- Banned In China: Due to the political controversy with the status of Tibet, none of the games have Tibetans as a playable civilization to avoid this trope. However, starting at V, Tibet is portrayed as a separate city-state as Lhasa, and the official Path of the Nirvana scenario in Civilization VI has the Tibetans as a playable civilization, under the name of Tufan Empire to avoid Chinese censorship laws.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: VI prominently features a Leonardo da Vinci quote anticipating the majesty of flight; the opening cinematic is set to a chorale rendition of the original Italian passage. Except Leonardo never actually said it. The entire thing probably originated in a 1965 documentary.
- Development Gag: The screen names of Beta testers appear as Great Spies (probably because there aren't many historical great spies whose names we actually know, because then they wouldn't be very good spies.)
- Fan Nickname: As might be expected, fans like to shorten the names of the world's legendary leaders when typing them out, so Alexander the Great becomes "Alex", Catherine the Great becomes "Cathy", Montezuma becomes "Monty", etc.
- Milestone Celebration: Civ VI was released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first game's release.
- Name's the Same: There are a couple of in-game examples in Civ V. Gold is both a game concept and a luxury resource. Camps are both improvements and the Barbarian's counterpart to cities.
- No Export for You: The PlayStation port of Civ I is only available in Japan.
- Promoted Fanboy: Jon Shafer became the lead designer of Civilization V at age 25, after growing up playing the first installments of the series.
- Reality Subtext: The more turns that pass, the fewer "years" pass between turns. This is meant to represent how social and technological changes accelerated throughout history, but it also hilariously mimics the fact that as the game grinds on, it takes longer and longer for just one turn to pass as the map gets overgrown with empires and armies.
- Technology Marches On: The late-game units in previous Civilization games were largely influenced by the prevailing military doctrines of the time when they were released. This is perhaps best shown by the Battleship's role in any given version of the game, ranging from being an end game unit to decisively obsolete. note
- Unintentional Period Piece: Through the entire series, the games compare the player's final score to real historical leaders, with the lowest score being Dan Quayle, the American Vice President from 1989 to 1993 who became unfortunately known for his poorly formulated and ridiculous remarks. The Take That! was apparent to American players when the first game was released in 1991, but as the time passed and the former Vice President faded in obscurity, him being the benchmark of the poorest player's performance only remained as a tribute to tradition.
- Urban Legend of Zelda: Sid Meier himself had to refute the longstanding story that Gandhi's AI was subject to an overflow glitch in the original Civilization that made his Aggressiveness rating "fall" from 1 to 255. But after the factoid first appeared on TV Tropes, it spread across the internet until "Nuclear Gandhi" became a major meme.
- What Could Have Been:
- Firaxis was originally planning on including the Pueblo as a playable civilization in Brave New World, and had picked out a unique unit, a unique tile improvement, and a leader in the form of Popé. However, when it came time to find a Pueblo-speaking voice actor to portray Popé, they ran into stiff opposition from the Pueblo Council, who took offense at the idea of one of their cultural heroes being portrayed in the game. (Pueblo culture has strong taboos concerning photography and other visual representations of people, feeling that improper displays disturb the spirit world.) The Pueblo were eventually switched out for the Shoshone as a result.
- The Spanish and Arab civilizations were originally planned to be included with the first game but ended up being cut for unknown reasons. Both were included in later games, however.
- The Wiki Rule: The Civilization Wiki.
Trivia / Civilization