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Series / Eureka

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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 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. It should also not be confused with a certain CG-animated series for kids with a very similar title.

During season 4, other shows on the Syfy Network (namely, Warehouse 13 and Alphas) were eventually established as being sort of part of the same fictional universe as Eureka (the "Syfy-verse").

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.

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    General Tropes A-M 
  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Spook Frank Phillips has an invisible one where he researched (what else?) Invisibility in "Sight Unseen".
  • Aborted Arc: Despite "The Artifact" being one of the central plot points of the first two seasons, everything concerning it was dropped following the Season 2 finale. Fridge Logic makes this even worse, due to one of the characters explicitly saying that "Power of that magnitude doesn't just disappear." Ed Quinn (Nathan Stark's actor) actually left the show in part due to this, as Nathan Stark's obsession with The Artifact was his defining character trait. invoked
  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Unlike Henry, Jack gives up hope that Allison will ever be found after the Astraeus disappearance in the Bad Future episode "Lost", and moves on to be with Jo. It turns out to be fake though - the Astraeus crew are all Inside a Computer System and Jack is just an NPC.
  • 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.
  • Accidental Time Travel: In the season 4 opening, Jack, Henry, Jo, Allison and Fargo travel back to 1947, through no fault of their own.
  • 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.
  • And 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: Lampshaded by Jack when a missile threatens the town in "Worst Case Scenario" and the similarity to the events of "Dr Nobel".
    Carter: Did the whole missile silo under Main Street incident teach us nothing!
  • Age-Gap Romance: Jo and Taggart.
  • The Ageless: Eva Thorne is over 100 years old.
  • 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 the virtual reality has taken over GD, and uses measures like mass surveillance and brainwashing to keep everyone in check.
    • 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).
    • BRAD, the AI SARAH was built over, who almost kills the main cast.
    • 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.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Attempted by Zane in "E = MC...?", but Allison warns him that the vent exits onto a firing range.
  • Akashic Records: The "Akashic Field".
  • Alice Allusion: A fairly explicit one in "Lost" when Allison reads the book to her daughter, then compares herself to the titular character due to her Rip Van Winkle Time Skip making her a stranger in a strange land.
  • 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".
  • The Alleged House: Sheriff Cobb's cabin in "The Honeymooners".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Jo and Zoe are both crazy about Zane pretty much as soon as they meet him, and even Grace has a Geeky Turn-On moment when talking about the guy.
  • 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.
    • In the climax of "Double Take", everyone in town has been replaced with an Evil Doppelgänger except for Fargo and Allison.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Consortium seize control of Global Dynamics in "Omega Girls".
  • Alliterative Name: Carl Carlson.
  • 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.
    • He's also happy to help out when other scientists are hitting roadblocks in their projects, for instance happily slapping on a patch reading "BALLISTICS" to help with an experimental personal armor unit.
  • 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...
  • Alone with the Psycho: Grace is stuck in the garage with an Evil Doppelgänger of Henry in "Force Quit".
  • 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.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: In the original timeline, Julia was a mild-mannered lab assistant who wanted to steal Jo's life via a "Freaky Friday" Flip because she aspired to have Jo's confidence and appearance. After the creation of the Alternate Timeline, Fargo learns that Julia never dated him, became a multi-millionaire, and married an astronaut.
  • Always Murder: Inverted. The Disasters Of The Week are always assumed to be accidents caused by an experiment Gone Horribly Wrong, and on the rare occasions where they are being generated maliciously, it's treated as The Reveal.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Vincent. When someone plants a kiss on Beverly Barlowe, his reaction is "Please, even I've thought about it." He is also quite enthusiastic when he sees Parrish naked. When Carter chastises Vincent's Mundane Utility use of dangerous technology to create miniature fruitcakes, Vincent misinterprets Carter shouting "Fruitcake?" at him as a homophobic insult. He presents as fairly Camp Gay, but no one makes any deal about it.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: Holly's consciousness retrieved from the Matrix loses all of her memories of her time in Eureka after the events of "Double Take". However, as the series finale goes along, she continues to recall more and more events, with the finale leaving the door open for all of her memories to come back to her one day.
  • 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.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The whole town celebrates when they manage to overthrow SARAH and the Andys in the Bad Future episode "Lost".
  • Androids Are People, Too: Played Straight with SARAH, Callister, Andy and Holly. The show even addresses the ethical concerns of how they handle the artificial Evil Doppelgänger army in "Double Take". Carter treating Andy as if he isn't a person is the first major sign he is developing a Lack of Empathy in "Smarter Carter".
  • 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 awesome moment in the show.
  • Applied Phlebotinum:
    • In Seasons 1 and 2, the Artifact. When it isn't functioning as a MacGuffin that Stark and the Consortium are vying to understand, it's being used as an explanation for why supernatural events are occurring. If you get exposed to the Artifact, you might find you've won the Superpower Lottery... or you might just suffer Spontaneous Human Combustion.
    • In Season 5, Z-Waves. Anyone who found themselves in the matrix at the start of the season now has Z-Waves in their brain, which function as the explanation behind all of the O.O.C. Is Serious Business episodes that season.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Given the nature of the town, any disbelief expressed in anything would qualify. It's that kind of show.
    • Trevor Grant expresses disbelief when Carter informs him he traveled from the future in "Founders' Day". In "I'll Be Seeing You", we learn Grant was planning on sending a man back in time himself that very same night, so he probably wasn't as skeptical about Carter's claim as he let on...
  • 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?!
  • Artificial Gravity: One of the only working systems on the shuttle in "Liftoff".
  • 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 – 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.
  • As You Know: In-Universe. After the cast wind up in an Alternate Timeline, they are conveniently reminded of things their alternate selves would know by other characters. Holly reminding Allison of the groundbreaking book she wrote is probably the most on-the-nose example.
  • 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.
    • Parrish was a one-off character in the Season 4 episode "All The Rage", then became a recurring character during the Astraeus Story Arc when the show returned from a nearly year-long hiatus.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Felicia Day plays Holly, an important side character in season 4, and a primary character in season 5.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: This gem from "Duck, Duck Goose":
    Dr. Finn: Do you know what it is like to have your best idea co-opted by the government at age sixteen?
    Carter: No, not really.
  • Attack Drone: Martha. In the Bad Future episode "Lost", a new model of Martha is built as large as a spaceship.
  • Automated Automobiles: SARAH takes over a smart car in "Duck, Duck Goose".
  • Awesome Aussie: Taggart.
  • Babies Ever After: Jack and Allison in the series finale.
  • 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.
  • Bad Future: The Astraeus crew find themselves in one at the start of Season 5 after a four year Time Skip. Most of their loved ones have moved on in their absence, and SARAH and Deputy Andy now rule the town and are engaging in Brainwashing for the Greater Good. It turns out to be a simulation, and the cast are really Inside a Computer System.
  • 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.
  • Batter Up!: Carter's World Series baseball bat is wielded by Zoe to defend herself from crazed townsfolks in "Purple Haze" and destroyed an episode later in "HOUSE Rules" when Carter uses it to smash the house's nuclear core housing.
  • 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.
    • According to Beverly, Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein all had a connection to the Artifact.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Beverly Barlowe is about the closest thing this show has to one.
  • Big Blackout: When Henry activates the Boson Cloud Exciter without an ion pulse damper in "Liftoff", it shorts out all electronics in Eureka for hours.
  • 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 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*
  • Binary Suns: "Here Come The Suns": the Disaster Of The Week involves the accidental creation of a second, tiny sun.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Senator Wen, which is notable because she went an entire season before this even came up.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Fargo's storyline in the series finale where he learns Eureka is being defunded and shut down is basically one big Does This Remind You of Anything? gag about the show getting Screwed by the Network after they were promised a final season renewal to wrap everything up, only for that order to later be reduced to a single episode. invoked
    Fargo: But it was going so great! Our work has never been better, our performance exceeded expectations...
