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This is your brain on Gordon.

"Ah, tick-tick-tock... is that the sound of a Geiger counter or my lifespan counting down? It's both! That's right, here at Black Mesa when we talk about Half-Life, we mean it in more ways than one. So make your peace and come to Black Mesa! Here you'll win a chance to fight freaks of nature; escape countless safety hazards; wander aimlessly for hours; and die scared, tired and alone!"
Gordon Freeman

Freeman's Mind is a Machinima by Ross Scott that's somewhere between a Let's Play and an Abridged Series of the Half-Life games. It follows the rambling, eccentric, paranoid and narcissistic thoughts of Silent Protagonist Gordon Freeman as he tries to survive the events of the series, showing us that perhaps it was for the better he kept his mouth shut. Imagine a one-man MST3K speaking as he goes through Half-Life and Half-Life 2. The first season was filmed in Half-Life: Source, the initial Source Engine upgrade of Half-Lifenote .

Each episode runs about 8 minutes on averagenote  and each episode ends at a point that you can stop watching and come back later. The series encompasses a full playthrough of Half-Life, albeit with a few liberties taken for the sake of comedy.

The first season runs a total of 71 episodes (68 full episodes, plus three specials numbered ''0'', ''10.5'', and ''61.5''), with a combined runtime of about nine and a half hours. After running from 2007 to 2014, the final HL1 episode was released on December 31st, 2014.

On April Fools' Day 2017, Ross released the first episode of Freeman's Mind 2, which uses Half-Life 2. And to the surprise of many, the episode wasn't a joke. The season is still in production, running a current total of 19 episodes.

The series has a recap page.

The series' immense popularity spawned a number of copycats, many of which have earned the Approval of God. Notable creators include the "Master Minds", a supergroup that formed to create a sort of continuity between their own, highly-popular Mind spinoffs note . They are:

The tropes related to these spinoffs can be found here and here. Also of note is Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas, which gained a degree of notoriety for its sheer length - 80 episodes and running, divided into 10-episode "seasons". Tropes relating to it can be found here.

See also: Civil Protection, Ross's other machinima series; and Ross's Game Dungeon, Ross's video game review series where the games reviewed are often very obscure and very weird.

Has nothing to do with Crispin Freeman, Morgan Freeman, or Freema Agyeman.

People aren't taking tropes and applying them to everything you say and do, Freeman, you're just being paranoid.

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    Tropes in Freeman's Mind 
  • The Abridged Series: The character-based humour and frequent Lampshade Hanging are very reminiscent of an abridged series. As for the actual abridged part, for the sake of storytelling, Gordon's guns deal more damage and he can "climb" over obstacles to skip some sections of the game. Gordon also jumps into the Uplink demo at one point.
  • Accentuate the Negative: The first rant of Episode 26 begins with Gordon acknowledging that he's doing this. He claims that to do otherwise would be absurd because he sees so little "positive."
    Gordon: I mean, what am I supposed to say to people? "Wow, you sure did a great job falling down that elevator shaft!" Or, "Way to lock yourself in the freezer! I'm so proud of you."
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: While the series does deconstruct a lot of elements about the game, one aspect that Ross knowingly glosses over is how Gordon would realistically be two seconds away from dropping dead from exhaustion, lack of adrenaline, and hunger after fighting for two days straight.
  • Accidental Pun: Gordon says "what's up with the ceiling". It takes him a few seconds to realize what he just said.
    Gordon: Oh my God, that was a pun! "What's up with the ceiling?" What's wrong with me? I'd punch somebody in the mouth if they said that to me.
  • Accidental Murder: Gordon commits a few of these. A couple of times it's due to the stupidity of the other Black Mesa personnel, such as one unfortunate guard who ran in front of Gordon'sgunfire.
  • Accidentally-Correct Writing: Invoked by Gordon upon seeing the Nihilanth in the final episode:
    Gordon: Lovecraft was right about everything! How did he know?!
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Gordon outright refuses to listen to any of his colleagues' attempts to explain to him what he needs to do to end the invasion. Fortunately, his wandering the compound hitting random buttons and switches in an attempt to find his way out ends up being exactly what he needed to do to complete his rejected mission.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Gordon has a few examples of this:
    Gordon: My simian skill saw me safely!
    Gordon: The ruptured, rusty rods reveal a rift!
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Discussed in Episode 52, where Gordon notes that robots will likely never take over the world since they're only programmed to perform highly specific tasks.
    Gordon: We only wish they'd take over the world so that we wouldn't have to. But then we're the ones who'd have to program them, so what the hell?
  • Air Vent Escape: Gordon has to traverse quite a few vents on his way through the facility, comparing it to Die Hard.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Gordon is quick to take this view, which isn't that unjustified, considering the circumstances. He even references this trope by name in Episode 6.
  • All Up to You: Lampshaded frequently. Gordon constantly complains that he has to do everyone else's job on his way through the facility.
  • Almighty Janitor: Gordon suspects that the janitors have the highest rate of survival out of all of the Black Mesa employees. They start out with a melee weapon, know the building inside and out, and have the keys to every door.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: While never remarked upon in the series proper, Ross Scott has pointed out during his video chats that none of the historical or pop culture references in the series goes beyond the year 2000. This is because Half-Life 1 is set in 200X, and Ross doesn't want to step on the timeline's toes. That said, there is some contradiction to when exactly the Mind Series (and its spin-offs) takes place:
    • Some of Gordon's references heavily imply the series takes place very early in the 2000s as opposed to later in the decade, given the lack of The War on Terror references when Gordon discusses the military, law enforcement, and Department of Defense (common topics, given his situation), and Black Mesa using Cyrix processors.note 
    • Though on the opposite side, in Shephard's Mind (which is confirmed by Episode 61 of the first season of Freeman's Mind to be in-continuity) Episode 17, Shephard wishes that he was sent to Afghanistan instead of Black Mesa and explicitly blames Barack Obama. Along with the references to video games like BioShock and Team Fortress 2, this would suggest that the series takes place in 2009.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • All forms of alien projectiles are treated as non-lethal (to Gordon, anyway; soldiers and such can still be seen dying to lightning and bees) and thus Gordon getting hit with them is a source of humour. Whether it's Vortigaunts' lightning bolts, Houndeye's sonic booms, Bullsquid's spit, a swipe from a Headcrab, Grunt's Bee-Bee Gun or Alien Controller's energy blasts, getting hit with these will only annoy Gordon unless it gets him in the face, in which (based on his reaction) it leaves a bruise or laceration at worst. Bullets (especially high-calibre rounds), Death Rays, and explosives are treated more seriously.
    • Zig-zagged when Gordon is shot in the ear: he complains at first, then decides it's a free piercing and goes on a tangent about ear piercings, then treats it seriously again when he finds a first-aid station and bandages himself up. After that, it's barely ever mentioned again.
  • Angrish: At the very beginning of Episode 39.
  • Another Dimension: Deconstructed by Gordon, who observes that the aliens are quite clearly three-dimensional, and shows a great deal of annoyance at the misuse of the word.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Discussed in regards to all the dead explorers Gordon comes across in Xen.
    Gordon: Dead explorers leave the best mementos. If it's not supplies, you get a long, detailed log of what happened.
  • Appease the Volcano God: Referenced when Gordon is dealing with the giant tentacle creature. Gordon notes that some cultures used to sacrifice people to volcanoes, and says he'd gladly do the same to the monster if it would keep it quiet.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: In Episode 0, when Gordon notices that nothing is projecting the Hologram that's talking to him.
    Gordon: It must be nano-emitters or something.
  • April Fools' Day: Many silly and off-the-wall episodes were released during April Fools:
    • 2009, Episode 10.5: Short non-canonical episode, at the end of which Gordon dies. Episode 11 begins at the same spot as this one, with Gordon having a strange feeling of déjà vu, which he suspects comes from eating bad Doritos. The title card features X marks in Gordon's glasses.
    • 2010, Episode 27: Gordon spends the entire video talking (or thinking) like a pirate. The title card features Gordon's pirate version, complete with an eyepatch and a scar on his cheek. Episode 28 starts with Gordon deciding that the pirate accent is too hard to keep up.
    • 2013, DoomGuy's Mind Episode 7 set in Brutal Doom. Here he plays a psychotic, bloodthirsty Space Marine as he happily slaughters his way through Phobos base.
    • 2014 gives us a trailer for Freeman Across the Universe, in which Gordon enters every first-person game ever made, often with hilarious results.
      Gordon: [in Portal] I don't understand. There's no known physics model for this. Unless... Oh my god, I'm two-dimensional!
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Zig-zagged with the soldiers. Ross adjusted the damage values in-game so that the marines, who are all carrying body armor of some kind at the very least, go down in three or so shots from the Glock 17 or MP5 as opposed to the ten or so shots it would take in the original game under the reasoning that it makes fights come off as less video gamey. This makes for a slight case of Reality Is Unrealistic when considering that the type of armor issued to modern American soldiers (soft armor backed up by rifle-proof ceramic plates) offers superb protection against rifle rounds; against most pistol rounds, modern armored soldiers are outright immune bar shots to unarmored areas.note  It helps though that Gordon tends to shoot the soldiers a lot more than he technically needs to and the game is set in an era where most soldiers wore simple PASGT kevlar vests and helmets without hard plates, which would indeed fail against several closely-spaced 9mm NATO rounds fired from a longer barrel at very close range (which every firefight in Half-Life is). The ones with the ISAPO plate add-on to the PASGT (which at least a few should have) would be pretty much immune to pistol rounds and somewhat resistant to rifle fire, but this can be justified as the lucky few with those plates being the ones he shoots in the head, blows up, etc. Ross also noted in an interview that some of the soldiers Gordon shot are probably still alive thanks to their armor, a fact Gordon echoes later on. However, he doesn't think he's at the point of checking his kills.
      Ross Scott: Even if you're wearing armor, I don't care who you are; if someone blasts you point blank with a SPAS-12, you're going down. I mean you might still be alive, but...
    • At the same, the HECU unit, if we take OpFor as canon, is equipped with HEVesque body armor, which for some reason also needs energy. In any event, at one point you're required to withstand a twelve-gauge blast at close range as part of training. Whether this is video game handwavium, especially taking the bloodstains over the wall behind you or representative of how the armor actually works...
    • Then there's the Alien Grunts: as in the original game, their armor deflects any type of small arms fire that hits it. Gordon notices this but is very confused as to why they seemingly wear armor everywhere but their torso, saying that their armor looks like something a stripper would wear.
      Gordon: Are we being invaded by strippers? I thought this invasion was the normal conquering variety.
    • Episode 51 has Gordon commenting on the phenomenon of armor actually getting its user killed faster due to the higher likelihood of taking risks while wearing it:
      Gordon: [talking to a guard about the Alien Grunts] Those guys will smash our skulls like grapes if we don't take them down. Do you understand that? Your helmet's not going to help you, it's just giving you a false sense of security.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Episode 38, on a conveyor belt, trying to go past what is practically a Death Course:
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • While Half-Life was praised for introducing tactically intelligent enemies when it first came out, the age of the AI shows. A lot of humour comes from Gordon's reactions to the soldiers' stupidity. While some of it comes from scripted sequences, like the friendly fire artillery barrage in Episode 13 and the odd (to say the least) ambush in Episode 29, there's plenty that's just a result of the AI, the most usual ones being soldiers killing each other with grenades, or running straight at Gordon around a corner even after seeing their buddies getting shot around the same corner.
    • In Episode 22, two soldiers run straight into their own trip-mines.
      Gordon: You know it's probably the military who put these trip-mines here, to begin with, and they just go and run into them! I don't get it. They bomb each other, they can't figure out who the civilians are, and they can't duck. I mean look how easy this is. [ducks under a trip-mine laser] Power slide! [slides under another laser]
    • Episode 30 had three Marines blowing each other up with grenades, making Gordon wonder if he just came across The Three Stooges. He thinks that he could see Moe just lose it and kill the other two.
    • Another time, Gordon encounters a soldier in a hallway and, after shooting him about a dozen times, sarcastically compliments the soldier for his brilliant plan of attacking him in an empty hallway with no cover or room for hiding. Then he walks over and figures out that the door the hallway led to is actually open.
    • He thinks that natural selection is making them smarter, though. He's genuinely surprised when one soldier DOESN'T just blindly run around the corner and shoot him again, instead chucking a grenade.
    • In Episode 47, he witnesses an IFV hitting one of its own soldiers with its cannon in an attempt to kill Gordon, who wasn't even near the blast.
      Gordon: Man, I'm NEVER joining the military.
    • It gets even worse in Episode 58 when Gordon takes a teleporter trip over to "Uplink" (a.k.a. the Half-Life demo). The AI there is even more unpolished, leading to things like soldiers blowing themselves up with their own grenades. Gordon concludes that either the soldiers are covering up their own cover-up, everyone's on drugs, or everyone is just that stupid. Conversely, in the same episode, Gordon notices the zombies have gotten a lot more intelligent, setting traps and laying ambushes.
      Gordon: Shoot anybody you want! It's cool: he's high, too! Get high before you die!
  • Asshole Victim: Discussed. Gordon mentions he feels no guilt over killing hordes of soldiers because they're trigger-happy lunatics who attack him and unarmed civilians.
    Gordon: You know, it's strange. I thought I would feel weird about killing all these people, but really, I don't. That's because they're all pricks and deserve to die! I'll make a speech at their funerals if someone wants me to. I have no problem with going up to a grieving widow and telling her "I'm sorry for your loss... but your husband was a ratfuck meathead who tried to kill me for no goddamned reason because he was too stupid to figure out what the word 'civilian' means. If I hadn't put him down, he likely would have come home later and strangled you in your sleep. And not in the kinky way either. I know how you base wives are."
  • A-Team Firing: Gordon doesn't have any advanced training in firearm handling, so he tends to just fire his gun in the general area his enemy is in while barely keeping his aim steady, making it so only a small number of the bullets hit them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gordon's opinion on the Gluon Gun. He deems its ammo supply too small for the weight of the backpack he has to wear to use it. He discards it in favour of his more reliable weapons. He does love its awesomeness, though, to the point of thinking that it would probably be adopted by the military as-is regardless of its flaws.
  • Badass on Paper: Despite all said, Gordon is still a delusional and neurotic Cloud Cuckoolander who has survived more than one encounter via pure luck. It doesn't stop fellow Black Mesa personnel from seeing him as a living legend and believing him to be the only one that can stop the alien invasion. Gordon lampshades his improbable luck repeatedly.
  • Bee Afraid:
    • Subverted with the alien Bee-Bee Gun used by the Alien Grunts. Gordon is not impressed by the ineffectiveness of alien bees.
      Gordon: Earth bees are more hardcore than space bees.
    • In Episode 65, just as he's about to teleport to the next area, Gordon assumes that he'll land somewhere filled with bees. After all, Xen's just been one hell after another, so why expect anything less?
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Gordon spends the series constantly pointing out all the inherent Fridge Logic in the game's premise, such as the sheer impracticality of the government cover-up and even the various bits of Technobabble heard throughout the game.
  • Big Electric Switch: One of the few design elements in Black Mesa of which Gordon wholeheartedly approves.
  • Big "OMG!":
    • During Episode 37, he gets one of these as he is dropped from a conveyor belt 10 meters up into a pool of water.
      Gordon: OH MY GOD I'M GONNA DROWN!
    • In Episode 55, he has a Freak Out when an alien almost teleports inside him, complete with three consecutive "OH MY GOD!" statements in a row.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Episode 4 gave us this brief exchange between Gordon and the security system:
    Eye Scanner: ACCESS DENIED
    Gordon: WHAT?!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Presumably to show off how smart and educated Gordon is.
    • In Episode 12, he becomes convinced that a pair of scientists are voodoo zombies, and considers finding their master and buying one of them off him:
      Gordon: I know how to talk to these people. I've been to Haiti. Les yeux de Dieu ne regardent pas beaucoup là.
      (The eyes of God don't watch there much.)
    • In Episode 33, Gordon gets the impression that a scientist speaks Spanish
      Gordon: Quiero un poco de drogas. ¿Dónde están? Tengo dinero.
      (I want some drugs. Where are they? I have money.)
    • In an earlier episode, he uses German. The backstory says he worked in Innsbruck, Austria before Black Mesa.
      Gordon: Zeigen Sie mir das Geld!
      (Show me the money!)
    • At one point he contemplates leaving the country because he's a fugitive, and moving to India. The next two sentences are in actual Hindi.
  • Black Comedy: Gordon is a big fan of this, having ideas like dressing up a pig in a lab coat and throwing it into a giant piston, or cloning body parts and spreading them around a small village just to freak everybody out.
  • Bond One-Liner: After killing the Ichthyosaur.
    Gordon: Call me Ishmael, bitch!
  • Boring Vacation Slideshow: Gordon has apparently dealt with this before; he laments not bringing a camera to document his survival and everything he did through it, especially because he could spring it on any family members trying to show vacation pictures and immediately shut them up.
