Franchise / Resident Evil

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"Do you mind? I'm trying to eat here."

Resident Evil (known in Japan as Biohazard) is a Survival Horror and science fiction video game series. It has since branched off to become a media franchise consisting of comic books, novelizations, a live-action film series, and a variety of collectibles (including action figures, strategy guides, and publications). Developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami, the series has sold 34.5 million games as of February 27, 2008.

The premise of the original Resident Evil was that the Umbrella Corporation was conducting sinister experiments in a mansion outside of the "Midwestern" town of Raccoon City, and a team of SWAT-like police called the Special Tactics and Rescue Service, or S.T.A.R.S., stumbles onto it in an investigation of several cannibalistic murders. Further games expanded on this premise, and it has since become one of the most successful action-horror games series of all time in addition to coining the term survival horror. This also includes two CGI films, Degeneration and Damnation, set in the same universe as the games. The latest numbered installment, Resident Evil 7: biohazard, was released in January 2017. A third CGI film, Vendetta, will also be released in 2017.

The live-action movie franchise starring Milla Jovovich is also moderately successful; it has spawned six movies, with the most recent (and supposedly last) one, The Final Chapter, to be released in 2017.

The following is a list of game titles in the series, ordered by their year of release and platforms they were released on.

The main series is comprised of:
  • Resident Evil 2 (1998, PS1)
    • Re-released for PS1 as Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock Version in 1998.
    • Ported to PC, Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 in 1999.
    • Ported to GameCube in 2003.
    • In August of 2015 Capcom announced that the Remake for Resident Evil 2, which fans had been asking for since the remake of the first game was released, was finally being made. With no announced release date yet.

Spinoffs include:

The live-action film series includes the following films:

There is also a straight-to-video CGI movie series, which are set in the continuity of the games:

Some prequel manga have also been made, some of which is canon according to Capcom.

A stage play and a musical were launched in Japan in 2015 and 2016, respectively, which are canon according to Capcom.
  • Biohazard: The Stage
  • Musical Biohazard

S.D. Perry wrote a series of novelizations for the first five games (RE-1-3, Code: Veronica and Zero), with two original novels set around the events of RE2. They have their own trope page here under Literature

  • The Umbrella Conspiracy, a novelization of Resident Evil.
  • Caliban Cove, an original novel set after the first game starring Rebecca Chambers.
  • City of the Dead, a novelization of Resident Evil 2.
  • Underworld, another original novel set after Resident Evil 2 starring Rebecca, Leon and Claire.
  • Nemesis, a novelization of Resident Evil 3.
  • Code: Veronica, a novelization of the eponymous game.
  • Zero Hour, a novelization of the Resident Evil 0.

Other media tie-ins include several separate comic books from DC's Wildstorm imprint, which include an anthology magazine (five issues, 1998-1999), the four-issue limited series Fire and Ice (2000-2001), and a six-issue limited series simply called Resident Evil (2008), a number of manhuanote , radio dramas, mobile phone games, and even a trading card game by Bandai.

The chronological order of the series goes as follows:
  • Resident Evil 0 - July 23, 1998
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles - July 23, 1998 (the Rebirth 1 scenario)
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles - The night between July 23rd and 24th (the Nightmare scenario)
  • Resident Evil - July 24, 1998
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles - After the events of Resident Evil on July 24, 1998 (the Rebirth 2 scenario)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak - September 20-October 1, 1998note 
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis - September 28, 1998 (first half)
  • Resident Evil 2 - September 29-30, 1998
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis - October 1, 1998 (second half)
  • Resident Evil: Survivor - November 1998
  • Resident Evil Code: Veronica - December 1998
  • Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles - Summer 2002 (events of Operation Javier)
  • Resident Evil: Dead Aim - September 2002
  • Biohazard Umbrella Chronicles: Prelude to the Fall - 2003 (just before the events of Operation T-A.L.O.S.)
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles - February 18, 2003 (events of Operation T-A.L.O.S.)
  • Resident Evil 4 - Autumn 2004
  • Resident Evil: Revelations - 2005
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration - November 2005
  • Resident Evil 5 - August 2006 (Lost in Nightmares), March 2009 (main story and Desperate Escape)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - 2011
  • Resident Evil: Damnation - February 2011
  • Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire - Sometime in 2012 before 6.
  • Biohazard: The Stage - Sometime in 2012 before 6.
  • Resident Evil 6 - December 2012 (first two chapters of Jake's campaign and Chapter 2 of Chris' campaign), July 2013 (rest of the story)
  • Umbrella Corps - 2015
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - 2017

The new Character Sheet is here.


This series is the Trope Namer for:


This series contains examples of:

Note: Each game in the series now has its own page, as do the films. If a trope or an example of one only applies to one game in the series, or only to the films, put it on that page.

