Small town, big secrets...
A one-hour show on the SyFy
Channel about the eponymous town and the trouble its genius residents get into.
Eureka is a quiet, small town in Oregon
filled with scientists working on the most advanced technology in the world. All this is highly top secret and under the purview of the Department of Defense. And into this quirky, bizarre town comes Jack Carter
, former U.S. Marshal and newly appointed sheriff of Eureka. Much of the show's humor comes from Carter attempting to deal
with the everyday use of futuristic tech
(including the AI that runs his house), and the For Science!
mentality of the town's population and the disasters this frequently leads to. A good percentage of the disasters stem from the work of the scientists at Global Dynamics, the research and development company in town. It has had at least three different heads of company throughout the show's run, which should tell you what kind of a place it is
Important characters include Carter's rebellious teenage daughter, Zoe, who turned out to be a lot smarter than you might expect at first glance
, and Deputy Jo Lupo, likewise.
For much of the show's run, Carter is involved in a UST
laden Love Triangle
with Allison Blake and Nathan Stark (her ex-husband and one of the aforementioned heads of Global Dynamics— Allison takes over after Kim's death leads to Stark's demotion
). There's also Henry, one of the brilliant minds in town
and probably Jack's best friend; Fargo
, who designed Jack's Smart House (S.A.R.A.H.
, who is a character in her own right); and Taggart, who is what happens when you feed Steve Irwin Paranoia Fuel
and set him loose in a town full of crazies.
Driven by a "Mystery of the Week
" science fiction element, the show has featured a different Story Arc
stretching loosely over each season. The strong science fiction plots are complemented by the ignorance of Sheriff Carter. In some sense it is like a twisted version of The Andy Griffith Show,
where Opie is a felonious teenage daughter, Gomer Pyle is a brilliant ex-NASA engineer and Barney Fife is a soldier (later, Barney is a Ridiculously Human Robot
).Known in the UK
as A Town Called Eureka
to avoid confusion with a science programme. Not to be confused with a story about Sky Surfing Giant Mecha
called Eureka Seven
, or the Nickelodeon
show about medieval puppets
During season 4, other shows on the Syfy Network (namely, Warehouse 13
) were eventually established as being sort of
part of the same fictional universe as Eureka
Now has a character sheet
On August 8th, 2011 it was announced that the show would be ending after five seasons. The series ended on July 16 2012.
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- Absent Aliens: Eureka teases at the appearance of aliens a number of times but these phenomena always turn out to be human in origin. For instance, a mysterious signal from outer space turned out to be a ship launched from Earth several years ago returning home. Another instance is when Carter sees Fargo hanging a banner that says "Welcome Aliens." It turns out that "aliens" is just Eureka's derisive nickname for their rivals at Area 51.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Fargo's Alternate Timeline self as the head of GD. Main timeline Fargo almost immediately starts doing the same thing, but the others have none of it.
- Action Girl: Jo.
- Adorkable: Fargo.
- Adult Fear: Bookending season five. The crew of the Astraeus ends up in Eureka four years in the future, but it's the Matrix. Allison lost four years of her childrens' lives. At the end of the season, evil clones are taking over the town, and Clone!Carter walks down the stairs holding baby Jenna...
- The Adventure Continues: How the series ends. Zoe is graduating from Harvard, Jack and Allison are expecting a baby, Eureka has been sold to private billionaire Dr. Grant, Fargo is working and travelling with Holly, and Henry is the new director of GD. As Zoe and Jack drive down a rainy street, they see themselves, driving into town in the pilot.
Zoe: Dad... did you just see...?
Jack: Deal with that tomorrow.
- Aesop Amnesia: While not a specifically-stated aesop, there is a lesson that Carter never seems to learn. No matter how many situations he could have gotten himself out of and saved the day much more easily by just carrying a pocket knife, let alone something like a Swiss Army knife, he never does. He's a former U.S. Marshal and a sheriff, and yet he doesn't carry a basic tool that many adult men do and he never thinks to.
- For the rest of the scientists (Allison and Henry being the most consistent offenders), they never quite learn to not just blow Jack off with "It's not scientifically possible."
- Lampshaded by Jack when a missile threatens the town in "Worst Case Scenario" and the similarity to the events of "Dr Nobel".
Carter: Did the whole missile silo under Main Street incident teach us nothing!
- A Glitch in the Matrix: While the Astraeus crew are plugged into a computer simulation, they see some odd things, such as Vincent walking through a counter and a dragon de-rezzing.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: SARAH in several episodes. A mild case in that she isn't so much evil as naive but well-meaning and somewhat overprotective.
- In one episode she programmed Deputy Andy to love her - while he was connected to the GD mainframe. As per the norm, Hilarity Ensues, making this trope evident for the entire town.
- In the leadup to the series finale, the AI control system from Virtual Eureka, having escaped from the mainframe computer that once contained it, systematically kidnaps and replaces nearly the entire town with bioprinted duplicates, under the reasoning that it's protecting them from themselves.
- Akashic Records: The "Akashic Field".
- Almighty Janitor: Henry is the town's mechanic. He's also probably the smartest person in Eureka.
- He now holds the somewhat-more-dignified title of "Mayor"...and has the patch on his grease-monkey jumpsuit to prove it.
- He's also the town coroner, and forensic analyst, and road maintenance man, and telephone repairman, and the entirety of the Fire Department. It's strongly implied he has a lot of other jobs as well. It's revealed in the pilot episode that the patches on his uniform are Velcro'd on, and he carries around dozens of different patches for all the different jobs he does in town.
- Alternate Timeline: The 4th season premier had Carter, Henry, Fargo, Allison, and Jo sent back to 1947 through some crazy sunspot shenanigans (and some tinkering from resident savant Kevin). After messing around in the past for a while, they got help from one of the founders and were able to return. But, they accidentally took said founder back with them. Now, Jo's entire relationship with Zane has been wiped from existence and she's head of GD security, Henry is married to a character (whose name he can't remember) introduced just prior to their adventure, Allison's son Kevin is no longer autistic and she's been reduced to head of GD's medical department, Tess is no longer gone, Fargo is the head of Global Dynamics, and the Archimedes statue is made of bronze instead of granite. They're made every effort to avert the Reset Button, too, including getting rid of the device that caused it.
- To say nothing of the Season 1 finale, which begins with everything peachy; Carter and Allison married, Jo and Taggart in a relationship, and Henry and Kim happy together. Then this all turns out to be an alternate timeline created when Henry prevented Kim's death, and Carter has to personally hit the Reset Button in order to save the universe. This doubles as Henry's Start of Darkness for his role as Season 2's Big Bad.
- Ambiguously Brown: Allison is played by Salli Richardson-Whitfield, whose mother is African-American and father Irish-Italian.
- Her kids are both darker than her, despite being half white.
- Jenna's half white. We never see Kevin's father.
- Ambiguously Gay: Vincent
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Season 2 DVD of Eureka features "Live Smart, Eureka" PSAs, helping to keep common sense a little more common.
- And I Must Scream: Senator Wen gets trapped by Beverly Barlowe in a virtual simulation, which consists only of the Sheriff's office and where all the exits lead back inside. Ends as of the series finale, however.
- Animesque: The last section of the 2011 Christmas special has anime versions of the characters and the giant snow ninja they're fighting.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: given the nature of the town, any disbelief expressed in anything would qualify. It's that kind of show.
- Arc Words: "You just have to have faith."
- "I'll always be there for you... no matter what."
- Art Shift: The whole point of the Christmas Episode
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Dr. Carlson in "Invincible", maybe.
- Ascended Extra: Deputy Andy went from being a one-off character to recurring in season 4.
- Kevin has gotten a much bigger role now that he's not autistic anymore. He's even gotten to be the hero in a couple of episodes.
- Ascended Fangirl: Felicia Day plays Holly, an important side character in season 4, and a primary character in season 5.
- Awesome Aussie: Taggart.
- Badass Boast: This exchange in "A Night in Global Dynamics:
Carter: We need to take these people out of here.
Taggart: I can take a few.
Carter: By yourself?
Taggart: I think I can handle a building.
Stark: Taggart, this building is in defense mode, I don't think it's going to let you just walk out of here.
Taggart: I welcome the challenge.
- Badass Normal: Borderline; superpowers are generally reserved for antagonists, but Carter, who ends up solving most of the mysteries and taking down most of the bad guys, is a former US Marshall surrounded by super-geniuses, with an Action Girl sidekick who holds the Army Rangers' all-time record for marksmanship.
- Back for the Dead: As noted below, Kim. Twice.
- Back for the Finale: Zoe, Taggart, and Grant.
- Back from the Dead: Kim... sort of. Not really. But kinda.
- And repeatedly. Poor Henry. Kim was never in the main cast, but she has a case of serial Back for the Dead.
- She only lasted for an episode and a half this season. Poor Henry cried.
- Holly as well.
- Bad Boss: Fargo from the Season 4 timeline was apparently one before becoming the Fargo of the original timeline. Though we don't get to meet that Fargo, we see hints of him when Fargo is affected by a machine that causes anger.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: A mild example. Eureka was founded by President Harry Truman after a series of summit meetings with Albert Einstein, during which Einstein convinced Truman that in the Nuclear Age, America's liberty would best be defended by science, not war.
- Becoming the Mask: Fargo starts to go through this in the fourth season. Time travel has made him head of GD, but since he never actually got the position himself he doesn't act like it. Then a hallucination of a little girl who beat him up as a kid tells him to grow a pair, so he does.
- In the same episode the General tells Fargo that he was place in that position of power to be the Department of Defense's puppet.
- BFG: In one episode Carter identifies a weapon as a BMFG Liquidator.
- And, more generally, Jo has a big arsenal of these.
- Big Bad: Beverly Barlowe is about the closest thing this show has to one.
- Bigger Bad: The "Consortium", the shadowy conspiracy Beverly reports to. And eventually revealed to be run by, or working with, her boss Senator Wen.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Carter is implied to be rather well-endowed, much to Stark's dismay. During the period where the love triangle between Carter, Allison, and Stark was in full swing, Carter is doused with toxins, requiring him to strip and be decontaminated in public, which actually amuses Stark to no end... until Carter's shorts come off.
