List of references (Pyro)

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Due to the comedic style of Team Fortress 2 and Valve's humor, the game includes references, usually in a humorous fashion. There are many sources, including games, movies, and music; even jokes that have developed within the game and its community have been included. Below are references specific to the Pyro class, most of which are fire-related, in keeping with the Pyro's profession.

Pyro taunt laugh.png

Achievements

Attention Getter
Attention Getter
Ignite 100 enemies with the flare gun.


An "attention getter" is something designed to attract the attention of passers-by. The phrase is most often used in the advertising industry.


Baptism by Fire
Baptism by Fire
Force 10 burning enemies to jump into water.


The phrase Baptism by fire, known in English since 1822, is a translation of the French phrase baptême du feu and is a reference to a soldier's first experience under fire in battle. It originates from the ecclesiastical Greek baptisma pyros, in which "fire" is used to mean "the grace of the Holy Spirit as imparted through baptism". Later it was used of martyrdom, especially by fire (e.g. Joan of Arc). Today, it has entered the common vernacular to describe anyone doing something "the hard way" for the first time, particularly if training is necessarily insufficient to fully prepare one for the experience (as is the case with battle).


BarbeQueQ
BarbeQueQ
Cause a dominated player to leave the server.


QQ is a common emoticon for crying eyes, usually used to insult someone who is complaining about dying or losing. This came from a button shortcut in World of Warcraft, where pressing Alt then Q twice would result in quitting the game.


Burn Ward
Burn Ward
Ignite 3 Medics that are ready to deploy an ÜberCharge.


A burn ward is an area in a hospital where burn victims are treated.


Camp Fire
Camp Fire
Kill 3 enemies in a row, all within the same area.


In video games, "camping" is a tactic whereby a player will obtain a strategic position anywhere on the map and wait for players to arrive and be killed, rather than actively seeking them out.


Clearcutter
Clearcutter
Kill 6 people with your axe in one life.


Clearcutting is a controversial forestry and logging practice in which most or all trees in an area are uniformly cut down.


Combined Fire
Combined Fire
Use your shotgun to finish off 20 players you've ignited.


"Combined fire" is a front-line tactic which involves attacking an enemy from several different points at once; the enemy then cannot return fire to all his attackers and is forced to retreat.


Controlled Burn
Controlled Burn
Ignite 50 enemies capturing one of your control points.


A controlled burn is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, prairie restoration and greenhouse gas abatement. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.


Cooking the Books
Cooking the Books
Ignite 5 enemies carrying your intelligence.


This is a phrase dating back to the 1600s, used to describe the act of distorting financial accounts or records, often with the aim of avoiding the payment of tax.


Dance Dance Immolation
Dance Dance Immolation
Kill 3 enemies while they're taunting.


Dance Dance Revolution, also known as Dancing Stage, is a long-standing music video game series produced by Konami. Introduced in Japan in 1998 as part of the Bemani series and released in North America and Europe in 1999, Dance Dance Revolution is the pioneering series of the rhythm and dance genre in video games.

"Immolation" is suicide committed by burning oneself to death.


Dead Heat
Dead Heat
Kill an enemy in the same second that he kills you.


This is a term used to describe a tie in a race.


Fire and Forget
Fire and Forget
Kill 15 players while you're dead.


Fire and forget is a third-generation method of missile guidance. The military use the term to denote a type of missile which does not require further guidance after launch, so can literally be "forgotten" once fired.


Fire Chief
Fire Chief
Kill 1000 enemies.


The top executive rank or commanding officer in a fire department is usually referred to as the Fire Chief.


Firefighter
Firefighter
Kill 500 enemies.


A firefighter is someone who puts out fires for a living.


Firewall
Firewall
Ignite 5 Spies who have a sapper on a friendly building.


A firewall is a piece of software designed to stop malicious programs such as viruses from entering a computer.


Firewatch
Firewatch
Ignite 10 Snipers while they are zoomed in.


A "Fire Watch" is a person whose sole duty is to look out for fires in an established area.


Freezer Burn
Freezer Burn
Provide enemies with freezecam shots of each of your taunts.


