[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Jimmyolsentransformations_1447.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Either Jimmy is freaking out over his transformations or he's [[PstandardPsychicPstance trying out his new mental powers]]. \\
Also: [[Website/SuperDickery take thirteen shots.]]]]
->''"Introducing JIMMY OLSEN...\\
He's a MASTER of DISGUISE:\\
He's DEVIL! He's a GANGSTER!\\
He's a dozen other guys!\\
He's a BEARDED BOY, a MARTIAN,\\
A ROCK-'N'-ROLLER and a CLOWN...\\
TEXAN, CAVEMAN, GIRL and ROBOT...\\
Man, he really goes to town!\\
He's a KNIGHT and he's a CONVICT[=--=]\\
(Though it's only for a gag!)\\
Why, he's even '''SUPERMAN'''\\
In this, his latest '''GIANT''' mag!"''
-->-- '''Advertisement''' for ''Jimmy Olsen Vol. 1 No. 95''

Jimmy Olsen is "Franchise/{{Superman}}'s best friend" and the second best known character from the hero's [[RegularCharacter supporting cast]]. He was created for the [[Radio/TheAdventuresOfSuperman Superman radio show]] in 1940, mainly as someone for Superman to talk with (besides ComicBook/LoisLane, who was both a woman/LoveInterest and [[StrawFeminist sometimes rather contrary]]) so he could [[TheWatson explain things to the audience indirectly]]. Jimmy was [[CanonImmigrant later introduced in the comics themselves]].

An anonymous character who looked like Jimmy turned up as early as ''"Action Comics''" #6 (November, 1938). But the first actual comic book appearance for Mr. Olsen was ''"Superman''" #13 (November-December, 1941). Presumably, he was also created as an AudienceSurrogate for the show's fans, who were mostly young boys. Jimmy also has some resemblance to {{Archie}} (who was also very popular at the time) in that both were impulsive but well-meaning red-haired, freckled teenagers. They even dressed alike, including wearing bowties!

Jimmy works as a photographer for the Daily Planet, which is an excuse for him to accompany the [[IntrepidReporter intrepid reporters]] Lois and Clark in their adventures without being one himself. However, he has absolutely no problem getting into far more trouble and sent on far more bizarre adventures than he seeks out, and his unique status, which since ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' has almost taken the form of a RunningGag, is the fact that he is possibly the single most powerful WeirdnessMagnet in the entire DC Universe (and in this respect is often compared to Comicbook/TheAvengers' ally Rick Jones from {{Marvel}}).

Jimmy became so popular he actually starred in his own comic book series, the humorous ''Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen''. Which lasted for 163 issues, from September, 1954 to March, 1974. This series is better remembered today for the amount of bizarre transformations Jimmy underwent in many of its stories. However those were only part of the wackiness featured in the series, which ranged from romantic problems with his girlfriend Lucy Lane (Lois' sister) to temporarily adopting his own superhero identity (several different ones in fact.)

The description of the SuperpowerSillyPutty trope features ComicBook/JimmyOlsen, and for a reason! That trope could have perfectly be changed to ''"The Jimmy Olsen"'' and nobody would have really noticed.

Jimmy owned a supersonic wristwatch that he used to summon Superman whenever he wanted (only Superman could hear its buzzing). The hero must have regretted giving it to him, as Jimmy either called him to ask mundane favors, or needed help from problems he constantly got himself into (including trying to arrest criminals on his own) on the assumption that Superman would come and save him. Maybe it was because of this that, like Lois, Jimmy often was a target of Superman's [[SuperDickery surprisingly mean sense of humor]]. And yet, Superman never took the wristwatch away.

(Actually, it was UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age of comic|books}}s, and many of [[DCComics DC's]] stories back then were sold on the basis of bizarre or unexpected turns of events- though Jimmy's were certainly the most varied of all.)

