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Fridge: Portal
aka: Portal 2
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     Fridge Brilliance 
  • The Mainframe has insanity and testing addiction programmed into the system. Lying is also programmed into the system! Think about it. GLaDOS doesn't have the energy to lie when she's not plugged into the Mainframe, yet Wheatley lies a whole lot more after being plugged in. They may be more blatant, but they're still lies.
  • The All There in the Manual stuff about Cave Johnson released before Portal 2 is contradicted by what we know from playing Portal 2. Is this a continuity error? No! Turns out, as of the Perpetual Testing Initiative, that there is an infinite multiverse filled with an infinite number of slightly-different versions of Cave Johnson! We were just reading the backstory of the wrong one!
  • Wheatley isn't stupid, he just does things in the most destructive, round about, insane, bumbling way possible. Think about it, he just wanted to leave the facility and free Chell and he did leave the facility and free Chell. This explains his moments of brilliance, making him an accidental Chessmaster
    • Also, he was specifically designed to be stupid. Want to know why he doesn't seem that stupid? Everyone at Aperture science is a complete idiot. Of course they'd cock even that up!
  • Why do Wheatley's tests all have bottomless pits? On a second play through you may notice that the Docking Station Wheatley fails to find is 500 feet beneath you. He won't or can't come down when you fall in the hole and when he detaches himself from the Management Rail he is afraid to let himself fall the 6-8 feet to the ground. Wheatley is afraid of heights.
    • Which makes Whealtey getting trapped in space all the more horrifying because space is bottomless...
      • Do note that 1 atmosphere of pressure moving through a hole the size of the portal should not provide sufficient delta-V [change in velocity] capacity to launch Wheatley into a lunar orbit, let alone an escape trajectory. Wheatley and the Space Core are on a ballistic arc - they'll crash into the Moon's surface after not too long.
    • Further supported by Wheatley looking down on a catwalk, screaming, saying you shouldn't look down, then looking down and screaming again. He also seems nervous about you jumping down a small gap while holding him.
    Wheatley: So go ahead and jump. What's the worst that could happen? Oh. Oh wait, I just now thought of the worst thing. Oh! I just thought of something even worse. New, better plan: no imagining of any potential outcomes whatsoever. Just jump, into the abyss, there, and see what happens.
  • At one point when Wheatley is trying to "hack" the neurotoxin generator, he starts talking to it in an effort to bluff it into submission. ("Hello, I am the neurotoxin inspector, from the... ah... International Board of... Neurotoxin Inspectors.") This can be taken as just Wheatley being an idiot as per usual, but then you realize: this is Aperture Science, which gives artificial intelligence to everything.
    • Wheatley seems to have issues with telling the difference between non-sentient machines and A.I.'s like him. He shouts at the clearly automated Announcer to "SHUT UP" and said he allowed him/it to "Keep his job." He also says that football is cruel because it's about "Kicking a ball around, for fun."
  • We find out in the "Lab Rat" comic that Doug Rattmann is a paranoid schizophrenic (Said by GLaDOS, backed up by the medication he uses) and he isn't always on his meds. That's why he survived GLaDOS' neurotoxin. He always thought she was evil and prepared accordingly.
    • You don't need to be a paranoid schizophrenic to realize GLaDOS is insane.
      • Especially after it was not only well known by that point, but joked about casually how all she has ever done is instantly try to kill everyone when turned on.
  • Possibly an accidental one, but a sign on the door just before you get in the corridor to GLaDOS' chamber reads "Remember To Wear Your Respirator." Considering the scientists were so aware of GLaDOS' murderous tendencies...
  • It has been noted that GLaDOS resembles a woman in bondage.
    • Which is further exemplified by the fact that GlaDOS's body houses a human named Caroline, forced into Brain Uploading against her will with the two of them now stuck together. GLaDOS' likeness to a bound woman depicts a similarity.
  • Wheatley acts like a total moron whenever he and Chell are working together, leaving her to solve all of their problems. He was built to be a moron.
    • Similarly, Wheatley is scarily competent in hampering the player during the latter portions of the game, with even Gla DOS commenting on the cleverness of that final trap. This seems odd since he was suppose to be a moron. Wheatley was made to restrain Gla DOS, to hamper her. You now have Gla DOS on you. Wheatley is doing exactly what he was built for. You just got caught in the crossfire.
    • Also in regards to his scary competence - his mismanagement of the facility is close to causing it to self destruct, destroying him and everyone else in the process. Killing Chell, and by extension GLaDOS - the only thing that's capable of stopping the meltdown - is probably the most moronic thing he could do in such a situation, and thus he excels at it.
    • This also explains why he seems pretty reasonable at the beginning of the game; in order to successfully hamper an intelligent mind such as GLaDOS, he must have the perfect balance between terrible ideas, yet ones that sound reasonable enough to convince others to try them.
  • At the end of Portal 2, GLaDOS claims to have deleted the Caroline part of her programing, yet lets Chell go free. If she really did this, why didn't GLaDOS kill her on the spot? Well, with this combined with A) the fact that she also gives Chell a scorched Companion Cube (No points guessing ''why'' it's scorched) and B) the lyrics of "Want You Gone", sort of reveals that GLaDOS lied in order to make Chell never come back.
    • All Aperture Technologies remain safely operational up to 4000 degrees Kelvin.
    • Don't forget that one of the first things potato GLaDOS says before you team up with her is that she doesn't have enough processor capacity in potato form to lie. Now, what's the first thing you hear from her after she gets her old mainframe back?
  • When the companion cube is incinerated, GLaDOS informs you that you euthanized it faster than any other test subject on record. The Ratman comic reveals that Chell was the first test subject on record, explaining why this happens regardless of how long you take—since you're the first subject, you'll complete the test faster than any of the other subjects have because they haven't taken it yet!
    • Rattman moved her up there in the first place.
    • In Portal 2 Wheatley finds lots of old test chambers GLaDOS saved as mementos full of human skeletons of previous test subjects she killed. She was probably testing people while she was hunting down Doug and seeing as he wrote all over the test chamber walls he was presumably being tested himself before he escaped.
  • Of the various new gameplay features, one of them (the Pneumatic Diversity Vent) never appears in the actual game except in cutscene form. However, at least twice in the game, Chell approaches the end of a set of test chambers, only to be (SURPRISE!) pulled out of them a chamber or two early. At least one troper was expecting the vents to be in the game, and therefore was surprised EXACTLY THE SAME WAY when the game actually ended.
    • Oh, it does appear in the game... sort of, when you shoot the moon to suck Wheatley out of the facility. True, the game pretty much leads your hand at that point, so it's not that hard to figure it out even when you've not seen the previews. Still, it seems to me that this is a meta-example of the Portal franchise's tutorial policy.
    • It also appears in the form of background detail. Some of the tubes that you pass by while going behind the scenes with Wheatley have a display on the side that "identifies, but does not judge" whatever is passing through the tube at that moment.
  • Why were GLaDOS and Wheatley making all the fat jokes? Gabe is getting his revenge!
    • Shush! You want to delay Episode 3 even more?!
    • Actually, the real reason is because Chells character model had larger breasts in Portal 2 in comparison to Portal.
  • If Wheatley is such a moron, why is he being so Dangerously Genre Savvy when you are trapped and fighting him? Because the entire facility is about to explode and he can't stop it! The smart thing to do would be either to escape with Chell or let GLaDOS back in control and then escape! Since everything he's doing is towards this stupid goal, he can be as competent as he likes in executing it!
  • Wheatley is programmed to always make the worst decisions possible. Therefore, when he takes over Aperture Science, he tries to dispose of Chell by making her fall, something she'll certainly survive thanks to her boots. Also, he traps GLaDOS in a potato. Since potatoes generate 1.1 volts of electricity, the exact amount Aperture Science AIs need to remain operational, he inadvertently made sure she's going to survive too.
    • Add to this point that the mere act of taking over Aperture after convincing you to destroy it was the worst possible choice as he is clearly incapable of dealing with the situation.
    • The falling was an accident; at least, he says "uh-oh" right as you start to fall, implying that he didn't mean to. Also, he wanted GLaDOS to survive; it was his attempt at And I Must Scream for GLaDOS. Except, you know, she could scream. Given as her speakers are in there.
      • He clearly PUNCHED! YOU! INTO! THIS! PIT! on purpose. It may be that his 'uh-oh' is a sudden realization - a 'oops, maybe I shouldn't have done that' moment.
      • That wasn't on purpose, that was a reflex. GLaDOS was powerless, he was in control, and she still has the gall to insult him. He is very emotional, so of course he's gonna fly off the handle and try to beat her down. The "uh oh" was him snapping out of it and noticing the casualties.
      • Also, one could argue that betraying Chell is pretty much the dumbest thing he (or anyone) could possibly do.
    • Why does he disconnect himself from the Management Rail and turn on his flashlight which he was told would kill him if he ever did them? Could it be that doing so conditioned him to question every order he was ever given because doing things that are sure to end in his demise has proven to be a good idea before.
  • Considering all the comments she's made about Chell's weight, GLaDOS telling Wheatley She's not fat!" comes as a bit of a surprise. But GLaDOS has never called her fat. She's only ever called her heavy—and, when you consider all the tech she's carrying (long fall boots would have to be pretty solid to stop bones from breaking on impact, and the portal gun contains a BLACK HOLE, for pity's sake) that's nothing but the truth. Also, muscle is heavier than fat.
    • To be fair, GLaDOS has been more than suggestive when it comes to Chell's weight;
    Hmm. This plate must not be calibrated to someone of your... generous... ness. I'll add a few zeros to the maximum weight. You look great by the way. Very healthy.
    • Actually, she implied Chell was fat pretty heavily.
    By the way, I should congratulate you. Most test subjects suffer from malnutrition and weight loss while in stasis. You've actually managed to pack on a few pounds.
    Look at you, soaring through the air without a care in the world. Majestic, like an eagle. Piloting a blimp.
    • Same thing with "And what's wrong with being adopted?" Answer: nothing, obviously. The insult is in saying "Your parents never loved you"—calling someone adopted isn't insulting. Is that exchange heartwarming? Yes. Is it really mostly GLaDOS being exasperated at Wheatley's inability to even insult someone properly? Yes, yes it is.
  • On the topic of adoption... Early in the single-player campaign, GLaDOS tells Chell that "science validated her birth mother's decision to abandon her". Come co-op mode, and she muses: "Humans tend to create wonderful things... and abandon them." Oh, GLaDOS.
  • On the subject of Wheatley: he was built to be a moron, and yet again and again seems to reveal strangely brilliant traps as the situation gets more desperate for him. How is "the dumbest moron imaginable" able to build some surprisingly clever traps? Because NOTHING Aperture Science ever created has worked the way they intended it to.
    • No, everything in Aperture Science works EXACTLY as it was intended, for better or worse. The problem is that Wheatley is still broken from GLaDOS crushing him toward the start of the game. His programming—to be a moron—is prone to glitches and bugs as a result. Those glitches cause him to have an occasional flash of brilliance.
  • You know how Wheatley's not just a regular moron, but was instead crafted by the most genius minds designed to be one?
    • He was built to be a moron by the greatest minds of Aperture Science. The same people who invented Flubber as a dietary aid and an impossible portal device you can't get wet as a shower curtain. That's why they managed to create a bumbling, stupid AI capable of outsmarting GLaDOS. Aperture Science succeeds through failure where it's unimaginable to succeed through success.
    • Wheatley's actually very intelligent, as Aperture Science AIs go. BUT...he's essentially an ADD module. His attention span is too narrow and too fleeting to allow him to use his intelligence to its full potential. He gets smarter when plugged into the mainframe because now he can turn off most of the distractions so he can think more clearly.
