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Arc-Specific


The Shisno Paradox

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The Freudian Excuse given by Doc about his dead younger brother Deke in "A Pizza The Action." Was Deke actually real, or was it just a sob story concocted by O'Malley to guilt Grif into giving him the time gun?
  • Author's Saving Throw:
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    • One of the biggest complaints about Season 15 was the frequent use of references and meta humor. While this season does still have jokes of this type, they're not used nearly as much.
    • Additionally, the complaint that Season 15 was standalone and not related to any larger arcs was responded to in that not only would The Shisno Paradox be a multi-season arc stretching over two seasons, but that some Arc Welding would later reveal Loco's time machine in Season 15 was the result of Chrovos.
    • Some fans complained about Season 16 introducing truly supernatural elements into the series in the form of the Cosmic Powers went against the previously grounded sci-fi elements seen in previous seasons. It's eventually revealed that the Cosmic Powers are actually hyper-advanced A.I.s perpetuating a God Guise.
  • Broken Base:
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    • While the previous two seasons were already Contested Sequels, The Shisno Paradox fractured things only seven episodes in. Dissers disliked the show, saying it was ditching grounded sci-fi and increased drama for a Denser and Wackier route that even includes a live-action character. Others pointed out the Blood Gulch Chronicles were equally silly, the comedy is on point, and the surreal and unpredictable plot is making things more interesting.
    • Characterization was also a contested point, with most regarding Tucker, who was back at being a egocentric Casanova Wannabe. Claims of derailment and ignoring development were raised, yet fans and Joe Nicolosi himself claimed that while Tucker evolved and became a leader because he stood up for the task, him being a self-centered womanizer never left, only got downplayed. Once he was paired with Sister, there was reason for those flaws to resurface, things to go wrong, and eventually Sister call Tucker out.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
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    • Grif immediately trying to kill himself with a grenade after he learns that pizza has been Retconned out of existence by Genkins.
    • Similarly, there's Grif attempting to kill Doc for making an absurdly healthy vegan pizza in "A Pizza The Action."
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Huggins is probably the most universally adored aspect of this season, as their status as The Cutie who forms a close friendship with Grif, helps Grif through some Character Development, and being just generally adorkable, made them quickly endeared by the fans.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Jax Jonez acting as a Prima Donna Director and treating his cast and crew like crap is a lot less funny to watch after accusations of excessive crunch and unpaid overtime would start to circle out from former Rooster Teeth employees in July of 2019.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Episode 11 has an angry Atlus venting off by firing energy beams at a moon, and the last one shatters part of it, just like on RWBY. Come Volume 6 of that show, and Remnant's cracked moon apparently was caused by a god throwing a fit.
    • Epsilon-Church having done a God Guise while in the form of a monitor during Revelation becomes even more hilarious when it's revealed that the Cosmic Powers are Monitors themselves.
    • Both Halo Fandom Wikia and Halopedia's articles/pages for the 7 wood (a Golf Club reskin for the Gravity Hammer) not only has a picture of a blue spartan in the Halo 3 engine holding and using it, but also wears the same Mark IV helmet that Caboose wears. Which is a hilarious coincidence considering Caboose's infatuation with Genkins' Golf Club in Season 16 & 17.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Genkins blatantly goes flying over this when he kills Huggins by sending her into a black hole, of which Huggins already has an intense fear of due to one having killed her parents.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Yes, the Blood Gulch Chronicles could (and did) get as insanely goofy as this season did. The following season downright lampshades this in the second episode, as during a Mental Time Travel scene, Grif states "we do weird shit all the time."
    • The complaints about the inclusion of seemingly fantastical elements, in this case space gods, also fits, as the show started with the main character being killed and resurrected as a ghost (which, while later established as an AI who just thinks that they're a ghost, was assumed for the first five seasons to simply be a ghost, complete with a brief period where Sarge also died and became a ghost until he was revived). Early Instalment Weirdness in play aside, the show wasn't really going to new ground, especially considering that Halo as well has been delving into pseudo-gods as well with the Forerunners.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In Season 15, many viewers disliked Jax Jonez and saw him as an annoying guy who only liked to deliver gratuitous movie references. His appearances in Season 16, as a Prima Donna Director with a Hair-Trigger Temper, were much better received.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Joe Nicolosi has come under heavy fire from the detractors of the season, with the blame for inconsistencies and plot points placed solely on him. Unlike Season 15 however, he actually has a co-writer this season: Jason Weight. Despite being co-writer, Nicolosi is the one who more often than not gets the blame.note  To both Nicolosi and Weight's credit, though, they've been very vocal about taking criticism into account when moving forward. And when Nicolosi had to depart from Season 17 due to other commitments, some viewers still didn't feel fully relieved on seeing the controversial showrunner leave, instead feeling sympathy in that he at least should've been able to finish the story arc he started.
  • Seasonal Rot: As part of the unfortunate trend where almost every season after 13 seems to be more negatively received than its predecessor, many fans were not kind to Season 16, deeming it as poorly conceived in its Denser and Wackier approach while having major pacing problems and possible derailing of the characters.
  • Signature Scene: The ending fight through time and space between Donut and O'Malley in "Paradox." Even the season's detractors have praised it as one of the best fight scenes out of the entire series.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: One of the main criticisms levied against the season is how, after the Reds and Blues first get the time guns in the second episode of the season, it's not until around the end of the twelfth episode that the story really kicks it into high gear.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The focus on space gods and Magitek, combined with a comedic bent, and the usual brightly colored armor already present in the show, makes for a very present Thor: Ragnarok feel. Kalirama's introduction even has a similar tone to Hela's in the film, while the score of the season sounds almost lifted directly from the movie's soundtrack.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The season's introduction, which shows Muggins' flight back to Starseeds, is absolutely gorgeous.
    • Really, almost all of the animation is fantastic this season, with examples like Donut rising out of a lake with his time gun a la the Lady in the Lake, the overall design of Starseeds (along with the black hole it orbits), and the entire fight through time and space between O'Malley and Donut.

