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Resident Evil (known in Japan as Biohazard) is a Survival Horror and science fiction video game series. It has since branched off to become a media franchise consisting of comic books, novelizations, five films, and a variety of collectibles (including action figures, strategy guides and publications.) Developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami, the series has sold 34.5 million games as of February 27, 2008.

The premise of the original Resident Evil was that the Umbrella Corporation was conducting sinister experiments in a mansion outside of the "Midwestern" town of Raccoon City, and a team of SWAT-like police called the Special Tactics and Rescue Service, or STARS, stumbles onto it in an investigation of several cannibalistic murders. Further games expanded on this premise, and it has since become one of the most successful action-horror games series of all time in addition to coining the term Survival Horror. The movie franchise, starring Milla Jovovich, is also moderately successful and has spawned four movies (so far).

Most recently, the Resident Evil game franchise released a CGI movie called Resident Evil: Degeneration. Unlike the live-action films, this is set in the video game canon, taking place one year after RE4. The seventh installment of the game's main series was released February 7, 2012.

Works in this series include:


The live-action film series includes the following films:

There are also two CGI movie spin-offs:


And now also a Trading Card Game!

The new Character Sheet is here. Feel welcome to help.


This series is the Trope Namer for: Edit

Tropes used in Resident Evil include:


Note: Each game in the series now has its own page, as do the films. If a trope or an example of one only applies to one game in the series, or only to the films, put it on that page.

  • Abnormal Ammo: Gas, acid, and freeze rounds for grenade launchers.
  • Action Commands: Becoming quite popular after RE4 and Umbrella Chronicles. Especially in Press X to Not Die form.
  • Action Girl: All the playable female characters, not including Ashley and Sherry.
  • Actionized Sequel: The clearest example is the fourth game, but even the second game had more of an emphasis on fighting than the first. The original gave you very little ammo, so you could only really use it when you had to. The second game, on the other hand, gives you a whole lot more, to the point you could probably kill everything in the game and still have ammo left over.
  • Alliterative Name: Barry Burton, Alfred, Alexia, and Alexander Ashford.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of supplemental info can be gleaned from the manuals, novels, and other associated media.
  • Always Night: For all the early games, which last through the night and end at dawn. Finally averted in 4 and 5, which both start in the day time. The sun going down is a signal that things are about to get worse.
    • Actually averted in Resident Evil 3 Nemesis. It starts during the daylight hours; you just can't tell because of the camera angle and the fact that half the city is on fire, so the sky is filled with smoke.
    • During Claire's final part in Code Veronica, when she battles the Nosferatu, it's dawn or very early morning. During Chris's game, it's mid morning, and when he rescues Claire, it's high noon.
      • Which is tricky considering they're in Antarctica, below the Antarctic circle. A region which alternates days/nights of six months each.
        • More specifically, Antarctica in December, which should be bright out and roughly 15-25 degrees F. Instead, it's apparently cold enough to freeze a room full of water in a few hours.
  • America Saves the Day: Lampshaded in RE4 and RE5. And still played straight.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: A staple in the series.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A staple in the series since the 1996 original.
  • Anyone Can Die: In a shower of shocking gore. If they are really lucky, they'll stay dead, because if not...
  • Apocalyptic Log: A way of saving the games, and way too many logs left by the various researchers and doomed citizens in the games.

 "4 -- Itchy. Tasty."

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: A good number of the series antagonists come from Aristocratic backgrounds, such as Ozwell E. Spencer, the Ashford family, James Marcus, and Ramon Salazar.
  • Artifact Title: The name "Resident Evil" is a reference to the evil residing in the mansion in the first game. Since none of the other games take place in said mansion...
  • Artistic License Physics: Conservation of mass? What's that?
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Some animals are zombified by the T-Virus, but others just get really big. Examples include spiders, centipedes, scorpions, sharks, and crocodiles.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Quite a few weapons.
  • Back From the Dead: Wesker and plenty of monsters have this quality.
  • Badass: Most of the cast, and in different types.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A few bonus outfits.
  • Battle Couple: With the fact that almost every partnership in the game is male-female, there are cases where it isn't hard to stretch it into this.
  • Be My Valentine: Jill.
  • Beware the Superman: The later installments of the series tend to boil down to Badass Normals with Charles Atlas Superpowers vs. parasite-empowered superhumans.
