A dark example when you kill Bloodwing. The reason she doesn't drop any loot is because she's not an animal native to Pandora, meaning she's not an Extreme Omnivore that finds guns delicious. Alternatively, you didn't literally kill Bloodwing; Jack did.
Why do many of Pandora's creatures have some form of split jaw? Biological competition led to the convergent evolution of creatures with the ability to eat things bigger than their own head in one bite.
Why do the porta-potties have guns and ammunition inside of them for vault hunters to find? In case of the situation where if someone ambushes you on the toilet, you're prepared!
During Tiny Tina's tea party, one of her comments is, "I read the most EXTRAORDINARY thing the other day, Sir Reginald. Something about slag experimentation. I forgot the details." Only later does the meaning of the comment become clear: she's reminding Flesh-Stick of the Cruel and Unusual Death he sold her parents to.
Phaseshift. To a tech savvy person, when Angel is using it in the beginning of the game, they assume that she is simply modulating the phase of a reference signal to open a door, which would make sense. When she uses it again, she is changing the phase of another reference signal to shut down Sanctuary's shields. So there is not any reason to assume or suspect that she was a Siren and not an A.I. since she is using tech jargon to do exactly what she says she is doing.
Re-learning action skills:
The reason why everyone needs some time to relearn the action skills they brilliantly showcased in the train during the intro? They were just thrown out of an exploding train! They need time for their bodies to recover and to fix their gear so they can use their abilities. And the reason why you start with all your weapons and abilities in True Vault Hunter mode? You're a true Vault Hunter who doesn't let petty things like exploding trains wreck your ability to kick ass.
Or you've just been concussed to hell and back and need to remember you can do that.
Alternatively, according to Gaige's ECHOs, the skills are actually pre-existing programs that exist in the Vault Hunter's ECHO HUD... but wait, didn't we lose those in the crash? Fortunately, Claptrap happens to find another one just lying around and gives it to you. None of the data on it is relevant to you, so you give it a hard reset. You're basically starting over from square 1. In True Vault Hunter mode, you're a "true Vault Hunter"; you've prepared for such an occasion and have a back-up of all your data on-hand and ready to go. The same can apply to your SDU inventory.
Handsome Jack once makes an offhanded remark of how only six Sirens can exist at any given time, and that he knows of three. Lilith and Maya are obvious, seeing as how he was hunting the former during the quest you hear of this and had a wanted poster of the latter, but anyone who's finished the game knows ''exactly'' who the third one is. On top of that, it's easy for anyone who played the first game to assume the third Siren is Steele, making The Reveal that much better hidden.
Why are there specifically SIX sirens at any one time? There are four players who could all be sirens, and 2 NPCs who were sirens in each game. Steele and Angel in the first, Lilith and Angel in the second.
Why is the med station in Overlook disabled? So you can't abuse it during the fight to defend the beacon.
When Angel started missions in Borderlands 1 by saying "Would You Kindly," everyone thought it was a random indirect BioShock reference. Except she really was manipulating them the entire time. Not with mind control, but still.
Why doesn't Roland have any missions for you outside of the main ones? So when he dies, you don't lose any. The one sidequest he does host is given from a bulletin board.
The initials of Ordered Chaos is OC. The initials for overclocking are also OC. When one considers what Anarchy does to Gaige, it could be considered overclocking her.
Angel spends the entire game cutting off her curse words, because her father chides her on language. Therefore, it is entirely and brilliantly fitting for her struggle for freedom that the very last word she utters to Jack is "asshole."
The Golden Gear mini-quest and trip up to Mount Hellsfront is one big shout out to The Lord of the Rings, complete with ersatz Ring and Gollum. The quest also involves a particularly long journey, from the very start of the game to the Eridium Blight. It is also full of hazards that can quickly reduce players to Fight For Your Life mode, but lacking in any enemies that can be killed to gain a second wind. You can't use fast travel, and an update made it so that entering a vehicle after taking the "ring" fails the mini-quest, so you have to do it the hard way and walk. As such, it is often nightmarishly difficult (unless you're cautious and have a high enough level) to make the trip up the mountain alone, but it's much easier to do it with a companion to help you to your feet when you go down. Just like Sam and Frodo.
Whenever you reload a Maliwan weapon, such as an SMG or sniper rifle, all the lights on the sides go out, but that's not all — if the weapon has electronic sights, they'll also go out while the magazine is out, further emphasizing that Maliwan magazines do more than just hold bullets. Contrast Dahl or Torgue weapons that keep all lights on no matter what you do.
When in the Caustic Caverns picking up the Apocalyptic Log of the Dahl expeditionary mining group, one log has the security chief Booth, outraged upon being continually ordered to "harvest" the friendly and intelligent crystalisks, threatening the Corrupt Corporate Executive in charge of the mining with the fact that that her team has guns, while the miners only have pickaxes. Turns out the executive has a gun, too. When you find the security chief's tombstone, there's a pickaxe stuck in it, a final insult from the executive. However karma would catch up to Harchek in the form of Blue the Crystalisk and judging by the bloodstains, mangled skeleton, and the pickaxe in the eye socket it's mostly like one of the security personnel did it as a middle finger to the dead Harchek for killing Booth.
About the Bandit brand's weapons having misspelled names. Looking at it, you'd think they'd be lacking the most rudimentary education. Then it hits you: that's why they're here. Without basic education, they would've resorted to crime to support themselves, and would then have been too uneducated to cover their tracks, resulting in their being caught and dumped on Pandora as convict labor.
Why doesn't the player character stop Handsome Jack from releasing the Warrior when they have the chance? All of the player characters — with the exception of Maya — are some flavor of Blood Knight, and they may have allowed Jack to unleash the Warrior simply for the sake of having something big to fight. Maya, on the other hand, probably figures she can kill the Warrior and prevent anyone else trying to use its power again.
Maya could also be keeping her distance just in case Jack has another one of those siren-controlling collars on him.
