The Abridged Series / Dungeon Bypass: Thanks to the use of cheat codes, Gordon can "climb" over obstacles and skip some sections of the game. His guns also deal more damage.
Gordon's ability to "climb" obstacles is possibly lampshaded in one of the episodes as he comments on how he can do a pull-up.
And later subverted in episode 24, where he attempts to do this and fails due to a sloped edge. In fact, the whole Power Up arc is something of a subversion, since he spends more time wandering around and backtracking than he needed to.
Gordon at one point nearly bypassed the rest of the game... only to realize that he was in the middle of the desert in a metal suit with no supplies. He promptly returned to the dungeon.
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: Wow, you sure did a great job falling down that elevator shaft!
Although it should also be noted that he constantly refers to "when I get out of here" and "at my next job", which, after its been established that both alien monsters and armed military forces are trying to kill you, is hilariously optimistic. Gordon's cynicism seems to wax and wane as Rule of Funny demands.
The Alcoholic: Upon finding an elevator finally leading to the surface and presumably to his escape, Freeman muses: "I am gonna get so drunk tonight. I mean, way more than usual." And he comes into work having had two shots of vodka for breakfast.
Aliens Are Bastards: Gordon is quick to take this view, which isn't that unjustified, considering the circumstances. He even calls out the trope by name!
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. In fact, squirrels killing themselves on power lines is common enough that it comes up in the news every now and then.
Angrish: Often, most notably the beginning of episode 39.
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: Two episodes so far. Both of them feature a variant of the "Gordon head" title card, relevant to the episode's gimmick.
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, Doom Guy'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. Aside from a lot more profanity and praising the Marines rather than theoretical physics, the character ends up pretty similar to Freeman...
Red lights, walking backwards, GIVE ME SOME MORE PRESSURE, I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH! YES! BIOHAZARD! PERFECT! THANK YOU! AAAHH, FALLING TO MY DEATH! TANK OF ACID, SUPERB! [annoyed] Sidestepping...
Artificial Stupidity: Gordon is very quick to point out the marines stupid tactics, including bombing the area where their soldiers (and no one else) are, killing each other with grenades, running straight at him around a corner even though they just saw their friends getting shot running around the same corner, firing missiles in an underground tunnel, and shooting him in the body with their MP5's, even though he repeatedly lampshades that it has little to no effect on his bullet proof suit. This is a very ironic meta joke, since Half Life was the first game to include complex and smart enemies, but they appear stupid in Freeman's Mind for two reasons: 1. They are pretty aged in terms of AI. 2. They were never designed to fight enemies with realistic damage values (in Freeman's Mind, it only takes 3 shots to kill a soldier rather than 10 as in the original Half-Life or 7 in source). He thinks that natural selection is making them smarter though, commenting on how a few actually throw grenades instead of suicidally charging forward, and how they set up powerful turrets which could probably breach his suit.
Then the Marines hired The Three Stooges for episode 30 and they starting blowing each other up with grenades.
And there's that time Gordon was ambushed by two soldiers hiding in a box. He hypothesizes on some "cigar-smoking general" ordering the two into the box, complete with a voice akin to talking past a beard.
Ax Crazy: Gordon, in later episodes. 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). As of episode 39, he's killed a Black Mesa security guard in cold blood, believing that the guard was out to get him.
Freeman: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, everyone dies!
To be fair, Gordon made a good point: The guard he killed was not shot by a soldier whose job description currently includes "killing everyone in the building", despite the fact that the guard was standing in plain view in the hallway the soldier had just walked through.
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 then they are. He simultaneously 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.
Berserk Button: He hates cockroaches. And locked doors. And dead ends. And Vortigaunts 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!"
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. To make matters worse, he's still recovering from being knocked out, and as such, is drowsy
Gordon: OH MY GOD I'M GONNA DROWN!!
Big "WHAT?!": Episode 4 gave us this brief "exchange" between Gordon and the security system:
Gordon: 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.
Brick Joke / 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 Fool's episode, when Gordon falls to his death, the impact unmutes the suit computer.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his ramblings, Gordon's inner monologue does show that he knows a lot about science.