  • Big Bad: At first the Umbrella Corporation, but Wesker seems to have emerged over the last several games as the series' main antagonist and puppet master.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Some of the smaller ones are bigger than Jill's ass, and they grow in size from there, to the point where one game has a spider so large it could crush a tank.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Bilingual Bonus: In RE4 and 5.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: The first game featured an awful lot of English typos, grammatical errors, and just plain goofy phrases that slipped through the QA net (including, not least of all, "Welcome back to the world of survival horror"). It did get better in subsequent games as the sequels got better budgets. The irony, of course, is that not one of the games ever had a Japanese language version in the first place. Even in Japan, the vocals are all done in English with Japanese subtitles.
  • Blondes Are Evil / Blond Guys Are Evil: Pretty much every blonde character except Ashley, Leon, and Sherry is a villain. In fact, if RE5 is to be believed, turning evil literally turns you blonde. Did someone at Capcom have a blonde ex-girlfriend?
  • Body Horror: And how!
  • Bold Inflation:
    • "What IS this?"
    • "Wooah! This hall is dangerous".
    • "It's a weapon. It's really powerful, especially against living things."
    • "Just... take - a - look - at - this! It's Forest. Oh my COD."
    • "DON'T - OPEN - THAT - DOOR!!"
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Hunters and Lickers in the first few games, chainsaw wielders in 4 and 5. RE5 has the Licker Betas. Super long reach, essentially one hit kills, very fast draining of health.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Red Queen, a computer system from the movies, appears in The Umbrella Chronicles.
    • Not only that, but if you look closely, you'll notice Alice's rejuvenation chamber during the extra mission.
    • The laser trap room right before Saddler's weird little throne room in RE4 was definitely lifted from the first RE movie.
    • Umbrella Chronicles also has the first movie's laser hallway. No, seriously, it's the laser hallway from the movie.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Somewhat averted by Resident Evil 4. Revelations averted it further by returning more to the survival horror roots of the series, whilst still retaining gameplay akin to that of 4 and 5.
  • Captain Obvious: Barry Burton, Ingrid Hunnigan.
  • Caramelldansen Vid: Behold!
  • Casanova: Leon, Luis, and Carlos.
  • Cash Cow Franchise
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Back in the day, Chris Redfield just wasn't as good as Jill Valentine. Oh, he had higher stamina, sure, but he couldn't carry as much, and he didn't get access to the grenade launcher like Jill did. He fared a little better in Code: Veronica, on account of getting some cooler toys to play with and a possible ten inventory slots, but still got the crap knocked out of him by Wesker in the end. As of Resident Evil 5, he can knock enemies through closed doors with a right hook and is fully capable of killing a man by punching him in the ass.
  • The Chew Toy: To quote President Evil's RE plot analysis FAQ, "someone on the development team hated Brad's guts."
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Chris is this to his sister. Thanks to his training, Claire survived Raccoon City, Rockfort Island, and Harvardille.
    • Jill Valentine counts as "Chekhov's Gunwoman". She was infected with the T-virus in Resident Evil 3, but was cured thanks to Carlos Oliveira synthesizing a cure. Following her tackling Wesker through a window, Wesker discovers the T-virus antibodies in her bloodstream, which he would later use to further his experiments with Uroborous.
  • Chinese Girl: Ada Wong and Fong Ling.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: This happens a lot in the series. Birkin from RE2, Nemesis in RE3, Tyrant Morpheus in Dead Aim, Alexia in Code: Veronica, Saddler in RE4, and Wesker in RE5 all transform into giant monsters that are noticeably slower, dumber, and less effective than their superhuman normal forms.
  • Cloning Blues: Wesker, in a manner of speaking. Also Alice in the third film.
  • Clown Car Grave: Zombies will sometimes respawn in areas where there is no place for them to have come from.
  • Combat Tentacles: Loads of bosses, but Villager and Soldier Ganados take the cake; their Plagas often manifests itself as a tentacled brain with a huge scythe tentacle. Nemesis also had tentacles, but he only used them as a finishing move until his coat gets burned off, then he used them all the time.
    • Uroboros monsters are nothing but combat tentacles.
  • Continuity Snarl: Capcom's attempts to set at least four different games during the Fall of Raccoon City leads to a lot of continuity errors about the shared locations. Specifically the Raccoon Police Department, which players visit in 2, 3, and File #2 with critical differences each time.
    • The Chronicles games are rather bad about this, adding new events and filling in holes in the established canon (most notably between Code Veronica and RE4), while at the same time also contradicting quite a bit of it. Really, figuring out the true continuity of Resident Evil is only slightly easier than Zelda. For example, to date, the canon ending to the original still hasn't actually appeared in any of the games.
