Stargate SG-1/M to R

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Tropes A-F | Tropes G-L | Tropes M-R | Tropes S-Z


Stargate SG-1 provides examples of the following tropes:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: At the climax of "Wormhole X-Treme!", Teal'c rescues O'Neill and Martin from Tanner and the three of them return to the studio to retrieve the control that Martin had hidden... which was exactly why Tanner had left them unguarded for Teal'c to save.
  • MacGyvering
    • In the pilot episode, Carter refers to control computers for the Earth Stargate as a MacGyvered device, which was something that actress Amanda Tapping had ad-libed during her audition.
    • When O'Neill, the original, has advanced Ancient knowledge transplanted into his brain he builds many advanced devices out of equipment he finds lying around the base, without even knowing what he is building.
    • When the descended Ancient Orlin crashes at Carter's place, he builds a way to make precious gems and a functioning stargate from household parts and some special order supplies.
  • Magical Defibrillator
    • Averted generally. In almost every usage the patient either heals on their own before the paddles are applied, heals on their own after the paddles have failed, or simply does not heal at all and dies. Only once (in "Prophecy"), does the use of a defibrillator restart somebody's heart after it has stopped.
    • In "Bane", when they needed to keep Teal'c's symbiote alive outside his pouch, O'Neill lampshades this trope by wishing they could just shock the Goa'uld to keep it alive. This led Dr. Fraiser to realize the stasis tank the symbiote was in was lacking a small electrical charge. Once added, it keeps the symbiont alive.
  • Mama Bear: When Cassandra is in danger, Dr. Fraiser becomes somebody you do not want to mess with. In one episode, Nirrti is being held at gunpoint by her to help Cassandra, and refuses -- until General Hammond points out the Doc's relationship with the girl.
  • Mandatory Line: In "Flesh and Blood", General Landry has only two scenes, both of which amount to him saying that there is nothing he can do to impact the events in any way.
  • Masquerade: The World Is Not Ready. At several points in the series different factors prompt the government to decide that it is time to reveal the truth, only to change their mind once the situation changes.
    • In "Small Victories", when Thor's Replicator-infested ship is about to descend into Earth's atmosphere, it is said that the President is going to reveal the existence of aliens and the Stargate to the world if they can't shoot it down.
    • When the Stargate Program is revealed to the UN Security Council they explain that they are going to reveal the truth, but decide to hold off when Thor arrives and explains what a good job the SGC has done.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "Grace", Carter spends the episode conversing with hallucinations of the members of SG-1, her father, and a mysterious young girl; at different points the hallucinations say they might be a manifestation of the nebula that might be sentient and trying to comunicate with Carter, or they might just be normal hallucinations caused by her head wound and lack of sleep. The episode ends with no concrete explanation either way.
  • The McCoy: Jack would often drop the sarcasm to be genuinely concerned about the episode's moral plight... or bug Sam and Daniel incessantly about why they could not be Big Damn Heroes this episode.
  • Meaningful Name
    • "Prometheus". The Greek Titan Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give to man; the Prometheus project used technology stolen from the Goa'uld to create Earth's first battlecruiser. The Prometheus itself is destroyed in the episode "Ethon", which is the name of the eagle that ate Prometheus' liver every night in some versions of the Greek myth.
    • The planet where Janet Fraiser is killed is identified as P3X-666.
    • The names of the Tau'ri SG-1 members;
      • Jonathan "Jack" = God has given
      • Samantha = name of God/God has heard
      • Daniel = God is my judge
      • Cameron = Crooked/bent nose
  • Medieval Stasis: Some of the Transplanted Humans have developed their own unique societies, culture and technology descended from the peoples they were before being taken off Earth, but more planets have remained completely unchanged from their technological and cultural status five thousand years ago. The Asgard Protected Planets Treaty addresses this point with regards to planets that the Goa'uld have agreed not to conquer, deliberately limiting their development so they do not become a threat.
  • Medium Shift Gag: A segment in the season ten episode "200" humorously re-imagined bits of the movie and the show's first episode with the entire cast replaced by marionettes.
  • Meet the New Boss: The Ori, the replacement Big Bad after the defeat of the Goa'uld in season eight and the Retool of the show for season nine, replicate the modus operandi of the Goa'uld: the impersonation of gods in order to inspire worship and subservience. The difference is simply one of scale: the Goa'uld used advanced technology for their masquerade, whereas the Ori really do have god-like powers.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: In "The Tomb", three of four Russians sent offworld are killed, with the only survivor being the single female officer.
  • Mental Story: "Avatar" takes place in a virtual-reality scenario that's effectively going on inside Teal'c's head.
  • Merlin: Season nine reveals that Merlin was an Ascended Ancient who descended to mortality in order to build a weapon to use against the Ori. In his first life he was Moros, who was the last High Chancellor of Atlantis, and after he returned to mortality he was known as Myrddin, the name of the Welsh wizard that much of Merlin's mythology is based on.
  • The Men in Black: NID, who start out as a sometimes-antagonistic, sometimes-allied "The Ends Justify The Means" civilian counterpart to the SGC, but later lose the antagonistic aspects once the shady leaders, after being exposed, go underground to form a different group.
  • Me's a Crowd: Ba'al developed cloning technology in season nine, creating dozens of other Ba'al's to help him reclaim his power after the overthrow of the Goa'uld.
