List of references (Spy)

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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 Spy class, many of which are related to espionage.

List of references (Spy)

Achievements

A Cut Above
A Cut Above
Kill a gun-wielding Spy with your knife.


"A cut above" is an idiom which is defined as of better quality than another person, place, or thing.


Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur
Backstab your Steam Community friends 10 times.


An agent provocateur or "enticing agent" is a person who is employed by the police or other entity to act undercover in order to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act.


Burn Notice
Burn Notice
Survive 30 seconds after being ignited while cloaked.


A Burn Notice is an official document put forth by one agency to other agencies in order to announce the dismissal of agents who have become unreliable.

This is also the name and premise of a popular American spy comedy/drama.


Come in From the Cold
Come in From the Cold
Get a Revenge kill with a backstab.


This is an idiom meaning a person or smaller group becoming part of a group or agency they had been previously disallowed from, often used in reference to defecting spies.

There is a John le Carré novel entitled The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.


Constructus Interruptus
Constructus Interruptus
Kill an Engineer who is working on a sentry gun.


This puns on 'coitus interruptus' - to withdraw the penis from the vagina before ejaculation during sex.


Counter Espionage
Counter Espionage
Backstab a disguised Spy.


Counter espionage is when an organisation or government plants a field operative in a location where enemy spies are known to operate, with the specific task of countering the enemy's operations.


Deep Undercover
Deep Undercover
While using the Cloak and Dagger, kill the same enemy 3 times, all within the same area in a single life.


To be undercover is to disguise oneself to gain the trust of another group. Deep cover is a 1992 crime-thriller film.


Die Another Way
Die Another Way
Kill a Sniper after your backstab breaks his Razorback.


This is a play on the name of the 20th James Bond film, Die Another Day, released in 2002, and the last one to feature Pierce Brosnan as Bond.


Diplomacy
Diplomacy
Kill 50 enemies with the Ambassador.


Ambassador is the highest rank for a diplomat.


Dr. Nooooo
Dr. Nooooo
Backstab a Medic that is ready to deploy an ÜberCharge.


Dr. No is Ian Fleming's sixth James Bond novel. It is also the name of the first film in the James Bond series, starring Sean Connery as Bond.


For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only
Provide an enemy with a freezecam shot of you flicking a cigarette onto their corpse.


For Your Eyes Only is a pair of short stories written by Ian Fleming featuring British Secret Service agent James Bond. A film based on the stories was released in 1981, starring Roger Moore as Bond.

It is also a phrase commonly seen in stories and films stamped on documents to warn the reader not to divulge the information contained within.


FYI I am a Spy
FYI I am a Spy
Backstab a Medic who has healed you in the last 5 seconds.


This achievement is based on a popular YouTube video in which a Spy manages to backstab an enemy Medic by distracting him with a spray that reads "FYI I am a Spy".


High Value Target
High Value Target
Backstab an enemy who is dominating 3 or more of your teammates.


In United States military terminology, a high-value target is a person or resource that an enemy commander requires for completion of a mission, thus essentially a prime attack target.


Identity Theft
Identity Theft
Backstab the enemy that you're currently disguised as.


Identity theft is a form of fraud in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name.


Insurance Fraud
Insurance Fraud
Kill an enemy while you're being healed by an enemy Medic.


Any act committed with the intent to fraudulently obtain payment from an insurer is called "insurance fraud".


Is It Safe?
Is It Safe?
Backstab 50 enemies who are capturing control points.


This is a reference to Marathon Man, a 1974 paranoid thriller novel by William Goldman. A film version was released in 1976. Both the novel and the film contain a graphic scene where one character tortures another by drilling into his teeth, without anesthetic, and repeatedly asking the question "Is it safe?".


Joint Operation
Joint Operation
Sap an enemy Sentry Gun within 3 seconds of a teammate sapping another.


A joint operation is where two or more groups of people or organisations work towards a common end.


May I Cut In?
May I Cut In?
Backstab an enemy and the Medic healing him within 10 seconds of each other.


This phrase is a euphemism for "excuse me", used when interrupting a conversation.


On Her Majesty’s Secret Surface
On Her Majesty’s Secret Surface
Start capping a capture point within a second of it becoming available.


On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a James Bond novel, written by Ian Fleming in 1963. There was also a film released in 1969, the only Bond film to feature George Lazenby as Bond. British Intelligence (known as the SIS, or MI6) is also known as "Her Majesty's Secret Service".