"Freezer burn" is a condition that occurs when frozen food has been damaged by dehydration and oxidation, due to air reaching the food. "Burn" also refers to an insult, appropriate for a taunt achievement.


Full Spectrum Warrior
Full Spectrum Warrior
Ignite 3 enemy players using your Rainblower taunt.


The real-time tactical game Full Spectrum Warrior was originally developed by the US Army University Affiliated Research Center to learn if commercial gaming platforms could be leveraged for training purposes.

A rainbow also features a "full spectrum" of colours, hence the usage of Rainblower for the achievement.


Got A Light?
Got A Light?
Ignite an enemy Spy while he's flicking a cigarette.


Someone who asks another for "a light" is usually asking for a match or lighter to light their cigarette. This phrase is often used in films and literature.


Hot on Your Heels
Hot on Your Heels
Kill 50 enemies with your flamethrower, from behind.


A term originating in hunting lexicon, to be "hot on the heels" means to be close to a target or quarry one is in pursuit of. "On the heels" is somewhat self-explanatory, referring to the feet of the target itself. The "hot" part of the phrase is more ambiguous, but it likely refers to the increase in body temperature mammals experience when excited. Thus, hunting dogs would become "hot" when they picked up the scent of quarry. Over time, the term "hot" became synonymous with being close to something.


Hot Potato
Hot Potato
Reflect 100 projectiles with your compressed air blast.


Hot potato is a game that involves players quickly gathering in a circle and tossing a small object such as a beanbag or tennis ball to each other while music plays. The player who has the "hot potato" last when the music stops is out. Play continues until only one player is left. The game is designed to be fast-paced and high-pressure and is often played by children. The game can also be played without music where there is a designated leader who shouts out "hot!".


Hotshot
Hotshot
Kill a Soldier with a reflected critical rocket.


"Hotshot" is a term for someone who is considered to have unusually good aim.


I Fry
I Fry
Ignite 10 disguised Spies.


I spy is a guessing game usually played in families with young children, partly to assist in both observation and in alphabet familiarity. It is often played as a car game.


Lumberjack
Lumberjack
Kill 3 people with your axe in one life.


A lumberjack is a worker in the logging industry who performs the initial felling and transport of trees for processing.


Makin' Bacon
Makin' Bacon
Kill 50 Heavies with your flamethrower.


This is a joke likening the Heavy to bacon due to its high fat content. It's also a line used by the Engineer.


Next of Kindling
Next of Kindling
Ignite an enemy, and the Medic healing him.


A person's next of kin is their closest living blood relative.

Kindling is material used to enlarge a fire before heavier fuel is added.


OMGWTFBBQ
OMGWTFBBQ
Kill an enemy with a taunt.


OMGWTF is an internet term used to convey strong exclamation, such as when killed unexpectedly in Team Fortress 2 by a taunt; it stands for "oh my God, what the fuck?" while the "BBQ" on the end is a shot at the seemingly random three letter combinations that can make up internet exclamations, but could also reference the fact that the player has been burnt to death, as in a barbeque.


Pilot Light
Pilot Light
Ignite a rocket-jumping Soldier while he's in midair.


A pilot light is a small gas flame which is kept alight in order to serve as an ignition source for a more powerful gas burner, for example on the Pyro's flamethrower.


Plan B
Plan B
Kill 10 enemies while you're both underwater.


"Plan B" is a reference to an (often inferior, and occasionally non-existent) alternative to whatever one's main plan of action happens to be.


Pyromancer
Pyromancer
Do 1 million points of total fire damage.


In many fantasy games, a Pyromancer is a wizard who uses fire to quell his foes.

Historically, pyromancy is the art of divination by use of fire. It was a regular practice of the ancient Greeks, who would interpret the flames of burning sacrifices. The Chinese equivalent of this process was the burning of oracle bones.


Pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics
Kill 3 enemies in a single ÜberCharge.


Pyrotechnics is the use of fire and/or controlled explosions for entertainment purposes, such as fireworks or gouts of flame blasted behind the musicians at a concert.


Second Degree Burn
Second Degree Burn
Kill a burning enemy who was ignited by another Pyro.


A second degree burn is a skin burn that damages or destroys the epidermis and exposes the dermis.


