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  • Adorkable:
    • Roland at times, who tends to stumble around for words. Most prominently around Lilith.
    • Gaige's first ECHO portrays her as a nerd, complete with tech talk and snorting laugh. One of the crimes listed on her wanted poster is "Excessive Adorability. Even after killing her Rich Bitch rival, and effectively becoming a wanted criminal, she still has time to be in awe over having 20,000 subscribers. What a gal.
    Gaige: Hello.. my... twenty-thousand subscribers... (giggles) wow...
    • Lilith turns out to be a massive nerd, highlights going to her awkward ECHOs recordings with Roland during the In Memorium quest and Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep.
      • The Son of Crawmerax has her affectionally doting on Mordecai's new bird Talon, even while he's biting her skin hard enough to draw blood.
    • Captain Scarlett is noticeably awkward in an endearing way. At one point she makes a "No fatties" joke and spends the rest of that sidequest apologizing for it.
    Scarlett: I actually prefer overweight men.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Gaige: Fourth Wall-breaking, Lampshade Hanging Player Avatar full of meta jokes and Medium Awareness? Or, possibly, a nerdy basket case seeing/fantasizing the murderous hellhole of Pandora as a video game she's playing through, pretending/hallucinating that she herself is a player controlled character, without any knowledge or evidence to support her delusions?
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Torgue's guns all firing mini-missiles may seem like another crazy invention of the development team, but they're based on Gyrojet weapons, which actually existed (and were discontinued for being Awesome, but Impractical).
  • Author's Saving Throw: When the base game was released some complaints cropped up over Tiny Tina's characterization, mainly the fact that she was a white girl talking like a stereotypical Sassy Black Woman. Starting with her re-appearances in the DLC and continuing into The Pre-Sequel, more focus was put on her being a Genki Girl laden with Troubling Unchildlike Behavior.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Tiny Tina. Some find her to be a hilarious Badass Adorable, but others find her to be an obnoxious Bratty Half-Pint. Later DLC packs would give Tina more characterization, which would help her get more fans and less detractors as a result.
  • Broken Base: While the game came out to wide praise, Borderlands 2 has nevertheless received an increasing retroactive backlash for one aspect: the writing, especially its humor. At the time of release, the colorful, reference-heavy, yet occasionally poignant script was near-universally lauded, especially since it codified the Borderlands franchise's personality, but as the years have went on — especially in light of the eventual sequel and its controversial story, as well as increasing backlash towards lead writer Anthony Burch (largely from the result of various internet kerfuffles regarding his personal life and politics) — there's been an increasing number of critics putting 2 under much higher scrutiny, the main ticket being its heavy reliance on pop culture and "meme" humor. To detractors, the humor is juvenile, the tone unbalanced and occasionally ham-fisted, and overall, time has just not been good for the game. However, there still remains plenty of fans that find 2 has held up well, that said humor — dated as it may be — is still what gives the game its charm, and that the over-focus on the "meme humor" aspect is more rooted in mocking its writer than evaluating the actual quality of the work, with the actual dramatic moments remaining just as strong as they once were.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In general, players recommend bringing in any source of Slag whenever you play in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, mainly because the buffs to enemy stats and the slag debuff mean that slagging things is the only way you're going to be doing actual damage most of the time:
      • A slag Rubi is considered mandatory equipment by a lot of people. What character you are playing as doesn't matter, except for whether or not a bayonet attachment is mandatory as well. This is due to its red text effect: whatever damage you do (from any source) while holding the gun will heal you for 12% of the damage done, and if the gun is slag, then everything else is going to do more damage, meaning you get healed more as well.
      • And with Assault on Dragon Keep, there's the mission-specific Grog Nozzle. It does about a fifth of the damage that other level-equivalent pistols do, but with the caveat that 65% of all damage done to the slagged target of the Grog Nozzle heals the player. Suffice to say, Claptrap's not likely to get his wizard beard....
      • The Slagga, a legendary Bandit SMG that is dropped from the Hodunks, is considered compulsory equipment for Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, as it reliably slags anyone, even more reliably than a Maliwan slag gun. Couple it with Bandit's characteristic massive magazine size and the increased power of slag in UVHM, and you have your new BFF for all classes.
      • The Magic Missile is another related entry as a grenade mod, given that it has the potential to throw multiple homing projectiles at a time, and automatically renews its ammo count over time.
      • And this goes along with the characters' Skills, since each playable class has at least one way to slag enemies without relying on gear (Gaige's Interspered Outburst, Maya's Ruin and Scorn, Axton's Double Up, Zer0's Death Bl0ss0m, etc...) Most character-specific UVHM guides are written in a way that you'll need those slag Skills for this mode, even if you have to respec from your accustomed build from Normal Mode or TVHM.
    • A Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold — a pistol that will effectively fire a staggering 14 explosive shots for the cost of 6 ammo — is also borderline mandatory equipment for every character as well. If even one bullet hits, the unlucky victim will take as much damage as if every bullet had hit. A Salvador that is properly specced for pistols Gunzerking with both a DPUH and a slag Rubi (or Grog Nozzle) can effortlessly kill any raid boss by himself. This build is known as "Pistol God".
    • Health gating. As long as you are over 50% of your max HP, you cannot die in one hit. By keeping your max HP in low number and damage high, you can easily heal at least 50% of your HP with every hit from a Grog Nozzle or Rubi, making you unkillable.
    • Zer0 can use any good repeater or revolver in conjunction with a Pistol-buffing class mod for a decent pistol build, but Maggie, a legendary Jakobs revolver, becomes a damage-dealing annihilator in his hands.
    • For Rocket Launchers, for those who have absolutely no way to get to the bosses that drop the Maliwan Norfleet, the Bandit Badaboom is the safer choice. It drops reliably from King Mong, found in the Eridium Blight, and only uses one rocket round per shot despite launching a salvo of rockets, as opposed to the Norfleet, which uses three. It's safe to say that this is one Bandit weapon worth using.
    • When it comes to manufacturer and weapon combinations, most would say that Jakobs Pistols, Dahl and Vladof Assault Rifles, Hyperion Shotguns, Maliwan and Dahl Submachine Guns, Jakobs, Vladof, or Maliwan Sniper Rifles, and Torgue or Vladof Rocket Launchers are the way to go (aside from the Norfleet and Badaboom). For E-tech weapons, most people agree that Submachine Guns and Rocket Launchers suffer the least consequences as a result of their unusual changes to their weapon strategies.
