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Lois and Clark
Clark Kent/Superman (Dean Cain)
- The Ace
- The All-American Boy: Clark had this kind of childhood and is clearly grateful to Jonathan and Martha for it.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Jimmy.
- Badass Bookworm: Being Superman, that's a given.
- The Cape
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Do you even need to ask? Clark is actually diagnosed with "Superman Complex" after he saves Lois from being hit by a car, later as Superman he tries to stop an asteroid and ends up losing his memory, doctors reasoning he burned himself out doing good. Season two has Intergang try and threaten who Superman knows so he keeps out of their affairs: he reacts by dressing as a cop and fighting them so that Superman is not involved.
- Cincinnatus: In this—as in all incarnations of Superman—Clark has the power to amass great power and wealth if he chooses to, and could easily be the world's most feared villain due to his sheer power, but instead chooses to fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Quite a few have attempted to do this; all have failed miserably and often end up on the receiving end of a hilarious put-down by Clark.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Disapproving Look: Lawbreakers that didn't warrant a Death Glare usually got this.
- Good Is Not Dumb: As Superman, occasionally. Comes up with his more intelligent but vain foes who think Superman can be simply maneuvered around, such as those involved with Intergang. Occasionally, he runs into characters who think they take advantage of his honor as if it were naivete, but as Clark is quite quick witted he is easily able to Take a Third Option.
- Happily Married: During the final season, to Lois.
- Hidden Badass: Well duh.
- Hidden Depths: Lois is quite surprised as she gradually learns that Clark has more to him than meets the eye.
- Lovable Jock: In keeping with the Post-Crisis interpretation Clark was a star athlete in high school and college. Lois was, by contrast, a nerd.
- Nice Guy
- Only Sane Man: Compared to the rather extreme personalities around the Daily Planet (hyper-competitive Lois, insatiable sexpot Cat, naive, girl-crazy Jimmy, and Elvis-obsessed Perry) Clark's relative "mild-mannered" laid back personality stood out.
- The Paragon
- Smart People Wear Glasses: In addition to a disguise his glasses identify him as the "brain" in his partnership with Lois as the "mouth."
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome
Lois Lane-Kent (Teri Hatcher)
- Action Girl
- Adorkable: At times.
- Brainy Brunette
- Butt-Monkey: Gets on the receiving end surprisingly often.
- Da Chief: Lois briefly gets promoted to Editor-In-Chief after Perry gets Kicked Upstairs. They both end up wanting their old jobs back by the end of the episode.
- Happily Married: During the final season, to Clark.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: For the first season and part of the second she is very deeply in denial about her attraction to Clark.
- Hidden Depths: Clark soon discovers that Lois's hard shell is there to protect her hidden emotional side.
- Secret Keeper
Perry White (Lane Smith)
- A Father to His Men
- Cool Old Guy
- Da Editor
- Large Ham
- Parental Substitute: For Jimmy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
Jimmy Olsen (Michael Landes (Season 1) and Justin Whalin (Seasons 2-4)
- Geeky Turn-On: Jimmy often has this reaction when anything technology-related is involved.
- Plucky Comic Relief
Cat Grant (Tracy Scoogins)Cat Grant is the Society columnist of the Daily Planet and is well-connected to the world of high society and celebrity. She acts somewhat flaky and is always on the lookout for her next sexual conquest, trying (and failing) throughout the first season to entangle both Clark and Superman. She and Lois don't particularly care for each other.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She was dropped after Season 1.
- Ms. Fanservice
- Really Gets Around: And how! One of the most blatant examples and surprisingly overt for such an otherwise family-friendly show. She dressed like she was headed for the club at all hours of the day, hurled herself at Clark, Superman...and nearly every other male who crossed paths with her for more than a second.
- In "Pheromone, My Lovely" where everyone was sprayed with pheromones that caused them to act like horny teenagers, Cat ends up alone in the copy room with a nerdy repairman...whom she then has sex with (complete with sounds). She then breaks the copier after he's finished fixing it solely in order to give him an excuse to stick around for round two. We figure even Cat would need to get sprayed with the pheromones in order to seduce the dumpy little guy...until later, when everyone is confessing what they did while under the influence, someone asks Cat what she did after she was "sprayed." Her answer? "What spray? I didn't get sprayed."
