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    Where is GLaDOS getting resources? 
  • Where is GLaDOS getting the electricity or other stuff to keep Aperture and herself running?Is she doing trade with humans? Are there any humans as of Portal 2?
(The field that Chell is freed into looks like an arable farm, but it could simply be grass.) Maybe she's sending robots to acquire things?
  • The Aperture facility seems to be a self-sufficient system. Electricity is generated by (at least one) nuclear reactor. There's a mine that probably contains plenty of metals. Precious elements that can't be mined are recycled from destroyed equipment. There isn't much that is actually needed from "outside", and the whole thing can probably run for centuries without needing additional material.

    Computers and cake 
  • How does a computer eat cake anyways?
    • It doesn't. This is one of the things that drives GLaDOS insane.
    • Perhaps GLaDOS subconsiously remembers the taste of cake from having been Caroline?
    • In an interview, the devs said they put cake in the game because they couldn't figure out how to motivate the players to solve the tests and one of them said "Well, people like cake". Perhaps it's the same in-universe, GLaDOS doesn't actually care if the cake is delicious or moist, she just wants her test subjects to think it is.

    Lyrical confusion in Still Alive 
  • During the song, GLaDOS says in the last verse that there is research to be done on those still alive. After she spent the whole song telling us that she was still alive. Ergo, is there research to be done on GLaDOS? And by who?
    • It's a double meaning. The first time she was referring to other people, the subsequent times she was referring to herself. Excatly who she was referring to though, we don't know.

    Removing the neurotoxin 
  • If someone put the Morality Core in GLaDOS to stop her flooding the place with neurotoxin, why didn't they stem the problem by removing the neurotoxin emitters - or the stored neurotoxin?
    • The sequel shows us where the Neurotoxin is produced - a giant tube sitting in the middle of a bottomless pit. it seemed like there was no easy way to shut the thing down; Chell was only able to because she had a portal gun and could cut the delivery tubes.
    • You also need to remember that this is Aperture Science we're talking about here. They only ever do things in the most round-about way possible. Why was GLaDOS able to emit neurotoxin at will in the first place? Why would a computer-system designed to run basic tests ever need the ability to flood an entire building with deadly poison? Because Aperture Science are complete idiots and never think ahead far enough to do anything correctly. That's why, rather than remove GLaDOS's access to the neurotoxin... they simply decided to slap a technological band-aid on the problem through the morality core. Nothing permanent, mind you, since the core could break at any time. Just a quick fix to a massive problem they didn't want to actually think about.

    Purpose of the Cake Sphere 
  • Given the "spheres" are core modules to regulate GLaDOS behavior (like the Morality Core), why the hell does she have a "Cake Sphere"?
    • Officially, the spheres are named Morality, Curiosity, Intelligence, and Anger. They all ultimately contribute to her personality: an AI that is obsessed with cake and treats Chell with love, yet that love is twisted by her aggression that forms the basis for most of the humor in the game.
    • The sequel shows there's a whole lot of cores with seemingly-random functions (a core that recites Little Known Facts, a core that constantly talks about space, a cut-from-the-game core designed to make her paranoid). Presumably, Aperture just threw them onto GLaDOS to see which ones'd stop her killing everyone.
    • GLaDOS was originally designed to help work on a Fuel System Icing Inhibitor. How can any machine study Icing without a thorough understanding of the dessert icing so frequently appears upon?

    GLaDOS respawning Chell 
  • GLaDOS, at one point, said she has copies of Chell's DNA and will bring her back over and over again. Why is it that even when you've escaped the test chambers, destroyed her Curiosity Core so she has no interest in testing anymore, and even when she says she's deleted my brain-scan so you're "struck from the permanent record", do you still respawn?
    • The Perpetual Testing Initiative gives us an obvious answer: each time you die, that's just one Chell in one of the infinite parallel worlds that's died, and the "respawn" is just switching to a world where Chell didn't die in that situation.