Singularity

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Two of the criticisms raised against The Shisno Paradox were that despite being one of the ostensible main character of the season and prominently featured in the marketing, Donut didn't have that many lines or scenes, and his Heel–Face Turn in "Paradox" came across as something of an Ass Pull due to how mean the Blood Gulch Crew had previously been to him. Here, Donut is given the central focus from the first episode onward, to the point where he really is the protagonist of Singularity. Additionally, Donut goes through significant Character Development and gains much more of a spine (with him no longer accepting the crap that everyone else throws at him), to the point where he gives a vicious "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the rest of the Blood Gulch Crew before they all bury the hatchet by the end of the season.
      • Relatedly, many fans last season were initially excited with the idea for a female villain in this series when Kalirama was first introduced, but were disappointed when the male King Atlus instead took the reins for most of the story and Chrovos (who had a male voice) later became the overarching antagonist. In Singularity, Chrovos takes on a female voice and form voiced by fan-favorite Lee Eddy, and also has either female or gender-neutral pronouns used throughout most of the season.
    • invoked In response to the many complaints raised against Tucker over the last few seasons, "Succession" has Tucker actually acknowledge this to Genkins and him going through Character Rerailment to be more like how he was acting during The Chorus Trilogy, with him even willingly deferring to Donut's position as the new team leader.
    • The kerfuffle raised over the Retcon last season concerning the definition of "Shisno" is resolved here by Chrovos explaining that the term being used for their servants comes from a prophecy by the alien Fates (who are apparently racist).
    • Huggins surviving Genkins' black hole is this on two levels - Not only were many fans happy to see one of the most popular characters of the previous season come back, but others were happy to see one of the only openly LGBT characters in the entire series not only be confirmed to still be alive, but also have Complete Immortality (meaning the show wouldn't ever be able to Bury Your Gays in her case).
  • Broken Base:
    • Grif and Simmons' Labyrinth illusions, as seen in "Omphalos" and "Theogeny." Several fans were disappointed that the illusions given to them (namely, Grif being forced by a sadistic gym teacher to run through a Wipeout obstacle course turned Up to Eleven, and Simmons being chased by a UFO wanting to "utilize his penis in scientific experiments") were significantly goofier than those experienced by the other members of the Blood Gulch Crew (i.e., Carolina confronting her own self-hatred and confusion over her identity in the form of herself from during the days of Project Freelancer, Wash being Forced to Watch as all of his friends die pointlessly in an assault, Kaikaina/Sister returning to her and Grif's family home that she accidentally burned down, Tucker being left completely alone and suffering a panic attack due to his need for company, Sarge being given a taste of monotonous civilian life followed by getting unwillingly shoved head-first into the horrors of war, and Lopez experiencing what it's like to be an English-speaking human - and being Driven to Suicide as a result), as the other illusions were all either rather serious or at least more insightful with what they had to say alongside their comedic moments. That being said, some other fans liked Grif and Simmons' Labyrinth illusions for being more comedic since they feel it helped serve as a way to "calm down" after the more dramatic illusions were shown.
    • invoked Wash having to retain his brain damage going into the future. Some found it to be an unnecessary example of Badass Decay being forced upon Wash, some others found it to be an effectively tragic moment that can create interesting new future storylines, and there's countless more fans somewhere in-between.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After watching Genkins possess Church and act like a massive Jerkass to everyone for half the season, seeing Caboose furiously tackle him in "Self-Fulfilling Odyssey" and beat the absolute fuck out of him is immensely satisfying.
    • Donut chewing out the rest of the Blood Gulch Crew in "Limbo" for them having treated him like crap for so many years.
    • Doc managing a Split-Personality Merge with his Evil Twin O'Malley in "Theogeny" can be seen as this, as it's something finally going Doc's way after having been consistently mocked/ignored for the last two seasons.
  • Crack Pairing: The previously minuscule Donut/Wash ship got a lot of mileage after the two formed an Odd Friendship this season.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Evil Is Sexy: Donut downright describes Chrovos as having turned into "a big and sexy frightening lady". Viewers reacted the same way, with Lee Eddy's portrayal helping a lot.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Practically turned Up to Eleven. Not only are there the near-countless alternative timelines created within the Everwhen by Genkins' meddling, but there's also Carolina's time while re-enlisted as a common foot soldier in the UNSC, Lopez's journeys while lost in space for countless millions of years, and Donut's plans for exploring the universe on his own.
  • He Really Can Act: While Dan Godwin's performance as Donut has never been necessarily seen as bad throughout the series, many viewers have been very impressed with his voicework this season as Donut has taken charge and become a more assertive character (along with forming an Odd Friendship with Wash).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • While Caboose's comments about how "time is made of circles" from The Blood Gulch Chronicles were already funny, they become hilariously prescient here once it's revealed that black holes in the RvB verse allow time to loop back on itself to the Big Bang - So Caboose was right all along!
    • Black holes form a major part of the storyline for Singularity, being responsible for Huggins not getting Killed Off for Real, the Genkins/Chrovos Stable Time Loop, and other story aspects. Roughly halfway through the season, the first picture of a black hole in human history was taken.
    • As noted under Fanon on the main series YMMV page, most fans seem to believe that the Freelancers fought in the Human-Covenant War, though there still hasn't been any specifics declared one way or the other. This season reveals that Carolina actually did fight in the Great War... but only when she was Faking the Dead and had re-enlisted as a common foot soldier in the UNSC under a fake name after having been thrown off a cliff by the Meta. So, while Carolina herself has fought in the Great War, Carolina as a Freelancer Agent still never actually did!
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: Easily the biggest criticism of the season is that it's the shortest season of Red vs. Blue yet, clocking out at only 12 total episodes and with several of those aforementioned episodes not being that much longer than the typical RvB episode of seasons past.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Lopez being permanently lost in outer space via jumping into a black hole while within the Labyrinth. Very few fans, if any, were that surprised to see Lopez pop back up at the end of the season finale, especially after Huggins' "death" had previously shown that black holes in the RvB verse loop time backwards to the Big Bang.