Jimmy's series lasted into the [[TheSeventies 1970s]], when, as with Lois, DC tried to make him a more modern, believable character. He got a new set of clothes (loooong after Archie had stopped using his own similar set) and had adventures that didn't involve Superman or zany plots. He even picked up the nickname "Mister Action" (despite not starring in DC's Action Comics). Ironically, the weirdness came back with a vengeance when, of all people, JackKirby came along to write and draw the series. Kirby, fresh off MarvelComics, decided to take this series as there was no assigned staff at the time, so he wouldn't cost anyone his job. With the clean slate, Kirby used the series to launch his ComicBook/NewGods saga (which means that, yes, {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} debuted in ''this'' title!) Kirby also used the series to bring back his own, older creations, the Newsboy Legion (both as adult scientists AND as their teenage clones) and the superhero The Guardian. On top of that, he also invented the DNA Project (known now as Cadmus) that would later have an impact on characters such as ComicBook/{{Superboy}} with their cloning techniques. Oh, and in case you think he forgot about Jimmy, he added one more transformation to the character's collection: "Homo Tremendus", i.e. Jimmy as a berserking caveman!

After Kirby's departure, Jimmy's title was combined with Lois' and ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'s to create ''Superman Family'' in which Jimmy's stories became more realistic urban crime adventures. In them, the crooks are usually GenreSavvy enough to remove his signal-watch, forcing him to rely more on his own wits. Fortunately, Jimmy is more than up to the task as a two-fisted IntrepidReporter.

Jimmy's role has since waned over the decades; his role as best friend was effectively taken over by Lois in the post-ComicBook/{{Crisis|OnInfiniteEarths}} era, as she not only was more agreeable, but also *married* to Superman. Besides, most writers seem to recall Jimmy more for his silly adventures than for his serious ones. His last major story arc (which took place in the much-maligned ''ComicBook/CountdownToFinalCrisis'' series) had him apparently gaining all the powers he had during his Silver Age series, but out of his control; it was eventually revealed that the reason was because [[spoiler: Darkseid had chosen him as the vessel of the energy for the dying New Gods... for some reason]].)

However, Jimmy later got his own mini-series, starting as a co-feature in Action Comics, before getting canceled, and later reprinted with the storyline complete. In fact, it was praised as one of the best series of the year, and deeper delving into Jimmy's character, particularly his Genre Savviness about his cosmic plaything status, has yielded surprisingly solid results. Imagine Jimmy as the non-time traveling [[Series/DoctorWho Doctor]] of the DCU. This storyline also finally introduced the popular ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' character Chloe Sullivan into official DC Comics continuity, and paired the two fellow [[CanonImmigrant Canon Immigrants]] (Chloe from ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Jimmy from the radio serials) together.

