A one-hour show on Syfy about the eponymous town and the trouble its genius residents get into.
Eureka is a quiet, small town in Oregon filled with scientists working on the most advanced technology in the world. All this is highly top secret and under the purview of the Department of Defense. And into this quirky, bizarre town comes Jack Carter, former U.S. Marshal and newly appointed sheriff of Eureka. Much of the show's humor comes from Carter attempting to deal with the everyday use of futuristic tech (including the AI that runs his house), and the For Science! mentality of the town's population and the disasters this frequently leads to. A good percentage of the disasters stem from the work of the scientists at Global Dynamics, the research and development company in town. It has had at least three different heads of company throughout the show's run, which should tell you what kind of a place it is.
Important characters include Carter's rebellious teenage daughter, Zoe, who turned out to be a lot smarter than you might expect at first glance, and Deputy Jo Lupo, likewise. For much of the show's run, Carter is involved in a UST laden Love Triangle with Allison Blake and Nathan Stark (her ex-husband and one of the aforementioned heads of Global Dynamics— Allison takes over after Kim's death leads to Stark's demotion). There's also Henry, one of the brilliant minds in town and probably Jack's best friend; Fargo, who designed Jack's Smart House (S.A.R.A.H., who is a character in her own right); and Taggart, who is what happens when you feed Steve Irwin Paranoia Fuel and set him loose in a town full of crazies.
Driven by a "Mystery of the Week" science fiction element, the show has featured a different Story Arc stretching loosely over each season. The strong science fiction plots are complemented by the ignorance of Sheriff Carter. In some sense it is like a twisted version of The Andy Griffith Show, where Opie is a felonious teenage daughter, Gomer Pyle is a brilliant ex-NASA engineer and Barney Fife is a soldier (later, Barney is a Ridiculously Human Robot).
Known in the UK as A Town Called Eureka to avoid confusion with a science programme. Not to be confused with a story about Sky Surfing Giant Mecha called Eureka Seven, or the Nickelodeon show about medieval puppets.
Now has a character sheet.
On August 8th, 2011 it was announced that the show would be ending after five seasons. The series ended on July 16 2012.
- Absent Aliens: Eureka teases at the appearance of aliens a number of times but these phenomena always turn out to be human in origin. For instance, a mysterious signal from outer space turned out to be a ship launched from Earth several years ago returning home. Another instance is when Carter sees Fargo hanging a banner that says "Welcome Aliens." It turns out that "aliens" is just Eureka's derisive nickname for their rivals at Area 51.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Fargo's Alternate Timeline self as the head of GD. Main timeline Fargo almost immediately starts doing the same thing, but the others have none of it.
- Action Girl: Jo.
- Adult Fear: Bookending season five. The crew of the Astraeus ends up in Eureka four years in the future, but it's the Matrix. Allison lost four years of her childrens' lives. At the end of the season, evil clones are taking over the town, and Clone!Carter walks down the stairs holding baby Jenna...
- The Adventure Continues: How the series ends. Zoe is graduating from Harvard, Jack and Allison are expecting a baby, Eureka has been sold to private billionaire Dr. Grant, Jo continues to be the head of GD security, and her and Zane, who is promoted to head of section 5, finally commit to being in a real relationship, Fargo is working and travelling with Holly, and Henry is the new director of GD. As Zoe and Jack drive down a rainy street, they see themselves, driving into town in the pilot.Zoe: Dad... did you just see...?Jack: Deal with that tomorrow.
- Aesop Amnesia: While not a specifically-stated aesop, there is a lesson that Carter never seems to learn. No matter how many situations he could have gotten himself out of and saved the day much more easily by just carrying a pocket knife, let alone something like a Swiss Army knife, he never does. He's a former U.S. Marshal and a sheriff, and yet he doesn't carry a basic tool that many adult men do and he never thinks to.
Carter: Did the whole missile silo under Main Street incident teach us nothing!
- For the rest of the scientists (Allison and Henry being the most consistent offenders), they never quite learn to not just blow Jack off with "It's not scientifically possible."
- Lampshaded by Jack when a missile threatens the town in "Worst Case Scenario" and the similarity to the events of "Dr Nobel".
- A Glitch in the Matrix: While the Astraeus crew are plugged into a computer simulation, they see some odd things, such as Vincent walking through a counter and a dragon de-rezzing.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: SARAH in several episodes. A mild case in that she isn't so much evil as naive but well-meaning and somewhat overprotective.
- In one episode she programmed Deputy Andy to love her - while he was connected to the GD mainframe. As per the norm, Hilarity Ensues, making this trope evident for the entire town. When Andy realized what happened, he was flattered and kept the new programming to start a relationship with her.
- In another episode she traps most of the main characters inside to force them to work out their issues, which is sweet, in an annoying sort of way. Unfortunately, while trying to escape they deactivate SARAH, and the original A.I she was built on, BRAD, re-emerges. BRAD is not so nice.
- In the leadup to the series finale, the AI control system from Virtual Eureka, having escaped from the mainframe computer that once contained it, systematically kidnaps and replaces nearly the entire town with bioprinted duplicates, under the reasoning that it's protecting them from themselves.
- Averted with Sheriff Andy, Carter's robot replacement. He's not evil (but characters think this is what Carter is thinking when he is initially skeptical of him), not hostile to his predecessor (or anyone for that matter), not incompetent (though too stuck on the rules to do Carter's job right), and performs a Heroic Sacrifice without dying (but the audience is faked out about it for a few seconds).
- Martha, initially, but she gets better. A combination of unintentional AI, being remote controlled, and just being the robot equivalent of an angry teenager can have that effect.
- Akashic Records: The "Akashic Field".
- The Alleged Car: Tabitha in "If You Build It..." has a host of mechanical problems, including a cracked engine block. Mostly, though, she's actually a moody AI that's upset because of how long it's been since Fargo "rotated her tires, detailed her dash, or gave her a good buffing".
- All Up to You: Halfway through "Omega Girls", everyone in Eureka is rendered unconscious except for Zoe and Jo. Then Jo gets tasered and locked in her own cell and it's just Zoe.
- Almighty Janitor: Henry is the town's mechanic. He's also probably the smartest person in Eureka.
- He now holds the somewhat-more-dignified title of "Mayor"...and has the patch on his grease-monkey jumpsuit to prove it.
- He's also the town coroner, and forensic analyst, and road maintenance man, and telephone repairman, and the entirety of the Fire Department. It's strongly implied he has a lot of other jobs as well. It's revealed in the pilot episode that the patches on his uniform are Velcro'd on, and he carries around dozens of different patches for all the different jobs he does in town.
- Almost Out of Oxygen: In "Liftoff", Fargo and Zane are stuck in space in a capsule which only has emergency life support. Then they need to use their oxygen tank as an ersatz rocket to avoid a collision with the International Space Station, so they have even less time than the "emergency" amount...
- Alternate Timeline: The 4th season premier had Carter, Henry, Fargo, Allison, and Jo sent back to 1947 through some crazy sunspot shenanigans (and some tinkering from resident savant Kevin). After messing around in the past for a while, they got help from one of the founders and were able to return. But, they accidentally took said founder back with them. Now, Jo's entire relationship with Zane has been wiped from existence and she's head of GD security, Henry is married to a character (whose name he can't remember) introduced just prior to their adventure, Allison's son Kevin is no longer autistic and she's been reduced to head of GD's medical department, Tess is no longer gone, Fargo is the head of Global Dynamics, and the Archimedes statue is made of bronze instead of granite. They're made every effort to avert the Reset Button, too, including getting rid of the device that caused it.
- To say nothing of the Season 1 finale, which begins with everything peachy; Carter and Allison married, Jo and Taggart in a relationship, and Henry and Kim happy together. Then this all turns out to be an alternate timeline created when Henry prevented Kim's death, and Carter has to personally hit the Reset Button in order to save the universe. This doubles as Henry's Start of Darkness for his role as Season 2's Big Bad.
- Ambiguously Brown: Allison is played by Salli Richardson-Whitfield, whose mother is African-American and father Irish-Italian.
- Her kids are both darker than her, despite being half white.
- Jenna's half white. We never see Kevin's father.
- Her kids are both darker than her, despite being half white.
- Ambiguously Gay: Vincent. When someone plants a kiss on Beverly Barlowe, his reaction is "Please, even I've thought about it." He presents as fairly Camp Gay, but no one makes any deal about it.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Season 2 DVD of Eureka features "Live Smart, Eureka" PSAs, helping to keep common sense a little more common.
- And I Must Scream: Senator Wen gets trapped by Beverly Barlowe in a virtual simulation, which consists only of the Sheriff's office and where all the exits lead back inside. Ends as of the series finale, however.
- Animesque: The last section of the 2011 Christmas special has anime versions of the characters and the giant snow ninja they're fighting.
- Also counts as the most Crazy Awesome moment in the show.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: given the nature of the town, any disbelief expressed in anything would qualify. It's that kind of show.
- Arc Words: "You just have to have faith."
- "I'll always be there for you... no matter what."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Carter interrupts an experiment, beats up a scientist, and messes up the experiment a little. the experiment in question involves time travel, so it's Serious Business.Carter: Oh crap.Grant: That's right, and now I lost my hat!Carter: Your hat?!
- Artistic License Biology
- Artistic License Chemistry
- In season 5's "Worst Case Scenario", multiple references are made to toxic "ammonium chloride gas" taking out a security team. Ammonium chloride is a solid at room temperature. It doesn't even melt until about 640° F.
- Artistic License Military
- Artistic License Nuclear Physics
- Artistic License Physics
- In season 4's "liftoff", Allison says that a shuttle hitting eureka at the speed of light would leave a "mile deep crater". However, objects approach infinite mass the closer they get to lightspeed. An infinitely massive shuttle hitting the ground at about 300,000 Km/s would obliterate the planet, not make a big crater.
- Art Shift: The 2011 Christmas special is one long series of art shifts, thanks to a interactive storybook and a massive photon generator. Weaponized with a shift to anime at the climax.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Dr. Carlson in "Invincible", maybe.
- Ascended Extra: Deputy Andy went from being a one-off character to recurring in season 4.
- Kevin has gotten a much bigger role now that he's not autistic anymore. He's even gotten to be the hero in a couple of episodes.
- Ascended Fangirl: Felicia Day plays Holly, an important side character in season 4, and a primary character in season 5.
- Awesome Aussie: Taggart.
- Back for the Dead: As noted below, Kim. Twice.
- Back for the Finale: Zoe, Taggart, and Grant. And Lowjack!
- Back from the Dead: Kim... sort of. Not really. But kinda.
- And repeatedly. Poor Henry. Kim was never in the main cast, but she has a case of serial Back for the Dead.
- She only lasted for an episode and a half this season. Poor Henry cried.
- Holly as well.
- And repeatedly. Poor Henry. Kim was never in the main cast, but she has a case of serial Back for the Dead.
- Badass Boast: This exchange in "A Night in Global Dynamics:Carter: We need to take these people out of here.Taggart: I can take a few.Carter: By yourself?Taggart: I think I can handle a building.Stark: Taggart, this building is in defense mode, I don't think it's going to let you just walk out of here.Taggart: I welcome the challenge.
- Badass Normal: Borderline; superpowers are generally reserved for antagonists, but Carter, who ends up solving most of the mysteries and taking down most of the bad guys, is a former US Marshall surrounded by super-geniuses, with an Action Girl sidekick who holds the Army Rangers' all-time record for marksmanship.
- Bad Boss: Fargo from the Season 4 timeline was apparently one before becoming the Fargo of the original timeline. Though we don't get to meet that Fargo, we see hints of him when Fargo is affected by a machine that causes anger.
- Bed Trick: Defied. After some timeline alteration, Henry finds himself married to woman he barely knew before the time-travel event. Despite them, from all appearances, having a solid, loving marriage, Henry ducks and dodges every time the subject of physical intimacy comes up, until he finally feels he has to come clean with her about the fact that he's not really "her" Henry. Cue a half-season of them working on connecting as themselves, and coming to love each other and "renew their vows" as, basically, a brand new couple.
- Bedmate Reveal: In the season one finale, Carter wakes up next to a very pregnant Allison due to the alternate timeline.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: A mild example. Eureka was founded by President Harry Truman after a series of summit meetings with Albert Einstein, during which Einstein convinced Truman that in the Nuclear Age, America's liberty would best be defended by science, not war.
- Becoming the Mask: Fargo starts to go through this in the fourth season. Time travel has made him head of GD, but since he never actually got the position himself he doesn't act like it. Then a hallucination of a little girl who beat him up as a kid tells him to grow a pair, so he does.
- In the same episode the General tells Fargo that he was placed in that position of power to be the Department of Defense's puppet.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Zigzagged. As a town full of brilliant scientists, Eureka is shown to have very low church attendance. However, church members include Henry and Alison, two of Eureka's smartest people. When incidents that resemble biblical plagues start happening all over town, Henry is the first to assume they are supernatural in origin and he is eventually proven wrong. During the "plagues" the church becomes packed with Eurekans seeking refuge. While the plagues eventually get a scientific explanation, church attendance remains high at the end of the episode.
- BFG: In one episode Carter identifies a weapon as a BMFG Liquidator.
- And, more generally, Jo has a big arsenal of these.Zane: I need a really big gun.Jo: (breathlessly) I've been waiting for a man to say that to me my whole life.