Point Breaker
Point Breaker
Kill 15 enemies who are standing on a control point they own.


Point Break is a 1991 action film. The title refers to the surfing term "point break", a permanent obstruction such as a coral reef, rock, shoal, or headland that causes a wave to break, forming a barreling wave that can be surfed.


Sap Auteur
Sap Auteur
Destroy 1000 Engineer buildings with sappers.


This is a play on "saboteur", a person who engages in sabotage, a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction.


Sapsucker
Sapsucker
Sap an enemy building, then backstab the Engineer who built it within 5 seconds.


"Sucker" is a slang term for someone considered gullible.

A sapsucker is a type of woodpecker. Because sapsuckers usually attack living trees, they are often considered to be a pest. Here the Spy is considered the pest for sapping the Engineer's buildings.


Skullpluggery
Skullpluggery
Headshot 20 Snipers with the Ambassador.


This is a play on "skullduggery", which refers to underhanded or deceitful actions.


Slash and Burn
Slash and Burn
Backstab an enemy, who then switches to Pyro before they respawn.


"Slash and burn" is the act of cutting and burning down forests in order to create fields to be used for agriculture. It can also be used to describe methods that are drastic and ultimately destructive.


Sleeper Agent
Sleeper Agent
Kill an enemy who triggered your feign death in the last 20 seconds.


A sleeper agent is a spy who has been placed in a foreign body to become assimilated and to make himself available if need be, as opposed to taking immediate action.


Spies Like Us
Spies Like Us
While cloaked, bump into an enemy cloaked Spy.


Spies Like Us is a comedy film about two rookie spies sent to the Soviet Union to stop a nuclear threat. The film features many stereotypes of things frequently seen in other spy movies.


Spymaster
Spymaster
Backstab 1000 enemies.


A spymaster is the ring leader of a spy ring, run by a secret service such as the CIA or MI6.


The Man from P.U.N.C.T.U.R.E.
The Man from P.U.N.C.T.U.R.E.
Stab an enemy while fencing.


The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series centered on a two-man troubleshooting team for a fictitious secret international law-enforcement agency, the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.).


The Man with the Broken Guns
The Man with the Broken Guns
Backstab an Engineer, then sap 3 of his buildings within 10 seconds.


The Man with the Golden Gun is a James Bond novel and film, starring Roger Moore as Bond. The Golden Gun itself was wielded by an elite assassin famed for killing his targets with just one bullet.


The Melbourne Supremacy
The Melbourne Supremacy
Dominate a Sniper.


The Bourne Supremacy is the second novel in Robert Ludlum's Bourne series, released in 1986. There was also a film based on the novel released in 2004, starring Matt Damon as the main character, Jason Bourne.

Melbourne is a city in Australia, the homeland of the Sniper.


Triplecrossed
Triplecrossed
Backstab 3 Snipers in a single life.


The phrase Double cross refers to betrayal. A triplecrosser is someone who pretends to betray their allies in order to gain an enemy's trust, and using this trust to their advantage.

This is also a reference to the map Doublecross.


Wetwork
Wetwork
Stab an enemy to death while under the influence of Jarate.


Wetwork is a euphemism for government-sponsored murder or assassination, alluding to hands literally wet with blood.


Who's Your Daddy?
Who's Your Daddy?
Headshot 3 Scouts with the Ambassador.


This achievement is a reference to the Spy's relationship with the Scout's mother as revealed in Meet the Spy. "Who's your daddy?" is also a phrase often used to proclaim dominance over a person.


You Only Shiv Thrice
You Only Shiv Thrice
Backstab 3 enemies within 10 seconds.


This is a play on Ian Fleming's 1964 James Bond novel, You Only Live Twice. A film based on the novel was released in 1967, starring Sean Connery as Bond.

Weapons

Ambassador
Ambassador


France has the second largest diplomatic network in the world, just behind the United States. French is also generally considered to be the diplomatic language par excellence.


Big Earner
Big Earner


In Mafia terminology, a Big Earner is someone who acquires large amounts of money for the family.


Black Rose
Black Rose
Slay it with flowers.


The design on the blade is identical to the Rose-Engraved Knife from Alliance of Valiant Arms.

The weapon's description is a play on the phrase "Say it with flowers" which is commonly associated with the giving of flowers to loved ones.


Cloak and Dagger
Cloak and Dagger


This is a reference to the phrase cloak and dagger, used to refer to situations involving espionage, mystery, or even assassination. The phrase dates from the early 19th Century.


