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Machinima / Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles

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Roses are red, and violets are blue / One day we'll cruise down Blood Gulch Avenue...

The first five seasons of Red vs. Blue, with the official collection's name coming from the fact that they take place in the Blood Gulch level of the Halo series. The collection contains 100 episodes, as well as one Mini Series, "Out of Mind".

Warning: Each folder will contain unmarked spoilers for the previous seasons.

This series provides examples of:

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    More Than One Season 
  • Affirmative Action Girl: First Tex, then Sister in Season 5. Sheila becomes one of these gradually.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • Episode 28.5, "The Last Episode Ever".
    • And one of the alternate endings to Episode 100 shows Church waking up after the tank shot all the way back in season one, along with Tucker and one of the other Blue soldiers, who wears green armor. Naturally, this is no longer in the running for canon.
    • Another alternate ending has it as All Just a Game- specifically, the "weirdest" Halo 2 deathmatch. The players banter about the events of the 'game' before agreeing to a new one with "same teams, new map".
  • Art Shift: Several scenes set in the distant past were done in the style of Marathon, a trilogy of FPS games made by Bungie back in the '90s. And, of course, the series gets art upgrades with each new installment of Halo.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Luke McKay originally began drawing his own fanart of the series and posting it on the main site. Later, he was hired by Rooster Teeth to do the comic strip on the site, after merely suggesting the notion.
    • And Rooster Teeth themselves to a much greater degree, given the series is ultimately a well-done Halo AU fanfic.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral\Last Disrespects:
    • In Episode 83, Grif arranges for Sarge's funeral and delivers more of a roast while Simmons tries to take over as Red leader. Sarge himself bemoans how he was cut down in the prime of his life, before being asked to get in the casket.
    • Church arranges for both his and Tex's funeral. Caboose delivers the eulogy. Church is less than impressed, and Tucker leaves due to it being "lame".
  • Back from the Dead:
  • Big Bad: The Omega A.I./O'Malley, who wants to Take Over the World. He's also a parody of this general archetype since he spends most of the series being ridiculously ineffectual as he's primarily stuck in the mind of the completely useless and pacifistic Doc.
  • Big "NO!":
    • In Episode 9, Caboose expresses his anguish over Sheila getting bombed in this manner, directly following a Say My Name moment.
    • In Episode 58, Grif provides one upon realising that the cave system leads directly to Blood Gulch.
    • In Episode 98, Church also performs a Big "NO!" both of the times Caboose is killed in the time loop.
  • Bleak Border Base: Blood Gulch seems to fit this to a T, with both bases staffed by incompetent "soldiers", constantly besieged by danger, underequipped (at least with basic equipment) and far away from most of civilization.
  • Body Surf:
    • The A.I. fragment O'Malley moves around through open radio channels.
    • As ghosts or rather, AI, Church and Tex can do this without the use of radio channels.
  • Bookends: The series began and ended with two characters observing two other characters discuss their place in the world. Which turns out to be Not Actually the Ultimate Question, as they're actually talking about something mundane (Simmons is wondering why they're stationed in Blood Gulch, and Caboose is wondering why they're standing outside in the sun)
    Simmons/Caboose: Hey.
    Grif/Church: Yeah?
    • Simmons also gets the first and last word of the series.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the first episode, Simmons asks Grif, "you ever wonder why we're here?" He replies with a lengthy speech about cosmic coincidence and the meaning of the universe. Simmons laughingly tells him that he meant why they were here, as in Blood Gulch, and Grif seems embarrassed. In the Season 1 finale, Simmons asks him it again, and Grif cuts him off with, "No. I never, ever, wonder why we're here. Semper Fi, bitch." This comes up again in the Season 5 finale, where the final scene is an homage to the first episode, with the roles reversed.
    • In the first episode, Simmons brings forth the point that if they were to stop fighting and let the blues win, the only consequence would be that the Blues would have two bases in the middle of a box canyon in the middle of nowhere - "whoop-dee-fucking-do". In Episode 95, the Blues finally take Red Base while the Reds are in the caves. Church, unfulfilled with their success, adds "I guess now we have two bases in the middle of a box canyon", to which Tucker replies, "whoop-dee-fucking-do".
    • Late into Season 1, Grif revives Sarge (who was shot in the head) via CPR. Sarge complains that his treatment was inconsistent with the wound, asking, "What would you do if they stabbed me in the toe? Rub my neck with aloe vera?" In Season 2, when Church shoots Caboose to get Doc to take care of him, he shoots him in the toe. Doc, a believer in "alternative medical treatments", just rubs his neck with aloe vera.
    • In Season 3, Church, through a Stable Time Loop, ends up with an amount of copies of himself left on Sidewinder. One of them is coloured yellow, and when asked about it, he promises to tell the others the story ("Oh man, it seemed like such a good idea at the time..."). In the Season 5 finale, it's revealed that Yellow Church is Caboose's mental image of Sister, apparently Church's twin brother from the moon, who is caught in Church's explosion and ejected from Caboose's mind and got sent back in time by a dead Wyoming's temporal distortion unit.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nearly the entire cast to some degree or another. Especially Grif.
    Church: Omega is on the loose and I think he may have infected one of your guys!
    Sarge: Infected? Initiate Emergency Plan Delta men!
    (Sarge shoots Grif)
    Grif: OW! What the fuck?! (collapses)
    Church: I didn't say who! I think it's actually Simmons!
    Donut: That's okay, that's how all our emergency plans start! (Sarge is kicking Grif)
  • Call-Back: It's probably easier to list jokes in the series that do not get a Call-Back, Brick Joke-level reference, or become Running Gags.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Mostly due to Halo's game engine, each character is visually identified with a color. This changes somewhat once the series upgrades to Halo 3, as the bonus armors and increased customization options allow for more variety.
  • Commander Contrarian: Grif to Sarge, due to Sarge always having Grif suffer in his plans.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: invoked One Wyoming: major threat. An army of Wyomings time-duplicates: Cannon Fodder for the Reds, even giving Simmons of all people a Moment of Awesome. Granted, the "Groundhog Day" Loop explains how Tucker could handle them, but not the Reds. Or Church, who can be seen sniping a few while the Reds are observing from Blue Base. Notably, when there is only one Wyoming left, the negative effects of the trope apparently haven't worn off, as he is easily interrogated and executed. That said, the battle is coordinated between the Reds and Blues, and Wyoming is more of a Professional Killer than a straight up combatant.
    • Possibly justified as it's basically stated that the main reason Wyoming is so boss is because he spams time rewinds. Obviously in the last battle he had already made at least a dozen or two attempts, and one can assume that's normal for him. It can also be assumed that the reason they went down so easily in the final battle is that they didn't get the chance to rewind that time.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Lampshaded.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Caboose, when the Berserk Button is pressed, goes on a killing spree, decimating the Battle Creek Grunts. He also has super human strength, being the only one initially able to pick up Andy. Church and Tucker theorize that this is "God's way of compensating."
    • "Kittens covered in spikes! That makes me angry!"
      • "My name is Michael J. Caboose and I hate babies!"
        Sarge: Great Paul's Bunyan, he's like an ox!
        Caboose: But I have no horns! Or lumberjack friends...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Usually any fight that Tex is involved in, including killing Church's teammates in a flashback in Episode 10, and killing the Battle Creek Zealots in Season 4. Caboose also effortlessly devastates the Zealots once his Berserk Button is pressed. And then there's the Reds vs. the Wyomings in Episode 99.
  • Death Is Cheap: By way of a Near-Death Experience in one case, and ghosts in two others. Later subverted in The Recollection.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Just about every first person shooter and science fiction video game trope is picked apart, generally for comedic purposes.
    • Most notably, the series constantly parodies the Excuse Plot, with the series' Arc Words literally being "You ever wonder why we're here?". The first episode has Simmons pointing out to Grif that the Forever War between the Red and Blue Teams is completely pointless, since if one side were to win (or the other side were to pull out), the "victor" would just have two bases in the middle of a box canyon.
    • The series also points out that the entire conflict being a Hopeless War means that only the mindlessly loyal or very foolish would continue the fight. Therefore, everyone in the canyon (with the possible exceptions of Church and Tex, and even they still have their moments of insanity/stupidity) is some variant of idiotic or insane.
    • Relatedly, The Blood Gulch Chronicles also plays with both (platonic) Love Across Battlelines and Mission Control. Instead of having a clear and concise yet distant commander that efficiently helps them take on their enemy, the Reds and Blues both answer to Vic, who is Playing Both Sides and gives them all terrible advice so as to draw out their pointless conflict as long as possible. And as the series goes on, the Reds and Blues actually start to form a decent camaraderie with each othernote ... but their "friendship"/mutual respect only reaches to the same level as how well the individual teams work together.