Carter: "Oh, you are loving this, aren't you?"
Stark: *faintly dismayed* "... No."
Allison: *grinning brightly*
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Senator Wen, which is notable because she went an entire season before this even came up.
- Book Ends: In the pilot, Carter and Zoe are driving near the town when they pass another version of themselves. In the series finale, it happens again. It's not exactly the same event from a different perspective though.
- Bottle Episode: The eleventh episode of the first season has all the regulars stuck in Carter's house.
- Brick Joke:
- The Einstein-Grant bridge.
- Also, the opening credits in every episode from the very first episode end with the buildings of Eureka floating up into the air, which finally happens in the fourth season episode "Up in the Air".
- Though it was mentioned in the first season finale (set in 2010) as an event that had happened in the past.
- Jack and Zoe drive past themselves while leaving the city in the season finale...very similar to how they drove past themselves in the series premiere, six years ago.
- Buffy Speak: Whenever Sheriff Carter is trying to talk about something he doesn't quite understand, this happens.
Nathan: Yes, he just said "invisibling."
- "I knew someone rejiggered something."
- Buffy Speak is so inextricably linked to Carter that on multiple occasions in Season 5 alone, characters recognize him from it even though he's in another body, communicating through a hologram of Vincent, etc.
- The Bus Came Back: Kevin.
- There's also Tess and Nathan Stark, the latter having actually been dead, but they were hallucinations.
- Butt Monkey: Fargo. He is treated like crap by just about everyone in town, and if something bad happens there's a good chance it'll come find him. Then again, considering that he's often responsible for said problems, one might consider this Laser-Guided Karma.
- While visiting Warehouse 13 in a crossover episode an out of control AI pulls his GD profile and remarks, "Your GD personnel file contains the phrase 'inappropriately pushed button' 37 times."
- In Season 4, Fargo notices that the alternate universe him was, in his own words, "...kind of a jerk!". Perhaps without the other characters around him to ground him, this is what he'd end up as.
- Also implied to be the reason why he was appointed head of GD, since the DOD could take advantage of his Butt Monkey status to push him around.
- Carter comes close, but might be intended to be more of a Chew Toy than the Butt Monkey. You're clearly meant to feel sorry for everything he's put through, while Fargo's problems are almost always played for laughs.
- Call Back: The final scene of the series is a call back to Jack and Zoe's initial arrival in Eureka, from the pilot: Jack and Zoe are driving out of town, and see a car coming the other way. As the cars pass, they see that the other car has Jack and Zoe in it, driving into town.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Andy is incapable of lying when asked a direct question.
- Cassandra Truth: Carter quickly gets a handle on how Eureka operates and learns not to dismiss things he sees and intuits as being too crazy to be the truth. Yet, despite having an excellent track record of pinning down problems, no one believes him at first. Even Henry and Allison take about three seasons to stop dismissing him as crazy when he asks something or says something strange is going on.
- Carter has his own version of this often. While it's true that the scientists will always say "It's not possible for my experiment to have done that!" regardless of whether it did or not, he never seems to be able to distinguish between "It's not possible my experiment did this because it's scientifically impossible for what I'm doing to cause that effect" (it's not their fault) and "It's not possible my experiment did this because I'm in complete control and nothing could ever possibly go wrong!" (it's almost certainly their fault). The second half of season four actually seems to be having some success mixing and matching both of these with only mild forms of the above bullet point.
- Catch Phrase: Whenever something goes horribly wrong in front of Carter-which is fairly often-he says "That can't be good!" And when it actually gets worse, which it does; "You have got to be kidding me!"
- He also says "Oh crap..." a lot.
- Chained Heat: In one episode, Zane and Jo are stuck together by a cement-like compound.
- Chekhov's Gun: And many of its subtropes. Any little interesting bit of technology introduced is almost guaranteed to be either A) the cause of the calamity of the week or B) the solution to it.
- One episode was a veritable Chekhov's Double Barrel, when both A and B were introduced in the same scene.
- Frustratingly averted in one episode with Fembots that were discussed, but didn't show up or have anything to do with the plot at all.
- In fact, given how much throw-away tech humor they have, there are a number of RedHerrings, but typically if it's discussed for more than one sentence, it's important.
- Chew Toy: Carter. He's always in the middle of whatever is messing with the town, and he suffers for it.
- Christmas Episode:
- In 2010. Chock full of the requisite Heartwarming Moments between the principal cast.
- And again in 2011.
- Chronically Crashed Car: Carter's Jeep gets destroyed roughly Once an Episode.
- Church of Saint Genericus: A church shows up in the second season (very few parishioners), with a moderately Protestant interior and a female pastor in a nice, albeit black, pant-suit with no clerical collar, but with a somewhat Anglican/Catholic tippet (preaching scarf), though without any other vestments. It's the First Church of Eureka, no denomination given.
- Cosmic Retcon: In the Season 4 premiere, the original series timeline is effectively permanently erased. The past three years of plot, drama, and character development? Poof, gone. Especially noticeable with Zane, who outright reverted to his initial characterization (and is working his way back).
- Interestingly though, something only the science geeks would get the hint that the original 3 seasons were not set in our universe, while seasons 4 and 5 are (except for the existence of Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas). Putting aside the Warehouse 13 crossover, but the concept of the Einstein-Rosen-Podowski bridge was always referred to as the Einstein-Grant bridge in Eureka until they brought the founder to the future in season 4.
- Covered in Gunge: In the first episode of the second season, Taggart demonstrates the effects meson particles can have on human flesh.
Carter: I'm gonna go take a shower... I'm covered in human.
- It's a regular enough occurrence that in the last episodes of the series, Carter and Jo make a bet as to what's going to go disastrously wrong with the latest experiment. Carter takes "massive explosion", Jo takes "covered in goo".
- Crazy-Prepared: Taggart tries to be this, but the only real qualifier is the government of the Town of Eureka. Any organization that has resurrection forms on file knows it's ready for anything, no matter how weird.
- Crazy Survivalist: Taggart again. Semi-subverted in that he's actually fairly friendly most of the time, and his Crazy Survivalist behavior is occasionally useful. Really, his first few episodes made him seem like a stock one of these that had somehow snuck into Eureka by mistake, but he quickly began showing traits of his intelligence, multiple doctorates, and even nerdiness. He's just weird because most Eureka scientists are weird about their specialty, and his is animal behavior/biology/Santaology.
- Curious as a Monkey: Douglas Fargo has never met a button he didn't push, and on one occasion when questioned as to why he decided to activate the mystery device that he found in his pockets he sheepishly replied "It's What I Do."
- According to the Warehouse 13 crossover episode, his personnel report includes the phrase "inappropriately pushed button" 38 times.
- Daddy's Girl: Zoe. Although she and her father will have their fights and bickering, that's no doubt that Carter would do anything to ensure Zoe's happiness.
- Dangerous Workplace: Eureka boasts 5 times the average death toll for a town its size and twice the national average.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: By season 5, Carter and Jo are even placing bets on when an experiment will go horribly wrong.
- To the point where one experiment (initially) goes off without a hitch, we get this exchange;
Carter: Huh... I cleared my whole morning for damage-control.
Jo: Me too.
- Clone Carter has the originals skill for figuring out what others can’t coupled with the AI’s merciless attitude. For example he figured out why Fargo would control the smart dust and what the real Carter and Alison where trying to do
- The Danza: Senator Michaela Wen is played by Ming-Na Wen.
- A Day in the Limelight: Halfway through an episode, everyone in Eureka is rendered unconscious except for Zoe and Jo. Then Jo gets tasered and locked in her own cell and it's just Zoe.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Nathan Stark, Jack Carter, and Allison Blake were in a Type 1 Love Triangle. Only two of those characters are still alive. Then Tess formed the third point for a while, but in the fourth season Jack and Allison committed to each other.
- Deathbed Confession: In the second season, Fargo thinks he's going to die, and has Bev send out a lot of emails. To Allison, Jo, Bev... And Carter.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Carter hates surprises...especially when he doesn't know they're coming.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Beverly Barlowe, the town's therapist who is also The Mole, before disappearing for a couple seasons and some time travel.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: S.A.R.A.H. is very cheerful after a night with Andy.
- Doom Magnet: As of season 5, Douglas Fargo is considered one in-universe.
- According to the Lotus-Eater Machine recreation of S.A.R.A.H. it had been 1468 days since the last major incident at Global Dynamics, roughly the same amount of time (4 years) that Fargo had been missing with the Astraeus team. Given that the Matrix was designed with multiple predictive algorithms, to create a highly accurate projection of what would happen in those circumstances, one has to wonder about what that says about Fargo.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sheriff Carter gets no respect for the first 2 or three seasons, even when he's the one who ultimately saved the town from the problem of the week most episodes. Instead, they opt to point and laugh at him for not knowing that OLSN stands for Overly Long Scientific Name. Its only later on that they begin to take his ideas and opinions seriously.
- Dumbass Has a Point: While he is not stupid, Sheriff Carter is a man of average intelligence in a town full of super-geniuses, and is often on the receiving end of this.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted by Zoe, who turns out to have an IQ of over 160. Not played straight by anybody. Carter is the least intelligent Eureka resident we know of, and even his IQ is 111; still above average.
- Possibly subverted by Carter, whose IQ test was when he was young and admittedly not trying. He has a high ability to adapt to new and strange situations and think more creatively than most residents. It is even hinted at that that he may be a genius in his own right.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In early episodes, it's implied that the existence of Eureka is top secret and blabbing about it will earn you a bullet in the head. Later episodes show the friends and families of main characters popping in whenever they please.
- Eureka Moment: Virtually every episode involves Carter realizing how to fix the problem.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Beverly turns on Senator Wen after she kills Holly — apparently she's many things, but she's not a killer, at least in the new timeline anyway.
- Even The Gay Guy Wants Her: When a hapless inventor attains god-like power, he kisses Beverly Barlowe. Several witnesses mention how they've always wished they could do that. Including Vincent who says, "Even I've thought about it."
