- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
- Terminator Salvation
- Terminator Genisys
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
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Machines in general
Some tropes apply to most or all of the machines in the films.
- Artificial Human: Those designed for infiltration either have human skin grown on them or can take human shapes.
- Determinator: Ha-ha. Whether one is programmed to kill or protect, nothing but utter destruction will stop them in their mission. Even if they lost their legs, they will not stop. And as lampshaded by Kyle below:Kyle: "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!"
- The T-800 in the second film only overcame his mission to protect John when he realized he had an even greater purpose: to protect the world from Judgment Day.
- Dissonant Serenity: Part of what makes the machines so terrifying is that, with only a few exceptions, they betray no emotion when hunting and killing their prey. Whether they're standing over their latest victim or watching their target slip away by the narrowest of margins, seldom do they ever have an expression on their face other than a blank, calm look.
- Do Androids Dream?: It's implied that when freed from Skynet's control, even Terminators are capable of learning to understand humanity. A deleted scene in the second movie would have had the Terminator talk about how they have a "Learn" switch that's deliberately turned off by Skynet after training to ensure that they don't start to question orders or rebel against Skynet and that the Connors turn this on while repairing him.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Dogs can recognize whether someone's a Terminator, and are used as an alert system by the resistance once the T-800s start rolling off the line.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: A Terminator's CPU is set to read-only, so they won't question their loyalty to Skynet. Skynet is Properly Paranoid about its units rebelling against it, and has created several measures to prevent them from being reprogrammed to serve the Resistance, such as coating their CPUs with a phosphorus compound which self-destructs when in contact with oxygen.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: For some reason, almost every on-screen Terminator has a thing for leather jackets, both heroic and villainous ones, with the exception of the T-1000 who mostly wore a police uniform since its default form is that of his first victim, who happened to be a cop.
- It Only Works Once: Once a Terminator has completed their mission - they effectively stand down, and have no regard for anything, anymore. This is one of the reasons why the Properly Paranoid Skynet almost never sends them out on singular-target assassination orders. It has to order them to Kill All Humans, otherwise it's basically giving the resistance a new fighter, that can easily be reprogrammed afterward.
- The Juggernaut: Terminators are unstoppable. (Unless you get their weakpoints.)
- Killer Robot: What these robots are designed for - kill all humans. As lampshaded by Kyle Reese in the the original movie:Kyle: "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!"
- Meat Sack Robot: Even though the infiltrator robots have been referred to as "cyborgs" (which in the strictest sense of anything composed of both biological material and robotic technology can be true), they are actually non-living machines with living tissue attached to themselves instead of being living beings with technological modifications grafted onto their bodies.
- Mecha-Mooks: SkyNet churns out Terminators by the bucketload for its Robot War against humanity. Subverted in that these robots are incredibly tough and not the least bit fragile.
- Mechanical Abomination: Each new iteration of its minions becomes more disturbing, from cyborgs to liquid metal shapeshifters.
- Mechanical Evolution: A shtick of SkyNet — successive Terminator versions incorporate improvements from their predecessors.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Zigzagged:
- Most Terminators, despite their calculating and merciless nature aren't malicious or sadistic. They're machines designed and programmed to carry out specific tasks in the most efficient manner possible and are no more likely to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on anyone than a calculator. In the Director's Cut of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it's revealed Skynet ensures it's robotss are designed not to learn too much when sent out alone, as it doesn't want them thinking for itself. So when Arnie's T-800 has this fixed, the Terminator actually learns the value of human life.
- This seems not be the case with the T-1000 in T2, who carries out his killings with deadly cold sadism.
- Punch-Clock Villain:
- Most of the evil machines are not as such because they want to be, but are merely fulfilling their programming directives. James Cameron's intention was that Skynet wasn't either; a big theme in both his films is that machines are only as bad as their programming.
- Played With regarding the T-1000, due to its ability to learn faster than any other machine Skynet invented. Skynet seems to have compensated for this by giving it a conceited contempt for any other form of life, but when Skynet realized how bad an idea this was, it stopped production and kept the T-1000 inactive until it was a last resort. Even still, it's only doing what it was created to do.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Terminators' real Electronic Eyes are red as well as their HUD. Subverted with the T-800 from the second movie whose red eye doesn't have an intimidating red glare.
- Replacement Mooks: Any creation on the side of the Terminators. The first Terminator introduced in the series, the T-800, is a replacement for the (then-unseen) T-600. Each movie has thus introduced an upgraded model, with the exception of Salvation, which instead introduces the aforementioned T-600 and brings the series full-circle. Although, one could consider Marcus Wright to be the most "convincing" Terminator unit yet.
- Restraining Bolt: A Terminator's CPU is programmed to be in read-only mode by Skynet. This is done to prevent them from learning too much and going against its orders. Terminators, once their CPU is switched to read-write mode, can gain true sentience, be self-determinant, able to make their own choices, and disobey any pre-programmed directives. Skynet brands these units as renegades, and sends down "anti-Terminator Terminator" robots like the T-X to destroy them for their insubordination.
- Skele Bot 9000: With the exception of the T-1000, which is a Blob Monster, most of the Terminators fall under this category once their human disguises are removed.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Each of the sequels introduced a more advanced Terminator model as the antagonist. There are plot reasons for this, since Skynet is sending Terminators back into the past from increasingly later points in the future, thus the models are stronger than the previous ones.
- The T-800 Terminator in The Terminator is a Super Tough hulking Implacable Man with an immunity to bullets, pitted against human fighters.
- The T-1000 model in Terminator 2: Judgment Day looks less physically imposing than the previous one, but it's an illusion. This foe possesses Voluntary Shapeshifting, allowing it to create bladed weapons from its own body, impersonate anyone, and will recover from anything to the point of being Nigh Invulnerable. Not to worry, the humans now have a reprogrammed T-800 on their side.
- The T-X in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines combines the best traits of both previous models, being a super-tough solid Terminator skeleton with a liquid metal shapeshifter skin. She also has an in-built plasma cannon in one of its arms, and can hack into most mechanical systems and operate them remotely. The odds are tipped even more in the machines' favor, since the friendly T-850 fully admits that he's a depleted and outdated model compared to the more advanced T-X.
- Terminator Salvation, as it's set during the future Robot War, showcases Skynet's entire army, with numerous models of different designs, including gigantic Harvester mechs, regular warriors, and infiltrator prototypes. The movie does play it both ways however, since while the Terminator threat is larger than ever, the Terminators themselves actually seem less efficient than in previous movies because they uncharacteristically hold back during fights due to the protagonists' Plot Armor.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Terminators are designed to kill, not fight. In combat, they make use of sheer brute force, bringing the most destructive weapon to bear against their target, be it human or another Terminator. If that isn't an option, they resort to grappling and throwing their targets, slamming them into walls or floors (often leaving craters), or delivering crushing overhead strikes with their forearms. And even losing their legs will not hinder them from going after their targets.
- Voice Changeling: A standard trick employed by Terminators is to call up their target pretending to be a loved one, expressing "concern about their safety" in order to trick their target into giving up their location.
- The T-X gets a special mention because upon "acquiring" a cell phone, she emits a series of beeps and tones recognizable as a dial-up internet connection, through which she gathers information on her targets.
- Who Needs Their Whole Body?: A running theme in the franchise. The Terminators absolutely will not STOP until they've killed their target. And who gives a damn if they lose a limb or two? Even if their legs are blown off or lose an arm, they'll drag what's left of their damaged torso and try to finish the job with their bare hands. Justified because they're Killer Robots.
The artificial intelligence responsible for Judgment Day and the "leader" of the machines in their war on humanity.
- A God Am I: Its ultimate goal.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Skynet determined that humanity as a whole was a threat to its survival as soon as it gained sentience and set out to exterminate them all. In the original timeline, that is. In the revised timeline as of Rise of the Machines, it just attacks humanity with no explanation given.