    • Capcom fully acknowledged this with Operation Raccoon City, as the player can come across the likes of Leon S. Kennedy and kill him. They've simply said that the game's using Rule of Cool in regards to things like that, and that it's up to the player to decide if they want to play a canon game & leave the timeline intact, or run around screwing up the timeline of the series by killing all of the Raccoon City survivors.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Chris, Claire, Leon, and Sheva fall under this according to novels and guidebooks, with Jill also possibly qualifying (we don't know what happened to her dad). This, of course, leaves them free to go save the world. No indications are given of Ada's parentage, but judging by her choice in occupation, they're likely either estranged or dead. In fact, the only characters in the entire series with at least one confirmed parent are Ashley, Steve, Sherry, and the multiple generations of Ashfords (Capcom felt the need to give them an entire family tree).
  • Cool Hat: Jill likes berets. She switches them for a baseball cap.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The entire executive board for the Umbrella Corporation, particularly Ozwell Spencer. Albert Wesker later qualifies.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: 4 and 5 change the buttons each time you do a Quick Time Event to keep you from memorizing the buttons.
    • In RE5, this is part of the dynamic difficulty system. The button combinations become more complicated as the difficulty rises.
  • Dark Action Girl: Ada Wong, and Jill Valentine during most of RE5.
  • Dating Catwoman: Ada Wong and Leon.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Sure, B.O.W. (bio-organic weapon) combines Fun with Acronyms and Not Using the Z Word, but apparently no one at Capcom realized that all bioweapons are organic -- at least until Umbrella starts weaponizing Vulcans.
  • Digital Distribution: The mobile phone games, such as Resident Evil: Confidential Report. For the main series, RE5 is available on Steam.
  • Disposable Pilot: Happens repeatedly throughout the series.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The main healing item in all the games is "green herbs." Which, when mixed together, are resting as a fine powder on a sheet of rolling paper. This is actually a pretty common method of preparing traditional herbal medicine in Eastern cultures (the games were made by the Japanese, after all), but in America, it comes off like someone over at Capcom is a fan of the Grateful Dead.
  • Doing It for the Art: One scene in the Remake has a closeup of Wesker's boot, which shows that the top buckles are not laced up.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: More like Do Not Walk With A Gun. The only game in the series which lets you move and shoot simultaneously is Outbreak File #2 and Dead Aim, and then you move so slowly that it's barely worth the effort.
    • This is finally averted with the two 3DS games. You will be able to aim and fire your guns while on the move. Not only this, you can also reload and switch your weapons on the run instead of standing still while performing said actions and praying that nothing hits you for those few precious seconds.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Helicopter pilots have notoriously low life expectancies in this series. The longest one has lived is two chapters. In particular, someone on Nemesis's design team really had it in for Brad.
  • Easter Egg: Examine Wesker's desk an obscene number of times in RE2 to find a reel of film containing a picture of Rebecca in a basketball outfit.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Sort of. The different types of grenades are more effective against some creatures than others. A Licker in the second game, for instance, can take two point-blank regular grenades to the face and keep coming for you, but one Acid round will do them in. And fire tends to be particularly effective against plants. The fifth game even features Fire, Liquid Nitrogen, and Electrical grenades.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Surprisingly, the RE world's regular T-virus zombie outbreaks are not a threat that may lead to this, as they seem relatively self-contained even with minimum government intervention (the Extinction movie is another story entirely). Also, the plot of at least three of the series' major bad guys (Dr. Marcus in RE0, Saddler in RE4, and Wesker in RE5), although Wesker was the only one who ever came anywhere close to implementing the plan.
    • One of the novels has a scientist who seeks to cause this. He is stopped by Rebecca.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Happens to HUNK a lot. To quote the chopper pilot: "Once again, only you survived, Mr. Death." In Chronicles, he abandons squadmates for his own gain.
  • Evil Brit: It's worth noting that Wesker's evilness increases in direct proportion to his Britishness as the series goes on.
    • Also, the Ashford clan, a whole family of evil Brits, including Code Veronica antagonists Alfred and Alexia Ashford.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Plenty to go around.
  • Face Full of Alien Wingwong: William Birkin and Monica.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Pick a playable character, any character. Chances are they have fingerless gloves.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Sergei Vladimir, Nicholai Ginovaef, and Spectre all worked for the Soviet Government prior to it's collapse.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Lickers, Regenerators, and Iron Maidens are stark naked. And mean.
    • As well as the zombies at the end of any of the first 5 games. They are always tougher and bite harder.
    • Alexia.
    • Most Tyrants, with the exception of pre-mutation Mr. X, Nemesis, the Ivans, and Thanatos.