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The second season episode where Carter saves Fargo from a truck whose driver falls asleep at the wheel; just afterward, the truck sideswipes a parked car that immediately explodes.
- Everybody is Single: Stark and Blake were married. Then divorced. Then engaged. Then Stark was dead.
- Subverted with Henry in the fourth season. Time travel antics have made it so he's married to a woman whose name he doesn't remember.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: In the matrix in the fifth season, taking the normal danger of Eureka up a notch.
- Expecting Someone Taller: When she meets Carter's ex-wife Abby, SARAH said that she was much smaller than she had pictured.
- Nathan's actor is pretty candid about the fact that the character is more or less Tony Stark, sans armor.
- There's quite a bit of Jack O'Neill about Carter... again starting with the name. (Though he's a lot less bitter.)
- Fargo has a little bit of Peter Parker to him, even to the point of being the wisecracking nerd that it seems like the other superheroes... er, scientists barely tolerate. Bonus points for him following Stark around like a puppy during the period where Spider-Man was doing the same with Iron Man.
- Taggart is clearly inspired by Steve Irwin, an excitable Australian outdoorsman with an expertise in animal biology.
- Extranormal Institute: The whole town.
- Failsafe Failure: The front door to S.A.R.A.H. has a "manual override" which doesn't work if the house'still has power. Manual overrides are supposed to open doors regardless of whether or not it has any power supplied...
- Whenever Carter asks "Can't we unplug it?" (which is frequently) there's always some reason why that will no longer work.
- In "The Story of O2", Larry removed the self-destruct system from his rocket to save weight.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Senator Wen is trapped in a computer simulation that consists only of the Sheriff's office and nothing else, all alone. And it's implied only Beverly knows she's in there. Ends as of the series finale.
- For Science!: The entire effing town except Carter. Which makes Eureka both an AdventureTown and a Dangerous Workplace, with the result that:
Henry: "We have twice the national mortality rate."
- It's actually written into the town charter that scientific discovery trumps things like construction.
- Full Moon Silhouette: Season four's Christmas Episode gave us Santa's sleigh being silhouetted against the full moon.
- Fun with Acronyms: In the first episode of the fifth season, Dr. Parrish's Adrenal Suppression System.
Fargo: Do these people seem unnaturally happy to an almost creepy degree?
Fargo: We may know what they're using.
Holly: Isaac's ASS!
Carter: That seems unlikely.
- Game of Nerds: Inverted. Non-nerd Carter is the baseball fanatic, and his suggestion of a town baseball league initially goes over like a lead balloon.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Momstrocity", Fargo's tent is controlled by a AI named Buffy with a female voice. Due to the problem of the week, she would like Fargo to stay inside of her.
- In "Oh Little Town" Carter confronts Vincent about the food he stole top secret dangerous technology to create.
Vincent: I beg your pardon.
Andy: I'm freezing my nuts off! And my bolts!
- A pervasive one: depending upon your background, the constant use of "G.D." to refer to Global Dynamics may recall either a schoolyard euphemism for "god damn" or the way some (primarily Jewish) people avoid writing out the name of the deity and instead write "G-d." Or both.
- In "Smarter Carter" Andy comes home for some "afternoon delight" with his girlfriend Sarah.
- Grey and Gray Morality: GD is definitely A Lighter Shade of Grey, but they are essentially a weapons lab for the military, a fact that is regularly pointed out. On the other hand, the Consortium started out as a group of scientists opposed to the DoD's secretive weapons testing; by the end of the show they're still on the level of Well-Intentioned Extremist despite being unambiguously the bad guy.
- Gone Horribly Right: Pretty much every single experiment causes disaster when it succeeds. Unless it's ...
- Gone Horribly Wrong
- Grand Theft Me: Beverly takes over Allison's body with some sort of transmitter embedded in her brain, as a plot to download Eureka's research archive as well as do some other unspecified sabotage.
- Carter takes over Fargo, Zane and Allison after an accident causes him to repeatedly bodyswap.
- Although most of the matrix's AI's are actually bodyswaps, Holly and Andy are a borderline Grand Theft Me. It's still their own personality and memories, but their desires and motives have been swapped for the primary AI's.
- Granola Girl: Lexi.
- Great White Hunter: Taggart seems to fancy himself this.
- Guile Hero: Carter
- Guilty Pleasure: In-Universe, Bad Ass marine Jo's secret love of sassy pumps. "I'm so ashamed."
- Hate Plague: "All the Rage".
- The Heart: Sherrif Carter becomes this over time. In the finale, Holly describes him as the "Strong Force" that holds Eureka together.
- He Knows Too Much: It's strongly implied in the pilot that Carter and his daughter will be executed if they can't find a use for him, which makes you wonder how many people that's happened to.
- When Carter's ex-wife, sister, and sister's boyfriend show up and interact with Eureka technology/GD, no one even bats an eye. They could have signed a non-disclosure agreement off-screen, but that's bordering on Fan Wank, and it's a major shift from the paranoia in the pilot. The sister's boyfriend, at least, is a brilliant scientist in his own right, but there's no indication he's familiar with the town.
- In the town's defense, it's only Jo who seriously broaches the possibility of "silencing" Carter. No one else seems to seriously consider her suggestion; it seems there are good reasons why she is never considered for the position of Sheriff.
- Played absolutely straight with Holly. When she figures out that the Astraeus crew is trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine, she's murdered on the spot to keep the ruse intact.
- Heh Heh, You Said X: "Dump coil."
- Heroes Want Redheads: Fargo with Claudia and Dr. Martin.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Salli Richardson (Allison) played Elisa Maza in Gargoyles.
- Historical In-Joke: When Henry was explaining the device that brought them to '47, he referred to a theory worked on by Einstein and Dr. Grant regarding the connection of two points of space/time that Henry referred to as the "Einstein-Grant" bridge. Since Grant got jumped to 2010 by the end of the episode, that gives them call to refer to it as we all know it, the "Einstein-Rosen" bridge.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The whole town. Though a lot of it is experimental tech, there is an equal amount of fantastic gadgets that are completely safe yet haven't made it outside the town. One episode justifies this as simply a matter of cost: they can cure the common cold, but it costs $6 million while a bowl of chicken soup costs $5.
- Hollywood Science: To the point of straining Suspension of Disbelief for some. They do occasionally get it right. As when a geologist says he needs to measure P-waves to locate a magma pocket. Of course, S-waves would also help. Mostly it's just Techno Babble.
- Idiot Ball: In-Universe example. Most of Eureka's citizens turn into idiots after eating a new type of artificially cloned chicken meat.
- Idiot Hero: Carter, though it helps when everyone in town is a mad scientist who needs to be protected from themselves.
- In Spite of a Nail: The Alternate Timeline in the fourth season, despite removing a key figure in Eureka's founding altogether, has changed almost nothing. In fact, all the characters' lives actually seem to be better for it. There is the problem of Jo having never started a relationship with Zane in this timeline, but that's balanced out by her now being in charge of GD security.
- Henry lampshades one of the instances where it is changed, where Kevin no longer has autism, pointing that no one knows what causes autism in the first place, so it's impossible to figure out how that changed.
- In Theory: Practically Once an Episode. Whenever some bit of Phlebotinum threatens the town, Carter turns to either Henry, Allison, or Nathan (or some combination thereof) for an explanation. Said explanation usually begins with "Well, theoretically..." Carter lampshades this in later seasons by repeatedly saying "I hate that word!"
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: "inventory"
- Innocent Cohabitation: Jack and Jo after her house gets toasted.
- Insistent Terminology: Jack never gets the Techno Babble. Scientists correct him. Stark particularly loves to do so.
- Insufferable Genius: Nathan Stark as well as several minor characters.
- Insult Backfire:
Eva Thorne: I expect this kind of insubordination from you, Carter.
Carter: Thank you.
- Ironic Hell: The last we see of Senator Wen in the fifth season. Trapped in her own creation. Alone, in a single room.
- Ivy League for Everyone: Justified Trope in this case.
- I Want My Jetpack: Dr. Grant actually complains that the Eureka of alternate-2010 is too pedestrian (on first blush at least) by the standards of 1940s visions of the future. It's actually Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Eureka (and the US government) probably goes to great lengths to appear as nothing more than a sleepy little bucolic town should any uninvited out-of-towner make their way there and take too long to leave (say, a certain Federal Marshal and his wayward daughter). Subverted upon meeting the robot deputy and going to GD; he is suitably impressed once he gets past the mundane exterior of the town.
- Jossed: Averted by the common fan theory held that Nathan wasn't killed in the time machine, but was rather sent to another time or dimension and is going to return. When he does return, he says that this was exactly the case. Although this turns out to be a hallucination, Nathan having not really returned, we still don't know what happened to him.
- Jurisdiction Friction: A lot between Carter, GD, and the Military.
- Just Friends: Allison/Jack. Particularly discussed in the episode Stoned, after years of sporadic relationship teasing that was getting wearisome for some by that point (and season 4 had seemed to stress the just friends angle). How things developed afterwards...
- Killed Off for Real: Kim, twice, and Stark.
- Holly in the final season, during the three-part opener.
- She's back, as her personality is alive in the form of a sentient hologram.
- Lampshade Hanging: In the 2011 Holiday episode, which involves the cast being in several animation styles, SARAH epilogues on the show and talks about the questionable canon status of the episode.
SARAH: Some of you may wonder if this animated tale is true. You can believe it. Or not. But you did hear it from a talking house, so anything's possible.
- In the first episode introducing Sarah, Carter calls a help line number Fargo left him, only to be greeted by Fargo (poorly) imitating a female voice. Carter immediately asks if that's Fargo with a feminine voice. Fargo's actor is also SARAH's voice actor.