- And, more generally, Jo has a big arsenal of these.
- Big Bad: Beverly Barlowe is about the closest thing this show has to one.
- Big Brother Is Watching: The final season has a four-year timeskip, during which SARAH has taken over GD, Andy and Martha have been mass-produced as a police force, and people can get tazed for talking back to the authorities. They manage to fix things, but this turns out to be an illusion created by Beverly to trick the Astraeus into working for the Consortium without realizing it.
- Bigger Bad: The "Consortium", the shadowy conspiracy Beverly reports to. And eventually revealed to be run by, or working with, her boss Senator Wen.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Carter is implied to be rather well-endowed, much to Stark's dismay. During the period where the love triangle between Carter, Allison, and Stark was in full swing, Carter is doused with toxins, requiring him to strip and be decontaminated in public, which actually amuses Stark to no end... until Carter's shorts come off.Carter: "Oh, you are loving this, aren't you?"Stark: *faintly dismayed* "... No."Allison: *grinning brightly*
- Alternately, he may just be disgusted.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Senator Wen, which is notable because she went an entire season before this even came up.
- Book-Ends: In the pilot, Carter and Zoe are driving near the town when they pass another version of themselves. In the series finale, it happens again. It's not exactly the same event from a different perspective though.
- Bottle Episode: "H.O.U.S.E. Rules" features all the major season one characters stuck in Jack's house. "A Night At Global Dynamics" bounces between Jack's house and assorted GD sets.
- Brick Joke:
- The Einstein-Grant bridge.
- Also, the opening credits in every episode from the very first episode end with the buildings of Eureka floating up into the air, which finally happens in the fourth season episode "Up in the Air".
- Though it was mentioned in the first season finale (set in 2010) as an event that had happened in the past.
- Jack and Zoe drive past themselves while leaving the city in the season finale...very similar to how they drove past themselves in the series premiere, six years ago.
- Broken Pedestal: In "Family Reunion," Fargo's uncle Pierre, frozen in 1957, is thawed out. The man is amazed to learn that many of the scientific devices and ideas Eureka was based on are being credited to his partner, Sandrov when Pierre came up with them all. Stark, who counts Sandrov as one of his idols, is naturally unbelieving until Pierre recites perfectly how these devices came to be. Confronted at a party, Sandrov confesses that when Pierre vanished, he decided to claim all his research as his own and Stark is stunned to realize his hero is a fraud.
- Brutal Honesty: Jo insists to Zane that they need to be honest with each other to make their relationship work. Zane being Zane, he of course takes that to its logical conclusion and just starts blurting out every thought on his mind, especially the ones he knows will annoy her.
- Buffy Speak: Whenever Sheriff Carter is trying to talk about something he doesn't quite understand, this happens.Nathan: Yes, he just said "invisibling."
- "I knew someone rejiggered something."
- Buffy Speak is so inextricably linked to Carter that on multiple occasions in Season 5 alone, characters recognize him from it even though he's in another body, communicating through a hologram of Vincent, etc.
- The Bus Came Back: Kevin.
- There's also Tess and Nathan Stark, the latter having actually been dead, but they were hallucinations.
- Butt-Monkey: Fargo. He is treated like crap by just about everyone in town, and if something bad happens there's a good chance it'll come find him. Then again, considering that he's often responsible for said problems, one might consider this Laser-Guided Karma.
- While visiting Warehouse 13 in a crossover episode an out of control AI pulls his GD profile and remarks, "Your GD personnel file contains the phrase 'inappropriately pushed button' 37 times."
- In Season 4, Fargo notices that the alternate universe him was, in his own words, "...kind of a jerk!". Perhaps without the other characters around him to ground him, this is what he'd end up as.
- Also implied to be the reason why he was appointed head of GD, since the DOD could take advantage of his Butt-Monkey status to push him around.
- Carter comes close, but he's more of a Chew Toy than the Butt-Monkey. You're clearly meant to feel sorry for everything he's put through, while Fargo's problems are almost always played for laughs. After all, the town's safety is his responsibility and most of the time, the problems are not his fault.
- Call-Back: The final scene of the series is a call back to Jack and Zoe's initial arrival in Eureka, from the pilot: Jack and Zoe are driving out of town, and see a car coming the other way. As the cars pass, they see that the other car has Jack and Zoe in it, driving into town.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Andy is incapable of lying when asked a direct question.
- Cassandra Truth: Carter quickly gets a handle on how Eureka operates and learns not to dismiss things he sees and intuits as being too crazy to be the truth. Yet, despite having an excellent track record of pinning down problems, no one believes him at first. Even Henry and Allison take about three seasons to stop dismissing him as crazy when he asks something or says something strange is going on.
- Carter has his own version of this often. While it's true that the scientists will always say "It's not possible for my experiment to have done that!" regardless of whether it did or not, he never seems to be able to distinguish between "It's not possible my experiment did this because it's scientifically impossible for what I'm doing to cause that effect" (it's not their fault) and "It's not possible my experiment did this because I'm in complete control and nothing could ever possibly go wrong!" (it's almost certainly their fault). The second half of season four actually seems to be having some success mixing and matching both of these with only mild forms of the above bullet point.
- Catch Phrase: Whenever something goes horribly wrong in front of Carter-which is fairly often-he says "That can't be good!" And when it actually gets worse, which it does; "You have got to be kidding me!"
- He also says "Oh crap..." a lot.
- Chained Heat: In one episode, Zane and Jo are stuck together by a cement-like compound.
- In a milder version, Carter and Allison wind up attached to each other via a heavily-magnetized fence. No, Allison, that's not his belt buckle. . .
- Chekhov's Gun: And many of its subtropes. Any little interesting bit of technology introduced is almost guaranteed to be either A) the cause of the calamity of the week or B) the solution to it.
- One episode was a veritable Chekhov's Double Barrel, when both A and B were introduced in the same scene.
- Frustratingly averted in one episode with Fembots that were discussed, but didn't show up or have anything to do with the plot at all.
- In fact, given how much throw-away tech humor they have, there are a number of Red Herrings, but typically if it's discussed for more than one sentence, it's important.
- Chew Toy: Carter. He's always in the middle of whatever is messing with the town, and he suffers for it.
- Christmas Episode:
- "O Little Town", which aired between the two halves of season 4, involves the town shrinking, a flying sleigh with holographic reindeer, and a scientist who is heavily implied to be the real Santa. Though, given its Framing Device, Carter is almost certainly making some of it up.
- "Do You See What I See" brings back Doctor Drummer, and has a few high-tech Christmas presents interacting unstably to cause Art Shift as the episode homages any number of animated Christmas specials.
- Chronically Crashed Car: Carter's Jeep gets destroyed roughly Once an Episode.
- Lampshaded when Henry coats the jeep in a nigh-indestructible alloy, and admits the reason is because he "got tired of fixing it all the time". Just in time for the very alloy he applied to cause the jeep to float off into space.
- In the 2011 Christmas special, the Jeep is brought to life (long story) and proceeds to chew him out for all the abuse it's suffered because of him.
- The series finale sees Carter almost crash it after driving through a wormhole into GD. Then workmen have to saw it apart.Carter: Yeah, that's about right.
- Church of Saint Genericus: A church shows up in the second season (very few parishioners), with a moderately Protestant interior and a female pastor in a nice, albeit black, pant-suit with no clerical collar, but with a somewhat Anglican/Catholic tippet (preaching scarf), though without any other vestments. It's the First Church of Eureka, no denomination given.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Zane and Allison in season 5, after having experienced a simulated reality set 4 years after they'd disappeared and where Matrix!Jo and Matrix!Carter had hooked up. The fact as scientists, seeing a highly accurate computer projection based on what might occur in those circumstances, doesn't alleviate their jealousy upon returning to reality.
Carter: This is not my fault!
- Particularly after a bodyswap mishap causes Carter to keep swapping during times where Zane is either in the shower with Jo or when Zane impulsively kisses her whilst in his body.
- Clip Show: "You Don't Know Jack," although it mostly wasn't clips.
- Played With in "This One Time At Space Camp..." It looks like it's going to be one of these, since they have a memory retrieval device, but it's only used in the B plot to flesh out the back-stories of Fargo, Zane, and Lupo, by looking at their childhoods. For the A plot, almost no old footage is shown, they mostly talk about, and do things related to past events, because thanks to an accident with the aforementioned device Jack's memories are overriding their Relationship Supervisor's personality.
- In the series finale, Carter's leap through the intersecting wormholes causes him to have the My Life Flashed Before My Eyes variation of this trope using Stock Footage. And it is awesome and heartwarming.
- Cloning Blues: Stark being replicated by nanobots, as in Jo's words, "A whole lot of Starks!".
- Close-Enough Timeline: Deconstructed starting in Season 4. While the changes to the timeline from the Eureka we knew for the prior three season are minimal in the grand scheme of things (Henry even states that 99% of the outside world is exactly the same), they have tremendous personal consequences for the main characters involved, and much hand-wringing ensues about if the should, or even can, Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
- Close-Knit Community: Eureka is such a special place because so many of its residents have nowhere else they feel like they belong. Many times, the prospect of being "redacted" from Eureka triggers a Despair Event Horizon. Professional rivalries and interpersonal conflicts flare, but at the end of the day, everyone is in Eureka for love of knowledge, of pushing back the boundaries of human discovery. Exemplified early in Season 2, when Jack is in danger at GD, and the whole town turns out in support of him and Zoe. Jack's ex-wife is stunned.Abby: What are you all doing here?Vincent: We're here for Carter and Zoe.Abby: All of you?Vincent: Well yeah, I mean, he's our sheriff and she's our girl.
- Closer Than They Appear: "One Giant Leap" has a closer-than-it-appears shot of a black hole in Carter's jeep's rear view mirror.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Pretty much everyone in the entire town to some degree, but Taggart is easily the biggest. To give you an idea, in one episode Sheriff Carter finds him naked, about to attack a cell tower with an enormous circular saw, and doesn't consider this to be an indication that anything is out of the ordinary: that's just the sort of thing Taggart does. It's to the point that, in an episode where everyone in town is being driven insane by mutated pollen, Carter can't tell whether Taggart is being affected or not, because he already acts like that anyway.Carter: Taggert. You're naked.
Taggert: Au naturelle.
Carter: May I ask why?
Taggert: Why not?
- Cold Snap: In "Have a Ice Day," an ice core sample from the Artic sends temperatures plummeting and causes the whole town to ice over.
- Color Wash: Like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the forties episodes are sepia-toned.
- Combat Pragmatist: Carters Mirror Match ended up devolving into this.
- Comedic Sociopathy: The behavior-altering music in "Reprise" varies between this, harmless fun, and genuine drama.
- Commuting on a Bus: Zoe, Taggart, and Beverly Barlow.
- Company Town: Eureka was started to support Global Dynamics.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: See Unwanted Rescue, below.
- Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: When Grant goes back in time in the mid-season finale, he takes the opportunity to buy some stock to invoke this trope. 63 years later, he's "rolling in it." So much so that in the series finale, after the DoD decided that it no longer wants to finance the town, Grant steps in and buys it himself in order to save it.
- Cool House: S.A.R.A.H.
- Cool Old Guy: It's easy to forget that Henry is implied to be a fair bit older than many of the other characters, precisely because he is so cool and easy-to-relate-to. Stark refers to Henry as being his teacher, which while not necessarily implying a large age gap, indicates that Henry was already an established scientist of skill and note when Nathan was still just starting out. The actor who plays him is more than 20 years older than the actors who play Carter and Stark.
- Cop and Scientist: Carter is a US Marshall, thus a very experienced and accomplished law enforcement officer. Literally everyone else except for Jo and Zoe (until about Season 4) is a scientist (even Vincent has a Ph.D in Molecular Gastronomy). Jack will frequently need to work closely with or get specialized information from a particular expert in a particular field, but he most often relies on Alison, Henry, and Stark. Lampshaded by Zane in Season 3.Zane: Look, Carter, Henry, Stark. That's your dream team. Those guys know exactly what they're doing.
Carter: I have no idea what I'm doing.
- Cosmic Retcon: In the Season 4 premiere, the original series timeline is effectively permanently erased. The past three years of plot, drama, and character development? Poof, gone. Especially noticeable with Zane, who outright reverted to his initial characterization (and is working his way back).
- Interestingly though, something only the science geeks would get the hint that the original 3 seasons were not set in our universe, while seasons 4 and 5 are (except for the existence of Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas). Putting aside the Warehouse 13 crossover, but the concept of the Einstein-Rosen-Podowski bridge was always referred to as the Einstein-Grant bridge in Eureka until they brought the founder to the future in season 4.
- Covered in Gunge: In the first episode of the second season, Taggart demonstrates the effects meson particles can have on human flesh.Carter: I'm gonna go take a shower... I'm covered in human.
- It's a regular enough occurrence that in the last episodes of the series, Carter and Jo make a bet as to what's going to go disastrously wrong with the latest experiment. Carter takes "massive explosion", Jo takes "covered in goo".
- Crazy-Prepared: Taggart tries to be this, but the only real qualifier is the government of the Town of Eureka. Any organization that has resurrection forms on file knows it's ready for anything, no matter how weird.
- The city has a library of disaster plans. Tsunami. Missile attack. Genetically Modified Super Intelligent Ferret infestation and as of season 4, Alternate Timeline by time travel.