Random Scientist: Do you know who ate all the doughnuts? Gordon: NO! Do you know if leptons are really compound particles?! Friggin' donuts...
Early on, he mentions seeing one of the (many) white-haired geezer physicists writing down the equation for gravitational force, mentioning how it's something you'd see in Physics 1 classes. Truth of the matter? It really is. Most physics teachers (college-level, at least) also have (much) longer equations completely memorized so having to write down such a short, basic equation at all is just plain sad for a PhD-grade physicist.
Not to mention he actually does start reciting a lecture about fermions as he comes to in the trash compactor.
Captain Obvious: "You know, I'm starting to think this isn't a rescue operation..."
Gordon: [Seeing the Anti-Mass spectrometer malfunction and blow up the room]: No no, this is not good.
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. 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.
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...
"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?"
Computer Equals Tape Drive: "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!"
Contractual Immortality: Double-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.
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 now 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.
Creator Backlash: Sort of. Ross Scott prefers to work on Civil Protection, but difficulty in coding caused him to concentrate more on the easier to make Freeman's Mind.
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.
Deadpan Snarker: Gordon of course, the quote at the top of the page should say it all.
Driven to Madness: It's supposed to be funny, but in the beginning of episode 17, an exhausted Gordon becomes frustrated with the monsters for not answering his questions. Later in 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. It's actually one of the series' smartest rants, and one of few that could actually be taken rather seriously.
Gordon: (Shooting at a group of soldiers) I AM ON YOUR SIDE GOD DAMMIT, HOW MANY MORE OF YOU DO I HAVE TO KILL BEFORE YOU REALIZE THAT!?!?
In episode 24, he thinks about decapitating an injured security guard and using his intestines as rope, but later decides against it simply because he figured the intestines would be too slippery.
Episode 18 has him concluding that he must have encountered a pixie. He's frighteningly serious. It's safe to assume he's snapped at this point. Although, when you consider what has happened that day, the existence of pixies wouldn't be completely out of the question.
Episode 25, he's hearing voices of the damned. note It's worth pointing out that the sounds he's hearing are actual cries of the damned. It's reused as the zombie Horde warning cry from Left 4 Dead, to be specific.
And in 26, he genuinely can't remember if gnomes exist (but again, considering what he has run into so far...)
And now in Episode 27, he's started talking (thinking?) like a pirate.
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 finally substantiates it by killing a friendly security guard without a second thought and shooting marines on sight. It may be all downhill from here.
Gordon: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, EVERYONE DIES!"
To be fair to Gordon, he does have amnesia at this point. He's forgotten that the security guards are friendly. Although he's definitely in a "shoot first, don't bother to ask questions" mode of thinking. Gordon also rightfully points out that the soldier he just shot would have needed to pass by said guard, who obviously wasn't harassed.
Gordon:(staring down a chasm filled with water and contemplating whether or not to jump) So... let's assess: Cons, I could starve to death where no one could ever find me. Pros, this could be fun as hell... I'm gonna do it. (jumps)
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.
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.
Entertainingly Wrong: Gordon misses out on several ammo caches and some weapons (including the most powerful gun in the game). 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, and avoided the most powerful weapon in the game because it was surrounded by corpses.
Gordon: I don't understand! Why is everyone trying to kill me?! I'm awesome! Are you all jealous!?
Fan Nickname: In-universe, although the "fan" part is up for debate. Gordon calls Headcrabs "Face-huggers", Vortigaunts "Zappers", and Bullsquids "Cthulhu dogs". Interestingly, he comes up with the "Face-hugger" name before he sees one actually jump on a scientist's head, just because it looks like one.
It appears again later (earlier?) during Episode Zero (The Hazard Course) when he figures out 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 Leader: At this point, it seems every kid with FRAPS and Garry's Mod is making his own version of "So-and-so's Mind". Because they mostly rely on the same exact jokes as the original, with poor pacing and less attention to detail, they are generally not as good as the original. However, there are some rather well done Spinoffs which include:
And the spinoffs have spinoffs: Felix's Mind claims to be inspired by Barney's Mind.
