Obviously Evil: The game makes absolutely no attempt to hide the fact that Scarlett, Piston and Pyro Pete are going to betray you. In fact, it tells you as much as soon as you meet them; Mr. Torgue screams it out as part of his introductions. Pyro Pete is actually kind of disappointed that Torgue spoiled the "surprise."
Off the Rails: Early on in the Tiny Tina DLC, she tells you to travel down a path following some gems dropped along the way to find the queen. At one point the trail breaks off into a side path leading to another area, and Tina warns you that you should stay on the main quest because she hasn't balanced the difficulty of the monsters in that area like she did for the normal route. Should you continue further into said area, some extremely high level monsters show up and begin to chase after you. Tina scrambles to fix them by making them disappear, then having more level appropriate monsters come after you instead.
Oh Crap: Lilith and Roland's reaction to Jack sending Wilhelm after the new Vault Hunters.
Oh My Jack: Certain characters replace "God" with Jack, with phrases such as "By Jack" or "As Jack is my witness".
Old Save Bonus: By having a Borderlands 1 save on your system, you gain access to uniform skins with the Vault logo for all characters, as well as one headpiece referencing characters from the previous game for each. Salvador gains the appearance of Sledge, Maya of Patricia Tannis, Axton gets the Crimson Lance infantry helmet and Zer0 gets to look like a spiderant.
Older than They Look: Handsome Jack. Multiple mentions are made of how much plastic surgery he's had, but by both appearance and demeanor, he looks to be about 35, at most. It turns out he's old enough to have at least one adult child who appears to be in at least her early twenties.
A tip off to his real age is his graying hair.
Also, Moxxi. While she's still...perky...she also has at least two children, both now adults. Considering her background she probably gave birth unusually young.
Unusual aversion in the case of Tediore guns: "reloading" them consists of throwing them at the enemy and making the gun explode like a grenade, then a new one warps into your hands. Throw a mostly-full gun at the enemy by reloading early, and you lose all the bullets you had in it (but you also get a bigger bang).
Every other gun plays this completely straight.
Playing Anarchy!Gaige will result in you playing as if every gun averted this, as reloading before the magazine is empty causes you to lose all your stacks unless you have the "Discord" skill, which instead has it slowly decrease while you regenerate health.
One Bullet Left: Salvador's Money Shot skill - the last shot in the magazine of your currently equipped gun gets a huge damage bonus (going up to almost 9x damage at the skill's cap).
This can be abused by one of his skills that make firing a gun have a chance to not cost ammo. As long as the shot would normally empty the magazine, it will gain the bonus damage, meaning that as long as Inconceivable continues to proc you can chain Money Shots. Absolutely devastating, especially with weapons like powerful shotguns.
Inverted with Zer0's "0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill" skill — the first bullet fired from a full magazine gets a big damage bonus.
A combination of this trope and the above One Bullet Clips gets played literally with the Vladof Infinity pistol - its magazine size really is one round. However, it constantly regenerates that one round. It also works with Zer0's "0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill" skill in that every shot fired counts as the first bullet of the clip. Picking the Infinity up with Gaige's "Smaller, Lighter, Faster" skill will render the gun unusable, as the minus one penalty to magazines will cause it to have an ammo capacity of zero (unless you have a class mod or an artifact that offsets the skill's percentage penalty).
One-Hit Kill: Several weapons, skills and even shields are designed to help you with this. Sniper rifles (specifically, Jakob's brand- there is a very significant difference in damage between a Jakob's that does 300 damage and any other brand that does 300 damage) are the way to go in general if you want one-shots, of course. Zer0 naturally gets a lot of sniper-based skills, but there are a few equivalents. Salvador gets a skill that makes the last bullet in every clip do tons of extra damage, and the amp shield vastly boosts the damage of your initial shot if it's fully charged (depleting itself partly when you fire that one shot), which also makes it pretty fair with either sniper rifles or shotguns at close range. All of these skills and abilities do require you to hit the enemy's vulnerable spots for crits, though.
Only Sane Man: Listen to Jakobs radio announcements, and, unlike every other corporation - who are either elitist, greedy, flat-out insane, or all three - they'll report progress on the player fighting against Handsome Jack, and wish them luck.
One-Man Army: Played straight if you're soloing (unless you count Gaige's Deathtrap). When playing in a co-op game, this becomes Badass Crew.
One-Person Birthday Party: The "Claptrap's Birthday Bash" sidequest, where you send invitations to Claptrap's birthday party for him. None of the guests accept the invitation, so you end up alone with Claptrap.
The Zaford bagman is Peter Zaford; one of the guys in Mr. Torgue's tournament is Pyro Pete.
Handsome Jack isn't the only Jack in the series - One-Eyed Jack was the name of a bandit from the first game. Which becomes somewhat funny in hindsight when taking into account that Handsome Jack himself is apparently blind in one eye.
Handsome Jack's real name is apparently John; a Tediore radio advert features a man named John.
Mr. Blake's first name is revealed to be Jeffrey; the reporter interviewing Piston near the start of Campaign of Carnage is also named Jeffrey. You also deal with a Prince Jeffrey (an Expy of Joffrey) in a sidequest in the Tiny Tina DLC.
One of the mutants in the "Splinter Group" mission is Lee. He shares a name with Savage Lee, a psycho who lives with bullymongs, and one of the robbers in the BFFs mission.
An odd semi-example: Maya's home planet is Athenas, which is remarkably similar in name to former Crimson Lance assassin Athena, from the first game's Secret Armory DLC.
One-Woman Wail: The background music for some of the areas, most notably in Thousand Cuts.
Orcus on His Throne: All the top badasses of the Torgue Badass Tournament except the Vault Hunter. Mr. Torgue is kinda pissed about this, since it's not very entertaining.
Torgue: I'M GLAD SOMEBODY IS MAKING AN EFFORT TO FIGHT OTHER GLADIATORS! THE REST OF YOU HORKS ARE JUST SITTING' AROUND WAITING FOR CHALLENGERS TO COME TO YOU! P*SSIES!
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Both figuratively (standard miner race who like beer and beards) and literally. All the dwarves in the Tiny Tina DLC look like Salvador, which Lilith points out. When Tina asks Salvador himself if he's OK with it, he responds that he thinks it's awesome.
Our Monsters Are Weird: Spiderlike creatures made of rocky crystal deposits, invisible bat-panther-scorpions, and seemingly normal bandits—until their helmets come off, at which point they drop their guns, turn red, and cough up their own skulls, charging at you fists swinging with what's left of their head suspended on a tentacle of viscera.
Out of Character: What with Tiny Tina being a visibly-inexperienced Game Master in her roleplaying DLC, the characters she brings in from the "real" world can come across as this. Special mention goes to Roland, who speaks in Tina's slang-riddled dialect, and Angel, who's a Card-Carrying Villain.
In Best Minion Ever, Claptrap will stand in front of a gate in expectation of you blowing it up with a cannon, while explaining what he wants you to do to avoid harming him. Naturally, he never actually moves away so you may induce Amusing Injuries. The lines he says for this section below almost take a whole minute to say.
Claptrap: Just blast this gate down, but DON'T do it until I get out of the way. Understand? If you shot the gate now, that could do some serious damage to me! So don't do that! I'm just standing here to show you the area you should shoot after I move away, which I will once I am totally convinced you understand the instructions I am relaying to you! Do you understand? I know it's kinda complicated, but just stick with me okay, when it's okay for you to shoot this gate with the cannon, I'll say something like 'SHOOT THE GATE WITH THE CANNON, NOW!' But that was just a test, right. You didn't shoot the gate when I said that, which was good. 'SHOOT THE GATE WITH THE CANNON, NOW!' Also another test. You're doing me proud, minion... actually, I'm getting bored. Just shoot the gate now for realsies.
When you land on Three Horns in Claptrap's ship, he'll ask you to organize a party for him and start listing things for you to get. He carries on about it for a few solid minutes if you stay and listen.
He also does this whole schtick later on when you celebrate his birthday party. He'll prattle on and on until you give him a high-five (melee him).
When you're destroying some furnaces that belong to a gang of bandits, Claptrap says "Chill out!" and then, when your character doesn't laugh, proceed to explain in elaborate detail what sort of joke he just made, why it's funny, and then go on into a dry explanation of the entire concept of humour - apparently certain that your character will understand and burst into laughter any second now.
He returns in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep to speak about how much he loves a rune and describes it as more beautiful than the pretty princess of pretty land and how things have gotten pretty bad there in a pretty verbose way that over uses the word pretty. You, of course, have to take the rune away for a mission.
The entire quest dealing with Faces McShooty mentions the words "face" and "shoot" no less than 10 times each. And that's not including what the guy actually rambles about (hint: it's about shooting him in the face).