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    # - F 
  • Abnormal Ammo: Gas, acid, flame and freeze rounds for grenade launchers.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The epilogues in RE3 implied that nearly every main character was going to join forces to stop Umbrella. The only real thing to come out of this was Claire and Chris reuniting in Code: Veronica and Leon becoming a government agent in RE4. The rest? Chris and Jill reunite offscreen, Barry's and HUNK's roles in the series were reduced to minigame cameos (until the former's return in Revelations 2), Ada Wong still used the same name and identity in subsequent appearances, Sherry is left unmentioned for the course of the entire franchise up until Resident Evil 6 where her so-awaited reunion with Claire is revealed to have happened long ago offscreen and is only briefly explained in a file, and Umbrella goes down offscreen from the stock market after Albert Wesker exposes their crimes against humanity to the public.
    • This is expanded on somewhat with Chris, Jill, and Wesker in the final scenario of The Umbrella Chronicles.
  • Action Commands: Becoming quite popular after RE4 and The Umbrella Chronicles. Especially in Press X to Not Die form.
  • Action Girl: All the playable female characters, not including Ashley and a young Sherry.
  • Actionized Sequel: The clearest example is RE4, but even RE2 had more of an emphasis on fighting than the first. RE1 gave players very little ammunition to deal with enemies, forcing players to pick their battles. RE2 on the other hand, gives you a whole lot more, to the point you could probably kill everything in the game and still have ammo left over.
  • Alliterative Name: Barry Burton, Helena Harper, Alfred, Alexia, and Alexander Ashford.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of supplemental info can be gleaned from the manuals, novels, and other associated media.
  • Always Night: For all the early games, which last through the night and end at dawn. Finally averted in 4 and 5, which both start in the daytime. The sun going down is a signal that things are about to get worse.
    • Actually averted in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It starts during the daylight hours; you just can't tell because of the camera angle and the fact that half the city is on fire, so the sky is filled with smoke.
    • During Claire's final part in Code: Veronica, when she battles the Nosferatu, it's dawn or very early morning. During Chris's game, it's mid-morning, and when he rescues Claire, it's high noon.
      • Which is tricky considering they're in Antarctica, below the Antarctic circle. A region which alternates days/nights of six months each.
      • More specifically, Antarctica in December, which should be bright out and roughly 15-25 degrees F. Instead, it's apparently cold enough to freeze a room full of water in a few hours.
  • America Saves the Day: Lampshaded in RE4 and RE5. And still played straight.
  • And I Must Scream: The fates of Lisa Trevor, Rachael, and Alexander Ashford.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Used in every game of the main series until 5 threw in co-op gameplay. You'll take control of the player character's partner at some point to have them assist by finding items or solving puzzles for them.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: A staple in the series.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Another staple in the series.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The item boxes in the classic series allows you to store items and retrieve them from a different item box so that you don't have to backtrack to specific boxes every time. Originally, the first game didn't have the feature in the beta, but the unlinked item boxes came back in the remake as an optional game mode.
  • Anyone Can Die: In a shower of shocking gore. If they are really lucky, they'll stay dead, because if not...
  • Apocalyptic Log: A way of saving the games, and way too many logs left by the various researchers and doomed citizens in the games.
    "4 — Itchy. Tasty."
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Ever since the first game, a magnum handgun has more stopping power than an assault rifle, and an old RPG-7 (always with warheads that aren't even implied to be armor-piercing) trump absolutely everything else in lethality, even a Kill Sat.
    • In 6 the Desert Eagle and S&W Model 500 pack more firepower than a .50 BMG Anti-Materiel Rifle!
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: A good number of the series antagonists come from aristocratic backgrounds, such as Ozwell E. Spencer, the Ashford family, James Marcus, and Ramon Salazar.
  • Artifact Title: The international title of Resident Evil is a reference to the evil residing in the mansion in the original game. None of the other games take place in said mansion, although there are other mansions and estates such as the Ashford estate in RECV and Salazar's castle in RE4.
    • Although the Resident in later games could likely also be referencing the residents of the cities and towns they take place in, especially the local Card Carrying Villains and their willing subordinates.
    • Averted with the series' Japanese titles of Biohazard. Biohazard means a biological outbreak, which is usually what causes the zombie outbreak in each game.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Some animals are zombified by the T-Virus, but others just get really big. Examples include spiders, centipedes, scorpions, sharks, and crocodiles.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wesker, Mr. X, and Nemesis. Leon gets one as an alternate costume for completing RE4.
  • Bag of Holding: Not the characters themselves (except in Survivor), but the omnipresent item boxes, which are all interconnected to let you access the same stash of items no matter which one you open.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A few bonus outfits and Claire's main outfit in Code: Veronica.
  • Battle Couple: With the fact that almost every partnership in the game is male-female, there are cases where it isn't hard to stretch it into this.
  • Beware the Superman: The later installments of the series tend to boil down to Badass Normals with Charles Atlas Superpowers vs. parasite-empowered superhumans.
  • Big Bad: At first, the Umbrella Corporation, but Wesker emerged over the last several games as the series' main antagonist and puppet master.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Some of the smaller ones are bigger than Jill's ass, and they grow in size from there, to the point where one game has a spider so large it could crush a tank.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The first game featured an awful lot of English typos, grammatical errors, and just plain goofy phrases that slipped through the QA net (including, not least of all, "Welcome back to the world of survival horror"). It did get better in subsequent games as the sequels got better budgets. The irony, of course, is that all the Biohazard games prior to Revelations only had English voice acting with Japanese subtitles. It gets even worse in non-English localizations, at least in the German version. For example, Jill's lockpicks are called "Dum-dum Geschosse" (dumdum bullets) instead of "Dietriche", the correct translation for lockpicks. And if you happen to understand English, you'll notice that what the characters are saying is often very different from what the subtitles read.
  • Bold Inflation:
    • "What IS this?"
    • "Wooah! This hall is dangerous".
    • "It's a weapon. It's really powerful, especially against living things."
    • "Just... take - a - look - at - this! It's Forest. Oh my GOD."
    • "DON'T - OPEN - THAT - DOOR!!"
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Hunters and Lickers in the first few games, chainsaw wielders in 4 and 5. RE5 has the Licker Betas. Super long reach, essentially one hit kills, very fast draining of health.
  • Brain Monster: The Lickers are T-Virus zombies which have mutated further and have had their brain extend out of their cranium. Despite the (relative) boost in intelligence, they also become more bestial; crawling on all fours and attacking based on sound with an elongated tongue.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Sherry Birkin, who appeared in Resident Evil 2 was almost never heard from again until Resident Evil 6, where she returns all grown up and works as a government agent.
    • Barry Burton, who hasn't been seen since the original game, returns as a major character in Revelations 2.
