Band of Brothers (TV series)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
BandOfBrothers300px.jpg
"'I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No... but I served in a company of heroes...'"
Sergeant Mike Ranney

Band of Brothers is a 2001 mini-series, initially aired on HBO in ten, one-hour episodes. It follows the men of Easy Company, 506th regiment of the American 101st Airborne Division. Starting with their training in 1942 to the end of World War II, it follows the same unit through D-Day, the battle of Carentan, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, the discovery of the Concentration Camps, and finally the end of the war. Band of Brothers is almost universally acclaimed for its (often painfully) accurate recreation of war, and for examining the relationships between soldiers in an elite, all-volunteer unit. Just about every part of the series is spot on, and the actors look very much like the men they portray.

Some of the primary characters of the series are Major Dick Winters (Damian Lewis), the unflappable leader, Carwood Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg), who steps in to hold the unit together during the Battle of the Bulge, and Captain Lewis Nixon (Ron Livingston), the sardonic and alcoholic intelligence officer.

Since Band of Brothers is mostly based on historical and personal recollections of these soldiers, almost all of the tropes below are automatically an example of Truth in Television.

A Pacific Front version of this series, called The Pacific premiered in March 2010.

Note: This is about the Miniseries. For the trope, see Band of Brothers.


Tropes used in Band of Brothers (TV series) include:
  • Adaptation Dye Job - The real Winters was blonde. Damian Lewis is a redhead.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees - The series invests a lot of effort in being very very accurate. But there are a few unbelievable but true events omitted or toned down to preserve suspension of disbelief. One is in episode 2, when Buck Compton kills a German by hitting him with a well-timed grenade that explodes on impact. This actually happened - except Compton's grenade hit him in the head. (Prior to WWII, Compton was a star athlete at UCLA, in both baseball and football. As demonstrated in the above mentioned episode, his baseball training came in handy. His marksmanship in throwing grenades (including the one that killed the German) was a large feature in the successful assault on the German 4-gun battery, one of which he took out by himself. - the main battle featured in episode 2 - Compton earned a Silver Star for bravery as a result.)
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted for the most part. Many of the Germans shown are portrayed as sympathetic characters, and the men of Easy Company gain lot of respect for the Germans and treat them nicely after the end of the war. However, the trope is subverted in that some characters believe that it's true. In "Why We Fight", Webster considers an entire German village to be just as guilty of the Holocaust as the Nazis, due to their willful ignorance of a nearby concentration camp. Other characters simply never get over their hatred for the Germans, especially after the discovery of the camp.
  • American Accents - A number of different ones are heard, but the Philly accents of Guarnere and Heffron are memorable. Doc Roe also has a soft and soothing Louisiana Cajun accent to go along with his highly-stressful job. Luz displays his talent for mimicking the officers, including their distinctive accents.
  • Anyone Can Die - Hoo boy, this one gets used a lot. Granted, it's war, and in war anyone can (and does) die, but it's still rather jarring to spend hours getting to know characters only to have them disintegrated by a direct hit from an artillery shell, have a leg blown entirely off while trying to help a squad mate, or finally find the Luger they've spent the entire series hoping to find, only to have it go off shortly after finally getting it and having the bullet hit the femoral artery and have the man bleed to death while being held by his buddies. Highlighted especially in episodes 6 and 7.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking - Somewhat reasonable, in that the few men who manage to survive long enough to become experienced are often pushed into leadership roles. The trope stops after Major Winters though. That may simply be because it's impossible to get more Badass than Major Dick Winters.
    • Au contraire, mon frère... google the military record of Captain Ronald Speirs, a man who apparently was born in full kit with a rifle in his hand.
    • Used by Lt. Speirs, who is said to have shot his own man on D-Day for being drunk in combat. He never says whether he did or not, because it's a surefire way to get people's fear, if not respect, and for them to listen to him.
    • Actually, Speirs DID shoot one of his own men for being drunk. More for refusing to carry out a lawful order, really. The big thing they talked about was Speirs ostensibly passing out cigarettes to a number of German POW's (anywhere from 8-20, depending on who you ask), then shooting them.
      • It's also believed that Speirs did actually shoot the German POW's, though no one knows exactly how many he did kill. The men were all told by their superior officers not to bother taking any prisoners on D-Day, an order Speirs probably would follow.
  • Awesome Yet Practical - The miniseries is grounded in Real Life, yet this does not prevent it from having many awesome moments.
  • Badass - Pretty much everyone, with special mention to Major Winters and Captain Speirs. (And it still applies to the 101st Airborne of today.)
  • Badass Beard: Many of Easy Company grow facial hair in Bastogne. Mostly because it was frickin' cold.
  • Badass Preacher: Father John Maloney, the regimental chaplain, is shown administering last rites to dying soldiers in the middle of a firefight, walking about with no cover while bullets hit the ground around his feet.
  • Band of Brothers: Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 101st Infantry Division.