    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 six more weeks to wrap things up, right?
  • Bizarre Dream Rationalization: Zane believes he is dreaming after he and Carter have a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
  • Bizarro Universe: In-universe, this is how Zoe views her highschool on her first day: the jocks are bullied by the nerds and the cheerleaders discuss quantum physics. A few episodes later, she realises something is wrong in Eureka when the students begin acting like "normal" students.
  • Blob Monster: Big Ed's pet, Spot.
  • Bond One-Liner: Allison triumphantly says "That didn't suck!" after kicking an Evil Doppelgänger of Jo into a virtual vortex.
  • 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.
    • 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...
  • 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.
  • Bowling for Ratings: "It's Not Easy Being Green", where Eureka competes as a team against Area 51.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Sheriff Carter. He gets very upset whenever Zoe is making time with a cute boy.
  • 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 grandfather 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.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Worn by Jo because she knows she's going to be Taking the Bullet for Carter when time gets unfrozen in "Reprise".
  • The Bus Came Back: Kevin, as well as Beverly.
    • 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:
    • Taggart mentions that the technology used to cure Lowjack in "Primal" was based on what happened to Carl Carlson in "Invincible".
    • Fargo's goldfish in "Purple Haze" is Warren, named after Warren King, the forgotten Director of Global Dynamics who was Put on a Bus after the pilot.
    • The Season One finale has numerous call-backs to earlier episodes. Henry uses Walter's tachyon accelerator from the Pilot, Beverly uses Jason's Laser-Guided Amnesia device from "Before I Forget", and Carl Carlson from "Invincible" is mentioned when discussing the Artifact.
    • While catching his grandfather up on everything he missed spending 50 years as a Human Popsicle in "Family History", Fargo relays the details of the secret early moon landing that Stark told Carter about back in "Dr. Noble".
    • SARAH scolds herself by calling herself a "bad house" in "God Is In The Details", just like Carter did when she trapped the cast in "HOUSE Rules".
    • When multiple citizens start collectively sleepwalking in "If You Build It...", Carter wonders if the sleep researcher Doctor Sueños from "Noche de Sueños" is involved.
    • Andy attempts to woo Jo in "Momstrosity". Jo lets him know that she's dated a robot before and things didn't work out, referring to her history with Callister revealed in "Right As Raynes".
    • Henry tells Allison that he's known she and Jack were meant for each other for a while in "I'll Be Seeing You". Of course, he means this more literally than she realizes - he's aware of an Alternate Timeline where she and Jack were married from "Once In A Lifetime".
    • Parrish's Adrenal Suppression System in "Lost" is a functioning iteration of his riot pacification technology that caused the Hate Plague in "All The Rage".
    • Characters refer to Carter as "Sheriff Grabass" in "Maneater" after he participates in a Sensitivity Training demonstration with Jo. In "Jack Of All Trades", Zane harasses a woman while in Carter's body during a "Freaky Friday" Flip and calls himself "Sheriff Grabass".
    • Carter laments that none of the townsfolks seemed to learn their lesson from "Dr. Noble" when a similar situation occurs again in "Worst Case Scenario".
    • When Allison plans to use a portable cabana to salvage her lousy honeymoon with Carter in "The Honeymooners", Carter recalls the time Fargo was attacked by his sentient tent in "Momstrosity".
    • In the series finale, Allison says "Just for luck..." before kissing Jack, the same thing he said before their Now or Never Kiss in "Founders' Day".
    • 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.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Carter in "Noche de Sueños" after a Shared Dream where he walks around town naked. Jo and Fargo do the same, in tandem, when they kiss in another Shared Dream.
  • Catchphrase: 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.
  • Cat Fight: Allison and Beverly in "Purple Haze".
  • Celebrity Cameo: Stan Lee appears as a candidate for the Astraeus mission in "Glimpse". He mentions he has had surprising success with his research in the field of Gamma Radiation.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Multiple.
  • 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...
  • Cheerful A.I.: SARAH and Andy.
  • 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.
  • Clear Their Name: "The Story Of O2": Zane crashes an expensive prototype while apparently driving while intoxicated, and Jo has to prove his innocence to keep him out of prison.
  • 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.
    • Particularly after a "Freaky Friday" Flip 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.
    Carter: This is not my fault!
  • 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.
  • 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: Carter’s 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. As seen in "Invincible", if you lose your job at Global, you're getting evicted.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Carter saves Fargo from being struck by a speeding toxic waste truck in "Noche De Sueños", and Fargo spends the rest of the episode complaining about neck pain and threatening to come after Carter with a Frivolous Lawsuit.
  • 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.
  • The Computer Is Your Friend: SARAH means well, but her over-protectiveness, naivity, and abandonment issues cause her to do some messed up things.
    • In "H.O.U.S.E. Rules" 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.
    • In one episode she programmed Deputy Andy to feel love - while he was connected to the GD mainframe. As per the norm, Hilarity Ensues, as every AI system is affected. When Andy realized what happened, he was flattered and kept the new programming to start a relationship with her.
    • After Carter is fired, she creates a fake identity and manipulates a scientist into creating gravity disturbances and attacks Sheriff Andy, because she wants Carter back.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Trevor Grant to Eva Thorne. Neither is an outright villain, but they both work in secret against the rest of the group for their own ends and imperil someone else's life in the midseason finale. Eva Thorne is an Obstructive Bureaucrat at the head of a conspiracy, but at the end of the day has sympathetic goals and is only dangerous because Poor Communication Kills. Trevor Grant on the other hand is The Charmer who is secretly a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and becomes even more dangerous when he becomes an Unwitting Pawn of the Consortium. There's also the fact that both are from the past, Eva Thorne just took The Slow Path and is really over 100 years old, while Trevor Grant is a Fish out of Temporal Water.
  • Cool Car: The Subaru WRX sedans featured as Product Placement are played straight. Tabitha, on the other hand, is a Chrysler Lebaron with a first-rate AI, but she's played as The Alleged Car because Fargo has neglected her maintenance.
  • 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.
  • Corrupt Politician: Senator Wen.
  • 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".
  • Covert Distress Code: Carter calls Jo "Josephina" to signal to her that he and the rest of the people in his house are being held captive in "HOUSE Rules".
  • The Cracker: Zane. He was good enough to hack NASA's servers all the way back in middle school, after all.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Creepy Child: The Evil Doppelgänger of Jenna in "Double Take".
  • 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.
  • Custody Battle: Zoe was only supposed to stay with Jack for a year before moving back to California with her mother, but given how good Eureka has been for the both of them, Jack doesn't want to let her go when his twelve months are up.
  • Cutting the Knot: The cast spend a day attempting to disarm a Death Ray in a Race Against the Clock in "Dr. Nobel". When all efforts fail, Carter rams into it with his car, nudging it off its trajectory and rendering it useless.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: Zoe laments that Carter never bothered to show up for school productions when she was growing up while rehearsing for the School Play in "Before I Forget".
  • 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. Lampshaded by Beverly who tells Zoe she has daddy issues.
  • 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.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Anyone who has changed history or has seen the future is considered inherently dangerous by the government. Therefore, any time travelers who are found out will be... "sanctioned".