Why is Pete the raid boss of Campaign of Carnage? Of all of the "badasses" you have to fight, only Pete fights you man to man. Sure, his arena is tricked out to give him an advantage, but he doesn't fight you while augmented in a vehicle like the rest. Pete may be crazy, but he isn't a coward.
Hyperion makes massive use of robotic troops, far more than the Crimson Lance, and have relatively few actual human soldiers. Why? Because Jack is such a Bad Boss that he has a hard time recruiting anyone into his army, and most of those are just the engineers who are pressed into combat whenever the Vault Hunters show up.
Or because, in The Pre-Sequel, he didn't have the funds, the time, or the clout to get an army to retake Helios Station when it was overrun, so during the course of the game, your goal is to build a robot army. Presumably, he continues using robots, because they've got less needs like, food, lodging, or pay, and he can moonshot them to the surface without any trouble.
Why did the Eridians create the Warrior in the first place? So that if the Destroyer got loose, there'd be something capable of putting it back in its can. That would explain how the Destroyer got sealed in the first place.
Which also explains why their vaults are unlocked with the same Key: the only way to unleash the Destroyer also allows you to unleash the thing that can defeat the Destroyer. The Destroyer getting out also caused Eridium to sprout across Pandora, which is just the thing you'd need to recharge the Key, so you don't need to wait 200 years for it to charge by itself. Anything that releases the Destroyer also provides exactly what's needed to defeat it.
Angel's commentary when you first reach Sanctuary is inconsistent with what we see. She says it is "slightly less dangerous" than the rest of Pandora, and that it is the "last refuge for murders, thieves, and outcasts." Yet in Sanctuary itself, you mostly encounter peaceful, if desperate, people trying to live their lives free of Hyperion tyranny. With very few exceptions — one murder case, and a standoff between a group of adventurers over who stole their money — there's little crime. It isn't until you learn that Angel works for Jack that the reason for this becomes apparent: she's pretty much just reciting Jack's script, and Jack labels everyone opposed to Hyperion as baby-eating psycho bandits.
Why doesn't Angel actually know anything about Sanctuary? Because she's only wired into Hyperion tech, and Sanctuary is a Dahl ship.
Which also explains why she was able to open that Hyperion Barge for you on the glacier, but needed you to fetch a Hyperion gadget in order to hack the Catch-A-Ride. Perceptive players of the first game may have noticed that Scooter is a former Dahl employee; the Catch-A-Rides are Dahl-tech as well, and she can't interface with them without integrating Hyperion-tech.
During an early mission in Sanctuary, Marcus mentions how corrosive weapons are his personal favorite. It seems like a throwaway line, but then one remembers that due to proximity, Marcus' most regular customers are Crimson Raiders, who spend most of their time fighting Hyperion. And since Hyperion fields mostly robots, Raiders are more likely to buy corrosive weapons than any other kind. Naturally, he makes the most money off of corrosive weapons. No wonder he likes them so much.
During the Toil and Trouble mission, if you killed Mortar on the way up, Brick will wonder why the bandits don't just give up, since you just killed their leader. A rather ironic statement so soon after Roland's death, since the protagonists and the resistance members in Sanctuary also never gave up after that.
A bit of fridge brilliance with the above; It is Brick who is saying it. Brick was only helping Roland, and was never under his command. As far as he's concerned, he's not fighting for his dead leader and his cause, but to avenge a fallen friend. It goes deeper if you did the quest Bearer of Bad News before this, as killing Roland was the last straw, Brick has made it his own personal goal in life to kill Jack; everything else is just a bonus.
The choice of opening song when compared to the one from the first game — Similar melodies and titles, and the themes match their respective games quite well; the first was upbeat and centered around getting money, while the second is darker and relates to heroism.
The second song is also subtle foreshadowing, with one of the lyrics being "This ain't no place for a hero/to call home". And in this game, the most clear-cut, unquestionably heroic character ends up getting killed, while his more morally questionable allies all survive and mourn his loss.
Even more foreshadowing when you look at the subsequently released Pre-Sequel. The Pre-Sequel deals heavily in themes as to what constitutes a hero, and whether or not there is a "true" hero to the Borderlands universe. Pandora ain't no place for no hero.
Looking at both games, how CAN you buy something like a rocket launcher from a vending machine? The same way you get everything else: the vending machines are just another digistruct platform. It also explains why a Vending Machine can work even though it's been stuck in a massive sandworm for days; as long as it can maintain a signal to Marcus and transfer credits, it can digistruct and buy guns from and for the Customers. The limited stock could also be the machines manually rotating their stock; it always has that many guns for sale and so Marcus doesn't need to keep track of his inventory; he just takes the entire stock out and replace it with a new set, then takes whatever guns weren't sold from the removed stock and put it into the next set for rotation.
If the vending machines are digistruct platforms then the stock isn't actually limited. The Catch-A-Rides can make as many cars as you want. So why do they act like there's a limit? Marketing. If there's a new set of guns every day, customers will check the machines every day. People will be more likely to buy something if they think they'll never have a chance to get it again.
This also explains how there are Eleventy Zillion guns. Dahl and Maliwan aren't designing and manufacturing a thousand different variations on every model of pistol they make. They design the parts, Marcus scans them (so when you sell a gun to a vending machine it isn't the gun that's worth anything, it's the scan of its components), and his vending machines procedurally generate guns from the compatible parts. Just like the game's engine does.
Also, the machines aren't actually digistructing anything. The equipment you're buying and selling is the data your ECHO uses to digistruct them when you equip them.
Role-playing was originally created for psychological treatment. Yeah, the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC just made a lot more sense since it's all about her complete denial over Roland's death.
There are subtle hints throughout the DLC campaign that despite dialogue to the contrary, Tina is well aware that Roland is dead. The story mission where you meet up with The White Knight is called "Denial, Anger, Initiative"; Two-fifths of the Five Stages of Grief, interrupted with a gaming term, indicating that Tina isn't ready yet to accept Roland's death. Additionally, The White Knight has you find a sword for him. This sword has the power to revive the dead.
