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  • Obstacle Exposition: Angel gives this to the heroes at the beginning of the "Wildlife Preservation" mission, describing the "three impassable security hurdles" they will have to overcome to steal the Vault Key. The majority of story missions from that point involve dealing with these obstacles.
  • Obviously Evil: The game makes absolutely no attempt to hide the fact that Scarlett, Piston and Pyro Pete are going to betray you. In fact, it tells you as much as soon as you meet them; Mr. Torgue screams it out as part of his introductions for Piston and Pete. Pyro Pete is actually kind of disappointed that Torgue spoiled the "surprise."
    Pete: *Irritated* Uh, yeah, you covered it. That was it.
  • Odd Name Out: Bonus bosses have pompous names with "The Invincible" tacked on. The list includes: Terramorphous, Vermivorous, Hyperius and Pete.
  • Off the Rails: Early on in the Tiny Tina DLC, she tells you to travel down a path following some gems dropped along the way to find the queen. At one point the trail breaks off into a side path leading to another area, and Tina warns you that you should stay on the main quest because she hasn't balanced the difficulty of the monsters in that area like she did for the normal route. Should you continue further into said area, some extremely high level monsters show up and begin to chase after you. Tina scrambles to fix them by making them disappear, then having more level appropriate monsters come after you instead.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Lilith and Roland's reaction to Jack sending Wilhelm after the new Vault Hunters.
    • An Echo recording from a Hyperion counterintelligence agent in the final DLC shows that Vladof's Ursa Corps completely curbstomped the Tediore Army within 72 hours and how Hyperion is really fucked over if Vladof decides to wage war with them. Not even Wilhelm or The Warrior would've put a dent on the Ursa Corps. Then he has a second Oh Crap moment when he realizes he must turn this finding into a 30 page report full of multisyllable buzzwords to avoid certain death from Handsome Jack.
  • Oh My Gods!: Certain characters replace "God" with Jack, with phrases such as "By Jack" or "As Jack is my witness".
  • Old Save Bonus: By having a save file of the first Borderlands on your system, you gain access to uniform skins with the Vault logo for all characters, as well as one headpiece referencing characters from the previous game for each. Salvador gains the appearance of Sledge, Maya of Patricia Tannis, Axton gets the Crimson Lance infantry helmet and Zer0 gets to look like a spiderant.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Handsome Jack. Multiple mentions are made of how much plastic surgery he's had, but by both appearance and demeanor, he looks to be about 35, at most. It turns out he's old enough to have at least one adult child who appears to be in at least her early twenties. A tip off to his real age is his graying hair.
    • Also, Moxxi. While she's still...perky...she also has at least two children, both now adults. Considering her background she probably gave birth unusually young.
  • One Bullet Clips:
    • Unusual aversion in the case of Tediore guns: "reloading" them consists of throwing them at the enemy and making the gun explode like a grenade, then a new one warps into your hands. Throw a mostly-full gun at the enemy by reloading early, and you lose all the cartridges you had in it (but you also get a bigger bang).
    • Every other gun plays this completely straight.
    • Playing Anarchy Gaige will result in you playing as if every gun averted this, as reloading before the magazine is empty causes you to lose all your stacks unless you have the "Discord" skill, which instead has it slowly decrease while you regenerate health.
    • The orange-rarity Infinity pistol literally has a one cartridge sized magazine, but it doesn't consume ammo or ever need to be reloaded, giving it a literally bottomless magazine. Unfortunately, as mentioned below, the weapon is unusable if Gaige has the "Smaller, Lighter, Faster" skill and doesn't have a relic or class mod to counteract the skill's penalty.
  • One Bullet Left: Salvador's Money Shot skill - the last shot in the magazine of your currently equipped gun gets a huge damage bonus (going up to almost 9x damage at the skill's cap).
    • This can be abused by one of his skills that makes firing a gun have a chance to not cost ammo. As long as the shot would normally empty the magazine, it will gain the bonus damage, meaning that as long as Inconceivable continues to proc you can chain Money Shots. Absolutely devastating, especially with weapons like powerful shotguns.
    • Inverted with Zer0's "0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill" skill — the first cartridge fired from a full magazine gets a big damage bonus.
    • A combination of this trope and the above One Bullet Clips gets played literally with the Vladof Infinity pistol - its magazine size really is one round. However, it constantly regenerates that one round. It also works with Zer0's "0ne Sh0t 0ne Kill" skill in that every shot fired counts as the first cartridge of the magazine.note  Picking the Infinity up with Gaige's "Smaller, Lighter, Faster" skill will render the gun unusable, as the minus one penalty to magazines will cause it to have an ammo capacity of zero (unless you have a class mod or an artifact that offsets the skill's percentage penalty).
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Several weapons, skills and even shields are designed to help you with this. Sniper rifles (specifically, Jakob's brand- there is a very significant difference in damage between a Jakob's that does 300 damage and any other brand that does 300 damage) are the way to go in general if you want one-shots, of course. Zer0 naturally gets a lot of sniper-based skills, but there are a few equivalents. Salvador gets a skill that makes the last cartridge in every magazine do tons of extra damage and another that adds overkill to his damage, and the amp shield vastly boosts the damage of your initial shot if it's fully charged (depleting itself partly when you fire that one shot - with the exception of the Bee, a legendary amp shield which has no shot penalty, but otherwise functions the same way as the other amp shields), which also makes it pretty fair with either sniper rifles or shotguns at close range. All of these skills and abilities do require you to hit the enemy's vulnerable spots for crits, though.
    • Getting run over by ground vehicles will kill the player. But unlike most deaths that give you a chance for a Second Wind, collisions with certain vehicles such as the Car-A-Van in The Dust and the train in Lynchwood will outright kill you and send you back to the next New-U Station.
    • In the Captain Scarlett DLC, you can instantly kill Sand Worms into Ludicrous Gibs by running over them with your Sandskiff. However, the vehicle will be damaged depending on the Sand Worm's health. Running over multiple of them in quick succession can easily destroy your ride in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
  • One-Man Army: Played straight if you're soloing (unless you count Gaige's Deathtrap). When playing in a co-op game, this becomes Badass Crew.
  • One-Person Birthday Party: The "Claptrap's Birthday Bash" sidequest, where you send invitations to Claptrap's birthday party for him. None of the guests accept the invitation, so you end up alone with Claptrap.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • The Zaford bagman is Peter Zaford; one of the guys in Mr. Torgue's tournament is Pyro Pete.
    • Handsome Jack isn't the only Jack in the series - One-Eyed Jack was the name of a bandit from the first game. Which becomes somewhat funny in hindsight when taking into account that Handsome Jack himself is apparently blind in one eye.
    • Handsome Jack's real name is apparently John; a Tediore radio advert features a man named John.
    • Mr. Blake's first name is revealed to be Jeffrey; the reporter interviewing Piston near the start of Campaign of Carnage is also named Jeffrey. You also deal with a Prince Jeffrey (an Expy of Joffrey) in a sidequest in the Tiny Tina DLC.
    • One of the mutants in the "Splinter Group" mission is Lee. He shares a name with Savage Lee, a psycho who lives with bullymongs, and one of the robbers in the BFFs mission.
    • An odd semi-example: Maya's home planet is Athenas, which is remarkably similar in name to former Crimson Lance assassin Athena, from the first game's Secret Armory DLC.
    • Steve the Bandit. There's only one of him.
  • One-Woman Wail: The background music for some of the areas, most notably in Thousand Cuts.
  • One-Way Visor: The bandit Krieg butchers at the start of A Meat Bicycle Built for Two.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Jack is normally quite jovial, or at least snide, mocking, and treating everything like its a big game. When you find the ECHO recordings of him learning of Maya's past, however, the moment he learns Maya is a Siren, his tone immediately becomes disturbingly flat and focused and absolutely serious. Its a tone that you almost never hear from Jack, even when he's lethally angry at the Vault Hunters.
  • Orcus on His Throne: All the top badasses of the Torgue Badass Tournament except the Vault Hunter. Mr. Torgue is kinda pissed about this, since it's not very entertaining.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Both figuratively (standard miner race who like beer and beards) and literally. All the dwarves in the Tiny Tina DLC look like Salvador, which Lilith points out. When Tina asks Salvador himself if he's OK with it, he responds that he thinks it's awesome.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Spider-like creatures made of rocky crystal deposits, invisible bat-panther-scorpions, and seemingly normal bandits—until their helmets come off, at which point they drop their guns, turn red, and cough up their own skulls, charging at you fists swinging with what's left of their heads suspended on a tentacle of viscera.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Aside from their skag-like bifurcated jaws, the Orcs found in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep are shamelessly standard-issue: Always Chaotic Evil, alarmingly fast, and generally prefer huge axes and other melee weapons. But their Gunzerkers give even their Warhammer 40,000 relatives a run for their money in the More Dakka department.
  • Out of Character:
    • What with Tiny Tina being a visibly-inexperienced Game Master in her roleplaying DLC, the characters she brings in from the "real" world can come across as this. Special mention goes to Roland, who speaks in Tina's slang-riddled dialect, and Angel, who's a Card-Carrying Villain.
    • In the side mission "Customer Service", Marcus narrates that he had been drunk on a certain night, and that caused him to act against his shop's tagline. He gave refunds to his customers.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • In Best Minion Ever, Claptrap will stand in front of a gate in expectation of you blowing it up with a cannon, while explaining what he wants you to do to avoid harming him. Naturally, he never actually moves away so you may induce Amusing Injuries. The lines he says for this section below almost take a whole minute to say.
      Claptrap: Just blast this gate down, but DON'T do it until I get out of the way. Understand? If you shot the gate now, that could do some serious damage to me! So don't do that! I'm just standing here to show you the area you should shoot after I move away, which I will once I am totally convinced you understand the instructions I am relaying to you! Do you understand? I know it's kinda complicated, but just stick with me okay, when it's okay for you to shoot this gate with the cannon, I'll say something like 'SHOOT THE GATE WITH THE CANNON, NOW!' But that was just a test, right. You didn't shoot the gate when I said that, which was good. 'SHOOT THE GATE WITH THE CANNON, NOW!' Also another test. You're doing me proud, minion... actually, I'm getting bored. Just shoot the gate now for realsies.
    • When you land on Three Horns in Claptrap's ship, he'll ask you to organize a party for him and start listing things for you to get. He carries on about it for a few solid minutes if you stay and listen.
    • He also does this whole schtick later on when you celebrate his birthday party. He'll prattle on and on until you give him a high-five (melee him).
    • When you're destroying some furnaces that belong to a gang of bandits, Claptrap says "Chill out!" and then, when your character doesn't laugh, proceed to explain in elaborate detail what sort of joke he just made, why it's funny, and then go on into a dry explanation of the entire concept of humor - apparently certain that your character will understand and burst into laughter at any second.
    • He returns in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep to speak about how much he loves a rune and describes it as more beautiful than the pretty princess of pretty land and how things have gotten pretty bad there in a pretty verbose way that over uses the word pretty. You, of course, have to take the rune away for a mission.
    • The entire quest dealing with Face McShooty mentions the words "face" and "shoot" no less than 10 times each. And that's not including what the guy actually rambles about (hint: it's about shooting him in the face).
    • The Wattle Gobbler DLC has a quest in which you must listen to Grandma Flexington's Rambling Old Woman Monologue, and if you move out of her line of sight you'll automatically fail the quest. She'll also pause in the middle of the story to ask you a question to see if you were listening, with the incorrect answer also failing the quest. Afterwards, there's a Raid Level version of this quest which is even longer, though there's a point where she sends you on a fetch quest for some candy.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Mr. Torgue's admiration for the Badassasaurus is very specific:
    Mr. Torgue: That Badassasaurus is the greatest mechanical monstrosity I've ever seen. IT IS THE HENRY IV OF ROBOTIC DINOSAURS!
  • Oxymoronic Being: When a Midget Goliath reaches his fully leveled up state of rage, he becomes a "Giant Midget of Death"

  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Some weapons, including virtually all of Torgue's products, fire bullets or rockets that take a while to travel in the direction you shot them at. They will also arc downward over a longer distance, making them largely unsuitable weapons for long-range combat, unless you know how to arc your shots and the target can't or doesn't move around too much (And that is assuming the shot itself doesn't peter out before reaching its target, or otherwise you'll just be shooting into the wind about 30 feet away from you.)
    • Rocket Launchers with the "Torgue" barrel (the rounded one with vents; compare the rocket assault rifle barrel) take this to laughable extremes — they're only slightly faster than your running speed, and to top it off they seem to fly in whatever direction they please after leaving the barrel. If they actually hit something though, it's worth it, since they do big bonus damage. Torgue ones even run out of fuel and drop like a rock after a short distance.
      • Taken even further with the Legendary Nukem, Pearescent Tunguska, and Effervescent World Burn - all of them are more accurately described as grenade launchers or hand mortars, and if they land anywhere near you, you're dead meat.
  • Papa Wolf: When Gaige was about to be arrested (and expelled) for killing her rival, her dad apparently set up a distraction with a golf cart and explosives so she could flee to Pandora, totally confident that Gaige would not only survive but thrive and adore living there (and he's right). He still worries about her to the point that he sabotaged a transport filled with mercenaries sent to kill her. Best. Dad. Ever.
  • Parental Substitute: The first Vault Hunters become a collection of parents for Tiny Tina, even resulting her in calling Mordecai "Mordy-mom" and Brick "Brick-dad". For example during Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, they try to force her to eat a salad instead of crumpets because it's better for her.
  • Patchwork Map: Temperate Sanctuary borders an arctic area. Also in the intro, shots of the train's ride shows a desert next to an snowy arctic environment. The Vault's opening and the spread of Eridium is said to have altered the planet's (already hellish) ecosystems a lot.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
    • Could you not pick up Scarlett's gun? Because that is stealing. And stealing is wrong.
