Series: Stargate Universe
Where will Destiny take you?
The installment of the Stargate
franchise that began in 2009 and ended in 2011.
A team of soldiers and scientists on an off-world base have finally cracked the secrets surrounding the, until now, unused ninth chevron of the Stargates (seven chevrons are used for regular trips, eight are used to travel between galaxies). With it, they are able to connect a wormhole to an Ancient ship
called the Destiny
. This comes at a very bad time as remnants
of Stargate SG-1
villains attack the outpost. In a desperation maneuver they travel to Destiny
without a proper recon of the area and about 80 people are stuck on a very old ship that is falling apart.
Because the mission was not planned, many of the main characters are not the typical specialist team that has been in the previous shows of Stargate SG-1
and Stargate Atlantis
. Besides a handful of leaders, the rest are either young and inexperienced, or untrained civilian scientists, all of whom are caught up in a situation far
outside what they expected.
The show was canceled midway through its second season. The cast and crew only learned of the cancellation via Twitter.
There was some speculation that the reason for the show's failure was a retaliatory campaign conducted by angry fans
of Stargate Atlantis
, due to the removal of the Heart
character of that show, Dr. Carson Beckett. SGU had a couple of fairly big name actors (Robert Carlyle, known for his role in the film Trainspotting,
and Ming-Na Wen, a Chinese actress with numerous cinematic credits, who was probably best known for her role as Chun Li in the live action Street Fighter
Also, check out the Character Sheet
. And recap page
This shows uses the following tropes:
open/close all folders
- Cloning Gambit: An unintentional example with Telford who, through the power of the stargate and time travel, becomes a clone of himself, which becomes handy when the "real" Telford dies shortly thereafter.
- Colonel Badass: For the first few episodes, Col. Young appeared as if his his character should've been named Col. Charlie Brown. But... after finally deciding "enough is Enough," he hauled off and kicked three kinds of ass. And he did it to the show's two resident Jerkasses, using some pretty neat cunning to pull it off, too. Yep, he's officially a Bad Ass.
- Continuity Drift:
- The Daedalus-class starship Hammond can make the Milky Way-Atlantis trip (2 million light years) in three weeks (the ZPM-powered Odyssey can do it in four days). Going 21 light-years from Earth to the Icarus planet, by that measure, should only take thirty seconds, although someone may have decided to take it slow to give the civilians new to the Stargate Program enough time to be given a Daniel Jackson video crash course in SG-101, and there's evidence of an efficiency factor to speed vs. distance.
- Continuity Nod:
- Convenient Miscarriage: And it happened for the same meta reasons as normal, of course.
- Cool Chair: The captain's chair on the Destiny's bridge. Rush, Eli, and Young have monopolized it, likely because it is more like a pilot's chair rather than a command chair like in Star Trek.
- Perhaps not unintentionally, all three of them tend to mimic Kirk's posture when using the chair's communication panel. Though regardless of whether it's intentional or not, it's justified as the communication panel with microphone is where they're leaning towards.
- Cool Gate: The whole Stargate spins on this show. There's something to be said for rotary, after all.
- Cool Starship: The Destiny, of course; it recharges its batteries by flying through stars, is absolutely covered in weapons from stem to stern, and looks to be nearly as large as Atlantis. And this is when it's a flying death trap and half its systems are barely working or broken.
- The seed ships also count, to a lesser extent. They're about half the size of Destiny and the same basic shape. Inside, there's a massive gate factory that stretches as far as the eye can see (the implication being that the factory runs the entire length of the ship). Greer and Scott, who found it, are suitably impressed. Rush, not so much, and he kicks some dirt on their enthusiasm.
- The seed ships really become impressive when you remember that gates are unbelievably powerful, durable and dangerous objects that humanity wouldn't be able to manufacture for centuries at least, and this ship can churn them out in a fully automated process, as well as find habitable planets in the galaxy and deploy the gates there. There have to be some robots aboard...
- Courtroom Episode: "Justice".
- Crack Pairing / Ships That Pass in the Night / Pair the Spares: In-universe. Eli was shocked to find out that his alternate self married corporal Barnes.
- Alternate James and Varro also got married; but they have at least some interaction. The two of them teaming up to destroy a Drone stands out.
- Crapsack World: Note how many characters are listed as The Woobie on the character sheet. The entire world seems to be out to get these poor schlubs.
- Crazy Enough to Work: In "Blockade" when the Drone ships start positioning themselves at the type of stars Destiny usually flies through to refuel, Eli's solution is to fly through a star Destiny would normally never fly through. Its described at "utter insanity but our only hope" and more emphatic "crazy times a thousand."
- Critical Staffing Shortage: Less than 50 people arrive on a ship designed for many more - but it's a good thing they number so few, because the ship is falling apart after millions of years despite its Ragnarok-Proofing, and they are far less prepared than the expedition to Atlantis. Most of their time is spent trying to keep systems failures from killing them.
- Crush Parade: Simeon gets run over by a stampede of two-legged, dinosaur-like creatures triggered by Rush. Doesn't kill him, but he could barely move after.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: It looks like war between Ursini and Drones was very one-sided and eventually Drones killed them all.
- Curse Cut Short: Eli at the beginning of "Time".
Eli: What. The. *Title Card*
- Volker trails off mid curse in "Pain".
Volker: Oh, for f...
- Cut Short: The series was canceled in the middle of season 2, which means many of the main plot points are left unresolved, including the cliffhanger at the end of the season finale.
- Darker and Edgier: The focus of the show is on bare means of survival more than exploration. There are multiple deaths throughout the show, including one suicide. Even the hovering Kino camera probes have a grit filter on them.
- Daydream Surprise: Young and Eli have had these concerning TJ and Chloe, respectively.
- Deadpan Snarker: Greer.
- Volker too. "New friends. Yay."
- Later Volker and Brody do a stereo "yay."
- Eli. "Holy crap, we dialed Pittsburgh"
- Dead Guy Junior: The alternate versions of Greer and Park named their first son "Dale" after Volker, who died from the kidney disease in their timeline.
- Dead Man Walking: In "Alliances" Camile's and Greer's host bodies were exposed to lethal dose of radiation.
- Dead Person Conversation: Scott to his priest father-figure in "Air", Greer to his father in "Lost" and again in "Pain", and Chloe to her father in "Pain". Justified in the latter episode, as they're under the influence of hallucinogenic ticks. The former might also be justified, assuming those dust bugs are telepathic. Then there's Rush's conversations with Franklin (who may or may not be dead, but definitely isn't actually there) and his late wife in season 2, which may or may not be the ship trying to communicate with him.