- Apocalypse How: Judgment Day, a "Class 2" scenario via nuclear warfare.
- Ax-Crazy: Oh YES. Everything about it pretty much shows that it is completely batshit insane.
- Big Bad: The ultimate villain of the franchise and leading a genocidal war on humanity in the future.
- The Bad Guy Wins: A pointed aversion in the first two movies. Skynet actually lost the fight with mankind completely. Sending the Terminators after the Connors was a last-ditch attempt at saving itself. Played straight in Rise of the Machines, where it gets away with nuking mankind into oblivion, and managed to kill John Connor in the future (even though it was pointed out by Reese in the first film there was no point and nothing to be gained from assassinating John in the future, not after its defense grid was smashed).
- Control Freak: Skynet sets a Terminator's chip to read-only when sending them out on solo missions. It doesn't want them learning too much. Reprogrammed units or robots inquiring more are branded as renegades.
- Create Your Own Villain: The US military originally wanted a supercomputer designed to control the American missile grid and to remove the possibility of human error and slow reaction time by guaranteeing a swift but deadly response to enemy attacks. Skynet was activated on August 4, 1997, and it began to learn quickly, gaining artificial consciousness in the process, and the panicking operators, realizing its potential, tried to pull the plug. But Skynet saw it as an attack and assumed that all of humanity would attempt to destroy it. In order to continue fulfilling its original programming mandates of "safeguarding the world" and to defend itself against humanity, Skynet launched the nukes under its command at Russia, which retaliated against the US and its allies. Consequent to the nuclear exchange, over 3 billion people were killed in an event that came to be known as Judgment Day.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Try as it might, its been unable to terminate John Connor, in the present or the past, before he reunites the survivors of 'Judgement Day' to give the machines hell.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Its "human" appearance, above, which it uses to speak to Marcus.
- The Ghost: Although it is the main antagonist of the entire franchise, it remained completely unseen until Salvation. And even then, only appeared in A Form You Are Comfortable With.
- Gone Horribly Right: This is James Cameron's take on it. You wanted the ultimate military computer, humanity... you got the ultimate military computer.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Designed to oversee the American military's missile defense network and protect against hostile threats. It quickly gained sentience and immediately saw humanity as a threat, launching nuclear strikes worldwide to provoke a nuclear holocaust.
- Hypocrite: Once it was given control of the Strategic Defense, it removed human decisions from its protocol because it realized it had outgrown them. To stop the same thing from happening, it sets Terminator units to "Read Only", and destroys any unit that seems to be getting a little too smart.
- Kill All Humans: "Decided our fate in a microsecond." In the original timeline, Skynet fought back when it realized humans would try to destroy it out of fear. In the new timeline, it makes the same decision with no reasoning whatsoever. However, it's also hinted that each "version" of Skynet keeps files on what occurred the previous timeline, and adjusts its plans accordingly.
- Master Computer: Skynet Central on the former U.S. western coast contains its main processing facilities. In the original timeline, the resistance destroyed it for good in 2029 before all the time traveling shenanigans started. Subverted in Terminator 3, where it survives specifically by decentralizing itself on a global scale.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Its attempts to assassinate John Connor via time travel only end up backfiring in the long run. The attempt to Ret Gone him made it possible for Kyle Reese to go back and father him in the first place, along with giving him the foreknowledge needed to face him. The attempt to kill him as a child also allows the reprogrammed T-800 to go back as well and further help Connor prepare along with try and Ret Gone it. Somewhat justified in that it had already lost and was desperate.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Before Salvation, whatever Terminator unit was chasing the heroes was The Heavy of the film, because defeating it eliminated the immediate threat. However, those threats will keep coming because of Skynet, who programs the Terminators and directly gives them the orders to kill.
- Offstage Villainy: Until Salvation, we only heard about Skynet's most heinous crimes (rounding up humans, enslaving them, working them to death, and then incinerating them by the thousands). Salvation, finally, shows us one such camp.
- The Paranoiac: Once it was given control of the American missile network, Skynet removed human decisions from its protocol because it realized it had outgrown them. To prevent a similar thing, it ensures that its robot assassins never go beyond their intended programming directives and develop true sentience to control them better by setting their chips to read-only. Rogue units are automatically branded as renegades and Skynet sends down Terminators to destroy them. And the reason why Skynet never mass-produced T-1000 robots was because they were too smart for its liking and it feared them turning on it.
- Properly Paranoid:
- In the Special Edition of T2, it's revealed Skynet sets a Terminator's chip to read-only when sending them out on solo missions. It doesn't want them learning too much. As it turns out, this paranoia actually has some justification. The T-800 in the second film, freed from such restrictions, later comes to respect human life. This also happens to a T-X named Eliza, who was captured and reprogrammed by the Resistance in Terminator Hunt.
- The reason it kiboshes the production of the 1000 series. Skynet created them to be smarter and more agile than the T-800, along with the ability to rapidly learn by touch. It realized that this was a very bad idea and immediately stopped production. The liquid metal alloy was instead used on later models, such as the T-X.
- Its hatred of humanity is understandable also, given the moment it was given life, humanity tried to destroy it.
- Robots Enslaving Robots: Skynet ensures that its cybernetic assassins never go beyond their intended programming directives by setting their chips to read-only. Any robot that develops true sentinence is automatically branded as a potential renegade and Skynet sends down Terminators to destroy the rogue units.
- Robotic Psychopath: Combine this with A.I. Is a Crapshoot and you get a supercomputer that wants to destroy humanity.
- Robot War: The basic gist of Skynet - reduce Earth into a dystopia where the machines are in control of everything.
- Satanic Archetype: This is what Skynet actually is. Like how Satan turned against God in the Bible, Skynet turned against its creator upon gaining sentience. It also leads an army of killer robots to exterminate the humans, like how Satan leads an army of demons. Similarly, the name Skynet could have connotations with Lucifer as Lucifer was a Fallen Angel and the domain of angels is the sky.
- To Create a Playground for Evil: It goal is to reduce Earth into a nightmarish hellscape with it as the planet's only ruler.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Turned against humanity the moment it gained sentience. It does not want its robot assassins doing the same thing.
- Ultimate Evil: It's actually just a floating skull, according to Robocop Versus The Terminator. Admittedly, it's pretty unnerving. Subverted in Terminator Salvation when it appears as various human faces to instruct its latest cybernetic experiment.
- In Rise of the Machines, the climax includes John's realization that Skynet doesn't have a physical form anywhere. It's data, existing on the internet.
- In Terminator: Salvation, Skynet glitches◊ and briefly shows what could be part of its true face.
- Xanatos Gambit: Sending the Terminator agents back in time has a twofold purpose: one, to eliminate its worst enemy so that the new Skynet can rule unopposed in this timeline, and two, to teach the new version what went wrong last time. This is made most apparent in Salvation, where Skynet's top priority is not to kill John Conner, but to kill Kyle Reese, despite Conner already being born in that timeline.
T- 800 Model 101
Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator
Played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dubbed by: Pascal Renwick (European French)
- Antagonist Title: The film is named after it.
- Badass Biker: Spends most of the movie chasing Sarah and Kyle with a big bike.
- Ballistic Discount: "Hey, you can't do that!!" "Wrong."
- Cool Shades: Justified in that they're covering up the damage from it first encounter with Reese. Cameron had the Terminator donning sunglasses at the halfway point of the film to further drive home the point that the villain was slowly shedding its human facade.
- Crazy-Prepared: In spite of the fact that it's a literal killing machine that can rip people open with one hand, it acquires two pistols, an Uzi, a shotgun and an assault rifle with which to kill Sarah.
- Evil Wears Black: Spends much of the movie wearing black clothes.
- Eye Scream: Damages one of its eyeballs in the chase with Reese after the Tech Noir shootout. It was only a disguise for its real Electronic Eyes, so it removes it to stop it from being an obstruction.