    • Incidentally, he seems to have devoted his entire attention to whatever's immediately at hand. GLaDOS could multitask and maintain the upkeep of the place and still be merciless to you with only a fraction of her mind, while Wheatley devoted 100% of Aperature's processing power to keep him semi-focused. That's why the entire facility was falling apart.
    • They often say women can multitask, while men can not, think about that for a while.
  • Anyone else wonder where the idea to shoot the moon with the portal gun came from? In fact why did it even work? well if you pay attention in the Cave Johnson recording about conversion gel the conversion gel is made of ground up moon rocks. They actually seemed to plan this ending out before hand.
  • Why does GLaDOS want to kill everyone? Well, apparently, Caroline's instatement as the new brain behind the Enrichment Center wasn't of her own volition. You'd want to get back at the people responsible, even if you weren't entirely sure why, beyond "this is all THEIR fault".
    • Also consider that, for something as complicated as brain uploading, Caroline's brain most likely needed to be calm so that the brain waves wouldn't complicate the process (just going on broad speculation here). That unused sound file of her being forced into GLaDOS's body definitely did NOT sound like Caroline was calm. So quite naturally, the process warped her mind, caused GLaDOS to overpower Caroline, and through the whole mess she went batshit insane trying to kill everyone as soon as she was turned on.
    • Also, take into account GLaDOS' line to Wheatley during the core transfer: being put into the mainframe hurts. Caroline was terrified, desperate, in incredible pain, and had just been forced by someone she trusted into a Fate Worse than Death. The entire facility responds instantly to the tiniest thought of its resident AI—if that thought was pure, unadulterated fury and pain and "No, no, no, make it stop, I want to die, please just let me die, I hate them all and I want to HURT THE PEOPLE WHO DID THIS TO ME!" (keep in mind that the mainframe itself drives the cores connected to it insane) Aperture itself might release neurotoxin as an automatic reaction. And even if GLaDOS did overwhelm what was left of Caroline, there would be enough of that left over to leave a bitter taste in her synthesizers; and after all, the Aperture scientists weren't very nice to GLaDOS, either...
  • The potato theme strongly suggests where GLaDOS is getting her supply of neurotoxin. A close examination of the awards received by Aperture shows that they were experimenting with potatoes prior to GLaDOS's creation. There's also an overgrown potato somewhere in the lab, which interestingly enough was actually grown by Chell. And, as we all know, potato leaves contain neurotoxins.
    • Another one: Why were the kids encouraged to make, of all things, potato batteries? Because the other alternative would be lemons. And Cave Johnson doesn't want no damned lemons!
      • There is, in fact, a "Potato Batteries vs. Lemon Batteries" exhibit amongst them.
  • In "Now I only want you gone" at the end of the game, GLaDOS "goodbye my only friend, Oh, did you think I meant you? That would be funny if it weren't so sad." you might think she was pulling a quick prank on you, but think about it: Chell is her only friend, and that little prank would be funny, except that it's true, and that is honestly pretty sad.
    • GLaDOS is possibly in denial about actually being friends with Chell,a human,quickly correcting herself. This makes sense seeing as she is the only other sentient being in Aperture Science (save for Wheatley) and that Chell has just restored GLaDOS to a position of nigh-omnipotence. Wouldn't you be grateful for that?
  • Why does Aperture have all the clearly unsafe and pointless technology? Even in the first message Cave is showing signs of insanity from siccing an army of Mantis Men on soldiers to laughing at a test subject when he broke all his bones (he wasn't in the control group and got blue paint instead of gel). In another of Cave's recordings he states, "We're throwing science at the wall to see what sticks." Clearly he was unbalanced from the beginning, but his connections in the government and the unwillingness of anyone in the company to stand up to him allowed him to indulge everyone of his erratic impulses until he became insane. The moon rock poisoning didn't help ether.
    • Supporting this, another recording states that while other scientists "stand on the shoulders of giants", a common means of describing learning from studying the recorded works of scientists that came before, then expanding on their discoveries, Aperture does all their science from scratch. By refusing to learn from the mistakes and successes of the past, Aperture is just plowing through falling into all kinds of stupid, avoidable pitfalls.
    • Cave's insanity is a way to handwave the success Aperture had. Aperture started out as a shower curtain sales company, but they expanded their business as they got contract from Department of Defense, got into space race, invented portal guns, those gels, tested nano machines and such. It's comically exaggerated. Basically, it's like a caricature of Steve Jobs, with insanity, disregard for others and accomplishments taken up to eleven. It's their method of working and producing results. It's that unsafe approach and total disregard for safety and wellbeing of participants that got them high in the first place.
  • There's been some complaints about the lack of cake in Portal 2. It makes sense, though: at the end of the first game, you destroyed the Information Sphere, which held all of GLaDOS' knowledge about cake!
    • She does make one offhand reference to the cake in one of her traps, though. She still remembers the cake, but without the sphere, she isn't nearly as fixated on it.
  • In the first game you defeat GLaDOS by blasting personality cores off her. In the second game you defeat Wheatley by putting defective personality cores on him.
    • Especially given that, counting Wheatley, it's four each time.
      • That would explain why when you put the first core on Wheatley it says "Warning. Core corruption at 50%". After that first one, it goes up by 25%, which would make Wheatley the first 25%.
  • The announcer states that all the sentries have been given one copy of the Three Laws of Robotics to share. There is one turret that doesn't shoot you and states "I'm different!"
    • The announcer states that all military androids have been given one copy of the Three Laws. "Android" specifically refers to a humanoid robot; turrets are certainly not.
  • After the credits, the Space Core is in a remarkably fast orbit around Wheatley. Why? Because he's so dense!
    • Alternatively: what else was sucked out into space? The portal gun. What does the portal gun contain? A miniature black hole. That's what Wheatley and the Space core are orbiting around, as well as all the air.
    • They're orbiting each other, or rather, their common centre of gravity. The camera is locked on Wheatley, so it looks like the Space Core is circling him. (I'm not sure if the static starfield pokes a hole in this theory.)
    • Static starfield negates that theory. Also, their shared mass would be far too small to allow such fast rotation around each other, gravitational pull wouldn't be enough to keep their orbits. Likewise, that miniature black hole couldn't have gravity large enough to hold space core in orbit, otherwise you'd have that same gravitational field pulling cores, boxes and other stuff at you on Earth. Large enough black hole would also weight some few hundred million tons or more, making Chell quite an athlete carrying that portal gun, outpowering current top athletes by a factor of maybe 10 million or more. I like the "he's just so dense" theory the best.
  • In the first Portal, GLaDOS mentions that all Aperture Science technology can work at up to 4,000 Kelvins. Assuming this is as high as Aperture incinerators go, this leads to a segment of brilliance. You never killed the Companion Cube. As you find out in the endings of both games.
    • 4000 K is a very high temperature. The surface of the sun is nearly 6000 K, so I highly doubt Aperture has incinerators that can burn at 4000 K. What's more likely (considering Aperture's track record) is that everything thrown into the incinerators is still down there, screaming.
    • But doesn't that also mean that you never killed the personality cores at the end of the first game, either?
      • Oh..... oh God... Knowing what we now know about just how sentient those cores could have been, I feel really bad for dooming them to that now.
      • In the teaser trailer for Portal 2, when it shows the incinerator, you can see a Companion Cube off to the side. Maybe the cores fell all the way into the incinerator and were completely destroyed, but the Companion Cube just got caught on the edge and thus only got burnt.
  • As you're on the elevator finally leaving Aperture at the end, You encounter turrets. However, they don't shoot you. Instead, they serenade you. But what was one of the things GLaDOS said as she was letting you go? " Don't come back" Those turrets aren't there to shoot Chell on her way out... they're in place to shoot her if she tries to come back in.
    • You know how the Combine hadn't found Aperture? The room full of turrets probably killed anyone who found the entrance, and was foolish enough to enter. Thus, no witnesses.
    • It is quite possible that the turrets would have killed you if Wheatley had gone through with the original escape plans. Would GLaDOS really have let you go that easily? So in fact, Wheatley saves your life by preventing you from leaving at that point, and only once GLaDOS develops an... 'attachment' to you do the turrets not fire.
      • Chell saved GLaDOS' life twice. First by saving GLaDOS from the bird, and then by plugging GLaDOS back into her body so she could stop the Enrichment Center from blowing up. GLaDOS returned the favor; first by saving Chell from being sucked out into space, and again by calling off the turrets guarding the way to the surface.
  • In Portal 2, we learn that Aperture Science had a Portal Gun in the 50s. Why didn't they bother marketing such a world-changing tool? Because AS has always considered the Portal Gun to be a mere testing tool for their other projects they intended to make money off... most of which had a habit of doing exactly what they were meant to do.
  • Why is there an enormous room of turrets pointed at you when you take the elevator to leave? Simple. Remember when GLaDOS said that the reason she was letting you go was that "Killing you is hard"? She was overtly pointing out that she could have killed you, she just didn't want to. This is about as close to a heartwarming moment as GLaDOS can get.
  • One could wonder how could the power of Aperture Laboratories still be running after all those years? Infinite energy by portal technology hidden somewhere in the complex of course!
    • The frequent, explicit mentions of a "Reactor Core" of some kind would also indicate the complex runs entirely on its own grid. It's no wonder the Combine never discovered it.
    • It's stated in the promotional video for the portal gun that it runs off a reactor powered by a miniature black hole. It's not difficult to imagine that they'd make a bigger reactor to power the facility.
  • Why is it possible for Chell to escape GLaDOS in the first game? Because, as revealed in the second, she has a compulsion to test. Even the death trap is a hidden test. Why is it possible to get to Wheatley in 2? Because he's trying to keep Chell away. Why is it possible to beat him? Because he's trying to keep you from beating him.
  • Why did Chell put on weight in the stasis chamber? Because she was a little girl and is now all grown up.
    • She was an adult during Portal 1. (Portal 2 actually makes her look a bit younger.)
    • How can it be possible for someone to age in Stasis? It's not like she tucked herself into bed for 200 years, Chell was in complete suspended animation, only woken up once Fifty days after she was inserted.
      • The official timeline released by Valve suggests she was eleven during the "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" event, which is the exact day that GLaDOS took over and the facility was evacuated (yes, people escaped). Here's the Brilliance knowing that fact: The Relaxation Chambers and Vaults are NOT Suspended Animation systems, they're Deep Sleep Cells with advanced life support.
    • It's water weight, since she was essentially a Human Popsicle most of that time, and everybody knows what happens to a piece of meat if you leave it in the freezer for a while without removing the air first ... note 
      • Frozen meat does that because the ice crystals destroy muscle cells, which is called frostbite when it happens to a living thing. It typically requires the affected area to be amputated, due to being necrotic.
  • Wheatley is an idiot, built to be an idiot. Now you realize why they told him if he did anything, he'd die...
  • After the finale Wheatley is floating through space, the one thing he wants to do is apologize to Chell. Remember that Wheatley spent the final chapters of the game behaving in every way like an addict desperate for a fix, because the testing gave him pleasure. One of the steps in the Hollywood-version of the 12 step rehab is realizing you had a problem. Another is apologizing and making amends to everyone you've wronged.
  • How the heck did GLaDOS set up an entire roomful of robots in the short amount of time she had and have them sing opera? It's not like she had an entire roomful of robots just laying aro... OH MY GOD, it's the screaming robots room!
  • In the Rattmann comic, we see that Rattmann talks to his Companion Cube. This may explain why GLaDOS feels the need to remind Chell that the Companion Cube cannot speak. If GLaDOS witnessed one of his worse trips (like the one that prompted him to draw the cube with skulls on it), it might explain the Suspiciously Specific Denial, too.
