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Video Game / Army Men

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Real combat; plastic men.

"A world exists that's quite different from our own. There, a battle rages out of control. A battle between good and evil... Green and Tan."
—Intro to Army Men: Sarge's Heroes

Army Men was a popular series of Video Games by the now-defunct The 3DO Company, about a war among several factions of plastic Army Men. The game was inspired by the developers' childhood memories of playing with miniature Army Men. The series lasted from 1998 to 2003, when 3DO went bankrupt. Many fans of the series laud the initial games' more "family oriented" take on the shooter genre. After Army Men: Air Attack, the brand started suffering from lower quality sequels and spinoffs (let's not talk about a certain game starring Sarge's war journalist girlfriend). Since 3DO went under in 2003, various other companies have since tried to make games based on the Army Men brand until 2008.

  • The original series:
  • World War series:
    • Army Men: World War (PC and PlayStation, spiritual successors to respectively the original games and Army Men 3D)
    • Army Men: World War: Land, Sea, Air (PlayStation)
    • Army Men: World War: Final Fronts (PlayStation)
    • Army Men: World War: Team Assault (PlayStation)
  • Sarge's Heroes continuity:
    • Army Men: Sarge's Heroes (Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, PlayStation)
    • Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 (N64, PlayStation, PlayStation 2)
    • Army Men: Air Combat/Air Attack (N64, PlayStation)
    • Army Men: Air Tactics (PC)
    • Army Men: Air Attack 2 (PlayStation, PlayStation 2)
    • Army Men: Air Attack: Elite Operations (re-release of Air Attack 2 for the Nintendo GameCube)
    • Army Men Advance (A top-down shooter for Game Boy Advance)
    • Army Men: Turf Wars (An isometric-perspective shooter for Gameboy Advance)
    • Army Men: RTS - Real Time Strategy (GameCube, PlayStation 2, PC)
    • Portal Runner (An adventure game starring Vikki Grimm and Bridgette Bleu, for PlayStation 2)
    • Army Men: Sarge's War (GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC)
  • Other games
    • Army Men: Operation Green (An isometric-perspective shooter for Gameboy Advance)
    • Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune (Wii, PlayStation 2)
    • Army Men: Major Malfunction (Xbox)

Canonically unrelated to this series, The Mean Greens - Plastic Warfare was released on Steam as a multiplayer-only game giving a Lighter and Softer take on the idea of plastic men in warfare with maps ranging from a simple team deathmatch on a Tabletop RPG board, Capture the Flag in an aquarium or even a game of soccer on a foosball table. The first three games (Army Men, Army Men II and Toys in Space) as well as RTS can now be purchased at and Steam.

This series has examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Sarge gets pretty annoyed with Shrap whenever he refers to him as "dude".
  • Ace Pilot: Captain William Blade. He's basically the commander of the entire Green Army air force.
  • Actionized Sequel:
    • Army Men was a real time tactics shooter in an isometric view, that often saw you having to plan your next move carefully, as some areas were so fraught with enemy soldiers venturing into them would be suicide. The next game lessened the need for this, as little things, like having to account for soldiers hearing incoming mortars was removed, and rarely was it not beneficial to clear a map of enemies. Before long, the series shifted into a 3rd person shooter.
    • Zig-zagged regarding the third person shooter games. The "World War" series leans on the tactical side, with Team Assault in particular dramatically reduce soldier's health, both you and your enemies side, while Sarge Heroes is often about charging, shooting, and dodging as One-Man Army Sergeant Hawk, and Air Assault features a One Chopper Army as the protagonist.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Did you know Riff and Scorch actually got a game that focused on them? In the Game Boy Color port of Army Men Sarges Heroes 2 (which functions as a completely different game) the two Bravo Company members and Vikki are the only playable characters in that game and they even have their own personal vehicles to ride.
    • Hoover also has a level dedicated to himself in Army Men RTS where he proves to be actually pretty good at leading a team.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite being in the name and on the cover, the eponymous Sarge's Heroes are barely in the game, only appearing in the missions where Sarge must rescue each one of them individually, and only briefly showing up together at the end (and we don't get to see them in action all that much, either). The game instead focuses almost completely on Sarge himself.
