Somewhere, in space, there is a box canyon containing two military installations. Two opposing armies, one Red, one Blue, have stationed soldiers there in order to prevent the other side from... controlling two bases in a box canyon. Beyond that, the soldiers don't really know what their mission is. They don't really know why they're fighting. But one thing's for sure: those guys are a bunch of assholes. And don't get them started on the opposing army.Red Vs Blue is a MachinimaWork Com set against the background of the Halo game series. Its creators, Rooster Teeth Productions, helped spark the whole Machinima explosion and went on to establish themselves as Big Name Fans in the Halo community to the point of doing actual work for Bungie Studios, as well as making their videos available for purchase on Xbox Live. The main series, The Blood Gulch Chronicles, ran for five seasons for a total of 100 episodes, spawning two short spinoff series detailing sideplots (Out Of Mind and Recovery One), and later, a renewal of the series; Red Vs Blue Reconstruction, which is essentially the sixth season of the series featuring both the side and main plots colliding. After that, a miniseries called Relocated bridged the gap to the next series, Recreation, essentially the seventh season, which ends on a cliffhanger. The eighth season, Revelation, rounds out the trilogy, collectively known as Recollections. In addition to this, several PSAs and specials have been created as extras. The first five seasons have also been remastered, with seasons one through four now re-shot in fullscreen HD.The ninth and tenth seasons, called The Project Freelancer Saga, are divided between "prequel stuff," regarding Project Freelancer in full CGI (albeit based on Halo 3 assets); and "present stuff," following the continuing adventures of the Blood Gulch crew told via Halo 3/Halo: Reach machinima.All episodes are available for viewing at the Rooster Teeth website and on their channel on YouTube, though you need a subscription to have full access to exclusive members-only content. Alternatively, they'd surely appreciate it if you bought the DVDs.Other Rooster Teeth series include the live action Rooster Teeth Shorts, The Strangerhood, Immersion, Past Cast, RWBY, and Rooster Teeth Comics.Has a character sheet.
Church: You should hate someone because they're an asshole, or a pervert, or snob, or they're lazy, or arrogant or an idiot or know-it-all. Those are reasons to dislike somebody. You don't hate a person because someone told you to. You have to learn to despise people on a personal level. Not because they're Red, or because they're Blue, but because you know them, and you see them every single day, and you can't stand them because they're a complete and total fucking douchebag.
Alpha-Church: Holy crap, who is running this army?!?
Art Shift: Due to the release of games as the series went on, graphical capabilities an movements of the characters improved over time, from the Halo: Combat Evolved engine to the Halo 2 engine in The Blood Gulch Chronicles, along with use of the engine of Marathon for some excursions in the distant past (or so Gary made Alpha-Church believe). It went from Halo 2 to Halo 3 in Reconstruction. Halo: Reach has its engine used in Season 9, though the fact that it's in a memory unit instead of in the real world (hence Blood Gulch) means that it goes back to Halo 3 for Season 10. It goes to Halo 4 in the final scene of Season 10.
Lampshaded in Episode 43 of Season 3, the first episode in the Halo 2 engine.
Caboose: We're in the future! Things are shiny here.
Aside from in-game footage, Seasons 8 through 10 have made use of custom animation by the likes of Monty Oum and others, causing a major Animation Bump in certain sequences not possible in the regular games.
In Season 10, live action footage is even used for the Director's log of his last moments with Allison.
Played with with Delta's avatar. Whenever he is shown, he appears as a Halo: Combat Evolved Spartan, no matter where and in which season he appears in.
The fifth season's DVD acknowledges and has fun with this. One of the features is a "Previously On Red Vs. Blue", which contains every single swear in the series up to the Pelican crashing... and lasts over a minute and a half. If one was made of all eight seasons and the mini-series, it would probably be a good three or four minutes long.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: All of the characters shown in armour have completely different colours to help differentiate between them, the exceptions being North and South Dakota, Carolina and Tucker (Tucker's armour is more green compared to Carolina's), and Tucker and Butch Flowers, the person whom Tucker got his armour from.