The Wattle Gobbler DLC has a quest in which you must listen to Grandma Flexington's Rambling Old Woman Monologue, and if you move out of her line of sight you'll automatically fail the quest. She'll also pause in the middle of the story to ask you a question to see if you were listening, with the incorrect answer also failing the quest. Afterwards, there's a Raid Level version of this quest which is even longer, though there's a point where she sends you on a fetch quest for some candy.
Oxymoronic Being: When a Midget Goliath reaches his fully levelled up state of rage, he becomes a "Giant Midget of Death"
Painfully Slow Projectile: Some weapons, including virtually all of Torgue's products, fire bullets or rockets that take a while to travel in the direction you shot them at. They will also arc downward over a longer distance, making them largely unsuitable weapons for long-range combat, unless you know how to arc your shots and the target can't or doesn't move around too much (And that is assuming the shot itself doesn't peter out before reaching its target, or otherwise you'll just be shooting into the wind about 30 feet away from you.)
Rocket Launchers with the "Torgue" barrel (the rounded one with vents; compare the rocket assault rifle barrel) take this to laughable extremes — they're only slightly faster than your running speed, and to top it off they seem to fly in whatever direction they please after leaving the barrel. If they actually hit something though, it's worth it, since they do big bonus damage.
Papa Wolf: When Gaige was about to be arrested (and expelled) for killing her rival, her dad apparently set up a distraction with a golf cart and explosives so she could flee to Pandora, totally confident that Gaige would not only survive but thrive and adore living there (and he's right). He still worries about her to the point that he sabotaged a transport filled with mercenaries sent to kill her. Best. Dad. Ever.
Patchwork Map: Temperate Sanctuary borders an arctic area. Also in the intro, shots of the train's ride shows a desert next to an snowy arctic environment. The Vault's opening and the spread of Eridium is said to have altered the planet's (already hellish) ecosystems a lot.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Could you not pick up Scarlett's gun? Because that is stealing. And stealing is wrong.
Midgets can knock you several feet away from them with a melee attack.
Salvador is a borderline example being the second smallest non-midget character in the game (he's 5'4") and able to deliver Megaton Punches after you unlock one of his skills. Then again, his stature is a result of massive steroid abuse.
As noted above, Tiny Tina based the dwarves in her "Bunkers & Badasses" game on Salvador. They're shorter and less muscular than the real deal, but they're powerful melee combatants, especially their Badasses.
Gaige is also a borderline example, coming in a quarter of an inch shorter than Salvador. Her mechanical arm can smash concrete, at the expense of severe damage.
Mordecai is best described as a Hearts/Socializer because he's really just there to hang out with the others and has no real interest in the game itself (though he does gradually get quite into the campaign, even panicking as events unfold).
Police Are Useless: Marshall Friedman is the law in Sanctuary, but on two occasions simply asks you to solve a mystery for him, because he's in bed and can't be bothered.
Marshal Friedman: About an hour or so back, I heard a gunshot. Naturally, I ignored it, until someone came and got me.
Poor Communication Kills: After she has gone rogue, Angel enigmatically mentions that Lilith cannot be allowed in her chamber with no further explanation. Naturally, this provokes Lilith into coming along anyway, which leads to the Warrior being released.
When Krieg first met Maya, his inner voice wants to tell her how much he loves her and how he hopes she can save him. What comes out:
"I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN!"
Pop Cultured Badass: A large chunk of the cast, thanks to the copious Shout Outs. The player characters are the biggest ones, both in their skills and dialogue, with the sole exception of Maya, who sticks to quoting Kurt Vonnegut.
Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Bandits, at least some of them, wear armor in this style, although only the heavy suits of armor worn by Armored Maniacs and Boom-Bewm give effective resistance to damage. Still, Killer Marauders wear the skulls of some horned animal, and some Psycho, Bruiser, and Marauder models wear armor based on football pads. Badass Marauders wear bits and pieces of old Crimson Lance armor.
Power High: Anarchy Gaige gets reaaaaally excited in battle. Even without Anarchy, she gets high enough from Deathtrap slaughtering everyone - especially if you've upgraded him with the explosion ability.
Lilith too, when she's pumped up on Eridium; one ECHO log is from right after her first exposure to the stuff, equally horrified and giddy, as she informs Roland that she liquified a bandit.
Maya is a much more minor example.
Powers as Programs: In Gaige's ECHO logs on youtube, she name-drops a whole bunch of her abilities. Apparently, for her, they really are programs that she's created to enhance Deathtrap (or herself, with her mechanical arm and all).
Power-Up Letdown: Some of the orange/pearlescent/seraph items are less powerful or have worse DPS than their more common counterparts, despite being incredibly rare even with farming.
A handful of items, one head and skin per character, an item that boosts drop rates, a free copy of the Mechromancer DLC, and a free copy of the Creature Slaughter Dome DLC (select retailers only). Some of the bonuses were limited to different editions of the game.
In-game, one of the radio ads for Sir Hammerlock's wildlife almanac has him touting the bonus content you get for pre-ordering it. Namely, a photo diary (which is mostly him sitting at his desk looking bored) and a special embossed cover that brags about the extra spending money you clearly have lying around.
Straight-up lampshaded in Opportunity. The PA announces that Vault Hunters have apparently been spotted in the vicinity, so don't be afraid to run away from them. They don't get paid enough for that crap.
Pungeon Master: For whatever reason, Goliaths crack puns as they die from elemental damage.
Rage Quit: One sidequest in Dragon's Keep requires you to defeat a trio of rival gamers in specific ways to force them to rage-quit, including headshooting one with a sniper rifle, defeating another in melee, and teabagging the third's corpse.
Randomly Generated Loot: Even more so than the first game. Each manufacturer has a unique effect and aesthetic (as opposed to simply being slightly different colours and having a few stat differences). Naturally, there are also more potential combinations/parts.
Real Is Brown: Thankfully averted compared to the predecessor. This game makes a point to show that Pandora is NOT just a giant postapocalyptic junkyard nestled in a planet-wide desert by showcasing a variety of environments such as icy plateaus, grasslands, volcanic pits and acid swamps. Only places it's likely to show up is when you revisit areas from the first game.
This was lampshaded in one of the early promos, long before the new game was available.
Our artists did a lot of research; they found out there's actually some other colors in the palette.
Deputy Winger in Lynchwood. The Sheriff is brutal, violent, and crazy, and Winger is just desperately trying to keep the regular folks who live there from being killed by her by warning them not to do the stupid things that would get them strung up. When you finally confront the Sheriff, there's even an objective to not shoot Winger because he's not a lunatic like her.
Roland. Despite fighting a losing war, he still has the support of many of the people on Pandora, who aren't exactly excited about Hyperion's rule over the planet.
Jeffrey Blake, Hyperion's vice-president. While his presence in this game is limited to ECHO Logs, from what is heard in-game and considering his behavior in the previous game, he seems to be a lot less evil than Handsome Jack and has even made attempts to help mitigate the damage done by Hyperion.
Mr. Torgue, of all people. When Piston gases you, throws you out of the arena, and publicly 'outs' you as a coward. Publicly, Mr. Torgue goes along with it for the sake of publicity and TV ratings. He immediately calls you back to inform you that he doesn't believe for a minute that any of it is true, and will help you get back on top.
Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Played straighter than the first game with the removal of all health regen shields (there is one, but that one is a legendary shield). Each character, except Zer0 and Krieg, has some method or another of regenerating health passively outside of combat: Maya and Salvador have non-conditional health regen, Axton and Gaige are conditional (having full shields or a full clip respectively triggers the regen). As for Zer0 and Krieg, Zer0 can regenerate health with a perk that modifies his action skill and Krieg can regenerate health by killing an enemy with his action skill.
Some class mods grant health regeneration; typically not fast enough to change the flow of combat, but sometimes enough to fill you back up to full between fights. Maya can get one that bestows health regen on her friends as well.
The Remnant: The Crimson Raiders are made up of former Crimson Lance members who joined La Résistance lead by Roland. The rest turned to banditry, and the various Badass Marauders you encounter are wearing full suits of Lance armor.
In the first game, Bloodwing is male. Mordecai calls him "boy" and such. In the sequel, she is female and he calls her girl. Oddly, the other characters still refer to Bloodwing as a he. Word of God says Bloodwing's species changes sex as part of their life cycle, as several real-life organisms do. invoked
Retirony: Out in full force and played for laughs. Mooks blown in half will exclaim they nearly had the family homestead paid off. Even some of your own talking guns will try to guilt trip you about that one guy you electrocuted who probably came from a broken home.
Hyperion personnel play the classic "He was only two days away from retirement!" line when one witnesses the death of another.
The Reveal: The Wham Mission has about four major ones.
Revolvers Are Just Better: Toned down from the original Borderlands; revolvers no longer use different ammunition from ordinary handguns. Also, 4/7 of guns do not use revolver technology like in the original, now it's more like 4/25 of all guns, and both are viable now. In Borderlands 2, revolvers rely on high damage per shot while ordinary pistols have larger clips, though not to the absurd degree of the last game where every automatic was a Little Useless Gun. And, as everyone expected, considering that Jakobs is continuing their line of revolving rifles and all their revolvers are Hand Cannons, Jakobs is most definitely an example. Torgue now makes 'em too, and uses their patented gyrojet tech to make them missile-launching revolvers.
