The Husky Russkie Heavy and Scottish Demoman are both voiced by New York native Gary Schwartz.
Dennis Bateman, who hails from Seattle, voices the French Spy and the mumbling Pyro.
Nolan North voices Redmond, Blutarch, and Zepheniah Mann in the Helltower map, as well as Merasmus and the Bombinomicon on other Halloween maps. He also voiced both Engineer and Soldier (for at least one line) in "Expiration Date".
Many of the expansion items were suggested by fans. Before the Huntsman was released, there had been a 40+ page thread discussing a bow and arrow for the Sniper on the official forums. The most requested ones were the Heavy's Sandvich and the Scout's Bonk! Atomic Punch. The Spy's Dead Ringer (cloak and leave behind a corpse) was actually programmed in on some fan-altered servers before Valve implemented the idea into the regular game.
And for those that weren't implemented into the game, they live on in the Advanced Weaponiser mod.
Several of the hats, such as the Scout's Bonk Helmet and the Pyro's Brigade Helmet, were originally created by a group of highly talented modelers whom Valve took interest in. Although Valve had already planned to include similar hats in future updates, they liked them so much that they based their versions off the custom models.
The King of the Hill gameplay mode was originally a custom mod done by the No Heroes TF2 community before Valve implemented a slightly modified version as an official gameplay mode.
Similarly, the Payload mode is based on the fan-made map Happycow.
Valve has also opened a submission site for custom avatars and items.
As of the Über update, the fan terms "Demoknight" and "Pocket Medic" have been accepted into canon.
The fan-speculation about the Pyro's actual gender has been lampshaded. Two issues later, it gets poked at again. The Pyro from Team Fortress Classic is a woman.
When fighting him as a boss, Merasmus will do a homage to the Prop Hunt mod and spawn random objects around the map while turning into one himself to hide amongst them at both 50% (one half) and 10% (one tenth) of his HP. Once he's discovered, he'll immediately turn back to normal and attack the player who revealed him.
The Horseless Headless Horsemann and the other Halloween bosses were directly inspired by the fan-made Versus Saxton Hale Mode. When it was first released, the HHH was even advertised as TF2's first boss monster.
Due to Germany's strict rules about violence in video games, the gory aspect of the game was heavily censored in the German version by replacing the body gibs with various props and changing the color of the blood.
Most voice lines that were added in subsequent major updates also never got translated in non-English versions of the game.
Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The Soldier never said Son, always remember. Dying is gay. That came from a video of a well-known TF2 youtuber, STBlackST, "Endless Unusual Troubles".
Casting Gag: The voiced characters in the game's Halloween maps (Merasmus, The Bombinomicon, Redmond, Blutarch, and Zepheniah Mann) were all played by Nolan North, whose birthday falls on Halloween.
The Danza: The Administrator is named for her voice actress. ("Helen" and "Ellen" sound almost identical in most dialects of English).
Archimedes, the Spycrab, and Balloonicorn exist as real-life merchandise. There's also a foam version of the Engineer's wrench and a plush sticky bomb (in both colors, no less).
The Kazotsky Kick taunt is replicated by professional dancers in real life. The people who pulled this off states that it is not beginner friendly. Doing it without proper preparation is asking for your knees to get wrecked.
Deleted Scene: In the "Blood in the Water" supplemental comic, there was this extended version of the scene with Sniper, Demoman, and Pauling.
The game itself took nine years to finish, having gone through multiple concepts and artstyles before settling on the final product's theme.
The second half of the Meet The Team videos (Sniper, Sandvich, Spy, Medic, and Pyro); the other five classes had been released relatively early on, but then it took a year to finish both Sniper and Sandvich, another year for Spy, another 2 just to do Medic's, and another year for Pyro.
The Jungle Inferno update ended up providing the longest content drought in the game's history. It was originally announced (to some degree) at July 2016 before going through more than a year of development, with it eventually being released on October 20th, 2017. The sheer length of Jungle Inferno's creation process resulted in the annual Scream Fortress and Smissmass updates being skipped over for 2016, as Valve was simply too busy to spend time towards them. This, in turn, led to fears that Valve had quietly abandoned any further big updates to the game in the wake of the popularity of Overwatch.
