These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Played straight with maps like Upward and Sawmill, and inverted (as in, everybody hates them) with Hydro, widely regarded to be one of the worst designed maps in the game.
Competitive players tend to gravitate towards Badlands, Granary, Snakewater, Process, Badwater Basin, and Viaduct. They'll play others, but these maps are by far the most popular.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Inevitable, since the official characterization of the classes is limited to the "Meet The" and the comics - which don't exactly go into depth. Fan interpretation can range anywhere from "genuinely good folks stuck in a horrible situation" to "amoral sociopaths who take sadistic glee in playing death tag."
While we are at Pyro: his basic role, choice of weapons and hats seem to indicate a complete lunatic, but the way many players use the class to support teammates including putting out flames or suicide rushing enemy formations to wreak havoc, has created the idea among fans that the character is possibly a good team player too. Similarly, many are drawn to the idea that the "complete lunatic" is theOnly Sane Man.
"Meet the Pyro": Is Pyro a sick but truly good person who only wants to spread happiness, or just sick?
Because the female NPC's only periodically show up in the comics and animated shorts, they often end up as the source of various interpretations. The most popular depiction of Scout's mother is a mafia queen, with Scout's brothers serving as her mob. She's also generally a smoker, sharing cigarettes with Spy.
Helen, Miss Pauling, Yana, and Bronislava have all been depicted as Yaoi Fangirls at some point. The first two, because they spend time mostly watching a group of men on television screens all day, while the second two have fantasized about Sniper and Spy (the fans interpreting this as Heavy's sisters wanting Sniper and Spy to sleep with each other, and not Yana/Spy or Bronislava/Sniper, respectively.)
Angst? What Angst?: In Expiration Date, none of the team panics all that much about them going to die in three days due to tumors from the teleporters, not even when they only have an hour or two left. Then again, they're hardened mercenaries who die every day for a living.
High Five Fail won the Saxxy for "Best Replay", and... well, saying that people were displeased would be an understatement. The original isn't even on YouTube anymore thanks to backlash, though copies exist.
The Wishmaker won the Saxxy for "Best Comedy", beating out Practical Problems and Sabotage. While most agree that The Wishmaker was the best in terms of the technical aspect, with the most fluid animation and best use of lighting, the actual comedy aspect of the short falls flat for many, especially compared to its competitors. It's usually said that The Wishmaker should have won a Saxxy, but not for "Best Comedy".
Subverted in one case, however. When Bad Medicine won the Saxxy for "Best Drama" instead of Story of a Sentry, there was a bit of a backdraft in response, and some went so far as to spam the Bad Medicine comments section with complaints. Fortunately, fans were satisfied and the Hate Dumb quickly quieted down when it was revealed that Story of a Sentry won the Saxxy for "Best Overall".
Soldier. Some love him for being both top tier and being easy to play. Others hate him for the fact that due to being Robin Walker's favorite character, he gets class updates with both higher frequency and quality than any other class (4 at the time of this writing which includes two on the same day getting more stuff than the supposed star of the update). Especially jarring considering that some classes have only received one class update within the same amount of time.
The Pyro might be a better example than the Soldier. Half think the Pyro is a fun skilled class and the other consider him a skilless noob class.
Broken Base: Although all updates have caused this in one way or another, the Polycount/Mann-conomy update is the most extreme cause.
The base is broken to the point where there is animosity between players of various classes. For example, there is animosity between the fandoms of the Soldier/Heavy/Demoman and the Pyro. Pyro fans are very bitter over a perception of being Valve's Butt Monkey due to various over nerfs and other classes getting better versions of their mechanics. Pyro players are hostile towards Soldier and Demoman players over a perceived Parental Favoritism towards the two classes and the fact that they've been over powered since early in the game and not nerfed nearly as hard as Pyro. The animosity between Pyros and Heavies stems over the "W+M1" double standard. Interestingly enough, the fandoms that get along the most are the Pyro and Engineer fandoms, as they more so than any other class have evolved into a lovely synergy.
Since summer 2011, the game has been made free to play. Let's just say a lot of fans were annoyed about it and call it a day.
The Soldier received the Dr Grodbort's Victory Pack, considerably angering Engineer players, as the update seems far more suitable for the Engineer, made worse by the fact that the Engineer already has very few weapons compared to the Soldier.
Subverted with the Braniac Pack for the Engineer, as part of the Australian Christmas 2011 update. Where not only did the Engineer get new weapons, but ones that are similar in style to the previous Dr. Grordbort Pack. Oh, and Pyro got new stuff with the update too.
Fans are very divided on whether or not it's okay to kill enemy players while MONOCULUS! is present. Since the control point can't be captured while MONOCULUS! is around, most people opt to fight MONOCULUS! before continuing with the game, but some players use this as an opportunity to kill everyone else instead. Those who support the latter claim it's for tactical purposes (since the portals MONOCULUS! creates grant a temporary speed boost, health boost, invincibility, and critical hits), but there are some people who just enjoy killing unsuspecting players.
Merasmus kicks this up a notch. He has over one hundred thousand HP, meaning that both sides absolutely must work together to bring him down. The problem: while most players tend to try and cooperate in an attempt to bring him down, one guy slaughtering the other team is all it takes to prevent Merasmus' defeat. Even if everybody cooperates, you'll always wind up having that one guy who kills anybody trying to get to the end of the island. This infuriates many players, even those that were on the guy's team. Some servers easily side-step this problem by turning off the ability for the players to attack one another while Merasmus is active.
The announcement that the first 9 hats added to the game will no longer be obtainable, along with the possibility that more hats will be retired in the future, has caused a massive uproar among fans.
The Summer Update fixed maps, added two new ones, added several new hats and items from the Steam Workshop and nerfed and buffed several overused and underused weapons. The news that the Dead Ringer was going to be nerfed caused a huge uproar amongst Spy players. Then, three of the Polycount sets were deleted, and the rest were nerfed. Lots of set users were angered, while the other half rejoiced. But the change that caused this the most was the Escape Plan nerf.