  • Crazy Is Cool:
    • The game in a nutshell. You're on a death planet, either as a super-powered Siren, a psychopathic soldier who blew up the dignitary he was supposed to protect, a maniac that wields two guns and kills people for fun, a haiku-spouting cyber-ninja who-may-or-may-not be a robot, a teenage girl who lopped off her left arm to make summoning her floating killer robot easier, or a raving, insanity-spewing sadistic psycho who sets himself on fire for power. And you have to fight a bizarre, evil, and generally sociopathic organization with no regard for human life, a ton of maniacal, murderous bandits that occasionally spout movie quotes and recite lines from Hamlet, and the wildlife of said death planet. Helping you is a 13-year old that likes explosives a bit too much, a conniving, conning weapons dealer who explicitly says "No Refunds," a doctor without a medical license or morals, a man who likes to punch things to death, a drunken sniper, another incredibly powerful Siren, and a soldier who used to date said Siren. Oh, and you have to kill a god. Did we mention the midgets? because there are totally midgets in there, too.
    • Character-wise, Krieg, Salvador, Tiny Tina, Tannis, Gaige and Handsome Jack probably represent this trope the best.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • With the wasteland setting that pulls less punches than it probably should there's a lot of this. Certainly the pirate involved in "child-schmafficking with some schmannibalism on the side" comes to mind.
    • Playing as Gaige can yield a lot of hilarious moments when you sit back and digest the implications. This is most obvious during Lucky's Wake, where the Hodunks tell a 18 year old girl to get drunk and shoot up a funeral. Admittedly, most countries outside the US have a drinking age of 18. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Gaige’s home-world has similar laws. Also, Pandora probably has no legal drinking age.
  • Demonic Spiders: Enough to have its own page.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Gaige's Dad never actually appears in the game, only in Gaige's ECHO logs (which were online, not even in the game itself as Gaige was a DLC character), but everyone agrees he's the coolest father ever for bringing Gaige cocoa while she works, supporting her plans to "take that bitch down" after her rival ripped off her invention, helping her bust out of custody when she's arrested for Accidental Murder, and sabotaging the ship of an assassin sent to kill her in the Son of Crawmerax DLC. He's the dad every young adventurer girl would want.
  • Epileptic Trees: A common fan theory suggests that Krieg might be Tiny Tina's father. While there aren't any concrete evidences, it boiled down to the coincidence that Tiny Tina's father and Krieg are both experimented on by Hyperion, and that's basically the main common point. In fact, Hyperion is known to have done a lot of experiments on anything judging by the various ECHO logs you can collect. While another minor claim was that the slag experimentations could have just mutated his face and form just like what physically happened to Bloodwing. Afterwards, it was debated that various lines of Krieg might be referring to someone, particularly a female or a child. For example his lines like "Martyr for my little one..", "THE TINY ONE AND THE SAD-FACED MOTHER AND THE BLUE TATTOO FOREVER AND EVER!" (when Moxxi asks if Krieg had someone he loved), and "She can taste the bloody hatred!" (in the A Meat Bicycle Made for Two trailer) made fans believed that he has a unique connection to Tina. But nope, none of the game's writers confirmed any of these wild guesses, and a portion of the fandom believes that Jack has already killed Tina's parents long ago. This theory was finally Jossed when Anthony Burch later stated that both of Tina's parents are dead.
  • Even Better Sequel: The game takes everything that made the first Borderlands so great, and puts it on steroids. The enemies are bigger, the fights are tougher, the story is better and the ending is actually satisfying. The game mechanics for the character classes are just much more interesting and varied. The environments are more varied. Mission objectives are varied (for a given amount of "go here, kill stuff", it's surprisingly diverse). Enemy types are varied. Guns are much more diverse, with brand names having highly distinctive gimmicks between them. New characters are very well written, and returning characters are given new life through better writing. It's just better in every possible sense. The only thing most players agreed was a step down was playing solo as even in solo there are one hit kills and the game doesn't change the Fight-For-Your-Life mode to reflect the lack of other players.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Girlfriend Mode" - Coined by the game's Lead Designer John Hemingway for Gaige's Best Friends Forever skill tree, since the tree makes the Mechromancer a Skill Gate Character designed for more survivability... Other variations include "the girlfriend skill tree" or the mode that your newbie girlfriend can play without being overwhelmed.
    • Some fans have taken to calling the Bullymongs "Bonerfarts", even going so far as to never finish the quest given by Hammerlock so they keep their names.
    • Other fans also refer to Axton's turret as "the little lady" or "the missus" after the affectionate nicknames Axton himself uses when deploying it.
    • Various digs at Funimation once the fans realized almost all of the actors involved have done work for them at some point.
    • "Playthrough 2.5" refers to the mechanic wherein enemies and quests scale up to Level 50 once you complete True Vault Hunter Mode, which allows you to catch up with your gear and prepare for the harder "Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode", the 3rd playthrough.
    • Some Game-Breaker gear combinations may get Portmanteau names such as the following:
      • "Pimperhab" for Pimpernel + Ahab, a Salvador build that uses Pimpernel in the offhand to exploit a bug that causes its split pellets to deal the damage of your main weapon; the Ahab is chosen because it does a lot of damage per shot.
      • "Shamfleet" for Sham + Norfleet; the Norfleet is an Infinity +1 Sword rocket launcher with an enormous blast radius, while the Sham is an Absorb Shield with a very high absorb chance, giving you a sustainable source of rocket ammo from hitting yourself with the Norfleet's explosions.
      • "Rocket Jump" - Using Sham + Badaboom (preferably a low-level) to invoke this trope, jumping while shooting the rocket launcher on the ground will propel you to heights without wasting much of your rockets. Salvador can turn this up to eleven since he can dual-wield two Badabooms for further heights.
    • Likewise, some glitches outside of gear combinations are so well-known and exploitable that the community has given them names for easy identification, such as the "A.S.S.note  Glitch" wherein Axton can have a stacking movement speed if he drops and picks up guns when aiming down the ironsights in another user's game session.
    • "Deputy Sal" for a Salvador build focused on abusing an oversight in his Money Shot skill to deal huge damage with an offhand Jakobs shotgun (usually an Orphan Maker).
    • Krieg's inner, sane personality has been referred to as "Inner Krieg", whereas his loud, screaming psycho persona gets called "Outer Krieg".
    • Preferred weapons with otherwise long names or prefixes get acronyms to easily distinguish them, such as "DPUH" for the Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold.
    • "Trolling Thunder" for the Rolling Thunder grenade mod, as its combination of being a rubberized grenade that explodes on each bounce makes it exceptionally good at killing the user when deployed in enclosed spaces.