  • It seems strange that, In Portal 2, Wheatley seems to come much much closer to actually threatening and killing Chell than GLaDOS did. Until you realize that the reason is his incompetence and lack of managerial expertise leaves him single-mindedly testing, and then later attempting to kill you, at the expense of upkeep and stability. He's literally throwing everything at you, while GLaDOS held back at least enough to try and maintain the damn place.
  • After the morality core is incinerated at the end of the original Portal, GLaDOS grows aggressive and tries to kill you in earnest; but even before it was incinerated, she DID try to (somewhat passively) burn you alive. Shouldn't the core have kept her from harming you at all? And as a matter of fact, how the hell did it fall off so easily in the first place? You didn't even have to do anything, it just dropped off! ..the answer is simple. She was a woman (or computer, technically) of loose morals.
    • It's worth noting that the Morality Core is the only personality core in both games that is completely silent.
    • Perhaps the Morality Core was working the whole time. It's not until the core is destroyed that GLaDOS makes any overt attempts to kill you. She does provide you with the portal gun, and the previous attempts at death could be seen as conditions of the testing and/or the results of your choices (she didn't force you onto the conveyor belt that leads to a raging inferno, after all), and she brings you back to life each time you do die.
    • In the comic Rattman notes that you can always ignore your conscience, the morality core probably only gave her knowledge of right and wrong. Knowing what you're doing is wrong is one thing, it's another thing to care that it's wrong.
  • Remember when Wheatley starts talking about card games? Well "shoot the moon" just happens to be a playing card term. Granted, Wheatley was talking about Poker, not Hearts...
  • The Emancipation Grids will emancipate all unauthorized equipment. You know what that means? It means the Aperture basically had the solution to the world's garbage problem. But they only used it for testing!
  • It may seem rather odd that GLaDOS just lets Chell go at the ending. It almost seems like an anticlimax that the brutal, sadistic AI would do such a thing rather than slowly, painfully killing Chell. But listen to the "Want You Gone" song. "You've got your short, sad life left./That's what I'm counting on." Then consider what universe this takes place in. And the implications of an apocalypse outside. GLaDOS knows about the condition of the outside world, and wants Chell to go out there with hope of survival, only to discover the ruins of a lost society. Doesn't that seem much more painful than standard torture?
    • It could be more of a case of sour grapes. As others have theorized, GLaDOS got rid of Chell because of her dangerous indomitability, not to mention that she'd just witness an AI fall to it. GLaDOS didn't know what was outside the facility at the end of the first Portal, and the 'yesterday I saw a deer' stuff had to have been false because the previous day, she was dead. GLaDOS is just hoping that the world sucks and that Chell's remaining sixty or so years are miserable. It's all she can take solace in - that Chell finds a new torturer in the form of the world. Something else that can treat her wrong.
      • “To maintain a constant testing cycle, I simulate daylight at all hours and add adrenal vapor to your oxygen supply. So you may be confused about the passage of time. The point is, yesterday was my birthday. I thought you’d want to know.”
    • Or maybe GLaDOS really wanted Chell to be Okay. During the Song you have the lines "Go make some new disaster That's what I'm counting on" which can be interpreted as GLaDOS' way of sicking Chell on the Combine. Sort of a "Give em Hell, Chell."
    • And here's a thought: Wheatley is supposed to have bad ideas, right? What was his idea way in the beginning? Getting outside.
      • Even the greatest morons can have a stroke of genius. Unfortunately, this does not mean that they can accomplish this goal.
    • Of course, the translation of the Turret Opera heavily implies if not outright states that GLaDOS does indeed care about Chell.
  • The Thermal Discouragement Beams can cleanly slice through metal pipes, but take nearly 2 seconds to kill Chell. Why? Human skin is not as good a thermal conductor as metal.
    • And because inanimate metal tends not to recoil from pain.
  • Why can you break some of Wheatley's monitors with turret gunfire? They know about his creation of frankenturrets and want to avenge them.
  • GLaDOS' gift of an opera performance at the end is an interesting counterpoint to Wheatley's Feigning Intelligence a few test chambers earlier.
  • Several of GLaDOS' phrases in the first game came directly from listening to Cave Johnson's speeches accessed through Caroline's memories stored within her!
    Cave: "In layman's terms, that's a billion little gizmos that are gonna travel into your bloodstream..."
    GLaDOS: "In layman's terms: speedy thing goes in, speedy thing goes out!"
    Cave: "Why not marry safe science if you love it so much?"
    GLaDOS: "Maybe you should marry that thing if you love it so much."
  • During Evil!Wheatley's Reason You Suck Speech you wonder why he constantly brings up all the times he thought he was going to die? Because, as was stated earlier in the game, GLaDOS' body backs up the last 2 minutes of a computer's life before its death, forcing them to relive those moments over and over. Now is it any wonder if Evil!Wheatley was not just into the testing for the "euphoric response"?
  • How was GLaDOS able to cool down the reactor core so quickly? The BSODs you encounter prior to the final battle imply that all she had to do was press a key.
  • GLaDOS tells you, as a potato she literally doesn't have the power to lie to you. But when she realizes that Wheatley is developing a resistance to the euphoric response of the mainframe, she acts frightened, but says "I'm...sure we'll be fine." She just lied. So, either 1.6 volts is enough to power lies or she purposefully abandoned her habit of lying to you in order to help you.
    • There's a difference between outright fabrication and self-assurance.
    • Also, she may have been lying when she told you she didn't have the power to lie. She does like to do that, you know.
    • She is in the company of the person that survived her deadly testing, twice, and killed her. Taking into account what she says at the end, she could have very well thought they would be fine.
  • In Portal 2, when Wheatley starts to read, he mentions Machiavelli being the only book around. Machiavelli wrote "The Prince", a story with the moral "The End Justifies the Mean". GLaDOS became obsessed with results, so she took a page from MacDaddy Velli's book and started to kill people for the best results.
    • More brilliance: Wheatley makes the dubious claim that he "understood the whole thing". The idea that "The Prince" justifies doing bad things as long as the results are good is a common misconception (in fact, many historians argue that the whole thing is intended as satire). Wheatley's showing the same misconceptions as many people who claim to have "understood the whole thing".
  • So, in Portal 2, Chell has Long Fall Boots instead of her ankle braces from the first game. Why the switch? Sure, the braces broke, as revealed in the Lab Rat comic, but why did the party attendant switch her to boots? Remember in one of the early test chambers Chell has to jump across three platforms, two of which keep submerging themselves in the toxic waste on the floor? Chell is barefoot. And she walked across surfaces covered in deadly toxic waste. By the end of the game, her feet must have been damaged enough that, in order for her to be any use in a test chamber ever again, they had to give her feet some form of prosthetic attachment, which happened to double as a fall brace!
    • If you mean test chamber 14 in the first Portal game, that one can be solved without even going near these platforms or skipping them with portals.
  • Aperture Science uses the whole bullet! As evidenced by the investment promo, the inner workings of the Turret are nothing more than spring-based catapults. They're freaking glorified airsoft guns. Which is why you can take more than one bullet despite only wearing a jumpsuit; it doesn't kill me, it just HURTS!
  • Who are Chell's parents? Sure, Caroline is a part of GLaDOS, her brain uploaded by the will of Cave Johnson. And yeah, Cave Johnson could be the turret you met that doesn't shoot you, which you can tell by his quotes like her name is Caroline, get mad, and don't make lemonade quotes, and the husband of Caroline, attempting to upload her into GLaDOS so she can live forever. And yeah Chell has a science project from Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. And yeah it was weird that GLaDOS had the turrets sing opera on how Chell was a sweet daughter and sa-. Whoa,whoa,whoa,WHOA! Time out for a second. Chell Johnson... This really explains the reason GLaDOS makes her adoption remarks. Chell is the daughter of Caroline and Cave Johnson, and the part of Caroline deep in GLaDOS's database must have seeped into her knowledge!
    • But is directly stated that Cave Johnson couldn't upload his mind, as the tecnology wasn't available until after he died, and thats the whole reason they uploaded Caroline instead, maybe that turret was a simulation of him? A FAILED ATTEMPT? probably not, I'm overthinking this
    • Cave Johnson. Caroline Johnson. Chell Johnson. Noticing a pattern? Also, that technology may have been available while he was still alive according to the unreleased audio of Cave forcing Caroline into GLaDOS' body.
  • Cave Johnson's name. Cave is a rather weird first name; why would someone be named after a cave? But if you think about Latin, it means "beware"; it's the root of "caveat" as in "caveat emptor" as in "let the buyer beware". Now the name seems pretty apt, eh? -Gneissisnice.
  • GlaDOS' personality seemed different, specifically a lot more stable, in the second game. But that's not Character Derailment: You defeat Wheatley by corrupting him with unstable cores. Remembering back to the first game your defeat of GLaDOS involves removing her (unstable) personality cores. So once she's reactivated of course she'd be more stable and less prone to glitches (though no less homicidal).
    • You also incinerated the anger core in the first game so she doesn't have as big of a capacity for anger against you.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, here is the BIG Fridge Brilliance, the one to top them all: Portal 2 is filled with subtle references to Greek Mythology. The quotation from the Defective Turret, about Prometheus being cast into the depths of the earth and pecked at by birds? That's barely scratching the surface. The highlights:
    • GLaDOS is, of course, analogous to Prometheus.
    • Wheatley - poor little stupid Wheatley - is his brother Epimetheus. Epimetheus was clumsy, made bad decisions, and was the Titan of hindsight. Doesn't Wheatley wish he could take it all back by the end?
    • ATLAS is... well, Atlas. That was easy.
    • P-Body is his brother Menoetius.
    • And Chell is Pandora. In Greek myth, Epimetheus leads Pandora to open Pandora's Box, and brings death and destruction upon the world. Now what does Wheatley do again... oh right! He nearly destroys Aperture!
    • One last bonus. That field you end up in at the end of the game? It's (a metaphor for) Elysium, the special part of the afterlife set aside for heroes.
    • Just another example, proving the OP right: The 'Random Fact Sphere", which you put on Wheatley in the end, at one point says this:
    In Greek myth, Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gave it to humankind. The jewelry he kept for himself.
    • At the beginning of Chapter 6, prior to opening the overly-large door, you're in a large, open space with massive concrete pilings holding up the roof. The sides of them read "Tartarus," a.k.a. Greek Hell.
    • In the painting in an hidden room in the 2nd act that shows Cave and Caroline together (this one), one can see a figurine of Aeschylus, the ancient Greek writer of the work, Promethus Unbound.
    • Chell could also, represent Heracles, who had to run around performing impossible tasks to please Hera, who hated him, and later frees Prometheus.
  • Why was Wheatley even thought of to be made real? Cave Johnson said science is about "why not?" instead of "why?". Wheatley was made for science since whenever he gets a bad idea, whoever was incharge of the ideas (Most likely Cave at the time,) could say all the BAD things about it instead of the positive ideas.
    • Artificial intelligence has been done to death. Artificial stupidity? That's breaking new ground, something that Cave would have loved.
  • Upon encountering Wheatley and his obsession with testing, GLaDOS essentially compares the feeling to the rush that a junkie gets after a fix. She then goes on to say that it's only the weak-willed like Wheatley who suffer from it. A common story among drug-addicts is that they first got into drugs because they were over-confident about their ability to resist addiction and they believed that only weak-willed / minded people succumbed to it or formed an addiction. It's also not unheard of for drug-addicts to insist that they're not addicted, they choose to keep doing the drug because of [X]. GLaDOS also says that she never experienced the high, she was just in it for the science. Denial, anyone?