The Degreaser + Axtinguisher combo. Opponents claim it's cheap, annoying, and hard to counter, while defenders claim it's one of the few things keeping the Pyro alive in high-level play. Few people can find any kind of common ground.
On December 20, 2013, all active players were given stocking stuffers. Inside each of these stocking stuffers were, as follows: a name tag, a description tag, a backpack expander... and a tour of duty ticket, with the price of the tickets in the store being slashed to 49 cents for the time being. Cue the Mann Vs. Machine Mann Up servers being flooded with newbies who had no clue what they were doing, depriving experienced players of their ability to complete more tours. To say many were pissed is an understatement, and many question if it was a smart move on Valve's part or not.
The Love & War update introduced 5 new, well-received weapons, an excellent short...and nerfed the Stickybomb Launcher, the Heavy's miniguns, and the Pyro's Axtinguisher. Demoman and Pyro mains weren't happy, to say the least. On top of that, the SL nerf stirred up the competitive scene, forcing a change of strategy in 6v6, which used to rely on sticky Demos as a main push force. Its nerf was undone after a few days, but with a promise by Valve that they'd possibly nerf it again in a hopefully less ill-received way. However, it proceeded to break the base further, as the people who rejoiced were now the ones vowing to quit the game.
Canon Defilement: Many 'fics portray the team as shell-shocked soldiers unused to battle, more melodramatic than gleefully psychopathic, and waiting on tenterhooks for the war to end. The writers of these 'fics occasionally don't have a good grasp on what a mercenary is, or what they do for a living. Many people tend to ship Sniper and Spy, two classes which could not be more vitriolic towards one another, but that doesn't stop people justifying Bastard Boyfriend plots or lots of Belligerent Sexual Tension-induced Wangst. A similiar situation occurs with Spy and Scout.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The community tends to only accept one good loadout for each class and that's it, regardless of how well anyone has gotten any of the other items to perform. For instance, if you don't use the Degreaser and Axtinguisher to puff and sting everyone, then you don't know how to play Pyro. That's right, the Pyrois never supposed to geta kill with fire ever. CGS can be weird sometimes.
There are aversions, though. For instance, extending from the above, the differences between the Scorch Shot, Detonator, Flare Gun, and Shotgun are openly acknowledged to mostly come down to personal playstyle and preference. Other examples are the Soldier's weapons, where pretty much any loadout is "acceptable", except for some weapons that are inferior to other options, just plain bad (ie, Mantreads), or "crutch" (Liberty Launcher), and the Sniper's loadout, which is much the same.
Now applies to Mann vs Machine, apparently, there is only one proper class set up for each map, and if you try to use anything else, you will be met with anger. This commentary discusses the topic.
This is what "W+M1" is all about in reference to Pyros, the theory is that inexperienced players would settle for having the flame thrower on at all times as the only tactic in game.
New players will automatically default to either the sniper or the spy the moment someone dominates them, as these are essentially counter-classes for the other 7 on the team. This also means that they tend to ignore all other objectives until the offending person is dead at their hands (which, given the circumstances, usually doesn't happen).
Crack Ship: Sniper x GLaDOS, stemming from their voice actors being married in real life. Sniper's voice actor John Patrick Lowrie even jokingly acknowledged the ship in a reply to a Wheatley-roleplayer's review of a book he had written. And once again mentioned on his Twitter in a Thanksgiving post.
Demonic Spiders: With enough skill, any class becomes this, but here are some specific examples.
Engineers. If they manage to build up a nest they become extremely difficult to kill, especially if they are protected by good Pyros. Certain nest locations are especially nasty; out of sight of the enemy team (ex: the Intelligence room in 2Fort), placed on the Intelligence itself (2Fort's intelligence room is again a good example) or, for the Engineers who like to be massive arses, underwater. Narrow halls are also a pain in the ass to fight an Engineer in; Engineers with enough fortification may never leave their Sentries; and with a Pyro around they can counteract any Spy's attempt to rid the buildings. If a Gunslinger Engineer is with you, you can rest easy knowing the only threat to you is a Spy; which is of course negated if you have a Pyro with you (Pyros often spray teammates vigorously with fire if they look odd, and only disguised Spies light on fire if this happens to them); especially one with the Homewrecker, a sledgehammer that destroys a Spy's Sapper in seconds, combined with the Engineer's Wrench, only amazing Spies can deal with such a massive threat.
Get dominated by a Sniper for the 500th time and you'll see.
As pointed out by STAR_, Pyros. They have fairly decent health but with no movement penalty, and can airblast you into the air which makes you effectively dead if they know what they're doing. Furthermore it's difficult to land "meat shots" on them with shotguns because you have to stay out of their range, and they can deflect most explosives back at you and your team. The Axtinguisher and Degreaser combo takes this up to eleven since it's nigh impossible to counter if they get close to you, and if they bring a reserve shooter with them it makes them even harder to kill since they have a decent medium range weapon that minicrits you if you try to jump away (good luck Scouts). The only reliable ways to kill an excellent Pyro is either being a decent Sniper (though they can still fire flares at you which screws up your aim) or being a Heavy who can kill them before they finish their combo attacks.
A good Scout is effectively invincible. They can kill any class (except the Heavy) with two shots from their Scattergun and effortlessly dodge all weapons except the conventional bullet firing ones. Not only that, but at any time during a fight, then can simply run away, something that you can't do at all unless you want them to fill you with buckshot in the back, and they move around extremely fast and are hard to hit. The only real counter is to have obscenely good aim with your gun, have a sentry, or confront them in a tight corridor (though, a good Scout will probably avoid tight corridors, so... yeah, you need amazing aim or a sentry).