The 7th and final entry of the TF Comics series has been languishing since Januray of 2017, thanks to the rapid downsizing of Team Fortress's development and Valve moving on to other projects.
Doing It for the Art: The amount of detail put into the games' artwork is amazing, down to things you might not even notice, like how every class has a unique set of teeth. Most notable are Sniper's pointy canines and Scout's buck teeth.
Extremely Lengthy Creation: It took Valve nine years to make and were close to spending ten on it. The devs were working on Team Fortress 2 after they made Team Fortress Classic. Then they became part of Valve and started working on a Goldsource version, then constantly changed everything around until they released it in 2007.
Fake Nationality: None of the characters is of the same nationality and region as their voice actor, except maybe the Pyro. This was done on purpose, to make the characters' accents sound stereotypically exaggerated. This even goes for the American accents in the game!
Chet Falizek, writer: We wanted to make it sound like what Americans in the '60s would have imagined these people sounded like, not what they actually sounded like.
Fandom Nod: A popular fanon interpretation of Pyro is either a burn victim, and/or a woman. While the Pyro itself remains a mystery, TF Comics eventually established that the TF Classic Pyro was both of these things.
The original name for a Demo with the Targe and the Eyelander was called "The Close Combat Kit", but fans called them "Demoknights" since it sounded better. Then, with the Uber Update, a weapon set gets released for Demoman that focuses on melee only and was named "One Thousand and One Demoknights"
One of the Soldier's unlockable primary weapons, the Black Box, when combined with the Concheror (which passively heals the Soldier and his teammates) and The Escape Plan (which increases the Soldier's speed proportionately to how low his health is), is often referred to as the Crutch Box or Bad Box loadout due to the specific loadout allows the Soldier to heal up to 20 health for every hit, regenerates 4 health per second, and nope out at lightning speeds.
Soldier's first primary unlock, The Direct Hit, is also derided as the Direct Miss and the Direct Shit because it has a nearly non-existent blast radius and requires very careful aiming, and most of its users totally forget that and treat it as a hitscan weapon without leading their shots properly. That these players are usually only able to hit things with it at extremely close range means it has selectively been dubbed "The Best Melee Weapon In The Game" as well.
The Rocket Jumper, Mantreads, and Market Gardener loadout has been dubbed the "Trolldier" loadout, and using it is referred to as "trolldiering". While complicated to use, the Market Gardener can kill 7 of the 9 classes at full health with one hit if done correctly, often leading to rage from those who fall victim to it (hence the name).
Pyros who do nothing but swim around in a body of water and hit people with the Neon Annihilator are dubbed Pyrosharks.
"Butterknifing" is the act of Cherry Tapping someone with the Spy's knife in hopes of getting a stray backstab due to Hitbox Dissonance. The knife itself cannot receive random Critical Hits unlike other melee weapons, so it's laughably ineffective outside of a backstab.
The Sniper's unlockable Huntsman is commonly called the Lucksman, as the arrow has a weirdly large hitbox that causes it to land hits more often than it should appear to. For these reasons, some also affectionately call it the Cuntsman.
'Shpee', often used as a derogative term to people who love playing Spy despite not having any experience of how to play him effectively.
Hoovies, a term used to denote friendly Heavies who doesn't fight, instead just waltz around the battlefield giving sandviches to everyone. They are often equipped with the Tomislav (whose faster spin up time and silent fire allows them to defend themselves if needed), the Holiday Punch (a pair of mittens that upon doing a critical hit, does no damage, but instead makes the target laughs) and of course, the Sandvich or any lunch box items.
Any hat or weapon with the stereotype of players overestimating their skill is referred to as a "War Pig" thanks to SoundSmith's Stereotypes Series.
A beginner player on Reddit once referred to the Spy as the "Tuxedo Terrorist".
