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YMMV: Left 4 Dead
See Left 4 Dead 2 for YMMV details in the second game.
  • Abridged Arena Array: No Mercy was the only campaign people would ever play on VS, ignoring Blood Harvest completely. Even after Death Toll and Dead Air were released for VS mode in the Survival Pack DLC, people still chose No Mercy. The sequel had the same problem where people would only play Dead Center and sometimes The Parish. Even after The Passing and The Sacrifice was made, Dead Center was still the only campaign people played for VS mode. Until No Mercy was ported to the sequel, then everybody flocked to it.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • In The Sacrifice comic, does Bill have a hatred of them where he needs to work out some issues, or his he actually terrified of the monsters?
    • And some see Louis as either a guy whose positive reactions is the opposite of how he feels and it is his way to cope without snapping while others feel Louis is just trying to find hope in a grim situation.
  • Breather Level: Although it's definitely not on your side, the AI director does tend to give you a breather in-between swarms of zombies or boss encounters, especially if you're just limping through. The period of time is increasingly brief on higher difficulties.
    • The elevator in No Mercy (only in campaign)
  • Cargo Ship: The first game has Louis and his peelz.
  • Cliché Storm: For zombie movies, played for laughs.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Auto shotguns were the most used weapon in the first Left 4 Dead, due to its power and firing speed.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Several achievements qualify, such as the 'Untouchables' achievement for making it through the finale unscathed or the 'Unbreakable' achievement for going an entire campaign without healing. The arguably most awesome, however, is the 'Man vs. Tank' for killing a tank single-handedly.
    • A bot cr0wning a witch. The lack of any emotion they display just makes it cooler.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny:
    • This is the sole purpose of soundpacks. Whether they succeed in this endeavour may vary.
    • The dedications in the Closing Credits.
    • Ragdoll Physics. Much potential amusement lies within those codes.
  • Die for Our Ship: Zoey was this to Nick/Ellis shippers at first, even though the two characters had never even met in canon yet. Thankfully most of the bashing subsided after the initial furor over The Passing, which upgraded Zoey/Ellis to near-Official Couple status, though it still surfaces from time to time.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
  • Ear Worm: The wailed tune that plays when you are getting too close to a Witch is extremely catchy.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Nothing about the origin of the Infected is explained, leaving players to come up with absolutely every theory under the sun. Even off-screen supporting cast within the game itself fall afoul of this trope as they bicker among themselves on the various wall scribblings, etc. What's impressive is that the emergent narrative nature of the game makes these somewhat more valid than usual.
    • It is mentioned in Kotaku interviews, game reviews and other non-in game sources that the zombies are infected with a mutated rabies virus that the playable survivors are immune to. That's why they don't get turned when they're exposed to the zombies bodily fluids.
    • Directly mentioned in the sequel in-game with the players' discussion of immunity and carriers.
  • Game Breaker:
    • A major problem in the first game. Corner camping. Have all survivors cram up in a corner of a wall or a small room and constantly melee the infected rushing in or shoot all at once. Aside from a Tank, nothing can break through this formation. This is so common that most infected players in VS mode wait it out until the survivor players move again and both teams will corner camp when it's their turn as survivors.
  • Game Mod: A soundpack one that changes all the sounds of the infected to Macho Man Randy Savage quotes. Hilarity Ensues.
    • There's also a Tourette's Guy soundpack for the Tank. Watch it here.
    • And there's another that replaces all playable infected with the survivors, amusingly.
    • On top of that, one can also replace the Tank's sounds with those of the Heavy from Team Fortress 2. Hilarity ensues as the Tank taunts the survivors ("Who send all these babies to fight?!") berates the team for killing it ("Little, little man!"), runs around grunting and talking to its 'Sandvich', loudly exclaims that it is on fire when it is indeed on fire, and even calls for a medic when taking lots of damage from survivors. Sadly, the sound pack was pulled from some sites and cannot be found easily.
    • Scout zombies, that is all.
    • Some people have gone so far to change the Tank's music as well, like turning it into "Can Can", The Benny Hill Show theme, and even "Final Destination"!