Demoknights can basically run around in a battlefield and mash the attack button, because 2 of their swords essentially make them unkillable except by maintaining range. This only escalated with the inclusion of the Tide Turner, letting them keep their Grenade Launcher and turn mobility to retain their mid-long range abilities.
Mann Vs. Machine mode has several candidates, which becomes worse when Mann Up Mode brings 2-3 times the number of their kind:
Heavy-bots of any shape can be a tremendous pain in the ass. Their high health and damage can tear apart a team in seconds. The Fists of Steel-equipped Heavies are particularly evil, with their extreme ranged damage resistance, 900 health (more than triple the average Heavy), and a habit of ganging up on players who try to melee them. Since they're also not considered giants, they can gain a Healing Factor and even more damage resistance when they pick up the bomb, leading to insane amounts of firepower being needed to put them down. Luckily they're fully vulnerable to Sappers and Backstabs, but very few people are willing to put up with a Spy on their team.
Sentry Busters. They have a deceptively large amount of health, run fast as hell, and the only strategy against them other than "concentrate fire on it and hope for the best" is to choose the building you need the most, picking it up and hauling ass with it in tow before it blows up, which if your timing is off will destroy your buildings and kill you.
Giant Rapid Fire Demomen. The Grenade Launcher is already one of the most powerful weapons in the game. Now, imagine giving that to something that can spam grenades almost indefinitely, has a metric ton of health, and break through just about any defense because, unlike other robots, it seems to prioritize sentries as the biggest threat.
Super Scouts and Major League Scouts are just as bad as Giant Rapid Fire Demomen. The Super Scout is the fastest robot in the game, and the Major League Scout trades in some of that speed for the ability to spam the Sandman's stun balls all over the place. Both of them also move erratically, making it hard to land a hit on them. If you let even one of them get through your defenses with the bomb, you are screwed.
With the Mecha-Engineer update, we can add EVERY permanent crit bot to the list. To clarify, they are all essentially One-Hit Kill machines (regardless if they're giant or not) that even with maximum resistances upgraded, they will still kill you in 2-3 shots, with uber canteens only lasting for a few seconds, you can bet much hair-pulling ensues when a team tries to finish a wave for dozens of these pests... and when they do succeed... the next wave has even more of them.
Draco in Leather Pants: Make no mistake, the mercs enjoy their work, but many 'hippers prefer to think they wouldn't hurt a fly.
Gray Mann has already got this treatment. To wit he killed and ate the eagle that raised him, tried to blackmail his dying father, killed his brothers in cold blood with a knife and has his sights set on the Mann Co. weapons company for who knows what ends. Regardless there's speculation that he's the only hero.
Ear Worm: The Robots! theme from the Mann vs Machine trailer is quite catchy, and brings across the feel of clanking, rumbling robots quite well, as well as the uncanny valley feeling that the classes get from fighting robots designed to look just like them.
Face of the Band: The Heavy. Although those who only know of the game through memes will probably think of The Spy first, as he's the unofficial patron saint of trolling.
Fandom Rivalry: Holy damn, Dota2. The rivalry between the fanbases is so large that it often results in a bloody and violent forum Mob War. The fanbase has accused Valve of prioritizing Dota 2 as their chief money maker over them and refusing to pay attention to TF2 at all, especially with optimizations issues and the increasing amount of lag spikes and glitches at the time of typing.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Medic/Heavy, so much that they share matching hats. And Valve apparently approves of it too,
Scout/Miss Pauling, which has been gaining intense support after Expiration Date.
Goddamned Bats: Servers will inevitably be flooded with one class the day that class's update comes out. Quite literally, when the Scout update came out.
One of the driving concepts behind the Sniper update was to release the Spy update at the same time to combat this.
Amusingly, the Soldier/Demoman combined update reversed the trend slightly. Since one of the available unlocks would be determined by which class did better in the week preceding the release, the servers became flooded with Soldiers and Demomen even before the release... to the point that servers have crashed because of a limit on dynamic entities within the map.
The Engineer update was probably the worst example of this. There were so many Engies that you could barely move without being sentry gunned to death. Most servers would even implement a 2 or 3 Engineers per team limit. On the other hand, good Demomen, Soldiers, and Spies had a field day.
With the Polycount Update, this made some people complain about the Goddamn Fish.
All future updates will address multiple classes at the same time in order to combat this.
There have also been updates that don't focus on any particular class at all, most notably the Halloween updates.
Combat Mini-Sentries. Instantly-deployable, chip off your health fast, and love to appear out of nowhere.
Sentry Busters again. Once you understand how they work and how to escape them, a well-entrenched, level-headed Engie who's paying attention will (almost) never be threatened by them again; just pick up your sentry before they reach your nest, walk towards them to make them explode prematurely, then put your sentry back in its nest. Problem is, the more often you successfully do this, the more often they respawn, over and over and over... the Announcer shouting "Look out for that Sentry Buster!" over and over and over... listening to that tick-tock noise over and over and over...
Giant Black Box Soldiers in Mann Vs. Machine, for being massiveStone Walls. Out of all the giant Soldier robots, they have the lowest damage output due to the fact they fire all their rockets at once, and then slowly reload. Here's the problem- if they hit you with that barrage of rockets, they recover massive amounts of health, if not all of it, and as such, if the team doesn't evade the rockets or the Medic can't continuously block them with the shield, the damn thing can either freely capture a gate, or just plant the bomb. That said, they're every bit as slow as the other giants, and can swiftly be killed before they do anything if dealt with properly, but it's the sheer tediousness of doing so that makes them more annoying than difficult.
Gold Makes Everything Shiny: An odd example in that it is in full force both in-universe and in the game's actual trading meta. Expect an Australium variant of an item to be WAY more valuable than a regular Strange version of said item.
Good Bad Bugs: With a seven-year-old game running on a very buggy engine, tons of glitches are possible.