  • Gaiden Game: Resident Evil: Gaiden. It's right in the title.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Resident Evil 2 was the first game to begin having the heroes' body language reflect their overall health. If they took too much damage, then they would start limping and not move as fast as they normally do. If you were low in health and had to run away from a group of zombies or a huge boss, then you were in for a rough night.
    • At 1/4 health in Resident Evil 5, you go into the "Dying" status and have to have your partner resuscitate you, while at 1/2 health, you're limping and holding in your guts.
    • Particularly powerful attacks can knock you flat on your back in Revelations, rendering you vulnerable and only able to shoot right in front of you with your pistol. You have to hammer Y in order to pick yourself back up.
  • Game Mod: In RE2 and RE3, Game Sharks could be used to swap around playable character models. Try running through the whole game as Tofu or completing 4th Survivor or Extreme Battle modes as Sherry.
    • Play magazine was rather excited about a rumor you could play as Rebecca in RE2, thanks to a glitch with the station gate. Can't be done without a Game Shark. Or PC reskin mods.
    • The PC ports of RE4 and RE5 have also developed quite a large modding community, mostly based on reskins and new models, but also occasionally new missions or Mercenaries stages.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Zombies can't shamble through doors you open if they trigger a scene transition, but are shown in a cutscene to be capable of opening gates with enough effort. Subverted later on when they do infact have a chance of ambushing you from the other side of a transitioning door once you go to open it, and later on with Crimson Heads, which follow you through doors until you manage to kill them. In later games (Outbreak), they do follow you through doors, but require some effort. A player can slow things down by holding the door or barricading it, but it'll open.
    • In Resident Evil 2, there's an exception to this. Opening one particular door in a usually-safe savepoint room results in two zombies moving into the room. Afterward, if you try and open that same door again, Leon or Claire will refuse, saying it's too dangerous out there. And then there's Mr. X, who won't follow you through doors, but does knock down two walls to get to you.
  • Gatling Good: A few of the games let you get your mitts on a huge gatling gun. Resident Evil 4 gives us the Chicago Typewriter, a superpowered tommy gun. With infinite ammo.
  • Ghost Ship: The Starlight from Gaiden, the Spencer Rain from Dead Aim, and the Queen Zenobia from Revelations.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: A staple of the series. The sewer alligator and the mutated worms come to mind.
  • Giant Spider: A staple of the series to invoke fear. The first three used tarantulas, Resident Evil Code Veronica had exotic black widows, Resident Evil 4 gave it a break and had a few normal spiders, and Resident Evil 5, aside from spider-like enemies, had normal (though still big) African spiders. The Video Game Remake of 1 redesigned the boss spider into the Australian funnelweb, the Lost in Nightmares DLC for some reason had spiders bigger than Jill's ass, and the Chronicles games have a lovely mix of giant spiders.
  • Giggling Villain: Many of them.
  • A God Am I: Several villains.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Pretty much every game until 4.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: averted most of the time, until RE5.
  • The Government: pretty much all but confirmed in the later games.
  • Hand Cannon: Many pistols -- and especially the revolvers -- are ridiculously oversized. Heck, in RE4, one of the unlockable weapons is even named "Handcannon". In general, magnums tend to cause more damage than things like grenade launchers or point-blank shotgun blasts.
  • Hate Plague: Las Plagas, which also turns the entire society into Bee People. Why do you think Ashley was kidnapped in the first place?
  • Heart Container: Yellow Herbs in RE4 and the Degeneration mobile game.
  • Hellish Pupils: Wesker's cat eyes are the first sign of his self-imposed infection kicking in.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Done on four separate occasions:
    • In Resident Evil 3 Nemesis, Mikhail sacrifices himself to save Jill and Carlos.
    • In Resident Evil Code Veronica, Steve sacrifices himself for Claire.
    • In Resident Evil 5, Jill sacrifices herself to save Chris. It didn't quite take, because neither she or Wesker died. And Sheva attempts to sacrifice herself to save everyone from Wesker. Chris stopped her because he was thinking of what happened to Jill.
      • If you can trigger the special sequence during the final battle, Sheva holds back from shooting at Wesker because it would hit Chris as well. Chris says do it anyway but Sheva instead takes out her knife and goes to town.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Mutant Steve. You can only 180 turn and run away, and you are bound to take at least one hit unless you're very quick with dodging at the battle's start.
    • Lisa Trevor and It's first phase are also unbeatable.
    • Pretty much every encounter with Nemesis except the final confrontation and one instance where you merely damage it enough to buy some time and flee.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Wesker. He keeps the shades on for a reason.
