Red vs. Blue has been known to have a handful of running gags that have occurred throughout the series. Below is a list of several notable ones.
During the tenth episode of the first season, Tex is introduced to the series. This began a trend where Tex, after having extended absences, would reappear in the tenth, or sometimes ninth, episode of the season she reappears in. After Tex's story wrapped up in Season 10, the episode tradition was altered to be major story reveals instead.
- S01E10: Church reappears as a "ghost" and Tex makes her series debut.
- S02E10: Both Sheila and Tex return, with Sheila being repaired and Tex possessing Lopez.
- S03E10: Church returns, albeit making a brief vocal appearance.
- S05E10: After returning to Blood Gulch in the previous episode, Tex attacks the Blues and meets Sister.
- S07E10: C.T.'s dig team is revealed to have killed the original dig team.
- S08E10: After debuting in the previous episode, Epsilon-Tex attacks the Reds and Blues and Epsilon is revealed to have gained a new robot body.
- S09E10: Tex battles York, Maine, and Wyoming and the cause of York's eye injury is revealed.
- S10E10: Tex and Carolina battle C.T. and the Insurrectionist Leader, C.T. dies, and it is revealed that the Leader took C.T.'s armor and identity.
- S11E10: Donut, Doc, and Lopez arrive in Chorus and Locus is revealed to possess an Active Camo armor enhancement.
- S12E10: Locus and Felix are revealed to be working together and both Carolina and Epsilon return.
- S13E10: Doyle is revealed to have taken the Great Key of Chorus and Doc makes a return.
- S15E10: Temple is revealed to have kidnapped and killed the missing Freelancers.
Whenever a character is killed, they will suddenly shout "Hurrrrk... blah" before they pass away. A variation of this is saying,"I am dead!" or shouting out they're dead right before they die. This begins when Church is killed by Sheila, and dies while talking to Tucker, and is later performed by Tex, the Red Zealot, and Captain Flowers, amongst others. Another death-related running gag is how a character (usually when blown up, but exclusively to all character deaths in the "Every Man for Himself" ending of Episode 100) will shout "Son of a bitch!". This is demonstrated when Tucker screams, "Son of a Bitch!" when Doc/O'Malley blows him up with the Motorcycle.
Due to the scarcity of the sniper rifle, Tucker has never been able to use one. He was originally supposed to get one ordered from Captain Butch Flowers, but because of the captain's death due to Church accidentally killing him with aspirin, the order was never placed. This gag began in the first episode of the series, when he is berated by Church for questioning him about the activity of the Reds; Tucker's response is one of irritation as Church has a sniper rifle while he does not. This gag is repeated numerous times throughout Seasons One and Two, eventually being phased out in Season Three after he accidentally discovers the sword during the attack on O'Malley's base.
After using the sword to kill the Red Zealot, he declines an offer by Tex to trade his sword for her sniper rifle. The gag is mentioned briefly in Season 5, where it is demonstrated he has excellent eyesight, on account of he "never gets to use the fucking sniper rifle". During Episode 94 Tucker begs Church to use the sniper rifle, which he does. Tucker then displays his unfamiliarity with the device by shooting Tex in the ass, and manages to switch weapons again before she catches him.
He later uses the sniper rifle again in Episode 99 and is surprisingly quite accurate with it, even able to take out Wyoming's clones without sighting through the scope, though that is probably due to the time reversal in which he remembers events prior, so he probably just knew the clone was there. In the mini-series "Where There's a Will, There's a Wall", the sniper rifle is Church's final offer to Tucker in exchange for the Falcon. In Oh Captains, My Captains, Tucker asks Felix for the sniper rifle while spying on a Federal Army of Chorus facility.
In Why They're Here, Tucker, Church and Butch Flowers go on a scouting mission, where Flowers uses a sniper rifle to spy on Grif and Simmons. Tucker asks Flowers if he can use the sniper rifle, to which Flowers replies "I tell you what Tucker, if we ever go on a mission like this again I'll give you the honors.", though, of course, this never happens.
