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Borderlands is the first game in the Borderlands series, a Space Western Hero Shooter with RPG Elements (or an Action RPG with FPS elements, though Gearbox themselves call the game a "Role Playing Shooter") for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows, and OS X developed by Gearbox Software — creators of the Brothers in Arms series and the three expansion packs for the original Half-Life.

The game concerns four different adventurers who arrive on the desert planet of Pandora seeking the Vault: a legendary alien treasure cache filled with weapons, alien artifacts, and wealth beyond imagining. Initially, it seems like the only thing to worry about will be the scores of bandits that run rampant over the planet; however, the player soon comes into conflict with the Atlas corporation, who have dispatched their elite squad known as the Crimson Lance, led by the ruthless Commandant Steele, to capitalize on the power and riches offered by the Vault. Aided by the mysterious "Guardian Angel", the player sets out into the borderlands of Pandora to battle the Lance and uncover the treasures of the Vault.

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The game's four playable characters are differentiated by not just their appearances, but also their available classes and skills, and consist of:

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The game has four DLC packs developed in the year following the release of the original game, consisting of:

  • The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned: Dr. Ned, who is totally not his twin brother Dr. Zed wearing a fake moustache on top of a surgical mask, manages to unleash a Zombie Apocalypse upon Jakob's Cove.
  • Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot: A series of Arena challenges set by recently-divorced Mad Moxxi.
  • The Secret Armory of General Knoxx: A continuation of the main story. Enraged over the loss of the Vault, the decimation of their forces and the death of Steele (though mostly just losing the Vault), the Crimson Lance have decided that the Vault Hunters must die. They send a fresh army of Lance operatives, headed by seasoned General Knoxx, to both take out the Hunters and conquer Pandora for their own. With the help of former Lance Assassin Athena, the Vault Hunters must now fight to destroy the Crimson Lance once and for all, and maybe even get some sweet loot while they're at it.
  • Claptrap's New Robot Revolution: Due to the Vault Hunters being a massive drain on the economy, Hyperion hires the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap to take care of them. Instead, he rallies the Claptraps into rebellion against the humans.

On April 3, 2019, an Updated Re-release launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox ONE, and Steam, with existing owners of the game on Steam getting the remastered version and the game's DLC for free, even if they didn't own the DLC for the original game. This updated version was eventually released on the Switch as well on May 29, 2020, along with Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!


Catch-a-Trope!

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    In general 
  • 20% More Awesome: One of the slogans Marcus' vending machines give for the "Torgue" brand guns.
    Marcus: Four hundred percent more awesome! Also, Torgue doesn't make their guns out of freaking wood!note 
  • Abnormal Ammo: Many guns add special effects to their bullets.
    • The most common example is the elemental damage. Weapons with an elemental multiplier can deal either Shock damage, Corrosive damage, Fire damage or Blast (Explosive) damage.
    • One particularly memorable weapon mod appears on shotguns from time to time: "Holy crap! It shoots Rockets!"
    • There's a Mongol series of rockets, with the text of "Beware the Horde!" note 
    • The Savior weapons send bullets with a spiral trail. If the bullet misses, it comes back to its user for further use.
    • Baron Flynt's "Boom Stick" Shotgun launches a series of 7 rockets.
  • Acid Attack: Acid mods are one of the main damage types guns can have. They have a chance to start doing Damage Over Time with every hit, and also do more damage to armored enemies (since the acid burns through the armor).
  • Ammunition Backpack: Certain enemies have ammo tanks which can be blown up (which is good, since these enemies tend to be the insanely powerful ones).
  • An Adventurer Is You: While there is a lot of variation and hybridization that can occur, each character roughly fits a basic class archetype. Moreover, each of their three skill trees also fits into one of the sub-classifications as well.
    • Brick: The Tank.
      • The Blademaster: The "Brawler" tree, which focuses on turning Brick into a close-combat monster, especially when using Berserk.
      • The Meat Shield: The "Tank" skill tree, which focuses on allowing Brick to absorb tons of damage.
      • The Nuker: The "Blaster" tree, which focuses on improving explosive weapons and dishing out damage on large groups of enemies.
    • Lilith: The Status Effect Guy (Girl).
      • The Mezzer: The "Controller" tree, which focuses on weakening enemies while also improving survivability in combat.
      • The Debuffer: The "Elemental" tree, which focuses on inflicting elemental effect damage.
      • The Backstabber: The "Assassin" tree, which focuses on using hit-and-run attacks to eliminate small groups of enemies.
    • Roland: The Jack of All Trades.
      • The DoT Master: The "Infantry" tree, which focuses on Roland's proficiency with firearms and his turret's firepower.
      • The Power Re-Generator: The "Support" tree, which focuses on defensive and non-combat support, namely shield and ammo regeneration.
      • The Healer: The "Medic" tree, which focuses on keeping Roland and his teammates alive.
    • Mordecai: The DPS.
      • The Archer: The "Sniper" tree, which focuses on utilizing sniper rifles to pick off enemies at range.
      • The Beastmaster: The "Rogue" tree, which focuses on improving Bloodwing's combat abilities and overall utility.
      • The Scrapper: The "Gunslinger" tree, which focuses on eliminating foes at close-range with a pistol and sword.
  • Art Shift: The in-game cutscenes are rendered in the engine, but whenever you enter a DLC's first zone, you get a cutscene that's usually either silhouettes (Moxxi's Underdome Riot) or pen drawings (interrupted by a child's chalk drawings several times during The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned's intro.).
  • Artificial Brilliance: Multiple:
    • Skags and Psychos lead their targets whenever possible, instead of blindly chasing after them. The novelty wears off, but it's effective for such a simple strategy.
    • Lance Troopers will hop to the left or right if you take too long to aim at them.
    • Gang Up on the Human is not in effect. Enemy factions (usually bandits and whatever wild animals are nearby) will fight each other unless you give them a reason to join forces against you.
    • Every enemy will shout a warning and assume a stance before engaging you in combat, giving you time to respond. If you heed the warning and leave their territory peacefully, they don't attack.
    • Enemies will also be on high alert if you shoot at them from a distance and miss your target, now knowing you are out there somewhere.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • For human(oid) enemies, it's the head. For skags, you have to shoot their exposed mouth, with a similar Pink Mist effect. For spiderants, you have to shoot the abdomen at the rear. Bosses are where things get a bit more complicated, but it's generally pretty obvious; large glowy bits, things that look squishy, etc.
    • The only time you can get the Rider sniper rifle is during the quest where you have to kill the Rakk Hive. The tagline for the weapon says "Careful... you might put someone's eye out." Guess where the weak point is on the Rakk Hive...
    • Before fighting the final boss, you're told that "you just have to know where to hit it." Hint: Its big, gaping vagina of a mouth, giant clit-eye, and glowing tentacle testicles should clue you in.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Leaders invariably have noticeably more health than their mooks. In many cases, this does makes sense (guys like Sledge and Krom, who rose to the top by being the baddest of a bad lot, would naturally be expected to be the toughest of the bunch), but it also applies to characters you wouldn't normally expect to be able to withstand several rockets to the face (such as Baron Flynt and Dr. Ned).
  • Autosave: The game uses autosave both when a player changes areas and when they enter the proximity of a New-U station.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the more esoteric weapons are harder to use than just shooting straight at things. The Eridian weapons probably top the list.
    • Carnage shotguns.note  Despite firing rockets, they have shotgun level accuracy (which is far worse than your average launcher), and the same low projectile velocity that regular rocket launchers have. They also have less splash damage than launchers, and most come at the expense of doing less damage than same-level shotguns. They're somewhat rare to boot, combining the worst of two weapons in an overpriced package. They are, however, handy as Disc One Nukes at first, doing more damage than most basic Playthrough 1 guns.
    • The Boomstick would be the Trope Codifier for impractical rocket-shooting shotguns, were there such a trope. It literally has no accuracy, being very capable of missing an enemy at point-blank range with one rocket. The one (dubious) advantage it has over Carnage shotguns is that it shoots rockets in six-round bursts, so unless you've invested in something that gives you more ammo, it only gives you one shot. It does work very well, however, on large crowds or targets at point blank, so if you don't have the zombie DLC, then you're likely to only use it on the Destroyer and then forget about it.
    • Shotguns that fire in patterns (i.e.: T.K.'s Wave and other similar shotguns) are pretty hard to get a consistent hit in with until you figure out said pattern.
    • Jakobs rifles at higher levels. Case in point: You got a powerful rifle! SWEET! Problem is, its scope is locked at 1x, or, if you're insanely lucky, at 1.5x. In other words, your bullet velocity is noticeably slower, say, compared to an Atlas rifle, and your scope is less effective at picking off people from a distance, due to a tiny magnification distance. And since most enemies will shrug off a non-critical round and will close the distance between shots, you'll find yourself itching for another sniper rifle. However, once you find Jakob's ultimate offering, the "Brute Bessie", one shot is all you'll need, be it body or head. Six accurate shots will take down even the great Crawmerax.
    • Vehicles in certain areas or at higher levels are basically gigantic death traps that are only useful for getting around certain zones more quickly outside a few quests specifically designed to be completed in a vehicle. Ramming a higher-level badass mook will result in the vehicle exploding (downing the players inside) with said badass losing about 50% health.
    • Sniper rifles with less than 94% accuracy. Even if it does a lot of damage, it won't do you much good if you keep missing due to having such a wide radius when zoomed in with it. Especially painful if it only has a 3-round magazine, and a really long reload animation.
    • Long range weapons in general tend to fit this trope; after all, unless you're Mordecai and investing in the Sniper tree, why bother taking the time to line up a head shot at a distance (that probably won't even kill the target) when you can just unload 10+ shots per second at point blank range directly into the enemy's head?
    • Most medium ranged weapons such as assault rifles or SMGs, without a zoom of some kind. Iron sights don't seem to work well in this game, so you'll either end up shooting from the hip, or you'll end up using the non-zoom weapons up close, which may not always be a good idea, especially if they have small magazine capacity and long reload time.
    • Rapid fire rocket launchers. Any launcher with a "+500% Fire Rate" will fire off 5 shots in rapid succession. You might think this makes it easier to clear out a crowd of enemies, but you need extremely rapid response and precision to carefully aim the extra shots. On top of that, every time you shoot, you're firing off 5 missiles, eating up your limited ammo in a snap. Contrast to Helix rocket launchers, which fire out 3 spinning rockets per shot. It takes a little getting used to in order to make sure the 3 rockets hit anything (don't aim directly at an enemy; go off to the side a little), but each shot only uses up only 1 rocket in your ammo.
  • Beef Gate: Attempting to travel through an area with enemies that are of a higher level than you will result in your immediate and painful death. This is due to the damage system, where, if you're the same level as a enemy, they can be handled with a reasonable amount of effort, whereas if they're a higher level than you, they take less damage (as low as 5% if they are six levels higher) and deal more than they would if they were even. When combined with Level Scaling, it generally means players need to be close enough in level to be effective teammates.
  • Berserk Button: Literally with Brick, whose action skill (single button press) is "Berserk".
  • Big "NO!": Whenever Mordecai dies.
    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I NEVER DIE!!!"
  • Bloody Hilarious: Many deaths from elemental weapons.
  • Body Backup Drive: The player-characters possess immortality through the New-U stations (save checkpoints) they come across. If they do take too much damage and subsequently bleed out, they are simply cloned and deposited back at the last New-U station they passed. For a fee.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Weapons do insane amounts of damage with headshots on enemies that are weak to them. Mordecai will even reference it directly upon a critical hit sometimes.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: If an enemy spawns with a really nice, top tier item (or dare we say two), they can very well become this. Badass enemies also count, as they're as tough as bosses and yet can randomly spawn in place of any normal enemy.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Multiple:
    • The Dahl manufactured, "The Dove" repeater pistol. "Sometimes I forget to reload.". It uses no ammo per shot, unless it has the "Double" accessory, in which cases it uses one bullet per shot. Or if it's actually merged with the Hornet accessory, making its name a Hornet, but still uses no ammo. But it still needs 1 bullet availble to fire.
    • The Tediore legendary rarity weapons invoke through Gradual Regeneration of ammo, referenced by their Tenuously Connected Flavor Text: Such as Equalizer revolvers, with "Unending Firepower".
  • Bragging Rights Reward: A decent chunk of high level/rare weapons, especially the Pearlescent weapons, are very hard to acquire without killing nigh-impossible bosses or having millions in cash.
  • Car Fu:
    • Encouraged by the game, to the point that there is actually a quest whose sole goal is to kill a number of enemies using a Runner (the game's car model). In addition, there is at least one achievement (on the X-Box 360 version) and several in-game challenges involving running enemies over or ramming them. The final one is "Hell On Wheels," granted for killing 1,000 enemies with the vehicle. Problem is, enemy vehicles can do this to you.
    • On a different note, hitting a car with a melee attack will send it flying (to avoid the runners getting stuck on things).