Spontaneous Combustion
Spontaneous Combustion
Ignite 10 cloaked Spies.


Spontaneous combustion is a type of combustion which occurs without an external ignition source. It is usually a slow process that can take several hours of decomposition/oxidation with heat building up to a point of ignition. The term is sometimes used to refer to spontaneous human combustion: there are occasional reports or claims that a living person's body has spontaneously combusted.


Trailblazer
Trailblazer
Ignite 10 enemies that have recently used a teleporter.


In the days of North American Western expansion, a trailblazer was a pioneer surveyor who marked the course of new roads in forrests by cutting horizontal blazes (marks) into the bark of trees with an axe. It has since come to mean a pioneer in an area of research.


Weenie Roast
Weenie Roast
Have 2 enemy Scouts on fire at the same time.


A weenie roast is a gathering at which people roast hot dogs, a food typically eaten at baseball games, over an open fire. "Weenie" is also an insulting US word for an unmanly man.

Weapons

Backburner
Backburner


A backburner is the burner on a stove away from the cook's side. The phrase "put on the backburner", meaning given lower priority, refers to the lesser amount of attention paid to pots on the backburners. The weapon's name is a double entendre in that it also gets critical hits from behind, encouraging the player to literally burn the backs of enemies.


Degreaser
Degreaser


Degreasers are emulsifying agents used to remove heavy oils and grease. When mishandled with heat, degreasers - especially engine degreasers - are known to cause severe burns or injuries due to their highly flammable and explosive nature, much like the Pyro's weapon. Grease is also often used as a mechanical lubricant, which may explain the Degreaser's faster weapon switch.


Homewrecker
Homewrecker


Homewrecker was a 2005 MTV reality show in which contestants would get revenge on people they knew by trashing rooms in their houses. The show was a parody of the then-popular reality show Trading Spaces in which contestants remodeled a single room in each other's houses. Sledgehammers are often used to tear down walls in preparation for remodeling.

This may also be a reference to the Pyro's ambiguous gender, since "homewrecker" is sometimes used as a derogatory term for an attractive woman.

Phlogistinator
Phlogistinator
Being a revolutionary appliance capable of awakening the fire element phlogiston that exists in all combustible creatures, which is to say, all of them.


Phlogiston is a theoretical fire-like element that was once believed to be contained within combustible objects.


Postal Pummeler
Postal Pummeler


To "go postal" means to become extremely angry, often to the point of killing people. The phrase was coined in response to a series of post office shootings in the 1980s.


Third Degree
Third Degree
Being a boon to tree-fellers, backwoodsmen and atom-splitters the world over, this miraculous matter-hewing device burns each individual molecule as it cleaves it.


A third degree burn is one which damages the entire dermis and requires excision to heal. The idiom "the third degree" may also refer to a painful interrogation.

Cosmetic Items

Apparition's Aspect
Apparition's Aspect


An apparition is a supernatural appearance of a ghost or anything paranormal.


Area 451
Area 451


The name of the item is derived from Area 51, a location in Nevada surrounded by conspiracy theories about aliens; and Fahrenheit 451, a Ray Bradbury novel about a "fireman" whose job is to burn books. It may also reference the process of Greylisting, a method of defending e-mail users against spam which produces a "451 error", and puns the archetypal Grey alien that the hat resembles.

Blazing Bull
Blazing Bull


The item's name is a reference to the brazen bull, an ancient Greek torture and execution device shaped like a hollow brass bull. The convicted person would be locked inside the bull and a fire would be lit under the bull, causing the metal to heat up and the convict to burn to death.


Bubble Pipe
Bubble Pipe
Being an invention that achieves the humanitarian goal of all great men of science, from Lord Holland to the Duke of Wellington, to allow a true gentle-man to smoke a pipe in space.


A bubble pipe is a children's toy that resembles a tobacco pipe, only it is used to blow soap bubbles.


Connoisseur's Cap
Connoisseur's Cap
You're today's theme ingredient...


The description refers to the popular cooking contest Iron Chef, namely its gimmick of a "secret ingredient" that the chefs must incorporate into their dishes.


