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Supplemental Material: Team Fortress 2
From Australium to Zepheniah Mann
TF2 didn't start with a lot of story. There wasn't room for one. But as the updates got more ambitious, we found the perfect way to explore the mercs' world: comics. Over the years, the comics have spawned ancillary characters, then assistants to the ancillary characters. Companies mentioned in passing became global empires three generations old. The game that started as a handful of guys in a desert shooting at each other slowly blossomed into the most labyrinthine story in Valve history.
The TF2 Team

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    The TF2 Blog 
  • Anachronism Stew: Lampshaded in the post about the Boston Boom Bringer, a boombox for the Scout.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The Broken Base over the hats was mocked in a fictional Dev Diary where a wide-eyed young programmer designs a brilliant and balanced tenth class, only for his entire idea to be scrapped because there were no hats. When he calls the team out for only caring about hats, he is murdered and his skin turned into a hat.
  • April Fools' Day: In April 1st, 2013, a blog post was added claiming Team Fortress 2 has secretly bought Reddit and that Reddit-related items would be added to the game. (The Reddit blog, on the other hand, states the opposite.) Later subverted in that the items were actually added.
  • Evil Overlooker: The RED team fill this role on this poster.
  • Expospeak Gag: Commenting on the first prize winner for the propaganda contest, the team wrote that "It's funny, it looks great, and it makes us want to kick a Demoman in an extremely precise area (that the bean counters won't let us mention because they're all such huge extremely precise areas)."
  • Fourth Wall Mail Slot: The Administrator/Announcer, the Soldier, the Scout, the Sniper and Saxton Hale have all posted on the TF2 blog. Also the Heavy, who replaced the Soldier when he was on jury duty. The Pyro has also made a post.
    Administrator: [Re: the Propaganda art contest] I must grudgingly admit an astonishing amount of talent on display. I hasten to add, however, that I find it astonishing only because, in observing how you comport yourselves in-game, on the forums, and presumably in your day-to-day lives, one would be forgiven for assuming you bereft of the cognitive skills needed to operate a mailbox.

    Soldier: This is the problem with the youth of today: too much time inventing nonsense words, not enough time taking a bullet in the lung defending a hill. I don't have to know what the hell twitters and texting and body sprays are to understand that they're not the sort of thing men should be engaged in. Like conversations, or painting things that aren't a house.

    Saxton Hale: First, let me [/] COMMEND [ ] SWEAR VIGOROUSLY AT you...
    • Going so far as to have an actual mail slot, during several of the larger content patches and updates for the game there would be order forms for the in-game items that players could print out and send to Mann Co. These people would then get an invoice from Saxton Hale stating that the item they requested is out of stock, but something else was usually thrown in with the letter (a Scout keychain for the FAN order form, and a picture of Saxton Hale if the coupon was sent during the Sniper vs. Spy update).
      • They had to close this mail slot for legal reasons: the fans' order forms included actual payment for the items (that didn't exist).
  • Funny Foreigner: This announcement of the announcement of The Ambassador. Australians in general, both in-universe in the comics and in the blog.
  • Hypocritical Humor: They think Men Without Hats have a "unthinkably offensive name" and were stunned when the Portal 2 team mentioned they didn't put any hats in Portal 2. These same people created the Hatless Options for Scout, Engie, and Sniper, and created the Hatless Update.
  • It Was with You All Along: Parodied here.
    BUT THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL... was inside you all along. It's blood! Turns out you can sell it! See you at the plasma center! Merry Smissmas, everybody!
  • Large Ham: Whoever's posting as the TF2 Team. From one of the Smissmas updates:
    " 'Wait, which holiday?' you may be wondering. "Australian Christmas? Or Smissmas?" Both! Read this comic to find out what happens when holidays collide! Two special days enter the squared circle! ONLY ONE LEAVES!"
  • Mundane Made Awesome: How Valve counteracts Internet Backdraft to new features that are far outside the realm of anything in the game before:
  • No, Except Yes: In the introduction for The Second Annual Saxxy Awards:
    What you don’t know is that we’ve decided to make the Saxxy’s a lot more like an illegal underground martial-arts bloodsport. That’s right: This year there are no rules. There are, however, a whole bunch of brutal laws, traditions, commandments and decrees, plus some rules.
  • Noodle Incident: It appears that the TF2 development team are so mired in disaster that they're on a First Name Basis with the police, the fire department and "the nasal extraction emergency response team at Overlake Hospital".
    • The last nasal extraction emergency involved someone with a peanut M&M lodged up their nose, mentioned in an attempt to explain the delay of the Heavy update.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: This blog post.
    "All the signs are there. When you kill a man, you can actually see his last breath hanging in the chill mid-November pre-specialness air. Turkeys have retreated to their bunkers in a vain attempt to weather the upcoming onslaught of holidays devoted to gleeful turkey slaughter. And are those sleighbells we hear? Because our legal department assures us they aren't. That's right, TFers. It's beginning to look a lot like an upcoming holiday our legal department won't let us mention, but that rhymes with 'Smissmas'."
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Used to describe the many honorable mentions in the Propaganda contest.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: See Our Lawyers Advised This Trope above.
  • Repeating so the Audience Can Hear: This blog post.
    "What is it, Bidwell. Of course I can listen to you and type at the same time. Look. Still typing. What? What do you mean they can make the films about anything? Why would they want to do that? No, it's not arrogance, Bidwell, it's just common damn sense. If you can make a film about anything, make it about me. What? Because I'm Saxton Hale, that's why."
  • Running Gag: Lately, whoever is writing the game's patch notes must be tired of writing the same "Updated the localization files":
    January 17, 2012 - "Did not update the localization files"
    February 9, 2012 - "Lokalisierungsdateien aktualisiert": "Updated the localization files" in German
    February 14, 2012 - "Hcqngrq gur ybpnyvmngvba svyrf": rot13 transforms to "Updated the localization files"
    February 23, 2012 - "언어 파일 업데이트": "Updated the localization files" in Korean
    March 1, 2012 - "Arquivos de localização atualizados": "Updated localization files" in Portuguese
    March 15, 2012 - A QR code that translates to "Updated the localization files"
    March 28, 2012 - "Did not update the localization files that did not need updating"
    April 27, 2012 - "sǝlıℲ uoıʇɐʇɐzılɐɔo˥ pǝʇɐpd∩": "Australian" for "Updated localization files"
    • The TF2 Team also like mentioning Dracula.
  • Selective Enforcement: The Halloween 2011 blog post states that the development team decided to take the scares out of the Halloween event, although they make an exception regarding hats.
    "For instance, one playtester thought the Pyro was a little scary, so we’ll probably remove him as a class. Someone else swore he remembered reading something about somebody getting hurt by a gun once. And that sounded scary. So probably no more guns, either. Then Dracula called from the hospital. 'Hey guys,' he said, 'hats are pretty scary.' Well, now, that must have been the morphine talking. So we’re adding more hats just to be safe."
  • Self-Deprecation:
  • Serious Business: The 'A Week in the Life of the TF2 Team' blog post has it claim the developers are pretty big on hats; less a development team than a hat-obsessed cult.
  • Stab the Sky: The Heavy in the "Battle Of Both Worlds" poster.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The patchnotes for the July 29th, 2011 update read "Definitely did not add cheats for upcoming Free-2-Play Invitational Cup." One assumes they added cheats for the upcoming Free-2-Play invitational Cup. Especially since Valve has a history of cheating when it's most hilarious.
  • Take That: The dev team seems very aware of how broken their base is, and enjoys poking fun at people who yell about hats, or about "disappointing" updates. One of the more hilarious digs was the Classless Update. The first page of it was basically a long love letter to hats, calling them the ultimate status symbol, and explaining how having a hat made you better than everyone else. Each page also said something like "100% free!" "STILL free!" or "Holy crap! Better than expensive! It's free!"
    • One of the Administrator's War Update-Foreshadowing voice files:
    "All you ever do is disappoint and betray me! Cheating! Stealing! Friend-making!"
    • Also, the page that shows us the Crafting System tells us to "say goodbye to those enjoyable evenings spent complaining on the forums about which item in your inventory was the most useless, spraying anti-Australian racist hate speech all over Robin Walker, his lovely wife, and his beautiful children." They also mention that anyone who loves all the weapons in TF2 is a "quiet minority", who could at least balance out the whingeing with a few nice posts.
    • The page prior to that has some jokes hidden in the blackboard, most notably "DROP=Infinity* (Robot/(1-Cat.3))" and "Fire=Q^2" (QQ, an emoticon for Rage Quit).
    • In the comic for the WAR! Update, the Demoman's mother scolds him for his idleness.
    • One blog post uses a line from the Sniper for its title:"Thanks for standin' still, wanker!" It's about changes to the drop system and how these changes kill idling.
  • Teasing Creator: invoked Discussed. See Take That.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: It happens from time to time, when the TF2 team aren't all focused on hats.
    "The whole process came together surprisingly well, considering that the artists haven't been on speaking terms with the programmers since the programmers tricked them into playing SpaceChem ('It's sort of like Skyrim, but with more post-modern pointalism[sic]')."
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Parodied in the post about Halloween 2011.
  • Unsound Effect: "Sound of Blog Post Being Posted", lampshading the user forum's paranoia regarding updates.
  • Writers Suck:
    • The post about "Meet the Sandvich" explains that their draft was the script of Predator with the script of Road House in the middle. When this was rejected, the entire video was improvised by the voice actors, and the only lines added by the writers were stolen from those two films and The Simpsons.
    • When the dev team confront the writers with questions about how the Mac Update comic fits into the TF2 world, the writers take fright, shuffle their feet and make "a frantic search through the internet for fancy excuse words" before declaring it non-canon. The Engineer Update story is apparently intended to fill "a canon-shaped void in the lives of TF2's biggest story fans — our writers".
  • You Have Failed Me: The Administrator posts on the TF2 Blog when players cheat... repeatedly. Even during the War of December 2009. And when people end up stealing stuff.

    Update Pages and Comics 
  • Actually Four Mooks: In media outside the game, there appears to be only one version of each character. Ring of Fired confirms there are only 9 mercenaries, yet one of the secret pages in the Pyromania Update notes that the Administrator has to sign 18 paychecks for the mercs. Also, both teams exist, and there are at least two spies. It goes back and forth.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Zig-Zagged. While many update comics feature absurdly comedic situations, nearly all of them are treated as canon. Since 2009, there have been a few particular sporadic updates that seem to hint at a greater Myth Arc spanning three generations... and featuring current members of both RED and BLU growing increasingly more dissatisfied with all three of their employers. The resultant Plot Tumor plays out like a men's magazine serial from the 1960's as written by someone on copious amounts of lysergic acid.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: Put simply, the whole TF2 universe is crazy in a box with a side order of fries. The entire world is owned by one of two corporations, founded by two feuding brothers fighting over worthless pits of gravel, and both owned by a single sociopathic woman who keeps both sides in conflict. Weapons are supplied by Mann Co., a company owned by an overly masculine Australian who spends most of his time getting into fights. Australia itself is also hyper-masculine, with everyone save for the sniper being incredibly muscular and owning a mustache (yes, even the women), and whose leader is chosen by boxing match with a kangaroo. What's more, it turns out that the second floor was invented (by Shakespearicles, the strongest poet who ever lived) 200 years before the staircase (invented by Abraham Lincoln), and in the intervening time people had to rocket jump up to the second floor. Then there's Gray Mann, who invented a robot army powered by money. Really, just about every bit of information available about the TF2 world only serves to emphasize how insane it is.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Soldier vs Demoman update named several major characters: The Administrator's name is given as Helen; RED Demoman is Tavish Degroot; BLU Soldier is (apparently) Jane Doe; BLU Engineer is Dell Conagher; and RED Sniper is Mr. Mundy.
  • Schedule Slip: The six issue Mann Co. No More story line was initially advertised as Bi-Monthly, meaning the issues would be released over the course of one year. In about one year's time, there have only been three issues released. This was hilariously lampshaded in the second issue's blog post, where the Valve team claimed to have spent the extra time between issues debating what 'Bi-Monthly' actually meant.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Parodied in the Bombinomicon comic on the front page. A random guy bemoans that he was the monster all along, which is advertised as a twist ending... with a note beneath explaining that this is not, in fact, the twist ending.
  • Unsound Effect: FLEX! COUGAR! PROPERTY DAMAGE! BUTTON PRESS! HEROIC LEAP! Very common, especially if Saxton Hale is around.
    • This extends to statues/action figures of Saxton Hale as well. COMPOUND ELEVATED SKULL FRACTURE!
  • Wham Episode: The comic "Blood Brothers". It changes everything. Including the team's reasons for killing each other, presumably.
    • Ring of Fired begins with Gray Mann taking over Mann Co. and ends with a newspaper headline declaring that Spy and Scout are about to be hanged.

The Scout Update

The Sandvich Update

  • Writers Suck: The script presented for the "Meet The Sandvich" video is just the script for Predator attached to the script for Road House, and the writers fail to grasp why everyone else is unimpressed by this. Instead, the voice actors improvise, which the writers grasp as "other people doing all the work for us", though their attempts to join in are just lines quoted from other works (mostly Predator and Road House.)