  • Cel Shading: The game is often mistaken as using it due to the heavily stylized comic book inspired graphics style, but the lighting and shading are realistic, not cel.
  • Character as Himself: Brick.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: All of the DLC's only have one Fast Travel station, and it's typically a ways away from the meat of the first map. If you leave while on a mission too far away from the map with the station... have a fun time walking back there. Even if you're overleveled and able to just zip past the respawned opposition, it still takes a while for you to get places. On the other hand, this can be exploited to save time - if you're done in a given area and don't fancy slogging back through the connecting area to turn your missions in, you can just exit back to the main menu and reload your game, putting you right back at the start.
  • Cheerful Child: Young Brick, in the introductory sequence, is aww-inducing. Out of the introductory sequence, though...
  • Cherry Tapping: Very possible; for example, if you're feeling suicidal enough to use the melee attacks (Brick's Berserker or stun attacks don't count) or an amazingly underleveled weapon. Or you could just go for the Goomba Stomp, which will get you the Achievement/Trophy, "My Brother is an Italian Plumber".
  • Chunky Salsa Rule:
    • Various enemies feature this. Many animals and most humans can be outright blown up with a good placed explosion. The bandits and midgets in particular. Once Brick gets strong enough, killing them with the basic melee attack is more than enough to make their head explode or shear off an arm or leg. It doesn't even have to be a critical hit either. Even Bruisers and Bad-Ass Psychos can be blown up with a strong enough weapon, but it really has to be over the top. The Crimson Lance avert this trope altogether though, but that doesn't mean they can't die in the gruesome deaths that the elemental effects cause.
    • Mordecai can do this with a sniper rifle if he outlevels an enemy enough, provided he gets a one-shot kill.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In some videos, ClapTrap.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Elemental weapons have distinctive color markings on them that represent their element. Shock (good against shields) is blue. Fire (good against fleshy bits) is red. Blast (average against everything except scythids) is yellow. Corrosion (good against armor) is green. There is one weapon that cycles between them, which is orange.
    • Loot is also color coded by rarity. (White=Normal, Green=Uncommon, Blue=Rare, Purple=Very Rare, Orange=Incredibly Rare, Pearl=Obscenely Rare. And to top that off, orange comes in three different shades for just how badass the weapon you just found is). There's also red for healing items.
    • Enemy shields and clothing are coded this way too. Red enemies tend to be fire resistant and use fire attacks, green enemies are corrosion resistant and might spit poison at you, blue enemies are shock resistant and use electrical attacks, and so on.
    • Even the companies themselves have this to a large extent for the color of their guns, such as brown for Jakobs, S&S's yellow, Maliwan's blue, Dahl's green or tan, Tediore's light grey, Hyperion's red, etc.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: The game features EIGHT colors (White, Green, Blue, Purple, Yellow, Orange, Dark Orange, Pearlescent). Up to Dark Orange, those follow the usual pattern of rarity, Pearlescent ones are exclusively easter egg items.
  • Combat Medic: Roland, the most support-oriented character, has a skill tree called 'Medic', which helps him heal his allies, but that doesn't mean he's any less capable of fighting. His abilities include turning all of his weapons into Healing Shivs, making his turret regenerate the team's health and ammo when close to it, and giving the team a regenerative factor when he kills an enemy.
  • Comeback Mechanic: The "Second Wind" feature, whereby if you manage to kill an enemy as you're in the throes of death yourself, you gain a small amount of health back, and can continue. The game keeps track of how often you get a second wind. If you end up getting knocked down again and again after each new Second Wind, the timer you have to get your next one shortens more and more.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you are fighting a boss character and are killed, the boss will fully regain all of its health, meaning all those bullets and grenades you used were wasted.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Tag-along style. The host determines where in the plot the players play in, and also has the character used to scale enemies. If the guest is behind the host in level, he will be up against constant beef gates. If behind in plot, any completed missions will be treated as "ineligible", and won't transfer over to the guest. As such, co-op players should maintain progress parity.
  • Crapsack World: Although the planet Pandora was originally colonized in the hopes of turning it into a lucrative, prosperous mining settlement, it was found to be an almost completely barren and borderline uninhabitable wasteland — and that was before the spring cycle began seven Earth years later and the local wildlife woke up from hibernation. Then, of course, there are the several thousand murderous bandits who prey on the few remaining locals, the extreme scarcity of food, clean water, electricity and medical supplies, and the near-complete lack of anything resembling functioning infrastructure or an effective government. Death is so common that never once do you see an NPC express grief, even when close friends or relatives are killed. And to make matters worse, it's implied in the Secret Armory DLC that the planet Promethia is even worse than Pandora.
  • Critical Hit: Scored from hitting an enemy in a certain point or area on its body to inflict much more damage, unlike other games. There are other abilities that give your attacks a chance to do extra damage or have extra effects, as per the trope.
  • Critical Hit Class: Critical hits are dependant on where you hit your opponents rather than chance, but the Hunter class has a strong emphasis on accuracy (and thus hitting crit areas). Plus there are builds based around high crit damage.
  • Crosshair Aware:
    • Thanks to the AI. Sometimes, you are just taking aim... and they suddenly notice you and run to the next cover or rain bullets upon you.
    • Zombie Island. You can SEE where your transport will land to rescue you.
    • Suddenly... that bandit shooting a Skag is looking at you.
    • A Vault Guardian actually does this to you! They create a beam of light before raining energy beams on you.
  • Cutscene: If you wait a minute on the main menu, you even get an Attract Mode movie — the same one that plays when you create a new character.
  • Cyberpunk: Downplayed. There are plenty of futuristic guns, cool robots and you're battling a corporate military, but those are the only elements here.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Enemies aflicted with a Corrosive elemental effect suffer additional damage from all sources, including subsequent Corrosive effects.
  • Damage Over Time: Many weapons that deal elemental damage have a chance of causing damage over time as an added effect.
  • Death Is Cheap: Literally. If you die, you'll get resurrected via cloning, for a fee of course; how much it is being a percentage (around 7%) of how much cash you have at the time. If you're broke, it's free.
  • Death World: Pandora makes Australia look like a petting zoo.
  • Defector from Decadence: Roland (Soldier) is a former member of the Crimson Lance.
  • Deflector Shields: A device that acts as additional regenerating hit points.
  • Deliberately Different Description: The Eridian weapons, whose Flavor Text, is all in binary, instead of English or in other human language words. Except Eridian Blasters, which are described thusly:
    "Pew Pew Pew!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Some of the randomly generated weapon names can be this. The Fatal Death, Mean Rage, and (bug notwithstanding) Pestilent Plague spring to mind.
    • "I'm gonna squeeze you 'til you bleed blood!"
  • Deployable Cover: Scorpio turrets have elements of this, but they're mostly for shooting things.
  • Desert Punk: The majority of this game features dry, arid deserts filled with rusted out hunks of debris and metal.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Due to this game's Random Drop system, it's extremely rare, but very possible to find weapons that possess incredible power at a low level requirement, early in the game. If you have a decent amount of luck, you can find a weapon that will tear the rest of the game apart.
    • There's multiple breeds of weapons that are disproportionately powerful for their item level, which can be incredibly deadly in the right hands: any rapid-fire weapon with a high ignite chance (fire damage seems to be at the very least partially HP-percentage-based, which renders them capable of utterly destroying Badass/boss foes regardless of level), mashers (relatively-accurate and fast-firing shotgun pistols), Anarchy submachine guns (quad-shot), the list goes on. God help your foes if you stumble across the Playthrough 2+ versions...
    • And thanks to unencrypted save files and the save file editor and gear construction kit, it is possible to construct the best possible weapons for any given level (and scale up or down weapons from early or late in the game to suit any level). Build your own Disc One Nukes.
    • Gearbox gives you one in a sidequest: the Madjack, a revolver that has crazily spinning bullets and a high ricochet chance. But that works to your advantage with distant, powerful targets: a Madjack can take out a Mulciber in just a few shots.
    • The Clipper drops from Nine-Toes, who is typically faced in first hour or two of gameplay. It has a very high rate of fire, with a chance to do fire damage with every hit.
      Marcus Guns Vending Machine: Get yourself a Maliwan, and light some people on fire!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Final Boss, which not only has a giant Vagina Dentata with an enormous tentacle inside, but also wields several other tentacles with large glowing testicles on it that you shoot until they burst.
  • Doctor's Disgraceful Demotion: One of Dr. Zed's recurring lines is about how he lost his medical license.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Played straight in that players cannot fire while running (crosshairs disappear, and taking a shot will just toggle back to walking speed), averted in that this is ignored if firing while airborne, so run-and-gun is possible by bouncing around.
  • Double Entendre: Dixie Wrecked brand moonshine and Clitz brand beer.
  • Driven to Suicide: The imagery of such an act is used for the box art, as can be seen above. Was specifically created for a striking image.
  • Dumb Muscle: Brick can barely read or write, but has strength that's best described as "rhino-like".
  • Dynamic Loading: Dynamic Loading Fail is practically guaranteed, at least for the largest areas.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The original version of the game, as seen in the trailer, was very much this. The final product less so, but it still has several combat mechanics abandoned by its sequels as well as remnants of its original self that separate it from the rest of the series.
    • The plot is sparse with few cutscenes and the overall tone of the base-game is much grimmer. "Old Haven" is the scene of a brutal massacre and wouldn't look out of place in a Fallout game.
    • The majority of quests are basic and short, with little-to-no voice-acting. It's not until The Secret Armory of General Knoxx that guest-givers talk regularly over the ECHO network and the quests themselves are more elaborate.
    • The game does not distinguish between quests that are mandatory and those that are optional in the quest-log, which can lead to a lack of direction.
    • There was a weapon-proficiency system that was dropped in favour of Badass Ranks in the sequels.
    • Revolvers get their own ammo-category, separated from Repeater Pistols. In the sequels they share the same ammo-pool as pistols.
    • You can buy ammo storage-deck upgrades with regular money instead of needing a premium currency like Eridium or Moonstones.
    • Fall Damage is in effect and you won't find a single ladder anywhere in the game.
    • The game has healing kits you can store in your inventory for later (in addition to the syringes from the later games). Why these never show up again in the later games is never explained.
    • The characters in general have a lot less, well, character than in the later games. The Vault Hunters have few traits other than being the player characters, and Mad Moxxi (who only shows up in a DLC) is just a pretty colosseum announcer, while Marcus narrates the opening and ending cutscenes and gives the players missions... And that's it. Later games would add a lot more Character Development.
  • Elemental Powers: Certain guns' bullets are Status Infliction Attacks with fire, lightning, acid... or just potentially explode.
  • Elite Mooks: Multiple, with different tiers:
  • The Engineer: Roland's ability allows him to deploy a turret.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: All the available vehicles explode fantastically when reduced to 0 hitpoints. Don't be standing next to them when that happens. Or in them.
  • Everything Fades: Played straight with enemies killed by non-elemental means. Justified with incineration and dissolving when enemies are killed with Fire or Corrosive elemental weapons, respectively.
  • Evil Laugh: Or giggles, in the case of the midget mooks in the game. Mordecai and Lilith give off a pretty good one from time to time when you score a critical. Brick ain't the only Blood Knight in this game...
  • Exploding Barrels: Exploding barrels come in four varieties: corrosive, shock, fire and, of course, explosive.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Skags will eat anything, but they vomit back up whatever they can't digest, which is why you find items in the "piles". That's what the in-game tips say, but just about every other kind enemy that tries to eat you also has "piles" laying around their habitat. Rakk are the exception — they don't have piles, but the Feeder/Bloated/Gravid etc variety have a higher probability of dropping stuff.
  • Faceless Goons: All enemies, whether bandits or Crimson Lance, invariably wear some sort of facemask to conceal their faces. This also applies to almost all of the civilians living on Pandora as well, including some of the major characters. This saved Gearbox a lot of work by not having to program in facial animation for dialogue.
  • Flash Step: Lilith's special ability allows her to step into an alternate dimension (causing an explosion that helps discourage her enemies from attacking), run quickly to her target, pop out with an energetic shockwave that stuns her foes, and then proceed to mow them all down.
  • Flavor Text: If there's a key item or a Legendary-tier/Boss drop, they will contain this.
  • Flipping the Bird: Mordecai silently flips off Marcus for the Truxican Wrestler/Dominatrix comment on the bus.
  • Fun with Acronyms: A very subtle one with the Eridian Cannon, as its description "010011110100110101000111" is a binary-encoded ASCII string for the letters "OMG" (Oh My God). (It makes a sizable explosion, leading to the aforementioned expression.)
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Sort of. Each character has at least one class mod that boosts the damage they deal with one of the four elements.
    • Roland: Shock Trooper. Boosts shock damage.
    • Mordecai: Assassin. Boosts corrosive damage.
    • Brick: Blast Master. Boosts explosive damage.