For a long time many people thought Grif's armour was yellow, until Sister (whose armour really is yellow) settled the matter. It's a lot easier to see that his armour is orange when they stand next to each other.
Comedic Sociopathy: The Gulch crew are usually apathetic or even outright pleased about the rampant danger their fellows often end up getting into, which regularly degenerates into teammates casually taking potshots at each other. Whenever one of them gets seriously injured, though, their compatriots are genuinely horrified.
The Reds and Blues don't have to use the other team for target practice or anything. They've got each other for that. Especially the Reds.
As Seasons 9 and 10 reveal, Project Freelancer wasn't much better, though they didn't outright attack each other. At least until the end...
Enemy Mine: The Reds and Blues collaborate against other enemies often. Lampshaded in Episode 13 of Season 7.
Tucker: You brought these guys [the Reds]? Are we killin’ each other today? Or pretending to work together? Caboose: Uh, the pretending version. Tucker: Oh, okay, cool.
Fictional Sport: Grifball, which became so popular, less than three years after its inception, it was the only sport played.
Fire-Forged Friends: Especially evident in the seasons from 6 onward, but the various conflicts that the Reds and Blues of Blood Gulch go through outside of their own personal war with each other have, by the time of Season 10, made them into a combined Badass Crew, even complimenting members of opposing "teams". By the time of Episode 21 of Season 10, even Carolinadefrosts to them.
Flanderization: Almost everyone, though Tropes Are Not Bad as this led to Caboose and Donut becoming even more popular, and funny moments becoming much more common.
Caboose goes from being a bit a slow at the start of the series to borderline insanity, unable to follow a simple train of thought.
Tucker goes from being flirtatious to a sex maniac.
Sarge's mild bullying of Grif goes to outright attempts at murdering him.
Grif's initial laziness and apathy gets cranked up to a phobia of work.
Donut goes from being ambiguously effeminate to Camp Gay.
Simmons goes from teacher's pet to groveling sycophant.
Tex goes from being a skilled special-ops soldier to a legendarily powerful badass.
Doc begins a neutral pacifist without extensive medical training (but nevertheless treats Caboose during an active shootout), and ends a man panicked by any sign of conflict, completely incompetent in his supposed area of expertise. However, this is downplayed over time, and he does actually seem to do better with passing seasons.
The "war" between the Red and Blue armies, in Blood Gulch at least, aren't really fighting so much as slacking off at opposite ends of the box canyon, and it only feels like they've been there forever, but if one's thing for sure it's that neither side has any clue why they're supposed to be fighting, or what the actual benefit would be of "winning" a box canyon in the middle of nowhere. Justified when it turns out that they aren't actually at war, and are just simulation troopers to train Freelancers for actual wars. By Season 10, the Blood Gulch Reds and Blues are mostly at war out of having really nothing better to do, and don't really care if they actually win.
In Season 3, Sarge and Caboose accidentally travel to Battle Creek, where two teams of immortal zealots fight to Capture the Flag while spouting comments and insults straight out of X Box Live, and are revived at the end of each match, like a very stupid type of Norse Mythology's Valhalla.
Episode 20 of Season 8 was one to both that season itself ("Revelation") and the general Red Vs Blue The Recollection series, with the death of the Big Bad of Seasons 6 and 8.
Episodes 21 and 22 of Season 10 both function together as one for the Project Freelancer Saga (Seasons 9 and 10).
In a variation, Episode 19 of the same season functions as one for the flashback segments, with the assault on the Mother of Invention. However, there is another segment of its sort after.
Head Bob: Except in certain instances where a face is shown. This is even lampshaded in Episode 94 of The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
Sarge: What are they saying? Simmons: I have no idea. I can't find the volume on this monitor. And without any sound it just looks like a bunch of helmets bobbing up and down. Sarge: Is that how they talk? They look ridiculous!
Hero of Another Story: Both the Red and Blue armies and Project Freelancer (for a given value of "hero").