- Deathbed Confession: From onlooker to sick person in this case, and lampshaded. In "Time", when Chloe is on her deathbed, Eli questions why people never confess their true feelings for someone they love until that someone is on their deathbed. Then he does it anyway.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Used as a jokes. "It wasn't funny the first three times".
- Diabolus Ex Machina: In "Gauntlet", there happens to be just enough stasis pods for the entire crew, except just one is too damaged to function properly, meaning that one of the crew has to stay out of stasis to try and fix it.
- Die Hard on an X: The season 1 finale to season 2 premiere story-arc with the Lucian Alliance. It's a little more complicated than the basic version, since there's Scott and Greer climbing on the outside of the ship and running the classic McClane, Eli and Chloe are out of contact but in position to help, Telford working as a Reverse Mole, and Rush trying to gain leverage by taking control of the ship's systems. And Rush honestly doesn't give a shit about the hostages, so while Young surrenders quickly, he doesn't. And then there's several splintering factions of the Lucian Alliance. And then there's a pulsar that will fry everyone on the ship into a pile of ash.
- Directed by Cast Member: Robert Carlyle directed the season 2 episode "Pathogen".
- David Blue directed a number of planet scenes in the first season episode "Time".
- The Dog Bites Back: Dannic, the crazed replacement leader of the Lucian Alliance after Kiva dies, tries to strangle Ginn for failing to correct a problem as fast as he wants. When he completely loses it, she shoots him in the back four times.
- Double Standard: Apparently LGBT activists got angry that a scientist using Wray's body was going to have sex with Rush, causing it to be cut from the episode, yet it's ok for Wray to have sex with her girlfriend using a (presumably) straight woman's body.
- Though see the All In The Manual entry above - the volunteers who switch with Destiny crewmembers apparently sign a consent form allowing this use of their bodies, and requiring that they don't do anything that could "negatively impact relations on the ship." These volunteers assume "personal" use of their bodies, but the Destiny crewmembers typically assume that won't happen with theirs (though it isn't explicitly disallowed).
- Also, Rush is unwilling to sleep with Perry when she is in Wray's body (partly because she is in Wray and partly because he's still grieving over his wife); but has no problems sleeping with her when she's inhabiting Ginn. This doesn't go over well with Eli.
- Driven to Suicide: Sgt. Spencer.
- Didn't See That Coming: Bet you didn't expect Young to strand you on a desert planet in retaliation did you, Rush?
- Did You Just Have Sex?: When Wray sees Eli's shirt on Ginn's bed.
- Made funnier by the fact that Ginn's guard clearly knows that they were having sex, and tries to stop Wray from bothering them. He also has to fight off a snigger at her claim she was "resting."
- Double Entendre: Rampant in the episode "Seizure" when discussing the applications of virtual interaction.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Spencer
- Dynamic Entry
- In the pilot, Chloe rushes into the control room, knocks Rush to the floor, then starts whaling on him because she blames him for her father sacrificing himself.
- The cast's initial entrance onto the Destiny through the Stargate was also rather dynamic. Particularly Young, who does an impressive flight across the entire room. There's a good reason he's limping around up until "Water". Essentially repeated when the Lucian Alliance arrives.
- Dysfunction Junction: Hoo boy, so far we have Scott's parental/religious issues, Young's troubled marriage, TJ's shattered hopes of going to medical school (and now her pregnancy), Young and TJ being stuck on the ship after trying to break off their affair, Greer's anger issues which had him imprisoned for striking Telford on-duty, Chloe watching her father die, and Dr. Rush's insufferable nature. It's almost funny how Eli was a misfit on Earth and yet here he's portrayed as the normal one along with the side and supporting cast.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
- During an attack by the Lucian Alliance on the Icarus Project base, they finally get the ninth chevron working. Six minutes later, after a massive power drain, the entire planet goes boom very spectacularly. Justified in that the planet's core was already unstable. Plugging it into the gate and having the Lucian Alliance bombard the base didn't help.
- Repeated in a role reversal in the finale when the Hammond attacks the Lucian Alliance base as they attempt to reach Destiny. They skipped out on the big boom, though, just showing surface eruptions.
- Enemy Mine: Mild version several times between the civilians and military in the first season when despite open hostility they work together, but in the second season a full blown version occurs between the nine remaining Lucian Alliance boarders and the Tau'ri.
- Also in Deliverance: Destiny with the catfish aliens versus the drones.
- Ensemble Cast
- Eternal English: The descendants of the crew sent back in time still speak perfect English (complete with modern slang) 2000 years later, but a couple episodes later we learn that spelling did change when we see abandoned storefronts and a newspaper. They apparently spelled "Attack" as "Atak" and "Market" as "Markit", among other things.
- Justified though. They have original recordings of the original crew so while the spelling might change due to initial lack of written documentation, they would have a lifetime and more of video recording with spoken word. In other words, the language became more of a phonetic (spelt as it sounds) language since they only had verbal records and only later, written.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Well, not everybody, but Lisa Park has sex with whoever she feels like, and Scott and Chloe waste no time in having a sexual relationship as soon as they admit their attraction (despite there presumably being a very short supply of condoms and birth control pills).
- Since the SGC had experience from the Atlantis mission, they could easily handwave it by saying a couple of the boxes they chucked through the gate were packed for this very purpose. Which could include some of the newer forms of long-term skin implanted contraceptives, meaning that every woman on the ship could be protected from pregnancy if they wanted and one of the big boxes could pack thousands of condoms in them.
- Alternate Greer and Alternate Park had a lot of kids... and its implied even when they're older and have a bucket-load of grandkids, they're still very "active".
- The Everyman: Eli, mostly. But part of the point of this show is that, with the exception of Dr. Rush, these characters are not prepared for this.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The Stargates installed on the Destiny and on the planets seeded by the ships ahead of it all spin. That is to say the entire Stargate spins.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Everything. The Destiny is mind-bogglingly old and thus falling apart at the seams, virtually every planet they've been to has either vicious creatures or deadly parasites, and the first alien race they've encountered seems to view them as little more than an infestation. The second nearly drained Destiny's power, but that was arguably self-defense given the context.
- Excessive Steam Syndrome: For some as of yet unexplained reason, there are
steam CO2 vents on the floor of the gate room of the Destiny. They fire every time the wormhole closes.
- It seems to be some kind of thermal venting system, as a Lucian Alliance soldier caught in one screams in pain like he's being cooked.
- Explosive Decompression:
- Averted. When the senator sacrifices himself to seal a hull breach in the shuttle, there's no implied "pop]." It's actually portrayed as kind of a peaceful death. They even mention that his body is still there, which they eventually get to. However, it was more like decompression on an airplane, since the shuttle's weakened shield should be able to hold back a small amount of atmosphere from escaping.