    Gordon: If I had been taking pictures, I'd be ready when I had to sit through some family member's slideshow. I could whip it out and be like, "Fuck you! Your pictures suck, look at mine! There's me blowing up some bipedal alien the size of a dump truck. Here's me shooting some troops because I'm hardcore. Yeah, I think we're done here. You brought this on yourself."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: It's inevitable that Gordon goes into some of these during his travels.
    Gordon: Your side is the one where everybody's dead and there are no exits! My side is filled with hope, love, and submachine guns! ... And cargo hooks.
    Gordon: This is almost getting to be like a chore. Y'know: wash the dishes, do the laundry, shoot the snot thing, empty the trash... it's all just a blur.
    Gordon: Lasers make me happy. Though not as much as food, bed rest, painkillers, not being persecuted...
  • Break the Haughty: Referenced. Though, of course, it's subject to Aesop Amnesia.
    Gordon: [hiding for his life from a giant alien walking tank] Dammit, this happens every time I get cocky! Someone like this comes along and I wish I hadn't said a lot of things that I did.
  • Brick Joke: As Gordon is attempting to restore power to the rocket test chamber, he finds himself at a large pit with a toxic waste pool at the bottom. He muses that he might try a cannonball if it were normal water. Once he's fired the rocket engine and exposed another pit with safe water, he recalls his previous desire and decides to go for it.
  • Brief Accent Imitation:
    • Gordon spends the entirety of Episode 27 talking like a pirate. He drops it at the start of 28, commenting that he needs to drink a lot more whiskey to make his voice sound like that normally.
    • Gordon does one when mocking conveyor belt workers, in a Southern drawl.
  • Call-Back:
    • In Episode 4, Gordon recalls a time when he stayed awake for four days and thought his house was being invaded by Frog Men. In Episode 28, during a rant on how he is Properly Paranoid, he lists one of the reasons as being:
      Gordon: There's no race of anthropomorphic frog people in the sewers, Freeman! You're just being paranoid!
    • When Gordon gets his hazard suit, he mutes the suit's computer as it narrates activating all the various systems. In the first April Fools episode, when Gordon falls to his death, the impact unmutes the suit computer.
    • In the very first episode, Gordon recalls how once a squirrel died in the electric transformer of his college. Fast forward to Episode 46, and Gordon has to deal with falling debris falling from above, which could potentially trigger some mines. He wonders if there is a squirrel up there.
      Gordon: It could be payback!
    • Somewhere when first meeting an actual alien, he shouts it probably came from a swamp, or if it didn't, it deserved to be. A good dozen episodes later he fights aliens in a freezer and notes they couldn't come from a swamp planet, because they wouldn't be able to survive in such conditions.
    • Near the end of On A Rail, he says that everyone who is wearing a military uniform is now a free target. At the beginning of Apprehension, he sees a soldier off in the distance and yells "Ah! Uniform! Uni-" before being interrupted by gunfire.
    • In Episode 7, he reveals that he hates bad puns. Six years later in real-world time, in Episode 49, while crawling through a pipe, a soldier attempts to kill Gordon by throwing a satchel into the pipe Gordon is crawling through. After escaping the blast, Gordon comments that his only consolation is that at least the soldier didn't make a bad pun about it.
    • At one point in Episode 40 Gordon shoots at one soldier and shouts: "TAG, YOU'RE IT!" and once he kills another nearby soldier: "No tag backs." Later in the next episode, he gets shot at and he blares: "I SAID NO TAG BACKS!"
    • At the start of Episode 50, Gordon makes a short comment about why it's safe in the pipe he was stuck in. At the end of the episode when the ceiling collapses and almost hits him he laments:
      Gordon: See this is why I like the pipe.
    • In Episode 49, he is accidentally spooked by a guard and shoots him, after he had warned the guard not to take him by surprise like that. Gordon guiltily tries to justify it to himself before saying:
      Gordon: It doesn't even matter now, I'm a fugitive anyway. What do I care? I launched a missile!
    • In Episode 29 Gordon gets ambushed by two soldiers who were hiding in a box. In Episode 33 he gets stuck in a box and attacked by Vortigaunts, and realizes the aliens have taken a leaf from the military's book. Later on, when he makes it to the factory on Xen, he finds Alien Grunts in barrels, and calls back to the soldiers in the box, saying that it was the military who copied the aliens and not the other way around.
    • In Episode 8, Gordon thinks the building may be falling apart due to the aliens teleporting into the walls and worries about the possibility of one teleporting inside of him. In Episode 33, he brings up his concern of one teleporting inside of him again and then in Episode 55 he mentions he still believes the aliens are teleporting inside the walls and again worries about them teleporting inside of him, specifically when one almost does, just landing next to him.
    • In Episode 8, Gordon fires a gun in an air vent, only to get a ringing in his ears for his trouble. In Episode 52, a missile explodes near him, causing a similar ringing. And in Episode 59, he's in an air vent, and pulls out a gun to shoot a headcrab again...only to put it away because it was 'too loud' and likely to damage his hearing.
    • In Episode 61, Gordon avoids getting the Hivehand yet again.
    • Gordon's attempt to spin with the last alien elevator to avoid getting dizzy and failing miserably recalls a similar attempt when he took the spinning elevator to the test chamber at the beginning.
    • In Episode 50, Gordon speculates that ghosts might be trying to communicate with him for some reason. In Episode 58, he thinks the scientist calling him over the intercom is the ghost in question.
    • In Episode 58, he states there are three possibilities that cover the massive number of friendly-fire incidents. He gets around to naming twonote  before his train of thought gets interrupted. Midway through the next episode, he finally gets around to option threenote .
    • In Episode 10, Gordon comes across his first-ever hand grenade and claims that he will be sure to save it for later. Fast-forward to Episode 15, he finally uses the grenades he's been saving on the Blast Pit Tentacles.
  • Captain Obvious: After multiple hostile encounters with the "rescue team", plus the comments of his fellow scientists, Gordon finally starts to realize something:
    Gordon: You know, I'm starting to think this isn't a rescue operation...
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • Gordon ends up really used to having people and aliens wanting his head on a silver platter, and does this a lot in later episodes. He does this both when his enemies pose no real threat to him, like when he's beating Houndeyes to death with a crowbar, and against stuff like being pinned down by a .50 BMG machine gun, or when an IFV is shooting at him with rockets.
      Gordon: [rocket streaks past him] Yeah yeah, I think I'm under investigation. On the plus side, this guy is shooting rockets at me, so if I die, I'll see it coming! [runs from behind cover to the other side of the road] That's cool, right? [another rocket hits a bunch of cover near him] I'm trying to find the silver lining here. There's not much.
    • Gordon overall seems really chill on Xen, a totally alien world from which he has no escape, after a little while. Especially when he's speculating on how the other scientists wearing the same suit as him and carrying the same weapons probably died (e.g. killed by the Gonarch, beaten to death by Vortigaunts, gored on the floor after falling off a ledge or out of the sky...).
  • Cloning Body Parts: Gordon muses how he would like to clone individual body parts of a stranger and then spread them across a town over a few months; creating the illusion that someone is getting slowly chopped up by a serial killer.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Expect Gordon to carpet F-bomb the area with plenty of screaming to go along with it whenever he gets ambushed or almost dies.
  • Cold Sniper: Commented on by Gordon regarding the snipers he comes across during his trek through Black Mesa. Gordon actually theorizes that the multiple snipers he's encountered are actually all the same guy, stalking him.
    Gordon: There's people who give you the evil eye, and then there's snipers. Big difference.
    Gordon: Wait, is this that same sniper from last night!? Is he following me!? I knew it! That guy is fucking evil!
  • Comedic Sociopath: Gordon keeps fantasizing about killing his coworkers, as well as scamming the company in various ways. It's implied at one point that he's already been stealing from them.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Gordon isn't being more Genre Savvy (and crazy) than everyone else, he's frequently completely ignoring obvious things.
      Gordon: I'm on your side, you fucking idiots! How many of you do I have to kill before you understand that?!
      Gordon: This self-defence crap isn't cutting it because I never get to fire first!
      Gordon: Look at all these dead scientists! This rescue mission's a disaster.
      Gordon: Those shots came dangerously close to my head. You guys could've killed me you know that?
    • Gordon briefly discusses He Who Fights Monsters, but dismisses it since he's never going to look like the tentacle monster he's fighting.
    • In Episode 34, a security guard greets Gordon with a message: "Make sure you don't-" before being shot dead by an assassin. Gordon simply assumes the guy was trying to warn him not to kill himself and was using an overly dramatic way to get the point across.
      Gordon: Okay, 10-4! I'll be sure not to do that!
    • In Episode 50, a guard following Gordon says "Sorry sir, but I can't take much more of this". Gordon berates him for being lazy, as they'd only been walking for two minutes and completely ignores that the guard just took a blast from the Vortigaunt that would ordinarily be lethal.
    • In Episode 51, he notices that a guard stopped following him and remarks that he probably wandered off and screwed around. Earlier in the video, the guard can actually be seen dying to Bee-Bee Gun fire. Gordon must not have been focusing on that.
    • In Episode 57, Gordon comes across a dead scientist lying in a massive pool of blood. His response is startled shock, questioning how he missed... the first aid kit on the ground beside him, which could potentially contain morphine.
  • Compensating for Something: Gordon speculates this is the reason behind all the automatic turret guns.
    Gordon: Somewhere, some manager is feeling like less of a man unless he buys more turret guns.
  • Computer Equals Tape Drive: Gordon is shocked when he comes across some really ancient computers in the facility.
    Gordon: Whoa, whoa, what's this? Are you kidding me? Are we using tape-reel computers? Noooo! Wait... are those slots for punched cards?
    Gordon: I think they are punch card slots!
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: In the third episode, Gordon's response to a scientist's prodding.
    Gordon: What do you think I'm doing?! Hey, I could just sit here and not do a damn thing. Bet you'd like that, huh? Ungrateful pricks.
  • Contractual Immortality: invokedDouble-subverted with the April Fools Episode 10.5, which ends with Gordon taking a flying leap at a ladder, only to fall down into a chasm and die. The episode fades out as the HEV suit voices phrases such as "Emergency! User death imminent!" The next episode picks up where the previous one began as though it never happened. Gordon remarks on a feeling of déjà vu and assumes he has eaten some "bad nachos".
  • Cool Car:
    • Gordon and/or Ross might have a thing for Porsches as Gordon remarks about buying a Porsche with Department of Defense contracts, another when he remarks the military truck he didn't know how to hot wire wasn't a Porsche with a laser-cut key and the second time Gordon encounter's the room with the techno music playing, it was playing music from Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed.
    • In episode 48, Gordon rambles to a security guard about buying an ex-police Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor and customizing it with fake blood splashed on the hood.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: The staircase that looks exactly like the one Gordon got shot by a turret gun in makes him freak out for a moment.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • After multiple encounters with lethal architecture and questionable research, Gordon decides that Black Mesa is surely run by one.
      Gordon: I wonder if the CEO just rubs himself with money...
    • Episode 34 has him concluding that the company is, in fact, run by a Bond villain.
      Gordon: We've got missiles, tons of weapons, lasers, a shark tank, and ninjas.
  • Crapsack World: Not only is this series's interpretation of Gordon a selfish Jerkass, but his reactions also paint Black Mesa, the military, and the aliens as just as incompetent and corrupt as he is, overall leading to a much bleaker Black Comedy-filled interpretation of the Half-Life universe.
  • Crossover: Freeman's Mind makes references to two of its most popular spinoffs, Shepherd's Mind and Barney's Mind, though both are very subtle; whereas the spinoffs are generally assumed to be set in the same continuity as Freeman's Mind and make direct references to it, the parent series is ambiguous about their canonicity, perhaps to prevent viewers from having to view those series in order to understand any jokes.
    • In Episode 61, as he's jumping into the portal to Xen, Shepherd's voice can be heard shouting "Backrubs!" This is highlighted by a caption appearing at the bottom of the screen. At the equivalent point in Shepherd's Mind, Shepherd is actually shouting "Get back here, you big orange fuck!" Krim, the creator of that series, requested that this line be included in the main series, but Ross Scott decided it would be too obvious, plus confusing for anyone not familiar with the spinoff, so went with something more unexpected. The explanation is that the noise created by the portal machine makes Gordon unable to understand what anyone is saying.
    • In Episode 67, Barney's voice can be heard among a jumble of voices coming from the final transmitter, saying "I wanted a cheeseburger!"
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Gonarch, to the point that Gordon gets annoyed and wonders why the heck what appears to just be a large animal can soak up so much damage:
  • Deconstructor Fleet: This show would rival Spec Ops: The Line in deconstructing first-person shooters if it wasn't so hilarious. Plus, Gordon deconstructs other tropes as well not related to first-person shooters or even video games at all. For a full list of tropes that the series deconstructs, click here.
    • Firing a gun inside an air vent is a dumb idea, and can permanently deafen you.
    • When Gordon shoots himself up with morphine, he's actually more or less normal, just slightly slurred in his "speech" and considerably less bitter about life than usual. And maybe a little loopier than even his usual self.
    • You can't just invent and build a teleporter, you also need several other major scientific breakthroughs to even make it possible.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Episode 8 has Gordon shoot a headcrab while in a vent, causing an ear-piercing ringing to echo throughout the vent and temporarily making Gordon deaf. He notes how shooting inside a vent wasn't exactly a bright idea.
    • Episode 29 has him reference the trope by name after setting off some explosive crates that were blocking his way without considering the possibility of them collapsing the corridor or elevator shaft he needs to use.
    • Gordon spends a lot of time trying to simply find a way out of Black Mesa. When he does, he quickly realizes he's in the middle of the desert with no supplies to cross it and begrudgingly goes back inside to find some means of transportation to get him across the desert.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: While fighting the Nihilanth, Gordon is teleported to another room. As he reaches the teleporter to get back, he considers whether or not to do so, but ultimately decides:
    Gordon: Him seeing me again should at least piss him off.
  • Disney Villain Death: One Headcrab inadvertently jumps off a cliff to its death while trying to attack Gordon.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you invade his personal space while he's stressed out, expect him to yell at you a lot if you're lucky, or shoot you if you're not.
  • Door to Before: Gordon encounters many of these during his trek through the facility and usually rants angrily about how useless they are for making him go in huge circles.
    Gordon: I refuse to believe this entire facility is a giant fucking Moebius strip.
  • Double Tap: Subverted. After killing Rocky the Rocket Ranger, Gordon muses that he might not be dead, but is satisfied as long as the guy stays down and doesn't think he's reached the point where he needs to start doing confirmation kills.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • In Episode 59, Gordon considers dressing as a soldier to fool the others, but their rampant friendly fire has led him to believe the soldiers are intentionally murdering each other as part of a coverup.
    • In the same episode, he inverts the trope by pondering what would happen if he could manage to stuff a zombie into his suit and march it out into hostile fire. He's pretty sure the military would assume him dead.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: After going through various instances of pointless, illogical, and wasteful implementations of bulletproof glass (from vending machines to emergency exit doors), Gordon acknowledges that the only time this practice made any sort of sense was at a security station.
  • Dumb Muscle: Gordon's opinion of the military clean-up battalion, and the military in general. Their utter stupidity doesn't help them any.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Gordon is more flexible than the player in the actual game. He can climb ledges and squeeze through large-enough gaps, bypassing obstacles that the player would have to find a way around. This is lampshaded in one of the episodes as he comments on how he can do a pull-up and mocks another scientist for not being able to.
    • Parodied in Episode 46. Gordon decides to simply climb on top of a building after seeing that the way to the ladder is lined with mines and guarded by a sniper. The game of course intends you to go that way. Then he later finds out it's even more dangerous than he thought, making him extra happy that he didn't go that way.
    • Subverted when he reaches the missile launch site and tries to climb a ridged pipe out of the facility, only to realize that he is in the middle of the desert in a metal suit with no supplies. He promptly returns to the dungeon.
    • The whole Power Up arc is a subversion since he spends more time wandering around and backtracking than he needed to. In Episode 52, Gordon imagines that once he gets out, he will meet an original architect of Black Mesa just to find out that he took the longest possible route to escape.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Early on, Gordon uses the word "dimension" in a fairly typical science fiction context. Much later on, he goes off on a rant after hearing other people use that word in the same way and talks about how that's not what it means.
  • E = MC Hammer: When Gordon sees Newton's formula for gravity written on a whiteboard, it throws him into a rant. As he rightfully points out, any self-respecting scientist, especially one with a PhD, should be able to recite that, as well as dozens of far more advanced formulae, in their sleep.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Discussed. One of Gordon's nicknames for the Bullsquids is "Cthulhu dog", because of their tentacle faces. He remarks that he was expecting to face one of these instead of a dog-sized beast, commenting "Cthulhu was supposed to be really big! Frankly, I'm quite disappointed." He comes to regret his words when he runs into big, powerful aliens that actually can be considered such and which would fit in pretty well with the Great Old Ones.
    • After killing the three-story tall tentacle monster, he comments that he thought it was actually a huge creature buried beneath Black Mesa, and that what he destroyed was only its hair strands.
    • When he finally meets the Nihilanth (a building-sized cybernetic fetus-like alien that can levitate, shoot lightning, and project portals and force fields), he calls it an Elder God and exclaims:
      Gordon: Lovecraft was right about everything! How did he know!?