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Played With. Nathan Stark, Jack Carter, and Allison Blake were in a Love Triangle. Nathan dies, but only after the triangle was resolved and Allison already chose him over Carter. Allsion and Carter don't get together until after Carter was in a relationship with Tess while Allison was griefing, and a short-lived Love Triangle with Grant.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: Wayne Kwan is fighting a "cold" after being in a room adjacent to the Artifact exploding. He comes down with a bad case of Spontaneous Human Combustion a few minutes later.
  • 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.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "Omega Girls" is Die Hard In Global Dynamics, when the entire town is put to sleep by tainted innoculations distributed by Beverly and the Consortium except for Zoe, who is visiting from college, and Jo, who is Afraid of Needles.
  • Diesel Punk: "Founders' Day", at least a little. Eureka still has very advanced technology. . . by 1940's standards.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Andy is a Cheerful A.I. even when events threaten him or the entire town at large. For example, he relays the information that Global Dynamics is about to collapse and kill everyone inside in "Of Mites And Men" with a chipper attitude.
  • 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.
  • Divorce Is Temporary:
    • Averted with Carter and Abby.
    • Subverted with Allison and Nathan. The divorced couple gets together again, but then Nathan dies on their wedding day.
  • Do Androids Dream?: "Right as Raynes".
    Callister: What's going to happen to me?
    Nathan: Remember what Alan Turing said?
    Callister: He figured God could give a computer a soul if he wanted to. Do you think that's true, Dad?
    Nathan: I know it is.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Which heralds the arrival of Jack's ex-wife.
  • 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.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Carl Carlson, after he is terminated from Global Dynamics. Thanks to his newly-discovered Healing Factor, he survives.
    • Eva Thorne plans to seal up the Department of War bunker with herself inside, and die along with her secrets.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Henry suddenly reveals to Grace that he's from an Alternate Timeline and is not the Henry she married while helping her with a memory recall project in "Momstrosity".
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • Henry in "Purple Haze", as a result of a Loss of Inhibitions and as a way of coping with his frustrations with being Mr. Exposition.
    • Parodied in "Welcome Back, Carter", where Jack is seen at the bar after being fired drowning his sorrows with milkshakes instead of alcohol.
  • Drowning Pit: Allison and Carter are trapped in a flooding submarine in "In Too Deep".
  • Drugs Are Bad: Heavily invoked with the Fantastic Drug MPH in "Blink".
  • 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.
  • Dumpster Dive: Fargo digs through the trash of Section 5 employees to find a sample of MPH in "Blink".
  • 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.
  • Easily Forgiven: Julia, who engineered a "Freaky Friday" Flip with Jo and attempted to steal her life in "Your Face Or Mine?", gets off on probation despite attempting to frame Jo for her crimes and nearly getting her killed.
  • 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.
  • Election Day Episode: "Here Come The Suns", complete with a Dark Horse Victory when Henry wins as a write-in.
  • EMP: GD builds a uni-directional EMP gun in "The Ex-Files", for use in a Totally-Not-A-Kill Sat.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: The series finale, in which Fargo has a ton of Biting-the-Hand Humor when the government decides to defund Eureka and shut the town down. Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Frequently. "Once in a Lifetime" and "I Do Over" are probably the best examples.
  • Enforced Technology Levels: Following the terror attacks on September 11, Invisibility, Teleportation, and Miniaturization became banned areas of research. Naturally, all three appear over the course of the series, in "Sight Unseen", "A Night At Global Dynamics", and "O Little Town", respectively.
  • Engineered Heroics: "Captain Eureka" orchestrates dangerous situations for Lexi Carter so she will become a Damsel in Distress he can rescue.
  • 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.
  • Erotic Dream: Jo, Nathan and Fargo have a sensual Shared Dream that recreates Zorro, later revealed to be Jo's.
  • "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.
  • Everyone's in the Loop: At the start of Season 4, Carter, Henry, Fargo, Allison and Jo all travel to an Alternate Timeline. They agree to keep it a secret from even their loved ones, since there is a government protocol to execute time travelers to prevent them from further contaminating the timeline. However, by the end of "The Story Of O2", Andy, Grace, Zane and Zoe have all been looped in on what happened... which is basically the entire rest of the cast.
  • "Everyone Is Gone" Episode: "Games People Play", eventually.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Carter, Jo and Taggart in "HOUSE Rules".
  • 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.
  • Expy:
    • 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.
  • Extra-Long Episode: The pilot clocks in at an hour and 24 minutes, in contrast to the usual 44 minute cap that other episodes had to squeeze into.
  • Extranormal Institute: The whole town.
  • Eye Lights Out: When the evil Andys are defeated at the climax of "Lost".
  • Failed a Spot Check: In "Reprise" even though Jo knew that the music affected the brain she still forgot to turn her radio off.
  • 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...
    • Whenever Carter asks "Can't we unplug it?" (which is frequently) there's always some reason why that will no longer work.
    • Zane brings a backup power supply to power the doors in the Department of War bunker so he won't get stuck if the bunker's power goes out... then he leaves the power supply in another room and gets trapped when the doors slam shut.
    • 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.
    Jack: Tell me the failsafe didn't just fail.
  • Faint in Shock:
    • Pierre Fargo; not when he learns he's been a Human Popsicle for 50 years, but when he learns he has a grandson.
    • Fargo follows suit with his grandfather in "You Don't Know Jack" when he walks in on Allison giving birth.
  • Fake Memories: The Consortium implant fake memories of assisting a woman after a car accident in Allison's head, when they were actually setting the stage for Grand Theft Me.
  • Fake Relationship: Lexi makes Fargo fake a relationship with her to shoo away the father of her children before he finds out she's pregnant in "Insane In The P-Brane".
  • Faked Rip Van Winkle: The Consortium pulls off an extremely elaborate one by hijacking the Astraeus to kidnap the crew, then trapping the crew Inside a Computer System, all with the intention of stealing their innovations for themselves. The Time Skip is so that the crewmates will be able to rationalize their friends and former lovers acting out of character.
  • Fall Guy:
    • Victor, the vault supervisor with Sticky Fingers, plants a category red device on Fargo so Fargo will take the fall for his years of pilfering.
    • The Consortium frame Zane for the theft of the DED device in "The Ex Files".
  • Fantastic Drug: MPH, which turns the user into a Fragile Speedster.
  • Fantastic Terrorists: The Consortium, who weaponize things like Grand Theft Me, Laser-Guided Amnesia and an Earthquake Machine.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Henry and Fargo develop the techology in "Liftoff", and Global Dynamics later plans to use it to send the Astraeus crew to Titan, one of Saturn's moons.
  • 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.
  • Feathered Fiend: Carter, Taggart and Dr. Finn are attacked by Taggart's malfunctioning robotic geese in "Duck, Duck Goose".
  • 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.
  • Fingore: "Captain Eureka" uses a device to phase through walls to escape apprehension. He regains material coherence too early and leaves behind a finger.
  • Fire Alarm Distraction: Played With. Nathan has a wall-mounted biohazard alarm in his office, which he activates to evacuate Global when he wants to investigate the Artifact without prying eyes.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon:
  • Firing Day: As demanded by Eva. Carter is forced to relive it over and over again courtesy of a "Groundhog Day" Loop in "I Do Over".
  • First Day from Hell: "Try, Try Again" is this for Allison. Fargo activates Some Kind of Force Field that keeps expanding and she has to make a Sadistic Choice regarding whether she should Nuke 'em to save Eureka or attempt to save him but risk endangering the town.
  • First-Episode Twist: The pilot hides the fact that the "fugitive" Jack is transporting is actually his daughter until nearly an hour in.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water:
    • Pierre Fargo in "Family Reunion".
    • Trevor Grant in Season 4.
  • Five-Man Band: Stark, Zane, Grant, Grace and Holly all fill various Sixth Ranger roles as they come and go throughout the series, but the core five are:
  • Five Philosophy Ensemble: In the first two Seasons.
