[[quoteright:217:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DCUBoxart_2602.png]]
[[caption-width-right:217:At last a DC based MMORPG where you get to play as... some variation of that red guy there.]]

''DC Universe Online'' is a SuperHero {{MMORPG}}, following on the heels of ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' and ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes''. The game is set in the [[Franchise/TheDCU DC Universe]] and allows the players to [[AnAdventurerIsYou create any character they want]] without the usual class system of [=MMOs=], as they can mix and match using any combination of powers (e.g. mind attacks), weapons (e.g. dual wielding pistols) and abilities (e.g. super speed), and align themselves with either the famous [[BlackAndWhiteMorality heroes or villains]] of the universe, whereupon they are mentored by one of the big three of either side (e.g. Franchise/{{Batman}} for techonological heroes, or SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker for technological villains). The player can explore the fully realized cities of both [[CityOfAdventure Gotham and Metropolis]] (as well as the surrounding areas during certain missions) at will as they complete quests and battle against/with other players and iconic characters from the Universe. Compared to other {{MMORPG}}s it has a bigger focus on fast-paced combat, storytelling and player customization, as it is optimised for the Playstation3 as well as [=PCs=]. The game was released on January 11, 2011 and became [[{{Freemium}} free to play]] November 1, 2011.

!!This game provides examples of:

* AfterTheEnd[=/=]TheBadGuyWins: The entire set up for the explosion of metahumans is that TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture the heroes and villains are having an UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny in the RuinsOfTheModernAge until [[AlienInvasion Brainiac]] digitizes everything into [[MacGuffin Exobytes]] so Lex Luthor travels back in time with Brainiac's stolen Exobytes and infects the world to give thousands of people powers. He doesn't care if he creates a ton of Heroes or Villains so long as it means we have a chance against Brainiac, then flees to do "other important things" (and so we won't have 2 Luthors!)
** Though it turns out [[spoiler: Future!Luthor isn't as altruistic as he claims...]]
* AGodAmI: Circe and Undead Isis. The irony is neither of them are really goddesses.
* TheAgesOfSuperHeroComics: The game plays around with this in interesting ways. Metropolis is ''very'' SilverAge; the first enemies you encounter as magic (Franchise/WonderWoman) or meta (Franchise/{{Superman}}) heroes are dudes running around in stereotypical Egyptian costumes and ''sentient gorillas with rayguns'', respectively. While the level of "serious" fluctuates as you level across the story, it generally remains fairly silly. Gotham, meanwhile, features pretty much only Batman's rogues gallery, meaning you're fighting street toughs pushing steroids, madmen with fear gas and whatnot as a hero, and as a villain you're just straight-up roughing up cops and paying them off for the mob, and participating in a gang war; the feel is much more "[[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Nolan]]"/ModernAge. Even the alerts vary; the HIVE moon base is very {{Camp}}, while Bludhaven is [[DarkerAndEdgier quite a bit more serious]].
** Gotham also has a lot of civilians running around screaming over various things, while Metropolis people only freak when attacked.
** Notably, in Metropolis it's always daytime (specifically a late-ish afternoon for [[SceneryPorn maximum pretty]]); in Gotham, it's always night with [[WeirdMoon a huge moon]].
*** Lampshaded when a Hazmat officer mentions that he doesn't remember when is the last time he saw the sun in Gotham.
** Certain ModernAge elements do leak through into Metropolis, though. For example, while most characters are in their "classic" outfits (Superman and Wonder Woman are in their most famous ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}''-esque outfits, even Batman has a more bluish cowl, etc.), Giganta wears her One Year Later outfit (the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GigantaNewCostume.jpg form-fitting bodysuit]]) rather than her "classic" [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giganta.jpg jungle swimsuit]] getup from the ''Superfriends'' era.
** In general, the game seems to use traditional continuity elements, combined with a visual style that leans towards the lighter side. One such example of this is Killer Croc, who in this version, just looks like a big crocodile man, rather than a deformed monstrous human like some versions portray him as.
** Gotham does seem darker, but if you think about it, some of the quests are just as silly. [[http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/22625/batman-bomb-o.gif Look at this gif]] and do the Bomb quest in Amusement Mile. Try not to laugh your butt off.
* AIIsACrapshoot: In the final Joker-entor mission pre-joining the Legion of Doom, you fight a robot Batman and Joker. The robot Joker goes insane and thinks it's the real Joker, forcing you to stop it from killing the real one.
* AllYourPowersCombined: The [[ThatOneBoss Armored Robotic Custodian]] is an extremely deadly example. If you had an inexperienced team, it might end up integrating the mobs it summon and (individually) gain [[MacrossMissileMassacre Rocket Barrage]] from [[PintSizedPowerhouse security drones]], [[SpinAttack Doom Spin]] from [[EliteMook OMAC Prime]], [[ThatOneAttack Sonic Blast]] from Omega Sentries, Riot Foam from Pacifier Drones, Stun Beam from Arrester Drones and [[TornadoMove Whirlwind Attack]] from [[AirborneMook Wing Armor]]. It is as insanely difficult as it sounds, and more.
** Catwoman when she is imbued with the speed of the cheetah, power of the lion, stealth of the panther and agility of the tiger through some mystical artifacts. She has little health though and is quite easy to defeat.
* AlternateContinuity: Another one for the Multiversal Orrery, presumably. Of note is the fact that, while everything up to ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis seems to have happened here (Giganta's suit, Bane broke Batman's back, Doomsday is around, etc) the events of ComicBook/FinalCrisis and ComicBook/BlackestNight don't seem to have happened... yet. Though that said, Barry Allen, who returned in ''Final Crisis'', is [[LegacyCharacter one of the Flash]] in the game.
