TRON: Uprising is a Disney XD series set in the world of TRON. A prequel to TRON: Legacy, the series takes place during the early cycles of Clu seizing power over the Grid. After defeating Tron and leaving him for dead, Clu has begun to take over numerous cities in the Grid. In Argon City, a young mechanic named Beck (Elijah Wood) decides to fight back when Clu's soldiers derez one of his friends. Taking on the identity of Tron to try and inspire revolution, he draws the attention of the real Tron, scarred and in hiding. With Tron's guidance, Beck fights the forces of one of Clu's top generals, Tesler (Lance Henriksen), and attempts to liberate the city.The series began with a 10 episode microseries alternatively shown as a full thirty minute special, with the series proper run beginning on June 7, 2012. A hiatus went into effect after the seventh episode, with new episodes scheduled for October, then again three episodes after that, resuming in December and moved to a midnight timeslot on Mondays for its final episodes.Warning: May contain spoilers for TRON: Legacy.
TRON: Uprising provides examples of the following tropes:
Appropriated Appellation: Despite Beck's early efforts, few on the Grid really seem to consider him to be Tron (though they do associate him with Tron as their protector). Instead, he becomes known as "the Renegade".
In "The Stranger", Cyrus refers to himself as "the first Renegade" to Beck when explaining his backstory. However, since neither Beck nor anyone else seems to remember him, it's likely Cyrus just used the appellation for the sake of convenience.
Amnesiac Dissonance: When Beck loses his disk and his memories begin to fade, he's temporarily convinced that he's a member of the military. Ultimately, however, he's still a good person and is convinced of such by Tron.
And Show It To You: Tesler uses his Rubber Man abilities to punch a hole through a mook, grab his disc, and drag it back through the hole, in just enough time for the mook to see it before he falls apart.
Arbitrary Skepticism: Beck had this towards his own ability to inspire revolution. When Beck's being interrogated he insists on his ability to inspire the people and fight off Clu. When Tron himself realizes this, he suddenly feels that his act of rebellion was a stupid, spur-of-the-moment prank.
Which rather makes sense, as Tron is asking him to go from minor pranks aimed at helping his friends to full-blown rebel leader, a massive leap for someone who never really intended it to be more than one act of anger.
Also when he said he would inspire a revolution he was trying to sound intimidating to an interrogator, when he says it was stupid, he is confronted by the real Tron, and the original rebel, and he probably feels that he doesn't measure up.
Aside Glance: In "Rendezvous", Paige takes Beck for some skydiving from a helicopter, and mentions that he's probably never done something like it before. This act is the opening scene of the first episode, and Beck turns to the camera and smiles.
Badass: Beck himself, who is able to hold his own against far bigger, stronger, and/or more skilled opponents, using his wits and natural agility; he even has various adventures and successful strike-missions against Clu's army before the show gets off the ground and Beck officially becomes a rebel. Paige and Tesler, too, who never take much damage while throwing around Beck (though Beck did get one very good hit on Tesler). Tron is, of course, the standout example. Especially after He is healed by Clu's repurposing machine. Beck, of course, saves him before the repurposing can begin, but after Tron's disease is cured.
Big Damn Heroes: Beck interrupts the execution of Hopper, Mara, and Zed using a stolen roadster in "The Reward".
Big NO: From "The Stranger", Cyrus right after Beck breaks free, sending his Doomsday Bomb back down into his prison, where it explodes harmlessly.
Bittersweet Ending: "Terminal" Beck fixes Tron so he's back to full strength and public opinion sways back to the Renegade after they take some time to think about how out of character he was and how bad the alternative (Mara and the other garage programs stand up to the occupation and start an uprising). The bad part? Clu's apparently lost his patience and brought an entire army to the city, and despite Beck's best efforts, Cutler dies.
An early version of rectification, called "re-purposing", appears in "Scars, Part 2". Tron's entire team falls victim to it in a flashback. In "Terminal", Cutler is shown to have been repurposed, and comes to Argon to make Tron go through the process. Tron only goes through it halfway, getting the wash to clean up his damaged code, then Beck saves him before the crazy is installed.
In "State of Mind", one part The Virus and one part Mass Hypnosis makes any infected program violently opposed to the Renegade.
A non-romantic example. In a flashback, Paige discovers Quorra and her friend are ISOs, but Quorra manages to convince her that they aren't dangerous. Just as she's about to leave, the military comes knocking, Paige's friends having alerted them. Knowing the place will be liquidated for harboring them, Quorra knocks Paige out. She'll never trust ISOs again, but at least she'll have a convincing story to keep her from getting derezzed.
Another example (also non-romantic) with Mara. Not willing to risk her life after almost getting de-rezzed aboard Tesler's ship, Beck tells her without her friends, she's of no use to him. Tron agrees he made the right choice.
In "Rendezvous", Paige tries to do this to Beck, since she's the one that's wanted, not him (both technically escaped, but Beck is a nobody to them).
Bullying a Dragon: Perl tries this on Paige. Paige very quickly kicks aside one of her friends and warns her not to finish the thought.
Call Back: In "Tagged", Beck interrogates a group of graffiti artists in the same manner as Tron interrogated him back in the pilot. He's even using the exact same disguise.
Cerebus Syndrome: The series started off somewhat serious, but after Dyson showed up, it took a nosedive into traumatic. The violence became more disturbing, torture and mutilation showed up more often, Tron's terrible past became more apparent, and Beck's uprising continued to fail. The slide is clearly seen with the treatment of the character Cyrus: he was introduced as a truly good person whose influence started the fight against CLU, and ended up being sadistic, evil, and Beck's most dangerous enemy. Notably, the two episodes prior to the finale both have unrelatedDowner Endings, and the finale isn't exactly all upbeat, either.
Chained Heat: After Beck (as himself, not the Renegade) accidentally winds up in the Games, he attempts to escape with Cutler. Paige catches them and chains them together for their next match.
Chekhov's Gun: In "Isolated", an island falls apart when Beck crashes his jet into it, destabilizing the code enough that the entire island degenerates. "The Stranger" shows this can work on almost any scale, even the entire Grid.
The Chessmaster: As Able notes, Cyrus is very good at predicting how programs will react to his actions. The least spoileriffic example of this: Cyrus tells Beck that a bomb will be at Able's garage. Beck rushes back to warn them... and a bomb goes off in the garage, because Cyrus had attached it to Beck's light cycle. One thing he didn't predict, however, is that Beck had allies besides Tron.
Close-Call Haircut: A poor bystander gets his head shaved when Beck deflects one of Tesler's Arm Cannon shots during their battle in "Grounded".
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Departing a bit from traditional Tron convention that characters can only be one color at a time, most programs have small "highlight" colors other than white to help tell them apart.
And for literal audience convenience: only a few characters wear white. Since both characters and environments tend to be black with highlights, and the T-shaped Tron insignia can only be seen from up close, giving Tron and Beck-as-Tron a white uniform helps the viewer locate them instantly.
In "Tagged", to further hide Mara's identity until The Reveal, her ordinary highlight colors are changed to white.
Chromatic Arrangement: The four main mechanics from Able's shop Blue-Beck; Green-Zed; Yellow-Mara; Red-Bohdi even though he dies in the first episode
Cool Boat: There's Tesler's warship, the boat Beck and Cutler steal, and Tron's custom boat.
Cool Car: The roadster from "The Reward", said to be faster than a light-jet and capable of splitting into two two-person bikes.
Cool Plane: This series uses a variant of the light-jet from the film. Its energy trail is mounted horizontally instead of vertically, among other cosmetic changes. There's also the helicopters used by the occupation.
Cool Train: The trains in Argon City barrel roll on their tracks to avoid obstacles.
Covered in Gunge: In "Tagged", Paige finds herself at ground zero when a paint bomb goes off, covering her and the walls in multicolored pixels. She is deeply pissed. It's fortunate that the self-replicating property of the paint (which spells out "Tron Lives" everywhere) doesn't work on programs, or she might have gone completely berserk.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Tron fights some guards after being healed in "Terminal". Not only is it not a contest, Tron is having fun.
Dating Catwoman: Paige is impressed by Beck's performance in "Welcome Home" and suggests that they "hang out" when he gets back to Argon. Beck, for his part, doesn't refuse. By the next episode, they are dating. At least until Paige realizes Beck's advice is bad for her work.
Deadpan Snarker: Bits, much like their predecessor in TRON. Beck and Tesler, more so than others. Even the Grid voice in the opening narration gets in on the action.
Death by Origin Story: Beck is originally driven to revolt when his best friend Bodhi is murdered by Clu's forces.
Demonization: Clu has done this to the ISOs, spreading rumors about them being violent monsters who can derez programs by touching them.
Deus ex Machina: In "Terminal", the giant Recognizer from "The Stranger" returns, where it's revealed that it is a large-scale repurposing device. This repurposing process is also revealed to be able to heal Tron. Beck stops Tron from being turned by interrupting the process after extraction of the virus but before the actual repurposing begins, and Tron is healed with no adverse side effects... yet.
Diabolus ex Machina: In "Rendezvous", Beck actually seems to make some headway in getting Paige to turn on the Occupation, getting her to soften up a bit. Unfortunately she practices this new outlook on Pavel, who promptly abuses her charity to ruin her life for the episode. She goes back to normal and decides not to pursue things with Beck to avoid any more slips.
Didn't Think This Through: When she's framed as a traitor in "Rendezvous", Paige is stuck in the games to be killed, as programs usually are. Tesler failed to consider that his former right-hand woman is a far better combatant than any rank-and-file guard could claim to be, and finds himself complaining about the decreasing reserve of gladiators in short order.
In "Tagged", Mara trains a graffiti laser on a Recognizer bearing down on her team, blinding the pilot. He proceeds to run over the guards chasing them, crash into a row of Recognizers which are subsequently demolished, and knock over the Recognizer in said group atop which Beck is battling Paige, allowing him to escape.
In "Welcome Home", Beck uses his disc to stop a light-copter from shooting Keller. As the pilot tries to regain control, his stray fire tears up the train, causing Keller to drop the wing chute she was planning to use to evacuate the train. The chute falls under the train and hits the brakes, causing it to speed out of control and threaten the lives of hundreds of programs.
Do Androids Dream?: Apparently, programs do. Tesler wakes up from a nightmare at the start of "The Reward", and he says it isn't the first time.
"Rendezvous". Beck starts dating Paige and actually seems to be getting through to her. Then things go to hell, her life is nearly ruined, and she breaks up with him because of how much it nearly cost her.
"No Bounds". Cyrus plants the seeds that turn the public against the Renegade, arranges a Sadistic Choice to force Beck to choose Tron over his friends, and when Beck tries to Take A Third Option by having Able save his friends, it results in Able being blown up and turning Mara against the Renegade completely. Cyrus is dead, but that's little comfort.
In addition in "Terminal" right as it seems that the uprising is really taking off. Oh wait, Clu's army.
As mentioned in Doomed by Canon, Beck will not be victorious in leading a resistance that has an effect on Clu, meaning the series as a whole is one giant Hope Spot.
Enemy Mine: Paige is forced to work with Beck to escape a disintegrating island.
Exactly What I Aimed At: Paige tackles Beck from the sky using a wing chute. Cutler tosses his disk at her, going wide and hitting a control panel on one of the walls. She mocks him for not being programmed for combat... then gets blown away when the nearby turbine activates and her chute catches the wind. Cutler quips, "No, aerodynamics."
Exact Words: In "Grounded", Tesler issues a ultimatum to the Renegade: surrender himself, and in return he'll release the latest prisoners caught breaking curfew, as well as revoke said curfew. Beck makes his entrance and demands that Tesler honor the agreement. Though Tesler does release the prisoners, he points out that the condition was that the Renegade surrender himself for the curfew to be revoked, which naturally Beck refuses to agree to.
Eye Scream: In "Rendezvous", code worms are attached to the holographic head produced by a program's disc, whereupon they crawl in through the eye and add false memories or remove real ones. Judging by Paige's reaction, it feels like the worm is entering through her eye for real. Improper handling can result in the program having their real eye chewed out, which the forger peddling them shows to a program seeking her services.
In the flashback scenes in "Scars (Part II)", Dyson is revealed to have carved out Tron's left eye (along with a sizable chunk of his face) with a device that looks like a handheld circular saw.
Faceless Mooks: The guards come in three flavors: original movie guards with the bulky armor and staffs, Legacy's black guards, and sentries. The first two have helmets hiding their faces, which they never remove, save for the Legacy-style guard in "Beck's Beginning" and Dyson, who also wears the Legacy guard outfit. The sentries, like Cyrus and the tank operators, have uncovered mouths, and their eyes can be seen through their visors occasionally.
Flashback Twist: In "Isolated", Paige and Tesler reminisce about how they first met. Paige is under the impression that he rescued her from the ISOs. Tesler in fact had her friends and everyone at the medical center where she worked murdered, then blamed it on the ISOs. The only reason Paige didn't meet the same fate is because she beat up two of his guards on impulse.
Fembot: All the female characters by definition, but Paige best matches the trope.
Foe-Tossing Charge: Actually deconstructed in the first season finale. Beck has a desperate but necessary plan that requires invading a ship and getting to its center to destroy a device at a certain time, with a window to infiltrate only minutes earlier. Sneaking in would just take too long, so Beck has to make a beeline through dozens of mooks. Despite tearing through programs like they were paper, Beck is shown to have trouble navigating a knot of soldiers simply because he has to take a few seconds every time someone tries to hit him to dodge or counter, and it all adds up.
Forced Prize Fight: Cutler and Beck are forced to fight each other to the death for freedom in the games. Beck tries to sacrifice himself, but Cutler forfeits so Beck can go free. Beck returns the favor by rescuing him later.
Foreshadowing: In "Identity", Tron explains how he was reluctant to consider Beck a friend due to a past betrayal. Beck assumes this to be Clu, but Tron carries on without actually confirming his guess. This hints at the future "Scars" storyline, where Tron goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against a program named Dyson for double-crossing him in the past. Then it turns out that he was referring to Cyrus, his first rebel protege and founder of the uprising, not Dyson. This helps explain why Tron is reluctant to fully trust Beck.
Forgotten Phlebotinum: "Identity" establishes that there are energy pools that can melt a program's disc, irrevocably destroying it and any data contained within. Beck and Tron use one to destroy a disc which has records of their identity, and by all appearances do this casually. This is ignored for the sake of the plot in "Price of Power" (well, that and an Actor Allusion), where the only thing capable of destroying the Upgrade Artifact (a smaller disc) is a high-power laser kept at Able's Garage, meaning Beck has to travel there and kick-start the plot by using the disc in a fight when he's ambushed. Of course, as Pavel found out, the disc can self-regenerate, so the energy pool might not have had a lasting effect either.
In "The Reward", Pavel frames Hopper as the Renegade, having a specialist implant memories which depict Hopper, dressed as the Renegade, freeing a prisoner while mocking Tesler. Pavel had hoped to paint Tesler as incompetent in front of Clu to supplant him.
"Rendezvous" takes this Up to Eleven. Paige discovers Pavel has the upgrade disc, so he frames her as a traitor. After her near-death in the games and rescue by the Renegade, he then frames another program for framing her and frames the Renegade for the aforementioned framing. While this works on Tesler, Paige pretty clearly knows he's full of crap and plans to get him back for it.
And again in "No Bounds", where Cyrus steals Beck's Renegade disguise and murders innocent programs to ruin his reputation, as part of a larger gambit.
"State of Mind" has Pavel suggest to Hot Scientist Keller that they "celebrate" together. Keller further drives home the implication when she retorts that she'd need to be infected with her own obedience virus to consider it.
"No Bounds" has Cyrus making some very suggestive comments about Mara to Beck, as a way of getting under his skin.
Gladiator Games: Tesler decides to force the inhabitants of Argon City to participate in these until the Renegade steps forward.
Good News, Bad News: And it's the same news, but whether it's good or bad depends on what side you're on.
Gorn: Seriously, if these were flesh and blood humans instead of pixelly programs, this show would be borderline disgusting and certainly inappropriate for its target audience. On an unrelated note, there actually is a character named Gorn, and there's a mild amount of it associated with her.
Go Through Me: The entire staff of the garage does this for the Renegade in "Terminal".
Half the Man He Used to Be: In Tesler's nightmare in "The Reward", a guard crawls toward him, having been bisected at the waist by the Renegade, "bleeding" a trail of pixels behind him until the Renegade steps on him to finish the job.
Hartman Hips: Male and female characters in this series have different light line patterns on their hips and legs. The male version is largely vertical seam lines, while the female version has lines that curve together at the knees. Their top styles also differ, but not as radically.
Have You Told Anyone Else?: Subverted/Inverted in "Scars, Part 2." Dyson comes before Clu to inform him that Tron is indeed alive and well while a sentry looks on. Clu asks Dyson who else knows Tron is alive, the implication being that Clu will have anybody who does eliminated after Dyson has paid for allowing Tron to escape. Instead, Dyson turns around and derezzes the unfortunate guard to insure Tron's survival remains a secret.
Heart Drive: Identity discs record the memories and experiences of their owner, just like in the movies. Expanding on that, it also maintains them, meaning a program that loses their disc begins to lose their memories not long after, eventually becoming a "stray."
Heel Face Turn: Lux, realizing that Tron still lives and that his survival means more than anything on the Grid.
Heel Realization: See above for Lux. Zed also goes through this every time Mara calls him out on his assisting the anti-Renegade campaign.
Held Gaze: Beck and Paige in "Rendezvous", just before Pavel interrupts and has them arrested.
Helicopter Blender: Given a nod in "Welcome Home". A rack for wing chutes has a warning not to use them in front of a helicopter.
Heroic Sacrifice: In "Identity", Lux sacrifices herself to protect the identities of Beck and Tron.
Hero of Another Story: This series is set in a different part of the Grid, far away from Flynn, Quorra and other characters seen in Legacy.
Hero Stole My Bike: Beck, as the Renegade, steals Zed's custom bike after his own is damaged in a fight. It turns out to be critical to his survival, though it doesn't help Zed's opinion of the Renegade. In "The Reward", Beck steals Link's Cool Car when he sees that his friends are about to be executed.
Hero with Bad Publicity: After Beck sabotages an energy drill which had been causing city-wide blackouts, and would have blown up the city if left unchecked, Tesler spins it as a strike by his men to stop the Renegade from siphoning power from the city. He later gets this in spades after Cyrus ruins his reputation.
His Name Is... Played dead straight in "No Bounds": Abel is about to explain to Zed and Mara that Cyrus was the real culprit behind the Renegade's recent "crimes" (and possibly that Beck is the real Renegade), but Cyrus's boobytrapped bomb electrocutes him before he can get Cyrus's name out.
Hostage Situation: Pavel takes the workers at Able's garage hostage to draw the Renegade out in "Price of Power".
In Medias Res: "State of Mind" opens with a brainwashed, orange-haird Mara trying to kill Zed for his believed association to the Renegade. The story then jumps back a few cycles to show what led up to that point.
Instant Armor: Programs have demonstrated the ability to manifest all sorts of protective gear, depending on the situation. Examples include pads for games and riot shields for Tron and his security force in flashbacks.
Instant Costume Change: Justified; since everything is code, costume changing is as simple as uploading a new template. Beck's Renegade disguise is simply Tron's appearance data. He also borrows Tron's guard disguise in one episode. In "State of Mind", Mara is able to change her hair color with the press of a button. The same episode also has a rather extreme version with Keller, who swaps costumes and genders with an injection.
Ironic Echo: In "Terminal" Zed repeats Pavel's earlier statement back to him after the whole staff of Able's Garage stand up to Pavel and his men.
"Welcome to the House of Pain."
It Is Beyond Saving: Cyrus feels this way about the Grid, and intended to collapse the whole thing with a massive EMP bomb.
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: In "Welcome Home", Beck claims to be an architect when trying to distract Paige. After the train they're on is damaged and can't be stopped, he admits to being a mechanic and uses this trope to excuse his lie as an attempt to impress her.
Leave No Witnesses: In a flashback, Tesler slaughters an entire medical center which Quorra and a fellow ISO had visited. This is part of Clu's campaign to demonize their kind, as they are blamed for the rampage. Paige was also present, but thanks to Quorra, she is unconscious long enough that she believes the cover-story. In addition, Quorra's self-defense lessons impress Tesler enough to offer her a job instead of derezzing her.
Loss of Identity: What happens to programs who lose their identity discs, becoming "strays" who can no longer hold long- or even short-term memory, much less any notion of "self."
Magic Tool: Bodhi's wrench. In the right hands, it can pick locks, recode identity disks, and take light cycles apart (while they're still running, no less). It's implied to be superior in some fashion to ordinary wrenches.
Played with in the season (and, unfortunately, series) finale, "Terminal": Tron's healing chamber is corrupted and destroyed by Cyrus's virus, leaving Tron himself both infected and dying. Beck comes up with a completely insane plan to heal Tron of both his injuries and the virus by making use of the first stage of the Rectification device on Dyson's super-recognizer (which cleans up any errors and basically sets a Program back to defaults before completely rewriting them) and then interrupting the process before the next stage can commence. Against all odds, this works...but any viewers who're familiar with the rest of the material know that it's only a matter of time: Clu gets his hooks into Tron anyway (and Beck is probably doomed.)
Mind Screw: Episode 13, from the texture of the prison, to the lack of physics displayed by the episode's antagonist, to the doomsday plan with a pretty unnatural appearance, like the wires on it, to the weird hallucinations Beck sees when he's almost killed.
Mook Face Turn: Beck spares one of Tesler's guards, who later helps him free a train full of programs. Sadly, Redemption Equals Death, with Tesler quipping, "I don't like the effect you have on my people."
One of Dyson's guards, a program named Cyrus, frees Tron from imprisonment and thereby launches the revolution against Clu.
My Master, Right or Wrong: Paige to Tesler. Despite the occasional moral objections she has, she's still massively loyal to him because he's manipulated her by framing ISOs for the deaths (by his hand) of all her friends and pretending to save her life.
At the end of "The Renegade, Pt 1", Zed declares himself to be an idiot for allowing Perl to trick him and steal his boss's valuable second generation Lightcycle. The Bit he was playing with earlier appears and flashes its "Yes" shape.
The show teases Rinzler's appearance in TRON: Legacy a bit. The premise of the show clearly makes it possible for Beck to be Rinzler, instead of Tron as was implied in TRON: Legacy. Tron wears a uniform and distorts his voice similarly to Rinzler at one point, and Beck gains a Upgrade Artifact that gives him abilities and a voice similar to Rinzler at another.
When Beck alters the sign to read "Tron Lives" in "Identity", it's similar to the "Flynn Lives" line from TRON: Legacy.
A program in "Grounded" is captured in almost the exact same manner as Sam was in TRON: Legacy.
May also be a Meaningful Background Event: There's an old-style female Program's gridsuit under glass in Able's office. The circuit markings on it are disturbingly close to Yori's. The fandom has definitely noticed.
In "Rendezvous", Paige's jousting match with another program in the arena is similar to the TRON: Legacy music video "Derezolution" by Daft Punk. Ironically, one of the jousters in the video was Quorra.
Never Say "Die": We get death words on occasion, but being "de-rezzed" is what people usually fear the bad guys doing to them. However, when it comes to death happening, we've got a situation similar to Transformers or Digimon, where a cast that is technically not human means you can have a body count comparable to the most bloody TV-MA or R-rated dramas on a Saturday-morning cartoon. It is a rare episode that does not feature multiple clearly-sentient characters being smashed into blocks of data.
On a large scale, Beck's resistance encourages the occupation to crack down, so anything beyond the norm is technically his fault. Zed is fond of pointing this out.
Beck destroys an upgrade disc in "Price of Power", but only takes the half he was holding with him. Pavel collects the other half, which regenerates into a new disc, and in "Rendezvous" it ends up in Tesler's hands.
In "We Both Know How This Ends", Beck sabotages a group of tanks. Pavel then brings them to Able's garage for repairs and threatens to send the entire staff to the games if they fail to finish on time, not only negating his efforts but risking the lives of his friends and co-workers. Beck lampshades it.
In "The Stranger", Beck's insistence on making his delivery in spite of the storm blocking the road is exactly what causes him to fall into the hands of his very own Evil Counterpart, who needs his presence in order to enact his plans to destroy the Grid, which coincidentally will only work during a storm. Not to mention that Cyrus would go on to make the Renegade a pariah by framing him as a murderer, and indirectly killed Able by way of a trap he had originally meant for Beck to spring.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Occupation's "Super-Recognizer" is designed to repair and repurpose programs, in that order. They only finish the first part when trying to repurpose Tron.
When Zed and Mara try to argue on Hopper's behalf to Tesler in "The Reward", Mara (by accident) ever-so-slightly touches Tesler. As he's already on a hair-trigger due to his frustration with the Renegade, they both get sent to be executed with Hopper.
On Beck's advice, Paige lightens up a bit and gives Pavel a chance to return the upgrade disc on his own instead of ratting him out. Pavel wastes no time exploiting his grace period to ruin Paige's life and keep his secret safe.
Not What It Looks Like: In "Rendezvous", when Tron finds Beck replaying his memories of Paige, which encompass nine separate viewscreens, he states this, along with saying he was "gauging [his] opponent". Considering how moments later Beck insists that his agreeing to meet with Paige is not a date, one can only wonder what he assumed Tron thought it looked like.
Zed: ...So then this one program, who's been listening this whole time, goes: "Y'know, that's not energy you've been drinking!"
Beck: Wait, I don't get it.
Outrun the Fireball: Beck and Paige do this through some tunnels, the fireball resulting from a reactor overload on a drill Beck sabotaged. For a slight bit of realism, they start with a good lead on the fireball and it still catches up twice. It's only thanks to the Nitro Boost on Beck's stolen bike and strategic collapse of parts of the tunnel that they aren't vaporized.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Beck's Tron disguise is just an altered costume and a helmet, but it fools everyone regardless.
Justified: when everyone wears the exact same outfit, with only the highlights different, changing your highlights and covering your face (and any other skin, since there are different skin tones) is really all it takes to disguise yourself.
Peek-A-Bangs: Paige. Camera angles give Mara this look quite often, too.
Percussive Maintenance: After his makeshift boat fails to interface with the power cell from Paige's disabled light-copter, Beck gives it a whack and it starts up.
Reality Ensues: In "The Reward", Tesler, desperate to stop the Renegade, tries to enlist the aid of the citizens of Argon by offering a Cool Car as a reward. Rather than produce any leads, however, everyone starts turning on each other in typical Red Scare fashion in an attempt to claim the reward, resulting in around a couple hundred innocent programs being rounded up. Even his lieutenants know it's a bad idea.
Retcon: Style-wise, with a bit of continuity thrown in. ISOs in flashbacks show a lot more skin, and have Tron Lines on their skin (not just the little mark on the arm, but all over). In flashbacks, Clu dresses in his post-Face Heel Turn yellow well before that happens, and Flynn has form-fitting spandex instead of his casual outfit. Tron dresses in white the whole time, instead of his black suit he had in the movie. This includes the show's recreation of the moment Clu betrays Flynn. Said scene also has a lot more combatants and Dyson, though the latter can be reasonably excused as having been offscreen at the time.
Rewind, Replay, Repeat: Beck does this in "Rendezvous" while watching his first encounter with Paige from his own memories.
Runaway Train: In "Welcome Home". And because this trope would not be complete without it, the bridge further down the track is out, too.
Running Gag: Every time Paige drives a Light Chopper, she crashes it.
Sadistic Choice: In "No Bounds", Cyrus captures Tron, Mara, and Zed. Mara and Zed are tied to one bomb, Tron to another, and each is placed far apart with only one key to defuse both bombs, in order to force Beck to choose between them. Beck decides to Take A Third Option, sending Able to get Mara and Zed free with the key while he defuses Tron's bomb manually.
In "Blackout", while they're outrunning the fireball from an overloaded energy drill, Beck notices that Paige's standard bike isn't fast enough, while the custom bike he jacked from Zed is. Despite her reluctance, Beck yanks her from her bike to save her.
Subverted in "Isolated", when Beck and Paige are stranded on a disintegrating island and Paige ends up falling off a cliff. She's too far down to reach by hand, so he takes their makeshift boat so he can fish her out of the water when she falls. Unfortunately for him, Tesler drops by and rescues her first, and she believes he abandoned her since he didn't tell her his plan before leaving.
In "Price of Power", Paige uses this against Beck by setting up several overturned APCs. Beck tries to help, only to find the soldiers within have been waiting for him. Later on, Zed saves Bartik when he's pinned beneath a fallen APC and Hopper can't free him.
