Tropes A-F | Tropes G-L | Tropes M-R | Tropes S-Z | YMMV | Shout-Outs
Stargate SG-1 provides examples of the following tropes:
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- Galactic Conqueror:
- The Goa'uld as a whole already control most of the Milky Way Galaxy, but the most ambitious Goa'uld System Lords usually try to conquer all of the galaxy by absorbing the territories of their rivals, assuming the Big Bad mantle in the process. Successively, Apophis, Anubis, and Ba'al came the closest to actually succeeding.
- As well as the Ori, who have already conquered one galaxy. They're ascended Energy Beings who rule through a Religion of Evil called Origin, and build an armada to embark on a crusade to convert the Milky Way.
- Gas Leak Cover-Up: Standard for secret government operations, and usually plausible. A notable exception was when the government used the actual "gas explosion" explanation for a building being teleported out of downtown Seattle, in one of the final seasons. The complete lack of any blast or debris was quickly called out.
- Gem Tissue: The Unity are a race of peaceful crystalline life forms and normally look like blue crystals. They can assume the form of other life forms.
- Genetic Memory: The Goa'uld (the actual snake-like beings that possess humanoids) explicitly have this. The memories are passed down voluntarily by the queen when she spawns (she can choose to modify or withhold these).
- Genocide Survivor: On the planet Hanka, SG-1 finds a young girl named Cassandra, the only survivor of a population wiped out following the release of an engineered virus by the Goa'uld Nirrti. Initially, SG-1 thought they had brought the disease to the planet accidentally, but it comes to light that Cassandra was spared so Nirrti could use her as a living bomb to destroy the Earth stargate. They manage to foil the plot, Cassandra is eventually adopted by Dr. Fraiser, and she begins living on Earth.
- Genre Savvy: The series wouldn't be the same without it. One of the primary Running Gags is that the main characters are familiar with popular culture and don't hesitate to compare their own situation to it.
- Pretty much the whole team.
- Played for many laughs in "200".
- And it should be noted that both Jack and the explosion scenes were included in the Sci-Fi Channel commercials for said episode.
- From "Point of View":
Doctor Samantha Carter: Well if you're not gonna give us a second chance... I don't know any of you.
Jack: Well, exactly — you don't know any of us. And we don't know you. For all we know, you could be her evil twin! But then we'd be dealing with clichés, and you know how I feel about those.
[turns to Major Carter from his reality]
Jack: No, actually you know how I feel about them.
- Get Back to the Future: The plot of "1969" and "Moebius".
- Ghost City: In "Bane", "Ascension", "2001", and "Menace".
- Girlish Pigtails: Worn by Vala on occasion.
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: The Jaffa rebellion have this as their rallying cry.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Goa'uld (and Tok'ra) can make their host's eyes glow on command, which they often do at critical points in the story. They also tend to do it by reflex when just taking over a new host, or when dying.
- Goal-Oriented Evolution: Averted in the initial seasons, where scientists find the idea of duplicate evolution of genetically compatible species to be completely unbelievable, and Ascension is a philosophical concept, unconnected to evolution in any way. However, towards the end of the series, and especially after the Ori are introduced in season nine, humans are explicitly described as evolving on "a path to Ascension," which has been repeated with at least four different branches of humanity that evolved independent of one another (the Ancients, humans of the Milky Way, humans of the Pegasus Galaxy, and the humans of the Ori Galaxy). Eventually, people can only Ascend at the conclusion of their "natural" evolution.
- A God Am I:
- The Goa'uld take on the persona of gods of Earth's early mythologies. Some of the more deluded, such as Ra, Anubis, and Apophis, seem to buy into their own hype and actually believe themselves to be gods, while others, like Ba'al or Nerus, are aware that the Goa'uld are just parasitic snakes and only play the role of being divine to maintain their power.
- The Asgard use holograms to depict themselves as the gods of the Norse pantheon, but only to primitive peoples under their protection who would not understand the concept of "aliens". They include tests within their "religious" sites to let them know when the population is ready to hear the truth.
- God-Emperor: Standard Goa'uld PR theme. Sufficiently advanced technology makes it easy for them to pass as classical pantheonic gods, and thanks to their ridiculous egos and the mind-screwery of the sarcophagi some of them even believe it themselves.
- A God I Am Not: The ascended Ancients refuse to be worshiped or thought of as gods. The Ori, on the other hand...
- God's Hands Are Tied: There's a prime example of this trope in the last two seasons for the ascended Ancient precursors. Turns out that there is an evil counterpart of their race that is just as strong as they are — the Ori, the Evil Goatee-wearing twins of the Ancients. They not only interfere in the affairs of mortals, they direct them to worship the Ori and kill or convert unbelievers, have no problems with throwing their power around, and will grant their preachers some measure of their power. When they come after our galaxy, which had, until now, been shielded by the Ancients, the Ancients still refuse to do anything about the Ori, even when they try to destroy the Ancients. It's up to the simple humans to defeat an army of godlike-powerful beings. Although the Ancients do protect the Milky Way from direct invasion by the Ori themselves (the actual ascended beings), but they allow their followers (no matter how powerful, how close to ascension, or how much-advanced tech they have) through, which the humans have to deal with. The problem here is that if the entire Milky Way is converted, the additional power the Ori would get from all the new "converts" would allow them to completely overwhelm the Ancients.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: The Ori manage to sap power from their worshipers, which is why they foster the religion of Origin.
- God Test: When Gerak becomes a Prior of the Ori and is asked to destroy Jaffa who refuse to believe, Teal'c asks him what makes him believe they are gods, citing various impressive miracles they could have performed. He then points out that the Goa'uld performed the exact same miracles and posits that the measure of a god is not how much power they have, but how they apply it. If they were gods, they would not need Gerak to kill anyone on their behalf, or even ask such a thing of him.
- Going Cosmic: The show always had themes of faith and religion, as many plots revolved around powerful religious artifacts and toppling false gods, but the last two seasons saw the Goa'uld and classic science fiction themes being replaced by the Ori, who bear a much stronger resemblance to actual deities, whose followers are closer to medieval religious crusaders than ancient god-cultists, and brought a lot of philosophical conundrums with them. This case is a result of the Retool, as they weren't expecting another season.
- Going Down with the Ship:
- Colonel Lionel Pendergast aboard the Prometheus, who stays aboard to make sure that his crew can evacuate down to the planet surface.
- General Hammond fully expects this to happen in "Fail Safe". He's evacuated the entire SGC to the Alpha Site, but opts to remain behind himself, as he's "not been relieved of this command".
- Going Native: While it largely happens offscreen, later series show Teal'c had become very fond of Earth culture.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Pretty much the reason for keeping the program quiet. In almost every parallel universe they visit where the program has gone public things go downhill fast with the public going crazy over the existence of hostile alien life. On the other hand, in many realities this wasn't so much because The World Is Not Ready, but more because Earth became a Terminally Dependent Society on Stargate travel and using powerful alien allies for defense, at the expense of advancing their own technology to keep an edge.
- Good All Along: Downplayed with the ascended Ancients in Seasons 9 and 10. While most of the cast have developed a pretty significant Broken Pedestal for them due to them having turned the Neglectful Precursors trope Up to Eleven for most of the Milky Way galaxy, it's revealed that not only are they veritable saints compared to the Ori, but they've actually been actively protecting the Milky Way from the Ori's sensors for the last few millennia (which unfortunately turns out to have been all for naught when Daniel and Vala accidentally alert the Ori to the presence of the Milky Way). In fact, the main reason why they're not able to help the lower races (i.e., the Tau'ri. Tok'ra, and Jaffa) during the Ori's invasion is because they're too busy holding the line against the ascended Ori on the higher planes.