As Seasons 9 and 10 show, Project Freelancer was dealing with post-war insurrection among humanity (or maybe being said insurrection) while the majority of the UNSC was trying to keep peace with the Covenant and send out space expeditions with their upgraded ships, most notably the UNSC Infinity.
Heroic Safe Mode: "Recovery Mode", a mode that the Mark VI armors go into when they lock up so that a Recovery agent can pick them up. This extends to the Near Death Experience by Sarge in Season 1.
Last Disrespects: Three "funeral" scenes (the deceased in question were still living) are all about people being completely disrespectful at funerals, sometimes for their own agendas, sometimes just because they're jerks.
In Episode 51 of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, Alpha-Church (the "dead" guy) is the one who wants a funeral; Tucker calls it lame and wanders off.
In Episode 83 of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, Griff turns Sarge's funeral into a comedy roast of Sarge, and Simmons uses the opportunity to campaign for Sarge's job.
In the Season 9 Episode 14, it turns out no one remembers anything about Simmons except he liked gum and talked a lot.
Last Name Basis: All of the Blood Gulch gang except for Sister, Doc, and Lopez. Though Doc would prefer to be on a Last Name Basis; he just got overruled. And in the case of Sarge, we don't know if the name given was his first or last name.
Late Arrival Spoiler: Watching pretty much any episode from late season 6-onward will spoil a massive plotpoint that changes the prior seasons considerably.
Me's a Crowd: Alpha-Church, Lopez, Wyoming, and Tex have all done this by various mechanisms; time-looping for Church and Wyoming, and robot clones for Lopez and Tex.
Myth Arc: The fall and aftermath of Project Freelancer is one for Seasons 1-10, though it only really comes to the forefront after Season 5.
Never Got to Say Goodbye: The concept of farewells becomes very prevalent from season 5 onward, after Tex says goodbye to Church just before her ship explodes.
The Red and Blue Armies of Outpost 1 (Blood Gulch), who are meant to hate each other and be used for nothing more than training simulations for Project Freelancer, still manage to pull themselves together to be True Companions over the course of the series.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: In a way, the teams themselves. Most of the drama is driven by members of Blue Team, while Red Team is composed of some very... unbalanced characters who drive most of the comedy.
Retcon: Used fairly often, but implied a few times as well. There's a fair number of plot holes that need ironing out if you watch every episode (including the mini-series, but naturally not the PSAs) and treat them all as canon. However, a fair number of these are due to revision and/or an Unreliable Narrator.
In Out of Mind, for instance, shows Tex and Church meeting at a Blue base. Tex comments that she doesn't know what Freelancer ability her armour has, even though she's shown to use its invisibility during Project flashback scenes and the finale to Season 10. Then again, she also knew that Church was the Alpha, so it could be an example of her lying to Church to help keep him safe.
Arguably the reason the cast never gets to use the Spartan Laser in seasons 6-8, despite it being on a number of multi-player maps in Halo 3, such as Valhalla, Standoff, Avalanche, etc.
Not to mention the armor shields for that matter. These guys wear the Mk 6 Spartan armor, yet only Caboose has been seen using the standard shields. Everyone else can easily be shot down unless they're specifically said to have the dome shield, overshields, or both. Or the Meta, who's insanely durable with or without them.
Wyoming's time manipulation falls under this as well, especially in the prequels where he's never seen using it even after he gets Gamma as his AI.
Team Spirit: Despite their many quirks and deficiencies, the Blood Gulch crew accomplish some pretty amazing things when they work together. This is most noticeable in their climactic fights against the Meta and the Director's army of Tex drones, where by working together and having each other's backs they're able to make up for their individual flaws and actually defeat vastly superior opponents. In contrast, the series' most powerful character is a Lone Wolf who is also literally the incarnation of Failure Is the Only Option.
Took a Level in Badass: The Reds and Blues' fighting skills improve considerably as the plot moves forward, most notably in the later seasons.
True Companions: The Blood Gulch Crew becomes this overtime, to the point that the "war" is just a way for them to pass the time.