    • "Slag Simulator" for the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, since you mostly have to rely on slagging your enemies and constantly switching weapons just to deal with their increased health and added regeneration. The mode also exclusively buffs the slag mechanics and weapon swapping as well, which really encourages players to incorporate slagging in their strategies while playing in UVHM. On the other hand, this nickname is also used as a derogatory term from those who hated UVHM due to the Difficulty Spike and the over-reliance on slagging just to even have a decent pace of progressing against enemies.
    • Since the names of the 4 major DLC campaigns have otherwise long names when written out in full, fans and community discussions (including this wiki) simply call them by the name of the starring character from that DLC:
      • "Captain Scarlett DLC" - Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty
      • "Torgue DLC" - Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
      • "Hammerlock DLC" - Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
      • "Tiny Tina DLC" - Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep
      • "Lilith DLC" - Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary
    • Salvador is known in Mexico as "Chava", which is how people named Salvador are widely known.
  • Fanon: For some inexplicable reason, fans are in agreement that Krieg's name before going insane is Craig.
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Rats can be frustrating to fight for various reasons. First and foremost is their speed and twitchy movement patterns. The midget rats are the worst - they're not only fast and ridiculously accurate, but they're also really small targets that aren't burdened by a heavy shotgun or axe like their bandit counterparts.
    • Surveyors are a real pain to fight unless they're healing another enemy, since it's virtually impossible to hit them until they're flying directly at you and will probably get a shot off at you before you can drop them.
    • Rakk. They're very easy to kill, sure, but they almost never show up until you're already fighting something far more dangerous, leaving these things to dive-bomb you and thump you around and block your vision while keeping your shields from recharging. Worse if you're standing near any sort of cliff or a bridge without guard rails, the Rakk's attack is strong enough to knock you off most cliffs even if you're a reasonable distance from them (to say nothing of the aforementioned bridges).
    • Skags aren't particularly threatening, but they always attack in large packs to hound you from all sides, their weak points are tough to hit, and some of them can pelt you from long range with slowing attacks. They also have a chance of spawning with various elemental affinities (mostly fire and slag) which they can then grant to other skags nearby.
    • You will learn to hate bandit Technicals and Buzzards in The Dust, especially when you're out farming for certain legendary weapons.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Too many to count.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: This game treats Krieg's multiple personalities as Funny Schizophrenia. However, according to Borderlands 3's "Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck" DLC, Krieg has a massive inferiority complex and believes the Crimson Raiders all hate him. This may add a small layer of discomfort while playing as him, knowing that deep down he's likely judging himself through the entire game.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Tiny Tina's voice sounds rather similar to the (in)famous "Catch me outside" girl. Even better, that phrase would be completely in character for Tina to say.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: Or this game's version of the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode to be precise, due to the sheer increase in enemy stats rendering a lot of builds and equipment obsolete and forcing a fairly monotonous playstyle. Those who've played the UVHM of The Pre-Sequel first before 2 would be surprised that enemies have Regenerating Health, which can make fights longer than intended.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • The Psychos aren't entirely aware that what they're doing is wrong. Among the named Psychos, Flesh-Stick has at least a sense of awareness in what he's doing. Before Tiny Tina killed him? Flesh-Stick says sorry for selling out her family. Lastly, the Midget Psychos being chained into the Nomads' shields implies that Psychos are being tortured by whom they are even known to be allied with.
    • Nomads just want you to fuck off, and sometimes prefer that you killed them so that they won't bother being with their fellow Bandits and Psychos anymore.
    • Most of the Loaders aren't even built for combat, a broadcast in Opportunity city even has Jack suggesting that Hyperion Engineers take the shot for them.
    • Hyperion Engineers are just trying to do their (very morally questionable and overly destructive) jobs, while you as the Vault Hunter raid their bases.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Zer0 is the most feared and cunning assassin in the galaxy who chose to become a Vault Hunter to find ever great challenges to test his skills. A devious combatant, Zer0 opens combat by unleashing pin point headshots on his targets before closing in to massacre his foes with his blue edged black katana, all the while controlling the battlefield by using a decoy to confound his foes and line up the perfect shot or backstab. Utterly mysterious in his iconic full body black suit, Zer0 chooses to communicate only through haiku, even in the midst of battle, or through emoticons that reveal his emotions to his allies. After saving the life of Hyperion worker Rhys, Zer0 becomes his most valuable operative when he takes control of the Atlas Corporation and Zer0 performs acts of espionage, sabotage, and assassination on Maliwan when they launch an invasion.
    • Ellie is the daughter of "Mad" Moxxi and combines her mother's wicked intellect and cunning with bloodlust and engineering skills that surpass even her brother Scooter. Proudly obese and highly flirtatious, Ellie is first introduced crushing a hapless bandit in her scrapyard and aids the Vault Hunters in creating a perfect transport to infiltrate an enemy stronghold. She later masterminds the reigniting of the bloody feud between the Hodunk and Zaford clans and ensures the conflict escalates until both families are decimated, partly for personal vengeance and mostly for the fun of it. After giving a proper send off to her late brother, Ellie replaces him as the Crimson Raiders' chief engineer and single handedly builds the Raiders a massive starship from local scrap and provides her new allies versatile and deadly vehicles to wage war on the Calypso Twins and their Children of the Vault.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Still Waiting for Borderlands 3"Explanation 
  • Narm: An intentional example: there is a loader robot named Innuendobot5000, who Moxxi programmed to say sexual puns all the time. He apparently doesn't like it, and at one time say "Every sexual pun I speak is like the pain of a thousand needles entering my mind.". While having to talk that way probably would get annoying, it's hardly some kind of unbearable agonizing torture like he suggests.
  • Narm Charm: The Main Menu Theme can be a relaxing Awesome Music for its usage of the guitar, which reminds players that this is indeed a Space Western game... Until Claptrap is phased from out of nowhere, then speaking while the background music is still playing.
    Claptrap: I gotta pee.
  • Paranoia Fuel: "Hyperion urges you to not think about the fact that your current body is only a digital copy of your original one, which died the first time you respawned. Don't think about it!"
  • Polished Port: Unlike the original (which the two major issues were inability to change FOV and setting aim down sight to toggle instead of hold), Borderlands 2's PC version was absolutely decked with options for the player's varied preferences, and pretty well-optimized for a 2012 title (though some settings are FPS killers for low-end machines, such as the PhysX settings and changing post-processing settings through .ini outside the game itself could made the game run better.)
    • The Linux version was initially praised as a textbook example of porting to the OS done right, thanks to tight optimizations ensuring that the game outperforms the Windows version of the game even on lower spec hardware. However, as time moved on, it was neglected...
