Off-the-Shelf FX: You'll occasionally recognize some part of a console or bit of equipment, including a trackball mouse, a Christmas ornament and one of those lightning balls you can find in novelty stores.
One particularly hilarious example is the black automatic pipette that they try to pass off as a high-tech syringe.
Oh Crap: Crichton gets one early on in the series ("They've Got A Secret") when Moya unexpectedly turns her DRDs against her crew after becoming paranoid that her unborn child might be harmed by them. Crichton anxiously skulks through a corrider, and suddenly the lights go out — revealing the telltale Laser Sights of dozens of DRDs covering the entire hall. Whoops.
Borlik thinks she's won after using her Selective Magnetism to cling to the ceiling, with no time to cut her down before her gamma storm engulfs Moya. Yeah, about that wall... It's detachable.
After Crichton gets fully taken over by Scorpius's control chip, he heads out in his module. Aeryn chases after him in her Prowler. Under normal circumstances, this would be a curb stomp battle of epic proportions, with the Prowler being far more advanced technologically than Crichton's module (which doesn't even have weapons) and Aeryn being far better trained. Problem is, they're on a planet- not in space. Aeryn's only trained in zero-gravity scenarios, while Crichton has trained in the atmosphere to resist the pull of gravity. As Crichton/Scorpius puts it "Welcome to our world, baby!"
Scorpius gets one in The Peacekeeper Wars after he finally sees the destructive power of the wormhole weapon—the thing he's been searching for for most of his life—unleashed upon the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans. You know something is bad when even Scorpius is taken aback by its sheer destructive power.
Scorpius: This is insane, Crichton.
Crichton: God! Four years on and you're finally getting that.
Omnicidal Maniac: The Scarrans. Their goal is not just to defeat the Peacekeepers, but to wipe out the entire Sebacean race. Scorpius believes they won't stop there and pose a threat to every other species. (Harvey — who knows what Scorpius knows, but is objective due to lacking his biases — concurs with that belief.
Omniglot: Even without Translator Microbes, Crichton is shown to speak several languages with some degree of fluency, including an understand of invented languages such as Klingon.
Sikozu comes from an entire race of people capable of doing this. By necessity, since their bodies are incompatible with translator microbes.
One-Product Planet: Sykar is a deconstruction of this: because the Peacekeepers have essentially turned the entire planet into a farm for tannot root—which is eventually refined into chakan oil ammunition—the local environment has been almost completely ruined, and the civilian population reduced to slavery. Even the farms themselves are steadily being worn out through overharvesting; the one seen in the episode is said to be the last fertile region of the planet.
Meanwhile, nobody bats an eyelid at the idea of an entire planet being used as a cemetery for the system's rulers; Rygel, in particular, finds the idea of burying the dead anywhere near living beings to be absolutely disgusting.
One True Love: The concept of kreshta for the Nebari - when you find someone whom you are destined to be with, your one true love, nothing will keep you away from that person. A psychosomatic reaction that turns you red will make sure everyone else notices it, too. Chiana is initially very confused because of who her kreshta turns out to be.
Only in Florida: Are there any other Floridian space heroes besides John Crichton? Most of them seem to be from Iowa or the UK. A rare example of an intelligent portrayal of a U.S. Southerner.
And portrayed by an apparently proud Carolinian ('Carolina Style Keedva. Best BBQ this side of a Budong.' - "Home on the Remains").
Well, there's Cam Mitchell from SG-1. Also played by Ben Browder. I don't remember which state he was from, but the Southern drawl was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happened on occasion. For example, Lani Tupu would sometimes lapse slightly into his native Kiwi accent when playing Crais. In a slightly different way, Pilot sounded noticeably more like Crais during Peacekeeper Wars than he ever did during the series proper.
Opening Narration: His name is John Crichton, an astronaut. A radiation wave hit, and he was shot through a wormhole, lost in some distant part of the universe aboard a ship, a LIVING ship! Full of strange alien life forms. He needs help! Please! Is there anybody out there who can hear him? He's being hunted by an insane military commander, and he's doing everything he can. He's just looking for a way home. (*cue weird chanting*)
Season 3 changes it to: My name is John Crichton (I'm lost). An astronaut (Shot through a wormhole). In some distant part of the universe (trying to stay alive). Aboard this ship (this living ship)..of escaped prisoners (My friends). If you can hear me (Beware). If I make it back (will they follow?). If I open the door (Are you ready?). Earth is unprepared (Helpless...)...for the nightmares I've seen. Or should I stay...Protect my home? Not show them... (You exist.) But then you'll never know...the wonders I've seen. (*cue weird chanting*)
Out with a Bang: Subverted with Zhaan, whose reason for being locked up is that she murdered her lover, a traitor who cooperated with a Peacekeeper coup d'état. Zhaan basically killed the guy via sex. This (understandably) haunts her for a long time.
Palette Swapped Alien Food: Shows up frequently, along with non-human-looking utensils. According to the DVD commentaries, sometimes they just used Asian foods that would look alien to a North American audience.
Pardon My Klingon: Many, many times, including an episode where John actually does speak Klingon.
Lampshaded in an episode where Aeryn calls John a "drannet," only for him to complain that he doesn't even know what a drannet is.
Stanz: "I did fix it! That's why it works when I whack it a few times!"
Bleeding Luxans must have their wounds pounded until the blood runs clear, or they die.
Played with in the very first episode. While Moya is under attack, a frustrated D'argo tears up a console, which disables the control collar, allowing the ship to escape. However, following said escape, the ship is then crippled.
Percussive Prevention: On one occasion, Zhaan becomes ill and begins exuding spores which are harming Moya and giving the crew allergies. Also, it makes her irrational and violent. So, when she finally comes to enough to ask Aeryn for help, Aeryn knocks her unconscious and stuffs her in a sealed environment until they can cure her.
Inverted later, again by Zhaan. She gets the notion of giving up her lifeforce to revive the recently killed Aeryn, to which Stark objects. She responds by knocking out Stark and going through with her plan.
Percussive Therapy: Happens a couple of times. Aeryn tends to take her frustration out on a PK punching bag, while Rygel feels better after headbutting ranting religious nuts.
Place Beyond Time: The "Mist", a stellar phenomenon which exists in a separate bubble of time. Aeryn accidentally gets stranded here for a day; when the crew recovers her ship, she's lived over 165 cycles and is now an old woman with a granddaughter.