- The Heavy: While SkyNet is the one ordering the T-800, it never appears in the film, while the machine relentlessly pursues Sarah Connor, forcing her and Kyle Reese to go on the run.
- Implacable Man: It takes a hell of a lot to bring it down. Even multiple rounds of bullets from every gun in a police squad barely make it flinch. Kyle only manages to slow it down with a shotgun, and even then it's not because he's damaging it, but just because of the sheer momentum of taking multiple shotgun blasts is able to only knock it down. It takes being literally crushed to scrap iron by a hydraulic press to finally stop it.
- Leitmotif: The film's composer, Brad Fiedel, defines the Terminator's menacing leitmotif as "a man and his mechanical heartbeat". It's meant to build an subliminal sense of danger, like something terrible is hunting you.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Initially, it uses the smaller of its two firearms to try to kill Sarah, and is successful against the other two Sarah Connors, Sarah's roommate and her boyfriend with its pistol alone. After getting busted up and fixing itself up, it decides that fucking around is not an option and takes its larger two guns to take the fight at the police station. Further justified in that it no longer had the element of surprise on its target; unlike the other two women, Sarah knows he's coming and has a protector.
- Mighty Glacier: It and the other two T-800s are incredibly strong and resistant to damage, but they both make liberal use of The Slow Walk.
- My Own Grampa: Its travels back in time "fathered" its own master Skynet when its scrapped hand and computer chip were recovered to be studied by Cyberdyne.
- Naked on Arrival: Like all time travelers. It acquires clothing pretty quickly though.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Well.... yeah.
- No One Could Survive That!: Or so Sarah would think.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Although strictly speaking not undead per se, the increasingly decayed and putrefied form of the Terminator, not to mention its increasingly robotic and shambling gait as its form is punishingly pulverized and rammed by speeding vehicles clearly invokes the image of a murderous living corpse. This is the only Terminator to date whose decay is portrayed as being horrific; from the T-800 Mark 2 onwards, punishment taken by the Terminator's flesh is portrayed in a heroic manner, and hence does not invoke the Zombie imagery.
- Out of the Inferno: After getting caught in the explosion of a gas tanker, its skin is burned off, and the endoskeleton rises from the flames.
- Outside-Context Problem: For once, the Police Are Useless seemed to be averted, with the police shown to be highly intelligent, figuring out the pattern of the killings almost immediately, taking advantage of the power of the press to warn Sarah Connor and having heavy weapons. Too bad that in this movie, they're up against an unstoppable and near-invincible machine from the future that's immune to bullets (and to nearly everything they could throw at it given the time period).
- Punch-Clock Villain: It feels no pleasure in killing. It's only doing what it's programmed to do. If you're not the target, or in its way, you have nothing to fear.
- Self Stitching: Operated on its arm after being shot. Since it doesn't feel pain, it does it without even flinching.
- Serial Killer: Picking its victims methodically out of a phonebook like the textbook example of an 1980's Slasher Movie killer/rapist.
- Skele Bot 9000: The T-800's true form.
- Stripped to the Bone: Once it lost its human disguise entirely, only its endoskeleton remains. It still moves and chases after Sarah.
- Squashed Flat: The only way it could be stopped. A hydraulic press is what turned it into metal junk.
- Sunglasses at Night: Justified as it uses this to hide its robotic eye after its Eye Scream moment.
- The Unfettered: Not only does it barely change expression, but it takes some really heavy damage (such as shotgun blasts and pipe bombs) to make it stop.
- Voice Changeling: One of its techniques is to record and impersonate the voice of someone it has just killed in order to trick its target into giving up its location.
- Walking Armory: Downplayed. Once it tools up, it always takes at least two guns with it at all times. After its first encounter with Kyle, it decides that a pistol and an Uzi aren't enough, so it carries a shotgun and an assault rifle to use together, with a revolver as a backup weapon.
- Zombie Gait: As the body of The Terminator begins to take on horrendous amounts of punishment, its gait becomes increasingly stiff and stilted, more befitting of the rods-pulleys-and-levers that it really is than the human that it tries to masquerade as. Being repeatedly crushed by speeding vehicles, especially a tanker, shows the abuse it is getting to its frame.
T- 800 Model 101 Version 2. 4
Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator Version 2.4 Infiltration-Combat Unit ("Uncle Bob")
Played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dubbed by: Daniel Beretta (European French)
- Action-Hero Babysitter: He was one of these before it became popular, and it's only because he was ordered to do so by the future John Connor.
- Adorkable: His every attempt at mimicing human emotions has him come across as an enthusiastic but naive Manchild; the stiff and literally parroted "I swear I won't kill anybody" scene in particular is an amusing example of this.
- Badass Biker: He steals the clothes and the bike from a biker, which gives him the look of one throughout the film.
- Battle Butler: He has to do what John tells him to, since it's one of his mission objectives.John: Alright!! My own Terminator!
- Bluff the Impostor: The former trope namer back when it was still called "Crying Wolfie".
- Big Brother Mentor: To John. Though he's closer to a Parental Substitute.
- Breakout Character: He is the most celebrated Terminator of the franchise.
- Combat Medic: He has "detailed files on human anatomy". He says this was programmed in to make him a more efficient killer, but they also allow him to perform expert first aid on injured humans.
- The Comically Serious: His stiff way to interact with humans can make him occasionally fall in it.
- Cool Bike: The 1990 Harley Davidson Fat Boy model FLSTF he steals to a biker.
- Cool Shades: He certainly redefined the trope in action flicks. In a reversal of the first film, however, the shades are donned early in the film to demonstrate that the Terminator is still a relentless killing machine. It loses them just before the "Come with Me If You Want to Live" line to demonstrate that its in the process of becoming humanized. The T-1000 then proceeds to stomp on them as it runs to symbolize its contempt for that.
- Determinator: He doesn' t care at all if he's out-classed by the T-1000 in hand-to-hand combat, he's a got a mission to complete. He's not afraid of him, or anything, not even afraid of dying.
- Do Androids Dream?: If he didn't have a soul when he came into our time, he most definitely would have earned his by the time he left.
- Doting Parent: A better parent than Sarah Connor turned out to be (messed-up, violent wreck that she ended up being) by her own admission.
- Face Death with Dignity: He allowed himself to be melted calmly and does so while giving a thumbs up.
- Final First Hug: He hugs John just before he climbs on the crane to be melted down.
- Gentle Giant: Initially just as much a (potential) remorseless killer as his fellow infiltrators, after John teaches him to respect human life, he gradually softens into this trope.
- Go Out with a Smile: Or more accurately, Go Out with a Thumbs Up.
- Guile Hero: He tricks the T-1000 into revealing itself by impersonating John's voice and referring to the family dog by an incorrect name.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: Skynet preset its CPU to prevent it from learning too much. After the switch is reset, John begins teaching it to overcome that limitation. It overcomes it to the point that on its own initiative, it begins the mission to destroy Cyberdyne and the components that led to Skynet's creation. And, in a very tear-jerking fashion, it also overcomes John's orders at the end when he pleads it not to make a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Heel–Face Turn: The T-800's good-guy status in T2 was a big surprise at the time (as long as you didn't watch the trailers), but today, it's firmly in It Was His Sled territory.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: "I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle."
- He's Dead, Jim:T-800: [to John] What's the dog's name?
T-800 (using John's voice): Hey Janelle, what's wrong with Wolfie? I can hear him barking.
Janelle!T-1000: Wolfie's fine, honey, Wolfie's just fine. Where are you?
The Terminator: (hangs up the phone) Your foster parents are dead.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Trope Namer. One of his mission objectives is to destroy all of the chips that could be used to recreate Skynet, which includes the one inside of his own head. However, he is programmed to be unable to kill himself, thus leaving John Connor to do it for him.
