Video Game: Poker Night 2
So, an Irish Wolfhound detective, a talkative Pandoran robot, a zombie-fighting department store clerk and a former bodyguard with a license to kill walk into a bar with a table run by an incredibly murderous and corrupt AI...Poker Night 2 is a sequel to 2010's Poker Night at the Inventory, only this time with the player up against Claptrap, Sam, Brock Samson and Ashley "Ash" Williams in Texas Hold'Em or Omaha, with GLaDOS being the dealer. Returning from the previous game are Reginald Van Winslow (who is now simply hosting the game) and Max (who is now watching from a table and mocking everyone else). The game was released on April 24th for Xbox Live Arcade, April 26th for Steam, and April 30th for Playstation Network, with an iOS port released in May. Official website here.Has a shout outs page. Also, it has articles in the Poker Night wiki, but the articles are in great need of some Wiki Magic.
The game provides examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: GLaDOS is not amused by Claptrap's flirtations, at first saying she's ambivalent but later saying he makes her nauseous.
- Actor Allusion: Ash sometimes wonder "What would Chuck Finley do?" while pondering his move. Ash is portrayed by Bruce Campbell except in this game and the Evil Dead musical, and Chuck Finley is the often used alias and in-universe Memetic Badass alter ego of Sam Axe, Bruce Campbell's character in Burn Notice.
- He also mocks the name "Sam Axe" in a conversation with Sam.
- In general, Ash seems like a composite of Ash the fictional character and Bruce Campbell the actor, aware of his other roles (besides Burn Notice, there's a nod to The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. when he mentions he wore a cowboy hat for a stint in the 90's, and says you can't go wrong with The King when Claptrap envisions himself growing Elvis hair), knows who Sam Raimi is, and acknowledges the fact that he's been in many crossover comics (Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is alluded to in particular). On the other hand, he's quick to promote the wares at S-Mart, and treats the events of the Evil Dead series as if they really happened. He's also unaware of all of the merchandise relating to the franchise when the others start commenting on it, ranging from Brock's comment on the director's cut to Sam's own remark on the action figures.
- Actually Pretty Funny: This.GLaDOS: Brock Samson has been eliminated.
Brock: This is a joke, right?
GLaDOS: I'm not very good at jokes. But here's one. What's yellow and black and red all over?
GLaDOS: Brock Samson if he doesn't leave this table.
Brock: ...Heh, good one.
- Adaptation Displacement: Sam thinks so about himself in-universe:Claptrap: I just realized that the four of us represent the four pillars of geek media! Movies! Television! Comics! Video games!
Sam: I was in comics? How embarrassing.
- And the Adventure Continues: When Sam is eliminated from the Sam & Max 25th Anniversary tournament, Max shows up in an elevatornote and tells Sam that he found a group of 16th century cradle robbers. ACTUAL cradle robbers. Binkies, pacifiers, the whole shebang! Then the two head off.
- And Your Rewards Are Table Felts, Chips, and Card Decks: In addition to the Borderlands 2 heads and skins, Team Fortress 2 items, avatar awards, and XMB themes, you'll also unlock cosmetic items for your table themed around the characters. Using all three items for one character unlocks a special version of the Inventory where the chosen character is dressed differently (with the exception of GLaDOS), opponents eliminated occasionally meet a unique fate, a special scene plays out when the player wins a tournament and special conversations are unlocked.
- The Venture Bros. inventory changes the Inventory to represent Venture Industries, places some of Rusty's inventions around the building, and puts Brock in more casual clothing. GLaDOS will personally toss eliminated players into Rusty's teleporter from the episode "Powerless in the Face of Death".
- The Borderlands inventory changes the Inventory to look like Moxxi's bar in Sanctuary from Borderlands 2, complete with Borderlands music. Claptrap is dressed from his appearance at the Underdome Bank and Spike TV Video Game Awards. Steve (heyooo!) also makes an appearance, firing rockets at eliminated players (except Sam. They actually get along pretty well.).
- The Evil Dead inventory changes the Inventory into a spooky forest, similar to where Ash met Evil Ash in Army of Darkness. Ash gets Evil Ash's skull hat as a clothing change, there is no background music (only ambient noise) and eliminated players are sucked into the Necronomicon after Max says a variation on Klaatu Barada Nikto.
- The Sam & Max inventory changes the Inventory to resemble Sam and Max's office, and dresses Sam up in a tuxedo and top hat and Max in a bow tie. Max will mess around with eliminated players (except Sam, obviously).
- The Portal inventory changes the Inventory to resemble a test chamber. The Portal 2 soundtrack mixes from the "Songs to Test By" release play as background music. As mentioned before, GLaDOS does not get a skin change, but Claptrap gets a skin to make him look like an Aperture Science turret. Eliminated players would have a portal open underfoot to send them away from the table.
- Antimatter: Max references it when doing his Jason Alexander impression.Max: And hey, what is the deeeeal with antipasta? Does it blow up when it touches regular pasta? I mean, come on!
Claptrap: Fractal-positronic antimatter!? I love that stuff! Rots the flesh off of skags in seconds, man!
- GLaDOS says that when an object passes through a portal, it gains an insignificant amount of fractal positronic antimatter.