The aforementioned Spycrab and the ability to play as a glitched character called "The Civilian."
As of Dec 18th of 2009, all those who were here to know him in his short 24 hours of life will never forget our good friend the Spygineer. Let him forever erect those French dispensers with console command "build 0" in his cheese and wine-laden heaven.
On April 29, 2010, the Spygineer returned for one more go — along with the ability of Engineers to build infinite buildings.
A clipping issue can cause Pyro flames to go through the otherwise impenetrable starter gate before the beginning of a round. Since whoever was standing there was probably taunting, it's pretty funny, and they respawn fast enough to not hinder the team. On the other hand, it also works occasionally through chain link fences, which is a Game Breaker. Then again... why wouldn't flames be able to pass through a chain-link fence?
Before the bug was patched, using the Buffalo Steak Sandvich could let the player switch their weapons from melee, resulting in a Heavy spewing mini-crit Minigun bullets.
Switching from a Detonator to another weapon and landing a hit on a burning enemy granted full crits before that was patched.
Valve's Achievements have their fair share of bugs, but one in particular stands out — the Identity Theft Achievement is a Spy Achievement that is given for backstabbing the enemy you're disguised as. Stabbing someone with the Your Eternal Reward awards you this Achievement instantly.
Fridge Brilliance sets in once you realize that backstabbing someone with Your Eternal Reward actually fits the name of the achievement much better. Why shouldn't you get an achievement called "Identity Theft" when you steal another player's identity?
Using the Director's Vision taunt and pressing the Cow Mangler 5000's alt-fire simultaneously will make the Soldier perform a Hadouken
In 2Fort, in the BLU base a Dispenser in the doorway between the hay room and spiral ramp will completely block enemy players and the Engineer who deployed it. In the RED base, a player can always bypass a Dispenser built in the same place by crouch-jumping over it.
The Training Mode was meant to be for single-player, but some people actually managed to get into other people's training modes. Griefing ensued before it was fixed.
When the Red-Tape Recorder was first added, sentries sapped with it retained their health when downgraded to level 1, and were capable of having far too much health if upgraded again. Although the sentry glitch was fixed quickly, another glitch let teleporters build up astronomical amounts of health.
When the Demoman is holding a one-handed melee weapon, crouches, and the player taps the "walk forward" button a small amount, Spooky Demo Arms results.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: Remember how protective Heavy is of his Medic (e.g. "GET BEHIND ME, DOCTOR!")? With the release of "A Cold Day In Hell", it becomes clear that Heavy is extending to Medic the very same protective Big Brother Instinct that he shows to his own family.
"Spy sappin' mah sentry/teleporter/dispenser!", your cue to panic if you're nowhere near the building being sapped.
If you're on attack: "Mission ends in 60/30/10 seconds!"
If you're on defense: "Alert! The final control point is being contested!" (Control Point) and "The bomb has almost reached the final terminus" (Payload)
The immediately identifiable scream of your Medic getting headshot/backstabbed, especially if it occurs just as the enemy team is pushing in. Taken Up to Eleven if it's accompanied by the distinctive crackle of a dropped Ubercharge.
The continuous "beep boop beep boop" sound of a Sentry Buster during Mann Vs Machine, especially if you're the Engineer who's probably going to pack up sentry or die.
During the Scout update, Valve added a domination line where the Scout says that he's not even wearing a helmet, played specifically after the domination of a Soldier. Then came the hats, with a baseball helmet for the Scout. You'd expect him not pulling that line while wearing said helmet, but he still does it due to the way the voice response system works in-game. Irony ensues. To add to the irony, thanks to the hats, it's possible that the Scout is wearing a helmet but the Soldier isn't.
When dominating an Engineer, Scout's line is "Here's something you shoulda built: a not-dying machine!" In a later comic we learn that's what Engineer's grandfather's magnum opus was, and Engie's job is to fix it.
To a certain extent, the Sniper's line about "blokes that bludgeon their wives to death with a golf trophy" in Meet the Sniper. You can't officially kill anyone with a golf trophy in the game, but as of June 2011, you can bludgeon them to death with a filmmaking trophy... which turns them to Australium. Really.
Right before Meet The Medic came out, there was a pre-order bonus for the new Magic: The Gathering game. One of the items was a Planeswalker Helm for Medic, with the description "Just tell people it qualifies you for veterinary work". The Medic achievement "Ubi concordia, ibi victoria", which requires the Medic to assist in killing three enemies on an enemy control point, has a picture of a wounded dove.
The gameplay footage at the end of Meet The Sandvich is identical to that of the end of Meet The Heavy, only the Heavy is now eating instead of gunning down BLU. The BLU team members are still dropping like flies, however, as if to imply that RED Heavy wasn't actually responsible for any of the deaths in the first video.
One of the Demoman's injured noises (most usually from being ignited) sounds identical to the Rabbids.
In a comic accompanying the Mac Update, one of the two Apple employees introduces the Heavy to a gun that would set up a blog for him, and update it with a kill count. As of 2011, we now have Strange weapons, most which count the amount of kills made with them.
In Meet the Sniper, the RED Sniper headshots the BLU Heavy and also shatters the BLU Demoman's bottle behind him. This was patched out of the game fairly early on... only to get added back in with the Machina, which can penetrate through multiple characters once fully charged.
This post from 4chan◊ ended up being spot on in regards to the way the Pyro views things. (Spoilers for those who haven't watched "Meet The Pyro" yet)
After the release of the Sniper vs Spy update, the Spy will sometimes say to a dominated Scout: "This is Scout! Rainbows make me cry! Over!" At the release of the Pyromania update a little over 3 years later, the Pyro has a weapon that can fires rainbows only from the player's perspective and appear anyone who can see how the Pyro sees things. In reality, it appears as the stock flamethrower. Guess who the Spy's nemesis is.