  • Memetic Mutation: Wash's enraged yell during "The Not-So-Good Ol' Days" has quickly become a popular forum reaction image within the Rooster Teeth fandom.
  • More Popular Replacement: While Ray Schilens as Chrovos wasn't exactly hated during The Shisno Paradox, Lee Eddy's take on the character has proven to be significantly more popular with fans due to a greater focus on Deadpan Snarker humor and Eddy already being a big fan-favorite among the greater Rooster Teeth fandom.
  • Narm Charm:
  • One-Scene Wonder: Like with Season 15, but to an even greater extent, the entirety of Project Freelancer shown through "The Not-So-Good Ol' Days"note  had viewers screaming ecstatically.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Chrovos and Genkins were previously deemed as boring antagonists during The Shisno Paradox, especially because of their limited screentime (the latter is only revealed as a villain in the final two episodes). Come the next season, both are on the spotlight from the get-go and most fans seem to prefer how they're employed in amusing ways, particularly Chrovos' new characterization as a condescending woman (who is also vaguely maternal towards Donut, strangely enough) voiced by fan favorite Lee Eddy.
    • On more of a metatextual level, Jason Weight (the season's writer) was previously disliked by a not-insignificant portion of the fanbase, with many having blamed him for Season 16's Seasonal Rot since he helped write some of that season's more contentious episodes. However, opinion has starkly shifted concerning him after Singularity was released, with numerous fans stating that they're now excited to see him write his own story arc going into the future.
  • Signature Scene: A few.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Much to the pleasant surprise of the audience, Singularity has quickly become the most beloved season in the series since The Chorus Trilogy, with the main complaintsnote  being seen as largely inconsequential in the face of the hilarious comedy, clever story, improved pacing, Character Rerailment, impressive animation (again, for the most part), and overall great use of previously ignored/shelved characters and pairings.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Probably one of the most vocal criticisms of the season is that both Alpha-Church and Delta weren't given significant roles in the story aside from some relatively brief gags.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: As alluded to above, many fans were disappointed with Simmons' Labyrinth illusion being entirely comedic and not giving any real insight into his character.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The fight between Present!Carolina and Past!Carolina within the Labyrinth is generally seen as some of the best combat-related animation used in the show since the fight scenes in Season 13.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Even if it directly followed the story of its very divisive predecessor, Singularity has evaded similar vitriol, with the vast majority of viewers liking the comedy, screentime given to usually neglected characters/pairings, and story directions. What certainly helps is that after a whole season of build-up, the stakes and antagonists were set right away in this season.

Zero

  • Author's Saving Throw: What little promotional material shown for the upcoming season did not initially show any of the Reds and Blues, much less the Freelancers, leading a lot of people to believe that they would be Out of Focus and the season would focus on a new cast of characters. The season's first trailer put most everybody's fears at ease when both Carolina and Wash were shown, with the former apparently being responsible for bringing in the new cast.
  • Broken Base:
    • The decision to focus on a completely new cast of characters and not focus back on the Blood Gulch Crew. A lot of fans have cried foul and complained that this makes Zero "Red Vs. Blue In Name Only." Others have contended that it's nice to have the series focus on other characters since it will help keep the show fresh along with further expanding the series' universe.
    • Even with only the trailer being released, Carolina being Demoted to Extra has sparked a lot of arguments among her fans. Many have complained that by seemingly subjecting her to The Worf Effect and giving her a less combat-focused position on Shatter Squad, the series is repeating itself in how Carolina was previously nerfed in Seasons 12 & 15 to largely prop up the new villains. Other Carolina fans have instead argued that Carolina taking on a less action-focused role is reflective of her Character Development in Seasons 15 & 17 about her wanting to move on past her history as just a bloodsoaked Supersoldier, and by her taking on more of a "pure leadership" approach, more interesting facets of Carolina's personality can be explored. And still others have pointed out that, as it's just a trailer, it's too early to say for sure and so everyone should just wait for the season proper to come out and see what happens then.
    • Washington's brain damage being cured offscreen. On the one hand, see "They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot" below. On the the other hand, removing the last remaining plot thread left from the almost universally loathed 16th season makes it much easier for fans to pretend that season never. EVER happened.
    • Once the season started, the Actionized Sequel nature split the fans who didn't like that the comedy that drove the series seemed like an afterthought, and others who were enjoying the flashy fights.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many fans have openly admitted that they're mostly interested in Zero since they want to see Torrian Crawford bring his expertise in animated fight scenes as previously observed in Death Battle to Red Vs. Blue.
  • Older Than They Think: Virtually all of the concerns being expressed by fans ahead of the release of Zero (i.e., the season being focused on a different cast of characters from the Reds and Blues, an emphasis on drama and action over comedy, the quality of the new CGI animation and relatively fresh voice acting/writing talent, etc.) are practically identical to those expressed prior to the release of The Project Freelancer Saga years ago.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Despite many fans being intrigued by the new season's action scenes, there are just as many who feel as though the new season is Red vs. Blue in name only as, with the exception of Carolina and Washington, the previews and promotional material have said nothing about the Reds and Blues or implied they will have anything to do with the plot. Many of Carolina's fans were also unimpressed/annoyed at the trailer seemingly confirming that she'd be going through The Worf Effect again, after similar instances in Seasons 12 & 15 of her being made to look weaker than she was to prop up new villains.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Wash's brain damage is fixed completely offscreen with robotic implants, negating pretty much any potential storylines it set up.
  • Win the Crowd: The animation for the fight scenes in Zero for what little has been shown immediately garnered a lot of attention and excitement from fans.
  • X Meets Y: According to Word of God, the season's premise is basically "Red vs. Blue meets The Fast and the Furious."

Series-Wide

  • Acceptable Targets: Don't expect the military to come across well in this web series, especially given that Armed Farces is one of the main sources of comedy.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Church gets this on several levels.
      • How does he really feel about his teammates? Despite his repeated declarations of hatred towards all of the Blood Gulch Crew, he does seem to care about Donut and the other Blues at least a little bit. Notably, when Caboose gets shot twice in Season 5, he lets out two anguished Big Nos, and he seemed to despise him the most.