  • Metaphorgotten: Dr. Lee tries to think up a clever analogy for how hard it will be to develop an anti-Prior weapon, but cannot even start before he trails off into Buffy-Speak. He and Carter laugh at his failed attempt, and he explains that he has not had a chance to sleep recently.
  • Mildly Military: Present in every show in the Stargate Verse to some degree. According to General Michael E. Ryan, Chief of Staff for the Air Force (the real Chief of Staff for the real Air Force), he has subordinates who are much worse than O'Neill in real life.
  • Mind Probe
    • The Goa'uld have a memory recall device that can read a persons mind and portray their memories on a screen for others to see, and it can help the subject recall suppressed or forgotten memories, but its use in interrogation is (relatively) limited since it can only display memories that the subject wants displayed. This forces the Goa'uld to go through the standard methods of torture and questions before they can bring up the desired memories.
    • When Anubis appears in season five, he brings advanced technology that allows him to download knowledge from a beings mind directly into his ships computer, bypassing the slow and ineffective torture preferred by most Goa'uld. Unfortunately for Anubis, the first being he tries this on is Thor of the Asgard, whose brain is so powerful that he manages to take control of the ship through his link to the computer.
  • Mind Rape
    • In the season 1 episode "Fire and Water", SG-1 is implanted with a fake, traumatizing memory of Daniel Jackson's horrific death.
    • The human form Replicators explore human minds to learn their secrets in an excruciating process, and Fifth does it purely to cause pain.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Briefly in the opening to "Crusade"; before the body-swap is explained, Mitchell notices Daniel ogling him wearing only a towel in the locker room and asks if there is something he should know.
  • Mook Face Turn: Teal'c, and eventually the entire Jaffa race do a Heel Race Turn into La Résistance and gain independence.
  • Mook Horror Show: When SG-1 is attacking the Jaffa guarding the stargate in "The Other Guys", O'Neill, Carter and Jonas use the standard "shoot them with zats" approach, but Teal'c instead waits for a Jaffa to run past him and erupts out of a lake and drags the Jaffa down into the water.
  • Mr. Exposition: Daniel for the culture and Carter for the science. Whenever one of them is missing, the other tends to fill in anyway: any bit of Imported Alien Phlebotinum will have both "Goa'uld language" and "strange radiation". Jonas is a physicist (with a Photographic Memory) who has studied every single one of Daniel's notes, so he can be either too, though Jonas is usually The Watson during briefings. Even Teal'c can fill this role (though more often in the early seasons), usually in a context of "Yes, I encountered this race/weapon/artifact/person while serving as First Prime to Apophis, and I will now tell you all about it."
  • Mr. Fanservice: Teal'c spends much of his screen time in practically sprayed on sleeveless T-shirts. In later seasons, Daniel manages a few Shirtless Scenes that show just how much he has benefited from all his physical activity.
  • Mud Wrestling: In "Ascension", O'Neill and Teal'c head to Carter's place with pizza and a movie, and when they learn that she has company they leave her the pizza and decide to have their own fun. Teal'c comments that he has heard of place "where humans do battle in a ring of jello," and O'Neill tells him to call Daniel.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: When Jonas Quinn comes to earth, he is fascinated by the Weather Channel and the way it provides the weather for the whole planet, and explains that the five-day forecast feels like predicting the future.
  • Mundane Solution
  • Mundane Utility
    • Stargates are one of the most advanced technological devices in existence, able to create a stable, people-safe wormhole across a galaxy or even to other galaxies. In the Groundhog Day Loop episode "Window of Opportunity", Teal'c and Jack hit golf balls through the gate, which the writers had wanted to do for the entire series.
    • The Asgard's teleportation technology can transport anything from anywhere to anywhere else. It has been proven to be able to dematerialize enemy structures and platoons of Jaffa in seconds the first time they are shown. The Asgard use this in lieu of walking, simply teleporting themselves and the chair they sit in to the relevant destination.
  • My Greatest Failure: Colonel Mitchell has two past mistakes which still haunt him.
    • In "Collateral Damage", Mitchell reveals that he once bombed a refugee convoy on Earth after he was told by his commanding officer that it contained enemy combatants; the order to abort the mission came seconds after he had released his payload.
    • In "Stronghold", though the precise details are never revealed, it shows that before Mitchell joined the F-302 program he did something extremely reckless that another pilot, and close friend, had to rescue him from. The other pilot was wounded by shrapnel during the rescue and was therefore disqualified from joining the F-302 program, and Mitchell was granted his spot in his place. Mitchell believes that he is unfairly living the other pilot's life, and blames himself for the life-threatening aneurysm that has been threatening the other pilot since he was wounded.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The Tok'ra, renegade Goa'uld who do not use the sarcophagi and thus avoid becoming Exclusively Evil.
  • Myth Arc: Stargate Command had a mission statement, enumerated in the pilot episode: to defend Earth from aggressive aliens, explore space, and acquire alien technology. In almost every season they made tangible progress toward those goals. At the end of the first season they had recruited Teal'c, befriended his mentor Bra'tac and discovered vague information about several other potential allies out there; by the end of the fourth they had made permanent allies of the Tok'ra and Asgard and claimed enough Goa'uld hand weapons to outfit their own teams; and by the end of the sixth season they had stolen, discovered or reverse-engineered enough technology to build an interstellar spaceship on Earth.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: In "The Other Side", the Eurondans are white supremacist eugenicists who have gone so far as to poison the entire surface of their planet in attempted ethnic cleansing. SG-1 royally throws a wrench into the works.