Part of the reason the new vault hunters want to take down Handsome Jack is because he lured them into a false alliance and then tried to kill them.
A more specific and tragic example happens in the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, where Handsome Jack has kidnapped Mordecai's bird, Bloodwing. He supports you with cover fire at the beginning, doing minor damage and slagging enemies for you. Once you find Bloodwing however, she ends up mercilessly killed by Handsome Jack. This leads to Mordecai losing his cool over the ECHO, but is seen as you make your way back to the Fast Travel station: Mordecai's Roaring Rampage of Revenge has him screaming as he one shots Super Badass Loaders, complete with wordless roaring.
Played straight with a follow-up sidequest, where he has you attack the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, this time to free the animals Hyperion is experimenting on, and killing as many of the personnel and loaders as you can while doing so as payback for them contributing to Bloodwing's death.
It is implied that this is actually part of the reason why the crystalisks are hostile to all humans now. Dahl's mining chief ordered them to be hunted down and killed the security chief who was refusing to kill them because they were friendly and docile. The crystalisks, which are apparently at least intelligent enough to recognize both of these facts, turned on said mining chief, and the entire species is now hostile to humanity.
Brick promotes one against the Sawtooth bandits.
Brick: My boys have been fighting the Sawteeth for years. They've handed dozens of Vault Hunters to Jack, once the pay got good enough. So you kill them all. And you smile while you do it.
Krieg in particular has an even bigger beef with Hyperion than the other Vault Hunters, as Hyperion was responsible for the experiments that turned him into the split-personality, insane psychopath he is now. Even Krieg's good-aligned inner voice urges him to massacre Hyperion personnel, and his name for the Handsome Jack mask is "GO TO HELL DIE DIE DIE".
Rock Falls Everyone Dies: In the Tiny Tina DLC, Tina starts her campaign off with a Hopeless Boss Fight that instantly puts the player into Fight For Your Life mode in a single attack. Lilith then tells her that as a DM, she's not supposed to start the game off with an insurmountable challenge, at which point she revives the PCs and replaces the dragon with "Mr. Boney Pants Guy", a random miniboss she made up on the spot.
Rouge Angles of Satin: Bandit-made guns all have misspelled names. They can't even spell "SMG", and there's a chance to get a gun that spells "accurate" wrong. Twice.
Sadistic Choice: Many missions require you to choose a person to side with over another. These choices can range from serious moral choices (do you help TK Baha's niece recover the plans for her family's weapon for a powerful unique weapon, or sell her out to Hyperion for cash?) to comical (do you give alcohol to Mordecai so he can drown his sorrows, or do you give them to Moxxi so she can get back at Mordecai for not paying her enough attention during their relationship?)
Sand Worm: One of the new enemy types is the 'Threshers'; giant subterranean worm-creatures that can even swallow objective items, forcing the players to hunt them down.
Save Scumming: While the game largely averts this, players can skirt around it, at least on the PC. When turning in a quest that gives a reward item, the game allows you to look at the item first. If you don't like it, "alt-tab" right away, open task manager, then close the Borderlands 2 program. The game will close without having saved, allowing you to try again in the hopes of getting the item you want with more desirable stats on it, such as the quest gun having a corrosive effect on it rather than electric.
And as with the original Borderlands, rare items can be duplicated by dropping them and then killing your client process if you're not the host.
For starters, there's the guns. You can be fighting a robot with an energy shield while wielding a massive single-action or double action Jakobs revolver, which becomes funnier if you're using any gun next to a Hyperion or Maliwan. As usual, the setting indulges in it.
That Maglev train looks like and has the same colors as a CSX diesel locomotive. There's also the difference between Opportunity City and any Hyperion-controlled area with their incredibly high tech, and the rest of Pandora.
According to All There in the Manual, the year in the game is 5357. With the exception of spaceflight, plot devices such as resurrection stations and Rule of Cool technology such as elemental guns, the game really doesn't contain anything unfeasible by modern standards.
Schrödinger's Player Character: Justified. In both Borderlands installments there is an in-game explanation to why characters not chosen by the players are missing. In Borderlands 1, only characters chosen get off the bus at the "correct" stop. In Borderlands 2, all the characters are caught in a giant explosion at the tail end of an assassination attempt by Jack and only the ones chosen by players are found alive by Claptrap. However, in Hammerlock's DLC all four of the non-DLC Vault Hunters are seen participating during the opening, even if there are less than four players in the current game. Also, in the Tiny Tina DLC, all of the surviving Vault Hunters can be seen in the ending cutscene, and Mordecai explicitly says that there are six Vault Hunters interrogating the Hyperion spy.
Scratch Damage: If you don't have a variety of weapons available to use, you end up doing this to certain tougher enemies. Also, much lower level enemies don't hit you nearly as hard as someone who's equal level or higher than you.
A meta example in the opening of the game the narration gives a nod to the reaction to the ending of Borderlands saying that "To the warriors who opened it, the vault was just a container of tentacles and disappointment"
An even greater meta-example was when Lilith and Roland reminisced over a story about Mordecai and Bloodwing. In the first game, Mordecai's action skill was Bloodwing, a bird that would attack enemies from a distance, but only if the player was aiming at said enemies. This led to a glitch where getting behind cover after summoning Bloodwing would have her fly around uselessly. It was spun into a heartwarming story where Bloodwing deliberately waited until Mordecai peeked out from cover to watch before killing the bandits in seconds, because Blood wanted him to see her do it.
Another meta example: During the mission No Vacancy, you have to find (amongst other things) a Steamvalve. When you grab it, Scooter drops this line:
Scooter: Oh hey, you got the steam thingie! These pumps used to run on a different system, but people complained so's they got switched over. note Borderlands used to run on GameSpy's multiplayer server system, which was much maligned by players at the time. Borderlands 2 now runs on a SteamWorks multiplayer system, which (while prone to problems of its own) is considered vastly superior.
A random comment by one of the villagers in the city of Flame Rock Refuge in Tiny Tina's DLC invokes this. Probably due to the amount of knocking on doors/windows/walls that random NPC's do inside Sanctuary.
Villager: You know what I like about this town? Not as much knocking.
Self-Made Orphan: Three psychos in the Southpaw steam plant talk about killing their mother, seemingly arguing about which of them dealt the deathblow. Rakkman pointedly denies killing his own parents — it's not clear whether this is a lie or not, but the fact that he has to bring it up in the first place suggests this is all too common among bandits (and that someone else killed them before he could.)
Senseless Sacrifice: Angel has the Vault Hunters kill her so Jack can't use her Siren powers to charge the Vault Key. Unfortunately, Lilith happens to be present when it happens, providing Jack with a replacement Siren.
As future DLC, they will make new Vault Hunters. Gaige the Mechromancer is simply the beginning.
In an interview, Word of God has said that Borderlands 2's main campaign has roughly double the size of the first game's. And it is, although the first playthrough ends around the same level range as in the first game.
All the gun brands have been retooled to be fundamentally distinct from each other, in appearance, animations, and function. This was done specifically because all the guns in the first game were too "samey" a valid complaint to say the least. Every gun manufacturer, hell, damn near every gun, is now distinctive and conveys the the themes they were originally meant for, as opposed to having different colors and grips
The grenade mods can now have multiple abilities - so while in Borderlands grenades could have at most an element and one other effect (corrosive MIRV, incendiary bouncing betties, etc.) now they can have multiple ones; how do corrosive sticky longbow singularity grenades that also spawn 5 child grenades sound?
In addition, you may now have legendary grenades and class mods.
And in true Borderlands fashions, even the Psychos get in on it, claiming it's time for "Three pounds of flesh" instead of simply one in the first game.
As of the Tiny Tina's DLC, there are in total not one, not two, not three, but ELEVEN"Invincible" class bosses note Terramorphous and Vermivorous in the vanilla game, Master Gee and Hyperius from Captain Scarlett's, Pyro Pete from TORGUE's, Dexiduous and Voracidous from Sir Hammerlock's and finally the four Ancient Dragons of Destruction from Tiny Tina's serve as a Wolfpack Boss.
To hammer the point home, your average Bruiser's character model is based on that of Badass Bruisers from the first game, minus the Glowing Eyes of Doom.
The classes are much more diverse and divergent now; a lot of Borderlands 1 skills were stuff that incrementally increased performance in only basic ways, like "faster shield charging" or "faster reloading" and nothing else. Here that sort of thing is usually paired with other abilities so no one skill is boring or utilitarian; like "you regenerate your health once your shields are full" in addition to faster shield charging. There's a lot more skills per character and they do a lot more diverse things.