- Also averted in "Space" when the aliens cut holes in Destiny. A nearby soldier had to hold on tight to avoid the strong wind, but other than that was fine. Destiny was able to seal the relatively small leak with a shield in short order anyway.
- Expy: Jason and Ellie in "Common Descent" seem to be this to Eli and Chloe. Justifiable as they're descendants of the "Twin Destiny" crew.
- Fail O'Suckyname: Alternate Brody named a nation "Futura". Yes, the font. The modern Brody is repeatedly mocked for it.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Getting back to Earth. Unlike other instances, though, it is at least somewhat justified (for the moment); it's not that they can't dial back to Earth, it's that they lack the power and infrastructure to do so in anything close to a safe and predictable way. In addition, due to the well-established mechanics of the show, having home find a suitable power source (another Icarus-type planet) doesn't help them in any; it may give them occasional supplies, but it can't bring them back. More to the point, they simply can't succeed at going home because it would mean abandoning a core premise of the show, which won't happen.
- Failsafe Failure: Averted. In addition to having technology way ahead of its time, Destiny also has manual-power breakers in each section in case a nasty power surge turns it into an electrified deathtrap. In the S1 finale, there are also manual switches on the shield generators/projectors (which are on the outside of the hull) of all things. They really did think of everything.
- Fake Guest Star: A good chunk of the cast. James, Volker, Brody and Park appeared in nearly every episode of the series as this.
- Fake Shemp: Kiva appears in "Intervention" for a single shot, from the shoulders down.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Goes hand in hand with their use of Big Creepy-Crawlies. Victims of said things tend to die in really unpleasant ways. Then there's the guy in "Incursion" who gets burned into ashes by the gamma radiation of a binary pulsar.
- Fanservice: Chloe in the shower and a pond, Greer in his quarters, and Lt. James in... anything. Someone attempted to use a Kino to spy on Lt. James in the shower, so now she's fan service for the Destiny crew, as well. Although she's developed into a stronger character lately, she also has appeared to have lost her uniform top and walks around in either a tan t-shirt or tank top. The ship also seems to be a little cold. Unlike a lot of fanservice characters though, James dresses appropriately as the situation dictates such as full combat apparel in the Season 1 finale.
- A Father to His Men: Young, especially towards Greer, Scott, and Eli.
- Five-Man Band: Though through characterization given to those outside the band, it's becoming less and less of a five man band. At this point, the list below includes practically everyone that's gotten a spoken line save for the ones that got killed off.
- Flashback: LOST-style. Scott in "Air, Part 3" (though it overlaps somewhat with some sort of vision), Rush in "Human" as an Unusual User Interface, and Greer in "Lost", the only one of the three that plays the trope completely straight. Often goes with a Dead Person Conversation.
- Flip Personality: In "Hope", when two more consciousnesses got uploaded into Chloe's mind.
- For Science!: Dr. Rush, we understand you want to open the ninth chevron, but you don't cut off everyone's escape to Earth and strand 80 people in uber-deep space aboard a broken ship just to see where it goes. Not cool man, not cool. He tries to excuse it, but it's obvious he's just trying to justify his desperate move to dial the ninth chevron.
- Foreshadowing: in the pilot "Wow, that is a big gun..."
- In "Earth", Scott retaining some of Telford's memories appears to be an explainable glitch in the Earth-manufactured communications stones. Telford's fallen victim to Goa'uld brainwashing tech, which is interfering with the communications link.
- Franchise Killer: On his February 11th 2011 blog, Joseph Mallozzi mentioned that SGU's cancellation puts a definite hiatus to plans for further Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 films.
- Though they were also cancelled for the same reasons as Atlantis, that the network decided they didn't want to pay the cost of the series with the current recession, and generally didn't inform the producers of the status of the series at any point along the line.
- The cast were informed of the cancellation by fans via Twitter, who actually had heard it before they did... which pretty much sums how Screwed by the Network Universe was.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the final episode, when Rush is busy scribbling on the walls with chalk, "Fuck the French" can be seen written on the wall at the left edge of the screen. Apparently a production oversight rather than an intentional bonus - when fans pointed out this shot, the producers were not amused and profusely apologized.
- Friday Night Death Slot: Friday is actually Syfy's best night, so moving SGU to Tuesday was essentially the Syfy equivalent for the trope.
- The Future Is Noir: Even though it's technically the past in-canon. In contrast to their uber-bright later designs, the Ancients apparently felt lighting wasn't terribly important when making a ship designed to traverse the universe. Semi-justified in that the Ancients were pragmatic, since it was sent out unmanned to be populated later, why waste the power on superfluous lightning?
- Gambit Pileup: Rush, Telford, O'Neill, and the IOA are all working gambits to varying degrees.
- Telford's was a double-blind gambit actually being run by the Lucian Alliance, and his "de-programming" at the end of the first season derailed that, but it was already too late.
- Genre Savvy: Eli, being a sci-fi geek, often assumes some alien creature will kill them on an alien planet, especially if it looks nice. He was actually right in "Time", right down to the chest-bursting aliens reference.
- Ghost in the Machine: Franklin turns into this after he sits in the interface chair for the second time. Rush and Eli do so deliberately to Ginn and Amanda Perry after it turns out that their minds have been floating around in the ether waiting for someone to connect to.
- Giant Spider: There's one in "Human". Greer wastes very little time shooting it.
Scott: There was... a spider.
Young: (flatly) A spider.
Scott: It was a sizable spider.
- Going Critical: Icarus Base and the Lucian planet both suffer an Earth-Shattering Kaboom; Destiny is repeatedly destroyed in the Unwinnable Training Simulation mentioned below.
- Langara refuses to let the SGC try to dial Destiny with their gate for this reason, as their Naquadriah core is already somewhat unstable and they're afraid that they'll suffer the fate of the two planets mentioned above.
- Grand Theft Me: There is an ancient communication device that requires this to work. The stones are also a Grand Theft YOU device, as the users switch bodies while communicating with people at the other connection's location.
- Played much straighter in "Seizure". To take control of the Langaran Stargate facility, Woolsey tricks the administrator into touching one of the stones, causing him to switch with Young. Young then plays the part to do a test-dial to Destiny.
- Naming Your Colony World: Of the symbolic kind: Caine and his friends called their new home Eden. By contrast, the alternate Destiny crew from "Twin Destinies" named their new home "Novus", a shortened form of "Novus Mundus" ("New World" in Ancient).