  • Affably Evil: General Plastro, he may be the bad guy, but at least he's honest enough to admit it. This is best shown in the opening cutscene for the final level of Sarge's Heroes, where he and several Tan troops get the drop on an empty handed Sarge, only for Sarge to take out the troops by kicking a block at them. Plastro genuinely compliments and congratulates Sarge on his cleverness, admitting he didn't even see it coming; however, when Sarge tells Plastro to drop the gun and fight him one-on-one, Plastro refuses and straight up tells Sarge "I'm the bad guy."
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: An aerosol is one of the weapons you can get in the second game.
  • All for Nothing: The Green-Tan war comes out to be this in the end, which Sarge muses on.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The last two levels in Sarge's Heroes takes place in a living room with a gigantic Christmas tree in the background and presents strewn throughout the room. Oddly, in preceding levels that take place outside the house there's no indication whatsoever that it's winter, unless it's supposed to be set in the southern hemisphere.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Sarge's Heroes 2 lets the player take control of Vikki in a handful of missions.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Colonel's final report before losing contact in Sector C-4 in the second game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Sarge's Heroes' ally AI is this in spades. The generic Green Soldiers only appear in a few levels and they rarely ever manage to kill a single tan soldier even if they're in a group.
    • In the same game there is a mission where you can bust a handful of Grey soldiers out of prison cells. They are very prone to friendly fire and they have a tendency to set off alarms.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Hero Units in the RTS. They do more damage than their normal counterparts and can usually take more punishment than them, but the lack of healing means that you need to be careful in how you use them, lest you lose out on a strong unit for the rest of the mission.
  • Badass Crew: Bravo Company is apparently The Dreaded to the tan army. In Green Rogue, the mere information that Bravo is going to be out of action for several weeks recovering from surgery is enough for the tan to decide to launch an all out assault against green positions, reasoning that Bravo was literally the only thing that could have stopped them anyways.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Vikki in both of Sarge's Heroes games. She spends most of her time as a captive secretly relaying tan troop movements.
    • Bravo Company spending much of Sarge's Heroes in Tan clutches is a major plot point of that game, as Sarge must go out of his way to rescue each of them and put his squad back together.
  • Bad Boss: Plastro, from punching out underlings that bring him bad news to actively plotting betrayal against allies for little reason other than that's what bad guys like him do.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Malice gets what he wanted in the end, to make Sarge suffer and destroy everything and everyone that he valued. The only mitigation is that Sarge is able to take revenge and, by the time it is all over, ultimately seems to regard Gooding with more pity than anger.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Sarge's Heroes especially knows that its premise is inherently silly, and as a result doesn't even try to take things seriously for more than a few moments at any given time.
  • Big Bad: General Plastro for most of the series.
    • Major Mylar for Army Men 2.
    • The alien leader in Toys in Space.
    • Colonel Blintz in the RTS game.
    • Lord Malice in Sarge's War.
  • Big Good: Colonel Grimm.
  • Bond One-Liner: Blowing up tents in one level in Army Men 3D will cause Sarge to quip "Knock knock."
  • Bottomless Magazines: Most of the games tend to give your starting weapon infinite ammo, sometimes with a drawback (the M16 in the N64 Sarge's Heroes games has a very slow rate of fire, the PS1 Sarge's Heroes 2 makes it overheat when fired too much) and sometimes with an ammo-guzzling upgrade available (the BAR in the original two games, which trades the infinite ammo for a much higher rate of fire).
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • Implied with Hoover immediately after regrouping with him in Sarge's Heroes:
    Col. Grimm: Do you think he can make it back to the landing pad on his own?
    Sarge: That's a negative sir; moisture is imminent.
    Hoover: Aw, geeze!
    • A "You Lose" scene in Toys In Space depicts a Green soldier surrounded by Tan troops laughing at him while dropping his weapon and wetting himself.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Bravo Company, to various degrees. Riff, Scorch, Hoover, Shrap, Thick, and even Sarge all have their quirks. They’re still the most elite squad in the Green Army.