    • On a less comedic note, the series also mocks countless video game tropes. The fact that the series' "war" is one massive "Capture the Flag" game is repeatedly pointed out to make no sense (with the Reds even realizing in Season 2 that it would be more trouble than it's worth to take Blue Team's flag, and so they ask for it to "stay exactly where it is!"). Additionally, only one of the main characters (and he's a villain) - Agent Wyoming - is able to respawn upon death, which everyone else views as terrifying.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Circumstances continually keep Sheila and the Warthog from being fully operational or otherwise able to affect the conflict. Both vehicles get totaled early in Season 1; Sheila is fixed and re-totaled; the next season has a huge amount of time dedicated to the vehicles being repaired, only for Sheila to begin exhibiting more independent action. Sheila is then unable to accompany the teams on their teleports out of Blood Gulch, and has to have her personality moved out of the tank in Season 5. The Warthog stops getting this treatment after Season 2, once the conflicts scale up to the point where it can't tip the balance.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Agent Wyoming is technically only The Dragon to O'Malley since he's not an A.I. and is only Just Following Orders from O'Malley and Vic, but he and Gamma are the primary ones to drive the villainous plot forward and are heavily implied by later seasons to have been actually manipulating Omega so as to be used in Project Freelancer's plan to end the Great War.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The early characters lacked most of their later Character Tics, for example Caboose wasn't nearly as dumb as he is now and was even a bit of a Deadpan Snarker. Donut was basically a red Caboose at the start before he ended up in "lightish-red" armour and started developing his fey personality. Sarge wasn't nearly as nuts, Grif wasn't nearly as much of a disgusting pig, Tucker was kind of girl-obsessed but not to the extent he is now, etc. Also the Church/Texas dynamic hadn't been fully established yet and there's a lot of the early stuff that seems at odds with subsequent revelations as to both characters' true natures.
    • This is possibly explained later on in the series when Vic meets Dylan Andrews, offering her the files and recordings he had on the Reds and Blues during their stay in Blood Gulch. It's implied that he is the curator and editor of the original five seasons worth of footage, having created a hundred five minute episodes to get her up to speed presumably from a fractured, dying database that seems to be slowly turning him insane, which could explain any oddities in their early appearances.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
    • invoked Sister, whose real name is Kaikaina. Kaikaina is the Hawaiian word for "Little Sister", or, more accurately, the Hawaiian word for "younger sibling of the same sex".
    • Also Sarge, though in later seasons we find out that actually is his real name.
    • Also, Medical Officer Frank DuFresne, who is immediately nicknamed "Doc" by Church because he can't be bothered remembering his name.
  • Evil Laugh: O'Malley's signature cackle while possessing Doc is an intentionally over-the-top parody of the Omnicidal Maniac character type.
  • The Faceless: Everyone, by necessity, as the Halo games give everyone helmets; The exceptions are the alien, "Junior", and Vic. Semi-lampshaded in Season 3 when Church asks Tucker if he's black, after learning his first name (Lavernius).
  • First Law of Tragicomedies
  • Flanderization: Almost everyone, though Tropes Are Not Bad as this led to Caboose and Donut becoming even more popular, and funny moments becoming much more common. It also works in the sense that the characters originally started out as broad archetypes, and their Flanderization made them into more unique & interesting characters.
    • Caboose goes from being just a bit slow at the start of the series to having borderline insanity, unable to follow a simple train of thought. Also, in a weird way, anyone possessed by Omega has in-universe Flanderization.
      • Justified, however, as there is a notable shift in his intelligence after Church, Tex, and O'Malley had an explosive firefight in Caboose's mind. However, later episodes would Retcon Caboose so that he was always this insane.
    • Tucker goes from being flirtatious to a sex maniac.
    • Sarge's mild bullying of Grif goes to outright attempts at murdering him.
    • Grif's initial laziness and apathy gets cranked up to a phobia of work.
    • Donut goes from being somewhat effeminate to being ambiguously Camp Gay.
      • Again, justified. He started as just a normal, if effeminate man. When he got lightish-red armor, he definitely went down the slippery slope.
    • Simmons goes from a teacher's pet to a groveling sycophant.
    • Doc begins a neutral pacifist without extensive medical training (but nevertheless treats Caboose during an active shootout), and ends a man panicked by any sign of conflict, completely incompetent in his supposed area of expertise.
  • Flip Personality: When O'Malley possesses Doc, their body frequently switches personality on a sentence by sentence basis; this is shown by voice and mannerism changes and camera angle changes. The two characters actually hold conversations with each other, or will cut in on what the other is saying to make some kind of wise-crack or amendment. For the most part O'Malley is in control of what they do, however.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Blue Base in Blood Gulch is referred to as "Blood Gulch Outpost Alpha." Later on, in Reconstruction, we find out that Church, the leader of Blue Team, is actually an AI designated "Alpha."
    • When radioing Church in the Season 1 finale, Caboose refers to himself as "O'Malley".
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": ("To mark this message as 'urgent', please press eleven.")
    • "For unconfirmed Dutch-Irish, press or say 1 too, as in also."
  • Friendship Moment:
    • Grif saving Sarge's life from a headshot wound in Season 1... by using CPR.
    • Church yelling out in genuine anguish twice when he's Forced to Watch Caboose get killed off in two Alternate Timelines.
    • There's also a villainous example in "Same Old, Same Old" - When Wyoming is stabbed by Tucker, Gamma cries out "Reggie!"
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Lopez's Spanish is intentionally bad, partly because it was obtained using an online translator full of mistakes. For instance, when in the Season 1 closer Lopez's contribution to the "Son of a bitch!" Running Gag is actually "Mother of God!".
  • Fusion Dance: The Freelancers and their AIs. O'Malley's name is even a portmanteau of his designation (Omega) and Tex's real name (Allison) to form Om-Alli. This is also unintentionally played straight with Gary—Wyoming's name is Reggie, and his AI is Gamma, but Gary was originally just named after Burnie Burns' late cat.
  • Gambit Roulette: By the end of the series, it appears that everything O'Malley, Wyoming, Gamma/Gary and Vic did was for the purpose of acquiring an Alien child and the sword that would elevate him to the status of leader of his race, so that O'Malley could possess the Alien and use his race as a weapon to win the war. The degree of planning and precision this would require, and using Wyoming and Gamma's time-bending powers to supposedly send them into the past/future in order to further manipulate them, is implausibly ridiculous, thus keeping with the tone of the series. Later seasons would however imply that Freelancer Command was serving as their Greater-Scope Villain, giving more credence to the plan's potential success.
  • Grand Theft Me: Multiple occasions varying from possession by ghosts to O'Malley jumping from body to body.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Project Freelancer Command, the people who order the Freelancers around from behind the scenes and for whom Omega/O'Malley, Wyoming, and Gamma/Gary are manipulating the main cast for so as to end the Human-Covenant War. Furthermore, almost the entire story arc is an elaborate training simulation for Freelancers like Wyoming to run through to help gain battle experience.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: After a hundred episodes, Church takes a moment to reflect on how he's learned that it's wrong to hate people based on arbitrary political or military delineations. Instead you should strive to "despise people on a personal level." While not necessarily a great moral, it still rings true to an extent in that one should not mindlessly hate just because they were told to.
    Church: You should hate someone because they're an asshole, or a pervert, or snob, or they're lazy, or arrogant or an idiot or know-it-all. Those are reasons to dislike somebody. You don't hate a person because someone told you to. You have to learn to despise people on a personal level. Not because they're Red, or because they're Blue, but because you know them, and you see them every single day, and you can't stand them because they're a complete and total fucking douchebag.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Each season has a collection of them.
    Simmons: The Blues are probably gearing up for an enormous attack right now! At any moment, they're gonna come over that hill, charging, guns blazing, yelling...(Gus loses composure)...fuck!"
    (The Blues come running over the hill.)
    Church: FUCK!
  • Hired Guns: Freelancer Agents - as seen with Tex and Wyoming - largely function as this for the Red and Blue armies.
    • Bounty Hunter: Wyoming seems to be this, with Tex implying that he's a Rogue Agent. Later seasons would heavily imply that he's actually still working for Freelancer Command during the events of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, though, as Tex was actually the Rogue Agent all along.
  • Hopeless War: Played for Laughs due to the fact that the teams are in a never ending game of Capture the Flag. The creators have stated that one side exists simply because the other side exists.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Apparently "Shisno", the word for humans in one alien language, literally translates to "the feces of the feces of the foulest smelling creature in the universe". Or something worse. It's also used, understandably, as an insult.
    • The character translating it peters out when Church tells him that a skunk's feces doesn't crap. He probably had farther to go.
  • Incoming Ham:
    • Sarge: "Ladies, front and center on the double!"
    • Vic: "Yes, dude, hello, can you read me? Hello? Check one, check two. Yo, I hear you. Calm down, dude, what's going on? Hello, yo, can you hear me, hello? "
    • O'Malley gets a few, such as his Wham Line that closes season 1 ("My name is O'Malley"), his Evil Laugh when shown in Caboose's head, and the first time he manifests possessing Doc: " If I ever meet him, I'm taking his eyes as souvenirs!"
    • Wyoming: "Hello, mate!" in the thickest British accent possible.
  • Informed Attractiveness:
    • Tex and Sister. Being that all the characters use the same Master Chief player model (which is male of course) the only way the audience knows that they're attractive is through comments from the male characters (specifically Tucker). Though there was an episode where Sister took her armor off for a physical and the surveillance cameras in Blue Base caught it all much to the delight of Simmons and Sarge (though we the audience don't get to see).
    • Also, Tucker and his "striking metrosexual good looks," as noted by Captain Flowers.
  • Introductory Opening Credits: The first five seasons, at least on their film-like presentation on DVD and Netflix, have an extended introduction to start each series off, complete with name-presenting freezecams and camera sweeps. Both Seasons 1 and 5 on both YouTube and Rooster also feature them, though they're not seen with Seasons 2-4.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Both played straight and played for laughs many times. For instance, when Grif and Simmons grumble that the "Morris Code" tapping sound from the crashed Pelican in Season 5 is more annoying than anything the Blues have to put up with, there's a Gilligan Cut to Church swearing at the top of his lungs as he's struggling to deal with Vic's voicemail box from Hell.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Used when Church was insisting on using "Doc", and DuFresne insisting that it wouldn't catch on. Cue a cut to his character intro for the opening labeling him as "Doc".