- Neglectful Precursors: The race that build the Drones left them with one instruction. Destroy all alien technology. Various races keep getting destroyed because they accidentally activated the Drones.
- Nerf: The Destiny Stargates. Semi-justified in that they're millions of years old and were the first prototypes, so they lack both the range and many of the failsafes the later Stargates posessed.
- A single Drone Ship is able to blow a hole through one of the Gates that snaps part of it like a twig... compared to the later Gates that could withstand naquadah-enhanced nuclear weapons, proximity to blackholes, direct meteor-impacts, and being thrown into Stars. The Destiny Stargates seem to be remarkably fragile, though this could be justified as well. Destiny Stargates are designed for portability and ease of assembly & placement, rather than durability under extreme circumstances - essentially the difference between a prefabricated shed and a sturdy frame house with a solid foundation.
- Likewise, it's implied they were merely "placeholders" set up by the Seeding Ships, allowing the Ancients to arrive on seeded worlds and construct a proper Stargate at a later date. Given that Destiny visited Pegasus after leaving the Milky Way, it's vaguely implied that Pegasus may have originally used Destiny era gates until the Ancients arrived.
- Never Found the Body: A non-villainous example with Franklin.
- Another version of the expedition traveled through the gate and vanished. it later turns out that they didn't die, but traveled back in time and exited at another gate.
- And way back in "Air" with Palmer and Curtis, who gated to another nearby planet but failed to respond to radio attempts. Given the local wildlife of several other planets later encountered, one can hazard a pretty clear guess what happened to them and why circumventing the lock on that Gate address was not a good idea.
- Never Suicide: Inverted. Spencer killed himself, but it was made to look like murder.
- New Eden: What a few of the crew thought the planet in "Faith" was, complete with awkward Star Trek reference to the Genesis planet. Apparently even the biologists forgot about sustainable population sizes. A few people were expecting the aliens to come back, under the assumption that aliens capable of creating an entire solar system would probably be able to get them back home.
- Novus. For a couple thousand years at least.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Seizure", Earth tries to use Langara as a staging point to send supplies to Destiny, but the Langaran ambassadors feared that the dialing attempt would result in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom like the last two times. When Earth suspects the Lucian Alliance is making a deal with Langara, though, they concoct a plan to take over the facility and dial Destiny to show that the plan is safe. Turns out the Lucian Alliance had tried to make a deal... which Langara rejected out of hand every time to preserve their alliance with Earth. Oops. They're forced to abandon the attempt and ended up using their original bargaining chips for the use of the Langaran facility just to return home safely.
- In "Space", Young's decision to leave Rush behind in "Justice", as well as order Eli to go over Rush's work with a fine tooth-comb come back to bite him in the ass. Eli, who's been left exhausted and irritable, is now forced to figure out a way around Rush's lockouts to try and bring the weapon's back online, during their first space-battle.
Young: I need this ship working now!
Eli: Maybe you should have thought about that before you got rid of Rush!
- No Ending / Bolivian Army Ending: "Time" ends on a technical cliffhanger, not showing the events after the last Kino recording, leaving it unclear if they actually solved the problem. A Kino webisode covers what happened after the end, revealing that they found both time-looped Kinos and are working on a cure. See All There in the Manual above. Though, interestingly, even the Kino webisode does not go all the way to asserting that a cure was actually found, perhaps to leave open the possibility of additional time loops. Eventually dealt with in "Divided", when they use the same venom as an anesthetic and explain to the surgeon how it saved the lives on everyone on the ship.
- Can be applied to the second finale, due to the whole series ending on the Destiny crew going into stasis for anywhere from 3 years to eternity, no guarantee that they'll ever complete Destiny's mission, and Eli left to fix the last remaining stasis pod or die when the life support shuts down. And then the series got canceled.
- Not So Different: Rush and Young.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: This show took the ineffectual Lucian Alliance and made them legitimately badass. This is established in the first episode, where they managed to kick ten shades of stuffing out of the Hammond in a dog-fight, despite Earth having inherited the entire wealth of knowledge belonging to the Asgard at this point. Word of God is that since the Ori left, the rest of the galaxy have been very busy catching up.
- The Ursini, the race that controls the Seed Ship, are essentially a race the size of small children and are equally as fragile-looking. The Destiny crew underestimating them manages to screw them over in some pretty big ways.
- Novelization: Of the pilot, "Air", by veteran Stargate author James Swallow.
- Offscreen Inertia: It's stated in "Gauntlet" that the crew would remain in stasis for 3 years, 1000 years, or forever. Then the show was canceled.
- Oh, Crap: Young's expression when he see's that the Blueberry Aliens have Rush in "Space".
- Old-School Dogfight: Averted in the one space battle so far. The catfish alien fighters and the Destiny shuttle do almost no maneuvering, but then it's fairly clear the aliens weren't actually trying to fight back. Ship to ship, no one even bothers to try maneuvering, though this is justified for Destiny since they can't move the ship.
- Also averted in the Unwinnable Training Simulation in "Trial and Error": the aliens just surrounded Destiny and started shooting it
- Mostly averted in "Resurgence": Destiny doesn't really maneuver around (it's kind of pointless since they are a huge target and the drones are fast and have pretty fast projectiles) and the drones are only flying circles around it (and get shot frequently, but there are lots of them).
- Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. Injuries are usually portrayed realistically. Franklin was shot in the shoulder at the end of third episode, and was suffering from the consequences episodes later. Wray somewhat plays the trope straight, in that while she was stabbed in the shoulder by a screwdriver and had her arm in a sling, she's fine by the next episode. Of course, it's unclear how much time passed. In the season finale, Chloe gets shot in the leg and the bullet goes straight through. For the rest of the finale, Eli has/wants to carry her. She's also bleeding to death. Young was limping for a decent chunk of the first season. Greer spends a few episodes with an arm sling after getting shot.
- Only Sane Man: Eli and Greer, who seem to be the only people trying to keep everyone alive on the ship, instead of attempting to seize power.
- Open Heart Dentistry: A milder, alternate discipline version as TJ is assigned the task of giving psych evaluations to the crew despite being a medic and only doing undergraduate level psychology during college, something lampshaded by her as she mentions how it hardly makes her qualified to carry them out. A straighter example happens when TJ is asked to perform surgery on Rush. She isn't qualified, so a surgeon from Earth is called in using the stones. They fail, so TJ has to finish the job.
- Opening Narration: "Destiny. The design is clearly Ancient."
- Other Me Annoys Me
- Pants-Positive Safety: Telford does this throughout "Incursion". While it's justified in that he doesn't have a holster to put it in and there's no real alternative, it stands out since he's the only one doing it and he's a military officer.