It goes deeper than that. Take a look at the names of the locations in the DLC, most of them are named after the stages of loss: the Forest of Tranquility (the time before anything bad has happened), the Immortal Woods (Denial), the Mines of Avarice (Bargaining), Hatred's Shadow (Anger), and the Lair of Infinite Agony (Depression). Deep inside, Tina definitely knows that Roland is gone.
The jewels that the Queen leaves behind for you to follow her? It isn't until the end that you realize that those jewels are Butt Stallion's leavings.
Roland appears as the White Knight in Dragon Keep for a good reason. The historical Roland and his more fantastical depiction in French history present him as a glorious knight wielding an unbreakable sword. And, appropriately, just like the historical Roland, the "real" Roland is killed in battle and his killer escapes immediate vengeance at his allies' hands.
C3n50r807, found in the Washburne Refinery during Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty, is a loader programmed to detect and censor forms of moral corruption... by having those possessing and/or distributing them violently murdered, and then proclaiming itself morally superior for it. It may have been a failed attempt by Handsome Jack to use his robot army to automate the oppressive censoring of Pandora.
Krieg doesn't appear with the other Vault Hunters on the train in the intro. The reason: going by his backstory movie, he was on the train, or at least, hanging on the side of the train.
Bridge to Arid Nexus:
During your quest to find the Hyperion Info Stockade, your path is blocked when a section of a bridge elevates to create a gap you can't cross. Brick recommends you steal some explosives from a rival gang in an area called Sawtooth Cauldron. On reflection, there seem to be some plot holes in this sequence. The Sawtooth leader won't send the elevator down to allow you to reach the top of his tower, so you have to destroy his favorite Buzzard, a flying vehicle, to make him angry enough to send the elevator down. As well, when you do steal the charges, they are stolen and deployed using those flying vehicles, begging the question, why doesn't Brick just have his Slabs just pick you up and drop you off at your destination? Very simply, Brick saw an opportunity to have the Vault Hunters, easily one of the strongest forces on the entire planet, wipe out and emasculate a rival faction of bandits for him. In light of recent events in the plot, the Vault Hunters would probably fail to question such a roundabout way of crossing the gap, as long as they were at least on track to kill Jack.
Alternatively, the Sawteeth Bandits had their own air force of Buzzards, and it'd be too costly men and materiel wise to simply wage an air war over Sawteeth territory. Better to send in a group to sabotage Mortar's buzzard (he could possibly be genuine boss material when flying it, similar to the Pre-Sequel's RK-5 gunship), break in through the landing pad, and wreck merry hell on their airpower so that the Slabs could send in some buzzards of their own to make off with the explosives.
Tiny Tina's parents might have inadvertently given her a chance at the best life they could have. Because of the grenade her mom smuggled in for her escape, Tina is now wildly obsessed with explosives, which led her into contact with the Vault Hunters and eventually Mister Torgue, owner of the largest explosive manufacturers on the planet and Friend to All Children. Torgue himself thinks that being nice to kids and treating ladies with respect is the highest level of badassitude and eagerly enjoys Tina's company, as well as being able to give Tina a job where she can legitimately put her skills and love to use. For all the crap Tina had to go through during her early life, it's nice to know there's a chance she can be truly happy in the end.
The Cult of the Vault Challenge might just seem like they used some kickass words in rhyme, but the symbols are hidden so well and in such random and ridiculous places that you are bound to look up at least one of them just to complete one, let alone all of them. The only way to complete the entire achievement, especially the really long ones (such as the Sanctuary one) is to either search every nook and cranny of the entire game, or collaborate with a bunch of other people. In short, you either become a highly obsessed cultist trying to find all these symbols, or you form your own cult looking for them.
When you defeat Wilhelm, Angel notes that you're stronger than the four Vault Hunters of the first game. At that point in the game, you're likely around Lv. 16-18, which means you have 700-900 HP, the only stat that grows automatically with levels. In the first Borderlands, a Lv. 50 character had about the same amount of HP! You're literally more resilient than the first four Vault Hunters! Comparing the backstory of both generations of Vault Hunters reflects this; Roland left the Crimson Lance as a young soldier, while Axton is a seasoned veteran. Lilith taught her Siren powers to herself and was mostly an adventurer, while Maya spent her entire youth training her powers under the guidance of a religious order that had researched Sirens. Mordecai was only traveling around for hunting and looting, while Zer0 is a professional assassin with a long history of jobs. Brick is a badass normal brawler, while Krieg is an escaped lab experiment, and Salvador grew up killing bandits on Pandora and abuses steroids enough to stunt his growth. Even Gaige is a Gadgeteer Genius. All the new Vault Hunters are either more experienced or are more suited by nature than the previous ones.
Why are Hyperion weapons a bit difficult and frustrating to use? Simple: You are meant to dislike Hyperion for the most part, and an easy way to do that, gameplay-wise, is to make them produce frustrating weapons. More than that, they aren't designed as effective weapons. Jack took over Hyperion, and in ECHO logs you can hear a meeting on how to make the Hyperion brand stand out. Jack, given his background as a lowly programmer, knows nothing about firearms or ballistics. He just tells his team to start naming the guns after corporate buzzwords that sound nice but don't really mean anything. Jack didn't care about the guns, he cared about appearances.
Alternatively, they become less frustrating to use as their weapon quality and levels get higher. Because Hyperion weapons were designed for elitist snobs, so of course they wouldn't give a crap about common white-quality weapons. They'd invest all of their care into the higher quality goods.
A Gaige character who specs in Anarchy will find that Vladof weapons are extremely effective due to their high rate of fire. This actually makes canonical sense, because anarchy is the Vladof M.O. They live to help cause strife and overthrow governments. However they are unable to use the Infinity due to its special feature and Gaige's Anarchy Stacks require reloading after emptying the gun clip.
Every time Claptrap has problems opening a plot-critical door, it seems like simple Rule of Funny to show off how hopelessly incompetent and useless Claptrap is. Quite the opposite — he can't open the crashed drop barge in the Windshear Wastes because Jack locked it down specifically to have Angel help the Vault Hunters and gain their trust and when confronted with the door to Hero's Pass, Claptrap is facing Hyperion's best security measures, designed specifically knowing he would be trying to open it. This turns a frustrating apparent failure into Claptrap's Moment of Awesome when he overrides the security measures and opens it anyway. Which would explain why the door directly leads to a flight of stairs, as it ensures that Claptrap can't hack anything beyond this point.