    • He thinks that the Gonarch is some kind of god after seeing it shrug off multiple anti-tank missiles (of course, a few more missiles plus some well-placed satchel charges do her in).
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Well, The Girl From Ipanema is never used, but every working office elevator has background music of some kind.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Gordon gets the long-jump module just before his trip to Xen, and immediately hangs a lampshade:
    Gordon: This thing would have been great yesterday.
  • Emergency Stash: After realizing he's a fugitive and his bank accounts are probably frozen, Gordon mentions a stash of 10 thousand dollars in gold he hid in Massachusetts for precisely a situation like that.
  • Enemies List: Gordon puts a scientist on his list for annoying him during the experiment in the test chamber. One can only presume that the aliens and the "rescue team" are on it too if he hasn't completely forgotten about it.
  • Enemy Chatter: Gordon overhears some of it. A memorable example occurs in Episode 30, where he lampshades the Mad Libs Dialogue nature of the soldiers' idle dialogue.
    Gordon: Those last guys out there were making it preeeeety clear they didn't like me, which is a capital offence I guess. But these guys are just saying "Alpha Bravo Position Flanker Gamma Delta"-
    Soldier: Squad: all hostiles neutralized.
    Gordon: See, this is what I'm talking about.
    Soldier: Check your zone, over.
    Gordon: [walks up to soldiers] Guys, quiet! I can't even hear myself think- wait what am I doing?
    Gordon: Shit!
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Gordon misses out on several ammo caches and some weapons (including the second most powerful gun in the game, although he acquires it before entering Xen). However, each time he does, he has perfectly valid reasons not to do it. He didn't go down a passageway he thought (and later confirmed) had a bunch of soldiers in it while the way forward was a different direction, didn't pick up a crossbow that was covered in headcrabs, avoided the Tau Cannon because it had just caused the deaths of its previous owners, and assumes the Hivehand to be some sort of alien worm (which he then shoots).
    • He continues to think of the Ichthyosaurs as regular sharks, rather than alien monsters. Similarly, after his amnesia, he mistakes the headcrabs for some sort of weird South American predator, though he quickly comes to his senses.
  • Epic Fail: Any time the soldiers blow each other up in their attempts to kill Gordon.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Like in the main game, the "rescue team" has one when the first soldier Gordon sees guns down a scientist. But in Freeman's Mind specifically, they have another one involving the second group of soldiers Gordon sees: One of which accidentally blows his teammate up with a grenade.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Gordon lampshades it several times.
    Gordon: I don't understand! Why is everyone trying to kill me?! I'm awesome! Are you all jealous!?
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Subverted in the finale:
    Gordon: Hey, there's a light up there. Is someone signalling me? I think it's Morse for "Yabadabadablabadablabadaba".
  • External Retcon:
    • Freeman's Mind rationalizes a lot of things that don't make sense in the original game:
      • In the original Half-Life, the fact that Gordon didn't have access to any of the retinal scanners didn't make much sense in the Anomalous Materials lab, where he worked and should therefore have had access. In Freeman's Mind, we learn that the reason for this is that he got caught playing racketball in the anti-mass spectrometer room. Management doesn't want Gordon going anywhere in the facility without permission.
      • Fundamentally useless rooms like the box-smashing shed are attempts to pad out the budget (a very common real-life technique).
      • Despite his PhD, Gordon's role in Black Mesa appears to consist mainly of pushing trolleys because he couldn't be trusted with anything else, because all the other scientists are too frail to lift a box, and because he is the new hire. Freeman would've just returned from Innsbruck and graduated relatively recently. New hires and recent graduates are given menial labour and minor calculation work and are only trusted with vital information and responsibilities when they have proven themselves.
    • Gordon realizes the Administrator is evil far before anyone else. Ironically, when he's actually shown a picture of Dr Breen in Freeman's Mind 2, he fails to recognize him, on the logic that he was one boss of many that Gordon couldn't be bothered to remember.
  • Flat "What":
    • When Gordon finally comes across an elevator that goes up towards the surface, he gives a deadpan "what" when he finds out the path out is blocked by explosive crates.
    • In Episode 0 (the Hazard Course), Gordon blurts out a "what" when he realizes the training program wants him to jump off a narrow platform, over a dozen feet off the ground, onto a hard concrete floor. On purpose.
  • Follow the Chaos: Soon after the Resonance Cascade, Gordon realizes that the correct paths he needs to follow are often marked by blood, dead bodies, and/or dangerous traps and monsters.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: Parodied. Gordon desperately wishes he didn't have to follow the game's plot (and in fact never listens to people trying to tell him about it), but inevitably, the only directions that work are the ones that lead him into more danger.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Gordon foreshadows the ending of Half-Life: Opposing Force a couple of times.
      Gordon: I'm torn between wanting to kill every bug in this building, or just levelling it with explosives... I need a bomb.
      Gordon: This is bullshit! We need to nuke this whole place as soon as I'm out!
    • Gordon 's plans to terrorize and plunder cruise ships with a giant sea turtle, and explicitly ending Episode 26 with the comment "I shoulda' been a pirate." The results are mentioned above.
    • Not to mention that he talks about buying a scientist zombie off of the G-Man in Episode 12. Guess what later happens to him in canon?
    • Gordon doesn't realize what he's setting himself up for in Half-Life 2.
      • In episodes 5 and 36, he actually calls himself "The Freeman".
      • Of course, this might explain why the rebels call him 'The One Free Man' in Half-Life 2...
    • In Episode 66, Gordon accurately predicts that the Vortigaunts will worship him once he kills their leader.
    • He theorizes that the Administrator is a Bond villain. Said administrator would later take over the world and run it like a 1984 dystopia. Ironically, when he sees Breen in the early episodes of Freeman's Mind 2, he completely fails to recognize Breen as his old Administrator, thinking of him as one boss of many.
    • When Gordon first encounters a bullsquid, he comments that it looks like a Cthulhu dog, and tells it to say hello to the elder gods on his behalf. Cue the final episode when he finally encounters the Nihilanth, and he quickly concludes that he is an elder god and that Lovecraft was right about everything.
  • For Science!:
    • Gordon has great respect for the scientists testing the atomic bomb at Los Alamos because he believes it took balls to detonate a weapon that they were concerned might ignite Earth's atmosphere. He uses this to contrast the scientists at Black Mesa, who were toying with forces they had no understanding of and kickstarted the apocalypse by accident.
      Gordon: We're not brave, we're just stupid.
    • After finding scores of dead travellers in Xen, Gordon figures that the scientists in charge must just be wantonly beaming them there with no concern for their lives, and probably won't stop until someone kills them.
  • Energy Weapon: Gordon has frequent encounters with laser beams. Sometimes they're straight-up deadly, other times they activate something else that's deadly, like trip-mines and sentry turrets. More recently he thought about redirecting an exceptionally powerful one and trying to shoot down satellites.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Eddie, who seems to be Gordon's go-to guy for anything illegal, be it increasing Gordon's collection of human skulls, to pawning off an army's worth of stolen arms. Sadly, due to the nature of the series, we never actually get to see him.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When he discovers that there's a tracking device in his suit, Gordon considers stripping naked so the military can't track him. He ultimately decides against it since it wouldn't guarantee his ability to avoid the military, and he wouldn't be Immune to Bullets in the buff.
  • Gang Up on the Human: Gordon gets frustrated that he appears to be the only target of all of the antagonists when the different factions should really be fighting each other.
    Gordon: You know, it's a little disturbing how little I've seen aliens fight the soldiers and soldiers fight the aliens.
  • General Failure: Gordon theorizes whoever is in charge of the Black Mesa cleanup is this.
    • In Episode 44, he's very confused when he finds a squad of soldiers camped out on the side of a cliff, which has no strategic value and is very easy to fall off of. He gets even more confused when he sees a soldier ambush him by jumping out of a cave. Later, he sees a soldier hiding in another cave who has been crushed by a rock, and concludes that they were probably ordered to hide in caves.
    • In Episode 46, he draws attention to the very poor job that the soldiers are doing at killing him. He suggests that they should just use nerve gas on him since he isn't wearing the HEV's helmet.
      Gordon: If I were a general, and one guy just kept killing everyone I sent to kill him, I think I'd try something else.[...] I don't have a helmet, they can't seem to figure that out.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Gordon immediately identifies the Headcrabs as Facehuggers because of their similarities to the beings in the Alien franchise, and feels vindicated when he learns they do indeed latch onto faces.
    • Gordon's savviness is usually beneficial to him.
      Gordon: Uh-oh, I'd better check my flank. That's how they got that dude in Jurassic Park.
    • When attacked by Black Ops, Gordon fends them off handily because he identifies them as ninjas and knows how they roll.
  • The Ghost: Eddie plays this part. He is Gordon's go-to guy for shady and illegal deals and is quite possibly his only "friend". He is mentioned by Mike to survive and still up to his old antics in Civil Protection, assuming it's the same guy.
  • Glory Hound: In episode 12, Gordon accuses the "rescue team", aka the cleanup battalion, of being full of these. They all wanna be the big hero and are killing the base's personnel so their fellows cannot take credit for rescuing them.
  • God: While fighting the Gonarch, Gordon briefly wonders if he's fighting God.
  • A God Am I: After killing the Nihilanth, Gordon claims to be the new god because he thinks that's how it works.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • In-Universe. Gordon really gets annoyed when the Vortigaunts shock him.
      Gordon: THAT'S SO FRIGGIN ANNOYING! [guns down the Vort] It's not like the electricity kills me, it just hurts!
    • Episode 49 has him deciding that the aliens as a whole are this to the soldiers' Demonic Spiders.
      Gordon: The aliens mostly just use bees and electrical shocks, and while that's really fucking annoying and painful, it's not bullets.
  • Grammar Correction Gag: Gordon's reaction to "Yore Dead Freemon".
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Gordon wants one, badly.
  • Gratuitous German: Gordon speaks German at one point as his in-game résumé has him working in Austria before joining Black Mesa.
    Gordon: Zeigen Sie mir das Geld!
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Gordon hates ninjas. Plus, he wasn't expecting them.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: The series is generally well done, but it's clear that both Gordon and Ross Scott don't know anything about firearms.
    • See Armor Is Useless above. Sure, what happens can easily be rationalized, but interviews reveal that those rationalizations don't fit Scott's intentions.
    • While fighting the Black-Ops assassins, Gordon says that he thinks their armor could protect them from his 9mm submachine gun, but not his buckshot-spewing shotgun. It should be the other way around; the 9mm round, especially the standard-issue NATO type, has relatively high penetration (at least compared to other common stubby pistol rounds in use in the 90s like .45 ACP or .38 Special), to the point of being able to breach lower-end (class II-A/II) soft body armor with multiple closely-spaced hits. Buckshot, on the other hand, consists of low-velocity spherical pellets that are almost completely ineffective against even the most basic types of body armor.
    • When he first picks up the pistol, Gordon calls it a Glock, and notes that the safety is off. Glocks don't have safeties. Well, technically they do, but it's not something you can switch on or off. They just have a built-in "safe action" piece on the trigger to prevent the gun from going off too easily.
    • Though this could all be a Justified Trope: Gordon outright states he's never had a gun before coming to Black Mesa and that his only knowledge of them comes from repeated viewings of Die Hard.
  • Hand Wave:
    • Gordon usually doesn't take any real damage, because Ross is playing the game with godmode on, presumably. This is handwaved by the damage Gordon takes being written off as minor. Electricity hurts but doesn't injure. Most bullets bounce off the suit or miss altogether. Pistol rounds and buckshot do so without hurting. Rifle rounds hurt like paintball, but are otherwise harmless. Large calibre rounds and explosives can kill him right through his suit, but he dodges them. Headcrab bites are scratches. Bullsquid spit stinks but doesn't hurt. Et cetera.
    • Gordon himself provides the answers for Black Mesa's unstable structure when he realizes the monsters might be teleporting into the walls. He has some more when he realizes that the "Box Smashing Room" was probably built to pad out the facility's costs so they could get the same amount of grant money the following year.
    • The contents of Gordon's locker don't really mesh with the heavy substance abusing lifestyle that this Gordon has. The discrepency is explained away by Gordon being very confused and concerned as to why his locker is totally different from how he left it and that someone took his drug stash.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe example. In Episode 32, Gordon theorizes that his boss may be trying to take over the world. In Half-Life 2, his boss actually does take over the world, and it's implied that Gordon's boss used the whole incident to do this.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Gordon goes through the Black Mesa training course in Episode 0. He treats the holographic assistant's use of this trope as exceptionally stupid programming.
    Holographic Assistant: Walk directly into the ladder, look up, and continue moving forward. If you want to come back down, just move backward.
    Gordon: "To wipe your ass, first orient your hand behind yourself, then move it forward... or backward." Honestly, who doesn't know how to use a ladder? I mean, it's a LADDER! Somehow, I don't think this program is designed for the gifted.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. Gordon doesn't possess a helmet, but really wants one.
    Gordon: I need a helmet. To protect me from punctures, and facial lacerations... and bullets.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has a panic attack once he gets to Xen, realizes that the scientists screwed him over by sending him there instead of Massachusetts like he asked, and gets hit by all the implications of being stranded on another world with no way of getting back home.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Discussed in-universe. Gordon thinks that the line is "He who fights drummers" because "there's no way that [he's] going to end up looking like that".
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Gordon hiccups throughout Episode 40 because he worries if he has more people to kill.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: It's not really hilarious, but the ending text is accompanied by a video of some of the glitches that Ross Scott had to deal with while producing the series.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Among the list of things Gordon wants. From Episode 10:
    Gordon: I need a chainsaw and a hockey mask. Then we'll see who messes with me.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Gordon assumes the test monitors will start doing this when he notices that there's a whole panel of them at the Hazard Course.
    Gordon: I expect 10s. I better see 10s.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Gordon finally finds an elevator that isn't broken and goes up instead of down. He starts dancing in glee. Then it reaches the top, and the exit is blocked by explosive crates.
    • Gordon finds a set of ridged pipes he can climb out of the facility with. Then remembers he is in New Mexico, surrounded by barren desert wastelands that he wouldn't survive.
    • Gordon has one when he gets to the surface before the military spots him
      Gordon: Yeah! It's the surface! PARTY! PARTY! [soldiers appear and open fire] Man! It's the fun police!
    • Meta example, Episode 61 ends with Gordon jumping into the science team's portal. The next episode has him emerging in the woods and, while not pleased to be lost in the wilderness, he's thrilled to be away from Black Mesa. He goes on to conclude he's probably in Europe and beyond the reach of the US soldiers hunting him, can sell the firearms he's acquired to get back on his feet, and finds a jeep with the keys inside it he can drive back to civilization. He ends the episode laughing that he's won and free of the nightmare. This is the non-canon Episode 61.5. The actual Episode 62 has him emerge from the portal into Xen and promptly have a panic attack at being stranded in an alien world.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Gordon milks being trapped at a dam for all it's worth.
  • Humans Are Bastards: In Episode 51, he declares that his "opinion of humanity is so low right now" due to the stupidity or maliciousness (or both) of everybody involved in the Black Mesa Incident.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Gordon hypothesizes that the reason for the aliens' bad tactics is because humans are just that much better at invasions than them. He cites the fact that scientists were still studying alien creatures as the facility was being invaded as evidence of how far ahead of them we are.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Played with: Gordon occasionally avoids picking up armaments because they either seem dangerous or are too impractical to lug around. In Episode 10.5 he dies because of picking up the shotgun, leaving him too encumbered to make a jump. Later, he puts down the Gluon Gun because it's too heavy for the use he gets out of it. However, just before getting teleported to Xen, he happily takes the entire cache of weapons plus the bulky Long Jump Module. Luckily, Xen has low gravity, so the extra guns aren't as much of a problem.
  • Hypno Fool: Gordon gets nearly hypnotized by watching a gauge spin around, and then again when watching a piston move back and forth.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When Gordon encounters the soldier firing a rocket launcher, he rants about how stupid and dangerous it is to fire one inside an underground tunnel. Then after killing the soldier and approaching the rocket launcher, his first reaction is to try to use it himself.
    • Then of course his Angrish in Episode 40 as he's firing every bullet he has in his SMG at aliens and soldiers alike:
    • He mentioned that soldiers are so stupid that the headcrab zombies could probably trick them into not attacking by stealing their uniforms, then mentions in Episode 66 that he would assume a Vortigaunt was an employee with severe burns if they weren't attacking him.
  • I Can't Hear You: During the "power up the portal to Xen" sequence in Episode 61, the noise of the portal powering up and the enemies attacking him means that he can't hear the scientist shouting at him about what's going on with the portal.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face:
    • When he finally gets his hand on the shotgun he was looking for, Gordon accidentally almost shoots a scientist who is holed up in the room where he found it.
    • In Episode 47, Gordon accidentally shoots a Black Mesa guard who runs right through his line of fire in the middle of a gunfight with some soldiers.
    • In Episode 48, he blows away a guard who spooked him by running through a Door to Before. In fairness to Gordon, this guard had done this once before, and Gordon specifically warned him not to do it again precisely for this reason.