In and around May of 2017, there had been a rash of TF2 videos on YouTube about extra-long maps such TuFort or Hightower, taking things such as Hightower's height and stretching it out to ridiculous degrees. While some think these maps are fun (and based on maps where people don't actually play for the objective) others see these as dumb gimmicks .
God Never Said That: It's commonly believed that every member of 1850's BLU team is a notable historical figure, but official artist makani clarifies that the Medic and Soldier are not intended to be Sigmund Freud and Stonewall Jackson.
I Knew It!: Some people saved up a lot of duplicate weapons, in case the Polycount weapons had specific blueprints. They did.
The 28 March 2018 update adds an attribute to the Axtinguisher named "Sketchek's Bequest", named after legendary Pyro main Sketcheknote or, more fittingly, the final video on his channel. This was quietly removed in March 2019 shortly after Sketchek revealed he was still alive and had faked his terminal illness in order to get away from the community.
The "Salute the Fallen" update was made in honor of Rick May, the voice of The Soldier, who had passed away from complications with COVID-19 in April 2020. The main menu screen was changed to always show Soldier on it for the month of May, and the main menu also recieved a unique background track "Saluting the Fallen", which ends with a rendition of Taps. A statue of Soldier with a plaque reading "Rick May / 1940 - 2020 / That was a hell of a campaign son!" was also added to multiple official maps for the month of May, with a permanent tribute being later added to the map Granary — the same map that Meet the Soldier takes place on.
Long-Runners: The game was released in 2007 and it is still getting constant updates every year with new content.
Meme Acknowledgment: Many players and forum posters pointed out at the first reveal of Saxton Hale that his name could be unintentionally rearranged into a very NSFW search term. This did not go unnoticed by the team — in the Mann-Conomy Update, new Internet user Hale mentions that "the perverts at AnagramYourName.com should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES", and implies that he's either sued them out of existence or had them killed.
When characters' heads explode or are removed, their heads actually simply shrink down to a size of 0, naking it appear as though their heads are gone... as long as you dont look at it after all the blood is done shooting out.
Since the Yeti Smash taunt is based off Heavy's bone structure, the other classes's models are distorted to match the Heavy's, as demonstrated here.
Official Fan-Submitted Content: Many maps, cosmetics, and weapons are community made. Contributors will receive a cut of the profits made from their item being sold on the Mann Co. storenote Since maps aren't purchasable, mapmakers instead have a map stamp put in the store; all proceeds from stamps go straight to the mapmakers, and contributors of weapons or hats will receive a one-of-a-kind Self Made quality item.
The Other Darrin: Due to Grant Goodeve being unavailable at the time, in Expiration Date the Engineer is voiced by Nolan North. Goodeve still puts in an appearance via archived audio
North also did the Soldier's memetic line "I TELEPORTED BREAD!".
Big Name Fan Makani posted her version of the (as of then unseen) Administrator, and the folks at Valve liked it enough to buy it off her and hire her for other official art and comics.
As of the fully community created Robot Boogaloo update Valve promises a lot more of this.
Tony Paloma (AKA Drunken F00l), creator of the immensely popular SourceOP plugin and the infamous idling program, as well as (unjust) crafter of a Golden Wrench. He ended up being VAC-banned. Fast-forward to present day: Tony is now working for the TF2 team, after being hired by Valve one summer.
The Minttu also counts, as she was asked to draw the "True Meaning" comic after several years of posting Team Fortress 2 fanart online.
The unofficial Team Fortress 2 wiki is now the officialTF2 wiki, as of June 30, 2010. It is now being hosted entirely on Valve's dime.
Noticeable in the interior of some maps are a pair of extension cords that go from one wall and plug into an adjacent wall. Playing PropHunt in different maps allows the player to notice familiar-looking props.
For Heavy's Table Tantrum taunt, the baguette appears to be reused, though the can of sardines uses the same model (but different textures) as the bread ration.