    • Also, Johnny Bravo Tank.
    • Billy Mays Tank.
    • YEAAAH!
    • Pee-Wee Herman Infected. Can you say nightmare fuel?
    • If you think all the sound swapping is hilarious, try playing servers that allow up to eight survivors in the game. That's right, you'll have multiples of the same characters running around and you will go WTF when you see messages like "Zoey saved Zoey." Even Expert becomes a bit easier with 8 people's worth of firepower running around.
    • Teletubbies. Now you can be as afraid of them as Jerry Falwell.
      • Another good case of nightmare fuel, watching empty-eyed Teletubbies running at you and trying to rip you apart.
    • This game + soundtrack from 28 Days/Weeks = Pure terror.
    • Beavis as the Jockey.
    • Possibly the greatest mod ever
    • Shut up Witch.
    • Here are some hilarious soundpack mods. You can thank me later.
    • Not enough soundtrack dissonance for ya?
    • Demonic diaper-wearing Justin Bieber Witch.
    • A mod exists that changes the Hunter's screams to Micheal Jackson.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The game is apparently fairly popular in Japan, possibly owing to the game's linear structure and immense replay value, which is surprising considering how unpopular western-developed games, specifically first-person shooters, are in Japan. Even Hideo Kojima has confessed that he's a fan of the game!
      • This has lead to an arcade port of the game in Japan.
    • It's also very popular in Russia and other parts of Europe.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The common infected, who all have the ability to slow you down just by hitting you.
    • Especially if there's a Tank; the common ones will not let you move out of the way.
      • Not at all helped by their uncanny ability to flank you and pinch you between four or five others.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The game is almost filled with various glitches and exploits that make the campaigns almost laughably easy but can be a life saver on Expert difficulty. Most of these were patched for VS and Survival modes to keep the balance.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Witch's sobs are very unnerving if you don't know where she is, or if you're about to piss her off.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Francis can see some birds in "Crash Course" and say "I hate birds," to which Zoey replies "Yeah, birds are dicks!" Later, in "Blood Harvest", the group startle a murder of crows, who in turn start a horde. And they do it again in "The Sacrifice".
    • The Fictional Video Game in Stay Alive is a co-op monster/zombie shooter set in New Orleans. Compare to Left 4 Dead 2.
    • One of Francis's many hates is lawyers; "When're they gonna stop practicing law?" Fast forward to 2012 and the release of smartphone game "Devil's Attorney," where the player character - a suave defense attorney - is voiced by Francis's voice actor, Vince Valenzuela
  • Ho Yay Shipping: The Sacrifice brings us an, uh...interesting line that Bill can say if Francis is the one to make the Heroic Sacrifice...
    Bill: Francis, you beautiful sonuvabitch, you did it!
  • Internet Backdraft: May the internet have mercy on your soul if you dare say that VS mode (mostly in Left 4 Dead 2) is fine just the way it is. Expect to have competitive players to either call you a casual player or assume you never touched VS mode at all.
    • The community will also explode if you even try to compare the first game with the second game or have the balls to say one is better than the other.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Church Guy. Justified in that he is halfway turned into a zombie when you meet him, and distrusts you because he had been bitten by the previous person he let in.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • A number of forums have taken a single graffito referencing a "Chicago Ted" (itself a Shout-Out to an old gaming website) and seem to be attempting to turn him into a Chuck Norris-esque zombie slayer.
  • Memetic Mutation: Numerous.
    • "I hate hospitals." "I hate stairs." "I hate forests." "I hate small towns." "I hate lawyers." "I hate tunnels." "I hate vans." "I hate train yards." "I hate Ayn Rand."
      • In No Mercy, Bill may lampshade this on the elevator:
    Bill: Francis, is there anything you don't hate?
    Francis: You know what I don't hate? I don't hate vests.
    • And adding to the almost endless list is the fanmade campaign, Dead Before Dawn with, predictably, "I hate malls". Another custom campaign, Night Terror, adds "I hate the jungle."