GLaDOS: He's joking. It actually takes several agonizing minutes.
- Art Evolution: Sam's appearance utilizes darker shading, slightly altered proportions, and you can see some slight fur details.
- As stated in this forum post, one of the wishlist items for developers was getting Sam as close as possible to his design in the Sam & Max comics.
- Max also looks a bit different; his nose is much darker in this game compared to the original.
- They even note in a conversation that they're glad someone touched up on their models.
- Artificial Brilliance: Just like the previous game, each character has their own playstyle and patterns, consistent with their characterizations in their source material.
- Ash has the tendency to make high bets on weak hands in hope that you fold. He'll usually be the one to go all in, and is often the first to lose because of it; like in the Evil Dead series, he's prone to getting in over his head and not knowing when to back down.
- Sam plays cautiously, knowing when to fold. He admits he sometimes doesn't know what he's doing, though he's confident enough when he's got a good hand, so he'll bet often enough as well.
- Claptrap barely has any ability to bluff at all (but being a non-humanoid robot without a face, this also makes him the hardest to tell against as well). Much like in the Borderlands series, he talks big but scares easily.
- Brock is the most aggressive player, actually having played Poker enough to know how to bluff and play the game properly.
- Artificial Stupidity: If Sam gets a particularly good starting hand, there's a chance he'll go all in at the blinds, where it's impossible to tell if a hand is truly good or not, regardless of his chip count. While this would be a fitting move for, say, Ash or Brock, it's a very strange move for Sam.
- Ascended Extra: Sam's gone from a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo to one of the poker players.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When someone goes all in (?), Sam will mention not seeing a pot that big since the attack of the 50-foot sous chef.
- Bi the Way: During a showdown, Ash might say this:Looks like this could go both ways. I had a girlfriend like that once. (smirks)
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Brock doesn't think too highly of Cartoon Network execs, and Claptrap thinks similarly of Gearbox, although his actual thoughts are replaced by a coding subroutine in his programming that temporarily makes him praise them instead.
- Combine this trope with Stealth Insult, and you get...
- Black Comedy: Courtesy of GLaDOS, of course.GLaDOS: This reminds me of the time my lab rats fought each other over a piece of cheese. The funny thing is, they didn't NEED the cheese. They were just conditioned to WANT the cheese through weeks of electrical stimulation. In the end, the rats killed each other, and the cheese was eaten by one of the human test subjects. He died too, because the cheese was moldy.
- Big "NO!": Claptrap, after losing with a strong hand, wails in grief to the unfeeling high-angle camera.
- Blatant Lies: Claptrap often claims he is immune to outrageous bluffing. He usually folds right after saying that.
- Boss Subtitles: The opening does this, listing it like this:Player nameSource material
- Steve gets a Borderlands-style one when he appears to shoot at eliminated players.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: It happens a few times.
Claptrap: Hey! Buddy! Are you just idling so you can hear the crap we say? (says some gibberish) Is this hidden dialogue entertaining to you? (says some more gibberish)
- In one conversation, Claptrap asks Sam what's next for Telltale. Sam replies that he's just glad someone touched up the models of him and Max.
- Claptrap also acknowledges Sam's been in comics. He responds, "How embarrassing," and Ash says it's not so bad (he's been in several crossover comics himself).
- For his bounty prize, Claptrap puts up his Spike TV VGA "Character of the Year" trophy.
- If you're playing the demo version, GLaDOS will mention that the tournament reminds her of a joke, but won't tell it unless someone buys the full version of the game.
Claptrap: I'm shutting down my award-winning conversation subroutines until SOMEONE opens up their wallet!
- Claptrap says something similar.
- If you go for a while without making a move, Claptrap may have this to say—
- Ash will sometimes say "Hey buddy, stop looking up poker strategies on your cell phone and make a move!", which is Hilarious in Hindsight on the iOS version, as iOS is well known for being the operating system for the iPhone.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: In-game version. You can buy your opponents drinks with the Inventory Tokens you've amassed. Doing this will make their tells easier to spot, but you still need to be able to interpret them properly to truly take advantage of it.
- Butt Monkey: Ash, as part of a callback to his source material. He's introduced by being thrown out of a window by an offscreen Deadite, and some of his eliminations are the most hilarious.
- Call Back: Several
- If Sam is drawing dead in a showdown, he'll sometimes sing the funeral march identical to the one The Heavy sang when he was eliminated from play in the first game.
- Also, sometimes when he is deciding his next move, he'll sing a bit of King of the Creatures from Sam & Max Hit the Road.
- In similar moments, Claptrap will occasionally hum a few bars from the song "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked", which was the theme song for Borderlands.
- Winning on the Army of Darkness set references the original ending of the film, with the Player drinking too many drops of a sleeping potion given to him by Winslow. The Player wakes up an sees everyone (including GLaDOS and Claptrap) with grey beards, and Brock telling you that an alien invasion is occurring. Unlike the film, this is implied to be a prank by the other players.
- The Cameo: By series:
- Moxxi is tending the bar.
- The Turrets from Portal appear in the Portal 2-themed variation of The Inventory.
- The Teaser Trailer features Brock playing The Walking Dead, and getting irritated at Sam, Ash, and Claptrap's suggestions for what to do due to not being in the constraints of the gameplay.