    • Karmically, Greed's Flavor text is "Thief".
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Lynchwood, in a sense that it is overcrowded with enemies despite being a relatively short map, that you're likely to kill a lot of enemies fast for farming EXP or Badass Tokens from completing challenges. Other than the thick enemy density, Lynchwood also contains plenty of loot chests within a relatively short distance from each other, that players could easily just rush through every one of them for rare loot per visit.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The challenge that tasks you to complete optional mission objectives is an example of this. You only get one shot in each playthrough to finish the optional objectives, and that's it. Not even joining a friend's game to do the mission again will count towards the challenge if you've completed the mission already. If you're looking to finish the challenge, better take care.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Small enemies are generally this. Specially Loot Midgets and the like.
    • Midgets can knock you several feet away from them with a melee attack.
    • Salvador is a borderline example being the second smallest non-midget character in the game (he's 5'4") and able to deliver Megaton Punches after you unlock one of his skills. Then again, his stature is a result of massive steroid abuse.
      • As noted above, Tiny Tina based the dwarves in her "Bunkers & Badasses" game on Salvador. They're shorter and less muscular than the real deal, but they're powerful melee combatants, especially their Badasses.
    • Gaige is also a borderline example, coming in a quarter of an inch shorter than Salvador. Her mechanical arm can smash concrete, at the expense of severe damage.
  • Player Archetypes: In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep
    • Lilith is The Roleplayer. She's the most experienced player out of the lot, having played it since she was young, her priority is getting involved with the story, and she gets irritated when things get inconsistent or when people do things to disrupt the game.
    • Brick is The Real Man, who's primarily there to fight things and kill stuff; his solution for literally everything is "I punch it!".
    • Mister Torgue is The Loonie, who briefly takes over as GM and sends the player on insane missions, including one where you have to chase down a douchey bar patron and punch him so hard he explodes, until Lilith convinces Tina to get rid of him.
    • Mordecai is best described as a Hearts/Socializer because he's really just there to hang out with the others and has no real interest in the game itself, even berating the game as childish during the DLC's opening cutscene (though he does gradually get quite into the campaign, even panicking as events unfold).
    • In Fight for Sanctuary, a hidden Echo log describes Claptrap as a complete and absolute Munchkin — specifically a Cheater, trying to pull outrageously god-like powers without even rolling dice for them. Tina eventually loses it and bans Claptrap from her table.
  • Player-Exclusive Mechanic:
    • Like in the first game, the A.I. will never intentionally target Exploding Barrels (though they may still hit them when they were aiming at the player).
    • Bandits and Marauders can be seen wielding Tediore weapons. However, their reload animation with Tediore guns do not involve throwing the weapon like a grenade as the player characters do but instead refills their ammo like any other weapon in the game.
  • Pistol-Whipping: If you let them stay alive for long enough (or dry out their ammo), Marauders may sometimes suddenly charge towards you and use their guns as clubs in a melee attack.
  • Police Are Useless: Marshall Friedman is the law in Sanctuary, but on two occasions simply asks you to solve a mystery for him, because he's in bed and can't be bothered.
    Marshal Friedman: About an hour or so back, I heard a gunshot. Naturally, I ignored it, until someone came and got me.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • After she has gone rogue, Angel enigmatically mentions that Lilith cannot be allowed in her chamber with no further explanation. Naturally, this provokes Lilith into coming along anyway, which leads to Jack capturing her and using her to awaken the Warrior.
    • When Krieg first met Maya, his inner voice wants to tell her how much he loves her, how he hopes she can save him, and also to not shout the word 'poop' at the top of his lungs. What comes out:
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: A large chunk of the cast, thanks to the copious Shout Outs. The player characters are the biggest ones, both in their skills and dialogue, with the sole exception of Maya, who sticks to quoting Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Pop-Culture Isolation: Kai, in-universe. "Pandora is crap! Nobody's heard of me here! Hell-ooo, five billion EchoCAST subscribers?!"
  • Portmanteau: In the "Monster Mash" sidequest line, Dr. Zed experiments in combining two creatures into one, giving the result with this naming theme. To be specific, the skag-rakk hybrids are "Skrakks" and the spiderant-psycho hybrid is "Spycho".
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Bandits, at least some of them, wear armor in this style, although only the heavy suits of armor worn by Armored Maniacs and Boom-Bewm give effective resistance to damage. Still, Killer Marauders wear the skulls of some horned animal, and some Psycho, Bruiser, and Marauder models wear armor based on football pads. Badass Marauders wear bits and pieces of old Crimson Lance armor.
  • Power High:
    • Anarchy Gaige gets reaaaaally excited in battle. Even without Anarchy, she gets high enough from Deathtrap slaughtering everyone - especially if you've upgraded him with the explosion ability.
    • Lilith too, when she's pumped up on Eridium; one ECHO log is from right after her first exposure to the stuff, equally horrified and giddy, as she informs Roland that she liquified a bandit.
    • Maya is a much more minor example, the more she kills enemies or use Phaselock in a fight.
  • Powers as Programs: In Gaige's ECHO logs on youtube, she name-drops a whole bunch of her abilities. Apparently, for her, they really are programs that she's created to enhance Deathtrap (or herself, with her mechanical arm and all).
  • Powerup Letdown: Some of the orange/pearlescent/seraph items are less powerful or have worse DPS than their more common counterparts, despite being incredibly rare even with farming.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Handsome Jack has one before the final battle:
    Jack: Hey, you're right on time - Key's nearly ready! But before I cleanse this planet for good, I am gonna avenge my daughter!
  • Preorder Bonus:
    • A handful of items, one head and skin per character, an item that boosts drop rates, a free copy of the Mechromancer DLC, and a free copy of the Creature Slaughter Dome DLC (select retailers only). Some of the bonuses were limited to different editions of the game.
    • In-game, one of the radio ads for Sir Hammerlock's wildlife almanac has him touting the bonus content you get for pre-ordering it. Namely, a photo diary (which is mostly him sitting at his desk looking bored) and a special embossed cover that brags about the extra spending money you clearly have lying around.
  • Precision A Strike:
    • After spending the whole game utilizing Gosh Darn It to Heck!, Angel calls Handsome Jack an "asshole" in her final moments.
    • Moxxi gives one off at the end of an interview in the Torgue DLC campaign during Tiny Tina's Hostile Show Take Over in an ECHO recording. It's still bleeped out though.
  • Previews Pulse: Endgame areas use ominous rumbles liberally, especially in areas with volcanic activity or severe industrialization, as well as transitions into and out of combat.
  • Private Military Contractors: Hyperion, naturally, being the richest corporation on Pandora, has its own private army made of human soldiers and robots. At first, you meet lightly armoured Combat Engineers and Gun Loaders, which are repurposed loaders with twin Assault Rifles. Later, you meet the professional Hyperion Soldiers, Snipers (who have ridiculous accuracy and WILL snipe you), Infiltrators (who cloak then blast you with their shotguns if you're not careful) and WAR Loaders, who are basically massive red loaders with incendiary Gatling cannons.
  • Profane Last Words: Angel's last words were "Dad...I have something to tell you. You're an asshole." Notable in that this is the only time she ever curses.
  • Protection Mission: There are a few, including the climax of the story mission "Bright Lights, Flying City."
  • Psychopathic Manchild:
    • Goliaths and some Psychos, who seem to regard combat as "play time."
    • Handsome Jack is of the "intelligent but immature" variant.
  • Pumpkin Person: The Halloween Episode DLC TK Baha's Bloody Harvest allowed the players to collect and wear pumpkin head swaps for all six vault hunters.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Hyperion employees are just average joes who happen to work for a sociopathic asshole. Many of their quotes reflect this:
    "I was almost done with my lunchbreak, asshole!"
    "I almost finished... my comic... collection..."
    "I almost finished... paying... the house..."
    "Tell my wife... she's a bitch..."
    "OF COURSE! Bandit raid as I finish my shift!"
    • Straight-up lampshaded in Opportunity. The PA announces that Vault Hunters have apparently been spotted in the vicinity, so don't be afraid to run away from them. They don't get paid enough for that crap.
    • The Lynchwood sheriff's deputy is in that role only because the sheriff put a gun on his head. He does as little as possible to assist the sheriff in fighting crime, only does it due to threat of injury, torture and/or death, and unlike Hyperion's overall culture of blatant disregard for human life and unlike the sheriff who is in specifically to torture and kill outlaws with her bare hands, he also seems to be genuinely concerned about the life of Lynchwood's residents and keeps asking nicely the population over PA to not commit any crimes if they want to avoid the Sheriff's murderous wrath.
  • Pungeon Master:
    • For whatever reason, Goliaths crack puns as they die from elemental damage.
      "Now ladies say I hottie!"
    • The Innuendobot, who has been reprogrammed by Moxxi to constantly make double entendres, which he absolutely hates doing.
  • Pupating Peril: Varkids will sometimes turn into cocoons on being injured. Cocoons are fairly meaty, and if they aren't killed they emerge in a tougher form, making for a mad dash to destroy it before things get worse. If you're not careful, you might end up outright fighting a raid boss level form.
  • Punny Name:
    • Axton uses a hatchet in melee.
    • The Ore Chasm, a Circle of Slaughter run by Moxxi and staffed by the Innuendobot mentioned above.
  • Putting on the Reich: Hyperion sure loves decorating their territory with countless banners bearing their white sigil on a black-and-red background. Goes beautifully with the rest of Jack's A Nazi by Any Other Name flair.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: There's actually an achievement for reuniting the Vault Hunters of the first game in Sanctuary.

  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Sir Hammerlock - Gentleman. Scholar. Adventurer. (Mostly.)
  • Rage Quit: One sidequest in Dragon's Keep requires you to defeat a trio of rival gamers in specific ways to force them to rage-quit, including headshotting one with a sniper rifle, defeating another in melee, and teabagging the third's corpse.
  • Random Drop Booster
    • The Vault Hunter's Relic, which you receive at the start of the first playthrough of each character if you own the Mechromancer's Pack or pre-ordered the game. It can be sold, but not dropped or traded. It slightly boosts the chances of receiving a non-common weapon.
    • The Lucrative Opportunity relic causes the vending machines to cycle through their inventory more quickly. Lucrative Opportunity relics can be stacked.
    • In the third playthrough (Ultimate Vault Hunter mode), "chubby" enemies and legendary loot midgets have a high probability of dropping legendary items.
  • Randomly Generated Loot: Even more so than the first game. Each manufacturer has a unique effect and aesthetic (as opposed to simply being slightly different colours and having a few stat differences). Naturally, there are also more potential combinations/parts.
  • A Rare Sentence:
    Brick: Now that you've got the laxative, it's time to find some explosives. That may be my favorite sentence I've ever said.
  • Real Is Brown: Thankfully averted compared to the predecessor. This game makes a point to show that Pandora is NOT just a giant postapocalyptic junkyard nestled in a planet-wide desert by showcasing a variety of environments such as icy plateaus, grasslands, volcanic pits and acid swamps. Only places it's likely to show up is when you revisit areas from the first game.
    • This was lampshaded in one of the early promos, long before the new game was available.
    Our artists did a lot of research; they found out there's actually some other colors in the palette.
  • Reality Ensues: In the Commander Lilith DLC, Vaughn from Tales From The Borderlands has his entire bandit clan either killed or mutated. As he himself notes, turns out arming your entire clan with nothing but Hyperion-issue laser pointers on death world like Pandora isn't the best idea.
    • While Handsome Jack is a terrifying, sadistic tyrant, he never does any acutal fighting (aside from shooting Roland in the back.) As such, when you do fight him in person, he seems to be a deliberate Anti-Climax Boss, as while he's not a pushover, he's still only a bit tougher than your average Elite Mook.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite being a Crapsack World overall, there's a few:
    • Deputy Winger in Lynchwood. The Sheriff is brutal and pragmatic to the point where she tortures people for being out at night, and Winger is just desperately trying to keep the regular folks who live there from being killed by her by warning them not to do the stupid things that would get them strung up. When you finally confront the Sheriff, there's even an objective to not shoot Winger because he's not a puppy-killing sadist like her, or an ex-bandit like her marshals.
    • Roland. Despite fighting a losing war, he still has the support of many of the people on Pandora, who aren't exactly excited about Hyperion's rule over the planet.
    • Jeffrey Blake, Hyperion's vice-president. While his presence in this game is limited to ECHO Logs, from what is heard in-game and considering his behavior in the previous game, he seems to be a lot less evil than Handsome Jack and has even made attempts to help mitigate the damage done by Hyperion.
    • Mr. Torgue, of all people. When Piston gases you, throws you out of the arena, and publicly 'outs' you as a coward. Publicly, Mr. Torgue goes along with it for the sake of publicity and TV ratings. He immediately calls you back to inform you that he doesn't believe for a minute that any of it is true, and will help you get back on top.
  • Recurring Riff: There is a distinct bass guitar riff that plays whenever Handsome Jack and Hyperion Take an active role in fighting the Vault Hunters. Notable Examples Can be heard in the first boss themes for Boom Bewm and Captain Flynt, atop the Bloodshot Dam while Hyperion Loaders are swarming the place, and even an orchestral version when fighting Wilhelm.
  • Recursive Ammo:
    • MIRV (Multiple, Independent Re-entry Vehicle)- and the Campaign of Carnage exclusive Crossfire grenades split into a bunch of little ones (although the Crossfire has a few bullets mixed in; it's a hybrid between the Bouncing Betty and MIRV grenade mods). Transfusion grenades also usually split into four smaller grenades that home into the nearest target.