    The Companion Cube's non-aliveness 
  • Why does GLaDOS keep saying that the Companion Cube isn't alive and why does she assume that you would care about that?
    • The whole test chamber was to play with reverse psychology; make the subject who probably at the point is at least mildly disturbed emotionally to form an attachment to an inanimate object. Remember that GLaDOS was more than willing to use the Cube's "death" as mental ammunition in the final encounter. The mixed signals she sent ("It's not alive. You killed it.") were designed to confuse and upset Chell.
    • Another point is that the symptoms GLaDOS listed as being a common result of Enrichment Center testing ("superstition, perceiving inanimate objects as alive, and hallucinations") are, almost word-for-word, among those listed by people citing studies of prolonged isolation. It's not much of a stretch to imagine that test subjects who had trouble and therefore took longer to get there, or people who've been through the testing more than once, would be feeling isolated and traumatized (from threat of danger and lack of food) enough to actually consider the Cube as something of a friend, if not actually imagine (like Ratman did) that it really is alive.
    • Alternatively though, if you play the Portal 2 level pack in "LEGO Dimensions" if you keep spamming switch characters you'll eventually get the cube (if it's on the pad) which you can slowly move around as (I've only ever got it once and it was weird, interesting from a lore point of view though)

    The Companion Cube, one level wonder 
  • What exactly is the big deal with the Companion Cube? It was only around for one level. That's not long enough for emotional attachment; what's with the guilt trip GLaDOS forces on you?
    • As the player, we have the benefit of not having gone through psychological isolation of being alone for extended amounts of time and are (assumably) of sound mind. Look at Ratman; he was practically in love with his cube.
    • That's also part of the joke. The idea is that GLaDOS is hilariously bad at understanding human beings, and so believes she could make you feel a deep sense of companionship with an inanimate object by just telling you it's your friend. It's similar to how she expects to motivate you by promising cake.

    GLaDOS's sanity 
  • Is GLaDOS truly insane, a master of psychology, or both? And for that point, is Chell mentally mature? She was in a "relaxation vault" which looks sufficiently much like a Human Popsicle factory... So maybe she's a daughter or an Aperture Science Employee hailing from the Aperture Science Bring Your Daughter To Work Day?
    • Sanity is a relative concept. GLaDOS was instructed to test the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, and wasn't given any ethical parameters under which to do so. She created a testing environment in which every function of the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device would have to be used, with a suitable incentive provided for a subject to do so (survival).
    • YMMV, but the argument that GLaDOS is a "masterful liar" seems quite questionable. Listening to half the dialogue in the games, some are immediately and blindingly obvious that GLaDOS cannot be trusted, which is the exact opposite result to that which a liar wants to accomplish.
    • There is also a WMG that even the escape portion was planned by GLaDOS, as she needed someone to make it to her and detatch the morality cores.

    Incinerating the Cube 
  • Why do you need to incinerate the companion cube in an Aperture Science Emergency Intelligence Incinerator when there's an emancipation field at the exit that does the same thing?
    • GLaDOS wills it to be so. Why? The Cube can't be destroyed by a circumstance that is out of Chell's control, no, Chell has to push the button and drop the Cube into the Intelligence Incinerator herself, and watch as the heart-covered friend is dropped into the fiery pit, and know it's all her fault. Still that imaginary chance that Chell could have avoided it.

    Who places the turrets? 
  • The turrets are tripods with a narrow base and a very high center of gravity. If Chell is the only one alive, and GLaDOS has run at least one other person through the course since the neurotoxin incident, how are the turrets set up?
    • It's shown near the end that turrets are transported and placed with a giant claw that has a network through the ceilings.

    Who turrets 'backstage', anyway? 
  • Why would GLaDOS have turrets placed in closed rooms in service tunnels... did she think the neurotoxins wouldn't work?
    • What's wrong with having a backup plan?