    • Lilith, being the elemental specialist she is, has three: Firefly, which boosts fire damage, Tempest, which boosts shock damage, and Plaguebearer, which boosts corrosive damage. However, the most popular class mod of the three by far is Firefly, thus making Lilith (in a way) the incendiary specialist and completing the ensemble.
  • Framing Device: Marcus telling a story to his young son (although we're never taken out of the action for it). It comes up in all the DLC's except Underdome, although Robot Revolution is puppet theater.
  • Game Mod:
    • Gearbox doesn't provide a development kit for fear of breaking what little balance the game has already, but this hasn't stopped people from creating save editors to experiment with.
    • During the early days of the game, it was possible to combine different parts of different manufacturers in order to create some crazy weapons. For example, mixing parts from The Dove (a pistol that never runs out of ammo) with parts from the Hyperion Invader (a pistol that fires its entire magazine when fired while the aim button is held down) to create a pistol that, when you fire it while aiming, never stops shooting and never runs out of ammo (until you let go of the aim button, anyway.) This, along with other related exploits, has since been patched out (it's now impossible to combine parts from different manufacturers).
    • While mixing parts from different manufacturers have been patched out, this hasn't ruled out parts from the same manufacturer. To use the Dove as an example again, it's possible to add on the Hornet weapon trait from the Dove's manufacturer, and combine it with a prefix from a shotgun and a suffix from a sniper rifle, to create a Shredder Wrath pistol that fires 3 shots with every pull of the trigger, and has a potent Corrosive elemental effect to boot. A level 25 Shredder Wrath can remain your best weapon until level 40.
    • If you really want to break the game, it's possible to creatively modify "stock" weapons (the weapons your enemies normally use if they don't spawn with a droppable weapon, which players cannot obtain without save file editing) to get weapons with no level requirement that deal damage into the millions, or even negative damage. Negative-damage weapons are extremely bizarre; they instagib anything but their damage counter reads 0... unless you hit something invincible (such as newly-spawned bosses in the Underdome) in which case the gun deals 99999 damage instead and still instantly kills your target. A similar method works on shields, rendering your character totally invincible to everything other than a stock weapon.
    • By way of its engine heritage, it is possible to use UnrealEd to create custom maps, if you're willing to modify the exe.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: If someone won't shoot at you, you can't shoot at them. They won't even notice.
  • Gas Mask Mooks:
    • Just about every human enemy save bosses wears a mask of some sort, presumably so the developers wouldn't have to animate them speaking their various taunts and cries.
    • The bandits, on closer inspection, are wearing what appear to be some sort of gas mask.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Patricia Tannis uses aviator goggles for some reason.
  • Goodies in the Toilets: Toilets can be raided, and they usually contain ammo.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Brick (Berserker). Can specialize in hand to hand combat. Keep in mind the planet is populated with gun toting road warrior type bandits and assorted monsters. Good thing Brick hits like a train.
  • Gradual Regeneration: Multiple stats regenerate this way:
    • All shields recharge gradually, the recharge time depending on which shield, some shields have an instant recharging such as Anshin's "Guerrilla", "Skirmisher" and "Ambush" lines, the "Cracked Sash" unique shield, and the Pearlescent level shields "Omega" from Atlas and "Rose" from Anshin.
    • There are several mechanics that regenerate health, the most important ones being Tediore's shields, ("Healing", "Restorative", "Panacea", and the unique reward "Wee Wee's Super Booster"), Brick's ability "Berserk" where he runs off screaming his health back, Roland and Mordecai's regeneration boosts on kill and use of the Scorpio Turret and Bloodwing, and Lilith's regeneration via Phasewalk. And, of course, the Healing Kits work this way; the Greater ones heal 300 HP over 10 seconds.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Doesn't happen often, but sometimes you can find a really good gun when searching through Dahl's deposits. Or Skag barf.
  • Groin Attack: A viable (in fact, more like necessary) tactic when facing the Crimson Lance if you don't have any Incendiary or Corrosive weapons and can't get a straight shot at their heads, since their groins lack armor.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some of the scavenger and even some of the regular missions will make you grow to hate the waypoints which can make finding certain mission-related objects confounding to say the least. Further, some missions themselves have really out-of-the-way trigger points:
    • Turns out, the waypoints for scavenger missions are placed specifically in the general area the parts can be found in. For example, if the 4 or 5 parts are found scattered about a single bandit encampment, the waypoint will likely be in the center of that encampment.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: If you let your character idle around long enough, they will start making snarky comments.
  • Gun Accessories: Scopes and bayonets and all sorts of other things. And if you want to get technical, the procedural weapon generation means the guns are basically a set of modular parts in various combinations; in other words, everything is an accessory. Considering that different parts can be the difference between a gun shooting fire or shotgun shells or having infinite ammo, this is more than a technicality.
  • Gun Porn: According to The Other Wiki entry for Borderlands, the debug menu for the game shows over three million guns (varying in stats) are available in the game. According to the devs, they stopped counting once they hit 17 million. Suddenly the commercial touting "87 bazillion guns" doesn't sound so far-fetched.
  • The Gunslinger: Every playable character can use guns and has skill trees relating to them, but Mordecai actually gets a skill tree that's called this, specifically with pistols.
  • Hand Cannon: Most of the revolvers would qualify, but mashers — revolvers that shoot seven or eight rounds per shot — are the undisputed kings. At level 50 the average masher can exceed 2,000 damage per shot (more than most rocket launchers). And God help your enemies if you get one with the very accurate Jakobs barrel... and a Dahl body with recoil reduction...
  • Healing Shiv:
    • Roland can access "Cauterize", a special ability that makes his weaponry heal allies. The text of the skill states this also works with rockets and grenades.
    "Hold still while I heal you..." BRAKKA BRAKKA BRAKKA. "There, all better."
    • The Transfusion grenade mod. A grenade that heals you by unhealing your enemies.
    • There's also a couple of weapons that do the same thing, such as Atlas's "Troll" repeater pistol and its 1HP/s regeneration rate.
  • Heroic Mime: The game dips in and out of this trope. The player characters can talk, as shown by their taunts and comments on a weapons cache discovery, but when it comes to interacting with other characters in-game or in a cutscene, they never speak.
  • Heroic Second Wind: A gameplay mechanic and part of the Borderlands universe. When your health reaches zero, the message "Fight for your life!" flashes at the screen, and you get a chance to take an enemy down with you as your vision darkens. If you do manage to kill an enemy before dying yourself, you get resurrected with minimal health and full shields, while the message "Second wind!" flashes.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Pretty much all of the player characters love dispensing death, but Brick probably takes the cake.
  • High-Voltage Death: When you kill most human enemies with electrical damage, the flesh on their head will be instantly seared off revealing their skull and occasionally one of their eyes will fly out, or a piece of their skull will break off with some of their brain flying out. This is the only game in the series with this effect, as in the later games electrified enemies simply light up like a Christmas tree and disintegrate.
  • Hot Scientist: Patricia Tannis.
  • Hulk Speak: Brick (after running out of ammunition for a gun): "Ammo. GONE!"
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • As the game starts out, you'll already be able to wear two weapons, equip a shield, a grenade mod, a class mod, carry about 1000 rounds of ammunition for all the different weapon types, three grenades, and carry twelve other items. Every playthrough allows you to find upgrades for your backpack to give about 30 more slots to carry items, and you'll be able to buy ammo storage, which will end up allowing you to hold around three thousand bullets (per weapon type) and 9 grenades.
    • Each character wears a device called a "Storage Deck", which is basically a dead-end transporter, into which they can dump practically anything. Hence why backpack upgrades are called 'SDU's. (Storage Deck Upgrades) It appears as a metal device with a glowing blue 'beam' across its surface. When playing in multiplayer, it's possible to see a teammate pull something out of it.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: One of the possible lines bandit goons will shout at you if they see you kill another bandit is "Hey! No-one shoots my buddy but me!"
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Victims of the bandits can be seen impaled on various objects in some places.
  • Impossible Item Drop:
    • Considering the millions of guns that drop from the enemies, this game laughs at your concerns for the Fridge Logic it produces. It also manages to justify it — the local wildlife will eat anything, but vomits up whatever it can't digest, for you to loot. Further, it manages to justify the finding of good stuff later — other guys took all the good stuff from the early sections and died later on.
    • Played straight when you smack down an unarmed midget and a rocket launcher bigger than he is flies out in your face. Same goes for skag piles.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline:
    • The neckline actually isn't that low for Mad Moxxi, but considering the size of her, it's still a surprise she doesn't pop out!
    • Seems to be popular with Sirens as well (Lilith and Steele).
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • Axe-wielding bandits will throw their ax at you from 100 yards away and hit you. Every time.
    • Mordecai won a sharpshooting contest with a revolver. His opponents all used sniper rifles.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Rocket Launcher that fires 3 rockets, that each split into 5 rockets, which all explode into acid? Check. Shotgun that has a spread in the shape of a smiley face? Check. Full-auto sniper rifle? You betcha.
  • I am a Humanitarian: Psychos ("Just three more steps and I got me dinner", "Hahahaha!! MORE! More meat for me!!", "It's time, for my pound of flesh! Hahahahahaha!"), as well as some normal bandits ("You gonna squeal before we cook ya?!")
  • Incendiary Exponent:
    • Lilith's Phoenix skill sets her on fire (with mostly beneficial effects...unless you are standing next to an exploding barrel), which makes any nearby enemies acquainted with the Man on Fire trope (with harmful effects).
    • How do you make a shotgun, revolver, automatic pistol, machinegun, or sniper rifle more awesome? Simple - incendiary rounds.
    • Also, Burning Psychos. Cackling insanely and trying to kill you while ON FIRE. It actually gives them immunity to fire damage to boot.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • If you find a gun made by Atlas, it will often serve as your personal Infinity Plus One Sword for a given level range.
    • The weapons go in a set range — White, Green, Blue, Purple, Yellow (aka Orange), Orange (Aka "Dark Orange"), and "Pearl" (aka "Aqua"). Still, given the right number of mods, the lower tier weapons can be much more powerful.
    • And then there are the boss weapons. It's been suggested that you can kill practically anything with Sledge's Shotgun and enough magazine size bonuses.
    • Legendary Maliwan weapons proc on basically every shot and are thus incredibly powerful, often lasting several levels. The Hellfire SMG and the Defiler revolver are by far the most famous examples of this. In fact, you can literally steamroll an entire playthrough using a low-level Hellfire.
  • Insufferable Genius: When Tannis isn't being a scatterbrained Cloudcuckoolander, she's this. She'll continually mention how she's the intellectual superior of everyone else, bombards her conversations with casual misanthropy, and never truly gives up that haughty air even when she's lost it to dating her voice recorder.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Everywhere. Especially those bollard things your vehicle can't pass between or over. One such obstacle that remains bizarrely unpatched is a large metal palette in a puddle near the bridge in Rust Commons East which a Claptrap lowers for you. Every single person who has ever played Borderlands will have crashed into it at least once, despite the fact that it looks (and was probably intended to be) easily navigable. Might be a joke on the developer's part.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Technically, it's the planet having a really bad day/night cycle (in some seasons it's day for three months straight).
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Brick can beat alien monsters, bandits with various head gear, and other things to death with his mostly bare handsnote  and not bat an eye. He even regenerates while he does it. To boot, lightning, acid, fire, or explosions erupting from Brick's fists when he has an Eridian artifact equipped don't hurt him at all.
  • Item Amplifier: The "Class Mods", which offer boosts to specific stats.
  • Jerkass: Tannis and Pierce consider you to be beneath them, and don't hesitate to let you know.
  • Kill It with Fire: The best way to deal with a lot of enemies. The Maliwan Hellfire submachine guns in particular cause a stacking fire damage-over-time effect with every shot and turn anything that's not fire resistant into a living torch in a few seconds.
    Marcus Guns Vending Machine: Get yourself a Maliwan, and light some people on fire!
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Eridian weapons:
    • They usually have a short range, long recharge time, and/or slow moving projectiles that effectively blind the person using them. Compared to human weapons, they're little more than a novelty. The icing on the cake? They also force you to move slower. The rocket launcher equivalent is even more useless than regular rocket launchers. They are, however, very useful against the Eridians themselves.
    • They also have technically unlimited ammo. While they need to recharge after a certain number of fired shots, they will never run out of ammo, which can be helpful if you find yourself in the extremly unlikely situation that you are completely out of ammo for all your guns.
    • The Eridian sniper rifles also have one very useful advantage over their kinetic counterparts: their bullets have no travel time/delay.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero:
    • Really, the point of this game is the many, many, many guns you can loot. NPCs will occasionally comment on how many things have turned up missing since you've arrived.
    Quest log: The bandit's dying wish was that his treasure not fall into the hands of the Crimson Lance. You feel duty bound to grant the man's final request by taking it for yourself.
    Random Townsperson: Have you seen my gun...?
    • It probably doesn't help that they keep their guns in unlocked boxes stored outside.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The NPCs occasionally ask you if you've seen their missing stuff.
