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  • Actor Allusion: The Administrator's "Don't disappoint me."
  • Acting for Two:
    • 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".
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  • Artist Disillusionment: As time has gone on, Valve seems to have become less and less interested in updating Team Fortress 2 compared to their other titles (most notable Counter-Strike), with the last major new content update being Jungle Inferno. The fact that the development team has shrunk down to less than ten people indicates that Valve no longer prioritizes TF2 over their other projects, at least for the time being. However, they have done updates to curb the aimbot crisis that started in 2020, so not all hope is lost.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • This popular fanart of the Administrator ended up strongly influencing her official appearance (as revealed in this comic as The Administrator and foreshadowed two months prior with this image of The Clan that everything in the game traces its lineage back to). And now Makani even works for Valve, doing comics/"Choose A Game Mode" illustrations for Team Fortress 2, working on the science fair posters for Portal 2, and drawing all of the Steam Summer Sale front page illustrations for 2011.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
    • When Heavy recites the spell "caputus crepitus", his voice actor puts much emphasis on the syllables "-putus", which may be a nod to the "POOTIS" meme. Fans certainly have noticed; in any Garry's Mod or Source Film Maker video in which Heavy casts a magic spell (such as these three examples), it's almost always the "caputus" spell.
    • 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.
  • Bad Export for You: Most voice lines that were added in subsequent major updates never got translated in the 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".
    • In Expiration Date, the Soilder does not say "I have done nothing but teleport bread for the past 3 days," he only says "I have done nothing but teleport bread for 3 days."
  • 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.
  • Character-Specific Pages: Each class has their own dedicated page due to the amount of character and gameplay depth each of them have.
  • The Danza: The Administrator is named for her voice actress. ("Helen" and "Ellen" sound almost identical in most dialects of English).
  • Defictionalization:
    • 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.
  • Development Hell:
    • 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.
  • Dummied Out: 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • This Game’s success lead to a rise in both Denser and Wackier shooters along with the Hero Shooter genre.
    • 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.
  • Image Source:
  • In Memoriam:
    • The 28 March 2018 update adds an attribute to the Axtinguisher named "Sketchek's Bequest", named after legendary Pyro main Sketcheknote . 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.
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Sunshine, a community-made map, was first introduced into Team Fortress 2 as a 2015 Halloween map, 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.
  • 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.
  • Model Dissonance:
    • When characters' heads explode or are removed, their heads actually simply shrink down to a size of 0, making it appear as though their heads are gone... as long as you don’t 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.
    • When performing the Panzer Pants taunt, the Solier's body is completely crammed up to fit in the tank, as seen in this image.
  • 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 , 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.
  • Preorder Bonus: Valve loved using this game as an incentive to preorder other games. "Preorder this other game and get a Genuine Something-Or-Another in TF2!" Just look at the list on the wiki.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • 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 official TF2 wiki, as of June 30, 2010. It is now being hosted entirely on Valve's dime.
  • Prop Recycling:
    • 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.
  • Quote Source:
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Shows up in fanmade maps and play modes.
    • 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.
  • Reclusive Artist:
    • 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 Pacific Northwest 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.
  • 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.
  • Rereleased for Free: The game was originally commercial before it became Freemium in 2011.
  • Schedule Slip: Valve Time applies.
    • 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 . 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 .
  • Talking to Himself:
    • The Heavy and the Demoman share the same voice actor, while the Spy and the Pyro share another. Merasmus and Bombnomicon also have the same voice actor too.
    • Another Halloween update dialed it up even further, with a three way argument between Blutarch, Redmond, and Zephian Mann all shouting at each other and all voiced by Nolan North.
  • The Wiki Rule: An official one, no less.
  • Trope Namer:
  • 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.
  • Word of Gay: Writer Jay Pinkerton confirmed on twitter that he wanted to make Miss Pauling a lesbian as part of an extended punchline. He never got the chance (and the actual canon paints her as a Chaste Anti-Villain) but many fans are either treating it as if it happened anyway, or believing some of the supplementary material discredits it fully or at least makes her Bisexual.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 Pyro wasn't always The Faceless.
      • The Sniper looked a lot older and crazier.
      • 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.

Miscellaneous Trivia

  • 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 different reasons.
  • 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.
  • The inspirations for Mags' design was a combination of the Norn women from Guild Wars 2 and Pam from Archer.
  • 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".

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