    The furnace 
  • For the most part, Chell was complacent in following GLaDOS's orders, even when destroying the companion cube. Then, GLaDOS puts her (and the portal gun; true she says it can survive but she'd still need to retrieve it somehow) into an easily-escaped death trap. Thereby giving Chell the motivation to tear you apart and destroy you. Didn't she realize that she could have avoided all this if she had just given you the cake as promised and let you go on your merry way?
    • Because the first thing she'll do is say how she was locked inside a laboratory by a crazy computer with no humans left, and Black Mesa, Apeture or someone probably shut GLaDOS down.
    • There is also a WMG that even the escape portion was planned by GLaDOS, as she needed someone to make it to her and detatch the morality cores.

    The Morality Core and incinerating Chell 
  • If the morality core prevents GLaDOS from harming you (presumably), and if she is in control of the facility, how is it that she was trying to incinerate you? Surely the morality core would prevent that?
    • Perhaps the Morality Core doesn't prevent her from putting you in dangerous situations, but only prevents her from directly trying to kill you.
    • Or maybe the Morality Core was installed to stop GLaDOS from flooding the facility with deadly neurotoxin...and nothing else.
    • The actual backstory surrounding the Morality Core is a little vague. If the one she has in the game is the same one she has in the Lab Rat comic, then we have every reason to believe that it doesn't actually work at all, since she later obtained neurotoxin under false pretenses and proceeded to kill everyone but Rattmann. (This makes her waiting for you to incinerate it some kind of sick mind game on her part, probably intended to make you think that her losing her "morality" is all your fault). If another one was installed between Bring Your Daughter to Work Day and the events of Portal, then anything goes. Maybe it worked, and maybe it didn't.
    • Note that in the Lab Rat tie-in comic, Rattmann likens the Morality Core to a conscience, and lampshades what is universally known about the conscience. It can be ignored.

    Android Hell 
  • What is Android Hell?
    • GLaDOS may be taking a page out of Red Dwarf's Silicon Heaven (or possibly just great minds think alike), but tldr is that the more complex and overdesigned AI becomes, the more human-like it will be, and thus the harder it will be to control - so we'll end up applying to them what some have very cynically suggested is a method for pacifying and controlling humans; i.e. religion.?

    Aperture's layout 
  • Why are the oldest parts of the lab the furthest underground? If you are building an underground facility, wouldn't you dig down when you needed more space, thus putting the newer parts the furthest down?
    • The facility is built into an old salt mine and cave system, which existed before the lab. So the first testing areas were built at the bottom and newer facilities slapped upon the old ones, right up to the surface. That's why you end up in the oldest part after the long fall in the sequel.
      • Even in pre-existing tunnels, it's simpler and easier to build from the top down. I think what happened is that the offices, Enrichment Spheres, etc. were all built at (roughly) the same time, and when Aperture started running out of money, they were abandoned from the bottom up. The design and decor of the upper levels were updated with the times, while there would be no need to do that with the abandoned lower levels, making them look more outdated.

    Wet platforms 
  • Given that you die instantly the moment you touch the "water" and there are signs telling you not to drink it (why Aperture Science thinks their test subjects would want to drink water off a floor is something of a mystery, but anyways), it seemed to be some kind of corrosive acid. But when you jump onto the platforms in chamber 14, the platforms that have been submerged in this acid stuff, the soles of your bare feet are fine. No pain whatsoever.
    • Small quantities shouldn't be a problem. And that's assuming the "acid" is killing you and not, say, your ASHPD shorting out. Remember GLaDOS did warn you about submerging it just after you get it.
    • Or, the "water" did damage Chell's feet, albeit slowly. That's why in the second game you switch to the Long Fall Boots, which must double as prosthetics.

    Did GLaDOS plan everything? 
  • Regarding a common WMG. The ending song doesn't seem to be a sincere declaration of everything going to her plan, it seemed more like a childish attempt to save face. "You think you won? Well, that's just what I wanted to happen anyways."
    • Maybe she's both, and is both brilliant and insane, wanting to both keep Chell around for the great fun they have while simultaneously trying to murder her and improvising new tactics when Chell goes off the rails while laughing off the obvious failure. Though considering who made GLaDOS, she would be equal parts genius-level brilliance and sociopathic insanity.