  • Porting Disaster: The Playstation Vita version is a good example of everything that can go wrong when porting a console game to a handheld. The framerate tops out at a pitiful 20 FPS despite the graphics being downgraded to "late-era PS2" quality, the inventory text is almost unreadable due to not being scaled to the Vita's screen, crashes and freezes are common, and co-op mode only supports two players. Patches have since fixed the most egregious issues, but gamers looking to play the game on the go are better off buying the Legendary Collection for Nintendo Switch.
    • The Linux version became this by the time the Commander Lilith DLC was released. Not only did said DLC not see the light of day on the platform, but cross-platform play was discontinued due to the version number no longer being in sync with the Windows version of the game. To say the vocal Linux gamers who bought this solely because there's a Linux Native version was furious is an understatement.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Claptraps were initially despised in the first game. Thankfully, this game tones down the one surviving unit's Annoying Video Game Helper tendencies and he's given plenty of Take That, Scrappy! moments throughout the game that make players pity him.
    • A number of weapon types were given massive overhauls and buffs from the first game. The most basic and obvious examples being the Launchers, which pack far more firepower, Shotguns, which have been given a range/accuracy increase (especially the Hyperion ones), and the Pistols, which were merged with the Revolvers, allowing them to share the same pool of ammo, as well as being made more powerful in general.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Too many to list here, to the point of requiring its own page.
  • Scrappy Weapon: This being Borderlands, where 90% of the items become Better Off Sold, this is inevitable.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Players have made plenty of this. There's some of the common challenges such as one-life runs and melee only runs. Notably, there are challenges that are unique for the game such as:
    • Non-Badass Run: Disabling the Badass Rank percentage bonuses that your profile has accumulated from completed challenges. As the bonuses make all of your characters much stronger than when you first started, subsequently making the game easier, players disable them to experience the actual difficulty being presented.
    • Allegiance Run: Use items from one specific manufacturer only. So if you decided to use items from Hyperion only, you can only use Hyperion items. There's two sub-types of Allegiance Run: Casual, which allows the usage of items manufactured by Anshin, Pangolin (both are shield only manufacturers) and Eridian (they only made relics); and Absolute, where you're banned from using items from Anshin, Pangolin, and Eridian (aside from, sometimes, their manufacturer's Allegiance relic).
    • Scavenger Run: If an enemy drops an item, the player must replace the currently equipped item with whatever item that they dropped. If a player founds a chest or a boss drops multiple items, the player can pick one item that they like the most from whatever loot was found on the chest/dropped by the boss.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The slot machines, especially if you're running 2-player co-op (since cash and Eridium payouts from the machines are given to all players). Go to town, turn in quests, spend the next hour wasting time and money on the slot machine, hoping for some rare gear to keep.
  • Special Effect Failure: While all of the user interface, heads-up display and menus are rendered in-game this time around to prove that the ECHOnet device is indeed a Diegetic Interface, the idea of rendering menus in-game can be rather wonky at times when it would include other visual artifacts on the screen such as nova shield explosions. The most egregious cases include Deathtrap covering a large part of the screen or Krieg covering the entire right side due to his large size. Sure, one can just simply drag the mouse around to adjust the models, but it is still cumbersome to do an extra step just to have a comfortable view of the interface.
  • Stoic Woobie: Moxxi. She straight up admits at one point all her sexual banter is coping mechanism, and when you tell her Roland is dead, she's very clearly Trying Not to Cry.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While the first Borderlands was an excellent game in itself, Borderlands 2 seemingly goes out of its way to just be a better game in any way it can. A few specific points:
    • Far less backtracking; though it exists, it's spread out over a wider area, often opens up new areas for the player to visit, and you usually don't have more than two missions in a spot. The DLC maps also have fast travel points.
    • The environments are more diverse, with locales ranging from snowy tundras to green hills and city scapes, a far cry from the constant grey deserts. The DLC maps provide even more themes.
    • Weapon types and weapon manufacturers have much more of an identity, making their perks and differences far more notable. Weapons in general have been given more intuitive buffs.
    • The writing is more consistent in tone and style, and the plot is conveyed much better to the player by virtue of not putting most of it in the "mission complete" window.
    • Likewise, there are those who view the DLCs to be better than the base game because of a feature introduced post-launch - That is, your playable characters have unique dialogues when interacting with NPCs or objects, making them more connected to the story. This is something that gets passed along in The Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 3, as the characters have scripted dialogues in the main stories themselves.
  • That One Achievement: "Challenge Accepted" is an achievement/trophy that requires you to finish at least the first level of every non-location-specific challenge from the base game. The problem with it is that you can't start completing some challenges until you've progressed in others- for example, to start on the "Kill enemies from long range with shotguns" challenge, you must first kill 750 enemies up close with a shotgun (However, the game tracks that one anyway, and you'll likely complete it by the time you unlock it)- and one of the challenges is to kill an enemy that rarely spawns, as mentioned in Last Lousy Point. It can be pretty frustrating at times. With the added Prestige mechanic (that allows you to reset the Challenge progress of a character from scratch for grinding Badass Tokens again) after completing 85% of all challenges, this can leave players in a dilemma where they would choose whether to retain their challenge progress as-is for this achievement, or reset for more chances at grinding permanent Badass bonuses. Among the non-level specific challenges required includes reviving a fallen teammate once, trading once, and winning a duel once. This requires interaction with a second player that can be cheesed with a second controller and profile creation on a console, but requires playing with registered friends on Steam.
  • That One Boss: Too many to count.
  • That One Level: Too many to count. (Seriously.)
  • That One Sidequest: Too many to count. (For real.)
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The switch from a P2P system to one where the game is required to be always online using Gearbox's SHiFT servers (which also affects other Gearbox games such as Duke Nukem 3D 20th. Anniversary Edition), which are prone to fail and leave the players unable to play the game at all.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Despite each of the Vault Hunters having their own distinct identities and backstories, they don't interact with the story or get any dialogue whatsoever outside of combat, through ECHOs that can be found on different maps detailing how they got to Pandora or standing around long enough for them to comment how bored they are doing nothing. It isn't until later DLC that they interact with other characters or are even acknowledged individually.
    • Though Maya came to Pandora to learn more about Sirens, there is no development or interaction between her and Lilith, or between Maya, Lilith, and Angel. Which is odd, considering that only six Sirens can exist in the universe at any given time; you'd think that they would at least take some time to chat or get some unique dialogue. Similarly, Roland and Axton have similar histories and fighting styles, but they also get no unique dialogue to acknowledge this.