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Lois
Jonathan Kent (Eddie Jones)Jonathan Kent is Clark's adoptive father and husband of Martha Kent. His portrayal in the series is similar to that of his comic counterpart: a hard-working farmer of strong character and traditional values, who instilled in Clark the moral code he lives by. He is a good-humored straight man to his quick-witted wife, and is invariably the voice of reason and caution during their phone calls with Clark.
Martha Kent (K Callan)Martha Kent is Clark's adoptive mother and wife of Jonathan Kent. Lois & Clark's depiction differs somewhat from the traditional 'farm wife' Martha in that she is an aspiring avant-garde artist and sometimes takes adult education classes at the Smallville Community College. She and Jonathan have been married since at least the early 1960's, although Martha was unable to bear children. When the infant Clark's rocket crashed, Martha and Jonathan took him as their own son and raised him as a human.
Lex Luthor (John Shea)Lex Luthor is a genius businessman who is intent on controlling Metropolis, and eventually, the world. His rise to fame and fortune has been cultivated over his entire adult life, and Lex has never let anyone or anything stand in his way. When necessary, he does not hesitate to buy people off, intimidate them into submission, or have them killed. By the time of the series premiere, Luthor is the 3rd richest man in the world, with a net worth in the tens of billions of dollars. His company, Lexcorp, owns telephone service, television channels, nuclear power stations and various others: essentially, all of the things needed for a society's infrastructure. In addition, Lexcorp includes many sub-companies that make home electronic equipment, appliances and the like.
- Bald of Evil: In Season 2.
- Back from the Dead
- Big Bad: In season 1.
- The Casanova: Has tons of women lusting after them—and he happily beds them—but he considers all of them trophies. The only one he actually wants for something more than a mere one night stand is a certain crusading reporter...
- The Chessmaster: And he's frighteningly good at manipulating the entire population of Metropolis like pieces on a chessboard.
- Evil Redhead: In Season 1 and 3.
- Graceful Loser: Of a sort. He has an uncanny ability to see the silver lining in defeat, and even when he can't he barely ever shows rage or pettiness or acts with anything but grace - perhaps because he believes that ultimately he will be victorious. For example, his reaction upon learning that an unstoppable virus is rampaging through is systems and may ruin him (and the world) is to have a cheerful discussion about philosophy and getting back to nature with his butler, and stays chipper even after he concludes that he would absolutely hate it. Whenever Superman beats him, he essentially shrugs, tips his hat and goes on to other schemes. But on the other hand, when all of his plans go horribly, horribly wrong, he has a quite more pronounced reaction.
- Killed Off for Real
- Put on a Bus
- Stalker with a Crush: Especially in his later appearances, where he's lost almost everything and Lois is much less interested in his advances.
- Vague Age: He seems to be in his late 20s or early 30s, yet he somehow has children who are apparently middle-aged. It's possible he's Older Than He Looks.
- Actually brought up by Clark in a Season 4 episode dealing with the aforementioned children. Lois questions how Lex could have kids so old, and Clark replies that Lex was such a Magnificent Bastard that his official age could very well be faked; thus the show seems to be implying that Lex is indeed Older Than He Looks.
- Wicked Cultured
Kyle Griffin / The Prankster (Bronson Pinchot)
- Adaptation Name Change: In the comics, the Prankster's real name is Oswald Loomis.
- Arch-Enemy: Considers himself one to Lois, and his plans always involve her in some way. Is also one of the few recurring villains not in some way connected to Intergang or Luthor.
- Adaptational Badass: His comics counterpart is generally more of a nuisance, and certainly isn't anywhere near as dangerous as the career criminal mastermind he appears as here.
- Bad Boss: Is incredibly abusive, both physically and verbally, towards his sidekick Victor.