- Max sits in a booth seat behind Sam.
- Skun-ka'pe is the chauffeur on the main menu.
- Doug can be seen carrying crates during the intro. Samson is also seen beating up one of the Save Lot Bandits.
- A waiter from Gravity Bone is seen behind one of the doors in the intro. Word of God is he's there because Jake Rodkin and Brendon Chung knew each other personally through Idle Thumbs.
- Caps Lock: When Sam wins a hand, he'll sometimes say he's "all caps in". When the subtitles are on, the words "all caps in" is in all caps, which would usually be for yelling or to put emphisis on a word, since italics weren't implemented. This means that this was meant for a joke.
- Carry the One: Claptrap will sometimes say "carry the three" when thinking about a move.
- Cel Shading: Brock and some of the models for the Venture Bros. set use this.
- Centipede's Dilemma: Defied by Claptrap when Sam asks him how he balances on only one wheel. At first he plays along and pretends to fall off balance, but blows it off and explains that he's got hundreds of gyroscopes all over his body.
- Chainsaw Good: Ash (of course) suggests this method for taking care of the zombies in the trailer.
- When Ash is eliminated in the Sam & Max 25th anniversary room, Max steals Ash's chainsaw and chases him off with it.
- One of Ash's animations during the "dramatic dealing" is him holding his chainsaw up on the poker table.
- Closet Geek: Sam. He's apparently quite fond of action figures and trading cards, and several of his lines reference science fiction.
- Cluster Bleep Bomb: When Claptrap is eliminated, he may say that all his money was provided to him by Gearbox. He then gets a phone call from the company, telling him about unwarranted expenditures. Claptrap hangs up and then says a long series of bleeps in anger.Claptrap: Rassle frassle &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@# &%@#! When The Movie comes, I AM SO OUTTA HERE!
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each character has an unique color for his or her subtitles. Brock is red, Claptrap is orange, Ash is a greenish gray, Sam is blue, GLaDOS is cyan, Winslow is peach-orange, Max is green, the Paranoia Core bounty is blue as well, and Steve's "Heyoo!" is yellow. However, the subtitles at times can be unreadable depending on the skin.
- Comically Missing the Point:Sam: What do you think I should do, Max?
Max: (random non-sequitur, such as "Get it looked at by a REAL doctor")
Sam: About the cards, chucklehead.
- Continuity Nod:
- The elevator used to enter the Inventory in the first game is seen in this game's intro, but has an "out of order" sign on it.
- Sam mentions that the stakes previously used to be ten-thousand dollars.
- When Brock questions GLaDOS on the fate of Cave Johnson, the AI mentions that all files of Cave have been deleted and destroyed, referencing the events of Portal 2 where GLaDOS herself deletes all records of Caroline's existence as they reminded her too much of her former humanity.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The Sam & Max anniversary theme gets a sepia filter to give the setting a moody Film Noir atmosphere.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Played for Laughs in one conversation in the Borderlands 2 Inventory. Sam wonders if there are any vending machines on Pandora that sell candy bars like the ones on Earth. Claptrap says that vending machines with candy bars is ridiculous, mentioning that Earth has a obesity epidemic, and that thanks to Pandora's vending machines selling guns, the children there are lean fighting machines.
- Demoted to Extra: Max goes from one of the main poker players to a background character. He still joins in conversations occasionally, and even jumps onto the table when Sam wins a hand to collect the pot for him. According to Sam and GLaDOS, Max has crippling impulse control, which meant he couldn't stop playing. It wasn't a problem, because he always won. But the Inventory banned him from playing because he kept eating the chips.
- A framed screenshot of the original cast can be seen down the stairs in the intro. It's practically impossible to miss it.
- Winslow has a significantly smaller role, having given GLaDOS his former role as the announcer in this game. To compensate, he has more screentime pre- and post-tournament than in the previous game. (He's also referred to by name now, while he was just "the host" in the first.)
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?:
Claptrap: Let's see if I can suck you in with a bet that doesn't trigger your primitive flight reflex. Oh, wait, did I say that out loud?
- One of Claptrap's lines when he bets.
Claptrap: Beaten by humans. Man, am I gonna catch hell from the other robots at the next "Kill the Humans!" meeting. Wait, forget I said that last part.
- Claptrap also says something like this when eliminated.
Sam: I could probably bluff my way through this hand...but since I just said that out loud, I think I'll fold.
- Sam occasionally screws himself over this way
- If the player makes a big bet on a bad hand, GLaDOS will sometimes comment on the bluff, then remark that she probably shouldn't have said anything aloud.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Downplayed. Since Brock has a legal license to kill people, Steve should consider himself lucky that firing a rocket at him only resulted in Brock beating the crap out of him. Of course, Brock is on thin ice with the Inventory management due to his hair-trigger temper getting the better of him.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Ash breaks a martini glass when trying to drink out of it in the intro of the game. Justified, since he's using his medieval prosthetic hand to do it, and it's a Call Back to Army of Darkness where he crushes a metal cup to test out his new hand's strength.
- Does Not Like Guns: Brock, of course, is a knife guy, so when the Inventory is Borderlands-themed he mentions uncomfortably how gun-centric Pandora seems and asks if there's any good melee weapons on the planet. Claptrap scoffs and says that guys who go melee are usually losers, which really hurts Brock's feelings.
