Characters / Team Fortress 2

Nine mercenaries have come together for a job.
It's the middle-ish part of a century a lot like the one we just had. A simpler time. There are three TV stations, one phone company, and two holding corporations that secretly control every government on the planet. Each corporation administers its half of the world with a multi-disciplined army of paper pushers. For any problem lacking an obvious bureaucratic solution, mercenaries like these are contracted to address the situation through a massive application of force.
Now's your chance to Meet the Team.

As a class-based shooter, every character in Team Fortress 2 has a fixed set of equipment and abilities, and a role to play in propelling the team to victory. Each class is distinct in looks, personality, and accent, and has a set of weapons and equipment unique to them.

The Entire Team provides examples of:
  • Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: Entirely dependent on whether or not you're on the winning side.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: When fighting Gray Mann and his private army they are more or less presented as the "heroes" in comparison.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores
  • Badass Boast: A mercenary holding a melee weapon, facing an enemy, and using the Battle Cry voice command (C -> 2) will give one.
  • Badass Crew: See Band of Brothers below.
  • Band of Brothers
  • Battle Cry: Each class has a few, and everyone yells at the beginning of a round.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Most mercenaries who feature in the interview-style "Meet the" videos offer this justification for why they do what they do. Even the "Meet The Spy" video, the first to break the interview format, can be considered an inverted version of this trope.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Some of the cast can be considered very amiable, polite, and even charming, but every one of them is among the most dangerous people in the world. Taken to the logical extreme with the Pyro.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They're all mentally ill or of dubious morality, but all of them are very good at what they do.
  • Carnival of Killers: See below.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: It's uncommon to see a First-Person Shooter with five classes distinguished by anything more than different weapon loadout, let alone nine, viable, completely distinct classes. The amount of work this took to balance could (literally) be summed up as "1 year for each class." According to the game's commentary, the characters were deliberately designed so that they could be distinguished from one another simply by their silhouettes.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: All nine classes segue into comedic sociopathy quite often, but most commonly when they dominate an opponent.
    Medic: Can you feel the schadenfreude?
    Scout: He-hey, look, you shapeshifted into a dead guy!
    Heavy: I am amused by entire eetty-beetty-teeny team!
    • Also, the Schadenfreude taunt, introduced in the Über Update, allows anyone to take joy in the misery of their enemies. Or your own teammates.
  • Depending on the Writer: When comparing the game, official videos, and supplementary comics, the classes (and NPC's) can be written somewhat inconsistently:
    • Scout: Perverted towards women in general, including Miss Pauling? Or madly in love with Miss Pauling specifically, and barely able to ask her out without stammering?
    • Soldier: His stupidity and battle capabilities vary wildly, from a Cloudcuckoolander who's a bit dim, but still an excellent killer, to The Load, completely useless and brain-damaged.
    • Pyro: "Meet The Pyro" claimed that Pyro saw fire as sparkles and rainbows, and was oblivious to the damage they were causing, but "A Cold Day In Hell" has them intentionally mauling a Smokey Bear Expy to death after it insults fire.
    • Demoman: His ability to stay away from alcohol varies greatly. In the game and most of the videos, he's a drunk mess, but in the comics he's almost shockingly sober and shown to be as reasonable as Engie.
    • Heavy: Dumb Muscle who mainly thinks about food, intelligent and thoughtful man with a doctorate, or somewhere in the middle (acknowledging that he's intelligent, but accepting that others are even smarter)? Canon seems to have settled on "Loud, violent, and boisterous when on the battlefield, grumpy, quiet, and introspective when not."
    • The Engineer most of the time comes off as the nicest and least imbalanced on the team, but several scenes in Loose Canon and his eagerness to chop off his own hand for the Gunslinger hint at a darker side beneath his Southern kindness.
    • Medic: Does he really worry about his team, and experiments on them to improve on their strengths, or is he an amoral Deutschbag whose only alliance is for money and For Science!?
    • Sniper: A Friendly Sniper who's humble about his talent, a Cold Sniper who's sociopathic towards the others, or an arrogant showoff with no sense of hygiene?
    • Spy: Deadpan Snarker and Only Sane Man, or immature and secretly incredibly goofy?
    • Miss Pauling: Aware of Scout's crush and deliberately ignoring him, or genuinely potentially interested, but doesn't have the time to date?
    • Everyone also flip-flops on just how much they like one another. Sometimes they're friends, sometimes they're indifferent, or even willing to kill each other if need be.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Each class has this to varying degrees and in different ways. This means that players tend to get attached to a single class that they've become good at, and new players expecting their FPS skills from other games to transfer to TF2 end up disliking or even hating the game because they're not immediately good at it.
  • Distinctive Appearances: Directly invoked.
  • Everyone Calls Them...
  • Evil Laugh: Every class has a few for dominating, revenge, and getting multiple kills. They also all have a Schadenfreude taunt (mentioned above).
  • Face Death with Dignity: During "Expiration Date" they all take the news that they have three days to live incredibly well, almost to the point of apathy.