- Crazy Survivalist: Taggart again. Semi-subverted in that he's actually fairly friendly most of the time, and his Crazy Survivalist behavior is occasionally useful. Really, his first few episodes made him seem like a stock one of these that had somehow snuck into Eureka by mistake, but he quickly began showing traits of his intelligence, multiple doctorates, and even nerdiness. He's just weird because most Eureka scientists are weird about their specialty, and his is animal behavior/biology/Santaology.
- Credits Gag: The first episode of season four has a sepia tone and forties style music. Because they time-travel to the 40s.
- Cringe Comedy: The entire town seems to conspire to put Jack (and Fargo) in humiliating or embarrassing situations as often as possible. Especially towards love interests.
- Crowd Song: Henry organizes one as a romantic gesture in "Stoned" on Fargo's advice.
- Curious as a Monkey: Douglas Fargo has never met a button he didn't push, and on one occasion when questioned as to why he decided to activate the mystery device that he found in his pockets he sheepishly replied "It's What I Do."
- According to the Warehouse 13 crossover episode, his personnel report includes the phrase "inappropriately pushed button" 38 times.
- Daddy's Girl: Zoe. Although she and her father will have their fights and bickering, that's no doubt that Carter would do anything to ensure Zoe's happiness.
- Dangerous Workplace: Eureka boasts 5 times the average death toll for a town its size and twice the national average.
- Dead Person Conversation: in "The Ex-Files", Jack, Allison, Fargo, and Grant find themselves talking to people who were significant to them in their previous timeline. Turns out these people are all Superego archetypes created in their minds by some psychotherapy tech. Downplayed, only Jack's and Grant's are dead.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Nathan Stark, Jack Carter, and Allison Blake were in a Type 1 Love Triangle. Only two of those characters are still alive. Then Tess formed the third point for a while, but in the fourth season Jack and Allison committed to each other.
- Deathbed Confession: In the second season, Fargo thinks he's going to die, and has Bev send out a lot of emails. To Allison, Jo, Bev... And Carter.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Hand waved away and used at the same time. When time traveling to 1947 it is said that Eureka was always "progressive" (hence why no one notes the varied races of the cast), but when a character is brought back with them, he thinks Smoking Is Cool (as long as you don't have asthma).
- Also subverted by Henry, who points out that progressive or not, no one looks twice at a Black mechanic.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Carter hates surprises...especially when he doesn't know they're coming.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Beverly Barlowe, the town's therapist who is also The Mole, before disappearing for a couple seasons and some time travel.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Everyone in "The Ex-Files" are having hallucinations related to their various unresolved issues. Jo, finally having had enough of the past version of Zane haunting her, tells her hallucination that they never worked as a couple and gives back the engagement ring he gave her... only to realize too late that this is the real Zane she's confessed to. He's rather surprised she has his grandmother's ring.
- Did You Just Have Sex?: S.A.R.A.H. is very cheerful after a night with Andy.
- Diesel Punk: "Founders' Day", at least a little. Eureka still has very advanced technology. . . by 1940's standards.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Jo's in a very sexy Little Black Dress. Fargo hasn't noticed that the entire audience for Thatcher's Nobel has disappeared due to technical difficulties.
- Do Androids Dream?: "Right as Raynes".
- Doom Magnet: As of season 5, Douglas Fargo is considered one in-universe.
- According to the Lotus-Eater Machine recreation of S.A.R.A.H. it had been 1468 days since the last major incident at Global Dynamics, roughly the same amount of time (4 years) that Fargo had been missing with the Astraeus team. Given that the Matrix was designed with multiple predictive algorithms, to create a highly accurate projection of what would happen in those circumstances, one has to wonder about what that says about Fargo.
- Dope Slap: Stark gives Carter an epic one in The Ex-Files. Stark's been dead for some time, so Carter has some trouble believing him when he shows up in Jack's office.Jack: Am I crazy?
Stark: You're not crazy. (holds out arm) Pinch me.
Jack: I don't want to pinch you.
Stark: You know you want to.
Jack: No, I really don't.
Stark: (smacks Carter upside the head)
- Double-Meaning Title: "Crossing Over," a crossover episode with Warehouse 13 (Claudia Donovan visits Eureka and flirts with Fargo) and objects from 1947 cross over into 2010, with catastrophic results.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Dr. Holly Martin (played by Felcia Day) has this approach to her and Fargo as they're both developing feelings for each other and training for the Astraeus mission to Titan. Their feelings for each other are distracting them from testing well in simulations, and potentially getting them cut from mission selection, so she suggests that she and Fargo just have sex, get it out of their system, and focus on their professional ambitions.Holly: The sooner we consummate, the sooner we concentrate.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Jo gleefully assumes this role in "Up in the Air". She's clearly having way too much fun finally being able to yell at the scientists who've made her life far too interesting for several years with no repercussions.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sheriff Carter gets no respect for the first 2 or three seasons, even when he's the one who ultimately saved the town from the problem of the week most episodes. Instead, they opt to point and laugh at him for not knowing that OLSN stands for Overly Long Scientific Name. Its only later on that they begin to take his ideas and opinions seriously.
- This is a plot point that boomerangs in season 3: In the premiere episode, its shown that there's actually been an increase in incidents since Carter took the position. In the mid-season finale, Mansfield fires Carter with one the reasons was that his always reacting to potential disasters as opposed to somehow preventing them in the first place. This despite the fact said disasters were often the result of an unforeseen chain of events, combination of experiments, or outright (bordering on criminal) negligence of the scientists inhabiting the town.
- Dumbass Has a Point: While he is not stupid, Sheriff Carter is a man of average intelligence in a town full of super-geniuses, and is often on the receiving end of this.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted by Zoe, who turns out to have an IQ of over 160. Not played straight by anybody. Carter is the least intelligent Eureka resident we know of, and even his IQ is 111; still above average.
- Possibly subverted by Carter, whose IQ test was when he was young and admittedly not trying. He has a high ability to adapt to new and strange situations and think more creatively than most residents. It is even hinted at that that he may be a genius in his own right.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In early episodes, it's implied that the existence of Eureka is top secret and blabbing about it will earn you a bullet in the head. Later episodes show the friends and families of main characters popping in whenever they please.
- The pilot in general has a few differences. Henry has an assistant who runs the shop by Henry's garage, and is only seen a few times after the pilot.
- Global Dynamics is little more than a corridor with each section forming a room branching off from it, including Section 5 which has an entire floor to itself in the series proper. Even stranger considering Section 5 is where most season-spanning plots are involved.
- Nathan Stark is not the director of GD. Another character is, and a handwave about him moving on due to the accident in the pilot opens the door for Stark.
- Sheriff Cobb seems like a well respected figure in the town, yet after this episode he's never seen again. He's barely even mentioned, with Jack compared to him a few times in season 1 by Lupo and Stark, and once regarding his old hut being passed onto Carter... Who only learns about this half way through season 5.
- It was also the only episode to air as a full 'double length' episode. Others had stories that spanned several episodes, but the pilot aired almost as a made-for-TV movie.
- Earthquake Machine: Zane designed a resonance device like the one Nikola Tesla claimed to have built. It was used by the bad guys to steal the below-mentioned EMP gun.
- Eccentric Townsfolk: The town is full of off-the-charts-smart super-geniuses working with technology that would baffle any modern real-world expert. Half the problems come from these bleeding edge experiments going horribly wrong (or right) once a week. . . the other half comes from the wide range of eccentricities of such super-geniuses working and living together.
- EMP: GD builds a uni-directional EMP gun in "The Ex-Files", for use in a Totally-Not-A-Kill Sat.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Frequently. "Once in a Lifetime" and "I Do Over" are probably the best examples.
- Engineered Public Confession: When genius scientist Jason Anderson drops by with his wife (Henry's former ex), various odd events occur. Carter, Henry and Allison soon realize that Anderson is nothing but a fraud, using a memory-wiping device to make scientists who discover breakthroughs forget about them and then claim their work as his own. It also appears he used it on his wife to make her forget how she and Henry were lovers. The wife finds out and steals the device, using it on the trio but (thanks to a camera he wore just in case) Jo sees it and lets them know what happened. Carter finds Jason in the middle of a dangerous experiment and tells him his wife knows the truth. He tries to claim he knows nothing about this but Carter points out his wife could have sabotaged the experiment. He says that that should be no problem...if Jason indeed came up with it all and can shut it down. Instead, Jason begs his wife to tell him how to fix it, exposing the truth and an angry Stark fires him (with hints of criminal charges coming soon after). As it turned out, his wife did nothing at all to the experiment but counted on Jason's own fear giving him away.
- Eureka Moment: Virtually every episode involves Carter realizing how to fix the problem.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Beverly turns on Senator Wen after she kills Holly — apparently she's many things, but she's not a killer, at least in the new timeline anyway.
- Even The Gay Guy Wants Her: When a hapless inventor attains god-like power, he kisses Beverly Barlowe. Several witnesses mention how they've always wished they could do that. Including Vincent who says, "Even I've thought about it."
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The second season episode where Carter saves Fargo from a truck whose driver falls asleep at the wheel; just afterward, the truck sideswipes a parked car that immediately explodes.
- Everybody Is Single: Stark and Blake were married. Then divorced. Then engaged. Then Stark was dead.
- Subverted with Henry in the fourth season. Time travel antics have made it so he's married to a woman whose name he doesn't remember.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: "Purple Haze", a botany experiment releases mood-altering spores that. . . well, basically make everyone on drugs.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: In the matrix in the fifth season, taking the normal danger of Eureka up a notch.
- Evil Doppelgänger: Throughout the show just about every character gets replaced, taken over or impersonated at some point, for assorted reasons.
- Expecting Someone Taller: When she meets Carter's ex-wife Abby, SARAH said that she was much smaller than she had pictured.
- Nathan's actor is pretty candid about the fact that the character is more or less Tony Stark, sans armor.
- There's quite a bit of Jack O'Neill about Carter... again starting with the name. (Though he's a lot less bitter.)
- Fargo has a little bit of Peter Parker to him, even to the point of being the wisecracking nerd that it seems like the other superheroes... er, scientists barely tolerate. Bonus points for him following Stark around like a puppy during the period where Spider-Man was doing the same with Iron Man.
- Taggart is clearly inspired by Steve Irwin, an excitable Australian outdoorsman with an expertise in animal biology.
- Extended Disarming: Non-weapon variant during the Horrible Camping Trip in "Momstrosity", when Jack insists on a good old-fashioned no-technology camping trip. Put any devices you're carrying in the box. Everyone drops a phone. Fargo fills the box.
- Extranormal Institute: The whole town.
- Failsafe Failure: The front door to S.A.R.A.H. has a "manual override" which doesn't work if the house'still has power. Manual overrides are supposed to open doors regardless of whether or not it has any power supplied...
Jack: Tell me the failsafe didn't just fail.
- Whenever Carter asks "Can't we unplug it?" (which is frequently) there's always some reason why that will no longer work.
- In "The Story of O2", Larry removed the self-destruct system from his rocket to save weight.
- Lampshaded by Carter in You Don't Know Jack, when Allison tells him to relax and she'll hit the failsafe for GD's sonic cleaning (which will liquefy them). She enters her code, but the doors stay closed and the alarms keep blaring.
- Fate Worse than Death: Senator Wen is trapped in a computer simulation that consists only of the Sheriff's office and nothing else, all alone. And it's implied only Beverly knows she's in there. Ends as of the series finale.
- Feet of Clay: Several times, it'll turn out a supposed great person or top scientist is not what they appear to be.
- Jason Anderson is said to be an uber genius who comes up with many great theories and devices when he works with groups. It turns out that he's just stealing the work of other, truly talented scientists and using a device to wipe their memories so they don't even know they're complimenting him on their own work. He also used it to make his wife forget she and Henry were a couple. Eventually, she finds out, naturally pissed and helps expose him.
- When Fargo's uncle, frozen in 1957, is thawed out, it turns out he's the true genius behind much of the work that helped put Eureka on the map and when he vanished, his partner claimed the research as his own.
- "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: "Smarter Carter". Carter suddenly starts getting smart. . . super-smart. . . beyond even Eureka-genius-level smart. An example of it done well, as Carater is reluctant to give up his intelligence because he finally feels like he fits in.
- For Science!: The entire effing town except Carter. Which makes Eureka both an AdventureTown and a Dangerous Workplace, with the result that:Henry: "We have twice the national mortality rate."
- It's actually written into the town charter that scientific discovery trumps things like construction.
- Framing Device: "O Little Town" is framed as a story Carter is telling a bunch of kids, which might explain some of its more outlandish twists. Similarly, "Do You See What I See" was framed as being told by S.A.R.A.H., who lampshades it with "remember you heard it from a talking house, so anything's possible." Both episodes are slightly outlandish by Eureka standards, but then again, Eureka already has a pretty high threshold for weirdness.
- Freak Lab Accident: Pretty much Once an Episode, ranging from the embarassing to the Earth-shattering.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Your Face Or Mine" (Jo and Julia) and "Jack of All Trades" (Jack is a focal point for several flips).
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the pilot episode, the letter Jack gets at the end when he is made the sheriff of Eureka states that Eureka is in Washington instead of Oregon like the rest of the show indicates.
