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".
Adaptation First: Sunshine, a community-made map, was first introduced to the game as a 2015 Halloween variation, Sinshine. The normal version of Sunshine didn't make its appearance in the base game until half a year later in the Meet Your Match update.
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.
A community-made map Watergate has text-to-speechnote specifically WillFromAfar from Acapela Group placeholder announcer lines, most infamously the "We are in the beam" line.
In Meet the Engineer, someone off-screen gets shot by a sentry and yells "My arm!" before their hand flies into view. The voice sounds like Scout, but the hand is Sniper's.
The BLU Scout's pants use the wrong colors, they are supposed to be blue instead of brown. The January 2023 leak of the game's assets shows that the developers forgot to turn on the layer to give pants the proper color in the .psd file for the Scout's textures.
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.
Creator's Favorite: Of the many, many roles Robin Atkin Downes has played over the years, he's admitted that Medic is by far his favorite character. He often roleplays as the Medic on social media due to his love of voicing him, and was more than eager to participate in dubbing over scenes from the comics, to the point of even independently bringing the literal Deal with the Devil scene in The Naked and the Dead to life.
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 January 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.
The inventory icons of items that are painted get a little splotch of paint in the relevant color indicating this. And a handful of special paints, which are one of two colors depending on which team you're on, get a little splotch of paint in both of those colors. It turns out that the code that handles multi-color paint splotches is actually capable of handling an arbitrary amount of colors, even though there are no multi-color paints with more than two colors.
The Botkiller weapons originally had two extra types named "Uranium" and "Mirror"; while these variants were never implemented, their textures exist in the game's files for the stock minigun, wrench, sniper rifle, and knife.
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 are of the same nationality and region as their voice actor. 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 a woman with a massive burn scar.
In and around May of 2017, there had been a rash of TF2 videos on YouTube about extra-long maps such 2Fort 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.
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.
Irony as She Is Cast: Despite his love of waging war and destruction all in the name of his love for America, it's revealed in supplementary material that the Soldier was never drafted into the army due to his complete insanity. Rick May actually served in the U.S military, stationed in Japan, and never saw actual combat.
Long-Runners: The game was released in 2007 and it received major content updates through early 2018. It is still being supported through seasonal updates and bug fixes.
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 the characters' heads explode or are removed, they actually shrink down to a size of 0, making 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 the Heavy's bone structure, the other classes's models are distorted to match his, 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!".
Pop Culture Urban Legends: Due to a joke post on Reddit regarding a source code leak that genuinely contained similar comments, a lot of people believe there's a completely unused coconut jpg in the files that, if deleted, will crash the game, with an incredulous comment by a dev who tried removing it. While there is, in fact, an unused coconut texture in the game files, it's not a jpg, it's part of an entire unused animation, and removing it (or any texture, or every texture) will not crash the game — so of course there's no incredulous dev comment about it. Youtuber shounic goes into complete detail.
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.
Rick May made very few public appearances before his death in April 2020, with only a few pictures and a video of him wishing one of his voice acting students a happy birthday ever surfacing online. While he had voiced other video game characters (most notably Peppy Hare), his career pretty much ended after Expiration Date, with the remainder of his life spent working as a voice acting teacher in Washington.
Grant Goodeve is notorious for being impossible to find anywhere both online and in person, with only a few old promos for the PacificNorthwest and a single interview from 2014 popping up online. In the latter clip, Goodeve notably avoids mentioning any of the video game work he's done in favor of discussing his indie film work.
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.
Unfinished Dub: While all the original voicelines that were available at the game's launch got dubbed in a few foreign languages, nearly all new voice lines added in subsequent major updates never got translated for these versions. This also applies to the last few Meet the Team videos, which were left untranslated due to them being stuck in Development Hell for too long.