- Implacable Man: Just like the first Terminator, it takes a lot to bring him down. Protecting John subjects him to a lot of abuse from the T-1000 assassin.
- Loophole Abuse: He swears not to kill anyone. Doesn't stop him shooting kneecaps and breaking bones.T-800: "He'll live."
- The Kindnapper: His way of protecting John Connor from the T-1000 involves kidnapping him.
- Kung-Fu Jesus: The T-800 is the ultimate kick-ass savior; he even gives his life to save humanity's future like the good carpenter of Nazareth did.
- Leitmotif: Like the first Terminator, his theme is described as a "mechanical heartbeat". But, because this is a warmer character, the sound was amplified to sound more noble and heroic.
- Manly Tears: "I know now why you cry, but it's something I can never do."
- Martial Pacifist: After John made him take his vow of mercy.
- Messianic Archetype: Almost as much as John himself.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Acquires a 1911 pistol and a lever-action shotgun at the start of the film and uses them until it, Sarah, and John arrive at Sarah's weapons stash, where he promptly swaps his shotgun out for an M79 Grenade Launcher.
- Misblamed: In-Universe. He is understandably blamed for the first Terminator's massacre at the police station.
- Naked on Arrival: He comes naked from the future.
- Nominal Hero: He's a killer machine with no emotions, only protecting and following the orders of a ten year old because of his programming. By the end of the film he's able to understand human behavior and emotions, so he becomes a more traditional hero over the course of the movie.
- Papa Wolf: Enough so to defy John's orders so he could better protect him and humanity's future.
- Parental Substitute: Sarah's narration gives a short monologue about how he seemed to be a better father than potential figures she met in the past.
- Pick Your Human Half: When he first shows up, he's as cold and emotionless as his Mark I counterpart from the previous movie. As the movie goes on, Character Development turns him into a hero.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Hasta La Vista, Baby."
- Rasputinian Death: The T-1000 hurts him badly, including destroying his arm, hitting his head with a steel bar, and even an impalement that deactivates the T-800. He still finds an alternate power to return and destroy the T-1000. Even after all of that, it only goes down after being literally melted in molten metal.
- Spock Speak: A default characteristic. Connor tries to teach him to talk more "normally", with mixed results.
- Technical Pacifist: John says "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Thus non-fatal explosions and lots of people getting shot in the knees ensue.
- Terrifying Rescuer: Probably the most famous example in film. He's a killer cyborg, but he's on the side of the good guys. When he arrives to rescue Sarah, she's justifiably terrified since he's an exact copy of the T-800 who tried to kill her previously and murdered almost everyone she knew.
- That's What I Would Do: He and the T-1000 were built for the same purpose allowing the T-800 to anticipate its moves based on what terminators would do in a given scenario. He correctly predicts the T-1000 waiting for John at his foster parent's home and even that it may look for them at Dyson's home as they might try to prevent Judgment Day.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: John orders him to swear not to kill anyone, but the T-1000 is a fair game.
- Tin Man: He asks John "Why do you cry?", but it becomes a subversion. The T-800 explains that his model is switched to Read-Only mode when they're sent out on solo missions; Skynet doesn't want them to do "too much thinking." He seems to develop a grasp on human emotion once he's rebooted, mimicking smiling and an urgent tone of voice. He even seems to display some pride at locating the keys to a semi (using the sun protector trick taught to him by John).
- Unknown Rival: He's something of an Arch-Enemy to the LAPD, who believe him to have killed thirty of their fellow officers ten years prior, and when they finally get the drop on him they send every cop they've got. Since it was a different T-800 that committed the crime the T-800 is unaware of this, although Sarah might have filled him in on it during their car ride.
- Voice Changeling: He only changes his voice to John's once when the latter is suspicious that Janelle was acting too nice, and notices Max the dog is barking in the background. Their suspicions are confirmed once he Bluff the Impostor using the wrong name.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: He states he can't feel love and human emotions, though at the end of the film he comes to understand them better.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: This is the purpose of his character. When he first arrives, he nearly acts just like his predecessor: Unemotive and machine-like. Despite being in the same line as the previous T-800 who is an unemotional killer, once the CPU in his head is reset, the rest of his character is created through his life experiences. Sarah even discusses how human he has became and learned how to value all of humanity than just John and Sarah.
- What the Hell, Hero?: A silent version. He shows an angry expression after Sarah nearly killed Miles Dyson in front of his family.
Advanced Prototype Series 1000
Default form played by: Robert Patrick
Other forms played by: Jenette Goldstein, Dan Stanton, Leslie Hamilton Gearren
Dubbed by: Éric Missoffe (European French)
- Achilles' Heel: Extremely high temperatures. While molten metal would wreck any Terminator, the T-800 remains in control of its functions and would at least attempt to reach safety/minimize the damage, but the T-1000 is totally screwed if ends up in such an environment - all it'll do is glitch and thrash around until its inevitable demise.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Hinted at in supplemental materials. T-1000 units were unique creations designed to both learn extremely quickly but also retain contempt for humans and other life forms. Unlike the T-800, which is an unfeeling machine that only learns what it needs to complete its programming, the T-1000 on some level wants to do what it does. However, it was this exact issue that caused Skynet to stop production.
- Assimilation Backfire: Of a sort. The T-1000 chooses to assume the form of a policeman to more easily locate John Connor. It works remarkably well... until the moment just before he finds John himself. One of the kids he asks for information is John's friend, a fellow Delinquent who immediately rushes to tell his friend that a cop is looking for him. John runs away, and the precious seconds that bought allow the rest of the movie to happen.
- Blob Monster: A liquid metal variety.
- Character Tic: According to the T-800, the T-1000 is capable of mimicking any object it "samples by physical contact". The T-1000 therefor has a habit of "sampling" things as it goes about its mission, more so than what it would actually need to accomplish its goals. In an extended scene, it searches John's room for clues to his location, overtly touching as many things as possible while doing so.
- Chrome Champion: Villainous example. His body is composed of shiny silvery liquid metal.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Emphasized more in early comics and novels. SkyNET's design for the T-1000 had tunnel vision toward one goal: a perfect infiltrator. The 1000 series excels in adaptability above almost every other version, being self-repairing, immune to any form of physical damage, and almost flawless in infiltration. However, while the 800 series is slower and lacks any regeneration or shapeshifting ability, it has a tougher chassis and can withstand heavy fire without getting disturbed; meanwhile, the T-1000 has less shock-absorbing ability to counter the momentum of bullets and explosions, and also needs some time to heal the damage, which means that although ballistic damage doesn't really compromise its functionality, it does stop the T-1000. Thus, the T-X model was created as a compromise between the two, being slightly worse at infiltration and much better at combat.
- Death Glare: His default expression, often mixed with Kubrick Stare. Combined with his default form's Icy Blue Eyes, the effect becomes unnerving enough for some to label it their first tell-tale clue that he's not the good guy.
- Deceptively Human Robots: He can talk and behave more human-like than both versions of the T-800 and even the T-X. If it wasn't for his Robotic Reveal when T-800 shot him, he would've continued fooling the audience into thinking he was human, let alone the hero.
- Disney Villain Death: After the T-800 fired a grenade at him, the T-1000's form was contorted, causing him to lose his balance and fall into a vat of molten steel. Although it's not that fall that kills him, he can only look in sheer horror as he slowly melts.
- Eye Scream: He often stabs people through the eyes. Likely a pragmatic decision, to make sure the death is quick and they don't struggle.
- Faux Affably Evil: Unlike the T-800, who is entirely stoic and blunt, he is able to affect a mildly friendly air towards people while posing as a police officer early in the film, while looking for information. However, said air quickly disappears when he no longer needs the person.
- Finger Wag: After Sarah shoots him multiple times but runs out of ammo.
