Machinima / Freeman's Mind
This is your brain on Gordon.

"Ah, tick-tick-tock... is that the sound of a Geiger counter or my lifespan counting down? It's both! That's right, here at Black Mesa when we talk about Half-Life, we mean it in more ways than one. So make your peace and come to Black Mesa! Here you'll win a chance to fight freaks of nature; escape countless safety hazards; wander aimlessly for hours; and die scared, tired and alone!"
Gordon Freeman

Freeman's Mind is a Machinima posted from 2007 to 2014 by Ross Scott that's somewhere between a Let's Play and an Abridged Series of Half-Life. It follows the rambling, eccentric and narcissistic thoughts of Silent Protagonist Gordon Freeman as he tries to survive the events of the game, showing us that perhaps it was for the better he kept his mouth shut. Imagine a one man MST3K speaking as he goes through Half-Life. Filmed in Half-Life: Source, the initial Source Engine upgrade of Half-Lifenote .

The series runs a total of 71 episodes (68, plus three numbered "0", "10.5", and "61.5"), and totals nearly 10 hoursnote , but each episode runs about 8 minutes on averagenote  and each episode ends at a point that you can stop watching and come back later. The series encompasses a full playthrough of Half-Life, albeit with a few liberties taken for the sake of comedy.

The series has a recap page.

The series' immense popularity spawned a number of copycats, many of which have earned the Approval of God. Notable creators include the "Master Minds", a supergroup that formed to create a sort of continuity between their own, highly-popular Mind spinoffs note . They are:

The tropes related to these spinoffs can be found here and here. Also of note is Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas, which gained a degree of notoriety for its sheer length - 80 episodes and running, divided into 10-episode "seasons." Tropes relating to it can be found here.

After more than seven years, the final HL1 episode was released on December 31st, 2014. Ross has confirmed that he will eventually continue the series into Half-Life 2, but the series is on hiatus until he finishes most of the work on his upcoming full-length machinima movie ("I HAVE. TO MAKE. THE MOVIE.").

See also: Civil Protection, Ross's other machinima series; and Ross's Game Dungeon, Ross's video game review series where the games reviewed are often very obscure and very weird.

Has nothing to do with Freeman or Freema's Mind.


  • The Abridged Series: The character-based humor and frequent Lampshade Hanging are very reminiscent of an abridged series. As for the actual abridged part, for the sake of storytelling, Gordon's guns deal more damage and he can "climb" over obstacles to skip some sections of the game. Gordon also jumps into the Uplink demo at one point.
  • Accentuate the Negative: The first rant of episode 26 begins with Freeman acknowledging that he's doing this. He claims that to do otherwise would be absurd because he sees so little "positive."
    Gordon: I mean, what am I supposed to say to people? "Wow, you sure did a great job falling down that elevator shaft!" Or, "Way to lock yourself in the freezer! I'm so proud of you."
  • Accidental Hero: Gordon makes his way through the facility, killing troops and setting up things to end the Resonance Cascade, solely out of either ignorance or the belief that his actions will eventually allow him to escape. In fact, he explicitly rejects helping intentionally at every turn, because it's not his job.
  • Accidental Pun: Gordon asks "What's up with this ceiling?". It takes him a few seconds to realize what he just said.
    "Oh my God, that was a pun! 'What's up with the ceiling?' What's wrong with me? I'd punch somebody in the mouth if they said that to me."
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "My simian skill saw me safely" and "The ruptured, rusty rods reveal a rift!"
  • A.I. is a Crapshoot: Discussed in episode 52, where Gordon notes that robots will likely never take over the world since they're only programmed to perform highly specific tasks.
    "We only wish they'd take over the world, so that we wouldn't have to. But then we're the ones who'd have to program them, so what the hell?"
  • The Alcoholic: Gordon often brings up his taste for alcohol through the series; bringing up how he comes to work after having two shots of vodka for breakfast, talking about how he's going to get way more drunk than usual when he seems to find a way out, and beginning to wonder if he's hallucinating alien worms as part of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Gordon is quick to take this view, which isn't that unjustified, considering the circumstances.
  • All Up to You: Lampshaded frequently. Freeman constantly complains that he has to do everyone else's job on his way through the facility.
  • Almighty Janitor: Freeman suspects that the janitors have the highest rate of survival out of all of the Black Mesa employees. They start out with a melee weapon, know the building inside and out, and have the keys to every door.
  • Alternate Ending:
    • In Episode 10.5, Freeman fails to execute a jump properly and falls down an elevator shaft to his death.
    • Episode 61.5 is "the ending Freeman deserves" (but not the one he needs), in which he is teleported to some remote forest park, where he finds a working jeep and heads off toward safety. Then again, the previous episode had him discussing what he would do if the teleporter created a a second Gordon, so it may be that a copy of him got created and wound up in a forest.
    • A post-credits scene at the end of the Series Finale shows Freeman declining G-Man's offer and being teleported to a world of G-Men monsters.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In the first episode, Gordon recalls how a squirrel got caught in an electrical wire at M.I.T, and how it knocked out power to the whole campus once a transformer blew up. According to Ross Scott, this actually happened just at a different school and to one of his professors. In fact, squirrels killing themselves on power lines is common enough that it comes up in the news every now and then.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Gordon, natch. Paranoid (even before it all went down), violently anti-social, completely lacking in empathy, narcissistic, borderline psychopathic, and suffers occasional hallucinations. Some of this can probably be put down to his drug use. Ross Scott describes him as suffering from "paranoia, egomania, mild schizophrenia", and the video descriptions for each episode call him "a neurotic individual".
    • Similarly, Gordon puts down a lot of the strange behavior of the guards and other scientists to them having Asperger's or similar disorders.
  • Amusing Injuries: All forms of alien projectiles are treated as non-lethal (to Freeman, anyway; soldiers and such can still be seen dying to lightning and bees) and thus Gordon getting hit with them is a source of humor. Whether it's Vortigaunts' lightning bolts, Houndeye's sonic booms, Bullsquid's spit, a swipe from a Headcrab, Grunt's Bee Bee Gun or Alien Controller's energy blasts, getting hit with these will only annoy Freeman unless it gets him in the face, in which (based on his reaction) it leaves a bruise or laceration at worst. Bullets (especially high-caliber rounds), Death Rays, and explosives are treated more seriously.
  • Angrish: Gordon tends to fall into senseless angry shouting when at his most frustrated. One particularly strong one happens at the beginning of episode 39.
  • Another Dimension: Deconstructed by Freeman, who observes that that the aliens are quite clearly three-dimensional, and shows a great deal of annoyance at the misuse of the word.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Discussed in regards to all the dead explorers Freeman comes across in Xen.
    Freeman: Dead explorers leave the best mementos. If it's not supplies, you get a long, detailed log of what happened.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: In episode 0, when Gordon notices that nothing is projecting the Hologram that's talking to him, he says it "must be nano-emitters or something"
  • April Fools' Day: Many silly and off-the-wall episodes were released during April Fools:
    • 2009, Episode 10.5: Short non-canonical episode, at the end of which Gordon dies. Episode 11 begins at the same spot as this one, with Gordon having a strange feeling of deja vu, which he suspects comes from eating bad Doritos. The title card features X marks in Gordon's glasses.
    • 2010, Episode 27: Gordon spends the entire video talking (or thinking) like a pirate. Title card features Gordon's pirate version, complete with an eyepatch and a scar on his cheek. Episode 28 starts with Gordon deciding that the pirate accent is too hard to keep up.
    • 2013, DoomGuy's Mind Episode 7 set in Brutal Doom. Here he plays a psychotic, Blood Knight Space Marine as he happily slaughters his way through Phobos.
    • 2014 gives us a trailer for "Freeman Across the Universe", in which Freeman enters every first-person game ever made, often with hilarious results.
      Freeman: (in Portal) I don't understand. There's no known physics model for this. Unless... Oh my god, I'm two-dimensional!
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Zig-zagged with the soldiers. Ross adjusted the damage values in-game so that the marines, who are all carrying body armor of some kind at the very least, go down in three or so shots from the Glock 17 or MP5 as opposed to the ten or so shots it would take in the original game under the reasoning that it makes fights come off as less video gamey. This makes for a slight case of Reality Is Unrealistic when considering that the type of armor issued to modern American soldiers (soft armor backed up by rifle-proof ceramic plates) offers superb protection against those two weapons, to the point that the best ones would almost render them immune to themnote . Ross noted in an interview that some of the soldiers Freeman shot are probably still alive thanks to their armor, a fact Gordon echoes later on. However, he doesn't think he's at the point of checking his kills.
      Ross Scott: Even if you're wearing armor, I don't care who you are; if someone blasts you point blank with a SPAS-12, you're going down. I mean you might still be alive, but...
    • Then there's the Alien Grunts: as in the original game, their armor deflects any type of small arms fire that hits it. Freeman notices this, but is very confused as to why they seemingly wear armor everywhere but their torso, saying that their armor looks like something a stripper would wear.
      Freeman: Are we being invaded by strippers? I thought this invasion was the normal conquering variety.
    • Episode 51 has Gordon commenting on the phenomenon of armor actually getting its user killed faster due to the higher likelihood of taking risks while wearing it:
      Freeman: (talking to a guard about the Alien Grunts) Those guys will smash our skulls like grapes if we don't take them down. Do you understand that? Your helmet's not going to help you, it's just giving you a false sense of security.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Episode 38, on a conveyor belt, trying to go past what is practically a Death Course:
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • While Half-Life was praised for introducing tactially intelligent enemies when it first came out, the age of the AI shows. A lot of humor comes from Gordon's reactions to the soldiers' stupidity. While some of it comes from scripted sequences, like the friendly fire artillery barrage in Episode 13 and the odd (to say the least) ambush in Episode 29, there's plenty that's just a result of the AI, the most usual ones being soldiers killing each other with grenades, or running straight at Freeman around a corner even after seeing their buddies getting shot around the same corner.
    • In Episode 22, two soldiers run straight into their own trip-mines.
      Freeman: You know it's probably the military who put these trip-mines here to begin with, and they just go and run into them! I don't get it. They bomb each other, they can't figure out who the civilians are, and they can't duck. I mean look how easy this is. [ducks under a trip-mine laser] Power slide! [slides under another laser]
    • Episode 30 had three Marines blowing each other up with grenades, making Gordon wonder if he just came across The Three Stooges. He thinks that he could see Moe just lose it and kill the other two.
    • Another time, Freeman encounters a soldier in a hallway and, after shooting him about a dozen times, sarcastically compliments the soldier for his brilliant plan of attacking him in an empty hallway with no cover or room for hiding. Then he walks over and figures out that the door the hallway led to was actually open.
    • He thinks that natural selection is making them smarter, though. He's genuinely surprised when one soldier DOESN'T just blindly run around the corner and shoot him again, instead chucking a grenade.
    • In episode 47, he witnesses an IFV hitting one of its own soldiers with its cannon in an attempt to kill Freeman, who wasn't even near the blast.
      Gordon: Man, I'm NEVER joining the military.
    • It gets even worse in Episode 58, when Gordon takes a teleporter trip over to "Uplink" (a.k.a. the Half-Life demo). The AI there is even more unpolished, leading to things like soldiers blowing themselves up with their own grenades. Gordon concludes that either the soldiers are covering up their own cover-up, everyone's on drugs ("Shoot anybody you want! It's cool: he's high, too! Get high before you die!"), or everyone is just that stupid. Conversely, in the same episodes Gordon notices the zombies have gotten a lot more intelligent, setting traps and laying ambushes.
  • A-Team Firing: Gordon doesn't have any advanced training in firearm handling, so he tends to just fire his gun in the general area his enemy is in while barely keeping his aim steady, making it so only a small number of the bullets hits them.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: It's common for Freeman to be ranting about something or other, only to cut himself off with "Hey, what's this do?" and fiddle with whatever button catches his eye. Taken Up to Eleven when he's on morphine; he gets distracted by a massive control panel.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gordon's opinion on the Gluon Gun. He deems its ammo supply too small for the weight of the backpack he has to wear to use it. He discards it in favor of his more reliable weapons. He does love its awesomeness, though, to the point of thinking that it would probably be adopted by the military as-is regardless of its flaws.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Gordon gets more and more crazy as episodes go on. For example, in Episode 15, he comments on how fun it was to shoot aliens, and in episode 24, he thinks about decapitating an injured security guard and using his intestines as rope, but decides against it because it would be too slippery (and gross).
    • Episode 66 gives a good instance of this when after he get's shocked by a vortigaunt, he decides he's had enough with the aliens.
      Freeman: STEP RIGHT UP! (launches several grenades from grenade launcher at some alien grunts) NICE CATCH! (launches another grenade and then fires a few SMG rounds) NOW DON'T CROWD! (Hit by hivehand round) AHH! (takes cover and reloads before firing a grenade round) THIS MUST BE THE MEAT STORAGE FACILITY! DON'T WORRY WE'LL FILL IT UP!
