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  • 8.8:
    • The Wall Street Journal review, mainly for comparing it unfavorably to Call of Duty. Probably no one reads the WSJ for video game reviews, but it still sparked angry comments of the apples-to-oranges variety from Borderlands fans.
    • The boys of Penny Arcade got into a bit of an argument over the game, with Tycho describing it as "obviously perfect," and Gabe annoyed at the questing and loot systems.
      Tycho: People used to ask me what I liked about Donkey Konga, what was so great about it, which made me scrunch up my face. This is a game where you beat bongos with your friends; it needs no justification. It justifies itself. Fuck off.
      Well, Borderlands 2 is a game where you play bongos on enemy faces, at range, with firearms. You and friends can even shoot the same face. When the face has been completely, um... played, treasure comes out. Again, you know, I didn’t know we had to convene the Council of Elrond on this shit. That all sounds pretty good.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Did Handsome Jack 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?
    • Handsome Jack's abusive childhood causes a lot of these. 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 Handsome Jack's 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Wilhelm is set up as The Dreaded, to the point that even the Guardian Angel is scared of him. He almost killed the previous Vault Hunters when they all took him on at once between games. So long as you have a half-way decent corrosive weapon, a powerful Jakobs revolver and a good shotgun to kill his surveyors, he goes down in less than a minute. Considering that his defeat was a Batman Gambit by Jack to get you to plug in his power core into Sanctuary's defenses, this is justified. Updates have increased his difficulty substantially, however, primarily by giving him higher health.
    • 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.
    • Piston. The Badassasaurus is a decent challenge/threat, but Piston himself a complete pushover, and deliberately so.
    • Professor Nakayama. To be fair, he does tell you over the ECHOnet that he's pretty scared and unprepared for you as you finish the story missions, but when you end up fighting him, he falls down the stairs, and you can easily shoot him as it happens. Or if you don't, he dies anyway from falling down the stairs. Largely averted with his secret weapon boss which you fight prior to him though.
    • Arguably played with with the Warrior. Despite the incredible build up to a fight with the Warrior, 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 are arguably more difficult than the Warrior itself. This is true even on True Vault Hunter Mode and the even harder Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
    • Parodied in the "Victims of the Vault Hunters" sidequest. 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.
  • 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 sterotypical 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.
  • Anvilicious: In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • On the DLC side, it's "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep" which 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 in the Tiny Tina: Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, 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:
    • "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.
    • In the Dragon Keep campaign, the 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 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.
  • 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.
    • Averted with Moxxi and Innuendobot: at one point he apparently watched a romantic comedy and has become obsessed with her. Moxxi is rather put off by this (understandably, as she is technically his mother), and has you destroy him (which isn't as mean as it sounds, as she plans to just take his A.I core and rebuild him minus the creepy obessesion.)
  • Catharsis Factor:
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In general, players recommend bringing in any source of Slag whenever you play in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode:
      • 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 Awesome:
    • 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.
    • Mr. Torgue is practically the Patron Saint of Crazy Awesome for Borderlands, 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!
  • 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.
    • "Kill Yourself". Handsome Jack will literally pay you to commit suicide for his own amusement.
    • 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.
    • In the Wedding Day DLC, 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.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Suicide Psychos, EXP Loaders, and anything that can kill you or drop your shields in one hit. They're hard enough to kill before they reach you if they're charging straight at you, but if they come from the sides, you are fucked. And since these guys blow themselves up to kill you, if they do manage to do that and no one else is around, you can't get second winds. HOT Loaders are also similar that they deal an Area of Effect damage when they die but do not self-destruct unlike EXP Loaders. They can however, whittle down your HP with constant burn damage. Like the other examples, it is advisable to stay away from a HOT Loader as soon as you see it down to its last health.
    • Constructors are this for different reasons: their ability to spawn turrets and other Loaders, combined with their obscene amount of health and own devastating weapons, makes them hard to beat. To top it off, they're often flanked by repair drones. Without a corrosive weapon, they're almost impossible to deal with.
    • All threshers besides the smallest Tadpole Threshers are these in general. Their weak spots — their six eyes and the pods on their tentacles — are almost impossible to hit, and their AI is designed to surround and ambush you. There is a reason why this game's first Bonus Boss, Terramorphous, is a thresher. Wormhole Threshers are especially bad: they suck you in, grow spikes, and kill you before you even notice what's happening. Guaranteed they'll kill you a bazillion times the first time you go into the Caustic Caverns unless you have a Spike Shield, since every tick counts as a melee attack, in which case it'll die to your spikes instead.
    • Hyperion Hawks. These guys pack rocket launchers and if you don't have a good shield that protects you from explosive damage, they can send you into Fight For Your Life in one hit. And they're worse in TVHM and especially UVHM, where their rockets are a One-Hit Kill if they so much as graze you.
    • Stalkers, the purple bat-looking things that crawl on the ground, can lunge at you from 50 feet away, shoot darts from damn near across the map, and turn invisible for short periods of time. And as a bonus, they come in packs of 7-8 and are one of the only creatures on Pandora with shields. Hope you've got a Shock Weapon or a turret that's good at crowd control! There's a reason they're referred to as "Invisibl Assholes!" by in-game signs. Spike shooting Stalkers like to go either out of your field of vision or places you simply can't reach, and use the arc of their spikes to keep you at bay without exposing themselves to any danger. Yeesh.