Haunted Hallowe'en Special

Sniper vs. Spy Update

The WAR! Update

  • Apes in Space: Poopy Joe the monkeynaut was supposed to be one, but he tragically died in an explosion that was not caused by Mann Co.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Administrator before a round during the update: "All you ever do is disappoint and betray me. Cheating. Stealing. Friend-making!"
  • Body-Count Competition: Between opposing Demomen and Soldiers. Whichever class could kill the most of the other class by the end of the war gets a pair of shoes.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Administrator and Miss Pauling convince both the RED Demoman and BLU Soldier (who were both willing to be killed rather than take the offer of killing the other for custom weapons) that the other had already betrayed them, which led to the war. Sadly, they ended up believing that they'd been betrayed instead of contacting the other.
  • The Reveal/Running Both Sides: This is the first time we see the Administrator, and learn that she does the announcements for both RED and BLU teams.
  • Rousing Speech: The BLU Soldier and the RED Demoman have one on their respective update pages.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: American Monkeynaut Poopy Joe was given the Eyelander, Buff Banner, and Equalizer before his journey into space. Mann Co. claims they were nowhere near the launch site of Poopy Joe's aircraft and had nothing to do with the explosion that occured moments later, and those three items were obtained in entirely innocent circumstances. Also, the company's seemingly rushed sale of a high-precision rocket launcher was not in any way connected with Poopy Joe's tragic death.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: The update revealed that both RED and BLU are controlled by the same Administrator. The whole war was started just to prevent this fact from getting out.
  • Take That: In true Trolling Creator fashion, the headlines from the official update page:
    (Soldier)"Most overpowered enemy of all time still finds way to lose, complain"
    (Demoman)"BEGINNER'S LUCK ABOUT TO RUN OUT. World's easiest class slightly ahead"
  • The VJ Day Kiss: Parodied. The blog has a picture of the Heavy kissing the Scout's mom.

The Mac Update

The Engineer Update/Loose Canon

  • Abraham Lincoln: the identity of the original 1850-era BLU team Pyro. According to the artist of the "Loose Canon" comic, this was one of the few specific characterizations that they wanted for the team's design.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The 1800s BLU team shown in the Engineer comic appeared to comprise:
    • Scout: Billy the Kid
    • Soldier: Stonewall Jackson
    • Pyro: Abe Lincoln
    • Demoman: Alfred Nobel
    • Heavy: John Henry
    • Engineer: Nikola Tesla
    • Medic: Sigmund Freud
    • Sniper: Davy Crockett
    • Spy: Fu Manchu
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: The Golden Wrenches during the update.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: A pretty big one, but still:
    Blutarch's assistant: Give him a moment, dear. He's just dead.
  • Don't Call Me Sir
  • Generation Xerox: Barnabas Hale being attacked by a cougar resembles the cover of one of his descendants', Saxton, Barbershop Action comics. He even refers to a pepper sauce in his dialog.
  • There Is Another: Notes on the cover the Life Extender machine's blueprints say that one was built for Redmond, one for Blutarch and a third with the date and client out of frame.
  • The Nothing After Death: According to Blutarch Mann, who has been continually dying and reviving through the use of the immortality machine.
    Blutarch Mann: Every day I'm dead a little longer, Mr Conagher. I have seen the other side. There is nothing there. Fix. This. Machine.
    • On the other hand, Zepheniah Mann willed a curse that he would haunt those who "shoot over his bones" ... and he does exactly that on KOTH Harvest's event version.
    • In addition, after Blutarch and Redmond are both killed, their ghosts contract the mercenaries to transport their sibling's remains to a portal to hell found in one of their mining concerns.
  • Pun-Based Title
  • Visual Pun: After receiving his share of Zepheniah Mann's will, Barnabas Hale gets pounced on by a cougar.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Blutarch says this of Redmond.

Mann-Conomy Update/Bidwell's Big Plan

The Replay Update/Meet the Director/The Saxxy Awards

  • Art Shift: The style of the Replay Update comic is noticeably looser than that of the previous comics, due to Andrea Wicklund (artist of the Lab Rat comic)'s coloring style.
  • Award Show: The winners of the contest were announced "live" (one winner every 5 minutes). The main page featured a countdown timer between announcements, and a subplot about how...
  • Bears Are Bad News: Saxton Hale accidentally let a bear loose during the ceremony. During the live-updating of the Awards page, the image of Saxton presenting the awards would occasionally refresh to reveal said bear slowly approaching the stage, only for it to get beaten to a pulp by Saxton himself.
  • Big "NO!": Soldier starts one.
    Administrator: I sent you those photos.
    Soldier: MY HEADS!!!
    Administrator: Yes. I took the heads too. Rest assured, they have been destroyed.
    Administrator: The photos, Mister Doe. Your heads are safe.
  • Call Back: A number to the Meet the Team videos, one of the most blatant being here.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Heavy was sent a photo of his house and himself, sleeping. He has a separate, smaller bed for "Sascha" [sic], his minigun. Scout says that's pretty embarrassing. The Heavy agrees; he needs to buy Sasha a better bed.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe, the Director tells the Soldier that Sun Tzu never wrote books on how to punch through someone's ribcage.
  • Description Cut:
    Miss Pauling: The Administrator sees this as a perfect opportunity to show the good people of Badlands you're not just armed psychopaths blowing up all their landmarks on a daily basis.
    The Administrator: I see this as a perfect opportunity, Miss Pauling, to spy on the armed psychopaths we're paying to blow each other up on a daily basis.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the last panel, the Medic can be seen holding the Quick-Fix, his new Medigun that he got in the Über Update. The final panel also includes stills from "Meet the Medic", which would not be released until several months later.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: To keep them in line, the Administrator sends Sniper photos of his parents, and Heavy photos of his minigun, and Soldier... gets a head in a box, and a photograph of the empty space where his collection of heads used to be.
    Spy: Whose... head is that?
    Soldier: MINE!!! The question is, where are the other seven?!
    (Spy and Scout are both visibly disgusted)
  • Expy: The Sniper's parents bear a striking resemblance to Eustace and Muriel of Courage the Cowardly Dog. The artist apparently confirmed that the similarity was intentional.
  • Freudian Excuse: Played straight and then averted. The Director informs us of a tragic backstory for the Heavy to explain his actions, but the Heavy isn't interested in talking about it. He knows he isn't that complicated:
    Heavy: I. Like. To shoot. This gun. Is all you need to know.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All/Primadonna Director: The Director is too pretentious and sure of his superiority to realize when he's being duped or led to his death.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Like in her other appearances, Miss Pauling seems to be the nicest and least crazy person in TF2 canon, but she doesn't appear to have any qualms about shooting a man in cold blood as part of the job.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: See Freudian Excuse above.
  • Sarcasm Mode: The Administrator lays it on real thick when she berates the mercs for killing her messenger.
    The Administrator: First off, let me thank you for shooting yet another messenger. And when you kill the messengers, they can't return their miniature televisions, which it may surprise you don't grow naturally on their chests.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Much to the Administrator's annoyance. The mini TVs strapped to their chests are expensive.
  • Speech Bubbles Interruption
  • Wag the Director: Many members of the Team attempt to do this to the director; Miss Pauling and The Administrator are ultimately the most successful.

Grordbort's Crash

2011 Halloween Update/Bombinomicon

  • Artifact of Doom: Merasmus collects these. Even the broom in his castle is one.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: One of the kids is dressed as the ghost of Zepheniah Mann, who happens to be one.
  • Big "NO!": When the Soldier breaks Merasmus' staff.
  • Black Magic: Merasmus'.
  • Brick Joke: In 2010, the teams were sent back in time for the then new map, DeGroot Keep. The explanation was that "the Soldier angered a magician". In this comic, it's revealed that the magician is the Soldier's roommate.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Merasmus sends MONOCULUS! to fight the team after the Soldier breaks his staff, proclaiming the party to be over. Also, the trope is inverted with the Heavy when he gives a child $7000 as an apology for calling the boy fat.
  • Evil Gloating: The Bombinomicon after it possesses the young Demoman's eye. Merasmus isn't angry at him because anything horrible is going to happen, but because he has to live with the book. The Bombinomicon was going to return the eye but was too busy chattering before Merasmus forcefully removes it.
    Merasmus: What have ye done? Now he'll never shut up about it! I have to live with this book, you know!
  • Ghost Story: The Demoman tells one about how he lost his eye.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: MONOCULUS!
  • Halloween Episode
  • Haunted Castle: The Demoman's story takes place in Merasmus' castle, though Merasmus now lives with the Soldier.
  • Ignored Enemy: In the last panel, the Soldier ignores the giant eye to fight Merasmus.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Bombinomicon convinces the young Demoman to read it.
  • Monster Roommate: Merasmus.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Some challenging from the Bombinomicon makes the Demoman peek at its pages.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: If what the Soldier says about being on the lam is true, the police have been tricked into thinking he's a robot.
  • Portmanteau: The Bombinomicon is a portmanteau of "bomb" and "Necronomicon".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Bombinomicon.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Bombinomicon. It contains "over 400 pages of spells, enchantments, recipes and anecdotes about blowing things up".
  • Volleying Insults:
    Soldier: Nobody invited you, Merasmus!
    Merasmus: Do not anger Merasmus! A magician invites himself!
    Soldier: I am going to invite that staff straight up your ass and push you around like a broom!
    Merasmus: Well, that would certainly be the first time you swept anything!
  • You Are Fat: Being called fat is what finally makes one of the trick-or-treaters cry.
    Heavy: Every day Heavy risk life. To earn money. To feed family. Instead, you would have Heavy spend this money. On stupid candy. For you. You presumptuous... lazy... fat...
    Boy: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    Heavy: Oh. Um. Stop. Heavy did not mean this. Little child is not fat. People call Heavy fat. Please stop crying. Here. Here is seven thousand dollars.
  • You Fool!: Merasmus uses this a few times.

True Meaning

  • An Ass Kicking Christmas
  • Call Back: The rocket is similar to the one in "Grordbort's Crash". It contains weapons as well.
    • They were both part of the same promotion with "Dr. Grordbort's", a prop weaponry company run by WETA (yes, that WETA). A third promotion is coming eventually, with weapons and cosmetic items for Scout and Medic, but these are yet to be released.
  • Christmas Episode
  • Funny Background Event: The Christmas tree is made with antlers and decorated with knives and grenades, and one of the Soldier's Gunboats hangs on the chimney like a Christmas stocking.
  • The Gambling Addict: Apparently, Old Nick likes to bet on college basketball.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible:
    Engineer: Pyro, you been writin' letters to other dimensions?
    Pyro: Mmm-mmmh
    Engineer: Naw, me neither.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The message that came with the rocket full of weapons about "hearing [the Engineer and Pyro's] plea" is a very thinly veiled nod to people who had been displeased with the lack of new weapons for the two classes.
  • The Mafia: Old Nick owes them a lot of money (see The Gambling Addict). They battle it out when the mobsters find him in Antarctica.
  • Mood Whiplash: Several within the story the Engineer is reading.
    "Those mobsters were just about to give up the hunt, when up in that cold night sky they saw a star. The brightest star they ever saw. So they followed it. And after a spell they saw a sight that filled 'em with wonder... Ol' Nick, forcin' a buncha naughty kids to make all manner of guns, smack dab in the middle of Antarctica."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Of a sort. Engie's reaction to a rocket crashing into his house? "Huh."
  • Ship Tease: The Engineer and Pyro might be living together.
  • Shout-Out: The line about adopting a super baby is a Shout Out to Superman.
  • The Three Wise Men: Again, parodied, with the "three wiseguys".
  • True Meaning Of Christmas: Despite the title drop, since the tale the Engineer reads to the Pyro parodies a bunch of Christmas tropes, the true meaning of Australian Christmas/Smissmas isn't clear. Also, the comic is more about the two getting new weapons.