In "The Reward", Zed and Mara try to save Hopper from wrongful execution as the Renegade. So does Beck, for that matter, even before Zed and Mara end up with their heads on the block for trying to help.
In "Welcome Home", Beck ditches the safety of the decoupled passenger cars on the Runaway Train to rescue Paige and Keller, who have jumped to the forward cars still connected to the engine.
In "Rendezvous", Beck once again saves Paige, this time from falling to her death during her fight with Pavel in the games.
Subverted in "Terminal". Beck makes a valiant effort to save Cutler from falling to his death, but after getting repurposed Cutler does not want to be saved, and in fact is quite willing to blow himself up with Beck. It's a hard decision, but Beck drops him.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The first Renegade. He was so extreme that Tron sealed him in an alternate dimension to protect the Grid from him.
Secondary Character Title: As is pretty much the norm for an entry in the TRON franchise, though Beck does technically go by the name Tron while in his Renegade disguise.
Selectively Lethal Weapon: As shown in the pilot, identity discs can be thrown without activating the cutting edge for non-lethal sparring.
Scenery Porn/Technology Porn: Well, this is part of Tron: Legacy, but the viewer may be surprised at how much more detail is in Flynn's Arcade Grid, and can be susceptible to... gushing at the lighting. And this isn't even getting into the colorful and intricate hologram displays and the amazing amount of detail that went into the urban scenes.
Secret Test of Character: In the first episode, Tron disguises himself as Clu's minion and pretends to interrogate and threaten Beck in order to test his devotion to the cause. Beck repeats this in "Tagged" with some potential recruits.
Said disguise is also a Call Forward to Legacy since it resembles Rinzler.
She-Fu: Beck is the most frequent offender, fighting a lot like Rinzler in TRON: Legacy (he seems to be wary of using his disc in tight quarters because of this). Averted with Paige, the major female combatant, who's pretty straight forward and practical when she fights, relying on brute strength and leverage to push foes around.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: In "Rendezvous", Beck insists to Tron that he's merely getting to know his enemy better by meeting up with Paige, and that he is not going on a date with her. Tron remains utterly unconvinced, especially considering Beck is telling him this whilst checking his reflection to make sure his hair looks fine.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In "Welcome Home", Beck and Paige try to get Keller on their respective sides. Keller is eventually convinced by Paige that Tesler will take her back, but when she is brought to him, he dismisses Paige then kills Keller.
Short Cuts Make Long Delays: Beck tries to go around a storm to get to Galium in "The Stranger". As a result the entire Grid was nearly destroyed.
And yes, he does work on railroads in that episode.
When Clu arrives in Argon at the end of "Terminal," his armada's formation resembles an '80s video game space fighter.
Signs of Disrepair: In "State of Mind", a brainwashed Mara vandalizes a "Tron Lives" graffiti by destroying the V, making it say "Tron Lies."
Slasher Smile: The "Tron Lives" graffiti gang in "Tagged" have masks stylized with a shark-like grin.
In "Rendezvous", Gorn's henchman Lomox has a permanently fixed grin. The effect is very disturbing.
Status Quo is Flynn: In the episode "Isolated", Paige's backstory sets her up for a possible Heel Face Turn, or at the very least trusting the Renegade, but events conspire to harden her heart against either possibility.
Suspiciously Similar Song: The soundtrack, to the soundtrack of Legacy, though it is being headed by the orchestrator of Daft Punk's music for Legacy.
Swiss Cheese Security: Beck has infiltrated Tesler's fortress multiple times wearing his white Tron suit. He only gets spotted on the way out.
Take A Third Option: Given a nasty, brutal, worst-case-scenario Deconstruction in "No Bounds". Beck's attempt to do so fails horribly, precisely because the villains plans hinged on Beck behaving a certain way and he never expected that beck might enlist someone's aid. To elaborate, Cyrus has strapped one bomb to Mara and Zed, and another to Tron, with a single key meant to disarm one of the bombs so Beck is forced to make a Sadistic Choice. However, Cyrus credits himself on being able to predict how people will react, and he's so sure Beck will rescue Tron that the key won't actually disable the other bomb. As a result, Able has to manually disarm it. This takes him just long enough that, when Tron uses the partner bomb to kill Cyrus, Able has only just removed it and is caught in the blast, though Mara or Zed survive. Mara blames the Renegade for his death, and Beck loses the very few supporters he had left.
Taken for Granite: As seen in "Tagged", an interrogation chair in Tesler's fortress has this effect, turning programs exposed to it into brittle statues. A guy Beck rescues from it gets away with a transparent hand.
The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In "No Bounds", Cyrus leaves a recording for Beck that accurately predicts how he'll respond to the opening statement, then mocks him for being predictable enough for the trick to work in the first place.