    • The Cynic: Nathan.
    • The Optimist: Henry.
    • The Realist: Jack.
    • The Apathetic: Jo.
    • The Conflicted: Allison.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Fargo takes an experimental drug in order to get through the five stages of grief over his girlfriend Holly's death at an accelerated rate in order to move on. The drug, however, not only accelerates the process but exaggerates each stage to a ridiculous degree (denial for instance causes him to claim he's fine while being on fire), so much so that Allison forcibly takes him off of the treatment to allow him to process his emotions normally.
  • "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 Carter is reluctant to give up his intelligence because he finally feels like he fits in.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Tiny the Spider Tank.
  • 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.
  • Forced Transformation: Julia forces Jo to transform into herself after she already transformed into Jo, so Jo will take the fall for her crimes.
  • Foreseeing My Death: Not a human foreseeing their death, but the Predictive Algorithm Lenses in "Glimpse". They warn their users that their own malfunction is going to destroy the town within the next two hours.
  • Fountain of Youth: Walter Perkins regresses to a 16-year old as a consequence of his meddling with quantum physics, and his house becomes a Deadly Environment Prison because he will continue to age backwards if he ever leaves. He laments the effect this has on his love life, since his wife has no interest in being with a minor.
  • 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'.
  • Freeze Ray: Carter arms himself with one during "It's Not Easy Being Green" to fight a Blob Monster.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: Season four's Christmas Episode gave us Santa's sleigh being silhouetted against the full moon.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • TIRD: Thermal Imaging Reactive Disturbance, (seemingly) paranormal disturbances from Another Dimension.
    • SCAT: Student Career Assessment Test, the Inept Aptitude Test Zoe takes to determine her specialization in medical school.
    • BUFY: Biomechanical Unfolding Fully-Automated Yurt, Fargo's Fancy Camping tent.
    • PALs: Predictive Algorithm Lenses, contacts that allow you to see the future.
    • 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:
    • Claudia has this reaction when she and Fargo discuss how to disarm a landmine.
    • Zoe tells Grace about a mystery man she's been seeing (later revealed to be Zane) who wowed her with Technobabble while helping her with her classes. Grace also finds the Technobabble to be a turn-on when Zoe recounts it.
    • 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".
  • 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?
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Lucas with Zoe.
  • 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."
  • Gun Nut: Jo Lupo, as to be expected from the woman with the most marksmanship titles in Special Forces history.
  • Happy Dance: Jo does one to celebrate passing a qualification exam for the Astraeus mission.
  • Hate Plague: "All the Rage".
  • Hazmat Suit: Needlessly worn by Jack, Taggart and Nathan in "A Night At Global Dynamics".
  • Healing Hands: Kevin uses the ability to save Allison in "God Is In The Details".
  • Healing Factor: Acquired by Carl Carlson as a result of his cellular regeneration experiments pairing with interference from The Artifact.
  • 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.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": "Dump coil."
  • Hellgate: Potentially created in "God Is In The Details". The organist of the church is attempting to create a portal to the afterlife, but judging by the effects on the town, whatever is on the other side isn't pretty. Foreshadowed in the very same episode by Larry in a Shout-Out to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • "Here's Johnny!" Homage: One of the Stepford Smiler Andy clones in the Bad Future episode "Lost" says "Here's Andy!" when he finds where Fargo and Holly are hiding.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Nathan Stark in "I Do Over".
  • Hidden Villain: Senator Wen. She's a recurring character starting with the midseason premiere of Season 4, but her connection to Beverly and her involvement in the kidnapping of the Astraeus crew isn't revealed until Season 5.
  • 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.)
  • How We Got Here: The Teaser of "Before I Forget" shows Jack and Jo attempting to arrest a man at Café Diem, only for Jack to lose time and regain consciousness after shooting Henry. The majority of the episode then shows how the gang got to that moment, who the man they're trying to arrest is, and why Jack lost time.
  • Human Popsicle: Fargo's grandfather Pierre, who was cryogenically frozen for 50 years.
  • I Can't Hear You: After her laundromat is blown up, Callie comically mis-answers Carter's questions because she can't understand him over the ringing in her ears.
  • I'm Melting!: Big Ed's fate after being consumed by his Blob Monster.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Carter after he gets covered in toxic waste and has to publicly strip so he can be decontaminated.
    Carter: Sarah, can I have a beer waiting for me?
    SARAH: I detect that you're upset Sheriff, but alcohol isn't the answer.
    Carter: No, I'm not. Yes, it is.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Carter reveals Leo Weinbrenner is also trapped in the "Groundhog Day" Loop in "I Do Over" because Leo knows he's going to be fired too early in the day, before Thorne has provided the list of names.
  • I See Them, Too: Allison believes she's losing her mind when she keeps seeing the ghost of Nathan after his death. Then he appears in front of her when she's with Henry and Jack and Henry confirms that he sees him too - he's not a ghost, he's a hologram emanating from her necklace.
  • I Want My Jet Pack: 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.
  • 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.
    • Jo races to a location after learning that music is compelling people to become Brainwashed and Crazy. She leaves the radio on in her car.
  • Idiot Hero: Carter, though it helps when everyone in town is a mad scientist who needs to be protected from themselves.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Said by Kevin to Jack after Jack confesses he has feelings for Kevin's mother. Jack finishes the threat for him; being a Boyfriend-Blocking Dad, he's used to being the one making them.
    Kevin: Just don't screw it up Jack, because it you break her heart—
    Jack: Yeah, you'll break my legs. I got it.
  • Imposter Exposing Test: Taggart reveals that the "Fargo" on his comms in "A Night At Global Dynamics" is an imposter by acting as a Shipper on Deck for Zane and Jo and seeing if Fargo will agree, when in reality both he and the real Fargo have feelings for Jo and can't stand Zane.
  • Inappropriate Hunger: Allison develops a pregnancy craving for beef jerky when the team examines a charred corpse fused to a steel door in "Once In A Lifetime". Henry responds with a Dude, Not Funny! reaction when she and Jack joke around about it, since he knows in advance that the body belongs to his wife.
  • Inconvenient Itch: Claudia develops an itch on her toe that she can't do much about because she's standing on a landmine.
  • 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.
  • Inept Aptitude Test: Zoe takes the Student Career Assessment Test to determine what her specialization will be in medial school, hoping to work with babies or pregnant mothers but winding up assigned to robots instead.
  • 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.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: "Invincible" isn't the first episode to feature the Artifact (that would be "Alienated"), but what happens to Carl Carlson is referenced multiple times through the following two seasons, and preventing the same fate from befalling Kevin is the Story Arc of Season 2.
  • 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.
  • Instant Sedation: Allison drugs Carter when he starts to panic over the disappearances across town in "Games People Play"... granted, it only happens Inside a Computer System.
  • Inside a Computer System:
    • Carter is unknowingly experiencing a virtual therapy session throughout "Games People Play".
    • Fargo, Holly, Allison, Zane, Grace and later Carter are all trapped in a virtual version of Eureka at the start of Season 5.
  • Insistent Terminology: Parrish insists that his flying fire orb isn't a "fireball", it's a "firefly".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Jack warns Zoe that her new boyfriend is a Fragile Speedster who left a threat in their home the other night with such speed that even their security cameras couldn't pick him up. Zoe says it's impossible that anyone could move that quickly... and then Jack gets snatched right out of their moving car.
  • Insufferable Genius: Nathan Stark as well as several minor characters. Carter himself became one after being dosed with a super intelligence drug. He got better.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Eva Thorne: I expect this kind of insubordination from you, Carter.