    • Rebecca Chambers, who also hasn't been seen since the original game and its prequel, makes a major appearance in, of all things, a theatrical play called Biohazard: The Stage set between Resident Evil 5 and 6 (circa 2010). She is working as a university professor in Australia when a viral outbreak occurs and Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans arrive to suppress it.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • The Red Queen, a computer system from the movies, appears in The Umbrella Chronicles.
    • If you look closely, you'll notice Alice's rejuvenation chamber during the extra mission.
    • The laser trap room right before Saddler's weird little throne room in RE4 was definitely lifted from the first RE movie.
    • The Umbrella Chronicles has the first movie's laser hallway. No, seriously, it's the laser hallway from the movie.
  • Canon Welding: Subverted. Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 implies that Phenotrans (the evil zombie making corporation from Dead Rising) is a subsidiary of Umbrella. Though UMVC3's sole reason to exist is fanservice, and was never meant to be taken seriously as actual canon for either series.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: The series was fixated on the events of Raccoon City for quite awhile, even long after the year 1998 had already transpired in the real world. RE3 itself was actually a parallel installment set during the events of RE2, while REmake and RE0 set the storyline back to the past for obvious reasons. Only Code: Veronica (an oddly named sequel set a few months after RE2/RE3) and some of the spinoffs (namely Survivor and Dead Aim) attempted to move the setting beyond Raccoon City before RE4 brought the storyline of the mainline titles six years after the fall of Raccoon City.
  • Captain Obvious: Barry Burton, Ingrid Hunnigan.
    • Resident Evil has lots, especially in the older main series entries. One of many examples: "A lockpick. I can unlock the simple locks with this." when examining the lockpick in Resident Evil 2.
  • Caramelldansen Vid: Behold!
  • The Casanova: Luis and Carlos at least talk a good game.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Back in the day, Chris Redfield just wasn't as good as Jill Valentine. Oh, he had higher stamina, sure, but he couldn't carry as much, and he didn't get access to the grenade launcher like Jill did. He fared a little better in Code: Veronica, on account of getting some cooler toys to play with and a possible ten inventory slots, but still got the crap knocked out of him by Wesker in the end. As of Resident Evil 5, he can knock enemies through closed doors with a right hook and is fully capable of killing a man by punching him in the ass.
    • At the end of 5, he infamously PUNCHES a roughly 60 ton boulder up and out of a ditch.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Chris is this to his sister. Thanks to his training, Claire survived Raccoon City, Rockfort Island, and Harvardille.
    • Jill Valentine counts as "Chekhov's Gunwoman". She was infected with the T-virus in RE3, but was cured thanks to Carlos Oliveira synthesizing a cure. Following her tackling Wesker through a window, Wesker discovers the T-virus antibodies in her bloodstream, which he would later use to further his experiments with Uroboros.
    • Wesker's son Jake Muller qualifies, as he has the antibodies which can cure the C-virus. Instead, Carla Radames uses his antibodies to make the C-virus more potent.
  • The Chew Toy: To quote President Evil's RE plot analysis FAQ, "someone on the development team hated Brad's guts."
  • Child Prodigy: Characters in the series have a habit of packing more into their lives before they hit 21 than most people go through in a lifetime. Albert Wesker, William Birkin, Rebecca Chambers, and particularly Alexia Ashford all play this trope straight, but even the main protagonists tend to have training or skills that they shouldn't given their ages. The most notorious case thereof is with Jill, who has a wildly implausible military background for a woman who's only 23 in the first installment.
  • Chinese Girl: Ada Wong and Fong Ling.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Leon's a funny case in that he definitely has the chivalry going on and engages in some joking flirtation, but aside from the one time he kissed Ada when he thought she was dying, he never actually makes a move.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: This happens a lot in the series. Birkin from RE2, Nemesis in RE3, Tyrant Morpheus in Dead Aim, Alexia in Code: Veronica, Saddler in RE4, and Wesker in RE5 all transform into giant monsters that are noticeably slower, dumber, and less effective than their superhuman normal forms. Remember — if it can't hit you, it can't hurt you.
  • Cloning Blues: Wesker, in a manner of speaking.
  • Clown-Car Grave: Zombies will sometimes respawn in areas where there is no place for them to have come from. This is especially notorious as some rooms they will respawn infinitely every time you enter, but you have limited ammo.
  • Combat Tentacles: Loads of bosses, but Villager and Soldier Ganados take the cake; their Plagas often manifests itself as a tentacled brain with a huge scythe tentacle. Nemesis also had tentacles, but he only used them as a finishing move until his coat gets burned off, then he used them all the time.
    • Uroboros monsters are nothing but combat tentacles.
  • Company Town: Raccoon City was controlled by Umbrella.
  • Continuity Snarl: Capcom's attempts to set at least four different games during the fall of Raccoon City leads to a lot of continuity errors about the shared locations. Specifically the Raccoon Police Department, which players visit in 2, 3, and File #2 with critical differences each time. There is actually only a single genuine continuity error with the Police Department, that being the window that Nemesis breaks in RE3. It's not broken in RE2, although it takes place before RE3. The rest of the events from the games featuring the department fall in line with each other with no actual errors, from Outbreak to RE3, and then to RE2.
    • The Chronicles games are rather bad about this, adding new events and filling in holes in the established canon (most notably between Code Veronica and RE4), while at the same time also contradicting quite a bit of it. Really, figuring out the true continuity of Resident Evil is only slightly easier than Zelda. For example, to date, the canon ending to the original still hasn't actually appeared in any of the games. The retellings of other games from both Chronicles games were never meant to be canon and as such, don't contradict anything. The actual original scenarios that are canon don't contradict anything major from the main games. The actual canon outcome of the original game isn't achievable in it because it was meant to be open ended and Capcom didn't think of a sequel at the time. The canon outcome has been confirmed through subsequent games though.
    • Capcom fully acknowledged this with Operation Raccoon City, as the player can come across the likes of Leon S. Kennedy and kill him. They've simply said that the game's using Rule of Cool in regards to things like that, and that it's up to the player to decide if they want to play a canon game and leave the timeline intact, or run around screwing up the series' continuity by killing all of the Raccoon City survivors. Although it is actually impossible to play a "canon game" of Operation Raccoon City, as no matter what the player does, the game contradicts most everything about the actual canon games (partly due to being fully developed by another developer instead). It's more "Resident Evil: The Movie: The Game" than an actual Resident Evil game.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Chris, Claire, Leon, and Sheva fall under this according to novels and guidebooks, with Jill also possibly qualifying (we don't know what happened to her dad). This, of course, leaves them free to go save the world. No indications are given of Ada's parentage, but judging by her choice in occupation, they're likely either estranged or dead. With Jake, it is a major character trait. In fact, the only characters in the entire series with at least one confirmed parent are Ashley, Steve, Sherry, and the multiple generations of Ashfords (Capcom felt the need to give them an entire family tree).
  • Cool Hat: Jill likes berets. She switches them for a baseball cap.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The entire executive board for the Umbrella Corporation, particularly Ozwell Spencer. Albert Wesker later qualifies.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • 4 and 5 change the buttons each time you do a Quick Time Event to keep you from memorizing the buttons.