    • Several unique guns do this as well, such as grenade launchers that spawn a regular (and live) grenade when the gyrojet round hits, and one assault rifle that splits rounds into three smaller bullets, themselves splitting into three.
  • Red Herring: The Firehawk's ECHO log in Sanctuary makes it as if he kidnapped Roland. Even Scooter and Jack were made to believe that the Firehawk actually hostaged him in Frostburn Canyon. It turns out, the Firehawk is Lilith, an ally who was just concealing her identity with a disguise, a cult and a voice modulator. She made you go through the canyon to enlist your help since Roland had been taken to the Bloodshot Camp.
  • Reference Overdosed: This game has a ton of pop-culture references everywhere! Just look at how long the Shout-out page is.
  • Regenerating Health: Aside from the items and skills that grant regenerating health as mentioned under the Regenerating Shields, Static Health trope, the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode plays this trope straight as all enemies slowly regenerate health if you stop damaging them for a while or if your damage output against them is too low.
  • Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Played straighter than the first game with the removal of all health regen shields (there is one, but that one is a legendary shield). However, this trope gets played around and subverted into Regenerating Health territory, as Vault Hunters are able to obtain items or abilities that allow them to passively regenerate health:
    • Each character, except Zer0 and Krieg, has some method or another of regenerating health passively outside of combat: Maya and Salvador have non-conditional health regen, Axton and Gaige are conditional (having full shields or a full magazine respectively triggers the regen). As for Zer0 and Krieg, Zer0 can regenerate health with a perk that modifies his action skill and Krieg can regenerate health by killing an enemy with his action skill.
    • Some class mods grant health regeneration; typically not quickly enough to change the flow of combat, but sometimes enough to fill you back up to full between fights. Maya can get one that bestows health regen on her friends as well.
    • There are also two relics that regenerate health constantly, and two more that regenerate health after a kill.
  • The Remnant:
    • The Crimson Raiders are made up of former Crimson Lance members who joined La Résistance lead by Roland. The rest turned to banditry, and the various Badass Marauders you encounter are wearing full suits of Lance armor.
    • After killing Hector as part of the Commander Lilith DLC's main quest, his Lieutenants continue to fight for his cause. You're tasked with hunting them down in a sidequest.
  • Retcon:
    • In the first game, Bloodwing is male. Mordecai calls him "boy" and such. In the sequel, she is female and he calls her girl. Oddly, the other characters still refer to Bloodwing as a he. The developers say Bloodwing's species changes sex as part of their life cycle, as several real-life organisms do. invoked
    • Gearbox has admitted the inclusion of Handsome Jack as a puppeteer of the first game is a retcon and wasn't intended, although it did work out and "fans are surprisingly forgiving of"
  • Retirony: Out in full force and played for laughs. Mooks blown in half will exclaim they nearly had the family homestead paid off. Even some of your own talking guns will try to guilt trip you about that one guy you electrocuted who probably came from a broken home.
    • Hyperion personnel play the classic "He was only two days away from retirement!" line when one witnesses the death of another.
  • The Reveal: The Wham Mission has about four major ones.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: All the DLC stories, all of which chronologically set after the main plot, are Lighter and Softer Due to the lack of Handsome Jack. Until the end of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Toned down from the original Borderlands 1; revolvers no longer use different ammunition from ordinary handguns. Also, 4/7 of guns do not use revolver technology like in the original, now it's more like 4/25 of all guns, and both are viable now. In Borderlands 2, revolvers rely on high damage per shot while ordinary pistols have larger magazines, though not to the absurd degree of the last game where every automatic was a Little Useless Gun. And, as everyone expected, considering that Jakobs is continuing their line of revolving rifles and all their revolvers are Hand Cannons, they are is most definitely an example. Torgue now makes 'em too, and uses their patented Gyrojet tech to make them missile-launching revolvers. Meanwhile, Maliwan makes elemental revolvers with high elemental damage and slow fire rate, but are still very useful.
    • Revolvers, however, are still carried by many players due to them being accurate and powerful enough to be better primary weapons than submachine guns, shotguns or even assault rifles.
    • The Sheriff of Lynchwood seems to agree with this, as she is often shown using Jakobs Irons in the Pre-Sequel, while when she confronts you, she has a Maliwan revolver with a Tediore Grip that also fires flares.
  • Right Behind Me: In the beginning of the game, Claptrap, after getting his eye restored by Hammerlock, says this interesting thing:
    Claptrap: This glacier's full of nothing but murderers or jerkbags, like that Hammerlock dude!
    Hammerlock: I'm standing right here, "dude".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Part of the reason the new vault hunters want to take down Handsome Jack is because he lured them into a false alliance and then tried to kill them.
    • A more specific and tragic example happens in the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, where Handsome Jack has kidnapped Mordecai's bird, Bloodwing. He supports you with cover fire at the beginning, doing minor damage and slagging enemies for you. Once you find Bloodwing however, she ends up mercilessly killed by Handsome Jack. This leads to Mordecai losing his cool over the ECHO, but is seen as you make your way back to the Fast Travel station: Mordecai's Roaring Rampage of Revenge has him screaming as he one shots Super Badass Loaders, complete with wordless roaring.
      • Played straight with a follow-up sidequest, where he has you attack the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, this time to free the animals Hyperion is experimenting on, and killing as many of the personnel and loaders as you can while doing so as payback for them contributing to Bloodwing's death.
    • It is implied that this is actually part of the reason why the crystalisks are hostile to all humans now. Dahl's mining chief ordered them to be hunted down and killed the security chief who was refusing to kill them because they were friendly and docile. The crystalisks, which are apparently at least intelligent enough to recognize both of these facts, turned on said mining chief, and the entire species is now hostile to humanity.
    • Brick promotes one against the Sawtooth bandits.
      Brick: My boys have been fighting the Sawteeth for years. They've handed dozens of Vault Hunters to Jack, once the pay got good enough. So you kill them all. And you smile while you do it.
    • Krieg in particular has an even bigger beef with Hyperion than the other Vault Hunters, as Hyperion was responsible for the experiments that turned him into the split-personality, insane psychopath he is now. Even Krieg's good-aligned inner voice urges him to massacre Hyperion personnel, and his name for the Handsome Jack mask is "GO TO HELL DIE DIE DIE".
  • Rock Falls Everyone Dies: In the Tiny Tina DLC, Tina starts her campaign off with a Hopeless Boss Fight that instantly puts the player into Fight For Your Life mode in a single attack. Lilith then tells her that as a DM, she's not supposed to start the game off with an insurmountable challenge, at which point she revives the player characters and replaces the dragon with "Mr. Boney Pants Guy", a random miniboss she made up on the spot.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin:
    • Bandit-made guns all have misspelled names. They can't even spell "SMG", and there's a chance to get a gun that spells "accurate" wrong. Twice. They also seem unable to grasp that "carbonated" is not an intensifier of "carbine".
    • Roland's refers to a "cachet of weapons", rather than a "cache", which is a bit immersion breaking - it reminds the player that Roland is actually some guy in a recording booth.

  • Sadistic Choice: Many missions require you to choose a person to side with over another. These choices can range from serious moral choices (helping TK Baha's niece recover the plans for her family's weapon for a powerful unique weapon versus selling her out to Hyperion for a powerful unique weapon and a fat wad of cash) to comical (give alcohol to Mordecai so he can drown his sorrows, versus giving it to Moxxi so she can get back at Mordecai for not paying her enough attention during their relationship).
  • Sand Worm:
    • One of the new enemy types is the "Threshers"; giant subterranean worm-creatures that can even swallow objective items, forcing the players to hunt them down.
    • There are explicitly-named "Sand Worm" creatures in the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, as a result of mutation from Hector's Paradise Gas.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: True to his name, the "Sarcastic Slab" does this while Brick officially accepts your allegiance with the Slabs.
  • Save Scumming: While the game largely averts this, players can skirt around it, at least on the PC. When turning in a quest that gives a reward item, the game allows you to look at the item first. If you don't like it, "alt-tab" right away, open task manager, then close the Borderlands 2 program. (ALT-F4 will have the same effect.) The game will close without having saved, allowing you to try again in the hopes of getting the item you want with more desirable stats on it, such as the quest gun having a corrosive effect on it rather than electric.
    • Playstation 3 players can use the power button on the controller for a similar result.
    • And as with the original Borderlands, rare items can be duplicated by dropping them and then killing your client process if you're not the host.
  • Scare Chord: Plays anytime a Goliath gets his helmet shot off, or when Krieg turns into a Badass Mutant Psycho.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • For starters, there's the guns. You can be fighting a robot with an energy shield while wielding a massive single-action or double action Jakobs revolver, which becomes funnier if you're using any gun next to a Hyperion or Maliwan. As usual, the setting indulges in it.
    • The trains are supposedly maglev, but they look, feel, sound and are colored just like a CSX diesel locomotive. There's also the difference between Opportunity City and any Hyperion-controlled area with their incredibly high tech, and the rest of Pandora.
    • According to All There in the Manual, the year in the game is 5357. With the exception of spaceflight, plot devices such as resurrection stations and Rule of Cool technology such as elemental guns, the game really doesn't contain anything unfeasible by modern standards.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: Justified. In both Borderlands installments there is an in-game explanation to why characters not chosen by the players are missing. In the first Borderlands, only characters chosen get off the bus at the "correct" stop. In Borderlands 2, all the characters are caught in a giant explosion at the tail end of an assassination attempt by Jack and only the ones chosen by players are found alive by Claptrap. However, in Hammerlock's DLC all four of the non-DLC Vault Hunters are seen participating during the opening, even if there are less than four players in the current game. Also, in the Tiny Tina DLC, all of the surviving Vault Hunters can be seen in the ending cutscene, and Mordecai explicitly says that there are six Vault Hunters interrogating the Hyperion spy.
    • In-game dialogue between vault hunters imply that at that point they were split up though.
  • Schrödinger's Gun:
    • During the quest where you have to find Helena Pierce's audio logs, if you try to destroy the ice block on top of the house near a vending machine (the location of the second ECHO log) before the audio of the first ECHO log even finishes, the ice block will respawn, with a chance of spawning additional cash.
    • Also during the quest where you have to collect Tannis's ECHO logs in Sanctuary, regardless of the order in which you retrieve the ECHO logs, the audio being played will still be in sequence as Tannis records her story from start to finish.
  • Scratch Damage:
    • If you don't have a variety of weapons available to use, you end up doing this to certain tougher enemies. Also, much lower level enemies don't hit you nearly as hard as someone who's equal level or higher than you.
    • You can also jump on the heads of humanoid enemies from a height, but only deal a measly amount of damage.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • A meta example in the opening of the game the narration gives a nod to the reaction to the ending of Borderlands 1 saying that "To the warriors who opened it, the Vault was just a container of tentacles and disappointment".
    • An even greater meta-example was when Lilith and Roland reminisced over a story about Mordecai and Bloodwing. In the first game, Mordecai's action skill was Bloodwing, a bird that would attack enemies from a distance, but only if the player was aiming at said enemies. This led to a glitch where getting behind cover after summoning Bloodwing would have her fly around uselessly. It was spun into a heartwarming story where Bloodwing deliberately waited until Mordecai peeked out from cover to attack, because she wanted him to see her shred the bandits and be proud of her.
    • Another meta example: During the mission "No Vacancy", you have to find (amongst other things) a Steam valve. When you grab it, Scooter drops this line:
      Scooter: Oh hey, you got the steam thingie! These pumps used to run on a different system, but people complained so's they got switched over. note 
    • A random comment by one of the villagers in the city of Flame Rock Refuge in Tiny Tina's DLC invokes this. Probably due to the amount of knocking on doors/windows/walls that random NPC's do inside Sanctuary.
      Villager: You know what I like about this town? Not as much knocking.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Three psychos in the Southpaw steam plant talk about killing their mother, seemingly arguing about which of them dealt the deathblow. Rakkman pointedly denies killing his own parents — it's not clear whether this is a lie or not, but the fact that he has to bring it up in the first place suggests this is all too common among bandits (and that someone else killed them before he could).
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Angel has the Vault Hunters kill her so Jack can't use her Siren powers to charge the Vault Key. Unfortunately, Lilith happens to be present when it happens, against Angel's advice not to have her present, providing Jack with a replacement Siren.
  • Series Continuity Error: The Fight for Sanctuary DLC mentions that Pandora's soil never contained the nutrients needed for trees to grow, with Hammerlock saying how it's unfortunate that Pandora's last existing tree gets destroyed. This ignores the giant forest the Jakobs corporation was logging before being run out by Dr. Ned's zombie hordes, the fruit you gathered from palm trees in Wurmwater, the palm trees groing in Hayter's Folly, the trees found in the swamp-filled continent of Aegrus, the leaves falling off the deciduous trees in Gluttony Gulch, the coniferous pine trees surrounding Gingerton, and the palm trees that Hammerlock himself saw at the Wam Bam Island resort, which is acknowledged to have happened exactly one year prior.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • This game took the idea of "escalation" and ran with it. For one thing, it has a much deeper storyline.
    • Just look at all the stuff Claptrap promises PC players in his Not-At-All-Creepy love letter. And Gearbox delivered!
    • As future DLC, they will make new Vault Hunters. Gaige the Mechromancer is simply the beginning.
    • In an interview, the devs said that Borderlands 2's main campaign has roughly double the size of the first game's. And it is, although the first playthrough ends around the same level range as in the first game.