As the vault hunters prepare to destroy the key already used to unleash two Eldritch Abominations, certain that nothing good would ever come out of it, it activates a holographic projection depicting the location of many vaults in different star systems across the galaxy. Nearly instantaneously, they change their minds and decide to track them down. No rest for the wicked indeed.
For the entire campaign of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the 6 vault hunters are downstairs torturing a Hyperion spy. At the end of the campaign, Maya walks upstairs and tells everyone that they've obtained the access codes to the Hyperion Moon Base.
Near the end of the game, the identity of another Siren (Angel) is revealed before the Siren dies. With the first game's deceased Big Bad Steele having been confirmed to be a Siren and both Maya and Lilith alive and well, that leaves four Sirens unaccounted for.
Sequence Breaking: During the Statuesque quest in Opportunity. If you clear out the random mooks hanging around the city, then activate the loader afterwards, and don't follow it, it'll destroy the statues of Jack without interference. The mobs are scripted to appear if you're in the vicinity with the loader, so if you don't follow it, it'll slowly destroy the statues while you can do other missions provided you don't have to go near where the loader is currently at.
Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Goliath Elite Mooks get enraged if you shoot their helmet off - they recover all their health and attack whoever is at hand, which is more often than not mooks from their own side. This is a double-edged sword; if it kills enough enemies the Goliath turns into an even more powerful Elite Mook. Its last stage counts as a Mini-Boss, which while rather harder to kill than the original form also usually has some sweet loot... and an achievement.
Shield Bash: Nomads with shields have this as their melee attack. Note that the shields are heavy metal riot shields and in most cases have huge spikes on the front. Yikes.
Nomads can carry a couple different (bulletproof) shields. Some are just a plain slab type shield, some have spikes welded on, and some have midgets chained to the shield to cover up a hole.
Savage Warriors and Badass Savages in "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" carry oblong, wooden Zulu-type shields. They aren't bulletproof, but soak up some of the bullet damage thrown their way, and any melee attack that hits them is all but completely ignored. Witch Doctors wear masks that have a similar effect.
BUL Loaders and PWR Loaders both have a shield; the former is part of its bulldozer mode's plow that it uses to ram you with while the latter has twin spinning blades that deflect attacks. Thankfully in both cases they do not cover much of the body (unlike Nomads). Constructors can also sometimes project a shield across their weak point, reflecting any attacks aimed at it. However it's hilariously small and temporary, so you can simply aim somewhere else for the duration.
Ship Tease: At the end of the Mr. Torgue DLC, Moxxi is looking to set up her arena again, and Mr. Torgue has one. She's clearly got her sights on him, but given he's a decent guy and some of her revelatory moments during the DLC, it's hard not to hope this time it works out long-term. Moxxi kind of extorts Torgue into giving her the arena (since it's, well, all kinds of illegal) but Torgue actually seems a good sport about it and Moxxi mentions it looks like the start of a beautiful partnership. Considering that Moxxi's explicitly said she likes explosions (in the mission Home Movies, she tells you that she'll only lend you her video camera if you film either explosions, nudity, or both), and the INCREDIBLE advantage it'd be to have the CEO of a conglomerate as a partner, it's safe to say that Torgue could easily be husband #4. Hell, that same comment about the video camera could very well be what sex between Torgue and Moxxi would look like!
Krieg's short film shows that the reason he became a Vault Hunter was because he fell in love with Maya.
In the Moxxi DLC, when asked if he has a love in his life, he has this to say:
"THE TINY ONE, AND THE SAD-FACED MOTHER AND THE BLUE TATTOO FOREVER AND EVER!"
Shockwave Stomp: A signature ability of boroks, as well as the larger Loaders.
A necessary tactic to surviving in the Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC is to kill the Savage Chiefs first, or they will heal the other savages accompanying them. This includes Voracidous, the new Raid Boss. A Stalker controlled by a Chief. If you try to kill Voracidous first, his Chief will sacrifice himself and give Voracidous his massive shield reserve, causing Voracidous to enter his Turns Red stage. If you kill the Chief first, Voracidous will still enter that powered-up phase, but won't have the Chief's shield reserve between you and his relatively-light health bar. For the love of god, Shoot the Medic First.
Anytime Surveyors showed up alongside Loaders or Constructors, you better shoot the little buggers unless you're severely overleveled since they can regenerate Constructor Shields and Loader's health. Made worse by the fact that some constructors can make additional Surveyors, requiring you to use shock weaponry to mitigate it.
Shotguns Are Just Better: Zig-zagged; particularly if you find one that has a good elemental damage component, such as explosion, which can allow you to 1-2 shot most enemies at point-blank range. Averted when fighting opponents from longer ranges.
Funnily enough, this can be Inverted by investing in her "Close Enough" skill, which gives every bullet that misses an enemy a chance to reflect off the world geometry back towards an enemy at half damage. Anarchy and Close Enough combined often results in shots making bizarre bounces and taking out targets that a Gaige player may not even be aware of.
Just like the first game, it's possible to get a sniper rifle with a bayonet.
Short Range Shotgun: Zig-zagged; while the infamous Sledge's Shotgun (insanely low accuracy, obliterates anything immediately touching the barrel when fired) returns and generally shotguns are your worst choice for fighting at range, many can be effective at medium range. One of the unique shotguns, the Octo, fires pellets that converge at various points as they fly, giving it ridiculously long range with the right timing. Another, the Flakker, is designed specifically to combat airborne targets, with projectiles that explode once they hit a certain range. Finally, the Striker is just an especially accurate shotgun with increased critical hit damage.
And then there's using a shotgun with Anarchy!Gaige. Pointblank she's devastating. Any farther than 10-15 feet and you'll just waste ammo.
At 400 Anarchy stacks or more, shotguns can miss at two feet away. A Torgue shotgun(with its added spread caused by its explosive elemental property) or a shotgun with a high pellet count are practically a necessity.
Averted in terms of game mechanics. No matter how badly assembled, guns will not malfunction, since the part about Tediore guns blowing up in your hand was Dummied Out for balance reasons.
In a scene introducing Marcus the arms dealer, a Sanctuary citizen asks for a refund on a gun he claims doesn't work at all, to which Marcus responds by taking the supposedly faulty pistol and testing it on the dissatisfied customer himself. Needless to say, no refund needs to be paid.
Once you defeat the final boss, the now unprotected Handsome Jack erupts into a long, massive Motive Rant. Thankfully, you don't have to listen to it and instead may interrupt him with an Instant Death Bullet.
Skill Gate Character: Gaige's Best Friends Forever skill tree is designed to let people who aren't good at FPS games still be helpful, at the cost of less combat efficacy. For example, Both starter skills of that tree involve letting her regenerate health when she has a full magazine in her gun and lets her missed bullets ricochet off walls to hit enemies (but at less damage.) It's also the skill tree that reduces the cooldown time for summoning Deathtrap.
Slave Collar: Jack uses one to control Sirens, and another to kill Bloodwing.
Kai, an ubernerd who thinks he's the biggest star there is. He may have 5 billion ECHO Cast subscribers, but he laments that hardly anyone on Pandora has heard of him. Marcus recognized him... as a sucker he could easily rip off, selling him the Evil Smasher for $2 million.
Flyboy may be the #2 badass in Mr. Torgue's tournament, but his ego is insane, especially when you consider that he's just 16 years old. He plays pre-recorded messages over the PA in the area he controls where he insults all his underlings and aggrandizes himself. And he goes down in one second when surprised by Piston's blimp.
One of the Marauder personalities is the "Ripper", who thinks everyone but him is the biggest idiot he's ever met. His voice lines make it clear that he feels like an A-list actor in a community theater production.
Smoke Out: Peter Zaford and Pirate Ninjas disappear in puffs of smoke, but Rakkman actually throws down a smoke grenade to achieve this. The Savages in Hunter's Grotto do the opposite, suddenly appearing in puffs of smoke (apparently courtesy of their Witch Doctors).
Shmuck Bait: Brick gives this advice while you're on a tower: "Hey Slab! By jumping off the east side of Bird's Nest, you can get to the fast travel station in a quick and badass way!". It's way too hard to resist!
Smurfette Principle: As with the first game, Maya the siren is the sole female character out of a playable cast of 4. Later remedied with the addition of Gaige as DLC shortly after release.
Sniper Pistol: Played with. Pistols can come with scopes, but they may wobble quite a bit depending on stats. Still, they're among the most accurate weapons at any range, surpassed only by sniper rifles.
So Bad, It's Good: An In-Universe example in the guy in Sanctuary handing out the "This Just In" Hyperion propaganda ECHO's, who finds said ECHO's to be rather hilarious. He's well aware of what it is, and finds the humor in the fact that they would go so far as to spread such Blatant Lies, since everyone in Sanctuary knows what really happened. Apparently, he's alone in this though. They're not selling so well.
Salvador mercilessly tortured and killed Hyperion employees for attacking his village.