    • Crystalisks can be this, if you're not careful. They have a mass of HP, damaging attacks (particularly their big exploding crystal, which can be shot out of the air if you're good), and if you don't aim at their crit spots their thick hides will repel your bullets, possibly right back towards you. Oh, and don't even think of trying to use elemental damage against them, because it won't work; the sole exception is Explosive damage, which actually manages to penetrate their hide and do extra damage to their weak points. Thankfully, melee attacks shatter the crystals in one hit each, but that means you have to get within stomping range of a ten-ton rock monster. Crystalisks get a lot harder to kill in UVHM, however — the boss versions in particular are virtually impossible to kill solo, as you simply can't damage them much faster than they heal unless you have a dedicated build just for them. And to top it all off, they weren't originally hostile in-lore; they're just really pissed off at the Dahl corporation abusing them for money. Their one redeeming factor is that they drop crystals that are worth a ton of money; the question is whether it's enough to pay off all those respawns.
    • Lab Rats if they aren't taken down fast enough. Let them get close and they'll hit you with their laser eyes, which can bring you down from full health and shields to around 10% health.
    • ION Loaders are an absolute bitch to deal with. They project electric shields that can't be penetrated by any projectiles and last an obscenely long time, entering their range shocks you to death in a couple of seconds, other Loaders are smart enough to huddle in their shields, and unlike other Loaders their joints do not count as weak spots and their eye is harder to hit. If you go down while one of these is active, kiss your Second Wind goodbye.
    • From TVHM, Goliath Blasters. They dual-wield rocket launchers. And unlike you, they have unlimited ammo. Although shooting off their helmets makes them drop the guns, you probably won't see them before they kill you. Heavy Nomads are a slightly lesser version as they only have one rocket launcher, but you can't make them drop the launcher by shooting their helmets off. RPG Loaders are the worst in this regard, though. They have a launcher and the same shoulder missiles as the JET Loaders.
    • From Pirate's Booty, Cursed Pirates. When they hit you, they rapidly heal themselves. If you aren't doing enough damage to kill them before they reach you, you probably aren't doing enough damage to keep up with their healing.
    • Super Badass Maniacs. Take Badass Psychos, give them shields and a lot of HP. Good luck!
    • And if a Super Badass Nomad just happens to show up with one of those maniacs, you'd better have a lot of good elemental weapons and grenades on you. Thankfully they're slow, but unlike the regular shielded nomads, they don't have a hole in their shield you can exploit.
    • Also from TVHM are Rabid Stalkers and Rabid Skags. Both move fast, have a lot of HP (the Stalker has its shield on top of that),hit hard and fast, and never stop attacking. You'll need a shock and a fire weapon respectively in order to deal with them properly.
    • Varkids in True Vault Hunter Mode. The small ones are still easy to kill, but if you let them turn into badass ones, look out. And even those can morph into a super badass one. If multiple ones show up, you're in a world of hurt unless you have a good team of players with decent corrosive weapons and can focus fire on one at a time. If you thought Caustic Caverns was bad the first time around, wait till you see it in TVHM. This gets turned Up to Eleven in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, due to wanting players to face Vermivorous more: Varkids have a MUCH higher chance of evolving, and evolve faster. If you're not looking to face the raid boss, you better clear the buggers out of there fast, or else you will face an army of giant armored bugs filled with HATE.
    • Armored Maniacs. You know how Psychos love to get in your face and beat the crap out of you while you're dealing with enemies at mid- to long range? Well, same deal... except these have armor that lets them soak damage like a Sham Wow. Averted if you have a good corrosive weapon on you and remember to use it on them. Alternatively, you can try to go for headshots, since their heads are just as exposed as ever and you'll get the critical hit boost to boot. Still means you need to go out of your way to swap weapons on the fly.
    • Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt introduces the savages, which aside from the Triggerman all don masks that make headshots impossible. Fighting them is always a battle of attrition.
      • Then there are Badass Savages, who have big shields that mitigate a lot of damage thrown at them, and beyond that are just pure bullet sponges. Fire is essential; failing that, a good shock weapon.
      • A subset of these already annoying guys is the Witch Doctor. They are capable of sending long range darts of whatever element they are at you, propelling themselves into a devastating, bulletproof tornado at times and taking a surprisingly large load of punishment before falling. Furthermore, the attacks of the Vampire Witch Doctor can heal him pretty quickly if they manage to connect, and he's almost untouchable once he disperses his form into a flock of Rakk. Oh, they also buff up other savages and heal themselves. Phaselock runs out on them as fast as on bosses, too, so the only way to get them out of a fight is to kill them.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep has the Grand Duke of Ork. Unlike similar enemies that can evolve (like Varkids), they can easily level up themselves and other orcs nearby before the player even knows they're there. The player can either run away (and hope it doesn't follow) or grind away at an enemy 5 levels higher than them.
    • There are also the Skeleton Seers. Notable not only for their powerful electricity-throwing spells that can quickly deplete the player's shield, but also their utter refusal to be pinned down. This makes them near-immune to any melee based character (Bloodshed Zer0 and most Krieg builds) as well as Deathtrap, as they will run the minute you get anywhere near them. And worse, in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, their Healing Factor means that if you spend too long trying to get them to stick around, they'll be healed up and ready for vengeance.