Conniver's Kunai
Conniver's Kunai
Start off with low health

Kill somebody with this knife Steal all of their health


A conniver is a person who manipulates or secretly conspires with others, usually to their own advantage.

Historically, kunai were farming tools; when the Japanese emperor announced Martial Law and banned weapons, farming tools were among the easily disguised substitutes adopted.


Dead Ringer
Dead Ringer


This is a pun on "dead ringer", a phrase which suggests a likeness between people; "dead" in its ability to aid in killing people, and "ringer" in reference to either the distinct sound made when uncloaking or the sports idiom regarding an imposter.


Diamondback
Diamondback


This weapon is styled after the Diamond Back .357 pistol from Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


Enforcer
Enforcer


In Mafia terminology, an Enforcer is a member of the Family entrusted to ensuring fulfilment of deals by threats and, if necessary, murder.


L'Etranger
L'Etranger


L'Etranger (The Stranger) is one of the most famous novels of Albert Camus, a French writer.


Red-Tape Recorder
Red-Tape Recorder


This weapon's name references the term "red tape", meaning bureaucracy that hinders or prevents action or decision-making.


Sharp Dresser
Sharp Dresser
Every merc's crazy for a sharp-dressed man. With 15th century murder-knives extruding from his cufflinks.


A sharp dresser is a person who dresses well, usually in a suit.

The weapon and its equip animation are based on the Hidden Blade from the Assassin's Creed series of games.

The description of this weapon is a reference to the song Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top.


Spy-cicle
Spy-cicle
It's the perfect gift for the man who has everything: an icicle driven into their back. Even rich people can't buy that in stores.


This is a portmanteau of the "Spy" and "icicle". The weapon itself is an icicle.


Wanga Prick
Wanga Prick


A wanga (sometimes spelled "oanga" or "wanger") is a magical charm packet found in the folk magic practices of Haiti.


Your Eternal Reward
Your Eternal Reward

In the film Aladdin, just before the antagonist, Jafar, tries to kill Aladdin with a dagger which is strikingly similar to this weapon, he says he is "Giving you your reward! Your eternal reward!"

Cosmetic Items

Business Casual
Business Casual
It's casual business in the front, and more casual business in the back. Now: check those sides. Yep. It's casual business there too. Cover all the casual business bases with this unbuttoned suit jacket.


The term "business casual" refers to clothes one would typically wear to work in an office.


Camera Beard
Camera Beard
You wouldn't mind if I read this top secret document with my beard, would you?


Initially, the Camera Beard was rejected by the Spy for being ridiculous in the Sniper vs. Spy Update.


Cosa Nostra Cap
Cosa Nostra Cap
If looks could kill, this dapper fellow would make your head an accomplice to murder.


Cosa Nostra is an Italian term that translates as "Our Thing". It is used as a euphemism for referring to the Mafia.


Counterfeit Billycock
Counterfeit Billycock
This hat is a Spy.


The description of this hat is a reference to the popular meme of "The [Insert Noun] is a Spy".


Dashin' Hashshashin
Dashin' Hashshashin
When you need to go deep undercover, one disguise is not enough! Put a hood over that ski-mask, then wrap a towel around it. Boldly announce to the world that you are inconspicuous!


Ezio Auditore da Firenze wears this hood in the Assassin's Creed game series.

The Perso-Arabic term "hashshashin" is the root of the English word "assassin", referring to the title Assassin's Creed.


Dr. Whoa
Dr. Whoa


This item is a reference in both name and design to the Eleventh Doctor from the television series Doctor Who, who wears a similar bow tie.


Exorcizor
Exorcizor
The power of Christ compels you... to get this snazzy exorcizing outfit!


The description refers to the line "The Power of Christ compels you!" from The Exorcist.


Familiar Fez
Familiar Fez


This is a reference to a scene from the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, where Austin says to Mustafa "I don't recall your name, but your fez is familiar". Spy's fez and glasses are identical to Mustafa's.


Griffin's Gog
Griffin's Gog


Griffin is the main character from the novel The Invisible Man, who wore similar goggles.


Hat of Cards
Hat of Cards
Why did we just take one of those cards out of our hats to blatantly cheat at poker? Maybe what you should be asking is this: why are our knives…in your gut?! You might also want to ask: where is the nearest hospital?! And: is blood as important as everyone claims?!


A house of cards is a structure made of playing cards stacked upon one another.

The description references the tradition of crooked poker players secretly producing cards from hidden pockets in order to win.

