Dr. Patricia Tannis is a non-player character who is integral to the main storyline of Borderlands and provides missions in Borderlands 2. Tannis makes a return in Borderlands 3 as an important side-character that assists the new Vault Hunters in their goal to stop the Children of the Vault.
Patricia Tannis is a scientist and archaeologist who specializes in Eridian artifacts and technology. She was once employed by the Dahl corporation to unearth the hidden Vault on the planet of Pandora. During her stay on Pandora, she had several psychological breakdowns as a result of the harsh environment and the death of most of her colleagues. As a result of these breakdowns, Tannis started to reflect personalities outwards to immobile objects to cope with her loneliness. One such object was her ECHO Recorder.
After some time Dahl, lost interest in Pandora and promptly stopped all efforts to find the Vault hidden on the planet. Tannis, however, had grown obsessed with finding the legendary Vault and stayed behind, using the numerous bandit clans to assist her research. At some point, she was betrayed by the bandits working with her after which she secluded herself to her dig site thanks to an irrational phobia of the world outside.
At this point, she sent out signals calling for the help of Vault Hunters to aid in her research. Eventually, while sleepwalking she ventured beyond her dig site and thus realizing that there was nothing to fear anymore she ventured into the wilds of Pandora.
Tannis has a tenuous grip on sanity. She often abruptly changes the subject of her conversations and appears to have developed emotional attachments to her ECHO Recorder and to two chairs. In Borderlands 2, it is also revealed she has become extremely sociophobic, popping a blood vessel when someone says hello to her in the street. She also has a very strange set of morals, demonstrating scientific curiosity towards horrific experimentation on people.
In Borderlands 3 its shown that Tannis has become far less sociopohbic through her interactions with the Crimson Raiders and their allies. While still not preferring social interaction (as she is so adamant to remind the character of), she nevertheless has grown more familiar with the social standards of the wider galaxy than her younger self.
She is the leading expert on Eridians and Vaults, and as such is a person often consulted in missions. Her knowledge is vast but is presented in an extremely whimsical way. Tannis also records much of her life into her ECHO Recorder, then promptly hides the recordings, paying characters to retrieve them.
Tannis is autistic, and described in the Hidden Journals mission briefing as "an insane introvert with Asperger's." Some of her autistic traits are lack of empathy, echolalia, unusual vocal inflection, difficulty with social cues, and hyperfixation on her research and special interests. Tannis has suffered multiple traumas and prolonged isolation on Pandora, as described in her ECHO logs, which further exacerbate her social discomfort.
Tannis is introduced during the first Hidden Journal mission in the Arid Badlands. The Hidden Journal missions focus on recovering various data recorders hidden throughout the wilderness. The recorders contain journal entries from Tannis, most of which concern her research on the Vault and illustrate her rapidly diminishing sanity.
Tannis is soon met after passing through New Haven, when directed to her dig site in Rust Commons West. After showing her the Vault Key fragment that was found in Sledge's possession, she sends the Vault hunters out to find the rest of the fragments.
After collecting the second and third key pieces from Krom's Canyon and the Trash Coast, Tannis sends the Vault hunters to seek out one more piece of the key, alleging that Baron Flynt stole it as Tannis fired him from her team. After battling through Flynt and his men, the Vault hunters find the key's supposed chest empty. The Crimson Lance commander Commandant Steele contacts the hunters, insinuating that Tannis has joined them and has handed in the key fragments willingly, which is never refuted by Tannis. Amidst the doubt over whether or not Tannis has betrayed the Vault hunters, she explains that the Crimson Lance came after her and took the vault keys, and says that Steele came up with the plan to send the adventurers to kill the bandits. Tannis says that she went along with that part because it seemed like something the Vault hunters might enjoy.
After the Vault is opened, the Vault hunters can return to Tannis (who has returned to her dig site) to turn in the key for a substantial reward of money and experience.
Tannis returns in the fourth downloadable content pack, Claptrap's New Robot Revolution. This time she has established a secluded workshop overlooking Tartarus Station. She explains that it is her secret workshop, and she is beginning some sort of project in which she could use some help. After collecting a number of components from rogue claptraps, the project is revealed to be an android of herself, built so she wouldn't be lonely.
Between the events of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack steals the Vault key from Tannis by torturing her "ceiling chairs", including one she had developed feelings for, intending to charge it with Eridium to open another Vault containing an ancient Warrior. Roland contacts Tannis, inviting her to move to Sanctuary. Wanting revenge for what Hyperion did to the chairs, she accepts the offer.
After the death of Angel in Borderlands 2, Tannis unwittingly inherits her Siren powers, and then subsequently spends a large amount of time and effort mastering them in secret beneath an abandoned Dahl mining installation. She is forced to reveal her secret when she uses her powers to escape Pain and Terror, two lieutenants of the Children of the Vault, who were about to kill her.
- Claptrap's New Robot Revolution
- Borderlands 2
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary
- Borderlands 3
- Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck
- Main article: Patricia Tannis/Quotes
- See also: The journals of Patricia Tannis
- Tannis has strong opinions against various things, calling music "wasteful and stupid," and believing bacon is for "sycophants and products of incest."
- It is unknown at which point exactly the Crimson Lance started forcing Tannis' actions, as while the Vault Hunters are working to gain access to the Trash Coast for the third Vault key piece, Marcus Kincaid contacts them via ECHO, expressing his suspicions about Tannis as she had never used Marcus' services for resupplies and reasoned that she must be getting supplies from somewhere, possibly implying that the Lance had been supplying Tannis for some while in order for her to deceive the Vault Hunters into collecting the key pieces.
- A recurring easter egg of Patricia Tannis riding a fish in an out of bounds area can be found in Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Borderlands 3.
- In Borderlands, the easter egg is dubbed "Fun with barrels" and can be found in Treacher's Landing (near the "You're on a boat!" achievement).
- In Borderlands 2, the easter egg is found in Sawtooth Cauldron. Related video can be seen here.
- In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, the easter egg is found in Regolith Range. Related video can be seen here.
- In Borderlands 3, the easter egg is found in Ambermire on Eden-6. Related video can be seen here.
- Tannis has given at least one set of her underwear to Crazy Earl.
- During her intro cutscene in Borderlands 2 the clothes lines hanging in the background distinctly show a white bra and a pair of pink women's underwear, these articles are not present during normal gameplay.
- Dr. Zed appears to have a certain amount of jealousy for Tannis due to her having a "real Doctorate" degree while he does not have a medical license.
- Tannis flirts with the vault hunter during her first mission-related conversations in Borderlands 2, mentioning a "standing offer" to experience her bed.
- Certain unused entries within the game files indicate that one of the Patricia's roles was to sell eridium to the Vault Hunters. "If you require any more Eridium, you should know where to find me." is one of those entries.
- Another unused entry ("Your payment will further my research on Eridium. And my bacon addiction.") indicates that her declared distaste for bacon might not be so real after all.
- Tannis mentions that her parents were "blue collar isotope designers" in the Typhon log search for Carnivora.
- Her line, "Atomic batteries to power... Turbines to speed..." is a reference to a line spoken by Robin in the 1966 movie Batman when the Batmobile is powered up.
- "I'm going to need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21..." is a reference to the 1985 movie Back to the Future, in which 1.21 gigawatts is the power needed to travel though time.
- The Omega 13 is a reference to the movie Galaxy Quest, where the ship is powered by a device of the same name.
- In the video game Battleborn, also by Gearbox Software and 2K Games, there is an Easter egg of five messages relating to the then upcoming Borderlands sequel, one of them saying "Tannis is not what she seems."