Axton, when ordered to protect a dignitary from terrorists, instead planted a tracker on him, followed it when the dignitary was captured, and blew up the terrorist hideout. With the dignitary still inside. When he fled to Pandora, he immediately became a bounty hunter.
Zer0 is a hired killer, which already implies some level of sociopathy. On top of that, one of his logs involves him decapitating an asshole simply because his friend said it was impossible to shut him up and Zer0 took it as a challenge of his skills.
Krieg is a Psycho who had been experimented on by Hyperion, turning him into a heroic Axe CrazyBlood Knight who is more than happy to protect the weak, but all the more eager to kill the deserving. However, he became a Vault Hunter not just to kill, but because he's in love with Maya and believes that she can make him sane.
Dr. Zed: After watching you waste those bandits with that E-Tech weapon, I have come to the following medically sound conclusion... E-Tech is friggin' dope!
After a quest to find out about Jack's past.
Quest Info: After a thorough exploration of his past, you have come to the conclusion that Handsome Jack is a douchebag who needs to die.
Space Pirates: The first DLC Expansion (Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty) is full of by-the-numbers Type II's.
Spanner in the Works: Angel's insistence on helping you throughout the first two-thirds of the game ultimately causes Jack's plans to backfire and fail. Without her own plans working against Jack, he likely would have stomped out the Crimson Raiders after a couple more battles.
Spoof Aesop: In one of the side missions, you help a group of people figure out who stole all the cash among them. If you shoot the correct person, one of the surviving members states that they hope everyone learned something. Another member replies that yes, they did learn something - that the guilty person stole the cash. It's the guy with the cash sign on his back.
Squick: The general in universe reaction to being slagged.
Gaige: UGGHH! It smells like piss and nachos!
Slag is apparently so disgusting that Salvador screams more when he is slagged than when he is set on fire, electrocuted or bathed in acid.
Angel's response to one of Flanksteak's messages on your way in to the Firehawk.
Flanksteak: We're going to choke him to death with his own feces!
Angel: Dude. Ew.
Standard Status Effects: Corrosive, Fire, and Shock all do a poison/burn damage over time variant. Slag can cause enemies to take more damage from non-slag attacks. Maya has Stop as her action skill, plus a few others available from skills, including Charm.
In The Highlands there are signs warning of Threshers near most of the places where Threshers spawn. Threshers are very large worm-like enemies with tentacles. In other words, Wormsign.
The Bane is one. Just say it out loud and consider what the gun does.
Jakobs-brand Combat Rifles use what looks like a hub-cap as a revolving magazine. A frequently-used nickname for revolvers is 'Wheelgun'.
Over in Opportunity, the local directory lists all the companies and locations of interest in the still developing city. While most of the area is still either Hyperion related or TBD, one of the stores listed is "Dee's Nuts". Also doubles as a Stealth Insult.
Later on Brick has you kill a bandit leader who he's been at odds with for a long time. The bandit's name is Mortar, and together their names are a play on the phrase "Brick and Mortar"(Referring to the building material, not the explosive).
In Marcus' Mad Libs Dialogue messages to the Bloodshots and Roland, he warns them both that they need to "up... your arsenal."
Still Wearing The Old Colors: While Roland has moved on from this and no longer wears items from his Crimson Lance uniform, many of the Crimson Raiders have continued to wear at least some of their armor. It's all in pretty bad shape, though — it's obvious that resources are spread pretty thin. Badass Marauders and Armored Maniacs also wear old Lance armor, indicating that when the Lance dissolved a good number of its members became bandits.
Storming the Castle: There is a proud Borderlands tradition of having the game go linear when shit gets real, like when you burst into Bloodshot Ramparts to rescue Roland, when you're charging up a hill to take out an indestructible bunker, and when you're fighting through Hero's Pass to get to the final showdown with Handsome Jack.
Also played straight during the main story missions in Tiny Tina's DLC, where your characters ascend a castle to defeat the Handsome Sorceror and rescue the queen.
Story Breadcrumbs: As in the first game, ECHO recorders are strewn around the landscape, as both side quests and just items that fulfill Badass rank requirements.
Stout Strength: In stark contrast to the bodybuilder-like Bruisers, Goliaths are big boys whose shirts can't contain their bellies. They're also inhumanly powerful. Bonus points if they're a Midget Goliath.
Sir Hammerlock casually mentions in one mission that you're hunting up an ex-boyfriend's belongings.
The ex-boyfriend falls under Manly Gay. Instead of being a Gentleman Adventurer like Hammerlock, he is more of a Saxton Hale style adventurer who likes to fight dangerous creatures with his bare fists.
ECHO Recording Full Of Gay: The same recording also has a man (the unwilling subject of the experiment) mention his husband. The scientist's reluctance to conduct the experiment is what prompts Jack to remind her that he is holding her wife hostage.
Stuff Blowing Up: Between the end of Borderlands and the beginning of the sequel, Torgue decided to deal exclusively in explosive weapons: Rocket Launchers, Grenades, Grenade Launchers... oh, and Gyrojet guns. The radio ads usually involve the company founder going full ballistic by yelling at listeners to buy use Torgue brand guns. Torgue has to remind the audience both before and after the message that the company does not represent the views of its founder.
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep occasionally falls into this, being the RPG campaign of a hyperactive and mentally disturbed thirteen-year-old girl.
Sudden Bittersweet Ending: Assault on Dragon Keep ends with the revelation that the entire "Bunkers and Badasses" session was Tiny Tina's desperate attempt to hide from the reality of Roland's death. The remaining original Vault Hunters help her find closure, and the final shot is of Tina hugging Roland's grave.
Suddenly Voiced: Midget enemies only cackled madly in the first game (aside from a few that appear in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx), but here have actual lines (midget versions of other enemies are just pitched-up versions of the normal enemy's lines).
Also, Badass Psychos. While they merely grunted (and screamed when dying from elemental effects) in the first game, they now have the same lines as normal Psychos.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Helena Pierce and Shep Sanders. Jack murdered one; the other sold out the people of New Haven and got killed by Brick.
One side quest found in the Thousand Cuts area features a bandit gone so far off the deep end, he's actually begging to be shot in the face. He even changed his name to Face McShooty.
One of the quests for Scooter involves helping him write a poem to woo a lady, and once it's complete, he has you play the recording for the woman. After listening to the poem, she asks to be excused, and then she enters the house she's standing in front of, closing the door behind her. Moments later, a gunshot is heard. Upon completing the quest, the text states that "Everyone's a critic."
Near the end of the quest with the Hyperion AI it asks to be plugged into the Radio in Moxxi's and tries to get the player to kill themselves by subjecting them to some absolutely horrible music.
One of the missions for the Children of the Firehawk quest involves helping a particularly fanatical midget commit suicide via immolation. The same questline also implies that other Children have been killing themselves through incineration.
And, of course, a quest in which Handsome Jack literally just asks you to kill yourself. Complete with suicide prevention hotline if you decide not to go through with it. When you first get to that spot, a random bandit is jumping off while screaming "I'M GONNA BE RIIIIIICH!". Apparently Jack offered this quest to a lot of people.
The Gunzerker class has one skill-tree end with the skill "No Kill Like Overkill". After getting a kill the extra damage done is then added to all gun attacks made (though this can't make an individual shot more than five time as powerful otherwise) for a couple of seconds or until you kill another enemy. So if one kills a weakened enemy with something like a rocket launcher then pulls out a machine gun, it can get pretty crazy powerful.
The Psycho class can get his own overkill ability: something that returns overkill damage to himself as health! This is really important since his health tends to dip really, really low sometimes.
In Thousand Cuts, there is a quest called "Shoot this guy in the face". It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and you even get an achievement called "Well That Was Easy" for it.
Although you do have to fight through a whole bunch of bandits to get to it...
As mentioned above in Suicide as Comedy, a quest simply requires you to step off a cliff (or not).
The "Claptrap's Secret Stash" quest in sanctuary lampshades this heavily, with Claptrap assigning you a number of mind numbing and/or ridiculously difficult tasks before "accidentally" revealing the location of the stash about three feet behind you. Also: The stash itself has "CLAPTRAP'S SECRET STASH" vibrantly on display on a sign right above it with an arrow pointing right at it.
One sidequest in the Tiny Tina DLC has Sir Reginald von Bartlesby ask you a riddle. After a while, he gets crushed by a giant D20, as Brick accidentally crushed his model with his die. Tina decides to consider this a win for the players.
Salvador is basically Brick with a focus on guns instead of melee or explosives. The Brawn tree is basically Brick's Tank tree, and even has a skill that changes Salvador's melee attack to a powerful left-handed uppercut — like Brick's left trigger during Berserk.
Krieg is much more similar to Brick, though rather than tanking he focuses more on dealing as much damage he takes as well as having a ranged attack for his Rampage.
The other classes (other than Gaige) aren't as clear-cut, but are basically mix-and-matched with elements of all the classes from the previous games, including Brick. However, aesthetically all four classes are quite similar to their originals: they're still a big crazy brute, a slender creepy elegant man, a soldier dude and a mysterious magical woman.