The trope is averted with promotional items (even items that appear in another Valve title such as Bill's Hat), as new models are created to fit the style of the game.
Most prop hunt maps plays a snippet of Chesney Hawke's The One and Only when there is only one prop left.
A snippet of Kohmi Hirose's Promise (aka geddan) plays at the start of many Balloon Race maps.
In an official version of the trope: The Lovin' Spoonful's Do You Believe in Magic was featured prominently in the Pyroland machinima.
Recycled Soundtrack: That bagpipe number that plays when the gate opens in DeGroot Keep? It was originally played as the victory tune of the British team in Day Of Defeat, an early and lesser known Valve game.
The theme for Kazotsky Kick? Well, that's actually a radio song in CSGO's de_train.
Notably, the 119th Update was supposed to be the 100th Update.
"It's been a busy afternoon here iterating, polishing and playtesting a blog post to commemorate Team Fortress' one hundredth update. As often happens, we emerged from thirty minutes of Valve Time, covered with bed sores and sporting full beards, to discover weeks had passed. While we were out, somebody here shipped 19 more updates originally scheduled for release in 2008."
The seven-issue Mann Co. No More comic series was initially advertised as Bi-Monthly, meaning the issues would be released over the course of one year. In about one year's time, there have only been three issues released. This was hilariously lampshaded in the second issue's blog post, where the Valve team claimed to have spent the extra time between issues debating what 'Bi-Monthly' actually meant. This is taken to the extreme when they claim that Issue #4 is a 6 months early annual comic. Issue #6 was right up there with Half Life 3 as Valve's most delayed product, taking a total of 17 months to finish.
In recent years, it's taking longer and longer for the TFTeam to push out major updates. There were about 7 months between the Tough Break update (December 2015) and the Meet Your Match update (July 2016), and 10 months between Jungle Inferno and the update that came before itnote The relatively small Smissmass 2016; if one discounts both holiday updates, that makes 15 months between Inferno and MYM. Furthermore, every year starting with 2018 has only had two major updates — the annual Scream Fortress and Smissmas updates — which can barely be even called major, as they only enable Holiday Mode features and add community-contributed cosmetics and maps.note The only year that had less major updates was 2007 at a whopping zero, but TF2 was publicly released in October of 2007, so it gets a pass.
Troubled Production: The Invasion update was plagued by issues with making the update page, vicious arguments over revenue, leaked emails that split the fan base in two and constant delays due to fixing a map.
The game itself underwent many, many, MANY different iterations before the development team settled on the current gameplay and visual design. (For example, it was originally pitched as a combination FPS/RTS with a realistic art style, with a class specializing in commanding the other units around somehow.)
There were a few items and weapons that were scrapped during development. There was a tranquilizer gun for the Spy and the Scout was originally given the Sniper's SMG. The Scout was also planned on getting a nail gun which would have behaved similarly to the Medic's syringe gun. There was an item for the Engineer called the "repair node" which was also scrapped.
Character design similarly had a lot of changes:
The Heavy once had a mullet.
The Medic, Engineer, and Spy wore their class badges on armbands.
The Scout's apparent age and toughness bounced all over the place.
The Demoman was just plain stereotypical Scottish (kilt and all).
The Soldier looked more like he actually fought in the army.
Another original idea was to have the game's art style looking similar to stop-motion animation or "claymation". This idea later led to the animation style the current game has.
There were a few more ideas for Meet the Medic which didn't make it in due to killing the pacing and/or it not really meshing with The 'Verse's general aesthetic (BLU Spy's still living severed head is a nod to one of the scrapped ideas). Finally, they settled on THE iconic image (a Medic ÜberCharging a Heavy) and built the story around that.
Meet the Sandvich had many scrapped lines. Some of which are:
Scout: Give me back my leg bone! *whack* Don't hit me with it!
Soldier: You cannot hurt me! Pain does not hurt! *crack* I stand corrected!
Scout: He's like a bear! He's like a big, shaved bear that hates people!