  • The Cavalry: Air cavalry, to be exact. This is the role that Capt. Blade's squad plays. He even wears an old cavalry hat.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Plastro knows he's the bad guy, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Lampshaded all throughout.
    Sarge: Plastro! Why don't you drop that gun and face me like a man?
    Plastro: Because I'm the bad guy, that's why!
    Plastro: Burn it all, starting with [Bridgette's] blasted Blue homeland.
    Vikki: Plastro! How could you?
    Plastro: Well, somebody's not paying attention. I'm the bad guy!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In Sarge's War, Major Gooding, who is mentioned all of one time before The Reveal.
  • The Chew Toy: A literal example with Plastro at the end of Sarge's Heroes.
  • Clear My Name: Blade is forced to do this, after the actions under Fake Defector, and does it by delivering much needed supplies to besieged Green forces, and helping either Sarge or Vikki take out a Tan base.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Bombshell really doesn't like it when Capt. Blade flirts with Vikki.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Shrap. He's your typical surfer dude, and as such, he tends to be pretty out there.
  • Cold Sniper: Bullseye, the Bravo Company sniper in RTS. He's even called the ice man in the game's manual.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every faction across the series. The four most common are Green being good guys, Tan being evil, Gray being, well, gray (in some games they're allied with the Greens, in others they're against everyone), and Blue being spies, typically allied with the Tans.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Army Men RTS, natch.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Starting with Army Men II, they start appearing in the real world. Due to the limited graphics of the PlayStation games, they can be downright horrifying.
  • Crosshair Aware: Due to engine limitations in Sarge's Heroes multiplayer, every player can see everyone else's aiming reticule for mortars and grenades.
  • Darker and Edgier: Sarge's War, to a large extent. Sometimes borders on parody of the gritty war hero type film.
    • Before that were the World War games, which played War Is Hell devastatingly straight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sarge in the Sarge's Heroes games, when he isn't being a dutiful soldier. Captain Blade meanwhile is in snark mode 24/7.
  • Death from Above: One of the power-ups invoked from time to time.
    Sarge: This is Sarge, I need an air strike, over.
  • Developer's Foresight: In the mission where Capt. Blade has to pick up a squad led by either Sarge or Vikki to blow up a radar station, picking Vikki while Bombshell is your co-pilot causes her to get really jealous, to the point she will actually ask you to pick Sarge.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Hoover, the team's minesweeper, looks like he wished he called himself a conscientious objector, and will retreat in RTS if he takes even a little damage.
    • Though Plastro has his moments of Villainous Valour, suicidal or otherwise, when he's captured at the end of Sarge's Heroes 2 and Sarge threatens to punch his lights out, his reaction is to shout "not the face!" and immediately faint.
  • Downer Ending: Army Men: Sarge's War is pretty much this for the whole series. Bravo Company, Grimm and Vikki are melted, Lord Malice was Major Gooding all along, and Sarge feels empty inside after killing him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Them, if you may. The aforementioned Sarge's War has every named character and series mainstay since Sarge's Heroes, except for Sarge himself, killed off by an explosion hidden in a peace monument orchestrated by Lord Malice, the new villain.
  • Dull Surprise: Tina Tomorrow is not the most expressive person.
  • Dumb Muscle: Thick, which applies to both his neck and skull; his PS1 Sarge's Heroes bio describes him as an "educated trigger finger attached to a nearly brain-dead soldier", with the listed stats giving him 100% strength and bravery, but near 0% intelligence.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Vikki's last words to Sarge in Sarge's War.
  • Energy Weapon: The aliens in Toys In Space use them. Sarge can even find a laser rifle, an upgrade to the auto-rifle and Vulcan gun.
  • Escort Mission: These have been around since the first game, they range from barely an escort (being able to just order your men to hold while you kill everything along the way and/or the VIP being almost as badass as Sarge) to almost controller-breaking frustrating.