  • Neglectful Precursors: The Ancients left a lot of their technology lying around when they left the Milky Way, including some weapons and society-shaking devices, without any adequate instructions or explanations. The technology which is the instructions, the Repository of the Ancients which has all their knowledge, does not have any labels for itself. It is only identified as "The Place of Our Legacy", and without using it (and potentially dying from its use) there is no way to determine what that means. Of course, considering they "left" the Milky Way by dying en masse, with the survivors fleeing a wide-spread plague, it might be a bit much to expect them to have left a notebook behind.
  • Never Sleep Again
    • In "Grace", the hallucination (maybe) of Teal'c explains to Carter that she is suffering from a concussion and that if she goes to sleep she will die. Throughout the episode her perception of time is radically skewed, and she has suffered a blow to the head, so she struggles to stay awake over what seems like weeks.
    • The episode "Morpheus" involves a microscopic insect (not a bacteria) that causes the human body to produce high levels of melatonin, causing an almost irresistible urge to go to sleep, and once asleep to keep you asleep. Once you are asleep the insect gorges itself on the melatonin, growing in size until it kills by causing a brain aneurysm.
  • Neuro Vault: Quite frequently.
    • Carter carrying the memories of Jolinar.
    • O'Neill getting an Ancients' databse downloaded into his brain, twice, after which he subconsciously builds things and goes places without understanding why.
    • In "Secrets", they learn that a Goa'uld that inhabits a pregnant woman remains dormant so as not to cause a miscarriage, and the host can access the knowledge of the symbiote during this time.
  • Never Heard That One Before: When Dr. Weir is about to make a Yu-related pun in "New Order", Daniel explains that every possible variation of the joke has already been done.
  • Nice Guy: Daniel Jackson
  • Nice Hat: Teal'c has a variety of classic headware that he wears on Earth when trying to obscure his Apophis symbol.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    • In the climax of "Thor's Hammer", the team destroys the title device in order to save Teal'c's life; in the follow-up episode "Thor's Chariot" the planet has been invaded by Heru'ur because it now lacks any defense.
    • The Tok'ra interpretation of humanity's influence on the Goa'uld balance of power. By killing off important System Lords, the Tau'ri have systematically allowed more dangerous Goa'uld to usurp the power vacuum, including Sokar, Anubis and Ba'al.
    • In the beginning of season eight, Thor and the SGC finally gain a weapon that is effective against the Replicators on a large scale. In "Gemini", they study RepliCarter and inadvertantly let her near the weapon long enough for her to learn how it works and develop a countermeasure to the device. Carter spends much of "Reckoning" blaming herself for the Replicators' subsequent invasion of the Milky Way.
    • In "Icon", the nations of Rand and Caledonia had ben locked in a Cold War for years, but when the SGC makes contact with the planet the balance is disrupted by religious extremists who manage to gain power when the activation of the Stargate "proves" that their religious views were correct. Their attempt to seize control of the Rand Protectorate sparked off the long-feared war with the Caledon Federation, decimating the entire planet, and many blame the SGC for sparking the conflict. At the closing of the episode, Jared Kane admits that the war was not the fault of the SGC, as the two states had been on a collision course for years and would have destroyed themselves eventually.
    • The Ori arc in season nine begins when Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran inform the Ori that there are humans in the Milky Way that have been shielded from them by the Ascended Ancients. Daniel in particular realizes that they have potentially just doomed the galaxy to subjugation by the Ori, and that it is their fault.
    • In "Uninvited", the SGC discovers that it was their modifications to the Sodan armbands that created the giant, vicious creatures that have begun killing innocent people on three planets (including Earth).
  • Noble Demon: The System Lord Yu.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Orlin got a particularly raw deal when he descended to a mortal form in order to provide valuable intel on the Ori and helped to develop a cure for the Prior plague. For his troubles, he not only became trapped in his mortal form, but also suffered permanent brain damage, consigning him to spend the rest of his life (which is considerable, as he came back as a 12-year-old boy) in a sanitarium.
  • No Gravity for You: Does not appear in the show proper, but rather the Show Within a Show that is made about the Stargate crew. Such elaborate tactics are unnecessary in the regular series since they, you know, have guns.
  • Nom De Guerre: Cameron Mitchell was given the call-sign "Shaft" when he was an F-302 pilot stationed aboard the Prometheus. Off Carter's look, he explained that it came from the term "camshaft", which is a mechanical part that resembles the shortening of his first name.
  • No Name Given: The Ancients. While they are given many epithets during the series, such as the Ancients, the Ancestors, the Gate-Builders, the Lanteans, etc., we never find out what the species' true name was. The Ark of Truth claims they were once named "The Alterans", but even that equates to "The Others", which is what they were to the Ori, whom they broke away from.
  • Noodle Implements: In "The Ties That Bind", part of Vala's Chain of Deals involved the exchange of an old plasma coil from a obsolete cargo ship for an old necklace. She needed to return the necklace to the man she stole it from, but she had no idea why the man who had it wanted that plasma coil.
  • Noodle Incident
    • In "Emancipation", the first "regular" episode of the series after the pilot and follow-up episode, O'Neill referred to an incident where Captain Carter drank something which made her take off her... something. We never do hear the full story.
    • Daniel asked Jack a question before the start of "Window of Opportunity", and his asking Jack's opinion of the question is repeated numerous times throughout the episode, but not even Jack himself can remember what he was actually talking about.