Buckey, Tucker's counterpart of the Blues and Reds, is often seen using a Sniper Rifle. This trait helps Dylan Andrews realize that he can't be Tucker due to Tucker never being seen choosing a Sniper Rifle as his weapon.
Since its first mention, this joke has been used 5 times:
- The first time was by Caboose in Check Out the Treads on That Tank while learning how to operate Sheila: "No, no, wait, go back! Why are there six pedals if there are only four directions?"
- The second time was by Grif while hijacking an Elephant in Well Hello. This time, the joke is used in reverse, with Grif complaining about how there are only four pedals while there are six directions.
- The third time was during a Poser-animated sequence in Upon Further Review. Again by Grif while driving a Warthog, where six pedals are visible inside.
- The fourth time was when Tucker first visited the Blue base on Valhalla in New and Improved, stating "I bet this time, we've got a tank with eight pedals instead of six."
- The fifth time was during Oh Captains, My Captains after Jensen ran over a New Republic soldier with the Warthog, complaining on the number of pedals in the vehicle.
The Warthog's Tejano musicEdit
Whenever the Red Team is seen driving a Warthog, Tejano (Spanish-Texan) music will usually be heard, much to the annoyance of most. This is probably because it is often repaired by Lopez who speaks Spanish. The song played is called: "Los Dos Laredos / Acordeones De Oro" by Jaime y Los Chamacos from their album "...NO SE CANSAN!"
Lift with the GroinEditMany times during the series when a character is pulling or lifting something, someone will say 'lift with your groin'. Such as when Caboose is picking up the bomb in Season 3. This is ironic and revealing as one should lift with their legs in order to avoid injury and it was often said by Sarge, who has a comedic lack of medical knowledge. A slight variation of this is seen in Season 8 when Doc gets stuck in the wall. He tells Simmons to "pull from the groin", advice that is later repeated by Washington to the Meta. In Turbulence, Carolina attaches her grappling gun to Washington's groin plate when pulling him into a Pelican.
Bow-Chicka Bow-Wow is Tucker's catch phrase. First coined in Episode 58, he frequently uses it to express his sexual fantasies, mainly about Tex. As the season progresses, he uses it again and again, much to the annoyance of Church. Later in the series he has seemed to have stopped using it as much, neglecting to say it at all in Season 9 (though it should be noted that it was Tucker's Epsilon double not the original).
Many jokes are made about Caboose Team Killing, such as when he shot Church with Sheila in episode 8, and in the alternate ending to episode 100 Fight! Fight! when Caboose gets in Sheila and accidentally shoots Church again. Caboose also activated the 10 megaton bomb inside Church's robot body which had been installed by Sarge, which propelled everyone but Church into the "future", while Church instead got sent back in time. Caboose also shot Sarge in the head with a Sniper Rifle while Church was possessing him.
When he is taken out from the brig in Reconstruction Chapter 3, he accidentally shoots Jones. During Reconstruction Chapter 6, Church tricked Caboose into shooting South by telling him "Hey, see that purple one? She's on our team. You should help her."
In This One Goes to Eleven Tucker asks Caboose to help him, so Caboose drops a shipping container from above. In n+1, Tucker tells Caboose to stay with Church and try not to kill him by accident. Later, in the same episode, Epsilon tells Caboose to use the capture unit on him, and responds to Caboose's claims that he couldn't by saying "Yes you can. You do this all the time". Caboose responds by dejectedly saying "Yeah, I don't want to."
Command has a keyboard shortcut for whenever Caboose Team Kills. It is revealed by Caboose to be Ctrl+F+U (FU is a generally accepted abbreviation of Fuck You). Command used this macro when Washington lies to them saying Caboose killed South, instead of him (Washington).
