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Team Fortress 2: Tropes Q to Z

You can view the main article HERE!
Tropes A-G HERE!
Tropes H-P HERE!

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    R 
  • Ragdoll Physics: Starting with the Spy vs Sniper update, certain characters in certain situations can die with a combination of this and animation.
  • Ragequit:
    Scout: Yeah I dare ya, ragequit! C'mon, make us both happy!
    • The Pyro has the "BarbeQueQ" achievement for making someone ragequit.
    • Quitting during humiliation or after becoming dominated is announced by some servers as "RAGE QUIT!"
    • As of October 17, 2012, repeatedly quitting from official servers under certain circumstances Which are:  will cause the matchmaking system to place the user under "low priority," meaning longer matchmaking times.
  • Railing Kill: Where map design meets Knock Back, you can see this on any map where railings are incorporated, such as the turbine point in Hydro, the bases in Badlands, and the top floor balcony in the final rooms in Fastlane. Sometimes, railing-killed ragdolls can get... peculiar.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: The trains in Well and Frontier.
    • The final stage of Cactus Canyon involves pushing the bomb into the path of a full-sized train and waiting for it to run the bomb over.
  • Raising the Steaks: The Demoman's Polly Putrid
  • Random Drop: The current method of gaining unlockable weaponry, hats, and crates.
  • Rare Guns: Every character's weapons are supposed to look like custom jobs.
  • Rasputinian Death:
  • Rated M for Manly: The Saxton Hale comics parody the "Man's Life" magazine from the forties.
  • Ray Gun: The Pomson 6000, the Phlogistinator, the Cow Mangler, and the Righteous Bison.
  • Real Is Brown: Originally, in the development cycle, Valve intended to go with modern realism but trying to make the gameplay equally realistic was proving difficult, so they went with the stylized cartoon look. With the Mann-Conomy update, you can buy paint of various colors.
  • Reality Ensues: The moment Grey fires the Team, the local populace immediately start hunting them down (starting with Scout and Spy), because they're sociopathic murderers who have been terrorizing them for years, and now don't have Mann Co to protect them.
  • Real Time Weapon Change
  • Recognizable By Sound: The game has distinct voices for each of the 9 classes, further facilitated by their unique accents based on their country/state of origin (even though they are not accurate representations of real life accents). Voice commands here. Responses to specific situations here.
  • Recoil Boost: Rocket Launchers, the Detonator, the Force-A-Nature, grenades, stickybombs, Sentry Gun rockets, and pumpkin bombs can aid in a jump, though all of them except the Force-A-Nature will damage the player.
  • Recurring Riff: Several of the songs on the title screen, which are taken from the "Meet the Team" trailers, use the bass line from the game's original theme. It's changed up quite a bit, ranging from obvious (as in "Intruder Alert," where it's played clearly on brass) to difficult enough to spot that you only realize it's there later (as with "More Gun," where it's played during the minor key portion of the song, but very slowly and in 3/4 time, giving it a totally different feel from the other versions).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: ÜberCharged team members whose eyes are visible will have glowing red (or blue) eyes and be invulnerable until the charge wears off. To quote the Heavy: "Is good time to RUN, cowards!"
    • Also MONOCULUS! from the 2011 Halloween update, when he's pissed off.
  • RED Oni BLU Oni: The names and primary colors of the teams. RED is a demolition company, BLU is a construction company.
    • The Spy can equip an Oni mask, which is, appropriately enough, red or blue depending on which team he's on.
    • Strangely enough, the general roles are reversed. On Attack/Defense maps, RED is the defender, and is more likely to dig in and build machines to defend them, while BLU are the attackers, more likely to bomb everything in sight to advance.
  • Red Shirt: Ironically, the BLU Team, at least in the "Meet The Team" videos. If they reversed the colors, a lot of color-based tropes would be doubly funny.
  • Redshirt Army: and Blueshirt Army.
  • Real Soon Now: Valve time on many of the game's updates. Sometimes, they literally say "soon" or "when it's done".
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Pyro is wearing a fireproof suit. Without this, the Pyro would not be able to run forward and fire at the same time without getting damaged.