    • Even parodied a bit in the trailer for the Passing campaign, in which Francis and Rochelle start to agree with hating everything, and for once, Rochelle hates something Francis doesn't, his vest.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • And as of part three of The Sacrifice comic: Bill refused to slow down the survivor's train for a moment, causing the death of a military doctor who had grouped up with the survivors despite Zoey telling him to slow down, and has twice declared that he'll leave anyone to die outside of the L4D1 survivors.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Step 1: Bind a vocalization to its own key. Step 2: Press this key repeatedly. Step 3: BOOMER BOOMER BOO-BOOM-B-B-BOOMER
      • If done online, most players will be quite eager to kick you off the team. With bullets.
      • Valve quietly enforced a patch (meaning no mention of it was made in the update release notes) that disables binding vocalizations to a key press, which was probably done due to everyone shouting the trope name every time someone decided to spam the death scream for the entire game. There is still another way to use custom binds, but it's a very tedious and somewhat confusing task to do, plus people will still be happy to spam the default voice binds, mostly the "laugh" command. For some strange reason, this patch only applies to Left 4 Dead 2, but not the original.
  • Self-Fanservice: Go look at how the Hunter, Witch, and Smoker look in the game. Pretty hideous looking zombies, right? Now go look how they are drawn in a lot of fanart. Notice any differences?
  • Sequel Displacement: Enforced by Valve, due to them porting over the original game's content to Left 4 Dead 2, as well as continued development of the sequel while leaving the original behind. Though many players still like to play Left 4 Dead 1.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guy: A disturbing number of people will vote-kick you for not being as good as they are in Versus, moving at less than a dead run through a campaign, failing to cr0wn a witch, getting pounced on once without dead stopping the hunter, being incapacitated for any reason, shooting a boomer and splattering the team accidentally, or sometimes even for picking up the "wrong" weapon. Suffice to say there are SHFGs galore in Left 4 Dead.
    • Also, people who antagonize others for playing on "Easy," and ESPECIALLY people who do so for players on "Normal."
    • Of course, the majority of people you'll find playing on Easy are just going for achievements, god help you if you're actually at that skill-level.
    • VS mode is ripe full of these guys, mainly due to how competitive the mode can get. If you don't rush with the rest of the team, don't save someone in a nanosecond when a Hunter pounces them, let yourself catch on fire while playing as a Tank, even though you tried to avoid the attack, you're a Scrub to everyone else. It also does not help that the only way to learn how to play VS is to try everything out since the game barely teaches you how to play as the special infected.
    • Gets worse when you run into this type of player who judges other players purely on hours they invested into a game. If a player doesn't have X hours logged, they are deemed n00bs and are promptly booted from the game.
  • Stop Helping Me!: The survivor AI when it comes to healing. They will do their damn best to keep you going, but ignore anything else occurring at the moment, and always try to heal you when you don't need it. Expect to run around frequently while holding pills or a medkit just for the sake of not being interrupted.
  • Tear Jerker: In Zoey's backstory she was forced to Mercy Kill her father who had been bitten and clawed. It got worse when she discovered that was immune all along.
    • Helm's Deep. Yes, someone made a level based on The Lord of the Rings, and yes, it is epic... but the wall blows at 4:00, and Théoden King only gives the order to fall back at 8:00, leaving you alone on the plain with limited choke points to hide behind and often two of each type of Special pouncing on your ass. If you don't get up the stairs with at least three players alive, you're probably doomed.
  • Too Cool to Live: Bill.
  • Too Soon: A writer for the Houston Chronicle accused Valve of this for setting a game in ruined New Orleans. A few million extended middle fingers in his direction later, the game was released anyway. With Coach and Rochelle.
  • The Woobie:
    • Zoey, after 2-3 rounds of Break the Cutie and all.
    • The witch, anybody? Some people go on suicide missions just so she would stop crying. Others think she's just wangsty.
      • Some interpretations of the Witch are definitely this. The reason why she cries is never really explained, but one theory is that when she is unprovoked, she still has some humanity in her. She realizes that she's become a hideous, clawed beast, and cries over it. Alternatively, the infection has caused her to develop a very high fever, which is why she has removed most of her clothing, and the fever among the other affects of the infection are driving her into depression.

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