- Good Bad Bug: An in-universe example, where when Replicator bugs take over a Goa'uld ship, they cause a security breach that allows our heroes to escape a room they had been locked in.
- Good Is Not Dumb:
- In "The Nox" the SG-1 team encounters a race called the Nox. The Nox are apparently primitive, but they have the innate ability to make things vanish. They have an extreme commitment to pacifism and continually interfere with the SG-1's attempts to kill Apophis by making their weapons disappear. At the end of the episode, the Nox save Apophis from certain death and send him safely back to his home through the Stargate, at which point O'Neill explains that Apophis is going to come back with greater numbers and enslave all of them if they stick with their 'no fighting' policy. At that point, one of them waves their hand and a big ass floating city appears in midair. They realize that the Nox are actually way more advanced and run back home through the Stargate. The Nox would go on to make other appearances that similarly result in a gentle, but thorough, curbstomping.
- SG-1 and by extension the entire SGC. The entire command knows they're outnumbered and outclassed by the Goa'uld, so they use whatever means they have available to win.
- Good Is Not Nice: The methods the SGC is willing to use to fight their enemies can be brutal when you think about them. Exemplified in the episode "2001", when a hostile alien species is tricked into getting fake gate coordinates.
O'Neill: The first one's a black hole, they get darker from there.
- Played straight in episode "The Other Side", when O'Neill first betrays the new allies of Earth (after finding out they are actually the bad guys) and then orders the Earth's Iris closed despite fully knowing one person will try to get through, essentially committing a cold blooded murder.
- Good Old Ways: Inverted; Teal'c, Bra'tac and other recurring Jaffa characters spend much of their time struggling to get the Jaffa to abandon their old traditions, since most of them were fostered by the Goa'uld. These include a lack of sexual equality and a government based on military assets.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: When particularly annoyed, Mitchell will exclaim "Mary and Joseph!"
- Government Agency of Fiction: A whole lot of them.
- The NID, which is basically the CIA in everything but name. Gets a little ridiculous in later seasons when CIA agents start showing up and perform the same tasks as the NID.
- The International Oversight Advisory, which is exactly what it sounds like.
- Homeworld Security (aka Homeworld Command in Universe), which was formed to oversee all off-world operations. The Stargate Command specifically oversees operations through the Earth Stargate, and is under this department.
- Grammar Nazi: Ironically, O'Neill does this often. Even while being tortured, he corrects the villain's grammar.
Her'ak: No matter what you have endured, you have never experienced the likes of what Anubis is capable of!
O'Neill: You ended that sentence with a preposition... bastard!
- Grand Theft Me: This was Machello's motive for causing the aforementioned "Freaky Friday" Flip in "Holiday".
- Greater-Scope Villain:
- Ra was the first Goa'uld to find Earth and use a human as a host, which gave him and other Goa'uld a massive supply of hosts, soldiers, and slaves and allowed them to spread all across the galaxy, with Ra as the top System Lord for over ten thousand years. He's killed off in the original film before the series, but his legacy poses the main threat for most of the series.
- In Seasons 9 and 10, the Ori are the main villains, but they're ascended beings and thus more of a concept rather than actual characters. Due to that, their Dark Messiah Adria takes on the Big Bad mantle for Season 10.
- Green Aesop: In "Revisions", the planet's atmosphere is completely unbreathable due to industrial pollution.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Anise/Freya of the Tok'ra is a sexy female alien with sexual tension with both Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill (Freya, the host, likes Jack, but Anise, the symbiote, likes Daniel).
- "Groundhog Day" Loop:
- The mostly-comedic fan favorite episode "Window of Opportunity" has this.
- Tealc's simulation troubles in "Avatar" also qualify.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: For once the bad guys do not hold a monopoly on this trope, as incompetence is the general order of guards in the SG-1 universe.
- When the Tok'ra are planning to surgically remove the Goa'uld Tanith from his host, he claims that he would rather die and take the host with him. He convulses and collapses to the ground and his two guards, with a third Tok'ra present, open his cell to check on him. Though they are armed, specifically with weapons that are non-fatal and can be used even against a human shield, Tanith is able to grab one by the throat and escape. Perhaps because the writers could not think of a way to show this without having the Tok'ra appear completely incompetent, the scene cut away after he grabbed the first guard. O'Neill subsequently lampshades just how incompetent they must have been to let him escape.
- When Teal'c has been brainwashed into once again serving Apophis, he captures O'Neill, Carter and Daniel and locks them in a room aboard a ha'tak, whereupon Selmak/Jacob breaks them out because there were no guards stationed there... which was the entire point, since Teal'c wanted to capture Selmak/Jacob, too, and needed an adequate lure. Apparently Teal'c is so badass that he actually is a competent guard.
- Guns Akimbo:
- In the Season 1 finale, to rescue Jack and Teal'c, Daniel takes Sam's sidearm and goes Akimbo while Sam uses the MP5. Later, he wields the Beretta M9 sidearm in one hand and the MP5 in the other. Granted, at that point he was just spraying and praying.
- In "Seth", Jack, Sam, and Daniel do this with a pair each of zat'nik'tels.
- In "200", Mitchell pitches a Zombie Apocalypse story that features him wielding two SMG's.
- Teal'c has, throughout the series, operated two staff weapons and even two P90's. While this is never his standard equipment, when things get desperate he'll routinely pick up a second weapon (in the case of staff weapons, from an enemy Jaffa he's just killed) and wield both with great effectiveness.
- Half-Human Hybrid:
- Three episodes feature humans with Goa'uld DNA. The first is a harcesis, a child born of two Goa'uld hosts. The second is an experiment by ex-NID operatives to gain access to the Goa'uld genetic memory. The third is a clone created by Anubis, designed to evolve until it's capable of ascension; he was a prototype of a new army Anubis was going to create to kill the Ancients.
- The Serrakin — a race capable of breeding with humans despite not being Human Aliens. They had liberated the humans of their system from the Goa'uld millennia ago and the two species now co-exist in a mixed society.
- Adria is a human with the knowledge of the Ori bred into her DNA. She is described as an Ori in human form, their way of getting one of their own into the Milky Way without technically violating the rules the Ancients have against directly interfering.
- Hand Blast: The Goa'uld hand device, useful for energy pulse attacks and brain scrambling.
- Happily Adopted: Dr. Fraiser took in Cassandra, a young girl whose planet had been wiped out by Nirrti in the first season, and raised her lovingly as a daughter. However, when Cassandra returns in the fifth season she is now a teenager and, like all teenagers, is butting heads with her mother over dating, family dinners and other aspects of maturation.
- Hard Light: Merlin shows an extreme fondness for hard light constructs, using them as the guardians and tests of his various workshops. SG-1 has had to face two knights and a dragon in order to prove themselves worthy of his knowledge.
- Hash House Lingo: Oma Desala in "Threads".
- HeelFace Turn:
- Teal'c, right in the first episode.
- Aris Boch seems to have a change of heart, realizing that SG-1's fight against the Goa'uld is a worthy venture.
- Harry Maybourne went from enemy to convicted US traitor to useful asset to grudging ally and friend. Eventually, SG-1 even relocates Maybourne off world to protect him from punishment for his original crimes.