    Carter: Thank you.
  • Intangible Man: Carter, Tess and H.J. Johnson in "Insane In The P-Brane".
  • Intoxication Ensues: Happens to almost the entire town in the episode Purple Haze.
  • Invisibility: The Disaster Of The Week in "Sight Unseen", since becoming invisible is also fatal.
  • 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.
  • It's What I Do: Said by Fargo when asked why he impulsively turned on the mysterious device he found in his pocket in "Try, Try Again".
  • It Will Never Catch On: Many of the men on base in the Get Back to the Future episode "Founders' Day" are dismissive of Jackie Robinson, assuming his Major League Baseball career will go nowhere.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Justified Trope in this case.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Even though he was incredibly callous in saying it Parrish was right in "Friendly Fire" when he said that Fargo was grieving so couldn’t really be counted on to make rational decisions
    • Parrish has a tendency to do this, this exchange from "Up in the Air" being one example:
    Carter: Hey! It disrupts... the Higg's Field! You should put it somewhere safe!
    Parrish: Oh, you mean like in a bank?
    Carter Yeah, that's... I see your point.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini: Beverly never faces any comeuppance for her years of villainy and the multiple deaths she directly or indirectly caused. Henry has the chance to turn her over to the authorities in the series finale, but instead pulls an Enemy Mine with her to get Grace out of prison.
  • 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: 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.
  • Kill It with Ice:
    • The microscopic parasites from "Show Me The Mummy".
    • Attempted on Spot, the Blob Monster from "It's Not Easy Being Green", but that solution is a Red Herring.
  • Kill the Lights: Fargo uses smart dust to block out the sun so he can escape the Evil Doppelgänger horde that has him cornered in "Double Take".
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Kim, twice.
    • Nathan Stark. Played With in "The Ex-Files'' when he comes back, but is revealed to be a hallucination.
    • Averted with Holly who comes Back from the Dead.
  • Lack of Empathy: Carter puts ethics aside and only cares about scientific progress in the "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome episode "Smarter Carter".
  • 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.
    • In one episode Fargo becomes frustrated with Sheriff Carter interfering with a solution to the problem-of-the-week and mimics him, saying "I'm going to use my Everyman knowledge to save the day!", which is the premise of the entire tv show.
  • 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 Cutter: Henry uses a laser scalpel during an autopsy in "Once In A Lifetime".
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • Jason Anderson uses a device that wipes out short term memory, which he uses on his wife and other scientist in order to steal their work. Henry later modifies it to target specific long term memories, wiping Jack's memories of the Alternate Timeline.
    • When Fargo sees that all the memories the townspeople have of him are embarrassing ones in "You Don't Know Jack", he attempts to erase all of the embarrassing memories of him from the Global Dynamics memory archive, in the process giving the entire town amnesia.
    • Warren conveniently has no recollection of reliving Carter's memories in "This One Time At Space Camp" after he is treated by Grace.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded by Jack in "Invincible" when Nathan asks if he and Allison are wearing the same clothes from yesterday.
    Carter: Don't look at me, I wear the same thing every day.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Fargo uses a remote-controlled camera that looks like a fly to spy on the Section 5 team in "Blink".
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The fate of the frozen Body of the Week in "Unpredictable".
  • 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), and Jo, Zane, Holly, Fargo and Parrish in "Of Mites and Men" (a psychological stress testing chamber).
  • 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 Confession: Carter to Allison in "I Do Over", in an attempt to break the "Groundhog Day" Loop. It doesn't work.
  • 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, Out with a Bang 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 Transcends Spacetime: Jack and Allison ultimately wind up married and having the child they were about to have together in "Once In A Lifetime", despite all the time travel shenanigans throughout the show's five seasons that threatened to keep them apart.
  • Love Triangle: Stark, Carter and Allison for the first half of the series. Allison, Tess and Carter in Season 3B. Then it's Carter, Grant and Allison in Season 4A with Carter and Allison finally getting their Relationship Upgrade in the mid-season finale.
    • And as of "Stoned", Carter's daughter Zoe gets a love triangle 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.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Almost everybody has one, but Henry's garage is probably the maddest.
  • 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.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Most of the time the problem of the day will be solved by Henry (for whom it is pushed to the point of parody), Stark/Fargo, Zane and Allison for the scientific side, while Carter brings his everyman logic and will perform whatever dangerous stunt needs to be done. The scientific expert of the episode is only able to help only 50% of the time, and apparently none of the GD security guards are available when it comes to firing a rocket in the centre of a star or jump into a wormhole.
  • 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."
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: SARAH is none too pleased with Jack's termination in "Welcome Back, Carter", and creates gravity wells around town so that Jack's Rotten Robotic Replacement Sheriff Andy will be crushed.
  • 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 "God Is In The Details", a character creates what they believe to be a portal to Heaven. Since none of the characters wind up going through it, it's never revealed if the portal is to an actual, Physical Heaven or just Another Dimension.
    • 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:
    • Zoe's friend Pilar, whom Jack refers to as a "good influence" to his ex-wife. Given the show's frequent emphasis on pseudoscience and spirituality, it's hardly a coincidence that the name Pilar is associated with icons of Mary, the Pillar of Catholicism.
    • Dr. Sueños, which means "dream" in Spanish. Guess who invented the Shared Dream device?
    • 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.
  • Meet Cute: Carter meets Tess when he finds her car parked illegally in the middle of the road so she can pee in the woods.
  • 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 Fusion: Jack does this with Scatterbrained Senior Irving Thatcher in an effort to learn how to shut off his Doomsday Device.
  • 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.
  • Mirror Scare: Jo walks through a field of mirrors created by malfunctioning smart dust, stopping to take in her own reflection. Then her reflection grabs her.
  • Missing Time:
    • Characters experience this throughout "Before I Forgot" as a result of Laser-Guided Amnesia.
    • Allison experiences this in Season 4 because Beverly is doing Grand Theft Me.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter:
    • SARAH believes Zoe is an imposter after her DNA is altered by the mysterious substance in the Department of War bunker.
    • After escaping the Matrix, Holly continues to have paranoia that they are still trapped inside, and pulls a gun on Carter the next time she sees him.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Jack, while attempting to locate a naked and detained Fargo in 1947, asks a group of soldiers for help finding a naked man, and they assume he's trying to organize some kind of hookup.
    • Fargo, by the father of Lexi's twins.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: Beverly warns Carter before entering the Matrix in "Force Quit" that if his avatar dies in the virtual world, he will die in the real world.
  • Mr. Exposition: Henry. As revealed in the mass Loss of Inhibitions episode "Purple Haze", he's starting to get a little tired of it.
    Carter: How does it work anyways?
    Henry: It uh... it just does. God, do I really have to explain everything?!
  • Mr. Fanservice: Stark and Zane.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jo gets plenty of Toplessness from the Back, plus scenes where she's in a Little Black Dress, Hell-Bent for Leather or Sitting Sexy on a Piano. Not to mention her Running Gag of That Came Out Wrong sexual innuendos.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • My Greatest Failure: Dr. Todd gave up his pursuit of scientific discovery and became a recluse after the last user of his force field technology got so out of control he was forced to Nuke 'em.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Happens to Carter in the series finale after he jumps through a wormhole.
    Henry: How did it look?
    Carter: Pretty good.
  • Mysterious Backer: Warehouse 13 is portrayed as such.

    General Tropes N-Z 
  • Naked Nutter: The episode "Purple Haze" has the entire town acting strangely for an unknown reason, including Taggert strolling around stark naked. At the end, after (relative) normalcy has been restored, he's seen wearing a long trenchcoat, buttoned up to the neck.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Taggart in "Purple Haze", Fargo in "Founders' Day", and Carter twice in "Noche de Sueños".