- Larynx Dissonance: SARAH's voice template is Fargo doing a female impression. (At least until Sarah Michelle Gellar's people get back to him!) Out-of-universe, that really is Neil Grayston (Fargo's actor) doing SARAH's voice.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to Holly after being taken over by the Matrix, then blasted by the device that takes out the AIs, making her forget everything from after she first came to Eureka. Seems to be slowly wearing off over time, especially with Fargo's help.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Senator Wen, who spearheaded the Consortium's plan to stick the Astraeus crew in a virtual reality, is trapped in one herself for a while.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Fargo might be The Millstone Curious As A Monkey but when the chips are down he proves why he's at Eureka.
- Even as head of GD, Fargo continues to be the Butt Monkey, but when push comes to shove he will remind you exactly how much power he has.
- Local Hangout: Cafe Diem.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The Consortium traps the Astraeus crew in one after kidnapping them at the end of the previous season, in order to make them work for the Consortium without realizing it.
- Love Is in the Air: An ancient spore causes hormones to go wacky in Eureka's men. The men are left behaving normally, but the women are left all turned on like crazy. For at least the first half, the only man the women see as super-desirable is Sheriff Carter, of course. Hilarity Ensues. It's shown later in the episode that if the women get their man, Death by Sex will occur.
- Love Makes You Crazy: After his girlfriend dies in the Season 1 finale, Henry seems to get slightly more unhinged. Season 3 sees him getting better, though.
- Also, in the episode where Stark gets replicated (see Magnificent Bastard), his jealousy over Carter and Allison makes the situation even worse, because the replicants can tell what he's feeling and act accordingly.
- And then there's the episode where Jo is the victim of a genetic switcharoo, simply so the culprit can get close to Fargo and exploit his crush on Jo to try to hook up with him.
- Love Triangle: This series seems to love these. It started with Stark/Carter/Allison, then Tess took over for Stark, and that's just Carter. With the new season, Tess gets taken off the bus, then put back on, Carter finally kisses Allison, but now that Eureka founder Dr. Grant is here to stay from 1947, it's sliding towards Carter/Allison/Grant.
- As of "I'll Be Seeing You", resolved, at least for the time being, with Grant's departure from Eureka.
- And as of "Stoned", Carter's daughter Zoe gets a Type 4 of her very own now that she's hooked up with Zane.
- Evolves into a full-fledged triangle as of "I'll Be Seeing You", as Jo and Zane share a passionate if spontaneous kiss less than a minute before Zoe enters the room.
- Not to mention passionately sharing electrolytes in Carter's guest room, according to SARAH.
- Season 4.5 sees the development of yet another triangle: Fargo/Marten/Parrish.
- Early seasons toyed with/hinted at a love triangle between Jo/Fargo/Taggart then Jo/Fargo/Zane, but never really acted on them.
- Mad Scientist: Pretty much everyone except Carter, Jo, and Zoe, and Zoe has been leaving her father in the dust since midway through Season 2. But this may have something to do with Carter's IQ being 111 and Zoe's is 155.
- TAGGERT! Oh god, Taggert. He does the craziest things in town (tranqing Carter and stuffing him into a cage, anyone?)
- Henry is the closest thing to an aversion, but he's borderline at best.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Andy reacts to the various accidents that befall him with what can be summed up as a "Isn't that something?" attitude. Of course, he is a robot.
"Oh, I seem to have caught fire."
"My software indicates I should acknowledge my physical injuries, OWWWWWWWWWWW."
- Mama Bear: Allison, about her son Kevin.
- Market-Based Title: Known as A Town Called Eureka in the UK, as the simple Eureka title had already been used for a children's educational series about historical inventions.
- The Millstone: Fargo. If he appears in an episode, it is either to kick off the disaster or to make it worse. Addressed in-universe.
- Starts to become subverted in season 4. Sorta. Now it's his his Alternate Timeline self, whom he's replaced, that is causing the problems by virtue of Fargo having none of that Fargo's memories.
- Mirror Match: Ai Carter vs Real Carter
Ai carter: I know all your moves
- The Mole: Beverly Barlowe in the early seasons, until she winds up getting exposed.
- Allison gets turned into this when she's brain-jacked by Beverly.
- And the final season has Senator Wen stepping up to the plate as Beverly's boss.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Played with. Thanks to an "attachment program", Tiny the rover thinks Kevin's little robot is its baby. It's armed with Frickin' Laser Beams. Give it the robot.
- Monster of the Week
- Lampshaded by Hugo Miller in Eureka's sister show, Warehouse 13, when asked if he was going to go back to Eureka.
- Monster Roommate
- Mr. Fanservice: Stark and Zane.
- Mundane Utility: Even in the show's opening credits. Laser lawnmowers, antigravity baby carriages, virtual baseball, jetpacks used to fix broken streetlights, an enormous freezer (referred to as Narnia by Zoe) that can reach 0 Kelvin for food, etc.
- Slightly subverted in that almost none of these are actually seen in use in the series. Most people drive fairly normal cars, live in fairly normal houses, etc. They tend to just have nicer cell phones and sound systems and so on than in the outside world.
- Maybe because the DOD wants to keep the town a secret. No laser lawnmowers, but you can have a nuclear powered car.
- While those blatant examples aren't seen, there's still plenty of examples in the show.
- Mysterious Backer: Warehouse 13 is portrayed as such.
- No Off Button: Keeping with the Hollywood Science run amok, this happens nearly every episode with some form on Applied Phlebotinum. Carter will often address this ("Can't we just unplug it?") to the point where he starts expecting the answer.
- No OSHA Compliance: The town was built on this trope it seems.
- No Respect Guy: Fargo, although his new job is making him become far more responsible.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Inversion; the unusual is normal. The school science fair would probably be stunned by someone entering a baking soda volcano. These people annually race rockets around the moon!
- Sheriff Carter was floored when Andy told him that somebody robbed a bank. He was so used to the disaster of the week being a "quantum runaway something or other" which threatened to destroy the town that the thought of a simple bank robbery thrilled him to no end. Of course, it then turned out that the entire bank was supposedly stolen, building and all.
- Not Herself: Allison in season 4.5, due to being body-jacked by Beverly for several episodes. It eventually wears off.
- The Nth Doctor: The robot Sheriff-later-Deputy Andy was played in his first two appearances by Ty Olsson. In "The Story of O2", he's replaced by Kavan Smith, better known as Evan Lorne in Stargate Atlantis. He changed his appearance. He likes the new cheekbones.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: What doesn't Henry do in this town?!
- An episode actually had SARAH determine that if Carter and Henry left town, it would almost certainly be destroyed.
- Also subverted in one episode where most of the population of Eureka gets converted into idiots, including Henry. Gathering everyone in Global Dynamics who hasn't been affected to solve the Crisis Of The Week results in a "chemist, a botanist, a math theorist, and a...lepipotamusnote " being tasked with repairing the particle shielding on an experiment that simulates the Big Bang before it goes off. Unsurprisingly, none of them has a clue about theoretical astrophysics or string theory. They do manage to solve the idiocy problem, though.
- Pretty much all of the main character scientists fit this role, knowing whatever that week's episode requires them too, with the exception of Taggert. With one or two exceptions, the writers have been pretty good about generally confining his area of expertise to biology. Most suspects of the mystery of the week also avert this, since whodunnits get much harder to solve when everyone is an expert at everything and therefore any one of the suspects could've done it.
- Most of the people who do this actually have some excuse, at least. Henry is easily the oldest of the main cast, meaning he's had more time to accumulate the knowledge necessary to be omnidisciplinary. Stark and Allison, both having prominent positions in GD (Allison even before she became head of GD) would have numerous projects explained to them by specialists, so all it would really require is a good memory to be familiar with the basic aspects of most fields of study.
- Most of the main cast also have clear specialties, even if they know a lot of stuff outside their field. For example, Fargo and Stark are both quantum physicists, and Allison focuses on biology and medicine.
- This trope is often averted on smaller levels. Many times the complication of the week requires advanced knowledge of a specific field, requiring Carter to work closely with a specific scientist, typically the one who started the situation.
- Played very straight in the last season when Holly, who is explicitly an Astro-physicist, knows enough to work with advanced biological and cybernetic technologies. While people find this strange, it's only because she's focusing on it, instead of continuing her normal studies.
- Once an Episode: A charred corpse or the lines "We'll have to evacuate the town" or "It will leave Eureka a mile-deep crater."
- "Get me a list of everyone working in [insert field here]" and Henry simplifying his Techno Babble regarding that week's deadly gizmo using a simile also qualify.
- Only Sane Man: Sheriff Carter. It's later implied that the security/law officers are this in every town of scientists.
- Overprotective Dad: Sheriff Carter.
- Allison counts as a female version.
- Pass the Popcorn: After Jo's wild night of karaoke and Fargo-kissing, she wakes up hungover and remembering none of it. When Fargo shows up with flowers, SARAH is happy to be a witness, but Zoe doesn't feel like leaving and stands watching the delicious awkwardness while snacking on something.
- Plot Armour: Worn by Carter, lampshaded by Sheriff Andy
Sheriff Andy to Carter: I have recalculated it. Seems the odds are better when you are around.
- Police Procedural: Quite a few of the episodes. Lampshaded in "What About Bob?" when Carter joins the biosphere "reality show" that several Eurekans watch.
- Product Placement: While slightly present since the start (All the video phones in Eureka apparently use Cisco Systems), became blatant and omnipresent in season 3. They at least attempt to justify it by throwing in a new boss who implements what causes it in an effort to make the research done in the town more profitable, but (as Real Life Comics nicely captures) it's still painful to watch. Especially given that... "Here Comes The Suns" is pretty much one long ad for Degree.
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: From time to time with resident Badass Jo.
- Puppet King: Mansfield implies that Fargo was made the head of GD because he would play ball, and warns Fargo that he can easily be replaced. Then again, Mansfield may believe this is just what the position is.
- Put on a Bus:
- Taggart, who got on the bus, came back, then got back on again.
- Done literally with Eva in season 3.
- Double Subverted with Tess. She takes a job in Australia, and Carter is invited to come along (which the viewers know he won't). Next season, she's broken up with him, and it seems she's on the bus... until Carter and company accidentally screw up the timeline, making it so Tess never left and is in fact moving in with Jack. Except then, Jack puts her back on the bus because the whole time travel thing has made their relationship awkward and he's convinced it won't work.