In Oasis, you get a quest from Aubrey Callahan III to destroy her grandmother's old ship so that nobody knows she's related to her grandmother. Except, take a good look at her name, Aubrey Callahan III. Making her grandmother Aubrey Callahan I, and her heritage obvious. She never catches on to this.
Tiny Tina's Psycho mask that she wears on the side of her head. At first it simply look like a trophy. However, taking her behaviour into account, one might see it as a hint that she is halfway between sane and being a Psycho herself. Her encounter with Roland and co. most likely prevented her from completely slipping into the latter.
Mordecai and Moxxi:
At one point, Mordecai reveals he was temporarily married to Moxxi in between the games. This may seem to have come out of nowhere, but, Moxxi has a confirmed taste in strong men and, more to the point, specifically appeared for the first time running Moxxi's Underdome in hopes of finding a man badass enough to take as her next husband. It only makes sense that one of the previous games' Vault Hunters would have been her first choice for Mr. Right #4.
Stemming on from the above, why would Moxxi dump Mordecai and hook up with Handsome Jack? Multiple reasons. Firstly, though the player is Late to the Party, Handsome Jack was originally a Villain with Good Publicity; naturally, Moxxi's eye would be attracted to a man who was handsome and seemingly heroic. Secondly, Moxxi has well-established Gold Digger traits; an incredibly wealthy and powerful CEO in Hyperion Corporation would be very attractive, compared to a vagabond bounty hunter. Thirdly, Moxxi is used to always being the center of attention — but with Mordecai comes Bloodwing, Mordecai's beloved pet and ally, who already needs regular care and attention to fulfill her role as Mordecai's battlefield partner. As Moxxi makes clear during the Rakk Ale sidequest, she resented the fact she had to share Mordecai's attention with Bloodwing. Put all these together, and it's no wonder that Moxxi divorced Mordecai and tried hooking up with Handsome Jack... until she realized he was a Psycho with a nice-guy façade.
Why doesn't Jack simply deactivate the New-U stations after he declares all-out war on you? Obviously, he wants to keep you alive and kicking for as long as it takes for him to get his hands on you himself. Furthermore, Jack wants to get rid of all the bandits and everybody else he doesn't like; you prove yourself quite adept at disposing of bandits, so why should he stop you?
Why is Brick so obsessed with punching in the main game and especially Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep? Because Borderlands 1 players denied him the chance to do so by endgame due to melee not scaling well.
A small one, but largely due to game scaling: The Morningstar gun will sometimes berate you for wasting ammo, saying that there are children who can't afford it. Naturally, children shouldn't be buying ammo anyways but by that point in the game, most ammo cost several hundred dollars. So only the richest of children can afford them anyways. This gets especially hilarious in True Vault Hunter Mode or Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, where one stack of ammo can equal half or a whole year's salary for an adult.
The opening song alludes to Pandora being no place for a hero. While this foreshadows the death of Roland as he is the only unquestionably heroic character in the game, it also foreshadows the death of Jack, the only person to directly refer to himself as a hero (Angel refers to the Vault Hunters as heroes, but they never directly acknowledge it).
A small one spanning both games, but one of the reasons that, on Earth, the largest land animal is the elephant is because of the square-cube law. By this logic everything from Crawmerax to Terramorphous to Vermivorous should not be able to exist, let alone be so damn hard to put down. However, in the first game, it's stated that you don't suffer fall damage because of the lower gravity of Pandora, which explains why such ridiculously large creatures can not only exist, but thrive on the planet; the gravity is so low here that they can grow to that size.
When Mordecai goes berserk following Bloodwing's death he begins raining bullets down on the enemy that one-shot kill anything they hit with a huge explosion. What gun is he using, and why wasn't he using it before? He's using the Cobra, a monstrously powerful explosive sniper rifle from Borderlands 1, and he hadn't been using it before then because, by its lack of inclusion in the game, it's probably the only one of its model left intact and he didn't want to break or lose it. Tiny Tina later built copies of the gun after seeing what Mordecai was able to do with it, but hasn't built very many, accounting for its extremely low drop rate in the DLC.
Additionally, Mordecai seems to be sniping more for entertainment than effectiveness up to then - in Tundra Express, he's just doing target practice to keep his eye in, and in the Preserve, he's sure Bloodwing can look after herself and is more cautious than genuinely worried. Up until his Berserk Button is pressed, anyway.
The reason there aren't any more original-model Cobras is that they were manufactured by Torgue in the first game. Mister Torgue, as the company gunsmith (he designed all those weapons himself after all), is the sort of Hot-BloodedBoisterous Bruiser who would decide that sniping wasn't as badass because it lacked the in-your-face thrill of shotguns...which also explains why his company stopped manufacturing sniper rifles by the second game. He's decided that sniping bores him, so he isn't going to encourage it by building sniper rifles, even if their bullets explode.
You'll notice that in Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, the Pirates all wield Vladof Weapons, like nearly everyone on Pandora. Why do they carry Vladof weapons? It's a Shout Out to modern-day pirates in Somalia, who mainly use AKMs and other ex-Warsaw Pact equipment. And why does nearly every enemy, from bandits to marshals to Hyperion soldiers carry a Vladof rifle at times? Because AKs are often shown in media as "bad guy" guns, are cheap, easy to maintain, and both the rifles and amminition are ridiculously common.
The Vladof corporation are shown fighting Dahl's private army in their advertisement. Given that Hyperion is the main "corporate oppressor" in-game, why Dahl? First off, Vladof loves fast rate of fire and full-auto, while Dahl prefers slow rates and burst fire. And more importantly, Vladof makes assault rifles based on the AK-47 family. Dahl rifles seem to be built off the M16 and its variants. And who was the M16's biggest rival again?