10-Minute Retirement: In "The Reward", Tesler offers a reward for anyone who turns in information about the Renegade, so Beck decides to take a break until the heat dies down. Predictably, he's forced back into heroing much sooner than expected. Happens again in "No Bounds", where Beck tries to quit after Cyrus returns but dons the suit again in short order to save his friends.
Tempting Fate: Beck, all the time. Other characters have their moments, too.
All of the cities mentioned are named after elements from the periodic table (Argon, Bismuth, Gallium...)
Too Dumb to Live: The two male members of the graffiti gang in "Tagged", wanting a little more action after being recruited by the Renegade, decide to infiltrate Tesler's fortress and tag the underside with "Tron Lives" graffiti. They failed to consider how they'd escape the fortress (which is now in flight), and nearly get derezzed by Pavel during their interrogation. They wisely decide they aren't up to the heroing business and call it quits after being rescued by Beck.
Despite having been rescued from a trip to the games by the Renegade, Zed still has a negative opinion of him.
During the Save the Villain moment in "Blackout", Paige tries to kill Beck while they're still on the bike, though she at least has the good sense to stop when the fireball starts to catch up again.
In "The Reward", after Beck saves Hopper, Mara, and Zed from execution, Hopper realizes that he has a chance to turn in the Renegade and tries to take it. Beck merely pulls over and Hopper gets kicked out of the car by Zed.
Paige again in "Rendezvous". After being saved by the Renegade from certain death in the games (she was framed as a traitor), she's more upset that his rescue makes her look guilty. She does stop attacking him when he points out that her own side framed her, though she still isn't particularly grateful for the save.
Unwinnable Training Simulation: "Blackout" starts with Beck trying to liberate some prisoners, only to end up being killed by one of the guards he handcuffed while distracted by the other one's taunts about derezzing Bodhi. The simulation ends and Tron schools him on everything he did wrong.
Villains Out Shopping: In "The Reward", Beck and his friends complain that too many of the guards are hanging out at their favorite bar, cluttering the place. Hopper and Bartik are regularly seen drinking, as well. In "Grounded", two guards play a non-fatal Jai alai, hogging the court. In "Rendezvous", Paige and Beck play a physics-defying version of pool at a bar.
We Need a Distraction: As his first test for the graffiti gang in "Tagged", Beck tasks them with defacing a fuel depot which is used by Tesler's fortress. While the guards are busy with the graffiti, he can sneak in undetected. It works, but two of them decide to take it a step further and cause a lot of trouble.
Wham Episode: "No Bounds". Able and several others are killed, for which the Renegade is framed, resulting in everyone, Mara included, now being completely against him.
Thankfully she comes around in the next episode after coming to the conclusion that "The Renegade's" actions were totally out of character.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Beck tries very hard to avoid killing. The only time guards die pursuing him is when they run into the light walls of his vehicles, and even then not always. This actually pays off in the pilot, where a guard Beck spares returns the favor by helping him locate the prisoners he's attempting to free. One of the guards who witnessed Tron's torture admired his resilience and freed him later. Of course, many of the Mooks have had their code altered, making them mindlessly obedient.
Played With almost everyone else; even Beck's allies have no problem killing in self-defense.
"Isolated" really pushes it, with what could only be described as a murder scene out of a horror film. It is not an exaggeration to state that there are body parts literally everywhere, and the walls and floors are just covered in pixels. A slight change in color and you'd have a scene out of an R-rated film, but this show gets away with because it's not real blood.
In-universe, though, it's averted. We're never supposed to think of the Programs and Isos as anything less than living, sentient beings.
Witch Hunt: "The Reward" shows this in all its awful glory. An overwhelming amount of innocent programs are accused of being the Renegade, such that Beck can't even begin to help them except by letting the hunt calm down on its own.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The upgrade disk in "Price of Power" makes the user stronger and faster than any program, but at the cost of making them hyper-aggressive and addicted to the power it gives them.
Worthy Opponent: Cyrus may have viewed Beck like this, but by and large he doesn't take Beck very seriously.
Though Cutler and Beck are friends, Cutler refers to Beck as the best fighter he's fought or worked with (keeping in mind Cutler used to be a soldier), and he attacks him on sight later on for a friendly match. Knowing that Beck works closely with Tron, this leads Cutler to suspecting that Beck is the Renegade, and not Tron.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In "Price of Power", Paige sets a trap for the Renegade involving several overturned APCs, knowing he's noble enough to help even if they are the enemy.
X Meets Y: Like "Batman Beyond meets Fractale" is an apt analogy. The show shares plot elements of Batman Beyond (vigilantism and training by a retired hero in hiding), the tone and light Noir sensibilities, and the sprawling urban setting. It also has the amazingly vibrant visual style of Fractale and its themes of apathy and oppression. Its setting involves the automation/computerization of almost every aspect of life, like Fractale, with (Beautiful!) holographic interfaces being everywhere.
You Have Failed Me: Keller really should have known better that Tesler wasn't going to simply take her back after what she did. Of course, Paige convincing her otherwise didn't help.