    • In Episode 60, Gordon is teleported out of a fight with a Gargantua and reflexively shoots a scientist in the face. He assumes the man's colleagues were trying to summon a demon and used him as practice.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In Episode 44, Gordon misses the attack helicopter with his rocket launcher, giving it a chance to blaze away at him with its machine gun. It somehow manages to miss every shot, letting Gordon live long enough to get back to cover and reload.
  • Immune to Bullets: In contrast to Half-Life itself, where even the weakest attack will at least do Scratch Damage, Gordon's HEV suit is immune to most alien projectiles and most small arms fire, with pistol rounds and thornets doing nothing, Vortigaunt electrical attacks and Controller ball lightning only stinging, and most rifle rounds only hurting like paintball. On the other hand, things like heavy machine gun rounds, alien melee attacks, and explosions are indicated to be instantly lethal, assuming Gordon gets hit by them, which again is unlike the actual game, where even rocket launchers and tank shots can't kill Freeman in one hit and can be shrugged off by simply picking up a couple of medkits after.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The series makes some minor deviations from the canonical Half-Life (e.g. the way Gordon's armor works, Uplink being inserted in episodes 58-59, Gordon being able to pull the occasional Dungeon Bypass), but most of it remains unchanged.
  • Incompetence, Inc.:
    • Black Mesa appears to be this to Gordon. One of the signs implores employees, "Work Harder, Not Smarter."
      Gordon: Yeah, that's us alright; we stay the course with stupid.
      Gordon: Man, you can just smell the money burning in this place.
    • As per Episode 40 it appears Black Mesa has been this for quite a long time, as Gordon implies that people have died regularly enough in experiments that the first thing that comes to mind when he sees a dead guy in a cage is.....
      Gordon: Like, why is there a dead guy inside these cages? I don't know what department this is, but this isn't how we kept our lab. If someone turned up dead in one of our experiments, it got cleaned up immediately.
  • Indian Burial Ground: Gordon speculates that Black Mesa may have been built on top of one.
    • Though he changed his mind by Episode 44 when finding out that Black Mesa is actually built inside a mesa.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: At one point, Ross Scott looked very similar to Gordon.
  • Inner Monologue: The whole point. However, an Inner Monologue isn't usually garbled when underwater, implying that he's been talking out loud the whole time. Or possibly just since he started losing his mind.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: In Episode 65, Gordon lampshades the fact that teleporting aliens lack even the most basic facets of modern society. If not for their armored Elite Mooks, they wouldn't even be an industrialized society. As far as he's concerned, taking over their world now that he's been stranded there is doing them a favour.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence:
    • Gordon runs into several flavours of these every time he thinks he's found an exit out of Black Mesa, Lampshading the original game's Railroading. Gordon winds up giving his own rationalizations for why they're there in the first place. However, unlike in the original Half-Life, Gordon can actually do pull-ups over easy obstacles, which ends up saving him a lot of time.
      Ross Scott: [in an interview with Podcast 17] Well I mean if you were in that situation what are you going to do? You see a bunch of things hanging down their tongues that can eat you, with a bunch of turret guns and mines lined up along the way, and you hear a bunch of soldiers chattering on their radios. Do you go that way, or do you just do a pull-up over a 7-foot wall?
    • Gordon is convinced that the Adamantium (Exit) Doors have one-way mirrors and bulletproof glass. And they're all locked.
    • Gordon encounters the Frictionless Hill during his brief stint on the surface ("The sandstone just breaks off!"). He finds a ridged pipe to climb, though that becomes a Hope Spot of its own.
  • Instant Expert: Zigzagged with regard to Gordon's aptitude with guns: most of the time he sprays bullets in the general direction of enemies, only surviving due to his superior armor and the sheer dumb luck that he never gets hit in the head. However, other times he takes careful aim and snipes a target from a considerable distance with little effort. He also has no trouble operating or reloading his weapons, even those that he's never seen before like the Gluon Gun. According to his monologue, he's never fired a gun before the resonance cascade incident, but learned all he knows about guns from watching Die Hard multiple times.
  • Interface Spoiler: The credits of Episode 68 cite footage from the "G-Invasion" mod, which is nowhere to be seen in the episode itself (or, for that matter, any other episode in the series). This tips off attentive viewers that there's a post-credits sequence.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Episode 46 has Gordon wondering if the air force is in on the army's conspiracy to kill him.
  • Intoxication Ensues: In Episode 57 Gordon finally realizes the first aid kits contain morphine. The main effect is that his train of thought slows down a little bit, and some of his tendencies (hey, button!) are taken up to eleven (Buttons!).
  • Inventional Wisdom: When Gordon runs the training course, he is immediately critical of the tutorial which instructs the participant to press the button before telling them that it resets the tutorial. He also thoroughly lampshades the He Knows About Timed Hits parts.
  • It Can Think: In Episode 59, Gordon begins to wonder if the zombies are getting smarter when one of them uses a dead soldier as a puppet. He becomes dead certain of it when they later set up an ambush.
  • Jerkass: In his April 2017 Videochat, Ross said he wrote Gordon like this:
    Ross: If I were a jackass, what would I do?
  • Kill It with Fire: With regards to taking down the tentacle monster:
    Gordon: Haha! If you can't take the heat, get out of the rocket propulsion test chamber! [Evil Laugh] Burn! Burn! Burn! Physics rules!
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Gordon has this opinion when confronted with the lightning-spewing aliens. Demonstrated again later when he witnesses two soldiers kill an Alien Grunt and a Vortigaunt:
    Gordon: And bullets win again! What a shock.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Gordon frequently muses about stealing office supplies, computers and experiments.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Gordon is quick to point out the ridiculous architectural design of Black Mesa, including the lack of structural integrity of every catwalk he tries to cross, the chutes-and-ladders elevator shaft, and the infamous "Box Smashing Room".
      Gordon: So where do these things go that we need this many crates? ...That doesn't go anywhere! That's a wall! That means we're just loading up these crates so we can drop them into this pit! That means there's NO DAMN POINT TO THIS WHOLE ROOM!
    • Also, Episode 14: Gordon starts pointing out holes in the plot of the game, saying that a government-funded cover-up would not only be expensive, but pointless against randomly-teleporting aliens.
    • He's also noticed that his day seems to consist of escaping from one death trap only to fall into another one.
    • Episode 28 also hangs a lampshade on the limited models for NPC scientists, when Gordon finds out they know his name.
      Gordon: Dammit, my beard betrayed me! They found my ID because I'm the only fucking scientist in here with a beard! If I went with that stupid Einstein hair do they wouldn't have been able to pick me out from a lineup.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The text crawl that shows after the finale plays the song from the Half-Life soundtrack from which the eight-note stinger was taken to make the introductory music, "Military Precision".
  • Lesser of Two Evils:
    • In Episode 49, Gordon decides that the aliens are this, on part of the soldiers being a much bigger threat to him due to their weaponry, and having the capability to hunt him down after he escapes Black Mesa.
    • After figuring out his suit has tracking devices that let the military set ambushes for him literally every few minutes, he decides to keep wearing it anyway, thinking it gives him better odds of survival. His justification is that, if he happens to run into a military patrol without it, and gets shot... well, that's it.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Gordon consistently fails to grasp any details about what's happening at Black Mesa or what he's supposed to be doing about it, mostly because he refuses to look at any clues or talk to anyone for more than five seconds. All the progress that he makes is either pure accident or due to him being funneled into a course of action with no options.
  • Long-Runners: The series started in December 2007, and is ongoing of today. The first season (covering Half-Life 1) concluded in December 2014. That's seven years.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: This happens a few times, as this IS Half-Life. Gordon also references this trope a few times in hypotheticals, like when he says that getting hit by a particularly powerful blast of electricity would cause his "head to blow up like a baked potato wrapped in tin foil", or when he thinks that the Bradley that's pinning him down will "turn [him] into red paste" if he tries to leave cover.
  • Made of Explodium: Gordon is astonished that this is another one of his obstacles:
    Gordon: Why does everything keep exploding?! Did we wire this place to self-destruct?
  • Made of Indestructium:
    • Gordon is not happy that the doors all have bulletproof glass. He is happy that, in an inversion, the concrete barriers shatter like Styrofoam when the tram car rams into them, but he's very confused.
    • He's likewise confused why blowing an entire pile of crates full of explosives does nothing to the walls but leave scorch marks.
  • Made of Iron:
    • The series abandons the standard convention of health bars and medkits, presumably in the name of realism, but in its stead simply has Gordon not take any persistent damage aside from the hole in his ear that he needs to bandage up. Ross has stated that this is because, in this version of the Half-Life universe, the suit is impervious to low-calibre rounds. Gordon has repeatedly expressed his amazement at the durability of the suit.
    • As the series goes on, Gordon increasingly disregards small-arms fire and alien projectiles, while continuing to take high-calibre gunfire, explosives, and artillery seriously. As well as giant monsters (e.g. Gargantuas). And anything that comes near his head. At one point he comments that he hasn't been shot enough times to scrape the paint off his suit, which suggests that there's a kinetic threshold below which the thing is completely impenetrable.
      • Rifle rounds are able to dent the suit and leave welts and bruises on the wearer, implying that the soldiers could take him down with mere body shots if they packed assault rifles and shot him enough times. It's just that, in the original Half-Life, almost every soldier was packing a submachine gun.
    • Also, just as in the original Half-Life, Alien Grunts take a lot of punishment to bring down due to their thick skin and bulletproof armor, much to Gordon's annoyance.
      Gordon: Why does it feel like I'm fighting a dump truck?
    • The Gonarch takes so much punishment that it causes Gordon to completely freak out, eventually coming to the conclusion that he is fighting God Himself.
  • Made of Plasticine:
    • Occasionally, Gordon is astonished that seemingly sturdy materials like metal gates or wooden crates burst apart with suspicious ease when he applies gunfire or a crowbar, especially when other objects, like doors, seem to be Made of Indestructium. In one episode, he shoots down a helicopter with an MP5. He spends the beginning of the next episode pondering how that's even possible. In another episode, he rams a series of concrete bollards with a tram, expecting nothing more than that the tram will explode, while it instead plunges right through without slowing down. He eventually concludes that the bollards must have been made of Styrofoam.
    • In Episode 45, he's pleasantly astonished at managing to somehow destroy a tank with a submachine gun.
      Gordon: I'd love to do a ballistics simulation to try and come up with a theory as to how shooting a tank with bullets can make it explode.
  • Mad Scientist: Gordon wishes he could be one.
    Gordon: Working in an underground lab is pretty cool. It makes me feel like I'm an evil scientist. I've always wanted to be an evil scientist. Heh heh heh. Ha ha ha ha. BWAH HAHAHAHAH- Okay, I'd better chill out. I don't want a repeat of Monday.
  • Madness Mantra: Lampshaded on at least one occasion.
    Gordon: [imitating machine] BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP- yeah, I'm gonna go crazy doing that.
  • Make an Example of Them: During his trip through the Uplink demo, Gordon sees the military execute some scientists just as he shows up, and assumes they did it on purpose to get back at him. It fails because Gordon doesn't know those scientists and thus doesn't care.
  • Major General Song: Gordon sings the entire song and adds another verse while killing an entire military squad in Episode 45.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Gordon is quite surprised by how calm one of the scientists in Episode 41 is when he gets shot in the leg.
    Gordon: No, stop, don't walk on it! Find some gauze to control the bleeding or something, jeez...
  • Manchild: It borders on Psychopathic Manchild in later episodes due to his mental breakdown, but Ross Scott once described Gordon in an interview as:
    Ross: He has shifting paranoia, egomania, mild schizophrenia, over-aggressiveness, petty motivations, and immaturity in general.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Episode 49 has Gordon acknowledging that he's caught in one of these. He eventually concludes that, if anything, he'd want the aliens to win, since the soldiers are a much bigger threat to him, and if the aliens win all the charges against him will probably be dropped.
  • Metal-Poor Planet: Gordon speculates the aliens come from one based on their lack of technology. He then offers to share Earth's metal with them... at high velocities.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • Gordon thinks this of the advice given to him by a security guard, who was rather lax on the details when it came to escaping the facility.
    • At one point Gordon considers taking one of the Xen aliens to a taxidermist, thinking he would tell them that he doesn't know what it is and that he'll just say he got it while out hunting. Then he realizes that what he's doing is sort of like hunting and that he really doesn't know what the aliens are.
  • Mind Screw: The ladder in the elevator shaft in Episode 11.
    Gordon: Why do you have a ladder in an elevator shaft? To fix the elevator! How do you get to the ladder? You take the elevator that doesn't work! Who thought this one up?!?
  • Militaries Are Useless: Gordon certainly thinks so, as he observes them spend most of their time trying to kill him, and killing unarmed civilians or each other, rather than actually doing anything about the Alien Invasion. When he sees them actually fighting and beating aliens in Episode 49, he seems more genuinely awestruck than anything else... only to react casually and with a lack of surprise when he sees the soldiers getting their asses handed to them by Alien Grunts a few rooms later. Including one soldier being punched through a concrete wall.
  • Monster Closet: Gordon points out that not only is this the reason the facility is falling apart, but that an alien could teleport into a person. At any time.
  • Mood Whiplash: Upon being teleported to the Nihilanth's lair, Gordon begins screaming in terror — as the episode abruptly ends with this playing during the end credits.
  • Mook Chivalry: The soldiers usually either avert this or play it straight, due to the schizophrenic AI of Half-Life. On one hand, they politely run around corners after they just saw their partners get shot doing the same thing, but on the other, they do things like throw grenades and aim for the head.
    Gordon: Goddammit, those shots came dangerously close to my head... why can't you just aim for my impenetrable body armor, like everyone else?
  • Moral Sociopathy: As noted under Pet the Dog, Gordon will avoid killing people and aliens when he has no need. However, he seems to be motivated more by a desire to preserve his reputation and avoid legal trouble rather than any actual empathy. Even when faced with aliens in the middle of Xen where no one would know, he still won't shoot the non-hostile because he doesn't want to discourage it.
  • More Dakka:
    • Gordon is overjoyed that he gets something to counter alien and soldier threats.
      Gordon: Is that an MP5? It is! [Evil Laugh] Now I can solve up to 800 problems a minute!
    • Then the marines bring in the heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, and artillery. While definitely a pain when used against him, as they can kill him as if his power armor doesn't exist, he enjoys getting to use them in Episode 49.
  • Morton's Fork: Gordon faces one after learning his suit has trackers in it the military is using to follow him. Ditch the suit and the military can't track him, but they could still find him anyway and the suit's armor is the only thing keeping him alive through the various gunfights he's been getting into. He decides to keep the suit on until he's relatively out of danger, then ditch it.
  • Mugging the Monster: Gordon never looks for a fight. He just wants to leave Black Mesa. But then people get it into their heads that he needs to die and find out the hard way that he's a One-Man Army.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Gordon, when encountering turrets, is constantly thinking about mundane applications for them.
    • He says that meteorologists should attach machine gun turrets to their weather balloons, and have them shoot anyone who gets close.
    • He remarks that with security cameras already being common at Walmart, in the future he might see the whole store rigged with machine gun turrets just to deter shoplifters.
    • But by far the best is his reaction when he gets shot at by a turret stored in the back of a truck:
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In Episode 3 during the resonance cascade:
    Gordon: This is a bad experiment! We are bad people! WHY DID WE USHER FORTH THE GREEN APOCALYPSE?!
  • Never My Fault: Gordon blames a guard for opening a door, startling him and causing him to shoot the guard in Episode 48.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Gordon laments some of the things he has to do just to progress his own escape.
    Gordon: Jesus Christ, I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything.
  • The Nicknamer: Gordon.
    • Bullsquids are "Cthulhu Dogs", and later "Snot Monsters".
    • Vortigaunts are "Zappers", though he admits it isn't a great name.
    • The Gargantuas are "Godzilla".
    • Xen trampolines are the "Asphalt Tumour Tide".
    • He also assigns names based on his comparison of the situation to chess. Vortigaunts are pawns, alien soldiers are rooks, and human soldiers are bishops.
    • The soldier who nearly kills him with a rocket launcher in Episode 28 is "Rocky the Rocket Ranger".
    • And the black-ops soldiers are ninjas.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • In-Universe, a bullsquid gives Gordon some, and we get to hear about it:
      Gordon: Yeah, that's right, moan! MOAN! That noise is exactly what I'll be thinking about when I try to get to sleep tonight! And I'll be dreaming about you sucking out my eyes with your tentacled face while I'm nestled up against a stack of rotting corpses; then my intestines will burst with insects crawling out of them; then the screaming — jeez, that's a long drop.
    • Sometimes he makes things Nightmare Fuel just as a means of self-defence.
      Gordon: Hey, that's a ladder! That means this is legit; this might actually go somewhere! I mean, it probably leads to a room filled with poison gas and a bunch of dead people that look just like me, but I don't know that, so there's room for hope, I guess.
      Gordon: If any of these worms get in my hair, I swear to God I'm just gonna freak out. Yeah, worms get in my hair; the power fails and the lights go out; then some old guy with a raspy voice starts laughing and poking me with a stick. That would complete the experience.
