* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Plenty of them among the Lore Fans.
* BestLevelEver: ''Twilight of the Gods'', the last level in ''Warcraft III'' is an absolutely massive forty-five minute HoldTheLine mission where after eight years the Alliance and Horde finally work together to stop Archimonde as he [[TheJuggernaut juggernauts]] his way through everyone's bases with almost no effort. His forces are unlimited and it is very difficult just holding them off long enough, but it is extremely satisfying to win.
* BreatherLevel: If you feel particularly ''terrible'' for killing and slaughtering the (mostly good and heroic) Humans of Lordaeron and High Elves of Quel'Thalas (as you control Arthas as the VillainProtagonist at this point) in the first five stages of the Undead Campaign in ''Reign of Chaos'', then you might feel better in the sixth stage, "Blackrock and Roll, too!", since it is an EvilVersusEvil stage where your enemy is the Blackrock Clan, a villainous faction of the Orcs who continue to worship demons and don't join Thrall's Horde. The next two stages after this have you fight against heroic Humans again, however.
* ClicheStorm: Every line that doesn't contain a proper noun, you've heard in some other fantasy work. This is particularly noticeable in ''Reign of Chaos''.
* CompleteMonster: See [[Monster/WarCraft here]].
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXajx7l4VxE The]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxMLxJl9UWg four]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SWGRsZai28 factions']] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6_d1fhEXTY themes]].
** And speaking of the third game again, the sung part at the end of ''The Frozen Throne'' ending cinematic. No wonder it was reused (with a different voice and lyrics) in [=WoW=]'': Wrath of the Lich King''.
** ''Warcraft III'' (and subsequently ''World of Warcraft'') has so overshadowed the original 2 games that it's easy to overlook the fact that ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6Za0rZs0Qk&list=PL6DE187CED235E844&index=1 Warcraft II]]'' had one of the finest and most memorable soundtracks in RTS history. It's still used to this day in ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' (during the matchmaker spinner) and, in awesomely remixed form, in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm.''
* DesignatedVillain / InformedWrongness: While Illidan ''did'' do a lot of amoral things, it's still hard to understand why exactly Malfurion decided he had to be banished for turning himself into a demon, even though all he did after becoming one was, you know, ''saving the whole Forest''. The most probable reason is that Malfurion (and the Night Elf society) possibly held the firm belief about never [[HeWhoFightsMonsters using evil as a weapon as a law,]] [[StupidGood even if it's decreasing the chance to reach the goal,]] and Illidan broke it.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Several from the franchise. Some examples that appear in ''World of Warcraft'' include;
** Tichondrius from ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII''. Well, he was quite charismatic.
** Thrall was considered one in ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', and the early years of ''World of Warcraft'' for his success to turn the Horde into what it is today...before the [[CreatorsPet overuse]] of the character turned him into a BaseBreaker starting from Cataclysm.
** Illidan Stormrage as well. Many felt that he got the worst treatment in World of Warcraft by [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter being stuck in the Black Temple of Outland]].
** Prince Kael'thas due to his [[TheWoobie woobie]] status in ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII''. He becomes more of a BaseBreaker when people realized that ''World of Warcraft'' turned his character into Arthas 2.0.
* FoeYay: Between her lamentations about how she [[AccidentalInnuendo feels hollow inside]] and swearing that Illidan will be hers, Maiev Shadowsong, Illidan's former personal jailor, seriously comes off a ''lot'' like a spurned {{Yandere}} during her pursuit of him in the events of ''The Frozen Throne''.
* GameBreaker:
** In ''VideoGame/WarcraftII'':
*** An Ogre-Mage's Bloodlust is an absolute nightmare to go up against; tripling the damage of any unit that is given the buff. While orc vs orc matches pits the GameBreaker against each other, the Paladin equivalent for humans only receive an inefficient healing spell, and an exorcism spell that only affects Death Knights and its Skeleton minions...which are two, rarely used, undead units for the orc side (this spell isn't even usable in human vs human match-ups!). Needless to say, orcs are considered to have a huge advantage in land battles, and that doesn't even include the fact that the Ogre-Mage has a deadly landmine spell to coincide with Bloodlust.
*** A group of human Mages are considered broken in the hands of a skilled player for one, simple, reason; the ability to Polymorph an army. And this isn't like the Polymorth we know today which usually turns people into sheep for 30 seconds before changing back...no...these people are gone for good.
