Team Fortress 2: Tropes Q to Z
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- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Sentries giving you trouble? Get a Spy to sap them. Spy sappin' your stuff? Use Pyros to weed them out. Incoming Pyro? Deploy a Sentry.
- There's even an achievement for backstabbing somebody who then switches to Pyro before they respawn.
- Take That: Two of the Soldier's Domination lines towards the Sniper has him mocking the Australian censorship of Left 4 Dead 2.
The Soldier: Aw, am I too violent for ya, cupcake?
The Soldier: Your country did not prepare you for the level of violence you will meet on MY battlefield!
- In a Saxton Hale comic after the Mann-Co uptate, Saxton's butler comes in concerning their customers, to which he responds, "What are those sniveling babies crying about now?" a take that towards the complaints about the Mann-Co store.
- If the Heavy wears the Grand Duchess set, he will sometimes shout "Friendship is stupid magic!". Though it's perhaps more of an affectionate ribbing, as Gabe Newell is apparently a dedicated fan of the show.
- In Meet the Sniper, there's a billboard that reads, "FOAD: Camping fun all year 'round!" "Campers" is a term for gamers that wait in one area for a kill, and "FOAD" stands for "Fuck Off And Die".
- Taking You with Me: One of the Soldier's taunts has him suicide bombing himself with a grenade. An achievement requires using this taunt to kill another player.
- A few Soldier and Demoman players partake in this when something suddenly pops in from around corners.
- Pretty much the whole point of Targe+Caber. Need to demolish that large group of enemies that just steamrolled your team? Charge in, Caber them all, buy your team time.
- The most favored Pyro playstyle is to rush into a group of people and set them all on fire. Even if the Pyro dies, the afterburn can do enough damage to kill (earning the Pyro an achievement) or at least severely cripple the enemy.
- Talking Weapon: The Eyelander and its reskins whisper "Heads!" regularly and when making a kill.
- Tap on the Head: Getting hit with a baseball from the Scout's Sandman will temporarily stun an enemy, rendering them unable to defend themselves and slowing their movement speed. The effect increases the further away the enemy is, up to the point where the victim is completely immobilized for about 7 seconds.
- Taps: The Soldier's Shotgun Taunt is him doing a Three Gun Salute while Taps plays.
- Taunt Button: The "taunt" key, obviously. You can even kill with some of them (and doing so earns you an achievement).
- The characters will also taunt each other via voice clips after dominations and high Kill Streaks.
- Team Shot: Notably at the end of the "Meet The Team" movies and general promotional artwork.
- Team Spirit: There's a reason this game is called Team Fortress 2. There's also a color of paint called "Team Spirit".
- Technicolor Fire:
- Depending on the player's team affiliation, when set on fire, the Spy will also glow red or blue.
- In Pyroland, Rainblowers spew rainbows and multicolored sparkles. All players and corpses that are on fire will emit sparkles and rainbows, along with glowing their team color.
- Technology Porn: A Sentry going from toolbox to level 3 is a pretty awesome sight◊. The two other buildings also build themselves once deployed.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The Engineer's teleporter pair. Too bad its only transports one way.
- Unless you buy the Two Way Teleporters upgrade in Mann vs. Machine.
- Tele-Frag: What happens if an enemy stands on a teleporter as someone uses it.
- Tennis Boss: In an update, the Pyro was given the ability to reflect most projectiles. Crazy Awesome tactics and playstyles have been generated since.
- That Poor Cat: The 2010 Halloween Update included noisemakers you can set off that play Halloween-themed sounds to the entire map. One of them is "Black Cat". In theory, it's supposed to be creepy. In practice, considering all the offscreen gunshots and explosions that occur during any given round, it devolves into this trope very quickly.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
- Averted in normal gameplay. The AI player bots in offline practice modes (and sometimes also in some servers) are based on the Left 4 Dead bots and cannot see or do anything a human player couldn't. An update even went so far as to give each bot a "virtual mousepad" (complete with delays for re-centering their "virtual mouse" on it) in order to give them imperfect aim and avoid lock-ons.
- The game mode Mann vs. Machine, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. Most robots can carry objectives while invulnerable, can see through detonated-Sentry-Buster smoke clouds, and know where an attack is waiting in order to evade it. It's a good thing, then, that they will always be fooled by Spies, even when disguised players bump into them or sap them. The game also compensates for some of the cheating aspects: standard Sniper-bots have an easy-to-spot blue laser that shows their current aim and gives away their position, and Spy-bots occasionally let out a low, creepy chuckle, alerting observant players to their proximity; in addition, Sniper-bots do not get critical hits on headshots, or at all. On top of that, most robots only have a single weapon, and several are melee-restricted. Contrary to popular belief, most non-melee robots do have to reload their weapons, and will reload the entire clip before resuming fire; however, they will never run out of ammo.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
Spy: "Here's what I have that you don't! A functioning liver, depth perception, and A PULSE!"