      Gordon: I was expecting to look down there and see this giant eyeball looking up at me, angry at me because I blew off its eyelashes or something, then the whole building starts shaking and I guess I'd just ball up and cry, because what do you do when something that big wants to kill you?
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In Episode 41, Gordon has this opinion about a scientist who got shot in the leg by a soldier while helping Gordon escape the building:
    Gordon: That's irony for you. He's the only person in this whole building who's been even remotely helpful, and now he's probably going to go get himself killed.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In Episode 3, Gordon says that he should calm down to avoid a repeat of "Monday".
    • And after shooting a Barnacle and watching its innards (or lunch) spill onto the floor, he says "This is like a repeat of when I worked in fast food that summer."
    • And in Episode 16, after turning on a fan that almost cuts his head off:
      Gordon: I guess I don't have anyone to blame but myself. You go around pushing enough buttons and heavy machinery, and you end up in trouble. At least there were no witnesses this time. I mean, this is nothing compared to Woodshop back in high school. I almost got expelled over that.
    • He states in Episode 35 that he woke up in a trash compactor again. One can only imagine the other times it happened.
    • He also mentions an incident in Austria that he considers even worse than the current situation, where he woke up naked and had to make clothes out of garbage bags.
    • It's a character trait and not an event, but his fear of Muppets is presented with the same casual tone and lack of elaboration as these.
    • Then there's his "memory" of "last night" when he comes to in the trash compactor. Was it his dream, a false memory induced by the temporary memory loss, or something that really happened the night before the experiment?
    • Mentions something that happened in Panama to an acquaintance named Eddie in Episode 48 which seemed to pay off big time. Whatever it was, it was probably illegal given Gordon's descriptions of Eddie.
    • There was once a time when Gordon was juggled in the air besides Episode 49, and it was horrible.
    • While trapped in Xen, in the middle of a floating, flooded landmass full of alien structures, no certain meals and poison gas, he comments it's only the second worst apartment he's ever had.
      Gordon: It's still not infected with bedbugs!
  • No Indoor Voice: Gordon pulls this off a LOT, especially when he is under attack and yells very loudly at his attackers. Though given the name of the series, he might not be saying anything out loud.
  • No OSHA Compliance: One of Gordon's many sources of ramblings. Even on Xen, the alien world, he remarks on the lack of guardrails.
  • No Theme Tune: But it does have a pretty recognizable "Bump bump chu... bump bump chi... bump bump" noise that plays at the beginning. That noise is the opening to "Military Precision" from the Half-Life soundtrack and is copied into every Mind clone. The part right after that can be heard in the closing credits of Barney's Mind and in the credits of the last episode of Freeman's Mind.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Gordon finally finds the elevator to Surface Access by the end of Episode 12. It doesn't go well next episode...
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Gordon lampshades this himself when medical skills might be useful.
    Gordon: Oh hell. Is that guy dead? Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a... normal doctor!
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Episode 10.5 has Gordon jumping across a large gap to reach for a ladder, only to lose his grip on the ladder and fall to his death.
      Gordon: OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! [SPLAT]
    • In Episode 23, Gordon camps out behind a corner and waits for the soldiers to run around, because he had killed several soldiers like that already, and is confident that they'll continue to do so. One of them instead chucks a grenade. After running in terror, he comments that he is watching natural selection in action.
    • Later, there's his reaction to Rocky the Rocket Ranger.
      Gordon: [sees white smoke in the distance] What is that? [rocket streaks past his head] JESUS CHRIST! Next stop, right here! You can have the tram, FUCK!
    • In Episode 28, Gordon has this reaction to graffiti made by the military that reads "SURRENDER FREEMEN", since that means the military knows his name, and he's now likely a fugitive whose bank accounts have been frozen.
    • Gordon has a pretty big one at the end of Episode 50 when the roof of the bunker he's in starts to cave in.
      Gordon: Don't crush me! This suit doesn't do shit against 50 tons of rock!
    • In Episode 56, he figures out that Black Mesa has a nuclear reactor that is about to go critical.
    • In Episode 67, his reaction to the Nihilanth is screaming in abject terror.
  • Ominous Owl: In Episode 28 when Gordon's mocking those who called him paranoid.
    Gordon: Owls can't read your mind, Freeman!
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, Gordon mentions having a cousin Jesse as well as another Jesse who likes to zap himself with a cattle prod for fun.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Gordon sort of does this in Episode 49, after a soldier attempts to kill him by throwing a satchel charge in the pipe Gordon is crawling through. "Sort of" because he's close to the exit when it's thrown in, is able to get to the exit before the soldier detonates it, and spends less than a second in the pipe after it goes off, quickly dropping out.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Gordon expresses this sentiment in Episode 59 when he sees a soldier being dragged into a barnacle's mouth.
    Gordon: Oh, wow. Perfect. I could use some popcorn for this. Might want to fire your gun there. No? Okay, that's just me. This guy is giving a performance. I respect that.
  • Painting the Medium: See Contractual Immortality above. In summary, Gordon never dies in the main series, except in Episode 10.5.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": When faced with a keypad lock, Gordon successfully tries "1234" as a combination. He laments that this can be attributed not to his genius, but someone else's stupidity.
  • Path of Most Resistance: Gordon lampshades that the right way generally seems to be where all the bodies and bloodstains are.
    Gordon: Well, seeing as this is the most dangerous thing I've ever seen in my life, I must be going the right way.
  • Patter Song: In Episode 45, Gordon decides to sing "Modern Major-General" as he kills the latest round of people trying to kill him. He decides to come up with his own verses because the song is outdated ("It's supposed to be *modern* major-general!"), and continues to talk faster than normal for several minutes after he stops singing.
  • Percussive Maintenance: When something doesn't work, Gordon's first instinct is to hit it with his crowbar. It usually doesn't help, though.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Apparently, Gordon believes that HE killed the dinosaurs.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After throwing a remote-detonating satchel charge between two soldiers who fail to notice it.
    Gordon: They must be listening to the radio. I'm gonna change the station. [Boom]
  • Properly Paranoid: He uses the Crazy-Prepared example above to claim to be this, but then starts listing off the ridiculous things he's paranoid of.
    • After all the crap that has happened at Black Mesa, who's to say that there aren't frogmen in the sewers and owls that can read his mind? (Probably escaped Aperture Science experiments if they're not from Black Mesa.)
    • He learns in Episode 33 that his suit has tracking devices.
    • He ultimately comes to this conclusion.
      Gordon: I need to stop doubting my own sanity because I've been proven right about EVERYTHING!
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality:
  • Psychic Static: Aside from "FREEEEEEEEMMMMAAAAANNN", none of the Nihilanth's psychic messages are noticed by Gordon as he moves through Xen due to his own thoughts blocking them out.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Gordon assumes this of the soldiers after he sees one gun down a co-worker.
    Gordon: You see, he's not even trying to plant a gun on him or hide the body. That's a bad sign. Like, this is just another day at work for him.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Just about every time he attacks something.
  • Puny Earthlings: Gordon is dismayed that he is the puny Earthling here.
    Gordon: I'm not sure what I'm more upset about: that they're shocking me, or that I can't shoot electricity from my hands.
  • Rasputinian Death: A subversion. In Episode 15, Gordon starts pondering about how he's still alive with all the injuries he's suffered.
    Gordon: So far, I've been bitten, shot, bombed, electrocuted, almost drowned, almost fallen to my death, and strangled! Rasputin wasn't so lucky! Now here I am, exposing myself to radiation! Why not? Let's add to the list! Maybe I could get burnt, stabbed and poisoned before the day's done.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: With the game as Gordon's "reality":
    Gordon: If there's one thing I've learned today, it's that missile launches are not like the movies at all. I thought there were all these procedures, two different people with special keys, a small crew of people to monitor all the systems... but no. It's just a big, red button that says "Launch".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gordon gives one to a security office he thinks is behind the murder of a scientist.
    Gordon: You may think you're hard because you plugged a scared old man but try that number on me and watch what happens. I didn't come all this way to get shot in the back of the head by some rent-a-cop. If the ninja took me out there would have been at least some dignity to that, with you there is nothing, absolutely nothing.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Gordon thinks that there's no way that the military can convict him for the killing of dozens of marines simply because it wouldn't make sense.
      Gordon: No military training, never fired a gun, acquitted for petty theft, not a member of any extremist organizations, has a PhD in theoretical physics. Yeah, that sounds like our man.
    • Later on, Gordon starts screaming at some soldiers and aliens fighting "I AM NOT REAL! IGNORE ME!" while shooting a .50 calibre.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Gordon considers swinging from a barnacle tongue but decides against it after guessing he'd pull the barnacle off the ceiling and fall down.
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: Gordon uses this as a boast when dealing with the turret guns and their incessant beeping.
    Gordon: I break alarm clocks, I can break you too!
  • Road Runner PC: One of the few game mechanics not lampshaded or defied in this series is Gordon's ability to breeze along at 15 mph without getting out of breath (and swim with equal acumen). He expresses a need in the first episode to practice for the company decathlon, suggesting he has some experience in running and shooting, while episodes often end with him taking a breather.
  • Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: One of the YouTube comments displayed during the end credits:
    roses are blue
    violets are red
    i am bad at poetry
    washing machine
  • Rule of Funny: Gordon slurs to an extreme degree whenever dizzy. Why? Because it's goddamn funny.
    • Presumably, it's also the reason his inner monologue gets so muffled underwater.
  • Running Gag: Gordon repeatedly...
    • ...commenting that he misses his suit helmet.
    • ...killing barnacles and getting showered by gore.
    • ...channelling his inner monkey.
    • ...wishing his suit had a grappling hook.
    • ...realizing he's just gone through a Door to Before.
    • ...contemplating hocking a loogie into various deep pits.
    • ...trying to kill all of the cockroaches.
    • ...getting frustrated by dead ends and trying to open them by hitting them with his crowbar (even the metal ones).
    • ...checking whether someone is following him.
    • ...ruminating that things are okay because he has a gun. (Emphasis his.)
    • ...stating "I should have been a _______."
    • ...commenting on the facility being a James Bond Super Villain company.
    • ...mentioning his friend Eddie who could either supply him with certain [X] or could buy certain [X] from him. ([X] being the not very easily legally obtained good of discussion)
    • ...witnessing the soldiers blowing each other up.
    • ...being startled by scientists or guards suddenly talking or appearing in front of him.
    • ...complaining about flimsy, easily-broken catwalks.
    • ...fancying whether he would be able to explain all the kills he made as N+1 cases of self-defence and getting increasingly sure that he won't.
    • ...entering an elevator with background music.
    • ...missing his throws with hand grenades about as often as he makes them.
    • ...intentionally avoiding areas where he could find a new weapon.
    • ...and intentionally avoiding picking up certain new weapons when he finds them. To be fair, he usually has a good reason for doing so.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Sometimes his rants border on this instead of merely venting frustration.
    • Teeters on the edge of total breakdown when he first enters Xen, as he's utterly furious at (what he perceives as) being tricked and abandoned by the scientists, and completely terrified at the prospect of navigating a world that makes no physical sense. Once again, screaming at himself for a few minutes seems to help.
  • Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: In Episode 6 Gordon mentions that he watched Die Hard "like fifty times", which is apparently where all his knowledge of guns comes from.
  • Scenic-Tour Level: It's the former Trope Namer, so of course, Gordon goes through it in the first episode. He uses the time to comment on the various safety and security failures, his lateness and intent to rob the company if he's fired, and his various strange acquaintances.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • In the Rocket Test Lab, Gordon is flabbergasted upon seeing a reel-to-reel memory storage device from the '70s. He's even more confused when he sees what looks like a punch card slot.
    • In Xen, Gordon comments on how the aliens have some technology far beyond that of Earth, such as teleports, yet are severely deficient in other areas like weapons.
  • Schmuck Bait: It's not so much that Gordon takes a schmuck bait, it's more that he's a troublemaker and that trouble is usually beneficial to him.
    Gordon: What's that say? "Do not obstruct laser shield?" Big letters, too. That's almost asking for someone to obstruct it, isn't it? I don't care for your rules. Now I wanna see what happens when it gets obstructed!
  • Science Is Bad: Gordon declares as much during the Resonance Cascade.
  • Screw Destiny: Gordon takes this position as part of his determination to escape his situation.
    Gordon: You know, people say you should just play the hand you've been dealt in life. You know what? Fuck that. I say that if you get dealt a bad hand, you throw out your cards, flip the table, pull a gun on the dealer and start shooting... life, I guess.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Gordon's main goal since the resonance cascade has just been to escape from the facility. But its labyrinthine design and the lethality of the firefight on the surface repeatedly force him to stay on the path.
    • In the Episode 0 prequel, which covers the tutorial level, Gordon skips the rest of the training session after he realizes he's been ordered to deliberately jump off a high platform and be injured in order to learn to use the game's medical supplies.
  • Sentry Gun: Gordon is at multiple points frustrated by Black Mesa inexplicably having automatic turret guns strewn throughout the facility in areas that, logic would suggest, are meant for employees to use. The fact that they also target the aliens is, at best, rubbing salt in the wound.
    Gordon: At least they're indiscriminate in what they shoot at... All the more reason not to have them in the first place!
  • Shaky Cam: As the series is in first-person, Gordon's freaking out and spraying bullets everywhere during a firefight creates a similar effect. Justified, as a real physicist with no prior military training would probably do that, too.
  • Shooting Superman: This series does away with health packs and HEV rechargers in favour of simply having Gordon's Powered Armor make him impervious to low level threats (low power rounds, Bullsquid poison, Vortigaunt electrical attacks, et cetera), with the higher level threats (such as explosives, high calibre rounds, and giant monsters) being instantly fatal, forcing Gordon to always dodge them at all costs. As a result, the marines' continuous attempts to kill Gordon by just shooting him in the torso with their MP5s comes off as this. Gordon lampshades it a few times.
  • Shoplift and Die: Gordon imagines that in 50 years, in addition to surveillance cameras, Wal-Marts will also come equipped with roof-mounted turret guns to gun down shoplifters.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted in that Gordon uses the shotgun at a much longer range than it is effective at in-game. Ross didn't modify it's accuracy or anything, he's just raised the damage to disguise the fact that only a few pellets are actually hitting the target in-game, making it look like it's taking several long range shots to down the target (usually a soldier). A similar thing is done with the MP5.
  • Shout-Out: See its subpage.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Ross Scott did enough research to ensure that any time Gordon spouts physics technobabble, it's accurate physics technobabble. He explained in a fan chat that this is a combination of remembering things from high school and doing just enough research to sound knowledgeable. Gordon's rant about scientists having trouble with Newton's formula for gravity is an example of the former, his lecture on fermions is the latter.
    • In the Talk Like a Pirate episode (Episode 27), he not only uses a lot of stereotypical pirate phrases, but some less-known historical naval lingo as well.
    • More subtly, Ross is dedicated enough to verisimilitude that he avoided having Gordon make any pop culture references from after the year 2000, as the game is set somewhere between that year and 2009.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Gordon believes himself to be this.
    Gordon: That's why the dinosaurs went extinct: ME!!
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In one episode, Gordon overhears two soldiers talking about how mad they are that Gordon killed all their friends (in self-defense). Gordon responds with machine gun fire.
    Gordon: There, that's for trying to guilt trip me! Yeah, the Big Bad Gordon. Of course! You guys didn't start shit!
  • Smart People Play Chess:
    • In Episode 49, Gordon muses about Shotgun Chess, but then disregards it all by shouting how he hates chess.
    • He also subverts it by insisting that Chess isn't as much about intelligence as it is about being able to think further ahead than your opponent.
      Gordon: And not in a clever way. You can be Einstein or Tesla, but you're always going to lose to that psycho who memorizes board positions and can remember 50 moves in his head.
    • A few episodes after the above, he comments on how chess can't possibly prepare one for anything he's gone through.
    • In an earlier episode, he remarked that the soldiers probably suck at chess.
  • Smash to Black:
    • We get one at the end of Episode 57 when Gordon steps into the teleporter, after he has spent the last minute or so insisting that the teleporters are just holograms. Episode 58 picks up the dialogue where 57 left off.
    • Another one at the end of Episode 67, as Gordon screams upon seeing the Nihilanth for the first time. Again, the next episode finishes the scream.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • In Episode 28, he complains about an attacker disrupting his "train of thought"... while he's on a rail car, thinking to himself.
    • Every now and then he mentions "solving problems" (i.e., through violence)... and he is a physicist. A profession that involves lots of math.
  • Steel Ear Drums:
    • Averted in Episode 8.
      Gordon: [sees a few Head Crabs in the vent] Oh, you son of a bitch!
      [fires several shots with his handgun, which are immediately accompanied by a high-pitched 'eeeeeee~' sound]
      Gordon: Auuuugh! My ears! That was not smart... firing a gun inside an air vent! I hope I'm not deaf!
    • Played straight the rest of the time, though. He doesn't have any sort of ear protection, yet doesn't complain about the noise outside of the aforementioned scene in Episode 8, and one other instance where a barrel explodes right next to him.