""I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No… but I served in a company of heroes…'" -- Sergeant Mike Ranney.

    • The actors could count as this as well. Seriously, go search up some interviews and they practically confirm it.
  • Beard of Sorrow - Don Malarkey has quite a scruffy beard, starting right after two of his best friends get killed, and another has a Heroic BSOD in episode 7. It's not until episode 10 that he's shown clean shaven and (seemingly) happier.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Almost all the German in the series is spoken by real German actors, and it's pronounced correctly. Also, in episode 8, Webster tells some German prisoners of war (in German, of course) "be good, and you will get a cookie!"
    • In one of the last episodes, a German with a wounded leg asks an American for some directions. And, while technically correct, the American told him where he had to walk. The German doesn't even respond to the flub, since it's pretty common.
  • Bittersweet Ending - While the majority of Easy Company veterans went on to lead successful and happy lives, it's disheartening when you find out that a number of them have already died due to various causes. Plus, many of the survivors, especially those who experienced Bastogne, still carry the emotional scars in some form.
  • Blood Knight - Speirs, pretty much.
  • Bowdlerise - Mostly averted, with an exception of the F-word and the two short scenes of nudity. Its language, violent combat scenes, and scenes featuring a extremely accurate and horrifying concentration camp and its victims are left completely unedited when it's aired on basic cable in the US, in respect to WWII veterans and those that lived through it.
  • Bullet Dancing - Averted. Winters takes a bullet to the foot from a ricochet.
  • California Doubling - Most of the series was filmed in Hertfordshire, England, with production building a town used to portray Bastogne, Eindhoven, Landsburg and Carentan from scratch in an abandoned airfield. If you watch closely you can see some of the same buildings being used for multiple scenes in different towns. The scenes that took place in Austria and Berchtesgarten, Germany were filmed in Switzerland.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough - Winters and Speirs. Inverted in the first episode with Sobel and Winters.
  • The Cavalry - The Shermans in episode 3. Easy was under heavy attack and Dog and Fox companies had retreated.
    • Played with in episode 6 where the point is made that Easy Company and the 101st Airborne have never agreed with the story that they were "rescued", as Patton said, by the Third Army.
  • Concentration Camp: Easy Co. finds and liberates one. It's not pretty.
  • Contemplate Our Navels - Far less than in most war movies. Only later on, when the war begins to cool down do the men start asking "Why are we here?" Then they find the concentration camp. In Episode 6, Doc Roe spends quite a bit of time doing this.
  • Cunning Linguist - Both David Webster and Joseph Liebgott are cast as the cunning linguist, in this case being translators for Easy Company.
    • Though strangely enough in the eighth episode Webster insists on shouting in English at a German baker. In the next episode he speaks it fluently again. This might've been because he was flying off the handle at the townspeople for claiming no knowledge of the nearby concentration camp.
      • Webster speaking in English was actually on purpose, as the writers felt the scene would have been much less effective with subtitles. In the scene he seems to understand what the man is saying, he just replies to him in English. The shopkeep in question, also, seems to have no trouble understanding what Webster is saying to him.
  • Custom Uniform - The New Meat are desperate to earn the right to wear jump wings.
    • Later, replacement troopers are desperate to earn jump stars.
    • And everyone wants to blouse their trousers (that is, tuck their pants into their jump boots), as it clearly distinguishes the airborne infantry from the regular infantry, whose pants are kept straight. It's so distinctive that when the 101st deployed to England, they were forbidden from blousing for the duration of the trip so that German spies wouldn't know they were airborne if they were seen from a distance.