The game itself underwent many, many, MANY different iterations before the development team settled on the current gameplay and visual design. There are two major publicly-known builds of the game: Brotherhood of Arms was built on the GoldSrc engine and featured a relatively realistic 'modern combat' look. This game was shown off at E3 1999, before going quiet and evolving into Invasion, a game with a Diesel Punk-tinged 'Humans vs. Aliens' theme, which notably would've given the teams asymmetrical classes and gameplay mechanics; this build was leaked as part of the wider 2003 Half-Life 2 leak, and was the last people heard of Team Fortress 2 until its public re-unveiling as the game we know today in 2006. A running thread through both Brotherhood of Arms and Invasion is that it would've featured a hybrid of FPS and RTS mechanics, with one player filling the role of a Commander who could build structures and use support powers to help the players on the ground.
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.
It was planned that Valve would work with [adult swim] on producing a number of Source Filmmaker TF2 shorts to be aired as a television series (coinciding with the release of promotional items for the game themed around Adult Swim series). However, thanks to Valve's infamous disregard for deadlines - as well as virtually every other guideline Adult Swim set for them (such as runtime), the partnership died off before anything became public, and what had been created already was recycled into the "Expiration Date" video for the Love and War update. Youtuber Tyler McVicker goes into more detail here.
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.
The TFC map Dustbowl had two completely different remakes at different points in development, one was the version that, with some small changes, made it into the finished product as CP_Dustbowl, while the other, known as Dustbowl 2, was a version made by mapmaker Dario Casali. While the latter didn't make it into the finished product at launch, it was eventually reworked into the first Payload map, Goldrush, which also explains why the latter has a very similar layout to Dustbowl.
The January 2023 gigaleak revealed a number of scrapped concepts:
An introduction to blast jumping was supposed to have been officially implemented as tra_soldier_rocketj. In a sense, this would have made the fanmade map type "Jump" Ascended Fanon.
Thunder Mountain was originally the Payload Race map Pinecrest. Leftovers of this version exist, and form the largest scrapped map in the game's repository.
Badwater Basin originally had a King of the Hill variant, which would've mirrored BLU's spawn and the hillside in front of it.
Before the capture point mechanics were implemented on Mannhattan, the developers experimented with replacing tanks with blimps for its missions.
An area from the Half-Life chapter "Surface Tension," specifically the helipad that became the Deathmatch level "Crossfire", was supposed to receive a themed remake in TF2 for unknown reasons.
Icons pertaining to a questing mechanic were found, suggesting either an independent mission system or a predecessor to contracts.
The concept of a level 4 sentry was toyed with long enough to give it a complete model.
The Krakensage Medic melee, from the same collection of weapons like the Boston Basher and Fists of Steel, was almost implemented with its compatriots.
Powerhouse originally had spawnpoints in what is now a sectioned-off back area. It was also originally called "Staredown."
Nucleus was supposed to receive a remaster. At least two iterations of this can be found in the repository.
Decoy was supposed to have a Halloween variant like Coaltown.
A map taking place on an airship was started and then scrapped shortly after completing the geometry.
Mercenary Park was originally called Lair and was filed under a map type implying a hybrid between Control Points and Payload.
Doublecross was originally a CP map called Nightfall, not to be confused with the Payload Race map.
Coaltown had a medieval variant called Anim, but it's unknown if this would've enforced Medieval Mode.
Hightower was going to receive a Special Delivery variant. Unlike Doomsday, it would've gone to three points, one point for each Doomsday-style capture cycle completed by a respective team.
The Engineer was supposed to receive a shotgun around the time of Coaltown's release called the BMMH 1.0 that could debuff enemies and dispense ammo to teammates, and a nine-shot revolver called the Big Tex.
The witch seen on the Spellbook Magazine is actually a modified version of an early model for Miss Pauling◊. Both the witch model and the Pauling model it was based on can be found in the leak.
Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: A recurring suggestion fans have concerning the stagnant update schedule since 2017 was to have the community fully take the reins and be the main driving force for TF2 updates, rather than only submitting cosmetics and maps. Having the community play a larger role in development seemed to be a goal for a while, but the controversy surrounding community creators' payment during 2015's Invasion update seems to have put Valve off from advancing those plans.
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".