    • Commander Lilith has New Pandora Snipers, who fire off high damage shots in rapid succession. Making matters worse, they have a Badass version that has disgusting damage output and the ability to cloak.
  • Designated Villain: The only reason Anton Smith is trying to kill the Vault Hunters is because they're messing with his publicity stunt. In fact, he's actually trying to make Torgue look good by letting him be the one to kill Wattle Gobbler.
  • 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 and MISTER TORGUE seem to be the most popular characters with the fandom. In fact, part of the reason Mister Torgue's so popular is the fact that he instantly bonds and becomes friends with Tiny Tina.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 it's own Eldritch Abomination inside. There's also the problem of the bandits and monsters still being out there to pose a threat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fanon:
    • For some inexplicable reason, fans are in agreement that Krieg's name before going insane is Craig.
    • 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.

     G-M 
  • Game-Breaker: Now with its own page.
  • 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 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.
    • Savage Hunters are probably the most frustrating breed of rank-and-file savage. They run if they see you coming and their javelins stun you when they connect.
    • Archers in the Tiny Tina DLC. 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 of the DLC, 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!
    • For the Captain Scarlett DLC, we have the Sand Worms, which behave similarly to Threshers. However, the Sand Worms 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.
  • 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.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • It got patched pretty quickly, but on release, Commandos could retrieve other Commando's turrets. This may sound like a trolling tactic, but with the Double Up talent you could literally make infinite turrets, because retrieving a turret automatically starts the cooldown of throwing another turret for both the person who originally owned the turret (because it's now off the field) and the person who retrieved the turret (because the game did not distinguish if the turret retrieved was his or not, and it assumed his turret was now off the field).
    • Michael Mamaril, a tribute character with a 10% chance to spawn in Sanctuary and hand you decent loot, appeared 100% of the time on the console versions of the game before the first big patch.
    • In the only true Escort Mission in the game, where you escort the constructor bot in Opportunity to destroy Jack's statues, if you stay as far away as possible from the allied constructor NPC, no enemies will spawn near it. However, you should clear the area where the statues are of enemies prior to starting the quest, as they will attack the constructor and given enough time, can kill it.
    • There's a spot nearby where Saturn spawns that if you stand there, it can't attack you. It just sits there and doesn't move no matter how much lead you pump into it. There are also spots for the end boss and the first raid boss where he absolutely can't hit you (though Terramorphous' tentacles can still hurt).
    • If you get Gaige's Anarchy up high enough (>550, only possible with the Slayer of Terramorphous) and use a weapon that's low-accuracy to begin with (less than 30), her accuracy will apparently make a Reality-Breaking Paradox, break the game, and enter the territory of Epic Fail. The targeting reticule (which should, at this point, be the entire screen) will shrink to a pinpoint, but instead of being incredibly precise the bullets will follow no logic whatsoever. Bullets fly perpendicular, land behind you, or even zigzag in midair. Anything you hit is bound to be an accident, and also bound to die. note 
    • There's a Unique gun called Evil Smasher that spawns with rather unimpressive stats for a blue rarity. However, it has a random chance on reload to suddenly get a much larger magazine and a huge boost to damage, accuracy, and all other stats. This turns an unremarkable gun into a pretty good one. However, if you switch weapons and move Evil Smasher into your inventory while it is reloading, this stat boost can now apply to any weapon you are using, and it seems to have a higher chance to occur with other weapons too! With that boost, guns that are already awesome become ludicrously, game breakingly good. However it has since been patched.
    • When doing the quest to hunt Old Slappy for Sir Hammerlock, if you climb back up the ladder after placing Hammerlock's arm in the water, and then hide behind a big, curved pipe overlooking the lake nearby, you can shoot under the pipe and hit it, while its own attacks are unable to hit you. Makes this otherwise frustrating quest rather easy.
    • For a while, you could power-level by repeatedly accepting the "You Are Cordially Invited: RSVP" mission and killing Flesh-Stick over and over. This was especially exploitable in co-op, where one player would keep accepting the mission and the other would keep killing him. He would spawn every time you start the mission, and killing him would fail it, and he also gave a ton of experience when killed (probably because he's a boss character, after a fashion). And he's not much tougher than a regular psycho. You can see the problem. A patch would eventually fix this — killing Flesh-Stick no longer nets you any experience.
    • There was a bug around release that left many a player with a good giggle. During the intro, just after beating Knuckle Dragger and when approaching the barge, you know how Claptrap tries to unlock it and instead the barge gets locked? Well, there were a few instances where the barge would actually unlock and open rather than shut itself. The hilarity of the situation wasn't helped at all by Claptrap giving a farewell speech.
    • Equipping the Rough Rider shield on Krieg prevents him from being downed by Redeem the Soul. Additionally, you will be reduced to low enough health to Release the Beast. Sadly, this was eventually patched.
    • Unkillable enemy units can still be harmed before you trigger their "vulnerability" flag, which can result in severe loss of limbs or severe loss of everything. It is easier to trigger by using homing grenades from afar.
    • Deathtrap can phase through walls, which can be very advantageous for a Gaige solo since he could find the nereast enemy to revive Gaige should she be downed into Fight for Your Life mode. Or heck, Deathtrap in general, he's buggy to the point that a certain skill can make him replenish even the shields of the enemy, or the fact that his melee attacks may not even connect against his target. Another advantageous skill that Deathtrap has is his anti-flying enemy electric beam attack - It immediately locks on and damages the target like a Hitscan and can even reach extremely far flying targets, for as long as Deathtrap notices them.