    • Anubis was originally expelled from the System Lords for crimes that even the Goa'uld found unspeakable. Considering that the Goa'uld are not just okay with, but routinely practice torture, slavery and genocide, the specifics of something horrifying them was probably too much for the writers to actually think up.
    • In "Stronghold", Mitchell and an old friend of his discuss a misadventure from before Mitchell joined the F-302 program where Mitchell did something reckless that required the other pilot to rescue him, during which he was wounded by shrapnel. What this was and where it took place were never revealed.
    • "200" mentions, and includes brief "flashbacks" to, an incident that left O'Neill invisible, although the canonicity of the entire episode is debatable.
    • Everything Vala ever mentions about her past.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Practically the motto of the SGC, particularly O'Neill, who was left behind by his team during the First Gulf War and spent several months in an Iraqi prison because of it. It comes back to bite him when he bonds with a Tok'ra symbiote and it feels compelled to use him to go back for someone it used to spy on Ba'al, and we all know how that relationship is defined.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Most Goa'uld technology.

Daniel: You'd think a race advanced enough to fly around in spaceships would be smart enough to have seatbelts.

  • No Party Given
    • The President of the United States from the show's first seven seasons, 1997-2004, was never seen, and his party was never given.
    • The seventh season took place in the lead up to the 2004 Presidential Elections, with recurring villain Senator Robert Kinsey as the Vice-Presidential candidate with running-mate Henry Hayes. The ticket they were running on was never revealed, with the only information given about the election returns that Kinsey helped them win Florida.
  • No Sense of Humor
  • No Such Thing as Space Jesus: Only brought up once. On finding a medieval-European style town on a planet, complete with church, cross, and witch-burning minister, Teal'c says that he knows of no Goa'uld that is capable of the love and compassion displayed by the Christian god. Turns out that episode's Goa'uld was impersonating Satan instead.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: In the season six episode "Disclosure", the Stargate program and all related information is revealed to the United Nations Security Council (The United Kingdom, France and China. Russia was already aware of the Stargate) for the first time. For the rest of the series, and continuing into Stargate Atlantis, international political pressure is a frequent concern of the SGC.
  • Nothing Personal: Richard Woolsey is working to get the command staff of the SGC removed, and perhaps even brought up on charges, because he honestly believes that they are doing a poor job of defending the planet, not because he has anything against them on a personal level. When asked if he believes that O'Neill and Carter are engaged in some sort of inappropriate relationship he begins to deny it, only to be interrupted by Vice-President Kinsey who insists that they are. Woolsey is flustered by the unwarranted personal attack.
  • Not Me This Time: After Carter has been kidnapped, Maybourne recommeneds that O'Neill look into Colonel Simmons at the NID. Simmons, however, explains that he had no part in this, and points out that Maybourne might have been part of the operation himself. Simmons does get involved at the end of the episode.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Played for Drama in the backstory episode "The Gamekeeper". The revisiting of events happens the same way as the original because Daniel's parents will not listen to him.
  • No Woman's Land
    • The first season episode "Emancipation", the first episode after the initial plot of the pilot, took place on a world where descendants of the Mongols have created a complicated system of laws restricting women's freedoms, ostensibly to protect them by keeping them hidden from the Goa'uld. They are forbidden from unveiling their faces or speaking outside of their tents, and are subject to stoning if they break the laws. The episode was criticized for its generally inaccurate depiction of Mongol society, although it did get some points for having Shang Tsung as the villain.
    • The Goa'uld Moloc decreed prior to the start of the series that only male Jaffa in his domain would be allowed to live, sacrificing all female children born in order to make sure that his society is solely devoted to giving him soldiers in his war with the other Goa'uld. The Jaffa as a whole have a heavily patriarchal society; women, though trained in combat, are forbidden from actually serving in the army of their ruling Goa'uld and are viewed as subservient to their husband. These traditions, referred to as the "old ways", are maintained even after the overthrow of the Goa'uld, and multiple episodes deal with Teal'c and other progressive Jaffa attempting to reform Jaffa society into greater equality.
  • The Nth Doctor
    • Anubis was portrayed by a total of five actors over the course of the show, reflecting different hosts that he possessed and his incorporeal form. These were David Palfy (who provided the voice and body of the robe-shrouded incorporeal Anubis up to "Lost City"), Gavin Hood (who portrayed Russian Colonel Alexi Vaselov, whose body was possessed by Anubis), Dean Aylesworth (a nameless host), Rik Kiviaho (a nameless host) and George Dzunda (who portrayed "Jim", the form Anubis took when speaking to Daniel Jackson in the Astral Diner).
    • When Orlin descended for a second time in season nine, he took the form of a young boy instead of a grown man in order to retain his Ascended memories for a little bit longer.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: The episode "Icon" and its sequel "Ethon" takes place on a world where the two main powers, Rand and Caledonia, are locked in a state of Cold War technologically equal to 1950's Earth. Though both episodes eventually descend into full-scale war between the two powers, with the complete destruction of all infrastructure and the decimation of the planets population, none of the weapons are ever referred to as "nuclear". They are instead just called "missiles" and "bombs", without any specifics.
  • Number of the Beast: P3X-666
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: O'Neill constantly makes snide comments, is obsessed with The Simpsons, and has little to no patience for technical jargon. However, several characters over the course of the series outright make the observation that he is smarter than he pretends to be. It seems to be more that, as a career military man, he simply wants to know what the dangerous piece of alien technology will do and not how it will do it.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Several. Senator Kinsey eventually became a villain; most others are merely well-meaning but misguided.