* AltItis: Judging by the fact that the biggest selling item in the in-game store after going FreeToPlay was additional character slots, it's safe to say this is a common phenomenon.
* AmazonianBeauty: Played to realistic levels, but the female characters are reasonably well-muscled.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: The game is loot based but the 'rare' drops just add costume styles.
** The coolest examples are the cool armour that the player gets once reaching level 30. Batgirl (if you're Hero Tech) gives you a robotic batsuit while Harley Quinn (Villain Tech) gives you a suit with an armed bomb on it.
** In addition, running 'The Vault' gives you the chance to get some costume pieces which are purely fanboy loot, such as hoodies with Franchise/GreenLantern or SelfDemonstrating/{{Lobo}} logos and baseball caps emblazoned with [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Bizarro's]] or Comicbook/{{Robin}}'s logos.
* AnIcePerson: Ice is one of the power sets.
* AntiGrinding: Averted. By MMO standards, it is ridiculously easy to gain levels. Even grinding low-level missions gives an obscene amount of experience. However, gaining renown to unlock the epic armor (only available after reaching max level) is a more traditional MMO Grindfest...
** Tier three PvE iconic battle suits costs 20,000 marks of triumph, which are mostly earned in single or double digit batches.
** [[SerialEscalation Topped]] by the tier 4 suits, which costs 50,000 marks.
** Also, your weapons degrade and you have to pay cash to repair them. Expect to regularly spend time fighting low-level mooks with your bare knuckles and broken armor to find cash to repair your goods if you didn't plan your finances properly.
* [[AnAdventurerIsYou A Superhero Is You]]: Naturally. Everyone is capable of fulfilling a damage-dealing role in a group, while certain power groups are capable of filling certain other niches as demanded.
* TheAtoner: Future!Luthor...to a degree. He doesn't really care that his actions create thousands of new supervillains. He just wants Earth to survive Brainiac. [[spoiler: It turns out to be an act, as Future!Luthor wanted the events to transpire as it did in his timeline so that ''[[ItsAllAboutMe he]]'' [[BigDamnHeroes could defeat Brainiac at the last moment]].]]
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Iconic powers (Save for the Innates). While the idea of using Superman's Heat Vision or a Batarang does sound cool, they require a lot of Power Points and have no power interactions (Which are very important in PVP and endgame content such as Hard Alerts and Raids).
** Recent patches changed this to make them work better and stronger although some of them are still passed in favor of [[BoringButPractical more practical powers]].
* BadassInDistress: Several missions involve coming to the aid of a prominent superhero/supervillain.
* BalefulPolymorph: Inverted. There are times when your character will be transformed into something else for a mission, like a gorilla, giant zombie, or demon. You lose your own moves and fighting style, but have infinite power points while in this form, allowing you to use the transformation's (often very powerful) special attacks as much as you want.
** Also played straight for Sorcery powers.
** During the "Seasons Greedings" Holiday event, one of the traps the Orange Lanterns use turns your character into a hard-light snowman. You can move and interact with objects in this form, but can't use weapons, skills or powers.
* BatSignal: A fixture in Gotham City, and there is a feat for finding it.
* BewareTheSuperman: Villain player characters, naturally.
* BigBad: Brainiac
** And once Brainiac is done, we have conflict between [[spoiler:[[BigBad Future Lex Luthor]]]] and [[spoiler:[[BigGood Future Batman]]]].
* BiggerBad: Trigon is able to [[CurbStompBattle curbstomp the entire Brainiac fleet]], but the fact that he's destroyed multiple dimensions may not bode well in the long run.
* BigNo: Mister Freeze when [[spoiler:the player betrays him.]]
* [[BigBadDuumvirate Big Bad Triumvirate]]: Lex Luthor, The Joker and Circe.
* BillingDisplacement: Circe, the mentor for mystical villains, is replaced on the box art by Catwoman.
* BloodKnight: Power Girl.
** Wonder Girl shows some too, especially in her spotlight message.
** As of ''The War of Light Part 1'' DLC, players can become Red Lanterns, who are this trope in its purest form.
* BossInMooksClothing: [[GreenThumb Lashers]] in the Stryker's Island alert, who are so strong that they're basically Raid-Level mooks.
** Also some of the tougher HIVE agents, who dress quite similarly to their incredibly weak drone counterparts.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy:
** The Teen Titans by Trigon (Twice), Aquaman by Circe, Robin by Poison Ivy
** Booster Gold by Queen Bee on duo missions.
*** Queen bee also hypnotizes some people who (apparently) came to help you during her boss fight.
** The Bat Family by Brother Eye and Krypto, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}, ComicBook/PowerGirl, and Bizzaro by Brainiac in Raids.
** It also happens automatically to any NPC who's transformed into a gorilla or is made into a "Dry-Lander Slave."
* BunnyEarsLawyer: How Calculator apparently views The Riddler. "So he tells riddles. His checks clear."
* CardCarryingVillain: Many, but Calculator couldn't go for more than a couple of sentences without some mention of his or the player's evilness.
* CarFu: For players with the SuperStrength power.
* [[CityOfAdventure Cities Of Adventure]]: Almost all the action (barring a couple missions) takes place in Metropolis and Gotham City.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder:
-->'''Joker''': If you wanna stay on my good side, you'll give those stolen diamonds to Mister Freeze. Oh, but don't worry - we'll be stabbing him in the back soon enough.
** At the end of [[spoiler:the Fortress of Solitude raids, after defeating Brainiac and General Zod, SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor turns against Superman and attempts to send him to the PhantomZone. [[NoSell It doesn't work because the crystals are programmed that way.]]]]