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?
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...
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.
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."
We must hire over a thousand people, you can't hunt down every single— (gets attacked by a zombie and kills it) and aliens. We've got aliens popping out of nowhere. What are they going to do? Shoot everyone in New Mexico?
In 44 he's somehow so crazy that he actually realized he's just a pawn in a cosmic struggle.
Goddamned Bats: In-Universe. Freeman really gets annoyed by Vortigaunts shocking him. Also, he gets mad when soldiers keep shooting him. Only the ones who shoot him in the torso, though. The ones who throw grenades or aim for the head present a credible threat.
Gordon:(gets zapped) QUIT ZAPPING ME! Let's see how you like it! (returns fire with his pistol, reloads, and gets shocked again) THAT'S SO FRIGGIN ANNOYING! (guns down the Vort) It's not like the electricity kills me, it just hurts!
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. Bullets bounce off the suit or miss altogether. Large caliber rounds or explosives can kill him right through his suit, but he dodges them. Headcrab bites are scratches. Bullsquid spit stinks but doesn't hurt.
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.
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◊".
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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 we he won't hesitate to let everyone know it.
Gordon:(firing at soldiers) MY DIPLOMA'S WORTH MORE THAN YOUR LIFE!
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.
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.
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 conspiracy would not only be expensive, but pointless against randomly-teleporting aliens.
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.
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.
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?!?"
Mook Chivalry: The marines 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.
Jesus Christ I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything.
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?
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).
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...
Oh Crap: 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.
Earlier than that, there was his reaction to the first HECU soldier he found:
Scientist: Rescued at last! Thank god you're here! [Runs towards the soldier] Gordon: Alright the rescue team! [Soldier guns down the scientist] Gordon: Or ummm, what?
Omniglot: Gordon apparently speaks five languages, English, Spanish, German, Hindi, and Haitian Creole. He says he's been to Haiti and India in the past, and he mentions 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 Creole 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.
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 but 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!"
Owl Be Damned: In Episode 28 when Freeman's mocking those who called him paranoid, he says "Owls can't read your mind, Freeman!"
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.
Schedule Slip: After making a new video about once a month Scott didn't upload anything for the last four months of 2010*
Not entirely his fault since Machinima seems to take a while to put his videos up
Subverted from May 7 to June 24 2011 Ross Scott made episodes 32-37 and the bonus episode 0 running a nearly weekly schedule, and Ross Scott has stated he hopes to prevent large droughts again, but unfortunately, the switch to Windows 7 and the time spent on setting everything up delayed ep.38 for almost two months.
Progress Report: Windows 7 is kicking my ass.
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.
"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!"
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.
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!
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.*
You can't, in case you were wondering.
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.
The rocket launcher leads him to revise his theory that the entire Universe wants him dead.
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.
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.
Tastes Like Feet: He says the bullsquid's secretions "taste like dead caterpillars."
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 missles at him, he declares it to be a case of this.
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.
Gordon: [laughs] Today's lesson is on muzzle energy and momentum!
You know that bit where Gordon shoots down the helicopter in episode 42? According to the blog entry by the creator, the encounter wasn't supposed to go that way. Lampshaded somewhat in 43, when Gordon comments that he'd somehow turned the trick with rounds that were only 9mm in caliber.
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 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 couplereasons for this.
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.
Trademark Favorite Food: Doritos. 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's not exactly wrong.
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!
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 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. More recently he avoided picking up the Tau Cannon, an extremely powerful weapon that only shows up once, 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.
Freeman: "I doubt it's any safer with blood all over it."
You Make Me Sic: Averted. Gordon doesn't even deem "Yore Dead Freemen" to be worth mocking.
Examples In The Spinoffs
Adaptation Expansion: The last episode of Baney's mind involves Barney hijacking a plane and escaping Black Mesa which wasn't in Blue Shift. (It's filmed in MS Flight Simulator X.
Apologetic Attacker: Parker's Mind episode 6, when he shoots the technician who won't lower the submarine.