  • Off to See the Wizard: "200" included a complete retelling of The Wizard of Oz with Vala as Dorothy, a "lovely, fair-haired Tok'ra" (Carter) as Glinda, a wise Ascended being (Landry) as Oz, and Mitchell, Daniel and Teal'c as the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man (respectively). Martin Lloyd, who the story was being told to, immediately pointed out that it just was the original movie with Stargate names replacing the originals.
  • Oh Crap
    • Heru'ur when Apophis' cloaked fleet of Ha'taks uncloaks near the end of "The Serpent's Venom".
    • Daniel when shooting Vala in a Kull warrior suit does not do any damage.
    • When Daniel manages to get the anti-Prior device working, the expession on the Prior's face is about what you would expect when somebody feels that they have just been personally and directly abandoned by their gods.
    • Teal'c has this moment when he throws C4 into a dragon's mouth in the episode "The Quest, Part 2", and when Carter blows it up, it does nothing. The look on Teal'c's face is absolutely priceless and Mitchell sums it up in one very succinct sentence.
  • Ominous Floating Spaceship: Frequently. A few highlights:
    • The first several appearances of Goa'uld Ha'tak-class motherships.
    • Asgard Beliskner-type motherships invert it in "Thor's Chariot" and "Point of View", among others.
    • The terraforming vessel in "Scorched Earth".
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: In the episode "Demons", to go with the Space Catholics vs. Space Satan and Space Demons theme.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The ultimate goal of Anubis? To wipe out all the life in the galaxy so he can start all over again as a true god. Wow.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist
    • Unless it is a question of archeology or linguistics (Daniel Jackson's area), advanced medicine (the unit's medical staff handle most of that) or midwifery (... that would be Daniel again), Samantha Carter has it covered on science.
    • Dr. Bill Lee, the SGC's second-fiddle scientist after Carter, seems to have studied every field. He is consulted on matters of physics, electrical engineering, botany and even entomology (the study of insects). He is rarely competent during these consultations, since his character is slight comic relief that is often Entertainingly Wrong, but he apparently has some training therein.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Teal'c, frequently. In fact just about any wound Teal'c suffers is brushed off, lampshaded or not. Justified early, because he has a Goa'uld symbiote to heal his wounds at a rapid rate. However once the symbiote is removed and he survives on Tretonin, it is simply because Teal'c is that tough, apparently.
  • Only Mostly Dead: The Ancients, Asgard, Nox and Goa'uld have the ability to resurrect people from death, provided they reach the body soon enough and there is not sufficient damage to make brain reconstruction unfeasible.
  • Only One Name
    • Teal'c, and apparently all other Jaffa, are known only by a single name (the word "Teal'c" itself means "strength"). To identify Jaffa within a larger context, they are also identified by their place of origin.
    • Most Goa'uld and all named Asgard, which makes sense as most impersonate deities from Earth mythology.
    • The Nox.
  • Only Smart People May Pass / Only the Knowledgable May Pass / Only the Worthy May Pass:
    • The Asgard place testing sites on the planets that they protect in order to determine when the inhabitants are capable of understanding that they are aliens, not gods, and can interact with them on equal footing. These sites judge their selflessness and courage, but also require that they have a knowledge of pi (the ratio of a circle's radius to its circumference) to indicate that their society has developed a knowledge of mathematics and geometry.
    • Merlin arranged for several tests before somebody can gain access to Avalon, the hidden chamber beneath the Glastonbury Tor where riches and Ancient technology is hidden. The tests determine the applicants knowledge of Ancient philosophy and their language, their ability to solve logic puzzles and their trustworthiness.
  • "On the Next..."
  • Open the Iris: Actually about eyes, so the frequently heard line is only the Trope Namer, not an example. However, the title sequence for seasons 1-5 uses this image, with the wormhole swirl superimposed on O'Neill's iris.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Alternate Carter: "I'm kind of attracted to Daniel."
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The most prominent being the ones connecting stargates, of course.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Depending on the universe and timeline.
  • Overt Rendezvous
    • In "Touchstone," General Hammond meets with a contact he has in order to track down the missing Stargate. They met in a park and the contact suggests they go for a walk to make it harder for parabolic microphones to listen in.
    • Sam's park-bench meeting with Agent Barrett in "Smoke and Mirrors" after he warns her that his office is bugged.
  • Paintball Episode: A couple of them, involving the Goa'uld intar training weapon instead of paintball guns.
  • Palette-Swapped Alien Food: Played straight in season 4's "Beneath the Surface"; lampshaded the following season, in "Wormhole X-Treme!"
  • Panspermia: The Ancients lived on Earth millions of years before humanity evolved, and when they left for the Pegasus Galaxy they re-seeded life throughout the Mlky Way and caused a "second evolution" of their form. In season nine, it was revealed that they had not originally evolved on Earth themselves, but had traveled there millions of years before that from their home galaxy.
  • Path of Inspiration: "Hallowed are the Ori."
  • Perfect Pacifist People: The Nox.
    • One of them borders on Technical Pacifist, however. In "Pretense", Lya helps Teal'c to conceal one of the Tollans' ion cannons from Jaffa saboteurs painting them as targets for an orbiting Ha'tak. In response to Sam's query, Lya replies:

Lya: I only hid the weapon. I did not fire it.