  • Every Helicopter Is a Huey: Owing to The Vietnam War being a heavy influence on the original plastic figures, and by extension the Army Men games - if the game isn't focused entirely on the air power, Hueys are the helicopter for every side. Air Tactics does move you into a Black Hawk by the 5th mission and then a Cobra by the final levels. Air Attack applies this to the player's side (Tan helicopters are almost universally Cobras instead), where the player starts off with a Huey and generic allied Green pilots continue to swear by them even as the player is able to upgrade through to Chinooks, Super Stallions, and Apaches.
  • Evil Laugh: Plastro is a fan of this, even when so badly injured from being used as a literal chew toy, twice, that he can't stop coughing.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Colonel Blintz in the RTS after quite literally losing his mind.
    • Major Gooding in Sarge's War. He becomes Lord Malice after a mission where he is nearly killed and blames Sarge for leaving him behind, although Sarge couldn't have known he was still alive given the amount of damage he took.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Bridgette Blue, and all of the blue nation really. They'll work for whoever pays best, whoever isn't trying to kill them, or even whoever currently suits their own agenda.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Green Nation is Type I or "The Great" Eagleland.
    • The Tan Nation is a combination of common media belligerents such as World War II Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or Ba'athist (Saddam Hussein's) Iraq, complete with something of a mix of Saddam Hussein (the face) and Fidel Castro (the name and build) as their leader.
    • The Blue Nation is an analogue of the various French sides in WWII that works out as a villainous version of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys - they have an extensive spy network, but they also work with the Nazi Germany analogue and are very quick to surrender.
    • The Gray Nation, in turn, ends up as a heroic version of the Vietcong, essentially North Vietnam's guerrilla warfare expertise (usually) combined with the South's loyalty to the USA analogue.
  • Fake Defector:
    • Captain Blade spends half of Air Attack 2 on the run, after being court marshaled and then breaking out of prison for his actions almost getting his wingmen killed.
    • Vikki pulls this briefly in Sarge's Heroes after getting captured, as part of a Honey Trap.
    • Bridgette Bleu is revealed to be this in Sarge's Heroes 2.
  • Fat Bastard: General Plastro in the Sarge's Heroes games. Compared to the original Army Men titles, where he was built like a truck.
  • Freeze Ray: Tina Tomorrow's and the rest of the space Valkyrie weapons in Toys In Space, there's even a truck that fires freezing mortars.
  • Follow the Leader: Portal Runner pretty much only exists because Lara Croft's popularity had not yet faded.
  • Foreshadowing: The first Sarge's Heroes has a throw away line about plastic soldiers who stay in the real world for too long becoming frozen. Sarge's Heroes 2 makes this a major plot point.
  • Gatling Good: The space Valkyrie minigunner in Toys In Space.
  • Genre Shift: The games underwent this as the series went on:
    • The PC games are generally top down shooter / RTS hybrids with photorealistic pre-rendered visuals, while the PlayStation Army Men 3D and the Sarge's Heroes duology are polygonally-rendered third person shooters.
    • The World War games are, pretty jarringly considering the rest of the series, quasi-realistic tactical shooters where the soldiers can only take a limited number of shots before dying.
    • Portal Runner didn't use the Army Men name for a good reason, as it is a bizarre hybrid between Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot, starring Vikki.
    • Air Attack and Air Tactics are third person helicopter shooter and top-down helicopter shooter / RTS hybrid, respectively.
    • Green Rogue is a top-down Shoot 'Em Up ala Ikari Warriors.
    • RTS is exactly what it claims to be.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Averted - every weapon fits its specific role rather than being one among several different weapons, so everybody uses the same guns. That M16 Sarge swears by is also what arms the vast majority of the Tan soldiers he fights.
  • Groin Attack: Vikki, while still tied to a chair, gives one of her captors a swift kick to the soft spot.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Common in many of the boot camp/flight school missions across the series. The most noticeable one is in Air Tactics for the PC, because all helicopters have a mouse and keyboard.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: A downplayed example when Sarge finds powerful weaponry and delivers an almost Evil Laugh and a remark anticipating wanton destruction.