    • There are also some clipping issues that make the enemies stuck within the terrain or enviromental objects. These can be exploited by a player to single out enemies and take potshots without risking a close-quarters combat:
      • Enemies with large hitboxes (i.e. Bullymongs, Skags, Loaders) can clip with a Light Runner should you ram them, and exit once the vehicle is on top of their bodies. Sure, they will rise up, but will instead be stuck unless you do something (like explosions) that forcefully move either them or the vehicle.
      • Axton's turret can clip with enemies if you plant it near their feet.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: Or this game's version of the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode to be precise. 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:
    • Quite a few characters, some of them being basic enemy types.
      • The Psychos aren't entirely aware that what they're doing is wrong. Comes off with a Fridge Horror if you think that some of them could be like Krieg (who has a sane personality). 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.
    • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 
    • "Still Waiting for Borderlands 3"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.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The sounds that simultaneously play whenever Zer0's B0re skill procs across multiple targets (or hitboxes). As the sounds play like the bullets richochet from multiple directions at once, so does your damage rise, making it more satisfying to be able to kill multiple enemies with one shot. This becomes evident when you spec on a B0re build taking out the BNK3R.
    • This sound also plays during other events where a player's skill would deal more damage, but not as a critical hit (like Salvador's Money Shot).
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     N-S 
  • 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.
    • 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 would be 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!"
  • 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."
  • 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.)
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Claptraps were initially despised in the first game. Thankfully, this game tones down his (the one surviving unit) 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.
  • The Scrappy: Most players side with the Zafords over the Hodunks at the end of the Clan War arc for a number of reasons:
    • The most practical of which being that siding with the Zafords offers far better weapons (a Difficult, but Awesome weapon from completing the sidequest and a beneficial gun, the Slagga, as a random drop from the Hodunk boss. While the Maggie dropped from the Zaford boss has its fans, absolutely nobody will defend the dumpster fire that is the Landscaper).
    • Players also find crashing the Zaford funeral to be in poor taste, a far more cruel act than setting the Hodunks' homes on fire, and find that the Hodunk's enthusiasm for incest to be unsettling.
    • The Hodunks also have a personal beef with the main quest givers, Scooter, Ellie, and Moxxie, 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 sorry 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.
    • With the Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre, this is averted, as both the Hodunks and Zafords are painted in equal, sociopathically comedic light. Though this puts the canonocity of the Clan War arc into question, as both families are alive and well.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The DLC raid bosses originally could only be fought once a day. This restriction was later patched away.
    • The Badass Token, for only adding increments of one percent or below stat boosts for each token redeemed, invoking some tedious Stat Grinding as well.
    • The Golden Keys. Only obtainable by registering real-life codes into the game, and once that code is used up, those keys cannot be reobtained, ever. Not even a hard reset can bring them back, and the golden keys are basically Loot Boxes in every way but real-life expenses.
    • The changes in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. Enemies can now regenerate health over time, and are generally more resistant to damage. Their levels will always match the levels of the player who has the highest level of the bunch, creating some serious compatibility issues between players (though luckily, missions and item drops are similarly made to scale). The effects of slag, by contrast, is increased threefold, which increases target damage significantly. Suffice to say, this creates a lot of reliance on slag; if it isn't slagged, it's too tough to take down. This also makes being slagged a death sentence, making items like the Chulainn not worth using in spite of its incredible dual-element capabilities. In short, the game is now so difficult and so reliant on one mechanic that it's enough to rub people the wrong way.
    • Gaige's "Interspersed Outburst" skill is treated as a separate damage instance different from your currently-equipped weapon, which makes farming the weapon-specific Badass Rank (BAR) challenges for Badass Tokens more difficult that intended. If you've managed to kill an enemy with the Outburst skill's digisplosion effect first before any other bullet, that kill won't be counted towards the weapon challenge. If you even try to farm said BAR challenges on lower difficulties with a high-levelled Gaige, that would be difficult as the Outburst can One-Hit Kill the targets first. Because of this skill's bugged interaction, Gaige players have since then opted into removing points from Interspersed Outburst whenever they attempt to farm any weapon-specific Badass Rank challenges.
    • Take this video guide for example, that lists 10 of the worst or "scrappy" skills in the game that players should not spec into, especially in harder difficulties:
      • Axton's "Duty Calls" - The buffs only work on non-elemental weapons, in a game wherein elemental damage types deal higher damage outputs than non-elementals. Besides, there are so few end-game Jakobs weapons that could benefit from this.
      • Salvador's "I'm Ready Already" - It provides up to 25% cooldown reduction to Gunzerking. But there are two other skills that reduce the Action Skill cooldown such as "Get Some" and "Yippie Ki Yay". And if you could kill enemies fast enough, these two skills make the flat 25% reduction obsolete.
      • Zer0's "Unf0rseen" - While it makes your decoy explode with a shock damage, it only comes in handy against melee enemies, and other ranged enemies might not even bother to attack the decoy. Other than that, shock damage only works against shielded enemies, and not enough to deal with other enemy types. It's not even capable of slagging your enemies, which is a needed element in UVHM.
      • Maya's "Backdraft" - It adds fire damage to Maya's melee attack and adds a fire nova explosion. Problem is, Maya doesn't have a melee-centric skill tree nor gameplay style. It's just better off leaving the melee roles to other Zer0 or Krieg players since they can do the job of killing enemies with melee than Maya.