  • I Call It Vera: The S.T.A.R.S.'s Beretta handgun, christened Samurai Edge. Wesker still has his as of RE5 and MVC3.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Creatures with really big claws, particularly Tyrants, will do this as a finisher. Other notable practitioners are William Birkin, Nemesis, the Garradors, and Saddler.
  • Implacable Man: Most bosses, but Nemesis, Mr. X, Lisa Trevor, and Wesker are the most famous.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Every Umbrella facility has a handy self-destruct device. Also, the government bombs Raccoon City into powder to stop the T-Virus from spreading.
  • Joke Character: Tofu, a sentient brick of tofu who has a knife and wears a combat harness and beret.
    • Actually, his/its name is To-Fu.
  • Jump Scare: Zombies, dogs, and crows crashing through windows. The Nemesis and Mr. X crashing through walls. Zombies reaching through barricades.The player walking through a hallway to find a zombie right in front of them which was previously hidden by the camera angles (Happens quite a few times in REmake).
  • Just Eat Him: Several of the monsters, particularly those of the giant-animal type, will do exactly this as a finisher.
  • Kill It with Fire: Molotov, incendiary grenades, and flamethrowers in each game up to 5.
  • Large Ham: Alfred and WESKER!
    • CHRISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    • MIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE! LEEEWWWIIISSS!
  • Last-Name Basis: Wesker. That may as well just be his driver's license -- "Wesker."
    • Krauser, Salazar, and Saddler also count.
    • A variation in 4: Salazar never uses Leon's first name. He only ever calls him "Mr. Kennedy" or even "Mr. Scott Kennedy".
  • Late to the Party: Nearly all of the protagonists of each installment arrive at their respective settings after the initial viral outbreak. Exceptions include Jill in RE3, Claire and Steve in REC:V, and most of the Outbreak player characters.
  • Light Gun Game: The Gun Survivor and Chronicles games.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And how. A full list can be found here
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Even those human (or formerly human) villains who do go outright One-Winged Angel with mutation will generally have strange claws or Combat Tentacles.
  • Made of Iron: Most of the cast, really, since the most common enemy attack involves zombies chewing through your jugular vein.
    • Many of the otherwise-human characters can survive being shot several times with little problem. Jill Valentine took a rocket to the face, and simply shrugged it off.
  • MacGuffin: Chris has two: Leon emails him about Claire's plight in Code: Veronica, and he receives a big one regarding Jill in Resident Evil 5.
  • Mad Scientist: William and Annette Birkin, Albert Wesker, the Ashfords, and James Marcus. The underlings are either extremely wary (they have no choice -- they're usually locked into what facility they're in) or kept in the dark about things.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The series is, at a whole, more or less the platonic ideal of this trope.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The Ivy plant and Plant 42, the latter of which ate several researchers before anyone noticed. Really goes to show just how much Umbrella really cares about its work force.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Wesker from RE4 onwards.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Oh Hell Yes.
  • Mask Power: Standard wear for the Umbrella Security Service, and most memorably worn by HUNK.
  • Master of Unlocking: Trope namer. Typically, the female PC has a set of lockpicks as a special item to explain why she can get into places the male PC can't.
  • Meaningful Name: What kind of animal is famous for spreading, by bite, a disease that makes the afflicted animals become violent and crazy? Raccoons.
  • Mighty Glacier: Several enemies are very slow, but have high durability and damage output to compensate.
  • Mini Game: A staple of the series, usually involving short missions where you guide a character around an area and take out as many BOWs as possible within a time limit.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Though Raccoon City is in the Midwest, the climate and topography don't fit. The novelization moves it to Pennsylvania.
  • Multiple Endings: Most of the games have this in some form, though Outbreak and File #2 take the cake with more than 20 possible endings each.
  • Mysterious Waif: Lucia from Gaiden.
  • Neck Snap: HUNK in The Mercenaries.
    • And Chris in Resident Evil 5.
  • Never Split the Party: In those games where you're either escorting someone or have a partner, it's generally in your best interest to stay close together. Whenever the plot separates you, it's generally so it can throw a really big monster at one character.
  • Nobody Poops: Toilets appear to be very scarce in Raccoon City. An issue of the British publication NGC Magazine handwaved this saying that the citizens of Raccoon had evolved beyond such base needs, as well as lampshading said trope by saying, "And can you blame them? Everytime you nip off for a quick dump there's always a bleedin' zombie in the bath."
    • The guardhouse in the original had several apartments, each with a fully equipped bathroom (again including zombies). Reasonable if the guardhouse is a modern addition.
    • In the Umbrella Chronicles Raccoon's Destruction scenario 2, you wade through a subway and visit several bathrooms. Again, they're full of zombies.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many of the characters bear an uncanny likeness to various celebrities.