* ClimbingClimax: Given the commonality of flying powers, this is often averted. Inverted in the Lighthouse mission vs. Bane, where you enter through the top floor and fight your way to the bottom. All the better for him to [[RocksFallEveryoneDies drop it on your head.]]
** On the other hand, if you pick Acrobatics as your method of travel, you'll do a ''lot'' of this when exploring. Getting the grappling hook skill makes it a bit easier.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Weapon attacks will show what kind of power you have. For example, arrows show by fire players are red, icy blue for ice, green for nature, pale blue for gadgets, etc.
* CombatMedic: Players have their damage outputs greatly reduced while in the healer role; however, kryptonian medics in the Fortress of Solitude is arguably more dangerous than infantry or snipers, having a special attack that hits over 3000, which is more than the max health of the average player at that level.
* CursedWithAwesome: Two-Face's opinion on Clayface's condition.
-->If I could [[VoluntaryShapeshifting look like anyone I wanted]], I wouldn't be complaining.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: In the Cape Carmine Lighthouse Duo instance, Bane's thugs think they hear a noise. One of them suggests that it's just rats. Another responds, "Ain't rats. Ain't never rats!" and warns the others to tell their boss.
* ADayInTheLimeLight: Some of the released DLC content seem to be this for lesser-known heroes/villains such as Dr. Fate/Felix Faust and Comicbook/{{Steel}}/T.O. Morrow in ''Hand of Fate'' and ''Home Turf'' respectively.
* DeadpanSnarker: [[MissionControl Calculator]] knows how to speak like a good villainous contact.
--> Awesome, you can follow instructions.
--> So, Luthor wants you to make more Parasites? [[GenreSavvy The Parasite who devours every energy source he sees?]] ... Yeah... [[SarcasmMode can't see this]] [[GoneHorriblyWrong going wrong]].
-->Just so you know, the Eye of Sin is not Trigon's actual eyeball. In case you were wondering.
-->Wrath demons? Niiice. Call me when Sloth and Greed show up. [[SelfDeprecation Now those are my kinda guys.]]
* DeathByIrony: It's perfectly possible for players to kill the pesky H.I.V.E. minions with the exobyte containers that they're so eager to steal. Or, [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill preferably]], with the [[CarFu armored truck]] they stole from.
* DishingOutDirt: Earth is one of the power sets.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Apparently people attending Power Girl's lectures on using powers responsibly got a little sidetracked.
* DistractedByTheShiny: Colourful, [[PowerGlows glowing]] orbs found in random locations are residue [[AppliedPhlebotinum exobits]] that are key components in creating the most powerful equipment. Naturally, happens to players a lot.
* DistressedDude: Robin, who's been captured and placed under mind control by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy respectively.
* DontTouchItYouIdiot: In one of the radio recordings in the Fortress of Solitude, an agent for Lex Luthor says something along the lines to another agent before being KilledMidSentence. It's implied that the other agent is controlled by Brainiac.
* EliteMook: Too numerous to list.
* EnemyCivilWar: This happens a lot. Even if you're a villain, you'll spend a fair amount of time fighting fellow bad guys.
* EnemyMine: Done in the Raid missions with Superman, Lex Luthor, and General Zod in Fortress of Solitude and Wonder Woman and Circe in Themyscira.
** The Taskforce X/Suicide Squad option for PvP is this too, allowing players to team up with the opposite faction.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: This being DC, naturally. Nature heroes who specialize in transformation get an Ape form, and Gorilla Grodd and his army are a major villain group. The Ultra-Humanite also shows up in one of the alert missions, having taken control of Gorilla Island.
** Interestingly, Grodd is made out to be a credible threat, due to his ''[[AxCrazy psychotic hatred]]'' of humanity and missions and cut-scenes showing that being forcibly transformed into an ape is, you know, ''BodyHorror''.
*** Also there's the entire Brain Control thing, so not only are you turned into a ape, you're turned into a FacelessMook Ape.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Braniac wants to destroy/digitize the world. Many of the villains would rather rule it, or declare EnemyMine!
** Calculator also has shades of this, especially after helping Brother Blood defeat the Titans and release [[SealedEvilInACan Trigon]].
-->'''Calculator''': So that's the demon Trigon. I'm filled with terror. No, really! What did you just do?!
* EvilIsNotAToy:
-->'''DoctorFate''': Do not toy with powers beyond your grasp.
* EvilVersusEvil: Even if you're a villain, you'll still be opposing Brainiac.
** Several villains have missions that mirror the heroes, and sometimes you're not on opposite sides. Both sides have to stop the resurrection of Isis and both have to stop Bane's Venom distribution.
* ExpositionFairy: Booster Gold and his kiosks.
* EyeBeams: Heat vision power. The [[Franchise/{{Superman}} original guy]] also uses it a lot.
** For players who fight with bare hands, the energy bolt for "Freeze Ray" and "Frost Snipe" seems to come from their eyes.
* FalseReassurance: After [[spoiler:Future!Luthor's HijackedByGanon moment below:]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Future!Luthor''': Oh yes, my intentions are for the greater good. ''My'' greater good!]]
* FanNickname: Some have called the game (specifically, if you play as a superhero) "The best Superman Game Ever Made"
* TheFarmerAndTheViper: The Joker uses a variant of this story (replacing the farmer with a bat and the viper with a scorpion) to explain the relationship between him and Batman.
