Comicbook / Supergirl
Baffled, Superman? Let me tell you my story, as my parents told it to me! When Krypton blew up, you were not the only one to escape alive...

Oh, dear God. Did my death mean anything? Did I help them save the world?
No. I can't think that way. Even if all my death means is I've delayed theirs, I still have to save them.
Kara Zor-El, Convergence: Adventures of Superman

The Maid of Might. The Girl of Steel. The Girl of Tomorrow. The Last Daughter of Krypton. THE Distaff Counterpart. THE female Flying Brick (together with Wonder Woman).

Supergirl is a comicbook superheroine, originally created as a Distaff Counterpart of Superman, drawing inspiration from Mary Marvel (in fact one of Supergirl's co-creators, legendary comic artist Otto Binder also created Mary Marvel.) A short summary of her history both in and out of comics can be found here: Who is the Girl of Steel?. An in-depth, light-hearted exploration of the character can be found here: Supergirl: the Life and Times of Kara Zor-El. And a chronology of her pre-Crisis appearances can be consulted here.

Though there have been other variations (see below) Supergirl is best known as Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin from the planet Krypton. A fellow survivor of that planetary catastrophe, she arrived on Earth later than Kal-El. Far younger than her now-adult cousin, she oftentimes struggles with Earth's strange mores and being in the shadow of the world's greatest hero while growing into a compassionate and heroic young woman. Her role, especially in earlier comics, fluctuated between being a supporting character in Superman stories, occupying in the Superman mythos a similar niche to Robin in the Batman mythos and having her own largely unrelated stories.

In 1985 the original Supergirl was killed off in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover when DC Comics decided to return Superman to the status of Last of His Kind. For the next two decades various characters occupied the mantle before Kara Zor-El was restored to continuity. Over the years the various versions of Supergirl have held their own solo titles at several points.

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     #0) Super-Girl 

#0) "Super-Girl"

As a test, they released Superman #123 (August, 1958), a Jimmy Olsen story where he got three wishes. One wish was for a woman to keep Superman company, but though meaning well, this magical Super-Girl kept messing up her super-feats. Jimmy sadly wished her away when she sacrificed herself to save Superman from kryptonite, and was about to die anyway. (Note that in most later reprintings of this story, Super-Girl was intentionally miscolored to look different from Supergirl; originally, and as seen in DC Archives, she looks identical to Supergirl except that the skirt of her Mini Dress Of Power is rednote .)

     #1) Kara Zor-El 

#1) Kara Zor-El (Linda Lee Danvers)

The issue sold well and the DC powers that be decided that Supergirl's time had come. Thus was born Supergirl - a.k.a. Kara Zor-El, Kal-El's cousin. She first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May, 1959). At first, she was "Superman's secret weapon". As Linda Lee, an orphan at the Midvale Orphanage, she hid the existence of Supergirl from the world, secretly doing good and helping those in trouble.

Eventually, as the audience for good female characters increased, Superman judged her ready, and Supergirl was unleashed on the world. She was adopted and became Linda Lee Danvers; she gained her own Smallville-esque supporting cast, becoming an occasional member of the Legion of Super Heroes and love interest to popular LSH member Brainiac 5.

Very unsually for DC Comics (at the time) Kara's adventures in Action Comics were serialised from the early 1960s onwards rather than stand alone as was the general practice (including for Superman himself who she shared the comics with.) Supergirl's status quo gradually changed over the course of the decade and she aged at a slightly slower than real time rate, going from a cute 15 year old to a high school graduate and then on into a college student.

    #1.5) Power Girl 

#1.5) Power Girl

In the 1970s, a fateful decision was made: If Superman had a cousin on Earth-1, where Supergirl had long been established to live, why not one for the original Superman, Kal-L of Earth-2? Thus was Power Girl, aka Kara Zor-L of Earth-2, introduced (in All-Star Comics #58, Feb. 1976), with an origin much like Supergirl's, except for a Hand Wave to the effect that her capsule had taken much longer to reach Earth. Power Girl used a very different costume, an all-white one which highlighted her breasts, large even by comicbook standards. note  She was instantly inducted into the Justice Society of America and soon became a fan favorite. See more on her own page.

    The Crisis 

The Crisis

But as the 1970s and early 1980s came along, Supergirl fell out of fashion with comic fans. Several attempts to launch her into her own series didn't work well, and more alarming was the failure of her big budget live action film.

Then came the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The powers that be decided that Supergirl was a symptom of the longstanding decline in the Superman franchise, which had made the books a poor seller for DC Comics. In order to try bringing back Superman's uniqueness, it was decided that Superman should be the only surviving Kryptonian. So in issue #7 of the Crisis (October, 1985), Supergirl made a Heroic Sacrifice to help stop the villain's plan. But then DC decided to do a full-on reboot of the Superman franchise, resulting in the now dead Supergirl being declared to have never existed. In a bit of major irony though, the copycat Power Girl survived and was given a new origin story, as the granddaughter of an Atlantean sorcerer sent through time to the present day.

    #2) Matrix 

#2) Matrix

Eventually, John Byrne decided to "cheat" his way around the "Superman: Last Son of Krypton For Real" edict to bring Supergirl back, in the form of "Matrix", a shape-shifting purple creature who just so happens to take Supergirl's form. The new version first appeared in Superman vol. 2 #16 (April, 1988). Hailing from a pocket universe where Superboy existed (in order to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes universe from collapsing from the removal of Superboy from canon) and all life was destroyed by escaped Phantom Zone villains, Supergirl followed Superman into the mainstream DC Universe and for a time, things were good even as Supergirl began dating the Post-Crisis Lex Luthor (who, granted, was pretending to be his own son).

    #3) Linda Danvers 

#3) Linda Danvers (Post-Crisis)

However, this Supergirl grew stale, and in a few years Peter David was called in to retool her. In Supergirl vol. 4 #1 (September, 1996), Matrix traveled to the town of Leesburg, and melded with a troubled girl named Linda Danvers, in a nice Call Back Mythology Gag to her pre-Crisis situation. The fusion of the two resulted in an "Earth-Born Angel", a holy being with powers of fire that would serve as the Myth Arc for her new series.

Eventually, the "angel" aspect and the "Linda" aspect separated, with Linda keeping some powers of her own. This came at the same time that Supergirl was introduced in Superman: The Animated Series, so in a bit of media property alignment, Linda was given the cartoon Supergirl's costume. In Many Happy Returns, the final story arc of the series, Linda met the original Pre-Crisis Supergirl whose rocket somehow detoured to the Post-Crisis universe. David hoped to use the arc to kickstart a new series entitled Blond Justice, and while the story sold very well, the new series was not to be. Ultimately, Kara returned to her universe, and Linda retired from superheroing. Supergirl vol. 4 lasted 80 issues, ending in November, 2002. However, the success of Many Happy Returns, suggested that there was interest in the original Supergirl...

    #4) Cir-El 

#4) Cir-El

But first, a new character showed up; the Darker and Edgier Cir-El, who claimed to be Clark and Lois Lane's daughter from the future. She first appeared in Superman the 10 Cent Adventure #1 (March, 2003). However, she was a very unpopular character, and in short order her claims were debunked and she vanished into the timestream.

     #5) Kara Zor-El (Post-Crisis) 

#5) Kara Zor-El (Post-Crisis)

At this point, Dan DiDio rose to power at DC Comics. As urban legends goes, DiDio freaked out when he accidentally discovered the current Supergirl's convoluted origin of pocket universes and "earth angels" and made one of his first edicts upon taking over DC Comics to be DC bringing back the real Supergirl. (The success of the aforementioned Many Happy Returns arc probably didn't hurt either). A new Kara Zor-El was introduced, having crash-landed onto Earth just in time to be (re)introduced into DC Universe canon in Superman/Batman #8 (May, 2004). In a twist, it was revealed that Kara was older than Kal-El when they lived together on Krypton, and had been sent into space in order to care for her baby cousin on Earth; her rocket, however, going off-course (in a re-appropriation of Power Girl's origin) had meant she arrived as a teenager when he was an adult.

Since then Supergirl's basic identity in The DCU has held steady as Kara Zor-El. Confusion didn't end there though as her own named title was prone to retconning Kara's personal backstory on Krypton every three issues or so under a string of writers before finally settling down some 30 issues in. This roughly coincided with being brought into the extended New Krypton storyline, dealing with several hundred Kryptonians appearing on planet Earth led by Supergirl's parents. The book finally managed to become well regarded and is now a stable part of the Superman Family of comics. Supergirl also appeared in Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes, in which she was stuck a thousand years in the future with the Legion (having made the Time Travel trip during a Time Skip in her own book, and then getting Laser-Guided Amnesia before she returned). To top it off, 2009 saw a toony-style miniseries aimed at kids, called Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In the 8th Grade, which was Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The original writer says he had plans to write sequels retelling her pre-Crisis story (her time in the Legion ''et al''), taking her up to the 12th Grade.

    #2.5) Power Girl (Post-Crisis) 

#2.5) Power Girl (Post-Crisis)

Meanwhile, Power Girl had gone through some changes as they tried to figure out what to do with her. Recruited for the Justice League Europe branch, Kara had her powers decreased (due to a deus ex machina lifesaving operation). She developed a new edgy, ultra-feminist attitude to let her serve as the resident shit-disturber on the JLE team (which was briefly retconned as being the result of allergies caused by diet sodas). She was made a businesswoman with her own computer company, mystically pregnant caused by her Atlantean grandpa, and most humiliatingly, was given a short-lived vulnerability to "natural, unprocessed materials" by Chris Claremont that was so silly and stupid that it was quickly dropped as soon as it was established.

Eventually, she found a home in the ongoing JSA series, and now that she was being focused on by a single writer, she started to gain some consistency. In the series, it was revealed that she wasn't Atlantean after all — but that left the question of what she was.

In the run-up to Infinite Crisis, the surprisingly simple answer was revealed: she was... Kara Zor-L, the cousin of the Superman of Earth-2. As the Earths were being merged, she had somehow fallen through a crack in time, emerging in the Post-Crisis universe unchanged, and the inconsistencies in her powers and origins since then had been side effects of the universe trying to fit her in. (Note: She is specifically from the Earth-2 that existed prior to Crisis of the Infinite Earths. A new Earth-2 that’s like the old one appeared after Infinite Crisis but it has its own Power Girl. Much to the original's dismay.)

Thus, both Supergirls have ended up right back where they started. See? It wasn't so complicated after all!

     #6) Kara Zor-El (New 52) and #3.5) Power Girl (New 52) 

#6 Kara Zor-El (New 52) and #3.5 Power Girl (New 52)

...Oh, what's that? DC rebooted their entire universe again in 2011, you say? Well, since Superman was rebooted this means Supergirl had to start from square one too. It's being kept simple this time: Supergirl is still Superman's cousin from Krypton who crashed to Earth much later and only remembers her cousin as a baby. Under the reboot Supergirl has experienced some personality shifts emphasizing she's an alien in contrast to her cousin.

Meanwhile, on Earth 2, Power Girl is also Superman's cousin from Krypton. Only she started her career there as Supergirl, her Superman is dead, and she's wound up stranded on the main Earth for several years. She's currently co-starring in Worlds' Finest with her best friend, Huntress (who, much like PG, started out as a sidekick in E2, having been Robin to her dad Batman). And in an interesting twist, both Karas do eventually meet and discover they have a strange bond due to their status as Alternate Universe counterparts of each other.

Supergirl has been an on-again-off-again member of the Legion of Super Heroes, different incarnations of the Justice League of America, the Teen Titans and the Red Lanterns Corps.


    Notable Comic Book Series 
  • Action Comics: Anthology series for most of its run, starring Superman as the lead feature plus various backup characters. Supergirl made her debut in Action Comics #252 and has been a recurring supporting character since 1959. Her strips ran as a backup in most issues from Action Comics #252 (May 1959) to Action Comics #376 (May 1969).
  • Superman: Superman's self-named series (renamed Adventures of Superman between the Byrne reboot of the late 80s and the mid-2000s). Once again, Supergirl was a recurring supporting character since her creation.
  • Adventure Comics: Featured various Superman family member stories. The second publishing home of Supergirl, after her run in Action Comics; her strips ran from Adventure Comics #381 (Jun 1969) to Adventure Comics #424 (Oct 1972).
  • Supergirl 1972: First Supergirl's self-named series, published from November of 1972 until October of 1974 spanning a total of ten issues.
  • Superman Family: Anthology title featuring Superman's secondary characters. The publishing home of Supergirl from Superman Family #165 (Jun 1974) to Superman Family #222 (Sep 1982), excluding reprints. During this time she fought Lesla Lar, dabbled in some romance, moved to New York, and became a soap opera star.
  • Supergirl 1982: The final publishing home for Pre-Crisis Supergirl, running from The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (Nov 1982) to Supergirl Vol. 2 #23 (Sep 1984) — the name change occurs at issue #13. Usually known as Supergirl vol. 2, spanned a total of 23 issues. It was cancelled shortly before the premiere of Supergirl and was the last book featuring the original Kara Zor-El, but the expectation was that she would be continued in a new title, DC Double Comics, with Superboy as a companion strip.
  • Supergirl 1994: Four issue limited series published in 1994, featuring the Supergirl Matrix.
  • Supergirl 1996: The fourth volume featured a Supergirl that was a fusion of two different characters: the Matrix Supergirl and Linda Lee Danvers. Written by Peter David, the series spanned 81 issues, and included 2 annuals, several specials and a One Million issue.
  • Supergirl 2005: Supergirl's fifth solo book saw the return of Kara Zor-El to The DCU after the Superman/Batman storyline The Supergirl from Krypton. The series spanned 67 issues and 2 annuals. After some very shaky beginnings the book became well regarded. The Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle's issues are considered one of the best runs of the character.
  • Supergirl 2011: Supergirl's sixth solo book redefined and introduced Kara Zor-El in the post-Flashpoint universe. It spanned forty issues until it was cancelled in 2015.
  • Supergirl (Rebirth): DC Rebirth tien-in one-shot issue and prologue to her next solo book, Supergirl Rebirth introduced several characters and locations of Supergirl (2015) to the main DC universe.
  • Supergirl 2016: After the death of post-Flashpoint Superman, Supergirl tries to adapt to life on Earth as she carries on her cousin's work.
  • Superman Family Adventures: An all-ages comic book about Superman, his cousins Superboy and Supergirl, and their pets Krypto and Streaky. Despite being published around the time of the New 52, it's mostly Silver Age Superman with a new belt.

    Notable Comic Book Stories 
  • Demon Spawn: Adventure Comics #421. Supergirl faces up to a strange swordswoman and sorceress called Nightflame who transports her soul to an illusory, psychic Hell where Supergirl is powerless.
  • Krypton No More: As Superman is under tremendous stress and on the verge of a mental collapse, Supergirl tells him that they are both mutants from Earth, and Krypton never existed. Superman #307-309.
  • Young Love: Short story written by Diana Schutz and published in Solo vol 1 #1. Linda Danvers and Dick Malverne meet again after many years. Dick has something to tell the young Kryptonian woman. And Supergirl remembers an earlier love during simpler times.
  • Supergirl Wings: Reimagining of the "Earth-Angel" storyline from Peter David's run on Supergirl, taking the Matrix incarnation of Supergirl and turning her into a literal angel.
  • Many Happy Returns: The last Linda Danvers story published in Supergirl vol. 4 #75-80. Linda meets pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El... and the universe will never be the same.
  • The Supergirl from Krypton: Superman/Batman #8-13. A Kryptonite meteor that lands in Gotham is revealed to have contained Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El, and the evil New God Darkseid targets her as a potential powerful minion. This arc introduced Kara Zor-El to Post-Crisis continuity. The arc also received an Animated Adaptation: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
  • Superman: Brainiac: Superman and Supergirl fight the actual Brainiac for the first time in the post-Crisis universe. This story reintroduces the Bottled City of Kandor to post-Crisis continuity, reintroduces many elements associated with Silver Age Brainiac and leads directly into New Krypton below. This arc was also adapted to Superman Unbound.
  • Who Is Superwoman?: Supergirl vol5 #37-42. Part of the New Krypton saga. Alura sends Supergirl on a mission to Earth to find Zor-El's murderer, Reactron. However, a mysterious masked woman called Superwoman will make Kara's task harder. At the beginning claiming to be Kara's friend, Superwoman soon reveals to be an elusive, ruthless enemy determined to hinder Supergirl. Who is Superwoman?
  • Bizarrogirl: Supergirl vol 5 #53-59 and Annual #2. Bizarrogirl arrives on Earth. What does she want and what is she escaping from? And can a depressed and demoralized Supergirl stop her before Bizarrogirl tears Metropolis apart? Tto make things worse, an even bigger threat looms on the horizon with an eye for the Girl of Steel.
  • The Last Daughter Of Krypton: Supergirl vol 6 #0-7. The first New 52 Supergirl storyline. It established her continuity and new origins in the rebooted Prime Earth.
  • The New Krypton arc, where the Kryptonian cousins have to deal with the death of Jonathan Kent and the return of Zor-El and Allura, their loyalties being divided between humanity and the 100,000 Kryptonian survivors they managed to rescue, and a government/military conspiracy to kill them.
  • Superman Supergirl: Maelstrom: Five-issue mini-series in which Supergirl and her cousin fight a dangerous and vicious villain from Apokolyps named Maelstrom who is determined to kill Superman to win the favor of Darkseid.
  • Reign of Doomsday: Luthor uses Doomsday as a pawn against not only Superman, but his entire family and supporting cast.
  • H'el on Earth: A crossover event where Superman, Supergirl and Superboy go up against H'el: a mysterious powerful Kryptonian who wishes to resurrect Krypton at the expense of Earth.
  • Krypton Returns. Another crossover event which also serves as the sequel to H'El on Earth. When H'El travels in time to prevent Krypton's destruction, Superman, Superboy and Supergirl travel to the past to stop him.
  • Red Daughter Of Krypton: A crossover event which features Supergirl getting a Red Lantern Ring as a consequence of the events of the two previous crossovers.
  • Crucible: Supergirl vol 6 #36-40. The last pre-Rebirth storyline. Kara attends Crucible, an interstellar super-hero academy. Does she really belong there at Crucible? And is Crucible to be trusted?
  • Superman: Super League: The final storyline for New 52 Superman. In the aftermath of Savage Dawn, The Darkseid War and his fight with Rao, Superman is dying. But, before he goes, he's deadset on making sure humanity isn't defenseless without him.

    Notable non-Canon stories 
  • Supergirl Movie Special: The official adaptation of the 1984 movie.
  • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl: Elseworlds Superman/Batman crossover written in 1998. In a world with no Superman or Batman, Supergirl and Batgirl must cast their differences aside and team up to solve a kidnapping.
  • Supergirl Cosmic Adventures In The 8th Grade: Alternate Universe series intended for children which retells the adventures of a pre-teen Earth-One Kara Zor-El.
  • Kara Zor-El appears in Man Of Steel Prequel, which is a tie-in to Man of Steel and is part of the DC Extended Universe. There, she is Kal-El's and Jor-El's distant ancestor instead of Kal-El's cousin. She is sent colonize a planet by the Council of Krypton. That mission will go awry.
  • Adventures of Supergirl: Tie-in to the Supergirl (2015) series, written by Sterling Gates.
  • Supergirl: Being Super: Four issue limited series. A coming-of-age story from writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Joelle Jones.

    Other Comic Appearances 

    Animated Series 
  • Superman: The Animated Series introduced its own version of Supergirl in 1998. This version was named Kara In-Ze and was rescued from the Kryptonian colony world of Argo. She wasn't actually a relative of Superman, beyond their being the same species, but she was adopted as his cousin and given a false civilian identity as Kara Kent. She was voiced by Nicholle Tom.
  • Justice League Unlimited Kara In-Ze would later appear in this cartoon. An evil clone of Supergirl named Galatea also appeared, whose costume, hairstyle and larger breasts were an obvious Shout-Out to Power Girl.
  • Super Best Friends Forever: Supergirl, Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) starred in the DC Nation shorts by Lauren Faust.
  • DC Superhero Girls: Supergirl is one of the main characters in the web-cartoon and DC Superhero Girls line of superheroine dolls.
  • Additionally, in Superman: The Animated Series Paul Dini and Bruce Timm wanted to use the original Kara Zor-El, instead of the then-current Supergirl (Matrix/Linda Danvers in the comics), but they were denied by DC Comics, due to the then-current "Superman is the only survivor of Krypton" edict. She was also supposed to appear in the third seasons of Legion Of Superheroes and Young Justice, but both shows were cancelled.

    TV Series 
  • Smallville: In 2007 Supergirl became a regular character as Clark's cousin Kara from Krypton (played by Laura Vandervoort), using a variation of the origin where she is older than him and, as is typical in that series, Not Wearing Tights or using a code name. (There had earlier been a fake "Kara from Krypton" who turned out to be neither. It was a plan by an AI made in Jor-El's image.
  • Supergirl (2015): In the Fall of 2015 premiered on CBS a Supergirl TV series starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El.

  • Supergirl: A Supergirl film was released in 1984, starring Helen Slater as Supergirl. It flopped commercially as well as critically, but Slater's performance was well-received by Supergirl fans.