    • The Sniper (in the comic advertising Jarate) specifically says "Those Saxton Hale Jarate pills tripled the size of my kidneys, and thanks to my Saxton Hale Pain Tonic, I can barely even feel my organs shutting down! He thought of everything!"
  • Respawn Point: Barring Arena mode, killed players later respawn in the locker rooms.
  • Resurrective Immortality:
    • Redmond and Blutarch, CEOs for RED and BLU, respectively. In an attempt to try to outlive the other brother, both have a machine built for them to prevent them from dying, with obvious results. It does not grant immortality in the normal sense, but it does resurrect them immediately after dying.
    • In a related vein, respawning in-game appears to be part of canon and not just a gameplay mechanic, given that some classes comment on it, and it is mentioned in the comics.
      Sniper: How many times have you died? I'm actually getting impressed.
      Sniper: Kill ya again soon, mate.
      Heavy: I am coming for you, again!
      Scout: I will never... stop... killing you.
    • The very existence of Domination and the Vita-Saw suggest that respawn is canonical.
    • Lampshaded with the Meet the Medic video, where several dozen identical (minus the hats) Soldiers are seen, implying they're probably re-cloned every time they die.
  • Regenerating Health: This is one of the Medic's innate abilities, but it only heals 3 HP per second, increasing up to 6 HP per second after ten seconds without being attacked. Considering how high priority the Medic is and how often teams field only one, this is far from a bad thing.
    • The Blutsauger (an alternate Medic syringe gun) lowers the Medic's innate regeneration by 2 points, to 1 HP per second (or to a maximum of 4 HP per second while not under attack), but grants you additional health from shooting an enemy (3 HP per hit, which at an attack interval of 0.1 second can net you 30 HP/second if all 10 syringes are hits).
    • The Amputator melee slot unlock passively increases the Medic's innate regeneration by 3 points at the cost of dealing 20% less damage, giving him 6 to 9 hp per second recovery (or 4 to 7 if you're using the Blutsauger as well)
    • Snipers with the "Cozy Camper" also regenerate a little health, but effectively gaining only 1 HP per second. The item also increases all incoming damage by a small percentage though.
    • In Mann vs Machine, all classes can purchase an upgrade to regenerate up to 10 HP per second. This stacks with other sources of regeneration, such as the Medic's passive health gain.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: For Meet the Pyro, they used Lovin' Spoonful's hit "Do You Believe in Magic".
  • Retraux: Gang Garrison, a 2D "demake" of Team Fortress 2.
    • Team Fortress 2 itself is retraux compared to Team Fortress Classic, being set in a cartoony 60's style.
    • Team Fortress Arcade, an demake that puts the characters in a retro arcade-style beat-em-up.
  • Revenue Enhancing Devices:
    • The "Mann Co. Emporium" allows players to buy in-game items with real money that can also be found for free by playing enough. Many of these are hats.
    • Additionally, cross-promotional items become being wanted for rarity's sake, but not for actual gameplay value.
  • Rewarding Inactivity: The game (currently) has no way of telling if the player is actually, well, playing. One can join an "idling" server or play offline, then minimize the game and do whatever else he wants while still enjoying the same chance to get drops every week as an active player.
    • As of the April 10, 2010 update, the use of idling has been reduced by the introduction of a weekly item drop cap. Amount of drops is no longer directly related to hours spent in the game. The system has a cap on the amount of playtime in which drops can occur. This cap has been estimated to be 10 hours each week. Playing beyond the cap will not yield additional items.
    • A third update around September 2013 also made it so that if an item drops but no response to the notification comes, the game effectively "halts" your hours and no further items will drop until you respond. This effectively means you have to be actively playing to get more than 1 item.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Territorial Control, Ornament Armament, Cold War Luchador, Fruit Shoot, and Brundle Bundle.
  • "Risk"-Style Map: Territorial Control, definitely, but maps like Granary also could count.
  • Robot War: The Mann Vs. Machine update is this. It's six people versus an entire robot army with the intent of blowing Mann Co. to bits! Granted, it's not a worldwide war, but still...
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: An actual taunt in the game. If the loser is from the opposing team, they explode.