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • The Red Zealot in Season 3.
    • The Alien/Crunchbite in Season 4.
    • York in Out Of Mind.
    • Captain Flowers, Wyoming, and Andy the Bomb (along with seemingly Tex, Junior, and Sheila) in Season 5.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Church does this after one of the (usually 5-10 minutes long) episodes ends on a cliffhanger:
    Church: "Why is it that something dramatic seems to happen exactly every five minutes? I mean, I can't possibly be the only one out here noticing this trend."
    • The series became increasingly self-referential and fourth-wall breaking as The Blood Gulch Chronicles reached its end.
    (Red Team is looking at a security camera terminal that is looking at Blue Team's base)
    Sarge: Simmons, what're they saying?
    Simmons: I have no idea. I can't find the volume on this monitor. And without any sound it just looks like a bunch of helmets bobbing up and down.
    Sarge: Is that how they talk? They look ridiculous!
  • Left the Background Music On: Played with when music begins to drown Church out and he angrily demands to know where it's coming from — cue the Warthog coming over the hill blasting mariachi music on the stereo that Lopez left on. This turns into a Running Gag whenever the Warthog shows up, until the radio is broken in the season after Chronicles.
  • Losing Your Head: Lopez in Season 4 & 5.
  • Love Triangle: invoked A Type 4 case with Sheila towards both Lopez and Caboose. And for Caboose, this is also a case of Robo Ship.
  • Made of Iron: Anyone can survive a devastating attack generally unharmed provided it would be funny for them to do so. Any pain or injury will be played for laughs and forgotten as soon as the joke is over. Conversely, this invincibility can be revoked at any point, if the character's death is important for plot reasons.
    • Grif may be the patron saint of this, given his state as the physical Butt-Monkey and Sarge's constant attempts to put him in harms way. At one point he takes a shotgun round point blank to the chest, and shortly after takes a Five Rounds Rapid to the face, twice. He is perfectly fine throughout the rest of the episode.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Freelancer Command to the group, by way of Vic.
  • Mental World: Caboose's mind.
  • Mission Control: Vic, who turns out to be the Mission Control for both teams.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: How Sarge refers to his soldiers. And Grif. There's also the occasional, "Men! Donut!"
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In Episode 41, there are only 49 Freelancer agents because there are only 49 states in the US. Poor Florida.
    • In "Out Of Mind Part 2", The incident where York's eye was damaged is not elaborated on, though it is in Season 9.
  • Not in the Face!:
    • Grif in Episodes 13 and 50.
    • Tucker in Episode 63.
  • One-Liner Echo:
    • In Chronicles, we have "Team-killing fucktard" and "Parabola of Mystery."
    • In Out Of Mind, we have "That's part of what makes us human."
  • Once an Episode: Or once a season to be more specific. Once Tucker's "Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wow" catchphrase is introduced, he says it once and once only in each season (except for multiple times in one episode of season four).
  • Only Sane Man: Church, who is usually the only person to both understand when a crisis is happening and be motivated enough to do something about it. Most of the other characters are either one but not the other, or neither. Tex might qualify in some episodes, but she also has a habit of going Axe-Crazy and often pursues her own agenda to the detriment of others.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Church and Tex as of the end of Season 1 onward. Then it turns out they aren't ghosts at all. Washington is incredulous at everyone's belief that they are - reacting in much the same way a person would in Real Life.
  • The Remake: For the tenth anniversary Blu-Ray box set, the entirety of The Blood Gulch Chronicles were re-done in the PC ports of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. Along with the cleaner visuals, the most noticeable changes are full screen (the originals had to add black bars to crop the HUD and player's gun) and the lack of a targeting reticle, given the Xbox originals lacked the "Theater Mode". The remasters eventually found their way to Netflix, the official Red vs. Blue YouTube channel, and Rooster Teeth's website during their 2018 revamp (the originals are still found in the RT Youtube channel).
  • Rule of Funny: Whether or not people can understand Lopez tends to be based on how funny it is (most notably O'Malley, who is generally able to understand Lopez perfectly, and yet can still be tricked into insulting himself in Spanish).
  • Rule of Symbolism: Being that the series is a Machinima, there's Endless Daytime whenever the story's events are taking place in Blood Gulch (much to the confusion of multiple characters). The only time we see it get darker in Blood Gulch as if the sun's about to set? When The Blood Gulch Chronicles is about to end on a Sudden Downer Ending.
  • Rule of Three: The running "Son of a bitch" gag is usually done three times in a row.
  • Running Gag:
    • Among others:
    Donut: It's not pink, it's lightish red!
    • Tucker never gets the sniper rifle. The first time he did, he accidentally shoots Tex in the ass. Then he Took a Level in Badass with it.
      • After this, Tucker's obsession with using the sniper rifle died down significantly. The fact that he found his own badass weapon (the Laser Blade) also had something to do with it.
    • Church's horrible aim, especially with the Sniper Rifle. He usually only hits people by accident, or when the Rule of Funny makes it possible.
      Church: I swear to God, I think somebody fucks with the sights on this thing when I'm not looking!
    • People who die say "HURK!...blehh." People react to hearing explosions by yelling "SON OF A BITCH!"
      • In the "Fight! Fight!" ending, everyone says "SON OF A BITCH!" upon death.
    • People being possessed say "HEEGAKURGURK".
    • Tucker gets covered in "black stuff" whenever he goes through a teleporter.
    • "Shotgun!" (shouted by either Grif or Simmons every time a new vehicle shows up). Followed by "Fuck!" from whomever didn't win.
  • Shout-Out: So many that it's probably not feasible to list all of them. There was an attempt, though.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Grif serves as this for Sarge. The Red Team and Blue Team also serves as this to each other most of the time since Sarge and (arguably) Church are the only ones who seem to actually want to win against the other side.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tex is the only girl in the show for quite some time, though in a case of Positive Discrimination, she's definitely the best fighter on either team. Sister then shows up in Season 5, leading to Two Girls to a Team for the Blues until Tex seems to "die" in "Why Were We Here?", leaving Sister the only woman left in the entire canyon.
  • Snipe Hunt:
    • Episode 3, for headlight fluid and elbow grease. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Tucker's big quest with the alien is all just a ruse to get him knocked up.
  • Something Blues: "Blood Gulch Blues", the show's theme.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    Donut: Maybe, that blue guy who got killed by the tank, came back as a ghost, and now he's possessing Lopez's body. That could also explain why Sarge went nuts when we had the prisoner; the blue ghost probably possessed him too. And the jeep going nuts was probably just a weird set of coincidences, while the guy learned how to use Lopez's body.
    Simmons: ...I think I like the ray beam idea better.
    Grif: Yeah rookie, your idea sounds a little dumb.
    • Most famously, Episode 2's "You mean like a puma?"
    • "Monkeying about" in Episode 53.
    • "Morris Code" in the first few episodes of Season 5.
  • Take That!:
    • With regards to Red Bull, O'Malley says it is the taste of oblivion. And disgusting.
    • In Episode 44, the characters discuss Hollywood post-apocalypse cliches.
      Tucker: Naw. Hollywood doesn't understand apocalypse. They think that just one thing from everyday life goes away and that changes everything. Like in Road Warrior it was gas, and in Waterworld it was land.
      Simmons: What went away in The Matrix?
      Tucker: Sunlight.
      Grif: I thought the missing element was plot.
      Tucker: I'm talking about the first Matrix.
    • In Episode 45, Doc cheerfully describes having a blog as "Like being a real journalist, but without all the hassle of liability and accuracy!"
    • Also regarding his sword:
    • There's a surprise political joke in Season 4.
      Church: We don't know anything about [the sword], though. Maybe it runs on radiation and it's poisoning him.
      Caboose: Or maybe it runs on solar power!
      Church: Wait, no, why would solar power make him sick?
      Caboose: ...Is he a Republican?
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Given the high amount of swearing, this one inevitably crops up quite a bit.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Caboose started out in the series much more normal; but the creators decided to just make him dumber and dumber over time. As a result, he's one of the most beloved characters in the series. There is an in-universe explanation that he became this way due to having O'Malley screw with his mind and witnessing Sheila blow up, but he was still somewhat stupid anyway.
  • Two-Act Structure: The second half of the Chronicles is far more plot-oriented (going so far as to induce a revision of some of the sillier gags from earlier in the series) and surprisingly ends on a relative downer.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Most of the time, if a character suffers a seemingly fatal injury, they'll turn out to be fine later, to the point that towards the end of the series they don't even bother explaining it anymore.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Most of the cast, though they're never completely unsympathetic.
  • Voodoo Shark: The explanation for the Yellow Church in episode 52 given in episode 100 breaks internal consistency in a bunch of different ways. It's implied in Season 10 that Church looping through time never actually happened, and in fact was actually a simulation presented by Gamma. That still doesn't explain how he managed to escape Caboose's head, and get a body, but that's probably just the Rule of Funny in action and nothing more.
  • Wham Episode: Every season finale is a game-changer, and all but the last provide a Cliffhanger.
    • Season 1: Tex dies and Caboose grimly stating that his name is O'Malley.
    • Season 2: O'Malley steals Lopez and runs away, Vic reveals that he's working for both the Red and Blue teams, Tucker gets shot by O'Malley, Tex recognizes Donut as the one who killed her, and the teams form a temporary truce to stop O'Malley. However, the episode ends on a cliffhanger with the entire cast scattered around the galaxy due to teleporter malfunctions.
    • Season 3: The Reds find their way back to Blood Gulch, and O'Malley's army was defeated not by Tex, but an alien about to attack Church.
    • Season 4: Tucker gives birth to an alien, O'Malley leaves Doc, and Donut gets crushed by a ship.
    • Season 5: Tex betrays the others to help Omega, forcing Sarge to use Andy to blow her up, along with Junior.