    • All the gun brands have been retooled to be fundamentally distinct from each other, in appearance, animations, and function. This was done specifically because all the guns in the first game were too "samey" a valid complaint to say the least. Every gun manufacturer, hell, damn near every gun, is now distinctive and conveys the the themes they were originally meant for, as opposed to having different colors and grips
    • The grenade mods can now have multiple abilities - so while in Borderlands grenades could have at most an element and one other effect (corrosive MIRV, incendiary bouncing betties, etc.) now they can have multiple ones; how do corrosive sticky longbow singularity grenades that also spawn 5 child grenades sound?
    • In addition, you may now have legendary grenades and class mods.
    • And in true Borderlands fashions, even the Psychos get in on it, claiming it's time for "Three pounds of flesh" instead of simply one in the first game.
    • As of the Tiny Tina's DLC, there are in total not one, not two, not three, but TWELVE "Invincible" class bosses note .
    • To hammer the point home, your average Bruiser's character model is based on that of Badass Bruisers from the first game, minus the Glowing Eyes of Doom.
    • The classes are much more diverse and divergent now; a lot of Borderlands 1 skills were stuff that incrementally increased performance in only basic ways, like "faster shield charging" or "faster reloading" and nothing else. Here that sort of thing is usually paired with other abilities so no one skill is boring or utilitarian; like "you regenerate your health once your shields are full" in addition to faster shield charging. There's a lot more skills per character and they do a lot more diverse things.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • As the vault hunters prepare to destroy the key already used to unleash two Eldritch Abominations, certain that nothing good would ever come out of it, it activates a holographic projection depicting the location of many vaults in different star systems across the galaxy. Nearly instantaneously, they change their minds and decide to track them down. No rest for the wicked indeed.
    • For the entire campaign of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the 6 vault hunters are downstairs torturing a Hyperion spy. At the end of the campaign, Maya walks upstairs and tells everyone that they've obtained the access codes to the Hyperion Moon Base. Assuming she's talking about the Helios station, this hook apparently went unused, since by the end of Tales from the Borderlands Helios has crashed to the surface of Pandora. None of the Vault Hunters from Borderlands or Borderlands 2 were involved. However, there is still a little room for the hook to be used in an Interquel between Borderlands 2 and Tales.
    • Near the end of the game, the identity of another Siren (Angel) is revealed before the Siren dies. With the first game's deceased Big Bad Steele having been confirmed to be a Siren and both Maya and Lilith alive and well, that leaves two Sirens unaccounted for.
  • Sequence Breaking: During the Statuesque quest in Opportunity. If you clear out the random mooks hanging around the city, then activate the loader afterwards, and don't follow it, it'll destroy the statues of Jack without interference. The mobs are scripted to appear if you're in the vicinity with the loader, so if you don't follow it, it'll slowly destroy the statues while you can do other missions provided you don't have to go near where the loader is currently at.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
    • Goliath Elite Mooks get enraged if you shoot their helmet off - they recover all their health and attack whoever is at hand, which is more often than not mooks from their own side. This is a double-edged sword; if it kills enough enemies the Goliath turns into an even more powerful Elite Mook. Its last stage counts as a Mini-Boss, which while rather harder to kill than the original form also usually has some sweet loot... and an achievement.
    • Maya has a "Thoughtlock" upgrade in her Motion Skill tree which brainwashes the Phaselocked enemy into attacking their friends.
  • Set Bonus: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary introduces a trio of Effervescent equipment: the Peak Opener, the Easy Mode, and the Hard Carry. While the Peak Opener is a strong gun on its own, equipping the Easy Mode Shield enhances the Peak Opener's damage even further. The Easy Mode itself can be combined with the Hard Carry Relic to boost Fight For Your Life time and maximum health. The catch is that the bonuses of the Easy Mode and the Hard Carry only take effect if all three items are brought to Digistruct Peak.
  • Shield Bash: Nomads with shields have this as their melee attack. Note that the shields are heavy metal riot shields and in most cases have huge spikes on the front. Yikes.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook:
    • Nomads can carry a couple different (bulletproof) shields. Some are just a plain slab type shield, some have spikes welded on, and some have midgets chained to the shield to cover up a hole.
    • Savage Warriors and Badass Savages in "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" carry oblong, wooden Zulu-type shields. They aren't bulletproof, but soak up some of the bullet damage thrown their way, and any melee attack that hits them is all but completely ignored. Witch Doctors wear masks that have a similar effect.
    • BUL Loaders and PWR Loaders both have a shield; the former is part of its bulldozer mode's plow that it uses to ram you with while the latter has twin spinning blades that deflect attacks. Thankfully in both cases they do not cover much of the body (unlike Nomads). Constructors can also sometimes project a shield across their weak point, reflecting any attacks aimed at it. However it's hilariously small and temporary, so you can simply aim somewhere else for the duration.
  • Ship Tease: At the end of the Mr. Torgue DLC, Moxxi is looking to set up her arena again, and Mr. Torgue has one. She's clearly got her sights on him, but given he's a decent guy and some of her revelatory moments during the DLC, it's hard not to hope this time it works out long-term. Moxxi kind of extorts Torgue into giving her the arena (since it's, well, all kinds of illegal) but Torgue actually seems a good sport about it and Moxxi mentions it looks like the start of a beautiful partnership. Considering that Moxxi's explicitly said she likes explosions (in the mission Home Movies, she tells you that she'll only lend you her video camera if you film either explosions, nudity, or both), and the INCREDIBLE advantage it'd be to have the CEO of a conglomerate as a partner, it's safe to say that Torgue could easily be husband #4. Hell, that same comment about the video camera could very well be what sex between Torgue and Moxxi would look like!
    • Krieg's short film shows that the reason he became a Vault Hunter was because he fell in love with Maya.
      • In the Moxxi DLC, when asked if he has a love in his life, he has this to say:
  • Shockwave Stomp: A signature ability of boroks, as well as the larger Loaders.
  • Shoddy Shindig: Claptrap ends up throwing a One-Person Birthday Party; after being rejected by everyone he gives an invite to, you (the vault hunter) are the only one who actually attends. He tries to make the most of it with a noisemaker, some music on the radio, a little dancing, and more pizza than he could ever hope to ever consume even if he had a mouth to eat it.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • A necessary tactic to surviving in the Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC is to kill the Savage Chiefs first, or they will heal the other savages accompanying them. This includes Voracidous, the new Raid Boss. A Stalker controlled by a Chief. If you try to kill Voracidous first, his Chief will sacrifice himself and give Voracidous his massive shield reserve, causing Voracidous to enter his Turns Red stage. If you kill the Chief first, Voracidous will still enter that powered-up phase, but won't have the Chief's shield reserve between you and his relatively-light health bar. For the love of god, Shoot the Medic First.
    • Anytime Surveyors show up alongside Loaders or Constructors, you better shoot the little buggers out of the sky unless you're severely overleveled since they can build or regenerate shields as well as Loaders' health. Made worse by the fact that some constructors can make additional Surveyors, requiring you to use shock weaponry to mitigate it.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Zig-zagged; particularly if you find one that has a good elemental damage component, such as explosion, which can allow you to 1-2 shot most enemies at point-blank range. Averted when fighting opponents from longer ranges.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Using a sniper rifle with Gaige's Anarchy skill will result in this.
    • Funnily enough, this can be Inverted by investing in her "Close Enough" skill, which gives every bullet that misses an enemy a chance to reflect off the world geometry back towards an enemy at half damage. Anarchy and Close Enough combined often results in shots making bizarre bounces and taking out targets that a Gaige player may not even be aware of.
    • Just like the first game, it's possible to get a sniper rifle with a bayonet.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Zig-zagged; while the infamous Sledge's Shotgun (insanely low accuracy, obliterates anything immediately touching the barrel when fired) returns and generally shotguns are your worst choice for fighting at range, many can be effective at medium range. One of the unique shotguns, the Octo, fires pellets that converge at various points as they fly, giving it ridiculously long range with the right timing. Another, the Flakker, is designed specifically to combat airborne targets, with projectiles that explode once they hit a certain range. Finally, the Striker is just an especially accurate shotgun with increased critical hit damage.
    • And then there's using a shotgun with Anarchy-built Gaige. Pointblank she's devastating. Any farther than 10-15 feet and you'll just waste ammo. At 400 Anarchy stacks or more, shotguns can miss at two feet away. A Torgue shotgun (with its added spread caused by its explosive elemental property) or a shotgun with a high pellet count are practically a necessity.
  • Shouting Shooter:
    • Salvador in Gunzerking mode.
    • Parodied with "The Bane" - in this case, it's not the shooter doing the shouting, but the gun itself.
    • In a not played-for-laughs version, Mordecai goes into a screaming rage while gunning down Loaders when Bloodwing dies.
  • Shout-Out: Stuffed to the gills with them, just like the first one. Now has its own page.
  • Shovel Strike: Gravediggers, a variant of Psycho that show up in the New Game+, attack the player with shovels.
  • Shown Their Work: In psychology, alliteration without logical association is often indicative of clanging, a symptom of schizophrenia. Krieg, the playable character with a second voice in his head, does have a lot of Added Alliterative Appeal in his dialogue and in his Hellburn skill tree.
  • Shur Fine Guns:
    • As a part of giving every manufacturer individual identity, bandits will now wield MacGyvered scrapyard guns with massive discrepancies in stats.
    • Averted in terms of game mechanics. No matter how badly assembled, guns will not malfunction, since the part about Tediore guns blowing up in your hand was Dummied Out for balance reasons.
    • In a scene introducing Marcus the arms dealer, a Sanctuary citizen asks for a refund on a gun he claims doesn't work at all, to which Marcus responds by taking the supposedly faulty pistol (ironically, it's a Jakobs, which are known for reliability and high quality) and testing it on the dissatisfied customer himself. Needless to say, no refund needs to be paid.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Once you defeat the final boss, the now unprotected Handsome Jack erupts into a long, massive Motive Rant. Thankfully, you don't have to listen to it and instead may interrupt him with an Instant Death Bullet.
    • Bonus points if you do it with a Hyperion weapon.
    • You can choose to avert this if you let Jack finish his rant—then Lilith will pipe up and offer to kill Jack for you. Speaking to her after this causes her to kill Jack using her Siren powers.
  • Sigil Spam: Hyperion puts their logo absolutely everywhere around the locations they control. There's not a single wall and barely any floor section without it in their bases. They also have a penchant for spamming buildings with huge banners bearing their sigil and a quite distinct color pattern held in black, red and white. Sound familiar?
  • Sinister Surveillance: Hyperion's lunar base.
  • Skeleton Motif: The game's way of warning you about a seriously dangerous unit (typically one that is several levels higher than the player) by putting a skull next to their name and health bar. Loading screens outright encourage you to run if you come across one of these.
  • Skill Gate Characters: Axton and Gaige since their Action Skill summons an AI-controlled ally (Sabre Turret and Deathtrap respectively), giving the sense of an easy co-op play even in single-player. Likewise, both allies can also revive the player with a Second Wind if they manage to seek out and kill an enemy by themselves.
  • Skill Point Reset: For a small fee, you can "Re-Spec" and re-allocate your spent skill points in customization stations.
  • Slave Collar: Jack uses one to control Sirens, and another to kill Bloodwing.
  • Smart Gun: There's a shotgun that can be loaded with the A.I. core of Hyperion loader #1340 and other guns that have talking artificial intelligence.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
    • Kai, an ubernerd who thinks he's the biggest star there is. He may have 5 billion ECHO Cast subscribers, but he laments that hardly anyone on Pandora has heard of him. Marcus recognized him... as a sucker he could easily rip off, selling him the Evil Smasher for $2 million.
    • Flyboy may be the #2 badass in Mr. Torgue's tournament, but his ego is insane, especially when you consider that he's just 16 years old. He plays pre-recorded messages over the PA in the area he controls where he insults all his underlings and aggrandizes himself. And he goes down in one second when surprised by Piston's blimp.
    • One of the Marauder personalities is the "Ripper", who thinks everyone but him is the biggest idiot he's ever met. His voice lines make it clear that he feels like an A-list actor in a community theater production.
  • Smoke Out: Peter Zaford and Pirate Ninjas disappear in puffs of smoke, but Rakkman actually throws down a smoke grenade to achieve this. The Savages in Hunter's Grotto do the opposite, suddenly appearing in puffs of smoke (apparently courtesy of their Witch Doctors).
  • Smurfette Principle: As with the first game, Maya the Siren is the sole female character out of a playable cast of 4. Later remedied with the addition of Gaige as DLC shortly after release.
  • Sniper Pistol: Played with. Pistols can come with scopes, but they may wobble quite a bit depending on stats. Still, they're among the most accurate weapons at any range, surpassed only by sniper rifles, and are excellent primary weapons, as good as assault rifles or SMGs with proper sights.
  • So Bad, It's Good: An In-Universe example in the guy in Sanctuary handing out the "This Just In" Hyperion propaganda ECHO's, who finds said ECHO's to be rather hilarious. He's well aware of what it is, and finds the humor in the fact that they would go so far as to spread such Blatant Lies, since everyone in Sanctuary knows what really happened. Apparently, he's alone in this though. They're not selling so well.
    Wow! Someone actually bought one!?
  • Sociopathic Hero: The player characters (and many of the NPCs) are pretty heinous in their own particular ways. It's (mostly) played for laughs, though:
    • Salvador mercilessly tortured and killed Hyperion employees for attacking his village.
    • Axton, when ordered to protect a dignitary from terrorists, instead planted a tracker on him, followed it when the dignitary was captured, and blew up the terrorist hideout. With the dignitary still inside. When he fled to Pandora, he immediately became a bounty hunter.
    • Zer0 is a hired killer, which already implies some level of sociopathy. On top of that, one of his logs involves him decapitating an asshole simply because his friend said it was impossible to shut him up and Zer0 took it as a challenge of his skills.