Axton probably is the closest to his original counterpart. His action skill is identical to Roland's (deploying an automated turret). His background includes similar elements: Both are ex-military who are considered traitors and marked for death by their respective outfits after causing the death of someone important (A dignitary for Axton and his superior for Roland).
Oddly enough, Zer0's ability is this for Lilith's phasewalk. Both allow you to move out of combat and go undisturbed for a brief time, basically a "get out of danger" button.
The similarity between the second and first gen Vault Hunters (excluding Gaige and Krieg) is highlighted by their Legendary class mods, each of which has a flavor text that is a quote by the equivalent class in the first game.
Atlas may be gone after all the things you did in the first game, but fret not; Hyperion and its new leader have all your fascist Mega Corp. needs covered.
During an early quest, Hammerlock comments that an elevator you need to use isn't working because of damage caused to its fuse box when Claptrap tried to "integrate" with it. He is immediately interrupted by Claptrap commenting what a kidder ol' Hammerlock is. After you retrieve a new fuse box, Claptrap again comments on how this quest has revealed nothing worth repeating.
After completion of the story quests in Opportunity, the next issue of "This Just In" reports that today, everything was just fine in Opportunity, and nothing bad happened.
Dr. Zed asks you to obtain some bits of animals for him for unspecified purposes... resulting in this:
Dr. Zed:(fake polite) Nice to meet you. Here is a large pile of money, just because I like you. This is a gift, and in no way payment for rendered services that neither of us will discuss publicly.
Rakkman's ECHO features him talking about the death of his parents. He mentions that he totally didn't kill them himself, completely out of nowhere (though knowing bandits, the immediate reaction upon hearing "My parents are dead" probably is "So, how'd you kill 'em?")
Rakkman: My parents jiggled, and squiggled, AND I DIDN'T KILL THEM I PROMISE!
The name for the first zone in Tiny Tina's DLC invokes this trope. It's called the "Unassuming Docks of Potentially Little Importance.'' Granted, there's not much special about the area, but it's where the campaign (and thus the quest to kill the Handsome Sorcerer) begins.
Take Your Time: With the exception of quests that specifically have a timer attached to them, you can take your time finishing them, and in any order you wish. Sure, Roland needs to be rescued, but if you feel like racing your buddies with those new bandit technicals you just got in The Dust first, go right ahead. Handsome Jack also won't mind that you're exploring the Caustic Caverns or searching for the hidden pirate treasure, even if he's constantly threatening to destroy Sanctuary and all its inhabitants.
There's a side quest or two that become uncompletable when the NPC who issued them becomes unavailable, but that's a pretty tiny percentage of the game.
Applies to sidequests too; it's especially entertaining in the (many) quests that involve NPCs arguing over your ECHO channel - you can leave the mission halfway through, come back to it hours later, and the Vault Hunters will still be trying to feed Tiny Tina that salad.
Suicide Psychos and EXP Loaders operate on this, attempting to get close to you and detonating an explosive.
Krieg has two abilities that also allows him to do this. Played straight with one, where when you die, grenades are released where you fell, and if a weakened enemy is close by, they'll be killed as well (and grants you double xp for those kills). Subverted with another ability, where he throws explosives at enemies, and when your "Fight For Your Life" timer reaches zero, he blows up the explosives in his hands. However, if you kill an enemy with that method, you gain a second wind instead of death.
After one quest you can obtain either a weapon or shield with an old Hyperion Robot core installed in it. While wielding the weapon/wearing the shield the robot will talk to you. He's rather friendly and enjoys either role quite a bit.
The Bane, if what it does can be considered talking.
The Morningstar, which is a mockery of unsubtle You Bastard moralising. Every action the player makes is accompanied by a shrill-voiced guilt trip from the gun. (Wasting ammo? There are children on Prometheus who can't afford it! Shoot that psychotic criminal or very hostile wildlife? Maybe they were just having a bad day!)
The Lancer/The Leader: Axton. As pointed out on his character page, he's too much of a Blood Knight and Glory Seeker to responsibly lead reprobates like Salvador and Zer0 around, and probably too much of a Military Maverick to really care. Although, in the intro, he is perfectly capable of taking the lead and a few of his Class Mods and skills indicate that tactically in combat he is the Pointman.
Token Evil Teammate: Krieg. A Badass Psycho with dissociative identity disorder and a former experiment of Hyperion. However, he is working with the other Vault Hunters because he believes Maya will help make him sane, and stopped from killing the innocent by the remnant of his former identity.
One quest for the Zafords vs Hodunk clan involves stealthily following a guy to a money vault. The entire time he's talking out loud about how hopefully no one's following him and how he can't wait to get inside and not get ambushed - because that's the best part of these trips, not getting ambushed!
Later, in the Arid Nexus, you can find an ECHO in a dead skag of a bandit who thinks it's a great day for a walk, and is thankful skags aren't about to attack him, break his favorite gun into four parts, and then eat the parts. Guess what happens next.
Bandit: AAAGGHH!! That is exactly what is happening!
As he takes you to his shelter, Claptrap says bullymongs will tear your eyes out, and mentions an especially fierce one called Knuckle Dragger, but expresses confidence that you'll be safe at his place. Seconds later, Knuckle Dragger bursts in and tears Claptrap's eye out.
Also in Arid Nexus, you can find TK Baha's recordings. The second to last one has him talk about his interactions with the first set of vault hunters just before they left, before hearing that bandits were at his door. He assures himself that everything's going to be ok. If you've played the first game, you know exactly how it ended.
In the first and final missions of the main story quests, Claptrap boasts he was made to open doors. Then he causes said doors to lock down even further.
Claptrap also gets one huge conga-line of these during the last story mission. First his heroic speech is rendered completely meaningless as the gate's reinforcements scare the virtual crap out of him, then all of his attempts at opening the door only summons more enemies and bar the door further. It gets to the point that when he finally does something, even he's surprised that it actually worked. It gets to wound-salting levels that when the door finally opens it reveals a huge line of stairs, meaning that Claptrap can't actually proceed any further (he has wheels for legs, so he can't climb stairs).
There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Vladof and Dahl radio ads both feature such phrases. According to Vladof, there are two kinds of people in the universe: the oppressors and the oppressed. According to Dahl, there's three kinds: 1. people who need to be killed, 2. the people who kill them, 3. the people who pay group 2.
Lampshaded by Handsome Jack in regards to weapon names; Hyperion uses corporate buzzwords, Vladof names all sound Russian-ish, Bandit guns are all horribly misspelled, etc. Specific weapons types by specific manufacturers have narrower themes, like Dahl submachine guns (which are named after fearsome animals), Jakobs sniper rifles (the names and prefixes of which all come from the Native American Chinook language), Maliwan rocket launchers (which have names and prefixes that all start with the letter "P"), and Vladof sniper rifles (Nadsat-named). The established themes are largely, but not completely, ignored by Unique and Legendary weapons.
Krieg's skills are "Verb the Noun" themed (Mania), alliterative (Hellborn), or have "Blood" in the name (Bloodlust, with the exception of Buzz Axe Bombardier).
Numerical Theme Naming: the targets of "Assassinate the Assassins" are Oney, Wot, Reeth, and Rouf (One, Two, Three, Four).
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Salvador has a skill that invokes this trope by name, giving you a temporary gun damage bonus proportionate to the amount of damage over what was needed to kill that last guy.
The Usual Adversaries: Bandits again, of course, though in a bit of cleverness, Handsome Jack has officially declared everyone not directly working for him to be "bandits" including the Resistance, so he can be justified in killing you all.
Marauder: This does not conform to my reputation...!
Thriving Ghost Town: Sanctuary plays it straight; there's probably supposed to be more than just twenty people in the city. Overlook is a strangely literal example of the trope: everybody's sick and/or living in constant fear of being thrown in the Grinder for violating curfew so they're all staying indoors, making it look like a ghost town even when it's fully populated.
Sanctuary at least attempts to avert this by having different generic NPCs spawn every time you enter the city in varying numbers, with randomly selected personalities, basic appearance, and accessories. This gives the impression there's more people than you could see in one visit.
Three-Laws Compliant: Not so much. Hyperion robots seem aware of the Three Laws, but quite often, a Loader will say "First Law disabled" when engaging in combat.
Elsewhere, you find out that Handsome Jack has his own self-aggrandizing three laws for robots. They are:
Handsome Jack is your god.
Threshers are your enemy.
Both consider you expendable.
Deathtrap isn't either. To quote Gaige, "To Hell with the First Law!"
Throwaway Guns: Tediore-brand guns (considered "cheap, plastic pieces of crap" or "Wal-Mart guns") are reloaded by throwing them at the enemy, afterwards a new one warps in your hands. This actually does more damage to enemies based on the number of bullets left in the gun. In the case of a Rocket Launcher, they actually become rockets and fly off towards the enemy.