    Season 1 
  • And Show It to You: A variant in Episode 10, where a man is killed with his own skull being used to beat him to death. Except the way Tex is said to have done this (tearing out the skull of the victim) doesn't seem physically possible...
    Tucker: (confused) Wait, beating someone to death with their own skull? That doesn't seem physically possible.
    Church: (sadly) That's exactly what Jimmy kept screaming.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Often through Caboose, to the point he's just plain ignored most of the time. For instance, during Episode 18:
    Caboose: I have an idea.
    Caboose: (louder) I have an idea!
    Tucker: Yeah, we heard you the first time, Caboose. We were just ignoring you.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Tex has one inside his (or should that be her) armour. Season 2 reveals that the A.I. is called O'Malley, and transferred itself to Caboose upon Tex's death. Lampshaded in Episode 13 in a piece of dialogue that provides the page quote:
    Caboose: "AI"... What's the "A" stand for?
    Church: "Artificial."
    Caboose: (Beat) What's the "I"
    Church: "Intelligence."
    Caboose: Ohhhhhhh... What was the A again?
    Church: ...Let's move on.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Donut asking for new armour. He finally gets it in Episode 16, after getting blown up by Tex, only to find that it's pink.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Tucker lies to hide the fact that they let Tex help after Church explicitly told them not to.
    • Tucker tells Caboose that going through the teleported doesn’t hurt, then admits to Church that it actually hurts a lot. Lampshaded by Caboose.
    Caboose: You lied to me.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Caboose shoots Sarge, who was possessed by Church, in an attempt to help Church.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Caboose's dialogue after Tex is captured.
    "Yep, he's definitely captured... or dead... captured or dead. (gasps) Or captured and dead!"
  • Characterization Marches On: A lot of the characters haven't really clicked yet and haven't really experienced the Flanderization that allowed them to settle into their familiar persons as and character dynamics.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The season, the first few episodes especially, has significantly poorer audio quality than later seasons.
    • The first episode directly references Halo, with Grif complaining about being stuck in the canyon after Master Chief brought down the Covenant on his own. The connection to the source material was quietly downplayed once the series started developing its own mythos (though the series' source material would be later re-visited come Reconstruction).
    • When Vic appears in Episode 10, he's a more stoic character, voiced by Randall Glass of Warthog Jump. Vic's return in Season 2 had him as the quirky and unhelpful Mission Control voiced by Burnie Burns.
    • Sarge is a recurring character who's Put on a Bus for most of the season.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Tex has this near the end of Episode 12, when her voice filter breaks.
    • Also Lopez only being able to speak Spanish.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: Episode Two. It's even the reason why they end up naming the vehicle the "Chupathingy".
    Grif: No, like a puma. It's a big cat, like a lion.
    Sarge: You're making that up.
    • Later in the same episode:
      Sarge: (pointing at the front of the Warthog) Look, see these two two hooks? They look like tusks, and what kind of animal has tusks?
      Grif: A walrus.
      Sarge: Didn't I just tell you to stop making up animals?!
  • Faint in Shock: Simmons in Episode 12, upon seeing a teammate's head blow up. He fervently denies this, but a later flashback confirms it.
    Simmons: Eek! I'm gonna faint!
  • Fun with Subtitles: One of the trailers for the season uses this to hilarious effect. Here it is.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Caboose thinks that shooting Sarge, actually Church in his body, and freeing Tex will make Church become his best friend and forgive the whole team-killing thing.
  • Insistent Terminology: Donut's new armour isn't pink. It's light-ish red.
  • Knife Outline: Tex's introduction, using bullets against a wall, and Caboose as the outline.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: During his Near-Death Experience, Sarge regretted never telling this to Grif... to mess with him one last time.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Tucker and Church think that Donut is the sergeant, and that he stole the blue flag in some kind of sneaky plan, when really Donut got lost and mistook blue base for a store.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Tucker when he contacts command to send reinforcements.
    Tucker: I don't know what the technical military term is for it, but, uh, we're pretty fucked up down here. We need men!
    Vic: Dude, how long have you guys been down there?
  • Near-Death Experience: Sarge has one after being shot through the head by Caboose while possessed by Church. He has a conversation with the "angel" that is Church before being revived.
    • Subverted as of Season 8. Apparently he wasn't half-dead, but in Recovery Mode on his armour, making this Mistaken for Afterlife.
  • Noodle Incident: We never do get to find out what happened in the Vegas Quadrant.
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: could practically be the trope namer.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The DVD had a parody of the FBI warning.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: Discussed and parodied:
    Caboose: I have an idea. ...I HAVE AN IDEA!
    Tucker: Yeah, we heard you the first time, Caboose, we were just ignoring you.
    Caboose: Since you possessed that Red guy, and took control of him, why don't you just possess your own body?
    Church: Oh I see, so that way I would be living inside of my own dead body.
    Caboose: Yes.
    Church: Unable to move, just, laying there, rotting in the sun for all eternity.
    Caboose: Yes.
    Church: Okay, Caboose, I'll be sure to get right on that.
    Caboose: ...I think you are a mean ghost.
  • Robotic Reveal: Lopez is revealed to be this in Episode 16. Grif is humorously slow to catch on, despite obvious signs that would indicate it.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Tex, as revealed in Episode 12.
  • Say My Name: In Episode 9, after the Blues' Scorpion tank AI Sheila gets bombed, the first thing Caboose and Tucker do is shout its name.
  • Snipe Hunt: Grif and Simmons send Donut out for some elbow grease and headlight fluid.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The tank blows up the jeep, and then an airstrike blows up the tank.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The cliffhanger on Episode 9.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Sarge to Simmons in Part 3 about saying what robots love.
  • Wham Line: In Episode 19, the season finale, introducing the Big Bad.