A Smissmas Story

The Pyromania Update

Mann vs Machine/Blood Brothers/A Fate Worse than Chess

  • Saxton Hale Hates Your Guts: Despite the fact that his company's facilities are under attack by a horde of robots, Saxton Hale refuses to give his company's powerful experimental weapons to his mercenaries for free, which means they have to find a way to pay for them.
  • Alternate Reality Game/Foreshadowing: The ARG leading up to the update made reference to "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", a Sherlock Holmes mystery involving The Reveal of a previously unknown heir to a sizable inheritance. Guess what Gray Mann is?
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Soldier: I have studied robots for years! I once stared at a toaster for three months to get into the minds of these monsters! And there are three things I know for sure: They are smarter than us! They are stronger than us! And they can make toast.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The teams as seen in the trailer. Six mercenaries, armed with only two shotguns, a syringe gun, a baseball bat, a rocket launcher, a grenade launcher, and a bottle manage to destroy a tank of robots.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The trailer ends with the six mercs going up against an entire army of Mecha-Mooks. Subverted when they effortlessly crush the bots. Double Subverted when the Giant Soldier shows up.
  • Brainy Baby: Gray can speak at birth, claiming to have learned to do so by listening to conversations outside the womb. He also invented a new type of algebra to pass the time.
  • Call Back: Archimedes is seen flying around outside the Alamo, still covered in blood.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Damaged (Barely-Melted) Capacitor from the Pyromania ARG was one of only two items that was not destroyed during Pyromania. In the Mann vs. Machine ARG, it became one of the main factors in solving the ARG.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In the trailer, six mercenaries armed with one weapon each are able to defeat hundreds of robots.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Creepy Child: Gray Mann, within seconds of birth.
  • Dark Reprise: The temporarily-dying-mid-sentence joke makes a return. Gray makes it permanent.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Blutarch and Redmond think they can use a pregnancy machine to produce an heir and cannot be convinced that machines cannot run on gravel.
    • The robots have bombs. Mann Co. has...
      "Mann Co.'s currently rethinking its 'All facilities should have a bomb-shaped self-destruct hole' policy, but while that debate's raging, it'll be up to you to make sure those bombs never get there."
  • Death by Childbirth: Bette Mann, the triplets' mother.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Twice in the trailer; the Engineer does this with two shotguns at once, and the Demoman does it again... to the same shotgun.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the trailer, the Soldier has a Canteen with him, which was introduced the next day. He also has a cigar in his mouth, which was later released as an in-game item.
  • Enemy Mine: The former RED and BLU Mercenaries team up to take on an army of look-a-like robots.
  • Expy/Affectionate Parody: The Alamo, which is sentient and narrates the story, seems to be an expy of the Crypt Keeper, at least in terms of its writing style (i.e. lots of alliteration, affectionate nicknames for its readers, announcing the name of the story in a dramatic fashion, and forcing morbid puns into sentences).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: On the table in the BLU Soldier and Demoman's game is a photo of the BLU Scout's mother from Meet the Spy.
  • Funny Background Event: In "A Fate Worse Then Chess", on page 28 and 29, the RED Soldier is picking his nose, and the Spy next to him looks disgusted.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation/Never Trust a Trailer: In the update, the BLU team and RED team join forces to fight Gray Mann's robot army. In-game, only the RED team is selectable on the class screen, probably for ease of identification, as the robots are considered BLU.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: In the trailer, some of the RED team surprise a BLU Soldier and Demoman playing cards. Instead of shooting them, the RED Heavy tosses a shotgun to the BLU Demoman.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gray murders both Redmond and Blutarch.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Gray Mann.
  • Made of Explodium: The Sentry Buster robots.
  • Man Versus Machine: The name of the update, even.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The human-sized robots in the trailer appear to be this, or the mercenaries are really, really good at staying alive.
  • Mr. Seahorse: The brothers' plan to put an end to their bickering and produce an heir. Neither of them seem to be able to grasp why science can't make it work.
    • To be fair, a) they're both slightly senile; b) they work with Saxton Hale, who breaks the laws of reality for a laugh; and c) they each have an immortality machine. Claiming that "the laws of science don't allow it" is a weak excuse.
  • Money Spider: Parodied; the robots run on piles of money. Lampshaded by Miss Pauling, who tells the mercenaries she doesn't know how or why this is, but they're entitled to whatever the robots drop.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Explosition.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: From Decoy's update page:
    Soldier: We will lure the robots to this house of lies, and we will destroy them with our very real weapons and whatever it is the Scout does!
  • Noodle Incident: The Great Eagle Scourge of 1822.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The update page for the map Decoy has the RED Soldier disguising a couple of shacks as Mann Co. headquarters.
    "This is Mann Co. Headquarters. This is not a trap for robots."
    • Saxton Hale's disguise as "Dr. Joanbaez" consists of a jacket and a flower in his hat.
  • Pun-Based Title
  • Running Gag: The development team's love of hats shows up here — the giant Deflector Heavy is wearing a ushanka, and in the last page of "A Fate Worse Than Chess", the RED Demoman dons Prince Tavish's Crown.
  • Shout-Out: Saxton Hale's alias as "Dr. Joanbaez" is a reference to Joan Baez, a singer best known for her relationship with Bob Dylan. Bidwell's disguise looks like the outfit worn by The Beatles in "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
  • Skewed Priorities:
    Miss Pauling: This isn't like any other assignment you've been given. It's much, much more serious. This isn't just a fight for Mann Co., or Saxton Hale. It's a fight for your jobs.
  • Superdickery: Parodied with the cover for Alamo Vs. Hercules.
    We've promised it before! It has never actually happened! Now, after 306 scene-setting issues, we're doing it!
    Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! NOT THIS TIME!
    Finally... Hercules and The Alamo will fight!note 
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Gray Mann stabbed the two engineers who were about to leave the room.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Parodied. After Saxton Hale's recorded "explosition" to the mercenaries:
    Miss Pauling: Are there any questions?
    RED Sniper: I got one. We getting paid for this?
    Saxton Hale: Saxton Hale again. This is pre-taped, so I don't know what anybody's talking about right now, but I am not paying you for this.
  • Time Skip: The beginning of "Blood Brothers" says it takes place "Some time in the future." Gray states he was born in 1822 and had been watching his brothers for 150 years; assuming he meant exactly 150 years, this puts the date at 1972, four years ahead of the 1968 year shown by in-game calendars.
    • Thanks to subsequent updates, we've pinned "Blood Brothers" at October 29th or 30th, 1970.
  • Triang Relations: Possible type 3 or 7. It's a very minor part of the comic, but note how Zepheniah Mann shows little grief over his wife dying in childbirth, while Barnabus Hale looks utterly heartbroken.
  • Unsound Effect: Eagle Attack!
  • Walking In Rhythm: In the trailer, everyone walks in time with the background music.
  • The War Sequence: The entire trailer is this.
  • Wham Episode: Gray finally makes his appearance and murders Redmond and Blutarch in cold blood.
    Blutarch: (about Redmond) Don't worry, he's just dead for a moment. He'll be back in a-
    Gray: Mm. No. I think I've heard enough. (stabs Blutarch)

Spectral Halloween Special/Doom-Mates

The Mecha Update/Shadow Boxers

  • Ahem: The Medic and Heavy clear their throats and nudge Miss Pauling when she mentions that not all of the team are Americans.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Averted. The update page text either says the same thing as the English or is related flavor text.
  • Blatant Lies: When Soldier insists he infiltrated the robot base:
    Soldier: Come on guys! Why would I lie? We're all Americans here!
    Miss Pauling: Well, not all of us, obviously. Medic's German and Heavy's from Russ— [Heavy elbows her, Medic coughs] Ow! What? Oh.
    Heavy: Ha ha! Germany! Russia! Is big joke! Big American joke on Soldier! Ooh, America. It is the place I am from. All the time.
    Soldier: Ha! You got me!
  • Call Back: On the final page of "A Fate Worse Than Chess", the Soldier is picking his nose. This time, he's won a nose-picking contest and is doing the same when inside Gray Mann's base.
  • Cassandra Truth: Until he mentions the eagles, no one believes the Soldier has actually gone to the robot base because of his Cloudcuckoolander status.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right
  • Declaration of Protection: It's implied that the reason the Heavy goes to Gray's base is because Miss Pauling decided to.
  • Delayed Reaction: When the Soldier gives an exact time the robots will invade the next day, Miss Pauling talks for a few more seconds before that sinks in.
  • Funny Background Event: On page 7, the Scout is staring dreamily at Miss Pauling.
    • On page four, Scout appears to have been previously on fire (there's still smoke coming off him), and Archimedes is presenting a screw to the Medic, who is giving him a "get that thing out of your mouth and give it to me" look. There's also Archimedes' tiny neck brace.
  • Humongous Mecha: According to the update page, the Engineer robot will be over a hundred feet tall! ...While the parenthetical text says otherwise. The real reason is that the image is based on a movie poster — see Shout-Out below.
  • Island Base: Gray Gravel Co.
  • Mission Control: Miss Pauling acts as this for the team.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The way the Soldier describes his robot disguise.
    Soldier: Miss Pauling, are you braced? Because you will need to brace yourself for what I am about to show you.
    Miss Pauling: I'm braced. Let's see it, Soldier.
    Soldier: Are you sitting down? Because you should not be in a comfortable bowel-emptying position for what I am about to show you.
    Miss Pauling: I'm standing. You're looking right at me.
    Soldier: Okay, but are you pregnant? You should not b—
    Miss Pauling: Soldier, show me!
  • No Ending: It ends with Soldier, Pauling, and Heavy apparently being discovered in a base full of enemy robots, but this is completely forgotten by the next comic.
  • Noodle Incident: During the merc's meeting, Archimedes is wearing a tiny, bird-sized neck brace.
  • Not So Different: In "Blood Brothers", Gray Mann is disgusted by his brothers fighting over possession of worthless gravel. Here, readers learn that he has his own gravel company by the time his robot Engineer is built.
  • Oh Crap: The Soldier, Heavy, and Miss Pauling's reactions when they're caught inside the robot facility.
  • Painting the Medium: The robots use an appropriate typeface and color in their speech and say the tags out loud:
    Scout Robot: *beepboop* The humans were waiting for us at the last five attack sites, master. Somehow they <italics on>knew.<italics off>
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The robots mention how they were tricked by the decoy base built by the "tactical mastermind".
    • The Soldier's disguise is actually his Halloween costume. Miss Pauling and the Heavy eventually don the same costumes when infiltrating Gray Mann's facility, and all the robots are fooled save for the newly built robot Engineer.
  • Player Generated Economy: This update added the Steam Community Market, an organized trading system for game items and money.
  • Pun-Based Title: The title of the comic.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: The robots' use of italics.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: The robots.
    Gray Mann: And—just so I'm clear—you suspect these security leaks are due to some heretofore unknown "tactical mastermind" in their ranks. ...And not, for instance, because you mention our secret attack plans at every opportunity.
    Scout Robot: *baddaboop* Affirmative. We believe it is the same genius who masterminded the decoy base *beep boop over here* [towards a newspaper with a headline that reads "Local Man Wins Nose Picking Contest"]
  • Shout-Out:
    • The topmost image of the update page is directly based off the movie poster of the Japanese sci-fi kaiju film, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II.
    • Further down on the update page, the screen with the Mecha-Engineer says, "Hats. All your ha"
  • Spot The Thread: Inverted. Miss Pauling is able to tell the Soldier isn't delusional about infiltrating the robot base when he mentions that Grey Mann was raised by eagles, a fact that was kept undisclosed from the team.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Heavy: Ha ha! Germany! Russia! Is big joke! Big American joke on Soldier!
    Soldier: Ha! You got me!
    Heavy: Ohh, America. It is the place I am from. All the time.
  • Visual Pun/Genius Bonus: During the meeting, Archimedes has a screw in his mouth. Archimedes' screw, anyone?

Robotic Boogaloo/Death of a Salesbot

  • Author Appeal: Cat Bountry has a soft spot for Engineer and Pyro being bros, Pomeranians, and the Heavy x Medic pairing. Naturally, Engie gets focus, a Pomeranian named Sir Butternubs is President, and Heavy and Medic are standing next to each other (she apparently asked The Heartsman, the artist, to draw them close together, and he did.)
  • Canon Discontinuity: In KritzKast's interview with the team that created the Robotic Boogaloo update, the comic's creators clarified that the comic is non-canon, but can be viewed as a possible Alternate Universe.
    • To clarify: the fact that the mercs have flawlessly defended Mann Co. for over a year, and that Grey is rapidly going bankrupt, is all canon. The half-hour's worth of events actually depicted in the comic are not.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Gray uses the cover of a magazine with Saxton Hale's portrait as a dartboard.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Even the robots think that running on money is a bad idea.
  • Future Badass: The Engineer.
  • Money to Burn: The mercenaries have destroyed so many robots that they don't know what to do with all their money. The Pyro is shown shoveling a pile into the fireplace. The Soldier even eats a money sandwich!
  • Ominous Message from the Future: Future Engineer arrives to warn the mercenaries not to open the crates, but the Soldier misinterprets the message and begins to open them anyway.
  • Reality Ensues: What happens when your army of robots runs on money? You go broke trying to replace them.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Just before Future Engineer arrives, Soldier was about to open one of the crates. After Future Engineer leaves, Soldier continues to open one of the crates. In other words, Future Engineer literally accomplished nothing by going back in time.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Scoutbot tells Gray Mann maybe he could try building new robots that run on something other than money. Gray responds with what is either a Death Glare of "but that's NOT HOW IT'S DONE!!!", or an epiphany of a completely unrelated, still-completely-ridiculous plan.
  • Schmuck Bait: The time-traveling Engineer's warnings to the team not to open the crates just makes them want to open them.
  • Time Skip: Takes place almost a year after the Mann Vs. Machine update.
  • Unsound Effect: "TIME TRAVEL SOUNDS"
  • Victory Is Boring: A year of destroying robots has made the team grow bored, and now they have so much money they don't know what to do with it.