  • Laughably Evil: Several of the villains.
  • Level Grinding: A little, but Level Scaling means it isn't very efficient. DLC, however, let you outlevel enemies by doing the DLC before going back to the plot.
  • Level Scaling: Within a particular range for each area. Finishing the second playthrough makes the range for everything on par with yours. Notably, the game's level scaling does not take the DLCs into account, so if you play them after finishing the main campaign you'll quickly find yourself vastly out-leveling the enemies. You'll likewise be highly over-leveled if you start a 2nd playthrough after finishing all the DLCs.
  • Little Useless Gun: If there's a repeater pistol in the game with no special effect, Not Enuff Dakka, and no elemental enhancement, it feels like this.
  • Lightning Gun:
    • The "Eridian Lightning" fires a hitscan bolt of pure electricity.
    • Another Eridian weapon, the Thunder Storm, fires orbs of electricity in a buckshot-like pattern.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The console versions takes over 30 seconds to load from the main menu to Fyrestone, with similar waiting times every time you travel to a new area. Hardware improvements can reduce these times, but not by much.
  • Logo Joke: the nVidia logo fails to work until a Claptrap whacks it a few times.
  • Look Both Ways: The Skag in the intro gets nailed by Marcus's bus as soon as he walks into the road, spending most of the intro stuck in the front grill.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • Running over a bandit in your vehicle will cause chunks to go flying about 35-40 meters high and rain down for several seconds. And that's not even counting the weapons with explosive or incendiary ammunition...
    • Baron Flynt's Boomstick. It drains on ammo very fast and literally has no accuracy, but get some zombies within about four feet of you, and they all die.
    • You don't even need explosive ammo to turn someone into gibs; crit significantly weaker enemies with a powerful weapon and watch the chunks fly a good 100ft into the sky. It can sometimes rain meat for 10-15 seconds after a good Boom, Headshot!.
  • Man on Fire:
    • The Burning Psychos.
    • Anybody hit with incendiary weapons.
    • Flaming Skag.
    • Flaming Spiderants.
  • The Medic: Roland has a skill tree called "Medic", and his main medic skill converts friendly fire damage to health. Yeah, he shoots people to life (see Healing Shiv above).
  • Mega-Corp:
    • Every gun manufacturer seems to have spinoff products scattered around the world. Atlas is the current leader, with control of the Echo network and commerce grid, but Dahl's insignia shows up everywhere. Jakobs seems to have a prefab housing division, just for starters...
    • Dahl Corporation seems to have run the mining firm on Pandora, but they had to quickly evacuate once the Crimson Lance rolled in.
    • Jakobs also has a company town built around a lumber mill in the DLC. It harvests wood for their guns. In fact. EVERYTHING is wood. Its Claptraps are wood. Its vending machines are wood.
    • Hyperion, one of the rarer manufacturers, owns everything from the Claptraps to the New-U stations to the satellite 4N631, which the Guardian Angel is apparently transmitting from. Atlas is the most famous, but Hyperion keeps Pandora running...
  • Mood Whiplash: For the most part the game plays its Crapsack World for laughs, but once in a while...
  • More Criminals Than Targets: Let's just say the raider population outnumbers the non-raider population. It's even been mentioned that the gang Scooter once was a part of had some fights with another gang, so presumably even raiders will get to the point where they have to raid other raiders.
  • More Dakka:
    • Roland can summon a turret to add more firepower. And upgrade it through his skill trees for even MORE dakka, as well as guided missiles. And then we get into the guns themselves...
      • His "Metal Storm" skill increases rate of fire and accuracy for a few seconds after killing an enemy.
    • A Double Anarchy (each bullet fires as four) SMG with bonuses to fire speed and magazine size can put hundreds of rounds downrange in seconds...
    • Vladof guns feature high rates of fire, and usually a large magazine to boot.
    "Vladof! You don't need to be a better shot, you just need to shoot more bullets."
    • S&S guns have even bigger magazines than Vladof, but their machine guns tend to fire relatively slowly.
    • "The Meat Grinder" Combat Rifle. It has a skill that increases its fire rate when you kill stuff with it.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mad Moxxi.
  • Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: The game states quite often in the loading screen messages that playing with other people increases the game's difficulty but also increases the loot quality that drops.
  • New Game+: Beat the game, then start a new run of the campaign with tougher enemies and your old guns!
  • Nice Hat: Mad Moxxi's hat.
  • Noisy Guns: Everything but Eridian weapons and rocket launchers need to be cocked.
  • No Kill Like Overkill:
    • One headshot not enough? How about a sniper rifle that shoots six bullets at once?
    • There's quite a few examples of guns that just love this trope on this page already.
    • Do the sidequests, get some levels, and then go back to Fyrestone on your first playthrough. Gibs galore!
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The Claptraps.
  • No OSHA Compliance: We've lost count of all the narrow catwalks with broken or or absent safety rails.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The game certainly took a minimalist approach to storytelling. Most quests are told entirely through text descriptions when you accept them and turn them in, with story quests getting the occasional chunk of spoken dialog. What little plot there is can hardly be called complex. Still, the developers clearly did something right, because the game was popular enough to get four DLCs and multiple sequels, all of which integrated more plot into them.
  • Odd Name Out: All but one of Dahl's Legendary weapons are named after threatening animals, with examples including the Hornet repeater, the Anaconda revolver, and the Bulldog shotgun. The exception is the Penetrator sniper rifle.
  • One-Hit Kill: The selling point of Jakobs-brand guns (particularly their Sniper Rifles)
    Marcus: "If it took more than one shot, you weren't using a Jakobs!"
  • One-Man Army: If you're playing solo. To get the "I Am Become Death" challenge you'll have to kill ten thousand enemies.
  • One-Wheeled Wonder: Claptrap is a roughly half-human-height robot that gets around this way.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile:
    • Launchers, some Eridian guns, and occasionally sniper rifles. All guns have a velocity stat (which you can't see), but normally it's short enough range and a fast enough bullet to not matter.
    • Lilith also has a skill that mitigates this, by upping said velocity stat. Which makes a Maliwan Rhino (Elemental rocket launcher that explodes over and over until hitting its target) practically useless because it explodes fewer times before hitting its target when its velocity is increased.
    • "Cold" machine pistols have this as their gimmick: they tend to be very powerful, but their bullets take their sweet time hitting the enemy.
    • Stomper rifles trade high damage and generally good stats for lower bullet speed.
  • Palette Swap: You can change your character's colours, so don't be surprised to see two Bricks standing next to each other, one in black and the other wearing bright pink.
  • Personal Space Invader: Played straight by 99% of Pandora's wildlife, which just loves to leap at you in an attempt to gnaw your face off.
  • Pink Mist: Any headshot with a significantly powerful gun and/or significantly lower-leveled enemy. Special mention goes to the Boomstick, which people often discard after the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere battle. It may not look like much, but point it at some zombies that get too close to you... and they are reduced to Ludicrous Gibs and Bloody Hilarious green mist that put the Masher or a blasting pistol to shame.
  • Pocket Rocket Launcher: Carnage shotguns fire a (usually) high-explosive rocket.
  • Post-Mortem One-Liner: Kill anyone with a Critical hit and your character will happily say one. Also happens after killing a Badass enemy.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol:
    • A repeater pistol can spawn with surprisingly high damage per bullet, even without getting the damage-boosting "Raptor" prefix.
    • The legendary Firehawk pistol is one hell of an example, pun intended. Its elemental multiplier is not the x4 the weapon card says - it's x6. And it's always guaranteed to proc, so firing repeated shots without as much elemental tech behind them is still a valid tactic that'll roast the target, whatever it may be.
    • "Law" revolvers are meant to be used as this. They don't have quite the power of the regular Hand Cannon revolver, but they fire fast and typically reload just as quickly. A Tediore Law often isn't up to snuff as a primary weapon, but makes for a formidable sidearm.
  • Rage Helm: The psychos' masks give off this impression, with the inverted V and the shape of the eyes.
  • Random Drop: Said to be the system for gun drops, though with a supposed over 17 million possibilities, you'll probably be able to find something cool in general.
    • Rare Random Drop: the Pearlescents and Legendaries.
    • Randomly Generated Loot: The game uses a system where its equipment (guns, class mods, shields, grenade mods and, in the sequel, artifacts) is built up from randomly chosen parts which have different traits (although the player can only see this in the stats and the unique model this produces). It also has several manufacturers, who all have their own unique gun textures and special effects.
  • Rated M for Manly: Borderlands is for Real Gamers.
  • Real Is Brown: In the first game, all the deserts and generic badlands and trash piles. As the game progresses, things get more varied, particularly in the Eridian ruins. The "Rust Commons East" and "Trash Coast" levels have lots of green scrub brush, and the final few areas completely break from the previous general color palette, complete with an overgrown ruin and a mountain range in the middle of a snowstorm.
    Speaker: Our artists did a lot of research; they found out there's actually some other colors in the palette.
  • Recursive Ammo: The MIRV, Bouncing Betty, and Rain grenade mods, as well as some rare guns.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Health can normally only be regenerated by health kits (which eat up precious inventory space) or vials dropped by killed enemies (which is incredibly random and inconsistent). Healing shields and Life Drain grenades are available, but are relatively rare and entirely random as to whether you'll find a level-appropriate one. Brick gets regenerating health as a base part of his powers, while Lilith and Mordecai can upgrade their powers to regenerate their health by level 11. Roland doesn't get reliable health regeneration until level 26 (his turret can restore health at level 6, but the cooldown is so long that this method is too inconsistent for regular use), and his version is reliant on killing enemies, unlike Brick and Lilith's (which are passive) and Mordecai's (which steals health and thus still works on bosses and solo enemies).
  • Respawning Enemies: Taken Up to Eleven. Even the bosses respawn if you leave the area and return. Sometimes, the enemies will respawn while you're still in the area! This still occurs in the sequel, and the Pre-Sequel.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better:
    • The designers certainly seem to think so. Revolver pistols, revolver shotguns, revolver sniper rifles, revolver rocket launchers, in six shot, three shot, two shot, side-gate, cylinder swapping, break-open with speed loaders... almost every gun with under 8 rounds per reload. This may be because revolvers do not eject shells, and would thus be preferred in zero-gravity environments.
    • It's hard not to like a Revolver with the name Bloody Justice (Unless it does shitty damage or has a ludicrously low ammo count.) or Raw Law.
    • Not just 'up to 8', there is at least one revolver-style shotgun that holds 20. Although the reload animation doesn't seem to be entirely accurate for it.
  • Robot Buddy:
  • Rocket Jump: Rocket launchers don't appear to have enough knockback, but grenades still work. Alternatively, you can get a friend to launch you using Sledge's shotgun.
  • RPG Elements: You'll need levels to utilize better equipment and have more health to survive against harder enemies — plus there's those nifty skill trees.
  • RPGs Equal Combat: Played straight. The only ways to obtain XP and level up are killing enemies and completing quests.
  • Rule of Funny: Is there a pop-culture reference, inappropriate joke, or neurosis that can be played for laughs? It goes in the game!
  • Sarcasm Mode: Some of Mordecai's lines when standing still. You know, now that you mention it, I DO love to stand around and do nothing!
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: At the beginning of the game, the four possible player characters (Mordecai the Hunter, Roland the Soldier, Lilith the Siren, and Brick the Berserker) are all riding into town together on a bus. Once you choose which of the four you are playing, you won't see the other three until the finale (unless you are playing multiplayer), but they are all present as comrade NPCs in the sequel.
  • Screaming Warrior: Brick becomes this whenever he uses his Action Skill, to either annoying or hilarious effect. Also, the various Psychos.
  • Self-Made Orphan: This line, randomly spoken by Psychos upon spotting the player
    Psycho: You remind me of my mother. I ate my mother.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Used for the Boss Subtitles of the Player Characters in the opening cutscene for the game:
    Brick - As himself
  • Shock and Awe: Any use of lightning elemental weapons
    "Maliwan guns shoot more lightning than the next leading competitor!"
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon:
    • The elephant gun, an otherwise top of the line sniper rifle that lacks any sort of scope, making it useless at the long range you usually use snipers for.
    • Inverted with the Jakobs Striker Shotguns. They have a mod called "Sniper Rifles are for Chumps" that increases accuracy, and if you're lucky enough to find one with a scope, you're likely going to be killing everything with scoped headshots. Too bad it's not exactly the most stable weapon out there, making it hard to actually aim with.
    • The Gamble series of sniper rifles have decreased accuracy, so they aren't very useful at a long range, but they've got a lot of power. In fact, it's impossible to increase the accuracy of a Gamble with COMs, unlike other sniper rifles.
    • You can, of course, use your sniper rifle as a sidearm, especially if it's got a fast rate of fire (i.e. made by Vladof).