    • Michael Mamaril is a tribute to a fan of the same name who passed away, and his in-game persona is said to be a Vault Hunter much like the player. However, you only ever see him hanging around Sanctuary, and he isn't involved in any missions whatsoever, when he could easily be assisting you like the previous game's Vault Hunters do.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: While Krieg definitely has his fans for his balls-to-the-wall playstyle, very few will invest heavily into his Hellborn skill tree. While Mania gives him access to powerful melee bonuses like the apex skill Release the Beast and Bloodbath allows him to keep dealing absurd damage in Ultimate Vault Hunter mode (where going melee is much more dangerous), Hellborn just doesn't have enough good bonuses to justify using it as the focus of your build most of the time.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Claptrap is treated like a nuisance in-universe, especially given the level in jerkass he took between games, but it's hard not to feel sorry for him anyways.
  • The Woobie:
    • Claptrap. He is universally despised, yet wants to be accepted. During the mission "Claptrap's Birthday Bash", nobody except for the player shows up for his birthday party. Another mission in Hammerlock's DLC has the player look for another functioning Claptrap unit. Said unit was eaten by a Skag. After you make the skag hork it up, Claptrap finds out that the unit is long dead. And then the corpse explodes for no apparent reason other than to rub more salt in the wound.
    • More traditionally, Angel. Once the character's backstory is known, you will despise Handsome Jack if you didn't already. Made worse in 3, thanks to a sidequest titled Childhood's End, detailing Angel's first experience with her powers.
    • A minor case in the townsfolk of Overlook, as they are rendered too ill to even leave their homes due to Hyperion's environmentally insensitive actions. Except Dave, of course. You can make them all feel better in a quest chain, and kill Dave too!
    • Krieg's original personality. It's implied he used to be a much saner, smarter, more moral sort, possibly a Vault Hunting bounty hunter. Now? Thanks to Hyperion experimentation, he's a mass-murdering Badass Psycho with all the insanity and Ax-Crazy-ness that implies. And his original personality is a Split Personality, completely aware of the horror of his dominant personality and his actions. Can you say And I Must Scream? And worst of all? The reason he really joins the Vault Hunters in particular? He's in love with Maya and thinks she's the only thing that might make him sane again.
    • As of her DLC Tiny Tina cements her place here. The entire Assault on Dragon's Keep is gradually revealed to be born out of her attempts to deal with everything bad that happens over the course of the main game. It's like looking into the mind of someone with PTSD, because... it is.
    • Mordecai's anguished reaction to watching Bloodwing die will make you feel sorry for him and hate Jack even more, and it's no wonder he sends you on a sidequest to fetch him some booze. It doesn't help that he also has to cope with Roland's death shortly after that. As if that weren't enough, he gets infected with the flower virus in Fight for Sanctuary (he gets better at the end).
    • Moxxi also counts, although not as much as the others: she has had four failed marriages, including one with Handsome Jack, who burned down the Underdome after she left him just to be a dick. It eventually also becomes clear that despite her friendly demeanor and constant Double Entendres, she is really more sad and lonely than anything.
    • Gaige, based on her backstory: basically, she was bullied by Marcie Holloway, who even stole her robot plans for the science fair, which made Gaige mad enough to shove her into her robot, which malfunctioned and killed her. Despite it being an accident everyone blamed Gaige for her death and her father helped her go on the lam (a reasonable attitude given almost all of the "cops" in universe are really just amoral stooges of the various Mega-Corp s.) It's pretty amazing she has managed to survive at all, let alone be so upbeat all the time.

    Main game 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Jack in general:
      • Did he really think he was doing good things throughout the game? Was he too blinded by his ego to believe what he was doing was wrong? Or is he a bastard who willingly abused and lied to his daughter, destroyed Pandora to create his own personal paradise, and did most of his evil deeds For the Evulz?
      • His abusive childhood. Is Jack a monster who imprisoned and manipulated his daughter solely for his own gain? Or does he genuinely care for her well being, but doesn't know how to do so in a healthy way?
      • Are his brief moments of petting the dog glimpses that reveal that traces of his humanity remain and he isn't a total monster or are they deliberately staged by Jack to provoke sympathy from other characters (and by extension, the player)? Creators of the game have supported the former interpretation, but Death of the Author applies too.
      • The password to the building where Angel is kept is revealed to be "I love you", and what it means exactly depends on exactly how the player interprets Jack's intentions.
    • Moxxi's actions in "Rakkoholics Anonymous". Did she try to get the booze for her own personal gain, was it out of concern for Mordecai's well being after losing Bloodwing, or was she trying to spite her ex-boyfriend after a particularly messy breakup?
    • Ellie's actions in both the "Clan War" side mission chain and Mad Moxxi's Wedding Day Massacre. Did she truly want an end to the conflict between the Hodunks and the Zafords? Did she want to eradicate both clans because they don't seem that different from each other? Did she (re)start the War precisely to see the Zafords eradicate the Hodunks? What was really her endgame in the whole mess?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Handsome Jack. Foreshadowed copiously though; all his fights in the backstory and in the game up till then aren't direct, and Angel tells you several times what a coward he is. The fight is more difficult in the second playthrough, though.
    • The Warrior. Despite the incredible build up to the fight, if you have a fast-firing weapon that does enough damage, (preferably a powerful Jakobs assault rifle, as the Gatling Gun and Cannon variants are especially good) you can make the Warrior submerge into the lava with enough damage, before he can even attack once, especially on Solo. Or camping out with a decent Sniper Rifle and snipe its glowing chest plates from a far enough distance. This makes a normally incredibly difficult and climactic fight pathetically easy to the point where the Crystalisks present around the area are more difficult than the Warrior itself. This is true even on True Vault Hunter Mode and the even harder Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
    • Vermivorous the Invincible can put up a hell of a fight if you can get her to appear, but if you don't want to struggle through the process of actually killing her, you can cheat to cut straight to the looting process.
      • On Tundra Express, she can be ran over and killed instantly by trains if you lure her onto the tracks.
      • In Caustic Caverns, you can lure her into the giant doors between the mines and caverns, close them, and then reopen them to instantly kill her.
  • Best Boss Ever: The BNK3R. It's a huge target, has lots of health, and all of its attacks are highly telegraphed. This means you get to shoot things a lot but aren't in too much danger; the perfect Breather Boss to cap off the frantic level that came before it.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • The mission where you rescue Roland from atop a dam. It's likely your first encounter with loaders, or else the first time en masse, and the pace is frantic but manageable, especially since there's bandits mixed in and not too many badass enemies. So you get to plow your way through loads of an entirely new enemy type with 5 crit spots that explodes when it dies (with awesome music in the background), and to top it all off, there's a satisfying (but difficult!) boss battle waiting at the end. Best of all is when you've got an Infinity to plow through everything.
