Follow TV Tropes


Borderlands 2 / Tropes A to C

Go To

Tropes A to C | Tropes D to N | Tropes O to Z

Back to the main page.

    open/close all folders 

  • 8.8: In-universe example. In the Campaign of Carnage DLC, a game critic gives one of Mister Torgue's favorite games a 6 out of 10. So Mister Torgue has the Vault Hunters kill the reviewer and his entire team. Their unsurprised reactions and preparedness when they see the Vault Hunters suggest this is pretty typical on Pandora.
  • 20% More Awesome:
    • According to the trailer, the game is "1000 Degrees Hotter" and contains "96.5% more WUB WUB". The more Wub Wub is explained in one interview with Randy Pitchford; who pointed out there wasn't any wub wub in the first game, so any amount of it would meet that quota.
    • The trailer also states that the "87 Bazillion Guns" in the original are now "Bazillioner."
    • The guy selling Hyperion propaganda in Sanctuary claims that the "This Just In" ECHO-cast now has 200% more libel!note 
    • Amazingly averted with one of Gaige's skills, "20% Cooler", which actually does reduce Cooldown rate. But not by 20%. (it lowers it by 30% at 5 skill points.)
    • Quite a few skills have an arbitrary "+%" stat in their descriptions, like "Turret Shield +1" or "+100% Multi-Kill"
  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • The whole point of E-Tech is to make guns that shoot something that ain't bullets, using bullets. Sometimes it's just rockets, or grenades. But other guns have delayed-explosion elemental shards (pistols), or Slow Lasers (assault rifles), or elemental globs that explode like grenades (shotguns).
      Dr. Zed: After watching you waste those bandits with that E-Tech weapon, I have come to a medically sound conclusion: E-Tech is friggin' dope!
    • In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep, there is the "SWORDSPLOSION!!!" shotgun that fires exploding swords that happen to split into three other exploding swords each.
    • The ammunition for elemental weaponry counts as well, especially for corrosive and slag weapons. If you look closely at the ammunition (most obvious on Bandit machineguns) you appear to be firing bullets actually loaded with corrosive chemicals or slag.
    • Maliwan guns don't actually use ammo. Instead, they spend energy batteries and generate projectiles of pure fire, lightning or acid.
    • The Longbow sniper rifle fires slow-moving low-res arrows that sets enemies on fire, and the Blockhead shotgun fires a 3x3 wall of fire textures that also sets enemies on fire.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion with the Unicornsplosion, an Effervescent Shotgun featured in Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary that is vomited out by Butt Stallion if you feed her Eridium while wearing the Mysterious Amulet from the Dragon Keep DLC. It's essentially a reskin of the previously-mentioned SWORDSPLOSION!!!, except it shoots miniature exploding Butt Stallions that fragment into more miniature exploding Butt Stallions on impact.
  • Accent Relapse: In Moxxi's bar, if you tip her, she will occasionally relate a story of how she used to be part of the Hodunk clan and why she left it. She then starts to slip into a more redneck-like accent similar to the other Hodunks in the game, then quickly corrects herself, and asks you not to tell anyone about it.
  • Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: The Hyperion AI that contacts you for missions pronounces words with odd emphasis and pauses.
    ...A fine HYPerion armament...for example...
  • Acceptable Targets: An in-universe example happens with Bandits. No matter how huge, crazy and cruel is a torture and how much the torturer gloats in making their victim suffer, directing it against a Bandit changes the game completely.
  • Action Bomb: Suicide Psychos, and the cleverly-named EXP Loaders.
  • Action Girl: Gaige and Maya. Lilith still is too.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • You can generally only sell back items for about 10% of what you'd have to pay from the vendors. So that gun that you spent $50,000 on will only be worth $5,000 when you sell it. Which is made more painful if the next vending machine has an even better upgrade, or you find one from an enemy or chest shortly afterwards.
    • Justified in that Marcus is doing the buying and selling and he lacks competition. He's "made sure of that". At least one mission in the original Borderlands was Marcus hiring you to kill a potential competitor. Someone made a funny (and painfully accurate) picture about this.
    • This trope only applies to store-bought weapons. If you found the exact same weapon in a chest or as an enemy drop, the resale price would actually be much higher.
    • This trope also applies to ammo, which increases exponentially in price after you get past level 15. At first, each magazine of ammo bought costs little more than your current level. But by level 20, pistol ammo costs 63 dollars per magazine. Eventually, a purchased magazine of 8 rockets can cost tens of thousands of dollars. By level 61 they cost over $100,000!
    • Averted if you are playing in normal mode, where with the exception of Sanctuary's vending machines, all machines are locked at the level they appeared in the story. This means that you can travel to the starting area to buy ammo for your end-game gun for dirt cheap. However, since the machines are designed around what weapons they expected you to use during the storyline, rocket launcher ammo doesn't become available until around Bloodshot Stronghold or so because that's the first time you start seeing them in the game. Or in case of any non-rocket launcher ammo, just group up with a Gunzerker using the Hoarder mods and watch it go up.
    • Averted if you are using a Vladof absorb shield, a shield that has a chance to not take damage and absorb the ammunition being fired at you (The absorbed ammunition is added to your backpack). Also averted if that shield is "The Sham", which can have the highest absorb chance in the game (between 76 and 94 percent chance that ammo will be absorbed into your backpack rather than damage the shield).
    • Combined with the fact that it is rare to find Blue rarity guns at vendors, much less Purples and Legendaries, and vendors are kind of worthless in Borderlands 2. For perspective, in the first game, Orange and Purple weapons were found in vendors commonly enough that you would travel to the different areas just to see if new stock was in. Not so in this sequel.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: A mild example but if you tip Moxxi enough she will give you the gun "Good Touch", which she says at one point is her favorite gun because she can use it's secondary function (vibrating) for her "alone time". If you're playing on a console and have a rumble pack, the controller will vibrate as long as you have the gun equipped, something which obviously can't happen with a keyboard and mouse. It's still funny (in part due to the absurdity of having that as the secondary function for what's basically a flamethrower), but some of the joke is lost if you're playing on a PC.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Maliwan rocket launchers all have names and prefixes that start with P. Krieg can also lapse into this occasionally, again with words that start with P.
    • Murderlin the Wizard uses this when you start round 4 of the magic Circle of Slaughter.
      Murderlin: Be fearful, friend — the fourth fight is the most FIENDISH fandango, thus far!
  • Admiring the Abomination: Played with quite a bit in the game-
    • Sir Hammerlock zigzags the trope, blending a naturalist's admiration and respect for Pandora's unique wildlife with a collective Animal Nemesis relationship with the entire ecosystem of the Death World that has taken multiple limbs from him. And then taken multiple prostheses afterward.
    • Tannis has a similar simultaneously fascinated and horrified relationship with the people of Pandora, and possibly humanity in general.
    • Mr. Torgue, meanwhile, fully embraces the trope. Pandora appears to essentially be his idea of paradise. Borders on In Love with Your Carnage for Badassasaurus.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Applies to guns in spades, along with different naming conventions and Competitive Balance.
    • Hyperion has aerodynamic, space age designs with fins and wings to reflect that their weapons are supposedly the most technologically advanced. They are named after scientific or financial buzzwords. Hyperion weapons have internal stabilizers and gain more accuracy the longer that they're fired. The downside is they're woefully inaccurate if they haven't been fired recently (though sniper rifles get more accuracy from simply being scoped), so their rapid-fire weapons and large magazine weapons are often their best ones. Hyperion weapons have noticeably superior stats to most other weapons of comparable level, but the counterintuitive nature of their weaponry takes getting used to.
    • Dahl uses well-rounded weapons, such as assault rifles based on the M16 platform, with only slightly exaggerated but otherwise realistic designs in drab camouflage colors. Their names are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Dahl weapons have low recoil and selective fire mode (they fire bursts when using the iron sights or scope).
    • Maliwan makes hip, trendy weapons in bold colors with highlights and other fashionable accessories. Think weapons as made by Apple or Ikea and you get a good idea of what they look like. The naming scheme favors unusual poetic references and Purple Prose. Maliwan weapons always have some form of elemental damage, probably because it's flashy. Maliwan also forgoes 'traditional' magazine designs for glowing (and sometimes spinning) battery-like plug-in packs.
    • Vladof makes relatively utilitarian, but very reliable weapons. Basically, weapons based on Soviet Bloc design sensibilities, complete with hammer and sickle symbol, and in many cases the trademark banana magazine and wooden handguard/stock of the AK-47. They make up for their low tech with brute force, which mostly means high rates of fire with decent damage per shot on the side.
    • Tediore manufactures dirt cheap, disposable guns that look like a collection of rectangular parts made of plastic or, at the high ends, carbon fiber. You can actually tell that they use standard parts shared amongst many of their designs. Their names make a point of how cheap they are. The reason for this is that they're literal Throw-Away Guns, meaning that when the player reloads the gun, they toss it away, the gun then goes on to self-destruct and a new gun digistructs for the player to use. Aside from the free grenade this provides, this means they reload almost instantly compared to other weapons. Owing to their cheap construction however, they often have below average stats overall.
    • Torgue's aesthetic is excessively MANLY.note  As in, guns have extremely high caliber barrels and are adorned with danger markings and checkerboard patterns, sort of resembling guns from a 90s comic in their patterns and oversized builds (think Rob Liefeld or Tank Girl), making some fans say the Torgue Corporation must be run by either Saxton Hale or Ork Boyz. The names lean towards Awesome Mc Coolname and/or Compensating for Something. Their bullets (even individual shotgun pellets, which is utterly insane with the 4-barreled shotgun we linked to earlier.) are actually rockets that explode on impact, which, however, has the downside of making them Painfully Slow Projectiles.
    • Jakobs brings back the classic 19th to early 20th century bolt-action and semiautomatic sniper rifles, revolvers, shotguns and Tommy guns with their infamous, oft-lampshaded wooden trimmings. Their names reference natural materials and hand-crafted manufacturing to the point of absurdity ("Leather revolver", anyone?) Due to this, Jakobs firearms fire as fast as one can press the trigger (although bolt-action sniper rifles made by them can also be found), and the only elemental damage they can inflict is blast (which are very rare). There are now four Elemental Jakobs guns as of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. The Stinkpot (Corrosive) the Greed (Incendiary) from Captain Scarlet and her Pirates Booty, the Cobra (Explosive) from Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, and the Twister (Electric) from Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt. It's implied that this is due to post-purchase customization on the part of the guns' owners, meaning the Jakobs corporation still doesn't actually make elemental weapons.
    • Bandit guns are made out of scrap and duct tape - think of post-War guns in Fallout and you hit the jackpot. They make up for it with aggressively red and black paint jobs and Spikes of Villainy. The names are either misspelled or made up. Being trigger happy in the extreme, bandits make a point of making guns with large ammo capacity. However, this often comes at the cost of reload speed. Beyond this, Bandit weapons have wildly varying stats and abilities, making bandit weapons even more of a random grab-bag than other manufacturers' weaponry.
  • A God Am I:
    • Implied; Jack's few die-hard followers swear "by Jack" instead of "by God". Also the first law of Hyperion Robots is "Jack is your god".
    • Gaige plays it straight though while riding her Power High due to a large number of Anarchy stacks:
      Gaige: I AM THE GOD OF DAMAGE!!!
    • Lilith has shades of it during the questline where you deal with the cult.
      Lilith: I have to admit, seeing these guys kill that false god for me was kinda flattering. Oh, I'm a bad person...
    • Although it doesn't actually use the word "god" one of the lines you can receive when being resurrected by the New-U stations does play this trope straight:
      Hyperion Computer: The Hyperion Corporation would like to clarify that the light you saw after death was our Digistruct technology, and not a higher power. Not higher than Hyperion, anyway.
    • Goliaths also occasionally spout the line "BOW TO YOUR NEW GOD!" in the higher levels of their Rage.
  • Affectionate Parody: The first game wasn't quite sure whether it wanted to be a parody or not, but the sequel has no such compunctions. It meticulously sporks just about every Action RPG, First-Person Shooter and Used Future Space Western trope in existence, and makes no apologies - except for one by a developer on Twitter, who just could not pass up the chance to do an "arrow in the knee" joke and was sorry about it.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • Hyperion is wise here. Their robots are explicitly forbidden to "develop self-awareness" via speakers, and are tested for it:
      Speaker Voice: A crying baby. A dying puppy. If any of those words elicited a emotional response, please report to your supervisor for summary destruction.
    • Played straight in one sidequest which involves repeatedly installing an A.I. core from a destroyed Loader into various robot bodies, which promptly attempt to murder you each time. Eventually, frustrated with its failure, the A.I. gives up its attempts to kill you... and asks you to install it in a shield or gun so it can help you kill others instead.