The continued interest in the character just goes to show Jimmy is likely to remain a part of the Superman Mythos forever. [[spoiler:Except in the Film/DCExtendedUniverse, where he appears in ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'' just long enough to [[WeHardlyKnewYe get killed off]].]]
----
!!Jimmy Olsen provides examples of the following tropes:
* ActOfTrueLove: In ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', Jimmy turns himself into [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman Doomsday]], risking that the DNA will overwhelm him, to stop a [[BrainwashedAndCrazy black Kryptonite infected]] Superman without sending him to the PhantomZone, risking his life[=/=]sanity to save his best friend.
* ActionHero: As Mr. Action.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Despite being one of the most iconic redheads in comics, he's ''never'' been one in live-action.
* AdaptiveArmor: His powers during "Countdown" were triggered only when he was in actual danger.
* {{Adorkable}}: Jimmy's outdated clothing, innocent demeanor, and extreme loyalty to Superman make him this.
* AmbiguouslyGay: A few times, and hilariously so in ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman''.
* ApologeticAttacker: In one story, Jimmy realizes that Superman is infected with the virus that is wreaking havoc through Kandor. He mentally says "[[PreemptiveApology Sorry for what I'm about to do, pal]]" before knocking him out.
* ArchEnemy: He gets his own arch-enemy in the ''Action Comics'' backup strip: a young Lexcorp executive called Sebastian Mallory. He acknowledges that "Superman's Pal vs ComicBook/LexLuthor's protege" might seem a bit obvious, but they really do hate each other.
* AttractiveBentGender: Jimmy looks pretty darn fetching as a woman, and in one story, a mobster falls for the disguised Jimmy.
* BadassNormal: Pre-Crisis, Jimmy did some pretty heroic things, mostly to avoid the inevitable debris of hanging around the planet's most powerful being, on top of providing exposés of crime rings for public viewing. Technically, this is mostly a case of DependingOnTheWriter; the Jimmy Olsen from ''Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen'' #1 is '''very''' different from the one that starred in ''[[MeaningfulRename Superman Family]]'' #222. Sadly, ''post''-Crisis Jimmy stayed a [[StatusQuoIsGod complete and total putz]] until the 2000s.
** Nick Spencer's Action Comics story "Jimmy Olsen's Big Week" basically runs with this. Sure, Jimmy's a CosmicPlaything, but he's genre savvy and clever enough to deal with everything from genies to evil mid-level [=LexCorp=] employees. He's the DCU's [[Series/DoctorWho Doctor]].
* BaldOfAwesome: How he's depicted in ''Series/{{Supergirl 2015}}''.
* BalefulPolymorph: Some of the forms Jimmy was turned into include:
** A werewolf (of the "really hairy man" type.)
** A giant turtle-man (in effect, a {{Kaiju}}).
*** Which becomes a MythologyGag when Olsen scored a TV job as "Turtle Boy".
** A human porcupine, with the ability to shoot quills!
** A RubberMan (see NeverBeAHero).
** A really, REALLY fat man.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Jimmy is a constant target of SuperDickery.
* CameraFiend: Some versions of Jimmy are photographers.
* CanonForeigner: Introduced in the radio show, though some claim an (unnamed) copy boy in an earlier Superman comic was supposed to be Jimmy.
* CaptainErsatz: Superman and Jimmy Olsen become ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' and ''ComicBook/{{Robin}}'' [[{{Expy}} Expies]] Nightwing and Flamebird in the bottled city of Kandor, allowing Jimmy to fight crime alongside a depowered Superman (since Kandor is under a red sun.)
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: Like Superman, Jimmy is sometimes written as parentless, presumably to explain why his mother and father aren't freaking out about all the trouble he gets into on a daily basis.
* CloningBlues: The Newsboy Legion. Pre-[[ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Crisis]], they're [[UncannyFamilyResemblance the completely identical sons of]] [[ItRunsInTheFamily the original Newsboy Legion from]] UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks, whose fathers made tiny clones of them, [[MoralDissonance without their prior consent]]. Post-Crisis, their UncannyFamilyResemblance is explained by them being direct clones of their "fathers".
* CosmicPlaything: Jimmy didn't need to know Superman or even do anything extraordinary for things to ''just happen'' to him. Then again, [[FridgeBrilliance that may be]] ''[[FridgeBrilliance why]]'' [[FridgeBrilliance he's Superman's best friend]].