    • Gaige is a Mad Scientist on the run for the accidental manslaughter of her Rich Bitch Sitcom Archnemesis. She did not mean to actually kill her rival, but saw no problem with robotic pummelling.
    • Krieg is a Psycho who had been experimented on by Hyperion, turning him into a vaguely-heroic Axe-Crazy Blood Knight who is happy to protect the weak, but much happier killing the deserving. messily. However, he became a Vault Hunter not just to kill, but because he's in love with Maya and believes that she can make him sane.
    • Just to have all the bases covered: Maya subverts it by actually being rather heroic. She's even Krieg's Morality Pet. At least until she gets in on the beating of information out of a Hyperion spy.
  • Sophisticated as Hell:
    • Zed after the Doc Mercy quest.
      Dr. Zed: After watching you waste those bandits with that E-Tech weapon, I have come to the following medically sound conclusion... E-Tech is friggin' dope!
    • After a quest to find out about Jack's past.
      Quest Info: After a thorough exploration of his past, you have come to the conclusion that Handsome Jack is a douchebag who needs to die.
    • Sir Hammerlock is full of this trope. It's wonderful to hear his clipped British accent enunciate words like "douche" and "Bonerfart".
  • Space Pirates: The first DLC Expansion (Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty) is full of by-the-numbers Type II's.
  • Spanner in the Works: Angel's insistence on helping you throughout the first two-thirds of the game ultimately causes Jack's plans to backfire and fail. Without her own plans working against Jack, he likely would have stomped out the Crimson Raiders after a couple more battles.
  • Spoof Aesop: In one of the side missions, you help a group of people figure out who stole all the cash among them. If you shoot the correct person, one of the surviving members states that they hope everyone learned something. Another member replies that yes, they did learn something - that the guilty person stole the cash. It's the guy with the cash sign on his back.
  • Squick: The general in universe reaction to being slagged.
    Gaige: UGGHH! It smells like piss and nachos!
    • Slag is apparently so disgusting that Salvador screams more when he is slagged than when he is set on fire, electrocuted or bathed in acid.
    • Angel's response to one of Flanksteak's messages on your way in to the Firehawk.
      Flanksteak: We're going to choke him to death with his own feces!
      Angel: Dude. Ew.
  • Standard Status Effects: Corrosive, Fire, and Shock all do a poison/burn damage over time variant. Slag can cause enemies to take more damage from non-slag attacks. Maya has Stop as her action skill, plus a few others available from skills, including Charm. Fight For Your Life is, of course, Critical status.
  • Status Quo Is God: Sir Hammerlock has a quest where he asks you to kill bullymongs in order to investigate them and see if he can come up with a better name. He initially calls them "Primal Beasts" (and their in-game title also changes) when he finds they have a primate-like body and some intelligence, but isn't yet quite satisfied. Then, after killing some more, he renames them "Ferovores" due to their ferocity... however, that name is trademarked, so he snaps and calls them "Bonefarts". After killing a few more, Sir Hammerlock just gives up and reverts to the good old "Bullymong" moniker.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • In The Highlands there are signs warning of Threshers near most of the places where Threshers spawn. Threshers are very large worm-like enemies with tentacles. In other words, Wormsign.
    • The Bane is one. Just say it out loud and consider what the gun does.
    • Jakobs-brand Combat Rifles use what looks like a hub-cap as a revolving magazine. A frequently-used nickname for revolvers is 'Wheelgun'.
    • Over in Opportunity, the local directory lists all the companies and locations of interest in the still developing city. While most of the area is still either Hyperion related or TBD, one of the stores listed is "Dee's Nuts". Also doubles as a Stealth Insult.
    • Later on Brick has you kill a bandit leader who he's been at odds with for a long time. The bandit's name is Mortar, and together their names are a play on the phrase "Brick and Mortar" (referring to the building material, not the explosive).
    • In Marcus' Mad Libs Dialogue messages to the Bloodshots and Roland, he warns them both that they need to "up... your arsenal."
    • Bunkers & Badasses is being played by inhabitants of the Borderlands, making the titular Dragon Keep a Keep on the Borderlands.
  • Stealthy Mook: Stalkers can turn invisible and try to sneak up on you when you fight them. Fortunately, the invisibility is tied to their shield, so a shock gun will render them visible fairly quickly. Hyperion Infiltrators have a similar invisibility cloak, but it leaves them visible as an outline.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: While Roland has moved on from this and no longer wears items from his Crimson Lance uniform, many of the Crimson Raiders have continued to wear at least some of their armor. It's all in pretty bad shape, though — it's obvious that resources are spread pretty thin. Badass Marauders and Armored Maniacs also wear old Lance armor, indicating that when the Lance dissolved a good number of its members became bandits.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Lilith is being worshiped by a band of fire-obsessed bandits as "The Firehawk". She finds it amusing at first, how they burn each other alive for her, but when the bandits plan to celebrate "The Enkindling" by torching a group of civilian captives taken from Sanctuary, she decides to intervene.
    "Vault Hunter, smite these bitches!"
  • Storming the Castle: There is a proud Borderlands tradition of having the game go linear when shit gets real:
    • Like when you burst into Bloodshot Ramparts to rescue Roland, when you're charging up a hill to take out an indestructible bunker.
    • And when you're fighting through Hero's Pass to get to the final showdown with Handsome Jack.
    • Also played straight during the main story missions in Tiny Tina's DLC, where your characters ascend a castle to defeat the Handsome Sorceror and rescue the queen.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: As in the first game, ECHO recorders are strewn around the landscape, as both side quests and just items that fulfill Badass rank requirements.
  • Stout Strength: In stark contrast to the bodybuilder-like Bruisers, Goliaths are big boys whose shirts can't contain their bellies. They're also inhumanly powerful. Bonus points if they're a Midget Goliath.
  • Straight Gay:
    • Sir Hammerlock casually mentions in one mission that you're hunting up an ex-boyfriend's belongings. (Although he could be using "boyfriend" in the old-fashioned sense.)
    • The ex-boyfriend falls under Manly Gay. Instead of being a Gentleman Adventurer like Hammerlock, he is more of a Saxton Hale style adventurer who likes to fight dangerous creatures with his bare fists.
    • A scientist in a separate mission is also Straight Gay: Jack casually mentions her wife being his hostage. Doesn't stop him from hitting on her, though.
      • ECHO Recording Full Of Gay: The same recording also has a man (the unwilling subject of the experiment) mention his husband. The scientist's reluctance to conduct the experiment is what prompts Jack to remind her that he is holding her wife hostage.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Between the end of Borderlands and the beginning of the sequel, Torgue decided to deal exclusively in explosive weapons: Rocket Launchers, Grenades, Grenade Launchers... oh, and Gyrojet guns. The radio ads usually involve the company founder going full ballistic by yelling at listeners to buy use Torgue brand guns. Torgue has to remind the audience both before and after the message that the company does not represent the views of its founder.
  • Stupid Crooks: Not so much that they trip over their own feet and get caught by the cops, more "Slaughtering a single bandit camp raises the overall literacy of the entire planet."
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Scooter's poetry. The first girl subjected to it responds by expunging it from her brain - with a handgun.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep occasionally falls into this, being the RPG campaign of a hyperactive and mentally disturbed thirteen-year-old girl.
  • Sudden Bittersweet Ending: Assault on Dragon Keep ends with the revelation that the entire "Bunkers and Badasses" session was Tiny Tina's desperate attempt to hide from the reality of Roland's death. The remaining original Vault Hunters help her find closure, and the final shot is of Tina hugging Roland's grave.
  • Suddenly Speaking:
    • Midget enemies only cackled madly in the first game (aside from a few that appear in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx), but here have actual lines (midget versions of other enemies are just pitched-up versions of the normal enemy's lines).
    • Also, Badass Psychos. While they merely grunted (and screamed when dying from elemental effects) in the first game, they now have the same lines as normal Psychos.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
    • Helena Pierce and Shep Sanders. Jack murdered one; the other sold out the people of New Haven and got killed by Brick.
    • Minor character Pvt. Jessup is killed immediately in the New Pandoran assault on Sanctuary at the start of Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary.
  • Suicide as Comedy:
    • One side quest found in the Thousand Cuts area features a bandit gone so far off the deep end, he's actually begging to be shot in the face. He even changed his name to Face McShooty.
    • One of the quests for Scooter involves helping him write a poem to woo a lady, and once it's complete, he has you play the recording for the woman. After listening to the poem, she asks to be excused, and then she enters the house she's standing in front of, closing the door behind her. Moments later, a gunshot is heard. Upon completing the quest, the text states that "Everyone's a critic."
    • Near the end of the quest with the Hyperion A.I. it asks to be plugged into the Radio in Moxxi's and tries to get the player to kill themselves by subjecting them to some absolutely horrible music.
    • One of the missions for the Children of the Firehawk quest involves helping a particularly fanatical midget commit suicide via immolation. The same questline also says that other Children have been killing themselves through incineration.
    • The cover itself has representative art shown only in a splatter pattern above a psycho's head, with him pressing finger-guns below his chin.
    • And, of course, a quest in which Handsome Jack literally orders you to kill yourself. Complete with suicide prevention hotline if you decide not to go through with it. When you first get to that spot, a random bandit is jumping off while screaming "I'M GONNA BE RIIIIIICH!". Apparently Jack offered this quest to a lot of people.
  • Suicide Attack: Suicide Psychos rush the player with an armed grenade, and even if you drop them, they still explode. EXP Loaders also run up and blow up.
  • Suicide Dare: Handsome Jack tells you to do this A LOT. He tells you to do this at the start of the game, then gives you a quest to kill yourself near the endgame. Even the tie-in Diamond Plate Loot Box isn't safe from his bullshit. Coupled with Suicide as Comedy above, though.
  • Surfer Dude: The Overcompensator, a legendary Hyperion shotgun that has a surfer bro A.I. built into it.
    Swap 'em, brah!
    You're killin' it, dude! Literally!
    Primo ammo, brah!
  • Surplus Damage Bonus:
    • The Gunzerker class has one skill-tree end with the skill "No Kill Like Overkill". After getting a kill the extra damage done is then added to all gun attacks made (though this can't make an individual shot more than five time as powerful otherwise) for a couple of seconds or until you kill another enemy. So if one kills a weakened enemy with something like a rocket launcher then pulls out a machine gun, it can get pretty crazy powerful.
    • The Psycho class can get his own overkill ability: something that returns overkill damage to himself as health! This is really important since his health tends to dip really, really low sometimes.
  • Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest:
    • In Thousand Cuts, there is a quest called "Shoot This Guy in the Face". It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and you even get an achievement called "Well That Was Easy" for it.
    • A quest simply requires you to step off a cliff (or not).
    • The "Claptrap's Secret Stash" quest in sanctuary lampshades this heavily, with Claptrap assigning you a number of mind numbing and/or ridiculously difficult tasks before "accidentally" revealing the location of the stash about three feet behind you. Also: The stash itself has "CLAPTRAP'S SECRET STASH" vibrantly on display on a sign right above it with an arrow pointing right at it.
    • One sidequest in the Tiny Tina DLC has Sir Reginald von Bartlesby ask you a riddle. After a while, he gets crushed by a giant D20, as Brick accidentally crushed his model with his die. Tina decides to consider this a win for the players.
    • In the Digistruct Peak, the first quest requires you to simply open a door.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Roland.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Upon death, Nomads may express relief that "At least I won't have to deal with you people anymore...", implying their Mooks are not up to par.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Salvador is basically Brick with a focus on guns instead of melee or explosives. The Brawn tree is basically Brick's Tank tree, and even has a skill that changes Salvador's melee attack to a powerful left-handed uppercut — like Brick's left trigger during Berserk.
    • The other classes (other than Gaige) aren't as clear-cut, but are basically mix-and-matched with elements of all the classes from the previous games, including Brick. However, aesthetically all four classes are quite similar to their originals: they're still a big crazy brute, a slender creepy elegant man, a soldier dude and a mysterious magical woman.
    • Axton probably is the closest to his original counterpart. His action skill is identical to Roland's (deploying an automated turret). His background includes similar elements: Both are ex-military who are considered traitors and marked for death by their respective outfits after causing the death of someone important (a dignitary for Axton and his superior for Roland).
    • Oddly enough, Zer0's ability is this for Lilith's phasewalk. Both allow you to move out of combat and go undisturbed for a brief time, basically a "get out of danger" button.
    • The similarity between the second and first gen Vault Hunters (excluding Gaige and Krieg) is highlighted by their Legendary class mods, each of which has a flavor text that is a quote by the equivalent class in the first game.
    • Atlas may be gone after all the things you did in the first game, but fret not; Hyperion and its new leader have all your fascist Mega-Corp needs covered.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • The ECHO device that Claptrap gives you at the start of the game, he totally didn't steal it from a corpse. That you actually see him digging out from the nearby corpse-ridden snow.
    • During an early quest, Hammerlock comments that an elevator you need to use isn't working because of damage caused to its fuse box when Claptrap tried to "integrate" with it. He is immediately interrupted by Claptrap commenting what a kidder ol' Hammerlock is and to not think about the fusebox. After you retrieve a new fuse box, Claptrap again comments on how this quest has revealed nothing worth repeating.
    • After completion of the story quests in Opportunity, which involve a lot of vandalism and murder, the next issue of "This Just In" reports that today, everything was just fine in Opportunity, and nothing bad happened.
    • Dr. Zed asks you to obtain some bits of animals for him for unspecified purposes... resulting in this:
      Dr. Zed: (fake polite) Nice to meet you. Here is a large pile of money, just because I like you. This is a gift, and in no way payment for rendered services that neither of us will discuss publicly.
