuse also have a greenish glow or green mist about them (Pandoran life forms eat anything they can get their mouth on, and just throw up the undigestible guns and bullets for you to loot). This may simply be your ECHO device highlighting lootable objects, as upon closer inspection the glowing parts lose their glow upon opening, which includes paper stickers on the side of cardboard boxes.

Tropes A to CVideogame/Borderlands 2 Tropes O to Z

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