Video Game / Overwatch

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ow_se_fob_r4.png
"Never accept the world as it appears to be. Dare to see it for what it could be."

"You know, the world could always use more heroes."
Tracer, Debut Cinematic Trailer

Overwatch is a stylistically Pixaresque team-based multiplayer Hero Shooter by Blizzard Entertainment.

Sometime in the mid-21st century, a global catastrophe known as the Omnic Crisis plunged humanity into war. Their enemy was a line of automated construction robots known as Omnics, who suddenly went rogue and militarised themselves. In response, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch was formed to end the uprising and restore peace. At its height, Overwatch served as a beacon of heroism and selflessness, a demonstration of what humanity could accomplish by working across race, creed and culture.

It is now thirty years later, and Overwatch has since been decommissioned after losing its reputation to internal corruption. Yet the actions of a mysterious terrorist organisation known as "Talon" threaten to re-ignite the flames of war and chaos across the world. The world needs heroes once again; it needs the rebirth of Overwatch.

The game's playable Heroes include:note 

The game is centered around two teams of six Heroes each, with each team trying to fulfill their objectives while preventing the enemy team from doing the same. Objectives can vary from map to map:

    open/close all folders 

    List of gametypes and maps 
  • In Assault maps, one team takes the role of the Attack team and must try to capture two objectives — small regions of interest — in order by occupying them until the progress meter is filled completely, while the Defend team must block capture by getting on the objective to impede capture progress and eliminate enemies in the process. Attack wins if they seize both objectives within the time limit, while Defend wins if Attack runs out of time trying to do so.
    • Hanamura note 
    • Horizon Lunar Colony note 
    • Temple of Anubis note 
    • Volskaya Industries note 
  • In Escort maps, the Attack team must escort a vehicle known as the payload by being present around it to move it towards its destination, while the Defend team must stop the payload by wiping out its escorts and occupying its general proximity to prevent its forward movement. Much like with Assault maps, Attack wins if the payload reaches its destination in time, otherwise Defend wins.
    • Dorado note 
    • Junkertown note 
    • Route 66 note 
    • Watchpoint: Gibraltar note 
  • Hybrid maps are a mixture of Assault and Escort; the Attack team must first capture one objective holding the payload, and then escort the payload, while Defend tries to stand in their way.
    • Eichenwalde note 
    • Hollywood note 
    • King's Row note 
    • Numbani note 
    • Blizzard World note 
  • Control maps deviate from the above two formats, with both teams in a symmetrical map each trying to capture a central objective and then maintaining possession of it to build a percentage meter over time. Each Control map has three sub-maps, one for each round in a three-round game. The first team to 100% wins the round. The first to two wins wins the match.
    • Ilios note 
    • Lijiang Tower note 
    • Nepal note 
    • Oasis note 
  • Arena maps have no objective to complete by default, and as such are not included in regular map rotation.
    • Black Forest note 
    • Castillo note 
    • Château Guillard note 
    • Ecopoint: Antarctica note 
    • Necropolis note 

In addition to these four standard gameplay formats, there are also some special modes available, exclusive to the Arcade category and custom games:
  • 1v1 Mystery Duel pits two players against each other in a series of duels in which they try to eliminate each other. Each round, a Hero is chosen at random and both players must play as that Hero. The first to win five rounds wins the match. A variation of this mode, Limited Duel, allows each player to pick from a small pool of permitted Heroes every round.
  • Elimination is another elimination mode, this time featuring two teams of three or six, although unlike in Mystery Duel each player is allowed to choose their Hero. There is no respawning until the beginning of the next round. First to three rounds of winning wins the match. A variation of this mode, Lockout Elimination, has Heroes used to win a round disabled for the round-winning team for the remainder of the match. Custom games of Eliminations can use Control maps.
  • Capture the Flag has two teams of six going at it in a traditional CTF mode, reusing most Control maps. The flag is taken when an enemy player stands still on it for a few seconds, and the carrier scores one point for their team when they return the taken flag to their home base. If the flag carrier is killed, thus dropping the flag, it can be returned to its base by having a player from the flag's team stand on it, again for a few seconds. The player's team's flag need not be in its base for enemy flag capture to be possible. This mode was introduced with the Year of the Rooster update as a limited-time mode, using a "winner determined by first to three captures or whichever team has more captures when time runs out" ruleset, but it was popular enough to be made into an Arcade mode and made available for custom games.
  • Brawls are special takes on the four standard modes featuring gimmicks such as limited Hero selection and altered game rules such as more HP per player, faster ability cooldowns, etc.
  • No Limits uses the four standard formats, but allows teams to each have more than one of the same Hero.note 
  • Deathmatch: Much like Elimination the goal here is to just kill your opponent. In Free For All mode 8 individual players fight each other battle royal style and the first player to 20 kills wins, though all 4 top players will be counted as a winner toward Arcade Loot Boxes. In Team Deathmatch, two teams of 4 players go head to head and the first team to 30 kills wins. Mercy's Resurrection Ability in this mode will remove kills.

The game's official website can be found here. The game's cinematic trailer can be seen here, its gameplay trailers here and here, and a theatrical teaser here. The game launched in an invite-only closed beta on October 27th, 2015 in the Americas and Europe, with Asia following sometime after. The full game was released on May 24, 2016. An open beta took place—first for those who pre-ordered and then for everyone—on May 3 (pre-order) and May 5-10 (everyone).

In another Team Fortress 2 parallel, there's very little story in the game itself - it is instead being developed through an Extended Universe that, for now, consists of:

    Animations (CGI) 
Trailers

Season 1

Season 2

Other

    Animations (Non-CGI) 

    Comics 

Other

    In-universe news articles and blog posts 

Backstory is also revealed through character profiles on the official website. Blizzard has hinted at the possibility of more "linear" media in the future, hoping to expose Overwatch to new audiences.

Overwatch also features seasonal events, which draw upon real-life holidays and game lore. These events have a special game mode, skins, voice lines and sprays that can be unlocked during the span of the event. These include:
    List of seasonal events 
  • Summer Games note 
  • Halloween Terror note 
  • Winter Wonderland note 
  • Chinese New Yearnote 
  • Uprising note 
  • Overwatch Anniversary note 

Tropes that apply to Overwatch:

     A-D 
  • The '50s: D.Va's "Cruiser" skin is based around this era, with her MEKA resembling a 1950's Buick while she wears clothing akin to that decade. Lúcio has a skin called "Jazzy" which also acts as a connection to the fifties due to jazz being a popular genre of music in that decade, though the skin itself fashions more from The Roaring '20s.
    D.Va (Hello): Hey, Daddy-o!
  • Abnormal Ammo: A few characters' weapons fire unusual things such as scrap metal, molten slag, or chemical-filled darts.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: As players advance in level, they earn more and more ornate portrait borders. At multiples of 100 + 1, the portrait border reverts to the plainest version and a star is added beneath. Once the player has 5 stars, the next upgrade reverts to a plain border and no stars, but also changes the color of the border and stars from bronze, to silver, to gold, to platinum with gold stars. Obtaining the most ornate platinum border with 5 gold stars requires level 2391.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Lightly deconstructed. While there's beautiful places to explore such as Numbani and Dorado, high technology, and almost utopian advancement of society... there's also wartorn areas, evil organizations such as Talon and Vishkar Corporation in abundance, and it's in the aftermath of a Robot War. On top of that, Overwatch doesn't shy away from the No Endor Holocaust trope, or from showing that yes, this is all very dangerous for the average bystander in the world. It would seem that all of the beauty, all the circumstances that led to these interesting characters and their contrasting philosophies, all of these had consequences. On top of that, with all the turmoil and factions that an enterprising hero could fight, there's one thing made clear: The world isn't safe, no matter how beautiful it looks.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: While individual characters come from all around the world with their own cultures, each of them has enough of a 'technological' aspect in their design that it unifies the art style as a whole. As an example, Hanzo is mostly a traditional samurai, but both his boots and his bow are teched up.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • The background of the setting involves a massive war caused when the machines du jour (called "omnics") suddenly decided to stop taking orders. However, the three playable omnics are a childlike and peace-loving amnesiac mobile artillery unit (Bastion), a not-quite-Buddhist robot monk (Zenyatta), and a refurbished defense unit who protects Numbani (Orisa).
    • The Anubis AI featured in Mission Statement isn't too fond of humans.
  • All There in the Manual: Much like Valve with Team Fortress 2, Blizzard is planning on developing and unfolding the lore outside of the actual gameplay.
  • Alternate Reality Game: The "Sombra ARG" lasted from Ana's initial announcement up until her eventual announcement (June to November 2016), taking the form of several videos, screenshots and website descriptions containing incredibly well-hidden encrypted codes hinting at her presence within the world. The decoding process has been extremely complex, and a summary of fans' findings can be seen here.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The heroes are split into four different groups.
    • Offense: These characters excel at pushing objectives and making moves against the enemy team. The 'Offense' tag doesn't necessarily mean they're better than the other classes at actually defeating enemies, they're just the best at fighting and obtaining the map's objectives. For example, Tracer, who can zip forward and backwards extremely quickly to reach far off places and disorient defenders.
    • Defense: These characters are for keeping objectives once you have them. Different from Tanks (See below), Defenders are about killing people who stray near your holdout, like Widowmaker, who can set up a sniping position above the objective she's guarding and deploy Venom Mines to keep attackers at bay.
    • Tank: These characters are large, and that's the point. With lots of shields and armor, Tanks soak up bullets for their team by being all up in their foe's crosshairs. Tanks are often also more melee-oriented than ranged-oriented. Winston is a tank character who can deploy a grounded shield, and an ultimate that allows him to charge right into enemy's faces.
    • Support: These characters can take on a number of supporting roles, from healing allies to making it easier for allies to move around the map, and setting up perimeters around areas to give their friends an advantage in battle. Symmetra is a support who can summon stationary Light Turrets to ward a small area, and then set up a teleporter to and from her team's spawn point to give her team a safezone to travel to after death.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You can earn loot boxes by leveling up. Those loot boxes can reward you with cosmetic items like icons, victory poses, skins, and more. Blizzard's reasoning for this, according this youtube video from Game Director Jeff Kaplan, is to essentially weed out those who play to earn rewards and boosts rather than those who play to challenge themselves against people of similar skill levels.
  • And You Were There: The framing device for the "Junkensteins Revenge" Halloween event is a scary story being told by Reinhardt. Ana, Hanzo, McCree and Soldier 76 take on the roles of the four heroes who repelled his forces. Mercy plays the Witch, who can bring people Back from the Dead, Junkrat plays the Big Bad himself, Dr. Junkenstein, with his bodyguard Roadhog playing his Frankenstein's monster and Reaper plays an undead monster under the control of the Witch (who was friends with 76 and Ana's "characters" in his former life).
  • Animesque: The Doomfist origin video looks like a high-quality anime, in contrast to the CGI shorts being more Pixar-esque and the previous non-CGI shorts being stills.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • All heroes have infinite reserve ammunition (the magazines still have a finite capacity, so reloads are still necessary) for their primary weapons (D.Va's mech and Hanzo's quiver have Bottomless Magazines), and have relatively quick reload times. This is so players won't have to scour for ammo packs, something that will take them out of the fight, as well as to put focus on a hero's abilities. What's more, since Torbjörn and Mercy can switch their weapons for tools (hammer and staff), they'll automatically reload after few seconds of using them.
    • No matter how high a place you fall from, you will not sustain fall damage, although some maps do have bottomless pits that will kill you if you fall in them.
    • Characters who build devices or place traps (namely Symmetra, Torbjörn and Junkrat) have indicators on their screen that show roughly where the devices are placed and their status, namely when they're being triggered and when they're destroyed. Oddly enough, in Junkrat's case, it applies to his trap and not his concussion mine.
    • Some characters have built-in mechanics to avoid wasting their ultimates:
      • Ana can't use her ultimate unless there are valid targets within range (any ally within line of sight), so she doesn't waste her ultimate by accident.
      • Additionally, Mercy's Resurrection ultimate is now a normal, single-target ability, although it is still based on targeting an ally and will not be cast if none are in range.
      • If the spawn rooms change while Symmetra has a Teleporter/Shield Generator active, it will disappear and she will get a boost to her ultimate charge, proportional to the number of unused teleports remaining on it or a complete charge for the Shield Generator so she can immediately rebuild it.
    • You will get warned by either your own character or a teammate in various critical situations, including if someone spots a sniper or a turret, if someone starts capturing the objective, if the enemies have a teleporter, if they are revived and if you get attacked from behind.
    • You can enable an option to get into a skirmish (a practice session with other players) if you spend more than a minute waiting to get into a match, so that you have something to do while waiting to joining a game.
    • Simply being near the payload heals you, so you can defend it longer without having to run to the nearest medkit.
    • If you get disconnected in a Competitive match, you can re-enter the match when you reconnect as long as it hasn't ended in the meantime.
    • If someone leaves in a Competitive match but doesn't return (either due to doing it on purpose or disconnecting and failing to rejoin in time), remaining players of the affected team are allowed to leave one minute from the time the offending player left with a loss but no quit penalties to make up for the high chance the team will probably take a protracted defeat otherwise anyway.
    • When you drop into the middle of a game (usually because somebody quit partway through), Overwatch may give you an XP "backfill bonus" to make up for lost opportunities for other awards and bonuses. In addition, if this game ends with your team losing(which is likely), this defeat won't be marked on your career record.
    • Characters announce when they are supporting allies, such as Torbjörn telling allies to "Come get yer armor!" and Symmetra announcing her Shield Generator/Teleporter is set up, so players will know that they are being given support.
    • If an ally dies during the Uprising event, you have a few seconds to revive him/her. If you fail to do so, you fail the mission. Since one of the modes of this mission can be done with any character, it may lead to situations where someone dies in a place other players can't reach. If that happens, the body is teleported to a more accessible location nearby, so you still have a chance to revive him/her.
  • Anti Gravity: Very few vehicles have wheels, instead they have some anti-gravity device in their place which keeps them afloat in midair. Lampshaded in Hollywood by the payload car's occupant:
    Hal-Fred Glitchbot: How long is this going to take? May as well have tires on this thing!
  • Anti-Rage Quitting:
    • The game enforces a 75% penalty to EXP for players who repeatedly ragequit.
    • In Competitive Mode, quitting out of a match early locks you out of playing Competitive Mode again for 10 minutes at minimum, and the penalties can increase with subsequent quits. Continuing to abort matches will result in you getting banned from the mode for the rest of the current season. The quit prompts have a big red warning message in ALL CAPS to warn you of these penalties.note 
  • Apocalyptic Log: One in the form of visual Story Breadcrumbs in the Ecopoint: Antarctica map that you can't really tell is there unless you're really searching for it. There are several of Mei's notes and sketches littered around the map that when pieced together chronologically, tell the tragic events of her backstory before she and her crew went into cryogenic stasis.
  • Arch-Enemy
    • Reaper is directly targeting past and present Overwatch operatives, so he runs into this often:
      • Soldier: 76 and Reaper have more history and bad blood between each other than any other two characters. They were rivals even back during their days as Overwatch agents. Overwatch's collapse, brought about in no small part by Reaper, has intensified their bitterness and antagonism towards each other to the point where they are both effectively on each others' kill-on-sight list today.
      • In the animated shorts, Reaper has been foiled by Winston at least twice. When Reaper appears at Watchpoint: Gibraltar to acquire the Overwatch database, Winston recognizes him and drips animosity as he says his name. Winston manages to fight off Reaper and his goons in that exchange, but got teamed up on by Reaper and Widowmaker during the museum heist. Reaper temporarily bests Winston, but stops to step on Winston's glasses, which sends Winston into a primal rage. In-game, Reaper and Winston say nothing but hateful remarks to each other, with Reaper dismissively referring to him only as "Monkey" (and being one of Winston's counters) and Winston stating that even children wouldn't be scared of Reaper.
      • Tracer and Reaper don't get that many interactions, but she does get a nice line mocking his "Death comes" voice line if she kills him.
    • Widowmaker, being deeply involved in most of the story's conflicts, has quite a few:
      • Tracer and Widowmaker are also quickly shaping up to be this for each other, as Widowmaker is responsible for a murder in Tracer’s hometown that destabilized the already tense situation between humans and omnics into all-out chaos, and Tracer played a big role in botching her and Reaper’s museum heist. These two have done a lot to get on each others' bad side, and every single one of their interactions in-game is dripping with antagonism.
      • Ana and Widowmaker first crossed paths on a mission that ended in a disaster for Ana and her team in Overwatch, and caused Ana to lose her eye due to Widowmaker's Scope Snipe. Meeting each other again in-game results in a metric ton of Passive-Aggressive Kombat between the two women, with Widowmaker calling Ana a "shell of a woman" and Ana stating that Gerard was a fool for ever loving her. Widowmaker makes cutting remarks if she kills Ana's daughter Pharah in combat, and Ana throws Widowmaker's catchphrases back at her if she kills her.
    • Lúcio and Symmetra to each other. Even with her own growing doubts on Vishkar, Symmetra simply can't accept Lúcio's rise to fame kickstarted by stealing from her company and accosted him as a street thief or admonishing his ideas of freedom as anarchy. On the other hand, Lúcio stands on the firm belief that the people should have freedom and Vishkar is only bogging them down with their so-called 'order', and thinks that Symmetra is nothing but an Unwitting Pawn to (or just the same as) the corrupt company that was blinded by its 'fake' slogans and mocks her for not realizing the truth about her company while continuing to harass or mock Vishkar while sharing the benefits of his 'theft' to the poor people that needs it more.
  • Art Shift: The non-CGI shorts progressively changed overtime. First they were stills in beige color with minimal animation. Then they changed to being in full-color with more animation with Sombra and Orisa's origin videos. Then, it switched being straight-up animesque with Doomfist's origin video, being completely animated with no stills whatsoever.
    • The Junkertown cinematic is done in CGI, but unlike the other cinematics, it's animated in a way that more resembles classic 2D animation. It was also rendered in-engine, instead of using the Pixar-esque style the other cinematics used. The "Rise and Shine" short confirmed that this change would not be permanent.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "The Junkers", Junkrat's bio on the news states that he "specializes in explosives, arson, demolition, barbecue".
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions:
    • AI-controlled characters will say "gg" at the end of the round.
    • Friendly heroes will automatically thank you or otherwise acknowledge when they receive shields, armor or other boosts, or when they're resurrected. They will also occasionally call out "good shot!" or similar when an ally makes a kill.
      Mercy: Heroes never die!
      McCree: Thought I was a goner.
  • Artificial Brilliance: As noted under Artificial Stupidity, the AI bots are generally pretty poor, but plays some heroes better than others. Zarya and Zenyatta in particular are quite strong, the former because the AI uses Zarya's barriers as well as any human can and the latter because the AI has perfect aim despite the travel time on Zenyatta's projectiles. Having two Zaryas on the AI team will make a bot game significantly more difficult.
  • Artificial Limbs: McCree, Symmetra and Torbjörn have cybernetic left arms while Junkrat has a metal peg leg prosthesis and a robotic right forearm and hand strapped to his elbow. As seen in the Uprising comic, most of Genji's body was replaced with cybernetic implants, following Overwatch's acquisition of him, with only his torso, left arm and head being left organic. Genji's current body is potentially even more cybernetic in nature. Doomfist's non-gauntlet arm is a prosthetic with built-in knuckle shotguns.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The bots in the offline mode make for very poor practice. While they always make sure to group up, they lump themselves together in such a manner that it is ludicrously easy to rack up eliminations without having to worry about your safety, and they only ever march towards their objectives, only splitting up when they get there or if a player intervenes. Depending on whether or not the bots are attacking, they might pick a hero that's extremely unsuitable for the situation, such as an attacking Bastion when playing on an easily defensible map like Hanamura. Furthermore, you'll only ever see the AI play as Soldier: 76, McCree, Reaper, Bastion, Torbjörn, Roadhog, Zarya, Lúcio, Ana, Mei, Zenyatta and Sombra. The AI isn't programmed to handle Pharah's and Genji's use of mobility, or Tracer's abilities. Hanzo and Widowmaker's sniping abilities are useless because of the above mentioned pathing. Junkrat's positional defenses can't be utilized. Reinhardt can't use his shield in order to keep up the pace, Winston's gun isn't accurate and his shield is useless for bots on the move, and the AI can't play as D.Va because it's basically two different forms between her MEKA and herself. Mercy requires the player to hold down the fire button (as do Mei and Symmetra) and rapidly change between players to keep them healed, and Symmetra's entire concept is useless, again, because of the pathing. Mei was eventually programmed into the AI, and she's very quick to use her Cryo-Freeze. That said, the remaining characters do use their abilities properly, and will use their ultimates when they see the right moment.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The game takes liberties with maps based on specific real-life locations; for example, anyone who's been to Hollywood in real life can tell you that there's no major studios within a five-minute walk of Hollywood Boulevard, unlike its in-game counterpart. Of course, this is all in the name of fun and balanced maps.
    • "Rise and Shine" takes place in Antarctica, yet we see the sun go down and rise again at least once. While possible at certain times of the year, the polar regions are well-known for having months worth of darkness or months of sunshine due to the way that the earth is angled.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • One of D.Va's emotes, "Game On", has her playing a game on her mech's HUD while eating D.Vas chips and drinking soda, a shout-out to the "Gremlin D.Va" meme.
    • The famous Cardboard Meka cosplay made popular by the fandom is now a spray tag.
    • When McCree announces that his Ultimate is ready he may coyly say "You know what time it is", referencing the meme where either he asks someone what time it is or another hero asks him. A later addition has Mei ask him what time it is. His response?
      McCree: Well, I'd say it's about— nah, I see what you're doin' there.
    • Genji sometimes calls himself "Green Cyborg Ninja Dude", a nickname the fandom used before his name was ever given. His Halloween voice line has him declare "Cyborg Ninja" to be his costume.
    • Ana's Halloween emote is her giving out candy, a reference to a popular fan interpretation of her as a doting grandmother.
    • The Halloween sprays portray each of the cast of Overwatch as trick-or-treating kids, except for Soldier: 76, who is depicted as a grumpy old man in a rocking chair, a reference to the "Dad: 76" meme.
    • During Sombra's ARG there was a fan theory about a code hidden in the sky of Dorado. This theory was so misguided that it required intervention of the developers to put the players back on track. One of Sombra's emotes, called "Amused", consists in her looking at said sky code and laughing. The code itself is one of her sprays.
    • Several references have been made to "Dad 76" but none so blatant as his Summer Games 2017 skin as a stereotypical barbecue dad with cargo shorts and socks with sandals.
    • As of the Uprising patch, Lucio, when nanoboosted, has a small chance of shouting "Boostio!"
    • While killing Hanzo, Moira has a chance to quip "Simple geometry".
  • Asshole Victim: In the comic short "Going Legit", a Corrupt Corporate Executive hired Junkrat and Roadhog to rescue hostages from Omnic terrorists so they can take the fall for an insurance fraud scheme he was doing. Once Junkrat and Roadhog catch on to his intentions, they kill him by hanging the man outside with chains several hundred feet in the air and then blowing him (and his office building) to kingdom come.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: "Destroyer" features Torbjörn going up against a Titan-class Omnic, a monstrous machine as tall as a skyscraper. Torbjörn himself originally designed it to help build high rises, but the project was repurposed for warfare during the Omnic Crisis.
  • A-Team Firing: Everyone in the cinematic trailer. Bullets are flying everywhere, but even the sniper barely hits anything except Winston.
  • Ate His Gun: In the comic Mission Statement, the Omnic team member Okoro kills himself instead of letting himself get taken control of by the Anubis AI and killing his team mates.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Dubstep plays over Soldier: 76's battle against street thugs in his short "Heroes".
  • Badass Bystander: The older of the two kids in the cinematic trailer helps out by wearing Doomfist's gauntlet that Reaper and Widowmaker are after and punching Widowmaker with it, throwing her a good way across the exhibit.
  • Badass Crew: The original Overwatch strike team consisting of Jack, Reyes, Ana, Torbjörn, and Reinhardt definitely fit this trope. They were the ones that brought an end to the Omnic Crisis and established Overwatch as a worldwide organization.
  • Badass Grandpa: All of the original Overwatch members when it was still a strike team apply.
    • Reinhardt is the largest member of the whole cast (larger than the gorilla and Mini-Mecha!), wields a gigantic hammer which he can use to let off blasts of fire or cause small-scale tremors, and is capable of taking lots of damage with his "Crusader" Power Armor. He is also 61 years old.
    • Torbjörn, The Smart Guy of Overwatch, and like Reinhardt, Morrison and Reyes, one of the members of the original Overwatch strike team. He's 57 years old.
    • Soldier: 76, too. Like Reinhardt, Strike-Commander Jack Morrison was one of the members of the original Overwatch team 30 or so years ago during the first Omnic Crisis. Morrison volunteered for the US Soldier Enhancement Program when he was 18 years old, meaning he should be pushing 50 now. Despite that, he's still able to hold his own with the rest of the cast.
    • Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) co-founded Overwatch with Jack Morrison and inducted McCree into Blackwatch. He's likely a similar age to Soldier: 76.
    • Never Mess with Granny: Ana is the second oldest character behind Reinhardt, being 60 years old as opposed to his 61, and she hasn't aged quite as well as he has either. She's also one of the world's best snipers and was doing combat operations well into her 50s before she lost her eye to Widowmaker, and even that hasn't slowed her down.
  • Badass Normal: Most characters don't technically have special powers, but effectively achieve superhero-esque abilities through technology. McCree on the other hand, is just a completely normal guy who possesses a flashbang, a revolver, and really good aim (he does have an artificial left arm, but it doesn't seem to give him any special abilities), yet can fight with the best of them.
    • Hanzo also counts, fighting with no cybernetics, and just wielding a bow and arrow. He does use magic when performing his ultimate, but other than that, it's all raw skill.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • In general, at the end of the early era of Overwatch, Talon has overall won. They brainwashed Amélie Lacroix, who then assassinated their biggest opposition: her own husband. After that, Amélie became Widowmaker and gravely injured Ana Amari, leading Reinhardt to be forced into retirement, quickly allowing Overwatch to become corrupt. This led to the destruction of the Swiss Headquarters, the supposed deaths of Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes, and Overwatch being declared illegal and disbanded. In the present, Talon is a Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy capable of spreading their influence almost unopposed... until Winston reinstated Overwatch.
    • At the end of the Alive video, Widowmaker succeeds in assassinating her target. And at the end of Legacy comics, Widowmaker put Ana out of business very quickly and ruined her mission.
    • Zig-Zagged in Infiltration. While the Talon members fail to kill the Volskaya president, Sombra accomplishes her goal of blackmailing the president into becoming her "friend".
    • Escorting the payload in King's Row. YOU are escorting and detonating an EMP to destroy a group of Omnic refugees. Good job, You Bastard...
    • Similarly, if you succeed in Jukertown, YOU are escorting a bomb, disguised as an offering to the queen of Junkertown, in retribution for kicking out Junkrat and Roadhog for very good reasons.
  • Banana Peel: In Recall, a Talon operative slips on a banana peel while trying to restrain Winston using the cable gun. This is a rare plot critical example of the trope, as opposed to being just for humor. It allowed Winston to break free, and defeat the Talon operatives (including Reaper), preventing them from getting the locations of the former Overwatch agents. Then he reinstated Overwatch. Yes, the failure of Talon's mission and the revival of Overwatch can all be attributed to one Talon operative slipping on a banana peel.
  • Barrier Warrior: All the Tanks sans Roadhog are able to deploy energy shields, and with different uses.
    • D.Va's Defense Matrix will block (almost) anything that's fired at her, and is governed by a recharging meter rather than damage taken. However, the range and width are small, making it more effective when she's up close and personal with the enemy rather than back with her team.
    • Orisa's Protective Barrier throws out a stationary barrier that can protect her and her allies from enemy fire.
    • Reinhardt's Barrier Field is a large shield that has 2000 HP, can be kept up indefinitely (though Rein moves much slower and can't attack when it's up), and regenerates 250 per second when it's not up. This makes a good player extremely valuable to the team, as he can directly protect other players while they make a push.
    • Winston's Barrier Projector is a large stationary bubble that has 600 HP and a 6 second duration. He can drop it over his team to prevent the enemy from shooting in, or jump into the middle of the enemy and drop it over them to prevent them from shooting out.
    • Zarya's Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier. The former shields herself for two seconds, and the latter shields a teammate for two seconds, and both have 200hp. That might not sound like much, but with proper timing, it can completely negate an enemy Ultimate or save the life of a recklessly charging ally. Additionally, shots absorbed by the shields power up her weapon, and if it gets to 100, she becomes a formidable damage dealer.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Heroes can apparently breathe perfectly fine on the surface sections of the Horizon Lunar Base with no explanation as to how. It's made even more glaring with the subversion of Space Is Noisy, implying that they are indeed within the vacuum of space with no equipment different to what they normally have.
  • Battle in the Rain: One of the three maps for Lijiang Tower, Night Market, takes place outside in the rain, though it's only visible on higher graphical settings.
  • Beach Episode: Summer Games 2017 gives McCree, Widowmaker, Sombra, and Soldier:76 beach-themed skins and has a beach as one of the main menu backgrounds.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Played With. Both of the sexually-enticing Ms. Fanservice characters (Widowmaker and Symmetra) work for one of the two major antagonist factions: Talon and Vishkar. However, it's not that clear-cut. Widowmaker is also a Tragic Villain who was turned evil against her will (although she certainly embraces it now). Symmetra is a Noble Top Enforcer who truly believes in her employers' ideals, and questions many of their more unethical decisions.
  • Becoming the Costume: Some of the alternate skins will give new/change their heroes' voice lines in order to make them fit with their new theme. Individual examples can be found on each character's character page.
  • Being Evil Sucks: While Reaper and Widowmaker are normally portrayed as Card Carrying Villains who find the act of evil exhilarating, the Reflections comic shows the clear downside of it. Both are lonely and depressed on Christmas, the season for being together with loved ones, to which they have none. Reaper watches a family happily going about their day on Christmas, looking clearly saddened through his static mask. Meanwhile, Widowmaker mourns her deceased husband in the snow, having been personally responsible for killing him. This sheds light on the theme that the villains of Overwatch are ultimately broken individuals who have been victims of the world they live in.
  • Berserk Button: A few characters have these.
    • Winston's is people stepping on his glasses, which are a Tragic Keepsake from his deceased human Parental Substitute Dr. Harold Winston. In the cinematic trailer, we see the results of pushing that button. Sort of literal during gameplay, as the icon for Winston's Ultimate (which, as in the trailer, makes him go berserk) is a pair of broken glasses.
    • In "Recall", we have another one for Winston: calling him a "monkey".
      Winston: "I am not a monkey. I am a SCIENTIST!" (cue Reaper being blown across the room and disintegrated by Tesla)
    • As revealed in the webcomic "Going Legit", Junkrat's is people calling his partner-in-crime Roadhog "fat". Though he has no problem doing it himself.
    • In "Dragons", the cool-headed Hanzo has an increase in rage whenever he hears anyone mentioning Genji, as he sees it as an act of mockery to his brother's memory.