- Richard Woolsey, first an agent of Senator/Vice President Kinsey and the NID, then digs up information to incriminate Kinsey after getting a peek at his true nature. Notable for remaining a committed bureaucrat (though a relatively less obstructive one) after his change of allegiance.
- HeelRace Turn: The Jaffa are the prime example, although due to the Kirk-like influence the team tends to have on certain worlds, there are certainly plenty of other minor examples.
- Heel Realization:
- In "Bane", Dr. Timothy Harlow realizes mid-sentence that Colonel Maybourne is not just willing to take unscrupulous shortcuts, but is actually planning to let Teal'c be transformed, and that by calling him in for assistance he has doomed Teal'c to a painful death.
- In "Inauguration", Mr. Woolsey begins to realize that his superiors might not be as honorable as he believed when his conversation with Vice President Kinsey seems to end with the implication that Kinsey is going to assassinate the president if he does not get his way.
- In "Holiday", when Daniel makes Ma'chello realize that by stealing his body, he's become just as bad as the Goa'uld he's spent his entire life fighting.
You're a Goa'uld
- Heroic Resolve: Mitchell was badly beaten by Merlin's holographic knight in "Avalon", but was able to gain a new reserve of strength when he thought back to how he refused to give up after he was injured when his F-302 was shot down over Antarctica. Since the knight is more of a test than an actual enemy, he defeats it and gains access to the riches and technology of Merlin.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- During "In the Line of Duty", the Tok'ra infesting Sam decides to let itself die so that Sam wouldn't have to die with it.
- Subverted at the climax of "Lost City". The Prometheus and her fighters are out of ammunition and her shields are failing, so Hammond orders the ship onto a collision course with Anubis' flagship, saying "We go, they go." The Ancient outpost's drones get there first and Hammond breaks off.
- Gerak knew that turning against the Ori would mean his immediate death, but still chose to help cure the Prior plague that was ravaging the Earth.
- In "Lockdown", Colonel Vaselov forces Anubis to take his (dying) body through the Stargate, saving O'Neill in the process.
- Generally speaking, this seems to be the most noteworthy difference between the Goa'uld and Tok'ra. If a Tok'ra sees their death as the necessary price to complete a critical mission, they will pay it. Goa'uld, on the other hand, are ultimately Dirty Cowards when their life is in danger and will gladly pay the price with someone else's life.
- Hero of Another Story:
- Colonel Makepeace, formerly the Trope Namer.
- Colonel Reynolds after Makepeace is revealed to be The Mole.
- Cameron Mitchell before joining the main cast, where a flashback reveals he was part of Hammond's defense force at the Battle of Antarctica and spent the next year in traction, undergoing physical therapy, due to injuries received when his F-302 crashed.
- Felger to SG-1, much to Col. O'Neill's chagrin.
- Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell starts season nine almost obsessed with working with SG-1. When he learns that he is actually going to be in command of the unit since all its prior members have been reassigned, he gets the band back together because he specifically wants to work with those three people.
- Hijacked by Ganon: In Season 8, Ba'al takes control of Anubis's remaining forces after the destruction of Anubis's fleet during the invasion of Earth, and uses his superior Kull Warriors to successfully wage war on all the other Goa'uld combined. Anubis reappears on Earth but gets stuck on a frozen planet in a host body. At the end of the first part of "Reckoning", Ba'al reveals to O'Neill that Anubis is back in command of the largest Goa'uld faction and that he was serving him for a while now.
- Hippie Bus: In episode "1969" the SG 1 team accidentally travels back to the year 1969. They have to find the Stargate and end up hitchhiking with a hippie couple (on their way to a concert in Woodstock) driving a hippie painted school bus.
- History Repeats:
- "Spirits" revolves around a plan by the US Government to surreptitiously mine trinium from a planet inhabited by descendants of the North American Salish. When they learn of this, SG-1 is very upset over the repetition of the early history of the United States, and explicitly points out that we were supposed to have learned from our mistakes.
- "Enemy Mine" has a similar plot, with the Unas instead of the Native Americans on a planet sporting a naquadah mine. Daniel's diplomatic skills manage to save the day, quite luckily — because otherwise, the history repeat would have been of Little Big Horn.
- Holodeck Malfunction: The episode "Avatar".
- Hologram Projection Imperfection: Asgard holograms look incredibly realistic most of the time, but occasionally wobble or fritz just enough to let us know it's a hologram.
- Honor Before Reason: The Ascended Ancients have as their primary philosophy a policy of non-interference among the lower planes of existence. They believe in this so strongly that they will not interfere when the Ori, their hated enemies who are planning their destruction, manipulate the lower planes in order to increase their own power, nor even when the inhabitants of the lower planes gain a weapon to kill Ascended beings. As Morgan Le Fay explains, if they interfere then they will be no better than the Ori and most of them would rather die than interfere.
- Hostage Situation: In "Bad Guys", SG-1 is mistaken for a group of rebels on an alien planet and wind up taking a museum hostage. They realize that if they just let all the hostages go the military that surrounded the museum will storm in and kill them all, so they decide to hold on to the hostages until they can get the Stargate working and gate off the planet. Unfortunately, the people in charge of the besieging forces seem to have no clue how to run a hostage negotiation, Daniel seems to have no clue how to play a hostage-taking terrorist, and there's a security guard who thinks he's John McClane, so Hilarity Ensues.
- Hostile Terraforming: "Scorched Earth" features an alien terraforming ship that is replacing the ecology of an Earthlike planet with a sulfur-based biosphere. Only trouble is, the SGC has just relocated some Human Aliens onto the planet who need its thicker-than-usual ozone layer. The trouble is resolved when the Daniel discovers that the ship knows where the Human Aliens' original homeworld is.
- Hot Scientist: Sam Carter.
- How Dare You Die on Me!:
- When O'Neill is fading away at the end of "Lost City", Carter says that he cannot die now, they just won.
- Also in "Holiday" with Sam and Daniel:
Sam: Come on, Daniel. They've found the guy, they're bringing him in. You have to wake up. [she moves over to hold his hand] Daniel. You can't die on me now.
Daniel: [weakly] It's nice to know you don't just like me for my looks.
- Human Aliens:
- Transplanted Humans for the most part, except for the Ancients, who came first and arranged for the Tau'ri to look like them after they left.
- The Nox are woodland creatures that appear human with leaves and twigs in their hair. The reason why they look almost human is never explained.
- The Jaffa are a genetic offshoot of humanity created by the Goa'uld. They are biologically human in most respects, except they have an abdominal pouch which is used to incubate larval Goa'uld; the Goa'uld larva, in turn, grants the Jaffa immunity from disease and an increased lifespan, but cannot be removed without condemning the Jaffa, as they lack an immune system of their own.
- Humanity Came From Space: As it turns out, the Ancients were from a completely different galaxy.
- Humans Are Special: Humans (specifically, the Tau'ri) are not shown to be particularly smarter, stronger, faster or more "imaginative" than other species, but the Asgard point out that they have great potential. Exemplified when the Asgard basically will Humanity all their stuff when they engage in a species-wide Suicide Pact because their Clone Degeneration is terminal.
- Humans by Any Other Name:
- "Tau'ri", meaning "those from the first world", refers to humans from Earth to distinguish them from all the other humans of the galaxy.