  • The Stoner:
    • Gordon seems to have an unhealthy fixation with Oxycodone, though it only shows up twice so far in the series. In one of the first episodes, he presumably has a "stash" of it in his locker (which goes missing beforehand), and in Episode 17, he sees a sign reading "Oxy" and thinks it stands for Oxycodone before he realizes it's liquid oxygen for a test rocket. "I don't think you can get high off oxygen."note  He later climbs into a shark cage in the hope of procuring animal tranquilizers (and is disappointed upon finding out he can't get high off the type Black Mesa uses).
    • Upon seeing a crawlspace in the ceiling in Episode 20:
      Gordon: You could store a lot of drugs in there!
    • Gordon's Oxycodone addiction becomes a cross-series Brick Joke when, in Episode 18 of Shephard's Mind, Adrian stops to take some antidepressants that he found in Gordon's Locker, only to discover after that fact that he had in fact overdosed on stolen Oxycodone, and spends the next episode completely stoned on the stuff.
    • As noted above in the Bilingual Bonus entry, Gordon straight-up offers to buy drugs from a passing scientist.
    • He theorizes an alien must be a "galactic stoner" upon witnessing it fall through a traditional Black Mesa catwalk and ignore his subsequent gunfire.
    • In Episode 57 he spends most of the time on morphine. Besides being a bit less frustrated with the world, and maybe a little more loopy, he really doesn't seem that different from his normal self.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: While hurling a grenade at a wall of explosive crates:
    Gordon: I have to blow everything up! It's the only way to prove I'm not crazy!
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Lampshaded in Episode 11, after leaping across an elevator shaft onto a ladder on the opposite wall.
    Gordon: Oh my God! That was stupid. Why do I keep doing stupid things? Oh my God. I could've died!
  • Stylistic Suck: Doom Guy's Mind has shades of this. The humour is much cruder and less sophisticated, and consists mostly of one-liners and swearing, all filtered through a ridiculously gruff voice.
  • Super Window Jump: The scientist pulls this, and Gordon is suitably impressed. Too bad he dies not five seconds later.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: One of the big draws of the series is how it ignores a lot of the usual Acceptable Breaks from Reality, and how Gordon reacts as the (relatively?) Only Sane Man in absurd situations. Examples being:
    • Upon learning of the HECU's motives, he immediately calls bullshit, pointing out how covering up the destruction of a well known research site and the deaths of most of its staff, as well as the aliens themselves, would be all but impossible and just be wasting the government's resources.
    • Gordon finally makes it to the surface, and is ready to up and leave the facility... until he remembers he's in the middle of the desert. Miles away from civilization. With no food and water. On foot. And the entire military trying to kill him. He promptly heads back underground.
    • Gordon hears a couple of scientists having an accident with some dangerous equipment. Entering the room, he finds a whole heap of gore, in the middle of which lies the Tau Cannon, one of the most powerful weapons in the game... which Gordon absolutely refuses to touch, as the last guys to mess with the thing were blown to smithereens.
      Gordon: I doubt it's any safer with blood all over it.
    • Gordon also likes to deconstruct common pop culture concepts; among other things, he says that getting bitten by a radioactive spider would be more likely to kill you than give you super powers, and that Tinfoil Hats, if anything, would conduct a signal rather than block it. He also thinks that the military cover-up is doomed to failure because the sheer size of Black Mesa would make it impossible to kill absolutely everyone involved.
    • See also Steel Ear Drums, Dungeon Bypass, and Immune to Bullets.
    • Some scientists save Gordon's life by teleporting him to their lab. Unfortunately, the shock and confusion of being teleported, right as he was about to die, causes Gordon to freak out and shoot one of them by accident.
    • When asked why Gordon avoided the Hivehand again in Episode 61, Ross Scott's reasoning is hard to reject:
      Ross: Man, I wouldn't touch something that looked like that.
    • When he finds himself on an alien world, Gordon has a panic attack and starts hyperventilating, and only keeps moving out of awareness that he has no other options.
    • When he finds himself face-to-face with The Nihilanth, Gordon freezes up and screams in sheer terror, and only manages to snap out of it once it starts firing at him.
    • In Episode 0, Gordon finds most of the Hazard Course training to be rather patronizing. Outside the context of teaching the player how to play the game, telling someone how to jump or climb a ladder is basically insulting their intelligence. Later on, Gordon is asked to jump from a great height to teach the player about Falling Damage. Naturally, he doesn't out of fear of injuring himself and refuses to complete the rest of his training.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Gordon's assessment of the situation, coming to the conclusion that literally everyone involved besides himnote  is an idiot.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • Gordon points this out occasionally as part of his genre savviness.
      Gordon: This is... suspiciously convenient. I haven't been used to things going my way for quite a while now.
      Gordon: What's with all these grenades everywhere?
    • The rocket launcher leads him to revise his theory that the entire Universe wants him dead. Then, of course, the attack helicopter from before shows up again... the end conclusion is, only most of it wants him dead, and he's caught in the middle.
    • In Episode 48, upon being introduced to a massive weapons stash by a security guard, Gordon muses on how he might have his friend Eddie sell them all and get a finder's fee out of it.
  • Sword Cane: Gordon wants to buy one when he gets older.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Spoofed by Gordon when he finds an unmanned-and-yet-to-be-activated sentry gun, which he then completely misses the grenade throw on.
    Gordon: Okay, paper beats rock, hand grenade beats unmanned sentry gu-shit.
  • Take a Third Option: Gordon brings this up when talking about the Uncertainty Principle (how measuring an electron's position changes its momentum, and vice versa). According to Gordon, there's only one correct answer—to get drunk and light things on fire.
  • Take My Hand!: Gordon tells an elderly scientist to do this in an early episode after the Resonance Cascade. The scientist falls soon after, letting Gordon spout a hilarious line.
    Gordon: No, your other hand, you idiot!
  • Take Over the World:
  • Take That, Audience!: Instead of ending credits (since it only takes a couple of seconds to show everyone involved), the last episode shows a collection of the most banal, misspelled, or obtuse comments appended to the series, including at least a few hundred different people asking "what game is this?"note 
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Episode 27 has Gordon taking up a pirate persona and the very beginning of Episode 28 has him trying to continue but goes into a coughing fit and stops.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: Gordon refers to two Bradleys as tanks, even though they're not. Justified in that Gordon, by his own admission, knows next to nothing about this stuff, and would likely make a mistake like this.
  • Tanks for Nothing:
    • Gordon somehow blows up an Abrams with a grenade launcher, and blows up a Bradley by shooting it. Both of these are obviously unrealistic, but the latter is particularly notable because said Bradley had just (realistically) taken dozens of rounds of small arms fire and three grenades without taking any damage. This is of course because the tanks and IFVs in Half-Life, just like every other enemy, could succumb to Death of a Thousand Cuts from any weapon, including the crowbar. Though these ones would only take damage from hits to the turret; their bodies were invulnerable. This is despite Ross Scott specifically saying that he wanted Freeman's Mind to be less "video game-y" than Half-Life.
    • The second Bradley Gordon comes across is dispatched realistically, with an anti-tank missile.
  • Tank Goodness: Gordon pines for this trope, having come across a tank with an open hatch but it's still locked (the actual reason of course being that Half-Life doesn't provide for driving any of the vehicles) and just thinking about it depresses him. He has to settle for using the mounted machine gun.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: One of Gordon's rants is against those who claim everything they haven't tried tastes like chicken, and he emphatically states that the giant tentacle he just barbecued likely tastes nothing like chicken. Though he does follow up by saying "this probably tastes like grasshoppers," which are on the list of things people claim taste like chicken.
  • Tastes Like Feet: He hates that he gets the bullsquid's secretions on his face and mouth.
    Gordon: They taste like dead caterpillars.
  • Tastes Like Purple: After getting teleported to Uplink, Gordon increasingly experiences flashes of green light until they take him back to the main game. The first time this happens, he thinks he just heard "someone green" and then wonders if he's suffering temporary synesthesia due to head trauma.
  • Team Killer: Gordon has killed (or at least incapacitated) at least one security guard intentionally, shot another after he ran in front of his gun, and comments about how the soldiers have killed their own guys on several occasions.
  • Tele-Frag:
    • One of Gordon's recurring fears during the series is the possibility of monsters teleporting inside of him.
    • Gordon theorizes that the reason Black Mesa is doing so much collapsing is that aliens keep accidentally teleporting into the walls and important pieces of equipment.
    • Later, Gordon surmises that the scientists sending "volunteers" to Xen don't know the location of the area they're aiming for, and are just punching in random coordinates. This would explain why there are ammo cases deep in enemy territory and why most of the hazmat-suited corpses he finds look like they fell to their deaths.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Doom Guy from Doom Guy's Mind: Episode 7, oh so very much.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Gordon tries to kill a cockroach with his machine gun, and when it fails, he says that's why he needs a shotgun.
    • In Episode 42, he sees an alien shark in the water. Not wanting to have another close call, he decides to simply kill it from far away with his machine gun. After firing about thirty rounds into the water, he fires his grenade launcher just to be sure.
    • When the helicopter starts firing missiles at him, instead of just taking him out with its machine gun, he declares it to be a case of this.
    • He has a similar reaction when the soldiers start firing artillery at him at the dam.
      Gordon: Dammit! Pretty sure this is unconstitutional, even cops aren't allowed to mortar people. I mean what happened? Was there an emergency session of congress to vote on bombing me!?
    • Gordon concludes that this is the reason the military puts trip-mines everywhere.
      Gordon: I guess the idea is that if an alien comes by here, we blow it up and the side of a building.
    • In Episode 56, he takes out a Grunt with a rocket launcher because he's low on other ammo. He then spends the rest of the episode ruminating on whether it's 'honorable' to use such an overpowered weapon.
  • This Ain't Rocket Surgery: In one of his Grappling-Hook Pistol rants, Gordon notes that a grappling hook would allow him to ascend a shaft with a couple swings, then notes that you don't need a physics degree to grasp the concept. The fact that he has one just adds insult to injury.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Gordon does it on occasion. See also Bond One-Liner.
  • This Is My Side: He declares one of the laser tripwires to be "the line" and tells the aliens to stay on their side of it. Apparently he played the trope straight in college.
  • Three Stooges Shout-Out: After seeing a soldier toss a grenade at his buddies, Gordon compares them to the Three Stooges and muses that he could see Moe lose it and kill the other two. He then dials it back a bit by saying that Larry could be brought back into the fold, but that Curly was Beyond Redeption.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • In Episode 28, he complains about a soldier setting an ambush next to a rocket that could easily be set off by their gunfire, believing the grunt should know better. He also criticizes the soldier who fires missiles at him from a mounted launcher in a tunnel, which could collapse.
    • In Episode 41, Gordon recruits a scientist to open the door leading outside, but first has to get past a couple of spinning blades. Gordon easily moves through them and tries to coach the scientist to do the same. The next thing you hear is *SPLAT*. Gordon is annoyed. Luckily, there were two more scientists to work with.
    • Invoked Trope by Gordon, a lot, in that everything he's doing is in Violation of Common Sense.
    • While Gordon doesn't have a very high opinion of the military in general, he has special scorn for the moron grunts hanging around obviously radioactive waste just as he enters the Lambda complex.
      Gordon: You know what the number one regret of dying people is? It's "I regret playing near all that radioactive waste because now I'm fucking dying!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Discussed. Gordon theorizes that the zombies are getting smarter after two of them seem to set an ambush for him.
  • To Serve Man: Inverted when Gordon contemplates eating the aliens in Episode 51, but lacks a means by which to cook them.
  • Tracking Device: In Episode 33, Gordon is understandably upset when he learns his suit is full of these, which is how the HECU has been tracking him.
    • In Episode 45, he wonders why he can't use it, then decides it's to deter thieves like him.
      Gordon: If this suit has a GPS tracking system in it, how come I can't see where I am? It must be an anti-theft feature. I would have stolen this thing a long time ago if I'd known how functional it was.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Doritos. Gordon spends several episodes musing about them, and when he gets them in episodes 10-11, he thinks there's something wrong with them, in spite of other... virtues.
      Gordon: They enough preservatives in them to mummify a small dog.
    • In later episodes, he spends considerable time talking about pizza, and unusual ways of delivering it (via trams, amphibious deliveries to beaches, etc.). Unsurprisingly, this begins to happen not long after Gordon mentions that he's pretty hungry, and generally coincides with his surroundings - being near trams, water, etc.
  • Training from Hell: Gordon is flabbergasted to see a squad of soldiers entrenched on the narrow paths of a mountain. He wonders if this is the reason that they're there.
    Gordon: And if over 2/3 of the recruits die, then they can label it as intensive training.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Gordon's "apprehension" at the end of Episode 34 consisted of at least one blow to the head. In Episode 35, he can't remember the events of the previous day or so, including the resonance cascade scenario. It's not until halfway through Episode 37, after he faces a bullsquid, that he really starts to remember all of what had happened, but for some reason he has false memories of it being caused by a Lovecraftian cult. He isn't exactly wrong, though.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Gordon comments on the unusual lack of this (among other security measures) at the launch site. Granted, it's not for a missile like he thought it was, but still.
  • Unfriendly Fire: In Episode 30, an officer blows up a pair of his troops with a grenade launcher. Gordon theorizes this is the reason.
    Gordon: I don't even think he was aiming for me; I was just the excuse!
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Gordon, and all the other mind series protagonists, to an extent, due to their blatant disregard for the life of others.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: As the series goes on, Gordon gets less and less surprised about the stupidity of the rest of the human species, and his constant near-death experiences. For example, in Episode 10, he doesn't even seem to care that zombies can punch right through concrete walls, even though that would be very bad for him if they ever got close. In Episode 46, he can't even bring himself to utter a "What the fuck?" when he sees an entire missile testing facility turned into a giant trip-minefield by the "rescue team". He just has a simple quip:
    Gordon: This room confirms every theory I had about the soldiers.
  • Unwanted Assistance: This happens In-Universe:
    Gordon: Uh oh, everything's working fine, better call in the military!
  • Valley Girl: Gordon talks like this after having sung "Modern Major General" trying to justify his actions to a corpse.
  • Vanity Plate: The Accursed Farms cow appears at the end of every episode.
  • Varying Competency Alibi: While Gordon's initially terrified of being arrested for all the soldiers he's mowed down trying to escape Black Mesa, he ultimately decides that the more he kills the less likely he is to get convicted. How are you going to convince a jury that a doctor of theoretical physics with rudimentary firearms training and no criminal history managed to kill a small army of soldiers?
  • Violation of Common Sense: He occasionally does this in order to progress, as in the game. Usually lampshaded, like when he speculates that the surprisingly-flimsy concrete barriers are actually just Styrofoam.
    • In Episode 0, he lampshades the stupidity of having to jump from a great height onto a target painted on the concrete floor during the Hazard Course. The idea in the actual game, of course, is to demonstrate what kinds of falls will actually hurt. In this series, Gordon decides to simply lie about finishing the test, assuming his supervisors will be too lazy to check.
    • Stand-out examples include making a running jump across an elevator shaft onto a ladder and running through an open area and strafing to dodge while a Bradley fires its 25mm autocannon at him. He lampshades how maneuvers like this could very easily get him killed:
      Gordon: [upon making the jump] OH MY GOD! That was stupid, why do I keep doing stupid things, oh my god, oh- I could've died!
      Gordon: [formulating his plan to make it past the Bradley] And this tank needs... seconds, to turn the barrel left and right. So that's my window of really shitty opportunity.
  • Violence is the Only Option: Invoked by Gordon, who makes a few attempts at communication with the aliens and HECU and comes to this conclusion because, well, they still try to kill him.
  • Western Terrorists: Discussed. Gordon notes that the government would have a hard time convincing people that he's a One-Man Army with dozens of kills to his name because he doesn't fit the profile of a typical spree killer and lacks connections to extremist organizations. In the course of his musings, he brings up Timothy McVeigh, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Charles Whitman, and notes that each of them had military training, contrasting them with himself, a theoretical physicist who's never fired a gun before.
  • What Does This Button Do?:
    • The usual reaction to finding a new button or switch he hasn't touched yet.
    • The standard alternate reaction doesn't even bother asking what it does.
      Gordon: Hey, a button! [press]
    • Gordon himself lampshades this, deciding that he shouldn't keep pressing buttons after one launches a missile. Then lampshades it again when he does so anyway.
    • And in Episode 49:
      Gordon: Hey, this [cannon fires and takes down the door] just a big button! [BOOM] Step right up! [BOOM] This is amazing! [BOOM]
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gordon's reaction to the HECU soldiers trying to kill him.
    Gordon: This is the worst rescue operation in history!
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: During the tram ride when the PA advises occupants not to touch the electrified tram rails, Gordon muses that they would only make such a declaration if someone in the past was dumb enough to try, though he then concedes he might do it himself were he drunk enough.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Gordon is less than enthused about the "fall three stories aiming for a red circle" part of training.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: In Episode 65, Gordon encounters a couple of Vortigaunts who don't attack him. He decides to let them live because he doesn't want to discourage that mentality. He does it again in Episode 66.
  • Why Won't You Die?:
    • Gordon ponders this about himself.
      Gordon: I've brushed with Death so often, I should start giving him high-fives as I pass.