- Pet the Dog: Rush to Eli, "For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble."
- Telford gets one of these every once in a while - he's not exactly a pleasant person, but it's still clear that he cares about the Destiny's crew every bit as much as Young does, just in a different way.
- Young to Wray in Blockade after she jokingly asked for a new dress earlier in the episode.
"Hopefully this is your new outfit. I couldn't find you a gunstore or a grocery store, but I did find a dry-cleaner".
- In Seizure, after experiencing the Destiny simulation, which allows for true-to-life physical interaction, Rush notes that maybe he should let Eli use the program so he can physically interact with Ginn, who like Amanda Perry, is likewise trapped inside the computer.
- P.O.V. Cam: The Kinos.
- Power Perversion Potential: In "Darkness", Eli and Riley Hunter try to use the Kino to spy on Second Lieutenant James. They almost make it. All they and the audience get to see is James in a tank top and boyshorts, which is plenty. The communication stones count, since people can and have used the bodies they inhabit for a little "recreational activity" before switching back; according to a webisode, the people on Earth sign waivers permitting those who switch with them to do such things with the on-loan bodies so long as it doesn't negatively impact their lives.
- Precursors: Destiny was made by the Ancients, and "The Greater Good" established that the ship's primary mission is to study evidence left behind by even earlier, more advanced precursors.
- Previously On: Every episode until sometime in season 2 does this since the show has a short opening, recapping any events that are even relevant to the plot of the current episode (except for how it charges its power cells by diving into stars; they do that every time after it happens).
- Product Placement: Good thing Dr. Rush's iPod dock was one of the necessities he brought with him, otherwise he'd have to use headphones to listen to his music. Too bad Chloe didn't have the same idea, but then she didn't live at the base.
- Promoted Fanboy: Eli's actor, David Blue, was a fan of Stargate even before joining Universe's cast. One of the creators even referred to him as an actor and technical adviser in one package, which is ironic given Eli's status as The Watson.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Telford gets this in the back end of season 2 thanks to being a Big Damn Hero and thus getting stuck on Destiny with the rest.
- Prophetic Names: All right, who's the bureaucratic wit who decided to call an off-Earth base researching Stargate tech "Icarus"? What's really inexcusable is the Icarus patches depict the legend about as much as a still picture can. Which means they made the reference on purpose. In "Human", it looks like Rush was the one who came up with it, but then he reveals that he's just reliving memories in a dream and wanted to skip past a conversation.
- Icarus is doubly-ironic considering how Destiny is revealed to recharge itself by plunging into stars.
- Eli. Especially when you consider that he was able to figure out the Ninth Chevron to get to Destiny, his alternate self was practically the father of civilisation on Novus, writing thousands of textbooks on various subjects and taught all of their descendants, and the mission of Destiny is to find evidence of God.
- Furthermore, one of the suggestions for how Eli might have gotten out of the situation at the end of "Gauntlet" was to upload himself into the ship, essentially making him a new avatar for Destiny. We already saw Amanda Perry was smart enough to figure out some of the ship's controls and effect the ship whilst she was in the main database, meaning that someone like Eli could eventually become the ship itself!
- Punch Clock Villain: Varro, Ginn, and some of the other Lucian Alliance people.
- Pair the Spares: Eli in Epilogue.
- Noodle Implements: Some awful tasting fruit that the crew came across apparently found a use, but we don't learn it beofre the ship comes under attack.
- Put on a Bus: Telford, left on a bus full of aliens.
- The Bus Came Back: "Resurgence"
- The finale: With grim prospects for Destiny's survival in the current galaxy, the crew plan a continuous, three-year, FTL jump into the adjacent one Destiny had intended to visit next. With only a month's worth of supplies, and rather than waiting out the journey, the crew instead man the ship's stasis pods, effectively putting the whole show on a bus.
- Quit Your Whining: When Young locks himself in his quarters after the ship tortures him with visions of Destiny's destruction, combined with the Trauma Conga Line he had already gone through, Scott invokes this to snap Young out of his funk.
- After Simeon kills Amanda and Ginn, Eli begins suiting up in fatigues to hunt Simeon down in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Colonel Young catches Eli and points out that Simeon has killed three people so far and used booby traps to injure two of the trained military personnel sent to capture him. Young also explains to Eli that killing someone profoundly changes you-no matter who you are. After considering Colonel Young's words, Eli returns to his station.
- Race Against the Clock: Happens in virtually every episode. Whenever Destiny stops, it brings up a countdown clock with a random amount of hours for the crew to do whatever it is they need to do. Once the countdown ends, the ship jumps back to FTL, regardless of whether or not the crew has made it back to the ship. When there's not a Race Against The Clock scenario, that usually means something is wrong.
- Ragnarok-Proofing: For a ship that's been actively traveling the universe for over a million years apparently without maintenance, the Destiny is actually in amazingly good condition. Well... sorta. It's more that it's simply amazing that it works at all, and systems are going to be crapping out every episode for most of the first season. Still, that's amazingly good condition for a million plus year old ship that's totally unmaintained.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The whole idea behind the series is that, unlike the carefully selected "best of the best" team sent to Atlantis, the group on Destiny is there by accident (WMG about Dr. Rush notwithstanding). The crew simply consists of everyone who happened to escape Icarus Base through the Stargate.
- Ramming Always Works: When Destiny adapts its shields to the drones' weapons, they just start doing suicide runs. Even this isn't enough to put Destiny down, though. The crew turns this back on the drones by ramming a shuttle set to overload into one of the command ships, utterly destroying it.
- Ratings Stunt: A mild case. Usually invoked whenever Jack, Sam, or Daniel put in a guest appearance. Jack was established in the canon as head of Homeworld Command before SGU was even a concept, so he's justified, but Daniel's first appearance is hyped per the trope.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Alaina Huffman was pregnant during filming, so it was worked into the plot.
- More depressingly, MGM financial woes were one of the main factors that contributed to being SGU cancelled. Likewise, due to the immense momentum behind WWE's Friday Night Smackdown (which SyFy acquired the rights to broadcast), SyFy had to pick only one show to keep on Fridays. They picked Sanctuary which did strongly enough to gain additional seasons while SGU was moved to Tuesday with no other original programming to support it and going up against the likes of Dancing with the Stars and NCIS.
- Reality Ensues:
- The civilian personnel try to take over the ship and coerce the military into surrendering. It works about as well as one would expect.
- A small group of people were left behind on a planet with an approaching winter, as they felt the aliens that created the planet would provide for them. They all died horribly of hypothermia because they didn't have the skills to survive. Except Val, who got a tree dropped on her.