  • Why did Wheatley decide to go through every potential password to stop GLaDOS, rather than just make a guess? Probably stupidity, but also because he's a computer! That's how computers solve problems: go through every possible solution until one fits. The only problem with Wheatley, aside from absentmindedly skipping potential solutions, is that he does it at the speed of a human, which makes it extremely time intensive.
  • The Portal turrets bear a striking resemblance to the Half-Life 2 ones (three legs, about the same height, a red-light beam to track targets.) Maybe Cave was right about Black Mesa stealing his ideas (or possibly the other way around)...
    • But the turrets in Half Life were the property of the military, not by Black Mesa. However, since the Portal turrets were "the consumer version of our most popular military product," it doesn't invalidate the Fridge Brilliance: Half Life turrets and Portal turrets are essentially the same.
    • Black Mesa apparently beat out Aperature Science as the Government's Military Contractor, so it's entirely possible that Black Mesa did steal the turret idea and sold it as their own. Also probably why it prompted Cave to make consumer versions of the turret, Black Mesa took the practical market, so Cave has to settle for the Consumer Market.
    • Another possibility is that Black Mesa snapped up the Aperture Science employees as Cave kept firing them. Including a few that had helped develop, maintain, and handle the base technology behind some of Aperture's products, like the turrets.
  • For Portal 2, Valve updated the design of the Aperture Science Cubes, including the Companion Cube. However, when Chell makes it to the surface the scorched Companion Cube she gets is one of the old designs. The implication here is that this is the same exact Companion Cube as Portal 1
    • That's not so much fridge as it is the entire point of the sequence.
  • Sometimes when a defective turret is tested and then called defective, one of them will shout: "You can't fire meee I quiiiiiiit!" Guess where they are heading.
  • The chapter title "The Fall" refers not only to Chell falling down a nigh-bottomless pit, but the fall of Aperture Science and Cave Johnson, from lavish and well-funded to hiring bums off the street.
    • In the same way, the next chapter titled "The Reunion" can refer to three different ones; The one between Chell and GLaDOS that happens moments before, the reunion between GLaDOS, Cave Johnson and Caroline that happens during the chapter, and the one between Chell, GLaDOS and Wheatley that they are heading to at the end of it. Though considering the first and last of these happen in the preceding and following chapters respectively, the reunion between GLaDOS, Caroline, and Cave is the most likely.
    • "The Surprise" can refer to GLaDOS's fake reunion with your parents or Wheatley breaking you out of the testing cycle mid-chamber.
  • For those of you knowledgeable in bread, think of what happens to Wheatley after GLaDOS crushes him: he becomes crushed wheat. note 
  • Why won't Chell talk? Well, considering how tough and stubborn she is, we can assume that she doesn't want to let give GLaDOS the satisfaction of hearing her voice. But why doesn't she want to talk to Wheatley? Wheatley is Aperture Science equipment, so we can also assume that Chell didn't initially trust him.
    • The out of game explanation is that if the character the player controls speaks seperately it can break immersion, especially if they say something the player would not. The in game explanation is that Chell is mute, presumably by damaage to the Broca (speech) area of her brain.
      • Actually, Word of God is that Chell can speak just fine. She just doesn't want to give GLaDOS the satisfaction of ever possibly hearing her.
      • That explanation doesn't make any sense, however, as she remains silent even when doing so is nonsensical or even detrimental to her health. She jumps instead of speaking when Wheatley asks her to say something, refuses to speak to him even though he's helping her, and most condemning, can't use paradoxes after learning how powerful they are. Near the end of the game, Chell learns a single spoken phrase that, while ineffective against Wheatley, will instantly kill any turrets that happen to be around her. She never uses it, even during the ending when the elevator doors pop open to reveal four turrets with sights locked on her; she could fry them all with a sentence, and instead stands helpless against her inevitable murder; if they had turned out to be genuinely hostile, her refusal to speak would have gotten her killed. It makes no sense for it to be by choice.
  • To defeat Wheatley, you have to attach defective cores to him, yeah? Knowledge without regard to context? Obsession with space? Gung-ho adventure attitude? To win the game, you have to turn Wheatley into Cave Johnson!
    • This implies that Wheatley's default state, making horrible, unworkable plans, is also part of Cave Johnson... which I think is pretty well-established by now.
      • The brilliance. Cave Johnson is also extremely successful, but only at bad ideas (The dietary aids, mantis men, etc). Wheatley, once hooked up to the core, is extremely competent at bad ideas.
  • In Co-Op, the discs you find are huge. Which makes sense, 'cause they're made by Aperture, the only scientists in the world who would make Compact Discs that are two feet wide.
    • Maybe they're laserdiscs. Those things are huge.
  • Right before introducing you to the crusher, Wheatley suggests a comparison: "Holmes vs. Moriarty... Aristotle vs. — MASHY SPIKE PLATE!" The joke is that Aristotle's famous rival was Plato.
    • Though Aristotle and Plato weren't really rivals. Aristotle was a student of Plato and stayed at his Academy until Plato's death.
  • This picture of Cave Johnson is supposed to resemble Walt Disney. What do these two have in common? Yes, they both have big ambition, big ideas and enough money to do it. But also, there are rumors that Walt Disney's dead body was put in cryogenic storage so that he can be revived. What was the last idea Cave came up with before his death?
  • You know how Chell's potato kept growing even though the others didn't? It probably symbolizes the fact that, unlike other test subjects, Chell will never give up.
    • Or the fact that Chell added "something special from Dad's work".
  • At the end of Portal, GLaDOS sings: "I'm not even angry..." Of course she isn't - you destroyed her "anger" core, so she's incapable of being angry.
  • The definition of "aperture" is a hole through with light travels, such as an aperture lens in a camera. Remmeber the Aperture Science motto: "There's a hole in the sky through which things can fly". Not to mention that a portal is basically an aperture. Brilliant!
    • "A hole in the sky through which things can fly"? Where have I heard that before...oh. Oh. OH!!! The end of the game! "Flying through a hole in the sky" is exactly what happens to Chell and GLaDOS! Valve, you're brilliant!
    • An Aperture is to light what a Valve is to water.
    • Or rather... an aperture is to light what a Valve is to Steam!
    • GLaDOS actually helped save the world from utter hopelesseness. The Combine's only weakness against the humans was that while they could teleport to and from dimensions, they couldn't travel within one dimension. Now imagine if GLaDOS had never taken control of Aperture Laboratories, cut off all outside contact, and allowed the Combine to view research for the single most perfect intradimensional teleportation device ever... Pity the poor Combine who stumbled over Aperture Labs. It's questionable if they could have even taken the place if they'd come in force; given their ineptitude at taking out a determined band of rebels, GLaDOS and her robots and freeform reconfiguring of the entire facility would have meant that maybe they could have destroyed it, but never taken it.
    • That only happened because the assault force on White Forest consisted of the remnants of a single Combine unit after that whole nasty "world wide rebellion" thing, and they were still busy with the Xen creatures. And world wide rebellion actually means world wide rebellion here; the glorified police forces that constitute the Overwatch had to deal with tens to hundreds of millions of determined combatants- every single person in City 17 appeared to be armed and ready, at least. Taking a facility like Aperture would be completely trivial to even the military of a small nation, to say nothing of the combined forces of the entire planet (at least).
  • In Portal 2, a recording from Cave Johnson informs you of one of his financial follies in buying millions of dollars in moon dust. He goes on to say that it seemed crazy at the time, but the liquid goo it makes is a good bonding surface for portals. It seems like an odd tidbit, until the final stage where you shoot a portal to the moon and it connects!
    • Oh, and Cave Johnson's complaints about Lunar Poison? Severe pneumoconiosis caused by inhalation of moon dust. Yes, this can really happen, and you can even hear him coughing because of it near the end. No prizes for guessing what Chell will probably die of.
      • Unless she thought to hold her breath before getting sucked through the portal. She did remember that bit about conversion gel being made of moon rocks...while still reeling from being blown across the room.
      • Considering she's also crawled though a crumbling facility full of dangerous asbestos, had extensive contact with the portal gun which emits deadly radiation, been splattered with the toxic repulsion gel and has had several near-lethal exposures of neurotoxin, she either exceptionally resilient or is never going to make it to retirement age. Probably both.
  • Computer Aided Enrichment Center = CAEC. The CAEC is a lie. The cake is a lie.
    • If CAEC = cake, then "You will be baked, and then there will be cake." takes on a different meaning - it's not a darkly humorous miswording, but a clear explanation - after you are baked (thrown into the incinerator), all that will remain is the CAEC.
    • Also: Computer Aided Enrichment Center. The computer isn't there to "aid" you beyond the basic tutorial bits, and there's nothing really being "enriched" by you being put through those test chambers. The only thing accurate about the name is the fact that it is a center with a computer running it. So yes, the CAEC really is a lie.
  • Fan work, but whatever. "Wheatley's Song" has the phrase "My IQ'S the infinite space from here to the moon." At first glance, this seems to solidifies Wheatley's "intelligence." Perhaps the song is sung after the game's end, when he's actually a great distance from Earth's moon? - Baronofbarons
    • Actually, the song does actually solidify Wheatley's "intelligence," but not because of the relatively short distance between the Earth and the Moon, but rather because there cannot be infinite distance in-between two known points.
    • Or rather, it's literally true. His mind is the space between the Earth and the Moon: almost completely empty.
  • Consider the Space Core's Dummied Out line "Too much space. Wanna go to Earth. Getting bored of space." Ignoring the grammatical error (one does not get bored "of" something, one gets bored "with" it), it seems like the Space Core might not be a Space core at all, but rather an Aspiration Core! Space was something that the locked-in GLaDOS would never see, so that was what the core fixated on. Once it reaches that goal, it reaches out for a new one— the earth, which, sadly, neither it nor Wheatley are likely to see again.
  • The reason GLaDOS hadn't found Caroline before the events of Portal 2 is because, as evidenced by the "Goodbye, Caroline!" line, Caroline seemed like a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and wouldn't have much of a mental presence anyway.
  • An interesting little bit of foreshadowing in Portal 2, around the time when you first meet Wheatley. As he detaches himself to accompany you unabated, he insists that you catch him but regardless of what the player does, Chell always just drops him on the floor and has to pick him up. Parallel this to the end of the game where, as he's being detached from the core by GLaDOS, he once again yells at Chell to grab him in a panic, but once again, Chell (and the player) can't do anything and we just see Wheatley fly off into space, unable to "pick him up" as before, signifying his shift as Chell's companion, yet Chell herself is grabbed by GLaDOS, possibly signifying an equivalent shift in the relationship between the two. Especially backed up by the fact that GLaDOS doesn't kill Chell.
  • Anyone worrying Chell will be dying of moonrock poisoning from conversion gel should note Cave's statement that Aperture were also researching whether jumping in and out of portals would allay the effect of the poison. While it sounds stupid and presumably didn't save Cave Johnson, a lot of their weird ideas have yielded results (portals, brain uploading, mantis men) suggesting Aperture can achieve when they put their minds to it and we shouldn't be too quick to dismiss. Basically you can consider that line a Hand Wave establishing Chell will be okay if that is what you want.
    • More to the point, Chell is never exposed to the dust of ground up moon rock, only to the conversion gel. People can and do dig clay for decades without troubles; breathing in brick dust can cause silicosis. Brick dust:clay::powdered moon rock:conversion gel.