- Every Domination quote, basically. Especially entertaining are the ones from a member of one class to a member of the same class.
- The Scout has one of the most epic and mind blowing speeches of all time:
Scout: "Hey buddy! You. Suck."
- There Can Be Only One: The mp_highlander 1 console command on any game mode restricts 9 players to each team, and only one of each class per team.
- There are also two similar sound clips for the Demoman, where he may say just that when getting a kill with a melee weapon such as the Eyelander. One of them is the trope name; the other...
'THERE CAN BE ONLY OOOOOONE!
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A successful backstab deals twice the victim's current health. Furthermore, since the backstab is a Critical Hit, this number is further multiplied by three, resulting in six times the victim's health.
- Fully charged headshot: 450 damage,(518 with the Machina) (only ranged weapon that can one-shot a Heavy with full Overheal). Backstab: Anywhere from 750 (Scouts, Snipers, Engineers, other Spies) to 2700 health (overhealed Heavy). Truly, there is no kill like overkill.
- Taken to truly absurd levels in the mildly popular TF2x10 levels. Every weapon has its stats multiplied by ten. Both positive and negative stats. A normal melee swing does a whopping 650 damage. A backstab does an absolutely terrifying 27,000 health.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Meet The Pyro, and anyone in Pyroland. Played very much for laughs.
- Tiny-Headed Behemoth: The giant robots that appear periodically in Mann Versus Machine have disproportionately small heads in comparison to their massive size.
- Can also happen to the Heavy if he gets Tiny Head on the Ghost Fort's Wheel of Fate.
- Toilet Humour:
- One of the Sniper unlocks is Jarate, a jar of pee he can use to throw at enemies. It also extinguishes teammates that are on fire from an enemy Pyro. In reference to this, the Steam forums word-filter "piss" into "jarate".
- A few days before and during the Über Update, the website was updated to have Medic's pigeons perched on the logo banner, with pigeon poop splattered all over it.
- On the server The Snack Shack, they have a map called "Poodoo", which is Hoodoo with one major difference: Everything is made of poop. The ground is poop, the water is diarrhea, and you are pushing a cart of poop. Also, it's very common to hear people playing The Great Mighty Poo song through their mics when you are on this map.
- One of Merasmus's lines is "POOP! POOP IN YOUR PUMPKIN PANTS!!!"
- Trail Of Breadcrumbs: Exiting a teleporter makes the player leave a glowing team-colored trail for a while, so the enemy may find out the location of the teleporter. A player holding the intelligence has a shorter team-colored glow in the air, while the briefcase leaves a paper trail.
- Trial by Friendly Fire: Spy-checking via attacking one's teammates is a good tactic to have, since everyone on the same side is Friendly Fireproof.
- Trigger Happy: In-Universe, the Heavy and the Demoman; in-game, any class depending on the player, but especially the Pyro.
- Snipers who can manage to pull this off with accuracy are called "Quickscopes".
- Trope 2000:
- One of the Soldier's primary weapons is the Cow Mangler 5000.
- The Engineer has a primary weapon called the Pomson 6000.
- The Spy's disguise kit is called the Spytron 3000.
- Per the Sentry Gun operating manual, the Dispenser is a Dispense-O-Matic 9000 Provisions Dispenser.
- The board of alerts in "Meet the Spy" and the map Double Cross is called the Alarm-O-Tron 5000.
- The heart monitering device in the operating room in "Meet the Medic" is called "CARDIOSCAN 2000".
- A miscellaneous item released in the Mann vs. Machine update is a little robot called RoBro 3000, and a hat for the Engineer is called the Tin-1000. In the same vein, one of the Mann vs. Machievements is called T-1000000.
- Trope Overdosed
- Twenty One Gun Salute: The Soldier's taunt with the Shotgun or Reserve Shooter has him doing this.
- Two-Faced Aside:
- In Meet the Medic, after accidentally snapping off a rib, the Medic reassures the Heavy that ribs grow back. Then he turns to a dove and whispers, "No they don't."
- In the inventory screen, the Rainblower, Lollichop, Burning Bongos, and Infernal Orchestrina are described like this.
- All of the unused WAR! Update domination lines that surfaced during the Mann vs. Machine update are an example of this trope.
Demoman: EVERYBODY! I DON'T LIKE THIS MAN! HE IS A SOULLESS MONSTER! I do like you; it's just for show.
