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Heroes: Tropes V to Z
aka: Tropes V-Z
  • Viewers Are Geniuses:
  • Viewers Are Morons:
    Gretchen: "So, Sylar huh?"
    Claire: "Yes. ...No, the Emo, apologist version."
  • Villain Episode: The aptly named episode "Villains"
  • Villains Out Shopping: The scene in season 1 where Sylar apparently stopped for ice cream while stalking the Heroes.
    • Elle really likes Slusho's.
    • How will they ever stop Pinehearst… cut away scene to Arthur Petrelli engaged in arts and crafts.
  • Villain Protagonist: Sylar spent the first half of Volume Four looking for the truth about his parentage. Of course, he's still killing anyone who gets in his way.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Elle goes through a moderate one in Villains. Sylar goes through this multiple times, each time involving his mommy issues.
    • Oh boy..."I Am Sylar." With Quinto's excellent Norman Bates impression with his mother...topped only by his skin crawling scenes with Claire in "An Invisible Thread."
    • Samuel, big time. "YOU'RE NOTHING WITHOUT ME!"
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Samuel.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Luke and Sylar, type 1. "You're my bestest friend ever!" "Get lost!"
    • Poor Luke. At least Sylar didn't kill him. That's kind of a big deal for him.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Hana. "Rebel". And hilariously, Hiro tries to be this to Ando at the beginning of Volume 4; but Ando isn't interested and just ignores Hiro to go out and meet girls.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: Claire. And HRG, and Claire again, and Sylar offscreen... (These weren't at the morgue, but still.)
  • Was It All a Lie?: Sylar and Elle. Mohinder and Eden.
  • Was Just Leaving: Daphne is the victim, Matt is the harasser and Daphne's dad is the eavesdropper.
  • Weapon of Choice: Tasers. People get tazed a lot in this show. Maybe because all the actor has to do is squirm and shake after being poked by a prop with lights glued on it.
    • Prior to Volume 4, the show's signature weapon was apparently the heavily customized Colt .45 pistols wielded by Company Agents.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: A little attempted murder mass murder genocide won't stop the Petrellis from having family brunch together.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: LOADS of them. Sylar's probably the biggest, but Elle and Mohinder follow pretty closely too. Nathan also apparently suffers from this, but he handles it much more sensibly than most.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Utopia Justifies the Means seems to be the motive for pretty much every major villain in the series. Except for Sylar, of course, who runs more or less on pure evil (at least until the writers oddly decide to give him an In the Blood excuse in Volume Three, though Ma Patrelli could just be is a damn liar).
    • Arguably Danko. He genuinely sees evolved humans as a threat but some of what he does make him seem a lot more like a Graydon Creed than a Senator Kelly. Yes it's an X Men reference, seemed appropriate somehow.
  • Wham Episode: Lots of them, most notably "Homecoming," "Company Man," and the Volume Three premiere.
  • Wham Line: Numerous
    • Volume 1:
      • "I work for your father."
      • "Tou-san?"note 
      • "We need to talk, Nathan."
      • "I already have you... Mr. Sylar."
      • "You may as well come inside, Claire."
      • "There are things you need to hear. Things I know about you. ... That you can fly, for instance?"
      • "I know you're there, Peter."
      • "Turns out you're the villain, Peter. I'm the hero."
  • What Could Have Been: The obvious example is how volume 3 was cut short, with plot threads obvious to be related to the main story ending up going nowhere. A bigger example would be the entire style of the series: The original intent was to have a revolving cast, with most characters not returning in future seasons. What could have been, indeed, if after season 2 we didn't have to deal with most of the extended Petrelli family?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to Caitlin? At last count, she was still trapped in Crapsack Future Version 2. Or not, because that timeline was erased.
    • Also, who is watching Molly?
      • Apparently, Word of God is that she's chillin' in India with Mama Suresh. Which is actually a surprisingly smart move on Mohinder's part, seeing as how most of the assorted superpowered wackiness and nuclear explosions seem to be mainly limited to American soil.
    • The Graphic Novels show Molly having stayed in India with Mama Suresh before returning to America to help Rebel.
  • What Have I Become?: Mohinder and Peter went through this in a big way in Volume Three. Having taken Sylar's ability to understand the plot how things work, Peter also developed "the hunger", a corresponding addiction to ripping out peoples' brains.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Alejandro's ability is limited to immunity to and suppression of Maya's deadly plague ability. You know what else? Maya eventually learns to control herself on her own. Not surprisingly, Alejandro is swiftly offed. Sucks to be him.