    • In RE5, this is part of the dynamic difficulty system. The button combinations become more complicated as the difficulty rises.
    • In Revelations (on Xbox), you aim with the left trigger, and fire with the right trigger … except for one boss, where you lock on a missile with the left trigger, and fire it with the "A" button. If you try to fire it with the trigger like you do with every other weapon, you fail the boss fight.
  • Dark Action Girl: Ada Wong, and Jill Valentine during most of RE5.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Billy Coen never got over the massacre he was forced to inflict on a village of innocent people, and to make matters worse, he was framed for ordering said attack. He would have been sentenced to death if not for the train incident and Rebecca being the kind woman that she is, letting him go free and writing up a fake report that he was killed during the incident.
  • Dating Catwoman: Ada and Leon.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • HUNK and Rebecca in post-RE3 sequels, as they only returned for The Mercenaries minigames.
    • Revelations 2 is the first full-game appearance for Barry and Claire since RE1 (for Barry) and Code Veronica (for Claire). However, Claire did have a starring role in Degeneration.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Sure, B.O.W. (bio-organic weapon) combines Fun with Acronyms and Not Using the "Z" Word, but apparently no one at Capcom realized that all bioweapons are organic — at least until Umbrella starts weaponizing Vulcans.
  • Digital Distribution: The mobile phone games, such as Resident Evil: Confidential Report. For the main series, RE4, RE5, RE6, and Revelations are available on Steam (also Operation: Raccoon City, but that's outside continuity). All those titles on Steam plus Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles, RE1, RE2, RE3 and RECV are available on the PSN.
  • Disposable Pilot: Happens repeatedly throughout the series, to the point of being a Running Gag.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The main healing item in all the games is "green herbs." Which, when mixed together, are resting as a fine powder on a sheet of rolling paper. This is actually a pretty common method of preparing traditional herbal medicine in Eastern cultures (the games were made by the Japanese, after all), but in America, it comes off like someone over at Capcom is a fan of The Grateful Dead.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: More like Do Not Walk With A Gun. The earlier games in the series, except Outbreak File #2 and Dead Aim, don't let you move and shoot simultaneously. In the exceptions, you move so slowly that it's barely worth the effort. This trope is finally averted with the two 3DS games and Resident Evil 6. You are able to aim and fire your guns while on the move. Not only this, you can also reload and switch your weapons on the run instead of standing still while performing said actions and praying that nothing hits you for those few precious seconds.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Helicopter pilots have notoriously low life expectancies in this series. The longest one has lived is two chapters. In particular, someone on Nemesis's design team really had it in for Brad.
    • Even before that, he was a zombie in 2 (but only encountered under special circumstances), which proves that Capcom hated him so much, it took two games to tell the entire story of his gruesome fate,
  • Easter Egg: Examine Wesker's desk 50 times in RE2 to find a reel of film containing a picture of Rebecca in a basketball outfit.
  • Egging: Eggs are recurring items in 4 that you can either consume for health, or throw at enemies (they do little damage though).
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Sort of. The different types of grenades are more effective against some creatures than others. A Licker in the second game, for instance, can take two point-blank regular grenades to the face and keep coming for you, but one Acid round will do them in. And fire tends to be particularly effective against plants. The fifth game even features Fire, Liquid Nitrogen, and Electrical grenades.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Wesker, starting with Code: Veronica. He is shown performing moves akin to those seen in The Matrix, up to and including dodging bullets. RE6 features a pair, in the form of Wesker's Heroic Bastard son, Jake Muller (super strength) and Sherry Birkin (healing factor).
  • End Game Results Screen: Several games in the series feature this, and often give bonuses for high ranks.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Surprisingly, the RE world's regular T-virus zombie outbreaks are not a threat that may lead to this, as they seem relatively self-contained even with minimum government intervention (the Extinction movie is another story entirely). Also, the plot of at least three of the series' major bad guys (Dr. Marcus in RE0, Saddler in RE4, and Wesker in RE5), although Wesker was the only one who ever came anywhere close to implementing the plan.
    • One of the novels has a scientist who seeks to cause this. He is stopped by Rebecca.
    • Carla Radames in RE6, full stop.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Umbrella has absolutely no issue hiring just about anyone for any position in their organization. They have hired scientists of multiple nationalities, male and female. They've even hired teens and pre-pubescent children and made them the heads of important bioweapons projects. It seems to Umbrella, the only thing about you that matters to them is how well you can serve the company.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Happens to HUNK a lot. To quote the chopper pilot: "Once again, only you survived, Mr. Death." In Chronicles, he abandons squadmates for his own gain.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Important items will sparkle, often as a way to avoid a Pixel Hunt (for finding them but not for using them).
  • Evil Brit:
    • It's worth noting that Wesker's evilness increases in direct proportion to his Britishness as the series goes on. Also rather interesting to note that in many of the later games, his voice has an uncanny resemblance to Severus Snape.
    • Also, the Ashford clan, a whole family of evil Brits, including Code: Veronica antagonists Alfred and Alexia Ashford.
    • The head and co-founder of the Umbrella Corporation is Sir Oswald E. Spencer, who is also British.
  • Exposed to the Elements: A perfect example is when Claire and Steve end up in Antarctica in light clothes. Particularly Claire, who is in a midriff-baring t-shirt. However, they do not complain, seeing as they have other things to worry about, nor does the cold seem to effect them. In the Battle Game, though, during a certain point of Claire's game, after defeating all the zombies, if you walk back a few steps, she will do a special animation where she shivers.
  • Fade to Black and Fade to White: Dying has the screen fade to white, followed by a quick scene of the character meeting their end (or a camera pan showing their dead body) before fading to black.
  • Fan Web Comic: Jill Sandwich by Kagietsudo.
  • Feminist Fantasy: The original games owe a great deal to the popularity of horror movies among teenage girls in 1990s Japan, and as such have a lot in common with them, such as having a number of capable, independent female protagonists. The wider world of the franchise is one in which women were allowed as combat operatives in the U.S. military by the early 1990s and where a woman's capability and reliability in a dangerous situation is simply taken as read and never questioned by any of the male protagonists.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Pick a playable character, any character. Chances are they have fingerless gloves.
  • Fixed Camera: The original PS1 trilogy, REmake, and Zero all featured pre-rendered backdrops with fixed camera angles, while Code: Veronica featured real-time 3D environments with a moving camera that follows the player around (similar to the original Dino Crisis). This changed in RE4, naturally, when the series became more action-oriented.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Sergei Vladimir, Nicholai Ginovaef, and Spectre all worked for the Soviet Government prior to its collapse.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • Lickers, Regenerators, Iron Maidens, and Bloodshots are stark naked. And mean.
    • The zombies at the end of any of the first five games. They are always tougher and bite harder.
    • Most Tyrants, with the exception of pre-mutation Mr. X, Nemesis, the Ivans, and Thanatos.
    • Deborah from the sixth.