Also, Einstein's extradimensional lair.
The Plan: Scorpius and John are both undisputed masters, and when they go head to head it often devolves into matches of Xanatos Speed Chess.
"You used me." "We use each other." "You're better at it." "You're learning."
They're different, though, in that Scorpius always seems to have everything planned several steps ahead of everyone else, while John's a master of improvisation after his Plan A fails spectacularly. When Scorpius teams up with John for a while, he's appalled to find out how much John — who has defeated him repeatedly — is winging it.
Plant Aliens: Delvians, though you wouldn't know it until Zhaan pointed it out in "Bone to Be Wild". It was foreshadowed, though, by her being a little too delighted by sunlight, as well as the fact that her blood looks like sap and she has fibres in her arm rather than bones.
Plug 'n' Play Technology: John's original Farscape-1 module is extensively modified using organic parts from Moya. This allows it to accept various alternative fuels, in addition to achieving speeds that were not possible before.
Poisonous Friend: Averted. When Crichton voices his worry to D.K. that he has a gut-feeling something major is going to happen when he tests Farscape One, his response is to question whether the flight really is that important to John, implying he'd support him if he cancelled it.
Politically Incorrect Villain: The security guard in the Season 4 episode "Coup By Clam", who is extremely coarse and misogynistic (and it isn't just him - all the females of his native planet are badly oppressed). When Scorpius accompanies him on his tour of Moya to make sure he doesn't try anything underhanded, the guard uses the opportunity to loudly voice his relief that Moya is "controlled" by a male Pilot, among other things. And when he discovers that the mechanic he's guarding is actually a woman, he attempts to kill both her and Chiana—right before Scorpius breaks his neck.
Poor Communication Kills: After initiating starburst when she is in no shape to do so, Moya accidentally tears a hole into an alien dimension. As a result, an Inter-dimensional Entity is charged with closing the breach and destroying any material from other universes that had crossed into theirs. Unfortunately, the abstract physiology of the creature makes it difficult to communicate with Moya's crew, who believe it to be malevolent and open fire on what they perceive to be an attack. Eventually, Crichton realizes that the entity is leaving scratch marks on Moya's bulkheads that corresponded to prime numbers. Realizing that it has been trying to communicate, Crichton enters a rift and speaks with the creature directly. From it, he learns how to free Moya herself from her entrapment between dimensions ("Through the Looking Glass").
Pregnant Badass: The miniseries features not one but to of these: Aeryn, who guns down enemies during hard labor, and Grayza, who leads the Peacekeeper armada while looking ready to pop.
Grayza: "Don't let the belly fool you, Lieutenant."
Premature Eulogy: Zhaan gives one to Aeryn, when she dies at the end of Season 2. Surprise, surprise: Aeryn is resurrected in the next episode, by Zhaan no less.
Prophecy Twist: Rygel's self-coronation as the Acquarans' king backfires on him when it's revealed that the "Masata" (a Hynerian) will lead his people "into the light"; In other words, they are expecting Rygel to rise up and part the heavens, or else he'll be burned at the stake. The crew saves the day by unlocking the planet's dampening field, causing a beam of light to erupt from Rygel's statue.
Precision F-Strike: Trapped in the engine room of the Zelbinion, holding two energy-charged plates apart (preventing an explosion in the process), with a Sheeyang burning through the door, Crichton can only mutter, "Shit."
Also, what Crichton writes on the chalkboard during the miniseries. One letter is blocked off, but it's fairly obvious what he wrote.
Also, due to the use of made-up swears in the show, it's very powerful when a real one is used instead. Such as when Rygel called China a "slut" instead of a "tralk" after she slept with Dargo's son.
Pressure Point: During a sparring session with Aeryn, Matala gives away her true identity by performing a Scorvian "neuro stroke" — raising her arm and jabbing downward with her fingers, like a scorpion's tail — and striking Aeryn in the chest, incapacitating her instantly.
Prison Episode: "The Ugly Truth" features most of the crew on a disc-like prison.
Private Military Contractor: The Peacekeepers. The audience isn't given too much detail on how they operate in the civilized systems, but from the hints the characters drop, they're apparently 'contracted' by planets to keep order and inevitably end up overstaying their welcome. On Delvia, when the ruling conservative class were supposed to give up power, they instead hired the Peacekeepers, who promptly rounded up any opposition voices and liberal thinkers and sent them to penal colonies.
Promise Me You Won't X: After getting free from Salis, Chiana sneaks into the captive Rygel's quarters and smothers his mouth with a pillow. She offers Rygel a deal: She'll untie his hands and release him, so long as as he promises not to activate his comm and yell for help. ..It's not Chiana's fault, she hasn't known him very long.
Proud Warrior Race: The Luxans are an interesting case. While this and Warrior Poet tendencies are firmly entrenched in their culture, D'argo aspired to be a farmer after a relatively brief military career in his youth. Another Luxan we saw was a diplomat sent to negotiate with the Peacekeepers. However, The Peacekeeper Wars plays this straight with an elite Luxan commando unit.
Although, it was probably the unjust imprisonment and subsequent time as a fugitive that made D'Argo long for the quiet life moreso than his time in the military.
Puny Earthlings: Humans are apparently the least-advanced species in all of creation, a fact which John's crewmates never tire of pointing out to him. Even the most humanlike or least-physically capable alien has superhuman eyesight. Of course at least once this leads to Disability Superpower, and some of the aliens' "advantages" are double-sided.
Pilot: I'm only judging on my experience with you, but I've never seen such a deficient species.
Crichton: Have you run the scan on the pulsar light yet?
Pilot: How do humans make it through a cycle, even half a cycle without killing each other?
Crichton:(getting agitated) We find it difficult— have you run the scan?
Pilot: You have no special abilities. You're not particularly smart, can hardly smell, can barely see, and you're not even vaguely physically or spiritually imposing. Is there anything you do well?
Putting on the Reich: The Peacekeepers' standard is a variation of El Lizzitsky's Smash the Whites With the Red Wedge, a Soviet propaganda poster. Beyond its distinctive red, white, and black aesthetic, the insignia is used in banners and murals throughout the show, drawing a clear comparison to the swastika.