    • Anyone worrying Chell will be dying of moonrock poisoning should remember two words: Emancipation Grills. If those things can emancipate dental fillings, then they probably can clean out the moon dust from one's bloodstream. A pity Cave didn't think of it but maybe the Grills weren't as powerful/accurate back in his day. Maybe the whole dental emancipation was an unwanted side effect of reconfiguring the Grills to emancipate moon rock in the first place.
  • Some of GLaDOS' insults seem to be projection on her part:
    • Being adopted- GLaDOS, being a super-powerful AI, doesn't have parents (unless you count the scientists who built her, in which case she's a Self-Made Orphan). As for "Caroline"- she doesn't seem to remember much about her past life as Caroline other than working for Cave Johnson, and either doesn't remember her parents or was an orphan herself.
    • Being a murderer- like most psychopaths, GLaDOS puts the blame on her victims for her own wrongdoings, and either ignores or justifies her own attempts to kill Chell.
    • Being fat- GLaDOS is connected to the entire facility, and thus pretty much IS the facility, and the complex goes on for miles in all directions, making her the biggest lady in the game. Either that, or Caroline gained a lot of weight later in life before being uploaded into GLaDOS.
  • Wheatley starts showing a surprising skill at underhandedness later in the game- specifically, after he told you he read Machiavelli. Guess he wasn't making that up.
  • In the early parts of the Turret Factory. Wheatley tells you that little story about the caretaker killing his robot assistants, and you can still hear their replacements screaming, but no one knows why. GLaDOS mentions she built a room "Where the robots scream at you." Guess that's why they're screaming, GLaDOS just wanted a room full of screaming robots.
  • Wheatley and GLaDOS share the exact same colors as the Portals: Blue and Orange, and throughout the game, Wheatley saves you from many, many hazards. GLaDOS saving you a lot more later on may be meant to reflect that either type of portal can save you either way.
  • During the first Core Transfer, Wheatley shouts "Shoot for the stars!" in encouragement to you. And what do you end up doing at the climax?
  • When GLaDOS is bluffing about Chell's parents, she says something along the lines of "There are two other people in here with your last name." That could imply, in a couple of different ways, that Chell is somehow related to Cave Johnson and, possibly, Caroline:
    • Johnson is a fairly common surname.
    • She could just be referring to Cave and his wife (potentially Caroline), because she might have been looking through the Aperture employee list instead of the list of people actually in stasis.
  • Cave Johnson seems like the kind of guy who would sign off on (or, in general, do) anything for a piece of cake. As long as it wasn't lemon cake.
  • Remember what GLaDOS tells you about her quick-save feature? About how it forced her to relive her death for YEARS? Now read this, from the Portal Trope page—"Game-Breaking Bug: [...] If you fall off one of the platforms in the middle of one of the game's auto saves, you'll end up in an endless loop of respawning and dying." Self-Deprecation, anybody?
  • You may have noticed that when you fire a portal just off of one of the aerial faith plate targets, the projectile manages to autocorrect and hit that center of that target, even if there's a large amount of space on either side for the portal to form, meaning the projectile must be able to seek out some sort of Aperture Science technology. When you shoot the portal gun at the moon, it always seeks out one of the later Apollo landings. Aperture Science spent a ton of money to get moon, of which there's only 380 kg brought back from the Apollos. Aperture Science must have sent up one of the faith plate targets to the moon on one of the Apollos, and the portal projectile sought that out when Chell shot the moon.
  • $60 is not so much a random number as it was the average cost of a console video game at the time of Portal 2 release.
  • You know when GLaDOS captures you in the obvious trap and transports you in a casing room similar to the first test? The only other thing with you in that room is a toilet seat. Just seems like nothing at first, but then you remember she's about to kill you and she's seen human death before. She gave you a toilet to empty your bowels in before you die!! -Rocky Samson
    • Also remember what the toilet says in the first game when you use it: "Your business is appreciated." Use the toilet here. It says nothing. Your business is no longer appreciated.
  • Why does the Morality Core from the first game never speak? Many people assume it's broken/catatonic/dead. But fast-forwarding all the way to the end of Portal 2, Wheatley gives us this gem during the final battle:
    Wheatley: But you don't listen, do you? Quiet. All the time. Quietly not listening to a word I say. Judging me. Silently. The worst kind.
Aperture Science AIs hate being silently judged. The Morality Core was doing its job perfectly - not by being another voice in GLaDOS's head but simply by watching everything she did in utter silence.
  • In addition, notice what happens when you pick it up. Every other core in either game looks around and talks about something. Once it has its bearings, the Morality Core stares straight forward, directly at you. It's watching and judging everything YOU do, now. Yup, working as intended.
    • There might be another reason why the Morality Core doesn't speak to you: it doesn't find anything morally wrong with killing GLaDOS.
  • Remember the trope namer for Nice Job Breaking It, Hero? Specifically how GLaDOS tells you that the core you just destroyed made shoes for orphans? Chell is supposed to be an orphan, but look at her feet. She's not wearing any shoes! This means that either the shoe making unit wasn't working right, or GLaDOS is being a lying liar who lies.
  • At the beginning of the game, the announcer mentions that Earth may have been taken over by a sentient cloud or animal king, and the player just shrugs it off as Aperture being weirdly paranoid. However, in the Perpetual Testing Initiative, there are alternate dimensions containing sentient clouds and animal kings. Assuming the DLC is canon, Aperture was being serious with those announcements.
  • This just came to me reading this very page and seeing a comparison post of WALL•E to Portal and Half-Life. In Wall-E, all of the tech, machinery and AI have a 'directive', which is basically their reason for 'living' or operating. Notice how GLaDOS and Wheatley are shaped completely differently (GLaDOS isn't a ball-shaped core, but instead is an 'eye' in a semi-circular half-exposed case, seen in the Peer Review ending and her 'reawakening scene' where she drags her 'head' into view.) This would mean that GLaDOS (and by extension the mainframe chassis) were built as one (I.e. They didn't build the chassis first then fit her on it) and replacement cores were fitted as an afterthought. Now, when Caroline was uploaded into the mainframe and was tasked to oversee the 'tests', her thoughts (now warped and twisted into GLaDOS) might have been something along the lines of "They want tests? I'll give them tests!" and made them as sadistically hard as possible while spewing neurotoxin ('neuro' targets the nervous system, which includes the brain, which you need for puzzles) all over the place. That thought of sadistic testing got implanted into Mainframe, the Chassis and GLaDOS to such a degree that it became the Directive for all three mentioned: The mainframe's access to the entire facility to construct tests, the chassis overriding any core's programming with its Directive and GLaDOS losing all reason on why she was testing other than 'For Science!' (losing Caroline's memories over time except for her Directive). Caroline's rage at the scientists became the Directive of the chassis, which in turn made the chassis imprint the primary directive of lethal testing paramount to any AI (apart from GLaDOS since she dealt with it the most and has learned to ease off to maintain the place) attached to it. It's not that GLaDOS wasn't affected by the chassis's compulsion to test, she created the compulsion to test and imprinted it into the chassis. The euphoria response was the leftover rage from Caroline putting the scientists through torture and the delight of them surviving so she can do it again. Over time, she forgot why she was getting the euphoria response and began to ignore it.
  • There was one chamber in the Portal 2 where Cave's recordings warn you that the chamber is used to test time travel. Perhaps he was already trying to extend his life far enough for his brain to be uploaded into a computer as he wanted, and what better way than just traveling to a time period where it's possible?
  • Bit of brilliance in this article right here. The author is pointing out how GlaDOS's song at the end of Portal 1 is not what it first seems to be; she doesn't hate Chell because she tried to kill her, she hates her because she failed to kill her.
  • Near the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Eli Vance was deathly afraid of using Aperture's research vessel, The Borealis, saying that such technology should be destroyed. Portal 2 pretty much shows us the kinds of technology Aperture Science makes, and why Eli was right to be afraid of it.
  • Ok, so a turret's guns are designed to launch the whole cartridge out of the barrel through a piston mechanism, rather than firing just the bullet like in a normal gun. Yet, when the turrets fire in the game, you can hear the rounds going off and see the sparks. A clear case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, right? Nope. Remember that this is Aperture Science, the company that fails so hard they fail at failing. The piston would have to hit the cartridge really, incredibly hard to get enough velocity to be worthwhile; so hard, in fact, that it actually sets off the primer, which fires the bullet like normal. Thus, the only difference between an Aperture Science turret gun and a normal machine gun is that the turret gun ejects the spent shell through the barrel rather than the breech.
  • A thought brought on from one of the lines in "Want You Gone" — "you've got your short, sad life now". It's possible Gla DOS didn't release Chell out of mercy. She knows that every time she's tried to kill her, Chell has managed to worm out of it. It may be easier to shut her out of the facility, wait for at most a hundred years, then go back to testing when the one person who's been a match for her is dead.
    • Another bit of Fridge about that song: imagine that GLaDOS is addressing both Chell and the player in her song. She's smothering Chell in well-wishes and assurances that she'll be fine, while at the same time taking potshots at the player.
      (To Chell) "Good-bye my only friend. (To the player) Oh, did you think I meant you? That would be funny, if it weren't so sad."
  • If you finish the second stage of the final fight with only one second to spare until reactor meltdown, you still get full two minutes on the third timer, even though destroying the second timer didn't actually abort the imminent meltdown. Sounds like standard Anti-Frustration Features, right? But remember, this is Aperture Science. They have a timed self-destruct mechanism designed to remove the uncertaintly of not knowing the Exact Time to Failure. What if the second timer is also some kind of self-destruct mechanism, an enforced Exact Time to Failure? If the timer says the reactor is going to melt down in three minutes, then it damn better melt down exactly in three minutes, or else!
  • The Emancipation Grill's name. Emancipation is the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation. Whatever passes through the Grill is "liberated", in a manner. However, Companion Cubes are not faced with the threat of this at all during Portal. What this may imply(jumping into WMG territory), is that since there are theories that humans are compressed inside Companion Cubes, GLaDOS is avoiding getting them dissolved so that the secret could not possibly be revealed. After all, watching a human suffer fits will in her nature against them. GLaDOS liberates what she wants; humans are not one of those things, strongly supporting the "humans are in cubes" theory. Talk about combined Brilliance and Horror.
  • On a lighter note: Wheatley, the Intelligence Dampening Sphere, is a literal Idiot Ball.
  • When we first hear of Caroline, Cave tells us, "Sorry, boys. She's Science!" Well, now she is.

     Fridge Horror 
  • Remember how Cave introduces himself in the 70s-Era recording? "You might remember me from the 1968 Senate committee hearings on missing astronauts." Aperture Science accidentally killed some of NASA's finest during testing and then tried to cover it up.
  • And when you sabotage the turret template, the end result is that now, the production line devotes itself to building quality turrets just to throw them screaming into an incinerator while letting the crap ones go through.
  • Later on, GLaDOS tries to shut down Wheatley by reciting a paradox. Note that, after she does this, Wheatley is unaffected, but the Frankenturrets stop moving, and start sparking. They're still sentient.
    • Even GLaDOS had to remind herself not to think of it, or it might have fried her potato. Imagine her willpower!
      • In order to try to use the paradox on Wheatley, GLaDOS would have needed to think about the paradox to use in order to try to use it in the first place. If so, why didn't she short out from supposedly thinking of which one to use while going back up to where Wheatley was? Well, GLaDOS and Caroline were reunited earlier in the chapter. Caroline might have tried to help with it by thinking of the paradox to use on the way up, then relaying it one word at a time to GLaDOS when the time came (notice how GLaDOS says each word of the paradox with a bit of a silence in between each word).
  • So, at the end of Portal 2, Chell is released, no strings attached. This seems all good and well, except she's thrown into the wild with nothing but the clothes on her back, her companion cube and maybe a Portal Gun. Oh, and the litany of medical problems she'll have from Aperture Science's casual use of toxic substances.