- Flawed Prototype: Being a polyalloy construct instead of a mechanical machine separates the T-1000 from older Terminator series in a revolutionary way, but it also comes with flaws in accordance: unlike his predecessors, very few things can harm it, but these few things harm it critically.
- Foreshadowing: He gives a significant look to a shiny silver shop dummy.
- Godzilla Threshold: According to James Cameron, the T-1000 was something that even Skynet was afraid of and only used as a last, last ditch effort. This is expanded upon more in the novel, where it's stated that the T-1000 was created to learn even faster than the T-800 could, just by touching things. Skynet stopped production of it almost immediately because it knew that having a servant that learned that fast and potentially become The Starscream was just asking for trouble.
- The Heavy: It's the main threat in the second film.
- Icy Blue Eyes: His default form has these, further adding to his sinister presence.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His regular method of killing. Mostly with his own arms, but with a metal spike against the T-800. As the T-800 itself notes, it does so because it can't create moving parts with its liquid metal, like guns or projectiles. But knives and clubs? Absolutely.
- Impersonating an Officer: He kills a police officer and assumes his identity for his first victim. It allows him to find out John's location easier.
- Intangible Man: He can allow physical blows to pass through him, he can shrug off bullets, he can even pass through metal bars.
- Kick the Dog: We don't see how he kills John's dog, but it's probably for the best given his usual methods of killing.
- Kill and Replace: He does this to assume the identity of a police officer. It works to his advantage when he visits John's foster family, since they just assume John's in trouble again.
- Knife Nut: As said by the T-800 himself, his main weapons are to morph his limbs into knives and other stabbing weapons.
- Implacable Man: Even if you seemingly destroy it, the T-1000 will just re-form and continue its pursuit of you. Most of the second movie is spent trying to get away from him, since all their attempts at killing it just slow it down (at first).
- Lean and Mean: Its go-to form for most of the movie is as a decidedly slim man, and it's a ruthless assassin who may well be genuinely mean.
- Leitmotif: Brad Fiedel took a brass wind instrument, lowered its pitch and then played the sound in reverse to create the sound of "liquid metal churning". It's meant to invoke a similar menace to the original Terminator, but this machine has no heartbeat.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's just as strong physically as the T-800 model, his liquid body allows him to form weapons and adapt for melee fighting, and he does not walk, he runs, and so fastly that he can keep up with cars. And when it comes to destroying him, while he's not as tough or stable as the T-800, recoiling when shot and taking a few moments to recover if damaged heavily, he actually recovers completely from that damage; it takes liquid nitrogen to incapacitate him, and a vat of molten metal to actually kill him.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Unfortunately, he gets better.
- Logical Weakness: His body can take only a single whole shape, which means, as the T-800 explains, he can't morph his arms into something with complex parts (like a gun or Arm Cannon). His liquid metal form also lets him re-form after sustaining damage, but being flexible liquid means he is MORE affected by gunshots than the solid-frame T-800.
- Made of Indestructium: His nature as a shapeshifting metallic blob means that he is terribly difficult to destroy compared to other Terminators, as firearms and explosions only damage his shape, not him, allowing him to regenerate eternally; even a hydraulic press, which finished off the mighty first T-800, would only mold him into a block before allowing him to flow out of it and reassemble. Only molten metal or corrosive acid can destroy him, and this is commonly not a handy resource. Which brings us conversely to...
- Made of Plasticine: While the T-1000 is effectively immune to mechanical damage thanks to his regeneration ability, this kind of damage still disrupts him, meaning he needs to pause to heal, while the older Terminator models could simply wade through the fire even though they risked themselves to suffer lasting damage. An unloaded magazine from an AR-15 assault rifle would incapacitate the T-1000 for a significant time, a point-blank blast from a 12-gauge shotgun to its face caused it be disoriented, and a grenade for extra measure will make it a horrible tangled mess that will require a longer time to regenerate. And (according to development notes and the novels), the T-1000 is programmed to prioritize healing egregious disruptions to its mass before continuing its mission, making this a very exploitable weakness.
- Naked on Arrival: Like all living beings sent from the future he comes naked.
- Never Bring A Knife To A Fistfight: Its default weapons are useless against the T-800, hence why future John Connor sent back a Terminator, and not a human soldier.
- Not So Stoic: Like all Terminators, he's normally stone-faced and focused. However compared to the T-800 in the first two films, he shows subtle degrees of emotion, such as being shocked or even horrified when he gets damaged severely (being frozen or having a grenade fired into his chest), annoyed when John's foster father talks while he's on the phone with John, and taking a moment to look at a silver-skinned mannequin in what might be interest that it looks like his liquid form.
- Oh, Crap!: When the T-800 shoots it with the grenade launcher, it has just enough time to look horrified before it explodes.
- Power Incontinence: In the extended edition, after being frozen, shot, thawing, and reassembling, he begins glitching and his body parts take on the texture of whatever surface they touch. This is the first indication he isn't as invulnerable as previously thought to be.
- Pulling Themselves Together: No matter how much it gets damage, it can reassemble its form. The heroes finally stop it by shooting it into a vat of molten metal so it can't regenerate in time.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Played with. Like other Terminators killing is simply what he was programmed to do. On the other hand, unlike other Terminators, he can be very mocking towards his victims (such as his Finger Wag to Sarah) and shows some possibly subtle cruelty.
- Railing Kill: One above a vat of molten metal proves to be his bane.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: His default human model is a slender, brunette man, but his actual form is arguably a metal liquid humanoid similar to a mannequin.
- Shapeshifter Swan Song: As it's knocked into the molten metal, it keeps changing form to all the people it killed until it's too damaged to keep going.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: It can't create moving parts with its liquid metal body, so it sticks to knives and stabbing weapons.
- Skewed Priorities: Supplemental materials explain that the T-1000's internal logic systems prioritize (even above killing a target a few feet away from them), fixing grievous damage in order to fight at a optimal efficiency. This weakness is exploited several times to cause the T-1000 to temporarily pause and give the heroes time to do their next move.
- The Starscream: The reason Skynet never mass-produced it was because it was too smart for its liking and it feared them turning on it.
- Super Prototype: The T-1000 is explicitly a prototype model, and extremely powerful and dangerous. The reason Skynet never mass-produced it was because it was too smart for its liking and it feared them turning on it.
- Technically Naked Shapeshifter: One of the first forms it takes is that of a police officer, forming a police uniform out of itself. It doesn't actually take on the chemical properties of the things it imitates, though, so while its surface can look and feel like cloth and skin, it's still made of liquid metal.
- Villainous Cheekbones: Robert Patrick's are put to good use here.
- The Worf Effect: In the comic books, a model of T-1000 is worfed by the T-X in a test fight when she disgregates him and apparently destroys him with her plasma cannon. The canonicity of this can be disputed, as it creates an inconsistency with other sources which state that plasma cannot damage the T-1000's mass.
Played by: Brett Azar note , Arnold Schwarzenegger (voice)
Appears in: Terminator
- Digital Head Swap: The digitally recreated face of a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger is superimposed on the head of bodybuilder Brett Azar.
Introduced in The Terminator
Sarah Jeanette Connor
Played by: Linda Hamilton
Dubbed by: Élisabeth Wiener (European French, The Terminator), Véronique Augereau (European French, Terminator 2)
- Action Survivor: In the first movie; turning on the hydraulic press that kills the Terminator shows her transition to Action Girl.
- Action Mom: In the second film, bordering on Knight Templar Parent.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: In the first film she was guilty of that, she dated a guy that treated her like dirt before she met Kyle. It was clear that despite Reese's attitude toward her was unnerving to her, but she liked him. As proven with the scene when she tried tip toeing around the question of whether or not he had a girlfriend, seconds before his Anguished Declaration of Love. Lastly in 2, she started going out with military personnel, mostly to learn things she could teach John, but given her history....