  • Pet the Dog: Apophis gets a very brief Pet the Dog moment while he is dying in Stargate Command's medical ward, calling for his beloved queen in his final moments. He reverts to evil form when brought Back from the Dead.
  • Phlebotinum Dependence: Several examples, all the Goa'uld's fault in one way or another.
  • Planet of Hats: Many, often remaining identical to their culture of origin from when they were abducted off Earth thousands of years ago.
  • Playing Pictionary: Played with. Daniel and Sam are presented with a thermal image of the symbiote inside of Teal'c, and they play dumb:

Daniel: Oh, that's very good! Did you draw that yourself?
Sam: What is it?
Daniel: That... That's a duck, isn't it?

  • Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure
    • Teal'c in the early seasons. The third episode, "Emancipation", famously ended on the line "What is an Oprah?"
    • Vala, who never did get the opportunity that Teal'c did to assimilate and learn about Earth culture, and asked the rest of SG-1 to stop using cultural expressions that she would not understand.
    • Daniel Jackson, despite being the one actually from Earth, did not understand what Colonel Mitchell meant when he said they were dealing with a John McClane, and Teal'c had to explain that it was a reference to Die Hard.
  • Portal Cut: Objects are only sent through the gate in one piece; when only part of an object is past the event horizon it is held in a hyperspace buffer until the rest of the object enters the gate and the entire thing is transported to the next gate. If the gate were to shut down with part of an object in the buffer that part is lost forever; Major Kawalsky is killed this way in the first season.
  • Portal Slam: The Stargate is open as long as the directors say, so it is not unusual for characters to miss the wormhole. Also, when the iris is closed on the receiving end of a wormhole anything that attempts to travel through it suffers a "bugs on a windshield" death. O'Neill coldly orders this done to the character played by Rene Auberjonois, but to be fair he was a white supremacist leader.
  • The Power of Trust: In "Icon", Daniel spends several months recuperating in the home of Jared Kane and his wife Leda. Over the months, Leda became infatuated with Daniel, particularly since Jared had spent progressively less time at home over the past few years as his political responsibilities grew. When Daniel is trying to get Jared to launch a joint military assault in combination with the SGC, he asks Leda to help persuade him, but Jared has noticed their relationship and demands that Leda answer if she loves Daniel. She hesitates for a moment, then explains that she trusts him.
  • Power Parasite: The Goa'uld are a literal version. Sometimes, as Ba'al/Adria demonstrated, the hosts' abilities are too powerful for the Goa'uld to handle, and the possession does not work as a result. By contrast, when they take Unas as hosts, they do so because the Unas are far tougher than humans, but their bodies are more difficult to control and repair.
  • Power Perversion Potential: When O'Neill became invisible in the of-doubtful-canonicity episode "200", he spied on Carter while she was taking a shower. Carter knew something was up and asked if he was watching her.
  • Power Walk: SG-1 frequently enters the Stargate (and exits the other side) in this manner. In fact, the times they do not Power Walk usually indicate that something is wrong. Subverted early on, as shortcomings in Earth's dialing program cause them to be tossed somewhat violently out the other side. Then they improve the program, and it never happens again until they override a safety protocol that they really should not have.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The System Lord Yu agrees to add Earth to the Asgard Protected Planets Treaty, votes to oppose Anubis's admission into the ranks of the Goa'uld System Lords, spares Teal'c's life after a failed assasination attempt and eventually cooperates with the SGC against Anubis. However, he does all this because he has no interest in our section of the galaxy, he knows Anubis is not going to peacefully integrate into the System Lords, he expects Teal'c to go back and kill the man who planned the assassination attempt and Anubis eventually grows into a threat too large to be faced alone. Daniel Jackson explicitly points out that, despite their past relationship, Yu is not to be trusted or liked, only counted on to make a practical decision not hampered by the normal Goa'uld mindset. In the later seasons he also begins to descend into senility and is steered to a practical decision by his First Prime.
  • Precision F-Strike
    • In "A Hundred Days":

Jack: Teal'c, you are one stubborn son of a bitch!

    • Jack also calls the entire clergy of the medieval planet ("Demons") sons of bitches when they go to drown Teal'c to see if he's a witch.
  • Precursor Killers: Starting with season four's "Window of Opportunity", the SGC learned that the Ancients suffered from a plague towards the end of their civilization. As the seasons progressed the details were gradually revealed, with the ultimate discovery that the Ori inflicted the plague on the Ancients, inspiring many of them to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, killing the majority of the remaining population and forcing the survivors to flee to the Pegasus Galaxy aboard Atlantis.
  • Precursors: Probably holds a record for the most precursors, with three confirmed Precursor races and the implication of many more.
    • The Ancients preceded all other life, built the stargates, and had an undefined relationship with Ancient Rome, potentially teaching them how to effectively build roads and speak Latin. They are either benevolent or neglectful, depending on your point of view and perspective on self-determination.
    • The Goa'uld ruled the Earth for approximately five thousand years and introduced the oldest writing systems and organized living, essentially creating human civilization. However, they brutally oppressed humanity during their reign and have done their best to make sure that we do not build atop the foundation that they left.
    • The Asgard preceded human evolution and inspired the Norse pantheon. They did not advance or manipulate human development, but did protect us from the Goa'uld when they could to give us a chance to make something of ourselves.