    • Widowmaker, for someone who usually acts calm (apart from when she's killing) has enough humanity left in her to react very strongly when someone badmouths or even mentions Gerard, her deceased husband that she was brainwashed into killing.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In high-level play, a common tactic when cut off from the rest of your team or being the only survivor of a lost team-fight is to commit suicide either by jumping off the map or blowing yourself up with your weapon. Not only does this prevent the enemy from killing you and charging their ultimates quicker, but it can help you regroup with your team when it otherwise wouldn't be possible.
    • In a Deathmatch, sometimes you are better off committing suicide because you can deny your opponent's point however if you do this enough times then you will lose a point.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The candidates for Big Bad seem to grow overtime, to the point where we can expect a shuffle later. To wit:
    • There's Talon, who was at least partially responsible for Overwatch's original downfall by creating Widowmaker out of Amélie Lacroix and "killing" Ana, and kickstarted the plot by attempting to kill all of them off. Reaper, formerly known as Overwatch founder Gabriel Reyes, who was essential to Overwatch's dissolution, was revealed to be a member of Talon's Council of Leaders, alongside Doomfist, who had been The Ghost beforehand and a major force in leading organization, and then Moira, who gave Reaper his powers and Blackwatch and Talon scientific research and weapons. They all have their own agendas, and don't always agree, but work together to achieve a common goal.
    • The Vishkar Corporation, who entered the fray and established their presence by taking over Rio de Janeiro. Then it's revealed Vishkar might be in an alliance with Talon with Vishkar member Sanjay Korpal being on the Talon's inner council.
    • Also, Sombra's reveal also gave way to The Conspiracy, which has some involvement in everything, but whatever motive they have isn't yet clear.
    • Then there's the God Programs, who had been responsible for the Omnic Crisis, and are still alive (but currently quarantined).
    • Overall: Talon (lead by Reaper, Doomfist, Moira and others), Vishkar (who may have a connection to Talon), The Conspiracy, and the God Programs. This isn't getting into all the other antagonistic factions and forces in the setting, either.
  • The Big Guy: Tanks naturally fit this trope. Almost all of them are very large in size, towering over the rest of the cast, with Winston, Reinhardt, and Roadhog being over seven feet tall, and Zarya is considerably shorter at only ("only") 6'5". The sole exception to this is D.Va, who is quite petite as one would expect from a South Korean girl, but she compensates with her mech suit.
  • Big "NO!": The girl with the Omnic companion does this when Tekhartha Mondatta is killed in the Alive short.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The calligraphy in Hanamura (the one which Hanzo kneels in front of in the Dragons short) spells out a Chinese /Japanese proverb, which literally translates into "(A) dragon's head, (and a) snake's tail", and means "to start with a bang, but end with a whimper". Presumably, it was hung there to remind the Shimada clan to never commit that mistake.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the comics and shorts.
    • Dragons: Hanzo and Genji are reunited, and Genji forgives his brother, but their future is uncertain, as Hanzo, who had forsaken his criminal heritage and spent the past many years of his life trying to atone for what he thought was killing his brother, is left feeling very conflicted about the recent turn of events.
    • Hero: Soldier: 76 saves Alejandra and proves, at least to her, that he’s still a hero. But most of the Los Muertos gang members get away, and while Alejandra may think Jack is hero, he himself does not.
    • The Last Bastion: Ganymede helps Bastion overcome its programming, and it returns peacefully to the forest, but it’s still racked with issues from the war and likely won’t be able to coexist with people for a long time, if ever.
    • Train Hopper: McCree lets the Talon agents have the strange device they came for, but in the process manages to save everyone on the train.
  • Bland-Name Product: D.Va's "Game On" Emote has her munching on some "D.Vas", a play on the Doritos brand of chips that are commonly associated with the gamer stereotype.
  • Blood-Stained Letter: The Hanamura map has in its shrine a a wall scroll with a sword slice in one corner with specks of blood around it, left over from the brothers' confrontation.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: More specifically, armor itself is considered a type of hit point that mitigates up to 5 damage with every incoming projectile, making it effective for facing automatic rifle weapons and even shotgun blasts, but not as much while facing explosive single bursts of damage. Most armored heroes naturally spawn with armor as part of their health bar, and Torbjörn is able to grant armor to other teammates.
  • Boring, but Practical: Healer heroes are often this, due to sacrificing damage-dealing and Plays of the Game in order to keep the team in top shape without them having to scramble for health packs.
  • Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous: The two antagonist factions in Overwatch — Vishkar Corporation and Talon, represent Order and Chaos respectively. The former is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to Take Over the World so they can enforce an iron-fisted dictatorship in the name of peace, while the latter is bent on causing as much destruction as possible to push humanity's evolution and strength through conflict.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Both Overwatch and the United Nations are right in some ways. Overwatch was formed to fight what no one else could, and later made a better world with peacekeeping, science and exploration. However, it's also very militaristic in nature, which created tension. Later, the covert "Blackwatch" unit and all of its dirtiest secrets were revealed to the public, demonstrating how corrupt it had become. The United Nations decided to revoke their charter and shut them down, and not without good reason. However, the world clearly still needs an organization of heroes like Overwatch, as there are many problems that the UN, nor individual nations, can't solve.
  • Bottomless Pits: A frequent feature that almost every map has. Some are pits only on the borders of the map that you'd have to want it to fall in it. Other maps have pits that prove to be a hazard that you can fall or be knocked back into unintentionally, such as Ilios or King's Row. Pushing enemies into pits on purpose is a legitimate (and rather annoying) tactic that heroes with knockback (D.Va, Pharah, Junkrat, Lúcio) or drags (Roadhog, Orisa) can employ for easy kills. Subverted with Lúcio, thanks to his wall-riding ability, if you're skilled enough. Very high-skilled players can use the one in Ilios as a method of avoiding enemies. Hollywood and Temple of Anubis avert this trope.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Comes in two varieties.
    • Golden weapons are proof that a player has won in Competitive mode enough to show off their skills. Each win earns 10 SP, and 3,000 are needed to buy a golden weapon. Where the player ranks at the end of the season results in a bonus of SP as well, so eventually most players will obtain at least one.
    • The top 500 players of each Competitive season earn an animated version of the standard Season icon to show how strong they really are.
  • Breather Episode: Junkertown: The Plan is this in a few ways; it's animated using the in-game engine, it's comparatively shorter than the other shorts, and it's entirely comedic in focus. It was then followed up by Rise and Shine.
  • Breakout Character: Not exactly a character, per se, but the Pachimari animal was originally designed for only a map in Hanamura was given increasing present in the game and even story-related content after its popularity with fans.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Averted. There are no weapons or boosts in the game at all, so a hero's effectiveness depends entirely on the player controlling it. The only things purchasable with real money in-game are the Loot Boxes, which not only contain purely cosmetic rewards, but are given to you for free every time you rank up.
  • Broken Aesop: Omnics are clearly an allegory for oppressed minorities. Where the story gets ham-handed is in the lore surrounding Omnics:
    • Real life minorities are not built with guns, Deflector Shields, or durable steel bodies. Arguing that living in fear of a rogue Omnic is comparable to them living in fear of a rogue minority is, in fact, doing the latter a disservice.
    • The Omnics were treated as disposable slaves and servants before their uprising, which can serve as a cautionary tale about Real Life slavery and unethical treatment. However, most marginalized groups in reality have neither the numbers, firepower, or capital to stage a full-scale uprising.
    • While most refugees come from conflicts restricted to a particular region, the Omnic Crisis was a global war. All of humanity was at risk of being wiped out. A civil war in one country absolutely pales to a conflict that spanned the world and nearly exterminated all human life.
    • Omnics can be hacked, as proven by Mission Statement. Even if you know in your heart that your Omnic friend wouldn't hurt a fly, they can still be hacked and turned against you. While Widowmaker proves that humans can also be brainwashed into committing cold-blooded murder against their will in the Overwatch universe, it took weeks of brainwashing and psychological torture for Talon to make Amélie Lacroix into their sleeper agent after they kidnapped her, whereas a God AI such as Anubis can take control of a nearby Omnic in the space of a few minutes.
  • Cain and Abel: The Shimada brothers Hanzo and Genji. When their father died, the dutiful heir Hanzo was forced by the elders to discipline his less responsible brother Genji and have him take a more active part in the clan's criminal activities. After Genji refused, tensions rose between the two until they clashed in a violent confrontation, in which Hanzo thought he'd killed his brother, causing him to leave the clan in shame. While Genji has since forgiven Hanzo after his return as a cyborg ninja, Hanzo is still very conflicted about his brother and what he is now, and the tension between the two is still evident in the game.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Each character calls out their ultimate attack which in some cases can help you avoid them or even negate them with the right ability. Some characters even give a voice line after using standard abilities.
  • The Cavalry: Planes bomb the Omnics shooting at Reinhardt and two soldiers he's huddling over in the Honor and Glory short, saving them while they were desperately standing still and the rest of their ground allies fled.
  • The Cameo: The Player Icons contain characters from other Blizzard franchises, most of them already appearing in Heroes of the Storm. These include: Diablo, Sonya, Valla, Li-Ming, Raynor, Kerrigan, Artanis, Arthas (Lich King), Jaina (white haired), Sylvanas, Varian and Garrosh.
  • Capture the Flag: The game didn't launch with one, but added "Capture the Rooster" as its featured mode for the Chinese New Year event in 2017 (which, despite the name, used the traditional flags). The reason it lacked one to begin with was because mobility based heroes would have been Game Breakers, however the mode got around this by requiring a player to stay on the flag for a few seconds to capture it (giving the opposing team a chance to knock them off the point, instead of allowing Tracer or Genji to rush in and out with it), and this version has been mostly well-received, making the "Capture the Flag" mode a permanent game mode in the Arcade.
  • Cast Herd: Many characters can be put in distinct groups with others, who share their beliefs, methodology, and even fit the same overall playstyle, although there's also overlap (e.g. Reaper, Widowmaker and Sombra all work for Talon, but Sombra can also be grouped up with Zarya, because she's blackmailing her boss, and Soldier-76 because of his vigilante activities in her home-town). The playable characters are also all classified into Offense, Defense, Tanks, and Support, which are similar in game mechanics rather than characterization but still allow the fans to divide the large ensemble cast into smaller, easier-to-remember groups when discussing everyone at once.
    • Winston and Tracer are relatively young and idealistic ex-Overwatch members who have white weaponry and armor, with a visibly high-tech, angular design, are idealists attempting to re-start overwatch, and play flanking roles based on rapid movement.
    • Soldier: 76 and Ana are old Overwatch veterans, Still Wearing the Old Colors, but more "Urbanized", seeking to find out whatever conspiracy brought the organization down. Their playstyles revolve around healing themselves and others while fighting in a cohesive group.
    • Reaper and Widowmaker are Talon operatives, with sinister dark getups (which both invoke death and scary Animal Motifs), whose plans, whatever they may be, involve killing off both major figureheads and old Overwatch members (as well as both undergoing a Face–Heel Turn and being modified into remorseless killing machines in their backstory). Fittingly, their playstyles are distinctly assassin-like, with a focus on stealth.
    • Junkrat and Roadhog hail from the mess that was once the Australian outback, wearing nearly Mad Max-like black and yellow getups. Their goals, so far, have revolved around simply keeping whatever it is Junkrat found in the omnitorium. Both of them have extremely powerful, but imprecise weapons for mass damage output.
    • Lúcio and D.Va are celebrities who fight using their chosen art form (music and gaming) as weapons. They're also two of the more cheerful characters and remain stalwart fans of each other.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Each hero has a distinctive design, distinguishable even in silhouette.
  • Catch-Phrase: Tracer's is apparently "Cheers, luv! Cavalry's here!", and each character's Ultimate Skill call-out could also count as one. Also played with on Reinhardt, one of his unlockable voice lines is literally yelling "Catch Phrase!". Other characters will mock or play with others' catch phrases, which can lead to the 'owner' of the catch phrase calling them out on it. For example, Junkrat may call out 'Cheers, mate, cavalry's here!', leading to Tracer indignantly hollering at him that that's her line.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The organization Talon makes no secret that they're terrorists and they want the world to either burn or get plunged into chaos. But hey, at least they're honest about it, compared to some like Vishkar Corporation who masks their nefarious goals with benevolent methods.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • In the cinematic trailer, Winston asks the two brothers touring the museum if they're enjoying the exhibit even while he's getting shot at.
    • Some ultimate callouts can be this, especially the 'for allies' versions such as Reaper; "Clearing the area" rather understates the fact that he's unleashing an ultimate that can very well lead to an enemy team wipe.
  • Celebrity Paradox: D.Va is a Starcraft 2 player and is sponsored by Blizzard (according to a sticker on her suit). In addition, a Cutaway Gag in the cinematic trailer shows a guard playing Hearthstone. This means that Blizzard and its games exist in the Overwatch world, which poses the question: did Overwatch? It's even more baffling with Blizzard's Massive Multiplayer Crossover Heroes of the Storm, including characters of Starcraft and Overwatch in the same battlefield, including D.Va herself.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the release of the "Blizzard World" map, an entire theme park based on Blizzard video games...with the exception of Overwatch.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Junkrat and Roadhog steal various items in the "A Moment in Crime Special Report: 'The Junkers'" video. Those items end up being the cargo on the payload for the map Junkertown, as part of a heist to get revenge.
  • Clingy Aquatic Life: The supplemental web comic Binary starts with Bastion rising out of a pond with a kraken stuck on the side of his head. His unique Omnic Uprising tag reflects this.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Downplayed, but present. Most characters can be seen wearing something that explains their in-game abilities, ranging from a simple wrist-mounted grappling launcher to a full-out set of power armor.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Generally, good things and things belonging to your team are blue, green, and yellow, while bad things and things belonging to the enemy team are red, orange, and purple.
    • Players names, outlines and health bars are red for enemies, blue for allies, yellow for injured allies and green for players on the same group. Bullets and most abilities are also colored red or blue/white, so you can easily tell if it's either a teammate firing behind you or if it's an enemy flanker.
    • Almost all healing abilities have yellow effects, while anti-healing or damaging abilities have purple effects. For example, Zenyatta's Orb of Harmony is yellow and his Orb of Discord is purple.
    • The lights on Lúcio's clothes also change colors: yellow for healing and green for speed boost.
    • Mercy's healing beam is yellow while the damage boost is blue.
    • On the health bar, health is white, armor is yellow and shield is blue.
    • An allied Reaper's teleportation is purple; an enemy Reaper's is red.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Overtime. When the normal match time runs out or a team reaches 99% on Control maps, as long as there's at least one attacker on the control point or payload, the match continues to play on, giving them a little extra time to turn things around.
  • Conlang: Omnics have a unique written language built of dashes, dots and diamonds called "Omnicode," and is found all over the place in most levels. Lead writer Michael Chu stated it's not one-on-one translatable and not intended to be easily read by humans "who haven't been augmented", so no cipher of it currently exists.
  • The Conspiracy: According to Sombra's origin story, there's one out there shaping world events. They have their fingers in everything from the Vishkar Corporation to Volskaya Industries to the government of Numbani to both Talon and Overwatch itself; Sombra had to erase her own identity and go off the grid when they found out she was investigating them. Their symbol is apparently an all-seeing eye.
  • Cool Plane: The MV-261 Orca, which serves as the spawn point for all Control maps except Oasis, is very cool. It even has a basketball hoop!
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: D.Va plays with this trope. On the one hand, she streams her battles to thousands of eager fans and both her MEKA and her jumpsuit have various logos decaled on them (including the Blizzard logo). On the other, she's explicitly part of a specialized military response force slapped together in order to fight a giant robot.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • The Vishkar Corporation mentioned in Symmetra and Lúcio's backstory is slowly revealed to be this trope. They took Symmetra away from her parents when she was revealed to be a Child Prodigy in light-bending architecture and prevented her from going back so they can use her talents for their own gain, without considering the emotional impact it might have on Symmetra and her family. They also took over Lúcio's poor neighborhood with the promise of improving their way of life, only to impose strict regulations, punishing what they perceived as "lawless behavior", and exploited Lúcio's friends and neighbors as a source of cheap labor. In the comic short "A Better World", when the people in Brazil oppose the Vishkar Corporation's plans to tear down their homes to make way for one of their buildings, they secretly send agents to blow up and set fire to a Favela in order to force the people to accept their changes, resulting in several civilian casualties and many more wounded.
    • In the webcomic "Going Legit", a wealthy CEO hires Junkrat and Roadhog to rescue his workers from Omnic terrorists but actually he wanted them to take the fall for an insurance fraud scheme he was doing. Both Junkrat and Roadhog catch on and they kill the bastard by hanging him with chains outside his office several hundred stories high, then blowing him and the building to smithereens.
    • The CEO of the Mexican company LumériCo is partnered with the Vishkar Corporation and has bribed public officials, created an internal company system of kickbacks and payoffs, and had plans to seize privately held land via government expropriation to expand LumériCo's facilities throughout Mexico. Once Sombra revealed his dealings via hacking, the public was so outraged that they revolted, causing the CEO to step down. That last is an image deliberately created by Sombra, though. In backstory material there are complaints from her about how he is actually an Honest Corporate Executive, and she expresses her disbelief that no matter how deeply she digs he really is that squeaky clean.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • Winning competitive games gives you special credits that you can eventually use to purchase golden versions of a hero's weapons, and top 500 players will receive an animated version of a competitive season's spray at the end of it.
    • Aside from the sprays you can get from lootboxes, there are also sprays connected to achievements. Most of these achievements require pulling off a rather tricky feat with your chosen character, getting a high enough kill streak, or just reaching a level threshold.
  • Coup de Grâce: A few heroes, notably Mei, Ana, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Sombra, and McCree, have an ability that could disable the enemy for a period of time between less than a second to a very unhealthy 5 seconds. Mei is the most prominent example of them though, with this as her basic playstyle as she lacks direct combat ability otherwise.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Overwatch lore has a bright, cheery, outwardly utopian society reestablishing itself in the aftermath of a near-apocalyptic war, where the heroes and villains are ultimately broken individuals fighting because they don't know anything else, and all indications are that yet another global crisis is just around the corner and Overwatch will be needed again. There's also the fact that society has a seedy underbelly - with criminals, terrorist organizations, Mega Corps full of Corrupt Corporate Executives seeking to impose their own version of order (any honest companies and workers exist only to be weak prey for the others or a legal system full of those who would love to take advantage of them, and even some of the "good" companies were just better at hiding their corruption). Did we mention there's also a country partly turned into a radioactive wasteland whose inhabitants turn to crime and scavenging for parts to survive, Fantastic Racism towards Omnics (robots), and often the only people willing to stand up to the criminals and corporations are other (sometimes even more ruthless) criminals?
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played straight with playable heroes as to be expected, but also notably played straight with shields such as Reinhardt's Barrier Field or Winston's Photon Barrier. If it's still standing, it will completely block damage sources, including a 1000-damage-dealing D.Va Self-Destruct; as long as it has at at least 1 hit point remaining, it will completely shield from it as much as if it had 2000.
  • Critical Hesitation Blunder:
    • In the short "Alive", Tracer has Widowmaker pinned, but instead of killing her asks "Why?", allowing Widow to make a clean escape.
    • Ana hesitating to shoot Widowmaker (who she knew to be Amelie) causes her to lose her eye and jeopardize the mission, leading her to faking her death.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: All over the place: In cutscenes, heroes have no cooldowns, (most notably Tracer, who blinks nigh-incessantly throughout every one of her appearances), larger heroes like Doomfist, Reinhardt, and Winston are basically Immune to Bullets and basically ignore anything smaller than a grenade thrown in their direction, while mobility skills are far more agile than they are in game, from Tracer blinking vertically to Widowmaker performing repeated Building Swings, Reaper being outright Super Smoke, and Reinhardt (and other Crusaders) sprinting with their shields up and sliding around cutting sharp corners that could never be replicated in game. And then there's the abilities they simply don't have like Reaper firing explosive slugs from his shotguns and Winston turning his experimental Barrier Projector into a IED.
  • Cutting the Knot: When it comes to ultimate's that involve boosting health or making teammates more dangerous, many resort to the method of shooting the target until they drop dead, hiding or at least interrupting the ultimate. Others resort to simply pushing or dragging the target off of the map while they are nano-boosted or effected by the Sound Barrier.
  • Cyber Punk: Set in the near future, the world is experiencing economic and political decline, coupled with widespread social transformation after a terrible war; mega corporations have as much power as countries; advanced technology including Artificial Limbs, cyborgs, and intelligent robots is becoming common; and most characters are dark or morally ambiguous. However, it is a lot brighter and more optimistic version than most other examples.
  • Dainty Little Ballet Dancers: Widowmaker was a ballet dancer before her Face–Monster Turn into one of the world's most feared assassins. The trope is played with, since In-Universe she was treated as a harmless civilian (and her original persona is contrasted with her current one), but it also meant she was physically fit enough that she was a threat after becoming Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Darkest Hour: Where the present story begins. Talon has already won, Overwatch has been disbanded, made illegal, and those involved are scattered, while the whole organization is treated as a social pariah. Terror reigns over the world, as Talon is free to Kick the Dog as they please with no real resistance to stop them. One of the central themes of the story is failure - and rising up in the face of it. This ends one fateful day, when Talon went too far and attempted to murder all former Overwatch members in a raid led by Reaper to extract their locations, only to be thwarted by Winston in a very close call. In response Winston officially reinstated Overwatch. Later that same day, Widowmaker was sent out to assassinate Shambali leader Mondatta. Despite being intercepted by Tracer, she was successful in her mission. However, this act may have very well been the catalyst that further solidified Overwatch's return, as this proves the world needs more heroes.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Recall" focuses on Winston debating on whether he should summon former Overwatch agents or not when he is attacked by Reaper and a group of Talon soldiers.
    • "Alive" focuses on Widowmaker's mission to assassinate a prominent Omnic figure while Tracer attempts to stop her.
    • "Dragons" focuses on Hanzo and Genji meeting for the first time since their duel in the backstory, and Genji revealing his survival to his brother.
    • "Hero" focuses on Soldier: 76 as he deals with a gang smuggling weapons as well as a teenage girl caught in the crossfire.
    • "Train Hopper" deals with McCree and his attempts to stop a group full of soldiers from hijacking a train full of civilian passengers.
    • "Dragon Slayer" focuses on Reinhardt during one of his travels after Overwatch's fall, and his attempt to save a town from a villainous motorcycle gang.
    • "Going Legit" focuses on Junkrat and Roadhog's first foray as professional Hired Guns which ends badly when they realize the CEO who hired them is a Corrupt Corporate Executive scumbag who set them up to take the fall for an insurance fraud scheme.
    • "A Better World" focuses on Symmetra's attempts to help the Vishkar Corporation give the poor people of Brazil a better way of life as well as Symmetra's growing doubts towards her company's true intentions when the Vishkar Corporation sets fire to a favela.
    • "Mission Statement" focuses on Pharah's dilemma of either save lives or complete the mission.
    • "Destroyer" focuses on Torbjörn's quest to shut down a colossal Omnic that's going on a violent rampage through the country of Kurjikstan.
    • "Legacy" focuses on Ana's supposed final mission and what exactly transpired that day.
    • "Old Soldiers" focuses on the conflict between three of the founders of Overwatch in present day: Soldier: 76, Reaper and Ana.
    • "The Last Bastion" focuses on Bastion, reactivating in a forest many years after the end of the Omnic Crisis.
    • "Infiltration" focuses on Sombra, as she joins Reaper and Widowmaker in assassinating Katya Volskaya. Sombra actually has other plans in mind. Zarya makes a cameo appearance in The Stinger.
    • "Reflections" focuses on Tracer's attempts to get a Christmas gift for her girlfriend, and Winston's preparations for a Christmas party. Pharah, Zenyatta, Genji, Mercy, Hanzo, Torbjörn, Reinhardt, McCree, Sombra, Reaper, Ana, Soldier: 76, and Widowmaker make cameo appearances.
    • "Binary" focuses on Torbjörn's attempts to protect a small Swedish town from a rogue Bastion unit (namely, the one in the main game and "The Last Bastion").
    • "Uprising" focuses on Tracer's first mission in Overwatch with the strike team of Torbjörn, Reinhardt, and Mercy, as well as Jack Morrison's attempts to navigate the London Omnic Uprising. Reyes, McCree, Winston, and Genji make cameo appearances.
    • Doomfist's intro trailer focuses on the fight between him, Genji, Tracer, and Winston that led to his arrest. It ends with him breaking out of prison, and "Masquerade" follows shortly thereafter, where he, Sombra, Reaper, and Widowmaker work together to redirect the goals of Talon.
    • "Junkertown: the Plan" focuses on Roadhog and Junkrat's plan to get back into Junkertown.
    • "Rise and Shine" focuses on Mei's escape from Ecopoint: Antarctica following the failure of all the facility's cryo chambers except hers.
    • "Wasted Land" focuses on Roadhog and how he met and recruited Junkrat.
    • "Searching" focuses on Zarya and an Omnic named Lynx Seventeen, shortly following the events of "Infiltration", as they search for Sombra on the orders of Katya Volskaya. Efi and Orisa, and Alejandra, the little girl from "Hero", make cameo appearances.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: A few heroes' primary weapon deal minuscule per projectile (2-9 damage), coupled with high fire rate (such as Tracer or Sombra), or expelling a lot of projectiles in a single shot (such as Reaper or Roadhog). In Roadhog's case, it's even enough to One-Hit Kill anything that's not a fellow Tank.