    • In another sidequest, a malfunctioning Hyperion loader desires to become human. Its plan to become human, unfortunately, consists of asking you to find it clothes and then bandit body parts to wear, since humans have lots of clothes and limbs. Then it realizes that this is Pandora, and a vital part of being human on Pandora is killing other humans, so it tries to kill you. Subverted; after you shoot it a bunch, it realizes it is feeling pain, concludes that it must now be human since humans feel pain, and happily stops attacking you.
    • The C3N50RB0T and P3RV-E are malfunctioning loaders obsessed with conservative values and pornography — respectively, of course.
    • And then there's Angel, who subverts the trope for once. At the beginning of the game she tells you she's an A.I. (as the first game's ending hinted). Later on it's revealed that she's working for Jack - but she keeps helping you anyway, defying his orders. Finally, though, it's revealed that she is a human siren with free will (though constrained by Jack), not an AI at all. Oh, it's even worse. She's Jack's own daughter.
  • Airborne Mook: Besides Rakks, we also now have Surveyors, Buzzards, and non-larval Varkids. Have fun shooting these as they fly about!
  • Alcohol Hic: While holding the Grog Nozzle, at random intervals your character will sway around drunkenly for a second or two, accompanied by a hiccup. Gaige actually has a chance of losing her Anarchy stacks because of this effect.
  • All Animals Are Dogs:
    • Dukino, the baby skag in Lynchwood, behaves an awful lot like a puppy.
    • In a similar vein, the ECHO logs in the Caustic Caverns explain that before Dahl started trying to kill the crystalisks for the resources in their bodies, they were docile and even playful creatures, likened explicitly to kittens.
  • All Crimes Are Equal:
    • The Sheriff of Lynchwood really likes hanging people.
      Deputy Winger: The sheriff has asked me to read off the punishments for breaking each of her two-hundred and twenty-three laws, but I figured I'd save everyone some time and just say this: DEATH. The punishment for everything is death! So please, keep your head down and be cool!
    • Hyperion would like to remind you that littering is a crime punishable with death. Insulting Hyperion is considered verbal littering.
    • Overlook, and presumably other settlements under the control of Hyperion, has a giant meat grinder in the centre of town...
      Hyperion Announcer: For the next week the Grinder will only be used for egregious felonies, like littering and profanity.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Stinging Cacti only appear in the Tundra sections of the game, while regular 'stactus' plants appear in the sandy deserts.
  • All There in the Manual: Maya's first ECHO log notes that she isn't affected by eridium the same way Lilith is, which can cause some Fridge Logic should you miss it.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In the Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, Hector and his New Pandora army takes over Sanctuary by releasing the Paradise Gas. Since his body has been bound deep into the floating city's center, Lilith has no other choice but to destroy the Sanctuary along with Hector.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Torgue's guns all firing mini-missiles may seem like another crazy invention of the development team, but they're based on Gyrojet weapons, which actually existed (and were discontinued for being Awesome, but Impractical).
  • Always Check Behind the Chair:
    • Loot Chests, the good kinds with two to four green-or-blue weapons in them, are usually hidden off in distant areas, on tops of roofs or in little hidden nooks and crannies. Port-a-potty "chests" are a little more out in the open but that's just the game being merciful to you. Playing the trope even more straight are the Vault Symbols and hidden audio logs which are really, really difficult to find without a guide; usually you need to do a lot of roof-hopping to get even one. The game will give you the first few in any given area, if only so that the challenge prompt will notify you of the existence of the others (and possibly send you on a manic hunt for them).
    • Some loot chests are even protected by an electric barrier that prevents you from entering and opening them. It requires shutting down the power source, by itself is no simple feat. You have to find out where it is located, usually a significant distance away from the barrier and requires Backtracking to get your reward. In a few cases, the switch cannot be reached through normal means and the only way to shut it down it so shoot it with your gun.
    • A particularly egregious example is in the Tundra Express, where (in a nod to the first game) a chest is hidden underneath the edge of a cliff, on the edge of the explorable area.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Mr. Torgue forgot to set you up with a sponsor because he was too busy suplexing a shark wearing a bolo tie at the time. He lampshades the use of this trope in that last detail.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Fully applies despite the game being American. The Japanese cover would rather focus on Maya's assets.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • Everything that happens to bandits in cutscenes starting with the game's very intro. Dr. Zed, Marcus, Ellie, and Tiny Tina are all introduced during hilarious acts of wanton cruelty towards the common mook.
    • In a reference to the first game, the intro also includes a skag getting maimed by a vehicle. The vehicle is then, in turn, demolished by a monorail train.
    • Just about everything that happens to Claptrap.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The game once again has skill trees built around basic class archetypes, though you're also still free to mix and match to suit completely different playstyles.
    • Maya:
      • The Mezzer: The "Motion" tree, which boosts Maya's Phaselock and defensive abilities.
      • The Healer: The "Harmony" tree, which focuses on healing.
      • The Debuffer: The "Cataclysm" tree, which focuses on status effects to sap enemy HP.
    • Zer0
      • The Archer: The "Sniping" tree, which focuses on taking out enemies with headshots from afar.
      • The Backstabber: The "Cunning" tree, which focuses on using decoys and 'marking' enemies for increased damage.
      • The Scrapper: The "Bloodshed" tree, which boosts Zer0's melee attacks.
    • Axton
      • The Turret Master: The "Guerrilla" tree, which focuses on powering up Axton's Sabre Turret.
      • The Nuker: The "Gunpowder" tree, which focuses on explosives and distracting enemies with Axton's turret.
      • The Magic Tank: The "Survival" tree, which focuses on boosting Axton's shields, speed and distraction options.
    • Salvador
      • The Jack: The "Gun Lust" tree, which focuses on switching between different guns on the fly.
      • The Scrapper: The "Rampage" tree, which focuses on using Salvador's "Gunzerking" ability to cause massive damage at close to mid range.
      • The Regeneration Tank: The "Brawn" tree, which focuses on boosting Salvador's health and increasing his abilities when his health is dangerously low.
    • Gaige
      • The Beastmaster: The "Best Friends Forever" tree, which focuses on extending Deathtrap's survivability and duration.
      • The Debuffer: The "Little Big Trouble" tree, which focuses on boosting elemental effects and attacks that cause both shock and burn status.
      • The Scrapper: The "Ordered Chaos" tree, which gives Gaige increased damage and close range options at the cost of accuracy.
    • Krieg
      • The Jack: The "Bloodlust" tree, which runs on a stack mechanic that increases efficiency with guns.
      • The Blademaster: The "Mania" tree, which focuses on Krieg's melee capabilities and various things relating to his health
      • The Debuffer: The "Hellborn" tree, which is centered around dealing (and taking) fire elemental damage
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Aside from the ever-present Psychos, Axton wields a hatchet as his Quick Melee weapon.
    • Krieg also uses one, being a psycho. It is suitably badass, especially when you use the Buzz Axe Rampage.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Jack is repeatedly called a fascist by a number of characters, and for good reason. Cult of Personality centered on him, Sigil Spam everywhere, A God Am I complexes, monumental building projects including golden statues of himself to feed his vanity, a personal army slavishly devoted to him, wanton genocide to the point of full-blown ethnic cleansings... it's like he's deliberately checking off all the items on the "How to become Adolf in Space" list.
  • Anchors Away:
    • Captain Flynt uses an anchor as a melee weapon; he mostly strikes it against the ground to create far-reaching shockwaves.
    • Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC introduces Anchormen, one of the several types of pirate Giant Mook, and the Big Sleep, a King Mook version. Anchormen prefer to keep you at medium range, as their anchors have short handles but long chains.
  • And That's Terrible: A mission outcome has the following text: "You've pleased Incinerator Clayton (which is good) by committing brutal violence (which is bad) against a group of people who only find happiness in immolation-related death (which is kind of a grey area)."
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The player can obtain numerous cosmetic appearance changes in the game. Each playable character has 17 heads and 88 skins, of which they start with 3 heads and 19 skins. Vehicle paint jobs can be be obtained as well. All of them can be gotten through various means: quest rewards, enemy loot drops, container loot drops, bought as an Item-of-the-Day, hitting Badass ranks, won from the slots, etc...
    • The primary reward for the Headhunter DLCs are the bosses heads as well as a unique skin.
  • An Economy Is You: Scattered around Pandora are vending machines which will helpfully dispense guns, ammo, or health and shields. You'll usually find them conveniently located in cities such as Opportunity and Sanctuary, caves, factories, and the middle of frozen or dry wastelands. Helpfully there are even working vending machines inside the Leviathan in Captain Scarlett's DLC.
  • Antepiece: A sidequest in Lair's Berg has Angel teach you that electric barriers can be shut down by shooting at their power switch, which is conveniently just positioned behind the barrier, open for a shot. While this simple quest teaches you how to shut the barriers down, you will find more electric barriers in the later parts of the game, but with their power switches being located far from the barrier, requiring some corner-checking and Backtracking.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Ammo chests are weighted slightly to what you're low on.
    • There exists a mechanic introduced in this game called "Health Gating" wherein you cannot be one-shotted by enemies for as long as you have over half of your health (the damage that would otherwise One-Hit Kill you would be greatly reduced instead). It ensures that you can at least survive for a while even if the tougher enemies can quickly deplete both your shield and health.
    • In a mid-game mandatory Escort Mission where you have to protect a beacon from Hyperion robots for a certain time the beacon cannot be permanently destroyed; its health depleting only halts the timer until you repair it. If you fail to do it and have to repair it enough times, the Big Bad himself will remark on how much you're sucking at the job. Afterwards, the beacon becomes completely invulnerable. The Difficulty Spike that this mission presents in single-player means that, to a first-timer, this anti-frustration feature makes completing the mission possible.
    • Some quests give you specific weapons or items that you must take to complete them, or as a quest reward. Should you get a quest item or reward when your inventory is full, you'll still get the item anyway, with your inventory going over its maximum limit.
    • Accidentally sell an item you didn't want to? Buy it back for the exact price you sold it for! However, the item is only available in the Buyback list for that gameplay session. Quit the game or change character, and any sold items will be gone permanently.
    • The Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC has a mission that requires you to solve a jumping puzzle to obtain an item. It is impossible to solve until you fall down the lava pit for the first time, Tina will make it doable on your second try. Fail enough several times and Tina will spawn a bridge directly to the item. Also, falling on the pit does not boot you to the last New-U Station nor deduct your money but immediately puts you near the puzzle instead.
    • Unlike most of the enemies that are programmed to flee from you in order to deny you of a Second Wind in Fight for Your Life state, any remaining suicidal, exploding enemy variants like the Suicide Psychos or EXP Loaders will remain idle and won't self-detonate when you are down. This can be a double-edged sword situation that you can use to your advantage, since these idle enemies are a free source of Second wind.
    • Axton and Gaige can revive themselves out of Fight for Your Life Mode if their respective Sabre Turret and Deathtrap allies managed to kill an enemy.
    • If you die, you will respawn 32% of your ammo restored (except for rockets and grenades). This gives you a chance to fight back without needing to purchase ammo again if you previously died emptying all of your mags.
  • Anti-Hero: A lot of people, actually, including all the playable characters to some degree. We've got an ex-military glory seeker, a rage-filled mini-hulk, an assassin (which is inherently a gray area), a woman who's fairly heroic but still won't hesitate to put a bullet in the enemy's head, a teen genius who sees a killer robot as a suitable response to bullying, and an Ax-Crazy Psycho-turned-lab-experiment from hell. What a group.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Beside killing Helena Pierce from the last game before this one even starts, Jack kills Bloodwing (which players controlling Mordecai in the first game are familiar with) and the player grants the Guardian Angel a Mercy Kill. This may pale compared to Roland's death, as he was a PC of the first game. Add to that Shep Sanders' death at Brick's hands in the backstory... Lastly, you or Lilith has to kill the Final Boss Jack.
    • At the endgame Brick and Mordecai go down with the literal ship. They survive (somehow) but given the massive amount of character deaths within the last few segments, their deaths seemed very permanent and it looked like the devs were ready to kill off the entire old cast.
    • With the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC now added into the game, Scooter (due to the events in Tales from the Borderlands), Cassius and Hector also canonically die by the end of Borderlands 2.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Handsome Jack plans on using the Warrior to wipe out all human life on Pandora and let those he deems worthy to take over what's left.