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • Zig-zagged. While there are shotguns that are specifically close-range weapons with pitiful accuracy and a ridiculous spreadlist , there are also quite a few shotguns that can be created with longer barrels that are more accurate, for a more realistic distance — some of them even have attached scopes, which can actually be put to use effectively. Interestingly, they're often even more effective in close-range than the really inaccurate ones with higher base damage, since it's easier to put more pellets on a Critical Hit spot. Also, as your shotgun proficiencies increase, it decreases the pellet spread.
    • One example that's almost an exaggeration is Sledge's Shotgun. It's a two-shot shotgun that fires twice in a quick burst, has a range of literally four or five feet, and has a spread only about twenty degrees shy of being able to shoot sideways. Anything in the shot cone vanishes; what isn't disintegrated is knocked back a fair distance. It's one of the only three guns in the game that can (and will always) have 0.00 accuracy; the other two are The Chopper and The Boomstick, which are both shotguns of a sort — except the Chopper shoots 18 machinegun rounds per second, and the Boomstick fires rockets.
    • Masher revolvers fire several pellets per round. They tend to be more accurate than your average shotgun.
    • On the extreme other end of the scale is the Legendary Skullmasher. It's a sniper rifle that fires 5 pellets per bullet, close enough to put all of them on someone's head reliably in almost any situation.
  • Shout-Out: So very, very many that they have their own page.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Pandora looks like an entirely desertic planet littered with trash; it makes the "dark forest" environments of The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned seem very out of place.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Idealism got shot in the face with a Double Anarchy. Unless you are the Vault Hunters, which in this case means it is looting season and it is time to strike it rich.
  • Sniper Pistol: Both Repeater Pistols and Revolvers can sometimes come equipped with a scope. Even better and more reasonable if it's made by Hyperion (although the company doesn't make revolvers).
  • Sniper Rifle:
    • Oodles of them. Interestingly, none of them are perfectly accurate (with one exception) – when you aim, the scope has a circle in the center showing where the bullet may hit, which gets smaller with higher accuracy ratings (98 or higher is almost pinpoint). There are a few special examples, too:
    • Gamble rifles have very poor accuracy for a sniper (around 85), in exchange for more base damage.
    • The exception mentioned above is the Jakobs Bessie, an ultra-rare Pearlescent sniper. It's the only sniper rifle in the entire game with no spread when scoped in.
    • Two unique sniper rifles always spawn without scopes: the Whitting's Elephant Gun, a pump-action with a massive damage boost compared to snipers of equal level, and the semi-auto Gearbox Rider, that behaves more like a battle rifle than a sniper
  • Sniper Scope Sway: All sniper rifles have different amounts of sway as a hidden attribute of sorts: it can be reduced by crouching and certain class skills.
  • Space Western: Lawless deserts overrun by outlaws, scattered outposts of decent people, oppressive but distant rich powers, and glory-seeking treasure hunters. Plus, revolvers, everywhere.
  • Special Attack: All the PC characters have them and several enemy characters seem to have them as well.
  • Status Effects: Fire is Burn (continuous damage), Corrode is Poison (continuous damage, other attacks do more damage and can spread to nearby enemies), Shock is like Fire but weaker (except against shields), Daze is Slow (though it's so powerful it verges on Paralysis), and Explosion/Blast increases power and does Splash Damage. Most trigger on a Critical Hit.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Barrels, Fuel tanks, vehicles, rockets, grenades, any weapon with the Blast element — quite a few things go boom, but the most memorable example is probably the Rakk Hive. After you kill it, it falls over like any other enemy. A few seconds later, it explodes for no apparent reason. If you look closely after it explodes, it's still breathing.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Among the 87 bazillion guns you can find in the game, you'll be very hard-pressed to find one with a good combo of damage and accuracy alone, let alone more specific factors like elemental effects and zoom in the case of sniper rifles. Don't be surprised when you realize you're treating all white-titled guns like Vendor Trash.
  • Take That!: An IGN exclusive shows a Gearbox executive literally attacking everyone who complained about this game.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Psychos will randomly yank out grenades if the player ignores them for too long/they have low health. They're extremely annoying — they will put you into Fight For Your Life (see just below) with no one around to shoot and recover, even if you have a shield that doesn't suck.
    • The player can do a version of this. When the character runs out of health, they don't die immediately; instead, they collapse on the spot and have a few seconds while they bleed out, during which they can still fire their equipped weapons (as if they'd been to the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, mind you). If the player gets a kill in this time, they regain a small amount of health and can continue on.
  • Theme Naming: A lot of names of deities and places from Classical Mythology pop up:
    • The most obvious example would be Pandora itself.
    • The planet Promethea, named after Prometheus, mentioned in the main game and The Secret Armory of General Knoxx.
    • Hyperion and Atlas are the names of two of the Titans in Greek mythology.
  • Thick-Line Animation: Used effectively to add to the comic book feel.
  • Trick Bomb: There are various mods that can be attached to your grenades to turn them into sticky bombs or Bouncing Betties, make them do fire or lightning or acid damage instead of simply exploding, cause them to throw off cluster bomblets or teleport to their target...
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The frantic shooter action sometimes pauses for a jumping puzzle.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Normal weapons (most of the time), melee weapons, and shields cannot be collected from enemies.
  • Universal Ammunition: While there are seperate ammunition categories (sniper rifle, combat rifle, rockets, etc.), the numberable variations within the types still use the same ammo... even if that shotgun variation happens to shoot rockets or fire, and such. Or rockets that explode into fire.
  • Updated Re Release: Borderlands GOTY: Enhanced, released shortly before the release of Borderlands 3, is an updated version of the game with subtly improved graphics (including redone high-res textures and improved lighting), a significantly expanded cosmetic character customization system similar to that in the later games, a number of quality of life tweaks for modern systems (such as customizable FOV and anti-aliasing), and some changes to the menus and U.I. that make it slightly closer to that of the later games (such as the inventory now being fully visual instead of a text list, and adding a mini-map to the HUD).
  • Used Future: There's not much left on Pandora except guns and rusty metal sheets. The inhabitants make do.
  • Vendor Trash: Almost anything with "Cheap", "Surplus", "Weaksauce", "Plywood", or "Rusty" in its name, or simply a white titlenote , qualifies. At high levels, even otherwise good guns that are Overshadowed by Awesome fit the trope. See Sturgeon's Law above for more.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The elemental weapons are an example in themselves, burning with acid or fire, or shocking enemies.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: You shoot anything that gets in your way, which is just about everything.
  • Viral Unlockable: The trophy/achievement "And They'll Tell Two Friends", which is earned by playing co-op with either a Gearbox employee or another player who has it.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Warp Whistle: The Fast Travel Stations can be used to fast travel to some of the already discovered New-U stations, after you finish a quest to get the system working again.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The New-U stations scattered across Pandora allow players to revive by paying a small fee.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Everything and everyone that can talk has an extremely limited number of lines to tell, be it the protagonists, enemies or vending machines. While listening to the player characters' combat boasts usually remains entertaining for quite some time, having to listen to Marcus' cheap sales pitches every single time you access his machines might give rise to an irresistable urge to smash your controller into your speakers.
  • World Gone Mad: Pandora is a Death World, its inhabitants are either bandits, psychos or wild fauna out for your blood, and the number one rule to survive is "kill anything that moves and isn't helping you doing the killing".
  • Wretched Hive: The entire planet of Pandora.
  • Your Head A-Splode: There's a whole lot of asploding in this game:
    • Tag an enemy in the head with a sniper rifle. Presto! What head?
    • Get a rifle with enough damage and your entire freakin' body asplode.
    • ...Or just get Brick angry enough to punch a raider to make instant raider puree!
    • Or just get an Explosive Artifact upgrade for your character's special move or a gun that does Explosive element damage. Chances are SOMETHING on your foes will asplode.

    Main game 
  • Action Bomb: Psychos can switch their hatchets with a grenade, after which they blow themselves up.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: The mission "Dumpster Diving for Great Justice" in New Haven has you searching around for something "of great value" to a man that his wife threw away in a rage (read: dirty magazines). Picking them up, they say "Ugh! Some of the pages are stuck together." The guy tells you to not ask when you turn the mission in. Even worse is when he pays you for the job. He says "Don't worry if the money is damp, I just washed my hands."
  • Airborne Mook: Rakks, annoying bird-bat-like creatures that come in swarms, fly around and divebomb you, usually in packs. Thankfully, they (usually) have very low health.
  • All There in the Manual: Most of the characters back stories are told in the game's guide, like how Krom and Baron Flynt used to be wardens on Pandora before becoming bandit leaders, etc.
  • An Axe to Grind: Various types of Psychos, and Dr. Zed, wield axes with circular saws at the end. They'll even throw them at you if they can't get close enough for melee attacks.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Tannis' set of journals, somewhat. They detail Dahl's abandonment of her project and her Played for Laughs Sanity Slippage, culminating in the skags picking off her research team.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Rakk Hive, Mothrakk, Skagzilla, Helob, Widowmaker, Rakkanishu.
  • A Winner Is You: The Guardian says it will be another 200 years before the Vault opens again, and instead to turn the key in to Tannis for a cash reward. Claptrap turns evil. Roll credits.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Judging by her personal logs, Dahl Corporation scientist Patricia Tannis is equal parts this and Cloudcuckoolander, laughing to herself as she fed her colleagues to skags after they died. She even dated the recorder she used for the logs, though they broke up.
    • Also the majority of the bandits, and at least two of the player characters.
      • The enemies with the label "psycho" pretty much take the cake, though; they went insane with a freakish obsession for the Vault after a Vault key was found in Headstone Mine.
  • Berserk Button: Scooter doesn't like it when people blow up, crash, and otherwise wreck his runners, or when they sleep with his mom.
  • BFS: Hanz, one of Baron Flynt's bodyguards, has one.
  • The Baroness: Commandant Steele, who even comes with an over-the-top Boer accent.
  • Big Bad: The Atlas Corporation, specifically Commandant Steele and her Crimson Lance forces.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Vault Hunters come to Pandora looking for riches, and in the end they end up with only a fraction of their original intents. Sure, they (are somewhat forced to) stop a centuries-old evil, and are probably millionaires just from the loot they've found along the way, but still.
  • Border Patrol: If the limits of an area aren't determined by cliffs or walls, then there will be turret towers stopping you from going too far.
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    Bandit: Hold on! Rape is such a strong word. I liked to think of it as. Well, uh... you see... Nope! It's rape alright! Carry on!
    • Also:
    A Claptrap: I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed. A guy finally gets a break from all the shooting and raping. Oh yes, these are desperate men.
  • Boss Subtitles: Even the main characters get one.
    • Mordecai as the "Hunter"
    • Lilith as the "Siren"
    • Roland as the "Soldier"
    • and Brick as "Himself!"
    • Sledge. P.S. YOU GUYS AREN'T FRIENDS.
    • Nine-Toes. Also, he has three balls.
    • Baron Flynt. That's medicinal. It's a reference to Woody Harrelson, who played Larry Flynt in the film, and is known to be a proponent of a certain smokable herb.
    • The player characters have differing ones in the PC Launch Trailer. Brick is "Ballnormous", Roland is "Swashbucklerous", Mordecai is "Suavemaculant", and Lilith is "Hot".
    • CL4P-TP. INTERPLANETARY NINJA ASSASSIN.
  • Bullfight Boss: Alpha Skag, and especially Skagzilla. they have thick front armor and a charge attack, so jumping out of the way and shooting their backs is the easiest way to defeat them. Corrosive weapons or a critical hit, however, are more efficient.
  • Cain and Abel: Jaynis and Taylor Kobb. Actually subverted, as once Jaynis is killed and Taylor takes control of his town, he proves to be just as bad as his brother.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: The vault is Real After All, but there's no treasure in it; just Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • Cargo Ship: invoked As part of her descent into Cloudcuckooland, Patricia Tannis dates her voice recorder. She gets into fights with it. And then they decide to remain friends.
  • The Chew Toy: In-universe, Claptraps. The Fyrestone Claptrap notes that the local bandits like to use them for target practice. This eventually came to bite everyone in the ass, as his disgust at the treatment his kind endures provoked the titular Robot Revolution of Claptrap's New Robot Revolution.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Patricia Tannis. Her Boss Subtitles in Claptrap's New Robot Revolution comes with a background that has screws and baseballs on it while pausing on her holding a Brain in a Jar.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: The Voice goes nuts towards the end of the game.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: The shield "Wee Wee's Super Booster" has "Very quick Health Regeneration!", while Tediore's Panacea shields have "Quick Health Regeneration!". The "Very" on the former implies that it's even faster than a Panacea, but it's actually exactly the same speed of healing.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Taylor Kobb apparently puts armed midgets in storage containers (complete with beds and toilets) in case he has a sudden need to betray someone.
  • Deadly Doctor: "Dr." Zed. His first appearance gives him a small cutscene with Boss Subtitles for him, pausing before he strikes down on a corpse he is about to chop up. He explicitly states he's lost his license when first meeting him and his medical machines occasionally say in his voice "Who needs a real doctor when you've got my machines and their scary needles?".