  • Hidden Depths: Bravo Company are each individually exceptional soldiers, despite otherwise being a bunch of misfits... well, except Hoover, but even he's incredible at his job.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: In a sense, since the ‘Omega Soldier’ from Green Rogue was molded from plastic contributed by all six of the (all male) Bravo Company commandos, including Sarge. So this technically makes them his ‘fathers,’ so to speak.
  • Honey Trap: Vikki uses this to get info on the Tan after being captured in Sarge's Heroes.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After being shown a film of green soldiers being melted by Plastro's magnifying glasses, Sarge goes on about how horrible and barbaric they are, before asking Col. Grimm if they can build some.
  • Ironic Nickname: The stoic, humorless Colonel Grimm is referred to in some sources, including the PS1 intro for Sarge's Heroes and several in-game bios, as "Happy Jack". For extra irony, most occurrences of the nickname outright mention his grim outlook from having been at war with the Tan several times over several decades, right in the very same sentence as they mention the nickname. His PS1 Sarge's Heroes bio at least does more or less state that it is, indeed, ironic.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: The PC games have various failure cutscenes for missions, ranging from being melted by a magnifying glass to being torn apart by zombies in a hospital.
  • It's All About Me: Lord Malice murders Bravo Company, Grimm, Vikki, and Plastro, along with a ton of other innocent people, just to get back at Sarge for 'abandoning' him on a mission, which wasn't even Sarge's fault to start with because he genuinely thought Gooding [Malice] was dead.
  • It's Raining Men: Paratroopers figure prominently in the PC and Air Attack games. Sometimes they even have the little hoop in their helmet that is used in actual army men paratroopers.
  • Iwo Jima Pose: Quite a few of the games have green soldiers reenacting the famous photograph. Army Men II in particular uses this as the background on the title screen.
  • Kick the Dog: The Tan Army regularly tortures enemy prisoners to death, (or utilizes them for twisted experiments) just to drive home the point that these guys are not punch-clock villains.
  • Kill It with Fire: Not surprisingly, the most damaging non-heavy weapon in every game is the flamethrower.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Lord Malice. He only appears in one game, Sarge's War, which is the darkest game in the entire franchise.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Sarge. As ever, lampshaded:
    Plastro: Well, well, well, if it isn't Sergeant Hawk. How very nice of you and your jaw to join us.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    Sarge: But where is Plastro getting these magnificent, uh I mean, horrific weapons?
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Sarge's Heroes, sandwiched between the PC games, and the World War games.
    • The games after Sarge's War have the plastic armies fight robots in Major Malfunction or Tans fighting against a shrunken little kid in Soldiers of Misfortune.
  • Made of Plasticine: Justified, they're literally made of plastic, so it's not uncommon for ordinary rifle shots to blast apart soldiers, and that's before explosives are involved.
  • Manchild: Plastro will throw temper tantrums like a 4 year old if the green army foils one of his plans.
  • Mama Bear: A boss fight in Sarge's Heroes 2 is against a giant spider called the Queen who attacked Vikki for killing all the other spiders, that happened to be her children, that she ran into.
  • Man on Fire: Each game allows you to melt your enemies with the flamethrower.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Bridgette helps out the green forces when Plastro invades the blue nation. However, she betrays Sarge later to Plastro. Then she goes back to helping Sarge at the end.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Bridgette Bleu and Vikki to a lesser extent.
  • More Dakka:
    • One of the fastest firing units in the series is the Space Valkyrie minigunner in Toys In Space.
    • The original games have the BAR as an upgrade to your default weapon, which at least doubles the firing rate. Meanwhile, the M60 (which looks far more like a Bren) is the extra lead thrower in the Sarge's Heroes games.
  • Meaningful Name: You can tell what Bravo company's personalities and choice of weapons just by their names.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Objects in the real world take on a sense of scale and grandiose nature to three inch tall Army Men. One of the best examples is in Army Men RTS where Also sprach Zarathustra plays while Bravo Company looks on a black monolith... a vertically standing PlayStation 2.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Scorch is a plastic soldier who adores fire.