- Dub Step: Brock isn't a fan of Claptrap's wub wubs. He asks if he can play any Led Zeppelin or anything like that instead. Claptrap says he'd better get used to it, as the dub is the only thing that survives the Great Digital Event Horizon of 2033. BOOM!Brock: Great. Another reason to die young.
- Dude, Not Funny!: During Ash's last story about Wendy, Claptrap will ask him if he has seen any good books lately (Wendy is actually a book called the Nocimonorcen.). Brock is quick to call him out on this.
- If Sam is the first one eliminated, Claptrap may joke about how 'Snoopy's ugly uncle' got invited. Ash and Brock call him out on this immediately.
- Dummied Out: There are several conversations present in the game files that are unused in the game itself.
- Everyone Has Standards: Ash and Brock have a huge body count for deaths, and are not often the friendliest of guys, but the minute Claptrap starts insulting Sam, they jump to his defense stating that Sam has saved the world from so many threats during his career as Freelance Police.
- Evil Laugh: Ash indulges in one when he's in the lead during a showdown. Sam also lets out a creepy one on occasion, and then will claim it's because he's remembering Max's "joke about sucking chest wounds" before folding.
- Face Palm: A blatant tell Ash can do to indicate his hand isn't going well is facing upward while holding onto his face with his hands, followed by angrily thumping his fists onto the table once.
- Faked Rip Van Winkle: What happens at the end of a tournament in the Army of Darkness Inventory.
- Famous, Famous, Fictional: Claptrap gushes about meeting Ash, the man who took on the Nightmare King, the Hockey Mask Slasher, and the Degrassi invasion of 2016.
- Featureless Protagonist: Lampshaded by Sam, who states that the Player reminds him of everyone, and yet no one in particular. Upon being eliminated though, he might mention how those "Big bushy eyebrows" give away your tell though.
- After winning in the Sam and Max 25th Anniversary room, Sam will alter his "You don't even like girls" catchphrase to reflect the unspecific gender of the Player.
- Flat "What.": Sometimes when you bet a lot, reraise, or go all in, Claptrap's response will be a flat "Really..."
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Like its predecessor, it follows the same path with the various players and even truer to form from their original series. Brock Samson is Choleric, Claptrap is Sanguine, Ash Williams is Phlegmatic, Sam is Melancholic, and The Player is Leukine
- Funny Background Event: Sometimes during a dramatic showdown, Max (or Claptrap, once he's eliminated) will be hanging from the ceiling or falling off something in the background.
- Gender-Blender Name: Discussed in one conversation, with, of course, Ash. Brock mentions that he was expecting someone different when he heard the name Ashley Williams, and goes on to mention other names that were formerly male, like Beverly and Vivian.
- Girls with Moustaches: Winning the tournament in the Army of Darkness room results in Winslow giving The Player a potion that will make them sleep until the next tournament. The Player drinks too much of it, falls asleep, and awakes to find that everyone, including Moxxi, Claptrap, and GLaDOS, has grown a beard, and that an alien invasion has taken place during his slumber. The Player ends up fainting, and the tournament ends with Ash saying he knew the fake beards wouldn't work.
- Gosh Dangit To Heck: Sam.Aww fuzznuggets.
You Magnificent Bastard, take it!
- Subverted; sometimes, when Sam is bullied out of a hand by a huge bet, raise, or all-in, and he folds, he'll say:
- Averted with Brock, who is occasionally prone to say, "I'm all fuckin' in."
- Guilt-Based Gaming: Of the idling variety. If you go for a long time without making a move, the characters will sometimes tell you to quit stalling and get on with it already.
- Head Desk: Sam will sometimes flop his head on the table, being a tell that he's got a bad hand or the cards are no longer in his favor.
- Heads or Tails:
- Claptrap sometimes flip a virtual coin to decide whether or not to bet.
- Ash also said that he was going to flip a coin to decide who to vote for on the 2012 election.
- Hero of Another Story: Each character has an offscreen storyline that they'll update the rest of the table on every few tournaments (though only one will be going on at a time). For example, Ash proposes to his girlfriend and begins suspecting she's not what she seems, while Sam tries to figure out what Chosen One prophecy Max has gotten in the middle of this week.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sam and Max, as well as Claptrap and Steve
- Hey, It's That Voice!:
- Humans Are Special: When Brock and Ash are still at the table, GLaDOS will mention that she's surprised that after everything they've experienced, they're still playing poker and cracking bad jokes, and not become stark raving mad. She finds it anomalous, to which Brock says that is why robots will never understand humans- because humans are just full of anomalies. And Ash LIKES his jokes.
- Hypocritical Humor: In one exchange, Claptrap brings up a Whos The Boss movie, at which the discussion turns to gripes about not leaving old franchises be. Meanwhile, in theaters and a poker video game...
- I Just Want to Be Normal: It seems Ash would prefer this to constantly fighting demons. Too bad it doesn't work out that way.Brock: You know what I'm talkin' about! The Deadites, the vampires, the never-ending battles against the forces of darkness. That stuff.