  • Name Amnesia: Sheriff Andy suffers from this after his first "accident" in "Welcome Back, Carter".
  • Nanomachines:
    • Stark inadvertandly commandeers a collection of them with his subconscious, and they begin to pursue his deep-seated dreams of world domination.
    • Used to assemble the Astraeus. Naturally, something goes wrong...
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The Consortium. Following the Aborted Arc involving the Artifact, they seem to have a new end goal and ideology every time they show up.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Zig-Zagged. Kevin, who is diagnosed with autism, solves the first Disaster Of The Week seemingly just by virtue of having Hollywood Autism and being impossibly good at math, but later in the series it's revealed he has some sort of connection to the Akashic Records. It's a bit of an Ambiguous Situation if his neurodiversity was caused by the connection or is unrelated, and also if his connection has always existed or was established during the events of the Season 1 finale.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Jo has this reaction to losing the Zane from the original timeline before she ever got the chance to say yes to his proposal.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: Fargo's glasses have night vision, which he uses in combination with Kill the Lights to escape the villains in "Double Take".
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Kevin starts to make some... interesting drawings after he develops a connection to the Artifact.
  • 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 Peeking!" Request: In "From Fear to Eternity", Fargo and Carter need to browse through Fargo's laptop and Fargo asks Carter to turn around while he looks at some "personal photos". Carter complies, but later peeks and sees that the "personal photos" are just funny cat memes.
  • No-Respect Guy: Fargo, although his new job is making him become far more responsible.
  • Noodle Incident: When The End of the World as We Know It is about to occur in the pilot, Henry casually recalls a similar incident he and Warren experienced at Groom Lake, noting that at least they are both sober this time.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Beverly to Henry in "Force Quit" regarding their shared concerns about scientific discoveries being perverted into weapons of war. He's so enraged by the comparison that he responds with an Implied Death Threat.
  • 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 Himself: The show used the trope actually quite often.
    • Jo in "Your Face or Mine" due to being body-jacked by Julia.
    • Allison in season 4.5, due to being body-jacked by Beverly for several episodes. It eventually wears off.
    • Carter in "Jack of All Trades" due to "Freaky Friday" Flip shenanigans.
    • Carl Carlson after getting exposed to the artifact.
    • Everyone but Carter and Zoe in "Purple Haze". Downplayed since it's mostly a Loss of Inhibitions.
    • Again, pretty much everyone in "Reprise" due to behavior-altering music.
  • Not in Kansas Anymore:
    • In "Phoenix Rising", said by Henry to Jack when the reality of their Alternate Timeline starts to really hit them.
    • In "Lost", 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-So-Final 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. Then he survives.
    • In "Liftoff", Fargo and Zane are trapped in space and Almost Out of Oxygen. With survival unlikely, Fargo reveals the truth of the Alternate Timeline to Zane so he can die knowing what he and Jo meant to each other in another universe... and then they both survive. Jo is not too pleased with Fargo upon his return to Earth.
  • 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."
  • Not With the Safety On, You Won't: The Fragile Speedster who stole Carter's gun in "Blink" falls victim to this when he attempts to gun down Carter and his daughter.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Jack and Allison in "Founders' Day".
  • 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.
  • Nuke 'em: The cast hides what's happening during the events of "Dr. Noble" because they know the U.S. Government will nuke Eureka if they find out, and in "Try, Try Again" General Mansfield prepares to nuke Fargo to destroy the ever-expanding force field he's trapped in.
  • 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.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Carter mentions to Henry how strange it is to have memories of things that never happened at the end of "Games People Play", oblivious to the fact that Henry is harboring guilt over erasing Carter's memories of a different series of events that were erased from existence.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Eva Thorne, and to a lesser extent Nathan Stark.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Fargo lets out several expletives as Henry describes what the machine he turned on does in "Dr. Noble".
    • Carter-Zane's face when Jo walked into the shower in "Jack of All Trades".
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Any time the Matrix glitches out, because Spotting the Thread is a death sentence to the inhabitants.
  • 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 Taggart. 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 specializes in artificial intelligence and robotics, Stark is a quantum physicist, 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.
    • In the last season Holly, who is explicitly an Astro-physicist, knows enough to work with advanced biological and cybernetic technologies. This is because she is Brainwashed and Crazy by the Matrix to re-abduct the crew of the Astraeus, and those fields are needed for the Evil Plan.
  • Once a Season: A new person is appointed as the head of Global Dynamics.
    • Season 1: Nathan Stark replaces Warren King following the events of the pilot.
    • Season 2: Allison Blake replaces Nathan Stark after Nathan's experiments with the Artifact lead to the death of Kim Yamazaki.
    • Season 3: Tess Fontana temporarily replaces Allison Blake when Allison goes on maternity leave.
    • Season 4: Douglas Fargo is now the head of Global Dynamics because the cast traveled to an Alternate Timeline.
    • Season 5: Henry Deacon is appointed as the head of Global Dynamics by Trevor Grant in the series finale.
  • 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.
  • One Password Attempt Ever: Eva mentions to Zane that the entire Department of War bunker will lock down permanently should his decryption effort fail even a single input.
  • 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.
  • Orbital Kiss: Jack and Allison in "Founders' Day".
  • Outrun the Fireball: Carter in "Force Quit", when he blows up the Astraeus Inside a Computer System.
  • Paintball Episode: The B-story of "HOUSE Rules" involves a paintball war between Jo and Taggart. Later in the episode, they have to use their paintball guns to take on an underground security system.
  • 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!"
  • Pet Monstrosity: Spot, Big Ed's pet Blob Monster.
  • Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: "E = MC...?" It turns out to have been caused by a new type of cloned chicken meat at Cafe Diem.
  • Phlebotinum-Proof Robot: Zigzagged with Andy, who while immune to plenty of harm due to being an android is also vulnerable to certain kinds of harm for the same reason. For example, he survives an attack from a gravity weapon that pancakes his car and is hardly hurt after catching on fire, but unlike the humans he is harmed by an ion pulse that wiped out every other machine in town, and his legs were eaten out by titanium-seeking building mites.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Done to Carter by Major Ryan in "Founders' Day".
  • Plot Armour: Worn by Carter, lampshaded by Sheriff Andy
    Sheriff 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."
    • Eva Thorne's plan to bury her family's past is one the cast sympathizes with when they learn the truth, but her efforts to keep everyone out of the loop endangers the lives of the entire town.
  • Portal Cut: An RV and a cow are bisected by spheres created by a tachyon accelerator in the pilot.
  • Previously on…: Every Season 4A episode explains the events of the season premiere and the resulting changes of the Alternate Timeline.
    Carter: It was just a normal day in Eureka. Yeah, like that was gonna last. Hello 1947. Confused? Let me clarify...
  • 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.
  • Properly Paranoid: Spencer (under the influence of an infrasonic paranoia signal) believes Congressman Faraday is an alien sent to infiltrate Eureka. Faraday isn't an alien, but he is an agent of The Consortium attempting to spy on Section 5.
  • Psycho Psychologist: As we learn in the very first episode, sessions with Beverly can be downright lethal. She functions as the de facto Big Bad of the series until a My God, What Have I Done? moment spurred on by Holly's murder leads her to pull an Enemy Mine with Jack and Henry.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Jo with her Evil Doppelgänger in "Mirror, Mirror".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This! Is! Eureka!" Fargo's attempt to intimidate the visiting Area 51 bowling team.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Fargo and Larry are kidnapped by Tabitha and driven around in her trunk in "If You Build It...".
  • 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.
    • Kevin, after season 2, but The Bus Came Back in season 4.