Cranial Carcharodon
Cranial Carcharodon


A Carcharodon is a genus of sharks in the lamnidae family. The item references Pyrosharking.


Dead Cone
Dead Cone


This hat is a reference to the "Conehead Zombies" from the game Plants vs Zombies.


DethKapp
DethKapp
For centuries, mankind has struggled in vain to answer the question of who built this city on rock and roll. This hat/hair combo finally answers that age-old mystery: It was you!


This hat resembles the hat and wig worn by the character Dr. Rockso from the TV show Metalocalypse.

The description refers to the Starship song "We Built This City."


Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel


This item is a reference to Lucifer, the angel who, according to the Bible, was cast out of Heaven and became Satan.


Flamboyant Flamenco
Flamboyant Flamenco
Help your enemies celebrate Day of the Dead by wearing this hat and then killing them.


Flamenco is a genre of music and dance which originated in Spain.

The description is a cultural reference to the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the life and death of friends and family.


Foster's Facade
Foster's Facade


Mr. Foster is a character from Killing Floor, who wears an identical white gas mask.

A façade is an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality; this is a reference to both Mr. Foster's and the Pyro's hidden identities.


Gas Jockey's Gear
Gas Jockey's Gear
Humble, 1950's gas station attendant by day, crazy pyromaniac by night...The smell of fresh gas fumes and burnt rubber is just what this once humble service man loves the most.


Disguised as part of a mild-mannered reference to a humble (and lovable) alter ego, the Humble name was in fact the alter ego of Standard Oil of New Jersey (largest oil company in the world), which it used to brand its gas stations in the ‘50s and ‘60s in some states (such as New Mexico) where it was legally blocked from using the Esso name.


Head Warmer
Head Warmer
This incinerator's insulator keeps your head a perfect 105 degrees, while muffling the hallucinations brought on by wearing a hat that slowly cooks your brain.


The hat's description references the name it was submitted to the Workshop under (the Incinerator's Insulator).


Hottie's Hoodie
Hottie's Hoodie
If you've got it, flaunt it. If you don't, hide it under this discreet hoodie.


The description is a reference to the song When You've Got It, Flaunt It from The Producers.


Jingle Belt
Jingle Belt
Slay-bells will be ringing in the slow-roasted ears of your burn victims.


Jingle Bells is a popular Christmas song. Some of the lyrics are referenced in the item description.


Little Buddy
Little Buddy
People will think you're in the Navy. But the joke is on them, BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT! That is just one possible benefit of this tricky hat.


The name of the hat is a reference to Gilligan's Island, in which the Skipper often refers to Gilligan as "little buddy".

Moonman Backpack
Moonman Backpack
Being a repository of the foundational ingredients necessary for a body to live a life of leisure in space—namely one part oxygen, one part mercury, and twelve parts laudanum.


The description references the two substances' abilities to cause insanity and elation: Laudanum is an opiate substance historically used as a painkiller, and Mercury is a poisonous substance that can potentially cause insanity.


Nose Candy
Nose Candy
Dress up your respirator to trick people into thinking you're a delusional maniac living in a fantasy world!


This item resembles the face makeup worn by the character Dr. Rockso from the TV show Metalocalypse.

"Nose candy" is a slang term used by Dr. Rockso for cocaine, his favorite drug.


Old Guadalajara
Old Guadalajara
This hat adds spice to any occasion.


Guadalajara is a city in western Mexico culturally associated with Mariachi singers, who are known for wearing Mexican sombreros.


Prancer's Pride
Prancer's Pride


Prancer is the name of one of Santa Claus's reindeer in the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known as The Night Before Christmas. The design of Prancer's Pride is a reference to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: the Grinch's dog, Max, had a single antler similarly tied to his head with string when the Grinch disguised him as one of Santa's reindeer.


Pyromancer's Mask
Pyromancer's Mask


Historically, pyromancy is the art of divination by use of fire. It was a regular practice of the ancient Greeks, who would interpret the flames of burning sacrifices. The Chinese equivalent of this process was the burning of oracle bones.


Rail Spikes
Rail Spikes
There we were, assembling some collars, when we thought, "Yes, they're cool. But what's missing?" That's when we realized: lots of sharp bits welded onto the round bits.