The Peacekeepers wear black and red leather, extol the virtues of collectivism, and treat all species other than themselves as inferior. However, they are not monolithic, and some Peacekeepers (especially several hundred years in the past in the episode "Different Destinations," and during the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries) are shown as heroic, even cooperating with other species against the Scarrans.
They're also mentioned several times as emphasizing genetic and cultural purity... so much so that the punishment for "irreversible contamination" (spending too much time with hostile aliens) is death. Somewhat of a subversion though, as it appears this is more PR for the lower ranks; Scorpius was accepted after demonstrating his loyalty, despite being bred and raised by the Peacekeepers' number one enemies, and Grayza has at least some alien biotechnology inside her.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: When John doesn't see much difference between genocidal, authoritarian Peacekeepers and genocidal, authoritarian Scarrans, Scorpius vows to "show you the difference." What he shows as proof is a Scarran raping a Sebacean as part of a genetic experiment.
The Peacekeepers, thanks to Commandant Grayza, surrender that moral high ground in the beginning of season four.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Following the fake beard Ben Browder wore in "Jeremiah Crichton", several fans complained when Crichton again sported a beard in "Crichton Kicks", claiming that it looked even faker than the one in the former episode. Ben Browder genuinely did grow a beard for the latter episode.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "My Three Crichtons", John gives the evolved Future-Crichton this speech, wondering how Humans could ever end up so cold and without compassion, willing to sacrifice innocents in order to save his own ass. Future-Crichton points out that earlier John was perfectly willing to do just that to the Caveman-Crichton version.
John also gives himself this speech at the end, pointing out that the Caveman-Crichton performing the Heroic Sacrifice without thinking was something that he should have be able to do, wondering how the least developed one was able to be the one who was the better man in the end.
Crais delivers one to Scorpius during the third season finale, calling Scorpius the worst kind of Peacekeeper because he joined voluntarily rather than being born or conscripted into it.
Redemption Equals Death: Sikozu in the comics. It is that act which makes Aeryn change her opinion about her. Talyn and Crais also have a memorable redemptive-death sequence in the third-season episode "Lambs to the Slaughter, Part II: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing."
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Delvian priests ordinarily lose grip on their sanity after committing an act of murder. This is shown by their irises turning blood-red, as part of "tissue bile" migrating to their brains. Of course, Delvians can also succumb to madness if they are starved for too long, producing a similar red-eyed effect.
M'Lee's 'bubbles' glow red when she loses control of her hunger, along with spikes protruding all over her body (indicative of her Venus flytrap-like nature).
Jool's normally blonde-ish hair turns bright red when she's either a) scared or nervous, or b) really pissed off. It stays permanently red following the crew's infiltration of Scorpius' Command Carrier - it can reasonably be assumed this is due to the stress of the event.
Reset Button: In Season 3, Crichton is split into two equal and identical versions of himself, one remaining on Moya and the other going with Talyn. One of these Crichtons wins Aeryn's heart, gets Harvey permanently removed from his mind, and unlocks the full secrets of wormhole technology. Since that's pretty much everything Crichton wants out of life, and the series isn't close to finished yet, he makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Aeryn and the rest of Talyn's crew from a Scarran dreadnaught.
Restraining Bolt: Crichton's "neural chip", implanted by Scorpius during his time in the Aurora Chair. Crichton now involuntarily shares his brain with a "mental clone" of Scorpius, whom he dubs "Harvey". John mostly manages to suppress and even befriend Harvey, although their relationship is complicated. One of Harvey's goals is to keep John alive for Scorpius, but another is to restrain John from attacking Scorpius.
The Peacekeepers keep control of Leviathans (such as Moya) by fitting them with a 'Control Collar' to establish complete control over both the ship and its Pilot. It also prevents the Leviathans from using their starburst ability to escape custody. Pilot manages to shake off his collar in the first episode.
Relationship Reset Button: Aeryn and Crichton in the third season, when Crichton gets twinned and then the twin that Aeryn falls for dies.
Roadrunner Vs Coyote: In "Revenging Angel," when D'Argo goes into hyper-rage and puts Crichton into a Convenient Coma, Crichton hallucinates that D'Argo is pursuing him through a desert, Wile E. Coyote-style.
Robot Girl: Sikozu is a "bioloid", which is a kind of android employed by the Scarrans. She is more of an Artificial Human than other bioloids that appear in the series, however.
Rock Beats Laser: "I Shrink, Therefore, I Am". Used literally in "Lava's a Many Splendored Thing", where the mooks have shield belts that deflect pulse blasts. Let's just say that they do not deflect rocks. Or lava.
Rock-Paper-Scissors: Frequently used to solve disputes between Crichton and D'Argo. Lampshaded when the "twinned" Crichtons are trying to prove which of them is "real":
Aeryn: How is he doing?
Rygel: Still tied.
And then used to show that they really are the same, despite their different experiences, when they both throw "scissors" several episodes later after they've been separated.
Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Subverted and played straight. Essentially, while most aliens are just humans with make-up, it's done a hell of a lot better than just about anything you'll see out of Star Trek, which means that (a) they look like people, but (b) they look a lot more exotic.
Further subverted since a fair few one-shot characters and two of the show's leads are animatronic puppets.
Stark's babbling of "My side, your side." It starts when John first meets Stark after having been captured by Scorpius, and Stark begins babbling about splitting their shared cell into "my side, your side, my side, YOUR SIDE!" As Stark leaves Moya after being rescued, the gag doesn't become a proper running gag until after his ressurection almost a season later; when he does get into the habit, he uses it almost whenever he's under stress- when trying to keep John away from a control panel, when seperating a group of arguing bounty hunters, even when having to share a room with Rygel.
Sadistic Choice: The "Cake or Death" option given to Moya's original female pilot.
Sapient Ship: Moya is a living biological ship who communicate through their bonded pilots. Talyn, as a hybrid, does not need a pilot to communicate. Instead, he has a direct neural link that can be used by any species (presumably.)
Samus Is a Girl: Stanz is a triumphant example, as she's played by a male actor who appears male until the very end. Early on Zhaan remarks that she seems to be missing something expected of a bipedal anthropoid (assuming her to be male) in the crotch region, but it isn't revealed until the very end of the episode when she asks D'Argo to be her "mate" and travel the stars with her. It isn't until she clarifies that she's in love with D'Argo that it's revealed that she's actually a female of her species.