Ash: Eh, all that craziness is behind me, Brock-o. Wendy and I are just gonna settle down, pop out a few kids, and live out our lives like a couple of normal people.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Like Tycho in the previous game, Ash and Brock head to the bar when eliminated (that is, if nothing incapacitates them).
- Idiot Hair: Ash's spit curl utilizes Jiggle Physics.
- In-Series Nickname: GLaDOS gives a few to some of the players while she announces their hands.
- The Player: Our silent friend.
- Claptrap: The little robot, Mr. Funnychips.
- Inn Between the Worlds: The Inventory itself. Max refers to the Inventory as a "omnidimensional accretion nexus".
- Intercontinuity Crossover
- Interface Screw: Sometimes GLaDOS blocks The Player's view of the game. Max will do the same if the player takes too long to make a move, as will Claptrap if he's been eliminated.
- Sam alters the color filters while demonstrating how dogs see color to Claptrap.
- Interface Spoiler: While four special items are presented in-game, the Bounties menu has a fifth, very familiar silhouette: an Aperture Science personality core. Specifically, the Paranoia Core GlaDOS offers as a Bounty Challenge once you've won the first four items.
- Irony: When Sam asks Brock and Ash how they manage to stay in shape, the topic about eating healthy and staying in shape is brought up. Sam is genuinely surprised to learn that there were other foods out there that aren't junk food. Sam wonders if he can get in shape by changing his diet, but GLaDOS scans Sam's body and finds that the preservatives in all the junk food he's eating is pretty much the only thing keeping him alive at this point, but it's also the contributor to his girth.
- Just for Pun:
GLaDOS: It was an... illuminating experiment.
- When GLaDOS tells a story about a strobe experiment.
Ash: You made that up just for the pun, didn't you?
GLaDOS: Maybe. Say cheese. (camera flashes)
Brock: Oh yeah, those guys'll eat you alive.
- A subtle pun also serves as the punchline for the discussion on why Walking Dead characters aren't in the game; after Sam says that nobody wanted to run afoul of the Zombie Unions:
- Klaatu Barada Nikto:
- Written on the sides of the Army of Darkness chip set.
- When someone loses in the "Army of Darkness" Inventory, Max is seen with the Necronomicon - and he inevitably screws up the incantation ("Klaatu Barada Tiptoe", "Keanu Barbera Nimoy", etc.).
- Go Into the Light: Claptrap says "walk into the light" in one conversation.
- Kill It with Fire: A Claptrap response to losing a hand on the river.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: During one of the table conversations, Sam will admire Brock's and Ash's chins, and say that he isn't proud of his. They tell him that it's not the size of the chin, it's what you do with it that counts.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sam outright spoils much of "The City That Dares Not Sleep" when he discusses Brock's vocal resemblance to Sal.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Averted with Winslow, who is still the Inventory's host, but now refers to himself by his full name at the beginning.
- Letterbox: For whatever reason, this appears when Claptrap gets eliminated in the Borderlands theme.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: At least on the PlayStation 3 version.
- Logic Bomb: Claptrap manages to give himself one, after and by claiming that he's immune to them. GLaDOS is not amused.
- Luck-Based Mission: a doubly painful one. Bad luck to get 'Win a showdown with only a high card', and then nigh-Unwinnable to have that. It means that you have to win a hand by only having a better card than your opponent, and something as feeble as a pair of 2s can blow it for you. And, from the forums, it seems to be very common to get that challenge as one of the three for GLaDOS's item, which is the last unlockable.
- Mad Libs Dialogue: Mostly averted, but played straight at the end of a showdown:GLaDOS: Brock has... Ace High. And The Player has... Two Pair. The Player wins the hand.
- Sometimes a conversation is interrupted (eg. by a showdown) and then later continued, with usually a character saying a variant of "as I was saying". In many cases it sounds fluent and natural, but in other cases it sounds very artificial (and in a few cases there's even a clear voice tone difference).
- McGuffin: While jokingly asking Claptrap about the other Pandora, Brock refers to the movie's Unobtanium as McGuffinite.
- Medium Awareness:
- Claptrap and Sam are fully aware of their status as fictional characters. Claptrap even offers to put Sam and Max in a Borderlands 2 expansion while they wait for Sam and Max season 4's release and compares the genres of both series. Claptrap also knows the release date of Sam and Max' first adventure (1987) and notes that this should be their 26th anniversary, not the 25th.
- Ash is about to mentions Sam Raimi as the person who wrote his most famous lines, but gets cut off by Brock before saying Sam's last name. He also references MGM, saying they promised to give him a crossover with James Bond (their flagship series). See also his Actor Allusion moment.
- Brock mentions Cartoon Network by name (and curses their lawyers). For Brock however this is Justified because even in The Venture Bros., Rusty was the star of cartoons and video games, so Brock featuring in some sort of media would not be too far removed.
- One of Brock's stories talks about both Rusty and himself being in video games. It starts with Sam asking about Rusty having a video game in the '70s, with Brock confirming it, but it was So Bad Its Horrible that it made "the E.T. game look like Halo". Claptrap then asks if Brock was ever a video game star, with Brock responding with a cryptic "not intentionally". He goes on to explain that some development studio decided to be funny and use his likeness in a Mortal Kombat knock-off named "Immortal Bomcat" as an unlockable Easter Egg fighter. Named Tutu Blondie. Who was implied to be Manly Gay. And had a Kiss of Death fatality. Needless to say, they went bankrupt... with extreme prejudice.