    • However, GLaDOS does mention seeing a group of humans on the surface earlier, and Aperture Science is built near Cleveland. Considering that this takes place in the same continuity as Half-Life, Earth not being a whithered husk probably means that humanity won their war against the Combine, and thus live on. As for medical problems, the game likely takes place in the 2300's, and that's with whatever boost the Combine may have unintentionally provided to technological development.
      • We never hear exactly what condition those humans were. Considering that the field Chell is released to is completely pristine, with not a single trace of humanity other than the Aperture Science shed, Earth may be nothing but a Ghost Planet with a few scattered tribes of humanity inhabiting it.
      • Indeed, it's TOO pristine. You don't get treeless, bushless fields composed of a single kind of plant, every one of almost exactly the same height and maturity, in wilderness. Something was tending to that field.
      • Actually there's this thing called old field succession. Certain resilient species of plants colonize an area previously stripped barren to restore conditions conducive to other organisms. Which supports the idea of Earth being mostly decimated after the war against Combine.
      • Aperture Science is pretty big. If humanity is still alive and kicking, they would have already found it after 300 years.
      • Actually the shared continuity with Half-Life, and how insanely underground the place may be, this isn't too impossible. Figure that Black Mesa was a similar scale (seriously, they just never leveraged it) and it was a top secret facility run by comparably rich, and insane, people.
      • Keep in mind she also said she saw a deer, which are not creatures known for wandering around wheat fields. It's most likely all of the 'I saw a deer/human' comments are utter lies, since GLaDOS is a lying liar who lies about lying.
      • Also keep in mind that she said she saw the deer the day before. She had only just been reactivated, so it's impossible for her to have seen anything the day before.
      • Who knows how long Chell was in there for? How long were the periods between chambers?
    GLaDOS: (paraphrasing) I've added daylight hours and adrenal vapors to your one roomful of air, so you may be confused about the passage of time.
    • The fields are actually a pretty good indication that Chell is going to be all right. You don't get that uniform and neat field without someone farming it. There's going to be a farmer somewhere nearby.
      • Except, if you look closely at the Hard Light Bridge informational video, it shows the shack you emerge from at the end of the game, along with the fields. Something was tending to the fields all right, it was most likely an automated Aperture system used to gather energy for the Hard Light Bridges, and so how the rest of the planet looks, and whether there are indeed any survivors, is impossible to judge.
    • Another thing to keep in mind is that Chell was apparently abducted by GLaDOS at really young age, judging by the look of her "science project" on Take Your Daughter To Work Day. So, in addition to wandering a potential Ghost Planet alone she's potentially also got the mind of a child and a minor case of serious brain damage.
      • Yes, but Chell's files and photo, as seen in Lab Rat, show her as an adult or at least a teenager, so she was not a girl when she was put into stasis.
      • If you think it'd be bad to be like that on a humanless planet, just imagine what it'd be like WITHOUT humanity's extinction. Chell got by just fine in Aperture, with nothing but robots and AIs for company, none of whom could have been reasoned with anyway. Now she's in a post-apocalyptic world with, you know, actual people. Imagine Chell meeting a lone man (let's say the aforementioned farmer) who, considering the situation, would probably act unkindly to some degree toward Chell. Perhaps fear of or anger at the strange-looking, strange-acting outsider, or perhaps even lust toward a seemingly simple-minded woman who looks like she wouldn't fight back. Chell, being Chell, is more than capable of fighting off a lone attacker, but this would get her off to a decidedly bad start with the local humans. After all, most people in a post-apocalyptic society wouldn't side with a strange outsider. Welcome back to humanity, Chell. Have fun.
    • It's worth noting that, mild case of severe brain damage and possible side-effects from toxic chemicals aside, this is a girl who just survived three encounters with two insane artificial intelligences who forced her through lethal puzzles for their own sadistic amusement with only her wits and a portal gun to help her, survived being punched down a mine-shaft and clawed her way back up to the top again (through rotting structures that could have collapsed at any time), was forced into space, pulled back and survived. Come what may, I think it's fairly safe to say that she can take care of herself.
      • There's a difference between taking care of yourself with a portal gun in an environment built as an obstacle course for a portal gun, and taking care of yourself with a stick and whatever else you happen to find lying around in a post-apocalyptic world. Chell's portal gun was sucked into space. She has nothing to defend herself with if the first people she meets happen to be hostile. That being said, however, Chell does appear to be on a settled farm, which suggests the first people she meets will likely be farmers, and not violent raiders or some other form of dangerous human. Ranchers aren't really known for rape and murder.
      • True there's a difference, but it does still suggest that she's quick-witted and intelligent, capable of planning on her feet, has strong problem-solving skills, adapts well to new circumstances and is determined to survive — all useful skills for survival. She might at something of an immediate disadvantage, but she's not entirely helpless in the face of her new surroundings either. As for unarmed, if she meets any hostile enemies, she can hit them with the Companion Cube.
  • Early on, just after GLaDOS is revived, she mentions that they will be testing until Chell dies...and then, who knows, she might take on a REANIMATING THE DEAD - think about that...who would she be reanimating? Zombie Chell, testing forever?
    • ...That's not Fridge Horror. That's plain freaking obvious.
    • ...No, I think I see the fridge here...have you ever stopped to consider exactly what happens when you, playing Chell, die in the game and restart the level...?
    • That also explains why Gla DOS sang about a "short, sad life" Chell has left. 'Cause, you know, how people tends to mistreat zombies all the time. And she sang it after Chell has came back to civilization.
    • GLaDOS wasn't intending to bring Chell back as a zombie. She notes a few times that there's a problem with using a human being for testing when you only have one available: human beings can only live for so long before they wear out and die. Contrast with robots ATLAS and P-Body. They don't wear out. If they die, they come right back in a fresh body. And as an additional bonus, GLaDOS can destroy and rebuild them whenever, wherever, and as often as she wants. GLaDOS' "real surprise" was going to be putting Chell through that old Brain Uploading procedure and making her into another testing robot. Which would not only make Chell effectively immortal, but also put her under GLaDOS' control, denying her the ability to escape and wreak havoc like before.
  • Potato GLaDOS arguably experiences an in-game occurrence of Fridge Horror.
    Potato GLaDOS: Caroline... Caroline, Caroline... Why do I know that name? Did I kill her? Or... Oh my god. Look, you're... doing a great job. Can you handle things for yourself for a while? I need to think.
  • Somewhat more minor example. One of the warnings GLaDOS gives you when you first pick up the portal gun is to never submerge it in liquid, even partially. Later, it is revealed that the portal gun started as some sort of shower curtain project. In case you're not getting it: showers tend to involve water.
    • Wait, then why does the portal gun continue to function just fine in spite of being drenched in all three gels and what looked like clean water?
      • Maybe because GLaDOS is a lying liar who lies?
      • Simple. GLaDOS gives you that warning in the first game, and a considerable amount of time passed between Portal and Portal 2. You're using an updated model.
  • Consider the following; we all know GLaDOS is off her rocker, at least in the first game. She was an ax-crazy. cake obsessed However, as soon as she is removed from her body she is revealed to be smart, sincere and, surprisingly, emotional. Once you come back into contact with Wheatley, you see that he has become test-obsessed and eventually, murderously insane. Its GLaDOS' body. The body makes you crazy.
    • It doesn't just make you crazy. It makes you addicted to the thrill and 'hit' of putting someone through the test chambers. That's right. GLaDOS' body makes you an Ax-Crazy junkie.
      • Actually, PotatOS specifically mentioned that the body makes you a junkie, unless you have the mental capacity to push past it, quote: "I was in it for the science". She was never a junkie, she chose to test.
      • Alternatively, what's a common mantra you hear from drug addicts? "I don't need this high, I choose to keep doing this because of [X]." Denial isn't unheard of from drug addicts.
      • Or she just plain did it for so long, she was able to push past the high. Likely at the beginning, she was much the same.
      • Listen more carefully. "My body has a built in euphoric response to testing. After a while you build up a tolerance; the results can be pretty unbearable unless you have the mental fortitude to push past it. It didn't matter to me, though; I was in it for the science." GLaDOS isn't claiming to have been immune to testing euphoria; she's saying that failing to get it wasn't a big deal for her.
  • Wheatley was originally designed solely to produce bad ideas, just to give them to GLaDOS. When that didn't work, what do they do with him? They put him in charge of the safety and welfare of thousands of people.
    • Even worse, they didn't seem to differentiate between bad "stupid", and bad "evil" when they were designing him, which is why he's a much more terrifying Big Bad than GLaDOS was, and despite being an idiot, manages a few devilishly clever surprises.
    • Another way of looking at it: Wheatley had spent the game so far being abused by GLaDOS and, to a far lesser extent, Chell. When he gets plugged into that body, he does what anyone in his situation would've done with that kind of power: turn off as many distractions as possible so he can focus on getting back at those that abused him.
    • It might also be the other AIs that assigned him that position after they took control over the facility. Judging by the attitudes we see of AIs in the game towards organic people, the smelly humans were probably the thing they cared least about, and so in their view that was the place where Wheatley would do the least damage.
  • The uniform wheat field with no other species of plant in sight is often used as evidence of civilization, but think of it this way: we know that the events of Half-Life destroyed Earth's biodiversity...
    • Plus, the Earth looking reasonably healthy and having nice, uniform fields could well just mean that the Combine decided it'd be more useful as a food-producing world than just a dried up husk.
    • Valve has said they're keeping Half-Life and Portal apart, so, especially considering the time passage, it's safe to say that Chell will run into very few problems concerning that, if any.
  • After hearing this, it will make you think of what it was like for poor Caroline being forced to being uploaded into a computer and shoved to the back of GLaDOS's mind until Portal 2.
  • GLaDOS at one point says "The companion cube will never threaten to stab you, and in fact, cannot speak." Got a laugh from that the first time, right? Until you realize Rattman was schizophrenic and paranoid...
  • Remember that second time you woke up from your Human Popsicle? The computer dutifully reports that you've been under for "Nine-nine-nine-nine-nine" before pausing and repeating. Honey, the computer isn't broken. You have literally exceeded the amount of digits the computer can hold. Anyone care to do the math for us there?
    • Divide 99,999 by 365, you've got a good 274 years gone by. And THAT'S only assuming that the little pause the computer made before continuing to list nines was where it stopped. Oh Crap.
      • Unlikely. The state of decay in the facility indicates its only been decades, not centuries.
    • The announcer puts in a pause after the first four nines, then acts like it's going to repeat them indefinitely. So it could just be "nine nine nine nine", which is a minimum of 27 years. There are actually seven nines that it says before cutting out, so 27,000 years, anyone?
      • The name of the music track that's playing at that point is named "9999999" - seven nines - in the official soundtrack too, if that counts for anything.
    • Listen closely to the Announcer's monologue. It carries on repeating nines while telling you the reactor core is exploding. This puts Chell's stasis at possibly 99,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 days or 27,397,260,273,972 years. Yeah.
    • Note that computers store numbers in binary, not decimal. So it wouldn't make sense for it to be an overflow error.
      • Any fixed-width number can overflow. Binary vs. decimal is irrelevant.
      • Given how crazy Aperture Scientists are, and their abilities to make crazy awesome scientific breakthroughs, what makes you so sure their computers are using binary?
    • At this point, things have pretty much gone to hell, and it's possible for physical stimuli to alter such software by disrupting the electrical signals, or the hardware by messing up connections. Also, such things can "decay" and glitch overtime.
    • As for the state of decay in Aperture, keep in mind a majority of the facility is underground.
      • The overall state of decay in the chambers we see in chapter 1, "Courtesy Call," the ones exposed to the surface, and the fact that a fission reactor can only store fuel for at most 40 years before normal decay renders said fuel unusable, both put Chell's stasis duration in the 20 to 30 year range. Decades, not centuries or millennia.
      • Well, who says the Enrichment Center runs on fission? I wouldn't put it past Aperture Science to have invented fusion reactors and used solely to run their testing facility. Besides, the portal gun is said to be powered by a miniature black hole. Add to that the prerecorded messages that imply that the facility is designed to continue running under circumstances that include bombardment with meteorites and a future in which the laws of physics no longer apply, and you really get the sense that Aperture Science could run indefinitely. Although, that doesn't explain why the designed their AIs to function under the conditions of a power shortage. Oh wait...
    • Matter of fact, guys, a Dummied Out line suggests the time lapse to be 50,000 years. So there.
    "Fifty thousand years is a lot of time to think. About me. About you. We were doing so well together."
  • Remember all those psychedelic mural's in the first ratman den? Look at this one that appears on screen at 11:03. Hmm, I wonder who that screaming woman is supposed to be- -OH MY GOD THAT'S CAROLINE!!! Ratman painted Caroline at the moment she was forced into GLaDOS! That why she's screaming in pain and horror! That's also why her eyes and teeth look monstrous, representing the moment that the GLaDOS scientists forced her into GLaDOS! Anyway, it's a neat but horrific bit of foreshadowing, because when you first see it you go "huh, that' weird." But on your second play through it gives you nightmares!
    • Actually, whilst that is her, that's not what the mural is trying to depict. If you look closely at a still of that image you can see the scientists around her are suffocating and what does GLaDOS always immediately attempt when activated again?
      • It is a good bit of foreshadowing, but unintentional on Doug's part, and it represents the moment when GLaDOS successfully flooded the Center with neurotoxin. It's Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, and Rattman's the orange stick figure trying to escape. It's unintentional foreshadowing for Rattman because GLaDOS is a sentient AI that is referred to as a female. It's unlikely many of the present day scientists (technically speaking) know the truth behind her: that she had a woman forced into her through Brain Uploading, even though it didn't work out considering they're separate.
  • This was mentioned in passing earlier but deserves special mention: Chell was caught by Aperture as a grade schooler. If she was in stasis all the way to the first game, that means she mentally jumped from a normal childhood to being in a strange adult body and forced to do deadly testing. Being active during that time, even only occasionally, would probably be even worse even if it does alleviate some of the Body Horror.
    • Been there, done that, flipped out.
    • Unlikely. The Lab Rat comic features Chell's test subject profile from the time when Aperture was still staffed by employees, with photos of her as an adult.
  • Speaking of Lab Rat, when you start Portal 2, Wheatley noticed all the other test subjects in the hibernation ward are most likely dead after the reactor failure. Guess what caused it according to Doug in the comic? Chell killing GLaDOS at the end of the first Portal, resulting in the core's malfunction and one terrifyingly MASSIVE Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment.
    • Well, it's not like they would have a chance anyway. It's still horrible, but if they would have lived they would have either stayed frozen forever or been forced to test, which Chell only survived by being terrifingly Bad Ass. To me, it seems like more of an unintentional Mercy Kill.
  • In the credits song after releasing Chell, there is a line about Chell's "short, sad life". Recall the horrible things Cave Johnson mentions about some of those old abandoned mobility gels Chell unsealed in order to escape the abandoned testing courses. Turns out conversion gel is made from poisonous moon rocks, and that Aperture Scientists were not able to identify what element repulsion gel was except that it "was a lively one that does not like the human skeleton". One pre-recorded message also states that they put nanobots in the gels that would "pump your tumors full of experimental RNA molecules". (Chell has no tumors that we know of, but that can't be good for you regardless) Chell practically bathes in that crap throughout the game, so GLaDOS might have been being honest with that line.
    • On the other hand, any human lifespan is both short and sad by comparison to GLaDOS'.
  • When you pass by the children's science fair projects, Wheately mentions "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day ... that did not end well." Then a few minutes later, you realize - the scientist's daycare center is only one door and a few hundred feet away from the neurotoxin generator room. Upon seeing that, you can pretty easily deduce what happened on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day...
    • That is what happened. You're welcome.
    • And they started putting on spheres after GLaDOS "flooded the enrichment center with a deadly neurotoxin." The spheres from the first game included one with very childlike curiosity, and one obsessed with cake. You threw little children into an incinerator. You monster.
  • Minor one: remember that funny part where they try to convince you into jumping in a deadly pit by listing all the wonderful things that could be into said pit? The first are your natural parents. Now read the quote below.
    So jump on down and reunite with mommy and daddy.
    • And if Chell's parents really are Cave and Caroline, Wheatley knows, and that pit leads down to Old Aperture... Oh. My. Gosh.
      • To be fair, he seems to realize how evil that line sounds. That's right, he had an in-game Fridge Horror moment.
  • For those familiar with the Rat Man comic, remember why Doug rigged the list for Chell to be tested next? Think of everything Chell has been through. Better yet, think of the booby-trapped Stalemate Resolution Button. That would have killed a normal person. In fact, its quite clear that Chell did get injured, and still managed to move through her sheer will! Once all the adrenaline and such fades...
    • She was unconscious for an indeterminate amount of time (again). It's possible that GLaDOS and the Testing Bots gave Chell some medical attention (perhaps by throwing some Aperture Science Rapid Rejuvenation Medical Dermal Application Packs at her.) Of course, she's now exposed to the elements with nothing but the jumpsuit on her back and a scorched Companion Cube that probably won't stab her. Plus, it gets pretty cold in Michigan.
  • As bad as things were at Aperture Science, and they were rather bad for a very long time, they still never screwed up nearly as badly as Black Mesa did. And because of how badly this other company screwed up, it may not have mattered to anyone who did manage to escape the Testing Center when GLaDOS first went all Skynet on them, they'd still likely end up getting hosed by the Xen, or Race X, or the Combine. Imagine escaping from GLaDOS's nerve toxin attack, only to find yourself being "recruited" by the Combine to be one of their enhanced footsoldiers?
  • Given how fast Atlas and P-Body get rebuilt in co-op, the only thing stopping GLaDOS from churning out a robot is that she has no reason to want one. Yet. Since robots don't need to breathe, they can portal to the moon, then down to any portal surface on the earth, which includes flat concrete. A robot army armed with all the things Aperture has invented, which includes things funded by the US military. To kick Combine forces off of Earth, the resistance will need an army. So who do you want ruling the Earth, GLaDOS or the Combine?
    • GLaDos has a facility that can make robots? That's nice. The Combine own the multiverse.
    • The Combine has highly explosive and energy weapons. The portal gun's core is a stabilized black hole. I don't think GLaDOS would like to see what happens when a black hole is destabilized via energy beams.
      • Of course she would. It's Testing.
  • The Frankenturrets often head for the Emancipation Grill, if available, and it kills them. So, if they've possibly been reduced to insect-like intelligence, are they trying to head for the nearest bright light, or are they trying to kill themselves?
    • Oh god... And considering the above note that they got fried by hearing GLaDOS' paradox, thus being sentient... It's probably the latter.
    • If you orient them in such a way that they walk toward the buttons, they refuse to move and withdraw into their cubes when they get close enough to pushing it. They know what will happen if they cooperate. They know there will be further testing.
      • You do realize that GLaDOS would probably set them right once she's back in control, don't you?
      • GLaDOS actually seemed disgusted by the Frankenturrets, so it's not likely she'll bring them back anytime soon.
  • You know Cave's epic lemon rant? Now think of how so much of Cave's misfortunes are because of his recklessness, casual disregard of human life, and his inability to market his brilliant inventions in any manner that was sane. The rant is not about fighting back against the misfortunes of life. It is about dodging personal responsibility, blaming others, and inflicting horrible vengeance upon them for what are his own failings.
    • And he certainly had the potential to be the greatest person alive or ever existed.
    • Speaking of which, Cave said, in effect, that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemon 'nades.
  • Okay, you know how in Portal 1, the entire facility is empty and you and Glados are the only ones there? Portal 2 makes it clear that there are loads more test subjects in stasis, and even after those die, there's more found at the end of the co-op?That means on the gap between the two games, someone found Aperture Laboratories, reworked everything, added the new male recordings we hear at the start, and acquired all the new test subjects.
    • Though it's very possible the new overseers have improved the way things are run, by have more home-like relaxation chambers outfitted with TVs, desks, fridges and even a closet, and complying with state regulations. Well, some of them. Even the male announcer is friendlier than the psychopathic GLaDOS.
    • Although, on the other hand, the facility is revealed in Portal 2 to be quite a bit larger than thought in the original. It's entirely possible all of that stuff was actually around before, just in different areas of the facility. There's no real guarantee that the test chambers you run through are the same ones you went through in the first game, simply that they're set up in the same way. Considering how massive the facility turns out to be, it's entirely possible there are multiple testing tracks with similar formats, only built with different materials at different times.
  • The references to the "short, sad life" are not only comparing the lifetimes of Chell and GLaDOS, they are also comparing the lifetimes of Chell and other people. Since Chell has spent so long asleep she's "lost" many years of her life.
  • Paradoxes kill sentient AIs, and Gla DOS claims to be no exception. It wouldn't be good for a test subject to be able to escape by throwing a paradox at Gla DOS—Chell probably wasn't a natural mute...
    • Word of God is that Chell can talk, but chooses not to.
  • Two Words: Mantis men?
  • We learn from the case with Caroline that humans can be "plugged in" to a computer. One of the Space Core's "lines" are: "Dad, are you space?" "Yes. Now we are a family again." Cave Johnson mentions "missing astronauts" that are somehow connected to Aperture Science. The conclusion? The Space Core used to be a kid, possibly a girl that came to Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. Her dad was one of the astronauts that went missing, and to cover things up, Aperture uploaded her into a personality core. Cue the girl going absolutely batshit insane.
    • There is a fanfic with this premise, with a few minor differences, which can be found here.
    • Also, one of the only more complex things the core mentions twice in all it's lines is the concept of "space court." And he mentions space cops. Maybe he was present at those Senate hearings and retains some of those memories?
  • So it's pretty clear what testing euphoria is analogous to. Wheatley moaning is worth a snicker no matter how many times you've played that section. Then remember that Caroline was forced into that body. Despite being in it for the science, GLaDOS was programmed to feel that way by the scientists she hated.
  • There's a moral to the Companion Cube and what happens to it. " would rather die in a fire than become a burden to you." Which is just what GLaDOS had planned for Chell. After all, it's just a disposal item, once it's served its purpose it just gets in the way.
    • There's another line where the comparison is even more obvious. The one where she talks about how this surprise will be a real one, with real, tragic consequences, and she'll even use up the last package of ribbons for it. She'll miss it, but at the end, it was just taking up space.
  • Remember how Wheatley complains about having to work with the "smelly humans" in the Relaxation Center? Well, of course any humans down there would be smelly: they're dead and rotting.
    • You try going to sleep for an undetermined amount of years without showering and see how YOU smell.
    • Although in one of his rants in the boss fight he claims that he woke up several of them and sent them after the gun, only to have them all die. It's not impossible that he's telling the truth.
  • Yes, we all know Portal is a Black Comedy in a Crapsack World. Try playing through it again, after you notice all the hints that this is all taking place in the Half-Life universe, and is therefore "real" by those standards. Notice how much more disturbing it becomes when you try to think of it as Serious Business. GLaDOS's insanity is much harder to laugh at.