    • Beverly disappeared after season 2, then The Bus Came Back mid-season 4, only to go back on the bus after the three-part season 5 opener. She came Back for the Finale though.
  • Race Against the Clock:
    • "Dr. Noble": The characters have 20 hours to figure out a way to disarm a Doomsday Device (later reduced to 7 hours as the result of a botched Wire Dilemma).
    • "Try, Try Again": The characters have 4 hours to free Fargo from Some Kind of Force Field before they'll be forced to Nuke 'em.
    • "Liftoff": Fargo and Zane need to get back from outer space before their 6 hours of oxygen runs out.
    • "Glimpse": The Predictive Algorithm Lenses reveal that the entire town will explode in 2 hours, and the characters need to figure out why.
  • Raging Stiffie: Carter and Allison, and later Fargo and Claudia, both wind up trapped and pressed against each other where they have to wait for rescue. It's implied the men get a little unintentionally excited about their predicaments...
    Carter: How are you liking that field work?
    Claudia: What does it look like?
    Carter: ...It looks hard.
  • Rapid Aging:
    • Pierre Fargo spent five decades in cryo-stasis. After he's released, the years quickly start to catch up with him...
    • The byproduct of the original atomic bomb developed in the Department of War bunker causes this, unless you get extremely lucky in which case it makes you The Ageless instead.
  • 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.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: How Zane winds up working at Global.
  • Red Herring:
    • "Unpredictable" focuses on an investigation into the death of a man who was frozen in a freak weather incident. You might suspect the Mad Scientist whose wife was having an affair with the victim who also just so happens to own a Weather-Control Machine... but it's actually the town meteorologist.
    • "God Is In The Details" opens with a pathetically low-attended church in Eureka. Miraculous events occur throughout town, which drive up attendance and convince Carter the former-quantum physicist pastor is a Fake Faith Healer. However, it turns out every event is a Contrived Coincidence caused by the church organist attempting to open a portal to Physical Heaven.
  • Red Shirt: In "H.O.U.S.E. Rules", 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.
  • Resistance Is Futile:
  • 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 "Right As Raynes". The Stark replicants made of Nanomachines in "Primal". The dog robots in "Best In Faux". Sheriff Andy. Holly. The Evil Doppelgangers from the matrix in Season 5. 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".
  • Robo Romance: SARAH and Andy.
  • 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...
  • Robotic Reveal: Callister in "Right As Raynes" when Carter confronts him and Stark.
  • Rotten Robotic Replacement:
    • Andy to Carter when he is first introduced.
    • SARAH to Fargo in the Virtual Reality.
  • 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.
  • The Runaway: Zoe in season 1, several times.
  • Runaway Bride: SARAH jilts Andy on their wedding day in "Liftoff".
  • 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.
    • Vincent proposing elaborate dishes to his customers, only for Carter to ask for a steak or a burger and fries.
    Vincent: Why do I even bother...
    • Jo's habit of accidental double entendres, particularly referencing other characters... "assaulting her rear flank".
    Zane: Once a backdoor link's established, there's nothing I won't have access to.
    Fargo: I think you mean there's nothing I won't have access to.
    Jo: Boys! There's plenty of back-door access for everyone... that didn't come out right.
    • Scientist handing Carter a device that will protect him from the Disaster Of The Week, explaining how the device works and how it should keep him safe, then cautiously adding "... in theory".
    • In Season 5, there is a new gag of Carter communicating through avatars (his Evil Doppelgänger inside the Matrix, bodies he is inhabiting via "Freaky Friday" Flip, or a virtual Vincent), but other characters still immediately recognize it is him because of his inarticulate Buffy Speak.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Holly Marten in Season 5.
  • 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.
  • Scientist vs. Soldier: The dynamic crops up whenever the Disaster Of The Week involves either a Doomsday Device or one of the characters breaking the law. The soldier role is filled by Colonel Briggs in the pilot, General Mansfield in Seasons 1 through 4, Major Ryan in the episodes set in 1947 and Major Shaw in Season 5.
  • 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.
  • School Play: Zoe participates in one in order to skip last period in "Before I Forget".
  • 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.
    Jack: Oh.
    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.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The water-siphoning microscopic parasites in the "cursed" tomb from "Show Me The Mummy", which have been in an organic stasis for hundreds of years.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Stark and SARAH don'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".
  • Sensitivity Training: Carter and Jo act as volunteers for sexual harassment training in The Teaser of "Maneater".
  • 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.
  • Set Wrong What Was Once Made Right: "Once In A Lifetime". Henry traveled back in time to save Kim's life, but this resulted in a Time Crash that would cause The End of the World as We Know It. Jack has to travel back in time to stop Henry and make sure Kim dies.
  • 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.
  • Shared Dream: The Disaster Of The Week in "Noche de Sueños".
  • The Sheriff: Jack Carter, who used to be a U.S. Marshal.
  • Sherlock Can Read: Jack determines that a substance is chocolate, not blood, and impressively deduces the exact brand of chocolate... because he found the wrapper.
  • Sherlock Scan: Deputy Andy figures out the entire Carter-travelled-to-1947-and-returned-to-an-Alternate-Universe plot after fielding a handful of totally innocuous questions, noticing the type of pollen in Carter's hair, and connecting Grant to his own disappearance from over 60 years ago.
  • 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. Again in season 5, when Jo and Jack are together in the virtual reality. They're Better as Friends though.
  • Shower of Awkward: Carter has a "Freaky Friday" Flip with Zane while Zane is waiting for Jo to join him in the shower, and has to make a hasty and awkward exit.
  • Shrink Ray: Developed by Taggart in his Santology lab, to explain how Santa Claus is able to carry so many presents in his sack.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: Sometimes the simple solution is Jack's specialty, but other times he only insults Henry, Allison and Nathan by assuming they haven't thought of it first. For instance, in "Dr. Noble" when he suggests simply turning off the Doomsday Device.
    Nathan: Why didn't I think of that? Fargo, turn the machine off.
  • 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).
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: Julia (disguised as Jo) puts on a sultry performance of "Makin' Whoopee" to seduce Fargo in "Your Face Or Mine?".
  • 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:
    • Jo and Taggart after they save the rest of the cast in "HOUSE Rules".
    • Played With in "Clash of the Titans", while Fargo and Holly are in spacesuits:
    Holly: "Up top!" (she and Fargo high five)
  • Snowlems: Killer ninja snowmen are brought to life in "Do You See What I See?"
  • 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.
  • Sonic Stunner: Dr. Todd's ultrasonic fishing rod, which winds up as the Chekhov's Gun of "Try, Try Again", allowing the team to pull a Revival Loophole to free Fargo from Some Kind of Force Field.
  • Sorry, I Left the BGM 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!
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: The Disaster Of The Week in "Phoenix Rising", caused by (what else?) exposure to the Artifact.
  • The Spook: Frank Phillips in "Sight Unseen", a former CIA operative working on Invisibility who was The Dreaded to everyone who worked with him.
  • Spot the Imposter: Zane with two different versions of Parrish in "Double Take".
  • Stargazing Scene:
    • Henry, Nathan and Allison watch debris burn up in the atmosphere together at the end of "Duck, Duck, Goose", and Henry tells Nathan he knows Nathan isn't responsible for Kim's death.
    • Tess and Carter watch a meteor shower together, and that night they get a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Also a Take That!: "Have An Ice Day" reveals that a pneumatic tube in the sheriff's office is hidden behind a photograph of George W. Bush.
    • Holly spends several episodes as a hologram in season 5.
  • 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 get together.
  • Sticky Fingers:
    • Zoe has a habit of this, being a Troubled Teen.