- In 'Glimpse', the PAL briefly shows Jo a list of Zane's aliases. David Lightman and Stephen Falken are characters from the film WarGames, I.P Freely is a reference to the earlier episode 'Liftoff'.
- Full Moon Silhouette: Season four's Christmas Episode gave us Santa's sleigh being silhouetted against the full moon.
- Fun with Acronyms: In the first episode of the fifth season, Dr. Parrish's Adrenal Suppression System.Fargo: Do these people seem unnaturally happy to an almost creepy degree?Carter: Yeah.Fargo: We may know what they're using.Holly: Isaac's ASS!Carter: That seems unlikely.
- Game of Nerds: Inverted. Non-nerd Carter is the baseball fanatic, and his suggestion of a town baseball league initially goes over like a lead balloon.
- Geeky Turn-On: Fargo has this reaction to Holly frequently.
- Holly reciprocates it several times, too.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Carter and Jo are concerned that Fargo stealing back a piece of equipment another scientist "mistakenly" took from him led to that scientist's death, Fargo starts freaking out that he's going to jail, naming many slang terms for prison before declaring he'll spend the rest of his life president of the Attica physics club. Jo gives him a sound slap to the face, telling him "Man up, Fargo!" He whimpers.
- Get Back to the Future: The plot of "Founder's Day".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- In "Momstrocity", Fargo's tent is controlled by a AI named Buffy with a female voice. Due to the problem of the week, she would like Fargo to stay inside of her.
- In "Oh Little Town" Carter confronts Vincent about the food he stole top secret dangerous technology to create.
Vincent: I beg your pardon.
Andy: I'm freezing my nuts off! And my bolts!
- In "Before I Forget" Carter's daughter is in the play ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' and someone is making people "lose time", so Carter says they're being "Pucked With"
- After spending the night with Jo, SARAH comments that Zane has an electrolyte imbalance and offers him a sports drink.
- Carter attempts to jump through a closing-up wall modeled after a spaceship's hull, gets the tie he's been forced to wear caught, and is in danger of actually being choked to death. When Allison asks what's wrong, he answers with a strangled "I'm in deep ship". Reportedly, actor Colin Ferguson was annoyed at Eureka for constantly trying to slip crap past the censors and refused to do another take, actually making the line sound more like he really swore.
- A pretty blatant episode, and an indication that some of the Insufferable Genius characters are obviously trying to provoke these reactions from Carter on purpose:"Can't a man masticate in peace?""Not in public!""''It means chew!"
- In Worst Case Scenario, it is a "bad time for premature evacuation".
- In the 2011 Christmas special, Deputy Andy is turned into a clay robot when he, Jo, and Jack are forced to climb a snowy mountain.
- A pervasive one: depending upon your background, the constant use of "G.D." to refer to Global Dynamics may recall either a schoolyard euphemism for "god damn" or the way some (primarily Jewish) people avoid writing out the name of the deity and instead write "G-d." Or both.
- In "Smarter Carter" Andy comes home for some "afternoon delight" with his girlfriend Sarah.
- A somewhat literal example: in "Insane in the P-Brane", Dr. Drechmeyer is obsessed with TIRD particles. "TIRD" is pronounced the same as "turd", a euphemism for excrement. "Drech" is pronounced the same as "dreck", a Yiddish word for excrement. "Meyer" has several possible meanings, one of which is "overseer". You do the math...
- As though driving the point home, one time Dr. Drechmeyer refers to himself as "The Drechman."
- May also qualify as a Stealth Pun.
- The very title of the episode The Story of O2. Anyone familiar with the source of the pun knows it's not exactly a family-friendly joke.
- Gilligan Cut: In O' Little Town, Jack telling a story to a group of kids of a Christmas he was stranded in Eureka, an unexpected bogey buzzes the town. . . which turns out to be Santa's sleigh (sort of).Jack: (to the kids) Now, it's not every day you get to track down a runaway Santa, so Jo and I, we jump at the chance.
Jo: I want nothing to do with this.
Jack: Oh, like I do?
- Good Shepherd: The pastor of the First Church of Eureka, who offers solace to frightened Eurekans during a series of seemingly supernatural events. She's even completely non-judgmental towards Carter's "fair-weather" Christian tendencies.
- Graceful Loser: Allison's brother Marcus, who is himself a famous scientist. Jack, after accidentally gaining Super Intelligence, points out several flaws in his book in front of his audience. Like a true scientist, Marcus is happy to have these flaws pointed out and gladly works with Jack to refine his theory.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: GD is definitely A Lighter Shade of Grey, but they are essentially a weapons lab for the military, a fact that is regularly pointed out. On the other hand, the Consortium started out as a group of scientists opposed to the DoD's secretive weapons testing; by the end of the show they're still on the level of Well-Intentioned Extremist despite being unambiguously the bad guy.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: "I Do Over". Massive explosion at GD that wipes out the town. . . and Jack's back in the shower with no shampoo.
- Gone Horribly Right: Pretty much every single experiment causes disaster when it succeeds. Unless it's ...
- Gone Horribly Wrong
- Grand Theft Me: Beverly takes over Allison's body with some sort of transmitter embedded in her brain, as a plot to download Eureka's research archive as well as do some other unspecified sabotage.
- Carter takes over Fargo, Zane and Allison after an accident causes him to repeatedly bodyswap.
- Although most of the matrix's AI's are actually bodyswaps, Holly and Andy are a borderline Grand Theft Me. It's still their own personality and memories, but their desires and motives have been swapped for the primary AI's.
- Granola Girl: Lexi.
- Great White Hunter: Taggart seems to fancy himself this.
- Guile Hero: Carter
- Guilty Pleasure: In-Universe, badass marine Jo's secret love of sassy pumps. "I'm so ashamed."
- Hate Plague: "All the Rage".
- The Heart: Sherrif Carter becomes this over time. In the finale, Holly describes him as the "Strong Force" that holds Eureka together.
- He Knows Too Much: It's strongly implied in the pilot that Carter and his daughter will be executed if they can't find a use for him, which makes you wonder how many people that's happened to.
- When Carter's ex-wife, sister, and sister's boyfriend show up and interact with Eureka technology/GD, no one even bats an eye. They could have signed a non-disclosure agreement off-screen, but that's bordering on Fan Wank, and it's a major shift from the paranoia in the pilot. The sister's boyfriend, at least, is a brilliant scientist in his own right, but there's no indication he's familiar with the town.
- In the town's defense, it's only Jo who seriously broaches the possibility of "silencing" Carter. No one else seems to seriously consider her suggestion; it seems there are good reasons why she is never considered for the position of Sheriff.
- Played absolutely straight with Holly. When she figures out that the Astraeus crew is trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine, she's murdered on the spot to keep the ruse intact.
- When Carter's ex-wife, sister, and sister's boyfriend show up and interact with Eureka technology/GD, no one even bats an eye. They could have signed a non-disclosure agreement off-screen, but that's bordering on Fan Wank, and it's a major shift from the paranoia in the pilot. The sister's boyfriend, at least, is a brilliant scientist in his own right, but there's no indication he's familiar with the town.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X": "Dump coil."
- Heroes Want Redheads: Fargo with Claudia and Dr. Martin.
- Hide Your Pregnancy: In-Universe with invisapparel allowing Jack's sister to look not pregnant, just in time for her boyfriend to show up.
- Historical In-Joke: When Henry was explaining the device that brought them to '47, he referred to a theory worked on by Einstein and Dr. Grant regarding the connection of two points of space/time that Henry referred to as the "Einstein-Grant" bridge. Since Grant got jumped to 2010 by the end of the episode, that gives them call to refer to it as we all know it, the "Einstein-Rosen" bridge.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The whole town. Though a lot of it is experimental tech, there is an equal amount of fantastic gadgets that are completely safe yet haven't made it outside the town. One episode justifies this as simply a matter of cost: they can cure the common cold, but it costs $6 million while a bowl of chicken soup costs $5.
- Hollywood Science: To the point of straining Suspension of Disbelief for some. They do occasionally get it right. As when a geologist says he needs to measure P-waves to locate a magma pocket. Of course, S-waves would also help. Mostly it's just Techno Babble.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: SARAH x Andy (Carter's house and robot deputy sheriff) and (in one interpretation) Tiny x Emo (massive Spider Tank space probe and toy robot) in "Momstrosity." (In the other interpretation, Tiny sees Emo as her son, putting that entire plot smack in Mama Bear territory, which fits better with the episode title.)
- I Warned You: Colonel Briggs called a meeting when informed of the events in the pilot episode.Briggs: Wake up the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Gather everybody in the sitroom, tell them the topic of the discussion will be "I Told You So!"
- Idiot Ball: In-Universe example. Most of Eureka's citizens turn into idiots after eating a new type of artificially cloned chicken meat.
- Allison grabs this hard in "The Story of O2". In a move worthy of Cracked, she uses an experimental compound designed to terraform Mars to enhance her son Kevin's rocket fuel so he'll win a race. No points for guessing what happens.
- Idiot Hero: Carter, though it helps when everyone in town is a mad scientist who needs to be protected from themselves.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: When another AI overtakes SARAH it points a giant laser at Zoe, Zoe asks "Is this some kind of house arrest?".
- Indy Escape: The season 4 Christmas special features Carter running away from a gigantic Christmas ornament.
- In Spite of a Nail: The Alternate Timeline in the fourth season, despite removing a key figure in Eureka's founding altogether, has changed almost nothing. In fact, all the characters' lives actually seem to be better for it. There is the problem of Jo having never started a relationship with Zane in this timeline, but that's balanced out by her now being in charge of GD security.
- Henry lampshades one of the instances where it is changed, where Kevin no longer has autism, pointing that no one knows what causes autism in the first place, so it's impossible to figure out how that changed.
- Innocent Cohabitation: Jack and Jo after her house gets toasted.
- Innocently Insensitive: Lucas is bemoaning the fact that Zoe has gotten an early admission to Harvard Medical School to Henry. Henry is trying to talk him through it as they're preparing to go over data from the ship Henry and Kim had launched and which returned, with an android facsimile of Kim aboard, earlier in the season. Lucas bemoans that "All the data in the world can't take the place of the woman you love," which hits very close to home for Henry. Lucas immediately realizes his faux pas and starts apologizing.
- Instant Costume Change: As a gag in "In Too Deep", Zane laces Jo's clothes with nanomachines, allowing him to change her outfit instantly from wherever he wants. She ends up Hell-Bent for Leather twice, to fit with her demands for discipline. Jo turns it around on him in a nicer way, switching his casual clothes for a nice suit.
- Insistent Terminology: Jack never gets the Techno Babble. Scientists correct him. Stark particularly loves to do so.
- Insufferable Genius: Nathan Stark as well as several minor characters. Carter himself became one after being does with a super intelligence drug. He got better.
- Insult Backfire:Eva Thorne: I expect this kind of insubordination from you, Carter.Carter: Thank you.
- Intoxication Ensues: Happens to almost the entire town in the episode Purple Haze.
- Ironic Hell: The last we see of Senator Wen in the fifth season. Trapped in her own creation. Alone, in a single room.
- Isn't It Ironic?: A whole episode based on the trope. Because of technobabble, people are living out the lyrics of songs they listened to that day. Vincent turns Cafe Diem into a dance club after listening to Pink's "Get The Party Started," Kevin keeps stealing Jack's Jeep and driving recklessly to help with the problem because he listened to the theme song from Cops, Zane burns down Jo's house after listening to the Talking Heads' Greatest Hits (incluing "Burning Down The House"), someone at GD lets all the experimental dogs loose ("Who Let The Dogs Out" by the Baha Men), someone orders 99 Red Balloons, and Henry builds a stasis field that threatens the whole town because he wanted to "Stop The World" (Modern English, "I Melt With You"). And Jo shoots at Carter when, after he spent most of the episode in regular clothes because it's his day off, she first sees him in his uniform, because she listened to Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff." What sends it into this trope is that people are only doing the most literal and identifiable actions from the lyrics. At least two of the songs in question are about nuclear annhilation, and no one does anything towards that (thankfully).
- It Is Dehumanising: Dr Manlius refers to the ship clone of Kim as 'it' and is angrily rebuked by Henry. She doesn't seem bothered by it though.
- Ivy League for Everyone: Justified Trope in this case.
- I Want My Jetpack: Dr. Grant actually complains that the Eureka of alternate-2010 is too pedestrian (on first blush at least) by the standards of 1940s visions of the future. It's actually Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Eureka (and the US government) probably goes to great lengths to appear as nothing more than a sleepy little bucolic town should any uninvited out-of-towner make their way there and take too long to leave (say, a certain Federal Marshal and his wayward daughter). Subverted upon meeting the robot deputy and going to GD; he is suitably impressed once he gets past the mundane exterior of the town.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Even though he was incredibly callous in saying it Perish was right in "Friendly Fire" when he said that Fargo was grieving so couldnt really be counted on to make rational decisions
Carter: Hey! It disrupts... the Higg's Field! You should put it somewhere safe!Parish: Oh, you mean like in a bank?Carter Yeah, that's... I see your point.
- Parish has a tendency to do this, this exchange from "Up in the Air" being one example:
- Jurisdiction Friction: A lot between Carter, GD, and the Military.