  • Roof Hopping: Any class can do this, but usually those with special jumps (rocket jump, sentry jump, etc.) can run on roofs more often.
  • Rousing Speech: Parodied on the World War Wednesday page of the Über Update:
    "Men! This is a speech! If you are hearing it then we are at WAR! You will most likely DIE in that war! This speech will make you feel better about that! Remember! We will fight them on the BEACH! We will fight them on the SEAS! We will fight them in a MOAT! We will fight them on a BOAT! WE WILL NOT EAT GREEN EGGS AND HAM! Do you maggots remember the speech from Braveheart? Start thinking about it now! MISTER GARPABARP, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL! Dismissed."
  • RPG Elements: More than normal even for an FPS: Critical Hits, optional damage count displays, (cosmetic) weapon levels, Item Crafting, Standard Status Effects.
    • Taken even further with the Mann Vs. Machine mode, which allows players to upgrade their weapons and characters using money collected from the robots.
  • Rule of Fun: The realization of the insane premise that presupposed the game's fundamental elements caused a shift from the original concept of a serious military-styled action game toward the game's exaggerated and unrealistic theme and presentation.
  • Run Don't Walk: The characters cannot walk unless they're crouching or using certain weapons.
  • The Runt at the End: Backstory wise, it's the Scout (he's the youngest of eight boys), but gameplay wise, it's usually the Engineer (always last to the front lines because he's too busy upgrading his builds).

    S 
  • Sapient Tank: All part of the Robot War.
  • Schmuck Bait: Sprays can have surprising uses. One of their uses? Fanservice sprays placed by Spies (and maybe Demomen with carefully placed stickies) as a trap for anyone who is stupid enough to stop in their tracks to look at the boobies, allowing the Spy to easily backstab them.
    • One of the more creative variants. A disguised Spy tricks an enemy Medic into healing him and sprays "FYI I am a spy" on the wall. While the Medic reads the spray, the Spy backstabs him.
    • Sprays do backfire on occasion, since eventually when the opposing team see the spray, they may start whaling wildly, as if they know there's a Spy hidden.
      • Even this can be exploited by putting sprays positively everywhere and let your team take care of the enemies that are hunting for non-existent Spies.
    • There also have been attempts at creating distraction sprays showing a sentry or player. Since it's possible to make sprays that change based on proximity, this can be fairly effective in the right place.
      • Spies sometimes put down sprays of friendly players and move them around from time to time while staying completely cloaked, which distracts their enemies into not watching their backs.
    • Clever Heavies can use their Sandviches as Schmuck Bait. Simply throw the Sandvich somewhere where an enemy is likely to notice it, wait for the schmuck to take the bait, then pump 'em full of minigun lead. Works especially well with the Tomislav. And God help the little schmuck if a Pyro or another Heavy are in on the act.
    • Another way to use the Sandvich as bait is to, ironically, not have it at all. Many players expect Heavies to be equipped with Sandviches as their secondary, so they're inclined to chase down a Heavy that flees around a corner due to being wounded or out of minigun ammo, expecting them to be trying to heal. A tricky Heavy will feign this when out of minigun ammo (or just at all), ducking around a corner. The opponent chases the Heavy, rounds the corner... and finds himself staring down the barrel of a Shotgun. Has a surprisingly high rate of success.
    • The pyro's Armageddon taunt may count too, particularly right after pyromania when it and the Rainblower were first introduced and everyone was wearing pyrovision goggles. In pyroland the Pryo is surrounded by sparkly rainbows and the baloonicorn, which tempted even some enemy players to join in on the fun or go for an easy kill only to be burned alive.
    • Another excellent Schmuck Bait-based tactic is to have a Sniper stand somewhere obvious, and a Pyro hiding nearby, and then to light up the incoming stream of Spies.
  • Score Screen: After each round, there's a list of the top three most valued players. After the map timer runs out and the server is about to switch to another map, the screen will show the scoreboard, which displays player information, server name, team scores, etc. Information about each player is shown, including Steam ID, team affiliation, points, and class. This scoreboard can also be accessed by pressing Tab on the PC while playing in a round, though it won't show much information about the enemy team, of course.