  • Dawson Casting - Several early-20s characters are played by actors in their early-to-mid 30s (e.g., Bull Randleman, Blithe, Buck Compton, John Martin, Guarnere). Col. Sink, in his late 30s, is played by Dale Dye in his late 50s. Most of the actors are older than their historical counterparts, many of whom turned 20 in 1942.
    • Inverted for Liebgott. Historically, he is supposed to be older than most of the others in Easy Company (he was 32 by the time he was discharged at the end of the war), but he's played by a younger actor.
    • The Dawson Casting even induces a bit of a Tear Jerker because some of the actors were older than the characters they played were when they died.
    • It's also worth pointing out that war does age a person rather strongly.
  • A Day in the Limelight - Each of the 10 episodes focuses on a specific character to some degree. If the episode has narration, it's by the character in the limelight from their Point of View.
    • Although if the series can be said to have a main character, it's Winters, who gets four episodes from his point of view.
  • Dies Wide Open: All the time in every possible form.
  • Did Not Do the Research - While incredibly faithful to the book it's based on, there are a few obvious and not so obvious mistakes, like the exact date of Blithe's death. There are also some smaller, more subtle ones, like the presence of sandbags in Bastogne. The real Winters complained they never had the time or resources to set up such luxuries!
    • The worst one is probably the inclusion of Webster in the prisoner snatch in Hagenau. In reality, he was manning a machine gun on the bank giving covering fire, something the writers knew but ignored anyway because the episode was told in his Point of View.
      • That or the claim that Blythe died in 1948. He recovered after the war and went home. To be fair, the original men of Easy Company didn't know that for many years.
      • The scene where Liebgott gets to search for a German commander. From where it's portrayed, it looks like Liebgott dragged Webster and Sisk under the excuse of "direct orders" in search of a man he was sure was the head of a concentration camp for personal vendetta. After a couple of minutes of shouting, Lieb shoots the man, the guy escapes and orders Webster to shoot him. Web refuses and Sisk kills him. In reality, Liebgott was indeed under direct orders: from Spiers, and he went along with Wayne Sisk, Don Moone, and John C. Lynch, not Webster and Sisk. He interrogated the German after 30 minutes, confirming him to be the target, took him to a secluded area and shot him. Then the German ran up the hill and Lynch ordered Moone to shoot him. Moone refused, and Sisk killed the man with a fatal rifle shot.
      • Speaking of Liebgott, he was portrayed as a Jew in the series. The real Liebgott was actually Catholic, but apparently not all of his comrades were aware of this, perhaps because, hating Nazism, he didn't bother to correct them. This was taken from Webster's journal where he recorded that Liebgott was Jewish.
    • The death of Hoobler wasn't caused by his Luger; in reality, he was climbing over a barb wire fence, and the trigger on his rifle got caught.
    • The situation where Winters shot the young German soldier in "Crossroads" played out very differently in real life. Rather than being unarmed, the German was trying to throw a grenade at him before getting shot. The real Winters also stated that he was never bothered or traumatized from killing that particular soldier.
  • Dissimile - episode "Why We Fight" featured this exchange while the soldiers were patrolling a forest in Bavaria:

Frank Perconte: Hey, George.
George Luz: Yeah?
Frank Perconte: This kind of remind you of Bastogne?
[comedic pause, including bemused look]
George Luz: Yeah... now that you mention it. Except, of course, there's no snow, we got warm grub in our bellies, and the trees aren't fucking exploding from Kraut artillery, but yeah... Frank... other than that, it's a lot like Bastogne.
Frank Perconte: Right?
George Luz: Bull, smack him for me please?
{{[[[Dope Slap]] thump}}]
George Luz: Thank you.