    Purpose of the portal gun 
  • What exactly is the practical purpose for the portal gun? It doesn't seem like it would be very useful for stealthy entrances, since you have to physically get the gun within shooting range of the desired entry point before the portal will open.
    • ... It's a test device. Applying it for practical purposes is not the point. But honestly, a better question is what couldn't you use a portal gun for? You could use it to break into any building, scale any height, go anywhere in an instant (including the Moon, NASA will be thrilled and the travel industry will be devastated), create an infinite waterfall and by extension infinite hydroelectic power with a turbine, redirect projectiles, easily move heavy objects (hello, Easy Logistics), drop your foes from incredible heights, and those are only the obvious uses.
      • Unfortunately, you can only break into a building, scale heights, etc. if it's already painted with a paint made from moon dust which is hardly commom. Still, maybe they could adapt it.
      • That's a common misunderstanding. Many materials conduct portals; moon dust just happened to be one of them. Most of the panels in Portal I were made of concrete.

    Is Aperture undergroud? 
  • The /Main entry states that the Aperture Science labs are an Elaborate Underground Base, but is there any evidence that it's underground? The website does not count considering who provides the info.
    • With Portal 2, it's made very, very, very, clear that this lab runs deep below the Earth's surface.

    The boss fight and biology 
  • The final battle doesn't keep to the rules of human biology. If you were being gassed with a fast-acting poison that kills you in EXACTLY six minutes, you'd start to stumble, get dizzy, and have shortness of breath (at the very least) probably by minute 2 or so. This does not happen in the battle.
    • There's some Dummied Out dialogue from GLaDOS about how the neurotoxin emitters are actually empty/she has to make more/there's not enough to fill the room, etc. So the greenish-yellow gas that's been emitting from the walls was either just dust and rust or expired neurotoxin.
    • If the neurotoxin is lighter than air then it must fill the whole room before it will kill Chell. That could take up the 6 minutes. Portal 2 even backs it up during the final boss fight, as the Announcer says "Neurotoxin level at capacity in five minutes." That wording suggests that the neurotoxin needs a few minutes to fill the room for it to start having an effect.

    Required "complimentary" lift 
  • How can the victory lift in Chamber 14 be 'complimentary'? It's necessary to reach the exit.
    • Chamber 14 actually has a shortcut, which makes the lift unnecessary. You deserve something for putting in all that effort going the long way, so you get a complimentary victory lift. Plus, it's GLaDOS we're talking about. All her other lines and quips are weird.

    Making portals 
  • What makes the portals? What kind of energy would that take? GLaDOS mentions something about "gamma-leaking portal technology", but gamma-rays are made up of waves and can't be captured in a container because they've got such a high frequency that they pass through everything. Is it some kind of cathode ray or radioactive/nuclear isotope maybe? Also, how does the portal gun get modified in chamber 11?
    • Perhaps the gun in chamber 11 is some kind of dummy, and the test subject takes whatever generates the orange portals out of the dummy and puts it in the real gun.
    • The Boots video shows the schematics of the portal gun. Basically? Dye and a mini black hole.
    • Assuming that the gun you run around with is an improvement of the Aperture Science Quantum Tunneling Device, it uses quantum tunneling. However, according to Judith Mossman in Half-Life 2, the resistance teleporters work using quantum entanglement. Basically, Aperture Science-quantum tunneling; Black Mesa-quantum entanglement. Combine- String based.

    Portals in portals 
  • So, what happens if you try put two portals on two surfaces, then move one surface containing one of the portals into the other portal?
    • All that will really happen is a really trippy infinite loop of images until the portals bump into each other. It's weird, but the principle is the same as putting two mirrors facing each other.