You'll notice that, in the Campaign of Carnage DLC, that you can pick up pin-up portraits of Moxxi. These do not show up in your backpack and have no importance to the plot. So why are you collecting them? Reasons.
In Borderlands, it seemed odd that the city of Sanctuary named "Sanctuary" of all things, when it spends the entire game being terrorized by bandits and Crimson Lance. Because it sets up for the sequel, where New Haven, the main city in the first game, has been subjugated by Hyperion, and the heroes find sanctuary in -- you guessed it -- Sanctuary.
An instance that counts as both brilliance and horror is Tina's characterization. Kids sometimes really talk like that, but only if the overwhelming majority of people they know talked like that around them during their formative years. Given that she lives next to the bandits that include her parents' killer among their number and she is only just growing past the "impressionable" stage, she literally owes every last horrible moment of her life and personality to these guys.
Moxxi keeps insisting that Ellie lose some weight and Ellie resenting her for this, but Moxxi does have a reason - she used to date Motor Momma and Moxxi dumped MM due to being disturbed by her cannibalism.
Ellie choosing to gain and keep all that weight makes sense too once you know her backstory: Moxxi left the Hodunk clan after they intended to make Ellie a clanwife. Whereas Moxxi chose to move far away from the clan to wash her hands clean of them, Ellie proves her toughness by living practically on their doorstop. But according to Ellie, the Hodunks like skinny chicks "because they're stupid". The Hodunks taunt her for her physique, but she's quite proud of it, judging by the hood ornaments she asks you to collect for her. Ellie making herself undesirable to her former clan while living right next to them is basically her flipping them the bird with both hands.
Notice something unusual about the Bandit mask? The mouth-piece looks like an air purifier. And there's a crapton of bandits with zero personal hygiene living near each other, with old blood and dirt on the clothes they wear every day, soooooo...
Sure, Rakkman was denounced as insane by his fellow bandits, and it's implied that they kicked him out into the Fridge, a very hostile environment, just so they couldn't be near him anymore. After battling Laney White in a sidequest, you can shoot and loot your way through a giant concrete bunker with lots of rooms, like something out of an WW2 Eastern Front battlefield or Captain America: The First Avenger. But once you get to a large cave in the complex, there are no Rats in there at all, just Rakkman. And as the Rats are also bandits, it implies that they also stuffed him into an isolated room so they wouldn't have to deal with him either!
The reason Maya, unlike Lilith and Angel, isn't able to use eridium to enhance herself is actually due to the fact that she wasn't on Pandora or in its orbit when the Destroyer was killed. There's also the simple possibility that Maya never attempted it in the first place because she keeps seeing all the negative side effects of Sirens using eridium.
When briefing the Vault Hunters on the defenses they'll have to overcome to reach her, Angel warns them not to let Lilith into the chamber. Maya players will immediately pick up on the issue with that warning; if it's so dangerous for Lilith to be there, why is it okay for fellow Siren Maya? Because Lilith is a hothead who uses her Siren powers to charge at her enemy. The second she sees Jack, she will try to Phaseblast him. Jack's counting on this, and he's had years to learn how to counter it. Maya uses her Siren powers to fight from range and give herself time to analyze and adjust to changes in the battlefield, so she'd be less likely to put herself where Jack can slap his collar on her, while being more likely to either injure or kill Jack.
The music in Sawtooth Cauldron is very frightening, to the point where hearing a gunfight start is actually good. But why choose it for that particular area, and not places like the Eridium Blight, the Fridge or the Bloodshot Stronghold? Well, if you look at the landscape for a while, the place somehow resembles Vietnam's battlefields, which were, by all accounts, a very nightmarish and terrifying environment. There are also more Buzzards in there than any other map, and Vietnam was famous for having attack helicopters fill the skies daily. And finally, the big-ass creek section for Brick's flag sidequest has multiple Buzzards coming at you, a very common sight for North Vietnamese soldiers.
During The Bane sidequest arc, McNally is a psycho when you battle him, but in his ECHO, he sounds like a regular bandit. But why? Well, if you wielded a fancy unique gun as your primary weapon, that also makes extremely annoying noises whenever you use it, you'd probably go mad from all that irritating screaming. McNally could've used the gun for several weeks, months or even years before using his last shreds of sanity to get rid of it, before succumbing to insanity and becoming a psycho. Which also explains why he's got a pair of scissors lodged in his right ear canal and a knife and fork in his left.
Why is The Bane "cursed"? Because Hyperion deliberately made it to lure and/or trick unwary bandits or Vault Hunters into using it and make them easy pickings for their army. You are almost unable to move and every time you fire, reload or switch weapons you are greeted with a "voice" that'll drive you to jam random utensils up your eardrums. The reason Marcus isn't cursed because he only sold the gun to a customer and not used it himself. It's also last found in Lynchwood where Nisha and her posse would simply wait for the unlucky sap to retrieve the gun, to make them easy pickings as well.
Marcus offers only a bare handful of side missions, and the rewards he offers for them are usually pretty lame:
He only offers two unique items, the Lucrative Opportunity and the the Evil Smasher. The former is a special relic that shortens the item respawn timers on vending machines, and the latter is mostly a Joke Item with a small, random chance to suddenly become a Lethal Joke Item for one magazine. Only the latter of the two rewards is worth much and only because a glitch existsnote long since patched away that snaps any difficulty in the game over its kneenote it really was that powerful — applied properly, it would let you melt Terramorphous in under a second with an Infinity Pistol, for instance. If played straight, Marcus' quests largely aren't worth the effort. Why? Marcus is The Scrooge. He isn't going to give away good merchandise for free if he can help it. This is also why, when your allies are handing you weapons in Sanctuary to kick Handsome Jack's ass, the blue-quality rifle Marcus gives you is always obsolete by a few levels: he objects to Handsome Jack on a personal level and genuinely wants to see him dead, but at the same time, it's just not him to give away valuable gear.