    • He also says this regarding the Gonarch, pointing out at one point that he's killed tanks with the weaponry he's already thrown at it.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Mentioned when Gordon encounters a pair of NPCs located near a Door to Before for the second time, and gripes.
    Gordon: Those two have accomplished more by standing in one place than I have by running all over this facility leaving a trail of bodies.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • In Episode 26, Gordon wonders if there's any hidden Nazi Gold inside Black Mesa. Wrong FPS game, Gordon!
    • In a straighter example, Gordon considers bloodstains and dead bodies to be signs of danger, to be avoided, rather than considering them "clues" like a video game player would. This means he often misses supplies and ignores areas most gamers would explore. Notably, he skirted the room where the first shotgun is located, and so did not find one until two full chapters later. He also avoided picking up the Tau Cannon, an extremely powerful weapon, in part because it was covered in blood and body parts at the scene of a recent explosion. The other part, though, was that he'd heard the scientist and guard talking about it...and getting killed from it overcharging. He does pick up the other Tau Cannon just before Xen, however, and makes good use of it.
      Gordon: I doubt it's any safer with blood all over it.
    • Then in Episode 47, he avoids getting the Hivehand and instead tries to kill it, thinking it's just another alien that wants to kill him. He avoids picking up the other Hivehand in the supply rooms just before Xen; as Ross himself said, no sane person would touch something that looked like that.
    • Throughout the series he continues to believe that the Black Ops enemies are ninjas. However, this is a case when following the wrong genre is a good thing; because he thinks they're ninjas, he carefully searches for them everywhere and manages to gun them down without much difficulty.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: When he picks up the Rocket Launcher and he hears the return of the helicopter he starts speaking like this.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Gordon says the only thing that makes him stand out is his beard, being the only scientist with one. Aside from him, you've got black scientist, Einstein scientist, bald scientist, and security guard.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Gordon rants about the misuse of the word "dimension" in Episode 55.
  • Your Other Left: Early on, when Gordon encounters a scientist dangling from a broken catwalk, Gordon tries to save him.
    Gordon: Give me your hand!
    [scientist loses his grip and falls to his death]
    Gordon: No your other hand, you idiot!

    Tropes in Freeman's Mind 2 
  • Abridged Series: So far, the first series' habit of skipping over less interesting sections of the game has been inverted more than anything, with Gordon being clueless as to how to progress (the puzzle in the tunnels that involves flooding the room), getting sidetracked (searching for the G-Man), or just being unable to solve a puzzle the correct way and having to resort to almost ten minutes of extra busywork (the boat ramp). In all three cases, the game had to be modded to accommodate this.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Ross added a lot of things that weren't in the original, such as Gordon shooting a friendly Vortigaunt after falling into a boxcar (not possible in the original game) and his companion reacting accordingly, crawling through a window to the back of a building to search for the G-Man (which was an entirely custom area built for the series), and him nailing boards to a ramp with a custom animation of him flipping his crowbar over to use as a hammer to name a few.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Barney. In the original, he was more of a snarky sidekick, while in Freeman's Mind, he is more of a Small Name, Big Ego and Know-Nothing Know-It-All who expects Gordon to instantly recognise him even though he is one of the dozens of Black Mesa security guards, pushes Gordon out of his way in the lab, and doesn't give him a gun when the Civil Protection is after him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Dr Isaac Kleiner seems as friendly and endearingly quirky as ever, Gordon remembers him as an amoral Mad Scientist who's not above throwing his assistants to the wolves for an experiment. He even goes as far as to suspect that Kleiner booby-trapped the room containing his HEV suit with Lamarr just so Barney could get turned into a headcrab zombie.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Welcome to Grenadier Gordon's Grenade Emporium!"
  • April Fools' Day: The series premiered on April Fools' Day 2017. The joke (presumably) is that the viewer expects the video to be a joke when it actually isn't. A lot of viewers didn't get it and were astonished when the series continued.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Gordon is unimpressed with the AI of the Manhacks, which he deduces are programmed to fly straight toward any humanoid shape that appears on infrared. Since their only weapon is a spinning saw blade, this means they can be reliably defeated with something as simple as a baseball bat.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Gravity Gun is treated as this in the series since it has a massive kick that knocks the wind out of Gordon. As such, he doesn't like using to do anything other than lifting things.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Gordon's opinion of the City 17 Metrocops isn't much better than the HECU troops he fought at Black Mesa.
  • Badass Boast: Gordon nonchalantly gets a short one in while recapping the events of the first series finale.
    Gordon: Okay, I remember fighting an Elder God. I won, because I'm that good...
  • Bag of Spilling: Lampshaded. Gordon angrily curses the G-Man and his lame-sounding excuse for taking all his weapons away even though he's supposed to be on an important mission, leading Gordon to speculate that he's being thrown into the wild for the G-Man's own amusement rather than having a specific objective in mind.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Gordon complains about the G-Man, Barney, and the Resistance at large giving him no explanation of where he's supposed to go, what he's supposed to be doing, or even very useful resources like a multi-tool, a map, or basic necessities such as food and water.
  • Behind the Black: Lampshaded. When a Hunter-Chopper appears out of nowhere to attack him in Episode 12, Gordon notes that he didn't hear it coming despite how noisy it is.
  • Brick Joke: Early in the series, Gordon remarked on how he hated string theory and hoped the Black Mesa experiments would finally see it disproved. When he gets to Black Mesa East, Mossman makes an offhand reference to the portal technology being "string-based", to which he reacts with disgust.
  • Broad Strokes: Back in episode 61 of season 1, Shephard's Mind was implied to be in the same continuity as Freeman's Mind (and by extension Civil Protection) based on Robin Darnell's Shephard shouting at Ross Scott's Gordon while the latter jumps through the portal, an event that occurs in both series. Season 2 of Freeman's Mind leaves it ambiguous if Barney's Mind is in the same continuity (not only does Barney sound different, but Gordon also doesn't recognize Barney when Barney's Mind claims that Barney was Gordon's best friend and college roommate), despite a whole episode being devoted to Ian's Barney conversing with Robin's Shephard. This suggests that while Shephard's Mind happened, some of the details were different; funnily enough, this matches the canon position of Opposing Force itself pretty well.
  • Bungling Inventor: Gordon mentions a few Black Mesa projects that turned out badly, compared to the relatively minor problem of his grenades having blinking lights.
    • There was a microwave gun that, since it fired invisible microwaves, was impossible to tell whether or not it was turned on, leading to repeated instances of people getting cooked alive when they walked in front of it assuming it was off.
    • They got in hot water with the Pentagon for making guided missiles that constantly flew out of range of their authentication servers. Why a missile even needs an authentication server in the first place is never answered.
    • They built a laser tank that actually worked quite well... until the lens got cracked, causing the laser to refract and melt the gunner.
    • They tried to build some sort of equipment that would grant the wearer the power to psychically kill people. However, it was very bulky and uncomfortable, used an obscene amount of power, and couldn't kill anything bigger than a small dog, so they deemed it a failure and gave up on the whole thing.
  • Butt-Monkey: Barney seems to be shaping up to be one, treating Gordon like the two are best friends when Gordon doesn't remember him at all. Then just to rub it in, Gordon recognizes Kleiner instantly.
  • Calling Your Attacks: GRE-NAAADE!
    Gordon: The Greeks say moderation in all things. I'm not Greek- GRE-NAAADE!
  • The Cameo:
    • Mike and Dave from Civil Protection make a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in Episode 7, at about 5:57, with Gordon hearing them talking about how they'll enjoy tacos on their lunch break. Hopefully their hunger spared them from Gordon's subsequent massacre.
    • The All-Knowing Vortigaunt's voice is heard through a sewer gate by Gordon in Episode 15, but he decides it's best not to go after it.
  • Car Fu: Gordon runs over quite a few Civil Protection officers with his airboat during the "Water Hazard" episodes.
  • Cassandra Truth: In Episode 16, Gordon tries to warn multiple rebels in Black Mesa East that he was followed by the Combine, and the base is probably going to be attacked at any moment, but no one listens or even reacts to his warnings.
  • Chase Scene: Gordon spends the entirety of Episode 13 being chased by a Hunter-Chopper. He gets a little nervous about it.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • After realizing he's on the tram, Gordon points out that the "deal" was that he was going to go to Hawaii. He's disappointed to find that he's been dumped in a Russian work camp with no clue what he's supposed to be doing.
      Gordon: You know what the problem is? We didn't negotiate. All I said was Hawaii, but I would have taken Jamaica, Cayman Islands, anything like that.
    • 20 years in stasis between HL1 and HL2 have done little to cure Gordon's opioid addiction. The first thing he does upon seeing Alyx for the first time is to ask for morphine, and in a later episode, when a resistance member in the sewers offers him his supplies, he hopes to find drugs in there.
    • Even though Kleiner claims his hazard suit's been upgraded, Gordon's still peeved about the lack of a helmet.
    • During the teleporter accident in Episode 2, Gordon immediately recalls the resonance cascade in the previous series and starts screaming for Kleiner to shut the system down, just as in the previous incident, and stressing out over the possibility of ending up back in Xen.
    • Gordon pointing out how Kleiner with a Headcrab pet (Lamarr) is based on "his lab, his rules" is a callback to the Lambda Core when Gordon bailed on the Gluon Gun scientist who he accidentally unleashed a couple of Headcrabs on.
    • Gordon refuses to charge his suit's batteries because it would mean the annoying voice would turn back on again.
    • Gordon reluctantly admits that he hasn't acquired the powers of an Elder God, referring to his victory over the Nihalanth in which he hoped that he was God after killing the previous holder of the title.
    • Standing on a spinning turbine has Gordon recall his earlier difficulties with the spinning elevator in Sector C.
    • In Episode 8, Gordon refers to one of the Headcrabs as "Billy" and starts lecturing it about failing an exam. This references Episode 9 of the first Freeman's Mind, where Gordon pretends to be a teacher and, while pretending that the Headcrabs are his students, names one particularly misbehaving Headcrab "Billy".
    • In Episode 12, Gordon fires his gun in an enclosed space (a cargo container to be exact), similar to episode 8 in the first series. It produces the same painful sound as the last time; he even groans "Not again..."
    • In The Stinger of Episode 13, after being chased by the Hunter-Chopper, Gordon says he's changed his mind and doesn't want to be a pilot anymore. This is a nod to the very first episode when he spots the Apache from the tram, and notes that he should've been a pilot.
    • At the beginning of episode 16, while being still dazed by the knockout gas, Gordon complains about having had bad nachos, a call back to the beginning of episode 11 of the first Freeman's Mind.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
    • Gordon thinks this trope is in effect when he falls into a train car containing a man and a Vortigaunt, and immediately shoots the Vortigaunt dead, still unaware that humans and Vortigaunts are now on the same side. As far as he's concerned, he just saved the guy's life and the thanks he gets is a gun pointed in his face and a boot out the door, which leaves him utterly baffled. He decides that the only explanation that makes sense is that the Vortigaunt was the guy's slave, and the guy was simply angry about his personal property being destroyed, as anyone else would be.
    • Gordon himself complains about Alyx saving him because she killed five cops, not realizing they are already on a full manhunt for him anyway, and doesn't quite get that Barney bailed him out at a checkpoint, solely complaining about the lack of directions to Kleiner's lab.
  • Cop Killer Manhunt: Lampshaded by Gordon. After Alyx murders the Civil Protection officers beating him up, Gordon berates her for it, noting that killing a police officer means they will come after you with greater force and intensity. When he's hunted by the Civil Protection in the train station, he assumes that it's due to a "guilt by association" thing, and he's only making it worse by defending himself.
  • Cutting the Knot: In a few instances, Gordon makes use of brute force to solve a few scenarios.note 
    • Done unwittingly after discussing the trope with the actual trope namer (saying you just look like a brute that couldn't solve it the right way; to be properly deified, you would need to untie it properly, then start beheading people just to prove a point), early into episode 8. What he needed to do was turn a valve to flood the sewer he was on, and swim out a pipe that he couldn't reach with the current water level. What he did do was accidentally hit an explosive barrel while trying to kill a manhack, causing a chain reaction that wrecks the entire place and shatters the pipes, causing the needed flood.
    • In the same episode, Gordon is presented with a fallen power line electrifying an empty container blocking the way, which he would need to make it through without touching the walls even once to survive. Gordon decides to simply back up a bit, follow the fallen line and shoot its respective transformer until it goes off, leaving a safe, non-electrified passage.
    • When Gordon comes across a ladder blocked by a grate, rather than simply shoot the lock holding the grate on, he simply climbs the grate because the gaps are wide enough for him to get a grip.
  • Death Glare: Initially, Gordon refuses to put on the hazard suit because it gives him bad memories, but acquiesces after seeing the way Kleiner is looking at him.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: Gordon is a firm believer that if you see a whole bunch of people all screaming and running in the same direction, then they probably have more information than you do and you should probably join them.
  • Do Wrong, Right:
    • Gordon is miffed when he thinks the Vortigaunts are being used as personal slaves. He has no problems with enslaving them and, in fact, enthusiastically approves of doing so; it's the personal part that he objects to as he finds it irresponsible.
    • Gordon finds the actions of Civil Protection to be counter-intuitive; they destroy rebel bases instead of just letting them all congregate in one spot and get picked off all at once, or set up outposts along the canals for would-be members to get lured to their deaths at. He likens it to stomping on cockroaches heading to their nest instead of following them to their home.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Gordon at one point muses he's being used as a scapegoat because he's not a political dissident people are rallying behind. If only he knew...
    • Gordon didn't realize the Vortigaunts were enslaved back on Xen, and now they're freed and amicable to humans he assumes they're slaves.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Gordon is annoyed that the other main characters don't hold him in awe after he kind of saved the world. In particular, he dislikes Barney's flippant attitude, as he regards the former security guard as mere Dumb Muscle.
    • Averted with Kleiner, who does properly recognize Gordon's contributions. Gordon especially likes how Kleiner says that "trouble follows in his wake," as it means that he's the victim of it, not the cause.
    • Hilariously, Gordon misses Breen's speech about him becoming a Messianic archetype for the resistance. Gordon keeps thinking Barney and G-man are psychos who are using Gordon as bait to fulfil some other goal instead of having absolute trust in Gordon's ability to succeed no matter the odds. He also complains about women showing interest in him only to instantly turn cold towards him when they talk to him. This is despite it being very obvious that Alyx has minor hero worship for him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Invoked. Gordon is livid that the Resistance has so readily accepted the Vortigaunts after how the latter nearly wiped out mankind and were a major pain in the ass for him back in Black Mesa. He's convinced that their friendship is an act and becomes increasingly agitated by how no one else sees any issue with this.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Gordon assumes that he's just a nobody who nobody is rallying behind and the local dictatorship can make up any story they want to make him into a scapegoat. He couldn't be more wrong, considering his Living Legend status that will, in time, end up resulting in an outright revolution.
  • Exploding Barrels: Lampshaded when Gordon ponders the precise fume-to-liquid ratio which would be necessary to make barrels explode in such a fashion, and how spectacularly unsafe it would be to design them as such. He concludes Civil Protection must have deliberately engineered and placed them to make their indiscriminate killing easier.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Gordon keeps looking for supplies on everything except the boxes labelled as "supplies".
  • Fantastic Racism: Gordon really doesn't like Vortigaunts. He's still sore over the whole alien invasion thing since it only happened recently for him, plus nobody told him that they're now on the side of the Resistance, leading him to assume that humanity has enslaved them all as revenge for invading Earth.
  • Fate Worse than Death: When Gordon first sees a Combine Strider synth, he assumes them to be the antagonists of The Tripods and have "capped" the population. He emphatically declares that he'll kill everyone in the city before he allows that to happen to him.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Gordon recognizes that he's been sent some number of years into the future, and is understandably baffled by the Resistance being chummy with the same aliens that used to zap him on the regular mere hours ago from his perspective. It doesn't help that no one has bothered to fill him in on the new status quo.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted, unlike in the actual game. Gordon guns down the first friendly Vortigaunt he meets under the assumption that it's hostile, earning the ire of the human it was working with. Gordon is extremely confused by this since as far as he knows, he just saved that guy's life. He comes to the conclusion that the Vortigaunt must have been the guy's slave and the guy simply got mad at him for destroying his property.
  • Game Mod: Ross is playing a custom mod that allows for moments where Gordon does something completely different than what was expected. At first, it was just mapping changes, but the bit with using the crowbar as a hammer had to be custom code.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Gordon quickly deduces that he's in the future when he sees a Vortigaunt sweeping the floor, reasoning that humanity couldn't have enslaved the aliens into menial labour overnight. He isn't yet aware that humanity wasn't the one to do it.
    • Gordon figures out he's in a totalitarian regime rather quickly and deduces that the Resistance is likely compromised by a person on the inside based on how quickly their bases fall apart.
  • Going Down with the Ship: As he debates the merits of boat ownership, Gordon recalls this tradition and immediately subverts it: if his ship is going down, he wants everyone to go down with him, as a monument to the boat. He grants an exception for stowaways because they weren't actually invested.
  • Grenade Spam:
    • Gordon gleefully engages in this in episodes 10 and 11.
      Gordon: Welcome to Grenadier Gordon's Grenade Emporium! Our prices are so low we're giving them away! Have one! Give one to your family! Give one to your friends! Give one to your neighbour! Give one to your boss!