- Really Gets Around: Park has slept with most of the Marines to deal with the stress of being stuck across the universe.
- Averted by Lt. James, who despite being Ms. Fanservice, openly states that she doesn't get around.
- Recycled Set: Icarus base in the series premiere "Air" is a redressed Stargate Command set from Stargate SG-1.
- Refusal of the Call: Eli is completely unconvinced when O'Neill and Dr. Rush show up on his doorstep, informing him that he is their Chosen One. Unlike most examples, however, this doesn't end all that badly for him. Well, other than the whole stranded on the other side of the universe thing, but that has nothing to do with him refusing the Call.
- Remember the New Guy: Dr. Caine never appears before "Justice". Averted in the case of Ginn (Julie Mc Niven) and Simeon (Robert Knepper). You can see them in various shots and sequences throughout "Incursion"; however, the show averts Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize by not focusing on them at all.
- Retool: With respect to the rest of the Stargate franchise. Apart from the whole Darker and Edgier aspect to SGU, choosing a setting that's billions of light-years away from Earth and all of its advanced alien tech helped to curb the Plot Leveling that had set in over the years.
- Retroactive Precognition: Inverted in Common Descent when TJ discovers that she has Motor Neurone Disease from a recording of an alternate version of herself who had been sent into the past and died from it
- Revenge Before Reason: Rush in "Malice".
- Revival Loophole: Used to break Telford's brainwashing.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Rush in "Malice".
- Robot War: Ursini fought one and lost. Now it's human's turn.
- Room Full of Crazy: Rush has an entire corridor of crazy.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: We will never find out anything about the race that once lived near the gate from "Human", what happened to them, and why they felt that building an underground labyrinth was a good idea..
- Running Gag: Destiny continually conspires to keep David Telford off of Destiny one way or another.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Senator Armstrong.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Averted. This plays against the crew — coasting at slightly less than the speed of light also means that the window of opportunity to get off the doomed ship before it coasts into the sun is awfully small and they know it. The situation is inverted in a later episode, where coasting at sublight speed between galaxies means that while the ship will eventually make it, they'll be long dead before it ever does.
- Averted with the drones in the S2 mid-season finale. Destiny flies through a star in order to buy time for repairs since they'll have to circumnavigate the star.
- Averted again with the drone ships later. The ships start position themselves at stars which destiny needs to refuel and planets, which the crew need for supplies. When Telford states that the drones can't possibly be at every star/planet, it's pointed out they only have to be at the next one.
- Averted in "Epilogue". Since the crew of the last Novus ship had no FTL drives, they would take a few hundred years to reach their destination. This trope applies because Eli has to point out that due to the distance, even though they know where they're going and how, they can't reasonably meet up since the other ship would basically be a pin prick in space. Which means that the cure for ALS that TJ needs is out of reach.
- Lampshaded and averted by Eli at one point. He says there certainly are not Stargates on every planet in the galaxy, as galaxies are far bigger than most people realize.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Rush in "Time." When the alien attack gets really bad, he just runs for the Stargate and jumps through it, despite knowing its unstable. He gets sent back in time and killed for his efforts.
- Serkis Folk: The blue catfish aliens and the brown Ursini.
- Sergeant Rock: Master Sergeant Ronald Greer. Should Greer die, the crew's chances of getting home will drop by 64.6%.
- Serial Escalation: How do you top plugging a Stargate into a planet's naquadria core? By plugging one directly into a star. Admittedly, SG-1 / Atlantis already used black holes to power the Supergates, and also used a black hole Gate to nova a star.
- When they found they could no longer go to a regular "safe" star to refuel, they instead flew through a Blue Hypergiant!
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: "Time".
- Ship Sinking: If Eli being symbolically shown as Chloe's 'brother' in Cloverdale didn't do enough to convince viewers that pairing was sunk, Epilogue torpedoed it then dropped some depth charges on the wreck just to be sure.
- Ship Tease: The Novus versions of Young and TJ get married and have two kids.
- Shoot Out the Lock: Standard sci-fi example with Greer in "Pain". Semi-justified since it's been established that one does need to push the button for the doors to work, but doesn't explain why the other side was disabled along with it.
- Shout-Out: Eli, being the resident geek, is fond of these.
- There was the Planet of the Apes reference in "Air", then again in "Darkness". He has to explain this one, if only because no one seems to find it funny.
- "Water" contains one for The Empire Strikes Back when Eli mentions that they've "entered the Hoth system," in which he also takes a jab at the prequel films by refusing to call it "Episode V".
- In "Earth", Eli, having taken over the body of a scientist back home, goes to his mother's house and (not expecting her to understand the mind-swap thing) tells her his name is Philip Fry.
- Dr. Rush, surprisingly, does one in "Time" with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, saying Butch's famous last line as he dives through an unstable wormhole, then again when it is revealed they're all going to die soon. Young recognizes the quote and explains that the film is a favorite of his, too. The quote itself is also sheer Fridge Brilliance, since it foreshadows the Bolivian Army Ending to the episode. In keeping with the role reversal, Eli does not get the reference.
- Getting to the point where this might need its own page. Eli has another in "Life", referencing Ghostbusters when he describes the catastrophic effects attempting to dial home as "dogs and cats living together."
- In "Faith", Eli yells out "the Genesis device" when a planet is suggested to have been built by aliens. He's rather annoyed that no one in the room gets it.
- In "Human", when Rush realizes that the number 46 has some significance, Daniel Jackson comments that it's not the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything - that would be 42. Which he then ruins by explaining the reference.
- When Eli is carrying a wounded Chloe through the unexplored parts of Destiny, he says he once "climbed the Redridge Mountains with a full pack on his way to Stonard." Chloe doesn't recognize the names, so Eli has to confess that they're areas in World of Warcraft.
- Eli again (surprise) jokingly refers to an energy signature in "Resurgence" as a black monolith.
- In the same episode, when Young orders Eli to send a signal out to what appear to be attacking aliens, Eli asks whether it should be in Ancient. Young responds, "Ancient, English, Bat-Signal, and whatever else you've got."
- Rush's backstory, which involves his terminally-ill spouse, who's death causes him to let his work become an obsession, ending with him on a starship travelling to a distant region of space, where he is comforted by visions of his dead wife? Perhaps merely a coincidence, but the strong parallels to the plot of The Fountain are definitely there.
- Shower of Angst: Camile has one in "Life".
- Shown Their Work: The student's answer to Rush's question in "Human". They might as well have used some technobabble, but instead it was a completely accurate description of Shor's algorithm pulled straight from The Other Wiki.
- Some astronomy concepts are surprisingly well-researched, such as Park's explanation of some of the problems with habitable planets in red dwarf systems.