Of the two pieces of unique loot that Marcus offers, the Evil Smasher is explicitly a crap gun he cobbled together to con a out-of-towner out of two million bucks. Since it was already paid for, it's no surprise he lets you keep it. The other one, the Lucrative Opportunity, instead encourages you to visit vending machines. Since 2/3rds of the vanilla vending machines are owned by him and players rarely visit Zed's machine anyway (due to easily getting health via skills and only needing 1 shield for at least every 5 levels), he'd make back whatever the Lucrative Opportunity would have cost him very soon.
In the case of the Evil Smasher, Kai was the Borderlands equivalent of a Twitch streamer or Youtuber, so he was a public enough figure for there to be some chance that somebody might come to Pandora to investigate his death. In addition to the nine bucks Marcus wanted back, you also picked up the crap gun Marcus sold him and the ECHO tapes of Marcus screwing Kai over. All evidence of Marcus' wrongdoing is as good as destroyed, so if anyone ever asks, Marcus can claim that all he did was sell Kai a gun.
In the Arms Dealing mission, Zed points out that one of the arms "musta belonged to a seamstress or somethin'; you can tell from the metatarsels (sic)." This could be Artistic License Biology on the dev team's part, or it could be that Zed, not being a real doctor, doesn't actually know that it's spelled metatarsals, and that those are toes (fingerbones are metacarpals).
Early in the game, you find an ECHO in which Tannis states her finding that Lilith's hair "tastes like olives...no, fried pickles". But of course it does. Every facet of Pandoran life has to be improvised in some way, and greasy foods account for a large part of the average diet. Lilith's likely having to substitute used cooking grease for styling gel. The same grease was probably used to cook olives and fried pickles.
When they complete and pick up the voice modulator, each Vault Hunter has a unique response to hearing their voice turned into Handsome Jack's... except for Krieg, who clams up immediately and stays silent until his first chance to get rid of it, even during his Buzzaxe Rampages, when he's normally the most vocal. Krieg hates Jack so much for making him what he is that he will go for days, even WEEKS on end without raving about meat bicycles and ribcages, just so he doesn't have to hear Handsome Jack's voice coming out of his mouth.
The logic of the weapon manufacturers and what they make:
Bandit: They don't make sniper rifles, because Pandora's bandits are pretty consistently Ax-CrazyBlood Knights who are largely incapable of the kind of long-distance focus and discipline required to use a sniper rifle effectively, but they make everything else, because bandits are an individualistic lot and don't take kindly to being told they can't have the kind of gun they want.
Dahl: They make pistols, SMGs, sniper rifles and assault rifles - pretty straightforward military gear, but precise military gear. Dahl prizes accuracy and minimal collateral damage above all else, which is why you can only burst fire when aiming down sights - and why they don't make equipment that hurls fragments of metal everywhere or guns that create huge explosions (even the Grenadier has a pretty small blast radius). The primary Dahl multi-target weapons are Bouncing Betty grenade variants - which are mostly emergency panic buttons for when cleaning an entire room quickly is necessary.
Hyperion: No assault rifles or rocket launchers. Hyperion weapons are designed largely for the idiosyncratic Hyperion corporate culture - in which being, or at least seeming to be, smart and ruthless, is better than simply appearing strong. Assault rifles are too military, and that's Dahl's and Vladof's approach - Hyperion is for people who are businesslike, and that means mostly weapons that can be carried fairly easily, and/or are designed for deadly accuracy rather than spreading carnage around (hence the sniper rifles). Additionally, the Hyperion proprietary stabiliser - the reason their accuracy goes up as you fire - is an extremely awkward fit for a rocket launcher, given their low rate of fire and bottom-of-the-barrel ammo count.
Jakobs: No rocket launchers or SMGs, entirely for aesthetic reasons - the generation of weapons Jakobs takes its inspiration from isn't noted for having either.
Maliwan: No assault rifles or shotguns. Maliwan build weapons to make their designers feel clever. This means either weapons that are precise (pistols, sniper rifles) or weapons that let them push the boundaries with their tech - rocket launchers as a power level and blast radius test, submachine guns as a speed test. Assault rifles aren't a new experiment, they're just big submachine guns, and shotguns don't make them feel smart, because they're a weapon with a lot of scatter and very little precision (Mr. Torgue's obsession with shotguns would not help the case of any would-be Maliwan shotgun designer in 2).
Additionally, Maliwan is commonly stereotyped as a �hipsters� weapons brand, and if we were to run off of that then their weapon preferences become clearer: their customers would prefer to brandish a sleek and colorful sniper rifle or a compact and portable SMG/pistol than a gaudy and bulky assault rifle or an inaccurate and hick-associated shotgun. And their rocket launchers make dramatic and brightly colored elemental explosions compared to other brands traditional and mundane explosions, a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Tediore: No assault rifles or sniper rifles. Tediore don't make guns for the military - they make guns for ordinary citizens to use cheaply in home defense and possibly hunting for food, for which an assault rifle would be considered overkill in most of the more civilised areas (and especially in Hyperion-controlled ones, that would likely clamp down very hard on unauthorised gun ownership); rocket launchers are panic buttons, probably aimed at people in areas with particularly hostile wildlife. The sniper rifle's problem would be the Tediore explosive construction - unless you have the strongest throwing arm in your galaxy, at sniper rifle ranges, your discarded gun is unlikely to hit anything even semi-reliably, and in a military context you're likely to be grenading your own men.
Torgue: No submachine guns or sniper rifles. Mr. Torgue's aversion to long-ranged fire has already been discussed in other fridge entries, explaining the sniper rifles; as for submachine guns, Mr. Torgue's obsession with "bigger" and "louder" means that even if you told him to design a submachine gun, he would immediately ignore the "sub-" and give you a full-on minigun (along the lines of a Spitter).
Vladof: No shotguns or submachine guns. Vladof take a very simple and direct approach to designing guns, meaning that they'd likely dismiss submachine guns as lacking in impact compared to assault rifles, and shotguns' low ammo counts would not fit well with the Vladof rapid-fire approach.