  • Mythology Gag: Sarge's Heroes 2 features multiple BattleTanx: Global Assault-branded objects in real-world levels and cut scenes.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Bombshell, Captain Blade's love interest in Air Attack 2, has her top unbuttoned almost all the way to her navel.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • Army Men: Sarge's Heroes has one in the ice level where you free prisoners. If you manage to get yourself locked in a cell, Plastro himself comes out of nowhere to mock you followed by a game over.
    • Sarge's Heroes 2 has a hilarious one. The tutorial has you follow orders from Colonel Grimm, a.k.a. Vikki's father. You can choose to kill him and simply finish the tutorial yourself, but at the end, instead of Vikki's usual "Congratulations" when you open the last door, she will immediately shoot you with a bazooka as soon as the door opens. Even if you somehow dodge, you still fail.
  • Not in the Face!: General Plastro, when Sarge gets ready to beat him up, begs him not to hit him in the face, before passing out.
  • Once More, with Volume!: From Sarge's Heroes:
    Tan Soldier: Colonel Grimm and the Sarge have escaped our forces and captured a blue intelligence officer make matters worse, Sarge found one of our portals.
    General Plastro: What!?
    Tan Soldier: Colonel Grimm and Sarge have escaped -
    General Plastro: I heard you! It was a rhetorical "what"!
  • One-Hit Kill: Bayonet charges in the World War games was this for both sides.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The zombies that start showing up in Army Men II and other games where Dr. Madd makes an appearance aren't flesh (or plastic, as the case would be) seeking ghouls, but are more like Frankenstein's Monster in mannerism and appearance.
  • Papa Wolf: Col. Grimm, in Sarge's Heroes, was ready to capitulate after Plastro had Vikki captured and threatened to kill her. Fortunately Sarge was able to rescue her before it came to that.
  • Precision F-Strike: With its family-friendly nature, there's no harsh language anywhere in normal gameplay. Once you get to the outtakes, though...
    Grimm: (to Vikki) You're just like your mother... full'a s***.
    Sarge: Alright, you just get through that portal and I'll blow it to smithereens! ...Wherever the hell that is.
    • The PC games were a little more lenient, slipping in an odd "ass" and "bastard".
  • Promoted to Playable: Vikki in Sarge's Heroes 2.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Much of the second game's soundtrack uses many popular songs such as Ride of the Valkyries and Spring Song.
    • Army Men 3D had just about every main theme from a war movie from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
  • Pyromaniac: Scorch, from Sarge's Heroes. In his flavor text, it say he sleeps in a box of matches.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Bravo Company in Sarge's Heroes.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • The first Air Attack reuses multiple action themes from Uprising: Join or Die.
    • Over half of the songs from the N64 version of Air Attack are tracks from BattleTanx: Global Assault. Conveniently, both games were made by 3DO and came out within a month of each other.
  • Red-plica Baron: Air Attack 2 features a character, Baron von Beige, who is based on Richthofen. "Tan Baron" flies a Fokker Dr.I, like The Red Baron.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Green Army, despite their color. Expect to spend most of the games watching them get their asses kicked, and the Tans constantly seem to have them on the defense. Only the heroes like Bravo Company and Captain Blade are really of much use at all, and even at the start of Sarge's Heroes, the Tan Army manages to launch a successful surprise attack against the Green base and capture all of Bravo company save for Sarge.
  • Rule of Funny: Hard to avoid when the whole game is about miniature toys trying to kill each other.
    • Air Attack, for example, has a level where one of your bases is being torn apart... by ants. And to dispatch them, you have to drop cherry bombs on their anthills. Another mission has as its first goal winching a 12 V battery to power a toy train loaded with Green supplies; the next mission is about chasing RC bomb cars. And to unlock the final chopper, you need to gather its construction pieces, which come in gunpla-like packaging.
  • Running Gag: In the Sarge's Heroes games, Plastro keeps demanding one of his subordinates to bring him a sandwich.
  • Sergeant Rock: When he's not acting as a One-Man Army, Sarge is this to his squadron, the Bravo Company Commandos.