    • Ink Suit Actor: Though likely unintentional, Claire Redfield bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Alyson Court, her voice actress. Same deal with Irving.
    • Jill's likeness is that of model/actress Julia Voth.
  • No One Could Survive That: In Leon's B scenario and its Darkside Chronicles recreation, Ada gets slammed against the power generator pretty hard by Mr. X. And it in fact appears that She's dead, Leon. But she's back up to throw a Rocket Launcher to Leon during the battle with his final form. It's better than Leon's A scenario, though, where Ada falls down a Bottomless Pit and still shows up to give Claire the rocket launcher.
  • Not a Zombie
  • Notice This: Oftentimes, your character will look at objects that could need picking up. Or enemies in the room. Anything else sparkles or is a hidden item.
  • Numbered Sequels / Stopped Numbering Sequels: A weird combination. Completely 100% canon games which meaningfully advance the plot are numbered; subtitled games are Gaiden Games or one-offs that haven't received any follow-up. The exceptions to this rule thus far are Code: Veronica and Revelations.
  • Off with His Head: Many clawed creatures and bosses will do this as a finisher, depending on the game. Earlier games tend to feature it, while later installments reserve decapitations for zombies (Code: Veronica, though, didn't even have that). For example, one of Rebecca's possible deaths in the original Resident Evil 1 was to have her head cut off by a Hunter; the REmake version of the scene is instead a Shadow Discretion Shot, and the Hunter just cuts her throat. Both 4 and 5, though, have heads falling off or exploding left, right, and center.
    • Subverted in 5. The chainsaw doesn't cut the protagonist's head off.
  • Ominous Walk: Ganados and Majini will often run towards you until they get within a certain distance and inexplicably start using this trope. Hunters seem to enjoy this as well.
    • Something about the way Wesker walks suggests he was a fan of The Joker.
    • Tyrants love it, too. Though they at least are still suffering from the effects of being cryogenically frozen. Once they shake it off, they turn into a machine.
  • Once an Episode: Just about every final boss has been finished off with a rocket launcher.
    • The whole setting of the story is destroyed by a gigantic explosion, 9 times out of 10 caused by a Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • One-Winged Angel: Pretty much every human Big Bad will turn into a horrible abomination against God. However, they are often reduced to Clipped-Wing Angel in their final form, eg. Birkin and Nemesis.
  • Only Sane Man: Edward Ashford was the only one of the original founders of Umbrella who actually wanted to use the Progenitor Virus for legitimate medical research to benefit humanity. His son and his grandchildren make up for his lack of batshit insanity in spades.
  • Over the Shoulder Murder Shot: An iconic moment of the franchise. In the first game, a zombie (the first one your ever encounter in the game) does this as he's eating Kenneth. Bonus points for being able to later find and watch a video of it from Kenneth's perspective filmed on his camera.
  • Personality Blood Types: Blood types are listed in the intro.
  • Personal Space Invader: Zombies and Ganados alike.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Usually reserved for the final boss of each game.
  • Primal Fear: Darkness, death, monsters, being trapped (with or without something trying to kill you), being eaten alive, being hunted/chased, etc.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Ramon Salazar in 4 is most likely about four feet tall with the proportions of a child, though he claims to be twenty. And is he psychopathic? Oh, yes. For an equally strong example in more frame of mind alone, Code: Veronica has the Ashford Twins, though one of them has an excuse. Their house is full of dolls, music boxes, and more, along with Alfred's fits of immaturity.
    • Lisa Trevor is an alternate version of this; she's in her forties, and is wearing the skin of some of her victims as a shroud, but mentally she's a very young child desperately looking for her mother.
  • Raising the Steaks: Zombie dogs are the most iconic, but there are also zombie bats and crows, for a start. Outbreak File 2 actually had a level taking place at a Zoo, leading to zombie hyenas, lions, and an Elephant.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Author S.D. Perry likes to portray the villains as rapists in the novels, with Irons (which actually fits), Nicholi (nothing suggests he is), and Wesker (only a Epileptic Tree in Resident Evil 5) getting this treatment.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Early games had this in droves, though the most recent examples (Degeneration and Resident Evil 5) have an almost obsessive focus on Gun Safety in the cutscenes. In-game, however, the characters do run with their guns down and safe, until you hold the button which readies them.
  • Renaissance Man: just look at the backstory of any main character from the first game. Especially Wesker.
  • Ret Canon: Until the release of Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, the only time it was ever stated that Umbrella had a computer system called Red Queen was in the Anderson film adaptation.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Revolvers are usually among the strongest weapons in the games.
