- "Hey Simmons, what's the name of that Mexican lizard? Eats all the goats?"
- "Uh...that would be the chupacabra, sir."
- "Hey Grif, Chupathingy! How about that? I like it, gotta ring to it."
- —Sarge naming the team's vehicle in Red Gets a Delivery
The M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle is a vehicle used frequently throughout the series. The first seen Warthog belonged to the Red Team.
When the (first) jeep arrived as a shipment from "Red Command", the Reds saw it as a death machine that they could use to kill the Blues. Sarge decided to call it the "Warthog" because "M12 LRV is too hard to say in conversation." Also, Sarge notices the "tusks" on the front of the vehicle, also supporting the name "Warthog." Given Grif thought it didn't look like a pig, but more like a big cat, the Reds then proceeded to argue over whether they should call the jeep Warthog or Puma. Other suggested names like the Walrus, Bigfoot, Phoenix, Unicorn, Sasquatch, or Chupacabra (Chupathingy).
The Warthog first saw combat shortly thereafter, when Tucker and Church went after Donut to reclaim their flag. Using the mounted chaingun, Simmons and Grif kept the Blues pinned down behind an outcropping of rocks for quite some time, thanks to the turret's seemingly unlimited supply of ammunition. However, their victory was short lived as Caboose drove up in a tank and blew up the Warthog. It was eventually fixed and used for the rest of Season 1 and 2. Since then, the Warthog has appeared throughout the series as the main vehicle used by the Reds and sometimes other factions. It was stated by Rooster Teeth that they planned to have the Warthog become an actual character after being "activated" by the Blues in The Joy of Toggling, similar to Sheila, but the staff decided to keep the jeep as only a vehicle.
To date, the Reds have owned over ten different jeeps at different times.
- The first jeep was shipped to Red Base at the start of the series. When the group left Blood Gulch at the end of season two, the jeep was left behind.
- The second jeep was located by Donut and Caboose when they first arrived in the future. Sarge was able to repair it, making it run on solar power and it was used to return to Blood Gulch. In episode 59, Simmons was standing in the machine gunner position. It was also was seen in episode 62, cheering for the wrench as Donut was in the running for becoming Sarge's second in command after Simmons defected. The Reds also used the jeep in Episode 100, to eliminate the Wyoming clones. It was later damaged in Reconstruction, during a battle with the Meta, forcing them to leave it behind.
- The third jeep was acquired from Valhalla which they planned to use to sneak into Command. It was left behind when Caboose suggested using a tank instead, while Washington and Church used the jeep.
- The fourth jeep was acquired from Command to use for escape. However, they failed to outrun the EMP and the jeep was disabled.
- The fifth jeep was given to the Reds as a reward for bringing Project Freelancer to justice. It exploded when Sarge tried to add a new weapon to it in Relocated.
- The sixth jeep was built by the Reds and had an EMP launcher instead of a turret, which caused the jeep to be disabled for 10 seconds whenever it was fired. Sarge, Grif, and Caboose took it to find Tucker. This jeep was disabled when Grif crashed it into an Elephant while escaping a minefield. In Chapter 18 of Recreation, Sarge called it "Chupababy." However, the Red Team seemed to have abandoned the use of the EMP launcher jeep by Revelation, considering its general ineffectiveness in combat.
- The seventh jeep was taken from Sandtrap and used to rescue Simmons and Doc during Revelation. It was destroyed when the Meta crushed the engine and shot it with his Brute Shot in Chapter 6. However, it seemed that the towing mechanism on the front still works relatively fine.
- The eighth was salvaged from a wrecked one from Sandtrap, and used to chase after Caboose and Epsilon-Church. It was later left at the Storage Facility when the Blood Gulch soldiers used a Pelican to rescue Epsilon and Epsilon-Tex
- The ninth jeep was used by the Reds to rescue Epsilon at the UNSC Archives, alongside the Blues and Carolina. For the rest of Season 10, they used the vehicle to get to their next locations. It was left at Valhalla when the Reds and Blues took Hornets to rescue Epsilon and Carolina in Reckless.
- The tenth jeep is seen in Season 11, where the Reds salvaged it from the shipwreck. It was used to attack the Blues when Sarge overreacted but was destroyed by Freckles in Long Live the King.
- The eleventh jeep was taken by Grif and Simmons from the New Republic in order to rescue the rest of their team. It was abandoned upon their retreat with Carolina.
- The twelfth jeep was used by Sarge, Donut, and Lopez to find out where the gun shots were coming from in Cloak and Dagger, and was destroyed shortly after by the Space Pirates with a Sticky Detonator.
- The thirteenth jeep was used during the Battle at Crash Site Alpha, it was used throughout the battle and survived by charging through a smokescreen generated by the destroyed ship. It was later abandoned at Armonia when Red Team fled using the Pelican. It is unknown if it was used by someone else or destroyed in the reactor explosion.
- The fourteenth jeep was provided to the Red Team by Kimball upon their retirement. It was destroyed when Sarge attempted to fight gravity by driving off a cliff.
- The fifteenth jeep was stolen off the Blues for the same reason as the fourteenth. It suffered a similar fate.
- The sixteenth jeep was stolen off a simulation trooper in Red vs Red as Sarge and Simmons led the attack against Temple's forces.
Several other M12 LRV jeeps have also appeared in the series.
- The UNSC, Insurrection, and Project Freelancer have been shown to possess many Warthogs during missions and in their storage facilities.
- Caboose took one of Project Freelancer's Jeeps (when the Reds obtained their fourth jeep) to escape Command with Epsilon. Although Caboose did avoid the EMP, he drove the vehicle off a cliff in the process and it was likely damaged.
- The Meta had a Warthog which he used to get Valhalla, impressively he cloaked to stay hidden and removed the starter to prevent escape when the Reds discovered it; although the vehicle could have been started if they had pushed it forward their ignorance (save Lopez). Simmons was able to use the turret but because it needed to be on to turn and did not have the strength to do it manually, he could only fire forward. It is unclear what happened to it after Washington had shot Donut and shattered its glass.
- At Sandtrap, Washington, Doc, and the Meta obtained a Warthog to drive to Sidewinder and capture Epsilon. Upon arrival, the vehicle was caught in Epsilon-Tex's trap, damaging the jeep greatly. After the Meta betrayed his group and the simulation troopers arrival, Sarge connected the vehicles tow hook to the Meta's armor before Simmons and Grif pushed the jeep off a cliff, taking the Meta as well and killing him.
- The Epsilon Red Team also obtained a warthog in the memory unit, which mirrors the events of the first season. However, unlike the original Red team, the Epsilon-doubles replaced the machine gun turret with a missile launcher before attacking the Blue team. In the Where There's a Will, There's a Wall, the Epsilon Reds attempt to crash the warthog through the wall, destroying the vehicle in the attempt. It's assumed they later repair it, as it's seen fixed in the latter half of Season 9.
- During the rescue mission to save Epsilon from the UNSC Archives, the Blues obtained a jeep and used it to get to their next locations with the Reds. It was left in Valhalla with the Reds ninth jeep when the teams went to rescue Epsilon and Carolina.
- On Chorus, both the Federal Army of Chorus and New Republic have been seen to use the Warthog during the Chorus' Civil War.
As a running gag throughout the series, the Puma/Warthog frequently plays Tejano (Spanish-Texan) folk music, much to the annoyance of all. This is probably because it is often repaired and driven by Lopez, who speaks Spanish. There are two occasions when the Warthog has played different music: country, when Church who was possessing Lopez at the time, activated the Warthog’s remote control function (causing the Warthog to go on a short rampage at the Red Base, almost killing Sarge), and classical, although this was a separate Warthog driven by Simmons.
When the joke debuted in "1.21 Giga-Whats??", the song was one that Burnie Burns recorded in a Mexican restaurant. Initially, Rooster Teeth was unable to identify the song's artist, rendering them unable to pursue securing the rights to use the song in their DVDs. An original composition with a similar tune was created to replace it. Starting with "Repent, the End Is Near", the regular Warthog song became "Los Dos Laredos / Acordeones De Oro" by Jaime y Los Chamacos from their album ...NO SE CANSAN!, which has been used concurrently with the replacement song.
Throughout the series, the Warthog has managed to get destroyed, mutilated, or beaten almost immediately after its arrival. The Reds have since owned sixteen different jeeps, some of which originally belonging to another group, though most still play Tejano music for comically unexplained reasons. However, some of these jeeps have been fixed and are still functional, but have been left in different locations.
- In Reconstruction: Chapter 11, after the Meta throws an EMP Warthog at Grif, Sarge runs out saying they haven't finished the payments on it, but the Red Team didn't have an EMP Warthog until Recreation. This may have been a simple filming error.
- When the Warthog's hubcaps are examined closely in Halo 3 they can be seen to have Puma written on them as a nod to Grif's comments on the vehicle. The same is also shown on the Warthog in Halo: Reach.
- Before the jeep was destroyed in n+1, Sarge asks the Meta, "Hey Meta, settle a bet, would you? Does that thing look like a big cat to you?" just before Grif and Simmons push it off the cliff. This is referring to the argument in the first season where Grif comments on the Jeep's likeness to a puma.
- A vast majority of Red Teams Jeeps end up being destroyed or needing vast amounts of repairs.
- The "Chupathingy" appears in the background of Red vs. Blue: Animated, making it the only vehicle in the series to appear in all types of animation forms used in Red vs. Blue (machinima, animated, and CGI).
|Blood Gulch: Sarge (ε) · Dick Simmons (ε) · Dexter Grif (ε) · Franklin Delano Donut (ε) · Lopez the Heavy (ε)|
|Desert Gulch: Surge · Gene · Cronut · Lorenzo · Biff · Shelly|
|FH57: Turf · Morgan · Drag · Sue · Santos · Peake · Cherry|
|Colorblind: Hutch · Regina · Cobb · Marlowe|
|Sarge's Elite Team: George · John · Alex|
|Other: Lopez 2.0 · Red Zealot · Max Gain · Phil · Walter Henderson · Red Mutineer|
Burke · Dellario · Tubbs · Hammer · Johnson MacGruff · Hank Daggerknife · Clint Buckshot
|Vehicles: M12 LRV · Motorcycle|