- The correct way to refer to people from Earth is humorously pondered in "Cure";
Earthans? Jonas: Earthlings
... sort of? [...] Well, we're not originally
from there. Teal'c:
But we have dedicated ourselves to the cause of the Tau'ri. [beat]
- "This form" is (rarely) used to refer to the general human species, to distinguish them from alien species. When the issue of the evolution of the Ancients and the subsequent identical evolution of humanity is raised, the term "this form" is used to refer to both Ancients and humans, since the technical issue of species classification is somewhat tricky.
- Human Subspecies: The Jaffa were genetically engineered from mainline humans to serve as incubators for Goa'uld larvae.
- Humorless Aliens:
- O'Neill is distrustful of the Aschen for precisely this reason.
- Also, Teal'c tends to miss the point of O'Neill's jokes. Funnily enough, the trope is also inverted in one episode; Teal'c, with prompting, tells a Jaffa joke that obviously amuses him, but falls flat on its face with the rest of SG-1.
- Hurricane of Aphorisms: Oma Desala and the Kheb Monk.
- Hurricane of Puns:
- Hypocrite: Jacob/Selmac berates Jack for his and the Tauri killing off the System Lords with no thought of how that consolidates power in the most powerful ones in "Exodus". However, this ignores that fact that two plans by the Tok'ra have consolidated a lot of power in Apophis. In "The Devil You Know" the Tok'ra caused the destruction of Netu, killing Sokar, thus giving Apophis his fleet and in "The Serpents Venom" the failed attempt to get Apophis and Heru'ur at war with each other, not realizing Apophis had a cloaked fleet, thus giving Apophis control of the rest of Heru'ur's fleet.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In "Cor-ai" Hammond says to Jack: "The US military is not in the habit of interfering with the affairs of other peoples." Jack just sort of looks at him and then at Carter and says, "Since when?"
- In "Disclosure" the Chinese representative says that "The government of China does not believe in keeping secrets from its people." The look Russian representative Col. Chekhov gives him sells it.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: Mitchell uses the term "Earth minutes" in "Beachhead", then explains to Daniel that he always wanted to say that.
- I Can See My House from Here: Although in this case, it is not to emphasize how high they are, but how relatively low they are getting.
- I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: One of the funniest parts of this series is watching the very serious military personnel describing or giving orders in absurd situations.
Hammond: What am I supposed to say? [pulls out microphone] A glowing energy being is headed for Level 28. Lower your weapons and do not attempt to intercept it.
Hammond: Okay, people. Let me remind you. This mission is recon only. Do not engage the enemy. I'm allowing the use of this ship because of the obvious tactical advantage it provides you. Under no circumstances is it to be used to travel through time. [beat] Never in my life did I imagine ever giving that order.
- I Come in Peace:
Jack O'Neill: We came in peace. We hope to leave in one... piece.
- Identity Amnesia: The entirety of the planet Vyus suffered this about a year prior to "Past and Present" due to a Mad Scientist from a previous episode.
- I Did What I Had to Do: After Teal'c kills Sha're he is sad, but he points out that it was a choice between her life or Daniel's, and if he was in the situation again he would make the same decision.
- I Die Free: Trope Codifier. Rebel Jaffa are frequently heard saying this when threatened by one of the Goa'uld or their followers, or in any other case where they're about to make an act of suicidal defiance.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: P3X-666. Notable as the planet where Dr. Fraiser was killed.
- Idiot Ball: Most of the Tok'ra agents seen throughout the majority of the series seem to have this super-glued to themselves. Despite technically being the good guys, they're still Goa'uld and display the same megalomania and scant self-awareness typical of their species. Most notably, they refuse to share their technology with their allies for condescending reasons, despite the fact that most of their problems are of their own construction and the humans are almost always the ones to bail them out. This is most clearly demonstrated in "Exodus" where they end up being fooled by a Goa'uld prisoner pretending to faint, and the whole thing snowballs until the star they're orbiting explodes.
- If I Had a Nickel: Jack says it in "It's Good to Be King" about hearing, "Surrender your weapons, or die where you stand."
- If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: Played for heartwarming. In "The Enemy Within", when they're prepping Kawalsky for surgery to try and remove the Goa'uld larva in his head, Jack asks him, "If you don't make it ... can I have your stereo?" Jack is quite obviously being deliberately silly to try and cheer Kawalsky up.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him:
- In "Cor-ai", Hanno is prepared to kill Teal'c as soon as he sees him, but one of the other villagers convinces him not to go through with it and take Teal'c prisoner for cor-ai (trial). He explains that if Hanno kills him in vengeance, then they will be no better than the Jaffa.
- Subverted in "Bloodlines". After stealing an immature Goa'uld symbiote for the scientists to work on (it ends up replacing Teal'c's symbiote that he gave to his son), Daniel and Carter start to walk away. Daniel stops and takes aim at the tank of symbiotes since he's still raw about Apophis' kidnapping Sha're. Carter says this to Daniel, who seems to be convinced. They start away again, then Daniel suddenly turns around and machine-guns the tank anyway.
- I Gave My Word: In "Spirits", T'akaya agrees to hear out Daniel and Jack if they show her where Xe'ls is. When Xe'ls awakes he orders T'akaya to destroy the SGC, but she refuses until she has at least heard them out; Xe'ls points out that they have already learned of plans by the SGC to deceive them and that their word is worthless, but T'akaya still refuses to act, pointing out that her word would be worthless, too, if she broke her own promise.
- I Have Nothing to Say to That: O'Neill being led into kicking Jaffa butt.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Often when talking to a loved one who has been taken as a host. A recurring question in early episodes was if there is any part of the host's mind/soul that survives. There is, and the Goa'uld just suppresses it. At least in the case of a young symbiote with a strong-willed host, it is even possible for the Goa'uld to momentarily lose control.
- I'll Take Two Beers Too: When the team is under the influence of appetite-increasing phlebotinum. O'Neill, Daniel, and Sam break base quarantine to head to "O'Malley's in town." O'Neill orders three steaks, rare, and the waiter thinks he's ordered for the table and begins to leave. O'Neill has to stop him and state that was his order, Carter and Daniel still need to place theirs.
- I Made Copies: When General Hammond gives Mr. Woolsey a computer disk with evidence to incriminate Vice-President Kinsey in a conspiracy of blackmail and murder to gain control of the Stargate, he points out that it is not the only copy before Woolsey even asks.
- I Minored in Tropology: When Mitchell has to Sword Fight an armored knight, he reassures the rest of SG-1 that he studied fencing in college. When he gets his ass kicked by the knight he explains that he failed fencing. Luckily, the knight was more of a test than an enemy and he was able to defeat it after he gained a second wind.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Of a sort; Goa'uld System Lords (and possibly others) have a taste for live symbiotes, and consume them ritually. It's implied that this has become so prominent recently that they're actually experiencing zero population growth. This was written in after someone did the math on Jaffa and figured out that there should be far more adult Goa'uld out there than the series had shown. The twist is that the System Lords only begin eating their own young after they've taken an adult human as a host. So they're not eating their own young directly, it's the parasite forcing the host to eat the parasite's young (which really isn't better, quite frankly).
- Immortality Inducer: The sarcophagi, which can extend the human lifespan to over 1,000 years provided the person has regular access to its healing properties.
- I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]: In "1969", while messing with the 1960s interrogator, O'Neill claims that he's Captain James T. Kirk. He then later switches to Luke Skywalker, probably after realizing that Star Trek already existed in 1969.
- I'm Not a Doctor, but I Play One on TV: Parodied in "Fallen":
Khordib: He [Teal'c] is Jaffa.
O'Neill: No. But he plays one on TV.