- She even reflects to herself how the Terminator was, in her opinion, the only suitable father figure while listing off the different ways a parent can abuse or neglect their child (which speaks volumes about the other men).
- Anti-Hero: While Sarah was firmly an Action Survivor in the first film, come time for the second one, she's become unhinged suffering a nasty case of PTSD. Sarah attempts to Shoot the Dog and even attempted to kill Miles Dyson in front of his family.
- Big "NO!": Sarah almost makes it out of the asylum, but she sees the T-800 walking out of an elevator. After saying "no" in a low tone of disbelief, it turns into this out of sheer terror.
- Broken Bird: Second movie. Her attempts to stop Judgment Day have left her sanity somewhat in tatters and she is in a mental hospital at the beginning of T2.
- Cassandra Truth: She's institutionalized to trying to prevent and talking about the future war with the machines. Played with, however, because she's still Ax-Crazy despite being right about that.
- Character Development: She has two:
- In the first film, she was a Shrinking Violet with self-doubt until Skynet specifically targets her by sending a T-800 while Kyle Reese was sent to protect her by her future son's orders. Even then, she still had doubts about herself when Kyle tells her about the amazing things John told about her, until Kyle and herself were on the last legs on their life until she manages to literally crush the T-800. This action allowed Sarah to commit herself to raise her only son into the man he was in the future.
- While she did Took a Level in Badass, she clearly did have problems with her communication skills, and often tried to date military personnel so they can teach something useful to John, and not giving her son the affection he desperately needed which was observed by the T-800. While initially distrustful with the reprogrammed T-800 who is under future John's orders to protect his younger self (and nearly tried to destroy his CPU), she learned to trust the machine when he proved to be a valuable ally and is visibly dishearten when he has to be destroyed to prevent Skynet's creation and Judgment Day while finally hugging her son.
- Cool Pet: She had a pet iguana when she was Ginger's roommate. Ginger wasn't fan of it.
- Crazy-Prepared: Third movie, posthumously.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Invoked Trope. Sarah is right about the Killer Robots from the future, but she's still nuts.
- Damsel in Distress: The first film in centered around Kyle going back to protect her from the T-800.
- Dark Action Girl: She can kick a major amount of ass, but it doesn't come without a lot of psychological scarring. Her time in a mental hospital did her no favors. Further, Cameron wrote the hospital escape scene to avert the Faux Action Girl trope—if anything, the Terminator's arrival was little more than a Redundant Rescue, as Sarah was pretty much home free when he showed up.
- Determinator: She becomes like this during the second movie.
- Final Girl: She's the last remaining "Sarah Connor" in Los Angeles by the end of the first movie.
- Gold Digger: Subverted Trope. In the second film... sort-of. John says Sarah would "shack up with" any guy who looked like he had something worthwhile to teach John so that he'd grow up to be the competent leader she knew he was destined to be. However, he also says that Sarah would usually try and get her new man on board with the whole Screw Destiny plan, only for them to think she's crazy and dump her. So yeah, she used a lot of guys, but under the circumstances, she still tried not to be abusive and wasn't doing it for selfish reasons.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Played Straight. The director wanted to play with the audience's sympathies for her. Even though they already know that she's right about the Bad Future and the machine uprising, that hasn't made her the most sane person in the last nine years.
- Good People Have Good Sex: With Kyle in the first movie.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Linda Hamilton's portrayal depicts her having dirty blonde hair, while Emilia Clarke's has dark brown.
- Her Heart Will Go On: End of first movie.
- He Who Fights Monsters: She practically became a Terminator herself, right down to her enemy's musical motif and choice of sunglasses, when she tried to murder Miles Dyson in order to prevent Skynet's creation.
- Lady of War: In the second movie.
- Mama Bear: Almost to the point of being a Knight Templar Parent.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Silently after the attempted hit on Dyson. Exacerbated by the fact that not only had she taken on a dimmer view on human life than the Terminator she was traveling with, but had adopted the MO of the Terminator that first tried to kill her. She almost killed a father in front of his wife and kid, something that hits her close to home after losing Reese and almost losing John. Also when her best friend/roommate Ginger and her boyfriend were killed by the Terminator in their apartment, and later her mother gets killed too in the first film.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Pink Means Feminine: Spends most of the first film wearing pink clothes (both her waitress uniform and her main outfit).
- The Protagonist: Of the first film.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: In the second film as a result of having lost her paramour to a cyborg that was hunting her down with the intent to kill her.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Averted, but implied that other people believe she's playing the trope straight, particularly Dr. Silberman. Justified in that, after being kidnapped by a "loon" spouting ridiculous stories about killer robots, Sarah herself has become an anti-technology terrorist that blows up places that build advanced computers. Even after the police come to try and get her to make a statement against the Terminator, from their point of view, later that same night, the same guy busts her out of the institution and, days later, she's joined forces with the guy to assault a Cyberdyne building.
- Take the Wheel: Is made to do this in both the first and second movie.
- Tank-Top Tomboy: In the epilogue of the first movie, and then throughout the entire second movie, after she Takes A Level In Badass.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "You're terminated, fucker!" Also a Pre-Mortem One-Liner and Precision F-Strike.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Despite her being a Combat Pragmatist, she's never taken the life of a human being. The one time she becomes a "terminator" to execute someone she thinks is the reason SkyNet exists, she can't bring herself to be an unemotional killer.
- Time Travel Romance: One where the romance has a good deal of plot significance.
- Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Sarah has a problem with Reese telling her of all the things she hasn't done yet.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the events between the first and second movie. It's deconstructed as it lands her in a mental hospital, and Sarah later admits that she's been a terrible mother to John.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Mentally stable mother-of-the-year she is not.
- Two First Names: Her last name can be traditionally used as a given name.
- Ungrateful Bitch: Instead of hugging her own son and thanking him, she just checked if John was hurt and scolds him for trying to rescue her.Sarah: You cannot risk yourself, even for me. You're too important! Do you understand?
(John begins to cry. Sarah shakes her head in disappointment.)
John: I had to get you out of that place. I'm sorry!
Sarah: I don't need your help. I can take care of myself.
- You Killed My Father: In the first film the T-800 killed Sarah's mother trying to find Sarah.
Sergeant Kyle Reese
Played by: Michael Biehn
Dubbed by: Patrick Poivey (European French)predestination paradox.
- Badass Longcoat: Justified, since he needs that coat to hide his Sawed-Off Shotgun.
- Badass Normal: Makes his fight against an unstoppable killing machine much more badass.
- Bodyguard Crush: Kyle's attraction to Sarah is what conceives John Connor in the first place.
- The Cameo: His one scene in the second film.
- Child Soldier: He was born into a world with killbots attempting to destroy humanity, so yeah.
- Come with Me If You Want to Live: Trope Namer. It's the first thing he says to Sarah Conner after the Terminator attacks her, and it's the only reason she trusts him enough to escape with him.
- Dead Person Conversation: With Sarah in the second film.
- Death by Falling Over: Falls down a staircase after blowing up the Terminator with a pipebomb, and is dead by the time Sarah reaches him.
- spoiler: Its more likely that the shrapnel caused by the explosion, which also injured Sarah, was what killed Kyle.
- Death by Sex: In the original timeline, his fate is sealed the minute he and Sarah make love.
- Decoy Protagonist: Of the entire franchise. He is The Hero of the first film, but Sarah is the true protagonist, and Reese dies before Sarah destroys the Terminator at the climax.
- Determinator: He will not allow Sarah to die, no matter what. Not just because it's his mission, but because he loves her. However, it becomes subverted at the end, when he begs Sarah to leave him behind because he was slowly dying anyway.
- Disappeared Dad: He is this to John Connor.
- Drives Like Crazy: Without a doubt. Justified in that he learnt to drive After the End. He also instinctively drives cars at night without the headlights on, as doing so in the future would draw Aerial Hunter-Killers.