In the Pilot, Crichton's reaction to finding out that the Peacekeeper he's locked in a cage with (Aeryn) is human-looking, female, and hot.
Sanity Slippage: John, definitely (the fight for his sanity becomes an integral part of some episodes and story arcs), Aeryn occasionally (mostly during season 4 with the Scarran's Hot Blooded Torture)
Say My Name: In possibly the most poignant moment of "The Choice", Aeryn cries out "CRICHTON!!" from her balcony of her hotel room.
Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Peacekeepers start out at this and A Nazi by Any Other Name. They are extremely racist, wear lots of black leather, and basically sell their security services to other civilizations as a prelude to a military takeover of those planets' governments. Over time they are conceded more diversity. By the time of The Peacekeeper Wars miniseries, some of them are portrayed as heroic. It's also implied in the series, and shown in a Time Travel episode, that Peacekeepers in the past were much more noble than the thuggish mercenaries of the series' time.
Science Hero: Crichton, who is a brilliant astrophysicist and engineer.
Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: In "Premiere", Crais' Command Carrier was closing with our heroes, and Aeryn says the effective range of their weapons is 45 metras. One metra is about a kilometer. The Peacekeeper space ship's weapons are shorter ranged than the 20th century Phoenix air-to-air missile.
Screwed by the Network: When Sci-Fi renewed the series for a fourth season, a fifth season was also apart of the deal. However, the fifth season never materialized - much to the outrage of fans and critics. The supposed justification was declining ratings, which suffered due to the network changing timeslots in the fourth season. While simply backing out of the deal was bad enough, what really enraged people was that Sci-Fi made and announced its decision with only days to go before the last episode wrapped - leaving production no chance to even attempt wrapping up the series.
Crichton surrenders to Scorpius in "Liars Guns And Money" and tolerates the situation up until one of his Happy Places is invaded, whereupon he mutters "screw this," and walks away... only to get a knife to the back of his neck.
"Into The Lion's Den" has him working for Scorpius to ensure the success of his wormhole project: a few hours later, Crichton attempts to back out, whereupon Scorpius hammers his head against a desk and threatens to destroy Earth.
A minor and non-Scorpius-related version occurs in "Jeremiah Crichton" when John decides he's had enough of life on Moya and runs off in his module. He is promptly abandoned (though accidentally) and is demonstrably upset when they finally return for him, since he never intended to leave for real.
Scylla and Charybdis: Crichton invokes this in the first season finale. He is riding with D'Argo on a transport pod filled with explosives aimed at the Gammak Base on an oiled covered moon. If Scorpius lets them hit the base, all the research and material he has collected on wormholes will be lost. If he blows up the pod, he saves the base but loses John with the hidden information inside him. Scorpius is furious but allows the base to be destroyed guessing John would have some means of escaping and then capture him later.
Prophetic Name: In Mesopotamian mythology, Namtar was a God of death, much like our modern concept of the grim reaper.
Seize Them!: Unluckily for John, Scorpius sees right through his disguise in their first encounter.
Self-Made Orphan: Tahleen psychically murders her father, Tuzak, to remove a potential opposing voice to her leadership.
Series Goal: Crichton wants to get back to Earth. Subverted when he finally does, but then realizes he no longer fits in there. He decides to leave again because his presence brings danger to the Earth. He tries to give humanity hope by putting his detailed notes on alien technology on the moon, though.
Significant Monogram: John Crichton. His "father" gave him powers, he tries to use these powers for peace, people hate him (except for those loyal followers).
Shipper on Deck: In perhaps the weirdest example ever, early on in season 3 Talyn continuously tries to antagonise John and contrive more and more situations where Crais and Aeryn are alone together, going even as far as making a fake video of Aeryn and Crais hooking up just to piss John off. And he does weird things to the heat in whatever room those two happen to be in. YMMV whether this is just Talyn being an angsty teen who doesn't want John getting anywhere near his adopted aunt, or really is him trying to get them together.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: "...Different Destinations". They travel back in time and make everything worse, at first changing the future of the planet to a war-torn hellhole, then to a lifeless rock, and finally getting rid of the planet entirely. They sort of fix things by killing a bunch of people, but then it's revealed that due to all their meddling, there were no survivors. Not to mention a bit of Fridge Horror, which is that they'll eventually forget it ever happened due to time travel.
Shout-Out: All OVER the place. Listing every single instance would be difficult to accomplish here, but The BBCepisode guide lists pop culture references for every episode.
Sick and Wrong: In the episode "Won't Get Fooled Again," Crichton is trapped in a fantasy by a Scarran Mind Probe which subjects him to increasingly humiliating stimuli. by the end, nearly ever character (male and female) is dressing up in fetish-wear or fawning over him as he (unsuccessfully) denies that he's had sexual thoughts about any of them. Just when you think it can't get any more uncomfortable, Rygel appears wearing a leather mask and wielding a whip, hissing like Hannibal Lecter.
Which is tame compared to the hallucination of his nightie-clad (and dead) mother hitting on him.
Single Tear: Used often with Zhaan, as Virginia Hey is quite adept at squirting out tears on command. Also used with Aeryn quite often, save for the occasions where she's truly, deeply grief-stricken.
Slow Motion Drop: In "DNA Mad Scientist", Crichton smacks a booby-trapped navigation crystal out of Rygel's mitts, sending it flying to the ground with a smash.
Smarter Than You Look: Anyone who meets Crichton has trouble deciding whether or not this is true of him. Even Maldis isn't sure.
Smug Snake: Commandant Grayza, and also Prince Clavor from the "Look At The Princess" trilogy.
Snicket Warning Label: The series finale, which was originally meant to be an end-of-season cliffhanger. It was oh so beautiful, and then hero gibs, D'Argo's screams, and end credits. Of course ''The Peacekeeper Wars" did mitigate the effect, but, when the episode aired, for all we knew it was the final word on the series.
Sniff Sniff Nom: In "Constellation of Doubt", Chiana is filmed chomping on a tube of lipstick.
Someone's Touching My Butt: Rygel and Chiana are locked in an airtight tube while the air is purged from the ship; naturally the lecherous Rygel uses this as a chance for some groping.