  • Scoring Points: Points are used to determine who the most valuable players in a particular round are and otherwise don't do anything unless the server settings are such that it determines the winning side based on points under certain circumstances. Other servers have a separate ranking system that's just there for the bragging rights.
  • Scout Out: The Saxtonettes. Originally (in-universe) the comic was called Boy's Adventure with Saxton Hale, but the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency complained that it taught boys moral turpitude, arson, vandalism, hippie assault, tax fraud, the Heimlich Maneuver, et cetera. Mann Co. changed the name to Girl's Adventure With Saxton Hale, as it was commonly thought (in-universe) that girls couldn't do anything, so any lessons taught to them would be harmless.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Getting scared by either Zepheniah Mann's ghost or the Horseless Headless Horsemann results in a very unmanly scream. Also, one of Scout's voice clips for the Halloween 2012 update has him shrieking like a girl and yelling, "I'm so scared!"
    • Also, Scout at the end of Meet the Sandvich, and Sniper at the end of Meet the Pyro.
  • Secondary Fire: Some weapons.
  • See the Invisible: A cloaked enemy Spy can be revealed by bumping into him, igniting him, covering him in Jarate or Mad Milk, or hitting him with a weapon that inflicts bleed damage.
  • See You in Hell:
    • "Meet the Demoman" has a slightly modified version, after the eponymous explosives expert blows several enemies to bloody chunks:
    Demoman: Ooh, they're goin' to have to glue you back together... IN HELL!
    • It also appears in several domination lines. Among others:
      Spy: I'll see you in Hell... You handsome rogue!
      Spy: Go to Hell and take your cheap suit with you!
      Demoman: Go to Hell, and tell the Devil I'm coming for him next!
    • In an unused (robotized) domination line from the WAR! Update that was left in the game's files during the Mann vs. Machine update:
      Soldier: DOMINATED! I'LL SEE YOU IN HELL! Bye! See you soon!
    • Parodied during the 2013 Scream Fortress update, during which the each Mann brother is literally trying to send the other to hell.
      Redmond: "I'll see you in hell, brother!"
      Blutarch: "Only one of us is going to hell, Redmond!"
      Redmond: "Then I suppose I won't see you in hell, brother!"
      Blutarch: "I'm afraid I'll be the one not seeing you!"
      Redmond: "We shall see."
      Blutarch: "I won't!"
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Some players love unusual and unnecessarily difficult playstyles, just for the heck of it:
    • "Trolldier" consists of using a Soldier equipped with the Rocket Jumper, Mantreads, and Market Gardener. The Soldier gains incredible mobility at the cost of removing his best source of damage, relying only on feats of acrobatics to land Critical Hits on unsuspecting enemies. Hightower matches tend to have lots of these players.
    • "Fat Scout" consists of a Heavy who relies on his Shotgun for damage. Being the slowest class in the game and using mainly his last-ditch secondary weapon (which is vastly inferior to the miniguns), he must be able to ambush his opponents and attack from close range to get the best out of it.
    • Anyone trying to get kills with taunt attacks also qualifies.
    • The "worst loadout" challenge requires the user to use the worst possible item combination for a class. For example, the "worst loadout" for the Soldier would be the Rocket Jumper, Gunboats, and Pain Train. The Rocket Jumper does no damage whatsoever, the Gunboats is a waste of an item spot because the user doesn't take self-damage, and the Pain Train's effect only matters in modes with Control Points or a Payload cart, as well as forcing a slight bullet damage vulnerability on the user. The hard part: being successful with this loadout.
  • Sequel Escalation: The original game (as Team Fortress Classic) had nine basic models with one voice, weapons mostly shared with Half-Life and Quake, and a text-heavy interface. TF2 gave each class its own silhouette, voice, nationality, personality, game mechanic, personal HUD elements, and weapons (only two stock weapons are shared between multiple classes - Soldier, Pyro, Heavy and Engineer all have a Shotgun, and the Scout and Engineer share the Pistol) fitting into an all-encompassing art style.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: The Medic's standard melee weapon is a bonesaw, and another, the Amputator, has serrated edges as well. In addition, one of the Sniper's alternative weapons is a rusty serrated knife which does less damage than his kukri but causes bleeding.