- Shrug of God: After the show's cancellation, the showrunners admitted that they did not have time to plan anything for Season 3, which means that there's no official answer to Eli's fate. However,they do point out that the silver lining is that fans can come up with whatever scenario they desire.
- Sleazy Politician: Subverted with Senator Armstrong, who looks like he's being set up as this sort of character (and is played by a guy who is already typecast to this role), but turns out to be a genuinely selfless family man. Played straight with Camille's boss.
- Sliding Scale of Continuity: Level 5 (Full Lockout). The series was heavily arc-based, which had the misfortune to occur at the same time Syfy changed its scheduling strategy to where it would air part of a season, then replace it with another show, then bring the first show back, and so on. The SGU showrunners partly blame the series' cancellation on the resulting confusion driving away viewers.
- Someone Has to Die: Senator Armstrong in "Air" to seal off an atmosphere leak.
- The possibility is invoked in the series finale when the final stasis pod fails, leaving the odd one out with two weeks to try to repair it or die when the life support gives out. Eli volunteers to take the risk.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: In "Hope", just before dangerous surgery. Mixed with Left the Background Music On.
- Space Friction: Averted. Every time Destiny drops out of FTL, it maintains its forward momentum. The shuttle is shown adjusting its attitude and velocity in a realistic manner with maneuvering thrusters, though this may be less a case of showing their work than adopting the style of the 2000s BSG, in which ships maneuvered in a similarly realistic fashion.
- Not averted in "Common Descent" however, where when Destiny cuts power to the sublight engines while they're trying to keep their distance from a threat, the ship is stated to have "slowed down"
- In "The Greater Good" Rush states that the ship he and Young are stranded on has "gone ballistic" after the engines fire for a brief period. In fact, that's the premise of the episode - what happens when you have space friction and your engines crap out!
- Spaceship Slingshot Stunt: One of Destiny's shuttle attempts the maneuver around a planet to catch up to Destiny itself.
- Spinoff: Universe is a bit further removed from its parent show than Stargate Atlantis ended up being, and not just in the literal sense. The entire main cast was created for the show, while previous cast members are limited to guest appearances. General O'Neill is a semi-recurring character, but he has an office at the Pentagon rather than bringing back the SGC. Rodney McKay and Richard Woolsey show up late in the second season, as well.
- Spinoff Sendoff
- Spoiler Opening: "and Lou Diamond Phillips" in "Resurgence".
- Standard Establishing Spaceship Shot: Used at the very beginning to introduce the Destiny.
- Stuffed In The Fridge: As of "Malice", Ginn and Amanda Perry.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The aliens who supposedly built an entire star and an orbiting planet, apparently for no other reason than to give a nice home to whoever stayed. They even beamed TJ to the planet from Destiny across two galaxies, saved her baby, created a nebula out of nowhere for scenery during her stay, then sent her back while making it look like she never left, with only the same nebula (beamed in front of the ship) as proof it ever happened.
- This assuming they aren't on a higher plane of existence, since TJ's and the baby's body was on-board for the whole time. It would be consistent with the Stargate canon.
- Superhuman Transfusion
- Temporal Paradox: Like its predecessors, Stargate Universe uses this. First, there's the Kino(s) in "Time". "Twin Destinies" takes this Up to Eleven: the crew salvages everything they can from a temporal duplicate of Destiny, and even get its duplicate shuttle. Destiny is literally being repaired with itself. "Choke on that, causality!"
- It becomes even more zanier in the following episode "Alliances" where Future!Telford is now back on Earth, having gated back from the Future!Destiny. Did I forget to mention that Present!Telford is dead?
- Then even zanier in "Common Descent": the crew of the other destiny didn't die, they reappeared about 2000 years in the past and started a prospering civilization.
- Temporary Blindness: Park in "Blockade". At least, Rush sure hopes it will be temporary.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Half of the episode "Pain", when the P.O.V. switches to a person bitten by the alien bugs. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes not.
- Too Dumb to Live: A group of particularly religious civilians decides to stay behind on a habitable planet despite the fact that there is an oncoming winter and they lack the necessary survival skills and equipment to weather it. Even the shuttle Young leaves behind for them doesn't help much.
- That they didn't even consider building shelter around the shuttle, creating a basic roundhouse with a fire pit to redistribute warmth is incredibly ridiculous, when you consider that these people were mostly scientists.
- The two scientists from "Air Part 3" who create a work-around so they can dial a Stargate that Destiny intentionally locked out. Later attempts to contact them only produce static.
- Took a Level in Badass: Sadly for our heroes, it seems the Lucian Alliance, last seen in SG-1 has gone from being a loose alliance of criminals, to have become an equivalent of the IRA and are quite willing and capable of kicking Earth's ass.
- Trailers Always Spoil: SGU is bad about this. The three trailers for season two not only defuse most of the suspense from the season 1 finale, but give away several of the big plot twists later on.
- The promo for "Malice" is incredibly awful with this.
- The trailer for "Twin Destinies" seems to avoid this.
- Tricked Out Time: Pretty much the plot of "Time": with each iteration the crew get things a little more right with the help of the information left behind by the crew in the previous iteration, and eventually they avert the crisis all together.
- Trickster Mentor: Rush is this to Eli.
- Twist Ending: "Time". See 100% Completion. Bet you didn't see it coming.
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Used to explain the life support situation to the injured Colonel and the Senator in "Air".
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Telford nearly every time he's on the ship in Season 1, especially in "Earth". Far less so in season 2 especially once he comes back with the ursini. In fact, at this point, he defers to Young as the ship's commanding officer, acting as an advisor.
- Unexplained Recovery: Chloe is shot in the leg in the first season finale and losing blood. She miraculously recovers in the premiere, turns out she's been Touched by Vorlons, and the change is slowly taking her over...
- The Unfettered: Rush. Almost the whole point of his character.
- Unusual User Interface: The communicator back to Earth involves "Freaky Friday" Flip as it's primary operating principle.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: The ship does this to Young in "Trial and Error", taking over his dreams and presenting a nightmare scenario in which the ship is either destroyed or invaded by aliens no matter what he does. It's suggested that the ship was trying to test his effectiveness as a leader, but we'll never know since Rush ended the program before its purpose could be completed.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface: Averted with the computers on Destiny - screens are small and mostly show text unless the holographic screen is used for presentation. Played straight with the catfish aliens, who have holographic screens for their computers.
- Also simultaneously played straight and subverted by the countdown clocks. Large wall-mounted displays visible in every room/corridor/shuttle aboard Destiny counting down to the next FTL jump. They're large and obvious enough that they're clearly there for the viewers to see but all the characters are in Ancient. So unless you can read Ancient (or take the time to learn the pretty basic symbols for the numbers 0-9) they're effectively unreadable.
- Granted Ancient numbers are made of a groups of underlined dots, with the number of dots equaling the number it represent, with the exception of zero which actually resembles the symbol for zero we use. Effectively making it freakishly easy to memorize and potentially superior to our real numbers for computer based communication (though highly difficult to actually write).
- The Virus: Chloe finds out the aliens infected her with something early in season 2.
- The Watson: Eli.
- We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: Type 2. When the opening word is "Surrender.", sent in English no less, you know talks aren't going any further.
- You also know that when they tell you "No Escape", having traversed into another Galaxy to chase Destiny, they definitely mean it.
- Wham Episode: SG:U seems to be particularily fond of these. Best example though might be 2x07 "The Greater Good". We learn Destiny's true mission, the rest of the crew finds the bridge, and Rush and Young appear to have hashed things out... and the ending? Lucian Alliance baddie Simeon has slipped his guard and looks about to kill two birds with one stone. He does. And then, right after that one, we have "Malice"...
- What Could Have Been: This article spells out a lot of the possible plot lines they might have gone with in season 3 or in a made-for-TV movie/miniseries. What a shame...
- What Is This Thing You Call Love??: A debatable example occurs in "Seizure". Amanda Perry builds a simulation in Destiny's computer so she and Rush can actually touch each other. Rush ends up trapped in the simulation because one of the base parameters was the condition that he loves Perry as she loves him. Rush insists that the program is simply wrong about his feelings, which is where the debatable part comes in. The first possibility is that Rush really doesn't love her, and thus the trope is averted because Destiny not only knows what love is but can measure it. The second possibility is that Rush does love her, and thus the computer is inherently incapable of judging this on a case by case basis. The most likely explanation in this case is that it used Perry's feelings as a baseline, and couldn't get the same reaction from Rush.
- What Have I Done: Future!Rush has one in "Twin Destinies" when Present!Telford accuses him of being the person responsible for the disaster that wiped out the entire crew of the Alternate!Destiny.
Future!Rush: Take your hands off me!
*Pushes Telford against the wall*
Future!Rush: YOU are the coward! YOU are the one who didn't believe in the mission! YOU are the one that killed them!
*Rush suddenly notices that Telford has landed on the conduit he'd earlier warned that had 1000 volts passing through it.*
Future!Rush: *Utterly horrified* Oh no...
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Rush's own subconscious pulls this on him through the form of his wife during his Journey to the Center of the Mind.
- In "Subversion", Telford pulls this on O'Neill and Young in regards to Earth's "protect ourselves first" policy, arguing that toppling the System Lords without concern for the fate of their slaves led to the creation of the Lucian Alliance.
- Rush gets these from all sides in "The Greater Good". Perry calls him on hiding the bridge from the crew, Young calls him on getting Riley killed, and Eli actually says "What the hell?" when he discovers Rush knew about the bridge.
- Its heavily implied that Vanessa James thinks this about Scott. Given her shock when she discovers Scott casually slept with Chloe, its implied Scott never bothered to tell her that they were finished, or told Chloe that he was seeing someone else. Further reinforced by the fact that the period of time between James and Scott hooking up in a supply closet in "Air Part 1" and Scott sleeping with Chloe in "Light" was just four days.
- When Trees Attack: "Cloverdale" features an attack by alien trees which spring from the ground with almost no warning and can infect anything they touch with a fast-growing fungus.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "Pain" is your standard "worst nightmares made manifest" episode, including one guy who's fear is actually snakes. Under his skin. Which, to add to the Nightmare Fuel, is probably inspired by some real life creatures that do just that, though they're not as large as snakes.
- Wild Card: Rush.
- Worst Aid: When Varro falls from a ladder to a solid floor at least a story or two down, Young brings him back up by tying a rope to him and having him dragged up. Justified since the place they were in was falling apart and they didn't have time to rig up a stretcher.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Dr. Rush on an episode-by-episode basis.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Poor Eli... he finally gets the girl, but she gets brutally murdered two episodes later. But then we discover Ginn and Perry apparently were stuck in the stones and get downloaded into Destiny. Then the very next episode Eli is forced to lock Ginn and Perry out, to rescue Rush, who got trapped in a virtual scenario accidentally by Perry. He is furious about this.
- You Can't Go Home Again: And unlike Stargate Atlantis, they're sticking to that premise. Hasn't stopped some elements of home from tracking them down, but not in the good way.
- It's not so much they can't go home, as it is the fact that the only way they have of getting enough available power to dial the Stargate all that distance is horrendously complicated, and even one tiny hitch can screw you over entirely. See "Twin Destinies" for exactly how badly it can screw up.
- You Had Us Worried There: In "Aftermath", a shuttle is about to enter the atmosphere of a planet with possibly shuttle-destroying turbulence. Rush informs them and they decide to give it a go. After a tense few seconds, the shuttle calls back to tell Rush they're ok... then drops out of the sky like a stone.
- You Have Failed Me: Kiva is fond of this, being Lucian Alliance, but she's at least pragmatic about it. Dannic will do it to his scientists on the spot if they can't get the job done instantly.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kiva again. Of course in some cases for her, usefulness includes 'dead'. Poor Airman Rivers.
- You Look Familiar:
- Bill Y.W. Butt (Balding Asian Guy) played a medic on Atlantis.
- Mike Dopud (Varro) has played three other roles in Stargate: the Russian Colonel in "Full Alert", the bounty hunter Odai Ventrell in SG-1, and the Runner who captured Dr. Keller in Stargate Atlantis.
- Anna Galvin (Patricia Armstrong) played a hot scientist who was horribly murdered after sleeping with Mitchell in SG-1, then another hot scientist created by an AI to communicate with Woolsey in Atlantis.
- Ona Grauer (Emily Young) played the Human Popsicle Ancient in "Frozen" and again in "Rising".
- Julia Benson (Lt. Vanessa James), previously appeared as one of Lucius Lavin's wives in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Irresistible".
- Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker) has the unfortunate distinction of playing characters who have a habit of dying. He played a Genii soldier who was shot by Sheppard in Atlantis, and an SG medic who died of an aneurysm in SG-1. At least he has better luck this time around.
- That said, Time!Volkner died of the alien parasite. Twice. Novus!Volker later died of kidney failure.
- Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody) played an Area 51 scientist who stole holographic mimic devices in SG-1, and the Half-Human Hybrid race commentator in "Space Race".
- Zerg Rush: The standard combat strategy of the Berzerker drones.