  • Deface of the Moon: The moon in the Overwatch universe has a visible settlement on it reminiscent of Crop Circles.
  • Deflector Shield: Many heroes use translucent-white shields in different ways, most of them as physical impediments to protect from fire, and each with different effects, attributes and uses. Some abilities can specifically go through shields, though they tend to be slow or have high cooldowns.
  • Delinquent Hair: One security guard working for the Shimada clan in "Dragons" sports a "Regent"-style pompadour that is popular among Japanese gangsters.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Roadhog will usually yell "Come here!" when latching onto someone with his hook, but he'll say "Grounded!" instead if you manage to catch Pharah or any other character that can fly while they're in mid-flight.
    • If Soldier: 76 is selected multiple times in a custom game match, each one's number will go up. From 76 to 77, 78, and so on.
    • Skins that unmask otherwise helmeted characters have full facial rigging for their animations, even ones who aren't usually considered part of the default game, like Reaper's Origins Edition skin, Soldier: 76's Legendaries and Genji's young skins. Unfortunately, they don't make any adjustments for character's voices that made them younger or doesn't quite fit (like Genji), making the tone difference very noticeable.
    • The Uprising event, the second PVE Brawl after Junkenstein's Revenge, introduced a mode where one could play as every hero in the scenario. The developers actually gave almost every character voice lines for the event, mainly callouts for the specific enemy types.
    • In The Horizon Lunar Colony Map, entering Winston's room will make the PA system announce that Winston is not currently in the room. If Winston enters the room, the PA System says nothing.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: There are a lot of very minor environmental elements, from display screens, to pottery, to fire extinguishers that serve no purpose other than to be shot and destroyed. There usually tends to be a lot of them in the Attack-side spawn room of Attack/Defend maps, since those players are stuck there during preparation time and will usually not have much to do other than just randomly shoot stuff anyway.
    • The Hanamura spawn room has multiple stories of arcade cabinets and vending machines just waiting to be destroyed before the game starts.
    • The Junkertown spawn room has Roadhog's bike, just waiting to be dismantled piece by piece just like the Street Fighter II bonus round.
  • Disneyesque: The art style is very reminiscent of Pixar CGI.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Winston had been contemplating the idea of reinstating Overwatch many times, only for Athena to stop him by pointing out that the PETRAS Act makes all Overwatch activity illegal. He may have never reinstated Overwatch, had it not been for Talon attacking soon afterwards, led by Reaper, who wanted to extract the locations of all former agents so they can kill them. Winston thwarted their plans, but came close to death and the locations were nearly leaked. After all was said and done, Winston decides that enough is enough, and reinstates Overwatch, giving rise to Talon's biggest adversary once again. If the ending of Alive is anything to go by, this might further solidify the need for Overwatch, as Talon left unopposed has gone too far.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: One of the movie posters during the Winter Wonderland is "Love Hacktually". Looks like a wacky Christmas romantic comedy where a young woman hacks a male Omnic into loving he-wait, what?
  • Downer Beginning: The start of the story in a nutshell. Talon has already won, Overwatch - once hailed as Earth's heroes - have long since disbanded following reports of corruption and infighting, wars wage across the world with the Second Omnic Crisis going on in Russia and threatens to expand, while the few heroes that remain are unable to make a difference. But the world needs more heroes, and when push comes to shove, Overwatch is reinstated to put an end to threats around the world, legality be damned.
  • Downer Ending: Hope in the face of dark times is one of the game’s major themes. Unfortunately, hope for a brighter tomorrow is meaningless without a dark today, and some days are darker than others.
    • Alive goes out on a pretty bleak note. Mondatta, who only wanted to peacefully spread tolerance and acceptance in a volatile area, is dead, and along with him so are any hopes of peace in the area where he was speaking, which just so happens to be Tracer’s home. Tracer herself is devastated and desperately pleads for just an explanation from Widowmaker, the perpetrator, who laughs in her face and escapes, using her grappling hook to throw Tracer into a wall in the process. Tracer ends the short lying defeated and injured in an alley while still reeling from her failure. Widowmaker walks away completely unharmed and smiling.
    • Legacy doesn’t fare any better. Ana, momentarily distracted upon realizing the identity of the mysterious new Talon agent, hesitates on taking the shot and gets her eye shot out by Widowmaker (noticing a pattern here?), which takes her out of the fight, leading to the mission’s failure and likely the deaths of several hostages. Ana is presumed dead and driven into hiding for years, which, as additional materials expound, snowballs into Reinhardt’s forced retirement and the eventual total collapse of Overwatch itself. Fun times.
    • In A Better World, the Vishkar Corporation decides to stop messing around and bombs a favela they had previously been trying to negotiate with over a new construction project. Symmetra is shocked, and although she manages to save the young girl she had befriended earlier from the fire, her face is disfigured, and she’s likely lost all of her trust for Symmetra and her company forever. We then skip ahead to the opening ceremony of Vishkar’s new project, with company representatives going on about how it will improve the lives of everyone in the area right in front of an attending crowd of the very survivors displaced by the bombing, including the little girl. It ends with Symmetra looking absolutely miserable while trying to convince herself it’s all for the sake of a better world.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Downplayed in most modes including Quick Play, in that you can drop in and you can drop out mid-game, but do it too often and you'll get stuck with -75% XP deductions; additionally, you'll receive a 400 XP "Backfill" bonus if you're dropped into the middle of an ongoing game. Completely averted in Competitive mode, where players who leave will be punished as they will not be substituted, potentially crippling the entire team if they don't reconnect.
    E-H 
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Mei's holiday ornament shows her wearing a red robe with gold decorations, and D.Va's shows her wearing a pink and blue hanbok. Both were previews of their Chinese New Year outfits.
    • The Horizon Moon Colony map was first seen in the short "Recall", although it did not become a map in-game until over a year later.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The first Cinematic Trailer has some oddities as a result of the game being in pre-alpha as it was made, most notably what characters were in the original Overwatch team. Lúcio, Bastion, Pharah, and Zenyatta were seen as active members in its heyday, and there is nary a mention of Jack Morrison aside from a shot of an unnamed statue of him.
    • Season 1 of Competitive mode had significantly different mechanics from subsequent seasons:
      • Instead of a 1-5000 skill rating system divided into six tiers, there was a 1-100 rating system.
      • Players' ratings rather than tiers were shown by their nametags.
      • In situations on non-Control that would be declared a draw from Season 2 onwards, the game instead went into Sudden Death: a coin was flipped, and the side it landed on determines which team would attack with a short time limit; whichever side succeeded in their objectives won the match.
  • Easter Egg:
  • Emergency Trainee Battle Deployment: Uprising event mode is a playable version of Tracer's first mission (along with Mercy, Torbjörn and Reinhardt filling the rest of the playable character slots); liberating King's Row (which is either her home, or very nearby) from an Omnic terrorist group. Downplayed, as she was explicitly said to be just about qualified for active duty, and was deliberately sent in because she convinced Morrison to intervene despite the British government's wishes (and perhaps because she would have plausible deniability for being there anyway).
  • End of an Era: The Overwatch's golden era started after they quelled the Omnic Crisis, but the bad news surrounding it which culminated to its downfall marks the end of that era, as Overwatch became reviled by the public, and its key members either went away or faked their deaths. However, Winston is trying to bring back the era of good old heroes in the new age.
  • Enemy Mine: The usual gameplay makes it possible or even likely that the team will contain characters that are diametrically opposed lore-wise. Sometimes, they synergize extremely well - for example, Lucio's speed boost can make sure Symmetra arrives at a disputed area ahead of the enemy team and has enough time to conjure her turrets before the fighting starts. Many characters also comment when paired with their rivals.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Justified. For balance reasons, having every bullet be a tracer makes it easier for enemies to locate snipers such as Widowmaker, or differentiate between shots fired by allies and shots fired by enemies.note 
  • Evil Counterpart: Overwatch and Talon mirror each other on an almost uncanny level while being on opposite ends of the moral spectrum to the extent where Talon could essentially be considered the anti-Overwatch. Both are international organizations with access to much of the same cutting-edge technology and near-superhumans at their disposal, but one was set up to keep peace and the other is a terrorist organization.
  • Experience Booster: Bonus experience is awarded to the player's first win of the day, playing in a group, playing consecutive matches, and joining an in-progress match.
  • Experience Penalty: Constantly leaving in-progress matches will result in a 75% reduction in experience for the next completed matches, and is only removed when enough matches are played to completion.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The shorts Recall and Alive are confirmed to take place on the same day, which makes sense as that would mean Reaper and Widowmaker were sent out by Talon on their assignments at roughly the same time. What makes slightly less sense however, is the implication that Dragons also takes place within this timespan despite being largely unrelated and completely coincidental. The implication comes at the end of Recall, which shows Genji close to Japan (keep in mind that he is currently based in Nepal), most likely traveling to Hanamura to confront Hanzo.
  • Eye Scream: In her reveal trailer, Ana is shown in an immense amount of pain after having her eye shot out by Widowmaker. She's actually presumed dead because of this.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the Dragons short, when Genji's blade is at his throat, Hanzo simply tells him to do the deed, showing no fear.
  • Faceless Goons: Most of the Mooks that get gunned down in the animated shorts wear something that obscures their faces. Best demonstrated by Infiltration, in which every Russian soldier killed is wearing a balaclava, while the unmasked soldier and technician both survive.
  • Fanservice: Overwatch is filled to the brim with attractive men and women and does not shy away from emphasizing their aesthetically pleasing qualities in both their default and unlockable outfits. Noteable examples include:
    • Widowmaker, the game's resident Ms. Fanservice. Her default attire is the most obvious example, consisting of a skin-tight bodysuit with Absolute Cleavage, but she also has her "Côte d'Azur" skin, which is basically a two-piece swimsuit with sarong.
    • Mercy's default skin emphasizes her bust due to how form-fitting it is, but her "Winged Victory" and "Witch" skins really dial up the fanservice, drawing attention to the doctor's long legs in particular.
    • D.Va also has a few form-fitting outfits in her wardrobe, including her default skin and the "B.Va" / "Junebug" skins.
    • McCree's "Lifeguard" skin, which shows off his pecs and torso.
    • Doomfist, who is perpetually topless and very muscular.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Anti-Omnic sentiment is a major theme present in the game's world, bleeding into some heroes to varying degrees, namely Zarya, Torbjörn, Junkrat, and Roadhog. King's Row is especially tense about this (with bits of hate graffiti sprayed around), as it was built on Omnic labor and Omnics are still being treated as second-class citizens, not helped by the Uprising event and Null Sector years ago and the assassination of a major Omnic figure in the present.
    • The comic short "Going Legit" implies that some people use the excuse of an Omnic threat to cover up their own wrongdoings as Junkrat and Roadhog found out.
    • In the animated "Hero" teaser (featuring Soldier: 76), a group of thugs are seen assaulting a lone defenseless Omnic, and they try to coerce a young girl who happened to be walking by into joining in.
    • In a non-Omnic vein, Reaper constantly mocks Winston for his appearance and refers to him as a "monkey" in a pejorative manner. While other characters do make light of the fact that he's a gorilla, none have speciesist undertones such as what he says. Even the other villains, such as his counterpart Widowmaker, haven't shown to have speciesism towards gorillas like him.
  • Fastball Special: During the cinematic trailer, Tracer teleports into Winston's hand so that he can throw her across the room at Reaper and Widowmaker.
  • Filk Song:
  • Flying Firepower: Pharah, who uses a jet pack in accordance with a rocket launcher. Her ultimate ability has her unleash a Macross Missile Massacre while floating in the air.
  • Foil: Enough to have its own page.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: King's Row has a bell in a clock tower that gongs ominously several times when the attacking team takes the first control point and transitions to the payload. It's also incorporated in the map's theme as heard in the loading screen.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: Assault maps have red and blue lines leading from each side's spawn points to the initial control point, and Escort maps show a blue line leading the defense to the payload.
  • Foreshadowing: Reaper made his debut carrying what looked like an upside-down Overwatch symbol on his belt. It was later revealed that Reaper is the villainous identity of Gabriel Reyes, who was a member of the strike team that became Overwatch and was the former commander of Blackwatch, Overwatch's covert ops division.
  • Forgiveness: At the end of "Dragons", Genji tells Hanzo that he had forgiven him for nearly killing him, and advises his elder brother to forgive himself.
  • For Want of a Nail: Two examples. One that contributed to Overwatch's destruction and the rise of Talon, and just to show that this trope goes both ways, one that contributed to the return of Overwatch against Talon.
    • The dismantling of Overwatch happened due to two separate events: The kidnapping and brainwashing of Amélie Lacroix to kill her husband Gerard in his sleep, who had foiled Talon at every possible turn, as well as Gabriel Reyes leaking Overwatch's Dirty Business to the public to turn the world against Overwatch, all in a fit of jealousy due to being denied the glory for far too long. If Amélie had been better protected, and if Reyes' hatred could have at all been overcome, all of this could've been avoided. Talon wouldn't have become the power they are today, Overwatch would still be around in its glory, and the two of them would still be on the good team, not better known by their new codenames — Widowmaker and Reaper respectively.
    • In a more humorous example, Talon's plot to eliminate all former Overwatch agents for good was foiled all due to one Talon operative making a little mishap. They sent Reaper and his Mooks to Watchpoint: Gibraltar to extract the locations of their whereabouts, only for Winston to protect it. However, they came prepared with cable guns to keep him at bay. It was working just fine, until a single Talon operative accidentally slipped on a banana peel that Winston initially used as a distraction. This enabled Winston to escape, and then defeat the invading Talon forces, including Reaper. In the end, Winston reinstated Overwatch, officially reviving Talon's enemy when they were completely unopposed. Again, all of this wouldn't have happened if it weren't for that one Talon operative making a mistake commonly found in lighthearted cartoon shows.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played straight for the most part, though Pharah, Tracer, Soldier: 76, and Zarya are capable of blowing themselves up with their own explosives (prior to balance patches, most of Junkrat's explosives and D.Va's Self-Destruct could harm themselves). However, Genji's Deflect can invert this, sending his enemies' fire back at them as it does nothing to his allies.
  • Funny Background Event: You can find random jars of peanut butter spinning in place in the vacuum outside the Horizon Lunar Colony.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • In competitive mode, on the assault-assault maps (Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries and Hanamura), the overtime clock can sometimes get stuck despite the fact that nobody is contesting the point, resulting in the defending team needing to allow the attacking team to capture in order for the game to even progress. If you're starting to relax after a seemingly easy win and this happens, you're gonna have a bad time. This isn't helped by the fact that all of the maps this happens on are That One Level for many players. Thankfully, as of the release of Sombra, it appears to have been patched.
    • Speaking of competitive, there's an annoying tendency for warning sounds regarding the time limit (60 seconds remaining, 30 seconds remaining, overtime, etc) to not play in overtime rounds on payload and hybrid maps, and since you're more likely to be focused on the match than the time, not having any warning can result in a jarring defeat.
    • There was a nasty bug in the Ecopoint: Antarctica map that allowed Mei to be able to Ice Wall and clip through the world geometry, making the enemy unable to touch them but them able to attack from the walls/ceiling, or worse, do nothing and force games into long draws. It had existed in the map for an unknown period of time before it started gaining traction, with many Youtubers actively showing how to replicate it, and as such, Blizzard took notice, considering it an exploit to be fixed and dropping the banhammer on anybody that used it on the grounds of cheating.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Invoked by Blizzard themselves, Overwatch is intended to be a multimedia project that includes more than just a game and a few specially-made promotional trailers for said game. And it's just as well; it's a little difficult to justify the game's gameplay with the rest of Overwatch's lore, so the game lacks any kind of story as a consequence of the medium. The lore behind the game involves several characters working together for a common cause, with a few of the playable characters being the villains that caused Overwatch to form up to begin with. However, the game itself has these same characters murdering each other for no real reason, often working alongside people whom they hate and wouldn't work with under any circumstance. This is given a nod in the game whenever certain characters happen to be on the same team, such as Widowmaker saying "It looks like we'll be working together," and Tracer replying "Don't think I'm happy about that!"
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • McCree's belt buckle reads "BAMF", which is short for "Badass motherfucker".
    • Genji and Widowmaker can occasionally exclaim "Kuso!" and "Merde!" respectively, both meaning "Shit!" in Japanese and French.
    • As part of the Sombra ARG, one of her messages calls the president of LumériCo "cabrón", which can be translated as "dumbass" or "asshole".
    • Tracer gains 3 kill quotes in her "Punk" and "Ultraviolet" skins ("Heh, wanker!", "Tosser!", and "Sod off."), all of which are quite strong for a T-rated game. Played with, as these quotes can only be heard if the profanity filter is turned off.
  • Global Warming: Climate change has grown severe over the years, and based on the view from the Horizon Lunar Base, it's taken its toll on the earth; a large portion of Brazil and Florida have become deserts (more than 60% of the Amazon Rainforest is gone), the Great Lakes/Hudson Bay seem to have risen and consumed several states, and Greenland appears to have no ice. It's implied there's some unknown, much bigger cause than just expanding industrialism and the rising Omnic population that's causing the phenomena, and it's Mei's mission to restart the world's eco-points to find out what it is.
  • Good Prosthetic, Evil Prosthetic: Overwatch is chock full of examples played straight and otherwise. Of the characters with confirmed prosthetic limbs, we have:
    • Doomfist, a mercenary/ terrorist whose arms are both prosthetic, but his primary weapon is the massive gauntlet that he wears over his right arm. Doomfist is one of the few confirmed antagonists in the game, and his gauntlet is twice as large as his left arm, decked out with spiked knuckles, and features a prominent set of horns on the shoulder.
    • Genji, a former yakuza and current Cyber Ninja under the employ of Overwatch whose injuries were so severe that 3/4 of his limbs and most of his torso had to be rebuilt with cybernetic prostheses. Genji is a rogue operator, but ultimately he strives to atone for his past actions. While undoubtedly mechanical looking, his body maintains basic humanoid proportions.
    • McCree, a former teenage arms dealer and gang member who was taken in by the titular organization. His bulky (but proportionally sized) mechanical hand and forearm are decorated with a prominent skull, hearkening back to his criminal past.
    • Junkrat, an Australian scavenger and international criminal. In keeping with his chaotic nature, his prosthetic arm and leg appear to be cobbled together out of scrap metal and discarded parts. His peg-leg also forces him to walk with a distinctive limp.
    • Torbjorn, a brilliant but jaded engineer who worked for Overwatch. His left arm appears to have been replaced by a set of Power Pincers, and his right eye is covered by a mechanical looking eye patch.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Some characters will sometimes speak their native language and pepper their dialogue with it to varying degrees (Russian by Zarya, Chinese by Mei, Korean by D.Va, German by Mercy, Arabic by Ana, French by Widowmaker, and Japanese by Genji and Hanzo). Foreign languages also serve as a giveaway to whose ultimate is activated - if a character says their Pre-Asskicking One-Liner in English, it's a friendly ult; while if they say it in their native language, it's a sign to get out of the way.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Mondatta's security team in Alive is aware that there's a shooter on the rooftops surrounding his rally and correctly have him leave the area immediately. However, instead of simply going back into the building Mondatta emerged from at the start of his speech, they opt to escort him out through the crowd to a waiting car. Predictably, the crowd slows Mondatta's departure because they don't want him to leave and because he stays out in the open Widowmaker is able to snipe him.
  • Halloween Cosplay: Reaper, Ana, Soldier: 76, Mercy, Junkrat, Roadhog, Symmetra, Pharah, Zenyatta, Reinhardt, and Bastion all get in the Halloween spirit with their skins during the 2016 Halloween update.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Reinhardt's alternative skins "Bundeswehr", "Lionhardt", and "Stonehardt" reveal that his left eye is blinded and scarred. Doesn't stop him from hammering his foes to death.
    • Junkrat, despite having a mechanical prosthetic right leg and arm, is able fight on par with the other playable characters and kick their asses, too. In the comic short "Going Legit", he was able to execute a Three-Point Landing from high ground as he and Roadhog infiltrate a warehouse from a rooftop opening, with him only commenting that his artificial leg "didn't break this time" after doing so.
    • McCree, Torbjörn, and Symmetra each have a prosthetic arm. Genji uses prostheses as well, though it's unknown exactly how much of his body is prosthetic.
    • Tracer is detached from time, and the large device she keeps strapped to her chest is what's keeping her anchored in the present.
    • Ana lost her right eye to Widowmaker, but her newfound lack of depth perception has not hampered her skills as a sharpshooter.
  • Happy Ending: Few and far-between, given the state of the world, which just reinforces the themes of hope and heroism when they somehow find a way to happen.
    • The cinematic trailer. Tracer and Winston succeed in driving off Reaper and Widowmaker with no casualties (unless you count Winston’s glasses), the Doomfist is safely secured, and Tracer commends and salutes the two boys before she leaves, leaving the older brother awestruck and the younger brother cheering that he got to see two of his favorite heroes in action. And, as one of the in-story news articles covers, this event confirms Overwatch is back in action after years and people are hopeful again. Sadly, Doomfist gets his gauntlet back anyways, meaning they only postponed Talon acquiring it.
    • Recall: Winston prevents Talon from extracting the locations of the former Overwatch agents, and defeats Reaper in the process. Then he recalls all Overwatch agents, meaning that Overwatch is back in business.
    • Dragonslayer: Reinhardt dons his old equipment after a touch-up and succeeds in driving the gang members out of the town. He is now back in the game as a modern-day wandering knight, complete with his trusty squire in tow, who gives a little girl’s teddy bear a makeover in the style of Reinhardt’s armor, which she loves.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • The cinematic trailer where Winston and Tracer successfully secured the Doomfist gauntlet and kept it out of Talon's clutches. It ultimately didn't matter, as Doomfist got his gauntlet back later after Reaper broke him free from prison, elevating Talon into being an even bigger threat than before.
    • "Masquerade" retroactively confirmed that Reaper managed to extract data on some of the Overwatch agents in Recall, meaning that Winston didn't save everyone from being hunted down and killed by Reaper and Talon.
  • Heal Thyself: In addition to heal kits scattered around the maps (with the typical instantly-fixing-you-up-the-moment-you-step-on-them behavior), some characters have abilities to restore their health in one way or another, most notably Supports who have a job to heal others.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The public turned against Overwatch, eventually making any activity associated the organization illegal.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Zigzagged in multiple ways. During the game's beta and for a few months after release, many character hitboxes were larger than their models, making them much easier to hit and get headshots for, including with Hanzo's infamous Huntsman-esque arrows, though they were shrunk down after enough fan complaints were made. The actual hitbox detection on various hero abilities vary on accuracy, with Hanzo's arrows and Roadhog's hook having disproportionate hitboxes, Reinhardt and D.Va's barrier abilities being very accurate, and Ana's Biotic Rifle having larger hitboxes when healing allies but standard hitbox sizes for enemies. It's generally perceived that these were designed for the purpose of not being frustrating to players rather than dead-on accuracy.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In the comic short "Going Legit", the CEO who tricked Junkrat and Roadhog into aiding in his insurance scam gets strung up by them and then blown to bits.
    • Junkrat's concussion mine, in a more literal sense.
    • Pharah, Tracer, Soldier: 76, and Zarya can blow themselves up by their own explosive weapons (and so could Junkrat's explosives and D.Va's Self-Destruct before they were balanced out).
    • Genji can deflect any projectile in the game - one of the reasons that he's frequently used to counter Bastion is that he can activate his deflection skill and decimate it with its own damage. The same goes for Pharah's barrage, Tracer's pulse bomb, and even Hanzo's Dragonstrike!note 
  • Holiday Mode: Some maps are updated during holiday-specific events to fit the mood better, such as Hollywood becoming darker and spookier during the Halloween event, and King's Row and Hanamura getting fresh snow during Christmas.
  • Hollywood Hacking:
    • In the comic "Mission Statement", one of Pharah's team members uses this to stop the Anubis AI from uploading itself.
    • Sombra revels in this trope, with much of this trope being integral to her character and playstyle.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: This seems to be one of the game’s central themes. The Omnic Crisis may be over, but the world is still far, far away from being at peace. Times are grim, villains are running amok unchecked, and the heroes don’t always win. But there are still heroes. And for every one of them that continues to fight and refuses to let reality grind them into nothing, the world comes that much closer to a brighter tomorrow.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Implied from what we know about the Omnic Crisis. The Omnics aren't Killer Robots out to Kill All Humans - they're second-class citizens and slaves who want to be recognized as people. Graffiti on walls at King's Row, statements by otherwise heroic characters about peaceful Omnics like Zenyatta and Bastion and reactions to the flourishing and open-minded city of Numbani and how the more evil organizations (Talon and Vishkar) consist mostly or entirely of humans and one of them are obvious in their anti-Omnic stance give further hints that humans may be the real antagonists here.