Team Fortress #1/Ring of Fired

  • Back from the Dead: Somehow, Merasmus is alive again, living with Tom Jones.
  • Bait and Switch: After Soldier and Miss Pauling head off to get the team back together, we cut to the board room of Frontier Engineering, whose board members have all become millionaires thanks to their new CEO's inspiring brilliance completely revolutionizing the field. You're expecting the CEO to be the Engineer, right? Nope! it's the Pyro.
  • Break the Haughty: Saxton Hale loses his company, his trophies, and the right to go down fighting.
  • Call Back: This isn't the first time Scout and Spy get arrested due to RED shenanigans. This time, however, they end up sentenced to more than just community service.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The Demoman's Eyelander has evolved from only being able to hiss headssss... to doing this. It's also apparently able to eat churros.
  • Comically Missing the Point: There's a mugshot of Scout in which he's Flexing Those Non-Biceps and pulling a duck face. He probably didn't know at the time that he was going to be sentenced to death.
  • Coincidental Newspaper: Demo and Miss Pauling are discussing finding Spy and Scout, only for Miss Pauling to spot a newspaper from across the room that reveals both of their locations. They're on death row.
  • Continuity Nod: There are plenty to past comics, all helpfully pointed out by caption boxes.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe: Ghost D.A. disappears with a "doodily-doodily-doot" noise. The Eyelander, being possessed by a ghost, points out that it never does that, and questions whether the writers are actually ghosts. Additionally...
    Eyelander: Ugh. "The defense rests"? He's the @$%ing prosecution! Ghost D.A.! "District Attorney!" It's in the title of the @$%ing show!
  • Death by Cameo: Tom Jones spends one panel alive before the Soldier sneaks up on him and snaps his neck.
  • For the Evulz: The reason the Soldier killed Jones was because Merasmus was living happily and Soldier wasn't. Merasmus questions his logic.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Courtesy of the Demo's mother, revealing his middle name (Finnegan) in the process.
  • Funny Background Event: In one panel, outside the Demoman and his mother's mansion, there is a statue spouting water from the neck, from when it was decapitated in the WAR! comic.
  • He's Back: When Demoman gets out of his slump, shaves, and rejoins the gang.
  • Homage: The cover recreates a famous Spider-Man page where Peter throws away his Spider-Man costume, except here it's Saxton Hale throwing away all of his clothes but his boots.
  • Hope Spot: The mercenaries have successfully repelled every menace that Gray has sent their way, driving the mad scion of Mann to "negotiate" with Saxton Hale and finally bring the conflict to an end. Said negotiation involved a fist fight for total control over Mann Co. Saxton Hale is excellent at fist fights. What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
  • Humiliation Conga: Saxton Hale. First, he is forced to fight Gray Mann's young daughter. When he can't bring himself to fight her, he loses his company to Gray. Admitting defeat, he says that he'll get his fighting trophies and leave, but the girl tells him that they're her trophies now, and to get out. With his trophies denied to him, he decides that at the very least he'll fight his way out of the building through Gray's robot army, but Gray orders them into non-violence mode. Despite his efforts, he can't get any of the robots to fight him, and leaves a broken man.
  • Immortality Seeker: Gray wanted control of Mann Co. so he could get a large supply of Australium for his life extender.
  • Karma Houdini: A couple of old ladies are shocked by the Soldier killing Tom Jones, and Miss Pauling lectures him about it but only to keep up her disguise. He's never punished for it and Merasmus gets arrested instead.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Near the end.
    Soldier: Miss Pauling! Pyro cut off my hand.
    Miss Pauling: Pyro, don't cut off Soldier's hands.
  • Noodle Incident: How did the Pyro become a millionaire corporate CEO during the Time Skip? The world may never know...
    • He does spend a lot of time with someone more suited to the position.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Miss Pauling, dressed as a police officer, "arrests" Soldier to get him out of trouble for killing Tom Jones. Somehow, Soldier is the only one to see through it. And almost blows her cover.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The mercs have been let go from Mann Co., and Miss Pauling is trying to get them back together under orders from the Administrator.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Saxton Hale is challenged to a fistfight with the CEO of Gray Gravel, the winner getting control of Mann Co. Gray Gravel's CEO isn't Gray Mann, but his five-year-old daughter. Hale forfeits the fight, and with it, his company.
  • Show Within a Show: The Demoman and his sword watch a crime drama called "Ghost D.A." It's hilariously bad, and Demo and the Eyelander complain about it.
  • Talking Weapon: It's shown that the Eyelander is fully sentient and can hold conversations.
  • Time Skip: Six months between Hale losing control of Mann Co. and the plot kicking off.
    • For those trying to keep track, the universe's date is now September 1972, according to the timestamp of Scout's and Spy's photos.
  • Tonight Someone Dies: The blog post announcing the comic promises that "at least one person dies in it!" Turns out it was Tom Jones.
  • Wham Episode: Begins with Hale losing Mann Co to Gray and the reveal that Gray has a daughter, followed quickly by the team being broken up, and ends with another reveal, this time that Spy and Scout are due to be hanged.
  • Wham Headline: A newspaper headline on the last page reads "MERC SCUM TO HANG" above mugshots of Spy and Scout.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Hale loses Mann Co. because the CEO he has to fight is a little girl.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Gray Mann takes over Mann Co. to get his hands on its supply of Australium, but the Administrator took off with the vault's contents beforehand, just in case he did.

Helloween Special/Grave Matters

  • A Day in the Limelight: The first comic to focus entirely on Blutarch and Redmond.
  • Call Back: Soldier is apparently still a lawyer, and Blutarch and Redmond actually ask him to settle the legal matter of who owns the gravel pits. Never mind that they're both at present ineligible for ownership on account of not quite being alive anymore.
    • The picture Soldier uses to advertise his legal services is the photograph of him winning the nose-picking contest from "Shadow Boxers".
  • Framing Device: The story is being told by Merasmus, who is in jail from the events of Ring of Fired.
  • Indian Burial Ground: It turns out that road to Hell goes through one of these, setting up the gameplay for Scream Fortress 2013.
  • Midquel: It takes place after Blood Brothers and Doom-mates but before Ring of Fired.
    • Sequel Episode: The bulk of the story begins moments after Gray kills Blutarch and Redmond.
  • Noodle Incident: Turns out Soldier is also a priest (just not in New Mexico) and an exorcist (but only in Guam).
  • Wimp Fight: Blutarch and Redmond engage in one after they argue about who died first and thus who won the gravel pits.

The Two Cities Update

  • Ascended Fan Fic: Snakewater was a popular Control Point map for competitive matches long before being added into the game proper.
  • Back from the Dead: One of the new powers Medic gains in this update, and displayed beautifully in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome from the trailer.
  • Call Back:
    • Once again, Medic stops a barrage of rockets from multiple soldiers in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Heavy's decapitated head has the same expression (and is the same model) as the one the Soldier was lecturing in his "Meet The Soldier" video.
  • Groin Attack: When the Robo-Soldiers charge the newly revived team, Heavy, Scout, Sniper, and Pyro shield their faces with their arms, but Soldier nervously places his hands over a slightly lower area...
  • Lamarck Was Right/In the Blood/It Runs in the Family: Medic is apparently descended from a long line of resident mad doctors.
    • On the update page, the sign behind Medic reads "Humboldt's Pharmacy: Leeches, baboon hearts, radium suppositories, humor balancing, phrenological exams." possibly giving us his family name, as well.
  • Scope Snipe: The Huntsman robots kill the human Sniper this way.
  • Smoke Shield: Thanks to Medic's new shield upgrade.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Something Medic's family was (and still seems to be) on the receiving end of for generations. Seems to be a Brick Joke to the flavor text of Meet The Medic:
    Not every mad doctor lives in a castle surrounded by villagers with pitchforks. Sometimes they live in the trenches, where there's plenty of spare parts flying around and a pressing need to get inventive with them.

Team Fortress #2/Unhappy Returns

  • Action Girl: Margaret/Maggie/Mags.
  • Call Back: To A Smissmas Story and, in a subtle way, to the War! Update.
    • Especially so with the former, with further allusions to Soldier acting as the team's (totally unqualified) attorney, right down to Scout naming him and Soldier trying to get him the electric chair.
    • There's also one to "Meet The Spy": Scout mentions his mother will be upset when she finds out he spent all of their money, suggesting Spy gives Scout a ride for the love of her.
  • Clear Their Names: Miss Pauling comes in at the end and reveals that the crimes the mercs are being hanged for weren't actually crimes THEY committed. It's heavily implied that it's actually stuff the MAYOR did to Teufort. The gang ends up with a pardon at the end.
  • Cliffhanger: The epilogue reveals that Heavy may not be interested in coming back to the team.
  • Compliment Backfire: Scout successfully convinces a lady that he broke his arms by performing a million push-ups in a row, but his attempt at showing off failed miserably:
    Lady: "Well, that's very impressive for someone with arms as thin as yours, dear."
    Scout: "Uh..."
    Lady: "They're like little bird wings!"
    Scout: "Just open the door, lady."
  • Cool Car: There's a brief glimpse of Spy's fancy sportscar during one flashback.
  • Covers Always Lie: There's no big epic jailbreak. Rather, Demo and Soldier end up on the gallows too and Miss Pauling has to come in and stop the executions.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Spy has a number of fake teeth with tiny compartments in them. And he uses them to hold tiny Cornish game hens, candelabras, and bottles of wine, and a tiny razor for shaving. He also has a tiny butterfly knife hidden in the sleeve of his prison jumpsuit.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The mayor knew any random police officers sent against one of the mercs would be killed pretty much instantly, so he instead took the opportunity to stick them in a trap they actually set up themselves.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Scout's "life savings" is actually a bunch of Tom Jones memorabilia he's sure with be worth a fortune one Jones dies. Spy insists Jones is "virtually immortal", but Scout is satisfied with waiting—and of course Soldier killed the man himself a couple months later.
  • Distaff Counterpart: In some ways, Margaret is this to Saxton Hale, with her fondness for Good Old Fisticuffs, wearing khaki, and snapping wildcat jaws.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Scout invested his life's savings into Tom Jones memorabilia, which he insists will "be worth a fortune when he dies". Given that Tom Jones is at the very most 32 during the events of the comic, the Spy is not amused at having to miss his flight to pick up the Scout's savings. The reader, however, knows from the previous comic that the Soldier ends up killing the Welsh singer five and a half months later by snapping his neck.
    Spy: He's not going to die, you imbecile! He's in his twenties! He's the most virile man on the planet! He has no enemies! The man is virtually immortal!
  • Dumbass Has a Point: When Scout is trying to prepare for the trial (by reading scripts of "Ghost DA"), Spy tells him to just take the public defender. Scout responds that the last two times that they did that, they were assigned Soldier and a lamp. Subverted when the public defender actually knows what he's doing. Pity Soldier snaps his neck.
  • Enemy Mine: Saxton has to team up with his old nemesis, Charles Darling, to get Mann Co. back.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The mayor of Teufort is constantly smiling and chipper, despite some of his behavior rivaling the mercenaries themselves in depravity. His idea of "jail humor" to lift Spy and Scout's spirits is giving them a file... except their cell doesn't have bars, just six-inch thick plexiglass. He also makes a commemorative poster, with a little noose around a newspaper column about their arrest. And insisting they call him "Mike" instead of "Mister Mayor." Also, when Spy and Scout were in a bank vault collecting Scout's stuff, the police arrive to arrest them, but the mayor suggests they lock the two of them in instead, since Spy could probably easily kill them. By the way, that newspaper article claims Spy and Scout had to be "starved out" of hiding. Given that they were locked in the vault five and a half months ago, and are only just NOW being put on trial...
    • Oh, and we can't forget how the trial wasn't ACTUALLY for what RED did to Teufort; it was for stuff that the mayor did and just blamed on the mercs.
    • It's all ultimately subverted, however. The mayor was actually SO INCREDIBLY STUPID it never occurred to him that his behavior was evil.
  • Foreshadowing: Spy says that the food he and Scout have been given while in jail has been laced with drugs, and he wants a clear head for the next day's events, hinting that he's got something up his sleeve. It's Double Subverted when his plan to escape during the trial is ruined, but it's later revealed that the town of Teufort has been drinking contaminated water for a generation.
  • Kangaroo Court: Turns out that Scout and Spy hadn't even been given a TRIAL before they were sentenced to death, and the trial they DO get was laughable at best.
    • Parodied six ways to Sunday. They actually are guilty of property damage and accidental manslaughter from all those stray bullets, but they're never charged for such.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The city of Teufort treating the executions like a party. Given what the mercs have done to the city, it's hard to be too outraged at their preemptive celebration. Then it turns out the mercs are actually innocent of the crimes they're being hanged for.
  • The Millstone: Scout and Spy's public defender had a decent chance of actually getting them off by simply pointing out how they've not been subject to any sort of due process, which the judge didn't even contest—he wasn't even being facetious, he's just so stupid he genuinely didn't know those things. Then Soldier kills him and blows his and Demoman's cover because he couldn't stand Scout insulting him.
  • Mugging the Monster: Scout and Spy's cellmate Joey Murders tries to backstab Spy for no real reason. Guess which one actually ends up with a shiv in their back.
  • Noodle Incident: Scout and Spy once got a lamp as a public defender. And it was evidently better than Soldier.
  • Old Flame: Margaret/Maggie/Mags is this to Saxton Hale. She's been through four marriages and still seems to have feelings for him.
  • Only Sane Man: The public defender Spy and Scout get was actually a competent lawyer, who pointed out that his clients weren't getting a fair trial.
  • Refused the Call: In the epilogue it shows Heavy back in Siberia, presumably in hiding. When the woman he's visiting informs him that Ms. Pauling has been trying to contact him, the Heavy refuses to call her back and deliberately throws away the paper with her contact information.
  • Reality Ensues: As much as reality can be had in the world of TF2 gets subverted: Spy and Scout are arrested for what they did during their time working for RED and are due to be executed. It's implied that that's what'll happen to the other seven if they're caught. Then it turns out they AREN'T being arrested for the murders and property damage; the Mayor is pinning down every screw up HE'S made on them. When Miss Pauling proves they're innocent, the hanging simply gets cancelled as everyone leaves.
  • Running Gag: Soldier attempts to act as a defense attorney once again, and fails terribly (again).
    Scout: Beat it, Soldier! I got a real lawyer this time!
    Soldier: Oh yeah? Well, I'm calling a surprise witness! My hands! And they will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your lawyer's neck is guilty! ...of being broken! [NECK SNAP!] Huttah!
  • Schedule Slip: Discussed in the update post. Valve Time is in full effect and the second issue came out over a month late. After announcing that this arc would instead become a tri-monthly affair, the third issue came out two days short of four full months after the second. invoked
  • Spanner in the Works: Soldier manages to ruin three working plans to spring Scout and Spy from custody - Spy's, the public defender's and his own - simultaneously, all because he can't stand Scout insulting him. He starts by loudly retorting Scout's insult, exposing both himself and Demoman to the crowd and knocking Spy's smuggled butterfly knife out of his hands in the process, preventing him from using it to escape on his own. Then, in order to "prove" his skill as a defense attorney, he kills Scout's public defender just as it seemed that he might have been able to get Scout and Spy released legally.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Oddly subverted! You would think jumping from this panel to this panel would indicate that Saxton Hale's flashback was full of bunk, but no. Maggie confirms that said flashback was exactly how it went down.