    G - O 
  • Gaiden Game: Resident Evil Gaiden. It's right in the title.
    • Operation Raccoon City was stated from the beginning to be an alternate-reality scenario.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: RE2 was the first game to begin having the heroes' body language reflect their remaining health. If they took too much damage, then they would start limping and not move as fast as they normally do. If you were low on health and had to run away from a group of zombies or a huge boss, then you were in for a rough night.
    • At 1/4 health in RE5, you go into the "Dying" status and have to have your partner resuscitate you, while at 1/2 health, you're limping and holding in your guts.
    • Particularly powerful attacks can knock you flat on your back in Revelations, rendering you vulnerable and only able to shoot right in front of you with your pistol. You have to hammer Y in order to pick yourself back up.
  • Game Mod: In RE2 and RE3, a GameShark could be used to swap around playable character models. Try running through the whole game as Tofu or completing 4th Survivor or Extreme Battle modes as Sherry.
    • Play magazine was rather excited about a rumor you could play as Rebecca in RE2, thanks to a glitch with the station gate. Can't be done without a GameShark. Or PC reskin mods.
    • The PC ports of RE4 and RE5 have also developed quite a large modding community, mostly based on reskins and new models, but also occasionally new missions or Mercenaries stages.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Zombies can't shamble through doors you open if they trigger a scene transition, but are shown in a cutscene to be capable of opening gates with enough effort. Subverted later on when they do in fact have a chance of ambushing you from the other side of a transitioning door once you go to open it, and later on with Crimson Heads, which follow you through doors until you manage to kill them. In later games (Outbreak), they do follow you through doors, but require some effort. A player can slow things down by holding the door or barricading it, but it'll open. Though averted in the original game. After encountering the first zombie and running to Barry, the door she came through is closed, but the zombie opens it and comes through. This was fixed in the R Emake, in which in her haste Jill left the door open.
    • In RE2, there's an exception to this. Opening one particular door in a usually-safe savepoint room results in two zombies moving into the room. Afterward, if you try and open that same door again, Leon or Claire will refuse, saying it's too dangerous out there. And then there's Mr. X, who won't follow you through doors, but does knock down two walls to get to you.
    • Also of note is the zombies themselves. In the PSX games at least, the cutscenes show them to be almost completely impervious to bullets, shambling quickly towards their prey regardless of the dozens of bullets going into them. In the actual game, the zombies are much slower and easier to kill. Also, the cutscenes show the main characters taking the zombies out with just one or two bullets. This combines Plot Armor and Almost Lethal Weapons.
    • And in regards to the zombies (namely, the T-virus zombies, as it is explicitly said that the T-virus spreads through bites and contaminated fluids), no matter how many times your player character gets chewed on by them, they will never turn into zombies themselves. The changing rate from human to zombie is also inconsistent — in the opening of 2, a truck driver is bitten by a zombie and is shown to have zombified fairly quickly (you can see him as a zombie as his truck is driving towards the car Leon and Claire are in), while both Marvin Branagh and Jill in the third game spend at least a few days with the T-virus in them — Jill gets vaccinated in time by Carlos, and while Marvin is not so lucky, he doesn't turn into a zombie until the A scenario is roughly half over.
      • This issue is partially averted in the Outbreak games, as all of the player characters begin the game infected with the T-Virus. Being bitten or scratched by any zombie will accelerate your virus gauge. Simply put, a player that is constantly being hit by enemies will die and return as a zombie much faster than one that stays out of danger.
  • Gatling Good: A few of the games let you get your mitts on a huge gatling gun. Resident Evil 4 gives us the Chicago Typewriter, a superpowered tommy gun with infinite ammo.
  • Genre Shift: From 1996 to 2002, the series was a horror-puzzle franchise that featured massive conspiracies, with each installation raising more questions than it answered, and spawning a weird and insular but highly dedicated fan community. Beginning with RE4, and more strongly with RE5, the series is a deliberate blend of action and horror, with some games and scenarios tilting more toward the action end of the spectrum than the other. This has simultaneously fractured and vastly expanded the online fan community.
  • Ghost Ship: The Starlight from Gaiden, the Spencer Rain from Dead Aim, and the Queen Zenobia from Revelations.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A staple of the series. The sewer alligator and the mutated worms come to mind.
  • Giant Spider: A staple of the series to invoke fear. The first three used tarantulas, Resident Evil – Code: Veronica had exotic black widows, Resident Evil 4 gave it a break and had a few normal spiders, and Resident Evil 5, aside from spider-like enemies, had normal (though still big) African spiders. The Video Game Remake of 1 redesigned the boss spider into the Australian funnelweb, the Lost in Nightmares DLC for some reason had spiders bigger than Jill's ass, and the Chronicles games have a lovely mix of giant spiders. Goes into overdrive in RE6 where the entire themed virus transformation is bugs.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Pretty much every game until 4 involved a disaster that was caused by one or more of the Umbrella Corporation's many bioweapons R&D program working too well and going out of their control, and in at least two instances one of the researchers on said program(s) went crazy and ultimately instigated the disaster (whether intentionally or unintentionally).
  • Good Is Not Soft: Most of the playable characters would qualify: they are either good decent people who just happen to be badass and are in law enforcement or the military, or normal people who are an example of Rousseau Was Right and fully capable of surviving an outbreak, the main exceptions would be Ada (having a large role in 4, morally ambiguous and Good Is Not Soft) and Alex who starts out as a mercenary.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Averted most of the time, until RE5.
  • Groin Attack: Interestingly in Umbrella Chronicles, during the 0 Scenerio. Shooting the leechmen in the crotch is very efficient in slowing them down.
  • Handcannon: Many pistols — and especially the revolvers — are ridiculously oversized. Heck, in RE4, one of the unlockable weapons is even named "Handcannon". In general, magnums tend to cause more damage than things like grenade launchers or point-blank shotgun blasts.
  • Hate Plague: Las Plagas, which also turns the entire society into Bee People. Why do you think Ashley was kidnapped in the first place?
  • Healing Herb: A staple in the series, and they can be mixed together for stronger effects. Green recovers health, blue cures poison, and red cannot be used by itself, but it can be mixed with a green herb to make it stronger. Resident Evil 4 also uses yellow herbs, which extends your life meter. It's never explicitly stated how the herbs are used, though Resident Evil 5 makes the herbs be applied to the body like a spray can and Resident Evil 6 compresses herbs into easy-to-swallow tablets.
  • Healing Factor: Sherry Birkin, thanks to her exposure to the G-Virus.
  • Heart Container: Yellow Herbs in RE4 and the Degeneration mobile game.
  • Hellish Pupils: Wesker's cat eyes are the first sign of his self-imposed infection kicking in.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Done on four separate occasions:
    • In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Mikhail sacrifices himself to save Jill and Carlos.
    • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Steve sacrifices himself for Claire.
    • In Resident Evil 5, Jill sacrifices herself to save Chris. It didn't quite take, because neither she or Wesker died. And Sheva attempts to sacrifice herself to save everyone from Wesker. Chris stopped her because he was thinking of what happened to Jill.
      • If you can trigger the special sequence during the final battle, Sheva holds back from shooting at Wesker because it would hit Chris as well. Chris says to do it anyway, but Sheva instead takes out her knife and goes to town.
    • In Resident Evil 6, Piers sacrifices himself, injecting himself with the C-virus, to save Chris and defeat the Haos.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Mutant Steve. You can only 180 turn and run away, and you are bound to take at least one hit unless you're very quick with dodging at the battle's start.
    • Lisa Trevor's first phase is also unbeatable.
    • Although Nemesis can be defeated in every encounter, he'll always come back for more, and with so few weapons and ammo your first few encounters with him, you almost are always forced to run.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Wesker. He keeps the shades on for a reason.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Nemesis first appeared in Resident Evil 3 and has gone on to make an appearance as a main antagonist in Resident Evil: Apocalypse and as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • The Immune: 10% of the world's total population are immune to the various strains of Progenitor Virus. By current world figures that's roughly 700 million people. Even if there was a global pandemic, humans would still survive. The bad news? They can still get tore apart and devoured by the ravenous infected majority.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Creatures with really big claws, particularly Tyrants, will do this as a finisher. Other notable practitioners are William Birkin, Nemesis, the Garradors, and Saddler. Wesker doesn't even need claws to do it.
  • Implacable Man: Most bosses, but Nemesis, Mr. X, Lisa Trevor, and Wesker are the most famous.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The series is in love with the trope. You can only carry a limited amount of items, which forces you to decide if you want to pick up that healing herb right now or wait until you can find the next save room to store your items and come back later. Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil – Code: Veronica would introduce weapons that can take up two item slots instead of one. Resident Evil 0 doesn't use item boxes, but allows the player to dump their items on the floor so they can come back later when they need them. Resident Evil 4 would use an attache case whose space is determined by how you organized your items and how you rotated them. Code Veronica attempted to somewhat soften the pain by letting you use a green herb on the spot if your inventory is full.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Every Umbrella facility has a handy self-destruct device. Also, the government bombs Raccoon City into powder to stop the T-Virus from spreading.
  • Joke Character: Tofu, a sentient brick of tofu who has a knife and wears a combat harness and beret.
  • Jump Scare: Zombies, dogs, and crows crashing through windows. The Nemesis and Mr. X crashing through walls. Zombies reaching through barricades. The player walking through a hallway to find a zombie right in front of them which was previously hidden by the camera angles (this happens quite a few times in REmake).