* FlunkyBoss: Several at higher levels have tons of mooks around to make the fight harder including Brother Blood, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
** All of the major Alerts bosses, and some of the minibosses. It's why the alerts are usually for four players.
** As a magic hero you face Circe around lv 16. Turns out you need to focus on her mooks while Wonder Woman handles her, until the very end of the fight where you can help out
* ForTheEvulz: Villain players can torment civilians for no good reason, including punching suicidal ones off buildings.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The game can be surprisingly clever about this in a few places. Case in point: During the mission which takes you into the new HIVE complex in the Metropolis Metrodome, the music sounds rather familiar, and at times the "beeping" etude you first heard on the [[NoobCave Brainiac Harvester Ship]] plays briefly before fading back into the "HIVE theme". You might think "psh, SOE is being lazy with the music, that must be the music that plays for all "high-tech villain lairs". [[spoiler:As you find out at the end of the mission, Queen Bee Zazzala has thrown HIVE's lot in with Brainiac wholesale and is now part of the larger Brainiac villain group. [[FridgeBrilliance Thus, they share music]].]]
** The Joker is willing to stab his fellow villains in the back for personal gain [[spoiler:as Mister Freeze would attest.]] ''The Last Laugh'' expansion has him do this on a more epic scale.
** The BadFuture version of Gotham seems similar to the BadFuture version of Metropolis (With even [=WayneTech=] now being [=WayneCorp=]). [[spoiler: It is revealed that [[EvilMentor Future!Luthor took in young Bruce Wayne as his apprentice]] after the latter's parents were murdered.]]
* ForWantOfANail: The ''Origin Crisis'' Operations centers around alternate versions of heroes and villains such as [[spoiler: Superman as Lex Luthor's dragon.]]
* FragileSpeedster: Can be averted or subverted depending on the power sets you choose, but if you don't get a handle on controlling your speedster properly, you will end up dead pretty quick.
* FunWithAcronyms: "Hate the powers you chose? Re-rig them here - for the right price - with our brand new Biological Adjustment Devices, or "BAD," courtesy of [=LexCorp=]. [[DontExplainTheJoke Bad, get it? B- A... never mind]]."
** The hero equivalent is a similarly contrived bit of TechnoBabble that comes out as "RAD".
* GenreBlindness: Many characters.
-->'''Citizen''': [[TemptingFate I'm just taking a shortcut through this]] [[AmusementParkOfDoom safe-looking park]].
* GetBackHereBoss: Huntress or Catwoman in your first Gotham mission as a villain or hero. They turn invisible and sneak around.
** Dr. Psycho in one of the most annoying boss fights for heroes.
* GodzillaThreshold: Brainiac's siege on the Fortress of Solitude justifies [[spoiler:freeing [[AxCrazy General Zod]] from the PhantomZone.]]
* TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil: The League is Good, the Legion is Bad, and non-Legion villains (with Brainiac at the top) are the Evil.
** MeleeATrois
* GrandTheftMe: Giganta attempts to do this to Wonder Girl. Depending on your alignment, she either succeeds (only for you to beat her down and put them back in the right bodies) or screws up and somehow gives Wonder Girl her powers, forcing you to save Giganta from a giant Wonder Girl.
* GreenLanternRing: Light is one of the power sets. Heroes gets one of these and villains get yellow rings. Red Lanterns are in on the action too now, and can fight for either side.
* GreenThumb: Nature is one of the power sets.
* TheGrinch: Larfleeze steals some presents as one of the Christmas missions.
* GunsAkimbo: The dual pistols weapon class, which implements a lot of GunFu in it's moves.
* HarmlessFreezing: Both subverted and played straight, but mostly the former. The most powerful single-target ice attack, Freeze Ray, encases the target in a block of ice. On the other hand, Hibernation freezes the player in a block of ice, but actually heals them and prevents damage.
* HealingHands: If any fellow player gets knocked out, you can run up to them and hit the use key (within a certain small time frame) to return them to an upright position, though though only with about 10% of their health back. This at least means that they don't have to respawn and attempt to run back to the fight, which may not always be possible in an instance.
* HijackedByGanon: [[spoiler:Future!Luthor does this immediately after Brainiac's defeat. Even willing to stab his past self in the back. However [[BigDamnHeroes Future!Batman shows up just in time to stop him]].]]
* IdiotBall: Carried by Giganta during the GrandTheftMe villain questline due to her impatience. Circe is about ready to strangle her by the time you go in to fix her botched ritual.
** Also carried by [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Robin]], who loans the player his nose breather during Poison Ivy's villain arc. Guess who [[{{Brainwashed}} falls under her pheromones]] and [[LetsYouAndHimFight is forced to fight the player]]? It's even given a lampshade at the end.
* IdiosyncraticComboLevels: Repeatedly hitting enemies with a weapon will cause the combo meter to change in color and give different scripts each time it changes color. This is important to note as each change in color results in recovering power through weapon combos much faster.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: Hall of Doom. Club deVile.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: The reaction of a Gotham citizen upon being kidnapped by Joker's clowns then rescued by the player..
* InstantCostumeChange: Implied by the tutorial outtro; the humans infected with the Exobytes suddenly change into their new costumes. It may just be a thematic thing, but still.
** The game also has a neat feature in regards to the equipment, through use of a style tab. Like the way your cape looks, but have found one with better stats? But does the better cape look dumb? You can change its appearance to that of your previous cape! Once the style's been "collected", it stays with you as you upgrade your gear.
* KillSat: You get to fight Brother Eye. The "Home Turf" pack also allows players to fire orbital cannons.
* KnightTemplar: The Green Lanterns [[BrainwashedAndCrazy under the effects of the Emotional Spectrum]].
* LargeHam / EvilIsHammy: Bane takes the cake.