  • Set Bonus:
    • Each class has various item sets, made up of (usually) one primary, one secondary, one melee, and one hat. By equipping all four, an additional bonus is granted (extra health, resistance to fire, etc.). Spies and Pyros also get a slight downside tacked on (extra damage from bullets for Pyro, longer cloak activation for Spy). Not all sets grant a bonus, however. Many of the sets are controversial due to requiring hats.
    • The Polycount contest item sets. The cause of much uproar in the fanbase since the gameplay bonus depended on the ultra-rare hats (before it was possible to craft them).
      • The gameplay-affecting set bonuses have since been removed as of July 10, 2013, in favor of cosmetic bonuses, with some of the former stats moved to weapons in that particular set.
  • Sexposition: Different mechanism, same broad idea in the comic "A Fate Worse Than Chess". Saxton Hale explains something he dubbed "Explosition" where you have to make the exposition more interesting. He proceeds to make a video where he describes the current situation to the Mercenaries while wrestling with a Yeti.
  • Shared Universe: With Dr. McNinja and Atomic Robo, In the sense of you can find them playing cameos.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The Chinese game title Final Combat neatly plagiarizes TF2 (and Battlefield Heroes) down to some of the character models. They even swiped Ellen McLain's voice clips!
  • Shoot the Bullet: Although it does not involve fighting bullets with bullets, the Pyro's flamethrower's alternate fire shoots out a gust of air that can deflect a projectile, bouncing it right back where it came from. Critical projectiles and arrows destroy other projectiles. Flares can destroy enemy flares.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Origin of trope namer.
    • Also goes for Engineers. It's hard to destroy a sentry when it's constantly getting repaired.
    • Snipers tend to go for enemy Snipers first, even if there are other ways of taking out said Sniper.
    • Taken to new extremes in the Mann vs. Machine mode on the later waves where Super Heavies (who already have a stupidly high amount of health) can have up to five Medics following them, each of which is healing and/or charging uber several times as fast a normal Medic. Needless to say, taking them out first is essential.
  • Short Range Shotgun: The various shotguns in the game do heavy damage up close, but are practically useless against targets at a distance. This isn't because of the pellet spread, which is actually pretty reasonable, but because of the damage falloff that makes EVERY firearm (sans the Sniper Rifle) useless at long range.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page
  • Shows Damage: Blood decals appear on players who are shot or bludgeoned, and their expressions become increasingly worried as they take damage. Buildings will smoke, then ignite the more they are damaged.
  • Sickening Crunch: When you take fall damage.
  • Silliness Switch: tf_birthday (for bleeding balloons and exploding into presents), or -sillygibs (for normal blood, but exploding into cheeseburgers, balloon puppies, clocks, boots, gears, unicycles...).
    • It is worth mentioning that -sillygibs is, in fact, the standard "violence-reduced" setting for German players which cannot be changed, a mode which also includes altering blood so that it looks yellow and eliminating all bloodsplatter on characters' clothes, walls and floors. And that despite the fact that in Germany the game is rated 18+ (for adults only), not 16+ as in most other countries. Even some of the Meet the Team videos (Meet the Soldier for example) have been altered this way in the German dubbed version. Given that the voice acting in the German dub is horrible, most German players usually run their game with audio setting set to English.
    • In Pyroland, some maps have been turned to what the Pyro sees in Meet the Pyro. Weapon projectiles trail bubbles, explosions are replaced by confetti, players bleed balloons, and the pitch of everyone's voice is raised. When players take damage and die, they laugh.
  • Silly Reason for War: All of the game modes. You're not given any motivation other than "kill the guy colored differently from you before they kill you and/or achieve your side's objectives before they can achieve theirs".
    • We also have the Soldier-Demoman war over an unlockable pair of boots, with the accompanying comic giving the story reason that the Administrator feared the friendship between RED's Demoman and BLU's Soldier would lead them to talk about their job and make them realize that the fake war was run by the same person (Helen, the Administrator) staying in power by playing both sides against each other. Thus the Soldier and Demoman were bribed with new weapons and lied to to destroy their friendship. Prior to the Mann versus Machine storyline, fraternization between members of the RED and BLU teams was forbidden by their contracts.