    • In the Commander Lilith DLC, Tannis explains that Pandora is under the threat of a planetary mass extinction, something she figured probably wouldn't happen for another six or seven years.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: One of the first quests Dr. Zed gives the player is to take out a Mad Scientist non-doctor. The player must use the E-Tech weapon that Zed gives, and must kill X number of bandits with it. As it's fairly early in the game, its ammo usage of 2 rounds per shot chews through the limited supply of ammo quite quickly—especially since the weapon isn't particularly powerful.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Much like Atlas in the General Knoxx DLC for the original game, Hyperion also declared a bounty for the vault hunters' heads. Salvador's crimes on his wanted poster include: manslaughter, theft, arson, destruction of property, trespassing, cannibalism, public indecency and profanity.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The A.I. has been greatly improved from the first game, with some of their interesting tactics listed below:
    • Enemies will move out of the way to deny you a second wind.
    • Humanoid enemies can dodge-roll to evade your shots if they are aware of your presence or are directly fighting you. This tactic makes it hard to use slow-moving projectiles against them from a distance, such as Torgue weapons.
    • Stalkers will climb onto buildings/behind things so they can shoot you from where you can't reach them (Since their projectiles arc and they can climb walls).
    • Most will also stop chasing you if you run away, and human NPCs will comment that they won't bother chasing after you (provided you're still not shooting at them), giving you a slight breather. However, this interaction also makes the quest with Fleshstick more frustrating, as you have to lure him to a certain point without killing him. If the player doesn't at least fire near his direction, Fleshstick will retreat to the starting point.
    • The A.I. retains its aversion to Gang Up on the Human. Don't want to fight those animals and bandits? Let them shoot each other for a while, then declare the winner with bullets.
    • Shielded enemies will almost always charge in front of their comrades, while the other mooks will sometimes change formation just to get behind the shielded ones. This tactic is evident among the PWR and GUN Loaders. If an ION Loader deploys its dome shield, all nearby Loaders will go inside the shield while firing at you.
    • Midgets can "ride" nearby Goliaths, temporary protecting their heads against players who explicitly want to turn Goliaths into their "Enraged" variants.
    • Skeleton Archers in the Tiny Tina: Assault on Dragon Keep DLC will re-adjust their aim if you constantly side-step, making sure that their arrows will almost always hit you. Compare their accuracy with the Psychos throwing Buzzaxes at you from the base game and you'll notice a huge improvement.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Despite improvements, enemies can still make some silly mistakes such as the following:
    • Getting stuck on scenery or player turrets.
    • They also may fail to notice you shooting them if you're really far away. Or rarely, they'll just casually walk right by you if you're out of their LOS for a moment, giving an alert player an easy chance to blow them away.
    • The Warrior suffers badly of this. There's one vantage point in the entire arena where he can barely harm you with his rarest attacks, which are no more than 3 that he can use only once, and you can easily target his entire body including his Critical weak spots. Said vantage point is the Exit to Eridium Blight. sit there with your back against it and he will be easier than The Destroyer was.
    • Enemies do not realize what an explosive barrel is and will not only shoot one in close proximity by mistake, but might actually try to take cover behind them. They will sometimes also not move out of the damage zone.
    • Friendly NPCs are also hit with this. While the original vault hunters and Axton's turret have simple enough behavior not to mess up most of the time, Deathtrap often makes incredibly stupid decisions — mostly getting stuck on things or being unable to approach enemies. One of Deathtrap's abilities also lets him restore your/your ally's shields for free, but he has a habit of using it on hostile enemies. And to add insult to injury, the enemies he uses it on often don't have a shield equipped! He will also persist in trying to restore your Rough Rider shield (if you have it equipped), which is by design always depleted. Finally, he will also attempt to restore your shields while you're in Fight For Your Life rather than getting you a Second Wind already. Justified in that he's pretty dumb in-universe; Deathtrap screwing up and turning one of Gaige's rivals into Ludicrous Gibs is the entire reason she's on Pandora to begin with, and she presumably hasn't gotten around to upgrading his AI.
    • Master Gee, a Bonus Boss from Captain Scarlett's DLC, will not attack you if you hide behind a rock by the entrance to his arena. Considering the battle is won by having him take a damage over time effect that lasts the whole fight, he can be beaten by merely waiting for him to die.
    • Crystalisks can be easily killed by the player due to their glowing crystals serving as their only weaknesses. Their rock-shaped body is immune to all sorts of damage. Yet, other enemies (and even your own Deathtrap) who engage into fights with Crystalisks will never bother to hit their crystals, but instead wasting all their attacks on the invulnerable parts.
  • Art Shift:
    • Angel's ECHO messages depict her as a basically photo-realistic human woman. But when she appears "in-person," she uses the same pseudo-Comic Books art style as everything else in the game.
    • Similarly, Lilith's appearance uses the normal comic style, both in person and in echos — until she's captured by Jack. Once she's hooked into Angel's systems she's shown as a photo-realistic human, like Angel.
  • Ascended Extra: TK Baha was mostly just notable for being your first real quest-giver in the first Borderlands game, and once he stopped being relevant bandits killed him off-screen. Here, a whole quest is devoted to fleshing him out and making him much more important in retrospect than he appeared to be. He's even the star of his own DLC, TK Baha's Bloody Harvest.
  • Ascended Fanon: In-universe case. In one sidequest for Roland during the Tiny Tina DLC, you get a shotgun as a reward. Mr. Torgue chimes in, saying that the shotgun should shoot swords, that then explode into smaller swords that also explode. Tina says "okay", much to Torgue and Brick's endless delight.
  • Assassin Outclassin': The assassins after the new Vault Hunters in the Son of Crawmerax DLC are all assassinated by various allies.
    • Sergeant Jarter, Axton's old CO after him for desertion, is killed by Axton's ex-wife using a remote-detonated explosive.
      Axton: Oh, good, I hated that guy. Kinda weird that he just randomly exploded, though. Don't remember that happening in basic.
    • Grill Holloway, the uncle of Marcie Holloway looking to kill Gaige to avenge his niece, is killed by Gaige's dad, who sabotaged his transport.
      Gaige: Ha! SUCK IT, Holloway family! Even if your hitman hadn't fallen outta the sky for some weirdass reason, I woulda taken him out anyway. I killed Handsome friggin' JACK! You think one little assassin can take me down? BOOYAH. Also, sorry I killed your daughter.
    • Mordo Sophis, brother of the priest who was trying to use Maya as a weapon, is killed by an "anonymous admirer", heavily implied to be Patricia Tannis based on speech patterns, who poisoned him.
      Maya: Consider yourself lucky. That poison must have worked quickly. I wouldn't have.
    • Blendo wants revenge on Salvador for killing his entire bandit clan ("That was a fun weekend"), and is killed by Salvador's grandmother (well, she paid someone to do it). He's found hanging from a tree.
      Salvador: Aw, man. The last of the Chung clan and he got killed before I even showed up? Worst day ever.
    • Clements is some random Hyperion scientist pissed at Krieg for killing some of his buddies on the way out (it's unclear; Sparky wasn't in the mood to be detailed at this point). He is killed by Doctor Samuels stabbing him with dozens of needles.
    • A mysterious assassin after Zer0 (maybe?) is killed (probably) by ...someone. The corpse is found impaled on weird spikes. No one except Zer0 knows what's up with that, and even he's confused by the ECHO message left for him.
      Zer0: I understand it. / A message sent, and received. / Mercy is coming.
    • In the "Assassinate the Assassins" mission, you do this. You get bonus points for killing each one with their preferred weapon.
  • Asshole Victim: Dave in Overlook. During one quest where you're helping out the house-bound citizens of that town, he constantly berates and makes sexist remarks at the lady who gives you the quest. Then when you help create a shield for the town to protect against Hyperion's bombardment, the lady tells you to fire a mortar at the town to test the shield. The first shot hits (and completely obliterates) Dave's house. Then she actually activates the shield and has you fire another shot to test it. (Video)
    Dave: Karima, don't feel bad Jack fed yer husband to the grinder. Well, I'll bed ya, if ya asked nicely! (cackles, then dies screaming)
  • Ass Pull: In-universe, the last couple of areas during the main questline of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. She's pretty much making that part of the game up as she goes because she didn't expect that the Vault Hunters would get so far in one game session.
  • Attack Animal: Roland and Axton's Scorpio and Saber turrets respectively count (since they're fully automated). Gaige's Deathtrap is an even better example, hunting down enemies on her command (she even speaks to it like a dog sometimes). There are also a few references to Bloodwing serving as one for Mordacai, as he did in the previous game (although we never get to see it).
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Like the first game, enemies have predefined weak points, and hitting them causes Critical Hits. Unlike the first game, nearly every foe has more than one.
    • One of Zer0's skills highlights the weak points for the player.
    • Goliaths are an interesting example of the trope. They're humanoid enemies and thus the natural reaction is to aim for the head. Suddenly their helmet pops off revealing their tiny skulls and they go into a rage, attacking friend and foe alike. The more kills they get, the more powerful they get. Granted now you can crit them on the head but when they're charging at full speed, it's a bit dicey at times. Plus their heads are really tiny and flailing about on what remains of their spinal cord. Luckily(?), they're rather large targets, so you can unload almost any gun on them without worrying you'll miss a shot.
  • Attack Reflector: The Antagonist shield in the fourth DLC has a chance of reflecting enemy bullets fired at you. It even has the flavor text "I'm rubber, you're glue."
  • Author Appeal: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has a lot of different types of skeleton enemies, each with different models.
    Inside the Box - Ryan Heaton: We originally specified around 4 variants per new enemy type, with around 11 new enemy types. So Ruben [the designer] starts working on the skeletons first, I ask him how it’s going and he tells me, “dude I love skeletons”. I reply, "yeah… skeletons are cool." Then Ruben wants to be clear, “no dude, you don’t understand, I REALLY love skeletons.”
    A couple weeks later, we have 16 variants of skeletons alone. Remember initially we planned on 4. We have a chubby variant skeleton, why? I have no idea.
  • Audience Surrogate: Zer0, of all people. Blank background, exclusively focused on killing, looting, and being cool; expresses itself with emoticons... it's a killer Ninja Sniper Alien Robot with the personality of an FPS gamer.
  • Autosave: The game uses autosave both when a player changes areas and when they enter the proximity of a New-U station.
  • Avenging the Villain:
    • The Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC involves the remnants of Hyperion trying to avenge Jack and failing big time.
    • In the Son of Crawmerax DLC, the Victims of Vault Hunters has the heroes deal with people seeking to avenge jerks that they killed in the past (Marcie Holloway, Brother Sophis, Captain Flynt, etc.)
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Tidal Wave shotgun may be unique since its projectiles can ricochet and pierce through some shields like the PWR Loader's, but your shots with this gun can be very unpredictable due to how the said projectiles travel and bounce in a wave-like pattern. These are also slow when shot from afar, meaning that this weapon is impractical against humanoid enemies as they can dodge-roll if they are aware of your presence, or the bullets won't even connect in the first place. On the other hand, it is awesome against slow-moving enemies with large hitboxes, such as Skags and The Warrior.
    • The Pearlescent weapons, which have powerful stats or abilities but are also very difficult to use without a lot of practice or being in exactly the right situation. The same goes for a few of the Seraph and Legendary ones.
    • The Bane SMG, if you can tolerate its supremely annoying screaming that has driven all its previous to insanity, is supremely powerful but almost completely axes your movement.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Psychos, as well as their protagonist counterpart, Krieg, in spades. For bonus points, they use Buzz Axes.

  • Back from the Dead: Roland returns in the Tiny Tina DLC as the white knight. Despite Lilith and Mordecai trying to get Tina to accept his real death, she insists on keeping him in the game to help your characters out. However, at the end, she nearly has the Handsome Sorcerer kill him, but suffers an emotional breakdown from having to accept he's really gone, causing the others to tell her its okay for her to bring him back for her story/game. She then also brings Bloodwing back, and has the bird kill the Handsome Sorcerer in a Disney Villain Death style fall off his castle.
  • Backtracking: Many side-quests require you to return to a previously-visited area to complete some objectives there. One of the most egregious examples is the last part of the "Monster Mash" quest chain given by Zed around Chapter 16, wherein you have to return to the Frostburn Canyon and hunt down the Spycho.
  • Badass Army:
    • Hyperion's actual armed forces are a serious threat. The regular Hyperion Mooks encountered prior to the assault on Control Core Angel are mostly just repurposed utility robots with guns or lightly-armored engineers. The professional Hyperion soldiers and dedicated WAR Loaders and other military units are massively more dangerous, and the specialist military troops like the Hawks (airmobile heavy weapons troops), Infiltrators (cloaked shotgun-wielding assault troops), and Snipers (who, are, well, snipers) are extremely deadly. It can be pretty jarring to run into serious, dedicated, and professional troops wearing full body armor and toting personal turrets and shields and high-end weaponry who can drop you in a couple of shots.
    • Torgue's private army seems to be made up of bikers, along with blatant ripoffs of Hyperion Engineers and loaders.