Cockbite is an insult used as the basis for the company name 'Rooster Teeth', the title being very similar to cockbite (the rooster being the 'cock' and the teeth being the 'bite'). It is used numerous time as an insult between soldiers, mostly in the first couple of seasons.
There were numerous occasions which involved Grif being injured. Some of the incidents were real, while many more were imagined by Sarge.
Higakergerk!EditHigakergerk is a line a person says whenever he or she is possessed by Church. For example, when he possesses Sarge to free Tex, Sarge says "Higakergerk" as he is possessed. The same happens with Lopez. In Chapter 13 of Reconstruction, Church possesses a command soldier who also says "Higakergerk" as he is being possessed.
These minor characters appeared in episodes 31-33, episode 100 and Reconstruction represent how Caboose represents himself and the others within his own mind. They are different from their real world counterparts, to which the real Church states that Caboose hasn't been really paying attention. For example Grif's armor color, Donut's gender, and Sarge's accent. The only characters that act as themselves are the Omega and Delta AIs, due to Omega's partial control of Caboose and Caboose's mental image of Delta being a prerecorded message from Delta.
Oh, son of a-Edit
Before a character is about to die (or in some cases become injured) they utter the phrase "Oh, son of a-" before dying. However, the phrase is usually never completed. Starting in Episode 8, Church, Simmons, & Grif all say it as the tank, Sheila, fires her cannon; but none of them get hurt. Later in the same episode, Church says "Oh, son of a-" before he is killed by Caboose. In Episode 43, Church says the phrase before the bomb that sends the Reds and Blues into the future goes off. The phrase returns in Think You Know Someone when Epsilon kills C.T. In Revelation, Washington fully says the phrase before he is blown up; however, he survives.
In Number One, Epsilon yells the phrase after being shot by Donut in exchange for being allowed to speak for five minutes. The fourteenth episode of Season 9 is entitled "Son of a Bitch", in reference to Lopez getting shot. In the episode, The Sarcophagus, the Demo Man says the phrase before being blasted by the Mother of Invention. Later, in Turbulence, the Director uses the phrase shortly before the Mother of Invention is ambushed by enemy ships. Also in the Season 11 episode Neighborhood Watch, Felix yells the phrase after being shot in the leg by Locus.
In The Best Red vs. Blue DVD Ever. Of All Time., Church fully says the phrase before he is shot by Sarge. At the end of Hit and Run, Rogers says the phrase before he, along with a group of Feds, is killed by a C-4 grenade explosion. In Prologue, Stassney brings back the gag before he is shot and killed by Locus. In Great Destroyers, Aiden Price says the phrase before he, along with the Space Pirates onboard the Tartarus, is killed when the ship crashed on the Purge.
Shisno is a term the Aliens supposedly refer to humans as in a prejudicial manner. Gamma has stated that "Shisno" is an alien term that is pronounced Shiz-no which refers to a foul creature that defecates in which produces its own excrement. The only people to use this term are Andy, Gary, and one of the desert Aliens.
Starting in Season 1, whenever Tucker goes into a teleporter, he comes out covered in mysterious black stuff. The running gag lasted throughout Seasons 1 to 3. The gag was later abandoned in Season 4 onwards, though it was mentioned in Season 5. It later returned in Revelation, when Tex throws Tucker through the teleporters at the Freelancer offsite facility. The gag was once again mentioned in the Season 14 finale and near the end of the episode Tucker enters the RoosterTeeth offices covered in the mysterious black stuff. In has been stated that the black stuff is hard to remove without assistance. It has also been shown that a blow with enough force is able to completely remove the black stuff, such as when Tex smashes Tucker into the ground.
In Reconstruction: Chapter 6, when Washington, Caboose and Church are attempting to disable the Meta, Washington orders Caboose to throw a spike grenade in an attempt to assist Church's assault on the Meta. Church's response of "No! Don't let Caboose help me!" is quickly justified when Caboose tosses the grenade directly into the wall in front of himself and Washington, to which Washington comments "That was the worst throw ever. Of all time." To which Caboose says "Not my fault. Someone put a wall in my way."
Lopez can be considered to have the biggest gags in the series for two reasons, his spoken language which no one understands and also the only person (or robot) to have a "logical" mind in the red army (or possibly among all the other characters of Blood Gulch). Sarge failed to ground himself when deploying the voice card into Lopez, discharging static damaged the voice card, thus resulting with Lopez only being able to speak in Spanish. Due to this, many characters are unable to understand a word Lopez is saying except for Doc, O'Malley, Sheila, Sister, Locus and, rarely, Donut. This, however, happens to be an advantage and disadvantage for Lopez as he could insult people without them understanding what he's saying.
On the other hand, he also can't inform people of something important due to the language barrier. In an instance, in Captive Audience, Lopez tries to convince the rest of Red Team that they are in danger of the earthquakes and they should let him investigate them. However the other Reds believe these warnings to be jokes. During Where There's a Will, There's a Wall: Episode 3, Lopez imagines shooting all of the Blood Gulch members with the Blues' tank.
A gag that started in the season 1 episode Knock, knock. Who's there? Pain., and continued in later seasons. In the episode Tex was invading red base to retrieve the blue flag, the first thing she did was throw a plasma grenade on Donut's head; when Simmons and Grif noticed, they told Donut that there was "something" on his head. He then asked if it was a spider, and to get it off. The grenade then exploded.
The gag resurfaced in the season 3 finale episode The Storm, when the Alien threw a plasma grenade at one of Lopez's robot soldiers. One robot said "Hey a Spid-" but it exploded and was cut off before it could finish. A variation of the gag occurred in the season 5 episode The Haystack. While in the underground cavern Simmons was shot with a spike from a needler. When Grif noticed he told Simmons he had a "pink thing" on him. He asked if it was a snake and, like Donut, told him to get it off, before passing out.
Sarge's poor choice of code/passwords is a gag that started in Season 2. It first begins when Blue Team is arguing and their words unwittingly cause the Chupathingy to attack Red Team. The things they say include, activate for the activation of Chupathingy, drive for it to drive, and red for it to target a Red soldier. This continues throughout the series. In Reconstruction, the gag is resurfaced twice when Washington is talking to Sarge. He must gain the Red's "secure" codeword, which is codeword, to be recognized as someone from command. The only time this has been broken is for Robot #2's codeword, being "Dirtbag", and upon hearing it will punch Grif.
The second and third time was when it was used by Sarge in Revelation. The second time was to cue Grif to drive through the wall attacking Wash in which case the word was shotgun. The third time was when Grif was to push a Warthog off a cliff to kill The Meta; the word again was shotgun. Although in Grif's point of view, these still were bad codewords as Sarge uses the word Shotgun quite often, resulting in Grif taking some time to realize he was using the codeword. In Red vs. Blue: MIA, the Blue Grunt Leader asks Church to recite the Blue Team password. Church, having no idea, correctly guesses "Blue".
Why are we here?Edit
A gag that started in the first episode Why Are We Here?, the question, "Do you ever wonder why we're here?" is commonly asked throughout the series.
- It began when Simmons asked Grif "Do you ever wonder why were here?" in Episode 1. While Grif responds speaking of he doesn't know between whether there's a god watching over them with a plan or just a cosmic coincidence but that it keeps him up at night. Simmons states he wanted to know why they were here in the canyon and asks if Grif wants to talk about it.
- Later the gag is used in Episode 19 where Simmons turns to Grif and asks him again "Why are we here?" to which Grif responds to shut up remembering when he was asked earlier that season.
- The gag resurfaced in Episode 100 when Caboose asks Church "Do you ever wonder why we're here?" Church gives a lengthy response, resulting in Caboose correcting about standing in the shade. During an alternate ending of the same episode, the gag was used when an alien presumably asks another alien this question
- The gag again resurfaced in Rally Cap when Sarge asks the others. Grif responds that it does seem to be one of life's great mysteries, (referencing when he first answered the question back in Episode 1) resulting in Sarge correcting him, meaning why they were here in the army. He then tells them of their attributes.
- The gag reappears in Fall From Heaven when an Insurrectionist attempts to ask a fellow Insurrectionist the question but is interrupted by a descending Pelican.
- The gag was used again in the PSA Higgs Bozos, where Caboose talks thoughtfully about what could happen if all of the mysteries of the universe were explained, ending with"I'm sure people will always look up at the sky and wonder... why are we here."
- The gag was again resurfaced in Remember Me How I Was, where Grif asks Simmons while in Valhalla. In turn, Simmons comes to the realization that the Director was ultimately the reason they were there, due to his actions at Project Freelancer.
- The gag was used yet again in Tourist Trap, where the camera behaves similarly to the first episode while a traditional RvB chord plays. Caboose asks Sarge "You ever wonder..." but never finishes his thought. Sarge asks him to finish his sentence, but Caboose admits he lost his train of thought and proceeds to shoot confetti at a rock, mistaking it for Church.
Do you wanna talk about it?Edit
A gag that started in the first episode, Why Are We Here?, "Do you wanna talk about it?", is a commonly asked question in Red vs. Blue. After Grif gives a response about humanity's existence, Simmons asks if he wants to talk about it to which Grif says no. In Season 2, when Sarge begins to describe what a man who claimed to be his uncle did to him, Simmons then again asks if he wants to talk about it, but Sarge declines. Later on, Simmons (disguised as a Blue) and Church describe each member of the Red Team. When they get to Donut, Simmons makes fun of his pink armor and that he "knows pink when he sees it." Church asks him if he wants to talk about it, but Simmons quickly declines.
The gag was resurfaced in Recreation, however, it was reversed. Simmons and Donut were talking about leaving Lopez behind. After Donut says Lopez is loyal, Simmons replies "Dogs are loyal too, but that doesn't mean you can't eat them when you are assigned to an arctic base and command can't get rations through because of a seasonal blizzard." Donut says that seems like a pretty vivid example to which Simmons says "I don't wanna talk about it." The gag resurfaced again in Follow the Leader when Sarge asked Epsilon if he wanted to talk about his fetish for mean women, but Church replied no. Caboose then asked "Do you wanna talk about it with-" only to be interrupted by Church saying "No!"
You Just Got Sarge'dEdit
This running gag first appeared during the Season 5 episode Two for One, where Sarge uses it as an example of one-liners the Red Team could use when killing an enemy. It has since then appeared in various episodes, including the Small Rewards PSA, where Sarge was accredited a 10G "You Just Got Sarged" achievement, as well as in the episode Upon Further Review, though it was cut off during that specific time. It has made it's return in the Season 10 PSA, Internet Survival Guide, as the final line in RvB Throwdown, and as a part of Sarge's list of abbreviations: YJGS.
A variation on this gag was seen in The Installation when Simmons and Lopez were attempting to fight the Meta. Simmons picked up a rocket launcher, pointed it at the Meta, as said "All right you bastard! Prepare to get Simmonsized!" He then fires the rocket into the Mongoose between him and the Meta, which flies harmlessly over the Meta's head.
Throughout the series, York has been shown trying to open several holographic locks, which according to him, are more complicated than other locks. In Out of Mind: Part IV, when Tex needs him to break a lock, he says it is a holographic lock and she told him it was an encrypted lock. When asked if there is a difference, he tells her there is, hence the two names. When asked if he can open it, he says, "Of course I can! It's just much harder. I just brought it up so you can realize how kickass I am."
In the Season 9 episode The Sarcophagus, he is asked by Carolina to open a lock. As he goes over to see the lock, he says, "Wow, is that holographic? That's high end." When asked by Carolina if he can open it, he says, "Of course I can, you didn't bring me along for my good looks, did you?" In Revenants, he is forced to open another holographic lock. When giving a status report to the Director over radio as he is cracking it, he mentions, "These guys love their holographic locks."
Shotgun is a running gag in the series that relates to a character getting into a Warthog first. This usually involves Grif and Simmons, where one would say, "Shotgun!" and the other right after would say, "Shotgun, fuck!" after missing their opportunity. In "The Best Red vs. Blue DVD Ever. Of All Time." DVD, this gag won the Best Running Joke Award. In the Tsavo Highway level of Halo 3, two Marines mimic this gag. However, instead of saying "fuck!", one of the soldiers will say "damn".Caboose's Mind and New Republic soldiers refer to his squad as "Gold team" in Oh Captains, My Captains; Grif tells his soldiers, however, to insist on being called "orange" team rather than gold.
This running gag is first mentioned in Human Peer Bonding, where Church explains about the Omega AI Tex possess. Caboose then questions what the letters mean, but never fully understands. Four Seven Niner references this in Fall From Heaven when she asks York sarcasticly about it, in regards to Delta. The Season 10 episode, What's the "I" Stand For?, also references this.Season 11, a running gag has appeared regarding how certain members of the Blood Gulch Crew became partially responsible for crashing the UNSC ship responsible for taking them back to Blood Gulch. Eventually, in Season 12, it is revealed that their crash landing was the work of a group of Space Pirates, and the crew ultimately saved themselves from death because of their antics.
- The gag is first implied in the Season 11 Teaser Trailer that Caboose was responsible for crashing the ship, although his method of doing so isn't shown.
- In A Real Fixer Upper, Tucker is shown to have been partially responsible for the crash landing by distracting the pilot by flirting with her.
- In Worst Laid Plans, Grif is shown to have contributed to the ship's crash landing by spilling soda on the ship's equipment.
- During Reconciliation, it is revealed that Washington was also responsible for crashing the ship by knocking a cable out of a wall.
- In FAQ, Sarge is shown to be partially responsible as well by messing with the ship's engines.
- In the Season 12 episode, The Reunion, Simmons is shown to have contributed by updating the ship's navigation system without authorization.
- Ironically Caboose is the only one not responsible for the ship's crash.
"This doesn't seem physically possible."Edit
Several times throughout the series, characters have expressed skepticism over events that did not seem "physically possible." Debuting in the episode A Shadow of His Former Self, Tucker displays his doubt when Church explains how Tex killed his partner, Jimmy, saying "Tex walked up to him, pulled Jimmy's skull right out of his head, and beat him to death with it." Tucker then asks "How do you beat someone to death with their own skull? That doesn't seem physically possible." to which Church responds: "That's exactly what Jimmy kept screaming."
In Lost in Triangulation, while Donut, a wrench and a skull are competing for second-in-command of Red Team, Sarge says that "Donut was leading after the obstacle course, and tally contest. But then the mysterious skull pulled ahead during the question-and-answer session." Donut remarks: "That doesn't seem physically possible!" In Restraining Orders, while Epsilon-Tex pummels Epsilon with his discarded Monitor, Grif remarks: "Beating him with his own body? That doesn't seem physically possible."
In Season 9, Epsilon and the Blues make up the name "Andersmith" for a dead, non-existent teammate of theirs in order to keep Tex in Blood Gulch, after combining the names, Anderson and Smith. It is later revealed in the Season 12 finale that the name of one of the New Republic soldiers is John Elizabeth Andersmith, a callback to the made up name in Season 9. The name is referenced again during the Season 14 episode Why They're Here, when Captain Flowers accidentally changes the names of his would be replacements if he shall die, after tripping over a wire cable underneath Blood Gulch. The last name shown is 'Cornelius Thromwell Andersmith'.