|Affiliation(s):|| Blue Team|
|First Appearance:||The Rookies|
|Weapon(s):||Assault Rifle, Magnum, SMG, Battle Rifle|
|Voice Actor:||Joel Heyman|
- "My name is Michael J. Caboose, and I hate babies!"
- —Caboose in Visiting Old Friends
Captain Michael J. Caboose is a main character in Red vs. Blue. Voiced by Joel Heyman, Caboose first appears in The Rookies as a new recruit for the Blood Gulch Blue Team. Caboose is portrayed as one of the most eccentric characters in the series. Consistently shown to be mentally abnormal, his behavior varies from merely somewhat dim-witted in Season 1 to almost completely divorced from reality by Season 3 and onwards.
Caboose can be considered as, by far, the most unintelligent character in the series, although at first this wasn't noticeable. In Season 1, Caboose was dim-witted and less eccentric then he was in later seasons, where he later showed near detachment from reality. In the course of the series, he has been repeatedly subjected to mental trauma and physical brain damage, which is visible in the downward spiral of his behavior. Because of his intelligence and unusual behavior, he acts very childish: treating serious situations like a game, envious for not being favored at some points, and having illogical reasons for his actions, which frequently earns him the scorn and disrespect of the series' other characters.
Despite this, many characters show care for him, including the Reds, who he treats as neighbors instead of enemies. Caboose always tries to impress Church and help him as well, stating that they are best friends, despite the fact Church is constantly annoyed by him. In part due to positive early fan reaction, Burnie Burns, the main writer for the series, focused the storyline on Caboose and Donut (Dan Godwin), the Red Team's rookie. The staff later made Caboose less intelligent to add more humor in series. Later on Caboose, arguably, became the most iconic character of Red vs. Blue.
Role in PlotEdit
Misadventures in Blood GulchEdit
Prior to the series, Caboose was born and raised in a colony on the moon with 17 sisters. He joined the army after mistaking a recruiting center for college. Caboose first appears in Episode 3. Arriving with a tank named Sheila, he soon annoys the Blue Team's self-appointed leader, Church by accidentally calling his girlfriend a slut, and is consequently tasked with guarding the flag inside the team's base and waiting for a nonexistent general. Meanwhile, Simmons and Grif have sent their team's rookie, Donut, on a fool's errand for nonexistent supplies.
In a mutual misunderstanding, Donut mistakes Caboose for a shopkeeper, and Caboose mistakes Donut for the "general" and allows him to take the flag. When Church and Tucker learn of this they try to get the flag back via teleporter. Church catches up with Donut mistaking him for Sarge. Seeing his teammates get attacked by Grif and Simmons in the warthog, Caboose gets into the tank who introduces herself as Sheila. Caboose accidentally kills Church while using Sheila and narrowly escapes a bombing run that disables the tank. Caboose begins to show affection towards Sheila.
Near the end of season 1, Caboose becomes possessed by O'Malley, an evil artificial intelligence (AI) who transmits himself to Caboose via radio before his original host, a mercenary named Tex, is killed.
In Season 2, Caboose starts to talk and act unusually, due to his infection by O'Malley. In I Dream of Meanie, Tex reveals to the Blues that the only way to truly defeat O'Malley is to enter Caboose's mind, eliminate him, & prevent him from entering anyone else. As a result, the Blue Team devise a plan to kill O'Malley. Episode 33 takes place inside Caboose's Mind, where Church and Tex explore as ghosts in an attempt to kill O'Malley.
Into the "Future"Edit
There, they encounter Caboose's incorrect mental images of others and O'Malley kills the mental of Church leaving Caboose with no memories of him (which are later regained). Church and Tex successfully kill O'Malley escaping Cabooses mind, O'Malley then transferred to Doc who was calling Command. At the end of the season, Caboose becomes stranded with Sarge in an unknown location after a teleporter malfunctions. Caboose and Sarge escape from the Grunts, another set of respawning Red and Blue teams constantly fighting each other.
After a bomb blasts most of the characters into the future, but Church into the past, Church learns of The Great Destroyer from Gary, a computer, who says that "the Great Destroyer" will be known as the stupidest life form in the universe". Church assumes that this description refers to Caboose, but later events and the introduction of a new character, the Alien, cause the characters to suspect that the Great Destroyer is not Caboose. After the Blues encounter the Alien and learn of its quest, Caboose is sent along with Tucker; after the quest fails, they return to Blood Gulch.