- Memetic Mutation: Discussed. Claptrap tries to invoke a Forced Meme to become popular on the Internet, and Brock dismisses him, saying a true Catch Phrase comes from the heart. He even cites Ash's "Groovy" as an example.
- Metaphorgotten: One of Sam's lines:Sam: Winning streaks are like dating a beautiful women. Enjoy them while you can, because it's only a matter of time before they dump you for being weird and clingy.
- Mood Whiplash: Can happen when a character goes in, especially during the middle of a dialogue sequence running. The worst example is when the other players, as well as GLaDOS and Winslow, serenade Sam and Max, and Brock suddenly cuts in with, "I'm all fucking in!"
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: GLaDOS says, "Gentlemen... and Claptrap." Justified in that Claptrap is a robot. But it's more likely because GLaDOS seems to hate him especially.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: In the intro cutscene, Brock introduces himself as "Samson. Brock Samson."
- Nerf: Discussed. Claptrap says that Max will have to be this if he ever gets in a Borderlands Expansion Pack.
- Never Heard That One Before:
- Ash's response to Brock stating about Ash having a girl's first name.
- And Claptrap's when the two jokingly conversed about the other Pandora after Ash asked Claptrap what life was like on another planet.
- Never Live It Down: Brock fears that this will happen when he's required to say "Go Team Venture" after you win a tournament in the Venture Brothers room.
- Nice Hat:
- In the Borderlands set, Claptrap will don a top hat — and a old-time 19th century mustache. (This is the character design from the Claptrap who runs the storage locker counter at Moxxi's Underdome in the DLC for the first Borderlands.)
- In the Sam and Max set, Sam wears a top hat.
- In the Army of Darkness set, Ash dons his Evil Ash crown. Borderlands and Team Fortress 2 players can win it for themselves if they successfully win a tournament where Ash offers the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis as a bounty.
- As part of their normal outfits, both Sam and Moxxi wear nice hats.
- Noodle Incident: Ash tells Brock that S-Mart once sold some Venture Industries products. "Vibrating space bras". Brock apologizes for it, but Ash says that it wasn't his fault for it, and after the recall, they made a buttload of money selling skin ointment.
Sam: I haven't seen so many weak-kneed checks since Max won the Eastern Bloc Karaoke Finals.
- Most of Sam's comments about the state of the game qualify:
Max: Alis klar, der Komissar?
Max: That never happened, Sam.
- Max sometimes subverts the trope with a response he randomly gives:
- Not Worth Killing: Ash on a bad set of hole cards:Ash: I'd put these cards out of their misery, but I don't want to waste a bullet.
- Obvious Beta: The iOS version. This version is just an ugly mess of bugs. Most of the time when launching it, it crashes right back to the Springboard before it can get to the first Loading Screen. And when it actually loads, your dealing with a huge amount of Loads and Loads of Loading in game because it slows down a lot, mostly unresponsive touch screen controls, and (if you playing on an iPod or iPhone) cards that aren't easy to see depending on the skin.
- The PC version is slightly buggy as well, but nowhere near as bad. Nothing game-breaking, as it mostly consists of characters abruptly cutting into different animations.
- Oh Crap!: During a showdown, the characters will sometimes say something indicating they know they're getting screwed when the tides turn against them. They'll have even more dire lines when the hand progresses to a point where it's impossible for them to win.Brock: Geeze, usually I get a little FOREPLAY before I get kicked in the balls!
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: On Brock's recommendation, Ash teams up with Dr. Orpheus to fight hell-demons at one point.
- On a Scale from One to Ten: Sometimes when Claptrap folds.Claptrap: On a scale of one to ten, these cards can bite me!
- One Degree of Separation:
- According to GLaDOS's history records, Brock's ancestry traces all the way back to Ash starting it in the 14th century.
- Aperture Science founder Cave Johnson also apparently used to work with Rusty Venture's father, Dr. Jonas Venture.
- The Other Darrin: Invoked and Lampshaded by Claptrap, who asks Sam and Max what happened to their voices since Hit the Road and Sam & Max: Freelance Police (directly referencing the former's tone). Sam claims he started seeing a speech coach and Max just never stopped using a Jason Alexander impression and his voice slowly changed as a result.
- Percussive Maintenance: Subverted. Sometimes Claptrap's voice module starts glitching out, and GLaDOS suggests Ash that a little bump couldn't hurt... but it probably wouldn't help, either (until it fixes itself.)
- People Fall Off Chairs:
- When in a showdown, Claptrap will sometimes fall off his chair when leaning forward.
- If the player suddenly goes all in, Max will fall off his booster chair at the booth behind Sam.
- Precision F-Strike: Brock may sometimes make one when he goes all in.Brock: I'm all fuckin' in.
- Product Placement: Don't worry, it's all in-universe.
- Brock makes a remark that he has to buy his shirts 'in bulk' because they get stained easily in his line of work. Ash then states that Brock should invest in some Boo Franklin shirts, then spends the next two minutes explaining why the shirts are so great. (By now he's the manager of the housewares department. Old habits die hard.)