    Animated Movies 

    Video Games 

    Roleplay Games 

    Tabletop Games 


  • Action Fashionista: Supergirl has worn over thirty costumes since her first appearance in Action Comics #252. You can see some few of them here. Since then she has added her New 52, Red Lantern and Rebirth costumes.
  • Action Girl: Being a member of the Super-family, she can mix it up just as well as Kal-El, sometimes even better.
  • Actually a Doombot:
    • Super-villain Toyman's robots look like real human beings, and they are capable of deceive even Kara's X-Ray Vision. In "Day of the Dollmaker" Kara invokes the trope when she warns Toyman that he will answer her questions lest she believes he is actually a robot and tears him apart to verify it.
      Supergirl: And how do we know you're even the real Winslow Schott? I've seen one of your robots before — no, two of them. One here in Gotham, the other on New Krypton. And that one had a part in my world's destruction. A small part, sure, but an important one. Your work is very well made. Impossible to tell apart from real, live human beings, even with my X-Ray vision. So please. Answer Ms. Grant's questions, or else another outburst like that will lead me to believe you're one of Schott's automatons... and I'll start probing to make sure you're real.
    • In Supergirl Rebirth #2, Kara fights Cyborg Superman. She wins, but she is disappointed when she discovers that it is only a drone.
      Of course... Another lie. Another fake. A drone. It exploded but... I barely touched it.
  • Adaptational Nationality: Supergirl is Russian in DC Comics Bombshells.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: Kara is more hot-headed and more short-tempered than her cousin, but she is also frightened of her own power and she holds back most of time because she doesn't want hurt anybody.
  • After the End: Every Supergirl story, perhaps especially those dealing with other survivors, such as Argo Kandor, etc., is set After the End of Krypton and the death of Argo City.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Post-Flashpoint Supergirl gained the Sanctuary, a Kryptonian base at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately Sanctuary is programmed to eradicate any Kryptonian double in her presence. When Supergirl and her Earth 2 counterpart Power Girl enter Sanctuary in issue #19, it deems Supergirl the double and tries to eliminate her. The two Karas must destroy Sanctuary to save Supergirl. However, the A.I. survives in a robot body; hellbent on destroying Supergirl.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick:
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol 5 # 47, Alura -Supergirl's mother- does this with Reactron's helmet.
    • Xenon does this with the skull of a Supergirl he has just killed in Supergirl vol 4 issue #77.
  • Alien Among Us: While this is not really the case for Superman, since he was raised here, it is often the case for his cousin Supergirl, who came here as a teenager. The version that probably gets the most milage out of the concept is Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In the 8th Grade.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: In Krypton No More, Kara tells Superman that he cannot make decisions for humanity and he cannot interfere with the mankind's evolution.
    Supergirl: And just where do you think you're going, cousin?
    Superman: Supergirl! Glad you're here! You can help me! This ship is a danger to all mankind — So we have to—
    Supergirl: Wrong! We aren't doing anything! We have no right to interfere!
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Kara's pony Comet could fly! He was secretly a cursed centaur.
  • Always Someone Better:
  • Amazonian Beauty: Supergirl in Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl looks more like a female version of Superman than the one in the main DC universe. Like him she's tall, very muscular, and treated like a goddess by the public.
  • And Here He Comes Now: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #20 features a conversation about how uneasy Supergirl makes everyone. Unfortunately, Supergirl has superhearing. Dream Boy attempts to warn everyone else but is ignored for long enough that this overlaps with Right Behind Me.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • In the post-Crisis universe, Kara spent thirty years in suspended animation, curled-up in a tiny pod and trapped in Kryptonite which hurt her and poisoned her mind.
    • In the New 52, after capturing Kara, Tycho held her in a stasis beam near from a chunk of kryptonite. She was in incredible pain but she couldn't scream or even move.
      Kara: Kryptonyte. a radioactive element lethal to the touch. Just being close to it — like I'm being held now — can be fatal. I'm screaming, but no sound comes out. I'm crying, but there are no tears. My skin is burning off, but there are no flames. All there is... All I am now... is the pain.
  • Anti-True Sight: Supergirl cannot use her X-Ray Vision to see through objects covered in lead or sufficiently dense materials.
  • A Planet Named Zok: Krypton, her home world. She has also visited some weirdly-named world such like Ysmault (during her Red Lantern phase), Grax or Primeen.
    • In a Bronze Age storyline narrated inSuperman #307-309, Superman and Supergirl have to protect Xonn (a planet located in Cygni-Gi system) from an Alien Invasion.
    • In the Pre-Crisis universe, the survivors of Krypton settled in a world they called Rokyn (meaning "Rao's gift").
  • A Rare Sentence: In Batgirl 2009 #14, Kara and Steph are about to fight a sobbing Dracula (long story).
    Batgirl: Nothing sadder than a crying Dracula.
    Supergirl: If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that...
    Batgirl: You'd have a nickel?
    Supergirl: I'd have a nickel.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • In the Silver Age Kara's Arch-Enemy was evil Kandorian scientist Lesla-Lar who specialised in stealing powers and/or bodies and tried to replace Kara with herself more than once (she was also Genre Savvy enough to decide she should kill Lex Luthor after milking their villainous partnership for as much as possible).
    • Post-Crisis it was Reactron and Superwoman (Lucy Lane).
    • In the New 52 it is evil billionaire Simon Tycho.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: During the events of the reviled Amazons Attack storyline, in where the Amazons went to war against the US, Supergirl and Wonder Girl suddenly come up with a "brilliant" plan to end the war: kidnapping the President and bringing him to Queen Hyppolita to engage in peace talks with her. Predictably, their plan went awry: the Amazons shot the Air Force One down and almost killed the President, and Kara and Cassie's reputations suffered a severe blow. After fending an Amazon squad off, Kara flies to New York to help, although Cassie points out that acting without thinking got them into that mess.
    Wonder Girl: But we were only trying to—
    Supergirl: Doesn't matter. I have to make up for this somehow, before it's too late. I have to balance the scales.
    Wonder Girl: How? By flying off half-cocked again, after what we just did...?
    Supergirl: I can't do nothing, Cassie!
  • Badass Adorable: While she may be one of the strongest beings in the galaxy, she is very much a teenager with her own hangups.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Supergirl does this every so often.
    • In the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc, in which she was a Kryptonian Red Lantern (one of the most obscenely overpowered possible combinations in The DCU), she folded their arms several times. One of those times happened during a battle: she flew in the battlefield, punched an enemy across the city, folded her arms and glared.
    • In Convergence #6, pre-Crisis Kara folds her arms as she stares down at the enemy army.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Kara folds her arms across her chest and stares Rebel down after warning that if he attacks her, she will hurt him.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Her Breaking Speech to a Filler Villain called "Rebel". Accompanied by Glowing Eyes of Doom and Dramatic Thunder that she might have summoned:
      Kara: Look — here's the problem. You've done some bad things, but I'm really, really upset right now. So much so that, honestly, I don't trust myself. And if you attack me or I attack you... I will hurt you. I will hurt you worse than you've ever been hurt in your whole life. I can carve you up by looking at you. I can break you, boil you, freeze you. I can do things you can't imagine. Things I can't imagine, until I have to, and then I'll improvise. Part of me is hoping that you will attack. And part of me is praying — for your sake and my own peace of mind — that you don't. It's up to you. Oh... And, Rebel... I have eyes that can see through solid matter. I have ears that can hear your slightest word, your heartbeat, your breathing. You do anything that hurts others... I will find you. And you won't like it. Do we have an understanding?
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Atrocitus' veiled and blatant threats don't impress Guy Gardner. He's heard worse things from stronger beings:
      Atrocitus: Oh, the things I have planned for you, Guy Gardner. You and anyone who stands with you.
      Guy Gardner: Get in line, pal. You ain't the first, and I guarantee you won't be the last. Worse than you have tried to take Guy Gardner down! And you know what? You know what? I'm still here, you bastard! I'm still here!
  • Badass Bookworm: Supergirl's different Secret Identities (pre-Crisis Linda Lee, post-Crisis Linda Lang, Rebirth Kara Danvers...) always look like a glass-wearing, small, physically unimposing, highly smart nerdy girl... who can lift millions of tons with ease.
  • Badass Cape: All versions of Supergirl wear a flowing, awesome cape. Even her Red Lantern uniform in Red Daughter Of Krypton included a badass, red-and-black cape. In Supergirl (Rebirth), her cape is so badass than she uses it to deflect burning rocks.
  • Badass Family: She is a member of the Super-Family, which includes her cousin Superman, her foster parents Jeremiah and Eliza (who are Government veteran agents in Supergirl Rebirth), her Alternate Universe self, Power Girl, her cousin's clone, Kon-El (Superboy), her cousin's adopted son, Chris Kent (who is Nightwing), her cousin's son, Jonathan Kent (who is a ten-year-old Superboy), and the family DOG, Krypto. And if you want to count best friends and family of same, well... then you have to count the whole Bat-Family.
  • Badass Normal: Kara is usually a virtual Physical God. However, when she is depowered, her enemies find out two facts about her: she practices some style of Kryptonian martial arts (Torquasm Rao and Torquasm Vo in the pre-Crisis universe; Klurkor in the post-Crisis continuity); and post-Crisis Kara was trained by both Batman and Wonder Woman.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Comet, Supergirl's sapient horse with magical powers. As he described to her telepathically, he was originally a centaur in ancient Greece named Biron. The witch Circe gave him a potion to turn him fully human after he prevented an evil sorcerer poisoning her water, but by mistake made him fully horse instead due to the Sorcerer. Later, after meeting Supergirl, he went on a mission with her to the planet Zerox, where a magic spell was cast that turned him into a human, but only while a comet passes through the solar system he is in. As a human, he adopted the identity of "Bronco" Bill Starr, a rodeo trick-rider.
    • In Supergirl vol 1 #7, Tony Martyn, a Peace Corps volunteer who Kara has a crush on, is turned into a giant Yeti by evil wizard Orgox.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Post-Crisis Supergirl and some of her animated counterparts of The DCU wear midriff-baring shirts. Cat Grant often mocked her by wearing that kind of outdated clothes.
  • Bash Brothers: Since her creation, Supergirl and Superman have been partners and fought together constantly.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Kara can do this due to her Kryptonian physiology. Reasons vary according to the writer: Silver Age Kryptonians can do anything, she can hold her breath for absurd lengths of time... as of the New 52, Kryptonians do not have to breathe, as long as their bodies have enough stored sunlight. Kara discovers this when she gets surprised and gasps while swimming.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • A double subversion occurs in Action Comics #304. Supergirl encounters Black Flame, a woman who seems to be a super-powered Kryptonian, in the process of some rather destructive vandalism. The villainess claims she's from the distant future of the year 4000, and "invites" Supergirl to view her time using a computerized exhibition device. It shows the heroine a terrible future where Black Flame extorts wealth from thousands of worlds (as in, she can blow them to little pieces if they don't comply). Worst part: she's Supergirl’s direct descendent, "Supergirl XXV", and the citizens of this distant future despise the first one just as much for starting this hated family line. Supergirl is naturally very upset, and after pursuing numerous leads (she senses something fishy here) including visiting the bottled city of Kandor, and eventually decides to unearth a chuck of gold kryptonite, and use it to erase her own powers, eliminating the possibility she could pass them down to a descendant, in effect, making Black Flame Ret Gone. Then Black Flame appears with a cruel laugh, revealing her true identity, that of an assistant of a criminal from the Kandor who was interred in the Phantom Zone. Black Flame had set up the plan out of revenge, leaving Kandor and using something called Red-K to increase her size, then pulled the ruse hoping Supergirl would depower herself. After listening to the powerless heroine her beg a little, she shoves Supergirl into a pit of quicksand and watches her drown. Or so it seems. Black Flame gets a big surprise as the Red-K wears off, shrinking herself to normal size, because Supergirl actually figured the plan out, and was outgambitting her with her own Batman Gambit; now that she's shrunk, Supergirl grabs her, showing her the - fake - chuck of gold kryptonite and shoving her inside a make-up compact that holds a few minute grains of real gold kryptonite. As she ships the criminal back to Kandor, the last panel of the story shows the one flaw in Black Flame's plan - a cavity in her teeth with a dental filling that Supergirl noticed while investigating records in a Kandor dental clinic, something a superpowered descendant would not have.
    • In the Red Daughter Of Krypton storyline, two villains tried to pull off separate Batman Gambits to defeat Supergirl:
      • Lobo tries to use Supergirl's rage against her by taunting her into not holding back. As such, Dr. Veritas teleports them out of the Block to prevent their fight from damaging it. Once outside, Lobo calls his ship and flies to Supergirl's old apartment in New York, hoping to calm her down. He then tries to be friendly to her offering to mentor her so she can learn to control her rage. Big mistake. Supergirl has had it with people trying to manipulate her and gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
      • Worldkiller-1 had taken over the body of an alien warlord and wanted to steal Supergirl's body. However he couldn't destroy his host body. So he goaded Supergirl to use her Eye Beams on him until she reduced his body to ashes involuntarily.
  • Battle Boomerang: Used by Boomer during the Joe Kelly's run.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Supergirl and Brainiac-5 in the Silver Age. After bringing Kara back in the post-Crisis universe, most of writers teased a relationship between them.
    • Kara's foster parents Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers. They are a couple of Government agents trained to deal with and neutralize alien threats.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind:
    • In Adventure Comics #421, Supergirl and one-time villain Nightflame fight into Supergirl's mind an illusory, hellish psychic landscape called Innerverse that represents Supergirl's dark side.
    • In Superman Family #206: Strangers at the Heart’s Core, Kara fights her old nemesis Lesla-Lar, who is trying to take over her mind. The battle takes place in Supergirl's head.
    • During the Red Daughter Of Krypton storyline, an enemy called Sheko invaded Supergirl’s mind to read her memories and judge her, but a memory of Supergirl's mother Alura stopped her and forced her out of her daughter's mind.
  • Beautiful All Along: In her Linda Lee Danvers/Linda Lang/Kara Danvers Secret Identity, Kara dyes and braids her hair and wears glasses in order to look like an incospicuous, average, geeky brunette instead of a stunningly beautiful blonde with an athletic build.
  • The Berserker: During her Red Lantern phase, she genuinely enjoyed finding evil jerkasses and pummelling them.
    Kara: The Red Ring on my fist chose me. It made me part of a team. We seek out injustice and we punch it in the teeth. And it feels good.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: This happened to Kara Zor-El in the Elseworlds story Superman vol. 1 #149: The Death of Superman!. Back then she was Superman's secret emergency-weapon until her cousin decided she was well-trained enough and ready to operate openly. Kara was dying to reveal her existence to the world... until Superman got murdered by Lex Luthor. She arrested and punished Luthor, revealed herself and took over for her cousin, becoming a beloved hero, but she wasn't happy at all.
    Bystander: Good luck! We miss Superman, but we're glad you're taking over for him!
    Supergirl: ... I never thought it would turn out this way... All the time I was Superman's secret emergency-weapon, I eagerly looked forward to the day when I could operate openly! Now that it's finally happened, I — I feel no happiness at the "glory" that's now... mine...
  • Between My Legs:
    • The first post-Crisis Supergirl, a.k.a. Matrix, was introduced with this, which also served to hide her face.
    • Also seen in Supergirl vol 4 issue 21.
    • In Justice League Unlimited Galatea also gets this a few times during her appearance in "Panic in the Sky", which only adds to the fuckton of Les Yay between her and Supergirl when they fight.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Much like her cousin, she's usually a nice, compassionate, friendly person. Unlike her cousin, she's headstrong and a little short-tempered and Hot-Blooded. When she gets real angry, it isn't pretty.
    • During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Anti-Monitor -a being who eats whole universes- almost kills Superman. Enraged, Supergirl attacked him, broke his supposedly indestructible armor and nearly killed him.
    • In a post-Crisis story, Kara flew Clayface up to the edge of the atmosphere and dropped him after he got her pissed off.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Lobo pressed Supergirl's berserk buttons over and over again until she exploded and pummelled him.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • Superman was this to his cousin in the Silver Age. He took care of her and trained her until she was ready to go solo.
    • Subverted post-Crisis. Kara was actually older than Superman, and she expected to take care of her baby cousin, but after her ship launched it was stuck in a Kryptonite debris field for 30 years, during which she was in a coma. Although she eventually reached Earth, her cousin was now older, and wanting to be her mentor and caretaker.
    • Subverted in the New 52. Superman thinks he must help and guide his teen cousin. Everyone thinks she would be better off with him... but Supergirl, who protests that she doesn't need or want any help.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Superman has to tell Guy Gardner he can't keep his cousin with him if she doesn't want to stay. So Guy became one to Kara, helping her find herself and manage her anger.
  • Big Dumb Body: Wordkiller-1 -an alien, body-surfing symbiote- subverted this when he transferred his soul into the body of Supergirl because he thought she was a crazy powerful, inmensely strong, stupid girl. By the time he realized she wasn't dumb at all and she had outsmarted him to force him out of her body and kill him, it was too late.
  • Birthday Episode: In Action Comics #270, Supergirl turns sixteen, and she is thrown a surprise party by her cousin -who baked a giant birthday cake-, Batman, Robin and several more friends.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: Supergirl's Kryptonian senses don't care for puny laws of physics. She has at least half-dozen of kinds of super-vision (telescopic, microscopic, X-Ray...) as well as super-hearing.
    • In Supergirl Rebirth, Kara hears what is happening on Earth in real time while she is standing on the surface of the Sun. And she uses her microscopic vision on Lar-On to observe his genes and determine that his genetic makeup has been completely mangled by Red-K poisoning.
      Supergirl: I can see his genes.
  • Blackmail: In the New 52 issues, Tycho tried to blackmail Kara: he'd give her pod's crystal back in exchange for a drop of her blood. It was a bad, bad idea...
  • Blackmail Backfire: In the New 52, Tycho tried to blackmail Kara. She blew his space station up and retrieved her pod's crystal.
  • Blessed with Suck: Supergirl often sees her powers as a burden. Pre-Crisis Kara came to a point where she was tired of being Supergirl constantly instead of being her own person and she actually felt guilty for wanting to lead a normal life. Post-Crisis, a lot of people tried to manipulate her or take advantage of her because she was so powerful, to the point she calls her formidable powers a curse in the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc:
    Supergirl: This strength, this power — It's been like a curse. But I refuse to be a victim anymore!
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three main characters in Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In The 8th Grade, Linda Lee -the eponymous blond heroine-, her red-haired best friend Lena Thorul and her dark-haired arch-enemy and bully Belinda Zee.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Most of the time she wears a blue super-hero costume.
  • Body Surf: Alien invader Worldkiller-1 transferred his soul from a body to other the whole time, looking for a perfect host. In the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc, as Supergirl was fighting the leader of an alien race, Worldkiller-1 emerged through the Diasporan's damaged body and tried to snatch Kara's body. She forced him out, though, so he transferred his spirit into the bodies of random bystanders -who were burn out nearly instantly- until Kara agreed to let him surf into her body.
  • Bookends:
    • Supergirl''s fourth solo book. In the first issue's cover, Linda is holding her skateboard. In the last panel of the last issue, it's Lois who is holding it.
    • Sterling Gates started and ended his run by using a Cat Grant news piece. In the first issue, Cat wrote an article titled: "Why the World Doesn't Need a Supergirl". In the final issue, she wrote a kind of reluctant recantation: "The world needs a Supergirl".
  • Bound and Gagged: In the Red Daughter Of Krypton storyline, in order to transport a mad Supergirl safely, a group of Green Lanterns gagged and chained Kara with solid light constructs and placed her inside a containment cell.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman:
    • Not only does she have all the powers of her cousin, she has had training in both unarmed and armed combat. By Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Unfortunately, most writers tend to forget this.
    • In the New 52, while her training with the Amazons has been retconned away, Supergirl has been taught martial arts as part of her schooling on Krypton, although she's far from an expert.
  • Boyish Short Hair: New 52 Kara -who is a short-tempered, hot-blooded brawler and not feminine in the least- wears her hair this way.
  • Brainy Brunette: Kara Zor-El's Secret Identity (Linda Lee Danvers, Linda Lang, Kara Danvers...) is always a brown-haired, nerdy girl.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In Superman/Batman #77, Scarecrow's fear toxin makes Supergirl believe that Robin is her parents' killer Reactron and attack him.
  • Breaking the Bonds:
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • In Supergirl vol 4 #79, super-villain Rebel tries to harass Kara after trying to kill her and Linda Danvers. Supergirl proceeds to tell him that he is a pathetic, insignificant nuisance with delusions of grandeur and she is a very busy and very angry Physical God. He runs away.
      Rebel: So whattaya say we just finish this off with one final dance?
      Supergirl: Don't you get it, Rebel? You're not important! You never were! You were just — something to do! Something for Supergirl and me to bounce off of for a while until people and events of real consequence came along! Look — Here's the problem. You've done some bad things, but I'm really, really upset right now. So much so that, honestly, I don't trust myself. And if you attack me or I attack you... I will hurt you. I'll hurt you worse than you've ever been hurt in your whole life. I can carve you up as soon as look at you. I can break you, boil you, freeze you. I can do things you can't imagine. Things I can't imagine, until I have to. And then I'll improvise. Part of me is hoping you will attack. And part of me is praying — for your sake, and my own peace of mind — that you don't. It's up to you.
      Rebel: You doing that? Causing a storm to roll in?
      Supergirl: Maybe.
    • Sakki, The Hate Furnace, delivered one to Supergirl. He mistakenly believed that she was Superman's daughter and picked at her shame at failing to live up to Superman's example. Sakki and his partner, Gakidou, were also emotion eaters, so Supergirl's despair and other negative emotions served to make them stronger. Unfortunately for them, she became so angry that they nearly overloaded, and they found out the hard way that their extra strength isn't nearly enough to deal with a Kryptonian.
  • Breath Weapon: Kara has freezing breath, hurricane breath, heat vision, and during her Red Lantern phase, she could spew corrosive plasma.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In New 52 Superman #6, Supergirl saves an obnoxious reporter from falling out of the sky. When she brings him to the ground, Jimmy Olsen and the other reporters complain and order in a change of pants for him.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": All of her costumes -but her Red Lantern uniform- have the S-shield symbol.
  • Bully Hunter: In Adventure Comics #397, Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor begins a campaign of bullying students, hoping to lure Supergirl out. Supergirl gives her and her bully friends a very wild, very fast aerial ride before dumping them into a fountain and warning them that if she ever hears of them terrorizing anyone again... she will get mean.
    Supergirl: Now hear this! If I ever hear of you terrorizing anyone again — you'll find out you haven't seen anything yet!
  • Bullying a Dragon: Since her creation, Supergirl has run into many idiots who thought it was a good idea annoying Superman's cousin:
    • In a post-Crisis comics, Batman's villain Clayface challenged and taunted Supergirl. Someone who is essentially a shape-shifting mud-man taunted a girl who can punch moons. Great idea.
    • In the New 52, Tycho has seen what Supergirl is capable of... and he tries to capture her, blackmail her, hit her... and it never ends up well for him.
    • Later on, Lobo picks a fight with Supergirl. Knowing he can't go toe-to-toe with her, he mocks her, taunts her, presses her Berserk Buttons... so she gets angry and fights more sloppily. She certainly got angry. And then she proceeded to pummel him savagely.
    • In the Supergirl movie, Supergirl runs into two truck drivers shortly after reaching Earth. She quickly identifies herself as Superman's cousin... and the pair of hicks decides to harass her. Then she proves she has Kryptonian powers... and the idiot duo attacks her.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: Supergirl saved her life because she was in space when Argo City died/Krypton exploded and then ended up on Earth. Subverted because she was deliberately sent into space to avoid being killed.
  • Cain and Abel: During a brief Dork Age, that was thankfully swept away by Infinite Crisis, Supergirl's father Zor-El hated his brother Jor, and sent Kara to Earth to kill Jor-El's infant son. Or he just didn't get on with his brother, and knew that Kal-El would "infect" Earth with evil spirits from the Phantom Zone. Or… look never mind, it's gone!
  • Came Back Wrong: Discussed in Supergirl vol 5 storyline "The Way of the World". The eponymous heroine is trying to save a young cancer victim named Thomas. Unfortunately, Thomas dies, but she thinks a blood transfusion of another super-hero's nanite-laced blood may revive Thomas. Superman tries to dissuade her, stating that "the transfusion might bring Thomas back as something inhuman... a blazing skull, a monster, or worse."
  • Came from the Sky:
    • In Action Comics #252, Clark Kent found Kara Zor-El when he saw a rocket crashing down to Earth and flew to the landing site to investigate. Inside the rocket he found a teenager girl who was dressed like him and happened to be his cousin.
    • Post-Crisis Kara origin story, "The Supergirl from Krypton", had her found by Batman and Superman.
    • And in the New 52 universe her space pod landed in Kansas, cut through the mantle and emerged in Siberia. When Kara left her pod, she was surrounded by a corporate-owned black cops team who wanted to capture her to examine her. They didn't count on their target being a super-powerful Kryptonian and Superman arriving at the site during the melee.
  • Canine Companion: Krypto The Super Dog is technically her cousin's pet dog, but he also follows Kara around and obeys her. In Superman vol 1 #149: The Death of Superman! he became her dog after Clark's death. In the Post-Flashpoint universe, he was the family dog.
  • The Cape: Supergirl is traditionally very much a Cape.
    • During the Silver Age in particular she was one of the most caring and humble superheroes, perhaps more so than her cousin himself since for her first few years she had to do her heroism in secret.
    • Kara died a hero in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. When the Anti-Monitor attempted to destroy The Multiverse, she sacrificed her own life so that her cousin might live. In so doing, however, she severely set back the Anti-Monitor's plans, making victory possible for the heroes of the surviving Earths. The greatest tragedy of all, however, was that with the destruction of the Multiverse and changes to the timestream, Kara was erased from history, and no one at all remembered her heroic life and death. And still she accepted this, though, because she accomplished her goal: save them all.
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl acted like a selfish emo teen for a while when she showed up on Earth because she suffered from Kryptonite poisoning and it was messing her head up and altering her behavior. For all her problems, though, Kara was headed strongly in this direction by the time of the New 52 reboot. She'd put the past behind her, adopted Superman's attitude towards dealing with issues, built strong friendships with other heroes, and was well on her way to being the same sort of paragon as her cousin.
    • New 52 Supergirl didn't want to hurt anyone and was willing to help people, but her obsession to bring Krypton back and her anger and loneliness issues were holding her back. During the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc she finally faced her inner demons and outgrew her angst and anger. When Supergirl (Rebirth) starts out, she has become the kind of hero who will punch criminals and monsters but also try to reach them out.
  • Cape Wings: Linda/Matrix as the Earth Angel of Fire.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse:
    • Rare heroic example in Supergirl vol 1 #6. The eponymous heroine needs to stop a gang war so she picks two huge rolls of insulation, and lays them out, knocking the gangers over and rolling them up inside. Once they are paralyzed, they have no option but listening to her.
    • After her death at the hands of the Anti-Monitor in Crisis On Infinite Earths, Superman used this method to transport his cousin's body to New Krypton where her natural parents lived in Superman #414.
    • When Matrix fused with Linda Danvers, one of the flashback memories revealed Linda, as a young girl, witnessing a church leader beating his wife to death through the window of their house. The husband had the body removed inside a carpet and spread the word she'd run off on him.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Supergirl's friend Stephanie Brown -alias Batgirl II- is an expert at this, often sharing wisecracks with her mission control while in the middle of a fight. When she and Kara are being strangled by Dracula in issue #14 of Batgirl 2009, Batgirl tries to apologize for how their night out has been sidetracked.
    Batgirl: I hope you won't hold this against me.
    Supergirl: That's What She Said.
    Batgirl: You're funny.
    Supergirl: I try.
  • Cat Up a Tree:
  • Character Development: Kara often undergoes some kind of character development:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara goes from being a naive teenager who idolized her cousin to a young woman who was determined to be her own person and figure out what kind of life she wanted to lead.
    • Post-Crisis Kara was characterized as a whiny, fickle, immature brat who didn't deserve to wear the S-shield for a while until she decided that she needed to stop being a jerk and truly change. From that point on, she started to mature. Later on, it was explained that her weird behavior, her mood swings, her contradictory memories, her inability to focus on what she was doing... was due to kryptonite poisoning.
    • New 52 Kara was a teen ball of anger and abandonment issues who felt trapped in a strange land where she didn't fit in and longed for returning to Krypton. After the "Red Daughter of Krypton" and "Crucible Academy" arcs she's accepted that Earth is her new home and she's calmer and more controlled.
  • Character Tics: Kara used to put her finger to her mouth as she puzzled out some conundrum in early issues of Action Comics. That quirk that has been seen every now and then even in modern comics.
  • Character Title: Her solo books are titled Supergirl.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the beginning of Supergirl's sixth volume, some aliens were seen floating in several pods in the background. Later on, Supergirl met and fought four of those aliens -who were called Worldkillers-, and her leader revealed that there was a fifth worldkiller. Guess who fights Supergirl almost thirty issues later?
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Red Lantern Supergirl had a huge and disturbingly wicked grin when she met Superman in space during the events of Superman: Doomed.
  • Chest Insignia: Kara shares her cousin's "S" shield -later versions of the Superman mythos have established that it's the emblem of the House of El-. During her Red Lantern tenure, she wore the symbol of the Red Lantern Corps: a circle and two crooked lines on its right and left sides.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: In the Silver Age, Dick Malverne grew up at the Midvale Orphanage during the same time that Linda Lee alias Supergirl did, and he had a huge crush on her. Although the two dated for a while they grew apart after college. They met again as adults, and Dick confessed he always loved her and and knew of her secret identity before dying.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • Kara Zor-El is the same kind of hero than her cousin, but she is more short-tempered and more compassionate, which means that she feels more compelled to be a hero, punish criminals and help people.
    • Back in the Silver Age she had to do her heroism in secret for her first few years until her existence was revealed to the world.
    • In Krypton No More she wants to undertake an off-world mission because she and her cousin "fight injustice wherever it strikes".
    • Sometimes being Supergirl wore her out and she complained that she wanted to settle down and lead a normal life. She never stopped being an hero, though.
    • In Supergirl vol 2 #1, she feels guilty because she needs to give herself space to be "Linda Danvers" rather than "Supergirl". In the same scene she admits she would interrupt a date with Robert Redford to rescue a kitten from a tree.
    • Per Word Of God, in Supergirl (Rebirth) she is the kind of hero who will punch you, throw in a cell... and try to help you.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Supergirl's supporting cast and Rogues Gallery is often jettisoned and replaced every time a new creative team takes over. Dick Malverne, her foster parents Fred and Edna some of her enemies like Lesla-Lar, 'Nasty' Luthor and Black Flame were never seen again after the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1987.
  • City of Adventure / Aliens in Cardiff: Linda Danvers' hometown of Leesburg, VA.
  • Clark Kenting: Several incarnations of Kara have tried her hand at this. In order from bad to better:
    • New 52's Kara didn't use any extras.
    • The Linda/Matrix gestalt didn't use any extras.
    • Pre-Flashpoint Kara and "Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade" Kara versions followed her cousin's example by using glasses.
    • For most of her Pre-Crisis life, Kara used a brown wig to hide her blonde hair.
    • The animated Supergirl of the DCAU uses both wig and glasses.
    • Supergirl (Rebirth) Kara wears loose clothes, glasses, dyes her hair brown and braids it into a ponytail, and behaves like a insecure, quiet, geeky girl (as opposite to her hot-blooded, fiery and determined real self).
      Dr. Chase: "Kara Danvers" is a tool for you to walk amongst the people you protect.
  • Clark Kent Outfit:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl wore very plain clothes, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts to hide her muscles.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Kara's Secret Identity wears loose clothes and baggy trousers to hide her super-strong physique.
  • Cloning Blues: A notable Bronze Age story involved Kara getting an Evil Clone who was then depowered and just wanted to live a normal life. Kara promised to help her establish a new identity for herself.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Supergirl was created after Superman had got most of his power upgrades, so she had a lot of different powers from the beginning. In Action Comics #252 she uses her super-strength, hurricane breath and x-ray vision... in the same page!
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: In Supergirl vol 5 #34 Kara saved Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant from being hit by falling debris. Unfortunately Cat accidentally got bruised when Jimmy landed on her. Cat was so irate she devoted herself to wage a smear campaign against Supergirl.
  • Composite Character: In Supergirl Adventures in the 8th Grade Linda Lee's Evil Twin Belinda "Superior Girl" Zee has a few obvious Bizarro elements, but is thematically closer to "Dark Supergirl".
  • Con Lang: The DCU has not one, but two alphabet ciphers that translate to one of 26 Roman Alphabet Letters: Kryptonian and Interlac. It's explicitly stated that English sounds different than Kryptonian (which has been hinted as vaguely Swedish sounding), which sounds different from Interlac, despite having the same amount of symbols to depict those sounds, and that each symbol matches a Roman symbol as well. Makes some sense in Interlac's case, since it could be descended from our alphabet. Some of the symbols might've been repurposed for new sounds, too; the Greek vowel letters were consonants in Phoenician. They have one non-cipher language: the language of the Indigo Lanterns.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Buzz the demon does this without realising that's what he's doing — he thinks the agonising headaches he gets when he tries to abandon Linda are direct punishment from God, and he's not being given any choice, but it turns out that if you haven't used your conscience for two thousand years, it's a bit stiff and painful when it becomes active again.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: In issue 23 of the New 52, Cyborg Superman creates robot replicas of people from Supergirl's memories to fight her. This includes everyone she's met in her series; friend and foe, hero and villain.
  • Cool Pet: Pre-Crisis Kara had Streaky the Supercat as well as a superhorse named Comet. Both animals have made cameo appearances since, and Post-Crisis Kara had an ordinary cat named Streaky, but main universe Supergirl never has got super-pets again (unless you count Krypto).
  • Costume Evolution: Her outfit started as a blue mini dress with a red cape and boots. Changes over the years include making the skirt red, making the suit a two-piece, changing the skirt with shorts, and adding gold edging.
  • Covers Always Lie:
  • The Cowl: Ironically, Supergirl -one of the classic examples of The Cape and cousin of THE Cape- used to be like this back in the Silver Age. Before Superman revealed her existence to the world she secretly patrolled the small town of Midvale at night, trying not to get caught while she stopped crimes and saved people. Midvale locals rumored that they were protected by a "guardian angel".
  • Crapsaccharine World: Before both cousins arrived on the scene, Metropolis was a Crapsaccharine City. It's a bright and shiny metropolis... that was being ruled by Evil Overlord Villain with Good Publicity Lex Luthor.
    • In Elseworlds Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Lex Luthor's discoveries, especially his solar battery, have apparently turned Metropolis into a place where pollution, waste, unemployment, homelessness... were no longer a concern. Then it was revealed that his solar battery was a dead baby whom he murdered itself.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: In Action Comics #314, Allura's physical and mental health are deteriorating due to her daughter never calling or visiting. The Danvers find out about it and they decide to abuse Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers verbally until she rejoins her biological parents (rather than explaining the situation to her). Their plan doesn't work very well because it's a bit hard to hide things from a teenager with super-hearing.
  • Crystal Prison: After capturing Reactron, Supergirl and Flamebird shrank him and put inside a crystal shard in order to transport him to New Krypton where he would be trialed.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Krypton and Argo City (Kara's hometown) definitely fit this (and pre-Crisis planet Rokyn where the citizens of Kandor settled on). The Supergirl books often go into detail about the culture and society of Krypton, showing people wearing colourful, bright clothes and long, flowing robes and capes, and tall buildings made of glass and metal.
  • Curse Cut Short: In Adventure Comics #421, Pre-Crisis Linda Danvers grumbles (after putting up with her overbearing, self-serving, mean-spirited rival and co-worker Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor):
    Supergirl: That lousy 'Nasty'! She's out to get me fired! That rotten, under-handed stupid w...
  • Curtain Camouflage: Kara lampshades this. The image comes from The Superdictionary— appropriately, for the word "curtain."
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El was the nicest and kindest Supergirl's version, but she had little patience for idiots.
      • In The Daring Adventures of Supergirl vol. 1 #12, while several mooks are shooting at her:
        'Supergirl: I hate thinking of the fortune in ammunition thugs like you have wasted on me over the years!
      • A short while later, a cop is berating her:
        Lieutenant Peters: You wanna play cop, join the department and get yourself a badge! Until then, stay out of my way!
        Supergirl: You need a hint as to what you can do with your badge, Peters?
    • Peter David gave this quality to the Linda Danvers Supergirl. In Many Happy Returns, when The Spectre tries to tells Linda about the Anti-Monitor, she slightly mishears:
      Linda: I thought I was fighting Xenon! What the hell—? Auntie Monitor?! Who's her partner, Uncle Screen Saver?
    • Post-Crisis Kara often makes sarcastic remarks when she gets angry. In Supergirl vol. 5 #22 she fights a Super Soldier who claims to be "your tax dollars at work". After defeating him, she grumbles:
      Supergirl: Tax dollars at work, my butt!
    • New 52 Supergirl also has some good deadpan lines. In Supergirl #22, after Cyborg Superman reveals that he needs her flesh to become whole again, Supergirl gives this gem of an answer:
      Supergirl: You want to say that again? I couldn't hear you through all the creepiness coming out of your mouth!
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, Kara and her foster mother Eliza have a friendly battle of wits:
      Supergirl: Eliza, Jeremiah — Do you need help?
      Eliza: Not at all! I live to work hours cleaning twenty square feet.
      Supergirl: Sarcasm is not unique to Earth, you know.
      Eliza: Good. You already speak my language. This adjustment process will be easy.
  • Death from Above:
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Bleez asked one of her teammates to use their flagship's enormous laser cannon to blast her and her brainwashed friend from space.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Kara's telescopic vision warned her that a meteorite was about to collide with Earth, which would kill everyone. She wanted to solve the situation by pushing Earth out of the way, but Linda assured her that the Justice League would deal with it.
  • Death Glare: Kara is just as good-natured as her cousin, but being a teenager, she is more fierce and more short-tempered than Superman. If she is giving you one of these -often accompanied with glowing red eyes-, then you have pissed her off for real, and you last resort is praying.
    • In Supergirl vol. 5 # 58, a security guard is ogling to Cat Grant's butt. Then Supergirl leans over and glares. He starts and falls backwards.
    • Minutes later she's interrogating villain Toyman about several missing children, but he claims that he has done nothing wrong and tries to balk at answering her questions. Kara glares at him and a second later she slams him into the wall and urges him to cooperate as her eyes glow red.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton she does this constantly because she is constantly angry because of her Red Lantern Ring. At the beginning of the story she glares at Lobo as she tells she's done with users... and with him, and Lobo -an inter-galactic bounty hunter and mass murderer- gets scared and tries to calm her down.
    • Elseworlds: Finest Supergirl And Batgirl, Kara's glare after finding out that Lex Luthor murdered her cousin is... scary.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: Subverted with Post-Crisis Kara. An early story stated that her father trained her to be a weapon, and Superman -with aid of Batman and Wonder Woman- took her in and acted this way toward her. However her abusive father was eventually retconned as a hallucination caused by Kryptonite poisoning when the real Zor-El showed up and turned out to be a pretty nice guy.
  • Depending on the Artist: Much more than her Spear Counterpart cousin, the size of her skirt can vary frequently, how big her breasts can be, to how old she actually looks.
  • Despair Event Horizon: It happened to Kara in the vol. 6. She starts out a nice, happy-go-lucky girl. Then her father placed her in suspended animation inside a rocket and launched her out of Krypton. When she wakes up, she finds herself stranded on an alien, primitive world. Her family, her friends, her old life... are gone forever because her home world exploded nearly thirty years ago. Then she goes through several months of endless battles. Meanwhile, she appears to be unable to connect with her only living relative, she doesn't manage to fit in with Earth's people or keep any friends, and everyone she meets wants to decide what is better for her or tries to use her. She falls in love with someone, and then she finds out that her crush was a murderous bastard who was manipulating her. She has a chance to save her planet, and she fails... Then she runs into and fights Lobo, who intentionally presses her Berserk Buttons until she flips out. After pummelling him, Kara is mad like hell and feeling hurt, betrayed, confused and utterly hopeless, thinking she belongs anywhere and can trust no one.
  • Destructive Saviour: Supergirl is a hero fully committed to save lives. Unfortunately she's also powerful enough to level whole cities, so when she fights an enemy who can force her to fight seriously, they often wreck the battlefield.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #7 she and four enemies turned Manhattan into a war zone.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #31 and Red Lanterns #31, she and several Red Lanterns tried to save planet Primeen's capital city. Unfortunately they almost burned it down when they fought Atrocitus, and Kara used her heat vision to stop a blood storm. Supergirl felt horribly guilty, and Blezz muttered she thought that they were supposed to be the good Red Lanterns.
  • Determinator: Kara never quits. Never. Not even when she's poisoned with Kryptonite, her body is getting stolen by an alien abomination, and her heart has stopped. Even so, she'll keep fighting. She explains that her mother taught her to never give up.
    Supergirl: But then I thought of mother. I remembered all I had to live up to. A daughter of the House of El never quits. I wasn't about to be the first.
  • Determined Expression:
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In Red Lanterns #31, Supergirl used her heat vision on a blood maelstrom conjured by Atrocitus, and accidentally burned half city down instead of destroying the maelstrom.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, villain Belinda Zee uses her "Superior Vision" on Streaky (Supergirl's pet cat), and accidentally turns him into a sabertooth tiger.
    Superior Girl: That was not my best plan.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: There's actually a whole forum debating whether Kara slept with Lex on Smallville.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • To Superman, obviously. She even provides the page's trope image and is the Trope Codifier. Although not the first female copy of an established hero (Mary Marvel and Bulletgirl preceded her), she has had the most longevity and the most incarnations, including her own movie and Live-Action show.
    • In the New 52, a significant addition to Supergirl's Rogues Gallery has the distinction of being the Distaff Counterpart to two major Superman foes- Reign has a very Doomsday-like originnote , and a very Zod-like personalitynote . Incidentally, she basically presents herself as Kara's Evil Counterpart as well.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Supergirl does this in on occasion, for example in one of Redan's Batman and Superman comic strips. Then again, she was still learning to control her powers. One of the explicit differences between Superman and Supergirl is that Superman has mental blocks he imposed on himself so there's an upper limit to how much power he'll use, while Supergirl has no such blocks, allowing her to at times be stronger than her cousin. Stronger, but not better. When they fought, Superman easily defeated and immobilized her (and actually threatened he could do it any time he wanted to if need be). Supergirl has been using her power for one year or two. Superman has been fighting people more powerful than he allowed himself to be since he was twenty.
    • In the 1970 story "Supergirl's Lost Uniform" (Adventure Comics #392), Supergirl while in her Linda Danvers identity lifted what she thought was a fake 500-lb weight and twirled it like a baton. The fake was the one next to it. Oops.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #27 Supergirl kicks Lobo so hard that she -apparently- kills him. Kara is so upset that she swears she didn't want to kill him and she cries she doesn't know her own strength.
      Supergirl: I don't even know my own strength!
    • In Supergirl vol. 7 #1, as Kara is learning how to drive, she puts her foot on the brake... and through the bottom of the car. When it happens, her foster mother cries out: "Again?".
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In the Many Happy Returns storyline, Rebel attacks Supergirl but she is feeling depressed and doesn't want to defend herself. When Rebel complains about it, Kara apologizes and says she can try to fight back if it'd make him feel better. Rebel grumbles he doesn't want her pity.
    Supergirl: I'm... I'm sorry, Rebel. I could... try to fight back. If it'd make you feel better.
    Rebel: Oh, please. I don't want your pity.
  • Domed Hometown: Argo City initially survived Krypton's destruction because it was surrounded by a dome.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • In the final arc of Peter David's Supergirl, The Spectre informs the Pre-Crisis Supergirl -Kara Zor-El- that she has to return to her own timeline for the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths to happen (namely, her Heroic Sacrifice). Linda Danvers tried to switch places with Kara, but it failed.
    • Convergence subverted it right at the end. In Convergence: Adventures of Superman, Silver Age Supergirl finds out -and accepts- that she is fated to fight the Anti-Monitor and die to save The Multiverse. However, post-Flashpoint Superman -and his family- and Parallax Hal Jordan join the battle and save her and Barry Allen's lives.
  • Doomed Hometown:
    • She has lost her home planet Krypton several times and her hometown Argo City.
    • New Krypton was this in the Post-Crisis universe.
  • Double Entendre: From Supergirl vol 4, #77.
    Kara Zor-El: I'm looking through it. It's amazing. All the equipment I'm seeing. So many sizes and shapes...
    Linda Danvers: All the ...? Kara! Just where are you looking?!
    Kara: The equipment room, where they keep all the sporting stuff, why?
    Linda: Oh, I thought you were peeping in at the guy's lock— Forget it. My own dirty mind.