  • Dope Slap: See the previous example.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty - Both used and deconstructed. The nasty and petty Sobel drills his men into excellence... But they soon find out that drilling is all he's good at.
  • Drinking on Duty: Nixon and Welsh. In Welsh's case it's not that visible in the miniseries, but apparently in real life he became rather famous for a) his nearly constant state of cheerful drunkenness b) his incredible luck during his drunken escapades. Not sure whether that makes him The Fool or Drunken Master.
    • Spiers was notorious for executing an NCO in his unit after he got drunk on D-Day.
      • To clarify, the NCO was drunk, against orders.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Overall, at least compared to the very often extremely dark and heartbreaking tone of the rest of the series, the series ends on a happy note with the (surviving) men of Easy Company happily playing baseball before being called over by Major Winters and being told of the surrender of the Japanese, meaning they will all be able to finally go home.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous
  • Ensign Newbie: Lieutenant Jones arrives fresh to the war out of West Point. Many of the soldiers in Easy company treat him with disdain and he is quickly Kicked Upstairs. He does get a few moments showing that he has what it takes to be a good officer, however.
  • Fake American - A number of the American characters are played by British actors. Dick Winters (Damian Lewis) is the most prominent example, and Shane Taylor, who's British, does a nice Louisiana accent as Doc Roe. The series was filmed in England.
  • False-Flag Operation: Attempted in the ambush of the German camp in "Crossroads". One soldier tells one of the Americans that they're Polish. Another quickly debunks his story by revealing the SS pin on his uniform, saying "There ain't no Poles in the SS!"
  • A Father to His Men - Richard Winters. Due to his leadership and exceptional concern for them, the men of Easy Company universally consider him the best commanding officer they ever had. Averted in the case of Herbert Sobel. While the men of Easy Company attribute his harsh training methods to their survival during the war, he had no redeeming qualities and was therefore universally hated.
  • Field Promotion: First Sergeant Lipton, to Second Lieutenant.
    • It's pointed out that it was fortunate he didn't die on his mission the previous night, as he was discharged from the enlisted ranks that day and only commissioned as an officer the following day: had he died, he would have died as a civilian (not really[1], but it was hilarious anyway).
  • Five-Man Band - More like a fifty man band with numerous replacements, but many members of the company will fit into one or several of the traditional roles, usually with several guys at the same time. But, since they're all guys and this is The Forties, The Chick is rather predictably missing. For example, Major Dick Winters can simultaneously be The Hero and The Lancer... For obvious reasons.
  • Freak-Out - "M-m-muh-m-MEEEEEEEEEEEEEDIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!"
  • Friendly Sniper - Darrell C. Powers a.k.a. Shifty, a gentle, mild-mannered young man from Virginia who just happens to be the best shot in the company. Of course he's also very modest about it.

Shifty: Now my Pa, he's such a good shot, he could shoot the wings offa fly, I declare.

  • Good-Looking Privates - Dear God, ALMOST EVERY ACTOR IN THIS SERIES IS GOOD LOOKING.
  • Guns and Gunplay Tropes - Instead of listing them all out, you can basically just check off "averted" under nearly the entire listing. Or Truth in Television, such as in the case of Hoobler's accident.
  • Heroic BSOD - Several cases of shell-shock, ranging from the horrible to the downright gut-wrenching. A good (or bad depending on how you look at it) example is when Blithe, after getting over his shell-shock and deciding to take the lead on a scouting mission, is shot in the neck. He is shown in a hospital, to create hope that he might pull through, only for the Where Are They Now to reveal he died...
    • But the veterans in Band of Brothers had somehow made an error about Blithe. In reality he was shot in the shoulder and lived until 1967. His family informed them of this after the series had been made.
      • Which could be explained that they lost contact with him at the hospital and could never get in touch with him after. Bit justified because PTSD doesnt just disappear once you're off the battlfield.
      • Doc Roe has one momentarily, but snaps out of it...after having to be dragged out of his foxhole, that is.
        • What eventually sends Buck Compton home...but he gets better
          • PTSD or as they called it back then "Combat Exhaustion" will do that to a man.
      • Liebgott gets a pretty epic one when he's ordered to tell the Jewish prisoners to get back into the concentration camp. He handles it pretty well until they start to object, and ends up sitting down and staring off into space, crying. Notably, the real Liebgott has broken off all contact with the other Easy Company men ever since the war.
        • Just prior to the one Liebgott's BSOD, the previously chipper O'Keefe was shown to heavily affected by the concentration camp.
    • Geoge Luz has a minor one after watching an artillery shell land on Muck and Penkala but he snaps out of it pretty quick, as he needs to get to cover.
  • Hospital Hottie - Doc Roe meets a cute nurse helping out in Bastogne (Episode 6). she doesn't survive the final attack on the town.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: this trope appears in such perfect form it almost looks like it was the Trope Namer. In the 4th episode ("Replacements"), Buck Compton plays darts against one of the new guys—Heffron—and loses saying, "It's a good thing we weren't gambling." Heffron suggests they bet on the next game and Buck "reluctantly" agrees. Before Buck takes his shot, he switches to his right hand and wins easily. Heffron has just enough time to realize he's been conned.