Team Fortress Comics 3: A Cold Day in Hell

  • Badass Family: Apparently Heavy's family qualifies, although this isn't terribly surprising. Heavy makes a vague reference to "the people who hurt us before", and when his sister says that more men like them came while Heavy was in America, they "butchered them like hogs" all by themselves.
  • Bait and Switch: When Soldier declares that only honey and menstruating women attract bears, he is hit with a sudden realization, points at Pyro, and yells at Pyro to step aside, revealing the large quantities of honey in the plane's cargo.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Soldier, Pyro, and Scout are attacked by three large bears. Then, it turns out they were only cubs when the massive Mama Bear shows up.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Heavy will protect his sisters. From anyone and anything. However, his sisters are grown women now, and while they will never be able to repay him for all he has sacrificed, they no longer need his protection.
  • Brick Joke: The old lady from "Unhappy Returns" who was going to look up the definition of "pedophile" is at the library with a dictionary. She does not look happy.
  • Cliffhanger: Miss Pauling, Demo, and Spy arrive in Australia to look for Sniper... and a sniper scope is aimed straight at Pauling.
  • Death Glare/ Expressive Mask: Let's just say, you do not insult fire in front of the Pyro.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Medic, who is now working for the TFC merc team and looks forward to battling his old friends, all for the sake of seeing which he has made stronger.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Soldier fights a bear bear-naked and covered in honey.
  • Given Name Reveal: Heavy's sisters call him Misha, which is a shortened, affectionate term for Mikhail.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Soldier, when debating whether to eat "Heavy's Communist mom's" soup, hallucinates George Washington and Benedict Arnold. And a giant hot dog.
  • Homage: This issue's cover is based off the cover for Action Comics #1, with the Heavy throwing a giant bear into the ground.
  • Historical Hilarity / Historical Injoke: A mild example compared to TF2's usual, but Amelia Earhart apparently stockpiled massive amounts of honey, wore a hot dog costume while flying, and somehow crashed in western Siberia.
  • Macguffin Delivery Service: Invoked by Gray's mercenary team. They've already found the other merc team, but are just tracking them until they lead them to the Administrator.
  • Made In Country X: When a Russian woman offers Soldier coats, he refuses because he read the first letter of the SEARS tag and assumed it stood for "Soviet/Stalin/socialism". He insists he'll only wear American-made goods like his Mann Co. jacket—even though the labels says it was made in China. For a company owned by an Australian.
  • Meat-O-Vision: When Soldier is hungry he starts seeing the Siberian wildlife as pies and turkey, his hands as a sandwich, and Scout as a hot dog. This is subverted when it turns out Scout actually looked like a hot dog because he just put on a hot dog costume.
  • Mythology Gag: Team Fortress Classic mercenaries form Team Gray. The actual TFC logo appears in the panel Team Gray is introduced to drive the point across.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Soldier: Don't worry Scout! I am nude and covered in honey again!*
    *See Naked Tales of Valor #1-37, Scout's Worst Double Dates #14
  • Not Hyperbole: When Heavy says the full-sized bears the others killed were babies, he's not just repeating his Catch Phrase: they were actual babies, and their much larger mother just came for them.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The scene in Siberia ends short of the Heavy wrestling against a gigantic bear with the Soldier and Pyro spectating, cutting to Gray Mann's pursuit of the Administrator at Teufort's library. When the comic cuts back a mere two pages later, the bear has already been made into a banquet.
  • Red Scare: Soldier does not like being in Siberia: he refuses any help from locals, does not want to eat any of their food even when he is starving, and hallucinates that he is being taunted by "Christopher, the Communist Mountain".
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: After sleeping with Heavy's sister Zhanna, Soldier can be seen wearing her nightgown for the rest of the comic.
  • Shout-Out: "There are only two things that attract bears: honey and menstruating women."
    • The cover is a shout-out to the cover of Action Comics Number One, with Heavy taking the place of Superman, a bear taking the place of the green car, and Scout, Soldier, and Pyro taking the place of the other people. Scout even wears the fairly iconic expression of distress one of the panicking civilians has.
  • Sudden Videogame Moment: When Scout, Soldier, and Pyro kill the baby bears, up pops the same end-of-round scoreboard shown in the actual game.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Half-way into the comic it's implied Scout's organs were ripped out by bears and his heart stopped. Less than ten pages later he wakes up without any visible injury.
  • Unsound Effect: BORING MORAL CHOICE!
  • The Unreveal:
    Soldier: "There are only two things that attract bears: honey and menstruating women. My God, I knew it! Somehow I always knew!" (points at Pyro) "Pyro! Stop blocking the door! Good Lord! This plane is filled with honey!"
    • Scout dreams that Spy is his dad, but wakes up in a cold sweat and realizes it's "Not a memory. Just a dream."


  • A True Story In My Universe: Saxton Hale describes Team Fortress 2 as a dramatized documentary game based off of the events that have transpired in the comics' universe.

Love and War/Expiration Date

  • Admiring the Abomination: Medic's in full-on Nightmare Fetishist mode here. He, Soldier, and Pyro all seem enamored with the little bread monster (although from what we know about how Pyro sees the world, he probably thinks it's a puppy).
    Medic: (excitedly shaking the jar it's been contained in) "Ooh, it hates me so much!"
    Soldier grins and pokes the jar, the monster snaps at him
    • There's also this little gem, after Scout asks Medic what's wrong with the bread:
    Medic: (cheerfully breaks the loaf apart, exposing large, green masses inside) "Tumors!"
  • Ascended Meme / Self-Deprecation: When Medic says "We have three days to live!" the camera pans back over to Soldier...who apparently can't count to three. There's also a lambda symbol written on Engie and Medic's chalkboard. Sound familiar?
    • The Red Bread van's hood ornament reads Sword.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: It turns out that teleporting bread enough times will cause it to form into a little vicious monster. Soldier teleports so much bread over three days that the bread becomes an enormous tentacled beast.
  • Almighty Janitor: Miss Pauling, who takes care of the cleanup at all of the Mercs' battle scenes so that none of them go to prison. She only gets one day off per year.
  • Call Back:
    • Scout is shown to be handy at using improvised weapons as clubs, as was shown in the Smissmas Comic.
    • When Medic ubers the Heavy, it works the same as in the "Meet The Medic" video (Heavy becomes invincible, but Medic remains the same).
    • As Spy is teaching Scout how to dance, Scout's earlier attempts at dancing make a lot more sense when you consider all the Tom Jones memorabilia he'd been collecting. Doubles as a Shout-Out.
    • The code for the numberpad on the team's van is the same as in the Meet the Spy, as only the 1 shows signs of being used.
  • Cargo Ship: Invoked. " having sexual congress with the Eiffel Tower... Eiffel Tower having sexual congress with me... "
  • Chekhov's Skill: During Scout's date training montage, Spy teaches him to tango, using a mannequin as a stand-in dance partner. Later on, after Scout and Pauling agree to take cover inside the bread monster's mouth, Scout saves Pauling from a tentacle attack by dipping and twirling her in the same way he did with the mannequin.
  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: Turns out that the teleporter side-effects do just mean they can't teleport bread anymore.
  • Continuity Nod: A Freeze-Frame Bonus version: As Spy prepares the mic to make Scout repeat to the whole team that Spy is better than him, Pyro can be seen reading the magazine from Meet The Medic.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The Mercs have been using the teleporter for six years, and find out they have tumors three days before those tumors will kill them.
    • It takes three days for The Medic to discover that only bread gets tumors, and for anyone to notice the bread monster soldier is creating
    • The day the Mercs will ostensibly die is the Ms. Pauling's one day off.
  • Double Meaning Title: A triple example, even:
    • RED has just acquired the Lecture Valley bread company. Bread plays a major role in the short. Bread inevitably goes bad past its expiration date.
    • Like every human being, the RED mercs are coping with their inevitable demise.
    • Scout's dying wish is to go on a date with Miss Pauling.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Scout explains that he doesn't know how to woo classy girls, shown in a flashback.
    [at the counter of a fast food restaurant]
    Scout: We both got buckets of chicken. You wanna do it?
    Girl: Eh, okay.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The short contains several cosmetic item sets (for Scout, Demoman, and Engineer) and some taunts (the Deep Fried Desire and Oblooterated taunts, specifically)) that were released in the update patch.
  • Eureka Moment: Scout and Ms. Pauling, trapped between a horrible bread monster and a bomb about to go off, notice Archimedes completely unharmed inside the former after being Swallowed Whole by it earlier. They leap inside it just as the bomb goes off, protecting them from the blast.
  • Eye Scream: Played for Laughs. During Scout's training sequence, the Spy knocks a fork out of Scout's hand into Demoman's eyepatch.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When told they have three days to live, none of the Mercs panic or bemoan their fate. The instead opt to spend their last hours relaxing and pursuing their hobbies.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Attempted, then inverted. Ms. Pauling gets the idea to shove a Payload bomb into the bread monster's mouth, but it knocks the cart over, leaving her and Scout trapped with a soon-to-detonate bomb. Then she sees Archimedes safe inside its mouth, so she and Scout jump in so the bread monster will protect them from the blast.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Spy, despite his mocking and gloating, spends his last hours helping Scout. This mirrors the comics.
    • Scout's "girls vs. ladies" speech is short, but surprisingly eloquent.
    • Demoman plays piano and the Sniper plays saxophone.
  • I Ate What?: Heavy pausing at eating his sandvich when he sees the bread full of tumors. In the background of the next scene, he can be seen inspecting it briefly before continuing to eat it anyway.
  • Last Three Days To Live: The entire concept of the short. The mercs mistakenly think they have terminal cancer as a side effect of using Engie's teleporters, so Spy attempts (unsuccessfully) to create a "Bucket List" that will allow each merc to have his dying wish. Only Scout takes him up on it.
  • Mundane Utility: Demoman uses the teleporter to make beer runs.
  • Mythology Gag and Call Forward: Likely unintentional, but the Spy tells his team "see you all in hell." The Scream Fortress 2013 event takes place later in the timeline, wherein both teams actually travel to Hell.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Soldier spends three days teleporting the bread, which ends up creating a massive bread monster
    Soldier: You told me to!
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Medic, as detailed under Admiring the Abomination above. Miss Pauling is showing shades of this, given how she declares the fight against the bread monster to be "fun" and asks if they can do it again.
  • Oh Crap: Medic freaks out slightly when he hears that Soldier spent three days doing nothing but teleport bread... which they just learned creates bread monsters.
  • Out of Focus: The Sniper and Pyro have no lines, and the Demoman and Heavy only get a few words in each.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Engineer: How. Much.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Scout tries to talk to Spy in his smoking room:
    Spy: Oh, Scout. Please. Go [bleep] yourself.
  • Properly Paranoid: Subverted. When Spy is coaching Scout on how to go on a date at 7 PM, Scout starts rattling off an impressive list of preparations involving scoping out the restaurant at 7 AM, killing and replacing the cook if necessary. Spy then tells him no, and that everything he just said is insane.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: When shown the tumorous bread, Soldier concludes this means they can't teleport any more bread and flies into a rage. Engineer tells him he can "teleport as much bread as you like" to calm him down. Soldier then spends the entire three days teleporting so much bread that it creates a giant monster.
  • Rousing Speech: Spy gives one when he presents his bucket list idea to the rest of the team. Unfortunately, he's the only one to take the idea seriously.
  • Sequel Escalation: A very long short film (at 15 minutes long, it comes close to every previous short combined) with a self-contained plot, containing both drama and comedy as well as master-quality animation. It also marks the official film debut of a character only seen in supplemental comics, complete with new voice actress and model.
  • Ship Tease: For Scout/Miss Pauling.
  • Shout-Out: In addition to the Tom Jones reference above, two of the cosmetic items released alongside the video were references to television shows:
  • Suddenly Voiced: Miss Pauling is finally given an official character model, and we finally hear her voice. She's played by Ashly Burch!
  • Teleportation Sickness: The teleporters turn out to cause tumors. But it only happens with bread.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Soldier, doing nothing but teleporting bread for three days, somehow not even realizing he's creating a monster for all that time, and then cheerfully calling out what he's done when the bread monster is throwing him around the room.
  • Training Montage: Scout goes through one, coached by Spy, to work on his dating skills. Spy thinks he's a failure, though.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: It turns out that all those years of using teleporters have given the team tumors, as exemplified in bread, which will kill the team in three days. Except not. It turns out that they're not only completely fine, but the "tumors" are actually a mutation-based life form that only works on bread and other wheat foods, bringing it to life as a murderous creature.