During Tiny Tina's RPG campaign, Lilith notices the Dwarves are based on Salvador's appearance and finds it racist. When asked about it, Salvador's only reaction is to find the idea "awesome". It would be logical for an angry midget complexed about his short height to dislike being the inspiration for a group of Dwarves, but on the other hand... what could please more a Gun NutBlood Knight than serving as the inspiration for a society of notorious Proud Warrior Race Guys who are also commonly associated with gunpowder?
The three sirens we see ingame all have powers that match their personality.
Lilith is powerful and confident, but also reckless and impulsive, and tends to charge into things without thinking, which ends up causing her quite a few problems over the course of the game. Fittingly, Phasewalk is an ability that allows her to charge into combat and tear enemies up, with the risk of leaving her in a bad position after she returns to normal, or it can act as a crutch to escape from enemies if she's gotten herself into trouble.
In Maya's ECHO logs, it is shown that she refused to hurt someone without first trying to analyse the situation and get context on why she's being asked to hurt them, but once she realises what's happening, she shuts down the corrupt priest who raised her and kills him without a second thought. Fittingly, Phaselock allows her to lock enemies down and gain some breathing room to analyse the situation and decide what to do next, and allows her to immobilise enemies for an easy kill once she's acquired her target.
Angel has been locked up, abused and pumped full of Eridium for years on end by Handsome Jack, and wants nothing more than to escape his grasp. The devs stated on record that Angel's siren power is to create alternate realities, and that the original plan was to meet her in a house that she'd simulated with her power. She wants to escape her prison, and her power allows her to do it, at least temporarily.
Tiny Tina is an explosives prodigy. Her name, "Tiny Tina", is a play on the initials "TNT".
The name of the company that set up the power grid in Three Horns, Southpaw, is a slang term for a person who is left-handed. When you first reach Three Horns, both Handsome Jack and the Crimson Raiders are going out of their way to hide their true activities from one another. "Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing."
The New Pandoran Army managing to take Sanctuary by storm with little impunity makes sense when you remember that it was originally a Dahl ship, and the New Pandoran Army was originally a Dahl regiment. They'd know their equipment inside and out.
After the New Pandoran invasion, you can find Marcus and Crazy Earl hiding in the same room. They seemed to have traded tips along with their insults while they were stuck together, since in Borderlands 3, Marcus sells Upgrades and Crazy Earl owns a gun-vending machine.
Why doesn't Haderax drop Seraph crystals or loot? In the other DLCs, the Seraph vendors are hidden in towns that are not near Sanctuary, and their raid bosses are humans (or a human aiding a creature). Haderax is not human and is located close to Sanctuary/Lilith's camp. Tiny Tina's dragons are an exception, but she probably included them in her campaign if she saw the vendor in Torgue's DLC.
Why are there so few women on Pandora as compared to men? Several possibilities, some more horrifying than others.
In one of his ECHO logs, Handsome Jack chews out his assassins for murdering random women and doodling tattoos on them to turn in as "Sirens". Not that he has any moral standards, just that he's irritated they're trying to swindle him with such an obvious ruse, seeing as how there are only six Sirens in the universe and he already knows of three. He even says "I will admit it was mildly amusing the first dozen times you idiots tried it, but now my office smells like blood and marker fumes". Yeah, even though we can all agree that Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, being murdered and basically having your corpse sold off as a faked alien isn't much better.
Or, it could just be because the "criminals that would make good unskilled laborers" demographic is predominately male.
Interestingly enough, Episode 3 of Tales from the Borderlands has a female bandit as part of Vallory's hit squad, who unsuccessfully searches for Rhys and Fiona in the beginning.
The Lab Rats' eyes have mutated so that something is strangely otherworldly about their eyes. They can project strange energy from their eyes, and they can also see something that has driven them quite insane. If you're playing Maya, when you Phaselock them, they see it more. Now, Siren powers are all based on phasing things into another dimension. They're seeing into another dimension... The same one that Sirens can access, which may be where The Destroyer is from.
Why does Gaige scream in pain while under the effect of elemental damage? Unlike the other Vault hunters, she's never had any training and/or experience to deal with that type of pain.
The fact that there is a skeletal arm in Herbert's Stalker Shrine to Captain Scarlett. Whose arm is it? Well...the Captain herself is missing an arm. How he got it is another question entirely.
What if Krieg's inner voice isn't unique to him? What if every psycho you fight has their own inner voice begging them to stop trying to kill you, and is silenced by your bullets?
The Hyperion Morningstar sniper rifle berates the player in the tone of a shrill, crabby old woman. Where did Handsome Jack get the idea and tone for this firearm? To Grandmother's House We Go suggests his grandmother was extremely cruel and abusive to him.
Tiny Tina being incredibly sure that Roland is going to show up any minute at the game table is already sad... and then it's revealed in the climax that she knew the entire time that he was dead, and was trying to give him a happy ending in her story. This raises the question: How much of her psychosis is genuine, and how much is a desperate act meant to put on a happy face? Especially if you consider this is the second time she's lost a parental figure in her life...
When you're making your rounds around Sanctuary before going after the Warrior, Tiny Tina will come up on your ECHO and read you a "poem." It's really just her saying "Kill Jack" over and over for a few seconds; when you take into account what happened to her parents, it sounds less like a poem and more like a Madness Mantra.
During the Out of Body Experience quest, you help a destroyed Hyperion Robot put its AI core into a new body. If loaders can be destroyed, but their AI cores salvaged and reused, maybe ALL the loaders you face later in the game are reincarnations of the ones you already destroyed. Not only are you facing an immortal enemy, but you're also facing an army of immortal enemies that probably get more and more vengeful with every battle. How long until every loader in existence is out to kill you?
Since Hyperion seems to simply mass produce Loader Bots and not care about salvaging destroyed Loaders, it's more like you have doomed many of the Loaders you have killed to a horrible fate.
In Candlerakk's Crag, part of the Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt downloadable expansion, there is, in the background, the skeleton of what appears to be a skag the size of a small island. It's near the area where the New-U station is, off to the left. Pandora already has a reputation for being a Death World in its current state, but if that thing was actually alive at some point in time, how long has Pandora been one? Furthermore, what could kill something that size?