- If playing in the Borderlands set, Claptrap will suggest that Ash switch out his "primitive boomstick" for a Torgue Brand boomstick.
- Apparently, Ash's hand taps out "D-R-I-N-K-M-O-R-E-B-A-N-A-N-G". GLaDOS concludes it's been possessed by a marketing department.
- Reverse Psychology Marketing: The game was officially announced on April Fool's Day, causing many to assume it to be an elaborate hoax. Those who were taking note of Team Fortress 2 updates, however, noticed that the winnable TF2 items were added to the game's files on March 12, 2013, two weeks before the game was even teased.
- Robo Romance: Claptrap with GLaDOS: "Hubba hubba!" It's one-sided however. GLaDOS tells Claptrap that she feels nothing but apathy for him.
- She does, however, agree with Claptrap's claim that his diesel fuel-scented cologne drives robo-ladies like her insane - "just like Lizzie Borden".
- Self-Deprecation: Claptrap may say "That was more anti climatic then my sex tape!" after there's a draw.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: As far as getting items is concerned. For the special items, in the first game, the chances to get them came up randomly, and you had to specifically knock the character out to win the item. In this game, you earn a shot at one of the special items by completing certain objectives, and once you get the chance, all you have to do is win that tournament to get the item. You're given more forewarning, and you don't have to change your strategy to try to win the item, so it's less nerve-wracking overall. And for the tables, card backs, and chips, you buy them with inventory tokens, and you'll get some tokens even if you lost the tournament, so you'll unlock everything eventually.
- Sequel Escalation:
- The first game mostly reused models from existing games and drew its cast mostly from properties Telltale already had in easy reach (Tycho being the only mutual exception). The sequel features more distant properties and more new models (as well as a few touch-ups on the pre-existing ones).
- The player can unlock more versions of the Inventory for use, all with their own events. And unlike before, the humor is not always restricted to the table and its occupants.
- You can now buy drinks from Moxxi to get other players drunk so you can see their tells more often, unlike Poker Night 1 in which you had to watch carefully to see an opponent's tell.
- It's also escalated from a quantitative standpoint. The buy-in for the first game was $10,000; in this game, it's $20,000! And the starting blinds are $400-$800 instead of $100-$200.
- Shameless Self-Promoter:
- Just in case the unlockable bounties aren't enough to incentive potential new players, Claptrap likes to plug-in for Borderlands 2 from time to time.
- Meanwhile, Ash is just as shameless, as he won't hesitate to take a chance to shill for S-Mart.
- Ship Tease: When asked whether he dates human women, Sam replies that he's apparently off the market. However, he gives no answer whether he likes women, or exactly who he's dating.
- Shotguns Are Just Better/Sawed-Off Shotgun:
- As to be expected, Ash repeatedly calls to Brock to just use his boomstick. Perhaps he's unaware Brock Doesn't Like Guns?
- Similarly, Claptrap recommends buying the Conference Call, one of the most powerful guns of Borderlands 2. He tries to shill out Torgue brand shotguns (specifically, the Boomstick, a boss drop from the first Borderlands and obvious reference to Ash's weapon) to Ash as well. Ash asks if he'd be able to set it on his shoulder and fire it backwards without looking, just like how he demonstrates with his own boomstick, but Claptrap says "not without blowing your kneecaps off."
- When Ash wins a hand, he'll draw his shotgun and use it to rake in the pot if it's gotten big enough.
- Skyward Scream: Brock will occasionally belt one out if he loses with a good hand, though he does stay in his seat.
- Smooch of Victory: Given if you win in the 25th Sam & Max Anniversary setting... by Max.
- Social Semi-Circle: The Player is the only person on one half of the poker table, facing the other four characters.
- Spit Take: One of Claptrap's reactions when someone goes all-in (even if he wasn't drinking anything.)
- Suicide as Comedy: After losing a large amount of money in a hand, Claptrap will sometimes ask Max to shoot him in the head. Max is all too willing to do so, but GLaDOS asks Max to spare Claptrap. GLaDOS finds Claptrap's pain somewhat comforting.
- Take That: Sam delivers quite a number of these:"That's just an old wives' tale, like representative democracy."
"If I wanted garbage thrown at me all night, I'd stay at home and watch C-SPAN."
"If you guys keep indulging my transparent dishonesty, I'm going to have to run for Congress."Sam: You know, I'm still not really sure what a "Deadite" actually is.
Ash: It all starts with an evil book that must never ever be read.
Sam: Battlefield Earth?
- Take That, Audience!: Sometimes, when raising:Sam: Hey! I thought we were friends.
Max: It's playing computer poker by itself, Sam. It doesn't HAVE friends.
Ash: You know, there's a fine line between insanity and brilliance, and you're somewhere along the lines of dumbass.Sam: Wow, gutsy and stupid, way to go!
- Also, the player will often be attacked by the others if they enter a showdown with a bad hand.
Claptrap: You can't leave now! If you're gone, who'll regale me with tales of their epic battles with hygiene and interpersonal relationships?Although usually a sign of a weak hand, a check can also be used to disguise a stronger hand. In your case, I'll assume it's a sign of confusion.The judicious poker player knows the importance of a well-timed fold. And then there's you.Wow. That was a clever move that won't come back to bite you in your ample posterior.Congratulations, you've stopped listening to your frontal lobe and are going with your gut, where all the feces are.