      • "Zer0's "Kill C0nfirmed" - Your critical bonuses get improved the longer you aim down the sights. However, aiming down the sights slows down your movement speed and tightens your point of view. It also takes quite a while to build up stacks.
      • Krieg's "Bloody Revival" - You deal more in Fight for your Life state when using assault rifles. These two conditions are completely niche and situational enough, as it would limit your gun usage when downed. Not to mention that the "Light the Fuse" skill would replace Krieg's Fight for your Life state, making this completely useless when both skills are spec'd into.
      • Axton's "Laser Sight" - Your turret can have up to 50% increased accuracy. But this skill alone doesn't fix two of the turrets problems - It has a quite short duration and its turn speed is too slow, consequently making it too slow to seek any targets.
      • Krieg's "Fuel the Rampage" - This skill is only beneficial when playing solo, as you could rampage more often when enemies damage you thanks to it giving Cooldown Manipulation. But it has quite a negative drawback of enabling Friendly Fire, which means your teammates can now potentially damage a Krieg player who spec'd on this skill. As such, people won't spec into this in multiplayer, otherwise the Krieg player would be downed more often if the teammates use quite a number of area-of-effect / damage-over time abilities and weapons. Not to mention the fact that you could be harassed by Griefers who would shoot the Krieg player down just to frustrate them.
      • Gaige's "One Two Boom" - Deathtrap can shoot a large electric sphere that explodes on a wide radius only when you shoot at it. Problem is, you really can't control when Deathtrap uses this and you must rely on the AI, he takes quite a long while to charge it every time and the sphere also travels very slow.
      • Krieg's "Hellfire Halitosis" - It overrides your melee attack with Krieg breathing fire on the nearby enemy. But looking at Krieg's other skills, there are more ways to lit enemies on fire, even from afar. Again, much like the reception to Zer0's "Unf0rseen", this skill could have been more useful in UVHM if it deals slag damage than fire.
  • 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.
    • 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 in Sanctuary, especially if you're running 2-player co-op. 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.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt is widely agreed to be the weakest of the DLCs. It's short, and filled with frustrating gameplay elements like large circular area waypoints, Demonic Spiders 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 the first Borderlands DLC Dr. Ned's Zombie Island.
  • 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.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: While you can indeed finish the Normal and True Vault Hunter modes by relying only on a single skill tree, the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode could shake up your playstyle due to the generally increased difficulty, level scaling, enemy health regeneration, and a reliance on the slag mechanics. And with a finite amount of skill points, it takes quite a while to make the most optimal build on this mode, as you'll need a way to regenerate health and slag your enemies, especially if you are playing alone. Players have since then made guides on what is needed for UVHM, specifically the character skills being tiered to "must have" or "worst" skills. This video in particular lists 10 of the worst or useless skills in this game, that even says players should not spec on these because they are overshadowed by better skills.
  • 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.
    • On the DLC side, "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep" is this for Borderlands 2 and all of its previous DLCs because of it being an 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.
    • 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.

     T 
  • 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 Attack: Wilhelm's One-Hit Kill opening train throw, when it hits, and 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).
  • That One Boss:
    • Mad Mike, a unique enemy found during the mission "A Dam Fine Rescue", is utterly devastating in True Vault Hunter mode, and even in the first playthrough. His rockets will put you near death even if you have full health and shields. Worse yet, he fires them off frequently and rapidly, so there's barely any time to hit him if you're waiting between volleys to shoot him! And worst of all? He will always spawn with a legendary rocket launcher, which is mostly either the Mongol or Badaboom. But if he gets a Norfleet, God help you. On Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, you're better off just running straight to Roland and avoiding a fight with him entirely.
    • Doc Mercy, especially on TVHM. He has a shield that will block anything coming at him from the front — note that he's fought in a narrow corridor and is given the high ground at the beginning, so don't expect to be getting around it with your guns (unless you're playing Anarchy Gaige). His arsenal consists of transfusion grenades which seek you out and hit like a truck while healing him for the damage done, and an E-tech weapon which can kill you in about 3 hits. The only really feasible way to beat him solo as anyone other than Maya is to use explosive or elemental weapons while whittling him down from cover and sprinting in circles whenever he throws a grenade to hopefully outrun the worst of the grenade's blast. Or you could lead him to your vehicle and pump him full of rockets, since he does actually follow you further than the walls stopping you from driving in.
    • W4R-D3N is a nightmare if you don't have electric or corrosive weapons (neither of which are easily available at the level you fight it at) to handle both its shield and the masses of Loaders that it spawns on you. And if you get it down to no shield, it'll start spawning Badass Loaders, which are much tougher to kill.
    • Saturn comes right out of nowhere (so you can't prepare if you don't know ahead of time), is ludicrously powerful, and you literally cannot score critical hits on him at all. Have fun!
    • Big Sleep from the Captain Scarlett DLC, especially on True Vault Hunter Mode. Sniping him from a distance is absolutely pointless since he is able to block your shots with his anchors. He can also pull you toward him in an instant and can shatter most shields in one hit, proceeding to beat you into a pulp afterward. Unless you have a decent rocket launcher to spam when you're downed, you'll be hearing that New-U Station mocking you quite a few times before you beat him.