George Luz: Lieutenant, are you going to shoot lefty all night?
Joe Toye: Hey, c'mon.
George Luz: I'm just curious cause he's right-handed.
'Buck' Compton: [switches hands] George, what would I do without George Luz?

  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Shifty Powers. The band made sure he got sent home as early as possible because he saved their asses a few times.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier - The Medic Doc Roe actually finds that it does begin to get easier, as he begins to connect with the other soldiers, despite his reluctance to get emotionally attached to them.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet - O'Keefe mutters that it's "awfully quiet" while a handful of soldiers are on patrol in the German woods. Moments later, they stumble across a Nazi concentration camp.
    • This is somewhat Truth in Television; the fires and smell and other outputs of a concentration camp really did drive away the normal birds, insects, and local wildlife, thus making the area suspiciously quiet.
  • "Join the Army," They Said - All the soldiers in Easy were initially infantry recruits, who were offered a raise and a nicer uniform if they simply jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.
    • There's more to it than that: all the original men of Easy (that were at Toccoa, that is) signed up for the airborne for the money, and because they knew that if they didn't enlist, they'd be conscripted and forced into a foxhole with someone who might not be as good at fighting. They joined the elite because they wanted to live.
      • The ironic part is that, as elite soldiers they were sent to do more difficult and dangerous missions than an averange GI Joe would.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite getting a bunch of Easy men killed due to his cowardice, Norman Dyke is never officially punished. Instead he was ultimately Kicked Upstairs to a general's aide.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Sobel in episode 1, Dyke in episode 7 and Jones in episode 8.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero - This isn't a video game, but Captain Speirs certainly showed qualities of one in episode 9
    • Looting was actually very common among all soldiers in WWII. Even the straight-laced Winters gives in to the temptation once in a while. In "Points", pretty much all of Easy Company play this trope straight. (Granted, they're "plundering" the abandoned Nazi Eagle's Nest, so it's not quite as objectionable as it might sound.)
  • Loads and Loads of Characters - It's about an entire company of soldiers, so you better believe there's a lot of characters. Keeping them straight can be made even harder by the fact that there's no one "true" focus character (Winters comes closest but is often out of focus for the middle of the series) and combat grime and helmets make it hard to identify individual characters.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong - "Whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved?" is presented by two different leaders. Winters clearly loves his Easy Company, treats his men well, and as such the soldiers respect him and would do anything for him. Speirs develops a reputation for being such a Badass that the soldiers in Easy fear him, but respect him because he gets the job done. Played with in that Speirs knows all about the chatter going on behind his back:

Speirs: You want to know if they're true or not... the stories about me. Did you ever notice with stories like that, everyone says they heard it from someone who was there. But then when you ask *that* person, they say *they* heard it from someone who was there. It's nothing new, really. I bet if you went back two thousand years, you'd hear a couple of centurions standing around, yakking about how Tertius lopped off the heads of some Carthaginian prisoners.
Lipton: Well, maybe they kept talking about it because they never heard Tertius deny it.
Speirs: Well, maybe that's because Tertius knew there was some value to the men thinking he was the meanest, toughest son of a bitch in the whole Roman Legion.