Soldier: DOMINATED! Call me later. We can talk about our day.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change:
- The 2010 Halloween event spawned the Horseless Headless Horsemann, a raid boss.
- The 2011 Halloween event gave players MONOCULUS!, which put a whole new spin on the Horsemann's basic premise.
- The 2012 Halloween event gave players Merasmus, another much more difficult and complex twist on the Horsemann's premise.
- The Australian Christmas event in 2010 introduced Medieval Mode.
- There are also custom game modes that put a spin on "kill everything not on your team".
- The Mann vs. Machine update has both teams joining up to fight waves of robots.
- The 2014 Halloween update introduced bumper cars. After the normal round is over, players have to drive bumper cars to complete minigames like soccer/football or collecting ducks. Unlike the previous entries, this one is completely different than the normal gameplay.
- Universal Ammunition: Picking up dropped weapons gives your current weapon more ammo (and Cloak, if you're a Spy). Destroyed stickybombs, buildings, and sappers also provide ammunition.
- Unflinching Walk: Discussed in the description for the Demoman's Dangeresque, Too? shutter shades:
"When things aren't just Dangerous, they're Danger-esque, block out UV rays with Homestar's killer shades. Remember, when walking away from an explosion, it's totally uncool to turn around to look at the carnage."
- Unobtainium: the highest rank for the World Traveler's Hat.
- In the supplemental comics, there's also Australium, a metal that turns anyone who is in contact with it into a mustachio'd, muscle-bound body builder (even females), and was responsible for Australia's current global dominance.
- Unorthodox Reload: Every class has at least one unusual reload animation. See that page for details.
- Unstable Equilibrium:
- On Control Point maps, the side that controls more points gets more of the map to use as an extension of their base, as well as quicker respawn times, while the enemy team is herded into a confined area and respawns slower. The developers do not like stalemates.
- In Mann vs. Machine, a team that makes sure to collect all the cash not only gets more money to spend, but a bonus if they got it all. This means more upgrades to make the later waves easier. Teams that forget to get the cash are stuck with stock weapons that will rarely be sufficient to carry the team more than two waves in, making the mission unwinnable if enough of a gap is formed.
- Unwinnable: There's a glitch with the original version of pl_hoodoo where the cart will start moving on its own, with no one on RED able to stop it, and BLU never having to lift a finger. On the other side of the spectrum, there's a rare glitch with multi-phase payload maps that causes the cart to derail and become a freefloating prop.
- On certain Attack/Defend servers, Red loses automatically when the Server Time is up, regardless of the current progress. Likewise, on Gravel Pit, if the BLU team did not capture Point B before going into overtime, they will lose when overtime is over, regardless of whether or not they've captured Point B during overtime.
- Also, on Territory Control (and custom maps that feature territory control style C Ps), there is no Overtime mechanic; once time runs out, whichever side has captured all of the points wins, or Stalemate mechanics kick in, even if the point(s) were under contention.
- Useless Accessory: The hats. The ones that provide set bonuses have a use by proxy, but no singular effect. The only other hats that have a use (albeit very specific ones) are the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head and the Saxton Hale Mask, which protect the player from being stunned by the Horsemann; and the Hotrod: a Spy disguised as an Engineer who is wearing one will have the hat flip down over his face when the Sapper is held, which can be used to detect Spies.
- Vapor Ware: As Gabe Newell said in the first words of each map's commentary:
"Welcome to Team Fortress 2. After nine years in development, hopefully it will have been worth the wait."
- Vendor Trash: Duplicate weapons and hats are often used in crafting or trading to make sure they don't take up space in the backpack.
- Victory Pose: Inverted; the losing team is forced into poses that look sufficiently frightened and/or annoyed, and they can't do anything but flee or taunt.
- Video Game Caring Potential: As an airblasting Pyro or a Jarate-carrying Sniper, you may put your burning colleagues out, if you're feeling so inclined.
- The sincerity of the "thank you" commands (some of which are automatically used when using a teleporter or getting healed) are probably made that way to invoke this for a Medic, who otherwise would be very tempted to leave his teammates to die and go Combat Medic with another Medic.
- Heavies can drop a Sandvich or Buffalo Steak Sandvich to act as a medium health kit for their allies (or their enemies), which, since it's technically a medkit, also puts out fire.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The top page quote is this between-maps tip:
"As a Pyro, you can often set enemies on fire and retreat, leaving them to die from the burning."
- Violation of Common Sense: Dropping explosives at your feet to take out a Scout, or charging into a hail of gunfire to set someone on fire as a Pyro, rocket/sticky jumping. The description for the Ullapool Caber, a "potato masher" grenade that the Demoman uses to strike enemies, even lampshades this by saying a sober person would throw it.