    • You can end up facing a literal Badass Army in Fink's Circle of Slaughter. Unless you have a well prepared team or are massively overpowered, prepare to have your ass handed back to you.
  • Badass Biker: When Torgue announced the badass tournament, it mostly attracted bikers — namely, the dueling gangs led by Pyro Pete and Motor Momma, as well as the unaffiliated ones who patrol the Badass Crater of Badassitude.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Gaige is 18 and built a floating, digistructible combat robot with energy claws for her science fair project, and likely would have won had the judges not been bribed against her. With or without said robot, she can kill small armies of trained soldiers, armed drones, you name it. She can even beat their "Badass" variants.
    • Maya's class mods are books and in the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep DLC, she explains that she's going to spend her riches on “Lots and lots of books.... and guns.” As a powerful Siren, she certainly has the badass part covered as well.
  • Badass Crew: Essentially the Vault Hunters from the first game. Also played straight when you're playing co-op games.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • The first important mission in the main storyline is to rescue Roland from bandits. Shortly after you meet him, he is attacked by Hyperion robots that have broken into his cell. He then proceeds to rapidly mop them floor with them despite being unarmed. After he beats the robots he gets kidnapped a second time by a constructor.
    • You also meet Lilith when she's under attack from bandits and already exhausted. Later she gets kidnapped by Jack, and requests a Mercy Kill in the event you can't rescue her. "Better dead than a damsel."
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The Handsome Jack double you kill in Opportunity is a laughably poor actor. He says everything in an extremely bored tone and reiterates that he is totally Handsome Jack virtually every sentence.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Nomads boss other Bandits around and seem to be tyrannical at best, constantly insulting and belittling their underlings. Nomad Torturers tie midgets to their shields both to patch holes and because they hate midgets that much.
    • Captain Flynt loves to torture people, and has no qualms about using his own men. It's implied that he would go easier on them if he had Claptrap to play with, though.
    • Handsome Jack to a somewhat ridiculous degree. He insults, demeans, overworks, underpays, tortures and/or kills people working under him - and, as one ECHO recording reveals, their families. And if you think you're in the clear if you survive being fired, think again. He may not actually own you, but he owns damn near everything else.
    • The Slab King, AKA Brick is openly contemptuous of his bandits, often ridiculing them as you carve your way to him. The only Slabs he actually respects are the Vault Hunters after they pass his initiation. He also approves of killing the Sarcastic Slab.
      Slab King: Just so you know, my slabs will probably still try and kill you — cuz they're idiots. So don't feel bad about killing them. I never do.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Pyro Pete, of all people, owns one in The Beatdown. His secret hideout is just under it, in fact.
  • Bag of Spilling: A case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, the opening sequence shows Axton's Sabre turret is almost fully upgraded, including the magnetic upgrade that allowed him to deploy the turret to the ceiling. He also had a really sweet looking rocket launcher. The opening is only designed to show off what each character can do, but it is kind of disappointing to see what the sabre turret starts off as when you've already seen what it can become. The train exploding is reason enough to explain how he loses his rocket launcher (and Salvador his own guns), but Axton stole the sabre turret, and he obviously still has it afterward, so where'd all the upgrades go?
  • Bandit Mook: Rat Thieves and Rat Bastards pick your pocket while you're distracted by their Rat brothers. If you can kill them before they get to their cash stashes, you get your money back. It's very easy to lose a lot of money to these guys, though thankfully they don't show up very often.
  • Bar Brawl: You start one in Pyro Pete's Bar as a story mission in the Torgue DLC. It's actually Pete's idea; he wants you to prove yourself tough enough before you go meet him. The mission is repeatable, with the difficulty increasing every time you do it.
  • Barrier Change Boss:
    • One of the bosses at around the mid-point of the game is a rather big critter that shifts between slag, fire, shock, and corrosion modes, and like other enemies it becomes resistant to whatever element it is at the time.
    • Certain Anshin shields can turn you into this by changing your elemental resistance to whatever you were just hit with. This can backfire though if two or more elemental enemies are present, especially if one of them has a slag elemental weapon.
  • Batman Gambit: All the actions by the Vault Hunters from the original game and new Vault Hunters during half of the sequel, actually played right into Handsome Jack's hands. The original Borderlands begins with Angel leading the original Vault Hunters - Roland, Mordecai, Lilith and Brick - against the Atlas Corporation to aid in their effort to open the Eridian Vault. Believing that the Vault contained immeasurable riches, the Hunters went along with the entire thing. Upon seeing that the Vault contained a colossal monster with more than its fair share of Combat Tentacles, they simply destroy the beast and leave, believing that it was the only consequence of the Vault's opening. Unbeknownst to the group, the opening of the Vault prompted rapid mineral growth on the planet of Pandora; namely Eridium. Handsome Jack, who was a low-ranking Hyperion lackey at this point, took advantage of the situation by alerting the corporation to the mineral's presence. In doing so, he gained the requisite power and wealth to rise to the head of Hyperion. Over the course of the next five years, Jack learns of a second Vault on Pandora - the one containing the Warrior - and the method by which it is opened. With the only Vault Key in his possession depleted, he crafts a convoluted plot to ensure that a Siren is available to interact with vast quantities of Eridium to charge the key so that he can summon and control the Warrior. Knowing that the original Vault Hunters are still alive and Angel's - his Siren daughter - tendency to assist such people, he uses the layered defences of the Control Core (his daughter's prison) as a bottleneck to lead the Vault Hunters into a trap, knowing full well that their camaraderie will prevent Lilith - another Siren - from staying behind in Sanctuary. So, by allowing them to attempt to liberate Angel, he has a Siren within easy reach regardless of the outcome.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: You fight Jack and the Warrior in a lava-filled Vault in the Eridium Blight, no less. It's also a pretty suitable place for a Classic Villain to die.
  • Bayonet Ya:
    • Blades on guns existed in the first game, but in this one any weapon can have a blade attached, and even if a melee bonus isn't noted in the gun info it'll always change the animation. On rifles the animation is a thrust, like with a real bayonet. Humorously, spiniguns, multibarreled sniper rifles and some rocket launchers have barrels that extend well past the blade.
    • Two bladed/bayoneted weapons stand out in particular: The Law pistol, which doubles your melee power, and the Rapier assault rifle, which triples it. Melee attacks with the Law also heal you if you're wearing the Order shield. No melee-focused Zer0 is complete without one or both of these guns.
  • Beach Episode: Lilith declares that their adventure on Wam Bam Island in the "Son of Crawmerax" DLC is the official Beach Episode, just like those old ECHOnet cartoons about the guys with the swords.
  • Bearer of Bad News: One of the late-game quests is titled such, with the player being said bearer. The bad news in question is Roland's death.
  • Become a Real Boy: Parodied ruthlessly in a quest chain where you help a robot become a human. Except not really.
  • Beehive Barrier: Several
    • The city of Sanctuary has one to protect against Moonshot Blitzes. It gets disabled by Angel in the climax until the end of the main quest.
    • The town of Overlook also has a side-quest which tasks you to create a dome shield similar to Sanctuary's, and you will have to test its effectiveness by firing a mortar.
    • ION Loaders will deploy a dome that prevents any bullets fired by the player to pass through.
    • The smaller hexagonal shields of Shield Surveyors and Constructors will reduce incoming damage (they can still be killed even with these shields on) as they only cover the eyes.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Pretty much anything you do for the Zafords or Hodunks to the other family which angers the other side till the culmination of the final quest in that chain.
    • Mordecai destroys quite a few badass robots almost entirely on his own shortly after Jack kills Bloodwing.
    • Handsome Jack when you're trying to free Angel from his control. Although he seems to lose his cool during other quests from time to time as well. In addition, merely speaking about Angel or his wife is enough to piss Jack off, to the extent that he strangles an aide to death just for bringing it up.
    • Shooting a Goliath's helmet off basically pushes it, complete with Pre-Asskicking One-Liner. Also a literal case of Turns Red.
      Goliath: Gonna... FLOSS WITH YOUR SPINE!
    • Piston hates being called a cheater. Probably wouldn't be such a big deal if he wasn't one, though.
    • Tiny Tina's reaction to finding out the "chocolate chip" cookies in the Torgue Arena are actually raisin cookies? Destroy all the vending machines!
    • Mr. Torgue has two: video game reviewers who criticize games he likes and folks who insult women.
  • The Berserker:
    • Salvador is a variant with guns (hence the term "Gunzerker") — he's all about charging into the fray and laying waste to everything he sees.
    • If you knock a Goliath's helmet off, his hideously mutated head will be revealed. This development angers him so much he drops his guns and attacks anything he sees, friend or foe. He can even get bigger and stronger by killing other enemies in that state.
    • Brick also returns as an NPC, still focused on punching.
    • Gaige is this when using her Ordered Chaos tree. She has to get up close and personal in order to do any major amount of damage.
    • Krieg, as befitting a Psycho fights in a style that's either completely suicidal (the Mania tree) or erratic and reckless (the Bloodlust tree). (His third tree, Hellborn, is suicidal in a different way - it's about setting yourself on fire.)
  • BFG:
    • Every gun compared to Salvador, but special mention must be given to the shotguns Salvador is holding here. The bore looks to be about 20mm in diameter! And there is likely more to come.
    • Torgue makes these as a matter of course. Every Torgue guns fires exploding bullets.
    • Rocket launchers in general. Gearbox saw what they were doing wrong and beefed them up so that they resemble their namesakes and not just underpowered pyrotechnics cannons like they were in the first game. Now practically every direct hit is a One-Hit Kill on mooks that aren't five levels above you, even if the launcher itself is five levels below yours, no matter the brand. There are a few particular examples:
      • Ever got a Vladof rocket launcher? High rate of fire, fast reload, reduced ammo consumption... You can kill pretty much everything in a single sweep!
      • Bandit rocket launchers fire off a cluster of three rockets per shot for only one ammo. They may not be all that accurate, but they don't need to be to carpet-bomb an area.
      • E-Tech rocket launchers. They must either shoot very fast projectiles or immediately explode energy at the point. Either way, literally a BFG 10k. One kind of E-Tech launcher is literally named 'PBFG': Pretty Big Friggin' Gun.
    • There's one sniper rifle from the DLC and two legendary shotguns that MUST be considered BFGs:
      • Pimpernel is a sniper rifle that not only causes a high damage on direct hit but also has a "5-point star spread" similar to that of a MIRV on impact. You can easily cause five times the damage!
      • Conference Call is a shotgun whose projectiles spawns other projectiles horizontally as they fly. The DPS used to be so huge that you could kill Terramorphous in less than one second given the proper exploited conditions.
      • And the Flakker causes several wide explosions within a medium-short range. The DPS isn't that big, but have fun tearing the guys a new one in a hallway.
    • And the above are just weapons that are available to the players, making no mention of Boom and Bewm's Big Bertha, the enormous shoulder-mounted guns used by Badass, Super Badass and WAR Loaders, or Piston's energy cannons.
    • You know those enormous gatling guns the Badass Goliaths carry into combat? Those are the machine gun turrets the player character encounters from time to time; such as the ones in Thousand Cuts, Sawtooth Cauldron, or the Forge; the ones the size of a truck.
    • Vladof also makes fully-automatic sniper rifles with somewhere between 20 and 30 rounds. Cut loose with a top-tier one, and watch the madness.
  • Big Bad: Handsome Jack, the megalomaniacal President and CEO of the Hyperion Corporation.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Ellie embraces this trope. Her girth is stupendous, but the only people who disparage it are random bandits and her mother Moxxi. Mr. Torgue and her own brother think she's quite attractive—and so does Ellie herself.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: Helios is watching you. Always. And if Jack spots any Vault Hunters, Crimson Raiders or bandits he doesn't like, he'll moonshot you or send loaders to kill you. And he's also got pictures of his face plastered everywhere, and his private army worships him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In-game, your characters do this a lot during missions. Also played straight in a co-op game if you rescue someone who's either dying, or trapped by a lot of enemies and unable to get out from where they are.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The Pandoran version is called the Bullymong. It has four arms and may throw various objects at you.
    • Except in the Marcus Saves Mercenary Day DLC, there are actual yetis (Bullymongs with 2 arms and horns).
  • Big "NO!":
    • Claptrap does one near the end of the game.
      Claptrap: Stairs? Noooooooooooooo!
    • Mordecai's reaction when Jack explodes Bloodwing's head to bits.
    • Jack himself lets one out after The Warrior goes down.
    • An occasional comment from one marauder when you kill another. "Whatsyername! Noooo!"
    • Gaige will let one out if she starts losing Anarchy stacks.
  • Big Sleep:
    • Death of Corporal Reiss.