Stable Time Loop: Crichton mentions that he lost his virginity to girl named Karen Shaw. In reality, "Karen" was a time-traveling Chiana whom he met in the fall of 1985. John mishears her name after she turns the volume on his truck's stereo way up. She then exclaims "She-yaaw!" while playing with the cigarette lighter, which John interprets as her surname, "Shaw".
Starfish Aliens: Several. Pilot is, in at least one way, a literal example. The use of Muppets allows some really strange aliens.
Starfish Language: Several. Pilot's language was so incredibly complex that he had to simplify his speech in order for Translator Microbes to work. When their native language was shown, most of the main cast of aliens produced sounds that weren't anything like the sound of familiar languages on Earth, like D'Argo hissing or Rygel's froggish speech.
Speaking Simlish: The Sebecean language, as heard by someone without translator microbes. Notably, when the script called for her to speak in native Sebacean, Aeryn's dialogue sounds like it's looped backwards through a tape recorder (although that's actually just a trick that Claudia Black can do with her tongue). It very effectively reminded the audience that while Aeryn may look human, she is not.
Stock Footage: Taken to something of an artform by the production staff. By the end of its run something like 10% of the series was recycled footage from previous episodes. It was usually done intelligently and fit in with the episode it was used in, and overall turned out incredibly well, especially since the savings allowed them to produce some of the most elaborate season finales ever made for any show on television.
Probably the most recognizable examples would be the shots of Moya entering and exiting Starburst. Those same two clips are used in just about every other episode.
Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: John Crichton, when faced with enemies that want him alive. "Get back or the white boy gets it!" (He's holding himself hostage with his finger, and he moments later remarks that they're so stupid.) This is a direct reference, of course, to Blazing Saddles.
Sympathy for the Devil: John for Scorpius (particularly through the end of Season 3, when he eventually realizes that Scorpius does not care about anything except getting revenge on the Scarrans and stopping them from taking over the galaxy. Finding out just why Scorpius despises the Scarrens so much helps, too.
Team Dad: Crichton and D'Argo both share this role (once Character Development kicks in), particularly towards Chiana and Jool. Eventually, D'Argo's role as this was cemented in Season 4, when he was elected Captain of Moya.
Team Mom: Zhaan. Always the first to comfort, always the first to encourage reconciliation, and always the first (and scariest) to go all Mama Bear on anyone that threatens the rest of the crew. She especially became a mother figure to Chiana, and it's easy enough when she says "that child" in reference to Chiana to substitute "my child". Probably highlighted the most in one episode where John, facing death and in a situation where many men would instinctively shout for their mothers, screams "Zhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!"
Techno Babble: averted a lot of the time. The few times it's thrown in, it's either a) to describe a device or material that has no real-world equivalent, or b) to describe a scientific process. When they do use b) it's actually pretty comprehensible and makes sense either in-universe or with reference to real-universe ideas/concepts. If it's a) you're probably not going to understand it. The few times it is incomprehensible though, Crichton lampshades it or it's deconstructed. Sometimes an explanation or an idea will seem a bit like technobabble in how it is exposited but it will make complete sense, and will be well integrated into the universe context. An example early on in season 3, after Pathfinder Neeyala has spouted some standard technobabble.
Aeryn: Did you understand any of those words?
John: Well, yeah, I watched all kinds of Star trek, It's just the order I didn't get.
They Would Cut You Up: Played straight in "A Human Reaction" with Rygel's vivisection; subverted when it turns out to be a Hidden Purpose Test to see how Crichton's species might react to having aliens among them.
Third Person Flashback: As Bialar Crais was forced to recall events on the memory probing chair operated by Scorpius, the screen shows Caris snapping the commander's neck.
Threat Backfire: Crais tries uses the I Have Your Wife tactic to muscle Crichton into cooperating with Scorpius's mind probe. Unluckily for him, Crais doesn't know that Aeryn is incapacitated and dying. When Crais claims to have recaptured Moya and her crew, John asks if his friends are all "in perfect health"; Crais affirms it, exposing his lie.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: D'argo at one point throws his sword and impales a Peacekeeper mook through the heart at impressive range for such a heavy blade that was by no means designed for throwing.
Lampshaded in a way by D'Argo, who claimed he actually missed what he was aiming at. The sword buried itself in the center of the target's chest. He was aiming for between the eyes.
Title Drop: Happens in several episodes, especially as the seasons go by, but not all of them.
Toilet Humour: In Season 3, D'Argo gains a ship that can only be operated if it is in contact with Luxan DNA. But D'Argo isn't always around when they need to use it. Anddd this trope description is stopping right here.
Too Kinky to Torture: NamTar can easily switch his nerve receptors from transmitting pain to pleasure, so that interrogating him won't get you very far. Moreover, blowing a hole through him with a pulse pistol has little effect, as his Healing Factor allows him to repair himself (and his outfit) instantly - and he seems to enjoy this a little too much, as well.
Scorpius is a pretty obvious example of this as well- to the point that on the rare occasions he ends up being tortured, his captors have to work hard to find a form of torture he doesn't enjoy.
Tomato Surprise: The revelation that the Ancients secretly gave Crichton wormhole knowledge completely changes the status quo of the series. And wouldn't you know it? At about when viewers first learn that, an off-screen event takes place that leads to another surprise revelation: Scorpius implanting a neuro-chip with a neuro-clone into Crichton's brain to extract the information. Unlike the first revelation, the writers had more time to hint at the second one - possibly attempting to mislead viewers into thinking Crichton may just be losing his mind.
A lesser surprise concerns Karen Shaw. Crichton alluded to her a few times as the girl he lost his virginity to. In the Season 4 episode, "Kansas," Karen Shaw is revealed to be Chiana, who a young Crichton thought was just going to a Halloween costume party.
Took a Level in Badass: John Crichton takes multiple levels of badass over four seasons: he starts out as a clueless nerd, and by series end is so badass he manages to intimidate two entire galactic empires into leaving him the frell alone by threatening to wipe out the universe. THE ENTIRE FREAKING UNIVERSE! And what makes it Badass is he can absolutely pull it off.
The following Crichton quotes illustrate his progression over the course of the series perfectly:
(in season 1): "I wish you people would stop pointing guns at me!"
(in season 3): "I have got to stop pointing guns at people."