- Impaled Palm: O'Neill inflicts this on Heru'ur in "Secrets" with a thrown knife, also neutralizing his palm weapon in the process.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: RepliCarter's preferred method of execution is to morph her hand into a blade and run it through the victim, T-1000 style.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
- The Jaffa, although simultaneously justified and lampshaded in later episodes when Jack explains that the staff weapons are designed to intimidate, while human weapons are designed to kill. Essentially, its really hard to "aim" by pointing a six-foot staff at things. (See Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better below.) This doesn't excuse the few occasions where a Jaffa uses a Zat with similar results, though.
- If any orbiting Goa'uld ship is firing on the surface, it will hit every single shrubbery in the background before it hits an actual target. Especially embarrassing considering they use beam weapons, which can only possibly travel in a straight line.
- Implacable Man: Special note goes to the Kull Warriors, especially the first time SG-1 tries to catch one.
- Impossibly Mundane Explanation: In "Window of Opportunity" Jack has prior knowledge of a briefing Carter is giving and claims that he is remembering things from the future. Carter suggests, "Maybe you read my report?" Daniel gives her a skeptical look and repeats, "Maybe he read your report?" as if it was the most ludicrous suggestion. Everyone else (O'Neill included) seems to agree. Even Carter's tone as she says it suggests she thinks it's highly unlikely.
- Impostor Exposing Test: In "Foothold", Maybourne cuts himself in front of Carter to prove he's human after an alien impostor is shown to have purple blood.
- I'm Standing Right Here:
- Dr. Felger is unsure if O'Neill knows he is there when he calls him a "brown-nosing little weasel". His tone makes it clear that he does not know which answer he would prefer: that O'Neill is talking about him behind his back, or that O'Neill is directly insulting him to his face.
- Vala continuously refers to the SGC's attempts to understand the Goa'uld bracelet bond as pointless, to which Dr. Lee, who is running the tests, points out that he is actually touching her face at the time.
- Inappropriately Close Comrades: The relationship between Jack and Sam is inhibited by the rules, although after a point it's implied that they might just be being subtle about it.
- Incoming Ham: "Urgo", featuring Dom De Luise. Just watch the background characters trying desperately to keep a straight face.
- Inconveniently Vanishing Exonerating Evidence: A heroic example in "Covenant". Faced with an aerospace billionaire who means to blow the whistle on the stargate program, the SGC has their Asgard friend Thor beam the evidence right out of his office building so he can't prove anything he said, discrediting him.
- Inconvenient Summons:
- The Asgard love getting a hold of O'Neill this way. Frequently in mid-sentence. The first time, Jack was in the middle of giving a speech when he was teleported; the second time he was in the middle of inviting Carter to go fishing with him.
- The Ori arc made a running gag of this, with one of Earth's ships beaming Daniel Jackson on board from a planet's surface, usually right in the middle of him trying to explain to some villagers that there is no magic, he is not a god, etc.
Dr. Jackson: You are making a mistake. There is no curse. The black knight is a security feature created by Merlin through the use of science and advanced technology. There is no magic— [the Odyssey beams up SG-1]
Dr. Jackson: Once and for all: There was no curse. This is a device. There is no magic— [the Korolev beams him up]
Dr. Jackson: Boy, my timing's off today...
- Incredibly Lame Fun: When Jonas Quinn arrives on Earth, he becomes fascinated by the Weather Channel and watches it for hours, to which Carter responds that here are at least five hundred other channels.
- Infinite Supplies: Averted. The inability of the rebel Jaffa to even feed themselves is a recurring problem, as is their lack of weapons and supplies to wage their war. The Hak'tyl, a group of female Jaffa from the domain of Moloch, seek out an alliance with the SGC and offer their services as soldiers, scouts and spies in return for food and support.
- In Harm's Way: Carter is a real adrenaline junkie, and volunteers to take part in a dangerous alien competitive spaceship race in "Space Race". She's also seen tuning up a motorcycle in her spare time, so one can assume she rides it for fun (or regularly).
- Inkblot Test: When Vala is being examined for suitability to formally join the SGC, the reviewing doctor has her look at blots, but stops when she tries to game the system by saying that she sees abstract concepts, like "courage", in the blots.
- Inn Between the Worlds: The "Astral Diner" of the episode "Threads". The place is a midway point between the mortal dimension and the higher realms where the Ascended live. Played with in that it's actually an example of A Form You Are Comfortable With, as it was modeled after Daniel Jackson's memories.
- Inscrutable Aliens: In "Grace", the Prometheus encounters an alien warship that refuses to respond to hails and opens fire on them. It pursues them into a nebula and abducts all the crew, save Sam. before they're both trapped by the nebula. Sam manages to trade a way to get out of the nebula for the crew, but nothing resembling them is ever encountered again.
- Insectoid Aliens: The Re'tu, which are invisible to the human eye but can be sensed by a Goa'uld symbiote.
- In-Series Nickname: In the 200th episode, Jack calling the Stargate "Old Orifice"!
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: It turns out that while Earth previously played an integral role in the history of the universe, but for the present day and the past few millennia it has been little more than a backwater planet forgotten by the more advanced races.
- Insistent Terminology: Robert Kinsey never seems to get the titles of aliens correct.
- In the season six episode "Disclosure" he refers to Thor as "Commander", only to be corrected (with an upraised finger) to Supreme Commander. It's clearly a case of not respecting Kinsey as he has had no problem with the members of SG-1 calling him Thor.
- In the Season 7 episode "Lost City" he refers to Bra'tac as "Mister Bra'tac", only for O'Neill to point out that it is Master Bra'tac.
- In Spite of a Nail: We see several Alternate Universes, some created by Time Travel and others reached in other ways. In almost every one, Earth and modern America are indistinguishable from the universe of the Stargate-verse from the point of view of the public, despite the deviation point occuring decades or even thousands of years ago.
- Instant Sedation: Averted more often than it is played straight.
- In "In the Line of Duty", when Sam/Jolinar gets tranquilized twice, the first case with "enough to knock out an elephant," it takes a minute before she is disabled.
- "Spirits" is the one episode where it is played straight; SG-1 is incapacitated by small darts towards the beginning of the episode and collapse almost immediately after being shot.
- In "Redemption, Part 1", Captain Hagman (the 9th temporary replacement for Daniel Jackson) gets hit in the leg by a tranq dart while SG-1 is Chased by Angry Natives. He has the time to cross the Stargate before falling down, though.
- Osiris is twice shot by a Goa'uld-specific sedative, and in both cases, it takes several minutes before it takes effect. In "The Curse" s/he even managed to make good his/her escape before succumbing to the drug.
- In "Memento Mori", Vala is injected with a sedative directly into her carotid artery, and she ''still' does not lose conciousness right away. She becomes unsteady on her feet and unable to talk, and is rushed into a vehicle by her kidnappers.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The Quantum Mirror, which makes a few appearances in early episodes before being destroyed offscreen. In one episode, Daniel accidentally uses it to travel to another universe; in a later episode, alternate-universe versions of Carter and Kowalski come back through it, looking for refuge from the Go'a'uld invasion fleet that just arrived on Earth in their universe.
- Intergenerational Friendship:
- Teal'c seems to bond with children very readily (not in a creepy way).
- In "Bane", Ally Martin discovers and helps hide the poisoned Teal'c after he escapes from NID custody. Once he is healed, he returns and gifts her a new super soaker.