      Reiss: I'll just take a little nap... Wake me, when we're not on Pandora anymore...
    • In Pirate's Booty, The King Mook version of the Anchorman enemy is called The Big Sleep. He works for The Sandman.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Players who know Russian may appreciate names of some Vladof rifles that are named in Nadsat. The markings inside Vladof scopes is in Russian as well.
    • Jakobs sniper rifles are named in Chinook language.
    • Likewise, the brand Anshin literally means peace of mind in Japanese (kanji: 安心). This is why they only make defensive/healing products like shields and the health packs.
    • In a meta-sense, Michael Mamaril is a huge Borderlands fan who died of cancer and was made into a tribute character in this game, as the Sanctuary NPC who gives high-rarity guns. His surname "Mamaril" translates into "shoot with a gun" in Filipino, fitting for this game's genre.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: One of Gaige's skills gives any bullets she fires a chance to ricochet off of the first surface it hits and go right for the nearest enemy's weak point. This is incredibly handy for a build that focuses on her Anarchy skill, which decreases her accuracy, but increases her damage by an equivalent amount.
    • This also tends to be the end result of an absurdly high amount of Anarchy stacks (close to the 600 cap provided by Gaige's Slayer of Terramorphous class mod) and a weapon with low accuracy, due to the negative accuracy from Anarchy creating what is, in effect, an accuracy singularity. Bullets will go sideways, start zigzagging, and even manage to miss at point blank range.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality:
    • While none of the Vault Hunters are traditional heroes, they pale in comparison to the likes of Handsome Jack. Mostly Played for Laughs.
    • Roland appears to be one of the vanishingly few people on Pandora who isn't a bloodthirsty psychopath. He tends to be calm, reasonable and demonstrably heroic in the backstory elements, in sharp contrast to the other vault hunters (past and present) and named characters. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Quite lighthearted at that though. Might be explained by the fact that even for bandits, Death Is Cheap. Occasionally after you kill one, their buddy may comment "Hey, I was gonna kill that guy!"
    • Combo bonus with previous trope:
      Bandit: What's-Your-Name! NOOOOOO!!!
    • In another example, during Marcus's first quest where he trains you on elemental weapons, the targets you shoot have various names such as "cheapskate", "shoplifter", and "competition" when you shoot the elemental weapons at each one.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Played with by Jack in an ECHO log.
    Jack: Mister Tassiter, "blackmail" is such a dirty little word, isn't it? Actually, you know what, come to think of it, it's not a dirty word at all. It's kind of awesome. Blackmail! Say it with me...
  • Blatant Lies:
    • An A.I. core you meet will reassure that it totally does not intend to murder you. You should put it in this war chassis, over there!
    • A more benevolent example is Marcus, who will reassure you multiple times that you're his millionth customer.
    • In Sanctuary, you can pick up a pirated broadcast from Hunter Hellquist of the 'Hyperion Truth Network', claiming that the bandit city of Sanctuary is crumbling from internal struggle and the assault of brave Hyperion troops. A quick glance around shows this to not be the case.
    • During the "MMORPGFPS" quest in the Tiny Tina: Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, if the "raid" boss is killed, one of the NPCs will comment that they will have to wait five minutes for the boss to respawn, Mister Torgue will mention afterwards that the said boss respawns every after ten minutes. The truth is that the boss will only respawn if the three NPCs are dead.
  • Body Horror: Shooting a Goliath's helmet off will make its skull erupt from its head, suspended by little more than its spine and overextended nerve tissue.note 
  • Body-Count Competition: Dahl apparently keeps track of how many people have been killed by Dahl weapons as part of their sales pitch.
    Dahl: Because sixty-eight billion enemy corpses can't be wrong.
  • Bold Inflation: "Torgue weapons ALWAYS fire EXPLOSIVE ROUNDS. They are also LOUD and require EXCESSIVE use of CAPITAL LETTERS." - Loading screen tip.
  • Bond One-Liner: All of the playable characters have their moments, but Axton and Salvador take the cake:
    Axton(scoring a critical): Cool story, bro.
    Salvador(killing enemies while gunzerking): "ONE LINER!!!" "WITTY STATEMENT!!!"
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Several, but the biggest, best example is Terramorphous the Invincible. He doesn't even show up in game until after you beat the main storylinenote , has a crapload of health and damaging attacks, costs Eridium to fight, and at least one dev has gone on record as saying "If you don't die at least five times on your way to killing him, we haven't done our jobs." In a nod to the first game's Crawmerax mission "You. Will. Die.", the mission to kill Terramorphous is entitled "You. Will. Die. (Seriously)", referencing how Crawmerax ended up being vulnerable to a wide variety of cheese strategies and emphasizing the developers' intentions to avert that with Terramorphous.
      • Then players found a small little rock cropping that existed as part of the zone's geometry near the door exiting the area that allows for one player to hide behind and be completely invulnerable to all attacks, provided Terramorphous doesn't move too far over to the left (which it almost never does).
    • If you let an Ultimate Badass Varkid morph, you will have Vermivorous the Invincible. Letting a Goliath morph four times has a similar effect, netting you a GODliath and an achievement for killing it.
    • In the Tiny Tina DLC if a Warlord Orc levels up enough times he will become the Duke of Ork, an all but unkillable machine of terror.
    • The Captain Scarlett DLC comes with Hyperious The Invincible (combine Shao Kahn and The Engineer) and Master Gee (a Puzzle Boss). As of the Hammerlock DLC there's a few too many to list without going on too long.
    • Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage has Pyro Pete the Invincible, who is apparently just Pyro Pete after a good workout. Despite possessing new attacks and being much stronger than his original incarnation, he's considered easier to beat than other raid bosses.
    • Combined with a Boss Rush is the Four Ancient Dragons in Tiny Tina DLC. Each Dragon is one particular type of element and has a gimmick that complements the group as a whole, which means you can't just split your fire between them, the best strategy is to defeat each of them one at a time.
    • The "Fight for Sanctuary" DLC has Hadorax the Invincible, an absolutely gigantic Sand Worm. It doesn't have too many pressing methods of attacking, but its main difficulty is the sheer amount of health it can regenerate when it moves around between the holes and gaps in the arena, as it never stays in one place for very long.
  • Book-Ends:
    • Both games begin with an unfortunate skag being hit by an automobile. It's Marcus's bus in the first game, and in the second, it's the Hyperion train carrying the Vault Hunters to their impending would-be doom.
    • The very last words of the ending cutscene should sound very familiar if you've seen the first game's intro
      Lilith: No rest for the wicked.
    • Your first real mission and the last mission both begin with Claptrap failing to open a Hyperion gate. Despite the second one being much larger, they are very similarly designed and are even re-locked in the same way.
    • In both the first and last areas of the game, Claptrap's progress is halted by his greatest weakness: stairs.
    • The "Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary" DLC begins and ends with a can of soda and the vault key being used for a Mundane Utility.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Once again, headshots do amplified damage on human enemies. Trying it on a Goliath, however, will send him into a rage.note  Also, Hyperion Engineers wear welding masks that must be shot off in order to score a headshot.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Generally with low level melee enemies it makes more sense to punch them/knife them to death than to waste bullets. Even more boring and even more practical is to use a spike shield and just sit still, not even bothering hitting them. Let them hit you and the shield will kill them effortlessly and recharge immediately afterwards.
    • Non-specialized weapons fall into this trope as well. Rocket launchers will tend to one- to three-shot anything you shoot (provided the launcher is a good one, and the enemy is about equal level or lower than you), and lower damage elemental weapons can do wonders on certain enemies. But for the vast majority of mobs you face, a good, high damaging, non-elemental weapon does the job.
    • Jakobs brand weapons in particular. The weapon line is the standard high damage vanilla bullet firing weapons, but they are considered by the fanbase to be one of the best, if not the best, manufacturer in the game. The guns can come with some mods like bonuses to accuracy or damage but it is fairly common to get one without any bonus at all. The weapons almost always feature semi-autonote  method of firing their weapons. It is worth noting that Jakobs sniper rifles have a hidden increase to critical hit damage compared to other sniper rifles: most will add the weapon's damage on top of whatever bonus that weak point gives. Jakobs sniper rifles add 4.2 times the weapon's damage. Their Gatling Gun assault rifles count too-they may not be elemental or have cool Maliwan finishes, but they are far more accurate than any Vladof spiniguns and while they only fire in three-round bursts, you can still fire fast enough to deal out massive damage and still hit targets reliably. Although they do tend to burn through your ammo quite a bit, the fact that the gun is permanantly on burst fire mode makes sure that you will still have a reasonable amount of bullets left, compared to the other full-auto rifles from the other manufacturers.
      • Their revolvers are considered by the fanbase to be among the greatest weapons in the game, the best revolvers powerful enough to be used as primary weapons or carried around for the entire game. Why? Jakobs doesn't seem to do anything special other than having excellent raw damage, until you realize that they fire at the same speed that you can click your mouse. This immediately makes them awesome, as loaders, bullymongs, mooks and even bosses can be taken down in seconds if you click as fast as you can, coupled with the huge amounts of damage. But they excel most as a backup in "Fight for your life" mode, as you can simply spam a hail of bullets at whatever wounded you severely, then get back up on your feet again to fight another day.
    • Vladof weapons specialize in fire rate, and that's it; just hold down the trigger to unleash a torrent of bullets. What they lack in per-shot damage, they more than make up for in volume. Their accuracy isn't the greatest, but it's good enough that most of your shots won't miss if you're careful. Their rocket launchers don't conform to the manufacturer's normal gimmick, but they're nice for a different reason: they have reduced ammo consumption, which is incredibly valuable for a weapon class with such restricted ammunition.
    • Dahl weapons may be a little flashy with their variable firing modes, but the main draw is the solid accuracy and extremely low recoil, which makes landing critical hits a breeze even at longer distances.
    • This is also how Axton's playstyle can be described. It's not as flashy or full of crazy skills like the other characters, but is very straightforward and effective nonetheless.
    • In any mode above Normal, the basic strategy for killing boss-type enemies is: Apply the slag debuff (Slag Crossfire and purple-rarity Magic Missile are popular options for this), blast them with a high DPS weapon with an element they are weak to until the slag wears off, repeat. In fact, this is pretty much THE strategy for all enemies you encounter in Ultimate Vault Hunter mode.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing:
    • Badass Pyro Threshers. If you're fighting one solo, you will need either a vehicle or a place to hide if you don't overlevel it by three or more.
    • The Badass Psychos can soak up a ton of damage and can easily one- or two-shot you if you're careless. And if you run into two of them...
    • Some named mobs, such as Madame Von Bartlesby or Saturn, can also have high HP and hit harder than a normal enemy can. Although they don't have "badass" in their name, your character will occasionally call them one when they appear.
    • Badass Constructors have incredibly strong armor and attacks. They have a fairly vulnerable weakspot (their "eye") but still take a long time to destroy. It doesn't help they have the ability to create Loaders and Surveyors to defend themselves either.
    • From Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, Witch Doctors. They're either elemental, vampiric, or vortex, able to dish out huge damage. They can also heal themselves, and upgrade their allies to stronger versions. You need to take them out quick, or you'll be facing down an army of Ultimate Badass Savages in no time. Oh, and don't expect to rely on critical hits to increase your damage output; their giant masks make it impossible to land headshots from the front.
    • Allowing a Goliath or an iron golem to level up to GOD status will give you an enemy with raid boss-level toughness that may take all of your bullets to bring down. Similarly, Vermivorous the Invincible is a Bonus Boss in Mook Clothing that you can choose to create in any location with Varkids in True or Ultimate Vault Hunter mode.
    • Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty features Cursed Pirates, which regain health if they successfully hit you with a melee attack. They're also naturally tanky, and they tend to hit hard, making for a very drawn-out fight.
  • Boss Subtitles: They do return for bosses and NPCs alike, but they're somewhat less common than in the first game — one of the many hints that things are getting more serious this time around. As in the first game, they're much more common towards the beginning, though obviously that's when you get introduced to most of the important NPCs.
    • Only a handful of the bosses who must be fought in order to continue along the story lack them... except in "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep", where none of the bosses have intros for whatever reason, though a few NPCs do.
    • In the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, every major supporting character and boss fights have their names subtitled as if you've met them for the first time. However, since the DLC is more of a Time Skip that takes place after Tales from the Borderlands, the old characters have new subtitles.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • One of Salvador's kill skills gives his shots a chance to refill his magazine instead of emptying it. A similar skill makes it so sometimes he doesn't use up ammo during a shot. Finally, he has class mods that give him and his teammates ammo regeneration.
    • The Infinity also applies, as it has a one round magazine that never needs to be reloaded.