    • The Oannes of "Fire and Water" and the GIANT ALIENS! (For full effect, say it with a Dutch accent) of "Crystal Skull" have some sort of connection with Babylon and the Mayans, respectively, but whether they shaped those societies or simply encountered them was never revealed.
  • Premature Encapsulation: "Tangent" should have been called "Failsafe", and "Failsafe" should have been called "Point of No Return".
  • Product Placement
    • The early seasons used NEC monitors for desktop computers.
    • Samantha Carter uses a Dell Inspiron laptop in the first eight seasons of the show. Though it could have originally been considered as a Red Stapler effect, her switching to a Dell XPS in season nine sealed the deal.
    • In one episode in season nine, Col. Mitchell and another Col. Mitchell from another universe are seen sitting at a table drinking Aquafina-brand bottled water.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Teal'c of Chulak, First Prime of Apophis. The Jaffa have lived as a warrior society for so long that they use the same word ("kek") for both "weakness" and "death", since if one is weak they might as well be dead.
  • Psychic Powers: "Rite of Passage", "Metamorphosis", "Prophecy", "Prototype". Also, the Priors of the Ori are given telekinetic powers.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Everything from the Sword in the Stone to Thor's Hammer. Usually Imported Alien Phlebotinum of some sort.
  • Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: Done deliberately by Daniel in "The Devil You Know". About to be led away from a chamber after being tortured, he punches one of the Jaffa in the gut which only annoys the Jaffa, who slugs Daniel into the table across the room... which lets Daniel pick up a comlink he had spotted there a moment before.
  • Punctuation Shaker
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Goa'uld, obviously.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Season nine starts with SG-1 effectively decommissioned as its three remaining members moved on to new positions following the defeat of the Goa'uld: Teal'c had left Earth to help form the new Free Jaffa Nation government, Daniel Jackson was going to Atlantis aboard the Daedalus, and Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter had been reassigned to Area 51 for research and development. Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell, SG-1's new commander, decided to reunite its former members as opposed to building a whole new team.
  • Race Lift: When the current host of a Goa'uld does not match the race that inhabited their original Earth domain, the show often documents the chain of events that lead the symbiote to change its human body. However, Zipacna, a Mayan deity, is portrayed by caucasian Kevin Durand with no explanation.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Strictly against the Ori, but they are clearly a thinly-disguised version of a popular real-life religion. Although after defeated, people admit the teachings are not bad, it was the soul-stealing it was used for.
  • Rage Helm: Many of the helmets worn by high-ranking Jaffa.
  • Ragnarok Proofing: Ancient technology still works after being abandoned for a million years.
  • Ramming Always Works: Bra'tac attempts to ram an Ori mothership with a Goa'uld ha'tak once it becomes clear that their traditional weapons will not be able to penetrate the shields. The shields of the Ori ship hold and the mothership disintegrates in a fireball.
  • Real After All: Rothman originally appears in an episode that is All Just a Dream, and so is revealed at the end to never have "really" been in the show at all, but he appeared in later episodes as an actual character.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old:
    • The Goa'uld grant their hosts increased longevity, which can be supplemented by the use of a sarcophagus, so the various System Lords and minor Goa'uld encountered over the course of the series are hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old. Apophis' host was actually a scribe in an Egyptian temple before the overthrow of the Goa'uld on Earth, making him at least five thousand years old.
    • The Jaffa have a life-span much greater than humans; Bra'tac was 133 in the first-season episode episode "Bloodlines," and Teal'c was 101 in the fourth-season episode "The Light".
  • Real Trailer, Fake Series: In the midst of all the half-scenes of "200" was one completed trailer for a series starring Teal'c as a Private Investigator. It appeared right at the opening of act four, right at the end of the real commcercials, to increase the chance of it being mistake for an actual production.
  • Recut: "Children of the Gods", the two-hour premier of the series, was recut and re-released in 2009 as a DVD-film. It included new footage, composed of new CGI and a deleted scene, a re-score of the soundtrack, and the removal of the full-frontal nudity that was forced to be added to mark the show as "adult".
  • Red Shirt
    • Assorted SGC personnel appear in order to make first (violent) contact with the enemy before SG-1 comes in to save the day, particularly in the early seasons.
    • Virtually every Russian character that stepped through a Stargate, which the Russian officers disgustedly point out.
    • When a pair of scientists decide to tag along and rescue SG-1 in "The Other Guys", Coombs points out that they "might as well be wearing red shirts." Soon after he says this, Khonsu, who is dressed all in red, is killed.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The show leans on Like Reality Unless Noted; while it several times alludes to slowly introducing alien technologies to the general populace, there are few outright signs of this shown on the show. The episode "Bounty" explores this trope a little bit, as Carter and Dr. Lee are attending a technology symposium and Lee complains about how he has to deliberately sabotage his own presentation in order to not appear too advanced. Carter remarks that they need to make it look like there is a natural development process for these technologies, with a lot of trial-and-error and bugs along the way, before the final product is revealed to the public.
  • Relationship Reset Button: Jack and Sam in "Window of Opportunity"; possibly Teal'c and Sam in "Unending".
  • Relationship Upgrade: Daniel and Vala in the series finale, though it gets undone by the time reversal.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Daniel Jackson
  • Remember the New Guy?
    • "The Fifth Man" introduces Lieutenant Tyler, a fifth member of SG-1 that Hammond added to the team more than a month ago who had already been on three missions with them. The fact that Hammond does not remember Tyler is a big problem.