- Just Friends: Allison/Jack. Particularly discussed in the episode Stoned, after years of sporadic relationship teasing that was getting wearisome for some by that point (and season 4 had seemed to stress the just friends angle). How things developed afterwards...
- In a straighter example, Jack and Jo. Professional co-workers and good friends, there's hardly any sexual tension between them. To the point where, when Carter has to demonstrate "inappropriate workplace behavior" with Jo for a sexual harassment seminar, the two can't get through the exercise without breaking out laughing. When they find out "Matrix Eureka" decided the two of them would make a good couple, they're the only two who recognize how implausible that is.
- The Ketchup Test: In the pilot, Carter and Alison find a handprint smeared in some dark substance on a destroyed RV while a young boy is missing. Carter tastes the stuff.Alison: What are you doing!?
Carter: Don't worry, it's not blood.
Alison: Well then what is it?
Carter: (looking pensive) Chocolate. (beat) Hershey's Big Block. (smiles smugly) With almonds.
Alison: How could you possibly know that?
Carter: (picks candy bar wrapper up off the floor)
- Kick the Dog: Played straight in "One Giant Leap", then pulled back. When the Astraeus mission is finally about to begin, Fargo taunts Dr. Parrish about how much it must suck to be left out of being the first humans on Titan. In a surprisingly humanizing moment for the otherwise mustache-twisting character, we get this:Fargo: Too late for you, Parrish! Must be tough, not being a pioneer!Parrish: ...you have no idea.
- Thankfully, Fargo knows when enough is enough:Fargo: Hey, Isaac... You are part of the mission. Your stasis gel makes all the difference.Parrish: Thanks, Doug. Try not to die up there.
- Thankfully, Fargo knows when enough is enough:
- Killed Off for Real: Kim, twice, and Stark.
- Holly in the final season, during the three-part opener.
- She's back, as her personality is alive in the form of a sentient hologram.
- Lampshade Hanging: In the 2011 Holiday episode, which involves the cast being in several animation styles, SARAH epilogues on the show and talks about the questionable canon status of the episode.SARAH: Some of you may wonder if this animated tale is true. You can believe it. Or not. But you did hear it from a talking house, so anything's possible.
- In the first episode introducing Sarah, Carter calls a help line number Fargo left him, only to be greeted by Fargo (poorly) imitating a female voice. Carter immediately asks if that's Fargo with a feminine voice. Fargo's actor is also SARAH's voice actor.
- Land Mine Goes "Click!": "Crossing Over". Twice.
- Large Ham: All of the actors while playing the evil matrix versions of themselves, but special note goes to Colin Ferguson.
- Larynx Dissonance: SARAH's voice template is Fargo doing a female impression. (At least until Sarah Michelle Gellar's people get back to him!) Out-of-universe, that really is Neil Grayston (Fargo's actor) doing SARAH's voice.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to Holly after being taken over by the Matrix, then blasted by the device that takes out the AIs, making her forget everything from after she first came to Eureka. Seems to be slowly wearing off over time, especially with Fargo's help.
- Jason Anderson uses a device that wipes out short term memory, and Henry later modifies it to target specific long term memories.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Senator Wen, who spearheaded the Consortium's plan to stick the Astraeus crew in a virtual reality, is trapped in one herself for a while.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "What About Bob?" Jack and Allison explore Lab 27 while the citizens of Eureka watch as if it were a reality show. Some of their comments seem to be talking about the show itself.
Larry: It's a difficult time for all of us, sir.Fargo: But it was going so great. Our work has never been better, our performance exceeded expectation.Larry: President said it was a budget issue.Fargo: Does Los Alamos have a budget issue? Or Area 51? I mean, we paved the way for those guys.Larry: It's a cruel system. But at least they gave us 6 more weeks to wrap it up.
- In the finale, an entire scene in Fargo's office seems to relate doubly to the town shutting down and the cancelling of the series.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Fargo might be The Millstone Curious As A Monkey but when the chips are down he proves why he's at Eureka.
- Even as head of GD, Fargo continues to be the Butt-Monkey, but when push comes to shove he will remind you exactly how much power he has.
- Living Crashpad: In "Invincible", this gets mixed with a healthy dose of Good Thing You Can Heal.Carter: A hypothetical guy falls maybe fifty feet, lands flat on the ground, and then another guy weighing 180 falls, and lands on top of him. Okay, what is the chance of the hypothetical guy getting up and walking away? [...]Henry: Look, this hypothetical guy: is that you?Carter: No. I landed on the hypothetical guy, though.
- Local Hangout: Cafe Diem.
- Locked in a Room: Larry and Fargo in "If You Build It..." (the trunk of Tabitha); Zane and Fargo in "Liftoff" (a space capsule with minimal life support and. . . that's about it).
- Locked Out of the Loop: In Season 2, it starts with Nathan keeping secret that Kevin was near The Artifact when it exploded. When Nathan finally tells Allison, they keep everyone else locked out while trying to figure out what Kevin's connection to The Artifact means and how to fix it. They also keep hidden that Nathan has brought Beverly Barlowe back to Eureka as a prisoner to interrogate her for information on The Artifact. This ultimately leads to a Poor Communication Kills situation.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The Consortium traps the Astraeus crew in one after kidnapping them at the end of the previous season, in order to make them work for the Consortium without realizing it.
- Love Hungry: Of the Mind Rape variety. SARAH adds an emotional attachment subroutine to Deputy Andy's programming, without permission, so he'll reciprocate her feelings. After a short stint of him trying to woo Jo, SARAH eventually admits to what she's done. Andy thinks it's the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for him, and even asks to keep the program after it's spread to (and been wiped from) every other AI in town. Which leads to his walk of shame in the morning, complete with a very astonished and disturbed Jo and Carter.
- This is not as bad as it sounds considering SARAH just gave Deputy Andy the ability to reciprocate her feelings, instead of making him have feelings for her. Hence why he at first started flirting with Jo.
- Love Is in the Air: An ancient spore causes hormones to go wacky in Eureka's men. The men are left behaving normally, but the women are left all turned on like crazy. For at least the first half, the only man the women see as super-desirable is Sheriff Carter, of course. Hilarity Ensues. It's shown later in the episode that if the women get their man, Death by Sex will occur.
- Love Makes You Crazy: After his girlfriend dies in the Season 1 finale, Henry seems to get slightly more unhinged. Season 3 sees him getting better, though.
- Also, in the episode where Stark gets replicated, his jealousy over Carter and Allison makes the situation even worse, because the replicants can tell what he's feeling and act accordingly.
- And then there's the episode where Jo is the victim of a genetic switcharoo, simply so the culprit can get close to Fargo and exploit his crush on Jo to try to hook up with him.
- Love Triangle: This series seems to love these. It started with Stark/Carter/Allison, then Tess took over for Stark, and that's just Carter. With the new season, Tess gets taken off the bus, then put back on, Carter finally kisses Allison, but now that Eureka founder Dr. Grant is here to stay from 1947, it's sliding towards Carter/Allison/Grant.
- As of "I'll Be Seeing You", resolved, at least for the time being, with Grant's departure from Eureka.
- And as of "Stoned", Carter's daughter Zoe gets a Type 4 of her very own now that she's hooked up with Zane.
- Evolves into a full-fledged triangle as of "I'll Be Seeing You", as Jo and Zane share a passionate if spontaneous kiss less than a minute before Zoe enters the room.
- Not to mention passionately sharing electrolytes in Carter's guest room, according to SARAH.
- Season 4.5 sees the development of yet another triangle: Fargo/Marten/Parrish.
- Early seasons toyed with/hinted at a love triangle between Jo/Fargo/Taggart then Jo/Fargo/Zane, but never really acted on them.
- Mad Scientist: Pretty much everyone except Carter, Jo, and Zoe, and Zoe has been leaving her father in the dust since midway through Season 2. But this may have something to do with Carter's IQ being 111 and Zoe's is 155.
- TAGGERT! Oh god, Taggert. He does the craziest things in town (tranqing Carter and stuffing him into a cage, anyone?)
- Henry is the closest thing to an aversion, but he's borderline at best.
- Magical Defibrillator: Allison uses one in "Founder's Day". Improvised from jumper cables and a running Jeep.
- Magical Negro: Henry starts out as this, later averted to some extent.
- Magic Countdown: Used often. Frequently Jack will only have seconds to spare as he solves the problem and prevents Eureka from becoming a mile-deep crater.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Andy reacts to the various accidents that befall him with what can be summed up as a "Isn't that something?" attitude. Of course, he is a robot."Oh, I seem to have caught fire.""My software indicates I should acknowledge my physical injuries, OWWWWWWWWWWW."
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Allison's brother Marcus initially dislikes Jack, not because he's white but because he's not a genius. He eventually comes around, though.
- Mama Bear: Allison, about her son Kevin.Allison: Stay away from my son, you bitch!
- Mandatory Motherhood: Your wife doesn't want kids? Just clone a new wife who will be more compliant! The man responsible received an appropriate comeuppance.
- Market-Based Title: Known as A Town Called Eureka in the UK, as the simple Eureka title had already been used for a children's educational series about historical inventions.
- Married in the Future:
- In the Season One finale, a future Eureka was threatened by Henry's actions in the past (yay Time-Travel Tense Trouble) and Jack had to go back and fix it. In the future, he was married to Allison. Thanks to the fix, it now never happened.
- Season Four has the cast thrown into an alternate universe, where Henry finds himself married to a woman he only knew for 3 minutes in the original universe. Inverted, sort of, with Jo Lupo, who was engaged to Zane in the original universe, but now completely uninvolved with him.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "O Little Town," Taggart meets a man who is heavily implied to be Santa Claus. But keep in mind that it's a story that Jack is telling some kids.
- Though it should be noted that Taggart spent the episode trying to prove how Santa Claus was scientifically possible and even built several devices that replicated the Santa Claus folklore including a bag that could store possibly millions of presents. It would be better said to be a case of Maybe Magic, Maybe Brilliant (Mad?) Scientist.
- Measuring the Marigolds: One episode opens with a preacher (in the apparently non-denominational First Church of Eureka, though it has tones of Anglicanism) talking about the wonder of discovery. The Mystery of the Week is due to a parishioner wanting to build a portal to heaven to be reunited with her dead husband, but the pastor and her science-devoted parishioners agree that there's no conflict between science and wonder.
- Meaningful Name:
- Sheriff "Andy" - Short for "Android."
- Dr. Rivers invented artificial water, which can be compressed. A lot. She also has a ginormous waterfall in her office.
- Memento Macguffin: The engagement ring that original timeline Zane gave Jo becomes this once their relationship gets erased from reality. Her throwing it back at what she thinks is a hallucination of Zane but is actually the real Zane is the catalyst for him finding out about their... interesting history.
- Mental Time Travel: In the Season One finale, how Henry and Jack travel back in time to cause and avert the Temporal Paradox, respectively.
- Meta Girl: In "Just Another Day", after Holly has had her memory wiped, she goes around town observing everyone to try and get it back. A number of things she says, whether about Carter, Fargo, or the town itself, dovetail rather neatly with the fans' opinions of the show and its characters.
- The Millstone: Fargo. If he appears in an episode, it is either to kick off the disaster or to make it worse. Addressed in-universe.
- Starts to become subverted in season 4. Sorta. Now it's his his Alternate Timeline self, whom he's replaced, that is causing the problems by virtue of Fargo having none of that Fargo's memories.
- Mirror Match: AI Carter vs Real Carter.AI Carter: I know all your moves.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Jack is colluding with Zoe's best friend in high school about a surprise party they're throwing for Zoe. Sharing winks and secret smiles to communicate the plan is still on, Alison playfully jumps to the wrong conclusion.Alison: Oh, I'll remember this when you're being arrested on Dateline.
- The Mole: Beverly Barlowe in the early seasons, until she winds up getting exposed.
- Allison gets turned into this when she's brain-jacked by Beverly.
- And the final season has Senator Wen stepping up to the plate as Beverly's boss.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Played with. Thanks to an "attachment program", Tiny the rover thinks Kevin's little robot is its baby. It's armed with Frickin' Laser Beams. Give it the robot.
- Monster of the Week
- Lampshaded by Hugo Miller in Eureka's sister show, Warehouse 13, when asked if he was going to go back to Eureka.
- Monster Roommate
- Moon-Landing Hoax: Inverted. Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1962, but the US didn't go public with it until 1969. However, all moon rocks out in the world are fake, and the majority of them are kept in Eureka.
- Mr. Fanservice: Stark and Zane.
- Mundane Utility: Even in the show's opening credits. Laser lawnmowers, antigravity baby carriages, virtual baseball, jetpacks used to fix broken streetlights, an enormous freezer (referred to as Narnia by Zoe) that can reach 0 Kelvin for food, etc.
- Slightly subverted in that almost none of these are actually seen in use in the series. Most people drive fairly normal cars, live in fairly normal houses, etc. They tend to just have nicer cell phones and sound systems and so on than in the outside world.
- Maybe because the DOD wants to keep the town a secret. No laser lawnmowers, but you can have a nuclear powered car.
- While those blatant examples aren't seen, there's still plenty of examples in the show.
- Slightly subverted in that almost none of these are actually seen in use in the series. Most people drive fairly normal cars, live in fairly normal houses, etc. They tend to just have nicer cell phones and sound systems and so on than in the outside world.