  • Dream Sequence: In Action Comics #275, Kara dreams about her being raised by Pa and Ma Kent in Smallville.
  • Dye or Die:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara used a "Kryptonian comb" which allowed her to comb the brunette into her hair as well as comb in blond locks and serious curls when she did the reverse motions.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Supergirl dyes her hair brown to disguise herself.
  • Dynamic Character: As noted above Supergirl was one of the first DC characters to avert the Static Character format going from a naive teenager to a smart young woman looking to make her mark on the world, gaining a family and friends of her own. Notably Superman (who was a constant presence in her earlier stories) slowly faded away from her narrative as Supergirl grew into her own character.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #31, Red Lantern Sheko is about to mind-rape several more innocent bystanders when a heat blast hits her from behind. Cue Supergirl swooping in on her.
    • During the Superman: Super League storyline, this is how Kara barges in on the battle between her cousin and the Energy Superman: she dove from the sky and double-kicked the false Superman while she yelled: "Leave my cousin alone!"
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, Kara interrupts the battle between Lar-On and the DEO agents when she suddenly swoops in on the werewolf, grabs him and flies away with him.
  • Emotion Eater:
    • The Japanese assassins Gakidou and Sakki, The Hate Furnace not only have Intangibility, but can feed on negative emotions like lust and anger to boost their strengths to astronomical levels. Supergirl defeated them by simultaneously beating them up and overloading them.
    • In the same story, Powerboy revealed he can channel others' emotions to fuel his abilities, but the excess emotions caused him to go psycho on Kara.
      Powerboy: (to a restrained Supergirl) I feel. Feel everyone else's hate, love, pain, fear... and it becomes this... (forms ball of black energy) Of course, you saw what happens when it goes the other way.
  • Enemy Without:
    • In Adventure Comics #421 Pre-Crisis Supergirl fought Nightflame, a sword-wielding witch who was a manifestation of her dark side -specifically her death wish- who left Supergirl's mind and entered the physical world to fight her and capture her.
    • Lex Luthor once exposed Supergirl to black kryptonite. It's not clear whether he knew what exactly it would do to her, but he hoped it would be bad. Well, turns out the stuff does this, and Kara had an evil doppelganger for a while. She managed to pull herself back together, but "Dark Supergirl" later resurfaced as an Enemy Within.
  • Entitled Bastard: Daily Planet sleazy journalist Cat Grant launched a smear campaign against Supergirl with the intention of driving her away Metropolis. Cat called Supergirl a reckless, out-of-control teenager. Cat accused her from spearheading a Kryptonian Alien Invasion. Cat complained about her out-of-fashion dress and the length of her skirt. During one year she told over and again that the world doesn't need a Supergirl. And then she ran into troubles and blackmailed Kara into helping her because she couldn't find Superman. And as they teamed up, Cat kept insulting her.
    Supergirl: "The hero the world doesn't need," Cat wrote about me. Some days, though, it sure feels like it does. Though, if there weren't three kids missing, I'm not sure I'd help her. You can't say those kinds of things about a person then expect them to just fly up and give you a hand.
  • Escape Pod: In every alternate universes, when Kara's hometown or planet is about to be destroyed, her parents prepare a escape pod and launch her towards Earth. Her pods' have considerably changed throughout the years: Silver Age, Post-Crisis and Post-Flashpoint.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Supergirl is good at using spinning moves or generating whirlwinds to solve problems:
    • In New 52 Supergirl #30 she performed a spin attack to repel a squad of alien enemies: she grabbed an alien and used his body as a blunt weapon, spinning around to hit all enemies surrounding her with her "weapon".
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Kara hated Cat Grant because Cat published news articles slandering her. Still she rescued Cat when villain Dollmaker kidnapped her. Dollmaker couldn't understand why Supergirl would want to save someone she hated.
  • Evil Costume Switch:
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl, Kara Zor-El, did this twice.
      • The first time was in Superman/Batman #12, when she is captured by Darkseid and turned into one of his Furies. This was very brief, but during that time she wore, essentially, skintight red-and-black pants and a black bra.
      • The second time was when she was hit with black kryptonite in Supergirl #3, causing an evil duplicate to suddenly emerge from her body... already wearing a black version of her normal costume. Apparently, evil kryptonite clones have black clothing as part of their very nature. This trope was also lampshaded an issue later, when evil Supergirl switched her costume with the original's at superspeed, in an attempt to fool Batman and Superman as to who was the evil clone. The black costume returned in a later Justice League of America storyline where a battle with the Omega Man accidentally reawakened the Dark Supergirl persona within her.
    • This was based on a Silver Age story in which Supergirl was exposed to a piece of red kryptonite that created Satan Girl, who likewise wore a black outfit. Her version had a cowl and no S-symbol, because her identity was originally a mystery.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Kara flies off the handle and becomes a Red Lantern (Red Lanters are berserk anti-heroes at best, and evil jerkasses at worst). She starts wearing a red-and-black version of her costume, completed with a red domino mask and a different Chest Insignia.
    • The Matrix-Supergirl was a shapeshifter, who would periodically go Brainwashed and Crazy or just plain crazy and shift her costume into something sleeveless with spiked bands around her arms.
  • Evil Makeover:
    • Sometimes it happens to Kara. Usually she switches costumes and she wears less clothing, wears a black or red-and-black version of her costume.
    • When Matrix went crazy she shifted her costume into something sleeveless with spiked bands around her arms.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At:
    • In Supergirl vol. 5 #59, Supergirl fights Dollmaker. He ducked when she shot her heat beams and mocked her aim. A second later he realized she wasn't aiming at him. She was releasing his hostage Cat Grant.
      Dollmaker: Ha! You missed me!
      Cat: She wasn't aiming for you, you little bastard.
    • When Tycho tries to blackmail Kara in New 52 Supergirl issue 4, she shoots her heat vision at the floor. He mocks her aim... until he's warned that her eye beams blasted the space station's central core.
      Tycho: Ha! Nice shot! Might want to work on your aim, though.
      Assistant: Mr. Tycho! She wasn't firing at you! She was aiming for the central core!
      Tycho: But that's impossible! How could she possibly—?
      Kara: (thinking) I don't need to speak their language to know that I guessed right.
  • Evil Is Petty: Xenon is so obsessed with killing Supergirls that he doesn't care whether killing one of them will end the multiverse.
  • Exact Words:
    • In Action Comics #252, Superman explained Supergirl that her existence should be a secret for the time being. She answered that she would keep her presence on Earth a complete secret of everyone. As soon as he was gone, she quickly put on her Supergirl costume and flew out of her bedroom window on night patrol. After all, she never actually agreed not to be Supergirl, she just agreed not to get caught being Supergirl.
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #26, Lobo is furious with his employeer Rhialla.
      Rhialla: There's no need for threats, Lobo. Besides, Section Nine of your contract forbids you from killing your employer, remember? And we both know you always honor a contract.
      Lobo: Contract says nothing about maiming you.
  • Eye Beams: Part of the standard Kryptonian pack, Kara's heat vision is her best weapon. In the New 52 she uses it constantly, and she has blown spaceships up and boiled tsunamis off with it.
  • Eye Colour Change: Post-Crisis Linda Danvers suspected something was off when she saw that her eyes permanently changed from brown to blue, after being rescued from a certain death by a cult. It's because she WAS dying, and the Matrix version of Supergirl merged with her, causing some of her features to wind up reflected in Linda.
  • False Reassurance:
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Kara has just discovered Luthor's dirty secrets and asks whether he's planning to kill her. Luthor replies he will not kill her... because The Joker will do so.
      Supergirl: So what are you going to do now that I know? Kill me?
      Luthor: Oh, no — I'd never do that... [The Joker] will.
    • In Hel On Earth, When Supergirl asks H'el if resurrecting Krypton will do anything to Earth, he assures her that the people of Earth won't suffer. That's because they'll all be dead after the Sun implodes if H'el's plan suceeds.
  • Famous Last Words:
    Supergirl: Thank heaven... the worlds have a chance to live. Y-you're crying... please don't. You taught me to be brave... and I was... I... I love you so much for what you are. For how... good you are...
  • Fanservice Pack: She started out in a modest Mini Dress Of Power. She eventually had costume changes with varying levels of fanservice, with the one from Adventure Comics #409 being particularly stripperiffic. Here's a look at the different costumes she had over the years.
    • Scaled back in the New 52. Her outfit is a Leotard of Power and while she shows quite a bit of leg right up to the pelvic bones, her overall appearance has been downplayed for a more teenage girl look.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: Supergirl has to do this constantly:
    • Red Daughter Of Krypton: Earth's atmosphere was poisoned with Kryptonite When Supergirl fought Worldkiller-1. Supergirl had to rely on her power ring to keep fighting while she tried to overcome the K-radiation killing her cells and making her natural powers fade.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: In Many Happy Returns, Pre-Crisis Kara accidentally ends up in the Post-Crisis universe, which is more cynical, Darker and Edgier than her own universe. She -an idealistic, naive and immensely powerful teenager- has trouble fitting.
  • Flaming Sword: One-time enemy Nightflame wields a flaming sword.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Kara Zor-El's parents sent her to Earth to escape from the destruction from Argo City and meeting Superman/looking after her younger cousin.There she became Supergirl, one of the greatest heroes of Earth.
  • Flying Brick: Kara has the full Kryptonian pack: super-strength, super-speed, flight, invulnerability, super-senses, heat vision, several breath weapons...
    • New 52 Supergirl is an Action Bomb.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Kara gets a Red Lantern ring temporarily. She gains the ability to vomit burning plasma, and her ring gives her an extra set of powers: creation of light constructs, force-fields, space warping...
    • In the first issue of Supergirl Rebirth Kara shows her flying brick skills: she survives being hurled into the Sun, flies back to Earth in a matter of seconds, and wrestles a super-strong werewolf.
  • Flying Firepower:
    • All incarnations of Kara Zor-El are a Flying Brick with heat vision.
    • Post-Crisis Linda Danvers was a pyrokinetic for a while.
  • Forceful Kiss: At the last panel of Supergirl's second book, her old crush Dick Malverne appeared, grasped her chin and kissed her all of sudden.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Silver Age Superman first met Supergirl when his cousin's rocket landed on Earth... or so he thought. Since both characters had the ability to time-travel and were members of the Legion of Super Heroes, they had already met back when he was a teenager Superboy, but his first memory of her was wiped out to protect the future.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself:
    • Supergirl sort of gets away with a variation of this in ''Adventure'' comics #392. It's Supergirl Day at Stanhope Women's College, so everybody's supposed to wear a Supergirl dress. Unfortunately, Kara flew through something radioactive and now her dress is being decontaminated. As Linda, she gets a replica dress at school, but has to wear it for some actual super-deed that leaves it badly ripped. She simply tells everyone she took it off because it was a bad fit and didn't look right.
    • In Adventure Comics #404, villain Starfire's gang is pulling bank robberies in the neighboring town of Carvale, where a Mardi Gras celebration is going on. So Kara goes to the party dressed as Supergirl in order to bled into the crow and capture the robbers.
  • For the Evulz: In Many Happy Returns the Fatalist started a twisted, sick game of emotional manipulation that messed with God's Plan and could have destroyed the whole multiverse… just because he wanted.
  • Free Prize at the Bottom: When Matrix is dealing with becoming an Earth Angel, she discusses her situation with Clark Kent over a box of Cracker Jack. He mentions that he and Pete Ross used to guess what the prize was, until x-ray vision took the fun out of it, but swears he hasn't x-rayed this box. After he's gone, she finds that the prize just happens to be a pendant shaped like an angel.
  • Freudian Slip:
    Supergirl: Was that high school stunt really necessary, Superman, or were you trying to impress me?
    Superboy: Aw, I was chest choking… ab, ah, I mean—I was just joking!
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, the Joker is obsessed with Batgirl:
    The Joker: Phone home. "Lexcorp, honey, don't wait up. I'll be late. I've decided to stay in Gotham for a Bat — a bit — visit old friends."
  • Friendless Background: Kara had this issue in the New 52 reboot. She was stranded in a strange planet, her family and acquaintances were all dead, she didn't trust her cousin, she had no friends and she felt very lonely and isolated. Her situation led to a Despair Event Horizon combined with a Rage Breaking Point and her becoming a Red Lantern for a while.
  • Funny Background Event:
  • Gendered Outfit: Trope image, and quite possibly the Trope Codifier. Every outfit Supergirl has worn has, in some way, been tailored to her femininity. While the Minidress of Power is the most frequent (and obvious) change, she's also had a low neckline, short shorts, an exposed midriff, a leotard, high heels and various combinations thereof.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Xenon is pretty similar to Superman's Doomsday. He came out of nowhere, and nothing or almost nothing is known about his past or motivations. What is known, though, he hunts and kills "Supergirls" because he hates them. In his only appearance, he trapped, tortured and nearly killed the original Kara Zor-El, a Earth-One Kryptonian.
  • Genius Bruiser: Her official power list includes "Genius-Level Intellect". And in fact she's considered a genius by Kryptonian standards. Obviously most writers forgot about this.
  • Girl Next Door: Kara/Linda's personality in the Silver Age.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: It happens three times on Supergirl: Identity:
    • When Supergirl returns to her apartment, her roommate Boomer aka Captain Boomerang Jr., asks how her day was.
      Supergirl: I met a girl tonight.
      Boomer: (Double Take, then grin) Explain. And do not leave out any details.
      Supergirl: (hits him with a pillow) Idiot... Another hero in a costume.
    • When Supergirl and Wondergirl hug, with Kara's arms around Cassie's neck, and Cassie's arms around Kara's waist.
      Kid Devil: Can't talk. Committing image to memory.
      Ravager: Someone get a video camera... We'll get two billion hits on YouTube.
    • When a guy asks his girlfriend and Supergirl to hug and let him take a picture.
  • Girly Bruiser: She's got Super Strength and boobs to match.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger:
    • In Krypton No More Supergirl does this when she tells her cousin that he is not Kryptonian but a human mutant (long story).
    • In Action Comics #904, Supergirl points at the Cyborg-Doomsday when she shouts that he will not hurt her home because he will NOT get past her.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Kara points at Batgirl when she calls her out on being more interested in keeping a well-meaning metahuman out of Gothan than in rescuing a hostage.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When Kara's eyes glow or -God forbids- flare it's a very scary sign that she's getting really pissed off, and someone is about to be pummelled and/or blasted.
  • God Test: During Peter David's run, with the "angel" version of the character, she meets a little boy who claims to be a god, come to speak to her. She asks for proof, and he asks what sort of miracle would prove anything in an age of superheroes who can fly, transmute elements, etc.; so she's just going to have to take it on faith.
  • Grand Theft Me: Insect Queen did this to Lana Lang in the fifth volume of Supergirl.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: In Crisis On Infinite Earths, Kara fought the Anti-Monitor when he was trying to devour what little was left of The Multiverse. She was killed by him, but she hurt him, shattered his armor and destroyed his reality-eating machines, buying the surviving heroes a little time to regroup and defeat him. However, when the new universe was rebooted, Kara Zor-El and all memory of her was erased from existence. She saved the universe but no one remembered it.
    We don't do it for the glory. We don't do it for the recognition... We do it because it needs to be done. Because if we don't, no one else will. And we do it even if no one knows what we've done. Even if no one knows we exist. Even if no one remembers we ever existed.
  • Green and Mean:
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lesla-Lar, an accomplished Kandorian scientist, began antagonizing Kara because she was jealous of the praise that people of Earth gave Supergirl.
    Lesla-Lar: I envy and hate her! The honors that I, Lesla-Lar, have earned in Kandor as a scientific genius are as nothing compared to the acclaim the people of Earth will give Supergirl when they learn of her existence!
  • Hair Decorations: Kara's iconic -and infamous- 80's costume includes a red headband. She was in her middle twenties when she started wearing it.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: All versions of Supergirl -including Power Girl- have a single thing in common: they're kind-hearted, blonde girls who don't want to see anybody getting hurt and use their huge powers to help and protect people. Kara Zor-El may be short-tempered, angsty, have anger issues... but she'll always be a good person deep-down:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara was an absolutely sweet, innocent child. She stopped being gullible when she grew up, and her adult self had quite the temper, but she always was a nice, selfless person.
    • Post-Crisis Kara behaved as an emo, self-centered, angry, bratty teen early on due to Kryptonite poisoning. However she began dealing with her issues, got cured, and developed into a kind, compassionate and cheerful woman.
    • New 52 Kara was a lonely, insolated teen who had anger issues and Survivor Guilt due to losing her family and getting stranded in an alien world. Even so, she went out of her way to help people and risked her life to protect others. In the Red Daughter Of Krypton storyline she confronted her anger issues and got over her rage, angst and confusion. When Supergirl (Rebirth) kics off, she has become the kind of person who will stop criminals, send them to prison and try to help them.
  • Happily Adopted: Supergirl's foster parents usually have a good relationship with their adopted alien daughter.
    • Pre-Crisis Kara was adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers. They loved her and she them, even after she found out that her biological parents were still alive. When she revealed she was Superman's cousin they took it in stride. And they got heart-broken when she died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
    • Pa and Ma Kent also kind of adopted Post-Crisis Kara. They were the only parental figures she established a rapport with, and she regarded them as family.
    • New 52 Kara's foster parents are Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers who first appeared in Supergirl (Rebirth) # 1. Although they are technically her DEO-appointed handlers, they established a strong rapport after a few weeks.
      Jeremiah: What did I miss?
      Eliza: Just the launch, Jeremiah. But the new uniform sure fits.
      Cameron: Years since I let you two get married and you still find ways to help me question that decision.
      Supergirl: Comms are live. I can hear you two.
      Eliza: We're your parents, Kara. We're not dead.
  • Heartbroken Badass: In Solo #1, Dick Malverne, Pre-Crisis Supergirl's childhood crush died after confessing he loved her and he knew her Secret Identity all along, leaving her heart-broken.
    That was the last time I saw Richard. Tonight I know what it is to be human. Tonight my super skin is still invulnerable, but my Richard is never coming back, and my heart is broken into a million pieces.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Linda Lee eventually gets adopted, becoming Linda Danvers.
  • Heroes Love Dogs:
    • Kara really likes Krypto, and he becomes her pet when she arrives on Earth. In non-canon story Superman #149 in which Superman gets murdered by Lex Luthor, Supergirl becomes Krypto's sole owner when she takes over her cousin's job.
    • In Krypton No More, Superman, Supergirl and Krypto fight and have fun together.
    • Post-Crisis Kara tried to befriend Krypto, and she was devastated when the dog seemed to dislike her. Later on, they became friends.
    • Post-Flashpoint Kara was delighted when she learnt that Krypto survived.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Dick Malverne, Supergirl's main Love Interest -together with Brainiac 5- in the Pre-Crisis era. Depending on the artist, his hair is red or reddish-brown. Post-Crisis Dick is definitely a redhead.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Post-Crisis Kara Zor-El had one of these after the destruction of New Krypton. Superman hugged her while she cried in space, and she considered quitting the hero gig for a while.
    • In the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc she went through one after meeting and beating Lobo, believing everyone wanted to manipulate her and she belonged nowhere. She was so upset and furious that she became a Red Lantern. A while later she was told that she would be a Red Lantern forever because she would die if she took her Power Ring off. She fell to her knees in despair and fury, threw her head back and screamed while incandescent light poured from her eyes.
  • Heroic Build: Supergirl is usually drawn with this body type: broad shoulders, large breasts, thin waist and lean, muscular arms and legs.
  • Heroic Bystander: In Supergirl vol 5 #20, Supergirl is fighting a cyclops (long story) and being trounced by the giant monster. Then a bystander hands an arrow dropped by an Amazon (long story) over to Supergirl, and she uses it to blind the cyclops.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Her death in Crisis on Infinite Earths saved Superman and the whole Multiverse and it was one of the big comic book deaths at that time. Remarkably, in Convergence she found out that she'd die if she left her universe to fight the Anti-Monitor, and she still chose to fight.
      Oh, dear God. Did my death mean anything? Did I help them save the world?
      No. I can't think that way. Even if all my death means is I've delayed theirs, I still have to save them.
    • Post-Crisis Kara tried to kill herself to destroy the Kryptonian Worldkiller and save Earth in the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc.
  • Hero Insurance: Supergirl usually tries to cleans up after her battles:
    • In Supergirl vol. 5 #12 new hero Terra (now called Atlee) helps Supergirl take out a giant dinosaur; after the battle she uses her earth powers to repair the streets and even fix a fire hydrant. It is later revealed in the Terra miniseries that she apparently does this after every battle.
    • In Supergirl #31 and Red Lanterns #31, a city gets leveled and burned down because of a battle between two groups of Red Lanterns. Supergirl and her Red Lantern team want to help out with rebuilding it after the battle, but the frightened locals beg them to leave as soon as possible.
  • He's Back:
    • Kara wanted to give up being Supergirl after the destruction of New Krypton in the fifth volume, but she donned her Supergirl costume again to save Metropolis from Bizarrogirl.
    • At the end of the New 52 "Red Daughter of Krypton" arc, Kara becomes again Supergirl, and decides to return to Earth and protect the planet.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Supergirl and Batgirl usually have this kind of relationship.
      • In the pre-Crisis universe, Kara Zor-El and Barbara Gordon were best friends and knew each other's Secret Identity (although they didn't often team up). During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kara encouraged Barbara when Babs were frightened. And Barbara delivered Kara's eulogy when her friend died.
      • In the post-Crisis continuity, Kara and Stephanie Brown. They love spending time together and helping each other. And if you pick on Steph, you will never know what hit you.
      • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Supergirl and Batgirl don't get along well at the beginning, but they turn into this over the course of the story.
    • Post-Crisis Kara and Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl were very good friends, too.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: In Supergirl vol 4 #77, Kara believes -mistakenly- her X-Ray Vision disrupted a woman's pacemaker. She feels so guilty and distraught that when a super-villain shows up, looking for Supergirl, she asks him to beat her up.
  • Hoist Hero Over Head:
    • In the New 52, Kara does this to a living Kryptonian suit before hurling it into the Sun.
    • Inverted on the cover of Supergirl #15 (Jan 1984).
  • Home Base: In Supergirl vol. 7, Kara has inherited his cousin's Fortress of Solitude. Formerly she had an underwater base called "Sanctuary".
  • Hot-Blooded: All incarnations of Kara Zor-El are emotional, passionate and headstrong women, and some of them are quite hot-tempered (her New 52 self) or tend to charge into situations without thinking (her post-Crisis counterpart). Her anger is an actual plot point in the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc, in which she attracts a Red Ring of Rage and can hardly control her emotions.
  • Hot Wings: Linda Danvers gained flame wings when she became an Earth-born angel during the Peter David's run.