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Helena Pierce's role in the story was scaled back a lot after the game had a drastic visual overhaul. (For starters, she's prominently featured in the pre-comic book style game trailer.) Now, she's just a minor NPC you only meet halfway through the game, doing the occasional quest for.
    • The inverse happened to Patricia Tannis, who wasn't even mentioned at all in the trailer, and features a lot more than Pierce and actively helps you with your quest.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Final Boss is a giant Cthulhu-like monster complete with tentacles, giant gaping maw, and a massive eye that shoots energy beams. The character is armed with ballistic weapons and maybe some alien weapons you found. And if you're Brick, you can literally punch it out too. Though Justified, since the Guardian Angel tells you it can be hurt because it's not in its own dimension.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Baron Flynt, leader of Pandora's bandit hordes. His death sets up the climax of the main game.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: After fighting through an entire world full of nasty monsters, brutal thugs, and vicious soldiers, you finally reach the Vault and find... another monster. Angel even admits she played you, for the sake of the well-being of the galaxy...
  • Early-Bird Boss: Sledge can be this. You must fight him before finishing the first act proper and chances are you won't have found really good guns, or have the best skills available, by the time you have to deal with him, his high health pool and nasty shotgun.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Eridians show up briefly in an early sidequest at the Dahl Headlands level, but you don't actually learn who or what they are until the finale.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The vault actually contains this. See Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? above.
  • The Engineer: The Crimson Lance Engineers can deploy turrets.
  • Expy: Multiple:
  • Fetch Quest:
    • The levels "Arid Badlands", "Sledge's Safe House", "The Lost Cave", "New Haven", "Tetanus Warren", "Crazy Earl's Scrapyard", "Krom's Canyon", "Trash Coast", "Old Haven", "Salt Flats" and "Crimson Fastness" feature a mission where you need to fetch a repair kit for a damaged Claptrap. As a reward, you get one or two Storage Deck Upgrades.
    • "Fix'er Upper" requires you to fetch a power unit for the Med Station at Zed's location in Fyrestone.
    • "T.K.'s Food" requires you to retrieve four food bags for T.K. Baha from the Skags, while the mission "T.K.'s Life And Limb" requires you to kill a skag called Scar in Skag Gully and retrieve T.K.'s leg, and "By The Seeds Of Your Pants" requires you to travel back to Skag Gully and collect eight Bladeflower Seeds.
    • "Bone Head's Theft" requires you to kill the titular character and retrieve the Digistruct module he stole from the Catch-A-Ride station.
    • There are several missions that involve getting ECHO recordings, such as "Why Are They Here?" and Patricia Tannis's "Hidden Journals" missions.
    • Other missions require you to collect some form of MacGuffin: "Shock Crystal Harvest" requires you to collect these crystals from the Lost Cave (the reward being a Shock Artifact for your character's ability).
    • And others (the Scavenger missions) require you to collect weapon parts in order to get a weapon as a reward.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: If the player dies in the tutorial area, before, or immediately after, activating the New-U Station, they're revived and placed at the point where they left the bus, but still get a financial loss and message like they actually used a New-U Station, even though they actually didn't. The New-U station doesn't act as the checkpoint for loading into the game, either. The one inside Fyrestone proper is the first one that does that.
  • Giant Mook: The Bruiser, a heavily-muscled, shirtless bandit with a mohawk, a surgical mask, and a truckload of health. Their Badass variant is even bigger, has even more health, wears a mask adorned with Spikes of Villainy, and has Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • The Bleeder, whatever the hell that thing is supposed to be, there is no indication in the sidequest that you encounter it that it is anything BUT a an ordinary Scythid.
    • One of the challenge achievements for killing the Guardians in the "Dahl Headlands" level is titled "What is this thing?", as if to lampshade the sheer absurdity of the situation. It's explained by the Guardian Angel afterwards, but still.
    • The finale. All of it. There isn't a huge vault, but an interdimensional monstrosity.
  • Gladiator Subquest:
    • The "Circle of Death" series of missions at the "Arid Badlands" level pits you against three waves of powerful Skags.
    • The "Circle of Slaughter" series at the "Rust Commons West" level pits you against three waves of Bandits.
  • Glass Cannon: The Eridians are extremely powerful, but have very low defense and health. They do, however, have extremely powerful shields.
  • Hub Level:
    • The main game has initially the "Arid Badlands", which are connected to six levels: "Skag Gully", "Arid Hills", "Lost Caverns", "Headstone Mine" and finally "Dahl Headlands", as well as the Deathmatch arena "Fyrestone's Collisseum".
    • "New Haven" subverts this: it's the main center of most of the game, where most missions are acquired and the main NPCs are found, but most of the action happens in the "Rust Commons East" and "Rust Commons West" levels, which, in addition to their several interconnections, are connected to a lot of areas: "West" is connected to "Dahl Headlands", "New Haven", "Crazy Earl's Scrapyard" and "Treacher's Landing", as well as the multiplayer arena "The Cesspool"; and "East" is connected to "Trash Coast", "Krom's Canyon", "Old Haven" and "Salt Flats".
    • Finally, "Salt Flats" is connected to "Rust Commons East", "The Backdoor", "Crimson Enclave" and "The Descent", as well as the multiplayer arena "The Devil's Footstool".
  • Hulk Speak: Sledge speaks this way.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:** The Crimson Lance did the same to the bandits lured to "Old Haven".
  • Karmic Death: Commander Steele.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Very little characterization is given to Krom, one of the bosses, except that he is apparently pretty bad and that he stabbed Crazy Earl twice, so in his pre-fight cutscene he shoots a tiny cowering Claptrap off of a bridge just to be a dick.
    • Additionally, Tannis says about Baron Flynt: "After he left he took the artifact and punched my dog... Which was the last piece of the Key to the Vault. The artifact, not my dog".
  • King Mook:
    • Nine-Toes, little more than a stronger bandit.
    • In Tetanus Warren, there is a boss enemy called King Wee Wee, a midget.
  • King of Thieves: Baron Flynt commands an army of thugs comprised of the mooks and bosses the players fight through over the course of the story. He makes his home base inside of a giant heavily-guarded excavator patrolled by goons in buggies. His unique weapon is the Boom Stick, a rocket-firing shotgun.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "New Haven", Scooter tells you his concerns about joyriders taking his Runners and smashing them all to hell. Given how most players probably use them with reckless abandon, he asks if you knew anything about it.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: The Crimson Lance who work for the Atlas Corp. It's hinted they've gone somewhat rogue, however.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Marcus does this at the beginning of the game as you're getting off the bus, saying that "We'll be doing this again soon enough".
    • Also, the writings in Tannis' cell at "Crimson Fastness" imply the second playthrough as well.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Sledge is deceptively fast for his size, especially since, at first, he seems to use the slow "Bruiser" fighting style. This is especially noticeable if you try to fight him with a scoped weapon (don't aim for the head — his helmet blocks out all crit damage — unless you can reliably hit his red eyeslit) and find that he's always closing the distance to you much quicker than he should. He attacks rather fast, especially if you back into a corner.
    • Skagzilla — its huge size compliments all its standard-issue Skag melee attacks quite well.
  • MacGuffin: The Vault Keys.
  • MacGuffin Location: The Vault or more specifically everything that you are told would be in it.
  • Meaningful Name: Some of the Eridians are called Arch Guardians, and arches are prominent architectural choices in their design. Even the Vault door is an arch.
  • Medium Blending: The Guardian Angel's transmissions are comprised of live action footage, albeit with heavy post-processing.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: There isn't a single human female NPC that you kill anywhere in the main game.
  • Misplaced Sorrow: You often get this reaction from NPCs when you break bad news to them. For example, when you tell Scooter that T.K. is dead, he angrily laments that he never returned his tools.
  • Money for Nothing: Money is very critical within the first and second area, but by the time you reach the Dahl Headlands, you will be either selling more than spending or just keep farming for money found in lockers. Even though the money display caps off at $9,999,999, you can still get even more money beyond the display. It's not necessarily a good thing: earn enough cash and you'll trigger an integer overflow, giving you billions of negative dollars until you earn your way out of the supposed debt or die (which resets your wallet to 0).
  • Monster Arena:
    • The "Circle of Death" arena in the "Arid Badlands" level.
    • The "Circle of Slaughter" arena in the "Rust Commons West" level.
  • Mood Whiplash: For example, in the first game area, there's a friendly blind-and-crippled Cloudcuckoolander questgiver. Later you're given a quest to go check on the guy. That should be fun, right? Oh, look, he's not in his porch chair. Must be inside his shack, let's go check — oh, there he is, hung by his one good leg from a turning ceiling fan, with his neck cut and loads of blood all around.
  • Mook Maker: The Rakk Hive.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: In one of Scooter's quests, he wants you to save Lucky from being killed by bandits so that Scooter can kill him later on for 'ruining his momma's girl parts'. In The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, he actually gets around to doing so, and threatens to bury you next to him if you don't treat his mom right.
    Scooter: Don't act all surprised, I told you I was gonna do it!
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Helena Pierce is the most serious, less snarker of the characters in New Haven.
    • Dr. Zed, to a much lesser degree.
  • Permanently Missable Content: King Wee Wee's shield didn't respawn in the original version.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Nine Toes; "You woke the wrong dog." Subverted story-wise, as he's the one who gets his ass kicked; gameplay-wise, it's played straight if you're not careful.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Crimson Lance form Atlas's private army. They're well-trained, heavily armed (with uncommon weapons or higher rarity ones) and they can pose a big threat to you if you're not careful.
  • The Reveal: The Vault isn't an armory of alien weaponry, it's a prison the Eridians built to keep the Destroyer from destroying the universe.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Jed "Reaver" Stokely, the subject of a set of missions between New Haven and Krom's Canyon, who killed his father after the latter disapproved of him going bandit.
  • The Stinger: A Hyperion satellite is discovered. Later, cue CL4P-TP: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin! Later subverted, as this sets the stage for Claptrap's New Robot Revolution.
  • Third-Person Person: Sledge, the (not particularly bright) bandit leader, will shout at you in this style as you fight him. "Think you can beat Sledge? Nuh uh! Sledge too smart for you!"
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Roland is known to say "Critical, Bitch!"
  • Tiered by Name: the game prefixes its upgraded enemies with "Badass", then "Badmutha", and finally "Superbad" as player progresses through levels of New Game+.
  • Token Minority: Roland is the only black character (there are some Faceless Goons that make their ethnicity unclear...), Lilith follows The Smurfette Principle for the playable characters. However, the sequel reveals that Mordecai is Hispanic, averting this trope.
  • Too Much Information:
    • From T.K. Baha:
    "I uh, I hate to send you away, you're great company and all... but I, I gotta go take a dump. I gotta take a dump something awful! Something real awful! Oh.. never mind... it's gone now."
    • Nine-Toes: Also, he has three balls.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Crazy Earl loves him some Canned Skag Meat. He claims it's for his pet Skag.
  • Vagina Dentata: The Rakk Hive. The official strategy guide lampshades this by talking only about the censorship of its mouth in the image.
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: When you reach "New Haven", you can find Dr. Zed's Claptrap assistant running around all over the place. He stops at the medical vending machine and pounds on it, frustrated that it isn't working. The vending machine works just fine for the player.
  • Violence Is the Only Option:
    • Lampshaded when the player is requested to find Reaver (a bandit who killed his father shortly before joining up with Krom's crew) — the player's idea of discipline is blasting his balls off; the mission giver (his uncle) is distraught.
    • Likewise, a bounty quest in "New Haven" has you searching for a woman's husband and son. When you find them, the son has killed the husband and then turns on you. Killing him is your only option. When you turn the bounty in, you explain everything that happened. It's a lot for her to take in, but she understands that killing her son was probably the best course of action for you to take anyway. She also says that she wishes to never hear from you ever again.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The Guardian Angel.
  • Weapon Jr.: The opening cutscene shows a picture of the Player Characters as children; Mordecai has a slingshot, Lilith has a bubble wand, Brick has a glove, and Roland...has a map (although he does wear an approximation of the armour he wears as an adult).
  • Wham Episode: You wouldn't think that a game with an Excuse Plot would have one, but after you kill Baron Flynt, the Crimson Lance suddenly invade Pandora with the intent to both conquer it and claim the Vault for their own uses, Tannis is revealed to have a (partially) unwilling asset to them, and Sanctuary, one of the last thriving settlements on Pandora, is forcibly occupied. Oh, and the Eridians turn out to be still alive, and they are pissed.
  • Your Mom: As the special thanks section rolls up during the credits, one of the developers says this for his special thanks.

    The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned 
  • Action Bomb: The Suicide Zombies.
  • Airborne Mook: Corpse Eaters, annoying crow-bat-like creatures that come in swarms, fly around and divebomb you, usually in packs. Thankfully, they (usually) have very low health.