- Anything the Scout does counts. Running and jumping around during a gunfight is a great way to lose a few limbs at the least.
- Spychecking. In order to find a disguised Spy, you have to shoot at a suspected teammate. If the teammate is friendly, they won't be hurt because they are Friendly Fireproof. If they are a Spy, they will be, since only enemy players can be damaged by your weapons. Expect to see a friendly Pyro attempting to immolate its teammates all the time. This was lampshaded in "Meet The Spy".
- Virtual Paper Doll: Along with the weapons in the loadout, there's a hat slot, two misc. slots, and an action slot. Those slots allow customization of a character's appearance and actions.
- Visible Invisibility: Players on the same team as a cloaked Spy will just barely be able to discern their transparent form. Players on the other team will see it only if they bump into the Spy, or will barely be able to make out a Cloak and Dagger-wielding Spy who hasn't let the charge on his watch build back up.
- Emerging from water, being on fire, Bleeding, drenched with Mad Milk, and splashed with Jarate also reveal affected Spies partially. New items have been known not to work properly with cloaking, giving away a Spy using them or disguised as a player using them while cloaked, but are fixed eventually.
- Invisible and/or disguised Spies using the voice chat on servers with all-talk enabled also risk giving themselves away due to a giant speech bubble appearing out of nowhere.
- Voice Grunting: For those who don't want to or can't use the mic to voice chat, there are a lot of voice commands to choose from.
- Wacky Racing: Payload Race.
- War for Fun and Profit
- Waving Signs Around:
- The Conscientious Objector, a picket sign used to bludgeon people.
- In "A Smissmas Story", someone in the background during the trial is holding a sign that demands RED and BLU leave Teufort.
- Weaponized Car: The bomb carts in Payload.
- We Wait: With the Random Drop item system, this is one way you can unlock items: just join a server and wait. There are even dedicated "Idle" servers where that's all you do.
- Anti-Poop Socking : Changes to the Random Drop system made it so that only the first few hours of gametime each week can grant items, but at a quicker rate than before.
- The Spy's Cloak And Dagger gives him unlimited invisibility, but only while standing still. This allows you to set up an ambush any time and almost anywhere. Now all you need is something to make the opponent stand still long enough to backstab him… like the sexy picture sprays mentioned under this page's Shmuck Bait entry.
- Weapon of Choice: Each class has both weapons and personality that reflect their gameplay.
- Improbable Weapon User: Some of the classes use weapons such as shovels, pickaxes, bonesaws, makeshift guns using pressurized air to shoot syringes, a bottle of Whiskey, real bear paws tied to the user's fists, jars of piss and milk (separate, of course), a rake, a letterbox/mailbox, a giant striped candy cane, a giant pink lollipop, a human skull attached to a spine, a whole smoked ham with bone (as the handle) used like a club, and, best of all, a FISH.
- Weapons Kitchen Sink
- Weird Currency: The economy is made of hats and metal.
- Weird Moon: Before a patch removed most of them, Double Cross inexplicably had seven moons in its skybox.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Whoever really runs the teams probably is no hero, but Heavy's "What sick man sends babies to fight me?" quip fits the bill.
- What the Hell, Player?: Given that TF2 is an online multiplayer game, one can undoubtedly count on encountering this at one time or another. Reactions can vary from a Precision F-Strike to a full-on Cluster F-Bomb.
- Wham Episode: The "Blood Brothers" comic. Redmond and Blutarch are revealed to have a long lost brother named Gray, who murders them and now has his sights set on Mann Co. The two teams have to pull an Enemy Mine to save the world and their jobs from an endless horde of killer robots.
- Then there's the first issue of Ring of Fired. It 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.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The land under contention by RED and BLU is somewhere in the American Southwest, but aside from possibly Badwater it's not clear exactly where the bases are located; additional official and community maps imply a much more global conflict.
- Its actually stated several times that the desert areas are all in New Mexico, although New Mexico is a fairly large state.
- William Telling: Invoked in the achievement "William Tell Overkill", though to achieve that, the Sniper must pin an enemy Heavy's head to a wall with an arrow. On May 3, 2012, a "Fruit Shoot" headwear item was added for the Sniper, which is an apple with an arrow through it.
- A Wizard Did It: The in-universe explanation for "Medieval Mode" - literally.
How did the manly men of Team Fortress appear at a tenth century battlement? Simple. The Soldier angered a magician.
- Specifically, this magician: Merasmus
- A lot of the Demoman's backstory, told in comics, is also linked to Meramus and to the Bombonomicon, a talking book that contains the ancient mystical secret of how to make bombs.