    • Rakkman's ECHO features him talking about the death of his parents. He mentions that he totally didn't kill them himself, completely out of nowhere (though knowing bandits, the immediate reaction upon hearing "My parents are dead" probably is "So, how'd you kill 'em?")
      Rakkman: My parents jiggled, and squiggled, AND I DIDN'T KILL THEM I PROMISE!
    • The name for the first zone in Tiny Tina's DLC invokes this trope. It's called the "Unassuming Docks of Potentially Little Importance.'' Granted, there's not much special about the area, but it's where the campaign (and thus the quest to kill the Handsome Sorcerer) begins.
    • In the "Captain Scarlett's Pirate Booty" DLC, Shade repeatedly assures you that the people of Oasis are completely alive, and that none of them have died of thirst.

  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Fire shreds Flesh but is weak against everything else, Shock damage shreds Shields, Corrosive damage shreds Armor but is weak against Shields, and Slag is a general Damage-Increasing Debuff. Explosive damage functions as non-elemental damage with area of effect.
  • Take That!: During Mad Moxxi's Wedding Day Massacre, you're tasked with making a baby cry in order to use its tears for a love potion. Gaige has a pretty effective method.
    Gaige: ...Country music exists. (baby starts immediately crying)
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Claptrap comes up with a get rich quick scheme by literally mining a cryptocurrency he calls "Becho wafers". After figuring that he's going to be rich as hell, he tells Lilith that he's not working for her or the Crimson Raiders anymore, and she can take this job and shove it. Lilith couldn't care less.
    Lilith: ... 'kay.
  • Take Your Time: With the exception of quests that specifically have a timer attached to them, you can take your time finishing them, and in any order you wish. Sure, Roland needs to be rescued, but if you feel like racing your buddies with those new bandit technicals you just got in The Dust first, go right ahead. Handsome Jack also won't mind that you're exploring the Caustic Caverns or searching for the hidden pirate treasure, even if he's constantly threatening to destroy Sanctuary and all its inhabitants.
    • There's a side quest or two that become uncompletable when the NPC who issued them becomes unavailable, but that's a pretty tiny percentage of the game.
    • Applies to sidequests too; it's especially entertaining in the (many) quests that involve NPCs arguing over your ECHO channel - you can leave the mission halfway through, come back to it hours later, and the Vault Hunters will still be trying to feed Tiny Tina that salad.
    • Subverted at one point when you are told to rescue Roland before a constructor robot takes him away; even though there is no on-screen timer or other indication of time passing, if you don't destroy the robot in five minutes, it flies away with him, and you have to complete a whole additional sub-mission to break him out of a prison camp before you can proceed with the main story.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Suicide Psychos and EXP Loaders operate on this, attempting to get close to you and detonating an explosive.
    • Krieg has two abilities that also allows him to do this. Played straight with one, where when you die, grenades are released where you fell, and if a weakened enemy is close by, they'll be killed as well (and grants you double xp for those kills). Subverted with another ability, where he throws explosives at enemies, and when your "Fight For Your Life" timer reaches zero, he blows up the explosives in his hands. However, if you kill an enemy with that method, you gain a second wind instead of death.
  • Talking Weapon:
    • After one quest you can obtain either a weapon or shield with an old Hyperion Robot core installed in it. While wielding the weapon/wearing the shield the robot will talk to you. He's rather friendly and enjoys either role quite a bit.
    • The Bane, if what it does can be considered talking.
    • The Morningstar, which is a mockery of unsubtle You Bastard! moralising. Every action the player makes is accompanied by a shrill-voiced guilt trip from the gun. (Wasting ammo? There are children on Prometheus who can't afford it! Shoot that psychotic criminal or very hostile wildlife? Maybe they were just having a bad day!)
    • The Commander Lilith DLC adds the Overcompensator from Tales from the Borderlands and gives it a Surfer Dude voice in addition to just being an easier-to-obtain version of the Butcher.
  • Talk to the Fist: You are in no way required to listen to the entirety of Handsome Jack's final speech before shooting, punching, or exploding him. Especially funny when playing Gaige, since Deathtrap tends to unceremoniously bitch-slap him to death before he gets two words out, with no input from the player.
  • The Team:
  • Teeny Weenie: A line from Moxxi has her laughing at Mordecai over this.
    Moxxi: Oh, and if you see Mordecai, let him know: three inches? (chuckles) Not average size. Not even close.
    • She does it again in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep:
      Douchey Bar Patron: "Hey baby, I'm hung like a Vault Monster!"
      Moxxi: "So it's hard to find and ultimately disappointing?"
  • Tempting Fate:
    • As he takes you to his shelter, Claptrap says bullymongs will tear your eyes out and mentions an especially fierce one called Knuckle Dragger, but expresses confidence that you'll be safe at his place. Seconds later, Knuckle Dragger bursts in and tears Claptrap's eye out.
    • Throughout "Wildlife Preservation", Mordecai goes on and on about how Bloodwing can handle herself and he's not going to give Jack the satisfaction of hearing him screaming and yelling and making death threats. No points for guessing how that turns out...
    • One quest in the Clan War string involves stealthily following a guy to a money vault. The entire time he's talking out loud about how hopefully no one's following him and how he can't wait to get inside and not get ambushed - because that's the best part of these trips, not getting ambushed!
    • Later, in the Arid Nexus, you can find an ECHO in a dead skag of a bandit who thinks it's a great day for a walk, and is thankful skags aren't about to attack him, break his favorite gun into four parts, and then eat the parts. Guess what happens next.
      Carlo the Bandit: AAAGGHH!! That is exactly what is happening!
    • Also in Arid Nexus, you can find TK Baha's recordings. The second to last one has him talk about his interactions with the first set of Vault Hunters just before they left, before hearing that bandits were at his door. He assures himself that everything's going to be ok. If you've played the first game, you know exactly how it ended.
    • In the first and final missions of the main story quests, Claptrap boasts he was made to open doors. Then he causes said doors to lock down even further.
    • Claptrap also gets one huge conga-line of these during the last story mission. First his heroic speech is rendered completely meaningless as the gate's reinforcements scare the virtual crap out of him, then all of his attempts at opening the door only summons more enemies and bar the door further. It gets to the point that when he finally does something, even he's surprised that it actually worked. It gets to wound-salting levels that when the door finally opens it reveals a huge line of stairs, meaning that Claptrap can't actually proceed any further (his monowheel can't climb stairs).
  • Testosterone Poisoning: TORGUE! The character with the largest muscles, topless, and screams out in sentences subtitled in CAPITAL LETTERS. Talk about being the epitome of manliness in Borderlands.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Vladof and Dahl radio ads both feature such phrases.
    • According to Vladof, there are two kinds of people in the universe: the oppressors and the oppressed.
    • According to Dahl, there's three kinds: 1. people who need to be killed, 2. the people who kill them, 3. the people who pay group 2.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Lampshaded by Handsome Jack in regards to weapon names; Hyperion uses corporate buzzwords, Vladof names all sound Russian-ish, Bandit guns are all horribly misspelled, etc. Specific weapons types by specific manufacturers have narrower themes, like Dahl submachine guns (which are named after fearsome animals), Jakobs sniper rifles (the names and prefixes of which all come from the Native American Chinook language), Maliwan rocket launchers (which have names and prefixes that all start with the letter "P"), Torgue rocket launchers (which sound like someone imitating explosions with their mouth), and Vladof sniper rifles (Nadsat-named). The established themes are largely, but not completely, ignored by Unique and Legendary weapons.
    • Krieg's skills are "Verb the Noun" themed (Mania), alliterative (Hellborn), or have "Blood" in the name (Bloodlust, with the exception of Buzz Axe Bombardier).
    • Numerical Theme Naming: the targets of "Assassinate the Assassins" are Oney, Wot, Reeth, and Rouf (One, Two, Three, Four).
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Salvador has a skill that invokes this trope by name, giving you a temporary gun damage bonus proportionate to the amount of damage over what was needed to kill that last guy.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Rakkman was labeled insane by his peers, implicitly other bandits.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Bandits again, of course, though in a bit of cleverness, Handsome Jack has officially declared everyone not directly working for him to be "bandits" including the Resistance, so he can be justified in killing you all.
  • This Cannot Be!: Several enemies just don't believe it when you kill them. Jack included.
    Marauder: This does not conform to my reputation...!
  • Thriving Ghost Town:
    • Sanctuary plays it straight; there's probably supposed to be more than just twenty people in the city. Sanctuary at least attempts to avert this by having different generic NPCs spawn every time you enter the city in varying numbers, with randomly selected personalities, basic appearance, and accessories. This gives the impression there's more people than you could see in one visit.
    • Overlook is a strangely literal example of the trope: everybody's sick and/or living in constant fear of being thrown in the Grinder for violating curfew so they're all staying indoors, making it look like a ghost town even when it's actually fully populated.
    • Opportunity is a deliberate in-universe example: it literally exists to show off Handsome Jack's wealth and might and nothing else. It looks like a shiny mini-metropolis made of perfectly polished glass and steel, bustling with advertisements, broadcast screens, tickers, attractions, office districts, shopping centers and seeminly enough capacity and infrastructure to house at least 10,000 people... but as soon as you set foot into that place it becomes crystal-clear that it's all just a lie, nobody actually lives there, and the only people that have any such thing as a permanent presence in that city are all Hyperion armed forces.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Not so much. Hyperion robots seem aware of the Three Laws, but quite often, a Loader will say "First Law disabled" when engaging in combat.
    • Elsewhere, you find out that Handsome Jack has his own self-aggrandizing three laws for robots. They are:
      • Handsome Jack is your god.
      • Threshers are your enemy.
      • Both consider you expendable.
    • Deathtrap isn't either. To quote Gaige, "To Hell with the First Law!"
  • Throwaway Guns: Tediore-brand guns (considered "cheap, plastic pieces of crap" or "Wal-Mart guns") are reloaded by throwing them at the enemy, afterwards a new one warps in your hands. This actually does more damage to enemies based on the number of cartridges left in the gun. In the case of a Rocket Launcher, they actually become rockets and fly off towards the enemy.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • While you're throwing guns rather than a sword, this trope is in play with Tediore guns. If you manage to hit an flying enemy with it, you also earn an acheivement for it (best done on Rakks, rather than bandit choppers).
    • Krieg can throw his axe in Buzzaxe Rampage mode. Because the axe, whether thrown or swung, counts as a melee attack, Krieg can actually deal more damage to an enemy with it than any of his current guns if he has the appropriate skills, mods, and relics. This gets a bit hilarious when he can one-shot a Buzzard by throwing his axe at it.
    • Taken to its logical end with the SWORDSPLOSION!!! shotgun: a shotgun that fires exploding, spinning swords. That then explode into smaller, also explosive swords.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Goliaths have what appear to be shrunken heads under their massive helmets.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Golden Key, an item that opens an extra-special chest that gives out high-quality gear. However, the gear is scaled to your level, and there are very few ways to earn them, and those ways include real-life actions, like pre-ordering the game or going to a Gearbox event. It's pretty tempting to just hold on to it until you've hit the level cap before considering using it. This was before Gearbox started handing out dozens of these keys via key codes posted to its Facebook and Twitter account. Players who collect the keys frequently but use them rarely could easily have hundreds...which runs a serious risk of triggering a bug that causes you to lose all of your keys the moment you have more than 255.
    • Ultimately subverted; the most efficient way to use Golden Keys is to spend several of them at once every couple of levels. By the time you hit the level cap, you will either have more than enough lucrative farming opportunities that the Golden Chest is no longer anywhere near your best source of loot, or you will have quit the game long ago. By spending keys regularly, you'll always have high-quality equipment as you're leveling without having to farm for it.
    • In a more immediate sense, rocket launchers. Yes, their damage output is beyond "pure carnage", they can take out hordes of badass enemies with less than a magazine if it's a Vladof or Bandit, and getting Second Winds with them is just a matter of there being an enemy around to kill... but good luck finding an ammo pickup for them with more frequency than every 6 ammo chests or so.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • One of the Marauder personalities is a complete nitwit who has no idea what he's doing, to the point of unintentional suicide. He has a lot of questions whenever a Nomad orders a new tactic. "Cover! Right, what's cover?" "Pull the pin, then throw, right?"
    • Really, all of the Bandit personalities are this trope. The aforementioned Moron personality doesn't quite understand how dangerous being near a live grenade is, or even if he's shooting at the right people at all. The Shotty personality is too reckless for his own safety, often getting excited over his shield shorting out and refusing to retreat/take cover when commanded. The Killer personality often tells his Bandit friends to go ahead and die for him. And the Ripper just won't admit that he's near death and should accept the help of his fellow Bandits.
    • Sometimes Goliaths don't realize they're in combat at all, thinking you're giving them a present when you throw a grenade, for instance. Also, listen to them when you drop your turret/s while playing as Axton:
      Goliath: (helpfully) Sir! You drop gun!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gaige did from the start of her ECHO logs. Lilith did as well since the first game.
    • Played literally with the Badass Ranks, which are earned from completing minor achievements such as spending a large amount of bullets or looting a certain amount of Green-tier items. Every five Badass Ranks you obtain, you get to incease one out of five different random statistics.
  • Top-Heavy Guy:
    • Salvador's legs make his otherwise badass appearance almost whimsical; this is evidently due to steroids stunting his growth — a lot.
    • The Midget Goliaths take it even further, having almost toddler-sized legs supporting their burly upper bodies.
    • Bullymongs are top-heavy alien ape-things. They've got four huge muscular arms, and two itty-bitty legs. They get around by using their arms and their legs are mostly just to prop them up.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Shade thinks this happened to Hyperious the Invincible. Probably the case of Master Gee as well.
  • Train Job: No less than THREE. All of them have you blowing up the train beforehand instead of boarding it.