     I-P 
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: D.Va and several other professional gamers were explicitly picked by the Korean government to pilot a Mini-Mecha because of the reflexes they developed playing video games.
  • Improbable Age: Mostly averted in present events, with most of the characters being appropriately aged for combat-ready fighters, the majority of whom at least in their mid-20s — and that's considered "young", as many more of them are older than that. The sole exception to this among the human cast is D.Va, a 19-year-old professional gamer-turned-soldier, but this doesn't stop her from kicking ass like the rest of them. Even the omnic characters are primarily in the same age range as the humans, except for the 1-month-old Orisa. That said, some heroes had this trope in the past:
    • Mercy was already studying medicine at university by 17, and ended up running a prominent Swiss hospital by her mid-twenties, with the justification being that she's that smart.
    • McCree, who is the same age as Mercy, is a darker spin on this. He was an infamous outlaw in his teens before being recruited to join Overwatch.
    • Soldier: 76 is around his mid-fifties while Overwatch was founded to deal with the Omnic Crisis around 30 years ago, meaning he'd been declared in charge of the prestigious paramilitary organization at around 30. Granted, Jack's significant part in basically saving humanity from robots trying to kill everyone would no doubt lend clout to his selection.
    • Tracer was one of the most skilled pilots in Overwatch and handpicked to test out the (ill-fated) Slipstream when she was wasn't even twenty.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • Soldier: 76 and his Ultimate "Tactical Visor" allows him to pin-point targets and guide his shots straight to them. In his short "Heroes", he uses this against three thugs... while mid-fall... with three shots.
    • McCree's ultimate "Deadeye" similarly allows him to target and dispose multiple foes quickly and with perfect precision.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted; the "Are You With Us?" trailer implies that children were among the victims of the Omnic Crisis. Narrowly played straight in the comic "A Better World" where a young girl Symmetra befriended is caught in a fire caused by the Vishkar Corporation; Symmetra saves her in time, but the young girl's face is burned and permanently disfigured.
  • Insult Backfire: Well, less an insult than an announcement of distrust. Zarya will occasionally tell Zenyatta that she's keeping an eye on him. Zenyatta's reply? "I will watch your back as well", either accidentally or deliberately turning around her intent.
  • Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: Blizzard apparently wants to invoke a variation of this trope with its Healers. Mercy has some of the strongest normal healing, but she has very little utility aside from that. Lúcio and Zenyatta can't heal as much (outside of their Ultimates), but have lots more utility and lethality. Subverted when Ana came out, as she had both the highest healing and utility in the game, though this was somewhat compensated by her mechanical difficulty and subsequent nerfs.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Talon's kidnapping, torture, brainwashing, and neural reconditioning of Amélie Lacroix to transform her into Widowmaker could be the biggest example of this trope in Overwatch. She was given this codename because her first victim was her beloved husband Gérard. In other words, they gave her the name because she made a widow out of herself. Lovely people, those Talon folks.
    • The Shimada Clan forcing Hanzo to kill his younger brother Genji because he didn't want to take part in their illegal activities. Though Genji survived, it was only because Overwatch rescued him and made him into a cyborg.
    • Widowmaker's killing of Mondatta was horrible, yes. But that was just her assignment. Her laughing about it in a distraught Tracer's face when all she wanted was an explanation? That was entirely on her.
    • Reaper does this in the cinematic trailer by crushing Winston's glasses as he moves in to finish him off. This backfires spectacularly, since doing so triggers Winston's Berserk Button.
    • The news report on Junkrat and Roadhog features them committing their various crime sprees, including robbing an arcade for toys while Junkrat steals a kid's soda.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: If a hero starts to announce something through the radio from a distance but then dies, the message will be interrupted by their death scream.
  • Konami Code: As mentioned above, typing the code on Overwatch's official website (replacing Start with Enter) causes miniature D.Va's (originally Hanzos) to start raining down in the website. In addition, D.Va will say what the code is loudly.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Barrier abilities like Zarya and Winston's bubbles and Reinhardt, Orisa, and Symmetra's shields have an HP value after which they break, but they always absorb the entirety of the attack that breaks them. This makes them good for defending against ultimate abilities that deal their damage in a single massive explosion, like Junkrat's Riptire and D.Va's Self-Destruct. The latter does 1000 points of damage to an unprotected target, but if there's even 1 hp worth of barrier in the way, it does nothing.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: One of Mei's notes in Ecopoint: Antarctica give three possible guesses as to what's causing the weather anomaly.
    What's causing the anomaly?
    -Global Warming
    -Unexplained Phenomenon
    -Aliens!!!
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • An unfortunately common practice with many players, referred to by the community as "trickling." Many players' first impulse upon getting killed and respawning is to immediately dive back into the exciting battle alone, instead of waiting to group up with their team for full-on teamfights, usually getting themselves killed all over again simply due to a numbers disparity.
    • Bad Reinhardt players can be notorious for this. His skill Charge has a chance to instantly kill someone, but also very easy to miss. It's very often that Reinhardt players forego their role as the team's shield and instead choose to Charge attempting to kill a target, fail, get shot down to death, and then their team members die unprotected. This is surprisingly a similar scenario with the Trope Namer himself.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game as a whole to the rest of Blizzard's normal output. It seems to bum some of its aesthetic from Pixar films, and has since its original announcement been compared to Team Fortress 2 in terms of both gameplay and style. In terms of lore, it is much lighter than the Crapsack World Blizzard usually puts out; while bad and depressing things have happened, the lore remains more hopeful than negative.
  • Limit Break: Each character has a powerful ultimate ability that builds over time or by dealing or healing damage.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: From a story standpoint, there are over 100 named characters in the Extended Universe, despite the rather limited lore content thus far. 25 of which are currently playable, while the rest serve to flesh out the world and are often important to the story itself, and it's only expected to grow from there.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The "Mystery Heroes" Brawl, in which each player gets a random hero picked for them every time they spawn. Depending on how the RNG feels, your team might get a competitive-standard composition, or a team that would be considered a joke even in Quick Play.
  • MacGuffin: Whatever that strange device in Train Hopper was, those Talon agents sure wanted it really badly. Also, whatever Junkrat found in the Australian omnium, which, judging by his pre-fight banter with other characters, he tries to avoid talking about. We most likely have not seen the last of either of these.
  • MacGyvering: Roadhog and Junkrat's arsenals are cobbled together with random junk and car parts. Even Junkrat's prosthetic leg seems to be homemade.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When asked whether Winston prefers smooth or chunky peanut butter, the official Overwatch Twitter answered with "All of the Above."
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The vast majority of the characters use advanced tech that would be seen in soft sci-fi or a superhero comic, but some have abilities even that can't explain. Hanzo and Genji summon giant ethereal dragons, Zenyatta briefly ascends to a higher plane, and Reaper can become ghostly and pick up "soul orbs" from his defeated enemies to regain health, though the latter two are explained away as potentially non-canon elements that primarily exist for gameplay.
  • The Mean Brit: Averted and played straight. The aversion is Tracer, a proud British girl and one of the most idealistic good hearted characters in the game. On the other hand, the people of King's Row, located in England, are majorly racist against Omnics.
  • Mecha-Mooks:
    • Bastion, originally as "SST Laboratories Siege Automaton E54, 'Bastion'" comprised a large part of the omnic forces during the Crisis. Damage to its programming has allowed it to transcend this state, however.
    • The Suit in Going Legit tries to ambush Junkrat and Roadhog with these as a part of a plan to get an insurance write-off.
    • The Anubis AI uses these in the slightly more terrifying version of hacked Omnics.
    • All of the enemies in Uprising are robots.
  • Mirror Match: The entire purpose of Mystery Duel. In each round, both players are assigned the same random Hero.
  • Mission Creep: In the backstory, Overwatch was formed to deal with the first Omnic Crisis. Afterwards, it became a general peacekeeping organisation, but it also gained a secret "Black Ops" division. When these operations were revealed, public opinion turned on it and infighting between the two sections began. Culminating in both of its top leaders apparently Mutual Killing each other after a confrontation, and the UN disbanding and outlawing it.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In the Alive short: Yes! Tracer's dodged Widowmaker's shot... No! She got Mondatta! With the same shot! In addition, Alive is confirmed to have happened later the same day as Recall — the same short that ends on a high note where Winston reinstates Overwatch! Talk about a Tone Shift.
    • The Last Bastion opens with Bastion waking up and walking around the forest, admiring the beautiful scenery and helping a little bird build a nest on its shoulder. Then it hears a woodpecker, which triggers its memories of combat and throws it into a panic.
  • Mook Horror Show: The "Hero" short shows the weapon smugglers being brutally attacked by Soldier: 76, leaving them and an innocent bystander terrified by the assault.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Everyone has their own reasons for their actions in-game - it's surmised that the reason the player characters end up fighting all over the world is due to their different moral views.
  • Motion Blur: Overwatch uses cartoon-like and smearing for the characters animations, in place of more traditional motion blur techniques.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: Played straight or inverted depending on whether one is attacking or defending:
    • For defending players, a tense track plays when the timer is down to less than 30 seconds, which also the attacking team's cue to hurry up.
    • For attacking players on Escort maps, a dramatic track plays when the payload is almost at the end of the line, which is also the defending team's cue to get their crap together.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Talon, a recurring foe for Overwatch both directly and as The Man Behind the Man. Their motives have become increasingly clear as the backstory comes out, going from seemingly acting For the Evulz to a strong Social Darwinist ideology.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Encouraged; you get points for "Ultimate Shutdown" by killing enemies who just activated their ultimate, thus negating a potential Play of the Game by the enemy.
  • Never Say "Die": Played with. Kills and deaths are referred to as "eliminations" so that assists can be counted as well, but many characters, most notably Reaper, have dialog that talks about death and killing.
  • Nice Guy: There are several genuinely nice people in the game, and it doesn't stop them from kicking ass. This stands in contrast to other characters who are cynics, jerkasses, or outright villains.
    • Zenyatta is a Omnic monk who only wants peace, and his many lines have nothing but nice things to say (though he does get a quip here and there).
    • Lúcio acts very friendly and upbeat, and even praises the team dynamic in-game (regardless of how bad it actually is).
    • Mei is very friendly to everyone around her (except for Junkrat, hoo boy), which comes across as odd as she is freezing people to death.
    • Mercy hates violence, cares deeply for her teammates, and dedicated her life to saving as many lives as possible. Even though she abhors Overwatch's methods, she still wants to help them and keep them all safe.
    • Winston doubles as this and Gentle Giant. He's a very friendly gorilla who only wants to help others out, having invented Tracer's chronal accelerator out of the goodness of his heart. Best not to call him a monkey or step on his glasses, though.
    • Tracer herself is very chipper and happy-go-lucky, and wants nothing but the best for everyone. It's still not best to underestimate her, though.
    • In a more tragic spin, this is what Widowmaker was when she was Amélie Lacroix. She was a perfectly sweet innocent who didn't even take part in combat. Then Talon kidnapped her, and nothing was ever the same again.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Zenyatta is a robot monk! Torbjörn is a cyborg dwarf! Winston is a scientist gorilla from the moon! Genji is a Green Cyborg Ninja Dude!
  • Nonindicative Name: Eichenwalde is German for "oak forest", but the map does not feature any oak trees, only pines.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Cinematic trailer, full stop. Tracer fires hundreds of rounds, but never hits anybody. Widowmaker and Reaper return the favor, but only manage to disable Tracer's equipment and knock Winston down for all of twenty seconds. Handwaved by the minimal number of visitors at the museum during the assault.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: All abilities that affect another Hero will have the same effect regardless of whether the target is an organism or mechanical in nature, unless the target has a unique ability to reduce or negate the effect. For example, Ana's weapons, both designed to be harmful or helpful to flesh-and-blood humans, can poison, heal, or put to sleep Omnics, cyborgs, and mechs as well.
  • No Experience Points for Medic: A minor one, but the Play of the Game mechanic favors scoring a lot of kills in a short period of time. Thus, very rarely will the Play of the Game feature a Support hero, unless it's a Lucio blasting the enemy team into a bottomless pit, a Mercy rezzing her whole team (before her kit was reworked,) or a Zenyatta using Transcendence to save teammates from immediate death.
    • Experience points themselves are no problem for solo healers, because earning a medal results in an extra chunk of EXP proportionate to the quality of the medal, and the only dedicated healer on a team is almost certain to earn a gold medal for highest healing output.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Talon's brainwashing of Widowmaker. The ability to turn a random person into an utterly loyal living weapon, and one of the worlds most dangerous people, seems like something that would be useful more than once.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The game shelves the lore of Overwatch in favor of PVP gameplay, so those wanting to know more about the characters and the world will have to look into the rest of Overwatch's media to scratch that itch. At the very least, knowing the lore will help shed some light on some of the more specific character interactions that the game provides (such as Soldier and Reaper, or Lúcio and Symmetra).
  • Non-Powered Costumed Hero: Played with. Very few characters have actual 'powers' but all of them have some form of tech that grants them unique abilities. It really comes down to whether or not you consider, say, D.Va's Mini-Mecha to be a super power or not.
  • Not Wearing Tights: The characters have yet to explicitly be called superheros, probably because they use guns and have mostly technology-based abilities. However, they do have unique appearances, backstories, and powers that would not be out of place in a comic book.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: A meta example: since the "Play of the Game" kill cam is restricted to the player's viewpoint, for characters with indirect source of damage like Torbjörn, their play can consist of, say, their building getting a triple kill while the cam shows your limping dead body. note 
  • Old Soldier: Most of the founding members of Overwatch are in their 50s and 60s, but still kick ass. And of course, this is Soldier 76's whole shtick.
  • The Olympics: The annual "Summer Games" originally debuted and ran during the same time as the real deal, using a lawyer-friendly Olympics-esque logo and loot that have country flags and sports themes. It also features the Brazilian character Lúcio prominently on the title screen, and a special 3 on 3 brawl mode called Lúcioball, which is basically ''Rocket League with everyone playing as him.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted via Bilingual Bonus. We have Aleksandra Zaryanova, and from the "Hero" short film, a little girl named Alejandra. Both are female forms of Aleksander (Russian) and Alejandro (Spanish), respectively, and equally related to the Greek name Alexandros.
      • Lampshaded in the "Searching" comic when the two meet.
    • Also averted via a gendered variation. There is Gabriel Reyes, now known as Reaper, and the minor/currently unseen character Gabrielle Adawe, who was responsible for the formation of Overwatch.
    • Additionally averted by Hana Song, the playable character D.Va, and Hanna, a minor character in "Dragon Slayer."
  • Only Child Syndrome: With the exception of Hanzo and Genji, not one of the Heroes has any siblings mentioned, to be fair there isn't alot of information about their family backgrounds.
    • Pharah is likely an only child and Sombra lost her parents in the Omnic Crisis. There are also the two kids from the opening cinematic and Torbjörn's many children.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Most characters have a defined personality, so when they act differently from what you'd expect, it's serious.
    • Tracer is usually upbeat and cheerful, except when Widowmaker is involved. The most notable instance is at the end of Alive, where she is shown at her lowest point, being at her most distraught.
    • Widowmaker herself, when she acts as anything but a sadistic, emotionless killer are few, but important. These include her being offended to hear Gérard being insulted, sighing his name, wishing she were dead, mourning his grave, having a spray showing the two on their wedding, and appearing as when she does her ballet dance emote. It's believed that these are hints that she's starting to feel again, and through all the brainwashing it shows that she is still human.
    • D.Va has a voice line on Eichenwalde and Volskaya Industries where she takes the situation seriously.
      The destruction caused by the omnics here, it reminds me of home.
    • Reinhardt laments the sacrifice of The Crusaders on Eichenwalde, in a tone that sounds nothing like his normal self.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: Many of the Heroes have differing approaches to both combat and how to improve the world. Best demonstrated with Mercy and Reinhardt. Reinhardt is a Blood Knight who rushes into a fight, Mercy dreads fighting but understands that it's sometimes the only way.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience:
    • Of course this being Overwatch, most of the stories have a flavor of your typical superhero genre, from the cheery and colorful good guys fighting off the black-clad villains, to vigilantes that work in the dark. Then "The Last Bastion" comes along, a dialogue-less short about an omnic reawakening in a forest untouched by man, evoking works such as WALL•E.
    • With the official introduction of Sombra, Overwatch has dipped into Cyberpunk— Sombra's character wouldn't be out of place in Shadowrun or Deus Ex, having cybernetic augmentations, Hollywood Hacking skills, and being noticed by a massive conspiracy during the early days of her career as a hacker, leading her to erase her identity entirely, and getting the attention of Talon as to uncover how deep the conspiracy goes. She even spares Katya Volskaya, instead opting to blackmail her in exchange for information regarding the conspiracy.
  • Palette Swap: The skins to varying degrees act like this; "rare" skins will only change either the main colour of the character's costume (Like D-va's bodysuit and MEKA) or certain highlights/accessories (Mercy's skirt and sleeves), "epic" skins change all the colours in character's clothing while "legendary" skins will change the look of the character entirely; however, each character started with four legendary skins, excluding preorder bonuses — but they are actually only two skins with two colour options each.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Only the top 500 players of each competitive season will ever see a special player icon to prove how skilled they really are. The rest of the player base will never earn them. Skins-wise, new players will never be able to receive Widowmaker's "Noire"note  or Bastion's "Blizzcon 2016"note  skins. Genji's "Oni" and D.Va's "Officer"note  skins were originally this, but were added to standard loot boxes soon after the second Nexus Challenge.
    • Averted with the holiday material. Unlike most games, which add new rewards each year and make the old ones unavailable to anybody who wasn't there, each season unlocks the ability to earn all of the previous years bonuses, as well as new ones.
  • Play Every Day: The first match you win each day nets you a substantial XP bonus.
  • Playing Card Motifs: The Overwatch Anniversary sprays for each character depict each of them as a different playing card. Junkrat and Roadhog are the Joker cards.
  • Playing Games At Work: In the cinematic trailer for the game, a guard at the museum can be seen playing Hearthstone on his tablet instead of monitoring the security cameras. Hearthstone can also be found on various tablets and monitors throughout the maps, mostly at research stations and consoles where important work should be being conducted.
  • Plot Armor:
    • Widowmaker's helmet got broken by Ana's sniper round, but not only did she survive but she wasn't even injured at all. She also survived being punched in the face by Doomfist's gauntlet, which is said to be able to level a skyscraper.
    • Winston shrugs off shots from both Widowmaker and Reaper, withstands electrocution, and survives having a multi-ton machine fall on top of him. He is a heavily-armored gorilla, but even that should have limits.
    • Both Soldier:76 and Reaper survived an explosion that killed many other people. All Soldier got from it was a scar, but Reaper only survived mortal injury thanks to an experimental medical procedure (although he might wish he hadn't).
    • Roadhog survived a nuclear explosion and dose of radiation, with the side-effect that it's left him dependent on his gas mask and the Hogdrogen that he breathes through it.
    • Genji survived being on the losing end of a sword duel, but was wounded enough that the only way to permanently save him was to turn him into a Cyborg.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Zarya and Torbjörn, who are anti-Omnic, although they have their reasons (Zarya is fighting a brutal war against the Omnics, and Torbjörn helped design many of the machines the Omnics would later use against him).
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Subverted, as although the Omnics are meant to be viewed sympathetically and Roadhog and Junkrat are semi-villainous, Talon is composed of both omnics and humans (although they would like to see the two groups go to war again).
  • Power Armor: Lots of 'em.
    • Winston wears a white armor with back-mounted jets which allow him to do extremely long jumps.
    • Pharah has her "Raptor"-model armor, complete with jets allowing her to glide and do long jumps, wrist-mounted concussion blasters, and Macross Missile Massacre functionality.
    • Reinhardt uses his "Crusader"-model armor, which essentially makes him a futuristic version of a Knight in Shining Armor.
    • Torbjörn's armor apparently contains a "Personal Forge", allowing him to create armor for his team on the battlefield as long as he has scrap metal to use.
    • Mercy uses the "Valkyrie swift response suit", allowing her to fly around the battlefield and swiftly aid any companion in need.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Most heroes have a specific line they say when they activate their ultimate ability.
  • The Purge: The Masquerade comic has Doomfist and his allies conduct one on Talon, bringing the rest of the organization more in line with Doomfist's vision for it.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The main plot of the current story is kicked off when Winston reinstates Overwatch after having decided that "enough is enough", when Talon attempted to kill all former agents and coming close to death himself against Reaper. Who all will be members of the newly reformed Overwatch is anyone's guess, but the ending of Recall suggests that Tracer, McCree, Genji, Mercy, Torbjörn, and Reinhardt are going to be members alongside Winston, as they were among the many agents (the rest unidentified) being recalled at the end (the formermost even Jumped at the Call).

