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Roleplay / Airlocked Round One

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"Better to live than to survive."
-Xander

Tropes from round one of Airlocked and its intermission. Please note that the intermission section treats the ending twist to Round One as a Late-Arrival Spoiler, as the remainder of the series cannot be discussed without it.


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    Round 1 
  • Ain't No Rule: Max reveals that he painted and hid so many clowns because there was a rule against attacking the Season 1 Overseers, but not against exploiting coulrophobia to antagonize one.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Yurika mentions ancient alien structures from a memory she regained out of context, and Jane assumes she means on Earth and starts thinking about this.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The survivor pool commandeers the ship that their stasis pods were being kept on, renames it the Temerity, and goes to track down their friends.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Part of Lightning's catgirl costume.
  • Answers to the Name of God: When Xander says "gods" in awe at the Doctor's holodeck creation, the Doctor responds "no, just me."
  • Antagonist in Mourning: C.E.C.E. being upset at Bolton's death is the first hint that she's not really all that evil.
  • Appeal to Obscurity: In the intro log, Seth lists off places, people, and things from his world and asks if anyone else would know them. Expecting a no, he follows up by declaring this proof that they're all from different worlds.
  • April Fools' Day: The final trial began on April Fool's, and a good way through it, one of the moderators made an "accidental early mastermind reveal" that made no in-universe sense, revealing it as a joke shortly after.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Doctor has this all the time. Togami lampshades the trope as well by asking why Jane doesn't expect him to believe her about her vegetables getting stolen when they've both seen plenty of hard-to-believe things right on the space station.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Doctor dislikes Seth because he's a Mad Scientist, he looks suspicious when someone's died, and his profile contains a spelling mistake.
  • Ascended Meme: The "Tiny Car" item being renamed "Christine Junior," its Fan Nickname.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: The station itself and the uniforms, until people start getting into the art supplies, anyway.
  • Awful Truth: Many of the characters this round have these in their memories. It causes Heroic BSODs fairly regularly, inspired the third murder, and even if a character hasn't remembered one, they'll start to imagine it, as with Xander. Thomasin's memories in particular are a Trauma Conga Line.
  • Background Music Override: In true Super Robot Wars fashion, Yurika does this during the fifth trial when Lightning tells her to keep up the group's hope.
  • Badass Family: It's often joked in OOC text that, by Fire Emblem rules, Xander and Lightning will end up with a child with Game-Breaker stats.
  • Bag of Spilling: When the survivors awaken in the real world, everyone loses their entire inventory, though those who made rolls that day still get their new stuff. After the final test, they get all their stuff back and more, though.
  • Banging Pots and Pans: Bolton does this to annoy McBurn awake.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Xander wonders if this might be the case, being separated from his home so long. McBurn agrees and stabs himself just before he gets thrown out the airlock.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Deadland is plagued with giant centipedes of increasing size.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: If Xander and Lightning in the Week 5 party doesn't count, their kiss in that week's trial before Lightning dies definitely does.
  • Birds of a Feather: Margulis and McBurn look like an example of Opposites Attract, but behind their carefully crafted images of a strait-laced professional and a Lazy Bum are two people who love a challenge, share an interest in pain, and keep accidentally making innocent conversation sound dirty.
  • Bizarre Instrument: One of the standard gift items is an otamatone.
  • Blackmail: C.E.C.E. breaks out a secrets motive when Jamie and Bolton give the Champions one too many breaks.
  • Blanket Fort: Jane builds a huge one to hold a meeting in. Max also built one in the surf shack.
  • Break the Haughty: Natsuhi's memory regains do this over time, and while Togami keeps himself together better, it seems to be wearing on him, too.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: After trying to cover for Jamie in Week 4 and screwing it up, Bolton is clearly sleeping on the couch. The Champions can all tell how awkward the situation is even if they don't know what caused it. The two of them reconcile the next week.
  • Bridal Carry: Xander effortlessly lifts Thomasin to keep her from breaking something in her rage at the third motive.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Subverted as Kurumi imagines herself and Xander in this dynamic, but her crush is unrequited and Xander ends up with someone even more gloomy and hard-line than he is.
  • Bury Your Gays: While straight ships get killed off too, the same-sex player ships were killed, both times one at the hands of the other, before anything happened to a het ship, and then it turned out that the NPC gay ship didn't have immunity either.
  • Cargo Ship: Parodied with the In-Universe fan who insists that Natsuhi/Stabby is a valid pairing.
  • The Cat Came Back: Ricky and Kurumi try to get rid of a toy car they dub "Christine Junior" after reading Christine and getting freaked out. So far, they've simply been gifted with a new one whenever the old one is tossed in the trash. Many times.