      • Did Alpha-Church really die not believing himself to be an A.I.? Perhaps, or it's possible that he knew it to be true, but was simply in denial. Or perhaps he fully realized this, and his last words were simply an attempt to calm himself down before pulling off a Heroic Sacrifice, or even just a grim joke?
      • While this is something of an existential question, how much does Epsilon have to do with Church's previous incarnation as the Alpha? Is he a legitimate reincarnation, or is he just someone who started to strongly resemble Church after letting some of his memories sink in?
    • Surprisingly enough, Donut gets some of this. How many of his Double Entendres are Innocent Innuendo, and how many are him Trolling his teammates? Additionally, a lot of his seemingly ditzy comments can come across as him playing pranks on his friends, such as him cheerfully volunteering Simmons to become Red Team's Cyborg in Season 2.
    • Is Caboose the way he is because he was born with some sort of Ambiguous Disorder, or because he's received brain damage after arriving in Blood Gulchnote ? Or did he start off with a disorder and the brain damage happened to increase his stupidity.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The series has had a noticeably difficult time breaking into Asian markets. Japanese audiences in particular have been slow to accept Grif, as his laziness and irreverence for authority is very much out of sync with modern widespread Japanese culture.
  • Applicability: The PSA "Snowed In" was written several months before being released and handles the topic of dealing with a blizzard and the resulting need for supplies and cabin fever. Many however note that a lot of the advice given could easily be applied to the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the world at the time of the PSA's release.
  • Archive Panic: Along with the first 13 seasons on Netflix (and the following four also on DVD\Blu-Ray), every episode - plus the miniseries and many of the PSAs - is available on Rooster Teeth's website and the series' own YouTube channel! Of course it's over 300 episodes, resulting in at least one whole day of footage, so binging all at once is not recommended.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Vic's quirky and bizarre nature makes viewers find him either utterly hilarious or unbearably annoying.
    • Agent Carolina. One sides sympathizes with her, pointing how she was the victim of the Director's manipulations as well as betrayal by her teammates. They also appreciate her relationship with York and were saddened that they were never able to get together. The other side hates her for being a Jerkass in the present day to the Reds and Blues and blames her for everything that went wrong with Project Freelancer, even though all of it wasn't her fault. The later seasons have made her much more well-loved, however, as she Took a Level in Kindness, seeing the Blood Gulch Crew as her new family, and outright fears them dying (and even saw them die in Santa's vision). And in Season 15, she seems to have become just as crazy as the rest of the crew.
    • Jax Jonez in Season 15, with fans being split over him being either an Adorkably kooky and hilarious film geek, or an annoying Tagalong Kid who often unnecessarily took the air out of dramatic scenes with obscure movie references. That being said, he was significantly better-liked in The Shisno Paradox when he became a Prima Donna Director with a Hair-Trigger Temper and a streak of Comedic Sociopathy a mile wide, to the point where he's seen as one of the better parts of Season 16.
  • Better Than Canon: Many fans consider the increasingly dark and intricate plots to be better than those of Halo.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Season 13 PSA about trigger warnings resulted in a pretty instant, pretty messy split between three camps: Those who felt the episode was hilarious for lampooning the Political Correctness Gone Mad tendencies of some trigger warning users (As well as pointing out how these people make it hard to take real triggers seriously thanks to their overusage of them for mundane things), those who don't find the jokes funny due to the reason behind trigger warnings in the first placenote , and those who didn't care either way for the episode, but found it in poor taste to release something so controversial despite knowing and lampshading the backlash it would cause, given RT's own very anti-politics-on-site nature. Then there's the smaller camp who found the intense reactions from both sides ridiculously over sensitive or hypocritical, regardless of if they themselves liked or disliked the video and regardless of their own opinion on trigger warnings.
    • When the series should have ended, and if it should've ended at all. Some say it should've ended at Season 5, since it gives a sincerely sad ending to a hilarious series about how pointless everything was. Others say Season 10, with the lore and formula having been deconstructed and reconstructed, backstory having been explained, and characters having been pushed to their limits. Still others say Season 13, with The Chorus Trilogy giving fresh air to the franchise, proving it can work in an overall new setting, and ending with the death of what is essentially the show's main character. Season 14 was controversial in and of itself, but some say Vic's goodbye speech would've been an acceptable ending. And of course, others are happy that the series is still ongoing.
      • The biggest split thus far has been between those who like the series for the military-themed dialogue-focused comedy of the Blood Gulch Chronicles (particularly Seasons 4 and 5) versus those who prefer the action-thriller direction and deeper plot that Season 6 and beyond have adopted.
    • For Seasons 15-17, was Joe Nicolosi doing a good job as showrunner, or did he derail the characters and were the meta comedy and unusual plot choices he'd added in harmful? And related to the above, the dissers of Nicolosi's seasons are often those who preferred the plot-heavier seasons when the show was leaning back towards the comedy during that point in time.
    • Whether or not Donut should've stayed dead after Wash "killed" him in Season 7. While there's a general consensus that Donut is still hilarious and it's overall nice to have him as part of the Blood Gulch Crew, some have complained that the irritating trend of fans almost never taking characters' deaths at face value in this series wouldn't have become as nearly apparent if Donut had just stayed dead the first time around. Naturally, others disagree on this.