    • The Gluttonous Thresher. Unless you're Anarchy Gaige and manage to get up close ASAP and throw a bunch of shotgun shells into its eyes, good luck. You'll probably die a few times at least.
    • Badassasaurus from Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage can be a god damn monstrosity even for high levels, it is like a walking Badass Constructor launching missiles and fire all around at you while performing AOE attacks continuously to knock your aim off, not to mention it resists ALL elements (sans explosions). Have fun!
      • Badassasaurus Rex in TVHM takes to a demonic level and is quite possibly one of the hardest and most awfully designed bosses in the whole game. Forgot to mention it can reflect bullets straight back at you so you have to resort to taking quick pop shots then getting cover straight after. Pretty much every single one of its attacks kill you instantly and you can't run around the arena because it's too fast and will eventually just kill you.
    • Jackenstein from Big Game Hunt is a nightmare for players soloing the game. Blowing up his shield cylinders is a cakewalk. The second half is a whole different story. Without the distraction of other teammates available, the only way a player can reliable hit his weakspot (which, like several bosses, is the only place he can be damaged) is to either suicidally run under him and get meleed to death, or stand still through his entire shock volley and be electrocuted to death. Your only options are to either have a shockproof shield (which still doesn't help with the Loaders) or to climb into a less-than-obvious recess in the wall above where you enter the arena, and slowly whittle him down with potshots from the only safe cover in the fight.
    • The raid bosses from the DLCs (Hyperius, Master Gee, Pete, Dexiduous, Voracidous and the Ancient Dragons of Destruction) were all designed with this in mind. Going up against one without a competent 4-man team borders on self-flagellation.
    • Bloodwing. If you aren't killed by her claws or divebombing, the skags will get you first.
    • Terramorphous the Invincible is the signature raid boss and is by far the most popular of them all. It is quite possibly the most feared boss in the entire game, the mission even outright says "You. Will. Die. (Seriously.)" and it is NOT joking!
    • Vermivorous the Invincible is this for an entirely different reason. While all raid bosses are stupidly hard to put down even with a competent team of 4, Vermivorous ups the ante by being a rare spawn. How rare? Less than 2% of a chance from any varkid that spawns in the game. Most guides are written more to describe how to get her to spawn, rather than how to actually beat her, due to how hard it is to get it to happen. And god help you if that 2% ends up the one time you DIDN'T want her to spawn...
    • Commander Lilith has the side-mission boss Lt. Hoffman (not to be confused by the Lieutenant Hoffman from Captain Scarlett's DLC). Didja see the Demonic Spiders entry for the New Pandora Snipers? Yeeeeah, this guy's basically a Badass Sniper with a huge shield that has a horrible habit of refilling whenever he goes invisible.
  • That One Level:
    • Many players are in for a rude awakening when they get to the Caustic Caverns. Acid pools everywhere, checkpoints and vendor machines are few and far between, Varkids, Spiderants and Crystalisks by the assload and its back section is filled to the brim with Threshers. Guaranteed this will be the first stage to truly test your patience in the game. Thankfully, it's also entirely optional.
    • The Fridge - populated exclusively by rats, midgets, crystalisks, and rakk, which are all annoying enough by themselves. It takes a lot more patience and care than most levels, since crystalisks in particular can kill you easily in packs.
    • Overlook, which comes very soon after The Fridge. When you first arrive, you're forced into a Hold the Line protecting a beacon while Loaders, Surveyors and later Constructors pour into the town. If the beacon goes down, you have to repair it... while under heavy fire from the robots. And then the amount of time you have to hold on for resets. If you die, you have to fight through the horde just to get back to where you were. And if you do really badly, and let the beacon get destroyed a couple of times, Jack will chime in to say how much you suck. There is a reason why Overlook is considered the most annoying level by nearly all players. The entire Highlands can count as this in general, due to being full of Hyperion forces, Stalkers, and Threshers, all of them Demonic Spiders.
    • Wildlife Preservation has you go and fight dozens of loaders-including a Super Badass Loader who will happily spam his fire cannons at you until your shield breaks (although you can defeat him by taking cover in the dome and attacking him with a sniper rifle, then retreating when he starts firing), teleporting Needle Stalkers, Badass Shock Skags, and finally Bloodwing, in an area with almost no cover, and dozens of skags. And if you die? She gets back to full health again and the same form before, meaning you have to weaken her again and again. Within this area is the Natural Selection Annex, which doesn't have the benefit of having a fast travel point unlike the other arenas. There is also no re-entry method for the exit, making revisiting this place for sidequests basically a repeat runthrough of the entire map.
    • Opportunity is also a tough one. Loaders by the ton, loads of Engineers (who have better aim and higher mobility than Loaders), Constructors are common, and one of the missions is an Escort Mission. In fact, quite possibly the only real Escort Mission in the entire game (most of the NPC's you are "escorting" are invincible).
    • Lynchwood is basically a massive town CRAWLING with bandits. The map's size and lack of shortcuts (as well as the presence of Lab Rats) make questing here rather troublesome. Much like the Caustic Caverns, the area is optional, but considering all of the character interactions and the potential for good loot and face the person responsible for the rift between Roland and Brick, the temptation to go anyways is much higher.
    • Sawtooth Cauldron, despite also being a Breather Episode, can get pretty hairy. This, alongside the aforementioned Lynchwood, is the most fortified bandit location in the game, with said bandits often pulling a Zerg Rush on the player. Buzzards control the skies and Threshers populate some of the more open fields. Clearing out each section of the camp is a pretty tall order.