-->Face Bane, weakling! '''FACE YOUR DEFEAT!!'''
-->Nothing can stand against Bane! '''NOOOOTHIIIIING!!!'''
-->Once I regain my pure venom, '''I WILL ''BREAK YOU ALL''!!'''
** That being said, Bizarro manages to outdo him.
---> NOW! YOU! '''LIIIIIIIVE!!!!!!!!'''
** Even when you get too close to him wandering in Metropolis.
---> '''Bizarro:''' Me am Bizarro! Bizarro number one! You am Bizarro's bessst friieeeend!
** Also, the Trigon Sin demons. They love to yell to the player.
** Circe, who talks into the communicator as if she's addressing an amphitheater.
-->'''Circe''': Onto other matters...like your '''DESTRUCTION''', ''Wonder Woman''!
-->'''Circe''': I know your name! I know your face! And I know '''your days are NUMBERED'''!
*** Joker, as always.
** Also, [[KillerGorilla Gorilla Grodd]].
-->'''Grodd''': [[KneelBeforeZod KNEEL BEFORE GRODD!]]
* LeeroyJenkins: All over the place.
* LetterMotif: All of Trigon's Sons each have a name that begins with "J:" Jack (Sloth), Jacob (Lust), Julius (Gluttony), Jesse (Envy), James (Greed), Jared (Wrath).
* LiquidAssets: In the Kahndaq raid, [[spoiler:Felix Faust]] drains [[spoiler:Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Giganta, and Brother Blood]] of their life force one by one and transfers their powers into [[spoiler:Black Adam]].
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: A huge number of major and minor characters from Creator/DCComics appear in the game in one form or another.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: After starting the game for the first time, the Playstation3 version requires an initial download that can take ''over six hours'', even on broadband!
** Downloading the game for the first time on computer takes forever as well.
* MakeMeWannaShout: The "Sonic Shout" iconic power from ComicBook/BlackCanary. Also Beastimorph Raveners roar attack.
* MassSuperEmpoweringEvent: Where all the Player Characters come from.
* MechanicalMonster: The Avatar of Tech. The Avatar of Meta to a lesser extent.
* MediumAwareness: ComicBook/AmbushBug.
-->[[LampshadeHanging Hey, look who's in your video game!]]
* TheMentor: Each player is mentored by a major superhero/supervillain, chosen based on your origin and morality. For Meta heroes, Superman and Lex Luthor. For Tech heroes, Batman and the Joker. For magic heroes, Wonder Woman and Circe.
* MightMakesRight: Circe seems to believe this. She thinks magic users own all magical exobytes and should also own the world. She see Wonder Woman as going against the "natural order of things" whenever she thwarts Circe's takeovers.
%%* MightyGlacier: Some bosses, notably the Avatar of Tech and Meta. In comparison, normal mobs tend to be a GlassCannon - dealing damage that might even surpass some bosses, but with little health.
* MissionControl: Oracle for heroes, Calculator for villains.
* MookMedic: Multiple, for example in the Batcave raid, the Zetta drone summons nano repair units to heal itself
* MoralityChain: Isis to Black Adam. Villain players must stop her resurrection under the orders of Circe because if he succeeded, he would "[[HeelFaceTurn rejoin the forces of light]]".
* MostCommonSuperPower: All the heroines and villainesses.
* MyGreatestFailure:
** Bludhaven's destruction is stated to be this for Nightwing, as the "Bludhaven" cinematic is centered around the aftermath of the destruction of "his city."
*** When he returned to Bludhaven to confront [[spoiler: Major Force]], he got shoved aside almost comically.
** For Batman, Brother Eye serves as a reminder for why he can't afford to make mistakes, as people die when he makes mistakes.
** T. O. Morrow sees ComicBook/RedTornado as this. [[spoiler:So he made the [[EvilCounterpart Tornado Tyrant]]...]]
* MythologyGag: Joker's WeaponOfChoice? The humble [[CrowbarCombatant crowbar]].
** And some of the PVP achievements refer to specific events in mainline DC. Defeat Batman as Bane to earn "[[{{ComicBook/Knightfall}} Breaking the Bat]]". Beat any Arkham inmate to get "[[Comicbook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth A Serious House]]".
*** Heck, some of the quest names are this. Like "Bane's Back".
** The name of the one year anniversary quest is "[[ComicBook/BatmanYearOne DCUO: Year One]]"
* NeverMyFault: After saving him from Poison Ivy's plants in the greenhouse, Harvey Bullock blames the [=GCPD=] for rushing in, but the briefings for this particular storyline reveals that he rushed in on his own accord.
* [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice Job Breaking It, Villain]]: The tutorial opens up with you (Hero or Villain) captured by Present!Braniac who is hunting down Exobyte-infected heroes and villains to extract their powers. While Present!Luthor has a entire Hospital set up to experiment on the Exobytes.
** Not to mention Future!Luthor successfully killing off Superman and the other heroes, allowing Brainiac to fly in and finish off the Earth.
*** Players' villains can be guilty of this as well when they [[spoiler: help Brother Blood defeat the Titans and raise Trigon]]. Calculator's response is priceless: [[spoiler: "So that's the demon Trigon. I'm filled with terror. No, really! What did you just do?!"]]
* NoobCave: The Brainiac Harvester Ship. Does get a little old since you have to go through it on ''every'' new character before you get to your mentor's "arc", but at least you get to test out your new powers beforehand.
* NoSell: Exobyte-powered individuals are implied to be immune to most toxins and DNA contamination.
* NotQuiteFlight: Acrobat heroes can "glide" in a slowly descending fashion. With a high enough jumping-off point, you can go over ten blocks this way. There's a skill to allow you to go even further.