  • Antagonist Title: You fight the titular character at the end of the DLC.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Hank Reiss' ECHO recordings detail the events of the zombie outbreak in Jakobs Cove.
  • Affably Evil: Dr. Ned. He just wants to sit in bed with his comfy slippers... and make horrible undead monstrosities.
  • Badass Preacher: One of the adventurers who tried to stop the Zombie Apocalypse at Jakobs Cove was Father Jackie O'Callahan! He kicked zombie arse with the best of them, but wound up turned into a wereskag after getting "nicked in the neck" by Hank Reiss.
  • Body Horror:
  • Border Patrol: In addition to cliffs and walls, Jakobs Cove and Generally Hospital have turret towers that shoot anybody trying to venture too far.
  • Boss Subtitles:
    • At the beginning of the DLC: Dr. Ned "(I'M HELPING!)"
    • Hank Reiss: WERESKAG (Nice Hat!)
    • At the end of the DLC: Dr. Ned (turns out he's a bad guy... who knew?)
    • Undead Ned. HOLY F*#KING SHIT!!!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • One of the side-quests given to you by Dr. Ned has him wondering in the description about his status as an NPC and not a villain. He actually turns out to be the villain.
    • There's a log by a random "adventurer" that's mostly him complaining about the game's guide arrow. Subverted in that it's part of the HUD provided by the Dahl Corporation.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Jakobs during the DLC, at Jakobs Cove.
  • Chest Monster: There's a subversion with a somewhat rare Loot Goon zombie who literally carries a red weapon chest on his back. Killing him lets you open it up and take what's inside.
  • Credits Gag: Killing the Final Boss's first form causes fake credits to appear for a few seconds.
  • Dark World: "Dead Haven" is "Old Haven" from the main game after a zombie outbreak. It's equally as hostile, but with Zombie Crimson Lance soldiers instead. Dead Haven might actually be safer since at least the swarms of hostiles don't use assault rifles.
  • The Engineer: The Zombie Crimson Lancers's Engineers can deploy turrets.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The DLC's main mooks are zombies.
  • Expy: Undead Ned, or more accurately, the Nedcromorph, is one of, well, a Necromorph.
  • Hub Level: "Jakobs Cove" is connected to every other level in the DLC, except "The Mill", which has a one-way back passage to the area.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A log from a dimwitted zombie hunter in the first DLC is just him getting confused by and whining about the game's guide arrow.
  • Mad Doctor: Dr. Ned. He's already at it the first time you meet him.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Over the tannoy:
    "Thank you valuable Jakobs employee for your continuing patience during this transitional —Zombie Apocalypse.— Your satisfaction is very important to us and thank you for your continuing commitment to making Jakobs number one in customer satisfaction and accident awareness!"
  • Nice Hat: Hank Reiss, Wereskag. It even says so in his Boss Subtitles.
  • One-Winged Angel: Undead Ned.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: A combination of type F/P. But with a variation on the F type. For one, they don't mind eating the brains of other zombies.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • If you don't get Dr. Ned's gun before you fall in the trapdoor, it's gone when you go back. Presumably you can do a second playthrough, but still, it's easy to miss, but it also isn't a unique weapon.
    • The Jakobs weapon vendor used to only be active after its quest is complete but only until the area is reloaded. That was patched to always be active once the quest was complete.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Psycho zombies. If you manage to knock them down without killing them, when they get up, you better run (or not, since you will not outrun them).
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: A good policy to maintain, although of course it'll serve you well with any humanoid enemies. Somewhat averted though, since rather than destroying a zombie's brain, a headshot will instead make it pop out whole, ripe for the picking.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Subverted. Dr. Ned, who is totally not his completely real (and in no way imaginary) brother, Dr. Zed, in a ridiculous moustache disguise. According to Claptrap's Web Series, this is true.
  • Supporting the Monster Loved One: Players can meet the zombie of their old pal TK Baha. TK, being an old blind man with one leg before he got killed, can't 'hunt' for his own food, so the player characters bring him brains. However, as the zombie outbreak claimed every living soul in Jakobs Cove, the brains come from other zombies; he doesn't seem to mind.
  • Too Much Information: To quote Dr. Ned's Claptrap; "Dr. Ned gave me the following awards this year; 'Most effective claptrap in life threatening situations', 'Hardest performer of mid '80s breakdance fighting', 'Master orator', and 'Best kisser'." Thanks, Claptrap. Thanks.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Zombie T.K. Baha and brains.
  • Undead Counterpart: There are zombie variants of the Crimson Lance soldiers in the Dead Haven level.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: You can find an audio log by a Miles Gloriosus Great White Hunter where he records his intention to fight the zombies by shooting them in the heart. Aiming for the heart is preferable to aiming for the head when hunting in real life (as the skull of most large animals is really thick and the brain is quite small as well) , but pretty much the dumbest idea ever in a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Zeerust: Played for Laughs. The Vault Hunters use dial-up to send an ECHO recording to Jakobs.
    Jakobs Representative: Transmission commencing on 56K connection. Please wait. (a little while later) Transmission received. Thank you for using our state of the art interstellar science magician to send your message!
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Defilers use this most prominently, but most of the setting's zombies can every so often. The only zombie that can't is the Torso.

    Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot 
  • The Bus Came Back: Hanz and Franz, Baron Flynt's henchmen are now working under Moxxi as bosses for the challenges.
  • Crosshair Aware: The effect Dodgeball makes the enemies evade more.
  • Konami Code: Mad Moxxi's first husband was a dirtbag and a cheat.
  • Gladiator Subquest: The DLC has only one mission, with three sub-missions where the player must fight through five rounds composed of five waves of mooks and previous bosses in the arenas "Hell-Burbia", "The Angelic Ruins" and "The Gully". The three sub-missions follow the "Circle..." challenges in the main game.
  • Monster Arena: Three arenas where the action takes place: "The Gully", "Angelic Ruins" and "Hell-Burbia".

    The Secret Armory of General Knoxx 
  • Affably Evil: General Knoxx just wants to finish his job of dealing with you and get out of Pandora as quick as he can. By the time you meet him he doesn't even care anymore.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Lance Assassins are entirely female.
  • Antagonist Title: You fight the titular character at the end of the DLC.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Knoxx's descent into madness is saved in some ECHO recordings that the player finds in Road's End at the climax of the DLC.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • As said by a Crimson Lance Probe:
    "At Atlas, safety is our primary concern. When near drone, please avoid shooting, cursing, skipping, and/or jump-roping."
    • Some of those same probes have corrosive weapons on them. They advertise that they are carrying poison that is very effective against skags, Vault Hunters, and people named "Jason".
  • Artificial Stupidity: Some of the flying guardians just fly around, not even noticing you while you're shooting at it. They can get caught up in the area geometry, and later on, just hover in mid-air, allowing players to just casually pick them off at a distance.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Lancer, being the previously undrivable Crimson Lance vehicles seen in the original game's Crimson Fastness level.
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti: While not in a bathroom, one quest given to you by Mad Moxxi has you cleaning up graffiti about her. Considering how badly written and childish said graffiti is, it's either a take on or a Shout-Out to the trope.
    Moxxi likes to do it Scaggi style!
  • Blatant Lies: Mr. Shank on Athena's imprisonment:
    "If you're looking for the girl I can assure you she is unharmed. ... Shit! Not that we wouldn't. I mean, we'd totally harm her. I'm thinking of harming her right now."
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Knoxx's Gold pistol.
  • Body Horror: Motorhead, FKA Sledge]], fought at the end of the Midget missions, is Sledge revived by Midget scientists, becoming a hideous monstruosity with Regenerating Health, but highly vulnerable to flaming and corroding damage]].
  • Bonus Boss: Crawmerax the Invincible. By far the toughest fight in the game, he's always five levels above you. Unless you're a very skilled player with the right character build or you used the crevice exploit in his arena (or both), he's all but impossible to beat in a solo game.
  • Boss Subtitles: Of all the introduced characters, only Knoxx is a boss:
    • Scooter: GET YOU ONE!
    • Moxxi: SWF looking 4 STR
    • Athena: Oh snap!
    • Knoxx: Doesn't like Mondays
  • Brick Joke: In the opening of the main game, Marcus mocks Mordecai for looking like "a Truxican Wrestler". This DLC has a Truxican Wrestler as a rare midget enemy, and yes, he's dressed like Mordecai.
  • Call-Back: In the introduction where you choose your character, Marcus remarks that Mordecai's appearance reminds him of "a Truxican wrestler moonlighting as a dominatrix". Here, you can find Truxican Wrestler midgets hiding inside of lockers who may drop Truxican Wrestler class mods for Mordecai which improve his melee abilities.
  • Came Back Wrong: Motorhead, a powerful optional boss, is actually a (poorly) resurrected Sledge.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Atlas, at least in T-Bone Junction, loves to remind everyone of who's in charge of the area.
  • Character Blog: As promotion of the DLC, General Knoxx had his own Twitter account.
  • Chest Monster: Several containers in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx have midgets hiding inside.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: According to his twitter account, General Knoxx is one as well.
    "also met a man named scooter today. asked me if i wanted to catch his ride. almost killed him for coming onto me."
  • Combat Medic: The DLC adds actual Combat Medics to the Crimson Lance's ranks. They're similar to the engineers, except they put up a device which heals their allies rather than act as a sentry.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It doesn't matter if you're maxed out at level 69, Crawmerax will always be at least 3 levels higher than you (Because it's 4 levels higher until you reach max level, but its minimum level is 64 and tops out at 72). Always.
  • Death by Materialism: Subverted by the climax. After the timer runs out in the Crimson Armory level, a cutscene plays where Athena looks in the distance while the Armory explodes, the implication being the Player Character(s) dead for good. However, the level features a New-U station, the likes of which make death mean only a monetary loss, outside of the Armory.
  • Death Seeker: Knoxx by the time you meet him.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • Athena, the Big Good of the DLC, is a former operative of the Crimson Lance.
    • Knoxx, also a former Crimson Lance member, is about to quit when you meet him, but for different reasons such as the incompetence of his higher-ups — according to his journal, one of his superiors is a five-year-old who sends him macaroni pictures instead of orders.
  • Driven to Suicide: General Knoxx was about to kill himself before his boss battle.
  • The Engineer:
    • Crimson Lance Engineers have a non-elemental turret.
    • Badass-ranked Crimson Lance Soldiers have an elemental turret matching their class (Shock troopers get a turret with a chance to inflict Shock damage, and so on).
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Made funny with the Monster-construction mission; Scooter banters about product recall "cus' of people burnin' alive an' shit". He also lampshades ripping out the passenger seat to make room for the GIANT NITRO TANK which is probably the reason for the big boom on all runners.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Crimson Lance's Shock Troopers, which inflict Shock damage either with their weapons or turrets.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The elemental Crimson Lance forces. They aren't any tougher than regular troops, and only use combat rifles, one of the worst gun classes to have elemental effects. To rub salt in the wound, their Badass variants can only take a few shots in their backpacks before they go kaputz and take the soldier along with them.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • Scooter's mission "Boost the Monster" has you collecting three parts for a new car he's developing, the Monster.
    • Marcus's mission "Core Collection" has you killing Crimson Lance soldiers in order to collect their cores.
    • Part of one of T-Bone Junction's mission panel missions, "Power Leech", given to you by Mr. Shank, involves fetching a bomb in Midgetville, at the "Sunken Sea" level, in order to blow up a bandit camp's power siphoning.
    • Scooter's mission "OMG APC" involves you fetching a Lancer Digistruct module and deliver it to him on order to unlock the Lancer as a driveable vehicle.
    • As usual, there's a Claptrap-given mission to find a repair kit and fix Lockdown Palace's Claptrap, with a storage slots module as the reward.
    • Athena's mission "Code Breaker: Time is Bullets" is about getting the codes from the area World's Largest Bullet at the "Sunken Sea" level.
    • "Knoxxed Out", also from Athena, is the usual mission to fetch five ECHO recordings detailing Knoxx's descent into madness.
    • There's a mission at T-Bone Junction given by Dahl Corporation, called "Bugged", about finding a listening device and installing it in an Atlas Communications Tower.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: The Elite Crimson Lance units all have ammo packs on their back and come in electric, acid, and fire varieties. You can shoot it until it explodes (although it'll take quite a bit of damage before blowing up) for more damage.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: One of the early missions has Scooter telling you that he murdered Lucky Zaford for getting in with his mom, who's revealed here to be Moxxi. However, if you return to Dahl Headlands by way of Fast Travel, you'll find that he's still alive.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Crimson Lance soldiers are all Faceless Goons whose face is covered by a full-head helmet.
  • Gladiator Subquest: The "Circle of Duty" set of missions pit you against five rounds of Crimson Lance soldiers, each round belonging to a different ranking, going from New Recruit into Cadet, Private, Corporal, Sergeant and finally Medal of Duty.