    • Opportunity city. The enemies are tricky, but it contains some of the game's funniest writing, and has numerous missions in a small space, so lots of things happen while you're there without too much backtracking to bog it down and bore you. There's also a chance for a Giant Mook to spawn at the end of one of those quests, which makes for an epic closer. Not to mention the fact that it's one of the first opportunities to REALLY piss off Jack, which is extremely satisfying.
    • Lynchwood. While the difficulty almost lands it in That One Level territory if you're not expecting the dynamic Level Scaling, the atmosphere, layout, and pacing of this wild west-style dungeon make it VERY fun to play through. The Sheriff is extremely fun to fight against — she even considers you a Worthy Opponent. And the best thing about this is that her secret stash always opens, so you can restock fairly quickly once you get attacked by dozens of eager bandits trying to take advantage of the free power vacuum.
    • "Where Angels Fear to Tread" Part 1 is widely regarded as the funnest level in the game, beginning with a full-on assault on Control Core Angel with Loaders, Constructors, Hyperion Soldiers and a Badass Constructor, with ridiculous amounts of of loot chests along the way. After this trek up to Control Core Angel? A boss fight against the aforementioned Best Boss Ever. This then culminates in a fight for survival while Loaders constantly spawn in as you survive long enough to destroy Angel's Eridium injectors. And after all of this? Angel dies, Roland is killed by Jack and Lilith is captured.
  • Breather Level:
    • "The Once and Future Slab", Chapter 13 of the main story. The mission prior takes place in a brutal linear gauntlet full of Hyperion forces and the most annoying animal enemies in the game, with no shortcuts made for replay runs. It also has a boss that makes use of all elemental attacks and happens to be a mutated, brainwashed ally. This mission, on the other hand, involves a relatively fast run through a bandit camp to make contact with their leader who happens to be an ally in disguise. Much hilarity and Large Ham antics ensue, and The Thousand Cuts also happens to be the home of "Shoot This Guy in the Face". Funnily enough, the hidden Echo logs for the Vault Hunters also reflect this; the Wildlife Preserve has Maya's logs, which narrate her being manipulated by The Order for financial gain, culminating in her breaking the leash and going to Pandora to learn about Sirens. Handsome Jack is dead-serious on having Maya hunted. The Thousand Cuts has Salvador's logs, which tell a comical story about Salvador evading a mob execution thanks to a Hyperion invasion, and ends with him brutally crippling a Hyperion goon all Played for Laughs. Handsome Jack laughs off this tale and simply puts Salvador (as well as the other two vault hunters) on a bounty list.
    • "Toil and Trouble", Chapter 16 of the main story. The previous mission is a highly varied and brutal series of challenging objectives that introduces Hyperion's proper military force. It's also the most emotionally draining sequence in the entire game, for reasons covered in spoiler tags throughout the Borderlands pages. "Toil and Trouble," by contrast, is a good-old-fashioned shoot 'em up mission with tons of bandits and hilarious mission writing that actively requests that you complete the mission in the most Troperrific way possible. After what you've been through lately, it's a very welcome change of pace and return to the goofy bandit slaughter of the early game.
  • Cargo Ship: One of the ECHOs you retrieve for Tannis during a quest has her talking about surviving an interrogation and how the people torturing her "killed" some chairs she grew to like. Perhaps because she's crazy to begin with, or due to the trauma from their interrogation techniques (aka beating her up), she mentions one of the chairs saying "I love you Patty", before its gets sat on by one of the torturers. She flat-out says earlier on that she is in an open relationship with both of them.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • You have to listen to Handsome Jack taunting, threatening, trolling, and insulting you through the entire game. In the Final Battle - where he's not so handsome at all by then, due to his wounds - you can finally shut him up by killing him during his last self-righteous rant, and it is pretty satisfying.
    • In Sanctuary, you'll see a stand that sells ECHO tapes of "This Just In!", which is blatant Hyperion propaganda hosted by the irritating Propaganda Machine Hunter Hellquist, who always finds a way to spin your latest accomplishments into pro-Jack news. Late in the game, you get a sidequest to finally set the record straight. This means killing him. Hunter Hellquist is also a source of The Bee Shield, providing more reason to kill him over and over.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: "Kill Yourself". Handsome Jack will literally pay you to commit suicide for his own amusement.
  • Difficulty Spike: The Arid Nexus/Badlands feature a substantial boost to all enemies' deadliness. Not coincidentally, this is when you start to meet Hyperion's professional troops and large numbers of SGT, WAR, JET, and Badass Loaders.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Jack tends to get this a lot due to his tragic past and how he deals with actual bandits, with his fans downplaying or even straight up ignoring all the horrific things he does just out his own sadism and lust for power.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tiny Tina seems to be the most popular character with the fandom for a reason, to the point that she gets to be the star of her own DLC first, and her own game later.
    • The Sheriff of Lynchwood was popular enough with cosplayers and the fandom to be Promoted to Playable (as Nisha the Lawbringer) in The Pre-Sequel.
    • Butt Stallion doesn't even appear on-screen, and the horse is hilariously popular. At least partially because people want to actually see what a living horse made of diamonds would actually look like. And during Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, fans get their wish.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: You kill Jack and The Warrior, and Lilith survives, but the vault key reveals that scores of other planets have vaults, each of which may well have its own Eldritch Abomination inside. There's also the problem of the bandits and monsters still being out there to pose a threat.
  • Evil Is Cool: Handsome Jack is without question the most popular character in the series and is considered one of the best villains in modern gaming. This is thanks to his hysterical douchebaggery, unique personality, and a fantastic performance by Dameon Clarke, making this his Star-Making Role.
  • Fanon: While she's never actually seen using it, and it's Marshal Friedman in Sanctuary who gives it to you as a quest reward, the Sheriff is frequently depicted wielding the Law revolver as her primary weapon (though you can also get the Law from her as a Rare Random Drop, so it's not entirely out of nowhere).
  • Genius Bonus: The BNK-3R's Boss Subtitles reads 00101010. If you know your Binary Code, this represents the number "42", which in itself is a reference to the Arc Number of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Goddamned Boss: BNK3R is a massive Damage-Sponge Boss that poses surprisingly little threat for its placement in the storyline. However, fighting it solo can be quite a chore as its arena has several places where you can fall off or get pushed off by BUL Loaders, and the constantly-spawning Loader enemies will eventually include an EXP Loader that can easily take you by surprise while you're focusing on the boss.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: During the course of the main game, Jack mentions several times that he will destroy Sanctuary and makes it a priority over everything else. While he doesn't live to see it, Sanctuary does indeed get destroyed at the end of Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, the sendoff DLC for this game.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • In one quest Tannis tells you the history of the Dahl Corporation's presence on Pandora while you push a minecart(long story). In it she notes that the bandits you see are not just the convict laborers that Dahl brought with them, but also scientists, workers, security and businessmen. When Dahl left the planet they just abandoned them, and the ones that did not get broken did not survive...