    • Proved by Captain Sobel who is clearly not loved, but made himself more hated than feared, which Machiavelli warned against.
  • The Medic - Ralph Spina and Eugene "Doc" Roe of course. Doc Roe is nearly broken by the constant exposure to death and suffering, before finding meaning in his role. Episode 6 is for the most part completely dedicated to him and in This Troper's opinion, was quite a Tear Jerker. He was also noted by Bill Guarnere as "the best medic we ever had. He was born to be a medic. He took care of us physically, mentally, every way. He was compassionate." Gene was even nominated for a Silver Star for bravery under fire (and received it after the war was over).
    • According to the book, he also had an almost supernatural quality to him. Despite the miniseries showing him being reluctant or suffering from Combat Exhaustion, in the book, the men of Easy Company consistently explain that when someone was wounded, Doc Roe was there seemingly instantly, working despite miserable conditions and a lack of supplies to save the men who had been injured. Some of the survivors even credit him with why they didn't break, despite the horrors Bastogne inflicted.
  • The Neidermeyer - What the Drill Sergeant Nasty turns out to be. Also, Norman Dike.
    • None of the higher-ups want to let Jones lead the prisoner-snatching raid for fear he might be one of these.
  • Nepotism: Foxhole Norman.
  • New Meat - Multiple shipments of New Meat arrive throughout the war. A few of them stay around. Most of them die quickly. Replacements would usually suffer 100% casualty rates. Undertrained and poorly equipped at times, it is no wonder that no veteran wanted to know a replacement until they survived a battle.
    • There is a variation where Webster, an airborne veteran who has been there since Toccoa, was treated somewhat like New Meat after he had missed Bastogne.
    • Played with O'Keefe who gets assigned during the "Why We Fight" episode. He gets chewed out by Perconte for being a Replacement, but during the discovery of the concentration camp Perconte consoles the overwhelmed rookie.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown - When a drunk and probably insane New Meat from another unit shoots one of The Squad, which is made up of nothing but battle-hardened stone-cold killers. After being captured he's beaten bloody and very nearly executed by Captain Speirs, who lowers his weapon at the last minute. Probably could also be considered a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Speirs.

Ronald Speirs: Where's the weapon?
I Company Replacement:*cough* What weapon?
{{[[[Pistol-Whipping]] CRACK}}]
Ronald Speirs: When you talk to an officer, you say sir.