    The "Meet The Team" videos 
TF2 started with nine mercenaries, each with his own distinct personality. Because they live inside a frantic multiplayer shooter, though, the only facets of those personalities people got to see were the screaming, shooting, and being-on-fire parts. Enter the Meet the Team shorts, showcasing the mercs in their off-hours—arguing with their parents, barking orders at their head collections, or just strumming a guitar by the campfire. Also we made a movie about a sandwich.
The TF2 Team

  • A Day in the Limelight: Meet the Spy is the first video to focus on the BLU team (for the majority of its runtime, anyway), even if they are mostly talking about the RED Spy.
  • Black Comedy: Moreso than the game itself.
  • Butt Monkey: The BLU team is always horribly abused by the RED team in these videos. Also, the BLU Heavy is pretty much always the most obvious target. The RED Heavy, on the other hand, kills everything. This is a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation as well, as in the actual game, BLU is just as capable of winning.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In their class videos, characters are much more competent and capable of feats they're not normally capable of, occasionally directly contradicting the way things work in-game.
  • Easter Egg: Not quite a Freeze-Frame Bonus, but worth pointing out: The title cards contain the phrase "COPYRIGHT LOLOLOL".
    • Except for Meet the Sandvich, which has "COPYRIGHT OMNOMNOM"
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • In Meet the Spy, before the Spy kills the Sniper, you can see a crate marked "Razorback", as well as jars of shelved Jarate and the Huntsman. These didn't debut until after Meet the Spy was leaked, although Jarate made its debut after the video's official release.
      • The practice of Valve including teasers for yet-to-be released items dates back to "Meet the Sniper", which included a brief glimpse of the Pyro holding a new gun, which was later added to the game as the flare gun - briefly enough to be considered a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
    • Jarate also makes an appearance in the title card and the time lapse sequence of "Meet the Sniper".
    • The Mac update video features Engineer holding the Frontier Justice, a month before the Engineer Update.
    • Also from "Meet the Spy", the BLU Scout (actually the RED Spy) is seen holding the Sandman in the beginning of the video, foreshadowing that the Spy would soon be able to emulate the unlockable weapons of the player he is disguised as. The BLU Sniper can be seen wearing the Trophy Belt before the hat was released.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In addition to all characters being portrayed as incredibly over-powered in the "Meet the Team" videos, there are several times when they directly contradict established in-game abilities.
    • Meet the Scout: The Scout completely does not let any hits reach him until he grapples with the Heavy, despite running straight into practically EVERYTHING. While each individual obstacle is feasible on its own, collectively it's nigh impossible on MANY levels (notably outrunning the Sentry Gun's bullets). And don't mention the Bonk! Atomic Punch, because that didn't debut until the following year.
    • Meet the Engineer: The Engineer has many sentries up; in-game, he can only build one at a time. However, one valid tactic to defend an area in the game is to have multiple engineers build multiple turrets in an area and have one engineer babysit them, so it's possible this could be what's happening.
    • Meet the Demoman: At one point, the Demoman lays a trap with sixteen sticky bombs, as opposed to the eight he can use in-game (however, at one point in development, Demos actually could use sixteen stickies). He also tricks a Sentry into tracking his bombs instead of him (impossible in-game), and bounces a grenade behind him that explodes upon hitting a Pyro (grenades explode on enemy contact only if they haven't touched anything else.)
    • Meet the Sniper: one of the Sniper's shots kills a Heavy and continues on to injure the Demoman standing behind him. While true to life, this was patched out very early in the game's update cycle and was only reintroduced later as a perk of the Machina sniper rifle. (and before you ask, no, he's not using that rifle in the video)
    • Meet the Spy: littered with lots of egregious examples. Contradictions seen in this video include the RED Spy touching the briefcase while disguised as the BLU Scout (in a real CTF match, this would force the Spy to drop his disguise and pick up the briefcasenote ) and the BLU Soldier shooting the BLU Spy (again, impossible, as friendly fire is not part of the vanilla game and, in fact, shooting teammates is an excellent way to check if they are enemy spies). There's also him sliding a sapper under a sentry, which results in the sentry's immediate destruction, again not actually possible in-game. He also attacks a BLU Medic after disguising, where in-game this would turn his disguise back off again.
    • Meet the Medic: this video shows the first use of the Medic's prototype medigun, the Quick-Fix, and how he uses it to Über the Heavy. However, the Quick-Fix in the game cannot actually Über (this was actually explained away: this specific Über was so powerful it burned out that function of the prototype). Secondly, although the ÜberCharged Heavy changes his appearance as Übered players do in-game, the Medic does not, despite also changing his appearance when Übered in-game (also justified; only Heavy has the Übercharge battery in his heart at this point). Finally, when struck by rockets, rather than exploding and causing knockback like in real play, they simply bounce off the Übered Heavy.
    • Meet the Pyro was probably even worse than any of the forementioned in this regard, as the title character torched and destroyed AN ENTIRE MAP.
  • Karma Houdini: The main star of each video will massacre the entire BLU team & walk off with out anything resembling repercussions (mostly because they either hide in some place where they'd be impossible to kill or go on a rampage before the BLU team can even get ready to retaliate).
  • Running Gag:
    • The "COPYRIGHT LOLOLOL" in each of the team's title cards ("COPYRIGHT NOM NOM NOM" for Meet the Sandvich).
    • In every "Meet the Team" video, the BLU Soldier has been killed. That's taken to its logical extreme in Meet the Medic. The entire BLU team is Soldiers.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: The BLU Heavy is tied for the "suffers most" slot.
  • Sequel Escalation: Each new video is more hilariously violent than the last.
    • Starting from "Meet the Sandvich", the videos have broken away from their original interview-and-gameplay-footage structure, and the subsequent entries have actually had their own individual plots.
  • The Worf Effect: The BLU Heavy has been seen getting headshotted, backstabbed, destroyed by a missile (twice), knocked out for a Sandvich, exploded by stickies, killed by a level 1 sentry, and an axe to the head.
    • Also the BLU Soldier, who has been killed by the same group of sentries as the Heavy, gibbed by the same stickies as the Heavy, headshotted by the same Sniper as the Heavy, backstabbed by the same Spy as the Heavy, hit by a train, by being on the receiving end of the RED Heavy's ÜberCharge, and gaining a hole in his abdomen. Oh, and the Sandvich broke his spine.
    • The BLU Spy as well, being shoveled by the Soldier, detonated by the Demoman's stickies, backstabbed by the Sniper, headshotted by his own comrades, and being preserved as a head in a refrigerator by the Medic.
    • Let's just say that in general, RED pulls this off on BLU.

Meet the Heavy

  • Description Porn: Heavy introducing "Sasha".
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: the Heavy claims his gun fires 10,000 rounds per minute, when it actually fires "only" 2,400 rounds per minute.
    • The in-game achievement for firing $100,000 worth of bullets in a single life uses the $200/cartridge figure and equates 1 cartridge with 1 ammo (the minigun reduces the ammo count by 1 ten times a second, and fires 4 shots 10 times a second). By this math, it would actually cost $24,000 to fire for 12 seconds. Forcing convoluted stats like this upon the world is probably why the Heavy is seen laughing uproariously in the next shot.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The final scene takes place on Dustbowl.
  • I Call It Vera: "Oh my God, who touched Sasha? Alright... WHO TOUCHED MY GUN?!?"
  • Sequel Escalation: The first: a simple character animation test consisting of an interview in one place with gameplay footage at the end.

Meet the Soldier

  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • The Soldier's rockets One-Hit Kill a Demoman, Heavy and Pyro into Ludicrous Gibs.
    • The Soldier runs straight into a Level 2 sentry, and emerges completely unscathed.
    • RED Team completely bypasses the building housing Granary's second BLU point to reach the final point; in-game one cannot go around the building and must go through it.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Takes place on Granary.
  • Funny Background Event: When the Soldier hits the Spy with his shovel, a poster in the background reads, "No Smoking".
  • Historical Character Confusion: Soldier attributes the story of Noah's ark to Sun Tzu instead.
    Soldier: "Then he [Sun Tzu] used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one!"
  • Memetic Badass: The Soldier seems set to make Sun Tzu as one, who, according to him: invented fighting, was a prizefighter, used his fight money to put two of every animal on a boat like Noah, "and then he beat the crap out of every single one!" invoked
  • Offhand Backshovel
  • Sequel Escalation: The second: a vignette showing a pacing soldier giving a fantastic speech to a row of decapitated heads between clips of heated gameplay footage.
  • The Stinger: "Unless it's a farm!"
  • Stock Femur Bone: The Medic's neckbone.
  • Trick Dialogue: The Soldier is actually drilling the severed heads of the people he's just killed.

Meet the Engineer

  • Brick Joke: The guitar eventually made its in-game debut as Frontier Justice's special taunt. With perfect timing and lots of luck, you can use it to crack heads.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The Engineer exhibits Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness which he does not show in any of his in-game lines, which tend to lean more towards Sophisticated as Hell. More importantly, he has four sentries up at once (though he could just be babysitting for his fellow Engineers).
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation/Never Trust a Trailer: The Engineer makes at least four sentries around him to protect him. In the actual game (except for a very brief, but glorious, period between updates), he can only build one sentry at a time.
    • Though it is very common to see multiple Engineers all building their sentry nests right next to each other.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "How am I gonna stop some big, mean mother-hubbard from tearing me a structurally superfluous new behind?"
  • More Dakka: "The answer? Use a gun. And if that don't work? Use more gun."
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Four sentries, 215+ kills, and a truckful of intelligence briefcases and Scout corpses.
  • Sequel Escalation: The third: an interview with the Engineer in a spot on a map, featuring an active sentrygun and external action.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: At odds with his in-game lines.
  • Stealth Pun: The campfire. Explanation 
    • When the camera zooms out, you can see that the Engineer's "campfire" is a burning BLU Sniper's corpse.

Meet the Demoman

  • Badass Boast: "SO...t'all ya fine dandies, so proud, so cocksure, prancin' a-boot with yer heads full of eyeballs! Come and get me, I say! I'll be waitin' on ya, with a whiff of the ol' brimstone! I'm a grim bloody fable...with an unhappy, bloody end!"
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The Demoman kills opponents with near-impossible ricocheted grenades, uses grenades to draw the fire of an engineer's sentry, and sets a trap with about a dozen stickybombs (his normal maximum is eight.)
    • All of this was possible when the video was released (still months before the game actually came out), but subsequent updates have brought this trope into play retroactively. There's a disclaimer about this at the end of the video:
    Disclaimer: All information regarding Demoman grenade behavior was obtained from Australians believed to be reliable at the time. It is submitted subject to the possibility of errors, omissions, or nerfing without notice.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Takes place on Gravel Pit.
  • No OSHA Compliance: With equal parts Reckless Bomb Usage. A lit cigarette can be seen sitting on a crate of grenades on the left side of his desk. He drunkenly knocks a loose grenade off his desk which lights up and makes a "live" beep noise as it falls to the floor. And of course chugging down a bottle of whiskey as he's working on his explosives.
    • Amusingly he's doing all of this while describing to the viewers just how much precision it takes for him to do his job, and the horrible consequences otherwise.
  • Oh Crap: The BLU team's reaction to the sticky trap.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The Demoman does this at the beginning.
  • Sequel Escalation: The fourth: an interview with a seated, drinking Demoman in three parts, punctuated by highlighted examples of Demoman weapon use.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: "They got more f[3-second-long bleep] than they've got the likes of me."
    • This is used in one of the blog's contests asking people to send in what they think was bleeped out. At the end of the contest, the winner of the "most accurate to the original script" category was something roughly like "They've got more fuckin' monsters in the Loch Ness than they got the likes of me."
    • Censored for Comedy: The censored line isn't really that vulgar: "They've got more fecking sea monsters in the great Lochett Ness than they got the likes of me."
  • Super Window Jump: While outrunning the fireball.

Meet the Scout

  • Ascended Extra: First appearance of The Sandvich.
  • Badass Boast: "Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines and brother — I hurt people!"
  • Big Guy Rodeo: The Scout, with the help of his bat, does this to the Heavy.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Especially while he was fighting the Heavy.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When Heavy is eating his Sandvich, he is also holding a shotgun. In-game, if you equip the sandvich, it replaces the shotgun.
    • For some reason, the Scout is able to resist being snapped in half by the Heavy at one point.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: At the start, the RED Scout cocks his scattergun (lever-action shotgun) before he runs out the door.
  • Defictionalization: In-Universe: the Heavy's Sandvich was eventually added to the game as an equippable item.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Takes place on both Well (the intro) and Granary (the fight with the Heavy).
  • Flexing Those Non-Biceps: "Oh man, that's beautiful!"
  • Sequel Escalation: The fifth: an interview, after a long introduction with complicated camera movement, rapidly cutting back and forth between the scout's free-roaming grandstanding and his action-packed direct struggle with the Heavy.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: "If you were from, where I was from, you'd be f(beep)ing dead!"
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: "Kind of a big deal."

Meet the Sniper

Meet the Sandvich

  • Amusing Injuries: From the cut lines — "Gimme back my legbone! OW! Don't hit me with it!"
  • Call Back: The final shot is copied directly from "Meet the Heavy", with only the Heavy's animation replaced. It worked because the original never actually showed his shots hitting their targets.
  • Gory Battle Discretion Shot: The second half of the scene.
  • Sequel Escalation: The seventh: a beatdown over a food item whose perspective is entirely inside a refrigerator, finishing with gameplay footage.