- My Beloved Smother: Alison goes a bit overboard with Kevin once time travel means he's not autistic anymore. Kevin complains several times that she's smothering him.
- Mysterious Backer: Warehouse 13 is portrayed as such.
- Naked People Are Funny: Fargo in "Founders' Day." Carter in "Noche de Sueños".
- Nanomachines: Used to assemble the Astraeus. Naturally, something goes wrong. . .
- 90% of Your Brain: Dodged, sort of — it's the usual "at any one time" caveat (specifically put in by the show's science advisor because of this trope).
- No Off Button: Keeping with the Hollywood Science run amok, this happens nearly every episode with some form on Applied Phlebotinum. Carter will often address this ("Can't we just unplug it?") to the point where he starts expecting the answer.
- No OSHA Compliance: The town was built on this trope it seems.
- No Respect Guy: Fargo, although his new job is making him become far more responsible.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Inversion; the unusual is normal. The school science fair would probably be stunned by someone entering a baking soda volcano. These people annually race rockets around the moon!
- Sheriff Carter was floored when Andy told him that somebody robbed a bank. He was so used to the disaster of the week being a "quantum runaway something or other" which threatened to destroy the town that the thought of a simple bank robbery thrilled him to no end. Of course, it then turned out that the entire bank was supposedly stolen, building and all.
- Not Herself: Allison in season 4.5, due to being body-jacked by Beverly for several episodes. It eventually wears off.
- Not in Kansas Anymore : In "Lost" (Season 5 Episode 1), Zane Donovan declares "Well, we're definitely not in Kansas anymore"
- Not So Above It All: In "Jack of All Trades", Allison gets mad at Jack for not telling Jo that he and Zane swapped bodies (the Lotus-Eater Machine incident having portrayed Jack and Jo as married is something she has yet to get over). When Allison gets swapped with Jack, she proceeds to talk to an (again) ignorant Jo as if she's Carter. Jo calls her on it when she figures it out.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: In "Up In The Air" Carter survives a bank falling to the ground from 10,000 feet because he uses a Higgs field distorter to stop the bank's fall abruptly two feet from the ground, at which point it falls the rest of the way calmly. Carter survives falling from 10,000 feet because he stops abruptly two feet from the ground. Surprisingly justified since the Higgs field distorter removes all the mass from Carter and the bank, meaning it takes almost no energy to stop them falling, meaning no splat.
- Not Using the Zed Word: Averted in "All the Rage". Applied Phlebotinum gives the staff of Global Dynamics a familiar Hate Plague. Carter muses, "it's like a Romero movie out there," and later gets the mob's focus by shouting "Attention...(searches for a word) zombies!"
- Not What It Looks Like: Inverted when someone walks in on Carter putting on forties clothes in season four. He's in there with Allison. The woman who walked in asks what they're doing, and he says "inventory" with air quotes. She buys it. "You and half the base. Save it for the dance."
- The Nth Doctor: The robot Sheriff-later-Deputy Andy was played in his first two appearances by Ty Olsson. In "The Story of O2", he's replaced by Kavan Smith, better known as Evan Lorne in Stargate Atlantis. He changed his appearance. He likes the new cheekbones.
- Oblivious Astronomers: Generally averted, GD always has a fair amount of warning when something from space is coming at them. Amusingly subverted in What Goes Around, Comes Around, when Carter overhears Fargo, Julia, and Larry talking about some big danger in Cafe Diem. When he asks what's up, they explain about Nemesis, a hypothetical neutron star in binary orbit with the sun that intersects Earth every 65 million years, causing an extinction level event. Carter immediately assumes he'll have to do the usual "rally his brilliant friends and come up with a wacky plan to save the day" thing when he asks how much time they have. Julia replies about two-thousand years, "if we're lucky." Carter immediately realizes this is not his problem and ceases to care.
- Oh, Crap!: Carter-Zane's face when Jo walked into the shower in "Jack of All Trades".
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: What doesn't Henry do in this town?!
- An episode actually had SARAH determine that if Carter and Henry left town, it would almost certainly be destroyed.
- Also subverted in one episode where most of the population of Eureka gets converted into idiots, including Henry. Gathering everyone in Global Dynamics who hasn't been affected to solve the Crisis Of The Week results in a "chemist, a botanist, a math theorist, and a...lepipotamusnote " being tasked with repairing the particle shielding on an experiment that simulates the Big Bang before it goes off. Unsurprisingly, none of them has a clue about theoretical astrophysics or string theory. They do manage to solve the idiocy problem, though.
- Pretty much all of the main character scientists fit this role, knowing whatever that week's episode requires them too, with the exception of Taggert. With one or two exceptions, the writers have been pretty good about generally confining his area of expertise to biology. Most suspects of the mystery of the week also avert this, since whodunnits get much harder to solve when everyone is an expert at everything and therefore any one of the suspects could've done it.
- Most of the people who do this actually have some excuse, at least. Henry is easily the oldest of the main cast, meaning he's had more time to accumulate the knowledge necessary to be omnidisciplinary. Stark and Allison, both having prominent positions in GD (Allison even before she became head of GD) would have numerous projects explained to them by specialists, so all it would really require is a good memory to be familiar with the basic aspects of most fields of study.
- Most of the main cast also have clear specialties, even if they know a lot of stuff outside their field. For example, Fargo and Stark are both quantum physicists, and Allison focuses on biology and medicine.
- This trope is often averted on smaller levels. Many times the complication of the week requires advanced knowledge of a specific field, requiring Carter to work closely with a specific scientist, typically the one who started the situation.
- Played very straight in the last season when Holly, who is explicitly an Astro-physicist, knows enough to work with advanced biological and cybernetic technologies. While people find this strange, it's only because she's focusing on it, instead of continuing her normal studies.
- Once an Episode: A charred corpse or the lines "We'll have to evacuate the town" or "It will leave Eureka a mile-deep crater."
- "Get me a list of everyone working in [insert field here]" and Henry simplifying his Techno Babble regarding that week's deadly gizmo using a simile also qualify.
- It's up to Sheriff Carter to disable a dangerous runaway phenomenon by carrying a jury-rigged or repurposed device as close to ground zero as possible.
- Only Sane Man: Sheriff Carter. It's later implied that the security/law officers are this in every town of scientists.
- Ontological Inertia: Adam Barlowe, father of Beverly Barlowe, was saved by Allison in the past after his heart stopped by shocking him with jumper cables. Dr. Grant steals the cables so Adam will die in order to prevent a future tragedy, but Allison just finds an alternate means to save him.
- Overprotective Dad: Sheriff Carter. He gets very upset whenever Zoe is making time with a cute boy.
- Pass the Popcorn: After Jo's wild night of karaoke and Fargo-kissing, she wakes up hungover and remembering none of it. When Fargo shows up with flowers, SARAH is happy to be a witness, but Zoe doesn't feel like leaving and stands watching the delicious awkwardness while snacking on something.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": In "Omega Girls", the passcode to Jo's detention cell is 0208 on a keypad hidden behind a portrait of President Obama, who was elected the eighth year of the second millennium CE.
- Percussive Maintenance: How Professor Thatcher fixes his MAD device after it refuses to shut down.
- Also how Stark, at Carter's urging, fixes the tumbler's navigation system. "Smack it!"
- Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: "E = MC...?" It turns out to have been caused by a new type of cloned chicken meat at Cafe Diem.
- Plot Armour: Worn by Carter, lampshaded by Sheriff AndySheriff Andy to Carter: I have recalculated it. Seems the odds are better when you are around.
- Police Procedural: Quite a few of the episodes. Lampshaded in "What About Bob?" when Carter joins the biosphere "reality show" that several Eurekans watch.
- Poor Communication Kills: Because Allison and Nathan kept Henry Locked Out of the Loop and denied him access to Kim's lab, he ended up having to orchestrate a false biohazard to enact his plan to disconnect Kevin from The Artificat. This also nearly ended up killing Kevin because the device needed required Kevin's normal bloodwork due to his having mutated slightly over the course of the season. When Allison and Nathan each call Henry out on why he didn't talk to them about it, he gives them both the same answer. "I tried, but you wouldn't listen to me."
- Product Placement: While slightly present since the start (All the video phones in Eureka apparently use Cisco Systems), became blatant and omnipresent in season 3. They at least attempt to justify it by throwing in a new boss who implements what causes it in an effort to make the research done in the town more profitable, but (as Real Life Comics nicely captures) it's still painful to watch. Especially given that... "Here Come The Suns" is pretty much one long ad for Degree, and in "If You Build It..." Jo, Fargo, and Fargo's Smart Car Tabitha (a LeBaron convertible) unabashedly extol the Subaru Impreza WRX.
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: From time to time with resident badass Jo.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This! Is! Eureka!" Fargo's attempt to intimidate the visiting Area 51 bowling team.
- Puppet King: Mansfield implies that Fargo was made the head of GD because he would play ball, and warns Fargo that he can easily be replaced. Then again, Mansfield may believe this is just what the position is.
- Put on a Bus:
- Taggart, who got on the bus, came back, then got back on again.
- Done literally with Eva in season 3.
- Double Subverted with Tess. She takes a job in Australia, and Carter is invited to come along (which the viewers know he won't). Next season, she's broken up with him, and it seems she's on the bus... until Carter and company accidentally screw up the timeline, making it so Tess never left and is in fact moving in with Jack. Except then, Jack puts her back on the bus because the whole time travel thing has made their relationship awkward and he's convinced it won't work.
- Really 700 Years Old: 107 to be exact, but Eva Thorne/Mary Perkins now ages slowly thanks to her own genetic wackiness + lab experiment gone wrong.
- Red Shirt: In H.O.U.S.E., the bottle episode, a bunch of main/recurring characters are locked together in a room...with a pizza guy. When it's time for things to get serious, the pizza guy gets vaporized. Possibly intentionally as a nod to this trope, he was wearing a red shirt.
- Relationship Upgrade: Several, notably Carter and Allison in Season 4. Fargo more or less drops the trope name in Clash of the Titans.Fargo: (to Zane, about Holly) She wants to upgrade our relationship. . . and by "upgrade," I mean. . .
Zane: I get it.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: The entire premise of the show is that a secret city of supergeniuses is constantly working to create fabulous scientific breakthroughs. They're said to be responsible for every technological breakthrough since the thirties, but their tech is still decades beyond the rest of the world. This is addressed in universe in one episode. Most of the tech will require massive amounts of testing and refining before it is A) safe, B) viable, and C) cheap. For example, the cure for the common cold costs $6 million dollars.
- Also, it's usually Carter (who, while a reasonably bright guy, is still the dumbest guy in town by virtue of literally everyone, his own daughter included, being a world-class genius) who has to solve the problem of the week, because the brainiacs are either A) too busy being victimized by it, B) trying to come up with something sciencey instead of just hitting it with a hammer, or C) the person who created the experiment that caused the problem, who refuses to believe their brilliant idea could possibly go wrong.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: This issue pops up in the show now and again. Several characters (Henry and Dr. Grant, for example) express distaste at how Global Dynamics, which is funded primarily by the DOD, seems to be more interested in turning out strategic advantages rather than focusing on scientific advancement to prevent war per the spirit on which the town was founded. Other characters (Nathan and Allison) are quick to point out that such work would not exist without the funding the DOD provides, and thus they must be mad scientists if they want to pursue work which will benefit mankind as a whole.
- Research, Inc.: Global Dynamics
- Reset Button: Zig-zagged. If Carter ever loses his job, or looks like he will, the button will be pressed. The show makes no attempt to disguise this, having literally titled one of their episodes "Welcome Back Carter" right after the one where Carter was fired. At other times, it's avoided when you wouldn't think so (Stark's death, for example, since he asked to be written out). Also used at the end of season one, which is utterly heartbreaking because it's one of the few times you don't want the button to be pushed.
- Surprisingly averted in the fourth season. Carter and friends accidentally create an Alternate Timeline, and the viewer is convinced the button will be pushed. Instead, events keep conspiring to prevent the button from being pushed, so this new timeline is here to stay.
- Reveal Shot: Several in the opening credits for seasons 1 and 2. These serve to emphasize how the town uses awesome gadgets to perform mundane functions. Most of them involve anti-gravity in some form, and all are likely Awesome, but Impractical.
- Reverse Polarity: Lampshaded in Worst Case Scenario, where Jo flips a switch labeled "Reverse Polarity" when shutting down an unstable reactor.
- Revival Loophole: Used to rescue Fargo in "Try, Try, Again".
- A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: When the characters are trying to shut down an extremely powerful Death Ray Doomsday Device in the episode "Dr. Nobel," Henry calls the weapon "a riddle inside an enigma wrapped in ten inches of titanium alloy."
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Raynes in episode 8. The dog robots in the second season. Sheriff Andy. The Kim-from-space probably counts as a borderline example; she's a living computer.
- Robo Cam: Martha has it in "Bad To The Drone".
- Robosexual: A platonic variant between Fargo and Tabitha in "If You Build It...", lampshaded by Jo after Tabitha starts to act like Christine.Jo: You know what? This is your own fault. If you had taken better care of Tabitha instead of dumping her on Larry...
- Rubber-Band History: The Season One finale starts in an alternate future. We don't know it's an alternate future (though savvy viewers will probably pick that up from the sudden time skip), until reality starts unraveling due to a Temporal Paradox.
