X-COM (Video Game)/Memes

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  • "[Rookie/Recruit] has panicked!"
    • Explanation: A reference among other similar phrases to a recurring trend found across every X-COM game. Namely with how recruits/rookies are the quintessential Red Shirts, unless they manage to survive long enough to get promoted.
  • "I'm losing control of the situation!"
    • Explanation: Attributed to XCOM: Enemy Within. More specifically, this is one of the quotes uttered by the very human operatives of EXALT should they get panicked.
  • Snek/Snaketits.
  • Punished Bradford.
    • Explanation: A nod to Central Officer Bradford's appearance in XCOM 2 compared to XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within. Which bears a passing semblance to Big Boss. In-game, it's also brought up by Bradford himself how he still misses his old uniform's sweater.
  • "XCOM = ISIS."
  • Ayy lmao.
    • Explanation: Though the X-COM games may not have popularized the term, which is associated with random alien pictures, it's managed to sneak in simply because of the fact that the games let you take on said aliens.
  • "That's XCOM baby!"
    • Explanation: Coming into prominence in various forms from XCOM: EU/EW onwards, it's a phrase that refers to the series' at times notorious tendency to screw players, even when the odds seem to be in their favor; a more negative variation tends to be along the lines of "DAMMIT XCOM!" It's also used, albeit less frequently, when even in spite of the odds against you, your soldiers still manage to win the day.
  • "TRAITOR!"
    • Explanation: A reference to the ADVENT Stun Lancer, whose behavior and armament is all too reminiscent of the stun-baton wielding Stormtrooper seen in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
  • "Great tits ahoy!/HUG THAT SHIT!"
    • Explanation: Originating from a Eurogamer video on XCOM 2 that gained popularity among fans of the series. The video in question tries to figure out what ADVENT soldiers are actually saying. Emphasis on tries, as it results in Mondegreens like those quotes.
  • Anything to do with Dr. Vahlen and aliens.
    • Explanation: A reference to Dr. Vahlen, the Chief Scientist in XCOM: EU/EW, and her excessive if not brutal methods on aliens. Over time, she's developed a reputation among fans for being as hilariously demented as she is a Hot Scientist. The Herr Doktor vibe and the implications in the backstory of XCOM 2 that she became a mad scientist don't help matters either.
  • X-Com Gon Get It.
  • "I certainly could not have predicted this outcome, although it is intriguing."
    • Explanation: One of the generic lines from Dr. Tygan when reporting that research is complete. It often seems out-of-place, as he really shouldn't be surprised that (for example) researching plasma weapons results in...being able to make plasma weapons. It's become something of a stock reply to any screenshots exhibiting bugs involving Tygan.
  • The A Team.
    • Explanation: In addition to being a nod to The A-Team, it's a Fan Nickname for a squad comprising XCOM's most badass soldiers; the term itself came into its own starting from XCOM: EU/EW. Some however use it mockingly to refer to complacent playstyles that rely only on a handful of hardened veterans, leading to a throng of barely-deployed rookies on standby who are nigh incapable of holding the line late-game should anything go wrong with said A Team.
  • "We're losing civilians left and right, Commander! We need to get those people out of here!"
    • Explanation: One of Bradford's many concerned lines in certain missions. This extends as well to every time the Avatar Project goes up a notch. Though this could be justified in-verse by him being a Shell-Shocked Veteran and not wanting to rake in any more casualties than back in XCOM:EU/EW.
  • "What...is it, doctor?"
    • Explanation: Several cutscenes in XCOM: EU/EW play out like this: 1. XCOM finds something new. 2. Bradford asks Dr. Vahlen and/or Dr. Shen what it is. 3. They explain it to him (and the audience).
  • "CLOSE RANGE?!"
    • Explanation: Dr. Vahlen wants XCOM soldiers to capture aliens alive (so she can interrogate them -- which has spawned a meme itself, see above). To achieve this, Dr. Shen invents the Arc Thrower, a device which can stun aliens which are almost but not quite dead...with about 50% probability of success, and it requires the wielder to be at "close range" to have that chance at all. Bradford is not happy about the prospect of parking soldiers within 3 tiles of a living alien for a chance of capturing it, and makes his displeasure known quite vocally.
  • "We Fire Emblem now!"
    • Explanation: When Firaxis announced that the War of the Chosen expansion to XCOM 2 would add a relationship system to the game (soldiers that fight together for several missions gain benefits, like improved panic resistance when they're close together), players were quick to joke that "supports", marriage, and children would follow shortly after...
  • Operation names.
    • Explanation: XCOM and XCOM 2 feature randomly-chosen operation names for each mission (except for one-off story missions, such as the Base Defense mission in XCOM, which is always called "Operation Ashes and Temples"). Because the names are drawn from a list of words, the names can be tautological ("Operation Dark Darkness" or "Deadly Death"), foreboding ("Forsaken God"), or unintentionally hilarious ("Hot Mother"). Some XCOM 2 mods add their own for comic effect, resulting in names like "Opeation Fucking XCOM". For extra comedy, fans generally assume that Bradford's the one who decides what the mission will be called.
  • XCOM: Dress-Up Doll Simulator / Tactical Dating Simulator
    • Explanation: The X-COM series has always been about players customizing and getting attached to their soldiers, but XCOM and XCOM 2 brought more options for armor, equipment, and appearance, especially with XCOM 2 adding scars, tattoos, an entire cosmetic-themed DLC (Anarchy's Children), and of course the ability for players to easily create and share mods. War of the Chosen goes even further, with bonds between soldiers and a "propaganda poster maker" feature. Players joke (or sometimes state quite seriously) that they can spend more time dressing up their soldiers than running the counter-alien insurgency.
  • "Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer." / "Dazed...reeling...about to break..."
    • Explanation: Two lines from the videogame Darkest Dungeon (which are basically that game's version of "That's XCOM, baby!"). The two games have had pretty substantial crossover between their fandoms (since they're both hybrids of strategic management and tactical combat, with a heavy dose of RNG and a reputation for being unforgiving), but then War of the Chosen added a will penalty to soldiers who are repeatedly deployed without downtime (to represent mounting stress and fatigue), and furthermore added a system where soldiers who are deployed with high stress can pick up negative traits on missions.