This item resembles the spiked cuffs and collar work by the character Dr. Rockso from the TV show Metalocalypse.

The item's description is a reference to a line spoken by Wheatley in Portal 2 about how he came up with Crushers: "Had a bit of a brain wave. There I was, smashing some steel plates together, and I thought, 'yes, it's deadly. But what's missing? What's missing?' And I thought lots of sharp bits welded onto the flat bits."

A rail spike is a large metal nail used to hold railroad ties in place.


Respectless Rubber Glove
Respectless Rubber Glove
It doesn't matter how much people respect you when they're on fire.


This hat gives the Pyro a striking resemblance to "Feathers McGraw", a character from the Wallace and Gromit claymation series. Feathers wore a rubber glove on his head to disguise himself as a chicken, albeit briefly.

Interestingly, it bears a very similar design to the Engineer's glove.


Russian Rocketeer
Russian Rocketeer
The latest in space-primate propulsion, this jet pack has been tested exclusively by apes! We can't stress enough how few human flight tests we've conducted with this product!


This item resembles the jetpack worn by the character Yuri from Awesomenauts.


Sight for Sore Eyes
Sight for Sore Eyes
Humorously vellicating vitreous.


To say something is a "sight for sore eyes" means it is a welcome sight.

Vellicating is the act of lightly touching a body part so as to cause the underlying nerves to twitch. Vitreous humor is the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina of the eyeball.


Stockbroker's Scarf
Stockbroker's Scarf


Mr. Foster is a character from Killing Floor, who wears an identical striped tie. The name is derived from the fact that he used to be a stockbroker.


Tail From the Crypt
Tail From the Crypt


Tales from the Crypt is an EC horror comic as well as a television show inspired by it.


Triboniophorus Tyrannus
Triboniophorus Tyrannus
At least he's still telling you to burn things.


This bears a resemblance to the brain slugs from Futurama, and is commonly referred to by the community as a "brain slug".


Triclops
Triclops
Fool your enemies into thinking you can see better! Here's the trick: You won't be able to see at all!


This helmet is based on the mask worn by the Assassin in Super Monday Night Combat.


Vintage Merryweather
Vintage Merryweather
Pyro wears this in tribute to the many firefighters who have perished trying to quell his flames.


Merryweather & Sons were a 19th-century British manufacturer of firefighting equipment. The appearance of the Merryweather resembles that of the helmets they produced.


Waxy Wayfinder
Waxy Wayfinder
Finally live your life like a candle in the wind. (Wind not included)


The item's description is a reference to Elton John's song Candle in the Wind.


Wraith Wrap
Wraith Wrap
The perfect accessory for maintaining anonymity while stealing rings from midgets.


The Nazgûl from the Lord of the Rings series wear a similar hood.

The description is a reference to The Hobbit, in which several protagonists (including 13 dwarves and a hobbit, a small humanoid being) possess a ring with unusual powers.

Taunts

Primary

The Pyro's raising of his weapon and triumphant cackle during his primary taunt appears to be a reference to the Tusken raiders (often called Sand People) of Star Wars with whom the Pyro shares a few physical similarities.

Secondary

The Pyro's Hadouken taunt is a direct reference to Ryu's signature attack from the Street Fighter game series. The Hadouken, (or "surge fist") itself is a Japanese neologism, and literally means "wave motion fist". The practitioner thrusts his or her palms forward, sending a surge of spirit energy flying towards the opponent.

The Pyro's variation on the attack is technically a Shakunetsu Hadouken ("Scorching Surge Fist"), a Hadouken which is imbued with the power of fire.

Melee

The Pyro plays air guitar briefly. This is a reference to the common nickname for an electric guitar - an "axe".

Media

Bio

"Either way, he's a fearsome, inscrutable on-fire Frankenstein of a man. If he even is a man."

The Pyro is likened to Frankenstein's Monster, the famous creature from Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Their similarities include an enigmatic nature and a truly monstrous sense of purpose - though ironically, Frankenstein's monster is afraid of fire. The statement also refers to the speculations by the TF2 community towards the Pyro's gender, and even his humanity.