While you're throwing guns rather than a sword, this trope is in play with Tediore guns. If you manage to hit an flying enemy with it, you also earn an acheivement for it (best done on Rakks, rather than bandit choppers).
Krieg can throw his axe in Buzzaxe Rampage mode. Because the axe, whether thrown or swung, counts as a melee attack, Krieg can actually deal more damage to an enemy with it than any of his current guns if he has the appropriate skills, mods, and relics. This gets a bit hilarious when he can one-shot a helicopter by throwing his axe at it.
Taken to its logical end with the SWORDSPLOSION!!! shotgun: a shotgun that fires exploding, spinning swords.
Too Awesome to Use: The Golden Key, an item that opens an extra-special chest that gives out high-quality gear. However, the gear is scaled to your level, and there are very few ways to earn them, and those ways include real-life actions, like pre-ordering the game or going to a Gearbox event. It's pretty tempting to just hold on to it until you've hit the level cap before considering using it.
This was before Gearbox started handing out dozens of these keys via key codes posted to its Facebook and Twitter account. Players who collect the keys frequently but use them rarely might have as many as fifty or sixty or more by now.
One of the Marauder personalities is a complete nitwit who has no idea what he's doing, to the point of unintentional suicide. He has a lot of questions whenever a Nomad orders a new tactic. "Cover! Right, what's cover?" "Pull the pin, then throw, right?"
Sometimes Goliaths don't realize they're in combat at all, thinking you're giving them a present when you throw a grenade, for instance. Also, listen to them when you drop your turret/s:
Goliaths are made of this trope; if you score a critical hit on one you will knock off his helmet. This cause them to reveal a tiny mutated head on a stalk and go berserk (as well as return to full health). While berserking they attack everyone, including their former allies. Each bandit they kill fully heals and upgrades them into multiple forms (including a normally second playthrough only "Super Badass" form), and then they give bonus XP when defeated.
A more specific version of this is Tector Hodunk, who literally turns red and goes into Raging Goliath ("Grieving Tector") mode if you kill Papa Hodunk before him.
Varkids initially appear in larval form. Each one spawned has a variable as to whether or not it will turn into a pod and begin its metamorphosis into its next stage of life. The adult can itself grow several times (assuming it begins metamorphosing to each stage before being killed) until it becomes an Ultimate Badass Varkid and then to its final stage: Vermivorous the Invincible (the second raid boss of the game).
The larger scaylions flip their bodies over after taking a certain amount of damage, becoming dramatically more resistant to damage.
Unflinching Walk: Invoked. One mission has you destroying a bandit leader's prized Buzzard to lure him out of hiding. The bonus objective is looking away from the explosion — while you don't have to actually walk away from it, you're encouraged to. The bandit leader gets especially upset if you do it, too.
Flanksteak, the boss of the Bloodshots. When rescuing Roland in their stronghold early in the game, he's heard talking to Hyperion in trying to negotiate a price for Roland's capture. But he gradually reduces the amount as you progress through the area, blow his men away, and get closer to Roland. Eventually he asks for a really pitiful amount of money ($20, down from the one million dollars he wanted originally), one of the Hyperion loaders denies it, then blasts him away off screen.
Then there's Flyboy, the #2 Badass in Campaign of Carnage. He gets an intro, then immediately gets blasted away by Piston's blimp, and you end up fighting that instead.
Professor Nakayama ends up tripping and tumbling down some slopes to his death. Granted, you can shoot him while he's falling.
The Unintelligible: Jimbo Hodunk, the patriarch of the Hodunk clan. Subtitles render his speech as "[old coot gibberish]". His son Tector seems to understand him perfectly, though. Tipping Moxxi might prompt her to recall something Jimbo once told her: [frontier coot rambling].
Universal Ammunition: Downplayed. While each weapon type has separate ammunition, every variant of that weapon type, regardless of make, model, or manufacturer, can use that ammunition. All SMGs use the same SMG ammo, all Pistols (Repeaters or Revolvers) use Pistol Ammo, and so on.
Salvador's Gunzerker skill is all about this, giving him the ability to dual wield any weapon in the game, as well as granting a massive bonus to damage and health regeneration. With the right combination of skills, he can even do it near-constantly.
Goliaths will fly into into a frenzy if their helmet is shot off, attacking friend and foe alike. They'll discard their weapons and begin pummeling everything with their fists while screaming and jumping like the Hulk. The more enemies that a raging Goliath kills, the more powerful it will become. Oddly, they seem to gain a few IQ points and speak complete, if psychotically angry, sentences.
Angry! I'm so GOD DAMN ANGRY!
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Pandora is not a nice place to be. Upon entering Sanctuary, bastion of peace and safety, you'll be treated to introductory cutscenes of Marcus (shoots a customer for asking for a refund), Dr. Zed (stabs an insane patient in the chest with a needle, hard), and Scooter (confuses you for a Hyperion robot at first, and then tells you to go hit up the black market). This is all just to establish the setting.
Unwanted False Faith: The end of the questline involving a cult that worships Lilith. She does not find bandits preparing to burn a cageload of kidnapped civilians flattering at all.
Lilith: Your goddess has arrived...and she is very disappointed. Vault Hunter, smite these bitches.
Unwinnable by Mistake: A late game sidequest requires you to pull a switch that has a chance to be unpullable. If this happens, there is no way to fix it, making it impossible to complete the quest.
Unwitting Pawn: The Vault Hunters end up becoming this for Jack about halfway through the game, after installing Wilheim's power core into Sanctuary, which allows Angel to hack their network and bring the shields down.
There's a sick skag in Lynchwood. If it were up to Scooter, he would have put a bullet in its "cooch-mouth" as he puts it, but then suggests a more humane solution to nurse it back to health with food and medicine.
Rampant in the Captain Scarlet DLC, to the point of being a motif. The final two bosses are a Rakk hive and the Leviathan. For the first one, see the original Borderlands. The second resembles a phallus within a vagina, both with teeth, and has "arms" that bend in such a way it resembles spread legs.
Vendor Trash: Most white weapons and some green ones, though to a much lesser extent than the first game. Now you'll be hard-pressed to find the 70-minus accuracy rifles and horrible-spread scatterguns that were so common in Borderlands: you can easily use any weapon you get and be effective with it until you outlevel it by at least 5 levels, even if it's effectively a Master of None. For shields, though, the deal's still the same: you won't stick with most of the shields you acquire if they don't have a gimmick like elemental immunity.
Vengeance Feels Empty: You can do a sidequest for Sir Hammerlock where he asks you to kill the thresher which tore off his arm. After you do it, he realises that he doesn't feel any better but still considers it a job well done.
Verbal Tic: Take a drink every time someone says 'Come on back' after you've completed a mission. Go ahead.
Villain with Good Publicity: Zig-zagged trope, here. Handsome Jack seems to have the galaxy at large fooled, but anyone actually working for him and everyone on Pandora has been exposed to his douchebaggery, so he's not fooling anyone local but himself that he's the good guy.
Virtual Paper Doll: Cosmetic items (heads and skins) are available as both loot and preorder bonuses.
Vulgar Humor: Combined with Cluster Bleep Bomb. For a game series that actually gives an In-Universe excuse to avoid major swearing, Mr. Torgue plays any and all swears for laughs, even though he has also been censored.
LOTTA PEOPLE BEEN ASKING WHY MY VOICE BEEPS ALL THE F*CKING TIME. THE TORGUE STOCKHOLDERS WIRED MY VOICEBOX WITH A DIGITAL CENSOR SO I CAN'T SAY STUFF LIKE SH*T, C*CK, P*SSY-F*CKIN' D*CKBALLS. THAT'S LIKE HALF MY F*CKING VOCABULARY! IT'S GODDAMN BULLSH*T!
Wake-Up Call Boss: Welcome Borderlands 1 player! Think you can just breeze through the story quest without doing the multitudes of side-quests? Meet Boom-Bewm, who will, if you don't do those side-quests, be twice your level when you meet them. Even if you do match their level, they have armor before you get corrosive weapons to counter it, and have a huge cannon and a lot of backup. There are also two of them.
Weird Currency: Multiple. Refined Eridium buys you inventory and ammo upgrades from Crazy Earl. DLC raid bosses drop Seraph crystals that can be used to purchase some very powerful unique gear from mysterious Seraph Vendors. Completing story and repeatable quests in the Mr. Torgue campaign gets you Torgue Tokens, which you can spend at Torgue vending machines or at special slot machines in the Badass Crater Bar.
Weird Moon: The moon is absolutely gigantic, taking up about a quarter of the sky in a geosynchronous orbit and spinning very fast (at least two revolutions per "day"). Since the game play region faces away from the sun, the reflected light off the moon is the only light source and "night" comes when it wanes. It's also apparently volcanic due to the crisscrossed glowing fault lines, and the Hyperion space station in between puts an H on it.