- Really 700 Years Old: 107 to be exact, but Eva Thorne/Mary Perkins now ages slowly thanks to her own genetic wackiness + lab experiment gone wrong.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: The entire premise of the show is that a secret city of supergeniuses is constantly working to create fabulous scientific breakthroughs. They're said to be responsible for every technological breakthrough since the thirties, but their tech is still decades beyond the rest of the world.
- Also, it's usually Carter (who, while a reasonably bright guy, is still the dumbest guy in town by virtue of literally everyone, his own daughter included, being a world-class genius) who has to solve the problem of the week, because the brainiacs are either A) too busy being victimized by it, B) trying to come up with something sciencey instead of just hitting it with a hammer, or C) the person who created the experiment that caused the problem, who refuses to believe their brilliant idea could possibly go wrong.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: This issue pops up in the show now and again. Several characters (Henry and Dr. Grant, for example) express distaste at how Global Dynamics, which is funded primarily by the DOD, seems to be more interested in turning out strategic advantages rather than focusing on scientific advancement to prevent war per the spirit on which the town was founded. Other characters (Nathan and Allison) are quick to point out that such work would not exist without the funding the DOD provides, and thus they must be mad scientists if they want to pursue work which will benefit mankind as a whole.
- Research, Inc.: Global Dynamics
- Reset Button: Zig-zagged. If Carter ever loses his job, or looks like he will, the button will be pressed. The show makes no attempt to disguise this, having literally titled one of their episodes "Welcome Back Carter" right after the one where Carter was fired. At other times, it's avoided when you wouldn't think so (Stark's death, for example, since he asked to be written out). Also used at the end of season one, which is utterly heartbreaking because it's one of the few times you don't want the button to be pushed.
- Surprisingly averted in the fourth season. Carter and friends accidentally create an Alternate Timeline, and the viewer is convinced the button will be pushed. Instead, events keep conspiring to prevent the button from being pushed, so this new timeline is here to stay.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Raynes in episode 8. The dog robots in the second season. Sheriff Andy. The Kim-from-space probably counts as a borderline example; she's a living computer.
- Running Gag:
- A minor one that spans the entire series is Carter buying someone something as a gift, only for them to get one as a gift from someone else before he has a chance to present it.
- Alternatively, they present an even better, super-high-tech version of his gift. The gag reaches its crescendo during Alison's baby shower, where Jack removes one item after another from his gift basket as someone else presents it to Alison, until finally: "and my gift to you is...a basket!"
- Jack's Jeep keeps getting destroyed. How many vehicles can be smashed, blown up, sucked into tornadoes, protenated (read:melted), etc. before the budget gets maxed out?
- Fargo has a thing for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
- The writers like to slip in a lot of poop jokes. TIRD particles, the SCAT, the "Dump Coil," I could go on...
- It seems like half the cast will eventually end up living at Carter's house. Carter himself, Zoe, Allison (along with Kevin and Jenna), Jo, Sheriff Andy, Doug Fargo, Holly Marten...
- "Car Wash" by Rose Royce keeps showing up, mostly in embarrassing ways.
- Sarcasm Mode: Stark, who clearly enjoys it way too much to qualify for Deadpan Snarker.
Carter: "Uh-huh, and what will all that tell us?"
Stark: "Nothin', it just makes us sound all smart."
- Schizo Tech: Eureka is set in the present, but with next generation technology because they invent all of it, while keeping the aesthetics of a 1960's small town.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: In the episode "Up in the Air" Carter's reaction upon seeing how high in the air he is while trying to get inside a floating bank.
- Second Episode Introduction: Stark doesn't appear in the pilot.
- Also technically GD as it has been seen in the series since then. Considering the pilot had little more than a single hallway that connected all the sections (including the top secret section 5) together.
- In the episode H.O.U.S.E. Rules:
- In A Night At Global Dynamics
- Fargo on a mysterious CIA specialist
- Talking about her aunts baby-daddy.
Vincent: I love that show.
Zoe: WHO as in World Health Organization.
- Several in Reprise:
I didn't know you were building a TARDIS
Jo: A what?
Sherrif Carter looks confused.
- An episode dealing with alchemy had the human transmutation circle on a blackboard in the background.
- Sheriff Andy. Carter later references his own "Sheriff Andy Charm."
- "It's Not Easy Being Green": "This...is...EUREKA!!!"
- "Duck Duck Goose": In the extreme foreground as the Starks are discussing Kevin, the hand from T2 can be seen in the original glass dome.
- Allison Blake: "This town needs an enema".
- The LCL that Carter is dunked in to save his life in season 2 episode "Noche de Suenos".
- Fargo's time travel arrival in Founder's Day is a Shout-Out to the Terminator series, complete with music.
- In "Momstrosity" he says, "Come with me if you want to live!" In "Crossing Over", Claudia calls him Fargonator.
- In the crossover episode where Claudia comes to Global Dynamics, Dr. Grant says "Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop smoking."
- In the episode "Momstrosity", Allison uses the phrase "Get away from him, you bitch!"
- Zane offers to look up TARDIS blueprints while he's poking around Dr. Grant's DOD file.
- In "The Ex-Files", Dr. Grant claims his hallucination is of a "leggy blond in a slinky red dress".
- The GD security system in "A Night at Global Dynamics".
- In "Have an Ice Day!" Taggard's line "There are strange things under the midnight sun" is a shout out to Robert W. Service's poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
- Two in the same scene in "Purple Haze": Fargo's neighbor is blasting "The Ride of the Valkyries" while crop-dusting with a RC helicopter. When Fargo intervenes, he is chased by the helo in a a Shout-Out to North By Northwest. And of course the title is a reference to Jimi Hendrix.
- A twofer in "Your Face or Mine?"
- "I'm on a horse!"
- Glimpse starts with one to the 50's propaganda films.
Fargo: Global Dynamics wants you!
- Also in Glimpse, is The Cameo for Stan Lee, who provides a Shout-Out to The Hulk. He appears as Dr. Lee, specializing in the effects of gamma radiation, you can call him Generalissimo, and "Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry."
- Also, Bear Mc Creary decided to play a tribute with "The Lonely Man Theme" from the Hulk TV Series playing in the background during that scene. Which was slightly adapted to resemble the "Mc Creary Eureka Theme" (the one in the credits and in the background from season 2 onward).
- When Andy is instructing people on evacuation, Jo adds "You heard Mr. Data, keep it movin'..."
- "This one time at space camp..."
- This exchange:
"What were you expecting, the Spanish Inquisition?"
the Spanish Inquisition."
- When the Super Photon Generator is turned on to fix the town in the animated Christmas special, the "Mobile Suit Detected" sound from Mobile Suit Gundam can be heard.
- When handing over the reins of GD, Allison is asked to input a numerical passcode to seal it. The camera tightens into the touchscreen, and she puts in 8675309.
- Zoe refers to a rogue drone as a "Cylon shuttle thing."
- Jack says that a red-haired scientist looks like Opie.
- Early in the second season, Carter asks Kevin what day of the week was November 3rd, 1957. Although both of them get the day wrong (it was a Sunday), it was the day that Laika the spacedog died.
- Henry is seen watching Dexter's Laboratory in the episode when most of Eureka accidentally becomes stupid.
- In season 5, several characters are kidnapped and put into a computer simulation of Eureka. Not only do the characters instantly equate this to The Matrix when they learn, they never refer to it by any other name from that point on.
- Also in Season 5 (specifically, the episode "Smarter Carter"), Zane Donovan says of building a replacement body for Holly Martin: "We can build it. We have the technology."
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In This One Time At Space Camp... Fargo and Holly are talking about ways to calm down and get ready for an upcoming interview.
We've tried everything. We've tried yoga, meditation... Fargo:
Well, there is one thing we haven't tried... Holly:
You mean... Oh...
The scene cuts to the two of them playing Dungeons & Dragons
- The Sheriff: Jack Carter, who used to be a U.S. Marshal.
- Ship Tease: Jack and Jo.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Fargo seems to find a new one of these once every few episodes. Often they're the first victim of the disaster of the week. He also has longer-term nemeses Larry (until the universe-hop makes him into Fargo's personal assistant instead) and Doctor Isaac Parrish (who has lasted since the Astraeus mission Story Arc began, and has been The Rival to Fargo for most of their lives in the new universe).
- Smart House: SARAH.
- Surrounded by Smart People: Sheriff Carter is this.
- Supreme Chef: Vincent.
- Techno Babble: Carter really hates it when the scientists start talking the science. It doesn't help that it's all Hollywood Science.
Carter: Thank you. Why couldn't you just say a swirling ice tornado of death?!
- That Came Out Wrong: A Running Gag on the show, usually with Jo.
Zane: We'll use SARAH to slip into the back-door of GD.
Fargo: Uh, we?
Zane: Once a back-door link is established, there's nothing I won't have access to.
Fargo: Uh, I think you mean there will be nothing that I have access to.
Jo: Boys, there is plenty of back-door access for everyone!
Jo: That didn't come out right.
- In the Pilot
Sheriff Cobb: (hangs up the phone) That was Ned Carver. He claims aliens abducted some of his cattle again, so...
Jo: Tell him to call me when they move on to anal probes.
[Cobb and Zoe stare]
Jo: Wait, um... that didn't come out right.
- In Founder's Day
: There's a woman in the brig with some injuries you should take a look at. Also, there's a naked man in there for some reason. Allison
: I'll go take a look.
: At the injuries, not the naked guy. Dr. Grant
: I'm glad you clarified.
- Holly Marten gets three in a row in Of Mites And Men, referring to slipping through a security door that got stuck partly open.
Holly: I can do eight inches! I have very limber joints! (later, referring to getting stuck halfway through the door) Is it too late to cover myself in something slippery?
- When explaining why she wants a body instead of living as a hologram: "You can't imagine spending your entire life not being able to touch yourself." Henry and Zane proceed to look at each other as she doesn't realize what she said.
- This, from Jo:
"I was tangled up with Zane... With his thing... With his pardon."