  • Similar Squad: Identical except for uniform color.
  • Single Palette Town: Each team's area of the map will be colored to match. Maps as a whole also tend to have very limited palettes.
  • Single-Use Shield: the Sniper's Razorback protects him from a single instant-kill backstab, at which point he has to go back to the resupply room to get a new one.
  • Skybox
  • Slow Doors: The doors between points A, B, and C on Steel and the spawn point doors on Egypt.
  • Socialization Bonus: There are some achievements for playing with your Steam friends.
  • Soft Glass: The Demoman's bottle can break on a hit with a target, though whether it's broken or not makes no difference to damage output. The Sniper's Jarate and the Scout's Mad Milk always break on contact with something but never do any damage.
  • Soft Water: Falling from a distance that would normally damage you into deep water negates the damage.
  • Solo Class: Some of the classes can do their job on their own (for example an Engineer can set up a sentry nest and a Sniper can find a good vantage point, while a Spy can infiltrate on their own). Of course the game is deliberately designed so that having a team mate back them up always helps (e.g. a Pyro to guard an Engineer or Sniper from a Spy, or a group of offensive classes to rush the enemy when the Spy begins sapping their sentries).
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The soundtrack in the Pyro's mind as he is bringing about fiery apocalypse? "Do You Believe In Magic?"
  • Spinventory: While choosing an item on the loadout screen, you can spin the character model to see how he looks.
  • The Sixties: Takes place during the late sixties - there's a heavy 60s espionage/industrial motif.
  • Splash Damage: Rockets, grenades, and stickybombs.
  • Spot the Imposter: A gameplay usage. A team who has difficulty identifying a Spy among them is going to find their buildings sapped and their critical players backstabbed.
  • Sprint Meter: There are various meters, depending on weapons in one's loadout.
  • Sprint Shoes: A few items and an item set can increase the speed of a class:
    • As a Soldier's health decreases, if he's holding the Escape Plan, his speed increases. At 1-40 HP, he can almost keep up with a Scout.
    • A Pyro with the Gas Jockey's Gear set (Degreaser, Powerjack, and Attendant) gets a 10% speed boost.
      • With the removal of set bonuses, the speed boost has been moved to the Powerjack weapon (and increased to 20%).
    • The Heavy gets the Gloves of Running Urgently, which give a speed boost when wielded at the cost of taking mini-crits while they're out. He also gets a speed boost for 15 seconds after eating a Buffalo Steak Sandvich.
    • The Demoman's Chargin' Targe or Splendid Screen allows him to charge forward for a few seconds, which can be used as either a mobility boost or an attack buff (or both). Having heads on an Eyelander, Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker or Nessie's Nine-Iron increases his running speed, but not his charge.
    • The Medic with the Quick-Fix can run at Scout speed as he heals a Scout with it. With the Overdose, his speed also increases to 10% faster than his usual speed if he has 40% or higher ÜberCharge.
    • A Scout using the Baby Face's Blaster, though having an initial speed debuff, can gather boost to move twice his maximum speed.note 
    • The Soldier's Concheror, in addition to granting Life Drain, gives a small speed boost to all allies in range.
  • Spy Versus Spy: Both the general term and a more literal fashion. In fact, it may even remind some people of Spy vs. Spy.
  • Standard Snippet: The Heavy will sometimes sing The Volga Boatmen's Song while pushing the cart, and Sabre Dance while mowing down enemies. ("Kaaaa-BOOOOM! Kaaaa-BOOOOM!")
  • Standard Status Effects (many of them can stack):
    • Fire (Pyro's Flamethrowers, Flare Gun, Detonator, Manmelter, Sharpened Volcano Fragment, and the flames from Heavy's Huo Long Heater): causes about 60 damage over 10 seconds, 40 for the Degreaser. Reveals cloaked and disguised Spies. Can be extinguished in a variety of ways.
