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Let's be honest: People don't play CoD:WaW to play CoD:WaW; they play it to play Nazi Zombies.
Nervous Nick,

Four batshit insane, Crazy Awesome grunts take on the undead hordes of the Axis. Or replace the grunts with four historical figures from the 1960s or four horror-genre celebrities, possibly less insane but still pretty Crazy Awesome.

A bonus mode in Call of Duty: World at War and a standalone iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad game where you originally play as one of four silent US soldiers holed up in a wrecked base near an airfield, it eventually turns through Downloadable Content into... a somewhat-better-explained plotless series of American (and later, Soviet, Japanese and Nazi) soldiers massacring the undead 'til they join their ranks.

Call of Duty Black Ops, the successor to World at War, includes Zombie Mode, a direct sequel to Nazi Zombies. The Hardened and Prestige editions of the game come with the four original maps from World at War. The first new map revealed features John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara and Fidel Castro fighting an outbreak in the Pentagon. Cue the rejoicing. The subsequent maps continue the tale of the WW 2 zombie fighters, as well as another tale featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Danny Trejo, Robert Englund and Michael Rooker fighting another outbreak, this time out in an abandoned Siberian outpost, where they were filming a zombie movie. The final map (until the next Treyarch Call of Duty game) in the Nazi Zombie saga has been announced in the "Rezurrection" Map Pack, and is called Moon. It should be no surprise where it takes place.

Endorsed [dead link] by Hayley Williams.

Tropes used in Nazi Zombies include:
  • Abandoned Hospital: "Verruckt". Actually an asylum, though.
  • An Ice Person: Anyone, once they get the Winter's Howl gun (which, as the name suggests, freezes zombies).
    • It gets better when you Pack-A-Punch it.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Radio transmissions in Shi no Numa, experiment records in Der Riese and film reels in Kino Der Toten. When you play by yourself in Kino der Toten, you hear Richtofen making one last note before they're transported to the theater during the loading screen.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro and Robert McNamara in Five.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: A variation in an early trailer advertising Nacht der Untoten, it ended with four nameless American soldiers putting their backs together to cover all angles from the approaching zombies.
  • Badass: "Tank Dempsey gnawed through his bamboo cage, then gnawed his way through his captors, armed only with a Medal Of Honor that he keeps secreted in various orifices."
    • Nikolai Belinski's only reason why he's fighting zombies? He scared the living shit out of Josef Stalin and promptly got sent to the front lines. And that was just from shaking hands.
      • Hell, let's just say every playable character.
  • Badass Bookworm: Robert McNamara, who often makes accounting jokes while slaughtering zombies.
  • BFG: Excluding the already massive machine guns that you can hip-fire, the Wunderwaffe and the Thundergun.
    • Subverted in "Der Riese", where the starting pistol (the weakest gun in the game) becomes a portable, concealable Grenade Launcher when upgraded.

Kennedy: "As Teddy Roosevelt once said: walk lightly and carry a BFG!"

  • BFK: The Bowie Knife, which kills most zombies with one strike before round 10.
    • Danny Trejo wields machetes in the Call of the Dead opening cutscene, but not in-game, unfortunately.
  • Big Bad: Richtofen. He swaps bodies with Samantha in Moon to gain control of the zombies, if you carry out his Grand Scheme.
  • Blood Bath: Richtofen longs to bathe naked... IN YOUR BLOOD!!!!!
  • The Bluebeard: Nikolai.
  • Bond One-Liner: All the time. Nikolai makes shitty ones all the time, and then gets a bit confused on the aspect of it being after a kill.

"You are dead now! But you were dead before! Ah, fuck you!"
Nikolai again, in Black Ops: "Do you know how to say 'own' in Russian? OWNT!
Nikolai also seems fairly adept at rhyming: "Nikolai cannot die! Hey, that rhymes!"

  • Boom! Headshot!: Not necessary, but gains you the most points (other than knifing - and since zombies will kill you in one or two hits, and knifing zombies can take up to five swings, this isn't recommended) and uses less ammo. However, on the later rounds, people care less about headshots and more on staying alive.
    • However, headshot damage multipliers help with the staying alive bit.
    • Characters will often brag aloud about their headshots.
    • One of the Perk-A-Cola machines gives you a perk that adjusts your quick aim to the head instead of the chest.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Kino der Toten, one of Dempsey's "Out of Ammo" quotes is:

"Hey, player! Drop the chips and get me some ammo!"