  • Tranquil Fury: Handsome Jack, of all people, will occasionally slip into this after you've killed Angel, his daughter. It's. rather unsettling, given his usual Large Ham / Jerkass antics.
    "You killed my baby girl..."
  • Transforming Mecha: Two types of Hyperion loaders transform: BUL Loaders turn into bulldozers and attempt to bowl you over, and JET Loaders turn into planes and try to strafe you.
  • Translation: "Yes": At the end of "Clan Wars: End of the Rainbow":
    Tector Hodunk: Paw says "Thanks."
  • Tron Lines:
    • Maliwan guns have these, after being retooled into the sci-fi nerd's gun brand.
    • And of course, when you see marble-like rock with glowing lines in the walls and pillars, you know you're approaching Eridian Lost Technology.
  • Troperiffic: Look up the pages, this game packs a lot of tropes.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Arguably the entire reason Tiny Tina [The World's Deadliest 13-Year-Old] works as a character.
    Tina: *Dancing around a tied-up Psycho* All around the sta-actus patch, the stalker chased the bandit. The stalker thought 'twas all in fun POP! *Jumps onto a detonation plunger, blowing up the Psycho* Goes the Ban-dit!
    • It gets worse when you learn why she's the way she is.
  • Tsundere: Lilith decides to play hard-to-get to attract Roland after he dumped her. That... didn't work. More likely it didn't have enough time. It's implied Roland dumped her to focus on fighting Jack and he seemed visibly upset whenever she brings up their relationship.
  • Turns Red: A couple of enemies can do this...
    • Goliaths are made of this trope; if you score a critical hit on one you will knock off his helmet. This cause them to reveal a tiny mutated head on a stalk and go berserk (as well as return to full health). While berserking they attack everyone, including their former allies. Each bandit they kill fully heals and upgrades them into multiple forms (including a normally second playthrough only "Super Badass" form), and then they give bonus XP when defeated.
      • A more specific version of this is Tector Hodunk, who literally turns red and goes into Raging Goliath ("Grieving Tector") mode if you kill Papa Hodunk before him.
    • Varkids initially appear in larval form. Each one spawned has a variable as to whether or not it will turn into a pod and begin its metamorphosis into its next stage of life. The adult can itself grow several times (assuming it begins metamorphosing to each stage before being killed) until it becomes an Ultimate Badass Varkid and then to its final stage: Vermivorous the Invincible (the second raid boss of the game).
    • The larger scaylions flip their bodies over after taking a certain amount of damage, becoming dramatically more resistant to damage.
  • The Turret Master:
    • Axton's action skill sets revolve around his ability to deploy a turret.
    • Hyperion Commandos can deploy their own turrets to harass the player.
    • Constructors can deploy turrets to help defend themselves.
  • Twinking:
    • This is Lampshaded when you gain access to your shared stash. Claptrap tries in vain to come up with a story-friendly explanation for where the items are coming from and going to before giving up and saying, "It's for twinking items between characters, okay?"
    • The game also introduces Badass Ranks, small accumulative percentage-based bonuses, usually unlocked by high-level characters, that apply to all characters on the same account.
  • Tyop on the Cover: The gun towers at the edges of some zones (For example, behind the train station in The Dust that leads to Lynchwood) will often warn you if you try to pass them of your "Eminent Demise" (not "Imminent").

  • Unflinching Walk: Invoked. One mission has you destroying a bandit leader's prized Buzzard to lure him out of hiding. The bonus objective is looking away from the explosion — while you don't have to actually walk away from it, you're encouraged to. The bandit leader gets especially upset if you do it, too.
    Brick: You'll look like such a badass.
  • The Unfought: Captain Scarlett.
    • Flanksteak, the boss of the Bloodshots. When rescuing Roland from their stronghold early in the game, he's heard trying to negotiate a price from Hyperion for Roland's capture. But he gradually reduces the amount as you progress through the area, blow his men away, and get closer to Roland. Eventually he asks for a really pitiful amount of money ($20, down from the one million dollars he wanted originally), one of the Hyperion loaders denies it, then blasts him away off screen.
    • Then there's Flyboy, the #2 Badass in Campaign of Carnage. He gets an intro, then immediately gets blasted away by Piston's blimp, and you end up fighting that instead.
    • Professor Nakayama ends up tripping and tumbling down some slopes to his death. Granted, you can shoot him while he's falling.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • Jimbo Hodunk, the patriarch of the Hodunk clan. Subtitles render his speech as "[old coot gibberish]". His son Tector seems to understand him perfectly, though. Tipping Moxxi might prompt her to recall something Jimbo once told her: [frontier coot rambling].
    • Harpooners, anchormen, buccaneers, minelayers, and other pirates who wear heavy diving suits all make muffled noises when trying to speak.
  • Universal Ammunition: Downplayed. While each weapon type has separate ammunition, every variant of that weapon type, regardless of make, model, or manufacturer, can use that ammunition. All SMGs use the same SMG ammo, all Pistols (Repeaters or Revolvers) use Pistol Ammo, and so on. Gets a little ridiculous when you obtain E-Tech weapons. Shotguns that belch forth gobs of flame instead of pellets or assault rifles that shoot lasers still use plain ol' shotgun and rifle ammo.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Tediore guns are so cheap, they cannot be reloaded. Instead, you just toss it and a fully-loaded one spawns into your hand. Any unfired ammunition contributes to the damage of the thrown gun's explosion instead of returning to your ammo pool, which may cause some trouble for those FPS players used to reloading very often for little reason.
    • Maliwan guns use battery packs instead of ammo; their energy is drawn from your ammo reserves.
    • Hyperion guns have electrically powered reload mechanisms that automatically grab the magazine, pull it into the receiver and cock the gun.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Salvador's Gunzerker skill is all about this, giving him the ability to dual wield any weapon in the game, as well as granting a massive bonus to damage and health regeneration. With the right combination of skills, he can even do it near-constantly.
    • Goliaths will fly into into a frenzy if their helmet is shot off, attacking friend and foe alike. They'll discard their weapons and begin pummeling everything with their fists while screaming and jumping like the Hulk. The more enemies that a raging Goliath kills, the more powerful it will become. Oddly, they seem to gain a few IQ points and speak complete, if psychotically angry, sentences.
      Angry! I'm so GOD DAMN ANGRY!
    • Krieg's Buzz Axe Rampage is going on a Buzz Axe Rampage, chopping anyone stupid enough to stand still and shoot at the massive Psycho charging at them. While there are items that reduce cooldown Krieg can also take damage to fly into another rampage sooner. His Mania skill tree focuses on his melee attacks and the Tier 6 skill is "Release the Beast", where upon using BAR at 33% health Kreig turns into a Badass Psycho Mutant with 100% Melee damage and 50% damage resistance while stacking with items and his Bloodlust skills "Taste of Blood" (increases damage resistance) and "Blood Trance" (increases Rampage time).
      It's time to go insane!
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Pandora is not a nice place to be. Upon entering Sanctuary, bastion of peace and safety, you'll be treated to introductory cutscenes of Marcus (shoots a customer for asking for a refund), Dr. Zed (stabs an insane patient in the chest with a needle, hard), and Scooter (confuses you for a Hyperion robot at first, and then tells you to go hit up the black market). This is all just to establish the setting.
  • Unwanted False Faith: The end of the Cult Following questline. Lillith does not find bandits preparing to burn a cageload of kidnapped civilians flattering at all.
    Lilith: Your goddess has arrived... and she is very disappointed. Vault Hunter, smite these bitches.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake:
    • A late game sidequest requires you to pull a switch that has a chance to be unpullable. If this happens, there is no way to fix it, making it impossible to complete the quest.
    • The Wilhelm Boss Fight takes place in an area enclosed on three sides by ice cliffs and a sheer drop on the remaining side. While Wilhelm himself cannot fall off, killing him too close to the edge can result in the power core taking a dive, forcing you to exit the game and then reenter it to fight Wilhelm again. Ironically, the power core turns out to be a trap laid by Handsome Jack. Failure Is the Only Option indeed.
    • Several quests have "Kill X enemies Y number of times" as an optional objective. However because these are not required to complete the quest, the game rarely forces enemy spawns. This can be a problem if you just cleared the area out, leaving no enemies to kill at all. The only way to fix this is either to go do something else and wait for the place to repopulate (usually 10-20 minutes) or reboot the game and come back. This isn't that big of a problem as the other two as you still can complete the quest, just without the Optional Objective. Prior to the Ultimate Vault Hunter DLC, this made the "complete all side Objectives" badass challenge impossible as you could not repeat quests.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The Vault Hunters end up becoming this for Jack about halfway through the game, after installing Wilheim's power core into Sanctuary, which allows Angel to hack their network and bring the shields down.
    • ECHO recordings in Arid Nexus reveal that the original Vault Hunters from the first game were also this, being manipulated by Jack to open the vault for it's real treasure; the vast quantities of Eridium stored beneath Pandora.
  • Uranus Is Showing: In the Commander Lilith DLC a giant robot called Uranus causes Tiny Tina to uncontrollably laugh. By the time she calms down, she notices the next objective, which is to "Pull the power core out of Uranus". With obvious results.
  • V8 Engine Noises: In the previous game, vehicles used a four-banger or a 6 cylinder engine. This time, they have upgraded to a glorious American-like V8.
  • Vagina Dentata:
    • There's a sick skag in Lynchwood. If it were up to Scooter, he would have put a bullet in its "cooch-mouth" as he puts it, but then suggests a more humane solution to nurse it back to health with food and medicine.
    • Rampant in the Captain Scarlet DLC, to the point of being a motif. The final two bosses are a Rakk hive and the Leviathan. For the first one, see the original Borderlands 1. The second resembles a phallus within a vagina, both with teeth, and has "arms" that bend in such a way it resembles spread legs.
  • Vendor Trash: Downplayed. You'll be hard-pressed to find the 70-minus accuracy rifles and horrible-spread scatterguns that were so common in Borderlands: you can easily use any weapon you get and be effective with it until you outlevel it by at least 5 levels, even if it's effectively a Master of None of white rarity. For shields, though, the deal's still the same: you won't stick with most of the shields you acquire if they don't have a gimmick like immunity to damage over time.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: You can do a sidequest for Sir Hammerlock where he asks you to kill the thresher that tore off his arm. After you do it, he realises that he doesn't feel any better but still considers it a job well done.
  • Verbal Tic: Take a drink every time someone says 'Come on back' after you've completed a mission. Go ahead.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Moxxi apparently keeps both beer and guns tucked into her considerable cleavage.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: In the "Commander Lilith" DLC, you can give Tina a chance to fire Helios' moonshot cannon, something that she's evidently always wanted to do. Alternatively you can fire it yourself before she makes it to the button and she'll be barely holding back tears as she tells you that she's over it.
  • Video Game Demake: They made their own!
  • Villainous Breakdown: Handsome Jack has an epic and completely understandable one following the events which kick off the third act of the game. In one moment, the Affably Evil Psychopathic Manchild is gone, and you see what ''really'' lies behind that hilariously immature facade: A ruthless and competent sociopath who blackmailed, exploited, and killed his way from a shack on Pandora to ownership of the most powerful MegaCorp in the known universe, and then spent five years working to stripmine a Death World into his vision of a safe, civilized razed frontier settlement at a time.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Zig-zagged trope, here. Handsome Jack seems to have the galaxy at large fooled, but anyone actually working for him and everyone on Pandora has been exposed to his douchebaggery, so he's not fooling anyone local but himself that he's the good guy.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Cosmetic items (heads and skins) are available as both loot and preorder bonuses.
  • The Virus: Hector releases a toxic "Paradise" gas in the Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, which mutates the infected into plant-like creatures.
  • Visual Pun: The mission "Smells Like Victory" has you retrieve a bottle of catsup to make Captain Scarlett's radio operator smell better. There is a cat on the label.
  • Visual Title Drop: In the prologue cutscenes of the Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, Lilith looks at the city poster of Roland with "Fight for Sanctuary" written in it.
  • Vulgar Humor: Combined with Cluster Bleep-Bomb. For a game series that actually gives an In-Universe excuse to avoid major swearing, Mr. Torgue plays any and all swears for laughs, even though he has also been censored.
    • Many Torgue weapon names are or contain sex jokes.
    • Port-a-potties in Bandit camps count as chests. Yes, goodies pop out of the chemical vat. They also universally have a notice posted against hogging it for a wank.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Welcome Borderlands 1 player! Think you can just breeze through the story quest without doing the multitudes of side-quests now? Meet Boom-Bewm, who will, if you don't do those side-quests, be twice your level when you meet them. Even if you do match their level, they have armor before you get corrosive weapons to counter it, and have a huge cannon and a lot of backup. There are also two of them.
    • Even more-so with Captain Flynt who is armed with an incendiary pistol and an anchor as his melee weapon that he uses to perform AOE attacks that will kill you incredibly fast if you get too close. He is also surrounded by Bandits that constantly respawn till you kill Flynt. Vents are scattered around the area and shoot out fire so be careful where you step! Players at this point are at least expected to have grinded some levels to survive and dish out damage to him as well.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
  • Weird Currency: Multiple.
    • Refined Eridium buys you inventory and ammo upgrades from Crazy Earl.
    • DLC raid bosses drop Seraph crystals that can be used to purchase some very powerful unique gear from mysterious Seraph Vendors.
    • Completing story and repeatable quests in the Mr. Torgue campaign gets you Torgue Tokens, which you can spend at Torgue vending machines or at special slot machines in the Badass Crater Bar.