Two Act Structure: So far, the series seems split between "comedy with some plot" (Seasons 1-5) and "plot with some comedy" (Seasons 6-10).
And then we get both in the eleventh season, due to a shift around the middle.
The entire main cast (with the exceptions of Donut and Caboose) consists of a bunch of self-centered jackasses. Despite this, though, they stick by one another and frequently risk their lives for each other.
Bare-Fisted Monk: When she doesn't have another weapon on hand, Tex tends toward just using her Super Strength or otherwise her skill in close combat to beat people down with her hands, though her arsenal in most cases is far less static. The sleeveless Insurrectionist, though he has weapons, also tends toward using brute strength in combat before finishing people off with guns. Caboose, when sufficiently enraged, also tends toward no-weapons combat.
Gatling Good: Utilized by the twin Insurrectionist gunners. Also, when not using a BFG, Simmons is generally on the machine gun turret on the Chupathingy.
Grenade Launcher/Bayonet Ya: The "Knifle", the Brute Shot, is the primary weapon of Maine after he takes from an Insurrectionist pile of Covenant weaponry. Grif takes it after his death, and rechristens it the "Grifshot".
Short Range Shotgun: The red demoman Insurrectionist uses one of these in the prequel segments of Season 10. Sarge also uses this, often forgetting its incredibly short range. According to a parody video about "zombie plans", he keeps it just in case of a Zombie Apocalypse.
Actor Allusion: Grif's teleport cubes get compared to Pokeballs from Pokémon. Grif's hostile response mirrors Geoff's attitude towards the series whenever it's brought up.
Badass Army: Most or all of the Federation's soldiers apparently have Freelancer-level special abilities as standard issue equipment, due to technological progress between the time of Project Freelancer and the present time. Possibly subverted; the finale shows that having the equipment and knowing how to use it effectively are two entirely different things.
Badass in Distress: Washington and Sarge (and Donut) are incapacitated and held captive at the end of the season.
Call Back: To the Warthog vs Puma debate from Season 1. Nobody really knows why the Mantis is called a Mantis.
Boom, Headshot: Tucker pulls this off in episode 15, just he did to the Wyoming clones in the BGC finale.
And later done much more seriously when after the loss of Sarge and Wash, the teams' respective leaders, the remaining Reds and Blues are required to take these on themselves when they are asked to help lead the New Republic's army.
Tucker puts his training from Washington's obstacle course to good use in Episode 18, able to sprint and fight his way from one end of the canyon to the other during a pitched battle. Overlaps with Chekhov's Gag, as the training was previously Played for Laughs. And one of the last lines of the season is Tucker putting what Wash taught him to use in another way.
Tucker(to the New Republic soldiers): All right, let's run some drills.
Washington's last line of the season:
Washington: Freckles, Shake.
Civil War: The planet the Reds and Blues landed on is revealed to be a battleground between two factions, the Federation and the New Republic. The UNSC isn't involved because it's pretty much on the absolute end of colonized space, and therefore was more or less forgotten.
Closed Circle: They're once again stuck in a box canyon in the middle of nowhere, but this time the comm tower's broken and there's no way to leave.
Deadly Training Area: Wash builds one of these to help whip Blue Team into shape. It's played for laughs.
Deserted Island: Or planet, in this case. The guys' transport crashing on it kicks off the season. Actually, it isn't deserted. They just landed in a box canyon in the middle of nowhere. Again. The reality is not much better, though.
It's All My Fault: A classic variation wherein various members of the Blood Gulch Crew, when confronted with certain questions or statements about their crashed ship, blame themselves for the ship's crashing. Comes with its own twist, as rather than saying aloud that it's their fault, each person has a flashback to something they did on the ship that appears to be the cause of flashing red warning lights, then cut back to the present where they either go Suspiciously Specific Denial or just dodge the topic.