    • Related to the above is the short story "Washed Hands" from Red Vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide, which details how Wash was recruited into Project Freelancer by the Counselor. On the one hand, many fans liked the story and found it to be an interesting bit of World Building by showing some more backstory to the development of Project Freelancer. On the other hand, lots of other fans disliked the story, complaining that it was a pointless Retcon of Wash's previously Adorkable personality during the flashback sections of The Project Freelancer Saga since it revealed that he was a coldly methodical revenge-planner since childhood. And of course, there's lots of other fans in-between.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Sigma, representing the Alpha's ambition and creativity, is the most evil AI in the Meta. Interested in becoming human, Sigma gradually took over the mind of Agent Maine and increased his violence. He also manipulated Agent Carolina into getting two AI, leading to a mental breakdown, and helped torture the Alpha. Using Maine, Sigma stole Carolina's AI before nearly killing her. As part of the Meta, Sigma hunted down other Freelancer's for their equipment and AI. The AI would be forcibly implanted into the Meta, whether they were willing or not. He also slaughtered multiple simulation teams as well as any recovery agents encountered. In a final bid to steal the Alpha, Sigma and the Meta attacked Freelancer Command, killing everyone stationed there and cornering and almost killing Agent Washington. Even with his destruction by EMP, Sigma's manipulation ensured that the broken Maine would continue to act as the Meta.
    • Chairman Malcom Hargrove is the corrupt CEO of Charon Industries. Using his position, Hargrove illegally used UNSC soldiers as a private security force. Starting up investigation against Project Freelancer, Hargrove used it to take Freelancer's technology for his own use while arresting anyone involved in the project, even going as far as releasing a serial killer from prison to help him. Finding alien artifacts on the planet Chorus, he hired a group of Space Pirates to kill everyone on the planet by manipulating them into a Civil War. He sent ships containing cargo for the mercenaries to use to the planet, where the mercs killed everyone on the ship and steal the cargo for their own use. When the Reds and Blues got involved, Hargrove took advantage by having them escalate the conflict with the intention to kill them when they were no longer necessary. When the mission was jeopardized, he threatened to kill his lead mercs by sending a new agent to finish the job. When exposed, he decided to kill as many of the people as possible out of spite rather than surrender.
    • Felix, real name Isaac Gates, is a Psycho for Hire with a love for killing. When he fought in the Great War, he never showed any mercy to his enemies, even those that were trying to surrender. When one of his teammates, Locus, was broken by the war, Felix kept him from getting help and molded him into his partner. Hired to create a Civil War on the planet Chorus, the mercenary took pleasure in infiltrating one of the sides while he was leading them to their deaths. He also led the raid on a prison ship where the entire crew is killed and the prisoners who are not worthy to join forces with him ejected from the ship. Hearing about the Purge, he was unable to resist being the one to personally kill off everyone, showing that he doesn't care about the orders and more about just killing for the hell of it, perfectly willing to sacrifice his own men to do so. When the Purge temple was destroyed, Felix pointlessly went after the Reds and Blues just so he can kill them.
    • Genkins The Trickster was part of a false pantheon of gods, "the Cosmic Powers", meant to trick other species into subservience. Desiring true godhood, he joined forces with Chrovos to remake the universe In Their Own Image. He proceeded to help manipulate the Reds and Blues into causing a Time Crash, going as far as to exploit Wash's PTSD he gained from his neck injury and generating a mini black hole to sadistically murder Huggins when she tried to interfere. After the time crash, Genkins traveled around the time stream to cause further paradoxes to further weaken Chrovos's prison. Eventually, Genkins steals Chrovos's power to devour them alive before trapping the Reds and Blues in the Labyrinth so they can be psychologically tortured to the point of committing suicide.
  • Contested Sequel: Following Season 13, the next three seasons have unfortunately developed this reputation, though for varying reasons: Season 14 dropped continuing the plot in lieu of exploring other stories through an anthology, Season 15 was criticized for wasted potential and such, and Season 16 got a controversial reception for going on a far Denser and Wackier route than any of the prior seasons. Season 17 seems to have avoided this for the most part due to a mix of better pacing in its narrative and Character Rerailment (among other factors).
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Lots of the humor in this series darts across the line so many times that one can't keep track, what with moments like Private Jimmy's death at the hands of Tex, Freelancer Command having "Ctrl+F+U" as a keyboard shortcut for Caboose's teamkills, the numerous injuries poor Maine suffers through during the highway fight, the Reds and Blues completely forgetting that Doc had been sucked away into the Future Cubes for several months, the interviews conducted for finding the "right" Red Team Sargent and Tucker-analogues, Sarge's rant about the "Whites", Grif immediately trying to kill himself when he learns that pizza's been erased from history (The Shisno Paradox), and Wash shooting Donut being repeated ad nauseam to point of becoming a hysterical Running Gag (Singularity) all being the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • For all the Director's horrific war crimes, ruthless manipulation, large-scale Mind Rape, and sheer callousness towards everyone, his love for Allison is his one genuinely sympathetic quality that reminds the audience that he was once an actually decent human being. In the Season 10 finale, his breakdown into a hopeless and broken shell of a man is one of the saddest moments out of the entire series.
    • Despite his years of killing and ruthless pragmatism, Locus is a troubled soldier still suffering from PTSD after the Human-Covenant War, having been essentially bullied into becoming a soulless killing machine by his own commander and Felix.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a few, as to be expected of a series that's been running since 2003.
  • Epileptic Trees: Some of which have even come true.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Pick a Red vs. Blue fanfiction, any Red vs Blue fanfiction; If it even vaguely involves romance in some way, chances are good that Grimmons (Grif/Simmons) will either be the main, secondary or supporting couple of said fic.
    • Tuckington (Tucker/Washington) also become pretty popular in the fandom after the events of The Chorus Trilogy. It helps that the two spend almost all their time together during that story arc and at least some of Tucker's motivation to become a better soldier is to rescue Wash after he's kidnapped at the end of Season 11.
    • If Doc and Donut are present in the same fic, odds are that they're dating. This ship is far and away the most popular ship involving either of these characters thanks to the Ho Yay between the two in Seasons 10 and 11.
    • Carolina/York is very popular thanks to their interactions, even though the latter died before anything could truly become out of it. CarWash/Washolina (Carolina/Wash) has also gained a lot of popularity after Season 15 Episode 10 and the copious amounts of Ship Tease the two characters get during both The Shisno Paradox and Singularity.
    • After the surprising amount of chemistry shown between Dan Godwin and Shannon McCormick during Singularity, Donut/Wash ("Washnut") became significantly more popular and is now often a runner-up to both Tuckington and Carwash in the fanbase in terms of ships involving Wash.