* NotSoDifferent: Both Heroes and Villains have several of these moments:
** During the Green Lantern vs Sinestro Corp storyline, both sides resort of capturing the other's rings to prevent them from finding new wielders.
** The Alternate Versions of Metropolis and Gotham are directly as of result of Future!Batman and Future!Luthor's meddling. [[spoiler:Implied to be in response to the other's attempt.]]
* NothingCanStopUsNow: Nightwing does a heroic version towards [[spoiler:Brother Eye]]. [[TemptingFate Predictably, he immediately came up with a counter.]]
* OhCrap: Luthor, when he sees Brainiac's fleet arrive after he succeeded in eliminating the Trinity.
** Also expect this reaction from any players who haven't been spoiled upon seeing some of the more unusual bosses. Of note: Jokerized MetalMen, Wonder Giganta, and [[spoiler: OMAC Bat-family.]] Oh, and who could forget [[spoiler: Brainiac coming out of the Avatar of Tech]]?
** Calculator had an epic one during the Hall of Doom Armory instance:
-->'''Calculator:''' Okay, bad news, bad bad bad - Brainiac has activated the entire Armory missile silo. And we have a lot, A LOT, ''A LOT'' of missiles in there. We're talking extinction event, unless you can take Brainiac's System Breaker out!
* OminousMessageFromTheFuture: The game begins with future Lex Luthor warning Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman about the upcoming Brainiac threat.
* OneHitKill: Captain Bombus, minion of H.I.V.E., has an encase attack that, if not broken, could hit over 20,000 damage after a while. The average max health of a high level player is about 2000. Circe's aptly named DeathTouch could also hit over 8000.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: The intro brings this in, as seems to be the usual, between Batman and Joker. Upon seeing Batman being, quite literally, beaten by Deathstroke, Joker proceeds to make sure he gets the kill by shooting Batman. [[NoKillLikeOverkill With a bazooka]]. [[spoiler: Given that Future!Batman shows back up along with Future!Luthor...and Deathstroke doesn't make you wonder if Joker ''was'' aiming at Batman]]
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The password to Joker's base is "Batman Stinks!"
* PintSizedPowerhouse: [[MeaningfulName Tiny]], whose [[GeniusBruiser gorilla fighting style has been honed by his fierce intelligence]].
** Dr. Psycho's fight takes awhile, but this is due to his speed more than power.
* PlayingWithFire: Fire is one of the power sets.
** Mental powers also have an ability letting you psychically set a foe ablaze.
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: Black Adam to Superman in the trailer.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: Talia Al Ghul when briefing the players about Oolong Island.
-->'''Talia:''' ...As you know, we have Oolong's resident mad science geniuses contracted to deliver a number of ''extremely. Crucial. Projects.''
* TheQuisling: [[spoiler: Queen Bee.]]
* RainbowPimpGear: Averted. Your character has a Style menu which sets their appearance regardless of equipment. Any equipment collected and worn once adds its appearance to the Style menu.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Superman, during the intro as well as the final battle against Meta-Villains. [[spoiler:It doesn't help him for long. Black Adam could probably attest how painful it was though.]]
* RedShirt: Fracture from one of the trailers, though he did manage to get a brief CMOA before [[spoiler: Luthor stabbed him in the back.]]
* RobotMe: [[spoiler: In the Level 30 mission for Tech heroes and villains, robot duplicates of Batman and The Joker invade the Batcave and Arkham Asylum respectively for Brainiac.]]
* RoundhouseKick: The Axe Kick move of Martial Arts.
* SealedEvilInACan: Several villain questlines involve unleashing Trigon upon the world.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: When a villain player attempts to bribe a defeated cop, they might say, "So Falcone wants me on the payroll, huh? No way, I'll die before I go dirty!"
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Future Lex Luthor. Although, being Luthor, he does have another motive...
* ShapeShifting: One of the branches of the Nature power-set is based around this. You can take the form of a wolfman, a dinosaur, a insect creature, an ape, the list goes on.
* ShockAndAwe / PsychoElectro: Electricity is one of the power sets.
* ShockwaveClap: Default ranged attack of brawlers, characters mainly using fists in combat.
* ShoutOut: Many in the EnemyChatter.
** [[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} "All glory to the hypno-pollen!"]]
** [[VideoGame/ZeroWing "All your souls are belong to us!"]]
** [[Film/DirtyHarry "Ya feel lucky, punk?"]]
** [[Film/JudgeDredd "I am the law!"]]
** At one point, if you are a hero, you must fight these little Joker-looking robots. What's one of the things they say when they die? [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes "Of course, you know this means war!"]]
*** Also [[Film/{{Batman}} "If you've gotta go, go with a big kaboom!"]]
** "Let's see if those Venom injectors [[UpToEleven go to]] [[Film/ThisIsSpinalTap eleven!]]"
** Parasite to ComicBook/PowerGirl: "Your power is ours now! [[Film/ThereWillBeBlood I drink it up!"]]
** Half the point of hairstyles seems to be to cram in as many shoutouts as possible:
*** A hairstyle that makes you look like Creator/MrT is called [[Series/TheATeam "Soldier of Fortune"]].
*** There's one hairstyle consisting of a small afro and sideburns called [[Series/That70sShow "The Hyde"]].
*** Another hairstyle consists of a small afro and a smallish beard/mustache. It's called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ross "Happy Painter"]].