    • In "The Sentinel", Colonel Sean Grieves and Lt. Kershaw are introduced as members of the rogue NID team that was captured by the SGC in "Shades of Grey." However, neither character appeared in the prior episode, and the "Previously On..." opening of "The Sentinel" edited them into the older footage.
    • Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell became the lead character in season nine, introduced as the new senior officer of SG-1 after the promotion or reassignment of all its former members. Cameron is described as a former F-302 pilot who fought against Anubis in the battle over Antarctica during "Lost City", and several scenes were shot that took place during that episodes time-frame to show other members of SG-1 interacting with him.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Trope Namer. Samantha Carter blew up a sun. Several of them.
  • Reset Button: Used very rarely (except in time-travel episodes), and then usually not without some kind of repercussions for using the button itself. In the series finale, though, there was a literal reset button... which still had a somewhat drastic repercussion for one of the characters.
  • La Résistance: Season five's "The Warrior" saw the formation of an official, organized Jaffa resistance to the Goa'uld, founded by K'tano, former First Prime of the minor Goa'uld Imhotep that killed his ruler after he was inspired by Teal'c's example. K'tano was eventually revealed to be Imhotep, and was killed by Teal'c in ritual combat for leadership of the rebellion, but the organization continued and eventually become the Free Jaffa Nation after the overthrow of the Goa'uld in season eight.
  • Retirony: While filming his documentary of the SGC, Emmett Bregman recounts a story he heard from a journalist who was in Vietnam who, two days before he was going back to the US, was shoved out of the path of a bullet by a lieutenant who was killed by that shot.
  • Retool: Season eight was intended to be the final season of the show, and saw the conclusion of almost all ongoing storylines: The Goa'uld were overthrown, the Jaffa gained their freedom, the Replicators were destroyed, and there were hints that Jack and Sam were finally going to resolve their sexual tension. When the series was renewed for season nine they introduced two new main characters (Colonel Mitchell and General Landry) removed Jack from the series, and introduced the Ori as the new Big Bad.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Bra'tac believes that Teal'c believes that Arkad, a cowardly Jaffa that Teal'c had defeated in battle while serving as Apophis' First Prime, killed Teal'c's mother in revenge for his defeat. In "Talion", Arkad himself confirms this, explaining that it was revenge for Teal'c killing his own parents and sister during their conflict. Afterwards, however,Teal'c tells Bra'tac that if Arkad was responsible then he was too much of a coward to do it himself, since Teal'c had tracked down and killed the actual murderer years ago.
  • Reverse Grip: In "Emancipation", Sam wields her KA-BAR knife this way against the Space Mongol chieftain Turghan.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder
    • When Carter is first introduced to the SGC and explains how excited she is to go through the stargate, Major Kawalsky condescendingly asks her if she has ever pulled out of a simulated bombing run in an F-16 at eight-plus g's. Her only response is a calm "yes," after which Kawalsky has to pause and look around the table before covering himself by mumbling that the experience is even worse.
    • When Her'ak, First Prime of Khonsu, captures SG-1 and comes to gloat, O'Neill sardonically asks if he has a resume, and Her'ak points out that he captured them. O'Neill has to pause for a second before he can think up a response. Of course, SG-1 allowed themselves to be captured, but Her'ak knew that and captured them for real later.
  • Right Makes Might: In season nine's "The Scourge", Mitchell asks Teal'c if he ever doubted that the Goa'uld would be overthrown since they had vastly superior technology and resources compared to Earth. Teal'c explains that he never doubted that the Goa'uld would eventually be defeated, even if it did not necessarily happen in his own lifetime, since Earth and the Free Jaffa had something much more important: a just cause.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: In "Pretense", the Goa'uld Zipacna justifies the taking of human hosts by claiming superiority to humanity and comparing the practice to the hunting and fishing practiced by humans.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: "Bounty"
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Teal'c in "Talion".
  • Robo Cam: Replicator vision.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Earth's conventional firearms and other conventional weapons are usually quite adequate against the supposedly more advanced enemy alien armies they fight.
  • Rock Bottom: In "Avalon, Part 1", Vala and Daniel are trapped in a stone room with an Ancient philosophy puzzle, and Vala refuses to wait for Daniel to figure it out. When he angrily tells her to stop so he can think, she responds "we're already trapped in here, how much worse can it get?" When the ceiling begins to descend she says that she knew it was a mistake the moment she said it.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Cameron Mitchell, oh so much.
  • Rousing Speech: Subverted in "The Serpent's Lair":

O'Neill: And I suppose now is the time for me to say something profound. (Beat) Nothing comes to mind. Let's do it.

  • Running Gag
    • O'Neill inviting the rest of SG-1 to go fishing and the various ways they uncomfortably refuse. He even asked Thor to go fishing once. The offer is made across multiple seasons, and even continues after he has left the show when General Landry invites SG-1 to visit O'Neill's cabin.
    • O'Neill making frequent references to "memos", usually to explain that he had not seen the latest memo that explained what would be occuring in that episodes.
    • Mary Steenburgen, a Real Life actress, is frequently mentioned as either O'Neill's favorite actress or his sexual fantasy.
    • Who's on First? jokes using Yu (You) and Ba'al (Ball).
    • Daniel being declared KIA or MIA and then reappearing (see Death Is Cheap, above).
    • In any episode directed by Martin Wood, look closely for the following Funny Background Event: Wood in SGC coveralls, talking to Sgt. Siler. One of them carrying a crescent wrench that's gotta be a meter long.