    • And then at the start of Ascension, Dempsey may say:

"Hey, Treyarch, can we get a new objective!?"

    • Dempsey has more such "Out of Ammo" lines in Shangri-La, right down to outright mentioning when he'll be saying another "Out of Ammo Line".
    • Again with Dempsey.

Dempsey: "Hey, Player. If you looked at your score, you'd see we weren't doin' so well. And it's YOUR FAULT!"

    • Also, Richtofen has this to say:

"I'VE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY TREYAR- I mean the Illuminati!"

  • Buffy-Speak: Nikolai does this in Shangri-La when low on ammo.

I need one of those floaty green ammo container thingys."


Nikolai "Taste my Russian steel!"


(on Moon) "Such explosive power in my hands! No dirty thoughts, Dempsey."
(getting a Shotgun) "Hey! Who wants to try out my new boom-dick!?"

    • And then we have this little gem from Call of the Dead's Easter egg:

Dempsey (to Richtofen after getting the last item): "Kinda sick of me to ask this but Richtofen, is that a rod in your pocket?"

  • Drop the Hammer: George Romero (seriously) uses a giant hammer made out of a stage light.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Nikolai would love to be doing this. He can't.
    • What he can't drown, he shoots. Like his first wife.
      • She was a bitch.
    • And there's no bloody Vodka in these Perk-A-Cola dispensers.
    • After Call of the Dead, Nikolai finally gets his vodka and makes references to being able to drink from it.
  • Eagle Land: Tank Dempsey, a cross between type one and two.
  • Ear Worm: The Pack-A-Punch jingle:

"Friends, neighbors, ladies, gentlemen, if you're feelin' underpowered, I'll help you make amends.
Just stick your weapon in the slot, and let it change your luck.
Few things in life are guaranteed, but I promise this won't suck
Punch your fists into the air and raise a rebel yell!
There's lots of bad 'uns out there you need to send to hell!
With Pack-A-Punch, I have a hunch, all your problems will be gone, but if you end up on the ground, sing a country western song.
Pack-A-Punch (Everybody)! Pack-A-Punch (Yee-haa)! Pack-A-Punch! Pack-A-Punch! Pack-A-Punch (Everybody)! Pack-A-Punch! Pack-A-Punch(YEE-HAA!!!)Pack-A-Punch (WAA-HHAAAW)!"

  • Easter Egg: Every map has a piece of music you can find - Lullaby For A Dead Man, The One, and Beauty of Annihilation.
    • Nacht der Untoten: In the Help room there's a radio that, if knifed or shot at, will play music from the campaign. In the Black Ops version, destroying all the barrels causes a new song called "Undone" to start playing.
    • Der Riese included audio tapes scattered around the level, which chronicles the origins of the zombies.
    • As does Kino der Toten, which also includes the full version of "115" (the song that plays on the game over screen of Der Riese).
    • Five has three telephones that play Eminem's "Won't Back Down".
    • Moon probably has the grand daddy of all Easter Eggs. After following a rather elaborate set of instructions, you set off Richtofen's Grand Scheme (with the help of Dr. Maxis for the second part). YOU BLOW UP THE EARTH! If you go back to No Man's Land/Area 51 after that, it's essentially a wasteland.
      • In short there are three types of Easter Eggs per map: Radios that serve as the backstory for Group 935 and their research along with the above listed music and major Easter Eggs that affect gameplay and the storyline.
  • Earthshattering Kaboom
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Der Riese, though parts of it are on the surface.
  • Endless Game: If this mode DOES have an ending, it's most likely not what you would expect.
    • Which turns into Canon Discontinuity which each new map. Just when you think they're all dead, the teleporter overuse takes them to a new place. Except, maybe, for Five.
  • Enemy Mine: One American Marine and one always drunk Red Army soldier fight zombies alongside a mad Waffen-SS doctor and one fanatical Imperial Japanese officer. Cool.
    • In the trailers Dempsey and Takeo team up, despite them being direct enemies. Same goes for Richtofen and Nikolai.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Applied to Nikolai and Richtofen, in that their respective factions are scared shitless of them. Especially Nikolai, who scared Stalin.
  • Everything's Worse With Space Monkeys
  • Evil Laugh: Dempsey does this occasionally, but Richtofen indulges in this very often.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Averted with Dr. Richtofen, who has a high-pitched voice in spite of being a Nazi Mad Scientist.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Well, except for Shi no Numa and Five. It's now Zombie Mode in Black Ops, due to the fact you don't fight just Nazis anymore.
  • Face Heel Turn: Richtofen in Moon, not that he was good to begin with, what with attempting to kill his partner, Dr. Maxis, and his daughter, Samantha Maxis, before the events in Der Riese, and brainwashing the other characters and using them as experiments, among other things.
  • Feel No Pain: Zombies do not react in pain to the weaponry that hit or dismember them - they keep coming unless they die. They'll even generally crawl after you if you've knocked their legs off.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Well, not friends, but as they are under increasingly serious attack, the characters will act more like a team. (At least they say they will. Whether they do or not is up to the players.)
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: Nikolai sometimes says this in Kino der Toten.

"Who didn't pay electric bill?"


"Oh No!It's biting area is closer to my fun fun area!"

  • Guns Akimbo: Seen in the first map of black ops. Aside for 2 pistols there are 2 shotguns as well.

Ritchofen:"Double the pleasure,double the pain,double the DAMAGE!""


Nikolai: "And the limbs go flying! How's that for an ARM-y?! Get it? With the arms?..." (no one answers) "...fuck you."

    • Rictofen also does this... In more funnier,sinister way.

Rictofen:"He can't fight now... He's being... DISARMED! Ahahahaha!"

  • Infinity+1 Sword: All the way back to the very first map, Nacht der Untoten, the Random Weapon Box would occasionally give you a Ray Gun, which could usually kill zombies in 1 hit, even on higher rounds. Shi No Numa gave us the Wunderwaffe which took out multiple zombies with one shot. The last World At War map, Der Riese, gave us the Pack-A-Punch machine, which upgraded your weapons into super-enhanced death machines. Even the weakest weapon, the M1911 Colt, was given explosive rounds.
    • Slowly gets subverted the higher the round number due to the zombies getting more health every round. The subversion is why the Bowie Knife was introduced in Der Riese, and THAT gets subverted after a while.
    • And then the Thundergun in Kino der Toten, which is always a one hit kill. And then the Winter's Howl on Five, and they get subverted eventually, too!
    • Then there's the Wave Gun in Moon, which follows the Thundergun in being a one hit kill. But not only that, but it can be taken apart to make a dual wield version that is also a one hit kill!
  • Insane Troll Logic: Maxis's plan to save the world from zombies: blow it up.
  • Interactive Narrator: All the 1940's characters can hear the Demonic Announcer. Leading to these lovely exchanges:

Demonic Announcer: "FETCH ME THEIR SOULS!"
Nikolai: "Oh, no! They're going to fetch our souls again!"
Dempsey: "Fetch my grenade, Devil-voice!"

  • Jungle Japes: Shangri-La.
  • Just Add Bitch: The upgraded M1911 pistol is called the C-3000 b1atch35.
  • Kill It with Fire: Flamethrower + Nazi Zombies = Good times, but Flamethrowers are useless unless someone's got the Insta-Kill power-up.
    • Flamethrowers are useful if you have the Double Tap perk, because the increased fire rate means that the zombies burn up a lot quicker. Pack-A-Punching it adds nitrogen cooling to your flamethrower, making this much more practical.
  • Knife Nut: Everyone in Der Riese once they get their hands on a Bowie Knife, which looks more like a short sword.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Some of the characters will comment on the finding of the musical Easter Eggs being just that. They'll also get pissed off every time the Mystery Box chucks up a Teddy Bear instead of a weapon.
    • After an explosive caused by Nikolai leaves a zombie alive, but legless, he will make a remark on how players do this to be free to run around the map and do whatever:

"Look, I just made a new pet. I'll take it for a walk for about five minutes while the rest of you dick around."
Dempsey, when out of ammo: "Player! Drop the chips and get me some ammo!"

      • It gets more and more explicit as the DLC maps come in, with the last one hanging these after almost every power-up pickup.

Dempsey, after picking up a nuke: "Gotta love how that doesn't hurt us. Wait, is my hair falling out?!"

  • Large Ham: Pretty much everyone after a kill.

Dempsey: "I'm gonna do a jib on your insides, maggotsack!"
Nikolai: "No, it's my Vodka! MINE! MY OWN!"
Richtofen: "The Doctor prescribes you... PAIN!"
Takeo: "Your blood will rain on me!"
Kennedy: "Forgive your enemies, but NEVER, EVER, forget their names!"
McNamara: "Consider yourself, ITEMIZED!"
Castro: "Only I can punish crimes of such MAGNITUDE!"
Nixon: "Get your hands off me, HIPPIE!"
'Richoften: "I DRINK YOUR PAIN!" *slurping sounds*

  • Mad Scientist: Richtofen.
  • Meaningful Name : "verrückt" means "crazy" in German.
    • Don't forget Nacht der Untoten, which means Night of the Undead in German, and Shi no Numa, which is Japanese for Zombie Swamp or Marsh of Death... and you fight Japanese Zombies in it. Kino der Toten in Black Ops roughly translates to Theater of the Dead, which is appropriate considering it's a Shout-Out to Inglourious Basterds.
      • Ascension is a Soviet rocket launch facility, complete with cosmonaut training device and zombie astro-monkeys.
  • More Dakka: Pack-a-Punching your guns in Der Riese onwards often includes a gigantic increase in firing rate. It even turns some semi-auto weapons into full-auto weapons. However, trying to compensate for a lack of accuracy in this manner will just cause your ammunition reserves to run dry.
    • The lack of accuracy becomes a problem because headshots in the later rounds is the only way to quickly kill a zombie.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: All the upgraded weapons sound scary. Well, except for the PTRS-41, which is called The Penetrator.
    • It's a huge fuckoff rifle, that has been upgraded. Would you want it penetrating you in either sense?
  • Nazi Nobleman: Averted in Richtofen's biography, which makes reference to this trope, saying he gained influence amongst German's high-class, but disagreed with the Nazi Party (though mostly because he considered them not evil enough). He did join the army to fulfill his sadism, however.
    • He was never a Nazi to begin with, Group 935 decided to assist the Nazi party to further their agenda.
  • Nazi Zombies
  • Nintendo Hard: Do not play this solo, unless you feel like screaming at Treyarch for putting such a huge emphasis on headshots and making all the players a two-hit kill for zombies. Black Ops takes things a step further by making it much harder to hold up in one spot, introducing ankle-biting gas zombies, and nerfing the machine guns. Unless you've memorized everything and have made prayers to whatever God you believe in that you don't get too close to a zombie, you will die on a hilariously low level.
    • Actually subverted for those who know the maps. When the zombies are only following you, it is much easier to lure them into traps and things. The highest scores were recorded in single-player Zombies.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Nikolai in Der Reise, albeit for one line:

Nikolai: His head is waist high, Dempsey, (suddenly losing Russian accent) don't get too excited!


Dempsey: "Gotta link up this terra... er, tele... bah... machine."


Nikolai: "What are you? Fucking RASPUTIN?! Just die already!"

  • Recycled in Space: The Rezurrection map pack features a new map on the moon.
    • Also in that map is an achievement called 'Perks in Spaaaaace', which is unlocked once you've had all 8 perks at some point in the game (not necessarily all at the same time)
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Played straight, and subverted. The revolver is a good weapon and a good choice for early rounds... but later on, its low rate of fire and the zombies' increased health is a crippling weakness.
  • Rule of Cool: Why are you fighting as a crazed Nazi, a drunken Russian, an honor-obsessed Japanese soldier, and an even crazier American? Why are there miniature grenade launchers and electric guns? Who cares?
    • Alternatively, why are you fighting zombies as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara and Fidel Castro in the Pentagon? I think you know exactly why.
      • Gets better when celebrities are thrown into the mix.
      • And why is Sarah Michelle wearing a sleeveless cut off shirt in the middle of Siberia?
    • The weapons themselves. Started from the Ray Gun and now we got cluster grenades disguised as a Russian nesting toy and a miniature black hole generating bomb along with elemental based weapons.
  • Running Gag: When attempting to purchase something he doesn't have enough points for, Nikolai will make references to a stripper who took his money:

Kino der Toten: Nikolai: "What?! That stripper must have stolen my money!"
Ascension: Nikolai: "That stripper DID take all my money!...bitch...."
Shangri-La: Nikolai: "Where does all my money go? Fuck, she is cruel mistress."


Aah! It almost made me woman!

  • Semper Fi: Tank Dempsey. Oo-fuckin'-rah.
  • Sequel Escalation: Each of the DLCs' settings and atmospheres become progressively more over-the-top.
    • Black Ops' first Zombie Mode map features John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara and Fidel Castro fighting zombies in the Pentagon during JFK's presidency days/weeks after the Cuban Crisis.
      • Ascension brings the group from a Nazi theater to a Russian rocket base.
      • And as for Call of the Dead, well........
        • And now the final Zombies map being produced for Black Ops (don't worry more is coming with Treyarch's next game, they promised) has Tank, Nikolai, Takeo, and Richtofen fight zombies on a base on the surface of Earth's moon. If that isn't absurdly over the top then I don't know what is. About as over the top as the Earth blowing up.
  • Serial Escalation: This secret on Ascension. It requires a LOT of time and is extremely difficult to do on a regular room unless you know exactly what you're doing.
  • Shout-Out:

"Let's slay some stiffs."

  • Silliness Switch: The main campaign of World at War is serious. As you might have guessed, this isn't. Well, eventually.
    • And then it becomes progressively darker.
    • The trailers and teasers for Nazi Zombie maps and Dead Ops Arcade are pretty serious.
    • At the end of Black Ops after hearing a solemn quote from JFK, the game cuts away to JFK joking about said quote with Castro, Nixon, and McNamara just before the zombies attack.
    • Dead Ops Arcade takes the cake though. If the bleeptune music and the helicopter and tank power-ups weren't a big enough clue, maybe the spacesuit gorilla will tip you off.
    • With the Earth blowing up in Moon, it's safe to say that the tables have turned.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: "I really didn't dress for the cold."
  • Smoking Is Cool: Fidel Castro. He lampshades it.
  • Smurfette Principle: Lampshaded/invoked in Black Ops by Dempsey.

"Maann, I wish we could trade Richoften for a hot chick. I'm getting lonely here..."

    • However, it's played straight in Call of The Dead, with Sarah Michelle Gellar being the only female.
      • And after completing Richtofen's Grand Scheme on Moon, Samantha Maxis becomes the the second female character playable in Zombies via a soul transfer with Richtofen.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: All of the speaking soldiers enjoy the slaughter far too much.
  • Soviet Superscience: In the first Black Ops DLC map, Ascension.
  • Standard FPS Guns: In addition to the standard Call of Duty weapons, the Wunderwaffe fills the role of the electricity gun.
  • Third Person Person: Nikolai seems fond of this.

"Nikolai will put their brains on the outside!"

  • Those Wacky Nazis: Richtofen is a (possibly gay) mad doctor. His former buddy, Doctor Maxis, was much more level headed, though still a Nazi.
    • Actually, Group 935 is a world wide group and preceded the Nazi party. They simply decided to help the Nazis by giving them some of their Wonderweapon technology in exchange for funding.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Nikolai uses a couple of these in Shangri-La.

"Aah! That was too close to my hammer and sickles."

  • Unwitting Pawn: Dempsey, Nikolai, and Takeo as of the events during Moon.
  • Verbal Tic: Tank Dempsey says "Oorah" more times than the combined "Hooahs" of Modern Warfare 2!
    • He also calls ammo "gun juice", which happens a lot when you run out of ammo or get max ammo, resulting in-





Nikolai: "Nothing is more dangerous than a drunk Russian with an MG!"

  • Wham! Episode: The Easter Egg on Moon, Richtofen's Grand Scheme.
  • Xanatos Roulette: Richtofen used the group to help him find Samantha so he could switch bodies with her and gain control of the zombies.
    • Dr.Maxis had a counter Xanatos plan. Not only being hinted at still being alive, he had recordings instructing the party how to weaken Rictofen. That was the destruction of the Earth's atmosphere, essentially loosening Rictofen's control over the zombies on Earth
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Moon's description makes it seem like it's the last map... Then Richtofen's Grand Scheme kicks in....
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Implied via radio messages.
    • It's reached the Pentagon during JFK's term as President.
      • George Romero found out about the project while doing research for a WW 2 movie. It infects him, turning him into a super-mutant electric zombie.
        • They even managed to go back in time and wind up on the Moon....somehow.