- If the player is eliminated from the tournament:
- That Came Out Wrong: One line if Claptrap wins a hand:Claptrap: That's what you get when you screw with the Clap!
Brock: There was probably a better way of phrasing that.
- There Is No Robot God: Claptrap will sometimes say this when his chances of winning a Showdown decrease.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: When Brock asks how Ash lost the hand, he starts speaking scrambled nonsense (anil nathrac bah ram u yvan eht nioj). Claptrap, using some translation subroutines, infers that Ash cannot say for fear of rending reality apart, to which Ash just says, "What he said."
- This Loser Is You: Max likes to make a few quips against the player, including what is listed in Take That, Audience! above.Sam: What do you think I should do, Max?
Max: Lose 30 pounds and move out of your parents' house?
Sam: About the cards, chucklehead.
- Totally Radical: In-universe. Sometimes when winning a tournament, Sam will say the word "homies", which Max calls him out on.Sam: That's how I do it in my town, homies.
- Twitchy Eye: Brock's rather noticeable tell when he's dealt a bad hand. Again, it's a nod to his source material.
- Unexpected Character: A waiter from Gravity Bone makes an appearance for a few seconds in the intro.
- Unobtanium: When Brock and Ash are teasing Claptrap about the other Pandora, Ash asks if they ran out of Can't-Get-It-ium. Brock claims it's called McGuffinite.
- The Un-Reveal:
- In the Portal Inventory, Brock asks GLaDOS what happened to Cave Johnson. Her answer is that she did have a file on him in her database, but all mentions of him became redacted.
- In the Evil Dead Inventory, Brock asks Ash which one of the two Army of Darkness endings is the canon. Ash responds by saying that it's a long, complicated story that would rip reality apart.
- Uranus Is Showing: Brock claims card #256 from Alien Invasion is "The Wrath of Uranus".Claptrap: Oh, come on. "The Wrath Of Uranus"? Isn't ''anyone'' going to make a dirty joke here?
- Viewers Are Geniuses: GLaDOS mentions that she's raising the blinds to 264 and 4C8 in Base 23. She'll give you a moment to figure that out.
- The Voiceless:
Claptrap: So Marcel Marceau, what have you been up to lately?
- Moxxi. Her default animation is her reading a newspaper with a bored look on her face.
- You, the Player are also an example of it. Constantly lampshaded and mocked by the characters.
Sam: How am I supposed to make witty banter with a mute?
- Silent Antagonist: Sam considers the Player to be this. He sounds quite relieved when you're eliminated, because he can't stand being watched intensely by an eerily silent folk.
Sam: How am I supposed to make small talk with a mute?
Brock: Great. Trapped in a showdown with Captain Small Talk here.
- Brock isn't pleased either:
- Though he does respect you for being the silent type, as he says he enjoys playing with you because of it if he beats you in a showdown.
- Weirdness Magnet: Brock, Ash, and Sam all reference how often this happens in their respective series, and how, even despite all that, Brock and Ash think The Inventory is still weird. Sam is rather unmoved about it all.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: In-universe: Sam quickly realizes just how ridiculous the events of The Devil's Playhouse sound after recapping them aloud.
- What the Hell, Player?: When The Player re-raises a bet, sometimes the others will call them out.Ash: And here I thought we were playing a friendly game of high stakes poker.Claptrap: I thought this was Hold 'Em, not No-Limit Douchebag!
- What Would X Do?: Each of the characters asks this on occasion, but Sam's version...Sam: What would Max do?
Max: (spinning in circles) BLACK HAWK DOWN! BLACK HAWK DOWN!noteSam: Okay, then, Plan B.
- When Life Gives You Lemons: In reference to a line from Portal 2, GLaDOS will sometimes say...GLaDOS: Maybe. Or maybe you're just too cowardly to turn lemons into lemonade.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Sam and Brock briefly discuss how dull it would be to live as an immortal jellyfish. Claptrap then notes his depression at the concept of being immortal as long as he gets a battery change. Sam and Brock both reassure him that he won't live long enough before "ennui of immortality sets in".
- Writers Cannot Do Math: Sam says that even though the Sam & Max franchise started out in 1987 (which would make it their 26th anniversary), it's their 25th anniversary since they "skipped 2004"- The justification being that 2004 was the only year where some form of media relating to the Sam & Max series was NOT released. Comic books, video games, etc. However, it would still be 26th regardless.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In the trailer, concerning The Walking Dead :
- Sam, recalling humorous point-and-click LucasArts Adventure Game, advises Brock to use Lee's inventory items on everything, and to go back to Clementine's House for a ball of string.
- Ash doesn't realize Our Zombies Are Different, and wants to play the game as a Third-Person Shooter.
- Claptrap thinks the game works like Borderlands, in that he thinks the vending machines sell weapons and weapons can be stolen.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: Claptrap occasionally lets out a Yiddish word. Or Hebrew, like when he accidentally deletes his Bar Mitzvah (Ben Zonah!).
- Your Mom:Claptrap: I'm going all in... just like I did with your momma last night. Turns out she's a really good Poker player.