  • Hub Level: Inverted, instead of the usual culprit ("T-Bone Junction", which houses most of the important NPCs and the only Fast Travel station of the area), there are other two levels officiating as this: "Deep Fathoms" (connected with the "Crimson Tollway", "Crawmerax's Lair", "Moxxi's Red Light" and "Road's End") and "Sunken Sea" (connected with "The Ridgeway", "Lockdown Palace" and "Circle of Duty").
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • The Lance's Devastator unit.
    • General Knoxx fights in one during his boss battle.
  • Improbable Age: According to General Knoxx, the Admiral is a five-year-old.
  • The Infiltration: The Circle of Duty opens up after you defeat General Knoxx himself, giving you a chance to enlist in the Crimson Lance and quickly rise up through the ranks through a series of arena matches. After completing the last match, Zach must politely decline your application to the Crimson Lance since he just learned that you killed their leader.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The DLC adds a new rarity color to replace the glitch-based Pearl weapons. These new Pearlescent (or Aqua) weapons and shields are frustratingly rare, incredibly potent, and by the time you get them, there likely won't be much left but the Bonus Boss, fitting them into the trope nicely.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When you meet Scooter in the 3rd DLC, he greets you by saying "hey guy, and... maybe girl... c'mon in!"
  • Large and in Charge: General Knoxx, pilot of a Humongous Mecha.
  • Laughably Evil: Mr. Shank.
  • Male Gaze: Lilith's wanted poster.
  • Monster Arena: The "Circle of Duty", when it's not used as a Deathmatch arena.
  • More Dakka: "The Chopper". Drops from a Side-Quest Boss. Damage? Between 170 and 260. Accuracy? Not much. Fire rate? 16-17. Red text means it fires all the magazine in one shot (unless you melee). Oh, almost forgot... the magazine holds 536 cartridges. FIVE-HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX CARTRIDGES. And that's WITHOUT any + magazine size skills or class mods.
  • The Münchausen: Master McCloud, the leader of the Crimson Lance forces on Pandora. According to the strategy guide and wiki, he "sees himself as a star-hopping, interplanetary hero" and "will regale anyone with tales of his many exploits" when given the chance.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Crimson Lance.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Moxxi has this reaction after the player character succeeds in killing Mr. Shank, who was Moxxi's second husband:
    Moxxi: (distraught) You killed my second husband. You actually killed him. I know I told you to but... I'm sorry, I need a minute.
  • Nepotism: General Knoxx is less than thrilled that he has to take orders from a 5-year-old. Who generally sends him macaroni pictures instead of orders.
  • Not Completely Useless: The cash box for a tour of the "World's Largest Bullet" at the "Sunken Sea" level deducts eight million dollars from you with no benefits other than an achievement, and it can be used multiple times. However, there is no better money dump to prevent cash overflow, a bug in the game code that triggers if you surpass 2^31 dollars (close to 2,150 billion) and zeroes your money tally if you die.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Athena's pistol is only given once.
    • Kyros' Power and Typhoon weapons, as the bosses that drop them no longer respawn after their respective quests are completed.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Admiral Mikey, Knoxx's superior. Justified, as he's five-year old boy.
  • Powered Armor:
    • The Devastator is, for all intents and purposes, one.
    • General Knoxx fights you in one.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Crimson Lance. They're well-trained, heavily armed (with uncommon weapons or higher rarity ones) and they can pose a big threat to you if you're not careful.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Crimson Lance soldiers, as well as General Knoxx.
  • Sea Mine: You can find them on three areas of the DLC, which happen to be driedup seas: "Sunken Sea", "Deep Fathoms" and "Road's End". Approach one or drive a car too close to one and it will explode and kill you.
  • Shoot the Medic First: The enemy medics, they are the Combat Medic type, and can heal things while shooting you.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Mr. Shank: Chaz is really nice — hey, I'm not into him. No way.
  • Theme Naming: A few of the squad leaders of the Omega Assassins share names with goddesses: Athena, Hera, and Minerva. Vulcana is named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
  • Visual Pun: In real life, a wheel clamp, or "boot", is a device strapped to a vehicle's tire to prevent it from going anywhere. In Mr. Shank's prison, there's a Claptrap imprisoned by a wheel clamp with a literal boot strapped to it, preventing it from getting away.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: The wanted posters at the start:
    Roland: Wanted for desertion and the murder of a Crimson Lance member. Reward: $1,000,000.00
    Lilith: Wanted for Conspiracy, Witchcraft, Theft, and Murder. Reward: $1,000,000.00
    Mordecai: Wanted for poaching and possession of endangered species. Reward: $1,000,000.00 (Another million for that annoying bird!)
    Brick: Wanted for the murder and dismemberment of anything that moves. Reward: $9,999,999.99
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Sledge's former midget minions tried doing this to him. The result was Motorhead, a near-mindless psychopath with a gatling turret for a head.

    Claptrap's New Robot Revolution 
  • Action Bomb: The Mighty Kamikaze Claptraps.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap and his revolutionary friends.
  • Airborne Mook: Rakk-Traps, annoying bird-bat-like creatures that come in swarms, fly around and divebomb you, usually in packs. Thankfully, they (usually) have very low health.
  • And I Must Scream: After the first mission, virtually every enemy you fight, with the exception of the D-Fault enemies, is a cyborg monster, and even beg you to "Please... just let me die..." upon being finished off.
  • Antagonist Title: You fight the titular character at the end of the DLC.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Before he started a revolution against humankind, the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap was programmed to take the Vault Hunters out indirectly - trapping, poisoning, and spreading catty rumours about town.
  • The Assimilator: The INAC to all the non-Claptrap enemies in the Claptrap revolution expansion, who also get the -trap name added to them, such as the Rakk-Trap. The sole exception (aside from the players), is the group of enemies known as the D-fault, who are barely holding them off.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mega Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Towards the end of the DLC, just before fighting Knoxx-Trap, Undead Ned-Trap, and Steele-Trap for the last time each, each boss arena is surrounded by signs reading such things as "puppies for free", "free treasure", "no evil boss here", and so on.
    • Marcus' concluding remarks on Claptrap's Robot Revolution include claiming that "that is how it really happened!" note 
  • Body Horror: Most of the regular non-Claptrap enemies after they get converted to cyborg -traps.
  • Bookends: The final battle takes place at Fyrestone's entrance, the very point you started in the main game, fighting the same Claptrap that welcomed you at the beginning of the game.
  • Boss Rush: The level "Wayward Pass" has you fighting roboticized versions of General Knoxx, Undead Dr. Ned and Commandant Steele. You even happen along The Destroyer, only for it turn out to be a cardboard cutout.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap does this in almost every level of the DLC.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap turns out to be pathetic once you destroy its Humongous Mecha.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Hyperion Guard-Traps enjoy the pain you inflict on them. They enthusiastically say lines like "Thank you! May I have another?" when you shoot them.
  • Cyborg: The human enemies have Claptrap parts grafted onto their bodies.
  • Death Seeker: Knoxx-Trap, after he gets resurrected as the Claptrap's slave. TWICE. It gets to the point where he not only encourages you to shoot him, but attempts to point out his critical hit location.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: From Blake, Hyperion's representant on Pandora:
    "Operation Trap Claptrap Trap"note 
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Literally for Marcus at the end — after being shot twice in the back, you find his legs sticking out from under his own upturned bus. He got better (or was just being overly dramatic).
  • Experimented in College: Part of Patricia Tannis's speech after getting her "Are You From These Parts?" quest, possibly she doesn't intend it as a Double Entendre, and just meant scientific experimentation:
    "Hey, you look like you're into experimentation, maybe dabbled a bit in college."
  • Fetch Quest:
    • All of Tannis's quests have you collecting Claptrap parts. It starts with 5 and gets all the way up to 150.
    • "Like Shooting Rakk in a Barrel", from the area's mission board, involves you fetching three turret components in order to enable three turrets in order to neutralize a bandit-trap bunker.
    • "One-UpmanPipp" involves you fetching trash and placing it in a food delivery chute.
    • Marcus's "Burnin' Rubber" involves you fetching six wheels at the "Hyperion Dump" level for his bus.
    • As always, there's a mission that involves fixing a Claptrap and a Storage Upgrade. This time, however, though you get the reward, it's a... Trap.
    • Marcus's "Taking Stock" involves you venturing into the "Dividing Faults" level and collecting 10 pieces for him.
    • The main story mission "Operation Trap Claptrap Trap, Phase Three: TripWIRED" has Blake sending you to the Scorched Snake Canyon in order to retrieve the device needed in order to neutralize INAC.
    • Marcus's "Old Spicy" involves you getting into "Scorched Snake Canyon" and retrieving some Skag musk glands and Rakk Hive Ambergris in order to make a cologne.
    • The follow-up mission to "Old Spicy", "Eleven Rakk And Spices", involves you collecting fresh rakk meat and spice plants in Sanders Gorge.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Some of the claptrap logos in the vending machines have the character dressed up as Che Guevara. Cue this DLC.
    • At the beginning of the main game, Claptrap complains about the bandits (and later everyone else) treating him bad. Across the main game and the Dr. Ned and Knoxx DLCs, the player finds damaged/trapped Claptraps, with a reward for fixing them. This becomes a major plot point for the DLC.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The "WIRED" device. The Wireless Information Router Encoding Device is a wireless controller for rebooting the Claptraps.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Having Claptrap's New Robot Revolution installed turns into this for every moment that involves a Claptrap up to that point. You can do missions and receive them from friendly Claptraps even though the very events of the DLC involve a planet-wide rebellion from every Claptrap in existence.
  • Heel-Face Mind Screw: INAC is defeated by the Vault Hunters by using the WIRED device in order to undo the advanced programming Hyperion gave him and reverting him back to his original, friendly self.
  • Hub Level: "Tartarus Station" is connected to every level except the DLC version of "Arid Badlands", which has instead a one-way back passage.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Knoxx-Trap fights in one.
    • Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap has one, too, called "Mega Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap".
  • I Meant to Do That: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap invokes this after you destroy his factory, claiming that it's all according to a "ridiculously convoluted plan you couldn't possibly understand with your feeble human brain". Returning to Tartarus Station after completing the mission involves a Claptrap invasion of the Station.
  • Infernal Background: The Vault Hunters are introduced to Mr. Blake, head of Hyperion's Mercenary relations decision. His introductory splash is backed with flames, which when coupled with his pointy hairstyle makes him look like the Devil. However, despite seeming sinister at first, he turns out to be genuinely the nicest person on Pandora.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The events of the DLC are set in motion because of the actions of the Vault Hunters after the events of the main game.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: The DLC shows that Hyperion has a military presence on Pandora, though their sphere of influence (at that point in time, at least) seems to be rather small compared to that of the Lance.
  • Money Spider: The Claptraps have a high drop rate (and mostly drop pretty decent gear that can be re-sold if nothing else) and there's an area that spawns a nearly infinite amount as long you're willing to wait around a few minutes between waves spawning. They also die extremely quick and easy if you have a decent sniper or shotgun.
  • Mook Maker: The Rakk-Trap Hive at the "Scorched Snake Canyon" level.
  • Post-Final Boss: After taking out the viciously difficult Mega Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap, you finally get to take on the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap, which, other than having more health, is no tougher than any of the mook claptraps... though by this point, beating the tar out of it before finally resetting it to factory default is hugely satisfying.
  • Powered Armor: Knoxx-Trap fights you in one.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap and his revolutionary friends. A number of the worse Bandits also have red lenses on their masks. Averted with Mordecai, who has red goggles as a default, unless you're on the opposing end of his sight.
  • Robot Me: What Tannis needs all those Claptrap parts for.
  • Robot War: The titular Robot Revolution, or Robolution.
  • Sequel Hook: Marcus mentions he's taking you to Eden-6 at the end of the New Robot revolution DLC. And both this DLC and Knoxx also mention Promethea several times. It took nearly 15 years and three canonical games (and their plethora of story DLCs), but there's indeed a sequel that indeed takes place at Eden-6, and where Promethea also plays a role.
  • Un-Paused: The claptrapped version of Commandant Steele, who died at the end of the main game, finishes the speech she was giving before being impaled by the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere Final Boss.
  • Undead Counterpart: There are claptrap-ified versions of the bandits, which are zombies who also underwent a brainwashing process.
  • Unfortunate Names: Lampshaded with the WIRED device (which stands for "Wireless Information Router Encoding Device"):
    Mr. Blake: Hmm... that is an unfortunate acronym for a wireless device. I'll have to speak to marketing...
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: The "claptrapped" humans.
  • Vagina Dentata: The Rakk-Trap Hive.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The rebellious Claptraps manage to resurrect Commander Steele, General Knoxx, and Dr. Ned.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap. He wants to free all other Claptraps... by killing all humans.
  • Where It All Began: The climax involves the Vault Hunters in a Boss Rush against the previous three big bads in reverse order, and then a final battle at the Arid Badlands, the starting zone of the main game, against Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap, the very being that welcomed you to the planet in the first place.

There ain't no heaven... on the county road.
 
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