*** An afro with a handlebar mustache is called [[Film/PulpFiction "Jules"]].
*** A flattop / mustache combo goes by the name [[Franchise/SpiderMan "Editor in Chief"]].
*** A close-cropped style with a goatee is called [[Film/IronMan "MBA"]].
** Raven advises the hero player to never let Cyborg and Beast Boy talk them into a game of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SO-5BJ2vTc&feature=related Stink Ball]].
** In addition, many of the feats, especially the Styles section with examples like [[WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget "Go Go Gadgeteer"]], [[Franchise/JamesBond "Shaken, Not Stirred"]], and [[Radio/TheFrantics "Boot to the Head"]].
*** And, referencing Certain Characters' long histories: [[Film/BatmanTheMovie "Some Days You Just Can't Get Rid Of A Bomb"]]
*** "[[Film/SupermanReturns So long]], Supergirl"
** In the final battle with Brother Blood in one instance, the wave of cultists he sends after you yell [[WebAnimation/CharlieTheUnicorn "Shun the non-believers! SHUUUNNNN!"]]
** There also seem to be quite a few Film/DirtyHarry fans among the {{Mooks}}. ComicBook/AmbushBug also seems to be a fan.
** Upon being betrayed by T.O. Morrow, SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker threatens to [[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs eat his liver raw with a side of fava beans]].
** [[JustForPun Furious]] [[Literature/CuriousGeorge George]]
** [[Film/AustinPowers "Get in my belly!"]]
** Mxyzptlk tells you to "[[VideoGame/StarFox64 Do a barrel roll.]]"
** In the Smallville alert, the Justice League sends in a team of four heroes against Doomsday, which may be a ShoutOut to the ''{{Series/Smallville}}'' show. In the show, [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark]], [[Franchise/TheFlash Bart]], ComicBook/BlackCanary and ComicBook/GreenArrow teamed against Doomsday; in the game, it's Steel, ComicBook/RedTornado, Black Canary and Green Arrow. Superman is stated to be unavailable in-game and Steel is one of the heroes that fills in after ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman. The only unexplained change is Flash to ComicBook/RedTornado, although both are primarily red.
** [[Film/ShortCircuit "Number Five... Alive..."]]
** [[spoiler: Wonder Woman to Circe]]: [[{{Firefly}} "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"]]
* {{Squee}} : Calculator, of all people.
--> '''Calculator:''' Oh. Oh my. This - this is the Batcave. THE BATCAVE! Oh my god, oh my god, don't move, ''don't'' move, I'm pinpointing this loc - (breaks off, static)
* TheStarscream: Felix Faust to Black Adam.
* SummonBiggerFish: This seems to be Circe and the Legion of Doom's policy when it comes to Trigon; if ol' four eyes shows up on their plane of existence then he'll probably be able to knobble the likes of Brainiac without much difficulty then confer power onto his cultists with which to TakeOverTheWorld. [[GenreBlindness In theory...]]
* SuperheroPackingHeat: Entirely possible to create one of these characters.
* SuperZero: As a hero, you'll sometimes run into random wannabe villains on the streets like Captain [[XtremeKoolLetterz Kruel]], who don't even cause double-digit damage and can easily be taken down.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: Combo finishers gained from Skill Point is this. Most of the combo finishers hit for a lot, but they are classified as Interrupt, and thus vulnerable to Block; performing said Interrupt against a Block would cause you to take damage and get stunned for a short while. Against Blocks, we have Block Breakers which are [[UnblockableAttack unblockable]], but vulnerable to Interrupts. In short, Interrupt > Block Breaker > Block > Interrupt. You can avoid the TacticalRockPaperScissors by only using weapon combos with no finisher, but good luck actually killing anyone in PvP with only that.
** Also applies to roles in PvP. Tank > Controller > Healer > Tank. DPS role is JackOfAllTrades, with no advantage or disadvantage against any other roles.
* TalkToTheFist: Performed by a member of the RedShirtArmy.
-->Hey face, meet fist!
* TemptingFate: Robin, of all people. He gives you his nose breather to protect against Poison Ivy's mind-controlling spores. Guess what happens to him in the Greenhouse.
-->'''Robin''': I'll tell you what. I'll even lend you my nose breather. I should be immune to Ivy by now.
* TornadoMove: The [[ThatOneBoss Armored Robotic Custodian]] does a spin attack that flings everyone and everything all around the chamber while doing incredible amounts of damage.
* TheUnfought: Trigon. When Heroes/Villains confront him in his prison, while he does occasionally attack you, you end up fighting Circe/Wonder Woman and maybe [[FlunkyBoss a few of his minions]].
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll: Pistols and Rifles have these sort of attacks, naturally.
* UnskilledButStrong: The Brawling combat style invokes this - most of its attacks are rudimentary swings and punches that nevertheless deals a lot of damage.
* VillainPedigree: Some villains are actually getting their pedigree ''upped'' as a result of the game, partially due to simple exposure to the masses.
** As an example, Queen Bee Zazzala was nothing more than a C-list villain, at best, for the Justice League comics in the [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver]] and [[TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze Ages]]. Now she's in control of the remnants of the old HIVE organization from ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'', having turned it into a ''real'' hive, [[spoiler:and she's thrown the HIVE's lot in with Brainiac]]. Even ''Superman'' [[OhCrap seems a bit perturbed by this one]].
** Circe was probably almost unknown outside of rather hardcore Franchise/WonderWoman fans before now (her biggest previous "moment" was probably [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0b7sE57wE4 her famous appearance]] on ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited''). Now, she's one of the banner villains of the game and one that magic villain [=PCs=] interact with a lot; she's essentially been promoted to the third part of the villainous PowerTrio.