    • Victor the vault supervisor has been stealing abandoned projects and selling the parts.
  • 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.
  • Super-Intelligence: Carter accidentally ingests some in "Smarter Carter."
  • Supernatural Hotspot Town: The titular town is a super-scientific variety of this; having so many geniuses in one place with access to advanced technology ranging from plasma weapons to prototype time machines leads to all sorts of bizarre circumstances. One of the more mild examples is having the second episode begin with the revelation that a character that died in the pilot was a clone, and when the original one shows up in Eureka, chaos ensues.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take Over the World: In "Primal" Stark admits to fantasies of global domination.
  • 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.
  • The Talk: Carter attempts to have "The Talk" with Kevin, after Jo catches Kevin's robot spying on her in the shower.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Carter convinces Carl Carlson not to jump from a bridge.
  • 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.
  • Tap on the Head: Carter incapacitates Major Ryan with a single knockout punch in "Founders' Day".
  • Tastes Like Chicken: Parrish notes that his bio-printed Evil Doppelgänger tastes like chicken after it gets blown up and he gets Covered in Gunge.
  • Team Power Walk: Parodied in "Dr. Noble", after Dr. Thatcher reassembles his (now quite elderly) team to save the day.
  • Techno Babble: Carter really hates it when the scientists start talking the science. It doesn't help that it's all Hollywood Science. Often Lampshaded by Carter.
    Carter: Thank you. Why couldn't you just say a swirling ice funnel of death?!
  • 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.
  • Temporal Sickness: In "I Do Over", Carter's body begins to deteriorate after he experiences too many loops in the "Groundhog Day" Loop, experiencing cuts on his skin and broken ribs.
  • Tempting Fate: Allison at the beginning of "Noche de Sueños".
    Allison: Things are actually calm at Global for a change-
    Carter: No, don't! Don't tempt fate.
  • Terrified of Germs: Carl Carlson.
  • 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!
    (awkward pause)
    Jo: That didn't come out right.
    • In the Pilot
      Sheriff 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 Day
      Dr. 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:
    "I was tangled up with Zane... With his thing... With his pardon."
    • In the series finale:
    Carter, to Fargo: You need to put your thing in the hole before it blows!
    (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)
    • From "Jack of All Trades":
      Zane (in Jack's body): and Carter slipped into me...there's gotta be a better way to say that.
  • 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.
  • There Was a Door: Carter announces he needs to borrow Stark's Nobel prize in "Dr. Nobel", then immediately smashes the prize's glass display case. Stark lets him know after the fact that the case was unlocked.
  • Time Crash:
    • Occurs as the result of a Temporal Paradox in "Once In A Lifetime".
    • The Disaster Of The Week in "Crossing Over". 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 Travel Episode: Several over the course of the series.
  • 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...
  • Title Drop: Exaggerated 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.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Inverted. The episode "God Is In The Details" makes it a point that Eureka is largely an agnostic and atheistic town, yet Henry, Allison and Jo are all Christian, and only Carter skips church.
  • Tomorrowland: Since Eureka is populated by the most brilliant minds in the world, its technology is significantly more advanced, with nuclear fusion generators being routinely used to power houses, the cure for common cold being available in drugstores, and the deputy sheriff being eventually replaced by an android, while highschool cheerleaders discuss quantum physics and the Science Fair involves genetic engineering or miniature solar systems.
  • Torture Technician: BRAD, the military interrogation AI that SARAH was built on top of.
  • 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?
    • Zoe and her friends also count when they go into a mysterious underground corridor opening up at her school. Unsurprisingly, one of them completely freaks out because of rats, running blindly away so that they get lost, and Zoe slips in a mysterious substance and breaks an ankle.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Fargo’s 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
  • Totally Radical: Dr. Grant, initially with forties lingo, but increasingly with modern-yet-dated phrases. Because he's a time traveler.
  • 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.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything:
  • 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...
    Carter: Antimatter?
  • Trojan Prisoner: Parrish proposes this plan to Zane in "Double Take", specifically referencing the scene from A New Hope. Smash Cut to the two being captured after the plan immediately fails.
  • 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:
  • Ultimate Final Exam: The premise of "Worst Case Scenario". An AI designed to test how prepared Global Dynamics employees are in the event the building is attacked decides to actually attack the building to see how they do.
  • 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.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Even the most innocuous of experiments can lead to massive disasters, like Allison and Larry's cheating in a rocket building competition nearly blowing up the entire town in "The Story of O2", or Zane stealing a power supply from the Boson Cloud Exciter in "Liftoff" also nearly blowing up the entire town (and, if you account for Artistic License – Physics, the world).
  • Unwitting Pawn: Beverly tricks Grant into helping her steal the DED device by convincing him they share the same goal of destroying it.
  • Virtual Ghost: Holly.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Beverly constantly.
    • In Season 2, she teleports out of the Director's bunker when the rest of the cast are distracted by their reunion with Kevin.
    • In the mid-season finale of Season 4, she makes her escape after Carter Sets Right What Once Went Wrong, before her Unwitting Pawn Grant can track her down and hold her accountable.
    • In Season 5, she escapes with the aid of Henry after pulling an Enemy Mine to rescue the Astraeus crew.
  • Voice Changeling:
    • The Global Dynamics defense system begins replicating Fargo's voice to deceive Carter, Stark and Taggart in "A Night At Global Dynamics".
    • Andy is able to do this, and uses the ability to lure Jo into a trap by pretending to be Carter when he becomes Brainwashed and Crazy in "Mirror, Mirror".
  • The Watson: Carter usually solves the problems, but he's the Watson when it comes to the town's science or history.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Warren King, the Director of Global Dynamics who was Put on a Bus after the pilot. He's implied to have some knowledge of The Consortium, implied to have a possible Mentor Ship history with Allison, and a conversation with Fargo hints that he has a criminal past, but he's replaced with Nathan Stark in the second episode so none of those storylines are explored. invoked
  • Weather-Control Machine: The cause of the Disaster Of The Week in "Unpredictable".
  • Weather Manipulation: One of Kevin's abilities after gaining a connection to the Artifact, as seen in "Unpredictable".
  • Wedding Episode: "I Do Over" is both this and a "Groundhog Day" Loop episode.
  • Wedding Ring Removal: Carter does this after a heart-to-heart with Zoe where she says she approves of him dating again in "Primal".
  • 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 Does This Button Do?: Fargo's Fatal Flaw. He nearly gets killed by doing it in "Try, Try Again" and nearly causes The End of the World as We Know It by doing it in "Dr. Noble".
    Victor: He wasn't supposed to turn it on.
    Carter: It's Fargo! Of course he turned it on!
  • 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 counters Jo's assertion that Holly's data-ghost is Just a Machine.
    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!
    • 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Carter has a fear of heights, so naturally he finds himself at extreme heights on a number of occassions; specifically, a massive elevator shaft in "A Night At Global Dynamics", a perilously high test chamber in "Your Face Or Mine?", a radar dish in "Founder's Day", a floating bank in "Up In The Air" and a rock climbing wall (while in Zane's body) in "Jack Of All Trades".
  • 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.
  • Win to Exit: Carter has to learn the lesson the therapy device is trying to teach him in "Games People Play" in order to escape the virtual world he is trapped in.
  • 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.
  • Wire Dilemma: Seen in "Dr. Nobel" with a doomsday device, which results in the "speeding up the countdown" permutation when Henry and Nathan cut the wrong one.
  • Working with the Ex: Allison once Nathan is appointed as Director of Global.
  • 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: If you were bragging about going on a date with my mom, I'd run off into the woods too.
    Grant: Then I'll be sure never to tell you about it.