     Q-Z 
  • Quick Melee: With the exception of Reinhardt (whose primary weapon is already a melee attack), every character has access to a swift melee strike that deals a small amount of damage, usually in the form of a pistol whip or punch. Though its actual damage output is (usually) negligible, it can be thrown out in a split second regardless of most other circumstances, making it occasionally useful as a finishing strike, or in Genji and Roadhog's cases, a core part of their devastating combos.
  • Racist Grandpa: Torbjörn is the third-oldest member of Overwatch, and due to past experiences with AI-installed robots, he hates Omnics with a passion and doesn't accept the possibility of a future where humans and Omnics coexist in peace. In fact, when put in the Numbani map, he does an agitated Rapid-Fire "No!" when he sees Omnics living together with humans with no problem on both sides. It's Played for Laughs, though. Understandable, if not justified, by the fact that he helped design many of the Omnics that turned on humans without warning before.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: The Halloween exclusive RIP Victory Poses, mainly of Heroes clenching their weapons, though with some exceptions like Widowmaker's variant has her legs sticking out and Reaper's has him raising himself from his grave.
  • Random Number God: Loot Boxes, earned from leveling up, randomly drop four prizes, including skins, sprays, player icons, emotes, voice lines and 'Currency' used to buy them in the Hero Gallery.
  • Raster Vision: Raster lines appear as an overlay on kill screen playbacks.
  • Real Robot Genre: The MEKA. They are used by pro gamers drafted in by the South Korean army to fight off Omnic invaders. However, they aren't even close to being the end-all-be-all in terms of combat abilities, just another contributing factor to the World of Badass that is Overwatch.
  • Reality Ensues: In the Oasis stage, standing in front of the moving cars will get you instantly killed. Much like a payload, putting Mei's Ice Wall in front of a car will do nothing to stop it.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • The Talon agents who attack Winston's hideout in the "Recall" short have helmets with glowing red eyepieces.
    • When entering Wraith Mode, Reaper's eyes give off a menacing crimson glow.
    • One of Bastion's alternate skins colors its vertical eye slit red. Appropriately, said skin is titled "Omnic Crisis". Bastion is generally depicted as having its "eye" turn from blue to red when entering a hostile mode.
    • While Soldier: 76 himself doesn't have red eyes (his eyes are blue), his tactical visor does, albeit in the form of a single horizontal red slit through which he sees.
    • When he enters Beast Mode, Winston's eyes glow reddish-orange and exude lightning bolts.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Regular health is restored by specific sources of healing (though in Mercy's case this includes a passive self-heal), but shield health regenerates on its own after a few seconds without being damaged. Only three characters have shields by default; Zarya and Symmetra have shields making up half of their total health pool while Zenyatta's shield makes up three quarters of his health pool.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: A pretty large running theme in Overwatch, it seems.
    • Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes are assumed to have died in the destruction of Overwatch HQ in Switzerland, but both survived, and are actually Soldier 76 and Reaper, respectively]
    • Ana Amari was presumed dead after Widowmaker shot out her eye.
    • Amélie Lacroix aka Widowmaker herself was thought to be dead after the murder of her husband Gerard. Naturally, it was quite the shocking revelation to learn that not only was she alive, but actually the one responsible for Gerard's death and is now a Talon operative. The heartbreaking part however, is that they don't know the true reason behind it and assume she did it all For the Evulz.
    • Lena Oxton was presumed dead after the incident with the Slipstream before she began to phase in and out of existence.
    • Genji was presumed dead after Hanzo was forced by the elders of the Shimada clan to kill him, but Overwatch saved him by giving him a new cyborg body. The revelation of Genji's survival years later shuts down Hanzo emotionally.
  • Retcon:
    • Reaper is usually played up as a great threat, but has been constantly on the losing side in all three of his animated appearances. The Masquerade comic reveals that he got at least part of the agent list in Are you with us? and knows about Sombra's betrayal in Infiltration, but didn't act against her because it actually suits his own goals. Neither was even hinted at in the original shorts where it very much looked like Athena was able to purge Reaper's virus in time and Reaper's frustration with Sombra's "failure" was genuine.
    • There are numerous notes that Mei wrote and left scattered around Ecopoint: Antarctica. If you take them into consideration with the "Rise and Shine" short, there are some inconsistencies and details that were omitted in favor of telling a more straight-forward and dramatic story.
      • Her notes imply that she was the one who suggested that the team used the cryo-stasis chambers to hibernate, but her video log at the beginning of the short shows her using Air Quotes when she says "Hibernation", meaning that she's just going along with someone else's idea, supported by the fact that the others have to tell her that she's holding them up.
      • One note shows Snowball being upgraded to gradually freeze the surrounding area, just as her Ultimate functions. It's unknown just when she thought up the idea, but probably wasn't after he gives up his remaining power to help Mei finish building her freeze ray.
      • Another note right next to Snowball's upgrade indicates that repairing the communication antennae was on the To-Do list for some time]], though the short may have just omitted her writing the note.
  • Retraux: At the end of a match on Hollywood, the usual Team Shot of the winning team features a film reel effect and the caption "Fin." at the bottom, in a style similar to early 20th-century films.
  • The Reveal: After Sombra's animated debut short, it looked like she managed to fool her team into thinking she tried and failed to kill Katya Volskaya. Come the Masquerade comic and it turns out Reaper knows what she did, he just hasn't acted on it yet.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: The prices for snacks in the Hollywood map (such as 100 American dollars for a large popcorn or $600 water) might be this, but the prices for food in the Hanamura map in yen are closer to modern real-life prices, and a Craft From the Stars comic book in the Route: 66 map costs 15 cents. Either the American dollar fell in value so that a dollar is worth about as much as a single Japanese yen, or that is some really high-quality popcorn, colored paper is ridiculously cheap, or Hollywood theatres just like ripping people off for refreshments.
  • Robosexual: There seem to be a few human-Omnic couples in the crowd seen in the "Alive" short, with the woman who reacts to Mondatta's death standing next to an Omnic who has his arm draped over her shoulder. Those same two characters are seen in the original announcement trailer, the woman helping the injured Omnic while both are being protected from rioters by Reinhardt's shield.
  • Robot War:
    • In an event that would later be called the Omnic Crisis, robots made by humanity turned against it, causing Overwatch to be formed in order to fight them and put an end to it. However, it was a long time in the past, and man and omnic are now starting to integrate. On the other hand, a second Omnic Crisis is happening in Russia and the recent assassination of Tekhartha Mondatta, a prominent Omnic monk, might make things worse.
    • The Comic "Mission Statement" is about Pharah and her team attempting to stop the Anubis AI from starting one.
  • Rocket Jump: Junkrat actually has this built into his mechanics, with his Concussion Mine allowing him to send himself high into the air to reach out-of-the-way locations. Some other heroes can do this but to nowhere near as great an extent, see Soldier: 76, Bastion, Zarya, and Pharah, the last of which has a jetpack anyway.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Taken quite literally in the "Justice Rains From Above" brawl, which restricts players to Mercy and Pharah, leading to all players attempting hit each other with rockets twice before the healer can get to their opponent.
  • Scavenged Punk: Junkertown, a city built of scrap metal in the Australian Outback.
  • Scenery Gorn: Eichenwalde, a war-torn map full of destroyed infrastructure and Omnics that have long since been put out of commission, and Junkertown, a Scavenged Punk city in the Australian Outback.
  • Scenery Porn: Every playable area in the game is filled with detail and is beautifully lit, helped by certain maps having different modes for different times of the day. Each one of the maps is densely filled with its own set of unique props and assets that tell the story of where you are and what it's like. Special mentions go to Eichenwalde, which while it crosses over into Scenery Gorn for its history, is still a gorgeous small town and giant castle surrounded by nature, and maps with sunsets such as the CtF version of Ilios and Oasis, both of which have amazing lighting and beautiful scenery.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The main plot of the games is kicked off when Winston recalls the Overwatch agents even though the Overwatch program has been officially outlawed and carrying out the activity will make you a target of the United Nations, not to mention Talon. However, as Talon has been left without anyone to oppose them, they have gone too far in their actions, which makes the return of Overwatch (legally or not) a justified action.
  • Self-Deprecation: A very meta one from D.Va, who may say this in the Hanamura map:
    D.VA: Blizzard games? That's so old-school!
  • Shaped Like Itself: In the diner on Route 66, there's a sign that says "Credit Chips NOT accepted" next to a QR scanner code that says "Credit Chips NOT accepted."
  • Ship Sinking:
    • The reveals in the holiday comic, "Reflections", have made it a lot less likely for some ships to become canon.
      • Tracer is revealed to have a girlfriend, not only revealing that she's gay (her specific orientation having been confirmed via Twitter) but ending any ships with other characters.
      • Torbjörn wasn't shipped that often, but he's shown to be in a relationship with a young and beautiful woman. Blizzard also confirmed that all of the children in the scene are theirs.
    • Michael Chu confirmed that Reinhardt was not Pharah's father, shooting down the possibility that Ana and Reinhardt were a couple in the era when Overwatch was formed. Many more holes were shot in its starboard hull by giving her a spray called "Newborn", in which Ana is holding a newborn Pharah, with her clearly NOT-Reinhardt father standing next to her.
  • Ship Tease: Valentine's Day themed voice lines hint at a ship between Genji and Mercy, with the two having lines where they exchange chocolates with each other. Genji admits that the chocolates aren't Swiss, but Mercy says they'll have to do. These voice lines can only be heard during Valentine's Day/White Day while playing on Hanamura.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • While always good policy, this is especially true with Mercy. Her ultimate charges very quickly as she heals teammates and that ultimate brings teammates back to life in a large area, so not only is it harder to kill her team when she's around but she can then revive them. She was later reworked to give single-target resurrection as an ability with a very long cooldown, and her ultimate both resets and shortens this cooldown (among other powers, including unrestricted flight and mass heal/boost with a longer range on both) - naturally, both things make her a prime target to kill first, or else she will draw out fights by reversing any kills that are earned.
    • Ana has the similar problem of attracting a serious amount of hate since she heals more than any other healer in the game, her ultimate (Nano Boost) can be game-changing and it charges very fast. In contrast to Mercy though she can defend herself pretty well generally.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Reaper and Roadhog all have shotguns for their main weapons, with the bullet spread and damage falloff exponentially worsening the further away their target is. Doing any real damage with them means getting up close and personal.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: In one of Hanzo's victory animations where he shoots an arrow towards the screen, the arrow is shown oscillating while in flight. In other words, the same as with real arrows.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: While having a more extensive background than its precursor TF2, the game, as of its release, has yet to explain why the battles are occurring between this cavalcade of characters.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Bastion is a low-to-mid Average Joe Android due to being a former war machine who is now a sort of Amnesiac Hero. Orisa is a higher-tier Average Joe Android, possessing intelligence enough to converse with others and possessing a sense of morality, but lacking in nuance when interacting with organics. Zenyatta, being a Religious Robot, is a bit harder to pin down, but he seems to be mid-Nobel-Bot, with his ultimate, Transcendence, boosting him up to near-godlike levels.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: On the one hand, the back story is built on terrible wars; on the other, one of the characters is a giant intelligent gorilla from a colony of intelligent gorillas on the moon — who themselves murdered every human in the colony.
  • Snowball Fight: "Mei's Snowball Offensive" for the winter holiday event. Everyone plays as Mei (while Soldier: 76 narrates,) and you only have one snowball to hit your enemies with. You reload by sucking up snow piles found on the ground, and getting hit is an instant kill. Mei's ultimate creates a flurry above her, giving her unlimited snowballs for about 7 seconds.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Invoked by Jeff Kaplan on the forums in regards to Zarya's "Totally 80's" skin.
    Jeff Kaplan: This skin is the single most polarizing piece of content we've ever made. Half our team loves it. Half our team hates it. We told the half that hates it that it's ok to be wrong every now and then.
  • Solar Punk: Numbani, the "City of Harmony", featuring curved bronze skyscrapers and African tribal decorations, where humans and robots live together in peace.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Each hero says something specific when they activate their ultimate ability, and for some the line depends on which team they're on. For example, when Soldier: 76 uses his ultimate, he says "Tactical Visor activated!" if he's on your team, and "I've got you in my sights!" if he's on the opposing team.
      • Some characters who aren't native English speakers will say their ultimate lines in their native language - but only if you're either the person playing them or on the opposing team. If you're on their team, they'll say it in English. Hearing a loud line in a non-English language is your cue to get far away from whoever said it as fast as possible. (As some fans put it: "If you hear angry Japanese shouting, run away.")
      • The biggest example of this shows with Ana's ultimate callout. Since Nanoboost targets one ally, she has four different ultimate voicelines: Two for the enemy teamnote , one for her teammates, and another for the specific ally who is being buffed.
    • Even ignoring voices, every hero produces distinct, unique sounds, and recognizing what heroes are out-of-sight but nearby through sound is an important gameplay element. This is especially highlighted with flankers: Enemy footsteps sound much louder than ally footsteps, and as pointed in the tool-tips, the more dangerous heroes tend to have heavier footsteps. Some heroes can get around this by crouch-walking to mute their footsteps (Zenyatta just silently floats), but others can't (Roadhog's chain and heavy breathing can still be heard, and D.Va in her mech is incapable of crouching), and knowing who's capable of hiding and who isn't is an important thing to learn.
  • Space Is Noisy: Averted on the exterior of the Horizon Lunar Colony map, where the only sound comes from your radio and hit markers.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Jump pads were found on Estádio das Rãs, a map only played during the temporary Lúcioball brawl, allowing players to boost themselves up to high altitudes. Later on, a single jump pad was made a permanent fixture in the Oasis map, with Blizzard saying it's an element they wish to experiment with, as it has meta-changing potential for several heroes.
  • Squee!: A quiet one in the cinematic trailer, when the younger kid reacts to Tracer dropping her Catch-Phrase in front of him. He doesn't say anything, but his smile says it all.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Sombra acted as this when she was with the Los Muertos gang. Using her hacking skills, she uncovered dirty information and released them to the public world. This caused the CEO of LumériCo to step down after (false) evidence of his shady money dealings came to light and sparked a revolution in Mexico.
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages:
    • The days before and immediately after Overwatch formed was a lot like the Golden Age of comics, with heroes operating independently until they were united in a war against a much bigger and global enemy.
    • The peak of Overwatch's power was like the Silver Age, with a more formal organization to run the world's heroes, and very few enemies or threats that actually posed a threat to them.
    • Overwatch's fall, and beyond, is like the Bronze Age of comics, with heroes now fighting each other, corruption setting in, and villainous groups gaining the power and ability to defeat or even kill noteworthy heroes.
  • Super Mode: Some ultimates are this, altering the hero's abilities in different ways, from stat changes to more drastic effects. Ana's Nano Boost grants this to someone else, increasing their damage and defenses. God help you if they use their own while doing so.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: In the cinematic trailer, the guy who is supposed to guard Overwatch's museum plays Hearthstone instead.
  • Take That!:
    • The prices in Hollywood seem very much like this, given how movie theatres in Real Life notoriously overcharge for refreshments, as well as how some bottled water costs more than sodas.
    • The animated short "Honor and Glory" is a meta one to all of the players who don't play Reinhardt as intended. The younger Reinhardt repeats all of their mistakes to a tee, charging blindly into the enemy and getting themselves in trouble, leaving their teammates without a tank character to protect hem.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: A portion of the cast has tattoos, namely Pharah, Ana, Junkrat, Roadhog, Widowmaker, Hanzo, Torbjörn, Zarya, and Lúcio. McCree used to have a tattoo, but that belonged to the arm that he lost and was replaced with a cybernetic. In each case, the tattoo means something to indicate their character:
    • Ana's eye tattoo represents her patriotism for her Egyptian heritage, while Pharah has a similar tattoo to show her (struggling) connection to her mother. (Pharah notes in Mission Statement that the tattoo symbolizes protection. She thought at first that it would protect her, but she realizes at the end of the comic that it marks her as the protector.)
    • Junkrat is a criminal with a skull tattoo on his right arm, a good indicator that he's a bad guy. His partner-in-crime Roadhog also fits, but his also shows his affinity with pigs.
    • Widowmaker has three tattoos, namely a giant spider tattoo on her back, French spider-themed tattoos on her right forearm, and a Talon tattoo on her left thigh which show that she identifies with spiders and is a Talon agent. It's also to show the dissonance between her current self and her past self before she was brainwashed, as back when she was the innocent Amélie her skin was devoid of tattoos.
    • Hanzo has a sleeve of tattoos on his left arm, which show that he was once part of a yakuza that he was set to inherit before leaving the clan.
    • Torbjörn has a gear-themed tattoos on his left arm, to show he's a mechanic.
    • Zarya has her weight record (512) tattooed on her left arm, showing that despite being a sergeant in the Russian Defense Forces, she still enjoys bodybuilding.
    • Lúcio has a frog-themed tattoo on his left arm, representing his theme around them as a professional DJ.
    • McCree formerly had a tattoo of the Deadlock Gang on his left arm, which he was once a part of before joining Blackwatch. Since the arm has since been replaced by a cybernetic, he no longer has tattoos.
  • Team Shot: At the end of a match, the winning team is shown standing together before the Play of the Game/Match. One of the cosmetic types are "Victory Poses" that change their pose during this shot.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Some combinations of Heroes on the same team (particularly Overwatch and Talon) lead to conversations where it's clear that the involved Heroes are not too thrilled about having to work together:
    • Widowmaker and Tracer:
      Widowmaker: It looks like we will be working together.
      Tracer: Don't think I'm happy about that.
    • Symmetra and Lúcio:
      Symmetra: To think, I would have to work with a street ruffian.
      Lúcio: I'm not all that excited about this arrangement either.
    • Torbjörn and Bastion:
      Torbjörn: I hate working with these talking tin cans!
      Bastion: *sad beeps*
  • Teleporters and Transporters:
    • Tracer uses a chronal device that lets her hop around like a bunny on steroids. She can also revert to where she was three seconds ago.
    • Sombra can throw a Translocator anywhere and warp back to that point anytime within 15 seconds. Voice chatter implies it has some connection with Tracer's abilities.
    • Symmetra is able to create a portal between her team's starting point and any point in the map.
    • Reaper can mark a location in his field of sight and teleport there.
  • Tempting Fate: Can be invoked in a few circumstances if the character makes a Badass Boast and then gets Killed Mid-Sentence.
    Reinhardt: I am capturing the objective! Try and stop—AAAAAHHH!
    D.Va: I'm capturing the point! Don't worry, I got t—UUUGGGH!
    Junkrat: Tick, tock, tick, tock. Weeeee're gonna wiiiiiin....RAAAGH!
  • Theme Park Version: All of the stages (with the exception of Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Numbani, and Oasis) are theme park versions of their respective countries- Hanamura has cherry blossoms, castles and ramen shops indicative of Japan, Temple of Anubis mixes Egyptian ruins with a marketplace and housing, Ilios has a ruined Greek temple in one part of the stage and Mediterranean town in the rest of it, etc. According to Jeff Kaplan, this led to an amusing design story for Dorado, as it was inspired by an image the team found of a colorful Mexican town on Google Images which actually turned out to be of Riomaggiore, Italy.
    • Having never seen Hollywood, the map artists made the map according to their imagination of Hollywood. After their location visit, they started to change the map to more like reality, and had to be told to stop.
    • Deliberately averted with Oasis, with the team wishing to give a country that would usually be depicted as rather dreary (Iraq) a rather beautiful map, in recognition of the "see it for what it could be" philosophy followed by the developers (which is also a recurring theme in the lore), which favors rich imagery over gritty realism.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Implied to be how Dr. Harold Winston and the other scientists on the Horizon Lunar Colony met their deaths.
  • To Be Lawful or Good:
    • Pharah's internal conflict revolved around this trope in the comic short "Mission Statement", choosing whether to save lives or complete the mission at any cost. She chooses the former.
    • Symmetra is a loyal employee of the Vishkar Corporation who believes in their good intentions to bring order to the world, but she has doubts if doing it by force is a good idea, which started when the Vishkar Corporation set fire to a favela when its residents refused to have their homes "improved", resulting in civilian casualties.
  • Token Non-Human: Of the original 21 heroes, only three weren't human. Bastion and Zenyatta were the Omnic representatives, while Winston is a sentient gorilla. As the roster expanded, they added another Omnic with Orisa, but there are still over six times as many humans than non-humans.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: So far, the focus is mainly about reuniting Overwatch and bringing back everything good that came with it, but many of the stories also are more about exploring the characters' arcs and World Building, including Soldier: 76 and Ana trying to figure out how Overwatch fell in the first place, Bastion's reawakening, the confrontation of the Shimada brothers, the Order Versus Chaos struggle between Symmetra (under Vishkar) and Lúcio, the general 'terror spree' of Junkrat and Roadhog, and so on.
  • Universal Poison: Any weapon with a chemical component to it will work on its victim regardless of whether the victim is flesh-and-blood, mostly-cyborg, a mech, or an Omnic.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Reversed in the Junkertown: The Plan short. Junkrat develops a cunning plan to sneak back into Junkertown: Put on inconspicuous disguises, push a cart full with money and explosives to the Queen's place, reveal their deception, detonate the explosives. At Roadhog's urging, he amends the plan with "run like hell" and "grab some of the gold on the way out", repeating the plan every time. When they put the plan into action, he immediately announces them as Junkrat and Roadhog...
  • Victory Pose: Each hero has a pose for when they appear on the victory screen. They all have a standard "Heroic" pose, 3 or 4 unlockable poses, and (usually) a few event-exclusive victory poses.
  • Video Arcade: Some maps have arcade machines in the Attack spawn. Hanamura's Attack spawn in particular is a full-on game center; Genji remarks how he used to spend his days there.
  • Villain Episode:
    • Alive is shown largely from the perspective of Widowmaker, as she goes about her assassination of Mondatta while Tracer tries to stop her. She is successful.
    • Infiltration is about Reaper, Widowmaker, and their ally Sombra (who serves as the protagonist) as they try to assassinate Corrupt Corporate Executive Katya Volskaya.
    • Masquerade takes the above guys and girls and adds Doomfist to the mix as he returns and sets out to bring Talon in line with his own vision.
  • Villain Protagonist: Reaper, Widowmaker, Junkrat, Roadhog, Sombra, Doomfist, and Moira. Seven of the playable "heroes" are all villains and criminals in one way or another.
  • The War Just Before: The titular organization was formed to fight a war with the Omnics, and after the war ended, Overwatch was disbanded. Now, a new conflict looms on the horizon, and Overwatch is being called back into the field.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • The Vishkar Corporation and its employees truly believe that everything they do will ultimately improve people's lives and bring order to the world. Dubious acts such as child-kidnapping (Child Prodigy Symmetra was taken from her family without their permission), taking over poor neighborhoods and running them like police states while calling it "improvement" (they did this to Lúcio's neighborhood in his backstory), and blowing up and setting a Brazilian favela on fire when people start opposing the company's plans for their homes (in the comic short "A Better World") were all done for the greater good.
    • From the tie-in comic "Destroyer", we have Sven, a fellow robotics engineer and former partner of Torbjörn. He piloted a giant-sized Omnic he and Torbjörn created to lay waste to the country of Kurjikstan because he believes it'll stop Kurjikstan from building deadly weapons that will be used to devastate the Earth in a nuclear war. Torbjörn thinks Sven's only doing it because he was paid to.
    • Sombra's storyline reveals that the Los Muertos gang (the same guys who beat up an Omnic and were chased after by Soldier: 76 in the animated short "Hero") is pissed at the government for favoring the rich and powerful, so they decided to incite violent revolution by any means possible.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: There is Fantastic Racism toward Omnics, even extending to some of the player characters like Torbjörn, Zarya, and Roadhog. On a meta level, the animated shorts don't let humans get killed on-screen (although they almost certainly get killed) but are perfectly fine showing Omnics getting headshot, arrows through their chest, and beaten with a baseball bat, and in Uprising, they're just hordes of Mooks to kill. Also, Bastion is the only hero that gets completely destroyed when it dies while the more human0like Zenyatta and Orisa simply cry out in pain but collapse intact.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The sapient primates on the moon colony who killed all the humans and took over are not seen during the flashback sequences of Recall and have yet to make any appearance or be given any reference outside of Winston's backstory. With the addition of the Horizon Lunar Colony as a new Assault map, the Attacker side can see several paused screens of the apes (including two chimpanzees and an orangutan) monkeying around and making a ruckus, but the apes themselves are absent, with Winston remarking that they don't seem to come to the battle area much and are in another part of the colony (a map of the main Horizon building where the stage is set shows that the apes are scattered about the colony ring but are not close to the section of the building the teams are fighting for contol of).
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The exact locations of most stages within their countries are not known. Even for Route 66, Lijiang Tower and Eichenwalde, exactly where the stages are located on the highway/river/forested mountain range is not known; at least Eichenwalde is said to be located in the "middle" of the Black Forest. note  The exceptions are Watchpoint: Gibraltar (located on the Rock of Gibraltar), Hollywood (where the attacking team starts out on Hollywood Boulevard), and King's Row (where you can see London's Big Ben tower).
  • With Catlike Tread: A major gameplay element is that enemies make more distinct sounds than allies, particularly footsteps, even through walls. As pointed out in tooltips, the more dangerous heroes to be flanked by such as Reaper (who wears heavy boots) and Winston (who's a giant gorilla) tend to have louder footsteps to alert their enemies, but this can be negated by crouch-walking (Zenyatta, who simply floats, has no footstep sounds at all, though he should usually use this more for getting away rather than setting up ambushes).
  • World of Badass: Goes without saying that the world of Overwatch is populated by badasses, and they come in a variety of different ways.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Vishkar Corporation wants to bring order to the world, not caring if even children get hurt because it's all done for the greater good. In the comic short "A Better World", this results in a young girl getting caught in a fire when the Vishkar Corporation blows up her neighborhood favela in order to force the local people to accept their "improvements". While the girl survives thanks to Symmetra's timely intervention, her face is irreparably burnt.
    • The Los Muertos gang in "Hero" throw a live grenade at a young girl to get Soldier: 76 off their backs. It works, as Soldier: 76 runs off to save the girl instead of continuing his ruthless pursuit of them.
  • Xanatos Gambit: In "Alive", Widowmaker blows Tracer off a building with an explosion, then jumps after her and aims a shot at her chestpiece. Tracer warps away, and the bullet keeps going and hits the original target, Mondatta. If Tracer had stayed, her chronal stabilizer would've been severely damaged, putting her out of the fight at best...and giving Widowmaker an uninterrupted shot at Mondatta, who stopped exfiltrating to look at the explosion.
  • Yakuza: Hanzo's and Genji's family runs a criminal empire.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: There are many, many dumb ways to die, many of which involve explosives, but notable examples include:
    • Pre-patch, deploying Junkrat's RIP-Tire Ultimate and blowing yourself up because you detonated it too close to yourself.
    • Pre-patch, deploying D.Va's Self-Destruct Ultimate and not getting behind cover.
    • Allowing Tracer to remain in the blast radius of her own Pulse Bomb.
    • Using any movement abilities and diving into a pit. Somewhat less embarrassing if you manage to take someone down with you.
      • Especially with D.va since she can turn on a dime during Booster.
      • Extra points for using D.va's Booster to toss your mech during Self Destruct and managing to drop the mech over the side or into some other instakill map area.
      • Reinhardt actually has a not-yet-implemented voice line for charging to his death and taking out an opponent in the process.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Genji to Hanzo in Dragons:
      Genji: Perhaps I am a fool to think there is still hope for you. But I do. Think on that, brother.
    • Alejandra to Soldier: 76 in Hero:
      Alejandra: You're one of those heroes, aren't you?
      Soldier: 76: ...Not anymore.
      Alejandra: I think you are.