  • Family Values Villain: When they're not on the job, many of the mercs try to be this, handing out human molars and inordinate amounts of blood money to trick or treaters, defending Smissmas shoppers from inhuman monsters, escorting unarmed noncombatants through deadly robot hordes, and helping children to conquer their fears through teaching them to commit murder. Moral Dissonance is invoked, lampshaded, and played for laughs, especially in the case of the Pyro.
    • Demoman is an interesting case. He lives with his blind mother so he can help take care of her. His mum however knows full well what his job is and actively encourages it (after all, it's been in the family for generations).
  • Fire-Forged Friends
  • Given Name Reveal: Through the official comics, we have:
    • Soldier: Sergeant-Barrister Jane Doe
    • Demoman: Tavish Finnegan DeGroot
    • Heavy: Mikhail (although his sisters affectionately nicknamed him "Misha" for short)
    • Engineer: Dell Conagher
    • Sniper: Mr. Mundy His real name was later revealed to be Mun-Dee.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath
  • Hired Guns/Only in It for the Money: Most of the team. Possibly subverted with the Pyro, as it's not really clear whether he's paid to do his job.
  • Improbable Weapon User: There are a number of all-class weapons (as well as some class-specific weapons) that one might not consider a weapon. Many are promotional items, like a hand-held video camera, ham on the bone, and even a human spine.
  • Informed Flaw: Interestingly, while their sanity (or lack of) isn't questioned, they have been described as "mostly having below-average IQ's" by Miss Pauling, and as "idiots" by Helen the Administrator, though each of them later displayed smarts ranging from Genius Ditz to Ditzy Genius level, probably factoring in the "emotional stability" part of IQ amongst others. A later comic shows why she holds them all in such disdain: She believes them to be just like the lead poisoned idiots of Teufort, while Miss Pauling has secretly been providing all of them with bottled water, save Soldier, who didn't bother listening to her warnings.
  • In Harm's Way
  • In-Series Nickname: "The Teufort Nine" by the citizens of Teufort.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Feeling bad for the people of Teufort for having to live with the mercenaries would be understandable... until you actually get to know the people of Teufort, that is.
  • Laughably Evil
  • Large Ham/World of Ham: Just about everyone in the game, but especially Gary Schwartz, the voice of the Heavy and the Demoman.
  • The Leader: Actually, it's not really clear. Heavy has the best case as he's the face of the team in most media and is generally depicted as the one the others rally around. Soldier and Scout are bossy enough to possibly think of themselves as this, although Soldier probably has more claim to the title than Scout does and the others are more likely to humor him than Scout. During actual gameplay, the Medic player usually takes this role in more competitive formats, while in public servers it could really be anybody, depending on a few different factors (scoreboard position, competence, willingness to take charge, etc.) That's if the team doesn't just go the democracy route and do whatever most people agree on, and that's only if people bother listening to each other at all.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A considerable number of the lines used in Valve's competitive matchmaking casually references the 6v6 format, like Demoman claiming he watched the scrim of the other team, and Heavy (not used in 6s outside of last point holds) claiming it's not his usual job.
  • Legacy Character: Judging by the Engineer Update and its comics there have been at least three of each mercenary - a hidden picture in the Engineer update shows a retconned version of the Team Fortress Classic in World War I-II versions of their uniforms, and another shows the TFC BLU Engineer letting his son (Dell Conagher, the current BLU Engineer) try on his goggles. As of A Cold Day in Hell, the classic team have canonically appeared in the TF2 universe as a band of older mercs brought out of retirement, cemented by the catch-up comic explicitly naming them as the predecessors of the modern team.
  • Multinational Team: Let's see, we have three Americans (of varying regions), a Russian, a German, an Australian (actually from New Zealand), a Scotsman (a Black Scottish Cyclops no less), a Frenchman, and... The Pyro.
  • Never Learned to Read: The Administrator and Pauling seem to believe most of them are illiterate. It's mostly an Informed Flaw, as all but Soldier and arguably Pyro seem to be capable of reading just fine (with the Heavy, the Medic and the Engineer even having PhDs).
  • Nice Hat: Many of the unlockables qualify for this.
    • Valve likes to describe the genre of the game as hat simulation.
  • Nominal Hero: Even factoring in their inherent insanity and skewed morality, they're still a lot more redeemable than Gray Mann or the Administrator.
  • The Nicknamer: Not including names for enemies, most classes have a nickname or few for their teammates, though the Engineer has the most.
  • Odd Friendship: Medic and Heavy, but also Pyro and Engineer. Personality-wise, they don't initially seem like they'd get along, but they work perfectly in and out of battle.
  • Private Military Contractors: All of the Team.
  • Professional Killer: Whether the team is professional in the "gentlemen" sense of the word is... well... debatable, (See directly below), but the team does what they're paid to, and they do it very well. Best summed up by the Engineer's quote to a rival Medic:
    "I'm a killer of men, Doc. That's the God's-honest truth."