Knight of Cerebus: The inclusion of first Locus, then Felix, leads to a resurgence of a more serious, albeit different plot line. Locus more so, since there are still humorous quirks to Felix, while Locus is something else entirely.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: As of Episode 19, only Tucker, Caboose, Grif, and Simmons made it out from Locus's attack, and are taking refuge with the New Republic. Washington and Sarge are being held by the Federal Army, and Donut and Lopez's status is left ambigious. Kimball requests that the four remaining troopers take charge, with the promise that if they see this through, they might be able to rescue their friends, and leave ...
Never My Fault: In episode 11 Sarge blames the dwindling food supply, destruction of the Warthog and Simmons being forced to join the Blue Team on Washington, even though Sarge is the one who suggested eating all the food when he heard that they might be rescued, deliberately attacked a giant robot with the Warthog and set up the camp conditions that led Simmons to trying to join the Blue Team after seeing how Washington ran it.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Simmons' attempt to hang out with the Blue Team causes a standoff between Sarge (who believes he's been kidnapped) and the Blues, and indirectly causes Freckles to demote Wash and put Caboose in charge of Blue Team.
Tucker: Dude, that's bullshit! Felix: That's war, Tucker! Not everyone makes it back.
OOC Is Serious Business: Related to Not a Game—Tucker doesn't flirt with Vanessa Kimball, the leader of the planet's La Résistance, driving home just how shaken he is by Washington, Sarge, Donut, and Lopez being taken out by Locus and his army.
Opening Monologue: Wash opens the season with a dictated journal entry, giving an extremely condensed description of the previous ten seasons and a nice bit of foreshadowing.
Call Back: To Episode 1 of Season 9, when Church starts with a monologue and is similarly interrupted before he's able to finish.
Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Locus delivers a particularly sinister one before killing the pilot that brought Donut, Doc and Lopez to the canyon to keep him from reporting the crash.
Locus: Just so you're aware, no one's going to find your ship either.
So Last Season: Felix explains how Locus is able to cloak by revealing that the special abilities which were once exclusive to Project Freelancer are now standard issue combat tech, something that greatly surprises Washington. Felix tells him "welcome to the future" in response.
Stealth Pun: The civil war is being fought by the Federation and the New Republic. It's Fed vs New.
The Stinger: After the credits at the end of the last episode, we find out who Locus is working for. It's Carolina.
Summon Bigger Fish: Sarge's plan for dealing with Freckles: if the ship was carrying Freckles, it would also have something big enough to take him out. And it turns out it does.
Lopez: Psh. "Dos Point Oh." I'm Lopez the Heavy, bitch.
This Is My Side: Sarge divides Red Base down the middle, forcing Simmons and Grif to share a room. Simmons in particular is less than pleased.
Too Soon: In-universe, Tucker's Gallows Humor regarding the deaths of almost every single UNSC crew member on their shuttle is seen this way, including by he himself. Caboose demonstrates that it's also too soon for sound effects.
Episode 14. Washington convinces Caboose to return command of Blue Team to him. The Red Team gets their OWN giant robot online (which promptly breaks down). Oh, and Locus sends his troops to attack Blue base, resulting in several deaths (of the would-be killers) before the OTHER mystery soldier—Felix—interferes to help the Blood Gulch Crew.
Episode 18. Not only are the Red and Blue teams nearly killed by Locus and his gang, but the New Republic soldiers finally come to the rescue, and both Wash, Sarge, Donut and Lopez are possibly dead, leaving the team split.
Episode 19. We learn that at least Sarge, Donut, and Washington are being held in captivity. Kimball goes on how the Red and Blues bring hope to the soldiers of the New Republic. Kimball gives a Rousing Speech to the four remaining Reds and Blues, and Tucker steps into the shoes that Washington left behind and stepping into command. In the stinger, we finally see that Locus was looking for something stored on the ship, and that he's taking orders from a very familiar person: Carolina.
Grif: That's what they had in Star Wars! Simmons: How is that even relevant? Grif: Tell me this is not just like Star Wars. Tell me. Caboose:Tucker does have a glowing sword... Grif:Tucker has a glowing sword, Simmons!
Who's Laughing Now?: After being insulted for an entire season, Lopez Dos.0 flips out spectacularly, uploads himself into a Mantis, and attempts to kill Sarge.