* CrazyPrepared: In ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretOrigin'', Jimmy apparently carries more than one camera.
-->'''Soldier''': I thought we confiscated his camera!
-->'''Jimmy Olsen''': A good reporter is always prepared! I have a dozen spares! ''[[BlindedByTheLight (blinds the soldiers with the camera's flash and escapes)]]''
* DeusExitMachina: Quite a lot of stories had Superman doing something in space, or Jimmy's watch would be broken, or tampered with, or ''something'' would have happened to it.
* DisguisedInDrag: Jimmy does this [[http://www.tgfa.org/comics/jimmy_olsen/jimmy_olsen.htm pretty darned often]], to the point he may just be a WholesomeCrossdresser.
* HenpeckedHusband: A victim of the "henpecked boyfriend" variant; Lucy was as shrewish to Jimmy as Lois was to Superman.
* HeterosexualLifePartners:
** Jimmy and Superman/Clark are (at least in some continuities) very close friends. In the new 52, they are roughly the same age and share an apartment.
** Jimmy and ComicBook/{{Robin}} were often portrayed as friends during the Silver Age. They were never as close to each other as to Superman and Franchise/{{Batman}}, but being {{Kid Sidekick}}s together meant they had something in common. They even temporarily had a team of their own.
* HeroicBystander:
** Jimmy rushed to Superman's aid when the hero was overcome by kryptonite fire on his suit. A few burns were nothing when it came to saving his pal.
** In the early story "The Hunted Messenger", Jimmy rescues a deliveryman from two muggers.
* HeroicSacrifice: Jimmy attempted this in ''Superman Family'' #173. In order to counteract a virus affecting all of Kandor, he planned to blow up the bottle--and himself with it--thus giving the Kandorians the powers necessary to be cured. He was only saved by the super-tough Kandorian fabric he was wearing.
* IHaveYourWife: Jimmy was frequently taken hostage to get to Superman, to the degree where he tried to [[DefiedTrope defy]] it once or twice.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: In one early story, Jimmy is being held hostage and forced to give crooks trying to win a million-dollar game show answers about Superman. As one of his answers, he slips in a detail that only he and Superman were aware of. Superman realizes he's in trouble and flies to the rescue.
* InnocentBlueEyes: Jimmy is a ([[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]]) naive NiceGuy who, according to the DC sites, is blue-eyed.
* InstantFanClub: Jimmy had one, in some of the comics.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Modern stories tend to emphasize his tagline of "Superman's Pal!" with this, making Jimmy and Clark (rather than Superman, necessarily) close friends despite their age difference[[note]] Which tends to be a smaller age difference than the Silver Age anyway[[/note]].
* InterspeciesFriendship: Superman is Kryptonian; Jimmy is a human. But that doesn't keep them from being fairly close.
* InterspeciesRomance:
** Jimmy had one with Forager (technically Forager III) in ''ComicBook/CountdownToFinalCrisis''. Forager is one of the "Bugs" from [[ComicBook/NewGods New Genesis]]... in other words, a humanoid insect. However, [[StatusQuoIsGod she breaks up with him at the end of the serial]] and goes on to form a team with [[ComicBook/WonderGirl Donna Troy]], [[GreenLantern Kyle Rayner]] and [[ComicBook/TheAtom Ray Palmer]] with the intention of serving as "multiversial border guards".
** In one "[[WhatIf imaginary]]" story, Jimmy got married to ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} -- or rather, to her SecretIdentity, Linda Lee Danvers. Finding out that his new wife was the alien superheroine who had been flirting with him was a shock, [[UnderstandingBoyfriend but he ultimately took it rather well.]]
* KneelPushTrip: A potential variation in an old comic a ''Planet'' employee called Jimbo Jones pretends to fall in front of a crook to trip him, whereupon Jimmy Olsen hits him, finishing the job.
* TheLoad: In [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks the silver age]]; [[ComicBook/PostCrisis modern]] comics have managed to avert this to an extent, by making him a closer friend of Clark Kent's than Superman's.
* MadScientist: Often the cause of Jimmy's transformations was one of Metropolis' scientists doing an experiment.
* MasterOfDisguise: In the earlier stories, Jimmy could disguise himself so well that Perry, Lois, and even Superman had trouble recognizing him.
* NeverBeAHero: Because his role was always to be Superman's little buddy. However, unlike Lois, Jimmy did get to replay some of his superhero identities: in particular, he was Elastic Lad and Flamebird (sidekick to Superman under the identity of Nightwing, playing [[{{Expy}} expies]] of Batman and Robin.)