    • Full stun (The Scout's Sandman at long range and the first moments of some Taunt Kills): rendered immobile.
      • Partial stun (Sandman at closer ranges): halves the victim's speed and puts them in third-person Humiliation stance, and prevents them from attacking (with the exception of taunts), crouching, and jumping.
      • Scared (Ghost/Headless Horsemann on Halloween maps): same as partial stun, with different special effects. The game counts this as a stun towards achievements.
    • Attack disabled (The Sniper's Razorback temporarily disables the Spy from attacking, cloaking, or switching weapons when stabbed, and the whole losing team loses their weapons during Humiliation).
    • Covered in Jarate (Sniper, with Jarate or Sydney Sleeper): Incoming damage to the victim is registered as mini-crits (that is to say, multiplied by 1.35). Reveals cloaked and disguised Spies. Can also extinguish teammates. Can be removed by going underwater or being healed for some time.
    • Bleeding (Sniper's Tribalman's Shiv, Scout's Boston Basher, Three-Rune Blade, Wrap Assassin's alt-fire and Flying Guillotine, Engineer's Southern Hospitality): Similar to being on fire, but only lasts for a short amount of time. Small health packs, Dispensers and Mediguns heal the victim, but will not stop the bleeding. Reveals disguised and cloaked Spies.
    • Covered in Milk (Scout's Mad Milk): If you're covered, every enemy who shoots you counts as having 60% Life Drain. Can be removed by going underwater or being healed for some time. Reveals disguised and cloaked Spies.
    • Marked for Death (Scout's Fan O'War, or if he hits a robot with upgraded Sandman ball, using Gloves of Running Urgently (and 3 seconds after unequip it), hauling building picked up by Rescue Ranger's alt-fire): The victim is marked with a floating skull and crossbones and all damage taken from the enemy register as mini-crits. Goes away after around fifteen seconds or by death. The mark can be concealed by cloaking or disguising as the Spy.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Players can see their allies' health, the health of allied buildings, and the ÜberCharge meter of allied Medics. Medics always see the health of their patients, and ÜberCharge level if the teammate's a Medic. Spies can also see the names and health of enemy players and buildings. A Medic with the Solemn Vow equipped can also see enemies' names and health.
  • Status Buff: Like the status effects, these also stack.
    • Overheal: Medics can heal teammates to 150% of their starting health. The Heavy's Dalokohs Bar increases the eater's HP by 50.
    • Critbuffed:
      • When a Medic activates an ÜberCharge with a Kritzkreg.
      • When the intelligence is captured in a CTF map.
      • Granted in Arena mode to the player that scores the first kill.
      • The Scout's Crit-A-Cola grants him mini-crits against all enemies. It also causes any attacks against him to mini-crit, so it's a rather risky buff.
      • The Heavy's Buffalo Steak Sandvich (Bread not included) does the same thing and makes him run faster, with the added risk-factor of only being able to use melee weapons. So, it can turn the Mighty Glacier into somewhat of a Glass Cannon or, with the Warrior's Spirit (that increase your strength by 30% BEFORE the mini-crits), a Glass Lightning Bruiser.
      • The Scout can also achieve guaranteed mini-crits if the Hype meter on the Soda Popper is fully filled, but in return it can't mini-crit otherwise.
      • Similarly, upon filling the Mmmph meter of the Pyro's Phlogistinator, a small taunt can activate the buff until the meter runs dry, and it also can't score mini-crits otherwise.
      • The Soldier can cause allies within range to have mini-crits for a short while with his unlockable Buff Banner.
      • Escaping the Underworld on Eyeaduct grants the player critical hits, as well as a speed boost, 200% overheal, and invulnerability.
      • Mann Vs. Machine, if you use a Canteen with Crit Boost loaded.
      • Finally, being on the winning team during Humiliation grants the player critical hits until the period ends.
    • Invulnerable: the standard Medigun's ÜberCharge, Übercharge canteens in Mann vs. Machine, and escape from the Underworld.
    • Damage resistance: when the Soldier has the Battalion's Backup active, nearby allies take reduced damage from attacks and suffer no extra damage from crits or mini-crits.