    • Ando's power is to supercharge other people's powers. Even he complains about how lame it is. But now he can also blast people with energy.
    • Alex's power is to breathe underwater. So yes, he has one of the powers of a guy notorious for having terrible powers.
    • Claire actually lampshades hers with this direct quote, substituting 'healing' for 'heart'. And if you think about it she kind of has a point, because it's hard to do anything actually active with hers; she can take a bullet but can't actually physically defend herself very well. (The fact that she's about 5'1" doesn't help her much in that area, either.)
      • Short blond girl who's much more resilient than a normal human being and heals much faster? Sorry, but if she were to get some training in a few fighting styles she'd be more dangerous than Buffy or River.
      • Makes it a pity HRG never really followed through on his promise to teach her to defend herself. Neither did Meredith, who mostly served to show her how many weaknesses she actually had. She was stuck using her body as a literal meat shield, though why she didn't try to seek out some kind of self-defense class in college is a mystery. Possibly because it would have kept her out of too much trouble.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Lampshaded in Volume 4 with regards to Danko's Black Ops stormtroopers - "People have died. Or do my men not count?!". Indeed, the fact he genuinely values the lives of his men (sociopathic snake eaters and all) seems to be Danko's only positive attribute.
    • Of course, he doesn't mind sacrificing a few of them just to prove his point of how dangerous people with abilities are... or to collaborate with Sylar.
  • White Male Lead: The show takes a stab a racial diversity, but a disproportionate number of characters are still white males, with Peter standing out as the de facto main character.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Hinted early in Volume Two. Pretty explicitly explained in "Cautionary Tales". Also hinted at in the Volume Four finale when Sylar points out to Claire that (barring power loss or losing their heads) it's eventually going to be just the two of them.
  • Why Am I Ticking?
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Sylar, Peter, and Hiro have these kinds of issues.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?
  • The Wildcats: Claire's Texas High School mascot.
  • Window Love: Subverted when Niki is in jail in Volume 1; DL just reaches straight through the glass instead.
  • Window Pain - Volume Four, Episode 1.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Sylar, who discovered his power to see how things (and people!) fit together, and decided to use this wonderful gift to... eat study fingerbang people's brains and steal their powers. Mr. Bennet stated that all the alterations Sylar made to himself by stealing other special's powers drove him insane. (Never mind the fact that a guy who even starts removing people's craniums probably had a screw or two loose to start with.)
    • As of Volume Three, they're claiming that his "see how things work" power gave him a desire for more knowledge, and for more powers.
    • Also, Adam Monroe, who wanted to kill nearly every human because... they had wars. Never mind that the major reason why wars are bad is because people die.
  • Word Salad: Hiro gets his brain scrambled (Once again), and starts speaking in nothing but media references. A sample (subtitled Japanese):
    - Good citizen. I am a humble knight from the Starship Enterprise.
    - A Jedi's work is never done. Unhand the princess, or feel the sting of my lightsaber.
    - Citizens of Caprica. You are saved. The Cylon has been defeated.
    - Cop: Drop the knife! Hiro: Lancelot! C-3PO!
  • Workaholic: Peter. It's implied in earlier seasons, but when Season 4 opens, he's revealed to have cut off contact with everyone he knows, stripped his apartment down to the most basic essentials (including an empty refrigerator), and keeps a police scanner and a running tally wall of people he's helped save since the events of Season 3. His partner has to tell him to go home because someone else covered a double shift that Peter wanted and tries to get Peter to socialize out of work. However, this doesn't last long as Peter is inevitably drafted into the machinations of the plotline.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Oh hell yes.
    • Possibly averted in Volume Four, as it deals with a government roundup; not New York getting nuked, a viral outbreak, or the planet cracking in half. That said, the show hasn't addressed whether or not the planet-cracking has been averted, and the "nuke" Bad Future looks like it might more or less come to pass anyway.
      • Perhaps no longer the case, now that Matt has painted a procog painting of Washington D.C. getting nuked. (Although Volume 4 is now over and the D.C. nuke still hasn't been referenced at all in the plot).
      • Patience, Parkman.
      • Definitely averted in Volume Five. The threat Samuel poses is on a smaller (but more personal) scale.
      • Although if you add two and two together with the paintings of the earth splitting in two and the man being an Earthbender....