- In "Learning Curve", Teal'c gives Tomin knowledge of the Goa'uld to help defend his society, and becomes almost violent when he is told that Tomin cannot return and suspects that he has been mistreated.
- Also appears with Daniel. In "Birthright", he befriends Nesa, a young Jaffa girl of the Hak'tyl who needs a symbiote. Their friendship goes a long way in finalizing the alliance between the SGC and the Hak'tyl.
- Jack also, most notably with Ska'ra.
- Interservice Rivalry: Between the SG-3 Marines (Jarheads) and the SG-1 Air Force (Flyboys) after the former's introduction in "The Broca Divide". It is brief, friendly and does not appear in subsequent episodes.
- In the Back: Colonel Simmons shoots O'Neill in the back in the climax of "Desperate Measures".
- In the Hood: The standard disguise for SG teams when they want to stay incognito on low-tech planets.
- Invisibility: In the episode 200, the team reveals that at some point Jack O'Neill was turned invisible. He used it to, among other things, spy on Carter in the shower. Apparently he didn't want to give it up.
- Invisibility Cloak: Various species have devices, mostly working like the natural ability of the Re'tu, by putting the wearer somewhat out of phase with reality. Thus the Transphase Eradication Rod (anti-Re'tu weapon) reveals them.
- Some Goa'uld use them (but not all, as they don't share technology), namely Nirrti, Athor, and an Ashrak assassin (in "Allegiance").
- The Asgard have them too, notably one found on a protected planet in "Shade of Grey".
- The Sodan warriors have their own variant, issued from Ancient technology, which they put to good use. This model has the problem of emitting a radiation that is harmful to humans in the long run (although Jaffa can endure it thanks to their symbiotes). It is however a necessarily protection measure against some interdimensional parasites otherwise attracted by the users.
- Invisible Jerkass: Mocked, as was everything else, in the infamous episode "200". In a flashback (not seen in the previous episodes), O'Neill becomes invisible due to an alien device. His subsequent pranks include leaving the room so that Carter is left talking to an empty chair, falling asleep and snoring in a room where Daniel is having a meeting, driving up to the base entrance and placing his dog behind the wheel to confuse the soldiers, and spying on Carter when she takes a shower.
- Invisible Monsters: The series has featured the Re'tu, big spider aliens which are invisible because they are "180 degrees out of phase from normal space-time".
- Invisible President: The President of the United States during the show's first seven seasons, stretching from 1997-2004, was unidentified either by name, image or party.
- I Resemble That Remark!: Carter's response to being told that she seems tense is to, very tensely, reply that she is not tense.
- I Say What I Say: The cloned O'Neill in "Fragile Balance".
- Is This Thing On?: In the Season 8 episode "New Order, Part 2", O'Neill does this while merged with the computer of Thor's spaceship, and talking through its comms.
Jack's voice: Hello. Testing, testing. One, two. One, two, one, two, testing. Helloooo? Is this thing on?
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: In "Citizen Joe":
You're Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. Head of Stargate Command at Cheyenne Mountain. You used to command SG-1, which is now led by Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter. You once visited a planet called Argos, and the nanites in your blood caused you to age artificially. You've had the entire repository of the Ancients' knowledge downloaded into your brain. Twice! You have a thing for The Simpsons
, fishing, Mary Steenburgen, the color peridot, and you're a terrible ping pong player.
[...] Jack O'Neill:
Well, first of all, Joe, I'm not
a terrible ping pong player.
- It's All About Me: In "2001", Senator Kinsey genuinely believes that O'Neill is willing to sabotage Earth's alliance with the Aschen, which could potentially save the planet from the Goa'uld, all in order to prevent Kinsey from becoming President of the United States.
- It's All My Fault: Averted. Daniel's grandfather tries to comfort him over the loss of his parents years ago, telling him it wasn't his fault. Daniel's reply? "Of course it wasn't my fault!"
- It's Personal:
- Daniel Jackson joined SG-1 because his wife, Sha're, and brother-in-law, Skaara, had been taken as Goa'uld hosts. Throughout the series numerous other loved ones are killed or implanted by the Goa'uld.
- Teal'c worked so hard to become First Prime of Apophis because Cronos, enemy of Apophis, had killed his father and he wanted to be in a position to exact vengeance. He later swore a "Jaffa revenge thing" against Tanith, the Goa'uld that lied to, betrayed and killed Shau'nac, his childhood love interest.
- It's What I Do:
- When O'Neill gets upset at Felger's statement that there are "only" a dozen Jaffa for SG-1 to fight their way through, Felger points out that this is what SG-1 does. The whole team pauses for a few seconds before apparently agreeing and moving on.
- In "Zero Hour", when O'Neill mocks Ba'al as he always does, his new aide asks if it is necessary to actually provoke him. O'Neill simply turns to him and says, "It's what I do."
- Kangaroo Court: "Cor-ai" features Teal'c being put put on trial for killing a man while he was still serving Apophis. The twist was that his prosecutor was the son of the man he killed, and was also the judge and jury. Jack greatly complains about this, only for Daniel to say that this has historical precedent. Which just pisses Jack off. Justified when Jack and Daniel (acting as Teal'c's defense) try to object, stating that they wanted someone impartial. When asked what that means, Daniel explains that the person who sits in judgment should not have formed an opinion about Teal'c's guilt or innocence. This is dismissed with the rather thought-provoking line of "Impossible. Anyone who has a mind has an opinion."
- Kicked Upstairs: After General Landry settles in at the SGC, he realizes that most of the meetings he has to go to are basically pointless and orders Sergeant Walter "Chevron Guy" Harriman to go in his stead. When Walter protests, Landry threatens to promote him if that is what it takes.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In the "Reckoning" two-parter, Repli-Carter opens her assault on the Milky Way Galaxy by infiltrating a Goa'uld diplomatic summit and slaughtering all present. This would otherwise be brutal, but considering her targets were a bunch of despicable megalomaniac tyrants (Repli-Carter doesn't care either way), they had it coming.
- Killed Off for Real: Apophis has escaped certain death enough times that when he finally meets his final end in a crashing spaceship filled with Replicators, O'Neill can only be 99% certain he's really dead this time.
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Maybe. A reporter with information on the Stargate Program is killed in a car accident mere seconds after O'Neill fails to convince him not to run the story, but O'Neill claims (and is assured by General Hammond) that the Air Force had nothing to do with it. (The NID, on the other hand...) The truth is never revealed to the audience one way or another.
- Kill on Sight: In "The Broca Divide", after an offworld virus breaks out at Stargate Command, General Hammond requests that the military cordon off the mountain with an armored division and that anyone attempting to leave be shot on sight and the body burned.
- Kill the Host Body:
- Daniel actually brings this up in season 5 when Jacob/Selmak want to involve him in a mission to kill all the major Goa'uld at a summit they plan to infiltrate, which would inevitably mean killing the hosts. Jacob points out that the host of a System Lord has been possessed for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years and have been exposed to the sarcophagus many times, so killing them is really just putting them out of their endless torment. However, the mission later has to aborted for other reasons.
- Defied in season 10 when Ba'al possesses Adria with one of his clones. While it does give the heroes the opportunity to kill both of the Big Bad Ensemble in one fell swoop, Adria's forces are not a Keystone Army and would simply continue fighting to the bitter end in spite of her. The whole point of the mission to capture her, before Ba'al interferes, is to negotiate and/or turn her over to their side.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Played straight; most characters use SMGs or handguns for the whole series and even Teal'c trades in his staff weapon for a P90 (or two) in the last three seasons.
