• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

Fridge Brilliance

  • It's pretty obvious that the lambda symbol was chosen for the Half Life logo as lambda is used in Real Life to represent the decay constant of a radioactive substance, which is closely related to its half-life. Less obvious is that the lambda symbol looks like an arm holding a crowbar. --TheCuza
    • Another from the Half Life series: In Half Life 2: Episode 2, the G-Man plants a suggestion in Alyx's mind while she is unconcsious so she will relay the message "Prepare for unforseen consequences." to Eli when she and Gordon reunite with him. After she does this, Eli shoos her out of the room by asking her to go make some tea so he can reveal to Gordon in private that the G-Man himself whispered that very warning into his ear right before the resonance cascade. In the original Half Life, the name of chapter that begins when you wake up after triggering the resonance cascade is titled "Unforseen Consequences". --TheCuza, again.
    • I just realized that "barnacle" is a recursive Portmanteau: "barnacle + tentacle." Oy!
      • I can top that. Barnacles (as in, the little crusty things you find in tidepools and on ships and such) have incredibly long, prehensile penises which they use to get around the fact that they can't actually move. Think about that the next time a barnacle grabs you in Half-Life.
      • Brain bleach! BRAIN BLEACH!!
    • It took me a couple play-throughs to realize that when DOG gets all jittery after the rocket launch he's detected the incoming Advisors and is trying (unsuccessfully) to stop them. And speaking of the launch, I totally missed the first time what the take-off weight discrepancy meant - Lamarr, of course. Poor Hedy. -Jamaican Castle
      • And possibly, he had a certain Gnome keeping him company. -Digital Utopia
    • And while we're at it: the plot of the game's first few chapters (Gordon shows up while Barney's on duty, preventing him from going to Nova Prospekt and being stalkered; Alyx is around to save him from a squad of Civil Protection; Kleiner's teleporter has just been completed) seems a little forced and coincidental - which it is, because the G-Man has made sure all his pawns are in order before Gordon's time comes again. -also Jamaican Castle
    • At first I thought little of the name given to the main alien threat (the Combine/Universal Union). It was only after getting near the the end of Half-Life 2 again, when I realised how well the the name suited them - they Combine their technology with other species and are creating/trying to create a Universal Union by doing so! - KingSonnDeeDoo
    • What about the fact that just before the moment when you stop running from the Combine and start actually attacking them (the attack on Nova Prospekt is the first time Gordon pro-actively attacks the combine in the game,) you go past several bunkers reminiscent of those used by the Germans in D-Day, which was the beginning of a large scale allied offensive campaign.
    • In the first game's Black Mesa Commute, you can mess with a microwave and destroy another scientists' lunch. This is played for laughs and only brought up again when you meet Magnusson in Episode 2, who's annoyed about it. But consider it from his point of view: About 20 minutes after you wreck his lunch, Gordon triggers the resonance cascade which forces Magnusson and everyone else to flee, and the 7 hour war later that very day brings all of humanity to its knees. Magnusson's probably been scrabbling and scavenging for years, living off of canned goods or military prepared meals. Gordon may have ruined Magnusson's last chance at a decent meal in his entire life. ~ Mens Rea.
      • Freeman's Mind says it was noodles.
    • It seems to have slipped more than a few people by, but even the first words you hear in the course of the game are prophetic. I didn't realize the secondary implications of the first words you hear in Half-Life 2 for close to three years. "Rise and shine, Mister Freeman. Rise and shine." Given who says them, it sounds like a mocking greeting to someone who's slept a while, and really, there's no reason why it couldn't be. However, considering what Gordon Freeman becomes in the course of the game, it suddenly becomes not a mockery but an order. He's being told to not only rise from being thrust into the position of being just another oppressed citizen among many, treated by the Combine the same as any other under their subjugation, to the Combine's highest concern, Anticitizen One, The One Free Man more or less single-handedly ruining their plans, and who eventually leads a ragtag human rebellion against the Combine. He quickly becomes a legendary hero and savior and beacon of hope. In other words...Rise and shine, Mister Freeman. Rise...and shine. ~ Stealth
    • Freeman's Mind pointed out a particular brilliance: The reason that the building was falling apart was because the Aliens and Monsters were teleporting into the walls.
    • Also, you do rise to the top of the citadel, and make it shine with an explosion. -Telentis
  • Alyx has a very improbable knack for finding Gordon. She does so in the beginning of Half-Life 2 just as Civil Protection start beating Gordon to death and later finds him in Anticitizen One with no explanation given other than a throwaway line (something like "I thought I'd find you here.") Considering the revelations we see in Episode Two it seems likely that a little birdie was whispering in her ear about where to find you. — riomhaire
  • Episode One begins with an Armor-Piercing Question from Dr. Breen: "Tell me, Dr. Freeman. If you can. You have destroyed so much. What is it exactly that you have created? Can you name even one thing?" ... and then immediately provides an answer, when the Vortigaunts (free to act on their own by Gordon's defeat of the Nihilanth) rescue Alyx from the Citadel collapse, and Freeman himself from the G-man's stasis. What has Gordon created? A future for an entire species (he's still working on attempt #2...) — Burai
  • When you leave the train station early in Half-Life 2, you can barely go anywhere before your way gets barred by a checkpoint. At first, I thought that this was just a case of No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom, but eventually I figured out that this is because you bypassed the usual entry procedures, thanks to Barney, and therefore don't have an access card (or whatever you use to get through the forcefields).
  • Ever wonder why there are so many puzzles involving the game physics and the Gravity Gun in-game? It's Freeman's area of expertise! He's physicist! Understanding stuff like that is his job!-The Librarian
  • In the first Half Life, you see a blue jumpsuit in Gordon Freeman's locker, likely given to him as by Black Mesa. So guess what the standard issue of dress is for civilians in a world now ruled by the very same administrator as Black Mesa?
  • The Combine is a technologically advanced civilization which is inclined to spread its ideas of transhumanism and immortality to other worlds. They seem to believe honestly that it's cool to have your natural limbs replaced by "better" cyber-organic gadgets; after all, the Advisors are heavily modified, too. And they are willing to convince you of the superiority of their ways For Your Own Good, with military means, if necessary. So they invade Earth and, after an overwhelming blitz campaign, install a local government which shares their views on how things must be run and which is supported by a certain number of volunteers. However, they get stuck in a decade-long guerrila warfare against a rebel movement with its stubborn and backward prejudices. Those fanatics who send waves of barely armed infantrymen against armored units and reinforced positions (with respective losses) just don't catch that what they call genocide is merely collateral damage, a necessary bit of suffering and instability on the path to the bright future of humanity. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Earth bears large amounts of a certain liquid resource which is very valuable to the Combine. Does this remind you of anything? I just wonder in how much this was intentional.
  • At the beginning of Episode One, Alyx says her father told her not to keep looking for Gordon, that he wasn't there; he's completely astonished when she finds him and checks in. The real reason he's so surprised? He knows about the G-man, and knows that after the explosion, the G-man would have put Gordon in stasis again.
  • The reason why the world was easily taken by the Combine in seven hours? The military exhausted all their resources fighting off the Xen creatures and the Race X. Thus the Combine saw an opportunity to take Earth. Bloody brilliant, Combine.

Fridge Horror

  • It's entirely possible that Gordon, as well as Alyx, is being fed hypnotic suggestions during his journey. Think back to that TV set with the G-Man on it, broadcasting that weird music - harmless little G-Prank, or a trigger meant to bend Gordon to the G-Man's will? It's entirely possible the G-Man had time to perform experiments on the poor dude while he was in stasis for ~20 years.
  • At the beginning of the chapter Entanglement in HL2, Alyx says an occasional Vortigaunt has been captured and sent back information about Nova Prospekt. In the previous level, you see a Vortigaunt in a torture chair, dead.
    • It looks like an electrical torture chair as well. Possibly an electricity draining device?
    • How is a dead Vortigaunt that sent back information worse than a regular dead Vortigaunt?
      • Well, it is the only dead Vortigaunt you see in the game, or any HL game for that matter (Excluding the original of course).
      • I think it's implied that the Combine were either torturing it for shits and giggles, or experimenting on it for one reason or another (maybe to figure out how to use them to power their technology via their electrical powers, as the troper above said).
  • Gordon Freeman single-handedly fucked us all. Think about it. He put the crystal into the machine that caused a resonance cascade, releasing Xen creatures into our universe. The Combine were then allowed onto the Earth and everything went to utter shit. Gordon Freeman, you suck!
    • Damned if he isn't trying to clean up his own mess, though.
    • It wasn't his mess to clean up, all he did was push a cart in he was Just Following Orders. If someone's going to be blamed its the administrator who authorized the experiment. The same administrator who now the admin for Earth under the Combine. Hmm, what a coincidence.
      • And according to the G-Man, its for the best anyway.
    • Actually, wasn't it G-man who gave them the sample anyway? So what is he up to, then?
    • And the G-Man was just completing a contract for his "clients", whoever they might be.
    • It's my assumption that the G-Man's "clients" might be trying to stop the Combine, you know, cause and effect, the cause being Gordon pushing the cart, and the effect being screwing up the Combine on Earth, thus using up the Combine's resources.
  • When you look over Alex once she's been stabbed by the Hunter, you'll notice two things: her eyes are half open, but not tracking, and she's certainly not breathing in any visually detectable way. She's probably already dead, but dead for a short enough period that the Vortigaunts can keep her from passing on completely, and even bring her back. Which also makes the Vortigaunts even more intimidating.
    • Oh, I'm absolutely convinced Alyx died. I don't doubt it for a second. It's like the aliens from Red vs. Blue, "they don't treat death the same way we do". But it does make you even more wary about what exactly Vortigaunts can do, what their stake is in this whole thing, and what they're up to... as well as be extremely glad they're on your side!
  • The first time you realize that headcrab zombies are most likely semi-aware, either from the Zombines calling for help over their radios or accidentally happening across the reversed zombie audio on Youtube.
  • In Half-Life 2, it is shown that the Combine holds Nova Prospekt prisoners in stasis in coffin-sized containers which also keeps them restrained. The same sorta containers exist in the Citadel. In total, the number of those prisoners may be in the thousands. Gordon was responsible for blowing up both Nova Prospekt and the Citadel.
    • It gets worse: in Episode One, those containers are shown falling into the chasm from a broken conveyor. Imagine this: you are restrained by a metal straight jacket in a coffin-sized container and the conveyor transporting you breaks off over a chasm. And there is nothing you can do but watch.
    • Gordon Freeman is also (albeit indirectly) pretty much the reason Alyx's mother and father both died. He triggered the Black Mesa incident and was the reason the Combine managed to track down the White Forest base. Barney cracking jokes about Gordon getting followed don't sound so funny now, huh?
    • Humans haven't been able to reproduce for around twenty years. Now add to that all those who were killed when the Combine invaded, those who were made into Soldiers or Stalkers, those killed during skirmishes or else have fallen prey to the numerous other aliens, and those blown up in Nova Prospect/the Citadel. The end result? That humanity is steadily marching towards extinction.
    • At the end of Episode 2, though, the suppression field is disabled, and the Combine are cut off from their commanders.
    • In Episode One, you are introduced to the Zombine, a Combine transformed into a zombie. You can still hear the cries of the zombie through the soldier's vocoder. On closer inspection, you can hear that the soldier is still conscious, and you hear him attempting to warn his allies that there are zombies in the area. Imagine being a soldier listening to your zombified allies attempting to warn you over the radio.
    • One of the Combine's lesser security measures is a force field that only lets recognised individuals pass through - so to Gordon, they're a solid wall. In a few places, force fields are used to block off train tracks to stop the player wandering the wrong way. Both Combine and human trains are repeatedly seen passing through these force fields. Have fun thinking about the passengers who were randomly reassigned anticitizen status mid-journey!
    • Speaking of Half-Life, did you ever pay attention to what the headcrab zombies are saying? They're all screaming "oh God help me" backwards. They are fully conscious, and well aware of what is going on around them. There is nothing they can do about the guy bashing their skull in with a crowbar.
      • The Zombine are even worse: they're forever radioing their comrades about the infestation, unable to reach them but not able to stop trying...
  • In Half Life 1, you can nuke some sap's lunch in the microwave until it explodes. In Episode 2, you meet said sap, Dr. Magnusson, and he's annoyed. This is played for laughs. But consider that minutes after you nuked the food, you triggered the resonance cascade and the 7 hour war, since which humanity has been on the run or scrounging or living in a dystopia. That might very well have been the last good meal Dr. Magnusson will ever eat. Double horror if that was made for Magnusson by his wife.

Fridge Logic

  • Gordon Freeman is never seen wearing a helmet, making his resistance to Headcrabs, Gunshots and Explosions quite strange. It's of course lampshaded in Freeman's Mind.
  • Even on the highest difficulty setting, the Combine are still laughably poor shots who rely on sending in swarms of redshirts rather than any semblance of tactics. Their forcefields can be taken down by yanking a plug out of a socket, and they very rarely have the good sense to set up roadblocks anyway, choosing instead to shoot at a tiny moving target from thirty feet away. And, last but not least, like half their forces in City 17 are wiped out by some dude with glasses and no helmet. They never think to even knock his glasses off and then kill him, let alone shoot him in the head. did they take over Earth, again? Shock-And-Awe tactics only get you so far, and I doubt mankind would've been brought to its knees by a bunch of scared alien wildlife occasionally teleporting up in our grills.
    • Seeing as how the Combine forces being fought in-game are almost entirely synth/trans-human forces, many of which were likely developed during the 20 years between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, it is quite possible that an entirely different range of Combine technology and weaponry were used during the Seven Hour War. It is also explained that the threat of the random alien wildlife forced humans into cities, essentially making it easier for the Combine to attack a larger amount of humans. So add unknown, presumably more advanced and destructive weaponry to densely populated cities, and it starts to make more sense regarding humanity losing. As a side-note, it is never fully explained just how much damage occurred during the Portal Storms, as well as the mass teleportation of Xen wildlife, both preceding the actual Combine invasion. Keep in mind that just because we don't see certain Xen creatures in Half-Life 2, such as the Gargantuan, as well as Hound Eyes and Bullsquids, doesn't mean that they aren't making life very unpleasant for humanity as well. Headcrabs? Mere parasites. A Gargantuan, though, could easily level a city block or two.