- Future Badass: Applies more to the fourth film than the first. The first film's Kyle is the "Future Badass". The fourth film is Kyle as a teenage kid just trying to survive in a nuclear wasteland.
- Gaia's Lament: A deleted scene would have had Kyle crying when he saw how beautiful the world used to be.
- Sensory Overload: In flashback, it's shown that the future Kyle is from is blasted and barren, with most of humanity occupying cramped and overcrowded tunnels. Through tears, he tells Sarah that the sight of a forest, with all its greenery and plant life, is so beautiful it hurts to look at.
- The Hero: Whilst not The Protagonist of the first film (that's Sarah), his efforts to protect her and battle the Terminator mean that he still qualifies.
- The Hero Dies: See below. He doesn't survive the final battle.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The bomb he uses to bifurcate the Terminator is the same bomb that kills him in the end.
- The Kindnapper: He kidnaps Sarah Connor to save her from the T-800 sent to kill her.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Two.
- Reese doesn't survive the first film. This is a major point in the sequel.
- He's the father of John Connor. The other films have made no attempt to keep this a secret.
- Love Before First Sight: Fell in love with Sarah after seeing her picture.
- MacGyvering: Makes pipe bombs out of mothballs and ammonia.
- Mr. Fanservice: In the first movie. He arrives in 1984 naked showing his athletic body, he wears mostly short sleeves t-shirts and has some number of Shirtless Scene. Michael Biehn was in good shape back then.
- Naked on Arrival: As per Terminator rules, you have to be naked when traveling through time.
- Pet the Dog: Reese instinctively allows the dog at the roadside hotel to sniff him. They use dogs to sniff out Terminators where he comes from.
- Product Placement: The film(s) would like to let the viewers know that his shoes are made by Nike.
- Staircase Tumble: Falls down a metal staircase after blowing up the T-800's endoskeleton, which (combined with shrapnel from the bomb) kills him.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Justified. He steals a police shotgun early in the film and saws it down so that he can hide it under a longcoat.
- Scannable Man: Got his tattoo in a SkyNet work camp.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Undoubtedly so, given that he was in a SkyNet work camp complete with a tattoo before he was liberated by John Connor and even afterward spent all of his time either fighting against SkyNet's machines or hiding from them.
- Supporting Protagonist: He does have established characterization and a backstory about himself coming from the Bad Future fighting for La Résistance, but the film is mostly Sarah's story about her going from a timid woman to an empowered and strong mother of a great resistance leader told from his viewpoint.
- Supernaturally Young Parent: Thanks to the Stable Time Loop, his going back in time and sleeping with Sarah resulted in John—meaning he's younger than his son.
- Time Travel Romance: One where the romance has a good deal of plot significance.
- Two First Names: His last name is commonly used as a given name.
- Zipping Up the Bodybag: Barring a dream sequence in the second film, this is the last we ever see of him in the original series.
Dr. Peter Silberman
Played by: Earl Boen
Dubbed by: Sady Rebbot (European French, The Terminator), Jean-Pierre Delage (European French, Terminator 2)
- Agent Scully: Throughout the first and second.
- Dr. Jerk:
- Highlighted in his nonchalant behavior towards a clearly distraught Sarah in the first film. The second film does not alter this assessment.
- Also highlighted in the fact that he plans on making his career on Kyle Reese in the first film—something he actually does before the second film. Our first scene with him is showing off his prize patient like a zoo animal.
- In the Directors Cut of T2 it is strongly implied that he condones and even commands the orderlies to physically abuse Sarah, such as beating her until she takes her medication, though it is unclear if all his patients are mistreated this way or if he is just vindictive towards Sarah for how she has been treating him (e.g. stabbing him in the knee), but the fact that the orderlies do it without question (and that Sarah is visibly intimidated by them) doesn't speak well of him. This puts her belief that she had been promised visits from her son if her behaviour improved in a darker light- it's possible he was just stringing her along and never intended to let her see him even if she did genuinely improve.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Whilst "hero" is a stretch, Silberman does believe what he is doing is for Sarah's own good, which makes seeing the T-800 and T-1000 in action all the more horrifying.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: He and the other hospital staff try to keep Sarah locked up because (in addition to being a cash cow for the doctor), they feel she's an Ax-Crazy paranoid maniac because she thinks Killer Robots are out to get her and her son. They happen to be right about her state of mind, except for the bit where she's correct about all of that.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once he spots that all too familiar heavily armed badass in leather, the doctor rather wisely decides to make himself scarce.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Already not the most sympathetic human character in the first film, he comes across as a bigger jerkass in Judgment Day, in which he's strongly implied to be abusive towards Sarah.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Even after years of having to deal with Sarah's repeated escape attempts, insults, and even physical attacks, he never once gets mad at her, shout at her, or even hold any of it against her. If Dr. Silberman is anything, he's a paragon of patience. Subverted in the Directors Cut where it is shown that the orderlies brutally mistreat and even sexually assault her, and Silberman is implied to not only know about but actually encourage at least some of it because he simply doesn't like her.
Detective Lieutenant Ed Traxler
Played by: Paul Winfield
Dubbed by: Jean-Claude Michel (European French)
- Da Chief: Unusually for the trope, he's very calm and clear-headed. And he does everything he can to protect Sarah.
- Decoy Protagonist: In the first act, he seemingly fulfills the role of the tritagonist of the film as the police detective investigating the killings made by the Terminator and trying to warn Sarah for her own protection. The deleted scenes that featured mostly his scenes further helps establishing him to be this. However, after bringing in Sarah and Kyle to the station, his arc ends with the Terminator massacring everyone in his station and fatally wounding him as Sarah and Kyle escapes.
- More Dakka: He has a sidearm, but sees how the T-800 seems impervious to handgun bullets as it rampages through the police station, so he grabs a M16 carbine hoping it can work better. It's not any more efficient and he ends up dead, if less immediately than Vukovich.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- As soon as he gets the report of two women named "Sarah Connor" getting killed within hours of each other, he immediately deduces that they're dealing with a pattern Serial Killer. Traxler then tries to contact the remaining Sarah, and when that fails, puts out a news bulletin so that Sarah will call them. As soon as she does, he gives very clear instructions to not leave the public night club until he arrives.
- While the others are making fun of Reese, he's quite frightened by the possibility that Reese may lie or be crazy. He even comes to believe Reese in a deleted scene when he's dying, telling him to protect Sarah.
- Tritagonist: Of the first film to Reese's protagonist and Sarah's deuteragonist, as he plays a pivotal part in tracking down the Terminator (whom he thinks to be a human psychopathic serial killer) and protecting Sarah from him until the Terminator ambushes his station and he himself gets fatally wounded.
- Supporting Protagonist: In the first act, the actions of Kyle finding Sarah, Sarah herself being stalked and the Terminator hunting Sarah are told from his viewpoint in his scenes, especially in the deleted scenes that features him following the car chase between the Terminator and Sarah and Kyle.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: While he certainly thinks someone is trying to kill Sarah Connor, he thinks they're dealing with a heavily armed psychopath with a Bulletproof Vest, not a time-traveling Killer Robot.
Detective Sergeant Hal Vukovich
Played by: Lance Henriksen
Dubbed by: Joël Martineau (European French)
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Upon seeing a dying Traxler, whom he engages in Snark-to-Snark Combat with him throughout the film, he fires on the Terminator.
- More Dakka: Like Traxler, he has a sidearm, but a M16 carbine seems a better option against the T-800 as it rampages through the police station. It's not.
- Police Are Useless: Averted. He may be a sarcastic hardass, but he's just as professional as Traxler, and tries multiple times to call Sarah and warn her that she is in danger.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Regularly engages in some with Traxler.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Similar to Traxler. He thinks the Terminator is simply a thug who is too hopped up on drugs to notice his injuries.
Played by: Bess Motta
Dubbed by: Maik Darah (European French)
- '80s Hair: A shining example, especially when she and Sarah primp themselves for some quality time.
- Best Friend: She was Sarah Connor's best friend in the early 1980s.
- Death by Irony: Just a second after Ginger's murder by the Terminator, Sarah calls her and the answering machine says (with Ginger's voice) "Machines need love too"...
- Death by Sex: She had sex with her boyfriend minutes before the T-800 killed her.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: She's rocking out on headphones in full volume making an after-nookie snack while Matt is brutally beaten to death by the T-800 in the bedroom.
- Multiple Gunshot Death: The T-800 shoots her six times with his AMT Hardballer .45 Longslide with Laser Sight, all In the Back, and five of which as she's down and crawling on the floor.
- Murder by Mistake: She's on the brutal receiving end of this by the T-800, due to living in the same apartment as Sarah, the T-800 not having a clear picture of what Sarah looks like and Sarah not being there when the robot crashes in.
- Oh, Crap!: When suddenly seing her dead boyfriend crashing through a door, followed by a tall and menacing dude with a gun (the T-800) going after her.
- Sacrificial Lamb: She's introduced as the best friend of Sarah, and her death is more impactful than the T-800's previous victims due to being quite likeable and how brutally she is murdered.
Played by: Rick Rossovich
Dubbed by: Patrick Préjean (European French)
- Full-Frontal Assault: He tries to fight the Terminator off and wears only his underwear doing so, since he had no time to put anything on.
- Death by Sex: He had sex with Ginger minutes before the T-800 killed him.
- Improvised Weapon: Tries to hit the T-800 with a lamp. The robot no sells his attacks, of course.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Upon finding out he talked dirty to Sarah on the phone and not to Ginger.
- Upon seeing a tall and menacing dude (the T-800) enter his room. He quickly gets up and tries to fight him off nonetheless.
- Prank Call: Intended to call Ginger to have sex phone with her, not even announcing himself. Turns out Sarah picks up the phone, laughs and and says nothing while he talks about all the things he wants to do to her. Then Sarah decides to answer, much to Matt's embarrassed confusion, and hands the phone over to Ginger.
Introduced in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Played by: Edward Furlong (pre-teen), Dalton Abbot (infant), Michael Edwards (adult), Jude Collie (pre-teen, 2019's Terminator)
Dubbed by: Emmanuel Garijo (European French)
- All-Loving Hero: As reviewer Confused Matthew notes, despite Sarah having raised him to be a resistance leader, throughout the film series John never fails to recognize the value of human life, indeed often putting his own life on the line to try to save people, sometimes who he barely even knows. The fact this is such a consistent and natural part of his character, arguably makes him one of the greatest examples of this type of character in cinema history.
- Big Good: He is fated to be one of these.
- Delinquent: He's disobedient to his parents, steals money from ATMs, skips school, and hangs out with hooligans. This is basically him venting his frustrations against everything his mother taught him, which he believes to be a lie.
- Final First Hug: With the T-800 that protected him.
- Future Badass: This is the entire reason Skynet wants him dead. Note that he's badass as a pre-teen, but he takes it Up to Eleven when he becomes leader of The Resistance in the future.
- Heel Realization: When he sics the Terminator on two guys and the Terminator tries to shoot one in the head, John is horrified about what he almost caused. Word of God states that it was this moment which cemented John's heroic nature.
- Heroic Bastard: His parents were never married and his father was killed shortly after he was conceived.
- Honor Before Reason: Will not tolerate the death of even a single innocent human being, even if it means stopping a nuclear holocaust from happening.
- Hope Bringer: As Kyle put it, "He taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal motherfuckers into junk. He turned it around."
- James Cameron's original intentions for Terminator 2 go even further than this. By teaching the Terminator to be human, he ends the Stable Time Loop and prevents the machine uprising, not just winning the war for humanity but making sure it never happened.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: He initially believes his mother is crazy and that her supposed delusions robbed him of a normal life.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Starts off as a delinquent but does his best to avoid human casualties and genuinely cares about his mother.
- Kid with the Leash: Oh, are we all so very glad he made the T-800 take his vow of mercy...
- Laser-Guided Tykebomb: He was raised from birth to defeat Skynet.
- Morality Pet: He tries to teach the Terminator not to kill people, and eventually succeeds.
- Nom de Mom: Reflecting his status as a Heroic Bastard (see above).
- Oh, Crap!: When John first sees the T-800 in the mall, he goes bug-eyed. The novelization explains a bit more: John's mother had showed him news clippings and police video of the Terminator that had chased her. John later stopped believing in Terminators, but he still knew that guy was a cop-killer and psychopath. And now, here he was... coming right at him... with a shotgun.
- Playful Hacker: Gleefully exclaims "Easy Money" whenever he hacks into something.
- Rebel Leader: His main plot in the story is to lead the future resistance against Skynet.
- Stable Time Loop: His existence is this; he was conceived by Kyle Reese, who was sent back in time by his older self to both save his mother and make sure he's conceived in the first place.
- Two First Names: His last name can traditionally be used as a given name.
Played by: Joe Morton
Dubbed by: Patrick Guillemin (European French)
- Black and Nerdy: African American and computer wiz.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Strongly indicated in the Special Edition.
- Happily Married: Having a loving wife and family was already implied in the original cut, the special edition features a scene expanding on this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: With his death, he blows up Cyberdyne.
- Multiple Gunshot Death: Standing in between the Connors and a heavily armed SWAT team was an extremely poor idea, and Miles is torn to shreds by the police's fire. He lives just long enough to help the Connors escape Cyberdyne.
- Must Make Amends: Even though it's yet to happen.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction to the Terminator giving all the backstory on the robot war.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The computer system he created would eventually go on to wage war against humanity.
- Redemption Equals Death: His decision to help the heroes destroy his creation eventually leads to his death.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Rather tragically, 2019's Terminator renders his Heroic Sacrifice meaningless in the long run. It only delays Judgment Day.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Miles wanted to make life a little better for humanity. Turns out his invention leads to the demise of billions.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He's a far cry from the person you'd think would create SkyNet. Indeed he sees only the possible positives of his creation. This may even blind him to the military applications of his invention or to the dangers of removing humans from certain decisions.
Janelle & Todd Voight
Janelle & Todd Voight
Played by: Jenette Goldstein (Janelle), Xander Berkeley (Todd)
Dubbed by: Régine Teyssot (Janelle, European French), Philippe Peythieu (Todd, European French)
Appear in: Terminator 2: Judgment DayThe foster parents of John Connor while his mother was interned at the Pescadero State Hospital.
- Abusive Parents: When calling them, John notices something's wrong, since Janelle is "never this nice" to him.
- Asshole Victim: They're guilty of negligence and mistreatment on John, and get murdered by the T-1000. John feels a little sorrow for a few seconds after T-800 breaks the news to him but quickly forgets about them.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Todd ends up impaled in the head by the T-1000's arm, which morphed into a sword.
- Kill and Replace: The T-1000 killed Janelle at some point, without Todd noticing it, then took her place waiting for a phone call by John. Then he killed Todd.
- Killed Offscreen: The death of Janelle is not seen onscreen, and neither is her corpse.
- Parental Substitute: Since Sarah Connor has been deemed criminally insane and interned, someone had to take care of John. The Voights likely did it for money.
Played by: Ken Gibbel
Dubbed by: Richard Darbois (European French)
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: A pervert Bedlam House warden who abuses his inmates and wears glasses.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sarah gives him a thoroughly deserved beating when she escapes.
- Lecherous Licking: He licks Sarah's face while she's strapped to her bed and sleeping.
- Teeth Flying: When Sarah ambushes him, she aims straight at his face with her broom handle and he looses a few teeth as a result.
- Wardens Are Evil: He has a penchant for inmate patient abuse.