** In ''III'':
*** High-level heros can often handle maps by himself, especially if you've been giving all the stat upgrades to one guy. The Undead campaign in ''Frozen Throne'' gives a game breaking duet in Arthas and Anub'arak, provided you give Arthas intelligence and mana regeneration items and you give Anub'arak strength and armor boosting items. Combined with the Crypt Lord's ultimate spell, this makes the final mission, otherwise ThatOneLevel, surprisingly easy, as Anub'arak alone can tank Illidan's attacks, with Arthas healing or damaging Illidan with Death Coil (The rest of your army can assault Kael and Vashj's bases). This was even more significant in early versions of Frozen Throne, due to a [[GoodBadBugs Good Bad Bug]] mentioned below.
*** Frozen Throne's Orc campaign gives you a new GameBreaker every time you kill a new monster. Here, have a shield that boosts stats while setting enemies on fire, or a hat that shoots lightning, or a stick that summons reinforcements while making your allies go faster, or a free ChainLightning spell, or a healing item that amounts to a fountain of health following you around...
* GameplayDerailment: It's very easy to abuse the AI of enemy peasants/peons throughout ''Warcraft II''. The reason being that if you damage a structure, but leave it burning in the red, it will cause the AI to immediately send their workers to try to fix the structure. Then, if you constantly kill the workers that the AI attempts to send, it will cause them to keep sending their remaining workers, as well as the newly created ones, directly to the structure that is in the red for needed repair. Eventually, the enemy faction will use up all their gold on making workers, and leaves the AI as sitting ducks to get steamrolled with no means of being able to reinforce themselves.
* GoodBadBugs:
** For the seventh mission of the Orc campaign, "The Oracle," Thrall comes across a trap set by Jaina's sorceresses where a group of sheep suddenly become footmen, and attack Thrall's group. However, due to a few broken triggers, some of the sheep will spawn as Neutral footmen that will just stand there, and not do anything; making an already easy trap to defeat an absolute joke.
** The second mission of the Blood Elf campaign, "A Dark Covenant," has a broken script regarding three Doom Guards that are supposed to destroy the left most Observatory on the map so that the player could no longer have vision of the undead bases. Instead, the Doom Guards walk up to it, but then immediately walk back to the undead base without destroying it; allowing for the player to continue having vision of almost the entire map.
** The final Frozen Throne mission for the Scourge campaign, "A Symphony of Frost and Flame," has a bug where it is possible to break the AI for Illidan's faction to the point of only continuously sending the Illidan hero unit out to try to capture the Obelisks he doesn't control. Not an entire Naga army with Illidan mixed in; JUST Illidan.
** During "Old Hatreds" for the Frozen Throne bonus campaign, your hero group can enter a BonusDungeon, the Magistrates Temple, in search for extra loot. Some of the enemies you fight here are powerful Infernals. However, if you leave the Temple, then come back in, the Infernals will, for some reason, all be gone from the level; making for an almost empty path to reach the FinalBoss of the dungeon.
** Early versions of Frozen Throne had a bug in the Undead campaign in which, whenever Anub'arak leveled up, his base armor would be increased by the bonus armor he had. Coupled with Spiked Carapace and the huge amount of good armor and strength items that can be found in the campaign, this makes Anub'arak [[NighInvulnerability ungodly tough]] by the final mission, with an armor stat of '''47''' if done right. At that point, the only thing that does anything resembling noticeable damage is Illidan's ManaBurn.
* HilariousInHindsight: Remember when Arthas said "What trickery is this!? Mal'Ganis! I don't know how you survived..." and later, after encountering Muradin's dwarves, "Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?" It's funnier to think about it after some characters are BackFromTheDead in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' :[[spoiler:Muradin and Mal'Ganis themselves, Kael'Thas...]]
** The LeeroyJenkins meme that was born in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' makes the third Orc mission even funnier. Grom Hellscream was Leeroying it out for years before Leeroy Jenkins.
** The closing line of the original game's intro, "Welcome to the World of Warcraft", was nothing short of prophetic. [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Fast forward to November 2004...]]
** In Night Elf campaign in ''The Frozen Throne'', Maiev described Scourge-conquered Lordaeron as "the forsaken place". Later in Undead campaign, Sylvanas took over Lordaeron from the Scourge and christened herself and her people "The Forsaken".