Meet the Spy

  • Angrish
  • Bang Bang BANG: The Soldier fires his shotgun, yet the blast sounds more like the Spy's revolver.
  • Blood Upgrade: The Sniper seems to start reacting like this after getting his cheek cut.
  • Captain Obvious/Parrot Exposition: The Soldier.
    Administrator: Intruder Alert! RED Spy in the base!
    Soldier: A RED Spy is in the base?
    Administrator: Protect the briefcase!
    Soldier: We need to protect the briefcase!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Soldier should have stopped to wonder why the Scout was trying to pry open the door instead of putting in the code.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Eventualities the BLU base monitor system is prepared to report:
    • Found Dracula
    • Lost Dracula
    • Is A Man
    • Is A Woman
    • Is A Robot
    • Needs A Ride
    • Needs Roommate
    • Has Evil Twin
    • Sleeping On Toilet
    • Owns Base
    • Leaked Video (originally read "Lost Memory," but was changed due to this video being leaked. The difference between the two versions can also be noted by the voice on the alam saying "Intruder Alert" twice in the leaked version, but only once in the official version.)
      • Is Fired
    • On Fire
    • On Break
    • In Surgery
    • Drowned
    • Smothered
    • Vaporized
    • Defenestrated
    • Hungry
    • Smells
    • Is Drunk
    • Depressed
    • Backstabbed
    • Stole A Car
    • About To Explode
      • Exploding
      • Exploded
  • Cutscene Power to the Max/Gameplay and Story Segregation/Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The RED Spy slides a sapper under a sentry gun.
    • The RED Spy touches the intelligence briefcase (without taking it) without losing his disguise. Although this could be justified by the fact that he didn't actually pick up the briefcase.
    • There's also the scene where he disguises as the Medic, which works entirely differently from how it does in game. In particular, the fact that he incapacitates him with a single karate chop, which probably wouldn't work even if it was possible in this game.
      • He also wasn't wearing the Medic's glasses, despite having duplicated the rest of his wardrobe.
    • The BLU intel room has a locked door with a keypad—all in-game doors open automatically or when an objective is completed. The room's interior is also slightly modified, as is every other part of the base shown.
    • The Soldier pops a friendly Spy's head with a single shotgun blast. While friendly fire with reduced damage is possible in-game with the server-side variable set, the shotgun doesn't do special damage for headshots and can never kill in 1 hit, and even if it could, heads don't gib that way in the game.
      • The shotgun in question also sounds like the Spy's revolver when the Soldier fires it.
  • Defensive "What?": The Soldier after blasting the Spy.
  • Defictionalization: In-Universe. A slightly altered version of the Alarm-O-Tron 5000 board was incorporated into the map Double Cross.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Instead of properly exploding, the Spy's eye pops off.
  • Fake Shemp: The Engineer, the Sniper and the Medic use sound clips lifted straight from their in-game dialogue lines rather than new voice-acted scripts.
    • Same goes for the Scout during the first twenty seconds or so.
  • Foreshadowing: The Spy's true identity is subtly hinted at — the BLU Scout doesn't know the doorcode, when the BLU Spy walks in with the Sniper's corpse over his shoulder, the Scout checks to see if the knife is still in its back, and at 2:42, he makes sure no one is going to see what he's about to do.
    • Also, the Alarm-O-Tron 5000 board gives a hint about who the RED Spy is disguised as. Three consecutive alerts read "BLU Scout', "Has Evil Twin", and "RED Spy".
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Takes place on a heavily modified but still plainly recognizable 2Fort.
  • Funny Background Event: The possible messages on the Alarm-O-Tron 5000 alert system. Blink and you'll miss it, or just see above.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In-game, a Scout is easily the worst class for a Spy to disguise as (the Spy can't match the Scout's speed), yet the BLU team STILL couldn't figure out who the RED Spy was.
    • Probably because he never had to run.
      • Also, he tries to open a password-locked door by force... though the others have trouble remembering the password too.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: The Heavy and the Soldier, in reaction to the pictures produced by the BLU Spy.
  • Ironic Echo: While not repeated word for word, it's still close enough to count.
    Spy:...then we still have a problem.
    Soldier: And a knife!
    Scout [sarcastic]: Ooh, big problem!
    Heavy: So, we still got problem.
    Soldier: Big problem. [problem asserts itself]
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The BLU Spy.
  • Mistaken for Spies: The BLU Spy is mistaken for a double-agent.
  • Mook Horror Show/Perspective Flip: Told from the perspective of the BLU team, as the BLU Spy warns the others about how dangerous the RED Spy is, who is shown dispatching several BLU members.
    • It's fairly ingenious as the other videos (except "Meet the Sandvich") have the RED members talk about themselves, which would be out of character for a Spy; telling it from the other perspective maintains the mysterious nature of the RED Spy.
  • Neck Snap: The RED Spy kills the BLU Medic with a karate chop to the neck.
  • The Password Is Always 1111: Made even funnier by the fact that although the "1" button on the BLU intel room keypad is dirty and worn out, implying that it has been used very often, the Soldier enters the first three digits, then has to stop and think to remember the last one and then grins when the door opens, like he's proud of himself for getting the code right.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: As is per character, the Red Spy does a good job feigning ignorance as the Scout. He even handles the knife very sloppily (like anyone) when in reality he is very dextrous.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The BLU Sniper hears the RED Spy and tries to jab him with the butt of his rifle. It doesn't work.
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: Valve's written description of The Spy begins, "He is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in riddles, lovingly sprinkled with intrigue, express mailed to Mystery, Alaska..."
  • Scars Are Forever: The Sniper has had a scar across his face in-game ever since the Spy cut him in this video.
  • Sequel Escalation: The eighth: a tale of intrigue with direct character interaction cutting back and forth between the Spy's action-packed narrative and the exploits and nuanced interactions of the characters in the intel room. Plus, an all-"new" character model for the Scout's mom.
  • Sound Effect Bleep:
    Spy: And now he's here to f[beep] us!
  • Spot the Imposter: The basic plot of the video.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: After the RED Spy reveals himself, pay attention to the TF2 theme snippet...
  • Unsafe Haven: The intel is behind a locked door, but the password is 1111, which is obvious from the "1" being the only button that's seen use, and the Heavy was able to shoulder-barge the door, destroying it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When the Soldier kills the BLU Spy, expecting him to have been the villain all along, only to discover he was actually disguised as the Scout.
  • Your Head Asplode
  • Your Mom: Done oh so very right by the BLU Spy by actually backing it up with his dossier on the Scout's mom, showing photos of her sleeping with the RED Spy. Most likely the best use of the line ever.
    Scout: What are you, president of his fan club?
    Spy: No... that would be your mother!

Meet the Medic

  • Action Prologue: Before the title card, we're treated to a brief scene of the RED Scout and Demoman in action... getting their asses handed to them by the BLU team.
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: Type 3. The Medic adjusts his glasses before turning on his Quick-Fix.
  • And I Must Scream: The RED Medic has the severed head of a BLU Spy preserved in his medical refrigerator. The Spy happens to be still alive, and capable of talking.
    Spy: Kill me.
    Medic: Later.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me/Orphaned Punchline: "Vait. It gets better. Vhen ze patient woke up, his skeleton vas missing, and ze doctor vas never heard from again! Ahahahaha! Hoohoo. Anyvay, zat's how I lost my medical license."
  • Amusing Injuries: The RED Demoman and RED Scout's beat-up, bandaged moments are used to lend (more) humor to their plight.
  • Ascended Meme: It's not technically in the final version of Meet the Medic, but rather in an older version that was abandoned. In this older version, the Medic is shown building his Medigun, taking parts from the mouth of the severed BLU Spy's head (which is still alive). The parts are shoved in the Spy's mouth in a rather familiar way...
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The BLU Soldiers don't learn to retreat from the scary, glowy RED Heavy.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: The final shot before The Stinger is of the Heavy and the Medic standing atop a pile of dead BLU Soldiers, all of them felled by the Heavy during the test of the ÜberCharge.
  • Beat Still, My Heart
  • Brick Joke: Early in the video, the Medic scolds Archimedes for playing in the intestines of the Heavy. At the end of the video:
    Scout: Oh man, you would not believe... how much this hurts!
    *Cooing noise from within the Scout's chest*
    Medic: ...Archimedes?
  • Butt Monkey: The RED Scout is especially abused this time around.
  • Call Back: The army of enemy Soldiers harkens back to the second original trailer, in which a BLU sentry mowed down an army of RED Soldiers.
  • Camera Abuse: Subverted, it looks like the Scout smashes into the camera itself before it's revealed that he just crashed into the RED base's window.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Set up with the Heavy, but the punchline is the Scout.
    Archimedes: *Coo*
  • Comedic Sociopathy: This series is already all about this trope, but this video plays suffering for comedy moreso than previous ones.
  • Continuity Nod: The magazine the Pyro is reading in the last scene is the Jarate Comic from the Sniper vs. Spy Update.
  • Curse Cut Short: Along with Sound Effect Bleep.
    RED Scout: (knocked down by a blast, he sees another volley of rockets flying at him) Whoa, who the fu—*KABOOM*AAAAAAAAHHHHH— *crash* ...Medic.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The Medic's ÜberCharge in the video does not make him invincible as well. Justified in that he most likely hasn't given himself a heart implant yet. On the other side of the battlefield, none of the Soldiers are firing at said vulnerable Medic.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Mostly averted, but the Medic is keeping a severed head alive indefinitely, and a RED Demoman is on the battlefield in a wheelchair. The Medigun also seems to have a low setting, as he's keeping the Heavy alive, conscious, and mostly out of pain without his heart and with his chest cut open, but without healing him.
    • The Soldiers' rockets also curve in mid-air to hit the Scout during the opening sequence.
    • The Heavy's ÜberCharge also seems to be making him immune to the rockets' knockback—in fact, the rockets don't even detonate, they just bounce off him as if they were airblasted. This actually makes sense when one notes that the Medic is using the Quick-Fix instead of the vanilla Medigun. The Quick-Fix's ÜberCharge does, in fact, render the patient immune to knockback. It doesn't make the patient invulnerable, but the description of the Quick-Fix notes that this is because the invulnerability function of the Quick-Fix shorted out after that first test, forcing the Medic to focus on one benefit or the other.
  • Dark Reprise: The first part of the soundtrack, which plays when the RED Scout is fleeing from a barrage of rockets, is a slowed down version of "Faster than a Speeding Bullet".
  • Development Gag: Apparently, the disembodied Spy head is a remnant from an earlier version of the short.
  • Dissonant Serenity: While the Medic's anecdote about losing his medical license (see below) is a little bit disturbing, it's still kind of jarring to hear him and Heavy laughing and chatting casually while a battle rages outside and the Medic is currently performing surgery on the Heavy while the latter is awake.
  • Disturbed Doves: The Medic has a fair flock of doves, apparently as pets. When he leaves his operating room and takes the field with the Heavy, a bunch of them fly out of the garage to mark his entrance. They also fly by when he and the Heavy are standing atop a pile of Soldiers.
  • Evil Laugh: The Medic. Hoo boy, the Medic. He's enjoying himself when he really shouldn't be.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: Right before the title card the BLU rockets appear to send the Scout smashing into the camera only for it to turn out to just be a window.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: It's hard to tell what map this takes place in, but according to Valve, it's a modified version of Badwater Basin.
    • It takes a bit of time to see that the entire contents of the refrigerator are a Sandvich, three hearts ("Mega Baboon", "Loch Ness Hamster", and one label too small to read), three bottles of Red Shed beer, the BLU Spy's head, a battery for the head, and an ashtray. From the placement of the Spy's head, it's implied that Meet the Sandvich was done in the same fridge from his point of view, but the Sandvich is on the wrong shelf.
    • Miss Pauling is watching the med-bay through an observation window. She has a clipboard in one hand.
  • Funny Background Event: In the final scene, all of RED team is sitting in the Medic's waiting room, waiting for their own ÜberCharge implants. The Pyro is reading a magazine (with "The Insult That Made a 'Jarate Master' Out of Sniper" on the back cover) while playing with a lighter, the Sniper is sleeping, the Demoman is drinking, the Spy is looking at his ticket, the Engineer is playing the song that accompanied the Medic during the surgery scene on his guitar, and the Soldier is standing at attention, eschewing the chairs.
    • During the start of the last battle scene, you can also see the Pyro near the cliff, running away from the mass of Soldiers in the funny 'humiliation' run cycle.
    • Check out the background at the start of the surgery scene. The x-rays in the light box show the Heavy has had a bomb lodged inside him. The extracted bomb is in the bucket underneath the x-rays. The Medic's Overdose can be seen by the bucket.
    • When the Heavy's heart explodes, the monitor in the background flatlines. When the Medic gets a new heart out, the monitor resumes its earlier display.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Medic is using his Quick-Fix medigun to keep the Heavy alive and conscious during the operation despite a missing heart and generally futzed-with innards, and then uses it to put his chest cavity back together (and presumably attach the new heart to his arteries).
  • Glove Snap: The Medic does one while putting on his gloves during his Lock and Load Montage/Suit Up of Destiny.
  • Healing Factor: "Oh, don't be such a baby. Ribs grow back! [aside] No zey don't."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Since it's his class video, the Medic gets played for this even moreso than usual in the course of regular gameplay, but he definitely buries the needle deep into the 'sociopath' side.
  • I Have No Idea What I'm Doing/Indy Ploy: The field test of the first ÜberCharge.
    Heavy: Doctor! Are you sure this will work?
    Medic: Ha-ha! I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!
  • Instant Bandages: The Scout and Demoman have somehow acquired bandages on the battlefield, and the Demoman is rolling around in a wheelchair before being healed by the Medic.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Inverted; the score "A Little Heart to Heart" remains in minor and chromatic sequences through most of the song, but then at the last note, turns into a major chord.
  • Laugh with Me: Heavy's belly laughs were completely genuine until he learned that the anecdote was actually about the Medic, shortly after which this trope comes into play full swing.
  • Lock and Load Montage: More like a 'get dressed to kill' montage with the Medic putting on his gloves, labcoat, and backpack.
  • Mad Doctor: It has never been clearer. ÜberCharges are apparently the result of the Medic slapping some sort of insane device on a large, strong heart and replacing it in the subject's chest before using the Medigun on him. He ends up blowing up the Heavy's original heart (passing it off as "progress") and outfitting him with a "Mega-Baboon" heart. Not to mention the severed Spy head, and his anecdote about removing some poor schmuck's skeleton during an operation.
  • Magically Regenerating Clothing: The medigun, when turned up to full power, not only allows the Heavy to quickly recover from 'surgery', but also repairs the bullet holes and massive rip in his jacket.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: Heavy's surgery, to an extent. For one thing, it involves Medic forcefully shoving the new heart into Heavy's chest cavity when it doesn't quite fit... only to actually break off one of Heavy's ribs.
    Medic: Oh, don't be such a baby, ribs grow back! (aside, to his doves) No, they don't.
    • Not forgetting the fact that Heavy's original heart was IN THE MEDIC'S HANDS for well over a minute, then BLEW UP, then was replaced by a new one... from a "Mega-Baboon".
    • And Heavy was awake the whole time. Medic doesn't seem to see any problem with this; presumably he likes chatting with his patients.
    Heavy: Should I be awake for this?
    Medic: Well, no. But as long as you are, could you hold your rib cage open a bit?
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Although we only see its heart, there's the apparent "Loch Ness Hamster."
  • Noodle Incident: How the Medic lost his medical license. A visual example is the Heavy's X-ray, which reveals he somehow got a nuclear warhead (radioactive symbol is there) lodged in his chest cavity somehow without it exploding.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Heavy goes through open heart surgery (if you could call it "surgery"), only to have his entire chest cavity healed over in seconds by the Medigun.
  • Oracular Head: The BLU Spy in the fridge.
  • Out of the Inferno: The Heavy gets to indulge in one during his first ÜberCharge, as the rockets of a dozen Soldiers fail to stop him.
    Ahhhahaha! I AM BOOLETPROOF!
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    Heavy: What happens now?
    Medic: Now? [chuckle] Let's go practice medicine.
  • Russian Humor: The Medic's anecdote at the beginning seems right up Heavy's alley, considering his love of bloody anecdotes. They laugh together at this hilarious story. Then Medic reveals it wasn't a joke, but a true story about himself, and Heavy stops laughing abruptly, looking worried.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The RED Pyro, apparently unharmed (unlike the RED Scout and Demoman, who are clearly injured), is seen humorously running away from the mass of oncoming BLU Soldiers, where the RED Engineer and Sniper are seen trying to hold a defensive position. Probably justified, though—no Medic or Ubercharge (yet), and that's an uncomfortably large number of Soldiers.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: The BLU Soldiers.
  • Sequel Escalation: The ninth: A partly creepy, partly comedic, entirely awesome Origin Story for the game's ÜberCharge mechanic. It's also the first to show more than one of a single class on one team in the same shot (a Soldier class rush).
  • Smoke Shield: during the ÜberCharge.
  • Stealth Pun: The deadpan Spy.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Averted. The table has straps (which is worrying), but they're not in use - it looks like Heavy really did volunteer.
  • Suit Up of Destiny: The Medic. He does a Power Walk right after.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In the waiting room, the Engineer is strumming "A Little Heart to Heart".
  • The Stinger: Two. After the title card, there's a scene of the RED team in the Medic's waiting room. After that is the announcement of Team Fortress 2 becoming free to play.
    Demoman: FREEDOM!
  • Twinkle Smile: The Scout gets one after the Medic heals him and replaces a knocked-out tooth.
  • Two Faced Aside:
    Medic: [to the Heavy] Oh, don't be such a baby. Ribs grow back! [to his doves] No, zey don't!
  • Übermensch: In a bit of a Genius Bonus (cryptically answered, in the usual way, by Valve), Medic draws a lot of parallels to Zarathustra in the video. Both mention doves and aim to transcend humanity, but in the original version of the video, he states he doesn't want to be a God, but instead, create them.
    Medic: I could do in seconds what would take other doctors months! I could take men to the peak of health — and beyond! I could make gods!
  • Waistcoat of Style: The Medic sports one while operating on the Heavy.
  • Zerg Rush: The army of BLU Soldiers.