  • Just Eat Him: Several of the monsters, particularly those of the giant-animal type, will do exactly this as a finisher.
  • Just Friends: Jill and Chris.
  • Kill It with Fire: Molotov, incendiary grenades, and flamethrowers in each game up to 5.
  • Large Ham:
    • Alfred and WESKER!
    • CHRISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    • MIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE! LEEEWWWIIISSS!
    • JOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSEPH!
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • Wesker. That may as well just be his driver's license — "Wesker".
    • Krauser, Salazar, and Saddler.
    • A variation in 4: Salazar never uses Leon's first name. He only ever calls him "Mr. Kennedy" or even "Mr. Scott Kennedy".
  • Late to the Tragedy: Nearly all of the protagonists of each installment arrive at their respective settings after the initial viral outbreak. Exceptions include Jill in RE3, Claire and Steve in REC:V, and most of the Outbreak player characters.
  • Life Meter: The first three games, Zero, Code Veronica, and the remake of the first game had a then-unique health bar in the form of the EKG, which was only visible if you bought up the inventory screen. The amount of health you had was noted by color, heart rate, and name (green: fine, yellow: low fine/high caution, orange: low caution, red: danger, and purple: poison). In addition to color and name, the character's heart rate would go down, and if they were poisoned, their heartbeat would become irregular. Starting with 4, a more traditional health bar took place of the EKG.
    • The Sega Dreamcast version of 2, 3 and Code Veronica had a visible EKG in the VMU screen.
  • Light Gun Game: The Gun Survivor and Chronicles games.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: A full list can be found here.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Even those human (or formerly human) villains who do go outright One-Winged Angel with mutation will generally have strange claws or Combat Tentacles.
  • Made of Iron: Most of the cast, really, since the most common enemy attack involves zombies chewing through your jugular vein. And many of the otherwise-human characters can survive being shot several times with little problem. Jill Valentine took a rocket to the face, and simply shrugged it off.
  • MacGuffin: Chris has two: Leon emails him about Claire's plight in Code: Veronica, and he receives a big one regarding Jill in Resident Evil 5.
  • Mad Scientist: William and Annette Birkin, Albert Wesker, the Ashfords, and James Marcus. The underlings are either extremely wary (they have no choice — they're usually locked into what facility they're in) or kept in the dark about things.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The series is, at a whole, more or less the platonic ideal of this trope.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The Ivy plant and Plant 42, the latter of which ate several researchers before anyone noticed. Really goes to show just how much Umbrella really cares about its work force.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Wesker from RE4 onwards.
  • Mask Power: Standard wear for the Umbrella Security Service, and most memorably worn by HUNK.
  • Master of Unlocking: Trope namer. Typically, the female PC has a set of lockpicks as a special item to explain why she can get into places the male PC can't.
  • Meaningful Name: What kind of animal is famous for spreading, by bite, a disease that makes the afflicted animals become violent and crazy? Raccoons.
  • Mighty Glacier: Several enemies are very slow, but have high durability and damage output to compensate.
  • Minigame: A staple of the series, usually involving short missions where you guide a character around an area and take out as many BOWs as possible within a time limit.
  • Monster Closet: Dogs and zombies coming through windows? Check. A zombie bursting out of a literal closet? Check. Licker crashing through the one-way mirror? Check.
  • Mood Whiplash: Raccoon City. It seems like the developers spent all night thinking of the cutest, most innocent name possible while still sounding subtle enough to be an actual city name that would be taken seriously. note  for a town that would become a complete hell on earth.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Though Raccoon City is in the Midwest, the climate and topography don't fit. The novelization moves it to Pennsylvania.
  • Multiple Endings: Most of the games have this in some form, though Outbreak and File #2 take the cake with more than 20 possible endings each.
  • Mysterious Waif: Lucia from Gaiden.
  • Neck Snap:
    • HUNK in The Mercenaries.
    • Chris in Resident Evil 5.
  • Never Split the Party:
    • In those games where you're either escorting someone or have a partner, it's generally in your best interest to stay close together. Whenever the plot separates you, it's generally so it can throw a really big monster at one character.
    • Subverted in Resident Evil 0 in which you are separated quite a few times, but many times it's only to solve puzzles that require you being separated. As well as you can leave your partner anywhere, anytime, but you may get a call from him/her saying they're having trouble with monsters, in which you have to race back to where you left him/her and help them.
  • Nobody Poops: Toilets appear to be very scarce in Raccoon City. An issue of the British publication NGC Magazine handwaved this saying that the citizens of Raccoon had evolved beyond such base needs, as well as lampshading said trope by saying, "And can you blame them? Everytime you nip off for a quick dump there's always a bleedin' zombie in the bath."
    • The guardhouse in the original had several apartments, each with a fully equipped bathroom (again including zombies). Reasonable if the guardhouse is a modern addition.
    • In the Umbrella Chronicles Raccoon's Destruction scenario 2, you wade through a subway and visit several bathrooms. Again, they're full of zombies.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many of the characters bear an uncanny likeness to various celebrities.
    • Ink-Suit Actor: Though likely unintentional, Claire bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Alyson Court, her voice actress. Same deal with Irving.
    • Jill's likeness is that of model/actress Julia Voth.
  • No Flow in CGI: The original games were pretty bad at this. Claire's ponytail was pretty much the only concession that things attached moved differently.
  • No One Could Survive That!: In Leon's B scenario and its Darkside Chronicles recreation, Ada gets slammed against the power generator pretty hard by Mr. X. And it in fact appears that She's Dead, Leon. But she's back up to throw a Rocket Launcher to Leon during the battle with his final form. It's better than Leon's A scenario, though, where Ada falls down a Bottomless Pit and still shows up to give Claire the rocket launcher.
  • Not His Sled: The entire point of Arrange Mode in 1 and 2, and Madhouse Difficulty in 7, all of which rearrange the positions of weapons, enemy spawns and even Plot Coupons in an attempt to keep you on your toes for a second playthrough.
  • Notice This: Oftentimes, your character will look at objects that could need picking up. Or enemies in the room. Anything else sparkles or is a hidden item. Starting with 4 this is used to help point out nearby offscreen enemies.
  • Numbered Sequels / Stopped Numbering Sequels: A weird combination. Completely 100% canon games which meaningfully advance the plot are numbered; subtitled games are spinoffs or one-offs that haven't received any follow-up. The exceptions to this rule thus far are Code: Veronica and Revelations. The latter got a numbered sequel of its own. The canon doesn't only extend to the numbered games (with Code: Veronica and the Revelations games), but to various side games as well. Gaiden and Operation Raccoon City are not canon, The Chronicles games are partly, and more or less the rest is 100% canon.
  • Off with His Head!: Many clawed creatures and bosses will do this as a finisher, depending on the game. Earlier games tend to feature it, while later installments reserve decapitations for zombies (Code: Veronica, though, didn't even have that). For example, one of Rebecca's possible deaths in the original Resident Evil was to have her head cut off by a Hunter; the REmake version of the scene is instead a Shadow Discretion Shot, and the Hunter just cuts her throat. Both 4 and 5, though, have heads falling off or exploding left, right, and center. Humourously, in 4, if Leon looks up Ashley's dress while climbing, she'll call him a pervert; this is flagged so that she'll still say this if Leon is decapitated and his head rolls under her while facing up.
    • Subverted in 5. The chainsaw doesn't cut the protagonist's head off.
      • Granted, it's clearly supposed to; they just got lazy about modeling it.
  • Ominous Walk: Ganados and Majini will often run towards you until they get within a certain distance and inexplicably start using this trope. Hunters seem to enjoy this as well.
    • Something about the way Wesker walks suggests he was a fan of The Joker.
    • Tyrants love it, too. Though they at least are still suffering from the effects of being cryogenically frozen. Once they shake it off, they turn into a machine.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Just about every final boss has been finished off with a rocket launcher.
    • The whole setting of the story is destroyed by a gigantic explosion, 9 times out of 10 caused by a Self-Destruct Mechanism.
    • There's always a crank that must be used in order to progress. Gets lampshaded by Chris in the Lost in Nightmare scenario for Resident Evil 5 where he wonders why Spencer has a fetish for cranks.
    • Almost anyone who is a helicopter pilot won't survive for long.
    • In the classic line (1, 2, 3, and Code Veronica), there's always naked zombies in the labs.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted. With so many background characters in both main titles and spinoffs, a few names tend to be repeated among them. There's quite a few Edwards (Dewey and Ashford), Josephs (Frost and Kendo), Georges (Trevor, Scott, or Hamilton), Kevins (Ryman and Dooley), and even Alberts (Wesker and Lester). There's even more than one Steve (an Umbrella researcher by that name in RE1 and Steve Burnside).
  • One-Winged Angel: Pretty much every human Big Bad will turn into a horrible abomination against God. However, they are often reduced to Clipped-Wing Angel in their final form, eg. Birkin and Nemesis.
  • Only Sane Man: Edward Ashford was the only one of the original founders of Umbrella who actually wanted to use the Progenitor Virus for legitimate medical research to benefit humanity. His son and his grandchildren make up for his lack of batshit insanity in spades.
  • Orwellian Retcon: The original version of Wesker's Report that was sold as a pre-order bonus with Code: Veronica originally stated that Sherry was taken captive by Wesker's men after the events of 2. This contradicted the epilogues in 3, in which Sherry and Leon were both taken into custody by the U.S. Government after they were split from Claire. As a result, later reprints of Wesker's Report removed this information completely.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Murder Shot: An iconic moment of the franchise. In the first game, a zombie (the first one you ever encounter in the game) does this as he's eating Kenneth. Bonus points for being able to later find and watch a video of it from Kenneth's perspective filmed on his camera.