    • In Episode 12, he remarks that he's come to use grenades much more freely than he used to, and puts it down to "becoming soft".
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: It's clear that Gordon's knowledge of guns has not improved after his time at Black Mesa.
    • In Episode 12, Gordon attempts to shoot a Hunter-Chopper with his magnum revolver, guessing that the heavier caliber weapon would succeed where his MP7 failed. Even when considering that he shot down a helicopter with an MP5 at Black Mesa, there are two problems with that:
      • One: Any armored helicopter is going to, at the bare minimum, be proof against 7.62x39mm ball and 5.56x45mm ball (some of the most common rounds in the world). Being rifle rounds, the latter have far greater penetration than nearly any pistol round (bar novelty guns and certain tungsten sub-calibre penetrators), to the point that a weakened subsonic 5.56x45mm round can still zip through multiple class III-A vests like so much paper when just one of them can stop a .44 magnum round cold.
      • Two: the MP7's 4.6x30mm rounds, while not as penetrative as high-powered rifle rounds, still have better penetration than most pistol rounds (including .44 magnum) due to their 700-800 m/s muzzle velocity and steel cores. Though because the Hunter-Chopper is likely constructed of a similar material to other Combine technologies and structures, any form of small-arms fire likely won't even make a dent, to begin with.
  • Hearing Voices:
    • Gordon begins to suspect he is when he hears a Breencast speech before he discovers the source. Implied when Gordon finds a dead body and says this:
      Gordon: Fuck you, you're dead, I'm not listening to you!
    • Gordon initially thinks this is the case with Father Grigori's disembodied preaching before he actually sees the man.
  • Hanlon's Razor:
    • In Episode 5, after the canals lead him into an ambush, Gordon ponders if Barney is deliberately trying to get him killed, or is just simply that stupid to think of an escape route where Civil Protection can easily surround and shoot down at him from above with impunity was a good idea.
    • He does this again with the entire Resistance in Episode 9, since their operation appears so grossly incompetent he can't tell if their incompetence is genuine and they are unwittingly sending hundreds of people to their deaths, or if the whole thing is actually an Orwellian plot by the government to weed out and slaughter dissidents. Or "a little of Column A, a little of Column B".
  • Hope Spot: Gordon lampshades the improbability of stumbling upon the Black Mesa East Resistance base while the Combine army is right on his ass, and fully expects the place to come under attack any minute. He's naturally proven right.
    Gordon: God, is this even real? This is too nice. This isn't going to last. They can't play with my emotions like this!
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Gordon starts to suspect this is the real reason the G-Man thawed him out and released him in City 17, to be human prey for him and his "employers". He even wonders if the G-Man is the pilot of the attack helicopter that pursues him through the canals.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Gordon lampshades the sheer impossibility of the Hunter-Chopper that sprays out basketball-sized mines like candy, and immediately starts working up theories as to how the chopper could hold more mines than its volume would allow.
    Gordon: This is like a magic trick! This guy wanted to be a magician but he became a fighter pilot!
  • Hypocrite: After ranting that Cutting the Knot just makes you look like you were too stupid to solve the problem the right way and that someone as smart as him doesn't need to resort to "cheating" like that, Gordon accidentally hits an explosive barrel while trying to shoot a manhack, triggering a chain reaction explosion that ends up cutting his knot for him. He proceeds to brag about solving the problem, which makes him a hypocrite on two fronts: 1. That he "cheated" by his own standards and didn't solve the problem the right way, and 2. He didn't even solve the problem himself, it got solved for him purely by accident. Later in the episode, Gordon continues his hypocrisy by deliberately cutting another knot in his path. Both times, Gordon does something that isn't even possible to do in the actual game and was added in with mods, so he definitely isn't solving his problems the intended way!
  • Icon of Rebellion: Gordon figures out that the Lambda symbol is one for the Resistance, and promptly goes into a rant about how stupid it is to tag every rebel location or ammo dump with it since if he was able to figure it out that easily, the authorities most definitely can too and can use it to identify Resistance strongholds and secret areas.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In Episode 10, Gordon lampshades the poor aim of a CP officer by calling him a stormtrooper in the making and nicknames him "Darth Uzi".
  • Inventional Wisdom: Gordon questions the reasoning behind the Combine grenades having a bright light and beeping timer that warns potential enemies of the incoming danger, believing it would make more sense to disguise them as potatoes so his foes wouldn't see their deaths coming.
    Gordon: Hot Potato, bitch!
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Gordon ponders this about Earth when he sees nearly a dozen barnacles grouped up in a sewer.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: During his journey through Ravenholm, Gordon is briefly confused by the total lack of aircraft and gunfire, even though he's practically within spitting distance of the Resistance base. He figures they must be busy dealing with the Resistance but is concerned they may spread out in search of him if he's still considered a high-value target.
  • Knockout Gas: Once Gordon makes it to Black Mesa East at the end of Episode 15, they proceed to fill the room with gas to knock him out rather than the decontamination spray in the actual game. Shooting at one of their cameras probably didn't help with that.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gordon is ecstatic when he finds a Vortigaunt being forced to sweep the floors. Short of mounting their heads on spikes, he couldn't have asked for a better outcome. He's also delighted to see trash littered everywhere, thinking people are doing it on purpose just to make the aliens clean it up.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: In Episode 16, Gordon is shocked to learn the rebels at Black Mesa East are holding a portable gravity modifying device and they only use it to move crates around. In the next episode, he goes so far as to rant that the Resistance should be winning the war with the tech they have, were it not for the obvious disparity in resources.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Done with dialogue. When Barney comments that he's behind on his "beating" quota, Gordon quips "Pervert." Gordon does eventually assume that Barney tortures people on the side after thinking it through.
  • Mook Chivalry: At the start of his escape, when he is armed with nothing but a crowbar and being shot at by multiple cops, he thanks one of them for coming at him with a stun baton.
  • Morality Pet: Gordon seems to truly respect Kleiner, despite his usual caustic, misanthropic attitude towards everyone else. Although some of this "respect" seems to stem from fear, as he remembers a very different Kleiner from the one we get to see.
  • Mundane Solution: When Gordon has trouble with the boat ramp in the canals, he backtracks a bit to take some boards off a post and nail them to the empty section of the ramp, extending it so he doesn't have to jump as far. Again, not something you can do in the game.
  • Nested Mouths: Gordon comments on this feature of the barnacles after killing one, then notes that he doesn't recall them having it before.
  • Noodle Incident: Gordon's life keeps getting more interesting even before it all went to hell.
    • He remembers Kleiner as something of a Mad Scientist. When the cat incident from the game is brought up, Gordon is dismissive of the whole topic, knowing for certain the cat died and finding nothing weird or unnerving about it, implying more research along the same lines. And he's almost killed Gordon before in different experiments.
    • Gordon was a college can-throwing champion to the point a Metrocop's attempts at bullying him fall flat because Gordon thinks he wants to see the master at work.
    • During a rant, he admits to himself he once attacked a cardboard cut-out at a shoe store.
  • Not His Sled: There are quite a few changes from the original source material thanks to Ross and Toby modding the game:
    • Episode 4 has Gordon dropping inside of the train car with a rebel and a Vortigaunt. Unaware that the Vortigaunts are allied with the Resistance, he proceeds to gun the alien down immediately upon seeing him. The rebel is understandably pissed and threatens Gordon with a gun, telling him to get out.
    • Two of these occur in Episode 8. Normally, the player is supposed to turn a valve to raise the water level so that they can swim to the other side of the wall. In this continuity, Gordon shoots at a manhack and accidentally hits an explosive barrel. Cue a chain reaction of explosions that almost makes the sewer collapse. In the ensuing chaos, a pipe breaks and provides the necessary flood Gordon needs. Later in the episode, rather than risk getting electrocuted by walking through a shipping container, he shoots a transformer on a nearby utility pole, cutting off the electricity.
    • In Episode 9, Gordon spots the G-Man and tries to follow him into Station 7 only to find out that he disappeared. He then gets knocked back into the water by one of the zombies for his troubles. Normally, the only other interesting things in the station are the voice of a woman trying to hail the station on the radio and some optional supplies. Here, Gordon goes further to try to find out where the G-Man went. He goes through an open window and searches two houses, which doesn't turn up anything since the station is abandoned, before giving up and going back to the boat.
    • A minor case in Episode 10. Gordon comes across a jump where the player is normally supposed to use the barrels to lift a ramp in order to proceed. He does attempt to do this at the end of Episode 9, but screws up the jump on the boat, which he later concludes to be the fault of the giant hole in the ramp. His solution? To knock down the wooden boards nearby using the blunt end of his crowbar and hammer them in diagonally over the hole. It works.
    • Two cases of this happen in Episode 14. First, rather than go through a weight puzzle to lift another ramp that'll let him pass a wall, Gordon proceeds to blow up the latter with a grenade and simply drive the boat through the gap. Second, normally the rebels wish you luck and tell you to give the Hunter-Chopper hell after a Vortigaunt installs a gun on your boat; here, however, Gordon still doesn't trust the Vortigaunt and threatens him at gunpoint to get away from the boat when the male rebel reveals this to him. No one says a single word to him afterward and the female rebel silently opens the gate for him to proceed after Gordon demands it.
    • Episode 15 shows one of the biggest examples of this as of the time of writing. In the actual game, the player is required to jump off a dam with the boat in order to reach Black Mesa East. Here, Gordon makes it clear that there's no way in hell he's jumping off a massive dam and ditches the boat. He then simply walks down a separate pathway to make it to Black Mesa East. Once inside, the rebels' decontamination gas briefly knocks Gordon out, leaving him dazed and angry when he recovers in Episode 16.
  • Oh, Crap!: While trying to shoot a manhack, Gordon accidentally hits an explosive barrel, which he knows will explode with ridiculous ease, in a cramped sewer room stacked to the ceiling with them. He has enough time to notice the flames after the manhack is down.
    Gordon: Uh-oh...
  • The Only One I Trust: In the first episode, Gordon admits that Kleiner is the only person he trusts at this point. Considering how little respect Gordon usually has for other people, that's saying a lot.
  • Outfit Decoy: Similar to his opinion of the military in the first game, Gordon speculates that if he could manage to rig up a dummy and paint it orange, the chopper would probably spend 20 minutes firing at it before they figured out it wasn't him.
  • Police Brutality: Gordon notes that the Civil Protection officers didn't even bother to shout "Freeze!" at him before opening fire.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Gordon's reaction in Episode 11 when he sees the canal gate closing.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Lampshaded. While Barney knows who Gordon is, Gordon has no idea who Barney is. He doesn't recognize Dr Breen either. He does, however, immediately recognize Dr Kleiner and seems to think well of him, despite not having mentioned him at all throughout the previous series. Ross Scott justified this in a fan chat when he explained that Barney is not mentioned anywhere in the original game, whereas Kleiner is at least mentioned in the manual as part of Gordon's backstory. Going on the canonical sources and taking them at face value, there's no reason to expect that Gordon knows Barney. He also has no memory of Breen or Eli Vance for the same reason.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Gordon reaches Black Mesa East, he's paranoid that the Combine will find the place, as he shot down one of their choppers close to the entrance and a search party would stumble upon it easily. They do quickly catch up to him, but he's wrong about why.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Alyx calling Gordon a "man of few words" is played as this since in this series Gordon doesn't shut up.
    Gordon: Yeah I talk a lot, but that's because I get things done.
  • The Scapegoat: As mentioned under Entertainingly Wrong above, Gordon believes he's just some random guy nobody has ever heard of that the government is using as a scapegoat purely out of convenience, ignorant of the fact that the Resistance practically worships him.
  • Serious Business: When Gordon sees a train run down a cop without even trying to brake, he assumes they must be really serious about their schedules.
    Gordon: Arrival times are the word of God here.
  • Shared Universe: In addition to the Shepard's Mind shout-out in Episode 61 of season 1, Episode 5 of season 2 reveals that Freeman's Mind takes place in the same continuity as Ross Scott's other series, Civil Protection. The jury's still out on his Source shorts Galaxy Gulp and A Stranger in Need.
  • Shown Their Work: In Episode 7, Gordon complains that the new handgun and submachine gun use different calibres, while the ones at Black Mesa used the same calibre. In the original Half-Life, the handgun was a Glock 17 and the submachine gun was a Heckler & Koch MP5 note , which both fire 9x19mm Parabellum bullets and share the same in-game ammo pool. By contrast, Half-Life 2's handgun is a Heckler & Koch USP Match (which uses 9x19mm Parabellum bullets) and its submachine gun is a Heckler & Koch MP7 (which uses 4.6x30mm bullets), so they use separate in-game ammo pools. In short, he's leaning on some cross-game Gameplay and Story Integration.
  • The Stoner: In Episode 9, when Gordon realizes he's supposed to make a ramp in the middle of the water and jump off it with his airboat in order to progress, he concludes that the Resistance member who designed this escape route was probably high when he did it.
    Gordon: [in a stereotypical stoner voice] Yeah, he'll be like Evel Knievel, except like, on the water, maaaan!
  • Stunned Silence: Gordon's legendary mouth fails him at the sight of the Hunter-Chopper spraying out a fan of mines like some kind of clown car, simply because the sheer impossibility of it has him completely baffled.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Gordon points out it's really hard to shoot while swimming, as muscle memory might lead to shooting himself in the knee by accident while using the shooting hand, and aiming is terribly compromised too.
    • Since the Vortigaunts are allied with humanity in Half-Life 2, one would assume that Gordon would work with them like in the original game, albeit begrudgingly since he's (understandably) wary of them after the events in the first game. Nope! In episode 4, he immediately shoots the Vortigaunt in the trailer dead, causing the pissed off human ally to threaten Gordon with a gun and tell him to get out. How else was Gordon supposed to react after (almost) every alien tried to kill him back at Black Mesa?note 
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Gordon's opinion of the Resistance, especially when he tries to warn the people in Black Mesa East that the Combine are right behind him and they should evacuate the base, but no one listens to him.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Gordon is deeply suspicious, and slightly unnerved, at the discovery of random ammo packs that happen to be strewn across his path. Especially since the packs are always the right calibre for his gun. May double as a Call-Back to when he mused the possibility of being a cosmic pawn in the first series. He eventually concludes that the cops are so trigger-happy that they just walk around carrying these big boxes of ammo everywhere and sometimes drop them accidentally.
  • Taking You with Me: In Episode 14, Gordon rants (again) about reality collapsing since he was supposed to die but didn't, and decides that he's going to take all of reality down with him if that's the case.
  • Tempting Fate: At the start of Episode 13, Gordon thinks the calm following the previous episode is a prelude to a plane passing overhead and bombing him, noting that it's what he'd do. He then spends the rest of the episode outrunning an attack chopper bombing (and shooting) him.
  • Torture Always Works: Gordon confidently states that he would absolutely fold under torture and switch sides if he was captured and threatened with it. It's not like he's a trained soldier, after all.
  • Trash of the Titans: Gordon makes several comments about the dilapidated state of the city, seeing bodies, crates, and all manner of crap just left out with no one seeming to care to clean it up. He hasn't quite gathered at this point that the Combine are simply looting the planet for resources and don't care to maintain the infrastructure.
  • Uncertain Doom: Mike and Dave run past a sewer grate Gordon is looking out of in Episode 7, and shortly afterwards, Gordon is ambushed by several CP officers. This prompted a small debate as to whether the two were among the cops Gordon killed.
  • Universal Ammunition: Lampshaded and averted. In episode 7, Gordon finds out he can't use all the pistol ammunition he's collected in the SMG he's just picked up because they're of a different calibre. This causes him to lament how pistols and machine guns in Black Mesa used the same calibre, which made it easier to manage his ammo.
  • Verbal Backspace: When he gets stuck at a security checkpoint, Gordon begins to explain that he's a political refugee in an attempt to jockey for asylum, then another guard calls him "citizen" and he immediately agrees with the term.
  • Villainous Demotivator: Gordon discusses the Repressive, but Efficient trope, namely the well-known quote about Mussolini making the trains run on time. Since he's currently being pursued by Metrocops in a train yard, he muses that the trains would run on time if being late meant getting shot.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In Episode 5, Gordon pukes his guts out after freeing himself from a Barnacle's strangling Neck Lift.
  • Wastebasket Ball: When Gordon encounters the "Pick up that can!" Civil Protection officer, one might expect him to take the route of most players and throw the can in his face instead of putting it into the trash as ordered. Instead, he is only too happy to comply with the order... by making a magnificent shot into the trash from the other side of the room. He didn't even realize that the officer was trying to bully him; he thought the can-throwing skills that he honed during his college years were just that famous, and that the officer was simply asking the master for a demonstration.
  • We Need a Distraction: After the failed teleport, Gordon is sent out alone by Barney with nothing but a crowbar and his orange Hazard Suit for protection. Gordon theorizes that this is a deliberate attempt by Barney and Kleiner to have him draw the cops off while they escape.
  • With This Herring: In Episode 3, Barney gives Gordon a crowbar. Even though it's his trademark weapon, Gordon is not pleased, as he considers guns more useful.