- Running Gag:
- A minor one that spans the entire series is Carter buying someone something as a gift, only for them to get one as a gift from someone else before he has a chance to present it.
- Alternatively, they present an even better, super-high-tech version of his gift. The gag reaches its crescendo during Alison's baby shower, where Jack removes one item after another from his gift basket as someone else presents it to Alison, until finally: "and my gift to you is...a basket!"
- Jack's Jeep keeps getting destroyed. How many vehicles can be smashed, blown up, sucked into tornadoes, protenated (read:melted), etc. before the budget gets maxed out?
- The only thing that gets trashed almost as much as Carter's Jeep? Cafe Diem.
- Fargo has a thing for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
- The writers like to slip in a lot of poop jokes. TIRD particles, the SCAT, the "Dump Coil," I could go on...
- It seems like half the cast will eventually end up living at Carter's house. Carter himself, Zoe, Allison (along with Kevin and Jenna), Jo, Sheriff Andy, Doug Fargo, Holly Marten...
- "Car Wash" by Rose Royce keeps showing up, mostly in embarrassing ways.
- A minor one that spans the entire series is Carter buying someone something as a gift, only for them to get one as a gift from someone else before he has a chance to present it.
- Sarcasm Mode: Stark, who clearly enjoys it way too much to qualify for Deadpan Snarker.Carter: "Uh-huh, and what will all that tell us?"
Stark: "Nothin', it just makes us sound all smart."
- Scatterbrained Senior: An early episode involves a long-forgotten relic of the Cold War, and Carter has to hunt down the guy who invented it. Then he has to find a way to get the guy's noodle back in order.
- Schizo Tech: Eureka is set in the present, but with next generation technology because they invent all of it, while keeping the aesthetics of a 1960's small town.
- Schmuck Bait: Carter's bi-annual physical examination puts him on a very tall pedestal in the middle of a room, to push a button on the wall. He finds an invisible floor panel, starts walking toward the button... and falls a long, long way.
- Science Fair: And in Eureka, this is Serious Business. Give super-genius kids with lots of ambition access to the worlds most cutting edge science? Yeah, recipe for disaster.
- Science Is Good: Although science experiments go horribly wrong (or right) every week, it's (almost) always in service to the goal of pushing back the boundaries of humanity's knowledge of the universe. The science and technology may be firmly Hollywood Science, but there's an underlying respect for the idea of science — that is, a tool that we can use to better understand the world around us and how it works — that runs through the entirety of the series. There's occasional hand-wringing (and more than a few episode plots) that revolve around Eureka and Global Dynamics working on strictly military projects, but the argument is made that the pure research has to be funded somehow, and developing weapons for the military is a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge Eureka produces. Even the idea of scientific knowledge being used to create better weapons isn't dismissed out of hand: America has enemies, and while Mutually Assured Destruction isn't the best answer to humanity's violent tendencies, it's at least an answer.Henry: She was an Austrian physicist who discovered nuclear fission which then led to the invention of the atomic bomb.
Jack: Oh, well, by all means, let's celebrate that!
Zoe: Meitner refused to work on the bomb, dad.
Henry: Tonight's dance is a tribute to her ingenuity, not what others chose to do with it. Her passion for exploration, her commitment to bettering the world, is the ideal Eureka is meant to strive, to meet. That's what we're celebrating.
- Scienceville: The central premise of the eponymous town, established in the 1950s as a haven for America's most brilliant scientists.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: In the episode "Up in the Air" Carter's reaction upon seeing how high in the air he is while trying to get inside a floating bank.
- Second Episode Introduction: Stark doesn't appear in the pilot.
- Also technically GD as it has been seen in the series since then. Considering the pilot had little more than a single hallway that connected all the sections (including the top secret section 5) together.
- Second Place Is for Winners: Zoe gets a car out of the Science Fair; she'd much rather have it than the first-place prize of a GD internship. Perhaps this was even intended since given her exposure to GD - especially major figures like Henry, Allison, and her dad - there's no real need for her to intern at GD. She likely could get a job outright simply by asking.
- Secret Test of Character: In "Of Mites And Men," several prospective Astraeus crew are put into a prolonged testing chamber, including Fargo, Parrish, Holly, Jo, and (unexpectedly) Zane. They're ordered to make origami cranes and string them on a wire. Then things in the test chamber start failing. As the rest of the group works together to fix the problems, Parrish continues working on his cranes, thinking the failures were meant to test the crew's ability to stick to an assigned task and not lose focus in a crisis. Turns out the crisis was all too real, and not a Secret Test as Parrish thought.
- Send in the Clones: "Primal".
- Sentient Vehicle: Tabitha, the AI in Fargo's old LeBaron in "If You Build It..." She gets moody and temperamental when Fargo doesn't take the time to give her proper maintenance or cleaning, and she acts like a jealous ex-girlfriend when Fargo ditches her for a newer car.
- Sexy Silhouette: Jo in the shower. EMO opens the door.
- In Once In A Lifetime, a very pregnant Alison in Carter's shower. If you're into that sort of thing.
- In the episode H.O.U.S.E. Rules:S.A.R.A.H.: Shall we play a game?
- In A Night At Global DynamicsTaggart: He's just made one of the classic blunders.
Larry: What's that?
Taggart: Never go up against an Australian when death is on the line.
- Fargo on a mysterious CIA specialistFargo: I heard he shot a man in Borneo just to watch him die!
- Talking about her aunts baby-daddy.Zoe: But he's your wonderful Doctor Who.Vincent: I love that show.Zoe: WHO as in World Health Organization.
- Several in Reprise:Fargo: So, does our Cylon spy have a name?Zane: I didn't know you were building a TARDIS house.Jo: A what?Zane: Big on the inside but tiny on the, uh... nevermind.Holly: Have you ever played Warhammer?Sherrif Carter looks confused.Holly: Nevermind.
- An episode dealing with alchemy had the human transmutation circle on a blackboard in the background.
- Sheriff Andy. Carter later references his own "Sheriff Andy Charm."
- "It's Not Easy Being Green": "This...is...EUREKA!!!"
- "Duck Duck Goose": In the extreme foreground as the Starks are discussing Kevin, the hand from T2 can be seen in the original glass dome.
- Allison Blake: "This town needs an enema".
- The LCL that Carter is dunked in to save his life in season 2 episode "Noche de Suenos".
- Fargo's time travel arrival in Founder's Day is a Shout-Out to the Terminator series, complete with music.
- In the crossover episode where Claudia comes to Global Dynamics, Dr. Grant says "Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop smoking."
- In the episode "Momstrosity", Allison uses the phrase "Get away from him, you bitch!"
- Zane offers to look up TARDIS blueprints while he's poking around Dr. Grant's DOD file.
- In "The Ex-Files", Dr. Grant claims his hallucination is of a "leggy blond in a slinky red dress".
- The GD security system in "A Night at Global Dynamics".GD Computer Mimicking Fargo's Voice: You'll never find your way out. Resistance is futile.
- In "Have an Ice Day!" Taggard's line "There are strange things under the midnight sun" is a shout out to Robert W. Service's poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
- Two in the same scene in "Purple Haze": Fargo's neighbor is blasting "The Ride of the Valkyries" while crop-dusting with a RC helicopter. When Fargo intervenes, he is chased by the helo in a a Shout-Out to North By Northwest. And of course the title is a reference to Jimi Hendrix.
- A twofer in "Your Face or Mine?"
Fargo: Global Dynamics wants you!
- "I'm on a horse!"
- "Glimpse" starts with one to the 50's propaganda films.
Fargo: It's like having your own personal Professor Xavier.
- Also in "Glimpse", is The Cameo for Stan Lee, who provides a Shout-Out to The Hulk. He appears as Dr. Lee, specializing in the effects of gamma radiation, you can call him Generalissimo, and "Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry."
- Also, Bear McCreary decided to play a tribute with "The Lonely Man Theme" from the Hulk TV Series playing in the background during that scene. Which was slightly adapted to resemble the "McCreary Eureka Theme" (the one in the credits and in the background from season 2 onward).
- Finally in Glimpse, Zane is demonstrating his PALs, Predictive Algorithm Lenses, basically contact lenses that can predict disasters before they occur.
Jack: Who's Professor Xavier?
Zane: Okay, I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that.
"That's it?""What were you expecting, the Spanish Inquisition?""Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."
- When Andy is instructing people on evacuation, Jo adds "You heard Mr. Data, keep it movin'..."
- "This one time at space camp..."
- In this episode Fargo talks about building a rocket engine at Space Camp, while his team was called the Radical Raccoons. Rockets, made by Raccoons...
- This exchange:
Holly: We've tried everything. We've tried yoga, meditation...
- In the 2011 Christmas special, Fargo calls a Big Red Button "My precious."
- And the staff he uses to fight the snow monster resembles common depictions of the Monkey King's staff in Journey to the West.
- In "What Goes Around, Comes Around", a rogue magnetic force stalls Jo's car at an intersection. Then her keys rattle, and a nearby trio of mail boxes and the stop sign start rattling and swaying ominously.
- When the Super Photon Generator is turned on to fix the town in the animated Christmas special, the "Mobile Suit Detected" sound from Mobile Suit Gundam can be heard.
- When handing over the reins of GD, Allison is asked to input a numerical passcode to seal it. The camera tightens into the touchscreen, and she puts in 8675309.
- Zoe refers to a rogue drone as a "Cylon shuttle thing."
- Jack says that a red-haired scientist looks like Opie.
- Early in the second season, Carter asks Kevin what day of the week was November 3rd, 1957. Although both of them get the day wrong (it was a Sunday), it was the day that Laika the spacedog died.
- Henry is seen watching Dexter's Laboratory in the episode when most of Eureka accidentally becomes stupid.
- In season 5, several characters are kidnapped and put into a computer simulation of Eureka. Not only do the characters instantly equate this to The Matrix when they learn, they never refer to it by any other name from that point on.
- Also in Season 5 (specifically, the episode "Smarter Carter"), Zane Donovan says of building a replacement body for Holly Martin: "We can build it. We have the technology."
Fargo: Well, there is one thing we haven't tried...
Holly: You mean... Oh...
The scene cuts to the two of them playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Deputy Andy: Excuse me while I whip this out.
- Fargo gets stuck to the ceiling, his girlfriend deploys a superscience air mattress to catch him, he gets unstuck, and hits the floor instead. His response? "Missed it by that much."
- One for Quantum Leap in episode 5.05 "Jack of All Trades." Carter has begun swapping bodies with various persons who were on the Atraeus. Shortly after "leaping" into Zane, he says "Oh, boy!"
- A hilarious one to "Blazing Saddles" in episode 5.06 as Deputy Andy uses a built in cable to save Carter.
- In the episode H.O.U.S.E. Rules:
- The Sheriff: Jack Carter, who used to be a U.S. Marshal.
- Sherlock Scan: Deputy Andy figures out the entire Carter-travelled-to-1947-and-returned-to-an-Alternate-Universe plot after looking at him and fielding a handful of totally innocuous questions.
- Ship Tease: One episode opens with Jack awkwardly offering Jo to remove some clothing during a heat wave. They soon start breaking up laughing; it was a roleplay demonstration for a sexual harrassment seminar. Through most of the series, they're Like Brother and Sister.
- Simpleminded Wisdom: Sheriff Carter is usually the source of the blatantly obvious that the brilliant scientists all miss. And near everyone continues to talk to him like an idiot simply because he has to ask about the science behind super secret government research decades ahead of the rest of the world.
- Single-Issue Psychology: Defied and lampshaded by Beverly in H.O.U.S.E. Rules.Beverly: If a simple hug could resolve all of our issues, I'd be out of a job.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Fargo seems to find a new one of these once every few episodes. Often they're the first victim of the disaster of the week. He also has longer-term nemeses Larry (until the universe-hop makes him into Fargo's personal assistant instead) and Doctor Isaac Parrish (who has lasted since the Astraeus mission Story Arc began, and has been The Rival to Fargo for most of their lives in the new universe).
- Skip to the End: Carter and Allison's (very wet) wedding in "In Too Deep".
- Sleep Cute: In the fifth episode of the first season, Carter and Allison fall asleep on his bed. It was nothing, Zoe!
- Smart House: SARAH.
- Smart People Play Chess: The first couple of seasons prominently feature Eureka's townsfolk playing chess outside Café Diem, and when Henry is in prison, Jack refers to his visits with Henry as his "weekly Chess whipping", implying that Jack doesn't have a head for the game.
- Smooch of Victory: Played With in "Clash of the Titans", while Fargo and Holly are in spacesuits:(Clunk!)...Holly: "Up top!" (she and Fargo high five)
- Someone Has to Die: Season three episode "I Do Over": It was Stark.
- Not to mention Kim in "Once in a Lifetime" to save the timeline. And Kim again, or at least Kim 2.0, in "Shower the People" to save the residents of Eureka from a bio-computer virus. Both times the resident Woobie Henry couldn't stop it.
- Left the Background Music On: During the episode Games People Play (Season 2 Episode 4) Carter and Zoe make up in a heart touching moment complete with accompanying music, quickly followed by this:Carter: Sarah what are you doing?S.A.R.A.H: That was such a beautiful moment, I felt musical accompaniment seemed appropriate.