Return to Blood GulchEdit
Caboose is later injured by 'donating' some blood to Tucker's Alien baby. Afterwards, he regains his strength and is introduced to a new member on the Blue Team: Sister. Tex suddenly returns to Blood Gulch and attacks the Blues, in order to look for O'Malley. As a result to assist Tex, Caboose is picked by his team to distract Sheila, while Tex shuts her down, first backing down from the idea saying "It would be like a argument between Church and Tex...but with more getting shot by tanks". They succeed, but Sheila is shut down just before she reveals the location of O'Malley to Caboose. He convinces his team of this, and they decided to place Sheila's AI into the newly arrived ship.
The Blues are suddenly contacted by Vic Jr. to attack the Red base. So, Church and Tex tell Caboose to stay behind, in order to ensure the success of the transfer. After the transfer completes, Caboose informs Tex by radio of the location of O'Malley; the leader of the Blue Team, Captain Flowers. Tex then pins down Church, believing him to currently be the leader, until Wyoming and Gamma ambush them. After a series of time distorting events, the Blues and Wyoming clones battle. Caboose distracts Gamma, now in the tank, and allows Tucker and Sheila to capture him in a firewall.
Afterwards, Tex goes on a rampage to obtain Omega. Omega enters Caboose, leading Tex and Church to do so as well. When they exit, Caboose informs Church of Tex's location. However, Tex manages to obtain O'Malley, and enters Sheila, taking Junior, Gamma, and the Green Alien along with her. Returning to Blue base, Caboose asks Church- "Do you ever wonder why we're here?" Church answers, but Caboose corrects Church, by telling him that he wanted to stand in the shade. Church agrees and the two stand in the shade.
Caboose reappears in Reconstruction: Chapter 3, having been stationed at Outpost 28-A "Rat's Nest" where he has been tied up and tossed in the brig for safe keeping. Before being transferred out of Blood Gulch, Church told him to upgrade his armor to Mk. VI, but instead he downgraded to Mk. V. The Rat's Nest Blue Team's leader, Lieutenant Miller, clearly dislikes Caboose and is delighted at Washington's request to take Caboose away. In the next episode, Caboose is reunited with Church (to the latter's chagrin), and the three investigate Sheila's logs at Valhalla. When Wash receives a Recovery Beacon from Agent South Dakota, the three head to Outpost 48-A and rescue Delta from the Meta, who flees to Zanzibar.
When the three arrive at Zanzibar, Caboose is seen knocked out by the Meta. Wash managed to nurse him back to life with his healing unit, but was unable to revive him. Because of this, Church had to go into Caboose's mind again, this time encountering the mental image of Washington, as well as a "memory" of Delta he had left behind bearing the important message "Memory is the key." Caboose eventually wakes up, but not until halfway through Reconstruction: Chapter 12. The following episode Caboose, Church, and Wash watch as the Reds try to capture a warthog for the Blues to use. While Washington is distracted by an offending hornet, Church leaves his body to find Tex.
After the battle, Caboose comes up with the idea of getting to command in a tank and the team infiltrate the Project Freelancer compound, where Caboose is left with the Reds as lookout, while Wash and Church venture to the A.I. Containment Facility. When they return, Caboose spots command troops coming towards them, when suddenly the Meta appears nearby. Caboose is given Epsilon for safe keeping and Sarge, Simmons, Grif and Caboose are forced to escape the EMP. Although the Reds' jeep is disabled, Caboose manages to escape the EMP by driving off a cliff. In the epilogue, he is the sole occupant of the Blue Base in Valhalla and still in possesses Epsilon. Inside the base, Caboose is seen trying to get the A.I. into Tex's old body.
Secret Best Friend ProjectEdit
As of the end of Relocated, Caboose has acquired several other sets of equipment, with his intentions unknown. In Recreation, Caboose gathers parts from Sheila in order to create a new body for Epsilon. In Free Refills, he tries to hold a conversation with Epsilon (which is incapable of responding) reminiscing about his misadventures in Blood Gulch, only stopping when he notices that Donut has appeared behind him. Caboose excitedly welcomes Donut and the latter delivers a message to him. Donut, very weak, only manages to say, "Tuck....Tucker. He needs help...it's in...the sand..." before collapsing. Caboose mishears him and begins to question Donut for more, eventually coming to the conclusion that Tucker is in Donut's pocket.
In Catching Up, Donut finally manages to tell Caboose everything: that he was debriefed by Command and sent to the site where the teams originally "landed" in Season 3 after the bomb went off. There he discovered a distress message from Tucker, saying to get help from Church. Caboose explains his own current status, including his plan to build a "super best friend" from Epsilon and various other parts. When Donut asks if they can get help from the man who previously helped Caboose, the two make a call to Washington, who has now been imprisoned, and ask for him to come immediately. Afterwards, Donut makes his leave to the Red Team before the Reds send Grif on a suicidal mission to rescue Donut.
After having permission from Donut to use the Reds' holographic room, Caboose sneaks in with Epsilon without being seen by any Reds, except Grif. While inside, Epsilon activates and releases a mental image of Delta. Epsilon takes the form of Delta so Caboose has a better feeling to this form and tells Caboose about Tucker's secret mission investigating a large power source. When the Reds find Caboose inside, Caboose states that he is going to leave and rescue Tucker. Grif volunteers to go with Caboose, knowing what will happen when he dies, and Sarge accepts Grif's volunteering and decides to go with him and Caboose. The three leave, driving straight into the water, and stop on a beach so Caboose could have another bathroom break.
The team then arrives at a desert and enter a mine field. Caboose and company try to make it through the mine field, but Caboose gets blown sky high until landing unharmed. The group gets a shock when Smith, an alien, shows up, telling the elephant driver they have had experience with aliens. The man tells them they're in a restricted zone, and that a team of one human and one alien are only allowed. The group can't leave yet because their jeep (or warthog) is busted. The man let's them stay as long as they don't go looking for artifacts and gives them a quick quiz on what they do if they find an artifact. Afterwards, the man leaves the team to ponder among themselves.
Grif and Sarge get suspicious about why they can't go anywhere else, Caboose just gets suspicious about why every things on the left. When Grif discovers that all of the radios are missing from the jeeps Caboose offers to help try and fix them. Grif asks him if he plans to confirm the radio is missing or how he plans to try and fix something that isn't there. When he remembers who he's talking to, Grif promptly gives up trying to reason with Caboose. Soon after, Caboose is crouching next to the warthog with Epsilon, asking for Sheila, Delta, and Tex. Sarge and Grif question him about what he's doing, and Caboose acts defensive about his activities.
When the Elephant driver comes over and Sarge and Grif question him, he suddenly realizes Caboose isn't among them and threatens Grif if Sarge doesn't say where Caboose is (Sarge does nothing). An alarm is heard and three guards and three Aliens go running over to the Elephant. Angrily, C.T. asks them if that's him (Caboose) and Grif confirms that's likely. Caboose gets caught by the digging team, C.T. asks Caboose why he did that. Caboose simply says it was Epsilon's idea. Epsilon starts humming and the temple opens. C.T. orders his dig team to kill the attacker in there and not let the temple close. With the window of opportunity open, Caboose, Sarge and Grif escape, eventually bumping into the dig teams' attacker: Tucker.
As the group and Tucker take refuge inside the temple, Caboose wanders off to find a vessel for Epsilon. After looking through multiple items Caboose discovers a Forerunner Monitor. Finally finding a vessel for Epsilon, Caboose has some difficulties putting him in. Caboose and Epsilon get discovered by the Reds and Tucker about their work. As Caboose explains to everyone that it's Epsilon and not Church, Epsilon starts to hover away. Epsilon then accidentally turns off his short term memory, but Cabose restores it by hitting him. Suddenly, C.T. and his team infiltrate the temple and steal Epsilon, prompting Caboose, Sarge, Grif, Tucker and the Religious Aliens to give chase. Fortunately, the group manage to kill C.T.'s men and Epsilon fires a laser at C.T., killing him as well.
In Revelation, Caboose makes a eulogy for C.T.'s dead comrades after Epsilon begins having old memories. Later on, Caboose is attacked by the Aliens for losing their deity and tries to fend them off. When Epsilon recovers, Epsilon-Delta tells Caboose that Epsilon is searching through his memories to find a certain part and says that Epsilon will most likely repeat the cycle like the previous incident. Caboose then follows Epsilon-Church to the Freelancer Offsite Storage Facility, where they unlock Epsilon-Tex in a secret room. As Tex was beating the Reds and Tucker, Caboose stayed in the safety of the crane control room, where he argued with F.I.L.S.S. about helping his friends.
Afterwards, Caboose accidentally causes the group to enter "armor lock", in order to stop Tex, but Caboose's armor does not enter lockdown due to his downgraded helmet. When Epsilon frees everyone, he and Tex venture to a secret base. Soon after, Caboose discovers Epsilon's recovery beacon at the facility and warns the others. After a passionate speech from Sarge, the Reds and Blues fly to the base via Pelican and save Epsilon. However, Epsilon and Washington are attacked by the Meta, prompting the group to fight him, while Caboose stays behind. After the Reds and Tucker defeat the Meta, Epsilon enters the capture unit to find Tex and tells Caboose to remember before departing.
Some time later he was confronted by Carolina, along with the other Reds and Blues, and helped her recover Epsilon from the UNSC Archives. After spotting Epsilon through the sky rip of the unit, Caboose pulls him out and brings him up to speed. He reveals that Carolina needed him to find the Director and that Blue Team replaced Church with Washington, whom Caboose calls "Church". The group then make a pit stop at Zanzibar, where Caboose briefly talks to Simmons, who admits that he missed fighting only him. Carolina soon walks by, allowing Caboose to question her on his teammates' whereabouts. Carolina shoots a pile of fusion coils, causing them to explode, and tells Caboose to "put that into words", in which Caboose makes an explosion sound with his mouth.
The group then arrive back at the desert to find C.T., where the Reds and Blues discuss their concerns about Carolina. Simmons asks Caboose if he could transfer Epsilon to something bigger than the monitor, in order to spy on Carolina, in which Caboose agrees. The group then insert Epsilon into Carolina's mongoose, much to Epsilon's dismay. When Carolina leaves with Epsilon, Wash gathers the group into a temple before dark. While there, Caboose is seen poorly spying on Washington and tells him that he was trying to gain information from him since they're friends, but leaves after failing.
When Carolina and Epsilon return, the group make it back to Valhalla to investigate the ship, where Caboose shows Tucker their new Blue base. Soom after, Tucker and Caboose speak with Epsilon, infuriated at the fact that he has gathered no information. Epsilon tells them to back off, and finally decides to have a word with Carolina alone. After talking with her, the two gather everyone inside the Red team's Hologram Chamber, where the final plan to kill the Director is discussed. However, the group refuse to help Epsilon and Carolina on their mission, causing Epsilon to blame them for all his problems. This results in the group to leave the Chamber, upset by Epsilon's words. Eventually, Caboose is one of the last of the group to leave.
After the quarrel, Doc soon gives the Reds and Blues an inspirational speech, reminding them on how much they've changed since they first met. Following Doc's speech, the group decide to go help Epsilon and Carolina but soon become surrounded by a trio of UNSC Police Hornets. The Blood Gulch Crew luckily steal the Hornets and fly off to Carolina and Epsilon's location. Upon their arrival, the group save Carolina and encounter an army of robotic Tex Drones. In order to even the odds, Epsilon manually angers Caboose into smashing through the robotic army. Afterwards, the others follow suit and battle the formidable opponents but are soon overwhelmed. Epsilon successfully manages to shut down the drones and then tells the group that he and Carolina must complete the next task alone.
After Carolina and Epsilon confront the Director, they decide to relocate the Reds and Blues to a place where they can call home. However, on their way back home, the Reds and Blues crash land a pardoned ship in an unknown location. So as a result, Tucker, Caboose, and Washington settle at their new Blue base, where Tucker asks Caboose of Epsilon's whereabouts, in which Caboose replies that "he is somewhere, but just not here right now", before retreating back to base. As time passes, Sarge asks Caboose for a proposition, which results in Caboose giving him the Blue team's tank.
Frustrated, Wash takes Caboose and regains the tank to have a word with Tucker. Back at Blue base, Caboose begins to feel depressed over Epsilon's departure and decides to go for a walk. On his walk however, he discovers a large robot and manages to repair it, which he calls Freckles. After introducing Freckles to his team, the latter's presence startles everyone, but Caboose treats Freckles like his own pet and the latter follows his every command. After Simmons defects to the Blue team, a resulting argument between Wash and Tucker results in the mistaken promotion of Caboose to Captain, as enforced by Freckles. Sarge and Grif then suddenly attack them in their Warthog, but Freckles destroys the Warthog and nearly kills Sarge.
Fortunately, Donut arrvies with Doc and Lopez, and halts the commotion. He then tells the group that the pilot left after dropping them off, infuriating the teams, who proceed to attack him. Afterwards, Caboose, now the mistaken leader, poorly gives orders to Simmons, Tucker, and Washington. After Simmons provides internet to the canyon, Caboose takes a picture of Freckles in a sombrero and uploads it to Basebook, a social media site created by Simmons. Soon afterwards, Wash confronts Caboose and tells him that he has to accept the fact that Church is gone, as his pain in being abandoned has caused him to replace Church with Freckles. Wash also apologizes for not being a better friend to Caboose and, as a token of goodwill, gives him a new helmet.
Joining the New RepublicEdit
Overjoyed by Wash's gift, Caboose accepts the helmet and gives Wash back his Captain position. Suddenly, four white armored soldiers attack Blue base, where Freckles is ordered to cover Caboose when the latter walks around aimlessly, due to his visor's malfunction. After Freckles kills the soldiers, the Reds and Blues regroup until they are confronted by both Felix and Locus. Locus asks the group to come with him, but they refuse. When Locus disappears, the group interrogate Felix, who explains that they crash landed on the planet Chorus, whose society is undergoing a civil war between the New Republic and the Federal Army of Chorus.
Felix asks for the group's help, but they decline, only wanting to leave the planet. Nonetheless, Felix and the teams prepare for an attack, where Caboose confesses that despite their differences, he and Tucker are really good friends, as the latter fixes his helmet. Afterwards, the Reds and Blues are attacked by both Lopez 2.0, while in control of C.C., and the Federal Army of Chorus, led by Locus. During the battle, Locus incapacitates Donut, Sarge and Wash, and Freckles is damaged while protecting the others, alarming Caboose. Luckily, New Republic reinforcements arrive to assist, but are unable to fend off the Federation. As a result, Caboose, Tucker, Simmons, and Grif are forced to retreat into the tunnels with Felix before it collapses.
After the battle, the remaining four are taken to the New Republic's underground base, where they are informed of Wash, Sarge, and Donut's capture. The New Republic leader, Vanessa Kimball, persuades them to stay and fight in order to help rescue their friends and end the war in the process. While the group express their doubts, Kimball explains that her troops are in need of a sign of hope and pleads for the four's help. As a result, Caboose, Simmons, Grif, and Tucker have the New Republic soldiers perform drills, much to Caboose's enthusiasm.
After some time, Caboose, along with Simmons and Grif, undergoes a training exercise where he takes command of his "Blue team" squad. However, the exercise results in chaos and the three are scolded by Kimball. Afterwards, Kimball informs Grif, Simmons, Caboose, and Tucker that she has discovered the location of their friends, based on secret Federal Army information Tucker received, and states that if the four can prove to her in five days that they are skillful enough to lead a team, she'll allow them to rescue their friends.
Unable to get help from Felix, the Reds and Blues recruit Smith, Bitters, Jensen, and Palomo for assistance, where Caboose campaigns to become leader, but loses to Tucker. As the group begin their training, Simmons and Jensen install capture software onto everyone's helmets, in order to record their sessions. However, despite their rigorous training, the squad is laughed at by both the recruits, as well as other Republic soldiers. Soon after, Tucker gathers Caboose, Simmons, and Grif inside a bunker and tells them that they will rescue their friends without the recruits, surprising them.
The four then depart on two Warthogs, before leaving an apology message to the rebels, and soon arrive at a deserted Fueling Station, where Caboose wanders towards voices in the distance. The others catch up to him and soon discover four steel-armored Feds speaking to Locus regarding their captured friends. After the Feds vanish, the four continue on and eventually arrive at F.A.C. Outpost 37, where Caboose proposes that they 'melt their way' into the facility. Surprisingly, Caboose's plan seems to work and the four manage to make it to the detention area, where they unexpectedly run into their friends.
They tell each other the truth behind why the rebels and Feds are fighting each other, and come up with a plan to end the war between the two factions. Suddenly, the compound is attacked by Locus and a group of mercenaries, who force the Blood Gulch Crew to stand down. As Locus prepares to kill them, Felix arrives and betrays the group, revealing that he and Locus used them as a means to cause further conflict in the Chorus Civil War. Fortunately, Carolina emerges from hiding, disguised as a mercenary, and uses a Teleportation Cube to escape with the group.
Arriving at a secret Forest Base, Carolina and Epsilon explain that their ship was purposely crashed on Chorus by the Space Pirates, who are mass-producing advanced versions of the ship's Freelancer equipment. As the group analyze Grif's Suppressor, Wash hands Caboose Freckles' storage unit. Fortunately, Caboose becomes overjoyed at Freckles' new state and thanks Wash. After the group find a connection between the teleportation grenades and the Suppressor, Carolina and the Blues search one half of the ship at Crash Site Alpha, while the Reds search the ship's manifest at Crash Site Bravo, in order to find out who supplied the grenades.
While at the crash site, the Blues and Carolina obtain data from the ship, but are soon attacked by several Space Pirates. As the pirates close in on them, Tucker frantically removes the drive containing the data, abruptly ending the transfer and forcing the group to teleport away. Arriving back at the forest, Caboose is nearly killed by a Space Pirate who teleported back with them, but is rescued by Carolina, at the cost of her re-injuring her leg.
Caboose seems to act very childish as his understanding of the world and actions are incorrect and shows a great amount of curiosity. However, Caboose does show a lot of care to many characters, even to the Reds, despite them being rivals. He often tries to impress others in order to gain their respect, although it often backfires in some way. Caboose shows a great amount of loyalty as well, as shown when he kept trying to resurrect Church through Epsilon. Because of his mentality, Caboose easily becomes hurt if insulted, such as in Change of Plans, and is easily abused, such as when he was tricked to shake the Alien's "other arm". Overall, Caboose may act like a child, but is very loyal and brave when the situation calls for it.
- Main article: Caboose's Relationships
Caboose's relationships with the other characters is unique in that a few episodes depicted the interior of his mind, where the incorrect mental projections of the other characters appeared (with the exceptions of Tex, Lopez, Doc and Sheila).
Lack of IntelligenceEdit
Rooster Teeth notes that originally, there was no plan for Caboose as a character; he started out simply as the Blue rookie counter to Donut. Geoff Ramsey states on the DVD Commentary that Caboose was initially "smarmy" and "a very different character", albeit rather dim-witted. After fans reacted well to his moments of stupidity, however, the crew later orchestrated a long decline in Caboose's intelligence, starting when Sheila is disabled for the first time in Episode 9. His mentality is again dealt a blow after O'Malley is forcibly ejected from his system, and he becomes fairly divorced from reality and prone to frequent non-sequiturs, going as far as to load his rifle with crayons and spelling his own name wrong. This may also be attributed to the fact that Caboose's suit shut down for at least two days, and Caboose remarks "It was dark and I got to hold my breath!" and Church makes a comment about brain damage. Although, shown in season 1 to have the accuracy to get a headshot on a Church-possessed Sarge, he is quoted in saying he has no idea how to use the gun in Episode 82.
He occasionally asks questions about things the others take for granted, such as why a flag is so important, and often fails to grasp even basic concepts, such as the meaning of AI. He also is able to fly into a berserk state by thinking about something that makes him angry, namely "kittens... kittens covered in spikes" and "Milk... no wait, red... RED BULL". He seems to have an extremely low voice and no recollection of what he did during this state. He attributes that to some kind of residual effect of O'Malley possessing him. All in all, Caboose's mentality could be compared to a baby or infant that can talk. While rather dumb, he manages to make a plan to infiltrate Command which succeeds, and shows a good degree of driving skill, escaping an E.M.P by driving off a cliff.
When Washington questions whether he can drive, he states, "Yes, but not an automatic. Only stick." The reason for this is left unexplained. In Relocated, Caboose found the power in the blue base turned on, he believes electricity is "invisible magic". In True Colors, when he is enraged manually by Epsilon, he claims "My name is Michael J. Caboose and I... hate... taxes!" when referring to the army of Texs. Caboose also doesn't seem to know the difference between his face and his helmet; along with that, he is unaware that he has switched helmets, as stated in Barriers to Entry.
There are several theories about the cause of Caboose's lack of intelligence.
- During Out of Mind: Part III, Delta expresses concern about possible mental damage caused to Tex by the ejection of the Omega AI, and states that damage was caused when Gamma forcibly removed himself from Agent Wyoming. It is possible that similar damage ensued when Tex and Church forced Omega out of Caboose's Mind. This would also make sense because in season 1, he was not as detached from reality as he is now.
- During the Project Freelancer AI experiments, Agent Carolina is known to have been implanted with two A.I. simultaneously. According to Delta, having three minds at once drove Carolina insane. Agent Maine is also known to have suffered mental damage due to his implantation by multiple AI's. During Season 2, when Tex and Church (now known to be AI units themselves) entered Caboose's Mind to destroy Omega, Caboose would have been implanted with three AI units at the same time. It is highly unlikely that Caboose would have escaped this encounter without suffering severe mental damage as well.
- It is possible that the firefight between Church, Tex and Omega inside Caboose's Mind in season 2 may have caused permanent damage to his thought process. Evidence for this includes when his mind's version of Church was shot, causing everything Caboose knew about Church to be forgotten, similarly to deleting a file on a computer. Thus, damaging his mind with weapons could have also led to brain damage.
- During episode 89, it is revealed that the team once deactivated and rebooted Caboose's armor while he was still wearing it, and that it took longer to come back online than expected. Caboose apparently suffered near asphyxiation, claiming that it was dark and that he got to hold his breath.
Somehow Caboose manages to do serious damage to whatever body Church is possessing. He blew up his original body with a tank (Sheila) in Episode 8 and disabled the lower half of Church's body when he was possessing Lopez. He nearly killed a Church-possessed Sarge in Episode 14 by shooting him in the head with a Sniper Rifle and, in Reconstruction: Chapter 6, he shoots agent South Dakota. Humorously, this case of friendly fire was planned by Church, by stating that South was a friend and he should "help" her. Washington says that Command keeps a keyboard shortcut to announce Caboose's team killings: "CTRL+F+U". He is also implied to have shot Private Jones in the back after being released from the brig in Rat's Nest; Jones was later found dead.
Caboose's views on team-killing are summed up during a conversation after Washington shoots Agent South; when Washington explains how Agent South "shot (him) in the back first", Caboose tells him that "We believe you...even though we don't think shooting a friend in the back occasionally...is that big of a deal."
Throughout the series, Caboose has shown a love for buttons, proudly pressing the button that taps into the microphone in Tex's robot body and the button that blows up the explosives in Church's robot. Also, in Revelation, Simmons frantically asks Caboose to assist him in fighting Tex by pressing buttons, and this results in a large number of rocket launchers falling down off of a box (Much to Simmons's surprise, as this was immensely helpful). When he press the buttons, he makes his own button pushing noises, like "Beep bop boop boop bop boop". In the What I Did On My Summer Vacation PSA, he states "Man I can't wait to touch all these buttons." In which Jorge states to not touch, however he presses one and ejects Jorge from the Sabre.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
Though unintelligent and unskilled with weaponry, Caboose possesses tremendous physical strength, when angry or in simple situations, thought by Church and Tucker to be "God's way of compensating." For instance, Caboose was able to defeat both teams of Grunts and he was the only person at the time that could lift Andy in Season 3. In Recreation, he was able to flip a warthog right-side-up, with Sarge commenting "Wow. You are strong," and in Season 10, when Epsilon manually enrages him, he simply swept aside a large number Tex drones just by charging at them, easily overwhelming them with his raw power.
Despite his lack of intelligence, Caboose has shown a surprising skill in engineering. In Recreation Caboose alone was able to put Epsilon into an alien artifact, and in Revelation, he was shown to successfully use the crane controls in the battle against Epsilon-Tex. In Season 10, he and Simmons were able to install Epsilon into Carolina's mongoose so they could spy on her. In Season 11, Caboose was successfully able to repair his pet war robot, Freckles, and the latter referred to Caboose as his "master".
Despite not having many skills, Caboose has killed several characters, although some were the cause of friendly fire. Command also believes that South Dakota was killed by Caboose, but it was in fact Washington who lied to them in Reconstruction: Chapter 7.
Caboose has been well-received by the community and has become one of the most popular characters in the series. In 2005, Caboose was selected as the Best Male Performance in the 3rd Annual Rockets on Prisoner Awards, which are intended to recognize exemplary work in Halo machinima. In his acceptance speech, Joel Heyman, his voice actor, acted in-character to honor Caboose. It has even been stated in the series that Caboose is considered the overall fan favorite and he's possibly the most known on several occasions, such as in the PSA Halo-Ween, as the Reds dressed up as him on Halloween. When asked how Caboose's character was developed, Joel Heyman stated that Caboose is the only character who knows he's in a video game.
- Caboose's name is a reference to actor Michael J. Fox.
- Caboose has nine toes, as his left "pinky toe" fell off after Church shot him in the foot as an excuse to get Doc over to him.
- At Battle Creek and during a New Republic training exercise, Caboose 'wrote' his name on the wall of a base in bullets, misspelling it as "CABOSE".
- Caboose is very bad at eulogies. He seems to have no idea what they are as he started Church and Tex's with: "Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to witness the joining together of Tex, and Church, in eternalness together, smuh- speak now, or forever rest in peace! With liberty… and justice… for all. The end!" His second one in Revelation, while almost salvaging Epsilon's "Parable" quickly deteriorates into another bunch of ceremonial cliches: "let there be cake, hallelujah, gesundheit!"
- Caboose used crayons for ammunition in Season 4.
- It seems Caboose's claims of being a 'vehicle destroyer' are actually true, as seen in his initial appearance in Reconstruction where he had destroyed every single one of the Rat's Nest Blue Team's vehicles on his own, and he is mentioned as having been barred from operating heavy machinery for the New Republic.
- According to Tucker in Repent, the End Is Near, Caboose separates everything into two categories: He doesn't understand, or he doesn't care.
- Caboose has only participated in the characters' "SON OF A BITCH!" moments twice. Once after being crushed by the falling debris of Donut's Ghost at the end of the "fight fight!" one of many alternate endings of episode 100 and once before being taken over by O'Malley (The Bitch part of that is spoken by O'Malley).
- In the Halo 3 engine, Caboose is seen wearing the MJOLNIR Mark V helmet, rather than the Mark VI helmet (With the exception of any appearances made prior to Reconstruction, where he is shown wearing the default Mark VI helmet). When this is pointed out to him, he claims that he was "upgrading", and that "In a top ten list, five is better than six!" In reality it's because Caboose and Church would have looked too similar due to their armor coloring, as well as the Mark V's simplistic helmet design, better suiting Caboose's personality. Caboose's helmet choice has proven to be useful, as it made Caboose immune to the effects of the "Armor Lock" safety protocol while the other characters in the Freelancer facility were affected during Revelation. Caboose's Epsilon-double also wears a Mark V helmet in Halo: Reach. With the change to Halo 4 however, which initially did not feature the Mark V helmet at the time of Season 11's release, Caboose returned to wearing the Mark VI helmet. When the helmet was later made available through DLC, Caboose once again regained it during the episode Neighborhood Watch.
- Caboose is typically shown carrying an Assault Rifle, the iconic weapon of Halo: Combat Evolved, as opposed to the other characters who carry Battle Rifles, the iconic weapon of Halo 2.
- Recovery Command has a shortcut on their keyboard for the sole purpose of recording Caboose's team kills: Ctrl + F + U.
- When Washington scans Caboose with a "BioCom" in Reconstruction: Chapter 10, Caboose's Brain Activity is listed as "UNK" (unknown), a reference to his limited intelligence.
- Revealed in Reconstruction: Chapter 18, Caboose can only operate a manual gear system on vehicles, not automatic. The reason for this remains unknown.
- Between Relocated and Recreation, it's been noted in the Valentine PSA that Church would rip out Caboose's heart and Doc would have to sew it back in.
- Caboose has the most appearances in the second saga of the series out of all characters (58 episodes).
- Caboose has the second highest A.I. count in the series, being beaten only by the Meta, who has had ten. Caboose had five A.I. (Alpha, Beta, Omega, Delta, and Epsilon).
- Caboose is the last of the eight main characters to appear in CGI animation. It was stated in the Rooster Teeth Panel at Comic Con 2010 that they had no plans to animate Caboose in CGI as of now (which led to a disappointing outcry from the audience). Though he was planned to be in CGI, and by the behind the scenes special feature on the DVD, Monty Oum made a model for Caboose. He was finally shown in full CGI in the episode "True Colors", fighting alongside the other Reds and Blues against an army of Tex drones.
- After Omega left Caboose the first time, Caboose gained the ability to unlock beserk rage within himself saying "O'Malley taught me to be mean" during this enraged state Caboose talks in Omega's deep voice and is capable of incredible destruction. This has, however, has only been shown twice in the series, likely due to, as per his claim, forgetting to do so.
- As said above, Caboose has used that ability only twice, but he may have used it other times off screen. This is hinted in Reconstruction: Chapter 5 when Washington, Caboose, and Church find Sheila. Caboose gets angry when Wash keeps calling Sheila a program prompting Caboose to say, "Do not speak to her like that, she is not a program!"
- In Halo 4 - Spartan Ops mode, in the last mission of Episode Departure, The Core, if the player unlocks an RvB Easter Egg, Caboose will be heard slip in the radio transmissions between the SPARTANS Sarah Palmer, Robert Dalton, and the Majestic Squad.
- Caboose, along with Sarge and Grif, is the one of the only characters in the series to appear in every season of Red vs. Blue.
- Geoff Ramsey made a reference to Caboose and his team kills in Fails of the Weak: 126; "It's like that guy is playing on a team of multiple Cabooses."
- Caboose's promotion to Captain in Season 12 now makes him among the highest ranking soldiers encountered in the series, along with fellow captains Flowers, Grif, Simmons, and Tucker.
|Most Known: Vanessa Kimball · Felix · Lavernius Tucker · Dick Simmons · Dexter Grif · Michael J. Caboose · Palomo · Katie Jensen · Bitters · John Smith|
|Other Members: · Simmons' Lieutenant · Jason Cunningham · Rogers · Matthews · Medic · Ganoosh · Green Soldier|
|Blue Team |
| Most Known: Leonard L. Church · Epsilon · Lavernius Tucker (ε) · Michael J. Caboose (ε) · Tex (ε) · |
Washington · Sheila · Butch Flowers · Andrew D. Kaboom (ε)
| Other Members: Junior · Kaikaina Grif · Freckles · Jimmy · Mickey · Miller · Jones · |
Blue Grunt Leader · Phil (Falcon)
|Vehicles: M808V Main Battle Tank · Chopper|