    Proximity of test chambers to each other 
  • Shortly after you escape at the end of Test Chamber 19, you encounter two observation offices from which you can apparently see Test Chamber 14 and Test Chamber 9. In fact, shortly after this you end up in TC 9 for the second time in the game and must escape it through the elevator shaft. One problem with this: You are at this point nowhere near those teo chambers. The vertical separation is the most obvious: the elevator at the end of each TC takes you up and in general the exit of a test chamber is higher than its entrance . By the time you escape from TC19 you should be many, many, MANY storeys above TC9.
    • Remember the part after Test Chamber 19 when you jump down an elevator shaft? The shaft ended after one floor, with a portal-able surface on it. Your elevator itself travels via portals.
    • Portal 2 suggests the elevators work similarly to the Vital Apparatus Vents through the use of Pneumatic Diversity Vents. Just because they go up at both ends doesn't mean most of the distance isn't travelled in circular loops throughout the entire facility.

    Hearing GLaDOS in the second half 
  • Why can you hear the computer voice in the back area after the test chamber portion is over? Are we supposed to believe they installed speakers back there?
    • There are intercoms placed throughout the back areas. GLaDOS is talking through those.

    Companion Cube surviving incineration 
  • When you're about to receive your complimentary burning, GLaDOS assures you that the Portal Gun will be unharmed because all Aperture Science equipment can withstand over 4000 degrees kelvin. So... my Companion Cube is still alive? ♥
    • Yes, as demonstrated at the end of Portal 2.

     Super surviving radio 
  • What exactly is the point of making a radio that still works at 4000 K?
    • It's Aperture, the same company that creates non-waterproof portal guns for shower curtain applications and sentry turrets that are self-aware and able to feel pain. Radios that remain operational at 4000 K are probably simple work to them.

     What are we incinerating, exactly? 
  • If everything can survive up to 4000K, then how does Aperture discard of faulty equipment?
    • Emancipation Grids.
    • The emancipation grills don't work on personality constructs (otherwise PotatOS would've been fizzled several times over in Portal 2).
    • But you can emancipate turrets, which have been shown to exhibit some sort of personality. The Emancipation Grills only emancipate unauthorized equipment that passes through it, so GLaDOS presumably "authorized" herself as a safety precaution.

    No alarms 
  • Why are there no alarms or sirens when a test subject left the foreseen test chambers, carrying a highly experimental time-space-bending-phyics-defying etc. device?
    • Why would there be any alarms or sirens? It's a maintenance area. It's doubtful they foresaw the need to automatically detect the presence of a person or portal gun in that area, and there aren't any people there to set off alarms manually.
    • Additionally, there is a Dummied Out line where GLaDOS says, "The device will detonate if removed from an approved testing area". Maybe she was lying, but even so it's enough of a deterrent.
    • In Portal 2, in the old testing spheres, they apparently allowed test subjects to use the old portal device when doing so could have wiped out time. If they didn't have a problem with possibly wiping out time, there's not much of anything they'd have a problem with...except lemons.
    • Alternatively, there are alarms, but they're silent or maintained by GLaDOS like everything else in the facility. She just saw no reason to activate them, since there was nobody around to alert after she killed all the staff.

    Where the Rat Man goes to the bathroom 
  • We've all seen the Aperture Science cans of beans and milk Rat Man was living off of, but where does he poop?! Also, where is he storing the milk so that it doesn't go bad?
    • It's not like there's anything stopping him just going wherever there's an empty corner, though that is pretty bad Fridge Horror...

    Firing the whole bullet 
  • Why bother loading up the turrets with the entire bullet? Assuming it's some kind of magnetic/railgun type, why not just pack in more actual bullets (as in the bullet itself, not the entire round). Although I suppose someone getting an entire 5.56 or 7.62 bullet in the face or chest would do some damage.
    • Because he's Cave Johnson, and he's not going to settle for conventional when the wildly improbable can be done.
    • More mass=more impact force=better chance at a kill shot.
    • Because firing the entire bullet is 66% more bullet. Cave Johnson, we're done here.