  • Roar Before Beating: The larger monsters (such as zombie elephants, Gigantes, G-Virus larvae, and other loveable pets) do this. Hunters also shriek before doing their one-hit kill move.
  • Rule of Sexy: Most of the character's outfits, particularly their alternate ones.
  • Running Gag: Valve handles. For whatever reason, Capcom loves to have the player find and use one in every game (twice in Outbreak File #2). It's even mocked in the movies: you can see a valve handle thrown across the frame by an explosion in the trailer for Resident Evil: Afterlife.
    • In the Resident Evil 5 DLC, Chris sees an opening next to a door in Spencer's mansion:
    • Multiple Big Bads throughout the series meet their end via rocket to the face.
    • If a helicopter pilot ever shows up in this series, don't expect them to last much longer than a handful of scenes. At best.
  • Save Game Limits: Typewriter ribbons. Justified Trope as part of the player character's personal Apocalyptic Log. Lampshaded by Jill Valentine's verbal situation report when starting or restoring a game. A sitrep that ends with "I'm still...alive..." in a wondering tone complete with dramatic echo.
  • Say My Name: Pretty much all of the series. "LEON! HELP!" "ADA!" "BIRKIN!" "ALEXIA!" "JILL!" "BARRY!" "CLAIRE!" "SHEVA!" "CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS!" "WESKER!" And so on.
  • Scenery Gorn: A given, since it's survival horror.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Just about every Umbrella laboratory or other important location of biohazard research is subjected to this trope, with the final final boss fight occurring while the detonation countdown is in effect.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In each game, the shotgun is a highly valued weapon because of its high power and spread, which makes it good for both crowd control with the omnipresent zombies, and for knocking down and killing things like Hunters and Lickers.
  • Sigil Spam: The Umbrella Corporation's logo is everywhere.
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration
  • The Social Darwinist: After 15 years of Card Carrying Villainy, they finally throw this in as Wesker's angle with Uroboros in Resident Evil 5.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: If the Resident Evil series featured the original "soup cans" puzzle from The Seventh Guest, it still wouldn't nearly be the most out-of-place puzzle in the series. The usual justification, if any, is that the people who designed these places were insane. Toned down somewhat from RE4 onward as part of the Genre Shift.
    • To give you an idea of how crazy the drinking water is in Raccoon, the RPD's weapons storage is easier to get into than the sewers.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: Moonlight Sonata.
    • The clock tower music box.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Japan-only Capcom RPG Sweet Home, one of the very first Survival Horror games. At one point, a phrase close to "resident evil" is used, which has given rise to the thought that the line inspired Resident Evil's American title.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: 0, 1 and its remake, 2, 3, and Outbreak.
  • Stripperiffic: Most of the female characters' alternate outfits.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels
  • Sunglasses At Night: Wesker always wears sunglasses, even during night missions. Not that this impairs his ability to shoot a zombie dog out of midair with a single bullet. At range. In the middle of the night. Later, he also uses them to hide the effects of his bio-enhancements, which turn his eyes a reddish-golden color.
  • Super Soldier: The various Tyrants, Nemesis, Mr. X, the rest of the T series.
  • Surprisingly Easy Mini Quest: Portions where you're controlling a side or sub character usually fall into this.
  • Survival Horror: Hugely popularized the genre. The first game in the series is actually the first game to coin the very phrase.
  • Tank Controls: The game forces you to turn separately from moving forward and backward. One of the most well-known offenders.
  • Tear Off Your Face: A few enemies throughout the series can do this (for example the novistators from 4 if they kill Leon with an acid-to-the-face attack).
  • Technically Living Zombie: The Ganados and Majini, as well as some of the T-Virus affected monsters, but not the zombies themselves, who are explicitly described as having died.
  • Tentacle Rope: In the remake of the first game and Code: Veronica.
  • Theme Initials: Ada Wong and Albert Wesker. Bit of a stretch, but the Birkins' first names are Annette and William.
  • Timed Mission: Crops up every now and again in the canon games, usually paired with the Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • Transformation Trauma: Most of the many One-Winged Angel mutations.
  • True Companions: There's a bit of Ship Tease found in some of the games, but in general this is the relationship between Chris and Jill. Jill is willing to sacrifice herself to save Chris from Wesker. While Chris is on his next mission, the moment he gets wind she might still be alive, he drops everything else to find her.
  • The Unfought: Albert Wesker is this until RE5. In the first game, he either gets apparently killed by the Tyrant's claw or Barry's gun, but his "corpse" disappears. In all of the subsequent games, he is often mentioned and/or appears, implying he's the one setting up the events, but is never fought proper. Chris eventually gets back at him at the end of 5.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played straight in that you usually can't take guns, protective vests etc. from dead bodies, but at least you can usually search bodies for ammo.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Ada at the end of RE4.