, to Fargo
: You need to put your thing in the hole before it blows! (A very long Beat as everyone stares at him)
- Incidentally, this was just after Fargo and Holly had an emotionally touching moment.
- From "Unpredictable":
Carter: So, you gonna come to Zoe's surprise party?
Allison: Oh, me? I thought you were into young brunettes?
Carter: No, no, I'm into old brun… *trails off as he realizes what he's saying*
Allison: Didn't come out right, did it?
- That Thing Is Not My Child!: the real Susan Perkins, to her clone's child
- Too Clever by Half: Any Eureka scientist who causes the problem of the episode.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After season 3, Allison frequently comes across as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, more and more. See Unfortunate Implications for her attitude to finding her son no longer has Autism in season 4 and over-the-top reaction to the Jo/Carter Ship Tease during season 5, despite the fact that Carter clearly has been in love with her since day one and they are currently in a committed relationship. After his proposal she complained about the romantic meal he had set up for in a submarine (which granted, went horribly wrong in typical Eureka-style) and after they were married, then proceeded to complain about the honeymoon cottage in the woods he wanted to fix up for her.
- Town with a Dark Secret / Quirky Town
- Transforming Mecha: Tiny. "With an unnecessarily creepy design!"
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Henry and Grace in season 4.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Season 3 introduces Frances Fisher as "Fixer" Eva Thorne, who at first lived up to the role in spades, then became more sympathetic as we got into her motivations.
- Wham Episode: "Founder's Day". An odd case of one being used as a season premiere rather than a season finale.
- The Real Thing ends with Holly dying.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Former Sheriff Cobb. Appears for the pilot, gives Carter his job, and is never heard from again (although his cabin appears as a "honeymoon cottage" for Allison and Carter). Also, Warren King, the original head of G.D. who is replaced by Stark after the pilot (although presumably he was sent out of town after being dismissed).
- Warren King shows up again, in the official comic written by (at least) one of the writers of the show.
- Averted in a very literal way in Worst Case Scenario, where Jo is gassed while attempting to capture an escaped guinea pig in the Aggression Lab. The guinea is shown being rescued along with Jo, and then happily wiggling in a nurse's hand at the infirmary.
- Spencer Martin appears in the first 7 episodes. Then he's never heard from again, minus a short appearance in Henry's memory recall in You Don't Know Jack. The last we hear from him is as the party DJ in Primal.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Taggart is Australian, but that accent...argh.
- Women in Refrigerators: We meet Kim in episode 3 of season one; we don't see her again until she gets Killed Off for Real in the season finale, sending Henry off the deep end for the entirety of season two.
- Wrote the Book: Allison literally wrote the book on space medicine... or at least her alternate-universe counterpart did, which is almost as good. (She apparently did all the same research, she just never got around to publishing her thesis.)
- Actor Allusion: Two in "The Ex-Files". An obvious one is when Dr. Grant, played by James Callis, claims that he's hallucinating "a leggy blond in a slinky, red dress"; a nod to his role as Dr. Gaius Baltar in the remake of Battlestar Galactica who really was followed around by such a hallucination. A subtler one occurs when Carter calls his hallucination of Nathan Stark "undead" leading it to reply "Nope, not a vampire". Ed Quinn appeared as a vampire on True Blood for a few episodes after leaving the show.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "H.O.U.S.E. Rules".
- Averted with Sheriff Andy, Carter's robot replacement. He's not evil (but characters think this is what Carter is thinking when he is initially skeptical of him), not hostile to his predecessor (or anyone for that matter), not incompetent (though too stuck on the rules to do Carter's job right), and performs a Heroic Sacrifice without dying (but the audience is faked out about it for a few seconds).
- Martha, initially, but she gets better.
- Almost Out of Oxygen: In "Liftoff", Fargo and Zane are stuck in space in a capsule which only has emergency life support. Then they need to use their oxygen tank as an ersatz rocket to avoid a collision with the International Space Station, so they have even less time than the "emergency" amount...
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Carter interrupts an experiment, beats up a scientist, and messes up the experiment a little. the experiment in question involves time travel, so it's Serious Business.
Carter: Oh crap.
Grant: That's right, and now I lost my hat!
Carter: Your hat?!
- Art Shift: The 2011 Christmas special is one long series of art shifts, thanks to a interactive storybook and a massive photon generator.
- Bedmate Reveal: In the season one finale, Carter wakes up next to a very pregnant Allison due to the alternate timeline.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Zigzagged. As a town full of brilliant scientists, Eureka is shown to have very low church attendance. However, church members include Henry and Alison, two of Eureka's smartest people. When incidents that resemble biblical plagues start happening all over town, Henry is the first to assume they are supernatural in origin and he is eventually proven wrong. During the "plagues" the church becomes packed with Eurekans seeking refuge. While the plagues eventually get a scientific explanation, church attendance remains high at the end of the episode.
- Big Brother Is Watching: The final season has a four-year timeskip, during which SARAH has taken over GD, Andy and Martha have been mass-produced as a police force, and people can get tazed for talking back to the authorities. They manage to fix things, but this turns out to be an illusion created by Beverly to trick the Astraeus into working for the Consortium without realizing it.
- Bottle Episode: "H.O.U.S.E. Rules" and "A Night In Global Dynamics."
- Brutal Honesty: Jo insists to Zane that they need to be honest with each other to make their relationship work. Zane being Zane, he of course takes that to its logical conclusion and just starts blurting out every thought on his mind, especially the ones he knows will annoy her.
- Cast from Hit Points: In 'Liftoff', how do you move your spacecraft without any propulsion? Vent the oxygen!
- Christmas Episode: "O Little Town", which aired between the two halves of season 4, involves the town shrinking, a flying sleigh with holographic reindeer, and a scientist who is heavily implied to be the real Santa. Though, given its Framing Device, Carter is almost certainly making some of it up.
- Clip Show: "You Don't Know Jack," although it mostly wasn't clips.
- Played With/Subverted in "This one time at space camp..." It looks like it's going to be one of these, since they have a memory retrieval device, but it's only used in the B plot to flesh out the back-stories of Fargo, Zane, and Lupo, by looking at their childhoods. For the A plot, almost no old footage is shown, they mostly talk about, and do things related to past events, because thanks to an accident with aforementioned device Jack's memories are overriding their Relationship Supervisor's personality.
What were you expecting, the Spanish inquisition?
- Cloning Blues: Stark being replicated by nanobots, as in Jo's words, "A whole lot of Starks!".
- Close Enough Timeline: Apparently the removal of one of Eureka's founders causes such oddities as a break up no longer occurring, one person no longer being autistic (this one is even lampshaded how strange this is when no one knows the cause in the first place, let alone how it is prevented), and the head of Global Dynamics is now someone who has almost destroyed the town on a number of occasions (and manages to do so again by virtue of his own ignorance of the experiments he was running in the new timeline, which required close supervision).
- Closer Than They Appear: "One Giant Leap" has a closer-than-it-appears shot of a black hole in Carter's jeep's rear view mirror.
- Cold Snap Season 3 Episode 17 "Have a Ice Day" A ice core sample from the Artic sends Temperatures plummeting and causes the whole town to ice over
- Color Wash: Like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the forties episode is sepia-toned.
- Comedic Sociopathy: The behavior-altering music in "Reprise" varies between this, harmless fun, and genuine drama.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: See Unwanted Rescue, below.
- Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: When Grant goes back in time in the mid-season finale, he takes the opportunity to buy some stock to invoke this trope. 63 years later, he's "rolling in it." So much so that in the series finale, after the DoD decided that it no longer wants to finance the town, Grant steps in and buys it himself in order to save it.
- Credits Gag: The first episode of season four has a sepia tone and forties style music.
- Crowd Song: Henry organizes one as a romantic gesture in "Stoned" on Fargo's advice.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Hand waved away and used at the same time. When time traveling to 1947 it is said that Eureka was always "progressive" (hence why no one notes the varied races of the cast), but when a character is brought back with them, he thinks Smoking Is Cool (as long as you don't have asthma).
- Also subverted by Henry, who points out that progressive or not, no one looks twice at a Black mechanic.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Everyone in "The Ex-Files" are having hallucinations related to their various unresolved issues. Jo, finally having had enough of the past version of Zane haunting her, tells her hallucination that they never worked as a couple and gives back the engagement ring he gave her... only to realize too late that this is the real Zane she's confessed to. He's rather surprised she has his grandmother's ring.
- Diesel Punk: "Founders' Day", at least a little.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Jo's in a very sexy Little Black Dress. Fargo hasn't noticed that the entire audience for Thatcher's Nobel has disappeared due to technical difficulties.
- Do Androids Dream?: "Right as Raynes"
- Double Meaning Title: "Crossing Over"
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Jo gleefully assumes this role in "Up in the Air".
- Earthquake Machine: Zane designed a resonance device like the one Nikola Tesla claimed to have built. It was used by the bad guys to steal the below-mentioned EMP gun.
- EMP: GD builds a uni-directional EMP gun in "The Ex-Files", for use in a Totally-Not-A-Kill Sat.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Frequently. "Once in a Lifetime" and "I Do Over" are probably the best examples.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: "Purple Haze"
- Extended Disarming: Non-weapon variant during the Horrible Camping Trip in "Momstrosity", when Jack insists on a good old-fashioned no-technology camping trip. Put any devices you're carrying in the box, Fargo.
- Failure Is the Only Option: "Of Mites and Men" showed that Dr. Parrish was never going to be selected for the Astraeus Mission. Thorough out the whole episode while all of his teammates were desperately trying to prevent their cell from collapsing he narcissistically focused solely on his own project.
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: "Smarter Carter"
- Framing Device: "O Little Town" is framed as a story Carter is telling a bunch of kids, which might explain some of its more outlandish twists.
- Freak Lab Accident
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Your Face Or Mine" (Jo and Julia) and "Jack of All Trades" (Jack is a focal point for several flips).
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the pilot episode, the letter Jack gets at the end when he is made the sheriff of Eureka states that Eureka is in Washington instead of Oregon like the rest of the show indicates.