A more subtle one in the Point/Counterpoint PSA on tattoos. Church (Burnie) argues against getting tattoos while Grif (Geoff) argues for tattoos. In real life Burnie has no tattoos while Geoff is covered with them.
Buried Alive: This happens to Sarge in an April Fool's Day episode when Grif mistakes him for being dead. He escaped by eating his way out of the grave.
Continuity Nod: Tucker's less than normal knowledge of time comes up again in the Rock the Veto PSA when has says they were playing Blindfold for "like 30 hours last night."
Decided By One Vote: A Type 3 scenario that ends up unresolved in the Election Night video. Grif apparently meant to vote, but forgot to register in time due to his usual laziness.
Eagleland: Type 1, parodied. After examining how Red vs. Blue would be done by other countries, Church and Tucker decide to do it the American way, which they conclude is driving big cars and blowing shit up. The video ends with a Warthog flying over an explosion with the American flag in the background and "America the Beautiful" playing.
This sets up a Brick Joke: earlier in the episode, they had done the "Russian version", where many of the characters' statements are censored and replaced with praise of the Russian government and its leader, [[Expy Nikolai]] Petrovsky. Hilariously, at the end of the episode, his name is randomly cut into the song.
The Grinch: Church in the Christmas special. His acts include shooting the Red's Christmas tree decorations, spreading lies about Santa to Caboose and stealing the present he tricked Tucker into getting for him.
Lethal Chef: Sarge's dish for the 2008 Thanksgiving dinner was severed human hands dressed like turkeys due to misunderstanding his research materials (first-grader reports) while Caboose misinterpreted a sexual metaphor his grandmother once told him in his youth and brought "hair pie". Sarge had to set him straight on that one.
New Year's Resolution: Both teams spent the New Year's video in a "Resolveathon" to come up with the best resolutions. The losers had suffer a Fate Worse than Death...actually following through on their resolutions. The Blues take advantage of this by resolving to beat up the Reds.
Church: Don't worry Caboose, I'm sure when the game comes out there'll be a way to shut it off.
Caboose: Good. I need sleep.
Sarge: Sleep? When that game comes out, I won't sleep for a week!
Church: Yeah, no, it's not that, it's just that he's having trouble sleeping because he can see through his eyelids now.
Sarge: Oh. That's creepy.
Right Behind Me: Church kinda invokes the wrath of Sgt. Johnson in the 3rd ODST PSA this way.
Schmuck Bait: The second and third season DVDs have bonus videos implying either a love story with Tex or "Sheila's Sexy Adventure". Clicking either of those and you get berated for actually expecting something.
Doc: Guys, trust me. I'm a doctor. Simmons: No, you're not! You just play one on the internet!
Unexplained Recovery: Most of the time, if a character suffers a seemingly fatal injury, they'll turn out to be fine later, to the point that towards the end of the series they don't even bother explaining it anymore.
Wildlife Commentary Spoof: One of the bonuses in the Red Vs Blue DVD is a movie spoof that has Sarge doing this to Grif (framed as a hunting show, naturally).
Worst Aid: The general premise of the cold and flu PSA. "I've had the bullets in my shotgun medically coated for the fastest possible injection of life-saving medicine."
Worst Whatever Ever: Sarge gives this during the 2008 Thanksgiving special when he discovers it doesn't involve inviting your enemies over and shooting them in the back.
Wash states this a lot, usually adding "...of all time" to the end of the statement.
Church: Caboose, that was some crazy story dude. Caboose: I know, you have no idea. Sarge: No. You have no idea. Caboose: Right, nobody has any idea. Sarge: No son, you, specifically, have no idea.
Red vs. Blue: AnimatedA series pilot that was shown at PAX 2008 and later announced dead at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, due to a combination of time constraints, money and the staff's inability to work on the timeframe of another company. The Pilot/Trailer can be found here.
What Could Have Been: As stated, it was an ambitious idea, but the crew just didn't have the money and time for it. They also didn't like the fact that someone else had to do the animation, so they couldn't do it in-house.