    Junkenstein's Revenge 
  • And You Were There: The story borrows elements from people that Reinhardt actually knows, such as Jack Morrison, Gabriel Reyes, McCree and Mercy. However, it also involves people and events he couldn't possibly have known about, such as Junkrat, Roadhog, Hanzo, and Reyes becoming someone called "Reaper".
  • Creepy Crows: Around the area, they do nothing but dissipate into purple smoke if you attack them.
  • The Danza: In-universe, Jamison "Junkrat" Fawkes as Dr. Jamison Junkenstein.
  • Endless Game: The endless variant used in the 2017 version of the event. The game is officially "won" after 12 waves, but players must keep going until they get wiped out, fail to protect the castle, or complete the 15th bonus stage.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The player slays The Reaper as the first boss character. Shortly after facing other bosses, The Reaper begins returning. Gee, it's almost like there's someone bringing him back from the dead...
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The bosses are Junkrat/"Junkenstein" (Mad Scientist Villain Protagonist of Reinhardt's story), Roadhog/"Junkenstein's Monster" (Take a guess), Mercy (The forest witch who gives Junkenstein the final spark of life for his creation), Symmetra (the Summoner), and Reaper (Mercy's bodyguard/assistant); Reinhardt takes the announcer/narrator role over from Athena, and the only characters you can play are Soldier, Ana, McCree (All present at the party), and Hanzo. Torbjörn being absent despite being at the party is justified, as he would completely kill the balance of the battle if he was in the brawl.
    • The endless mode adds Torbjorn (the Viking), Genji (the Swordsman), Widowmaker (the Countess), and Zenyatta (the Monk) in the mix, the latter three who Reinhardt wouldn't know about yet.
  • Halloween Episode: The brawl is a ghost story being told by Reinhardt decades ago, to entertain his friends on Halloween.
  • Hold the Line: The Lord of the castle called for heroes to defend him and his subjects from the wrath of Dr. Junkenstein. The brawl tasks players as Soldier: 76, McCree, Hanzo, and Ana with fending off the wicked forces of a Mad Scientist until time runs out, then fighting off his allies in a Final Battle. Endless mode tasks the heroes with buying enough time for the denizens of the castle to escape, but they're on their own to survive the night (the 15th bonus wave.)
  • Interactive Narrator: Reinhardt's narrations change depending on the player's actions. If one player gets a kill, he will narrate it happening. If they die, he narrates that, too.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Given that this is a ghost story being told by Reinhardt, it's fitting that it takes place during such a night.
  • Meaningful Name: The story takes place in Adlersbrun; Balderich von Adler was the leader of the crusaders before his death at the siege of Eichenwalde.
  • Psycho Strings: Incorporated into the loading screen music for the Hollywood Halloween stage.
  • The Smurfette Principle: During the initial 2016 event, both the heroes and the villains had only one female member. 2017 added Widowmaker to the heroes and Symmetra to the villains.
  • The Stations of the Canon: Despite taking place in a different setting altogether, Hanzo still murdered his brother and went on a self-imposed exile, Reaper is still an old friend turned evil of Soldier: 76 and Ana, and Genji is still Zenyatta's disciple.
  • Story Within a Story: This is a ghost story told by Reinhardt, but the characters and setting are given life in the brawl.
  • Total Party Kill: While having the castle door be destroyed is one way to lose, another way is if all four team members are wiped out without anyone else to continue holding the fort in the meantime.