- The Smissmas Comic implies that everything that doesn't have some sort of outrageous explanation within the TF2 universe is Merasmus's fault, since when Miss Pauling asked how the Soldier of all people managed to become a defense attorney, the Spy simply answered "It's a long story, but Part One, his roommate is a magician".
Spy: Should I continue?
Miss Pauling: You know what? Nevermind.
Spy: Thank you.
- Also, the Gunboats page of the WAR! Update mentions how the shoes work:
"What is the science behind these miracles of technology? Magic, probably."
- World of Badass
- Wretched Hive: Downtown Teufort. Crime is rampant, and the city has a sewage and methane problem, and no fire department.
- X Days Since: Signs like this are placed on walls in some maps. All of them are marked "This job has worked <0> days without an accident".
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Medieval Mode does not only force the players to use medieval-style weapons, it also wordfilters the text chat to sound more akin to the pop cultural image of how people talked back then.
- The April Fool's Day 2013 event (on April 1, 2013, which coincided with Easter Monday) added "support for Pirate language" as part of the fake "Eastralian Update" patch. For one day all content in the game was changed to pirate language, including altered game menues, voice commands, and renamed in-game items and buttons in the Mann Co. Store.
- You Always Hear The Bullet: You're liable to hear a loud, meaty THWACK when someone gets a critical hit on you.
- Or a POW, especially with the Heavy's kill taunt.
- You can turn this on to ensure that your character's hit something, which is signified by a bell ding with each strike. Especially useful for Engineers and blind-firing Demomen.
- Particularly entertaining as a Pyro; it's not uncommon to light someone on fire, then die and wait the full respawn time only to come back and still hear that lovely dinging as your afterburn continues to damage your prior target.
- Certain weapons will also cause a "whoosh" to be heard if they just miss your head.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask "appears as a moldering, eldritch veil of such manifold depravity, the human eye will not process the sheer enormity of its malevolence, and out of self-preservation will merely show you a brown paper bag with a team colored face painted on it."
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: Many attack/defend maps are (possibly intentionally) designed to invoke this—unless the attacking team is supremely incompetent, they will almost always make it to the second-to-last control point.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: in the 2013 Halloween event, once the mercenaries take the corpse of Redmond/Blutarch to hell, the remainder will send everyone to hell so he doesn't have to pay them.
- You Have Researched Breathing:
- Three hats in the game are just the Scout, Engineer and Sniper without their default hats, and there's a Spy miscellanous item that is his suit jacket, unbuttoned.
- Players can purchase (or find) the ability to point and laugh at their enemies.
- The High Five! action item lampshades the trope in this page, where Saxton Hale claims he invented high-fiving and that before, people could only punch each other in the face.
- You Mean Xmas: "Australian Christmas".
- You Require More Vespene Gas: The Engineer's metal, required for construction and upgrading.
- Your Mime Makes It Real: Heavy's taunt for his fists has him miming a Finger Gun that, if an enemy is in the finger's line, he'll die instantly.
- Your Mom: One of the Spy's unique post-kill taunts against the Scout is "Well! Off to visit your mother!" In addition, in the Meet the Spy trailer, when the BLU Scout jokingly asks if the BLU Spy was part of the RED Spy's fan club, the Spy replied: "No. That would be your mother!"
- The comics follow up on this by repeatedly implying that Spy is Scout's real father (which Scout refuses to even acknowledge as a possibility).
- Zerg Rush: Stacking a team with Scouts, affectionately called a Scout Rush, is usually done in CP and CTF matches; Engineers are required to counter this.
- Mann vs. Machine thrives on Zerg Rush, especially with Scouts. In fact, several rounds consist of nothing but Scout Zerg Rushes.
- The addition of the Pain Train for the Soldier and Demoman that gives them additional capturing power in exchange for increased vulnerability to bullets may start shifting the Metagame.
- You can conceivably rush with any class, or any combination of classes, but some are only for comedy.
- Since both teams usually start with all their players present (barring explosive stupidity), it is fully possible to rush with a whole team of Heavies. While not fast, it usually guarantees victory unless the enemy team has a competent spy. This is especially effective on Payload, where the cart can provide an endless stream of bullets while moving just a smidge slower than the actual movement speed of a revved up Heavy (meaning speed isn't a priority).
- Zombie Apocalypse: The mission "Wave 666" on Halloween!Coaltown. "Apocalypse" is putting it mildly — it is by FAR the hardest Mann Vs Machine mission, with over eight hundred zombies crammed into a single wave, and the zombies are actually slightly stronger than the robots.