Jack has this approach to warfare and employees. It helps that most of his soldiers are disposable robots that get replicated cheaply, but unfortunately he treats every living asset he has just as poorly as the robots (or worse, since he doesn't waste time emotionally abusing and terrorizing the robots).
Handsome Jack: Engineers, let the loaders do the lifting. Loaders, let the engineers take enemy fire. This is called teamwork.
One of the PA announcements in Opportunity subverts this, where the foreman notes that they have "several" issues with the workforce, starting with "you should try dying less". He then realizes that's the only thing on the list. Played straight with a highlands announcement, where one of the three laws of robotics is "[Jack and the Threshers] consider you expendable".
In Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, Torgue himself lampshades why you are fighting Torgue personnel; he didn't want you getting bored or out of shape so he gave everyone guns including his employees. This apparently caused him to lose half his work force in 3 days, which he finds awesome. He also finds it awesome that the workers are going to starve in a few months after you blow up the food dispensers.
What the Hell, Hero?: In Tiny Tina's DLC, at one point you run into the dwarf king inside the caverns. Brick wins the roll to see what the adventurers do, so he suggests punching him. Both Lilith and Mordecai suggest it's a very bad idea, but Brick insists on it, forcing you to punch the king and kill him. This then turns the dwarves from potential allies into foes.
A short while later, when you reach the trapped girl, Brick once again suggests punching her. However, this time Mordecai and Lilith win out, and Brick reluctantly changes his mind to have you talk to her instead of punching her. She responds by then turning into a boss character that you're forced to fight. Brick immediately regrets not punching her like he had originally wanted to, and the Handsome Sorcerer chimes in and tells you he imprisoned her because of this very reason.
In one sidequest for Tiny Tina's DLC, you have to find three riddles to ask Mr. Torgue to see if he's nerdy enough to play the game with them. As you find the riddles, Lilith, who turns out to be a Closet Geeknote She says that when she was younger, she was teased because of her tattoos, and Bunkers and Badasses, the board game that the DLC takes place in, accuses Torgue of just wanting to jump on the bandwagon because its currently popular. While he answers the first two questions correctly, he misses the third one, and after being told he can't play, he starts to cry about just wanting to play with them. Lilith then feels a little guilty about pushing the issue too far, and allows him to take part, albeit just giving out sidequests.
Miss Moxxie's Valentine Day DLC has you dangling a Goliath baby by its foot over some disturbingly dangerous distillery machinery to make it cry.
Moxxie: This is not what good guys do.
Claptrap subverts this trope after you kill some bandits on the way to Captain Flynt's camp.
Claptrap: What are you doing, minion? Those were people you just killed, with lives, and families, and... Ah, I'm just kidding, screw those guys!
What You Are in the Dark: The quest "Kill Yourself", given by Handsome Jack in the Eridium Blight. His proposition is simple: kill yourself by throwing yourself off a cliff, and because Death Is Cheap, he'll reward you with a not-insignificant amount of Eridium, at the cost of being Jack's bitch. Or, you can instead opt to call the Hyperion Suicide Prevention Hotline at the same location, and forfeit the Eridium payday in favour of experience. No one but you and Jack will know what choice you make: take the Eridium and sell out just because Jack offered you enough money, or refuse, and keep your pride at the expense of the ever-useful, upgrade-purchasing Eridium.
Oh good Lord..."Rising Action". The power core you've spent the first quarter of the game attempting to obtain turns out to be a trap that destroys Sanctuary's shields, leaving it wide open for Jack to attack it. Jack reveals that Angel set you up and she's on his side, and then proceeds to bombard the hell out of Sanctuary. With some quick thinking, Lilith is able to phase the city to safety before it's fully destroyed...but not before half the city is destroyed and hundreds, if not thousands of innocent people die. Finally, when Lilith teleports the city she accidentally leaves the vault hunters behind. The mission ends with your character alone, stranded, and completely cut off from your friends.
Later, there's "Where Angels Fear to Tread," the quest where you invade Angel's core. To sum up: Angel is a human Siren, not an AI. Jack is her father and has been pumping her full of Eridium 24/7 for five fucking years to recharge the vault key. She asks you to kill her. Roland and Lilith help out, despite Angel's warning that Lilith should stay away. After you kill Angel, Jack shoots Roland then kidnaps Lilith, intent on using her to finish charging the vault key. Holy shit. Oh, and all of this happens in 10-15 minutes.
From Handsome Jack. "Hey, you know, I think it's finally time to tell you that little secret: Angel's working for me."
Later, during "Where Angels Fear To Tread":
Jack: You get the hell away from my daughter!
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Brick's preferred method of solving problems is to utilize his secret "punch them in the face till they die" technique. Mordecai prefers to shoot stuff from far away. And during one story mission, they even discuss their tactics with each other.
Mordecai: Like I said, instead of punching, I prefer to keep my distance from my target, pick my moment, then kill them with a single, well placed shot.
Brick: You lost me at "instead of punching".
When Trees Attack: Treants are enemies faced early on in the Tiny Tina DLC. There are also stumps known as Stumpys.
Brick: Dammit! I knew I shouldn't have trusted those trees!
Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Not only are Baron Flynt from the first game and Captain Flynt from the second brothers, but those are their real names, not titles.
Lilith: Wait, "Mister Torgue" is your first name? [Beat] What's your last name, then?
With Friends Like These...: Even after joining the Slab bandit clan later on in the game, the rest of the Slabs are still hostile towards you save the occasional air support sent by the Slab King, Face McShooty and Rocko. The Slab King justifies this by saying that they're still crazy idiots like every other bandit in the game and you shouldn't feel bad about killing them. He doesn't.
The crappy gun you receive at the very start of the game.
Quest Info: When you're fighting a skyscraper-sized enemy with a gun that shoots lightning, you're going to think back to this moment and be like "heh."
Averted somewhat with the guns included with the Première Club Preorder Bonus Pack, if you bought it. They're much better than the gun you get from your first quest, but are easily disposed of for better weapons once you start looting.
Wizard Beard: One of the wizard Claptrap's quests in "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep" involves collecting the beards of dead dwarves in order to create a fancy beard for him, since the best wizards have impressive long beards, robots can't grow hair, and all dwarves have beards.
Word Salad Title: It seems that non-unique loot goes back to Diablo-esque randomized naming conventions, manufacturer-dependant. Hyperion guns have financial buzzwords in their names, bandit weapons are hilariously misspelled, Maliwan goes into Purple Prose, etc. The different manufacturers' weapon naming conventions are heavily Lampshaded by Handsome Jack on an amusing ECHO voice log found in Opportunity.
Hyperion is not above that. In the town of Overlook (where they have a Lottery Of Doom whose winners are killed), you can hear a Hyperion voice over congratulating an inhabitant for the birth of her twins, and wishing her luck on deciding which one to keep.
Handsome Jack enslaves his daughter to work his schemes and charge the vault key. She mentions that she is suffering due to this abuse.
Every Bandit-brand gun (and several Torgue weapons) has names spelled like this. Torgue thinks it's awesome, Bandit gunsmiths are terribly illiterate. Combined with the Bandit-brand reputation for enormous ammo magazines, it also gives the impression that their company is run by Flash Gitz.
Among other benefits, Zer0's B0re skill highlights enemy weak points while in deception, with various l33tsp34k words (w34k, k1ll, sh00t, etc.) on each one for good measure.
You All Look Familiar: Aside from the assortment of bandits, robots, and story-important characters, most of the people in the game are built around 2 or three generic faces, with them tailored to look different by altering skin color, hair, and accessories. The most obvious display of this is when Marshall Friedman asks you to help him solve a murder. Look at his face, then look at the 4 identical quadruplet suspects, and you'll see they look exactly just like him. Everyone in the Holy Spirits bar is no different.
If you were a better shot, you wouldn't need to reload!
That was murder by most definitions!
By not donating to charity, you are indirectly murdering THOUSANDS of lives every day!
YOU CAN'T GET RID OF ME THAT EASILY!
You Keep Using That Word: The gun towers at the edges of some zones (For example, behind the train station in The Dust that leads to Lynchwood) will often warn you if you try to pass them of your "Eminent Demise" (not "Imminent").
You Killed My Father: The final Headhunter DLC, Sir Hammerlock and the Son of Crawmerax, has a sidequest in which Sparky Flynt, the son of early game bandit leader Captain Flynt, hires a crew of assassins to kill the Vault Hunters and get revenge for his dad's death.
Aegran savages who learn English typically have poor grammar and syntax. Notably averted in one case, though — friendly savage questgiver Thirstblood speaks English perfectly and with no accent, arguably speaking English better than most bandits.
One of the generic NPCs is a woman with an Eastern European accent and a laughably poor grasp of English.
Your Mom: Claptrap pulls one at the beginning of the game, after a small earthquake.
They say Jack's drilling operations are causing those earthquakes. That, or your mom just got outta bed. ZING!
Zeerust: A mission set by the Censorbot in Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty has the Vault Hunters collecting floppy disks.