(in season 4): (to himself) "Either stop pointing guns at people or get a bigger gun."
Jool, who starts off opposed to violence (given that her culture frowns upon it), also does this towards the end of Season 3, and most notably during the "What Was Lost" two-parter in Season 4.
Toplessness from the Back: Zhaan in the pilot, Chiana in "Look at the Princess, Part II: I Do, I Think" and "Sons and Lovers," and Sikozu in "The Perfect Murder."
Torture Technician: Well, let's see, there Scorpius, Grayza, Crais (for a time), almost every single Scarran... nearly every single character who isn't part of Moya's crew will bring out a pair of shackles and a whip at some point. you will wonder if there's a reason for that... Rygel also gets in on the action, torturing several villainous characters during the series and even threatening to torture Aeryn at one point. Hell, at one point, Talyn actually goes so far as to torture Crais by means of their mental connection.
Trauma Conga Line: To list all the things the writers put him through would take waaay too long, but the highlights include brutal torture both physical and mental, being controlled by a neural clone and forced to kill the love of his life, being cloned only to have his resurrected lover fall in love with the OTHER John and take off with her, having the other John die and her abandon him, having her come back with his worst enemy, the man responsible for the torture and the neural clone, and being raped. And that's not even touching on all the things he's been forced to do in order to survive all of the above. Really, this trope could be NAMED for John Crichton.
Tron Lines: The special effect used for Starburst.
Trope Overdosed: Click on 'related pages' and say goodbye to your free time.
Trojan Prisoner: While posing as a Peacekeeper Captain, Crichton manages to smuggle Chiana onto a secret research outpost by passing her off as a high-class hooker.
True Companions: A really dysfunctional example. The crew of Moya may not like each other, and occasionally stab one another in the back, but at the end of the day, they depend on each other for survival, creating a strong bond between them. This trope eventually gets played more straight among the longer-standing crew members.
Trust Password: In "Back and Back and Back to the Future", Crichton proves to D'Argo that he's glimpsed the future and knows Matala is plotting to kill them all. He does this by divulging something about D'Argo that no one is supposed to know: That D'Argo lied about why he was imprisoned by the Peacekeepers (As viewers will later learn, D'Argo was framed for the death of his wife).
Tv Tropes Will Ruin Your Vocabulary: And so will this show. Seriously, just try watching all four seasons in one go and then watch with increasing annoyance as you interchange 'fuck' with 'frell' in real life.
Two-Keyed Lock: In "That Old Black Magic", Crais and Lieutenant Teeg both insert hands into a pair of palm-shaped readers on a computer.
Underestimating Badassery: His enemies (and even his friends) frequently forget that Crichton is both a brilliant astrophysicist and talented engineer.
The Unreveal: It is left deliberately ambiguous as to who killed Salis: Chiana or Durka.
The Universe Is Not Ready: For wormholes. Einstein insists repeatedly to John that he cannot create a wormhole weapon; when John inquires about this, Einstein's answer is very simply, "You cannot."
Unstoppable Rage: Inverted with Crais. John, remembering that Sebeceans aren't too fond of fire, blocks Crais' pursuit by tossing a torch into a chasm behind him, setting it aflame. As expected, Crais shrinks away from the heat. Maldis then pops back into reality to get Crais worked up again: He conjures up a vision of Crais' late brother, Tauvo, then reenacts his death at the hands of Crichton. Tauvo explodes into flame, his flesh melting and collapsing into a smoking corpse. His hatred refueled, Crais clears the flaming pit in a single bound, and the chase is back on.
Unusual User Interface: Moya's control panels and how Pilot and Moya cooperate: both are physically bonded and share nervous tissue and nutrients!
The Unfettered: Scorpius. He will do absolutely anything to achieve his goals, and while accepting the immorality (or amorality) of what he's done, he never apologizes for it.
Unrealistic Black Hole: Averted (sort of) in "Back and Back and Back to the Future". An Illanic scientist, Verell, captures a fragment of a black hole, intending to compartmentalize it as a weapon. His assistant, Matala, steals the briefcase containing the weapon; with his dying breath, Verell activates the singularity via remote control, crushing both Matala and the Scorvians' ships into absolute nothingness. As a caveat, however, the black hole looks like a discotheque strobe light.
Crichton: Y'know, big guy, I think I'd better give you two a little time alone here. 'Cause you know, in a universe this vast, when two hearts collide...
D'Argo: Shut up.
Unwanted False Faith: Played with. One of Rigel's predecessors purposely isolated a colony to ingrain loyalty to his line as a sovereign, which he's confused by but fine with the result. However, in the time before the crew stumbles onto them the local priest class had intentionally perverted it into a full-on messianic cult to increase their own power, which he immediately tries to dispel.
Vapor Trail: With the Intellant-Virus controlling him, Larraq attempts to escape Moya in his crew's Marauder, whereupon it will dock at a Peacekeeper base and then go on to contaminate thousands. However, there's one thing the Virus has overlooked: the fuel leak which necessitated the ship's docking in the first place! Quick thinking by John results in Moya entering Starburst, which ignites the trail of fuel and destroys Larraq's ship.
Vichy Earth: One of Einstein's "Unrealized Realities", as glimpsed by Crichton. Earth has long since been conquered by the Scarrans, who interbred freely with the locals during their "shore leave." The result is a species of human-Scarran hybrids with a longer lifespan, but virtually no personal freedom; everyone (including Crichton) wears tracker bracelets on their wrists, and humans are forbidden from exploring space.
Voices Are Mental: Zigzagged in "Out of Their Minds". In the first scene, it appears as if the trope will be played straight - the voices of the character are overlaid on the voices of the actor, to make it clear who is who. Once the action gets rolling, the voices are clearly being done by the actors rather than overdubbed, however they make a great show of copying speech patterns and altering vocal tones to keep it obvious what's going on. This switches again midway through the episode when everyone jumps bodies once more, but ultimately ends up subverted.
At least one of the Corlatas working for Xhalax's retrieval squad was capable of shapeshifting, and used it to Kill and Replace a member of the Kanvian royal family.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Puke all over the place in Farscape. There is barely a main character who hasn't vomited on-camera, including Moya (in the Strange Detractors comic, at least).
This is played for laughs in "Through the Looking Glass", in which the harsh red glow of the 'alternate' Moya causes Crichton to continually retch. It gets to the point where D'Argo is hustling him out just so he won't have to watch him spew any more.