- Best Served Cold: He used to run a electronics company before Lois wrote an expose on his dirty dealing that put him in prison. Though he always has other, more important goals, humiliating and/or killing Lois always factor into his plans - sometimes to Revenge Before Reason levels.
- Canon Foreigner: Sort of. The character of The Prankster is adapted from the comics, but his identity of Kyle Griffin is new.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Despite his name, he's actually very humorless (though quite sardonic). Any actual jokes he makes tend to be either more of an act or incredibly mean spirited. He does, however, get a lot of genuine entertainment out of sadistically humiliating others - especially in his second appearance.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Building weird but dangerous gadgets is his area of expertise.
- Jerk Ass: In his own words, he never got time off in prison for good behavior because he's just not a very nice person. He's extremely nasty just for the sake of being nasty: this is a guy who tests out his freezing weapon on a woman with a baby standing under a falling piano, then decides to leave them there just for kicks.
- Mad Scientist: In particular, he designs amazing weapons (to sell to various unsavory parties) and his assistant Victor builds them.
- Manipulative Bastard: He takes the "distraction" theme of his comics counterpart turns it into his theme as a criminal mastermind. His entire schtick is using "pranks" to misdirect his enemies' attention, while he actually uses the confusion to accomplish hidden goals.
- Stalker with a Crush: Pretends to be one to further torment Lois, then drops it in favor of taunting her about his plan to kill her. This is extremely effective.
- Surrounded by Idiots: His assistant is a mechanical genius, and a total fool. Griffin keeps him around for his expertise, but is constantly infuriated by his idiocy.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With Victor. He codified the "Genius/Mastermind and Minion with an F in Evil Duo" that quickly became this series' standard.
Tempus (Lane Davies)
- Canon Foreigner: He didn't originate in the comics.
- Conqueror from the Future: He wants to ruin the past because the utopia Superman created is boring.
- Large Ham: Lane Davies is obviously having a blast playing such a deliciously evil villain and hams it up at every opportunity.
- Meta Guy: Since he's from the future, Tempus wastes no time poking fun at various Superman tropes, including show-specific ones.
Mr. Mxyzptlk (Howie Mandel)
- Adaptational Villainy: Somewhat. Both Mxyzptlk's are villains, but while comics Mxy just wants to mess with Superman and may or may not be well meaning, this Mxy is out to Take Over the World and is accordingly crueler.
- A God Am I: What he wants to be. His is two fold: not only can he get rid of Superman, but when he fixes the loop humanity will worship him for saving them.
- Beard of Evil: Usually a bald character, this version has a full head of brown hair, complete with a beard.
- Dark Is Evil: Dressed all in black.
- Evil Gloating: Most of his lines are him lording over Superman about how unable he is to stop him and how easily he can make his loved ones suffer - more excusable in his case, because the point of his whole plan is to make Superman cross the Despair Event Horizon.
- Evil Plan: Cause a "Groundhog Day" Loop, excluding Superman -> let Superman watch as people fall more and more into despair, as they are unconsciously aware of what's happening to them -> blackmail Superman into leaving with the lives of all humanity -> free humanity once Superman leaves and let them worship him as their god and ruler. Unfortunately for him, he significantly underestimated Superman's Heroic Resolve.
- The Fair Folk: Played a lot in his portrayal and general demeanor, though he isn't technically magical. The show has him be the one who inspired those legends in the first place.
- Genki Guy: Very energetic and outright chipper most of the time. Even in defeat, he's more exuberantly childish than angry.
- Reality Warper: Par for the course with Mxy.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: His fifth dimensional abilities practically make him a god - he even lampshades this trope while explaining it. He does, however, note that he would have problems taking out Superman (hence making others suffer to convince him to leave)."I'm not 3D like these mortals, I'm 5D baby! And to you, that might as well be magic."
- Canon Foreigner
- Fantastic Racism: He has a deep hatred for aliens, for believing they think they're superior to humans.
- Killed Off for Real
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Debatable, but he believes what he's doing is for the good of Earth.
Bill Church Jr.