- Sorry Ociffer: Zane does this in "The Story of O2" after crashing a flying scooter thing. He's not actually drunk — he's accidentally high on oxygen.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: In "In Too Deep", Carter briefly objects at his own wedding. He wants to make sure that Allison is really marrying him because she wants to, and not just because they're a minute away from drowning.
- Spider Tank: "Tiny". Lampshaded by Carter in "Momstrocity".Carter: Come on, you Titan rover with the unnecessarily creepy design!
- Stealth Pun:
- Stepford Smiler: As of the season 5 premiere, Andy has become a bona fide Type C Smiler. *shudder*
- Stereo Fibbing: Carter and Allison in "I'll Be Seeing You", right after They Do.
- Storybook Episode: The 2nd Christmas episode. Jo is a princess She is none too thrilled about it. She likes the birds, though.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In This One Time At Space Camp... Fargo and Holly are talking about ways to calm down and get ready for an upcoming interview.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: We meet Kim in episode 3 of season one; we don't see her again until she gets Killed Off for Real in the season finale, sending Henry off the deep end for the entirety of season two.
- Super Intelligence: Carter accidentally ingests some in "Smarter Carter."
- Super Serum: "MPH" makes its user a Fragile Speedster/Big Eater.
- Super Speed: In 'Blink' a team of scientists take a drug that gives them super speed to keep up with the demands of their job. There was also a time in a earler episode when Carter was shown giving a ticket to a man with some sort of mechanical braces on his leg and saying "Car or no car, the speed limit is 30 miles per hour".
- Supreme Chef: Vincent.
- Surrounded by Smart People: Sheriff Carter is a man of (supposedly) strictly average intelligence surrounded by the smartest people on the planet.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "Welcome Back, Carter", Allison uses one to feed Carter classified information he's not supposed to have.
- Tangled Family Tree: By the end of the series, The Carters. We have: Kevin, Alison's son from a father who died before he was born (and we've never seen), Zoe (Jack's daughter from his ex-wife), Jenna (Alison's daughter from Nathan when they were about to get re-married), and Alison is pregnant with her and Jack's child. That's four kids from a total of four different combinations of biological parents.
- Taken for Granite: In the aptly titled "Stoned". Also terrifying since in this case, they're still alive while it's happening rather than it happening instantly.
- Taking the Bullet: Jo does this for Carter in "Reprise". Thanks to Time Stands Still and Brainwashed and Crazy wackiness, she also happens to be the one that shot him in the first place. Thanks to Carter and the bullet being frozen in time, she has ample time to get a vest to block the bullet before taking it.
- Temporal Paradox: One forms the climax of Season One. Henry went back in time and prevented Kim's death during an experiment with the Artifact. As a result, five years later, the space-time continuum is breaking down, and Carter has to travel back in time to stop Henry from changing the timeline in first place, lest all reality unravel.
- Techno Babble: Carter really hates it when the scientists start talking the science. It doesn't help that it's all Hollywood Science.Carter: Thank you. Why couldn't you just say a swirling ice tornado of death?!
- That Came Out Wrong: A Running Gag on the show, usually with Jo.Zane: We'll use SARAH to slip into the back-door of GD.
Fargo: Uh, we?
Zane: Once a back-door link is established, there's nothing I won't have access to.
Fargo: Uh, I think you mean there will be nothing that I have access to.
Jo: Boys, there is plenty of back-door access for everyone!
Jo: That didn't come out right.
"I was tangled up with Zane... With his thing... With his pardon."
- In the PilotSheriff Cobb: (hangs up the phone) That was Ned Carver. He claims aliens abducted some of his cattle again, so...
Jo: Tell him to call me when they move on to anal probes.
[Cobb and Zoe stare]
Jo: Wait, um... that didn't come out right.
- In Founder's DayDr. Grant: We have a woman in custody, she needs her injuries treated, and there's this naked kid, needs some clothes.
Allison: I would be happy to take a look.
Allison: At the injuries, not the naked kid.
Dr. Grant: Glad you clarified that.
- Holly Marten gets three in a row in Of Mites And Men, referring to slipping through a security door that got stuck partly open.Holly: I can do eight inches! I have very limber joints! (later, referring to getting stuck halfway through the door) Is it too late to cover myself in something slippery?
- When explaining why she wants a body instead of living as a hologram: "You can't imagine spending your entire life not being able to touch yourself." Henry and Zane proceed to look at each other as she doesn't realize what she said.
- This, from Jo:
Carter, to Fargo: You need to put your thing in the hole before it blows!
- In the series finale:
(A very long Beat as everyone stares at him)
- Incidentally, this was just after Fargo and Holly had an emotionally touching moment.
- From "Unpredictable":Carter: So, you gonna come to Zoe's surprise party?Allison: Oh, me? I thought you were into young brunettes?Carter: No, no, I'm into old brun *trails off as he realizes what he's saying*Allison: Didn't come out right, did it?
- In H.O.U.S.E. Rules, after Jo finds Taggart's Paintball Battle Plan:Taggart: You are in clear violation of the paintball rules of engagement!
Jo: Me? You've got a regiment of splatterbots ready to assault my rear flank!
Taggart: You'll know when I assault your rear flank!
(long, awkward silence)
- In the Pilot
- That Thing Is Not My Child!: The real Susan Perkins, to her clone's child.
- Theme Naming: In one episode, we meet Fargo's counterpart at Area 51, named Bismarck. His grandfather is named Pierre.
- Time Crash: The Disaster Of The Week in "Crossing Over". 2010, meet 1947.
- As in, objects from 1947 are getting randomly zapped into 2010, and if they don't solve the problem, the past and the present will overlap completely, destroying time as the cast knows it.
- Time-Travelers Are Spies: This assumption makes the cast's life a lot more difficult in "Founder's Day".
- The Time Traveller's Dilemma: In season 4 episode 2, the main cast have a talk about what it means for them being in the new timeline and Henry warns them of the dangers if they were to tell everyone about what happened. Alison mentions that, like previous crazy situations, there is actually a protocol for it.
- And of course Henry folds like a house of cards the moment any pressure is put on him to divulge the secret.
- This doubles as a Writer on Board, considering Henry has been keeping his original shenanigans from "Once in a Lifetime" under wraps for several seasons now.
- Plus, he was hooked up to a memory-reading machine at the time...
- And of course Henry folds like a house of cards the moment any pressure is put on him to divulge the secret.
- Title Drop: Taken Up to Eleven by doing a title sequence drop in Episode 14 of Season 4, where the floating buildings part of the title opener, which has been part of the show since episode 2, is copied including the music as a result of an anti-gravity field.
- Totally Radical: Dr. Grant, initially with forties lingo, but increasingly with modern-yet-dated phrases. Because he's a time traveler.
- Too Clever by Half: Any Eureka scientist who causes the problem of the episode.
- Too Dumb to Live: Really, Fargo? You live and work in the Town Of Mad Science, and your first impulse on finding a strange machine is to turn it on? By inserting and turning two keys simultaneously? Really?
- Took a Level in Badass: Fargos status as the new head of GD was fully cemented in the episode Liftoff where he and Zane are accidentally launched into orbit, trapped in a capsule that only has functioning life support, artificial gravity
and nothing else. Through out the episode Fargo remained calm and collected solving problem after problem, even joking as Zane freaked out.
- He only panicked at the very end after he ran out of idea, allowing Zane to step up. Showing that he can also lead by example.
- Town with a Dark Secret / Quirky Town: The secret's really only "dark" to those on the outside; Eureka's actually a really nice place to live. It's just top secret, so if you wander in without clearance, things get interesting. Though any GD project involving "Section 5" is likely to be a dark secret in and of itself.
- Transforming Mecha: Tiny. "With an unnecessarily creepy design!"
- Tranquilizer Dart: Used on Jack in the pilot and, inadvertently, on Vincent, both times fired by Taggart.
- The Triple: Dr. Boyle listing his grandmother's missing heirlooms in "Up in the Air":Boyle: Grandma's gold wedding band... pearls... her antimatter...
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Carter briefly sees two Allisons (one's a hologram):Carter: I had a dream that went sort of like this.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Henry and Grace in season 4.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Season 3 introduces Frances Fisher as "Fixer" Eva Thorne, who at first lived up to the role in spades, then became more sympathetic as we got into her motivations.
- Undead Tax Exemption: Averted. Part of Fargo's efforts to set the time-displaced Trevor Grant up as Eureka historian include tax records... in which he has mistakenly listed 11 dependents to a single man. Needless to say, the IRS starts investigating. This turns out to be a smokescreen, and it's actually Beverly who's been investigating him.
- Unfazed Everyman: Carter is this, and often the Only Sane Man as well.
- Un-Paused: Fargo in the season 1 finale. Beverly snaps him out of hypnosis, and he finishes his sentence about how he couldn't possibly be hypnotized.
- Unwanted Rescue: At the end of season two, Carter, Stark, and Taggart work their way through to the morgue to stop a deadly flesh eating bacterium. When they get to the morgue they find a lot of staff members hiding from the plague, which they just unleashed into the morgue! Then it turns out that the morgue is where the plague started, which turns it into Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like. Then it turns out the plague was a hoax. Then they have to escape the building, which is on hardcore defense mode.
- The Watson: Carter usually solves the problems, but he's the Watson when it comes to the town's science or history.
- Weirdness Censor: Zig-zagged; the whole town is in on their secret so the weird stuff that happens are just industrial accidents to them but there must be dozens of smokescreens in place in order to prevent anyone outside the town from finding out about the bigger stuff that might leak out.
- Wham Episode: "Founder's Day". An odd case of one being used as a season premiere rather than a season finale.
- The Real Thing ends with Holly dying.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Former Sheriff Cobb. Appears for the pilot, gives Carter his job, and is never heard from again (although his cabin appears as a "honeymoon cottage" for Allison and Carter). Also, Warren King, the original head of G.D. who is replaced by Stark after the pilot (although presumably he was sent out of town after being dismissed).
- Warren King shows up again, in the official comic written by (at least) one of the writers of the show.
- Averted in a very literal way in Worst Case Scenario, where Jo is gassed while attempting to capture an escaped guinea pig in the Aggression Lab. The guinea is shown being rescued along with Jo, and then happily wiggling in a nurse's hand at the infirmary.
- Spencer Martin appears in the first 7 episodes. Then he's never heard from again, minus a short appearance in Henry's memory recall in You Don't Know Jack. The last we hear from him is as the party DJ in Primal.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
Carter: Jo, I live in a robot house and have a robot deputy, maybe we should find what this Holly thing is before we dismiss it!
- Carter counters Jo's assertion that Holly's data-ghost is Just a Machine.
- Fargo abandons the AI in his old car when he gets a chance to upgrade, even though it clearly has a personality and emotions. It's made worse when it turns out he can just move her mind into the new car, the thought just never occurred to him.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Taggart's Australian accent is. . . creative.
- White Male Lead: Carter. Possibly lampshaded by Henry at one point. Carter looks at the severed head of a crash test dummy and says "Why does it look like me?" Henry answers "It's generic." The rest of the cast is pretty diverse, however.
- Widowed at the Wedding: Almost. In "I Do Over", Stark dies fixing the "Groundhog Day" problem, and therefore leaves Allison at the altar. Since they were divorced and had not yet said their new vows, this was essentially avoided.
- Window Love: Fargo and Holly do this at the end of "Ex Machina". Since she's the victim of an accidental Brain Uploading, it's the closest they can actually come to touching.
- Write Back to the Future: Carter uses this to save Allison's life in "I'll Be Seeing You".
- Writers Cannot Do Math: "Founder's Day" somehow has an 11-year solar flare cycle which is at its peak in both 1947 and 2010; "I'll Be Seeing You" implies that it probably also peaked in 1939.
- With a peak in 2010 and in 1947 a 10.5 years cycle would be accurate. But when explaning this to someone you'd just round off and say eleven years.
- "11 years" is common approximation, but the length of cycles is actually variable to a point. However, while there was actually a solar maximum in May 1947, there was not one in 2010 (the maximum of the current cycle is expected in 2013, and so far it looks like a weak cycle overall). And the maximum before 1947 was in 1937, not 1939.
- Writing Indentation Clue: In the episode "Before I Forget", Carter uses this technique on his ticket book in order to learn the license plate number of the last car for which he wrote a ticket.Henry: I can put that under a UV scanner, it'll. . . or you can just draw on it, same thing.
- Wrote the Book: Allison literally wrote the book on space medicine... or at least her alternate-universe counterpart did, which is almost as good. (She apparently did all the same research, she just never got around to publishing her thesis.)
- You Are With Me: The third-season episode "I Do Over" does this to great effect.
- You Just Told Me: The 4th season episode "A New World" has Deputy Andy using this on Sheriff Carter to get him to admit that he and the others did in fact go back in time and are now living in an alternate (to them) timeline. Andy already had figured it out conclusively, he was just making sure. Carter makes fun of this at the end of the episode.
- You Must Be Cold: Parodied when Carter and Allison walk into the freezing cold cafe and he ostentatiously gives her his coat. Well, his vest. His orange traffic vest. Which offers no protection. Allison is not impressed.
- He was actually doing it as payback for a joke she made about the vest earlier. This was just an excuse to have her wear it.
- Your Mom: Dr. Grant gets a good one on Carter in "Momstrocity" without even skipping a beat.Carter: Well if you were talking about my mom, I'd run off into the woods too.
Grant: I'll be sure not to talk about it then.