Also, a hilarious extra at the end of the Stuart Ashen recording microscopes review has Ashen setting fire to a My Little Pony fake, laugh maniacally, sighing *hats* at the end, and then proclaim "Pyromania Is Magic". Cue two months later, with the Pyromania update...
In The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Action52, he asks who would want to wield a lollipop as a weapon when he reviews a game called "Lollipop". When the Pyromania update came out two years later, the Pyro received the Lollichop, a weapon that appears as an overly-large lollipop in Pyroland.
In the Halloween 2011 update, one of the soldier's lines when in his robot costume was "I am a robot, I am here to take American jobs." Then came Mann vs. Machine.
The Octo-Heavy, a joke video about a "boss battle" consisting of a Heavy with 8 Medics. Just a fun little joke video, though, right? Mann vs. Machine mode introduces robots that can and will form 5-Medics-on-1-Heavy formations. Or even NINE Medics on one Heavy. And the Heavies areGiant Mooks.
There exists a little Team Fortress 2 mod called Prop Hunt where players on one team become random props and must hide from the players on the other team. Enter 2012's Spectral Halloween Special. Merasmus will disguise himself as a random prop some time during his boss fight.
One of Scout's domination lines against the Sniper is saying he has a tiny head. In the 2012 Halloween update, the Ghost Fort map has a random effect that turns everyone's head tiny.
In a case of taking an already funny line and making it even funnier, Scout's line "My blood! He punched out ALL my blood!" from Meet the Sandvich is referenced in the 2012 Halloween event, only now he says "spilled" instead of "punched".
On this very wiki, the caption for Pyro's character folder alludes to Pyro being The Stig, a mask-wearing mysterious racecar driver from Top Gear who never shows his face. Because he's a driver in the PC version of Sonic And All Stars Racing Transformed, s/he actually is a mask-wearing mysterious racecar driver who never shows his/her face. (Does that make Spy Jeremy Clarkson, and Heavy James May?)
The Soldier's "Bilbo Baggins" domination taunts to the Sniper are hilarious in light of Team Fortress Comics #4 revealing the Sniper is actually a New Zealander.
Ho Yay: As all of the playable characters are male except the Pyro, Ho Yay seems all but encouraged, both in-game and by fans.
A lot of people see a certain "subtext" in the Heavy and Medic's close cooperation, with their lines.
Heavy: I love this doctor!
Heavy: GET BEHIND ME DOCTOR!
Brought back up with "Meet The Medic". Most of the short centers on the two of them, and there's a lot of long glances and smiles between them. Medic even pinches Heavy's cheek at one point.
Valve has acknowledged this with the "Beaux and Arrows" Sniper achievement for killing a Medic-Heavy pair with a Huntsman... and then turned around and torpedoed it with the Demoman's Medic-specific domination taunt which may or may not be true:
Demoman: DOMINATED! ...And I been shaggin' yer wife! Ahah!
And with the introduction of the Back Scatter for the Scout, there's the achievement Back 2 Back (killing a Heavy/Medic pair within 20 seconds) — the icon for which is a heart.
Valve acknowledges the ship again with the description of the Medic hat Gentleman's Ushanka, which reads:
"Made from genuine German rabbit fur, this military-grade trappers' hat makes the perfect complement to the Officer's Ushanka. Let the officer in your life know you'll always be right behind them, with a Medigun at the ready and a matching wardrobe."
Sasha may not seem to fit this... until you realize it's a unisex name.
One of Medic's unlocks, a fancy Napoleonic coat that was released as a Napoleon Total War promotion, is called "The Foppish Physician". "Fop" means a stylish man, which he certainly is, but has also meant gay. There's also the announcement of the Something Special For Someone Special, which portrayed some Pocket Medics as lovesick stalkers (although it's unclear if they meant the character, or the people who play him).
Not even the Pyro is immune to Ho Yay! The Engineer and Pyro seem to be slowly evolving to work together, a la Medic & Heavy. Some of Engineer's lines reflect this, and he will occasionally apologize to a Pyro he's just dominated.
The Pocket Medic, originally only for the Heavy, can now be equipped by the Soldier as well. Also, whenever a Soldier shouts "Medic" while looking at a friendly Medic, he will call him "sweetheart", "sally", or "pumpkin". Some fans havenoticed. Has resulted in some Ship-to-Ship Combat. Later, Medic got his own Pocket Heavy...
As it turns out, the magazine Pyro was reading◊ at the end of Meet the Medic contains...Man on Man.◊ The common assumptions are that he's a woman enjoying a little gay porn, or he's a gay man enjoying a little gay porn.
Valve is beginning to encourage this ship outside of the game as well, with the Engineer and Pyro apparently living together.
There's a bit of Merasmus/Soldier, too. They bicker like an old married couple, Soldier threatens to shove something up Merasmus' ass (his broom, but still), Soldier informs Merasmus "the heart makes its own rules" when trying to justify killing Merasmus' new roommate, and now, after landing in prison, Merasmus had Soldier's class icon tattooed on his bicep.
Spy and Scout get a healthy dose of this in the Expiration Date video. After asking Spy for dating advice, the very next scene is Spy asking Scout to seduce him (as if he were a woman, but still). The scene in question.
Hype Backlash: Mann vs. Machine qualify as this for the fans. Valve hyped the new game mode up as nothing less than the biggest update since the Uber Update. Then it was finally released... and what the community got was a virtually-unplayable mess, with server shortages effectively locking players out for near hours at a time, and crippling framerate issues grinding the action to a literal halt when one finally does get to play. Valve started working on these issues shortly after the mode was released, but by then the damage was already done, with some fans so fed up that they stopped playing altogether.
I Knew It: Some people saved up a lot of duplicate weapons, in case the Polycount weapons had specific blueprints. They did.
Internet Backdraft: As Valve put it after announcing item crafting, "Say goodbye to those enjoyable evenings spent complaining on the forums about which item in your inventory was the most useless, spraying anti-Australian racist hate speech all over Robin Walker, his lovely wife, and his beautiful children."