* ItWasHisSled: The RTS games in the franchise are considered to be quite old nowadays, so some of what may have been interesting plot developments back in the day have become well-known within, and outside, the Warcraft fanbase. Especially since many of these story moments were used as the foundation to set up ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', and its later expansions.
** For ''Warcraft II''
*** Gul'dan betrays the Horde.
*** Alterac betrays the Alliance.
*** Lothar dies.
** For ''Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos''
*** Arthas turns evil, and kills his father, King Terenas.
*** Uther dies.
*** Lordaeron and Quel'thalas get destroyed.
*** Thrall moves the orcs to Kalimdor, and establishes the current day Horde alongside the Darkspear Trolls and Mulgore Tauren.
*** Grom dies.
*** Illidan is released from prison, and becomes a demon after claiming the Skull of Gul'dan.
*** Archimonde dies after failing to consume the World Tree.
** For ''Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne''
*** Prince Kael moves his Blood Elf faction to Outland.
*** Sylvanas and Varimathras take control of Lordaeron to establish their undead Forsaken faction.
*** Arthas becomes the Lich King.
* MagnificentBastard: Ner'zhul - just ask Archimonde and Tichondrius.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Arthas massacring Stratholme so the city does not fall to the Undead is one InUniverse, but highly contentious amongst the players, with lots of arguments resulting over the finer details (the fact that the Plague can '''not''' be cured vs. the morality of the MercyKill, how quickly he leaps to this idea, etc).
*** Hiring mercenaries to help him burn the ships so his rebellious soldiers cannot flee Northrend and escape his obsessive quest to find and destroy the source of the undead, then telling the men that the "foul beasts" had done it all, is a lot less contentious of one.
*** Wandering off into the wilderness after claiming Frostmourne and leaving his former soldiers to die would probably be one if he wasn't already having his mind stolen by Ner'Zhul.
** Ner'Zhul himself crossed it after ''Warcraft 2'', when he abandons the Horde for himself, opening countless portals across Draenor in an attempt to escape to new worlds, which ends up tearing the orc homeworld apart (and unintentionally sending him straight into Kil'Jaeden and a FateWorseThanDeath).
* MorePopularSpinoff: ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
** To the point where Blizzard once released "''WOW: Heroes of Azeroth''" as a prequel to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', on April Fool's Day. The game in question was better known as ''Warcraft III''.
** A lesser example, [[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients Defense of the Ancients]], a mod for ''Warcraft III'', was so popular it spawned a [[MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena new genre]] popular enough that [[VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm Blizzard went on to make one themselves]].
** They also changed the novels accordingly by giving them the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' icon even if the stories take place during the RTS games.
* NarmCharm: The writing in ''Warcraft'' games and books comes across to many fans as cheesy, but many of them enjoy the series specifically because of that.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** No matter what Thrall does from here on out, a vast majority of people won't forgive him for [[SpotlightStealingSquad being shoehorned everywhere]] throughout ''Cataclysm''.
* SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer: In the Warcraft 3 campaign, going off the main path to complete the SideQuest, or buffing up your heroes by finding items and stat-tomes can be describes as this for players.
* SturgeonsLaw: The enclosed "World Editor" allows a creative player to create their own scenarios and maps for the game with a ''great'' deal of customization options. Unfortunately, many of them suck or are knockoffs or endless rehashings of the same type of map. Or all three. However, some of them are very well done. See: ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'', ''The Chosen Ones'', and ''VideoGame/ToTheBitterEnd''.
** There are also Custom Campaigns whose stories based on ''World of Warcraft'' (with few non-canon elements such as CanonForeigner characters). They are ''[[http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/maps-564/rise-blood-elves-v2-2-a-245153/ Rise of the Blood Elves]]'' (based on Blood Elf story since Illidan's defeat at the end of ''The Frozen Throne'') ''[[http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/maps-564/curse-forsaken-v2-1-a-228049/ Curse of the Forsaken]]'' (based on Forsaken story since they take over Lordaeron in ''The Frozen Throne''), and ''[[http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/map-development-202/tides-war-228623/ Tides of War]]'' (based on [[Literature/TidesOfWar the novel of the same name]]).