  • Sequel Hook: The first Army Men game (and 3D, for that matter) ends with Sarge M.I.A. after discovering the portal that had led into the human world, opening up to where part of Army Men II takes place there.
    • Sarge's Heroes ends with Plastro, though badly injured, finding one last portal.
  • Shout-Out: Pretty much a staple of the series later in its run, both in level names and even villains. It was doing it as far back as the second game, where one two part mission was just one big shout out to Apocalypse Now.
    • The opening speech in the PC and PS1 version of Sarge's Heroes is an almost complete recreation of Patton's speech from the 1970 film.
    • One set of missions in the very first Army Men was a condensed version of Kelly's Heroes.
    • One of the items one can melt down to mold plastic in RTS is a Jumbo Machinder style robot figure that looks like a hybrid between UFO Robo Grendizer and Getter Robo.
    • In the third level of Army Men: Air Attack, you are commanded to protect a train carrying supplies. Said train looks an awful lot like a certain blue E2 tank engine.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: This appears as a super weapon in some games. Due to the fact that all units are either little plastic men or (rarely) bugs, it works fairly well.
    • Air Attack has one level where Plastro got himself a magnifying glass and uses it to wreck havoc on Green bases. Watch out for the sun beam!
  • Sliding Scale Of Silliness Vs Seriousness: The series is silly for most of the time. The World War games, on the other hand, are dead serious.
  • Spinoff: See Portal Runner.
  • Taking You with Me: Plastro briefly tries this at the end of Sarge's Heroes, being too fat and injured to run away from the lit M-80 that Sarge was using to blow up the last portal, but not wanting Sarge to make it back to the plastic world either.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sarge and Blade do this a lot, being that Sarge doesn't like the fact that Blade tends to hit on Vikki when they share a cut scene together.
  • The Starscream: Major Mylar, from Army Men II. He waits until Plastro has gone through the portal, then blows it up and takes over the Tan Army from behind the scenes.
  • The Many Deaths of You: The second game, Toys In Space and World War featured various failure cut-scenes, complete with "You Lose" in army stencil font. Many of these tend to be horrific, especially the hospital scene in the second game. It should be noted that it isn't actually Sarge in these cut-scenes but just a generic soldier (excluding the grave scene).
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: One of the cheats in the PC games let the player drop a massive air strike, which could be done at any time, on any enemy. Even on just one lone soldier.
  • Took A Level In Bad Ass: Vikki, in Sarge's Heroes 2. While she had her moments in the first Sarge's Heroes, she takes a much more proactive part in the fight in 2, even rescuing Sarge at one point.
  • Totally Radical: Shrap and Riff get this pretty bad.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Played realistically (for plastic anyways) in the RTS, Colonel Blintz received a disfiguring head wound and it resulted in his Face–Heel Turn to Tan. Sargent Hawk even says he literally "lost his mind".
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Sarge doesn't get any satisfaction from killing Lord Malice, because Malice has already killed everybody he cared about, rendered everything he fought for utterly pointless, and Malice himself at the end of the day is just a pathetic wreck of a man, driven solely by spite.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck:
    • Averted. What do you think happens to little plastic army men who're exposed to flame? The answer: awesome happens.
    • Played completely straight in The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare, the flamethrower has infinite ammo but shoots a tiny jet barely five feet in front of you with no spread to the point the shotgun is more effective. Its only real use is to ignite the candles as the attacking team on the Operation: Birthday map.
  • Video Game Remake: Army Men 3D on the PS1 is a remake of the first Army Men.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Plastro tends to suffer these, especially at the end of Toys In Space when Sarge stopped the alien leader.
  • War Is Hell: The World War spin-offs, which played the effects of war very realistically, even if you were playing as little green men.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The characters from Air Attack are not shown to be present when Lord Malice’s plan is engaged in Sarge’s War.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: The M-60 firecrackers in Army Men II.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Sarge in the Sarge's Heroes games only ever shows nervousness around spiders. Vikki gets grossed out by them too.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Plastic and power in the RTS. The latter is oddly treated as a gathered/stored resource the same as plastic, instead of being produced and consumed by buildings like in Command & Conquer.