Halloween 2013 event had two: one caused by the Magical Mercenary hat, which is a huge Shout-Out to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (a major point of contention) and the other caused by the description of the spellbook from the update page, quoted below, a Take That against fanfic writers (more specifically yaoi writers).
The update page: The scariest part about these books is that they AREN'T REAL BOOKS AT ALL! They're self-published! Feel the desperation dripping from their not professionally-edited pages! Written by sad, stay-at-home wizards with big dreams and rudimentary Photoshop skills, these poorly-assembled tomes contain magic spells of unspeakable lethality, nestled in between long passages of copyrighted characters having sex with each other! Awooooo!
Like You Would Really Do It: In Team Fortress Comics #3, Scout's death is implied three times, whether by a bear whacking a skull off him, his heart stopping, or Soldier seeing a ghost wearing Scout's costume. Naturally, he's fine each time.
Memetic Sex God: Again, everyone, sometimes in conjunction with being a Memetic Molester. Again, the big three are the Spy (ladykiller and mankiller), the Medic (dispenses healing... sexual healing), and the Sniper (his fans consider his voice to be pure sex).
"MORTIS LONGDISTAMAS!". Robotnik would be proud. Luckily, Valve caught on quick and fixed it, but for the first night of the update that's the only line he had for his fire spell, which he loves to use.
"CHING CHING CHING CHING CHING CHING CHING!" — an opponent repeatedly receiving mini-crits because you set them on fire or chopped them with a "bleeder" weapon after they were hit with Jarate. (Or "CHOOM CHOOM CHOOM" if you have that sound effect disabled but damage display on.)
An allied Soldier playing his bugle.
"I AM FULLY CHARGED!" — a Medic ready to unleash eight seconds worth of awesome (invulnerability, critical hits, max heal rate + no knockback) or anywhere between two to eight seconds worth of a specific type of damage reduction and healing.
The musical stinger you get for a domination or revenge against someone.
The cheer for getting a fully-charged Demoman kill with the Eyelander and Charge n' Targe.
A baseball hit with the Sandman. "KERRRR!"
"Hooray!" You've unlocked another achievement!
The Original's firing sound. Arguably the only reason to use the thing. Oh, the nostalgia...
Paranoia Fuel: Any time you round a corner, you could find yourself face to face with any one of the other classes (or a sentry) out to kill you. At least you can hear them... most of the time.
See that little red (or blue) dot darting all over the place? An enemy Sniper, camping who knows where, racking up headshots.
As an Engineer, you either start shooting at anyone who so much as glances at your buildings, or you end up with a sapper on your sentry and a knife in your back. It's not the Engie's only worry, though — another thing to worry about are Snipers, since you don't know where they're camping and you're especially vulnerable when carrying a building before deploying due to the agility drop.
Hearing the beep of a sentry, but unable to see where it is. Especially if you hear it in a building with several tight corners.
Spies can turn invisible and sneak up on you. Also, they are masters of disguises, and are especially scary if they're wielding the "Your Eternal Reward" knife. If a teammate announces over AllTalk or TeamTalk "spy is me" or something to that effect, you'd better pay attention to the name of the teammate making the announcement, and start shooting at that alleged "teammate" if he is nearby.
The July 10, 2013 patch buffed a bunch of weapons that were deemed underpowered, most notably the Quick-Fix. It was previously hated for its inability to overheal and having it's ubercharge rendered useless if the Medic has no companion to heal. After the patch, it can provide 50% of the overheal of the stock medigun, and its ubercharge now heals the Medic when he's alone. The weapon damn near instantly became loved after the patch.
The Medic was always considered the worst class to have in Mann Vs. Machine since they didn't contribute any damage to robots or Tanks and their ability to heal was a moot point thanks to Health on Kill upgrades combined with the fact that the players would camp the Engineer's Dispenser (which would also gimp their Ubercharge building rate). The Two Cities Update in November 2013 gave him the borderline Game Breaker Shield upgrade that could damage robots while protecting everyone, made it so he could revive fallen teammates on the spot to circumvent the respawn times, and made his upgrades cheaper. The Medic quickly replaced the Pyro as one of the "mandatory" classes for any respectable team in the mode after the update.
Ron the Death Eater: With characters like Medic. He's never seen cackling over working in a death camp, making anti-Semitic or racist remarks, or trying to murder his own team in canon. He's no worse than the Heavy or the Spy or the Scout — or really any of the other mercenaries — but that's how some fans depict him. At most, his experiments are dangerous and reckless, but clearly his teammates agree to them in the first place in place for amazing powers like the ÜberCharge. Also, the Soldier never calls the Medic a Nazi, not even in domination lines to the opposing Medic, yet some fanfics give the Soldier this characterization anyway. He's also never seen being homophobic, but that's the way some slash fics would have him.
Autobalance. Tales have been told of people switched to the losing side at the last second. They are never positive. It's even possible get autobalanced while capturing a point, carrying the intelligence, or just after destroying a major sentry nest, meaning all you did was help "the other team" win.
There's also the dueling mechanic and Map Stamps, to a lesser extent. Sure, getting free items for dueling against someone on the other team isn't such a bad thing in and of itself, and purchasing stamps to donate money to map makers is actually a good thing... were these things not shoved in front of everybody's faces on the loading screens. This means that, whether you like it or not, you're forced to read about which of your friends are the top duelists in the game, or which random player decided to blow a good $980 on Map Stamps just for the World Traveler's Hat effect. Thankfully, mods exist to remove these.