In the side mission where Claptrap reveals his secret stash, one of the objectives his gives you is to defeat a badass skag. But what the actual objective list says is "Defeat Ug-Thak, Lord of Skags". Maybe it's not just the UI being a wiseass, and there actually is/was such a creature.
Out on Terramorphous Peak, there's the skeleton of something huge lining one side of it. The obvious thought is that Terramorphous killed this creature before it slept, but a closer look shows that the skeleton looks like it could fit a thresher. What if Terramorphous isn't unique? In addition, the skeleton appears to be LARGER than ol' Terry. If it is indeed a Thresher, it's likely that this is the skeleton of Terramorphous's mother.
Apparently, Crabworms are intelligent enough to understand the concept of revenge. As an addition, they also grow to be the size of a skyscraper after at least 5 years. This isn't good for anyone.
A small one during "To Grandmother's House We Go" Quest is where Jack's grandma's body ended up. Next to the bed are a few burlap sacks. You also find the "disciplinary tool" on the bed, which is a buzzSAW axe.
on top of that, every time you respawn or teleport via fast travel stations, that's probably happening to you, too.
During the "Monster Mash part 3" quest, you have to kill monsters created by Dr. Zed after you bring him parts of Spiderants, Rakk and Skag. This resulted in Skrakk (skag/rakk hybrids), and Spycho, spiderant/psycho hybrid. Watch their bodies when they die. They dissipate into digistruct particles. This means that there's more to digistruct technology than just building vehicles and guns and New-U.
During the whole Monster Mash questline, you are tasked with collecting Spiderant parts, Rakk parts and Skag parts. But you never find out where Zed got the "other" parts for the Spycho, since the Rakk and Skag parts went into the Skrakks. Well, remember that Hyperion guy he was operating on when you first arrived in Sanctuary? The one who you melee'd to death by accident and acted a lot like a psycho...
One of the New-U station quotes implies that digistruct data can be corrupted, resulting in extra limbs and other kind of Body Horror.
The Lab Rats are mentioned to be "genetic abominations created by Hyperion", via a tip in the menu screen. What is Hyperion known for doing other than gun-manufacturing and being douchebags? Slag mutation.
Their true origins in The Pre-Sequel is even worse.
One of the the jokes Shade's comedian "friend" tells you in the Captain Scarlett DLC is "What did the dying man say to the other dying man? Don't attach an ECHO recorder to my corpse and pretend I'm still alive!" This implies Shade was doing his Of Corpse He's Alive routine before everyone in Oasis was dead.
In the Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, Tiny Tina reveals that she's been living exclusively off of crumpets for the last few years and has no plans to change that. This may have been Played for Laughs, but considering that her parents are dead, and by the time the DLC takes place Roland is too, it takes a much darker tone if you know that people with post-traumatic stress disorder occasionally develop eating disorders.
In Campaign of Carnage, Moxxi states that her innuendos are a defense mechanism after making a distasteful joke involving a cannibal literally eating her old girlfriend. In the Pre-Sequel we learn that, when not in public, she reverts to the same hodunk speak like her children. Since almost all of her interactions have you go out and kill someone, it means that she developed the whole Mad Moxxi facade just so she can cope with the necessity of living on Pandora.
Krieg's entire existence paints a very disturbing picture of what it might be like for people who turn into Psychos. Every single one of those screaming, batshit Mooks that you chewed through like so much gum could've very well been completely rational and good people before Pandora made them completely lose it. Also, try not to think about how some of them might still have their original psyches around, trying desperately to be heard through the insanity spewing from their mouth.
The sand pirates from the Captain Scarlet DLC all take shelter within the hulks of derelict ships, all of which look like they were flying through the air and crashed into mountains. The Magnys Lighthouse, in particular, is colossal and possibly the tallest point on Pandora that you can reach. But then it hits you; when the Vault of the Destroyer was opened (or something), it caused a massive climate shift. The desert you're skimming across was originally a sea bed, and just like the Soaring Dragon, those ships crashed into those mountains because the sea instantly dried up.
Some of Tannis' ECHO logs from the Cold-Blooded Torture she endured mention "ceiling chairs" that she developed an emotional attachment to. What the hell is a "ceiling chair"? The logs say Jack was able to grab and shred them, so they probably weren't chairs literally stuck to the ceiling. It's quite possible that Tannis was being held upside-down. All the blood rushing to her head would not have been good for her already-tenuous grip on reality.
Ceiling chairs are real things. They're just chairs that are hung from the ceiling, oriented right-side up, like swings.
Hey, want to make Bloodwing's death even worse? Take a closer look at her collar when you for that Claptrap upgrade chip. Notice that little button that chip was covering up before you took it away? No, player. Handsome Jack wasn't the one that detonated Blood's bomb collar. YOU were. Because Handsome Jack loves manipulating Vault Hunters into hurting themselves and each other, almost as much as he loves rubbing their faces in it afterward.
In Campaign of Carnage, Tina asks you to get an autograph from Sully the Stabber, her third favorite mass-murderer. After being rejected, Tina asks you to kill him violently and bring her his head instead. At the end of the quest, she says that her all time favorite mass-murderer is you. The implications point to it being a very bad idea to get on Tina's bad side.
A Crimson Lance soldier says that even if Jack is defeated, someone else will take his place. Case in point: The New Pandora Army followed by The Children of The Vault.
Combine Maya being asexual, Brother Sophis being older than her and apparently once having a dynamic where he used to call her "child", and the fact that they were involved, and it certainly seems like you've got an older man taking advantage of his younger queer mentee. Like he wasn't bad enough already.
A mild example: In the Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, Torgue briefly takes over as gatekeeper when he wants to be part of Tiny Tina's game. After a few nonsensical tasks, he's quickly relocated to the stocks and the normal gatekeeper is back. Said gatekeeper turns out to be the Handsome Sorcerer all along. It would have pretty awkward to have Torgue be the Handsome Sorcerer's disguise.
Once again, the New-U stations bring up some questions, especially since your enemy, Hyperion, is the corporation in charge of the damn things. Actual questions or theories should go on Headscratchers or WMG, respectively.