    • Krieg's "Blood-Filled Guns" skill increases his magazine size based on his Bloodlust stacks. With certain guns (especially Bandit guns), he'll be able to fire off a ridiculous amount of ammo before reloading.
    • Any enemy who wields a gun seems to have this — Marauders carry a single pistol, for example, and never run out of ammo, despite reloading frequently. They'll only stop firing once you kill them.
  • Bounty Hunter: Axton before he became a Vault Hunter. Most of the bandits who try to kill you are after Hyperion's reward money.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Torgue falls squarely into this territory.
  • Bowdlerization: Wal-mart signage removes the hands under the chin of the bandit on the cover, making it look more like he's dreaming than blowing his brains out.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Many humurous lines are about characters being aware that this is a game.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A very minor version. Having preordered the game, or purchased the collector's edition DLC pack, you get three gold plated Gearbox guns (Assault rifle, SMG and a sniper rifle) in your inventory as soon as you start the game. They're slightly more powerful than the piddly little pistol Claptrap gives you and make the first couple of missions considerably easier but are replaced pretty much as soon as you find any other gun of the same type. You also get a unique Vault Hunter's Relic that increases your chances of finding rare gear by 5%... except "rare" in this case means "anything above white", so the effect is negligible in the long run and it's easily replaceable by any other Relic.
    • Played straight with the Contraband Sky Rocket grenade mod that comes with certain special editions of the game, which renders a large portion of grenade mods obsolete by virtue of its high damage and large blast radius, and unlike nearly every other piece of gear in the game, its damage scales with your level.
  • Brick Joke:
    • As you're searching for the Firehawk, Jack echoes you that he hears the Firehawk "liquefies bandits and drinks them like flesh smoothies." After the Firehawk is revealed to be Lilith, one of her echo recordings reveals that she did, accidentally, liquefy at least one of her creepy worshipers thanks to the Eridium boosting her powers. Jury's out on whether she actually tried drinking what was left.
    • When Scooter first sends you to Ellie, he warns you that if you make fun of her weight, he will have to tie you to a vending machine and light you on fire. Later on, during the Clan Wars arc when you are sent out to talk to Steve near the entrance to the Dust, on the other side of the building from Steve is a charred Dr. Zed vending machine with a bandit corpse tied to it.
    • During Get to Know Jack, you have to collect five echos that tell the history of Handsome Jack on Pandora. In the third one, as he is strangling someone, he explains the difference between choking and strangulation. In the fifth one, he asks his boss if he is familiar with the distinction between the two terms.
    • The Claptrap and his inability to climb stairs. It shows up in a moment that would be crucial or climactic were it not for the low expectations on Claptrap, anyway. (It's also got a double-punchline: The staircase has banisters Claptrap could easily roll up if he wasn't freaking out.
    • In the very beginning of the game, Handsome Jack taunts you about having just purchased a horse made out of diamonds, and naming her "Butt Stallion," after you. Butt Stallion plays the Queen at the finale of the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, released almost a year after the original game, and despite never actually being shown before.
    • Not What It Sounds Like in that Brick generally doesn't make jokes...
  • Broad Strokes: Played for Laughs in the Fight for Sanctuary DLC. Vaughn casually mentions that he hasn't seen Cassius in a "super long time that doesn't challenge the canon of the story."
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Scooter has an unrequited crush on his sister. Sidequests make it fairly obvious that it's a lot more common among the Hodunk clan proper, which was apparently part of the reason Moxxi wanted out.
    Scooter: What?! That is...psh... just a tiny one.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: A particularly audacious example: Nomad Torturers are equipped with a powerful riot shield with midgets chained to the front. The shield would already be bulletproof if not for the midgets. Their shields have holes in them that the midgets cover up, but bandits are known for ingenuity when it comes to simple metalwork; the Nomads just want midgets to die.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Professor Nakayama does this to you in Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC. Hammerlock simply wants to spend time with you hunting dangerous game, but the professor takes it upon himself to be the Designated Villain, and it becomes quite obvious late in this campaign that he's not ready to take you on as you mow down his best troops.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Toyed with, but never fully invoked, by Hammerlock with the Symbiosis quest. He'll still talk to you even if you don't do it.
      Hammerlock: Would you care to do battle with a midget riding piggyback on a Bullymong? If your answer is yes, please go to the Southern Shelf and defeat Midge-Mong for me. If your answer is no, you are sad and I have no desire to speak with you further.
    • Played straight with story missions. You can take your time to explore, but some areas aren't opened up until you finish certain story missions. Loot from the vendors in Sanctuary are tied to the level of the story mission. So if you're level 40 for example, and you're wondering why the slot machine in Moxxi's bar keeps spitting out level 34 items, then you should probably finish those story missions.
    • In the Tiny Tina DLC, you must punch Ragnar the Emancipator to death. Attempting to talk to him will have Brick insisting that he just wants to punch him. Later on, even if you free Greedtooth from the curse, he'll still try to kill you after what you did to Ragnar.
  • Button Mashing: Apart from a few of their sniper rifles and a few special cases, Jakobs guns can all fire faster the faster you press the trigger.

  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Truxicans are Mexicans, right down to the tropes.
    • In-universe, there's the quest called "The Name Game" where Hammerlock want to find a new, more book-sellingly exciting name for Bullymongs, and calls them "Primal Beasts", "Ferovores", and in frustration by the end, "Bonerfarts". He eventually decides "bullymong" isn't so bad after all.
    • ECHO devices are basically smartphones; ECHO-Sims are like video games, and the ECHO-Net is basically the internet. The Handsome Sorcerer even mentions uploading a video to ECHO-Tube.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Bloodwing's species most definitely are not birds. Birds do not have bat wings and teeth. The species does have some feathers and flies, though, so close enough for Pandora.
  • Call-Back:
    • One of the first trailers for Borderlands showed Administrator Helena Pierce, saying you'd need a lot of guns. The Doomsday trailer and the Handsome Jack Trailer? They say the same thing.
    • The intro cutscene contains a few: both have a skag get hit by a car, and both have the title card be shown with a vehicle driving towards it- a bus in the first game, and the train in Borderlands 2.
    • When you meet Dr. Zed for the first time (again), he's sedating a Psycho Bandit... with the same action he used in Borderlands.
    • Dr. Mercy is a Nomad Bandit... and uses a Generally Hospital sign as his shield.
    • When you meet up with Mordecai in the Tundra Express, his line when he wakes up is the same one he uses after killing a badass enemy in the first game.
      Mordecai: So loud, so angry, so dead.
    • The biggest one is in the endgame: the characters actually go back to the Arid Badlands and Fyrestone, which have been taken over by Hyperion. There's also a mission in that area where you look for gun parts and turn it in to the Fyrestone bounty board when you're done, which players of the first game should find very familiar.
    • One of the ECHO logs in the "Get To Know Jack" mission has Jack instructing Angel what to say to the original Vault Hunters as Marcus drives them to Fyrestone. In addition, the same ECHO log has Hyperion's then-President, Mr. Tassiter, demanding to know why Jack has dispatched one of Hyperion's satellites to Pandora — the very same satellite seen in the first game's ending.
    • When revisiting TK Baha's house, there is a box full of brains on the floor.
    • At the Fyrestone bus station you can find a red chest from the first game and a skag leveled to what the skags in the area from the original Borderlands were leveled at.
    • In the Arid Nexus - Badlands one of the challenges is to find a hidden Claptrap that's found on a cliff behind the weapon shop in Fyrestone. This is a reference to an Easter Egg in the first game where, if you looked at the cliff behind the weapons shop in Fyrestone with a scoped weapon, you'd see a Claptrap. Apparently it was deactivated after INAC's failed revolution.
    • The first Crimson Raider you meet is Cpl. Reiss, apparently some relation of Hank Reiss, the wereskag from the first game's first DLC campaign.
    • The achievement for killing Donkey Mong is called "Definitely An Italian Plumber", a call back to the achievement "My Brother is an Italian Plumber" in the first game.
    • The red text on the Cobra sniper rifle is a quote from Tiny Tina about how she customized it to mimic the same-named sniper rifle from the first game.
    • Lilith's final line in the main game, "No rest for the wicked," is a reference to the intro song from the first game.
    • The music in Moxxi's bar is the same one from her DLC in the first Borderlands.
    • Captain Flynt is actually related to Baron Flynt from the first game, as shown from an unused audio clip.
      Captain Flynt: I'm still offering a reward for whoever brings me the head of the man or woman who murdered my brother, Baron. Yes, his name was Baron. It wasn't a title. Our parents were douchebags.
    • The flavour text Legendary Siren, Hunter, Soldier, and Berserker class mods each feature a notable quote from one of the original four Vault Hunters. Roland's quote "It's like Christmas", in addition to being on the Legendary Soldier mod also gets several more references, as a few of the new Vault hunters will say things like "It's like Hanukkah" or "It's like Arbor Day".
    • Completing the sidequest "Animal Rights" given to you by Mordecai, rewards you with the Trespasser sniper rifle, which bypasses an enemy's shields. Mordecai had a skill called Trespass that allowed him to do the same thing. The flavour text "I infrequently perish" is an Expospeak Gag referencing Mordecai's tendency to scream "NOOOO! I NEVER DIE!" upon being put into Fight For Your Life.
    • In the boss fight against Roscoe, Captain Scarlett's pet Rakk Hive, the BGM used is "The Rakk Hive Emerges". The same track was used in the first game during the boss fight against a Rakk Hive.
    • In the "Fight for Sanctuary" DLC, an ECHO log can be found belonging to Captain Flynt. At the end of it, Captain Flynt opts to play "Dodge the Blowtorch" on Claptrap.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Tiny Tina DLC has grenade mods that take the form of magic spells which the player actually shouts the name of as they "cast" them.
  • Can't Use Stairs: Claptrap. Provides the page quote.
  • Captain Colorbeard: The Captain Scarlett DLC campaign gets this right out of the way, with the first named pirate being a lieutenant of Sandman's called No-Beard.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Maya's signature ability is projecting a black hole that sucks enemies in and holds them trapped. Every Mass Effect player should recognize a Singularity when they see it. She and other Sirens also seem to glow blue when their powers kick in, much like biotics.
    • The Thresher also has remarkably similar appearance (such as head tentacles) and behavior to the Mass Effect creature called a Thresher Maw.
    • Saturn's appearance and armaments closely resemble a Warlord Titan redesigned by Hyperion. As if its name wasn't enough of a clue...
    • Mr. Torgue is Saxton Hale taken up to absurdity. Complete with signature moustache, pecs and Testosterone Poisoning. Although he did lose the Hat.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Applies in numerous ways regarding how the talking enemies react to your actions or what's happening in the fight. For example, Marauders can shout "Shields down!" when you've broken their shields, "Slagged!" when you've hit them with a slag weapon, "You've killed him!" when you killed one of their friends, etc... This also applies when your playable Vault Hunters comment on the recent elemental Status Ailment that hit them.
    • In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, NPCs in Flamerock Refuge might warn you about spiders and their venomous bites, then berate themselves under their breath for giving you such obvious advice.
  • Car Fu: While it's not the insta-kill death machine it was in the first game, you can still run over enemies and kill them by hitting them repeatedly in a vehicle. While hitting them does tend to knock them down, you're probably better off just shooting them with the vehicle guns.
    • Knuckle Dragger - This is gonna hurt! Bullymongs love to throw nearby heavy objects at you, and can even toss your own car your way if you aren't careful!
    • There's actually a Bad Ass Challenge for killing enemies by power-sliding your car over them; the name of the challenge references Mario Kart.
    • The enemies in Bandit Technicals will actively try this against you, since they're often at your level or higher so they can actually deal more damage to you than you would to them.
    • The Caravan car can and will destroy you if you try to stop it by blocking its path with your car (because it is flagged as part of the environment and can't be destroyed).
    • Bikers and Sand Skiffs won't try this, as the former has much less HP than you while the latter would rather just strafe you with their guns.
  • Cargo Cult: The Bloodshot bandits worship guns. This has led them to worship Marcus after he sends them a shipment of complimentary weapons better than the stuff they use. They actually erected a giant golden statue in his honor combining him with a many-armed Indian goddess... with a gun clutched in every hand. In co-op you can sacrifice a teammate to it and it'll spit out a gun! The more teammates you sacrifice, the better the gun will be! There is also an ECHO log of them chanting "GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!", and the high priest exhorting them to chant louder so he can hear them.
    • Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt also has swamp natives worshipping Claptrap just because he's a Hyperion robot.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • invoked Axton and his turret.
      Axton: (throws out the turret) You fellas meet the missus?!
    • Gaige and loot.
      Gaige: (spotting a high-value item) What's your name, sexy?