  • Human Aliens: Kara is Kryptonian and outwardly indistinguishable from humans, despite obvious biological differences. Exactly how close or distant humans and Kryptonians are can vary depending on the work. According to some Silver Age stories, Kryptonians were descendants of humans plucked from Earth by a more technologically advanced race. Some Post-Crisis stories imply this as well.
  • Humans Need Aliens: Supergirl has saved the day countless times since her creation.
    • In the Crisis on Infinite Earths she saved an infinite number of Earths when she took the Anti-Monitor on. Even although she died, her sacrifice gave the surviving heroes time enough to fight back. When human Supergirl Linda Danvers tried to take Kara's place to save her life, she unfortunately found she couldn't hurt the Anti-Monitor because she couldn't punch so hard like Kara (who was an Earth-One Kryptonian).
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Kara provided the DEO (Department of Extra-normal Operations) with Kryptonian technology to help them fight alien threats off. Moreover, Lar-On would have killed everybody in the base if Kara hadn't returned.
  • Hurl It into the Sun:
    • In the New 52, Kara once essentially did this to herself to try to get rid of a Red Lantern ring without it killing her. It worked.
    • In Supergirl Rebirth, the Department of Extra-normal Operations launches Kara into the Sun as a last resort to help her get her powers back.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: In Adventure Comics #420 Supergirl visits another planet. When she meets one of the local inhabitants, the man says: "Welcome, traveler! I am Togran, son of Vorko!"
  • I Broke a Nail: When a small team of different {{Supergirl incarnations break Superman out of the Source Wall in Superman/Batman #25, Power Girl mutters this, then quickly adds she was kidding.
  • Iconic Outfit: Her costume has an iconic, easily and instantly recognizable look: Superman's costume minus the pants plus a blue or -usually- red skirt. She has worn many different outfits since 1958, but most of them are variations of her first gendered costume. Her most famous and most popular uniforms are: Original, "Hot pants", "Headband", Supergirl Matrix and Post Crisis Supergirl Kara.
  • Ideal Hero: Kara is usually torn between her desire to become the same kind of selfess, responsible and brave hero than her cousin is, her responsibilities given by her incredible powers and her need to live a normal life like a normal girl/woman. Although she always makes mistakes and missteps, she eventually develops into this.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Pre-Crisis Supergirl often expressed this desire during the Bronze Age. Unlike her cousin, Kara remembers having a normal life back on Argo City, when she was a normal teenager. After growing into adulthood, she was torn between her desire to have the life of a normal woman and the responsibilities that come with her powers. In Superman vol 1 #282 she explains her cousin that she is thinking of giving up her Supergirl identity because she wants a normal life]]:
    Superman: Still thinking about giving up your Supergirl identity, Kara?
    Supergirl: I don't know, cousin Kal-El — Maybe! This life of a super-heroine takes up too much of my time... sets me apart from everybody else! I want an ordinary life — with a husband and children some day — free to do what I choose!
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In Supergirl vol. 5 issue 50, Insect Queen took over Lana Lang's body. While Kara beat her up, she tried to reach out to Lana.
    Kara: Lana, if you can hear me— SAY something! Lana! I KNOW you're IN there! Let her body Go, you insect FREAK! Get OUT!
  • I Know You're Watching Me: In Supergirl #0, the Calculator is monitoring Kara under Lex Luthor's orders. At one point, she glares straight in the direction of the camera the Calculator is using to watch her, which is enough for him to freak out in a Spit Take.
  • Immune to Bullets: Supergirl is, unsurprisingly, immune to bullets. Unsurprisingly, mooks are completely oblivious to this fact.
    • In Superman vol 1 #149, Supergirl breaks into the Luthor's lair while he and other criminals are celebrating her cousin's death. Several of them shoot her -even though she has just informed them that she is Superman's cousin- and she suggests that they stop wasting bullets.
    • One comic had the situation plays out as normal, right until the mook throws the gun at her — the gun hits Supergirl in the head, and she collapses. Then, she gets back up in the next panel.
      Supergirl: Just kidding!
    • Kara lampshades it in The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #12:
      Supergirl: I hate thinking of the fortune in ammunition thugs like you have wasted on me over the years!
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    • In Superman/Batman #10 Superman and Wonder Woman argue because Clark wants to take his cousin back home whereas Diana argues that she must remain in Themyscira. Kara breaks in to remind them that she is standing there.
      Supergirl: Hey. Can I say something? Not that I mind you two talking about me like I'm not here... Well, actually, I do...
    • Red Daughter Of Krypton, when Superman talks to Guy Gardner about his cousin, he preemptively says: "And yes, Kara, I know you're behind me and listening to this."
    • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl: The Joker doesn't like when someone does that. When Lex Luthor asks Hamilton who he is, Joker threatens him in a... not quite veiled way.
      The Joker: Don't talk about me like I'm not right here. It makes feel so... petty and vindictive.
    • In Smallville episode Kara, Kara insults Chloe by saying she is "just a human" condescendingly when she is standing right there; Clark defends her by saying Chloe is smarter than both of them put together.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: In the "New Krypton" arc, Lana Lang often coughed or vomited blood. Later on, Kara found out that Lana had been keeping her illness from her.
  • Innocent Innuendo: In Supergirl vol 4, #77, Kara and Linda are in the school lockers talking about stuff, and Linda notices that Kara is fixing her eyes on a wall. Kara explains she's looking through the wall and she's amazed at all the equipment she is seeing. Said equipment being sporting stuff.
    Kara Zor-El: I'm looking through it. It's amazing. All the equipment I'm seeing. So many sizes and shapes...
    Linda Danvers: All the ...? Kara! Just where are you looking?!
    Kara: The equipment room, where they keep all the sporting stuff, why?
    Linda: Oh, I thought you were peeping in at the guy's lock— Forget it. My own dirty mind.
  • Instant Costume Change:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl often took advantage of her Super Speed to do this. In Supergirl vol 1 #1 she changes clothes in a split-second when someone opens her dorm's door. In Supergirl vol 2 #20 she again instantly strips off her costume and puts her civilians clothes on when her friend Joan knocks on her door.
    • Being a shapeshifter, the Post-Crisis Matrix version of Supergirl could transform from regular clothes into her Supergirl uniform by altering her clothes telekinetically.
    • Post-Crisis Kara also used her Super Speed to change clothes instantly. In Batgirl 2009 she comes to visit her friend Stephanie Brown -alias Batgirl III- and does this to avoid to be caught by Steph's mother.
  • Intimate Marks: As per her Gendered Outfit, her "S" symbol is typically placed right over her breasts. Unlike most examples of the trope, though, she's fully covered. But Most Common Superpower doesn't make that count for much. Her Seventies costume, however, exploited the trope outright with a low neckline.
  • Incest Is Relative: See Kissing Cousins example below.
  • Incest Subtext:
    • Superman and his cousin Supergirl had some of this in the Silver Age. According several long-time Superman and Supergirl fans, "There is a LOT of subtext to the olde SG stories if you know where to look".
    • In Action Comics #260 Clark has Kara disguise herself as a superheroine from another dimension, and she and Superman proceed to have make-outs (in front of Lois), all to fool some dim alien invaders. They even get married
    • The infamous Action Comics #289 where Superman falls in love with a woman identical to an adult version of his cousin. The really crazy part? Supergirl set the two up because her cousn told her that if he ever got married, it would be to someone just like her. Discussed here and here.
    • In Action Comics #270, Superman asks his sixteen-year-old cousin to take off her clothes. In context, he wants Kara to put on her civilian clothes because he is going to give her a costume-compressing device and he needs to show her how it works. Taken out of context... well...
      Superman: Take off that Supergirl costume right now! And remove those boots, too!
    • Krypton No More has this scene in which Gerry Conway seems completely unaware of the tone he is setting. Superman drying off after taking a shower, Supergirl's long legs highlighted, her face in the shadows... Even the line 'hope you don't mind me waiting for you' sounds suggestive. At the very least, she is an adult in that story.
    • Also, from the same source as Lex Luthor stealing forty cakesnote  comes Kara and Clark deserving a rest. Maybe it's just hard to make her look unsexy, but... that looks far from innocent, and the repetition, though intended to drill the definition into a kid's mind, really makes it sound like she is saying "We deserve a rest, nudge nudge wink wink," and the big blue boy scout just isn't getting it yet.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Kara has blue eyes. And she's -originally or after Character Development- a nice, kind and compassionate young woman. Her original, Pre-Crisis self was pretty innocent, optimistic and dangerously naive when she arrived on Earth.
  • In-Series Nickname: Guy Gardner usually called Kara "Kid" during her Red Lantern phase. Kara was not happy about it.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual:
    • In a Superboy (90s clone version) story, Supergirl (90s Matrix version) tries to persuade him to come with her and sort out why he's currently a wanted fugitive. When he refuses, she uses her telekinesis to pull the S-shields off his chest and the back of his jacket.
    • In Supergirl vol 5 #41, Kara rips the "S"-shield off Superwoman's clothes screaming she is a murderer and she doesn't deserve to wear her family's crest.
    • In Supergirl vol 6 #23 Supergirl rips the "S"-crest off a decoy of her cousin, shouting he is a fake and he doesn't deserve to wear it.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Among the first Supergirl's boyfriends were a human, a green-skinned Coluan, an Atlantean merboy, and, er, her horse Comet. Well, he wasn't really a horse and he was in human form at the time, admittedly, but there was still a kind-of relationship between them after he was turned back; it probably helped that he retained most of his intelligence.
    • In addition to Brainiac 5 (mentioned above), she had a quasi-romantic friendship with Captain Boomerang (human) and an actual romance with Apokolips native Power Boy. And had a crush on Dick Grayson, but that hardly counts.
    • In the Red Daughter Of Krypton story arc, Red Lanterns Rankorr -an human- and Bleez -a winged, blue-skinned alien-.
  • It Has Only Just Begun:
    • Several Silver Age Supergirl's enemies uttered this sentence or some variant after being defeated for first time.
    • In Adventure Comics #397 Kara gives 'Nasty' Luthor and her bullying squad a lesson, after which she warns that she will get tougher the next time she catches them hurting someone. 'Nasty' mutters Supergirl can count on there being a next time.
    • After Supergirl captures Starfire (no relation to the female Teen Titan), and her gang, the villainess assures "This is only the beginning". Ironically, Starfire would never be seen again.
    • Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24:
      Jeyra Entinn: You won this round, Legionnaries... But this is only the beginning...!
      Cosmic Boy: Wow. Is there some super-villain book of quotes they all work off of?
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing:
    • Red Daughter Of Krypton: Shay alternates between using "her" and "it" to talk about Blaze because she doesn't know how to refer to other-dimensional demons.
      Soldier: "Her"...? I thought we were hunting for an "it".
      Shay: She looks female, but who really knows if gender even applies to a demon from another dimension?
    • Many Happy Returns: Super-villain Xenon will only refer to the Supergirl who defeated him as "She," with every other woman to wear the shield he refers to as "It."
  • It's All My Fault: Supergirl vol 4 #77, Kara believes -mistakenly- her X-Ray Vision disrupted a woman's pacemaker. She feels so guilty she lets Rebel pummel her only because she wants to be punished.
    Supergirl: A woman collapsed while I was using my X-Ray Vision. I think it disrupted her pacemaker. She suffered and it's... It's my fault.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Non-romantic variant. When Superman first met Kara back in the Silver Age, she wanted to live with him, but he sent her to an orphanage because he was afraid that his enemies would target her if they found out about his cousin (he was proved right in the Post-Crisis universe: as soon as Kara arrived on Earth, people began attacking her and Darkseid kidnapped her).
  • It's Personal:
    • In the New Krypton storyline, post-Crisis Supergirl has a feud with Reactron after he kills her father. It doesn't end well, and he eventually blows up her mother and almost every surviving member of her race. She also takes her enmity with Doomsday this way, knowing that he once killed her cousin.
    • In the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc, Supergirl explains that she hates the Worldkillers (sentient, genetically-engineered biological weapons) and the Diasporan alien race because they kill planets, and she's an orphan of a dead world. She's very committed to stop them all.
      Supergirl: How could anyone make it their mission in life to murder whole worlds? Can you imagine what an abomination that is to an orphan from a dead planet? [...] This world-killing stuff... it hits a nerve. It makes me furious, and the ring just fans the flame!
  • Jail Bait:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl was around fifteen when she crash-landed on Earth. She eventually grew up, but a quite infamous issue -which was promptly swept under the rug- has her adult cousin regretting that marrying his teen cousin isn't legal.
    • Post-Crisis Kara. During an infamous early run, several older boys constantly hit on her, even though she is fifteen.
    • In the post-Flashpoint universe, an older super-villain hits on Supergirl. In reaction she hits him, shouting "I'm sixteen, you creep!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Supergirl's modern versions tend to put an emphasis on her being a teenager who has seen her family dying and her home exploding before being trapped in a strange, -comparatively speaking- primitive world and gifted with powers beyond understanding. So, she's moody, snappy, inmature, rude and short-tempered for a while until she outgrows her loneliness and anger management issues. However, even at her worst she's a good girl deep-down who tries to help people and doesn't want anybody to get hurt.
  • Kangaroo Court:
    • Zigzagged in the post-Crisis New Krypton arc. When Kara brings Reactron to Kryptonian justice, Alura coldly informs him that he'll be judged, found guilty and executed. However she intends to put him on trial rather than lynching him, unlike a lot of Kryptonians. However during a preliminary hearing a judge questions the trial's legality since Reactron hasn't been extradited lawfully, and Alura dismisses his concerns. However, when a lynch mob breaks into the building, she protects Reactron.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, secondary character Sheko became a Red Lantern because she was a judge in a planet where kangaroo courts were the rule, the concept of justice had been turned into a joke, rich and powerful people got away with anything, and when she tried to make her job fairly, she got shot.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kara is a cat person. Back in the Silver Age she owned a pet tomcat called Streaky -which accidentally got super-powers-. In The '80s she found a stray female cat and she adopted it and named Streaky right away. She really adores her cats. It must be a genetic trait, because Post-Crisis Kara and Power Girl -her alternate universe counterpart- also own pet cats (although Power Girl's is called Stinky).
    Supergirl: Well, now... What've got here? Hiya, little kittycat! You live around here?
    Joan: I've seen her scrounging around the block for days now. I figure she's a stray.
    Supergirl: Not anymore, friend — 'cause this little darling's just been adopted! Isn't that right, little Streaky?
    Joan: You sure don't waste time thinking up names! How'cum Streaky?
    Supergirl: Oh... Let's just say she reminds me of a cat I used own!
  • Kirby Dots: This visual effect was often used in Red Daughter Of Krypton when Supergirl's eyes poured sheer red energy or her Battle Aura flared up.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • The infamous Action Comics #289 where Superman reveals that he's saddened that Kryptonian law forbids first cousins from marrying because he wishes he could find a girl like Kara. In that one, Kara tries to find Kal a girlfriend. After many failed attempts, we get the creepy panel above, which seems to make it perfectly clear that the law is the only thing stopping them from pursuing a relationship (maybe they minded a lot less in the '60s?). Supergirl proceeds to use a computer to find a girl who looks and acts like her as an adult named Luma Lynai in another galaxy. Superman and Luma hit it off but sadly, she couldn't exist under a yellow sun. Luma would get referenced several times thereafter as the one who got away. Discussed here and here. Any implications of romance between the Superman and Kara Zor-El version of Supergirl, however, was completely averted Post-Crisis.
    • Action Comics #260 is worse in that respect. Clark has Kara disguise herself as a superheroine from another dimension, and she and Supes proceed to have make-outs (in front of Lois), all to fool some dim alien invasion. They even get married. She was explicitly underage at the time, too. Yeesh.
    • And from Bronze Age storyline Krypton No More comes Superman walking out of the shower and finding his cousin waiting for him... and the writer seems completely unaware of the tone he is setting. At least Kara was already an adult woman at the time.
    • Also, from the same source as Lex Luthor stealing forty cakesnote  comes Kara and Clark deserving a rest. Maybe it's just hard to make her look unsexy, but... that looks far from innocent, and the repetition, though intended to drill the definition into a kid's mind, really makes it sound like she is saying "We deserve a rest, nudge nudge wink wink," and the big blue boy scout just isn't getting it yet.
    • Peter David would make fun of this issue in Many Happy Returns where the Pre-Crisis Superman does marry Linda Danvers a.k.a the second Post-Crisis Supergirl. Superman, of course, knew she wasn't his cousin the entire time due to his super senses.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Supergirl has the same weaknesses that her cousin. Namely: kryptonite and magic.
    • In the New Krypton storyline, Supergirl faced off against Reactron, an enemy powered by golden kryptonite which nullified her powers.
    • In the Red Daughter Of Krypton arc, Silver Banshee managed to contain Supergirl for a short while when they fought because her sonic attacks are magic, and Kryptonians are vulnerable to magic. Later on, Kara was weakened when she fought Worldkiller-1 because Earth's atmosphere was poisoned with kryptonite.
  • Kryptonite Ring: In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Lex Luthor has a Kryptonite ring that he plans to use against Supergirl... until Batgirl steals it from him and takes it to a lead-lined vault, saying "I see it as insurance... which I hope I never need to use."
  • Kubrick Stare: If Supergirl is doing this, congratulations. You have pissed off someone who is as powerful as Superman and is more hot-tempered and less self-controlled. And now you are about to get pummelled. And God helps you if you hurt her cousin.
  • Last Kiss: In Solo #1, Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El and her childhood crush Dick Malverne gave each other one last kiss goodbye before he died from cancer.
  • Last of His Kind: She and her cousin are the last Kryptonians. It was discussed in the New 52 story arc Red Daughter Of Krypton. Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner -who had never met Supergirl previously in this universe- are shocked to learn that there's another living Kryptonian besides Superman, who was supposedly the last one.
  • Latex Perfection:
  • Leave Me Alone!:
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl asked her cousin, Batman and Wonder Woman leave her alone for a while as she figured her new life out. Unfortunately she spent one whole year completely aimless and screwing around due to Kryptonite poisoning altering her personality until she understood she needed help.
    • Kara kept this attitude for a long while in the New 52 universe. When Superman and Supergirl argue in Red Lanterns #30, he reminds his cousin that she wanted him to leave her alone to live her own life since she showed up on Earth.
  • Legacy Character:
    • In an imaginary story (Superman vol.1 #149: "The Death of Superman!"), Kara takes up the role of Supergirl to fight crime and protect Earth after her cousin gets murdered by Lex Luthor.
      Supergirl: You can stop wasting bullets! I have all of Superman's astonishing powers! — Gangdom may have succeeded in treacherously killing Superman, but I'm going to carry on his great work!
    • After the death of the original Supergirl, two characters took up the mantle of Supergirl (Matrix and Linda Danvers) before Kara Zor-El returned to the main universe.
    • In Superman: Super League, Superman tells his cousin that he is dying and asks her to carry on in his name. In Supergirl (Rebirth) she joins the DEO -Department of Extra-normal Operations- to help her to restore her powers and carry on her cousin's work.
  • Legacy Implosion: Because of the decision that Superman had to be the last Kryptonian, Kara Zor-El died and her existence was erased from history. Several more characters took up her mantle until DC backpedaled and Kara returned to the main universe.
  • Leotard of Power: Post the Flashpoint reboot for the DC Universe. Although other versions of Supergirl had used it before.
  • Light Girl, Dark Boy: Usually, Supergirl and Power Girl have a fairer skin than Superman and Superboy. Additionally both girls have blond hair, and their male cousin and his younger self/clone/son have black hair.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
  • Love at First Sight: In the seventh issue of her first solo book, Kara remembers how she fell for a guy called Tony Martin as soon as she saw him.
    Supergirl: Ohh... What a dreamboat! I thought love at first sight was just for fairy tales — until now!
  • Love Hurts:
    • Kara doesn't seem to have much luck in the romance department. Most of guys she dates turn out to be jerks, creeps, cheaters, or super-villains. When she dates a guy who is actually nice and well-meaning, she often has to break up with him. This is true of all her incarnations.
    • Pre-Crisis Kara dated Dick Malverne when they were teenagers. Many years later Dick sought her out to confess that he always loved her... because he was dying from cancer. They kissed the night he died, leaving Kara heart-broken.
      That was the last time I saw Richard. Tonight I know what it is to be human. Tonight my super skin is still invulnerable, but my Richard is never coming back, and my heart is broken into a million pieces.
  • Lovely Angels:
    • Kara and Barbara Gordon alias Batgirl during the Silver Age. They first teamed up in World's Finest 169 and they quickly became best friends and an excellent crime-fighting duo.
    • In the post-Crisis pre-New 52 continuity, Supergirl teamed up with the third Batgirl, Stephanie Brown. They hit it off from the start and often fight together. Kara goes to Steph's aid whenever she needs her, and doesn't put up with people picking on her friend.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Kara and Barbara are forced to team up. In spite of their differences, both super-heroines manage to work together and become a very effective crime-fighting duo.
      Bruce: Two cranky girls take down a pillar of society...
  • Lover Tug-of-War: Supergirl and Zatanna do this in the cover of Supergirl vol. 1 #7, although that scene never happens in the book.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: In Action Comics #361, a boy wanted to date Linda because he suspected that she was Supergirl. When Linda/Kara managed to make him believe she was a normal, powerless girl, he stopped being interested.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Subverted with Lesla-Lar. After being disintegrated, her consciousness lived on. This messed with her mind to the point where she thought Supergirl was her sister. When she made this claim, Kara replied she had no siblings.
    • Lampshaded in Peter David's Supergirl #57:
      Buzz: Dominique... I am your father... Oh, I'm certain that didn't sound too "Darth Vader".
    • In Supergirl vol 6 #24, super-villain Cyborg Superman gets his memories back... and remembers what he is Supergirl's father. Several months later, in Supergirl vol 7 #2 he tells Kara he is her father (who she had previously thought dead).
  • Magnetic Plot Device: Peter David's Linda Danvers moved to a small town. Naturally, crazed super villains followed. This was partly explained by a mystical river that ran underneath the town, it attracted oddness like deer to a salt lick.
  • Magic Skirt: Some artists draw it so short, but so short that you will need a massive Willing Suspension of Disbelief to accept something so short not allowing Panty Shots free of charge. Gary Frank, one of these artists, may be the only one to regularly show the leotard underneath.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Post-Flashpoint Supergirl displays this on occasion, first when attacked by the Powered Armour wearing mooks of Simon Tycho, then when fighting Black Banshee, and later when she accidentally shatters a windowpane. He specifically notes it and mocks it as a pale reflection of his own powers, before giving her a demonstration. Ironically, Silver Banshee is one of her best friends.
  • Man of Kryptonite:
    • During New Krypton, Reactron was rebuilt as a Metallo expy, complete with a Kryptonite heart—though in his case it was Gold Kryptonite, the one kind of Kryptonite that could permanently cancel all her superpowers.