** Gorilla Grodd was something of a joke during the 60s and 70s and was kind of ''the'' poster-monkey for the "evil gorilla!" stereotype during the Silver Age; ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'' didn't help. ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' helped rehabilitate him, and now in DCUO, he's got a full-blown ''army'' of sentient gorillas which stands apart from the rest of villain-dom (he hates all humanity equally), he's fought multiple times throughout the game (particularly by heroes), his villain group is the first one you encounter outside the NoobCave as a meta hero, and he's generally given big billing as a major threat - and it ''works''.
*** Taken to another level in the ''Last Laugh'' expansion pack, as he leads the villains in defending the Hall of Doom/invading the Watchtower and is shown able to match Superman.
** Felix Faust was something of a laughingstock, C-List villain whose most memorable moment was having Isis [[GroinAttack castrate him with her bare hands]]. The game repackages Faust as a powerful necromancer who can go toe-to-toe with Zatanna and hold his own. He raises an army of zombies and very nearly steals the "power of Shazam" from Black Adam.
** For those who only know Lex Luthor as a CorruptCorporateExecutive with a lust for power, this games makes sure to remind players of his MadScientist side. Kidnapping and infecting innocent people as test subjects, covering up unethical experiments, and combining the powers of Parasite and Doomsday and then releasing the results on [[EvilIsPetty Smallville, Kansas]] the guy gets hardcore.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: There's a concept for a Sinestro Corps-based Iconic Battlesuit "[[http://dcuniverseonline.wikia.com/wiki/File:SinestrosMight_WEB.jpg Sinestro's Might]]. But with the first DLC (''Fight for the Light'') it is now the style set Sector Incendiary.
** Also, the Flash in the game was originally intended to be Wally West (And likewise Hunter Zolomon as Zoom), but it was changed to Barry Allen (And again, likewise with Eobard Thawne as Professor Zoom, but in Zolomon's costume).
** Concept Art was drawn for Vic Sage as TheQuestion, but the one you encounter in-game is Rene้ Montoya. Though Vic is mentioned in the Briefings found during "The Hunt" challenge mission.
* WeaponOfChoice: Quite literally. Upon character creation, players can choose from, and later invest [[TechPoints Skill Points]] into, any of the following weapon categories:
** [[{{BFG}} Rifles]]: A somewhat slow, yet powerful ranged weapon. It also allows its users to move while shooting (yet, [[ImprobableAimingSkills never misses]]). Several other skills integrate a GrenadeLauncher, a Flamethrower, and [[StuffBlowingUp Mortars]].
** [[GunsAkimbo Dual Pistols]]: These are much quicker on the trigger and are among the fastest weapons in the game; however, its full-auto attack has its damage divided among enemies in a very wide area in front of the user. Like the Rifle above, there are skills that allow the user to move while shooting, but the movements are much faster and cover more ground although they are limited to just toward and away from the target.
** HandBlast: a primarily long-ranged and fast weapon with many charge up attacks. It also has a beam attack that hits multiple times against a single target. Its melee is decent but limited.
** [[ArcherArchetype Bows]]: A very weird, yet versatile, version. Its primary skill tree is melee, but it still has the standard TrickArrow and RainOfArrows abilities as well. This is a great weapon for beginners for its faster-than-average attack speed, simple combo system, and adaptability.
** One-Handed: Includes a variety of [[CoolSword Cool Swords]], [[AnAxeToGrind Axes]], and [[CarryABigStick Maces]]. Its {{Combos}} vary between power and speed.
** Two-Handed: Often a {{BFS}} or [[DropTheHammer Hammer]], these specialize in heavy damage per hit, heavy {{Knockback}}, and have the slowest attack rate in the game to compensate.
** DualWielding: Uses the same varieties as One-Handed but also includes [[KnifeNut Daggers]] and smaller clubs. It has a moderately fast attack rate, but its combos rely on timing and can take a while to do; but when pulled off, the effect can be either a stun, an AreaOfEffect {{Knockback}}, or a [[EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning Spinning Move]] that pushes enemies aside as it knocks them down repeatedly.
** SimpleStaff / BladeOnAStick: These hardly have any ranged attacks, but their melee is the most varied and dynamic and can chain stuns while ending the combo with a AreaOfEffect {{Knockback}}.
** [[MartialArtsAndCrafts Martial]] [[BareFistedMonk Arts]]: Its weapons include weirdly-shaped katars and uses throwing stars for its ranged attack. It also has a moderate attack rate, but the combos are much simpler with limited crowd control compared to the DualWielding and the SimpleStaff above.
** [[GoodOldFisticuffs Brawling]]: Like two-handed weapons, specializes in heavy damage and has the slowest attack rate in the game.
** [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shields]] (Requires The Last Laugh [[DownloadableContent DLC]]): Relatively slow weapon with moderate {{Knockback}} and stuns. [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks Shield throws]] are also a staple.
* WhoDares:
-->{{Brainiac}}: I have conquered worlds. You dare defy me?
* {{Wildcard}}: Joker, who gives the security codes to both Hero and Villain safehouses and headquarters to each other.
** He also seems to be the one currently running the Vault...
* WorfHadTheFlu: The weakness of green and yellow lanterns are explained with Brainiac messing with the power rings.
* YellowLightningBlueLightning: Both variants appear in the Electricity powerset with Yellow Lightning for attacks and Blue Lightning for healing effects.
* YouBastard: Villain players get this once in a while, like the citizens that accuse them of being a sick prankster.
* YouShallNotPass: Future!Batman takes on an army of Brainiac robots so Fracture can use the time machine. [[spoiler: [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Only for Future!Luthor]] [[UngratefulBastard to betray them both]]]].
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