    What GLaDOS tests 
  • What exactly is GLaDOS testing? What sort of science needs a human to solve puzzle rooms?
    • The tests were originally for two purposes: Evaluating the tactical unity of the portal gun, and finding people who were good with it. Aperture used to get a lot of military funding, or so I've gathered.
    • Given Cave's contentious relationship with his own scientists and engineers (he's hostile with or about them every time they're mentioned) it seems like Johnson's idea of what science was wasn't exactly true to a sane person's. Cave seemed to think testing was obstacle courses all the time. It kind of makes sense given all of his messages: he's forceful, gregarious and bombastic. He can motivate test subjects even if he doesn't know a damn thing about science; not that he'd admit or even recognize that. This was the benefit and the loss for Aperture. One one hand it meant all of the disastrous results we see in the game including the creation of GLaDOS but it also created the amoral, funding-rich environment that apparently produced wonders given the things the company managed to make (if not make safe). Whether those left by the GLaDOS days shared Cave's outlook (possible given the attrition forcing employees to test created) or if no one dared question it by then, by the time GLaDOS was programmed and had Caroline put in, the tests were pretty much the Aperture "thing".

    Portal malfunction at the end 
  • Why does destroying the fourth core cause GLaDOS to have a gravity-reversing catastrophic episode, anyway?
    • Portal 2 hints at the answer: GLaDOS was the one maintaining the facility and preventing it from collapsing on itself. Since the Portal Gun is powered by a black hole, it's likely Aperture uses a similar technology. Your destroying her caused a containment failure.

    The Rat Man was never promised cake 
  • Why does Rattman write "the cake is a lie!"? He was never a test subject, so he was never promised cake in the first place.
    • Actually, he was a test subject. After gassing most of the facility, GLaDOS ran any survivors through the test chambers to satisfy her inbuilt desire to supervise the Enrichment Centre. Before the neurotoxin incident Aperture had been using its employees as lab rats anyway, so it's not out of the question for poor Doug to be familiar with her, uh, motivational methods.

    The Heimlich Counter-Maneuver 
  • Admittedly it's Cave Johnson we're talking about here, but... the Heimlich-Counter Maneuver. Ignoring the inherent lunacy of it, how is it that he expects it to get money from it? Does he expect to collect a royalty for every time someone performs it (which would, hopefully, be few, if any) or off posters or something?
    • He was slightly more insane than usual when he thought it up. Making someone choke and at the same time countering the heimlich manuever was done by the military using these techniques though, so it is a pretty potent weapon. And since it's been brought up, the military probably did pay him for it. It'd probably be useful for assassination, so if you have certified instructors, you can teach a course in how to do it. For a small fee and signing a confidentiality agreement, of course.

    From shooting one portal to two 
  • When you get the second gun that lets you shoot both portals, what exactly is it? Is it a mod for the original portal gun ("the device has been modified" according to GLaDOS), or is it an entirely new gun, and if so, what happens to the old one?
    • In the second game, we are revealed to the fact there ARE in fact two portal guns, and so it's most likely Chell simply discarded the one she was holding at that point.

    Pressing buttons 
  • Overweight jokes aside, why can Chell press buttons by standing on them but not by placing turrets on them, even though, presumably, a turret would weigh more than a human?
    • With a given turret height of 58 inches (Word of God referenced in step 1 here) and assuming the ammo box is in the top half of the "main" portion of the turret, we can conservatively estimate the turret's ammo capacity at about 5,000 5.56x45mm NATO rounds. At 11.8 grams per round, that gives us approximately 59 kilograms, or 129.8 pounds of ammo alone, assuming they're fully loaded.
    • It's also not out of the question the buttons have a secondary requirement enforced by Aperture to activate. Those turrets technically aren't part of tests. They're merely obstacles or guards.

    The Emotion Core levitating 
  • How does the Emotion Core hang in mid-air in the final battle?
    • GLaDOS used a sort of levitation or tractor beam to make it float. It's greenish and it can be seen carrying the core.
      • Then why she didn't use the same tractor beam to pull it back and plug it back in? Or at least move it around so you couldn't get it. Come to think of it, why didn't she do that for all the cores?
      • She was getting all glitchy and losing controls of her functions, like controlling the missile-launcher. She probably lost the control of the tractor beam too, so if she couldn't bring it back, she would make your life harder instead. It was a 5 minute battle, she didn't really expect Chell to be able to get it.

    Portal Placement 
  • On what surfaces can portals not be placed? Has anyone found any strong consistency in this?
    • In the Hammer Editor, the non-conductive chamber surfaces are usually listed as metal.

     GLaDOS' Insults 
  • Why does GLaDOS harp so on Chell's weight?
    • One of the Aperture manuals from the tie-in website says that testing officers should use insults to motivate subjects they don't feel are working effectively. It specifically cites making jabs about weight as a good motivator for female subjects. This is the same document that says orphans make good test subjects because if you hammer them about not having parents they believe the subject will become eager to please you. Also, she's just mean.

     Victory Candescence Room 
  • Why was the firepit trap so easily escapable with portal-walls and a convenient ledge up ahead? In the second game, even an idiot was smart enough to make his deathtrap non-portalable (though he didn't account for the conversion gel).
    • A Headscratcher above proposes that with a Morality Core attached, GLaDOS had to provide a way out of the death trap, which would technically classify it as a "test". Most test subjects would just lay down and die in the face of danger like that, but Chell was different. (In fact, there are anecdotes that some players genuinely thought that was just how the game ended and didn't bother trying to escape.) Chell was just the first one to figure it out.

     Turret Muzzle Flash 
  • If the Turrets fire 65% more bullet per bullet by firing the whole bullet, and use a spring to propel them like in the trailer, why do they create muzzle flashes?
    • The spring is really shiny and it's actually just a reflection of the ceiling lights?
    • It would be incredibly difficult to make a spring launch a bullet at dangerous velocities. However, if it's strong enough and had enough of a runup, it could ignite the primer and fire the bullet normally. So, while they may have been intended to fire the whole bullet, they're actually just normal guns that eject spent cartridges through the barrel (also neatly explaining why they're so inaccurate).

     Incinerating Cores 
  • If all Aperture Science products can withstand temperatures up to 4000 Kelvin (as we see a radio and the Companion Cube do), how does dropping GLaDOS's detached cores into the incinerator achieve anything?
    • Weasel Words, perhaps? GLaDOS said "safely operational", which especially given it's Aperture might just mean "it won't explode on you". Doesn't imply anything about how well it will still function.
    • The fact that there was an Emergency Intelligence Incinerator in the same room as a potentially-hostile AI shows some astounding forethought on Aperture's part: they either deliberately built the cores with combustible materials, or the incinerator was hotter than 4000K. Either one would justify the cores' explosions.

    Portals invented after the Combine invade? 
  • On the Aperture website (or perhaps it's the Combine Overwiki), it says that Aperture lost the race to be the first to invent working portal technology when Black Mesa opened their interdimensional portal to the Combine. But in the boots video, which is before Cave Johnson's death as evidenced by his voiceover, we see Chell using the ASHPD while testing the boots. Presumably this took place before the Combine invaded. So how..?
    • Aperture lost the race to invent interdimensional portal technology. Their intradimensional quantum-tunneling device was useful, but dangerous and often sent you through time as well as space—hence why they spent so long testing it.

    What is GLaDOS? 
  • What exactly IS GLaDOS at this point? A Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System? Okay. The new boss of Aperture Science due to the last request of Cave Johnson? The acronym's vague enough to make those two compatible. But how can she also be a fuel-system de-icer gone horribly wrong? It seems contradictory.
    • From a slideshow easter egg from Portal 1: In the 80's Black Mesa was, as always, getting tons more government funding than Aperture. Aperture was desparately trying to impress the government by how better they were than Black Mesa, and somehow got wind of the fact that they were building a fuel line de-icing system. They wanted to one-up Black Mesa, so they integrated their fuel line de-icing system with the newly created GLaDOS/Computer Caroline, while somehow keeping the cost below that of Black Mesa's system. GLaDOS is still officially a fuel line de-icer, but is really a DOS hooked up to the mind of Caroline.

    No periods? 
  • Does Chell ever get her period? Did she get it while in stasis? How would she handle it while testing? Would she be provided with the proper... sanitation?
    • In both games, Chell was out of stasis for a few hours, tops. Even if she did have to worry about that at the moment, which would be far-fetched to begin with, she was preoccupied with other matters such as, you know, getting out of this deathtrap of a facility, fast. Besides, this is Aperture Science we're talking about. Chell has long fall boots — it's possible that test subjects are also equipped with special clothing to avoid distractions like periods and toilet breaks. And stasis is stasis. Bodily functions are suspended.

    Reason behind the Anger Sphere 
  • The personality cores were made to keep GLaDOS under control and stop her from killing everyone, right? Then why did they give her an anger sphere?
    • One gets the impression that they quickly began to ran out of options and the stranger additions to her circuitry were probably added on a hope and a prayer that they'd succeed. At some point, they may have simply decided that overwhelming her with voices was a 'better' solution than a single/handful of rational voices.

    Chell's last name 
  • Wouldn't the people with the same last name as Chell be her (adoptive) parents? So, not the ones who "abandoned" her, but the ones who took her in?
    • The Lab Rat comic shows that Chell's last name was redacted from the official records, so it's possible that GLaDOS doesn't even know what it is. That said, Chell did show up during Take Your Daughter to Work Day, so GLaDOS ought to know who her parents are.
    • There's also a theory that GLaDOS thought Chell's actual last name was [REDACTED], and that there were two other people whose names were tagged this way, so she thought they shared the same last name.
    • And then there's the chance that it's all just made up. Maybe she wasn't adopted at all, maybe GLaDOS didn't find two people with Chell's last name.

    Portal gun invention date 
  • When was the portal gun invented? Several times in the game and tie in comic, Aperture scientists express jealousy and respect towards NASA for beating them to the moon. But the old sealed off testing courses are clearly designed to be solved with portal technology, despite signs dating them to the 1950s!
    • Common misunderstanding. Concrete conducts portals just as well as moon dust.
      • Okay, but then why didn't they just shoot a portal at the moon even just for kicks or to see what would happen?
      • They could, but then again, they could not. Their focus was mostly on the ground, so honestly, why would they randomly shoot portals at the sky?

    Portals break thermodynamics 
  • How in the hell does this get around the First Law of Thermodynamics? Place two portals, one exactly above the other, and drop something in it. Watch as it essentially turns into a free energy device. Where on earth is all that energy coming from?
    • Once you touch things like teleportation and time travel (the latter is established to be a thing via a throwaway line by Cave), physics gets thrown out the window - and we don't mean it as a Hand Wave, we mean it in the sense that since you're messing with space-time these techs probably utilize some form of going beyond the boundaries of, well, space-time, ie the universe, to work, thus the normal laws of physics will stop applying.
    • not necessarily (to the reply above) a portal is essentially a mini black hole (again established by Cave) and black holes gain mass the more matter goes in them (even if it goes somewhere else) essentially, It's NOT infinite power because at some point it becomes to large to contain (not really answering the question, just some interesting info)

    Moving Portals and level design (meta) 
  • In Portal 1's developer commentary, during the escape, Paul Graham mentions that the team "tried never to take the easy route of simply changing the level design to work with existing portal technology," knowing that "once the game was out in the wild, custom map creators would stress the system in ways [they] hadn't even considered, so [they] made it as flexible as possible." However, in Portal 2, Valve does exactly what Paul says they would avoid when it comes to moving portals in the neurotoxin sabotage. Moving portals cause buggy behavior, so it's pretty baffling that Valve didn't make the portal system flexible for this aspect and instead used the level design to keep the player away from portals. Moving portals can't be placed on any other moving surface, even if said surface would accept portals usually. (Could someone reword this?)