Meet the Pyro

  • Alas, Poor Villain: The BLU team. Those poor bastards.
  • Amazing Technicolor World: Pyroland
  • Ambiguous Gender: In the closed captions, the Scout says, "He's not here, is she?", sticking with Valve's running joke about not revealing the Pyro's gender. Sadly Scout's voice actor Nathan Vetterlein didn't go through with it.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Pyro has multiple axes with it. The Pyro kills the BLU Heavy with a fire axe and traps the BLU Medic in a shed with it before torching the Medic. In the stinger, there's the partially charred Heavy with the axe in his head and the Sniper's arm with the Axtinguisher in it.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Pyroland features dogs, cats, and hamsters that are very large and also unusually chubby, and float in the sky.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: It's pretty one-sided, though.
  • Call Back: There's another severed Sniper arm among the debris and fire at the end of the video, just like what happened in Meet the Engineer.
  • Camera Abuse: The RED Scout knocks over the camera in a panicked attempt to escape his interview. Later, blood gets on the camera when the Pyro attacks the Heavy with his axe.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Turns out that the Pyro is just as Affably Insane as the rest of the cast.
  • Continuity Nod: Perhaps an accident, but taking in mind what the Pyro sees it's quite appropriate the (RED) Scout is especially afraid of the Pyro given rainbows make him cry (at least according to the Spy).
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: All of the BLU team. We know how the Medic met his end, and the final scene shows the charred, skeletal remains of the Engineer and Scout, part of the Heavy with an axe in his head, Demoman's corpse (although it's kind of hard to see) and the Soldier with the hole in his chest. The Sniper's arm is shown chopped off by the Axtinguisher, and he was torched earlier.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The RED Pyro causes a lot of environmental damage, and it uses the fire axe to bar a set of double doors, locking the BLU Medic on the other side before torching the whole building.
  • Dead Hand Shot: The dismembered arm of the BLU Sniper.
  • Death Is Dramatic: The BLU Sniper jumps out or is blasted out of a second story window, crawls and grabs onto the Pyro's foot while calling for help, and is incinerated.
  • Defictionalization: In-Universe - the Balloonicorn that the BLU Engineer and BLU Spy ride in Pyrovision is offered in the real life Valve store.
    • And, to everyone's surprise, the Pyro's fantasy world itself has been incorporated into the game in the form of "pyrovision", which reskins most of the official maps into a very rough but painstakingly implemented imitation for anyone who has a pyroland-related item equipped.
  • Description Cut: The RED Spy muses about what his psychotic teammate could be thinking...
    Spy: One shudders to imagine what inhuman thoughts lie behind that mask. What dreams of chronic and sustained cruelty?
    [cut to the Pyro's point-of-view: a fantasy landscape of colorful hills and the BLU team as cooing winged cherubs]
  • Dissonant Serenity: The Pyro imagines itself giving lollipops, bubbles, and happiness to its enemies. At the end, we see the Pyro to be walking and swaying happily in its dreamland. Zoom out through the Soldier's torso, and we see the Pyro is actually walking away with his flamethrower, with the town burning around him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before making an appearance in the video, the Pyro's Scorch Shot was featured in a blog post a few days earlier, as an example of how a weapon is made.
  • Even Evil Has Standards/You Monster!: The Pyro's own teammates call it a monster.
  • Fake Shemp: The BLU team, in the same way as Meet the Spy previously. Also the RED Pyro shklerself, which is odd because VA Dennis Bateman was on-board to voice some lines for the Spy.
  • Firing One-Handed: The Pyro does this with the Scorch Shot at a BLU Scout.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The Demoman is wearing the old stick-of-dynamite emblem instead of one with a stickybomb.
    • On the end-of-video view of the classes portrait, before the complete zoom out from the Pyro, the Engineer has a rather worried facial expression.
    • One of the floating puppies seen at 1:06 is wearing Alyx Vance's necklace. (it's easier to notice if you are watching in fullscreen and HD)
    • Not exactly from the video itself, but a short clip of Meet the Pyro appears on the screen of one of the employees' computers in the "Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative" video.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The BLU Scout isn't immediately ignited after being pelted by the Scorch Shot's flare, though he is knocked back.
  • Giant Food: In the Pyro's view, the BLU Heavy appears from behind a giant bitten-into sandwich. There are enormous lollipops everywhere, one of which the Pyro uses on the Heavy.
  • Giggling Villain: The Pyro giggles before driving an axe into the enemy Heavy's head.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera turns to the Pyro's face when it torches the enemy Sniper, though the fire is visible from the mask's reflective lenses.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The BLU Soldier gets impaled by a piece of an exploding sentry.
  • Implacable Man: The BLU team members spend most of the film hiding or fleeing, but the Pyro doesn't leave the town until everyone is dead.
  • Kill It with Fire: Pretty much the entire BLU team (excepting their Pyro), but the BLU Engineer, Sniper, Medic, Scout, and presumably the Demoman are killed this way specifically on-screen (Demo can even be heard yelling "I'm burning!").
  • Knockback: The BLU Scout gets some courtesy of the Pyro's Scorch Shot.
  • Man on Fire: Expected of Meet the Pyro. The BLU Sniper and Demoman are shown to have been set alight, and neither survive.
  • Menacing Stroll: How the Pyro is moving around in reality - it's skipping happily in Pyroland.
  • Mood Whiplash: One minute, everyone is running in fear from the Pyro and his insane amounts of fire. Cut to its view, and everything turns into a Sugar Bowl environment. The rest of the video alternates between these two moods constantly.
  • Mook Horror Show: The parts not in pyrovision take this even further than previous examples. The Pyro doesn't even have an apparent mission objective it's working toward, he's just hunting down and killing guys on the other team, most of which are running away.
    • Although, ingame, that's also called "Arena mode".
  • No Man of Woman Born: Not a prophecy, but the RED Heavy boasts that he is afraid of no man. He believes the Pyro isn't human, calling him a "thing".
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: The Pyro hits a BLU Scout with such a shot from the Scorch Shot. This is the Scorch Shot's kill-taunt, only effective at point-blank.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: In the last shot, we can hear the Pyro whistling to the tune of "Do You Believe In Magic" (the music that's playing in its head), while strolling away from the carnage.
  • One-Man Army: No one fights alongside the Pyro, and it alone kills everyone on the BLU team, and the short ends with the Pyro leaving the place a burning wreck - appropriate since many strategies for playing as the Pyro involve working alone.
  • One-Man Band: In the Pyro's vision, it's wearing a bunch of bongos in place of grenades and has a toy orchestra on his back. Its flamethrower appears as a whimsical set of horns.
  • Quizzical Tilt: As the Pyro murders the Sniper, likely a Shout-Out to when Mike Myers does the same.
  • Walking into the Sunset
  • Scare Chord: The same drawn-out chord plays whenever the film briefly switches from Pyrovision to reality.
  • Sequel Escalation: The tenth: a closer look at the most enigmatic member of the team and what we see through his eyes. It's the last thing anybody would expect.
  • Shown Their Work: Pyro kicks a door down using the technique a firefighter would use.
  • Skip of Innocence: In the Pyro's visions, it's skipping while handing out lollipops and spraying magic. It also skips slowly when leaving the town.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Balanced as usual.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: "He's not here, is she?note  How do I get this [microphone bump]-ing thing off?"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: You will never hear "Do You Believe in Magic" the same way again. Well... if you'd heard of it before...
  • Stealth Pun:
    • From the Pyro's perspective, the entire team really is babies.
    • Pyro is known for never taking off its gas mask. Of course it sees everything through a filter.
    • The Pyro traps the Medic in a box. It just made a health kit.
  • The Stinger: Done in a similar way to the last video. The first stinger is a scene with the Pyro in its dreamland, walking away from the camera. After the scene fades out, there is an announcement about the release of Source Filmmaker, the tool used by Valve to create the "Meet the Team" videos.
  • Stock Scream/Screams Like a Little Girl: The Sniper when the Pyro ignites him.
  • Sugar Bowl: Pyroland.
  • Super Window Jump: The BLU Sniper leaves a burning building via a second story window.
  • Surprise Creepy: The entire video is really surprisingly disturbing - the Pyro's remorseless and brutal rampage is easily the most gruesome and frightening sequence in the entire history of the game and witnessing it Through the Eyes of Madness somehow makes it worse. The Heavy's corpse, partially charred and with an ax stuck in his head, as well as the charred Engineer and Scout skeletons visible at the end of the video are surprisingly grim.
  • Torso with a View: The BLU Soldier. The Pyro walks away while the view zooms out of Pyrovision and into reality, passing through the hole in the Soldier.
  • The Dreaded: The Pyro. Forget the enemy team, its own team is afraid of it.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness
  • Unflinching Walk: In the end, the Pyro is slowly walking away from the town while whistling. It glances left to see a chunk of building nearly collapse on it, and keeps walking and whistling.
  • Unicorn: The one in the Pyro's perspective looks like an inflatable toy and takes the BLU Spy and Engineer for a ride. It's also seen on a matchbook in the title card.
  • The Unreveal: The fans were hoping that this video would answer some questions about the Pyro. Not only did it answer none of them (unless you count "how crazy is the Pyro?" of which the answer is a resounding very), it raised even more.
Team Fortress 2VideoGame/Team Fortress 2 Team Fortress 2

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