  • Psycho for Hire: Engineer, Sniper, and Spy see no hypocrisy at all in acting like a gentleman one minute and a maniac the next. The Soldier and Pyro appear to be truly insane, the Demoman is very fond of explosions, the Heavy talks to his guns and Sandviches like they're real people, the Scout seems to like hurting people far more than any normal human being does, and the Medic's bio states he considers healing to be an unintended side-effect of his penchant for experimenting on people (including himself) to satisfy his scientific curiosity (and what appears to be a fetish for blood and needles).
  • Punch Clock Villain: Off the clock, the villains are jovial, genial, generous, and kind even to their enemies, albeit in their own VERY odd way. This is taken to its ultimate conclusion in Mann vs. Machine's co-op mode and its attendant comics.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Especially with the Schadenfreude taunt.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A drawling More Dakka engineer. A big, somewhat dimwitted-sounding Russian. A psychotic, delusional American soldier. A mouthy, trash-talking Bostonian speedster. A jerkass German mad doctor. A smooth-talking French spy. A "laid back" Australian-raised Professional Killer. A drunk, one-eyed, black, manic-depressive Scottish nutcase with a heritage forged from explosives. A pyromaniac of ambiguous race and gender who is so insane and delusional the Soldier looks sane by comparison... They Fight (and ultimately team up with) Their Other-Colored Clones! And, occasionally, slaughter hordes of evil robots!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The Halloween 2012 event gave us The Magical Mercenary, where the characters can act like pretty pink unicorns when they wear it, except Medic and Pyro. Best not think about it much.
  • Required Secondary Powers: According to "Meet the Medic", every class had to have special heart implants in order to use the ÜberCharge. In the case of the Heavy, his heart had to be replaced with a much larger one after his first heart exploded from the power of the ÜberCharge implant.
  • Skewed Priorities: These guys are only kind to the people they like, so you'd better hope they like you. Excluding the people mentioned here, they also don't give a crap about who they kill or even whether they might die, just so long as there's money to be made and fun to be had in the offing.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Not just the Soldier. They all enjoy killing their enemies and making fun of them, and revel in their jobs.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": They're referred to this way by the blog and other website materials, but all dialogue (in-game and in the comics) lacks the articles.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: With the possible exception of the Soldier, the entire team is put in this position due to the people of the nearby town of Teufort having been rendered a pack of sociopathic idiots from generations of drinking tainted river water.
  • Team Pet: Many of the classes have an equippable Shoulder Pet of some kind:
    • Scout: Chucklenuts (A Squirrel).
    • Soldier: Compatriot (a bald eagle), and Lieutenant Bites (a rabid raccoon). Lt. Bites also has a zombie counterpart named Lieutenant Bites The Dust.
    • Pyro: The Balloonicorn, and its holiday counterpart, the Reindoonicorn (which is recolored to look like a reindeer).
    • Demoman: The Bird-Man of Aberdeen (a macaw, although one of its alternative skins makes it look like a cockatoo instead), and its zombie counterpart, Polly Putrid.
    • Heavy: The Red Army Robin (a baby robin).
    • Engineer: The Pocket Purrer (a black and white kitten), and Ein (a goggles-wearing canary).
    • Medic: Archimedes the dove, and his robotic and zombie counterparts Mecha-Medes and Archimedes The Undying.
    • Sniper: Sir Hootsalot (an owl), and Cobber Chameleon (a chameleon).
    • Spy: The Backstabber's Boomslang (a snake).
    • All-Class: Dead Little Buddy (implied to be the ghost of a dead child), and Guano (a bat).
  • Trash Talk
  • Trigger Happy: Especially the Heavy.
  • True Companions: A very strange example, but an example nonetheless.
  • Unscrupulous Heroes: Each team member has a few people whom they care for dearly and a few spare standards, but otherwise won't think twice about doing dirty deeds for high prices. The single redeeming trait these otherwise sociopathic maniacs have in common is that they wholeheartedly care for their families, and loved ones.
    • Even non-player character SAXTON HALE has revealed that despite his obvious testosterone poisoning, he just doesn't have it in him to strike a little girl.
  • Villain Protagonist: The comics show the civilians of Teufort see them as destructive maniacs and it's hard to argue with them. To the point that they put Scout and Spy on death row for doing their jobs in "Ring of Fired."
  • Wild Card: The Mercs will work for the highest bidder, but express disgust and regret at the idea of directly harming a friend.
    • Zigzagged: the comics series repeatedly show they care little about each other as anything more than co-workers. The Soldier breaks the Scout's arms (and killed Tom Jones) for no reason. The Pyro cuts off one of the Soldier's hands because he shoved it, the Demoman wanted to leave the Sniper behind, the Sniper wanted to torture and kill Miss Pauling and Demoman, and she also injected him with poison when he captured her to prevent him from doing so.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: All of the mercs, so far. Even Saxton Hale, Testosterone Poisoning incarnate, refuses to fight a young girl, even if the fate of Mann Co. hangs in the balance. Grey Mann uses this against him to wrest control of Mann Co. from him.
    • It should be noted that Hale didn't hit her not out of any moral qualms but more of a warrior's perrogative: she just wasn't a Worthy Opponent. He had no qualms in having his secretary and butler beating her up (too bad they did have a moral objection).