Dueling itself is also annoying. Even if you ignore the duel challenges from Munchkins (which can get annoying if they continue to spam you even after you decline the first one), the game feed still notifies everybody whenever someone scores a point in a duel. On top of this, players who are locked in a duel tend to ignore the map objectives and go straight for their opponent at first sight, which can literally cost you the round. This can be especially telling when you're just about to finish capturing the final point with 20 seconds left on the clock, and the Scout who's adding x2 to the capture rate suddenly runs away to shoot at the Sniper on the other end of the map, leaving you high and dry to deal with the swarm of enemies just arriving.
The "Instaspawn" and "Alltalk" server settings can be annoying to some people; neither has any place in a serious game (Instaspawn completely blows map balance to pieces, easily resulting in a perpetual stalemate, while Alltalk makes team communication fairly meaningless when the enemy can hear everything you say). While they're completely optional (and non-default) settings, it can often be rather difficult to find a populated (but not full) server which doesn'tuse them.
The Queue system in Mann Vs. Machine. Not everyone enjoys waiting up to 10 minutes just to enjoy a game. And even if you make it to the end of the queue, there's a 10% chance that you'll end up with a message saying that the server did not respond after 4 tries, or a 1% chance of getting booted off just a few seconds later with a message saying that the slot is reserved or your ping is too high. This is followed by re-entering the queue and waiting all over. If you're particularly unlucky, it can take several tries and a good chunk of the day. It's no wonder people are frustrated.
Or you can land on a completely unrelated Snakewater map. Which isn't even a Mann VS Machine map.
Purists are also irked that sometimes you end up on a server with several weird mods installed or tweaked gameplay as well.
And while we're at it, people are also frustrated that a single server will only allow 6 players into the game at any given time. This is because robot players occupy the server slots like humans do. More than 6 human players would mean less bots to fight.
On the other hand, some people tend to complain about servers that allow more than 6 people at once. Since all the Mann VS Machine missions were created with a 6-player team in mind, having more basically makes it easier, even if you completely ignore any strategy or tactics (you just overpower the robots). Same with servers that give bonus cash at the beginning.
Motd (message of the day) advertising will often force you to watch it for several seconds before allowing you to close it. While this is understandable (if annoying) when you first join a server, the biggest issue is that this can pop up even when you respawn. On a team with shorter respawn times, this often means the motd lasts longer than the respawn itself.
The Set Bonus mechanic is widely hated by some for several reasons:
One, in addition to the weapons, many of them required a hat in order to gain their effect, and hats are much harder (or more expensive) to find than weapons. It doesn't help that only two of them actually have a downside when the hats are equipped.
Two, since the set bonus can only work if all the items are equipped, this discouraged players from using any of them without the others, limiting player variety.
Three, because these weapons had to be balanced together as a set, this often meant one of them was overpowered or underpowered by itself.
Four, it was difficult to determine if someone was actually using the set bonus since not every item would be visible, e.g. players couldn't tell if the Scout had extra health or if the Sniper was immune to headshots.
This was such an issue that Valve decided to change it so the weapons themselves would have the bonus while the sets would provide a new bonus that didn't affect gameplay balance.
Some servers have a mod that punishes spawn-campers: if you kill too many people in spawn, it automatically kills you. It's understandable, but on maps where the enemy spawn is exposed (like Badwater Basin or Dustbowl stage 1), it is far too easy to shoot into the spawn and get yourself killed. Sometimes, however, the mod will kill you anyway, even if you didn't get a kill and only inflicted damage on people in spawn. Infuratingly, this means you can't kill Snipers that like to hang out in the spawn of Badwater Basin without being punished, while they are free to attack.
Scrappy Weapon: The Phlogistinator, more so than any weapon in the entire game. The basic jist of the weapon is that after the player does enough fire damage, they can receive guaranteed critical hits for 10 seconds in exchange for losing the airblast function of the flamethrowers. Experienced players hate it for simply driving home all of Pyro's problems as a class (W+M1, jumping between overpowered and useless too often) without the depth of airblasting. New players hate it because it's a difficult weapon to deal with at such a skill level. Average players mostly think it just can't do as much as the other flamethrowers. Even people who like it treat it like it's just a dumb toy to play around with. The reasons vary, but everybody agrees that it is a very unbalanced weapon. That said, using it in Mann Vs. Machine is considered completely acceptable, because the high consistent damage is invaluable against the hordes of bots and, more importantly, the tanks.
Sequel Displacement: Obviously, when there's a "2" in the title, almost everybody knows that there was a "1", but you'd be hard pressed to find a TF2 fan who's played Team Fortress Classic, or even knows what it looks or plays like.
Ship Mates: Fans who ship Spy/Sniper or Soldier/Engineer throw some Heavy/Medic in there as well. Of course, everyone tends to throw some Heavy/Medic in there. The most popular ship, Heavy/Medic, may be Jossed since a Demoman domination response mentions the Medic has a wife... but that's not stopping Valve itself, and artist Makani, from teasing it mercilessly. Much has been made of the epic bromance between Soldier and Demoman, and a deeply disturbing ship-tease may be being hinted at with Engie and Pyro. It's become metatextual with the "Something Special For Someone Special", a high priced wedding ring set that a player can gift to a loved one.
"Possessing no paper in this godforsaken land, I have penned this on my own skin, which has sloughed off in quantity since contracting impetigo."
The Heavy's surgery, which takes up most of "Meet the Medic". It's in a cartoony style, so it's not that bad, but it's still fairly gross.
What's one of the two ways you can craft Mad Milk? Using reclaimed metal and Jarate.
Mad Milk's description, by the way, is "non-milk substance". In beta, it was called Mann Milk...
Speaking of the Milk and Jarate, Strange versions of these can get hilarious at certain milestones. "Gore-Splattered" Jarate and "Wicked Nasty" Mad Milk generate some...interesting imagery.
Stop Helping Me!: When you're a Medic, it's a bad idea to heal friendly Spies. You'll blow his cover like that.
It's not unheard of for unskilled Spies to keep dying to a Übersaw-wielding Medic. Congratulations, you're giving the enemy team free Übercharges...