    Season 2 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe with Caboose's mental images of the cast:
    Mental-Tucker: Man, I am so unbelievably stupid!
    Mental-Church: My name is Church, buttwiping assmunch, [...] and I'm Caboose's best friend, so don't get any ideas about kissing up, you limp licking fuck sock!
    Mental-Donut: (female voice) My favorite thing is pretty dresses!
    Mental-Sarge: (pirate accent) Arr, I got termites in me leg!
  • Apologetic Attacker: Lopez when he blows up the Warthog along with Sarge and Simmons in Episode 28:
    Lopez: I'm sorry, father.
  • April Fools' Day: The reason for Episode 28.5, the "Last Episode Ever".
  • Artificial Human: Simmons (or Simmons 2.0) becomes one in Episode 34, when his internal organs (and some of the external ones as well) are donated to a fatally injured Grif and replaced with robot parts to replace Lopez, who has been taken by the Blues.
  • Back from the Dead: Tex as of Episode 29.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: This exchange from Episode 35.
    Tucker: I don't know. I kinda like it. I could get used to calling you Rookie.
    Church: Oh, yea? Could you get used to me beating you to death?
  • Double Agent: Episode 38 reveals that Vic is working for the Blues and the Reds.
  • Dude, Not Ironic: In Episode 38, the majority of the cast has an (off-screen) two-hour discussion about whether or not the situation they found themselves in was ironic. The opening lines to the discussion produce several examples of things which which aren't ironic, including this gem from Caboose:
    Caboose: I think it would be ironic if we were all made of iron.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Caboose has these moments from time to time.
    Tucker: I'm confused, that actually seems like a good idea.
    Church: I know!
    Tucker: ...But Caboose said it!
    Church: I know!
  • Evil Tastes Good: Averted.
    O'Malley/Doc: I will devour their hearts and crap out their souls! They will all taste oblivion!... Which tastes just like Red Bull... Which is disgusting!
  • Foreshadowing: Church is able to understand Sheila and Lopez's letter in "K.I.T. B.F.F." (which is written in binary). On the surface, it just seems like it's Rule of Funny in action, but it makes more sense after Reconstruction would reveal that Church is the Alpha A.I., and so it would be pretty logical for him to be able to read binary.
  • Grand Theft Me: Caboose (and later Doc) getting possessed by O'Malley.
  • Informed Judaism: Somewhat. When we see the gravestones of Church and Tex in Episode 20, one of them has a Star of David. As Word of God says that Church is Jewish, the "Star of David" gravestone was likely for him.
  • Involuntary Group Split/Party Scattering: The Cliffhanger of the season at the end of Episode 38.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Episode 31. Church and Tex enter Caboose's mind to kill O'Malley.
  • Odd Name Out: The two robots Sarge builds for the Blues in Episode 38:
    Sarge: Gentlemen, allow me to introduce... Francisco Montegue Zanzibar! ...And this one over here is Robot #2.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Church attempts this with O'Malley when he and Tex are in Caboose's mind in Episode 33, but fails utterly.
    Church: I've got half a mind to kill you, and the other half agrees!
    • This episode has many of them, almost back to back.
    Church: You're just one big headache, and I got a whole pistol full of aspirin!
    Church: You're about to split... personality!
    Tex: Payback's a bitch, and so am I.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: Episode 28 1/2, aka "The Last Episode Ever."
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Due to e-mail requests and concerns about younger audiences, episodes of the second season had fewer expletives in general, and bleeps over those that made it in. This caused an even larger backlash from people demanding the swearing be put back in. Rooster Teeth, as explained in the second season DVD commentary, responded by introducing Mental-Church, Caboose's mental image of Church, who was deliberately incredibly vulgar, and swore more than any other character. Third season episodes were offered in censored and uncensored versions before the idea of censorship was abandoned.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Used for The Reveal at the end of Episode 29:
    Tex: Well, Buenos dias, cockbites! Guess who's back?
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Most swearing isn't censored, but in one instance, "Son of a..." is cut off by an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
    • Most of the swearing is intact on the episodes shown on Halo Waypoint; however a joke in Episode 20 which probably could be considered particularly offensive was bleeped out.
    Doc: I'm a pacifist.
    Caboose: You're a thing that babies suck on?
    Tucker: No dude, that's a pedophile.
    Church: Tucker, I think he means a pacifier.
  • Split Personality: O'Malley appears to be one to Caboose. This is because O'Malley is actually Tex's AI who transferred to Caboose's armour upon Tex's death at the end of Season 1.
  • Strangely Arousing: Sheila's response to Tex possessing Lopez in Episode 30:
    Sheila: I am confused. I thought your name was López. And I thought you were a man. This is all so strange. I feel like my circuits are crossed... And I like it.
  • Title Drop: In Episode 38, courtesy of Tucker, given seconds before he was blown up by Doc/O'Malley:
    Tucker: I said, there's no Red vs Blue!
  • We Can Rebuild Him: After Tucker runs Grif down with Sheila the Tank, Sarge takes this trope on its side; He fixes Grif by taking body parts from Simmons, and turning Simmons into a cyborg.
  • Wham Line: One of the earliest reveals with major implications for the series as a whole:
    Vic: Oh, hey there Sarge, long time no see, sorry 'bout that I uh, anyway what can we do here for you at Red Command today?