When thinking of what song in "Meet the Pyro" to play in Pyroland, one suggestion was Tiny Tim's "Living in the Sunlight, Loving in the Moonlight"—a song probably best known nowadays for its use in the Spongebob Squarepants pilot.
Grenades in the style of Team Fortress Classic were almost implemented in the final version of Team Fortress 2, but were taken out, due to the imbalance they posed. The only remnants are the cosmetic items on the Soldier's, Demoman's, and Pyro's sash and two concepts, the Bear Trap and the Frag Grenade, that appear on the back shelves of Upgrade Stations.
The Buffalo Steak Sandvich was originally going to be a cactus, specifically peyote. It was changed to steak due to being part of Hibernating Bear set (which includes the Big Chief, an Native American feathered war bonnet), since Valve sensed there would be Unfortunate Implications about the Heavy going on a killing spree while dressing as an Indian high on a hallucinogenic cactus.
Supposedly, Expiration Date was part of a scrapped plan with [adult swim] to create a TF2 cartoon (hence the various "Adult Swim" related promotional items before that). It was the second episode produced, with the first simply being a compilation of the "Meet the Team" videos to introduce the main characters to people unfamiliar with the game. The idea was canned due to Valve's infamous Schedule Slips.
Drew Wolf, a former artist at Valve, has revealed concept art of female variations on each of the nine classes (except Pyro), as part of "an internal pitch project aimed to bring female characters to the cast of Team Fortress 2". Of course, nothing came of it.
Badwater Basin and Borneo are real places that exist in real life. The former is a location in the Death Valley region of California, and the latter is an island in Southeast Asia.
Some classes are known smokers: the Spy and the Soldier. This increases to 6 with some hats (to be exact, the classes are the Demoman, the Sniper, the Spy, the Soldier, the Medic, and most recently the Heavy). The Pyro carries a lighter and matches, but for differentreasons.
When the Engineer is gibbed with the Gunslinger equipped, his right hand will still be the normal gloved hand.
Similarly, if a player wearing an unlockable hat is gibbed, the regular hat gib may still spawn.
Engineers can have both the Short Circuit, a replacement for the Engineer's arm equipped, and the Gunslinger, a replacement for the Engineer's arm equipped. Neither one fits into the other.
The Horseless Headless Horsemann's Head and the Saxton Hale Mask have an unspecified bonus. Specifically, they protect against the Horsemann's Scare taunt.
The Horseless Headless Horsemann doesn't do damage in the normal way. His attacks are treated as environmental kills, much like getting run-over by a train in other maps or falling down a pit. You can see this if you look at the console after he kills people. The coding for such a death, Horsemann's axe included, hits you for twice your current health; this prevents his attacks from being survivable in most normal ways.
According to his YouTube channel, Nathan Vetterlein (voice of the Scout) claims he's actually terrible at Scout, and prefers to play Heavy.
During one of his many Twitch streams, he mentioned that he reenacts a scene from DieHard to warm up for his Scout voice, basing the Boston-accent voice on John McClane.
The boolit the Heavy holds up near the end of "Meet the Heavy" is a 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge; the same kind of ammo used in the AK-47 family which, like the Heavy, also hails from the Soviet Union.
According to an IC Interview with John Patrick Lowrie, the Sniper's first three girlfriends were sheep. He likes sheep. He doesn't like people. So he switched from shooting sheep to shooting people. Also, you can wash your car with a sheep after the date, which builds a special kind of bond.
The Sniper also rather likes Bangkok prostitutes, because he can fit 57 cheap little Bangkok prostitutes in his mobile home.
Demo's Grenade Launcher has 6 chambers, but only holds 4 grenades. This is because the Grenade launcher originally had 6 grenades per clip but it was reduced to 4 at some point before the game's release. The default Grenade Launcher weapon model has never been changed. Similarly, the Loch-n-Load has 2 barrels but can hold 3 grenades, due to the weapon's clip size receiving a buff.
The Engineer is the shortest mercenary at 5'6". Pyro is second-shortest at 5'9".