    • Despite being the main villain of the entire series, Handsome Jack has quite a large fan following. Some see him as an example of a Jerkass Woobie; despite his generally horrible attitude and utterly horrific oppression of Pandora and his own employees, his intentions were good at the start, and some consider his evilness only a result of circumstance, not of his own choice. There's a lot of back-and-forth arguing on this, as other fans consider his actions unforgivable and completely his choice after a certain point (a commonly cited moment from The Pre-Sequel was killing Gladstone and his fellow scientists because of the possibility of someone maybe being a mole, though others point out that years prior to the series he locked Angel up to get ahead in Hyperion as soon as her mother died, which of course we only have his word is Angel's fault).
  • Love to Hate:
    • Handsome Jack for his rather humorous-yet-dark taunting and questionable actions all throughout the game and offscreen, from start to finish. Add those with Dameon Clarke's amazing voice acting and portrayal of the character makes Handsome Jack be acknowledged as one of the best villains of all time, as detailed here. Admit it, even though you kill him by the end of this game, Jack has at least entertained you with his persona for hours all throughout your quest.
    • The Sheriff as well, as although she's a merciless, sadistic, puppy-murdering cowgirl, she enjoys fighting you, is very attractive and is popular enough that Anthony Burch said that he regretted killing her off.
  • Memetic Mutation: "THE LAVA'S RISING, GET TO HIGH GROUND!"Explanation 
  • Misaimed Fandom: Though created in 2 to be an absolutely murderous psycho, Handsome Jack rapidly became a fan favorite, and soon one of the most popular and well-liked characters of the entire franchise, much to Burch's frustration. The Pre-Sequel and Tales played into this to some extent, giving Jack a more likable attitude and more fleshing-out than in 2. That said, Tales ultimately reveals that Jack, even as a more pleasant-seeming AI, really hasn't changed and is just as bad as he was in 2.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Whether it was murdering Helena Pierce and Roland, turning Bloodwing into a monster that the player is forced to survive until Mordecai can sedate hernote , or his horrific treatment of Angel, Handsome Jack has definitely crossed the line in one way or another.
    • During the Clan War quest chain for Ellie, both Mick Zaford and Papa Hodunk / Tector cross it during their quest lines by hiring the Vault Hunters to do outright horrific things to the rival clans (burning people alive in their homes also killing innocent racers and massacring a family as they mourn the loss of a loved one). Even before that, the ECHO logs in the dust show that Papa and Mick did horrible things that turns a small problem into a brutal war - mainly, Papa Hodunk kidnapped some Zaford children and drowned them to death and Mick Zaford raped Papa's wife and may have ate her. By the end, you don't know if Mick, Papa, the Vault Hunters or Ellie have crossed the line. It really shows how something as simple as a bar tab and a bet over a stock race can make people monsters. Or maybe it's just Pandora.
  • Narm: In the final boss fight, Lilith's constant wailing of "THE LAVA'S RISING!" can get very annoying, so much that it became a meme phrase in the fandom.
  • Player Punch:
    • Roland's death. Especially if you played as Roland in Borderlands 1, or if you were playing here as Axton, who shares some similar role and gameplay as him.
    • For Mordecai players, it was everything that happened to Bloodwing. That entire level is like a slow-turning knife in the guts, especially once you get the Hope Spot when Mordecai manages to tranq Bloodwing. And then Jack detonates her collar.
    • Angel's true origin, and the boss fight in general. You're "fighting" a helpless woman by destroying her life support system, while her father throws hordes of Elite Mooks at you, frantically begging you to stop all the while, all traces of Comedic Sociopathy stripped away and leaving us with a man Forced to Watch his daughter committing suicide.
    • Helena Pierce's death, as heard in an ECHO recording. To underscore, instead of the usual post-mission quip upon turning the mission in, all you get is a poignant "Helena Pierce never made it to Sanctuary."
  • The Scrappy: Most players side with the Zafords over the Hodunks at the end of the Clan War arcnote  for a number of reasons:
    • The most practical of which being that siding with the Zafords offers far better weapons (the Chulainn, a Difficult, but Awesome weapon from completing the sidequest, and the Slagga, a beneficial gun, as a random drop from the Hodunk boss. While the Maggie dropped from the Zaford boss has its fans (even then, she can be acquired elsewhere), absolutely nobody will defend the dumpster fire that is the Landscaper).
    • Players will find crashing the Zaford wake to be in poor taste and an act significantly crueler than setting the Hodunks' homes on fire, and also perceive the Hodunk's enthusiasm for incest as unsettling. It doesn't help that the wake is for Lucky, a character returning players from 1 will be familiar with, due to his role in the previous game's main story and his unceremonious death in the The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC.
    • They also have a personal beef with the main quest givers, Scooter, Ellie, and Moxxi, and are heavily implied to be part of the bandits that constantly attack the player in The Dust. The Highlands, on the other hand, are completely free of bandit raiders, and the Zaford bar is adjacent to Overlook, which implies that some of its patrons and members are from that town. Not helping matters is Tector Hodunk appearing in Tales from the Borderlands meaning that either the Hodunks won the clan war or Tector survived.
  • That One Attack: Wilhelm's One-Hit Kill opening train throw, when it hits.
  • Troperiffic: The main story mission "Toil and Trouble" from the base game is the quest version. The game even suggests you do it in the most trope filled way possible, including an optional Unflinching Walk objective.
  • Ugly Cute: Dukino the skag. The "chubby" variants of enemies can also fall into this.
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    Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate Booty 
  • Breather Boss: H3RL-E is basically just a giant Loader whose main attack is to throw explosive barrels that are easily dodged by hiding behind the various bits of cover scattered around its arena. And even if they hit you, the barrels deal barely any damage. Furthermore, H3RL-E is vulnerable to dismemberment like regular Loaders, allowing you to shoot its arms off and render it almost completely harmless.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: The game warned you all along that Scarlett would betray you, however it didn't tell you exactly when. Once you turn in the mission "Let There Be Light" at Magny's Lighthouse, Scarlett sends her Generals in order to dispatch you for good.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Sand Worms behave similarly to Threshers. However, unlike the latter, they can spawn indefinitely if you stay long in a sandy area, and any attempts at killing them with your Sandskiff will also damage your ride. Other than that, you can encounter several of them at once in the small platform where you fight the Leviathan. Sure, they are there to help you with Second Winds should the Leviathan down you, but the Sand Worms can be more of an annoyance if you can't deal with them fast enough while also avoiding the Leviathan's attacks.

    Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage 
  • Breather Boss: Pyro Pete the Invincible is fairly easy by raid boss standards, since he's slow and his flamethrowers deal relatively minimal damage. As long as you stay out of melee range, he doesn't really have a way to hurt you aside from his nova explosions that inflict a long damage-over-time debuff. Most of the challenge comes from the enemies that spawn when you use the showers to wash off the debuff, since their level goes up every time you use the shower, but good shower rotation means you should be able to defeat Pete well before they become dangerous.
  • Crazy Is Cool: Mr. Torgue is practically the Patron Saint of Crazy Awesome, being the founder of a gun company that specializes in weapons with exploding bullets, speaking at a volume that never goes below a yell, having a censor bleep grafted into his voice box, exemplifying Large and in Charge (even though he's no longer the head of his own company, not that he minds), and being incredibly polite to women, such that this is his order when one is blatantly disrespected:
    Torgue: Punch [the offender] so hard he EXPLODES!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Mr. Torgue is Rated M for Manly Large Ham personified. He instantly bonds and becomes friends with Tiny Tina, adding to his already big popularity.

    Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt 
  • Goddamned Bats: Savage Hunters are among the most frustrating breed of rank-and-file savage. They run if they see you coming and their javelins stun you when they connect.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The DLC is widely agreed to be the weakest of the bunch. It's short, and filled with frustrating gameplay elements like large circular area waypoints, Demonic Spiders, some of the weakest unique weapons of any DLC, and minimal Fast Travel stations coupled with wide, large maps. On the other hand, Nakayama's voice acting is wonderful and the swampy climate is as fresh as the forest and swamps setting of Borderlands's DLC The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned.

    Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep 
  • Anvilicious: Mr. Torgue wants to take part in the game, but Lilith is suspicious of him being a "fake geek," just in it because it's popular. The quest line ends with her realizing he shouldn't have to prove himself. This, of course, mirrors the problems some real-world female gamers claim to have had to deal with.
    Anthony Burch: I've found the whole "fake geek girl" thing alternately interesting and depressing, so there's a quest about it in Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. It's called "Fake Geek Guy," because my writing is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. To the face. Of your grandmother.
  • Best Level Ever: The DLC starts as the funniest Affectionate Parody to Tabletop RPG in an FPS Action RPG you ever imagine. It's also well written, and heart-touching in the end. It also happens to house some of the best weapons in the game.
  • Breather Boss: Mister Boney Pants Guy is the first "boss"note  that you can actually kill, but he is smaller than the regular Skeletons you encountered early, and has relatively lower health than the Badass Skeletons. Killing him even grants you an achievement.
  • Breather Level: "Hatred's Shadow" comes between the Marathon Level that is the "Mines of Avarice", and the incredibly painful gauntlet known as the "Lair of Infinite Agony". Hatred's Shadow involves fighting off Orcs and Knight-type enemies, both of them fairly tough, but not nearly as unfathomably resilient as the skeletons, and the level itself is relatively short. Even the Handsome Dragon is a pushover compared to the Sorcerer's Daughter.
  • Even Better Sequel: For Borderlands 2 and all of its previous DLCs because of it being a pretty good Affectionate Parody on Tabletop RPG that was ended in a heartfelt last goodbye to Roland after Tiny Tina accepts his passing. That, plus it opens the floodgates for more weapon farming. The fact that this one DLC was Rereleased for Free (or for 10 dollars after the giveaway event ended) as a standalone game and an entire spinoff game was developed after its success tells you what you need to know about how good this DLC is.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The setting has a lot of character Expies, notably with Roland as the White Knight. In this case it's actually a front for Tina coping with losing Roland in the main story. Among the other ersatz character designs is Maya as the pixies, and the gal herself appears at the end, both telling the OG Vault Hunters they have Hyperion's codes as well as mourning the death of Roland. In Borderlands 3, Maya would also get killed in action.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Archers. Individual ones usually aren't a threat, but you will almost always run into groups of them. Unlike with bullets fired from guns, the arrows are hard to see if you're not watching the archer fire at you, and most of them wear a helmet which protects them against at least one headshot. They're extremely accurate as well compared to the gun-wielding mooks you're used to in the base game, so you should get used to strafing and jumping around to throw off their aim. Arrows can also stun, greatly lowering movement speed. They also come in Skeleton form, which means parts of their body resist ordinary gun damage!
    • Leaping off of that, enemies in general become this once you reach the dungeon level, simply because there's so darn many of them you can face as many as 50 in a single room! , Especially if you haven't powerleveled (the DLC's level cap at 30 on normal mode) beforehand, because many of the skeleton types can put you in "fight for your life" with only a couple of hits!
  • Troperiffic: The DLC as a whole is a whole campaign's trove of this.
  • Ugly Cute: The Stumpy enemies are basically midget versions of the much larger treant enemies. With their small limbs and short stature, they quite move slowly and are hardly a threat. They'll attack you if you're close enough to them but will mostly move around in seemingly inoffensive random directions than charging at you, making them seem rather adorable with their long roots coming from the top of their heads resembling long strands of hair with blue-glowing eyes underneath.

    Headhunter packs 
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Parodied in the "Victims of the Vault Hunters" sidequest of Sir Hammerlock vs. the Son of Crawmerax. Sparky Flynt, the son of Captain Flynt, gathers together six of the deadliest assassins in the galaxy to get revenge on the Vault Hunters. However, the Running Gag is that all of the assassins are already long dead by the time the player encounters them. Sparky himself ends up being the final boss of the questline, but as expected, he's a complete pushover.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: In Mad Moxxi's Wedding Day Massacre, you're tasked with, in this order, kidnapping a baby, getting drunk (off of vintage whiskey), then dangle said baby over a mixing blade while shouting random things (ranging from hilariously bad insults to flat out swearing) to get it to cry. To make it more hilarious the one who suggested this quest, Ellie, actually wanted you to drop the baby in; it's a long story. Moxxi had to pull her back, saying that while the Vault Hunters have done some questionable things, there are certain lines you just don't cross. You can, of course, do all of this as Gaige, where the above implications makes you practically dance on the line.
  • That One Attack: From How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day, Tinder Snowflake's submerged rush (unless of course you like being hit in the face with a high-damage, almost unavoidable ram attack by a boss that is immune to damage while it's doing it).
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