  • Catgirl: One of Lightning's regains is a skimpy catgirl costume. Xander ends up with it.
  • Central Theme: It may be noble to put The Needs of the Many over your own, but throwing the people you love under the bus to do so just turns the pain into a cycle.
  • Cherry Blossoms: They're all over the park that Jamie programmed into the holodeck, which is a recreation of something from home. Xander notes that he's never seen these trees outside of a battlefield before.
  • Comfort Food: A lot of the diner's fare, for most people (though Natsuhi and Togami are too rich for "nasty additives" and hate the place).
  • Companion Cube: Stabby and the Roomba Cats, a clowder of robot vacuum cleaners. One, armed with a knife, is called "Stabby" and given to Natsuhi, the others are outfitted with fake cat ears and take the place of real cats in a cat cafe.
    • Christine Junior would be this, but is more of a companion pest considering Ricky's and Kurumi's many attempts to get rid of it.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: Thomasin gets Xander out in the dodgeball game while he's focused on Jane.
  • Crappy Carnival: Deadland has an abandoned fairground, and while most of its suckiness is because it's been abandoned and left to decay, Max says it was a cheap tourist trap with rigged carnival games even in life.
  • Dead Partner: Chitanda becomes this to Jane, who survives while Chitanda dies not long after the two of them established a partnership as amateur detectives.
  • Defacement Insult: Seth draws detailed portraits of the Champions, only to deface them in ways reminiscent of how they died. He calls it an incentive not to kill, though it's clear he's just enjoying how horrified and offended the dead's surviving friends are.
  • Desecrating the Dead: The fake hanging in case 2, and while it doesn't involve actual corpses, Seth's vandalized paintings of the dead evoke this.
  • Destroy the Evidence: The second culprit rips up his attempts to copy his victim's handwriting and hides them in the bedroom.
    • The third culprit disposed of some evidence in the trash compactor. One piece was a partially burned unitard.
    • In weeks 5 and 6, the culprits disposed of evidence in the incinerator.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: The second culprit's evil gloating is full of this in his trial, laughing at the notion that he really cared about anything or anyone like he would imply to get people off his back.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: Thomasin is so grossed out (or at least unsure) at a port-a-potty that she digs a trench in the garden to go there instead.
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: The second "motive" is actually a fun dodgeball game. "Fun" being subjective, since it becomes Serious Business to a lot of the characters who either want to use it as a way to learn to work as a team or just want to make someone on the other side suffer.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Thomasin snaps this at Xander when she talks about how badly her life ended up.
  • Dressed to Plunder: One of Xander's regains is a fancy pirate costume. Lightning ends up with it.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Xander skips the third afterparty to do this after having steeled his nerves to implicate Lightning, even though he's starting to fall for her — and being wrong and chewed out by her before the real culprit was outed.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Nobody here has had a particularly easy time before they got here, even the rich and powerful ones.
    Shadow: I imagine one might not be a Champion if their life was simple.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Starting off the tradition, Kip appears at the end of the round. C.E.C.E. also foreshadows the existence of Tolresch and Bur by mentioning a close pair that live off special rays and tree bark, and Rad appears during the dead intermission but is only introduced in Round 2.
  • Egg Sitting: For one sabotage, Togami has to look after an annoying robotic baby. He just turns it off.
  • Embarrassing Animal Suit: Seth has to wear a gorilla suit for a sabotage once. Yurika later regains a bunny suit, but she isn't embarrassed by it.
  • Everybody Lives: Complete with a reference to (and by) the Trope Namer. While Bolton is still murdered, during the ensuing trial, the Champions' rioting and Jamie's advanced PIP manage to rescue both Xander and the rest of the group in Week 6.
  • Everyone Can See It: Lightning and Xander are the last to acknowledge that they're in love.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Margulis booby-traps his trunk and covers Shadow in glitter. The poor hedgehog is covered in the stuff for days, though showering removes most of it. Later, there's another glitter trap on the incinerator to catch would-be killers. During case 4, glitter on a shoe exposes the culprit. Finally, during case 5, a glitter round gets thrown at Natsuhi, causing her to be covered in glitter.
  • Exact Words: C.E.C.E. announces the sixth motive by saying that they're granting a request to leave everyone alone. It's a lockdown motive, and the PIPs shut down.
    • Xander also suspects that Jamie telling him that "Nohr is at peace" means "because Xander is dead."
    • A meta-example that got immortalized in the evidence list for case 5: "Ricky's probably in the diner and doesn't know what's happening," said by a victim's player to account for his character's whereabouts early in the investigation.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Jamie throughout Week 4, as he's pretending to be fine and everyone is pretty sure he's not.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Rukia. Even her MTB is set to slow music and not much of a battle at all, just her walking the others through what happened.
  • Failures on Ice: Lightning gets a sabotage that's this with roller skates. She ends up figuring them out, though.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: References to different versions of Beauty and the Beast abound, with the Flower Motifs (specifically, having multiple characters associated with roses) tying into it as well.
  • Fanservice: The Week 4 sabotages put Xander in a speedo and bind his arms. It's described as "for the greater good."
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The survivor pool is this. Sure, they still have their problems, but most of them get over it at least temporarily to stand together, and only Natsuhi refuses to "lower" herself to wearing a Temerity shirt.
  • First Gray Hair: Xander gets teased about this.
  • First-Name Basis: Jane considers dropping the "Mister" before Xander's name late in the game, but decides only to do it when she's cross with him. Around the same time, the Doctor had usually kept his distance from the Overseers, but starts using nicknames like "Jimmy-boy" for Jamie after learning the truth about them. He figures out that using Jamie's real name probably reminded him of the abuse inherent in a Soul-Sucking Retail Job.
  • Fish out of Water: Most of the Champions have never been to space. Margulis theorizes that so many of those were selected so they'd be more likely to miss home and give in to the motives.
  • Flipping the Bird: Seth gives McBurn "a rather rude hand sign" during dodgeball. McBurn also gives one to Bolton during case 3's trial.
  • Foil: Xander and Togami are this to each other. Both are aristocrats with a brutal side thanks to competing with a ridiculous number of half-siblings in the past, but Xander is a friendly team leader and Togami is an Ineffectual Loner, both hiding their pain in different ways.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Seth names a giant killer bug "Cleo."
  • Foreign Queasine: Xander and Ricky treat octopus this way. Xander is even repulsed by the idea of "octopus-style" sausages before he has it explained to him that they're just beef cut to look like little octopi.
  • Foreshadowing: An unintentional example when Margulis arrives in deadland. Margulis tells the Griffin which fellow Champions he thinks will ensure the whole group's survival if they live. While no one, OOC or IC, knew it at the time, Margulis gets his wish; Xander and Yurika both make survivor pool.
  • For Your Own Good: Whenever the Overseers use the PIP to punish someone, like shocking them or damping their powers, it comes with a side of this.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Lightning is the Cynic, Yurika the Optimist, Xander the Realist, Seth the Apathetic, and Jane is the Conflicted. Others tend to describe their philosophies in relation to one or more of these people, who are the strongest examples of them. Fittingly, the three closest to the cynical end of the scale each kill someone.
  • Frames of Reference: Jane has oval glasses and she's more approachable, Togami's are sharp rectangles and he's an analytical jerk, Natsuhi never wears hers even if she needs them because she wants to keep up appearances (but changes her mind and gladly wears them when they finally show up), Seth's are thin with only one working eye because he's creepy, McBurn was foreshadowed as more messed-up than his lazy facade would suggest when his glasses were broken, and Bolton not being evil after all is foreshadowed by having rounded square glasses.
  • From a Certain Point of View: Everything that Max tells the dead about Temerity, since he still doesn't trust them fully and he knows they don't trust Bolton, is true of Temerity the tabletop character, not Bolton, the person Max would know is using her name.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Xander makes a one-off comment that the uniform supplied offers so little protection, they might as well be fighting in the nude. He and McBurn then joke that maybe they should attack the Overseers naked.
  • Greasy Spoon: There's an out-of-place diner on the second floor that quickly becomes very popular.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: We find out that Bolton and Jamie were very occupied in their year on the space station around the same time that we find out that they're not the villains they seem to be.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The dead have an early quest to find all of Max's paintings.
  • Groin Attack: Lightning notes that, during the dodgeball motive, headshots may have been banned, but this was not.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: As a Student and Master Team, Jane and Lightning invert the usual stereotypes of their hair colours. Jane is the lovable innocent and Lightning the hard-nosed, detached one.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: Starts happening when the PIPs get messed with late in the game. The holodeck gets rid of any custom settings and only shows deadland, and while they don't cause lasting damage, the sims will still inflict pain.
  • Humiliation Conga: Togami gets no less than three sabotage challenges inflicted on him at once during the second week.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: McBurn and Margulis shoot these at each other in the dodgeball game, every single one of them by accident.
  • Icon of Rebellion: The red flower is Temerity's symbol, and they call on any Champion who wants to support their ambiguous agenda to paint it on their doors.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: While real-life players and viewers use pairingsmush, in-universe, the audience has ship names like "Stormy Knight" (Xanlight) and "Tiny Car" (Kurumi/Ricky).
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Lightning feels like this about Chitanda after she had decided to prioritize saving only her and Chitanda still died first. Yurika does later when Kurumi kills Ricky with a boon Yurika sent her, though Xander says it would have happened anyway; she starts to wear the Nadesico's master key on a cord around her neck, reminiscent of the murder weapon, to remind herself.
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: The reason Xander and Lightning's initial Love Confession doesn't outright say either loves the other. Both are very serious about their responsibilities and fear that they can't be together anyway. However, they manage it later.
  • Improbable Food Budget: Temerity actually calls attention to this, urging the Champions to question the space station's supply lines.
  • Innocent Innuendo: McBurn and Margulis both do this a lot, especially at each other.
  • Interface Screw: During the lockdown motive, the profiles, map, and rules pages are locked, since the PIPs are deactivated.
  • In-Universe Catharsis: The gym is very popular simply because people can throw balls and beat on the punching bag to try and get past their problems. It's a lot less popular when two bodies in a row are found there, though. The dodgeball room becomes similar for Jane at her Week 4 memory regain and Margulis uses deadland's ball toss similarly in Week 5.
  • In Vino Veritas: McBurn decides that the best time for a Love Confession is when he's too drunk to stand.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Jane at the third afterparty, when despair has been weighing on her for weeks. She gets an even worse case when she remembers her resurrection powers.
  • Item Get!: Parodied when people try to pick up items in the holodeck.
    * You got the Holographic Cherry Blossom!
    A good memory made tangible. It might bring you luck, if you could take it out of the holodeck with you.
    ATK: 0 DEF: 5
  • It's All My Fault: Ricky after the first culprit's confession, not that Kurumi helped anything.
  • It's Personal: Many of the Champions take Seth's paintings hard and bear grudges against him for it. Lightning directs her team to make him pay for it in the dodgeball game.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Angelica shows up to the dodgeball game in a frilly dress and promptly starts wreaking havoc on the field.
  • Kill It with Fire: Done to Seth's paintings when Margulis suspects he cursed them, though Shadow keeps his own for a while.
  • Kill the Cutie: In the very first case, after everyone in- and out-of-universe has gotten attached to the sweet and adorable Chitanda. The chorus of "did we just trigger the bad end in Week 1?" wasn't entirely exaggerating.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: When Kurumi wants to kill to try and save her secret from getting out, she targets Ricky, her closest CR. Lightning finds them, fails to save Ricky, and sees Kurumi's nerves get her when she tries to kill herself too. Fearing Kurumi being Thrown Out the Airlock, Lightning kills Kurumi to be executed in her place.
    • McBurn and Margulis could technically count, even if there was no confession between them. Not like anyone actually believed their denials of being in love anyhow.
  • Kung-Shui: The Duel to the Death in case 3 utterly wrecks the gymnasium.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Yurika's Moment Killer tendencies usually end up with her walking in on people she assumes are on a date, saying she's going to do this, and running away.
  • Living Toys: Christine Junior isn't really this, but her reluctant serial owners imagine her as the offspring of Homicide Machines.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Seth exploits this by getting close to the unsociable Angelica before killing her, presuming less risk than if he'd killed somebody a lot of people got along with.
  • Love Confession: Xander and Lightning in Week 5. In the same week, Kurumi confesses to Ricky... just before killing her. Kurumi then tries to kill herself, is killed by Lightning, and no ship makes it out alive.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Lightning gets a shield as a boon.
  • Masochist's Meal: Anything Margulis cooks, due to his love of Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce.
  • Meaningful Rename: After Case 5 kills off the characters the car was haunting, the "Tiny Car" item is officially renamed in the Benefactors' Hold (where new inventory items are distributed) to its Fan Nickname, "Christine Junior."
  • Monster Clown: The space station has a room filled with Non-Ironic Clown paintings that are nonetheless there to freak people out.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Lightning finally stops Thomasin from hurting herself or anything else at the third motive by asking if Thomasin's brother, whom she'd just remembered was dead, would have wanted anything to happen to her.
  • Mister Seahorse: While none of the guys actually get pregnant, Xander investigates his PIP and finds the health tracker functions, looking through all of them — including the pregnancy test.
  • Mole in Charge: Xander was intended to be this. When he grew to love the others and refused his initial motive, though, the mysterious E.P. forced him to act by threatening them.
  • Mood Dissonance: Seth is delighted to be kidnapped to another dimension. The Doctor is weirded out by this and sarcastically asked if Seth had Jury Duty he wanted to ditch.
  • Mundane Luxury: Toilets, for Ricky. Also several people react to the diner that appears in Week 2 this way.
  • Murder by Cremation: The incinerator is specifically noted as large enough for a body, though no one dies this way.
  • Murder by Mistake: According to the first culprit, Chitanda wasn't the actual intended victim of his murder attempt.
  • Murder Tropes
  • Musical Spoiler: The choice of music for the MTB in case 3 actually was the music that played when McBurn's demon form was revealed in his canon, hinting at the fact that a reveal was going to happen before the trial ended. Interestingly, the scene that reveal happened in was a duel with a character who shares Margulis' English voice actor.
  • My Eyes Are Leaking: C.E.C.E. refers to crying as "leaking from the face," since she's an AI made to passively watch people break and isn't great for emotional support.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Bolton has to tell himself this to keep from staring at Xander in his Speedo.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Xander wakes up and immediately says this to himself at his first memory regain.
  • Naked People Are Funny: After an embarrassing second death in deadland, McBurn respawns butt naked on the beach.
  • The Needless: The dead are this until they discover the truth about themselves.
  • The Needs of the Many: All but the second culprit have ended up killing to try to save many more people than the few still alive on the station. Technically, Lightning only wanted to spare Kurumi by killing her, but Kurumi still killed Ricky to protect her friends at home and didn't want to sacrifice the rest of the station either.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Jane fixates on this as she sinks into despair after the first murder.
  • Non Human Lover Reveal: Every PC couple has one of these.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Yurika catches McBurn and Margulis sneaking out of a locked private study room and bolts before they can explain that nothing was going on.
  • Nuke 'em: Jane suggests that the Champions do this to the leftover Togami/Jane merchandise.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: While it's all pretty normal, Togami sees the snacks and diner food as this, complaining about the preservatives.
  • Ominous Fog: During the Holodeck Malfunction, this is part of the only setting the holodeck will show. It's actually deadland, but the fog dissipates at the end of the round.
  • Only in Florida: Joked in-game to be the reason that deadland is a run-down replica of the Floridian tourist town Max called home.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: In lieu of a mastermind trial, this round has a quiz on the evidence gathered in the final investigation, because the staff is already gone and C.E.C.E. wants to free the Champions and show them the truth.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Some once-locked doors in deadland have been kicked open.
  • Out with a Bang: While none of the murders are this, McBurn respawns in deadland after an accident with Margulis that's heavily implied, and player-confirmed, to be of this nature.
  • Parental Substitute: Despite their being a bit young to be her actual parents, Jane sees Lightning and Xander as this over time.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The Doctor tries multiple stock passwords, "swordfish" included, to try and access the Master Computer. A working example is also found in deadland with a password found in the picture frame next to the computer.
  • Pet the Dog: Angelica offering Ricky a pot lid shield and advice on defending herself, especially since Angelica is usually such a jerk.
    • Bolton comforts Thomasin after she has a panic attack.
    • Togami telling Jane not to lose hope, though she doesn't take it at face value and lashes out at him.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: The second motive inverts this, offering to let the winning Champion contact any loved one, including the dead.
  • Playing with Fire: The round's most common nerfed superpower by far.
  • Plenty of Blondes: Angelica, Ricky, Xander, Togami, Chanel, Thomasin, and maybe Bolton. So is McBurn when he transforms.
  • Plot Allergy: Xander speculates that Bolton's avoidance of peanuts is this rather than personal preference. Averted, since Bolton simply tells McBurn that he doesn't like them, not that he's allergic. He is lactose intolerant, though.
  • Plot-Sensitive Snooping Skills: Deadland narration flat-out tells McBurn, when he tries to break into the lighthouse, that he hasn't tripped the right event flags for that yet.
  • Poke the Poodle: Alignment-inverted when Jane engages in petty, pointless acts of rebellion like stealing dice from the game room.
  • Precious Puppies: Wilson, Max's plush dog, which he talks to. There's even merchandise of him in-universe.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jane when voting for the first culprit.
  • Product Placement: The snacks in the cat cafe are confirmed to be this for the in-universe audience.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: Deadland is one of these for Max specifically: he was left alone there to Go Mad from the Isolation, it's a run-down version of his own hometown, and the centipedes target him over anyone else (the little ones hurl verbal abuse amid static noise, the big ones can and will eat you). It gets better once the centipedes and fog are cleared out.
  • Public Secret Message: Temerity communicates in these, with codes hidden in innocuous letters. Togami's notes are also this when he leaves them out, and the other Champions start to communicate like this as well.
  • Put Off Their Food: Thomasin stops eating syrup with her waffles after a crime scene is covered in it.
  • Quicksand Sucks: The holodeck malfunctions during Week 6 and calls up a pit of sand with a sinkhole instead of anything that was actually put into the settings.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Xander punches through his bathroom mirror and its backing, injuring his hand, when he wakes up after his worst memory.
  • Ragequit: Margulis during Cards Against Humanity. Not because he was doing badly — he was winning — but because the game's gleeful inappropriateness repulsed him. Much later, Thomasin, hopped up on caffeine and sleep-deprived, ragequits her embroidery and throws the project across the room.
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: When Jane polls the others on their memory regains, she asks about anything that might have seemed too normal and coherent to be a dream.
  • Reality Ensues: Happens to Jane when her former love for mystery stories sours fast because real murders are painful, traumatic, and take away people she cares about.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Xander and Lightning finally kiss during week 5.
    • After case 5, it was found out that Ricky and Kurumi had confessed their love right before Kurumi killed Ricky. They still stay together.
    • Once deadland was unlocked, the others finally found out that McBurn and Margulis became a couple back in week 4.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Thomasin, enraged at Bolton's handing down of motives, goes into a berserker frenzy and has to be held back from taking her revenge out on the espresso machine to make Bolton suffer loss too.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: McBurn says he must be hated and feared if he got a sabotage, but Yurika asks how the goofy sabotages handed out are supposed to kill anyone anyway, especially his, which subjected him to having to play ring toss.
    Yurika: How could you kill someone with ring toss?
    McBurn: Those thoughts are definitely not ones I should be vocalizing.
    Yurika: You know that was rhetorical...
  • Running Gag: Referring to any or all of the younger Champions as "the (superlative adjective) teenage girls DWRP has to offer." Has extended to other descriptors for other Champions ("grown adults," etc.)
    • "I can't believe Xander is dead" in reference to the various things he does for training/exercise purposes.
    • "Shoutout to (Victim from It's Curtains who died in a similar manner)" often appears in evidence bullets. In Case 4, it was "Shoutout to Cabanela, I guess," but that only referred to the broken ribs he came in with and not to a death.
    • Lots and lots of furry-related puns during case 4.
    • Thrown objects during trials (and Ricky reacting to them getting a little too close to her). In the first three it was fireballs, then after McBurn and Margulis died, Jane took over and threw Kurumi's shoe at Togami. During case 5 there was also a glitter round thrown by Natsuhi which ended up being directed back at her.
  • Sad Battle Music: The fourth and fifth MTBs.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Revenge of the Clowns," one of Max's paintings, is part of the world's most obvious Jump Scare trap, with actual arrows pointing to it.
  • Scooby Stack: When the media room door is suspiciously ajar, multiple Champions look in at once, making one of these. Lightning gets annoyed and just pushes in past them.
  • Screaming at Squick: Jane and Yurika when the Fridge Logic of waking up in unfamiliar uniforms hits them.
  • Secret Diary: The PIP has a notes function, making CR charts canon and readable.
  • Secret Test: What Togami's "notes" in his "private office" turn out to be.
  • See You in Hell: Jane tells the second culprit this at voting. Margulis' final letter to McBurn also says this, as does Xander to EP when he's ordered to kill Bolton.
  • Sensual Spandex: Most of the characters get embarrassed at the skintight uniforms. Jane really seems to like the men wearing them.
  • Seppuku: Kurumi tries to do this to herself after killing Ricky, but her nerves get the better of her.
  • Sequel Hook: Kip narrates one to the in-universe viewers, hyping up the next round's Overseer.
  • Serial Escalation: When the Machine Gun Talk Battle was first introduced into the murdergame genre, it was used sparingly for especially intense trials. It's gotten more common since then, and this round takes it to the logical extreme: every trial uses one, though some have Sad Battle Music.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The first motive is a "fix your greatest regret" motive.
  • Sexy Whatever Outfit: Lightning's catgirl garb.
  • Shave and a Haircut: Jane knocks this on the diner kitchen door to test the robots' intelligence.
  • Ship Tease: After Kurumi comes down from her Irrational Hatred upon seeing Ricky's horror at the first execution, she doesn't beat her up like the implied threat she made, and instead they become very close and start getting a lot of this.
    • There's also heavy Ship Tease with Lightning/Xander after Chitanda starts shipping it, such as the two of them trying not to stare at each other in the gym.
    • There's also another Ship Tease between Margulis and McBurn after their innuendo-filled remarks in dodgeball.
    • Bolton and Jamie were heavily hinted to be an item before it was confirmed.
    • Jane and Togami are often speculated to be in the throes of a blackrom crush by some of the players. By the end of Week 6, their rivalry seems to be warming up to at least Vitriolic Best Buds territory.
  • Shirtless Scene: Xander working out in week two. Lightning gets very flustered and uses Thomasin's delicate sensibilities as an excuse to get him to put his clothes back on.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: A twisted example with Seth, who makes paintings of all the Champions and mutilates the ones that represent the dead. Case 3's after party has a more normal example.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way: Temerity's messages point out weird observations, like how the stars change but they can't feel the station move, that hint that the whole setting is a virtual space.
  • Summoning Ritual: Thomasin gets desperate enough late in the game to try and summon the devil. It doesn't work, thankfully, but the holodeck does start acting up when she does it.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The thread where Margulis converses with a drunk McBurn about rooftop safety is full of the narration stepping back to insist that they most definitely are not blushing, enjoying being in close proximity, or thinking about inappropriate things. Their Love Confession follows right then and there.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine: Xander compares an energy drink to "chilled wyvern piss."
  • The Stars Are Going Out: Toby mentions that this is the case back home, as opposed to the vast, bright space they're in.
  • Taking the Bullet: When the secrets motive spurs Natsuhi to rage, Bolton throws himself in front of Jamie.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Some of the Champions make a point of antagonizing the others and not caring, which makes trials a pain for them all.
  • Teleportation: The teleporter takes people from one floor to the next.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The first victim was defenceless enough that eight knives In the Back and one in the leg are mentioned by the others as overkill.
  • They Died Because of You: Kurumi to Ricky in the first trial for supposedly inspiring the culprit. Kurumi backs off and apologizes later, though. It's probably fitting that Ricky actually does die because of Kurumi.
  • Together in Death: The Case 1 culprit and the intervention attempt.
    • The Case 3 victim and culprit are also an example of this.
    • And so are the case 5 victims.
    • A meta example during case 4, with Rukia being executed as the culprit, with her canonmate and True Companion Orihime dying as the victim over in Trustfell 4 Trust Fall Or Die Hard, not two days before.
  • Toilet Humour: Both Thomasin and the Griffin misunderstand the purpose of the toilet and think you're supposed to drink out of it.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Chitanda, the beloved first victim, is treated like this both in- and out-of-character for the entire round.
  • invoked Too Soon: Jane shuts down Xander's joke (if he could call it that) about giving Bolton peanuts to kill him. She'd just remembered Dream Jake's assassination via peanut allergy.
  • Truth-Telling Session: Xander sets one up to defy the secrets motive. Another happens the next week, since more characters have remembered things getting worse in their worlds.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: The survivors head to the Vegas Quadrant in the end, which turns out to just be Space Las Vegas.
  • White Shirt of Death: The Champion uniforms are white and light grey, and they die a lot.
  • You Are Too Late: Lightning arrives just too late to save Ricky from Kurumi.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Most members of the Dwindling Party realize that their homes have gotten worse and they have little to go back to, especially changed as they are.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Discussed when McBurn insists that his hair colour is natural. Max calls people from such worlds "anime types."
  • You Need to Get Laid: Suspicions rise that the Benefactors are trying to tell Margulis and McBurn something by giving them increasingly embarrassing and inappropriate gifts. Though it is interesting that the condoms were handed out OOCly before the dodgeball match. Maybe the mods knew something even the players did not?
  • Your Door Was Open: Thomasin walks in on Xander during his Heroic BSoD when he's left the door ajar by accident.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: When Togami brings up his VR theory, the others, particularly the Doctor, caution that the dead still probably died thanks to this. When the VR theory proves true, however, it's shown that the dead were pulled into another simulation and still live. This applies to when the dead themselves find out, too; they start needing food and sleep again and have to become survivalists in their expanded world.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: Said during the sixth murder, since Xander was forced into it, doesn't want to kill Bolton, and actually does know how to kill someone in one strike and keep them from feeling any pain.

    Round 1 Intermission 
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jamie may be emotionally compromised by cosplayers of his boyfriend and best friend, but he still stifles a laugh at them staging a fight where they beat up a cosplay Xander.
  • Adventure Town: Mason's Harbour, the site of deadland, has become this now that more than just the boardwalk is accessible.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: Joked to be the reason that the alien coffee shop can still serve a normal latte.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Seth has fangirls. Togami and the Doctor, disgusted as they are, explain this concept to those who ask why this could possibly be.
  • Ascended Fanon: Some elements introduced in Kink Meme fills become canon here, especially the Fan Convention plot (complete with a loss in the cosplay contest) and Jaycee's mention that some conspiracy theorists on Spitter are starting to figure out that it's all real.
  • Brain Bleach: Natsuhi's reaction to seeing cosplayers of the Season One trio as Magical Girls. Also most people's reaction to Sethsnogger.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: A common theme in the deadland's quest has people worried that they'll eventually have to do this to their loved ones. Angelica struggles with reconciling Ricky's love for Kurumi with her own wish to protect Ricky from her killer, even if it hurts her. Max feels that he'll never be the person he used to be and that he'll only drag Bolton and Jamie down if he goes home with them like they planned, so he admits that he wanted to fade away somewhere and kill himself; he tries to tell himself that they'll get over it. Margulis identifies that McBurn plans to emotionally distance himself from him once they return to the real world (to keep from killing him because the curse would reactivate), and tries to offer help, but McBurn clams up.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": When Margulis asks if Bolton needs better coffee after all (after establishing that he could do something with what he's got), Bolton says, "No. Unless we find some, then yes."
  • Caper Rationalization: The survivor pool needs to hunt down clues to try to save their friends, and they're on thin ice being kidnapped to this galaxy with no ID and with anyone who might want to help them thinking they're not even real — hard to justify the risk of pirating a premium subscription to see their dead friends, nor the morality of paying the network for one. Not to mention that entering the contest could give them more information, especially given the "secret host." Since there's no way their enemies would accept them as they are, the crew has to find a way to sneak in and get the prize and any information they can track down under their noses.
  • Comforting Comforter: Jamie gets a blanket draped on him when he flops down onto the bed in their Treasure Planet hotel room.
  • Crossover Punchline: One of the aliens watching over the dead Champions' bodies is not an original species, but a Hork-Bajir. It seems to have as much weight on the story as the implication that one was a troll in Round 1.
  • invoked Die for Our Ship: Jaycee warns Xander about angry shippers who might accost him for separating their ship when he was made to kill Bolton in Round 1.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Yl'lb Ein is briefly mentioned here as part of a throwaway reference gag. He becomes an important NPC later on.
  • Easily Forgiven: Both used and averted, and explored a great deal, in the deadland side of the story. Angelica is suspicious of Kurumi even if Ricky loves her and even if Angelica's forgiven her own killer. Those who died late may have learned to care for Bolton and understand him, but those who died early usually remain suspicious and McBurn in particular still despises him. Max treats Xander, whom he hasn't met, just like the survivors initially treated C.E.C.E.: as a faceless stranger who can accept all the blame for the death on the station and none of the sympathy his friends show for the circumstances that led him to cooperate with E.P..
  • invoked Fake Brit: Jaycee tries to copy the Doctor's accent and sounds more like the Lucky Charms mascot.
  • invoked Fake Nationality: Jane affects a cringeworthy Belgian accent with broken English for the entire convention, at least around civilians.
  • Fan Convention: One takes up almost the entire Vegas Quadrant Strip, and the living side's quest is to search for clues inside it, particularly in the Airlocked!-heavy Treasure Planet.
  • Fanservice: Used for a Running Gag with some inappropriate merchandise, especially a 3-D mouse pad featuring Xander's butt.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Discussed on the dead side. While they've run out of memories to regain, now that they're no longer The Needless, they have to sleep and will often dream of their deaths.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Inverted. Margulis forgets that he's without his powers and burns himself trying to take a pot off the fire carelessly.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Some of the Champions go "as themselves" to the con, and even those who try to disguise themselves are just taken for flawed cosplayers of themselves anyway.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Bolton laughs and starts a Hurricane of Euphemisms when Max mentions fish tacos (the actual food).
  • I Have Your Wife: The Doctor is very suspicious of season three's rose motif and swears that the network had better not be hinting that they've captured his canonmate, also named Rose.
  • Message in a Bottle: When the living successfully win the contest, the message they leave in the dead world appears as a letter in a bottle that Max finds.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Most of the Champions' attempts to blend in get mistaken for imperfect cosplay of themselves anyway.
  • Poverty Food: The dead are scavenging for canned goods, and Max sarcastically compares cans of Spam and Chef Boyardee to gourmet cuisine.
  • Public Secret Message: The living's end goal is to send one of these to the dead.
  • Roof Hopping: Lightning demonstrates this skill during the storm.
  • Shocking Voice Identity Reveal: Averted when the "Temerity" barista simply thinks Xander received voice training to sound just like the "character."
  • A Storm Is Coming: The dead side's quest involves a looming hurricane, which hits the beach by the time the living side's quest takes place.
  • Team Pet: Max brings home a conch after finding it still alive after the hurricane, and it becomes their pet.
  • The Unpronounceable: A lobsterlike alien toddler's name is [INCOHERENT SCREECHING].
  • Viva Las Vegas!: While the end of Round 1 trailed off on the Temerity heading off towards the Vegas Quadrant, this plot covers what happens when they get there.
  • We Will Meet Again: Due to the character limit on the message and the need to encode it, while the survivors manage to send their best shot at an encouraging message to the dead, Bolton misinterprets "of course we're coming back" as a threat from EP.
  • World of Pun: Practically everything in the Vegas Quadrant is a space pun on the real location.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: A Thomasin cosplayer in the cosplay contest tries to get into character but really sucks at the language part.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Xander loses a cosplay contest to a Xander cosplayer with better props.
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