    • "The Talon of God," the final story mission, features a massive boost to every enemy's damage and accuracy and health, regardless of their level relative to you. The spike can actually be extremely jarring, even compared with the difficult enemies in the Arid Badlands and Arid Nexus, who are also much more powerful relative to their levels than anything previously. Not to mention these areas have Hyperion Hawks, Snipers, and Infiltrators, all of whom deal enormous damage.
    • While not especially hard, the two primary maps of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt are ungodly large and lack Catch-A-Boat stations in several places where they'd be desirable, making it take an enormously long time to get from one place to another. A number of sidequests in this DLC can also be failed, which if that happens requires trekking all the way back to Hammerlock or Claptrap to reset them, which translates to upwards of a fifteen-minute trip between attempts. For more straight reasons, the savage enemies are tonka-tough, and the animals aren't any more vulnerable. God help those who have built a shock-element arsenal, as nobody here has any shields, rendering shock weapons useless.
    • In Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the Lair of Infinite Agony sure lives up to its name. The place is full of Skeletons and Spiders, with a few Necromancers on the side. There are many rooms where the player must Hold the Line by destroying every mook in sight. There's also an infamous puzzle involving passing a hallway full of traps without getting crushed.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • "Arms Dealing". You have to pick up five arms across a large map under a strict time limit and then deliver them to a drop-off point back in Overlook. If you stop for any reason, you're likely to fail the mission, which might mean going a long way back just to restart it. This isn't helped by the fact that one of the delivery points is impossible to get to without going, on foot, into a cave packed to the gills with stalkers. Placing vehicles around the map and teleporting to them when you can takes the edge off, but if you're driving from point to point, this mission is tough. It's by far the toughest timed delivery mission in the game.
    • "Lighting the Match" as part of the Children of the Firehawk questline. Not so much difficult as it is annoying. You have to go all the way back to the Southern Shelf and climb to the top of Captain Flynt's ship to burn Matchstick, and by the time you get the quest the enemies are so low-level that they're little more than an annoyance who don't drop any useful items and only give minimal to zero experience points. The lack of fast travel stations in the Southern Shelf amplifies the annoyance, as you have to go from Liar's Berg all the way to the top of the ship, and then all the way back down (unless you jump off the right side of the arena and skip the trek down the rig). Thought you could bypass all of this by taking Claptrap's ship from the Three Horns Divide? Wrong, said ship relocates in front of the area where you fight Boom Bewm.
    • "Hyperion Slaughter: Round 5" is most likely the very last side mission you will complete. Like the previous 4 rounds, it starts with a handful of engineers, but this particular Circle of Slaughter immediately starts throwing Surveyors at you, and there's only one wave of engineers. Then it starts loading on a random selection of HOT and RPG Loaders, and after that is when the Constructors start showing up. The final round starts with a Badass Constructor followed by two regular ones. Finally, every wave but the first has turrets on the scaffolding that you're probably too busy to think about, leading to cheap deaths if they happen to be shock turrets. The cherry on top of all of this is that if one player dies, they can't re-enter the match until the rest of the team dies or beats it, most likely the former.
    • Most of the Circle of Slaughter quests are this. Each set of rounds takes place in the same general area killing the same type of enemies, which can get repetitive and tedious very fast. If you fail, you gotta start at the beginning of the round again. Finally, even if you can kill the enemies fast enough, they spawn on a set timer, so you'll end up sitting there waiting for them to pop up. On top of being annoying, this also means that a lot of Action Skills will run out before the next wave comes in (which can be a death sentence for builds relying on the action skill). Creature Slaughter in particular, unlike the other Circles of Slaughter, doesn't have the benefit of having a fast-travel point nearby. For this reason, it's almost imperative to complete the whole thing on the first or second visit to the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve.
    • "Medical Mystery" and its second part, "Medical Mystery: X-com-municate", are notoriously painful to complete. First, you have to defeat Doc Mercy, who qualifies for That One Boss. Then, you have to kill 25 bandits with a specific gun given to you for the mission. Unfortunately, the gun in question is a Bandit E-tech assault rifle, which features double ammo consumption for less than 1.5 times the damage output of a normal Bandit assault rifle and reduced critical damage; in other words, it's just plain awful. In normal mode, your ammo capacity won't be very high yet, so you're likely to blow through all of your reserves before you're even done with the objective; in True Vault Hunter Mode and Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, on the other hand, enemies take proportionally more damage to kill, so the weapon's lackluster damage will be the major sticking point instead. Pretty much the only reason to attempt either mission is to unlock the ability to farm Doc Mercy for the Infinity.
    • "Statuesque" in Opportunity, especially in True Vault Hunter mode or higher. It's an Escort Mission, and if that weren't bad enough, you've got to protect a hacked Constructor (which makes no effort to not get killed) from a combination of Engineers, Loaders, Constructors, Badass Loaders, Super Badass Loaders, and a Badass Constructor. Clearing the areas the Overseer will pass through of regular enemies in advance will at least reduce the pressure on you, though.