* NiceGuy: Most of Jimmy's incarnations are kind and friendly. He is also arguably Superman's most loyal supporter, cemented by the ''Truth'' storyline.
* NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer: Some of the stories ''have'' to be seen to be believed. To list just one example, in ''Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #86'', Jimmy ended up [[http://the-isb.blogspot.com/2007/04/mind-shattering-madness-of-jimmy-olsen_09.html time traveling to World War II]] and ''teaming up with Hitler''.
* NowLetMeCarryYou: Jimmy sometimes (usually when there was Kryptonite around) got the chance to repay Superman for saving his life.
* ParentalSubstitute: Jimmy's father either died or disappeared (depending on the incarnation) sometime before they could really have a relationship. His bond with Superman is therefore partially this. It was more played up in the Silver Age, however (just check out the {{Superdickery}} page image!), while modern stories tend to emphasize his and Clark's IntergenerationalFriendship more.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: In the earlier stories of his series. Jimmy was 5' 10" but could take on taller and brawnier crooks, sometimes more than one at a time. In "Superman's Ex-Pal", he gets into a scrap with the BigBad. The bad guy never lands a hit on Jimmy, who pummels him sufficiently to keep him from getting away.
* RaceLift: A new version of the character appears in ''Series/{{Supergirl 2015}}'' series, played by Creator/MehcadBrooks, a black man.
* RedHeadedHero: In many of his incarnations, Jimmy is both a good guy and a redhead.
* RevealingCoverup: A group of crooks were running a scam with one pretending to be the Man of Steel and asking for money to guard various valuables. This attracts Jimmy Olsen's attention, as not only did the fake Supes fail to recognize him, but also he was aware that Superman would never ask for money for his services. The scam attracts further suspicion when Jimmy attacks and is easily able to give the fake Superman trouble, causing the crook to yell for his partners to shoot him "before he ruins everything!" A little late for that...
* SuperDickery: The original ''Website/{{Superdickery}}'' website even has its own DrinkingGame for him! For anyone interested, there's only one rule; if Jimmy gets a super-power, take a shot. Warning: You'll get plastered in no time flat. One cover is worth ''four shots'' alone. [[spoiler: Then there is the cover for the Planet of the Thousand Jimmies...]]
* SuperpowerSillyPutty: The patron saint of this trope. Jimmy has had (and lost) so many superpowers that there is an entire collection called ''The Many Transformations of Jimmy Olsen.''
* TookALevelInBadass: In his ''Superman Family'' stories, Jimmy got much tougher as an IntrepidReporter, ready to punch out the bad guys without Superman's help. His ''ComicBook/ActionComics'' story runs with this, and the idea that Jimmy is essentially The Doctor of the DC universe. He's resourceful, a talented journalist, fit, and {{genre savvy}} enough to stop Sebastian's schemes.
* TransformationComic: Practically; just look at the page image!
* UnderstandingBoyfriend: in one imaginary story, Jimmy got married to ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} when (thanks to Red Kryptonite amnesia) neither of them knew who she was. When his new wife recovered her memory and revealed that she was a super-powered alien, Jimmy thought it was "terrific."
* UndyingLoyalty: Extreme loyalty (to Superman) was intended to be Jimmy's foremost quality. Because of the PublicityDerailment of UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}}, it wasn't always portrayed very well. This is exemplified in the ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'' when Clark reveals his identity to Jimmy, and he's one of the few who stands by Superman's side when Lois outs him in ''ComicBook/SupermanTruth''.
* UnluckilyLucky: Even in his more competent iterations he's a world-class WeirdnessMagnet with a tendency to get into major trouble as a result. However, except for a few occasions, he always comes out with nary a scratch [[AngstWhatAngst or even angst.]]
* WeirdnessMagnet: Jimmy. Holy ''crap''. Encountering the ''ComicBook/NewGods'' is the ''least'' strange of his adventures.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Oh, he also disguised himself as a woman on occasion as part of a mission. Makes you wonder...
** Played, er, "straight" in ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', when asked if he's in disguise for a story, he simply replies, "Nope."
* WrittenSoundEffect: His signal watch's: ''Zee! Zee! Zee!''
* ZanyScheme: Jimmy either made crazy schemes, or got involved in them.
----