- Geeky Turn-On: Fargo has this reaction to Holly frequently.
- Holly reciprocates it several times too
- Get Back to the Future: The plot of "Founder's Day".
- Good Shepherd: The pastor of the First Church of Eureka, who offers solace to frightened Eurekans during a series of seemingly supernatural events. She's even completely non-judgmental towards Carter's "fair-weather" Christian tendencies.
- Graceful Loser: Allison's brother Marcus, who is himself a famous scientist. Jack, after accidentally gaining Super Intelligence, points out several flaws in his book in front of his audience. Like a true scientist, Marcus is happy to have these flaws pointed out and gladly works with Jack to refine his theory.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: "I Do Over".
- Hallucinations: "The Ex-Files".
- Hide Your Pregnancy: Inverted with invisapparel allowing Jack's sister to look not pregnant, just in time for her boyfriend to show up.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: SARAH x Andy (Carter's house and robot deputy sheriff) and (in one interpretation) Tiny x Emo (massive Spider Tank space probe and toy robot) in "Momstrosity." (In the other interpretation, Tiny sees Emo as her son, putting that entire plot smack in Mama Bear territory, which fits better with the episode title.)
- I Warned You: Colonel Briggs called a meeting when informed of the events in the pilot episode.
Briggs: Wake up the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Gather everybody in the sitroom, tell them the topic of the discussion will be "I Told You So!"
- Idiot Ball: Allison grabs this hard in "The Story of O2". In a move worthy of Cracked, she uses an experimental compound designed to terraform Mars to enhance her son Kevin's rocket fuel so he'll win a race. No points for guessing what happens.
- Indy Escape: The season 4 Christmas special features Carter running away from a gigantic Christmas ornament.
- Instant Costume Change: As a gag in "In Too Deep", Zane laces Jo's clothes with nanomachines, allowing him to change her outfit instantly from wherever he wants. She ends up Hell-Bent for Leather twice, to fit with her demands for discipline. Jo turns it around on him in a nicer way, switching his casual clothes for a nice suit.
- Intoxication Ensues: Happens to almost the entire town in the episode Purple Haze
- Jerkass Has a Point: Even though he was incredibly callous in saying it Perish was right in "Friendly Fire" when he said that Fargo was grieving so couldn’t really be counted on to make rational decisions
- Kick the Dog: Played straight in "One Giant Leap", then pulled back. When the Astraeus mission is finally about to begin, Fargo taunts Dr. Parrish about how much it must suck to be left out of being the first humans on Titan. In a surprisingly humanizing moment for the otherwise mustache-twisting character, we get this:
Fargo: Too late for you, Parrish! Must be tough, not being a pioneer!
Parrish: ...you have no idea.
- Thankfully, Fargo knows when enough is enough and turns it into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming:
Fargo: Hey, Isaac... You are part of the mission. Your stasis gel makes all the difference.
Parrish: Thanks, Doug. Try not to die up there.
- Land Mine Goes Click: "Crossing Over". Twice.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "What About Bob?" Jack and Allison explore Lab 27 while the citizens of Eureka watch as if it were a reality show. Some of their comments seem to be talking about the show itself.
- In the finale, an entire scene in Fargo's office seems to relate doubly to the town shutting down and the cancelling of the series.
Larry: It's a difficult time for all of us, sir.
Fargo: But it was going so great. Our work has never been better, our performance exceeded expectation.
Larry: President said it was a budget issue.
Fargo: Does Los Alamos have a budget issue? Or Area 51? I mean, we paved the way for those guys.
Larry: It's a cruel system. But at least they gave us 6 more weeks to wrap it up.
- Living Crashpad: In "Invincible", this gets mixed with a healthy dose of Good Thing You Can Heal.
Carter: A hypothetical guy falls maybe fifty feet, lands flat on the ground, and then another guy weighing 180 falls, and lands on top of him. Okay, what is the chance of the hypothetical guy getting up and walking away? [...]
Henry: Look, this hypothetical guy: is that you?
Carter: No. I landed on the hypothetical guy, though.
- Locked in a Room: Larry and Fargo in "If You Build It..."; Zane and Fargo in "Liftoff".
- Love Is in the Air: "Maneater"
- Magical Defibrillator: Allison uses one in "Founder's Day".
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Allison's brother Marcus initially dislikes Jack, not because he's white but because he's not a genius. He eventually comes around, though.
- Mandatory Motherhood: Your wife doesn't want kids? Just clone a new wife who will be more compliant! The man responsible received an appropriate comeuppance.
- Married In The Future:
- One episode has the cast thrown into an alternate universe, where Henry finds himself married to a woman he only knew for 3 minutes in the original universe,. Inverted, sort of, with Jo Lupo, who was engaged to Zane in the original universe, but now completely uninvolved with him.
- There was another instance where a future Eureka was threatened by Henry's actions in the past (yay Time Travel Tense Trouble) and Jack had to go back and fix it. In the future, he was married to Allison. Thanks to the fix, it now never happened.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "O Little Town," Taggart meets a man who is heavily implied to be Santa Claus. But keep in mind that it's a story that Jack is telling some kids.
- Measuring the Marigolds: One episode opens with a preacher (in the apparently non-denominational First Church of Eureka, though it has tones of Anglicanism) talking about the wonder of discovery. The Mystery of the Week is due to a parishioner wanting to build a portal to heaven to be reunited with her dead husband, but the pastor and her science-devoted parishioners agree that there's no conflict between science and wonder.
- Meaningful Name: Sheriff "Andy" - Short for "Android."
- Mental Time Travel
- Meta Girl: In "Just Another Day", after Holly has had her memory wiped, she goes around town observing everyone to try and get it back. A number of things she says, whether about Carter, Fargo, or the town itself, dovetail rather neatly with the fans' opinions of the show and its characters.
- Naked People Are Funny: Fargo in "Founders' Day." Carter in "Noche de Sueños".
- 90% of Your Brain : Dodged, sort of — it's the usual "at one time" caveat.
- Not So Above It All: In "Jack of All Trades", Allison gets mad at Jack for not telling Jo that he and Zane swapped bodies (the Lotus-Eater Machine incident having portrayed Jack and Jo as married is something she has yet to get over). When Allison gets swapped with Jack, she proceeds to talk to an (again) ignorant Jo as if she's Carter. Jo calls her on it when she figures it out.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: In "Up In The Air" Carter survives a bank falling to the ground from 10,000 feet because he uses a Higgs field distorter to stop the bank's fall abruptly two feet from the ground, at which point it falls the rest of the way calmly. Carter survives falling from 10,000 feet because he stops abruptly two feet from the ground. Surprisingly justified since the Higgs field distorter removes all the mass from Carter and the bank, meaning it takes almost no energy to stop them falling, meaning no splat.
- Not Using the Zed Word: Averted in "All the Rage". Applied Phlebotinum gives the staff of Global Dynamics a familiar Hate Plague. Carter muses, "it's like a Romero movie out there," and later gets the mob's focus by shouting "Attention...[searches for a word] zombies!"
- Not What It Looks Like: Inverted when someone walks in on Carter putting on forties clothes in season four. He's in there with Allison. The woman who walked in asks what they're doing, and he says "inventory" with air quotes. She buys it. "You and half the base. Save it for the dance."
- Oh, Crap: Carter-Zane's face when Jo walked into the shower in "Jack of All Trades".
- After exiting the matrix Carter had this reaction every time he saw Joe
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Henry's and, to a lesser extent, Allison and Nathan.
- Ontological Inertia: Adam Barlowe, father of Beverly Barlowe, was saved by Allison in the past after his heart stopped by shocking him with jumper cables. Dr. Grant steals the cables so Adam will die in order to prevent a future tragedy, but Allison just finds an alternate means to save him.
- Percussive Maintenance: How Professor Thatcher fixes his MAD device after it refuses to shut down.
- Also how Stark, at Carter's urging, fixes the tumbler's navigation system. "Smack it!"
- Phlebotinum Induced Stupidity: "E = MC...?" It turns out to have been caused by a new type of cloned chicken meat at Cafe Diem.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This! Is! Eureka!"
- Raised Christian: Carter occasionally goes to church but is willing to miss it to watch baseball. The pastor is okay with this.
- Red Shirt: In H.O.U.S.E., the bottle episode, the guy who gets vaporized once things go bad is wearing a red shirt.
- Reverse Polarity: Lampshaded in Worst Case Scenario, where Jo flips a switch labeled "Reverse Polarity" when shutting down an unstable reactor.
- Revival Loophole: Used to rescue Fargo in "Try, Try, Again".
- A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: When the characters are trying to shut down an extremely powerful Death Ray Doomsday Device in the episode "Dr. Nobel," Henry calls the weapon "a riddle inside an enigma wrapped in ten inches of titanium alloy."
- Robo Cam: Martha has it in "Bad To The Drone".
- Rubber-Band History: The season 1 finale.
- Science Fair: And in Eureka, this is Serious Business.
- Schmuck Bait: Carter's bi-annual physical examination puts him on a very tall pedestal in the middle of a room, to push a button on the wall. He finds an invisible floor panel, starts walking toward the button... and falls a long, long way.
- Screwed by the Network: SyFy ordered season six and there were rumors it'd be the last season. Then they said the cancellation rumors were false and they looked forward to more. Then they took back season six and cancelled the show for real. Luckily, they then ordered an extra episode of season five to wrap the series up.
- Second Place Is for Winners: Zoe gets a car out of the Science Fair; she'd much rather have it than the first-place prize of a GD internship. Perhaps this was even intended since given her exposure to GD - especially major figures like Henry, Allison, and her dad - there's no real need for her to intern at GD. She likely could get a job outright simply by asking.
- Send in the Clones: "Primal".
- Sexy Silhouette: Jo in the shower. EMO opens the door.
- Sherlock Scan: Deputy Andy figures out the entire Carter-travelled-to-1947-and-returned-to-an-Alternate-Universe plot after looking at him and fielding a handful of totally innocuous questions.