    • In one of final arcs of her fifth solo book, Parasite and Silver Banshee teamed with Metallo and the Kryptonite Man to take Supergirl down. Kara admits that fighting the latter two is a headache, but she is not intimidated and tells them bluntly that they will not win.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl The Joker pumps kryptonite-based drugs into his bloodstream. So, his body gives off K-radiation which hurts and weakens Kara when she fights him.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: Kara has this trouble whenever she hooks up with someone since even her weakest versions can crush steel.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Kara gets a Red Lantern Ring in "Red Daughter Of Krypton, everyone'' stare at her with "Oh, GOD, She's going to kill us all NOW!" horrified expressions.
  • The Matchmaker: In Action Comics #289, Kara vows find a wife for her cousin. She tries to hook Kal up with Helen of Troy, Saturn Girl's adult self, an alien superwoman... However all of her attempts end up in failure, and she vows never play match-maker again.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: In Superman/Batman #77, Kara gets glowing red eyes when she is under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Several of her most Iconic Outfits include a blue or red skirt: her original outfit, her Pre-Crisis outfit], her Post-Crisis costume and her Rebirth one.
  • Minnesota Nice: Pre-Crisis Kara grew up in Midvale -a fictional town located between somewhere between Smallville (Kansas) and Metropolis (Illinois)-, and she is a nice, kind and compassionate -albeit short-tempered and fierce- woman.
  • Missing Mom: She always losts her parents. In some universes, twice.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In the Peter David title, Linda Danvers's parents get the wrong idea when she attempts to tell them about the huge, identity-altering secret she's been keeping.
    Linda: I'm not gay! I'm Supergirl!
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Hal Jordan once had to remind himself he "isn't Ollie" to get himself to stop thinking weird thoughts about the seventeen year old Supergirl.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: In Superman/Batman #8, a naked Supergirl wanders confused into an alley, having just woken up from her rocket, and is spotted by three workers. One of them mistakes her for a prostitute and decides to play Lothario only to have his hand crushed and be slammed through a wall. The second tries to help his friend. The third wisely proclaims he's not with the other two and offers her his coat.
  • Modesty Shorts: Used more recently as an alternative to her Skirt.
  • Most Common Superpower: She's considerably smaller than most heroines, but is still a bit above average than a lot of real life women. Power Girl, on the other hand... She has a very nice bust when she grows up, anyways, and in Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl she is the most buxom female character.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Post Crisis Supergirl was a pretty infamous example, what with her cheerleader like costume, being introduced naked and later dressing in low cut jeans with her thong on display, and her constant panty shots when in costume. While most young teenaged girls in comics get treated like this, she did it to such a degree that it made many people uncomfortable, and was the source of many of her criticisms. Editors eventually issued a demand for this to be limited and/or stopped, and thankfully it did.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • In Superman/Batman #8, a naked Kara wanders confused into an alley, having just woken up from her rocket, and is spotted by three workers. One of them mistakes her for a prostitute and decides to play Lothario only to have his hand crushed and be slammed through a wall. The second tries to help his friend. The third wisely proclaims he's not with the other two and offers her his coat.
    • In Adventure Comics #397, Nasthalthia Luthor and her cronies tried to bully Linda. Cue Supergirl giving them a very wild -and fast- ride before throwing them into a fountain.
  • Muggle Foster Parents:
    • Fred and Edna Danvers were the adoptive parents of Pre-Crisis Linda Lee Danvers/Kara Zor-El and Secret Keepers for her role as Supergirl.
    • Post Crisis Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers -two agents of the D. E. O. (Department of Extra-normal Operations), a Government agency created to deal with and neutralize alien threats- became Supergirl's foster parents in Supergirl (Rebirth). They helped Kara understand Earthlings and adapt her new home-world.
      Eliza: (smiling) Damn — Look at her go. And here's us, the adorable, slow-moving human parents.
  • Mundane Utility: Kara has used sometimes her heat vision to roast marshmallows and her Super Speed to tidy an apartment (as seen in a flashback in New 52 Supergirl #29).
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: When Kara returned in 2004, she looked like a slender, sixteen-year-old... who could bench-press airplanes, lift mountains and outrun light. Writers were easily able to tease the fan base with the idea that teenager might be stronger than her full grown powerfully built cousin Superman. Turns out, he just holds himself back due to living his whole life in a world made of cardboard. Though one of the teases was correct. She can fly faster owing to her smaller size.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Grace Choi of The Outsiders tried this on Supergirl as revenge for freezing during a battle and failing to watch her back, but broke her hand despite her formidable strength.
  • My Greatest Failure: New 52 Supergirl feels guilty for Krypton's destruction, even though she intellectually knows there was nothing she could do to save it.
    Supergirl: And now Krypton's lost forever. There was nothing I could do to save it, but it feels like I'll be trying to make up for that the rest of my life.
  • Neck Lift: Sometimes Supergirl does this when someone pisses her off:
    • In the end of New Krypton, Supergirl does this to Sam Lane after he has successfully engineered the death of New Krypton and the Kryptonian genocide.
    • In the beginning of the Day of the Dollmaker storyline (Supergirl vol. 5 #58), she does this to Toyman during an interrogation when she thinks he's lying. Her Glowing Eyes of Doom stress that she's serious and mad.
    • In Supergirl vol. 5 #13, Kara grabs Simon Tycho's neck when he breaks into her underwater secret base.
    • In the beginning of the Red Daughter Of Krypton story arc (Supergirl vol. 6 #28) Kara grabs Lobo's neck and slams him into the nearest wall before punching him through it.
    • In the cover of Red Lanterns #31, Sheko does this to both Supergirl and Bleez.
    • In ''Justice League United #3, Lobo suckerpunched her. She grabbed his neck and lifted him off the ground before punching him across a valley.
    • In Supergirl #36 (first part of the Crucible arc), a stranger alien is testing Supergirl. After finding him she grabs her neck, she flies upwards and demands answers, hinting that it's a very long drop.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman:
    • On the one hand, Kara is one of the mightiest heroes of her universe; on the other, she is cousin of THE greatest hero of her universe, who mentored her and trained her when she arrived on Earth. Most of versions of the character struggle to walk out of the shadow of Superman, but it's hard to shake the "Superman's younger cousin" label off.
    • Silver Age Superman trained Supergirl when she was a teenager. However she got Character Development, and in The '80s she was a mature, intelligent, confident and extremely powerful young woman and crimefighter who didn't need her cousin's advice or approval (a fact Superman agreed with). Many creatives and fans kept brushing her off and dismissing her as "Superman with boobs", though.
    • Power Girl was constantly trying to prove she didn't need her cousin's mentoring anymore, going so far to tell him she couldn't listen to his well-meaning advice because she needed to follow her own path.
    • Post-Crisis Kara got help and training of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman when she arrived on Earth, but at the beginning she messed up... a lot. After a monumental screw-up, she thought that her cousin was about to lecture her, and she stated that she was finally learning and she didn't need his validation. To her surprise, Clark agreed.
      Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad — But you're neither one! Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and Uncle Jon and Aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation! I can get by on my own terms, and I'm doing just fine, and —
      Superman: I know.
      Supergirl: ... ... What?
      Superman: I know you're doing fine. That's what I want to talk about. You made one of your worst mistakes ever with Air Force One, but you bounced back from it and did some real good in Washington. And I don't want you feeling like you're in my shadow.
  • Never Be a Hero: Played with in the Silver Age. When Kara Zor-El arrived on Earth, Superman insisted that his cousin kept her existence secret for a while during which he trained her. And she wasn't to operate openly until he gave his say-so. However he was kind of justified: she was a recently-orphaned teen Physical God who needed desperately some kind of stability as she got used to her new life and learnt to use her godlike powers, several -imaginary and canonical- stories showed why being Superman's secret emergency-weapon was a good idea, and when he finally revealed her existence to the world, he stressed that his cousin was his partner, no his sidekick.
  • New Media Are Evil: Supergirl #60 has a guy launch an attack on the entire DCU metahuman community by creating a Foursquare-esque smartphone app for people to post metahuman sightings so villains can then track them down and attack them.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Supergirl has invulnerability, which is part and parcel of the Kryptonian pack. She's survived nukes, planets exploding, getting dumped in a star...
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Being a temperamental Kryptonian teenager, sometimes she's flipped out and trampled villains which tried her patience until she ran out of it:
    • Most famously, she trashed the Anti-Monitor even though he was killing her.
    • In New 52 Supergirl issue 28 she pummelled Lobo until he stopped moving and talking. Not an easy feat.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Krypto The Super Dog, is Superman and Supergirl's Kryptonian pet. He was later joined by Streaky the Super-Cat and Comet the Super-Horse. And a long while later, by Beppo the Super-Monkey. Together, they formed the Legion of Super-Pets.
  • No Romantic Resolution: Kara's second solo book ends with her childhood crush Dick Malverne showing up and kissing her all of sudden. Readers never got to see Kara's reaction because the series was abruptly cancelled and the character killed two years later (DC had plans for a relaunch but they never materialized). Several decades later writer Paul Kupperberg revealed that Supergirl would turn Dick down. However, 2004 book Solo #1 picked up that plot thread and solved it after twenty years: Dick confesses that he loves Linda, he always knew she was Supergirl... and he's dying from cancer. They kiss and he passes away later that night.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up:
    • Supergirl goes forth and back with this, only Kara has been given a few continuities where she actually grew up to be a young womannote , other Supergirls never went past their late teens. This is more prevalent when Power Girl exists in the given continuity, having Supergirl as an adult woman would basically negate Karen's character, as she serves as the adult life for a Distaff Counterpart of Superman.
    • The Pre-Crisis Kara is interesting in that she actually aged only a little slower than real time early on; she was 15 when she first appeared in 1959 and graduated high school in 1964, presumably making her about 18 and went on to graduate college in turn in 1971. She spent the 1970s as a young woman in her early 20's before being retconned back to a 19 year old college student towards the end of the Bronze Age.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Kara has an unfortunate record of falling for guys who later turn out to be jerks, super-villains or jerkass super-villains (Powerboy, H'el) who hate when she sees through their ruse and breaks up with them. When it happens, they try to abuse her... and find out what bullying the obscenely super-powered, temperamental girl is a spectacularly bad idea. Powerboy is a case in point: he brutally beat her up, including dragging her face down the side of a skyscraper, and tied her to a bed. She beat him up, dropped a house on him and told him never to bother her again.
  • Not So Different:
    • Supergirl and Lobo in the New 52. Although the former is a hero devoted to protect people and her cousin Superman's protegee and the latter is a violent jerkass and Anti-Hero at best, both of them are two angry, lonely aliens and the last of their respective kinds. In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Lobo tells this to Supergirl:
      Lobo: I know, because I was like you once. Bitter. Alone. Mad as Hell. But I didn't let it consume me. I put it to work.
    • Several examples in Supergirl Rebirth:
      • When Kara fights Lar-On, she explains that they are not so different in order to appease him.
        Supergirl: I know your anger. Your confusion. I remember it from when I was stranded here. Disoriented. A different language. Different world.
      • While she sees Supergirl's rocket leaving Earth, her foster mother thinks is how her biological parents felt when they blasted their only daughter off into space to save her.
        Eliza: Look at her go. It feels strange, Chase, blasting Kara off into space. This must be how her real parents felt.
        Cameron: I think they'd relate.
  • Now or Never Kiss: In Supergirl #51 Kara kisses Mon-El as he flies towards Comicbook/Brainiac's ship.
  • Oh My Gods!: Kara invokes Rao's name frequently: "Praise Rao", "Sweet Rao"...
  • Older Than They Look: Kara, at least in Post Crisis and modern adaptations; she also made the journey from Krypton to Earth, but took longer to reach Earth and be released from suspended animation. As such, she looks about 16-18, and is mentally that as well, but is actually a good few years older than Superman himself. In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Kara insists that she's mentally and emotionally older than she looks.
    Supergirl: My entire planet was destroyed. My civilization is gone. That makes you grow up fast.
  • Old Flame: Pre-Crisis Kara/Linda and her childhood crush Dick Malverne dated for a while but they drifted apart during their college years. Several years later, when Kara is twenty-four they meet again. It turns out that Dick was seeking her out because he was dying from cancer and wanted to confess he still loved her before dying. They shared a kiss the night he finally passed away.
  • Oops! I Forgot I Was Married: It happened in the 80s to Kara, in a story just after she died in Crisis On Infinite Earths (Superman #415: Supergirl: Bride Of- -X?). An alien named Salkor showed up on Earth claiming to be her husband, which of course Superman didn't believe. Later in the story he finds a video Supergirl made in his fortress where she relates being injured by a collision in space with a kryptonite meteor. Salkor, the hero of his world, finds her and nurses her back to health. Since she has amnesia, she hangs around and falls in love with him. But eventually her old memories return, in the process pushing aside her memories of the incidental marriage. She flies back to Earth and resumes her life. Her memories returned just in time for her to make the video before her death. A lot of fans forget this story because it was a time of way out stories as writers were cut loose to write any story they wanted before the reboot. Plus the marriage was a little bit gross by human standards.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: In a Pre-Crisis story she was cloned. And her clone was a boy called himself Superlad.
  • Our Hero Is Dead:
    • In Adventure Comics #402, Supergirl has lost her powers and got shot. A mook briefly examines her fallen body and declares that she's dead. At the beginning of the next issue, though, Kara comes around.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, the Red Lanterns get this reaction when Supergirl removes her Red Ring (Red Lanterns die if they take their rings off). Two pages after, Kara revives when her enemy foolishly dumps her into the Sun.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Kara and Stephanie Brown teamed up in Batgirl 2009 #14 to take on 24 hard-light hologram Draculas.
  • Paint It Black:
    • In Supergirl #3, Supergirl was exposed to black kryptonite and she was split into her normal self and an evil (and oversexed) alternate personality that wore a black-and-silver version of her normal costume. The black costume returned in a later Justice League of America storyline where a battle with the Omega Man accidentally reawakened the Dark Supergirl persona within her.
    • This was based on a Silver Age story in which Supergirl was exposed to a piece of red kryptonite that created Satan Girl, who likewise wore a black outfit. Her version had a cowl and no S-symbol, because her identity was originally a mystery.
  • Parental Abandonment: She always goes through this: She loses her parents when they send her to Earth to save her from Krypton/Kandor/Argo City's destruction. In the Post-Crisis universe, Kara finds out that they are still alive after all... and they get murdered soon after. So she lost them twice.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick:
    • Downplayed in Supergirl (Rebirth). Supergirl really doesn't like hearing her foster parents flirt when she's around (or when she is not around. She can hear them from anywhere, literally). They are not concerned about her squicked reaction, though.
      Jeremiah: What I did miss?
      Edna: Just the launch, Jeremiah. But the new uniform sure fits.
      Supergirl: Comms are live. I can hear you two.
      Edna: We're your parents, Kara. We're not dead.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Linda learns that her mother got pregnant. When their parents explain the hows and whys, she decides she did NOT need to know that.
      Linda: How did this happen?!
      Fred: What—
      Linda: Are you responsible for this?
      Fred: What the hell kind of question's that?
      Linda: Haven't you ever heard of protection?
      Fred: I had a gun nearby. Didn't help.
      Sylvia: Remember that afternoon you kind of surprised us, when your dad and I reconciled? Well, I think that's when...
      Linda: Oh, I SO don't need to hear that! Jeez, Ma, you're too old old to be having—
      Sylvia: Sex?
      Linda: I was gonna say "a baby", but yeah, the other thing, too.
  • Parental Substitute: Kara has several parental figures.
    • Her cousin Superman is or tries to be this, always.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl was adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers. They were loving, supportive parents, even after discovering that she was a super-powerful alien.
      Edna Danvers: To others, she's the world's greatest heroine, but she's more than that to us! She's the daughter we dearly love!
    • Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers become post-Crisis Kara's guardians when she moves into National City in Supergirl Rebirth. They are both her DEO-appointed handlers and her foster parents, and they try to help her understand and adapt to Earth.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: Supergirl has done this time and again, either intentionally or unintentionally.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 2 #17, a car crashes into Supergirl. She said them "Stop", but they didn't listen.
    • This is even part of the introduction story of the post-Crisis Supergirl in Superman/Batman #8. Some guy crashes onto Kara as she roams the streets of Gotham aimlessly just after her crash-landing.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 5 #10, another car crashes into Kara while she's standing in the middle of the road.
    • Variant in Supergirl vol. 7 #1, in which Kara breaks several cars while she's trying to learn how to drive.
    • this fanart, Supergirl meets a truck. Said truck didn't survive that meeting.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Supergirl is massively strong and powerful due to their vast and numerous powers. In addition to them, she got a Red Lantern Ring during the Red Daughter Of Krypton story arc, becoming one of the most dangerous things in the universe.
    Shay Veritas: How'd she get a Red Lantern Ring? [...] A Kryptonian wearing one of those is an extinction level threat—!
  • Pietà Plagiarism:
    • The cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, showing Superman carrying Supergirl's dead body, is one of the best known examples in comic books, and is frequently referenced and/or parodied itself and has generated a deluge of merchandising, effectively making the origin of the trope Older Than They Think for anyone who isn't aware that this cover itself is copying an older work, though it differentiates itself by Supes standing, tears streaming and crying out in grief.
    • And a drawing by Arthur Suydam of DC zombies has it too, with everyone but Supergirl a zombie, and her with an apple in her mouth.
    • Inverted here.
    • Superman did this to Supergirl long before the Crisis in DC Comics Presents issue #29. A reviewer made the next quip: "Again with the anticipation. Superman cradling a Supergirl literally at death’s door. All they need now is copious amounts of blood and a sweatband."
    • In the Post-Crisis New Krypton storyline, Supergirl holds her dying father's body while he dies.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 6 #20, Power Girl is holding the body of a dying Kara.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, villain Worldkiller-1 holds a dying Supergirl in his arms before dumping her in the Sun (a move which was fortunate for her and incredibly dumb of him).
    • In Justice #12 Kara does this to Poison Ivy after knocking her out with a blast of heat vision.
  • Pink Means Feminine: This trope shows up a lot with Supergirl merchandise. Even though her costume is red, blue, and yellow like Superman's, you'll find a lot of costumes that look like this.
  • Pink Product Ploy: A clothing line.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Judge Sheko gains fire powers when she becomes a Red Lantern.
    • Chris Kent's girlfriend and Kara's childhood friend, Thara Ak-Var, has pyrokinesis in addition to standard Kryptonian powers. She can harness fire even if being stunned by kryptonite, red sunlight, or some other Kryptonian weakness.
    • Post-Crisis Linda Danvers had pyrokinesis and flaming wings for a while.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Along with Dick Grayson, the original Kara was allowed to grow up, even if it took thirty years. She started out as a cute little teenybopper, and became a beautiful young woman. There's a huge Tear Jerker in "Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow?,'' when time-travelling young Kara asks Superman if she grows up to be pretty. This is after Kara's own death, and Supes can't tell her that; but he does tell her, as they pass a statue of her adult self in the Fortress, "You grew up beautiful, Kara."
  • Positive Discrimination: With her reintroduction in the Superman/Batman series, many efforts were made suggest that Kara was possibly a greater Flying Brick than her cousin. Many stories written soon after her introduction as Supergirl had other heroes saying that she might be faster than Superman, might be stronger than Superman, etc. Overall, characters seemed to believe Kara would eventually surpass Clark in all parameters. Later these cheap compliments and expectations simply vanished, and the more traditional "as strong as Superman, but maybe slightly less so because she's smaller" interpretation again prevailed.
    • In the lengthy 1959 story arc about Supergirl's secret apprenticeship and training, Kara had a power outage. Then she briefly got everything back — along with invulnerability to Green Kryptonite. (Mr. Mxyzptlk was responsible.) Superman seriously regarded her as superior to him, and wondered if he should become her assistant.
    • In her Post-Crisis reintroduction, she seemed stronger than Clark for a while, but it proves to be because Clark's long since gotten used to holding himself back in a world of cardboard, while Kara hadn't yet.
  • Possession Burnout: Kara's villain Worldkiller-1 burns out any body he possess if his host isn't strong enough to contain his spirit. In a instance he possessed a baseline human, and his victim's body melted in a matter of seconds.
  • Power Glows: Modern Supergirl's body often glows when she is super-charged with solar energy or is using her solar flare attack. In Supergirl #33, her body gave off a golden glow after she took a literal sunbath.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Thanks to her Nigh-Invulnerability, Supergirl has won fights simply by standing still while human mooks hit her and hurt themselves.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong:
    • In the New Krypton'' arc Reactron nullifies Supergirl's powers with Golden Kryptonite. He thinks he has already won when Kara rises up and beats the crap out of him, telling she trained with Batman, the Amazons and is a first level practitioner of Klurkor- Kryptonian martial art.
      I trained with Batman. With the Amazons. I know first level Klurkor. Just because I can't use heat vision doesn't meant I'm helpless.
    • In the Justice League of America Elseworlds series JLA: Act of God, a mysterious event wipes out all superpowers, and Supergirl re-trains herself to become Badass Normal.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: In New 52 Supergirl issue 28, after Kara shots Lobo's ship down:
    Lobo: Bloody Nass! That ship was custom built! The things I did just to pay for it...!
    Kara: Don't worry... You'll pay for them ALL.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Supergirl has changed costumes constantly since her creation, but most times she keeps the blue-and-red color scheme. Most of her costumes can be seen here (although her New 52, Red Lantern and Rebirth costumes are missing from that list).
  • The Promise: In "Way of the World", Supergirl promises a boy who is dying from cancer that he will not die. She will not allow it. She moves Heaven and Earth to find a cure in time but at the end, she fails.
  • Promotion to Parent: Superman usually serves this role for his younger cousin, who arrives on Earth after losing her parents. Ironically, in the Post-Crisis comics Kara was born earlier and she expected to raise her baby cousin when she arrived on Earth, but her ship was delayed and she put in suspended animation, and when she crash-landed on Earth, Kal was nearly twice his age.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Kara does this when she scares Rebel away.
    Supergirl: Oh... and Rebel...
    Rebel: Yeah?
    Supergirl: I have eyes that can see through solid matter. I have ears that can hear your slightest word... Your heartbeat... Your breathing... You do anything that hurts others... I will find you... and you won't like it. Do we have an understanding? Do. We. Have. An. Understanding?