In "Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part 1", Moya is knocked headlong into a wormhole following a collision with another ship, and as such, Moya's symbiotic pilot is in considerable pain. When D'argo and Stark actually ask him how he feels, Pilot opens his mouth to speak and instead spews epic levels of pea-soup vomit all over them. The expression on poor Stark's vomit-splattered face has to be seen to be believed.
D'Argo: I had no idea he could do that.
Stark:(revolted) I had no idea anyone could do that!
While not up to Pilot or Rygel's levels, Scorpius would often spurt out truley epic levels of bodily fluid to signify he was injured or in pain.
Can't forget "Lava's a Many-Splendored Thing". Noranti feeds the hungry crew a "restorative" that makes them all...a bit nauseous. This turns out to be fortunate as Lo'La cannot be operated without D'Argo's DNA and D'Argo is away for plot-related reasons.
We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Rygel XVI, deposed Dominar of the (galaxy-spanning) Hynerian Empire, makes frequent references to servants and slaves in his royal court. Humorously, when visiting Earth, he states that if humans are to be remembered for anything, it will be for the quality of our manual labor.
Stark's species, The Baniks, are referred to as an entire race of slaves. Farscape' also raises the interesting question of whether Living Ships, particularly sentient ones, count as manual labor...
The Sykarans have all been reduced to slaves by the Peacekeepers, planting and harvesting "tannot root" for refinement into gun ammunition (Chakran Oil). The locals are fed a steady diet of the root, which has the added property of keeping them pliable.
Weakened by the Light: Crichton feebly bandages his eyes to protect them from the nausea-inducing light of the "red" Moya (Though the Looking Glass"), but quickly gives up. D'Argo follows suit by donning a welding helmet, which according to him results in a big improvement. "I only retch once in a while now."
Subverted in "Crackers Don't Matter". John (and humanity in general) has vastly inferior eyesight to the rest of Moya's crew, so the light causing violent paranoia in the rest of them makes John merely irritable- up until Chiana knees him in the groin, and his hallucinations start coming to life. However, John is still able to recover his sanity before the fight with Aeryn.
Weaksauce Weakness: Sebaceans can't process heat nearly as well as humans can. Prolonged exposure will rapidly lead to heat delirium: loss of short-term memory, motor functions, long-term memory... the final stage of heat delirium is colloquially referred to as "living death" (a permanent catatonic state)- the only situation in which Peacekeepers kill their own out of mercy.
Just to add to the suck factor, the Peacekeepers' worst enemies, the Scarrans, can project beams of solid heat. That's pretty unlucky.
Scorpius being a Sebacean/Scarran hybrid means he inherited both the weakness to heat and the Scarran's intense body temperature, making this weakness a whole lot worse. He's only able to survive by wearing a specially made gimp suit refrigeration suit, complete with cooling rods inserted directly into his brain.
Weapon of Mass Destruction: Wormholes, and how! They produce Apocalypses in two delightful flavors. Low setting: point one end at an enemy dreadnaught or planet. Poke other end into star. Result: portable, localized and directedsupernova. That not enough for you? Okay. Poke one into itself. Result:
Crichton: Okay boys and girls, here are the rules. Find a penny, pick it up. Double it, you've got two pennies. Double it again: four. Double it 27 more times, and you've got a million dollars and the IRS all over your ass. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows, but it all adds up... quick. ...It eats the whole universe, a monumental black hole, a giant whirling headstone marking the spot where we all used to live and play and slaughter the innocent.
Weirdness Magnet: The whole crew of Moya, basically. They can't even stop for drinking water without one of them being turned into a Manchurian Agent. They stop on a random, lifeless planet and it turns out to be home to an arms cache that's being robbed. When they go on vacation, the women get abducted by a drug dealer who wants to drain their bodily fluids to make Space Ecstasy.
Tahleen, a Delvian sect leader honing the psychic abilities of her followers for use against the Peacekeepers. It's a noble goal, but Tahleen's prepared to do anything to accomplish it- including pulling a Mind Rape on Zhaan and murdering her own father as a dissenting voice.
WHAM Episode: "Nerve" is essential for many reasons. Most importantly, it revises the events of a previous episode ("A Human Reaction") and reveals that "Jack" the Ancient has implanted wormhole equations in Crichton's brain, setting off the series' primary Myth Arc. Stark and Scorpius make their first appearances. The dynamics of various characters, most notably Crais, are upset over the course of the two-parter. Lastly, this episode is widely credited for Farscape'sGrowing the Beard, as the series becomes less episodic from this point onward.
What Could Have Been: Obviously, the never produced Season 5. The Peacekeeper Wars summarizes the basic arc that the season would've been. Among the stand-alone ideas that have surfaced was a two-part time travel story to be co-written by Ben Browder.
Paul Goddard (Stark) auditioned to play Scorpius.
The series was originally pitched to FOX in 1991. (The series was, in fact, repeatedly rejected before being picked up Sci-Fi Channel, but Brian Henson loved it and pushed it whenever the opportunity arose.)
Originally, D'argo was envisioned as a much older character, a robot would have been part of Moya's crew, Zhaan was a Buddha-like male, and the Peacekeepers were formless, smoke-like creatures in humanoid armor. Moya's design also changed considerably several times.
What Do You Mean, It's Phlebotinum?: In "I.E.T.", Crichton frantically searches for a chemical compound which can be used as medicine for Moya. It turns out to be the local equivalent of salt on the planet on which they've landed.
The comics add to this: Who hired Roiin? It's built up as a Pretty Important Thing (even devoting a whole Unrealized Reality and two story arcs to it), but is dropped altogether when his Punch Clock Villain status comes into play.
Crichton gives himself one in "My Three Crichtons," after he was prepared to let his more primitive self die simply because he saw him as stupid. Chiana also gives him down the road, for the same reason.
Sikozu's reaction to the crew's abandonment of an unsavory ally in "We're So Screwed, Part II: Hot to Katratzi."
Scorpius, of all people, calls out Crichton for breaking a blood oath in "We're So Screwed, Part III: La Bomba."
In the first season episode "DNA Mad Scientist," Aeryn gives D'Argo, Zhaan and Rygel an earful for slicing off one of Pilot's arms in order to buy a star map from a Mad Scientist.
In "Vitas Mortis," Crichton lets D'Argo have it for tolerating a lover who's siphoning off Moya's life force.
D'Argo is quick to call Crichton out whenever he thinks his quest for wormhole technology is dangerous or selfish; Crichton will usually counter by bringing up the time that D'Argo cut off one of Pilot's arms in exchange for a starchart home, or the time D'Argo put the entire crew in danger in his attempt to rescue Jothee. Appropriately enough, the only time Crichton has no real reply for the condemnation is during "Self-Inflicted Wounds," when he was so eager to access the data in the Pathfinder ship, he almost let Neeyala convince him to abandon Moya and Pilot to their deaths.
Pilot's reaction to Crichton's willingness to create a wormhole weapon in the miniseries.
Crichton's reaction to his own participation in Stark's Mind Rape (albeit that it was to save the galaxy) in "The Peacekeeper Wars."
Who's Your Daddy?: Alluded to during Crichton's visions of married life with a now-pregnant Aeryn. In the dream world, Crichton is anxiety-ridden about his wife's not-so-subtle dalliances with other men.
Crichton: (about the baby) Maybe it's not mine at all.
Dream Aeryn: You just won't let that rest, will you?
Crichton: Nah, maybe it's got a little pony tail and a teeny tiny goatee.
Dream Aeryn: Maybe.
Crichton: Maybe there's half a metal face on it.
Dream Aeryn: Maybe.
Crichton: Maybe it's a royal pain in the ass, eats all the time and farts a lot.
Dream Aeryn: Then we'll know it's yours.
Whole Episode Flashback: "Dream a Little Dream", which was originally produced as the Season 2 premiere episode, but later pushed to later in the season, with some framing scenes added to make the main story a flashback.
Scratch 'N Sniff from the third season, as told by a drunken Crighton as Pilot occasionally interjects with some disbelieving snark.
With Friends Like These...: The crew of Moya frequently try to kill each other or screw each other over for one reason or another.
This was even the subtitle of one multi-part episode...
"With Our Swords" Scene: In "Crackers Don't Matter", John is the only member of the crew who isn't incapacitated by an alien who has altered the bioluminescence on Moya (due to his comparatively poor eyesight). His crewmates each give him items to prepare him for the confrontation with T'raltrixx -— including D'argo giving him his sword, and Zhaan pasting Crichton's face with some light-reflecting vomit. They all take a look at the finished product, and he resembles some tacky, failed superhero. Aeryn says they're going to die.
The Worf Effect: Ka D'Argo suffers from this very badly. He is disarmed with embarrassing regularity, despite being the most physically imposing member of the main cast. Out of the initial four episodes, he loses at least three fights, and the third episode is mostly about Crichton figuring out a way to keep him from getting his ass kicked by a woman.
Justified in that it's established within those first four episodes that D'Argo is the Luxan equivalent of a teenager, and not nearly as experienced in combat as he claims to be. Retroactively justified further when it's revealed that he'd much rather be a farmer than a soldier.
Also the rank his tattoo states is false, but he had it done in order to save his injured commanding officer.
The World Is Not Ready: The introduction in Series 3 lampshades this, with Crichton wondering whether Earth deserves to know the nightmares of the universe, compared to all of it's wonders. Likewise, it's later implied the reason why Crichton makes the decision to leave Earth in Series 4 is because he recognizes they have a long way to go before they can face what's out there.
Worthy Opponent: After hours of menacing Moya's crew ("PK Tech Girl"), Teurac decides to cut his losses and leave. Though he realizes that D'Argo's claims of having an entire troop of Luxan warriors on-board was all a lie, he concedes that there is nothing shameful in losing to a clever opponent.
Teurac: You had nothing. ...But you used it well."
Yank the Dog's Chain: Happens to Crichton all the time, both in his quest to get home and his relationship with Aeryn.
Year Inside, Hour Outside: In "Through the Looking Glass", John enters the realm of the Inter-Dimensional Entity in order to persuade it that Moya's crew pose no harm. When John pops back out of the rift, Zhann and Rygel comment that he barely stuck his head in before reappearing, meaning there was no time for him to have a conversation.
Happens again in "The Locket," where the ratio is eight hours on the inside to every 50 years on the outside.
You Can't Go Home Again: Subverted. Crichton does eventually make it home, but is so utterly disillusioned with all the post-9/11 paranoia, military protocol and lack of understanding that he decides to leave again — saving Earth at the end of the series, but having finally made up his mind that it is no longer his home. He does, however, leave his notes on the moon, containing technical information he was recording the entire series giving Earth a chance to uplift itself.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Froy, one of Scorpius' nurses, has blue hair and piercing blue eyes to match, an unusual trait for a Sebacean.
You Have Failed Me: When the first attempt at manned wormhole travel leaves the pilot in a condition to be collected with a sponge, Scorpius forces the subordinate who pushed for the test to take his place.
Tahleen's goal is to absorb Zhaan's mental barriers on her destructive impluses. As the sole Delvian Pa'u who ever killed anybody and regained their sanity, Zhaan could potentially propagate a whole army of Delvian Priests able to use their psychic abilities as a weapon, but Zhaan doesn't want to do this- so Tahleen decides to steal her self-control.
Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: The look on Zhaan's face when Bekhesh leaves with the words "Farewell, my friends! Thank you for teaching me to kill again!" is priceless.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Almost a signature trope of the show. Get towards the end of seasons two, three and four and you'll get an epic two- or three-parter, with gunfights, explosions and baddies galore, the heroes pulling off some ridiculous stunt, escaping by the skin of their teeth... and then you'll hit the season finale with it's obligatory Tear Jerker and Cliffhanger.
Moreover, about halfway through each two, three, or four parter, once escaping with whatever they went for, they usually discover someone got left behind, or some new complication has presented itself and they must now formulate a new plan, often to break back into the very place they just escaped from to retrieve whatever new goal they must.
Done within those long story arcs too. Going into season four's epic three-parter, the big objective seems to be to rescue Aeryn from the Scarrans. "We're So Screwed, part 1"? They rescue Aeryn from the Scarrans, and as a bonus, they get rid of Scorpius too. Seems like a brilliant ending for our heroes... until Harvey shows up in the last two minutes to make things even more complicated.