    • A platonic case - Despite the fact that the two characters don't interact that much in the actual show, Grif & Carolina is a popular friendship in fluff fanfics after she became his apprentice in terms of learning how to be lazy in Season 15.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Project Freelancer has inspired numerous pieces of fanfiction based on it, the questionable experiments it performed off-screen, and its various agents that all existed before the series occurred. What certainly helps is that only a handful out of the originally 50 agents were seen in The Project Freelancer Saga, and even then their observed missions were only a few out of the countless assignments they went on in actual canon.
    • Really, the series has numerous moments in its timeline that are ripe for further expansion by enterprising fanfiction authors. Just a few examples are the casts' lives prior to being inducted into Project Freelancer, Tucker's training on Sangheilos between Seasons 5 and 7 followed by his time as an ambassador, life on Chorus both prior to the Civil War and after the events of The Chorus Trilogy, the mercenary exploits of Locus, Felix, and Sirus, and the lives of the Cosmic Powers among many more.
  • Fanon: According to an inordinate number of fans...
    • Wash and C.T. had a romantic relationship, despite them only interacting twice in the show (though in fairness, both times implied they were closer than most Freelancers, but he still doesn't even react when she turns traitor... or when the Freelancers attack Charon Industries to capture/kill her). Alternately, Grif/Simmons. While Tucker does make a remark about them being in love during The Blood Gulch Chronicles, their relationship in the show is overall closer to being Heterosexual Life-Partners.
      • There's also a large group of fans who believe that at least some of the Freelancers served in the Human-Covenant War, with some specifically stating that Wash fought at the Battle of Reach. While Project Freelancer's origins are confirmed as being related to the Great War (specifically, Project Freelancer was created as a "magic-bullet" program during the midst of the war so as to save humanity by both experimenting on human-A.I. interactions and the various possible threats that soldiers would encounter on the galactic battlefield), no Freelancers have been recorded as actually getting involved in the Great War during the series. Amusingly, Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide actually states Wash did fight in the Great War... but only before he ever became a Freelancer.
    • Crunchbite was reincarnated as Junior. There's some evidence for this in the series, but it's far from explicitly said.
    • Carolina's nickname (often given to her by York) is "Lina." She's never called anything but Carolina in the show, though, even by York. Alternately, her real name is Carol, and she's also almost always shown using the gravity hammer, despite using it just twice in the series—pistols or melee are much more part of her fighting style, yet fans have latched onto the grav hammer instead.
    • Sarge was previously an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. It is mentioned that Sarge jumped out of ships "during the war", so it's possible, but again, it's far from confirmed. However, this actually became a case of Ascended Fanon in Season 15, with Sarge outright mentioning having previously been an ODST.
    • Character appearances have been pretty well cemented by Luke McKay's fan art, leading most people to believe Caboose is a blonde, Grif and Simmons have brown hair, Tex has red hair, Church has black hair and stubble, etc. While Church's appearance has sort of been confirmed (the Director indeed looks like an older, even grumpier Luke McKay Church), some of the others are definitely not correct (Tucker is implied to be black along with Grif & Sister both being implied to be Hawaiian, unlike Luke McKay's white depiction of all three, and both Wash and Tex are blondes... or at least the original Allison was a blonde).
      • Speaking of character appearances in fanart, most fans seem to like depicting Simmons' robotic implants as being very blatant and Donut post-Chrovos resurrection often has one eye replaced with crystal.
    • After the Freelancer Prequel Duology in Season 14 ("The Triplets" and "The 'Mission'"), most fans think that Freelancer Agent Ohio's group and Charon Agent Sherry's group were the main inspiration for the Red & Blue Teams (or at least gave the Director the initial idea for them). Also, many fans think that the icy wasteland of a planet they're stranded on is Sidewinder (since it's the only other ice planet encountered in the series).
    • In Singularity, it's revealed that Carolina spent the years in-between the Meta throwing her off a cliff on Sidewinder and getting the Reds and Blues to help her break out Epsilon as a common foot soldier in the UNSC under the false name of "McCallister." Most fans have taken this to mean that McCallister was Allison Church's maiden name, though there's no real evidence for/against that in the show itself.
  • Fountain of Memes: More often then not, expect Caboose to be quoted by fans of Red vs. Blue.
  • Friendly Fandoms: As one could expect, it has one with both the rest of Rooster Teeth's work and Halo itself.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Caboose's Image Song "Your Best Friend" was once a creepy yet heartwarming (and hilarious) single about the happiness Caboose feels whenever he's near Church. Come Season 13's ending, the song is nothing but heartbreaking since Caboose will likely never see Church again. And he was already The Woobie to begin with...
    • The fact that the Season 17 "Visit the Doctor!" PSA would air just as the 2020 coronavirus pandemic would cause the United States to declare a state of national emergency is a rather unfortunate bit of timing.
    • Additionally, the Season 17 "Snowed In" PSA ends with Church getting killed yet again by Caboose. In the weeks following that PSA, Burnie Burns announced that he was leaving Rooster Teethnote  and moving outside of the United States. Or, to phrase it another way, the last PSA to feature Burns while he worked at Rooster Teeth was one where Church died yet again.
  • Gateway Series: Expect most people to mention Red vs. Blue as the series that got them into Machinima, Rooster Teeth, or both.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Early in the series, Grif saves Sarge from a bullet wound to the head with CPR, and Sarge (unfairly) chews him out for such a stupid choice of medical attention. Years later, when mass shootings became a major hot button issue in 2018, Rick Santorum got into hot water for suggesting students learn CPR.
  • He's Just Hiding!: With the show's habit of going from Death Is Cheap to Deader Than Dead in suitably serious moments, you can see why there's so many examples.
    • Many fans don't buy the Meta's Disney Villain Death and believe he will make a reappearance. As of Season 13, Maine is confirmed dead but his empty armor is in the possession of Malcolm Hargrove. Many episodes were spent hammering in the fact that yes, he's indeed dead, and the Meta died the moment the EMP wiped out all the original AI fragments.
    • The Freelancers get this a lot. After spending two seasons characterizing them with their own flaws and friendships that made them very likable, they're still doomed to die in ignoble, humiliating deaths and some fans really still hold out hope that some will make a reappearance, unlikely as it seems.
    • At the end of Season 13, Epsilon defragments himself in order to create new AI that can manage Tucker's suit, effectively erasing him from existence. Since this isn't the first, second, or even third time an incarnation of Leonard Church has died, many fans were hoping this would be another bluff. Unfortunately for said fans, he's confirmed to be Killed Off for Real in Season 15.
    • The same holds true for Texas/Allison, even if Epsilon made sure to delete her from his mind, ensuring she could never come back as a part of him. The Director seemed to have another copy lying around, but all of his works were explicitly destroyed by his own order. This is just as well, since the memory of Allison is exhausted being constantly brought back.
    • Some fans still believe Felix is alive against all odds and the show's established laws of nature. The temples confirmed he was dead as Locus was able to wield the key that could only be used by a true warrior once the previous was dead. Considering Donut already died and came back once or twice, anything's possible.
    • You can also add the Triplets. While it's never stated they're dead, the fact that they were left on a barren planet with a trio of enemies that has a limited supply of food and alcohol, and Project Freelancer never bothered to send rescue, some fans hope they made it out regardless. Being possible surviving Freelancers and having a canonical lesbian in their group doesn't hurt.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A PSA was released before Season 16 that was a very thinly veiled Take That, Audience! towards those complaining about how the season was being uploaded to RoosterTeeth.com and not YouTube. Season 16 was then released a year later on YouTube to help promote Season 17 (which would also be posted to YouTube a year after its initial release... though Season 18 was still far from done).
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page. It's even gotten to a point where the creators lampshade it outside the show.
  • Iron Woobie: Tex consistently fails at whatever she's trying to do, not that it stops her from trying or being a badass while doing so. The same can also be said of Carolina and Wash, though they go on to actually learn from the past and resolve to put their mistakes behind them.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Agent Washington, to the point where he's generally seen as the "fandom bicycle."
    • Tucker surprisingly got into this territory after he got significant Character Development in The Chorus Trilogy.
    • After his face was eventually revealed during the Merc Trilogy in Season 14, Locus became incredibly popular to ship with other characters, with the Ho Yay already being pretty blatant between him and both Felix and Wash.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Has gotten an increasingly vocal and sizable one as the series has gone on, helped along by both the copious amount of Ho Yay the series has to offer and the show improving its own LGBT representation over time.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Doctor Leonard Church served as the Director of Project Freelancer, who mourned the loss of his beloved wife. Founding his military program to test out the use of equipment with AI implantation in soldiers, the Director reverse engineered Split Personality in the one AI he had, the Alpha, to create fragments. The Director emotionally manipulated his soldiers to test out which AI matched which soldier and examined certain effects. The Director used turned one of his AI into Agent Texas, who would carry out dirty work for him. The Director also used his agents to steal equipment to perform more experiments. After the implosion of Freelancer and the apparent death of his daughter, Agent Carolina, the Director regrouped Freelancer, successfully hiding away the Alpha to keep him safe. When Washington rebelled and activated the EMP, the Director tried to use the Meta to stop him. Investigated by Chairman Hargrove, the Director argued that his actions were for the good of humanity, but submitted to possible arrest. In the end after a meeting with his alive daughter, the Director killed himself realizing that he could never bring back his beloved Allison.
    • Aiden Price was the Counselor of Project Freelancer. The Counselor emotionally manipulated the agents to serve the Director needs, and as such knew many things about them. After the implosion, the Counselor helped coordinate both the Alpha's hiding and Florida's disappearance. Serving as head of Recovery, the Counselor used his agents to track down the Meta at any cost, and ultimately brought the Reds and Blues in for help. After his imprisonment, the Counselor joined the Chorus genocide campaign with Charon mercenaries, manipulating a former Charon employee to act as an enforcer without giving away his former occupation. The Counselor was the only one who realized that the people of Chorus could win and doom the operation, but was unable to get his allies to flee before being killed.
    • Agent Wyoming, real name Reginald, and his AI partner Gamma, representing the Alpha's deceit, are the primary operators of Omega's plan. Hired by Omega to assassinate Tucker, Wyoming allowed a bomb to go off that knocked the Reds and Blues unconscious. Gamma manipulated an alien race into a believing prophecy, leading one alien to impregnate Tucker before being killed by Wyoming. After Wyoming sent Omega back to Blood Gulch to find a new host, he confronted and killed Agent York, and managed to escape Texas. Wyoming and Gamma reunited and headed to Blood Gulch to retrieve Tucker's alien son for Omega to possess and control the Covenant. Wyoming used his time distortion unit to cheat in battle, and when seemingly killed unleashed time copies to continue to fight. Wyoming's final push before his death was to reveal the full extent of his plan to get Tex on his side.
    • Sigma was split from the Alpha's creativity and ambition. Sigma became very interest in becoming human, and controlled Agent Maine for his full ambitions. Sigma also manipulated Agent Carolina into getting two AI, just to see the results, and ultimately almost offed Carolina to get both of those AI. As the Meta, Sigma hunted down agents for their AI, but also recognized more pragmatic choices to leave them behind, such as to get more equipment or recharge power. Upon realizing that Wash and the Blue Team were on his tail, the Meta remixed a transmission to trick the Red Team into distracting them while he stole Delta. The Meta secretly tagged along to the Freelancer Command Center, and tracked down and almost killed Wash to take the Alpha.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "It's a legitimate strategy!" (Camping.) Explanation 
    • "That was the worst throw ever. Of all time." Explanation 
    • "Wait. That's illegal." Explanation 
    • "We've been tricked, we've been backstabbed and we've been quite possibly, bamboozled." Explanation 
    • "It's still going?" is a popular reaction for when people who haven't watched Red vs Blue in a while come back and are surprised to find out that the series hasn't stopped airing.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Surprisingly enough, despite (or perhaps, because of) Armed Farces being one of the series' main sources of comedy (especially in the earlier seasons), Red vs. Blue is actually noticeably popular with American servicemen in the Middle East according to an interview with Geoff Ramsey. What certainly helps is that Ramsey, who has served as a consultant and aid on writing RvB episodes outside of being just a voice actor, previously served in the US Army and so he knows how to mock with respect.
  • Moe:
    • Caboose, for his childish personality and utterly absurd level of stupidity. However, his perpetually upbeat nature and the fact that he still goes through a lot of suffering throughout the series makes him surprisingly endearing instead of being annoying.
    • Wash, whenever he can relax and have fun, especially so in his younger days in Freelancer flashbacks.
    • Jensen's just so darn cute, even if we can't see her under the armor. The lisp certainly helps.
    • This accounts for Theta's popularity. In a series full of Black Comedy, characters who are Too Dumb to Live, casual abuse, and general suffering, the fact that he's a cute AI with the personality and voice of a little kid is just precious.
    • Huggins. Despite her having a darker side, many have found her adorable and perky personality to be quite endearing, to the point where she even proved to be quite popular among those who weren't a fan of Season 16 as a whole.
  • MST3K Mantra: Despite the obvious Cerebus Syndrome, Red vs. Blue is still a show that largely runs on Rule of Funny, and it's pretty safe to repeat this to oneself if you start trying to reason one's way through all of the Fridge Logic in the background.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Of the shipping variety, there's Tucker/Wash/Carolina, as Wash/Tucker and Wash/Carolina are the two most popular ships in the fandom associated with Wash, and Tucker & Carolina have actually become surprisingly good friends after the events of Season 13.
    • Of the platonic variety, there's Grif & Simmons & Church due to the surprising amount of camaraderie shown between all three characters, Grif and Church's mutual Deadpan Snarker tendencies, and Church's Worthy Opponent view of Grif from during The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
    • Sarge & Grif & Simmons are often considered to be the "core" Red Team members, and Blue Team is often summed up as either consisting of Church & Tucker & Caboose or Wash & Tucker & Caboose.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • A lot of RWBY fans, especially those within the YouTube reaction/reviewer community, have discovered the show on the off-season when they needed content to react to/review. Both might be Rooster Teeth productions, but they couldn't be any more different!
    • Way back in the beginning, Rooster Teeth were surprised to learn that the show had a sizable fanbase among women along with the traditionally masculine "video game nerd/geek kind of market" that was the target audience. While the creators have joked that it's because they're supposedly Hollywood Nerds, the general consensus seems to be that it's due to the series' significantly improving its writing standards and representation regarding women as it's gone along, the existence of women in "geek culture" in general becoming less marginalized and dismissed over time, and that good comedy transcends all boundaries.
  • Self-Fanservice: A natural consequence of the fact that virtually the entire cast is The Faceless.
    • Tucker is a rather amusing case of this. In-Universe, Captain Flowers describes him as having "striking metrosexual looks," which has contributed to most of his fanart depicting him as being Mr. Fanservice turned Up to Eleven (as most fans seem to find it funny that the only reason Tucker can't get laid is because of his Casanova Wannabe antics).
    • Grif, who is both overweight and a habitual smoker, is often drawn with a Big Fun body design. Also, the fact that Kaikaina is "chubby" In-Universe has led to virtually all fanart depicting her as a Big Beautiful Woman.
    • Simmons is a Hollywood Nerd who nonetheless was able to keep up with Tucker's exercise regimen during Season 12. Additionally, his Hollywood Cyborg status has become increasingly downplayed as the series has gone on to the point where it's not even mentioned in Red Vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide. Most fanart has Simmons drawn as buff along with his mechanical implants being very blatant (i.e., having part of his face and right arm being mechanical replacements).
  • Sequelitis:
    • Lightly referenced in the Gaming PSA.
      Simmons: Join us next time for part 2 of our series: sequels.
      Grif: Parts 3 and 4 are about that, too.
    • Despite this being jokingly referenced, Seasons 9 and 10 became much more popular than the previous seasons ever were, and the Chorus Trilogy is beloved by many fans for taking the series in a fresh direction. However, then came three divisive seasons, as noted above under Contested Sequel.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Reconstruction was such a drastic jump in quality with its fairly serious, Darker and Edgier plot and the genuinely intimidating villain of the Meta, that it's regarded as the go-to example of Cerebus Syndrome, and in the eyes of several fans just couldn't be topped. To the point most fans found Recreation a step down in spite of the funny moments. But then Revelation delivered huge payoffs to the plot developments of the previous scenes, while also introducing the awesome animated scenes by Monty Oum.
    • Then Season 10 one-upped the symphonic metal soundtrack, large cast of characters of both genders, slick, cinematic CG fight scenes that looked more impressive even than 8 and 9's, and wrapping up many ongoing storylines involving the Freelancers that looked like it could've ended the series then and there.
    • Nowadays, The Chorus Trilogy is another contender, with its back to basics approach that set out to have a new plot that had little to do with Freelancer agents, giving a fresh direction that blended drama and comedy seamlessly.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
  • Values Dissonance: A lot of the series' earlier humor has fallen into Dude, Not Funny! territory as Society Marches On, with The Blood Gulch Chronicles easily suffering from this issue the most out of the different story arcs since it aired during the mid-to-late 2000s. As an example, while Sarge in Season 2 describing Lopez's "love song" to Sheila as "the feral cry of a retarded Mexican Sasquatch" is darkly hilarious, it also utilizes what is increasingly seen as an ableist slur (namely, "retarded") as part of its punchline.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Fans who disliked the focus on action and intricate plot that dominated the Recollection (Seasons 6-8) and the Freelancer Saga (Seasons 9-10) were pleasantly surprised with the Chorus Trilogy (Seasons 11-13), for having more to do with the Blood Gulch Crew, a larger emphasis on classic RvB comedy, pulling focus away from giant action setpieces, making the action more grounded, and for bringing in a new, simpler plot that had little to do with the Freelancers.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page.

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