  • Punished for Sympathy: When Kara was being held in stasis near from a kryptonite rock, one of the employees of Tycho released her. His boss got him killed.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After spending several arcs feeling angry, confused, lonely and betrayed by everyone, New 52 Kara fights Lobo in Supergirl #28, and the Czarnian taunts her and mocks her to the point that she explodes and beats him up brutally. She becomes so furious that she turns into a Red Lantern.
  • The Real Remington Steele: Supergirl and Power Girl assumed the identities of Flamebird and Nightwing while operating inside Kandor.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Not evil, but she was definitely darker, edgier and angrier when she wore her red-and-black Red Lantern costume.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: If her eyes begin glowing red... don't bother with running because she will catch you. Fall to your knees and beg.
  • Red Herring: In Who Is Superwoman? Kara suspects that her old friend Thara Ak-Var is the evil Superwoman who aided and abetted her father's murderer because Thara was Kandor's security head. It turned out that Superwoman is Lucy Lane.
  • Red Is Heroic: She wears red most of the time. Her Red Lantern uniform was red and black.
  • Relative Error: Supergirl and Superman are -usually- extremely close since both are the Last Of Their Kind and biological family. They are so close that people who is not aware of their kinship, assumes that they are lovers. Some examples:
    • In Action Comics #500 Superman explains several fans how came to Earth, became a hero, met his cousin... A member of the audience then blurts out: "I never knew Supergirl was your cousin — I guess I always thought she was your girlfriend!"
    • In Supergirl vol 2 #20, Linda Danvers -Supergirl's secret identity- tells her friend Joan that she's got a date for lunch with Clark Kent. When Joan starts gushing about her hot date, Linda tells Clarks is her cousin.
      Linda: 'Fraid you're on your own today, Joanie. I've got a date for lunch.
      Joan: With the gorgeous Mr. Philip Decker, I presume—?
      Linda: Nope. A different man... named Clark Kent.
      Joan: Clark Kent... THE Clark Kent, the news guy from GBS?! Don't you ever see guys who aren't nationally famous?
      Linda: Relax, Joan. Clark's my cousin!
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: In Pre-Flashpoint continuity, Supergirl's Secret Identity is Linda Lang, Lana Lang's niece.
  • Retail Therapy: At the beginning of Adventure Comics #397, Linda Danvers/Kara Zor-El is feeling gloomy and depressed, so she goes shopping to cheer herself up. After trying some new clothes she feels better right away.
    Linda: Poo! This is for the birds! I've gotta get over this feeling! And when a girl feels this way — some new clothes are in order!
  • Ret Canon:
    • Supergirl's 80's costume (the one with the headband) was originally designed for the live-action movie. It was dropped from the movie at the last minute, but by then, it was too late for the comics to ditch it.
    • Also, the white T-shirt costume from Superman: The Animated Series. It's explained in-story that Linda fashioned it from things she found in a costume shop, after Matrix (who wore a classic version of the costume) was forced to leave her.
    • The Rebirth series adds as much of the live action series set-up as possible given New 52 Kara's existing status quo; she's relocated to National City, where she works for the DEO, has a secret identity as Kara Danvers (with Jeremiah and Eliza both being DEO agents) and has developed a prickly relationship with Cat Grant, whose CatClark website has apparently become a media empire since the last time we saw her.
  • Retcon: Her backstory has been re-written more often the Blue Boy Scout himself. It can look like a tangled mess.
  • Ret Gone:
    • For a long while, Kara Zor-El was retconned out of existence by the Crisis on Infinite Earths - until a storyline with the Linda Danvers Supergirl had pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Kara entering the Post-Crisis timestream by accident. Later, a Post-Crisis Kara was reintroduced, replacing Linda. Finally, the events of Convergence undid the death of the original Supergirl.
    • There was a truly heartbreaking Christmas special a couple years after the Crisis where the ghostly superhero Deadman is wondering why he bothers going on when a young woman, who can see him, tells him: "We don't do it for the glory. We don't do it for the recognition... We do it because it needs to be done. Because if we don't, no one else will. And we do it even if no one knows what we've done. Even if no one knows we exist. Even if no one remembers we ever existed." Then she disappears into the night, but not before Deadman asks her name. "My name is Kara. Though I doubt that'll mean anything to you."
    • Pre-Crisis, Supergirl fought a villain named Black Flame who's plan to defeat her was to trick the heroine into attempting this. Claiming to be a descendant of Supergirl from the future, Black Flame committed a few random acts of vandalism, and then "generously" let her "ancestor" see archived recordings of the future, where she ruled as a cruel and murderous tyrant. In truth, the archives were fake, and Black Flame was a citizen of the shrunken city of Kandor; she had hoped that Supergirl would expose herself to gold kryptonite to erase her powers to prevent any descendants from having them - which, of course, would render her helpless while not getting rid of Black Flame at al. There was one flaw in the villain's plan - a dental filling which Supergirl noticed, which she realized an actual descendant would not have.
    • A later version of The Dark Angel tried to do this to Post-Crisis Supergirl by trapping her in a horrifying illusion without her knowledge. If Supergirl had mentally, physically, or spiritually broken, Dark Angel would have had the authority to erase her. Supergirl survived the test, but Dark Angel decided to erase her anyway, only to be stopped by her boss, The Monitor.
  • Revision: Supergirl's real name is Kara Zor-El, survivor of Argo City, and the only child of Zor-El and Alura In-Ze. Much of this detail, however, was added over time: in Action Comics #252, Kara’s home city had no name, nor did her mother, and Kara had no surname. Adventure Comics #365 gave her a surname for first time... ten years after her first appearance!
  • Right Behind Me: In Supergirl and the Legion Of Super Heroes #20, the Legion are discussing Supergirl, ignoring Dream Boy, who is trying to warn them she's listening to them.
    Cosmic Boy: She makes me nervous, Garth. I can't put my finger on it, but somethings not right about Supergirl. Oh, Boy. She's here... isn't she?
    Dream Boy: That's what I've been trying to tell you. She can hear every word...
  • Robot Me: Superman made a bunch of Kara robot duplicates to fill in when she was unavailable and help her maintain her secret identity. When Kara fought crime while living at Midvale Orphanage, she used one of her robot decoys to keep the other orphans from noticing her absence.
  • Rogues Gallery: Supergirl has her own gallery, including Mad Scientist and body-swapper Lesla-Lar, Kryptonian criminal Black Flame, sword-wielding Amazon Nightflame, Satan Girl (name shared by three vastly different enemies), reality-warper Nazi Blackstarr, super-powered Darkseid minion Powerboy, mass-murderer bounty-hunter Lobo, Metallo expy and genocidal thug Reactron (who killed post-Crisis Supergirl's parents and blew New Krypton up), corrupt bussinessman Simon Tycho, Super Soldier Reign and the remainder world-killers -biological super-weapons-, Kryptonian werewolf Lar-On, Cyborg-Superman, and many more.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant:
    • Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman was, unsurprisingly, originally created as a recurring villain in the Superman titles. His new incarnation, though, has become a Supergirl villain entirely.
    • Silver Banshee has historically been a Superman foe but in recent years she's been more associated with Supergirl. In the New 52 she even became a (currently non-villainous) Supergirl's supporting cast member.
  • Running Gag: During the Silver Age, Supergirl saved cars from falling off a cliff the whole time.
  • Saving the World: Supergirl is determined and committed to save the world and protect people for reasons that go beyond simple justice or righteousness: her cousin and she are the only survivors of a dead world. They cannot bear the thought of losing their adoptive home. Many of their stories lay emphasis on this:
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton, Kara explains why worldwide genocide and planetary destruction are one of her Berserk Buttons:
      Supergirl: How could anyone make it their mission in life to murder whole worlds? Can you imagine what an abomination that is to an orphan from a dead planet? [...] This world-killing stuff... it hits a nerve. It makes me furious, and the ring just fans the flame!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Kingdom Come, Supergirl decided to leave the present and join the Legion of Super Heroes in the 30th Century when Superman retired.
  • Secret Identity: Pre-Crisis, Linda Lee Danvers; Post-Crisis, Linda Lang; Post-Flashpoint, Kara Danvers.
  • Secret Identity Change Trick:
  • Secret Identity Identity:
    • Back in the Silver and Bronze Ages, Kara Zor-El was torn between her responsibilities as Supergirl and her desire to be a normal woman and lead a normal life. Unlike her cousin -whose "real" person was Superman in those decades-, she thought of herself as "Linda Danvers", and sometimes she felt frustrated because she spent so long being Supergirl that she forgot what being "Linda" was like.
      Besides, I could do with the time to myself... to sit back and think. It's selfish, I know, but I deserve... Whoa! There you go again, Linda!
      There's nothing selfish about wanting to get into yourself for a while instead of thinking about the whole blasted world! I do enough of that as Supergirl — and wasn't the whole reason for this move... to give myself space to be just plain Linda Danvers?
      I've been Supergirl for such a long time, it seems. Not that I'd give that up for anything... but I feel like I've totally lost hold of the part of me that doesn't scoot around the universe in shorts and a cape! I've forgotten what it feels like to be just a person... Instead of a symbol!
    • Post-Crisis Kara Zor-El was Supergirl 24/7 until her cousin warned her that she would eventually burn out and suggested that she came up with a secret identity. Kara created a civilian identity called Linda Lang, but it was merely a disguise. After failing to save New Krypton she briefly considered giving up on being Supergirl and becoming Linda permanently.
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl was given a secret identity in Supergirl Rebirth. However, "Kara Danvers" was merely a tool to socialize with humans and understand them in order to protect them better.
      "Kara Danvers" is a tool for you to walk amongst the people you protect.
  • Secret Chaser:
    • In the Silver Age, Dick Malverne. He grew up at the Midvale Orphanage during the same time that Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee/Supergirl did, and he was constantly trying to prove she had super-powers. In a story written in 2004, it was revealed that he always knew Linda was Supergirl, but he kept it a secret.
    • In Action Comics #361, a boy thought Linda Lee was Supergirl, and he pretended to be Kryptonian to goad her into revealing her secret identity.
    • In Adventure Comics Nasthalthia "Nasty" Luthor -Lex Luthor's evil niece- enrolled at Stanhope University as a student, hoping to lure Supergirl out into the open so her uncle could kill her. Several issues later she is convinced that Linda is Supergirl and follows her to San Francisco, where both begin work as junior reporters for K-SFTV as she tries to out Linda/Kara.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Supergirl knows her cousin's secret in all eras, and Superman also knows her Secret Identity. In the Pre-Crisis universe, Kara often helped him protect his Clark Kent persona.
    • Likewise, Kara's secret identity has a good number of protectors:
      • In the Pre-Crisis era, her Secret Identity is Linda Lee Danvers. Her cousin Superman, her foster parents Fred and Edna Danvers and Barbara Gordon Batgirl know this. In 2004 it was revealed that her childhood crush Dick Malverne always knew, but he kept mum.
      • In the Post-Crisis era, Superman, Lois Lane, Pa and Ma Kent and Lana Lang know that Linda Lang is Supergirl. Lana actually helped Kara set it up, pretending that she is her niece. Stephanie Brown -the third Batgirl- knows Kara's secret identity and vice versa.
      • In Supergirl Rebirth, only Supergirl's foster parents -Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers- and her boss -Director Cameron Chase- know who Kara Danvers is.
      • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Supergirl and Batgirl -Barbara Gordon- figured out each other's identities.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • In the Pre-Crisis universe, Linda Lee Danvers' childhood crush Dick Malverne knew she was Supergirl all along. On his deathbed, he confessed he always loved her and he knew of her secret identity.
      Supergirl: Mr. Malverne? You asked to see me...?
      Dick: Hey-Hey... Linda Lee... I wanted to see you one more time... You sure look pretty.
      Supergirl: You... You know —?
      Dick: I always knew, Linda.
    • Lena Thorul knew that her friend Linda was Supergirl but she kept it to herself.
  • Secret Test of Character: Subverted in Action Comics #258. Superman wanted to find out if Supergirl could protect her secret identity. So he sent Krypto to tempt her in revealing her identity, and then he exiled her in space for a week. Then he tried to prove that Linda Lee had super-powers using his Clark Kent identity. When she admitted that she was Superman's cousin without even attempting to cover it up, he thought she had failed... until she said she had figured out that he was Superman.
  • Security Cling: In Action Comics #867 -part of the Superman: Brainiac storyline- Kara glomps Clark while she tells him she is terrified of Brainiac. He hugged her back to reassure her.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Kara started out being depicted (and drawn) as a typical teenager, rarely looking more than 13 or 14 in most of her early appearances, only by the mid-1960s to be depicted and drawn as a sexy 20-something woman. Although "eye of the reader" does not apply for this trope, Supergirl becoming a woman is touched on in numerous issues, including stories such like Superman #376 where she tells her cousin she doesn't need his guidance or approval anymore.
  • Shooting Superman: Of course, this is done to Supergirl the whole time. Of course, it never works.
    • In Superman vol 1 #149, Supergirl breaks into the Luthor's lair while he and other criminals are celebrating her cousin's death. Several of them shoot her -even though she has just informed them that she is Superman's cousin- and she suggests that they stop wasting bullets.
    • One comic had the situation plays out as normal, right until the mook throws the gun at her — the gun hits Supergirl in the head, and she collapses. Then, she gets back up in the next panel.
      Supergirl: Just kidding!
    • Kara lampshades it in The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #12:
      Supergirl: I hate thinking of the fortune in ammunition thugs like you have wasted on me over the years!
    • In Red Lanterns #30, a squad of Primeenian soldiers shot at Supergirl and the Guy Gardner's team... even though they had just fought other Red Lanterns and their strongest weapons didn't even slow them down.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • After Kara is brutally beaten up by Powerboy, including having her face dragged down the side of a skyscraper, she wakes up in a bed next to a Stalker Shrine devoted to her, bound in powerful, alien-tech restraints. Powerboy says a big speech about how much he loves her, that he knows best, and that the beating was her fault for making him angry. Supergirl blasts him with heat vision, calls him out that he's an asshole and that no one should ever hit someone that they love, then drops his house on him. He tries to escape, while still ranting, but Supergirl catches up to him and kicks him in the groin.
      Powerboy: "Look, I'm just going to lay it all out because honesty is important in a strong relationship... I was born on Apokolips. Taken from the Armagetto Slums to serve You-Know-Who... He made me strong, trained me in the ways of the Earth so I could come here as a "hero" and... Well, it doesn't really matter anymore, because it changed the the day you came to Apokolips. The most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Ever felt. From that moment, I knew I had found my "Missing Half". I knew we would be together. And then you left... I couldn't eat. Sleep. Think. I knew that my true destiny wasn't with Darkseid and his stupid plans... So I followed you across the universe. I watched you try so hard to fit in, to find your way. All I wanted to do was hold you. Tell you how beautiful you were. But I knew you weren't ready to hear it... Sometimes we have to fall all the way down before someone can lift us up. You could be something so special, Kara... But you're lost. You're lost and you're too weak to find your way alone. Whenever you try... the monster in you comes out. Is this what you what to be?" (cups her face) "You need someone to take care of you, Kara. Someone who loves you to build to up... To make you into something you can be proud of. I love you, Kara. We can be perfect together, if you'll just let me fix you."
      Supergirl: (destroys her restraints and burns his hand with heat vision) "We need to break up."
      Powerboy: "Aaaaaigh! What did you do?!"
      Supergirl: "You hit me. You said you loved me... And you hit me." (punches him through a wall to the outside)
      Powerboy: "Y-You made me hit you! Because you don't listen, like now! Kara! I'm warning you! Stop it or I'll do it again! I'll hurt you again! You can be happy if you just do what I tell you! I—" (Supergirl rips his house from its foundation and rises into the sky) "Kara, I love you. Don't you want someone take care of you!?"
      Supergirl: "No one who says he loves you should hit you, ever." (drops his house on him)
      Powerboy: (Flash Step into outer space, pulls out his Father Box) "Ouch. Heh... Heh... Got some fight to her... Gonna have to work on that... Next time... And there will be a next time. Try to drop a house on me now. Father Box... Honey..."
      Supergirl: (Flash Step up to him, knees him in the groin) "I out-flew Superman, "Honey". We're not done." (grabs him by the scruff of his neck) "I don't know if you can hear me, so read my lips... Don't call me. Don't talk to me. Don't look at me... Or I'll break every bone in your body."
    • In the H'el on Earth, H'el talked Supergirl into helping him save Krypton, assuring that no one would suffer. She believed him... until she found out that he omitted several key details when he explained his plan.
      Supergirl: H'el, you never said anything about sacrfice! About threatening this planet! About killing innocent people!
      H'el: Killing? I'm not killing anyone! When we go back in time, this planet and its people will still exist, only thrust back to its own past! What happens to them today will be no more real than a bad dream! Surely you see that, beloved —
      Supergirl: Don't call me that! You used me! You told me everything I wanted — everything I needed — to hear! And now people might be dying because I helped you!
  • Side-Story Bonus Art: In The '60s Supergirl often asked her readers for costume designs, and even wound up wearing some of them in actual stories.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
    • In the post-Crisis universe, Supergirl had a huge crush on Dick Grayson alias Nightwing because he was nice and understanding. Kara once spontaneously made out with him, all because he made a speech about being a good teammate.
    • In the New 52, Kara fell for a nice, kind-hearted guy called Michael. After meeting Red Hood, Michael is worried that she will like a "bad boy" like Jason Todd, but Kara states that she doesn't want bad boys like him, but someone normal and dependable.
      '''Supergirl: Some girls go for that sort of thing. Me? I just want something normal. Something real.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Superman is a Level 3 in at least The Silver Age of Comic Books — while Mort Weisinger was the editor, his supporting cast, Rogues Gallery, and mythology were slowly built upon, without readers requiring to have read any previous stories most of the time. Supergirl (also edited by Weisinger) followed this model but often moved into Level 4 as she was more likely to be involved in two or three part stories.
  • So Proud of You: In Supergirl vol. 7 #1, Kara has a flashback in which her father Zor-El said he was proud of her compassion and hopefulness during a school excursion:
    Zor-El: The Kamnium in the lake petrified these animals ages ago. They're not going anywhere.
    Kara: Exactly. They're stuck here. But If I holo-photo them all, then a little piece of them can escape with me. It's pretty strange, I know. Everyone else thought so.
    Zor-El: That's because no one else would ever see it that way, Kara. I would never say that's strange. That's Hope. That's what the crest we wear stands for. That's why I'm proud you're my daughter.
  • Spanner in the Works: In Elseworlds story Superman vol 1 #149: The Death of Superman! Lex Luthor manages to murder Superman. He thinks he's going to get away with it and no one can stop him now, but an unknown girl wearing Superman's costume breaks into his secret lair, reveals that she is Supergirl, Superman's cousin and secret emergency-weapon, and she takes him away, bringing him to Kryptonian Bottle City of Kandor where he is put on trial for murder and sent into the Phantom Zone.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Powerboy became obsessed with Kara after catching a glimpse of her as a Female Fury. He created a shrine and became a superhero to impress and seduce her. However, he grew more and more possessive, and beat the crap out of her when she tried to visit Captain Boomerang (Owen Mercer) in the hospital. Supergirl defeated him in spectacular fashion.
  • Story Arc: Unusually for DC characters in the early Silver Age (especially Superman himself) Supergirl stories were regularly two or three (or rarely longer) story arcs rather than just stand alone stories.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Linda Danvers retired from superheroics after Many Happy Returns, but returned in Shadowpact, transformed into a vengeful "Fallen Angel".
  • Superheroes Stay Single: Supergirl has never had a stable, long-lasting relationship. Her love interests usually are: cheaters; assholes; creeps; stalkers; manipulative bastards who are using her; or actual nice guys who break up with her and are put on a bus shortly after meeting her.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: She usually wears a cape just like Superman.
  • Superhero School: Crucible Academy. In the last pre-Rebirth storyline Kara attended Crucible, with heroes from all across the galaxy both new and some which had not been seen on DC titles for some time now (like the New 52 version of Maxima).
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Girl of Steel, the Maid of Might, the Maid of Steel, the Last Daughter of Krypton, the Red Daughter of Krypton, the Girl of Tomorrow.
  • Superpower Lottery: She's Kryptonian's Superman cousin, so... she hit the jackpot. She's one of the most powerful heroines of The DCU, and her powers include super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability, super-senses, eye beams, several breath weapons...
  • Super Senses: She has half dozen of different kinds of super-vision (telescopic vision, microscopic vision, X-ray vision...) and super-hearing. In the first issue of Supergirl Rebirth, Supergirl is flying over the surface of the Sun and hears her foster mother's voice -who is standing on Earth- in real time. Later in that issue she uses her microscopic vision to read someone else's genetic makeup.
  • Super Strength: Part of the Kryptonian pack. Depending on the version, she's nearly so strong or slightly stronger than her cousin.
    • In Red Lanterns #29, Supergirl and Superman have a short fight. When she picks an ocean liner easily, swats her cousin with it and Superman tanks it, it becomes apparent how massively strong Kryptonians are.
  • Super Toughness: Supergirl is a nigh invulnerable Flying Brick on par with her cousin. Some examples:
    • In Supergirl vol 1 #3, a giant mutant venus fly-trap tries to swallow Linda/Kara whole but it ends up spitting Supergirl out because it can't bite her skin.
      Supergirl: This brute may become a vegetarian now! Trying to chomp down on my invulnerable body would ruin the appetite of any meat-eater!
    • In Supergirl vol 2 #1 she shielded several men from a shower of molten steel with her body.
    • Post-Crisis Kara got a locomotive dropped on her. It knocked her out for several seconds. Then she woke up and threw it out of the planet.
    • Post-Flashpoint Kara first discovers she is very, very hard when she gets caught in an explosion and she doesn't get harmed.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Kara gets hit by missiles, punched on a moon and hurled into the Sun. She endures everything.
  • Taken for Granite:
    • Supergirl did this to her ex boyfriends with a touch, at least according to this cover of ''Adventure Comics'' #389. (In truth, this was a "joke" she used to expose a criminal who was working for Braniac who had hit on her. Unfortunately, while she apprehended him, Braniac got away.)
    • In Supergirl vol 1 #8, Medusa's ghost gives her a head full of real snakes and the curse of turning any man who looks at her to stone.
    • Bizarro Supergirl has Eye Beams that cover the victims with a stone shell.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Pre-Crisis Kara was trained by Superman. Post-Crisis/Pre-New 52 Kara was trained chiefly by Wonder Woman.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In New Krypton, Zor-El tempted fate several times:
      • In "Superman: New Krypton Special", Zor says now they have powers "We'll never be in harm's way again". he got murdered shortly after. And New Krypton got blown up.
      • In Supergirl vol.5 #34 Kara questioned the wisdom of having a Brainiac's robot keeping Argo's shields up, and asked what would happen if it woke up. Her father reiterated over and again it can't and won't turn itself back on. Despite everything, the robot woke up and nearly killed them.
    • In Supergirl vol.6 #19, several Luthor's henchmen are trying to seize Supergirl. Two of them comment that she's just a kid and they'd hate to see what she could do when she grows up. Cue Power Girl showing up and trashing them.
    • At the beginning of "Superman Supergirl: Maelstrom" #1, Supergirl notes that it's been a very quiet week and she thought she'd have more action when her cousin asked her keep an eye on Metropolis while he was away. Cue a Darkseid's minion arriving on town and flinging cars away.
      Supergirl: Oh no... The second I think good thoughts...