    Uprising 
  • Action Bomb: The Detonators are large spherical Omnics that explode when they get close to the payload, dealing heavy damage. Fortunately, they don't explode when destroyed.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: While most of the enemies can be headshotted, there are two notable examples: eradicators have a shield generator on their left shoulder which can be shot off, and damaging a detonator's surface armour enough will expose the core which can be shot at for headshot damage.
  • BFG: The Eradicator untis have shoulder-mounted cannons that fire a triple-spread shot. Fortunately the shots can be dodged and it has a rather low rate of fire.
  • Call-Forward: Overwatch's disbanding is near and the writing is on the wall. Blackwatch operations are completely suspended (not that Blackwatch cares) and the English prime minister doesn't want Overwatch operating in London even though he has lost control over King's Row and there's a massive hostage crisis with a religious leader and the London mayor among the hostages.
  • Elite Mooks: B73-N units, which are more or less functionally identical to the playable Bastion. They pack more firepower and much more health than most enemies encountered.
  • Escort Mission: Like in Escort and Assult/Escort maps, there's a payload to escort...but it is not invulnerable and has to be protected from enemy Omnics until it reaches its destination.
  • Final Death: Unlike most other modes, there is no automatic respawning - fallen teammates must be revived by allies, either by standing next to them and holding a button or using Mercy's ultimate. If a downed teammate goes for too long without being revived, they're gone for good, and the mission fails, as they have to dispatch another team to retrieve the fallen hero.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The weapon of choice for the Slicer Omnics - they don't hurt players that much, but they can melt the payload if left unchecked.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The OR14s fought at the end of the mission have all of Orisa's abilities at their disposal, despite it being heavily implied that most of her unique abilities were invented by Efie specifically for her. Though this was necessary to make them proper bosses.
    • The "All Heroes" variant is this in its purest form. You can have such things as Jack Morrison issuing orders to his future self, or Orisa fighting in a battle that took place before she was even created. Most of the heroes still have voice lines to call out enemy types though.
  • Harder Than Hard: Legendary mode ramps the difficulty up to such ridiculous extremes that even highly coordinated teams of pro players have run into trouble beating it. Unless you go in with a strategy already in mind and execute it flawlessly, you have zero chance of survival.note 
  • Hold the Line: After hacking the Anti-Air guns, the team must defend a payload for four minutes against four waves of increasingly difficult enemies. They must then continue defending it while escorting it to the power station.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Hacking Null Sector's anti-air guns involves little more than a small drone hovering over a terminal for a few minutes.
  • Mission Control: Jack and Ana initially oversee your assault on Null Sector's forces. Once you start moving the payload, they hand off the duty to Reyes.
  • Purple Is Powerful: All of the Null Sector Omnics are colored purple.
  • Race Against the Clock: When the power station is breached, Null Sector attempts to detonate the reactor, giving a limited amount of time to take out the OR14 units inside.
  • Replay Value: Winning several matches of this mode will result in new lines of dialog between the main four and command being inserted into the pool of voice lines; for instance, instead of Morrison giving the mission briefing, any of the four heroes can rattle off the objective as they're running down the tunnel at the start.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Eradicators, which are larger, tougher versions of the basic Nulltrooper with more firepower and Deflector Shields that protect against damage from the front. However, the shield can be disabled by sufficient firepower from the front or dealing enough damage to the Eradicator from behind. They also turn slowly, making it easier to attack their exposed rears.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The mode is a reenactment of Tracer's first official mission with Overwatch seven years ago, defending King's Row against an Omnic terrorist group known as Null Sector.
  • With Catlike Tread: Mercy may suggest that the group stay quiet so as to not attract unwanted attention from Null Sector. Reinhardt voices his thoughts.
    Mercy: Keep quiet, we don't want to attract any unnecessary attention.
    Reinhardt: (shouting) COME OUT YOU BASTARDS! I'll fight the lot of you!
  • Wolfpack Boss: The four OR14 units in the power station come out firing with Nulltroopers and Eradicators backing them up. As you defeat them B73-N units in Sentry and Tank modes come out to play, and the final room after the second OR14 has the final two OR14s at the same time along with a B73-N unit in Sentry mode, one in Tank mode, two Eradicators, and several Nulltroopers.
  • Zerg Rush: The preferred attack strategy for the Slicers, who are little more than a nuisance on their own but can rack up damage on the payload fast when attacking in groups.

A MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM HAS LEFT THE MATCH
YOU CAN LEAVE WITHOUT PENALTY IN 1:59

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Overwatch