    • A set of audio logs in a mission reveals Tannis was in an open relationship with two ceiling chairs (who were brothers). One of the radios scattered around will play a 'personals' ad from Tannis looking for a relationship with someone with furniture, please send pictures of the furniture.
    • According to Hammerlock, Claptrap once attempted to integrate with a random fusebox.
    • Bandit Marauders are very attached to their shotguns, to the point of jealousy.
      Marauder: Are you looking at my Shotty? STOP LOOKING AT MY SHOTTY!
  • Cast From Hit Points:
    • Amp shields have an interesting variation on this. When the shield is full, the first shot taken will take a small amount from the shields to boost the damage of the shot.
    • Pangolin shields/class mods reduce your max HP in exchange for other benefits, their shields having some of the best stat lines in the game.
    • Gaige's Blood-Soaked Shields ability greatly refills her shields at the cost of some health every time she kills an enemy. It is a very powerful but very dangerous ability, like everything else in the Ordered Chaos tree.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Roland, when you first meet him in person.
    [loader blasts through the wall behind him]
    Roland: This'll just take a second.
  • Catchphrase
    Angel: Executing phase shift.
    Marcus: No refunds.
    Scooter: Catch-A-Ride!
    Lilith: 'Sup.
    Krieg: MEAT!/[Screams of rage]
  • Chain Lightning: A grenade mod from the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC is explicitly named like this. When thrown, it shoots a bolt in a straight line for a certain distance or until it encounters a solid object; then it discharges lighting that chains to nearby enemies if present.
  • Character Alignment: The Dungeons & Dragons system is invoked and parodied in Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep. There are 9 class mods for each character, one for each of the nine core alignments of Dungeons & Dragons. Each gives different stat boosts, but they have absolutely no effect on the character's actual behavior.
  • Character Blog: The ECHO casts Twitter account, used by various characters to promote the DLCs. So far, Gaige, Mr. Torgue, Sir Hammerlock, Krieg, Tiny Tina, Axton, and Lady Aurelia (from the Pre-Sequel DLC) have used it.
  • Chasing Your Tail: Inverted. In the Tiny Tina DLC, you are tasked to chase after the NPC who insulted Moxxi in the Tavern and punch him in the face. The catch is: He runs faster than the normal sprinting speed of the playable Vault Hunters. One solution is to spec skills that increase your own movement speed. The easier one is to wait just outside the tavern since he is programmed to run in the same path in an loop regardless if you are ahead or behind him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Scooter's Plan B to help protect Sanctuary.
    • Angel's ability to take over non-Hyperion machinery. Like Sanctuary's shield.
    • In the Campaign of Carnage DLC, there's a large blimp that hovers around the crater throughout the game, it is Piston's blimp, and he uses it to kill Flyboy.
    • In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, you had the option to obtain a Unique Relic called the Mysterious Amulet, which is hyped up in-game to be a rare and highly coveted item but in actuality does nothing. Fast forward five years to Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary, and if you held onto that Mysterious Amulet, it will allow you to obtain a unique Effervescent Shotgun called the Uniconsplosion.
    • Near the end of the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, you need to get a massive supply of Eridium for Lilith. What better than Crazy Earl's stash of all the Eridium you've been paying him?
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • Once again, thanks to the procedurally generated loot, it's possible, even likely, to get a weak weapon that has a spectacular scope, so you can whittle away at enemy health from long range. Or a gun that does pitiful damage but has a high chance to apply an elemental effect.
    • Elemental effects themselves apply, as they slowly nibble away at an enemy's health instead of removing huge chunks of it all at once as normal weapons do.
  • Chest Monster:
    • Loot Midgets, which pop out of chests, lockers, and even boxes that are way too small for them. A far cry from regular midget enemies, they're badasses who can both take and dish out incredible damage. In Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, they're likely to drop Pearlescent equipment, too.
    • Loot Goon Goliaths invert the mold, seeming like normal enemies until you notice they carry loot chests on their backs. The Hyperion equivalent, the LWT Loader, is literally a loot chest with legs. Unlike Loot Goons, LWT Loaders are very easy to kill, probably to balance out the fact that Loaders are tougher enemies in general. However, the loader chest also disappears a lot quicker.
    • There's also a variant of the Loot Goon Goliath called the One Armed Bandit which carries a slot machine instead. It will still dispense guns and other items like any other slot machine.
    • Mimics in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep are the more typical version of the trope: loot chests that come alive and attack you. They're fairly random (except for one scripted encounter that introduces you to the concept), and unlike Loot Midgets they're limited to long loot chests.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • There is a sidequest where a broken Hyperion robot core, Loader #1340, asks you to help find him a new body. The first three times you do this, he tries to kill you. He only stops when he decides he can live with just helping you kill things and you get to place the core in a gun or shield.
    • Handsome Jack loves doing this.
    • Captain Scarlett outright tells you she's going to betray you, but she still gives you missions anyway. And you go ahead and do them. You dumbass.
  • Chokepoint Geography: The game's zones are still separated by loading screens, although by now largely as a measure of style rather than necessity - the updated engine is definitely capable of rendering massive draw distances (as becomes evident by a major part of the story mid-way through) and could probably be used to create a seamless world.
  • Chummy Commies: Vladof Corporation has switched from substituting accuracy with enthusiasm to this, with their weapons carrying prefixes like "Oppressed-" and "The People's-". The high rate of fire is to help rebels outshoot corporate thugs with more complicated but harder-hitting weapons. According to their sales pitch, they're a workers collective.
  • Cleavage Window: Maya has one, though her design (read: Most Common Superpower was averted) and default color scheme make it easy to miss.
  • Climactic Volcano Backdrop: The Vault of the Warrior is surrounded by lava, and that's where the final battle with Handsome Jack takes place.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Psychos of any kind. They pretty much yell nothing but nonsense and non sequiturs, whether they're demanding their hitpoints back to saying you can't kill them because they're already dead tomorrow, or Midgets squeaking "BICYCLE!" at the top of their tiny lungs, all because you just shot them in the face. Listening to a group of psychos talk among themselves in Southpaw Steam & Power, or to Rakkman's ECHO log, you have to really use your imagination to make any sense of what they're saying. This makes it especially strange when they might suddenly quote an entire monologue from Hamlet.
    • The psychos in Southpaw are distinctly darker than the rest, with their conversation having overtones of rape or Death by Childbirth.
    • Tannis, Scooter, Tiny Tina, Mr. Torgue and Shade all qualify to varying degrees.
    • Krieg is an interesting middle ground. Being a Psycho, he throws pretty much around every comment the enemy types do, but as player character you can actualy hear a sane second voice in his head which tries to keep him under control.
    • There are a couple of un-named NPCs in Sanctuary who qualify as well, from the guy who yells every odd thing he says at the top of his lungs ("I CAN'T HEAR YOU!") to the guy who has several... interesting theories as to what lies behind Handsome Jack's mask.
      Take off Handsome Jack's mask, and you'll find out he's actually Scooter in disguise!
      Behind Jack's mask is the entrance to a tiny Vault that you can enter like a portal!
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Employed in several different contexts.
    • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Weapons and other equipment follow a rarity-based tier system, which slightly affects stats. The number of tiers remains the same as in the previous game, but the tiers' uses have been shuffled around somewhat. Ordinary weapons still follow the white-green-blue-purple progression, with unique weapons getting lumped in with blue. Legendary weapons have been consolidated to a single shade of orange, while the UVHM-exclusive Pearlescents are once again cyan. The new E-tech weapons are classified as magenta, behaving roughly on par with purple gear. Seraph weapons, obtainable by defeating raid bosses in UVHM, get a new pink color; their rank in the hierarchy is ambiguous, but their stats place them close to legendary weapons. Finally, Effervescent weapons have cycling rainbow colors, and are described as a step above legendary weapons.
    • Color-Coded Elements: Much like the previous game, Incendiary damage is orange, Shock is blue, Corrosive is green, and Explosive is yellow. Slag, the newcomer, is bright purple, as a nod to its nature as a byproduct of the Eridium refinement process. Weapons that deal one of these damage types will usually feature lights of the appropriate color, and the damage numbers that fly off targets will use the color as well.
    • Enemy health bars can tell you how they'll react to different elements. Red means flesh, which is vulnerable to Incendiary but resists Corrosive. On the flipside, a pale yellow indicates an armored target, which will shrug off Incendiary and non-elemental attacks but melt under Corrosive. Either one may be preceded by a blue segment, representing the target's shield; sap it with Shock, but don't expect any other element besides Slag to do much.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Both you and your enemies. Taken up to eleven with shields, which now can actually impale and inflict elemental damage on enemies who melee you.
  • Combat Tentacles: A Thresher's main mode of attack. Bigger Threshers' tentacles may also be Cognizant Limbs that can be shot for Second Winds.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Thirstblood gives you this gem:
    Thirstblood: [gibberish] —Oh, I forgot you don't speak Aegran. I'm Thirstblood, I'm one of those bandits who have been trying to kill you. [pause] Hiyyadoin?
    • Axton, when confronted by his superior/wife over his Glory Hound tendencies.
  • Companion Cube: Shotgun-wielding Marauders are best pals with their shotguns, talking to them near-constantly and referring to them by name ("Shotty" or "Bucky").
  • Computer Voice: Hyperion computers have the relaxing female voice. Claptrap lampshades this as he tries to get you to Hero's Pass.
  • Continuing is Painful: Averted for the most part, since Death Is Cheap most of the time and you respawn with 32% of max ammo added back. However, it can be played straight in some situations:
    • After you respawn from dying, the New-U Station will collect 7% of your current money as a penalty "fee".
    • Dying solo in an arena fight, which forces you to restart the entire thing, so too bad if you died on the last mob. In a co-op game, the dead players respawn outside the arena. While they can still fire into it, its nowhere near as good as fighting alongside other players, so sometimes its better to just restart the quest, particularly if too many players die.
    • Fighting a tough boss. Solo, they recover all of their health, while in co-op its not as bad unless you all die around the same time, such as all players being in Fight For Your Life mode, and not enough stuff to kill for a second wind.
    • If the Mechromancer goes into Fight For Your Life, she'll quickly lose Anarchy stacks. Dying removes them all.
    • If you're fighting a badass loader solo, and you die after having shot its arms off (or your entire co-op party dies at the same time), it'll be back at full health but without its arms, so you won't be able to get crit hits from blasting them off. Super badass versions also don't have the eye weak point like the other loaders do (or at least it's almost impossible to hit). Enjoy Cherry Tapping it to death.
    • Most of the "Invincible" Bosses combine the arena problem with bosses: all of them have unique arenas that reset the entire boss fight if all players die. On top of having a metric crapton of health, some of those bosses also have tricks about them to lower their defenses. In some cases the boss's arena can only be entered once per payment, so you'll have to pay the Eridium cost again just to have a rematch. The only one that completely avert all of this are Dexidous and Vermivorous, who don't have dedicated arenas but spawn in large open areas in otherwise normal maps.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The first game had the "Lady Finger" pistol. This one ups the ante with the "Lady Fist". The quest that awards the Lady Fist can also award the Tidal Wave shotgun, based on the "T.K.'s Wave" shotgun from the original game.
    • In the Clan War mission line, Mick Zaford talks about his son Lucky and how he was murdered by an ex-Hodunk. Anyone who played the General Knoxx DLC from the first game would know that Scooter killed Lucky Zaford. He told you he was gonna do it!
    • When visiting Fyrestone, a hidden ECHO log of Dr. Zed's has an offhand mention of how the original Vault Hunters helped Mr. Blake with the Claptrap uprising — this was the main plot of the Claptrap's New Robot Revolution DLC.
    • In the same area, you can find an ECHO log of Handsome Jack giving Angel orders to tell the original Vault Hunters the speech she gives them while stepping off the bus.
    • The end-of-mission text for the Monster Mash questline: "If you think Zed's creepy, be happy you never met his brother." His brother was the eponymous Dr. Ned of The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, a DLC for the first Borderlands.
    • On that note, buying a shield from one of Dr. Zed's machines might yield the line "That oughtta keep your insides, inside." "Keep your Insides Inside" was an infamous bugged quest in the first game, and involved buying a shield from one of Zed's machines.
    • Dr. Ned is mentioned by name in T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest. T.K. also mentions Ted, then quickly chastises himself and says that nobody is allowed to talk about the "Forbidden Brother".
    • While most of the original four Vault Hunters have similar but modified versions of their original outfits (save Roland), Lilith's clothing is the exact same outfit she wore in the first game - minus the parts that have been ripped off or repaired.
    • During the main game, you have to collect crumpets for Tiny Tina's tea-party; Tina says she'll eat so many it'll be (in her own words) "a crumpocalypse". In Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep, you have to gather provisions for the town of Flamerock Ridge. They're crumpets. Oh, and the quest is called 'Post-Crumpocalyptic'.