* ThatOneLevel:
** ''Tides of Darkness''
*** The final human mission "The Dark Portal" suffers from a nasty DifficultySpike that puts the mission in a league of its own compared to the rest of the ''Warcraft II'' levels. The toughest part of the mission is actually the initial set-up of the level where you must gather up your starting army to make landfall on an Ogre-Mage village, and build up your base from there. In addition, you're constantly attacked by dragons from another orc faction[[note]]''including'' a nasty trap where 3 Dragons come at your base if you destroy too many structures of the Ogre Village[[/note]]. The kicker that makes this even more of a pain is that because you have a large army, and no initial food reserves, you spend the first 20 or so minutes building up farms with ''just'' the six workers you're given as you're unable to build any more peasants to speed up your economy gain...unless you start axing off units from your army, such as the footmen and knights, that you deem useless.
** ''Beyond the Dark Portal'' in general might as well be known as [[ThatOneLevel That One Game]]. Compared to original Warcraft II, the expansion ups the AI difficulty greatly to the point that the enemy factions will become highly aggressive as the campaign levels go on. For added difficulty, some of these levels have the player fighting as many as 3 to 4 factions at once that if you don't manage to take out one or two factions early, it will be extremely painful later on.
** ''Reign of Chaos'': The game is not too frustrating on Normal difficulty, but Hard mode makes many of the levels harder than most Blizzard fans may be used to. A full-clear on Hard Mode unlocks a special ending after the Night Elf campaign.
*** It is possible, throughout the game, to play most levels by simply sitting in your base (turtling) until you have gained all tech levels and upgrades, and then go around to most other bases and either wipe them out, or beat them down building by building. The very last level, however, totally invalidates this approach, forcing players who have been playing the entire game by turtling to learn a whole new way of playing on one of the toughest levels in the game. This also applies to the multiplayer AI, who will CurbStomp you with their high-level heroes before you can blink if you try the single-player turtling approach.
*** ''March of The Scourge'' ''(Hard)'': The enemy applies considerable pressure, attacking with a much stronger army and siege weapons to makes your towers unable to HoldTheLine on their own, and they send a lich hero to "death and decay" your towers and [[KillItWithIce nuke your army]] for good measure. Base expansion and multi-tasking skills are [[DifficultySpike suddenly required]] in a campaign that has not been too difficult up until this point. There's also an optional SideQuest that is almost impossible to complete as you would need to take a small army out with your Paladin hero to take out a Meat Wagon escort, but in the meantime, those units you sent out would be extremely helpful if they had just stayed at the base for the primary HoldTheLine mission.
*** ''Into The Realm Eternal'' ''(Hard)'' An early Undead mission, the prime reason for it's frustration is that you have ''three'' units available to you. Ghouls, necromancers, and the meat wagon siege weapon. The limited troop types means that a balanced force is impossible, and there is only on strategy available to you; the ZergRush. And even by ZergRush standards your troops ''suck''. Ghouls are fragile and don't deal all that much damage, meat wagons are slow and fragile, and so are necromancers. Their ability to AnimateDead is vital early on, but the computer ''knows'' that the troops they summon will fall apart after a while, and doesn't bother to attack them until all the things that matter are dead. And when the priests start to show up in large numbers their dispel magic spell can wipe out swathes of animated skeletons in seconds, as well as buffing their troops and healing them through ghouls' attacks. Unlike the other examples in here, it's not a difficult mission, but you '''will''' hate it, possibly more than the other mentioned missions.
*** The Last Undead mission, Under the burning Sky on Hard: It is considered by some to be the hardest in the game. It is a HoldTheLine mission where you have to defend squishy wizard, Kel' Thuzad for 30 minutes until he summons the local Archdemon. There are three ways to get to them, one of which is defended by your base and the other two, which hold a spirit tower each. Your opponents? 3 human bases with their full arsenal. The last few minutes are particularly terrifying as your opponents proceed to dump their full arsenal into you.
*** The "Spirits of Ashenvale" mission of the first orc campaign where you have limited resources and are tasked with harvesting huge amounts of lumber with the worst lumber gatherer in the game. The only gold available for mining is far away from your main base, so you need to raid enemy bases (and the units that are good against buildings are bad against units). Your unit options are limited to some melee units with an inefficient anti-air attack, the worst ranged unit in the game, and the enemy just loves attacking your harvesters with air units, and most damning of all, no way of healing your units. There ''is'' a way to get lumber faster, but it involves a ridiculously difficult battle against tough enemies, during which you will take heavy losses, which must be replaced at great cost. And adding insult to injury, the hero you start with is TheBerserker, and this entire mission (defending against impregnable bases) goes against everything he stands for. '''On Hard, the attacks are even more ruthless.'''