- Shout-Out: A big one in the episode "Glimpse" in the fourth season. Stan Lee has a cameo as a scientist, and his research Involves Gamma Radiation, and he makes direct references to the Hulk, including an image behind him of the X-ray from the opening sequence of the Bill Bixby series.
- One for Quantum Leap in episode 5.05 "Jack of All Trades." Carter has begun swapping bodies with various persons who were on the Atraeus. Shortly after "leaping" into Zane, he says "Oh, boy!"
- A hilarious one to "Blazing Saddles" in episode 5.06 as Deputy Andy uses a built in cable to save Carter.
Deputy Andy: Excuse me while I whip this out.
- Vincent likens Cafe Diem to Iron Chef in "You Don't Know Jack"
- Simpleminded Wisdom: Sheriff Carter is usually the source of the blatantly obvious that the brilliant scientists all miss. And near everyone continues to talk to him like an idiot simply because he has to ask about the science behind super secret government research decades ahead of the rest of the world.
- Single Issue Psychology
- Skip to the End: Carter and Allison's (very wet) wedding in "In Too Deep".
- Sleep Cute: In the fifth episode of the first season, Carter and Allison fall asleep on his bed. It was nothing, Zoe!
- Smooch of Victory: Played With in "Clash of the Titans", while Fargo and Holly are in spacesuits:
Holly: "Up top!" (she and Fargo high five)
- Someone Has to Die: Season three episode "I Do Over": It was Stark
- Not to mention Kim in "Once in a Lifetime" to save the timeline. And Kim again, or at least Kim 2.0, in "Shower the People" to save the residents of Eureka from a bio-computer virus. Both times the resident Woobie Henry couldn't stop it.
- Left the Background Music On: During the episode Games People Play (Season 2 Episode 4) Carter and Zoe make up in a heart touching moment complete with accompanying music, quickly followed by this:
Carter: Sarah what are you doing?
S.A.R.A.H: That was such a beautiful moment, I felt musical accompaniment seemed appropriate.
- Sorry Ociffer: Zane does this in "The Story of O2" after crashing a flying scooter thing. He's not actually drunk — he's accidentally high on oxygen.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: In "In Too Deep", Carter briefly objects at his own wedding. He wants to make sure that Allison is really marrying him because she wants to, and not just because they're a minute away from drowning.
- Spider Tank: "Tiny". Lampshaded by Carter in "Momstrocity".
Carter: Come on, you Titan rover with the unnecessarily creepy design!
- Stealth Pun / Take That: "Have An Ice Day" reveals that a pneumatic tube in the sheriff's office is hidden behind a photograph of George W. Bush.
- Stepford Smiler: As of the season 5 premiere, Andy has become a bona fide Type C Smiler. *shudder*
- Stereo Fibbing: Carter and Allison in "I'll Be Seeing You", right after They Do.
- Storybook Episode: The 2nd Christmas episode. Jo is a princess She is none too thrilled about it. She likes the birds, though.
- Super Intelligence: Carter accidentally ingests some in "Smarter Carter."
- Super Serum: "MPH" makes its user a Fragile Speedster/Big Eater.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "Welcome Back, Carter", Allison uses one to feed Carter classified information he's not supposed to have.
- Taken for Granite: In the aptly titled "Stoned". Also terrifying since in this case, they're still alive while it's happening rather than it happening instantly.
- Taking the Bullet: Jo does this for Carter in "Reprise". Thanks to Time Stands Still and Brainwashed and Crazy wackiness, she also happens to be the one that shot him in the first place. Thanks to Carter and the bullet being frozen in time, she has ample time to get a vest to block the bullet before taking it.
- Ten Percent Of Your Brain: "Invincible"
- Theme Naming: In one episode, we meet Fargo's counterpart at Area 51, named Bismarck. His grandfather is named Pierre.
- Time Crash: The Disaster Of The Week in "Crossing Over". 2010, meet 1947.
- As in, objects from 1947 are getting randomly zapped into 2010, and if they don't solve the problem, the past and the present will overlap completely, destroying time as the cast knows it.
- Time Travelers Are Spies: This assumption makes the cast's life a lot more difficult in "Founder's Day".
- The Time Traveller's Dilemma: In season 4 episode 2, the main cast have a talk about what it means for them being in the new timeline and Henry warns them of the dangers if they were to tell everyone about what happened. Alison mentions that, like previous crazy situations, there is actually a protocol for it.
- And of course Henry folds like a house of cards the moment any pressure is put on him to divulge the secret.
- This doubles as a Writer on Board, considering Henry has been keeping his original shenanigans from "Once in a Lifetime" under wraps for several seasons now.
- Plus, he was hooked up to a memory-reading machine at the time...
- Title Drop: Taken Up to Eleven by doing a title sequence drop in Episode 14 of Season 4, where the floating buildings part of the title opener, which has been part of the show since episode 2, is copied including the music as a result of an anti-gravity field.
- Too Dumb to Live: Really, Fargo? You live and work in the Town Of Mad Science, and your first impulse on finding a strange machine is to turn it on? By inserting and turning two keys simultaneously? Really?
- Took a Level in Badass: Fargo’s status as the new head of GD was fully cemented in the episode “Liftoff” where he and Zane are accidentally launched into orbit, trapped in a capsule that only has functioning life support, artificial gravity…and nothing else. Through out the episode Fargo remained calm and collected solving problem after problem, even joking as Zane freaked out.
- He only panicked at the very end after he ran out of idea, allowing Zane to step up. Showing that he can also lead by example.
- Totally Radical: Dr. Grant. Because he's a time traveler.
- Tranquilizer Dart: Used on Jack in the pilot and, inadvertently, on Vincent, both times fired by Taggart.
- The Triple: Dr. Boyle listing his grandmother's missing heirlooms in "Up in the Air":
: Grandma's gold wedding band... pearls... her antimatter... Carter
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Carter briefly sees two Allisons (one's a hologram):
Carter: I had a dream that went sort of like this.
- Undead Tax Exemption: Averted. Part of Fargo's efforts to set the time-displaced Trevor Grant up as Eureka historian include tax records... in which he has mistakenly listed 11 dependents to a single man. Needless to say, the IRS starts investigating. This turns out to be a smokescreen, and it's actually Beverly who's been investigating him.
- Unfazed Everyman: Carter is this, and often the Only Sane Man as well.
- Un Paused: Fargo in the season 1 finale. Beverly snaps him out of hypnosis, and he finishes his sentence about how he couldn't possibly be hypnotized.
- Unwanted Rescue: At the end of season two, Carter, Stark, and Taggart work their way through to the morgue to stop a deadly flesh eating bacterium. When they get to the morgue they find a lot of staff members hiding from the plague, which they just unleashed into the morgue! Then it turns out that the morgue is where the plague started, which turns it into Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like. Then it turns out the plague was a hoax. Then they have to escape the building, which is on hardcore defense mode.
- Loving Force: Of the Mind Rape variety. SARAH adds an emotional attachment subroutine to Deputy Andy's programming, without permission, so he'll reciprocate her feelings. After a short stint of him trying to woo Jo, SARAH eventually admits to what she's done. Andy thinks it's the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for him, and even asks to keep the program after it's spread to (and been wiped from) every other AI in town. Which leads to his walk of shame in the morning, complete with a very astonished and disturbed Jo and Carter.
- The Watson: Carter usually solves the problems, but he's the Watson when it comes to the town's science or history.
- Weirdness Censor: Zig-zagged; the whole town is in on their secret so the weird stuff that happens are just industrial accidents to them but there must be dozens of smokescreens in place in order to prevent anyone outside the town from finding out about the bigger stuff that might leak out.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Carter counters Jo's assertion that Holly's data-ghost is Just a Machine.
: Jo, I live in a robot house
and have a robot deputy
, maybe we should find what this Holly
thing is before we dismiss
- White Male Lead: Carter. Possibly lampshaded by Henry at one point. Carter looks at the severed head of a crash test dummy and says "Why does it look like me?" Henry answers "It's generic."
- Widowedatthe Wedding: Almost. In "I Do Over", Stark dies fixing the "Groundhog Day" problem, and therefore leaves Allison at the altar. Since they were divorced and had not yet said their new vows, this was essentially avoided.
- Window Love: Fargo and Holly do this at the end of "Ex Machina". Since she's the victim of an accidental Brain Uploading, it's the closest they can actually come to touching.
- Write Back to the Future: Carter uses this to save Allison's life in "I'll Be Seeing You".
- Writers Cannot Do Math: "Founder's Day" somehow has an 11-year solar flare cycle which is at its peak in both 1947 and 2010; "I'll Be Seeing You" implies that it probably also peaked in 1939.
- With a peak in 2010 and in 1947 a 10.5 years cycle would be accurate. But when explaning this to someone you'd just round off and say eleven years.
- 11 years" is common approximation, but the length of cycles is actually variable to a point. However, while there was actually a solar maximum in May 1947, there was not one in 2010 (the maximum of the current cycle is expected in 2013, and so far it looks like a weak cycle overall). And the maximum before 1947 was in 1937, not 1939.
- Writing Indentation Clue: In the episode "Before I Forget", Carter uses this technique on his ticket book in order to learn the license plate number of the last car for which he wrote a ticket.
- You Are With Me: The third-season episode "I Do Over" does this to great effect.
- You Just Told Me: The 4th season episode "A New World" has Deputy Andy using this on Sheriff Carter to get him to admit that he and the others did in fact go back in time and are now living in an alternate (to them) timeline. Andy already had figured it out conclusively, he was just making sure. Carter makes fun of this at the end of the episode.
- You Must Be Cold: Parodied when Carter and Allison walk into the freezing cold cafe and he ostentatiously gives her his coat. Well, his vest. His orange traffic vest. Which offers no protection. Allison is not impressed.
- He was actually doing it as payback for a joke she made about the vest earlier. This was just an excuse to have her wear it.
- Your Mom: Dr. Grant gets a good one on Carter in "Momstrocity" without even skipping a beat.
Carter: Well if you were talking about my mom, I'd run off into the woods too.
Grant: I'll be sure not to talk about it then.