    • Healing Factor:
      • The Quick-Fix gives a 300% to health regen and as an added bonus, prevents all movement debuffs and knockback.
      • A Soldier's activated Concheror grants every ally in range, including the Soldier himself, a 35% Life Drain on all their weapons.
    • Speed boost: whipping teammates with the Disciplinary Action boosts both their and the user's speed for four seconds. The Heavy's buffalo steak gives him a speed boost in addition to the minicrits and melee-only restriction mentioned above.
  • Stealth Expert: The Spy in particular, but any class can be played in a sneaky fashion (yes, even the Heavy Weapons Guy).
  • Stealth Pun: The briefcase in CTF probably contains very bureaucratic documents. Of course it has a paper trail.
    • The Sniper lives in a camper van.
      • Within the van itself, the Sniper has an apricot-scented air freshener. "Apricot" is slang for the cerebellum, which controls functions like breathing and heartbeat, and thus considered an ideal sniper target. Overlaps with Genius Bonus.
    • The Medic gained a pair of goggles (called, naturally, "Ze Goggles") as a hat. Hats have no effect on gameplay, mind you.
    • The Buff Banner, when activated, makes Ragecrits.
    • The Sniper Rifle from the "Deus Ex" Promotion is called "The Machina."
    • The Pyro can wield the Postal Pummeler, a mailbox that has flames painted on it.note 
    • In the Mac Update trailer, the Sniper looks at two objects through his scope. First, a window. Second, an apple.
  • Stock Control Settings: They can be changed.
  • Stop Poking Me: Looking at bots during Setup Time for a few seconds will make them taunt at you.
  • Strange Secret Entrance: Some Rocket Jump, sticky jump, dispenser jump, etc. locations.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Soldier rockets, Demoman grenades, Engineer buildings, Payloads, the player characters...
  • Stylistic Suck: Why the accents and foreign grammar are sometimes incorrect—the game was modeled on American World War-era propaganda posters, or the view Americans have of other countries in the 60s.
  • Sudden Death: If a round ends with neither side winning, servers have the option to go to Sudden Death, where all health packs are removed from the map and respawn is disabled. Teams can win either by accomplishing the objective or eliminating the other team.
  • Sugar Bowl: The Pyro sees the world around... them as this.
    • Sugar Apocalypse: The contrast between how the Pyro sees reality and the reality itself.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Since drowning is resolved in the game mechanics as taking persistent damage until the player dies or goes up for air, one can invoke this by being in the range of a friendly Medic or Dispenser.
    • Since few people expect underwater sentries, Engineers can use this to their advantage.
  • Supervillain Lair: Word of God states that the RED and BLU bases were designed with this idea in mind: a seemingly innocuous facade on the surface to hide the true sinister purpose of these buildings. This is even lampshaded in the description of the map Double Cross.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: During the WAR! update, it's revealed that 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 occurred 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.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Many of the capture-the-flag maps are basically military outposts disguised as something innocuous. Minus the multitude of mercenaries, they have the worst security measures ever. Besides having all the doors left wide open and the intelligence just sitting in an empty room, there are lit-up signs pointing towards the intelligence.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: (Insert Class Here) + Medic, Heavies being designed as the priority Medic-buddy, though individual Medic players will have different preferences. For example, Kritz Medics tend to favor Demomen. Soldiers and Pyros are optimal choices as well.

    T 
  • 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".
  • Teasing Creator: Valve on the gender of the Pyro and on the timing/content of future updates.
  • 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! ...eye.
  • 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
  • Troperrific
  • 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.

    U 
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

    V 
  • 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."
    • Don't forget Jarate. It can seriously affect the target's mental health.
      Spy: "I HAVE BEEN SHOWN WHO IS THE BOSS!"
  • 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.

    W 
  • 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 Do You Mean, It's Not Cosmetic?: When Team Fortress 2 first released alternative weapons, the only way to get them was to complete various achievements for the class in question. The achievements system is still in place, but the items can now drop, and you can trade, craft, or just buy them.
  • 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 
  • 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".

    Y 
  • 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!"

    Z 
  • 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.
  • 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.


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