  • Contract on the Hitman: One optional mission has Handsome Jack (in the throes of a Villainous Breakdown) contact you and offer you a nice reward to kill yourself. He instructs you to go to a specific cliff and throw yourself off of it. Alternately, there is a phone there which will contact a suicide hotline, which tells you "Thank you for calling the Hyperion Suicide Prevention Hotline, Handsome Jack regrets to inform you that you are a coward". Whatever you do, it doesn't really matter; the Hyperion New-U station will instantly resurrect you if you die, taking a portion of your money but earning you 12 Eridium as a reward; Jack knows this, he just wants to watch you die for kicks. If you call the hotline instead, you get no Eridium, but triple experience for the quest.
    "Handsome Jack:' Enjoy your nothing, idiot!
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Averted and Inverted; immunity to Phaselocks and Standard Status Effects is based on enemy type rather than importance most of the time. Some immune enemies are bosses, but most bosses are as vulnerable as anyone else. Phaselocks still damage enemies who are immune to it.
    • Phaselock seems to depend more on whether the target can move normally or not. It damages turrets, threshers, constructors and vehicles. It also does it to bosses which are much larger than your average enemies. Humorously, this means that King Mong and Blue, some of the the biggest enemies in the game, can be phaselocked. It's a hilarious sight.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Played for Laughs in the Son of Crawmerax DLC. The six assassins out for revenge against one Vault Hunter each are each killed off by allies before they get a chance to do anything. None of these allies were coordinating with each other; they all independently decided to kill one assassin.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The area where the Warrior is located and where you fight it. The Eridium Blight averts this a little. Falling into the slagma is an instant death, and splashes of slagma and fire jump out that will severely harm you as well.
  • Cool Horse: Butt Stallion, a living horse made of diamonds. Which Jack bought, because he's rich.
  • Cope by Pretending: This is the main point of the Tiny Tina Assault on Dragon Keep DLC. Beneath the wacky fun of watching a crazy 13-year-old explosives expert running a D&D game and battling fantasy monsters with your arsenal of weaponry is a very sad story about how poor Tina is trying to cope with Roland's death at the hands of Handsome Jack by denying that it ever happened and pretending that everything's all right, something the climax reveals she's quite aware she's doing.
  • Could Say It, But...: When Axton's wife (who is also his superior officer) informs him he's going to be arrested, then executed, and notes that she can't officially tell him to go AWOL. Immediately.
    Axton: Too bad. That would have been good advice.
  • Crapsack World: To the extreme. Most towns are just bombed-out dust (or ice) bowls full of makeshift lean-tos. If they're not deserted, they're exclusively populated with bandits who shoot on sight. In between are vast expanses of rough terrain filled with Spiderants, Skags, Bullymongs, Varkids, Crystalisks and/or Threshers. Smoking, toxic mines and industrial areas full of rusty, greasy machinery dot the landscape. Everywhere you look, there are piles of garbage and wildlife dung. There's an entire cavern filled with nothing but acid, and another one brimming with lava. And those aren't even the ones called "Eridium Blight," and "Arid Nexus." Everything, from the animals, to the inhabitants, to the plant life is actively and constantly trying to kill you. To top it all off, the entire planet is run by a lunatic evil industrialist who delights in sending you special messages regarding just how very much he hates your guts, and can't wait to murder you personally. Putting it simply, Pandora is even crappier than it was in the first game.
  • Creator Breakdown: In-universe, Dragon Keep is the result of Tina's struggle to accept the death of Roland.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Writer Anthony Burch is the Handsome Jack double in Opportunity.
    • Fellow writer Mikey Neumann and Gearbox president Randy Pitchford reprise their roles as Scooter and Crazy Earl, respectively like in the first game.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • Applies to every gun. The game was deliberately designed so that the guns you find have a mix of benefits and drawbacks, so you're constantly changing your strategy.
      • Dahl guns have burst fire while zoomed in, and their recoil reduction means you can stay on target while holding down the trigger, or fire in controlled bursts (while not aiming down sights) to keep accuracy at a maximum. However, their pistols only fire once per trigger pull when not zoomed; burst fire while zoomed means their sniper rifles, while accurate, waste a lot of ammo; and their balanced weapon stats don't stand out in any one area.
      • Jakobs do some of the highest raw damage in the game, but kick like a mule and never have any element besides the very rare blast rifle (And 4 unique weapons we mentioned above), which causes them to lag in True Vault Hunter Mode where elemental modifiers are magnified. They also have the smallest magazine size of any manufacturer — a Jakobs shotgun will rarely be able to fire more than three times before needing to reload. Also, apart from the sniper rifles, they tend to be semi-automatic, meaning they fire as fast as you pull the trigger.
      • Maliwan is the exact opposite to Jakobs in that they have some of the lowest raw damage but always have an element that isn't explosive. This can make them amazing if you're fighting enemies that are weak against that element (bugs and fire, loaders and corrosive, etc.), but do scratch damage against most anything else (except Slag, which does even damage against everything). Additionally, Maliwan pistols consume more than one unit of ammo per shot, making them a fast drain on your pistol ammo reserve.
      • Hyperion weapons can be seen as opposites to Dahl's - rather than fire in short bursts, you need to keep firing to maintain accuracy, which can burn ammo rather quickly. This also makes the first several shots very inaccurate; a Hyperion SMG might have to empty half its magazine before it reaches max accuracy, and Hyperion sniper rifles lack the one-shot accuracy that sniper rifles are generally prized for (the sniper rifles do stabilise once scoped in, but that takes time that you may not have in a chaotic firefight).
      • Torgue's guns are all explosive. All the time. No other elements. That's not even going into their infamous Painfully Slow Projectile habit. They are, however, amazing at crystalisk hunting (explosive damage is the only type that goes through their shell, other than attacking their weak point crystals directly), and explosive guarantees good damage against all kinds of defenses. Their shotguns are also especially effective at the range for which they're designed.
      • Vladof guns may shoot quickly, be fairly accurate, and do shocking amounts of damage, but their magazines and possibly your ammo stockpile usually can't keep up with their rate of fire, especially if you're trigger happy.
      • Tediore's weaponry can essentially become a pile of grenades that use up ammo, but they're very difficult to use properly for experienced FPS players, and their stats are middling at best. If you choose to rely on their unique reload as your primary damage source by firing a single shot and immediately reloading, you'll quickly burn through all of your ammo. However, they reload almost instantly compared to other manufacturers.
      • Bandit weapons have insanely large magazines, but their other stats tend to suffer for it (usually accuracy). Bandit guns, especially shotguns and rocket launchers, also have the longest reload times in the game, sometimes in excess of ten seconds.
    • As a non-weapon example: Gaige and her Anarchy skill. Massive damage at the cost of negative accuracy. The gain/loss starts out at a cap of 262.5% then only goes up from there with points in another skill (up to 700%, can be boosted with a specific item to 1050%). Summed up perfectly with one of her stack gain quotes: "God help you all if I actually hit something!"
  • Critical Existence Failure:
    • Surprisingly averted, for the enemies at least. You'll usually be too busy blowing away enemies to notice, but all enemies have unique "I'm nearly dead" limping-around animations and quotes, including the animals.
    • Players get "Fight for your life" mode, which allows them to revive by killing an enemy (or a friend helping them up). However, they move much slower, can't aim normally and also can't use grenades or abilities unless they have certain skills that allow them to do so.
  • Critical Failure: The "Critical Fail" mission from Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has everyone roll ones while they attempt to pick up the gun that is the object of the mission, causing it to slip out of their hands and be thrown off into the distance, slip out of their hands and be thrown away again while breaking all of their fingers (putting the player in ("Fight for your life" mode), and turning the gun into a monster. Tiny Tina decides to just give you the gun after that. The gun you gain has a chance of falling out of your hands when reloaded.
  • Critical Hit:
    • The game (like the first one) refers to Attack Its Weak Point as a critical hit. The version described by the trope is present with elemental guns and certain skills though; skills can add a chance for extra effects, and elemental guns have a chance to apply their respective effect. More points in a skill/higher quality gun = bigger chance to trigger.
    • Brick wants to punch the Dwarf king to "talk" to him in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. He rolls a twenty, and the king explodes from the melee attack which you use on him.
  • Critical Hit Class: When Zer0 enters his Decepti0n mode, all enemies are highlighted in blue, and his attacks will do more damage the closer the duration timer runs out. One of his abilities later on highlights the critical hit areas on enemies in red. Other abilities in the same skill tree increase damage for critical hits, increases accuracy and zoom on sniper rifles, and increases melee damage when backstabbing an enemy (not a critical hit area, but can be if you aim carefully.)
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The reason Shep Sanders, a quest-giving NPC from the first game, isn't in the second. Brick gouged out his eyes and cracked his skull open because Shep betrayed the location of New Haven to Hyperion.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Gaige using her Best Friends Forever skill tree; it's based around making the game easier for people who are new to FPS games, with skills like Close Enough, which compensates for poor aim by having missed shots ricochet and hit enemies, and generally beefing up the Deathtrap so it can be as effective and efficient as possible during combat.
    • Salvador can heal nearly instantly, regenerate his ammo and dual-wield. Awesome in the first 15-20 levels. It's not as great after that. In True Vault Hunter Mode, enemies tear you to shreds even while Gunzerking, so lot of Salvador players who specced Rampage end up respeccing to either pure Brawn or pure Gun Lust just to improve survivability. Alternatively, you can use a Moxxi weapon in one hand while gunzerking, allowing you to achieve a high DPS while constantly recovering health as long as you keep hitting some enemies. This is the reason the Grog Nozzle is an especially popular weapon for Salvador.
    • Axton is also easy on new players, as his turret picks up a lot of the slack for someone learning the ropes.
    • Both Axton and Gaige have abilities that when triggered, force the shield to start recharging. They also both have abilities that decreases the time it takes the shield to start recharging on its own and increases the speed at which it recharges (Based on health level for both while Axton also has passive and permanently active boosts available). Gaige is especially powerful about this, because her BFF tree contains both skills to force recharging upon killing an enemy and skills for reducing time for the shield to start recharging. Both of these can be triggered by Deathtrap and are both on the same tree that makes Deathtrap extremely powerful. In the Anarchy tree, Blood Soaked Shields, without any class mods can instantly bring Gaige's shields up to 100% but this can not be triggered by Deathtrap. Yes, that's right, Gaige has two Kill Skills that recharge skills, which makes her extremely deadly versus mobs. When the shield isn't being instantly dropped that is.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • Affects Roland, Lilith, and the player character, all three confirmed as major badasses in their own right, at the end of the quest to get to Angel in the Core. Jack pops up out of nowhere, shoots Roland in the back and kidnaps Lilith while the player character stands like a lemon doing absolutely nothing. Most egregious if you're playing four player co-op. Even if you anticipate Jack's arrival and place a turret or release Deathtrap, they will simply idle the entire time (or possibly continue attacking nearby enemies if there are any.) This is also a case of Cutscene Power to the Max for Jack, since his gun kills Roland in one shot completely bypassing his shields and he captures the most powerful Siren in the universe single-handedly.
    • In the final battle, Jack is wounded and then places the artifact in the hole, releasing the warrior. There's a good 15 second window of time where Jack is vulnerable and unshielded; your character, naturally, is offscreen doing their best impression of a block of cheese.
    • None of the player characters ever appear at all in all the cut scenes, which can make some people wonder where the heck did the new vault hunters go. Finally averted in the opening to Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, which shows all five Vault Hunters participating in the hunt.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Done in regards to the first game's Mad Moxxi DLC: Mordecai was the canon winner of the entire campaign, his prize being a relationship with Moxxi herself... which disintegrated long before 2 started. The friction between them serves as the choice the player makes during the Rakkaholics Anonymous sidequest.
    • Brick is implied to be the character who canonically killed Sledge, as he keeps his hammer as a keepsake.
    • Vaughn and Cassius being on good terms makes it unlikely that he was mistreated in Tales.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • Invoked in one early sidequest in Lair's Berg. At one point, a required fuse is placed behind an electric barrier. Claptrap suggests ridiculous methods such as running through the barrier fast, but Angel tells you to shoot the generator instead to remove the barrier.
    • One storyline quest in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep involves solving a puzzle in order to retrieve one of the runes, with the puzzle resembling a runic Rubiks cube. After a moment of trying the puzzle, Brick proposes a solution of punching the puzzle, and it works. Though solving the puzzle properly unlocks a dice chest with the chance for some kickass loot.
  • Cyberpunk: The game has Tron Lines, a Space Station, an all-powerful Mega-Corp, artificial limbs and futuristic Maliwan weaponry, but like the first game, it's still a Space Western.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: