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"I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' [I] said 'No... but I served in a company of heroes...'"
Sergeant Mike Ranney

Band of Brothers is a 2001 mini-series, initially aired on HBO in ten one-hour episodes. It follows the men of Easy Company, 506th regiment of the American 101st Airborne Division. Starting with their training in 1942 to the end of World War II, it follows the same unit through D-Day, the battle of Carentan, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, the discovery of the Concentration Camps, the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest and finally the end of the war. Band of Brothers is almost universally acclaimed for its (often painfully) accurate recreation of war, and for examining the relationships between soldiers in an elite, all-volunteer unit. Just about every part of the series is spot on, and the actors look very much like the men they portray.

Some of the primary characters of the series are Major Dick Winters (Damian Lewis), the unflappable leader, Carwood Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg), who steps in to hold the unit together during the Battle of the Bulge, and Captain Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston), the sardonic and alcoholic intelligence officer.

Now has a character page for its characters.

Since Band of Brothers is mostly based on historical and personal recollections of these soldiers, almost all of the tropes below are automatically an example of Truth in Television.

A Pacific Front version of this series, called The Pacific premiered in March 2010. The 2013 German miniseries Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter is similar, focusing on the Eastern Front, in addition to wartime civilian life in Berlin and the resistance in Poland. And Apple TV+ is creating a miniseries based on the Eighth Air Force, called Masters of the Air.

Other members of the cast include David Schwimmer as Capt. Sobel (the original commander of Easy Company), James Madio as Perconte, and Colin Hanks as Lt. Jones. Possibly more remarkable are the succession of pre-star actors that appear in bit parts: Simon Pegg, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Tom Hardy, and Andrew Scott.

Note: This is about the miniseries. For the trope, see Band of Brothers.

Examples of tropes found in this miniseries:

  • 0% Approval Rating: EVERY Sergeant in Easy Company risks his life by resigning their commission at the same time in protest of Sobel being the C.O.note  Some of the men even talk about fragging him. Note while this may be more along the lines that they feel following his command will get them all killed, there are certainly more motives.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Plenty of them, and there are three whole episodes with no significant combat:
    • Episode One — training in the US and England, and the conflict with Captain Sobel.
    • Episode Nine — Germany is close to its final surrender, and the unit seems to mostly be behind the front lines. It's also when they find the concentration camps.
    • Episode Ten — Set in Austria after VE Day, while everyone is wondering if they will have to go and fight against Japan.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Perconte complains about the quality of army spaghetti. James Madio played a big spaghetti lover in the sitcom USA High.
    • Buck Compton became a district attorney in Los Angeles later in life. Neal McDonough played a district attorney in Boomtown (2002), also set in Los Angeles.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:The real Winters was blond. Damian Lewis is a redhead. Ditto for Malarkey.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: David Schwimmer really makes you feel Sobel's pain when he loses Easy Company.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted for the most part. Many of the Germans shown are portrayed as sympathetic characters, and the men of Easy Company gain lot of respect for the Germans and treat them nicely after the end of the war. However, the trope is subverted in that some characters believe that it's true. In "Why We Fight", Webster considers an entire German village to be just as guilty of the Holocaust as the Nazis, due to their willful ignorance of a nearby concentration camp. Other characters simply never get over their hatred for the Germans, especially after the discovery of the camp.
  • America Won World War II: Averted — the British, French, and Russian contribution is made very clear.
  • Anyone Can Die: Hoo boy, this one gets used a lot. Granted, it's war, and in war anyone can (and does) die, but it's still rather jarring to spend hours getting to know characters only to have them disintegrated by a direct hit from an artillery shell, have a leg blown entirely off while trying to help a squad mate, or finally find the Luger they've spent the entire series hoping for only for it to accidentally, fatally, shoot them in the leg the same day. Highlighted especially in episodes 6 and 7.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: In Currahee, when asked to leave three "dead men" on the ground during an exercise, Cpt. Sobel picks them by aiming his pistol at each of them in turn, breaking one of the cardinal rules of gun safety — treat every weapon you find or handle as if it's loaded, even if you know it isn't. Almost certainly intentional — it further highlights Sobel's unfitness for command and gun safety wasn't quite as developed back then anyway.
    • Averted twice in the first episode (Currahee):
      • In the opening scene in which Sobel is inspecting Easy Company, every man he stops in front of opens the action of his weapon so that Sobel can verify the chamber is empty.
      • When Hoobler asks an English soldier dressed as a German to try out his Luger, the English soldier hands him the weapon. But not before dropping the magazine and clearing the chamber.
    • Hoobler's poor handling of a Luger is what gets him killed.note 
  • Artistic License – History: While the producers intended to treat the series as a "social document" and reflect the experiences of Easy Company as accurately as possible, it is nevertheless still a work of fiction, and there are some notable diversions from the historical record (both for reasons of drama and basic human error):
    • Rather glaringly in "Why We Fight." The episode opens on April 11, 1945, then cuts to "one month ago." During those scenes "one month ago," Nixon reveals that the President has just died. However, Franklin Roosevelt died April 12, 1945. Then, at the end of the episode, it's back to April 11, and Nixon reveals that Hitler shot himself in his bunker (which would not happen until April 30). In addition, the liberation of the concentration camp as depicted did not occur until April 27.
    • Easy Company are incorrectly portrayed as having reached the Eagle's Nest first, ahead of a French unit. In fact, they were third — the first unit to reach Berchtesgaden was the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division, followed by the 2nd French Armored. However, both units were given orders to rapidly move out before they could stay long — hence why Easy Company got the cream of the looting in a seemingly empty town.
    • Easy Company was also not the first company to reach the Kaugering Concentration Camp. The first was 12th Armored Division, which reached the camp a day before. However, the series somewhat acknowledges the error as the 12th armored is briefly mentioned in the episode.
    • TI Joseph Liebgott is portrayed as a practicing Jew. In fact, while ethnically Jewish, he was a Roman Catholic. note 
    • Albert Blithe is portrayed as a reluctant soldier who died of his wounds in 1948. In real life, he remained in the US Army until his sudden death from illness in 1967, having attained the rank of master sergeant and served abroad in the Korea War and as a military adviser in Taiwan in the meantime. This rather major error is present in Ambrose's original book too. That being said, the veterans in the Easy Company didn't know Blithe had survived as they lost contact with him in 1948. When Blithe's family made the correction after the show came out, the survivors of Easy were horrified because he had never been invited to the reunions thinking that he was long dead.
    • There are two inaccuracies about the battle at Foy. While Lieutenant Dike was indeed an incompetent leader, he didn't just randomly freeze up in the battle like the series showed. In actuality, Dike had been shot, though it was hard to notice. Also, while true that Winters ignored Dike in disgust when he came back, he didn't specifically call out Speirs to take over like in the show. In reality, Speirs was simply the first Lieutenant that he saw so he ordered him in there.
    • Dike's portrayal as a coward in general is at least up for debate. In fact, he was decorated twice for bravery during the war, first in Hollandnote  for organizing the defense of a road junction, and later in Bastognenote  for personally rescuing 3 wounded men while under heavy fire.
    • In real life, Webster did not actually go on the eponymous mission in "The Last Patrol", but instead remained behind and manned a machine gun, much like Liebgott is depicted doing. Additionally, the patrol was led not by Sergeant Martin, but by another NCO named Ken Mercier. As the episode was primarily from Webster's point of view and as Mercier had not previously been introduced as a character, these changes were likely made to simplify things for the audience.
    • One cadence Winters leads the men in singing during a run up Currahee in the titular episode includes the words, "We're airborne infantry!" These particular lyrics date from well after World War II, as at the time, "airborne" could refer to either parachute or glider troops, who while part of the same division were notably distinct from one another.note  Consequently, any self-respecting paratrooper of the era would have referred to themselves as "parachute infantry." The mistake was likely because aside from the survivors of Easy Company themselves, the series' military advisors (i.e.: Dale Dye et al) were veterans of Vietnam and later conflicts.
    • The book itself contains several major examples, a lot of which the TV series actually prunes; Ambrose refers to every German tank as a TigerIn fact , he says the 101st had 5000 men on D-DayIn fact , he frequently gets various technical details wrong, such as gun caliber, every German unit is described as "crack" or "elite"In fact , both he and Winters criticize Major-General Taylor (the 101st's commander) for being "on holiday" during the Ardennes assaultIn fact , he claims Easy Company was dropped by inexperienced pilots who had never flown at night and who did not have experience dropping paratroopers and who took evasive action to save themselvesIn fact  and he misidentifies the British colonel rescued by Easy as "O. Dobey"In fact 
    • The last scene of the final episode provides a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for the surviving Toccoa men as they play a baseball game, before it is interrupted for them to receive the news that Japan has surrendered and the war is now over. Pretty much all of these men would have been either home or on their way there by the time Japan surrendered, however; all but one of the survivors of the original company was discharged by July 1945, with the sole exception being Private Webster, who faced numerous issues with getting his points tally approved. This is for pure Rule of Drama, however.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Somewhat reasonable, in that the few men who manage to survive long enough to become experienced are often pushed into leadership roles. The trope stops after Major Winters though. That may simply be because it's impossible to get more badass than Major Dick Winters.
    • Used by Lt. Speirs, who is said to have shot his own man on D-Day for being drunk in combat. He never says whether he did or not, because it's a surefire way to get people's fear, if not respect, and for them to listen to him. Speirs DID shoot one of his own men for being drunk, but more for refusing to carry out a lawful order. The big thing they talked about was Speirs ostensibly passing out cigarettes to a number of German POW's (anywhere from 8-20, depending on who you ask), then shooting them. It's also believed that Speirs did actually shoot the German POW's, though no one knows exactly how many he did kill. The men were all told by their superior officers not to bother taking any prisoners on D-Day, an order Speirs probably would follow.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Webster is the most obvious case, being a Harvard student of literature. He's also shown keeping journals, which were a big help with creating the original book in real life.
    • Perconte to a lesser extent. He's shown trying to read while on watch, and gets annoyed at O'Keefe for distracting him.
  • Badass Preacher: Father John Maloney, the regimental chaplain, is shown administering last rites to dying soldiers in the middle of a firefight, walking about with no cover while bullets hit the ground around his feet and artillery exploding in the area. This would make him a Badass Pacifist as well.
  • Band of Brothers: Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Infantry Division.
    "I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No, but I served in a company of heroes.'" — Sergeant Mike Ranney.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Don Malarkey has quite a scruffy beard, starting right after two of his best friends get killed, and another has a Heroic BSoD in episode 7. It's not until episode 10 that he's shown clean shaven and (seemingly) happier.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Almost all the German in the series is spoken by real German actors, and it's pronounced correctly. Also, in episode 8, Webster tells some German prisoners of war (in German, of course) "be good, and you will get a cookie!"
    • Eugene Roe substitutes the word 'dick' for the French word in episode 6 when he's talking to Guarnere.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Webster and the German baker's argument over the latter's supposed knowledge of the Concentration Camp in "Why We Fight."
    • Eugene Roe and Renée switch between French and English throughout their interactions together in episode 6.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While the majority of Easy Company veterans went on to lead successful and happy lives, it's disheartening when you find out that a number of them have already died due to various causes. Plus, many of the survivors, especially those who experienced Bastogne, still carry the emotional scars in some form. Some of the survivors, like Liebgott, ended up breaking contact with the others, never speaking to them again.note 
  • Blood Knight: Speirs. When Blithe is suffering from shell shock Speirs looks him in the eye and tells him, calmly but with creepy intensity, that Blithe is scared because he still has hope, and he has to accept that he is already dead. Later episodes have the men of Easy talking about how Speirs executed one of his own men for being drunk, and how Speirs executed a bunch of German prisoners... although nobody's completely sure that those things happened. During the attack on Foy, Speirs amazes the men of Easy when he makes contact with I Company, on the other side of the village, by running right through the Germans.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Zig-Zagged. All that is ever seen when people are shot is a big puff of dust, as per this trope. However, the aftermath of people being shot always entails lots of close ups of very grisly wounds indeed.
  • Bowdlerise: Mostly averted, with an exception of the F-word and the two short scenes of nudity. Its language, violent combat scenes, and scenes featuring a extremely accurate and horrifying concentration camp and its victims are left completely unedited when it's aired on basic cable in the US, in respect to WWII veterans and those that lived through it.
  • Body Horror: The concentration camp. Also, the wounds that many of the soldiers suffer.
  • Break the Cutie: It's a shorter list to say who doesn't fit this trope. Nearly all of them enlisted as relatively naive young men in their late teens and early/mid-twenties (Liebgott was one of the oldest members of the company when he joined at 27). By the end, they're all battle-hardened, angry, and cynical to some extent.
    • Malarkey starts out good-natured and playful, but after so much combat and seeing most of his closest friends die, he's visibly haunted by episode 8. Although he starts to recover by episode 10, the real Malarkey admitted that he had "problems in later life" thanks to what he witnessed.
    • When he's introduced, Buck Compton is a charismatic, amiable star athlete from UCLA who quickly earns the men's friendship and respect. After he's injured in the Netherlands, the other guys remark on how different he is. His true breaking point comes a couple of episodes later when he sees Joe Toye and Bill Guarnere severely wounded. His mental health deteriorated so badly at that point that he was taken off the line.
      Lipton: Some say Buck changed after he was shot in Holland. Maybe. I know something happened to him when he saw Toye and Guarnere on the ground. On the report, it said Compton was being taken off the line because of trench foot. Didn't say anything about him losing his friends....No one ever thought any less of him for it.
    • Despite all the action and horror he's seen, Webster still stays patient, articulate, and compassionate throughout... until the end of the war. When a German baker won't shut his trap, it all catches up with him and he becomes extremely angry and cynical towards the Germans. He later rants at a column of surrendering Germans.
    • O'Keefe, the overtly eager Naïve Newcomer when he sees the concentration camp.
    • It's implied that Renee, the aid station nurse in Bastogne, was more idealistic when she first volunteered as a nurse. By the time Doc Roe meets her, she said she'd "rather work in a butcher's shop" than treat another wounded soldier.
  • Brick Joke: In the first two episodes Guarnere wonders if Winters is a Quaker, since he doesn't drink. In the climax of the second episode, when Winters has finished talking to the men, he comes back and says "oh, and Sergeant? I'm not a Quaker," in a perfectly dry tone, prompting the rest of the men to laugh.
  • Bullet Dancing: Averted. Winters takes a bullet to the foot from a ricochet.
  • Call-Back: In the very beginning of "Curahee," Sobel punishes Easy Company for petty infractions, including Perconte blousing his pants over his boots (which is only allowed for official paratroopers, not recruits), and Martin chastises him for it. At their graduation party, Perconte (now an official paratrooper) makes it a point to show Martin his bloused pants over his boot.
  • The Cameo: Yep, that's Jimmy Fallon as an officer driving a jeep at the end of "Crossroads", as Easy Company heads to Bastogne.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Winters and Speirs. Inverted in the first episode with Sobel and Winters.
  • The Cavalry: The Sherman tanks in episode 3. Easy was under heavy attack and Dog and Fox companies had retreated, leaving Easy with no cover on its flanks. Nevertheless, they held their ground until the 2nd Armored arrived.
    • Played with in episode 6 where the point is made that Easy Company and the 101st Airborne have never agreed with the story that they needed to be "rescued", as Patton said, by the Third Army.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In the ninth episode, Janovec is reading a newspaper as the Company is being transported by truck. Luz asks him what the article is about. He replies that it says the reason why they [America] are fighting the war is because "The Germans are bad", which Luz finds very amusing. Later, they find one of the concentration camps and find out just how bad the Germans are.
  • Christmas Episode: "Bastogne", considered to be one of the best episodes in the series in its entirety, as Easy Company spends Christmas Day besieged by the Germans. By Christmas Eve there isn't a tremendous amount of food left but Col. Sink makes sure the men get served hot grub. On Christmas Day, two men of Easy are chatting in a foxhole when they hear the Germans, on the other side of no-man's-land, singing "Silent Night".
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • After Toye spends a couple of minutes griping about the weight of all the gear he has to jump into Normandy with, Perconte sarcastically asks him where he's going to keep the brass knuckles. Toye responds that he could use some of those.
    • In Bastogne, Buck mischievously asks Dike to comment on a tactical conversation, to illustrate he's neither paying attention nor is he at all involved in actually running anything. Dike totally misses this and just agrees and walks off, both missing the rebuke and proving the point.
    • Perconte seems to see no problem with comparing the relatively tranquil woods outside Landsberg to the Hell on Earth that was Bastogne. He gets a Dope Slap from Sgt. Randleman for his trouble.
  • Composite Character: Renee the nurse in episode 6. There actually was a Belgian nurse named Renée Lemaire who was working at the aid station in Bastogne during the battle, and died in the German bombing of December 24, 1944, as depicted in the episode. However, there's no indication the historical Renée and Doc Roe were ever acquainted. Word of God is that she's a tribute to all the civilians that helped in the war effort.
  • Confound Them with Kindness: When American and German forces wind up entrenched just a scant few hundred yards away from each other and forced to wait out the night, some German troopers are faintly heard singing in the distance. Cue a bemused American soldier wondering "Just what have they got to be singing about?"
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Far less than in most war movies. Only later on, when the war begins to cool down do the men start asking "Why are we here?" Then they find the concentration camp. In Episode 6, Doc Roe spends quite a bit of time doing this silently.
  • Creator Cameo: Tom Hanks appears as one of the Red Devils (he is in the back, barely visible). He's also the voice of the wounded German whose cries can be heard throughout "The Last Patrol".
  • Crisis Point Hospital: The 101st Airborne's field hospital in Bastogne is not only overflowing with patients, but there's a chronic lack of supplies: the Germans have completely surrounded the 101st and cut them off from land-based resupply, and the weather is too bad for Allied aircraft to drop supplies to them.
  • Cunning Linguist: Both David Webster and Joseph Liebgott are fluent in German, making them perfect translators for the men of Easy Company.
    • Strangely enough in the eighth episode, Webster insists on shouting in English at a German baker. In the next episode, he speaks it fluently again, perhaps flying off the handle at the townspeople for claiming no knowledge of the nearby concentration camp. Behind the scenes, Webster speaking in English was that the writers felt the scene would have been much less effective with subtitles. In the scene he seems to understand what the man is saying, he just replies to him in English. The shopkeep in question, also, seems to have no trouble understanding what Webster is saying to him.
  • Custom Uniform: The New Meat are desperate to earn their jump wings. Later, replacement troopers are desperate to earn jump stars.
    • And everyone wants to blouse their trousers (that is, tuck their pants into their jump boots), as it clearly distinguishes the airborne infantry from the regular infantry, whose pants are kept straight. It's so distinctive that when the 101st were deployed to England, they were forbidden from blousing for the duration of the trip so that German spies wouldn't know they were airborne if they were seen from a distance.
    • Becomes a minor plot point in "Replacements" when Cobb mocks Miller, one of the New Meat, for wearing a Unit Citation ribbon for "what the regiment did in Normandy" before Miller joined the regiment.note  Miller removes the ribbon and leaves out of shame. Ironically, Cobb technically didn't fight in the battle either.note  Bull, who did fight in D-Day, quickly calls Cobb out.
      Bull: Shit, Cobb. You didn't fight in Normandy neither.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each of the 10 episodes focuses on a specific character to some degree. If the episode has narration, it's by the character in the limelight from their Point of View.
    • Episode 3: "Carentan" focuses on Pvt. Albert Blithe.
    • Episode 4: "Replacements" follows Bull Randleman as Easy participates in Operation Market Garden and he gets trapped behind enemy lines after a firefight.
    • Episode 5: "Crossroads" focuses on Captain Winters as he transitions from combat command to his new job as Battalion XO.
    • Episode 6: "Bastogne" focuses on medic Eugene 'Doc' Roe.
    • Episode 7: "The Breaking Point" follows and is narrated by 1Sgt. Carwood Lipton.
    • Episode 8: "The Last Patrol" follows and is narrated by Pvt. David Webster as he rejoins Easy Company after a stay in the hospital.
    • Episode 9: "Why We Fight" follows Captain Lewis Nixon.
    • Although if the series can be said to have a main character, it's Winters, who gets Episodes 1, 2, 5, and 10 from his point of view.
  • Decapitated Army:
    • Averted during the Normandy invasion. The plane carrying the commander of Easy Company is shot down but despite the chaotic conditions of the airdrop the paratroopers quickly start assembling into makeshift units and soon after Lt. Winters assumes command of the company.
    • The situation is inverted during the battle of Foy. Winters has been promoted to look out for the entire battalion and not just Easy, and Lt. Dike, the new commander of Easy Company, is incompetent and paralyzed with indecision. This results in the attack bogging down and the soldiers are about to rout when Dike is dismissed from command. Winter's CO has to stop him briefly from personally taking command. With Speirs now in charge, the soldiers rally and take the town.
  • Delayed Explosion: In Haguenau, Webster and a group of men cross a river in the middle of the night to capture a group of German soldiers for intelligence, and Webster puts explosive charges in the outpost-house where the Germans were. The charges only explode the day later in the afternoon.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Not totally, but many of the battles have everything but red heavily desaturated (with the desperate Battle of Bastogne being practically monochrome, due to all the snow), with the more peaceful scenes away from the fighting being in beautiful natural colors.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Many of the members of Easy Company signed up because they figured that if they were part of an elite unit, they would be better trained than draftee infantry men and have a better chance of surviving. It never occurred to them that as elite soldiers, they would be the ones assigned to the most dangerous missions with a high risk of being wounded and killed.
    • In retrospect, Tab really shouldn't have worn a German poncho in the dark and used his sidearm to wake Smith up.
  • Dies Wide Open: All the time in every possible form.
  • Dirty Coward: Lieutenant "Foxhole Norman" Dike. When they are shelled near Foy, he leaves everything up to Lip, while making an excuse that he is "going to get help." And of course during the actual assault, he totally freaks out almost instantly. In actuality, Duke was awarded for that period of time for personally saving 3 wounded men and he was freaking out the second time because he was bleeding out from two shots to the chest. His problems had more to do with not communicating properly and poor social skills.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The humiliation of Dutch women who slept with the occupying German soldiers. This was a common fate for women across formerly-occupied Europe; by shaving and stripping them their communities ritualistically reclaimed their bodies from the Germans. Male collaborators were shot, though on the other hand, they generally did something more harmful than merely sleep with the Germans.
    • This becomes even worse when you realize that it's very likely at least some of them were raped by German soldiers.
    • Captain Sobel frequently punishes the entire Company for the minor infractions of a few men during training. While certainly Truth in Television during boot camp training, it's implied Sobel isn't doing it to instill discipline, but because he enjoys making the men suffer.
  • Dissimile: The episode "Why We Fight" featured this exchange while the soldiers were patrolling a forest in Bavaria:
    Frank Perconte: Hey, George.
    George Luz: Yeah?
    Frank Perconte: This kind of remind you of Bastogne?
    [comedic pause, including bemused look]
    George Luz: Yeah... now that you mention it. Except, of course, there's no snow, we got warm grub in our bellies, and the trees aren't fucking exploding from Kraut artillery, but yeah... Frank... other than that, it's a lot like Bastogne.
    Frank Perconte: Right?
    George Luz: Bull, smack him for me please?
    George Luz: Thank you.
  • Don't Sneak Up on Me Like That!: Floyd Talbert gets bayoneted by one of his own men while trying to wake him up.
  • Dope Slap: See Dissimile above.
  • Double Don't Know: When E Co. advances into Foy and the overwhelmed Lieutenant Dike is being asked for his orders, he yells "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!"
  • The Dreaded: Speirs, towards his own men. His valor, coldness, and a good helping of gossip make him this quickly. Fades after peace is declared, as the soldiers still see him as a man not to be taken lightly, but not the boogeyman he once was.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Downplayed. Wearing enemy uniforms during combat is actually a war crime. However:
    • A few soldiers are seen in German uniforms wandering around camp prior to the jump into Normandy; their purpose is to familiarize the paratroopers with German weapons and equipment.
    • Floyd Talbert is accidentally bayoneted by one of his own men, in part because he was wearing a German poncho.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The nasty and petty Sobel drills his men into excellence... But they soon find out that drilling is all he's good at.
  • Drinking on Duty: Nixon basically drinks his way from Normandy to Berchtesgaden.
    • Speirs was notorious for executing a drunk NCO in his unit on D-Day.
    • Inverted with Sergeant Grant, who was severely wounded by a drunken soldier while Grant was on guard duty.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: For all of Lieutenant Dike’s bumbling, he does rightly point out that it’s a bad idea for Medics Roe and Spina to be in the same foxhole when an artillery barrage could hit them at any time, leaving the company without a medic.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Overall, at least compared to the very often extremely dark and heartbreaking tone of the rest of the series, the series ends on a happy note with the (surviving) men of Easy Company happily playing baseball before being called over by Major Winters and being told of the surrender of the Japanese, meaning they will all be able to finally go home.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: A key reason why many men joined the Airborne, along with the promise of more pay.
  • Ensign Newbie: Lieutenant Jones arrives fresh to the war out of West Point. Many of the soldiers in Easy Co. treat him with disdain and he is quickly Kicked Upstairs. He does get a few moments showing that he has what it takes to be a good officer, however.
    • Said to be the case with most of the replacement officers that join Easy after Normandy: Shames (yells all the time, no matter the situation), Peacock (nice enough as a person, but hopelessly lost on any tactical job), and the one in Holland who wandered ahead of the formation and got shot in the throat by a sniper.
  • False Flag Operation: Subverted in the ambush of the German camp in "Crossroads". Webster and Martin confront a few soldiers who hold up their arms and yell. Webster tells Martin that the men are saying they're Polish. Martin quickly debunks this story by revealing the SS pin on one of their uniforms, saying "There ain't no Poles in the SS!" note 
  • A Father to His Men: Richard Winters. Due to his leadership and exceptional concern for them, the men of Easy Company universally consider him the best commanding officer they ever had. Averted in the case of Herbert Sobel. While the men of Easy Company attribute their survival during the war to his harsh training methods, he had no redeeming qualities and was therefore universally hated.
    • Ron Speirs becomes one for Easy Company over the course of the 3.5 episodes he leads them. he's a fiercely protective one at that, especially shown when one of the sergeants gets shot in the head by a drunk private from another company. Speirs holds the wounded soldier's hand while the medic tends to him, somehow manages to find a German brain surgeon in the middle of the night, and if looks could kill, the responsible private would have died the moment Speirs laid eyes on him. He also chose to stay with the company if they would be sent to the Pacific, rather than go home to his wife and baby like he had the option to do.
  • Field Promotion: Lots of them. Many of the original Toccoa men held leadership positions as senior NCOs or Officers by the end of the war.
    • Dick Winters jumped into Normandy as a 1st Lieutenant in June of 1944. He was promoted to Captain in July '44, and to Major in March of '45.
    • First Sergeant Carwood Lipton, to Second Lieutenant. It's pointed out that it was fortunate he didn't die on his mission the previous night, as he was discharged from the enlisted ranks that day and only commissioned as an officer the following day: had he died, he would have died as a civilian (not reallynote ). This was following his promotion to First Sergeant after the previous 1st Sgt., James Diel, was himself battlefield commissioned to 2nd Lt. and transferred out of the unit.
    • Donald Malarkey reached the rank of Technical Sergeant (now known as Sergeant 1st Class) by the end of the war after jumping into Normandy as a Private.
  • Fingore: Briefly but graphically in "Carentan" during the tank attack.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Invoked, obviously, for the war as a whole and the advance of the Western Allies from D-day onwards. But very much inverted when it comes to the fates of the individual soldiers. Although several of the surviving real life members of Easy Company are interviewed at the opening of each episode, the makers ensure that the survival of any given interviewee won't be a foregone conclusion by not showing their names until the end of the series.
  • Foreshadowing: At the end of "Crossroads", the camera shows Winters looking over to his men as they march into Bastogne. Then the camera points to Joe Toye, Bill Guarnere, Skip Muck, and Alex Penkala, who were either killed or severely wounded in the following two episodes.
  • Framing Device: In episode 5, "Crossroads", the story of the battle to take the crossroads is framed with shots of Dick Winters typing up his after-action report.
  • Friendly Sniper: Darrell C. Powers a.k.a. Shifty, a gentle, mild-mannered young man from Virginia who just happens to be the best shot in the company. He was also capable of telling what kinds of guns were being used from the sound of the shot alone. Of course he's also very modest about it.
    Shifty: Oh no, I'm not that great a shot. Now Pa, he was an excellent shot! Excellent shot! I declare, he could shoot the wings off a fly.
  • Friend or Foe?:
    • An unfortunate German infantryman gets subjected to this in a particularly gruesome manner in "Carentan". After getting hit, he falls backward into a German tank reversing away from the battle, whose left tracks proceed to run him over... and he didn't benefit from Instant Death Bullet either. He was crushed feet first.
    • Floyd Talbert is accidentally bayoneted by a fellow soldier whom he is attempting to wake up for sentry duty. Not only did Talbert startle the young paratrooper, Floyd happened to be wearing a German poncho at the time...
    • Moose Heyliger gets shot by an overly jumpy sentry. Note that this accident puts Dike in charge, ultimately causing many unnecessary deaths.
  • Gallows Humor: A staple of war, it is rife in the series. Smokey even writes a humorous poem about Sergeant Talbert getting bayonetted!
  • General Failure: During the attack on Foy, Dike suddenly orders Easy Company to halt mid-charge. In the open, while they are under extremely heavy fire. This gets many, many Easy men killed.
    • He follows this up by ordering Foley's platoon to try to go around the city. Several men in the platoon are instantly cut down trying to carry out this insane order.
  • Genki Guy: George Luz, the clown of the group. It's very telling that the last episode reveals he had over 1,600 people show up at his funeral in 1998.
  • Germanic Efficiency: Particularly evident in "Replacements".
  • The Ghost: Major Horton (imitated by Luz in "Currahee" and mentioned KIA in "The Breaking Point").
  • Gone Horribly Right: Sobel's drive and ambition leads him to drive his company harder than any other. Unfortunately (for him), as the members of his company increased in physical fitness and combat skills, Sobel's deficiencies in actual combat become more and more apparent. Eventually he is Kicked Upstairs to head up another training school rather than leading Easy into combat, beginning a series of crushing developments that later drove him to attempted suicide. Fortunately for the men of Easy company, Sobel's ambition and pettiness were effective in getting them to perform when they were at their physical worst, which is one of the bigger reasons they were able to get through the hellish conditions of the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Nastily subverted during the Battle of Carentan, when Tipper is on the wrong side of a mortar round and a plate glass window. Initially, the show shows us his uninjured back, with Liebgott staring at him in horror, making the viewer think this is going to happen... until the camera cuts back to Tipper from the front, cut to hell and with ruined legs. He surprisingly recovered.
  • Grammar Correction Gag: When Winters is handed a written notice that he is to be court-martialed, the document contains a number of spelling mistakes. Nixon comments on this.
    Nixon: He misspelled court-martial...
  • Groin Attack: Lipton comes hair-raisingly close to getting his groin mangled by shrapnel.
  • Guns and Gunplay Tropes: Instead of listing them all out, you can basically just check off "averted" under nearly the entire listing. Or Truth in Television, such as in the case of Hoobler's accident.
  • Hand Signals: During most episodes, the men of Easy Company can be seen using Standard Issue military combat sign language.
  • Hate Sink: The homicidal I Company replacement from Episode 10 is treated as such in-universe. After drunkenly murdering two Germans and a British officer for not giving him gas, he then shoots Sgt. Grant in the head for trying to apprehend him. Grant would somehow survive, but this did nothing to stop the other members of E Company (including Speirs) from collectively beating the replacement within an inch of his life after he had been brought into custody.note 
  • Heel–Face Turn: Played with when Sobel and Easy Company's paths cross again in England. Popeye reveals that Sobel not only let it slide that he'd gone AWOL, but also gave him a lift to Easy's camp. Soon averted when he goes back to his old ways and chews out Malarkey over the trifling matter of taking a motorcycle for a joyride, showing he's still the same kind of guy they remember.
  • Heroic BSoD: Several cases of shell-shock, ranging from the horrible to the downright gut-wrenching. A good (or bad depending on how you look at it) example is when Blithe, after getting over his shell-shock and deciding to take the lead on a scouting mission, is shot in the neck. He is shown in a hospital, to create hope that he might pull through, only for the Where Are They Now to reveal he died... but the veterans in Band of Brothers had somehow made an error about Blithe. In reality he was shot in the shoulder and lived until 1967. His family informed them of this after the series had been made.
    • Doc Roe has one momentarily, but snaps out of it, after having to be dragged out of his foxhole, that is.
    • What eventually sends Buck Compton home, but he gets better. PTSD or as they called it back then "Combat Exhaustion" will do that to a man.
    • Liebgott gets a pretty epic one when he's ordered to tell the Jewish prisoners to get back into the concentration camp. He handles it pretty well until they start to object, and ends up sitting down and staring off into space, crying. Notably, the real Liebgott has broken off all contact with the other Easy Company men ever since the war.
    • Prior to Liebgott's BSOD, the previously chipper O'Keefe is shown to be heavily affected by the concentration camp.
    • George Luz has a minor one after watching an artillery shell land on Muck and Penkala, but he snaps out of it pretty quick, as he needs to get to cover.
    • Winters has one as he's placed on leave, trying to adjust to civilian life after the harshness of war's scarred him, while having flashbacks to a young German soldier he killed. In the same episode, Buck Compton, also on leave, tries to watch a film with his friends, but spends most of it staring off into space.
    • Guarnere has one before they even deploy, when he accidentally reads a letter meant for another soldier that mentions that his brother has been killed fighting in Italy.
  • Hero of Another Story: Second Lieutenant George C. Rice of the 10th Armored Division, played by Jimmy Fallon in a cameo at the end of the episode "Crossroads." Knowing that Bastogne was going to be surrounded, and knowing that the 101st was going to be really short on ammunition, Rice made nine separate trips in a jeep that was towing a trailer back and forth from a nearby supply depot to Bastogne in order to bring what ammo he could to the troops digging in against the German advance. He did this on his own volition. His last trip was technically made after the Germans had surrounded the town, and the only reason he didn't make a tenth trip was because he was specifically ordered by his CO to stand down. Rice was nominated for a Medal of Honor for his actions.
    • Among the Allied units that fought alongside Easy Company were the following. In Normandy, they linked up with the 4th Infantry Division and the 2nd Armored Division, the latter of which provided tank support for many of their engagements. Additionally, many Easy Company paratroopers fought side-by-side with men from the 82nd Airborne Division in the early hours of D-Day, before they had located their own units. In Holland, Easy fought alongside the British XXX Corps, which provided tank support, and assisted in the rescue of men from the British 1st Airborne Division. In Bastogne, elements of the 10th Armored Division were surrounded with Easy, and the units were relievednote  by units of the Third Army, including the 4th Armored Division. Through it all, Easy Company was one of nine within the 506th PIR, which itself was one of five regiments within the 101st Airborne Division.note  Arguably, the men of all of these units are heroes of their own stories.
    • The old German military policeman Janovec meets in the final episode, who has just survived his second world war, is most definitely this.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Sobel is given one. Whilst he was certainly a harsh taskmaster, he was probably no worse than many other US officers of the time, and, indeed, veterans of Easy Company acknowledge that his training was crucial to the company's later success.
    • Norman Dike is portrayed as a complete coward, with his cowardice even causing several men from E-company to be killed or wounded during the attack on Foy. In real life, while probably not the most skilled leader and certainly not popular among the men, Dike was certainly not cowardly. He received two medals for valor in combat, one of which for rescuing wounded men while bullets were flying all around him, and the real reason why he froze up outside Foy was that he had been shot and was in shock.
  • Hospital Hottie: Doc Roe meets a cute nurse helping out in Bastogne (Episode 6). She doesn't survive the final attack on the town.
  • Hustling the Mark: The game of darts Buck Compton and some other veterans play against the newly arrived replacements in Episode 4, with Buck pulling the I Am Not Left-Handed trick (see below) as soon as the newbies agree to a bet.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: This trope appears in such perfect form it almost looks like it was the Trope Namer. In the 4th episode ("Replacements"), Buck Compton plays darts against one of the new guys, Heffron, and loses saying, "It's a good thing we weren't gambling." Heffron suggests they bet on the next game and Buck "reluctantly" agrees. Before Buck takes his shot, Luz asks him why he isn't using his right hand. Heffron realizes he's been conned right before Buck throws the dart and wins.
    George Luz: Lieutenant, are you going to shoot lefty all night?
    Joe Toye: Hey, c'mon.
    George Luz: I'm just curious cause he's right-handed.
    'Buck' Compton: [switches hands] George, what would I do without George Luz?
  • Important Haircut: Important shave. Winters makes a point of shaving everyday, even in Bastogne when everyone around him is growing a beard, to emphasize the importance he places on showing his men that he is professional and dependable.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Shifty Powers. The band made sure he got sent home as early as possible because he saved their asses a few times.
  • Infodump: Toye informs the viewer of the gear a paratrooper carries by bitching about the quantity and weight of what he has to carry.
    Joe Toye: Three day supply of K-rations, chocolate bars, Charms candy, powdered coffee, sugar, matches, compass, bayonet, entrenching tool, ammunition, gas mask, musette bag with ammo, my weapon, my .45, canteen, two cartons of smokes, Hawkins mine, two grenades, smoke grenade, Gammon grenade, TNT, THIS bullshit,note  and a pair of nasty skivvies!
    Frank Perconte: What's your point?
    Joe Toye: This stuff weighs as much as I do! I still got my 'chute, my reserve 'chute, my Mae West, my M1.
    Frank Perconte: Where are you keeping the brass knuckles?
    Joe Toye: [thoughtfully] I could use some brass knuckles...
    • In a Brick Joke moment, on D-Day he punches a German soldier — and he's wearing brass knuckles.
  • Irony: Of the cruelest sort. In "Bastogne", Easy Company gets hit by heavy artillery fire and Muck and Penkala frantically yell for Luz to get into their foxhole while Luz slowly crawls over to them... their foxhole is then directly hit by a shell.
    • Despite winning the lottery to be the first one to go home, Shifty wound up getting back to the US after everyone else because he was injured in a car accident on the way to the airport.
    • A blink-and-you'll-miss-it. At the end of the first episode, Lipton is seen reminding the men before they board the airplanes to talk to Sgt. Evans to make sure they sign their insurance in case they get KIA. At the start of the second episode, guess whose plane gets shot down by the Germans.
    • In a meta-example, "The Last Patrol" revolves around the resentment the other men feel towards Webster for sitting out the Battle of the Bulge in his hospital, viewing him as a shirker trying to avoid duty. As it turned out, Webster would be the last of the original Toccoa men to be discharged and sent home from Europe after the war finished.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: The Medic Doc Roe actually finds that it does begin to get easier, as he begins to connect with the other soldiers, despite his reluctance to get emotionally attached to them.
  • It's Raining Men: D-Day, Market Garden, and Varsity. After all, they're paratroops.
  • It Won't Turn Off: After a Sherman tank is hit by a shell, Bull Randleman has to keep crawling along a ditch because the tank keeps trundling towards him, despite being in flames and likely to explode any moment. He can't climb out of the ditch or double back either, as German troops are advancing towards him too.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: O'Keefe mutters that it's "awfully quiet" while a handful of soldiers are on patrol in the German woods. Moments later, they stumble across a Nazi concentration camp. This is Truth in Television; the fires and smell and other outputs of a concentration camp really did drive away the normal birds, insects, and local wildlife, thus making the area suspiciously quiet.
  • Jerkass: Several.
    • Sobel's command style isn't simply strict, it's often downright petty and sadistic.
    • Dike is an unpleasant, obnoxious cad in addition to his other fine qualities. He blames everyone, he is standoffish to his men, he's lazy, neglects his duties (he delegates so he doesn't have to do anything), and his attempts at fostering camaraderie with his men are blatantly phony.
    • On the enlisted side, Cobb. He's coarse, mean, and short tempered. He picks on Private Miller for no real reason, and is downright insubordinate many times in "The Last Patrol." He disappears from the series after this episode, because he was dishonorably discharged for drunkenly assaulting another soldier.
    • Perconte deliberately tries to hurt O'Keefe by giving him the scathing "Reason You Suck" Speech below. It works. O'Keefe's crime? Being enthusiastic.
      • Averted at the last moment when Perconte's expression makes it perfectly clear that he knows he went too far. Perconte does realize (and admits) it's not O'Keefe he's upset about, it's the war in general.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite getting a bunch of Easy men killed due to his cowardice, Norman Dike is never officially punished. Instead he was ultimately Kicked Upstairs to a general's aide.
  • Kick the Dog: Sobel's favorite hobby:
    • At the company's very first inspection, he finds several minuscule infractions (some implied to be totally made up) so he can cancel everyone's weekend pass.
    • In fact, cancelling passes for the entire company seems to happen weekly. Did Easy get a single weekend of leave?!
    • He ORDERS Winters to find infractions on the soldiers, even if Winters has to make them up.
    • Winters is an exemplary officer (noted by Sink himself), yet Sobel treats him like crap when Winters serves as his Executive Officer. It's heavily implied to be out of jealousy, as Sobel can immediately tell that Winters is the better soldier out of the two.
    • He leads the company to believe they'll have an easy day at one point. He suggests the mess give them a hearty meal, which they indeed dig into happily. Then he immediately barges in and announces their day off is cancelled, and they are going to have to do strenuous physical training with a full belly, with the explicit threat that anyone who falls out will be dropped from the Airborne. It's a miserable affair and several of them vomit. There is absolutely no reason for this except for him getting a kick out of being cruel.
    • He insults and belittles virtually all the enlisted men, and he never praises. Not to be chewed out by Sobel seems to be the closest to praise you're going to get.
    • He forces Nixon to answer a rhetorical question, and then cancels everyone's pass because he answered it.
    • His last act is his undoing. He tries to ding Winters on a trumped up chargenote . It backfired.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: The drunk replacement from I Company who murders several Germans and shoots Sgt Grant gets severely beaten by the men of Easy when they find him, and receives a Pistol Whip from Captain Speirs by negatively answering a question and without addressing him as 'Sir'.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Sobel in episode 1, Dike in episode 7, and Jones in episode 8.
    • Though Jones's case wasn't due to incompetence, but rather the need for a "post-War" officer corps (most of the combat leadership would be discharged upon completion of the war.) The top leadership didn't want him killed before he could fill the upcoming void.
    • Sobel knows exactly what's happening, although Col. Sink is as gentle as he can be when "promoting" Sobel to command of a parachute school for noncombatants.
    • With a little fridge brilliance Sobel’s case makes perfect sense. As despicable as he is, he did an excellent job of getting the men ready to jump. He just had no clue what he was doing once they were on the ground. Col. Sink is savvy enough to realize he can use him to train noncombatants to jump. Most of them will likely outrank Sobel and even though he’ll be the commander during the training, he’ll have to think twice about how he treats them since they will outrank him once they’ve jumped.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: During the Battle of Brecourt, a poor soul who makes the mistake of raising his head while in conversation with Lip gets dinged in the head for his efforts.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: This isn't a video game, but Captain Speirs certainly showed qualities of one in episode 9. Looting was actually very common among all soldiers in WWII. Even the straight-laced Winters gives in to the temptation once in a while. In "Points", pretty much all of Easy Company play this trope straight. Granted, they're "plundering" the abandoned Nazi Eagle's Nest, so it's quite more alluring.
    • In "Carentan", Pvt. Perconte shows off an entire arm full of wristwatches looted from dead Germans. He even pauses during a march to grab a new one from a dead body.
    Perconte: They're all ticking, unlike their previous owners.
    • Alton More grabbed Hitler's personal photo albums. As souvenirs go, that's got to win the 1945 Gold.
  • Laughing Mad: During a particularly nasty artillery barrage in "The Breaking Point", Sgt. Lipton starts laughing because the explosions remind him of the fireworks he played with as a child. He acknowledges how ridiculous it was.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Tragic example—it's what gets Pvt. Jackson killed in "The Last Patrol". He threw a grenade into a German observation post, then rushed in before it went off. His grenade then almost literally blew up in his face (it blew up, spewing shrapnel into his face—and his everything else, as well). He died of his wounds, screaming in agony, a little while later after the patrol got back to their side of the river.
  • Literary Allusion Title: From Shakespeare's Henry V, to wit:
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
    • And you better believe that Easy Company knew exactly what Hal was talking about. (They're even in the right general area; Agincourt is in the north of France.) Of course, their view of war would be rather different...
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: "Whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved?" is presented by two different leaders. Winters clearly loves Easy Company, treats his men well, and as such the soldiers respect him and would do anything for him. Speirs develops a reputation for being such a badass that the soldiers in Easy fear him, but respect him because he gets the job done. Played with in that Speirs knows all about the chatter going on behind his back:
    Speirs: You want to know if they're true or not... the stories about me. Did you ever notice with stories like that, everyone says they heard it from someone who was there. But then when you ask *that* person, they say *they* heard it from someone who was there. It's nothing new, really. I bet if you went back two thousand years, you'd hear a couple of centurions standing around, yakking about how Tertius lopped off the heads of some Carthaginian prisoners.
    Lipton: Well, maybe they kept talking about it because they never heard Tertius deny it.
    Speirs: Well, maybe that's because Tertius knew there was some value to the men thinking he was the meanest, toughest son of a bitch in the whole Roman Legion.
    • Proved by Captain Sobel who is clearly not loved, but made himself more hated than feared, which Machiavelli warned against.
    • Also note that Winters and Speirs were respected, which Machiavelli notes is the best possible state.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: After Tipper is lacerated by flying glass after a mortar shell goes off right in front of him in a shop in Carentan, he manages to walk out of the explosion despite horrific cuts and smashed legs. Then he notices the extent of his injuries.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Perconte enjoys a little... attention from an exuberant middle-aged lady in Eindhoven. When Lip pulls Perconte away, its difficult to tell if Perconte is aroused or traumatized.
  • Match Cut: Winters is having coffee in a Parisian cafe when he drops a coin. He reaches down—but the hand that picks a coin up from the floor is the hand of a teenaged French boy, on the Metro, with Winters sitting a few rows ahead. This introduces a sort of PTSD sequence where things Winters sees on the Metro car are matched with horrors he's seen at the front.
  • Minor Major Character: Sergeants Floyd Talbert and Charles Grant both come across this way. Made worse by the fact they look very similar to each other and given precious little characterization, despite being featured in every episode.
    • A few of the replacement officers (Shames, Brewer, Foley, etc.) are mostly background characters with a few token lines.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Sobel invokes this in the first episode, pointing out that "Malarkey" is slang for "bullshit". It's subtly nodded at in a later episode when Malarkey is complaining about food rations. The chef tells him that it's nothing that he won't eat, and Skip Muck quips "I won't eat malarkey."
    • George Luz. His surname means "light" in Portuguese (pronounced looz), and he acts as the light of morale of the entire company.
  • The Medic: Ralph Spina and Eugene "Doc" Roe of course. Doc Roe is nearly broken by the constant exposure to death and suffering, before finding meaning in his role. Episode 6 is for the most part completely dedicated to him and was quite a Tear Jerker. He was also noted by Bill Guarnere as "the best medic we ever had. He was born to be a medic. He took care of us physically, mentally, every way. He was compassionate." Gene was even nominated for a Silver Star for bravery under fire (and received it after the war was over).
    • According to the book, he also had an almost supernatural quality to him. Despite the miniseries showing him being reluctant or suffering from Combat Exhaustion, in the book, the men of Easy Company consistently explain that when someone was wounded, Doc Roe was there seemingly instantly, working despite miserable conditions and a lack of supplies to save the men who had been injured. Some of the survivors even credit him with why they didn't break, despite the horrors Bastogne inflicted.
    • It's even more impressive when you learn he had no medical training, and was given the job simply because a company medic was desperately needed.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe. Another reason why many of the men joined the paratroopers was because they were paid double the salary of the regular infantrymen.
  • Monochrome Casting: There are very few people of color in the series, the main exception being a few Hispanic/Latin soldiers. This is Justified, however; at the time, the American armed forces were racially segregated (Hispanics were at the time considered white), and Easy Company served in the European Theatre (where all the locals were white too).
  • Mood Whiplash: The fourth episode shows the soldiers arriving in a Dutch village in the middle of a celebration. There's happy music playing and many are kissing the soldiers excitedly. Then all of a sudden you see a group of women being humiliated for sleeping with the Germans. Likewise the happy music can still be heard playing while this is going on.
  • More Dakka: The patrol episode features an M45 Quadmount antiaircraft gun being used against enemy infantry. Very much Truth in Television; the US Army had a lot more German infantrymen to shoot at than it did German planes, and the quad-50 made an outstanding antipersonnel weapon (a favorite method of engaging snipers in trees, for instance, was to simply open up the quad-50 at a flat trajectory, obliterating the trees themselves rather than bothering to trade shots with the enemy).
  • Narrator: Winters, Lipton, and Webster provide narration in the episodes where they're the point of view character.
  • The Neidermeyer: Several of these show up.
    • What Herbert Sobel turns out to be; under all his posturing and boasting, he is downright inept and prone to panic during field training exercises, and he can't read a map to save his life.
    • Also, Norman Dike, who has gotten his rank mostly through nepotism. When Easy falls under attack from German artillery in the Bastogne woods, he hastily retreats from the field, claiming he is "getting help." When he later finds himself unable to retreat out of an attack, he shuts completely down from fear and stress.
    • None of the higher-ups want to let the newly-arrived Lieutenant Jones lead the prisoner-snatching raid for fear he might be one of these. History says that Jones turned out to be anything but a Neidermeyer.
  • Nepotism: "Foxhole Norman" Dike, who is a complete failure as an officer but can't be removed from Easy Company because he has a lot of high-ranking friends.
  • Nerves of Steel: Fortunately, virtually every officer in the series has this. Taken up to eleven with Winters and Speirs, and monumentally inverted with Dike.
  • New Meat: Multiple shipments of New Meat arrive throughout the war. A few of them stay around. Most of them die quickly. Replacements would usually suffer 100% casualty rates. Undertrained and poorly equipped at times, it is no wonder that no veteran wanted to know a replacement until they survived a battle.note 
    • There is a variation where Webster, an airborne veteran who has been there since Toccoa, was treated somewhat like New Meat after he had missed Bastogne.
    • Played with O'Keefe who gets assigned during the "Why We Fight" episode. He gets chewed out by Perconte for his naive attitude towards the war, but during the discovery of the concentration camp, Perconte consoles the overwhelmed rookie.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In "Points," when a drunk and probably insane New Meat from Item Company shoots one of The Squad, which is made up of nothing but battle-hardened stone-cold killers with nothing better to do now that they're just occupying Austria (rather than fighting) than exact vengeance for one of their own. Said insane replacement also shot and killed a German and a Brit. After being captured, he's beaten bloody and very nearly executed by Captain Speirs, who lowers his weapon at the absolute last secondnote .
    Ronald Speirs: Where's the weapon?
    I Company Replacement:*cough* What weapon?
    Ronald Speirs: When you talk to an officer, you say sir.
  • Non-Action Guy:
    • Nixon makes it through the whole war without ever firing his weapon in combat. He was credited with three jump-stars (received for combat jumps in the European Theater).
    • Doc Roe qualifies as well.
  • Noodle Incident: We never do find out why Guarnere wasn't with the unit between the events of "Replacements" and "Crossroads." See Offscreen Moment of Awesome below.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Though they are occasionally forced to leave their buddies dying, the men of Easy really would go back for their friends whenever possible, even at extreme personal cost to themselves.
    • In Episode 6, Babe Heffron has to leave Private Julian, whom he's been sharing a foxhole with, to die on the German line. He nearly has a breakdown as a result, because he had promised to get his things back to his family and he was sure the Germans would strip him of everything. (Though it wasn't shown in the series, they did manage to retrieve Julian's body and things later, and it took the real Heffron years before he could contact his family because of the guilt he felt for leaving him to die.)
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Frank Perconte is from the Chicago area but James Madio speaks with his natural Bronx accent.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: After the German surrender, Allied soldiers actually have the opportunity to socialize with their former enemies. Many men of Easy Company found that they had a lot in common with the German soldiers, as they were all essentially young men fighting to defend their country. Some of them even admitted that had they met under different circumstances, they could have been great friends with the Germans they met. It's made most poignant in the final episode where the German general gives a speech to his men that could have been given by an American with no changes.
    Shifty Powers, in the opening interviews for Episode 9: A lot of those—a lot of those soldiers, I've thought about this often. That man and I might have been good friends. We might've—we might've had a lot in common. We might've liked to fish, you know. He might've liked to hunt. You never know, you know. Of course, they were doing what they were supposed to do and I was trying to do what I was supposed to do. But under different circumstances, we might've been good friends.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: After the harrowing events of Bastogne, at the end of episode seven, Captain Speirs is talking with Lipton about how despite a lack of a proper officer consistently watching and helping the men of Easy Company, they always had a leader who kept up moral and made sure things got done. Speirs lampshades this by telling Lipton he is talking about him. It's because of these acts of leadership that Lipton is promoted as an officer.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Dick Winters, to a T.
  • Oh, Crap!: To be expected, this being a war movie.
    • Captain Sobel when Winters calls his bluff and requests a court-martial in place of non-judicial punishment.
    • The C-47 pilot carrying Captain Meehan's stick. The port engine catches fire, and the extinguishers aren't working. They're all dead and he knows it, though he doesn't get long to reflect on it.
    • Winters losing his "leg bag," leaving him virtually unarmed in enemy territory. He acts more annoyed than anything else.
    • The British Tank commander gets just a brief moment to realize several terrible things: they have been ambushed, they are facing far superior tanks they don't stand a chance against, and they can't escape.
    • Bull, injured, rattled, separated from his squad, about to be overrun by a company of Germans, and a burning, shattered tank about to run him over. It's a safe bet these two words (or a variation thereof) was in his head at the time.
    • Heffron and Spina when they literally fall into a German soldier's foxhole in Bastogne.
    • Pretty much everyone in Second Platoon when they are given the mission in "The Last Patrol." They all think (correctly) this is a stupid, dangerous mission that really isn't necessary.
    • The German baker in "Why We Fight" when Webster finally snaps and comes very close to blowing his head off.
    • The concentration camp commandant when Liebgott reveals why they are there.
    • Janovec gets an extremely brief one before his demise.
  • Old Soldier: While on guard duty after the Germans had surrendered, Private Janovec and an old German soldier find themselves engaged in friendly conversation. The old German soldier notes he was also a veteran of World War I. Janovec just shakes his head in disbelief and congratulates him on surviving two world wars.
  • Ominous Fog: The fog around Bastogne certainly sets an ominous, creepy mood as the men of Easy wait for the Germans to attack. But as the characters note In-Universe, it means no Allied air cover. (This happened in Real Life and was a major factor in the German success over the first ten days of the battle, until after Christmas when the weather cleared up.)
  • One-Man Army: Dick Winters. He leads a charge on an entire company of SS, who are so surprised by him they start running away, while he simply stands there firing away.
    • Speirs. At least twice too: During the assault on the German battery early on (rushing outside of the trench and taking the last gun) and, more memorably, the run through Foy. Also, when Speirs replaces Dike and shoots down Dike's plan of attack, ending his orders with "The rest of you follow me." And then he runs through a German-occupied town, past retreating Germans, in order to link up with a friendly company. And the best part? 'He does it again to get back to Easy.''
  • One Last Smoke: Played straight with Speirs. He gives a bunch of German prisoners one last cigarette before he (supposedly) kills them all. Him giving them cigarettes is shown, but he is not shown killing them. The other soldiers don't seem to care that he killed prisoners, but are rattled that he gave them all cigarettes first. Hilariously, a few members of Easy Company panic when he offers them a smoke.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: As many of the actors in Band of Brothers were British, there was a chance for accents to slip. In episode 3, "Carentan", one can hear Rick Warden's (who plays Harry Welsh) natural English accent slip through quite noticeably on several occasions.
    • In episode 5 you can hear Damian Lewis' British pronunciation of "lieutenant."
      • And in episode 2, one can also hear Lewis's natural accent slip through on the word "situation."
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Averted, tragically, when Hoobler practices this trope, shoots himself in the leg, and rapidly bleeds to death.
  • Parachute in a Tree: The men of Easy Company find a dead paratrooper caught in a tree.
  • Perma-Stubble: Justified. Sometimes it's hard to shave when you're fighting Nazis. Everyone has it while they're in Bastogne, except for Winters, who shaves every day despite the freezing cold and occasional wandering German.
  • Pet the Dog: In "Replacements," the company passes one of the Dutch women (holding a baby) who has been exiled for sleeping with the Germans. Despite the fact it has been made clear to them that such women were (somewhat) traitors, everyone gives her looks of pity and sympathy. One of the men even gives her a K-Ration as they pass.
  • Plunder: What else do you do when you come across the holiday retreats of Hitler, Goering, and other Nazi leaders? Speirs was notorious for this (though it's slightly okay in that he sent all his plunder home to support his pregnant wife).
  • POW Camp: The men of Easy Company find and liberate a concentration camp.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Many of the men in Easy Company admit that they had a healthy respect for the Germans, and knew that the German soldiers they were facing were just doing their jobs, just like they were. Once the war ends, Easy Company actually bonds very well with the surrendering Germans.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Lt. Compton is newly assigned to Easy Company, he plays craps with his troops to get to know them. Lt. Winters rebukes him for gambling with the enlisted men, and at first, Compton doesn’t understand why.
    Winters: What if you’d won?
    Compton: What?
    Winters: What. If. You’d. Won? [beat] Never put yourself in a position to take from these men.
  • Put on a Bus: While Anyone Can Die applies to the series, in some cases the characters aren't killed in battle, but instead suffer gruesome injuries that force them to end their participation in the war, like Guarnere, Toye, Tipper, and Gordon. Or just get transferred to another unit like Sobel.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • If a fictional war movie had an officer trying to link up with a unit on the other side of an enemy held town, by running THROUGH the enemy held town, right past armed enemy soldiers, it'd be criticized for being unrealistic. Even more so if the crazy bastard managed to run back without getting shot and had an artillery shell explode in front of him.
    • Guarnere just happening to be wearing the wrong jacket that contained the news of his brother's death. In the commentary, he confirms it really did happen.
    • Malarkey coming across an American-born German POW from the same state (Oregon) on D-Day. Even more unbelievable was that he worked across the street from Malarkey in Portland, though the show just has him say he's from Eugene (possibly because the coincidence was too unbelievable).
    • Speirs' "When you talk to an officer, you say Sir" line (delivered after pistol-whipping the I Co. replacement, of course) seems straight out of a cliché war film script, but it's a direct quote from the book.
      • Apparently, in real life, he said something even more badass: "I've killed better men than you."
    • Compton's grenade exploding as it hit the shoulder of a soldier was changed from real life — where it was the soldier's head. Presumably because that was too unbelievable.
  • Real Person Cameo: The real Babe Heffron appears as a Dutch citizen in the town the 101st liberates (he is sitting at a table, waving a flag).
  • Real-Person Epilogue: Each episode begins and ends with an interview (or other footage) of the actual soldiers portrayed.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Perconte gives one to O'Keefe when they are on machine gun duty.
    Perconte: Do you know why no one remembers your name? It's because no one wants to remember your name. There's too many Smiths, DiMattos and O'Keefes and O'Briens, who show up here, replacing Toccoa men that you dumb replacements got killed in the first place! And they're all like you! They're all piss and vinegar. "Where're the Krauts at? Let me at 'em! When do I get to jump into Berlin?" Two days later, there they are with their blood and guts hanging out and they're screaming for a medic, begging for their goddamn mother. Dumb fucks don't even know they're dead yet. Hey, you listening to me? Do you understand this is the best part of the fucking war I've seen? I've got hot chow, hot showers, warm bed. Germany is almost as good as being home. I even got to wipe my own ass with real toilet paper today. So, quit asking about when you're gonna see real action, will you?! And stop with the fucking love songs!
  • Refuge in Audacity: During Speirs' epic run through Foy, the Germans initially do not fire on him and are just as confused as everybody else. Lipton muses that the absurdity of Speirs' run was what made it successful.
    • In the midst of a heated firefight, Malarkey runs out in the middle of the shooting and starts going over a dead German. The Germans ceased fire, thinking that he was a medic treating their man. They only resumed fire when it became clear that Malarkey was souvenir hunting on the dead man.
  • Reveal Shot: In "Crossroads," Winters apparently shoots a lone, unarmed, and surrendering soldier. Turns out he's opening fire on a whole company of them.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Watching the interviews of the real members of Easy Company at the beginning of each episode becomes more interesting after finding out who is who in the final episode.
    • As the miniseries has numerous characters, watching the episodes back-to-back allows the viewer to pick up little details they may have missed that also double as Genius Bonuses for those who know about the history. For example, the first episode briefly shows Liebgott shaving another man's head into a mohawk — the real Liebgott was a barber by trade and helped shave some of the men's heads.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Each episode has its own POV character with some being less clear than others:
    • Dick Winters (Episodes 2, 5, and 10)
    • Herbert Sobel (Episode 1)
    • Albert Blithe (Episode 3)
    • Denver "Bull" Randleman (Episode 4)
    • Eugene "Doc" Roe (Episode 6)
    • Carwood Lipton (Episode 7)
    • David Webster (Episode 8)
    • Lewis Nixon (Episode 9)
      • Episode 1 seems to split its POV between Sobel and Winters, which is a bit of Fridge Brilliance because they are unofficially at odds for command of Easy Company.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: "Replacements" introduces us to the wide-eyed Pvts. Hashey, Garcia, and Miller. The latter, played by a particularly young, baby-faced, innocence-exuding James McAvoy, dies the same episode. Bull contemplating over his corpse is staged in a manner that's supposed to remind the viewer of the thousands of inexperienced boys ground up in the war.
  • Sad Clown: To some extent, George Luz, especially after episode 7. Even so, he does his best to help keep his friends' spirits up.
    • Guarnere does this from time to time as well.
  • Sergeant Rock: 1st Sergeant Carwood Lipton, especially during the later stages of the Battle of the Bulge in "The Breaking Point".
  • Scenery Gorn: Any time there's fighting.
  • Scenery Porn: Austria, Bavaria. To show that the war is winding down.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Winters does this at the end of "The Last Patrol" when he tells them to blow off the second mission.
    • Note that Captain Nixon (and probably Speirs and possibly Lipton) were in on this too: all of them would have faced a serious court martial for doing this. But Winters risks that because he doesn't want to risk more casualties on another mission that really isn't going to make a difference anyway, successful or not.
  • Separated by a Common Language:
    • When Hoobler asks a British soldier a question in "Currahee" the answer is so thickly accented and slang-filled that it legitimately sounds like a foreign language to Hoobler.
    • A member of Easy goes to pick up laundry. The British lady doing the laundry hands it to him and says "That'll be two bob and thruppence." He just goggles at her and then hands her a handful of money. She laughs and collects payment.
    • A British officer says his men will signal with "a hand-held red torch", then turns to Nixon and says "that's a hand-held red flashlight."
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Plenty of them, during and after the war.
  • Shout-Out: "Why We Fight", in which they discover the concentration camp, takes its title from Frank Capra's memorable series of propaganda films made during the war.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The title comes from the Saint Crispin's Day speech in Henry V: "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother". The real Carwood Lipton quotes this in one of the episodes.
    • A speech given by a surrendering German general to his soldiers is reminiscent, mentioning "a bond, that exists only in combat, among brothers". In contrast to the Saint Crispin's Day speech, this is not a Rousing Speech but rather a post-defeat Final Speech. Even the American soldiers look on and feel compassion for people the day before they'd have killed without a second thought.
  • Shot in the Ass: This happens to multiple characters, with Popeye Wynn starting the 'tradition' in "Day of Days". Buck Compton is shot in "Replacements," which is how he acquires his infamous "one bullet, four holes" wound.
    Penkala: Yeah, kind of an Easy Company tradition, getting shot in the ass.
    • Perconte in "Breaking Point".
    • The book lists several additional instances of this happening to Easy Company men. It actually makes a certain amount of sense, in that this is usually a survivable wound, but it would have seemed like an out of place Running Gag if they'd included any more.
  • Shutting Up Now: The German baker is livid that the Americans are looting his bakery, to feed the concentration camp victims. He is positively apoplectic... until Webster snaps and shoves a pistol in his face. His whimpering and fear is probably the sole reason Webster didn't pull the trigger.
  • Sound Off: During the scene where Cpt. Sobel orders the company to run Currahee immediately after a heavy lunch, they respond to his harassment by breaking out into a running cadence and leaving him behind. Sobel's stunned reaction is about the same as the Grinch when he heard all of Whoville singing without their presents.
    "We pull upon the risers
    We fall upon the grass
    We never land upon our feet
    We always hit our ass
    So highdy highdy Christ almighty, who the hell are we?
    Zim zam, Goddamn, we're Airborne Infantry!"
    • We also hear part of the Airborne's rather grim variation on the Battle Hymn of the Republic called Blood upon the Risers: "He ain't gonna jump no more!", "Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die!"
  • Southern-Fried Private: Bull Randleman with his "folksy wisdom".
  • The Squad: Most of the squad is long gone by the end of the war.
  • Squad Nickname: "Easy Company"; although this is in theory their official designation, coming their name from "E Company" spelled in a pre-NATO radio alphabet, the name stuck as their best known moniker.
  • Stealth Insult: When Guarnere calls Sobel a Jew:
    Liebgott: (gets up close to Guarnere) I'm a Jew.
    Guarnere: Congratulations. Get your nose out of my face.
    • Subverted in that Liebgott knows he's insulting him and tries to fight him.
  • Stock Sound Effects: A sound used while the planes for the landings of Normandy are being shot up and going into flames in the second episode is the crick-crack sound of the skeleton units of Warcraft III being killed.
  • The Stoic: In a fashion — most of the veterans are unfazed by casual violence. For example, when some French Soldiers execute four Germans on the roadside, O'Keefe is horrified. When he looks at the other members of Easy, aghast, Perconte gives him an "Oh, well" sort of shrug, Liebgott just smiles and continues playing with a baseball, and Luz is too busy lighting his cigarette to notice.
  • Tank Goodness: A number of episodes feature lovely armored vehicles in combat. Of particular note are Easy's encounter with a German mechanized unit in "Carentan" and their battle in Nuenen, Holland in "Replacements," both of which showcase a nice variety of the Wehrmacht's arsenal.
  • Tanks for Nothing: "Replacements" has the British Sherman and Cromwell tanks being picked off easily by German tanks and tank destroyers, all without the Allied tanks being able to fire back a shot. Truth in Television, as the Sherman and Cromwell were outgunned by most late-model German tank types at the time.
  • Team Mom: Sergeant Lipton, as he most often is the one looking out for Easy Company. This is lampshaded by Captain Speirs.
    • Sergeant Randleman makes it a priority to get the rookies up to speed and share his experience.
  • Tempting Fate: Lieutenant Welsh starts a fire near Easy's entrenchment in Bastogne. Both Winters and Nixon warn this could draw the Germans' attention. Cue the shelling almost instantly afterward.
  • The Teetotaler: Winters, famously. Everyone is shocked when he accepts an offered bottle on D-Day and takes a swig, grimaces, and wryly comments there's a first time for everything.
    • Fun fact is that Nixon and Welsh, his two best friends in the company, are also the most notorious drunkards.
  • The Worf Effect: In "Carentan", the Shermans of the US 2nd Armored Division are shown to be more than a match for German assault guns and light armored vehicles. Come "Replacements", the Shermans of XXX corps, as well as the similarly armed Cromwell, are picked off easily off by newer generation German tanks and tank destroyers, establishing just how outmatched Easy Company and XXX corps were.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Perconte and Luz are frequently seen together.
    • Muck, Malarkey, and Penkala were basically Those Three Guys, making it worse when Muck and Penkala die in Bastogne.
    • Hashey and Garcia, following their debuts in Episode 3, are never seen without one another both in and out of combat.
    • To a lesser extent, Webster and Liebgott after Web rejoins the company in Episode 8.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Several times in the series.
    • A member of Meehan's stick goes catatonic just before the jump. Meehan snaps him out of it... not that it made much difference in the end.
    • This is Blithe's default expression in "Carentan".
    • Buck is frozen in one virtually the whole time he's at the Aid Station in "The Breaking Point." Even before this, the trope is lampshaded by Babe in regards to Buck, who appears on edge after a previous wound.
    • Malarkey starts to fade in and out of these at the end. They are frequent by "The Last Patrol," which Webster takes notice of.
    • Roe does this more than once in episode 6.
    • Subverted with Speirs who has a permanent creepy stare, but is entirely in command of his faculties.
  • Threat Backfire: And how. To keep him in line, Captain Sobel arranges some obviously frivolous charges against Winters, and tells him he can either lose his weekend pass, which he never uses anyway, or face court-martial. Winters requests trial by court-martial, which winds up revealing Sobel's pettiness to the higher ups and gets Sobel Kicked Upstairs to non-combat training duties.
  • Title Drop: The real Carwood Lipton quotes Henry V and the St. Crispin's Day speech, Trope Namer for Band of Brothers, at the end of the last episode.
  • To Absent Friends: In the closing scene of "The Breaking Point", Lipton narrates while Easy Company is resting in a church. As he starts listing off the casualties they suffered over the course of the Battle of the Bulge, the corresponding soldiers begin to fade away until the church looks far emptier than it did before.
    • Averted, sadly enough, in the final episode. Winters provides a voiceover giving some details about what happened to the Easy Company men, but only for those whose actors were present at the baseball game. Others, like Malarkey, Guarnere, and others who left the unit due to either reassignment or injury were left out.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Subverted in "Bastogne" when it looks like Eugene "Doc" Roe is going to keep Renee's hair smock, but he instead uses it as a bandage.
    • Played straight when Roe gives Malarkey what's left of Muck's rosary after he is killed at Bastogne.
    • Mentioned in the book when More is rooting through diddy bags of soldiers who were killed looking for money and snacks. He stops and has a breakdown when he comes across a pair of baby booties.
    • The Luger that killed Hobbler is given to Malarkey as a gift for his kid brother.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: Sgt. Bull Randleman, who makes it out on his own, despite being shot and stabbed.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Shown in Episode 4. Many Dutch women have their heads shaved publicly for sleeping with the Germans. Later on in the episode they come across a woman who has been shaved — and she's walking on the side of the road with her baby, implying she was forced out of the village too. Likewise implied in Episode 9, as all the prisoners in the Concentration Camp are shown with shaved heads.
  • True Blue Femininity: It's no coincidence that Renee's hair smock is blue.
  • True Companions: This series basically defines the trope — Both the company as a whole, and several nested groups within it. Malarkey, Muck, and Penkala. Guarnere and Toye. Bull and Johnny, and many other close-knit groups within Easy. This could cut both ways, either pushing men to excel to keep their buddies safe, or breaking men as they see their "family" slowly whittled down.
  • Truth in Television: The show and book both dramatize real events, but they strove to remain as accurate as possible. Only rarely did either make serious errors (most notably with the mis-attributed death of Albert Blithe, who not only didn't die of his wound in Normandy, but continued to serve with distinction through the Korean war and died without retiring, a Master Sergeant).
  • Unfazed Everyman: Both Webster and Shifty come across this way. Despite everyone else in the company slowly becoming cynics, killers, and wiseacres, their personalities never really change. Webster remains a calm intellectual, while Shifty is still the same soft-spoken and polite country boy who left Virginia all those years ago.
  • Unfriendly Fire: After it becomes apparent that Sobel is a poor combat leader, Liebgott implies that he will frag him once Easy Company gets into combat. Thankfully, Sobel is reassigned before they go into battle and is replaced by competent officers.
  • Urban Warfare: Thrice. There's Carentan, Nuenen, and Bastogne, though the last one turns out to be a subversion as the Germans are instead fought in the woods surrounding the city.
  • Voice Changeling: Luz. It's his specialty.
  • Victory Is Boring: The last episode establishes this. After Hitler has committed suicide, the war in Germany is effectively over, but the war in Japan is still going on. So those without enough points to return home essentially have to wait around in Austria for months until they are either called to Japan or the war ends. Thankfully the latter happens.
  • War Crime Subverts Heroism:
    • In episode 2, a group of captured Nazi soldiers — including a volunteer American who was born to German parents and raised 100 miles from Malarkey — are executed after being given cigarettes.
    • In episode 9, a sign of how jaded the men of Easy Company have become after all they've been through is when they drive past a unit of French soldiers cold-bloodedly executing a couple of German prisoners... and not one of them except a fresh-faced "replacement" bats an eye at it.
  • War Is Glorious: This series is full of Depression-era/World War II men on the battlefield at their best as soldiers and men of honor, especially the likes of Winters, Randleman, Lipton, Roe, and Speirs. And consider, this is just one company in an army full of guys just like the men of Easy. But...
    • Speirs himself expresses this view. He just loves to kill.
  • War Is Hell: ...for every act of badassery, there are about a dozen more showing how heartbreaking, senseless, and destructive war is.
  • Well-Trained, but Inexperienced: The paratroopers of Easy Company are superbly trained but D-Day is their first time in combat. By the time they are pulled from Normandy, they are toughened veterans but at a very bloody cost. This is then repeated on a smaller scale when the company gets replacements who are highly trained but have no combat experience.
  • Wham Episode: It's about war, so there are wham moments in pretty much every episode, but episodes 6, 7 and 9 are particularly wrenching.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Episode 5, Winters is assigned as Executive Officer under Lt. Colonel Strayer, and is seen with him in Episode 6. But in the latter half of Episode 7, Sink reminds him that as the battalion commander he is unable to relieve Lt. Dike himself. So when exactly was he promoted from XO to commander, and what happened to Strayer?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Nixon finally runs out of his beloved Vat 69 during the occupation. He sees a German Liquor Store, closed and locked up for the night. Nixon smashes the window and steals a few bottles as the store owner (living above the store) shouts down at him. The US military police arrive just as he's leaving, and they casually greet him as he walks off with his loot.
    • Doc Roe to Winters and Welsh, after they can't say how much morphine they gave Heyliger and did not put the syrettes on his shirt (See Worst Aid example below).
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Hoobler is rather bamboozled by a Cockney "German".
    Cockney: Oi, yer 'aving a bath if you think yer half-inchin' that one, mate!note 
  • What Were You Thinking?: Webster yells this at a bunch of surrendering Germans when he sees that they still use horse-drawn wagons for transport.note 
    Webster: "Hey, you! That's right, you stupid Kraut bastards! That's right! Say hello to Ford, and General Fuckin' Motors! You stupid fascist pigs! Look at you! You have horses! What were you thinking? Dragging our asses half way around the world, interrupting our lives... For what, you ignorant, servile scum! What the fuck are we doing here?"
    • Malarkey gets yelled at by a half-worried, half-annoyed Guarnere for running out into enemy fire at Brecourt Manor hoping to find a Luger.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Each episode is topped and tailed by interviews with the survivors. After the final episode, the interviewees returned — this time with captions telling you who they were. Within the last episode there was also a Sandlot-like epilogue where the characters' later lives are narrated while they play baseball.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: In episode 7, Luz and Lipton have an artillery round land in their foxhole and... smoke a little bit. The two are, understandably, quite shaken up.
    • Episode 8 has a raid that leaves behind a time bomb in a building used as a German observation post. Winters checks his watch shortly before the building explodes, as if checking that the Kaboom isn't behind schedule.
  • Worst Aid: In "Crossroads", Moose is accidentally shot by a friendly sentry. Winters and Welsh provide first aid until the medic arrives. Doc Roe promptly informs them that they gave Moose a morphine overdose, which is far more likely to kill him than the bullets were, and chews them out for being that stupid.
    Welsh: He was in a lot of pain, doc. We didn't know what to—
    Doc Roe: [absolutely furious] Yeah, well, you oughta! You know, you are officers, you are grown-ups, you oughta know!
  • You Are in Command Now: During D-Day, the plane carrying Easy Company's CO and HQ section is shot down and destroyed, leaving Winters as the highest ranking officer and de facto leader of Easy. Easy's replacement CO is then subsequently shot by friendly fire and is shipped back to the States, leaving Winters the acting CO yet again until he is officially promoted to the position.
    • During the invasion of Foy, Lieutenant Dike freezes in place, endangering the entire company. Colonel Sink specifically reminds Winters that as he is the commander of the entire battalion, and not just Easy Company, he cannot rush into battle and assume command in place of Dike. Winters immediately turns to Lieutenant Speirs and orders him to relieve Dike and lead the assault into Foy. Speirs takes about a second and a half to come up with a workable battle-plan and successfully takes the town.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Martin's reaction when the British tank commander tells him he can't shoot a Dutch house to expose a German tank due to an agreement the Brits made to the Dutch to avoid unnecessary property damage. He turns out to be literally Too Dumb to Live.
    • Toye says this to himself after grenades explode at his feet twice in the same battle without harming him.

"And there is not a day that goes by, that I do not think of the men I served with, who never got to enjoy the world without war."
Major Richard Winters


Salute the Rank, not the Man

Major Winters makes Captain Sobel acknowledge him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MilitarySalute

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