    P - Z 
  • Personality Blood Types: Blood types are listed in the intro.
  • Personal Space Invader: Zombies and Ganados alike.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: The T and G virus strains respectively, both have critical fusion flaws that prevent 100% of infected subjects transforming into the perfect B.O.W weapons. It was something Umbrella could not address. Only 1 in 10 million individuals infected with T will successfully become a Tyrant. Zombies... are the undesired end result. With G, its far more dangerous, and a G-virus outbreak would be inconceivably nightmarish, but its flaw is the lack of contagion. Not to mention it cannot spread to other hosts who are not related by its original host's DNA. Non-matches will reject its embryos... in a bloody mess.
    • Its also interesting to note, that 10% of the world's total population have a natural immunity to the various strains of the Progenitor Virus, even if directly exposed. One can assume this is the reason your in-game characters do not get infected from being bitten.
  • Pixel Hunt: The classic style games would often have this when looking for where to use an item, for the present or later. Some items that don't sparkle also require this.
  • Plot Armor: No matter how many times the heroes are grabbed and bitten by zombies, they just walk it off with no infections to speak of. Especially insane in RE6 with a monster that unleashes toxic gas that turns anyone who inhales it into a zombie. To Leon and Helena, it only lowers health.
  • Plot Hole: Quarantining Raccoon City, to keep the virus inside its walls. Makes sense, until the moment you realize. "What about the crows infected with the T-Virus? Who are free to fly outside of the city at any time." Unless they put a giant dome over the city, the virus should have spread across the entire midwest. Kinda justified with Raccoon City being mostly in the middle of nowhere and the infected crows focusing more on eating the survivors and zombies in the city, rather than flying away somewhere. Also the introduction of an antitode to the virus.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Usually reserved for the final boss of each game.
  • Primal Fear: Darkness, death, monsters, being trapped (with or without something trying to kill you), being eaten alive, being hunted/chased, etc.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Ramon Salazar in 4 is most likely about four feet tall with the proportions of a child, though he claims to be twenty. And is he psychopathic? Oh, yes. For an equally strong example in more frame of mind alone, Code: Veronica has the Ashford Twins, though one of them has an excuse. Their house is full of dolls, music boxes, and more, along with Alfred's fits of immaturity.
    • Lisa Trevor is an alternate version of this; she's an adult, and is wearing the skin of some of her victims as a shroud, but mentally she's a very young child desperately looking for her mother.
  • Put on a Bus: Several characters:
    • Rebecca Chambers had, in canon, escaped from the mansion with the rest of the team in Resident Evil, but has not made any future appearances in the storyline (other than being playable in a mini-game for Resident Evil 5) within the story and is never even talked about at all by the other characters who survived with her. She was the star of her own game, albeit a canon "prequel", but it was still made much later in the series. She does make a canon comeback in Biohazard: The Stage, as well as being a main character in the upcoming Resident Evil: Vendetta CGI film.
    • Barry Burton, another survivor from the first game, hasn't come back at all other than helping Jill and Carlos escape from Raccoon City at the end of Resident Evil 3. Like Rebecca, Barry also appeared in the Mercenaries mini-game for Resident Evil 5. However, he's one of the main characters of Resident Evil: Revelations 2.
    • Nicolai, who, through Word of God, manages to escape after killing all of his teammates so that he can be the sole survivor and hand Umbrella information for money in Resident Evil 3, has only made a further canon appearance in Outbreak's "Decisions, Decisons" scenario, as well as a non-canon appearance in Operation Raccoon City.
    • Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5 isn't seen or heard from ever again, and Chris, who came back for Resident Evil 6, doesn't mention her at all.
    • Carlos, who only made an appearance in Nemesis, escapes from the city with Jill and Barry, but nothing explains what happened to him after the aftermath. There's no epilogue made for him either.
    • Billy Coen still hasn't returned, despite being one of the more badass main characters in the series. But then again, he earned his happy ending.
  • Raising the Steaks: Zombie dogs are the most iconic, but there are also zombie bats and crows, for a start. Outbreak File 2 actually had a level taking place at a Zoo, leading to zombie hyenas, lions, and an Elephant.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Author S.D. Perry likes to portray the villains as rapists in the novels, with Irons (which actually fits — in-game, he was accused of two counts of rape in his past), Nicholai (nothing suggests he is), and Wesker (only a Epileptic Tree in Resident Evil 5) getting this treatment.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Early games had this in droves, though the most recent examples (Degeneration and Resident Evil 5) have an almost obsessive focus on Gun Safety in the cutscenes. In-game, however, the characters do run with their guns down and safe, until you hold the button which readies them.
  • Renaissance Man: Just look at the backstory of any main character from the first game. Especially Wesker.
  • Research, Inc.: The Umbrella Corporation and TRICELL.
  • Ret Canon: Until the release of The Umbrella Chronicles, the only time it was ever stated that Umbrella had a computer system called Red Queen was in the Anderson film adaptation.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Revolvers are usually among the strongest weapons in the games.
  • Roar Before Beating: The larger monsters (such as zombie elephants, Gigantes, G-Virus larvae, and other loveable pets) do this. Hunters also shriek before doing their one-hit kill move.
  • Rule of Sexy: Most of the characters' outfits, particularly their alternate ones.
  • Running Gag: Valve handles. For whatever reason, Capcom loves to have the player find and use one in every game (twice in Outbreak File #2). It's even mocked in the live-action movies: you can see a valve handle thrown across the frame by an explosion in the trailer for Resident Evil: Afterlife.
  • Save-Game Limits / Save Token: Typewriter ribbons. Justified Trope as part of the player character's personal Apocalyptic Log. Lampshaded by Jill Valentine's verbal situation report when starting or restoring a game. A sitrep that ends with "I'm still...alive..." in a wondering tone complete with dramatic echo.
  • Say My Name: Pretty much all of the series. "LEON! HELP!" "ADA!" "BIRKIN!" "ALEXIA!" "JILL!" "BARRY!" "CLAIRE!" "SHEVA!" "CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS!" "WESKER!" And so on.
  • Scenery Gorn: A given, since it's survival horror.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Just about every Umbrella laboratory or other important location of biohazard research is subjected to this trope, with the final final boss fight occurring while the detonation countdown is in effect.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: Code: Veronica and Revelations are considered main titles in the series, while Zero is a prequel. As a result, there's more games in the main series than the numbered sequels would imply.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The monsters are officially called "Bio-Organic Weapons" by Umbrella. Bio and Organic largely mean the same thing.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In each game, the shotgun is a highly valued weapon because of its high power and spread, which makes it good for both crowd control with the omnipresent zombies, and for knocking down and killing things like Hunters and Lickers.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Played straight, but nearly every enemy is a Personal Space Invader, so you'll hardly ever notice it.
  • Sigil Spam: The Umbrella Corporation's logo is everywhere.
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Zombies get type one, rot and don't heal. More advanced creatures get type 3, no healing, no rotting. G-virus creatures get type 4; no rotting; Healing Factor.
  • The Social Darwinist: After 15 years of Card Carrying Villainy, they finally throw this in as Wesker's angle with Uroboros in Resident Evil 5.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: If the Resident Evil series featured the original "soup cans" puzzle from The 7th Guest, it still wouldn't nearly be the most out-of-place puzzle in the series. The usual justification, if any, is that the people who designed these places were insane. Toned down somewhat from RE4 onward as part of the Genre Shift.
    • To give you an idea of how crazy the drinking water is in Raccoon, the RPD's weapons storage is easier to get into than the sewers.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: Moonlight Sonata.
    • The clock tower music box.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Japan-only Capcom RPG Sweet Home, one of the very first Survival Horror games.
    • Dead Rising was originally an attempt to make a Resident Evil style game that used the full capabilities of the then-new seventh generation consoles, particularly for large environments with hordes of zombies.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The original trilogy, plus REmake and RE0, features 3D superimposed on prerendered backdrops.
  • Stripperiffic: Most of the female characters' alternate outfits.
    • The male characters get in on this action: in Outbreak File #2, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6, and Revelations, you can unlock alternate outfits for various characters that are pretty suggestive. Chris seems to get the most of this action.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Wesker always wears sunglasses, even during night missions. Not that this impairs his ability to shoot a zombie dog out of midair with a single bullet. At range. In the middle of the night. Later, he also uses them to hide the effects of his bio-enhancements, which turn his eyes a reddish-golden color.
  • Super Soldier: The various Tyrants, Nemesis, Mr. X, the rest of the T series.
  • Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest: Portions where you're controlling a side or sub character usually fall into this.
  • Survival Horror: Hugely popularized the genre. The first game in the series is actually the first game to coin the very phrase.
  • Tank Controls: A main aspect of the series in early games. Rather than having the character moved in accordance to the their position on the screen, pressing the d-pad upwards moves the player character towards his or her current direction, down moves him or her backwards, and left or right rotates the character. This was seen as a necessity due to the early games' use of fixed camera angles. RE4 alleviated this by adopting its behind the character camera, while RE5 and onward featured now standardized dual analog controls
  • Tap on the Head: In some of the games, the characters are knocked unconscious. Claire 3 times in Code Veronica
  • Tear Off Your Face: A few enemies throughout the series can do this (for example, the Novistators from 4 if they kill Leon with an acid-to-the-face attack).
  • Technically Living Zombie: The Ganados and Majini, as well as some of the T-Virus affected monsters, but not the zombies themselves, who are explicitly described as having died.
  • Tentacle Rope: In the remake of the first game and Code: Veronica.
  • Theme Initials: Ada Wong and Albert Wesker. Bit of a stretch, but the Birkins' first names are Annette and William.
    • It also seems that nearly every person involved with Los Iluminados has a last name that starts with an "S". Dr. Salvador, Osmund Saddler, Ramon Salazar, and Luis Sera. Bitores Mendez is the major exception.
  • Theme Naming: Thus far the series has had the t-virus, G-virus and C-virus (plus various sub-strains). Now we just need an A-virus to have a full set of DNA nucleic acids.
  • Timed Mission: Crops up every now and again in the canon games, usually paired with the Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • Tragic Monster: Lisa Trevor in the GameCube remake of the first game, and both Alexander Ashford and Steve Burnside in Code: Veronica.
  • Transformation Trauma: Most of the many One-Winged Angel mutations.
  • True Companions: There's a bit of Ship Tease found in some of the games, but in general this is the relationship between Chris and Jill. Jill is willing to sacrifice herself to save Chris from Wesker. While Chris is on his next mission, the moment he gets wind she might still be alive, he drops everything else to find her.
  • The Unfought: Albert Wesker is this until RE5. In the first game, he either gets apparently killed by the Tyrant's claw or by a Chimera in the lab's power room, only to come back in RE:CV. In all of the subsequent games, he is often mentioned and/or appears, implying he's the one setting up the events, but is never fought proper. Chris eventually gets back at him at the end of 5.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played straight in that you usually can't take guns, protective vests, etc. from dead bodies, but at least you can usually search bodies for ammo.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Ada at the end of RE4.
  • Updated Re-release: Resident Evil: Director's Cut, Resident Evil: Director's Cut: Dual Shock Version, Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock Version, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X, the GameCube remake of Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD, Resident Evil 4 HD, and now Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection. For a while there, it seemed it was Capcom's goal to release every game in the series for every platform available.
  • Video Game Remake: A Gamecube remake of the original in 2002.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Most notably Wesker at the climax of 5.
  • The Virus: Several viruses, but only the T and G viruses and Las Plagas are The Virus in the trope sense.
  • Virus Misnomer: Most viruses, but the T-Virus takes the cake.
  • Was Once a Man: Most of the monsters you kill.
  • Weapon of Choice: You can be almost certain that the final boss is going to be finished off with a rocket launcher shot to the face.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Resident Evil 5, some of Wesker's Motive Rants indicate that Wesker seems to genuinely intend to save the world. His method of doing so? Releasing the Ouroboros virus into the atmosphere.
  • What Happened To Mommy: The deceased mother of Lisa Trevor in the remake of the first Resident Evil, as well as William in RE2. This is also Sheva's motivation for joining the BSAA in 5.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Rebecca Chambers hasn't been seen since the first game, despite having canonically survived the events and also being the only Arklay Mansion survivor who hasn't played a role in any of the subsequent games (and also despite managing to be the main character in RE0).
    • Same goes for Carlos, Billy, and Sheva. Barry shows up briefly at the end of RE3 and took 15+ years to appear again in Revelations 2. Funny enough, thanks to D.I.J.'s diary, we do know what happened to the actual mouse from Code Veronica.
    • Interestingly, the only peripheral character that actually had any development in a subsequent game is Ada, who you're sort of supposed to think died at the end of RE2.
      • And Sherry Birkin, who's a playable character in RE6.
    • What happened to the pirate merchant guy?
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?:
    • Raccoon City is stated as being in the Midwest, but the presence of high mountains makes this very unlikely. Fanon places the city in either Colorado or Pennsylvania, the only mountainous states that can be described as being remotely Midwestern, and the latter being where the novelizations placed it. There's also a fan theory that places the city in southern Missouri, which would make the "Arklay Mountains" part of the Ozarks.
    • The Spanish-speaking European country in RE4 is never explicitly stated, and Word of God says that this was deliberate. However, the fact that a) it's a Spanish-speaking European country, b) a satellite shot showed the Iberian Peninsula, and c) Luis claims to be from Madrid leaves very few choices as to what country it is.
      • The currency used in-game is pesetas... though Spain had already switched to euros at the time the game is set in, it's believable that the cult and parasitic infection in that area did isolate it from the outside world and its currency change.
      • However, they all have Mexican/Latin American accents, which don't match up with the supposed location. LA recording studios are going to have a lot easier time finding Mexican voice actors than Spanish.
    • Kijuju, the setting of RE5, is only described as being in Africa. The biggest hint as to where in Africa it's located is the fact that Sheva is from the BSAA's West African division. Given that Kijuju has a very varied geography, including mountains, swampland, an oceanic coastline, and an active volcano, not to mention a large oil field with a refinery, one possible contender for it may be in Cameroon, one of the few countries in Africa that has all of these geographic features. That still doesn't explain why all the enemies are speaking Swahili, which is an East African language.
    • One of the locations visited in Resident Evil 6 is the Republic of Edonia, a European country that used to be part of the Eastern bloc but descended into civil war during its transition to democracy. All we see of it is snowy mountains and vaguely Soviet-era architecture, along with a castle on a hill. Other than that, we have no indication of where it is. There's also the Eastern Slav Republic, which neighbors Edonia, though again, aside from that, we have no idea where it is. We get a hint of the ESR's location in Revelations 2 when a Russian radio news station briefly mentions the ESR is close to Smolensk, which indicates the country is somewhere between Belarus and Russia.
    • An early scene in Revelations has Chris and Jessica in "The European Mountains." The Alps? The Pyrenees? Maybe even the Carpathians?
    • Revelations 2 takes place on an island called "Zabytij." The only real hint at its location is it having a Russian-speaking population and formerly being part of the Soviet Union.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: STARS in RE1, then the entire RPD after STARS was disbanded in RE2. BSAA in RE5. There's also STRATCOM in Dead Aim.
  • With This Herring: You often start out with a weak weapon (unless you're Kevin in Outbreak, but he can barely find any ammo). The games at least attempt to justify this:
    • Resident Evil 0 and 1 - You are a cop caught in a situation way over your head.
    • Resident Evil 2 - You blunder into the Zombie Apocalypse without warning.
    • Resident Evil 3 - Jill's off the force and doesn't have access to the guns any more.
    • Code: Veronica - Claire starts the game in prison in a cell with NO weapons, but once let out she starts off with a knife, and Chris loses a bag of weapons into the sea.
    • Resident Evil 4 - We never see what Leon had in the police car, and it's destroyed before he can return. He's also only going to the village to ask some questions about Ashley, and with that in mind, he's actually carrying a lot more gear than he really needs.
    • Revelations - Parker and Jill are only on the Zenobia in order to track down Chris and Jessica, and they have absolutely no idea that the ship is overrun with Ooze and other B.O.Ws.
    • Resident Evil 5 - Excella is setting you up.
    • Resident Evil: Outbreak - Most of the characters were just chilling out at a bar when the outbreak got really bad. Kevin and Mark both retain their weapons, as they are a cop and a security guard. The rest have to find handguns dropped in bathroom wastebaskets, beat zombies to death with scrub brushes, or hack and slash with kitchen knives.
    • Resident Evil 6 - Different explanation for each scenario.
      • Leon and Helena are simply talking to the president when a terrorist attack releases the C-Virus.
      • Chris and Piers actually start with assault rifles, but they're suddenly overpowered by giant monsters.
      • Jake is in a group of mercenaries who've been administered the virus (to which he's immune) disguised as a physical enhancer, and he's a brawler, so he doesn't bother carrying a gun. Sherry, on the other hand, knows she's in a dangerous place and only carries a handgun, but she has a healing factor.
    • Revelations 2 - Similar to Code: Veronica, Claire gets kidnapped and starts the game inside a prison on an island with no weapons whatsoever. Averted with Barry, however, as he actually came to the island prepared (such as having a pistol, an assault rifle, and a magnum revolver).
    • Resident Evil 7 - Ethan's a normal guy who couldn't know the true nature of the house Mia was being held in, and as such didn't come prepared.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Wesker, given the revelation that he was manufactured by Umbrella to be used as a weapon and was manipulated for his entire life by Ozwell Spencer, up to and maybe even after he died.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: From the fourth game onward, characters tend to pull off wrestling moves as finishers, most prominently Leon's ability to suplex zombies to death.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The series likes to call antidotes for particular infections (usually of the T or G viruses) "vaccines". A vaccine is administered to a healthy individual to immunize them to a possible future disease. Giving a vaccine after the fact would make things worse.
  • Your Head A-Splode: That's if you make a well-placed headshot on a zombie/Ganado/Majini.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A very rare Averted Trope in a Zombie story in the games. Zombies are an ongoing issue the world deals with, that destroy the occasional area, but the world has not ended. The films fulfill this trope by the third movie.
  • Zombie Gait

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