  • Updated Rerelease: Resident Evil: Director's Cut, Resident Evil: Director's Cut: Dual Shock Edition Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock Edition, Resident Evil Code: Veronica Complete, the Game Cube remake of Resident Evil, and Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X; Resident Evil 4 Wii. For a while there, it seemed it was Capcom's goal to release every game in the series for every system available.
    • And now there's Resident Evil 4 HD and Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X HD for download on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
  • Video Game Remake: A Gamecube remake of the original in 2002.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Most notably Wesker at the climax of 5.
  • The Virus: Several viruses, but only the T and G viruses and Las Plagas are The Virus in the trope sense.
  • Virus Misnomer: Most viruses, but the T-Virus takes the cake.
  • Was Once a Man: Most of the monsters you kill.
  • Weapon of Choice: You can be almost certain that the final boss is going to be finished off with a rocket launcher shot to the face.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Resident Evil 5, some of Wesker's Motive Rants indicate that Wesker seems to genuinely intend to save the world. His method of doing so? Releasing the Ouroboros virus into the atmosphere.
  • What Happened to Mommy: One of the child test subjects in the remake of the first Resident Evil, as well as William in RE2. This is also Sheva's motivation for joining the BSAA in 5.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rebecca Chambers hasn't been seen since the first game, despite having canonically survived the events and also being the only Spencer Mansion survivor who hasn't played a role in any of the subsequent games (and also despite managing to be the main character in the Resident Evil 0 prequel).
    • Same goes for Barry, Carlos, Billy. Funny enough, thanks to D.I.J.'s diary, we do know what happened to the actual mouse from Code Veronica.
    • Interestingly, the only peripheral character that actually had any development in a subsequent game is Ada, who you're sort of supposed to think died at the end of 2.
    • What happened to the pirate merchant guy?
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?:
    • Raccoon City is stated as being in the Midwest, but the presence of high mountains makes this very unlikely. Fanon places the city in either Colorado or Pennsylvania, the only mountainous states that can be described as being remotely Midwestern, and the latter being where the novelizations placed it.
    • The Spanish-speaking European country in RE4 is never explicitly stated, and Word of God says that this was deliberate. However, the fact that a) it's a Spanish-speaking European country, b) a satellite shot showed the Iberian Peninsula, and c) Luis is from Madrid leaves very few choices as to what country it is.
    • Kijuju, the setting of RE5, is only described as being in Africa. The only hint as to where in Africa it's located is the fact that Sheva is from the BSAA's West African division.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The STARS from the first Resident Evil 1, then the entire RPD after STARS was disbanded in 2/3. BSAA in Resident Evil 5/6. There's STRATCOM in Dead Aim.
  • With This Herring: You often start out with a weak weapon (unless you're Kevin in Outbreak, but he can barely find any ammo). The games at least attempt to justify this:
    • Resident Evil 0 and 1 - You are a cop caught in a situation way over your head.
    • Resident Evil 2 - You blunder into the Zombie Apocalypse without warning.
    • Resident Evil 3 - Jill's off the force and doesn't have access to the guns any more.
    • Code: Veronica - Claire starts the game in prison and Chris loses a bag of weapons into the sea.
    • Resident Evil 4 - We never see what Leon had in the police car, and it's destroyed before he can return. He's also only going to the village to ask some questions about Ashley, and with that in mind, he's actually carrying a lot more gear than he really needs.
    • Revelations - Parker and Jill are only on the Zenobia in order to track down Chris and Jessica, and they have absolutely no idea that the ship is overrun with Ooze and other B.O.Ws.
    • Resident Evil 5 - Excella is setting you up.
    • Resident Evil: Outbreak - most of the characters were just chilling out at a bar when the outbreak got really bad. Kevin and Mark both retain their weapons, as they are a cop and a security guard. The rest have to find handguns dropped in bathroom wastebaskets, beat zombies to death with scrub brushes, or hack and slash with kitchen knives.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Wesker, given the revelation that he was manufactured by Umbrella to be used as a weapon and was manipulated for his entire life by Ozwell Spencer, up to and maybe even after he died.
  • Worst Aid
  • Wrestler in All of Us
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Resident Evil: Code Veronica X, the Updated Rerelease.
  • Your Head Asplode: That's if you make a well-placed headshot on a zombie/Ganado/Majini.
  • "You Would Do the Same For Me, wouldn't you?"
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Obviously.
  • Zombie Gait

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