  • Non-Action Guy - Nixon makes it through the whole war without ever firing his gun.
  • Noodle Incident - We never do find out why Guarnere wasn't with the unit between the events of Replacements and Crossroads. See Offscreen Moment of Awesome below.
  • No One Gets Left Behind - Though they are occasionally forced to leave their buddies dying, whenever possible they would go back for their friends.
    • In Episode 6, Babe Heffron has to leave Private Julian, whom he's been sharing a foxhole with, to die on the German line. He nearly has a breakdown as a result, because he had promised to get his things back to his family and he was sure the Germans would strip him of everything. (Though it wasn't shown in the series, they did manage to retrieve Julian's body and things later, and it took the real Heffron years before he could contact his family because of the guilt he felt for leaving him to die.)
  • Not So Different: After the German surrender, Allied soldiers actually have the opportunity to socialize with their former enemies. Many men of Easy Company found that they had a lot in common with the German soldiers, as they were all essentially young men fighting to defend their country. Some of them even admitted that had they met under different circumstances, they could have been great friends with the Germans they met.
  • Officer and a Gentleman - Dick Winters, to a T.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Battle of The Island, which was left out of the final cut. While the rest of the episode doesn't make it clear, more than two months passed between Arnhem and Bastogne. While Winters was in Paris, Guarnere was in charge of leading his platoon on "The Island" on the Rhine, but they were too spread out, so he used a motorcycle to go between them. A sniper shot him, he crashed and broke his leg, and was sent to the hospital in England, along with Webster. After a few weeks he left the hospital and regrouped with Easy at Mourmelon, where we find him returning seemingly out of nowhere.
    • There are also several battles left out of the series, including one where the artillery attack was even worse than Bastogne. There's also another one between "The Last Patrol" and "Why We Fight" that gets left out, even though it might explain Webster's rant at the surrendering Germans in the latter episode.
  • One-Man Army - Dick Winters. He leads a charge on an entire company of SS, who are so surprised by him they start running away, while he simply stands there firing away.
    • Speirs... Just Speirs. At least twice too: During the assault on the German battery early on (rushing outside of the trench and taking the last gun) and, more memorably, the run through Foy. Also, when Speirs replaces Dike and shoots down Dike's plan of attack, ending his orders with "The rest of you follow me."
  • One Last Smoke: Inverted with Speirs. He gives a bunch of German prisoners one last cigarette before he (supposedly) kills them all. Him giving them cigarettes is shown, but he is not shown killing them. The other soldiers don't seem to care that killed prisoners, but are rattled that he gave them all cigarettes first.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: As many of the actors in Band of Brothers were British, there was a chance for accents to slip. In episode 3, "Carentan", one can hear Rick Warden's (who plays Harry Welsh) natural English accent slip through quite noticeably on several occasions.
    • In episode 5 you can hear Damian Lewis' British pronunciation of "lieutenant."
      • And in episode 2, one can also hear Lewis's natural accent slip through on the word "situation."
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Averted. Tragically.
  • Parachute in a Tree: The men of Easy Company find a dead paratrooper caught in a tree.
  • Perma-Stubble: Justified. Sometimes it's hard to shave when you're fighting Nazis. Everyone has it while they're in Bastogne, except for Winters, who shaves every day despite the freezing cold and occasional wandering German.
  • Plunder - What else do you do when you come across the holiday retreats of Hitler, Goering, and other Nazi leaders?
  • Punch Clock Villain: Many of the men in Easy Company admit that they had a healthy respect for the Germans, and knew that the German soldiers they were facing were just doing their jobs, just like they were. Once the war ends, Easy Company actually bonds very well with the surrendering Germans.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic - If a fictional war movie had an officer trying to link up with a unit on the other side of an enemy held town, by running THROUGH the enemy held town, right past armed enemy soldiers, it'd be criticized for being unrealistic. even more so if the crazy bastard managed to run back without getting shot.
  • Refuge in Audacity: During Speirs' epic run through Foy, the Germans initially do not fire on him and are just as confused as everybody else. Lipton muses that the absurdity of Speirs' run was what made it successful.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: 'Replacements' introduces us to the wide-eyed Pvts. Hashey, Garcia and Miller. The latter, played by a particularly young, baby-faced, innocence-exuding James McAvoy, dies the same episode. The Bull contemplating over his corpse is staged in a manner that's supposed to remind the viewer the of thousands of unexperienced boys ground up in the war.
  • Sad Clown - To some extent, George Luz, especially after episode 7. Even so, he does his best to help keep his friends' spirits up.
  • Scenery Gorn: Any time there's fighting.
  • Scenery Porn: Austria, Bavaria. To show that the war is winding down.
  • Shout-Out/To Shakespeare - The title comes from the Saint Crispin's Day speech in Henry V: "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother". The real Carwood Lipton quotes this in one of the episodes.
    • A speech given by a surrendering German general to his soldiers is reminiscent, mentioning "a bond, that exists only in combat, among brothers". In contrast to the Saint Crispin's Day speech, this is not a Rousing Speech but rather a post-defeat reflection.
      • Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome as even the American soliders look on and feel compassion for people the day before they'd have killed without a second thought.
  • Shot in the Ass: This happens to two characters. Popeye Winn is shot in "Day of Days". Buck Compton is shot in "Replacements" — the infamous one bullet, four holes.

Penkala: Yeah, kind of an Easy Company tradition, getting shot in the ass.