    Season 3 
  • The Antichrist: In Episode 14, Caboose is assumed to be this by the Red Zealot.
    Red Zealot: It's the beast! The anti-flag, come to live among us and rule us for seven years! The end is nigh!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Episode 45.
    O'Malley: I need that computer to compile my evil formulas, and to rebuild the weather machine. Also to download music! Wuhuhahahaha!"
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Tex explains that each Freelancer has a U.S. state for a codename, Donut asks her what state she was. Her response? Nevada.
  • Baa-Bomb: The Blue Team tries calming down a bomb named Andy with imagination therapy. One of the images presented was a flock of sheep. "The kind that don't blow up."
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Sarge and Caboose do this when fighting the Battle Creek Reds and Blues.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Donut's play for explaining why the group is in the future.
  • Bait-and-Switch Time Skip: In episode 39, Grif is locked in a prison cell with Church. By episode 42, he acts like he's an institutionalized long-term convict despite having only been imprisoned for five hours,.
  • Big "NO!": Grif lets one out when he learns that the distress signal Red Team was following has led them back to Blood Gulch.
  • Bound and Gagged: Tex is tied to a tree with rope thicker than most people's arms when captured by O'Malley.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Episode 39, when Donut is talking to Tucker after Doc/O'Malley shot him, and explaining why they can't make him a robot body to ease his pain.
    Donut: We can't! We're out of parts because we overused that joke!
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: Blue Team Captain Butch Flowers explains to Church and Tucker that he will tell them the secret of beating the Reds tomorrow... only to die of an aspirin overdose that night. Though as Season 10 reveals, what Flowers might have been trying to tell Church and Tucker was likely more important than they thought.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Exploited by Tex, who tells Tucker there are hot girls making out behind him to get him to turn around.
  • Gone to the Future: The entire cast, though Church takes a longer time than most. Subverted in The Recollection, when it's revealed that time travel is one of the training exercises, but not a real thing that happens.
  • Human Ladder: Sarge and Caboose form one to see into a high-level window.
  • Hunger Causes Lethargy: Discussed in an episode; when Grif and Church are locked together in a prison cell, Grif wishes that he had some bedsheets. When Church says that there's no point in making a Bedsheet Ladder in a subterranean cell, Grif says the sheets aren't for escape; if he's going to starve to death, he wants to die in his sleep.
  • I Am Not Shazam: A bit of an inversion In-Universe: When Tex explains that every member of Project Freelancer was codenamed for a state, Tucker responds by asking the soldier nicknamed Tex what her codename was. She responds, "Nevada." Plenty of fans believed her, though in their defense the series seemed goofy enough for that to happen, and she delivers the line completely straight.
  • I Can't Do This by Myself: Tex has to rope in the Reds and Blues to carry a bomb for her because she doesn't have the upper body strength in her current body.
  • If I Do Not Return: This, from Episode 39:
    Blue Soldier: Tell my girlfriend that I love her!
    Red Soldier: She's my girlfriend now, bitch!
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    • O'Malley does this during Season 3.
      O'Malley: Prepare for an oblivion for which there is no preparation! [evil laughter]
    • In season 3 episode 9, Tucker tells the Red to hire Tex to get her to help:
      Tucker: Hire her to help you get Lopez back. She'll do anything for money.
      Tex: That's not true.
      Tucker: It's not? I'll give you ten bucks to tear off Grif's arm.
      Tex: Which one's Grif?
  • Inappropriately Close Comrades: A demonstration of exactly why such laws exist:
    Capt. Butch Flowers: Men, your delightful tomfoolery puts a spring in my step and a bounce in my britches. If I weren't your Commanding Officer, I'd pick you both up, give you a big bear hug and make you call me "Daddy".
    Church: Uhh... Thank God for the Chain of Command?
  • Look Behind You: Tex gets Tucker to turn around so she can take his sword by saying there are hot girls making out behind him.
  • Obstructive Zealot: The Red Zealot, the most fanatical and devout of the Battle Creek Grunts to their flag-worshipping religion. He's just not very good at the "obstructive" part.
  • The Quest: Tucker goes on one with the "Great Weapon" (his Laser Blade) at the behest of the Alien, with various "Great" things in parody of "The Great Journey". Subverted in that the only actual quest was to get him pregnant.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Caboose reads his stage directions in Donut's play about how they ended up in the future.
    Caboose: Enter Stage Left. Hello, I am stupid Private Tucker. I am going to set off a big bomb now, and totally mess things up for everyone. Because I am stupid. Turns around. Hello, present. I'm going to set off a bomb in you.
    Grif: Don't do that, stupid Private Tucker. That might kill me.
    Caboose: Thinks about this, for a moment.
    Donut: Caboose, stop reading your stage directions.
    Caboose: You told me I was supposed to read anything with my name in front of it.
    Donut: Just the lines, not the blocking. You're ruining my big debut!
    Caboose: I do not think we are meshing, artistically. I think you should talk to my agent.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Church in Episodes 50-52, failing every time to do anything but create the situations or fail to make any impact at all. With the revelation that the time travel there was a torture scenario in later seasons, however, this is something of an aversion in practice.
  • The Slow Path: In Season 3, Church becomes trapped in the past and must wait until he catches up to the present...which takes about a thousand years. Fortunately, he has a robot body, which still somehow grows a beard. However, it could've been from Gary's deceit, since the whole time loop for Church with the bomb really didn't happen.
  • Stable Time Loop: Episodes 50-52. Subverted. In The Recollection, it's revealed that the entire time loop was just a torture simulation by Gamma. The extra Churchs, however, were due to Gamma's use of the time dilation unit to keep him out of Wyoming's way.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Tucker's sword which he finds in Season 3 ends up being a key in season 4, and sends both him, the alien, and Caboose on a journey to redeem the aliens' race. The quest is really a ruse to get a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong from the Alien for Tucker, but the sword does give him Spanner in the Works Ripple-Proof Memory in Season 5.
  • Throw Away State: Florida. Also a Noodle Incident and Take Our Word for It.
  • Wham Episode: Aside from the finale, "Make Your Time" has the bomb attached to Church blowing up, which ends up sending everyone to the future. The only exception is Church himself, who is sent to the past.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: At one point Church ends up in a body that Sarge had implanted a bomb into. Cue this line from Grif about him when it accidentally gets activated in Episode 41.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In Episode 44. According to Simmons, he has a real knack for multiplying large numbers in his head. He doesn't.
    Grif: What's... 32 times 56?
    Simmons: 31,452.note 
    Sarge: Is that right?
    Simmons: Yes.
    Sarge: That's pretty impressive!
    Simmons: I know. It's a gift.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Church's lesson from his Time Travel, as stated in Episode 52.
    Church: No matter how bad they seem, [things] can't be any better, and they can't be any worse, because that's the way things fuckin' are, and you better get used to it Nancy. Quit yer bitching."
  • You Will Be Spared: When O'Malley and Vic ally to a degree.
    O'Malley: Then the universe will be mine and I'll crush every living soul in to dust, hahaha! Except for you of course Vic. I'll make you Assistant Crusher.
    Vic: Okay, dude, looking forward to that.