  • Badass Beard: Freeman constantly rants about how awesome his beard is, and how no one else has any style and how everyone looks the same.
    Freeman: Does my beard intimidate you?
  • Badass Bookworm: Gordon makes no bones about his education; he's a graduate of MIT, and among other things he tells a bunch of enemy soldiers that his diploma is more valuable than their life. At the same time, he mocks his fellow scientists for not being as fit as him.
    Gordon: I'm a physics-crunching badass. I'm the complete package.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • The scientist who jumps through a window in Episode 10 and keeps a shotgun in his desk, Freeman even remarks on his badassery. Somewhat ruined since the scientist is killed by zombies moments later.
    • Freeman hopes he'll become one, deciding to buy a Sword Cane when he's older.
  • Badass on Paper: Despite all said, Gordon is still a delusional and neurotic Cloud Cuckoolander who has survived more than one encounter via pure luck. It doesn't stop fellow Black Mesa personnel from seeing him as a living legend, and believing him to be the only one that can stop the alien invasion. Freeman lampshades his improbable luck repeatedly.
  • Badass Boast: Plenty of times.
    "I have a doctor's degree!"
    [while fighting ninjas] "I chase electron orbits, you think I can't find you?!"
    "See, this is why I'm such a good theoretical physicist. I solve problems that shouldn't even exist to begin with."
    "Yeah, feel the sting of Defense Department funding! I don't know what this gun is, but it's VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE!"
  • Bee Afraid:
    • Subverted with the alien Bee Bee Gun used by the Alien Gruntos. Freeman is not impressed by the ineffectiveness of alien bees.
      Gordon: Earth bees are more hardcore than space-bees.
    • In episode 65, just as he's about to teleport to the next area, Gordon assumes that he'll land somewhere filled with bees. After all, Xen's just been one hell after another, so why expect anything less?
  • Berserk Button:
    • Gordon hates cockroaches. And locked doors. And dead ends. And aliens or soldiers interrupting his train of thought.
      "Okay children, Class is in session! Everyone take your seats! I said everyone take your seats! Dammit, Billy, that means you too! Take your seats!"
    • Freeman seems to have a special hatred for Bullsquids, since he gets angry at them more often than the other species and has particularly nasty nicknames for them (Cthulhu Dog, Snot Monster, Snot Rag, Snot Freak...). Their persistent tendency to spit in his face might have something to do with it.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Gordon spends the series constantly pointing out all the inherent Fridge Logic in the game's premise, such as the sheer impracticality of the government coverup and even the various bits of Technobabble heard throughout the game.
  • Big Electric Switch: One of the few design elements in Black Mesa of which Gordon wholeheartedly approves.
  • Big "OMG!"
    • During Episode 37, he gets one of these as he is dropped from a conveyor belt 10 meters up into a pool of water.
    • In Episode 55, he has a Freak Out when an alien almost teleports inside him, complete with three consecutive "OH MY GOD!" statements in a row.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Episode 4 gave us this brief "exchange" between Gordon and the security system:
    Eye Scanner: ACCESS DENIED
    Gordon: WHAT?!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Presumably to show off how smart and educated Freeman is.
    • In Episode 12, he becomes convinced that a pair of scientists are voodoo zombies, and considers finding their master and buying one of them off him:
      Gordon: I know how to talk to these people. I've been to Haiti. Les yeux de Dieu ne regardent pas beaucoup là.
      (The eyes of God don't watch there much.)
    • In Episode 33, Gordon gets the impression that a scientist speaks Spanish
      Gordon: Quiero un poco de drogas. ¿Dónde están? Tengo dinero.
      (I want some drugs. Where are they? I have money.)
    • In an earlier episode, he uses German. The back story says he worked in Innsbruck, Austria before Black Mesa.
      Gordon: Zeigen Sie mir das Geld!
      (Show me the gold!)
    • At one point he contemplates leaving the country because he's a fugitive, and moving to India. The next two sentences are in actual Hindi.
  • Black Comedy: Gordon is a big fan of this, having ideas like dressing up a pig in a labcoat and throwing it into a giant piston, or cloning body parts and spread them around a small village just to freak everybody out.
  • Bond One-Liner: After killing the Ichthyosaur.
    Gordon: Call me Ishmael, bitch!
  • Born Lucky: Gordon comments on his seemingly improbable luck several times.
    • When he somehow blows up a Bradley with an MP5.
      Freeman: You can't buy luck like that. You just have to be me.
    • After just avoiding getting his brain splattered by a sniper.
    • After shooting down an attack helicopter with an MP5. Even he's surprised by that one. Ross didn't actually intend to do it, but the health for the thing was lower than he thought.
    • Finding a rocket launcher right before another attack helicopter shows up. This is what gets him to revise his stance that the universe wants to kill him, because if that were true, it would've just let the chopper shred him rather than giving him the means to destroy it.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    "This is almost getting to be like a chore. Y'know: wash the dishes, do the laundry, shoot the snot thing, empty the trash... it's all just a blur."
    "Lasers make me happy. Though not as much as food, bedrest, painkillers, not being persecuted..."
  • Break the Haughty: Referenced, though of course it's subject to Aesop Amnesia.
    Freeman: [Hiding for his life from a giant alien walking tank] Dammit, this happens every time I get cocky! Someone like this comes along and I wish I hadn't said a lot of things that I did.
  • Brief Accent Imitation:
    • Gordon spends the entirety of Episode 27 talking like a pirate. He drops it at the start of 28, commenting that he needs to drink a lot more whiskey to make his voice sound like that normally.
    • Gordon does one when mocking conveyor belt workers, in a Southern drawl.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his ramblings, Gordon's monologue does show that he is genuinely intelligent, and knows a lot about advanced science. Ross has stated that his intention was to make Gordon seem as invaluable to Black Mesa as possible to justify how he can be such a dick and not get fired for it.
    Random Scientist: Do you know who ate all the donuts?
    Gordon: NO! Do you know if leptons are really compound particles?! Friggin' donuts...

    Gordon: Those monkeys in there are having trouble learning about gravity. Whereas I can recite the quantum chromodynamic gauge-invariant Lagrangian in my sleep!
  • Call Back:
    • In episode 4, Gordon recalls a time when he stayed awake for four days and thought his house was being invaded by frog people. In episode 28, during a rant on how he is Properly Paranoid, he lists one of the reasons as being "There's no race of anthropomorphic frog people in the sewers Freeman! You're just being paranoid!"
    • When Gordon gets his hazard suit, he mutes the suit's computer as it narrates activating all the various systems. In the first April Fools episode, when Gordon falls to his death, the impact unmutes the suit computer.
    • In the very first episode, Gordon recalls how once a squirrel died in the electric transformer of his college. Fast forward to episode 46, and Freeman has to deal with falling debris falling from above, which could potentially trigger some mines. He wonders if there is a squirrel up there... and immediately adds that "it could be payback"!
    • Somewhere when first meeting an actual alien, he shouts it probably came from a swamp, or if it didn't, it deserved to be. A good dozen episodes later he fights aliens in a freezer and notes they couldn't come from a swamp planet, because they wouldn't be able to survive in such conditions.
    • Near the end of On A Rail, he says that everyone who is wearing a military uniform is now a free target. At the beginning of Apprehension, he sees a soldier off in the distance and yells "Ah! Uniform! Uni-" before being interrupted by gunfire.
    • In Episode 7, he reveals that he hates bad puns. Six years later in real world time, in Episode 49, while crawling through a pipe, a soldier attempts to kill Freeman by throwing a satchel in the pipe Freeman is crawling through. After escaping the blast, Freeman comments that his only consolation is that at least the soldier didn't make a bad pun about it.
    • At one point in episode 40 Gordon shoots at one soldier and shouts: "TAG, YOU'RE IT!" and once he kills another nearby soldier: "No tagbacks." Later the next episode he gets shot at and he blares: "I SAID NO TAGBACKS!"
    • At the start of Episode 50, Freeman makes a short comment about why it's safe in the pipe he was stuck in. At the end of the episode when the ceiling collapses and almost hits him he laments "See this is why I like the pipe."
    • In episode 49, he accidentally shoots a guard who spooked him, after he had warned the guard not to take him by surprise like that. Freeman guiltily tries to justify it to himself before saying "It doesn't even matter now, I'm a fugitive anyway. What do I care? I launched a missile!"
    • In Episode 29 Gordon gets ambushed by two soldiers who were hiding in a box. In Episode 33 he gets stuck in a box and attacked by Vortigaunts, and realizes the aliens have taken a leaf from the military's book. Later on, when he makes it to the factory on Xen, he finds Alien Grunts in barrels, and calls back to the soldiers in the box, saying that it was the military who copied the aliens and not the other way around.
    • In Episode 8, Gordon thinks the building may be falling apart due to the aliens teleporting into the walls and worries about the possibility of one teleporting inside of him. In Episode 33, he brings up his concern of one teleporting inside of him again and then in Episode 55 he mentions he still believes the aliens are teleporting inside the walls and again worries about them teleporting inside of him, specifically when one almost does, just landing next to him.
    • In Episode 8, Gordon fires a gun in an air vent, only to get a ringing in his ears for his trouble. In Episode 52, a missile explodes near him, causing a similar ringing. And in Episode 59, he's in an air vent, and pulls out a gun to shoot a headcrab again...only to put it away because it was 'too loud' and likely to damage his hearing.
    • In Episode 61, Gordon avoids getting the Hivehand yet again.
    • Gordon's attempt to spin with the last alien elevator to avoid getting dizzy and failing miserably recalls a similar attempt when he took the spinning elevator to the test chamber at the beginning.
    • In Episode 50, Gordon speculates that ghosts might be trying to communicate with him for some reason. In Episode 58, he thinks the scientist calling him over the intercom is the ghost in question.
    • In Episode 58, he states there are three possibilities that cover the massive number of friendly-fire incidents. He gets around to naming twonote  before his train of thought gets interrupted. Midway through the next episode, he finally gets around to option threenote .
  • Captain Obvious: After multiple hostile encounters with the "rescue team", plus the comments of his fellow scientists, Gordon finally starts to realize something
    "You know, I'm starting to think this isn't a rescue operation..."
  • Casanova Wannabe: By his own admission (though without any air of self awareness), a lot of dates he goes on end with him getting tasered ("It's not as bad as pepper spray though, I hate pepper spray."). He also makes reference to repeatedly hitting on a girl named Heather and failing, and theorizes he probably ended up in a trash compactor since she threw him in there.
    Freeman: [unleashing his rage on some Vortigaunts] THAT IS IT! I AM SICK OF GETTING ELECTROCUTED OVER AND OVER! Even on my worst dates I never got shocked this much!
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • Freeman ends up really used to having people and aliens wanting his head on a silver platter, and does this a lot in later episodes. He does this both when his enemies pose no real threat to him, like when he's beating Houndeyes to death with a crowbar, and against stuff like being pinned down by a .50 BMG machine gun, or when an IFV is shooting at him with rockets.
      Freeman: [Rocket streaks past him] Yeah yeah, I think I'm under investigation. On the plus side, this guy is shooting rockets at me, so if I die, I'll see it coming Runs from behind cover to the other side of the road] that's cool right? [Another rocket hits a bunch of cover near him] I'm trying to find the silver lining here. There's not much.
    • Freeman overall seems really chill on Xen, a totally alien world from which he has no escape, after a little while. Especially when he's speculating on how the other scientists wearing the same suit as him and carrying the same weapons probably died (e.g. killed by the Gonarch, beaten to death by Vortigaunts, gored on the floor after falling off a ledge or out of the sky...).
  • Character Development: Over the course of the series, Freeman slowly evolves from a Non-Action Guy into a gun-toting badass who has Seen It All. Best exemplified by his reactions to dangerous situations - in the beginning he has a minor Freak Out about the mere presence of aliens in the facility, whereas by the time he encounters his first battle tank he barely even seems to notice it.
  • Character Tics: When he's nervous, has a tendency to lapse into technobabble, basically spouting science as a Survival Mantra.
  • The Chew Toy: Gordon. Half the fun of the series is seeing how freaked out he will get the next time he sees a giant alien or another new obstacle courtesy of the HECU. He compares himself to Rasputin in the sense that he's been shot, burned, almost drowned, bit, lacerated, electrocuted, etc...
  • Cloning Body Parts: Gordon muses how he would like to clone individual body parts of a stranger and then spread them across a town over a few months; creating the illusion that someone is getting slowly chopped up by a serial killer.
  • Clothes Make the Superman:
    • Freeman's HEV suit, of course. Even more so than in canon Half-Life. The suit makes him more or less immune to all kinds of ranged attacks, including most of the soldier's barrages, which is what has helped him survive so many encounters. However, it doesn't go to the point where it trivializes Freeman's own accomplishments. He says at one point that he would have stolen it a long time ago if he knew how useful it was.
    • Sometimes, such as in the Blast Pit episode, it's inverted. In those cases, the suit doesn't actually offer any relevant protection, either because he never gets hit by "small" threats or because what he's facing would kill him dead regardless of whether or not he's wearing the suit. It just weighs him down enough to inhibit his ability to dodge and jump.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Gordon is a total loon, even before the whole mess went down.
    Gordon: I am Captain Gordon Freeman of the Intergalactic House of Pancakes ordering you to open!
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Expect Gordon to carpet F-bomb the area with plenty of screaming to got along with it whenever he gets ambushed or almost dies.
  • Cold Sniper: Commented on by Freeman regarding the snipers he comes across during his trek through Black Mesa. Gordon actually theorizes that the multiple snipers he's encountered are actually all the same guy, stalking him.
    "There's people who give you the evil eye, and then there's snipers. Big difference."
    "Wait, is this that same sniper from last night!? Is he following me!? I knew it! That guy is fucking evil!"
  • Comedic Sociopath: Gordon keeps fantasizing about killing his coworkers. As well as scamming the company in various ways (and it's implied at one point that he's already been stealing from them).
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Gordon isn't being more Genre Savvy (and crazy) than everyone else, he's frequently completely ignoring obvious things.
    • "I'm on your side, you fucking idiots! How many of you do I have to kill before you understand that?!"
    • "This self-defense crap isn't cutting it because I never get to fire first!"
    • "Look at all these dead scientists! This rescue mission's a disaster."
    • "Those shots came dangerously close to my head. You guys could've killed me you know that?"
    • Gordon briefly discusses He Who Fights Monsters, but dismisses it since he's never going be look like the tentacle monster he's fighting.
    • In Episode 34, a security guard greets Freeman with a message: "Make sure you don't-" before being shot dead by an assassin. Freeman simply assumes the guy was trying to warn him not to kill himself, and was using an overly dramatic way to get the point across. "Okay, 10-4! I'll be sure not to do that!"
    • In episode 50, a guard following Freeman says "Sorry sir, but I can't much more of this". Freeman berates him for being lazy, as they'd only been walking for two minutes.. and completely ignores that the guard just took a blast from the Vortigaunt that would ordinarily be lethal.
    • In episode 51, he notices that a guard stopped following him and remarks that he probably wandered off and screwed around. Earlier in the video, the guard can actually be seen dying to Bee Bee Gun fire. Freeman must not have been focusing on that.
    • In episode 57, Freeman comes across a dead scientist lying in a massive pool of blood. His response is startled shock, questioning how he missed... the first aid kit on the ground beside him, which could potentially contain morphine.
  • Computer Equals Tape Drive: Gordon is shocked when he comes across some really ancient computers in the facility.
    "Whoa, whoa, what's this? Are you kidding me? Are we using tape reel computers? Noooo! Wait... are those slots for punched cards?"
    "I think they are punch card slots!"
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: In the third episode, Gordon's response to a scientist's prodding.
    "What do you think I'm doing?! Hey, I could just sit here and not do a damn thing. Bet you'd like that, huh? Ungrateful pricks."
  • Contractual Immortality: invokedDouble-subverted with the April Fools episode 10.5, which ends with Gordon taking a flying leap at a ladder, only to fall down into a chasm and die. The episode fades out as the HEV suit voices phrases such as "Emergency! User death imminent!" The next episode picks up where the previous one began as though it never happened. Gordon remarks on a feeling of deja vu and assumes he has eaten some "bad nachos".
  • Copy And Paste Environments: The staircase that looks exactly like the one Gordon got shot by a turret gun in makes him freak out for a moment.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • After multiple encounters with lethal arquitecture and questionable research, Freeman decides that Black Mesa is surely run by one.
      Gordon: I wonder if the CEO just rubs himself with money...
    • Episode 34 has him concluding that the company is, in fact, run by a Bond villain.
      Gordon: We've got missiles, tons of weapons, lasers, a shark tank, and ninjas.
  • Crazy-Prepared: After realizing his bank accounts are probably frozen, Gordon mentions getting back to Massachusetts to find the 10,000 dollars in gold he has buried in Harold Park State Forest that he hid precisely for a situation like this.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right:
    • In the first episode, as Gordon gets off the train, he looks back down the tracks asking "Is someone following me?" While this, at first, comes across just as him being paranoid, if one considers the actual events of Half-Life, the G-Man is following Gordon. Throughout all of the events that have happened to him so far.
    • Apparently, Gordon had been paranoid about alien invasions and government conspiracies even before he worked at Black Mesa.
    • When he finds the rocket launcher, he comes to the conclusion that he's a pawn in a game between cosmic forces - half that want him dead and half that want him to succeed. This is exactly what's revealed to be happening later in the series.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Gonarch, to the point that Freeman gets annoyed and wonders why the heck what appears to just be a large animal can soak up so much damage.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gordon of course. Between the arquitectural death traps, aliens, soldiers, and absolute stupidity from everyone involved, Gordon brings plenty of snarking to the table.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Freeman's mind deconstructs a lot of shooter concepts, both involving gameplay and story, all for the sake of humor.
    • The Right Man in the Wrong Place just wants to get the hell away from the problem.
    • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic is enforced, resulting in the protagonist constantly complaining about his lack of (incredibly useful) head protection.
    • The One-Man Army has to do everything alone, including multi-person tasks like operating machinery.
    • The Door to Before is a conspiracy to trap and kill people.
    • The Fiery Cover Up is impractical and makes no sense, to the point where Freeman doesn't believe in this explanation when told because he doesn't think that the soldiers are that stupid. He's wrong.
    • The Eternal Engine was built as a means of using excess funding and avoiding a bidding war.
    • The average First-Person Shooter protagonist would have to be a little unhinged to perform the amount of Violation of Common Sense necessary to proceed.
    • The Artificial Stupidity is actually the result of the soldiers hating each other, and using the presence of Gordon as an excuse to off one another, so they can label it as friendly fire.
    • The reason Xen is littered with suspiciously useful ammo canisters is that the scientists have been sending through test subjects at random by the hundreds, hoping to hit the right location by chance.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Episode 8 has Gordon shoot a headcrab while in a vent, causing an ear-piercing ringing to echo throughout the vent and temporarily makes Gordon deaf. He notes how shooting inside a vent wasn't exactly a bright idea.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you invade his personal space while he's stressed out, expect him to yell at you a lot if you're lucky, or shoot you if you're not.
  • Ditzy Genius: Gordon is legitimately intelligent, knows much about theoretical physics, and speaks five languages. He just has a lot of weird quirks.
  • Doom Magnet: Freeman's companions tend to die, though some are lucky enough to "only" get injured or stranded.
  • Door to Before: Gordon encounters many of these during his trek through the facility and usually rants angrily on how useless they are for making him go in huge circles.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • In episode 59, Gordon considers dressing as a soldier to fool the others, but their rampant friendly fire has led him to believe the soldiers are intentionally murdering each other as part of a coverup.
    • In the same episode, he inverts the trope by pondering what would happen if he could manage to stuff a zombie into his suit and march it out into hostile fire. He's pretty sure the military would assume him dead.
  • Driven to Madness:
    • In the beginning of Episode 17, an exhausted Gordon becomes frustrated with the monsters for not answering his questions. At the end of the episode, in an unconnected rant, he questions whether he's already insane and imagining it all, then goes on about the unimaginable psychological torment he's going to endure later in life.
    • [Hurling a grenade at a wall of explosive crates] "I HAVE TO BLOW EVERYTHING UP! IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO PROVE I'M NOT CRAZY!!"
    • In episode 24, he thinks about decapitating an injured security guard and using his intestines as rope, but later decides against it because he figured the intestines would be too slippery (and it'd be gross).
    • In Episode 25, he's hearing voices of the damned. note 
    • He spends the entirety of Episode 27 talking like a pirate for no reason.
    • In Episode 29 he starts howling like a wolf for no reason when he sees the full moon outside.
      Gordon: [Clears throat] AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOO- wait, what the hell am I doing?
    • In Episode 39, he decides that everyone in the world is out to kill him, and thus he should kill everyone in the world. While he's said things like this before, he puts his money where his mouth is by killing a friendly security guard without a second thought after he let a hostile marine run right past him to attack Gordon, and shooting all marines on sight. His "kill everyone" policy doesn't last for long, though; at least as far as friendlies are concerned.
      Gordon: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, EVERYONE DIES!
  • Driven to Suicide: Played for Laughs when Gordon fins himself trapped in an alien dimension with no way home in Episode 62:
    Gordon: Okay, I guess I'll make my way to the big thing, then... blow my brains out, I don't know...
  • Dull Surprise: Intentionally done for comedy when Freeman unknowingly launches the required satellites into orbit to end the Resonance Cascade, and mistakes it for an ICBM:
    Freeman: Jesus Christ, I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything.
  • Dumb Muscle: Gordon's opinion of the military clean-up battalion, and the military in general. Their utter stupidity doesn't help them any.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Gordon is more flexible than the player is in the actual game. He can climb ledges and squeeze through large-enough gaps, bypassing obstacles that the player would have to find a way around. This is lampshaded in one of the episodes as he comments on how he can do a pull-up, and mocks other scientist for not being able to.
    • Parodied in Episode 46. Freeman decides to simply climb on top of a building after seeing the way to the ladder is lined with mines and guarded by a sniper. The game of course intends you to go that way. Then he later finds out it's even more dangerous than he thought, making him extra happy that he didn't go that way.
    • Subverted when he reaches the missile launch site and tries to climb a ridged pipe out of the facility, only to realize that he is in the middle of the desert in a metal suit with no supplies; he promptly returns to the dungeon.
    • The whole Power Up arc is a subversion, since he spends more time wandering around and backtracking than he needed to. In Episode 52, Gordon imagines that once he gets out, he will meet an original architect of Black Mesa just to find out that he took the longest possible route to escape.
  • Easy Amnesia: Gordon has amnesia from Episode 34 onwards after a few punches to the face. He writes it off as the result of getting drunk the night before. He also states this isn't the first time he's woken up in a trash compactor with no memories of the previous night. His memories slowly start to come back to him over the course of several episodes.
  • E = MC Hammer: When Freeman sees Newton's formula for gravity written on a whiteboard, it throws him into a rant. As he rightfully points out, any self-respecting scientist, especially one with a PhD, should be able to recite that, as well as dozens of far more advanced formulae, in their sleep.
  • Eldritch Abomination: One of Freeman's nicknames for the Bullsquids is "Cthulhu Dog." He also theorizes that the tentacle is a huge creature buried beneath black mesa, and that what he destroyed may have only its hair strands. Its pretty safe to say he reasonably thinks all the aliens are Eldritch Abominations. When he finally meets the Nihalanth, he exclaims that "Lovecraft was right!"
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Well, "The Girl From Ipanema" is never used, but every working office elevator has background music of some kind.
  • Emergency Stash: After realizing he's a fugitive and his bank accounts are probably frozen, Gordon mentions a stash of 10 thousand dollars in gold he hid in Massachusetts for precisely a situation like that.
  • Enemies List: Freeman puts a scientist on his list for annoying him during the experiment in the test chamber. One can only presume that the aliens and the "rescue team" are on it too if he hasn't completely forgotten about it.
  • Enemy Chatter: Gordon overhears some of it. A memorable example occurs in episode 30, where he lampshades the Mad Libs Dialogue nature of the soldiers' idle dialogue.
    Gordon: Those last guys out there were making it preeeeety clear they didn't like me, which is a capital offense I guess. But these guys are just saying "Alpha Bravo Position Flanker Gamma Delta"-
    Soldier: Squad: all hostiles neutralized.
    Gordon: See, this is what I'm talking about.
    Soldier: Check your zone, over, clik.
    Gordon: (walks up to soldiers) Guys quiet I can't even hear myself think- wait what am I doing?
    Gordon: Shit!
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Gordon misses out on several ammo caches and some weapons (including the most powerful gun in the game, although he acquires it before entering Xen). However, each time he does, he has perfectly valid reasons not to do it. He didn't go down a passageway he thought (and later confirmed) had a bunch of soldiers in it while the way forward was a different direction, didn't pick up a crossbow that was covered in headcrabs, avoided the most powerful weapon in the game because it had just caused the deaths of its previous owners, and assumes the Hivehand to be some sort of alien worm (which he then shoots).
    • He continues to think of the Ichthyosaurs as regular sharks, rather than alien monsters. Similarly, after he amnesia he mistakes the headcrabs for some sort of weird South American predator, though he quickly comes to his senses.
  • Epic Fail: Any time the soldiers blow each other up in their attempts to kill Freeman.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Like in the main game, the "rescue team" has one when the first soldier Gordon sees guns down a scientist. But in Freeman's Mind specifically, they have another one involving the second group of soldiers Gordon sees: One of which accidentally blows his teammate up with a grenade.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Gordon lampshades it several times.
    Gordon: I don't understand! Why is everyone trying to kill me?! I'm awesome! Are you all jealous!?
  • External Retcon:
    • Freeman's Mind rationalizes a lot of things that don't make sense in the original game:
      • In the original Half-Life, the fact that Gordon didn't have access on any of the retinal scanners didn't make much sense in the Anomalous Materials lab, where he worked and should therefore have had access. In Freeman's Mind, we learn that the reason for this is because he got caught playing racquet ball in the anti-mass spectrometer room. Management doesn't want Gordon going anywhere in the facility without permission.
      • Fundamentally useless rooms like the box-smashing shed are attempts to pad out the budget [[Truth in Television (a very common real-life technique)]
      • Despite his PhD, Gordon's role in Black Mesa appears to consist mainly of pushing trolleys because he couldn't be trusted with anything else, because all the other scientists are too frail to lift a box, and because he is the new hire. Freeman would've just returned from Innsbruck and graduated relatively recently. New hires and recent graduates are given menial labor and minor calculation work and are only trusted with vital information and responsibilities when they have proven themselves.
    • Gordon realizes the Administrator is evil far before anyone else. When he comes to Half-Life 2, he's going to be shouting from the rooftops how much he called it, because Dr. Breen was the Administrator of Black Mesa.
  • First-Person Smartass: A lot of Gordon's monologue involves him snarking about all the craziness going on.
  • Flat "What.":
    • When Gordon finally comes across an elevator that goes up towards the surface, he gives a deadpan "what" when he finds out the path out is blocked by explosive crates.
    • In Episode Zero (The Hazard Course) he blurts out a "What" when he realizes the training program wants him to jump off a narrow platform, over a dozen feet off the ground, onto a hard concrete floor. On purpose.
  • Follow the Chaos: Soon after the Resonance Cascade, Gordon realizes that the correct paths he needs to follow are often marked by blood, dead bodies, and/or dangerous traps and monsters.
  • The Fool: In his blind efforts to get out, Gordon manages to clear his own path simply by wandering around. Most obvious example is in episode 19 when, when he returns to the rocket testing station after activating the electricity and fuel needed to start the rocket and kill the worm monster.
    Gordon: Hey, the lights are on! [Pushes button] Hey, it's doing something! Did somebody fix this? (Rocket begins to start up) What did I just do?
    [shortly thereafter]
    Gordon: Awwright! I'm making a lot of progress for not knowing what the hell I'm doing!
    • One interviewer amusingly referred to him as "the Homer Simpson of action heroes".
    • In a later episode we get this exchange:
      Scientist: You're heading for the Lambda Complex, aren't you?
      Gordon: I have no idea.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "I'm torn between wanting to kill every bug in this building, or just levelling it with explosives... I need a bomb."
    • Freeman's plans to terrorize and plunder cruise ships with a giant sea turtle, and explicitly ending episode 26 with the comment "I shoulda' been a pirate." The results are mentioned above.
    • Not to mention that he talks about buying a scientist zombie off of the G-Man in episode 12. Guess what later happens to him in-canon?
    • "This is so unfair, I AM DESTINED FOR GREATNESS! I'll show everyone...
      • In episodes 5 and 36, he actually calls himself "The Freeman".
      • Of course, this might explain why the rebels call him 'The One Free Man' in Half-Life 2...
    • Episode 54 has Freeman proclaiming "This is bullshit! We need to nuke this whole place as soon as I'm out!" Which is exactly what happens at the end of Opposing Force.
    • In Episode 66, Freeman accurately predicts that the Vortigaunts will worship him once he kills their leader.
    • He theorizes that the Administrator is a Bond villain. Said administrator would later take over the world and run it like a 1984 dystopia. Gordon is going to be so gleeful to have been right (and even happier to kill Breen).
  • For Science!: After finding scores of dead travellers in Xen, Gordon figures that the scientists in charge must just be wantonly beaming them there with no concern for their lives, and probably won't stop until someone kills them.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Gordon has frequent encounters with laser beams. Sometimes they're straight-up deadly, other times they activate something else that's deadly, like trip-mines and sentry turrets. More recently he thought about redirecting an exceptionally powerful one and try to shoot down satellites.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Eddie, who seems to be Gordon's go-to guy for anything illegal, be it increasing Gordon's collection of human skulls, to pawning off an army's worth of stolen arms. Sadly, due to the nature of the series, we never actually get to see him.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When he discovers that there's a tracking device in his suit, Gordon considers stripping naked so the military can't track him. He ultimately decides against it since it wouldn't guarantee his ability to avoid the military, and he wouldn't be Immune to Bullets in the buff.
  • Functional Addict: Gordon apparently has an oxycodone and alcohol addiction (stronger stuff is implied here and there), but he manages to be reasonably stable considering his situation and he kept his job at Black Mesa in spite of his habit.
  • Gang Up on the Human: "You know, it's a little disturbing how little I've seen aliens fight the soldiers and soldiers fight the aliens."
  • General Failure: Freeman theorizes whoever is in charge of the Black Mesa cleanup is this.
    • In Episode 44, he's very confused when he finds a squad of soldiers camped out on the side of a cliff, which has no strategic value and is very easy to fall off of. He gets even more confused when he sees a soldier ambush him by jumping out of cave. Later, he sees a soldier hiding in another cave who has been crushed by a rock, and concludes that hiding in caves was probably their orders.
    • In Episode 46, he draws attention to the very poor job that the soldiers are doing at killing him. He suggests that they should just use nerve gas on him since he isn't wearing the HEV's helmet.
      Freeman: If I were a general, and one guy just kept killing everyone I sent to kill him, I think I'd try something else.[...] I don't have a helmet, they can't seem to figure that out.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • "Uh-oh, I'd better check my flank. That's how they got that dude in Jurassic Park."
    • In Episode 28, he correctly deduces that there are probably some soldiers guarding the tram controls, and that it'd save him a lot of trouble to just ignore the tram and walk. He later confirms this when he sees two soldiers standing next to the controls on another floor, and sneaks by them.
    • When attacked by Black Ops, Gordon fends them off handily because he identifies them as ninjas and knows how they roll.
    • In Episode 44, he's somehow so crazy that he actually realized he's just a pawn in a cosmic struggle.
    • In Episode 58, he correctly anticipates the soldiers will be eliminated as part of the cover-up and Black Mesa will be destroyed, events which occur in Opposing Force.
  • The Ghost: Eddie plays this part. He is Gordon's go to guy for shady and illegal deals and is quite possibly his only "friend". He is mentioned by Mike to survive and still up to his old antics in Civil Protection, assuming it's the same guy.
  • God: While fighting the Gonarch, Gordon briefly wonders if he's fighting God.
  • A God Am I: After killing the Nihilanth, Gordon claims to be the new god because he thinks that's how it works.
  • Goddamned Bats: In-Universe. Freeman really gets annoyed when the Vortigaunts shock him.
    Gordon: THAT'S SO FRIGGIN ANNOYING! (guns down the Vort) It's not like the electricity kills me, it just hurts!
    • Episode 49 has him deciding that the aliens as a whole are this to the soldiers' Demonic Spiders.
      Freeman: The aliens mostly just use bees and electrical shocks, and while that's really fucking annoying and painful, it's not bullets.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Gordon wants one, badly.
  • Gratuitous German: "Zeigen Sie mir das Geld!"
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Gordon hates ninjas. Plus, he wasn't expecting them.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: The series is generally well done, but it's clear that both Freeman and Ross Scott don't know anything about firearms.
    • See Armor Is Useless above. Sure, what happens can easily be rationalized, but interviews reveal that those rationalizations don't fit Scott's intentions.
    • While fighting the black ops commandos, Freeman says that he thinks their armor could protect them from his 9mm submachine gun, but not his buckshot-spewing shotgun. It should be the other way around; the 9mm round, especially the standard-issue NATO type, has relatively high penetration. Buckshot, on the other hand, consists of low velocity circular pellets that are almost completely ineffective against most kinds of body armor.
    • When he first picks up the pistol, Freeman calls it a Glock, and notes that the safety is off. Glocks don't have safeties. Well, technically they do, but it's not something you can switch on or off. They just have a built in "safe action" piece on the trigger to prevent the gun from going off too easily.
  • Hand Wave: Gordon usually doesn't take any real damage, because the creator is playing the game with godmode on, presumably. This is handwaved by the damage Freeman takes being written off as minor. Electricity hurts, but doesn't injure. Most bullets bounce off the suit or miss altogether. Pistol rounds and buckshot do so without hurting. Rifle rounds hurt like paintball, but are otherwise harmless. Large caliber rounds and explosives can kill him right through his suit, but he dodges them. Headcrab bites are scratches. Bullsquid spit stinks but doesn't hurt. Et cetera.
  • Hard on Soft Science: Gordon has a dim view of Freudian psychology and relishes the prospect of disproving string theory.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe example. In Episode 32, Freeman theorizes that his boss may be trying to take over the world. In Half-Life 2, his boss actually does take over the world, and it's implied that Freeman's boss used the whole incident to do this.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. Freeman doesn't possess a helmet, but really wants one.
    Freeman: I need a helmet. To protect me from punctures, and facial lacerations... and bullets.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a panic attack once he gets to Xen, realizes that the scientists screwed him over by sending him there instead of Massachusetts like he asked, and gets hit by all the implications of being stranded on another world with no way of getting back home.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Freeman eventually begins to enjoy killing aliens and soldiers. He considers time spent killing the former to be community service hours.
    • Although he only really does it when he has to. He tries to negotiate with them at first (it doesn't work), and in episode 28 goes out of his way to avoid fighting a few soldiers.
    • From Ross Scott himself in an interview with PC Gamer:
      Ross: In retrospect, I realized that the sheer number of people you have to kill in the Half-Life games suggests that some sort of paranoid psychopath might actually have a far better chance of survival than someone sensible.
    • "Oh, look at this. Aliens that can't shoot back! I'm gonna take my time here."
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Discussed in-universe. Gordon thinks that the line is "He who fights drummers" because "there's no way that [he's] going to end up looking like that".
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Episode 40.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: It's not really hilarious, but the ending text is accompanied by a video of some of the glitches that Ross Scott had to deal with while producing the series.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Among the list of things Gordon wants. From episode 10:
    "I need a chainsaw and a hockey mask. Then we'll see who messes with me."
  • Hope Spot: Gordon finally finds an elevator that isn't broken and goes up instead of down. He starts dancing in glee. Then it reaches the top, and the exit is blocked by explosive crates.
    • Gordon finds a set of ridged pipes he can climb out of the facility with. Then remembers he is in New Mexico, surrounded by barren desert wastelands that he wouldn't survive.
    • "Yeah! It's the surface! PARTY! PARTY! (soldiers appear and open fire) Man! It's the fun police!"
  • Hurricane of Puns: Gordon milks being trapped at a dam for all it's worth.
  • Humans Are Bastards: In episode 51, he declares that his "opinion of humanity is so low right now" due to the stupidity or maliciousness (or both) of everybody involved in the Black Mesa Incident.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Freeman hypothesizes that the reason for the aliens' bad tactics is because humans are just that much better at invasions than them. He cites the fact that scientists were still studying alien creatures as the facility was being invaded as evidence of how far ahead of them we are.
  • Humble Goal: Freeman just wants to go home, and isn't all that interested in saving the world like the other scientists want him to. He couldn't care less about the alien invasion and government response if only they would all stop shooting/biting him.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Played with: Gordon occasionally avoids picking up armaments because they either seem dangerous or are too impractical to lug around. In Episode 10.5 he dies because of picking up the shotgun, leaving him too encumbered to make a jump. Later, he puts down the Gluon Gun because it's too heavy for the use he gets out of it. However, just before getting teleported to Xen, he happily takes the entire cache of weapons plus the bulky Long Jump Module. Luckily, Xen has low gravity, so the extra guns aren't as much of a problem.
  • Hypno Fool: Gordon gets nearly hypnotized by watching a gauge spin around, and then again when watching a piston move back and forth.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Gordon encounters the soldier firing a rocket launcher, he rants about how stupid and dangerous it is to fire one inside an underground tunnel. Then after killing the soldier and approaching the rocket launcher, his first reaction is to try to use it himself.
    • Then of course his Angrish in episode 40 as he's firing every bullet he has in his SMG at aliens and soldiers alike:
    • He mentioned that soldiers being so stupid that the headcrab zombies could probably trick them into not attacking by stealing their uniforms, then mentions in episode 66 that he would assume a Vortigaunt was an employee with severe burns if they weren't attacking him.
  • I Can't Hear You: During the "power up the portal to Xen" sequence in episode 61, the noise of the portal powering up and the enemies attacking him means that he can't hear the scientist shouting at him about what's going on with the portal.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face:
    • When he finally gets his hand on the shotgun he was looking for, Freeman accidentally almost shoots a scientist who holed up in the room where he found it.
    • In episode 47, Freeman accidentally shoots a black mesa guard who runs right through his line of fire in the middle of a gunfight with some soldiers.
    • In episode 48, he blows away a guard who spooked him by running through a Door to Before. In fairness to Gordon, this guard had done this once before, and Gordon specifically warned him not to do it again precisely for this reason.
    • In episode 60, Gordon is teleported out of a fight with a Gargantua and reflexively shoots a scientist in the face. He assumes the man's colleagues were trying to summon a demon and used him as practice.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In Episode 44, Freeman misses the attack helicopter with his rocket launcher, giving it a chance to blaze away at him with its machine gun. It somehow manages to miss every shot, letting Freeman live long enough to get back to cover and reload.
  • Immune to Bullets: In contrast to Half-Life itself, where even the weakest attack will at least do Scratch Damage, Gordon's HEV suit is immune to most alien projectiles and most small arms fire, with pistol rounds and thornets doing nothing, Vortigaunt electrical attacks and Controller ball lightning only stinging, and most rifle rounds only hurting like paintball. On the other hand things like heavy machine gun rounds, alien melee attacks, and explosions are indicated to be instantly lethal, assuming Gordon gets hit by them, which again is unlike the actual game, where even rocket launchers and tank shots can't kill Freeman in one hit, and can be shrugged off by simply picking up a couple medkits after.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: "Man, you can just smell the money burning in this place." Black Mesa appears to be this to Freeman. One of the signs implores employees, "Work Harder, Not Smarter."
    Gordon: Yeah, that's us alright; we stay the course with stupid.
    • As per episode 40 it appears Black Mesa has been this for quite a long time, as Freeman implies that people have died regularly enough in experiments that the first thing that comes to mind when he sees a dead guy in a cage is.....
      Gordon: Like, why is there a dead guy inside these cages? I don't know what department this is, but this isn't how we kept our lab. If someone turned up dead in one of our experiments, it got cleaned up immediately.
  • Indian Burial Ground: Gordon speculates that Black Mesa may have been built on top of one.
    • Though he changed his mind by episode 44 when finding out that Black Mesa is actually built inside a mesa.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: At one point, Ross Scott looked very similar to Gordon.
  • Inner Monologue: The whole point. However, an Inner Monologue isn't usually garbled when underwater, implying that he's been talking out loud the whole time. Or possibly just since he started losing his mind.
  • Insufferable Genius: Gordon graduated from M.I.T., and he won't hesitate to let everyone know it.
    Gordon: (firing at soldiers) MY DIPLOMA'S WORTH MORE THAN YOUR LIFE!
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: In episode 65, Gordon lampshades the fact that teleporting aliens lack even the most basic facets of a modern society. If not for their armored Elite Mooks, they wouldn't even be an industrialized society. As far as he's concerned, taking over their world now that he's been stranded there is doing them a favor.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Gordon runs into several flavors of these every time he thinks he's found an exit out of Black Mesa, Lampshading the original game's Railroading. Gordon winds up giving his own rationalizations for why they're there in the first place. However, unlike in the original Half-Life, Gordon can actually do pull-ups over easy obstacles, which ends up saving him a lot of time.
    Ross Scott: (in an interview with Podcast 17) Well I mean if you were in that situation what are you going to do? You see a bunch of things hanging down their tongues that can eat you, with a bunch of turret guns and mines lined up along the way, and you hear a bunch of soldiers chattering on their radios. Do you go that way, or do you just do a pull-up over a 7 foot wall?
    • Gordon is convinced that the Adamantium (Exit) Doors have one-way mirrors and bulletproof glass. And they're all locked.
    • Gordon encounters the Frictionless Hill during his brief stint on the surface ("The sandstone just breaks off!"). He finds a ridged pipe to climb, though that becomes a Hope Spot of its own.
  • Interface Spoiler: The credits of episode 68 cite footage from the "G-Invasion" mod, which is nowhere to be seen in the episode itself (or, for that matter, any other episode in the series). This tips off attentive viewers that there's a post-credits sequence.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Episode 46 has Gordon wondering if the air force is in on the army's conspiracy to kill him.
  • Intoxication Ensues: In episode 57 Gordon finally realises the first aid kits contain morphine. The main effect is that his train of thought slows down a little bit, and some of his tendencies (hey, button!) are taken Up to Eleven (Buttons!).
  • It Can Think: In episode 59, Gordon begins to wonder if the zombies are getting smarter when one of them uses a dead soldier as a puppet. He becomes dead certain of it when they later set up an ambush.
  • Jerkass: Gordon has a hatred or disgust for practically everything and everyone who crosses his sight, and is hilariously selfish. He is also implied to have committed several petty crimes in the past, ranging from embezzlement to vandalism.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Gordon is a massive jerkass, yet constantly makes very good points about how illogical the whole situation is, and how stupid everyone involved would have to be for it to happen.
  • Justified Trope: Gordon himself provides the answers for Black Mesa's unstable structure when he realizes the monsters might be teleporting into the walls. He has some more when he realizes that the "Box Smashing Room" was probably built to pad out the facility's costs so they could get the same amount of grant money on the following year.
  • Kill It with Fire: With regards to taking down the tentacle monster:
    "Haha! If you can't take the heat, get out of the rocket propulsion test chamber! [Evil Laugh] Burn! Burn! Burn! Physics rules!"
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Gordon has this opinion when confronted with the lightning spewing aliens. Demonstrated again later when he witnesses two soldiers kill an Alien Grunt and a Vortigaunt:
    Freeman: And bullets win again! What a shock.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Gordon frequently muses about stealing office supplies, computers and experiments.
  • Lack of Empathy:
  • Lampshade Hanging: Gordon is quick to point out the ridiculous architectural design of Black Mesa, including the lack of structural integrity of every catwalk he tries to cross, the chutes-and-ladders elevator shaft, and the infamous "Box Smashing Room".
    Gordon: So where do these things go that we need this many crates? ...That doesn't go anywhere! That's a wall! That means we're just loading up these crates so we can drop them into this pit! That means there's NO DAMN POINT TO THIS WHOLE ROOM!
    • Also, Episode 14: Gordon starts pointing out holes in the plot of the game, saying that a government-funded cover-up would not only be expensive, but pointless against randomly-teleporting aliens.
    • He's also noticed that his day seems to consist of escaping from one death trap only to fall into another one.
    • Episode 28 also hangs a lampshade on the limited models for NPC scientists, when Gordon finds out they know his name.
      Gordon: Dammit, my beard betrayed me! They found my ID because I'm the only fucking scientist in here with a beard! If I went with that stupid Einstein hairdo they wouldn't have been able to pick me out from a lineup.
  • Large Ham: Again, Gordon.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The text crawl that shows after the finale plays the song from the Half-Life soundtrack from which the eight-note stinger was taken to make the introductory music, "Military Precision".
  • Lesser of Two Evils: In Episode 49, Freeman decides that the aliens are this, on part of the soldiers being a much bigger threat to him due to their weaponry, and having the capability to hunt him down after he escapes Black Mesa.
    • After figuring out his suit has tracking devices that let the military set ambushes for him literally every few minutes, he decides to keep wearing it anyway, thinking it gives him better odds of survival. His justification being that, if he happens to run into a military patrol without it, and gets shot... well, that's it.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Happens a few times, as this IS Half-Life. Freeman also references this trope a few times in hypotheticals, like when he says that getting hit by a particularly powerful blast of electricity would cause his "head to blow up like a baked potato wrapped in tin foil", or when he thinks that the Bradley that's pinning him down will "turn [him] into red paste" if he tries to leave cover.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Gordon is completely unaware of the plot because he never listens to the NPCs. He's just trying to escape and completing objectives by accident along the way.
  • Long-Runners: The series started in December 2007, and finished In December 2014. That's seven years.
  • Made of Explodium: "Why does everything keep exploding?! Did we wire this place to self-destruct?"
  • Made of Indestructium: Gordon is not happy that the doors all have bullet-proof glass. He is happy that, in an inversion, the concrete barriers shatter like Styrofoam when the tram car rams into them, but he's very confused.
    • He's likewise confused why blowing an entire pile of crates full of explosives does nothing to the walls but leave scorch marks. "THOSE WEREN'T FIRECRACKERS!"
  • Made of Iron: The series abandons the standard convention of health bars and medkits, presumably in the name of realism, but in its stead simply has Gordon not take any persistent damage aside from the hole in his ear that he needs to bandage up. The creator says this is because, in this version of the Half-Life universe, the suit is impervious to low-caliber rounds. Gordon has repeatedly expressed his amazement at the durability of the suit.
    • As the series goes on, Gordon increasingly disregards small-arms fire and alien projectiles, while continuing to take high-caliber gunfire, explosives, and artillery seriously. As well as giant monsters (e.g. Gargantuas). And anything that comes near his head. At one point he comments that he hasn't been shot enough times to scrape the paint off his suit, which suggests that there's a kinetic threshold below which the thing is completely impenetrable.
      • Rifle rounds are able to dent the suit and leave welts and bruises on the wearer, implying that the soldiers could take him down with mere body shots if they packed assault rifles and shot him enough times. It's just that, in the original Half-Life, almost every soldier was packing a submachine gun.
    • Also, just as in the original Half-Life, Alien Grunts take a lot of punishment to bring down due to their thick skin and bulletproof armor, much to Gordon's annoyance.
    Gordon: Why does it feel like I'm fighting a dump truck?
    • The Gonarch takes so much punishment that it causes Gordon to completely freak out, eventually coming to the conclusion that he is fighting God Himself.
  • Made of Plasticine: Occasionally, Freeman is astonished that seemingly sturdy materials like metal gates or wooden crates burst apart with suspicious ease when he applies gunfire or a crowbar, especially when other objects, like doors, seem to be Made of Indestructium. In one episode, he shoots down a helicopter with an MP5. He spends the beginning of the next episode pondering how that's even possible. In another episode, he rams a series of concrete bollards with a tram, expecting nothing more than that the tram will explode, while it instead plunges right through without slowing down. He eventually concludes that the bollards must have been made of Styrofoam.
    • In Episode 45, he's pleasantly astonished at managing to somehow destroy a tank with a submachine gun.
      "I'd love to do a ballistics simulation to try and come up with a theory as to how shooting a tank with bullets can make it explode."
  • Mad Scientist: Freeman wishes he could be one.
    "Working in an underground lab is pretty cool. It makes me feel like I'm an evil scientist. I've always wanted to be an evil scientist. Heh heh heh. Ha ha ha ha. BWAH HAHAHAHAH- Okay, I'd better chill out. I don't want a repeat of Monday."
  • Madness Mantra: Lampshaded on at least one occasion.
    Gordon: (imitating machine) BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP- yeah, I'm gonna go crazy doing that.
  • Major General Song: Gordon sings the entire song and adds another verse while killing an entire military squad in episode 45.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Gordon is quite surprised by how cool one of the scientists in episode forty one is when he gets shot in the leg.
    Gordon: No, stop, don't walk on it! Find some gauze to control the bleeding or something, jeez...
  • Manchild: It borders on Psychopathic Manchild in later episodes due to his mental breakdown, but Ross Scott once described Freeman in an interview as:
    Ross: He has shifting paranoia, egomania, mild schizophrenia, over-aggressiveness, petty motivations, and immaturity in general.
  • Mle Trois: Episode 49 has Freeman acknowledging that he's caught in one of these. He eventually concludes that, if anything, he'd want the aliens to win, since the soldiers are a much bigger threat to him, and if the aliens win all the charges against him will probably be dropped.
  • Memetic Badass: In Universe, Gordon believes himself to be this.
    "That's why the dinosaurs went extinct: ME!!"
  • Metaphorgotten: All. The. Time.
    Freeman: (sees a Bullsquid eating a dead soldier) Okay, I see a dead soldier and an alien that doesn't see me. I can put one and one together. (shoots Bullsquid) Actually, that's one and negative one. (shoots the Bullsquid more, killing it) Now it's negative two and me. But wait, wouldn't I be number one? I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. See, this is why you have to define your terms: if you don't, people die.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • Gordon thinks this of the advice given to him by a security guard, who was rather lax on the details when it came to escaping the facility.
    • At one point Gordon considers taking one of the Xen aliens to a taxidermist, thinking he would tell them that he doesn't know what it is and that he'll just say he got while out hunting. Then he realizes that what he's doing is sort of like hunting, and that he really doesn't know what the aliens are.
  • Mind Screw: The ladder in the elevator shaft in episode 11.
    "Why do you have a ladder in an elevator shaft? To fix the elevator! How do you get to the ladder? You take the elevator that doesn't work! Who thought this one up?!?"
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Freeman has this opinion of himself after he launches a missile at the end of the On A Rail arc. Amusingly, he's right, but for the wrong reasons.
    Freeman: Jesus Christ I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything today. Well, guess I started World War III.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Freeman certainly thinks so, as he observes them spend most of their time trying to kill him, and killing unarmed civilians or each other, rather than actually doing anything about the Alien Invasion. When he sees them actually fighting and beating aliens in Episode 49, he seems more genuinely awestruck than anything else... only to react casually and with a lack of surprise when he sees the soldiers getting their asses handed to them by Alien Grunts a few rooms later. Including one soldier being punched through a concrete wall.
  • Monster Closet: Freeman points out that not only is this the reason the facility is falling apart, but that an alien could teleport into a person. At any time.
  • Mood Whiplash: Upon being teleported to the Nihilanth's lair, Freeman begins screaming in terror— as the episode abruptly ends with this playing during the end credits.
  • Mook Chivalry: The soldiers usually either avert this or play it straight, due to the schizophrenic AI of Half-Life. On one hand, they politely run around corners after they just saw their partners get shot doing the same thing, but on the other, they do things like throw grenades and aim for the head.
    Gordon: Goddammit, those shots came dangerously close to my head... why can't you just aim for my impenetrable body armor, like everyone else?
  • Moral Sociopathy: As noted under Pet the Dog, Gordon will avoid killing people and aliens when he has no need. However, he seems to be motivated more by a desire to preserve his reputation and avoid legal trouble rather than any actual empathy.
  • More Dakka: "Is that an MP5? It is! (Evil Laugh) Now I can solve up to 800 problems a minute!"
  • Motor Mouth: Gordon during the entirety of episode 45, combined with Casual Danger Dialogue. He even sings in this manner.
  • Most Annoying Sound: In-Universe. Freeman really hates beeping.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Gordon, when encountering turrets, is constantly thinking about mundane applications for them.
    • He says that meteorologists should attach machine gun turrets to their weather balloons, and have them shoot anyone who gets close.
    • He remarks that, with security cameras already being common at Wal-Mart, in the future he might see the whole store rigged with machine guns turrets just to deter shoplifters.
    • But by far the best is his reaction when he gets shot at by a turret stored in the back of a truck:
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In episode 3 during the resonance cascade:
    Gordon: This is a bad experiment! We are bad people! WHY DID WE USHER FORTH THE GREEN APOCALYPSE?!
  • Never My Fault: Freeman blames a guard for opening a door, startling him and causing him to shoot the guard in episode 48.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    "Jesus Christ I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything."
  • The Nicknamer: Gordon.
    • Bullsquids are "Cthulhu Dogs", and later "Snot Monsters".
    • Vortigaunts are "Zappers", though he admits it isn't a great name.
    • The Gargantua are "Godzilla".
    • Xen trampolines are the "Asphalt Tumor Tide".
    • He also assigns names based on his comparison of the situation to chess. Vortigaunts are pawns, alien soldiers are rooks, and human soldiers are bishops.
    • The soldier who nearly kills him with a rocket launcher in episode 28 is "Rocky the Rocket Ranger".
    • And the black-ops soldiers are ninjas.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe, a bullsquid gives Gordon some, and we get to hear about it:
    Gordon: Yeah, that's right, moan! MOAN! That noise is exactly what I'll be thinking about when I try to get to sleep tonight! And I'll be dreaming about you sucking out my eyes with your tentacled face while I'm nestled up against a stack of rotting corpses; then my intestines will burst with insects crawling out of them; then the screaming — jeez, that's a long drop.
    • "Hey, that's a ladder! That means this is legit; this might actually go somewhere! I mean, it probably leads to a room filled with poison gas and a bunch of dead people that look just like me, but I don't know that, so there's room for hope, I guess."
    • "If any of these worms get in my hair, I swear to God I'm just gonna freak out. Yeah, worms get in my hair; the power fails and the lights go out; then some old guy with a raspy voice starts laughing and poking me with a stick. That would complete the experience."
    • "I was expecting to look down there and see this giant eyeball looking up at me, angry at me because I blew off its eyelashes or something, then the whole building starts shaking and I guess I'd just ball up and cry, because what do you do when something that big wants to kill you?"
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In episode forty-one, Freeman has this opinion about a scientist who got shot in the leg by a soldier while helping Gordon escape the building:
    Gordon: That's irony for you. He's the only person in this whole building who's been even remotely helpful, and now he's probably going to go get himself killed.
  • Noodle Incident: In episode 3, Gordon says that he should calm down to avoid a repeat of "Monday".
    • And after shooting a Barnacle and watching its innards (or lunch) spill onto the floor, he says "This is like a repeat of when I worked in fast food that summer."
    • And in episode 16, after turning on a fan that almost cuts his head off:
      Gordon: I guess I don't have anyone to blame but myself. You go around pushing enough buttons and heavy machinery, and you end up in trouble. At least there were no witnesses this time. I mean, this is nothing compared to woodshop back in high school. I almost got expelled over that.
    • He states in episode 35 that he woke up in a trash compactor again. One can only imagine the other times it happened.
    • He also mentions an incident in Austria that he considers even worse than the current situation, where he woke up naked and had to make clothes out of garbage bags.
    • It's a character trait and not an event, but his fear of Muppets is presented with the same casual tone and lack of elaboration as these.
    • Then there's his "memory" of "last night" when he comes to in the trash compactor. Was it his dream, a false memory induced by the temporary memory loss, or something that really happened the night before the experiment?
    • Mentions something that happened in Panama to an acquaintance named Eddie in episode 48 which seemed to pay off big time. Whatever it was, it was probably illegal given Gordon's descriptions of Eddie.
  • No Indoor Voice: Gordon pulls this off a LOT, especially when he is under attack and yells very loudly at his attackers. Though given the name of the series, he might not be saying anything out loud.
  • No OSHA Compliance: One of Gordon's many sources of ramblings. Even on Xen, the alien world, he remarks on the lack of guardrails.
  • No Theme Tune: But it does have a pretty recognizable "Bump bump chu... bump bump chi... bump bump" noise that plays at the beginning. That noise is the opening to "Military Precision" from the Half-Life soundtrack, and is copied into every Mind clone. The part right after that can be heard in the closing credits of Barney's Mind (see under Follow the Leader above)—and in the credits of the last episode of this series.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Gordon finally finds the elevator to Surface Access by the end of Episode 12. It doesn't go well next episode...
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: "Oh hell. Is that guy dead? Dammit, I'm a doctor not a... normal doctor!"
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Episode 10.5 has Freeman jumping across a large gap to reach for a ladder, only to lose his grip of the ladder and fall to his death.
      Freeman: OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! *SPLAT!*
    • In episode 23, Freeman camps out behind a corner and waits for the soldiers to run around, because he had killed several soldiers like that already, and is confident that they'll continue to do so. One of them instead chucks a grenade. After running in terror, he comments that he is watching natural selection in action.
    • Later, there's his reaction to Rocky the Rocket Ranger.
      Freeman: (sees white smoke in the distance) What is that? (rocket streaks past his head) JESUS CHRIST! Next stop, right here! You can have the tram, FUCK!
    • Freeman has a pretty big one at the end of episode 50 when the roof of the bunker he's in starts to cave in.
    "Don't crush me! This suit doesn't do shit against 50 tons of rock!"
    • In episode 56, he figures out that Black Mesa has a nuclear reactor that is about to go critical.
    • In episode 67, his reaction to the Nihilanth is to scream in abject terror.
  • Ominous Owl: In Episode 28 when Freeman's mocking those who called him paranoid, he says "Owls can't read your mind, Freeman!"
  • Omniglot: Gordon apparently speaks German, on top of having some knowledge of Hindi, Spanish, and French. He says he's been to Haiti and India in the past, and he mentions living in Austria a few times (where German is spoken)—specifically Innsbruck, which matches with Freeman's canon background. No word yet on where he learned Spanish, though he does live in New Mexico. However, it's worth noting that his understanding of the other languages appears focused on how to get something for himself. Spanish for buying drugs; German for finding treasure; Hindi for his new life after he goes into hiding; and French to buy zombies.
  • One-Man Army: Freeman, as usual. Though Deconstructed to a degree: Freeman is very vocal about the outcome of his body count, probably predicting it will result in extreme mental breakdown and the U.S. Government hunting him down even if he manages to escape. Also, while Freeman's high intellect, physical strength, and resourcefulness help him survive, he's clearly acknowledged several times that without his suit he'd most likely be dead. His enemies' blunders also help.
    • In episode 31, he has come to the conclusion that, since he has no prior military or firearms training, doesn't belong to any extremist groups, and is just a theoretical physicist, it would be extremely difficult for the military to really believe he's killed dozens of their numbers single-handedly, and thus he may not end up being the fall guy.
    • In episode 51, he complains about being a literal one-man army, insisting that the phrase is only meant to sound badass and complaining about how it actually consists of one man having to do everything you'd expect a more competent army to accomplish with teamwork.
      Freeman: You say that to sound badass, not because you literally want to function as an entire army!
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, Freeman mentions having a cousin Jesse as well as another Jesse who likes to zap himself with a cattle prod for fun.
  • Only Sane Man: Freeman sees himself this way. Surprisingly, there is a lot of truth in his statements, as per the nature of Half-Life, everyone is either completely retarded (he frequently lampshades the scientists' and marines' suicidal tendencies) or trying to kill him. Or both. At the beginning of episode 13, he even says "Everyone is crazy except me!" while reacting to the marines bombing the surface. This by no means makes him that sane himself, it's more "Everyone's more insane than me!"
  • Outrun the Fireball: Gordon sort of does this in Episode 49, after a soldier attempts to kill him by throwing a satchel charge in the pipe Freeman is crawling through. "Sort of" because he's close to the exit when its thrown in, is able to get to the exit before the soldier detonates it, and spends less than a second in the pipe after it goes off, quickly dropping out.
  • Painting the Medium: See Contractual Immortality.
  • The Password is Always "Swordfish": When faced with a keypad lock, Gordon successfully tries "1234" as a combination. He laments that this can be attributed not to his genius, but someone else's stupidity.
  • Path of Most Resistance: Gordon lampshades that the right way generally seems to be where all the bodies and bloodstains are.
    Gordon: Well, seeing as this is the most dangerous thing I've ever seen in my life, I must be going the right way.
  • Percussive Maintenance: When something doesn't work, Gordon's first instinct is to hit it with his crowbar. It usually doesn't help, though.
  • Pet the Dog: Though mostly known for being a selfish Jerkass, Freeman does on occasion try to save his fellow scientists.
    • Near the end of episode 59, he starts lobbing grenades at a Gargantuan that's attacking some Black Mesa personnel and actually seems upset when he's unable to save them. Bear in mind that doing so wouldn't benefit him at all. Ironically, this moment happens at what could easily be considered the height of Gordon's Ax Craziness
    • Freeman won't actually kill people that he doesn't see as a threat (though his paranoia and jumpiness has massively lowered the threshold for someone to qualify as one). This applies even to aliens, as when he runs into some non-hostile vortigaunts on Xen, he's willing to let them live.
    • Despite being a massive jerkass, Freeman's not particularly malicious. Just really selfish. When a trio of Mad Scientist types teleport him in and out of a death trap as part of an experiment, he scares them by firing his gun, and yells at them a lot, but doesn't kill them. Well, he does kill one by accident—as a continuation of his wildly firing at the Gargantua he was being threatened by—but even that is immediately followed by him saying that he didn't want to kill the guy.
    • The scientist who helps Gordon to get out of Bio Labs gets shot in the leg by a soldier. Before leaving, Gordon suggests said scientist to treat his wound inmediately, showing real concern for him.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Apparently, Gordon believes that HE killed the dinosaurs.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Freeman sure does love his pop culture references. See Shout-Out.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After throwing a remote-detonating satchel charge between two soldiers who fail to notice it.
    Gordon: They must be listening to the radio. I'm gonna change the station. *Boom*
  • Properly Paranoid: He uses the Crazy-Prepared example above to claim being this, but then starts listing off the ridiculous things he's paranoid of.
    • After all the crap that has happened at Black Mesa who to say that there aren't frogmen in the sewers and owls that can read his mind? (Probably escaped Aperture Science experiments if they're not from Black Mesa.)
    • He learns in Episode 33 that his suit has tracking devices.
    • "I need to stop doubting my own sanity because I've been proven right about EVERYTHING!"
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality:
    Gordon: Sooooo... guess I just started World War III. This has been a busy day. But in the end, there's only one thing that matters: I did not leave any fingerprints. I was wearing my suit.
  • Psychic Static: Aside from "FREEEEEEEEMMMMAAAAANNN", none of the Nihilanth's psychic messages are noticed by Gordon as he moves through Xen due to his own thoughts blocking them out.
  • Punch Clock Hero: When Freeman fails to follow Chronic Hero Syndrome, he justifies it by saying "That's not my job!"
  • Punch Clock Villain:
    Gordon: [After seeing a soldier gun down his co-worker] You see, he's not even trying to plant a gun on him or hide the body. That's a bad sign. Like this is just another day at work for him.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Just about every time he attacks something.
  • Puny Earthlings:
    Freeman: I'm not sure what I'm more upset about: that they're shocking me, or that I can't shoot electricity from my hands.
  • Pungeon Master: Guess who?
    Freeman: (trapped in a box and surrounded by aliens) I'M BOXED IN!
    Freeman: (looking at a dam) They can blow up the damn dam for all I care! Dammit!
  • Rasputinian Death: A subversion. In episode 15, Gordon starts pondering about how he's still alive with all the injuries he's suffered.
    Gordon: So far, I've been bitten, shot, bombed, electrocuted, almost drowned, almost fallen to my death, and strangled! Rasputin wasn't so lucky! Now here I am, exposing myself to radiation! Why not? Let's add to the list! Maybe I could get burnt, stabbed and poisoned before the day's done.
  • Reality Ensues: Gordon finally makes it to the surface, and is ready to up and leave the facility... until he remembers he's in the middle of the desert. Miles away from civilization. With no food and water. On foot. And the entire military trying to kill him. He promptly heads back underground.
    • Gordon hears a couple of scientists having an accident with some dangerous equipment. Entering the room, he finds a whole heap of gore, in the middle of which lies the Tau Cannon, one of the most powerful weapons in the game...which Gordon absolutely refuses to touch, as the last guys to mess with the thing were blown to smithereens.
      "I doubt it's any safer with blood all over it."
    • Freeman also likes to deconstruct common pop culture concepts; among other things, he says that getting bitten by a radioactive spider would be more likely to kill you than give you super powers, and that Tinfoil Hats, if anything, would conduct a signal rather than block it. He also thinks that the military cover-up is doomed to failure because the sheer size of Black Mesa would make it impossible to kill absolutely everyone involved.
    • See also Steel Ear Drums, Dungeon Bypass, and Immune to Bullets.
    • When asked why Gordon avoided the Hivehand again in Episode 61, Ross Scott's reasoning is hard to reject:
      "Man I wouldn't touch something that looked like that."
    • When he finds himself on an alien world, Gordon has a panic attack and starts hyperventilating, and only keeps moving out of awareness that he has no other options.
    • When he finds himself face-to-face with The Nihilanth, Gordon reacts by screaming incoherently for several seconds, and only stops when it starts shooting at him.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: With the game as Gordon's "reality":
    Gordon: If there's one thing I've learned today, it's that missile launches are not like the movies at all. I thought there were all these procedures, two different people with special keys, a small crew of people to monitor all the systems... but no. It's just a big, red button that says 'Launch.'
  • Refuge in Audacity: Freeman thinks that there's no way that the military can convict him for the killing of dozens of marines simply because it wouldn't make sense.
    Gordon: No military training, never fired a gun, acquitted for petty theft, not a member of any extremist organizations, has a PhD in theoretical physics. Yeah, that sounds like our man.
  • Road Runner PC: One of the few game mechanics not lampshaded or defied in this series is Gordon's ability to breeze along at 10 mph without getting out of breath (and swim with equal acumen). He expresses a need in the first episode to practice for the company decathlon, suggesting he has some experience at running and shooting, while episodes often end with with him taking a breather.
  • Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...: One of the YouTube comments displayed during the end credits:
    roses are blue
    violets are red
    i am bad at poetry
    washing machine
  • Rule of Funny: Freeman slurs to an extreme degree whenever dizzy. Why? Because it's goddamn funny.
    • Presumably, it's also the reason his inner monologue gets so muffled underwater.
  • Running Gag: Gordon repeatedly...
    • ...commenting that he misses his suit helmet.
    • ...killing barnacles and getting showered by gore.
    • ...channeling his inner monkey.
    • ...wishing his suit had a grappling hook.
    • ...realizing he's just gone through a Door to Before.
    • ...contemplating hocking a loogie into various deep pits.
    • ...trying to kill all of the cockroaches.
    • ...getting frustrated by dead ends and trying to open them by hitting them with his crowbar (even the metal ones).
    • ...checking whether someone is following him.
    • ...ruminating that things are okay because he has a gun. (Emphasis his.)
    • ...stating "I should have been a _______."
    • ...commenting on the facility being a James Bond Super Villain company.
    • ...mentioning his friend Eddie who could either supply him with certain [X] or could buy certain [X] from him. ([X] being the not very easily legally obtained good of discussion)
    • ...witnessing the soldiers blowing each other up.
    • ...being startled by scientists or guards suddenly talking or appearing in front of him.
    • ...complaining about flimsy, easily-broken catwalks.
    • ...fancying whether he would be able to explain all the kills he made as N+1 cases of self-defense and getting increasingly sure that he won't.
    • ...entering an elevator with background music.
    • ...missing his throws with hand grenades about as often as he makes them.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • "OH GOD I'M OUT OF AMMO!! WHOSE JOB IS IT TO RELOAD?! YOU'RE FIRED!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE'S NO AMMO LEFT?! YOU'RE FIRED TOO!!" Yep, he's talking to himself. It seems to calm him down a little.
    • Teeters on the edge of total breakdown when he first enters Xen, as he's utterly furious at (what he perceives as) being tricked and abandoned by the scientists, and completely terrified at the prospect of navigating a world that makes no physical sense. Once again, screaming at himself for a few minutes seems to help.
  • Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: In episode 6 Gordon mentions that he watched Die Hard "like fifty times", which is apparently where all his knowledge of guns comes from.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • In the Rocket Test Lab, Gordon is flabbergasted upon seeing a reel-to-reel memory storage device from the 70's. He's even more confused when he sees what looks like a punch card slot.
    • In Xen, Gordon comments on how the aliens have some technology far beyond that of Earth, such as teleports, yet are severely deficient in other areas like weapons.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    "What's that say? Do not obstruct laser shield? Big letters, too. That's almost asking for someone to obstruct it, isn't it? I don't care for your rules. Now I wanna see what happens when it gets obstructed!"
  • Screw Destiny:
    Freeman: You know, people say you should just play the hand you've been dealt in life. You know what? Fuck that. I say that if you get a dealt a bad hand, you throw out your cards, flip the table, pull a gun on the dealer and start shooting... life, I guess.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Gordon's main goal since the resonance cascade has just been to escape from the facility. But its labyrinthine design and the lethality of the firefight on the surface repeatedly force him to stay on the path.
    • In the episode 0 prequel, which covers the tutorial level, Gordon skips the rest of the training session after he realizes he's been ordered to deliberately jump off a high platform and be injured in order to learn to use the game's medical supplies.
  • Shaky Cam: As the series is in first-person, Gordon's freaking out and spraying bullets everywhere during a firefight creates a similar effect. Justified, as a real physicist with no prior military training would probably do that, too.
  • Shooting Superman: This series does away with health packs and armor rechargers in favor of simply having Gordon's Powered Armor make him impervious to low level threats (low power rounds, Bullsquid poison, Vortigaunt electrical attacks, et cetera), with the higher level threats (such as explosives, high caliber rounds, and giant monsters) being instantly fatal, forcing Freeman to always dodge them at all costs. As a result, the marines' continuous attempts to kill Gordon by just shooting him in the torso with their MP5s comes off as this. Gordon lampshades it a few times.
  • Shoplift and Die: Freeman imagines that in 50 years, in addition to surveillance cameras, Wal-Marts will also come equipped with roof-mounted turret guns to gun down shoplifters.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted in that Freeman uses the shotgun at a much longer range than it is effective at in-game. The creator hasn't modified it's accuracy or anything, he's just raised the damage to disguise the fact that only a few pellets are actually hitting the target in-game, making it look like it's taking several long range shots to down the target (usually a soldier). A similar thing is done with the MP5.
  • Shout-Out: A lot of them. Die Hard, Star Wars, Alien, H.P. Lovecraft, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, Super Mario Bros.... Gordon is a bit of a pop culture junkie.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Ross Scott did enough research to ensure that any time Freeman spouts physics technobabble, it's accurate physics technobabble. He explained in a fan chat that this is a combination of remembering things from high school and doing just enough research to sound knowledgeable. Freeman's rant about scientists having trouble with Newton's formula for gravity is an example of the former, his lecture on fermions is the latter.
    • More subtly, Ross is dedicated enough to verisimilitude that he avoided having Freeman make any pop culture references from after the year 2000, as the game is set somewhere between that year and 2009.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In one episode, Freeman overhears two soldiers talking about how mad they are that Freeman killed all their friends (in self-defense). Gordon responds with machine gun fire.
    "There, that's for trying to guilt trip me! Yeah, the Big Bad Freeman. Of course! You guys didn't start shit!"
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Gordon is actually pretty smart, physically fit, and overall competent, though he tends to inflate it to godlike levels.
    Gordon: (after killing a Gargantua) That's why the dinosaurs went extinct: ME!
  • Smart People Play Chess: Episode 49 Gordon muses about Shotgun Chess, but then disregards it all by shouting how he hates chess.
    • He also says that being good at chess has less to do with how smart you are and more to do with being able to think further ahead than your opponent.
    • A few episodes after the above, he comments on how chess can't possibly prepare one for anything he's gone through.
    • In an earlier episode, he remarked that the soldiers probably suck at chess.
  • Smash to Black:
    • We get one at the end of Episode 57 when Freeman steps into the teleporter, after he has spent the last minute or so insisting that the teleporters are just holograms. Episode 58 picks up the dialogue where 57 left off.
    • Another one at the end of Episode 67, as Freeman screams upon seeing the Nihilanth for the first time. Again, the next episode finishes the scream.
  • Stealth Pun: In episode 28, he complains about an attacker disrupting his "train of thought"... while he's on a rail car, thinking to himself.
  • Steel Ear Drums: Averted in episode 8.
    Gordon: [Sees a few Head Crabs in the vent] Oh, you son of a bitch!
    [Fires several shots with his handgun, which are immediately accompanied by a high-pitched 'eeeeeee~' sound]
    Gordon: Auuuugh! My ears! That was not smart... firing a gun inside an air vent! I hope I'm not deaf!
    • Played straight the rest of the time, though. He doesn't have any sort of ear protection, yet doesn't complain about the noise outside of the aforementioned scene in episode 8, and one other instance where a barrel explodes right next to him.
  • The Stoner: Gordon seems to have an unhealthy fixation with Oxycodone, though it only shows up twice so far in the series. In one of the first episodes, he presumably has a "stash" of it in his locker (which goes missing beforehand), and in Episode 17, he sees a sign reading "Oxy" and thinks it stands for Oxycodone before he realizes it's liquid oxygen for a test rocket. "I don't think you can get high off oxygen."note  He later climbs into a shark cage in the hope of procurring animal tranquilizers (and is disappointed upon finding out he can't get high off the type Black Mesa uses).
    • Upon seeing a crawlspace in the ceiling in Episode 20, he remarks "You could store a lot of drugs in there!"
    • Gordon's Oxycodone addiction becomes a cross-series Brick Joke when, in episode 18 of Shephard's Mind, Adrian stops to take some antidepressants that he found in Gordon's Locker, only to discover after that fact that he had in fact overdosed on stolen Oxycodone, and spends the next episode completely stoned on the stuff.
    • As noted above in the Bilingual Bonus entry, Gordon straight-up offers to buy drugs from a passing scientist.
    • He theorizes an alien must be a "galactic stoner" upon witnessing it fall through a traditional Black Mesa catwalk and ignore his subsequent gunfire.
    • In episode 57 he spends most of the time on morphine. Besides being a bit less frustrated with the world, and maybe a little more loopy, he really doesn't seem that different from his normal self.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    Gordon: [Hurling a grenade at a wall of explosive crates] I have to blow everything up! It's the only way to prove I'm not crazy!
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Lampshaded in episode 11, after leaping across an elevator shaft onto a ladder on the opposite wall.
    Gordon: Oh my God! That was stupid. Why do I keep doing stupid things? Oh my God. I could've died!
  • Stylistic Suck: Doom Guy's Mind has shades of this. The humor is much cruder and less sophisticated, and consists mostly of one-liners and swearing, all filtered through a ridiculously gruff voice.
  • Super Window Jump: The Badass Grandpa scientist pulls this, and Gordon is suitably impressed. Too bad he dies not five seconds later.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Freeman's assessment of the situation, coming to the conclusion that literally everyone involved besides himnote  is an idiot.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity:
    • "This is... suspiciously convenient. I haven't been used to things going my way for quite a while now."
    • "What's with all these grenades everywhere?"
    • The rocket launcher leads him to revise his theory that the entire Universe wants him dead. Then, of course, the attack helicopter from before shows up again...
    • In episode 48, upon being introduced to a massive weapons stash by a security guard, Gordon muses on how he might have his friend Eddie sell them all and get a finder's fee out of it.
  • Sword Cane: Gordon wants to buy one when he gets older.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Spoofed by Gordon when he finds an unmanned and yet to be activated sentry gun, which he then completely misses the grenade throw on.
    Gordon: Okay, paper beats rock, hand grenade beats unmanned sentry gu-shit.
  • Take a Third Option: Gordon brings this up when talking about the Uncertainty Principle (how measuring an electron's position changes its momentum, and vice versa). According to Gordon, there's only one correct answer—to get drunk and light things on fire.
  • Take My Hand: Gordon tells an elderly scientist to do this in an early episode after the Resonance Cascade. The scientist falls soon after, letting Gordon spout a hilarious line.
    Gordon: No, your other hand, you idiot!
  • Take Over the World: Freeman wishes he could do this, and constantly fantasizes about what he'd do if he ruled it. He also has always wanted to build a robot army, and live in a giant metal spider fortress. He has no way of actually following through on it, though, so it's pretty harmless.
  • Take That, Audience!: Instead of ending credits (since it only takes a couple of seconds to show everyone involved), the last episode shows a collection of the most banal, misspelled, or obtuse comments appended to the series, including at least a few hundred different people asking "what game is this?"note 
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Episode 27 and the very beginning of Episode 28.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: Freeman refers to two Bradleys as tanks, even though they're not. Justified in that Gordon, by his own admission, knows next to nothing about this stuff, and would likely make a mistake like this.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Freeman somehow blows up an Abrams with a grenade launcher, and blows up a Bradley by shooting it. Both of these are obviously unrealistic, but the latter is particularly notable because said Bradley had just (realistically) taken dozens of rounds of small arms fire and three grenades without taking any damage. This is of course because the tanks and IFVs in Half-Life, just like every other enemy, could succumb to Death of a Thousand Cuts from any weapon, including the crowbar. Though these ones would only take damage from hits to the turret; their bodies were invulnerable. This is despite Ross Scott specifically saying that he wanted Freeman's Mind to be less "video game-y" than Half-Life.
    • The second Bradley Freeman comes across is dispatched realistically, with an anti-tank missile.
  • Tank Goodness: Freeman pines for this trope, having come across a tank with an open hatch but it's still locked (the actual reason of course being that Half-Life doesn't provide for driving any of the vehicles) and just thinking about it depresses him. He has to settle for using the mounted machine gun.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: One of Freeman's rants is against those who claim everything they haven't tried tastes like chicken, and he emphatically states that the giant tentacle he just barbecued likely tastes nothing like chicken.
    • Though he does follow up by saying "this probably tastes like grasshoppers," which are on the list of things people claim taste like chicken.
  • Tastes Like Feet: He says the bullsquid's secretions "taste like dead caterpillars."
  • Tastes Like Purple: After getting teleported to Uplink, Gordon increasingly experiences flashes of green light until they take him back to the main game. The first time this happens, he thinks he just heard "someone green" and then wonders if he's suffering temporary synesthesia due to head trauma.
  • Taught by Television: Gordon attributes his firearms experience to his repeated viewings of Die Hard.
  • Team Killer: Freeman has killed (or at least incapacitated) at least one security guard intentionally, shot another after he ran in front of his gun, and comments about how the soldiers have killed their own guys on several occasions.
  • Tele-Frag: Gordon theorizes that the reason Black Mesa is doing so much collapsing is that aliens keep accidentally teleporting into the walls and important pieces of equipment.
    • Later, Gordon surmises that the scientists sending "volunteers" to Xen don't know the location of the area they're aiming for, and are just punching in random coordinates. This would explain why there are ammo cases deep in enemy territory and why most of the hazmat-suited corpses he finds look like they fell to their deaths.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Doom Guy, oh so very much.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Gordon tries to kill a cockroach with his machine gun, and when it fails, he says that's why he needs a shotgun.
    • In episode 42, he sees an alien shark in the water. Not wanting to have another close call, he decides to simply kill it from far away with his machine gun. After firing about thirty rounds into the water, he fires his grenade launcher just to be sure.
    • When the helicopter starts firing missiles at him, instead of just taking him out with its machine gun, he declares it to be a case of this.
    • He has a similar reaction when the soldiers start firing artillery at him at the dam.
      Freeman: Dammit! Pretty sure this is unconstitutional, even cops aren't allowed to mortar people. I mean what happened? Was there an emergency session of congress to vote on bombing me!?
    • Freeman concludes that this is the reason the military puts trip-mines everywhere.
      Freeman: I guess the idea is that if an alien comes by here, we blow it up and the side of a building.
    • In episode 56, he takes out a Grunt with a rocket launcher because he's low on other ammo. He then spends the rest of the episode ruminating on whether it's 'honorable' to use such an overpowered weapon.
  • This Ain't Rocket Surgery: In one of his Grappling-Hook Pistol rants, Gordon notes that a grappling hook would allow him to ascend a shaft with a couple swings, then notes that you don't need a physics degree to grasp the concept. The fact that he has one just adds insult to injury.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: See also Bond One-Liner.
  • This Is My Side: He declares one of the laser tripwires to be "the line" and tells the aliens to stay on their side of it. Apparently he played the trope straight in college.
  • Training from Hell: Freeman is flabbergasted to see a squad of soldiers entrenched on the narrow paths of a mountain. He wonders if this is the reason that they're there.
    Freeman: And if over 2/3 of the recruits die, then they can label it as intensive training.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In episode 41, Gordon recruits a scientist to open the door leading outside, but first has to get past a couple of spinning blades. Gordon easily moves through them and tries to coach the scientist to do the same. The next thing you hear is *SPLAT*. Gordon is annoyed. Luckily, there were two more scientists to work with.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Discussed. Gordon theorises that the zombies are getting smarter after two of them seem to set an ambush for him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Freeman gets noticeably more callous, uncaring, and cynical as the series goes on. Compare episode 4, where he tries to save a scientist from falling, to episode 10, where he says to a scientist "You're on your own, chump" and abandons him. He also talks about how slavery was a good idea (though overly restricted by only targeting one race) and makes a back-up plan in case he accidentally shoots a civilian. There's a couple reasons for this. He does show concern when a helpful scientist is shot and demands he find gauze and disinfectant. He seems to believe in survival of the fittest as he doesn't care when idiots get themselves killed, but he likes people to stay alive if they are helpful, smart, and DON'T piss him off. In episode 65 (and later 66), he even spares a couple of aliens because they're not attacking him, and he doesn't want to discourage that mentality.
  • To Serve Man: Inverted when Freeman contemplates eating the aliens in episode 51, but lacks a means by which to cook them.
  • Tracking Device: In episode 33, Gordon is understandably upset when he learns his suit is full of these, which is how the HECU has been tracking him.
    • In Episode 45, he wonders why he can't use it, then decides it's to deter thieves like him.
      Gordon: If this suit has a GPS tracking system in it, how come I can't see where I am? It must be an anti-theft feature. I would have stolen this thing a long time ago if I'd known how functional it was.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Doritos. Freeman spends several episodes musing about them, and when he gets them in episodes 10-11, he thinks there's something wrong with them, despite having "enough preservatives in them to mummify a small dog."
    • In later episodes, he spends considerable time talking about pizza, and unusual ways of delivering it (via trams, amphibious deliveries to beaches, etc.). Unsurprisingly, this begins to happen not long after Freeman mentions that he's pretty hungry, and generally coincides with his surroundings - being near trams, water, etc.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Gordon's "apprehension" at the end of episode 34 consisted of at least one blow to the head. In episode 35, he can't remember the events of the previous day or so, including the resonance cascade scenario. It's not until halfway through episode 37, after he faces a bullsquid, that he really starts to remember all of what had happened, but for some reason he has false memories of it being caused by a Lovecraftian cult. He isn't exactly wrong, though.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Gordon comments on the unusual lack of this (among other security measures) at the launch site. Granted, it's not for a missile like he thought it was, but still.
  • Unfriendly Fire: In episode 30, an officer blows up a pair of his troops with a grenade launcher. Freeman theorizes this is the reason.
    Gordon: I don't even think he was aiming for me; I was just the excuse!
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Freeman, and all the other mind series protagonist, to an extent.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: As the series goes on, Freeman gets less and less surprised about the stupidity of the rest of the human species, and his constant near death experiences. For example, in episode 10, he doesn't even seem to care that zombies can punch right through concrete walls, even though that would be very bad for him if they ever got close. In episode 46, he can't even bring himself to utter a "what the fuck?" when he sees an entire missile testing facility turned into a giant trip-minefield by the "rescue team". Instead, he simply says "this room confirms every theory I had about the soldiers".
  • Unwanted Assistance: This happens In-Universe:
    Gordon: Uh oh, everything's working fine, better call in the military!
  • Valley Girl: Gordon talks like this after having sung "Modern Major General" trying to justify his actions to a corpse.
  • Vanity Plate: The Accursed Farms cow appears at the end of every episode.
  • Violation of Common Sense: He occasionally does this in order to progress, as in the game. Usually lampshaded, like when he speculates that the surprisingly-flimsy concrete barriers are actually just Styrofoam.
    • In Episode 0, he lampshades the stupidity of having to jump from a great height onto a target painted on the concrete floor during the Hazard Course. The idea in the actual game, of course, is to demonstrate what kinds of falls will actually hurt. In this series, Gordon decides to simply lie about finishing the test, assuming his supervisors will be too lazy to check.
    • Stand out examples include making a running jump across an elevator shaft onto a ladder and running through an open area and strafing to dodge while a Bradley fires its 25mm autocannon at him. He lampshades how maneuvers like this could very easily get him killed:
      Freeman: (upon making the jump) OH MY GOD! That was stupid, why do I keep doing stupid things, oh my god, oh- I could've died!
      Freeman: (formulating his plan to make it past the Bradley) And this tank needs... seconds, to turn the barrel left and right. So that's my window of really shitty opportunity.
  • Violence Is the Only Option/Violence Really Is the Answer: Invoked by Freeman, who makes a few attempts at communication with the aliens and HECU and comes to this conclusion because, well, they still try to kill him.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: "This is almost getting to be like a chore. You know, wash the dishes, do the laundry, shoot the Snot Thing, empty the trash..."
  • Weirdness Magnet: Lampshaded in episode 51.
    Freeman: It's so easy to try to explain this all as just "aliens". But it's aliens and teleportation and a conspiracy against me, and drugs, and in-house genocide, and ghosts, and now these... cosmic disco balls?
  • What Does This Button Do?: The usual reaction to finding a new button or switch he hasn't touched yet.
    • The standard alternate reaction doesn't even bother asking what it does.
      "Hey, a button!" (press)
    • Gordon himself lampshades this, deciding that he shouldn't keep pressing buttons after one launches a missile. Then lampshades it again when he does so anyway.
    • And in episode 49:
      "Hey, this" (cannon fires and takes down the door) "... is just a big button!" (BOOM) "Step right up!" (BOOM) "This is amazing!" (BOOM)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gordon's reaction to the HECU soldiers trying to kill him.
    "This is the worst rescue operation in history!"
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Gordon is less than enthused about the "fall three stories aiming for a red circle" part of training.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: In episode 65, Gordon encounters a couple of Vortigaunts who don't attack him. He decides to let them live, because he doesn't want to discourage that mentality. He does it again in episode 66.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Gordon ponders this about himself, saying, "I've brushed with Death so often, I should start giving him high-fives as I pass."
    • He also says this regarding the Gonarch, pointing out at one point that he's killed tanks with the weaponry he's already thrown at it.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Mentioned when Freeman encounters a pair of NPCs located near a Door to Before for the second time, and gripes that "those two have accomplished more by standing in one place than I have by running all over this facility leaving a trail of bodies."
  • Would Hit a Girl: Freeman does so by necessity, gunning down the female black ops he mistakes for ninjas.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • In Episode 26, Gordon wonders if there's any hidden Nazi Gold inside Black Mesa. Wrong FPS game, Gordon!
    • In a straighter example, Gordon considers bloodstains and dead bodies to be signs of danger, to be avoided, rather than considering them "clues" like a video game player would. This means he often misses supplies and ignores areas most gamers would explore. Notably, he skirted the room where the first shotgun is located, and so did not find one until two full chapters later. He also avoided picking up the Tau Cannon, an extremely powerful weapon, in part because it was covered in blood and body parts at the scene of a recent explosion. The other part, though, was that he'd heard the scientist and guard talking about it...and getting killed from it overcharging. He does pick up the other Tau Cannon just before Xen, however, and makes good use of it.
      Freeman: I doubt it's any safer with blood all over it.
    • Then in Episode 47, he avoids getting the Hivehand and instead tries to kill it, thinking it's just another alien that wants to kill him. He avoids picking up the other Hivehand in the supply rooms just before Xen; as Ross himself said, no sane person would touch something that looked like that.
    • Throughout the series he continues to believe that the Black Ops enemies are ninjas. However, this is a case when following the wrong genre is a good thing; because he thinks they're ninjas, he carefully searches for them everywhere and manages to gun them down without much difficulty.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: When he picks up the Rocket Launcher and he hears the return of the helicopter he starts speaking like this.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Gordon says the only thing that makes him stand out is his beard, being the only scientist with one. Aside from him, you've got black scientist, Einstein scientist, bald scientist, and security guard.
  • You Make Me Sic: Gordon's reaction to "Yore Dead Freeman".
  • You Keep Using That Word: Gordon rants about the misuse of the word "dimension" in Episode 55.
  • Your Other Left: Early on, when Gordon encounters a scientist dangling from a broken catwalk, Gordon tries to save him.
    (scientist loses his grip and falls to his death)
    Gordon: No your other hand, you idiot!

Alternative Title(s): Freemans Mind