  • Weird Moon: The moon is absolutely gigantic, taking up about a quarter of the sky in a geosynchronous orbit and spinning very fast (at least two revolutions per "day"). Since the game play region faces away from the sun, the reflected light off the moon is the only light source and "night" comes when it wanes. It's also apparently volcanic due to the crisscrossed glowing fault lines, and the Hyperion space station in between casts an H-shaped shadow on it.
    • The Pre-Sequel reveals that the Moon is called Elpis, the space station, Helios, is there to watch Pandora, Big Brother style, and the crisscrossed glowing fault lines were caused by Colonel Zarpedon repeatedly blasting the moon with the Wave-Motion Gun Helios used to have.
  • Weird Trade Union: There's apparently a Pirates Union in Wurmwater.
  • We Care: The city of Opportunity is full of this trope, with loudspeakers blaring constant propaganda while Handsome Jack verbally abuses workers.
  • We Have Reserves:
    • Jack has this approach to warfare and employees. It helps that most of his soldiers are disposable robots that get replicated cheaply, but unfortunately he treats every living asset he has just as poorly as the robots (or worse, since he doesn't waste time emotionally abusing and terrorizing the robots).
      Handsome Jack: Engineers, let the loaders do the lifting. Loaders, let the engineers take enemy fire. This is called teamwork.
    • One of the PA announcements in Opportunity subverts this, where the foreman notes that they have "several" issues with the workforce, starting with "you should try dying less". He then realizes that's the only thing on the list. Played straight with a highlands announcement, where one of the three laws of robotics is "[Jack and the Threshers] consider you expendable".
    • In Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, Torgue himself lampshades why you are fighting Torgue personnel: he didn't want you getting bored or out of shape so he gave everyone guns including his employees. This apparently caused him to lose half his work force in three days, which he finds awesome. He also finds it awesome that the workers are going to starve in a few months after you blow up the food dispensers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Tiny Tina's DLC, at one point you run into the dwarf king inside the caverns. Brick wins the roll to see what the adventurers do, so he suggests punching him. Both Lilith and Mordecai suggest it's a very bad idea, but Brick insists on it, forcing you to punch the king and kill him. This then turns the dwarves from potential allies into foes.
    • A short while later, when you reach the trapped girl, Brick once again suggests punching her. However, this time Mordecai and Lilith win out, and Brick reluctantly changes his mind to have you talk to her instead of punching her. She responds by then turning into a boss character that you're forced to fight. Brick immediately regrets not punching her like he had originally wanted to, and the Handsome Sorcerer chimes in and tells you he imprisoned her because of this very reason.
    • In one sidequest for Tiny Tina's DLC, you have to find three riddles to ask Mr. Torgue to see if he's nerdy enough to play the game with them. As you find the riddles, Lilith, who turns out to be a Closet Geeknote , accuses Torgue of just wanting to jump on the bandwagon because its currently popular. While he answers the first two questions correctly, he misses the third one, and after being told he can't play, he starts to cry about just wanting to play with them. Lilith then feels a little guilty about pushing the issue too far, and allows him to take part, albeit just giving out sidequests.
    • Miss Moxxie's Valentine Day DLC has you dangling a Goliath baby by its foot over some disturbingly dangerous distillery machinery to make it cry.
      Moxxie: This is not what good guys do.
    • Claptrap subverts this trope after you kill some bandits on the way to Captain Flynt's camp.
      Claptrap: What are you doing, minion? Those were people you just killed, with lives, and families, and... Ah, I'm just kidding, screw those guys!
  • What You Are in the Dark: The quest "Kill Yourself", given by Handsome Jack in the Eridium Blight. His proposition is simple: kill yourself by throwing yourself off a cliff, and because Death Is Cheap, he'll reward you with a not-insignificant amount of Eridium, at the cost of being Jack's bitch. Or, you can instead opt to call the Hyperion Suicide Prevention Hotline at the same location, and forfeit the Eridium payday in favour of experience. No one but you and Jack will know what choice you make: take the Eridium and sell out just because Jack offered you enough money, or refuse, and keep your pride at the expense of the ever-useful, upgrade-purchasing Eridium.
  • Wham Quest:
    • Oh good Lord..."Rising Action". The power core you've spent the first quarter of the game attempting to obtain turns out to be a trap that destroys Sanctuary's shields, leaving it wide open for Jack to attack it. Jack reveals that Angel set you up and she's on his side, and then proceeds to bombard the hell out of Sanctuary. With some quick thinking, Lilith is able to phase the city to safety before it's fully destroyed... but not before half the city is destroyed and hundreds, if not thousands of innocent people die. Finally, when Lilith teleports the city she accidentally leaves the vault hunters behind. The mission ends with your character alone, stranded, and completely cut off from your friends.
    • Later, there's "Where Angels Fear to Tread," the quest where you invade Angel's core. To sum up: Angel is a human Siren, not an A.I. Jack is her father and has been pumping her full of Eridium 24/7 for five fucking years to recharge the vault key. She asks you to kill her. Roland and Lilith help out, despite Angel's warning that Lilith should stay away. After you kill Angel, Jack shoots Roland then kidnaps Lilith, intent on using her to finish charging the vault key. Holy shit. Oh, and all of this happens in 10-15 minutes.
  • Wham Line:
    • From Handsome Jack. "Hey, you know, I think it's finally time to tell you that little secret: Angel's working for me."
    • A short term one during "Where Angels Fear to Tread":
      Jack: Did you really think I'd protect Angel with nothing but a couple bots and some flimsy turrets? See, you're not at the bunker right now. The bunker isn't a place. (The chunky block of metal suddenly starts levitating, transforming, then makes an Evil Laugh.)
    • Later, during the same chapter:
      Jack: You get the hell away from my daughter!
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Brick's preferred method of solving problems is to utilize his secret "punch them in the face till they die" technique. Mordecai prefers to shoot stuff from far away. And they even discuss their tactics with each other in Sanctuary.
    Mordecai: Like I said, instead of punching, I prefer to keep my distance from my target, pick my moment, then kill them with a single, well placed shot.
    Brick: You lost me at "instead of punching."
  • When Trees Attack: Treants are enemies faced early on in the Tiny Tina DLC. There are also stumps known as Stumpys.
    Brick: Dammit! I knew I shouldn't have trusted those trees!
  • Whole Plot Reference: Not a sidequest goes by where you don't encounter at least one.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Not only are Baron Flynt from the first game and Captain Flynt from the second brothers, but those are their real names, not titles.
    Captain Flynt: Our parents were douchebags.
    • The CEO of the Torgue Corporation's first name is "Mister Torgue".
      Lilith: Wait, "Mister Torgue" is your first name? [Beat] What's your last name, then?
      Mr. Torgue: FLEXINGTON!
  • With Friends Like These...: Even after joining the Slab bandit clan later on in the game, the rest of the Slabs are still hostile towards you save the occasional air support sent by the Slab King, Face McShooty, and Rocko. The Slab King justifies this by saying that they're still crazy idiots like every other bandit in the game and you shouldn't feel bad about killing them. He doesn't.
  • With This Herring: Multiple:
    • The crappy gun you receive at the very start of the game.
      Quest Info: When you're fighting a skyscraper-sized enemy with a gun that shoots lightning, you're going to think back to this moment and be like "heh."
    • Averted somewhat with the guns included with the Première Club Preorder Bonus Pack, if you bought it. They're much better than the gun you get from your first quest, but are easily disposed of for better weapons once you start looting.
  • Wizard Beard: One of the wizard Claptrap's quests in "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep" involves collecting the beards of dead dwarves in order to create a fancy beard for him, since the best wizards have impressive long beards, robots can't grow hair, and all dwarves have beards.
  • Word Salad Title: It seems that non-unique loot goes back to Diablo-esque randomized naming conventions, manufacturer-dependant. Hyperion guns have financial buzzwords in their names, bandit weapons are hilariously misspelled, Maliwan goes into Purple Prose, etc. The different manufacturers' weapon naming conventions are heavily Lampshaded by Handsome Jack on an amusing ECHO voice log found in Opportunity.
  • World of Badass: Multiple:
    • Nearly all the named characters are introduced while in the process of creatively killing hapless bandits. On a more literal level, as in the first game, particularly tough varieties of enemies have "Badass" prefixing their name.
    • Now quantified! Completing challenges in the game earns you "Badass Ranks", which can be cashed in for upgrades that apply to all of your characters. In other words, acting like a Badass actually makes you more Badass! The bonuses are small at first, but can still be very useful to both low and high-level characters alike when you've accumulated a significant amount of percentage bonuses.
      Zer0: I won't die today / Not while I still have ammo / I am a badass
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • At Ripoff Station in Tundra Express, you will find Will the Bandit. Kill him, and he drops an ECHO recording stating that anybody who can kill him must be a total badass, and is therefore entitled to his gun stash. Of course, it's a trap.
    • The Sheriff of Lynchwood considers you this. Despite being a possibly crazy, sadistic, brutal, puppy-murdering cowgirl, her response to you shooting up her town is "I like you." and unlike Jack, she doesn't verbally abuse you and speaks politely to you, although she does note that you're Not So Different from bandits. When you finally meet her, she greets you with a cheerful "Howdy, partner" and compliments you on your fighting skills. Finally, when you kill her, she mutters "Well Done." before expiring. Heck, throughout the entire sidequest arc, she comes across as a borderline Friendly Enemy, which is odd when you consider that she's Handsome Jack's girlfriend.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Multiple:
    • Hyperion is not above that. In the town of Overlook (where they have a Lottery of Doom whose winners are killed by being fed to a bunch of spinning cogs), you can hear a Hyperion voice over congratulating an inhabitant for the birth of her twins, and wishing her luck on deciding which one to keep.
    • Handsome Jack enslaves his daughter to work his schemes and charge the vault key. She mentions that she is suffering due to this abuse.
    • A hidden ECHO recording in Opportunity strongly implies that Jack had a fellow Hyperion colleague's two young boys killed for pointing out the flaws of Opportunity.
    • Captain Scarlett has willingly killed children, but she doesn't like to brag about it. Not because she's remorseful or anything. She's just not especially inclined to show off.
    • Motor Momma eats her own children.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In +5 to Punching, the interrogator tells Tina:
    Interrogator: You're lucky I don't hit girls.
    Tina: Me neither, but for you I'd make an exception, ohhh!
  • Xanatos Gambit: Jack pulls off an excellent one when he sends Wilhelm to kill you. If you kill Wilhelm, then you'll most likely install Wilhelm's power core into the city shield, causing it to fail when Jack springs his trap. If Wilhelm kills you, then, well, that works too.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz:
    • Every Bandit-brand gun (and several Torgue weapons) has names spelled like this. Torgue thinks it's awesome, Bandit gunsmiths are terribly illiterate. Combined with the Bandit-brand reputation for enormous ammo magazines, it also gives the impression that their company is run by Flash Gitz.
    • Among other benefits, Zer0's B0re skill highlights enemy weak points while in deception, with various l33tsp34k words (w34k, k1ll, sh00t, etc.) on each one for good measure.
  • Yandere: Bandits with the Shotty personality are... very attached to their guns. It's not uncommon to find them talking to their weapons, yelling at you for looking at them, and asking to be buried with them upon death.
  • You All Look Familiar: Aside from the assortment of bandits, robots, and story-important characters, most of the people in the game are built around 2 or three generic faces, with them tailored to look different by altering skin color, hair, and accessories. The most obvious display of this is when Marshall Friedman asks you to help him solve a murder. Look at his face, then look at the 4 identical quadruplet suspects, and you'll see they look exactly just like him. Everyone in the Holy Spirits bar is no different.
  • You Bastard!: Mocked with The Morningstar, a custom-made sniper rifle for murderers - like you! It has a whiny, irrelevant, guilt-tripping tirade ready for almost everything you do, attempting to defend those poor innocent bandits and cuddly wuddly creatures trying to eat your face off. Funnily enough, most people love it and keep it for a good giggle at the funny things it says. Even more hilarious is when you use it when killing a boss.
    Nice job ending that life!
    Most serial killers thought they were good people too!
    Maybe he came from a broken home!
    If you were a better shot, you wouldn't need to reload!
    That was murder by most definitions!
    By not donating to charity, you are indirectly murdering THOUSANDS of lives every day!
  • You Killed My Father: The final Headhunter DLC, Sir Hammerlock and the Son of Crawmerax, has a sidequest in which Sparky Flynt, the son of early game bandit leader Captain Flynt, hires a crew of assassins to kill the Vault Hunters and get revenge for his dad's death.
  • You No Take Candle:
    • Aegran savages who learn English typically have poor grammar and syntax. Notably averted in one case, though — friendly savage questgiver Thirstblood speaks English perfectly and with no accent, arguably speaking English better than most bandits.
    • One of the generic NPCs is a woman with an Eastern European accent and a laughably poor grasp of English.
      Can you direct me Moxxi's underboob palacio?
  • Your Mom: Claptrap pulls one at the beginning of the game, after a small earthquake.
    They say Jack's drilling operations are causing those earthquakes. That, or your mom just got outta bed. ZING!
  • Zeerust: A mission set by the Censorbot in Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty has the Vault Hunters collecting floppy disks.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Several, though most of them are deliberately Played for Laughs:
    • The Mr. Torgue DLC campaign's Number 2 Ranked Badass, Flyboy, is a Buzzard pilot whose introductory title card lampshades what's about to happen: His caption reads "This won't take long". Barely a second after the title card disappears, Flyboy is blasted out of the sky by the Number 1 Ranked Badass, Piston, and the actual fight begins.
    • Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt has Professor Nakayama... to the surprise of absolutely no-one.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has Prince Jeffrey. After beating his surprisingly sturdy Royal Guard, you take one shot at him and... he buckles like a cheap belt. And then you slap the bastard out of him. Repeatedly. While countless references occur.


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