    Season 4 
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Grif after Simmons temporarily leaves during his Cassandra Truth where nobody believes that Blue Team has a tank.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Episode 65, Sarge is able to accept Simmons imagining tanks and attacking his own teammates, but draws the line at Simmons painting himself blue.
  • Cassandra Truth: Sheila, a tank, rolls behind Sarge, being watched by Donut, Simmons, and Grif, but he refuses to believe it is there, and the other Reds except Simmons also decide not to say they know. This extends to the point where Sheila is firing at the base after Simmons had his temporary Hazy Feel Turn.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Lopez the robot has his body blown up and spends the season as a disembodied head. Near the end of the season Sarge wants to retrieve a secret message that was hidden in his databanks, Grif asks if the data would actually be in his head, and Sarge cites the logic behind this.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Crunchbite's impregnation of Tucker without the latter's consent or awareness is Played for Laughs.
  • Everybody Knew Already: When Simmons is pretending to be a Blue soldier, Church immediately knows it's him, but pretends not to in order to torment him. Sheila also knows.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: From Episode 65:
    Sarge: I can obviously understand why you'd wanna attack your own base.
    Simmons: You can?
    Sarge: But painting yourself blue? Dear God man, don't you have any shame at all?!
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Simmons temporarily joins the Blues. Church goes along with it because he finds it amusing.
  • Here We Go Again!: Definitely the feeling the Reds get when they find their way to Blood Gulch again.
  • Inanimate Competitor: When Sarge holds a competition to choose his new second-in-command, two of the competitors who are eligible to win are a wrench and a "mysterious skull of unknown origin". Sarge also reserves fourth place for any late entries to the contest who would make better candidates than Grif (who is automatically placed last), such as a "turd or a turd farmer".
  • Insane Troll Logic: Pretty standard for Caboose.
    • For example, this exchange:
    Caboose: Oh, oh, oh, I hope we meet a cleric along the way! None of us knows how to heal.
    Honk-Honk the Alien: Blarg?
    Andy (translating): He says he’s a healer.
    Caboose: Oh, good.
    Andy: Heh heh, not really. They eat their wounded, heh heh heh.
    Caboose: Just like chiropractors.
    • Which is followed shortly by this:
    Caboose: Okay, so, um, Tucker is a fighter, Crunchbite is the healer, and I am the powerful - and intelligent - wizard, Morphumax!
    Andy: What the hell does that make me?
    Caboose: You’re the good looking and stealthy archer.
    Andy: A bow and arrow? I don’t have any hands, you freakin' moron!
    Caboose: That is what makes you so stealthy. This is going to be the best party ever.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Said by O'Malley:
    (gunshot whizzes right past his ear)
    O'Malley: ...Now, suddenly it's too loud. I preferred it when it was quiet.
  • Mister Seahorse: Tucker, via alien impregnation.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Aside from Lopez's typical Babelfish Spanish, we have Donut's high school Spanish in Episode 75.
    "Lopez, do you know what time it is? I am going to the beach with my cousin who likes to play tennis. I ate a pencil. Adios!
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In Episode 62, Simmons tries to convince Sheila that she was supposed to protect Blue Base against "space pirate cowboy monkey ninjas" who were trying to round up some cattle.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": During Episode 74, Simmons regains entry to Red Base by guessing Grif's password, which is "password". Simmons suggests that Grif's new password be 2dumb2live.
    Sarge: Gentlemen. They know the code word. There's nothin' we can do.
    Grif: Everybody knows our code words!
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In Episode 76.
    Sarge: Or my personal favorite: You just got Sarged.
  • Stealth Pun: Once Simmons discusses his shyness, there is an implication that he hasn't gone to the bathroom in three years. Toilet Humor, sure, but then you realize that it's the show telling us that Simmons is indeed full of shit.
  • Right Behind Me: Inverted when Church is telling Tex why he’s surprised she’s not joining Tucker on his quest and he realizes she’s not standing behind him anymore.
    Church: You’re gone, aren’t you?
  • Worth It: Episode 59.
    Tex: Alright screw it. You guys get behind me, and stay tight.
    Tucker: Bow Chika Bow Wow!
    Tex: ...Never mind, Tucker's in front.
    Tucker: Meh, it was worth it.