More or less Shephard, when he attacks the Black Ops agents that he wishes to go on a date with.
April Fools' Day: The author of Felix's Mind pulled off a very convincing April Fools prank, having everyone think he was giving up his series with this episode.
Artificial Stupidity: In Parker's Mind, he is constantly raving about how stupid the Ultor guards are. This is somewhat subverted however, when he first fights the Mercenaries, who actually have proper combat training.
From what he describes, Felix's relationship with Chell definitely appears to have been this.
Berserk Button: Everyone mistakes Felix for being Gordon, much to his annoyance.
Brick Joke: In the Barney's Mind/Shephard's Mind crossover episodes, Shephard finds a bottle of "antidepressants" in Gordon's locker, with the brick dropping in episode 18 when he finds out that it was actually oxycodone after he had already taken about four of them. Cue Crowning Moment of Funny that lasts all through episode 19 and partly into episode 20.
Also a cross-series Brick Joke, as in one of the very first Freeman's Mind episodes, Gordon complains about being unable to find his oxycodone in that very locker.
Remember when Gordon yelled "Sucker!" to the random guard banging on the door in the first episode of Freeman's Mind? The same joke gets shown again from Barney's point of view in the first episode of Barney's Mind, with Barney soundly thinking that he'll kill Gordon for that.
When Shephard and Barney are talking (with Shephard in a locker and Barney pondering how to get him out), they come to the conclusion that the electrified toxic waste is "an ingredient in Red Bull or something". In Chell's Mind, Chell says "Red Bull, now with more electrified toxic waste! Red Bull, it gives you cancer!"
Celebrity Paradox: Present in the spinoff Barney's Mind. While chattering away at attacking soldiers, he asks them if they play various video games, including Counterstrike. When you consider what game that was modded from...
Shephard does the same thing with Team Fortress 2 in one episode by doing his best impression of the Sniper.
Cloudcuckoolander: Pretty much a must for any mind series but Chell is especially note worthy.
Shephard: [Looking at the G-Man] Man how badass would it be if I just shot that phone right out of his hand right now. He'd just freak out for a second, then look around for where the shot came, then he'd see me with my smoking rifle and my cold emotionless mask, I'd slowly raise my hand, point to my eyes then back to him, and in that moment, he'd know I was the wrong person to— [G-Man walks into a teleporter] god damn it my monologue took too long!
Cross Over: Barney and Shephard meet each other at one point. And at the end of the 5th episode of Chell's Mind, Chell hears Barney's voice. Krimsin, Ian and CyhAnide all mentioned collaborating and borrowing jokes from each other.
Chell appears in episode 14 of Felix's Mind, just after he had been mortally wounded by a sniper.
Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Parker comments on a useless guard while searching for Gryphon. Said guard takes offense to the comment, causing Parker to invoke the trope.
Shephard: [Shooting at a giant alien worm] I'm carrying more ammo than should be physically feasible on one human being! I'll sit here and shoot at you all day if I have to.
Also averted, as he refuses to pick up the heavier weaponry (the missile launcher and the heavy machine gun) because it would be too hard to carry.
Hypocritical Humor: In episode 10 (part 1) of "Barney's Mind", Barney complains how stupid scientists are for getting locked in freight trains. A few seconds later, he enters a freight train and it closes and locks on him.
It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Shephard finds the "best ladder ever" at the end of episode 18. Then at the end of episode 19, when he's high off oxycodone, he finds another ladder and happily proclaims "I was wrong before! This is the best ladder ever!"
Shephard: I've got a half-melted chocolate bar and I'm not afraid to eat it! 'Cause it would be good...
Jerk Ass: Again, a must for any mind series, but the protagonists of Ander's and Parker's mind really stand out.
Of all of the Mind series, Shephard seems to be the most sociable one despite being a marine. He strikes a chord with Barney and treats other people reasonably friendly. On the flip side though, people around him seem to die quite frequently.
Toward the end of Parker's Mind, he starts to feel a little more for the people around him (even when he went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the mercs after they shot Hendrix), but still lives up to this trope.
Averted by Chell, who is more psychotic than a jerk. Then again, there isn't anyone to be a jerk to.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Barney and Shephard. The former starts off cold and detached, but eventually ends up growing fond of some scientists and helps rescue them. The latter is a marine, and is of course going to be combat oriented, but he genuinely cares for competent people, most notably Otis. He also mourns the loss of his fellow comrades, at one point believing he is hearing the ghosts of dead marines.
Karma Houdini: Felix is starting to believe that his misfortunes are the result of the Universe actively punishing him for previously acts of jerkassery he got away with.
Killed Mid-Sentence: Shephard is in the middle of a battle and asking one of his comrades about the operation
Shephard: Hey, is it true this whole thing is all a government cover up? [Spore grenade lands next the medic] Medic: Government cover ups are— [Spore grenade explodes and kills him] Shephard: [To the aliens] Oh fuck off! He was just about to explain everything!
Mondegreen: After Shephard hears a Shock Trooper alien cry out.
"On the other hand, do I really need four guns? Hell yes I do it's an alien invasion!"
No Indoor Voice: Shephard gets annoyed with one Marine in episode 21 for this.
Shephard: HI. HELLO THERE. DO YOU MAYBE HAVE AN INDOOR VOICE?
Oh Crap: In episode 21, Shephard turns on his night-vision only to find an alien staring at him.
One-Liner: Most Mind series protagonists are pretty prone to this, but Shephard in particular seems to absolutely love these. There are at least seven or eight in episode 22 alone, with plenty more to be found in other episodes.
One-Man Army: every main character, obviously. Well, except Chell. Special mention goes to Felix and his 1st season finale.
Painting the Medium: Isaac Clarke (Isaac Clarke's Mind) seems to be at least partially aware that he's in a video game, often acknowledging "plot holes" as he comes across them, as well as being able to hear the background music. Also, Barney, in musing about the strangeness of his situation, says that it's almost as if someone's "recording [his] every move and thought for some strange tv series and posting the videos on a website."
Promoted Fanboy: In-universe example. The core Mind series group, called the "Masterminds," originally started out with just Ian (Barney's Mind) and Krimsin (Shephard's Mind). All the Masterminds that came after are pretty much one of these.
Shephard recalls a time he snuck into Aperture Science and messed with all the keyboards as a prank. This a reference to a small easter egg in Portal where all the keyboards have the letters in "Adrian Shephard" lit up.
Barney's Mind Episode 14: After Barney rants about the Alien Grunts launching bees, he wants to know why they don't launch mollusks... or sea turtles.
Chell's Mind Episode 03: Chell makes a few references to other games after lamenting that although her situation is rather bad, it could be worse.
Sudden Downer Ending: While those who played Opposing Force knew it was coming, Shepard being "detained" by the G Man at the end of Shepard's Mind is surprisingly somber compared to the rest of the series.
Unexplained Accent: The protagonist of Declan's Mind is supposed to be an American black ops agent, but he speaks with a Lithuanian accent. The series probably wouldn't be as funny otherwise.
Even Chell is confused why ASHPoD is British.
Unflinching Walk: Shephard shows a fantastic example of this, during his fight with the lightning pigs in the finale.
Shephard: This makes me ask myself, did teleporting to an alien planet make you completely Asiatic? To which I respond: "Yes, but watch this."
What Does This Button Do?: Quite common in all Mind spinoffs. Except perhaps Chell's Mind, where it's more obvious as to what the buttons do.
What Would X Do?: In episode 3 of Parker's Mind, Parker is hesitant to climb a rickety ladder due to his fear of heights but realizes he can't stay at the bottom of the elevator shaft forever. He wonders what Jesus would do — cut to a cartoon of Jesus telling Parker to stop being a wuss and climb the ladder.
What You Are in the Dark: When he's about to face down the final boss, Shephard admits that he'll probably never escape the facility, nobody outside would ever know what happened in Black Mesa, nor will they ever know he even existed. However, he resolves to go down fighting anyways.
A Wizard Did It: Shephard decides that this is surely the reason for everything that's going on.