- The Kirk: More often than not, Samantha or Daniel.
- Kissing Under the Influence: In the first season episode "The Broca Divide", before the heavy Ship Tease began between O'Neill and Carter, Carter attempted to force herself on O'Neill when she began to regress into a primitive being. It was not a funny scene.
- Especially notable for subverting Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male. Much as many fans might like to imagine Samantha Carter (especially in that "little green number") forcing herself on them, the scene really shows that not only does Sam have all the physical conditioning and training a USAF Special Forces member should have, but that she's mentally regressed to a primitive enough state that she has no moral qualms about using it to get what she wants. Ouch.
- Klingon Promotion:
- The Jaffa rite of "joma secu", where a Jaffa commander is challenged to a duel to the death for his position. Played straight in "The Warrior" (Teal'c versus K'tano/Imhotep; Teal'c wins) and subverted in "Birthright" (Ishta versus Neith; Ishta wins but spares Neith when she learns the Tretonin didn't work on Mala and she died).
- In "Bounty", SG-1 points out that Netan's position in the Lucian Alliance is extremely tenuous and that if somebody managed to kill him they could probably take over the entire organization.
- Klingons Love Shakespeare:
- Teal'c is stoic, and easily confused by English language proverbs and metaphors and the most basic of human customs. He is also an avid fan of Star Wars, which he has watched 9 times in his first 5 years on earth. In fact, when someone mentions an immaculate conception, he immediately thinks of Darth Vader. He is also a fan of Die Hard - knowing the films well enough to recognize John McClane by name, humorously pointing this out when Daniel Jackson (Earthling, born and bred) completely misses the reference. In one episode he is shown to really enjoy his ice cream. He also plays DefJam Vendetta. This is a reference to Teal'c's actor, Christopher Judge, voicing that game's main antagonist.
- Vala Mal Doran is a fan of The Wizard of Oz, Gilligan's Island and Farscape (the latter being an Actor Allusion).
- Ba'al, the final System Lord left alive by Season 9 and 10, grows rather fond of human culture after he spent some time living incognito on Earth. He drops the deep Goa'uld voice except when he's trying to be intimidating, starts dressing in more casual clothes, and when he finally does invade Earth he offers humanity an alliance instead.
- Kneel Before Zod: Almost every single Goa'uld System Lord, underlord, and subordinate does this, leaving it almost the hat of the species. Notably, the rebel faction of the Tok'ra is an exception.
- Knighting: In "Threads", Teal'c and Bra'tac are dubbed "blood-kin to all Jaffa" in recognition of their work in the overthrow of the Goa'uld, tapped once on each shoulder by a staff weapon.
- Knight of Cerebus: The Ori in Seasons 9 & 10. They lack the charisma and Large Ham tendencies of the Goa'uld and are also far more powerful than any of the System Lords ever were. As a result, the final two seasons of the show are a lot darker than the previous eight.
- Kubrick Stare: Anubis' clone Khalek in the Season 9 episode "Prototype" gives a very impressive one.
- La Résistance: The Tok'ra are this as a whole to the Goa'uld, being a largely underground splinter group who oppose the rule of the System Lords. Heck, their name literally translates to "against Ra".
- Lame Pun Reaction:
- The System Lord Yu's name is frequently punned by the humans due to its similarity to the English word "you". When Dr. Elizabeth Weir, who was only learning of Yu for the first time, began to make her own pun, Daniel explained to her that every possible variation had been done to death, and it was no longer funny.
- When the team first figures out that Ba'al has been cloning himself in "Insiders", they end up having to capture the whole lot and bring them back to the SGC. At one point Cam Mitchell drops this one:
Mitchell: [to CMSgt. Harriman] Chief, we got a full count. Two strikes, three Ba'als.
Harriman: [chuckles] Oh. That's clever, sir.
Carter: [eye roll] He was thinking that one up the whole way home.
Mitchell: Yeah, the whole three seconds.
- Lampshade Hanging: Frequently, often pairing up with Genre Savvy, and forms the basis for much of the series' humor, particularly when Colonel Mitchell (Ben Browder) joins the cast. The episode "200" lampshades tons of tropes from sci-fi and movies in general to the show itself, including the act of Lampshading!
- Large Ham: The Goa'uld have a habit of this for various reasons.
- Rodney McKay lampshades it in "Redemption, Part 2" after Anubis tells the SGC they're all going to die at the end of Part 1:
McKay: Hello, Anubis, this is your agent. You're playing it way over the top; could you please tone it down?
- O'Neill also mocks the Goa'uld hamminess repeatedly. Again, from "Redemption, Part 2":
- President Henry Hayes has shades of this in his conversation with Anubis in "Lost City", complete with Lampshade Hanging.
Henry Hayes: Never going to happen. [Anubis' hologram vanishes, Hayes turns to his onlookers] Too much?
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: "Fire and Water"; "Beneath the Surface"; "Fallen"; "Revisions"; "Collateral Damage"; "Memento Mori"
- Laser Sight: The members of SG-1 all use P90s that come equipped with laser sights, but they are almost never used. One time a laser sight was used it was to mark a target for a missile strike.
- Last of His Kind:
- The Goa'uld Nirrti, in setting a trap for the Tau'ri, killed all the inhabitants of an entire planet except for one nine-year-old girl named Cassandra. Cassandra was also stranded on the planet, surrounded by the dead bodies of everyone she knew and everyone she didn't for days before SG-1 found her. Needless to say, she was traumatized.
- Ba'al became the last of the Goa'uld System Lords after the collapse of their empire turned him into The Remnant before his eventual demise in Stargate Continuum. His former boss Anubis is technically still alive since he acquired immortality, but is trapped in eternal combat with his arch-enemy.
- Later Installment Weirdness: The primary enemies, the Goa'uld, were diminished in threat by the end of the eighth season, and the ninth season opened establishing a new Big Bad in the Ori. In addition, there were several cast changes as Richard Dean Anderson left the show and only came back in sporadic guest appearances. The show's last few seasons happened to follow the endings of several other beloved sci-fi shows, and the show imported actors from those shows, most notably Ben Browder and Claudia Black from Farscape.
- Laughing at Your Own Jokes: Teal'c does this. Most of the time he doesn't get the jokes with references to Earth culture and when he makes one, he's the only one who laughs.
Teal'c: A Serpent Guard, a Horus Guard and a Setesh Guard meet on a neutral planet. It is a tense moment.
The Serpent Guard's eyes glow, the Horus Guard's beak glistens, the Setesh Guard's... nose drips. [laughs]
- Law of Inverse Fertility: In the alternate timeline of "2010", Carter and her husband Ambassador Joseph Faxon are trying very hard to have a child, but so far are unsuccessful thanks to the Aschen.
- Layman's Terms: Frequent. Especially whenever Daniel or Sam try to explain something to O'Neill. Whenever O'Neill uses a technical term himself it is usually cause for a double take from the other characters.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- Learnt English from Watching Television: Orlin learned to speak English, and how to dress, by watching TV in Carter's house overnight.
- Leave Him to Me: At the conclusion of "Talion", Teal'c has been shot at least twice by a staff weapon and is brought before Arkad, who tosses him a wooden staff and orders his men to leave them alone. He then fights Teal'c one-on-one, explaining how he has always admired the fierce warrior Teal'c, and that he wants to kill him himself. Teal'c, though viciously beaten, kills Arkad.