  • World of Badass: Inverted, strangely enough. It's notable that in spite of it's huge roster of characters, there are very few who can be counted as true Badasses. A Badass is defined in its tvtropes page as "someone who reguarly gets away with outright insane stunts." Look at it this way, and the only ones who fit the type are Sylar and Claude. Claude more so because he's disappeared since the first volume so there's been zero Badass Decay. Everyone else comes close but then proceeds to fall absurdly short. In fact, the show seems to revel in taking potential Badasses and turning them into complete wusses. E.G:
    • HRG might seem like one at first sight, but it's clear he simply manipulates and pulls people's strings.
    • Adam Monroe might have been this, but he gets bitchslapped by Hiro in what, five seconds?
    • A similar example, Elle was a true Badass, but then along came Sylar......
    • Mohinder was headed in this direction after getting powers, but he proved to be too much of a wimpy scientist guy and has gone back to his old role.
    • Danko, the guy brought in to "take care" of the heroes. Big Damn Army Badass. Evil Personified. Or so we're repeatedly told. Powers include having an Idiot Ball for a head.
    • Most importantly, the character who has played the Damsel in Distress the highest number of times is Claire. That's right, folks, the girl who can heal from any wound within seconds is the show's regular choice for a DID. Further, she's frequently used as a plot device to make the male characters act heroic. (Save The Cheerleader, Save The World, remember?) This is further emphasized in that in spite of always getting into trouble, Claire has not taken up any kind of physical training over the show's run so far. This slowly changed by Volume Five as she Took a Level in Badass.
  • World of No Grandparents: Averted - Claire, while the parents of the parents she grew up with are never shown, has a biological grandmother who is actually a fairly prominent character- Angela Petrelli, and a biological grandfather who is presumed dead but returns from not quite death to be a Big Bad. They are also, obviously, the grandparents of Nathan's two legitimate sons, but those two don't show up much. When Micah's parents are dead/indisposed (one of each), he goes to live with a great-aunt (Cameo!Uhura), who is taking care of her own grandchildren, including Monica ("Blaxploitation Taskmaster"). Matt Parkman has a son and a father, although the former isn't introduced until the latter is dead. We also meet Sylar's father and an alternate future version of his son.
  • Write Back to the Future: Hiro's letters to Ando throughout Volume Two.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: In contrast to the seemingly perfectly laid out master plans of The Chess Master Linderman, Volume 5 Big Bad Samuel Sullivan seems to have an Evil Plan but also seems to be making a lot of it up on the fly as he's clearly not in total control and has to deal with multiple unexpected events that are not in his favor.
    • Noah Bennett is an expert player of the game. He's a mundane human who regularly bests people with abilities by using their weaknesses against them.
    With our powers gone, Bennett is the powerful one now.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: In retaliation for messing with him and his family, Matt traps Sylar in his mind where is forced to live in an alternate reality where he is the only person in the world. Peter travels inside his head to retrieve him several hours after it happended only to have Sylar tell him that 3 years have gone by.
  • You All Meet In A Bar
  • You ALL Share My Story: Seen throughout Season 1 as the Heroes slowly come together, finally converging on Kirby Plaza in the season finale to save the world from Sylar. Oddly, the remaining seasons seem to avert this in increasing illogical ways, having to keep the Heroes separated and/or at each other's throats since any given Volume's plot could probably be solved in 5 minutes if they actually communicated with each other.
  • You Already Changed The Past: The results of Hiro's adventures in feudal Japan.
  • You Can See Me?: Claude, when first meeting Peter.
    • Hiro has a variation of this when he finds out that his timestopping doesn't work on Daphne
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In the first twenty-two episodes of Season 1, every one of Isaac Mendez's paintings comes true. Though not always in the ways the characters expect. This helps to heighten the suspense leading up to the season finale, when Isaac's painting predicts a nuclear explosion in the heart of New York.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Done very badly with Jesse's ability, which turned out to be a not especially impressive Make Me Wanna Shout. Apparently it was supposed to be an earthquake ability like Samuel had in the next season, which is still not exactly too horrifying to disclose.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Sylar use this on the cop who seems to be in charge of a hostage situation while impersonating an FBI agent in the third season.
  • You Killed My Father: Elle and Mohinder had these moments with Sylar. Also Adam killed Hiro's father. Claire, presumably, will get one the next time she meets Sylar.
  • You Will Be Assimilated: Sylar and his ability to steal the superpowers of those he kills. Doubly so now that he can assimilate other peoples very identities, through a combination of a shapeshifting power that lets him copy anything whose DNA he samples via touch, and a psychic power that lets him absorb memories via touch.
  • Your Favorite: Samuel tries this on Vanessa, but his information is about 30 years out of date.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: Maury Parkman's schtick.
  • Zen Survivor: Claude.
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alternative title(s): Tropes V-Z
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