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Washington: How do you ever get anything done if all you ever do is argue with each other? Church: We don't! That's part of our charm! Quit fucking it up!
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 first 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.The eleventh season involves the Reds and Blues trying to get along while they wait to be rescued after their ship crashed. The twelfth season finds them shanghaied into helping a rebel army defeat an evil empire. Both seasons use Halo 4.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. The first five seasons are also available on Netflix. Alternatively, they'd surely appreciate it if you bought the DVDs.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 Director of Project Freelancer is the cause of most of things that have happened in the series, both directly and indirectly. He only comes center stage in Season 10, though he never takes on a direct role.
The Biggest Bad in the series turns out to be Chairman of the Oversight Sub-Committee Malcolm Hargrove, who is revealed to have funded the Insurrection. The audience already knows that his trying to arrest the Director results in him sending the Big Bad Duumvirate of Wash and the Meta to find the Epsilon Unit. Finally, he serves as the Big Bad for Seasons 11 and 12 under the alias "Control".
Calling Shotgun: A Running Gag between Simmons and Grif. Generally Grif wins, except when winning is actually a bad thing, in which case Simmons will win.
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.
Inverted starting with Reconstruction. Each season is created as a movie, then gets split into individual episodes for serialization. The complete, original movie is then released for purchase.
Corrupt Quartermaster:The Reds repeatedly put layabout Grif in charge of their ammo, a task he never performed. Eventually, they expanded Simmons' duties to "bringing extra ammo for when Grif forgets." However, when Grif and Simmons are sent to a new base (where Grif is in charge), he actually sells all their ammo to the Blues.
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.
Tucker goes from being flirtatious to a sex maniac.
Sarge's bullying of Grif goes to outright attempts at murdering him.
Grif's apathy gets cranked up to hardly caring to do anything.
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, 7 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, Grif 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.
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 a Self-Made Woman: Deconstructed, in different ways. The two most prominent female characters for most of the series, Tex and Carolina, are the Director's lover (sort of) and daughter respectively; with Tex, the emotional connection with the Director is one-sided on his part, resulting in Tex being wholly professional herself but receiving special attention while being unable to act outside his concept of her, and with Carolina, it's implied that she's using Project Freelancer as a means of gaining approval and attention from the Director while being constrained by the demands of protocol.
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.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The main characters are separated from one another in the beginning of season six. Even when they regroup, things only keep changing. It is only in season 10 that the characters regain some semblance of their lost status quo. Major developments to the story are the deaths of two main characters, the revelation of the Red vs Blue war being a lie, and the death of the Director. The protagonists admit things simply cannot go back the way they used to be.
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.
Surrounded by Idiots: A majority of the cast, from the most competent soldier to the dumbest of troops believe themselves to be this, often glazing over their own flaws and shortcomings. Church's closing lines during the final episode of The Blood Gulch Chronicles has him indirectly explain why he hates everyone around him for very specific reasons.
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".
Knife Nut: Agent Connecticut uses a combat knife. Felix is also a big fan of these.
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.
Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Kind of. Despite the Blood Gulch Crew being labeled as war criminals was obviously unfair, as not much of what happened was their fault. However, assuming that law in the Rv B universe functions anywhere close to ours, there is absolutely no way they should have been pardoned by the UNSC simply by taking down the Directornote Who, at that point, the UNSC had essentially forgotten about due to the various crimes they committed while on the run from the law, which include the killing of a quite a few Recovery soldiers, multiple accounts of vehicle theft, and withholding information, as well as evading arrest in the first place.
This is more justified after the Season 12 finale, revealing that the Chairman (the man responsible for their pardon) was ultimately behind their ship crashing where the soldiers were expected to be disposed of.
PSAs and specialsRooster Teeth has also created several videos outside of the main series created for promotions or just to make humorous videos that aren't related to the plot of the show.
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.
The Cameo: The financial crisis PSA involves the Blues having their base and equipment sold to "some foreign characters from another video game". The Sponsor's Cut makes it clear the characters are Mario and Luigi, complete with the new base flag being the flagpole from Super Mario Bros. 1.
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, NikolaiPetrovsky. 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.
Mood Whiplash: Washington's nightmarish fever dream in Episode 9 establishes a dark and oppressing tone for the chapter. Then the leader of the Federal Army faints in front of him out of abject fear shortly after.
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.
Shout-Out: During an early tattoo PSA, Church suggests that if the viewer does get one, it should of "your favorite character from your favorite online cartoon". It then shows a picture of Strong Bad. Church then grumbles "I meant your other favorite online cartoon", which then shows Gabe and Tycho.
Stealth Pun: In the Voting Fever PSA. Sarge sings "We're going to need a big strong Chorus" at the end of Season Eleven the group finds out that the planet they are stranded on is called "Chorus"
Another in the Christmas special "Christmas is the one day of the year you should never miss Church."
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.