    • In DC Retro-Active Superman 1980's, Earth-One Superman has a nightmare where -among other things- he sees Supergirl dying. When he wakes up he barely remembers his dream, but he is very shaken and frightened, and he calls his cousin to ask her to be careful. Kara dismisses his fears, reminding him that "There's not much that can hurt [her]"... and then she mentions that the morning sky is red...
    • When Kara and Stephanie Brown first team up, Supergirl wants to charge in and take down the villains, but Stepth suggests that it is not a good idea. Then Kara asks her, "It's the first Supergirl-Batgirl team up, what can go wrong?". Steph made sure to give her a sarcastic "You were saying?" when the pair was overwhelmed by Toyman's robots.
    • Linda does this twice in Action Comics #270. At the beginning, she is bored and wishing she had loads of important rescues to perform. All of sudden she has to undertake a space mission and fight a super-villain undersea to save Atlantis right after. After returning home, she thinks "What an action-jammed day! To think I was sad, earlier, because I didn't have enough action! The rest of the day will probably will be quiet..." Cue Batman and Robin needing her help.
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • Kara did quit several times in the fifth volume when her super-hero life got too hard or she deemed herself to be a failure after the destruction of New Krypton.
    • In the sixth volume Kara gave up being Supergirl when she became a Red Lantern.
  • That's What She Said: In Batgirl 2009, while being strangled by Dracula:
    Batgirl: Hopefully you won't hold this against me.
    Supergirl: That's what she said.
    Batgirl: You're funny.
    Supergirl: I try.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Shockingly, this happened to Supergirl in Action Comics #362. A descendant of Mxyzptlk commands everyone in the 40th century to believe Supergirl is a criminal. Supergirl is captured with Kryptonite, tried, and sentenced to have the word "OUTLAW" branded on her forehead. Afterwards Kara is marginalized, insulted and bullied until she cracks and decides that "[She's]] been branded an outlaw, so [she'll] be one!" Subverted, since she had realized that Mxyzptlk was behind everything, and she pretended to crack to fool him.
    Supergirl: All right! I've had it! I've been branded an outlaw, so I'll be one! I'll pull a robbery right now!
  • There Was a Door: Kara is super-strong, invulnerable and can fly... and she is a headstrong, impatient teenager/woman. So who cares if there was a door? She is trying to save people and that wall/ceiling was in her way!
    • In the Day of the Dollmaker arc, Supergirl flew through the wall of the lair of Dollmaker to rescue Cat Grant.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton Simon Tycho is looking for Supergirl as she's tearing his base and his troops down. Right when he is demanding that someone shows him where she is, the ground in front of him explodes and Supergirl flies in through the gap.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl Supergirl breaks through several ceilings when she goes after Luthor.
  • Thigh-High Boots: Some of her costumes such like her New 52 incarnation's outfit, her Red Lantern uniform or her Rebirth suit include knee-length red boots.
  • Thinking Tic: Kara used to put her finger to her mouth as she puzzled out some conundrum in early issues of Action Comics. That quirk that has been seen every now and then even in modern comics.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: Jason Blood probably summed the situation up best, when the demon Etrigan broke off a brawl with post-Crisis Linda Danvers to drop to his knees and ask for her hand in marriage.
    Etrigan: Marry me. Do not say maybe./Take me as your demon lover; bear my demon baby. (kisses her hand)
    Jason Blood: This is wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to start.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Supergirl is very reluctant to kill:
    • In the New Krypton arc, Supergirl was horrified when she accidentally killed Superwoman, even though Superwoman had tried to kill her several times.
    • In the New 52 Supergirl does not know her own strength. She gets upset when her actions endanger people and is relieved once that she sees that nobody has been harmed.
    • Subverted in Red Daughter Of Krypton. Supergirl is horrified when she apparently kills mass murderer and hitman Lobo after kicking him. Then he takes advantage of her distress to catch her off guard, and almost fries her brains with an ultrasonic device. Right there and then she decides he has "got it coming".
    • Subverted again at the end of that arc. She executed an artificial, genocidal body-snatching alien abomination reasoning that "This is not murder. It is the end of a terrible mistake."
  • Time Travel Escape: At the end of Peter David's Supergirl run, pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El lands in Leesburg and is discovered by the then current Supergirl Linda Danvers. Inverting the trope, Linda goes back in time to die in Kara's place when it becomes clear that this event must come to pass. Subverting the trope, Kara eventually goes back to return the time line to normal.
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble: In Supergirl vol. #5 issue #22, Supergirl runs into this trouble when she remembers that she travelled to the far future and fought/will fight alongside the Legion of Super Heroes.
    Supergirl: Well, um, thank you for unblocking my memory. You were... will be... very good friends to me.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • In several storylines -set before and after the Crisis-, Supergirl was trained by Superman or Wonder Woman and learnt some style of martial arts.
    • She increased her badassery in the Red Daughter Of Krypton story arc when she got a Red Lantern Ring. Lantern Rings are the most powerful weapons in the universe, and Red Rings are fueled by their bearer's fury. And Supergirl is a headstrong, Hot-Blooded Kryptonian.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness:
    • Post-Crisis Kara was feeling confused, irascible and pretty miserable upon arriving on Earth. Several months later she's adapted to Earth and learned to be a hero and she is pretty happy with her life.
    • Her Post-Flashpoint self found out that Krypton, her family, her friends, her old life... were gone right after crash-landing on Earth. For a long time she was a upset, lonely, angsty teenager struggling through her abandonment and anger issues and her inability to fit in with humans. After Character Development, though, she let her anger and confusion go and become a happier and more optimistic person.
  • Trainstopping: Subverted in Supergirl vol. 5 #18. Kara stops a train but it breaks in half and derails upon crashing onto her indestructible body. Kara has a breakdown but she calms down -a bit- when she discovers that it was an illusion.
  • Tranquil Fury: Supergirl is usually Hot-Blooded and short-tempered. So, if she talks and acts calmly when she is obviously angry, she's about to deliver an epic butt-kicking.
  • Translator Microbes:
    • When Supergirl first arrives on Earth in the New 52, she can only understand Kryptonian, so only Superman and a girl named Siobhan Smythe can communicate with her. Siobhan can, through magic, become fluent in any language after hearing a few words. She demonstrates with both Kryptonian and birdsong. Later, Supergirl, Black Banshee, and Siobhan's brother are able to understand each other in Black Banshee's mindscape, but not in the real world.
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Supergirl gets a Red Lantern Ring which is -literally- an universal translator... although Kara wondered if her ring's translator was broken when the Diasporan leader called her "their newest Champion".
  • Trash of the Titans: As seen in New 52 Supergirl #29, Siobhan Smythe's apartment is a dumpster, and she actually likes that way.
  • Trauma Congaline:
    • Not only is Krypton destroyed but Supergirl survives on Argo City but then it's destroyed. So she's orphaned twice in most continuities.
    • In the Post-Crisis continuity her parents survived Krypton and Argo City's destruction only to die on New Krypton. Which was subsequently destroyed. In other words, she has lost her home planet three times.
    • Kara becoming a Red Lantern is the result of one: After spending one decade sleeping she woke up only for finding out that her world, her family, her old life... were dead and gone. In a lapse of few months she was used and betrayed by most of people she met, including her first crush. She couldn't keep any friend and she couldn't make a connection with her only living relative. And then Lobo taunted her...
  • Trope Codifier: Even if she wasn't the first one, Supergirl is THE Distaff Counterpart.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Pre-Crisis Supergirl was innocent and gullible, but her modern incarnations fit this trope:
    • Post-Crisis Kara Zor-El was at the beginning an emotionally-unstable, quick-tempered jerkass due to Kryptonite-poisoning and being a teenager stranded in a strange land (she got over it and got better after a while, though). She is also an Amazonian Beauty and boys were obsessed with her, especially during her "troubled teenager" phase.
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl was an lonely, sad, hot-tempered, Hot-Blooded teenager with abandonment and anger issues -a ton of anger issues- before Character Development kicked off. She was a also Guy Magnet. Once she asked a boy if he wasn't frightened of her, and he said no, because she was beautiful.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Kara up in a ball and cries in Convergence: The Adventures of Superman #1 after seeing visions of her death at the hands of the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Supergirl and Bleez were the only female members of Guy Gardner's Red Lantern Corps. Bleez was actually glad that Supergirl joined because she wasn't the only girl anymore.
  • Two First Names: Supergirl is Linda Lee (later Linda Danvers). Post-Crisis versions of the character had different civilian names: Linda Lang, Kara Danvers...
  • Underestimating Badassery: Kara gets this a lot. Because she's a temperamental teenager, their enemies assume she is an easily manipulable, naive little girl. Because she's a super-strong Kryptonian, her enemies assume she's dumb muscle. She always shows she isn't a pushover.
    • In New Krypton, Reactron brought golden kryptonite (which nullifies the powers of a Kryptonian) to the fight, thinking he'd kill Supergirl easily. It turns out that Supergirl has been trained by both Batman and Wonder Woman and knows Klurkor (a Kryptonian martial art).
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Lobo thought that Supergirl would fight worse if he pressed her buttons. It turned out that Kara doesn't get careless when she gets angry: she gets more dangerous.
    • Later on, Guy Gardner ordered Supergirl not to let Bleez -who was wounded- leave med bay. Bleez stated that she had no time to socialize with children and tried to shove Kara away of the door she was blocking. Yup. Good luck with that.
    • Worldkiller-1 thought that Supergirl couldn't do anything to stop him. But it appears that fighting a Kryptonian after she's just taken a bath in the Sun isn't a good idea.
  • Uniqueness Decay: DC's perception that Supergirl made Superman less unique and less profitable led to them killing her in the Crisis and trying to erase her from history. It didn't work.
  • Unknown Rival: In Many Happy Returns Rebel craves for killing both Silver Age Kara Zor-El and post-Crisis Linda Danvers. As long as either of them is concerned, though, he is a pathetic nuisance with delusions of grandeur. When Rebel tries to harass Kara for last time, she shows him how insignificant he is and what the real difference of power between them is. He runs away.
    Rebel: So whattaya say we just finish this off with one final dance?
    Supergirl: Don't you get it, Rebel? You're not important! You never were! You were just — something to do! Something for Supergirl and me to bounce off of for a while until people and events of real consequence came along!
  • Unstoppable Rage: Kara is -usually- a very nice, kind person, but she's also a Hot-Blooded, short-tempered teenager who protects her loved ones fiercely, and she has occasionally gone on a rampage:
    • In the Crisis on Infinite Earths, when the Anti-Monitor threatened with killing her cousin Superman, she went berserker and almost killed him. Yes, she nearly killed a being that devours universes.
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl was once so angry she overloaded Sakki, The Hate Furnace and Gakidou.
    • In the beginning of Red Daughter Of Krypton, ''Lobo taunted her until she flew off the handle and pummelled him.
    • Also, Matrix during her mini-series back in The '90s discovered that her lover Lex Luthor had made thousands of clones of her from the residue he collected after her fight with Doomsday. She was very close to killing him too.
  • Unwanted Assistance:
    • In Superman #123, Jimmy Olsen accidentally created a Supergirl construct when he wished Superman had a companion (since Kara Zor-El hadn't arrived on Earth yet). That Supergirl tried to assist Superman but kept screwing things up. For example, when she tried to put out a fire with Super Breath, it was so powerful, it knocked the building over.
    • During the events of the "Amazons Attack" storyline, in where the Amazons went to war against the US, Supergirl and Wonder Girl try to end the war by kidnapping the President and bringing him to Queen Hyppolita to engage in peace talks with her. Predictably, their plan went awry, and Supergirl apologized to many people, saying that she had screwed everything up even though she just wanted to help.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Supergirl has occasionally been pawn of some villain -such like Lex Luthor- who intended to seduce her as part of a plot against Superman or herself. However, she always finds out about the truth sooner or later, and when she does... Cue Unstoppable Rage and Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • In the H'el on Earth arc, H'El seduced her and talked her into helping him bring Krypton back, assuring that no Earthmen would suffer. She joined him... until she found out that his plan involved blowing the Sun up and destroying Earth. Then she turned on him right away.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Supergirl and the whole Justice Society were Lex Luthor's pawns, who was using them to increase his power, popularity and fortune.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Usually, Zor-El and Alura In-Ze are decent people who try to be good role models. when Kara arrives on Earth, Clark helps to raise her, teaches her how to use her powers, and tries to instill the Kents' teachings in her. The result? Some Supergirl incarnations can be sort of bratty or emo at the beginning, but ultimately all Supergirls develop into The Cape.
  • Up, Up and Away!:
  • Villainous Crush:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl often was hit on by seemingly decent guys who later turned out to be super-villains or criminals. One example: In Supergirl vol 1 #4 a gangleader called David Grahm romanced her.
    • Post-Crisis Kara had to deal with Powerboy, a Darkseid's minion who had a crush on her and was Not Good with Rejection.
    • Post-Flashpoint Supergirl met H'el, a man who claimed to love her... and planned to blow the Sun up in order to save Krypton.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Supergirl always finds harder to attend school and make friends than being a super-hero. In Rebirth she attends National City High School along with being a teen superhero, but she doesn't manage to fit in with her schoolmates because she isn't familiarized with human social customs and Earth's science is primitive and ancient to her. However she has saved the world dozens of times for now.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • In the post-Crisis storyline "New Krypton" she broke up with her childhood friend Thara Ak-Var when she believed she aided and abetted her murderer's father. Later on, they reconciled after a fashion, but their friendship was still strained.
    • In the New 52 series, Kara befriended Siobhan Smythe "Silver Banshee" shortly after arriving in Earth. However she broke it off when she thought Siobhan was using her.
  • Wham Line: "We've... we've had a casualty."
  • What Does She See in Him?: In Justice #8 a mind-controlled Kara tells Lois Lane that she doesn't know what her cousin sees in her:
    Supergirl: I don't know what Superman sees in you, Miss Lane. And don't tell me "X-Ray Vision". I have, too. And I don't see anything.
  • What Is This Feeling?: In Peter David's run, the demon Buzz feels a horrible pain when he tries to leave Supergirl. At first he thinks this is God's doing, but it turns out that, for the first time since he was a human, he's feeling guilt.
  • What Measure Is a Humanoid?:
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl owned a super-powered, intelligent horse named Comet. Comet was really a centaur called Biron who'd been cursed so that at any one time he had to be all horse or all man. And he had a crush on Kara.
    • Lesbian Comet is the Post-Crisis version, who was a lesbian comedienne who'd combined with a male superhero with horse-DNA to form an Earth Angel in the same way as Matrix Supergirl combined with Linda Danvers. (S)he could alternate between the two forms. Supergirl was attracted to Comet, but somewhat taken aback by Andi.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Although she's intelligent, and is capable of coming up with plans and tactics, her default method of attack is just to fly up to a problem and punch it. Given that she's Kryptonian, this does solve a number of problems.
  • When The Clock Strikes Twelve: Subverted in a Peter David issue. Supergirl inquires a twentysomething witch about her divine fate, and is told to come back that night. Supergirl assumes the meeting will be at midnight, but the witch says 1:00am because she doesn't want to miss her favorite late-night show.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: The '70s' Supergirl costume included red hot pants. It is one of her most well-remembered costumes.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: After Kara is brutally beaten up by Powerboy, including having her face dragged down the side of a skyscraper, she wakes up in a bed next to a Stalker Shrine devoted to her, bound in powerful, alien-tech restraints. Powerboy says a big speech about how much he loves her, that he knows best, and that the beating was her fault for making him angry. Supergirl's retort? Delivering a brutal beating combined with a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech (see above).
  • Wicked Toymaker: Anton Schott alias "Dollmaker", the son of Toyman who is also a skilled -and creepy- toymaker, although he specializes in deadly robot dolls.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist:
    • Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El was an exceptionally innocent, trusting teenager. Her enemies often exploited her naivete and tried to earn her trust or seduce her so they could manipulate her and kill her or her cousin. Eventually she stopped being so gullible, but she kept believing that people are mostly naturally good-hearted.
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl is less innocent (excepting some versions such like Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl Kara who was fooled by Lex Luthor) but she still stands by his ideals and always tries to do the right thing and be an hero, not matter how dark her world is or what bad things happen to her.
  • Willfully Weak: Supergirl holds back the whole time because she's too powerful and she'll kill someone if her control slips.
    • When post-Crisis Kara arrived on Earth, she caused a lot of property damage in the early issues until she learned how to control her enormous strength.
    • Even when she briefly went out of her mind due to the influence of the Red Ring, Supergirl instinctively held back because she didn't want to hurt anybody.
  • World of Muscle Men: In older issues of Supergirl and similar "girlie" comics, the men in the super heroine's lives will often be so built, their muscles appear under sweaters. The reasons for this can vary.
  • World's Strongest Man: Kara is a contender for strongest woman in the DCU, being, powerwise, a female Superman.
  • World's Best Warrior: Played with regarding Supergirl. She is a hero but she is not a warrior by nature. However many people in the DC Universe mistake her for this trope. And since she is definitely one of the most powerful heroes, most incarnations have trained in some kind of martial art or haven been mentored by Batman and/or Wonder Woman, and she is more temperamental than her cousin, it is very easy for her becoming a fighter when she is given no choice.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Superman has a strange life, as demonstrated when his first reaction to seeing a teenage girl flying out of a Kryptonian rocketship while wearing a version of his own costume is "A girl, flying! It — uh — must be an illusion!"
  • X-Ray Vision: One of the powers of Kara.
    • In her first appearance (Action Comics #252) she practices her X-Ray vision, focusing the X-rays enough to generate heat and fix her bedroom's cracked mirror, and later watching through the walls of the Midvale's orphanage.
    • In a hilarious scene of Action Comics #868, Supergirl meets Cat Grant and accidentally reveals that her boobs are fake when she naively says out loud that "My X-ray vision is picking up some weird plastics in your —"
    • In Supergirl vol. 6 #2, her X-Rays first activate when she's fighting Superman. Having no idea what her powers are, she freaks out when she sees her own bones.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, she accidentally sees through the clothes of a bunch of pressmen. Not wanting seeing their underwear, she cries.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Villainess Satan Girl is a resurrected Satanist from the 18th Century. When she's brought back, she speaks with the expected "thee's and thy", only in the next issue she tells her resurrected nemesis that she'll drop the formal speak if she'll drop her "holier-than-thou name calling."
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Kara has sometimes got the speech from her cousin:
    • During "The Search For Brainiac" arc:
      Superman: Listen, Kara. Braniac just fired a missle that will detonate in the sun and cause it to supernova. I can't intercept it while rescuing Metropolis and Kandor. You have to stop it.
      Supergirl: I can't do it.
      Superman: You can.
      Supergirl: I'm not fast enough.
      Superman: You are.
      Supergirl: I'm scared.
      Superman: It's okay to be scared.
    • At the beginning of the Superman: Super League storyline, Superman asks her to take over when he's gone.
      Superman: You can do this. You're so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Sure, our family shield can be a target. But it's also a badge of honor that I know you wear proudly each and every day.
    • When Guy is trying to get Kara to leave in Red Lanterns #32, she argues that she can't stop being a Red, and she doesn't belong anywhere else. Guy replies she can find her way because she's stronger than them and stronger than she thinks.
      Supergirl: But even if I do go... the Ring... I can't take it off. I'm a Red forever. Without you and the others, how will I — What am I supposed to do?
      Guy: You'll find your way. You're strong, Kara. You didn't choose this life, but I've seen enough in our time together to know that you can make something of it. You're better than all of us.
  • You Didn't Ask: In Superman/Batman #9, when Superman tells his cousin he didn't know she could already use her X-Ray Vision, Kara answers: "You didn't ask".
    Superman: You noticed the lead, hmm? I didn't know your X-Ray vision had kicked in.
    Supergirl: You didn't ask.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: In Supergirl vol 4 #79, Superman has been exposed to pink Kryptonite, which turns him gay temporarily. When Lois asks why he is acting so strange, Supergirl tells her she does NOT want to know.
    Superman: Did I ever tell you how smashing you look in bowties, Jimmy? By the way, that's a fabulous window treatment you've put together.
    Jimmy: Gee... Thanks, I guess.
    Lois: You know, Superman's been acting awfully strange since being exposed to pink Kryptonite. What do you think's wrong with him?
    Supergirl: Lois, you so don't want to know.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • In Adventure Comics #404, Starfire's henchman Derek Ames succeeds at nullifying Supergirl's powers, but his boss has him shot anyway when she fears he will expose her operation.
    • It happens at the end of Red Daughter Of Krypton. After meeting Supergirl, Worldkiller-1 decides that he doesn't need its old host body anymore because the Kryptonian girl would make for a better container, and destroys its host.
  • You're Not My Father:
    • In Supergirl vol. #5 issue #22, Kara thinks her cousin is about to lecture her after her latest mess-up, and she interrupts him to remind him he isn't her father or her brother, she's trying to learn to be better, and she doesn't need his validation (Superman answers that he actually agrees with her).
      Supergirl: No, listen to me. I have to say: I know you love me, and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad — But you're neither one! Maybe I need to learn things the hard way. But I am learning! I want to be a family with you and Uncle Jon and Aunt Martha, but I don't need your... validation!
    • In Red Daughter Of Krypton Kara says this line after her team's leader tells she shouldn't drink booze because she's just a kid.
      Supergirl: You're not my parent, Guy Gardner, and from what I understand, you don't even lead this team.
  • Your Cheating Heart: In a pre-Crisis issue, she found out that her then-boyfriend Dale was cheating on her. When she chewed him out, he was completely unapologetic about his actions.
  • You Shall Not Pass:
    • In Action Comics #904, Supergirl informs the Cyborg-Doomsday that he will not hurt her home because he will NOT get past her.
      Supergirl: Haven't you figured it out yet?! You don't get past ME— You don't get to hurt my HOME — And you are going — DOWN!
    • It happens in Red Daughter Of Krypton when Sheko tries to read Supergirl's memories. A memory of Alura blocks her, declares firmly that her daughter's mindraping is NOT going to happen and throws her out:
      Sheko: You... You can see me?
      Alura: OF COURSE I can see you. Now GET OUT of our home!
      Sheko: Who are you...?
      Alura: Alura Zor-El! Praetor of Argo City! And you trespass at your peril!
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Most of Supergirl's costumes include a mini-skirt or hot pants and boots. Her New 52 outfit and her Red Lantern uniform include a leotard-like armour and knee-length red boots.

My cousin once said in an interview that he stood for "Truth, Justice and the American Way of Life". If anyone asked me, I'd say I stand for "Hope, Help and Compassion For All."