Tear Jerker: Just seeing how disheartened Saxton Hale was in "Ring of Fired" to lose his company. He wanted to lose it kicking and screaming, trying to fight the robots on his way out. And he doesn't get that. He just has to leave.
Sniper getting shot in "Blood in the Water". And not long after the passing of his adoptive parents, and finding out his blood parents don't really care about him.
That One Boss: Hoo boy, Merasmus. He has an absolute ton of health and resists minigun and flamethrowers. He has a highly damaging, if not One-Hit Kill melee attack. He spams bombs everywhere. He launches those who are close to him in the air and ignites them. He teleports. A lot. And when you get his health down to half, he disappears and props are spawned all over the map. You have to find the proper one and destroy it for him to reappear, and if luck's not on your side, he will do it again right when you've almost killed him. And to make all this worse, you've got a mere 90 seconds to do him in. This makes it just about impossible to kill him without a coordinated effort from both teams- and even that may not work.
Also in Mann vs. Machine is the first Giant Heal-on-kill Heavy fought on Empire Escalation. It boasts 70000 health that can be swiftly recovered via simply killing a player or two, undoing an entire team's hard work, has the firepower to do so easily, and has every single benefit that the Mecha Engine bosses had without their restriction of reloading.
For some, The Nostalgia Level 2Fort, nicknamed "Turtlefort" for its easily defended choke points and Sniper nests. It is also the most played Capture the Flag map by a very large margin.
Turbine is often prone to stalemates, especially if Engineers set up sentries in the center room between both bases.
Junction is disliked for its ultra-cramped environment.
Hydro was all but abandoned from server rotations within a few months of release; considering the game only shipped with six maps, ignoring one of them shows just how widespread the negative reaction was. Sad, since the developers enjoyed dreaming up its partial-map-reuse mechanic.
Some waves or even missions in Mann Vs. Machine tend to give people a hard time, causing some to even Rage Quit. Standout examples include:
Mannslaughter, Wave 3. It has 12 Super Scouts right at the start of the wave, meaning an impregnable defense is absolutely necessary, and two Tanks show up right after you take care of 6 of them. Even after that, you still have 4 giant Heavies flanked by about 4 Uber Medics each and an infinite amount of Scouts to deal with, meaning that one guy almost always has to stay behind to keep the bomb safe. Plus, a good Demoman or Spy is completely required if a team wants to kill the Medics on the Heavies. And to top it all off, money is scarce near the end of the wave, meaning a team that wasted it's money on Buybacks or Canteens will be underprepared for the next 2 rounds. Considered the worst part is how time consuming the whole thing is, meaning that a team that took 10 minutes to get through the wave, only to lose beacause of an unattended Scout bot, is highly, highly infuriating.
Wave 666: a ridiculously long Mann Vs. Machine map, with only one wave, 900+ zombies, and 9 tanks. The "666" is quite justified, because this level is Hell. Even worse, there's no reward for beating it.
Broken Parts is a massive jump in difficulty compared to the other missions introduced in the Mecha Update. There are crit boosted robots on just about every single round, some of which pack damage bonuses to negate the crit resistance that players pretty much need to buy, along with a titanic supply of giant robots and tanks. It's also notable for it's second-to-last wave, which cranks all the previous aspects Up to Eleven, and has been compared to the aforementioned Wave 666 in terms of difficulty. This wouldn't be so bad if it were among missions with similar difficulty, yet it's considered an advanced mission rather than an expert.
Wave 2 of Day of Wreckening. Good news is only one robot needs to die. Bad news is, that robot is a tank with about 20000 HP, along with an infinite supply of Heavyweight Champs. It's extremely difficult to produce enough damage to destroy the tank yet keep the robots under control. Worse yet, this is an intermediate mission, which is basically the easiest difficulty that one can acquire items for.
Let's just say the community can get fired up at the drop of a hat. note After so many updates that provide the community with more hats or new weapons, much of the community erupts in anger whenever another item update comes about; it's to the point where many have begun to switch to a completely vanilla server to get away from it all. The "Hatless Update", an update with no new hats or weapons at all and simply fixes balance issues and other small gameplay bits was met with much warmth.
Pyro's voice lines from the Scream Fortress 2013 update sound very different from its original voice lines, being higher pitched and much less muffled, which of course produced outcry from Pyro players. Fortunately, there's a mod available that alters the new voice clips to sound more like Pyro's other lines. Valve themselves later altered its Scream Fortress lines during the Bread Update.
Ugly Cute: The bread monsters. Their comically large fangs and the fact that they're made of bread makes them seem less dangerous than they actually are. The Gloves of Running Urgently reskin for the Heavy even makes him wear them as gloves!
Uncanny Valley: (Not officially in the game but can be achieved with mods.) The Engineer without his goggles on. AKA the Staregineer.
Hard to notice in normal gameplay, but on default settings, take a close look at mercs talking, and you'll notice they have no tongues.
The Woobie: A lot of people see Pyro as this, whether it's him being the loner on the team to being treated like a freak to his Butt Monkey status and what have you.
The Sniper as of the "Blood in the Water" comic.
Woolseyism: Quite apparent in the Swedish translation of the game. While most is translated straight, where a pun would be Lost in Translation it is instead replaced with fitting Swedish pun and so on. This is most noticeable in the achievements and the weapon names.
The French dub of Meet the Soldier translated the line "Unless it's a farm!" as "Farms don't count!"
In the Spanish translation of the game, Jarate is called "Fraskungfu" (frasco being Spanish for "jar") and the Soda Popper is called the Refrescopeta (from refresco "soda pop" and escopeta "shotgun").
Happens in the Polish translation as well. One of the best examples: translating "Loose Cannon" to "Działo Nawalone". Literally, it means "drunk cannon" (referring to Demo's alcoholism), but it's also an allusion to the Polish title of The Guns of Navarone.