    • "Hyperion Contract #873" requires you to kill 100 bandits, which is significantly higher than most other "kill X amount of Y" quests. The quest is even more troublesome if you want to fulfill the secondary objective as well, which require you to kill EXACTLY 25 bandits with each of the four elemental damage types. This of course means you have to have access to at least four decent elemental weapons. Plus, the quest immediately cuts off at 100 kills, so if you screw up and kill too many or too few bandits with one of the damage types, you either have to suck it up or start over if you aim to achieve all optional sub-missions. Also, some bandit enemies, such as Buzzards and Bandit Technicals, will not credit you with an elemental kill regardless of what weapon you use to kill them. Oh, and Suicide Psychos count as non-elemental kills if they blow themselves up, while their grenades count as explosive if they kill anyone else with them. Enjoy.
      • It's saying something when the easiest way to achieve this (and get all the bonus objectives) is to grind in Lynchwood. As in, the area swarming with powerful bandits, Bruisers, Lab Rats and more. At the very least, it's reasonably likely that you'll find decent loot along the way, the enemy density is high, and going to one end of town will typically allow enemies to respawn on the other end of town, making it easier to do in one sitting while keeping track of the secondary objectives.
    • Demon Hunter. Let's see-a giant skag who only gets hit if you shoot her in the mouth, a severely limited number of bandits that die before you can even get a Second Wind, an elevator that doesn't work, and absolutely horrible cover. It's so bad that many recommend skipping this sidequest altogether.
    • I like My Monsters Rare from the Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC. Much like the Hyperion Contract achievement above, this is one where you have to kill a lot of enemies, and not just any kind. Not only are you tasked with killing 5 different kinds of enemies, but you are also asked to kill only the rare versions of them. Since the rare versions rarely spawn, you will have to abuse the reload mechanic for this one, as a single session might not even spawn enough of the creatures at all, much less enough rare ones. On top of this, many of them do not share a common spawn location, requiring you to backtrack along huge swathes of the area to get them in one sweep. The best way to do this quest is to find a Fast Travel Station or area exit close to one of the creature's spawn locations, and endlessly spam the reload button until you see them. Have fun jumping back to the title screen!
    • Assassinate the Assassins doesn't sound so bad on paper (you need to kill four unique named enemies in a single dungeon), unless you try to complete its optional objectives, which require to kill each of the bosses with a specific weapon class. It can be a real pain in the ass depending on your normal build (no elemental weapon because elemental kills will prevent the kill to be registered for the right weapon; also, no spike shield or nova shield for the same reason). Also, while the first assassin is manageable with the handicap if you found a decent weapon (you need a pistol), the second require to fight at short range with a sniper rifle, the third is a burning man who must be defeated with melee attacks (i.e. an enemy who has a huge advantage at melee range), and the fourth is a fast moving who must be killed with a shotgun while he wields one himself. And the worst thing: the area contains suicidal bombers, who can unintentionally kill the targets themeselves if they aren't taken care of soon enough.
    • There are a number of other quests such as Faster than the Speed of Love, Catch a Ride, and Also Tetanus, and The Lost Treasure, which either involve revisiting an enemy-infested location the long way around, doing some rather pointless task, don't lead into any more interesting quests, or all of the above. Furthermore, the rewards for these quests are rather insignificant compared to the effort of going through them. It's safe to skip these and focus on different missions that have better rewards.
    • Mighty Morphin' can be fairly tough if tackled as soon as it becomes available. The quest requires you to wait for Varkids to form pods so that you can tag them with a serum and spawn Mutated Badass Varkids, which have an assload of health and powerful corrosive attacks that often eat away all of your shield along with most of your health. And you have to kill five of the damn things, which means hunting down a lot of Varkids... and likely several deaths. Mordecai's tendency to steal your kills and deny Second Winds doesn't help.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • 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.
    • In general, 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.
    • 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.
  • Troperiffic: Two examples that are not the game itself:
    • Anarchy is the skill version of this. A good amount of Gaige's tropes relate to her Anarchy stacks and how many she has.
    • Toil and Trouble is the quest version. The game even suggests you do it in the most trope filled way possible, including an optional Unflinching Walk objective.
    • Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep is a whole campaign's trove of this.

     U-Z 
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Dukino the skag. The "chubby" variants of enemies can also fall into this.
    • The Stumpy enemies of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep 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 unoffensive 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.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The Zafords. See The Scrappy on the Hodunks.
  • 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.
  • Vindicated by History: A glaring case of Cutscene Incompetence it might seem, but the ending of "Where Angels Fear to Tread" has been a source of fan debate for years, wondering whether or not Handsome Jack killing Roland and kidnapping Lilith in just a few seconds are justifiable since the playable Vault Hunters did nothing but watch. Seven years later, a similar thing happened in Borderlands 3 with Troy killing Maya but the newest playable Hunters do nothing. Afterwards, comparisons between the two games have been made regarding Cutscene Incompetence, and Borderlands 2 now having at least a justifiable cause, also making fans claim that this is a sign of Borderlands 3 having a weaker writing compared to 2
    • Jack teleported and shot Roland from behind, the Vault Hunters back then can really do nothing to prevent it in the first place as it happened too fast and was a sneaky surprise attack. In Borderlands 3 however, Maya's disintegration is slow, the scene played out too long before Maya's death, with too much build-up and lengthy dialogue just to show how the Calypso twins are indeed a threat.
    • Jack also came prepared beforehand with a Slave Collar to make Lilith powerless for a while and be under his control. This is in contrast to the Calypso twins especially Troy who only knew that his draining power only works on other Sirens after killing Maya.
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