The 2 shown cards; the 7 of diamonds and the 2 of hearts, are infamous for being the worst possible hand you can get in a game of Texas Hold 'Em.

Intangible Ascot
Intangible Ascot


This ascot is based on the one worn by Griffin, the main character in H.G.Wells' novel The Invisible Man.


Invisible Rogue
Invisible Rogue


This set and the items in it are based on the main character in H.G.Wells' novel The Invisible Man, a story about a scientist who managed to make himself invisible.


Lacking Moral Fiber Mask
Lacking Moral Fiber Mask
This grifter's mask is perfect for running the oldest scam in the book: tricking people into thinking you're a down-on-his-luck, dishonored robot who's just had dental surgery, then getting them to lend you money. Also comes with eye-gun, so if the scam doesn't work, you can rob them.


This is styled after the gas mask worn by Corvo Attano, a disgraced bodyguard, from the video game Dishonored.

Individuals who lack moral fiber are described as socially degenerate. This could refer to the protagonist of Dishonored, Corvo Attano, who seeks revenge after being falsely accused of murder, or the Spy and his general personality.


L'Inspecteur
L'Inspecteur
Nobody is not scared of a policeman from France. That is why this hat is so effective.


This hat is a reference to Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the Pink Panther film series.


Made Man
Made Man
A gentleman always has a flower handy to drop on an opponent's grave.


In Mafia terminology, a "made man" is someone who has been officially inducted into the Mafia.


Nanobalaclava
Nanobalaclava


A balaclava, or balaclava helmet, is a form of cloth headgear that covers the whole head, exposing only parts of the face, such as the one the Spy wears. The Nanobalaclava would seem to be a futuristic version utilising nanotechnology.


Ninja Cowl
Ninja Cowl
If there's one thing that the ladies/men love, it's mystery. And what's more mysterious than covering your entire face with a Ninja Cowl? "Oh my, I can't see any of that man's face!" they'll exclaim. "He must have a terrible secret I will uncover with my love."


The ninja in Hero Academy wears a mask that this item is a stylised version of.


Under Cover
Under Cover


The hat and bandages are based on those worn by Griffin, the main character from the novel The Invisible Man.

Taunts

Disguise Kit

The pose sometimes made while taunting with the Disguise Kit is a reference to the Spycrab, the fan-named result of a player selecting the Disguise Kit, looking straight up, crouching, and walking. Doing this results in the Spy holding both arms over his head while looking forward. The taunt has about a one in six chance of happening. The fashion in which he walks in this position is similar to a crab walking on land. It is popular among players to not kill Spycrabs, as they are "endangered."

Responses

Dominating a Sniper

"You live in a van!"

This apparent mocking of the Sniper's choice of abode and transport as seen in Meet the Sniper is a running joke in various response lines.

Dominating an Engineer

"Yippee ki-yay, my dead, illiterate friend"

"Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!" is the signature catchphrase of John McClane in the Die Hard series of films, starring Bruce Willis as McClane.

Dominating a Scout

"Well, off to visit your mother!"

The Spy's relationship with the Scout's mother is revealed in Meet the Spy.

Dominating a Medic

Does it hurt when I do that? It does, doesn't it?!

The first line of this quote is the phrase commonly said when doctors are testing a patient, used to ascertain if bones are broken or dislocated.

Other Responses

"I have been shown who is the boss!" - after being soaked with Jarate or Mad Milk

This is a reference to the Spy's exclamation in the comic as seen on the announcement page of the Jarate's supposed April Fools' reveal.


"They should call you whiners Dr. NOOOOO!" - attacking when Übercharged

Dr. No is Ian Fleming's sixth James Bond novel. It is also the name of the first film in the James Bond series, starring Sean Connery as Bond.


"Our influence grows!" - after capturing control point

This phrase is said by an advisor in the Civilization III computer game when the player's civilization's "cultural influence" zone expands itself.

Media

Bio

"He is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in riddles, lovingly sprinkled with intrigue, express mailed to Mystery, Alaska..." - The Spy's description

This is a reference to a quote from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, referring to Russia as "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".

Mystery, Alaska is a 1999 drama about a fictional small-town ice hockey team that plays a game against the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.

Sniper vs Spy Update

The Ambassador advertisement for the Sniper vs. Spy Update bears striking similarity to the pose used in several James Bond film posters - the only difference being that the Spy is left-handed in the ad, and Bond always appears right-handed.

See Also