    • Not to mention Perconte in "Breaking Point".
  • Shown Their Work - The only really glaring error (which you would only know about if you went looking for further information), was that Pvt. Blithe actually lived much longer than the postscript to his Day in The Limelight episode states.[2] The series was based upon a book by renowned historian Stephen Ambrose who presumably Did The Research, augmented by the recollections and advice of actual Easy Company members.
  • Sound Off - Easy Company is running up Currahee:

"We pull upon the risers
We fall upon the grass
We never land upon our feet
We always hit our ass
So highdy highdy Christ almighty, who the hell are we?
Zim zam, Goddamn, we're Airborne Infantry!"

    • We also hear part of the Airborne's rather grim variation on the Battle Hymn of the Republic "he ain't gonna jump no more!"
  • Southern-Fried Private - Bull Randleman with his "folksy wisdom".
  • The Squad - Most of the squad is long gone by the end of the war.
  • Squad Nickname - "Easy Company"; although this is in theory their official designation, coming their name from "E Company" spelled in a pre-NATO radio alphabet, the name stuck as their best known moniker.
  • Team Mom - Sergeant Lipton, as he most often is the one looking out for Easy Company. This is lampshaded by Captain Speirs.
  • The Teetotaler: Winters, famously. Everyone is shocked when he accepts an offered bottle on D-Day and takes a swig, grimaces and wryly comments there's a first time for everything. Or something along those lines.
    • Fun fact is that Nixon and Welsh, his two best friends in the company, are also the most notorious drunkards.
  • To Absent Friends - In the closing scene of "The Breaking Point", Lipton narrates while Easy Company is resting in a church. As he starts listing off the casualties they suffered over the course of the Battle of the Bulge, the corresponding soldiers begin to fade away until the church looks far emptier than it did before.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Subverted in in Bastogne it looks like Eugene "Doc" Roe is going to keep Renee's hair smock, but he instead uses it as a bandage.
    • Played straight when Roe gives Malarkey what's left of Muck's rosary after he is killed at Bastogne.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines - Sgt. Bull Randleman. Who makes it out on his own, despite being shot and stabbed. Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • True Companions - This series basically defines the trope.
  • Truth in Television: The show and book both dramatize real events, but they strove to remain as accurate as possible. Only rarely did either make serious errors (most notably with the mis-attributed death of Albert Blithe, who not only didn't die of his wound in Normandy, but continued to serve with distinction through the Korean war and died without retiring, a Master Sergeant).
  • War Is Hell - Partially. Of course, it's sensationalized as well.
    • To clarify, the series is mostly a mix of Crowning Moment of Awesome, and War Is Hell, both sensationalizing soldiers and showing the grim reality of fighting a war. It's not until the ninth part, when the soldiers find the concentration camp, that they, and in turn the viewers, realize/remember exactly what the point of all the death and heroism was.
    • There are elements of the trope War Is Glorious: That we're watching the Depression-era / World War II men on the battlefield at their Badass best as soldiers and men of honor, especially the likes of Winters, Randleman, Lipton, Roe and Speirs. And consider, this is just one company in an army full of guys just like Winters, Randleman, Lipton, Roe and Speirs.
      • However, the series does go to great lengths to point out that for every badass in the army, there are countless other men who weren't so lucky.
  • Wham! Episode - It's about war, so there are wham moments in pretty much every episode, but episodes 6, 7 and 9 are particularly wrenching.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue - Each episode had been topped and tailed by interviews with the survivors. After the final episode, the interviewees returned -- this time with captions telling you who they were. Within the last episode there was also a Sandlot-like epilogue where the characters' later lives are narrated while they play baseball.
  • You Are in Command Now: During D-Day, the plane carrying Easy Company's CO and HQ section is shot down and destroyed, leaving Winters as the highest ranking officer and de facto leader of Easy. Easy's replacement CO is then subsequently shot by friendly fire and is shipped back to the States, leaving Winters the acting CO yet again until he is officially promoted to the position.
  1. He would have died as a First Sergeant
  2. In fact, the reason this was wrong is because Blithe didn't attend any reunions or keep in contact with any war comrades, and so everyone assumed he'd simply died long ago; after the series went to air and the Blithe family issued a correction, many surviving Easy Company men were stunned and felt terrible that they'd never tried to find or contact Blithe again. Dick Winters reportedly took it particularly hard.