    • Not to mention that if Chell can even escape GLaDOS' clutches, the outside world will only greet her with headcrab zombies and torn down cities. Aperture Science Laboratories could be the safest place she can reside from them.
      • In the Portal 2 trailer, it shows GLaDOS' chamber is overgrown with foliage, obviously in disrepair even after hundreds of years, and with the Half-Life section below stating most of humanity is already dead or enslaved, save for some Resistance, by the time Portal 2 happens, Chell could be the last human on the planet.
      • On the positive side, Chell, with her incredible perseverance, her mastery of gymnastics, sideways logic, and of course the portal gun, could well be the salvation of humanity; for most of the rest of humanity's foes, she's the ultimate out-of-context problem.
      • On the negative side, Chell is probably going to go the same way as Cave Johnson. Lunar Poison, otherwise known as pneumoconiosis, in this case caused by inhaling moon dust. Yes, "Lunar Poison" is real and Chell probably has it.
      • Not necessary - she never inhales it, after all. Inhaling stuff is often unhealthy even when handling the substance otherwise is fine. See paint or bricks and brick dust.
      • If that doesn't do the trick, then the ordinary, garden variety asbestos you were breathing in the whole time you were in the testing spheres probably will.
    • There's the matter of the personality cores. In the first game, they were simply programs that seemed to be an extension of GLaDOS' programming and burning them "killed" GLaDOS. Then Portal 2 introduces Wheatley, another personality core that tries to help Chell, has his own thoughts, feelings, and desires, and is clearly sentient. Not only that, but we see at least three other cores who seem to be the same way. So...what does that imply about the ones you killed in the first game?
      • ...Four spheres, fused to GLaDOS with no hope of escape, restricting her insanity as best they could. One is catatonic, one has gone feral, a third has... gone away inside. For them, perhaps, burning was a more merciful fate if they had been sentient on their own while bound to GLaDOS. But the one that is still sane is programmed to think and act like a small, friendly, curious child...
      • The Fridge Horror gets even worse in Portal 2. In the underground testing chambers in the second part of the game, Cave Johnson talks about Aperture Science recruiting Olympians, astronauts, and war heroes at first, and then becoming more and more desperate over time until finally forcing all of its employees to be test subjects. We also find out that GLaDOS is not just an AI, but also a failed attempt to upload a human named Caroline into her. What if the personality cores are the same, except those Brain Uploading attempts were successful? The Space Core could be a former astronaut, Rick the Adventure Core could be a former Olympian or war hero, and the Fact Core could be a former scientist. Finally, what happened to all of the children of employees who participated in the Take Your Daughter to Work Day science fair? What if one of them was turned into the childlike curiosity sphere from Portal 1?!?!?!?!. Aaaaaah!
    • It's implied in the second game that around 10,000 people were kidnapped by AS and put in stasis... for nine nine nine nine nine nine... something. A very long time. Everyone they knew is dead. Oh, and Chell's the only one left alive. Wheatley's incompetence is less charming when you realize it was probably a major factor here.
      • Remember how Wheatley complains about having to work with the "smelly humans" in the Relaxation Center? Well, of course any humans down there would be smelly: they're dead and rotting.
    • How about those vitrified test chambers? For the record, vitrified means "turned into glass" - in this case most like by filling the chamber with it (molten, of course). Given Aperture Science's general disposition towards, oooh, everything health-and-safety, it's highly unlikely that whoever was in the chamber at the time got out or at the very least had their remains removed first. And that's not even factoring what the hell kind of mishap would require treatment that drastic...
      • According to one of the warning signs, it was "Unsafe Levels of Cosmic Ray Spellation Elements".
      • GLaDOS at one point mentions she needs to go to a room made of glass and pick up 15 acres of broken glass. Make of that what you will.
    • In Portal 2, just before Wheatley takes over the Enrichment Center and is uploaded into GLaDOS's body, he wonders aloud if the uploading will be painful. GLaDOS replies, "It will." How would she know this? Why, because she had a similar thing happen when Caroline was uploaded into her, which must have been just as painful for both of them. To cap that off, Dummied Out dialog suggests Caroline had her brain uploaded into GLaDOS against her will, so she was strapped down, exposed to excruciating pain, and forced into a giant robotic monster, which said robot never wanted in the first place. No wonder GLaDOS went nuts.
    • By the end of Portal 2, GLaDOS knows that a portal can be fired at the surface of the moon. She also is equipped with weapons and a lot of knowledge about physics. So she, or anyone who somehow took control from her, has the ability to put a portal on the moon, fire rockets or bombs through it, and bombard any part of the Earth that's currently facing the moon. And with her Thermal Discouragement Beams, she can zap anyone who stays in one place for longer than three seconds. The moon becomes her own literal KillSat, so to speak.
      • Not necessarily. Aperture is not airtight, in spite of her claims to the contrary. All of Earth's atmosphere would be sucked into space if she hadn't closed it after she rescued Chell. Fixing everything would take time and even if she did it before the amount of air on Earth dropped to critical levels, that would ultimately leave the facility a vacuum. It could very well collapse on itself, perhaps even sucked out into the portal in pieces.
  • The fate of Wheatley at the end of Portal 2. He's sucked into the middle of space and is unable to move or interact with anything. He's stuck with his very own Fate Worse than Death.
    • If that's all that happens. Remember, this is the Half-Life universe; there are very nasty things in space....
      • Even without that, he seems to be gravitationally bound to the Space Sphere, who is a monomaniacal motormouth.
      • Best of a bad situation, really.
      • Well, if Skyrim's DLC is to be considered, the Space Core is now in the hands of the Dragonborn whilst Wheatley is still floating in space... totally alone. And considering that they had to float through space to get to another planet, who knows how long they were out there with only each other for company?
  • Here's something to consider: GLaDOS was an A.I., and she was running every operating system in the Enrichment Center. That includes computers. Computers with internet access.
    • Justifies the Potato Sack marketing campaign to me.
    • Even if GLaDOS had access to the internet, we can probably assume that it was lost after the Combine occupation. GLaDOS is aware of the invasion itself, but doesn't know anything that happened afterwards—suggesting that any communication with the outside world was lost at that point.
  • In Portal, GLaDOS tells you that at the end of testing there will be cake. Then at the end of test chamber 19, she says "At the end of the experiment, you will be baked and then there will be cake." Then the blue sphere tells you what is in the cake, mentioning "organic compound"...
  • This comic suggests that something very unpleasant indeed might be lurking within the loveable Companion Cube....
    • They are sentient, you know. We just have a lot of them.
  • Wheats and Space aren't the only cores trapped in space...if you watch the cutscene where Wheatley is knocked into space carefully, you'll see the core on the left side of him was also sucked quietly into space like the portal gun: Rick the Adventure Sphere! Whether or not this was intentional or an accident, it's still sad to know that Rick is in space too, without any attention drawn to it at all!
  • In the Co-op trailer, GLaDOS claims that the cooperative test chambers have "never been solved by a human." Look at what she said. A human. Not "humans". She never bothered sending two humans into the co-op chambers, probably specifically so she could be smug about it.
  • The game opens up in what looks like a well managed motel room. One of the pre-recorded messages brings your attention to the art on the wall. After going back to bed and waking once again, the art has changed from a sunny landscape to a night setting. This carries many underlying symbolic themes for the game, sure, but it also made this troper think of something... How are you sure you're playing as Chell in the beginning? There are no reflective surfaces and no way to portal corners. The paintings being different isn't just coincidence... it's cause you're not in the same room. In the beginning, of the thousands of test subjects, were you Chell or were you someone else...? -Rocky Samson
    • Actually, you aren't, technically. As they explain in the developer commentary, you're essentially a floating camera until you get to the glass box from the first game. That's how they could have everything in the room fall apart, without the physics simulation having to do all the debris calculations against your body as you walk. Any reflective surfaces or corner portals would have given this away.
  • Wheatley's apology at the end is made a lot sadder when you realize there's no way that he could known that Chell survived and was simply give her freedom at the end. For all he knows, she could be dead.
  • After Wheatley is corrupted by GLaDOS' programming, his shell often detaches from him and moves outwards. Considering that this would basically be his skin/face, imagine what that would look like if he were a bit more humanoid...
    • Jesus. No wonder he was screaming...
  • Notice how the central plot across both games tends to revolve around conflict between sanity and psychosis in a sterile, isolated environment? Play through the first game, and note the padded interiors of the elevators.
  • This.

     Fridge Logic 
  • When you fall down into the depths of the old labs, you start with the earliest labs first, then work your way up. But why? Wouldn't they have had to install the labs at the top first in order to get down that far?
    • A newspaper in one of the old display cases says that Cave Johnson purchased an old salt mine for the original facility. They may have constructed the experimental testing rooms as deep as possible for secrecy. Or to ensure they could always dynamite the passage and lock their experiments away.
    • Also, consider how big the old-style isolation spheres were. They probably cleared as much of the cavern as possible and then began building the framework up from there, so naturally the oldest spheres were at the bottom. They didn't want to have to move them out of the way to bring in bulk parts for the new spheres.
    • You're asking for efficiency from Aperture Science.
  • In Old Aperture, you find a dock for the Borealis. Several kilometers below sea-level. (Unless the facility is inside a mountain, above-ground.)
    • Maybe used large portals to get it in and out of there.
  • The 'Hard-Light Bridges' use daylight piped from the surface. So how do they work at night?
    • Batteries.
    • Or really long, twisty "pipes". Alternatively, there's always daylight somewhere on the surface.
  • If the facility is so deep underground, how can removing the ceiling of Wheatley's chamber reveal the moon?
    • It's also seen that the facility was reconfigurable.
    • As seen at the end of the first game and the start of the second, the GLaDOS chamber is right next to the surface.
  • GLaDOS gloats about how there's only one roomful of breathable air which will constantly be refreshed and reused. But clearly the test-chambers are not airtight, with all the disrepair.
    • Then again, GLaDOS is a lying liar who lies.
  • One of the alternate universe Cave Johnsons survived long enough to be uploaded into the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (GLaDOS). Cave Prime decides that after hearing this, and that it resulted in the uploaded Cave going insane, that he's cancelling his version of the program. As far as we know, this is supposed to be the same universe that the normal Portal story takes place in. Alternate Universes are confusing.
    • Several Caves call themselves Cave Prime. It's an alternate universe, not the real "Prime" universe from Portal 2. Chariots. Chariots.
      • Well this "Prime" Cave also found the money-verse, it's safe to assume that "Prime" Cave isn't the same from the regular gameplay. Chariots. Chariots. Chariots.
      • Who knows if the Cave Prime we came to think was the original Cave Prime is even the real Cave Johnson we've come to know through old Aperture? Chariots. Chariots. Chariots. Chariots.
      • Alternate Caves all have Greg as an assistant. Half-Lifeverse Cave has Caroline. Chariots. Chariots.
      • Although the bigger question here is, who is Greg's creepy daughter that wants people to test forever and forever?
  • Consider what Cave Johnson said about how effective moon dust are as a good bonding surface for portals. Even the moon itself is a bonding surface for a portal. But something most don't consider is that the white walls in the testing facilities are the only surfaces there that can make a portal — the regular metal walls don't. Ergo, the Aperture Science testing facilities were covered in moon dust! Suddenly the thought of everyone dying at the hands of GLaDOS' neurotoxin seems merciful, or at least better than dying from moon dust poisoning.
  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed, yet the Portal gun can give you infinite energy if you place portals above and beneath you, while the Long Fall Boots either destroy as much kinetic energy as necessary or store ridiculous amounts of energy that are never removed.

alternative title(s): Portal 2
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