*** The chapter right after that, "Hunter of Shadows," isn't anything too difficult per-say, but its well known to be problematic just to get passed the opening battle where you must survive Cenarius' all-out assault with nothing but your berserker hero, and a few other units that are likely to die off fairly quickly. Its more of a race to get a decently sized force, then to actually win against the assault with the small force you have currently. Once you get past this, the mission does get significantly easier, compensating that EarlyGameHell.
** ''Frozen Throne''
*** "A Dark Covenant", the second Human (Blood Elf) mission, is Frozen Throne's equivalent to Reign of Chaos's "Into the Realm Eternal". You have to destroy a big green Undead base. You start in a fairly healthy position (As well as an unusual fully upgraded tech tree), with your main base in your island and four expansions in the other part of the lake (Close to the Undead base you have to destroy), but they are quickly taken over by orange Undead forces, and since your main base lacks a gold mine, you need to retake an expansion. This part is not difficult, due to the new units you get - the problem is how you have to attack the other bases. From this point onwards, you cannot build human, dwarven or gnomish units, all of which are replaced with elven equivalents... with the exception the Workshop, which cannot be built. This means ''you cannot build ANY kind of siege unit'' in this mission (Not even Ballistas, something the High Elves used in ''Reign of Chaos''). You do get a Naga Royal Guard, which while more powerful than your heroes at the time, has Chaos-type damage and has no damage reduction against buildings, as well as Kael's Flame Strike spell to damage buildings, but that's all you have. Oh, and to make you feel angrier at Blizzard... in the Undead campaign, the Blood Elves build Glaive Throwers.
*** The expansion gives us the first undead mission "King Arthas"; ''especially'' on Hard mode. Despite having practically unlimited resources[[note]]120,000 gold and lumber split evenly amongst you and your two allies[[/note]], and three factions to control, the game-play to complete the mission is an ''absolute freaking nightmare''! You have to block off three map exits with each of your three factions in order to not allow a certain number of humans to get by and escape Arthas' slaughter. And while you do that, you gotta destroy 9 outlying villages[[note]]3 for each of your factions[[/note]] that will stop these humans from spawning. To make matters worse, there's a Paladin encampment in the center that not only protects these villages if they are attacked, but acts as a barrier to keep each of your three factions separated[[note]]Sylvannas can handle the Paladin on her side just fine thanks to her Silence spell, but Arthas and Kel'thuzard's sides have no real way to counter them[[/note]]. To top it off, your forces are vastly limited to 40 between each of your three factions for a total of 40/40/40, and aside from Ghouls, you're restricted to Abominations from Arthas' faction, Necromancers from Kel'thuzard's faction, and Banshees from Sylvannas' faction. Don't be surprised if you find yourself having to resort to cheesing the village structures with Arthas' Animate Dead and Kel'thuzad's Death and Decay.
*** "Dreadlord's Fall" can be somewhat problematic if the player isn't quick enough to take advantage of the sneak attack to deal plenty of damage to Garithos' and Detheroc's bases.[[note]]Or even possibly taking one of the enemy factions out of the game completely with enough micromanagement.[[/note]] Leaving too much alive will cause the enemy's starting counterattack once the timer runs out to send everything at the player; which can make for a '''very''' difficult 2 on 1 fight. On Hard mode, going on the offensive against two powerful foes becomes even more problematic, because you need practically your entire army to push against one of the enemy factions, but the second enemy faction will then send their attack at your base which is almost impossible to defend against since you'll hardly have anything to defend with other than static defense. It almost makes you want to just let your original base die, and just start over on the ashes of the enemy base that your primary force is attacking.
*** The last mission in the "Sylvanas Windrunner" story arc ''"A New Power In Lordaeron"'' can hurt your brain on Hard. What makes it painful is the Undead in the main city at the center is protected by Burning Legion demons as well as Balnazzar himself (A Dreadlord hero on crack). The main army will repeatedly send powerful summons to Garithos's Alliance army to distract you from planning your attack. After demolishing the support camps on the edge of the map, you'll likely attempt to assault the capital with both of your armies, only to see that the Undead army and the Burning Legion support can easily turn your troops to bloody goop. After a few hours of failing, you may then realize that it is [[GuideDangIt best to teleport your Alliance army over to your own Undead one]] (or vice versa, but don't forget to recruit the dwarves before this) for a steamroller attack, but even this does not make the assault easy.