- Left It In: In the "documentary" made about Wormhole X-Treme! at the end of "200", Martin Lloyd stops his interview to take a phone call, during which he is quite profane, and then goes back to talking about how much of a family the crew is after checking to make sure that they had not recorded his previous comments.
- Leitmotif: The Nox have their musical theme when they appear in an episode. They're the only species to have this distinction and it only happens three times.
- Lensman Arms Race: The SGC goes from a platoon-sized group of special forces going through a Stargate they barely know how to operate, to a small fleet of interstellar starships, in about eight years.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: Daniel lampshades it when the Russian Major he is trapped in a Goa'uld ziggurat with leaves to explore the hallways and tells Daniel to wait there; commenting that both of them will be alone in a dark and dangerous maze.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: A meta example - The Season 1 episode "Hathor" was heavily disliked by both fans and the producers, and in following episodes the characters mention that they have agreed to never talk about it again. True to that, the specific events of the episode are never revisited, with characters only talking about the "Hathor incident" without saying what actually happened, and the details of how Goa'uld queens produce offspring being retconned to asexual. Even Hathor's reappearance in "Out of Mind" and "Into the Fire" doesn't go into many details, only that the team, particularly Daniel and Jack, have developed an intense loathing of her.
- Lie Detector:
- The Tok'ra have a lie detector which works via mind reading. Instead of actually reading if a character is being truthful or lying, it reads their conscious and unconscious thoughts and compares them, to see if their recollections match what they are saying. It is used to detect a zatarc, a person that the Goa'uld have brainwashed into an assassin and then covered up their brainwashing with false memories.
- Vala is given a polygraph when she is being reviewed for suitability to formally join the SGC. Its use is in line with most flawed depictions of the polygraph, indicating that Vala is lying when she tries to compliment the doctor and noting each successive lie when she tries to cover herself.
- Light Is Not Good: The System Lords of the Goa'uld typically surround themselves in resplendent golden castles and advanced ships, but are ultimately Always Chaotic Evil to a man.
- The Ori are often associated with bright white lights and fiery imagery, but are also despicable Energy Beings that brutally wipe out anyone who refuses to worship them.
- Like an Old Married Couple:
- Most of the interaction between Vala and Daniel.
- In "Past and Present", an entire planet has suffered chemically-induced amnesia. Two of the inhabitants, Orner and Mayris, constantly argue Like an Old Married Couple. Turns out they actually were married before they lost their memories.
- Like a Son to Me: In "Talion", Bra'tac explains to Teal'c that he is like a son to him, and that he is so proud of him.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: Unless the show outright says so, what's happening outside of the Stargate program is the year that particular season was produced.
- Literal Metaphor: How did General Landry manage to have Big Eater Goa'uld Nerus leave the SGC with a subspace tracker? It was a piece of cake....
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Harlan, a human whose brain was uploaded into a robot body and refers to this process as a "gift". He is shocked that SG-1 does not share his opinion, though he does admit that others of his kind also had trouble accepting their state of existence.
- Lizard Folk: The Serrakin (who helped liberate a Celtic-descended group of humans from the Goa'uld) apparently used to be this. However, they're since then interbred with humanity to the point where they're now more like Rubber-Forehead Aliens.
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: In "Ripple Effect", when the Alternate SG-1 lock them in the brig of the Prometheus, Sam is able to break out almost immediately by rerouting a power cable running through the wall. When asked how she knows it will work, her response:
Sam: Because I helped build it.
- Longevity Treatment: Several examples, all with severe side effects:
- The sarcophagus can extend the life of a human without a Goa'uld for 700 years or so, hosts for millennia. Unfortunately, it makes the user megalomaniacal.
- In the episode 2010 the Aschen give Earth a life-extension drug that serves to explain why SG-1 hadn't aged at all in ten years. It also turns out to cause sterility, as part of an Aschen plot to depopulate Earth so they could turn it into an agricultural colony, necessitating Time Travel to prevent the Earth-Aschen alliance.
- Long Game:
- The Aschen as a whole are a very patient race and conquer other planets over the course of centuries. Their standard operating procedure seems to be forming an alliance with the current government and granting them superior technology in order to gain their trust, but slowly reducing their population by inducing wide-spread infertility through their medical treatments. After several centuries the planets inhabitants will be too few to prevent the Aschen from assuming complete control.
- This is also how the Tok'ra had planned their fighting of the Goa'uld, but it got thrown Off the Rails when SG-1 started wiping out System Lords.
- Long-Runners: Stargate SG-1 ran for ten seasons and a total of 214 episodes, with two additional DVD movies, and was followed by two spinoffs. Smallville rivals it as a North American series for equivalent seasons and episodes, while only Doctor Who tops it worldwide.
- Look Both Ways: The female bounty hunter after Daniel Jackson in "Bounty" is killed by a bus as she stalks across a street. She probably should have researched the planet and learned our traffic patterns.
- Loophole Abuse:
- Daniel gets away with helping the Tollan escape because, as a civilian, he cannot be court-martialed, and he could not be tried in civilian court without revealing the Stargate Program.
- In "Pretense", one of the Nox helps the Tollan defend themselves by hiding one of their planetary defense turrets so it is not destroyed by the Goa'uld. When Carter calls her out on doing this despite her people's dedicated pacifism, she remarks that she only hid the weapon — she did not fire it. Carter remarks that that is a pretty fine line she did not cross. Lya (the Nox in question) agrees wholeheartedly.
- In "Lockdown", O'Neill is complaining about his recent promotion to general, particularly about the pressure he is under to appoint a new member to SG-1. When he explains that he wants to keep it like it is, as a three-person team, Carter points out that there is no rule that says SG-teams have to have four members, and O'Neill latches on to that rationale as a way to avoid making the decision.
- Subverted in "Fair Game". After hearing the System Lords demand for the Earth's Stargate, Jack clearly seems to be thinking that they can swindle them, only for Yu to then clarify that they meant both of them!
- Lost Superweapon: When Earth is under the threat of a massive alien invasion and if the usual tricks and weapons do not work, there is the Ancient outpost in Antarctica, whose chair can control and launch thousands of powerful drones, only requiring a humongous amount of power. Surprise!
- Lost Technology: Lampshaded by Colonel O'Neill in a Season 6 episode where the Human Aliens have no artifacts from the Goa'uld.
O'Neill: That's weird. The Goa'uld are damn litter bugs, they leave all kinds of crap lying around.
- Lotus-Eater Machine:
- In "New Order", the Human-form Replicator Fifth, who has an obsession with Sam, kidnaps her and sets up an idyllic fantasy existence for Carter, where she's happily married to (her boyfriend) Pete. Pete is actually Fifth, using his power over Sam's mind to disguise himself as Pete.
- In "Reckoning", RepliCarter captures Daniel Jackson and sends him into a similar false reality where he's talking to Oma Desala (actually the Replicator in disguise) to interrogate him for information about the Ancients.
- Inverted in "The Gamekeeper", where instead of being an idyllic paradise, the machine-created realm forces Jack and Daniel to repeatedly relive the worst moments of their past.
- Love at First Sight: Orlin falls in love with Carter the very instant he meets her, but he tries to justify it by explaining that Ascended beings can join their essences to another person and understand them on a fundamental level right away. Carter is skeptical and, even though she warms up to him eventually, never does fall in love with him in return.
- Low Culture, High Tech:
- The slave races to the Goa'uld and Ori.
- Earth, after the SGC begins truly piling up the alien tech.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Wonderfully played with and then immediately torn to shreds during the 200th episode. For a moment, you almost believe...!