    Season 5 
  • Achievements in Ignorance: While chasing O'Malley in Caboose's head in Episode 100, Church manages to achieve on Caboose's ignorance.
    Church: Alright "Tucker", quick. I need you to jump out there and kill 'em with your sword. If they die in here, they get forced out of Caboose's head.
    Caboose!Tucker: No way, that sounds scary! You do it! I want to get back to my day smelling butts.
    Church: Dude, I can't! Your sword only works for- Wait a minute. (Beat) There's no possible way he understands that. Fuck it, give me the sword!
  • And the Adventure Continues: After all they went through - all the crazy things that happened, the people who died, everything - life was going to go on, the same way it had before.
  • And Then What?: Church asks this in Episode 100:
    Church: Well what about after? You think Omega's just gonna stop after he gets a whole species for an army? He's gonna take over everything Tex, and you're not gonna be able to stop him!
  • Back for the Dead: The aliens revive Butch Flowers only for him to be infected by Omega shortly after. He also gets killed again (though for good this time) in "Why Where We Here?".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tex betrays the others and tries to help Wyoming and Omega escape with the alien. Instead she, and about a third of the speaking parts in the show, are seemingly killed in a massive explosion. Omega's plot is thwarted (saving the Milky Way), but Church is left embittered and everything that's happened seems to have been for nothing. On the plus side, Grif finally gets shotgun!
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Doc delivers this:
    Doc: Tucker's kid drank half a gallon in one go! Isn't that cool? I think he is gonna be a linebacker. Or a vampire. Or a vampire linebacker!
  • Buried Alive: Sarge allows this to happen to himself in Episode 83 when his dedication to Red Command orders causes him to think he's been killed in action.
  • Call-Back: When the Blues take control of Red Base (Because the Reds are underground), Church notes that the Blue Team now has...two bases in the middle of a box canyon, to which Tucker adds, "Whoop-dee-fucking-doo", which was basically Simmons' assessment of their "war" in Season 1.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In episode 100, the Reds decide to destroy the Pelican, but aren't sure how. Simmons points out that Andy the bomb was with Lopez in the caves, only for Sarge to realize they can ask Lopez.
    Sarge: Simmons! Where can we get some explosives?
    Simmons: Well, if you recall, we recently saw Andy the bomb and Lopez in one of the caves, so—
    Sarge: Of course! Come on, men! Let's go ask Lopez if he knows where we can find some explosives!
    Simmons: (sigh) Excellent plan, sir.
  • Didn't Think This Through: According to Agent Wyoming, Project Freelancer's plan to end the Great War is a ridiculously convoluted case of Xanatos Speed Chess ultimately culminating in them infecting Junior with Omega and giving him Tucker's sword, with him then fulfilling a supposed ancient prophecy within the Covenant and having them stop their war with the UNSC. However, even ignoring how absurdly complex this plan is and how easily it would fall apart when put into practice, Church points out that even if the plan actually works, all it would result in is giving the Anthropomorphic Personification of Unstoppable Rage a Proud Warrior Race to ravage the Milky Way with at their leisure.
  • Downer Ending: Sort of... see Multiple Endings.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Subverted in Episode 81. Sister knows it and tries using it early on, but the others don't understand her, with Church even citing it as outdated.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Though it's for sympathetic reasons, Tex turns against the Blues and tries to help O'Malley conquer the galaxy in "Why Were We Here?".
  • Fan Fiction: Apparently, Donut has written some of Harry Potter. It involves a bartender and a sailor.
  • Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: While conducting a physical exam on Sister, Doc comments positively on her flexibility, which gets the attention of Chivalrous Pervert Tucker who's listening in on the exam.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The fact that Church wasn't affected by O'Malley possessing him is strange until you realize in hindsight that it just was a case of an A.I. fragment returning to its origin.
    • Also, Grif's sister being alive even though the teams got "sent to the future." They never time-traveled at all, it was just a scenario concocted by Project Freelancer.
    • Tucker explaining that Junior going "bow chicka bow wow" is genetic. While seemingly being a Shared Family Quirks joke, it ultimately hints at the plan to have Junior fulfill the alien prophecy and become the aliens' overlord, as his genes inherited from Tucker allows him to be the only other person in existence to be able to use the sword.
  • Hanlon's Razor: When Tex is told that O'Malley is "inside Blue leader", she accuses Church of hosting the A.I. and mentions several of his more questionable decisions as evidence that he is sabotaging Blue Team's efforts. Church replies that making those choices doesn't make him evil, just a bad leader.
  • Have You Tried Rebooting?: The Blues try this on Sheila due to her erratic behavior. They also tried it to Caboose's armor once, which probably didn't help his mental state.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Tucker impales Wyoming with his energy sword in Episode 98.
  • Killed Off for Real: How Wyoming is able to be permanently killed in "Same Old, Same Old" and "Repent, the End is Near" - After Tucker stabs the "present" Wyoming and Sheila locks Gary/Gamma behind a firewall on the Pelican, the other Wyomings aren't able to have their Temporal Distortion units work and so any deaths they suffer are permanent.
  • Kill 'Em All: The first alternate ending results in every single character dead.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Jenkins, the additional Blue from an alternate ending, comes from the Jenkins 2.0 font used for the series' logo and title cards of the period.
  • Mangled Catch Phrase: Caboose in Episode 99.
    Caboose: Hey chicka bum bum!
    Tucker: Caboose! What did I tell you about that?!
  • Multiple Endings: In addition to the canonical ending, there are six alternate endings to Episode 100, "Why Were We Here?" (two were on concurrent downloads along with the official one, the others in the home video). All of them are Black Comedy-laden Downer Endings of some shade excluding "Insert Quarter" (which is more of a Gainax Ending than anything else) and (depending on which character is your favorite) "Where Are They Now?".
    • "Fight! Fight!": A poorly timed comment from Sarge prompts a free-for-all that ends with everyone dead.
    • "Insert Quarter": Sarge tries to call for support from Command, and when Vic proves uncooperative, Sarge destroys the computers controlling Blood Gulch, which then proclaim him the winner of "Red Vs Blue", the Japanese credits for which then roll. The episode then cuts to a Halo 2 postgame screen with the kill/death stats of the eight major characters throughout the series (Caboose's kills are at -1 because a teamkill subtracts from your score, Tex's kill count is at Halo 2's maximum of 99, etc.), revealing the whole thing as "the weirdest [death]match [they]'ve ever played". After some Xbox Live-style banter (which really makes it unclear whether it's the characters talking or just the creators using their handles in a game), they decide to play another match with "same teams" but a "new map".
    • "Invasion": Starts the same way as "Fight! Fight!" but before Sarge can finish mocking the Blues, he is blasted by a Banshee. Everyone is killed by the invading Sangheili, who then proceed to take over both of the bases and act out the events of Episode 1.
    • "Ruby Slippers": It's revealed that the entire series was a dream being had by Church back during Season 1, having only been knocked unconscious by Sheila's cannon fire. He describes his dream to a genuinely concerned Tucker, a remarkably lucid and sane-sounding Caboose, and Jenkins, who he apparently forgot about, before Simmons and Grif show up. Church tries to speak to them about the events of his dream, but they just hose the Blues down with machine gun fire, killing them all. The Reds (complete with Sarge's original, nasally voice) then prepare to move on to the next zone.
    • "Tex Wins": When Church screams for Tex to come back, the ship turns around (with Andy presumably having been deactivated). The ship then fires a missile at the Blood Gulch soldiers, killing them all.
    • "Where Are They Now?": The death scenes from "Fight! Fight!" play in sequence, but as each character is killed, a short caption comes up, revealing a strange future for each.
  • Multitasked Conversation: In Episode 88, before Sarge and Donut find Grif and Simmons after they fall into the cave beneath Blood Gulch, Sarge communicates with Simmons via their helmet radios. Donut's radio is broken, so he is completely unaware Sarge isn't talking to him.
  • Noodle Implements: According to Episode 100, "Emergency Plan Traitorous Simmons Number 11" involves a steamroller.
  • Obviously Not Fine: In "You Can't Park Here", Doc has Caboose feed Tucker's baby alien a lot of his blood, which causes Caboose to collapse from loss of blood. Come "Sibling Arrivalries", Church tries to get reinforcements to fight the Reds, with Doc telling him Caboose is now fine as the latter runs outside Blue Base, only for him to collapse yet again.
    Caboose: I'm okay! I'm okay! (collapses to the ground) I'm not okay!]
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: When Wyoming's clone-army is about to kill the Blues, Grif gleefully points out that the Reds don't have to do a thing to win except watch. Sarge, of course, is not nearly so happy to let someone else defeat his enemy, and so leads the Reds in the Warthog to save the Blues.
  • Papa Wolf: A good indicator of Tucker's future Character Development and him later Taking A Level In Kindness is how quickly he starts to dote on and care for Junior (well, at least in his own way). Most notably, he kills a Freelancer once he learns that they plan to kidnap his son and have him possessed by an insane A.I..
  • Precision F-Strike: Sarge gives only one F-bomb out of the first five seasons, in Episode 92.
    Simmons: Sarge, I'm not sure Grif knows what he's talking about.
    Sarge: Grif doesn't know what he's talking about, eh? Stop the fuckin' presses.
  • The Reveal: Most of the season is spent trying to locate O'Malley after he jumps from Doc until he turns out in "The Wrong Crowd" to have infected a resurrected Captain Butch Flowers.
  • Riddle for the Ages: We never learn who assassinated Captain Flowers in "Why Were We Here?". However, we would eventually get an answer 11 seasons later in The Shisno Paradox, with it being due to a time-traveling Tucker accidentally screwing up with his Sniper Rifle.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: In Episode 98, when the Reds are in control of Blue Base due mostly to the Blues having more important troubles.
    Simmons: A Blue got killed by their own tank? Man, I just had the weirdest sense of déjà vu.
    Grif: Hehey, speaking of getting tanked, we should see if the Blues have any beer around here.
    Sarge: Hey-o!
  • Series Fauxnale: Episode 100 "Why Were We Here?", the Grand Finale of The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
  • Shot in the Ass: Tex in Episode 94, due to Tucker not knowing how to handle a Sniper Rifle. He blames it on Church.
  • Spanner in the Works: Tucker and Sarge in the finale. To elaborate, Tucker's acquisition of the energy sword gave him the ability to remember events from alternate timelines created by Wyoming's temporal device and kill him. Sarge then leaves a bomb in the Pelican simply to kill the Blues, and in the process stops Omega's plan to conquer the universe.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: "Why Were We Here?". Tex performs a Face–Heel Turn and reunites with O'Malley to help stop the Great War with Junior, but she, Sheila (who was downloaded aboard Sister's Pelican that she was using), and Junior are all blown up by Andy, killing off a large portion of the series' cast and making it so that Church's desperate struggle to save his girlfriend throughout the whole series was utterly pointless.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The aptly-named "Where Are They Now?" ending to "Why Were We Here" reveals a strange potential future for each of the Reds and Blues.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Episode 98 ("Same Old, Same Old") is a loose one to Marathon Infinity. To further clarify, both stories center around a character looping space-time to save the universe (in their eyes, at least) from hostile aliens. The difference of course is that the time-looping character in Red vs Blue (Wyoming) is the antagonist rather than the protagonist, as they were in Infinity.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Episode 100 has a rare instance of winning by doing nothing out of pure abject laziness. During the events of the episode the rogue, homicidal AI Omega jumps from person to person due to its ability to Body Surf through radios, but can be forced out of someone either by the AI's choice or by knocking out the host. For the Red Team hosts, they get punched in the head; first Simmons (repeatedly), then Donut, then Sarge. When O'Malley finally infects Grif, he is the only Red to not get beat up by Tex when he notes that he suddenly has an urge to conquer the universe, but that it's out of character for him because that would take work. His response is to not do anything at all...whereupon he promptly falls asleep standing up. Omega either can't wake Grif up or is so disgusted by his laziness that he abandons Grif altogether to jump to another host.
  • The Woobie: Donut becomes an in-universe example when the other characters briefly believe him dead and spend some time lamenting their deep affection for him. Even Church admits to having liked him. Church doesn't like anyone! invoked
  • You Didn't Ask: Lampshaded when Simmons discovers that Sister is actually meant to join up with the Blues.
    Simmons: Oh my god, what's wrong with you? Why didn't you tell us you were a Blue?
    Sister: Because—
    Sister: But nobody did ask!
    Simmons: Goddammit!

It's Red versus Red and Blue versus Blue. It's I against I and me against you.

Video Example(s):


Look, hot chicks!

Tex tricks Tucker into turning around so she can knock him out and steal his energy sword by telling him there are hot girls making out behind him. Even knowing that it's almost definitely a trap, he can't resist checking.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / LookBehindYou

Media sources: