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Eureka

Small town, big secrets...

A one-hour show on the Sy Fy Channel about the eponymous town and the trouble its genius residents get into.

Eureka is a quiet, small town in Oregon filled with scientists working on the most advanced technology in the world. All this is highly top secret and under the purview of the Department of Defense. And into this quirky, bizarre town comes Jack Carter, former U.S. Marshal and newly appointed sheriff of Eureka. Much of the show's humor comes from Carter attempting to deal with the everyday use of futuristic tech (including the AI that runs his house), and the For Science! mentality of the town's population and the disasters this frequently leads to. A good percentage of the disasters stem from the work of the scientists at Global Dynamics, the research and development company in town. It has had at least three different heads of company throughout the show's run, which should tell you what kind of a place it is.

Important characters include Carter's rebellious teenage daughter, Zoe, who is turning out to be a lot smarter than you might expect at first glance, and Deputy Jo Lupo. For much of the show's run, Carter is involved in a UST laden Love Triangle with Allison Blake and Nathan Stark (her ex-husband and one of the aforementioned heads of Global Dynamics-- Allison takes over after Kim's death leads to Stark's demotion). There's also Henry, one of the brilliant minds in town and probably Jack's best friend; Fargo, who designed Jack's Smart House (S.A.R.A.H., who is a character in her own right); and Taggart, who is what happens when you feed Steve Irwin Paranoia Fuel and set him loose in a town full of crazies.

Driven by a "Monster of the Week" science fiction element, the show has featured a different Story Arc stretching loosely over each season. The strong science fiction plots are complemented by the ignorance of Sheriff Carter. In some sense it is like a twisted version of The Andy Griffith Show, where Opie is a felonious teenage daughter, Gomer Pyle is a brilliant ex-NASA engineer and Barney Fife is a marine (Later, Barney is a Ridiculously Human Robot).

Known in the UK as A Town Called Eureka to avoid confusion with a science programme. Not to be confused with a story about Sky Surfing Giant Mecha called Eureka Seven.

During season 4, other shows on the Syfy Network (namely, Warehouse 13 and Alphas) were eventually established as being sort of part of the same fictional universe as Eureka (the "Syfy-verse").

Now has a character sheet.

On August 8th, 2011 it was announced that the show would be ending after five seasons.

Tropes used in Eureka include:


  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Fargo's Alternate Timeline self as the head of GD. Main timeline Fargo almost immediately starts doing the same thing, but the others have none of it.
  • Action Girl: Jo.
  • Aesop Amnesia: While not a specifically-stated aesop, there is a lesson that Carter never seems to learn. No matter how many situations he could have gotten himself out of and saved the day much more easily by just carrying a pocket knife, let alone something like a Swiss Army knife, he never does. He's a former US Marshal and a sheriff, and yet he doesn't carry a basic tool that many adult men do and he never thinks to.
    • For the rest of the scientists (Allison and Henry being the most consistent offenders), they never quite learn to not just blow Jack off with "It's not scientifically possible."
    • Lampshaded by Jack when a missile threatens the town in "Worst Case Scenario" and the similarity to the events of "Dr Nobel".

  Carter: Did the whole missile silo under Main Street incident teach us nothing!

  • A Glitch in the Matrix: While the Astraeus crew are plugged into a computer simulation, they see some odd things, such as Vincent walking through a counter and a dragon de-rezzing.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: SARAH in several episodes. A mild case in that she isn't so much evil as naive but well-meaning and somewhat overprotective.
    • In one episode she programmed Deputy Andy to love her - while he was connected to the GD mainframe. As per the norm, It Got Worse and Hilarity Ensues, making this trope evident for the entire town.
  • Akashic Records: The "Akashic Field".
  • Almighty Janitor: Henry is the town's mechanic. He's also probably the smartest person in Eureka.
    • He now holds the somewhat-more-dignified title of "Mayor"...and has the patch on his grease-monkey jumpsuit to prove it.
    • He's also the town coroner, and forensic analyst, and road maintenance man, and telephone repairman, and the entirety of the Fire Department. It's strongly implied he has a lot of other jobs as well. It's revealed in the pilot episode that the patches on his uniform are Velcro'd on, and he carries around dozens of different patches for all the different jobs he does in town.
  • Alternate Timeline: The 4th season premier had Carter, Henry, Fargo, Allison, and Jo sent back to 1947 through some crazy sunspot shenanigans (and some tinkering from resident savant Kevin). After messing around in the past for a while, they got help from one of the founders and were able to return. But, they accidentally took said founder back with them. Now, Jo's entire relationship with Zane has been wiped from existence and she's head of GD security, Henry is married to a character (whose name he can't remember) introduced just prior to their adventure, Allison's son Kevin is no longer autistic and she's been reduced to head of GD's medical department, Tess is no longer gone, Fargo is the head of Global Dynamics, and the Archimedes statue is made of bronze instead of granite. They're made every effort to avert the Reset Button, too, including getting rid of the device that caused it.
    • To say nothing of the Season 1 finale, which begins with everything peachy; Carter and Allison married, Jo and Taggart in a relationship, and Henry and Kim happy together. Then this all turns out to be an alternate timeline created when Henry prevented Kim's death, and Carter has to personally hit the Reset Button in order to save the universe. This doubles as Henry's Start of Darkness for his role as Season 2's Big Bad.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Allison is played by Salli Richardson-Whitfield, whose mother is African-American and father Irish-Italian.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Vincent. At least, they haven't come flat-out and said it yet...
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Season 2 DVD of Eureka features "Live Smart, Eureka" PSAs, helping to keep common sense a little more common.
  • And I Must Scream: Senator Wen gets trapped by Beverly Barlowe in a virtual simulation, which consists only of Sheriff's office and where all the exits lead back inside.
  • Animesque: The last section of the 2011 Christmas special has anime versions of the characters and the giant snow ninja they're fighting.
  • Arc Words: "You just have to have faith."
    • "I'll always be there for you... no matter what."
  • Art Shift: The whole point of the Christmas Episode
  • Ascended Extra: Deputy Andy went from being a one-off character to recurring in season 4.
    • Kevin has gotten a much bigger role now that he's not autistic anymore. He's even gotten to be the hero in a couple of episodes.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Felicia Day will star in multiple episodes in season 4.5.
  • Awesome Aussie: Taggart.
  • Badass Normal: Borderline; superpowers are generally reserved for antagonists, but Carter, who ends up solving most of the mysteries and taking down most of the bad guys, is a former US Marshall surrounded by super-geniuses, with an Action Girl sidekick who holds the Army Rangers' all-time record for marksmanship.
  • Back for the Dead: As noted below, Kim. Twice.
  • Back From the Dead: Kim... sort of. Not really. But kinda.
    • And repeatedly. Poor Henry. Kim was never in the main cast, but she has a case of serial Back for the Dead.
      • She only lasted for an episode and a half this season. Poor Henry cried.
  • Becoming the Mask: Fargo starts to go through this in the fourth season. Time travel has made him head of GD, but since he never actually got the position himself he doesn't act like it. Then a hallucination of a little girl who beat him up as a kid tells him to grow a pair, so he does.
    • In the same epsiode the General tells Fargo that he was place in that position of power to be the Department of Defence's puppet.
  • Bedmate Reveal: In the season one finale, Carter wakes up next to a very pregnant Allison due to the alternate timeline.
  • BFG: In one episode Carter identifies a weapon as a BMFG Liquidator.
  • Big Bad: Beverly Barlowe is about the closest thing this show has to one.
  • Bigger Bad: The "Consortium", the shadowy conspiracy Beverly reports to.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Carter is implied to be rather well-endowed, much to Stark's dismay. During the period where the love triangle between Carter, Allison, and Stark was in full swing, Carter is doused with toxins, requiring him to strip and be decontaminated in public, which actually amuses Stark to no end... until Carter's shorts come off.

 Carter: "Oh, you are loving this, aren't you?"

Stark: *faintly dismayed* "... No."

Allison: *grinning brightly*

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Senator Wen, which is notable because she went an entire season before this even came up.
  • Bottle Episode: The eleventh episode of the first season has all the regulars stuck in Carter's house.
  • Brick Joke: The Einstein-Grant bridge.
    • Also, the opening credits in every episode from the very first episode end with the buildings of Eureka floating up into the air, which finally happens in the fourth season episode up in the air
  • Buffy-Speak: Whenever Sheriff Carter is trying to talk about something he doesn't quite understand, this happens.

  Nathan: Yes, he just said "invisibling."

    • "I knew someone rejiggered something."
  • The Bus Came Back: Kevin.
    • There's also Tess and Nathan Stark, the latter having actually been dead, but they were hallucinations.
  • Butt Monkey: Fargo. He is treated like crap by just about everyone in town, and if something bad happens there's a good chance it'll come find him. Then again, considering that he's often responsible for said problems, one might consider this Laser-Guided Karma.
    • While visiting Warehouse 13 in a crossover episode an out of control AI pulls his GD profile and remarks, "Your GD personnel file contains the phrase 'inappropriately pushed button' 37 times."
    • In Season 4, Fargo notices that the alternate universe him was, in his own words, "...kind of a jerk!". Perhaps without the other characters around him to ground him, this is what he'd end up as.
    • Carter comes close, but might be intended to be more of a Chew Toy than the Butt Monkey. You're clearly meant to feel sorry for everything he's put through, while Fargo's problems are almost always played for laughs.
  • Can Not Tell a Lie: Andy is incapable of lying when asked a direct question.
  • Cassandra Truth: Carter quickly gets a handle on how Eureka operates and learns not to dismiss things he sees and intuits as being too crazy to be the truth. Yet, despite having an excellent track record of pinning down problems, no one believes him at first. Even Henry and Allison take about three seasons to stop dismissing him as crazy when he asks something or says something strange is going on.
    • Carter has his own version of this often. While it's true that the scientists will always say "It's not possible for my experiment to have done that!" regardless of whether it did or not, he never seems to be able to distinguish between "It's not possible my experiment did this because it's scientifically impossible for what I'm doing to cause that effect" (it's not their fault) and "It's not possible my experiment did this because I'm in complete control and nothing could ever possibly go wrong!" (it's almost certainly their fault). The second half of season four actually seems to be having some success mixing and matching both of these with only mild forms of the above bullet point.
  • Catch Phrase: Whenever something goes horribly wrong in front of Carter-which is fairly often-he says "That can't be good!" And when it actually gets worse, which it does; "You have got to be kidding me!"
    • He also says "Oh crap..." a lot.
  • Chekhov's Gun: And many of its subtropes. Any little interesting bit of technology introduced is almost guaranteed to be A) the cause of the calamity of the week or B) the solution to it.
    • A recent episode was a veritable Chekhov's Double Barrel, when both A and B were introduced in the same scene.
    • Frustratingly averted in one episode with Fembots that were discussed, but didn't show up or have anything to do with the plot at all.
  • Chew Toy: Carter. He's always in the middle of whatever is messing with the town, and he suffers for it.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • In 2010. Chock full of the requisite Heartwarming Moments between the principal cast.
    • And again in 2011.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: Carter's Jeep gets destroyed roughly Once an Episode.
  • City of Weirdos
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Zane and Allison in Series 5, after having experienced a simulated reality set 4 years after they'd disappeared and where Matrix!Jo and Matrix!Carter had hooked up. The fact as scientists, seeing a highly accurate computer projection based on what might occur in those circumstances, doesn't alleviate their jealousy upon returning to reality.
    • Particularly after a bodyswap mishap causes Carter to keep swapping during times where Zane is either in the shower with Jo or when Zane impulsively kisses her whilst in his body.

  Carter: This is not my fault!

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pretty much everyone in the entire town to some degree, but Taggart is easily the biggest. To give you an idea, in one episode Sheriff Carter finds him naked, about to attack a cell tower with an enormous circular saw, and doesn't consider this to be an indication that anything is out of the ordinary: that's just the sort of thing Taggart does. It's to the point that, in an episode where everyone in town is being driven insane by mutated pollen, Carter can't tell whether Taggart is being affected or not, because he already acts like that anyway.

 Carter: Taggert. You're naked.

Taggert: Au naturelle.

Carter: May I ask why?

Taggert: Why not?

  • Comedic Sociopathy: The behavior-altering music in "Reprise" varies between this, harmless fun, and genuine drama.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Taggart, and Beverly Barlow.
  • Cool House: S.A.R.A.H.
  • Cool Old Guy: It's easy to forget that Henry is implied to be a fair bit older than many of the other characters, precisely because he is so cool and easy-to-relate-to. Stark refers to Henry as being his teacher, which while not necessarily implying a large age gap, indicates that Henry was already an established scientist of skill and note when Nathan was still just starting out.
  • Cop and Scientist
  • Cosmic Retcon: In the Season 4 premiere, the original series timeline is effectively permanently erased. The past three years of plot, drama, and character development? Poof, gone. Especially noticeable with Zane, who outright reverted to his initial characterization (and is working his way back).
    • Interestingly though, something only the science geeks would get the hint that the original 3 seasons were set in the WRONG universe. Putting aside the Warehouse 13 crossover, but the concept of the Einstein-Rosen-Podowski bridge was always referred to as the Einstein-Grant bridge in Eureka until they brought the founder to the future in season 4.
  • Crazy Prepared: Taggart tries to be this, but the only real qualifier is the government of the Town of Eureka. Any organization that has resurrection forms on file knows it's ready for anything, no matter how weird.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Taggart again. Semi-subverted in that he's actually fairly friendly most of the time, and his Crazy Survivalist behavior is occasionally useful. Really, his first few episodes made him seem like a stock one of these that had somehow snuck into Eureka by mistake, but he quickly began showing traits of his intelligence, multiple doctorates, and even nerdiness. He's just weird because most Eureka scientists are weird about their specialty, and his is animal behavior/biology/Santaology.
  • Curious as a Monkey: Douglas Fargo has never met a button he didn't push, and on one occasion when questioned as to why he decided to activate the mystery device that he found in his pockets he sheepishly replied "It's What I Do."
    • According to the Warehouse 13 crossover episode, his personnel report includes the phrase "inappropriately pushed button" 38 times.
      • Unfortunately that is most likely alternate Fargo's record. No telling if the Fargo we know has a different count.
  • Daddy's Girl: Zoe. Although she and her father will have their fights and bickering, that's no doubt that Carter would do anything to ensure Zoe's happiness.
  • Dangerous Workplace: Eureka boasts 5 times the average death toll for a town its size and twice the national average.
  • Dawson Casting: In the episode with the isolation environment. Wound up making the "long distance relationship" going on there really creepy. Completely averted by Zoe, however (Jordan Hinson is actually about two months younger than her character).
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Nathan Stark, Jack Carter, and Allison Blake were in a Type 1 Love Triangle. Only two of those characters are still alive. Then Tess formed the third point for a while, but in the fourth season Jack and Allison committed to each other.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Beverly Barlowe, the town's therapist who is also The Mole, before disappearing for a couple seasons and some time travel.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: S.A.R.A.H. is very cheerful after a night with Andy.
  • Doom Magnet: As of Series 5, Douglas Fargo is considered one in-universe.
    • According to the Lotus Eater Machine recreation of S.A.R.A.H. it had been 1468 days since the last major incident at Global Dynamics, roughly the same amount of time (4 years) that Fargo had been missing with the Astraeus team. Given that the Matrix was designed with multiple predictive algorithms, to create a highly accurate projection of what would happen in those circumstances, one has to wonder about what that says about Fargo.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sheriff Carter gets no respect for the first 2 or three seasons, even when he's the one who ultimately saved the town from the problem of the week most episodes. Instead, they opt to point and laugh at him for not knowing that OLSN stands for Overly Long Scientific Name. Its only later on that they begin to take his ideas and opinions seriously.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: While he is not stupid, Sheriff Carter is a man of average intelligence in a town full of super-geniuses, and is often on the receiving end of this.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Stark and Zane.
  • Eureka Moment: Virtually every episode involves Carter realizing how to fix the problem.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Beverly turns on Senator Wen after she kills Holly -- apparently she's many things, but she's not a killer, at least in the new timeline anyway.
  • Even The Gay Guy Wants Her: When a hapless inventor attains god-like power, he kisses Beverly Barlowe. Several witnesses mention how they've always wished they could do that. Including Vincent who says, "Even I've thought about it."
  • Everybody Is Single: Stark and Blake were married. Then divorced. Then engaged. Then Stark was dead.
    • Subverted with Henry in the fourth season. Time travel antics have made it so he's married to a woman whose name he doesn't remember.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When she meets Carter's ex-wife Abby, SARAH said that she was much smaller than she had pictured.
  • Expy:
    • Nathan's actor is pretty candid about the fact that the character is more or less Tony Stark, sans armor.
    • There's quite a bit of Jack O'Neill about Carter... again starting with the name. (Though he's a lot less bitter.)
    • Fargo has a little bit of Peter Parker to him, even to the point of being the wisecracking nerd that it seems like the other superheroes... er, scientists barely tolerate. Bonus points for him following Stark around like a puppy during the period where Spider-Man was doing the same with Iron Man.
    • Taggart is clearly inspired by Steve Irwin, an excitable Australian outdoorsman with an expertise in animal biology.
  • Extranormal Institute: The whole town.
  • Failsafe Failure: The front door to S.A.R.A.H. has a "manual override" which doesn't work if the house'still has power. Manual overrides are supposed to open doors regardless of whether or not it has any power supplied...
  • Fake Nationality: Canadian/American Matt Frewer as an Australian. Conversely, James Callis and Chris Gauthier are English; Colin Ferguson, Erica Cerra, Niall Matter and Neil Grayston are all Canadian. They all play American characters.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Senator Wen is trapped in a computer simulation that consists only of the Sheriff's office and nothing else, all alone. And it's implied only Beverly knows she's in there.
  • For Science!: The entire effing town except Carter. Which makes Eureka both an AdventureTown and a Dangerous Workplace, with the result that:

  Henry: "We have twice the national mortality rate."

    • It's actually written into the town charter that scientific discovery trumps things like construction.
  • Full-Moon Silhouette: Season four's Christmas Episode gave us Santa's sleigh being silhouetted against the full moon.
  • Game of Nerds: Inverted. Non-nerd Carter is the baseball fanatic, and his suggestion of a town baseball league initially goes over like a lead balloon.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Momstrocity", Fargo's tent is controlled by a AI named Buffy with a female voice. Due to the problem of the week, she would like Fargo to stay inside of her.
    • In "Oh Little Town" Carter confronts Vincent about the food he stole top secret dangerous technology to create.

 Carter: FRUITCAKE!!!

Vincent: I beg your pardon.

    • In "Before I Forget" Carter's daughter is in the play A Midsummer Night's Dream and someone is making people "lose time", so Carter says they're being "Pucked With"
    • Carter attempts to jump through a closing-up wall modeled after a spaceship's hull, gets the tie he's been forced to wear caught, and is in danger of actually being choked to death. When Allison asks what's wrong, he answers with a strangled "I'm in deep ship". Reportedly, actor Colin Ferguson was annoyed at Eureka for constantly trying to slip crap past the censors and refused to do another take, actually making the line sound more like he really swore.
    • A pretty blatant episode, and an indication that some of the Insufferable Genius characters are obviously trying to provoke these reactions from Carter on purpose:

 "Can't a man masticate in peace?"

"Not in public!"

"It means chew!"

    • In Worst Case Scenario, it is a "bad time for premature evacuation".
    • A pervasive one: depending upon your background, the constant use of "G.D." to refer to Global Dynamics may recall either a schoolyard euphemism for "god damn" or the way some (primarily Jewish) people avoid writing out the name of the deity and instead write "G-d." Or both.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Pretty much every single experiment causes disaster when it succeeds. Unless it's ...
  • Gone Horribly Wrong
  • Grand Theft Me: Beverly takes over Allison's body with some sort of transmitter embedded in her brain, as a plot to download Eureka's research archive as well as do some other unspecified sabotage.
    • Carter takes over Fargo, Zane and Allison after an accident causes him to repeatedly bodyswap.
  • Granola Girl: Lexi.
  • Great White Hunter: Taggart seems to fancy himself this.
  • Guile Hero: Carter
  • Guilty Pleasure: In-Universe, Badass marine Jo's secret love of sassy pumps. "I'm so ashamed."
  • Hate Plague: "All the Rage".
  • He Knows Too Much: It's strongly implied in the pilot that Carter and his daughter will be executed if they can't find a use for him, which makes you wonder how many people that's happened to.
    • When Carter's ex-wife, sister, and sister's boyfriend show up and interact with Eureka technology/GD, no one even bats an eye. They could have signed a non-disclosure agreement off-screen, but that's bordering on Fan Wank, and it's a major shift from the paranoia in the pilot. The sister's boyfriend, at least, is a brilliant scientist in his own right, but there's no indication he's familiar with the town.
    • Played absolutely straight with Holly. When she figures out that the Astraeus crew is trapped in a Lotus Eater Machine, she's murdered on the spot to keep the ruse intact.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Fargo with Claudia and Dr. Martin.
  • Historical In-Joke: When Henry was explaining the device that brought them to '47, he referred to a theory worked on by Einstein and Dr. Grant regarding the connection of two points of space/time that Henry referred to as the "Einstein-Grant" bridge. Since Grant got jumped to 2010 by the end of the episode, that gives them call to refer to it as we all know it, the "Einstein-Rosen" bridge.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The whole town. Though a lot of it is experimental tech, there is an equal amount of fantastic gadgets that are completely safe yet haven't made it outside the town. One episode justifies this as simply a matter of cost: they can cure the common cold, but it costs $6 million while a bowl of chicken soup costs $5.
  • Hollywood Science: To the point of straining Suspension of Disbelief for some.
  • Hot Amazon: Jo, Sheriff Carter's gun-crazy deputy.
  • Hot Mom: Allison Blake could still pass for Elisa Maza.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The Alternate Timeline in the fourth season, despite removing a key figure in Eureka's founding altogether, has changed almost nothing. In fact, all the characters' lives actually seem to be better for it. There is the problem of Jo having never started a relationship with Zane in this timeline, but that's balanced out by her now being in charge of GD security.
    • Henry lampshades one of the instances, pointing that no one knows what causes autism in the first place, so it's impossible to figure out how that changed.
    • Fargo's new position also turns out to be because of his grandfather. While his grandfather was put in stasis in the old timeline, in the new timeline he was apparently a very respected scientist (presumably the credit his partner got went to him as it should have). Fargo is implied to have ridden his grandfather's name to success (before past!timeline Fargo replaced him).
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: "inventory"
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Jack and Jo after her house gets toasted.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Justified Trope in this case.
  • Jossed: A common fan theory held that Nathan wasn't killed in the time machine, but was rather sent to another time or dimension and is going to return. When he does return, he says that this was exactly the case. Then it turns out that he was just a hallucination and that Nathan hadn't really returned.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: A lot between Carter, GD, and the Military.
  • Just Friends: Allison/Jack. Particularly discussed in the episode Stoned, after years of sporadic relationship teasing that was getting wearisome for some by that point (and season 4 had seemed to stress the just friends angle). How things developed afterwards...
  • Karma Houdini: Several, the most recent being Julia, who despite stealing Jo's identity (and DNA and face), nearly getting her killed, and attempting to get her thrown in the nuthouse so she could live Jo's life, still gets everyone's sympathy, the guy she did this all to pursue, and probably keeps her job.
    • Julia nearly died for her folly, plus she repented and helped set things right. She also realized that everything she did to get close to Fargo wasn't necessary, because, in his words, she had him at Halo.
    • She's also supposedly on suspension/probation, though that hasn't had any noticeable effect on anything.
    • In the Alternate Timeline, she's rich and married to an astronaut. Take that as you will.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kim, twice, and Stark.
    • Holly in the final season, during the three-part opener.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the 2011 Holiday episode, which involves the cast being in several animation styles, SARAH epilogues on the show and talks about the questionable canon status of the episode.

  SARAH: Some of you may wonder if this animated tale is true. You can believe it. Or not. But you did hear it from a talking house, so anything's possible.

 Carter: A hypothetical guy falls maybe fifty feet, lands flat on the ground, and then another guy weighing 180 falls, and lands on top of him. Okay, what is the chance of the hypothetical guy getting up and walking away? [...]

Henry: Look, this hypothetical guy: is that you?

Carter: No. I landed on the hypothetical guy, though.

  • Lotus Eater Machine: The Consortium traps the Astraeus crew in one after kidnapping them at the end of the previous season, in order to make them work for the Consortium without realizing it.
  • Love Is in the Air: An ancient spore causes hormones to go wacky in Eureka's men. The men are left behaving normally, but the women are left all turned on like crazy. For at least the first half, the only man the women see as super-desirable is Sheriff Carter, of course. Hilarity Ensues. It's shown later in the episode that if the women get their man, Death by Sex will occur.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: After his girlfriend dies in the Season 1 finale, Henry seems to get slightly more unhinged. Season 3 sees him getting better, though.
    • Also, in the episode where Stark gets replicated (see Magnificent Bastard), his jealousy over Carter and Allison makes the situation even worse, because the replicants can tell what he's feeling and act accordingly.
    • And then there's the episode where Jo is the victim of a genetic switcharoo, simply so the culprit can get close to Fargo and exploit his crush on Jo to try to hook up with him.
  • Love Triangle: This series seems to love these. It started with Stark/Carter/Allison, then Tess took over for Stark, and that's just Carter. With the new season, Tess gets taken off the bus, then put back on, Carter finally kisses Allison, but now that Eureka founder Dr. Grant is here to stay from 1947, it's sliding towards Carter/Allison/Grant.
    • As of "I'll Be Seeing You", resolved, at least for the time being, with Grant's departure from Eureka.
    • And as of "Stoned", Carter's daughter Zoe gets a Type 4 of her very own now that she's hooked up with Zane.
    • Evolves into a full-fledged triangle as of "I'll Be Seeing You", as Jo and Zane share a passionate if spontaneous kiss less than a minute before Zoe enters the room.
      • Not to mention passionately sharing electrolytes in Carter's guest room, according to SARAH.
    • Season 4.5 sees the development of yet another triangle: Fargo/Marten/Parrish.
  • Mad Scientist: Pretty much everyone except Carter, Jo, and Zoe, and Zoe has been leaving her father in the dust since midway through Season 2. But this may have something to do with Carter's IQ being 111 and Zoe's is 155.
    • TAGGERT! Oh god, Taggert. He does the craziest things in town (tranqing Carter and stuffing him into a cage, anyone?)
  • Magic Countdown
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Andy reacts to the various accidents that befall him with what can be summed up as a "Isn't that something?" attitude. Of course, he is a robot.

 "Oh, I seem to have caught fire."

"My software indicates I should acknowledge my physical injuries, OWWWWWWWWWWW."

  Allison: Stay away from my son, you bitch!

  • The Millstone: Fargo. If he appears in an episode, it is either to kick off the disaster or to make it worse.
    • Starts to become subverted in season 4. Sorta. Now it's his his Alternate Timeline self, whom he's replaced, that is causing the problems by virtue of Fargo having none of that Fargo's memories.
  • The Mole: Beverly Barlowe in the early seasons, until she winds up getting exposed.
    • Allison gets turned into this when she's brain-jacked by Beverly.
    • And the final season has Senator Wen stepping up to the plate as Beverly's boss.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Played with. Thanks to an "attachment program", Tiny the rover thinks Kevin's little robot is its baby. It's armed with Frickin' Laser Beams. Give it the robot.
  • Monster of the Week
    • Lampshaded by Hugo Miller in Eureka's sister show, Warehouse 13, when asked if he was going to go back to Eureka.
  • Monster Roommate
  • Mundane Utility: Even in the show's opening credits. Laser lawnmowers, antigravity baby carriages, virtual baseball, jetpacks used to fix broken streetlights, an enormous freezer (referred to as Narnia by Zoe) that can reach 0 Kelvin for food, etc.
    • Slightly subverted in that almost none of these are actually seen in use in the series. Most people drive fairly normal cars, live in fairly normal houses, etc. They tend to just have nicer cell phones and sound systems and so on than in the outside world.
      • Maybe because the DOD wants to keep the town a secret. No laser lawnmowers, but you can have a nuclear powered car.
  • Mysterious Backer: Warehouse 13 is portrayed as such.
  • No Off Button: Keeping with the Hollywood Science run amok, this happens nearly every episode with some form on Applied Phlebotinum.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The town was built on this trope it seems.
  • "No Respect" Guy: Fargo, although his new job is making him become far more responsible.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Inversion; the unusual is normal. The school science fair would probably be stunned by someone entering a baking soda volcano. These people annually race rockets around the moon!
    • Sheriff Carter was floored when Andy told him that somebody robbed a bank. He was so used to the disaster of the week being a "quantum runaway something or other" which threatened to destroy the town that the thought of a simple bank robbery thrilled him to no end. Of course, it then turned out that the entire bank was supposedly stolen, building and all.
  • Not Herself: Allison in season 4.5, due to being body-jacked by Beverly for several episodes. It eventually wears off.
  • The Nth Doctor: The robot Sheriff-later-Deputy Andy was played in his first two appearances by Ty Olsson. In "The Story of O2", he's replaced by Kavan Smith, better known as Evan Lorne in Stargate Atlantis. He changed his appearance. He likes the new cheekbones.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: What doesn't Henry do in this town?!
    • An episode actually had SARAH determine that if Carter and Henry left town, it would almost certainly be destroyed.
    • Also subverted in one episode where most of the population of Eureka gets converted into idiots, including Henry. Gathering everyone in Global Dynamics who hasn't been affected to solve the Crisis Of The Week results in a "chemist, a botanist, a math theorist, and a...lepipotamus[1]" being tasked with repairing the particle shielding on an experiment that simulates the Big Bang before it goes off. Unsurprisingly, none of them has a clue about theoretical astrophysics or string theory. They do manage to solve the idiocy problem, though.
    • Pretty much all of the main character scientists fit this role, knowing whatever that week's episode requires them too, with the exception of Taggert. With one or two exceptions, the writers have been pretty good about generally confining his area of expertise to biology. Most suspects of the mystery of the week also avert this, since whodunnits get much harder to solve when everyone is an expert at everything and therefore any one of the suspects could've done it.
    • Most of the people who do this actually have some excuse, at least. Henry is easily the oldest of the main cast, meaning he's had more time to accumulate the knowledge necessary to be omnidisciplinary. Stark and Allison, both having prominent positions in GD (Allison even before she became head of GD) would have numerous projects explained to them by specialists, so all it would really require is a good memory to be familiar with the basic aspects of most fields of study.
  • Once an Episode: A charred corpse or the lines "We'll have to evacuate the town" or "It will leave Eureka a mile-deep crater."
    • "Get me a list of everyone working in [insert field here]" and Henry simplifying his Techno Babble regarding that week's deadly gizmo using a simile also qualify.
  • Only Sane Man: Sheriff Carter. It's later implied that the security/law officers are this in every town of scientists.
  • Overprotective Dad: Sheriff Carter.
    • Allison counts as a female version.
  • Pilot Movie
  • Plot Armour: Worn by Carter, lampshaded by Sheriff Andy

 Sheriff Andy to Carter: I have recalculated it. Seems the odds are better when you are around.

  • Product Placement: While slightly present since the start (All the video phones in Eureka apparently use Cisco Systems), became blatant and omnipresent in season 3. They at least attempt to justify it by throwing in a new boss who implements what causes it in an effort to make the research done in the town more profitable, but (as Real Life Comics nicely captures) it's still painful to watch. Especially given that... "Here Comes The Suns" is pretty much one long ad for Degree.
  • Puppet King: Mansfield implies that Fargo was made the head of GD because he would play ball, and warns Fargo that he can easily be replaced. Then again, Mansfield may believe this is just what the position is.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Taggart, who got on the bus, came back, then got back on again.
    • Done literally with Eva in season 3.
    • Double Subverted with Tess. She takes a job in Australia, and Carter is invited to come along (which the viewers know he won't). Next season, she's broken up with him, and it seems she's on the bus... until Carter and company accidentally screw up the timeline, making it so Tess never left and is in fact moving in with Jack. Except then, Jack puts her back on the bus because the whole time travel thing has made their relationship awkward and he's convinced it won't work.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: 107 to be exact, but Eva Thorne/Mary Perkins now ages slowly thanks to her own genetic wackiness + lab experiment gone wrong.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The entire premise of the show is that a secret city of supergeniuses is constantly working to create fabulous scientific breakthroughs. They're said to be responsible for every technological breakthrough since the thirties, but their tech is still decades beyond the rest of the world.
    • Also, it's usually Carter (who, while a reasonably bright guy, is still the dumbest guy in town by virtue of literally everyone, his own daughter included, being a world-class genius) who has to solve the problem of the week, because the brainiacs are either A) too busy being victimized by it, B) trying to come up with something sciencey instead of just hitting it with a hammer, or C) the person who created the experiment that caused the problem, who refuses to believe their brilliant idea could possibly go wrong.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: This issue pops up in the show now and again. Several characters (Henry and Dr. Grant, for example) express distaste at how Global Dynamics, which is funded primarily by the DOD, seems to be more interested in turning out strategic advantages rather than focusing on scientific advancement to prevent war per the spirit on which the town was founded. Other characters (Nathan and Allison) are quick to point out that such work would not exist without the funding the DOD provides, and thus they must be mad scientists if they want to pursue work which will benefit mankind as a whole.
  • Reset Button: Zig-zagged. If Carter ever loses his job, or looks like he will, the button will be pressed. The show makes no attempt to disguise this, having literally titled one of their episodes "Welcome Back Carter" right after the one where Carter was fired. At other times, it's avoided when you wouldn't think so (Stark's death, for example, since he asked to be written out). Also used at the end of season one, which is utterly heartbreaking because it's one of the few times you don't want the button to be pushed.
    • Surprisingly averted in the fourth season. Carter and friends accidentally create an Alternate Timeline, and the viewer is convinced the button will be pushed. Instead, events keep conspiring to prevent the button from being pushed, so this new timeline is here to stay.
  • Ridiculously-Human Robots: Raynes in episode 8. The dog robots in the second season. Sheriff Andy. The Kim-from-space probably counts as a borderline example; she's a living computer.
  • Running Gag:
    • A minor one that spans the entire series is Carter buying someone something as a gift, only for them to get one as a gift from someone else before he has a chance to present it.
      • Alternatively, they present an even better, super-high-tech version of his gift. The gag reaches its crescendo during Alison's baby shower, where Jack removes one item after another from his gift basket as someone else presents it to Alison, until finally: "and my gift to you is...a basket!"
    • Jack's Jeep keeps getting destroyed. How many vehicles can be smashed, blown up, sucked into tornadoes, protenated (read:melted), etc. before the budget gets maxed out?
    • Fargo has a thing for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
    • The writers like to slip in a lot of poop jokes. TIRD particles, the SCAT, the "Dump Coil," I could go on...
    • It seems like half the cast will eventually end up living at Carter's house. Carter himself, Zoe, Allison (along with Kevin and Jenna), Jo, Sheriff Andy, Holly Marten...
  • Sarcasm Mode: Stark, who clearly enjoys it way too much to qualify for Deadpan Snarker.

 Carter: "Uh-huh, and what will all that tell us?"

Stark: "Nothin', it just makes us sound all smart."

 Carter: Sarah what are you doing?

S.A.R.A.H: That was such a beautiful moment, I felt musical accompaniment seemed appropriate.

 Carter: Thank you. Why couldn't you just say a swirling ice tornado of death?!

 Zane: We'll use SARAH to slip into the back-door of GD.

Fargo: Uh, we?

Zane: Once a back-door link is established, there's nothing I won't have access to.

Fargo: Uh, I think you mean there will be nothing that I have access to.

Jo: Boys, there is plenty of back-door access for everyone!

(awkward pause)

Jo: That didn't come out right.

    • In the Pilot

 Sheriff Cobb: (hangs up the phone) That was Ned Carver. He claims aliens abducted some of his cattle again, so...

Jo: Tell him to call me when they move on to anal probes.

[Cobb and Zoe stare]

Jo: Wait, um... that didn't come out right.

    • In Founder's Day

 Dr. Grant: There's a woman in the brig with some injuries you should take a look at. Also, there's a naked man in there for some reason.

Allison: I'll go take a look.

(Beat)

Allison: At the injuries, not the naked guy.

Dr. Grant: I'm glad you clarified.

    • Holly Marten gets three in a row in Of Mites And Men, referring to slipping through a security door that got stuck partly open.

 Holly: I can do eight inches! I have very limber joints! (later, referring to getting stuck halfway through the door) Is it too late to cover myself in something slippery?

    • This, from Jo:

 "I was tangled up with Zane... With his thing... With his pardon."

  Carter: I had a dream that went sort of like this.

  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Henry and Grace in season 4.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Season 3 introduces Frances Fisher as "Fixer" Eva Thorne, who at first lived up to the role in spades, then became more sympathetic as we got into her motivations.
  • Wham! Episode: "Founder's Day". An odd case of one being used as a season premiere rather than a season finale.
    • The Real Thing ends with Holly dying.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Former Sheriff Cobb. Appears for the pilot, gives Carter his job, and is never heard from again.
    • Averted in a very literal way in Worst Case Scenario, where Jo is gassed while attempting to capture an escaped guinea pig in the Aggression Lab. The guinea is shown being rescued along with Jo, and then happily wiggling in a nurse's hand at the infirmary.
  • Women in Refrigerators: We meet Kim in episode 3 of season one; we don't see her again until she gets Killed Off for Real in the season finale, sending Henry off the deep end for the entirety of season two.
  • Wrote the Book: Allison literally wrote the book on space medicine... or at least her alternate-universe counterpart did, which is almost as good. (She apparently did all the same research, she just never got around to publishing her thesis.)

Episode-specific tropes Edit

  • Actor Allusion: Two in "The Ex-Files". An obvious one is when Dr. Grant, played by James Callis, claims that he's hallucinating "a leggy blond in a slinky, red dress"; a nod to his role as Dr. Gaius Baltar in the remake of Battlestar Galactica who really was followed around by such a hallucination. A subtler one occurs when Carter calls his hallucination of Nathan Stark "undead" leading it to reply "Nope, not a vampire". Ed Quinn appeared as a vampire on True Blood for a few episodes after leaving the show.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: "H.O.U.S.E. Rules".
    • Averted with Sheriff Andy, Carter's robot replacement. He's not evil (but characters think this is what Carter is thinking when he is initially skeptical of him), not hostile to his predecessor (or anyone for that matter), not incompetent (though too stuck on the rules to do Carter's job right), and performs a Heroic Sacrifice without dying (but the audience is faked out about it for a few seconds).
    • Martha, initially, but she gets better.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: In "Liftoff", Fargo and Zane are stuck in space in a capsule which only has emergency life support. Then they need to use their oxygen tank as an ersatz rocket to avoid a collision with the International Space Station, so they have even less time than the "emergency" amount...
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Carter interrupts an experiment, beats up a scientist, and messes up the experiment a little. the experiment in question involves time travel, so it's Serious Business.

 Carter: Oh crap.

Grant: That's right, and now I lost my hat!

Carter: Your hat?!

  • Art Shift: The 2011 Christmas special is one long series of art shifts, thanks to a interactive storybook and a massive photon generator.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The final season has a four-year timeskip, during which SARAH has taken over GD, Andy and Martha have been mass-produced as a police force, and people can get tazed for talking back to the authorities. They manage to fix things, but this turns out to be an illusion created by Beverly to trick the Astraeus into working for the Consortium without realizing it.
  • Bottle Episode: "H.O.U.S.E. Rules" and "A Night In Global Dynamics."
  • Cast From Hit Points: In 'Liftoff', how do you move your spacecraft without any propulsion? Vent the oxygen!
  • Christmas Episode: "O Little Town", which aired between the two halves of season 4, involves the town shrinking, a flying sleigh with holographic reindeer, and a scientist who is heavily implied to be the real Santa. Though, given its Framing Device, Carter is almost certainly making some of it up.
  • Color Wash: Like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the forties episode is sepia-toned.
  • Credits Gag: The first episode of season four has a sepia tone and forties style music.
  • Crowd Song: Henry organizes one as a romantic gesture in "Stoned" on Fargo's advice.
  • Clip Show: "You Don't Know Jack," although it mostly wasn't clips.
    • Brilliantly Played With/Subverted in "This one time at space camp..." It looks like it's going to be one of these, since they have a memory retrieval device, but it's only used in the B plot to flesh out the back-stories of Fargo, Zane, and Lupo, by looking at their childhoods. For the A plot, almost no old footage is shown, they mostly talk about, and do things related to past events, because thanks to an accident with aforementioned device Jack's memories are overriding their Relationship Supervisor's personality.

 That's it?

What were you expecting, the Spanish inquisition?

  • "Close Enough" Timeline: Apparently the removal of one of Eureka's founders causes such oddities as a break up no longer occurring, one person no longer being autistic (this one is even lampshaded how strange this is when no one knows the cause in the first place, let alone how it is prevented), and the head of Global Dynamics is now someone who has almost destroyed the townon a number of occasions (and manages to do so again by virtue of his own ignorance of the experiments he was running in the new timeline, which required close supervision).
  • Closer Than They Appear: "One Giant Leap" has a closer-than-it-appears shot of a black hole in Carter's jeep's rear view mirror.
  • Cloning Blues: Stark being replicated by nanobots, as in Jo's words, "A whole lot of Starks!".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The behavior-altering music in "Reprise" varies between this, harmless fun, and genuine drama.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: See Unwanted Rescue, below.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: When Grant goes back in time in the mid-season finale, he takes the opportunity to buy some stock to invoke this trope. 63 years later, he's "rolling in it."
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Hand waved away and used at the same time. When time traveling to 1947 it is said that Eureka was always "progressive" (hence why no one notes the varied races of the cast), but when a character is brought back with them, he thinks Smoking Is Cool (as long as you don't have asthma).
    • Also subverted by Henry, who points out that progressive or not, no one looks twice at a Black mechanic.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Everyone in "The Ex-Files" are having hallucinations related to their various unresolved issues. Jo, finally having had enough of the past version of Zane haunting her, tells her hallucination that they never worked as a couple and gives back the engagement ring he gave her... only to realize too late that this is the real Zane she's confessed to. He's rather surprised she has his grandmother's ring.
  • Diesel Punk: "Founders' Day", at least a little.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Jo's in a very sexy Little Black Dress. Fargo hasn't noticed that the entire audience for Thatcher's Nobel has disappeared due to technical difficulties.
  • Do Androids Dream?: "Right as Raynes"
  • Double Meaning Title: "Crossing Over"
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Jo gleefully assumes this role in "Up in the Air".
  • Earthquake Machine: Zane designed a resonance device like the one Nikola Tesla claimed to have built. It was used by the bad guys to steal the below-mentioned EMP gun.
  • EMP: GD builds a uni-directional EMP gun in "The Ex-Files", for use in a Totally-Not-A-Kill Sat.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Frequently. "Once in a Lifetime" and "I Do Over" are probably the best examples.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: "Purple Haze"
  • Extended Disarming: Non-weapon variant during the Horrible Camping Trip in "Momstrosity", when Jack insists on a good old-fashioned no-technology camping trip. Put any devices you're carrying in the box, Fargo.
  • Framing Device: "O Little Town" is framed as a story Carter is telling a bunch of kids, which might explain some of its more outlandish twists.
  • Freak Lab Accident
  • Freaky Friday Flip: "Your Face Or Mine" (Jo and Julia) and "Jack of All Trades" (Jack is a focal point for several flips).
  • Geeky Turn On: Fargo has this reaction to Holly frequently.
  • Get Back to the Future: The plot of "Founder's Day".
  • Groundhog Day Loop: "I Do Over".
  • Hallucinations: "The Ex-Files".
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The relationship auditor in Clash of the Titans is Vizzini.
  • Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action: SARAH x Andy (Carter's house and robot deputy sheriff) and (in one interpretation) Tiny x Emo (massive Spider Tank space probe and toy robot) in "Momstrosity." (In the other interpretation, Tiny sees Emo as her son, putting that entire plot smack in Mama Bear territory, which fits better with the episode title.)
  • Idiot Ball: Allison grabs this hard in "The Story of O2". In a move worthy of Cracked, she uses an experimental compound designed to terraform Mars to enhance her son Kevin's rocket fuel so he'll win a race. No points for guessing what happens.
  • Indy Escape: The season 4 Christmas special features Carter running away from a gigantic Christmas ornament.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Happens to almost the entire town in the episode Purple Haze
  • Kick the Dog: Played straight in "One Giant Leap", then pulled back. When the Astraeus mission is finally about to begin, Fargo taunts Dr. Parrish about how much it must suck to be left out of being the first humans on Titan. In a surprisingly humanizing moment for the otherwise mustache-twisting character, we get this:

 Fargo: Too late for you, Parrish! Must be tough, not being a pioneer!

Parrish: ...you have no idea.

 Fargo: Hey, Isaac... You are part of the mission. Your stasis gel makes all the difference.

Parrish: Thanks, Doug. Try not to die up there.

  • Land Mine Goes Click: "Crossing Over". Twice.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Locked in a Room: Larry and Fargo in "If You Build It..."; Zane and Fargo in "Liftoff".
  • Love Is in the Air: "Maneater"
  • Magical Defibrillator: Allison uses one in "Founder's Day".
  • Mandatory Motherhood: Your wife doesn't want kids? Just clone a new wife who will be more compliant! The man responsible received an appropriate comeuppance.
  • Meaningful Name: Sheriff "Andy" - Short for "Android."
  • Mental Time Travel
  • Naked People Are Funny: Fargo in "Founders' Day." Carter in "Noche de Sueños".
  • Nanomachines
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Kevin's autism is the result of a mysterious supernatural force never quite explained.
  • 90% of Your Brain: Dodged, sort of -- it's the usual "at one time" caveat.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Jack of All Trades", Allison gets mad at Jack for not telling Jo that he and Zane swapped bodies (the recent Lotus Eater Machine incident having portrayed Jack and Jo as married is something she has yet to get over). When Allison gets swapped with Jack, she proceeds to talk to an (again) ignorant Jo as if she's Carter. Jo calls her on it when she figures it out.
  • Not Using the Zed Word: Averted in "All the Rage". Applied Phlebotinum gives the staff of Global Dynamics a familiar Hate Plague. Carter muses, "it's like a Romero movie out there," and later gets the mob's focus by shouting "Attention...[searches for a word] zombies!"
  • Not What It Looks Like: Inverted when someone walks in on Carter putting on forties clothes in season four. He's in there with Allison. The woman who walked in asks what they're doing, and he says "inventory" with air quotes. She buys it. "You and half the base. Save it for the dance."
  • Ontological Inertia: Adam Barlowe, father of Beverly Barlowe, was saved by Allison in the past after his heart stopped by shocking him with jumper cables. Dr. Grant steals the cables so Adam will die in order to prevent a future tragedy, but Allison just finds an alternate means to save him.
  • Percussive Maintenance: How Professor Thatcher fixes his MAD device after it refuses to shut down.
    • Also how Stark, at Carter's urging, fixes the tumbler's navigation system. "Smack it!"
  • Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: "E = MC...?"
  • Red Shirt: In H.O.U.S.E., the bottle episode, the guy who gets vaporized once things go bad is wearing a red shirt.
  • Reverse Polarity: Lampshaded in Worst Case Scenario, where Jo flips a switch labeled "Reverse Polarity" when shutting down an unstable reactor.
  • Revival Loophole: Used to rescue Fargo in "Try, Try, Again".
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside An Enigma: When the characters are trying to shut down an extremely powerful Death Ray Doomsday Device in the episode "Dr. Nobel," Henry calls the weapon "a riddle inside an enigma wrapped in ten inches of titanium alloy."
  • Robo Cam: Martha has it in "Bad To The Drone".
  • Rubber Band History: The season 1 finale.
  • Science Fair: And in Eureka, this is Serious Business.
  • Screwed by the Network: Sy Fy ordered season six and there were rumors it'd be the last season. Then they said the cancellation rumors were false and they looked forward to more. Then they took back season six and cancelled the show for real. Luckily, they then ordered an extra episode of season five to wrap the series up.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Zoe gets a car out of the Science Fair; she'd much rather have it than the first-place prize of a GD internship. Perhaps this was even intended since given her exposure to GD - especially major figures like Henry, Allison, and her dad - there's no real need for her to intern at GD. She likely could get a job outright simply by asking.
  • Send in the Clones: "Primal".
  • Sexy Silhouette: Jo in the shower. EMO opens the door.
  • Sherlock Scan: Deputy Andy figures out the entire Carter-travelled-to-1947-and-returned-to-an-Alternate-Universe plot after looking at him and fielding a handful of totally innocuous questions.
  • Shout-Out: A big one in the episode "Glimpse" in the fourth season. Stan Lee has a cameo as a scientist, and his research Involves Gamma Radiation, and he makes direct references to the Hulk, including an image behind him of the X-ray from the opening sequence of the Bill Bixby series.
    • One for Quantum Leap in episode 5.05 "Jack of All Trades." Carter has begun swapping bodies with various persons who were on the Atraeus. Shortly after "leaping" into Zane, he says "Oh, boy!"
    • A hilarious one to "Blazing Saddles" in episode 5.06 as Deputy Andy uses a built in cable to save Carter.

 Deputy Andy: Excuse me while I whip this out.

  • Simpleminded Wisdom: Sheriff Carter is usually the source of the blatantly obvious that the brilliant scientists all miss. And near everyone continues to talk to him like an idiot simply because he has to ask about the science behind super secret government research decades ahead of the rest of the world.
  • Single-Issue Psychology
  • Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Fargo seems to find a new one of these once every few episodes. Often they're the first victim of the disaster of the week.
  • Sleep Cute: In the fifth episode of the first season, Carter and Allison fall asleep on his bed. It was nothing, Zoe!
  • Smooch of Victory: Played With in "Clash of the Titans", while Fargo and Holly are in spacesuits:

 (Clunk!)...

Holly: "Up top!" (she and Fargo high five)

  • Someone Has to Die: Season three episode "I Do Over": It was Stark
    • Not to mention Kim in "Once in a Lifetime" to save the timeline. And Kim again, or at least Kim 2.0, in "Shower the People" to save the residents of Eureka from a bio-computer virus. Both times the resident Woobie Henry couldn't stop it.
  • Sorry, Ociffer...: Zane does this in "The Story of O2" after crashing a flying scooter thing. He's not actually drunk -- he's accidentally high on oxygen.
  • Spider Tank: "Tiny". Lampshaded by Carter in "Momstrocity".

 Carter: Come on, you Titan rover with the unnecessarily creepy design!

  • Stealth Pun / Take That: "Have An Ice Day" reveals that a pneumatic tube in the sheriff's office is hidden behind a photograph of George W. Bush.
  • Stepford Smiler: As of the season 5 premiere, Andy has become a bona fide Type C Smiler. *shudder*
  • Stereo Fibbing: Carter and Allison in "I'll Be Seeing You", right after They Do.
  • Super Serum: "MPH" makes its user a Fragile Speedster/Big Eater.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "Welcome Back, Carter", Allison uses one to feed Carter classified information he's not supposed to have.
  • Taken for Granite: In the aptly titled "Stoned". Also terrifying since in this case, they're still alive while it's happening rather than it happening instantly.
  • Taking the Bullet: Jo does this for Carter in "Reprise". Thanks to Time Stands Still and Brainwashed and Crazy wackiness, she also happens to be the one that shot him in the first place. Thanks to Carter and the bullet being frozen in time, she has ample time to get a vest to block the bullet before taking it.
  • 90% of Your Brain: "Invincible"
  • Theme Naming: In one episode, we meet Fargo's counterpart at Area 51, named Bismarck. His grandfather is named Pierre.
  • This Is Sparta: If "This! Is! Eureka!" does not reference 300, I don't know what does.
  • Time Crash: The Disaster Of The Week in "Crossing Over". 2010, meet 1947.
    • As in, objects from 1947 are getting randomly zapped into 2010, and if they don't solve the problem, the past and the present will overlap completely, destroying time as the cast knows it.
  • Time Travelers Are Spies: This assumption makes the cast's life a lot more difficult in "Founder's Day".
  • The Time Traveller's Dilemma: In season 4 episode 2, the main cast have a talk about what it means for them being in the new timeline and Henry warns them of the dangers if they were to tell everyone about what happened. Alison mentions that, like previous crazy situations, there is actually a protocol for it.
    • And of course Henry folds like a house of cards the moment any pressure is put on him to divulge the secret.
      • This doubles as a Writer on Board, considering Henry has been keeping his original shenanigans from "Once in a Lifetime" under wraps for several seasons now.
      • Plus, he was hooked up to a memory-reading machine at the time...
  • Title Drop: Taken Up to Eleven by doing a title sequence drop in Episode 14 of Season 4, where the floating buildings part of the title opener, which has been part of the show since episode 2, is copied including the music as a result of an anti-gravity field.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Really, Fargo? You live and work in the Town Of Mad Science, and your first impulse on finding a strange machine is to turn it on? By inserting and turning two keys simultaneously? Really?
  • Totally Radical: Dr. Grant. Because he's a time traveler.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: Used on Jack in the pilot and, inadvertently, on Vincent, both times fired by Taggart.
  • The Triple: Dr. Boyle listing his grandmother's missing heirlooms in "Up in the Air":

 Boyle: Grandma's gold wedding band... pearls... her antimatter...

Carter: Antimatter?

  • Undead Tax Exemption: Averted. Part of Fargo's efforts to set the time-displaced Trevor Grant up as Eureka historian include tax records... in which he has mistakenly listed 11 dependents to a single man. Needless to say, the IRS starts investigating. This turns out to be a smokescreen, and it's actually Beverly who's been investigating him.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Carter is this, and often the Only Sane Man as well.
  • Un Paused: Fargo in the season 1 finale. Beverly snaps him out of hypnosis, and he finishes his sentence about how he couldn't possibly be hypnotized.
  • Unwanted Rescue: At the end of season two, Carter, Stark, and Taggart work their way through to the morgue to stop a deadly flesh eating bacterium. When they get to the morgue they find a lot of staff members hiding from the plague, which they just unleashed into the morgue! Then it turns out that the morgue is where the plague started, which turns it into Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like. Then it turns out the plague was a hoax. Then they have to escape the building, which is on hardcore defense mode.
  • Victim Falls For Rapist: Of the Mind Rape variety. SARAH adds an emotional attachment subroutine to Deputy Andy's programming, without permission, so he'll reciprocate her feelings. After a short stint of him trying to woo Jo, SARAH eventually admits to what she's done. Andy thinks it's the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for him, and even asks to keep the program after it's spread to (and been wiped from) every other AI in town. Which leads to his walk of shame in the morning, complete with a very astonished and disturbed Jo and Carter.
  • The Watson: Carter usually solves the problems, but he's the Watson when it comes to the town's science or history.
  • Weirdness Censor: Zig-zagged; the whole town is in on their secret so the weird stuff that happens are just industrial accidents to them but there must be dozens of smokescreens in place in order to prevent anyone outside the town from finding out about the bigger stuff that might leak out.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Carter counters Jo's assertion that Holly's data-ghost is Just a Machine.

  Carter: Jo, I live in a robot house and have a robot deputy, maybe we should find what this Holly thing is before we dismiss it!

  • Write Back to the Future: Carter uses this to save Allison's life in "I'll Be Seeing You".
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: "Founder's Day" somehow has an 11-year solar flare cycle which is at its peak in both 1947 and 2010; "I'll Be Seeing You" implies that it probably also peaked in 1939.
    • With a peak in 2010 and in 1947 a 10.5 years cycle would be accurate. But when explaning this to someone you'd just round off and say eleven years.
    • 11 years" is common approximation, but the length of cycles is actually variable to a point. However, while there was actually a solar maximum in May 1947, there was not one in 2010 (the maximum of the current cycle is expected in 2013, and so far it looks like a weak cycle overall). And the maximum before 1947 was in 1937, not 1939.
  • You Are With Me: The third-season episode "I Do Over" does this to great effect.
  • You Just Told Me: The 4th season episode "A New World" has Deputy Andy using this on Sheriff Carter to get him to admit that he and the others did in fact go back in time and are now living in an alternate (to them) timeline. Andy already had figured it out conclusively, he was just making sure. Carter makes fun of this at the end of the episode.
  • You Must Be Cold: Parodied when Carter and Allison walk into the freezing cold cafe and he ostentatiously gives her his coat. Well, his vest. His orange traffic vest. Which offers no protection. Allison is not impressed.
    • He was actually doing it as payback for a joke she made about the vest earlier. This was just an excuse to have her wear it.
  • Your Mom: Dr. Grant gets a good one on Carter in "Momstrocity" without even skipping a beat.

 Carter: Well if you were talking about my mom, I'd run off into the woods too.

Grant: I'll be sure not to talk about it then.